'orrible yet optimistic .

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I don't mind if you despise this blog,yes it's great if you enjoy it, but rather selfishly, it's for me.It's oddly comforting knowing that my little opinion is floating around in cybersapce and will always be here.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Silent night, Holy Skype.

This Christmas was the first ever Christmas that my sister and I slept past 8am . We woke at a gasp inducing 10:30am which would have been unheard of a few years ago. I remember so clearly at getting genuinely agitated and annoyed that my older brother had slept a moment past 9am and forcing him out of bed, accusing him of wasting a precious hour of Christmas. It just goes to show what getting older does to you I suppose, I would never have dreamed of sleeping past 9am if my Grandmother would've been with us this year but she is with her sister (my great aunt) .The hours have slowly creeped up and the Christmas spirit has hastily seeped out! For the first time ever there was no excitement, not one tiny butterflies flutter in my stomach, not one ounce of spark in my weary eyes. I dread to think of myself as this shallow but it may have purely been down to the fact that I knew every single gift with my name on it under the withering tree, but like I said I'd hate to think of myself as that shallow so I'll settle with my excuse being a combination of the absence of any family elders and generally growing up.

Once the gathering of gift giving was over time ticked by tediously, we received a few phone calls from family dotted about the country but even they sounded less cheery than usual. The only thing we did which was remotely like a ritual was the Christmas lunch, everything else seemed very half-hearted, unplanned almost. Well my Mum did say to me that morning " what shall we do then" it was the first time I realised that our input was actually valued , we normally just follow the routine, but with no guests there was no routine. I was so thankful when my sister set up Skype on her laptop. I sound sad but let me explain. My Mums brother moved to Australia about 30 years ago and he has only seen us twice since we've graced this planet. If the time difference isn't tricky enough,my mum and uncle are both deaf aswell which doesn't help a great deal when it comes to keeping in touch, a simple phone call could take upto twice as long going through Typetalk, especially on Christmas day.

For the first time in 8 years we were able to see my uncle and he was able to see us. The last time he saw us in the flesh was when we were 10 years old and now we're nearly 18 so I think you could say we changed in the most drastic way you ever do in your life(I'm surprised that he didn't mistake me for my brother, with my new short barnett!).Astonishingly he was able to distinguish between my sister and I , as if he'd seen us everyday for the past year. My mum and uncle we able to sign to each other and the webcam managed to pick it up well, normally there are all sorts of problems with the difference in bandwidth and the quality of the video, but no this was perfect. We all gathered around the laptop like you see on those infernal adverts, but it's just like that, I wanted to cry. Although we were thousands and thousands of miles away, we'd never felt so close. It's moments like this where I push my hang ups about technology to one side and truly embrace the wanders it can do, my main question was why didn't we do it before? but it was Christmas day and I certainly won't be forgetting that first Skype experience anytime soon.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Warning: some photo viewers may find the content of this post offensive.

''Don't forget to bring the camera'' is a far too familiar phrase I'm hearing in this camera crazy sub-culture of snap happy teens. It suddenly hit me like a giant snow ball to the face when I went for a jog in this foggy weather. I was happily jogging along when I noticed a perfect photo opportunity .One of those rare moments in the evening when the sky blends into a multitude of colour and the contrast of the beaming white blanket of snow catches all the colour. There was only one issue;  I hadn't robbed my sisters camera so couldn't get the snap. It was at that moment that I realised I have been completely and utterly sucked into this new camera craze,It wasn't that I wanted to email the picture to my family in Australia whose skyline couldn't look anymore different at the moment, the saddest thing is, I just wanted to whack it on Facebook. I've always enjoyed taking photos but with Facebook and other social networking sites we have the ability to showcase our photos more than ever (whether people really take an interest in them or not) and it appears that everyone has suddenly taken a huge interest in photography. With albums named 'seasons may change' bursting with scenic snaps it seems that everyone has access to the top cameras and everyone is learning to take some top quality pictures. But does this mean the death of the photographer? If more cameras and photography courses are available to everyone surely there will be no need for professional photographers?

With the birth and growth of digital cameras in the last decade it seems all that photos have become is a click on a computer screen. My dad got out all of his photos a few weeks ago there were only about 50 or so of his entire childhood, teenage years and the  majority of his adulthood. Each photo however told a story and required reams of background context in order to be explained fully, each photo meant a great deal to him, they were tangible, not in the greatest of conditions but they were rustic and resonated with me. We shouldn't be creating opportunities in order to take great photos we should take photos at great one off opportunities.People refer to photos as opposed to memories these days, it's so sad that every angle of every event is captured, leaving no mystery, nothing to the imagination at all. It's as if ,if your not in any photos, you were never there yet everyone who wasn't at the party gets a great feel for it as every minor moment is captured.People have become so concerned with how much fun it looked, rather than actually having a good night. Their enjoyment has made a transition from their night, to how people view it.The worst is when people pull faces to make it look like their having the best night of their lives(I probably do this all the time)when in reality they've probably been staring at the tv in some desperate hope of escape for a good twenty minutes prior to the flash.

It gets under my skin so much because deep down I know I'm one of those aggravating people who commits all of these things. I just wish we could revert , go back to a time without a flash at every party, go back to those spontaneous evenings when there is no evidence of every single situation of every 'funny' moment.Yes photos are great and I'm really glad I took so many when I was younger as they prove very entertaining to look back on from time to time but this constant bombardment of boozey bad photos will only leave people feeling bloated and bemused. Things need to change, I'm going to try and not have a camera at every opportunity and act like a spy.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

I've been SnOw lazy recently.

My school has just broken up for the Christmas holidays, but I honestly don't feel like I deserve them at all. This has been by far my laziest school term ever I don't know whether the weather has played a big part in it or I've just lost my drive.It's annoying because this is meant to be the most pivotal year of my life, the year that potentially effects and shapes the whole framework of my entire life.I've just grown lazy I guess.

I've not just been lazy with school work but in everything. I can't remember the last time I had a good work out, must've been months ago.So I got up this morning with my good old friend I haven't seen in a while; motivation.I did a good hour of Pilate's accompanied with some Bloc Party and Regina Spekktor and had a huge bowl of porridge.Things are getting back on track. (We'll see how long this lasts, I'll give myself until the end of the day)

The only good thing about this persistent snow is the opportunity to get some good snaps;

It looks as if we're going to be snowed in at the moment.Being meticulously prepared; my mothers just gone out to stock up on all the neccessities which should see us through the snow storm brewing outside. I don't know if I'm over joyed at the sight of the white stuff or a little bit annoyed. I'm too young to be playing scrooge!

It's not just the fact I hate the tentative treading on the ice, it's actually because it has the potential to prevent alot of fun and in an extreme case my sisters future career.We're meant to be dog sitting for my friend who is going away to Tenerief for 2 weeks over Xmas but their flight has been delayed due to the ice and generally bleak weather.My sister is due to be doing an audition for her favourite prestigious drama school on Monday but it looks as if it may be cancelled which is really annoying as she's been driving me crazy with her preparations for weeks , from helping her with her monologues to agonisingly hearing her sing the same song over and over and over again.It'd be gutting for all of us if she missed it.

Anyway I'm getting far too negative, I'm yet to write the family newsletter which is just a excuse to boast and brag to everyone about your families acheivements, or in my familys friends cases list all of the operations you've had in the year!. I still have the daunting prospect of wrapping my christmas presents and writing my annual Xmas messages.So that should keep me busy for all of 3 hours. Have fun in the snow, because I certainly won't be.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Another weekend, another gig.

It feels like I haven't written for ages. It annoys me, it's not that I want to write, it's that I have to, I do enjoy it though.

Having gone over my phone bill by £45 and returning home to a less-than-happy daddy I was shocked to discover I still had enough money to see Bonobo at the weekend. After seeing him (Simon Green) for the first time at The Big Chill festival earlier this year and immediately downloading his most recent album as soon as I got home, I haven't stopped listening to his stuff, especially his collaborations with Andreya Triana; they are really beautiful.

It was all a bit last minute, whilst my friends and I sat in a local pub/bar on Friday we decided that we all actually had enough money to go (as that was the issue when we first discovered the gig was on)The next morning I luckily managed to get three tickets and before we knew it we were in the surprisingly short que getting all giddy and agitated like toddlers outside a toyshop (or more like a 'gaming' shop these days). Anyway, despite it being a Sunday and being extremely tired it was one of the most influential gigs I have been to; I've never appreciated live music so much ,probably because I could actually see the artists (which is a rarity as I'm pretty short)and we managed to blag roomy standing positions at the front. I felt so happy through the entire set (even including the support act, which I normally despise) a personal highlight was terrapin; enjoy.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Any Human Heart ; captivated my whole heart, and head.

The last thing I want to turn into is a TV critic. Don't get me wrong I would love to do that as a career, you'd get to watch endless reams of TV and the pay cheque isn't too bad either; it's just not what I want to be constantly talking about, believe me once I start talking about TV , I won't stop.

Any Human Heart is a four part drama that has graced our screens for the past three weeks, there is only one episode left and I couldn't be more gutted. In a way I much prefer 4-part dramas or even 6 part series (in the case of Channel 4's Misfits) as I feel they leave a deeper imprint. It's like when you're living with someone everyday, you don't remember all the little events, who washed up, who walked the dog,  what was discussed over tea and even what you had for tea. To me soaps like Eastenders remind me of the monotony of everyday life , the familiar characters which always react in the same way. Whereas spontaneous holidays with the family remind me of the short excursions you take with short dramas, they are more intense, therefore make for more memorable occasions.

Anyway I'm straying as per usual, all I wanted to do was express how much this drama has effected me and warped my thinking. Any human would and should be effected in the same way. The series follows the life of Logan Mountstuart, a writer who suffered a head trauma which led him to loose his memory. It shows him revisiting his painful but certainly not plain past through stacks of diaries and memorabilia. His signature phrase is "Life is just all the good luck you have and all the bad luck you have, nothing else" and he certainly has his fair share of bad luck and a handful of women along the way (including his dead sons 16 year old girlfriend!)

What the series has really put into perspective is that life isn't about who lives and who dies it is about how we combat and adapt to change, be it the death of your wife and child or the success of your novel. In order to remain sane you must remain grounded (easier said than done) by constantly reminding yourself of the good luck you've had, it dilutes the bad luck which people often mull over for longer, extensive periods of time. It made me realise how fortunate I am, how fortunate we all are. Yes we spend most of our time with our hands glued to touch pads and keyboards and our ears glued to headphones but we are connected. I've ranted about how I hate the world domination that is Facebook but I haven't really stopped and taken a step back. This world is phenomenal, yes there may be a war or two now and then, and morals may appear to be old fashioned but we have such a vast access to information, to people and most importantly adverse opinions.

The more we read, the more we learn. I'm going to try and change my once bleak outlook and life and the future, I need to realise that you really do only live once. I used to think life was all about experiencing things just so you could boast and brag about it to your children, but when zoning out whilst my dad wittered away about his childhood I realised; its wasted. You should do things to get the most out of every situation, not to report back in 40 years time for it to fall onto deaf ears.

There are far too many regimented paths in this world in which I've been happily tottering down, unaware of the truth that you don't really have to follow any path because 'now' is an intangible event , everything we are and ever have been; is the past. Live for now and don't dwell on what could have been,look forward, to what will be.