Ariel

header3

Whilst on holiday, we had breakfast in the ‘family pub/restaurant’ next to our budget hotel. The deal was very simple: £X for each person, pick a table, then effectively all you can eat until mealtime was over. This concept is brilliant for large families, and clearly relies on at least some people paying for breakfast via their hotel stay and not taking it. However, this restaurant also allowed anyone not at the Hotel to eat as they wished, and that meant on Monday that there was total and utter chaos for the entire time we were there. An awful lot of people ‘played’ this system, as I watched from our spot next to the food.

I spied one young girl, from the large family who’d walked in and taken over two tables, manage to get four separate serving staff to provide her with the same combination of packet breakfasts and juice boxes, which were all then squirrelled away with efficiency. To the two who were generous and provided double I am impressed, because under those circumstances there is no obligation to offer anything extra at all. From the napkins full of patisserie to the mum telling everyone that they won’t eat again until dinner, everybody had a reason for making the most of what was on offer.

It gave considerable pause for thought.

theresnocake.gif

Nobody should go without a decent meal, ever. Feeding everyone is a contentious topic in this Western country of ours, and it shouldn’t be, but the fact remains that both adults and kids current go hungry in the UK thanks to the belief that money matters more than humanity. It’s why I’ve felt chastened since Monday, that I can’t change the world, and that I shudder at what other people left uneaten on plates, that portion control is something only a few seem to grasp or adhere to. It has made me determined to think harder about the actual problems the World faces going forward and not bury my head in the sand. Food is a basic right, and yet many people simply don’t consider it as anything other than a consumable.

How this plays out for me is simple: less waste, more thought on choices, less impulse buying. The local supermarket runs a Food bank scheme which I’m going to make sure I contribute to every month. No, I’m hardly going to change the world with my actions but if everybody stopped and thought about the food on their plate, things might. It is tough to change yourself, but this is as important as helping other people or considering positive action to help improve the World around you. It is no different than picking up rubbish or looking out for neighbours.

We should stop assuming that everything is somebody else’s problem and not ours.

header19

There is a lot to think about going forward, and a belief that if I am truly going to reinvent myself, learning to write better is only part of that equation. It is as much about becoming a more useful member of society than any measure of personal attainment.

The future should not be me, but us.

New Life

I tell my kids, quite a lot, that until they’re both 18 I get the rap if they screw up. The truth of course is that that’s not 100% accurate, but close enough if I can’t get them out of bed to attend full-time education, or they wanna bring the sass when I need them co-operating. Choice is a Harsh Mistress [TM] and yeah, absolutely a woman. Male choice is black or white, DUH, and we get all the shades of grey, and there are considerably more than 50 of those fuckers. A lot of people I come into contact to seem to think that, as a result of the events of the last 6-8 months, that their choice is no longer their own to dictate. Newsflash, Kids: it never was yours to begin with. You can never have everything your way, however hard you try. You could have all the money in the world, the most desirable person on the planet on your arm, but there’s always a But. The Orange Man is learning this lesson, whilst at the same time trying to deflect interest away from the fact he’s been a twat for decades, and now EVERYBODY is suddenly all over his business.

If you want true control of your life, stop interacting with EVERYBODY else.

There is a PHENOMENAL amount of stupid about, ALL THE TIME. The current climate has not suddenly created all this, it existed long before the US Elections, years before Brexit. All these people telling you how fascism is suddenly everywhere and the press can’t call people Nazis even when they obviously are is as much of a deflection of reality as that bloke getting schooled in a Theatre or those Arctic Ice values. The reality is this moment, that second, and then the next one, and the moment you find yourself within. You cannot control anything, at all, except probably a 10 foot circle around you. That is where your only real notion of control exists, and as more people register this and unfriend everyone on Facebook, this makes a bad situation worse. Shutting down isn’t how this gets fixed. However, the truth remains that this is the only way you will remain on top.

Knowing this, it is time to be tough over just about everything.

Balance is never easy, but right now it is something that more people could do with considering. Yes, you can curate your timelines, nobody is telling you to listen to hatred. What you have to balance that with is the understanding that if you shut out everything negative, you won’t get an accurate picture of reality. Yes, you’re completely within your rights to pretend that half of your country does not exist, but by doing so you will eventually become the exact thing you have sworn to hate. Intolerance does not have an affiliation, or a colour. It is everywhere, if you allow it a foothold, and thinking you are somehow beyond all this? You’re really utterly not.

everything.png

From the Independent Online

The reality of this existence, right now, is that everyone is narrating your timeline. EVERYBODY suddenly has a relevant, significant voice, more so than at any point in the last decade. It does not matter these people may be unreliable, if enough of them get together you’re fucked or saved, often simultaneously. Yes, the Republicans are secretly celebrating you’re all up in arms over that thing in the Theatre because then nobody notices the Orange Man paid out 25 MILLION DOLLAR to sweep a problem under a rug which is gonna have quite a lump under it, even before the year is out. For every panicky, OMG THIS IS BAD message being broadcast there’s a billion other people not giving a fuck coz they’re tweeting in a language your phone keyboard won’t support without a reboot. It is not just your Planet, until it’s beyond fucked, and then everybody will look for someone else to blame except themselves. Yup, this is gonna be hard times ahead. You can cope. You just need to remember that you can make a difference.

Yeah, little old you.

Before you RT stuff, check validity for yourself. Make an effort to read something other than the same newspaper every day. Expand your mind by occasionally letting people you disagree with argue around you. Work out what you think is right and wrong and then amend that every day you wake up. Don’t stay stuck in the same mindset, even if that’s the only way you’re surviving, because in the end you will simply become a version of the thing you already detest. YES THERE ARE BAD THINGS HERE. Nobody is trying to claim otherwise. What you need to take from all of this is that the truth is never just what you think it is. There’s always a basement door, a jail cell or an escape route with guns blazing. Some days, hiding is an an answer, but it’s not going to help in the long term. Trust someone who did that for years, and now grasps that however much you’d like someone else to help, the only person who solves your problems is you.

Do what you need to survive, and if you can help yourself in the process? So much the better.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Welcome to February 29th, a day that only exists once every four years.

There is something magical about an experience that only comes around once in a while, it occurs to me. I woke up full of determination to make this as productive a time as possible, so I can say the extra 24 hours I was gifted is as properly utilised as I can manage. Mostly, people will be doing another Monday, but I love the idea of this having an extra relevance. The start of this week is somehow less traumatic, more exciting as a result, and it occurs to me that perception really does matter in the general scheme of things. HOW you see is almost as important as what is there to observe.

Having come to some quite revelatory conclusions about my own mind in the last week, I’m also starting today in a deliberately relocated head-space. Now I realise that there are those literally desperate to deflect me from my path, it is time to make sure I’m focussing in the right places. Despite numerous assertions to the contrary, some are literally so desperate to attract attention they will indeed do anything for that vital moment in your gaze. Once you understand that you’re not actually the problem? Everything else becomes a heck of a lot easier to rationalise. That means today I write, I Gym and then I write some more, but all of this in the knowledge that I’m making genuine and sustained progress, and most definitely not going backwards.

Make you extra day count, people, because you have no idea where you’ll be in another four years, and as a result you should have something to show for that which actually matters.