Sunday, 15 May 2016

Glastonbury Glastonbeeeeeeee

Dont worry, Beeeeeee happeeeeeeeee....

So it's that time of year! When our preparation for Glastonbury begins. 

This year our creative madness is coupled with working on the body work of a VW Campervan...

The rust and decay has finally needed addressed if she is to last a lifetime. She wants a brand new jacket for the summer and she shall have it. 

Both of which we seem to be enjoying so far! 

We have decided that our Glasto project this year will be 'Save the Bee's' theme. Its going to have natural hemp rope, heart shaped tree trunk splices, pyrographed Bumblers, rainbow fencing and lots of big flowers! We are really enjoying this one.

So we thought we would try and hook up with Friends of the Earth, to see if we could offer any additional support for this most important campaign. 

Friends of Earth Homepage here

I thought I would share with you all the project as we go along.

We will soon be putting a dedicated page up on my website so you can keep updated!

Have a wonderful summer my friend's of the earth.

We are thinking of you all.

Loving life, loving Bee's.

Letter to FOE -

Hi there Protectors of Bee's!

I am a Glastonbury festival contributing artist, who has worked in the Healing Field with my partner for over 15 years.

Every year we have to erect a decorative fence and archway for a walkway that leads from the Healing Field to Pennard Hill (it's a beautiful spot).

This year we have chosen to make our design, 'Save the Bee's, save the planet'. It is an earth protecting campaign close to our heart & incredibly important.

We are currently building lots of Bee related creations to make it look Bee-autiful.

It would be amazing if we could do anything for you, to show our support and further the reach of your campaign.

Perhaps collaborate if you have any Bee related activities going on at the festival if you are going to be there?

Or we could have some resources to pass on to people, keep you updated with ‘Glasgtonbee’ fence news through my twitter feed and if you are on site it would be really helpful to know where you are, so we are able to signpost people who may ask about the campaign.

We would like to do our part in reaching out to more people, to help others understand the political action required to protect our Bee's and ultimately Mother Earth.

If there is anything that we can do to further your campaign, while we are at Glastonbury festival making our fence to raise awareness of the flight of the Bee, please do let us know!

It would be great to hear from you in the next 5 working days, as we are already working on the project and head on site of the festival on the 18th June!

We look forward to your response with eager support.

Bee happy!

Friday, 13 May 2016

Reply from Pandora

So I had a reply from Pandora, as I suspected, they cant make exceptions, not even for me.
But thats ok.
The reply is perfectly respectful and I particularly like the first and last paragraph.
So thanks to Simone.

But I do owe my brother an apology.....

Simone Johannsen (PANDORA EDC)
May 13, 12:53

Dear Lou,

alright thank you so much for your e-mail and the attached link. We are always happy to hear our customer's stories and memories with our charms and bracelets. Your bracelet looks beautiful and the memories which are within each charm is impressive. It truly warms our hearts, please be aware of this.

Regarding your gift card, unfortunately, we are unable to re-active or extend any expired gift card. I understand that this is frustrating, and I know this is not the answer you were looking for. The terms and condition is stated at our webpage, as well as the date of purchase is either shown at the back of the card or at the receipt of purchase. I am sorry that you were not able to use your gift card, and I am sorry, that we are unable to assist you further.

We are crossing our fingers, you will still let your memories be represented by our charms in the future.
Thank you for reaching out to us, and have a great weekend, Lou!

Mit freundlichen Grüßen / Kind Regards / Med venlig hilsen
Simone Johannsen
Customer Relations Assistant, EDC

At least it was sunny

I wake up because the sun rays are bursting
Shining through the curtains first thing
It makes me think of the colour yellow & happiness
I think ‘that’s nice’ and smile while I rest

But I’m tired, its so early, I’m not strong
And I remember how yesterday was so long
How hard it was and how much my heart ached
And I think ‘that’s a shame’ and I frown while I berate

My alarm sounds, I don’t want to go to work
I can’t face the fake, can’t make it not hurt
I want to pretend the race to the rats doesn’t exist
The hamster wheel for me, I want to resist

But responsibilities, self worth, put one foot in front of another
Feel like a miserable mother fucker
Suppress the dread in my gut
Don’t like being stuck in this rut

Focus, focus on what comes at the end of the day
Free from societal norm, to go your own way
And I think to myself, just one small motivational thing
‘At least the sun is shining.’

I shower too long, I move to slow
No interest in bringing on my mo-jo
I dress to impress
Especially when under duress
Outside look my best, when inside I feel a mess
Let them guess!
That all I do is work at a desk
But at least, the sun is shining

Meetings, conference calls, management drills
Employing the best of my organisational skills
All done with a sunny smile
Going the extra mile
Feel like my capabilities, my capacity is on trial
All the while
Pushing down the bile
Of this vile corporate bullshit style

Lunchtime feels like a day has gone by
Haven’t stopped for a minute but time here does not fly
The snail’s pace of this place, making a powerful woman cry

I take my salad outside, go sit on warm ground
Try to quiet my minds corporate to-do list going round and round
Literally use my fists to give my temples a pound
Feel actual pain but I don’t make a sound

Lay back, grass, sky, bumble bees, bird song, sunshine
Transportation, liberation, exultation, relaxation
Meditation, infiltration of this natural quiet placation
The sun is shining, I smile a lot
My place in that soulless rat race is momentarily forgot

I think ‘what a waste’, of my awesomeness in this boring place,
A fucking disgrace,
How did I get to this state?
I need to change this pace
Find me some style and grace, soon
But at least, the sun is shining.

Lunchtime over in a flash
Back to the building I mope not dash,
Leave the sunshine behind with my hopes and dreams
And my will power to concentrate it seems

I step back into the corporate gloom
The same day happens all afternoon
Eventually when all my energy is dispersed
And I am feeling my worse
When I’ve nothing else to give
Except the breath to live
I leave this hole
That drains my soul

Walk home in the sunshine, ridding work from my head
It takes so much effort when I get there I just climb into bed
And I sleep away my misery instead
And I think, ‘at least it was sunny today.’

Monday, 9 May 2016

An open letter to Pandora

Dear Pandora,

I am hoping with an open heart that you can resolve a stupid thing I did with regards to a gift card from your company.

Before I explain, it should be noted that I am a fan of Pandora and have a beautiful complete bracelet that I adore. Please see the picture of my wonderful blue bracelet...

This bracelet is very sentimental to me, as well as being one of the nicest (and definitely most expensive!) piece of jewellery that I own. It has charms on it from my nearest and dearest friends and family which gives me a huge sense of joy whenever I wear it and look at it.

The bracelet was purchased for me as a birthday gift from my wonderful partner, with a singleheart-shaped charm on it. It was given to me in Egypt, on the beach, on what turned out to be the most spectacular birthday, completing my first ever scuba dive with friends.

The bracelet also has a charm on it from my partner from when I was away in Rome another year on my birthday for a business mixed with leisure trip. One of my best friends came with me that trip and she also produced a charm for me early in the morning of my birthday. It was the start to an incredible day of sunshine, Segways, Opera choirs at dinner and VIP entry into a very posh brand new club opening on the plaza.

 It has a charm on it, a Buddha, from my dear mum who sadly passed away, which I rub when I need her guidance. 

My father has sent me charms for it, the deep blue Murano glass ones are my absolute favourite from him. Reminding me of a trip to Venice we all took years ago. We are at opposite ends of the UK so I have fond memories of that particular holiday together when we spent more time together than we had in years.

There are animal charms from the beloved children of my oldest best friend that make me smile and a light blue glass charm from my oldest best friend herself. 

She bought it spontaneously at the airport when coming up to visit me, we were heading off to a music festival together. The charm was called ‘Under the sea’ which also turned out to be the name of the theme at the festival we attended together. What a coincidence! 

It was so much fun that weekend and the charm brings back memories of dancing with Mr Motivator, dying in the heat, chilling in the garden under the wicker statue of Eve and random midnight antics around fire pits and camper vans.

So I hope you can see, I love that bracelet, it holds years of memories and means the world to me.

So as sad as I was to see it fill up, it was finally a complete circle of memories. A glittering chunky blue talisman of all the things I love and love to remember.

My brother, who lives 500 miles away, was unaware of the importance of the charms being Pandora for my bracelet and sent me four charms in a gorgeous purple box one year for Christmas. Sadly, as pretty as they were, they were not Pandora charms and the inner ‘silver’ walls fell away as we took them out of the box. So, to be honest I didn’t even add them to the collection and found a way to tactfully tell him at a later date that they had broken.

The following year he sent me a gift card for Pandora for Christmas 2014. I was delighted. My eye had been on a wrap around leather bracelet for a while. A more casual every day wear to my stunning blue bracelet which is now reserved for special occasions. I imagined adding just a few really super duper glittering charms onto his gift.

I tried to purchase the leather bracelet from a jeweller in Dumfries that has a large Pandora section in it but they would not let me use the gift card. I had spent so long deliberating over what type to get and was excited by my decision. So when they refused the gift card, even though I barely had any cash at the time, I used my own money to purchase it. I decided that in the New Year I would add money onto the card for some of those more fabulous charms to clip onto my new leather bracelet.

The card was tucked away in my purse.

I only go shopping  in Glasgow once every 6 months. In a year full of challenges in holding down a full time job, starting up a business and beginning diploma level training, I was very busy, so it was soon Christmas 2015. I did try to go into the shop in Buchanan Galleries one day while Christmas shopping but the queue was so far out of the shop I thought I would leave the happy shoppers to their purchases and come back another day to top up the card. I now wish I had gone in that day.

You can imagine my utter disappointment when I went into the same shop in Glasgow last week to finally spend the gift card, along with some money I earned through my new business, to find the gift card had expired. I was beside myself. Not least because I could not purchase a charm, but because the money was a gift from my brother. The only member of my family who does not have a charm on my fantastic blue bracelet. I feel like I have wasted his money.

So, I am asking if you could redeem my voucher, if at all possible please. You would make a Pandora lover a very lucky and happy girl again. I absolutely promise to use it immediately. 
And I will never do anything so ridiculous again.

I enclose a copy of the receipt and gift card, in the hope this helps you validate that I have not already spent it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.
I hope you are having a great day and may I wish you a wonderful weekend when it arrives.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Blooming stupid Blue Lou

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Help Trans-form someones life

Hello world, this is my girlfriend Dawn.

She is beautiful, inside and out, kind, caring and considerate.

She really makes me laugh and we do so many wonderful things together!

She is the most impressive girl I have ever met. 
And that’s saying something because I am pretty awesome too.

Where I am a jack of many trades yet the master of none, my girlfriend Dawn is a master(ess) of many! She is an IT design guru, a mechanic, a plumber, an electrician and all round incredible human being. 

She knows more about make-up and nail polish than I ever have and while doing it she can infect you with her beaming smile and giggling laugh.

But Dawn suffers from depression, which recently she has been coping really well with. But more crippling than that, she can suffer from social anxiety and isolation. No matter how much I love her and try to help, I can’t be everything to her. Not without sacrificing my own rights to be in an equal  relationship.

In the past I have slipped into Carer mode, or house mate mode, or social buffer, or protector, reducing my own relationship expectations when she can’t cope with life, let alone cope with a relationship. 

I do this so that I don’t project disappointment or build resentment. It can take a while for us to recover from this imbalance in our relationship but so far we have bounced right back with extra BOING! and have returned to a place of whole hearted love and compassion. However I can’t keep doing that.

So I am asking for your help. If you think Dawn looks like a nice person, (and believe me she is) and would like to be her friend, online or even better, in real life, then please get in touch, or even better than that, if you already know Dawn, keep in touch with her. She needs a support network. She needs friends who care. Especially when I cannot be there.

What she is going through is incredibly difficult, isolating and debilitating. She gets very stuck in her own head and doesn’t ask for help, or support. She needs someone she can let off steam to when life is hard, when strangers are judgemental and if I am being a pain in the arse (I cant help it, my life is annoying fabulous right now so I try not to rub her nose in it.) she needs people who don’t care if she is trans or not. People who don’t care what she looks like unless she looks unhappy. People who will be her back up when she needs to go places that are intimidating. People who can support her, metaphorically hold her hand the same as all girls helped each other when we grew up.

I tell her regularly how fabulous she is. How brave she is being. How hard life is and that it always sucks. But I don’t think she truly believes me. Because I am the person who tells her the positives when she doesn't want to hear them and tries to lead by example with my ‘fuck them all, I am a fighter’ attitude. 

Sometimes I worry that I am too strong, too outgoing and far too energetic. I've had my fair share of tragedy and it has made me the person I am today. Dawn is still dipping her toe into this strange world that we live in after years of feeling like she doesn't fit. Do any of us ever feel like we fit?

I would like my girlfriend to become the leading lady of her own life! 
I want my girlfriend to be confident and happy so bad that I am not coping well with seeing her so regularly intimidated by life, so unmoved by the potential around her and so reluctant to be brave, let alone outstanding in the face of adversity. 
For the world has already taught her it is a cruel, harsh place.

She deserves to feel accomplishment and reward for her efforts so far.
She deserves unconditional love and support.
And I deserve all of those too.

So I ask for your help, your kindness, your compassion.
Show a lovely lady a little love.
Thank you world.