Mount Moments 09…

 

 

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12.06.18

Meditation. Focus on breath and body, those two components as a unity. A gentle practice but with unruly, forced intentions. I urge it to fix me. When it gets to the moment when my guide suggests I allow my mind to wander where it likes, I’m taken to a green meadow scattered with blossoms, an array of colours against a healthy green. It isn’t a tame lawn but a wild garden. I’m younger here, sprawled on my back in the midst of it all, all alone but content in the solitude, bathed in the warmth of the setting sun.

So this is where my mind wishes to reside? A reprieve from the hurricane thoughts I subject it to, soaking up the serenity I deprive it of. It doesn’t matter how much I push for that control I just cannot attain it, and the realisation of that swells in my chest, my careful breathing falls erratic and tears emerge from some shuttered space inside. It hurts me some, that I’m the one damaging myself whilst being the only one who can save myself.

15.06.18

Another adventure with El. A bundle of laughs but a lot of heart opening too. I need to get a handle on that, I’m anxious I’m becoming a bit of a burden to be around. But these people, just strangers three months ago, can’t even begin to understand the security I feel, admitting my darkness and catching a sweet glimpse of release. People hold so much power, even when they don’t realise it.

17.06.18

Paula retells her engagement with the sweetest of indulgence. There’s something timid about it, like it takes a lot for her to share this precious moment and I hang on every word she says. She’s sun kissed from her time on the island sure, but the blissful expression is something else entirely. A fraction more warmth, a little bit subdued. Paula is a romantic. gentle and kind and someone maybe a little too good for most people in this world. But it’s that tenderness that makes you triumphant that good things are happening for her, she deserves all of the pleasures in life.

18.06.18

We discuss energy and presence and manifesting your dreams like it’s small talk. I’ve known Paige for barely anytime at all, yet we discuss elements of life I barely even touch upon with life long friends. It’s odd to me that Paige doesn’t see the world as a ruthless place arranged by obstacles but instead a challenge of a platform from which we can communicate strength to mend each other in unity and conjure some kind of equilibrium. She’s a careful and grounded structure to my restless flighty one, a beacon of wisdom in this riot of obscurity.

Light & Love, N x

Mount Moments 08…

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21.05.18

Summer lingers in licks of sun kissed skin,  layers hang uncomfortably on the stubborn bodies of the suns children but the morning air is crisp now. Autumn is gentle in her arrival, aware of the bleakness her time foreshadows. But she knows her time has come as she approaches us shyly, nervous of our reception.

24.05.18

I might be aright in a new place. I should move. I need to move.

09.06.18

Today I feel so in flow. My energy is in tandem with the day. Work with the girls, those light smiles and delightful conversations. You forget, sometimes, the power of getting the music right when the weather is right and the energy is right. Sun shining from morning til evening, cheesy nineties hits, a good mug of coffee and a steady flow of lovely customers. In this I find my happiness, such an easy thing to ask for yet so rare. Even the unavoidable loneliness of the evening brings its own charms, a recharging vinyasa flow, the space and time to cook in the kitchen, the discovery of a new favourite album. And all the while anxiety buds somewhere deep within,  it’s gripe is with the fragility of happiness, the inevitability of a downward spiral and I do my best not to allow it to beat me.

10.06.18

You’ve got a soul that craves the whole world not just a corner of it. A spirit that creates chaos because it knows its worth. There’s something cosmic in your make up, so lively that it rejects the norm and pushes you toward the peculiar. This human world is built on the wild notions of individuals, so why should you disregard your own? It’s not valuable to be one specific thing, not valuable at all to be just one more person doing what everyone else does. And in this life it’s exhausting to defend yourself to the ignorant ones but its oh so important to persist regardless.

Light & Love, N xx

Pieces of: Lake Tekapo…

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Lake Tekapo was always just a stopover place when I was planning the South Island, a moment to gather myself between the lively scene of Queenstown and the end of the route in Christchurch. In fact, it ended up being, like many of the smaller stops on the way, one of the most memorable. I suppose it has to do with limiting your expectations. As a daydreamer and a romanticist I tend to put too much hype in the way of future plans. Lake Tekapo didn’t strike me as spectacular so all it could really do was surpass that and surpass it indeed it did.

I make friends with another solo female traveller on the bus between Queenstown and Tekapo. An intimidating look sets on her face and I’m apprehensive to start up conversation on the drive. She speaks first though and she’s bloody hilarious, a girl from Finland roaming around a couple countries before she devotes herself to the army back home. We clamber up Mount John, a small forty five minute hike, and chat like we’ve known each other for years. We even scout out vegan food in the village together and are reluctant in our farewells in Christchurch, just the next day.

The scene of it all is something magical all on its own and you’d think that by this stage I’d be over the remarkable natural treasures of the South but nope, each stop has something that sets it apart from the others. Here it’s the sprays of Russell Lupine’s, a wildflower that has quick become my favourite and one I’ve only spotted here in New Zealand, blooming around the still glassy surface of the Lake. Up on Mount John’s peak we take in the full view of Tekapo, tones of purple, pink and turquoise, accented in that lush evergreen that trademarks these lands for me. There’s an observatory up top which we both skipped out on. As with most activities here, it’s pretty pricey and we fancy a free, mellow, star show by the lake later anyways.

On the drive in, our tour guide gets us all stoked for clear skies filled with constellations. For most of the night we aren’t at all fortunate and everything is instead blotted out by thick clouds. Luckily after a restless couple hours trying to sleep on a squeaky bunk, I get up and go for a walk in the early morning hours, I’ve never been so grateful for a sleepless night. Of course I didn’t have my camera with me and it’s not like it would have captured the site all to well anyways. But the sky was filled with stars. I grew up in a city and other than a couple camping trips where the light pollution was left behind, I’ve not had such an opportunity to really see them. It frustrates me some, that such a simple sight, should be so rare but simultaneously renders me speechless that such a small moment could leave such an imprint on me.

Light and love, N x

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Mount Moments 04…

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04.03.18

The breeze whispers memories around her in nostalgic tongues. Her body synchronises itself with the feeling of them even though who she is now is a foreigner to their meanings. The ends of summers, rolling through tall grass, staining a too pretty sundress. Daisy chains twisted into a crown, queen of fragile innocence. That same calming air closing in around her as the summer sun fades, a premature tickle of Autumn coating the twilight.

06.03.18

Some things never change. Like the grip of word formations on my little escapist heart. Crying at a made up moment between fictional people in a public space and feeling, not silly, but warmed by it. Warmed by the easy sorcery of it. The pages of books have always been my haven, a fortress catering for my wildness. Even in those bleak weeks when I was forced to stay stagnant, restless and kept. The words built a door to escape.

07.03.18

Perhaps this is my madness…

Standing on the brink of ambiguity at the surrender of that mystic caress. Playful trails through my matted hair, seductive down my weary arms, all touches teasing like a charming lover. Is this self destruction? To feel trust instead of violation, to fall willingly into its wayward constitution. But I see my likeness in those wild wiles, a home in the madness.

20.03.18

I recognise the gruffness in the twang of Northern dialect in the elderly man. “Where are you from?”

“Ah, Auckland these days but originally Morpeth, North East of England.” It doesn’t matter how long I’m away from home or how much isolation I felt growing up there, I smile warmly at the man and respond eagerly.

“I thought I recognised that accent! I’m from Newcastle.” He joins in with my grin and yells over to his wife.

“This ones a Geordie Lizzie, think we should trust her?” Lizzie laughs and Richard introduces himself properly. We chat for a little while and I find myself straining to hear the two converse as I potter around the cafe. The warming lull of the roughness, the yearning in my chest.

I find that I miss “home” more and more these days but still I have no real intention to return. It’s more a dislike toward a former self for training so hard in mellowing the accent and turning away from my youth and my heritage like it’s something to be ashamed of. My background isn’t all shiny privilege and a high class upbringing. It’s working class determination and the compassion of knowing the struggles of others. It’s knowing the unconditional love of two devoted parents who gave me everything when they had nothing, who showed me everyday that I was worth more than what society said I was, that I could do anything despite my circumstance.

Richard and Lizzie leave me their phone number in case I ever find myself in Auckland or a tricky situation where I might need a safe place to lay my head. As they leave my eyes water a little and I’m left with that tangible buzz of belonging. That echo of northern camaraderie.

Light and love, N x

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Hobbiton…

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IMG_2416“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” IMG_2203IMG_2160“Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?” OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Just a bit daft

This is a little bit of a fun one. A once in a life opportunity to be catapulted into one of my most treasured fantastical worlds. Little Hobbit homes on lush green hills, rolling just like Tolkien described. Huge, cinderella pumpkins and budding blooms in pops of vitality. The tour is annoying, like a school trip, everybody overcrowds to get that photo and even take pictures of me and my friends as we act silly in our giddy amazement. It’s still worth it, all of the touristy frustration is okay because this is Hobbiton and this is a very real enchantment. I think I suppressed my expectations for the week building up to the trip. It had been on my bucket list forever and was the first thing I wanted to see on my arrival in New Zealand. Granted it was overpriced and you didn’t get nearly enough time there but it’s just one of those things that’s such a treat if you’re even a little bit into Lord of the Rings. And so much effort went into that movie, the things you learn about the set and the design; individually painted leaves, smaller and bigger Hobbit holes to allude to size difference and the importing of specific cattle and tree types to get Tolkiens world just right. It’s a testament to the whole team behind the series to have this permanent piece of their hard work here.

“May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.”

Light, love and the courage to adventure, N x

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Pieces of: Queenstown…

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Queenstown is the backpacker capital of New Zealand. It’s got all of the hikes, water sports, the infamous bungy and of course the wild nightlife. It’s a perfectly fun place to visit…for a couple of days. This is where the strain of being on a guided tour kicked in. I’d based my whole South Island trip on research alone, with an allotted amount of time, before an already booked flight back to England, I’d made a, very unlike me, itinerary. The whole thing was based on the experiences of friends and countless hours of research, so of course Queenstown came out on top.

In the end I had four days there and not all that much to fill them with. The bungy jump had never really appealed to me, I love adrenaline but having to stare over the edge and then throw myself off of a very high platform did nothing at all for my excitement levels and everything for my anxiety. People who had done it gave very mixed reviews and I’d already done my lifelong bucket list goal in Wanaka (read all about my sky dive HERE) so in the end I passed on the whole bungy hype. I don’t regret it by the way, a lot of people have asked me that since.

Other than that there are smaller activities around, the luge gets a good write up, as does the jet boat and the parasailing but I was just over it by then. Overall I’d spent a lot of time, and funds, on activities in the previous stops and nothing in Queenstown really got the blood pumping. It is very touristy, too many people for such a small town. And whilst the atmosphere was thrilling, everyone was putting so much pressure on doing stuff that it sort of sucked the fun right out of it. Not to mention the prices of some of the stuff was just daft. So I did some treks, some sunbathing and some partying and called my time there ‘vacation mode’. I ate a lot of vegan cake and drank a lot of coffees too. It wasn’t a bad time at all, I made some mint memories with some good people but I just wished I’d planned more time in Wanaka and Abel Tasman.

If you are more of the thrill seeking, do absolutely everything possible, type then you will love Queenstown. It’s activity central and the nomads hostel there is a proper good hub for meeting people to do stuff with. Great for my fellow lone wolves out there who sometimes need to grab a group for those group only excursions. But I do feel I have to be honest and say it was by no means my favourite stop, not even close really.

Light and love, N x

Mount Moments 03…

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10/02/2018

My dreams have morphed into the terrors again. The sleep paralysis that echoed through childhood, teen hood, adulthood. Like ice on my skin, eyes on me, hands on me, my mind trapped in another plane, aware so much of the phantom beings lingering just beyond my reach. One grabs my throat, another creeps up my body beneath the sheets, in the corner she stands, completely still, but throws unnatural energy at my paralysed body, a child runs up the mattress beside me, whispers in my ear, stirs the hair there. It isn’t new, its familiar. I take comfort in my nightmares. Latch on to the adrenaline of the terrorising. Work the half awake state into dribbles of awful poetry. It’s been happening for nights on end. But I want it to happen, in some sick self torment, I crave being frightened. Crave feeling something. How disturbing is that?

13/02/2018

Loneliness has tender fingers, skilled at subduing you, softly, over time. Bit by bit I just feel hollow, aware in moments, but fleeting. Loneliness is me and I’ve resigned to rooting myself in it. It’s like the universe has sentenced me to myself.

14/02/1018

Two drinks down and my nerves are submerged in the liquor. My tongue is lose, my wit a dagger, swift and hitting the mark. We play ‘never have I ever’ around the table of a bar. Not a half hour earlier I tripped up over my order, rehearsed efficiently over and over in my head whilst we waited in line, I could feel my eyes doing the deer in a headlight act and my cheeks flamed as I forced myself to make normal eye contact with the cute bartender. Now I am lightning, unashamed of my tame and uncertain self but happy to divulge whatever naughty parts of me I keep well hidden. The mystery is unraveled between sips of ale and laughter with company that I might just be allowing myself to trust. Let’s pretend it won’t make me nauseous to replay the words, clumsily spoken tonight, in the morning.

24/02/2018

Mostly, these days, I’m living in moments of contentedness, between wicked snips of anxiousness brutal enough to crumble it all but I won’t let them. Here, I’m in the careful hold of Mother Nature and I feel cared for. The sunshine embracing me, the mountain shielding me, my bare feet on the ocean packed sand grounding me. I’m so grateful to have the homecoming of the tide, regardless of the geographical location. So lucky to have that reminder of vastness, limitlessness, a certainty of all that’s greater than me.

This tiny town may not offer many other distractions but it does provide me steady comfort. Some time to breathe and some time to indulge in a simple life. A life dreamt up by a younger self, longed for so ardently. Here there is time to read and to write and to create. Time to be alone. If only I could teach myself to be alone again. But I will…I am. Slowly during long evenings at the beach with my book and the play of the waves and the plain, too often overlooked, gratitude at having even made it to this point in my life, and more so making it here at all. All alone, by my own means, I made it to this random place I’d never heard of before I set foot in New Zealand. I’m in New Zealand. And my god if I’m not in awe of myself and all I do, all the courage and commitment I throw into living my life on my terms despite that part of me set up for self destruction.

Love, light and wild courage, N x