NYC * Coffee * making time to see old friends (and dirt biking in the rain) * Belfast * Middlesboro * A hen * two weddings * Budapest and those amazing baths * Hever Castle * three summer 10k races * lazy breakfasts at home (the best kind) * Dorset in all its beauty * newly-converted to Kindles (took me long enough * 30 books read and umpteen more manuscripts * More coffee * two choir concerts – including a brilliant rendition of Rutter’s Magnificat at the Royal Festival Hall * more Chiefy dog and family time * NYC > NY > Wisco > Chicago > Boston * Some theatre (but nowhere near enough) * battled e-brain * my first Twickenham match * London in all its glory * fresh flowers * new hobbies and getting back into old favourites * country walks * skylines and airmiles and dreams and some really tough parts that sucked (especially health-wise)… 2014 was the quickest year yet. Who’s ready for the next?
They say you should never meet your heroes. But if your hero is a writer, even with the literary separation of church and state that is ‘characters’ and ‘the author’s personal opinion’, you’re probably, at some point, going to run into your hero’s True Self in print. Or on screen. Or, let’s be honest, probably in 140 characters.
*Fair warning: some Newsroom spoilers ahead*
Good morning! Can you believe it’s nearly December? Is it just me or did this year go by like lightening? Barely a roll of thunder remains to carry you into 2015… the Christmas lights are up (I made a ‘tree’ because we have entirely no space for a proper one) and I’m mulling all the apple juice and wine because this is what dark evenings call for. Anyway, it’s grey and overcast here and I have 5 hours of singing ahead of me. But you…you can sit and read about all the lovely internet things. With a cup of tea. Just for a minute…
* A jacket of the future for the supremely directionally-challenged (i.e. me)
* The loveliest of TedEds: Why Elephants Never Forget
* Did you see the dreadful ‘Barbie: a Computer Engineer’ book? I mean, sure, a company that can’t get a girl’s feet-to-body ratio correct probably can’t comprehend the fact that women can code their own computer games. But the internet CAN so, feast your eyes on the gloriousness that is #FeministHackerBarbie.
* The coolest-looking way to donate to charity. When this is a real thing, it will be AMAZING.
* Five great thoughts to live by.
* The secret language of girls on instagram (tbh, so true)
* 10 proven ways to make or break a habit
It begins with the match-day train crush (…not too dissimilar to work-day train crush)
…and the expectant stadium…
Raise your hand if you’ve been following the conversations taking place after Hollaback released this video of a woman walking around NYC to a chorus of catcalls, whistles and general street harassment. I’ve been pretty busy this week and it hasn’t left a lot of time for reading, but it does fascinate me. I’ve, and all the female friends I’ve talked to about this, have experienced almost all the stuff in the video at one time or another (the insults when you don’t stop to talk, being told to “smile” for the benefit of guys, the silent ones that walk intimidatingly beside you or behind you when you don’t respond to them, the “i’m just saying hello” excuse etc etc). So, it fascinates me that some guys feel it is so intrinsically their right to behave like this, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes a woman (or girl, because let’s be honest – how young were you when you first encountered this?) feel.
So here’s a few links of thread I’ve been following – and some that I’ve bookmarked to read about, such as the way racism intersects with sexism in the video when all the white catcalls (for whatever reason) are edited out…
– The original hollaback! video
– The ultimate bro responds to Amanda Seales saying “we do not like this, this should stop” on a CNN spot about it, with literally “that’s never gonna happen” and if she doesn’t like catcalling and doesn’t feel safe, then she should “leave NYC” and “buy a gun”. I mean…really. Even the anchor loses it at that point.
– Elon James White calls out the guys using the ‘I’m just saying hello, not catcalling’ excuse in the best way possible: highlighting through humour just how much that is total rubbish with #DudesGreetingDudes.
– A thoughtful response to the lack of white men in the hollaback video over at The Mary Sue.
– stopthecatcall.tumblr.com <– because being made uncomfortable happens whatever you’re wearing
– The Advertising Standards Agency bans the Sun’s ”Start a fantasy football team, win a page 3 girl” competition after they find it to be sexist.
– The John Lewis Christmas ad is out…
– John Oliver’s puppy Supreme Court is the BEST THING EVER.
– Shelter refuses to take any money from Dapper Laughs’ godawful “christmas single” that he says is to “help the homeless” <– here’s what he actually thinks of homeless people
– Look at these gorgeous paper sculptures! And you can buy them from Wolfram Kampffmeyer’s Etsy shop.
– November 4th: the day when you’re essentially working for free from then until the new year, ladies.
– A ballet-inspired wedding shoot
Taking me forward into my week:
Cherokee legend has it that the battle between two ‘wolves’ is waged inside us all. One is bad: made up of anger, jealousy, sorrow, spite, guilt, resentment, lies and false pride. The other is good; it is joy and peace, kindness, love, empathy, generosity and truth. Which one wins?
The one you feed.
We’re one week home from a much-needed break, and even though it feels like we were never away, I know we actually were because I’m still rifling through the 50,000 phone photos I took.
When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
– Walt Whitman