It feels like Summer has well and truly arrived. Doors are open, duvets aren’t being slept under, it’s officially ‘too hot’ to run at convenient times of day (that’s my excuse right now, anyway). We caught the first few days of this in Dorset, when the sun was out but it was blustery and cool, the first sunny 48 hours before a giant summer storm swept through and the beginning of a heatwave proper.
We’d never been to Dorset before, but it won out when we found photos of Durdle Door and Studland Beach online and then found out the bonus: only 2.5 hours drive from London!? Score!
So that was that decided. B&B booked, car hired, off for a mini adventure, and to Instagram the bejays out of it all along the way. The first day was leisurely but sort of busy: trekking over the cliff between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door (reliably informed by a lovely friend that this is Lulwind Cove in Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd. Wait, a place I’m exploring before a book made me want to visit!? How novel. Promptly bought a copy, now it’s in my giant to-read list).
Durdle Door (above) being named from the old English ‘thirl’, which means ‘to bore or to drill’, by the way. You know, just in case you were interested.
The water was such a stunning array of blues, shimmering and inviting, that you wanted to just dive straight in. Excepting the fact that even though it was incredibly sunny, the wind took the edge off the heat so much that everyone was in jumpers and jackets. Didn’t stop me getting a little jealous of the people leisurely sailing and canoeing about the coves though.
We trundled on down the path, bought a cup of tea at the totes adorbs Dorset Tea van and crashed on the pebble cove beaches for a little while, skimming stones and snoozing. You know, gathering strength for that giant climb back. I’m not even kidding – some people were attempting it with buggies and the like. Why, people? Why? Alright, the view tells me why, but still. You are crazy.
The rest of the day was lost somehow, pootling around Dorset roads, with a couple of hours in the evening light and high tide on Studland beach – another National Trust piece of land, but I don’t mind telling you that ‘Bamburgh Beach’ (or St Aiden’s Dunes to give it its proper name) definitely wins out for Most Beautiful Beach. Not that I’m biased or anything…) and having a drink in the Square and Compass in Worth Matravers, where the pints are served through a little hatch, the seats outside are roughly hewn slabs of stone and there was some sort of raucus poetry night going on in a little shut-away room. Dorset you are amazing.
She’s now (in)famous for her “I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance” feminism comments, which, coming from someone in the two biggest teen blockbusters this year, with two complex and brilliant female characters was disparaging to hear. (I don’t need to point out that feminism is literally about balance, do I? Equality?)
But I just read an interview with her and Brie Larsen on Vulture in which this excellent paragraph pops up about a recent interview Shailene Woodley did on Jimmy Fallon’s show:
Halfway through the conversation, Fallon, who can border on golly-gee cheerleading during his interviews, said, “How do you feel about being compared to Jennifer Lawrence?”
Woodley paused. “Well,” she said. “Comparisons always lead to despair.” There was sudden silence, and then the audience, which was shocked and angry, began to boo. Fallon said something like “Whoa,” and Woodley held her ground. “As women, we are constantly told that we need to compare ourselves to a girl in school, to our co-workers, to the images in a magazine,” she told me later. “How is the world going to advance if we’re always comparing ourselves to others? I admire Jennifer Lawrence, but she’s everyone’s favorite person to compare me to. Is it because we both have short hair and a vagina? I see us as separate individuals. And that’s important. As women, our insecurities are based on all these comparisons. And that creates distress.”
According to the Vulture interview, that section was cut from the show and never made it to air. So depressing, when she’s articulate about a very real issue for many people, but especially so for women and girls in the public eye like herself. Just look at how The Guardian (even the Guardian!) portrays successful women in the arts:
So well done to Shailene Woodley for trying to get a vital point across – even if the patriarchal Jimmy Fallon show didn’t see fit to air it.
Project 365 is Jennet’s instagram project I came across first, swiftly followed by a couple of Pins from her site. How lush is her work?! Every time it pops up in my feed it’s like I can’t double tap quick enough. Her mix of calligraphy and photography is perfect. I can’t wait until she opens her online shop – some of these beauts are going to make it into the flat for definite!
With a copy of Molly’s (@plurabellemolly on instagram) Modern Calligraphy on order, I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can get started smearing some ink across a page in a pale imitation of her gorgeous style. I remember going through a Calligraphy phase when I was about 10 or so – who’s wishing they’d stuck with it now!? Despite having no space for extraneous stuff in our flat, I’m still tempted to buy one of her address rubber stamps. Because then I really would send people handwritten letters all the time, right?
Not a single user, but a great hashtag started by Design*Sponge, #dslettering is a fab amalgam of real-life lettering. Not just what talented people can etch into paper, but buildings, titles, menus…everything. Which reminds me, when we were hanging out at the Drafthouse this weekend, saw an empty bottle of Einstöck Icelandic white ale, and I’m in love with their branding. I should definitely have got a shot and added it to the feed…oh well, next time!
Comparison is all about conformity and competition… The comparison mandate becomes this crushing paradox of ‘fit in and stand out!’ It’s not cultivate self-acceptance, belonging and authenticity; it’s be just like everyone else, but better… I can’t tell you how many times I’m feeling so good about myself and my life and my family, and then in a split second it’s gone because I consciously or unconsciously start comparing myself to other people.
What a crazy weekend for news. While I’ve been pottering around running races and making breakfast frittatas for the week, Twitter has been sparking with the EU election results, the horrific misogynistic killing spree carried out by Elliot Rodger (which spawned the amazing #yesallwomenhashtag - read it and take it in, because that is what you have to put up with every day as a girl/woman), and Michael Gove taking two seminal works of literature off the curriculum because he doesn’t like them? Literally, was it that arbitrary a decision? Please tell me that’s misreported. I was introduced to To Kill A Mockingbird at my (state) school, by a teacher I remember as one of my favourites, and one of the best that taught me. I’d always loved reading, but at that point ‘wider reading’ to me was the entire back catalogue of The Saddle Club. And Pride and Prejudice. And almost anything where animals could talk to humans. So the likelihood of my finding it at a point where it would resonate as deeply as it did without being introduced to it by someone who could explain the bits to me that I wasn’t sure about… slim to none.
I can still remember phrases that we underlined in those copies, and I still remember how a simple, wonderful turn of phrase made me think. Harper Lee’s only novel isn’t just a masterpiece debut, it’s a way of teaching tolerance and thinking for yourself instead of following the pack. Because instead of judging someone, you should “climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Right?
How Mr. Gove can fail to be moved by this book is beyond me. How he can be responsible for broadening minds through education when he can’t see past purely British authors? Unbelievable. You know what? I might even put aside the book I’m reading at the minute (Harriet Ann Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl, by the way, and pick up my battered little copy of TKAM. And leave you with one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite characters in literature:
I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
- Atticus Finch
What. A. Week. And not even for any crazy reason, it’s just been ridiculously up and down. Excellent tax-related news early on in the week meant hello new camera lens that I’ve been lusting after for ages, and then on Thursday I went for my last long-ish run before the Bupa 10k on Sunday. My training has been non-existent, so I haven’t been tapering or anything; I thought I’d aim for 5 miles to make sure I remembered how to run far, shoved my oyster and debit card in my phone band ‘just in case’ I wanted to get the bus back or a bottle of water or something. Anyway, 1.5miles in it starts chucking it down and fearing for my phone I take it out of the band, put it into my jacket pocket aaand somewhere along the line the cards fell out and I lost my entire evening post-run trying to find them/cancelling them when I couldn’t. Rubbish. Then a whole host of travel-related stress the next day (I couldn’t dislike TFL and Southwest trains any more right now).
But who cares, because the week is over, I’m going to watch my first roller derby bout today (SO excited) and tomorrow the Bupa 10k will be over and I’ll just have one more left to do to hit my new year’s goal of 3 races this summer. Also Sean is home in less than a week and we’re heading to the Dorset coast following Schwester Tosney’s upcoming nuptials – the next couple of weeks are going to be so good! So, raising my cup of tea to putting a rubbish week behind me and looking up and on. Have a good bank holiday weekend!