Blog, Philosophy

Self Portrait


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How do you view yourself? It’s a big question, one with no right answer, or any answer at all, in fact. I do think, though, that the British are quite good at not taking themselves too seriously – we love to take the piss out of everything and, happily, that includes ourselves. (Which is more than can be said by, say, I don’t know, *cough* the Americans). And this is great, because it means that I can now lead seamlessly into laughing at myself – or, more specifically, laughing at a self portrait of myself. I’m sharing this with you because, well, quite frankly I think it’s hilarious, but also because it’s so important not to take yourself so seriously. It’s taken me years to get to a space where I can do that, and, alas, there is still work to do. But I would hate to be the person whose perception of themselves is such that they can’t laugh if they make a silly mistake or do something embarrassing in front of their boss or trip over the shoelace of their super-cool Nike’s, fall arse over head and look like a twat.
You have to laugh and, I’m sure you’ll agree, life’s more fun if you do!
I drew this picture of myself – the image of the lovely lady at the bottom – with my best-friend-parter-in-crime, who also drew himself – the handsome young man at the top with the curly hair. The point was that we share a disliking of our side profiles (if it sounds trivial, it’s because it is). I can say with confidence that everyone has something they don’t like about their physical appearance, but often this thing is something that no one else can see because that person has spent so much time looking at it that it becomes this huge thing to them. Yet, all their friends and family have never even noticed because they (I hope, anyway) don’t cast such harsh judgment on someone they love.
So, what point am I making? It was fun and funny to draw my side profile because doing this made my harsh opinion of myself seem silly because my exaggerated drawing showed how untrue my perception really is. Likewise, I could laugh at my companion’s self portrait, because that’s not what he looks like either.
Well, actually, you know what, he does have a huge triangle erupting from his forehead at 80 degrees… I’m kidding, of course he doesn’t.
And now I’ll encourage you to do the same, if you want to. Or, at least, have a laugh at mine.

Oh, and don’t worry about the guy with the huge lips on the left. I’m not sure what he represents, but, damn, just look at those lips!

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Horrible Old Shoe


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I found this horrible old shoe at the beach. For some reason it pleases me. For years I’ve marvelled at the concept of a horrible old leather shoe that looks exactly like this one (I’ve even drawn pictures of it!) and suddenly, there it is in the flesh! I mean, even when it was new it was a God-awful shoe, but washed up and alone gives a strange ugly charm.

It made my day, and, since discovering it, I think about it every now and then.

I wonder what that horrible shoe is doing right now?

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Whose Opinion? Not Mine!


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I’ve been very quiet on the ol’ blog front (not that anyone has noticed) – this is because I feel that I don’t have anything interesting or insightful to say, and I usually feel under pressure to say interesting and insightful things on this here internet webpage. I was then thinking about how, when people become famous, suddenly their opinion matters. No one gave a shit about what the famous person thought before they were famous – but, by and large, the public seems to believe that fame has that quality whereby it makes someone important, and therefore what the famous person thinks about stuff is important too. It doesn’t matter if the famous person’s opinions are boring, mis-informed, or outright moronic; they’re famous, so we should all care a lot.

Hey, famous person, what do you think about global poverty?
“I think it’s bad”
*Everyone goes wild and thinks how clever the famous person is for informing us that global poverty is bad*

I’m not famous, so no one cares what I think, but that’s what I think about what famous people think about stuff and how everyone cares about it. I don’t have anything else to say, so I’ll just share some photos I took at the weekend of stuff that I do care about (and… wait for it… it’s not famous people’s opinions about stuff), which includes taking pictures of nice moments, stuff I like, and things I see.

The UK is beautiful!
The UK is beautiful!
Being still and reflecting is important
Being still and reflecting is important

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Nature is humbling
Nature is humbling
Blog, Philosophy

Mister Valentine


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So Valentine’s day, eh? Four years ago I was reflecting on this day on my old blog, and the topic is still as divisive as ever. Some people love it, some despise it, and others couldn’t give a devil’s umbrella. The question I had this time, though, is – and it’s a genuine question – what is the generic men’s gift on Valentine’s day? We all know chocolate and flowers are the generic purchase on the holiday of love, but I don’t think many men would expect or even appreciate this gift – at least, not outwardly.  So what do we buy them? Cheese? Beer? WD40?
Seems a bit odd, but there are a million (boring) reasons about why we have ended up where we are with this particular holiday – what is masculinity and why can’t men receive flowers; what does it mean to be successful/loved and how people need to prove that on facebook; how capitalism has shaped the way we view many holidays; how capitalism has shaped the way we view ourselves… it could go on forever. I don’t have the energy to launch into a discussion about these theories, but what I do like to wonder is that maybe the original meaning wasn’t very clear in the first place and therefore what you do with Valentine’s day is completely open to interpretation. Such is the way with so many elements of life – you don’t have to be a slave to the way you think you should be! And anyway, the cause of where we are now with this particular holiday is layers of mythology, misunderstandings of events and much story-telling (in other words, history). So why only buy into one version of the story? This is where I’m at in my life – with these kinds of (boring) thoughts.

I’m sure you’re wondering what I did this year – was I a hater, popping heart balloons wherever I saw them? Was I showered with gifts from my partner in crime? Did I hatch ambitious plans in my secret lair to take down the meaning of this Mister Valentine? Well, no, as much as it pains me to admit that I don’t have a lair, my long-suffering partner in crime and I went for a walk around the arboretum and looked at some cool trees, and then we had a coffee at the cafe. It was excellent.
It’s difficult to avoid those pangs of envy, though, when I see men everywhere carrying bunches of flowers. I’m secretly a sucker for romance, or, at least, the romanticised idea of romance – which, as we all know, doesn’t actually exist. So, although walking and looking at trees in February in England isn’t the most exotic or exciting or passionate thing to be doing, it makes us happy and who gives a shit what any one else thinks! Besides, I can always buy myself flowers.

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How I spent my Valentine’s day
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Windy New Year


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It’s been comically windy here in Bristol. The kind of windy where everyone walking down the street tries valiantly to pretend everything is under control, despite being knocked left and right by eye-watering gusts – bags of shopping flailing wildly. It’s the kind of wind where rogue leaves smack you in the face, quivering there for a moment before peeling off and tumbling on to the next victim. Where you (me, especially) are chased along the pavement by unnerving plastic bags snapping at your feet, and just when you break into a run to escape, a recycling bin overtakes you on the outside.

I like this kind of wind because it inconveniences everybody – no one is immune to looking like a drunken fool as they try to stagger along, perhaps wrestling umbrellas or those large art portfolio folders. I especially like it when someone – me included – gets stuck in one of those weird wind whirlpools; the ones where, as the trapped soul tries to step forward, he or she is forced to take two steps back, hovering there for a moment with one leg poised before gaining enough momentum to continue. I can’t help but chuckle to myself on these comically windy days.

Anyway, it’s also 2015 – happy new year my favourite blog-reading friends! 2015 seems pretty good so far. I’ve been lacking something good to read, though, which has been bothering me. Reading inspires me to write, but what I really want to do this year is to read about physics – because physics inspires the science fiction enthusiast residing in my soul. Not the weird aliens-with-gills-coming-to-kill-us-all so prominent in sci-fi – although I am certainly partial to a bit of dystopian fiction – but sci-fi concepts like time travel and other worlds and parallel universes. So reading about real-world physics, like space and atoms and time, is just what I need to get writing about my favourite concepts.
Let me know your recommendations, if you have them!

And, if you like Tweeting, you can catch me on Twitter @TheBellaLucia

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Happy New Limbo


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It’s the end of the year – which, for me, is both a time of strange limbo between christmas and January, and a time for reflecting and creating a vision for the new year. What I’ve particularly enjoyed doing recently, though, is thinking about all the things I’m really grateful for. For example, here in Bristol we’ve had a couple of stunning winter days – frosty but sunny with a spectacular pastel sunrise and sunset. Despite being a warm weather kind of person, I really enjoyed this winter weather and I made a point of truly appreciating it. I highly recommend this simple process – no need to feel lost in the strange end-of-the-year limbo or feel pressured into making grand plans for next year, you can just feel grateful for what you have now.
As for new year’s resolutions, well, I stopped making those long ago. This is partially due to my own prejudice of the concept, and partially due to people’s over-ambitiousness about being reborn on 1st January as Buddhist monks by giving up everything forever and drinking just organic seaweed juice to lose 35 kilos in nine days. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to aim high in life, but it’s the speed at which people give up on these dreams that gets me. In fact, I predict that the number of ambitious resolutions a person has is inversely proportional to the number of days until they give up on them.

Inverse proportion resolutions

Having said that, I do like to have a general aim for the year, and, at the beginning of 2014 I wrote down some sort of goal or plan for that year (I think). I folded the piece of paper up and stashed it away in one of my drawers. On the 31st December I will look at it again, just for funsies. For the life of me I can’t remember what I wrote on there,  so it will be interesting to see what I predicted for myself.
Though, I do have this weird feeling it will be something like In 2014 I will ride a swan into the golden mist of Atlantis…

I guess there’s always next year to do that.