Tuesday, 26 April 2011


It seems I have found someone who shares in my belief system...

This is the Holstee Manifesto. Whilst I am sure that many of you are sitting there grumbling at this, at times, unutterably cheesy piece of promotion for life, I have to say that I couldn't agree more.

And to those I say, what's the worst that could happen? Granted if you go at it full pelt, spend all your savings partying around the world you could find yourself in a gutter somewhere with a perpetual hangover, so an amount of responsibility does need to be practiced. It just doesn't make sense in my head, however, why people continually sit there and settle for a job or lifestlye that just get's them by, dragging themselves out of bed to do something they hate.

I have to put my hand up and say that I've sat in jobs I despise, but they were short-term means to an end. I set a date when I know I'd leave, taking the risk of coming home from travelling with no prospects of a career whatsoever.

The fact remains that I don't live to work, I work to live. And one of these days my work will be what I love to do, and I am very lucky to be on the right track towards making that dream a reality. But I have found this track because of the work I've put in to not settle for second best.

I'm not a religious person. I'd say I'm spritual and have faith in each one of us as individuals to be able to drive our own life forward and achieve our goals. All I can truly know is that I'm here and alive and that's the only tangible thing I can be sure of about my existence.

I don't know what's on the other side, beyond my life. But that is the very reason why I can't let myself not live in the here and now. If I don't believe in the after life and I've been given a shot on this planet, this is my only chance to live it. (Try not to take that in a morbid direction, the other way is much more fun I swear.)

I realise in life sometimes we have to do things we don't enjoy, sit working in a job we don't like or sacrifice things we really don't want to. But doing these things to work towards your goals can be forgiven, whether it's working in a job you dislike to save up to go globe-trotting or buy a house; compromising with a loved one so you can continue to love them more; giving up those tasty treats to achieve a healthier lifestyle (although I don't condone this one fully, a girl's gotta eat).

As long as you're still focused on your dreams, then reality can mix in perfectly well.

Idealistic existentialist rant over.

(On a side note, do check out Holstee's website, sustainable design products and a whole lotta' love.)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Leaving on a jet plane

Next week, I'm hopping on a place again. But to where?! Oh, you'll find out. That is for another post.

I've taken a fair few flights in my life, and each and every time I still find myself squidging my nose up against those thick windows and taking a look at the ant-world below. That or nonchalantly leaning over the stranger sat next to me to try and grab a glance.

There is still something just so unutterably magical about being able to see a city or landscape from the sky above. Even at night when those city lights are twinkling, I sit there and consider all those thousands of people tucked up in their beds, or out seeing friends, or meeting the love of their lives (you old romantic you Emma) or all those people alone tonight.

So, in the spirit of that, here are 10 amazing views from airplanes, I'm just putting my favourites up. I'll leave it up to you to guess locations. The second one might be a bit tricky but let's just say it's my next big destination...

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

To write or to type?

I wrote a letter this morning. It's been a while. In my late teens I was notorious for writing notes and scribble to various friends (some utterly cringeworthy and have in recent years been destroyed by the recipients; for this I am glad). My oldest friend and I have exchanged letters since we were about five, and continue to do so as it seems to be the only way we are ever able to stay connected, regardless of having each other's phone numbers. I won't go into detail as to the subject of this morning's letter, but instead take a minute to appreciate the act.

In the process of contemplating this, I came across a website called Letters of Note, a beautiful archive full of correspondance, some even dating back to hundreds of years ago. Not only are there the expected letters of love and loss, telegrams and faxes are also thrown into the mix, but for now I might ignore these (as sympathetic as I am towards Pearl Harbour and the Titanic, the telegrams announcing the commencement of each disaster are not the inspiration of this post).

I am interested in the hand-written exchanges, once personal and now displayed all over the web, between intimate lovers and friends. Nosey eh? The first I came across on this website still remains my favourite, even after much browsing. It takes a while to read, but the account of Aldous Huxley's death, written by his wife Laura to his older brother Julian, is an incredible insight into the end of a life.

Just take a second to consider if this will ever be the case for the email. Do you think there will ever be an 'Emails of Note' website, dedicated to the conversings via the world wide web? Doesn't really have the same charm about it does it?

A letter just seems so much more intimate; the combustable, tanglible and delicate packaging of these words remind you of it's mortality. When you delete an email from your inbox, it is fed into a 'deleted items' folder. The delete button is only the first step towards destroying those words, and you have to consciously go into a 'deleted items' folder and eradicate them all for eternity. If a piece of paper were to be destroyed, it would not be possible to pick up the ashes and read them again.

Emails seem so more off-the-cuff. Genuine thought and consideration goes into a letter, with time taken to ensure it is legible and clear. Often littered with edits and scribbles, a letter portrays the writer's thought process in it's creation. I don't know if anyone can really say they have put their heart and soul into an email as much as they might do a hand-written exchange.

I guess it also links to our awareness of the internet and it's public nature. Whilst our email inbox is protected via our password, it still doesn't seem to entirely belong to us, and I always get the feeling that anyone could stumble upon my online correspondance.

Having said that, it's easier to hack into a bed-side table to find a letter than a computer to read an email.

Monday, 11 April 2011

The future of our social lives

I recently found this amusing poster somewhere in the depths of cyberspace and it got me thinking...

Is this a vision of our future?

Whilst sitting in the pub a few weeks back with two of my friends, a waiter commented on the fact we were all sat there on our phones and not talking to each other. One of my friends thinks that this is what future generations will consist of, groups of people sat together in a seemingly social gathering, and yet all communicating with various other people via mobile phones.

When you put it like that, it seems like such a strange thing to do. Why go and meet up with your friends and then decide to talk to some other people that are not present instead? Is there some kind of allure that goes with the idea of having so little time that your social occasions must overlap and you need at least two or three on the go at any one time?

And yet, I find myself texting people just for a chat even when I'm with a group of friends. Not because I find the current company dull, but it just seems like people crop up in my mind that I haven't spoken to for a while and a 'no time like the present' approach is the way I take it.

I think my favourite point that this poster effectively protests against is illustrated but the section 'At no time is it permissable to sit idle and observe the poetry of life or look into the eyes of another person'. We are so much attached to the world that our mobile phones create, switching between texts, Facebook apps, messenger apps and the latest funny photo a friend has sent, completely oblivious to our surroundings.

And so much can pass us by! I have to say, one charm of travelling is that I don't tend to have my phone with me a lot, for fear of rinsing my bank account. This allowed me to take in the world around me, soaking up views and sights whilst sitting on the bus or sat in the window of a coffee shop.

I often find the same thing goes for cameras. When you find yourself in a new place, of course you will want to snap away and make sure you capture the moment to look back on. However, it can often be very easy to see something you want to remember, quickly take a shot and then abandon the sight altogether. I sometimes find myself hardly taking the image in with my own eyes.

And so, with that, I challenge you all to let go of these handheld devices and take a moment to enjoy the company that surrounds you at present, or bask in the scenery with the built in camera you have been blessed with, your eyes.
(Could go one of two ways. You leave you phone alone and then come back to it and have a million messages and missed calls; winner. Or, none at all, which can be ever so slightly devestating. I'll leave you to decide whether you want to take the risk.)

Monday, 4 April 2011

At the end of the rainbow there are E numbers...

Once voted the best website of 2006 (fact I found on her 'about' section, I'll have to trust that it's accurate) I feel ashamed to have only just discovered not martha.

Heaped with arty archives, anything to keep restless hands at bay to create anything they desire.

The first page I came across was this sugary delight; Leprechaun Trap Cake.

It doesnt even look like cake; more like a weird centrepiece in some Alice in Wonderland wedding. Go onto the not martha page for an explaination of what a 'leprechaun trap' actually is, I shall not pinch material so shamelessly.

Watch this space for my own attempt of baking this cake... I'll try to keep it away from any children in fear of overloading them with sugar.