Saturday, December 16, 2017

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3 Things to Inspire Your Weekend: #77


Quote of the day: 

I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. 
-Maya Angelou 




Image Credit: ABCNews

It is the season of giving and for many the holidays are a time for giving back. An 8-year-old boy from New Jersey, U.S has showed just how to go about doing this. Jayden Perez held a toy drive at his home to collect toys for kids in hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico -where it is still a struggle to live. Jayden's concern to his mother Ana Rosado was that kids weren't going to get toys and he wanted to donate his Christmas gifts to the children. Rosado posted the toy drive on social media, word spread with help from local media and in the process more than 1,000 toys were donated. A shipping company offered to help them get the toys to puerto rico and mother and son plan to travel to Puerto Rico in the new year to help distribute the toys and visit orphanages.


Image credit: AP

A Dallas high school student in the U.S has been praised for her great act of sportsmanship. Ariana Luterman while finishing the anchor leg of a girls' relay at the Dallas Marathon, saw the legs of the women's marathon leader, Dr. Chandler Self, start to buckle from exhaustion just a few yards from the finish line. And acting selfless and instinctively Ariana helped Chandler to her feet and half-carried her to the finish line. Later Chandler said Ariana -also came alongside her two miles from the finish line and encouraged her to finish the race.





As seen on Arch DailyPyramid House

Architects: VOID Architecture
Location: Sysmä, Finland
Photographs: Timo Laaksonen

Brief: 

A house surrounded by nature requiring a distinct character offering the comfort of a contemporary lifestyle while embracing the surrounding landscape.

Theme:  Tucked in a serene area overlooking a mountain forest and lake, the wooden house is built on a steep plot and takes on a geometric shape. With a glazed observatory at the top of the building to enjoy the scenic view. With glass walls multiple levels of the internal space are flooded with natural light. With a timber fram construction, the house boasts terrace decks, and an elliptical staircase that wraps around a stone fireplace -giving access to the balcony level.



Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Radiohead -Staircase


Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Thoughts on Tea and Life


Quote of the day: 

Tea does our fancy aid, Repress those vapours which the head invade, And keeps that palace of the soul serene. -Edmund Waller 




The steam from the kettle rose up quickly or to be more accurate -rushed out like an army charging through enemy lines, leaving behind dampness in it's wake. For some unknown reason an image of a whistling kettle flashes through my mind. I wonder if those are still is use. You put the kettle on and it whistles out loud once the water boils on the stove. There's nothing fancy about these modern kettles, plugged into a wall living off electricity like ivy clinging on to a building for dear life -an unfair comparison but that's all I've got.

What's a good tea without hot or boiling water. That is not to say I have anything against cold tea. On a hot summer day perhaps it may be so. Iced tea or a cold brew to quench the thirst and cool the mind. But on a cold winter day the hotter the tea the better. Fruit tea, herbal tea, tea bags, loose tea, instant tea, whatever the choice tea will always be tea.

One cannot speak about tea without a mention of its origin -China, before it became widespread. A dynasty of tea drinkers who no doubt prepared it meticulously. There is a sense of ritual to making proper tea. It shouldn't be rushed or thoughtless. It should be planned and calculated where every process has its purpose.

From cold water that changes form to grow into hot boiling water -its very purpose, is there to see clear as day. Thermodynamics aside, your ability to instigate such a change should not be overlooked. And the end result? A battle dance of victory as the kettle reaches the point of no return -clouds of white smoke released like a steam train on a journey.

Life is actually like a cup of tea.

It usually boils (err pun intended) down to how you make it.



Peace. Love. Light* 




Current Listen: Tracy Chapman -Give Me One Reason

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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Poem: Barren


Quote of the day: 

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. 
-Plato






Beware the barrenness
Of a busy life
Because it becomes so easy
To disappear into the void
Usually a dark and scary place
With no window to the outside world
Like trying to navigate a pitch-dark room
To find a light switch
With calculated steps
And hands spread out
To aid the unsteadiness
Tracing contours
Lines and patterns
Like lovers exploring
Every flesh of skin
Where is the relief
Where is the hope
Why is the loss of colour so profound
This darkness bearing down
Beware, beware.


Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Robert Cray -Smoking Gun

Sunday, December 10, 2017

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3 Things to Inspire Your Weekend: #76


Quote of the day: 

May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. 
-Nelson Mandela



Image Credit: HuffPostUK

Author and cancer survivor Gina Mulligan who lives in California has created an anthology of handwritten letters of encouragement, humour and love written by complete strangers to other women with breast cancer. The anthology called 'Dear Friends' consists of notes written by cancer survivors, their friends and family members and the purpose of it is to show other patients that they are not alone in the fight. Gina was inspired after being diagnosed with breast cancer and realizing "a few words on paper are more than just a keepsake". She started the Girls Love Mail (GLM) movement with her husband in 2011. Some of the 80,000 letters received now feature in her book "Dear Friend".


Image credit: GuelphMercury

After losing both parents to mental health issues, Canadian teenager Noah Irvine has won a national award, the Samara Canada Everyday Political Citizen Award. After writing letters to every member of parliament in Canada and challenging them to take more action and address the country's suicide crisis, he later expressed his displeasure with the lack of response he received -only 40 out of 338 MPs responded. His displeasure did not go unnoticed as he later received a call from the Prime Minister, and met with the Federal Health Minister. For Irvine, winning the award is an opportunity for him to push for the creation of a national suicide prevention plan and to advance the discussion surrounding mental illness.





As seen on Arch Daily, The Beach House

Architects: Laura Ortín Arquitectura
Location: Torre de la Horadada, Spain
Photographs: David Frutos

Brief: 

A need to expand a family holiday home located in a town on the Mediterranean coast -a great tourist destination and former fishermen's village.

Theme:  The feel is aesthetic and functional. A grand design with bold architecture and simple finishing taking care to acknowledge the surroundings and become a part of it. Built with metallic and wall structures with an interesting façade and colour. The whole essence of the house is one of coziness and refreshment, a perfect getaway from everyday life.


Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Bessie Smith - I Want Every Bit of It

Thursday, December 07, 2017

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Musings of mine: Rambling Mind on This and That #16


Quote of the day: 

Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. 
-Jules Renard





1. The End is Near

"Prime now offers 2-hour delivery on thousands of everyday essentials" screamed the email subject from Amazon. And for a moment everything stopped. You see I checked. The clock on the wall froze,  people stood still, and birds too in mid-flight. Nothing moved in my mannequin world. But my mind exploded with the possibilities from such an offer. Same day delivery, err still manageable. Next day delivery now seemed like vintage technology. And 3-5 day delivery? Certainly stuff for the stone age. What could be so urgent, so essential and compelling that I would need to have delivered in two hours? I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about this, and I still don't have an answer. What next, instant delivery? As soon as you click on purchase your package, is automatically dropped outside your door. You laugh, but you watch.


2. To Go, Or Not to Go

Have you ever received an invitation that you immediately knew you'd rather not attend? How do you decline without feelings being hurt? Would you rather attend the event just to make everyone happy, everyone except yourself? Or would you brave it by attending only to leave as early as possible? How do you then navigate the thorny corridor of expectations without appearing to be rude or down right insensitive knowing fully well that by not attending you'd be blacklisted. Say goodbye to future invitations that's for sure. William Shakespeare had the idea in Hamlet with the popular line "To be, or not to be, that is the question", but I believe in this present day - to go, or not to go, that is the question.
However, all hope is not lost. According to TimeOut magazine, if you are wondering how to escape a terrible Christmas party without offending the host, you could wear a simple outfit so no one will notice you are missing, or go round and talk to everyone at the party so they will remember you did show up -and then proceed to slip out a window or backdoor. My personal favourite? Tip over a punch bowl over yourself, make a big show of it and whilst pretending to go clean up, take off into the night.


3. What Goes Up Stays There

Who doesn't like a good old riddle to exercise the mind. However there is this elusive riddle that remains unsolved and what better place to disclose it than here. Now is it just me or are supermarket products getting smaller? In the past the products got smaller but the price stayed the same. But what do we have now? Supermarkets increasing their product prices sneakingly, that's what. You are standing there with a kiwi fruit packet scratching your head and thinking didn't they use to sell for half the current price last week? And don't get me started on baked beans, box of cereal, peanut butter and biscuits. Of course the supermarkets blame it all on the economy.


4. Make Paradise

Life always changes. Sometimes we are part of the change, sometimes we aren't. But nothing stays the same. Your present form is different from how you were a year ago, physically, mentally or otherwise. Each new day is an opportunity to re-create yourself, learn something new, do something different, and smile just be cause you can. Life is really simple depending on your perspective. Are you standing at the foot of a mountain lamenting the lack of a decent view, or are you making a slow and steady climb to the top, against all odds, against naysayers, and against your self doubt. Surrounded by tall trees and difficulties only to finally reach the peak and oh my what a reward well worth the journey -a picture of paradise.



Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Clarence Henry -Ain't got no home