Monthly Archives: April 2015

A Long Way Down

A Long Way Down (2014) Poster

I felt I wanted to write a little bit about this film as it is one of my favourites and in my opinion an absolutely fantastic film.

A Long Way Down is based around four characters who all meet on a rooftop on New Years Eve, the reason that each of them are on the rooftop is that they went up there with the intention of committing suicide – light hearted I know! Due to the awkward situation they have now found themselves in, and with a bit of restraining of one character, each of them decide not to jump off the building.

The four grow closer through out the film, they develop a bond and to paraphrase one of the characters; JJ (Aaron Paul) “we are just a group of desperate people trying to feel a little less desperate together”. The foursome are different ages and completely different people in many senses of the word, they are such an unlikely compilation, you begin to feel that they become more of a family than friends or strangers and it becomes rather heart warming.

Imogen Poots who plays Jess is one of the best things about the film for me. Jess is a lively girl with a lot of character, she brings comedy to the film and is the girl who says things that no one else will, even if slightly inappropriate. Having seen Imogen Poots in another film called That Awkward Moment it has really made me appreciate how much of a great actress she is as her character in both films ranges so differently in personality.

A Long Way Down in the comedy genre or suggest it if you fancied watching a light film, but I would suggest it if you wanted a film with depth, insight and if you feel in a depressed or low situation yourself. Within the film each character has their own story, as an audience we slowly see that there is much more to them and their lives than we would of imagined, a history that may be deeper or darker than we realise.

If you’re looking for something new to watch on film night this week, definitely give this one a try!

Advertisements

The Doppleganger

1984-Web-The-Doppelganger.-Panel-2_jpg_440x880_q851984-Web-The-Doppelganger.-Panel-1_1_jpg_440x880_q85

When I went to Leeds art gallery I saw this piece of art and it was one that really stuck with me. Maybe it’s because I feel I can relate slightly to some of what was written on the right picture:

The real me is there all the time, but it has to be supressed because of the conformity. If everyone has got the same uniform on, everybody feels safe”

The piece of art is about conformity, stereotypes and I think it makes a strong statement towards society; the man on the left is a skinhead, Marxist anarchist and the man on the right (the same man, but a different man in many senses) is a stockbroker, a 9-5 business man. The man does what he ‘must’ do in the day, he has to earn his living, maybe he doesn’t want to be this person, but he does not have a choice, like most of us, because we need money, we need to make a life for ourselves and we must behave the way we are expected to when we do so. When he leaves work he changes his clothes and his behaviour to the man underneath the suit.

Everybody has different personalities, we are all one person split into different people. We might be a parent or a co-worker or someone’s friend and we all act differently around these people, we take on a different persona for every person we talk to, to every situation we may be in.

It’s a powerful piece of text on the picture, especially the bit about everyone wearing the same uniform because then we feel safe. The same reason I imagine a lot of us don’t express ourselves the way we want to; we don’t wear a quirky piece of clothing because we fear we may be judged, so we stick to something plain to ‘fit in’, we don’t voice a certain opinion of ours because we are worried of the uproar it may cause, we worry how people will react to it.

Or maybe some people do all these things -good on you if you do! However, that’s usually when people begin to get labelled and these labels can tend to have negative connotations.

I hope that this has maybe provoked a train of thought for some of you, or left you thinking, who is your doppleganger? Are you a conformist or a rebel, and do you wish that was different? I think many of us have someone who we are and another someone we want to be. I hope we find the courage to some day be the latter.

Nature

Sometimes all you need is to reconnect with nature; walk on the grass with your bare feet, smell some beautiful flowers that are growing from the ground, sit under a blossom tree and breathe some fresh air.

That is all.

Get out!

This evening I decided to go for a little bike ride to a park not too far from me. It was quite a random idea as I haven’t been on my bike in months, but have been wanting to ride it for a few weeks now, so I thought why not? What else am I going to do, wallow in self pity? So I did and it was rather lovely!

A few pictures from my evening cycle ride.

A few pictures from my evening cycle ride.

Honestly, if you are feeling a bit trapped in your own head, down or depressed I’d really recommend going out on your bike, a walk or even a drive to somewhere you like or your ‘happy place’. I don’t have a happy place, it’s kind of a load of bollox, but the park I went to is one I went to a couple of times with my ex boyfriend. We sat in a tree there and talked for hours and I wanted to go there on my own, because I missed him and also I felt like one of the times we went there and memories of us hold a lot of happy feelings (but also sad in contrasting kind of way, but hey I had nothing to lose).

I feel so disconnected from everything lately, I wanted to feel connected to something, so I guess this was my way of doing it. Anyhow, the cycle there was beautiful, it was around half 7/8 and that’s when the sky starts to turn all the colours of the rainbow; red, orange, purple, blue and nature smells so alive around that time. The route I went was quite scenic (for the city anyway!) and I was gliding along on my bike and I tell you what; I haven’t felt so serene and at peace for a long time. At this time it was like I could genuinely appreciate nature and time with myself; away from phones, laptops, televisions etc. and out of my room. Sitting in the big climbing tree I spoke of earlier was relaxing too and I did a minute or so of mindfulness meditation.

Whilst cycling back I got such a warm sense of comfort, like deep down I knew things were going to be okay, maybe I was high off fresh air, who knows?

Anyway, I thought I’d share my lovely experience maybe not only because it bought me joy, but because I hope to inspire you to go outside, get in the fresh air and beautiful landscape. Push away your anxieties and realise that even a small change such as this in your evening routine can make such a drastic difference to your mood and quite possibly your whole mind set. Even if it is just for one evening, but  maybe one evening is all you need, just for that peace of mind you’ve been waiting so long for.

A Weekend in Leeds (a little late, I know)

My sister goes to university in Leeds so I decided to take a little break away from life where I live and go to visit her this weekend. I’ve been before and really enjoyed it and I think it’s a great city to visit (or even live!) so I’ve decided to do a little post on my weekend for anyone who’s considering going/wants somewhere knew to go or is simply interested.

I arrived on Friday late afternoon and first of all we go for food at a place in the centre called Trinity Kitchen, it’s in one of the main indoor shopping centres and in the ‘kitchen’ are a range of food places from pizza to Vietnamese cuisine. My sister and I chose a little Mexican-y place and had burritos and nachos, the burritos were great with a range of fillings inside; you can choose your mean (or go veggie) and that’s with rice, beans/vegetables, salsa, cheese and a choice of guacamole. I do have to admit however the nachos were slightly mediocre. Then we went to a bar called Roxy’s; an upstairs bar, with a chilled atmosphere filled with pool tables, beer pong and table tennis and of course seats for those of us who aren’t as energetic! There was a decent range of cocktails there and a better than average range of flavoured vodkas – which is great for me as I love vanilla vodka! Once we finished our drinks we headed home for a night in with foodie treats.

On Saturday I headed to the art gallery, which was a bit small, but I suppose that’s because I’m from Birmingham and Birmingham art gallery is a large one to compare it to. What I loved about it was that for the first time ever I went to an art gallery because I wanted to and I appreciated it all. There was some really thought provoking pieces that gave a lot for me to think about. I think the section I enjoyed the most was the art from 1800-1900, maybe I’m a sucker for classic art because it’s so precise; it’s all there, where as modern art is usually hard to grasp the concept of.

IMG_1081

After the art gallery, I met my sister and we went to a sci-fi and comic book fair in the town hall. That was fun and there was a good selection of comic books for a good price along with figurines and posters etc. I’d recommend going to the fair if it’s on whilst you are there, there’s also a nice little comic book shop in Leeds which unfortunately I didn’t get chance to look  during my stay.

IMG_1083

When it got to lunch time, we went for food at a boat themed pub/restaurant called Dry Dock. It’s basically a pub that is a boat (but no where near any water as I had mistakenly assumed it would be) There’s a beer garden on top of the boat which is lovely to sit on a nice day, however it was far too cold so we sat below deck. It was not like a pub I’d ever been to and felt like a bit of a novelty being there as it’s so different to any pub that I’ve ever known! My chicken, cheese and bbq burger with chips and coleslaw was a decent lunch and my sister really enjoyed her burrito too. The foods not Jamie Oliver, but it hit the spot and was really decent for a small price of £5.95.

In the evening, my sister and I went to a flat party, so I can’t give you too much information on night life, however I do know from previous experience that there are tonnes of cocktail bars/bars which are pretty spectacular and I know from my sister that the range of clubs is pretty good too.

On my final day, we went to a business park- for lack of a better word – where there’s a large range of places to eat (including an American diner called Rosie’s  which I’d highly recommend; the food and general theme is fantastic, not to mention the big yellow bus inside the restaurant!). Anyway in the business park is a bowling alley where we had a game of bowling and after played some pool. The bowling alley is quite big and there’s a range of amusements including a fun little photo booth. As a young person I feel there’s not always a lot for us to do in the day time if your bored of the whole shopping thing and this was a perfect past time an I really enjoyed it.

All in all I’d definitely recommend anyone to go to Leeds for a weekend/day out, because I can guarantee it’s got something different there to where you’ve been before or where you live.

FullSizeRender[1] IMG_1109

Goodbye, for now, Leeds!

Loneliness and Isolation: Necessary Ingredients of Creativity?

Longreads

(Vincent) Van Gogh likely had a cadre of mental issues, none of which were suitably diagnosed while he was alive. Yet what seemed to weigh heaviest on him was the inevitability of his loneliness. According to his letters to Theo, he felt he had one of two options: content himself with loneliness or try to countenance his loneliness with friendships thereby derailing his creativity (“lead us from the road,” as he wrote).

Aldous Huxley wrote, “If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely,” and upon thinking about it even a little, it quickly becomes apparent that many of history’s creative geniuses have been deeply lonely people. There is the obvious reason for this: dedicating oneself to an artistic pursuit means one has little time for social endeavors. This is what has frustrated flamboyant, gregarious writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Henry James, both of whom wrote about the dreadful isolation…

View original post 91 more words

Stop acting like you have more time

Sunset 15.04.15I know the title may seem a little morbid, but lately I’ve realised that acting as if there’ll be plenty more times to come, that there will be more opportunities e.t.c. is a ridiculous way to act. I suppose it’s understandable if you don’t have any time whatsoever for what you want to do or something like that, but make time!

Not long ago, my boyfriend broke up with me. One thing I keep thinking about is the fact that when we were in the relationship, I was in the mind set that we’d have lots more time (how oblivious and naïve of me really). I thought I had more time to be confident, to let myself blossom for him, more time to do adventurous things together, to try new things and make our relationship even better. However, I was clearly wrong.

So lately I’m thinking, what if I don’t have more time? I keep getting up to watch the sunrise (I end up falling back to sleep anyway- oops) but I can’t be waiting around for summer and for a perfect opportunity or for my friends to be there with me, because we waste too much god damn time thinking there’s going to be more of it.

I challenge all of you to do something today that you’ve been putting off for ‘tomorrow’ or ‘next week’ and make time and do it; today. Life is too short, too quick and full of too many surprises and unexpected turns for us all to assume that we’re going to be able to do the things we want to do another day, or to be brave ‘next time’ or to wait around for things to fall into place.

I suppose I’ve always known that the phrase ‘Live every day like it’s your last’ is a cliché and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to  go jumping out of planes every day or not slob out on your sofa and watch television ever again, it just means don’t always presume there’s going to be a tomorrow.