Frigid Bitch

Shouting Back

I walk with my head down, silently pleading he will just drive past but he slows and creeps next to me in his car. I know what’s coming. I am on my own, he is on his own and we are a good few minutes’ walk from anywhere public. He starts with “oi” which is never a good one for me so I ignore him and carry on walking. He then starts calling me baby, sweetheart, sexy and pleads me to speak to him. I continue to ignore him in hope that he gets bored but instead he starts picking on various body parts and begins to get more vulgar, “I just wana speak to your beaver, I’m an animal lover, c’mon baby let’s have chat, we can go for a drive”. I lose it. I turn to look at him dead on and say, “I’m not interested now FUCK OFF”. He snaps. He revs his engine so loudly it makes me shiver and starts yelling at me, ironically calling me a “slag” and he says I look like a skank with my disgusting ugly clothes and my shitty figure. He asks me why anyone would want to fuck me when I am such a skank. We turn the corner into the busier street; he spits one last insult, “frigid bitch” and screeches into the distance.

                                                       

Most women will have experienced some form of street abuse in their lives ranging from a few words slung in the street to violence and rape.

Why does it happen?

I have tried to research into why street abuse happens. There are lots of theories and explorations into violence and rape but for the purposes of this blog I want to know about the less severe behaviour like the example I began this blog with. Why do some men have the urge to intimidate women sexually?

 I have three theories:

  1. We are still animals: As much as we like to flatter ourselves and believe we are evolved humans, I believe we are still ruled by our animalistic instincts. It could be argued that a man’s instinct therefore would be to hunt prey and hunt a sexual partner in order to reproduce, therefore approaching women they find attractive could be a stepping stone to the ultimate goal.
  2. Control: Those who experience loss of control in their lives will seek out ways in which to confirm and prove their power. Intimidating someone will produce a feeling of strength and regaining control.
  3. Image: Much of the media promotes strong, sexual and powerful men as role models and those who want to prove their alpha masculinity may use intimidation as a tool to promote themselves as this image.

But why when these men’s advances are rejected to they become aggressive?

Many psychological studies refer to anger and aggression as an outlet for those dealing with rejection. What I am trying to understand is why some men will put themselves in a position where they are likely to be rejected if this is an emotion most people would consciously try and avoid? I have dug deep to answer this and tentatively give you my answer – people who have already been rejected in life by parents or family are likely to have very little self-esteem and therefore do not feel as if they deserve much from life. By yelling sexual abuse at a girl in the street and getting rejected the man does not have to have any expectations of a positive outcome and therefore confirms their beliefs. Even if their opinions of themselves are negative, any form of confirmation is showing that person that they are correct and being correct is a positive feeling.

Ladies, I recommend taking a leaf out of Miss Congeniality’s book and learn how to  S.I.N.G.

Is there a solution?

For years I have tried to find a way of hitting back and tried various responses. I have tried ignoring the comments which only makes me feel more vulnerable and angry at having to accept the abuse. I have also attempted in politely declining any “come ons” which ultimately ends up making me feel stupid and spineless. I have also tried slinging abuse back verbally or through hand gestures which only fuel the aggression in the abuser potentially making the situation dangerous. And then I found Hollaback. Hollaback is a non-profit international movement powered by activists. Stylist wrote a good column which you can read here: Why women are #shoutingback.  Their idea is to take the focus off the women and turn it around onto the abuser. Simply taking a picture of the abuser removes the power from them and empowers the victim. With mobile apps, blogs and social media this equips those with a story to have it circulating within minutes. This is giving victims a safe response to street abuse and it is spreading around the world.

 

So ladies, have you smart phone weapons at the ready and don’t forget to SING!

The Mid Youth Crisis

So it is no secret that we youngsters have got it tough at the moment; no jobs, no money, loads of debt and degrees that don’t really mean anything. I am 23, I have £25,000 worth of debt and I have a first class degree in drama. I graduated university two years ago believing I can take over the world and then got railroaded by the reality of bills and the 9-5. This fruitful combination has catapulted me well and truly eyeball deep in to the MID-YOUTH CRISIS (MYC).

Image

My definition of the MYC is: An ambitious person in their early twenties who experiences feelings of panic and frustration because there is less time to complete their bucket list.

Just to make myself clear: I do not think 23 is old. I do not think 35 is old but I am looking at the reality of life and my own concerns of hitting adulthood and ensuring that I make the most of each stage of life. This is an exploration, be open minded…

The MYC

The complexity of the MYC begins when you start to compare two sets of things;

  1. Your life now to where you want to be.
  2. Your successes to those around you.

It is restrictions of everyday life that make the ambition of wanting both a very successful career and a happy family difficult to manage. Some may criticize my thoughts to be naive and greedy but I am aiming high and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. This is not to undermine others life choices or the difficulties people face in life. This is to explore the natural transition in people’s lives when they get to their early twenties, how their expectations of themselves and their expectations of life begin to change.

What are the symptoms?

  1. Feeling irritable and impatient
  2. Never feeling satisfied
  3. Compulsive planning
  4. Not staying in a job for more than 6 months
  5. Feeling of jealousy of those who have little career ambition and are satisfied with their lives

Cause and Effect

Time limit is the biggest cause of the MYC. I’ve found my mantra; “It is easy to know what you’re not good at, but difficult to know what you are good at”. Understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are is a vital tool to a successful career and the decision process that gets you there. The pressure put on people to decide what it is they want to do starts from an early age when you are picking your GCSE’s. This constant pressure starts to build up and when you hit your early twenties and you still don’t know what to do with your life there is a moment of panic when all you can think is “time running out.”

Work Hard, Play Hard

There are obvious rules to follow when seeking a successful career and making the most of life; dedication, research, work ethic etc but I genuinely believe that if you grab every experience offered to you then there is very little you can begrudge later in life. I believe that if you take the best from every experience then you will only grow and your life will be enriched. This sounds easy but along with opportunity comes restriction and it is the restrictions that provoke the MYC. Here are the main culprits:

1.       The Baby Complex

Many women today dream of a fabulous career but would also one day like a family. The only problem is our eggs have sell-by date, a very inflexible one at that. I would like to begin thinking about having children when I am 30. This gives me seven years to complete my very lengthy baby bucket list. The reality for women is that it isn’t yet easy to have both a family and a career and I don’t think that will change drastically in seven years. The fact that there is a biological clock ticking away adds to the pressure that young women have on them to make decisions about life.

2.       State of the UK

Gone are the days where degrees were valuable, people got large pay rises and speedy promotions. I can’t help but resent the generation before me where it seemed things were more possible and accessible. I am also aware that I have a romanticized idea of “the good old days” but there are proven restrictions for the younger generations now, such as a lack of jobs and no chance of getting on the property ladder. Reaching your career goal is tougher and providing for your family is harder.

3.       Money Bags

Financial pressure is also a big player in the MYC. With expensive food and extortionate rent the future seems bleak. Internships are a popular route in the competitive world. They get you meeting the correct people, the chance to learn new skills and helps you decide if it is the career you want to pursue.  The only problem is, working for free comes at a price and if you cannot afford to support yourself to work for free then your options are limited. The working world is getting so competitive that in some extreme cases people are paying to be given an internship: Getting your foot in the door has a price. This would mean that those with money are more likely to get opportunities to lead a successful career. It doesn’t mean those with money won’t get the opportunities…it is just a little bit harder for the rest of us. This reality can contribute to the MYC because it seems so unfair (“LIFE IS UNFAIR”) especially if you are aware of time and you feel youth is running out. 

My Advice on surviving the MYC:

I have suffered restlessly from the MYC and I have found a few ways of keeping it under control.

  • Live like a yes man – make the most of ever experience so that when you look back in life you won’t regret not doing something.
  • Create your own luck – be open minded and take all opportunities…it will only end positively.
  • Be prepared to work hard.
  • Never under estimate the power of people skills. If people like you, life is easier.
  • Take positives from every experience
  • Take chances – high risk, high gain
  • Believe in yourself

This exploration will ever apply fully to everyone but I do believe that in your early twenties in the developed world there is a shift in thoughts and values. Sometimes I believe that this change leads to self-conflict when you have a thirst for life but more of an awareness of reality than ever before. It is how you deal with it that defines you though although there will be no impulsive purchasing of sports cars…

The unsexiness of glasses: seen through the eyes of a -4 prescription

Image

 

Glasses have always been a fashionable item but I have never understood the idea that they can be sexy. As a female glasses-wearer, I feel I can illustrate just how complex lens-based seduction can be…

Freeze Frame

The moment of seduction begins on your date. Picture yourself walking to a pub through the frosty haze. You open the door and….BAM! You-have-exactly-15-seconds-to-find-and-get-to-the-person-you-are-meeting-before-your-glasses-steam-up-and-you-can’t-see-a-thing! If you don’t get there in time, you may find yourself reduced to taking off your glasses and waiting patiently for the freezing frames to de-steam, while pretending to read something very close on the wall.

Little Miss Piggy

As your glasses get older they inevitably change shape and slip down your nose and it is virtually impossible to not scrunch your nose when pushing them back up, leaving you looking like a little geeky piggy. Beware an accompanying snort.

Sexy Secretary

The sexy secretary fantasy is totally inaccurate and here is why. Peering sexily over the rim of your glasses is particularly difficult when you need the prescription to see. As you lower your glasses, it’s quite possible that with diminished accuracy you end up winking at the copier.

Mood Killer

If, luckily, you wink at the right person in the sexy secretary scenario and you get the desired result, your next tricky problem is the moment you begin fooling around with Mr. Right. It’s hotting up nicely but then…PAUSE… you just need to pop your glasses off and put them somewhere out of the way to avoid potential breakage. You’ll find the mood collapses, rather, as you blindly stumble back to your partner.

Stabby McStabberson

Assuming the last stages have been executed precisely, you now face a moment of complete relaxation – also known as cuddling. However, it isn’t that relaxing if you are as clumsy as me. You go to lay your head on the chest of your partner but the tiniest misjudgement risks stabbing him in the chest with the corner of your glasses. Cuddle time over.

Willy Wonky

If you successfully avoid the stabbing attack, the other risk is when cuddling to watch TV. With your head lying on its side, the frame of your glasses are pushed up against your partner and out of line with your eyes, enlarging them and making you look like an owl on pot.

Glasses may look good, they make look fashionable, they may even be a main prop for a sexy outfit but the skills of the person wearing them should NOT be underestimated – glasses are hard work!

Trekking Mount Rinjani

rinjani first shot

Gunung Rinjani is the second highest peak in Indonesia reaching 3726m above sea level and is also a sacred volcano to the Hindus who often make pilgrimages there.

My boyfriend Dan and I had decided to trek up Rinjani but it wouldn’t be long before we began to question our decision.

I obsessed over pictures of Rinjani for a weeks filled with excited anticipation about this adventure. Seeing a live volcano would be a first time experience for me and from the summit you can even look into the volcano from above! I found the idea of it so exciting, surely it would be worth the 7/8 hours trekking each day for 3 days? A couple of days before we flew to Indonesia I was packing my warmest clothes as the mountain can get down to as low as 3 degrees at nighttime – having been traveling in South East Asia for 4 months and used to 34 degrees this would be a dramatic change – the excitement I had felt was replaced by anxiety and doubt about my ability to get to the top. If I wasn’t fit enough then I wouldn’t make it to the summit and see the volcano. I knew I had Dan with me which meant we could stick together but neither of us were very encouraging of the other, too absorbed in our own worries about our own abilities.

Before we knew it we were stood at the bottom of the mountain staring up out what would be the toughest trek we have ever attempted and three days of mental and physical exhaustion. For any of you reading this blog with the thought of potentially taking on Rinjani yourself, I can tell you – it is worth it but it’s not without a few ups and downs…

Below is map to show the trek route. We left from Sembalun and our decent was to Senaru. It is possible to do it from the other way however, I wouldn’t recommend doing so; it’s an even tougher climb. The trek would take us up on side of the mountain then down into the depths of the ranges by the volcano, lake and hot springs and back up and down the other side in just three days.

map final

Day 1:

It was a beautiful morning, the sun was blistering across the hills and a delicious banana pancake was kindly prepared for us to get us ready for day one. My mouth was dry from nerves, making it hard work to chew, but I powered on silently singing Jack Johnson’s “make a banana pancake” in my head.

We were then joined by our new trekking buddies, Hassan and Charles, and it didn’t take long before we knew we had been well matched. They were similar ages to us, in their mid-twenties, and were in Indonesia for the weekend from Singapore where they were both working. As they climbed out of the truck we were relieved to see they were also kitted out in basic trainers and shorts, rather than full-on hiking-wear. We set off following Aduk, our guide. He was shorter than me, had a big grin, very basic English, and carried a backpack which I was sure was heavier than he was.

Me in my hiking gear  Day 1 first break

The first couple of hours flew by. We trekked over relatively level ground, dodging cow pats, enjoying the sunshine and being given plenty of water breaks. At about 11am we reached a concrete hut perched on the hillside which is where we were to have lunch.

Chinese view

We sat and chatted and relaxed as our porters got to work making tea, coffee, fruit platters and a huge cooked meal of Mie Goreng (a traditional Indonesian dish of a noodles and meat which is now my favourite new dish!)

Mire goreng   Cooking lunch

Feeling rather overconfident at this point, we all dared to breathe that this was “easier than I thought it would be.” We were soon to be put through our paces. It was from here and for the next four hours that it would become tough.

We were warned by the porters that the terrain was only going to get steeper right up until we reached our first base camp. We reached another rest point which we welcomed as we were all now starting to break a sweat. We all became much quieter now; I think all of us were contemplating what an earth we had gotten ourselves into. So when a group of inquisitive monkeys came bustling over to see what food they could find we were all very glad of the humorous distraction.

Monkey with wrapper     Monkeys

The clouds had come in fully now as if the mountain was keeping the views a secret. It was here where I became in awe of the porters. Each one carried up to 45kg on a bamboo stick balanced across their shoulders. They took on the climb in none other than a pair of flip-flops, with wide smiles and cigarettes hanging from their lips. Wow these guys were machines!

Amazing porter     Porter in grass

One by one, exhausted and soaking wet from the rain, we finally reached the first base camp, 8665 metres above sea level and after 6.5 miles of uphill trekking.

Freezing cold arrival day 1

At about 3:30pm, freezing cold and dripping wet, we climbed into our tents and remained there for the rest of the night only to be interrupted by a pair of hands that shot through the front of the tent offering a warm comforting dinner at about 7pm. We ate by torchlight, fingers numb from the cold and unaware of the terrible night we had ahead of us. At just 8pm we wrapped up in as many layers as we could find and attempted sleep. I ended up wearing two pairs of trousers, a big puffer-jacket and a hat, but I was still cold. The mats we were given barely gave any buffer between our hip bones and the ground. The storm around us got stronger and stronger, our tent allowing in the occasional drop of rain and the front section totally collapsed.

We were due to be woken at 2am in order to give us enough time to reach the summit, another 900 metre climb. I was really excited about this. The day had been tough but hadn’t pushed me to my limit yet and I was ready for the challenge. Plus the views were meant to be mind-blowing, based on the photos I’d seen, so couldn’t wait to get up there. We had been warned that this was going to be tough–some people are unable to reach the summit so we were very aware that we needed to make the most of every hour possible of sleep to make sure we had enough energy to make it.

Day 2:

The rain died off at about 4am, two hours too late for us to get to the summit. I was gutted. Tied, grubby and frustrated I tried not to let my disappointment show as were had woken to a beautiful morning and the views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Day 1 camp

Clouds over senbalun without filter

Sunrise over lake - best one

Dan and Iz morning 1 view

Clouds coming in wide angle

No volcano though. It was hidden behind the trek up to the summit. I had to come to the realization that I wasn’t going to get the chance to see the volcano from above. This “once-in-a-lifetime-experience” was slipping between my fingers.

Day 1 breakfast

Cooking breakfast day 1

After a quiet breakfast we headed off down the mountain for our second day of trekking. We took on a very steep track, headed towards a lake, which sits between the circular mountain range. The steep path was better tackled sliding down on your bum, at points. This is where Dan began to struggle a bit. He is afraid of heights so this whole experience was way out of his comfort zone. Our three hour trek scaling down the side of a mountain took bravery and determination.

Down to the lake

At 10am the clouds had come in, covering all views from sight and at some points we could see just a few metres in front. The hiking wasn’t too strenuous though and we reached the lake for a water break and some chocolate biscuits. Across from the lake is an amazing view of the volcano, unfortunately; again, the weather prevented us from seeing it at all. We were half way through our trip and I still hadn’t seen the volcano.

Aduk beckoned us to follow him. He took his walking boots off and stood there in bare feet. After a rather painful hobble over some rocks and a slippery muddy path we reached the most beautiful waterfall, which cascaded into a natural hot-spring lake. It was covered by a mixture of steam and clouds and it gave off a sort of mysterious magical aura. Below was a gathering of happy and excitable trekkers. We stripped off into our swim stuff and jumped in. Wow, the warm water against our tired muscles was sensational. The water can reach up to 50 degrees, just like a warm bath. We sat happily soaking it all in.

hot springs 2

Dan and Iz in hot springs
Lunch day 2

After another huge lunch we set off for the second half of the day. The rain did not give us a break. We took off across the edge of the lake and turned up the mountain. It was too cloudy to see the top and we were essentially walking up a small river so we marched in silence, focusing on one step at a time for a good few hours. The higher we got, the steeper it got. Dan was really being stretched now. Parts of the trek were almost scrambling up rocks with a sheer drop to one side. It took courage. It took precision too, as one foot wrong could be fatal. Our muscles ached, we were soaking wet to the bones and we had run out of chocolate.

Clouds day 2     Pouring rain up day 2

Finally we reached the top of the ridge opposite the Rinjani summit separated by the lake and volcano. Aduk had said we could see the volcano from the top but the clouds would not budge. He wanted us to continue another hour down the other side of the mountain but this would mean we would miss any chance of seeing the volcano. As a team we decided we wanted to camp there and take on an extra hour the next day, in hope that it would be a clear morning at sunrise and we would finally get the view we had worked so hard to see.

I didn’t have a waterproof cover for my bag so I ended up using a bin bag to cover it which seemed not to have worked. Everything was soaking wet and so we had nothing dry and warm to change into. This was our low point. At 4pm we sat in our tents hiding from the rain unable to enjoy our surroundings. I was so cold I couldn’t feel my fingers, I was shivering and the disappointment of not reaching the summit and potentially not seeing the volcano at all began to wash over me.

Freezing Dan

Then finally we were given a break from the rain and we huddled up by a fire with our porters and Hassan and Charles and enjoyed a cup of tea and a chat before snuggling up in our tents.

Day 3:

I woke in the morning with a nervous tummy, hoping the weather would be good enough to see the volcano. I tentatively opened the front of our tent, peered round the entrance and was welcomed by a stunning view across the mountains. We all jumped out of bed and rushed up to the highest point we could find to get a glimpse of the volcano and it was there in all its glory, slowing puffing smoke from the top. It looked just like the pictures. In fact, it looked even better! We had just fifteen minutes before we had to get moving to catch up on our extra hours trek and we stood and soaked up the view. I want to remember it forever.

Volcano

The trek down was slow and painful. Seven hours of downward climbing through the rainforest’s slippery surfaces meant our knee joints were complaining wildly for every small step down we took.

Down day 3     Dogs day 3

day 3 porters downDan coming down

Aduk chillin

When we eventually had the finish in sight we hobbled towards it and collapsed with small “woop” of celebration. We had done it.

Complete team photo

Dan and I took our aching muscles to Gilis Air, a small island just off Lombok where we could appreciate Rinjani from a distance!

Sunrise over rinjani from gilis air blue and wide angle

If you are thinking about taking on Rinjani here are my top tips on what to bring and how to book to make sure you have the best possible experience:

Who to book with?

I decided to book with Rinjani Trek Club. Now be very careful because many other companies with the similar names exist online but I cannot vouch for. Here are the details of the company I used:

Rinjani Trek Club.


  1. Raya Senggigi Km.08 Senggigi 83355
    Lombok – Indonesia
    Phone / Fax : 62 [0370] 693202
    Hotline        : +62 81 7573 0415

E-mail  : rinjanitrekclub@gmail.com
Website  : www.rinjanitrekclub.com

I dealt with a lovely person called Rosa.

I paid 235 USD per person 152 GBP. I was asked for a 50% deposit to secure the booking and then paid the remainder at their office in Senggigi but could only pay in cash so be aware of this.

We left our bags with them with things we didn’t want to carry up the mountain and they successfully brought it to our Senaru which was really helpful, so you can trust them to do this OK.

The staff were incredible, the service was great, the food was amazing, the tents were mostly waterproof and so I recommend using these guys. Our guide was 23 year old Aduk and it was his first time being a guide but he had been a porter for the past 7 years. He knew the mountain well and led us safely through the mountain ranges. My other half is scared of heights and Aduk was kind and patient helping him and even supporting him at the most challenging bits.

Weather:

The mountain opens from April each year as it is too dangerous during the rainy season, however, the rainy season held on for over a month longer than it should have which meant much of our trip was spent wet and we were unable to reach the summit. I have read lots about the trek being overpopulated and the mountain full of rubbish during peak season in July and August so I imagine the best time to go would be May or June.

What to pack:

  • Suitable walking shoes which have already been warn in
  • Warm clothing – it gets to 3 degrees and windy!
  • Gloves
  • Extra socks – some to sleep in too!!
  • Small towel
  • Warm Hat
  • Tissue paper
  • High energy food (chocolates, nuts, raisins)
  • Headache tablets
  • Deep heat lotion
  • Sunblock
  • Plasters
  • Torch light
  • Walking stick – I didn’t have one and it was fine but it is recommended.
  • Waterproof bag for camera and ziplock bags for passports and other electrical items
  • Flipflops so you can get your walking boots off. But if it’s cold youll need to wear them with socks!
  • 2 or 3 T-shirts
  • Long trousers to sleep in (I ended up wearing two pairs!)
  • Swim wear for the hot springs
  • Cigarettes (I thought I wouldn’t smoke at all but was surrounded by the locals all having a puff at each break and so I did).
  • Lighter x 2
  • Heat Factory hand and body warmers (keep your sleeping bag and pockets warm for up to 20 hours)
  • Extra batteries for electronics – the cold weather drains what you have.
  • Light waterproof jacket for the day
  • Warm jacket to sleep in
  • Constipation tablets – the other option is to poop in a hole in the ground in a toilet tent surrounded by everyone…
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Ziplock bags for passport – if it rains EVERYTHING will get wet so make sure you have these for important bits and pieces!
  • Plastic bags to separate wet/smelly clothes from clean ones
  • Microfiber towel – lightweight to carry.
  • Gloves
  • Waterproof cover for bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Small mirror (especially if you wear contact lenses)
  • Insect repellant
  • Running trousers for day hikes – best decision I made to hike in my ¾ length sports trousers – they stretch and dry quickly which is perfect!

What Rinjani Trek Club Provides:

  1. STANDARD SERVICE: Maximal 6 person in groups
    – Equipment: Big Tent ( 205 cm X 225 cm ), sleeping bag, 3cm Sponge Bed Mattress, toilet tent
    – Fruits   : banana and pineapple, orange, apple.
    – Drink    : aqua water, Guava Juice, milk, Isotonic / soft drink, coffee and tea
    – Snack    : Wafer, Biscuit, Tim Tam, Gabin.
    – M- Meals 3 times a day:>Breakfast:
    – Corn flake before the summit
    – Toast + scrambles Egg
    – Pancake
    – Egg sandwich
    – Fruits Salad>Lunch    :
    – Beef Sandwich + fried potatoes,
    – Boiled Potatoes with Bolognese sauce
    – Fried rice with sosis + fried chicken
    – Spaghetti
    – Soup / fried noodle + boiled egg
    – Fruits Salad

    >Dinner  :
    – Rice with chicken Curry
    – Rice with Gado – Gado + Tofu + Boiled Egg + boiled potatoes
    – Rice with vegetable + mushroom soup + Fried Chicken
    – Fried Rice with sosis +  fried Egg
    – Fruits salad

Package Included:
– Licensed and experience: Guide and Porter “Educated from search and rescue”
– Private Tent, Sleeping Bag, mattress,Pillow for deluxe, Toilet tent ( Budget no Toilet tent )
– Meals ( western and Indonesian food ) and drinks ( Aqua water, coffee, tea, milk )
– Gunung Rinjani National Park Entrance fee IDR. 150.000,-/person
– Free Internet Acces in our Office
– safety luggage storage
– Accident Donation ( No in Budget service )
– First Aid
– All Transfer in Lombok as the following program
– Pick Up service from Airport (minimal 2 people)

Packages excluded:
– All meals except those indicates in trekking program
– Porterage fee for personal bag pack / luggage
– Tipping & gratuities to guide & porter – we estimated this to be an expected 50000 rupiah per porter per day.
– Personal travel insurance, pre – trip medical immunizations
– All expenses of a personal nature

Good luck and enjoy!!

Fear Of Trying

I finally faced my fear and plonked myself in front of the camera and made a video blog!

Fear is something that dominates everyone’s lives. When you are young you fear monsters. When you are a teenager you fear not being accepted. When you are in your twenties you fear of wasting your youth. When you are in your thirties you fear of losing your youth. When you have children your fear for your children and when you are old you fear doing day to day activities. Don’t let fear rule you. Watch my blog below and get involved with the fight against fear!

http://youtu.be/g4tRKEQHQNo

Day 5 of living below the breadline

With ignorant arrogance I began this quest knowing that the biggest challenge for me would be that I would be hungry for 5 days. I am, still slightly dazedly, startled by the experience I have actually had. 

I have been a bit hungry, but nothing too terrible but what has hit me the most is the change of my outlook on life. OK so 5 days isn’t that long, this experience hasn’t been unbearable, i’ll be told by many people that I’ve got far too serious and “deep” about the whole thing as I’ve still laughed and managed to get things done at work but I have gone about it all more begrudgingly than usual. The lack of energy, fuzzy vision, short fuse, short concentration ability and with much less of a sense of humor the week has been less satisfying than normal life and for me, that’s a big deal.

Living on this type of budget isn’t just about not being able to go for a beer with your mates, or not getting a steak with dinner, this is about getting the vital vitamins to function at your full potential. Living life when you are half arsing it just isn’t enough for me. Some people will choose to live like that even with the right food but everyone should be given the chance to make that decision surely? 

At the beginning of the week I thought my spaghetti and cheap tomato sauce tasted fine but 5 days in, a few bites of this made me gag…

Pasta

Food has lost its appeal. It’s a bizarre experience as I am the sort of person who will eat even when they aren’t hungry, just because something yummy is in front of me. Eating for survival is much more boring than eating for enjoyment, I guess I never realised having a variety in my diet was such a luxury.

After 5 days of living on £1 a day I would never have guessed that there would be food left over, but quite a large chunk of frozen veg, pasta and rice all sit threateningly in my kitchen.

What's left

This is my final appeal; the past 5 days I have been a worse version of me. Give people the chance to be the best version of themselves by sponsoring me;

https://oxjam.everydayhero.com/uk/izzy

For those of you who don’t know, living below the breadline is just a small part of a larger project. Myself and team are leading the Oxjam Music Festival project for Cambridge this year. ‘Oxjam Cambridge Takeover’ is part of the UK’s largest national music festival and it’s all in aid of Oxfam. Over 100 local music acts will entertain over 1000 eager audience members, over 6 venues and 12 hours in central Cambridge. If you want to get involved as a volunteer on the door, to perform, to provide technical support or want some events management experience then please contact me on oxjam.cambridge@gmail.com.

You can join in the conversation here: 

Twitter: @OxjamCambridge

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OxjamCambridgeTakeover

 

Day 4 of living below the breadline

I woke up this morning with what can only be described as a “carb hangover”. Unfortunately this hangover hasn’t lifted all day. I’ve had a fuzzy head and occasionally forget a really simple word and have then had to replace it with multiple simpler words.

Yesterday evening I got the chance to experience what my social life would be like if I lived like this all the time. For those of you who don’t know, I have a slightly brattish side to me, generally, only in regard to food, for example, if I am our socialising and I can’t have access to food or drink and have to sit there with a pint of tap water it makes me grouchy. This is me behind the camera spitefully looking at my water, and feeling grouchy:

just water

And here is proof of my admirable self control whilst my friend munched on scampi and chips…

(I should add she felt very guilty about it but I thought that being near it would add to the pain of this experience and therefore add to the gain too)

water

With a mixture of various frustrating, upsetting and tiring circumstances over the evening I ended the day yesterday nearly in tears. I am starting to feel really pathetic. I have no energy and I have a short temper which is horrible because I am not usually like this. I am starting to count down the hours but getting to this low state makes me start thinking how on earth people can do this all the time. Being hungry and not eating the right food makes you tired, grumpy and completely off your game…I feel slightly more stupid without the nutrients I need. If I lived like this all the time, this person, who I don’t like very much, would be the permanent me and I know for sure I wouldn’t have the same friends or career prospects. It’s really quite miserable and really sad for those people who have this life. Living off £1 a day is not just making me hungry but it’s making me less of a person, less employable, less enthusiastic, less smiley, less interesting…

 

I didn’t eat breakfast again today. I don’t feel that hungry but I know I should eat and then when I do I get that growly hungry feeling in my tummy. I treated myself at lunch though, I added frozen veg to the mix!

Todays Lunch

 

I have rice again for dinner but the thought of it is making me feel actually quite sick. I may substitute dinner for toast, jam, a cup of tea and an early night.

 

I apologise for any typos…I’ve checked with my squinty vision which may not have been too effective.

Just over 24 hours to go…please sponsor me and make this experience really worth it!

https://oxjam.everydayhero.com/uk/izzy

Day 3 of living below the breadline…

 
Just typing the word “bread” in the title makes me feel a little queezy. No more bread PLEASE!
 
Like anything, you get better at living on a £1 a day over time and practice. I think if I had my time again I could make it more enjoyable but I am not convinced that I could do it healthier…I can’t help but think about the correlation between expensive food in the UK and obesity. I had a little gander online and Freakonomics found evidence supporting a link between obesity and food prices and I totally support their ideas. You can read it here.
 
Diet
 
I skipped breakfast this morning to relieve my stomach of starch and had a banana mid morning. I’ve eaten very little today because I feel so full and my trousers definitely feel tighter today! I never thought this experience would tap into my insecurities of becoming overweight but it adds another level to the challenge, which makes me feel even better about the money everyone has donated. It was never going to be easy!
 
On a lighter note, I don’t for a SECOND regret sacrificing something potentially better for me so that I could buy tea bags and milk!
 
Don’t sit at home tonight with your beautifully balanced meal and feel gluttonous…DONATE and it’ll help you enjoy your dinner even more! 😉

Day 2 of living below the breadline …

So not much to tell you about my dinner last night apart from that it was rice, frozen mixed veg and onion…it was fine. The curry my other half devoured looked much more appetizing!

Today this happened…

iFooday
An epic fail in my organisational skills…whilst managing to organise INTERNATIONAL FOOD DAY in the office to suit all staff members, I neglected to recognize it was during my £1 a day week which means this beautiful array of food (including an Iranian curry I made for everyone) was at my fingertips but I was unable to take part…I sat there staring into this…

Day 1 lunch

So after more toast and more pasta I’m starting to realise my error in judgement for this task. I was so caught up in thinking that I would be hungry all the time that when I spent my £5 I went for the carbohydrates. Yes, it is keeping me full but not in a good way. I am tired and I am bloated, my stomach is growing by the day and by 4pm at work I don’t have much concentration.

Ever dreamt of a salad? Stranger things have happened…

 

Just £14 to reach my target fundraising goal! https://oxjam.everydayhero.com/uk/izzy