Sunday, 23 July 2017

MEMORY LANE: NOSTALGIA

Every so often I like to look through old pictures to remind myself of the amazing experiences I've had. A little while ago I found several gems and reminiscing was so much fun! I was firmly reminded that life isn't as bad as we sometimes feel it is when we go through difficult times. So, here's a trip down (my) memory lane to give you a happy boost. Enjoy! 


Primary School: I have such fond memories of skipping around the playground giggling, egg and spoon races on sports days, singing my heart out during the school assembly's, or on the forbidden (shh) veranda and classroom lessons where I was taught how to draw an elephant (I still remember how) by one of my favourite teachers, whose name was Mrs Newman.

Another key memory that came to mind was, when I had an accident in the playground, aged 9 and needed to be rushed to hospital; how caring the teachers were who looked after me until the ambulance arrived.

Carefree childhood: mostly outdoors, playing games and attending birthday parties which were always about the goodie bags, ha-ha!! That's all we looked for the
moment we arrived. After that, it was all about the pass the parcel game because, well, more treats and toys were to be had! I sometimes miss those days when children were just children...

The Devil in Drag: my first professional stage production in 1997, I think, as part of the Theatre Royal; Stratford East Youth Theatre. This was one of the press shots and I (honestly) had the world of anxiety being in front of a camera. Despite always wanting to take pictures of others, I felt very uncomfortable during the shoot by Johnny Munday who was super patient with me as I tried to deal with my anxiety. The production, however, was a huge success and the world of fun! How different do I look in that photo, by the way? Good grief!

To date, The Devil in Drag remains my favourite role and project that I worked on as an actress - Judge Alfonso De Tristano was a no nonsense man (yes, I played a man, a very powerful one) who took his job of upholding the law very seriously! Lol!!

I have a photo of me as the Judge wearing a court room wig, robe and snake skin beard (don't ask) but, I couldn't find it to include in this post. It's actually hilarious!

Caribbean settings: Age 16 I was told that the family will be travelling to Saint Lucia (it would be my first time going) for my auntie's wedding and we were to stay there for six weeks..... "SIX, WHO???!?". Initially I was super annoyed, but, I have such lovely and funny memories that make me smile - beach walks, Sulphur Springs, meeting family I didn't know and gaining a friend who is now like family to me and whom I speak to at least once a week. I actually think the family should all go on holiday together again... Yeah, right! 

Pictured: aunt in her wedding dress (looking so gorgeous), me (tall and broad), my sister beside me (short and cute) and our beautiful cousin Emma leads the way.

Feeling myself, differently: I am forever wanting to chop off my Afro and I did just that many moons ago (I genuinely cannot recall when) and I loved it way too much!! It felt so good to not have braids and to rock short, fairly easy to manage, hair. 

My face was slimmer back then too, and the hairstyle I had really suited my shape. Not sure I could get away with it now, but, I do intend to give it a try again. So, if I do and you catch me suddenly going IN with my instagram stories, that's why! Ha-ha...

Old School: The photo below is from the last rave I attended. It was a 90's theme birthday, in London and I had the absolute time of my life! It was the best environment, loads of fancy dress fun and I'm pretty sure I didn't leave the dance floor for longer than 5 minutes!! Everyone there was having a ball and it was great to be at a party, in a club, where the vibes were super sweet throughout the night! I no longer do raves because, there tends to be too much drama, however, if they were all like this particular celebration I'd be the first one to rock up!! It was a fab time; we were smiles all night. Oh, by the way, I went as Janet Jackson and I did look (a bit) like her before I posed for this photo all sweaty Betty. LOL!

Pictured: actors Michael Salami and Holli Dee.

Radio vibes: I, mean, once upon a time some of us had to broadcast from a garage and now we have evolved to purpose built spaces, or studios, fully kitted out with the necessary gadgets needed to produce quality content for dedicated listeners / supporters. This picture (of Déja Vu FM, 2013) means so much more to me than I know how to put into words. If I had to go back to that very spot and start all over again, I would. Brilliant memories were made and a lot of laughter was had! I'm proud of where I started and super chuffed with all I've achieved. I'm excited to present Charley Time on Westside Radio (89.6FM) Thursday 27th July 2017, 7pm (GMT)! The climb is real. Got to be fully about all of it to be in with a chance of succeeding with it, right?

On screen: I don't know which one I miss more, my weekly radio show, or creating The Real Talk TV Series UK for *YouTube

Again, I wasn't about having my face on camera, however, I absolutely loved all the laughs, meeting new people, developing the project and growing as a presenter. Valuable, hands-on experience that I massively appreciate. The show is still available to watch so, *head on over once you've read this post and leave comments with your thoughts - should I bring the show back?

Pictured: Darren Raymond, Artistic Director (Intermission Youth Theatre) and, behind the camera, Emma Obichukwu. 

Journalist? The challenge of creating regular content for Amor Magazine UK was overwhelming at times, yet it pushed me as a writer which has been reflected in my blog. I was blessed with a handful of opportunities and enjoyed all of them. Seeing my articles in print and receiving messages from readers was great! The Editor-in-Chief is known for offering aspiring writers a platform to both showcase and develop their skills!

One of the most memorable times was interviewing Shaggy at a plush hotel in West London and, not entirely for the right reasons (ahem), the dude had me in stitches!! It's an experience I'll never forget, ha-ha.

Cardiff: 3 years ago I went and stayed there for a weekend and it had me feel so relaxed; completely zen and the people were lovely. I literally felt at peace, physically, mentally and the rest. 

I'd like to visit again to see if it still has that same vibe. It truly was bliss. Although my partner at the time was there for work, I was able to enjoy the city which was such a blessing. 

There was quite a bit to see / do. A market with uniquely made products for sale, a festival, stunning buildings, seasonal afternoon tea, galleries, etc. It was definitely the type of weekend you just don't want to end. 

Gizmo: When it comes to pets, it's all about cats in my family and I am no exception! As a child, my animal obsession was kittens and rabbits. My mother sweetly bought us 2 rabbits, but, she didn't realise one was female and they had one too many babies! Some time after they all died, we found a kitten in the bonnet of mums car. Unfortunately we couldn't keep him and I'm sure I shed a tear or ten! I promised myself that, "when I'm grown up, I'll have a kitten". I wish I had known that when I grew up I'd also have a niece who would become the first person to whom I struggle to say "no". 
She met my Gizmo (this was years ago now) and the 2 instantly became chums so, (sigh) I allowed her to keep him only for him to be stolen a little while after settling into his new home. Someone nabbed him whilst he was outside. We all felt awful, seriously and to this day I miss him... He was a cute, playful, affectionate kitten. I want another one.

One of my greatest achievements is shared by 2 men with whom I now have a close friendship. In 2012 we created and produced a short film born from an initiative of mine named Change the Stereo. The cast were a joy to work with and I was surprised that a few of them were previously unknown to me! The lessons learned were incredible and I carry them with me to this day. Pass the Comb has a very special place in my heart. It was a teeny, tiny seed that blossomed onto the Community TV Channel and sparked the beautiful friendship I have with my co-producers from Zone 180 

That's it! End of memory lane. Did you have fun? I may share more pics from the batch I found on my instagram page.

Like you, I have moments when I want to be done with certain people and (the current state of) this world, however, for the most part, I am defo a much happier soul the older I get and am so much more comfortable in my skin. At some point, we all go through a type of hardship, or difficulties and such challenges often make us forget the wonderful aspects of our lives for which we should remain grateful and be uplifted by. 

No matter what you're faced with, how you choose to tackle it will always be the difference between whether the situation quickly and positively improves, or gets worse. To someone you are everything! Maybe you should take a trip down your own memory lane to remind yourself of that fact and, if nothing else, let that be your positive motivation force.

Thanks for reading.
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