A Charitable Venture: 960 Miles On A BMX

So guys, two of family friends are attempting to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats on BMX bikes, which means that they don’t get to use gears or anything, and lots of the journey is uphill. The journey is amazingly challenging physically, and the two guys have to be in incredible fitness to be able to pull this thing off. The best part of this is that they’re doing it in aid of the charity “Cyclists Fighting Cancer”. The charity works towards fighting cancer, something that has affected many of us, and will continue to do so, until we can beat this thing!

So please dig deep, and donate as much or as little as you can in aid of the cause, and please re-blog this if you feel you’re able, or if you feel it’s a worthy cause!

http://www.justgiving.com/BMXend2end

http://cyclistsfc.org.uk/

Thank you so much for your continued support, and please help these guys, they’re incredible!

(:

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The Importance of Teddy Bears

Who wouldn’t love that face? (1)

Teddy bears are one of those items that everyone loves and owns, but nobody really wants to admit it after a certain age. I find this a little offensive, because I feel as though they provide comfort when we are small, and it seems cruel to just abandon them when we get older, because they’re one of those items that one “grows out of”. I never really grew out of a love of teddy bears, firstly because they’re adorable, and secondly because I still have a very overactive imagination.

I used to read quite a lot of Enid Blyton when I was young, and The Faraway Tree Stories were my favourite bedtime stories. I love the idea of having a magical tree, full of elves and fairies, ready to take you on adventures. I did say I had something of an overactive imagination. It’s something I was born with. Teddy bear stories comfort little people because they take them to different worlds, where things simply aren’t as scary. There are never monsters under the bed in teddy bear stories. Adults I think have their own versions of teddy bear stories; we watch TV, some drink, and we draw, and paint. People spend lots of time not thinking about what’s really happening in the world.

An interesting comparison (2)

And this is I think one of the reasons that teddy bears, or at least the principles behind them, are so important. They provide a childish world in which to escape. Some of you reading this will be scoffing, however I think everyone has to be at least a little childish, and have a place where they can play with train sets and Lego. I personally enjoy Lego immensely; it’s one of the best children’s pursuits out there. I also used to love (and still do, a little bit), building massive Barbie mansions. At one point I think I owned about thirty Barbies, and not the new, strange ones, but the real-life 90s ones, which looked triangular. On a related note, I think those who blame 90s Barbie for causing terrible perceptions of body image is just preposterous, because she was so extreme. The newer Barbies are so perfect that surely they seem more human, and therefore more realistic shapes to aspire to? But there we go, something of a side note.

So anyway, I think everyone should own a teddy bear. They’re so lovely and so welcoming, and surely the world is a horrible enough place, without people abandoning teddy bears left, right, and centre too?

(:

(1) http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51aIwCvfdhL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

(2) http://www.picshag.com/pics/012011/barbie-in-the-1990s-vs-barbie-in-the-2000s.jpg

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Cooking May Never Be My Forte

Food is one of the key ingredients to life, however most of us in the Western world spend a fairly large portion of our lives wondering about food. It’s nutritional value, whether we eat too much, or too little, or whether we ought to follow a diet. Food impacts our lives in such a massive way, and it contributes to whether we are larger or smaller, slim, or curved. In the image crazed world in which we live, food underpins the way we all feed about ourselves, whether we’d like it to or not.

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I am admittedly, a dreadful cook. Examples of my culinary expertise have been discussed in previous posts, purely because they provide the basis for so many amusing stories. I’m a legend in my house, because of my ability to burn everything, including peas, of all things. I’d like to note that I’ve been compelled to improve though, because I didn’t want to starve at university. I have got much better, although my use of the hob unsupervised is still prohibited, because, and I quote “We don’t want to be burnt to death…”.

Food is one of my favourite things, and it’s one of the reason’s I’d love to live in a big city one day; there’s always a huge range of choice, and many varieties of cuisine to be tested. I love to be adventurous with food, and I love spicy things, especially. I also thoroughly enjoy fish, in particular, sushi. I’m not a fan of the one with the omelette on though; I’m not quite sure why, really.

Eating in posh restaurants however is a minefield of its own; the more hyped up the restaurant, the more pretentious the food, and inevitably, something called “jus” winds up on the place, usually next to a teaspoon full of mashed potato. Cep jus is by far the worst of the “jus'”, because it looks like spittle. And it’s thoroughly unappetizing, in my opinion at least.

However, I’m not a food snob, at all. I’m perfectly happy with sausage and chips. I just like eating fancy things sometimes too, possibly because my parents are excellent at cooking. By far the best thing about coming home is eating my Mum’s cooking again. She says I could cook the same things, however the problem is I couldn’t; I couldn’t make it taste as she does, and I think it’s something to do with having your dinner cooked for you, by your Mum.

(:

(1) http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/rma/lowres/rman8657l.jpg

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On Coming Home

A very short note, to prove to all of you that I haven’t abandoned the blogging-sphere. I haven’t, really, I’ve just taken a small blogging hiatus, whilst I’m on a holiday of sorts, with one of my best friends. Anyway, the holiday is drawing to a very rapid close, and this time tomorrow, I will have skipped merrily across the country, back to my own house, and my own bed. I’m very excited.

I think my love of coming home stems from the fact that when I was younger, I couldn’t wait to move out; I thought it would be the best thing ever; you know the drill. Unlimited freedom, the power to go wherever I wanted, with whomever I wanted to. The part I managed to leave out of my perfect little fantasy, was that with unlimited freedom, comes unlimited responsibility. Money, bills, rent, and so on. All those things that just sort of weren’t there when you were fourteen, and designing grand houses that you would move into, as soon as you escaped from home. I realised however, this was the most preposterous thing I’ve ever done in my life. Ever.

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Anyway, the point is, that in twenty-four hours, I’ll be back at home with my parents and little sister, and all my teddy bears. I’m nineteen in a week, and I still cannot wait to go home, put on my onesie (they look ridiculous, but it’s like being in a bag of blanket), and cuddle up with my Mum. Whenever I tell people this, they either think it’s lovely, or that I’m somehow pathetic, and not independent; I think the two concepts are not the same. Loving home, and being independent, are not the same thing. There’s a distinction to be made, and I always feel as though people should realise the difference, and appreciate things they have, whilst they have them.

So to conclude: the rucksack is packed, the train tickets are ready to go. A spot of washing, and the making of packed lunch, and we’ll land back in the homeland before you know what’s hit you. Guess who’s back?

(1) http://www.twincitieshomeforeclosures.com/images/home/quotes/HFquote10.gif

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On Crossing the Orient

One of the biggest dreams I’ve had, ever  since I was a little girl, is to travel across Russia and China on the Orient Express. The decadence of the train itself, as well as the history behind it, completely fascinates me. I think I’d feel as though I’d entered a Poirot story, and would get horribly caught up in things like dressing for dinner, and using the appropriate cutlery for each course. I regularly find myself flicking through the website, dreaming of being able to afford to go on such a beautiful and extravagant journey.

Train travel is rather a reassuring method of travelling, compared to via car, or aeroplane. Trains are reliable, safe; they cross land at a steady pace, smoothly. It lacks the stopping and starting of a car, or the prospect of waiting in endless traffic queues; bathrooms are always available, and the British service station can be completely avoided. Whilst British trains are hardly comparable to the Orient Express, they are functional and serve their purpose. They transport you from A to B. However, the use of the overpass in a railway station is something that continually irks me; when you use the train to travel a significant distance, you have luggage. In my case, I had an entire suitcase, because I was travelling with enough luggage to last me a month. The stress involved in dragging the monstrosity over the overpass was completely disproportionate; the underground ramps seem to serve a much more practical purpose. The elderly find these easier than ninety-seven stairs; I find them easier with a gigantic suitcase. After this journey, I made an executive decision: to travel lighter, and with a backpack instead. It was possibly the best decision I’ve ever made.

Carriages on the Orient Express (1)

This is the reality of my travel aspirations however; I’m not especially concerned with luxury, or seeing the opulence of a location. I’d much rather use the money to travel to the rural areas, live with the locals and experience the cuisine of the area. There is nothing so wasteful as going to an English pub whilst abroad. There’s always one within a mile or two within reach at home. The food of other cultures has always fascinated me somewhat; Japanese food especially, Chinese, and middle Eastern cuisine. I love to try out the new things. Travelling on the Orient Express would offer a plethora of fantastical dining options; I’d know, since I’ve explored the sample menu section of the website frequently. Obviously there would be an appropriate outfit for the consumption of beef fillet. I realise this might be fantasy running away with me, but this isn’t the only fantasy of travel I have.

I do however have a much more realistic aspiration; a trip around all the countries of South America in the summer of 2014, with a couple of friends, a backpack, and an acceptance of limited hair washing opportunities. All my money will go towards this rather ambitious plan, but helpfully, train travel is cheap; flying won’t be necessary very often, which bodes well for me, since I don’t like to fly. (A pressurised metal tube, in the sky? Just, why?) Food is cheap, voluntary opportunities are plentiful, and I think you’d meet some amazing people. It’s going to be fantastic. I just need some money and an itinerary.

(:

(1) http://static.orient-express.com/vsoe/images/720x300images/vsoe_720x300_slovakia01.jpg

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