I get these from time to time… (like the one I got today). I usually get them from Africa or Arab countries, but today I got one from the USA (although I’m guessing he’s from spanish extraction. Anyway, this got me thinking… for those who shun online dating (like myself, I find it sort of lame, and full of weirdos… that said… I can’t say that I haven’t met my fair share of weirdos without having to resort to online dating!). But this random Facebook trawling and adding may be the new form of online dating. Who needs Tinder… when everyone already had Facebook!? That said… why some random guy would want to be friends PURELY because he though I was cute is a tad strange… mostly because he is in the USA and I live in Frogland… whatever. Anyway, here is part of the conversation.
Category Archives: Beginnings!
Lately I’m going to have to admit, life has been pretty stressful. Some people definitely have it worse than others, but I’ve noticed it’s the people who’s lives are what we would put as “classically” worse off than others, that are the ones masking their unhappiness the best. If I may quote ancient greek here, the term “hypocrites” means to “wear a mask”, and I feel like this best describes those who have deep rooted insecurities, hardships many of us may never understand, and generally people who cannot find happiness in the world that surrounds them. I feel that I fall into the latter category. Why? Mainly because I don’t feel the need to tell the world my problems and insecurities. The mask I wear daily is one of laughter, fakery and pretend fulfilment. I don’t feel the need to cry, listen to depressing music and cut my veins, because that would just be a sort of cry for help and as a woman, I refuse to succumb to the vision people have of women as the “weaker” and more emotional sex. Funnily enough, the people I know who are the ones who outwardly scream their pain, are usually those who self indulge in this “sad” culture. They enjoy the idea of being a misunderstood poet… except that these people are not Byron… they are just people who feel dissatisfied with the hand they have been dealt and instead of picking themselves off the floor, trying their best to make the best of what they have, or at least seeking professional help, they infest and rot their surroundings and the people they know. Many of these individuals neither have the balls to live their lives, nor have the balls to kill themselves.
Now do not misconstrue what I’m saying here. What I mean to say is that life is a gift, it’s up to us to try our goddam best to make the best of what we have. I’m not perfect. There are days I barely have the courage to slap on same make-up, crawl out of bed and face the world. But I try. I try my best to make the people around me proud. I try to not be a constant disappointment. Because, If I’m alive, I should at least live. If you don’t enjoy the life you have, there are two solutions : try and make it better, or kill yourself. But suicide is a selfish decision. I don’t know that many people know this, but I thought long and hard about suicide for many years, stemming from a long list of issues I had/have with myself… which then led to self harm. I finally realised that I was being a dick. I was wasting the life that I was given because I was dissatisfied and truly unhappy. I’m not saying I am better now, but I try. I try and act like the bubbly happy person that people know me for. And sometimes I am that happy person… But sometimes I’m not. But I refuse to show it. I don’t want pity from anyone.
In the end, we only have one chance and one life. So, instead of digging a hole with our bare hands and hiding, take a fucking shovel and dig yourself out. It takes time, but there’s no point regretting the curveballs you’ve been thrown. The best way to start afresh is to have a good look at yourself, and analyse what would make you happy. What will help you better change. What do I want? What do I need? Answer those questions, and you finally know what direction you’re walking. Because those who walk aimlessly through life are those who are lost. Ok, so you were dumped. Fine. Shit happens. Grieve, then get the fuck up and try again. It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. Why walk around feeling sorry for yourself? You might miss something really great, just because you had your eyes closed, and you were walking around blind.
True. I can give advice, but I am unable to take my own advice. Why? Who knows. But the idea stays : try.
And if everything else fails, make lemonade and try again.
It’s raspberry cheesecake and chilli chocolate muffins.
Not to out do Martha Stewart… after a day of boredom… i decided to bake… bake… and bake. Not great when you’re on a “diet”… I need to lose boob and tummy weight… even though everyone says I don’t need to (especially the boob section) but I suppose I just made that a but harder… in any case… I got a message from a friend a few days ago… asking how I was and if I wanted to meet up (in Toulouse) next week… But to be honest, I don’t know if I should. I mean, (and I am still confused about this part) after I left Stockholm, I got back to uni… and everything had changed. My guy friends just… “dropped” me. Why? I have… no idea… this guy (who I really liked… as a friend… and may I say… he tried to sleep with me a fair few times… not that THAT was going to happen) just decided… he didn’t want to be friends anymore… well to be more correct when after 3 months I still hadn’t gone for a drink with him, I asked him straight out why we had not seen each other… and he said “I don’t have the same desire to see as I did before”. Now, to be brutal… I was floored. We had never been uber close… but close enough to know each other pretty well…
So what did I do?
I got up, and made myself some new friends! Partied like a crazy person, worked hard and got over it.
So… why do I suddenly get this… request to “meet up for a drink it’s been ages”…? I have no idea… argh. Even I can’t try and psychoanalyse this shit. So I am going to have a slice of cheesecake, and a giant glass of wine… or diet coke… whatever I can get my hands on first.
If you want the recipes… here we go (at least something positive can come out of it) :
Baked Raspberry Cheesecake
- 8 digestive biscuits
- 50g butter , melted
- 600g cream cheese
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 175g caster sugar
- Vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, plus 1 yolk
- 142ml pot soured cream
- 300g raspberries
- icing sugar
- Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Crush 8 digestive biscuits in a food processor (or put in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin). Mix with 50g melted butter. Press into a 20cm springform tin and bake for 5 minutes, then cool.
- Beat 600g cream cheese with 2 tbsp flour, 175g caster sugar, a few drops of vanilla extract, 2 eggs, 1 yolk and a 142ml pot of soured cream until light and fluffy. Stir in 150g raspberries and pour into the tin. Bake for 40 minutes and then check, it should be set but slightly wobbly in the centre. Leave in the tin to cool.
- Using the remaining 150g raspberries, keep a few for the top and put the rest in a pan with 1 tbsp icing sugar. Heat until juicy and then squash with a fork. Push through a sieve. Serve the cheesecake with the raspberry sauce and raspberries.
Dark Chocolate and Chilli Cupcakes
- Chocolate cupcakes :
- 175g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 140g (5 oz) light muscovado sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 225g (8 oz) self-raising flour
- 115g (4 oz) dark chocolate, melted
- 1 or 2 red chillies, deseeded and very finely chopped
- Chocolate frosting :
- 175g (6 oz) dark chocolate (above 70% cocoa solids)
- 2 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
- 150ml soured cream
- To decorate :
- Red and green coloured marzipan
- Red sugar sprinkles
This year has been full of ups and downs. So… what happend?
I started the year in the wonderful city of Stockholm. I had just spent six months of pure bliss there (apart from the fact that my bank account was constantly bone dry, was really only a minor bump in the road to be honest). But, the year 2011 definitely started in style. January came and went, and it thus meant I had to leave the snowy north, and return to the chilly south of France to finish my History degree. February past, and I was taught that sometimes friends do nasty things, and that sometimes you need to cut people out of your life, because they are not worth the time you spent crying about them. So I said my second of my goodbyes in the beginning of 2011. Sadly it wouldn’t be the last. However, at university everything was great, good marks, and here came March. I met some new people and made new friends. Life was back on track. I was happy at home, at university and hurrah! I found a work experience placement in an art gallery. I even lost two kilos that month! We are now slowly creeping into April… nothing particularly interesting here. Between weekends with friends, and weekends back at home to see my family, life was as mundane and everyday as you could get. With May came exams… and big decisions… What am I going to do next year? Where am I going? And what the fuck am I going to do with my life?
Well… now here is a certain “crise existentielle” (existential crisis)… but hey, I am far too busy with exams and the occasional (or not so occasional) knees up with friends, so I am not thinking about it.
End of May. Results… Passed! Woo hoo ! Now… here starts my month of work experience. My first day I meet two girls who are also working at the gallery like me. We shall call them Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2. I get along really great with both of them, and in particular Jane Doe 1. She is moving to Bordeaux next year to finish her history of Art degree. I decide to do a second degree and join her. That explains mostly why I am now living in Bordeaux. June in finished. July is here… and I pack up my apartment, and leave to join my parents. I go back and forth between Toulouse (where my friends are) and the pyrenees (where my parents are). The summer is hot, and I decide to get my first tattoo (which, don’t worry I had been planning for many a moon). July has finished… and like every summer, I am tan-less and freckle covered.
August is here. I start work at a restaurant with a friend as waitresses. It is fun, but very tiring. I don’t see the month pass, and I am already moving again to another town. Goodbye Toulouse, Bordeaux here I come. I arrive in Bordeaux sans flat… so like any good natured hobo, I sleep on my friends’ couch for about 2 months. Around this time, I met some guy on the internet. He seems nice, I enjoy chatting with him… and then he suddenly decides we can’t talk anymore (I will admit… I still don’t understand what the frack happened there !). In any case, we are now in October, and I have a place to live end of the month! On the seventh of October, I get a call from my mother, who announces the death of a friend. I have not known many people that have died, but I feel heartbroken. I cry and cry. For some reason, I feel like moving around so much, changing towns, cities, countries and meeting new people, I end up saying more goodbyes than hellos. Jane Doe and I have been at our new university, and I have met some amazing new people, a few I know I will be friends with for a long time. I cannot forget the past, but I decide to continue, because this is one of life’s curve balls, and I know that I need to pick myself up again, and see all the greatness in the world.
November is “move in” time. The apartment is far too big for my little old self, so I fill it with art. I have parties, we meet new people. I get a job interview for a pub. They like me and I’m hired. I also get a letter from the Musée d’Aquitaine in Bordeaux offering me a two month work experience placement! Joy indeed. December is here, I need to buy presents and I spend far too much money on my parents, but they have made so many sacrifices, that I just want to spoil them. December is nearly gone, and it’s the 25th. I turn 23. Then it’s the 31st. A friend and I order sushi and we see the new year in sober, but that’s exactly how I want it to be.
This year has been a real eye opener. 2011 was the year of “goodbyes”. 2012 I have decided will be the year of big decisions and “hellos”. I don’t want to say anymore “goodbyes”. So I have decided to live forever. Become a millionaire, and travel the world saying hello. I will never say anymore “goodbyes,” and just say “see you laters”. I don’t want to make any new year resolutions, because I know I won’t stick to any of them, but I also know that you can’t predict what is going to happen next, so why try and pretend we are prepared for what is going to happen, and just continue biting our nails, smoking cigarettes, sleeping around, gaining weight etc. Let’s just live life, try our best and stay true to ourselves. Yes it’s corny. Yes you’ve heard this a million time. But we all know that the same shit always happens again and again, so let’s be mentally prepared this year.
I know what you’re thinking. I’m overreacting (something I know I do pretty often). But I don’t believe that I’m wrong either. In fact. I’m right.
Sure many of us have dreams, secret desires we sometimes don’t even admit to ourselves, but we all have them. I’ve had a few conversations lately with people who, on paper should be a hundred percent “I’m-so-fucking-happy-my-head-might-explode”; but aren’t. These people are insatiable (and I’m not talking sexually…). They are never satisfied with what they have. But they don’t have to. They are not wrong either.
For an outsider looking in. I’m more than frustrated with these people. They nit-pick on things that are so not important that to be completely honest, I can’t help but imagine karate chopping their eye brows off… and maybe use nun-chucks on their chest for extra measure. But, they have a right not to be happy, because being unsatisfied is human. If we were 100% happy, most people wouldn’t move, evolve, but in fact would stay still in their little “happy-go-lucky” lifestyle… sitting still while life passed them by. But… these people are entitled to be… happy too (and maybe slightly boring).
I have a friend, this person is finishing their degree, has a boyfriend, a nice flat, loving parents, friends who would eat off their right arm for them and is beautiful and a lovely person. And yet… they are constantly finding things to complain about. Why?
Well… I have come to believe that progress comes through never being satisfied with what we have. Desire means… wanting something/someone that someone else has… we always want more. Without desire and hard-work, the USA wouldn’t be the great superpower we have now. It would still have a shitty train system (ok fine… it still has a shitty train system… but at least they have a nice roads). People would still be living on giant plantations in shacks growing cotton and corn. We would still have slavery… and thank fuck… democracy. America isn’t called the “land of opportunity” for nothing. It was build by people who wanted more, not only for themselves but for their descendants.
We are still the same. So sure, my dream isn’t to have my own piece of land in Georgia and grow cabbage. It isn’t working for White Castle and it definitely isn’t being Miss France/UK. But even if I realise that my life is far than perfect, I still want more.
Desire is like crack. Once you have some… you can’t help but want just a little bit more…
That said, when I hear people complain about INSANE and RIDICULOUS things, I can’t help but wonder what the fuck they would do in my shoes. Most people took at the deal they were given, get back on that horse and try. Some people… just sit on their ass… complain and wonder why life is not that great for them. Sure, some people are dealt a really bad hand. Sure, having cancer, being hideous, being handicapped, growing up very poor… etc sucks. But if the cards you were given to start with aren’t great, you have to learn to reshuffle the cards, pick yourself up and try the fuck again.
That’s why you have to “do or die”. It’s not just about “wanting”… it’s about trying. You might not get everything you wanted out of life, or do everything on that check list we all have at the back of our minds, but at least you try. You also have to take into account the sacrifices you have to make. Let’s take me as an example (not to sound narcissistic… but it would be rude to take someone else).
Me = I have a degree in history (woo!). I have a family who are fuuuuuckkkinnnngggggg crazy (no really…), but I know that my parents would do anything for me. I have many friends, and a few I know would take a bullet for me. I’m not too hideous (I like to think?). I have enough money to do what I want. I’m not stupid. I am cultured and well travelled…. etc.
So you could say (superficially I realise because I haven’t exactly written very much here), that I should be happy. On most points I’m pretty lucky. But… I have make sacrifices. I have lived in 3 countries, 5 towns.. and sure by moving around you make tons of friends… but you don’t have (if only rarely) long lasting relationships. So… if my social life, work life etc are great… my “boyfriend’ situation has suffered. Yes, yes I admit it… I have never been in a relationship that has lasted more than 6 months. But I don’t consider myself “unlucky”. A great relationship… is partly… chance (but that’s another issue). Do I complain?
Fuck yeah I do. But I can. Because I have aspirations too. If I was totally happy with my life… I would be stagnant. I would stay still… unmoving… while everything changed around me. And no way do I want that to happen. If I didn’t “do” anything, I might not “die”. But life wouldn’t be that interesting. It probably should be “do or disappear” since dying is more permanent. So, stop complaining. DO. TRY. MOVE. SHAKE IT OUTTTTTTTTT!
Today is my last day in my degree course. If everything goes well, I shall soon be a fully fledged bachelor. I will have spent 3 years studying for a history degree. In vain? That is an important issue. Not one I shall talk about today though. Today, feels like change is coming. Another beginning is coming. I’m glad of the person that I have become. I undoubtably have made errors and I am far from being perfect, but I accept those mistakes without batting an eyelid. Why? Because I have learnt something from everything. You can’t deny that you don’t learn from the past, at least that’s why I started to study history. I’m studying history because I like to think that I can make a small, even minute difference. War for example is never an answer, at least not one that should be taken lightly.
I have learnt also that history isn’t a chronological list of the most important events that have changed the world. I mean sure, WW2 sent gigantic shock waves through the collective psyche… but it hasn’t changed anything in the way people act when there is discord. Again and again do we all read about such and such atrocity that has been committed across the globe. Even if it is unlikely that a historian will be the one standing up and fighting to stop such actions, I honestly believe we are here to show own our errors, and hopefully learn from them. The same actions do not give the same consequences. Life and history isn’t mathematics. Never do we see the same consequences come from the same actions. They may be similar (no food, famine = revolts) but not all revolts turn into revolution, for example, but are never the same. It goes to prove that however way we see “world history”, we as humans are not in a cyclican vision of history, we are in a world of our own making, utter, and extremely comforting chaos.
I love that world. It is really comforting to think that whatever way you see it, we are in control of what we are doing, because if we didn’t view it that way, we would be the puppets in a giant puppet show. For ever perpetrating the same mistakes… but most importantly if we didn’t live in this chaos… are we thus destined to do what we are doing? Do we then justify the many wars and deaths that have come to past? Is there nothing we can do to stop a possible WW3 from ever taking place…. if it in fact written in our futures?
Just like in Greek mythology, are the three “parques” forever cutting the strings that is our own lives? Do we not control our own destiny? I like to think we are. Otherwise all the past pain and sufferings are in fact justified… and thus are deemed “ok” (to put it blandly).
I don’t want to believe that. I want to believe that today, is the first day of a new life. A life that I am fully in control of. For most of my life I have done what I have always wanted… and I’ll be damned if there is something or someone in control of my life that isn’t me. Yes, it is probably evident that a “God” isn’t in my own future… but I don’t want to even think of a God… I want to think purely of what is a solid huma history. History is by definition the written word of humans. Before writing and before humans, it is not deemed as history, but pre-history.
So today, I think we should all take heed, be in control of our own destinies. Today, change is gunna come. But make sure it is you in the driving seat, and that you are in control of your own life. Because no one wants a pussy. 🙂
Yes yes I know, it’s in French. I’ll translate. It means “a heart divided”. But what does it really mean to have a heart in more than one place? But not only two places… but two people?
Love. Say it really slowly to yourself. L-O-V-E. What is it? Sure we can look up a definition. But how does that really help us? But… as I am an extremely kind person, I shall go fetch a definition so we can thus compare it to one we will create… or rather I will give. As a disclamer, I think I should mention that I am not a doctor/sexologist/therapist but a simple human being who likes a good… perspective on things… or to talk to the unknown!
Anyway, back to our dictionary definition of “love” : Here is the Collins Online Dictionary’s Definition for your pleasure of course !
So… ladies and gentlemen… what does this exactly convey to us… the general public so to speak?
To me at least. Nothing. This doesn’t say anything about the passion and anguish one can feel for another person. It doesn’t talk about the absolute pain to see a loved one hurt… or the hours spent at their bedside if they are ill… or even the time and effort to find that perfect gift. We don’t learn anything either about the person.
What I find strange is that dictionaries give a general definition without saying stressing that a feeling, an emotion… is purely and utterly personal. That there are intensities of love and passion. That love is in fact different for everyone. Which is probably why all “good” psychologists tell us that “communication” is the best way to keep a relationship alive (for me sex I believe is enough… see previous blog posts!). But… in our day and age… while we all concentrate on buying, fucking and making money… what has happened to the day old quest for love? Now… we could say that rescuing maidens on ones horse is past its sell-by-date… and yeah sure, you’re right. I know…. but as I have already noticed… it’s not exactly as though internet dating is going to get us anywhere. If a guy isn’t upright asking for sex… he’s doing it slyly… or laying! Woo hoo! I’m not surprised that the 9th definition affiliates “love and sex” and the same thing! Ha! No wonder men say “I love you” so soon nowadays! We all know that love+sex is better…. than sex+sex… but… where is the love? (to parody the Black Eyes Peas!)
For those who don’t want anything corny. You have come to the right place. Because… I’m not the one who’s for long walks on the beach… pina coladas and music by Bryan Addams! No thank you! But I do understand the whole “heart divided”. What are we to do in a world… where we meet so many new people… new places… How can I have enough space to love the ones I want to love? I think… the only way to make at least a bit of space, is to forget the people you hate, have hurt you… or caused you pain in the past. No one needs to be reminded of personal pain. So… put that in the bin! Go… do it now!
Now that that’s done… we have to mention that there are different types of love… love for a parent, a friend… a lover (if you’re lucky!)… a pet… a place… a particular memory… Sometimes we get lost in ourselves… but I want to believe that I can share the love. Why should we have to regret that we may love more than one person? We should in fact be happy that we are lucky enough to love and have loved! Loving two people at once isn’t a crime! The crime… the crime if there was one would maybe to cause pain to the people that we do love! So let’s…. not divide our hearts just yet…. but in fact put all the pieces together… like a puzzle… and hope that they all fit together.
Love… is in my opinion the only emotion that is every single one we humans can in fact feel. Love causes anger, sadness, happiness… anguish… everything… so should we be celebrating this “all purpose” emotion? Yes… yes we should… because even if it can cause pain… the benefits are so much better. Love is a dangerous game of poker… but you keep n risking it all because… because you can sometimes win big. Real big. But maybe hold up on the bluffing… no one likes a lier in love!