Tuesday, 23 July 2013

23 JULY 2013

I couldn't resist capturing the light shining through these translucent flowers at sunset - ghostly yet beautiful.  

Monday, 22 July 2013

22 JULY 2013

There's nothing more beautiful than the gift of life and the news of the birth of a healthy baby. It is with joy and excitement that I write about the birth of baby Cambridge, the future King of England! I wish William and Kate all the happiness in the world as they embark on this wonderful new journey. Congratulations! X

Sunday, 21 July 2013

20 JULY 2013

This is without a doubt one of the most delicious salads I have ever eaten. I'm not normally one for salads, but in this 30 degree I'm finding myself craving fresh flavours rather than carby comfort food. So, my boyfriend and I scoured Sainsbury's for ingredients and came up with this creation. 

It's so simple to make: just top washed sweet spinach with steamed asparagus tips, strips of torn prosciutto, crumbled goats cheese and peach slices warmed under the grill. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a dusting of black pepper and pine nuts. Yum! X.  

Monday, 8 July 2013

8 JULY 2013

Now, I don't like to swear in my writing, but Katie Hopkins has brought me dangerously close with her recent deluge of moronic chatter on ITV1's This Morning. I'm certain you've all read or heard about it over the last few days - it's hardly been out of the media - but I thought I would add my opinion to the many that are already out there anyway!

Appearing on the BBC1 series The Apprentice, Katie Hopkins is a perfect example of 'famous for being famous'. Still, she managed to get herself a slot seat on the This Morning sofa opposite Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, and the opportunity to voice her (quite extraordinary) opinion, not just once, but multiple times.

Not only has she shown that she is judgemental in the extreme, and willing to act on this prejudice, by outwardly stating that she would refuse to employ overweight people because they look 'lazy'. I can't understand why anyone would want to admit to having this opinion, but still, Katie felt she had to voice her shockingly backwards views in front of thousands of This Morning viewers.

Her attack on the intellectual and behavioural ability of children because of their parents' choice in naming them was equally bizarre. Not only does she think that names have a bearing on personality, but she showed extraordinary levels of snobbery in disregarding those with more unusual names, like 'Chardonnay' and 'Tyler', as suitable play dates for her children. However, she ended up floundering in her own hypocrisy when criticising children with 'geographical names', only to be caught out by Philip Schofield who pointed out that her own daughter is named 'India'.

Part of me wants to believe that Katie is a smart woman, who is selling her soul and self respect to the media in order to make a name for herself. Indeed, no-one can question that her viewings are through the roof and she's certainly got everyone talking! However, there's a little bit of me which can't help thinking that this reality TV 'star' really is that closed-minded and foolish to think that her opinion is correct and valuable to the general public.

But anyway, that's enough now, she's had enough publicity. I, for one (and I don't think I'm alone) just hope she doesn't have any more opinions that she wants to share with the world. X 

Thursday, 4 July 2013

4 JULY 2013

I've been experiencing a little writers block recently. I come up with ideas, but when I try to write them down I feel like I have a million thoughts running through my head, but none that will come out with any eloquence or lucidity. 

I found myself thinking about this on my daily commute this morning, trying to tease out the reasons why I've been feeling like this recently. I came to the conclusion that it started around the time I changed jobs, and began driving to work rather than catching the train. 

When I used to catch the train I would read. One particular book which captured my heart, was The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutter. An intensely eye-opening and thought-provoking book, The Art of Happiness is brilliantly intelligent, yet beautifully simple in the messages it conveys. In my opinion, you must read this book before you die. 

Now, I won't spoil it for you by going into too much detail, but I can honestly say that the Dalai Lama's emphasis on positive thinking, avoiding anger and selfishness, and banishing negativity, helped me to achieve a more peaceful state of mind and greater contentment. Simple acts of selflessness such as letting a driver out of a junction in rush hour traffic began to make me feel happy, and experiencing rudeness failed to anger me like it once had. 

I thought about these feelings I had once experienced as I sat in traffic this morning, wondering why I had ever let the rush hour turn me into such a bitter and resentful person, often swearing and rarely offering my fellow drivers the chance to shorten their journey by slipping into queues in front of me. 

So, I decided to practice again what I once read with such enjoyment. I drove with extreme courtesy for the remainder of my journey, stopping in my path to allow a woman to pull out of a side road in front of me. To see the genuine smile, signifying gratitude and happiness, spread across her face, made me feel happy. I started my day with contentment in my heart which made for less stress and therefore better productivity than usual.

So, from now on I will try to do something positive every day, be that whilst driving or otherwise, in my attempt to achieve The Art of Happiness. Maybe it will even help to budge my writers block...X