Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’
I haven’t blogged in over a year. There was no conscious decision to stop, no one moment where I became bored or lacked the words. In fact there’s been many a time I’ve been frustrated to the limitations of Twitter to get a point across I feel passionate about. I don’t know if this post will be it for another year or until next week. But tonight, as I start to type this on Sunday 3rd August I almost have too many things to say.
That recently I had to take a very long and critical look at myself in the mirror and face up to weight gained, health not quite up to scratch (some of you will be familiar with my blogs on suffering from Tinnitus, add to that a pesky and painful foot injury I’ve not been able to shake this year). I’ve always stated exercise is the hardest routine to get into and the easiest to fall out of. But I’ve recently made it to the gym after bad work days when the devil on my shoulder has been telling me to go for pizza and a bottle of wine. Jumped in the pool when I want to be lying in a park finishing my book. Chopping up a rainbow of lettuce, beetroot, tomatoes instead of boiling the kettle to put the pasta in. Showing myself Tough Love.
That during Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games I’ve thought back to the lows I went through during 2012 which culminated in the high of The Olympics. Those days, I still confidently state, were my happiest in a decade of living in London, and will remain the most inspirational until the day I die. I think it changed me, for the better. This past week, watching amazing athletes like Lynsey Sharp set such a positive role model for young girls everywhere has been a complete joy. I type this waiting for the inevitable montage to round-up the games so I can cry the just as inevitable sports tears.
That today I went to Shuffle Festival’s Day of the Dead, set in the beautifully calm and serene Tower Hamlets Cemetery (my Dad and I can’t be the only ones who find cemeteries peaceful instead of eerie)? I sat listening to a crowd of old east-enders relay their tales of what can be best described under the title of “back in the day”. Complaining about all these retro shops in Brick Lane, thinking fondly on the colourful Sari shops of their youth. How when one of them moved to Somerset the first thing he had to do was learn how to say good morning to people, “do that in the east end people would class you as a loony”. How all these kids are moving to Hackney now because they can’t afford Islington anymore (I had to bite my lip, I wanted to tell them we can’t afford Hackney either). It was like listening to my parents and their friends talk, and because of that, behind my sunglasses I cried happy tears. I sat there until the old nana in her wheelchair finally piped up and said “I wanna go ‘ome”.
So this has been a bit of a montage post I guess. To say look after your health, find inspiration in the people and acts that move you, and to cherish your family. Life is fleeting.
I’ll sign off with the words of one of those lovely east-enders that made me smile so much today. Last cockney to leave turn off the lights.
The past month or so I’ve struggled with my writing. I wouldn’t describe it as a block. More like the creative part of me was grinding to a halt and I couldn’t find inspiration. About a week ago I honestly thought this blog had reached its end. Maybe it was the endless winter or the soul-destroying flat hunt I’m currently involved in. I’ve been reading books at a slower pace, gone into a trance when I’ve picked up my laptop to write, left my camera at home when I should be out taking photos.
Today I decided to give myself an art overdose in the hope of being wowed and excited by something. First The Light Show at The Hayward Gallery. If you happen to be an art loving Sci-Fi fan this is an absolute must. Leo Villareal’s Cylinder II made me feel like I was stood amongst a million stars, Ivan Navarro’s Reality Show was like the bottom of Doctor Who’s Tardis had fallen out spiralling into a vortex and Olafur’s Eliasson’s Model for a timeless garden felt like I had found water on mars (strobing unreal droplets hopping and falling in a pitch black room).
A short stroll across our dirty old river took me from a futuristic experience back to the 1920’s. The National Portrait Gallery is currently showing Man Ray Portraits. I was trying to commit every photo and moment to memory. From the seventeen year-old boy freaking out at the sight of what I can only describe as a healthy bush of pubic hair on Meret Oppenheim (“that’s just weird!!”). To moments when I found myself welling up at photos of his lovers (Kiki and Lee Miller) and wife Juliet. The one constant thought in my head throughout the whole exhibition was “I think we have less interesting faces now”, which is a testament to Man Ray but perhaps doesn’t say much about my fellow Londoners. I include myself in this of course, especially standing in front of his portrait of Virginia Woolf. I have a terribly dull face in comparison.
I’ll end this post with Man Ray’s words of encouragement to his niece Naomi Savage when she started her own creative journey. It struck the right chord today.
“You don’t need a huge audience. You only need five or six people who care, and there to encourage you… Don’t worry about idealism and practicality… Try to get paid for what you do, and don’t worry if you don’t. Just keep on working. You’ll make up for it time.”
Friends, Londoners, Countrymen…
It has been a week since Danny Boyle sparked a Ready Brek glow in the pits of our stomachs.
Everyone, and I truly mean every single soul, that I have come into contact with over the past week seems to be holding onto this rare, unheard of level of loveliness. I haven’t once tutted, wagged my finger or rolled my eyes. Instead, I have laughed in the face of the well taught stranger danger and chatted away to people (especially those beloved purple and red volunteers that have popped up like very human wombles, laminated labels swung round their necks). I even had fun in the Post Office yesterday, that usual pit of hell we suffer. Staff and the usually mardy customers all chatting excitedly about Bradley Wiggins. And I can’t even ride a bike.
I know it’s exhausting, it’s not our natural state of being, especially as London dwellers. But my days, we are doing enthusiasm really bloody well. It’s almost like the Olympics have unlocked something dormant in us. At some point we all started grumbling and found it hard to snap out of it. We lost faith in this little Island of Cheddar Cheese, Real Ales, Mods, Rockers, Cockles soaked in vinegar, rain and Shakespeare.
Danny Boyle gave us an utterly bat shit and bonkers reminder of all that is Great about Britain. Our beloved NHS, Branagh as Brunel, our rich and diverse music history, the suffragettes, this green and pleasant land we have all been so cynical of. Then the games started, and these super human, brilliant sportsmen and women have fuelled that glow further than I ever anticipated. I am watching ALL the sports. I don’t know the rules and regulations, sometimes I am confused, but I am always proud and hugely excited to be part of this.
As I type this we have won fourteen medals in Cycling, Canoe Slalom, Shooting, Equestrian, Gymnastics, Rowing, Swimming and Judo. These superb new role models who are surely inspiring the young generation watching them. I have high hopes that children will put down the games consuls and want to swim like they have gills, row like there’s a pot of gold at the end, swing up onto bars like they were born a creature of the trees and cycle like they’re powering the national grid.
As for all of us. Keep it up, this loveliness. At the end of the Olympics, when your cheeks are aching from being pushed up to your eyes from the smiling, no one will begrudge you for slipping back to your old ways. I will probably revert back to taking down the number plates of people who run zebra crossings (and do absolutely nothing with the information). Or maybe we won’t.
Maybe things will just remain better than they were before. ♥
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