Entries Tagged as 'Other Musings'

Ups and downs with the Internet

2

01.10.14

Black rhino

As much as I absolutely adore the internet, I find it often sends me on a roller coaster of an emotional ride.

Case in point: Yesterday.

Exhibit A: The building dancers

I started the day off watching this. Its essentially the video dancing equivalent of holding a puppy on a gorgeous summer’s day when you are a kid. Its that peaceful and wonderful a thing to watch.

Exhibit B: Joan Smalls “likes” everything

Then I watched this fun little Vogue short that made me feel like I just want to go around liking all the wonderful things I love in the world. Its a lighthearted, endearing thought that you could leave a little heart wherever you go.

Exhibit C: John Oliver takes down Miss America

This afternoon, the seriousness started to come out. I am quickly becoming convinced that John Oliver’s show is one of my favorite things happening back in the States.

As funny as this segment is, it is depressing/outdated/insertyourtermforithere to think about John’s take home message that Miss America is one of the largest sources of female scholarships… he gives some suggestions of other organisations, including US-based SWE, Patsy Mink Foundation or the Jeanette Rankin Foundation you can donate to.

(At the same time, the fact that there are people like John Oliver writing stories like these gives me some hope…)

Exhibit D: We’ve lost 50% of the world’s wildlife population in 40 years

And then the internet broke my heart. WWF released this report yesterday outlining losses to lion, elephant, tiger and many other animal populations since the 1970s. My clicking also led me to discover their environmental footprint calculator. You can work out how your daily routine affects the planet and the results are shocking. I encourage everyone to take this quiz. We only have one planet. And so many of us are living like we have more.

The WWF report sent me spiraling back to last year on safari in South Africa when, speeding towards our camp for the evening which closed at sundown, we ground to a halt at the sight of a black rhino silhouette on the horizon. Everywhere we went in South Africa, there were signs telling us that future generations probably wouldn’t see a rhino. Poaching is one threat. This report convinced me that my lifestyle is another.

Attempt at a conclusion during what feels like whiplash

So I guess the simple conclusion to all of this is… I love you, Internet, but at the end of the day, you often make me exhausted.

I’ve laughed and I’ve smiled. I’ve been reduced to tears and inspired to make a difference.

You are one powerful thing.

Vogue Fashion Night Out

8

26.9.14

Vogue 1

There’s something about Vogue that makes your ears immediately perk up and pay attention.

At least, that’s what happened to me when I  saw the invitation come into my mailbox, along with a little squeal of excitement. Once a year, Vogue partners up with a slew of Regent and Oxford Street shops & department stores to host a late night of fashion celebration, music, quite a few cocktails and fun after dark. I finally got to meet the lovely and hilarious Amanda from Rhyme and Ribbons who had also received an invite and we battled the after-work Tube crowds to see what it was all about.

To tell you the truth, not being fashion bloggers, we wandered around a bit aimlessly. But that was half the fun and I loved never knowing what we were going on find around the next corner…

…there was body painting by MAC at Selfridges (featuring two hilarious models who were dancing to “Sexy and I Know It” as we walked by…the perfect attitude when you are practically naked in the middle of a department store for 5 hours), music from The Fireflies at Superdry, show-stealing Scottish terriers from Radley and BBC1 celebrity DJ Jameela Jamil at House of Frasier (who I loved for her soundtrack that sent me back to my high school mixer days – above). We got to sample coconut cocktails from Mahiki (which this newly London expat learned is the club for young English royals. No, there were no Harry sightings. But seriously, coconut rum with mint and  ginger beer…try it.)

Vogue 5

Vogue 4

Vogue 6

Vogue 3

Vogue 2

But my favorite part (and this is where you see that – despite my love for Vogue – I am not a fashion blogger) may have been when we snuck up to the empty Selfridges housewares floor to stage a mini photo shoot for Amanda and her awesome Not So British Bake Off series. Read it – its amazing.

Vogue 7

Amanda, you make for an excellent Fashion-Night-Out-partner-in-crime. And thank you Vogue, for a fun night out.

The writing process blog tour: behind the scenes at Jess-On-Thames

11

17.9.14

Blogging with cats

I am faced with a conundrum. I have been asked to describe my writing process. And I have been asked by the loveliest ever Emma, otherwise known as the Adventuring Kiwi. (You just can’t say no to her, she is that sweet.)

But I’m going to have to divulge that there isn’t any real process.

Not a conscious one. But I am curious to hear how some others approach their writing process, so I will politely ask Annie of Montgomery Fest, Jacintha of Urban Pixxels, Amanda from Rhyme and Ribbons and Jerusha from This Red Lipstick if they’d like to take part, either through answering the below questions or by sharing their favorite posts they’ve written in the comments below (so that I may read them again, purely for my own selfish future writing improvement purposes.)

1. What are you working on?

Everything. And by everything, I mean posts on South Africa, Lisbon, London, Brussels and Amsterdam. I’m working on finding my writing style, on being honest and remembering who I am and why I started this blog in the first place (see question 3).

2. How does your work differ from others of your genre?

I try not to compare to be honest but I love to be complementary. One of my favorite discoveries with blogging has been to experience the same thing as other bloggers but watch the very different ways in which our discoveries appear online. Both in writing and in photography. I love learning from the talented people I’ve met through blogging. In the meantime, if someone has smiled, been inspired to travel or discovered something new by reading this blog, I’m a happy camper.

3. Why do you write what you do?

I started blogging because I hadn’t realised I needed a distraction from the world of Brussels politics where I used to work. I loved my job but realised I didn’t love politics quite as much as most people around me. I needed a creative outlet and a fellow co-worker turned me onto blogging. At first it was just a rather embarrassing curation project of other people’s work I admired but as I grew more confident, I started putting my own thoughts and photography out there. And its been fun to see where it has gone.

Moving to London has upped the ante as there are some serious bloggers in town and so much on offer to explore and engage with. While I still can’t say I’ve chosen a determined direction for the blog (though I would love to delve further into anything travel related), I have found my voice so to speak. I love writing here (which was hard having a talented writer for a mother!) and increasingly, love sharing my photography here (which was hard, having a talented photographer for a brother!)

4. How does your writing process work?

Usually I will mull over an idea for hours in the back of my brain while doing other things, never feeling quite happy with it. And then suddenly the idea will come together and I’ll have to whip the post up all in one go. I don’t have a blogging calendar (though I should). I don’t often compose several drafts, (though I should). I will dwell over the photos.

My posts often start with a picture or a memory, or something funny, touching or poignant that I’ve seen or experienced. Its definitely all anchored in emotions (for better or worse) but I’d like to think that keeps the posts authentic.

The scene? There’s often a cat in my lap and there is usually a Spotify playlist blaring in the background. Like this one – a little bit of everything:

If you have trouble playing the above, try playing on Spotify online.

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