26 June 2016

A little note to my dear EU friends...

Goodness me! I can't let this huge change in our country pass by without mentioning it on my blog in my own mumbling, simpleton way ; )

I just wanted to communicate to the rest of the world, how I feel...because I feel somewhat ashamed of the direction in which the UK is going. In fact there may not even be a UK for much longer, which totally scares me.

I'm not much of a political person. I never thought I'd say that I am proud of this country.

I was born and grew up on the Isle of Wight, until I was 18 years old, I met very few people from other cultures, even the tourists back then were mostly northern white Brits.

I loved going to London when I was young, the vibe and the energy was like a magnet to me. People were all different and wore amazing clothes. Driving through Brixton with the music and wafts of foods and exhaust fumes seeping through the windows was so fascinating.

I moved to London in my early 20s and lived in an eight roomed shared house in Camberwell. I lived in that house for five years, with housemates changing regularly, I lived with so many different nationalities!

I learnt SO much about myself, the world and what I liked about the Britain that I used to detest as a teenager.
Next to our house was a corner shop where I used to scrape up my meagre wage to buy dinner each night and buy my travel card to get to work. It was run by two Sri Lankan brothers, and we all became good friends and I loved asking them about their life back home, why they were here and what they thought of Britain.
'It's freedom, we feel safe here, and everybody gets on' they would say, and it made me feel all proud and gooey at 22 years old.
Next door to the corner shop was the Indian Takeaway, I frequented this place a lot too, on days that I felt particularly flush (payday). My first taste of Indian food was from here and (being a veggie) my brain almost burst with the wonderful flavours happening in my mouth!
They also employed a young Thai man who cooked up mouth watering Thai food, wow! How lucky we are in the UK I thought.

I lived in London for about 15 years, my main adult life, it shaped how I am. If I had lived my whole life on the Isle of Wight, I don't know if I would have become the person that I am now?

So many of my friends are from other EU countries that I struggle to think of even a few who are actually born here.
Yet we could enjoy a Sunday down the pub, having a roast lunch, with five or six different nationalities. All enjoying the ambiance and the general pub banter, fluently, in English and with an understanding of the English language that would leave a lot of British born speakers behind (including myself). I learnt a lot about Europe, and I felt European.
I absorbed a lot of their positivity about Britain.

Those friends have been working in medicine, the arts, architecture, mental health, financial sector, freelancers, small business owners and education. Contributing so much to the country they loved enough to leave their own for.

The EU to me is a whole lot more important than just the economy. It symbolises a commitment to be International, integrated and a free and kind nation of people who want to help others and work together, and in return, benefit from the rich diverse culture that has now evolved.

Our own little internet business can sell and send parcels to any country in the EU as easy and as quickly as sending to the home counties. We dreamt of moving our business to a nice warm Mediterranean country when we got old. I loved that freedom to dream.

My children's father is an immigrant, we run a business that pays corporation tax, business rates etc...and employs over four British nationals, and utilises numerous British based companies. All of whom also pay tax on their salary/payments from us. We are just a miniscule plankton like business in the ocean of UK businesses. 'Immigrants coming over here, taking our jobs'...should be 'Immigrants coming over here, making our jobs'. I cringe at the ease and familiarity of the nationalistic tone coming across in the media. It is scary. It is full of toxic falseness. Too many people claim to hate people who they have never met.

I, like so many people I know, are not angry or bitter or resentful of the out come of the EU referendum, I simply feel sad. I need time to grieve for the loss, and the loss of what my children could have had. Goodbye EU, I think we should have appreciated you more when we had you, and thank you for teaching me how to be a European and be proud of my own nationality too.

Disclaimer: These are my own thoughts.
I am happy to agree to disagree with people I know and people who might read this on the internet. The world would truly be a boring place if we all agreed, wouldn't it?

Health, peace and happiness to all x

p.s. yes I know my spelling and grammer is atrocious!

16 June 2016

our vintage caravan renovation project (part 1)

We like to keep ourselves busy in the Junkaholique household, so with no new projects on the go, we had to find a new thing to get our teeth into. I have always wanted a little caravan to do up but never had the logistics to get it about or store it. We currently have a space in a barn storage, and with another addition to our family, our camper van is getting a bit snug! (Actually it's perfect for a family of four, it just doesn't have much storage space for all the beach toys, food, blankets and firewood. I don't think people had these things back in 1978??), it made it possible to finally get one.

We won this 1970s Thomson Mini-Glen on ebay, and the very kind owner drove it down from Cambridgeshire to Southampton, to a car park where we exchanged cash for our new home on wheels and then we took it back on the ferry. We were very excited! But I think the littleuns less so, our daughter may have been put off by the 70s decor ; ) In fact I think she thought we were betraying her beloved camper van so I had to explain that we will take this one as well as the camper van. "But where's the steering wheel??" "I'm still going to sleep in Vanny".

We are going to totally transform this caravan inside and out and have pretty much got the colour scheme worked out, and even a name!

It is tiny! but just like the tardis, it is like a neat hotel room inside, with kitchen, bathroom, and a dining room that turns into double bed. Also a wardrobe, a crazy 70s notion that you will need to keep your dress/suit nice and neat whilst camping...our van had one of these too!
*edit* just discovered a cocktail bar as well!??!!

We've already ripped out some of the cupboards that were rotten, the carpet has come out as well as the curtains and seat cushions which were turning into dust.

We have so many ideas of how we are going to use this caravan, mobile Junkaholique shop? jewellery showroom?? Exciting!! I will of course update our progress with some more photos shortly.

2 June 2016

the start of summer

So it's finally feeling like summer here in Blighty, and that makes me very happy indeed! It has been a hard old winter, I had a pretty awful pregnancy and my body (and brain!) have yet to feel/look anywhere like normal. Thats all to be expected of course, but it is nice to feel like one's self again isn't it? Our little boy has grown so much already and he is only 2 months old. Last week my mister had to fly to Japan for a week at short notice (for a funeral),  and I was a bit scared to cope on my own as our baby would not be put down anywhere without screaming till he was purple. 
Luckily he grew out of this just in the nick of time, and the week went past easily and I actually really enjoyed focusing just on the tots for once.

Now he just wiggles and smiles on his basket, I could start organising our garden a bit. I invested in some hideous garden toys (yet to be assembled) to keep the littles happy whilst I sleep work.
I also made a sand pit and paddling pool out of plastic storage tubs, and painted the picnic bench (as it had gone all mouldy from last year).

I found a beach sand ice cream making toy, and then my daughter wanted an ice cream van (we see a lot of these on the Island!). So I made her a VW camper/ice cream van out of a card board box.

It has a musical box inside, to announce when the ice cream van is coming.

With a sleeping babe, we also had time to bake a cake for my mister's home coming, which she expertly decorated...she was really proud of this cake ; )

Life is slightly less intense now, and we are finding a little bit of routine in our daily lives again.
It is a surreal time, to give birth and absorb the fact that we created another human and it will grow into another child! It is amazing and weird and scary and exciting...ha ha!!