Social media = good

Relax, relax, relax.

The state of chillaxation is something I’m endlessly searching for.

It’s what we rush home to at the end of a long arduous day.  It’s what we fantasize about when  stuck in the harsh cold light of day.

The duvet, the hot drink, the sunset, the cave.  For me that’s synonymous with Sade, Peanut hot chocolate and my cosy blanket den -Twitter and Facebook.

My unconscious addiction to fixing, explaining, solving me and all those unfortunate enough to come into contact with me 😜 means I can leave myself derelict, lying on the roadside, defunct.

When I find a thing to be done -abounding enthusiasm, single mindedness, excitement grips me super tight to the extent that I strangle my own awareness of my physical limitations.

The animal mind suppresses the rational mind and I start reacting to the stimuli around me- mindlessly chasing something, anything to solve the newest burning question and salve my disquiet .

Of course, chaotic behavior only sends stress levels soaring and I’m left with a nasty taste in the mouth.

Once I’ve crossed the boundary of what is manageable, the roller coaster of ups and downs inevitabley ensues.

Learning to switch off the brain and purely exist on a physical level is a new discipline that I have recently  hunted and ruthlessly captured.  It has enriched a sense of general well being in the midst of life’s topsy turviness.

Twitter now holds that highly esteemed place in my  psychi of chief counselor, calmant  and energizer.

Once clicked on the icon, in the matter of seconds the old addage-a change is as good as a rest- plays out.

Whilst reclining on a sofa, steaming hot drink with melting caramel waffle balancing on the top, remote control heating at my finger tips –

I am passively exposed to: sumptuous art, food and mother nature, rich colour, tourist must – visits, economic analyses, leadership strategy, cool jazz swing a longa, pedagogical insights, mindfulness reminders, political scandal,one liners that pin point a deep dear truth…

This is the massive plus of social media- that the stuff that stuffs our brain can be removed and replaced in seconds like replacing your sole (in your shoes) -pardon the pun!

Now don’t get me wrong: the many anti social twitches, lonelinesses and increasingly awkward face to face we see is partly caused by the many many hours wiled away intertwined with some device. Prince Ea  nails it with this. Check it out –

But peoples, let’s not over simplify matters and allow social media to become an easy 🎯 target for our predisposition to a navel gazing  ‘I’ focus.

The angst that in your face can cause-can be temporarily air lifted and filled with tantalising #allandnothing.

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Deep drama in little moments- yday marriage seminar

I have something to confess – keep it to yourself. I am –

supremely arrogant, cynical and magnificently gullible

How The Lord managed to mingle polar opposites in one sane – last time I checked -mind -defies me

Ps if u have any odd cocktail of traits please reply -at the v least it will give me that delusion of being normal for a bit!

Why did I tell u this? Well-  seminars and self help stuff turns me offfffffff. My mind gets filled with cheesy cliches and images of insincere good looking people trying to pull a fast one and make a quick buck out of peoples bad life situs.

Deep drama in little moments- I am a fan of quirky word combo’s

Come on guys- feels like I’m losing u- take a deep breath and allow your mind to spread over these words-

Deep drama in little moments

Our speakers showed us that working together on the minutia – the everyday- as a couple -teaches us beautiful principles of trust, being different to our past, being quiet, suggesting gently, giving in but not giving up….

This mindful moment was achieved thru some highly technical psychological top of the range equipment- tooth picks and blue tac.

Building together was so refreshing for us as a couple and set a tone of enjoying the moment and casting out my negative pre conceptions of seminars

We talked as a whole group about turning to each other in our relationship thru everyday stuff from doing laundry to travelling to work together to going to community events to reading out loud together

It showed me that the trivial is the glue of true togetherness.

We travelled thru the idea of accepting influence from your spouse.  There were some great conversational starters or dampeners – depending on the quality of relationship :

eg

My spouse is usually too emotional

I try to listen respectfully, even when I disagree

If I keep trying to convince my spouse, I will eventually win

Being honest with one another was tough and refreshing as an oasis in a desert. The cooool jazz in the back ground definitely helped.

Then we looked at using 5 steps to solving problems

-Have a gentle start up

-Have a gentle response

-Calm down

-Find common ground

-Bear with each other’s faults

Now this was music to all our ears! We were being given tools to take away and practice with.

Then we just had jokes on our tables looking at how to soften comments so they move from conversation stoppers to opening our hearts toward one another

How to turn

You’re too wimpy to get a pay rise.

Or

I can’t stand it when your mother comes over.

Or

When was the last time you bought me anything?

There wasn’t a right or wrong. The discussion -the journey of noting the potential emotional terrain of cess pits, lakes of content, pot holes and scenic stopping points filled us with energy and giggles.

I suppose it was empathising with couples of various races, classes, educational exposure yet hearing that what seems so unique to our relationship is actually common to mortality

Between a lovely lunch and more guffaws and comedy we ended with a couple heart to heart about our future dreams for life and blending them toward a tag line for our families that we can re visit and remind ourselves over and over.

I felt so grateful that my mates down the road could inject us all with hope.

That’s when I had the a ha moment – man- I got cooool friends

After many years of trying and trying to b a minor in consequential no body in the  beautiful people crew

I think I might have made it

Cause these friends are beautiful inside and out!

 If interested in attending next marriage seminar mail me with your email address.

The Mindfull that’s in All of Me

Billie Holiday – All of me https://t.co/PI1gjKRYtN via @YouTube

Please please please check out this song

You’ll b happy to hear it’s not MY song

Cause I just ain’t like that- Billy Holiday -All of me

Pure unadulterated emotion

Tried for half an hour to copy the link 🔗 now I’m gonna free myself from the chains of technological challenge, find an iota of energy and go down the stairs and get that dratted lap top

Now  I’ve got that straight-  I wanna wear the deconstructionist white coat-if u don’t mind

All of me, why not take all of me

What a thing to say- I mean- when I re heard this 2 weeks ago-the aesthetic alone blew myears – sweet honey dripping melancholy –

Billy surpassed herself with the sentiment and sound blended, entangled, entwined tragically and perfectly

But those first utterances also reminded me of what I have said to all those around me for 39 years

You took the best, so why not take the rest

Baby take all of me

These lines, remind me of how easy it is to lose self esteem for the sake of love.  We give ourselves up, hoping the sacrifice will heal us.  Sometimes, we put ourselves on the altar – willingly, sincerely, desperately

Other peoples altars are what we’ve chosen to  languish and drape ourselves on

and can u guess the outcome?

Bad Bad vibes thrown in with a bit of icon worship

I just wanted to give myself to others – their pain their angst their injustice

When you feel like you are really a waif and stray!!
When you feel like you are really a waif and stray!!

Listening to soul full Billy – I can start to b a grown up and take responsibility for this path of self deprivation I chose

That I need to re define stuff but free of bitterness or resentment

It’s all a bit overwhelming when I look at the magnitude of it all-thats where the present, the gift of now, the mind full ness sets a new chilled tone

Rather than the

All of me

mantra- I am living in the now, the senses of the present are the things I am dwelling on.

The feel of my daughter’s heavy head on my elbow, the freedom of wiggling my toes in the warm duvet, the orangey tint of my lamp, the transcendent sound of Billy, the knowledge and powerlessness of all she suffered… but just accepting it. No need to fight or shout or rant about injustices that slavery, poverty bring…

I’m living in that now moment and making the fullest I can of it

Knowing not just hoping that the big pic of my life and my nearest and dearest will sort in the time God choses

If I have any hope of being a help not a hindrance in my life – I need to be in that calm place and claim  All of Me back from the arena of public torture I placed myself in at the tender age of 15

Thanks Billy for teaching me today to take the eyes of navel gazing self sacrifice

but search for what is good noble pure RIGHT now before me  right in front of me

Soaking up the magnificent now
Soaking up the magnificent now

Continue reading

My new beginning

Joy relief absolute absolute

Words cannot

I cannot

I need to do a Shakespeare or a Dahl and make up some word to precisely express da emotions pumping thru da arteries

The music 🎶 that I adore, that allows my very soul and fibre speak unfettered

2 offerings are out there -in the public domain -thru the most amazing musicians

20 years in the making and it actually happened

Not gonna give u a

cheesy moral of the story about perseverance etc

What will fulfil you is written on your heart

Stop look listen

Ps it has to involve pain so count that cost

That’s why everyone in South Africa can sing

Nuff said

No Expectations

Yes, that’s right-you heard me – I’ve got absolutely none.  No expectations of myself, da fam, my peoples…. Check the rolling Stones song with the same name.

Does that mean I’ve given up? Has the cynicism that plagues our age, finally done me in?

Well, I actually feel more liberated than I ever have in a ridiculously  long time. Free from. Free from pretence. Free from political correctness that is often a smoke screen for ignorance and prejudice.

I kid myself that I’ve reached that pivotal moment when I don’t care about how I seem.  But you and I know that secretly inside there’s always gonna b that little girl desperate to impress.

As an educational consultant, I’ve witnessed many many senior school leadership meetings where    the rhetoric is more graceful than a renowned Russian ballet dancer doing the dying Swan.  Chewing on my chocolate digestive to stifle a sob as I resonate with the Head Teachers perfectly, passionately constructed modern day parable about their struggle. Their struggle for ‘high expectations’ within the board room and without, inside the classroom and on those all defining school corridors that indicate the true metal of the school.  ‘High expectations’onthe streets, the all important chicken shop and the sitting rooms of those families where the gap -be it attainment, behavior, class, must  ‘by any means necessary’ be closed.

I hope I don’t sound cynical as I reminisce on how the senior leaders drop into the bubble and boil of their strategic meeting- the ever pressing need to give more opportunity to all – to raise that bar with yes  ‘high expectations’.

But when I get onto the front line it’s just not there.

‘No expectation’ is oozing out of the adults, the children, the middle managers =the school.  Teachers -and I include myself in this- often walk into a new learning opportunity with old bagagge- the despicable goings on of last week, last month, last lesson.  One little reminder or jibe and the children refrain from disappointing these negative expectations and so they dutifully fulfil their role and play up.  The dance goes on.

Then there’s the labelling of which child is worth investing in.

Yes-money is tight – not every student can have mentoring, one to one tuition, small group support but let’s get back into the classroom and look at the rapor between teacher and the 30.

Are there high expectations  exuding from the adult ‘in the driving seat’, are children filled with hopeful anticipation that they WILL learn and improve their life chances, are children who have previously struggled academically, given the chance to shine on a brand new topic and a brand new lesson, do we give lower ability children, higher ability work now and then to check we haven’t missed out on a hidden talent, are children who have ditched bad behavioral habits rewarded?

Don’t wanna O D on idealism but these are some of the telling signs of ‘high expectations’ in the classroom.

I have had to cover my  ears to protect my fragile and fledgling paradigm as  professionals rant and rave about the children I’m trying to believe in.  It’s the same attitudes about the steady decline in standards but different faces, voices, roles with in school….  A quick coffee in the staff room has left me filled with despair at the negativity bouncing off the walls about how we view our future.

This disconnect between classroom and board room has led me to have  N E…

As my colleague put it, it’s about winning hearts and minds and that’s just one other rant!

Demand supply

You a dreamer? Do u live with your feet firmly planted in pragtism or is fantasy your reality?

As you might have worked out I come alive when I’m as detached from reality as possible .

This summer was the best yet- partly- for the intellectual abandon I was able to immerse in.  I was able to blog, make funky music, hang with my dearest in pretty places …

But those heady, hazy days have  faded far into distant memory like chimney smoke blending into the distant rain clouds.

The Enid Blyton -esque adventures of summer are packed firmly and far away with the picnic blanket, bucket, spade and sun cream.

Post holiday blues? PLEASE- Let’s not even go there! I refuse to be part of such middle class pseudo neurosis.  (still can’t come to terms with the chambering up the social ladder I’ve endured (honest guv it was nothing to do with me) )

And I am in mourning because the boring 💤 demands of survival have returned with avengance.  Survival of the financial kind is rearing it’s head like a jack in the box that I keep pushing down and it just jumps out at me again.

On Friday 7.15 am, I dutifully dialled my supply agency and in my nicest, politest, at your  service- like- voice (not easy for people like me) I BEGGED for a metaphorical gig.

My supply agency – are so cool.   Within minutes I was matched to a school, dBs in fist✊ ,  dressed to impress, following the pink line on the Sat Nav leading me to that pot of gold of £80

Dejection that I’m not yet a famous singer song writer/ social anthropologist columnist was doggedly stamped out as true terror set in at the prospect of facing ten shiny glittery gelled mascarad – year 10s – who I was now supposed to figure out the next 8 beats of a highly complex dance routine.

Note- my last experience of dance was ballet when I was 8 and some awful depiction of yout on c bbc which has amazing dance routines mingled with dodgy messages about relationships.

Once I plucked the perfectly petite alpha blonde-female student from the crew and perched her on her rightful  branch -everything fell into place.  Twas as easy as falling off a log!

Even I was disarmed by her super confidence, focused strut, technically astute dance moves mingled with calm serenity, no – smile policy and the traces of an eastern European twang.

But like all good opportunists, I put my ethical concerns to the side and let her do my job better than I ever could.

She  warmed them up, grouped them, bossed  them, tossed her perfectly placed blonde hair.

It was a dream!

What betta reason to get out of your snuggly bed for?

I joined the warm up which they all found highly amusing as I huffed and puffed to touch my knees and grimaced at the pudgy mirror images attacking my eyes at every angle.

What a blast to dance to some revitalized 80s classics and breath in the aroma of our future leaders – and get paid.

Maybe the pragmatic need for cash is my reality!

Slumming it at the Proms

As London Underground ‘even out the gaps in the service’, I step back and take a mental selfie- an overwhelming guilty pleasure spreads over my skin like an embarrassing unwanted rash.

Unwanted because I’m squirming with the privilege I enjoy whilst others are fighting for their life-right now- they’re coming up for air-as I puff and pant at my inefficient predictive function on my phone .

I feel even more conscience stricken because my very existence is the outcome of refugees of yore who escaped  eastern Europe and South Africa.

My attitude to life, my confidence,   education, exposure is the result of kindness  towards those immigrants who are my fore father’s.

That kindness meant I got out of the ghetto FOR FREE and one perk of this brave new world I now luxuriate in is: music.

 Tonight I was reminded of that pure, delicate,tinkling and tickling to the ears that only Rimsky-Korsakovs, scherazade can evoke.  Music is a luxury that I love deeply.  It’s a non verbal communication that communicates volumes to my inner most being.

You could be excused for enquiring how can I possibly imagine that this hedonistic lifestyle could described as ‘slumming it’.   Well- I went for the £5 tickets and elected to queue for hours in the great outdoors that we call Kensington, to then sit on the floor in the Gods of the Albert Hall and languish in mesmerising musical luxury !

Hoping against hope that I'll get some floor space at the Proms last Monday.
Hoping against hope that I’ll get some floor space at the Proms last Monday.
I love the Proms because as a superbly awkward mixed race child  growing up in Haggerston estate:  a non English speaking refugee, single parent (need I go on)- I could ditch the labels;  pay less than a fiver and hear the likes of Anne Sophie Mutter, Victoria Mullova, Simon Rattle, the Berlin Philharmonic and last Monday:  the St Petersburg Philarmonic.
All in that hall, had one thing in common: passion for The Sound…going to whatever lengths were needed to be part of that magnificent, alluring, written in the stars – like- SOUND.  Like the Berlin wall tumbling down, the barricades of class, race, demography, economic privilege, education were momentarily flattened as we soaked in the rays of brilliant sounds that don’t have words that can be misunderstood, hurtful or degrading.
That’s what paying £5 to lie on the floor of the Gallery of the Albert Hall means to me.  In all that gratitude for the simple pleasures – it’s mingled with bitter sweet or in  modern parlance (salted caramel)  for 2 reasons:
there’s  the fact that even though it’s a fiver.  None of the adults I grew up with or the kids I now teach in impoverished areas are breaking down these stereotypes by joining me in the gallery.
As the solo violin rose elegantly, delicately, like a snake charmer, charming me toward an ideal of Platonic beauty, up through the higher echelons of the octaves, I plummeted down with the realisation that culture is not about economic deprivation as so many in schools insist- it’s a    ‘mind forg’d manacle’ of what is socially acceptable for you and yours.
You know how much dollars people don’t have to spend on their Nike but £5 for imperialist Russian decadence- PASS!  For me-it’s a Charlie finding the golden ticket moment- the absolute pleasure and intrigue of straddling the worlds of cow foot  and philosophical notions!
 I only hope that we can all take a mental selfie and remember where we come from – so many of us are descendants of invaders/freedom fighters or immigrants  be it last year, last century or last millennia.
Let’s work together to provide what is needed to help those without hope as our families were once provided for.

Beginning of a brand new Dawn!!!

Niran Obassa  Genuis pianist, organist, producer....you name it!! Read this Southbank Centre – review - http://www.afridiziak.com/theatrenews/reviews/july2015/niran-obasa-southbank-centre.html
Niran Obassa
Genuis pianist, organist, producer….you name it!!
Read this
Southbank Centre – review – http://www.afridiziak.com/theatrenews/reviews/july2015/niran-obasa-southbank-centre.html

This is it guys!  The beginning of a brand new Dawn!  I am so so so soso so excited and I absolutely  refuse to hide it!  My moment of ….making the music I have been dreaming of since I was an infant.

I feel so blessed to share this journey with all of y’all …whoever you may be.   …You can listen to it soon…coming at ya!!!!

IMG-20150910-WA0002
Andrea- my agony aunt! My confidant! Amazing teacher and arts expert. We’re waiting as Niran gets those wild songs under control!!