From the Brooklyn Bridge to the Ox Cart

When you get kicked whilst you are down it sometimes makes you not want to get up again, you feel an intrinsic level of worthlessness when you’re in the dark recesses of kerbside gutter thinking and a quiet choking supercedes any teeny tiny light of hope at the end of the poxy tunnel you’re supposed to be holding onto…. if however, you’re one of those lucky bastards who has an innate will that overcomes all hardships and kickings, you’ll get up again..
Lucky for me my will seems to be unstoppable.. I’m thousands of miles from home (if you can call a defunct postcode a home, it’s the only remaining piece of identity I can actually offer as to my current definition of ‘home’) and I’m reeling from a couple of mental kickings from folk that are oblivious to having a bit of consideration to another’s sensitivity and mental state of well being, on top of which I am without that special someone to pick me up, brush me down and hug and tell me that everything is going to be alright… So it was hardly surprising that I therefore found myself not wanting to get out of bed (yes I was lucky enough to have a temporary bed, with a roof over my head so it’s not all bad).. Not like the troubled souls who frequently ride the metro from one end to the other just so they can keep warm and sleep…

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Herein, on a cold NYC morning in South Midwood, Brooklyn my general state of mind was glum blue with a pinch of my stalwart tendency to ideate on the passing to the other side and thus I had to have a serious chat with myself…(due to unforeseen circumstances I can no longer allow myself the pleasure of ideation for too long seeing as one of my siblings beat me to the banister and so as not to be double selfish towards my parents and remaining sibling I must re-wire quickly)… So, I sat up and asked myself why had I flown thousands of miles to such an amazing city to not make something of it…kicking or no kicking…

I like bridges.. They inspire me to jump.. Or leap.. Not necessarily literally (although I sense it a euphoric way to go) but the inspiration to ‘just do it’ was just what I needed to get me out from under my miserable covers.
So I got up, showered (another luxury) and dressed as warm as possible.. I put my headphones on, plugged into Nirvana and took my arse to the local downtown metro and made my way to the Brooklyn Bridge…

I alighted at Clark Street and decided to go eat, I hadn’t felt like eating earlier but for some reason my appetite had kicked in (always a good sign of positive re-wiring) and so I found my self in a little cafe on the corner of Pineapple Street…
Hot chocolate and a BLT bagel for under $5… An absolute cheering bargain..

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With a renewed sense of self I put a spring in my step and made way to the stairs that would lead me onto the bridge..
Immediately upon stepping out onto the bridge I felt recovered from the ‘kicking whilst down feeling’ and again re-learned and understood how important ‘will’ is on the road to survival… Had I stayed under the sheets in darkness I would have missed the recuperation process of this milestone crossing…

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… And the love locks

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Made me think about whose love I’d like to padlock (if indeed that’s a healthy hearty thing to do),…

With spirit lifted I did then decide to text a newfound friend and enquire as to their Friday night plans and if I could tag along…

Through the course of the day and the power of the will my rather bleak start transformed into one of exhilaration and fun… I met said new friend and followed him to ‘The Ox Cart’, described by said new friend as ‘the nearest thing to a pub as you can get round here’… Turned out to be quaint and served better food than any UK pub I’d been to in recent times…

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I liked the quirky menu and the cross continental eclectic mix of employee too… I laughed a lot and, for the record, have laughed a lot since… All’s well that ‘will’ allows…

Next bridging venture shall be the manhattan to get a shot of the brooklyn from the other side…

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The Owl and I

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The Owl is indeed a magnificent creature, I used to have a small trinket type one made of many little shells that had somehow made its way into my possession when I was in my first decade of life, probably from one of the seaside resorts I’d visited or maybe it was from The Isle of Wight… Well I remember how much I’d loved that novelty owl, how it had sat neatly amongst the other knick knacks on my window ledge, how I’d stared into its beaded eyes and wondered and imagined all sorts of greatness…that was until I overheard someone somewhere saying how unlucky and foreboding it was to keep anything resembling an owl indoors. Being so young and easily influenced and indeed scared of most of the big bad world I remember throwing my beautiful shell owl away and have never ever kept one in or near me since (apart from of course admiring their beauty on such occasions when they are put on ‘captive’ show for Joe public to hoot and coo over).
That is until now.
Oh how the conditioning of our young mind can stay with us a lifetime, ominously for good or evil.

For 16 days now I have been in the USA, have seen a fair bit of brooklyn, midtown manhattan, passed through washington DC, gigged in rockville, got spoiled in pennslyvania, had my feet tickled n pampered in Lititz, drank margarita’s in baltimore city, back with a bump to Lancaster and saw the arse end of the train station at philadephia to returning to south midwood. The one and only thing that has truly linked each place together, no matter where I’ve stayed or passed through is the fact that I have continously seen the symbol of ‘Owl’… In so many intriguing and intricate incarnations too, on bags, in mirrors, on barmaid’s t-shirts, as badges, logos, their feathers on hats, as cushion covers…and I have felt the need to know why I keep noticing this particular creature of mother nature.. I have kept meaning to look up its definitive role in my conscience.

Then two days ago I had what I deem to be a part breakdown of my mental state of health, it’s been a long time coming, I’ve been covering cracks and smothering smiles for a good while (pretty much during my whiskey ways I propose).. Anyway it did culminate in my ejection from lodgings and the unsurety of where I would rest my head in this big metropolis apple that I’m in…
How so it happened I have managed to end up in an attic in an amityville style looking house in a suburb of brooklyn close to its self named college, and here in this attic is a relatively small scale yet masterfully colourful and quite breathtaking library of books….

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Small part of the whole library

And I have been given the privilege of being able to make use of it to my heart’s content…

Within the first hour of settling into my new lodgings I opened my mind that was crying for help and was drawn to the paperback “destined to be the personal leadership handbook of the decade”.. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R.Covey. This gem of a read is already proving to be a source of sound fundamental assistance and my frazzled sense of self is having several ‘aha’ moments.. I’m learning (and re-learning) about choice and how to be aware of the build up of years of conditioning that gets you thinking that your life is ‘just how it is’ cos ‘it has always been this way’, ‘its who I am’… Life made me this way jeeeez.. But uh oh, I’m living such a lie, it’s my reactions to the stimuli presented to me that is ultimately hurting me… I’m relaying devastating notions to myself which, in turn, have, over time ruined every single relationship I’ve had and continues (on a pretty fast turnaround scale nowadays) to crumble all current relations I’m effectively not having… I’m so independent I’m no longer necessary to anyone, who needs someone who doesn’t need anybody?

Ok, so after my tears of yesterday and my realisations of today I just took the time to look up the value of the Owl…

… a magical spirit who will help one to see through the darkness, through the illusions and see a real meaning to one’s state of mind, one’s actions… The Owl wants to guide toward fulfilling self potential… Because of its nocturnal self it can attribute to death, not always literal, moreover symbolic as with a major transition in life, important changes taking place or about to happen…

There was much more insight than the small soundbite I gave above but ultimately…
I’m to pay attention to these winds of change, leave behind my old habits of a destructive nature, and to not return to situations that are no longer of a positive service to my well being…

Now is the time to bring something new into my life…

The potential is far reaching… So. I’m going to spread my wings, flap around a bit and then settle down to get on with some magical creativity in the wee dark hours of this night…..

Doing this the whiskey way

Somebody told me once,’lay off the whiskey, it’s for losers… now the truth is I was never fond of whiskey, as a child it was my father’s choice of poison, and although he wasn’t a loser, he sure weren’t a winner either.. Many times in my memory a night of scotch would often end up like a scene from rocky…so it pretty much was to my dismay that I formed a taste for it just a relatively short space in time ago… And indeed the taste-bud development for said fermented grain mash was quite swift.. In less than 18 months I’d coiffed, sloshed and deliberated over many of the malts out there, even getting excited about pubs that had a ‘whiskey map’ and cities that had ‘whiskey stores’…

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….. To a most recent fine moment of swigging merrily on a johnny walker blue label for 40 bucks…

Thus, along the whisky way I took some knocks, experienced increased aggressive behaviour in self, done some things that had I not been ‘mashed’ in the head I would most definitely not have done, some laughable, some against my sober code of conduct.. So upon waking this morning with hip flask in my pocket (jack daniels honey for the record) to being thrown out of the Brooklyn room I’d purchased online to here and now being totally alone in NYC… I’m of the belief that there could be something in that statement about being a loser, I sure feel it…

The hip flask is still in my pocket and I know there’s a wee dram left in there….
…the question now is, does one continue to imbibe the ‘water of life?’ does one carry on the whiskey way?

In an Empire State of Mind

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When faced with empowerment it’s best embraced with a brave heart and an open and willing mind… Fear, I actively disassociate from for I realise it is a hindrance, a blocked mindset… This life I have will be over soon, could cease at any time so I’m packing some big empirical experiences in my spiritual suitcase and I am ensuring that my soul is fed with adventure and discovery. My vision has suddenly grown vast and an infinitely big picture has arrived and is mine to draw upon.  Miracles happen as destiny evolves… I am in an empire state of mind

Uh huh yeah….

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Uh huh, you know when

you think things are going to go one way n then quite quickly you realise that they are heading another way and the best possible scenario is that you adjust and adapt quite quickly… How’d you do that? Especially when you feel hotter than hot and your special friend ain’t available and you’ve met so many ‘insigfnificant others’ along the way that you actually experience that beautiful situation called ‘stir crazy’ and that still ain’t enough so you carry on until you find that you can’t even think about coming…. Your present moment, how good is it?

This is my rhetoric
It vacates me

A Continue reading

Countdown Commenced

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I just read a quote by Miuccia Prada.. ‘one’s life and passion may be elsewhere but New York is where you prove if what you think in theory makes sense in life’…

My life and passion is in photography and music and i theoretically gravitate on a pivotal axle of both hope and despair … My journey up until this point has mostly been a wandering galaxy of wading through successes, failures, heartbrakes, rushes of euphoria and madness and countered by bleak nihilism. I thought i’d found myself once, thought i really had been blessed with a purpose – but that was fleeting like a double edged rainbow.. Over a decade on still i realise (and it smacks with disappointment in myself) that i am yet to achieve the fundamental purpose of humanity … love

In all honesty, i do remember faintly what love feels like… Other than that for your birth mother (which can be pretty screwy) … So, im setting off to put my theory to the test … Its not even a theory actually but for the sake of the prada quote im going with it … I’m going to strip myself of most all of my possessions and go naked (uh huh) to new york … Gonna sing my heart out and see if, like in the animal kingdom, my warbling can attract real true dynamic love …
Cos without this (what my avalon head dreams to be) amazing piece of human nature …its game over!
Wish me well
And my lucky stars look over me
Fourteen days n fourteen nights
Countdown
Commenced….

the bonny experience …….

life is tough, so much so that its proving difficult to smile, and that’s how i know that things aren’t right … smiling has always been an enjoyable pastime for me, but right now, i can’t seem to pull any out of the face

even when this was on offer, a welcoming gesture upon arrival at my wonderful baby sister’s home

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admittedly, it was a sunshine moment at the height of despair and it was definitely cheering.
But so soon afterward, more grey troubles presented themselves.

I’m thinking there’s just something de-motivating in the energy down South, having lived so long and pretty much happily up North for over a decade…

I’m here to find a motorhome, as nothing so far has presented itself as ticking the boxes to my requirements.  Am i too fussy? do i want too much? obviously so

there’s no internet at my sisters so i head for the parents house, having to get the timing right because there are a couple of monsters (siblings) amidst and they definitely require the widest berth you could ever imagine …

so i gets on the internet and i commence yet another lengthy search via e-bay, preloved, gumtree, and any other google search i can think of ….. suddenly a Winnebago Brave presents itself and the pictures look pretty good, the number plate is enchanting and its only been up for sale for 59 minutes .. i dial the number

the bloke on the other end talks very very fast so i ask him to slow down, and it’s quite funny that he slows down to a very strange and warped ‘grave’ tempo … (this, i should have taken into account as an omen)

anyway, we manage to understand each other and i book a viewing for the next day, out near Wembley …

from the parents house me and my sister go off to do some errands together, i’m feeling a bit sick because my life is an upside down mess, my possessions scattered around Merseyside, my home is currently my van with a suitcase and guitar and dog food in it … one of my dogs is with me, one is with a friend up North … my head is battered and bruised – i’m usually an organised, neat ‘place for everything and everything in its place’ type o girl .. and here and now, it looks nothing like the calm and tranquil lake in my mind – in fact it looks more like the landfill experience i had two decades ago where all the shit and rubbish from all over Essex, Middlesex and Hertfordshire was dumped …

anyway, we find ourselves in Hertford, both hungry and thirsty, so we decide to treat ourselves to lunch and our feet take us to a nice little number in what is called ‘Saloon’

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and so on a personal selfish level, i get an hour reprieve from the monsters in my head, and i feast on good food and wine (but of course, over indulgence comes back to kick you in the head, as you will find out as you read on)

thus, being in the mood to continue drinking and dining, the mother parent wants to spend time with her daughters and granddaughter so that very same night, we prepare to go out for a meal … and this we do, to a rather posh and nice restaurant

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another glorious break from reality, an expensive meal, but that’s what expensive taste buds do for you ……..

and then we get home

and then we drink another two bottles of red wine, and a rather rotten white!

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it was off! uurrgggghhhhhhhh, took it back to the late night off licence and advised them that it’s shelf life was most certainly over

and then the next morning, there’s a density in the air, or is it in our  heads?

and i have to meet up with the female parent to go and view a motorhome that i am to potentially purchase and travel by car to a place outside of Wembley …. i pull myself together as we pull into the farm where the motorhome is parked.  we meet the seller, a gypsy looking man with two gold bottom teeth and a large scar from top lip cross ways, looking like at some point in his life he may have taken a baseball bat to the mouth (possibly?!) … anyway, this man chats away, using coin of phrases over and over again … i’m in a part desperate position (cos i’m homeless) and i’m pinning my hopes on this motorhome …. and it looks pretty decent

it has almost everything i need (other than a kennel for the dogs!) … it even has a full on bike rack on the back, for a scooter to be carried.  we agree a price, shake hands on it and i say i’ll be back the following Wednesday to collect … so now i’m beginning to feel hungry so me and the parent make haste toward a feeding venue, we’re in a little place outside of Wembley so unknown territory to us, and then i catch sight of a garden centre and there’s a cafe within its grounds – quicker than you can say ‘full english’ we’re in the wonders of the tinsel lined aisles and into the cafe…. we order salmon and scrambled eggs on toast and tea and orange juice whilst we wait … i’m waning, feeling pretty empty, thirsty and deflated from the adrenalin rush of looking over my potential new home.  Breakfast is served and it looks fantastic … i tuck my fork into the scrambled egg and savour the first mouthful, next forkful in includes the salmon, and then another polite mouthful, alas, my nightmare continues as the blood drains from around my mouth and my lips begin to tingle … i feel like i’m going to fall off my chair and within seconds i’m doubled over, my parent still merrily stuffing their food and then looking on in distaste and weary shock too.  I feel as if my world is crashing in and i just want to get out of the place and curl up featal like somewhere under a rock or a stone.

can’t believe how ill i have become so quickly

i spend the rest of the day doubled over, trying to sleep, knowing that i have to make a three and a half hour journey back up the motorways to Liverpool, to no home, to have to collect my other dog …. feeling sick as a dog …. can life throw anything else at me?!

yep, it sure can, it comes gratuitously by way of torrential rain for three hours (200 miles) of motorway driving, by this time i haven’t eaten or drank anything for almost 24 hours and i’m battling nature, arctic lorries, speeding cars and mile upon mile of cats eyes ……….