Thursday, 15 September 2011

Two heads and Bert

I’ve changed.
This does not mean I have unexpectedly grown another head on these weary shoulders.
Or I have decided to talk in a deep and gruff voice and call myself Bert.
The changes are smaller, not so noticeable and less significant, than those mentioned above.
The changes, dearest readers, have taken place since the beginning of this blog.
And I would like to take full responsibility of reading and reflecting, and reporting back about this period of time, thereafter named the beginning of this blog.
I have looked back and read in awe, and wondered how on God's earth I summoned the energy and enthusiasm to socialise practically every night.
On regular occasions, to participate in this socialising, I used to board three trains or drive long distances to visit friends, relations and pubs. Spending my hard earned cash on travel cards, petrol and bottles of wine. Often lacking in sleep and energy for my working day ahead.
(Although I must confess, it was also tremendous fun.)
Now, at a time called the present day of this blog, I must admit, I can’t think of anything worse than nearly going out every night.
Okay, sight exaggeration, there are worse things than this, such as, growing another head and talking in a deep and gruff voice and calling myself Bert.
These days, dear Flying Pink Elephants readers, I like to spend my money and time in the local supermarket, buying fresh ingredients and special offers for meals in our red and white polka dot home.
I find myself frequently surfing the web and spending my hard earned cash on items for our red and white home. Heart shaped cake stands and retro cup cake tins (yep, I'm a keen baker now, things have really changed), pretty objects to display, useful gadgets to use. As opposed to my bank balance paying for and causing the dreaded curse of hangovers and tiredness.
Rather than rushing out the door of my office environment, a regular action from my past life, I am usually the person quoting, "Have a nice evening," whilst still frantically typing away at my desk and achieving deadlines and accomplishing projects I once deemed virtually impossible.
My work, my lovely boyfriend, and our little home, are top priorities in my life. But not necessarily in that order.
My pace of life is slower, my to do list is longer, and I would like to point out my life is far more rewarding as a result.
I've realised friends will still talk to me, the world will not stop revolving, if I do not constantly go out and my find my hand attached to a wine glass.
Baking, nesting, relaxing, trying new recipes and entertaining. Oh I love to entertain in our home. I love to dress the oak table and feed friends. I love to stay in! Wow, did you think you'd ever hear me say this, and with such glee?
"Or you could come over, we can watch the X Factor and I can cook," I have found myself repeating recently. The going out verses staying in scenario, three prizes for guessing my preferred option.
Last Saturday my friend agreed to my offer, and I rushed to the local supermarket to purchase sunflowers and food. We had a nice evening, chilling and chatting, surrounded by scented candles and retro tins. Then lovely boyfriend texted me, "We're at the football club, fancy joining us for a drink?"
Lovely friend and I decided after one minute that we would accept lovely boyfriend's request. We swapped make up and complimented each other on our outfits (I immediately changed from lounging gear to going out mode) and we jumped in a cab to join boyfriend and his pals.
We arrived at the football club to discover they had been left in charge, the bar staff had called it a night, and trusted them with the keys to lock the establishment, and not drink all the profits. So we helped ourselves to apple shots and beer, turned the music to a very loud volume, and danced in an animated fashion.
I then found a piece of left over pizza and thought it would be a good idea to pretend the snooker cue was an ice hockey stick, and proceeded to challenge boyfriend to play ice hockey with a pizza slice.
We became rather competitive, smashing snooker cues with cheese and tomato pizza. We cheered loudly and sang rather out of tune to the sounds of the loud radio.
Well, what did you expect readers? Apparently they say, old habits die hard. Maybe I haven't really changed as much as I thought I had?
(I still like to have tremendous fun.)
As the booming X Factor voice often says (love that show, so pleased it's back on our screens), you decide.
Perhaps I've changed in some areas of my life, and not so much in others?
But at least I can safely say, with my hand on my heart, I have not grown two heads and will only answer to the name Bert.
That would be just plain weird.

Coming soon...inside our red and white polka dot home.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Riots

The London sky was heavy with black smoke. The helicopter circulating above our little flat had interrupted my restless sleep. My sleepy, cautious head, poked itself out of our slash style window, to witness the dark, destructive, world outside.
It's been a month since the London riots, and still the frightening memories are etched in my mind.
The night which shocked London, Britain, and the rest of the world.
I watched the events unfold through the media, the newspapers and television, and from the (I feared, not so safe) environment of our east London home.
With sickening horror I watched youths, the children of our future, many covered in masks and hoodies, but also many loud and proud of the crimes they were committing. Laughing, looting, setting fire to homes and property. How did it all go so wrong?
Revenge, some people said, revenge and resentment for the authorities. And in their young not so innocent minds, the privileged residents of Britain, who had no idea what it was like to live on a council estate, with nothing to look forward to but debt, unemployment, and gang violence.
Through tears in my eyes I followed the story of the young boy from Malaysia. Far away from his family for the grand total of one week, assaulted and then mugged by the very same lad he thought was helping him. How could that lad stoop so low? I was ashamed of my country, deeply disturbed by teenagers who walked our streets.
Arrests were made, court appearances and jail custody reached a record high. Mothers were turning in their sons, a father who lost his own son pleaded on national television for this mindless nightmare to stop.
A Facebook page was set up to help the young Malaysian boy. Decent strangers donated money and posted kind words to aid his recovery, to restore his faith in human nature. Communities took to the street, cleaning and clearing their neighbourhood, bonding and reminding London, Britain, and the rest of the world, that we will not let the minorities win.
Where there is bad, there is also good.
Where there is hopelessness, we must remember there is always hope.
Where there are lives ruined, there are also harsh lessons to be learnt.
I pray I will never see such ghastly events occur again.
Broken Britain is slowly piecing itself back together.