Category Archives: Truth, goddness and beauty

“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to insulate the Grenfell Tower, according to the speed of how quickly the fire took hold, probably a bad escape plan or out of date safety equipment.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

 

“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 has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important”- Arthur Conan Doyle

Since big things in life are difficult to achieve, for me it’s better and more satisfying, to focus on the little ones. It’s not only trying to achieve small goals, it’s also a constant research of every little source of happiness. We should educate our eyes (and our hearts) to see beauty, to recognise kindness, to feel positive people and appreciate them. No need to say that my life coach is JD, who seems to be always in a telepathic contact with me; yesterday I was desperately looking for a reason to smile and he inspired me saying: “It’s the little things in life that make the difference. Choose to be happy”.

So I decided to write down a list of 10 little things that usually make difference through my day:

  1. Morning/night texts: they make me feel loved.
  2. Random acts of kindness: they restore my hope in a world with better people.
  3. Encouraging messages from my wonderful friends: they give me strength.
  4. A new book to read or a new story on my mind: a new world where I can refuge in.
  5. Listening to my favourite songs: music is always a blessing for my soul.
  6. Learning a new thing: learning is not only for students, we must improve our knowledge in order to be more open-minded.
  7. Finding a tasty gluten free product or recipe: because in order to have a performing mind, we should have an healthy (and happy) body as well.
  8. Low pain day: never take your health for granted.
  9. Going to bed with no task undone.
  10. Him.

And you? Do you have some little pleasures that make your day better?

TRACK OF THE DAY: The little Things- Toto

“Books are a uniquely portable magic”-Stephen King

Last Thursday it was World’s Book Day, the day in which most people brag to have read at classic, when they never have opened it in their life. I’m a bookworm since I was three, when I finally started reading on my own. I’m also a very fast reader, this is a blessing since I can perfectly optimise the hours spent in the doctor’s waiting room, but also a curse, for I always need new books. Luckily I can satisfy my constant desire of reading by borrowing books at the public library, I’m sorry for the librarians who have to see my ugly face every now and then and who try to keep me away as long as possible, by suggesting me huge volumes.

There are three books that marked the different stages of my life. The first is “Little Women” by Louise-May Alcott: I was 7/8 when I read it and I immediately identified myself with Jo March, she was exactly the person I wanted to be. She wasn’t girly, she refused to conform to society and she wanted to be a writer. And in the following books she also married the man she loved without caring about other people’s opinion.

The second book I read when I was 12, is “The diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank. Despite of the huge differences due to the historical situation and her condition, I totally bonded with her. She was me and I was her, since we felt the same things: intolerance for our family members and adult, first love problems, facing period for first time and above all, the love for writing and the fact we both kept a diary.

I read “100 Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcìa Màrquez when I was 15 and when I finished it I thought that it was the kind of book I wanted to write. It opened me the magic gates of South American Literature and Gabo was quickly flanked by the immense Isabel Allende, Julio Cortazar, Mario Benedetti and Eduardo Galeano. During high school I developed an insane passion for Joyce and later I fell in love with Sylvia Plath, Jeanette Winterson and Anais Nin (have I ever mentioned that I love erotica?).

For a late celebration of World’s book day, I leave you the link of a book I read last year and that I literally loved: https://www.amazon.it/dp/B01KPBNBG8?ref_=kw8_store_search_detail

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The book is “Psy” and its author is the eclectic Joey Slater who’s also a songwriter and a band member both for Wheatus and Ventura Project. I will write a review of it soon: if you love young adult fiction and you know English, this is a must read book.

TRACK OF THE DAY: The Book of Love- Gavin James

 

“I was so thin I could slice bread with my shoulderblades, only I seldom had bread”-Charles Bukowski

There is something I’m always reluctant to talk about and it’s my unintentional weight loss. And while everybody seems having the opposite problem and struggles between diets and gym courses, it’s hard to say that I’m losing weight without dieting or increasing physical activity. To be completely frank, I never went to a gym, I love to walk, but the closest I can ever be to a sport, is yelling at the tv while watching football, rugby or golf.

So I never talk about this, because people won’t understand, they will probably say that I’m lucky and because I noticed that skinny people are often bodyshamed by being called unhealthy, bunch of bones or anorexic. Should I be ashamed of my skin and bones (just to say it in Coldplay’s words)? According to the nasty looks people give me on the beach, I should and that’s so unfair.

The real problem is not being fat or being thin, but looking at the others’ bodies to imitate them or to criticise them. No one is bearer of an absolute truth, let alone the perfect body type. So, look at yourself and yourself only, lose or gain weight only for helth reasons or if you (and only you) like your body and stop thinking that people like underwear models are an evil example.

So here it comes the second part of this post: visiting Victoria’s Secrets store in London. I know, I already blamed those who go to London only to show their purchases in popular places, but in my defence, I have to say that I buy my underwear in the kids section and that I was dragged there, by someone who thought I would have loved luxury and invisible panties. Let me say that lace thongs are a big NO from me, since it’s like having a rose stem in the middle of the butt cheeks, but if you fancy sexy lingerie, here’s my tips.

There are three Victoria’s Secrets stores in London: one, I’ve never been to, is next to Brent Cross area, another one, the most famous, is located in Central London at 111 New Bond Street and you can get there by hopping off either at Bond Street or Oxford Circus station. It’s not hard to find, just a cross street of Regent’s Street.

The third store is inside the Westfield Mall, next to Sheperd’s Bush Station. Well, to be clear, there are two shops: the classic and bland Victoria’s Secrets and the Pink store for younger women that has cuter and more comfortable items (according to me). Anyway both have workout clothes, tanktops, underwear… just in a different style.

So, if you like this brand and you want to wear something sexy (and expensive) for a hot night under London stars, here you are. And don’t ask me what we bought, I won’t tell you: it’s a (Victoria’s) secret.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Little Things- One Direction

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving”-Mother Theresa

Yesterday Mother Teresa, revered for her work with the poor in India, has been proclaimed a saint just 19 years after her death. by Pope Francis in a ceremony at the Vatican. This kicked off a lots of polemics about the doubtness of her miracles, about the money she got, where and how she had been cured while she was sick. But, putting aside cospiracies and debates, wheter you believe in God or not, we must admit she worked hard to focus the world’s attention on India conditions.

And here we go back to my previous post about trust and giving, as we can do so much for the others. I promised to share the other charities I feel I can trust in, since I know people involved.

First one is Water Aid http://www.wateraid.org/ . We always take for granted the water that runs easily from our taps, always disposable, clean and safe. We shouldn’t ignore that there are many people (mainly women and children) who have to walk for miles to reach sources of water that isn’t always healthy. Water aid works with governments to reach all of their citizens with sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services. It raises money through the site and through special events, here’s Sandy Beales who run for Water Aid fundraising in UK, as many of us he believes that clean water and sanitation are essential for life.

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Another one is Headbands of Hope https://www.headbandsofhope.com/  , I got to know it through Emily Sarmiento (credits to her for the pic below), who is pretty active in sharing these initiative. For every headband purchased, one headband is given to a child with cancer. You can also just make a donation instead of buying headbands or submit a specific hospital to receive headbands. Please notice that it’s only for hospitals in the US, but you can get involved anyway since they deliver worldwide.

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Last one is Believe in magic http://www.believeinmagic.co.uk/ a charity that spreads a little magic to any child who is seriously or terminally ill by helping them to realise their dreams in order to make them smile despite all the pain they’re going through. There are so many option to give, so please get involved.

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TRACK OF THE DAY: We believe- Steven Curtis Chapman