Unfinished Business!

unfinished business, bucket lists, meaningful living, travel, machu picchu

I suppose one naturally assumes that writing a blog post about your Unfinished Business at 37 is a sure sign of a healthy mind! ;p Well, if you think this is another bucket list where I very originally envisage swimming with dolphins followed closely by bungee jumping in Machu Picchu, this is where you should hit the exit key! I can’t swim and I’m rather given to caution when I hear that the risks of a fatal accident from bungee jumping are roughly 1 in 500,000. That statistic actually scares me…yeah, I’m a real gambler at heart- I buy into the odds that the 1 in 500,000 could be ME!

venice, unfinished business, bucket lists, meaningful living,  travel, machu picchu

I tread a bit sceptically when it comes to regarding most published bucket lists; for frankly, entries like “falling in love” (mentioned in an astounding 87% of lists) is hardly something that happens as a result of a carefully engineered plan! I once (as part of my job) attended a marketing seminar that spoke about concretely visualising your goals as being a way of making sure they happen. We all came away with a pack of large, brightly coloured Post-it’s, (no points for guessing who one of the big sponsors were ;)) and for a long time, I stuck post-it’s everywhere, about everything (including telling myself that I’m gorgeous-drop dead gorgeous!)…And you know what? They actually did the job (bet the drop dead gorgeous one is still somewhere within reach–work in progress, that! ) But, apparently, writing down a goal gives you a 30% increased chance of achieving the target because a thought is not recognised as a call to action by your subconscious mind as is print, therefore the motivation you have toward that task is maximised by putting it in writing! Very compelling reasons for making lists – I know!

I often think of the industries that have come into existence to cater to the sole need of awkward, yet highly individualistic behaviour that needs to do things that veer away from the ‘sameyness’ of everyone’s life! Frankly, I find that very debatable when a sizeable population also wants to be a part of the ‘same’ , virtually identical, acquisitive lifestyle! Of course, the fuel that keeps the embers glowing is an attempt to surpass yourself – the acceptable face of competition! To go up higher, to win bigger, to attempt to answer the call for meaning and structure and silence the ancient questioning within.  And in our quest to complete this perfect picture of our victory-rich lives, we exist as a generation of urban ‘individualists’ bounding (at a skydiving pace, nonetheless) towards a collective end– alone!

venice, unfinished business, bucket lists, meaningful living,  travel, machu picchu
Exotic tea parlour!

Well, having just rubbished what at least a couple of million people take quite seriously, let me tell you what my unfinished business is about – and it’s not wanting to change the world- I gave up on that in my 20’s! I now just attempt to change the 6 square- feet of earth that I call mine, and hope that the ripple effect from there exponentially gives me street cred in the ‘change the world’ business!

I want to stop being a city girl, and by that I mean ‘cerebral’, I grew up in a small nuclear family with “Mattel” being the one of the most important words in my vocabulary, in a city that does not sleep! I know the names of a few flowers, recognize three trees to be precise and constantly feel like an outsider in nature. I want to feel a ccommunion – (no, I’m not in need of skirts made of hay and tie ‘n die kaftans despite loving Janis Joplin and most things Woodstock!)

I want to romance food – I’ve always had an unhealthy relationship with food. I’ve either feared food or I’ve craved it…I’ve never approached it as a friend who’ll nurture me and whose embrace I can accept with no strings attached! I think our culture’s taken that from us and the slew of magazines that celebrate food, even just bread in it’s rudimentary form is evidence of the fact that we’ve lost a deep connection with sustenance – of the most basic kind!

 

murano, burano, lace, venetian masks, venice, unfinished business, bucket lists, meaningful living,  travel, machu picchu

I want to raise compassionate, self-assured, spirited daughters who will not make mistakes that cost them their whole life to put right! I want them to know the value of asking for things politely and stopping to say thank you. Entitled, thankless people are the scourge of our times! I want them to have the strength to get up every time life knocks them down and say “Right, where were we again?!” and I hope that they’ll make good partners and good mums, and be loved enough by their families to be forgiven the mistakes they’ll make…

I want to know – and not just bookishly, that pine cones react differently to different temperatures and times of day; and that there are ways of living happily without a blow dryer or straighteners and an internet connection that allows me to upload a 10mb file in under five minutes! With every apocolyptic, dystopic film I watch, I realise how ill-suited most of us are to “living off the land”. I want to be able to grow my own anything really- coriander will do! And I want to grow my children up with a deeper connection to the earth than I will ever, naturally have!

venice, unfinished business, bucket lists, meaningful living,  travel, machu picchu

You know how all of us have events, people – choices that we made that served no purpose other than prove to us that we are totally capable of making ut-ter-ly rubbish decisions; (yeah, those)..I wish that someday I can truly lay the memory of them to rest! To be at peace with it without oscillating between the regret or the indifference…

I bet that some clever PR person somewhere thought that it might be nice to create some hype about people swimming with dolphins, and laughed his way to the bank just as filmmakers did with travel chick flicks…but naiively, I do yearn to be lost within a different culture- for a long enough time to not have to choose between identities.  And yes, I know that culturally and politically, there is no real way that will ever happen to me- but seriously, neither will watching a lunar eclipse while mattress-surfing happen to the poor bucket-lister who wishes it upon himself! The more I read, hear and discuss people’s plans as they course through life with carefully ‘curated’ lists; I wonder if maybe it is important that we live our lives in a quest for ‘organic’ meaning and ‘granular’ experience – but equally important too, is to realise that some “dreams” are intended to remain just that…dreams!

What do you dream about doing? Tell me, I’m listening … x

You might also enjoy reading :

“Arrivederci Roma!” – A Photo-essay.

Retro-Chic and the Cult of Neo-Sobriety!

www.intrepidmisadventurer.com

*The pics used in this post were taken by me in Venice, Murano and Burano and used in an essay titled “The portrait of ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns!'”  long before the birth of The Intrepid Misadventurer x

Northern Europe Calling! – An Ozeri Ceramic Knife Set Review!

Ozeri Elite Chef Black Ceramic Knife, Northern Europe, German nd Austrian Salami

In less than a month, we’re heading up to Northern Europe – Germany, Austria and parts of Switzerland and we couldn’t be more excited! The hills and valleys of Hallstat and Sebensee which almost look photoshopped because of their pristine perfection! :)  An anticipation of meeting history and natural beauty coupled with some serious European food – (none of that spagbol or lasagne thingy ;P Both of which I love, BTW) I will never tire of travelling around Italy!

Ozeri Elite Chef Black Ceramic Knife, Northern Europe, German nd Austrian Salami

We recently came across a German Deli and thought we’d sample some sausages and salami before we went so as to not make rookie mistakes in expensive, European restaurants. And with the games on, finger food is always a winner! Here is a selection of dry cured salamis – Pepper Salami, white Goud, Brown Mettwurst with hazelnuts, black hickory-smoked Liverwurst, paprika salami that’s a whole lot like the Spanish Chorizo and pale thin, mould covered Salanettis – which in my opinion, is the devil’s own creation! We bought some absolutely fabulous cheeses too – chilli paprika and chive and garlic! Strong, punchy, bold flavours…definitely not date night food 😉 You can appreciate that hard, dry cured meats need to be sliced thin with a good, sharp knife and I decided to get my Ozeri Elite Chef Black Ceramic 3-Piece Knife Set and give it a go!

 

Ozeri Elite Chef Black Ceramic Knife, Northern Europe, German nd Austrian Salami

Let me tell you a little about these new-to-the-UK knives…This is what it says on the tin 😉

  • The Elite Chef Black Ceramic Knife Set includes 3 ultra-sharp 100% ceramic knives that slice through fruits, vegetables, and boneless meats with unmatched ease.
  • Coupled to perfectly balanced ergonomic handles, the Elite Chef Ceramic Knives make chopping, mincing and dicing easier than ever before.
  • By utilizing the purest ceramic, each blade is close in hardness to diamonds and preserves its razor-sharpness 10 times longer than traditional steel blades.
  • Unlike metal knives, the Ozeri Elite Chef Black Ceramic Knives do not corrode, rust or leach metal ions from long-term exposure to moisture, oils and acids in common foods.
  • Finished with a reflective black veneer, each Ozeri ceramic knife weighs less than half of an equivalent metal knife, thereby reducing fatigue and pain associating with preparing big meals and repetitive cutting.

Ozeri Elite Chef Black Ceramic Knife, Northern Europe, German nd Austrian Salami

Well, I found myself agreeing with most of it…it certainly is very light and well designed so for the lack of a less dramatic phrase, your hand literally drapes around it! It has a very slick, ultramodern look, and I suppose would make an excellent gift for male friends who potter about the kitchen a fair bit! I oscillate between modern to boring in my kitchenware and when this came through, my husband seemed pleased that finally, he’d have something he’d ‘like’ to use in the kitchen! Unfortunately for me, mine is no cook, so he’ll cut us an apple or an onion with this! 😉 So, if you ever find yourself looking at gifts for men, give this a look into – I bet a lot of men and women will be very happy with it! :)

Ozeri Elite Chef Black Ceramic Knife, Northern Europe, German nd Austrian Salami

A lot is said about the ceramic sharpness- “close in hardness to diamonds and preserves its razor-sharpness 10 times longer than traditional steel blades”, and I did find them very, very sharp- but let’s face it, all new knives are razor sharp. Continued use will probably be the judge of whether this indeed, will stand the test of time! I liked that the set had three knives and could be used for scores of cutting and chopping tasks around the kitchen! I’m very pleased with the look and function of the product and hope that you’ll have a look to see if it floats your boat too! You can check it out at Amazon where they’re exclusively available at the moment!

www.intrepidmisadventurer.com

You might also like to read :

Pan Seared Steak&Onions-Stone Earth Pan Review!

“Life is Good!” – A Mini Boden Story!

*Disclaimer : This is a sponsored post, and I was given this set for my participation! All opinions, stories, photographs, and ramblings are authentically mine! :)*

How I write..(and all that jazz!)

Writing style, perspectives, blogging success

So, I find myself tagged in a Blogger’s Writing-Style chain post where I let all you lovely people know what makes me tick, and why I think people read me – and let it be said at the outset, I’m flattered – Proper.Flattered! Kerry – who nominated me, is the high priestess of Be A Mummy Blogger, with her years of experience in the writing industry and as a regular contributor to parenting and food channels on Yahoo UK , she aims to help bloggers and mumpreneurs take their blog to the next level!

For as long back as I can remember, writing has gone hand-in-hand with problem solving for me. I was one of those who kept a journal for a long, long time…way after it stopped being ‘cool';  and no, it wasn’t one that came password protected- I grew up in the middle ages, a chimp could’ve broken my code!

I’ve had several careers that revolved around writing- I lectured at University for six years, teaching Post Graduate students European studies for a while before I went to work with an American news corporation where I did scripting and technical writing for a very long time! We became parents, we moved countries, we set up new lives and through it all, I contnued writing – contributing to journals, writing academically too, as I took on a Ph.D. It’s just something that’s underscored every stage of my life!

And then came the gift of webspace and a WordPress theme…my friends and family totally twisted my hand behind my back and got me to start The Intrepid Misadventurer, and boy, I’m glad I did..It was the choice to put down all my thoughts-  emails that I would write about certain topics to a select group of friends, movie reviews that we would share- all finding a home at one destination and it being open to anyone who wanted to stop by for a chat, share a thought, contribute… It’s as close as I can get to a “mountain cafe”!

 

 

Writing style, perspectives, blogging success, decisions, red pill blue pill

 

Okay, let’s get down to business, grab the nomination baton and run with it 😉

What are you working on?

Currently writing about How I write..(and all that jazz!) … and then I’ve got two posts in my drafts (It almost never happens!) One is about Unfinished Business, yes-  a bucket list of sorts, but with a twist  – how are you going to leave your mark? What says “you were here”? Another which is going to be a food post, and a very manly one at that!  Then I will be doing some work for the English National Opera..You’ll have to watch this space for more..

I wish I was more organized with my writing, but I’m not. Writer’s Block is my default position, much like our grey skies- but then suddenly and without warning, the light just breaks through!

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I have always believed that we’re all more alike than we’re different and are powered, enthused, intrigued and perplexed by vastly similar things. Those “similar things” make the core of my writing. I don’t write about things I do with my children, for a lot of the times, they’re barely enthralling to me! A lot of mums out there do it better and are very inspiring…I learn from them about things to do with my 7 & 6 yr old girls. I don’t feel I’m quite there yet to be writing about our daily life..

I write about ideas and issues around parenting (introversion, birth order behaviour, raising children in a very nuclear cultural ethos – they don’t see family for years), I deconstruct trends that seem popular and appealing like our recent obsession with shelfies and all things retro. I write about music and meaningful living and I think I do it with a lighthearted approach. All my thoughts are perspectivesmy experience of life in my skin – not hard hitting truth and doesn’t call for my readers to be parents at all. There’s something there for everyone! I’m humorously snarky, for really all of us could do with taking ourselves a little less seriously – let’s leave the rabble rousing for the Tele, shall we?! :)

 

Writing style, perspectives, blogging success

Why do I write what I write?

If I knew, I’d tell you… I’m on a trajectory to being the 40 year-old in Baz Luhrmann’s “Everyone’s Free to wear Sunscreen” , of whom he says

“Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t.”

I guess I write what I write to access a world outside of me and my immediate life. I write to comapartmentalize my intellect and creativity from my routine…after a day of being mommy, getting school work sorted, lunches packed, dishes done, meals planned and then there’s afterschool to deal with, you can feel totally disconnected with the ‘why’ of you. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade any of the above to be the queen of the world, but writing is that magnifying glass that hones in on me and what I bring into the world. I hope that as you read what I write, you nod along with that shared experience, I hope that coming across my blog is a 5 minute break where you think of something differently, or add to the conversation because you and I are on the same page, but on different lines!  I write so I’m part of something bigger than myself – It’s a manifesto of where I would like to go with my life; it’s a chronicle of where I’ve been!

 How does my writing process work?

It all starts with a foggy mist, I’m never sure of what my next post would be. Ideas come to me, and like seeds, some die and some take root.. I do a lot of research if I’m writing about something that I claim has some sort of scientific backing, if not – I go with my creative flow.

My writing process is collaborative, I write to be spoken back to. My greatest need through my writing is to reach another person, to connect- maybe it stems from when I taught literature in a classroom and it was a two-way process!  Staying relevant to people’s lives is my basic premise, and to be honest about my voice. I don’t write to be liked, or agreed with…a connection can be made on differing opinions! More than anything, my writing operates on a level playing field, you’ve invited people into your world, play nice. The best ideas fall apart in a negative space!

My writing is meant to accomplish nothing other than remind us of our connectivity as human beings – we are as diverse as we are uniform, of celebrating shared experience that makes such a measurable impact on us all; knowing that we’re not alone in what we feel! If I’ve accomplished that with any one reader, then in my own right this is a successful blog!

Thank you Kerry from Be a Mummy Blogger for nominating me and getting me thinking, I’ve enjoyed mulling over the “why” of it all :) I don’t feel like I know anyone well enough in the blogging world to nominate them, but throw the invitation open to anybody who’d like to take this conversation into their own lives and tell us what makes them tick! X

You might also enjoy reading :

Nature, Nurture and Apples falling from Trees!

Retro-Chic and the Cult of Neo-Sobriety!

www.intrepidmisadventurer.com

* The images in this post are borrowed from Daniel Simm with express permission! All the images on this site are mine unless otherwise stated and I would really appreciate if I was asked before they were liberally used elsewhere on the net! Don’t say you haven’t been warned 😉