“All our dreams can come true” or what Disnay taught me

I’ve always had a soft spot for Disney, one of my earliest memories is me and my brother arguing over Aurora dress colour at the end of Sleeping Beauty. I not a huge fan the Disney Princess thing; I was always more of a Jungle Book, Lion King, Lady and the Tramp and everything Pixar sort of girl. Now I’m older, despite the problems I have with Disney, I find the films undeniably beautiful, I went to watch the Lion King in 3D and found that as a child I had missed how visually stunning it was.

Like I said I have problems with Disney, as a child I always felt they had ruined many of my favourite stories and fairytales by not being faithful to the original material I was familiar with. Nor I could ever really relate to Princess who all seemed desperate to find love and be swept off their feet. Then I got older and found a whole new set of issues (got to love age and cynicism.) There is however a couple of things I learnt from Disney.

  1. If nothing else I have learnt that love is important and that it comes in all shapes

    This was on my 10th Birthday cake I had in America, I have kept this plastic decoration all these years as I can’t bear to let it go.

    andsizes. Lilo and Stitch has a small and broken family but it’s “still good” and Belle only has a father. I watched parents do anything for their children; it helped me understand my own. I watched friends in Disney help each other, I watched lovers heart-break and then rejuvenate with a kiss. Love and relationships are pivotal in Disney, because it is the thing that gives us most joy in life, our family and our friends make us happy but it’s more than that love is also about the sacrifices you make for the people who mean the most. The older you get the less you take love for granted.

  2. From the moment Mufasa died it dawned on me: Life is hard. None of the characters in Disney have it easy, Cinderella, Hercules, Pocahontas, their lives are difficult, they are faced with arduous decisions and challenges while trying to do the right thing and make their lives better. Disney has the lives of their characters change and often it is beyond their control and they are simply trying to do their best and keep their head above water. The older I get the more I understand this feeling and how much harder it can become.
  3. Hope is a very powerful thing, it is the only thing that can defeat pain. Hope is everywhere in Disney:  101 Dalmatians, Fox and the Hound, Aladdin, the characters and the audience never gives up hope for a happy ending. Hope is the thing that characters hold on to when all else is lost, it is part of them that never dies, the last candle in the darkness. The older we get the harder it is to keep the hope while in life I’ve learnt that the candle doesn’t always stay lit; Disney does a pretty good job of showing how significant it is in life. H.O.P.E : Hold On, Pain Ends.
  4. There is such thing as magic, the world pretty awesome place and if you take the time to see it ,magic is alive and well and if not…. your toys come to life when you leave the room. It is also in our dreams and wishes, Snow White wishes in a well, Geppetto on a star and Peter Pan fills Wendy’s dreams, these are thing that these character hold on to and fuel their life. They are a source of amazing strength and that is magic.
  5. The greatest thing I have learnt from Disney is that you are your own hero, you can save yourself. The characters fight and despite all the Princess having Princes they do a pretty good job at fighting for themselves. They fight for what they want, they fight to have their wishes and dreams and to protect their hopes and the people they love. Love is important so fight for it, life is hard so fight for the life you want, hope is important so fight not to lose it, fight to keep the magic in your life. Simple.

The thing about growing up is that things become less black and white and become more about different shades of grey. Disney may not be the shinning white sceptical I remember it being, but that doesn’t tarnish the lessons I’ve leant. Mainly everyone can exist, the good and the bad, but you have to fight to live the life you will be proud of, you will have to believe in yourself even when others don’t and you have to dare to dream and go after that light no matter how dark it gets.

The Disney Princess at their film ages by Taijavigilia

Greener on the other side

Tall daisiesI bumped into someone today who once told me I was the type of person who would always believe the grass is greener on the other side. I don’t think this person ever really understood me. I remember sighing at them and saying it wasn’t that I thought the grass would greener, just that I was tired of sitting on short well kept grass and that I wanted to lie in the tall wild unkempt grass instead. I like change, I like the new and I am always looking for something more; that doesn’t mean I’m looking for something better, I’m looking for something different. I move on a lot and I believe that life and identity is something of constant transition and change. No matter how much someone may try and stay still, the world marches on and you can either stumble long with it or embrace it and skip to the beat. I have chosen to change schools, hobbies, favourite things, jobs because the world changes, life changes and I change too.

I have never believed that the grass was going to be greener on the other side; I’m just in search of different grass. Grass that might have taller daisies or smaller daisies, grass that has sunshine dandelions, grass that maybe has some lucky clover. I don’t think that the grass will be a better shade of jade or more luxurious, it’s just that maybe I don’t want to play with Buttercups anymore, maybe I want to make daisy chains or search for a four leaf clover.

I think no matter where your patch of grass is who and what you love doesn’t change, your passion and pleasure stay mostly the same and your nature at heart is fairly constant. Those things close to your heart make the grass green. I don’t think how green the grass is has much to do with where your grass is, it about how well you choose maintain the grass you are lying in, even brown and brittle grass can be lush and green when watered and tended to. I think if you want green grass, water the grass you have, if you want something different go in search of it, but you have to look after the grass no matter where you are.

I suppose I could just plant daisies and clover and dandelions and buttercups, but I have a feeling some miserable sod has labelled them as weeds and the packet seed would be hard to come across.

Holiday time :)

Passport, passport…….. Where’s my passport?

Can I fit an extra pair of shoes in my case, I’ve got room, but it is already kind of heavy, I only need 3 pairs right?

Why does my suitcase look empty, I’m fairly sure my packing skills aren’t that good so why is there so much room? I’ve forgotten something haven’t I? I have no idea what I’ve forgotten to pack, damn, O I’m not unpacking and checking. Nope I’m not, I had better unpack and check.

Have I got enough sun cream? Have I got enough insect repellent? Do I need a bigger jacket for the plane? Four books is enough for 10 days right? I’m not going to finish them all?

Need to put a bathing costume in my carry on just in case my suit case gets lost.

Where the hell is my passport?

I’m going on holiday, and I am horribly excited even if I do have to have these irritating thoughts running through my head. Actually the thought about the passport I really need to start listening to because I’m leaving this afternoon. Leaving the UK for a better climate is also pointless at the moment because the fabulous weather we have been having, still I’m excited.  I’m going somewhere completely new.

I haven’t been able to go one holiday in ages, my job keeps getting in the way, I had to be a grown up and put that first. I had to cancel one to Florida last minute, I was so upset.  It much easier when I was young, my mum always knew where my passport was, we would go in the school holidays so there was no conflict, and a parent booked it easy.

I love travelling and going on holidays (I even like airports), I love ending up somewhere new and interesting. I love not knowing exactly what I’m going to get where I get there or what I’ll do. It’s opportunity to explore somewhere new and leave your old world behind for a little bit. So happy right now, or would be if I could find my bloody passport.

So I’m on vacation for the 10 days, I’ll you guys when I get back.

Where I am the best version of me.

Is there a place where you feel like a different person, or perhaps where you feel like a superior or ultimate version of yourself? Somewhere that brings out your greatest aspects, diminishes you faults, somewhere where you excel. Mine is my old university town. I have yet to find anywhere that can make me feel safe and peaceful; it is where I formed some of great ideas about literature, art, friends and life. Aberystwyth in Wales lives in its own dazzling bubble, with little crime, vice or evil one can quite happy forget there is a big bad world beyond it boarders. It was a place where I could just be, just live and be happy.

I went through a lot of pain there but I never felt isolated or lonely. It wasn’t just the incredible people I met there, the place itself stood by my side, it laughed with me, stood close by me when I cried in the dark and stopped the world to comfort me. I miss it, I miss the people I love so much I cling to them as though I’m afraid they are a wonderful dream that will slip through my fingers. I miss the person I was there, the better, smarter, prettier and happier person. I miss the conversations about politics, books, comics, films, music, love, passion and life. I wondered if it was just me who had a place like this? Or does everyone have a place where they are the person they could be?   

Tumbling Pretties

Great Gatsby

I have a list of books in my head that I’m desperate to read or think that I should read. On the list is the Great Gatsby which I finished about a week ago. It has taken me a while to figure out what I thought and feel about the novel. It was never going to measure up to the magnitude I had built it up to. I suppose that will always be a problem when you pick up a novel that is so renowned, by an author as admired as F. Scott Fitzgerald. Words and phrases such as ‘classic’ and ‘loved by everyone’ will always mar you opinion for better or worse before you even read the first line.

I felt that the novel was dull, like 1984 I felt nothing really happened for a long time. I felt no emotional investment; I didn’t care for Nick, who did nothing but watch the world he happily inhabited with cynicism, I didn’t care for Daisy and after the intrigue of waiting for the infamous Gatsby to appear on the written page I no longer cared for Jay. And I was waiting, always waiting; waiting for Fitzgerald to say something, less obvious than, look at the moral decay of our time, look at the decay of the American dream. I wanted him say something subtle, through all the negative, all the putrid and festering commotion, something positive. I wanted there to be an understated acknowledgment that there was still beauty in life, however much the good hearts and dreams are doomed to die and leave little mark on a glittering materialistic world. There are many things I could say about the novel but I could never say it wasn’t beautiful, I kept reading because it was aesthetically so pleasing.

This carefully crafted piece of art is at heart a thwarted love story of star-crossed lovers and while keeping to the traditional separation devices of money and status, the fact the lovers aren’t perfect makes them easier to relate to. Romantic idolised lovers are untouchable; however, it is their flaws that make Daisy and Gatsby interesting. It is the flaws in the lovers and in the wealthy that leads to their destruction, the society and morals around them are decaying. Both of these verge on being romanticised but are dragged back to represent the dark dangerous world that was developing in the 1920’s. It is the disillusionment that Fitzgerald presents to the reader that is so striking, the 1920s is a world presented full of greed and the pursuit of pleasure that is an all top accurate illustration of our current world, a world despite it rotten core will remain outwardly stunning.

Fitzgerald speaks to the readers fears that good hearts like Gatsby’s seem doomed to die but isn’t that just because we remember? No one will remember Tom, Daisy or Jordan but we will always recall the one who is great long after they are gone, believing they left too early. It is the fear that our dreams will die that speaks so well to the reader, no one wants to believe that the American or Gatsby’s dream will die or worse, in its essence is untouchable. Fitzgerald does raise the question, do we idealise and perfect dreams to a point that renders them unattainable and effectively doom them to die in a materialist world?

Gatsby may have been trapped in the past by status and background but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t capable of recreation. Yes I wish Gatsby wasn’t chasing a past summer but who is to say he wouldn’t create a better summer when he caught it? What I love about Gatsby is that he believes in the green light despite what he has seen in war and how cynical the world has made him. He still believes in his dream of the better world he wants to create. The belief that people will choose to dream of something better in a dark world is wonderful and one I believe in whole heartedly.

So yeah, I still think it was dull and there were things I didn’t like about The Great Gatsbybut I doubt that is what I’m going to talk about when someone asks me if I’ve read the book.

The cover of the first edition of The Great Ga...

My Avengers warm up, better late then never.

 “What do you think of The Avengers?” My friend asked me while standing at the bar buying us drinks.

“You mean Avengers Assembled?” Was my response as I kept him company.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever, what did you think?”

“Haven’t seen it yet”

“What?! SERIOUSLY! I know it’s only just come out but I would have thought you were first in line.”

“I’ve only seen Iron Man and Iron Man 2, I haven’t seen the others and I don’t want to see the Avengers until I’ve seen Thor, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, no….. wait, yeah all of them.”

“You haven’t se- who the hell are you, I feel like I don’t know you! You’ve changed! No you can’t have your drink, you haven’t seen Thor!!”

Before I explain this quote from my Saturday night where I wasn’t allowed a beer because I didn’t know how epic Thor was and my friend insistence that there is a significant possibility I have been replaced by a shape shifter or an android, I would just like to say something. Really Marvel you changed the name from The Avengers to Avengers Assembled in UK because we used to have a TV show called The Avengers in the 60’s and 70’s, really, how stupid do you think we are? I mean have you seen how much publicity is out for your film? Do you really think someone is going to get confused? Trust me everyone in UK is still calling the film The Avengers and not thinking about a TV series they have never heard of.

My friend’s reaction I suppose could be valid, I love comic books and most people who even vaguely know me know this, it’s really not a secret. I also adore action and hero movies, I think of them as feel good films, good usually triumphs and in a world that has so little black and white it’s a little bit comforting.  I know a lot about comics, and yes I maybe a self-confessed DC girl but Marvel at times has some spectacular moments. When Iron Man came out however I was underwhelmed and didn’t make the effort to see it, I had never been a huge fan of the Iron Man comics. As for the Incredible Hulk, after the 2003 attempt I wasn’t holding out much hope for the film.

But then I went to America and Iron Man 2 came out and someone physically sat on me making me watch Iron Man so they could drag me to watch Iron Man 2 on a road trip. Apparently I had to see them in order. I thought Iron Man and Iron Man 2 were amazing, I felt it was something fresh and an amazing take on what it is to be a hero. Stark no matter how great he thinks he is, knows he isn’t perfect, he knows he has flaws but don’t let these rule his life. It was fun, it was thrilling and it kicked ass, what more could a person want.

Since then I have had every intension to watch the Incredible Hulk and Thor and Captain America when they came out, but I didn’t see them. I don’t even remember why I didn’t. That was until last night where after been ridiculed, told I was betraying my inner child and being desperately ill; I decided I would lie in bed feeling sorry for myself for about 6 hours and watched Thor, Captain America and Incredible Hulk.

It was AWESOME!! These have to be the best 6 hours I have spent with my TV. I am an idiot for not seeing them earlier; I have wasted years by not having these films in my life. They made not being able to breathe, not only bearable but fun. And yes I’m pretty sure I wasn’t oxygen deprived or delirious. I am seeing The Avengers Avengers Assembled as soon as possible.

Phone Calls

I don’t like phone calls, I don’t know why, I have a great phone manner and fantastic communication skills or so my boss tells me. I would however prefer to do everything by text and email, I think there is something odd about verbal communication that doesn’t have a face or visual. I think that is why I am such a huge fan of Skype, it’s free, I can see the person I’m talking to and I can see how my friends from all around the world are growing and changing.

 There are some aspects I do like about phone calls such as the late night phone; when it’s late and you have overwhelming urge to call someone you really care about, the urge to share something that just won’t wait till the morning. Late at right is when the hardest laughter is shared, the dangerous secrets are told, the darkest fears come to light and the beautiful, everlasting discussions are had. In the darkness there is there is just the two of you in all the world, it doesn’t matter how far apart you are under that black night.

I love it when a number appears on your screen, one that you haven’t seen in an age that makes you smile because that number represents a person that’s just amazing.  I love the phone calls where you talk about nothing and suddenly it’s three hours later. I adore the phone calls where there is news that makes me shout for joy and no one but me has any idea what is going on. The phone calls, it’s amazing how hearing a voice on the end of the phone that’s sleepy, lazy, happy or overly excited communicating something  that is such a joy to hear, it simply makes you glow.

I remember being a teenager and knowing my best friend’s home numbers before everything was done by mobiles. I don’t even dislike the time where I stare at my phone willing it to call because it just reminds me that the world is just fantastically connected and that maybe I should woman up and call first. I get why people are attached to their phones, it’s that reassuring connection to the rest of the world and more importantly to the people they love.

Tumbling Pretties