Friday, 28 June 2019

Me Fully-Clothed In London and Juliet, Naked

On my last full day in London a couple months ago, I was walking distractedly around London Designer Outlet, close to Wembley Stadium, when I decided the best thing to do was walk into a bookshop. My shopping already done and only a hand luggage for carrying it back, it made more sense to browse one of my favourite kinds of store than look listlessly around killing time.

I got lucky when I stumbled across a highly-reduced price new copy of Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby, which I had been meaning to buy! I got it at a bonus price, it gave me something to do as I waited for my trip companion to join me again for the evening and it was not too thick to push into my overcrowded luggage when I packed it up that night.

The book was on my list of ‘To Reads’ because it is by Hornby and Hornby is, in my opinion, one of the world’s best at writing out characters that are true to life. He has a way of examining situations and making observations that are hilarious, truthful and usually little acknowledged, all at once. As a result, all his books are gems to read and re-read, giving insight into life as we know it, but taking into consideration those things we take for granted as a rule or else try to hide about ourselves.

Nick Hornby conspires to write incredibly, almost ridiculously accurate accounts of characters we could easily assimilate to, as they blunder through life causing themselves problems and then trying to fix them.

Juliet, Naked turned out to be up there with About a Boy in my Hall of Fame. It follows protagonist Annie, who has spent fifteen irretrievable years in a mediocre relationship that centred mainly around the fact that she and Duncan seemed to be the only possible ‘match’ in the sleepy happening-less seaside of Gooleness. In between illicit trips to a questionable therapist and recklessly angering her boyfriend by toying with the only obsession he’s got, she finds herself single. And relieved. It is ironic therefore, that the object of conflict himself - Duncan’s idol Tucker Crowe - emails Annie a reply to her well-written if low-rating review of his latest release.

Hornby flits the story between the Annie/Duncan North England scenario and recluse Tucker Crowe’s equally uninspired life in America. Till one day, Tucker and his son make a trip to England, and life must become marginally more interesting…

The book Juliet, Naked can currently be bought through this Amazon link at an amazingly low price!

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Tow Zone or not? And what about the Foreign Number Plates?

I wrote the below entry on the 14th of June but as I had another more time-dependant post to publish last week, I decided to keep this one for today. Another thing I would like to add before you read on is, that this article is for awareness and by no means written out of negativity. If anything, things always work out but I still get pretty upset when incidents such as the ones mentioned below happen so I want to make my voice heard in the name of all of us. Enjoy today's ride!!

I am writing this entry in my new flat, on my beautiful new turquoise desk. The reason I am here is because this is a morning and afternoon packed full of deliveries of doors, furniture, and more!

My desk was small enough to be delivered upstairs via stairs but most items require a hi-up lifter to make it into my new home. With every day for which I book a lifter service, I must also book a permit from the local council to use said lifter in the street. Regardless that the lifter must park on the side and not obstruct the road, a permit is still required.

There are at least two different types of permits. Should I book the permit 24 hours before use, then it seems to be solely a tax on road usage, since the council explained that the EUR10 charge is simply for rooting the lifter in the street in question.

Should I book more than 48 hours prior to use, then I am allowed to phone up the police should anyone park in the zone, provided I stick the official 'No Parking' signs at least 48 hours beforehand and take photographs as proof. The signs provided by my local council clearly said 'Tow Zone'.

So you can imagine the frustration of turning up in the morning to receive multiple deliveries, finding a car parked in the bay and being told by the police on the phone that they could do nothing about it since said car had foreign number plates. Say what?!

I quite pointedly remarked on the ridiculousness of the situation where I, a Maltese person in my own country, was paying for a permit whilst another person could do as they please and still thwart my permit plans just because they are foreign! When I asked them to just tow the car away anyway, the policewoman said she would get sued for doing that!

A trip to the local council, already angry and panicking at all the deliveries that might get stalled, yielded further information. It was explained to me that the printed official signs might have said 'Tow Zone' but actually even should the license plates have been Maltese, the police would not tow the car away. Rather, they would phone up the owner asking that it gets removed and if this doesn't happen, book a ticket. Which leaves the permit holder with, what exactly? - A car still parked in the no-parking zone and the deliveries still pending.

I am not racist or extraordinarily patriotic. However neither do I expect a worse treatment to foreign residents! Add to this, why would an official sign say 'Tow Zone' when it apparently isn't? Thankfully after the fiasco it seems the sign is actually getting rectified as the Major was at the office when I made my not so discreet complaint and he agreed that the sign was misleading and should be fixed.

On a positive note, all's well that ends well. It wasn't the police who removed the car, nor the local council. One neighbour who was at the council office and overheard the panic was the one who found the car's owner and got the delivery bay free. The Universe works in mysterious ways.

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.