“I am terrified by this dark thing That sleeps in me”- Sylvia Plath

When I think my life has reached its lowest point, here it comes something that makes it worse.  I try not to indulge in sadness (even if lately I’m hooked up to bands like BMTH) and always look for the light. But it’s tiring, unfair, because the first selfish thought is “why me?”, what did I do to deserve all this?

Even looking at my magic paper with the uplifting lyrics “Every day, every hour, turn the pain into power” seems not to work, because the only thing I can think about is that I don’t have the money to get these words inked as I planned.

I read a lot of motivational articles, but they don’t work, because in the end I think they’re just a bunch of nice words which don’t lead anywhere and some of them are bullshit. A positive attitude helps, but doesn’t solve. It doesn’t heal illness, doesn’t give you money, doesn’t protect your kids. In my opinion there’s no shame in feeling hopeless, sad or depressed: faking happiness may be most dangerous than feeling sad, because it kills you inside. Faking a strength we don’t have or believing in a hope we don’t have, is the hardest thing ever.

I’m not celebrating depression: I know it’s a horrible monster able to turn me in an insensible creature, a mean stepmother that feeds me with negative stuff and makes me say that I’d preferred to be dead at a concert or when I was on holiday because I was dead happy. It’s terrible, I know, but I have to die anyway and London Bridge is way better than a sad hospital bed.

It is said that when it feels like the end, it’s often a new beginning. I hope it’s true because at the moment I can only think that what doesn’t kill me makes me wish I was dead instead of making me stronger.

Ps. I’m sorry if I’m so slave to my mood and if my posts don’t have any logic. This is how I feel right now, but talking to a friend or a walk or a random act of kindness or JD, can change it at any moment. Don’t worry, I’m just venting.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Drown – Bring me the Horizon

“Always there have been six ravens at the Tower. If the ravens fly away, the kingdom will fall” -John Owen Theobald,

I read a smart book by Julia Stuart that has been published as “Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo” in the UK and as “The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise” everywhere else. I don’t like to sum up plots, because mine are only honest personal opinions and not reviews, I can only anticipate that it describes the life of the little close community living within the gates of the Tower of London: the Beefeaters (particular Mr. Jones and his wife Hebe), the mean Raven master, the Rev. Septimus Drew who writes erotica under a pen name and has a secret passion for the barmaid of the Tower’s Rack & Ruin pub. The novel is also set in the “Underground Lost Property Office” where Hebe works and That is a continuous parade of odd, unusual objects and weird people. All the characters are well rounded and sometimes absurd, but here it lays the best feature of the novel that is a hallmark of British humour: despite of the tragic event in the background (the death of the Beefeater’s son), the novel is enjoyable and interesting. Here and there you can read facts about the Tower or about its prisoners.

The part describing the animals are really enjoyable, but my favourite parts were the ones at the Underground lost property office, not only because Stuart makes the history behind each lost object interesting and endearing, but mainly because I figured in my head the amount of the bizarre things that people may forget on the Tube trains. How cool is imagining the history behind them and how hard must be rejoining them to their owner, I think it’s job more interesting that it looks.

And at last, a thing that I really loved about this book is the hate that the people working in the Tower, have towards dumb tourists. I used to shake my head while reading, approving every single nasty comments and laughing.

collage-2017-06-16

You know how much I hate tourist traps, so I can’t write any useful guide for Tower Hill, I only hopped off at the homonym tube station and had a quick look around the Tower of London before heading to Shoreditch that is a place where I’m more at my ease.

It’s worth a visit, anyway. I like to take unusual pictures, so I tried to capture the contrast between the ancient Tower and the shiny Shard. And, to be frank, the Tower Bridge is always a good model.

TRACK OF THE DAY: You’ve got time- Regina Spektor

 

 

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” – Maya Angelou

London. Once again. No terrorism involved this time, probably the wrong materials to insulate the Grenfell Tower, according to the speed of how quickly the fire took hold, probably a bad escape plan or out of date safety equipment. But the reasons why the blaze was originated are secondary in front of the people who have lost their lives and the mourn of their families. Unfortunately at least 12 people have died and authorities added that the number is expected to rise and police do not anticipate finding any more survivors.

In such a tragedy there was a positive aspect: first of all the generosity of people who immediately brought not only food, water, clothes, but also prams and toys. This adds up to the solidarity of hotels and restaurants who offered rooms and free meals for those people who have lost everything. And the second amazing thing was the rapidity of the London fire brigade to be there.

Each time there are fires, explosions and disasters, my thoughts go to these people who risk their lives to save others. When most people will flee and run away from the danger Firefighters, however, run towards them. They are heroes, they do that for a sense of duty and not for money, they don’t earn so much and many times they’re volunteers. These are the people we should look up to.

Heroes are not stupid famous people as I often read below celebs posts’, heroes are firemen, policemen who risk their lives for our safety, but also doctors and nurses who solve emergencies. Hero is also your Dad who breaks his back to grant you a solid future. And you should call Queen, not an useless Kardashian, but your Mom who keeps on smiling after a tiring day at work, who, for example, stays awake until late to sew your party dress or cook your favourite meal.

You don’t need a tragic situation to become a hero, defending a person from bullies, helping an old person to cross the street, helping someone at work or at school may be little acts, but in their smallness, they’re big for their recipient. Everyone can be a hero, try to be one in everyday life and don’t waste this word for people who don’t deserve it: fame, money, fashion, parties, expensive clothes are just smoke and mirrors.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Angel by the Wings – Sia

 

“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring”- David Bowie

collage-2017-06-08If you go to London, Brixton is a must see place. It’s the last station of the Victoria Line and it’s a pleasure for the eyes as soon as you go out of the Tube, for, just opposite the street, in Tunstall Road, there’s a mural painting of David Bowie made by the Australian artist James Cochran. It’s a personal version of Aladdin Sane’s album cover and I first saw it last year in January, when the place was full of flowers and grieving messages. On January this year it was the same, save for a glass put to protect the artwork.

Bowie was born in Stansfield road in Brixton and there are several places to see if you’re a fan of him or just a music lover, like the Arts Lab, the hair salon where the Ziggy Stardust hair style was created or the park where he performed in 1969. When I was in London there were two different walking tours that offer people an all-encompassing journey from birth to death of one of London’s biggest icons, with passionate guides able to enrich the visit with stories and anecdotes. There’s a 2 hour tour and a 4 hour one that includes a trip to Beckenham, browse the web and look for the most suitable for you.

Brixton of course, it’s not only Bowie, its market is the Europe’s biggest Afro-Caribbean food market. You can get there with just a two minute walk from Brixton tube station: Brixton Village and Market Row (just across the road) are basically a collection of narrow streets called ‘Avenues’ where you can find everything, tasting a large variety of street food and have a good meal for £10. As I’m gluten intolerant, I looked for something for me and it was a pleasure to see there was a wide choice. Beside of the always trustable Honest Burger, I personally tried Sansla creperie and I wasn’t disappointed. Remember to order a galette and not a crepe if you need to avoid gluten. The Banoffee tasted heavenly and the vanilla shake was delicious. Since I want to go back there to visit the windmill, I will surely hit Sansla for a different option. Here’s the link: http://www.senzalacreperie.co.uk/

In addition to all the open market stalls, the area is full of shops (included my beloved Poundland) and many interesting things to see (as I stated before, I need to go back to visit all the art galleries and the music shops) like the O2 Academy (or Brixton Academy), that was once a cinema and now it’s an important  centre for live music. The Academy was built in 1929 and still have its wonderful art decò style.

So, if you’re in London, don’t miss this incredible borough.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Guns of Brixton – The Clash

 

 

 

 

“Music can change the world because it can change people” ― Bono Vox

On Sunday the Old Trafford Stadium hosted the “One Love Manchester” tribute concert made of the performances from some of the biggest artists in the world. This benefit concert generated around $2.6 million in donations for the “We Love Manchester Emergency Fund”, to help victims of the terrorist attack on Ariana Grande’s gig.

I saw this show also as a statement of people saying “you can hurt us, but we’re still stand together supporting music and the right to have fun without fear”. Because the aim of assaults is to scare us, to bash everything that generates fun and happiness, to force us living in the constant fear of being attacked. What happened in Turin, where thousands of people who were watching the final match of Champions League, panicked after hearing the noise of some shots and turned into a human avalanche that generated over 600 injured, is a consistent example of the constant tension that lingers in our countries.

The best answer is keeping on travelling, on attending concerts and sport events: all the smiles and happy faces I saw last night are the best answer to hate and the reason why  my favourite part (in addition of Coldplay, of course) was the Parrs Wood High School Choir exhibition. Not only because the young and talented soloist (she is only 12 and has an incredible voice) was overwhelmed with emotion and calmed down only after being hugged by Ariana with whom she was duetting, but mainly because those kids represented the new generations who stand together and aren’t afraid to live their lives.

As regarding myself, I have experienced once again the healing power of music, because while I was singing out loud Coldplay and Oasis’ songs, I forgot my miserable condition and my sick sad life.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Fix You – Coldplay

 

“Self improvement is masturbation” ― Chuck Palahniuk

When I read a book of Palahniuk I do it with an open mind, without trying to reflect on what I’m reading,  taking every single thing as a part of his own creative process. If something seems senseless, I go on reading until every part of the puzzle goes at its place. I let the writer take my hand and bring me in his head. “Beautiful You” is one of those novels that can only be loved or deeply disliked. No need to say I loved it since I discerned it was a satire of the books I hate the most (the infamous trilogy of the 50 shades, please note that my disgust is mere jealousy toward something that made the fortune of its writer despite of the stereotypical characters, bad grammar, dull sex scenes and plain plot). The female character is an anonymous secretary who clumsy spills coffee on a fascinated, powerful millionaire who uses her as a guinea pig for his sex toys.

The whole book is a satire, not only on the 50 shades books: Palanhiuk talks about the classic men vs women battle, criticize the power of corporate companies and fashion brands, it emphasises the quest of the vaginal orgasm. He’s a master of satire!

The novel is full of clichés, I think he tried to demonstrate that despite of a predictable storyline, already known sentence structures,  clichés characters and banal dialogues, a good writer can make a great book.

Read it only if you’re going to take it as it is, sometime it’s delirious and sex scenes are more scientific than erotic; sometimes the plot gets weird and probably in the end you will say “What have I just read?”. So again, you’re going to love or hate it.

I’m not going to spoiler here its content, but if you leaf through “Beautiful You” in a bookshop, don’t let the beginning block you. The book starts with the female main character who seems to get raped in a court with everybody staring at the scene without helping her. It’s not an odd disturbing scene: it’s the metaphor of all of us being raped by consumerism and the society that looks at what happens without acting as if it was normal.

TRACK OF THE DAY: I don’t need a man- The Pussycat Dolls

“It’s a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own”- H.S. Truman

Let’s be honest, sentences like “money doesn’t count” are sensible when you have enough of it to live and you don’t have to struggle to pay bills or say no to everything you like because you can’t afford it. Of course: family and friends are more important than money, I always say that I’m a millionaire if I look at the friends I have, but even if they’re beyond important with their support and love, it doesn’t bring food on my table.

My life was already bad due to health, now it’s going to get worse, because in two years my family will lose its fix income and all my ideas of earning money working from home, crashed against stupid Italian internal revenue system, according to which you need a VAT for everything and have to pay a fix tax even if you don’t earn nothing. (I still doing researches about home based jobs because I need something I can manage  according to bad and good health days).

In the blink of an eye all the things I’ve built, planned, worked hard for, are going to disappear due to economical interests that thinks that a factory that is not productive enough, has to been shut down, no matter how many family this will affect.

Pope Francis recently said that closing factories and businesses and taking work (and dignity) away from men and women is a grave sin. If there’s a life after that, they will probably pay for that, but at the moment we are those who are having a living Hell on Earth. Words are uplifting, but aren’t enough.

The sad thing is that I sacrificed my happiness, dignity and self esteem for stability. I chose an abusive but stable relationship over a happier, but uncertain one. And now? Now all is gone. I’m starting having anxiety attacks and depression is stronger than ever. I tried, but never be able to commit suicide because of my loving one, at the moment, the only thing that stops me is the fear to fail, believe me, killing yourself is not as easy as you think and there’s a lot of things that can go wrong.

I wrote these last lines not because I’m an attention whore who needs pity and nice words, it’s a self reminding of how strong I am. Next post will be different and more useful, I promise: I have so many things to say and I will run this blog until I can afford internet connection.

I would say to those who lost their job to stay strong, to use this experience to start a new life, to be positive, but these are words that you can find on life coaches blogs. People who have money and don’t have to look into their children eyes telling them “I’m sorry, we can’t buy this”. I’m only a broken creature with no magic spell who’s trying to see the light even in the darkest times. Someone wrote that I’m a fighter through the fire: I should wear off my cape of self commiseration and take my sword.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Stressed out- Twenty one Pilots