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Travelling on the tube seems to turn humans into vultures. Okay, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but there are clearly three types of people who inhabit the underground. You get the predators, who have a eagle eye for an empty seat and pounce across the carriage as soon as one becomes available. Then you get those who seem to be wrapped up in invisible bubble wrap – no matter what they won’t move down into the space in the carriage. And finally those who clearly want everyone to know they exist. They will sprawl their paper across their lap (and mine), or irritate the entire carriage with their own music.

Last week I found myself in an awkward situation. I was on the Metropolitan Line, travelling home after yet another long day. Tired, hungry and did I mention hungry. Anyway, I’m sitting on a three-seater seat, perched next to the window. There’s a fairly large man, six foot five to be exact, who I’ll call Aisle Man sitting on the aisle seat. The space between us would fit a small child.

Man Number Two enters. He sees the small space and is determined to fit. Here we go, I think to myself.

Aisle Man points out: “I know this is a three seater seat, but I’m big, you’re not going to fit.”

Man Number Two replies: “This seat was made for three. I will fit.”

Typical male characteristics may I just point out. Too much testosterone and lose of common sense as you will soon realise.

So in Man Number Two climbs in, with his numerous accessories; bags, umbrella and brief case.  He squeezes. At this point, the way it was going, he might as well sit on top of me!

I turn to him: “Excuse me!”

He continues to shuffle himself on the edge of the sit pushing against me and Aisle Man. I couldn’t move. He was so close I could feel his body heat.

Finchley Road felt like the longest journey ever and he didn’t seem to be bothered at all. As he read his magazine I could hear peanuts being crushed by his teeth. Yes, he really was that close.

Finchley Road arrived and Aisle Man got up: “I told you I was big and there wasn’t enough room. The poor girl in the corner is squashed.”

Man Number Two turns and sees me, for perhaps, the first time in the journey. He moves over oblivious to the previous 15 minutes and continues his journey.

The end of that journey as you can imagine was a relief. Getting off that train, I walked home, taking in the fresh air and came home and immediately showered. It was definitely one of those journeys I was glad to see the end of. And as for Man Number Two – Think before you act!

Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bono and the Edge have joined together and created “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour),” to support the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Left a frog in the back of my throat this morning.

A new year, a new decade. 2010. What we plan on calling this decade is a little unknown at the moment – Tens, Tenies, Teenies. I’m going with the latter, but I’m sure some more ideas will emerge soon.

Well, what does this year hold? Graduation – Eek, that means making a big step into the real world. Lots of hard work will go into the next few months and to help myself keep on top of things here’s my New Year’s resolution, plus a few extra. Being in black and white, hopefully it’ll help me keep them going further than 10th January 2010.

1. Stay organised – I need to create my own deadlines to ensure I meet the real ones
2. Do not panic – This is usually something I tell Kavita, but I think it’s going to apply to us both this year.
3. Have fun! – Even though this semester going to be tough tough tough, (yes I do have to repeat it) I need to enjoy it because it’s not going to last much longer. And that last one goes out to everyone.

Happy New Decade

If you’re not in the Christmas spirit yet, Winter Wonderland is where you need to go. Take a break from shopping and head to Hyde Park where Christmas cheer is all around. Back for the third year, this is sure to be a top attraction this December.

Outdoor ice-skating is a must – even if, like most of our group, you’re not too steady on the ice. After the hour’s skate, with the festive music, you’ll feel like you’ve been in Dancing on Ice. (Okay, so, maybe that was just me, but it will definitely grow on you.) Though, it is advisable to book your tickets in advance as peak time sessions can fill up quickly.

You are sure to build up an appetite on your visit, and there is plenty to eat whilst wondering through the Wonderland. You could head to the Fish and Chips stall, an indoor café if you want to get out of the cold or the pizzeria. Or if you’re just looking to satisfy that sweet tooth, there are fresh crepes, candy floss and sweet stalls everywhere. The Magical Home of Sweets was my favourite.

Then, there’s the German Market. This is filled with endless stalls selling unique gifts. So if you have lots of difficult people on your Christmas list, the market has dozens of stalls selling handmade gifts for everyone. From garden tools, to salt power lamps and handmade jewellery, you’ll probably end up secretly shopping for yourself.

Another popular attraction is the Giant Wheel. We didn’t go on it, but the general vibe told us we weren’t missing much. It lasts about ten minutes and is just a smaller version of the Millennium wheel. Though, if you are thinking of going up for the view, they advise to buy tickets in advance.

There are lots of funfair rides too. I was actually amazed to see quite so many. Word of warning – they come at a price. And on the whole, the day can become quite costly, but entrance to the park is free.

There is so much to see and do, you could spend the whole afternoon there and be lucky enough to see the action through the day and night.

Nearest Station: Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line)

So I haven’t blogged in over a month. Tut tut. My excuse: Final year university. Crunch time and this first semester has been intense. I actually wake up and fall asleep thinking of new ideas for different projects.

Anyway, I’m diverting and the main point of this post is to introduce you to a charity by the name of The Forgiveness Project. A collection of stories, the Forgiveness Project helps both victims and perpetrators of crime. Giving them the platform to express their feelings, it quickly becomes clear that both need help. Both require time and patience to re-integrate with society. The Forgiveness Project gives them this canvas and now has a collection of stories.

I discovered them through a workshop entitled ‘What is Forgiveness?’ Primarily I was attending for research purposes but I soon found myself in deep waters. These issues affect us all. Not just the few direct characters. I realised the press, in enhance, publish the front cover of a story. Though the inside, is often left untouched, it holds emotions, memories, experiences, motives and much more.

With one story, I actually scared myself. I believe a girl who planned and paid for the murder of her husband is innocent and shouldn’t be serving a life sentence. It’s surreal feeling and from reading her story, I’m sure it will pull on some of your strings too.

Uncovering more stories found by the Forgiveness Projects was an emotional experience and really opened my eyes. My definition of justice has now transformed. To what, I’m not yet sure, but it has changed.

IMG_7105Everyone loves Friends. You know the script by heart (well I do) yet you still chuckle away to the lives of Ross, Joey, Chandler, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe.

Celebrating their 15th year anniversary Central Perk came to London. Drinking a coffee in the famous coffee house, whilst watching a selection of clips was the perfect way to spend our afternoon.

The replica coffee house took Broadwick Street for two weeks only and I just managed to squeeze in.  And it has it all – the redbrick wall, the high stools, Tiffany-style lamps, and of course, a completely worn out peach sofa you sink straight into.

Also filled with real artefacts we found ourselves cracking up at the Geller Cup, Science Boy, the turkey Joey got stuck on his head and oh-so-beautiful Gladys.

And to top of my afternoon, I won a Friends t-shirt by answering a question – What was the name of Monica boyfriend from the second series who was 21 years older than her? Richard!

Tests have been taken and results are in. The iPhone is the coolest brand in the UK. And it doesn’t stop there for Apple as they secured third and fourth place too.

While Aston Martin slips down to second place it seems that the definition of cool is always changing. Facebook disappeared off the charts while sites such as YouTube and Google entered. BBC iPlayer even made it into the Top 20.

Take a look at the Top 10 and see if you are too cool for school or falling behind.

1. iPhone
2. Aston Martin
3. Apple
4. iPod
5. Nintendo
6. YouTube
7. Blackberry
8. Google
9. Bang & Olufsen
10. Playstation

Tragedies are something we all hear about. Whether it’s on the news, through friends or in the novels we read, they are everywhere. Yet everyone likes to keep a fair distance from them.

Recently a tragedy hit home. Although I’ll never understand why, we lost my grandma through the selfish actions of another human being. Shock followed by anger, questions and sadness spread through all the family. If you’ve read my earlier post Believe or not to Believe, you’ll know I already question religion, so this event far from strengthened my faith. I didn’t understand, and don’t think I ever will. But I’ve realised in life, we won’t ever understand everything. Some things are there too throw us completely off course. Pick us up; put us though a whirlpool and then expect us to carry on. But it’s not about why you got put in the whirlpool. It’s about how you recover and what you learn.

The battle of good versus bad will never go away. Whether it’s a tragedy costing someone their life or the small choices you make in your day to day life. Going through different experiences in the end make you who you are.

I strongly believe everything happens for reason and even though some reasons are unknown, we need to find the positive and focus. Deaths and losing loved ones is something no-one can prepare for. Why? It’s because as humans sharing experiences is how we learn – and therefore death is unique and a complete mystery.

One thought that’s kept me going through the past few weeks is this. Our body, the physical stuff, is a carriage. Your personality, true beauty and the stuff people know you for is kept deep in your soul. And your soul is eternal. It escapes the world and lives on. It continues a journey unknown to mankind.

I’ve wanted to put pen to paper for a little while down. But everytime all I found myself writing was questions. Today I tried hard to look beyond those questions and this is what I found. Hopefully it helps. Helps when we have those moments where we all need a lift or losing track. If it does that, for even one person, I’ll be happy.

After several intense discussions orientated around science and religion it only seems right to put in down in words. Hopefully opening the debate to you, I may be able to get a better understanding of all this hocus pocus.

So many questions. And more interestingly, so many answers. Answers that come in hundreds, if not thousands of versions. Does God exist? Who is he? Is he a male? What about the big band theory? What about evolution? That’s proven. Does science overpower faith, or does faith remain strong and close to ones heart?

My take on the subject so far is this. People take a journey in their lives. Filled with highs and lows having faith in something out of this world, gives them hope. Hope reassures people that we are on this earth for a purpose.

More so in times of need people turn to religion. Whether you see this as right or wrong, having that belief makes get them through the tough times. Now I’m not a greatly religious person, nicknamed a coconut, I’m far from it. But I’ve found that death and religion are closely linked. When losing someone close to you, you need to believe they are in a better place and what better ways to do that then turn to the church or temple.

But now the question lies in do people still have that strong faith when their lives are happy and successful? Or do you forget about God then? Okay, I’ve got to stop. Although I’m putting pen to paper, one question and one question only is burning in my mind: Who is God? There is the Bible, the Qu’ran, numerous Hindu scriptures but where have these stories come from? Some are so far from realism it’s insane!

See, I used to be fairly religious as a child. I believed in God through both the happy and sad times. But then I started attending Sai School and the more in depth I looked into Hinduism, the more I questioned it. For me it then became realism verse religion. And why is the world such an unexplainable place. While innocent people are faced with the tragic lives, the bad people seem to get away with so much.

This is such an intense subject it is difficult to cover all areas. An ongoing debate it is something we will never fully understand. Yet it is still interesting to understand something which can be interpreted differently by every human being.

I’ll leave the floor open now as I’m more interested to know your opinions and stories. And please be assured all views are respected.

To be able to express emotions through instruments and singing is so beautiful. I can’t imagine how I’d tell people how I feel without a song to help me along the way or how to find faith when it’s lost.

After a rollercoaster of a day music helps me relax, remember and reflect. Originally this post was going to be about Naturally 7, a band who makes all their sounds through their vocals. I will still post a couple of videos of them, purely because of their unique talent. They are truly amazing, have a listen. But after the writing the first paragraph I feel this post can be much more.

Right now, I’m listening to UB40 – I Got You Babe. But when I shuffle through my iPod, I realise all 3441 songs remind me of a moment in my life. Each song takes me back to that moment, and all the feelings come rushing back. It’s funny when you think about it. While the song tells a story, you have your own story to tell too!

So what’s your song story? Do you have certain tracks which take you back? I would love to know, how important music is to you.

And as I promised, here are a few videos of Naturally 7. Let me know what you think.

August 2017
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Random fact of the week…

In the average lifetime, a person will walk the equivalent of 5 times around the equator.

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