Fuck Proof Reading

Fuck proof reading. Anyone who reads my blog (so mostly no one… except my mother… hi mom) knows that if I publish one post a year its a lot. There is good reason for this. Proof reading. I don’t do it. I hate doing it. However I feel like the laws of society/english (and my own perfectionism) dictate that I publish work that is grammatically pristine and with punctuation in all the right places. Honestly the pressure is just far too. It crushes my creative little soul… to the extent where it just stops creating… and that’s just sad. And when I realise that hardly anyone (sparing my mother… hi mom) reads my blogs I wonder why I should care so much. In fact… if anyone does seriously care about my grammar enough to trouble them, they are more than welcome to correct my work in the comments section. Saves me the trouble of doing it… seriously… that would be pretty awesome if anyone was up to the task.
However, if you are happy to read my writing in its raw, authentic, spewing of consciousness form then you’re in luck because from now on that’s pretty much what you’ll be receiving.
Fact of the matter is I have been creating far too little, spending far too much time in my own head and sharing my writing with only my many stray notebooks at home. Really it seems only right to share my most intimate thoughts with the entirety of the internet… really it’s what the internet was made for.

So… yeah, take that grammar nazis!
FURTHERMORE! I have also decided to remove the filter my writing. From now on, anything goes. All of the writing. All of the ideas go on this blog. It is my promise to myself, I will no longer let anxious, perfectionist Nicci get in the way with creative, word spewing Nicci, and if others don’t like what I have to say then they don’t have to read it.

God. I’m such a badass.

 

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In other news… there’s a Mango on my head.
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Today has been an interesting one

So my lecturer is South African, she is the only other South African that I know of in my uni. She isn’t just South African, she is a patriotic South African, not that I’m not…. but she really is!

So I have been waiting quietly, in the back of the room. Waiting. Today it happened, we were talking about AIDS and rape in South Africa (cheerful) and she was laying down some info.”Who knows how many official languages South Africa has? Nicole, don’t answer that.” No one guessed. “Nicole, what’s the answer?” Dear Lord my heart leapt into my throat, if I get this wrong I will never be able to look this woman in the face again!”Um… 11?” I meekly reply. Thank God I was right. To be fair it has been seven years since I lived in the country and I was no expert when I lived there.

Sadly, it didn’t end there. Before I knew it she was asking me to back up an argument on something I knew nothing about. I started speaking but she cut me off… I’m guessing she didn’t like what I had to say.

Anyway, the point is that I KNEW IT! I’ve been waiting at the back of the class waiting for her to call me on my South African-ism, I knew she would put me on the spot. Test my loyalty.
Well I’m going to knock her socks off! I’m going to read, watch, eat and breathe South Africa (whatever that means). So the the next time she calls me out I’m going to know more than she does… I’ll even know the rugby and cricket scores. Then we’ll see who knows their country more. *Evil giggle*

On a different note. I got punched in the crotch today. It was an experience.
I’m going to have to work on my defence in kick boxing.

That’s all folks.

I’ll leave you with a picture I took of some swans in a lovely alignment.

I caught them practising their choreography.
I caught them practising their choreography.

MY ADD RANT

This is a bit off topic from my travel blog but I just needed to write something somewhere and since my ADD is the culprit for my lack of productivity with this blog (and everything else) it seemed appropriate to just write it here.

This is rant started developing in my head when I was trying to concentrate on doing my work for uni. I’m staring at the screen trying as hard as I can to process the complex and wordy sentences into meaning in my head and it just wasn’t happening. Instead I’m literally imagining a fly buzzing around inside my empty head while an intense feeling of anger and frustration starts to eat its way through my chest like acid until I’m ready to scream, punch and cry. So I did… it’s a good things pillows don’t have feelings. Now I’m here, divulging all my feelings on ADD to my internet audience. This would probably be a good time to explain that I have Inattentive Attention Deficit Disorder, which basically means I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that makes it very difficult for me to concentrate and leads me to day dream a lot. Now usually by this point in the explanation (when I’m telling someone in person) I get told that they think they have ADD too! Because they daydream and sometimes can’t concentrate. Now fair play it is possible that they may have ADD. But I’m going to lay down some statistics on here (courtesy of webMD).
Now would also be a good time to point out that Inattentive ADD is a form of ADHD which is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (I’m not hyperactive).
Anyway. The STATS!

ADULT ADHD STATISTICS

  • ADHD afflicts approximately 3% to 10% of school-aged children and an estimated 60% of those will maintain the disorder into adulthood.
  • Prevalence rates for ADHD in adults are not as well determined as rates for children, but fall in the 4% to 5% range.
  • ADHD affects males at higher rate than females in childhood, but this ratio seems to even out by adulthood.

From this, I can assume that the likelihood of every person that has ever said to me that they may have ADD is pretty slim. This pisses me off so much because I really don’t think that people understand the pain in the ass ADD is. It’s not an excuse for not getting my work in time or for anything else.

I am incredibly anxious

I easily get sensory overload (which is why I don’t like clubbing, another thing people don’t understand.)

Through the years I have come to hate myself for my inability to concentrate.

I often feel like I simply can’t cope with life. I’m constantly forgetting to do things or forgetting my things in random places.

I am socially awkward

I have some serious mood swings

I can easily become depressed

I have a low tolerance for frustration

I have low self-esteem

and it is quite likely that I will struggle with employment in the future.

On the plus side I am more creative than most, however most of the time I struggle to convey the creative ideas in my head which is just frustrating.

But yeah, all of these things that I struggle with are part and parcel with my ADD… and I haven’t even listed them all.

I have needed YEARS of occupational and psychological therapy to help me, I take medication and often require extra tutoring. I am also pretty damn sure that if my ADD wasn’t diagnosed when it was I would have flunked school. If it wasn’t for my Mother’s constant support and determination to help me. I don’t know where I would be now, but it certainly wouldn’t be university.
Having said that, going to Uni and living alone feels like an impossible task. I sometimes spend weekends not going out. I don’t want to interact with other people, I don’t want to go shopping for food, I don’t want to do anything. I’ll actually go hungry to avoid going out. I won’t even go outside my room in case I have to try and have a conversation with my flatmates.

Another thing that gets on my tits is when people think that I’m using my ADD as an excuse, I’ll use it as an explanation for my disorganisation, my social awkwardness or anything that I know specifically relates to my ADD. I do this so people can understand that when I fuck up it’s not on purpose. That I’m not just being lazy and making up excuses. However when I do I get told that I must stop making excuses for myself and man up… So I’ll just man up and NOT HAVE ADD ANYMORE! If that were possible I would have done so already.

I am so tired of feeling incompetent and I am so tired of every other person thinking that they have ADD just because they day-dream now and then. For me it has been a constant struggle throughout my life.

Next time you meet someone with a form of ADHD, whatever you do, do not jump to the assumption that you have ADHD because you share a couple of symptoms… it’s not cool.
Also… don’t ask us if you can try our medication… that’s just fucked up.

Rant over…. and no, I’m not proof reading this.

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“Everybody knows a little place like Kokomo.” – The Beach Boys.

Everyone should know this song, and the feel good vibes it sends through you. However you’ve never truly understood the meaning of the song until you’ve lived it. I have been fortunate enough to know several places that give you that ‘Kokomo’ feeling.

Today I’ll be talking about my latest paradise destination. Koh Samui is a little island in the Gulf of Thailand. It’s about 25 km at its widest point. There’s a single 51 km road that circles most the island, connecting the lowland areas as the centre of the island has an almost uninhabitable jungle mountain, Khao Pom, peaking at 635 m.

Coming into land you’ll see a sparkling turquoise sea and lush green islands dotted around the water. It’s the kind of view that makes you want to jump out of the plane there and then so you can splash into beautiful world beneath you. (I recommend you resist this urge until after you land.)

When you land you’re welcomed by an airport that looks more like a resort than a hotel. So you get that holiday vibe as soon as your feet touch the ground! You also become aware that this place is different. This place is special.

If you usually hate airports than Samui airport will bring a welcome change, it’s a small privately owned airport that has few incoming and outgoing flights so there’s never masses of people running about or long lines to passport control. It’s more like a giant wardrobe, and Koh Samui is a tropical Narnia. (If you remove the ice queens, talking lions and such.)

Walking away from the cute little airport and we’re greeted by the driver that the hotel has sent us. This seems common here, there were queues of hotel cars and mini buses waiting to pick up the waiting tourists. The alternative is to take a tuk tuk, taxi, or for the adventurous – the motorbike taxi.

Almost everyone in Koh Samui gets around by motorbike or scooter, they’re also readily hired to tourists… although that doesn’t always end well for the tourist. (frequent accidents occur from silly shenanigans involving drunken tourists and motorbikes.) On my way to the resort I saw a whole love scene unfold in front of me as a young man tries to court a girl riding on the back of a motorbike. He pulls up next her, smiling. She giggles bashfully and waves him away but he persists, convincing her to meet him tonight for a drink. Then our drive honks his horn to remind them that this is the open road, not a dating service… They ignored us completely.

Such is Love. Such is Koh Samui.

More about Koh Samui in my next post.

Motivation

Oh the Shame!

It’s been almost a year since my last blog entry… So much for dedication.

I don’t understand what my problem is when it comes to sticking to a task. Any Task! Yes, sometimes it is just pure laziness, but I like to think that there’s more to it than that.

Either way, whether it’s keeping up with my online course or following a new hobby, I’m thoroughly enthusiastic for, say, the first week but after that things go downhill fast. BUT, there is hope. I’ve tackled this little motivation problem head on and so far I haven’t run out of steam. So, let’s go back to how my motivation project began.

Two weeks ago something snapped inside me, I was sick and tired of being fat. No, not just fat. Fat and Lazy. For months I was making excuses for my weight gain, like blaming England’s fatty foods and miserable climate. (although I do feel that way.) I love sailing but I didn’t want to go for the lessons because the water would be too cold. I wanted to do more leisure cycling but it’s always raining. I was going to start cooking every meal but it was too expensive for my budget… You get the picture. It’s very easy to make up a million reasons not to do something. Fortunately, the more excuses I made the more sick of myself I became. I used to just jump head first into situations and make things work as I go along, now my life consisted of pathetic excuses. No more I say. NO MORE!

And so it began.

First and foremost, it was truth time. I was fat and unfit, not because I didn’t have the time to exercise or plan my meals but I was simply being lazy and disorganised. I also had to settle with the fact that THIS IS ENGLAND and the rain is going nowhere. So, if I wasn’t going to get my exercise the way I used to, which was outdoor activities. I’d have to *shudder* join a gym. Now I hate gyms, no, I LOATHE gyms to the very core of my being.

Here is a list of reasons why I hate gyms.

  • The changing rooms – I don’t want to get naked in front of everyone else thank you!
  • Mirrors – my self-esteem is low enough without having to see my round red face staring back at me.
  • The people – I never see another person in the gym who needs to be there, everyone’s already perfect. It’s freaking intimidating.
  • The music – it’s crap.
  • I have no idea what the hell I am doing.
So the first step I have taken is learning to work out in a gym. I’ve done this by finding myself a personal trainer and as everyone knows, personal trainers aren’t exactly cheap. So this is only a step towards being comfortable and confident in a gym. – Although I’d train with her forever if I could, it’s only my second session but I never thought I could find exercise so fun.-
By going for about 8 personal training sessions I can learn a variety of cardio and strength exercises, and get to know my way around the gym equipment. Essentially like a crash course in gym training.
Alas, all this talk about weight loss and motivation is easier said than done. If, in a month’s time I still feel as motivated as I do now it will definitely be something to write about. There is one thing that is different… I’m now fully aware that weight loss and fitness requires hard work and discipline. I intend to change my entire life, not just by body.

Oooh Barracuda!

The jetti at Kota Kinabalu

I am back from my holiday! Yes, I went on holiday to Malaysia while I was on holiday in Hong Kong… A holiday within a holiday, but I think We need to go deeper”… ok, enough with the crap. Here’s my latest adventure.

I love scuba diving and I got to do loads this holiday in the beautiful waters of Pulau Gaya – a small island just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu. On our first two days we stayed at Gayana eco resort, a resort revolved around the preservation and restoration of precious ocean life with its own marine ecology research center.Click here to find out more about the amazing work they do.
The villas are built over water so you only have to run and jump off your balcony to get into the water where you will immediately be aware of the rich sea life the area has to offer. They also have a few of their own biorock structures, to help accelerate growth on our struggling coral reefs and it’s all accessible by snorkel! I spent 3 hours in water looking at the diversity the eco centre had to offer. I was particularly impressed by the amount of Giant clams I was able to see, the fruit of their giant clam propagation project. Not only is this resort an excellent example on how tourism can help instead of hinder our environment i
t’s also a great place for families. All non motorized sports equipment is free for hire and the marine ecology centre has great programs for kids to learn more about helping the environment in a fun way. This includes adopting a coral, where you help collect broken coral off the sea bed and then replant it in cement. Once you adopt the coral the marine centre will keep you updated with your corals progress even after they’ve returned it to the ocean. Their dive centre has short taster courses set up for non-divers. Something my father did and enjoyed so much he went on to get his full dive certification.

After 2 days we moved to the sister resort Bunga Raya which is situated more deeply into the surrounding jungle but some still with ocean views. This one was more expensive but definitely worth the money, they truly knew how to make you feel special. The service was exceptional and the staff wonderfully friendly. We were still able to keep on diving, in fact the snorkel sight was richer in fish population and the dive sites were closer from this resort. So no complaints here!

Now to the really fun stuff… Diving.

The water in Malaysia is unbelievably clear and teaming with life, just while I was diving with my father and brother near the boardwalk a school of barracuda started circling us, I was completely amazed at the steady, and seemingly pre-calculated, way they would circle us. Occasionally they’d just stop and look at you, having a school of barracuda stare you down is a strong reminder of whose neighbourhood this really is. Having said that, the barracuda did not seem to mind our present and were at most, a little curious.

Barracuda in Malaysia

For anyone considering a dive holiday in Malaysia I give it 8/10! The water is clear blue and beautiful, there’s plenty of tropical fish to see as well as some gorgeous coral outcrops. The downside is the jellyfish, these waters have box jellyfish. I had a close call with one of these buggers  while I was there, I was swimming to shore after a snorkel session and saw it right in front of my face. How I didn’t get stung I’m not entirely sure. I was out of that water as fast as my legs could carry, literally shaking with fear. One of the resort workers was already on the scene, net in hand. The catch any boxy jellyfish found close to the shore to keep the beaches safe.

All in all, I’d go to Malaysia again in the blink of an eye, although I will always be terrified of the box jellyfish. – It’s not really saying much as I’m petrified of most jellyfish.
I hope you’ve found this post useful and I hope you have the opportunity to visit these waters yourself.

Note: This post was meant to be posted months ago… in July 2011… I apologise for not getting it to you sooner.