Anila Kitteon

Anila Kitteon
Sniff the Daffs

Sunday, 8 November 2015

A Ramble On: Creatures, Children & Christmas

In the past few days I have seen posts about the awful reality about racing horses, due to the Melbourne Cup, and also about why we shouldn't ride elephants or contribute to the way they are treated when being used as working creatures. I understand that animal rides/zoos/aquariums/sea life centres etc. are a convenient and affordable way for us to see real, fascinating creatures - they bring such joy... and then for people to have the thrill and excitement of racing animals for the unexpected and unpredictable outcomes... but the suffering behind it all is unnatural, unfair, unnecessary and unacceptable.

Everything is so convenient and easy for us these days with machines and technology, that we have a lot of dispensable time (although our time seems so filled); everything happens faster. Therefore people expect speed and efficiency.
This is what children are being brought up into and it's unstoppable. There are also many many positive features, benefits and advantages to technological advancements and a fast-paced access/response time, but we need to work with what we've got - move with the times and all that. In my dreamworld, all creatures would be free to roam, undisturbed by humans.

As for parenting, it's tough because technology enables parents to get left behind. However, we need to remember what a privilege it is to contribute to the future through children/young people - all of those around us. Guidance, limits, boundaries and love <3 Having children shouldn't be the be-all and end-all of people's hopes and dreams. I know people who are, and others who will be, awesome parents, but there is also much much more to life. With and without children. I am superbly excited to be spending 2 weeks with HG's family (12 of us inc. 3 x 7yrs & under) over Christmas. I have missed having children in my life - I had been doing some respite work but it has lulled and a year has passed :( Determined to get back into it, I'm also craving a good old catch-up session of being an Auntie :-D It will have been almost 3yrs since HG has seen his family so we're both looking forward to some quality famjam time.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Contemplating Veggieganaritism

I find it hard to not hate humankind through something I see/read/hear each and every day.

For a while now, I've become increasingly despaired at the behaviour of humans and my biggest peeve, that I cannot understand why so few others agree... is people thinking they are so important; I understand to us, that comparing a human life with that of a spider which got stamped on because a dumbass human being 'freaked out' is seemingly ridiculous.

More and more documentaries and photos etc (I've just found so many on Instagram) are coming to light that are so difficult to look at, of animals and how other human beings think it's ok to treat them. I have always admired vegetarians and vegans; and have been through various dietary experiments including no red meat whilst younger.

My dream is to live in a little house with solar-panels and a garden big enough for some chickens, sheep, pig etc. If I knew they were being killed in the most humane way possible (quick/painless), then I tell myself I would be prepared to eat them. However, the entire experience of being taken to a slaughter house or somewhere you're going to be killed for someone else's pleasure... how is that ever ok?

We have the RSPCA/OSPCA to protect pets and animals. How long will it take for the standards for cows/sheep/pigs/chickens to match?

So I've been researching what's involved in going vegan... I'm thinking of switching to vegetarian/pescetarian initially (but I think of the fish too :( )

I am married to a meat-lover, who is also an animal lover and agrees that the next best thing would be buying local to avoid supporting the big corporations, who farm and mass produce the poor darlings.

Baby steps. My weenie efforts seem so insignificant but the World Wide Web assists me in realising there are plenty of others thinking like me, who put in the effort to not eat livestock. I am thinking about all foods; things I eat habitually like cereal/porridge with milk, omelettes & poached eggs and butter on toast/bread. As we get fed at work, we don't cook a lot a home so I'm usually making myself a pre-shift brunch. Both HG and I hate waste so right now I can't say I won't eat a hotdog to save it being thrown out. But I'm thinking a lot.

As a good, vegetarian/pescetarian friend recently said to me,
"After 35 years think how many animals I haven't eaten! Think how many you could potentially not eat xx"

Monday, 24 August 2015

My Body Is My Temple

Fitness is my friend. It always has been.
I'm happiest when I'm active; I grew up swimming, building sandcastles and climbing trees.

This time last year (August 2014), I was the thinnest I had been in a long while. Seemingly, simply by eating a (home made) salad at work during my swing shifts (3pm-11pm), I lost weight (there were no extra food options once at work). Tom and I were also short of options at the time (financial & living with parents) and the Canadian weather was so cold that announcements had suggested one avoid going outside where possible. So we spent a few weeks before the thaw doing Gillian Michael's 20min Shred; firstly in my Dad & Step-Mum's lounge (which had tenants living below), and then in the basement (shared) laundry/storage room, where Tom would smack/bump things above and around him; very confined, the floor was concrete and he couldn't stand up in some areas.
Fun Times :-D We love doing stuff together.
[We express love and gratitude at how lucky we are every day; it's puke-worthy but pretty amazeballs.]

I lost more weight and toned up when I changed jobs to one in a more manually-demanding (aluminium) factory and required my bike to get home a few days a week. I hadn't realised how much cycling worked the lower abs! We also moved into a place that had a pool so I swam/dipped most days; also in the lake if I could. I enjoyed being slim while it lasted, as I know my lifestyle changes affect my fitness levels/shape etc.

So I digress...

I always remember my Gran talking about being 'on a diet' and Mum also saying she should 'diet'. As my Mum realised she was gaining weight, she asked me (aged 18yrs) to join her in attending some fitness classes. I discovered that I could do aerobics and also that I loved it. I already knew I loved dance (which makes me miss it - especially Jive). I got more into aerobics/classes, swam and also cycled home from work during my gap year after College, working through Camp America and before University. I was super fit this year (aged 19yrs) and then tanned, following a week in Greece - ready for Uni!

My weight increased at University, due to an increase in drinking (and catered halls of residence - cooked breakfast every morning?!) and a 45min bus ride (with a chilly wait in the wind and rain either side) to get to the pool, my levels of activity reduced. We did yoga/aerobics classes and cycled/jogged/bladed occasionally. I'd signed up with the swimming club and surf club and later joined the gym (but felt guilty for attending and not writing my dissertation!).

I got back into aerobics, discovered yoga and later became an Exercise to Music Instructor (a qualification that I achieved in a speedy 2 weeks and used for a 6-week period only - so far!). After University, I moved to London with friends and eventually found work in Essex, so I drove back and forth for four months before moving closer to work. Despite living in London, I would use the gym (still under student price) and do my food shopping in Essex. My housemate complained that I was rarely home.

Once I'd moved to Essex, I often swam before work; going home for breakfast when I lived close enough or eating at work. I'd also do one or two classes/jog/workout at the gym most days during the working week and later dropped wheat and dairy from my diet, which meant I lost weight and was fit again :0) The best classes I have ever partaken in were step/aerobics at Fitness First in Basildon, Essex! Possibly because it was close enough to recruit London trainers. I ate well and visited friends in other parts of the country on weekends.

Christmas 2005 in Oz
Sydney, Aus.

From Essex, I travelled Thailand and Australia; where my fitness components mainly consisted of jogging, swimming, press-ups and push-ups. Ocassionally we'd get into a gym free or pay for a one-off session; my travel buddy Joe gave me a couple of boxing practice sessions and I participated in a class or joint session from time to time. I got into Dragon Boating for a few weeks, with a family friend of the family I resided with in Engadine (near Sydney).

I tend to get fidgety and feel blobby if 2-3 days pass and I haven't exercised. This summer I have researched and learned about weight lifting - particularly women lifting weights. I'm feeling it; love the buzz and heavier weight = quicker changes. HG & the guy who lives above us, have been playing frizbee frequently and we've gotten quite into Volleyball! It's been a lovely, active summer in the sun. I almost competed in a try-a-tri but it was not to be.


My point is that I keep seeing people selling/promoting wraps, pills, juices, shakes, tablets... and I just want to promote good old exercise and nutrition! It's the harder option which is why fewer people achieve their goals using this method. I know it's not best for everyone but being active is sooo good for you and it feels so nice!!
Sporting equipment by the door!
Some guy in Oz!

A Journey of Friendships and Loves

I miss my friends. My school/old friends with whom I can mess about, say what I want and always have fun, every time we get together.

It's taken me a while but I'm starting to meet people here in Canada with whom I can feel comfortable (enough to be my wacky self). Gradually enough time passes; I've been working at the casino as a bartender/server for one year today and I have been integrated into the 'work family'; with many I am past the basic facts/getting to know you stage and with other I don't care too much. I am super friendly and encouraging though and they seem to enjoy/appreciate having me around. One Asian server colleague calls me "Mrs Happy".

My school friends appear to acknowledge my existence about once every 3 months... for my "best" friend, I was disowned for about a year after we left England. Cheers bud. I'm not sure things will be the same again, but I do miss him & his hubby and their home which became my/our sanctuary. My oldest/historical best friend (since 7yrs old) emails me occasionally but hasn't ever been amazing at communication though we still love each other dearly and won't shut up nattering while we're together.

Terrible photo! 27th May 2000 (my 19th birthday) :0) 

Other, scattered friends are treasured for sure. I wish I could gather everyone I love spending time with and have them in one place!

The history, memories, fun times and experiences we have with people can't be sped up... interactions happen at their own speed. I sometimes wonder if my "best friends" are just my oldest friends; through a history of many shared moments. Or maybe there are categories of "best friends"... anyway who gives a shit? :-D

Due to not having children, HG and I inevitably end up hanging out with younger peeps; usually in their 20s. However, we have spent time recently with peeps in their 30s/40s who either don't want 'kids' or don't want them yet. It's been really refreshing to hang out with others who understand and respect our way of thinking and choice of lifestyle. The good thing also, with the service industry, is that workers often enjoy a good lay-in and get it, rather than seeing us as lazy for staying in bed until 12pm, despite going to bed between 3-5am (combo of work and choice).

I can't help feeling that, despite my old group of friends now reuniting themselves more frequently, my feelings towards them have changed. When/if we do ever live closer again, what will our relationship(s) be like? Being away means new phases in friendships etc. I have found people communicating via messaging aps/services, whom I maybe didn't chat so much to while we were in UK. Others, as I mentioned, have drifted off - nobody's fault; some people need to see me in person and others are better with phone calls (which are less than simple with phone cards, skype, time differences/costs... altho seriously, no excuses. Come On!).

Feck I'm boring myself so I'll be off!

Here's a pic of our handsome fur baby and one of our delicious whip!
Can't get enough of either of them!!

Monday, 18 May 2015

My Personal Collection of Various Somethings

I will be 34 years old in just over a week. I am proud to be the age I am. I feel lucky each and every day.

I am lucky to have found a partner who not only appreciates, agrees and believes in me and my values, but he supports, encourages and even preaches our shared visions. Our lives revolve around our religious beliefs that Fun is the God of Happiness. And Love too I guess :-P One decision that makes our lives so uncomplicated is remaining child-free.
Having spoken to a colleague/new friend today, I was reminded that things can get much more stressful way before children even enter the world. Just the conception of conception can complicate circumstances!

This evening I have been looking through the items of jewelry I brought with me here to Canada. I tried to only bring with me things that I actually like/wear (let's be honest, we have all received items/garments that we just don't feel right wearing). Thirty Four Years - well I probably started gathering them from about 16yrs onwards, so - 20 years of acquired knicknacks... nothing that would've cost a lot, or mean too much to anyone else. But I want to capture the reminiscent journeys that I found (find) myself on with each memory. I know I won't always have these. I don't too much care about who reads this - at present I am keeping it from most who know me - it's more for my own record. At least this post is.

The great thing about jewelry is that it's small so it doesn't take up too much space :-D

I'm heading home (to England) in 3 days time, for a swift visit and a wedding, and was gathering jewelry to take with me. Literally a memory with every item.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Boundaries, Rights & Blurry Lines.

This evening I had an experience which has left me with thoughts, feelings and decisions which I feel are only a minor example of what many people; predominantly women, are left feeling on a daily basis.

A customer, whom I had met/served at the (lounge) bar recently, returned to the bar this evening. On reflection, he seemed kind of aimless... possibly indecisive in where he was headed. I recognised him, as I do with a few customers, said hello (as encouraged by the company) and he approached the bar but stood for a while. I asked how he was etc; made small talk and remembered that this gentleman had been chatty whilst at the bar before, but had moved along in reasonably good time.

On this occasion, I continued to serve/wait on customers within the lounge bar, continue with my duties and chat to the patron at the bar, periodically during quiet periods. The man tended to speak quietly, ramble and tell stories that drifted off on tangents. Mostly, they made sense if I could hear what he was saying; I repeatedly advised him that I couldn't hear him very well due to noisy beverage fridges, music/TV and dishwasher, however he didn't increase the volume of his voice.

After about 15-20mins of the man sitting at the bar, having paid for and drunk one beer, my colleague turned up to give me a 15min break; after which I would break our other colleague in nearby service bar for another 15mins. Before I left, the guy asked if I was going for a break and whether I'd be going out the front/outside for a cigarette. I advised him I wasn't and that I didn't smoke.

While I was gone, the colleague covering my bar text me to say she found the guy at the bar creepy. I replied advising she keep busy and that he would eventually leave.

I came back half an hour later and my colleague said the patron had asked if she had ever tried stripping. At this stage, I had only engaged with general topics. As time went by, I worked around the bar, which included using a step-ladder to reach high liquor cupboards and stretching to add new stock. The patron watched me and stated that my uniform didn't do my body justice. I uttered something about my shirt being too big... other comments from him were about how he wasn't ashamed of being a fan of women/their bodies, asking what time I finished/closed the bar, if I turned the lights off, how he would like to see me without my clothes on - to which I stated that wasn't going to happen,
None of the statements/comments/questions were encouraged by me, besides the fact that I couldn't stray far from the bar.

When asked {I forget the question but will complete when my memory is refreshed}, I stated that it was none of his business and an inappropriate topic.

Towards closing time, the man mentioned me finishing work, once again, to which I stated I was going home, he responded saying it's a shame we couldn't meet up this time. I advised him that at no time would we be meeting up. I told him I was going to take my empty dishes back. He said "good... you take that back then you can turn the lights off and I'll say goodbye" (or such similar).

On passing service bar/colleague, I mentioned the dude and that he'd told me he'd like to see me with my clothes off. Said colleague stated that's harassment, stated security needed to be involved and called our supervisor. He advised me to cover his bar while he went over to occupy the patron and wait for supervisor/security.

The patron had gone outside for a cigarette but returned. When I got back to the bar, there was a small crowd of suited individuals - police(?), security guards and my supervisor. I gave a brief rundown, the man was spoken to and escorted outside for trespassing.

I want to get to my points before I fall asleep!

- It's easy to continue to be polite... which can be misconstrued for interest.
- The process of what to be aware of, what to do and what can/will happen regarding these situations is rarely talked about within the work place.
- Casinos possibly contain a higher than normal number of 'weirdos'.

- It's easy to take blame and find reasons within your own behaviour.
- I forget I'm too sleepy...
- Next time I intend to nip such inappropriate comments in the bud.

Publishing this as it is for now.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

All About That Buck

His name is Buck and he drinks Bushmills.
He tends to breakfast up at Hill's.
Loves his dog, his kindness kills;
Should the Habs win, he'd be so thrilled!

Happy as Larry to help you out,
He’ll pretend he isn’t; gives abuse with a clout.
Wise and peculiar is our pal Buck;
But God forbid we say the word Fu…dge!

Feigning grumpness, our dear friend tries
To let you believe he’s not so wise…
Doesn’t give a fuck, at least for some things;
But a modest satisfaction is what that smile brings.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Losing a Stranger

Recently a lady's body was found close to where we are currently living; outside a school that's being built.. It has been said that she struggled with mental health issues and had left her house, down the road, wearing what we assume was inappropriate clothing for the -25°C conditions. She was found at 9am.


I had a day off today and decided to walk to the local grocery shop (my language is so muddled I can't remember what is Canadian and what is English speak: grocery store/supermarket). I passed the school which is being built and tied to the fence were wilted/frozen remains of flowers placed by, I assume, the caring general public and maybe people who knew "Que". I had been litter-picking as I walked - mainly Tim Hortons's cups and I picked up a card laying near the flowers. With no name on the front of the envelope, I peeked inside... I decided to read the card; out of curiosity/nosiness and also because I thought nobody else ever would and a big part of me wanted to know more about this woman who's life/death was seemingly a mystery.

As I was reading (and removing plastic wrappers from soggy flower remains), the sun was presenting me with a magnificent sunset. We've watched this sunset so many times and HG and I are always in awe at the beauty and try, when we can, to get outside and admire the colours in the sky.
I'm glad I read the card.

I'm also reminded that mental health is such a delicate thing; it's so easy to be damaged and to cause damage and it's out of our power what we may or may not inherit genetically.

The good thing about litter-picking in -7°C is that nothing is gooey or liquidy, just stiff!
The less good thing is that it makes your hands cold (although I then remembered I had picked up a carrier bag too - useful!).

Friday, 23 January 2015

I'm sorry if my life choices disappoint you...

Started on 7th November 2014...

I recently commented on a humorous 'childfree' page. I like many of their posts because I can relate, however some people take things too far i.e baby hating.

I like babies, love children and am amused/stimulated/frustrated/amazed by teenagers, however I feel very misunderstood and isolated much of the time; especially now I'm working as a bartender/server. I am (it is believed by the general population, aka my customers, that) I am of the age where I should have offspring and if I don't then it should definitely be on the horizon. A man recently asked me "what else will you have?" when I said HG and I had no intention of reproducing. If pushed, I'll suggest possible adoption... but not for many years and only if we notice a huge child-sized gap in our lives (unlikely).

My gut instinct tells me the most likely occurrence would be to home a child who comes into our lives at the right time for everyone involved. It feels kinda natural but we'll see.

So, getting back on track, my comment was in response to the image to the left. The fact that I had commented, seemingly, (unbeknownst to me) advertised itself on social media site of choice and I received a message from my sister-in-law, asking if I had been child-bashing again... I responded expressing my frustration in the fact that Facebook advertises that stuff in my 'friends'' newsfeeds, without my knowledge or permission, and that I wasn't "child bashing" but merely contributing my own personal experiences (within a forum where I felt understood).

There's not much I keep super private, however being outspoken on this topic and regarding my childfree beliefs has lead to a few precarious predicaments with friends and family in the past. I've found it's easier to stay quiet, although I am me, and therefore this doesn't always happen IRL.

Parents are ridiculously overprotective of their offspring after all.

I realised, recognised and acknowledged recently, that it's a pretty lonely position when 95% of people I speak to about it are baffled. Facial expressions are similar to those in response to being told I live in a pineapple under the sea and have a pet seahorse (ok maybe not quite; I'll work on a better example). I'm in the minority.

Along my journey, I have met the odd person who either feels the same as HG & me (very very few); feels the same but for different reasons (i.e not wanting body stretched) or who understand but still plan to have children themselves. The group of people who I find have the most understanding, respect and admiration are those (usually women) who have had children but maybe earlier than would've planned to, with the 'wrong person' or in a way in which they didn't feel that had full control. The process of creating a child is very simple; it's not rocket science and it doesn't take much thought or intelligence; it's one of our primitive instincts. Mothers have told me that they fully understand my decision and that although they love and by no means regret having their child/ren, if they could go back and have their time again, they would skip having children, or wait until they were ready/with the right partner.

I am crazily lucky to have my life-partner by my side with thoughts and feelings almost exact to mine (we spent a good amount of our first few years together pondering life, birth, death and how to achieve the things we had agreed meant most to us i.e. fun, travel, sex and sleep). Things we don't agree on, we are pretty darn good at discussing and compromising on.

I also feel much less alone when Google finds me like-minded people who care about the planet and future generations enough to bypass having their own children.

"I’m not having kids because I can’t in good conscience contribute to the rapid diminishment of our world. If I were to have kids, their quality of life would be less than mine, and I don’t want to condemn them to that. Surprisingly, I’ve been told that I’m selfish, unwilling to share my life with a child. Look at it this way: I’m leaving more resources for your child."

Another excellent article which shares a few of my notions:

Oh and one more superb read...:


There's a mixture of events happening right now in the lives of those around us. Sometimes, I feel like HG and I are the stable; the consistent variable that adapts but remains a tight, strong unit. A throbbing magnet of positive energy.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

My Splashy Happy Place

Whilst swimming recently, I was thinking of what I love about swimming. I was lucky enough to receive regular swimming lessons as a child and went on to train and race as part of a club. I am not very competitive so was never very into racing; I often came fourth against females younger, faster and much more pressurised by their parents. I always wished there was a medal for fourth. I did earned numerous bronze medals too. I may have owned one silver.

Despite being less than keen on racing, I loved swimming as a sport and an all-body work-out. At 16yrs I left school and attended college. I was being encouraged, by the new swim club manager, to race and he regularly had the whole team practice their sprints and trials to improve their PBs. I became frustrated by this and said to my favourite instructor, with whom I was cheeky and had a good rapport. I requested a lane for those (my friend and I) who wanted to swim recreationally, for exercise, and didn't care for racing. I think there were a regular four of us who swam two or three times a week and paid a reduced club fee. After college, I left to work with Camp America (as a Lifeguard and Swim Instructor) and the recreational team/lane apparently dispersed.

I thoroughly enjoyed my most recent swim, as I do every time I swim after a long break and enjoy feeling my muscles ache over the following couple of days. This time, as I pounded through the water with smooth precision (haha I'm not that big-headed, I just though that sentence sounded cool!)... where was I?! Oh yeah, whilst swimming, I thought about the things I LOVE about swimming:

* It's a natural massage for your body as the water provides a gentle resistance
* No equipment necessary; all you need is your own body

* It can save your life or take it - knowing how to deal with and feeling comfortable in water can prevent drowning
* Adventure & Surprise - I was told after swimming laps in the Indian Ocean (whilst volunteering with dolphins at Monkey Mia, Western Australia) that a dolphin had been swimming beside me as I swam.
* Other reasons I thought of whilst swimming but forget now I can log them!
* It's my happy place - I feel so free when I swim

The time before this aforementioned swim sesh, I swam in Lake Simcoe, between two floating buoys on a final random blast of warmth which followed a cool period. Everybody flocked to the beach. I had to work at 6pm but massively enjoyed the swim; the lake was still warmer than the sea and less salty! Hold On.... the salty memory reminds me that I did actually have the pleasure of swimming in the sea at St Pete's in Florida in November. The other thing I love about swimming is that it can be cost-free.

I'm losing concentration (I have four started and unfinished blog posts >,<).
I've tried desperately to find some relevant photos of my own but without luck (or access to external hard-drive) as yet.

Thanks for stopping by.