Yelly Writes

Come away with me!

@yellywelly

As we inhale soothing well-being through the radiant glow of an unsuspected lighthouse in the dark stormy nights of our life, we can come to feel the exhilarating rhythm of our heartbeat, finding compassion with ourselves and at one time reaching out to all the others. ~ Erik Pevernagie

I’m back from Austria! I can finally say that I’ve walked the streets where my father walked.

In another life, I would’ve been writing about the trip for weeks on end, because it was a trip that I needed to go on for a multitude of reasons. My father’s family lived in Vienna. It was especially poignant that I was able to go and be in Vienna after my father passed last year. But I’ve been fairly introspective lately and I haven’t been writing on the blog as much. Not because I haven’t had much to say (far from it, my thoughts and my feelings are can give Lewis Hamilton’s car a run for his money!) but I’ve been allowing myself to work things out in my head (and heart) privately. My journal has been enjoying my attentions.

I am grateful for the soothing balm for the soul that is the loving embrace of family. It has been a particularly lonely and difficult few weeks. But I am slowly finding myself again after losing sight of who I was. And althought, it has been a difficult and scary journey, recognising the face looking back at me in the mirror is worth all the heartache. The reassurance of family is a necessary and comforting guiding light.

Yelly Writes

It’s a bank holiday!

@yellywelly on Instagram

I’m not quite sure who else has “bank holidays” in the world. I certainly didn’t know about bank holidays until I moved to the UK. As far as I was concerned, when I read the phrase in books I was reading, it was just that, a bank holiday, a day when the bank is closed. In the UK, it’s not quite as straightforward. Yes, it’s a day when banks are closed and yes, it’s a public holiday as well.

Sir John Lubbock drafted a piece of legislation which became known as the Bank Holiday Bill as it passed through the UK Parliament. The bill proposed for banks to be closed on certain days. Banks would be closed to the public and consumers and no financial transactions were allowed on these days. Initially it was just banks and financial institutions that would close. That’s as far as I remember. I can’t remember when they included public holidays (of which there are usually 8 in total, in the UK). I think there’s more information on this in the Life In the UK Test reviewer books (it’s a test that you need to pass if you want to qualify to live in the UK permanently or become a British citizen). But I took my Life In the UK test (and passed) in 2010 and I don’t remember most of the things I faithfully reviewed then!

I don’t necessarily have any plans for the bank holiday but I find that I want to go out out! But at the same time, I feel all peopled out this week and just the idea of getting up, getting ready and pasting a smile on my face and being sociable is exhausting me! It makes me want to hide under the duvet!

It is actually the last bank holiday until Christmas and I kind of feel like I have to do something…although strictly speaking, I don’t think Christmas day is a bank holiday…?

Sometimes I think all this working-from-home flexibility is bad for my socialising skills. I probably need to flex my socialising muscles more but sometimes it feels like so much hard work. I’d much rather stay in bed and read a book (or five) or binge-watch a TV series. Or catch up with friends and family, either in the Philippines or somewhere else in the world. Although it’s not to say I’m not up to seeing friends…just certain friends…! Yeah I’ll stop talking about that as it does make me sound like a horrible grinch of a person.

Then there is that minefield of sharing the same language game as the people you have to talk to. I tend to have two conversations going on: the one where I say socially accepted things out loud and contribute to the conversation, and the one in my head where I say things like “Oh my gawd! Really? You actually said that out loud?” or my favourite “Yeah, you know EVERYTHING!” It also helps if I look away as I do tend to roll my eyes or raise an eyebrow. I also tend to bite my tongue a lot to keep myself from letting the internal conversations come out in a torrent of verbal diarrhoea because then I will pretty much become the social pariah that I am also afraid of becoming. I tend to have a very caustic tongue if I let myself actually say the things I want to say. I’ve learned to my detriment that my editorial button needs to be activated all the time. The world isn’t necessarily ready for the pure version of Yelly sarcasm or forthrightness.

So, what are your plans for the bank holiday weekend, then?

Yelly Writes

Speaking butterflies

@yellywelly on Instagram

You can’t talk butterfly language to caterpillar people. – Unknown

I saw that quote today on Instagram and it resonated. I thought it was the perfect caption to the photo I took whilst walking down Bricklane on Saturday.

I’ve seen the work of this artist before, on another wall on Bricklane. This was newly installed when I saw it though because the paper that the butterflies were cut out from still littered on the pavement, still crisp and still pristine. You’ve got to love how ever-changing the street art in Bricklane is. It’s always evolving, always moving forward, never standing still. There’s definitely something to learn there, don’t you think?

I’d booked tickets to the Klimt experience for an earlier date in July. But since I couldn’t go for the reason I’d originally booked the tickets for, the organisers of the exhibition allowed me to use the amount of money I paid for the tickets to use it on another date. So I went. On my own.

It felt strangely new doing things on my own. Like I didn’t know how to be. But it was nice too. Because I was doing something on my own. It was strangely empowering.

Of course, what I didn’t mention was that before I even got to the exhibition, I tripped on the uneven pavement and grazed my right elbow, further injuring my already poorly right shoulder (it was an old rotator cuff injury that has reared its ugly head, but that’s another story!). But I took care of myself. I cleaned up my wound, found a large enough bandaid to cover the double graze (how I managed to graze my elbow in two different places, I will never know!) and went on the exhibition…even though to be completely honest, I just wanted to go home and curl up in bed and feel sorry for my clumsy, klutzy self.

I guess, sometimes, when you’re on your own, you just have to choose to be brave and move forward.

Yelly Writes

Solo photo walk surprises

@yellywelly on Instagram

I don’t remember taking this photo. But I remember the day I went out on a walk because I needed to stop staying indoors and crying my eyes out. I thought I’d take my camera with me and try to get into photography again. It wasn’t the best of ideas because taking photographs brought back a lot of memories of a life I once thought I was going to live forever. But it gave me something to do that day. It allowed me to focus on something else. It allowed me to look at what was right in front of me, to be in the moment, to focus on what was happening at that very moment.

Funnily enough, I can remember the wind blowing that day, and how refreshing it was, compared to the heat beating down on that lovely sunny day. It was a good day, hot, but the wind blowing was a welcome relief! It was nowhere near as punishingly hot as the heat we went through a few days ago! Now that was a different kind of hot!

I like this photo though! I can never properly set up my camera so that I have sunbursts but sometimes I remember and I do it sort of right. It’s either that, or I get lucky! Ha! I love how the sun gets filtered through the tree branches and the leaves.

I need to review the notes I wrote about camera settings a long time ago. I need to start taking this photography malarkey seriously again. I have all this gear sitting in the bottom tray of my stationery trolley not doing anything. It’s not like it’s fancy gear, mind you. But I do have an amazing camera and a few nifty camera gadgets. Waste not, want not, eh?

Yelly Writes

Just writing

I probably have things to say, thoughts to share and interesting opinions to express. But right now, I’m completely devoid of the will to be smart, sassy, and loquacious. Have you ever had a day like that?

I know it’s the day and age of saying what’s on your mind and expressing yourself. But I’ve had a lot of repeat bouts of foot-in-mouth disease and allowing my verbal diarrhea to run riot (possibly not the best choice of words!) has never ended well for me. In fact, I think, the situation I find myself in currently is a result of that – me expressing myself as honestly as possible. Funnily enough, I was asked to be honest, and when I was, it blew up in my face! Go figure, eh? You give people what they want and they still hate it and you. You can’t actually win!

I’ve started watching Emily in Paris on Netflix. Yes, VERY late to that party! But I guess at the time, I would’ve probably not found it as entertaining as I do now.

I do disagree with Emily though, I think London is the most exciting city in the world. London with its quirks and its idiosyncracies. And now that I live in the city suburbs (yes, such an American term, eh), I’m looking forward to understanding this contrary city a little better (if that’s even possible!).

So just putting this out there…a picture I took of Carnaby Street yesterday!

@yellywelly on Instagram
Yelly Writes

Insta-validation

Sometimes I wonder if anyone is listening…if anyone actually reads my posts or if they’re just looking at the pictures. I’d like to think I have interesting things to say. But sometimes when people don’t write comments or react to your posts, it’s hard to gauge whether the content you put out is relevant.

I like writing as much as the next blogger and I like to think that they way I express my opinions can be entertaining. But when you are met with radio silence, visions of tumbleweeds rolling in the dust fill my mind. I’m constantly asking myself if I’m actually reaching someone.

One voice in my head says, “Yeah well, you don’t blog often enough for people to pay attention!” This is true. Everyone says that for your content to have traction, in this oversaturated social media environment, you have to post not just meaningful content, but you have to post regularly. Even though I know this, a small part of me thinks that somehow I’m reaching someone.

And then days like Saturday happen:

@yellywelly on Instagram

Thank you so much! You made my day! You know who you are.

I know that my chilli belly pork recipe is, by far and away, the most active of all my posts but I rarely hear from people who actually try the recipe. To be thanked for sharing a recipe that I actually tested several times before I posted it on my blog means the world. It’s actually galvanised me into action. It is the elixir vitae to my inertia! I am hoping this sustains my writing drive. I’m glad to know that my virtual “Yooohooo! Anyone out there?” was heard and someone, sight unseen, has replied “Yep! I hear you!”.

Please leave your comments! My “I’d love to hear from you!” pronouncements are genuine. I really would like to hear from the people who read my blog. Besides, if you’re someone I’d rather not hear from, you’d know it!

Yelly Writes

Hello there stranger!

Yes I am writing again. And no, I didn’t go on a writing sabbatical (as is my perennial excuse for being a lazy so and so).

I just haven’t been visited by the writing muses lately and real life adulting has been keeping me busy and most days absolutely shattered. By the time I get home, I’m more than ready to go to bed. But of course, there’s still dinner to be made and eaten and dishes to be washed. Some days, I really would just like to get in, lock the door behind me, take of my shoes, put down my bag, take a shower and go to bed. I’ve neglected all forms of creative pursuits – writing, crocheting, sewing. All my creative endeavours have been put on an extended pause until I find the motivation to start working with my hands again.

I’ve been feeling very down in the dumps lately. Maybe it’s the hay fever, but I feel like I have this blanket of general dissatisfaction about everything weighing me down. I try to busy myself and just keep my head down and just keep chugging along, ticking off one task after the other. If I keep myself busy, I stop noticing the little things that make me grind my teeth in annoyance. I try to smile through everything, be kind, be helpful, be pleasant and biddable, because that’s what’s expected (and I know that it’s not good for my mental health, all this tamping down of feelings). But there are days when I just want to shout in frustration and demand that people take care of me for a change. I keep wondering whether people would notice if I disappeared. I know…dark thoughts. I’m probably just feeling a bit neglected, taken for granted and a little invisible.

I do, however, want to write more. I have a hashtag that I use a lot on my Instagram stories (please follow me — I’m @yellywelly on Instagram and Twitter) – #girlonthetrainfeels. Yes, very, very inspired by Paula Hawkins’ book The Girl On The Train, which I loved and read several times over. Because, I am, for all intents and purposes a girl on the train. I commute to work on a train. I’ve been asked by people to write about my train journeys because my Instagram stories make them laugh.

I need to get writing. What I’m afraid if is that people will think I’m mean. Because I make up names for the people that get on the same train as me – the regulars. I also wonder about them, and have observations. I don’t think I’m being mean-spirited. It’s just a bit of fun on the train whilst I’m waiting for the train to roll onto my platform so I can get off and go to work.

I wonder if people will be interested in reading my stories and musings….

Yelly Writes

Blog Giveaway!

As promised, I am giving away an iPhone5/5S case.

iPhone5 case needing a home!

I first thought I’d run the giveaway by Rafflecopter but I need to read up on how it works before I actually use it!  The competition is open to anyone and everyone who wants to provide a home to this lovely case (I was quite excited when I saw Claire in Modern Family use a similar case for her phone when I was doing my Modern Family catch up yesterday!  At least I thought it was the same case).

I only ask for 3 things:

  1. Follow me on Twitter – @yellywelly
  2. Like this post
  3. Leave your deets in the comments section please — say hi and leave your Twitter handle so I know that you’ve followed me on Twitter

You have from RIGHT NOW until 1AM British Summer Time on 6 July to enter!

The winner will be announced on Sunday, 6 July!