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Daily Prompt: Seven Wonders by Henrietta Maddox
October 28, 2013, 8:36 pm
Filed under: Help Yourself, Love, Mental Well Being, Sex, Writing | Tags:

“Khalil Gibran once said that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be?”









A belated acceptance of the Versatile Blogger Award
December 14, 2011, 12:11 am
Filed under: Help Yourself, journalism, Mental Well Being, Physical Health, Trivia, Writing

When I received this award in August (would you believe) from the wonderful Chuck Allen, I had no idea what to write. The requirements of accepting the award are to reveal little known facts about yourself and then pass it on to another wonderful blogger.

To check out Chuck Allen’s random little facts click here. To find out facts about me, read on:

1. I would love to be an agony aunt

I’ve always thought I’d make a great agony aunt. After finishing my course in magazine journalism and completing some work experience at Brighton’s eco-mag Rocks, I was lucky enough to get an internship at Scarlet magazine. I hoped the experience with this leading mag in sex & relationships would get me on the route to success. However, it ended up sending me in a very different direction: creative writing.

2. Hot and steamy beginnings

My first short stories were in the genre of erotica. I didn’t attempt to write anything else until 2009. Most of my stories were for Scarlet but I also managed to get one of my stories published in a book called Ultimate Decadence – all proceeds still go to the Macmillan Fund for Breast Cancer. It was part of a sub-charity called Burlesque Against Breast Cancer.

3. Soap maker

Like @chuckallen I enjoy taking up new hobbies and on a constant mission to better myself. I believe this is a typical writer/artist thing to do because we love to experience new things and find new material. At the moment I am learning to make soap using some skills I have picked up over the years from mixing essential oils. So much fun! Next step is sculpting it.

4. Self-help lover

Whether I read the whole thing, the contests page or just the cover, I LOVE self help books. Love bettering myself and finding out new things to help others. My favourite one in the past few years have been A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, expressing the need to live in the moment. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was the first one I read (I think) but I only read half of it because it tends to say the same thing in every chapter: let women talk their stress out, let men have their space. Not much more to it.

5. Secret Cinema obsession

I suddenly get very obsessive when I go to the cinema. I like to get there early so I don’t miss any trailers. Also, I like to sit in the centre of the fifth row because of some advert I saw over 15 years ago when the actor says, “The girl in the middle of the fifth row….” – I can’t even remember why or what he says ūüėČ


I would like to give this award to @Helenscribbles. This will make her a versatile blog award winner THREE times!! Well done Helen. Helen’s website is filled with fascinating and unique stories. All with wonderful twists, interesting scenes and intriguing dialogue. I especially recommend her Flash Fiction and Tuesday Serials.

Right, I’m very tired – so off to bed. Hope this all makes sense. Thanks again Chuck Allen for my award. ūüôā

A blessed mortality check

No matter what the form, most adults have them. That moment of dread when you realise, “Oh! No – sorry – my bad, it could happen to me. I am not immortal.”

Recently, a television show has come out called The Big C. All about a woman who gets cancer which is already at stage 4. Living with a family of all men (husband, brother, son), she decides to keep it to herself and try to really live life before her time runs out. She experiments with new things that her old, dutiful, mature self would not and begins to have a lust for all things debaucherous. My basic point is she reassesses and I am sure many women who get cancer do.

Last week I was told I have CIN 3, also known as severe dyskaryosis. It’s when you have all abnormal cells in your cervix. And today I am going for a Colposcopy. When I found out I was, of course, immediately petrified. But yesterday morning, walking along the beach, I realised it is such a wonderful thing that has happened:

First of all, it’s not cancer. It’s pre-cancerous cells. And I’ve found it early because I take care of myself.

Second of all, it’s a fantastic mortality check for me. A glimpse at what some women and men go through on a mammoth scale with diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis and parkinson’s disease (to name a few).It’s like the ego becomes confused and needs to readjust with its relationship with time. And so the real you can come out for a little while as the stronger self.

I am remembering what is important: right now. The things that usually spur me into the slightest distress, anxiety or depression, have not this week because I know they don’t matter. It’s got me writing again and more interested in new things like twitter and going out to meet new friends. Like a bad break-up it’s left me feeling deflated, but equally grounded.

Indulge yourself
April 7, 2011, 8:59 am
Filed under: Love, Mental Well Being

Recently, I was surfing on Amazon and looking at reviews of Eat, Pray, Love. All of the negative comments and views made a recurring judgement: Elizabeth Gilbert was too self-indulgent in her writing. Perplexed, I spent the next few days thinking about this. Personally, I’d really enjoyed reading about her journey. And, also, know I’m guilty of talking about myself a lot. My main questions were: what’s so bad about being self-indulgent?

It’s something we all know a lot about. For really, who is more important than I? Without taking care of I, how can we help others. In the context of Elizabeth Gilbert’s life, she was at a point where she needed to focus on herself. And her writing has inspired many people I know, including myself, to be pro-active in progressing as a person rather than just naval-gazing.

Of course, we all know, there are times when talking about yourself is highly inappropriate. If someone tells you they’re dying and you disregard the moment to tell them about how you saw Kevin Bacon on Oxford Street, you should know you’re an a%$#hole. But don’t you think that it’s more often the case that the subtext from that person is, “I want to relate to you” and “I know what you’re going through, I’ve been through it too.”

I would love to know anyone’s views on this. Love to find some clarity on the matter.¬† Should we really be ashamed of indulging in ourselves?

A good look in the mirror

Who says that taking a good look in the mirror means you have to scrutinize and criticize?

A study in Germany of over 7,000 adolescents found that ‘feeling fat’ had a greater effect on quality of life than actual weight. So basically it’s all about a confident state of mind. Isn’t that what that book ‘The Secret’ is about?

Having high self esteem seems to be the most important thing for overall well being. Another recent study found that positive thinkers live longer. You may think that sounds like rubbish but it does make sense: a light, positive energy is bound to make you happier. And we all know, when you are happy anything seems possible.

But trying to alter the view of yourself is really not that easy. Perhaps you need to constantly remind yourself. Like putting post-it’s in your room saying things like, “I am beautiful” or “I am thin”. Or maybe you¬†could get hypnotised.

A goal to be scored
September 7, 2008, 10:09 am
Filed under: Mental Well Being, Uncategorized, Writing

When things get stagnant in your life, there is only one positive thing you can do: reshuffle the cards. So I’ve come up with a plan. Something reachable that I’ll enjoy¬†and be good at. I’ve decided to teach English overseas.

So step one is getting a job in the meantime. Perhaps telesales or secretarial. Maybe a waitressing job on top of that. Watch this space.

How goes it?

Nihilism, existentialism or somewhere in between? Who knows? And even if someone stepped forward to answer my rhetorical question, how would they prove themselves?

I watched I Heart Huckabees today. It is a great film but it needs attention. I tried to watch it with¬†some bum¬†of an ex-boyfriend once, he couldn’t stand it. It was irrelevant to him.

But for me, tonight,¬†the movie¬†stuck a chord. It reminded me of the book, Celestine Prophecy and the idea that we’re all connected and all part of each others existence. And that there are no such thing as coincidences – they’re signs for us. Does that sound extreme?

Another side of me was drawn to the other argument: that none of us are connected. Just like in Donnie Darko when Grandma Death whispers to Donnie that we all die alone.

We need both nihilism and existentialism, like we need creativity and destruction. You need to believe in both to maintain¬†balance. As Jason Swartzman’s character says, “You both need each other. Your too light and your not light enough.”

Regardless of what you think or what you follow, it all seems to lead to the same message: nothing matters – so let go and enjoy.

It’s an easy philosophy to understand. But how easy is it to apply to your life?

To soy or not to soy
August 23, 2008, 9:17 am
Filed under: Mental Well Being, Physical Health | Tags: , , , ,

You know, if there’s one thing I hate about life, it’s making uneasy choices. I can imagine there are some of you out there that enjoy taking the risks and, admittedly, sometimes I like to be spontaneous too. But when it comes to my health and the future of my body, I become quite anxious.

As some of you may know, over the last few months I have given up dairy. This means anything made from cow’s milk but I can still do the goat’s cheese and the buffalo mozzarella (thank god).

So I have been sitting happily with my soy milk coffee’s and now I’ve found out that soy milk might be detrimental to your health. If you did a bit of research, you would find sites called things like Soy and accelerated brain aging and¬†Concerns regarding Soybeans.

If you look at some of these sites, you will find a lot of reasons to eat the food in moderation. You need to wary of your intake. They have many harmful substances that can cause problems with the stomach and according to animal testing, serious problems with the pancreas.

There are alternatives like rice milk and oat milk. I have not tried rice milk but oat milk is more like milk than soy. It doesn’t have such a tangy flavour – I highly recommend it for cereal. But as non-dairy users among you will know, it is hard enough to get soy milk at coffee houses and restaurants. What will we do now? Have an orange juice, I guess.

Of course, next thing you’ll know one of these will be in the paper. At some point¬†rice and oat milk will be your enemy and newspapers will¬†warn you against them. I bet you.

Tomorrow, I venture to Italy, land of dairy – pizza, cheesy pastas, fresh fruity ice creams, cannelloni. My housemate has suggested they may kick me out when I say, Non posso mangiare latticini…..he he.

Got soy?

Got soy?

Staying in the lines
August 10, 2008, 8:33 pm
Filed under: Friendships, Mental Well Being, Uncategorized

Do you ever wish that you could stand up for yourself in a better manner? Or have the capability to handle dodgy social situations and problems, as they arise, with grace? I do – I am terrible at it.

I¬†react in¬†one of two extreme¬†ways when people are out of order. I am either reserved and pretend there is nothing happening OR I flip out. If I lose all composure, I risk losing¬†friendships and at the very least, look like a complete moron. If I ignore the person’s bad behaviour towards me, I will resent them. Often, I wonder how I have any self respect left.

It is not, necessarily,¬†a question of¬†whether¬†I am right or wrong to be upset. But¬†as I lose my rag, or don’t¬†address the situation, I become the pathetic one that is out of order. Perhaps even crazy.

Why can’t we all just be¬†like our¬†heroes or heroines: closer to¬†perfect?

Long live the liver
August 8, 2008, 8:53 am
Filed under: Friendships, Mental Well Being, Physical Health

Yesterday I watched a programme about liver damage and La Vie En Rose. I wasn’t consciously trying to theme my day around binge drinking. But obviously I needed to tell myself something, and give myself a little scare.

I am definitely what you would call a drinker. In a night, I can happily swig back a bottle and a half of white wine or more. On a heavy night, add dark rum and¬†coke plus¬†sambuca shots to the tab. In my early to mid twenties, I was a red wine drinker and even worse –¬†most¬†mornings I had no memory of the night before. Just a hangover mixed with strong pangs of guilt and paranoia.¬†I have to avoid red wine because I drink it like Ribena.

But now, my health is more important. Staying on top of it seems like a smart way forward. Women are supposed to drink 2 – 3 units a day. A 250 ml glass of wine just slightly exceeds that amount. Thus, things are going to have to change.

The biggest challenge is not cutting the alcohol down, it is dealing with your drinker friends. Mine are very important to me, and I worry how they will react when I stop at one or two. But the benefits of drinking less are fabulous: you lose a ton of weight, you have high energy and you are not killing off your liver.

By the way, your liver is very good at regenerating itself but unfortunately, this means that diagnosing liver cancer or cirrhosis usually happens too late. Looking at Edith Piaf in that movie says it all. She¬†looks decrepit and tortured and she’s only in her forties.

I understand that life is short but does it always have to be about getting wasted? Surely there are other ways to enjoy yourself and relieve stress?