Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Positive and Negative

I’ve been meaning to write this one for a while and as they say, it makes sense to strike whilst the iron is hot. Or in this case, whilst most of Malta still remembers the recent billboard competition leading up to the elections for the new Members of the European Parliament.

According to statistics, one of the major parties ‘won’ this election. How the votes of MEPs can be said to truly reflect a general election’s outcome beats me but anyways, this is not actually about any of the parties, major or minor, that were vying for votes. Rather, this is about the campaign billboards and what they brought to mind.

Regardless of the fact that I am totally immune to politics and actually connote the very topic to evil and greed (my blog post We are all the same when in power explains why), I too have to acknowledge that one major party DID get more votes than the other and that the difference in percentage votes was quite big.

To be honest, I could have predicted who would get the most votes accurately, even without having bothered checking out any of the promises made, the ideas being presented or anything else related to convincing the public to vote for one party or the other. The billboards did all the work this time round.

Why? Very simply put, it was a matter of perspective. In simple terms, one party focused on the positive and the other on the negative; one party made a show of the ‘good’ traits of the particular team whilst the other seemed to base the whole campaign on dissing the opponent and showing the negative side of the ‘enemy’ rather than presenting any luring campaign of their own.

I cannot mention enough just how little I believe in Politics. If anything, the very idea of Politics, Parties be they left or right, or any other strategic type of governing body goes against my beliefs. However as a practitioner of the Law of Attraction, I do believe and have also experienced the power of emotions. The Law of Attraction works through vibrational energy and a person’s vibrational frequency is influenced by all types of emotions, with LOVE and FEAR being the two extremes that are most powerful in causing manifestations both positive (LOVE) and negative (FEAR).

Given a choice between these two and with all other things being equal, no one would willingly choose to live in FEAR rather than bathe in the feeling of LOVE. This is the very reason that one of the two campaigns was always a strong one with the other being a definite fail.

It seems like Malta’s political parties experienced the Law of Attraction in practice as a direct result of their stance this time round. This in addition to the fact that a very clear message has been sent out by the public that cannot be ignored: Intimidation is no match for Confidence in Self. Where one believes in themselves, they will achieve much more than by concentrating on the negative side.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Snoozing My Blog Post By A Week

It's Saturday night already and I still don't have a blog post this week. But that is ok. I know it sounds strange that I should say this when I am so diligent about my writing. However, the reason I don't have a post ready this week is a topic in itself.

I have been all over the place these past two weeks trying to catch up with the works, deliveries and cleaning at my new home, seeing a bit more of my son and catching up with his needs as well as working on becoming a better mum. I have also been giving myself some breathing space and rest because let's face it, just because I am not currently doing paid work does not mean I am not putting in a lot of work (if anything I am getting more physically exhausted and crashing into bed to immediate zzz especially after trips outside in this heatwave!)

So all in all, I cut myself some slack. Which brings to mind a meme I saw lately on Facebook before I started my break from this social media monster (but more about my FB break in the future when I'll have kept away enough from it to compile enough findings for a full post). Although I don't remember the exact wording, the quote said something along the lines that today's society is functioning at a pace that is good for robots not real human beings and of course we are tired out by it as a result!

Well, in line with my blog post On Holiday Every Day, I follow the rule that I should pace my day and make it worthwhile, job-wise and rest-wise, as well as living it rather than being alive in it. And if that means having to skip out on a post or two, then so be it. Only when my mind is not already tired and aching from the mixture of heat and tension that it's been through today, can I give input worth reading and that will make a difference. So I will lead by example and skip this week's entry in favour of some decent snooze and self-love meditation to truly recharge. Till next week.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Jealousy and the Wise Woman

Apparently women are good at finding things out. Not only have I heard this numerous times, but I also know it for a fact about myself as I can be the best sleuth in the country if I want to know what's going on about something.

Unfortunately there is another quite famous phrase about women and I rather think most of the time it goes hand in hand with our sleuthing capacities. Yep ladies and gents, we all know that 'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.'

So what happens when a woman gets shunned? Oh my God, should I even start on that?!

Women can add one plus one and make up two. Or even get to four in some unrealistic but logical way. You might lie through your teeth but a wise woman will always know whether you've changed your mind about her, were previously tricking her and now lost interest, or even if you genuinely need some time to regroup before trying to catch up with her energy, zest and confidence.

What a wise woman will also do, however, is not give in to jealousy or use petty tricks to win you back. So all the above-said should be ignored as long as we are talking about an intelligent, worthy woman.

Why? Because a woman who knows her true value will never beg to get a man back, never take out the pain on the poor new love interest of that man, never even bother wasting energy on hating the situation.

A wise woman will move on, choosing to embrace the growth that comes of every life situation, rather than letting the situation bog her down, even as she carries in her heart a story full of pain and 'knows' deep down whether she and her loved one will ever meet again.


Saturday, 25 May 2019

Jeans, boots, tattoos... Oh my!

Thursday was my last day working for a particular company and I have now closed that chapter in my life. It was an office job and NOT a client-facing one yet the dress-code composed of two pages of what to wear and what not to wear, including mention of shoe choices, piercings and tattoos.

Ever since my school days I have been airing my views about how institutional dress codes impose on people a uniformity that goes against a person’s personality and individuality. I must have been only some thirteen years old when I first started my active protestation of such a ridiculous matter. For truly, how in the world does wearing jeans affect one’s mental faculties and productivity level?

As I previously mentioned, this week was my last on a job so I made it a point to try out an experiment. I turned up for work always wearing decent clothes that look cool, well put-together and stylish whilst bringing out my personality. The one thing they were not was Office-Wear.

I rarely ever wore a suit to work in the past few years, nor do I usually wear what are called office trousers, mostly because I find it pretty difficult to buy any in the appropriate size. However I do consider office rules even whilst hating them so this was the first week I ever turned up in a very casual skirt or jeans.

The offending pair of jeans!
Considering that my choice of skirt for the Monday was on the short side, attention-seeking for its pattern and even likely to be considered way casual, it seemed to bother no one. So you can imagine my surprise when on the Tuesday I wore normal blue NOT FADED and NOT TORN OR FRAYED cropped denim jeans and the fact was pointed out to me by the HR department. My question of “Why would it matter?” was answered solely by the phrase “It says so in the dress code.” How intelligent an answer that was to my honest puzzlement about the situation is a mystery.

All week, my work DID NOT suffer in any way for the lack of ‘professional’ sartorial choices. So seriously, when are businesses going to wake up to the real world and acknowledge that workers are more useful for their skills than their ability to follow policies related to whether their choice of trousers makes the cut?

Each morning I took a picture of my experimental outfit to share with you here below. As you can see, nothing screams ‘indecency’ or could in any way prove problematic to my workmates. In fact, even though I do not yet have any tattoos on me, I would not even consider showing a tattoo as offending material for those around me?

This reminds me of a particular incident I faced last year whilst looking for a new home. Malta has become full of hungry real estate agents that pull potential clients off their competition’s mouths to be the first to show them the same measly number of buildings that are within most people’s budgets. I have faced annoying agents, others who were outright rude to me and even ones that were unable to grasp the simple basics of my requirements before thrusting any properties within my budget in front of my face.

Which is how one agent stood out, firstly because when I met him I noticed he had a big tattoo that was not at all hidden and later through his professionally on the job. He turned out to be by far one of the best two agents I had the pleasure to have help me find my home. So truly, how would hiding the tattoo make him better at the job? Or the others any more competent for making less casual dress choices? Attributing a person’s professional skill on the job to their choice of attire is like expecting every black cat owner to turn out to be a witch.

NB - Please note I have absolutely nothing against witches, but one could have a black cat for a pet and not be witchy at all! 🙀🙀🙀



Saturday, 18 May 2019

Loving Through Lies, Living In Denial

Yesterday I went to the cinema to watch Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. It is a biographical account of American serial killer and necrophile Ted Bundy (starring Zac Efron). There has been at least one previous representation of this story made for the screen, but this time it puts his long-time girlfriend Liz (played by Lily Collins) as a protagonist and we follow the tale as though through her empathic viewpoint which also clearly highlights his narcissistic behaviour towards her.

I’m not giving anything away by saying that Liz was at first oblivious to his crimes and later in denial of them. Manipulating her through his ‘caring ways’ as well as with his good looks, attention and even lies, Ted kept her under his spell for many long years.

Lily Collins is a superb actress as well as one who did research for this part. In fact, she even met up with the real Liz to get a first hand account of what it was like to be Ted’s girlfriend and what exactly she lived through when Ted was still alive.

The film struck a chord with me for a totally different reason to Ted’s atrocities. Rather, I saw myself in Liz, not as the partner of a conscienceless killer but as the woman in love with a man, come what may.

They say love is blind. Many lovestruck people even go to desperate lengths to get their ex back. Some never go on to experience love again after what seems to them to be the love story of their life. (This is a point I discussed in my review of Any Human Heart which you may read here: https://vintagehew.blogspot.com/2018/03/any-human-heart-film-series-2010.html)

Liz fits the bill of a woman who experiences an unconditional love, never giving up the hope (even if this is partly instigated by Bundy himself in his phone calls) and feeling the pain throughout the multiple arrests, escapes, lawyer strategies, media coverage and ultimate trial. It takes till after Jerry softly infiltrate her life and slowly, even at his own expense, tries to put her broken parts back together, for her to start seeing outside of the veil of compassion she’d created through which to view the one big love of her life.

Some will argue she was a fool and that no grown woman in her right mind would tolerate Bundy’s insistent phonecalls and lies. Yet I am sure in her place, few would differ in their treatment of him. After all, love is really sometimes very very blind.

I am an eighties baby and one of the songs I remember most widely played in my early teens was Madonna’s Frozen. Totally unrelated to Disney’s later animated film of the same name, the song haunted me for its lyrics which, true to the singer’s style, clearly highlight human emotions.

“You only see what your eyes want to see”. Bang. Her very first line. Delivered delicately in Madonna's melodious voice to a background music that I would describe more classic than pop. We all do that don’t we? In Maltese we have a saying that translates to “You hear what you want” and well that is another facet of the same very human problem isn’t it?

Liz heard Ted’s lies and believed them because she wanted them to be true. We never question the person we truly love, simply because we want him/her to be perfect. Liz saw the desire in his eyes and never questioned why his look was so passionate till years later, when she could finally let her mind see him in a new light for what he really was. My guess is that even then, after she had unravelled and broken all the cobwebs he had slowly spun around her lucid mind and soft heart, she still loved him and wanted reality to be very different.

Liz’s case was among the most disturbing situations any person could find themselves in. Yet in our own way, in our maybe simpler and/or less dangerous life, we all see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. That is why it is very important to use perception to always make the best out of a situation but also preferably, to try to attune to what is truly there. For only when we remove the fog and view pain, lies and deceit for what they are and take a stand to move away from them, do we start truly loving ourselves and becoming a better person with a better life.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Alternate Realities In Our Every Day

I keep mentioning this idea of choice and result. The first time was back in 2017, when following a bad break-up I tried to make sense of what is within, and what is outside of, our control. I questioned a pre-defined Destiny and yet toyed with the idea that sometimes other people's choices influence our life too. It was a heart-breaking post to write back then and even re-reading it now makes me re-live that sadness all over again. However the post itself ends on a very positive note, with my decision to control my own future and believe in the ability to change Destiny, as it were. The article itself may be read here: The Chain Reaction.

This idea is very much in keeping with my musings of the past weeks, where I suggested that should one tiny detail differ in our day, it might have a ripple effect causing a totally different life for us. I mention in The Chain Reaction how my friend was late meeting me for coffee. It was only for that reason that I was swiping photos left on a dating app on my phone, out of boredom, when a guy came to speak to me online and literally changed my life in so many ways. He is even the muse behind or sometimes catalyst of, many more of my articles and blog posts, so he might have slightly changed my professional career too in a way! Can you see how every tiny detail changes something in turn?

Authors Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler wrote a teen novel that centres around this very theme of changing your reality, one little movement at a time. Calling it The Future Of Us, they toyed with the idea that the two protagonists and friends - Emma and Josh - might, horror of horrors, not still be Facebook friends in the future! Gosh, how did that happen now?! It is a hilarious account of two youngsters trying to manipulate what happens next and learning a whole lot about life in the process.

What would have happened had I not booked that flight ticket just last month? Who knows? The point is, I did. (You may read more about that here: Synchronicities.) What would have happened had I gone off to live in London back in 2005 and studied for a BA in English as originally planned, instead of finding a good position in a financial company and letting that set the tone for my paid employment for the next fourteen years? Who knows? Point is, I didn't go live in London at the time and chose to stay on the island.

This post has reminded me of the adventure books from when I was young that would ask you to make choices for the character. According to your choice progression, you were always led to another page to read another bit of the story, which would differ should you choose an alternate option for the characters. I have to admit, I was always more interested in the technicality of how those books were written and put together, rather than actually reading my choice story from start to end. As an author, the dynamics of a book fascinate me.

Which reminds me of yet another book that somehow ties into this whole argument about choosing our progression and leaving the alternatives behind. A little over a year ago, I reviewed The Girl Before for online magazine www.eve.com.mt. In doing some research about the novel before writing out my review, I read an interview with the writer, JP Delaney (a pseudonym for Tony Strong). In it, the author admitted to writing eighteen endings for the book before choosing the most appropriate one. Character Jane could very well have faced any of eighteen endings and she is not even real!

We might not be characters who've survived an elaborately planned murder, and yet we make choices every second of our day, each of which dictates our immediate future. So the next time you find yourself at any crossroad, debating on whether to catch that flight or remain with your feet firmly on the ground, ask yourself which of your immediate alternate realities would you be willing to choose?


Saturday, 4 May 2019

Synchronicities

Last week's post discussed the ending of the classic film Sliding Doors, focusing not only on how an instant can change a life but also on how perception and interpretation give any situation its power, energy and help it choose what comes next. I did also mention that I was considering covering the topic of alternate scenarios arising from a choice or moment's situation.

Just three weeks ago, a very particular series of events happened to me. Some might call them coincidences but when they follow each other in a meaningful way they are more often described as Synchronicities.

They started with a random conversation with an acquaintance that led me to booking two days off work for an event that never happened. The two leave days never got cancelled mostly due to my anxiety telling me I might need them should I get called for another work interview.

The day before my leave was due to start, I wrongly remembered my best friend saying he wold be busy that day so I never texted to meet up though I felt like going out a bit. A text to another acquaintance to hang out was met with a 'sorry am working', leaving me to myself and my thoughts.

It was at that point that, now in no rush to meet anyone, something told me to just send a message that I had been meaning to send later on that night. The message turned into a conversation that became an impromptu flight that could only happen thanks to my pre-booked days off work.

Just one coincidence less and I couldn't have made that trip, a trip that I decided to make when given a choice between yes and no. Why did I do it? Because I trust my intuition and it was saying it should be this way. When things align pushing you towards something so perfectly obviously, you don’t choose ‘No’ though you very well could (alternate realities remember?)

So I packed my hand luggage and booked my taxi, made babysitting arrangements for my son and sent details of where I would be staying to my best friend so that someone would have my location in the event of an emergency.

The trip was a ‘holiday’ to the outside eyes, a discovery process to my emotional self, an exercise in mirroring to my spiritual side and even an ending to a chapter in my life. The Italian phrase ‘faccende in sospese’ keeps coming to mind when I think of that trip. (Please don’t google-translate that phrase, it makes no sense to call them ‘unsuspected matters’!)

So what does the phrase actually mean? I think I first heard it watching Casper (1995) in Italian. Poor little blond ghost Casper was still haunting the house due to some unfinished business, as it is said that ghosts do. I can assure you I am no ghost and yet I would think ‘unfinished business’ is very connotative to ‘closure’, is it not? I have already admitted the trip ended a bitter-sweet, long, transformative even, chapter in my life.

Do I mind Closure? Not when it comes with lessons learnt, a chance to evolve more and a chance to use it as a lesson to love myself more, stick up for myself and even try to find my life purpose as a result of it.

So yes, it was meant to be, to use another cliché phrase. Hence why I call a series of coincidences Synchronicities.



Friday, 26 April 2019

The Ending That We Wish For

Last week I spoke about the relativity of time as well as how 'unimportant' time actually is if we were to sit down and think about it. (Article available here: http://vintagehew.blogspot.com/2019/04/the-unimportance-of-time.html)

However time could be said to condition some things and amongst these is the chance or not of catching a London Underground train. Yes, for those classic film fans out there who have already guessed it, I finally watched Sliding Doors, a film with a plot that hinges the whole of a woman's life on whether she grabs the train or else is a split second too late to do so.

The film is commercial, expertly executed to be easily followed and provides an exquisitely alternate ending to the one the viewer expects. It is this ending, however, that changed my idea of what this article would turn out to be about.

Originally I intended to discuss the film's focus on the alternate realities that arise from making a choice or accepting a circumstance, an idea which I'll be getting back to on another day. For now, though, I intend to focus on a little detail that stuck out in this film and won't let me leave it well alone.

NB - There might be spoilers ahead.

I am talking about the 'changed' reaction of the character Helen to a simple question that James poses in both her realities. In the meeting with James on the train, she has no real answer to his reference about Monty Python. On the other hand, in meeting James much later on in her story in the missed-train scenario, not only do they go through a déjà vu but she also instinctively knows the answer to his Monty Python question.

It would be a little detail and 'just' a way to wrap up the film, were it not for the niggling thought in my head that despite the changes in circumstances, the character Helen is always one and the same and if she were to know the answer to James' question, she would have known it both times. Not only that, but she herself seems surprised at knowing how to reply.

This suggests to me a connection that she feels with this 'stranger', defying the reality of having only just met. To someone who believes in the power of our souls as well as reincarnation, this hints that the two might have met before, in a different life, or maybe even in her head whilst she was still in a coma after the accident.

The film provides two stories to follow that take completely different turns and yet still centre around Helen, James and Gerry in both cases. Even as the alternate scenarios diverge drastically, it is ironic that sometimes life will put us back in exactly the same spot whatever we have chosen and done before, as the accident, one of few constants in both parallels, suggests. However even after that, the stories go off on another tangent to each other, providing not only two equally thought-provoking endings but also the realisation that a story will always have an endless number of endings inbuilt into that one 'reality'. For we are all our different selves, and we will all perceive that which we most wish.


Friday, 19 April 2019

The Unimportance of Time

Albert Einstein proved a theory by which time becomes relative, despite the fact that we assume and look at time as passing at a constant speed.

Most people would be sceptical at the thought that maybe time is, after all, not exactly consistent and invariable. Yet we all feel the relativity of time in a way. Despite there being nothing scientific or even remotely connected to Einstein's theory in the phrase 'Time flies when you're having fun', it is nonetheless an observation that makes a lot of sense.


However I would go even further and say that it is we who have turned time into an all-consuming all-important factor in our daily lives and it could very well be unimportant were we not so set on letting it condition us in this society we built.


It is the famous nine-to-five job, the school regime, the business hours and structured social activities that work according to 'time' and not our true inner selves. Thankfully I can see the younger generations have come to appreciate doing things on their own terms; napping when they feel they should, partying if they feel the positivity it brings their life outways the 'nuisance' of then sleeping in the day time afterwards.


Time is, technically, related to how long this world we live in takes to make a complete turn on its own axis (what we call DAY) and how long it takes to make a complete revolution around the sun (what we call YEAR), therefore offering us night and day as well as the four seasons as a result.


This in itself however, would never explain the obsession we seem to have with running against the clock.


In my article I Never Rush Any More I admitted how I have started to embrace doing things on my own terms rather than with a 'have-to' attitude that demands I catch up with 'everything', whatever 'everything' really means. In my later article On Holiday Every Day I turned to discussing how, in choosing to live the life that will make us happy, we free ourselves from the 'need' for a holiday due to being eternally happy with our current situation. You may note that I never said we would not be working to earn a living in some way, but I did suggest that working in a profession we love would allow us time to do other things if only for the simple reason that it would not tire us out as much. And why would that be the case? Simple really. A job you hate will drag you down, as will one you find eternally boring. But by simply choosing a path that will bring happiness in itself, it really feels as though time flies and we find ourselves back with our loved ones and in our homes or wherever else it is we deflate, sooner than we thought, every single day. What's more? The term 'deflated' that I just used is actually out of place in this context. Because when we live days that won't bog down our energy, there is so much of it left after the day's end and we might find ourselves enjoying life even more. Time spent on chores and work become mere minutes in our mind, whilst technically freeing up valuable time (because in society we do after all have to follow a set 24-hour day) to enjoy whatever else we would love to fit in, instead of 'needing' to rest before going to bed and repeating the circle all over again.

Time is indeed relative. It is, in fact, as relative as we want it to be.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

No Mobile Phone!

After work one day last week, I was meant to go visit my son. Only, I forgot the book we were reading together at my home. I decided I could go home to pick it up and still make it on time getting to my son. On arriving home some flatmates stopped me to talk about something and in my rush I picked up the book and ironically left my bag behind instead.

When I noticed I was already on my way. Debating whether I could turn back to get my precious mobile (from which I had not parted for more than a couple hours at a time in the last two years) and still make it on time, I realised I could only know whether that was possible if I could tell the time. My phone is also my watch.

I figured I rather be definitely on time than have my phone with me, never really remembering that my handbag actually contained much more than just my phone. Also, I thought maybe this would be a cool experiment to try; living without my phone for a couple of hours.

So there I was, making my way in the rush hour traffic. Was I gonna be on time? Who knew?! I couldn’t check!

On the way my mind whirled round thinking about random yet deep things as it is apt to do and suddenly I came up with five numbers that meant something that I decided would win me the Super 5 lottery of that evening. I’d get a ticket from a nearby lotto booth after picking up my son, I thought. WAIT! I didn’t have my purse on me, that too was left in the bag at home.

Ok, I could text my mum to buy a ticket for me as I had no way of doing it myself before the evening’s draw. Having arrived and found a parking spot, I thought to myself I’d text mum the numbers I wanted on my ticket. Wait. NO PHONE TO TEXT FROM!

Resigned to the idea I was not going to get my ticket for that night’s draw, I walked to our usual meeting spot, not really sure was I early, on time, or late. I asked a passerby for the time and it turned out I was twenty minutes early.

I paced up and down and even walked down the road and back, willing the time to pass without actually knowing how much had passed. I even calmly went through all my daily affirmations; positive phrases I made up that I tell myself daily since I practice LoA (Law of Attraction) religiously.

Surely, my ex husband would know to get our son to the usual spot when he saw it was time and I hadn’t messaged ‘I am here.’ But what if instead he tried to phone? No one would answer the call. What if, something had happened and there was a change of plan and he’d texted me to suggest an alternate time, place, maybe cancelled altogether? Thoughts whirled through my head, punishing me for leaving my mobile phone behind.

When a car finally pulled up and my son got out, I explained my predicament and how I would be unable to tell the time and therefore get my son back on time. Thankfully my son had his iPod Touch with him so that I could tell what time it was and his dad promised to be back at the allotted time so I wouldn’t need to text a ‘We are back.’

I figured I couldn’t possibly need my phone now that my son was here but trust myself to look for it once again when I felt like taking a photo.


Time flew and we eventually walked back to the meeting point where I hugged my son goodbye and started the long way back to my car. I remembered that I’d been waiting for a message on my phone. I also remembered I hadn’t texted another friend who I’d meant to for a specific reason.


Oh well, I’d do that when I got home. Which I did, around two hours after first leaving my phone behind. A hundred and twenty minutes out of a whole day, out of a week, month, year, more than two years since I’d finally switched to a proper smart phone.

Friday, 5 April 2019

Don't Defile A Natural Place

Anyone who is doing more than just going through the motions on this planet of 'ours' has their sacred space or spaces, where they feel they can deflate, relax, breathe. For those who lean towards a more 'earthly' life, these could be anywhere from a preferred coffee shop to a comfy sofa at home, a bedroom 'retreat' or the library, among other places.

For those of us who live more on the spiritual side of life, our sacred spaces are usually found in natural surroundings. This is not to say we live hidden away in some alternate universe, so our sacred places are actually places that many others visit, if for different reasons. Two weeks ago, a school event of my son led me within inches of one of my most sacred places, in a natural place that exudes peace.

So you may imagine how upset I was when, visiting my realm of pure peace, I came across litter strewn around.


This place is to me sacred for a particularly vivid and powerful memory of a visit there. Despite that it is now guarded by security so that I felt unable to walk to the exact spot where I would have felt most the love and peace, it was still magical to inhale the scent of my wet surroundings as the rain fell all around me, the rain that both me and the person I share the memory with so love. Magical, peaceful, an altar to love, and yet defiled by human intervention in the form of plastic bottles and papers strewn around in a place I had thought not frequented at all. What I don't get is, why go into nature at all if you are disrespectful of it? I mean, this is no school canteen, no candy shop, no games room either. It barely makes sense to me that anyone would visit the place unless they had some peace and quiet in mind. And just as no one pees where they eat (even a rabbit I had was intelligent enough to pee on the opposite side of the cage to where his food was), why would anyone turn their place of rest into a litter garden?

Friday, 22 March 2019

The Straw is NOT the Problem

The last time I went to McDonald's, I saw that the cashier did not put a straw in the tray for my son to use with the lidded carton cup. Forgetting all about the campaign against straws, I asked why was there no straw and was told it is because I need to request one if I want it. Fair enough.

Or rather, it would make sense if it weren't for all the rest of the disposable packaging sitting on the ironically straw-less tray. I once in fact tackled the topic of too much waste in diners as well as other businesses. You may read that article here: http://vintagehew.blogspot.com/2018/11/saving-environment-one-packaging-item.html

To add insult to injury, a few days after this episode I frequented a well-known coffee place with a friend. We ordered a simple black tea and an espresso. Unknown to us the coffee shop was due to close in less than an hour from when we made our entrance so the barista advised us we could only buy our drinks in disposable cups and would that be alright. Well, I wanted my fix of tea and sit-down chat as well as the bathroom so given the choice between disposable or nothing at all I reluctantly said ok for the throw-away cup option. I understand that staff might not be too amused at the thought of washing those final few cups at the end of a long shift but why should that impact the environment? Most likely, the disposable-only rule applies simply because the management forsee less of a cost in that option than paying the baristas to stay a few minutes more to wash up. After all, selfishness and profit margins reign supreme in most big businesses.

Meanwhile I've seen this careless trend in other places too. One such example is the huge thick plastic bags put in some office and public bathrooms for tampons and sanitary towels. Yeah, I get it - these items are gross to throw away directly in a bin - but that is no excuse for so much wastage when pads are anyway packaged in plastic so it is easy to roll the used one up in the still-clean wrapping of the one just put on and tampons are very very small compared to those plastic bags being provided. In fact, even pads are not that big compared to the size of the bags I've seen. Alternately, though still quite wasteful in my opinion, maybe paper bags could be provided instead?

But back to diners now and some less obvious changes that they could incorporate are things like sugar in shakers instead of little paper packets. They are hygienic enough, provide no paper waste and there is likely less wastage by users than when they can freely grab packets and leave untouched then thrown away once the table is cleaned. I also often encounter plastic containers when I order takeout from various places. The black-bottomed, clear-plastic top variety might make for appetising presentation but I much rather have a cleaner planet to live on than a photo-worthy meal. Another, maybe less used but still replaceable item is the disposable wooden chopsticks sometimes presented in restaurants. Once again, I rather blame profit-margins for this one, that accounts for the time it would take an employee/cost of dishwashing the reusable variety.

All in all, I think we are far from environmentally-conscious most of the time, especially here in my country. As with most other pitiable circumstances, this one is clearly brought about more often by a monetary factor than the effort entailed in making the small changes.

They say money makes the world go round. But maybe, just maybe, it is money that will stop the world after all.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Peer Pressure in Adulthood

Firstly, let me say that although the next paragraphs mention a hot topic of discussion, this post is NOT about the pro-life or pro-choice movements and I only mention the issue in order to examine a particular human trait.

I never hide my beliefs. If I stayed quiet rather than voicing my thoughts about something just for the sake that 'everyone is entitled to an opinion', I would in fact be going against my own belief. So in the midst of a furore about the topic of abortion a couple years back, my then editor invited me to write about my stance on a magazine that had mostly pro-choice authors. You may read the article here: Why I'll Never Be Pro Choice.

Given the current almost volcanic debate going on in my country (Malta) about the possible legalisation of abortion, I thought it was the right time to re-share my article which presents not a religious or hostile pro-life argument but rather tackles pro-choicers' views whilst saying why I do not deem them plausible reasons in favour of abortion. If my article hits too close when read, then I am probably presenting a good argument.

In a bid to share my views further and present my cause, I politely asked most of the people on my contact list to share my article on. Amid the thumbs up signs of pro-lifers and a couple of 'I'm pro-choice' people who respected that our idea differed, I met with a surprise. A person who seemed to me very much a pro-lifer in personal view, pointed out that sharing my article would cause harm to her career. I understand a passion for what you do but to hide who you really are simply to avoid boycott sounds to me very much like the peer pressure we blame on teens.

I personally rather lose some followers and be true to myself than act like someone I am not to please others. What happened to 'Love yourself and be true to yourself first'?! This person argued that voicing any view on the matter in question would always result in haters and that she did not judge anyone for their opinion or what they did so didn't want people to think she did. Say what?! That made my heart thump and upset me till a day later, here I am writing about it. I don't judge others either. I have amazing friends who are pro-choice and although I can never agree with them on the topic, I would not cut them out of my life for that. I actually admire that they are ready to say the truth about how they feel despite knowing my opinion differs greatly.

Knowing I am in the company of, or Facebook friends with, people who have a reaction opposite to mine to the same issue, doesn't mean I shouldn't feel free to voice my own opinion out of fear of how others react. What are we? Ten years old again? What are we? Money-makers who see people as dollar signs that might fade in the face of our true self? If that is how we are, then that is how people will perceive us too. Everyone is what they make of themselves and if we don't believe in ourselves enough to take a stance when we believe in something, then we will be treated as cowards for that is how we will appear.


Sunday, 10 March 2019

Loading Match... Wrong Timing... Match Delayed!

There is a film that stands out in my memory and also sits on my DVD shelf at home. I love it and will not part with it despite that I have not watched it in a couple years now.

The name of the film is Love, Rosie and I once wrote comparing it to the book that it is based on, which was originally titled Where Rainbows End. (See comparison article here: Love, Rosie... A book turned into film)

Since it is a romantic comedy I am not spoiling the show by saying that the two best friends eventually do end up together. It is a given, is it not?

The story was originally written by Cecelia Ahern and it explored the lives of the two protagonists through letters that went back and forth not only between themselves but also their families.

In both the book and film, despite how the story was changed to fit the exigencies and limitations of the screen for the film version, it is obvious to readers and viewers that Alex and Rosie are made to be together, though Rosie never seems to see it herself.

They say that truth is stranger than fiction, but I would say here instead that truth is more complicated than fiction. For in addition to how a person can never see objectively that which is too close to home and heart, human beings are in truth much more complex than any fictional counterpart could ever be. Add the circumstances trick that the universe might have up its sleeve, and it really could make star-crossed lovers of real people. Timing is rarely right the first time round is it?

A few weeks ago I had a day off work and I spent it doing things I love, which included meeting one of my girl friends for a long-time-coming coffee. We got talking about new relationships and how easy it is to meet the right person but at the ‘wrong’ time. As I am demisexual, this for me complicates the already next-to-impossible feat of finding a partner even more!

However on the other hand my extreme sexuality type also helps in that when I do find ‘right’ people, I would rather wait out the days, months, even years if Love, Rosie is anything to go by, to be with a person who is a perfect match, than randomly swipe people right on an app in the hope of getting lucky.

So to the guy I met at the bar who was an actual match but had to go back home to his country, I will never forget our meeting. To the man with the most amazing eyes I’ve ever seen, I will never forget looking into them with hope before reality intervened. To the one who came and went from my life over and over again, who knows if you are actually my Twin Flame and will eventually remain?

I do not ‘need’ a relationship to feel whole, something I advocate to everyone in my article Love Yourself First. But if I do have a partner, then I’m gonna have one worth waiting for, like Alex in Love, Rosie.