words-of-emotion:

Good Vibes HERE

redthreadstories:

image

Sometimes strangers give much better advice than your closet friends and it can be in very few words.

I accidentally bumped into a man on a windy, British day, whilst trying to navigate myself down a cobbled street in my black, vinyl stilettos.

Very lightly hitting his shoulder as the wind…

#travel #adventure #freedom

#travel #adventure #freedom

h2hnarrative:

H2H Narrative’s birth  
Sometimes things happen to us in life that cause us to re-evaluate our entire lifestyle, beliefs, values, relationships and inevitably cause us to do that thing we both love and hate; change.
I was both extremely fortunate and as equally unfortunate for those life-altering things to happen to me and bring about that wave of change. They came in a three and were about as gentle as a tsunami. 
It’s those life changers that caused me to start H2H Narrative, and live this year as if it were my last. So here’s my story.
One year ago today, my mother was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and given weeks to live. It had spread throughout her body and we were told that she had very little chance of fighting it off. I crumbled. She didn’t. Charles Bukowski once said that, “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
 I think Death trembled when he faced the ferocity of my mother.
Every single day that she lives, her strength of mind and soul makes me realise what a woman is. My mother’s cancer introduced me to Death.
  The second came when I was living in northern rural India in an Indo-Nepal border before returning to the UK to care for my mother, in a town called Rupaidiha. It was here I met Poverty and Inequality and lived with them for three years. Everyday I saw Poverty in the eyes of children without clothes on their back or shoes on their open sored feet, carrying bricks, or running with heavy sacks of rice across the border. I saw Inequality staring back at me in the faces of women who had escaped sex slavery, pregnant after being gang raped, and in the aged hands of hard working men who wanted nothing more than to be given the opportunity to provide for their families.
 I could never go back to my English life of Starbucks and central heating again. I had to do something about my two new acquaintances, however much I wish that I had never met them.
 The final life changer came two years ago when my father passed away. I’m a daddy’s girl and I took it a great deal harder than I thought I would. The part of his death that touched me the most was being there holding his hand as he went. I won’t go into the details, but there’s something remarkably powerful about watching someone inhale and exhale their last breath, looking into their eyes and feeling their fear, love and relief.
My father was the strongest man I knew, and many would agree with me, being a champion boxer, gangster, to pastor, and amazing father. I still have yet to meet a man who carries the same strength both physically and heart-strong, and yet, in the dawn drawn hours of that morning as I held his hand for the last time and consciously took in the twinkle in his blue eyes, the very fragility of life took a hold of me so fiercely that it almost took my breath. It was in that moment I had the pleasure of meeting Love.
 Seeing my mother deal with the reality that she’s going to die has made me question everything about life and I’ve often got frustrated at how my mum has chosen to live what could be the last year, month, or week of hers. I needed to come alongside her, I needed to live my life like this year was my last too.
 
Socrates always said that ‘we should be occupied with the practice of dying’. With a year left to live, this is my year of giving.  

h2hnarrative:

H2H Narrative’s birth  

Sometimes things happen to us in life that cause us to re-evaluate our entire lifestyle, beliefs, values, relationships and inevitably cause us to do that thing we both love and hate; change.

I was both extremely fortunate and as equally unfortunate for those life-altering things to happen to me and bring about that wave of change. They came in a three and were about as gentle as a tsunami. 

It’s those life changers that caused me to start H2H Narrative, and live this year as if it were my last. So here’s my story.

One year ago today, my mother was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and given weeks to live. It had spread throughout her body and we were told that she had very little chance of fighting it off. I crumbled. She didn’t. Charles Bukowski once said that, “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
 I think Death trembled when he faced the ferocity of my mother.

Every single day that she lives, her strength of mind and soul makes me realise what a woman is. My mother’s cancer introduced me to Death.

  The second came when I was living in northern rural India in an Indo-Nepal border before returning to the UK to care for my mother, in a town called Rupaidiha. It was here I met Poverty and Inequality and lived with them for three years. Everyday I saw Poverty in the eyes of children without clothes on their back or shoes on their open sored feet, carrying bricks, or running with heavy sacks of rice across the border. I saw Inequality staring back at me in the faces of women who had escaped sex slavery, pregnant after being gang raped, and in the aged hands of hard working men who wanted nothing more than to be given the opportunity to provide for their families.

 I could never go back to my English life of Starbucks and central heating again. I had to do something about my two new acquaintances, however much I wish that I had never met them.

 The final life changer came two years ago when my father passed away. I’m a daddy’s girl and I took it a great deal harder than I thought I would. The part of his death that touched me the most was being there holding his hand as he went. I won’t go into the details, but there’s something remarkably powerful about watching someone inhale and exhale their last breath, looking into their eyes and feeling their fear, love and relief.

My father was the strongest man I knew, and many would agree with me, being a champion boxer, gangster, to pastor, and amazing father. I still have yet to meet a man who carries the same strength both physically and heart-strong, and yet, in the dawn drawn hours of that morning as I held his hand for the last time and consciously took in the twinkle in his blue eyes, the very fragility of life took a hold of me so fiercely that it almost took my breath. It was in that moment I had the pleasure of meeting Love.

 Seeing my mother deal with the reality that she’s going to die has made me question everything about life and I’ve often got frustrated at how my mum has chosen to live what could be the last year, month, or week of hers. I needed to come alongside her, I needed to live my life like this year was my last too.

 

Socrates always said that ‘we should be occupied with the practice of dying’. With a year left to live, this is my year of giving.  

redthreadstories:


Getting a TESOL job in India
There’s been a lot of people ask me how to get a teaching job in India, so I’ve finally got round to sharing that info! Getting a teaching job in India can be a taxing experience as there are very few job postings on the most common and popular job sites, such as, daveseslcafe.com or TEFL.net.
 I’m not exactly sure why this is, but my suspicion is that India has not yet really been exposed to the ESL jobs world forum and often don’t think that any foreigners want to come and work in India, particularly ones from more developed countries.
That couldn’t be further from the truth! So here’s my advice to anyone who would like to go and work in India, but are having a hard time finding the jobs.
 There are many, many jobs advertised for English Language teachers but often come under different names relating to the industry they’re wanted in.
1. Soft skills Trainer
‘Soft skills’ is a bit of an umbrella statement and tends to deal with teaching new skills such as English as a second language, Business English, confidence building, etiquette such as customer service, cross - cultural training.
 Often these job posting are for call centres or ‘BPO’ and there are numerous vacancies posted daily, often under that name ‘Voice and Accent Trainer’ as there aren’t enough people to fill the many positions available. Usually, the job postings are in the major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, but you will find them throughout the country.
People who have worked in call centres as trainers before have really enjoyed it, and the salary is great too.  The only downfall could be the hours, as around half of the jobs in this industry require you to work the ‘American or UK’ shift, otherwise known as, ‘The Grave Yard Shift’.
You can also find Soft skills trainer jobs in the aviation sector, training air hosting staff. Kingfisher, Go Air, and Air Indigo regularly post vacancies.
The other side of Soft Skills training involves ‘grooming’…. I know.
This basically means, getting students ready for either a job or further study where they need to polish themselves up a bit in the areas of English, confidence, interviewing skills, CV writing, general etiquette and my personal favourite, ‘personality development’ aka, interpersonal skills.
This particular breed of Soft Skills Trainer are found in ‘Finishing schools’ and general training companies.
2. Corporate Coach / Trainer 
This, very simply put, is a Business English Trainer, sometimes freelance, sometimes hired.  The trainers are required to go into companies and train staff in Business English and quite often all of the above. Mostly, these jobs are found through agencies in India in the big cities like Bangalore.
3. IELTS / TOEFL Teacher / Trainer
IELTS and TOEFL (the UK, Australian and American English exams required to pass in order to immigrate) are a big business in India and Language centres that deal with this area are spread through out the country.
Haven’t got any experience teaching these exams I hear you say? Fear not. Experience is often not required, just read up on what the exams entail and you’re all set for a career in the Cambridge examinations sector.
4. The classic English Teacher
There are many international schools in India requiring English teachers of all shapes and sizes. The great things about these positions is that international schools often really take care of their staff and getting an ‘employment visa’ – more on that below– will be easier as well as accommodation and health care.
The only consideration with this would be is that you might be asked to teach more of a traditional syllabus, meaning English Literature and Language as sometimes ESL isn’t a priority due to the English based examination boards. This was a serious problem for me, as often there is a desperate need for English to be taught as a second language but instead students are thrown into the old English world of Shakespeare.
There are also many voluntary positions, which can be both rewarding and great as an initial introduction to working in India. There are some great postings working with Tibetan monks in the Himalayan regions of Ladakh, also known as Little Tibet, and the many, many NGOs in India that desperately need people’s help. These NGOs may be involved in rescuing women and children from sex trafficking, or providing free education to children whose families’ are living in extreme poverty, the children of people living in leprosy colonies, women’s development centres where women go after they have been extradited from their society due to divorce, simply not giving birth to a boy, domestic violence or escaping prostitution. There is also a great need for Special Needs teachers.
Some recent voluntary posts I’ve come across:
If your into wildlife and conservation, Jack Kinross has advertised English Teaching positions for his most recent expedition into the Himalayas, teaching in village schools. - https://www.facebook.com/jackkinross
Teach for India - www.teachforindia.org 
“That’s what we’re working towards - A day when every child gets the opportunity to attain an excellent education. A day when we can empower every human being with choice. Because that’s what every child deserves. That’s what India deserves.”
Make a Difference - http://makeadiff.in/uat/ - A Movement of Young People.
"Make a difference empowers children living in orphanages and street shelters to discover their true strengths and unleash their full potential." And some others: 
http://foradian.com/post/59475719882/5-indian-ngos-working-toward-education-equality 
There are sooo many, just google it.
Useful websites for job searches:
ESL Schools in India (there are many) :
http://www.eslbase.com/schools/india
Then of course there is the British Council in India who post jobs year round.
www.indeed.co.in
www.timesjobs.com
www.monsterindia.com
www.naukri.com
 Visas
 To legally work in India you will need an employment visa which is arranged before you leave your country. You can’t legally work in India on a tourist visa, but this often is overlooked…..
VFS is the name of the company in the UK that deal with Indian visas and are located in the major cities of the country. My last trip to one was in Birmingham in a small office of a community centre and took all of 20 minutes to submit, after the women behind the desk rang her bhabiji (sister in law) to ask what the procedure was.  
A last word of advice
 Use your head. India is not your country = things work differently. There are cultural differences, health, safety, bureaucracy, it can be overwhelmingly hot, cold, crowded (1 billion people), magnificent, horrendous, incredible or devastating. Just like any other country. 
Working in a big city in India is not like backpacking. It’s a lifestyle change and one you have to consider seriously. It’s not all about yoga and making friends with the local sadu (holy man), you are often surrounded my extreme poverty contrasted with extreme wealth.
If you’re going to work in India to live the hippy lifestyle and walk around bare foot in a sarong, please stay at home. We have enough people who can’t actually afford shoes or a bath, for you to come and take the piss.
Working in India can be hard work, but I can promise you it will never be boring, and it will certainly be incredible.

 

redthreadstories:

Getting a TESOL job in India

There’s been a lot of people ask me how to get a teaching job in India, so I’ve finally got round to sharing that info! Getting a teaching job in India can be a taxing experience as there are very few job postings on the most common and popular job sites, such as, daveseslcafe.com or TEFL.net.

 I’m not exactly sure why this is, but my suspicion is that India has not yet really been exposed to the ESL jobs world forum and often don’t think that any foreigners want to come and work in India, particularly ones from more developed countries.

That couldn’t be further from the truth! So here’s my advice to anyone who would like to go and work in India, but are having a hard time finding the jobs.

 There are many, many jobs advertised for English Language teachers but often come under different names relating to the industry they’re wanted in.

1. Soft skills Trainer

‘Soft skills’ is a bit of an umbrella statement and tends to deal with teaching new skills such as English as a second language, Business English, confidence building, etiquette such as customer service, cross - cultural training.

 Often these job posting are for call centres or ‘BPO’ and there are numerous vacancies posted daily, often under that name ‘Voice and Accent Trainer’ as there aren’t enough people to fill the many positions available. Usually, the job postings are in the major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, but you will find them throughout the country.

People who have worked in call centres as trainers before have really enjoyed it, and the salary is great too.  The only downfall could be the hours, as around half of the jobs in this industry require you to work the ‘American or UK’ shift, otherwise known as, ‘The Grave Yard Shift’.

You can also find Soft skills trainer jobs in the aviation sector, training air hosting staff. Kingfisher, Go Air, and Air Indigo regularly post vacancies.

The other side of Soft Skills training involves ‘grooming’…. I know.

This basically means, getting students ready for either a job or further study where they need to polish themselves up a bit in the areas of English, confidence, interviewing skills, CV writing, general etiquette and my personal favourite, ‘personality development’ aka, interpersonal skills.

This particular breed of Soft Skills Trainer are found in ‘Finishing schools’ and general training companies.

2. Corporate Coach / Trainer 

This, very simply put, is a Business English Trainer, sometimes freelance, sometimes hired.  The trainers are required to go into companies and train staff in Business English and quite often all of the above. Mostly, these jobs are found through agencies in India in the big cities like Bangalore.

3. IELTS / TOEFL Teacher / Trainer

IELTS and TOEFL (the UK, Australian and American English exams required to pass in order to immigrate) are a big business in India and Language centres that deal with this area are spread through out the country.

Haven’t got any experience teaching these exams I hear you say? Fear not. Experience is often not required, just read up on what the exams entail and you’re all set for a career in the Cambridge examinations sector.

4. The classic English Teacher

There are many international schools in India requiring English teachers of all shapes and sizes. The great things about these positions is that international schools often really take care of their staff and getting an ‘employment visa’ – more on that below– will be easier as well as accommodation and health care.

The only consideration with this would be is that you might be asked to teach more of a traditional syllabus, meaning English Literature and Language as sometimes ESL isn’t a priority due to the English based examination boards. This was a serious problem for me, as often there is a desperate need for English to be taught as a second language but instead students are thrown into the old English world of Shakespeare.

There are also many voluntary positions, which can be both rewarding and great as an initial introduction to working in India. There are some great postings working with Tibetan monks in the Himalayan regions of Ladakh, also known as Little Tibet, and the many, many NGOs in India that desperately need people’s help. These NGOs may be involved in rescuing women and children from sex trafficking, or providing free education to children whose families’ are living in extreme poverty, the children of people living in leprosy colonies, women’s development centres where women go after they have been extradited from their society due to divorce, simply not giving birth to a boy, domestic violence or escaping prostitution. There is also a great need for Special Needs teachers.

Some recent voluntary posts I’ve come across:

If your into wildlife and conservation, Jack Kinross has advertised English Teaching positions for his most recent expedition into the Himalayas, teaching in village schools. - https://www.facebook.com/jackkinross

Teach for India - www.teachforindia.org 

That’s what we’re working towards - A day when every child gets the opportunity to attain an excellent education. A day when we can empower every human being with choice. Because that’s what every child deserves. That’s what India deserves.”

Make a Difference - http://makeadiff.in/uat/ - A Movement of Young People.

"Make a difference empowers children living in orphanages and street shelters to discover their true strengths and unleash their full potential." And some others: 

http://foradian.com/post/59475719882/5-indian-ngos-working-toward-education-equality 

There are sooo many, just google it.

Useful websites for job searches:

ESL Schools in India (there are many) :

http://www.eslbase.com/schools/india

Then of course there is the British Council in India who post jobs year round.

www.indeed.co.in

www.timesjobs.com

www.monsterindia.com

www.naukri.com

 Visas

 To legally work in India you will need an employment visa which is arranged before you leave your country. You can’t legally work in India on a tourist visa, but this often is overlooked…..

VFS is the name of the company in the UK that deal with Indian visas and are located in the major cities of the country. My last trip to one was in Birmingham in a small office of a community centre and took all of 20 minutes to submit, after the women behind the desk rang her bhabiji (sister in law) to ask what the procedure was.  

A last word of advice

 Use your head. India is not your country = things work differently. There are cultural differences, health, safety, bureaucracy, it can be overwhelmingly hot, cold, crowded (1 billion people), magnificent, horrendous, incredible or devastating. Just like any other country. 

Working in a big city in India is not like backpacking. It’s a lifestyle change and one you have to consider seriously. It’s not all about yoga and making friends with the local sadu (holy man), you are often surrounded my extreme poverty contrasted with extreme wealth.

If you’re going to work in India to live the hippy lifestyle and walk around bare foot in a sarong, please stay at home. We have enough people who can’t actually afford shoes or a bath, for you to come and take the piss.

Working in India can be hard work, but I can promise you it will never be boring, and it will certainly be incredible.

 

redthreadstories:

“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
Charles Bukowski

redthreadstories:

“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
Charles Bukowski

redthreadstories:

Just as Im about to post yet another picture of my cat, James, on Facebook, I picked up my new book entitled ‘How to be Interesting’ by Jessica Hagy - Don’t judge me. 
I’ve been living in the city where I grew up, Sheffield, for about 10 months now whilst taking care of my mother (cancer) and I can honestly say Ive envisioned shooting myself a number of times. Life has gotten dull. 
Thus the book and a desperate attempt to regain my sanity. 
There’s only so much more I can take of people asking me how Im doing and my response being a flighty, fake and animated ‘Oh you know, haha, Im good’. Queue batting eyelids and hair flicking. 
When all Im thinking in my head is, ‘Yeah mate. I live with my mother, Ive worked for 2 months out of 12, and a day out for me is the cancer treatment centre. Life’s tip fucking top. 
I found this old picture that I took in Nepal today. We were trekking through the jungle and came to this contorted wooden bridge we had to cross. With no hand rail to hold onto, missing panels to step on, and a dizzying fear of heights, I remember freezing when I got to the middle. Too scared to continue, but I had gone too far to go back.
This is me now. After spending so long at my mother’s house, and gone through so much whilst being here whilst she’s fighting cancer and myself being separated from a loved one miles away, I’m scared to now move forward. Back to my life of adventure and storytelling. Im wrapped in a suffocating emotional security blanket. Violins are playing, tissues at the ready, old love letters are being read… you get the picture. Pity. Fucking. Party. Balloons and all. 
Visibly shaking half way along the bridge, I forced myself to pick up one foot and place it ever so carefully in front of the other and repeat, until I got to the end and embraced the joy of relief that only comes when you’ve felt the fear, but did it anyway.
I bought the book to inspire me, awaken my imagination, feel some spark within me and have the courage to gently tap my former self on the shoulder, and whisper in a quiet unobtrusive voice, ‘hey… remember me?!’. 
I want to write stories again. To feel curious, daring, and overwhelmed. 
The first chapter of ‘How to be Interesting’ is called ‘Explore’. Apparently carrying a couple of dice to make decisions is the first task. 
I may be shaking whist moving forward, but I know there’s that feeling of empowerment at the end of the bridge. Then I can breathe in a new lease of life. Then I can exhale the pain. 
“The mind is everything; What you think, you become.” - Buddha

redthreadstories:

Just as Im about to post yet another picture of my cat, James, on Facebook, I picked up my new book entitled ‘How to be Interesting’ by Jessica Hagy - Don’t judge me. 

I’ve been living in the city where I grew up, Sheffield, for about 10 months now whilst taking care of my mother (cancer) and I can honestly say Ive envisioned shooting myself a number of times. Life has gotten dull. 

Thus the book and a desperate attempt to regain my sanity. 

There’s only so much more I can take of people asking me how Im doing and my response being a flighty, fake and animated ‘Oh you know, haha, Im good’. Queue batting eyelids and hair flicking. 

When all Im thinking in my head is, ‘Yeah mate. I live with my mother, Ive worked for 2 months out of 12, and a day out for me is the cancer treatment centre. Life’s tip fucking top. 

I found this old picture that I took in Nepal today. We were trekking through the jungle and came to this contorted wooden bridge we had to cross. With no hand rail to hold onto, missing panels to step on, and a dizzying fear of heights, I remember freezing when I got to the middle. Too scared to continue, but I had gone too far to go back.

This is me now. After spending so long at my mother’s house, and gone through so much whilst being here whilst she’s fighting cancer and myself being separated from a loved one miles away, I’m scared to now move forward. Back to my life of adventure and storytelling. Im wrapped in a suffocating emotional security blanket. Violins are playing, tissues at the ready, old love letters are being read… you get the picture. Pity. Fucking. Party. Balloons and all. 

Visibly shaking half way along the bridge, I forced myself to pick up one foot and place it ever so carefully in front of the other and repeat, until I got to the end and embraced the joy of relief that only comes when you’ve felt the fear, but did it anyway.

I bought the book to inspire me, awaken my imagination, feel some spark within me and have the courage to gently tap my former self on the shoulder, and whisper in a quiet unobtrusive voice, ‘hey… remember me?!’. 

I want to write stories again. To feel curious, daring, and overwhelmed. 

The first chapter of ‘How to be Interesting’ is called ‘Explore’. Apparently carrying a couple of dice to make decisions is the first task. 

I may be shaking whist moving forward, but I know there’s that feeling of empowerment at the end of the bridge. Then I can breathe in a new lease of life. Then I can exhale the pain. 

“The mind is everything; What you think, you become.” - Buddha

#watercolour #painting #abstract #art #freedom

#watercolour #painting #abstract #art #freedom

(via sjpstuff)

#sheffield #summer #tramlines #harrisons

#sheffield #summer #tramlines #harrisons