Friday, 14 October 2011

Back again

Well, where have I been and what have I been doing since I last visited my blog?

A whole load of things and some probably too profound to explain and share via this vehicle, but a story that will be told.....

So, I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy at the beginning of the year which in itself lead to a whole chain of events that have changed me for good.

Life is funny.

Sometimes you may think you're ok, but actually when you find the time to stop, or in my case when you are forced to stop and look at where you are and what you are doing, only then can you see where flaws lie. I think I was in a serious bit of funk for a long while, though so embroiled in the continuous speed, routine, stress and endless demands that life puts on us, I didn't even have the time to realise it!

Spiralling weight, tiredness and a constant put upon feeling simply became the norm and I must have been in a bit of a slow and steady decline. The whole early post-birth experience was an additional shock to the system, which lead to a point where my mind must have simply 'popped' and said "right that's enough - time to shutdown". My usual 'super' self suddenly became a struggle and I literally felt as if I was losing my sanity. Thankfully, with the support of my nearest and dearest, I was able to rise up again with the added awareness that I had been in a very funny place for a very long time and only now was it that I was beginning to live again. Properly.

Sleep deprivation especially is a real problem and can have so many ill effects on the body. If you take on anything from this post, please keep in mind that adequate sleep is so important for normal and healthy function. Without it we simply become dysfunctional. It's a serious thing, one which was really exemplified during the early days dealing with the new baby. For all the new mums and dads out there, please do everything you can to get those required hours of sleep in, it's really hard but so important!

When change is needed, we all need to let go of all our fears associated with leaving that comfort zone. Sometimes we may make excuses and may not even realise that the only hindrance is yourself and that without that, anything is possible. Break free people, the sky's the limit!

In terms of my hair story, or rather the sisterlocks journey, I have to report that it have come to a rather abrupt end! For the second time I experienced hairline hairloss post-partum, but this time it was a bit more pronounced and with having locs, a lot more noticeable and I got fed up of trying to conceal it as more and more of my locs started popping out to play elsewhere further and further back from my hairline!

I have to say though, it is definitely not all doom and gloom as you might think and actually my new short 'loc-less' do is probably something I should have tried years ago!! This do I am now sporting is the shizzle and I have not experienced a single bad hair day yet.

Plus, it allows me the ultimate in time-saving every morning as I spend the minimal amount of time even just thinking about my hair. A little bit of product maybe, a quick brush and I'm good to go!! Plus, no more annoying retightening!!! That shizzle was getting on my nerves big time!!

We'll see how it all goes. For the moment I'm loving my short, short hairdo. Will I re-loc? Who knows, we'll see. For the moment I'm un-sisterlocked and loving it, though I loved my locs while they lasted. I even have some preserved in a plastic food bag for posterity!

I suppose this post marks the end of the sisterlocks journey, which has been varied and has lead to many revelations, learning and change, but also marks the start of a new journey towards a better whole, vibrant and transformed mind, body and spirit. Watch this space for future sharing....

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Baking a bun


You may have noticed that I have had a bit of a hiatus where this blog is concerned. There is a very good reason behind it mind you and can be summed up by my recent case of 'bunintheovenitis'. Yes, a little one is on the way.....  Sadly, Powerplate parked up for a time now......

I have to say that this time round, the morning sickness has been an absolute killer, causing me to vomit everyday for almost a whole 3 months, coupled with serious nausea, extreme tiredness, food aversions, heightened and altered sense of smell (everything has been stinking everywhere I go!) plus an aversion to chocolate of all things!! The summer heat has made things all the worse, especially the journey to and from work on packed stifling buses, with the burning heat, stinky perfumes, sweat and B.O invading every pore of my body and making the nausea 10x worse! Ah, it's been awful!
Only now am I beginning to feel a little bit human again. I felt like I was in a deep, dark pit of despair. Only now am I able to start thinking about the joys of another little bubba.

The experience has really made me think about how we all take feeling 'normal' for granted and how when that balance is upset, it can really change your whole outlook on life. I've been feeling absolutely miserable, and I know my temperament and moods have been all over the place (my poor family, sorry guys!). I really feel for people with chronic pain or conditions which mean they just don't feel right. I had a little taste of feeling really crap for a time and it's not something I want to ever experience again!
Anyway, now that I'm feeling a little better, I felt compelled to provide a bit of an update on my hair.

The hair
A while back I mentioned that I was having issues with some of my locs after starting the retightenings myself. I visited my consultant so she could have a look and she reckoned that I hadn't been doing the retightenings properly - hence why some of my locs were developing holes - arrrrrgggghhhhh!!!. I did have a feeling that something wasn't quite right and did think that my hand positioning maybe was the cause of the retightening pattern getting messed up. I had been shown how to do a 3pt rotation, which I thought I was doing very competently, only for issues to rear their ugly head a few months down the line.
Dreaded holey loc!
My consultant's preferred suggestion was for me to start again.....
Now, this option left me completely shocked as I have already invested so much time, effort and money (yes, the beginnings were flaming expensive!) into my hair. Why on earth would I simply say 'oh well, let me just chop off all my hair'?!?
Secondly, I don't think the 'issues' left my hair unsalvageable, plus, my locs still looked good regardless.....
It was time to do some quick thinking and follow my mind and gut feelings (best policy in my experience).
I left my consultant with the alternative suggestion that I just let my hair grow out and see what's what after a few months or so (in my head thinking how on earth am I going to allow my hair to just grow free without any retightening? I still have to go to work and out and about. I would probably end up with a bit of free form going on! I don't think so).
I have to say though, that the 3pt rotation had bothered me slightly from the start as it seemed to make it all too easy for me to make a mistake and go through the same hole twice, which is what I must have been doing on occasion, hence the holes forming! Thankfully, I already had the 4pt rotation in mind from my days of researching Sisterlocks on the web and it was what I always had in mind as my preferred method after watching videos etc of others who followed it when doing their own retightenings.
It was a bit of a slog going through my entire head and trying to rectify some of the mistakes by cutting, twisting, plaiting and joining! But, I think my saviour from the moment I tried it was the 4pt rotation!! Hallelujah! I could see the difference (for the better) immediately and it seems to present less opportunity for mistakes. 
Loc I managed to fix using a combination of  twisting the regrowth and the 4pt rotation
What a little right to left, bottom to top, left to right and top to bottom can do. By the looks of things it has saved me from another big chop, even though I had to experience near disaster, with a few locs lost on the way, to eventually appreciate it. 

They do say you live and learn. I certainly know my hair a LOT better now.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Good Hair

I finally got round to watching Chris Rock's documentary film 'Good Hair' at the weekend, though felt as if I had already seen the majority of it from the various trailers and video discussions I've seen on the web. I thought it was informative and entertaining, but really did lack any proper exploration of natural hair care, braiding, locking etc.

Overall, it left me feeling a tad disturbed by some of the subject matter it explored. In particular, the images of women in India having their heads shaved at the temple as part of a sacrifice, then the hair being sorted in a 'hair factory', sewn onto tracks then sold to the West, left me with a very uncomfortable feeling. 

Now, personally, I have issues with second hand or borrowed items as it is, let alone the thought of buying someone else's crowing glory, then proudly palming it off as my own!! I just don't think I could do it. At a push, if it was for some reason to do with hair loss or something along those lines, I would have to go the synthetic route (root!!).

Just the thought of sewing or gluing another person's hair onto my own, in preference to my own, doesn't sit well with me at all. I say, if it grows from your own head, embrace it, love it and work it. Don't hide it with what was intended for someone else! Anyway, that's my personal opinion and I'm sure there are many other points of view. What do you think?

It's been an interesting couple of weeks recently with the change of government and anticipation of what the new administration has in store for the country. Sisterlocks even had a chance meeting with a Minister (see link)!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Best intentions

I have to say, that with all the best intentions, getting round to update this blog becomes something that simply gets pushed to the back of the queue when it comes down to prioritising everything else that needs to be done each day. I do admire those people who manage to make regular blog posts and keep the content fresh and engaging - (I am trying!).
Anyway, my reasoning (excuse!) for not posting before now is because I wanted to do a dramatic showcase of how much my hair has changed since the last set of pics. It's amazing how my hair continues to grow naturally and healthily and I can now even get all (well almost all) my locks into that bun! The continual changes are an evolution in itself and it makes for a fabulous experience.
My daughter is absolutely loving her locks and she made me laugh the other day when she said a couple of girls from school were commenting behind her on the bus, about the fact that she had worn her hair in those plaits for ages! I don't think they realised they're actually a permanent feature and yes, I suppose she is actually going 'dread' as some others had enquired! I like the way she seems to handle herself with confidence with the whole hair transition and doesn't mind the fact that she is in the minority of a majority of perms and weaves. At the end of the day I say each to their own, and do what makes you happy. Just know you should not be afraid to embrace your natural self and realise that it feels so liberating to leave behind a cloak of disguise! 

I think back to all the times I used to waste hours on end fretting about what to do with my hair - how to style it, whether to curl it, straighten it, tong it, blow dry it, go for a re-touch......etc etc  Basically it was an endless cycle of stress! I feel so much better now that my hair care routine has changed for the better and those hours I used to spend fretting are no more - phew!!
One thing I'm absolutely loving at the moment is Jamaican Mango and; Lime Hair N'Cense. I simply spray a little bit into the palm of my hand and massage it through my hair. It leaves it smelling lovely and you wouldn't even realise you had any kind of product in your hair as it is so light. A big thumbs up from me!
Ok, I leave you all with a few shots (apologies for the quality of some, as this is down to the iPhone camera which can produce some really grainy pics, but is ever so handy!!) - until next time....

Back in May 2009 

 April 2010

My daughter preparing for her first wash after banding and braiding (we've realised that she doesn't actually have to do this, as she has washed her hair a good few times now without b&b and the hair has stayed intact with no unravelling!)

Friday, 2 April 2010

I cut off my Sisterlocks.........

............ don't worry, it was just a dream, or rather a very scary nightmare!!!!!

Last night I dreamt that I had for some unknown reason, decided to take it upon myself to get rid of my Sisterlocks in exchange for a long straight weave! Arrrghhhh!! Can you imagine my anxiety on waking and praying desperately that it wasn't true! I can remember thinking during the dream that I would start a new set of Sisterlocks (as if that was some consolation) once my consultant had a free slot and was able to fit me in! Just how mixed up can a dream get? I didn't really understand it myself as I can confidently say that I have no plans WHATSOEVER of getting rid of my locks - what a thought!!

Anyway, I think I need to find some blogging techniques that mean I can do it more regularly (as I intended!) without getting sidetracked by life in general. There's so much I want to share on a daily basis, but for some reason, actually getting to the computer to get it all out there becomes an issue. Usually I simply have other things to see to, or I'm recovering from the working day. I think some people post via their phones, so I'm going to explore this avenue. If you have any particular tips, please help a sista out!

My locks are still coming along nicely, though I did have some slight concerns about my retightening technique when I noticed some of my locks seemed to be separating into two thin strands, making it more difficult for me to push my tool through properly in the correct positions. I'm not too sure if this is just because some of my locks are quite small (plus I've noticed that I have a lot less of the fat ends look as sleeker, thinner locks form) or I've just messed up the retightening pattern in places??  Some locks developed a bit of a hole which I've been fixing as best as I can. You wouldn't be able to tell unless you examined these particular locks closely, but I know they're there!! If anyone has experienced anything like this please let me know!

My daughter's locks are also nicely taking shape. She is loving styling up her hair in all kinds of different ways and they have even survived swimming pool chlorine and river mud in the past couple of weeks! I'm going to do her retightening in the next couple of days now we're all taking a bit of a break over Easter. Pics coming soon.

Oh, I must report that the Power Plate arrived and I have been getting my vibrate on!! I must say that it really gets muscles that you probably wouldn't normally work in that way, really working! I have experienced what it means to have 'burning buns' in an invigorating pleasant sort of way - lol!

Enjoy the Easter break everyone and I will endeavour to post again very soon........

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Nothing to do with Sisterlocks, but hey.....

I received a gift from a friend the other day. She said they were Japanese strawberry chocolates. 

Now as someone who appreciates good chocolate (apart from when I was pregnant and even the smell made me want to heave!) I thought good choice. Imagine my surprise when I did the great unboxing....... 

and got a strange surprise...... 

What? These aren't chocolates. But wait, hold on............ 

....................the chocolate is 'inside'. 

Strange, but true! 

My expectations were slightly dashed, but they are quite pleasant and appreciated nonetheless (Thanks Z!) 

By the way, if anyone can provide a translation of the Japanese on the box wrapper, I would love to know what it says!!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

More freedom

Hello Everybody!

So here I am into the beginnings of a new Sisterlocks year. I celebrated my 1st loc birthday by booking the day off work and catching up on some much needed sleep (simple but effective).

It's actually been go, go, go on a few different fronts over the last couple of days. One big thing for my daughter is that I helped to start her off on her very own loc journey. That's right, I invested a good seven hours or so plaiting up her hair in a grid pattern, so she can too have hair freedom.

I did debate whether to shell out again for Sisterlocks as installed by a certified consultant, though after seeing that locs can be started and maintained using a variety of methods (various blogs have taught me this), my daughter and I both agreed that this was the way to go. She is very happy with the results and I reckon I've done a good job. The plan is to retighten them using a tool in the same way I retighten my Sisterlocks. I
just hope they don't slip too much after washing etc. I'll keep an eye on them but I think things should be fine. Many a loc has been started from plaits/braids after all! (I hope this doesn't make me a traitor in certain circles?!? Love my Sisterlocks!) Just now to contemplate how I'm going to schedule two sets of retightenings - yikes!!

Also, I am determined to get myself back into fitness. I'm finding though that scheduling time for the gym is proving difficult as I'm usually either at work, on my way to and from work, doing the whole family routine thing or just completely and utterly shattered! I actually blame the cold weather and think things will change once things warm up a bit. Anyway, I became all inspired the other day and I remembered a past visit to the Vitality Show over here in London. This event showcases products and activities all to do with health and well-being.

When I visited back in 2008, I tried out this vibration training machine that left me feeling that I had just had a massive workout, but I had simply stood on in for 10 minutes - how good is that! My muscles were actually really aching at the time and I remember having to find a place to lie down and recover. I could really feel the effects.

So, in my moment of inspiration I decided to do some quick research on the Power Plate, which as I understand it, is the one that all the stars and sports people use. I first started looking at classes, but boy these sessions are not cheap and I would have to be travelling at awkward times to get to them. So, I decided to invest in one for the home after much deliberation! Really hoping it helps to kick start things - a blog post for the near future methinks........!