Timehopping Mad

The smart phone application ‘Timehop’ appears to be completely taking over my Facebook and Twitter pages, as more and more people are downloading it to look back at what happens don that exact day, 1,2 or however man years before. In theory, I love this idea. I have said that I love to reminisce, but I also hate to do it.

One reason is purely because it is proof of how bloody fast time flies, and like sand, it can just pour through our fingers. This will sound stupid but I am scared of time. I am scared of how little we have of it, how much of it we waste, and how much of it we spend looking back at other pieces of time within our own history. I reminisce constantly and tell myself how fast time has gone and I hate it! I feel like I am just in a  trance and time is going by without making any real impact on me. This is what scares me.

It is this what I think makes ‘Timehop’ so mad. I will not download this app, I refuse to, because it just puts it directly in front of me that I am missing out on stuff, I am forgetting people, and that life is drifting away. Sure, I may be taking this a bit too far and making it awfully dramatic, but to me it needs to be.

Time is something we cannot buy, something we cannot store away, or hid. We use it there and then. We are given it and we chose what we do with it. An app like ‘Timehop’ just shows us that maybe we aren’t really going there, maybe we are really wasting time. In that sense, great! But in the sense of time-consuming hours of reminiscing, I find it terribly frightening. We have so much time we waste that we need to make into something, we need to use it, for ourselves or for others. We do not need to be sat down for even more time on our phone looking back at what we did a year ago. I do not want to wast even an extra five minutes of my life on useless reminiscing. Instead, I prefer to look and go forward. Like a sailing ship, I do not want to keep looking back at where I have been, but where I need to go, what I need to miss or steer away from, and what I need to head for. I do not want to end up on a pointless desert island wasting time and therefore life. This is a massive over-explanation of ‘Timehop’ really. It is no time machine, it cannot make us change the past, yes it may inform us of where we have got to, or where we are going.

Then again, are we just ignoring the boundaries of reminiscing with nostalgia. Are we looking back at days of ease and peace? Days of simple coursework and not of self-destructive assignment. Are we looking back at hope, at support, a picture may just tell us that we are heading forward. Maybe ‘Timehop’ is one giant piece of evidence. We can use it to say we are heading forward, we are doing good. Instead of maybe the more useless task of simply looking back at would could be, and what needs changing.

In truth, no one can tell someone else not to look back. I know I just have to tell myself to stop it so as to not get stuck in the past, time has taken enough from us all, we do not need to give it any more.


The Beauty of Apple

I have just watched a documentary on Steve Jobs and Apple, and something just came around to hitting me right in the face. When you look at an Apple product, you really don’t want anything else. Its pure beauty, through every product, from the iPhone to the Mac Pro. Every little detail is perfect and overall they are stunning pieces. But are they worth what we throw at them, or maybe the better question, why do we love beauty?

I say this as my phone contract comes up this week and I of course want another iPhone. Now, I could get an android phone with a bigger screen for £15 a month, or pay more for the visual delights of the Apple. You know, I say to myself I deserve the best, nicest looking phone, because I have always had hand-me-down phones, so now it feels my time to have one of the gorgeous looking phones that Apple creates. The visual treat of Apple products is undoubtedly why we love them so, even if not all buy them or think they are the best. But this beauty, it costs so much, yet we seem to care so little. We want that beautiful device in our hand, and we don’t care how much it costs really, not for that few inches of metal. It is strange really. Beauty is always what we look for in anything, from a top, to a phone, to even human begins. Yet, why does beauty come above anything and everything else? We could ahem the best phone out there but if its hideous it isn’t the same somehow. Is this just society pressuring us into making sure we look good? The paparazzi society maybe. You cannot deny that we all want the most beautiful items, and we pay so much for them. Is it, though, in the long run, worth it?

Fashion and beauty come and go every year, every new season. We change what we like and what we wear and watch every year, to suit what looks good and what is cool. We want to be up to date. Yet we cannot also deny the rise in charity shops. Many people my age love the things they find in them, whether its because they look cool or are only £1 an item, charity shops could almost be, whisper it, thought cooler then anything in a  way. This may just be my hipster side coming out however, for many of those who go to charity shops to get their latest outfits also have a £500 iPhone in their pocket.

Then we come on to whether we actually need this stuff. Undoubtedly we need a phone and a computer in this modern era. But when it comes to tablets, and specially the iPad, it all gets a bit fuzzy. I do not need a tablet or iPad. Yet I want an iPad. I sans that gloriously simple aluminium shape. I doubt care if I am seen with it, for me it isn’t about showing off, I just want it. I hate this though. I do not need it yet I want it, when other people need food to make them happy and that is all. This passion for a new phone is similar. My current iPhone is old yet, but it is good enough for a while to come until it breaks really. Yet I want an excuse to get the newest lovely from Apple, just because, well it is pure beauty.

Its all very contradictory really, and none of it makes any true sense, but I hope you see what I am saying. I hope you also marvel at just how incredible Apple is really, by just making its products beautiful, if not the best, we want them. We need them and crave them. I love Apple, but maybe we are starting to put matter over mind.



Congratulations! And is there a need for Commiserations?


So on Thursday of last week thousands of people, not much younger then me, received the results to their A-level exams of which they had sat over the summer. Now, we all know what this means. This means that it the time of year where people are told if they have got into university, and if they got into the one they wanted to go to in the first place. It is an amazingly important day, and one I cannot believe was a year ago for myself. I believe these people, who have sat these exams and got what they wanted and needed to progress to university, or to work, or whatever they have choose, deserve one hell of a congratulations. Especially as many people do not give them one unanimous congratulations. Media outlets instead focus on only the success of the very top 1%, and as such those going to Oxford or Cambridge or to any of the Russell Group.

Now of course this top 1% deserves one hell of a congrats, but as does those who haven’t got 11 A*’s Those who got 2 A’s and a B have worked, most likely, equally as hard yet they are given no light by the media. I find this disgraceful. The government just says that exams need to get tougher, with no real words of excellence and congratulations for those successful candidates. Anyway, this blog is not about moaning, it is about triumph. 

See, even if you did not do as well as you hoped, there is no need to be worried or sad. First of all let us talk about clearing. Clearing is a great opportunity for any of those candidates not given the grades they wanted and, as such, may have not got into the uni they wanted to. Clearing provides massive opportunities to go to uni’s with possibly better courses and a better name, not that this really matters, as it is about your study and the fun you have there that is key. I look at clearing with fondness, I myself did not go through it, but I know one incredible success story from it. A girl I knew failed in her attempts to get into the uni of her choice, so she went through clearing to get into Lincoln. Now, although this was not the uni she initially thought she wanted to go to, it now appears to have been the best decision of her life. She has been immensely successful there, has loved her life there, and in all found it perfection, for her at least. This is the kind of moments clearing can provide.

However, failing, or not getting into uni due to a lost grade or whatever, does not mean commiseration’s have to be given, for I believe very much in the phrase, ‘Everything Happens For A Reason’. Therefore, if you did not get what you wanted, do not fret!! Life gives us challenges, or make strings happen for a reason. By not getting into that uni, you may end up at one far better suited to you. You may go onto a different course which will give you more success in the future, or you may just go into work, and find the job of your dreams and work your way up. There are just as many options for life if you do not get into uni, or the ‘right one’, as there are for getting into uni.

It truly is miraculous the opportunities people my age have at our fingertips, so remember this and go forward with that knowledge and idea.

In all cases, congratulations!! 

Mr Robin Williams

There is little to say here. A man of pure comic perfection. A man of incredibly deep emotional performances. A man of stunning stand up comedy. The man who was an an icon within my childhood, and many others. A man who could bring tears to your eyes through laughter, and through pain. He was a man.

Yet so much more. He was every character that made us smile. He was every hilarious skit that made us hiccup with laughter. He was the hyperactive gentleman who simply wowed us with his energy. He was unflappable, and  completely beautiful man for what he brought and gave to us. We weeped and laughed with him, now we have to weep for him. Yet we shall still laugh, we shall still smile at his work, we will still sit silenced by the dramatic performances he created. And more than anything, we will watch in love with this legend of comedy, drama, thriller, crime, through TV and cinema as well as though moments up utter glory brought to us through his stand up.

To me the below image literally took my breath away. Three words and a picture we all understand. It saddened me, it made me smile, it is gloriously simple, yet it is just wonderful. Just like Mr Robin Williams.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 17.42.38

Learn From the Films

Many of my readers will now that on this blog I used to write prolifically about films. Now the reason I choose to write about them less was because I wanted to share with the world my thoughts as well as key issues in the world. However, this does not mean I do not still love films, and even still aim to go into that business one day, just from a different perspective. Of late though I have been getting ever more annoyed at people who want to go into filmmaking themselves yet do not appreciate that every film is important, at that to be a great filmmaker you have to watch many films, and even if you hate them, maybe appreciate what they have done well or achieved. Simply put, you have to learn from every film, no matter what.

The university I study at is very well-known for its media, and specifically, film production courses. It has won many awards, and many of its students have gone off to work successfully in careers in filmmaking. I have met a few people from these courses and have been a little shocked by what they know about films, what they love about them, and how little many of them actually like cinema. I also know people who want to go into cinema and just don’t watch any films. The most annoying thing for me though is people who just critic every film and take nothing from it, or simply do not watch a film because of who made it or what it is based on.

Michael Bay seems to be the key name that comes up around this kind of idea. Many people hate Michael Bay, I am not his biggest fan, but I appreciate what he has done for cinema, and how successful he has been at making films, even if they are not the greatest. I have not seen the latest Transformers by him, and it will not be fantastic, but I appreciate the scale of it, I appreciate how difficult it is to make a movie in the first place, I appreciate how much work has gone into it, and how the film has been made, and I learn from that. By doing that you can easily become a better filmmaker. Instead of critiquing it, or not watching it at all, you could watch it, see what was done right or wrong, and in a way be taught for free. You can take that, advice almost, and put it back into your work to improve it and make it better. To just simply say a film series, director, writer, whatever, is crap, or not good enough, may be true in ways, but surely from that you can learn what makes them bad, and therefore move on and improve.

There are probably very few filmmakers who actually hate other directors, writers or producers. This is because they most likely leant some techniques and tips of these people, just by viewing their work. For me, it seems films are almost a free way to learn and be entertained at the same time. Films don’t even have to teach wannabe filmmakers how to improve, but the general public and a whole spectrum of careers too. I have a friend keen on charity work after university, and as such she loves watching films about charities, charity workers, famous stories, all because they teach her something. Films are there to be learnt from in many cases, so why don’t we? Why do we critique and critique when instead maybe we should applaud and applaud? Yes, many blockbuster films do not allow indie films and their makers to make it big, but we can still learn from both these side of cinema. From the tiny, micro-budget indie film, to the epic, many millions of dollars worth of filmmaking of a blockbuster, they all provide us with new techniques, new issues, new ways to do things and so on.

For me, I just find it hard as a fan of cinema to hate on every director out there, for they all have reasons for being there. Let us learn and not just hate.

A Summer Tune

After the summer and weather we have been experiencing its true to find a song that perfectly fits the feeling of sun and summer. Each year there always appears to be one stand out song which seems to represent that summer. Eventually each summer is remembered just by hearing the song of that year. This year a certain magic has been cast over the summer. ‘Magik!’ a reggae-ish band has suddenly appeared on the music scene with this song, ‘Rude’. As per usual, it’s a catchy affair, but the reggae-ness of it is probably what make it stand out in a summer of bass drops and high-pitched voices. It is usually those slightly different songs of each summer that hit the note perfectly.

The key to a summer tune is definitely how upbeat and happy it is. A sad and very deep song about death is never going to be a summer tune used to remember  a summer by. That doesn’t mean it isn’t  a good song. In fact, probably the key to a summer song is that is doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘good’. It can have stupid, crappy lyrics, because during summer we don’t care, if it has a good tune it usually means you can dance to it, have it playing in the background on the beach, or simply be resting on a park with it playing. It primarily has to be easy listening. The lyrics may not be interesting, and its the typical ‘love-cliche’ thing, but who cares? If a song puts a smile on your face that should be enough, especially during summer when really all you want to do is smile and laugh. You do not want to be sat feeling depressed while listening to a slow and extremely heart breaking song. That isn’t the point of a summer tune.

The big summer tunes always appear to come from one-trick pony kind of bands, or the typical cheesy perform, e.g Taylor Swift. Again though, none of this matters. In fact having a 5 minute wonder song from a  band no one had heard of, or will hear of ever again, can be better. It can really link to that summer, and although not always a good thing, lead to some fun reminiscing.

All in all, have a listen of this song and hopefully it will make you smile, and be your summer tune as well. Summer and music go hand in hand, so if it isn’t the song for you, maybe see what other songs will make this summer perfect for you.

The Disappearing of Summer

This summer, the summer of 2014, truly feels as those it has been more than flying by, instead it appears to be simply disappearing from our grasps. To think that two months ago I left my first year of uni is crazy, and I really cannot pin-point where this summer has gone, not that that’s a bad thing.

Of course, as you can read, my summer has not been perfect, but nor has it been dramatically terrible. it probably has just been a slightly different one to what I may have expected. With no car, I have had a lot of time to be at home This sounds dull, but weirdly it seems to have led to some actual productivity occurring as well as what looks like a successful fitness kick, well for me at least.

My placements have been key to my summer so far though, and continue to be so. After a while at my first placement as a teaching assistant, which I hope to return to after the school holidays, I really saw just how much this kind of profession works for me. I enjoyed it, and hopefully will continue to enjoy it for a while yet. It may not be a paid placement, or one that is 100% related to what I want to do currently after uni, but that doesn’t mean I can’t love and enjoy it. I have not been at that placement that long, but even it feels a long time again, showing the tree speed in which this summer is going at.

The second placement is probably what started to make me feel this summer was useless. In a strange turn of events, however, I have really started to enjoy my time there as a conservation ranger. It may sound like some weird spin-off of the Power Rangers, and it isn’t quite that awesome, but it truly is staring to be very enjoyable and I am starting to leaner a lot from it. It just takes one good day to turn it all around I suppose.

The thought that I only have a month and a bit left of this summer is crazy. It is weird that it is this month where I have given myself the most work to do, the most placement days to work, and overall the most things to do with my time, instead of just wasting it. How fast this summer is going, however, is not just a personal thing. I have spoken to many people who feel exactly the same. So many people suddenly feel as though this summer has just fell through her hands like sand. It has disappear din the truest sense. Whether this is because we are starting to live in the ‘real world’ more or something I don’t know. What I do know is that I feel as though I ahem had more responsibilities on my shoulders this summer than ever before, and each one of this responsibilities takes up time, it is this where my time is going. When I think about it, I haven’t really truly relaxed for days on end through this summer. I truly have made a lot of it. I have seen friends, got into fitness more, done work, and two placements. That’s a lot more than any summer before. People always say ‘time flies when you are having fun’, and when you have so much to do on top of tis the time will just disappear, its inevitable.

So maybe our summer is going to faster or slower, well it definitely isn’t, time is fairly constant, but our perception of time has changed. A day of summer when we were 7 felt like years, we had nothing to really do, think about and nothing to worry about, so not time was spent on those things. Now though we have things that do take up time, and we have to do them, that is where our time goes. It appears that is where our summer has gone to.