Thursday, 24 March 2011


Due to frankly mad things occurring in real life including Work! Computers! General Social Meltdown! my Project 21 is going on hiatus. As I am for a week or so, just till I can get things straight.

See you on the other side of the madness!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Project 21.

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
- George Bernard Shaw


That's a pretty well known quote, one that's probably been heard so often that it's lost all its meaning. I definitely heard it a lot when I was a teenager, it seemed apt for such a time of change. But I didn't like it, I thought it meant falseness. After all, I was also being told to love myself for who I was so surely that was at odds with Shaw's sentiment? What was so wrong with me as I was that I needed to "create" myself anew? 

But the times are changing and suddenly I'm feeling fonder of that phrase. When you were a teenager you may have consoled yourself with the idea of who you were going to become. When you were struggling zits and unrequited love did you imagine that wonderful "one day" when you'd be gorgeous and glowing, with the ability to win the hearts of everyone? We all did, right? (Or am I just giving way too much insight into my teenage angst?)

Thing is - what's stopping you being that person? Some things that you wanted when you were 15 you no longer want. Others things stick with you. Several things stuck for me and while I wish that they would come naturally - heaven knows it would make life easier - they're not going to. So Project 21 is about my attempts to "create" myself. 

Three weeks seems an excellent length of time to embark on something, to see if I like it, can integrate it into my life and whether I think it's actually worth hanging on to. I'll choose something I want to try and make a part of my life and do it for 21 days. I'll blog once a week about it because every day is probably a bit excessive!

My first Project 21 is going to be yoga. I was very into it a few years ago when I was in college, before my uni schedule swept it away. Since then I've thought longingly of those early morning and late night stretches, but once you're out of the habit it's hard to get back into it.

I intend to practice yoga every day for 21 days, starting today.

I'm going to check out my local Jivamukti centre for and at the very least I'll be practicing a 20 minute or so Sun Salutation, preferably in the morning although my twice-weekly 6am starts will mean a couple of evening sessions. The aim is just to do it every day. 

I've already got an idea for Project 21 take 2 so here's hoping this first one goes well!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

24 before 25.

Today is my 24th birthday. I’ve got the day off work so I’m off for a facial and massage with Mum and Nan (thank you, Groupon, for the dead cheap voucher) and then perhaps to Camden. The day is to be rounded off with some yummy food and some cake.

But I’ve been thinking recently that a birthday should be more than just an excuse to pamper yourself and get presents. It’s your own personal New Year!

I was inspired by this post last year and decided that I would do my own list. Reading over my list, there’s an awful lot of craft and learning based goals. Trying something new or rediscovering something I used to love. Here’s hoping these goals will really enrich my year! Some of these goals are ones that will have a result at the end of it, some of them are a little more fluid.

untitled1. Actively pursue looking for an agent. I need to focus on it, rather than just browsing sites when I have a minute and then forgetting to do anything about it.

2. Get faster, go further. Seriously want to improve my running. I already have a regular monthly running date with a friend, so I  really want to focus on upping my personal best each time. And then totally smash it.

3. Finish up Novel Number 2, The Daddy. Slightly more of a challenge than I thought it would be as I’m still finishing up the edits on Novel Number 1.

4. Buy (at least) 3 vintage/second-hand/charity shop dresses. Better for the environment and I’ll have something no one else has. Already planning a trip to a vintage fair on Sunday!

5. Sew a new item of clothing for myself, I haven’t since I made a skirt when I was 15. I might even treat myself to this kit.

6. Knit a jumper. I can knit a scarf, but I want to make clothing. And this also means learning to read a pattern. Which may as well be in Hindi for all the sense I can currently make of them.knitting

7. Give up bread! This isn’t some bizarre diet attempt. I absolutely adore bread, but it makes me lazy. If I can’t be bothered to cook, I know I can fill up on a couple of slices of toast. If I vow to eat less bread, then it will encourage me to cook more. Expand my culinary repertoire!

8. Visit an outdoor adventure place. I don’t think this needs more explanation really does it?

9. Look into a course about web design. I know precisely nothing about anything technical, but I’d love to know more. I can’t think of a better way to learn than by going back to school.

10. Finish up that epic poem and make it up into a book, complete with illustrations! I started it in 2009 and I’m very fond of it so I want to see it finished to see how the story ends. When I did GCSE I particularly loved the drawing stage, I found it really relaxing, even if some of the designs were beyond my sewing capabilities! But now I put it off because I’m not that good at it so I think it’s about time I rediscovered the fun and perhaps with practice I’ll get better!

11. Listen to more radio programmes. I kept hearing about someone in The Archers falling off a roof and realised that radio can get you talking just as much as TV. Also, I need to get out of this habit of getting into watching something just because it’s on in the room I happen to be in.

12. Knit a sock. Yes, just the one. Two if I can manage it, but I hear tell that socks are fiendishly difficult so one would make me very proud indeed!

The_Splits10[1]13. See the very last Harry Potter film and really enjoy it. All too often I think – not as good as the book and terribly cast. But this series has been part of my life since I was 11 years old and thanks to the films I didn’t have to say goodbye when the last book was published in 2007. So I’m going to enjoy this!

14. Do the splits! Yes, this is a dream of mine.

15. See three new plays. I love the theatre, but I find it expensive and booking tickets always seems to be such a hassle (is it just me? But I can never find three seats together on the same night that aren’t the price of a champion racehorse!)

16. Make a real go of some freelancing work.

17. Join a club. I haven’t really thought this one through because I don’t know what club! But I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for something interesting and hope I can meet some inspiring new people. A London writers club would be wonderful. Any ideas, let me know!

18. Go to a big sewing/knitting/vintage/craft event. I love craft, do-it-yourself and vintage and all the blogs seem to find these events a lot of fun. So I’d like to join in on that fun and maybe learn something new.

19. Visit an antiques fair. I blame Kirsty Allsopp for this.

20. Visit Wales. I hear they have great trails there. And a howies shop…800px-Horse_riding_in_coca_cola_arena_-_melbourne_show_2005

21. Go horse-riding. I think the last time I rode I was about 14 when I was working in a stable. Then came the GSCEs, the A-levels and university. Time to get back in the saddle I reckon!

22. Join a pottery class or at least make a coil pot at home. Again – enough with the “Ooo, that looks good, I’d like to try that.” I’m going to do it!

23. Do a poetry open mic night. It’s one thing reading out your work to a seminar group, it’s quite another to get up on stage and do it. So I’ll admit that I’ll probably visit somewhere that does this a few times before I actually try it. There's no reason to sacrifice myself unawares to a baying mob! Any recommendations of places/events to check out, let me know please!

24. Take up tennis. I get addicted to Wimbledon every year and I’ve got a tennis court about a 45 minute walk away from me. There’s no reason not to have a go myself!

So here’s to my own personal New Year. Let’s see how many goals I can fulfil. I may do another post about my birthday weekend of fun next week, we shall see!

Happy Birthday to any fellow Pisceans and Happy Un-birthday to everyone else!