Making a Fun Palace: Ask The Kids

Fun Palaces are an ongoing campaign for cultural democracy. The idea for the Fun Palace came from theatre director / maker Joan Littlewood and architect Cedric Price, though it was never realised in their lifetimes. Almost 6 years ago Stella Duffy brought the Fun Palaces movement in to action for Joan’s centenary and now a small team work all year round to support the annual weekend of Fun Palace making which takes place in October.  This year there were 432 Fun Palaces, most in the UK, but some overseas too. A few months ago I had the idea of having an LGBT+ Fun Palace.  All Fun Palaces are quite queer in their nature and inclusive too. But the idea of one run by the LGBT+ community for everyone felt like a space I wanted to open. So we went for it!  And what a journey it’s been!

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A few weeks ago I had a day of going to meet our LGBT+ Fun Palace Makers – people who, when I said I wanted to make a Fun Palace, said that they wanted to bring a workshop or activity. I spent the day whizzing all over London, meeting for coffee in a whole load of different, lovely places, talking through their ideas with them: an LGBT+ poetry corner, a creative writing workshop on Queer Warriors, burlesque, discovering your inner queer hero – there was SO much to be excited about.  At the end of the day, I skipped up on the pavement towards my house and realised I was buzzing.  For the first time in ages I was properly buzzing. I’ll be really honest in admitting that I’ve felt quite low at points through this year, and I work from home a lot too, so often spend time alone.  Building a Fun Palace has got me out of the house, meeting and working with new people – talking about ideas for new projects beyond the Fun Palace – I was feeling hugely alive, and in a selfish way, as the Fun Palace approached, if that was all it achieved for me, it was more than enough.

Of course on the day there were many moments of wonder and magic, there was paint everywhere, icing everywhere, costumes everywhere – things happening simultaneously in different parts of the building. We had queer biscuit making, East London’s LGBT+ Centre collecting people’s hopes for our community, Dungeons and Dragons, Drag King / Queen Puppets, storytelling for kids, costumes for people to try out a new look and all of the afore mentioned workshops. At times it got quieter as the rain kept people away, but as the final hour approached we had another wave of visitors.

At the final point in the afternoon, the building was a hive of activity: Poetry was happing in the foyer downstairs, a parent was deeply focussed on making a drag queen puppet for her toddler. In the theatre Ryan had about 10 people participating in a workshop on discovering your inner queer hero, and a load of us piled in to a dressing room to take part in 17 year old Isaac’s workshop titled ‘How to be an awesome LGBT+ activist, or an incredible ally.”  It was a brilliant workshop, and in the space of about 45 minutes I learnt so much!  He talked about power structures and how to recruit for your campaign (whatever it may be.) And the most powerful think I took away was this image.

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Usually we try to recruit our active opponents for a campaign (think of all of the arguments / debates you’ve had on Twitter, where deep down you knew it wouldn’t change a thing). Where as if you try to recruit people who are currently neutral, you’re more likely to have success.  It may seem obvious, but it blew my brain.

It was this that was a highlight for me.  I work with children and young people ALL THE TIME.  But it is so rare that I let them actively teach me.  Of course I have moments where I clock that they’ve taught me something, or made me think about something differently, but never do I let them actively be the leader.

Something that I get scared of as I get older is becoming rigid in my thinking and my ways – of digging my heels in and refusing to change as the world does.  You see this happening all the time – with things like the Brexit vote – most young people didn’t want it, yet the older generations voted for it. And once you’re my age or older, something I’ve come to realise is, that all of your choices should be about the next generation, because they will be spending a lot more time here that I am.  So listening to them, and how they want to shape their world is important. As Stella pointed out to me yesterday – Joan always said ‘Ask the kids’, so that’s what I’m taking away. (And she also pointed out that asking the elders is good too – because knowing where we came from is as important.)

It was such a glowing, warm day full of loveliness.  It was so nice to be in a queer space with LGBT+ people and allies and to feel held and welcome in that space. So a huge thank you to EVERYONE who played a part in making it happen.

Also read Stella’s blog on Fun Palaces. And Alice’s – who also wrote about our Fun Palace day. Want to make a Fun Palace next year? DO IT!

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A Postcard from Croatia: To The Edge

Heavy, blurry, excited three am eyes.  The two suitcases packed to bursting with too many clothes, we packed so fast, so we packed everything, for every eventuality.  In hindsight we could have left the jumpers and cardigans on the top wardrobe shelf.

Landing in Brač we hire a car so easily, in an out, five minutes. Done, keys and the run of the island. To Nono-ban! Big old building made of stone, surrounded by crickets.  A pool with a ridiculous inflatable swan who we love dearly and refer lovingly to as Barbara Mystique, we take it in turns to dive on to her and try to photograph each other’s silly faces as we fly through the air. We swim and sun ourselves and I tap tap away on my laptop – the tangled ends of work not quite tied up before we left.

We drive to beaches and coves in the afternoons and swim.  The sea is big and vast and clear and deep. Always testing, toes scraping gravel.  Within my depth.   A relieved breath – I swim a little closer to the shore. Security.

We go back to Nono-ban and eat lamb cooked on an open fire.

More days pass, more beaches. The sea is always big and vast and clear and deep. Some voice from the past – “The sea is very dangerous. Stay in your depth, you’ll drown.  There might be jelly fish or sharks. Be careful.” Toes scrape gravel. All is well.

On to a festival, friends and sun and rum smuggled in bottles, tucked in pockets, flung over fences.  Warm rum and coke, sipped in the sea.  The sea which is big and vast and clear and deep. I swim in the darkness to a pontoon, giggling all the way, but it’s fine, I can see the waters are shallow and warm, I’m well within my depth.  I reach the pontoon easily and triumphantly pull myself up the steps.

We leave the festival, skirting the coast and stopping off at a string of beaches en route. The sea is big and vast and clear and deep, on one beach the drop is steep so I hover at the edge on the rocks and I slightly envy the others who swim straight out in to the cool darkness of the deep. “I’m looking for crabs!” I shout, from the safety of the rocks.  And I do.  I find lots of little black crabs along the shoreline, but one eye always half on the depths and the swimmers, wishing I could too.

Now we stay in a tent.

“THERE’S A MOUSE IN THE TENT!”  And the next day is spent blocking up the holes and the cracks in the boards.  That’s the last time the mouse came to visit.

The sea is big and vast and clear and deep. Here the swimming area is marked by white floats on rope, the boundary far out of reach, the ground dropping away long before I would even get close.  “Stay in your depth – you’ll drown!” I splash in the shallows and head to the pool – safer there than here. I always marvel at seas abroad, even now.  Having grown-up only knowing the English sea – and really just the Solent from the annual summer holiday to visit my Grandad who lived by the sea, I still forget how warm and clear and deep these seas can be.

Darkness has fallen and the fumigation car revs it’s engine as it trundles across the island pumping out white billowing smoke, a war declared on the insects.

Cicadas fall from the trees.  Dead.  Some as large as my fist. We lie on some rocks – star fishing  ‘as Lucy calls it’ from the beach, away from the insect turmoil.  The sky blanket draped over us with tiny pin pricks, letting shards of light shine through.  It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve seen the milky way looming in the background. We lie on the path, to get a better look; we see everything, awaiting a rogue asteroid, but then with a buzz and a crunch a dead cicada lands inches from our heads.  Time to go to bed.

Last day here. Early check-out, we head to the beach to bag some sun loungers and watch the gentle waves ruffle the sea, big and vast and clear and deep.  Perhaps today I can.  Would it be possible to just make it to The Edge of the swimming boundary.  What if today I just – keep – swimming?  What if nothing bad happens?  What if I make it back and I’ve done it? Everyone else here is swimming to the edge.  What if I can too? I begin to move through the water, I tell myself “I’ll just go a little way, and see how that feels”. Not looking far ahead, not looking down as the ground drops away below, eyes softly focussed on only the patch of water ahead, I move very slowly forward, as little effort as possible.  I just – keep – swimming. The white floats are closer.  Still far, but closer.  I’ll just go a little further, I tell myself. Now they’re even closer. I think I can do it. Steady breath.  Not thinking what might lurk below.  And it happens, I reach out and touch it.  The Edge.  I quickly turn around, no ceremony, no stopping, I begin to swim back to the shore, slowly, steadily, no rush. I look out the the other swimmers, those floating on their backs, the ones on lilos and the one splashing around on the showy golden flamingo.  No one else knows it was my first time to The Edge.  But it was.  And I made it.

 

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Come be involved in our LGBT+ Fun Palace

6th October 2018, 10am-3pm, The Pleasance Theatre, Islington

Why an LGBT+ Fun Palace?

I was really angry about the protestors at Pride this year.  As I know many of us were. I also think Pride handled it really badly, and hope they address their policy following this to ensure no such thing happens again.

Following Pride, I started thinking about we counteract this nastiness. Something I wanted to do was hold a space to be inclusive of all of our community and beyond. To hold a space where different experiences and lives can be celebrated and a point for learning and exchange to take place.  I wanted to open up an inclusive LGBT+ space.  And the first thing that sprung to mind was to make that space a Fun Palace. Fun Palaces are the most inclusive movement I know of, and I wanted to bring some Fun Palace cheer to our LGBT+ community.

The LGBT+ Fun Palace at The Pleasance will take place in North London and absolutely everyone is invited to attend, so non-LGBT+ palaceers also very welcome to be makers or attendees. We will be taking steps to ensure we are inclusive of all gender identities and sexual orientations, as well as being mindful of other access needs. And please get in touch if there is something that would make our Fun Palace more accessible or inclusive for you.

What is a Fun Palace?

Fun Palaces are free to attend, they are local, for all ages, inclusive, hands-on and about process as much as product. A Fun Palace is not a Fete or Open day, it’s not ordinary (so if you’re facepainting, how can you make it different), it’s not a show, performance or lecture – it’s about getting people DOING the show or performance or lecture rather than watching it. *

Our Fun Palace so far:

The Pleasance, based near Caledonian Road station, London have very kindly offered to host. In terms of people, so far we have Mad Poets Speak on board, who are experts at holding mental health inclusive spaces in which poetry can happen. There might be a performance of things people have written.  There might not be.  There will be dens for people that prefer a bit of quiet to wide open spaces (maybe people will write poems in dens.)  There will potentially be zine making, and potentially be a musicals choir.  Bechdel Theatre are keen to be on board, and our good friend Nemo Martin is too.   But we need more! “Think about what YOU like to do, not necessarily your job at all, but what you’re passionate about, enjoy doing, excited to tell others about – that’s what an FP is all about, people sharing their passion.  Woodwork, astronomy, physics, football, knitting – anything goes as long as it’s participative.” (Stella Duffy, Founder of Fun Palaces.)

Say yes, and learn how to do it later

If you would like to bring something to the Fun Palace, please email amietaylor@live.co.uk.  If you have an idea, but it’s not fully formed, drop me an email – I’m happy to help your germination process.

If you’d like to help out on the day, perhaps being on the door to greet people, supporting an activity (but not running it) or being there to make people feel welcome in the space, drop me a message too.  We’d love to have you on board.

*Please note some text in this blog was taken from the Fun Palaces website.

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(IMAGES FROM FUN PALACES WEBSITE)

Your Invisible Family

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about being an LGBT+ child.  What it’s like to be an LGBT+ child. And what we can do to make things better.

Firstly, I’m not keen to put labels on children, so by referencing LGBT+ children, I am referring to children that will grow up to be LGBT+ teenagers and adults – and will, as we all do, carry the experiences of their early childhood with them. Last night I was asked to share a bit about some of the work I’ve been doing at a brilliant and insightful Caldwell Valley LGBT Labour event, which set me thinking about lots and my experiences as a child that would grow up to be gay.

I don’t believe sexuality or gender identity is a choice, I think it is as built in to us as the colour of our skin, our hair, our eyes, it is from the same place our innate likes and dislikes come from, our character and the intrinsic facets of our personality that just are.

Looking back, I can identify that I was certainly gay by the time I was three, but I expect before. Of course I had no awareness of it, but by three there were a handful women on the telly that I adored. When I was older my friend Emilie once described how she had loved Carl on Playdays when she was little and dreamed of being best friends with him; I wasn’t out at the time she told me this, but I remember thinking that I’d felt the exact same way about Sue.

The thing with being an LGBT+ child is that you don’t necessarily have your community around you, it’s a part of your culture you may not share with your family or friends, in the same way you are likely to share ethnicity or religion. If you grow up to be LGBT+ there comes the process of finding your community, your family.  Which is all kinds of wonderful when it happens, but you’ve often waited such a long time, far too long, to do so. And during that time, the impact on mental health, self esteem and confidence can be hugely negative.

The other thing with being an LGBT+ child is, it’s invisible.

I’m working in a school at the moment which champions black history, many of the corridors have displays dedicated to Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Trish Cooke (a children’s author).  Which is an absolutely beautiful and imperative thing; it reflects the demographic of the school, offering realistic and tangible role models to the students. But in this primary school, and others, there is no reference to the LGBT+ community anywhere in the school. Because, of course, you don’t necessarily have an LGBT+ demographic in a primary school, sexuality is dormant, waiting to explode a few years later.  But early representation is key – because it’s in primary school that children develop core values and empathy alongside a sense of self and belonging – if that’s happening without an LGBT+ lens in place (or without the lenses of all minority groups) it leaves a lot of additional work and backtracking for educators to do in future years.

I’ve worked in many, many primary schools over the past few years and only a handful mark LGBT+ History month, or Pride month (I would always ask), and usually it is an LGBT+ teacher championing this work, because they, of course, understand the importance of it. The work of organisations such as Stonewall, Diversity Role Models and The Proud Trust bring role models in to schools, and I know visit countless schools across annually.  But they can’t get to them all, and it shouldn’t be a once a year event that children encounter the LGBT+ community. There’s been a lot of talk recently around inclusive sex and relationship education, which is a good starting point, but it doesn’t apply to every school and means that it truly is a lottery for LGBT+ students as to whether or not they see themselves represented in the syllabus. And it would be wrong of me not to shout out to all of the primary schools doing amazing work!! There are many. But we need more- we need all!

It’s easier to ignore. But it’s vital we don’t.  I wish we could fast track the progress on this, but as with any social change, it takes work, and years of trying and pushing, and shouting, and being tired and falling down and carrying on. What we can do – all of us, who have children in schools, are teachers or TAs or visitors to schools can make that change happen. By pushing for LGBT history month celebrations, Pride events, by ensuring the libraries and book corners feature LGBT+ characters.  By being ‘out’ teachers where it feels safe to be. By teaching children the words lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender before they hear them as slurs in the playground. Being an ally is only useful if you are an active ally. And it may be a lot of work, and I’m sure people will complain – change isn’t easy, but it’s as necessary as breathing, in these times.

I started performing a show with LGBT+ characters for 4-7 year olds in February and was anxious about the reception I may meet, as it wasn’t overtly advertised as an ‘LGBT show’. I wanted to reach out to same-sex parent families, but I also wanted to ensure that all families came, because this work is for everyone. As of yet, I haven’t received any negativity. My heart still pounds every time I get to the bit where the princesses fall in love, hoping that it won’t be the show where someone leaves. I may be over exaggerating, but my own experiences of homophobia in schools and in the world mean I can never quite let my guard down. So far people have only said lovely things about the show, and I hope somewhere, through it’s performance life, a child will see it, and recall it a few years down the line and it will make them feel a better, and good about who they are.

Because these children will grow up, and they will remember that they weren’t there. That they weren’t in the stories, in the history lessons and in the maths books.  They’ll recall how they weren’t in the assemblies,  they weren’t in the sex ed class or in the book corner and they weren’t on the walls. And that is a very odd, sad, strange feeling indeed.

 

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Image ©TheCreativeFox 2018

100 Voices – My Story

Earlier this year I was asked by the brilliant Miranda Roszkowski to take part in her project 100 Voices – a podcast featuring 100 Stories by women to celebrate 100 years of some women getting the vote. My story was about a group of awesome people I met around 6 years ago – here’s the transcript.

You can download the podcasts from I Tunes for free, there are brilliant stories from a whole range of brilliant women.  Definitely have a listen.

There was a time in my life when I very much felt I couldn’t. Or I wasn’t. Or I didn’t know how. I worked in theatre and had always looked out to that world and saw people doing the things that I wanted to do, and felt that I wasn’t clever enough or confident enough, and sometimes I felt I just wasn’t male enough – by my mid 20s it seemed to be all of my friends that were men were getting ahead in the business, and I just didn’t know how to. I used to try and fail at things often. I’d haphazardly chase after my dreams believing that they would always stay out of my reach. I didn’t know how to get ideas off the ground and I often felt quite intimidated by the industry.

Then in 2012 was introduced by a good friend to this incredible group of people, mostly women.  And they were bold and mighty and vulnerable.  And I worked with them for 2 years on a theatre project called The Chaosbaby. We were all different ages, different generations and I’d not experienced that kind of friendship before. And through working with them and alongside them I learnt how to do things and they taught me that there was no secret, just hard work and resilience and a bit of confidence in yourself.  And it was in spending time with them that for the first time ever I started to understand feminism and how to challenge an industry and society that structurally holds not only women, but all minority groups back.

I also began to consider that that even the most successful or seemingly confident people have days where they feel like they can’t, or don’t know how or aren’t good enough.

The more time I spent with this incredibly supportive group of people, the more I felt I learnt how to become myself. I became more confident in my ideas and putting myself forward, and that was a gift from them to me. To not be afraid of failing, but to try, to not give up and through trying things I found a part of me that had never quite fully revealed itself. I’m not saying we live in a meritocracy and I know I have lots of privilege in lots of ways.

In 2014 I decided to launch my own website, called The LGBTQ Arts Review – a website that documented and examined LGBT+ theatre. I had recently come out myself and I realised I felt that I’d been really limited in the role models I’d had on TV and in theatre, and I wanted to first of all look at where we were at with that, and then try and change it.  Through running my website I noticed that there was a distinct lack of women’s voices in LGBT+ theatre and I wanted to do something that might help that, even if it was only a tiny bit. So last year I applied for some Arts Council Funding, and was successful and got given some money to run a scheme to support female, non-binary, trans and intersectional LGBT voices and writers. And this was a really important moment for me, because it was proof that I could do something and I could achieve things and I wasn’t powerless to try and change things. Five years ago I didn’t think I was good enough or had the knowledge to fill in an Arts Council form, or would have an idea worth funding.

What I’ve learnt in the last five years is that the only way to know if you’re the right person is to try. And that sometimes it will be a no, but that the more you try and the harder you work hopefully there will be more yesses. But I know that it was the support of my friends that changed this for me, and I think supporting one another and building one another up is one of the most important things we can do – looking out to the world, to the people around us that are doing cool things, seeing them and offering words of encouragement and engaging in one another’s ventures and offering a gentle boost can make all of the difference. I know that it did for me.

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Freelancing so far…

This was originally a twitter thread, sharing here also, with a few added extras…

On Thursday I ended up having a lot of freelancing conversations with a lot of people.  Which got me to thinking. Freelancing in the arts is HARD! Nearly all of the arts companies I work for get this, and treat their staff really well accordingly (I have even in the past, on the odd occasion received sick / compassionate pay for work missed from companies I regularly work for). But when booking in independent work it can be super hard to navigate / negotiate.

Here are some things I’ve learnt over the past 10 years working both independently and with arts organisations.  Agree, disagree – add your own!

  1. Say goodbye to weekends and holidays, there will always be one necessary email to answer in these periods.
  2. Get a website that has your CV / all the cool stuff you’ve done on it so you can quickly refer people. (WordPress will do)
  3. Look around, see who you want to work for, drop them an email, send your CV, tell them why you want to work for them.  Do this whether or not they’re currently recruiting.
  4. Blog (optional) about things relevant to your work. Can be useful when applying for work to direct people towards your blog posts – demonstrates a commitment and passion in your field.
  5. Get good at social media and talk about your work on it (without humble bragging).
  6. If someone you previously worked for (who may have more work for you) seems to have forgotten you drop them a friendly email
  7. RE: 6: Once is plenty
  8. Figure out what you’re worth (it’s an awful lot more than you probably think) and go in at the upper end when someone asks how much you charge. Use your judgement as to when it may be worth letting them know you’re movable on that (esp when working with charities etc)
  9. Always send a contract to everyone you work for when independently booked. In the contract explain that their fee covers planning, travel, materials, admin costs and insurance in addition to delivery time (and if it feels right add pension / sick days / annual leave etc to that) I put this on invoices too to remind people what they’re paying for.
  10. Do your tax return early (Pre September – good!)
  11. Save tax as you go.  I repeat, save tax as you go.  I repeat one more time (for my own benefit) SAVE TAX AS YOU GO.
  12. Be nice to people
  13. Stay feminist and intersectional. Always. (In life too.)
  14. People will always try to get you to do extra for free, negotiate this where possible.
  15. A job should be rewarded by either: money, experience or networks – if none of these are gained, it’s probably not worth your time.
  16. Stick at it
  17. Take time out. You don’t have to work all of the time. Take sick days when you need to. (Yes there may be an email here or there – see #1 – however switching off regularly will help to avoid burn out.)
  18. Wall calendars / year planners are useful. As are black / white boards. Post it notes essential.
  19. Eat and sleep properly.  Plan time in to your day to think about these two things.  I am the worst when working from home at forgetting to eat. I’m practising being better! There’s nothing cool about shouting on social media that you are depriving yourself of basic human needs for your career. (Also pee – when I’m busy I always forget to go and pee – it’s really bad for you!)
  20. Mental health – check in with it regularly.
  21. Collaboration is stronger than competition, if you’ve had a door open somewhere, use it (appropriately) to let others in.
  22. Don’t wait around for opportunities. Create them.
  23. Try to make things better for others (people somewhere are also probably trying to make things better for you)
  24. Pleases and thank yous

There are many, many more which I will get round to writing up another day. I will be running a workshop on all of this at some point, as I know that knowing some of this stuff sooner would have helped me.

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To a year below the surface

Reaching the end of what feels as though it’s been a huge year both politically, and in terms of things being blown apart, revealed and talked about, I have hopes that the work that’s begun this year continues in to next year. I hope that as we’ve seen the horrors that lie beneath the surface, we finally stop glazing over and pretending that everything is okay and keep the conversations going.  I hope that conversations turn in to action, and that that action brings change.  That with each passing day we wake up a little more. As always, I hope the world becomes a lot kinder.

And instead of wishing you a Happy New Year, which feels wrong, superficial and a little on the surface, I wish you happy times, and if not happy, then uneventful. I hope you laugh, but just as importantly I hope you cry, and I hope you find a safe space in which to cry and be sad. I hope you get angry, and find a space in which to hold that anger. And I hope you can use that anger to make things change. I hope you talk about the big things, the scary things, the brilliant things and the worrying things. We live in a world that celebrates hiding, and being outwardly happy, being outwardly okay. But that’s not a truth for anyone.  So I wish you an honest New Year.

This time of year can feel hard when you’re being bombarded from companies, and the media promising us a chance to start over, to be thinner, to be fitter, to be better – to do less: drink less, eat less, worry less, weigh less. But we are only human and these expectations can weigh heavy on our hearts and shoulders. I think resolutions set us up to fail. About 5 years ago, my New Years Resolution every year was to get a book published. And every year it didn’t happen. And I always ended the year focussed on my disappointment that I’d failed again, rather than giving weight to all of the cool stuff that happened. So now I write New Years suggestions – ideas of things I might want to do. Here are mine for 2018.

  1. To work hard – I try to always work hard, toward the things I believe in. And each year my work challenges grow. This year I’m going in to January with two new challenges.  I have funding to make a new children’s show with LGBT characters.  I spent a long time being terrified about this, about it not being good, or quite right or not getting an audience.  But in the last few weeks my thinking has changed – if I work hard at it, even if I ‘fail’, I think it’s okay. I think failing is all part of trying, and the older I get, the more okay I feel with failing – or questioning what failing even is… I’m also starting work with The Self Esteem Team – delivering workshops in primary schools around mental health.  I am so excited, and this is a huge new challenge for me.
  2. To stay in touch – I know I have seen less of some friends in the last couple of years. Some moved away.  Some are still around London, but work and life seem to have taken over. And I know I could sometimes be better at dropping a message, seeing a card or organising a drink. And so I’ll hold the thought of staying in touch close to hand, and try to bring it in to life more often.
  3. To follow my intuition – To remember to follow my intuition.  Especially career wise.  I sometimes try to force things, or get frustrated when things don’t happen as fast as I’d like (like getting a book published in a year).  Remembering that I’m on a journey and learning all the time, is useful. Two years ago, I didn’t know how to do the things I’m doing now.  Who knows what I’ll be doing in two years time. But being open to possibilities, and ready for the unexpected is useful, because I believe that sometimes pathways open up that we hadn’t imagined for ourselves, but are right for us at the that time.
  4. To eat more vegetables – Again, just floating this thought so it’s consciously in my head.  Sometimes when I’m busy working or out on the go, I forget to eat enough vegetables.
  5. To be honest about how I’m feeling – I think this comes back to all of that surface stuff, and being honest about what’s going on below. Being honest doesn’t mean you can’t be positive or optimistic, but it means being truthful about where you are right now.  So much of new year is about being geared towards a happier, healthier life in the future, but being honest with where we are in this moment is an okay thing, I think. I have super down days and highly happy ones – and a lot of middling ones. And I’m just fine with that.
  6. Dance.

And that’s plenty.  Whether or not you’re making resolutions, suggestions or completely ignoring the New Year – I wish you a peaceful 2018.  And whatever it brings for you, I wish you the space to feel all of the feels.

Now, time to go make pie! 🙂

Love.

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