Aeolistic


I’m in heaven when you smile
September 27, 2010, 8:13 am
Filed under: Life, music | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Occasionally I share music on here, and today is one of those occasions. I’m a well-documented fan of Van Morrison and this song always, always sends me on my way in a good mood. I’m moving house today (hence the lack of updates), so I needed spurring on. It’s doing the trick.

I’ve got a small build-up of photos to post. Back to business as usual once The Most Stressful Week Ever is finally over.



KBAI!
May 23, 2010, 6:13 pm
Filed under: City, Life, UK | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Having spent much of the weekend packing and sorting through my belongings, I haven’t had much of a chance to say goodbye to Richmond. I move out next weekend but have to get everything ready in advance because I’m working full-time. These photos are from last Sunday, when my friend Sam and I walked all the way along from Richmond to Kingston, and then wandered back to Richmond in time for sunset. I’ll miss the 45-minute walk home from Richmond – the perfect opportunity to let off steam at the end of a long day. For some reason, I doubt Camden will be as picturesque as Richmond, but it will certainly be an easier commute without the dreaded 65 bus and gridlocked narrow roads in the mornings.

Now then, now then. Off to continue wading through my masses of things. This week is going to be busy and exhausting, but I have nothing to complain about so I hope I can keep a smile on my face despite the inevitable tiredness!



Baby, baby

Going a bit retro today. Back to 1989, in fact. Here I am at one year old – back when my mum used to dress me in cute ensembles from Peter Jones by Sloane Square (pretentious, non?). I’ve been thinking about how we change as we get older, and how we adapt. I don’t just mean physical changes, but also our changes in needs, desires and ambitions. I’m always self-conscious about posting photos of myself on this blog, but I’m slowly coming to terms with it. These photos are from different points in my life, so I guess they’re relevant to what I’m writing about.

One of the biggest differences between me now and me a few years ago is simplicity. The self-consciousness of changing from child to adult was daunting and once I stepped out of the safety of tomboy clothes and the four walls of my bedroom, I dealt with it by being (very) loud and covering myself in make-up, accessories and bright colours to try to distract people from what was underneath. As a teenager, all I craved was to be wanted – for people to want to be my friend and to want to be around me. Not many photos of me have survived the handful of years since then, and that’s probably a good thing. The awkwardness of craving attention and approval is something best remembered hazily, without any hard evidence. The arrogance of adolescence has turned into the panic of realising that I know nothing in the scheme of things.

A friend said to me recently (having not seen me for many months) that I seem less ‘breathless’. I know what he means; I’m not trying so hard anymore. I’m not struggling to be witty or intriguing – not having the energy is a major contributing factor but I guess that acceptance I’ve written about before of never being the smartest or the most liked does have a part to play.

I’m moving to Camden next week. It’s daunting that I’ll be entirely self-sufficient for the first time, but I’ve never felt more ready for anything in my life.



By the river

(I stood and watched this coot for a minute as it struggled against the current)

Having acquired a new job (yay!), now comes the flat hunt. Inevitably, as I search for somewhere else to live, I become nostalgic for Richmond and all its prettiness. Richmond has treated me well for the past 6 months. It’s quaint and photogenic. It was always going to be a difficult transition for a girl from Croydon to move to Richmond, but it has been much better than it could have been. I guess my accent – honed through seven reluctant years at a private school – helps me to blend in, and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to live in such a beautiful area.

The real difficulty I have living here is the microcosmic nature of it all. The wealthy and the middle class have found a haven in Richmond, and here they do not have to confront the real struggles that exist within London. There are hardly any homeless people to be seen here. The streets are impeccably clean. The crime rate is one of the lowest across the country. Left-leaning as I am, I am always taken aback as I walk through Richmond and Petersham on my way home by the saturation of front gardens with placards emblazoned with Zac Goldsmith’s face. These houses vote Conservative. These houses want to safeguard their wealth and protect the interests of the island. It’s a point of view I’ve never been able to understand, no matter how hard I try.

I love to look outwards. I love meeting new people and learning things about them. I love experiencing new things and trying to gain new perspectives. I’ve never been a part of one particular group over another; I have always been a part of different groups simultaneously. Perhaps, because of this, I have never felt threatened in the same way. Even if some of my interests are not being catered for, others inevitably are. My identity is shaped by a variety of factors: being a Londoner, being a child of first generation immigrants, being of mixed race, being British, being Irish, being Indonesian, being European, being Asian, being a woman, being a young person, coming from a deprived area, going to school in a rich area, being a university graduate, being a native English speaker, being bilingual, coming from a left-leaning family, being supported by the welfare state during my childhood.

Having these (sometimes conflicting) factors to consider means I don’t need to imagine things from the perspective of others. I, and many like me, see things from a range of different perspectives and we are constantly code-switching. I have made such a transition from my childhood that I have no tradition to safeguard – my life is changing all the time, though the roots of it never change. I have no island to protect because my island is constantly expanding – not just in an economic sense, but in a sense of an increasing wealth of experiences. With these expanding horizons, I find it difficult to understand those who are staunch in their commitment to conserving the status quo.