Pastel Dreams ❁♡

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This photo series was captured in Egypt’s beautiful Sinai peninsula; an unreal location by the Red Sea. It is governed by breathtakingly clear, turquoise sea water with a glorious mountain backdrop. The Milky Way is not only visible at night; but amazingly enchanting to look at. The peace found here can not be explained, but only experienced. Sinai; I love you dearly.

Yours truly,

Farah

// September 2018

Makoura Lodge – Apiti, New Zealand ♡

A recent adventure I embarked on upon coming to New Zealand last December; was a visit to a stunning lodge based in Apiti, Manawatu in the North Island. Makoura Lodge hosted a spectacular day in which myself alongside a large group of friends attended, filled with an array of activities overlooking the stunning valleys and rich greenery of the countryside.

The family owned business provides a variety of services and functions such as wedding events, family and friendly holidays and retreats as well as a wide range of recreational and sporting activities. The area is located just outside of Palmerston North and overlooks a magnificent landscape; filled with exotic trees and of course, New Zealand’s scenic mountain views.

Having had the entire area booked specifically for us; we were met with a tremendous welcome and the staff’s incredible hosting. We kicked off the day with a photo scavenger hunt as we split into 2 large teams in competition against one another; which bought me back to basics as I haven’t really participated in family driven activities like that for so long! With the seemingly mild weather suddenly turning into torrential rain; it was rather amusing attempting to run outside without getting too soaking wet in order to capture the photos required.

Other activities in which we participated in included horseback riding through the gorgeous forests and valleys. It truly left me in awe; I had never seen hillsides and gorges so magnificent up close which honestly felt like magic. Alongside this, we played golf on the hills which I certainly failed at; missing the golf ball every time I attempted to hit it, as well as archery; which instead surprisingly, I was rather good at. Whilst normally I prefer to relax, I found these activities recharged me and reminded me of how fun it is to play!

I certainly encourage those in New Zealand to consider a fun retreat and to check out Makoura Lodge or other venues similar to this; and those not, to attempt to gather with loved ones somewhere where bonding through exploration and play is available.

(All photographs taken by myself.)

Home, Sweet, Home

Home will always be a feeling; instead of a physical place.

Returning home after a long time away indeed feels wonderful.  I feel a mixture of excitement, contentment, nostalgia and slight confusion due to my forever existing sense of separation anxiety; which often reveals itself when I move between places and am faced with fresh transitions in my life.  Although I’m a traveller at heart; I make home a place in everywhere I go and find endless comfort in my surroundings, which often meant that I would get attached to where I was before moving onto somewhere new – despite how excited I may have felt without it.  When I was younger; I recall coming back to the UK after a few months away in the summer in Egypt every year to be met with severe post-travel blues; that was indeed too overwhelming for a child of my age at the time.  The feeling did always however, pass within a few days & I always resumed to being my normal self.  I always found the sensation strange; of how one can one day be somewhere and the next not be.  I certainly believe that my overly sensitive nature and my being as a deep empath means that all situations in life almost always affected me way more than a perhaps they would your average, normal person.  The feeling of settling down in new places every time we moved often overwhelmed me as we relocated from city to town, nesting in a variety of homes around the UK before settling down in Norfolk due to my fathers profession.   And although I appreciate the excitement of turning a new leaf, just like anybody; I really do dislike the uncertainty of the unknown.  Which is why I more than ever cherished the importance of learning to detach from these negative, residual feelings of endings and embrace that my transition to higher things in life can only be a good thing – that holding onto the past only causes myself nothing but further suffering.

To those who are unaware; a few days ago I gathered all my belongings and moved back to my childhood home in Norfolk’s countryside after three years of living in my university halls.  Based on my previous fears in life regarding transitions; I honestly thought that it would be harder to bid farewell to a place that became home, despite it’s limitations in comparison to the real comfort of a real home that one may have once been used to.  What I realised however following a stressful few and rather hectic weeks of packing and adjusting to the upcoming changes, I believe a sort of epiphany occurred deep within me.  I understood that all those years of suffering in regards to transitions were not necessarily needed and that this change in perception has allowed me to understand that this is not a goodbye to London; but in fact a stepping stone to a new future ahead of me.  I also thoroughly believe that home will always be a feeling; instead of a physical place.  And I will move on with and cherish the memories that I have made in mind and heart, alongside holding a hope for all the bigger things to come.

If you ever find yourself also feeling similar to what I used to feel; just remember that an ending is not always that; but is instead a beginning.  If we spend all our time contemplating time lost or past happenings, we are only starving ourselves of experiencing what really matters, which is nothing more or less than simply the absolute, present moment.

Returning With The Current

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Assuming that I have not yet been forgotten by previous readers, I would like to greet you warmly once again, as well as bid further newcomers who have stumbled upon this humble website a sincere & heartfelt welcome. For what appears to be a horrendously long time to refrain from my previous, much appreciated hobby of tapping away at my keyboard as you may remember, of writing what ones heart pleases and displeases; I had long forgotten the pure joy of running this blog and giving readers insight into my personal universe.  In fact, in just over two weeks, I will have reached one, non-surprisingly and stupidly short year upon publishing my last WordPress post – which had marked the closing to my writings and ending to my previous gap year.

Unfortunately, one had stopped writing for a variety of reasons throughout the previous period. I chose to let the ending of my gap year dictate my lack of continuing, for it was what had originally inspired me to begin with. The second it had ended, I felt like my motivation was long gone and forced from then onwards in this particular field. I am not implying that having a year off meant being at my peak level of creativity, but it had proved that spare time allowed myself to explore further my surroundings without the pressure of deadlines. Considering I had just started university, I felt like it was necessary to end that chapter as well as focus on my studies – which suggests that I had no spare time whatsoever when of course in reality, I did have plenty. Sometimes however, I often felt that simply, there was not really much to write about at all.

Previously, I let the non-practicing of my talents cause me anxiety. I often felt like I was a slug or some relative creature – extremely lazy and that my existence on planet earth was completely pointless. However, instead of pressuring myself, I chose to embrace it in return for peace of mind. I chose to allow my writing, or any particular talent in fact, come to me in waves, like those of an ocean. I chose to either peak at the highest tide, being my most exciting periods of inspiration, or instead, embrace the sea at its calmest measure. Rather than forcing a non-existing current, I chose to bask in the glorious, clear waters until the waves feel to crash again. For when they do, I am positive that what is to come is better than it ever was before.

Having strongly missed the support and love I had gained previously for my writings upon this blog, I believe that now is the most perfect time to return. I see a slow rise in the ocean’s tide and I long to make the most of it and to exploit it of the goods it chooses to bring. I am slowly and steadily taking on the current so I do not drown. I hope that both old and new readers gain a pleasant reading experience here and I wish that my return proves to be as glorious and as inspiring as I intend it to be. All in good time.

What is Happiness?

What is happiness? A question that one has always pondered upon, happiness is something which we seem to try to reach for on a daily basis and every breathing second in which we live. Happiness is supposedly the opposite of sadness; or the feeling of emptiness and morbidity. It is an emotion in which we have the ability to feel through aspects such as joyous occasions or a general sense of well being. Happiness comes in a variety of shapes and forms; objects and items, loved ones, relationships, perhaps that hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning or a squeeze given when you hold someone’s hand. Happiness is a lot of things, I do not think that happiness and it’s very broad definition can actually be narrowed down to solely one thing or item. For me, I personally believe that happiness is defined by something that is ever so simple. What makes me smile, what makes me smile like a fool or cackle when I laugh so loud that I disturb others around me. I am not going to recite every single affair that seems to make be blossom from inside; purely because a lot of what I have to say is either cat related or something über artsy. But I am going to stress that happiness may not require a lot to be found, but just the right people, the right company and a good heart. Happiness isn’t money; but you need money to have a good time. You also need good friends. It’s all about balance… But finding happiness is feeling contempt with the little that you may have or may not and finding pleasure in everything you love to do.

Farah Kahlo and Leaver’s Day

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It has been nearly two days since my Sixth Form Leaver’s Day and I must admit it is slowly dawning on me how sad I feel that I am leaving friends, fond memories and Sixth form behind. After a restless sleep and a lot of contained excitement, I woke up to my perfectly arranged costume – makeup, jewellery and Frida’s persona included, it literally felt like Christmas Eve. Despite the miserable rain outside, nothing could dampen mine and my friends mood because this was our farewell to WyHigh after 2 years at sixth form! After much practice and watching of online Frida’s outfit tutorials and hair; I plaited my hair perfectly into place (which I received plenty of compliments on) – placed a garland on and voila! — Frida’s hair. For the face makeup, blusher and bronzer was key to Frida’s makeup and an orangey/ coral lipstick tone was close to the final touches. I was surprised as to how I was quickly transforming into my favourite artist; especially as I began to add the UNIBROW, which included extensive use of my beloved eyebrow pencil… Lengthening it towards the middle and using an eyebrow brush to spread the pencil, creating a soft ‘hair’ effect.

After taking a variety of selfies and posing for Father on Skype for him to screenshot, we drove to my best friends house to pick them up, where also following the theme of Artists, dressed up as Roy Litchtenstein paintings, believe it or not – which were executed brilliantly. We arrived at the Wymondham Leisure centre fashionably late and joined in the group photos, hugging friends and complimenting everyone’s costumes. It was honestly a surreal experience to think that this was it! Our last ever celebration day. There was a variety of costumes, including a mass group of self painted, green ninja turtles, yellow minions from Despicable Me, hilarious wizards, and a few other fantastic costumes. It was brilliant to spend the day laughing on the provided bouncy castles, and dancing to the typical cheesy disco music provided by the DJ which you can guess featured tracks such as the Cha Cha slide and Macarena – which I nicely danced to with Santa Claus. Me and my lovely Roy girls and Wizards AKA Art crew and my best friends made a trip to the art block to take a photo with our beloved Art teachers – which was of course rather emotional. My friend’s amazing Instax Polaroid camera captured moments brilliantly on the day, and it’s such a pleasant, impulsive way to capture a moment without worrying too much about how that last photo looked.

After hugs, kisses and endless photos – we had the emotional assembly, which left us all in fits of laughter with the jokey video created by the staff featuring hilarious clips. It included wonders, and I honestly do need to obtain a copy for future laughs. It was then off home to prep for the traditional gathering at the Pub, with the whole year and teachers. We headed to the Green Dragon in Wymondham; where the rooms were filled with laughter and everyone just getting along pleasantly. We sat outside in the improving weather with my Media Studies teacher, laughing and just telling stories. Oh and taking hold of my iPhone and spamming everyone on my Snap Chat list of the whole day and evening documented through terrible photos and the occasional video. After a long day at the Pub, I waited for my best friend to finish work when we headed to a friends house party that night. I thoroughly enjoyed those last moments with friends that I know for sure I will not see at ease again, or for a long time with everyone heading different ways this year. I have really enjoyed and learnt something new, everyday at Sixth form and really grown as an individual. I have learnt to cherish every little time that I have left with people, and that it is good to socialise, even with people that you may not have familiarised yourself with in previous times.

Overall, Leaver’s Day as an experience is something that I will never forget – I love how it brings everyone together for those last few hours before everyone takes off. You really click with everyone again and if anything, makes you regret not doing so earlier! I am truly grateful to have met such wonderful people those past two years, and to have made long life friends that I can’t live without. It’s saddened me to think that Leaver’s Day is my last memory as I will not attend Prom this year, because I am leaving to Egypt so soon…

I wish everyone that I have met the best of luck in their exams, future and life. I hope that we will all be reunited again at ease and a big thank you for being a part of my life and some of the best memories I have had at WyHigh; which I will very much miss – despite what one has said previously after a stressful week at school, or tension between a teacher or two.

Farewell, school memories that will forever stay in my heart.

If you’re wondering how I fashioned up my fabulous Frida hairstyle, watch this great online tutorial which really helped – here!

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