Sunday, 30 June 2013

24 JUNE 2013

For this post, I thought I would steer clear of criticism and instead share with you my recent experience of the great outdoors. Instead of a big family holiday this year, we decided to take a couple of weekend breaks to celebrate my parent's 50th and 60th birthdays. First stop was Center Parcs for my dad's 60th. We spent the three days mostly mountain-biking, swimming and cooking healthy meals, throwing in the occasional sauna and a little treat massage at the Aqua Sana spa!

I came home feeling refreshed and revitalised, if a little achy from all the exercise! More importantly, the clean forest air cleared out the cobwebs from my mind and let me escape from the 9 to 5 computer-based desk job of my ordinary life. Being at one with nature, even just for three days, gave me a new outlook on life - a healthier outlook - and has inspired me to continue to exercise regularly and eat healthy, nourishing meals. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming healthy recipes! X    

Sunday, 16 June 2013

31 MAY 2013

If you haven't yet seen Baz Luhrmann's latest exploit of creative genius, what have you been doing?! I might be swayed a little by my (sightly unhealthy) obsession with the 1920s Deco period, but Luhrmann's adaptation of the 1925 novel by F Scott Fitzgerald is quite simply, beautiful. 

Luhrmann's eccentric style perfectly captures the spirit of the roaring twenties: glitz and glamour, alcohol and dancing, riches, sequins, youth, beauty and hope. 

It is this hope, generated by the post-war economic boom, that Fitzgerald uses to characterise his mysterious protagonist. Gatsby is the essence of hope: he clings to a dream of a future with the love of his life, borne out of romance which ended five years before. With five years of history to contend with, Gatsby's quest becomes futile, but still he never ceases to believe that his love will come back to him. In the end, his enduring hope is repaid by his untimely death.

Perhaps this is a symbol for the hope of man? Some would say Gatsby's failure to achieve his dream of defeating archaic stereotypes of class to win back Daisy's heart represents Man's naive belief that he can change the past - like those who travelled West in pursuit of the American Dream, often found that their prospects remained bleak. A cynical as this may be, there may indeed be some truth in it.

I prefer to see Gatsby's story differently. I see it as proof that hope can drive us, even if the end result is not what we wanted or expected. If mere feelings of hopefulness can have the power to move us in such a way, we should not regret having had them when they come to nothing, but rather be glad that we had the strength and faith to follow our hearts rather than our heads. X 

Friday, 7 June 2013

4 JUNE 2013

Today had the potential to be one of the worst day's imaginable. You know those days where absolutely nothing goes the way it should? Well, today was one of those days. In the space of a few hours I managed to: drive into a parked car (in front of a crowd of people); waste nearly a full tank of petrol driving 45,000 miles (approximately) around the centre of Birmingham trying to find a parking space; and turn up to an interview assessment only to be turned away at the door because nobody was expecting me.

I can safely say that after today's events I am almost ready for tears. I say 'almost' because today I also experienced one of life's most beautiful things: a conversation with a complete stranger. Sitting in a waiting room at Heartlands hospital, the woman sitting next to me asked me a simple question about the consultant I had just seen. The next ten minutes were the most engaging and full of laughter I have ever spent in the company of someone I have only just met.

I got to know so much about this woman who only a moment ago was merely a stranger and I left feeling content, my spirits uplifted despite having one of the worst days I have had in a very long time. It made me think that we should do this more often if it has the power to make us feel so happy - we should take the leap of faith and talk to someone new. We have nothing to lose, and what's more we might even enjoy it! X