Monday, 12 August 2013

I can see clearly now

Some of us live our lives filled with perpetual longing for something better, sometimes battered by discontentment. Some are lucky enough to have found a place in the sun where they feel truly happy. A place where the dramas simply melt away and the first thing spotted in a cloudy sky is a silver lining. Some people are just swept along with the flow, content with not having to swim too hard.
Who am I? 
I often wonder that myself.
When I was growing up we moved three times before I hit fourteen. First when I was six, then ten and then again at thirteen. Moving was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it probably gave me a more varied base of experiences than staying put in a small backwater village in southern Sweden ever would have been able to but it was also a curse cause it left me feeling quite rootless and like everything was just temporary. My relationships were never allowed to properly cement before it was time to haul the anchor and drift off to another place where I had to fight tooth and nail to be accepted yet again. I suppose I got used to change though cause after five years in the same place I couldn't wait to fly the nest and move away. 
I left Sweden when I was eighteen to work in Spain for a season and then I moved to Scotland where I stayed for three years. I sloped back to Sweden for a year to study English and law but soon realized that living in the old motherland felt akin to wearing a badly boil washed woolly jumper and because of that I made a speedy return to Scotland where I met Mark. In 1997 I  lived and worked in Malmo in Sweden, Onich in The Scottish Highlands, Cambridge, Wisbech, London and then back to The Highlands for a short stint in Fort William before returning to London again. I lived my life out of a 90 liter backpack and anything I couldn't carry when it was time to move again was left behind. It was a liberating feeling not to be locked down by possessions and to be able to just pack up and leave at a drop of a hat.
We spent all of 1998 in London but still managed to move three times within the city that year.
Then in 1999 we moved up to Ballachulish to look after mum's house while she went off to be a Buddhist nun for a year and after she got back home Mark and I hitched to Barcelona for a summer of busking on La Ramblas. In early September we got a bus back to London, worked in a pub in Balham for a few months, saw in the new millennium with my sister in Copenhagen before moving to Glasgow.
We stayed there for one year before yet again returning to London and then out of the blue all the toing and froing came to an end. It happened on a December day in 2001 when we walked passed a estate agents. A rental notice in the window really grabbed my attention cause it said really wonderful things like "spacious rooms, plenty of storage, large balcony and nearby park" all of which really appealed to me, so we arranged a viewing and a week later we had moved in. Twelve years on we are still here but not for much longer cause change is afoot.
I never in a million years thought I'd stay somewhere for twelve years but I guess that I'd finally found a place where I was happy to sprout a root and my normal "ants in her pants" tendencies where replaced by "albatross adoration". Each year every room became a little more cramped with stuff until one day we were no longer able to just up sticks and move. Sure it's nice to come home to a familiar setting sometimes, flick the kettle on and see that well entrenched butt groove on the sofa where I have been perched year in and year out for what now seems like an eternity but equally sometimes the longing for those freewheeling vagabond days of my youth make me want to cry when faced with all this staid familiarity.
The anchor is no longer making me feel safe, it's making me feel chained down and all the stuff that I once regarded so highly is suffocating me.
Don't get me wrong I still love my frocks but over the past few years I've realized that there is something I love even more and that is excitement, adventure and really wild things! Right now living in London with a house full of frocks there is very little of that variety forthcoming. I want to be able to don a backpack, travel the world, work as a divemaster (although I'd have to become one first) & do marine conservation volunteering. I want to feel like my life has got substance and meaning. It has been ho-hum for too frigging long. Change is where I want to be!
Sheer 70s Hippie frock, satin slip,  suede waistcoat, Buffalo clogs, odd earrings, sunnies and Tibetan prayer bangle.
Just in case you've been wondering what I've been up to since I last blogged...
We've started making that change happen by selling off my vast stash of clobber at The Princess May Car Boot Sale. We'll be there every Saturday and Sunday for the foreseeable future. It will take a little while but we are bashing away at that hoard like nobody's business and making good progress so far.

Here's Jimmy Cliff to sing us out, enjoy :)
Hope you've all been doing well.
Lots of love,


Connie said...

It is all your moving that has made you the interesting wonderful person that you are! I've moved a lot, too. And I always see it as an opportunity to clean house. It looks like you're parting with some awesome stuff. Good luck to you and your continued travels. I can't sit still for very long either. Your Mom is a Buddhist nun?
Wow! You do have The LIFE!

bashashhazbaz said...

nice outfit! very cool post!

Joyatri said...

I had no idea of the full extent of your past perambulations. I'm so glad that you feeling so positive about the present and future, and are freeing yourself to fly like one of the many birds you have cared for.
That new sheer frock is the perfect new addition to your lightened life. Best of luck. xxx

thorne garnet said...

one day you wake up and realize you've lived some place for 26 years! Which is me. Next year, fingers crossed, we move back to California. (and live happy ever after?)

Krista Gassib said...

I do think its what you do with your life experience that matters. I finally left my home of California at 35 and that is when my life started getting so much better.
Follow your bliss.

Jet Kuhn said...

Moving around changes us, helps us grow in ways we never thought. Setting roots is nice too if you find where you belong. Good for you for making the decision to sell off the clutter and move on... something I'm working on as its harder here in the states, they want tax ID's for things I already paid taxes on! No boot sales, best we have are yard sales which are pretty hard when you have this much stuff! Best of luck to you both, may you find your Kismet! XXX Jet

The Grande Dame said...

I thought I'd moved house a lot but not compared to you! Wish I could come to your frock/clothing sale... Your next adventures sound very exciting! I love the blue dress you're wearing.

pastcaring said...

You certainly have made many many moves in your life, Jennie, then obviously felt the need for stability and safety for several years. Perhaps all the "stuff", the collecting, was part of a desire to feel settled, bedded in, established. And that's fine, as long as it's what you want, but if it isn't any more, then it's good to move the stuff, and yourself, onwards. Good luck with all your selling and your future plans. Gorgeous frock - see, feeling lighter already! - and I am spotting all sorts of loveliness at your car boot pitch (that orange/pink frock is especially fetching!) xxxxx

Sharon S said...

Hi my dear! Really lovely post and I so understand how you feel regarding all your vintage clothes. I stopped the vintage fairs mainly because I was fed up with the constant buying and then having the constant trawl of selling which was becoming less and less enjoyable. I now only buy for me and nowhere near as often, I prefer to get out and about especially now we're having such a gorgeous summer. Best wishes and good luck with clearing your clobber xxx

Emalina said...

Love this thoughtful and philosophical post: you follow your desire for change and make it happen!

Panty Buns said...

Your autobiographical writing and open revelations about how the course of your life growing up has effected you are refreshing and deep. It brought a welcome smile to my lips when you lightened the mood by referring to "that well entrenched butt groove on the sofa" :) There are the makings of a wonderful autobiography on the pages of your blog posts.

Your Sheer 70's Hippie frock is lovely. The Princess May Car Boot Sale will obviously be having some wonderful goodies for sale as you bring yourself to part with so many of your much loved frocks and work toward your goal of being a divemaster (and perhaps the next Jacques Cousteau?).

Ariane Lasalle said...

Your Mom is a Buddhist Monk?
Anyway good for you, i would do the same if i was you - Life is too short, if you can do it, do it!

I think a lot about it too - i wish i could work 3 days a week and do whatever, work on my projects - So much shit going in in offices, it's unbelievable and frankly i can't bother -

I think about it so much and starting to think seriously about it , surely it will happened in a near future - Give me a couple of years!

Good luck !

Ariane xo

Frocktasia said...

Connie & Ariane, Mark's mum is Buddhist and went to stay at a place called Samye Ling, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery to do a retreat. She took vows, shaved her head & wore robes for a year. I've always admired her for doing this, she's an amazing individual.

Rhia said...

Finding the meaning or the route to your life must be quite liberating. You shouldn't have problems getting rid of the fabulous stuff you have. Good luck with the sales and happy trails!

Panty Buns said...

Sorry for commenting a second time on the same post, but I'm not on Facebook so I haven't kept up with how you and Mark have been doing at the The London's Trendiest Retro and Vintage Car Boot sale at the Princess May School N16 8DF on Barrets Grove Saturdays and Sundays. I love the prints and long puffy sleeves of the sheer 70s hippie frock you modeled so nicely in this post. I hope you and Mark get to do some of the world traveling and diving together that you both like so much.

Frocktasia said...

Thank you Panty Buns for commenting twice, that's very lovely of you :)
I have been out of the blogging loop for a bit now planning, packing for and now executing our big move from the big smoke down south to another big smoke up north, namely Glasgow. I will blog again when we are settled in a new place and feel up for it. I am looking forward to having the time to catch up with you and all the other lovely peeps in the blogosphere. Hope you are doing well.
Luv & hugs, Jennie xXx

Penny-Rose said...

Jennie, it feels like ages and ages since you have posted - are you okay? Missing your wonderful sense of style and your take on the world.

Lorna Sharp said...

Wow What a few moves you done in your Life !
I hope 2014 bringé you all that you want.

Excuse my French touchscreen !


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