I’m not sure I could be bothered will all of this all of the time but it’s good to know as I too love the crisp perfection of hotel beds. It’s also well worth reading the comments after this article for yet more hints from readers.
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Many of you will have already seen this totally incredible tiger photo, with over 4,600 comments and 77,000 views, on Flickr. (I urge you to click on that link because it truly is a photo that you will never forget). The photographer, Eldad Hagar does wonderful work in rescuing injured, sick and unwanted animals in the Los Angeles area. He has just posted a video on YouTube of a rescue he recently went on – an injured dog that had been knocked by a car. It’s ultimately a heart-warming and wonderful story. I believe Eldad and his helpers fulfil an important role with their ‘Hope for Paws’ organisation.
This video may make you shed a tear if you’re an animal lover, but according to the YouTube comments, this story has a very happy ending in that Mr Pooch has now been adopted into a new home.
Jane at ‘They call me Jane’ today wrote about a wonderful site that I want to share with you here. It’s called Operation Beautiful and it’s a project that I think every woman should be part of, in fact everyone, and certainly all parents. The premise is simple: To leave anonymous post-it notes in public places that simply say ‘you are beautiful’ (or very similar) – a personal boost for anyone seeing them, an assurance that they are in fact beautiful despite what they may currently be feeling. In an extremely brief course of therapy I was told to do something very similar, so according to current thinking this is not a load of hoo-ha, and could actually start to make a difference …and Lord knows, we need to bolster our self -esteem when the messages that constantly surround us in the media seem to do nothing but undermine us.
I have two daughters and maybe because of my own childhood experiences I did everything I could when they were growing up to bolster their feelings of self-worth, to praise them and to tell them how much I love them. Even so, none of us can help but be influenced by the images of ultra skinny, air brushed models that surround us.
Maybe more insidious are the stories of the perfect women with their perfect lives. We’ve all come across them (and much though I love Nigella, in many ways, she’s a major culprit in this) – the women who live in some kind of 1950s Utopia where their children are scrubbed clean, well-behaved, fed perfectly nutritious home-prepared dinners, read a story and put to bed (where they stay and not winge at the top of the stairs) at seven o’clock in the evening, before Mummy cooks up something else – something totally spectacular for her and hubby. Never mind that perfect Mummy has made it her job to make life look perfectly easy and so is paid a perfectly lovely salary. And never mind that perfect Mummy may live in a perfectly lovely house, with a husband with perfectly lovely income that can pay for perfectly lovely home help to clear it all up.
No. Images, TV programmes and magazine articles albound about how easy it all is to look better, do better, be better. The fact of the matter is that life is not perfect, we are not perfect and unlike, say 100 years ago, many of us do not have the support of family close by who can take the pressure off us. We struggle on, doing the best we can, but no doubt constantly feeling that somehow we ‘could do better’.
I also have to say that my experience of other mothers is that we are often our own worst enemies, excellent at psyching each other out. I once visited a friend’s house and she made it a point to show me her airing cupboard. (??!) I soon saw why. It was filled with perfectly laundered and folded laundry, in perfect little stacks. I seem to remember that I maybe inappropriately snorted and said that if you were to take a punt on opening my airing cupboard door you’d most certainly be swamped under a stack of tumbling towels and pants. I subsequently learned that the laundry she was so proud of was farmed out to a professional firm. Well there you go – It’s easy to be perfect, with help.
Go visit Operation Beautiful ladies. In fact, I think everyone should visit, because the message is coming through that boys are increasingly starting to worry about their own body image and I know that despite the good front they put up, grown men also worry that they could do better in our screwed up and over-pressured western society. I’m sure you guys can come up with your own affirming and appropriate post-it note phrase.
Let’s all fight back against the media.
Here it is peeps – this is the big photo competition that I’ve mentioned before! For the last month I’ve been busy up-loading just some of my photos to two internet sites. For various reasons it’s Zenfolio that won the day for preference so that’s where I invite you to see some of my work. As no one site offers all that I’d like, somewhere down the line, in the not too distant future, I may well open an Etsy store, especially as I hope to have other items for sale, such as some very pretty silver jewellery.
Here’s the deal… the ! main prize ! (fanfare please) will be your choice of either a matted or laminated print of one of my photos. Which one is still to be decided and in fact I’m happy to take your suggestion of your favourite. (For ‘technical’ reasons too dull to explain, not all can be blown up to the size I’d like by the printers I’ll be using). Below is an example of a laminated print:
And a matted print….
Plus! (yes, there’s more!).. a tee shirt [short or long sleeved] featuring one of our designs….
🙂 It’s a prize that in value equates to in excess of $75,so that’s got to be worth the effort of 5 minutes or so looking through my site…hasn’t it?
Three runners up will also receive a straight print of their favourite photo, measuring approx. 7″ x 9″ (not every photo is of the dimensions to exactly fit into this size).
Here’s how to enter:
Head on over to my site at JLM PhotoDesign and have a look through my work, then come back here and briefly tell me which piece of work is your favourite (quoting the photo’s title) and why. You can enter as many times as you wish. For non-blogging friends, entries are also being collected via email – celcelore [at] hotmail [dot] co [dot]uk.
The closing date for entries is 10 days from now, i.e midnight (GMT) on Sunday 18th October.
I will decide the winners using my best judgement and as they say in competition land, the judges decision is final!
By the way, if you like what you see, it may be worth checking back from time to time anyway because I still have lots and lots of photos to add. If you also want to sign the guest book or leave comments over at JLM PhotoDesign that would be cool too – we’re new to this so any encouragement is most welcome!
I’d really appreciate it if you could pass the word along and let others know that this competition is running.. my regular friends here will know that I’m concerned this will all be a bit of a damp squib. :-S
Some of my work can also be seen at Red Bubble and somewhere on the horizon is a brand spanking new Zazzle shop (watch this space)!
Back ‘when I were a girl’ (said in a Yorkshire accent) I used to travel a lot with my parents. Commercial air travel was still relatively new and I clearly remember how when we’d see air crew walking through the airport their heads were held high with pride, and everyone looked admiringly at them. Have you seen the film ‘Catch me if you can’? Well, if you weren’t around in the 1960s to see what I’m talking about for yourself, that film shows you pretty much what it was like to be air crew then. It was the coolest job – seriously, those people were mini gods. I remember having ambitions as a little girl to be an air hostess. I have to tell you, however, that every time I said so to my mother that she would quickly retort: ‘You want to be a trolly dolly? Really? Ooh no, I don’t think so!’ (I did secretly keep on dreaming though).
A couple of months back an ad for Virgin Airways was released on TV and it plays on this nostalgia because they are currently celebrating 25 years as an airline. When we fly anywhere long distance nowadays I am of course swayed not only by price but by the convenience of the destination airport for us, plus those all important airmiles. Still, I have to say I have a tremendous soft spot for Virgin and will use them whenever I can. This is partly because I have huge admiration for Richard Branson but mostly because Virgin were once incredibly generous with us. You see we took the girls over to the States one year on an ‘all in’ Virgin holiday and to cut a long story short, our holiday fell short of expectations. Nothing totally horrendous, just really not what we had expected. When we got back I wrote to the company to say how disappointed we’d been, not thinking that I’d ever hear anything back from them. Well, far from it. A short while later I received a letter of apology and – here’s the thing – a full refund for the holiday. I was, and still am, blown away by this generous attitude, so is it any wonder that Richard Branson (already a business hero of mine) rocketed right up in my estimation? It was probably also a clever business move on their part because over the years I’ve missed absolutely no opportunity to extoll the many virtues of Virgin. There is no better advertisement than a totally smitten customer.
Here’s that wonderful ad … and they really couldn’t have picked a better piece of music because it’s one of my all time favourites ‘Relax’ by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. ‘ Ah them were the days’ (she said, back in her Yorkshire accent).
I’m not one of those people who pays no attention to the news because it’s all so depressing. If you’re one of them, in my view you’re playing with fire and are likely to get burned. Apart from anything else, while you’re skippididoodahing along and paying no attention, leaving everyone else to get on with it, your freedoms and rights could well be rapidly eroding. It’s too late to wake up and complain after the fact.
There are, however, undoubtedly times when I wish I hadn’t read the news, especially when it pertains to things over which I really do have no control. Take today. The title of this post is taken from a headline on the BBC website, and with dread in my heart I started to read. To precis what it says: A Calabrian mafia informant says that the mafia have gone into the highly lucrative business of toxic waste disposal, but in order to cut corners and save money have been sinking ships containing toxic waste, including ‘nuclear’ material, in the Med. The Italian authorities are currently investigating a shipwreck off Italy’s SW coast in order to try and corroborate this claim. They have already found yellow barrels lying close to the wreck which have labels saying that they contain toxic waste. If proven, shipwrecks of 30 other sunken vessels off the coast of Italy and Greece would need to be investigated.
Please tell me it isn’t so.
…And now I need to go and bury my head in housework, shopping, photo editing and if there are any around, the odd little fluffy kitten or two.
The city of San Diego as been given 72 hours to remove seals from a beach at the area of La Jolla so that children may use a concrete paddling pool there. The pool was originally built and gifted to the city by a local philanthropist in the 1930s and nowadays contains such high levels of bacteria that there are signs advising people not to use it …. yet they still do. (…??!…candidates for the Darwin Awards no doubt…)
As you might expect with one of these ‘man versus the environment’ issues, passions are running high. City authorities are now at loggerheads with those who say that the seals are a valuable tourist attraction, the seals need a period of rest each day and that the area should instead be made into a sanctuary for the animals.
As the seals are a federally protected marine species, the only suggested solution is to employ someone to walk up and down the beach with a public address system loudly playing the sound of dogs barking . (Torture for nearby human residents too I would have thought). Of course, passions are so inflamed that authorities feel that the person with the dog barking address system will need police protection – probably 2 officers will do.
I suspect the seals have always visited this beach and maybe back in the 1930s, when La Jolla was a quiet little seaside resort, shared use of the beach by man and animal wasn’t perceived to be a problem. During the 1990s seal visitors increased and coincidentally, by that time there had also been an explosion of human visitors and residents.
I was at La Jolla a couple of times in the 1990s and my visits gave me magical memories that I treasure and make me want to visit again some day. Forget the man-made attractions of cafes, restaurants and up-scale boutiques because I can find those around every corner. What I can’t easily see in very many places, and therefore made my visit so special that I’d like to return some day, was the beautiful coastline and particularly the ability to get close to a large gathering of wild seals. People had gathered too – some on the beach just yards away from the seals, some standing up on the little harbour wall. All of us just quietly watching, all no doubt enjoying an all too rare opportunity to get so close to an aspect of nature that we rarely see.
In my opinion it would be a huge mistake to try to remove the seals. Not only will it be costly to keep two policemen on ‘seal patrol’, if the annoying public address system does the trick the seals may move on, but they may well take up residence on the very next beach along, causing a nuisance to swimmers, surfers and beachgoers there. If they should sadly disappear entirely from the La Jolla area then I think that the town will notice a big drop in visitor numbers. To me La Jolla without the wildlife is just another pretty coastal town and I (along with many others, I suspect) will have little reason to return.
Then there is the bigger moral question of who really owns this or any other piece of coastline? Is it ever ours to trade – to sell or to give away, imposing our will on all those who share it? I’d argue that the marine life was there long before man and so we have a duty to be good new tenants, finding ways, wherever humanly possible, to discretely share the same space. Besides which, is it really so difficult for us to find another place for a toddlers’ paddling pool?