Ah, yes, the great philosophical principles of life. Confucianism, Just War theory, Altruism, Human Rights, Feminism… and YOLO. People laugh when I rationalise my undertakings with a casual shrug and a simple, “YOLO”. They laugh because it’s amusing, and perhaps a bit unexpected, to use dubious internet terminology to guide important decisions in life like entering a half marathon, dying my hair radical new colours, and making plans for my future. Things weren’t always this way, though. What started out as someone’s semi-serious joke at my expense, challenging me to exit my mundane, cautious existence has become a doctrine so integrated into my life that I can’t imagine going back to whatever it was that I was doing before I ate YOLO for breakfast.(more…)
Oh hey there, welcome back. If you’ve just joined us, have a seat. We’re doing something different in this episode of Bella’s Odyssey. We’re departing the present moment to amble down the narrow path through the forest of time, between moss-covered trees and overgrown shrubs way back to my roots, not quite where it all began but somewhere along the way. We’re parting the fern fronds of my character to peer with the curiosity and wonder of a more politically correct 19th century explorer at what has influenced me not just as a writer but also as a human.(more…)
Have you ever wondered why the British drink tea so much? Perhaps you think that we’re obsessed with this strange beverage with its oriental origins and milky additives. Well, we are. You see, tea is more than a drink to us. It’s a way of life. Let me explain.(more…)
Instagram. What an absolutely fascinating place. Despite not being a user of platform until recently, I’ve been secretly admiring the filters on Instagram for some time. I saw people’s Insta posts dotted around in other locations on the internet and hatched a theory that the filters can make any old crap look good. Like, really, any old random, unimportant, aesthetically jarring rubbish. You don’t even need the slightest inkling of photography skills, just a phone and the urge to take photos of, well, whatever you darn well please. Whoever made those filters is a Goddamn genius. GENIUS, I tell you.(more…)
I’ve recently discovered ‘flexing’. What is that, you ask? I’m not convinced that anyone really knows for sure but I think it’s very amusing. Flexing, or maybe I should call it ‘flexin’, isn’t the thing that happens when you tense your muscles – well, it is the thing that happens when you tense your muscles, but that’s not the kind of flexin’ that I’m talking about. What I’m talking about translates to ‘showing off’; flaunting your material wealth and using this as a barometer to demonstrate to others how worthy you are as a person. It’s not a new concept and the term ‘flexin’ has been around for ages, but I should state that the cutting edge of culture (especially American culture) doesn’t reach me at the rock under which I live until way after the event, so if you already know what I’m talking about you’re probably thinking “Pfff, gurl where you been?”(more…)
When I was little, I was excited about the prospect of adult life. I envisaged a whole world of adventure and possibility, no bed time and no one around to tell you what to do. Adults seem like they have their shit together. Things make sense to them and they know about stuff and, as a kid, I wanted some of that for myself. Being a kid is tough. No one takes you seriously, you have to do what people tell you and and you’re really small so there are many things you need help with, like opening impossible crisp packets and the vexing task of tying your shoelaces. Plus you have to go to school, which, for me, anyway, was a confusing, terrible place that felt like a twelve-year prison sentence. So I longed for the day I could burn my school uniform and do what I wanted in the world of grown-ups.(more…)
You know what I’m completely sick of? Seeing those ‘inspirational’ quote posters, but when you read the quote it quickly becomes apparent how utterly meaningless and hollow it is, like the soul of a career politician. They’re complete rubbish; an eel in the desert makes more sense.
People go mad for them at the moment. They’re littering social media like rubbish on a hot day at the beach. But here’s the thing: I’m convinced that people are pretending to understand them in order to make themselves seem cool and inspirational. Those people share them on their social media, thinking “Ah, yes, everyone will see how cool and deep I am when they see this intellectual, philosophical shit” not realising (or caring?) that the words are empty and the quote makes no sense.
Alarmingly, though, the act of people sharing the quote legitimises the poster’s meaning as something does makes sense: if loads of people claim to understand it, then it becomes something that can be understood. Even if the quote is still meaningless, and those people are probably lying.
It reminds me of when people use long words because they want to show how clever they are but in reality they don’t fully understand the words and so end up using them in the wrong context and essentially looking like a complete knob.
Even more annoying is when the quotes are from people that no one’s heard of (again, I’m sure they’re made-up people) but the fact that they’re being quoted makes it seem like their nonsensical opinion matters and you should care. You shouldn’t care. Don’t even think about caring.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for a cool font and a bit of bokeh nature photography but, I mean, shit, will people write literally anything just to get a few likes on Instagram?
To be fair to inspirational posters, there are many out there that contain quotes that are indeed uplifting but, unfortunately, as is the case with so many good things in life, the idiots have capitalised on the idea and filled the pot with rubbish.
I realise that I’m probably swimming upstream here and should perhaps just get over myself. The internet has become a place where anyone’s ridiculous, ill-informed opinion is accepted (including mine!) and that’s just how it is in the 21st century. So, I made my own inspirational poster:
Pancake day is the most underrated public holiday. It’s so underrated, in fact, that it’s not even a public holiday! Quite frankly it’s outrageous. I mean, how is everyone supposed to properly appreciate the mighty pancake while at work all day? I need a day off to do that. And don’t give me that lemon and sugar crap. If the only pancake you’ll have is Goddamn lemon and sugar then you don’t deserve a day off on pancake day. People who only eat lemon and sugar pancakes are the same people who drive at 35 miles an hour everywhere and wear factor 57 suncream and buy Flora because they’re worried about cholesterol. Good grief, take a risk for once in your life. Try a different fucking pancake.
As you can see, the pancake issue is one close to my heart. I love those doughy delights. I have pancakes for dinner all the time; they were the first thing I ever learned to cook back when I was a wee lass. I like the thin crepes and I like the thick, fluffy American-style ones. I like the savoury ones and the sweet ones. I’m not pancake-ist.
The issue is how underrated they are, and how every year, on pancake day, people say “Pancakes are great, I don’t know why I don’t have them more often.”
I don’t know, why don’t you have them more often?
So my message is this: have a pancake on pancake day. Have a pancake on any day! In fact, have two pancakes. Have a spinach and ricotta pancake, or a creamy mushroom pancake, or a Mexican-style one. For dessert, have one with morello cherries, or nutella and banana. Feel joyous. Life is good. There are pancakes to be had.