Reflections on a lazy day off.

Sometimes, on those rainy days where I finally get an excuse to spend a day at home doing nothing besides eating, napping and watching TV – you know, the ones that you are just your lazy self, no plans, no intentions on going anywhere (unless there’s no food in the house), catching up on series and movies, or just playing XBox and reading – without having anyone to judge for wishing your life away because ‘God forbid I waste a day doing nothing with such a wonderful life waiting!’. Familiar with the feeling?

Yes, me too.

Truth is, I work in hospitality. My days are spent running between the two properties I manage, keeping staff in good spirits, guests happy and making sure the potential big problems don’t happen because action plans are in place in case something big goes down. Not that this always works – when you get to a certain point in your life, you always have to be counting on the plans b and c to be right up your sleeve, ready to salvage whatever they can for the day.

In the meantime, I have to always have a prepared justification for this and that for the big bosses in case I get a surprise question. I have an unhappy guest and I constantly try to think up of two or three options to give them in case I cannot solve the issues straight away. I go on with my projects and try to deliver them on time. I deal with my own restless nights and coffee infused mornings because sometimes, the sun just isn’t shining the way it should.

Needless to say, my home is the the place where I get out of the working suit, put on my PJ’s and try as hard as I can not to reply to my emails unless they’re urgent, take hot showers to clear my head. Wipe the signature smile of my face and get on with my things.

I am a customer service minded person. Besides the curtain orders, team motivation meetings, finance and budgeting and all that comes with my job, I am, in simple, a person that likes to host, make sure others are happy and well looked after. My days are so filled with other peoples’ problems that coming home is what a Yoga class must feel like to a free spirited person.

So, excuse me if 4 out of 6 times, I just want to be with myself.

As I get older, I see more and more these motivational phrases that life is to be enjoyed, don’t be at home all the time… I get it; we only in this earth once. We have to make the most of it.

But I believe a balance is needed. You don’t have to go out every weekend to prove to others and yourself that you are making the most of it.

You are allowed to have days for yourself. Days where you put music on and clean the bathroom on your underwear. Days where you move from the bed to the couch.

And that is okay. I mean, if all your off days are like this, sure, you should see someone because you might be suffering from a more emotional issue. But in a balanced way… You are fine. It is fine.

I am not sure if it is because I am entering the 30’s soon – yikes! But a lot of my friends are making a point of showing how great they are at living life. Every weekend, no exception, they will be posting a very motivational picture with a life changing quote and very creative hashtag, But you know what? I bet they are doing this in their home clothes eating a bowl of pasta.

Some days you get up and go for a run in the park, other days the most productive thing you will do is bake a cake. Some times you will be super productive and go on a city break, new restaurant, a play and you will feel very cosmopolitan. Other days it will be a victory to know if you washed your face or not in the morning. And that is fine.

Days for yourself are okay. We all need to recharge. Don’t be afraid to waste a few days doing something you love alone just because it isn’t seen as socially worthwile. As long as it is valuable to you, to your state of mind, it is enough.

Enjoy the days off!glfcydo

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An outsiders view ~

Living in London has its perks.

Being a metropolis and a cultural capital of the world, you literally have everything on your doorstep.

You have theaters, shows, museums, endless pop-ups (markets, restaurants, you name it), fairs, celebrations, events, cocktails on some rooftop….

But the thing is, when you actually live here, sometimes you get so caught up in your work life and yourself that you forget this city has all this and more to offer. Yes, London is very cosmopolitan, full of vibrant people and interesting places and activities but from time to time you sort of forget. For example… when do you, that live either on a small town or village or a huge city, go sightseeing? When do you go out, for the sake of it and be a tourist in your own home place?

You are so used to it being there. So close, just outside your door that you take it for granted. And then you stop going to the city center just because technically you can go there any  time you want. However, work is on the other direction, you you just pass by while watching funny videos on Youtube on your commute and it competently passes you by.

 

This happened to me. Like it does to all of us. But then, last week my parents were week. And boy, did I miss my health app to count my steps!

It was fantastic. I forgot what was seeing this city through the eyes of someone that does not live here. My parents, albeit of some age, they are used to travel. They were born in South Africa from Portuguese emigrants. Moved back to Portugal. Their honeymoon was a road-trip through Europe. They didn’t give us a lot of expensive gifts, instead they would take us travelling. Spain, France, Africa, all through Portugal, etc,… So they are more than used to travelling. But still, they were impressed. With the size of the buildings, the size of the city. The amount of bridges. The number of people. The speed of the tube and the number of lines it has.

I forgot how beautiful Southbank is on a sunny afternoon. All the street artists. The music. The street food. The people. The vintage fairs, the shows, the energy, the love I have for it.

Yes, it is hard over here. You work way too many hours, your friends live 1 hour and a half away even though they are in the same city. But then, you have sun over St Pauls and you are in comfy shoes crossing the Millenium Bridge and suddenly, it does not seem so gloomy.

Truth is, I do have a lot to thank for here. And I have to thank my parents for reminding me that.

So go out, explore and fall in love to where you live!

 

Claudia x

Oops, I did it again!

I honestly do not know what is wrong with me.

Sometimes I want to have a famous international blog and work from home on the web writing about whatever crosses my mind.

Other times I don’t open this blog for two months – i.e. what happened just now.

Why is it that I have loads of ideas and then, I never go through with them. I start new projects, I forget about them.

Wanted to  start a Facebook page, never did. Wanted to take my drivers licence; got the book for the theory test; never opened it.

Started writing my story, with a cat with a great name; kind know where it is going, never bothered doing it.

Bought some canvas and oil paint; only painted once.

is this some kind of syndrome? Or am I just lazy?

Am I creative but have no ability? Maybe I’m not even creative and just decided I am better than average for some reason.

I need to find a niche. Something to love and be passionate about.

Tough life, eh?

 

Anyway, sorry about the rant but I just wanted to say – to anyone that wants to know – that I am alive.

Have a great week everyone and enjoy the cute giraffes!

Claudia x

Eat, don’t eat, eat….

You know, I have always struggled with my weight. And no, I am not going to write about my transformation and how I got super healthy- crossfit lover- 6am jogger kind of thing. mainly because I am neither. I am big. Too big to be considered healthy. I am overweight. Always have been.

But you see, I love food. Just like most of all of us do. How many people are in constant diets? Yo-yo dieters. Calorie counting obsessive?

Too many. I go about saying: I have to diet just to keep my weight from going up! Because believe me, if I allowed y self to eat whatever I want whenever I wanted, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed. The NHS would consider me morbidly obese and give me some kind of benefit – now that I think about it, doesn’t even sound that bad, ah!

I had successful diets. But truly, that is not what they are. It is proportional eating. Healthy controlled way of life. Too boring for me. Why can’t I be allowed to have a burger when I want without feeling bad? People would see me and be like: that’s why you’re fat. How would they know that is actually my first burger in months? The same with chocolate. Or fizzy drinks. Or just a huge plate of food.

One thing I have going for me is that I am not that big of a fan of fast food. Or snacking. Or even desserts (cheesecake not withstanding!!!). No, what I like is plenty of starters and a plate of food that, judged by nutritionists and health enthusiasts, would be enough for 3 people.

So I know where my problem is. Why don’t I do anything about it? It is will power. It’s lack of regulation.

Similarly I hate the gym, so I get excuses not to go. And yes, some people get addicted. I never looked good enough to like what is in the mirror. Mind you, I still go. Dutifully twice to three times a week. Always feel like dying at the end. There will be the day that I feel happy when I leave the gym with my first thought being: so, what’s for lunch?

The thing is: I don’t want to die of an heart attack. So that is why I go running and cycling. To keep my heart strong enough to handle my eating.

Anyway I lost my way a bit; point is I loose weight enough to notice it and guess how I celebrate? That is right. Big party dinner full of red meat and carbs! I can take it. I know I can loose it.

Don’t get me wrong. I am fat. And even though I convince myself I ain’t that bad because I stay away from fast food, I know that even though the food I cook can is healthy, I eat way too much in one go.

And that is how I go about my life. Half healthy, half completely savage. It is wrong. But someday I want to eat fruit and salads and other days I want to eat that steak. And I want it with fries!

You only live once is a two edge stick, isn’t it?

Claudia x

~ The Begining ~

Not all lives are worth writing about.

Nicholas Hawtrey believed that and he certainly didn’t think his was out of the ordinary. He lived a plain, happy life. Imagine the discomfort of all the drama people nowadays have the need to have in their life. To make it more interesting, more juicy. For Mr. Hawtrey that just meant more headache and he did not need that, thank you very much.

What Mr. Hawtrey did not consider was that drama only has the importance each individual allows it to. That is maybe why he never gave a second thought to how funny it was that Archibald – Mr Hawtrey’s ginger cat – only had one eye and looked at you always seeming confused. Mr. Hawtrey never paid attention to the amount of time Archibald spends looking out of the window, always in a daze following the seagulls fly around or how he always leaned on the walls while wandering around the house.

That was probably why he never followed the cat’s stare towards the shed. If he had he would have realized that Richard had been sort of living there for the past week and a half. Richard was a 8 year old neighbour, son of Mrs. Harrison and the affair that she had had a few years ago with Anthony Roberts, the local baker. Mr. Hawtrey found this very dramatic and always bid good-bye when the neighbours started talking about that.

Mr. Hawtrey liked the boy though. He enjoyed when he rang his doorbell selling cookies from school and asked him for help for his maths schoolwork. The thing is, Mr. Hawtrey was a genius. At least that is what it had been said in the magazines years and years ago when his papers were published.

The life of a mathematician was not a glamorous one, thank God, thought Mr. Hawtrey. He could not even begin to think what a hassle it would be if he had people following him. He ignored letters. He also ignored the constant requests for a biography. Yes, he had discovered important formulas that helped shape the internet as we know it. Or decode international codes during the war. But how dreadful it would have been to have people constantly trying to talk to you.

Mr. Hawtrey taught in the University of Oxford for several years and was happy with such job. He would go to class, people would hear him for an hour and a half, solve problems and no big thinking was needed or wanted. Mr. Hawtrey had thought long and hard earlier in his life. For now he wanted the relaxation his age was due.

On that morning, Archibald had been on edge. Not your usual leg rubbing and noise making. The damn cat kept moving back and forward between the sitting room and the kitchen door. Mr. Hawtrey found this funny at first but after a few hours of interrupted news reading he got curious.

– What is it, Archie? Why is your tail going crazy? You’re not a dog, go mind your own life as you should and stop asking for attention!

Archibald huffed as if knowing he was being told off and meow’d lowly going back to the door watching.

Mr. Hawtrey got up from his big chair and put the kettle on, thinking he would just let the cat out and be back just in time for the water to boil.

Imagine Mr. Hawtrey’s surprise when he saw his shed light on ‘Have I forgotten about it?’, he thought ‘Certainly not!’. It was true, Mr. Hawtrey always checked the lights. Or the stove. Or power sockets. You can never be too careful.

Mr. Hawtrey grabbed the hose and was ready for what he might encounter.

– Mr. Hawtrey?

– Richard? What are you doing here boy?

Richard came out of the shed wearing his yellow wellies and blue t-shirt wrapped in a red blanket.

– Mr. Hawtrey, I have a problem.

– Good thing I have the kettle boiling. Come on in, you’re upsetting Archie.

 

______________________________________________

Let me know what you think and hope you want to know what troubled Richard.

Claudia x

Author’s note pt.2 ~

Lately I haver been playing with the idea of starting to write something. I already know my opening sentence. Don’t know if it is any good but it keeps coming back to me when I am doing the most random things; commuting to work, cooking, watching television….

I don’t know if I am any good and I definitely have no idea if it will go beyond the first lines.

However, I feel like I should give it a shot. I can’t tell you which direction it’s going to take, but I feel it’s a family story, a sort of biography of some imaginary figment from my head.

For some reason, I kind of want them to be French. I want to write about someone. Some extraordinary adventure. Someone’s life and wants a hardship.

I am aware it has been done time and time again, but, there is something here and, even if I never finish and this happens to just be a passing idea or maybe it’s nothing. Maybe I’ll be tired or forget about it entire. Maybe, it is just a new year idea – that something new has to start. Maybe. Still worth peeling. For me.

I will try and make sense of my thoughts. So I will open a new Category on my blog. Yes, there will still be random posts of whatever comes into my mind, but from now on ‘The Process of Writing’ will be a spinoff of this place. I will start with ideas or chapters or just random drafts. Hopefully, somewhere down the line something resembling a book, a story, an adventure will come out of it. And if I wish really, really hard, just maybe, it won’t be too bad.

 

So bear with me, read it (and hopefully) enjoy it.tumblr_n615rb37ZJ1txyizko1_500

 

Claudia x