Archive for the ‘18. December 2012’ Category

Burns Supper!

Burns Supper!

It’s about time I write the last Impressive European Art Blog post as I have been back in Australia for 3 days already! Three days and it feels like weeks and a total dream.

So my last 6 days in Brighton were amazing, perfect really – apart from all the times I suddenly realised I was going home, leaving me to have spontaneous crying sessions, but they never lasted long and they always ended with cuddles and laughter. But the last week was amazing and I couldn’t have asked to have a better week as my last – I definitely feel like I left on a total high and a bang, leaving me with such positive and happy memories I smile as I think about Brighton and my (what feels like a dream now) life in Europe.

Going out for coffee with Emily...standard

Going out for coffee with Emily…standard

The view from one angle in Eden.

The view from one angle in Eden.

BRANDY!!

BRANDY!!

Our local beach in Eden on arrival.

Our local beach in Eden on arrival.

Packing struggles

Packing struggles

Dyke Road

Dyke Road

Roni's brands...

Roni’s brands…

Seth and Gabi

Seth and Gabi

Film clip ready!

Film clip ready!

Pretty Brighton

Pretty Brighton

Aly introducing the Haggis

Aly introducing the Haggis

Burns Supper

Burns Supper

So on Saturday when I arrived back to Brighton I went straight to Emily’s work for a beer, it was pouring with rain and I got totally drenched but it was so worth it. It was also my farewell party so after some food and a drink at home with Emily and Roni we went to the Marlborough to greet everyone for the last hurrah. It was a great night, we danced a lot, laughed and had a great time. It was so nice to see everyone and spend a happy night together.

On Sunday I had my farewell Burns supper at the Buddhist Centre. This was also lots of fun even though I wasn’t in fine form. We all read poetry and sung songs from our native countries. Aly made an amazing dinner and it was also a great night.

On Monday I basically relaxed and enjoyed our house. I went to the centre on Monday night to have the last Ngondro Mondays with Marushka and she cooked amazing food which we enjoyed eating together.

Tuesday was spontaneous creative day! Emily and I decided to make a film clip for my latest song and also record it. I haven’t made the film clip yet but watch this space. We managed to record the song and Frances sung the chorus and helped us fiddle with the sound. It was so much fun and a great creative time.

Then Seth and Gabi came over for tea and I went with them and Roni out for dinner at Emily’s work. There was a pub quiz on – one of my first ever, so we had to join in. We had a great laugh when we scored 0 points for the ‘what TV ad is this’ round as none of us own or even watch TV.

On Wednesday I had my final last half day at Aldrington. I went out with a bang – rapping my new song to the entire school at assembly! All the children were sad to see me go and I was very touched, I didn’t realise it would be so hard leaving that place. I got loads of cards and presents and all the kids and staff were very sweet – I had a great time there and I am really grateful to that school for their warm and open community and letting me (as a supply teacher) be a part of it.

Emily had a stomach bug on Tuesday night and was still very rough on Wednesday so I stayed home and took care of her. We made chicken soup and watched a movie – simple and sweet.

Thursday was my last day which meant the packing needed to begin to my dismay, but I got through it with no major dramas.

On Thursday night I went to the centre for the last time and gave a 10 minute talk. It was a sad happy occasion saying goodbye to everyone there as they really have been precious diamonds to me in my life in Brighton. They are amazing and the centre really is incredible and such a saviour. I will miss them all and that place but am so happy I got to contribute and be a part of it and I’ll be back one day!

After meditation I went to have a beer with Kendal and Marie – it was great to see him, such a happy man and then we all went to the Green Door store where they were playing depressing music which didn’t help my already emotionally vulnerable state. I managed to have a good time regardless but was feeling very emotionally vulnerable, as I already said. I had to say goodbye to lots of really close friends, who are amazing and I will miss very much, there were a few tears shed for sure.

Friday the day of my departure came and I had to say goodbye to Emily first thing in the morning, which left me balling my eyes out in Roni’s bed. But Roni being a clever women knew exactly how to cheer me up – with a quick round of the interpretive dance game.

Petr came over for tea which was really nice and then before I knew it the time had come to leave. Roni and I had a great day together which involved a bath and rubbing duck tennis and she came to the bus station and waited with me. She made me laugh and then cry as she serenaded me on the bench. Then the bus was there and I was on my way for adventure part 2.

I cried the entire way to the airport – 2 hours! It was epic, but it was sad, happy, grateful crying. At the airport I had way too much luggage so had to do some spontaneous re-packing and throwing away of items, but I managed.

Then all of a sudden I was  saying my last goodbyes and shedding my last tears and I was on board the plane. Because of the emotional and physical exhaustion I basically slept the entire way back to Australia. The whole trip basically went like this – watch a movie, sleep, eat, watch a movie, sleep, eat…..oh wow Sydney, HELLO!!!!

I was laughing a lot to myself on my arrival and everyone and everything sounded so familiarly funny!

Mum and Dad greeted me at Merimbula airport after 34 hours of travel and I shed a little tear of joy to see them again. I was blown away by the weather, the smell and the sound of all the birds!!! Australia really is a paradise and I had totally forgotten how beautiful it actually is. I totally cried when I saw Brandy and she recognised me and nuzzled in for a massive cuddle and then went straight to get one of her toys to bring me.

It is so good to be home, but the whole thing feels like a dream. My family are amazing and I am so lucky to have all of this and such generous  parents and I am so lucky that I got to have that time in Europe. I haven’t had an ounce of jet lag which is a blessing in itself.

So this is it. The last post of the Impressive European Art Blog that had nothing to do with art. I am so grateful for my time in Europe and all the amazing people I met that filled me with so much joy, inspiration, motivation and life experience. I will always treasure my year and a half a way and I know I will miss living in Brighton (Europe) and all the people, but they will all stay close to me and my memories and I look forward to returning in the future – whenever that may be. So thank you to everyone I met on the way and to all the people for reading this. May you all be filled with all the love, joy and happiness there is! Peace out.

 

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Fairy Tale Land

Fairy Tale Land

Morning in Fairytale land

Morning in Fairytale land

Super friendly cat!

Super friendly cat!

Snow Buddha and me

Snow Buddha and me

Group Karaoke

Group Karaoke

Housicles

Housicles

Snow Crocodile!

Snow Crocodile!

Snow swinging!

Snow swinging!

Snow Swinging!

Snow Swinging!

Chillin!

Chillin!

LACI!

LACI!

Charades!

Charades!

Biatta!

Biatta!

Snow Storm!

Snow Storm!

Leony post snow play!

Leony post snow play!

Laci in the kitchen!

Laci in the kitchen!

The Amazing view...again

The Amazing view…again

Coffee at the Bau Cafe anyone?

Coffee at the Bau Cafe anyone?

Snow angles!

Snow angles!

Keeping the Naked Lady Warm

Keeping the Naked Lady Warm

Skiing!

Skiing!

Wojtek!

Wojtek!

Happy skiing people!

Happy skiing people!

Wow! What a time I have had! Between 5 meditation sessions a day, playing and working in the snow, commenting on the snow, socialising with friends, making dinner, writing down stories of talking scorpions and eating food I have been busy! I have also become great friends with one of the cats as I call him ‘the super friendly cat’ – you can sometimes here me singing to him ‘super friendly cat’. I have managed to get into a really nice routine here and it goes a little something like this:

Wake up at 8.30 for 16th Karmapa meditation at 9am followed by breakfast. Then do something, meditate again (Diamond Mind), eat lunch, do something, meditate again (more Diamond Mind), have a break to do something, have a quick spontaneous dance party with Stephan in the Baucafe before 4pm Diamond Mind with Laci and Stephan at the Diamond Room . At 5pm it is time to cook dinner with Laci which is naturally followed by dinner and then at 8pm we have 16th Karmapa meditation again, which is followed by doing something before bed. I basically have done this for the last 6 days and it has been amazing!!! I am so grateful to all the people here for providing such amazing conditions to meditate, learn and grow together, share joy and get inspired. The activities I have done in between meditation and eating sessions are as followed (in chronological order for once!)

Sunday:
On Sunday night the main activity worth writing about was charades in the basement. We wanted to play a board game, but there aren’t many board games for 10 people so charades it was! Which proved to be a fantastic idea as it was hilarious and we all laughed a lot. The best impressions were Britta being Shrek, Biatta being Madonna and Christina with Inception and the way she chose to act it out was by sounds like ‘contraception’. We ended after this as it was unbeatable!

Monday:
On Monday I didn’t do much in my breaks as it was snowing like crazy! I have seriously never seen so much snow in my life and it just didn’t stop. It was like one snow storm after another! It was so beautiful to watch the snow covered objects change and grow with the increasing amounts on snow. There wasn’t really much to do outside in this weather so I got inspired and started writing down the stories of Jeremy the scorpion that Dad used to tell Hamish and me as kids. This was lots of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed getting stuck into the writing. I was tired on Monday night so basically after writing a bit more of my story I went to sleep.

Tuesday:
Even though it was still snowing I had no built up the courage to go and work in the snow! It was more because I was bored of sitting here watching it fall and I wanted to go and be a part of it! So I decided to go and build a snow trench! It wasn’t just a random snow trench; it was a snow trench with a purpose – otherwise known as a path. The path to the ice house had completely disappeared under snow so I spent an hour digging away at 1 metre deep snow! It was not surprisingly loads of fun! I also had my reunion in the kitchen with Laci and it was just like old times! I got to choose the music for the first hour and Laci for the second – Emily has given me loads of new music so it was lots of fun to explore this in the kitchen. However we always ended with Laci and his drum and bass pumping really loud.

On Tuesday evening I taught Ivet and Aiste how to play poker and we had a good game, it was hilarious actually. After this a few more people wanted to play something so we played a game of celebrity heads – great game.

Wednesday:
On Wednesday I went skiing!!!!!! Yes skiing!!! I woke up and the snow had stopped, the clouds had cleared the sun was rising over the mountain and it was literally like being in a fairy tale land, I was completely blown away! So when Wojtek (a professional ski instructor) suggested we try skiing I jumped at the opportunity. However I had a mission to complete before skiing for Sammy C. The mission involved snow swimming out to the naked lady and putting some clothes on her as he was probably cold. It was a great experience to trench through snow waist deep, but we completed our mission un-harmed!!!!

It had been over 10 years since I was on a pair of skis so felt very uneasy at first, but he couched me well and before I knew we had decided that I was going to ski all the way down the road. Wojtek ran alongside me as I screamed in joy and fear of falling over – but fall over I did not! It was SO much fun! At the bottom of the hill Wojtek decided to try and snow down the hill side – it was only semi successful as the snow was so deep but it was very amusing watching him clamber up with hill. After this I was exhausted and lunch was a welcome treat!

I cooked dinner again with Laci which was as always lovely and after dinner and meditation we had a centre meeting in the lounge and then generally just lounged around.

Thursday:
The arrival of Thursday brought another picture perfect day in EC and today’s snow activity was to build a snow Buddha. I spent about an hour making it, but was happy with the result at the end.

Thursday night was Karaoke night! Christina and I had decided that we needed to do Karaoke again before I go home as it was how we first bonded – whilst singing S and M with full energy about a year ago. It was karaoke like I have never experienced before – it was group karaoke. As we just had it on the TV with no microphone everyone just stood/danced around and joined in with nearly every song. It was such a great evening and with everyone having input we got a great mix and variety. Justin Bieber did come out with ‘Baby’ to do a and LuluMc also appeared spontaneously a number of times :P. It was such a great night and we danced and sang a lot and by the end of the night everyone’s voices were a little less smooth than before.

All the people who live here and that come to visit or from Immenstadt are all so joyful it is impossible not to laugh a lot and generally have a good time.

Friday:
On Friday the chosen snow sport/activity of the day was Snow Swinging! Christine and I ventured out to the half-buried swings, un-buried them and then went snow swinging for the next half hour. This involves swinging as high as you can and then jumping off to land in the soft snow. We needed some help from Laci to push us really high so we could ‘fly’ before landing! It was so much fun! I also built a snow crocodile…as you do.

It was also a bit of a solemn day on Friday as I had to say goodbye to some really close friends and basically wonderful people – but a very happy occasion as well because of the amazing time we had and I know I will see them again…just not when J

On Friday evening we all watched a movie together in the lounge, ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’. It was a very cute film with lots of laugh out loud moments. It was then time for more goodbyes and bed time.

This morning I woke up at 7am in the dark, got myself ready, made a packed lunch and then Stephan drove me to the airport, he is such a sweaty. I am now back in England and in 6 days I fly out to Australia…WHOA, crazy!

I am so happy I decided to go back to EC one last time before heading back home. I love every time I go there because every time is different and is equally as amazing. It is such a precious opportunity to be able to live in an atmosphere full of joy and inspiration, I am very touched and grateful!

Finally a quick fact:

Did you know that when it was snowing loads in Immenstadt, trucks came to put the snow in skips and then they took the skips full of snow to the fields to dump it, because there was so much! This is apparently normal procedure!

Emily!

Emily!

Brownies!

Brownies!

Good Morning EC!

Good Morning EC!

Hello snow!

Hello snow!

Brunch!

Brunch!

More brunch!

More brunch!

What a selection!

What a selection!

Stephan and Laci

Stephan and Laci

The only thing Emily wore all week!

The only thing Emily wore all week!

Helen!

Helen!

I have had a fantastic week and it is just getting better!

I spent the rest of the week in Brighton basically working and hanging at home and of course meditating and going to the centre. Emily and I did a mass sort/cull of her stuff – she brought a lot of stuff with her so it was a massive 3 day mission. To break up the epic clean and cull we had spontaneous silent dance parties (as the neighbours have very sensitive ears), made food, drank loads of tea and generally laughed a lot. I also have a new favourite TV show  – Parks and Recreation, it is hilarious; the main character just cracks me up!

The main reason we were doing a massive clean was not only to get rid of lots of Emily’s stuff but also because we wanted Roni to come home to a beautiful, clean homely house. To emphasise this we bought her flowers and made her triple chocolate chip brownies YUM!!!

On Friday night it was the Christmas party at A-ton school. I got a lift with Helen (total legend) and when we arrived at Stanmer Park we got fake snowed on at the entrance which was very exciting. The venue was very ritzy and the food was amazing. The secret santa hand out was hilarious and I got very lucky with who got me. As it was Della (also a legend) she got me a star to put on the Christmas tree, 5 laughing Buddhas and a funny fridge magnet. It was very funny though when the person next to me asked if there was any reason why…. I laughed to myself!

In the foyer there was a band playing and a few of the other teachers asked them if we could do Karaoke and they agreed so I volunteered to begin the show. Naturally I chose an appropriate Lucy song – Hey ya as I knew all the words, but naturally it ended with me freesytling about the school and what not, which was hilarious for most, a massive shock for the rest, but generally a lot of fun. I think they band were most shocked when the freestyling started, but they totally rocked it and let me have my time!

As soon as it finished it was time to leave (leaving on a high is the best), I got a lift all the way home with Della. At home I was greeted by happy Emily and Roni! I had enough time to have a cup of tea and some chats with them before it was time for me to part on my epic travel to the EC. Emily had made me some fried eggplant and a playlist for the trip –amazing.

I caught a bus at 1am to the airport, spent 3 hours at the airport. There were no free seats so I just lay down randomly on the floor and slept for an hour, I laughed at all the funny looks people gave me, but they didn’t bother me. I caught my flight at 7.20 – slept the entire way to wake up in shock just as I was landing in a field of snow! Well basically, the run way was clear but there was snow everywhere, it was a surreal experience as I kind of thought we might die as it felt very unnatural to be landing really fast in snow!

Stephan picked me up and took me to the EC. It felt so good to arrive, I felt all homely and warm inside. The EC really has become my second European home, it is more than a home though – I don’t know what word there is for a home being more than a home, but that is what it is here!

I was so tired as I basically didn’t sleep all during my travels and hadn’t had a lot of sleep during the week so I basically spent all yesterday sleeping – it was incredible! I woke up for about half an hour for lunch then went back to sleep to wake up just in time to get the last scraps of dinner, followed by group meditation and then half a movie before I went back to bed. I slept so well and so deeply… I was (am) so content.

This morning I woke up fully revived and back to my usual self! I woke up just in time for group medos this morning and then we had a Sunday winter brunch! There was so much food and it was amazing. I then meditated again and since have done this, skyped Jack and Mum and Dad and just generally I have enjoyed seeing and being with old and new friends in an amazing atmosphere!!

The Bride and Groom

The Bride and Groom

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

The happily married couple

The happily married couple

Our new wedding friend Asio

Our new wedding friend Asio

Brighton Sangha!

Brighton Sangha!

Fail jump shot!

Fail jump shot!

Priceless jump shot!

Priceless jump shot!

Dave and Linda making dinner

Dave and Linda making dinner

Pippy Luke Stockings

Pippy Luke Stockings

Moira, Dicky and Linda

Moira, Dicky and Linda

Farewell speach

Farewell speach

Last night antics!

Last night antics!

Cubistic Spider man!

Cubistic Spider man!

Toni's bday party!

Toni’s bday party!

At the wedding!

At the wedding!

With the Bride and Groom

With the Bride and Groom

Last flat supper

Last flat supper

Kendalllll!

Kendalllll!

Amazing Friends!

Amazing Friends!

Literally a lot has happened since my last post. For once I have had a lot to write about but because of this I haven’t written, crazy world! First and foremost I have been working loads which has been great – ok enough with that, lets talk about all the fun stuff that has been happening!

Firstly I’m going to briefly talk about Seth and Gabi’s wedding! The night before was bunting night at Giorgia’s to prepare for the next Traum Frau. This was lots of fun, I made a number of buntings all of which featured a big cat of some kind. We also busted out some ghetto freestyling unplugged and Lainey interpretively danced. Basically we all laughed a lot!

The next day was Seth and Gabi’s wedding, so after a quick meditation I was on my way….to the wrong venue! It was raining and luckily I got an awesome cabbi to take me to the right place and I arrived with 5 minutes to spare! It was a beautiful wedding, Seth was in a suit (enough said) and Gabi looked like an angle! The ceremony was short and sweet and it was at Brighton town hall. The reception was at a very classy hotel where they gave us cocktails on arrival, we then ate amazing food, made friends, drank wine and lots of water and took many photos and laughed a lot. We then went to a pub and danced and made friends, it was so nice to meet all their family and friends! Later I met up with Roni, Luke and Lainey for some quick dancing before going home to bed.

The next week was jam packed! Started on Monday with Ngondo Mondays and I cooked for Marie, Petr and myself and then more medos. On Tuesday night I went to the movies with Toni, Petr and one of Marie’s friends – yes we went to see Break Dawn part 2 and yes I loved it hehe. On Wednesday night I had my farewell dinner with my housemates, Kendal, Claire, Ayesha and myself. I made chorizo pasta for us, Kendal and Ayesha brought wine and Claire provided cheecake for dessert. It was a great night filled with meaningful conversations and then a spontaneous dance party – to two of my new favourite artists – The Lumineers (listening to them now) and Of Monsters and Men. Of course we put a few old school gangsta tunes in there! Thursday night was speed mister room packing and then medo as usual and then it was Friday! This week went by so quickly by the time Friday came along I could hardly believe it was my last night in my flat!!!!

On Friday I only had a mornings work so I spent the afternoon finishing packing my room. I then met up with Luke and Dave for coffee and then they helped me move most of my stuff to Roni’s house. Friday night first of all Toni and Colin surprised birthday party at the centre followed by the last Traum Frau for Luke, Dave and I. It was an art/mythical creature dress up party so I came as a collaboration of cubism and Spider man (interpretive). I had so much fun! I danced so much and thoroughly enjoyed the happy atmosphere. Roni really has done an amazing effort putting on Traum Frau every month.

On Saturday I moved the rest of my stuff and said goodbye to Regency Square – I felt so blessed to have found that flat so quickly and easily, it was the best flat and I am very grateful. But even though I was sad to leave it I was more excited to be moving in with Roni and Luke and Dave for their last few nights. On Saturday night it was Luke and Dave’s farewell so a few of their friends from London came down – Linda, Dicky, Moira and Ed,  great people, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Linda and Dicky and to spend more time with Moira and Ed! We went to a gypsy night at the Blind Tiger which was lots of fun.

We had to wait outside in the cold for about half an hour as Dave, Moira, Dicky and I caught a cab home but didn’t realise Luke had the keys – but not to worry the cold did us good and so we came inside and ate icecream!

On Sunday morning I caught up with Helen (from school) and met her boyfriend, who is really lovely. We had a lovely walk along the beach and then had amazing coffee together. On Sunday night Lainey came round and we all hung out together and enjoyed some quality time together. Dave made pie for dinner and then we all snuggled up and watched a movie.

On Monday Roni had to go back to Italy and it was Luke and Dave’s last night. So I made them dinner while they got ready and Emily moved in (she is taking Luke and Dave’s room), Emily is awesome. It was rather a solemn occasion as they were leaving on Tuesday, so we made face masks and danced to Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men – but silently as this apartment block has epic sound issues.

I had to work on Tuesday so Luke, Dave and Emily all woke up early and we all got to share breakfast together, and then I had to say goodbye. It was a sad-happy occasion. Sad because I will miss them for my last week and a half here as they have been such rocks to me and are basically amazing people and we share such joy together. Happy because of all the beautiful memories we have made and I will see them back in Australia and we will be able to reminisce and ‘…when we lived in Brighton together…’.

Last night I was tired and feeling a bit missing Luke and Dave in the flat so I made amazing soup for dinner and watched Homeward Bound – I had forgotten what an amazing film it is, but such a tear jerker! But luckily Emily came home and made me laugh. Tiredness is so funny.

So today I am feeling pretty great and excited about the future – but also a bit sad as it’s all coming to an end, but such an exciting end as I have so much on and am leaving in 2 weeks and 2 days. Lainey came over for tea after work and then I made some dinner and now I am just sitting here, chilling listening to the Lumineers. I am excited as on Friday I have the Christmas Party for A-town school (being discrete hehe) and then I leave on an epic adventure to Standsted airport and then I am flying to the snow covered EC for a week! Oh I forgot to mention something exciting that happened today…it snowed in Brighton!! I even got to walk the kids through the snow, which was exciting – nothing settled but it was very pretty! And then when I return from EC I only have 6 days left of Brighton and then I am also on a plane back to Australia….whoa!!!!

Oh I also forgot to mention we had this hilarious time at the centre last Thursday as we were taking a photo of the Sangha, which turned into us all taking group jump shots which was hilarious! I love Brighton Sangha, they are the most amazing gift and I am so so so grateful to all of them!