“We don’t know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have”

Breast cancer is a devastating experience for a woman, she faces death and of course her first desire is to beat that monster. She also sees her body changing, she may lose her hair or go through a mastectomy and when the fight is over, her wish is to return quickly to her old life, to set a “new normal”. The thing I’ve often heard from cancer survivors is that they wanted to feel a whole again, but how is it possible when the scars remind them of what happened? Moreover, many of them got their nipples removed, so when they look at themselves in the mirror, they see a sort of alien.

Many hospitals offer a rudimentary tattoo and nipple re-pigmentation, but women should know that there are better options and that they come from those tattoo artists who practice a 3D technique. This makes inked nipples looking very realistic which, of course, helps women to regain self esteem.

Unfortunately many artists ask an incredible amount of money for that, something like an average price between 400 and 800$ per nipple (these are American prices, but here in Europe they aren’t cheaper at all). It’s a madness: why do you have to further charge a woman who got through a hard time of her life? There are several associations that help financially women, but I think it’s humiliating anyway.

Now here it comes the good news: there’s an American artist named Mark Corliss who do that for free, who tattoes  stunning realistic 3D nipples getting back nothing but gratitude. This is amazing! It all started while he was covering with tattoed flowers some surgery scars and the costumer asked him to ink her nipples. He later found out how much other artist asked for that kind of work and decided to do that for free.

Other parlours should follow his example, I don’t say they all should do that for free, but definitely at a reduced rate.

Mark said: “The world needs some good right now, so I think it’s a good time to spread the word”, so, please, help him to share this, so it can go viral.

Mark Corliss works in Cape Cod Massachusetts. Visit his Instagram profile here https://www.instagram.com/mark_corliss_tattoo/ or at http://www.spiltmilktattoo.com for more info.

Please tell me if there are other artists who give cancer survivors 3D nipple tattoes without asking them money: I’ll be happy to add them to this post. Thank you.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

 

“Some people make the world more special just by being in it”

I’m poor in money, but I’m rich in friends. My health is horrible and my future dark, but no matter what happens, I can always lean on special people who know how to comfort me and help me to focus on what’s good in my life.

Three days ago it was JD’s birthday: he never fails to inspire me and to make me smile, that’s why the anniversary of his birth is so important to me. I wish he could get back all the good things he spreads in the world and above all everything he does for me. My doctor says he should be bottled and sold as a lifesaver medicine or as the most effective painkiller.

So this is for him. (don’t look at my miserable numbers on Instagram: I’m not popular on there, I’m not popular anywhere, but honestly I don’t care. Unless you make money from social media, being famous on there is like being rich at Monopoly).

And I want to end this post in my best friend’s words, he once said that with money you can buy everything, you can buy even a friend, but a best friend is something valuable you don’t need money for. Seeing that this post is about wishes: I hope you all are millionaires.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Millionaires – The Script

“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart” Haruki Murakami

<Do you remember when I bought that watermelon chap stick without realizing that it was a tinted lip balm, so I applied it totally random on my mouth? And that when we crossed Stamford Bridge it was a very windy day, so you looked at my messy hair and my smeared red mouth and told me:

-You look like that fat dude with lipstick you love. That singer from that band of grave diggers.

You have to thank your irresistible smile and the way you helped me to wear the lip balm off if I didn’t kill you.>

Reading Proust taught us that the taste of something can evoke lost or hidden memories; those can be triggered by a music, a smell or an object, like a stupid lip balm found in the bathroom drawer. So, before memories start tearing me apart, better move to another part of Fullham and start illustrating something nice you can visit in London if you love football as I do.

My best friend is a huge supporter of Chelsea, so I promised him to take many pics of the Stamford Bridge stadium. To get there you have to hop off at Fullham Broadway station and go ahead on Fullham Road. After a few minutes walking, on the left, within the Moore Park Estate also known as “The Brigde”, you will see the home ground of Chelsea FC.

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It was opened in 1877 and has been the venue of many football matches and has also hosted a variety of other sporting events including greyhounds races.

The North stand is named after former Chelsea director Matthew Harding, while the West stand is the first thing you see entering by the gate in Fullham Road since it’s the main external face of the stadium.

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There’s a Hall of fame and the statue of Peter Osgood sculpted by Philip Jackson and unveiled in 2010 by his widow Lynn in the presence of his friends and colleagues. He was a very important player and scored more than 150 goals. The inscription says:

Ossie King of Stamford Bridge
Stamford Bridge has many heroes but only one king. Graceful technician nerveless striker. Icon of the swinging sixties. Adored by fans, scorer of immortal cup final goals.
A big man for a golden age.

If you want to have an incredible experience you can book the one hour long tour that will take you behind the scenes of the Blues, giving you access to areas normally reserved for players and officials, like the press room, the home and away dressing rooms, the tunnel and the dug-out areas.

The tour include the entry to the Museum (that can be visited also without taking the tour), giving you the chance to see how Chelsea has evolved on and off the pitch over the years and to see memorabilia and get to know the most representative players.

Don’t forget to visit the shop!

TRACK OF THE DAY: Blue is the colour – Chelsea FC Anthem

 

“I like good strong words that mean something” Louisa May Alcott

As I stated in my previous post, this blog doesn’t contain any sponsored content: everything you will find here comes to my personal tastes.

I got to know MyIntent thanks to JD because they engraved the word Evaride, that it’s his band. I was curious to know more about this project so I started browsing the web and visited their site. First of all it’s not a jewellery company but a service project whose aim is to encourage people to share more truth and inspiration with each other.

How? Simple: you have to choose a word that represents you or the one you need in your life or something you need to look up to and fill the form. Words are engraved on a round token, you can choose between silver, gold or black (I chose this last one because it’s my favourite colour). You can have it as a twist bracelet, adjustable necklace (like mine) or chain, dainty or bead necklace. There is also a keychain option. If you want you can share your story not only with the person who’s going to make your jewel (in order to put more commitment in the process), but also with the community through social media.

MyIntent motto is “What is your word?” because words are very powerful, not only in a negative way ( “loose lips sink ships” or as we say in Italy “tongues kill more than swords”), but also in a positive way. Wearing your word may be either a powerful reminder or a daily inspiration; it can also lead to productive conversations: you will be amazed in finding out that everyone has an intent for their life and how many interesting, inspiring, moving stories are behind a simple word. It also helps you to question your life asking yourself:

You can also choose to make a gift to a friend or a relative, offering them the word they need the most.

Here’s my necklace, my word is quite peculiar since it’s an acronym.

F8 stands for many different things.

-It’s the FATE I can’t choose.

-It reminds me to have FAITH because things can eventually get better.

-It’s a daily reminder to FIGHT.

 JJD are the initials of a person who daily inspires me, gives me strength, pushes me to look for the light in every situation, reminds me I’m loved and worth.

Check MyIntent site for further informations, more inspiration, models and prices.

https://www.myintent.org/

So: What’s your intent?

TRACK OF THE DAY: More than Words- Extreme

“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself” Rita Mae Brown

A friend of mine told me that I could make money with my blog; first I laughed at him because it’s not a popular one (and the fact that he reads it doesn’t mean that it’s a stellar blog, but that he’s a ducking stalker). Second I introduced him to the wonderful world of PR friendly blogs and why I don’t like them.

A PR friendly blog is run by someone open to working with companies to review, giveaway or promote products. When I see that badge or disclaimer I have the feeling that everything I’m about to read is bought and paid for and that those bloggers have their hands out for freebies. Honestly I think that blogging is more than reviewing stuff, above all if you do that because you’re paid to talk in an enthusiastic way of any shit agencies propose you. How can I believe you knowing that your sponsor won’t accept a bad review and that sometimes posts need to be approved by their customers? Didn’t you start a blog to be free to write, to express yourself or to communicate with people?

It’s a bit dishonest to share and magnifying products you don’t like, believe in or that won’t bring any value to your readers lives. It’s the same on Instagram where well paid models, wannabe celebrities and VIP, celebrate the magical properties of over priced herbal supplements in loose-leaf tea form. It’s a big scam: you lose weight because they contain senna that is a natural laxative. You can make your own detox/energetic tea with less than 5€ by mixing green or matcha tea, a bit of ginger or guaranà and adding some stevia, honey or cane sugar if you like it sweet.

Last two things to say.

1) Everything you read about in this blog, any review or recommendation is not a sponsored content. It’s something I experienced for real because I liked it or because it was a present from a friend or because it simply was something I was curious to try or to visit or to read.

2) A blog reflects who you are, if your content is valuable, brands and agencies will be happy to contact you. It will be up to you to accept the collaboration.

PS. Despite all this: I’m very “Concert tickets to see my favourite artists” friendly.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Barbie Girl -Aqua

 

 

 

“In quoting others, we cite ourselves” Julio Cortázar

I love quotes and, as you can see, I use them a lot. It is mainly because, when I started this blog, I wanted that it had varied content, but a fixed structure that could encase my love for literature and for music. So I decided to have a quote as a title and a song at the end of each post, that could be its ideal soundtrack. Nothing original, as some of you remember, many fashion blogs used to have a song as a title. That’s a device I use for my fan fictions, where every chapter is named after a song (mostly from The Cure).

I find amazing how another person can sum up what I think or feel in a few words, I can’t be concise, so I admire those able to write memorable quotes a lot. I know it’s not something to be proud of: as a wannabe writer, I should be able to write my own quotes and using words of others makes me looks lazy or dumb. But is it a crime ordering a pizza instead of making it? Neither is using quotes.

I love using other people’s words also for my Instagram edits, like this.

While I don’t like female singers (just a very strict number are good to my ears), my favourite writers are mainly women and of course the quotes that most represent me, are from them.

You can tell the deepest truth with the lies of fiction– Isabel Allende: it’s this blog’s header and also a truth since I always mix reality and fiction, so nobody can tell when it’s the character speaking or when it’s me.

This hole in my heart is in the shape of you. No one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?- Jeanette Winterson: a celebration of unrequited love.

To tell someone not to be emotional is to tell them to be dead-Jeanette Winterson: I have this quote in my Instagram bio. It’s an invite not to be ashamed of feelings.

As if you could pick in love, as if it were not a lightning bolt that splits your bones and leaves you staked out in the middle of the courtyard. (…) You don’t pick out the rain that soaks you to the skin when you come out of a concert– Julio Cortázar: a bit long, but it pictures well the inevitability of love. This explains exactly that when love hits you, everything loses its meaning, that reason should never win over feeling and instinct.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Say- Kingsfoil

 

“Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down”- Simon & Garfunkel

I always say that music is my personal lifesaver, there even are scientific studies according to which, adding musical stimuli focus the mind away from pain perception and shifts its attention to the music itself.

But music can be also used for raising donations and awareness for a charity intent; for sure everybody remembers big Charity projects as Band Aid and Usa for Africa: the songs are extremely popular as the artist taking part of the act are (or were) at the time they were released. But there is plenty of songs made by single singers or group of artist that are made to raise awareness about a hot topic (like Warwick-Wonder-Knight-John’s “That’s what Friends are for” against AIDS) or to raise money for the survivors of a disaster (as Haiti’s or Italian earthquakes) or for a memory fund (for example “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John).

Many charity songs were successful, many weren’t; some are well known, some aren’t. Here’s a short list of the ones that come up to my mind.

-“Let it be” cover by the Brit-American ensemble Ferry Aid, released following a ferry capsizing which killed 193 passengers and crew in 1987.

-“Everybody wants to rule the world” by Tears for Fears, the cause was Sport Aid (famine relief in Africa).

-“Man in the Mirror” performed by Michael Jackson who was raising funds for his own fund called “Burn Center, Childhelp, United Negro College Fund”

-“Mama” by Spice Girls and “One way or another” cover by One Direction; different songs from different years to raise money for Comic Relief, a major charity based in the UK which strives to create a just world free from poverty.

I’m sure there are many more; the latest is:

Simon Cowell produced a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” in honour of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire and to raise money for the survivors of the 14th June blaze. Over fifty artists participated in the project and the song has jumped to the top of the singles chart just two days after its release and has been declared the second fastest-selling single of the year, after Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of you”.

Donate here to support those affected by the Grenfell Tower Fire: http://artistsforgrenfell.com

There also was a young couple of Italian architects and instead of staying silent and respect the pain of their families, this death has been instrumentalized by those who say that our youth has to emigrate in order to find a decent job. That’s true, but it has nothing to do with their decease, because, honestly, if nothing had happened they would have only been just a happy couple building its future in the wonderful London.

TRACK OF THE DAY: “Bridge over troubled Water”- Artists for Grenfell