Armour – A must for every wardrobe…

Something strange happened this afternoon.

I had been out shopping in the morning, and had returned to get on with some work, when all of a sudden, I got the strangest sensation in my tummy.  Don’t worry, I’m not about to divulge the details of any unpleasant digestive problem, although it did feel slightly similar… Have you ever had it, where a ‘bad-feeling’ has just seemed to spring out of nowhere and grab you by the stomach?  Perhaps I have a sixth sense (but unlike the boy in the movie, I lack the benefit of Bruce Willis being around to help), maybe I’d just drank too much coffee in the morning, or maybe it was just…nothing at all.  Either way, it got me thinking about those “unwelcome surprises” that life can throw at us.  You know the ones I mean.  You can be merrily getting by in your life, fulfilling a daily duty or enjoying a pleasant daydream, when all of a sudden you might find out something you don’t want to know, or see something you don’t want to see, and you get that ‘bad-feeling’, and it can then ruin your whole day, without you having a say in it.

There are very few people in the world who can call themselves psychic, and have the ability to predict the future.  For those of us without a crystal ball, life is a mystery and we simply do not know what will happen next.  Things can change – they can do so in a heartbeat, or they can do so over a longer period of time, in a more stealthier fashion.  Unfortunately, we are unable to control what happens with a lot of things.  All the planning in the world cannot prevent inexplicable events.  Sometimes, the hardest thing is knowing what to do next.

But something I’ve realised… is that we can learn to be resilient to these surprises.

Resilience d0es not equate to foregone victory in a future battle, but, in keeping with the fighting analogy, it can be regarded as a ‘suit of armour’.  Resilience makes you stronger, and better equipped for facing things.

What does resilience consist of?

Resilience is a form of certainty which can counteract the ongoing threat of uncertainty by acting as a constant, permanent set of rules which you can swear to yourself that you will keep to, no matter what.  Should things go wrong, you can then depend upon this set of rules to help you deal with the matter.  The rules may vary from person to person.  I’ve decided these are mine:

No Matter What Happens:

  • I will keep following my heart.  It might not be as logical as the head, but it adheres to my dreams.
  • I will continue to stand by the people who are most important to me, relentlessly.  Unless they take a piss on me or something.
  • I will strive to find the best solution for whatever problem I face.
  • If there is no solution available, if something is already done, then I will just stand up, and look forward.

This set of rules will be there to give me guidance whenever I need them, and it is the certainty of that, that provides me with some resilience.  It won’t prevent upset, it won’t stop the unwelcome surprises from happening, but it will give me the direction I’ll need to cope with it if something goes wrong.  Do it, make your own set of rules!  Think about whats important to you, and vow to hold onto it or stick to it, whatever happens. Do with an ‘ooh!’, DOOO IT!

Meanwhile, some shorts for you…

Stupid moment of the week:  “Sorry, we’re going to have to leave, we didn’t realise how fishy it was going to be in here”    said a friend to the waitor, as she and I decided to leave a restaurant after sitting down and looking at the menu.  I guess we should have known better, it being a fish restaurant, in a seaside town famous for… seafood… and all.

Discovery-from-unintentional-eavesdropping-of-the-day:  “Vanessa went with them to the Carvery, but she couldn’t find anything that she could eat, because she is a vegetarian”,explained a lady to her companion, who were walking in front of me in at an exceptionally slow pace in town…  One wonders why Vanessa went to a carvery in the first place, if she’s a vegetarian, but alas, I will never find out.

Epiphany of the Day:  I seem to write about food an awful lot on this.  Can anyone say, ‘dinnertime’?


Song of the Day: The Drums – Book of Stories

Bouncy indie-pop with a 1980’s feel from Brooklyn, NY.

If only footballers had guts. If only.

All About If

The most annoying word.

If, is uncertainty.
If, is circumstantial.
If, keeps you waiting.
If, is a tormentor,
It reminds you of what you “could have done”

If, is an unwelcome ultimatum.
If, is not an answer.
If, cannot be trusted.
If, is a cop-out,
You will find it neither here nor there.

At least its easy to spell…
iv it wasn’t, it would be even more annoying.

Meanwhile, in the news …

Everybody’s talking about the married footballer who had an affair with a glamour model and then paid millions to have a super-injunction taken out on the matter, preventing the issue from being discussed in the media.  For once, humanity has prevailed in the form of various celebrities, MPs and thousands of Twitter users defying “the silence that money bought” and revealing his identity to the masses.  Whilst the long-lasting adulterous act was crime enough, the staunch attempts at keeping his name quiet whilst the glamour model (who herself is not without blame, but isn’t married at least) was being hung out to dry in the press and unable to defend herself, served only to exacerbate the general disapproval for his actions.

Sadly, this is not the first time a famous football star has been exposed for having an affair, and it certainly won’t be the last.  Those in one corner of the ring will claim that footballers are as entitled to as much privacy as the rest of us.  Certainly, of course they can have their privacy.  The public doesn’t care much for the colour of the towels in Frank Lampard’s bathroom, or whether Wayne Rooney prefers ketchup or brown sauce with his chips.  We’re not interested in what radio station you listen to on the way to training, or even what you and your wife talk about over breakfast.  Behind closed doors,  football players are entitled to as much privacy as they want.

To an extent.

If you are lucky enough to be paid hundreds of thousands of pounds a week, and millions of pounds a year (suffice to say, more than most people will earn in a lifetime) to do a job that you love, such as playing football, in front of thousands of supporters week in, week out, then you need to accept that you have put yourself into the public eye.  You are role-models to many aspiring football young football players, you are adored by the fans who pay good money to see you play for the club they love.  This doesn’t mean that you are not human, and won’t make mistakes just like everybody else does.  However, it does mean you are more accountable for your mistakes.  Only a foolish footballer would have an affair and believe that nobody would ever find out about it, particularly an affair that lasted so long.  When the truth started to bubble underneath the surface of the public glare, this footballer’s response was to throw money at the matter and desperately try to ‘buy’ silence.  It worked, but not for long.  A much more appropriate response would surely have been to confess to the crime, and show genuine remorse and explain to the masses, particularly the young, that what you did was wrong.  Instead, the cowardly approach was taken, the truth got out anyway, and whilst adults can condemn him for what he has done, younger generations who usually see him as such an idol, will be left asking “Why?  Is that the right way to act?”, and that – moreso than the adulterous act, is the biggest crime in all of this.


Song of the Day:  Ed Harcourt – Fireflies Take Flight

Ed Harcourt is a criminally underrated singer-songwriter from London and this is a guaranteed tear-jerker, but in a wonderful, wonderful way.  So beautifully heart-rendering.  Maybe one of the best songs ever written.

Who wears short shorts?

Behold the first ‘Short’ of the Blog so far.  This category of posts will be where all the ‘tidbits’ will be kept (and yes, admittedly there was a long pause between the words ‘the’ and ‘tidbits’ during which the rusty cogs of my brain tried in vain to think of a word that doesn’t sound like the name of some kind of vintage confectionary).  Anyway, I digress…

i)  The Price is (not) Right

Whilst walking along Canterbury’s main street this afternoon I found myself exchanging flirtatious glances with a chocolate eclair in a patisserie window.  Seldom does my tongue request me to consume something sweet as opposed to savoury, so I was fairly surprised at how unable I was to divert my eyes away from the pastry.  I surrendered to temptation, sat myself down, and gave my order to the waitress.  Within minutes, the chocolate eclair was served up in front of me along with a knife and fork with which to finely slice the chocolatey goodness into proper sized mouthfuls (I would have preferred to have just gobbled it up in a heavily indulgent instant, but one must try and retain some degree of elegance and poise when sat in a public place). I have to admit, the snack lived up to its promise and was an absolutely delectable treat for the tongue (though perhaps an unwelcome gift for the waistline).  Overall I was pleased with my decision to give in to my tastebuds.  That was until they presented me with the bill.  After reading the little piece of paper word for word and foolishly wondering why my female waitress had a name like Bill, I finally found the important bit, the price I had to pay:  £3.35 (and, for the sake of emphasis, THREE POUNDS THIRTY FIVE PENCE).  Since when has a product which consists purely of whipped cream and choux pastry cost so much!  I’m convinced that the weight of the snack was even less than the weight of the £5 note I used to pay for it with.  Needless to say, next time a chocolate eclair winks seductively at me from a patisserie window I will have to give it the cold shoulder.  A shame, but at least the waistline will be happy.

ii)  Did you want to say that any louder sweetheart?

So compared to our national neighbours (particularly the Germans), we’re generally regarded as being quite a conservative nation when it comes to sex.  Unless chatting with close friends, people don’t tend to discuss their bedroom life in public and me being the somewhat traditionalist girl that I am is pleased about that.  So I couldn’t help but be surprised (and also relatively amused) this afternoon whilst looking at foundation products in Boots.  Nearby were the contraception counters and I was vaguely aware of a young couple perusing over the many different varieties of condom.  Normally, I have my headphones in whilst I am shopping alone and that makes me blissfully unaware of what is going on around me.  However, in a fleeting moment of silence between songs the pleasant sound from my headphones was replaced with the sound of the female half of the couple behind me, declaring particularly loudly, that “NO, THOSE WERE THE ONES THAT MADE MY VAG REALLY ITCHY LAST TIME” as her boyfriend pointed suggestively at a particular variety of condom.  I mean, really?  You think that shortening that one word in the middle is going to make your announcement any more discreet?

I will probably never see that lady ever again but now that I know she had an adverse reaction to the Durex Pleasuremax range my life has reached a whole new realm of enlightenment, so I would like to thank her for sharing her experience with the whole shop and I’m sure that the fellow shoppers who looked similarly as stunned at such a public proclamation should wish to do the same.  Bravo to you, curly-haired brunette lady in the brown mackintosh…

iii)  Karaoke Queen

I would like to pay homage to the tiler who was carrying out repairs on our roof this morning.  A shaven-headed, tattooed man who comes across as the pinnacle of masculinity. With the radio on full blast, perhaps he didn’t think anyone could hear him singing along with Skylar Grey in ‘I’m Coming Home’ in such a high-pitched, bird-like tone, but I could.  Caught ya!

That’s all for today.


Song of the Day: She & Him – Gonna Get Along Without You Now

We all love a bit of doo-wop and today I discovered a band who provide it.  “She & Him” are an indie-folk band from the U.S. This is a cover they did of a ‘6Os song.  I like the positivity of it.

Opposites Attract

Good and Bad

Happy and Sad

Up and Down

Smile and Frown

Hello and Goodbye

Laugh and Cry

Don’t worry, the above isn’t meant to be a poetic masterpiece, I was just thinking about how emotions will always be about each of these things – opposites, not to mention all the feelings in between.  We have to be able to familiarise ourselves with all of them, because there are some that we won’t always be able to avoid and the more we can accept to take the rough with the smooth, the better equipped we will be to cope with the things life throws at us (often unexpectedly).

Sometimes, one side may outweigh the other, or be longer in duration.

If things are more to the left-hand side, smile about it, write about it, take a photo of it, be thankful for it, love it and enjoy it.  Then try and spread it to others.

If things are more to the right-hand side, then keep a positive flame burning inside at all times, just the smallest flame can bring some light the darkest cave.  Free yourself of fear and ill-feeling.  Keep your love for those you care about relentless, let it withstand any bad weather and wait for the next sunny day to remind you why you did so.  Keep saying the things you mean, and keep meaning the things you say.  Have belief in all your actions, that’s the only way you’ll never have regrets.

But particularly, remember the rule of opposites – we can only recognise the experience of one side of the diametric if we have experienced, too, the other.  There is no emotion that should be denied.  Embrace them all, and learn from them, they each have something to teach you.

Today’s weather seems to have combined the rule of opposites into one.  Its lovely and sunny, but also pretty windy.  Perfect weather to be catching a bus into London for a few drinks and a lot of dancing.  I love it when friends have birthdays!


Song of the Day:

My Last.FM/Spotifying browsing yesterday guided me to this song.  I like it a lot and no doubt it will be the soundtrack of my bus-ride today.

About Love

Sometimes, when I tell people that I’m single, they express a degree of surprise that somebody who is 25 is not about to join in with the recent trend of engagements anytime soon.  Their surprise is somewhat understandable.  These are the days when the metamorphosis in human beings from young adults who are just starting their own lives into slightly older adults who are now further along the blueprint of life they composed long ago is becoming more apparent.  With news of each recent engagement, you reminisce the past and think about those moments back in school or University when you and your newly engaged friend would sit together,  as two young and single individuals, and talk together, maybe drink together and exchange your dreams with one another.  It seems like yesterday, but the truth is, it wasn’t, and it starts to make you think in greater depth about your own love life and what direction its heading in.

I have been in relationships, but they never really lasted too long, mainly because I felt like my freedom was being compromised (or maybe I just made a wrong choice).  Yet I know that there are so many couples who don’t have that problem and just manage to co-exist with one another like a set of a Russian dolls – two individuals assembled as one.

That’s what I want from a relationship too.

I don’t dislike being single, in fact, I quite enjoy it sometimes, and so does my bank balance (buy a new dress for myself, or buy some kind of irritating computer game for him that makes an annoying noise and causes him to forget I exist? Hmm) but, I don’t want to remain single forever, so sometimes I sit and think about what it is I’m actually looking for.

The best way to sum it up is that I’m looking for a co-pilot.

He and I sit at the front of the same plane.  We are flying it in the same direction but we will also go on more flights to other destinations too.  We love having passengers (friends and family) on board our plane, but we still have the privacy of the cockpit.  We have dual control over the plane and as such contributions from the both of us are imperative for a safe and successful flight.

He is my co-pilot, and I am his co-pilot too.

I want to find my co-pilot, and I want to go to exciting destinations together with him.

But until I find him, I just have to continue having my own adventures, and then when we finally meet I can tell him all about them, and he can tell me all about his.  Then, we can head towards the runway and take control of the jet that will take us to the rest of their lives.

Then I’ll throw away that “Easy Meals for One” recipe book. 😉


Song of the Day:  Lucky Soul – Struck Dumb

Sticking to the romance theme…

A good start to a blog?

People fascinate me.

I can’t pinpoint why exactly, but they just do.

Everybody in the world is different.  There are no two people who look the same, act the same, think the same and live the same.  Even if you did meet somebody who had a similar face, similar ideals, similar history, your two life stories will never be a carbon copy of one another.

But all of us have three things in common-

We’re born
We live
We die

It doesn’t matter how long your life is, or what you spend it doing – you will always go through each of these events.

Just three common events, but billions of variation in between.

Multiple people can experience the same event, but they won’t necessarily feel the same way about it.  It’s obvious, I know, but sometimes, when you really think about it deep down, isn’t it fascinating? How does it happen?

Our mind can be as limitless as the universe, our thoughts and feelings can be as numerous as the stars.  And somehow, just like the ancient astronomers would sit each night looking up to the sky trying to make sense of it, eventually coming up with constellations to relate one star to the next, so too must we, as humans, make sense of our own thoughts.

What is it that makes us feel the way we feel?  Where do these thoughts and opinions really come from?  And whats the process involved in how we begin to give our thoughts the analysis and structure needed to understand them.

Psychology seeks to provide explanations for these questions, but the bare majority of people (myself included) are not psychologists, and so we can’t use the biological and statistical reasonings it teaches to understand our own feelings.  We have to use other more vague and automated mental resources within, and its those that I’m interested in.

Its funny how a fear of fire can turn into a love of it when looking at a sunset.  Its funny how much more value we can attribute to a humble glass of water on a hot, dry day.  You might think that you understand your feelings for something but then, when you have to look at it from another angle, you find that your feelings change.

I write this article in the middle of a period which, for me, has been a long voyage of self-discovery.

I’ve found that the older I’ve got, and the more I’ve seen and learned, the less that I’ve been sure of.

Life surprises me every single day.  It’s somewhat scary yet exciting all at once.

This is a rather deep first entry to the Blog.  I actually have heaps to write about and it won’t all be like this, but I firmly believe that we, as individuals in the modern world, don’t always take the time to step back and switch off the safelight – in other words, try and see things in a different way.  We are so busy in our day to day lives – going to work, filling in forms, arranging our social calendars, that sometimes we forget that we’re here and existing in this limitless universe, and there is so much beyond our daily routine that is out there to discover.

Many interesting things are out there waiting to be found.  Let’s remember that every so often.


Song of the Day: Jurassic 5 – Jurass Finish First

Nothing like a bit of old-skool on a spring afternoon