The Need Of Approval Kills Freedom

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them”. – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Grey

I am constantly evolving, my priorities are reordering and I am discovering a shortness in tolerance. My inquisitorial lust of being amongst the immediate trend or up to date faddism is slowly beginning to lose its appeal. I have to question my objective and unravel if my passion meets the demand stowed upon those determined to reach, what may be an elusive climax. I stumble forward warily, I reach a cross-road and I question my affection towards a strain of my craft, I fell so deeply in love with before.

My consistent battle with emotional connection canters more steadily with age, my once sufferable acceptance to others competitive plight of self glorification wears thin and I feel down-beaten with the strenuosity and often nastiness of sports-like competition. I reflect upon my surroundings and I feel a bona fide sadness towards my generation and the narcissistic, egotistical outlook, where self-grandiosity soars to such heights, we become manipulated and easily angered, so wrapped up in our own hype we forget our morals and manners.
The urge of the big city exhausts me, my heart thirsts for the warmth of my loved ones, my natural surroundings and the comfort of where I belong. I realise I have out-grown the crave of social acceptance and the high intensity of scrambling negatively to reach the pursuit of continued approval.

The need of approval kills freedom.

Positively I return home full of knowledge and ideas. Translation of technique and trends that can influence and encourage my clients is now my lone objective. With resolute and heightened emotions I felt a powerful appeal to each of the four shows I was involved in; Xander Zhou emulated my favourite era of 1970s punks, with restless rebellion and tribes adequately named Boys In Striped Pyjamas, Venus In Chains and Texturise, encompassing all three tribes, Gary Gill teased out this rebellion subtly with uncontrolled freedom of matt texture.

Christopher Raeburn/Christopher Raeburn X MCM, shared my everyday ethos of reduced, remade and recycled, with core value of sustainability and functional fabrics- it is designing with a conscious. Gary created on both Raeburn’s shows, natural movement, functionality with a deconstructed edge.

This season I spread my wings and confirmed my first show with another head stylist Takuya Uchiyama, the team lacked the structure and solidarity of Gary’s, yet I was moved by Takuya’s passion and illation for his art and position. Alex Mullins S/S17 collection was described as industrialised romanticism, a bi-gender offering of cleverly cut denim against delicate silk and pastel powdered prints. Mullins studied his craft under my favourite designers Alexander McQueen and Jeremy Scott.

I travel home with a feeling of unbalance, I feel weak, tired and my emotions are drained, my body exploits its turmoil through mouth ulcers and swollen feet. I dream excitedly of alignment, exercise, home-cooked food and the company of my family. People are often intrigued by the glamour of fashion but the reality of what is involved is often overlooked. I am whole heartedly grateful for my experiences this trip, every season brings re-evaluation on my career and my outlook, my confidence in my ability as a well rounded stylist has increased as has my strength in character and how I deal with uneasy situations.

Dont be afraid of being the person you have become.

“we’re living in a looking glass
As the beauty of life goes by
You’re going to be so oh
You’re going to grow so old
Your skin so cold”.

Long Live the VEF and I am glad it rained on your birthday QUEEN.

 

“For the Strength of the Pack is the Wolf and the Strength of the Wolf is the Pack”

We are all familiar with Rudyard Kipling’s childhood tale “The Jungle Book” set in the Seoni Jungle India, the exotic collection of stories plunges us deep into the colourful depths of the Animal Kingdom and into the life of Mowgli a young man-cub, abandoned and disowned by fellow man, lost, only to be rescued and taken under the paw of an otherwise fierce wolf-pack headed by wolf-father, Akela. Kipling’s story telling gives us an undercurrent of constructive morals, allegory and symbolism, combining entertainment plus knowledge and understanding of deeper political and social issues of his time through a story which is wrought wth the taste of indifference and a primitive idea of who we fundamentally might be underneath our civilised facade.
The social issues Kipling raised in The Jungle Book written in 1894 still bring strength and optimism in the political climate of 2016, as austerity brings deprivation as well as crime and social decline, raising issues such as child neglect and racism. Metta Theatre director Poppy Burton-Morgan has interpreted The Jungle Book with a visionary genius, her adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s most famous work, transformed into current day and depicted through the art of hip-hop, dance- theatre and narrative-circus, is rich in skill and talent, with an effective set, mood enhancing lighting and hilarious puppetry.

 

 

The amorous and high spirited character Baloo has been moulded into a beat loving bin-man, Shere Kahn a ghetto gangster rapper and Mowgli, introduced as a baby, separated from his businesswoman mother Messua. On parallel to the authentic outline, the wolves (a skateboarding crew) protect baby Mowgli from the claws and the jaws of Shere Kahn and raise the man-cub as their own. The performance follows Kipling’s original tale, breaking down scenes into distinctive stories that flow seamlessly into one another disregarding any hint of Disney and ‘The Bear Necessities’, solely concreting ‘street cred’ with flashy, well executed rap, jaw dropping break dance and hypnotising Chinese pole.

 

 

Attending the theatre with my partner Darren and daughter Ruby, I left with an intense mindset, as I should after any thought-provoking piece of theatre, I felt for my family and I thought of my own jungle and the pack I care for and protect. Drawing parallels from the book into my own life, I cavorted with the idea that we have all, at least once, been Mowgli, lived in his shoes, within his awareness of abandonment and separation and then further his accomplished feeling of inner strength in finding a solid and considerate group of friends who ultimately become the family that can understand, sympathise and help us accept who we really are. We have all crossed paths with sneaky snakes such as Kaa or clutched a drought in our individuality likening us to a herd of elephants and fought back against greed, distrust and manipulation from antagonists such as Shere Kahn. Like Mowgli’s story we can draw strength and acceptance from all indifferences through empathy and valuing that we are all products of our own experiences and that to respect similarities and opposition in others allows us to open doors and create unusual opportunities, work prospects and growth within our own spirituality and ingeniously enhances how we value the world. We need to evaluate how we treat unfamiliar animals within our jungle and learn to tolerate and obtain a variation of opinions and create a distinct code of compromise and mindfulness, otherwise described as The Law of the Jungle, The Law of our Concrete Jungle.

 

 

“And he grew and grew strong as a boy must grow who does not know that he is learning any lessons, and who has nothing in the world to think of except things to eat.” – The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling.

 

 

Long live the VEF and accepting each others worth is key Queen

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The Jungle Book 23rd April 2016 Photo Credit: Richard Davenport. richard@rwdavenport.co.uk. 07545642134

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All photography by metatheatre.com

 

 

As One Door Closes Another Door Opens…

 

 I’ve never been great as a regular nine to fiver, the confinements and control of another mortal dictating where I must be and when has never sat neatly with me. The confinements of being stuck in one iterate position generates me to convulse, tremble and shudder to the core. This may be mistaken as an unwillingness to work or observe as a limited pull of my weight but these ideas lack substance, whereas the dated structure that some employers remain to work fall culpable.

I read and hear stories of flexible hours and government initiatives which allow employers and employees to contribute adequate time of employment to suit both, therefore maximising profitable possibilities and allowing full potential from each party. Laws are in place as to not exceed too much stress on individuals or create risk on health, therefore, breaks in the working day to refuel physical and mental energy go without saying, right? The legislation of The Working Time Regulations 1998 certainly says so.

As 2016 gallops around us and envelops us in the gust of its momentum, I observe ideas of balanced living and zen lifestyles, where you can commit to your busy work schedule and still enjoy family life, social activities plus mental and physical wellbeing. I’m stationary in understanding and trying to gain insight as to why some business owners are continually stumbling to put procedures in place or to build on these new outlooks and nurture the individuals that work so industriously for them. Instead creating a totalitarian like regime where it’s difficult to find the time or ask permission to take advantage of a human right (freedom of fluid) to use the toilet.

The wonderfully inspiring world of hairdressing grabbed my attention seven years ago, when I plunged head first into an artistic genre I knew very little about, I allowed myself to be swallowed up by a creative fuzz which wrapped itself around every inch of my being and coated me with knowledge and understanding of the expressive and technical form, I have continually pushed, pulled, gripped and pinned my way into making a success in the abundant industry. It’s an easy career to fall in love with, I can change a sullen mood with the flick of a brush or the curl of a tong, spark a contrasting mindset or a fresh outlook with the snip of my scissors or the grade of my clippers. I can change the shape of a woman’s face, knock ten years of a man’s age or make a bride feel like a princess. I gain trust like no other and build relationships that span decades, I can set trends and move fashion, I am involved in celebrations, milestone birthdays, marriages, holidays and births. I can give endless opportunities, an unmeasurable confidence and bring new beginnings.

The influence of fashion and the desire to look younger, coupled with economic growth and the associated increase in real disposable income, as the cost of many basic items now takes a smaller proportion of consumers’ budgets, there is increased scope for discretionary spending on services, therefore creating lucrative opportunities for willing cosmetologists. The growth of the health/beauty industry and the increase of ageing population in the UK will multiply the need to cater for a wider age range of clients, opening up growth in an industry already worth over 6 Billion Pounds. Unfortunately the murky world of status and greed can creep into and cloud the vibrancy of the trade. Client care and customer focused service can often be forgotten as quantity overpowers quality. Viewing your craft with tunnel vision, immovable strategies and unworkable relationships can hinder progression and if money is your sole ambition, then no guarantee of happiness and/or continual success can be put in place.

Realisation is the vital key in growth and development and I feel fortunate to unlock the corporate and competitive ball and chain of a large salon group and take the plunge into self employment, opening up endless possibilities as I continue to work alongside established creatives within Scotland, London and Paris. I look forward to welcoming clients, old and new on the start of my new journey, based at Blu Hair and Beauty where I will build my own business. Blu, is situated on South Tay Street in Dundee’s Cultural Quarter, the established salon has held a loyal following for many years and share my relaxed, client focused ethos. I love my job and I genuinely care.

Please contact the salon directly or drop me a message on Gigi Bobs Your Hair’s business page for any enquiries or appointments.

May The Bridges I Burn Light The Way…

Long Live The Vef and All Hail Gigi, The Coiffure Queen.

 

OESTROGEN DECIDES EVERYTHING 

I am a hormonal bitch.
Three hundred and thirty three days of the yearly calendar, I can be politely described as saintly, very organised, motivated and relatively calm, my days are continuously filled with positivity, joy, happiness and laughter, birds tweet playfully in a halo around my head as I skip gleefully through every situation and hurdle elegantly over each barrier life unexpectedly whips out in front of me.

The remaining twelve days, sees a shift, an almighty turning point, where I become an unsightly demon, so disgustingly powerful I could pierce a fellow mans heart with a wicked glance, snarled lip and shrieking remark. I’m convinced I’m the spawn of the devil or at least we are related, I conjure up livid scenarios in my tangled mind and accuse, confirm and believe that those I love most are plotting against me. I have seriously considered investing in a straightjacket, padded room and mouth gag for such experiences when the underworld escapes through the vessel of my womb and regurgitates through my lurid tongue and unforgivable actions. I drive myself and more so others around the bend- the U bend to be precise, as my rather quaint and sociable conversational skills, flip and resemble that, or quite close to, the shitty toilet scene from Trainspotting.

The world is against me and I am left with no choice but to plan my escape to a remote desert island, where I will live alone and read ‘Heart and Soul’ by Maeve Binchy repeatedly whilst listening to ‘One more cup of coffee’ by Bob Dylan on a loop. No one loves me anyway! What can I offer? My very existence is as crumbly and nutty as the whole packet of almond cookies I devoured, in bed, whilst binging on ‘Californication’ -where the lead character is almost as unfortunate but incredibly more fortunate than I am.

My anger multiplies as my sanity implodes and it’s the end of the world, as we know it- either that or someone, regrettably, forgot to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom of the tube and clearly expected me to rinse out the bathroom sink, a likely scene to send me in a frenzy, a quivering mess, sinking to the tiled floor, veins pulsating as a voice whispers- ‘did you remember to take your medication darling?’ That’s it! I’m leaving, slamming the front door off it’s hinges, so forceful none of the coordinated pictures are left hanging in the entrance hall.

Deep breaths, I regain my calm as I storm along the, thankfully, quiet Sunday street, looking like a triumphant vagrant- mismatched pyjamas and a berghaus fleece, (unsure of the owner) my hair skew-whiff. I reach my sanctuary- the top of Balgay Hill and dream of my new life where I live on the beach, grow my armpit hair, drink from coconuts and weave friendship bracelets from Palm leaves, if only things can be that simple.

An hour or so of Forest Bathing, I return home, sane and refreshed from my otherworldly outburst. Typically greeted by a withered and worried boyfriend who has undeniably no conceivable idea as to what had unfolded before him and how could I possibly explain when I can’t bloody untangle it myself.

Although, I predict I have psycho cuntism, brought on through my maniacal menstrual cycle.

‘a female human being who knows that a month has thirty days, not twenty-five, and who can spend every one of them free of the shackles of that defect of body and mind known as femininity.’

Long Live the VEF and Gigi the psycho QUEEN!


  
  
  
  
Photography : ‘The Coven at Aokigahara’ by Kathryn Rattray for Twisted Flax, featured at ‘The Unsung Hero’ Exhibition 2014.

Just Kids, Part Two

“I believe that we, that this planet, hasn’t seen its Golden Age. Everybody says its finished … art’s finished, rock and roll is dead, God is dead. Fuck that! This is my chance in the world. I didn’t live back there in Mesopotamia, I wasn’t there in the Garden of Eden, I wasn’t there with Emperor Han, I’m right here right now and I want now to be the Golden Age …if only each generation would realise that the time for greatness is right now when they’re alive … the time to flower is now.”
― Patti Smith

 

 

The development of my self conscious is something I’ve been working on for sometime, exploring different approaches, all aiming towards a positive flow of life’s energy. I have altered, rectified, pushed, pulled, moulded and manipulated my outlook in search of my ultimate zen, thus being to reach the precise obverse of my rather sullen, negative and down beat personality. Many factors shape our lifestyles and perspectives, from our individual upbringing to our career choice, social habits or our arrangement of close companions, each factor reinforcing how we view the world and how we consider ourselves. I have tested myself throughout many years, I still test myself now, changing strategy until I find my ultimate aim of peace in my mind. My latest approach of physical exercise has seen me peak in well-being, focus and determination, it has given me the lift and push I need to determine the abundant goals I have in other areas of my life. Rectifying my relationship with alcohol and discovering other outlets to off-load, switch off, relax and get lost in has lifted my spirits and created an overpowering and contagious energy I am excited to share with the world.

The month of January, I have focused on self development, changing my diet, discarding meat products and cows milk, regaining control of my core muscles and physical strength, as well as taking hold of my emotions and contributing more effort in my mental and physical interactions. My chakras are aligned and I feel a reassuring balance, I’m on the right track. I have made a conscious decision to keep myself centred and to live in the present. My aura feels light and breezy, yet warm and fuzzy and I believe I have reached the pinnacle, where good things start to happen.

‘You get out, what you put in’

I’m confidently certain the energy we give out, connects and channels likewise currents, linking people and places to generate incredible ideas and events. Everything in the Universe is energy and many things can be changed with energy. Every person, every thought, every emotion is energy. Our energy fields and systems are alive and intelligent. Using this positive source to your advantage is where the fun begins.

I’ve watched my hairdressing career expand and grow alongside the acceleration of my well being, I’ve stretched from city to city and further on to the fashion capital of the world, Paris. I am confident in my ability as a strong team member, reliable, flexible, prepared and switched on. I am enjoying my travels, adventures and the fun my inner energy attracts.

The next tale, written by Titi Finlay, tells of my latest chapter to London Collection Men’s 2016, where I had the pleasure of assisting Gary Gill as part of his creative team on three incredible shows, including, Xander Zhou, Christopher Raeburn and Bobby Abley. When your mind is in the right place, you know something exciting can happen at any moment….

‘It did not surprise me when my friend Holly mentioned she had secured us a backstage tour of The Lion King Musical, on London’s West End. Thrilled and excited, yes, but not surprised, for Holly has a knack for attracting goodness.

In this particular example, Holly was simply sitting in a London Central branch of Pret à Manger, when she was approached by a woman named Fiona, who wanted nothing more than to compliment Holly on her style. As the conversation unfolded, Fiona explained that she works in the costume department of the hit musical and would be more than willing to give Holly (and her hysterical friends) a tour…

Caitlin and I set off to meet Holly at ‘The Nags Head’ pub in Covent Garden, but after a turbulent few stops on the London Underground, Caitlin politely stepped off the carriage and spewed pink vomit all over the marble floors of Hyde Park Corner. (N.B freshly blitzed raspberries may sound healthy but avoid at all costs when your stomach is full to the brim with last nights tequila…)

We eventually boarded the train once more, desperately trying not to miss our 5.15pm tour, while Holly awaited us on the stoop of the pub like a lost child. I dramatically told her to ‘go on without us’ feeling like a musical martyr, whilst my patent boots stumbled over the cobbled stones of Covent Garden.

We barged past the 14-year-old groupies at the stage door and frantically yelled at the doorman, that we had a tour ‘wi Fiona fae the costumes!’ Inside Holly was waiting for us and I suddenly felt a moment of sheer zen, as though I had just stepped on to the holy floors of a cathedral. Fiona put a lanyard around my neck and the doors opened to a world of dreams: The vaults of a musical theatre. Holly and I pranced around while Caitlin took photographs, memories. We made out debut on The Lion King stage and had we not been so polite, I have a feeling the whole of ‘Annie’ would have been performed to the light technicians. While Holly went to find her bag- which she threw to one side as she ran with excitement on to the stage, I stood livid with myself for not videoing myself singing the tribal, iconic opening lines of ‘The Circle of Life’. However, I soon forgot as we were lead through corridors full of dressing rooms, ajar, so we could catch a glimpse of a boozy after-party, or Simba’s bum as he changed. It was completely magical, and after we had thanked Fiona for making it possible, I turned to thank Holly, who makes everything possible.’ – Titi Finlay.

A perfect example and proving in every way possible that balance and positivity within your metaphysical biofield can bring great things, including, a tour of The Lion King or meeting The Jersey Boys and partying with them at Madonna’s private members club or turning up at Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green after-show party in your pyjamas or making Hollywood movie stars carry your suitcase or meeting Patti Smith and touching her with your sweaty hands.

Long live the VEF and I love you Pipi Ginlay, you will always be my QUEEN!

 

No one expected me. Everything awaited me. 


As the past year draws to a close and a new year is fresh in it’s beginning, now forms a time open to conclusion and reflection, a look back on previous adventures and the importance of noting and filing your achievements and blessings. A time to appreciate relationships and to take heed of proposed plans and suggestions. A fresh start, an untried challenge, an unlikely path, alternative perspective or perhaps, followed footsteps. There is nothing more refreshing or stimulating than the clearness a resolution into the new year can bring.

2015 brought indescribable excitement my way and I saw incredible achievements in my career, not only did I make my debut, styling at London (LC:M) Fashion Week, I was also given the opportunity to style under Head Stylist Gary Gill at the Vetements show at Paris Fashion Week, attributes I’ve confirmed to mimic and add to in 2016. Continuing to work alongside and assist Gary in various photo shoots throughout the year, found me at the latest Axe Deodorant (formally Lynx) Advertising Campaign as well as the United Colours of Benetton, 50 year Anniversary Campaign and not forgetting various other fashion collectives and publications.

Gratefully, I was asked to judge a competition, which is close to my own heart- Wella Generation Now- which catapulted my career two years ago and influenced lucrative relationships with talented and productive people within my industry. I was invited to attended numerous events with Wella throughout the year, which allowed me to cement association with my own personal salon colleagues and others brought together under the Wella family umbrella.

Throughout 2015 I have maintained my writing and my blog has grown, GG BOBS HER HAIR has gone from strength to almighty strength, accumulating a staggering 50,000 visitors, reading my 55 blogposts. Writing keeps me sane and I have pushed through struggles and leapt over hurdles to keep consistent with my posts. I’m truly thankful to be continually encouraged by Professor Mike Press, I have delightedly collaborated with him at many events throughout the year including our successful Lunchtime Talk along with Linda Barclay and Ruadhan Scanlan at Dundee’s Literary Festival in October. I’m anxious but enthusiastic about emerging projects for next year and I hope to enhance my art in storytelling.

My family life is booming and my relationships have never felt so genuine or on track. My daughter and I shared a trip of a life time when we travelled together to New York City back in May. My biggest and proudest achievement of this year has been the development of my character and inner strength, combining Shinrin-Yoku with exercise has allowed me to find calm within chaos and has acted as a vent for my frustration and stress. During the last quarter of the year, I made a conscious decision to quit alcohol for a reasonable 60 days, which I’m faithfully inspired to reveal has changed my perspective on life and has made me a nicer, stronger, more determined, understanding and caring person. My self denial of alcohol has given me so much belief and self respect, I have chosen to continue without it for the foreseeable future, I know I am a better person without it.

Last Hogmanay I started to write things down, my hopes and my dreams, when I reflect back, all have come true. Already my 2016 diary is full of crazy adventures, which will see me travel across the world. My only resolution is to structure things more appropriately to allow my time to be spent more accordingly. I’m ready to make lists and I’m excited at doing so.

Thank you to everyone who was made 2015 extra special, I can’t send enough gratitude.

2016 are your ready? Because there is no stopping me!

‘For auld lang syne, my dear,

for auld lang syne,

we’lltak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.’- Rabbie Burns 

Long live the VEF and HAPPY NEW YEAR QUEENS!

Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk…

 I woke up unexpectedly at the Shudehill Interchange in Manchester, a repeating voice in my ear, my brain shaking violently in my skull, I lay torpid and unaware of my surroundings, wrapped in a fleeced pyjama top, I was dreaming, hopefully, although my face felt as though it was attached to a sheet of glass, a window, my back creaked with the pain of a five hour journey. I felt the sting of vomit rise in my oesophagus and I reached for something, anything to hold my gag as it expelled triumphantly from the unwilling exit.

I was on the Megabus. I checked my belongings- my purse, my phone, a half empty bottle of vodka and a sequinned suit jacket. I checked myself, a pyjama fleece, jeans and sky scrapper heels. I checked my surroundings, my boyfriend Darren and my friend Josh, along with another twenty or so passengers, all making the same gruelling seven hour journey from Scotland to London.

This was not an exciting, planned or prepared holiday with a group of willing friends, we were elevated, yes, but for all the wrong reasons. The evening previous was spent guzzling glasses upon glasses of red wine in various establishments of Dundee’s busy west end, heading back to my flat to continue senseless but fun behaviour, where we dressed up in vintage clothes and performed scenes from Carmen Miranda movies. Joined by Darren, India, Josh and photographer Ross McLean, night turned into morning and we all decided to accompany Darren to the bus station, to send him sweet farewells and to wave him off for his work trip to London.

I nudged Josh, ‘where the fuck are we?’ As the scenes thereafter rewound in my memory. The driver had been packing the luggage at the bottom of the bus as we both lunged, ninja like, towards the top deck, rewardingly necking straight spirits as we left Dundee unscathed and unseen.

Four days we spent there, replenishing our five a day with fermented fruit, I took hobo de rigueur to another level and eventually the episode ended with a tormented panic attack in a park by Victoria Station, where I lost my front veneer and my marbles. The horrid journey home and the repercussions I faced should have made me learn a valuable lesson but I continued to loathe and wallow in self inflicted circumstance for some time after.

Eventually the exhaustion of my hectic work schedule, demanding family life and my frenzied partying took it’s toll, the penny had finally dropped.

I was going sober.

For me it was less choice and more necessity, I had forgotten myself and glazed over things with a rosy hue of induced merriment. I was battering through life, good and bad, without giving myself a chance to stop, relax and reflect. Do not mistake me, things were going well, I am an enthusiast and a hard worker, I was reaching my goals, my life was on track but I lacked essential fulfilment, I felt a fraction lost and the strain on my mental health was unforgivable. I am guilty and my sentence is served for all my lost time, days of suffering a variety of dark symptoms. I was missing the fundamental value of living and I had selfishly forgotten this wasn’t just effecting my existence but the people I was disengaging from were the people I loved the most.

The first few weeks were easy, I was pissed off at my previous behaviour and that alone kept me focused. The undisturbed sleep left me fresh and revitalised, working advantageously on my completion and mood. My informed choice of nutrition has saw me shed weight and my body appears svelte and toned. Time is my own and I’ve learned to unwind, exploring positive avenues of relaxation and discovering what I enjoy.

My relationships feel indestructible, my eyes are wide and I view Ruby with greater admiration than before, I’m curious of her growth stage and I am relishing in what she has become. I’ve turned extraordinarily patient, watching each of her little quirks with feelings of overpowering pride. I feel more open and honest with my parents and I’m less embarrassed by my weaknesses, I can share with them more as my guard has become lower and more transparent. I find different assets in my boyfriend, qualities I had yet to notice and this cements our partnership and plans for our future. I’m thankful and grateful, my happiness has multiplied and I look forward when waking up each day. My job excites me again and I’m ready to develop my career further, seeking greater challenges and proving my capability, I’m ready to turn up the heat.

The greatest revelation of all, is that I like myself, whereas before I struggled with who I was and the way I was behaving. I have found myself shouting out and feeling not embarrassed or self conscious but proud at being heard. I am confident and I am happy and I want to share that with the world, I have butterflies in my belly at the prospects and adventures of my future.

Furthermore I’ve developed stronger self control and I am slowly managing to curb my acute mood swings, partaking in Forest Bathing or Shinrin Yoku at least once a week, combining mindfulness and exposure to nature which positively creates calming neuro-psychological effects, allowing me to feel light and free of stress, anger and anxiety.

I’m 60 days sober and I am a different person. My mind and body are strong and burst with clarity. My challenge is over and I reach the other side with great knowledge and more understanding of who I truly am. My relationship with alcohol has changed and I’m excited that my new outlook will allow recreational enjoyment with the poison, instead of the binge and abuse I dealt prior.

I would recommend this for anyone who chooses to reconnect.

‘One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.’-Charles Baudelaire

Long live the VEF and I challenge each and everyone of you to go 60 days Sober Queens.


  
  
  
  
  
  


  

Ruby’s Yule Time Tale

Photography by Dylan Drummond, Son of the Sea Films

Props and costumes Tammy-Lynn Shaw

Featuring Darren Tait, Holly Scanlan and Ruby Scanlan