Paper Hearts & Tin Foil Tiaras ♥

The diary of a girl

Month: April, 2011

House of Silence by Linda Gillard

Within a few pages of reading this new Linda Gillard book I knew I was going to be sucked in.  I am5’10”, I work in a costume house and wear flat shoes…….of course I was going to find some form of connection with this book (you’ll see what I mean if you read it, which of course you will, won’t you!)  Anyway, there is so much more than finding a self important connection like that.  Linda always writes in a style that sucks you in.  You don’t even have to try to imagine being there, to see the views and the moments she describes, you just are there.  If the frosty ground crackles underfoot, you hear it, you can feel the sensation. If a room is described as cold, you feel it.  You can smell the aroma’s as they come off the page.  It’s like being with people you know, that by the end of the book you will feel the loss of a friend as you close the book, eager for their to be a second in the series just so you can say hello to them again and see how they are doing.  And that’s quite a statement for someone who is very suspicious with anything that has ‘2’ in the title.

The book glides through a tale of a family caught up in a web of entangled dreams/lies/hopes they all had or believed they had.  A stranger walks in and breaks the web.  I can’t really say more than that about the story without starting to give a little too much away.

Linda has built up a believable family, with believable lives and yet again when you finish reading the book you spend a moment thinking about the future of each person as though you once knew them, people that have sprung into your mind making you reminisce.  I am not sure how she does this, she doesn’t overwhelm you with detail but does enough that you can smell the breakfast cooking or almost feel the cold bite of the snowy weather as they open the door of the house to walk outside.

I’ve also never heard about the Blankets of Love organisation, so it’s something else I’ve learnt from reading one of Linda’s books.  Without fail her books always open my mind up to something else, or some new way of thinking or new perspective on something.

Another gold star for Linda.



I think that picture says quite a lot. I’ve been talking about image and the way the world focuses on people’s looks too much quite a bit just lately. And it is weird because each of us has our own ideas about who and what is beautiful. Or at least we did. The media pumps certain images at us everywhere we look now, it’s not just in magazines, it’s on billboards, on buses, in newspapers, on TV….pretty much everywhere you go. I thought the Dove adverts would help turn things around and then I realised how darn niave I am. What interest does a media machine have in selling us an image that says be comfortable with who you are! Silly silly me. They want to tell us these unobtainable images are how we should look because we will never be able to get there and that’s the point. If we can never reach it we’ll keep striving for it which in turn keeps us buying clothes, make up, beauty products, new fad diets…..ok so a few people will take it too far and die along the way but do you think the media wheel cares about that? There will be another few thousand kids coming along soon enough to brain wash. Harsh but very true and so not fair.

Even the models that are helping to sell this image are not actually like that – they are preened and air brushed to within an inch of their lives.

How many times have I seen pictures in magazines making fun of the celeb that has been caught wihtout their make up on ewww heaven forbid they look like a human – funny thing is 9/10 the pictures show a celeb with just more regular make up on and not 10 inches of the stuff for a shoot.

Forever making us think we need to be perfect.

But what is perfect? A shallow dream that’s all. IF things were perfect you’d get bored of them soon enough and you’d learn very little.

Not sounding quite so ideal really.

I am not perfect far from it and thank god. Although in my usual hypercritical way I have HUGE issues with what I look like. I can use my security blanket to get me through a lot – ie that I am actually a good and kind person, but hey what’s that worth in this world because shock horror I don’t have plastic surgery, I don’t bleach my hair and I am not a size minus zero! (And come on please minus zero…it’s laughable or would be if it wasn’t so bloody dangerous)!

This point I feel will never be made properly so I will continue to rant and the world will continue to turn in it’s media obsessed way but I live in hope.

Tied into this image is this book that I have just read. Laura appears to have it all – good looking husband, perfect kids, big house, lots of money, gaggle of friends…….and one girl in the background niggling away at her perfect life. She realises that her ‘friends’ aren’t all that and her life is just a game and her past catches up with her in quite a spectacular way.

Don’t forget the little things………..

Jenny Colgan is an author or what is probably labelled Chick Lit.  You might love her work, you might hate it, you might be indifferent to it but she’s made a very good statement.

“Great long-term relationships aren’t made from interests in common, political allegiance, shared belief systems or hobbies. They’re made from people being thoughtful about one another. Emptying the dishwasher. Listening to their day. Saying please and thank you. Treating them as you would anyone you really liked and admired. It’s easier to say ‘I’d walk over broken glass for you’ than it is to take the bins out every night.”

I could not agree more.  The big grand gestures if you are rich pale into insignificance when a poor person runs a bath for you, or picks some wild flowers for you.  It’s easy to get an assistant to charter a jet for you when you have the money but to take time out and bother to do something.  Say your partner has had a bad day at work, so you rush home, run a bubble bath and greet them with a glass of wine. This needs to only cost you a few pounds but the thought is priceless.

Being thoughtful.  It costs nothing in the monetary terms but boy is the effect ever lasting.

Try it… and your partner, friends, family….might just like it!

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”

You know that when we look in the mirror none of us see what we actually look like don’t you? You know that a huge percentage of us actually see something that is better than what we are… find a lot of them out on Friday and Saturday nights with the confidence of I don’t know what…….but that also means there are a huge percentage of us that don’t realise how lovely we look.

More importantly wouldn’t it be great if we could have an internal mirror – ewww yeah not pretty but I mean more about being pretty on the inside.

I hate seeing the people that I feel should be confident being all down on themselves.  So many good people don’t seem to feel worth it.  But maybe that is why they are good people? Yeah that sounds weird I know but think about it…….when someone pretty knows it they can become extremely ugly.

When someone tries (in vain) to keep themselves looking young they become obsessive, boring and quite frankly don’t look young they just look a little bit odd.

I think though, it’s safe to say that we all forget that we age.  I have no problem with my age and find that with age I am learning so much more about myself – not necessarily feeling better or more confident with myself but I am learning so much, understanding so much more…….but it seems that other people have a problem with my age and constantly think I am up to 9 years younger than I actually am.  It’s not always a boost to the ego though when you confidently correct them on your age only to have their jaws hit the floor and the response being ‘oh my god you’re how old!??!?!’ or ‘Well, why don’t you own your own home or have a kid by now then?’ because you know the only reason to have a child is because you are running out of time, and yes please do note my really heavy sarcasm there.

We are all so quick to judge, so quick to put people in boxes and label them up.  To feel fearful of people that we can’t put into boxes, instead of celebrating their individuality.  It’s weird that some of the more interesting people to look at are quite often the shy ones or the people with low self esteem, they don’t want to blend in.  I fear a clothes rail with 50 of the same item on it, I mean seriously who wants to go out looking like they were created in a factory with 50 others.

I’ve never liked what I look like.  I’ve never thought ‘Hey looking good’ when I’ve looked in the mirror.  I’ve lost a lot of sleep over this in my youth and have my off days still but am realising more and more it’s about who I am not what I am.

Let’s say that again WHO I am NOT WHAT I am.

So don’t frown on the person that works at the checkout – they could be producing the next amazing movie outside of work hours.  Sometimes the economy just forces you to have to grab any job as well.

I see work as something that I do to be able to be me.  I like my job – it’s a really interesting company, but it’s not all I am about, it doesn’t define who I am but not many people know that.

I am so bored of the hustle of a city and long for the quiet country life again.  My brother always said I was a country girl at heart, but boy I had to escape that in my teens for my own sanity.  I don’t need that anymore though.  I want people to say hello and know me when they walk past me, I don’t want everyone to be scowling or just walk past awkwardly looking anywhere and everywhere but at you heaven forbid you make eye contact.

I spent a few days at the coast last weekend and it was so easy to spot the locals and the tourist.  The locals said hello and made light chit chat.  The tourists rushed past making no eye contact or looking at you really awkwardly before running off or thought you were going to ask them for something if you so much as smiled in their direction.

The key to happiness is simple and humans have complicated it so much.

I am sick of being judged by my job title and by my salary.  Those things should not really matter.

It’s true on the flip side that if you have loads of money people think life must be easy… some ways it could be harder………all those people to impress, faces to keep up, knowing who to trust………………remember we all got along just fine before money was invented, most of the troubles started once it was.

Just because you have £1 million in the bank does not make you better than me.   Just as it doesn’t make you worse than me.

Just because something bad happened to you today does not mean that tomorrow won’t be different nor does it mean you have the right to take that mood out on everyone else.

Just because your band didn’t make it and someone else’s did does not for one minute mean their band is better.

The world works in weird ways – don’t waste time trying to fit some mould the media have created for you – don’t waste time being unhappy doing the things you think you should or are expected of you.

Spend the time doing what you love.  If that means it’s only for an hour a day because you are having to work a job that you don’t love to get the freedom for that hour – relish that hour – don’t hate the other hours of your life – understand that you have a purpose and keep working towards your goal.

No one is perfect and god wouldn’t life be boring if it was.

You might hate celebrities because their life seems so easy.  So they don’t have to work regular hours and can afford pretty much anything they want but don’t mistake that for happiness.  Many people that chase fame are terribly insecure.  Everyone has tough times in life, money doesn’t actually change that – or what you deem important changes.  Even the best job in the world has a part of you like less and that will become the thing that keeps you awake on a Sunday night.

Don’t judge others too quickly just because they don’t have some high flying job and please don’t see success as being famous.  There are some amazing people out there doing some of the best stuff ever but you don’t even know their name!

Don’t judge someone just because they don’t look the way the media tells you they should – just remember the one thing you can’t do too much about is the face you were  born with unless you are going to tamper with lots of surgery – then it’s not really you anyway, it’s the person you are that is important.  This world will always be focussed on that initial attraction to what someone looks like but please take the time to look deeper and hope that people will do the same to you.

And make sure there is something to look deeper too – don’t just make yourself all about your looks or your job and don’t dismiss someone just because they are shy.  I’ve had people write me off for seeming hard to approach – I’m super friendly – I just have low self esteem and am scared I am being judged.  People assume I shouldn’t have low self esteem so treat me as though I am super confident – they don’t understand that it cripples me to walk into a room of people – but I keep doing it – I think it’s important to keep testing yourself and to keep pushing yourself.

You can stand still for years but your feet will never grow roots….there is a reason for that.  Keep yourself evolving – keep yourself changing and growing – be kind to others and don’t be so quick to judge.  Don’t fill your life with bad people or weak friends just for the sake of appearing popular and above all be true to yourself.

“Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.”

“By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower.” Rabindrath Tagore

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”  ~Kahlil Gibran

“That which is striking and beautiful is not always good, but that which is good is always beautiful.”  ~Ninon de L’Enclos

“Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty – they merely move it from their faces into their hearts.”  ~Martin Buxbaum

Thinspiration – oh purlease!

Whilst I was out shopping the other day I happened to glance down at a ladies shopping basket.  The only thing inside was two boxes of diet pills and two boxes of laxatives.

Now sorry but this does not seem the healthiest way to reach a weight you should be.  It also seems quite um how shall I put this, quite an anti social diet.

I for one get really crotchety when I haven’t eaten for a while and my sugar levels are dipping.  But imagine having no food at all and little control over when you poop yeah nice!

There’s also the issue of what it is doing to your insides.

Even chucking food up isn’t good as the acid in your vomit can burn away your oesophagus and lead you to a nasty death.

And all for what – because we feel fat?  Many of those that feel that way are anything but fat as well.

Nicole Richie was accused of being pregnant recently because she had a loose top on?!?! Now have you seen that girl – she’s stick thin! It’s irresponsible to put such pressure on people that have already had issues with their weight and are almost too skinny again now.

That’s society – it’s a mess that we can’t just enjoy our food and remember to be more active.  If diets worked it wouldn’t be such a multi million pound industry would it.

Eating correctly wouldn’t make your breath smell or your hair go dull or make you a cranky old bat to hang out with.

If you eat correctly you can be surprised at how much you can actually consume.  And exercise – it’s not rocket science.  Exercise isn’t just good for your waist line either it’s essential for your mental well being too.

I am far from perfect but am making steps in the right direction, gentle steps – for I am making a life change not looking for a quick and quite often dangerous fix.

Life can be tough enough without us all beating ourselves up for not having the figures that the media says we should.  Remember they are trying to sell something they are being sensationalist.  Even models get air brushed to high heaven.

So please ladies…..and gents wake up – when we are living in a world where the number of anorexic 5 year olds is on the increase we really need to keep our eyes open and start thinking for ourselves.