Mount Moments 07

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05.05.18

How do people make time to settle? Months clip by like meagre days and there’s no second-guessing when your life is passing you by, no settling for a job you hate, a place you can’t grow, people who don’t inspire you. How can you even begin to feel contentment if you don’t give yourself the fundamentals? Surely a basis to bloom, create, go mad with passion and love for all elements of your day to day life, that is the most important ingredient to self-love?

‘If we were meant to stay in one place, we would have roots instead of feet.’

08.05.18

Deep chats with empathetic souls. El feels trapped too, wants more than whatever the present has to give. We grab drinks up the road and I chat her ear off, it’s all about idea’s and feelings, the topics that make me think and leave me feeling renewed: politics, feminism, youth, travel, work, philosophy. El is a refreshing change. She’s intelligent, self-aware and she just gets it. I don’t feel pessimistic when we discuss things, more contemplative. It’s the same for all the ladies surrounding me right now. At work, they’re all a force to be reckoned with.

12.05.18

Barred, enclosed in this paracosm,

grey world ignited in rose illusion,

tinted scenes from a novel land

embraced in a fairer story.

14.05.18

You are HERE, in THIS place, with THESE people and THESE opportunities. You have THIS face and THIS body. THESE are your words and your thoughts. NOW is where life is and I hope so ardently that you won’t waste too much more of your life away in that hopeless yearning for another self, time and place.

18.05.18

They approved my second-year work visa, I met the news with no such excitement. Everyone around me is overjoyed, they know how much effort and money went into the application, how daunting the six week wait was to find out the result. But it obviously isn’t what I want. This proves that. But where to next? Home? What’s there?

 

Light and love, N x

 

Mount Moments 06…

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18.04.18

Now, do you realise the power of ‘yes’?

New friendships on short road trips, explorer walks and real-world enchantment. Up in the skies with rebel waterfalls, droplets strung like fireflies in buttery setting suns, captured by a pause in time between forests and streams. The sort of moment that flaunts fantasy and encourages you to second guess all you thought you knew.

21.04.18

Loneliness is sweet with time,

and in her spaces, I think you up in a myriad of disguises,

from Prince Avenue to Grey Street…

23.04.18

You say you despise cigarettes

but you’ll never miss a break

a brew in one hand

and the patience of a saint

lulled by the jagged tuning

and the whispers off that delicate tongue

twisting words to rhythms

like language has never been sung.

25.04.18

Waking up easy, lazy light through gauzy curtains, slow sips of coffee in a warm bed, early Dylan tracks humming, gently encouraging my mind to wander, my thoughts to spill, my pen to write.

Light and love, N x

 

Mount Moments 05…

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22.03.18

Three days off. One day too long. A brazen walk into a tattoo shop. It’s raining, I’m bored, and I’m careless, reckless, desperate for any sort of feeling. So now I welcome a new addition to my arm, a quote that reminds me of dismal days I conquered, that stretch of time when I was both most and least myself. It’s a kind of courage for the days that spiral down that same road, a memento of a project I committed to, resonated with and completed but mostly a little thank you to a musician who taught me a lot about the transitions of being human and making it in this world.

‘It’s Life and Life Only.’ – Bob Dylan.

31.03.18

The moon looks her most threatening tonight, ruthless confidence, beaming magnanimity. But I still find her allure in all of her phases. Great goddess of femininity, the truest most courageous representative of me and all of my sisters.

06.04.18

Independant. Stubborn. Restless. Impossible. What a collection of negative descriptives.

All of those terms have been used to describe me more than once. And I have to admit, regrettably, that they’re true. I used to take pride in my independence but…I’m lonely. And I guess I always have been a little bit, growing up too introverted and unseen. Somewhere I lost the ability to feel the bad in it and just embraced loneliness as my norm. Being alone never really solidified a relationship with myself but rather started this blooming of self disgust. After years of sharing my space, both at work and home it hit hard to be so isolated these past four months. But I think I might of made a break through with her, the me that defied self love for so long. That’s something, right? But in that I’ve found a new hunger for companionship that never really reared it’s head before.

 

Light and Love, N x

 

Words on my mind: Vanity

The bleak lighting highlights the bags beneath my eyes and the access skin above them. Tired and hooded, a dull state. My skin takes on a vulgar orange tint, the nooks and crannies obvious under the scrutiny. My long hair curtains around my round face and protects it all from analysis. My long hair is about to be taken from me. It’s vanity, it’s severe conditioning from an anonymous source, or, rather, from unlimited sources. Years of clutching to thinning strands, scared of the scissors and laying it all bare. Years of hoping for mermaid hair, princess hair, pretty hair. Acting like hair is the single defining element that makes me a woman. How misguided?

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My lovely hairdresser Emma double checks the new length, a length I asked for, and I nod a little numb, my stomach flipping. I lower my head as instructed, the only evidence of the action is the snipping of the scissors. The sound had never haunted me quite so deeply. It’s so strange to have such fear of losing a thing that renews itself everyday, takes barely any time to grow. It’s so bizarre to think my femininity lies in the length of it, in the style, the texture and colour. It’s sickening the amount of money I pay to maintain it. My confidence is at stake in those five minutes sat in a chair, paying for my security to be stripped away from me. But it’s part of my internal revolution. Part of my rebellion against who I’m supposed to be. In the end it’s liberating. I look so different, so I can act so very differently too.

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The shards of my armour scatter the marble floors but the sight doesn’t effect me, I just stand up and brush off the remnants, thank Emma and even leave her a tip. Instead of heading straight home as planned, I amble around town, peeking at my reflection at any given chance. Girls with curtains of light satin locks and others with waving dark tresses don’t spark any regret or envy in me. My new bob bounces when I walk, my head feels lighter and there’s something very delicate about the shape of it. Something maybe even a little more feminine than all that matted length.

Embrace a moment of courage and take the risk. You’re more than your physical vessel.

Positive vibes, always. N x

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Veganuary: Beauty bits…

Oh hey there,

So I had all of the intentions to bombard your wonderful peepers with all kinds of vegan posts this month but somehow I got distracted along the way and it didn’t really go to plan. Seeing as today is the last day of veganuary I thought I may as well post this one, which has been waiting patiently in my drafts for its debut. I’m sort of bummed about not making more of an effort but I hope those of you who took part in veganuary discovered something beautiful and that you’ve been convinced to make some permanent changes even if it isn’t going wholly vegan.

This wee veganuary post is going to attempt to cover Beauty type stuffs. I say attempt, because even four years later there are debates within this that still baffle me. Mostly that’s the whole parent company debate, which I’ll cover later in the post. Having lived in  England, Australia and New Zealand, I’ve found myself some pretty nifty vegan products and having used the internet as a guide constantly, I’ve also unearthed some pretty decent guides and blogs. So here goes, do enjoy!

Pinterest: Again with another little self plug. But for reals, I keep track of everything over on Pinterest, so head over to my page and check out the Beauty section of my Vegan AF board.

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The Body Shop : A familiar brand name, known pretty much all over the globe, The Body Shop is a good foundation for newly vegan beauty guru’s. They also now have a page on their site dedicated solely to their vegan products, so there’s less confusion. It’s a difficult one though because the company do so much campaigning against animal testing. So if you want to ease into this bit, if you’re feeling a little preoccupied with the eating side, then take your time. Cruelty free is pretty easy to spot so maybe devote yourself to that first.

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Some of my favourite productsCamomile Cleansing Balm (serious holy grail level with this one, love of my skins life), Fijian Water Lotus Mist (scent was my biggest miss, I was a perfume enthusiast and it’s heartbreaking to find all your faves are probably not vegan but this has been my signature scent for years now, fresh and mystical), Fresh Nude Foundation (a light to medium coverage, nice and glowy finish, it’s a goodie).

There are probably so many more stellar products and I’ve tried others that impressed me, but the above are three of my absolute favourites, that I’ve been repurchasing for years.

This is one of those grey area ones because of the whole ‘parent company’ debacle I mentioned in the introduction. That being, that the Body Shop are owned by L’oreal, who are pretty notorious for selling in China and thus testing on animals. They also own Urban Decay, a brand so wonderfully cruelty free, repping a whole load of vegan cosmetics. Seeing that L’oreal own these brands a lot of vegans dub them none cruelty free, which I guess is fair. But just like going into Pizza Hut and ordering a vegan pizza, even though the company still serve meat and dairy, I feel it’s more of an intent type deal. You’re mindfully purchasing the vegan products over the none vegan. It’s a statement to say that vegans can exist in this world easily alongside everyone else. It’s completely your call though, do what feels right to you.

 

Ethical Elephant : A very informative, and aesthetically pleasing, vegan beauty and lifestyle blog. It’s a go to for me for sure and if you have a look HERE you’ll find a ‘Vegan 101’ post, much more in depth than this one. The Resources menu is one of the best I’ve seen. It’s easy to follow and digs into all of the issues and controversial topics surrounding vegan beauty.

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Sukin : Okay, I have to include these guys here. They’re genuine life savers. A beautifully crafted company, that not only host 100% vegan skincare products but who actually care about the ingredients that go in them. I have very sensitive skin, that likes a lot of hydration and fuss free care. These guys say no to sulphates and parabens and offer various ranges for various skin types. And whats better? They’re fully affordable. Seriously, if you need to stock up on some good quality, vegan skincare these are your best bet. I discovered them in Australia where they’re easy to get your hands on and then came home to England to find they’re stocked by Boots and Holland and Barrett.

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I’ve tried to stick to the brands that I know are a little bigger and more accessible around the globe but there are always Indie brands doing good stuff and more nationally known places (like super drug in the UK), carrying their own brand vegan lines. It could go on forever this page but again, as with my first veganuary post, I don’t want to get too overwhelming. If you have any companies, sites or information you’d like to add then please pop them down in the comments!

Adios amigos,

Stay woke, N xx

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1 Week in Lanzarote…

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Nostalgia seeps into my groggy morning brain almost instantly as we enter Newcastle International Airport. The last time I departed this place was on my way to New Zealand, my last memory of the three of us there together took place at the same time, outside security, clutching onto one another, surging through the desperate emotions of a goodbye. Now we check in, all three of us, together. My passport is out of my charge for the first time in years as my Dad takes on the role as head of the family. Just like old times.

 

Sun greets us on the other side of the flight. The signs in English and Spanish are familiar from years of travelling through similar layouts on other Spanish Islands. I vaguely recall my curiosity as a kid, the new language and trying to pick up snatches from the locals as we walked through. Our resort is equally as memory jolting. Balding middle aged English men, sitting outside of tacky English style pubs, torso’s pale in the wake of a T-shirt, contrasting to burnt arms, lager in hand. It’s always been the same on tourist resorts and I smile. It’s an old, new, way of travel for me.

There is some culture in the local dishes on the western menu’s. Their authenticity I daren’t guess at but it peaks my interest, even if I won’t eat them. On the grey days, where even paradise caves to misery, I hope for car hire so we can explore Lanzarote some more. It doesn’t happen. My parents holiday to unwind and enjoy the sun. On longer, fortnight holidays back when I was a kid, the car hire was always my favourite part. Winding through mountains, ocean view after ocean view. My innocent mind would real with secret daydreams, the landscape my setting whilst my pink iPod nano created a soundtrack.

Despite the itchy feet feeling of being stranded on the same street, by the same windy beach and too cold hotel pool I thrive in the simplicity of being taken care of. I’m not alone, I’m not responsible and in the middle of the week somewhere I find the easy rhythm of the place and learn to just be.

It shouldn’t be a task but it always manages to be, just sitting and noticing and breathing. Simplicity makes me anxious and I realised how much my rampant mind had been craving it on that holiday. I knew I set out travelling to run from something, I just never accepted that something was my own thoughts.

Love and happy energy, N x

Dear 2017…

dear 2017

There was a little bit of triumph there in the beginning.  Dancing into your mysterious clutches with a bunch of new family, no more than strangers just three months before. There was sunshine and serenity for the majority of your first month and then loss. Deep aching loss for a place and a time I knew I could never return too. Not wholly the way it had been anyway and how much I crave that simplest yet hardest segment of my life, even now eleven months later waving you goodbye.

The homecoming was vacant, the love was there but my distance was tangible, a brutal thing. I was dressed up like Nikki but not at all acting like her, hallow and wanting, a brat of child in an adult woman’s body. I’d experienced the world in that year away and now there was a stagnancy that whittled away at me week by week. But I persisted in it, I worked and I planned and I dreamed and I conquered and soon, mid year, I was boarding a plane to my favoured side of the planet once more. There was a sense of loss on arrival, I was stuck between that “home” me and that home me, the heart place and the soul place. I was on the road again, a nomad again, unsettled, unburdened and it was a release I’ve never experienced before. The contrast to months of working back “home” was so startling I was at a loss as to how to accept the new path so unchartered in front of me. They say comfort tricks you into settling and it almost had me in that alien moment I touched ground in New Zealand. But I didn’t turn back.

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Instagram best nine (@nikkilrobson)

A new family came soon, they didn’t replace the dependable love of Newcastle or the nurturing dependency of Coffs Harbour, they were the wild things, the night owls. Ignited. That’s what it was, in Wellington I was myself with bells on. I just stopped caring. There was this imminent sense of self in those months and when I left the city and the safe support I’d earned there I kept that time with me in a way I failed too when I left Australia. In Wellington I had been completely alone, I’d listened to my intuition and I’d been selective about the company I kept. Only bright energy was allowed to surround me there and it supercharged me, prepared me for a departure from the first hand source. I couldn’t be more grateful for those people.

The South Island was a selfish time, I drank up the conversations with strangers that I partook in with purpose and certainty. The scenes were stolen from the pages of my precious adventure novels I swear. I was living in the fantasy worlds of my imaginations creation, only they were real and embracing me, a strange wild thing, an amalgamation of all the fierce women I’d read about and dreamed of being. For those three weeks my most craved reality was the life I was living. The euphoria of that is not something easily structured by words and I hold onto it now that I’m back in Newcastle again. But even this time at home is different, I’m strong in me. I don’t fear my reflection or the words that might spill from my mouth. I’m filled with conviction in my being. I believe in myself and because of this internal revolution seeing you go saddens me.

Globally you were a bit of a disaster, the plague of humanity managed to spread through the lives of it’s own “weakest” links and against compassion and integrity, two things we should value and let guide us above all else we looked to dictatorship and egotism to lead us. I hope in saying goodbye to you we can at least say goodbye to our tarnished unity, that we can build something admirable and peaceful in the coming months. The New Year is a cliched excuse for a new start but I just hope we can use an old tradition to bring new enlightenment. Maybe I’m a fool to believe in peace and unity but you’ve proven to me that I can work in my own space to make sure I’m surrounded by it wherever I go and if everyone makes that effort then there’s no chance that the world can resist it.

Thanks for your lessons,

your highs and your lows, 

Nikki xx