Slowing Down and Inhaling the Blues

9 am. The driver is here. They gave me a seat at the front. I am the only one travelling without a friend. So happy. Will be able to take pictures through the window. It’s so hot. Why isn’t he putting an air conditioner on? I am sweating. The driver says another 3 hours to…

£4000 for Golden Yarn

How do I know he’s the one? The golden yarn for my dress was shipped all the way from Pakistan. He said I would not need to work unless really bored. I hope my mother in law loves me and doesn’t criticise my cooking. What about my aunties, friends and sisters? My old father would probably…

Crazy Cat Lady

‘Quick! Where is my phone? You’ve got cats!’ ‘Don’t worry, they are not going anywhere them cats.’ ‘How do you know?’ ‘They come here often.’ ‘I bet you feed them.’ ‘Maybe. Let me see if there’s some fish left from that pasta.’ ‘You are crazy!’ ‘Do you want to let them in? What’s the time?…

We Need Each Other

‘Why would you get a projector if you are sleeping on the floor? You eat rice three times a day.’ Little did I understand what was important during my first volunteering days in Cambodia. A week passed by and I found myself sleeping on the bamboo mat, eating rice three times a day and indulging…

Leaving My Yellow Dressing Gown Behind

Monday morning. 8.40 AM. I am here. Too early. I press the buzz. They let me in. We exchange polite smiles and “you all rights”. Is that my manager? What a relief. I am not the first one. He looks about twelve. Is that my colleague or my grandchild? I am told we can help…

Speak Up When Hurt. Save a Life

I am sitting and crying my heart out. ‘Nice dress. Are you wearing knickers?’ he asks. ‘Excuse me?’ I freeze and look around. All these certificates framing his accomplishments. Am I just being dramatic and making it all up to spice up my life. Then he looks through my file, says I need help and…

You Are Mad Not to Believe in Magic

Once upon a time there lived Claus. Claus was loving, kind and jolly. He gave the best hugs in the world. His mulled wine was to die for. He loved to keep himself busy. Christmas mornings Clause spent making future plans. He did not do that to distract himself or fight the loneliness. He did it…

If You Could Do Anything What Would You Do?

My Google photos ‘Rediscover this day’ notifications is the biggest joy and pain in the a**. Nothing like being stuck at a freezing train station after a long day at work and getting an update on where you were this time last year. I went to Sapa, Vietnam. Nostalgia for my wanderlust. I am torn every single day…

Authentic Travel Expectations Crushed

Two days in bed. My stomach, the same one I thought could digest rocks, cried for help after having the most delicious curry in Myanmar. We had to cancel our boat trip. They were kind and let us cruise through Inle Lake when our cry for help hugging toilets stopped. We started out trip just before the…

Calling off Sick When Your Soul Hurts. Embracing Mental Health

Suicide / Self Harm: Yes Violence: Yes Neglect/ Vulnerability: Yes Falls: No Risk Screen – Please describe the risks identified in the assessment. Past history of overdosing once with sleeping tablets. She said she can become aggressive towards her husband when she feels elated. Service user strengths, needs and expectations. Strengths: she said she used…

For the Lovers of Extraordinary. Greek Wander

Do you get stuck? I do. Trapped in an imaginary world of problems. Making failure plans and having nothing to look forward to. Misery can be so tiring. Why would anyone choose to feel that way? Then the imaginary happens and you snap out of it. I hope you do. Travel pictures always bring light…

Help when Helpless. Story About a Stranger

I should not be walking all by myself in this area. It is not safe. Way too dark, but it is a beautiful night. New Bridget Jones film followed by discussions about Kanye West’s Fade video, a sperm donor app, mango flavoured chicken and insanely sweet chocolate cake finale. 2 minutes and I will be home….