On makeover time

So my little blog has finally had its makeover. I have been meaning to get around to doing this for quite some time now, the colours and the layout of the previous theme didn’t seem to work as well as I had hoped for. It is not until your blog has been up and running for a period of time and you have had a chance to scope out other layouts that work well for other people that you really know what you want it to look like.

This one however I like very much. I think the colour scheme is much more pleasing to the eye and having the side bar down the right hand side is very handy, as opposed to scrolling down to the bottom of the blog to look for those items. Quite pretty, even if I do say so myself.

I hope you like it too! Feedback is always welcome fellow bloggers.

On book abandonment

On book abandonment

Now I wholeheartedly believe in finishing what you started, but sometimes there have to be exceptions. I mean if you get the sun lounger and a cold drink out and the thought of reading more of the book turns you cold – I think you should stop. If you are not enjoying it put it back on the shelf, or give it to someone who will enjoy it. Books are there for your enjoyment, they shouldn’t be a chore.

However saying that and going back to my original point, if you have only a couple of chapters left, get rid of that apathy and man-up. The satisfaction of completing a book that was challenging will be greater than if you cave. In the end I guess it all comes down to you.

Discrimination prevents universal freedom of expression

“I am gay.” May be easy for some people to say, hard for others. The looming threat of discrimination can make it difficult for people to be true to themselves. The anxiety caused by living in a society that directly opposes your own beliefs and being can make life horrific for millions of people.

This is not just exclusive to the LGBT community, but it is a worldwide crisis. Discrimination has prevented freedom of expression from being accessible to many. Not just across the world but within different social groups in countries and communities discrimination is present, preventing everyone to their universal right. Poverty, unequal/lack of political representation, basic education, religion, sexual orientation. The people who most need the power of free expression are the ones who are prevented from using it. They need to make their voices heard. Not just because by making their circumstances public they may receive support, but because everyone deserves the most basic of human rights. In a rich country or a poor country, Western or Eastern, black or white, gay or straight. Universality means exactly that. Universal. Everyone.

Furthermore, freedom of expression isn’t just about letting people know about any discrimination you have experienced, but it is about that person’s personal development. Knowledge is power. Access to information helps communities to grow and prosper, creates better economic prospects, equal representation in politics, ultimately to a decrease in discrimination. Without freedom there can only be limited development, and the goal for all communities, cities, countries, the world, is growth. But with discrimination there cannot be freedom.

In Arundhati Roy’s book The God of Small Things the character Velutha is discriminated because he classified by the caste system in India as an untouchable. Outside of the four Varna’s, he is at the very bottom of society. This is only because of the family he was born into. As a person, he is the God of small things. Working as a gardener, handy-man, babysitter. His relationship with a higher caste woman ends with his death and her abandonment. How is this fair?

Yes I have used a fictional example, but that is only because using a real life example is too upsetting, more so than Velutha’s story. The worst (and simultaneously the best) part of the book, is its realism. It is so heavily rooted within Hindu and Indian culture that despite the country’s growing economic status, there is still this discrimination at the very heart of it and this class of people are absent from those benefits. Tradition is hard to replace. In this example, the laws are based in religion, which is then hard to alter because religion is such an important factor for millions of people across the world. This is the problem. This needs resolving before anything can be done in the way of ensuring everyone has the right to free expression.

While people are still being discriminated in their homes it will be almost impossible for the laws on expression to be changed. But this should not be disheartening, because you can also do many great things from inside your home, maybe even write a post on your blog.

First Post. Great.

If I am completely honest, I am not really sure how to do this. I never caught onto the tumblr or instagram trends and so this all seems to be slightly odd. I sometimes even struggle just to tweet. But the writing part, the writing is fun. That is what I enjoy. I am not even really writing about anything particularly interesting, and so apologies to any of you that happen to come across this post, but this is my first attempt and I hope you will be considerate enough to let me off the hook this one time.

So to get started why not start with a classic? Weather. If I look out of my window to the world outside it actually would create a sense of one being in a paradox. To the left there is a ominous looking pale grey cloud, which unsurprisingly (although surprisingly considering it is the middle of March) it is snowing. Snowing tiny little fluffy flakes. To the right in comparison, is a lovely blue sky with rays bursting through the clouds and glaring onto my laptop screen to the extent that it is making this a little difficult to write clearly. How annoying.

But if life progressed the way you intended it to then where would the excitement originate from? The importance of novelty is paramount in everybody’s lives. The necessity for spontaneity to exist is vital to ensure that you don’t stay on that mud-ridden track for the rest of your life. This idea of time progressing is one that needs to be understood, the past is history. Fact. It is the only thing that we can be certain of. Like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s fantastically over-quoted last line of The Great Gatsby “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”



In any case, I promise that my second post will be far more enlightening than this one on how confusing the Great British weather has been recently.