This is the first blog I've written since returning from Ghana over a year ago. I'm sure most of you who will receive this message will be wondering what I've been up to since Ghana. Or some of you will not be aware of my adventures in Africa. If not, please read the previous blogs, I hope it inspires you.
If you're not aware, my style of writing is very honest and sometimes brutal, so please don't be offended! It's supposed to be autobiographical writing.
It means well, and it is important for me to write the truth to people who are interesting in my so called life.
Also, blogs are supposed to inform people on your recent acitivities. But for me, it's just an assurance that somebody is listening, which is a comforting thought.
I will be doing my writing on here from now on as I do not use nor participate in Facebook anymore. The online phenomenon that has corrupted many beautiful young minds to the point where we rely on technology far too much. Also, I was fed up with another invitation to another application, or forced to acknowledge who had what breakfast, or who had sexual intercourse with who. I should probably finish talking about facebook, but to round it off, I am more interested in meeting people for real and sharing stories.
Also, I have given most people on facebook my postal address:
New Town, Chester. CH1 3JA.
I will be delighted to receive a letter and I will correspond! We have all forgotten the beauty of writing and posting letters to someone. (We have also forgotten the beauty of mixtapes, on cassette tapes, but i will write about that another time!)
Letters, drawings, poems, songs, doodles, I will appreciate anything creative. If you would like to send a postcard from a foreign country, please draw on it, or do something unique!
Since I returned from Ghana in February 2009, I got a job as a Cafe Assistant at Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries & Galloway. I spent 4 months there, working solid hours. In July, I managed to escape to Munich in Germany which was a wonderful holiday. I visited my big sister who was working there at the time. Germany was amazing. Everything is a head of UK, clean street, friendly people... Also, I went clubbing at the world famous Kultfabrik at Ostbanhoff, leaving the designated premises at 6am dancing to Hardcore trance music with people in Dreadlocks. When they started serving breakfast with vodka shots, I knew it was time to leave. We managed to visit Saltzburg in Austria, where the Sound of Music was filmed. As much as it was tempting to dance around singing songs that would make Julie Andrews proud, we weren't the only ones with that particular idea, so we swiftly moved on. Of all the european countries that I have visited, Denmark will be my favorite so far.
Anyway, back to work in Scotland. It was one of the strangest places I've ever worked. In middle of nowhere, which forced me to cycle 13 miles most mornings. I was the only guy, surrounded by women. I am not sexist at all, but working with women is hard. We're from different planets I guess. One morning, I was in at 8:30am and I was in the kitchen with my manager. She asked me "Did you watch Britain's Got Talent on ITV last night? Did you see that wonderful boy singing?", I replied "No, Sorry. I don't watch TV" (Certainly not those garbage anyway). Then there was this awkward silence for about 30 minutes. This happened most mornings. Also, estate solicitors who ran the estate were all fucking weird. In their tweed trousers and their shirts tucked in, you can tell they get paid loads from the Duke, who own the castle. But their priorities were not right. They kept complaining at our tea room for not making enough money or using the wrong napkins even when it was raining and no customers there. I got into few shit for not doing things right, which I protested. Anyway... enough of that place, I hope I don't have to go back there ever again.
Around May 2009, I decided to apply for University as I was inspired by all the young people I met in Ghana and their aspirations in life. Some of them will never achieve their dreams, but I felt privileged to be in the UK, and all the services available for us, which we are all guilty of taking it for granted. So I felt I should go to Uni, for Ghana anyway.
So I applied for Popular Music with Photography at University of Chester, and I got invited for an interview straight away. The other universities rejected me straight away. So I went for an interview and got accepted straight away! If you know my whole life story and the days in Primary School were I couldn't care about anything, and my appalling scores at high school, it is a miracle that I am in University! Prior to moving to Chester, I knew nothing of the place and I was a little skeptical. But my parents encouraged me to go there and start a new life. I was getting sick of Scotland, with our culture fading away and politicians making bizarre policies while small Scottish towns dissolving into crimes and unemployment. It was important for me to get out of my comfort zone and see the world, meet new people and share stories with the unknown.
So fast forward to September, after a quick trip to France, I moved to Chester to start my Univerisity. But problem arose during the enrollment. I was not on the list. I quickly felt unwelcoming. Shit. Fuck. Crap. Many words you could imagine ran though my head and I did not know what to do. But luckily, I managed to find someone at the student services who had my records. I came across another problem, major disaster on my behalf. The Student loans company in scotland decided against funding me. Not even a penny. After an hour of panicking my brains out, after a number of phone calls, I found out that I must be in 2nd year to receive a full loan for living costs, bursary and tuition fees paid. After speaking to number of tutors, I was booked in to yet another music audition. After the audition, the music tutors told me that if I was applying for 1st year, I would have got in top class, but for 2nd year I was not good enough. Crap. But maybe this was a blessing in disguise as I did not agree with "THE MAN" making rules in music. There are no rules in music! Skills does not apply. It's all about expressing yourself like no other. I don't want to be a cloned out guitar player anyway. So, I had to choose between Fine Art, Graphic Design or Multimedia to combine with Photography.
I decided on Fine Art as I felt I could produce artistic work based on my poetry and my observations in life.
Got my haircut on October, my long hair which reached my chest, is gone. I felt that the hair reminded me of many things and I just wanted to get rid of it. And being 23, I felt my age, and I wanted to represent myself through the product of Music, Art and my Writings, not on how I look.
Anyway.... fast forward 2010. Chester is a strange town in deed. Uni is bizarre as well. Very Cleaky. But I've managed to meet people that I will definitely keep in touch for the rest of my life. Few of them in particular are the most beautiful and amazing people that I have ever met in my life. Some of them are not even from the UK. There were few hurdles I had to jump across. In January I suffered from major depression and I was close to dropping out. But I managed to stick to it and got by, thanks to people who shared kind words, and hours of watching South Park and Seinfeld. lol.
Coming to Chester made me think about life in greater depths. The meaning of life, and the significance of becoming 23, which makes me older than most students. As you get older, life becomes more peculiar, and what you learned throughout your life becomes more absurd. What you thought was cool, is not cool. And what you thought was not cool, is in fact, cool. Like in chester, there is a new fashion style, wearing pajama bottoms. I've been thinking about fashion, or things young people absorb into, to feel belonged or something beyond my understanding.
My understanding of fashion is the style and the culture that has a significant importance at any given time, most commonly to describe the clothing style which is referred to by the designers as “wearable pieces of art”. Fashion has been used and appreciated for thousands of years throughout history. It was one of the most unique & interesting alterations in clothing created by mankind which has changed the course of history. However, the modern fashion has created deeper meanings and has had a substantial impact on our society. Fashion ultimately defines the position you hold in this society which reflects on your age, sex, sexuality, race, social class, occupation, geography, politics and your interests in a particular subculture / counterculture. As we are all conscious of how we look, fashion has become equally as important as religion itself.
However, my main concern is who decides on what is popular, but ultimately on how we are supposed to look. It comes to my surprise that most of us are oblivious to being fed by the media on what are the ideal body shapes and sizes. It mostly affects women as they are often conscious of their body weight, body shape, hair colour and even the colour of their skin. Which poses the question of women being designed by corporate companies, brainwashed into thinking that overly sexed up reflection of them can easily allure many men. Men are constantly fed images of ideal women through the media, which continues the cycle of women dressing up. It is a sad realization of young people becoming a machine, manufactured to oblige the wealth of the greed, creating a deeper separation between the rich and the poor. I understand that the humans’ attracting others sexually is the fundamental truth in the existence of mankind. However I believe that designing people in a mass scale provokes the natural beauty within us. It is the consumers who ultimately decide on what fashion is popular. However, each one of us are guilty of participating in the corporate game and the globalization, not even checking the label which states the country the particular article of clothing was made in and the circumstances of the makers.
Also, I often get mistaken as a homosexual as I have many close female friends, girls who I find it comfortable to have a pint with. I always tell those boys who criticize my fondness for having female friends to "Go fuck yourself and read books by Harvey Milk, and realize the struggles experienced by people in the gay community". My flatmate once told me all gay people should be shot. I told him you cannot be against homosexuality without a valid biological or scientific point. He told me that God created us to reproduce, and stated that Masturbation is a sin only practiced by Gay people. You can imagine the approar that our house experienced! I don't want to get in there again, it was the most retarded conversation I have ever heard. I also told this man, who is from Nigeria, and is the most hardcore Christian I have ever met, that I love Jesus Christ, but dislike Christianity. He said it does not make sense. For me, it makes perfect sense. I have always been spiritual, I always will.
Anyway, I'm not even going to get into politics in this Blog, it would give me a head ache.
So... fast forward to now. 4pm, 22nd March 2010.
In Ghana blogs, I discussed my views on the developing countries, and on how the developed countries deal with Poverty and climnate change. How appalling it is.
I still have those views, and I often think about the world more. I have been inspired by Don Mccullin, British photographer who is world renowned in his War Photography during the 60's and 70's. Maybe this is what I want to do in the future, report from the unreported world. To expose the reality, the truth, and the suffering, to the rich. Britain is in a bubble. We have everything we need, neglecting the rest of the world. Also, I've started reading writings by William Blake. I feel I develop as a person everyday, become the person I long to be.
Recently, I discovered that I suffer from Lepidopterophobia. I have a great fear of Butterflies and moths. It is a surprise because I used to love insects when I was a child. And I never used to be scared of anything. What does this mean? Everytime I think about butterflies, I am more scared than the Magic Mushroom experience I endured when I was 15 years old.
Combinging with all the rest I've discussed, I often analyze myself.
Maybe I'm too analytical, maybe I'm too serious, maybe I think about things too much, maybe I contradict myself all the time... Maybe I should become like the other boys, play Xbos360, drink at the local pub all the time and watch football, make sexist jokes, make derogatory jokes concerning people with different sexuality. But then, I should become the person I should be. Maybe, thinking is the best gift mankind has received. Thinking about things becomes ideas. Ideas become a product. Product is then embraced by bystanders helping to re-think about the world that we live in.
But then again, thinking too much can cloud your judgements and plague your mind, resulting in too much decoding which you would not get a straight answer to any questions that you're trying to process into your brain. This kind of proves that I'm going around in circles thinking too much, but trying not to think too much. Life is confusing. LOL.
All this ultimately contributes to my never ending Songwriting, poems, and photography/art.
I don't want to be rich or famous, fuck that. But I do want to do something important with my life, something that would inspire many people, and help people who need help the most.
..... Or maybe I write too much! And sorry it got a little dark... as you know, I am a happy person who smile at strangers on the streets of chester, and listen to people, and make people happy.
On that note, thanks for reading my first blog in over a year, I will write soon.
I have a job interview on wednesday as a trainee chef!
If you find time, please send me a letter, that would be nice. :)
Jamie. x :)