“Something has changed within me, something is not the same, I’m sick of playing by the rules of someone else’s game…”
If you’d said to me a few years ago that I would spend a hot, Summer evening sitting naked with two strangers in one of their living rooms, being recorded for a podcast talking about my body image, having been abused physically and emotionally and various other things for a podcast that anyone anywhere in the world could listen to, I probably would have said that that is bollocks. But a couple of weeks ago I did just that, I headed to Jenny’s flat to record for The Naked Podcast, having put myself forward to do it.
Just after recording my episode of ‘The Naked Podcast’ for the BBC with Jenny and Kat. And yes, all totally nude. Photo from The Naked Podcast.
For most of my life I’ve had a difficult relationship with my body image. For a long time I thought I was fat and how could anyone like or love that, but in the last 6 months I’ve actually found a peace within myself and a comfortableness with myself that I could not have imagined before. The beginning kernel of this change in attitude started in February when I sent out a request to some of the women I know from school. I messaged them saying that I’ve been thinking of writing something about body image, this is how I thought of myself back then, what are your memories of me and how did you feel about yourself when you were a teenager?
I love bees. Bees help the world go around. Whenever I spot them I try and take a picture to document where they are. Some of these are pretty old, some were taken this week by a bus stop in Hillsborough.
So this week I’ve put together another gallery, with different ideas I get from the word ‘fresh’.
Below we’ve got fresh ingredients from street markets in SE Asia, a freshly chopped coconut in Fiji, fresh water fun, fresh faced, a refreshing blended iced green tea latte, freshly dyed skeins of silk, freshly made felt, fresh flowers as an offering and a freshly prepared (by me) meal.
More fibres are added in a pattern and worked onto the existing felt. The first bit can’t be fully felted or the top layer won’t take.
While I was in Melbourne, the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show was on. It’s like Chelsea but without Titchmarsh, what would be not to like?
I bought myself a ticket, the weather held out and I took some pictures of the beautiful flowers and displays that were on show.
Since I have limited picture upload on here, I’ve put together a flickr album with some of the highlights, so if you’d like to take a look, follow the link!
A little late for this week’s photo challenge, as I’ve been on the move with Kiwi Experience, travelling through the South Island of New Zealand.
I’ve been sitting in the front seat hoping to be able to take some good driving pictures. This is a bridge originally built around the time of New Zealand’s gold rush.
From the outside news reports the protests in Bangkok in February 2014 were more like riots, clashes with the police and sadly people died.
Inside, this was not the case everywhere. The protests were spread across a large area, with tents, music, food, I was given free water and invited to write on the pro-democracy walls.
A ten minute walk into the protest site I found these children dancing.
As my time in Asia draws to a close (1 week left) I thought I’d put together a gallery of some of the people I’ve come across so far in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. I’ve even included a sneaky few of me!
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Phat gets it ready to cut off.
My trip to Laos was brief and, on the whole, brilliant, barring the scam fiasco of the last day in Luang Prabang.
I wish I’d managed to see a little more of the country and spend more time with the locals, but I didn’t quite realise how much time I’d spent in Thailand, not really doing much. But there you are, you learn and I’ll be planning the rest of the trip a little bit more than just ‘ah I’ll go there next…’
The main impressions that I have of Laos are:
- mountains, mountains and more mountains. Covered in forests and jungle, long twisting roads passing through linear villages with small children walking to school, even smaller children playing by the side of the road.
- the misty vistas that ideas of Asia bring to mind. Mountains looking like torn tissue paper, fading off into the distance.
- A father having a waterfight with his son as we drove past, the child giggling in delight.
- Friendliness of strangers (mostly) offering directions, tips for good food options.
- Resourcefullness and hard work ethic. People were selling items made from the shells dropped during the ‘American War‘, flowers and peace signs shaped from the metal and destruction brought by American bombers. I had no idea that Laos had been affected so badly, I’ll certainly be reading more about it in the coming weeks.
- Water, water everywhere…
In Luang Prabang the main feature of the surrounding landscape is the Mekong River, winding it’s way past the city, conjoining with the Nam Khan and in the evening you can sit and watch the sunset over the river.
When I feel like I’ve had a really tough day I have a flick through a photo album on my computer that helps me put things into perspective. One is of me, my friends and family having fun, to remind me that I can have fun. The other, from which this photo is taken, reminds me of things that others have gone through.
This photo was taken at the JEATH Museum in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, which commemorates the live lives lost of those working on the ‘Death Railway’ as forced labour for the Japanese Army during WW2.
This woman abandoned her fear and the world at large to sit and meditate over the waterfall on the French/Swiss border in 2012.
Guardian In Pictures
Managed to get another one on the website, this week’s theme it ‘Tropical’. So that’s nice.
For the second time I’ve submitted a photo to the Guardian reader’s pictures section and for the second time I’ve been picked for the website. I’ve not been in the top three in the paper yet, but I’ll keep going. If you want to take a look it’s here, the fisherman in the ‘Delight’ topic.
I don’t think my next entry will get picked for ‘Shimmer’, but it’s worth entering to see if it gets in.
Apologies for the lack of updates, I keep meaning to do part two of my Serengeti blog – the Ngorogoro crater calls – but the internet here has been rubbish, I’ve had parent’s evenings and I hosted a party so, I’ve been busy.
It should be on its way, along with one of the best pictures I’ve ever taken (not that tricky) as will another to mark my Dad’s 65th birthday that never was.
Please keep checking back!