Thursday, 27 June 2013

Holly Willoughby - Complaints in Abundance

Funny how a presenter of a prime time show can attract so much controversy, with some inspired wardrobe choices and two large natural assets. As a draw for the show it is clear the people in charge have no intentions to rid the show of her low cut tops and tight fitting dresses. However if you look beyond the cries of the super conservatives who think low cut dresses are an appropriate thing to complain about, having clearly never accidentally flicked past MTV when any modern music video is playing or indeed walked down any beach in the world, where you will see far more skin on display, and unattractive skin at that. Then you will find the casting of her as presenter is nothing to do with her connections to great music, nothing to do with her ability to make countless mistakes reading from an auto cue, but in fact do with her attractiveness.

I have no problem with reality shows casting who they like, I do mind the awful monotone nature of their presenting and awkward fumbling of any unscripted interviews but I don't think that her dresses are particularly controversial, considering some of the outfits modern pop stars wear on stage. People should be free to dress as they choose, or in this case, as directed by a contract which no doubt contains a clause about skin to cloth ratio of below 40%.

I say let the dresses continue but please just provide her with some training about reading an auto cue. It's not a hard skill to master, reading from a little screen hidden under the Camera, you literally just need to try and make it sound like you are not reading, perhaps she could be given a script beforehand to memorise the bits she really needs to know. The appauling mistake of BBC flagship reality contest was in fact her reference to the winner of the voice 2003. Which clearly shows a blonde moment from a presenter who is stiffer than a 15 year old schoolboy staring down her low cut dress.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

How to be Happy, it's a skill not a journey!

I had to attend a meeting in Birmingham four years ago, it is around 500 miles from my home so was a big journey. Before departing a colleague said he had a map of the local area, being that it was 2009 I laughed and said, "I have a satnav". I programmed the address, and off I went, the majority of the journey consisted of 3 motorways which was pretty easy. On arriving in Birmingham I followed the satnav and ended up right outside the door of my destination, great right? Well the problem here is that there wasn't any parking facilities out front. I had to follow the one way system desperately trying to seek parking, getting more and more flustered as I tried my best to find a place to leave the car, as I got further and further away from my destination. Eventually I found an industrial estate car park that charged £14 for the day. The 2 mile walk back to my destination I was in a hurry and on arriving was asked, "Why didnt you use the carpark behind the building". 

What I had failed to do was learn anything about my chosen destination, relying on technology to guide me but without any clear understanding of the place. This was costly, both emotionally and financially. 

Happiness it is said is a journey, or a pursuit, but in reality it is just a skill you haven't mastered yet. Being happy is not something that is an external force, being happy does not come about by your circumstances, otherwise you would see mass suicide rates in the 3rd world. In fact the rise of mental health issues and depression in western civilisation is a result of both our over reliance on medication and our inability to control our own emotions. A negative outlook portrayed by not only a mass media and government that consistently portrays the world as a dangerous and hostile place. Presenting you with the fears of the day in printed fashion, whilst your trying to enjoy your coffee and toast.

Add to this mix, a society which is more comfortable typing their emotion into a Facebook status than actually having a conversation. The reliance on technology for all our needs is a false dawn, without human interaction the brain disassociates itself from the real world, those with severe technology addiction even become frantic and panicked when unable to use technology. How many people fall asleep with a TV on, how many people now instead of reading a book or talking type into their mobile smartphones, how many people wake up in the morning and instantly reach for that little device. These are all causes of misery, not use in itself but over reliance on technology for emotional stimulation.

This bombardment of negativity and isolation means that western residents can often feel alone, fear and hopelessness. They buy self help books in their thousands to try and find out where this mysterious happiness lives, perhaps the next town over will make you happy, or if you could just get that promotion at work and the brand new car. But when you eventually attain your goal happiness doesn't knock at your door and invite itself in. 

When people find the real answer, which is that happiness is inside you already you just need to access it, they tend to dismiss that idea as some crazy hippie thought. How could it be so obvious, how could I be happy when I can't pay my mortgage, when the country has no money, when people are dropping bombs on each other? 

To become happy you must view it as a skill, finding the happiness in your existence is about forgetting the past and not focussing on the journey ahead, but simply existing in this moment in time. The comfortable feel of the cushion underneath you, the sun on your face or the taste of the coffee you are drinking. Those small fleeting things that you ignore, open your mind to the world around you. 

As an aide to help you with this training you should massively increase the time you spend with real people, be it friends or family. If you have neither then join a group, society, sports club or religious body (it is not required to actually believe in God to join a Mosque, Church or Monastery). Our animal instincts crave human contact, we are not the lone wolf of nature, we survive by congregating into large populations and it is a relatively modern phenomenan that we are so ignorant of other humans around us. 

Everyday take some time to enjoy the moment, whether it be two hours or ten minutes, this consistent approach to living will increase your happiness over time and you will begin to see the joy in everything you do. Training your brain to respond differently to situations is not easy, but the eventual result is well worth it. 

Monday, 3 June 2013

The Life-cycle of a T-Shirt

The T-Shirt is a staple of everyone wardrobe, even if you spend most of your time in your workwear you will still own loads of T-Shirts. The reason is because they are robust, can be cheap and last a long time. Whilst all your other clothes 

Types of T-Shirts people own

Trend - These are those t-shirts you see walking past a shop, see on a TV show and instantly ebay or have noticed all your pals wearing. These T-Shirts will last longer than the trend or fad they are associated with, perhaps you may get 6 months wear out of this before it falls into the dreaded bottom of the drawer, a lost sea of old clothes that beg to be worn.

Memory - At a gig or a festival, on vacation or for that sporting event, you decided to buy it to always preserve the memory of how amazing that event was.

To Wear - These will be your everyday apparel, perhaps a small logo, or particular brand you find best fitting. These get worn until they bleach the colours or rip. A good Tee can last you at least a year before it begins to age, but even when it's on it's last legs you can make use of it.

Gift - You either love it or hate it, you wear it for the day to appease the giver of the gift then either you continue to wear it because it's brilliant or you stick it behind the bed and hope they will never ask you about it again.

The Life-cycle of the T-Shirt

The life cycle of your t-shirt will depend on one question, do you like it? If the answer is no then the longeviety is different to if the answer is yes. 

Some Uses for your old Tees

Gardening clothes - because nobody wants new stuff getting dirty
Turn it into a dress - See here
Pyjamas - Nice to sleep in comfy clothes
Frame it - if it's a memory get it framed
Hand it down - Got a kid or younger sibling, they may love it
Recycle it - Make it into another item, bandana, napkin, pillowcase, anything
Give it to poor people - Donate it to a charity or send it to a impoverished country
Ebay it - trends have a way of repeating themselves stick it on ebay
Use as Kindling - Need to light your BBQ then set it alight!