Archive for October, 2010

PostHeaderIcon A scarf for all seasons

You know, when I lived in Australia I never bothered with scarves. I didn’t even own one until a friend bought me a really cool, funky one that was made of lots of chenille loops (kinda hard to describe) and not the old Nanna type of thing I pictured when anyone mentioned scarf! More an accessory than a scarf – thanks Jo.

The beginning - scarf No. 1

The beginning - scarf No. 1

In fact, my worst nightmare was the so-called chic female with a scarf eternally knotted around her neck. No, I didn’t think it looked chic at all. I felt (and still do) that it looks so conservative I want to scream! Either that or the only excuse is that she’s an airline stewardess and it’s part of the uniform. Sorry neck-tie gals but there you have it!

Then a funny thing happened. Call it global warming, call it discovery on my part, whatever you call it; the chenille scarf was my favourite accessory as the Australian winter arrived and was unusually cold – yes, ‘proper’ scarves were in demand. Not the “chic” neck-ties but proper, warm scarves. Of course that was short lived in Australia but it was enough of a taste to make me pack the chenille scarf when I took off to see the world.

Flying the Mexican colours in Boston - accessorising!

Flying the Mexican colours in Boston - accessorising!

My first stop was America and it was summer but as I stayed for months it got colder I soon decided I needed another warmer scarf. When I visited Mexico, which was wonderfully hot, I terrified myself by deciding I just had to buy a cotton scarf for the in-between weather!

L..L...leopard skin - tres chic!

L..L...leopard skin - tres chic!

By the time I arrived in London I had 4 scarves, one with a matching hat! Of course it is leopard skin and looks great but for heavens sake, is this getting out of hand?

Needless to say, I’ve learned the value of a scarf. You see, several times I’ve raced out and having put my scarf down to pick up keys or other vitals, forgotten to pick it up again. Due to zero level temperatures or bone-chilling winds I’ve had to buy a new scarf to survive the outing. My collection is becoming quite valuable – both for warmth and in cost!

I now carry one in my bag – unless of course I happen to swap bags and forget…

Today I did it again. I bag-swapped (foolish when running late) and guess what?! I have another new scarf. I resisted as long as I could but as the peak temperature today was around 9degrees – I forgive myself.

As I handed over the cash and pondered yet again if I was really cold enough to justify the spend when I have several scarves at home, (18 now!) I found myself thinking “well, actually, I don’t have one in this colour so it’s ok,” I started to wonder if I’m showing signs of a new addiction.

It's cold outside...

It's cold outside...

Surely one plain coloured scarf would go with everything just as they say one great pair of black shoes will – then again, I have at least eight different styles of black shoes and none of those matches everything so how can necessity be classed as addiction? I’m OK!

A growing collection

A growing collection

PostHeaderIcon Time to think

Lately I’ve started thinking I must have too much time on my hands. Although I know that’s just not true I kind of hope it is. Why else would I be thinking about so many things that are just too difficult to answer? I mean really – what is the meaning of life and more importantly; where oh where is the fountain of youth?!

Perhaps the problem isn’t too much time, I sometimes feel I’m running out of time. As each year passes it seems I have less time to do the things I really want to do, achieve the lifestyle I want and fit all the people that are important to me into that equation.

Not so long ago I made what most people saw as drastic changes. I went from having a well-paid job, high community profile and being located close enough to family and friends to spend time with them whenever I wanted; to becoming a ‘homeless’ backpacker on the move without a care in the world. My biggest decisions were where to go next and how long to stay.

I miss that life and can’t explain the freedom to you if you haven’t experienced it. Most people tell me they believe it must be a scary existence with so much uncertainty, those who’ve done it know it’s exactly the opposite. I met so many interesting people and experienced something new every day.

That was the life I’d dreamed of but now I find myself doing what I promised myself I wouldn’t do. While I was  out there seeing glaciers in Alaska, doing yoga at an ashram in India and learning Thai cooking on an island in Thailand, I told myself that I wouldn’t get caught up again in the lifestyle that comes with earning a living.

I was sure I could work, earn some cash to fund the next trip and keep going that way until I found the place I wanted to settle in. Somehow the reality is far from that as I find that if I’m working I need a place to live then I need to keep working to fund that. It seems I’m being dragged kicking and screaming back into the world of 9-5 (at least) and limited travel time.

In truth I haven’t sold my dreams out just modified them so they’ll continue to be funded!  I’m now living in a place that enables shorter more frequent trips so I’m really working to fund those but as each day goes by and I get (a little) older, I find myself thinking I must get a move on and do MORE of the things I want to do before time steals those opportunities away. Yes, I’ll be signing up for Tango lessons soon…

Today I found myself looking at everyone around me on the train home and wondering how many of them were doing things they really wanted to do and how many of them were just ‘existing.’ A sad thought but enough to inspire me again to keep taking my worklife less seriously than many people around me think I should, continue doing whatever seems interesting and fun and most of all, keep walking to the beat of my own drum whether it’s playing rock n roll, blues, jazz or pop – I like a bit of variety! 

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