Luck

I am challenging myself to write a post every single day in May, to kickstart my writing again. I will be following some prompt words that I ‘stole’ from somebody on instagram. Here is my seventeenth post.

There is a quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt that goes ‘I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm’.

And I think that just about sums up what I think about luck – that it simply does not exist. Things are meant to happen to who they happen to and when they do happen. The things we want will come to us when they are ready to come and when we are ready for them.

Also, if we really want things, we have to work very hard for them. We have to do our very best and if they don’t happen despite that, then it was not meant to be at that time because we were not ready for it. No matter how much we think we are.

Does that make sense?

I just think that if we go on and on thinking of things in terms of good luck and bad luck, we become enraged at the universe. Why does the worm deserve the bad luck? What did he do wrong? Nothing. He just woke up earlier than usual and went for his daily walk, only that morning his walk happened to benefit the bird. It just was the worm’s time to go, and I am sure he lead a good life and did all he was supposed to.

Life is supposed to happen.

What do you think about luck?

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Image stolen from Circadiana

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Doughnut

I am challenging myself to write a post every single day in May, to kickstart my writing again. I will be following some prompt words that I ‘stole’ from somebody on instagram. Here is my third post.

 

In order to get them, you had to walk through a smoke-filled section. Men in white thobes  (a long garment worn by men in the countries around the Arabian Gulf) lounging on comfortable chairs smoking cigarettes and cigars, cups of coffee steaming before them, immersed in a halo of smoke, chatter and laughter that would last well into the early hours of the morning.

There is no drinking there, no partying, at least not in the way the Western world knows it. No clubbing and drunken brawls. Things are safer and more peaceful. Somewhat. There is danger everywhere, in all places and all cultures, of course.

My father would stop the car there on the way to a function or a family get-together or a dinner party, and sometimes it would be just my brother who would get out, and sometimes I would too. We would walk through the double doors, hit instantaneously by a cooling blast of air from the AC, and the baking heat of the Arabian desert, even at night, was trapped behind those sliding doors. There was external bit, with plants and beautiful beige tiles, gleaming under the spotlights overhead. They really know how to set the mood here. The cigarette smoke wafted into every corner, and it was strangely tasty, intertwining with the smell of strong coffee and the sweet anticipatory smell of those doughnuts.

Then another pair of glass doors would slide open, and an even colder blast of AC air whooshing out, ushering us in along with some remnants of smoke. For they had to have an air conditioned smoking section, else where would their highest paying customers go?

And finally there we were. The familiar pink and orange sign, two bubble words, and a fun coffee cup doodle leaning on the side. An array of doughnuts in spotlighted displays. Pink and orange seats, a far cry from the comfortable plush lounge chairs in the smoking area, dotted here and there. And ovens behind the counter, trays emerging containing rows upon rows of round, holey goodness.

The sweet, warm smell of doughnuts and glaze. A special smell, exciting and lip-smacking. A box of 12 doughnuts for what would amount to £2 at that time – we got two boxes, and some munchkins too.

Then it was back out, from the cold, to the cool smoky air, to the hot dry air of the heaving night city. Lights and traffic and warmth that rose through the pavement and into the very roots of our hair. The city comes alive at night, you see. Families time their outings for sunset, funfairs rage, lights flash, drive thus are brimming, parks are packed until the early hours, swings swinging and slides sagging under the weight of thousands of children. What is bedtime? No such thing here.

Thousands of families out on the weekend, past 12. Past 1am. Past 2, 3… only by 4am do the streets begin to still again. As the dawn creeps in, that is when the merrymakers go to bed, ready to sleep through the arid heat of another day, and then when nightfall hits, it all starts again.

Do I miss that life? Why yes. Yes I do. There was a simplicity in the hardship, a friendly ease. A community of life and laughter. A living that cannot be replicated here where I am now. A safety unhindered by the harshness of drink. Humanity, plain and simple, unmarred by chemical effects.

A tray of doughnuts, and let the merrymaking begin.

 

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A Pain

Nursing a heartache for the last four days. A strange heartache. A growing pain, if you will.

You see, I was introduced to Margaret Mitchell’s South America, and travelled through the pages of Gone with the Wind, dragged along by a headstrong, selfish, vain, villainess who forced me against my will to hate her and sympathise with her in equal measure.

I certainly will not write a review, for I am sure there are countless reviews out there, loving and hating Gone with the Wind and analysing it to the ends of the earth and back. I feel sad that there is so much analysis of it out there, because I felt privy to something rich and private and entirely soul-wrecking, that I wish it belonged to me alone.

I felt sucked into a very real world, taken on a roller coaster of emotions so intense that I could barely focus on my work, and then spluttered out at the end with not a damned care. I felt like crawling away into a hole and licking my wounds, the same way Scarlett did at the end of the book. I felt cheated, but also as though I was given a marvellous gift. I felt angry, but also enlightened, as though a window of thought which had never occurred to me had just opened before my eyes.

And this is why I say I am having growing pains.

You see, the world has shifted a little. Old hatreds and prejudices have moved sideways, giving way to new understandings. I certainly don’t take the political happenings of the book as pure fact, but it certainly gave me an insight into what was fact for a large number of people. It made me think, so to speak, from the perspective of ‘the enemy’. The slave owner. The people who were so morally amiss in my dictionary. They are no longer like that. They are now humans. Humans who err, who have arrogance, and love, and humility, and confusion, and hatred, just like all the other humans who do.

The way the world is currently, is because of systems which humans, who are essentially all the same, follow. People fought each other in plenty of wars, and ultimately, it really did not matter what they were fighting for, because there was error and evil on both sides, as well as innocence and good.

And that is why I have been nursing a heartache.

I feel like I have been blind for so long, and now my eyes have been opened.

I feel like I will no longer look at things at face value, because, underlying everything, is years and years worth of prejudice and heritage and taught attitudes.

I will no longer rely solely on my taught attitudes to make judgements on people and cultures around me.

I will ask, why, first.

I will try to understand the world in which I live, because in order to move forward with people, in harmony, one must understand them.

Gone with the Wind was heartbreaking because nobody understood each other. It was a personification, in a way, of a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people, because of stubbornness and greed. And, if you think about it, that is why all wars are fought.

If only people understood each other.

My heart hurts because I have had a stark realisation that they never will. I can, you can, WE can, but the collective won’t.

 

It’s Way too Early for Easter Eggs.

We split half an easter egg. Would you be surprised to learn that I had my first ever Easter egg today? At 22 years old?

Also, do you ever forget how old you are? I keep thinking I am 23 years old but I am not, I am 22. Today the Marie Curie cancer research representative asked my age, and I actually had to stop and think about it. Oh no, I thought, am I 23? Or 22? I was born in 1994 so – I had to count on my fingers?! The representative sure did get a kick out of that. He told me I look really young for my age. I get that a lot. I have a baby face, unfortunately. 

Also, don’t be incredulous that the Easter eggs are out in the shops already. I tell you, once they got rid of the last of the Christmas stock, the Easter goodies came pouring in. As if we wouldn’t notice the blatant consumerism. The mini eggs appeared first. Innocently hanging next to egg timers – as if those two were related! But mini eggs are delicious, so I won’t say no to those. But the END OF JANUARY!? When they know VERY well that Easter is at the end of March. And then two weeks ago they started clearing the ‘Seasonal’ shelves – rows upon rows of empty shelves which – suddenly –  overnight, were stocked FULL of Easter eggs! Cadbury, Maltesers, Snickers, After Eights, Lindt, Mars, Kinder, Barbie, Bob the Builder (HOW DOES BOB THE BUILDER HAVE A FREAKING EASTER EGG?!), Galaxy, Smarties, you name it!

We split a Cadbury Mini Egg Easter egg. It was sickening and chocolatey. I don’t know what all the hype about Easter eggs is, after all. I’d rather just have a few mini eggs to satiate my chocolate cravings.

Also I can’t believe that I have never had an Easter egg before. I guess my family just aren’t Easter egg-y people.

Do you like Easter eggs?

Destiny.

Hello, world.

I just want to put this quietly out there. This video is one that resonates with me on an extremely personal level. Almost word for word.

I know a lot of people have gone through this sort of experience. But it is good to share the feelings.

A few years ago, Something Big happened to me. It changed who I am fundamentally, and left me a lot more vulnerable and scarred. Ultimately I did learn a tremendous deal from that experience, but it has changed me on such a deep emotional level that I am noticing the change every day in my life, every single day. Everyday I am reminded that I am stunted because of what happened, bile and nausea have become a part of my existence.

I have moved on. I am happier, of course. But I know, deep down, that I will never have the joyful abandon I had before The Thing.

I was a different person before it. And I am sad because I don’t like who I’ve become because of it, because I know that the child I was then would not have grown into the adult I am now. And that, to me, is pretty hard to think about.

This video is very short. But it is very well articulated. And if you have ever experienced something like this, well, know that you aren’t alone.

Pondering the ‘Point’.

Sometimes, in my mind, I want to be this glamorous lady wearing high heels, manicured nails gleaming some classy nude colour, makeup on point, hair glossy and thick and cascading down my back, wearing something elegant and effortlessly beautiful, climbing into a pretty little fiat 500 or a purple mini cooper. I know life isn’t all about appearance and looks, but sometimes I just want to be that.

I really do.

It’s not so much for attention as it is for this inner feeling of satisfaction.

I think this, walking down the road, and then I am suddenly halted with another, sharper thought; What’s the point of doing all that if you’re just going to die one day?

Morbid, I know.

But what IS the point?

Usually, when that thought interrupts my reverie of glamour, I turn my mind to different things. But today I decided to explore it a little more. Maybe I was feeling more in touch with my spirituality. Or something.

This is what I came up with:

What IS the point of spending a lot of one’s time just to look glamorous for a few hours? Life is short. By that logic, one would say, yes life IS short, so spend it doing something that makes you happy. Right? Except, no, wrong. I think that life is short so I should spend it doing the right thing. Like, I could be doing so many more important things in the three hours it would take to fluff up my hair and paint my face and tweeze every inch of my body.

I could be doing something more worthwhile. Something I would be glad I did when I am dead. Because I believe that once I am dead, I will wish I spent my life doing things that would help me after I die.

I can still make an effort and look good, of course. It’s not like I’m saying you never should. I just feel that I perhaps shouldn’t dedicate a lot of my thoughts as to how I will. And maybe focus on internal peace.

I know it sounds so fairy-taley to some people. But that is how I honestly feel.

Mint Chocolate Chia Pudding (vegan)

This health kick of mine has made me highly enthusiastic about my nutrition intake, and the easiest way through which I can consume plenty of vitamins. I want to spend as little time in the kitchen, but max out on the healthy benefits of nutritional cooking.

Last night I spent 5 minutes preparing a chocolate chia pudding which I would let sit overnight in the fridge all ready for my breakfast this morning. It did not disappoint, I assure you. I was in chocolatey bliss at breakfast, and was assured I was meeting all my nutrient goals whilst enjoying something a little sweet!

Chia seeds are loaded with nutrients and fibre, a good amount of protein. Did you know chia seeds used to be used as a currency at one point? They are great for the digestion and have been proven to reverse inflammation and reduce blood pressure. They boost energy and metabolism and are also used to treat diabetes. They are high in calcium which is beneficial to the bones.

Here is the recipe, if you are interested:

Ingredients:

-1/3 cup chia seeds

-1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder

-1, 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

-3 tbsp maple syrup (or any other sweetener desired)

-1/8 cup plant based protein powder

-1/2 tsp peppermint essence

For the toppings:

-Ground almonds

-Small seed mix (I used OhMyOmega mix from Holland and Barrett)

-Bananas or any other fruit

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl or a measuring jug and whisk to beat out the lumps. Cover and put in fridge for 3 hours or overnight. In the photo below, I have adorned the pudding with banana disks, ground almonds and an omega-3 seed mix I got from Holland and Barrett.

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Vegan Chocolate chia pudding

 

 

How not to murder a romance.

I am blogging this again because it is serving as a reminder to me to get off my big fat bottom and finish not murdering this romance.

Ocean Bream

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I want to write a romance (the younger version of myself would vomit at these words.. Sorry, younger Len. It had to happen) about a young boy and a young girl who are neighbours. They both have the attic rooms of their respective houses, and their windows are two dormer windows poking out of the same roof (semi-detached houses).

I wrote a screenplay about this for an assignment. I think the younger me resurfaced though and rained a vicious tantrum over this story, coating it in morbid drama. The young boy decided to kill the young girl, and he went about it in the most cruel way possible. There was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it. No matter which way I tried to turn it, the act was inevitable.

He seemed so nice at first, did George. He was caring and sweet and so charming. Perhaps that was his…

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Ashamed to be Female

This was a massive problem for me growing up.

Ashamed of being female. Up until I was eleven years old I loved makeup and perfume and I used to play dress up with my mother’s clothes, wear her jewellery and even her makeup when she wasn’t looking. She always knew, of course. Mothers do, don’t they.

When I was eleven, nearly twelve mind, I started developing tiny buds on my chest. I also started gaining a little weight, namely on my behind and thighs. I wore large T-shirts to cover it up and stopped wearing the dresses my mother used to buy me. I hated them with a passion, even though before that age I would chose them myself.

I started wearing jeans and T-shirts to cover up the boobs, and when I started my period, I cried for days. I prayed and prayed and prayed it would go away (thank goodness it didn’t, what a ridiculous thing to pray for!) and I started feeling disgusting.

Physically disgusting, like there was something wrong with me. Sanitary towels were something I hated, I used to stuff them in my mother’s wardrobe as though they had nothing to do with me. I turned my nose up at makeup and I even stopped brushing my hair because my hairbrush was pink. I even developed a manly gait where I would hung up my shoulders and swagger a little, to show that I was tough.

I wanted to be tough and strong. I played all sorts of sports and forced myself to watch football (even though I actually couldn’t care less about the sport) and was really scornful to girls who giggled too loudly or looked too girly. There is nothing wrong with playing sport, of course, but for me it was excessive and sweaty, and a way to prove I was not feminine at all. This lasted until I was about seventeen; all through high school (college in the UK) I wore oversized hoodies and boyish jeans. I would never accessorise and never made any effort with my hair or face.

I looked like a potato, in all honesty. It was beneath me to make anything of my appearance. I suppose even if I had wanted to be boyish I could have at least brushed my hair and chosen nicer looking clothes. I looked like a tramp more than anything.

I was not comfortable in my own body and I hated my boobs.

The thing is, inside and underneath all that I was actually very girly. Once I became more comfortable with being a female I started wearing makeup and girly clothes and enjoying my feminine assets.

I don’t know why I was ashamed before. Thinking back on it, I think that it stemmed from this idea that I had that women were silly and frivolous and weak. I don’t know why I thought that – my mother is an exceptionally strong woman, and she always told me I was beautiful and taught me always to be myself and stand for my rights and the rights of others. My grandmother suffered horrendously at the hands of her ex husband but came out of it with her head high, albeit with a broken heart. She independently bought her own house in the eighties, and worked so hard to make sure her kids got an education at a time when lots of people didn’t really go to university, was a mother and a father to her children (a really tough job) and when she died left behind a strong, empowered legacy.

I still don’t love my own body, but I love dressing it up and wearing nice feminine things. Also I am a great fan of bras and I love my boobs, which is a good thing because they got so much hate before

Have any other females felt this way? Do you know why one would feel this way going through puberty? If you do, please share!

 

Disclaimer: I am in no way at all saying that females should not or cannot be boyish. Some do and rock it really well, and go them. I am just detailing my personal journey with this issue.

 

So No One Told Me Life Would Be This Way

I know it’s a comedy, but you know what REALLY annoyed me about Friends season 1 episode 2, when Ross, his ex wife and her girlfriend were at the first baby scan!?!?

It made me so MAD.

It was the fact that his ex wife and her girlfriend had already talked about baby names, and decided that the baby was to be called ‘Willeck-Bunch’ after the two mothers… despite the fact that the ex wife became pregnant WITH ROSS’s BABY, and the baby was not planned with or had anything to do with friction Susan!!

And Ross was just there stuttering and making agreements and Susan acted like she had a SAY in the whole matter?!

She didn’t, and it made me so angry to see her there so entitled like she did have a say. Susan is the OTHER WOMAN. Ross’s ex wife CHEATED ON HIM with Susan, and just because she is a lesbian does not make it okay. Why should SUSAN’S name be part of the child’s name?

Okay, maybe she will have a big hand in bringing the kid up, but still. Come ON.

If I was Ross, and my wife cheated on me with another woman, then told me she was pregnant with my kid, I wouldn’t want the other woman to have a say in the kid’s name or the kid’s life. I wouldn’t!

It’s not petty, is it?

Anyway. That made me mad.