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New Website!

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I wasn’t really expecting to create a new website but I realised last week that I did sort of need one for what I am doing at the moment. Everything I had was too specific, so now I have a general website full of words and pictures. It’s titled ‘Words and Pictures‘ just like my old site. It’s snuggled on a WordPress blog (like this one) and my vclinde.co.uk domain redirects there too.

You can have a look at my poetry and see some examples of my writing as well as publications/competitions, there are examples of my playscripts, some info about my writing, a bio page that is finally a little clearer (probably saying a little something about me, no?), all of my cookbook reviews,  and lots of links. The blog link brings you back here and this will remain my real blog, the blogs over there are largely pictures and fun things I like on Tumblr/Pinterest etc. which will hopefully keep the front page interesting.

This is partly me getting organised ready to announce my next big poetry project. I have had a full year without a project since the end of the Three Random Words collection but this one should be just as much fun and I’m hoping to get lots and lots of people involved again. The announcement about the project will come at 11am on January 11th and then facebook, twitter, and both websites will be full of news, updates and ways to get involved so please do keep your eyes out for it! I am very excited about this and cannot wait to share it with everyone.

Vick.

This Week

This has been a rather odd week. I had the house to myself, which for a solitary type has been blissful. I am really looking forward to living by myself again. Keeping my fingers crossed for the house I love to work out okay.

This week I have cooked/made: 1.5 litres frozen yoghurt; ten heads of roasted garlic; rye soda bread; ham, bean and tomato soup; cheese and bacon scones; beef and ale stew; vanilla fudge and German pancakes. And many cups of tea.

The main work project at the moment has been working out what the main work project should be. There have been lots of heavy thoughts and planning. I’m working on some changes over on my business site. One of the main things I’ve been getting sorted is a greater synchronicity between the two sites. Links will be shared more and the blogs will level out and probably eventually merge.

This is a sort of shift in focus rather than any huge changes. I was feeling disconnected by having my work and creative sides separate and I’m hoping that these adjustments will make them fit better.

I’ve managed to get a few books read as well. I read ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ by John Green. My goodness that man is an excellent writer, I’ve loved all of his books and this might just be my favourite. My advice: read them all. I also read ‘The Scorpio Races’ by Maggie Stiefvater which I really enjoyed and was much more to my taste than the Wolves of Mercy Falls series which I’d read in the past. Then I read ‘David’ by Mary Hoffman, which I didn’t get along with but was still well written enough to keep me reading. In a break from YA-ish novels I read ‘Resurrectionist’ was the second in James McGee’s series and I think I actually preferred it to the first. I went straight back to YA with ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ by Jay Asher which was really cracking and a very thoughtful look at personal consequences. I have a couple of books to read next that were recommended to me rather than being just picked up in the library so hopefully it will be another good week for reading.

The other big chunk of my time this week has been working on my photography portfolio. I am an amateur photographer, I have an eye for images rather than a good working knowledge of how photography works and I don’t own a good camera – I borrow one. So this is not a professional portfolio but a collection of the images I have that I like, the ones that I find amusing or keep for inspiration. I am really pleased with 500px so far, it’s got most of the features I like. There are still the same niggles I found early on but it’s a well organised site and I like the community. It also has really good mobile options, which is rare for photography sites.

Hopefully once I have (finally) got all of this website/blog stuff sorted I will be able to get back on track with posting. It feels like I have been doing this for months, actually it really has been months now I think about it. Almost there now!

Vick.

Who Are You?

Introductions are my nemesis. I really hate having to introduce myself. In the few seconds between meeting a new person and the glazed look sliding over their face I curse the heavens and wonder why on earth I didn’t just bloody well become a civil servant.

I nearly did. Back in 2008 I had a degree in Politics, experience of several levels of campaigning as well as an internship with a charity as their Parliamentary Assistant. The next step was to choose a stream of politics, fit in and work my way up as close to the top as I could manage. This might be a little bit of a surprise to people who have met me in the last few years. I am not a civil servant, in fact what I am now is much more complicated than that.

Recently online Kim Lakin-Smith commented on how hard it is to write a bio for yourself. Nowadays for everything that you sign up for online you are asked to provide a profile. Most of the time there is a word limit to this mini autobiography, not an easy task to reduce yourself down to 500 words or 500 characters. A concise way of describing your life, your dreams, your passions and your individuality is neither simple nor desirable in most cases.

It is not only online, quite the opposite; whenever we meet new people our first impressions are coloured by so many factors and introductions are deeply complicated. For those of us not in an easily defined career, the question: “what do you do?” is one of the most unwelcome you can hear. My parents (and I) have lived in the same house for most of my life with the same neighbours. This week our 96 year old neighbour died – she was truly made of sterner stuff. I know very few of her friends or family and when I meet them at her funeral I do not know how to introduce myself. This is a common problem at family parties, conventions, weddings, funerals, parties, holidays, reunions etc. etc. The list goes on, unless you have at least half an hour and a genuine interest in getting to know me then I have no idea how to introduce myself to you.

I said when I closed the doors on my old blog and opened this one that I would write a more fragmented blog, with more opinions and more of my personal views and yet I still shied away from doing it, perhaps because of a lack of clarity of who I am, but also because I do not want one opinion to become who I am – which is easily possible on the internet. Having said that I am as much at fault as anyone who happens to read my blog, for not being clearer about all of the aspects that make up my personality, which also applies to meeting people face-to-face. When people ask me what I do I tend to pick one part and stick with it, I don’t have the courage to explain my real personality to strangers. I am barely brave enough to attempt to let my friends know.

I decided that I do not want a career. I do not want to choose a job and climb up through the ranks. I don’t want to do the same thing every day and work with the same people all the time. I do not want to hone one set of skills but rather learn a new set each time I have a new task. I want to live in every direction, learn as much as I can, be endlessly curious, makes a different mistake every day, scare myself, scare other people, think, act, breathe.

I know that I am fortunate that I can do this. I have been able to try and find something that I love, a way to enjoy my life rather than simply getting through it. People spend the two biggest portions of their life asleep or at work. I have always been rubbish at sleep so I want to at least get the work part right. I have a cushion, moving back into the family home has been far from easy but with the ability to dip into savings I have a chance that few people have – I can honestly try to live an amazing life, a life without holding back. I have never been as brave as I have wanted to be but I am trying and I am learning to be better at carpeing every diem. I am very privileged and it may seem to some that I am being selfish but at the same time not trying to do the things that I love while I can do them, to me seems like a dreadful waste.

It is not an easy decision to make, to try and live life on your own terms and it is not a decision you make once but every day, every hour. Some days I don’t have the courage to do it and I sit for hours scanning through employment agency websites. Those are the low points. My skills do not fit those jobs, my needs wouldn’t be met and I have a feeling I would make a pretty rubbish employee. Then something makes me realise that I choose this way of life for a good reason and that I should stick with it.

It is the hit-by-a-bus philosophy on living. I want to save some money so that I am protected and can look after myself in the future but I don’t want to be so cautious that all of my life I am waiting for hopes that don’t happen. What if I am miserable all of the time, promising myself that it will be worth it in the end and then I am hit by a bus. What a huge waste. We have one precious life, what a truly terrible thing to squander.

Of course money is one of the main things that will hold you back, it is always the way, you need funds to be able to keep doing what you do and most of the time there isn’t cash falling out of the sky. However it is not the only thing, we hold ourselves back and are held back by other people as well. Without support it is nearly impossible to try and live the life you want. If the people who surround you tell you that you are being foolish and that you should give up and try for something more sensible or just pick one thing to try and do in your life then it’s much more likely that you will. If the people who surround you tell you this – change the people around you.

So, who am I? I am a poet. I am a cook. I am a friend. I am a playwright. I am a reader. I am a scholar. I am a critic. I am an observer. I am a participant. I am a daughter. I am a fan. I am a designer. I am a girl. I am a photographer. I am a PA. I am an artist. I am a collector. I am an organiser. I am an enthusiast. I am a creator. I am a woman. I am an explorer. I am a dreamer. I am a writer. I am a traveller. I am not someone who will settle. I am someone who tries to only say yes when I mean it and not be afraid of saying no. I am 25 and I am not someone who is willing to give up on living a life that I enjoy, on living a life that matters, on making the most of the life I have.

Vick (whoever she is).

p.s. Although he’ll never read this I should apologise to my Latin teacher for ‘carpeing every diem’. Sorry, Sir.
p.p.s. The top picture is mine. Most of the rest can be found on my Phraseology board on Pinterest if you’d like to link through to the original sources.

This Week

Well, it’s been a really quiet week now that my poetry project is over. I’m currently trying to decide what to do for my next collection while also working on something that I had to put on hold while I was finishing the poetry.

I have reviewed ‘A Year in my Kitchen‘ and ‘Apples for Jam’ here as well as ‘A Cook’s Year in a Welsh Farmhouse‘ over on the Huffington Post UK blog.

I plan on having some more variety on here soon but for now there might be quite a lot of cookbook reviews with only mini updates in between.

I’ve never been a big fan of Christmas and my family doesn’t do much festive stuff (apart from avoiding shops for a week). In fact I have always had trouble remembering the date of Christmas 23rd/24th/25th/26th? Honestly I can never remember which it is – so much so that my Mother was trying to wish me a happy Christmas season this morning and I thought I’d got it wrong again and that it was Christmas day today. She toyed with the idea of lying and keeping me in the dark but was kind enough just to mock me and laugh instead.

All that having been said, I do hope that everyone who celebrates various wintery festivals is having a lovely holiday season. I am off to visit my cousins tomorrow so shall mostly be celebrating the M1.

Happy Holidays everyone.
Vick.

All Change Part #2


Welcome to Me on WordPress.

This is going to be more of me and less of the business side of things for two reasons. One, I am thinking that I might have a business website separate from the blog. Two, I miss writing things that are just me and I want to keep that away from the business.

So this isn’t going to have much about Etsy on it – I won’t say that there will never be Etsy on here, there probably will be. I am keeping my Blogger site going to put Etsy on but I’m not quite sure how that is going to work yet. Blogger will also still be there as a full archive of my previous blog posts – wordpress only has non-business posts archived here. I’ve spotted a couple of the old blogger posts here that have gone wonky with the change in format and have corrected those but I’m going to focus on putting new posts on here rather than making the blogger ones wordpress friendly. If I come across them I’ll change them as I go along!

I know a lot more of what I don’t want this to be rather than what I do want on here. I think there will be more food and more photographs, more opinions and more travel. There is also more information in the pages at the top. I had something similar on Blogger but I didn’t update it very often and never pointed people there. I am going to try and keep those fresher and will be blogging when there is a lot of new content. There are going to be some cook-book reviews, a few travel stories, a couple of set of pictures, and the rest of the 3RW poems as well.

I don’t want to try and define it any more than that at the moment, I’ll just start putting things up and see where we end up.

Part one of this blog-post if over here: on Blogger where you get a slightly different slant on things.

Vick x