Tag Archives: Walks

Homework Assignment

1. Get a blank piece of paper.
2. Draw a ‘T’ that goes from the top to the bottom, left to right.
3. In the middle of the left column write the word ‘Yes’.
4. In the middle of the right column write the word ‘No’.
5. In the ‘Yes’ colum list everything that makes you happy.
6. In the ‘No’ column list everything that makes you unhappy.
This may take you a week, a month, a lifetime to complete. There is no maybe. Either things make you happy or they don’t. You will feel it in your gut when you are done with your list.
7. This is the important part. You must now start removing the items in your ‘No’ column and start acting on the items in your ‘Yes’ column.
There will be things on your list that you will not be able to remove completely or act on, for example – nuclear arms, global warming, seeing your favourite actor win an Oscar. The point is to cross off and act on as many as possible. Your list is a work in progress, as are you.

This task was assigned following a lecture that started on 94th and ended somewhere around 59th and encompassed a few loops in the park my teacher deemed it necessary for me to take the lesson home and work on it. Knowing me, knowing them, I should have seen it coming. They know me too well to trust me to do this without the task being set. Sometimes you need to see things in black and white.

The reason for my lecture? It is time I started to do things for myself. Find my happiness. Admittedly, the way I am with people is my best-worst quality, for those few I regard as true friends it borders on ridiculous. I know this about myself. It is not the first time I have had this said to me. At different points though those words are easier to hear, it also helps if it feels the person telling me I need to do more for myself isn’t bashing me over the head with my actions.

My problem, a lifetime of doing what you need to be done. I say that as a matter of pure fact, nothing else. I do so without thinking now, and to me my homework assignment appears contrary to who I am. However, my fear is disassembled. The logic is simple. Two people whose opinion I value highly using the same example. When on a plane you are instructed to place your own mask around your head before helping those around you. If you cannot breathe, how can you possibly hope to help anyone else? This is why they are necessary in my life.

There is excitement amongst them as they imagine what will fill my list. Fireworks. It is harder for me than I thought it would be to list items, in either column. What makes me genuinely happy? I know for certain something that doesn’t. Now at least. Top of the list in the ‘No’ column and already crossed out. Too many items in the ‘Yes’ are undeserved if I allow that one to remain in my life, that’s a sacrifice I am not willing to make. Ahead of the curve, I need it there to remind me that it is a ‘No’.

Its simplicity makes so much sense I worry about making it more complicated than it needs be. Simple question: Does it make me happy? If it is ‘Yes’ then I keep it, if it is ‘No’ then I let it go.

My happiness is on this path. I am set to meet it.

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Filed under Far Off Adventures, Revelation

Open Eyes


I am in love with my city. I think that’s an important thing to be when you’ve chosen to make a place your home. I understand that a lot of people are where they are because of work, or because of family, or simply because they’ve never thought of being anywhere else. For me though, being a Londoner is a choice. Yes it is where I work and where my immediate family (and chosen family) reside, but I have thought about living other places too.

When I was younger there was always the thought that I could go and live in the Philippines. I’d spent a fair amount of my childhood there, and it’s where almost all of my family are. My last trip there though confirmed that though I could probably spend an extended amount of time there I wouldn’t choose to live there. On that side of the world, Cambodia too. I love Siem Reap. At first I dismissed the commercialism of it all, but once I got past that I found a city more different than any I’d ever been to. But again, an extended amount of time possibly, but not a lifetime.

There are the US cities of course. San Francisco, if I were to live anywhere on the West Coast then it would be there. I’ve learnt to live with the fog and the rapid change in weather and I know almost all the good places to find food – always important. Hawaii, the whole state is somewhere I would gladly be. I can’t imagine ever having to earn a living there though, it would just feel wrong. It is perhaps though one of the few places I can go to truly just chill. Always, New York. If you’d believe my friends then this city is still on the cards for me. Who knows? Perhaps one day. It is a place where I am able to be. For now, London is home.

I try not to take my city fore-granted. I used to spend many days just me and my city. Walking her streets and taking time to look at all the hidden secrets that go unnoticed. Lately I find myself with less time to spend so much time with her. Other demands mean I have become neglectful. These past few months though I have taken the time to reacquaint myself with my oldest of friends, and I am reminded of why I love my city.

One of the main reasons I have remembered to really look at my city is The Elephant Parade that has come to London, and will sadly be leaving in a few weeks once all of the elephants have been auctioned off. These beautiful sculptures, set amongst London’s streets to add some colour and adventure to our lives are there to remind us of the plight of the Asian Elephant. Most of us, fortunately, do not face the fear of extinction in our homes, they do.

I, like many other LDNers, set about “hunting” these beautiful creatures, and in doing so I have discovered and rediscovered parts of my city. The walks I take are well-trodden, they have become some of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon so when I do have the time they are where I go. My hunt has made me go to parts of the city that I have never ventured into. I have walked the same path as merchant bankers through Bank and The Royal Stock Exchange. I rediscovered a market that I haven’t been to since I was 14yrs old and on a school trip. I went to where the Mayor lives and I have found hidden patches of green when I thought I knew almost all of London’s green spaces. I have come to know my city again, and all because my hunt for these elephants have taken me down roads and side-streets I had never thought to explore.

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My City

Today she looked so beautiful; I couldn’t help but take her picture…

NB. May be best viewed in miniature. I may have seen my city but the camera on the Crackberry isn’t the best for catching it. Apologies for the graniness of the images.

If she needed words…

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Filed under Londontown