Finding the wind

That kid in school, the one at the back of the line, a body that’s grown faster than the rest, gangly arms and legs, puppy-fat still clinging on, greasy-round-the-edges, doesn’t fit neatly in, not quite a geek not quite ‘cool’. Always last to be picked for the sports teams, Faking-sick-notes-to-escape-gym-class and their-grandpa-died…again…well that kid, that kid was me.

hater

To say I hated school sports is an understatement. I detested it and would do just about anything to avoid it. The sports teachers gave up on me as a lost cause. Looking back I can see how they systematically trampled my confidence and did pretty irreparable damage, calling me hopeless and making me run circles in my knickers for ‘forgetting’ my sports kit…! I hope girl’s sports coaches have moved on since those days….

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However, I was one of the lucky ones. I had a secret, I had two lives. In one life, during term-time I was a lonely suburban city girl, bunking off sports classes and in the other, at weekends and every school break I was in Devon. There I was a countryside-sea-loving-ocean-water-baby-swimmer-surfer and SAILOR. I was about 10years old when I first started sailing dinghies in the English Channel of the Devon coast. I LOVED it. I made friends, in the city I hardly had any friends. I loved pitting myself against the elements, learning about the wind and tides. I loved the simplicity and the adrenaline I found in the sport. It was a million miles from hockey pitches and grimy changing rooms at suburbia-school.

Sailing showed me that ‘sport’ is not another term for ‘public humiliation’, that it can be an amazingly empowering and health-giving experience and a JOY to take part in. Sailing founded in me a life-long love of the sea and all water sports. Sailing re-built my confidence, not just in sporting areas but in all of my life. For the rest of my childhood I sailed whenever I could and Devon waters become my safe harbour and my favourite place on earth. Remaining so to this day.

I went to University, about as far away from the sea as one can get on this Island, which was a shame and meant I slowly sailed less and less, returning to Devon when I could. Fitting in a week here and there on a variety of crafts. I surfed a bit instead, trying to get my Ocean-fix but never sailed as regularly as I once had done.

Finally, a decade on and I find myself living by the sea again, another harbour I call home, just down the road, full of clinking rigging and buoys which I have come to love. Time and Money, my superfluous excuses for not finding a boat to sail here. Hence I think it would be a wonderfully romantic way to re-kindle my sailing love by finding a boat, building a crew and setting sail from Brighton to Salcombe, Devon, where I first put on a lifejacket and wobbled aboard a Topper. I will do it!

So if you fancy a little English-Channel adventuring, give me a shout, I need a crew! One Love Sailors!

sail

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I love Brighton Town

Granny once told me there are three things in life which combine to create each individuals happiness. The three Ps; People, Purpose and Place. Granny said it was the combination of these 3Ps  in your life which created happiness and fullfillment. If you had all three then you were incredibly lucky, usually people have a couple and have to compromise and work on the other. At the moment I have my Place and People exactly aligned for ultimate happiness, I’m working on my purpose. Therefore, this blog post is dedicated to a celebration of my current Place and People!

The 3 Peas

I first came to Brighton five years ago, a single, post-grad.-psy-trance-fueled-flower-power-fairy-mushroom-hunting-optimistic-teacher and the city embraced me with open arms. Now it is home and there is nowhere else in the UK I can imagine being at this point.

I love the entrance pillars of the A23 BRIGHTON

I love the line of the Downs as you approach from inland, the outline of windmills just visible.

I love the coloured houses in Hanover and the secret gardens at the bottom of dead-end roads,

Hanover

I love the way you can see the Downs rolling away from the top of Southover Street and behind Kemp Town,

I love the glimpses of the sea from St James Street

I love that Seven Sisters is just 15minutes to the East and Shoreham to the West.

I love the grey/green/blue/rusting railings along the seafront

rails

I love the sea itself, crashing on the city, reminding us that Gaia’s really in charge

I love the laines, especially before 10am when there’s just the gulls, a delivery lorry and me

I love the street art and street performers who have been doing the same act in the same spot for a hundred years

Brighton Swimming Club

I love that anything goes here and people let it all hang out figuratively and literally! People watching has never been so good!

I love the Colour, Tattos, Clothes/lack of them, Hair, Piercings, Kissing, Dancing and Singing.

Ink

I love the wind that makes umbrellas superflous and insists everyone has dreadlocks and salt in their hair.

I love the sheer riddiculousness of the the Pavillion.

I love that there are vegan cafe’s on every corner and the smell of the sea always there.

Pier

Mostly though, I love the people. I even love our MP, Caroline Lucas, who makes me feel pretty proud to be part of Brighton. I love that people smile at me in the street, that I can go to one of our many local pubs and start chatting to anyone. I love that people clap when you manage to park the car in Hanovers impossibly steep and over-crowded roads, I love that I am always 5 minutes away from an open door, a cup of tea, a hug and friendly face.

I love that I live here. How lucky am I?! One Love Brighton.

Faye Bridgewater

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Stay Interested.

Today I have done alot. I mean ALOT. Looking back through my blog I can see how far I’ve come and that makes me want to dance and shout and spin about! But I cant too much, I’m so tired. In months gone past, my daly achievements included putting on my own socks. Today, I have walked down, but more critically UP Southover Street TWICE, WITHOUT stopping – for those not from Brighton, Southover is a MEGA-hill of vertical proportions, even the most able bodied push their bikes up it and stop for a breather half-way up it’s the Muttha-Brighton-mountain and I DID IT, not totally painlessly but I DID IT!

Steep is an understatement

Steep is an understatement

As if that wasn’t enough between the walking, I have also been domestic-goddessing, cooking, cleansing, entertaining- standing up for 90% of the day and THEN I went to meet a total stranger in a cafe I’d never been to and THEN I walked home. I have had 4x paracetamol and that’s it. Reading all this in a list astounds me! I can hardley believe it. For some this list might not sound like much, I haven’t been to work, I haven’t ‘excercised’. But I am writing about it as it is incredible for me. A few months ago I couldn’t stand up long enough to cook for myself.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/09/around-the-world-in-30-asanas-domestic-goddess-joanne-os-kelly/

Reflecting on days like this I can see that the silver lining to all this pain is the fact that I have become INCREDIBLY HAPPY with my little life. I don’t have to look far anymore to see beauty in simple things. I appreciate my life and the people in it so much more. I want to celebrate all the time, because you just never know when something you take for granted today might not be possible tomorrow. Until you go through some shit, you can know this, but I dont think you understand it. I know I didn’t. I feel strangely lucky to have been forced onto this journey, I am learning so much. Our human-experience is fascinating and I think the key to surviving and enjoying it is to stay interested in it. I am interested and I want more!

epic

Tonight I’m going to carry on moving, enjoying my lack of medication and the simplicity of pain-free time. I’m going to swim in the sea. I am SUPER blessed and Life is AWESOME. One Love.

beaut

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Proper Hugs and Sea Sponges

In the last 48 hours I think I have been hugged and kissed by more old friends and new friends than I have been in the past TWO YEARS. Simply noticing this has opened my eyes, no wonder I’ve been in such pain! A soul needs hugging and lots of it!

free hugs

I have also noticed that on the streets of Brighton complete strangers do this weird thing when you walk past them, – they make eye contact and turn up the corners of their mouths, invariably with a twinkle in their eye! I remember that this is called SMILING, something Londoners seem to have forgotten how to do. It is amazing what PROPER hugs can do, PROPER-FRIEND-KISSES too! Brighton, you have lit me up, my pain is less, my heart is lighter. Finally there are people here who I know understand what ONE LOVE really means. One Love.

All souls are one

All Souls are One. Rumi.

Along with re-discovering my Brighton love this month another discovery has ROCKED MY SOCKS. Sea Sponges. As an Ocean-loving-Pisces-water-baby I am a little ashamed to admit that prior to this sea-sponge insight I had thought sponges rather dull. They just sit in the sea chilling out, not doing anything very fun, being pastel yellow, just there,  poor sponge, I thought, unable to join in all the excitement of the passing sea life…

Dull dull dull

Dull dull dull

…Not anymore! I have just discovered a use for Sea Sponges that has totally changed my mind. Sponges are AMAZING, Sponges are awesome! Sponges are perhaps the most hard-core and useful item the ocean provides women with… Sea Sponges can be used as Tampons. Yes, you read right Sea Sponge Tampons are not only in existence but accessible, possible and are AWE-inspiringly-mind-blowingly-rocking-sockising!

Ever since I had a traumatic exploding-moon-cup-in-a-night-club-episode I have been looking for eco alternatives to one-use menstruation products after I discovered that the average woman uses nearly 17,000 disposable pads and tampons throughout her lifetime! In North America alone, an estimated 20 billion bleached pads and tampons end up in landfills and sewage systems each year! In my searches I came across a lovely company in the US Jade & Pearl who sell sea-sponge tampons known as Sea Pearls. They are completely natural, chemical free and sustainably harvested. Reusable for three to six months or more.

Sea Pearls!

Sea Pearls!

I was amazed by the sponges texture, I can’t feel it at all! It is much MUCH, softer than a tampon it’s textured much like the vaginal wall and becomes super soft and squishy when wet. I have never had such a pain-free period and I’m certain I have the sponge to thank. I was a little worried about the removal, as I have a tendency to be Queen of all squmishness…not-so-cool…however…is it gross to admit I actually found it fascinating?! There is something empowering and strengthening about rinsing your blood out of the sponge. Watching last months blood drain away, spiral down the sink and making room for the new months possibility. I am so impressed by the sponges performance I am certain I won’t ever look at a tampon again!

Menstruating Goddess

Jade & Pearl write that as sponges are naturally very absorbent, they can also be used during sex as a contraceptive with a spermicide… think might have to try that out next, except if they don’t work you end up with a little more than red knickers! How amazing though, no fake hormones, no plastic rubber waste clogging up the seas.
If you want to try and look forward to your period, instead of dreading it, try a sponge it’ll change your life sista’s! And menfolk – invest in them for your ladies I gurantee they will extra love you for it! One Love.

Brighton love

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