‘To Thine Own Self Be True’

So, the day we go to the polls to decide whether the UK stays or leaves the EU. And tomorrow is another day, because the more things change, the more they stay the same. Or do they? This is a deeply personal post and one that has been a long time coming perhaps. It is also one of deep gratitude. A photo of the Puppy unimpressed by a 1971 book about going into the EU seemed as good as any to represent this referendum! Three years ago I would have thought that tonight I'd be at the centre of the action, yet instead I will be fast asleep while the results are coming in. So what changed? I am grateful that I have been blessed (yes blessed) with losing so much and starting my life anew away from politics because it has given me the clarity and the tools to work out why politics has ...

‘The Truth must dazzle gradually, or every man be blind’

Out and about on dull errands in drizzly unfestive England today, I thought back to last weekend when I was in Paris. The Dickens line, 'a tale of two cities'  has never seemed so accurate. Paris has always been my quick getaway for me time to reboot. I've never taken for granted the miracle that is Eurostar, to hop on a train in London avoiding airport mayhem and arrive in the centre of Paris in less time than it can take to get to Newcastle. I've even been known to go for the day, where a few hours tricking my senses with different food, streets and sights can make me feel like I've had a fortnight a million miles from home. How different these two Capitals have always felt from each other, and now more than ever after the recent killings in Paris. After a peaceful, relaxing and invigorating weekend we arrived back at Gare ...

‘The Meaning of Monty Python’

(warning-  this post features gratuitous Python references) Last night I was lucky enough to be at the O2 Arena to watch the Monty Python Reunion show and once the pain in my face had subsided from smiling and giggling, it has left me with a deep sense of satisfaction and happiness. Also, a huge sense of relief, as although I'd been eagerly anticipating the show, I was concerned that maybe trying to recapture something of the past would end awkwardly and they may somehow tarnish their reputation. It most definitely did not and if anything it reinforces the idea that nostalgia is not misty eyed longing for the past because it was better, it is bringing the best of what you loved into the present moment and relishing in that simple joy. Especially if that was childlike mischief. I'm not one prone to nostalgia, hyperbole or fangirl behaviour so my praise is entirely ...

‘It’d be awful if the world exploded, it’s so wonderfully splendid’

Is any situation not perfected by a Tove Jansson quote? The post holiday blues kicked in some time ago and memories of my trip in February to Iceland faded quicker than the unexpected Nordic tan I picked up. I thought I would share a few thoughts on my adventure and coincidentally my renewed love of all things Scandinavian, and how all this fits in with my perceptions right now. My trip to Iceland was not some random spoilt whim I woke up with one day. It was of great sentimental value because ever since I was a child I had told my parents I would live in Scandinavia. A deep interest in Moomin, Jostein Gaarder and Astrid Lindgren novels maybe, but they do say that your core belief system is shaped most as a young child so I think these things must have influenced me. After watching a documentary on Iceland, Mama said she would ...