Top 13 Favourite Albums

Ah the time-wasting joys of Facebook. I was asked to compile a list of top ten albums and when I sat down to write them out it took some time…much more than I wanted to spend compiling a list just for fun. The friend who asked me to do this is a dear old friend and budding DJ Liam Mockridge so for him, I made the effort and it was fun. I realised that choosing my top ten all-time favourite songs would have been much easier because there are so many artists that I love listening to, depending on my mood. Choosing top albums involves loving at least several of the songs on there so, in the end I was able to whittle it down to my all-time top 13 albums plus 3 compilations. I am quite tempted to compile another list of my top 10 spiritual/yoga/meditation/world music albums too because there are so many great artists that I love in that genre alone and that’s what I listen to mostly these days but I don’t want to spend all day compiling lists of music I love – there is too much to do today! The albums on this top 13 list have stuck with me as great loves over the years and I never get sick of hearing them.

Depeche Mode- 101

Madonna- True Blue

Nine Inch Nails- The Downward Spiral

The Velvet Underground & Nico

David Bowie- Hunky Dory

Eek-A-Mouse- Wa Do Dem

The Doors- Strange Days

Patrick Wolf- Lycanthropy

Peaches- The Teaches of Peaches

Yoav- Charmed & Strange

M.I.A- Arular

The Beastie Boys- Check Your Head

Tchaikovsky- The Nutcracker

These are my favourite compilation albums because I have loved playing them from beginning to end over the years and still do- they have stood the test of time for me:

Nouvelle Vague- Nouvelle Vague

Hotel Pelirocco- Compilation

Kashpoint- Compilation

Unknown

Dream Journal : Whale

I’ve become increasingly fascinated by the concept of lucid dreaming and lately I find myself feeling conscious in my dreams just before I wake up I am aware of summarizing what I have dreamt about, or maybe it’s just the tail end of a long dream I am capturing. In any case I have noticed some synchronicity in the things I dream about lately. For most of this year, especially when I was in Bali- I was early to bed and early to rise and I did not remember my dreams. More recently, I have found myself sleeping through 3 alarm clocks and waking slowly, consciously running and capturing the essence of my dream as I wake. I think this is lucid dreaming and am interested to learn more about the art of lucid dreaming and being able to be conscious through more of my dreams to acess the knowledge of the subconscious world and maybe of some psychic intuition. Someone once told me that “dreams are like going to the movies for free” and I think that’s an interesting take on dreaming and maybe it’s the thing I love about filmmaking and it’s potential to visualise the inner and sub-conscious realms.

I am going to start writing them down here as blog posts in between writing reflections, experiences and observations. I want to write them down as an experiment, to see what synchronicities appear in waking life that correlate to my dreams.

Humpback-Whale2-1024x575

Last night I had a dream that I was on a dock by the ocean and a super creative friend (Art Director and Interior Designer Jamie Stimpson) was loading things into a small motorboat. Out of nowhere a huge whale slowly surfaced and swam up to my feet and started tapping the dock with it’s mouth. It opened it’s huge mouth and I stared straight into it. I knew that if I stepped inside the whale’s mouth he would go back underwater and I would be stuck for the rest of my life living inside his stomach like the legend of Moby Dick. For a moment I saw all that possibility playing out and saw myself living inside of the whale’s stomach. I didn’t feel afraid, I felt fascinated and a bit lonely. then I was on the dock and I consciously chose not to step inside it’s mouth and just looked on as it kept banging it’s head against the dock in front of me. It was a huge whale maybe 30 feet long and I was calling to my friend to come and look at the whale but he seemed to have completely vanished. I was afraid he might have already been swallowed by the whale. Then I woke up.

I went online to look up animal totems and their symbolism in dreams.

“To see a Whale in your dream indicates that you need to be more social or more vocal about something. Step up and speak up. Alternatively, the dream symbolizes spiritual guidance. You are ready to explore your emotions, but you need to make the connection between the conscious and subconscious aspects of yourself.”

I often look up animal totems when an animal randomly appears in my waking life too.

Here’s a good link for insights on animal totems Animal Totem : Whale

Baroque n Roll

Firstly, let me begin this post with saying that the “no complaints” experiment was awesome and I committed to it all weekend- not for just 24 hours. I have experienced some serious magic and serendipity occurring in my life since that experiment too, so I am truly mindful now of any complaints that might tumble from my voice box and just sort of biting my tongue if I feel something like a complaint pouring out or even sayng “wow that was me complaining” – in a way to own it and dissolve it. I have realised how complaining is essentially dumping energy onto the listener and I have also realised how often we modern day humans tend to bond through complaining. I don’t want to bond with people tat way- to do that to people or to have people dump their negativity on me. It feels as though in not complaining there has been so much space for positivity opening up in my life and recently it has all been looking and soundeding fantastical…and very baroque.

The highlights of life and learnings recently…

An invitation to the most AMAZING inspiring place I have been to in Italy: Castello Ruspoli where I attended the annual competition of young classical musicians from all around the world.

DSC_0148

DSC_0112

DSC_0110DSC_0102 I dove deep into a 5 hour Baroque immersion as the 6 international finalists delighted our intimate group of writers, musicologists and judges with their mind-blowing talent and professionalism. I particularily enjoyed hearing each of them perform a new and never before performed piece, assembled from archive manuscripts as a composition by musicologist and a previous Ruspoli music prize winner Ana Lombardia Gonzlez. Each gave their own flavour to their own interpretation in premiering the “Tocata Number 3″ as well as performing 2 solos and 4 pieces accompanied by my new favourite instrument- the harpsichord.

( the finalists waiting nervously to hear who is the winner below)

DSC_0117

After much contemplation and deliberation between the judges, a new Baroque star was announced- 24 year old Amandine Solano a classic beauty in high stilettos and a biker jacket who was accompanied by her mother on the harpsichord. In between performances I took every opportunity to wander through the intriguing centuries old labyrinths of sacred geometries outside of the fortress-like Castello.

DSC_0099

I honestly felt as though I were in one long lucid dream with an endless score of Baroque performances or instruments being tuned or pieces being rehearsed endlessly echoing through the vast corridors. I also recalled the days of preparing for exams as a teenager and the reccommendation of our in house “learning expert” who taught us to listen to baroque music as we studied for our exams because apparently Baroque helps people to focus and is particularily useful for people with short attention spans or ADD.  It was a great treat to be in a fairytale castle, surrounded by musicians and musicologists – an experience I will cherish greatly. Also of course, the lunches and dinners- the Italian food was “da morire” to die for. And on the final day, classical music appreciators from all over Europe arrived to experience the prize winners performance, which was also recored to be released soon as a cd.

DSC_0131

DSC_0123 94521778c8f6929f47556ec889ce6c22

It also thematically and experientially complemented the subject of sound healing that  I have been focused on with my own research and documenting of the Sound Healers and Shamans I met in Indonesia. I immediately bonded with a film crew from Brazil Owl Filmes who were there making a documentary about the castle’s musical history and the career-changing annual Ruspoli music prize.

All I can say is that after this intense baroque experience my whole body was buzzing and my heart felt as if it had burst wide open. Castello Ruspoli is a very magical place!

I also learnt that they are creating “Fugga Experience”- beginning with a cycling tour, where guests will stay at the Castello, cycle through the stunning landscapes by day and enjoy delicious food and wine by night. They also very kindly suggested I should consider to host a wellbeing retreat there, which is something I would definitely love to do with them and for you! That is something now in the pipelines for 2015. I think it will be a week of yoga, meditation, creative writing, dance, delicious food and some silence- to walk the labyrinths in silence and see what inspiration arises. Many years ago, Handel lived in the castle as an artist in residence and he composed some of his most well-known works whilst there.

I also discussed getting some recordings of the classical baroque instruments to have a play with some electronic-baroque remixes…so I have some interesting sonic experiments ahead of me too.

Before heading up to Vignanello I had been listening to music along these lines by Benjamin Skepper and Gabriel Prokofiev- so perhaps I had actually put the law of attraction into action by manifesting my Baroque immersion experience at Vignanello!

Upon returning to the hustle and bustle of city life, I was invited to attend the opening of an exciting classical-contemporary fusion exhibition by British Art Star Mat Collishaw in the  Galleria Borghese Rome.

DSC_0139

The main work presented was a very large scale sculpture that also functioned as a zoetrope which would sporadically spring into action with a whir and as it began to spin with lights flickering all the miniature marble sculptures became animated- they literally sprang to life. It was mesmerizing and a true masterpiece. He also presented large elaborate black framed looking-glasses throughout the museum, where after a few moments of gazing at myself surrounded by great masterpieces, a classical renaissance style painting would emerge on the mirror’s surface and slowly begin to move- to come alive. He was literally breathing life into the classical masterpieces and explained that it was all created in response to what he felt and imagined when looking at the classical pieces in the museum. To see his works sandwiched between famous masterpieces by Titian, Caravaggio and Bernini amongst others seemed to make an official public statement that his works are recognised as great contemporary masterpieces in their own right and in my opinion they are works that will stand the test of time and live on in the future as classical works of our time.

MIRROR...ZIE web_Mat-Collishaw_Galleria_

Here’s a great little film about the new exhibition: Mat Collishaw : Vogue

I am truly blown away by witnessing all this classicism-futurism fusion in art and music and in my life at the moment too as I skip through the streets in vintage dresses and a recycled red leather biker jacket.

It seems that most Italians prefer new designer brand name clothing, which means there are a lot of great designer vintage wardrobe treasures to find in Italy. I have always found great pleasure in having an eagle eye and being able to spot jems amongst masses of vintage rails. It’s also perhaps a conscious style- to source second hand and vintage shops and recycle for individual chicness. Rome has some great vintage shops full of old Gucci, Missoni, Valentino, Moschino as well as many small “artigenale” shops where the designers can be seen inside working away on their sewing machines and are also very happy to customize their creations to your colour preference and tailor to your size.

I am loving everything about life here and now.

I am bursting with gratitude and wonder.

Definitely no complaints. Baroque n rollin’!

No Complaints

I realise that my blogpost from yesterday was a fragmented, streamofconsciousness rant and there was a bit of bitching in it- about L.A bulldozers… I want to keep this real and for me being conscious is being human and being aware/mindful…even if it is in hindsight/upon reflection. I strive to put this mindfulness into practise every waking moment but sometimes I slip up.

So I tried and failed to do this challenge today because the water system was shut off in my entire building, it’s sticky hot here and I couldn’t have a shower…so when I arrived late, sweaty and stinky to my language course and they asked me why I was late- I had to explain and apologise, which sounded more like complaining about not being able to have a shower- FAIL- which makes me appreciate how I took endlessly available water supplies for granted…and how challenging it is to go 24 hours without complaining!

Tomorrow is a new day and I am really going to go for it with this positivity challenge.

24 hours- No complaining…maybe I’ll be able to go all weekend…

10547703_10152604796578628_7512077994601538049_n

There’s no place like Rome

I clicked my heels with a one two three and was transported from Cali to Canada to England to Germany and have finally landed on my feet here in Italy. All this movement truly makes me feel like a restless shape-shifting Dragonfly and I have discovered a new longing to stay in one place for a while… I thought that would be California because I was really so very happy out there riding horses and surfing but I am here now and maybe this is where I am meant to be, for a while anyway…Romeing.

urlAs I write today, I am streaming Trent Reznors & Atticu Ross’ new score for feature film “Gone Girl”. I suggested you click on this link: Gone Girl,  press play and listen to the same music as me as you readon.

If you find the experimental and industrial nature of Reznor’s productions is not to your taste then try any of the artists listed in this article for some top rated Conscious DJ’s & Producers…also a perfect soundscape for reading this blog.

It’s been a whirlwind and I am so grateful to have caught up with so many beloveds across the globe in such a short space of time and to have made it to the wedding of a very very dear friend, shed a few tears when I first saw her step out in the stunning Westwood dress and danced wildly, high on jetlag and exhaustion for two nights in a row.

So, what’s keeping me on the conscious trail at the moment.

Yoga of course, I am back to being a student for a bit to improve my Italian. I am studying Iyengar yoga in Italian which is quite fascinating as I know the moves and the postures so well by know that I do them with my eyes closed so hearing all the directions and body parts in another language whilst I am moving seems to embed the language deep into my cells. And I just love the sound of Italian, the way it rolls like a soothing lullabye- in a yoga class at least not when you hear the way people shout at eachother or debate animatedly along the cobblestone streets. I’d love to be able to teach some classes here in Italian so I have also signedup for a language course. The course is SO much fun and more surreal than I ever imagined a language course to be. I do two hours a day of “conversatione”, discussing art, culture and current events all in Italian. I know my Italian is rapidly improving from this immersion yoga, daily life and conversatione all in Italian and I feel like I am getting smarter too- we actually debate what is in the news and it is such a fabulous motely crew of characters; each of us with completely different points of view. I love this little microcomsic celebration of diversity within a language class. And the best part is that it involves cooking lessons too in Italian of course- though really sort of glutinous pasta pizza type of recipes that are not actually in my diet- but every once ina  while a little gluten can be reeeeallly delicious eve if I feel like passing out and sleeping for hours afterwards. Gluten is basically glue in the stomach yuck.

After my morning Italian conversation class I sit down and go through rushes of the sound healing footage from Bali. I am looking for direct in roads to Channel4 or the BBC to see if they may comission this as a series and am half jotting down pitches for them. I intend to do that next- submit proposals for this project and what it could grow into as a series to Channel 4 and the BBC as I slowly assemble a roughcut at my own pace with the hopes that I will be enlisting the services of a professional editor in Cali or in London to polish it. I feel such a sense of duty now to all who let me film them, that is the thing I hate about having a camera is that moment when people start asking you when they can see a finished piece and it’s always waaaay before I am ready  to show anything or else a big hassle to try and meet the requests by digitising and transferring photo or video files to help them promote themselves or their buisness…. I guess as far as this project goes…I am working on it right now as a producer- submitting applications to tv and documentary comissioners and as an editor by assembling a roughtcut. Frankly it feels like I have bitten off more then I can chew right now and I at times want to smash the computer and just be fully presnt in Italy but then that would be sabotage as this computer is full of my words, songs and videos so I wont smash and I do frequently back it all up and I do just keep on trucking with more then I can chew in my gob as has always been the creative norm for me  “Go Bold or Go bust”. I have a new work mantra too now it is

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY & PASSION OVER POWER (Repeat 10 times everyday.)

I’ve also been revisiting the four agreements. Slightly wondering why I haven’t had this stuck on a fridge or somewhere obvious so I could read it everyday too.

10419578_10152713379843535_5354025454962250550_nI’ve also embraced a new affirmation that I stumbled upon when I was surfing podcasts. Finding this quote made me feel really sad for a moment as I realised just how hard I have tried to impress people throughout my life and how much of a relief it would be to stop doing that. To know that I am enough, that I have a ton of experiences and skills under my belt and to start paying more attention to who shows up and seems interested in me- personally and professionally rather then being a “let me entertain you” dancing monkey which I have definitely been at times too. I would like to become like a kung fu master who knows they could kill someone with their skills but would never do it for that is the integrity of a true master- to embody all that they have learnt and know whilst remaining humble, kind and honest- well yikes that’s a lot of work for me to do still- maybe I should take up Kung fu rather than just using it as a metaphor.

10418181_702435966461172_6657695785622582392_n

I love podcasts and one of my favourite ways to relax is to have a long soak in a very hot bubble bath and listen to podcasts- usually about sex, tantra and relationships or maybe Ted Talks with passionate speakers ranting about empowerment, authenticity and healing…or maybe some kind of amazing music mix I find on soundcloud when I don’t want to hear the voice of anyone preaching or teaching at me.

I was recently reminded that it is not important to strive for mastery of the self but rather to work on self-acceptance every step of the way, forgiving myself for clumsy slipups, negative thinking and unconscious/lower vibration thoughts. words or actions- that is probably very much the true key to happiness- self acceptance.

I am becoming very aware these days of when my thoughts, words or actions are coming from a darker lower vibration place of fear, anger, mistrust, jealousy, control or a higher vibration place of love, and trusting that everything is as it should be.

I have been challenged massively a few times with this and what I notice as a repeat pattern is that everytime I listen to the darker materials and chose the lower vibration words or actions…things just get well worse! When I rise above and consciously choose to let go of controlling situations, to trust that all will be well- whadda ya know things work out just fine. So that’s a daily practise and I know in a place like Ubud or Findhorn or Esalen everyone is going around operating in that sort of conscious way but in all the cities I have been to- L.A being the worst actuall probably I can’t help but judge that people are just mostly ambitious, tough, vampires, schmoozing, using and looking for the next best thing… competing to be the best or get ahead and behaving in pretty ruthless ways seeming to have no conscience or sense of karma at all…

L.A is full of bulldozers!

I know thats a severe judgement and not a very fair statement but more of an observational stereotype…I met some good people living in Venice and reconnected with a bit of an angel who was one of my sort of mentors over the years so it’s not all dangerous there. Please recognize my judgements as low vibe silliness and take them with a pinch of salt and maybe even lol right now (cue the canned laughter from Friends).

For example, I was there in L.A for a meeting with a big film Producer about a project that I really want him to put into development, A filmmaking girl I have met once at a dinner party runs over shouting my name and gives me a space invading hug and sits down on the empty chair beside me, then proceeds to introduce herself to the Producer I am talking to and grills him about who he is and what he does and then seems to have no emotional intelligence or a ruthless determination as she dominates the table, pitching her movie project, flirting and moving in to sit really close to him, sends him a friend request on facebook whilst sitting there and then takes off with a wave. I felt bulldozed by this Alpha female who pretended to be my friend but wasn’t acting like a friend. and how did I deal with it? I shrank back and started to feel myself shutting down whilst  the coach voice in my head was saying “NO! Do not dissappear, do not become small, do not start to doubt your own worth… you need to be fully present right now and firing on all cylinders to impress this guy who might make your movies see the light of day in a big way”. As soon as she had left I shifted gears out of dealmaker mode and just wanted to chill so we might both want to hangout more and eventually work together on this project or something else. I really didn’t want to bombard him with ideas anymore after her intrusive intensity. The rest of our lunch was pretty pleasant but internally, I was struggling to shake off that fairly random person’s energy.

In hindsight that would have been a great moment for me to put up an energetic shield or just excuse myself maybe or even point blank told her to please go away because she was interrupting our meeting and I only had one day to make my movie dreams in Hollywood come true and these were really important meetings for me and she was messing with them…..or maybe I could have just sat back and enjoyed the show more, practising the art of detachment and learning how the bulldozers network in Hollywood…

I sometimes I feel easily drained by dominant personalities- the sort who laugh or speak loudly to be heard and seen totally irks me unless they actually are funny…

I also sometimes feel drained by the weight of other people’s problems and secrets. I am a keeper of secrets and I am proud of knowing I am very good at that…but I think it can be alienating to be so super sensitive or at times full of other people stuff. Sometimes being “strong” for others both professionally and personally can get a bit too much for me, so I do cleansing ceremonies with sage and palo santo, crystals and chanting to clear and heal and create space for me to show up more and to fully be present and at peace…to radiate my own frequency instead of absorbing those of others- that is really important stuff which I am realising is a necessity for survival- grounding and clearing!.

I don’t like to appear weak….which is stubborn so must be a part of my shadow…

I have learnt thought that that is inauthentic to always want to appear brave and strong.In a way this blog is about undoing that part of me that wants to rescue others and often ends up feeling drained in the process. This is about me eploring my inner maze and trying to make sense of that point where the inner world and the outer world meet and becoming more human and soft in the process…unless I am having a bad day or a down day and then the rants get heavier and expose much more of me then I would dare to put out there under my own name.

I have just sat down to do a small writing assignment which was completely inspiring and which I found very emotional. I have been writing letters to my teenage self and also from my future self to me now. It’s an experiment really. I believe in the law of attraction and I am experimenting with writing my life story from the point of view of a much older me looking back and also writing from my own point of view full of advice to a much younger me…I am very curious to see if anything of these almost predicitions will manifest and I am also full of blocks about wanting to write down only what I do actually want to manifest not what I don’t want to manifest- careful what you wish for right?

There is probably a book in all this but one I probably will not publish until I am dead. I will deliver it all as a document in a few days and upon first sitting down to write it, out poured about 20 000+ words over a few hours…and that is only the tip of the iceberg really of what I could deliver on that subject….when it flows it flows…

I am going to keep doing this blog thing until November at least and then I would like to publish a blogbook. There is definitely enough material and imagery up here for a book and I feel that “The Conscious Hipster” is a Zeitgeist title. I would flesh it out though with more handwritting lists, tips, quotes and ponderings I would like to maybe insert some interviews with well known speakers on the subjects of style and consciousness to deliver a book that is a eeting of those two worlds through my curated and mostly created text and imagery. I would like to publish a book that everyone I know would buy and give to their friends as a present (hopefully because the like it and not just to support me).

That’s my intention- one year of blogging and then I have more then enough content for a book. That would be one month away then so if you know a publisher who might be a good fit and if youare a publisher and you are reading this and you want to give me a book deal or an advance to keep blogging or just stop blogging and write it out as a book- I am very seriously up for that kind of a deal!

8671_632993876713090_1490941912_n

1013977_640390369306774_1439148700_n

945908_636531579692653_273390718_n

1488656_782941625051647_5154373483697577485_n

Back to the consciousness…..and walking the talk….I know that’s all I really have to do in this lifetime and everything else is a frilly bonus. I just have to live, lern, grow and walk the talk- practise what I preach or better yet not preach at all just ramble it all out in freeflowing blogposts from time to time…and take some advice from Gandhi-Ji

“Be the change that I want to see”

Every step of the way and everyday…. be mindful of and forgive myself for the mistakes I make along the way.

Until the next time

(Are you a publisher or do you want me to write for you? Maybe you just want to say hello or tell me about the cool stuff you make or do? You can contact me here)

 

Hello Again!

Well hello hello on the first of September…. and it’s very hard to believe that this is the first day I have really had all to myself so far this summer. Is that a lame excuse for not blogging at all? Maybe I was just too busy actually trying to be present and conscious rather then contemplating it or writing about it. I also had a bit of resistance to blogging these last few months because 1: I don’t know if anyone reads my blogs 2: I don’t know if it helps me to do so much pondering and written introspection.

Being alone inspires my writing and being in joy inspires me to live fully. So, now I am alone and whadda ya know…I am writing again. Maybe this blog will come and go in waves. It’s my diary when I need it and I am grateful for this anonymous outlet of self reflection, expression and promotion of all that I love or am inspired by. If it helps or inspires anyone else in any way- that’s awesome!

So….a recap of the summer highlights and inspirations….

Firstly I’d like to say that much of my activity this summer has been fuelled by a delicious herbal coffee alternative which is caffeine-free and currently only available for sale in the U.S.A it is called Teeccino. It is really delicious and tastes just like coffee but is made from all natural ingredients such as cacao, dandelion and hazelnut. I was introduced to Teeccino as a coffe alternative by actor, rock climber and founder of Soul Climbing Galen MacDougall.

DSC_0249

I am currently back on my regular morning coffee as rocket fuel but mostly go for the teeccino’s during the day and the best thing about finding an alternative to caffeine is that I no longer stay awake all night- obviously coffee affects me massively and was a big part of my insomnia in London.

So what else…

I am very inspired by Canadian Haida artist Corey Bulpitt and loving his fusion of Hip Hop and Haida Culture. I went to checkout his current exhibition at The Bill Reid Gallery in Vancouver and have planted seeds to ideally visit Haida Gwaii and make a documentary with him about contemporary Haida First Nations Art and Culture.

url-4I also attended the opening of Douglas Coupland‘s solo show “everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything” at The Vancouver Art Gallery. He is an incredibly inspiring person, writer and artist and it was an exciting arrival to Vancouver and straight over to the art opening where I was asked to bring a bag of stuff to swap as well as to chew some gum to stick on/vandalise a large bronze sculpture of Doug’s head and then do “The lego walk of flame”  by walking barefoot across a pile of lego pieces, quite painful but I won a Starbucks gift certificate for succeeding in the challenge.

gumhead

 The Gumhead sculpture is at this point completely covered in pieces of gum stuck on it by participants and then melting in the summer sun so it has taken on a multi-coloured gooey texture and is far from the staunch bronze head that was presented at the opening night. I also left that opening with a bag of cool objects that I had swapped my stuff for including a plastic dragonfly and a crystal ball- for calirvoyancy and future predictions?

I have had the pleasure of hanging out this summer with another very talented Canadian artist called Christopher Rodrigues and his wife Melissa who is a former professional ballet dancer and now a yoga teacher, dula and mother of two beautiful little girls. Vancouver is the most beautiful city in the summertime with sunshiney beaches so I was able to swim in the very refreshing Pacific Ocean most days.

I am currently back in California and experimenting with wellbeing and creativity retreats involving health organic foods, yoga, meditation, horseback-riding, hiking and quiet time for journalling or creative writing- just with friends as the guineapigs and co-creators at the moment not as a commercial enterprise. It feels like I am practising for more ambitious retreats of this type and I hope to offer you such wellbeing & creativity retreats in Bali 2015. I have also been discussing the element of dance incorporation with a friend and brilliant 5 rythms dance teacher Jessica Howie. 5 Rhythms dance was created by Garielle Roth and was a weekly highlight for me when I lived in London, I would go weekly to dance every wednesday at HOME in Paddington. If you haven’t  tried it but have even the faintest inkling of interest in dance as fun and therapy then I can highly reccommend it. Somedays it is fun and other days it is a brilliant emotional and physical release for the stresses and worries of life. When I would bring a new friend to the dance with me I would always say “You will get exactly what you need from this experience so go with the flow.”

I had a great time staying in L.A at the house of a talented filmmaker Tao Ruspoli who has several airstream and vintage trailers parked in his Venice Beach garden which are available to rent on airbnb. It’s the perfect spot, very close to the beach and interesting creative guests passing through. I am in love with his series of short films called “The Love Project” 

I was invited to go and watch a friend racing and win a grand prix which was such a thrill- I was shaking in my boots with fear watching the racecars speed and spiral round and round the racecourse and it was amazing to see him being sprayed with champagne and triumphantly holding a trophy up in the air at the end. I am a big walker, I will pretty much walk anywhere or ride a bike as I am possibly the worlds worst driver and have never owned a car, so it was almost ironic to watch the experts racing and somehow it gave me some more confidence behind the wheel as I have since been driving myself around California.

I have also been able to indulge in being a cowgirl this summer, spending time with horses is very healing and in my case empowering as I love to get on and gallop as fast as I can across the hills whooping loudly “Yeeeehaw”. It is one of the best feelings in the world for me tuning into the spirit and character of these powerful wild and free animals…not to mentioned the exercise as it tones up my entire body- particularily the thighs, core and arms. I have had the pleasure of quality time with a beloved soul sister and awesome cowgirl who also loves to gallop off into the hills at full throttle and that is a great feeling, no fear of having to slow down for but rather trying to keep up!

And of course the hooping, I picked up some shiny new custom twin hoops and have been doing a lot of that too- the most fun type of exercise with immediate results in core toning. I even had a private lesson at The Brewery in L.A with artist and pro-hoop instructor Malcolm Stuart

10301429_10154324137185697_5438005607026123536_n

So today I am about to tune into writer and sound artist Jasmin Blasco‘s monthly radioshow on Dub Lab You can tune in live online the first Monday of the month from 2-4pm.

Currently feeling blessed and full of gratitude for the incredible and inspiring people I have had the honour of spending quality time with over the summer, including dear old friends, new friends and artists and of course my beloved family and siblings.

Until the next time I find myself alone y hasta luego x

Reflections on The Cannes Cannes

Wow, phew and whooppeeeee. Hello again! So, since I last dropped into the stream-of-conscious freeflow of anonymous blogging in cyberspace, In the past two weeks I have been to Hong Kong, London, Cannes and Paris…

I had received some excellent tips of must see and do things in Hong Kong but my flight from Denpasaar kept being delayed because of typhoon rain in HK, eventually departing 7 hours late. I almost left the airport for one last surf on my brand new custom artboard. Let me tell you a bit about that…

I really got into surfing out in Bali- it is one of the best and most present moving meditations I have experienced in my life and Bali is one of the best surf spots on earth so I was willing and ready and grateful to creep out of the Ubud wellness jungle and hit the waves on many occasions. I befriended some local Indonesian surfers, in particular one who shapes boards and we discussed the possibility of making my very own custom board. I had the good fortune of connecting with internationally renowned artist Jean Claude Adenin in Ubud as he was preparing to launch “Lord Ganesha Gallery” specialising in “primitive” antique Javanese and Indonesian artworks. I made several visits to the gallery enjoying the evolution of the collection and murals he was painting all over the gallery walls. I was so taken by a few of the details within the murals and other complex landscape canvases he had painted in the studio at the back of the gallery, that I asked him how he would feel about me photographing aspects of the paintings to bring to my board-shaping friends and launch a concept that I’d had bubbling away for some time… “Artboards”. Basically, surfboards that are co-created with talented fine artists as luxury sea vessels as well as being highly decorative for hanging or propping up against the wall at home. Thankfully, Jean Claude liked the idea and gave me carte blanche to photograph and extract elements of his artworks, which I then pasted together in a mood board along with some sketches and brought to the board making studio. Here are some photos of that process as well as the fantastic finished result. And with this project- my “spiritual name” has been launched as a custom co-creation artboard brand “Dragonfly”. IF you want one, get in touch and we can make something unique to your design. There are other very cool surf brands out there making beautiful boards but this is my niche of focusing on the artwork and co-creating one of a kind functional art to ride and display.

10264283_10154089240675697_432229968045482589_n

Jean Claude Adenin

jc

10264283_10154089240670697_6938282853703481769_n-1

DSC_0534 DSC_0540 DSC_0517 DSC_0514 10177983_10154089361845697_4760720050406364013_n 1017752_10154089368055697_4432169564970005090_n 1491684_10154089266895697_390592708211326849_n 1017752_10154089368050697_1910542930386552563_n 10364112_10154089390470697_5240757683458076932_n 1017752_10154089368060697_8295938882393734447_n-1 1017752_10154089368070697_5781096863103286303_n-1

10312584_10154088651795697_8026828242094051095_nSo that was quite the sendoff aurevoir to the Bali Bliss chapter, with my very own beautiful custom artboard and an openness to meeting future co-creators on my travels.

I arrived in HK 7 hours late and basically slept a few hours before getting on the next London bound plane.

London was a soft landing, arriving at a cozy houseboat community to stay on Xanadu, an inspiring retreat in the centre of town and an occassional popup restaurant run by Author, Publisher, Experimental Chef and founder of The Cardboard Book Project, Jemma Foster.

10291085_10154106550820697_6788040874897821441_n

The gentle rocking of the boat lulled me into a deep lullabye slumber and I awoke to spend my one full day in London running some necessary and mundane errands and collecting some amazing outfits to wear for the Cannes Film Festival. The Rodnik Band creator Philip Colbert was actually on his way to launch the collection in Hong Kong so it was as though we were swapping locations and it was lovely as always to visit his studio, have a brief catchup and borrow some fun and comfortable pieces from the new “Peanuts” collab collection, as well as a perfectly cinema-themed popcorn dress and tshirt from the last collection. These dresses got a lot of admiration from people and photograph attention out in Cannes- the dresses were sucesses!

DSC_0607

I had a few beautiful dresses in my suitcase from my favourite shop in Ubud “Portobello Bali” and a stunning silk kimono for a very sexy ninja look. I also intended to try and make it to the studio of dear old friend Meihui Liu who’s label of romantic handmade dresses Victim Fashion Street I have been wearing and championing for more then a decade. However, Meihui was preparing for an exhibition in Spain and a Guerilla fashion show the next day on Fashion Street in East London. I was so bamboozled by a return to the underground tube system that I shockingly got a bit lost and did not have the capacity to freeze time enough to go and collect dresses in East London, in time to return to west London and set sail aboard Mama Xanadus for a much anticipated reunion and a bounteous feast. Throughout the preparations of this “Fishetarian Feast” Jemma and I exchanged travel anecdotes, creative inspirations and learnings on the shared interest of healing, herbalism and shamanism. It was a seriously interesting time to chat and to film Jemma as she effortlessly cookedup some very inventive concoctions with little tastes of this and that throughout. I can’t recommend the experience enough, if you are lucky to book one of the six seats for her supper or brunch clubs. Jemma is also available as a private chef for dinenrparties and retreats. I look forward to cutting that houseboat cooking show footage when I return to Canada next week. For now, let me divulge some images of the most amazing fishetarian feast that anyone has ever created…

10291085_10154106550825697_3372608773138368722_n 10291085_10154106550810697_3654018392134467909_n DSC_0740 DSC_0751 DSC_0779 DSC_0801 DSC_0798 DSC_0807 DSC_0824 DSC_0830 DSC_0848 DSC_0854 DSC_0890 DSC_0900 DSC_0776

Mischa (Live Like A Tree) making energy balls for breakfast

10363611_10154106537400697_7580073084012326720_n

Author, Chef, Captain Jemma Foster

So this blog was entitled “Reflections on Cannes” and I haven’t even got there yet- obviously being terse and to the point is not really my forte…but there is so much to tell and to share! Cannes- in a (pea)nutshell…It really was a culture shock for me, after spending more then half this year meditating in the jungle or surfing the waves and becoming accustomed to people wearing all white or shorts and flip flops. I did a lot of staring at the designer D&G, Versace, Valentino ballgowns and their very waxwork wearers parading up and down the croisette or climbing in and out of ferraris and lamborghinis. I was delighted to reconnect with beloved filmy friends Loyse de Pury, Fletcher Cowan and Sharon Wyler on my first night out there. We had an amazing time drinking champagne and dancing barefoot on a mammoth yacht out at sea where upon arrival on board, I lifted my arms and squeeled in delight at the surrounding lights of cannes, the pumping loud sound system, the delicious food and other even bigger yachts. I heard Pharrell’s “Happy” for the first time that night and it felt like a perfect moment that I wanted to bottle as a scent called “Lights, Camera, Action: The Law of Attraction”.

I met a lot of film producers, directors, writers, distributors and sales agents throughout the week, mostly at parties sometimes within the film market or pavilions. I was selective in which of my projects to discuss with each person wanting to know first what they were interested in hearing about: documentary- fiction feature-tv series. I have learnt through trial and error not to just blast pitch projects at people who are likely being bombarded with information out there all week. I set the intention en route to Cannes to be open to finding deeper connections and cultivating friendships with people I would actually want to work and hangout with. I reconnected with friends I had made on my travels in Asia: Elizabeth Valentina and Nina Markus of 20th Century Fox Films and scriptwriter Shane T Hall. I reconnected with former colleagues, collaborators and London friends Jeremy Wooding, Michael Cowan, Paul Armstrong, Rhodri Thomas, Tim Nash, Loyse de Pury, Fletcher Cowan and Clara Bunge. I bumped into icon Lloyd Kaufmann founder of Troma films daily and wondered if it was a sign that maybe Troma needs me to make a shlocky feminist cult B Movie to ad to their extensive archive… I love Lloyd and Tromaville!

I consumed more alcohol in one week then I have in the last few years (I am not proud of this fact…but when the champagne was free flowing, I went with the flow,,,and it was deliciously merry-making to sip bubbles again). I actually made it to some film premiers this time around too- Jeremy Wooding’s “Blood Moon” a Western Horror fusion of cult genres which is sure to be a hit and Paul Armstrong’s “Lawrence and Holloman” a comedy bromance about two best friends, one trying to slowly kill the other- it was very dark!

I shared an apartment with a tribe of creatives from L.A, London, Argentina, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Ireland and Canada. We joked that our apartment would have made a great reality tv show as every morning there would be discussions about the previous evenings activities with buisness cards piling up on the tables alongside daily copies of Variety and Screen International. Everyone in that apartment was passionate about filmmaking and creativity and we really became a tribe for the week, although all operating independently. I look forward to the evolution of all my fellow cineaste tribes’ projects over the next few years and to reconnect again in Cannes- although I don’t know if I will return until I have a film that is screening as a part of the festival because then it’s a different ballgame and every invitation just lands at your feet. Gone is the daily time wasting routine of what events are happening, who to call and how to get in. It was really fun every night to glam up, dance and make new friends at Bungalow 8, Le Petit Majestic, Le Baron and David Lynch’s Popup club Il Silencio. A pleasure to breathe in the vistas, to savour the moments of being completely swept off my feet and dancing on yachts with beautiful and inspiring people. A thrill to connect with interesting companies and plant seeds for future collaborations also to promote the offerings I currently am keen to get out into the world. To discuss things like “Dreams and Insomnia” the main themes of my fiction feature (now complete and being sent to film festivals for a world premiere), to discuss the “Sound Healing” documentary with people who were either very interested in it or probably in need of it and to discuss my love of books, particularily an interest in adapting them to screen- books by Douglas Coupland, William Gibson and Jemma Foster in particular.

I had waves of memories of my other amazing “pilgrimages” to the Cannes film festival and going for the first time as a very young thing in 2000. I got invited to every party back then because I was eccentrically well dressed and so young that everyone assumed I must be the kid of someone famous or famous myself. I was visited by some ghosts of my past and memories of experiences I’d had out there having attended the festival four times over the years this being my 5th Cannes film festival. I pulled myself repeatedly into presence by appreciating the awesomeness of making it out there and diving straight in from Bali with my first fiction feature completed and a documentary on it’s way. I coached myself into a positive high vibration state of consciousness daily and it felt like some really interesting people were drawn to that light.

The Conscious Hipster wearing a dress by Portobello Bali

The Conscious Hipster wearing a dress by Portobello Bali

Clara Bunge in Peanuts x The Rodnik Band

Calara Bunge in Peanuts x The Rodnik Band

DSC_0621

Loyse de Pury in Peanuts x The Rodnik Band

Taking over a festival screening room for a private film presentation. Jacket by Leela Creations

I left Cannes by train for Paris (sleeping the entire 5 hour journey) and went directly to the theatre to see Loyse de Pury performing in Les Rois Du Catch. It was experimental physical theatre at it’s best- very polished and very surreal. I loved it!

I took the Eurostar the next morning arriving to attend Jamie Catto‘s creative development workshop “What about you?”. I was really very exhausted from all the travel and adventure by the time I arrived to hear Jamie challenging us to “stop being so appropriate” and start saying “Fuck you” everytime you find yourself saying “oh I’m very sorry”. We did some insightful work on breaking patterns. It feels like I have attended a lot of empowerment workshops but the work is never done- there is always more work to do in the betterment and understanding of my self. Under Jamie’s guidance, and smaller group work with my “executive advisory board” I managed to turn my irritating “People Pleaser” habit into a “Knockout Ninja Oracle” so don’t be surprised if I’m less malleable to what you want me to do for you from now on. I am a knockout Ninja now, well at least a part of me is…which will no doubt come in handy.

Finally, back in London exhausted and resting my swollen blistery feet- after walking at least 6 kilometeres per day up and down the croisette in Cannes (sometimes in heels)

I could not resist visiting the Fragrance Lab in Selfridges on the bank holiday. It’s a genius offering by my friends at The Future Laboratory and an immersive experience in understanding what goes into creating your own scent. It is something I have always dreamt of doing and I am seriously loving my new, bespoke scent. The process begins with a short personality assessment and a visual multpile choice quiz. Express results are delivered and various scents are presented which encapsulate the “essence” of your personality. My essence had bizarre ingredients like neon lipstick, asphalt, iron fillings and violets. It was a very unusual and intense statement scent and was definitely not something I would want to wear everyday. So, I went into the laboratory and collected objects and references that formed the story I wanted my signature scent to tell and the emotions I wanted the scent to activate in me when wearing it and possibly on other people who might hug or kiss me. I wanted a unique scent with yummy, moorish, romantic, nostalgic and mysterious city girl low notes and organic high notes of free-spirited adventures in the tropics- quite the combination but for me it works very well. Catch it while you can at Selfridges until June 25th!

10384931_10154140397225697_5066938394416912063_n

fragrance

Bye for now..

I will soon go and chill the f*%§! out in Canada for a bit and practise stillness with a bit of silence for a few days to process the amazingness that my life has been since I jumped out of my comfort zone and left London to live the life of a cosmic adventurer.

Who knows what the next chapter holds…one thing is for sure “the future is wide open”.