How on Earth would this spectacularly fiddly bit of kit even work? Anyone with any experience of these things, answers on the back of a post card! Or you could be really moving with the times and leave a comment in the comment box! 😉
How much time do you take out of your life, to dedicate to helping someone else?
Even the most philanthropic of us are guilty of being a little too self-involved at times. Not that we can blamed for this, we spend every waking minute with ourselves. A little navel gazing is bound to occur from time to time, non?
However, there exists an adage, timeless in its wisdom, which I would like to bring to your attention (if I may). “It’s better to give than to receive”. As such, I would like to present you with a challenge, “The five minute favour”.
January is now almost over. All but the strongest-willed of us have given up on our resolutions, (usually because they’re too vast, too drastic, insurmountable almost!). So, to make up for the guilt you may feel about a not so brand new you, why not aim to spend five minutes a day, no more, no less, in performing a task, speaking some kind words, or whatever it is, as long as it is for someone else’s needs?
Five minutes is a gift of time that may not mean much to you, but could be the five minutes that make someone else’s day. As a bonus, if the recipient of your kindness, your time, plays it forward, you’re potentially starting off a chain of some seriously karmic goodness.
Food, glorious food. Food is, quite possibly, the one great love of my life. This love affair seems to have only truly bloomed within the past two or so years. I can’t remember being this enamoured of tasty treats in my younger days. It just crept in gradually, this adoration, reeling me in with flavours, smells and the sheer damn beauty of a plate laden with goodness.
We have an odd relationship, food and I. It started backwards. During my adolescence, we were enemies, in my early adulthood, friends. Now, in adulthood, we are, and always will be, lovers.
Previously, I regarded food as merely sustenance, the necessary fuel required to steer me through the day. I would eat bland, albeit healthy, meals. My taste buds were so uncultured to the wealth, the variety that existed in the world. I regret those wasted years now. Time that could have been spent experiencing culinary delights, beyond anything my imagination could conjure up. Of course, now, it has become almost a life goal to devour as many different combinations of foodstuffs as are available to me.
Perhaps I sound to you like something of the glutton? To a degree, you may be correct. However, I hold it to be an unquestionable truth, that food is good not just for the body, but the soul. A meal itself isn’t the standalone prize. There are so many other factors. The people you share it with, the place you eat it, the memories that are created. One faint whiff of a food you enjoy can take you back, instantly, to the first time you tried it. Spices, sauces, seasoning, transport you to far flung lands you may never have even visited, but have always dreamed about.
Of course, as with all things, overindulgence can ruin ones enjoyment. However, it is most often overindulgence of the most depressing, flavourless foods that leads to a rotund figure. Fast food, the bane of mankind. The convenience of this food is quickly overshadowed by the empty feeling it leaves inside. It fills a hole, but does it ever really make you happy? You spend money on something that has had no care taken in its preparation, is nothing but bad for your health, and the profits from which line the pockets of someone whom really doesn’t care if you enjoyed your meal.
Where’s the fun in that?
I associate food with many things; friends, family, joy, memories. It’s not always with the good times, who hasn’t comfort eaten when they’ve had a broken heart, a bad day at work? The one thing it reminds me of though, above all of these things, is love. It is the constant that allows our lives to keep on going, our hearts to keep beating. Food keeps us alive, loves gives us a reason to keep on living.
Lily Allen, Ivor Novello award winner, Brit Pop darling and feminist extraordinaire has smashed back onto the British music scene with a satire soaked single and video for her new single “Hard Out Here”.
The video, which features several recognisable hip-hop stereotypes (twerking, ass slapping, champagne , rims!) gives a clear and striking message of Lilys views against the use of the word “bitch”. The video has provoked comment regarding feminism and objectification of females in the music industry across blogs, YouTube and all other media,not always for the right reasons. Some writers and commenters have cited that the use of black female dancers in the video is an indication of Allen’s racist leanings. Although anyone whom has watched the video will see that satire really is the call of the day in this debate provoking, but altogether catchy tune (plus half of the dancers are of other skin colours).
Despite the question of racism, Lily never fails to disappoint in her aim in provoking thought and open opinion with her music. She is the breath of fresh air in a music industry that undeniably uses women as sexual props to sell records.
Have a view and let us know what you think!
I wanted to write a post about something that is very personal to me, and a subject that is universal to us all.
However, it’s not grief as a whole that I wish to ramble on about, that’s a subject that has been covered umpteen times. And so it should be.
I wish to talk about the ways in which people handle grief. This topic comes from my own families experience of coping with the death of our Grandmother ( my Mums mother).
First, let me give you a little background information. For those of you whom are easily distressed, it may be in your best interests to not read the next few paragraphs.
My Grandmother suffered a death the likes of which all of us hope we will never have to see before our own eyes, much less experience at our own demise. She suffered terribly, the pancreatic cancer which ate away at her body ravaged her very quickly. I won’t go into the details of her illness but I will say that the authorities whom were assisting us in her care were wholly to blame for her pain. She had mental health problems caused by an aneurysm and the mental health authorities initially accused her of making the whole “thing” (that thing being her life threatening illness) up. They said that she was doing it for attention.
When her body was finally giving up the fight, she was moved to a hospice a two minute walk from my Mothers home. I can see the hospice from the bedroom of my childhood bedroom still. We knew that there was nothing more that could be done. The thing is, my Nan wasn’t ready to go, she was given enough morphine to floor two twenty stone men. Yet she hung on. She sweated, slipping in and out of lucidity, her six stone, skeletal frame fretting and shifting against whatever it is that death feels like. Sometimes in those last 48 hours she knew we were there. Sometimes she regressed to days gone by, snatches of speech falling upon ears that hadn’t known her then.
When the final moments came, it was just my sister and her alone in the room, my Mother just about managed to make it there in time. And it is their grief which I wish to use as the basis of this post.
Just short of 21 months on, my Mother is still stuck in limbo, she has recently been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder caused, mostly, but the way in which my Grandmother suffered and was treated during her illness. My sister too has been affected, seeing such a death at the age of 20 has had a very negative effect on her, both emotionally and mentally. I hope, one day, the good days outnumber the bad and they can both on with just the love for my Grandmother in their lives, not the ghosts of days gone by. I, on the other hand, feel that I have dealt with grief in a healthier way, I didn’t bottle up my feelings, and eventually came to accept that my Nan is now at peace. The lasting impact that my Grandmothers demise has had on my family as a whole though, is more than tangible.
Grief, I feel, is something that you either let leave you living in a half life, or that you embrace wholeheartedly, feel it in it’s entirety, and move on from. It never really leaves you, but it’s up to you how much you let it affect your future. The dead don’t have to be the dead. They can live on in you, but you have to let them. Not by mourning the absence of that persons physical presence in your life, but by taking all the memories, the lessons they taught you and the love that they gave you and putting them into the person you will become. Not the person you once were.
We don’t have to forget, but we do have to accept. All the wishing in the world won’t bring them back.