Hello, I Would Like To Introduce Myself.

New Introductions

This is a brief history of me.

Here I am practising how to write my name. (Photo credit — Dad)

My name is Anouska; I am not Russian, I have no Russian connections whatsoever, which kind of makes me sad as I think it’s rather disappointing when I have to explain that to people. It can be especially upsetting when I meet someone new, and they make the exciting commitment to jump in headfirst and communicate in Russian. I am left awkwardly waiting for a gap in the dialogue to interject apologetically that I am from Essex, England. Still, I think you’ll agree it’s a pretty cool name regardless, it’s certainly served me well.

 

Lady in district 3, HCMC (Photo credit — Anouska Parr)

I live in Vietnam at the moment, it’s pretty awesome, I ended up here by accident, I end up in most places by mistake truth be told, from the sofa of my dear friend’s artists studio, part of a commune in a Victorian Mill in Hackney to the peaceful countryside mooring of my Narrowboat, to a Studio apartment so small that we affectionately named it the ‘Noush Cave’. I am not so bothered about stuff like that, it’s all part of life’s great adventure.

I am a very visual person so I take a lot of pictures, which I like to include in stuff as I think it makes it more interesting, I think in images too, this can be a blessing but also a curse, there are some things you just can’t unsee. I want to be as authentic as possible so I am planning to use all of my own photos for my writing and if I don’t have what I need I will make it.

 

Me being a bit ‘fashion’ (Photo credit — Anouska Parr)

For work I am a Futurist, I feel equal parts proud and cringe when I have to introduce this idea and job to people.
Why? A mixture of feelings as to the authenticity of this title; people take this sh@t very seriously, and I don’t want to do the word itself a disservice, also because of the theatrical reactions it receives. I like to kind of blend in and let my work do the talking, that’s pretty hard when people are screeching OHMYGOD, A FUTURIST, THAT’S SO COOOOOLLLL!!!

So do I have some kind of magical psychic powers? Not really, it’s more to do with being good at identifying patterns, algorithms if you will, and then using this data to give you, my customers, whoever wants to listen, a good indication of what is likely to happen next. Trend, Insight, Predictions; whatever you want to call it, all of which are backed up with extensive research. I guess it’s a result of having an acute (this can be painfully irritating as it’s very hard to switch off) awareness of my surroundings. My senses are constantly being battered by every single thing that’s going on, sometimes people think I’m not paying attention, listening to them, but I’ve already sensed all of what they are about to tell me, and usually with some degree of accuracy and detail, this makes me intolerably impatient. SORRY. It also makes me obsessively detailed with everything, including myself and my endeavours. For example, I completely stopped writing because I strive for absolute perfection. I don’t have time for that, but now I’m slowly starting to realise that my ideal is very different to other peoples and some very kind souls have even said they like to read my ramblings, so here I am giving it my best shot.

I appreciate the opportunity to do so!

 

Me with some puppies! (Photo credit — John Jolliffe)

What else can I tell you?

I am 2.5 years plant-based (been vegetarian since I was 12, then made the somewhat daunting crossover to being vegan). I keep accidentally rescuing cats; we’re up to a solid four at the moment, we have to strategically disperse and hide them when our agent visits our house as the rule is one cat.

 

Taken at Rolling Sturgis, in South Dakota, the Black Hills Rally. I had no idea this was going on behind us while we were skating. A failed motorbike attempt at the tunnel of death, his engine had stalled and bike had caught on fire. Luckily he escaped but with some quite significant burns. (Photo credit — Sally-Anne Scrivener)

I co-founded a Roller Derby league in the UK called the Dolly Rockit Rollers and skated with them for seven years, it took me all over the world, it was some of the best times of my life, but also some of the worse because it’s a lot of work and you don’t get paid for it, you just do it for the love. Still I love it so and I miss it terribly.

 

Me attempting surfing and paddling — on a lake this time (Photo credits — John Jolliffe)

I am learning to surf. I am not very good, but I don’t care. The surf in Vietnam is rubbish so I SUP here, mainly up and down the Saigon river like a crazy person, occasionally I head out to the mangroves or a lake.

I rode my bicycle through the chaos of the traffic for the first two years that I lived here. Everyone thought I was nuts, but I tell you this there is something cathartic about riding home in the torrential rain, and hey at least the rain is warm!

 

Me on my old bike after a minor tumble. (Photo credit — Anouska Parr)

 

My trusty steed RAT (Photo Credit — Anouska Parr)

Now I alternate my bike with my little scooter; I love scooters, and it’s super handy for rainy season, I mean you will still get wet, just for less time.
I have taken up Pilates due to years of smashing into people on roller skates, and multiple car accidents (none of which were my fault I should add) my teacher is a Goddess and she makes me feel better. I hope one day to be a Goddess of Pilates too.

I am a little bit upset, I mean disappointed I suppose, that Vietnam did such a fantastic job of beating COVID-19 as, unlike most people I was banking on having some time off to write and be creative. We didn’t even get so much as a lockdown, just a few days off work. I do, however, feel extremely lucky to be in a country that was so diligent from the get-go, to have managed to defeat this awful Pandemic relatively unscathed. Still, much like many things in Vietnam, it was very much a collaborative effort, and that is why it worked.

I am also sad as this meant a cancelled long overdue visit from my Mother; it can be hard at times having family and friends so far away, but you get through it as you know you’ll be reunited soon. I think COVID-19 has emphasised how far away everyone really is and how dependant we are on travel, well flights specifically to get to each other, it’s an uncomfortable feeling.

I realise this is already a lot of information so let me finish on this. 
I plan to write about my adventures, of which there are many, things that might be helpful or funny to other people, activism, being plant-based, travel, I am sure my cats will feature and maybe I might even write a bit about predictions, let’s see.
I don’t often write things that are very serious, even my serious things have a bit of humour in them. My love letter to Hong Kong was a bit of an anomaly, I just had to get it out as every time I see it on the news it breaks my heart.

Normally I just like it when people smile at something I have written, so if I can brighten someone’s day then my work here is done!

 

Rainy season total fail. (Photo credit — John Jolliffe)

So that’s me signing out for now…

If you made it all the way to here then thank you I appreciate that very much! Thank you so much for allowing me to share my work here. I am very grateful to be part of such a diverse community!

Thank you Dr Mehmet Yildiz for welcoming me to Illumination and to all here for being so supportive!

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