Category Archives: Joyful Things

Random things life has to offer that make me happy.

Joyful Things 24

book nerd travel problems

Cute steampunk styled illustrations of a girl and her pet Octopus.
Enchanting European Libraries captured in beautiful photos, a book lover’s dream!
These are gorgeously dark fairytale styled illustrations by Alexandra Dvornikova
This yogi, yoga teacher and artist is a new favourite of mine to follow, she’s amazing.
Very cute and perfectly round butted chinchillas! Their butts are so fluffy!
Here is the NYTimes top 52 places to visit in 2017.
This article about the wild feminine really makes me want to howl at the moon.
Here are some of the oldest colour photos, showing what society looked like 100 years ago.
I am currently reading this book about a girl born with wings, it’s a beautiful book.
Artist and his daughters create 3D paintings on glass, so lovely.

From the photo above you can see we are packing for Bulgaria, our coach leaves tomorrow at 4:30pm. We arrive at the airport in London around midnight and fly at 8am on Saturday (why such a long journey just to catch a flight? Well we live in the South West where there’s no such thing as airports or civilized things, much like Wales there is only sheep and Dartmoor ponies).

I actually quite enjoy this part of the trip because we purchase loads of snacks to take on the journey with us and it gives us plenty of time to engage in deep conversations (or sleep in strange places like the airport floor). The biggest problem I have with travel is choosing what books to take with me, this time we are only going to Bulgaria for a week and yet I have six books piled with my clothes, three of which are poetry books and rather slim, the other three are magical realist novels and rather chunky.

Even though this holiday is going to be a short one, I very much need the rest and so I am not even going to take my note book which is essentially my work book full of lists of things I need to work on. I don’t want to see it whilst I’m at my mom’s because if I do I’ll end up writing an article (for example) instead of simply winding down, doing yoga in nature and reading or writing for leisure. Which is another reason for the six books.

The weather here in the UK has been divine, we’ve had a beautiful heat wave and I’ve spent a good few afternoons sat in our back garden reading and soaking up the sun. Today the forecast is changing, dark clouds are whirling in and thunderstorms are predicted. This is actually perfect timing for us, whilst the UK experiences a very wet weather system, Bulgaria’s weather is glorious! So I can not wait to relax by the pool and take leisurely strolls in my summer dresses down the cobbled streets of Veliko Tarnovo.

Joyful Things 23

Alexandra DvornikovaImage source: Alexandra Dvornikova.

I’ve been writing a lot. So much so that I’m getting headaches and my sleep is restless. It’s OK though, I’m enjoying this time, I am feeling very wordy at the moment and I’ve purchased quite a few poetry books and novels to review on this blog, because why the hell not? I’d say Literature was probably my second favorite subject at school, beaten only slightly by Art since at the time I felt Art gave me more freedom and Literature has a tendency to be taught in a regimented way in schools.

Regardless, because of my love of both forms of expression I do enjoy fusing both together as mixed media pieces, I include text or script to my video installations and I’m currently creating an illustrated poetry book.
I, surprisingly didn’t like P.E at school, I was the pudgy kid nobody wanted on their team and yet here I am, a Belly Dancer and Kids Yoga teacher who enjoys reading books on Anatomy and Fitness Instructing but I also love creating workshops involving all four forms of expression I love dearly: Art, Dance, Poetry and Yoga.

I think, looking back I’ve always been a mixed media creative and this is probably why people misunderstand me, because I can’t be tucked neatly into one category and I’m not afraid to show my many facets either so I’m criticized a lot for just being me. but I feel pretty amazing from within right now, I feel at peace in discovering who I really am, I am enjoying this journey and that feels truly empowering and therefore the critics don’t affect me as much anymore.

But anyway, I have some book reviews and interviews to complete and publish before and during my trip to Bulgaria,and it looks like I’ll be carrying quite a few books with me. Oh! The problem with being a book nerd!
Here are ten Joyful Things for your viewing pleasure!

Florence and the Machine sings to a girl with bone cancer, in hospital.
An old farm in the mountains of Costa Rica was turned into a sanctuary for 900 dogs.
Just purchased The Clay Girl, it’s a magical realist novel. Super excited to read & review it.
We’re off to Bulgaria soon, check out these beautiful places we might visit.
Hilarious video of British men trying to get a bike of an electric fence.
Yummy, summery ice cream recipes up on Goop!
Interesting article about giving our emotions space so we can heal.
I LOVE Shakira’s new single, have you heard it? It has a lovely, summery vibe.
Clever recycling machine feeds stray dogs, this is a wonderful idea!
Ten must see Bookshops in the world according to the Guardian.

*Art work by Alexandra Dvornikova. She’s a Russian artist training to be an art therapist. I’ve just discovered her work and instantly fell in love. I adore how mystical and macabre her paintings are. Almost reminiscent of the old folkloric tales.

Joyful Things 22

eastern body, western mind book
Israeli artist creates funny & cute illustrations of every day life with his wife.
Youtuber book geek talks about all things books and she’s delightful to watch.
5 ways you are using magic when practicing yoga, there for you are a yoga witch or wizard.
A wonderful article about the dark realities of mermaids and their sexual power.
There was an amazing Thunderstorm in Plymouth, I’ve never seen a thunderstorm like it.
Meghan Currie released a beautiful piece of music called Le Grand Poem.
I’m treating myself to this surreal and mystical poetry book.
This young man hugs stray dogs and gives them the love they deserve, so touching.
This young woman creates mermaid tarot portraits, I think I might have a go at this myself!
This poetry magazine looks amazing, I may purchase a few copies to take to Bulgaria.

Apologies for neglecting this blog for a couple of weeks. Things have been pretty manic here for a short while with lots to plan and sort out. Jon, as you know is renovating the garden, he’s also started building the little book nook and seating area in our bedroom, we’re planning a week away to see my mum in Bulgaria for the end of June and I’ve been working more hours in my part time job whilst writing four articles to be published early this summer.
On top of that I’ve been attending my usual yoga classes, making time for yoga study, planning the yoga & Belly dance workshop and the Kiddo Yoga & art workshop (both happening in July) and also working on some new dream-catchers too. Jon has also been away with work a lot, a few weeks ago he spent two weeks in New York and last week he was in Paris and soon he’ll be off to Spain. It’s currently all go in the Roberts-Ness home and we are so looking forward to the restful week in Bulgaria, I’ll be packing quite a few poetry books to read by the pool alongside ‘Eastern Body, Western Mind’ which is a phenomenal book about the Chakras and placing them in a Western context, exploring Jungian psychology, childhood development and body somatics; it’s truly ground-breaking ideas! And I’ll be taking my little note book too as I have plentiful prose poems swimming about in my mind lately which is great for my illustrated poetry book I hope to publish one day and I do still fancy having a go at performing at a spoken word poetry event in the near future.

So things for readers to look forward to in later blog posts include: New Dream-Catchers, New illustrated poems, my usual yoga updates, Interviewing inspirational people (new addition to the blog), published articles & poems, my Bulgaria travels and Jon’s renovation projects!
Have patience with me, lots of delicious things are coming!

*Photo of Eastern Body, Western Mind and Jon in the background building the book nook/window seat, buy the book here.

Joyful Things 21

Yin Yoga, Sacred Dance, Sacred Women
Spout the Wonder Pup tries to play with his Yogi Mum.
Very cute Acro-Yoga Proposal, I love the woman’s reaction.
Sailaway Dress company have brand new home decor products, playsuits & day dresses, Woop!
I love this Belly Dancer, her name is Zoe Jakes, I love scrolling through her instagram.
I still really want these Oracle cards, may treat myself next month.
This poetry book looks beautiful and interesting, it’s a poetic response to mental health.
Found this Belly Dance Teaching manual, again something to purchase very soon methinks!
Fancy living a nomadic lifestyle? This couple living in a van are very inspiring.
I’m switching to using Bamboo toothbrushes & hair brushes to reduce my effect on the planet.
This & This Yogi Tea mug sets are super cute, I’ve been looking for a new mug.

Today I am just relaxing by myself after a long week of work and yoga, Jon flies back to the UK today from being in New York for 2 weeks, he’ll be in Plymouth later in the afternoon. I’ve been studying this Yin Yoga book tremendously as I think in the distant future  I’d like to specialize as a Yin yoga teacher (when I can find the funds!) but I think my approach might be slightly different to the traditional ideas of Yin and I’d love to incorporate Yang like Sun salutations as warm-ups to a belly dance lesson and maybe a short Yin cool down with a meditation to end? Who knows? I’m also studying ‘Sacred Women, Sacred Dance’ to freshen my knowledge of ancient and folkloric dances in the world in preparation for teaching my up and coming workshops and I’ve been asked to teach belly dance at a Yoga festival in Newquay, happening in September, this is totally for free as it’s a brand new festival and I’m happy to be a part of it all. I am in a really good place right now in my life, lots of things are brewing, although aspects to my life are far from perfect, it is the first time in a long time I am content within myself and where I am going, and it’s a beautiful feeling.

20 Things I want to do before I become a Mum

ustrasana, camel pose, Spring
A friend of mine Cara, who is also a lifestyle blogger recently published a blog post about turning 29 and listed all the things she’d like to try and do before she is 30. This inspired me to do the same, obviously I am no longer 30, I turned 31 last October but I have plenty of things I wish to achieve before I do the whole settle down-get married-have kids milestone. A lot of the things on this list will be travel related but there is no particular order. So this is my three year plan of things I want to do before I become a mum.

1: Get my 4th and 5th tattoos. I am already planning the 4th.
2: Publish a book, I’ve always wanted to do this & I’m working on an illustrated poetry book.
3: Visit Ireland & Scotland because these places are part of my heritage.
4: Learn how to drive a car and a moped.
5: Do my yoga teacher training in Thailand for 2 months in the distant future.
6: Visit Bali (after yoga teacher training).
7: Go skydiving just once, I’ll be petrified but I’ll do it!
8: Start learning how to grow my own herbs.
9: Organize or be a part of a yoga & belly dance community project to help others.
10: Attend Spanish evening classes, I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish.
11: Learn to trust people again, create close friendships.
12: Try doing a spoken word poem performance.
13: I’d love to be published with Kinfolk magazine.
14: Be able to do the splits (childhood dream).
15: Teach internationally (alongside my local classes), perhaps Spain and Portugal?
16: Visit Cambodia & Vietnam (perhaps before yoga teacher training?).
17: Swim with Dolphins (Making sure they are not in captivity).
18: Pluck up the courage to attend a Latin dance classes.
19: Go hot air ballooning somewhere amazing (not the UK).
20: Visit a place of paradise (like the Maldives) as part of my honeymoon.

Wish me luck! That’s a pretty epic list! A lot of these things I know I will achieve within the next few years (I hope) and you’ll notice I didn’t include any European destinations to travel to and that’s because, whilst I may go on mini breaks to maybe be a guest teacher (who knows), I am fully aware that places like Italy, Czech Republic and Spain are easy to visit with kids, so certain destinations will be put on hold until I have kids to go on family holidays in Europe. It’s a lot harder to visit the Far East with children and sometimes less fun when you know have to be responsible for little people. I already have ideas for a potential wedding and honeymoon and knowing me, it will be unconventional, not on purpose but if I ever did get married I really don’t want the fuss of dealing with a huge bunch of people, my wedding day will be simple and very minimal with a bohemian flare. I’d be totally happy getting married on a beach somewhere (for example) with only a small group of loved ones present with flower garlands and dream catchers dotted about.
In regards to number 11, I realized I’ve never truly enjoyed close relationships with others and it’s a massive shock when someone is kind to me. I’ve unfortunately had a rough time growing up in a difficult family life and meeting dishonest people who took advantage of my kindness. This, over the years made me reserved and I question peoples motives. I do have one best friend who I love dearly but I now want to cultivate strong bonds and happy friendships with more people, this has already started, I met two beautiful, sweet young women I consider my younger sisters and my yoga teacher is slowly becoming a true friend. It’s finding people on my life journey who truly love me no matter what and my heart is slowly healing, this feels good.
cherry blossoms
Photos by Jon Roberts.