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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, Culture

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
Blog

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

Blog

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.

Blog

That’s the Problem


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I’ve been thinking about my book a lot lately. Back in 2008 I finished writing and published a 120 page novel. In it, a disgruntled drug dealer, who sleeps a lot, learns he’s being blamed for the malfunctioning of the universe by an organisation that he’s never heard of before – because it doesn’t exist. Which means that he has to fix the universe.

What I’ve been thinking is that it is poorly written, full of mistakes, it’s drug-related content won’t appeal to anyone, and it’s pretty much an embarrassment. If I wrote it today it would be totally different.
I sometimes wonder whether I will do a re-written version, where I make it a bit better but keep the same story and the same jokes. But, on cynical days, I think I would change it beyond recognition and therefore render the effort pointless.
I guess that it the evolution of ‘art’. The creator of the ‘art’ moves on stylistically and philosophically and personally, so, of course their work will evolve. 2008 was bloody ages ago! But, how is one supposed to feel about work created eight years previous? Embarrassed, but accepting, because the work is out there are you can’t take it back or destroy it. Once it’s out there, it’s out there forever!

I’m not sure. In a (feeble) attempt to overcome my embarrassment, I am sharing with you now a few pages from the book. Chapter five – one of my favourites – and chapter six.

Click on the images below to make them REALLY BIG!
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SIX 1

SIX 2

Blog

The Internet


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The internet is great, isn’t it? I think it’s the best thing about being alive in the 21st century. Well, apart from 21st century medicine – the scientific advances in medicine over the last 150 years are staggering. Let’s all take a moment to be glad for anaesthesia, and ibuprofen, and that so many diseases are actually curable these days.
Back to the internet: it’s hardly believable how much information is out there right at our fingertips. In fact, you’re reading this on the internet right now! You could be in the UK, like me, or in the Philippines, or in Iceland, or South Africa. You could be almost anywhere on the planet and be reading this. It’s incredible.
There is, of course, the dark side of the internet, about which I don’t want to go into detail today as I feel like keeping things light-hearted and fun. But I can’t simply glaze over the horrors of human trafficking or child pornography, or transnational terrorism or drug trafficking. All of these are possible in the 21st century thanks to the internet.
And then there’s all the crap that has to be sifted through in order to find the good, credible sources of information. There are the God-awful blogs with articles about the internet, all the pseudo-scientific opinionated gibberish that is sometimes dangerously convincing. The keyboard warriors who are afforded an opinion – which should be a good thing, everyone is entitled to an opinion after all. But these people abuse their right to a voice and use it to spread fear, or hate, or to criticise others for no reason.

However, as we know, there are great things on the internet. Ordinary people doing funny, creative things. Huge inside jokes that reference something that has happened in this mind-boggling virtual space.
Memes, for example.
Those little photos with captions on them written in ‘Impact’ font. Anything can become a meme. You could become a meme. In fact, you could already be a meme. Of course, most of them are terrible, misspelled, nonsense made by some loon and, like with everything else on the ‘net, you have to sift through the seemingly endless crap to find a good one. But, man, when you do find a good one, it is wonderful.

There are far, far, far too many ones out there to include in one post, but I’ve compiled a short list of my favourites – the ones I can remember, anyway, and I’ve excluded the obvious ones like Grumpy Cat, who actually has his own website.

Take, for example, Nicholas Cage’s face on things, which has acquired its own facebook page.
This one might be my favourite firstly because of the utter abstractness of it, I mean, take a look at this. But also because I can’t stand Nicholas Cage – I mean, has he ever done a good movie?

Then there is the Ridiculously Photogenic Guy and his Spinoffs. I love this because it’s an example of that magical meme thing that happens when a seemingly ordinary, innocent photo has meaning added to it and then gets totally out of hand. I love this one also because the whole ‘Ridiculously Photogenic’ series is just great.

The Scarlett Johansson Falling Down memes also got out of hand, but, man, were they great.

Lastly, there are the ‘Pssst’ memes. Now, unfortunately, as is so often the case with stuff on the ‘net, you have to wade through the rubbish ones to get the gold nugget meme that is actually funny. A quick google search demonstrates this. But then you find it. And that makes it all better.

Can you think of a funnier meme? Post it in the comments box below, so we can all have a good laugh and feel better about ourselves.

Blog

Bella Lucia


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I actually have a complaint I need to get off my chest. No one likes a complainer, least of all me, so I’ll keep it brief. You may have noticed my domain name (the title of this site). Well,  someone stole my name – Bella Lucia – so my dreams of owning the glorious bellalucia.wordpress.com were cruelly shattered when I discovered someone is already using this name. It gets worse.
This person stole my name and then preceded to do absolutely nothing with it. I would invite you to check out the offending blog but then I would be directing undeserved traffic to this God-awful site. It’s just one page, written in the middle is ‘Lucia’s journey from fat to fit’. And that’s it.
Blasphemy! Stealing my name to create a site and then not using it. If you’re not going to use it then at least give it back so that someone else can make use of the name. Especially someone who is actually called Bella Lucia. There isn’t even a comment box in which to leave feedback.
It was with this irk that I created theonebellalucia.wordpress.com, and so now you know the story. Maybe one day I’ll be able to have my name back.

Blog

Hello


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Well hello there! I welcome you to my new blog, which is the new internet-based home for my writing. “Why have a new blog?” I hear you ask, “What was wrong with the old one?” 
That’s a good question, and the answer is that time passes and things change. Even though I still enjoy reading the old blog and reading old pieces of my work, there comes a time when we need to move on and create something new. Old writing offers an interesting archive into my former self; a time capsule of my life and thoughts at that time. But I have changed since the creation of my first blog – four years ago now – and my writing has changed. It’s nice to start things anew every now and then, to celebrate the changes that have taken place and the wisdom I’ve gained. A fresh, up to date blog with an exciting new look is a nice way to do this and represents a space for new ideas and new adventures! 
If you miss the old blog, you can still reach it here. It will continue to quietly hang in internet space for us all to visit from time to time. 
So there we have it! Fresh blog, fresh post and fresh mind for good ideas.