So I decided to spend some time behind the camera and put my friends on the spot, Lauren (@Laurenpearson_x) was the first to answer the 5 Minute Philosopher questions adapted from Stylist Magazine. Loved reading through all of her answers and identified with the majority of them too! Enjoy!
What is the meaning of life?
I believe that everyone/everything has a purpose and everything happens for a reason. There is more to life than the one we live on earth, but while we are on this earth, to live means to be the best version of ourselves for our own happiness, to enjoy the things we love, love the things we do and the friends/family we have, to free ourselves of social pressures, meet goals, and make memories that leave a stamp when we aren’t around. True freedom and true happiness is what gives life a meaning. In a nutshell- we come to conquer and then we die, so we do the best we can with the hand of cards that are dealt to us & live our best life in between.
Where is your happy place?
My happy place is never a specific place but with the people I’m with. For example, a simple coffee with a friend, or dinner with family.
Do you think it is more important to be liked or respected?
What do you think makes a good friend?
Taking time out to talk and listen to one another. Knowing when the other needs to be picked up (which may mean self-sacrifice of a hangover after numerous tequilas), being there at the click of a finger, making the best memories- going on adventures & growing (old) together.
Benefit Sun Beam or Fenty KillaWatt?
Not going to lie- I didn’t know what they are, so I’d go for the latter based on the reviews.
If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
Being the person that could cheer anyone up.
Who or What is your greatest love?
Probably food, since it’s the main thing I get FOMO with.
If you could choose one superpower what would it be?
To be able to Teleport.
Describe your perfect holiday:
Enjoy a nice breakfast with freshly squeezed fruit juice or iced coffee, sun bathe allllll day ft. some kayaking, snorkelling, beach volleyball etc. A nice couple of boat trips and adventures. Then lovely big dinners, wine & cocktails until I feel uncomfortable and want to get back to the hotel room to get into something comfortable followed by deep late-night conversations on the balcony.
What book would you recommend to others?
I’m not much of a reader but one book that has always stuck with me is “A thousand splendid suns: By Khaled Hosseini”
Confess your unpopular opinion:
The Queen Elizabeth trains are rubbish!
Pasta or Pizza?
I overheard someone on the train this morning talking about the benefits of having a diary and being able to read back over years and years of memories. I always remember one of my teachers in primary school told us she wrote diary entries every single night before she went to sleep, she started when she was 25 and just never stopped. I think when she taught my class she was about 65, she had suitcases full of handwritten books under her bed and in her attic…. I thought that part was a bit mad because who has that much space, but diary writing always appealed to me. I think its amazing to be able to look back and see how you were thinking and feeling at a certain time in your life, and I guess the great thing about growing older is looking back and seeing how far you have come, and how you have grown through life. I think blogging is my take on diary writing (I am not disciplined enough to write every day, and I cant imagine actually picking up a pen and paper now). I looked back a few days ago at some of the short stories I wrote in 2015 and it really put a smile on my face… firstly because I couldn’t actually believe I had written some of the stuff that I was reading, almost like reading it with fresh eyes. But in the same breath, I was proud because I wrote stuff at the most difficult times in my life, and the product was actually not that bad. I have times in my life that are documented through nothing but poetry and stories and although no one else would remember how i felt whilst writing them, I can and its really weird to see how different I feel now. I came across a poem I wrote when my dad was ill, and I remember being so scared around then, but reading it back now, that’s certainly not what came across and I just think that is the beauty of writing and turning negatives into positives. I haven’t written much properly in a long time, I always mean to write a lot more, but I am a perfectionist and unless something is immaculate I don’t want it out there. Anyone else struggle with being disciplined? I think as well writing for yourself rather than for an income or as a career can certainly have an impact. When I used to write for online blogs and magazines nothing was ever free-flowing, I don’t enjoy writing within constraints, I like being able to say what I want to say in the way I want to say it. The way you are supposed to write. On the flip side, I have come across a few posts and thought, Ellz what the hell were you thinking writing that…but that just makes me laugh. I think the 21 year old me and the 25 year old me are two very different people, but I like making the comparisons and seeing how life has taught me different things. I actually need to write about the last 3 months because i have been sooooo busy. I said to myself at the beginning of this year, I just need to live my best life really. Not in the sense that everyone usually talks about, but do all the things I have never done and want to do, and to a certain extent I really have done that. I have eaten a LOT of food, travelled, partied, spend a lot of money doing all the above but I have honestly had the best few months of my life…and of course I want to share that with you all. There will be pictures and funny stories (I have just come back from skiing which you can imagine was eventful) so hold tight for those….and Happy Easter if you are celebrating!
*Not my content/material* Rights below @
A question for the new prime minister
How’d you have a heart so sinister?
How are you so wasteful when people are dying in Somalia
Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya?
The irony is we have no business in Syria
But kids are getting killed for all the business in Syria
And then they try and tell you it’s ISIS, it’s ISIS
In their attempts at killing it, how many civilians
Died, so what’s the difference between us and them?
When you got drones killing kids just touching ten
Then when a bomb goes off, every politician’s lost
Like that last strike that didn’t kill a hundred men
You ain’t the same as them
But all that fuel for the fire is what you gave to them
And what you take from them
All my life I know my mum’s been working
In and out of nursing, struggling, hurting
I just find it fucked that the government is struggling
To care for a person that cares for a person
So where’s the discussion on wages and budgets?
How they made them redundant when I was a young’un
The letters in our car said my mum was overdraft
But somehow I still had dinner money in my pocket
And even the little things like ordering pizza
Were probably the reason for overtime in the evening
Five till ten, six hours of sleeping
For 22 years my mum was doing the cleaning
Dreaming that her kids would have a better life
Go in bed at night, struggling with getting by
That’s the reality for millions of people in a nation
Where a lot of us were looking for a second try
A question for the new prime minister
And please, tell me if I’m being narrowminded
But how do we spend so much money on defence
And weapons to wage war when the NHS is dying?
Bursting at the seams, and what about them people
That voted for us to leave for the money that it would see?
350 million we give to the EU every week
That our health service needs
But now them politicians got what they wanted
Can you see an empty promise or a poster on the street?
Nurses in tears ’cause they’re working every hour of the week
And they still don’t have the money that they need
You brought the heart of the nation to its knees
Underpaid, understaffed, overworked
And overseen by people who can’t ever understand
How it feels to live life like you and me
Patients lying in the corridors
‘Cause doctors can’t even find a bed for them to sleep
I remember A&E and all them sickening screams
Of a little girl waiting for a surgeon to be seen
Privatized healthcare, guns for police
Increased uni fees, is this what they’re selling us?
Well let me remind you just in case you’ve forgotten
That we live in Great Britain, not in Donald Trump’s America
Speaking of America, state and the president
With all due respect, I’ve got something to say to them
I just find it funny you can’t give a hand to Palestine
But you can trade whole arms with Saudi Arabia
I’ve got a question for the new prime minister
At Grenfell Tower, your response was ridiculous
You hid like a coward behind your 5 million
Dodged responsibility and acted like you’re innocent
And I can see you’re terrified, you’re not good at telling lies
I’m getting why you stay away from everything that’s televised
You look like a robot and you don’t speak with any life
It feels to me like any guy in press could’ve said them lines
Imagine going to the council for the safety of your block
And you’ve got kids but they’re ignoring you at every time
Everyone who knew about that cladding
Should really be going prison under rule of joint enterprise
But if it ain’t a little kid with a knife
I bet that judge is going easy when he’s giving him time
They don’t deserve to be free
Any builder, MP that knew about the conditions but did it to save cheese
When I listen to the things that the residents had seen
I was so shocked I couldn’t even speak
Families they know that had died in their sleep
How you choke on the smoke when you’re struggling to breathe
The glow from the fire
The panic when you hear all the sirens
The crackling, the popping and the muffled-out screams
The fear in the eyes of a man that was trapped
Who jumped 15 floors from the tower to the street
I could only hear a fraction of the pain and the grief
Closing my eyes, trying hard not to cry
And the joy and relief in the face of a man
When a woman from the flat said his neighbour was alive
No help from the council in keeping any list
Or the people that survived, his neighbours and peers
And for that whole meeting I could see that he was trying
So his smile was an island in a sea full of tears
Look, I’ve got a message for our old prime minister
I mean you fucked us, resigned, then sneaked out the firing line
I wanna know how you managed it
And are you bathing in the sun while them papers have a run
At the woman that you left here to handle it?
You gonna teach your little lad to be the man that’s got a plan
And then the moment that it fails to abandon it?
Are there bullies in his school?
And when you pick them up after class, can you feel his embarrassment?
I mean you never gave a fuck about the youth and that’s the truth
There’s no sympathy for you or your cabinet
I really wish I could’ve seen how you were scramblin’
When you lost the referendum that you had to win
I feel like politicians are all addicts
In a big fat game but it’s lives that you gamble with
I’ve got a question for the leader of the Labour Party
Jeremy Corbyn, where do you wanna take the country to?
Honestly, I wanna put my trust in you
But you can understand why if I’ve got trust issues
Do you really have the faith of your party?
Do you really have faith in the party that will come with you?
And how do you plan on keeping all the promises?
Man, if I’m being honest, sir, I’m struggling to get with it
I just ain’t getting it
Everybody’s great until you get them into office and then guys start forgetting things
Prove to us you’re different, don’t promise me anything
Go and get justice for Rashan Charles and Edison
And if you haven’t had the thought to vote yet
Or protest ’cause you don’t really see the progress
I hope you know that what they’re saying is affecting us
The small steps are way better than no steps.”
We Are, and We Wonder,
We grow, and We Feel,
We Reason, and Laugh,
We are Joyous and Still.
We Shy, and We Fear,
Yet We Protect and Reveal,
In Our Thoughts and Our Language
We Love and We Heal.
I never know how to start these because my thoughts usually come out of nowhere, so I’m just going to jump straight in…
I’ve been thinking about how easy it is to mirror the other people in our lives, and how our experiences are shaped by this. For example, how you think about a certain situation can literally determine the outcome of that situation – ‘thoughts become things’. If you know me personally, you know I love using that saying. It is so easy to let your perspective become the complete narrative, when actually it is only yours. How you think/feel/react to anything in your life belongs to you and not others. The whole story is barely grasped by you alone.
I think it’s important from this to understand how little we actually matter in terms of other peoples decisions and actions. And this can be apparent in any aspect of your life, work life, within relationships or family, certainly friendship too. Something that somebody else does may trigger you, but it’s more likely that they have done that whilst thinking and feeling in themselves, and not in a reaction to you.
The clarity that you give to a situation or experience will, in my opinion quite literally affect its outcome. Your construct of what is happening will seep out into every interaction – whatever that may be – physically, emotionally. And eventually the receiver will mirror that back to you, physically, emotionally. What you put in will always be what you get back out. If you want respect, give it. If you want love, give it. If you want forgiveness, understanding, reassurance, give it. It might not come from the source you are expecting but that is what you will receive.
I guess this also says a lot about perception. Most people’s perceptions depend on how they see themselves, standing in their own lives. You see most things from where you are, so if you are feeling distant from a certain friendship, perhaps you have created that distance in your head from your assumed perception (mostly this stems from our own fears) but if you then mirror that to the respective person, how can they not mirror it back to you, completing the narrative you created in the first place…
This interview is always on the last page of stylist magazine (http://www.stylist.co.uk/) So I thought I would try and answer some of the questions to ease myself back into writing for this month of August…
What is the meaning of life? I think the meaning of life is what you make it. To Laugh, share experiences, find out what you Love doing and learn along the way.
What is the difference between right and wrong? Right is when you live in a way that doesn’t hurt anybody else, wrong is when you know that your actions are negatively affecting others. The lines can be blurred though.
Where is your happy place? Maybe on a beach or in the gym. I am happiest when I am with my friends or chilling with my family.
Nature or Nurture? Both, Nature provides the ingredients, but our upbringing and our experiences continue to shape us.
Is it more important to be liked or respected? Respected because it lasts longer. Being liked and loved by the people close to you is more important than being liked by people you don’t know.
If you could be remembered for one thing what would it be? Just generally being a bit wacky and weird and not afraid of being myself. And being a good friend, I think that is really important.
Who or What is your greatest love? Who would be my family and friends. Big love for them. What would be Italy, I feel a way there that I can’t feel anywhere else in the world.
When did you last lie? 5 minutes ago when I said I would call someone back at work…. I am actually a really bad liar, my face gives everything away.
Does the supernatural exist? I believe that the Holy Spirit exists, but would you call that supernatural? On ghosts and stuff I am undecided.
Are you fatalistic? To some extent yes. I believe that everyone is on their own path but we create our own destiny. The choices we make and the way we lead our lives define us, which we have control over.
What is your greatest fear? Loosing everyone I love, or something happening to the people that I love. And public speaking.
Animals or babies? Baby elephant?
What talent do you yearn for? Either being able to Sing properly or being a fully qualified F1 driver – just to make my dad proud.
Do you like being complimented? I don’t know what to do with compliments so I get awkward when given one. I’m that person that instantly tries to deflect the situation away from me. I cringe thinking about it. But yes I do – doesn’t everyone?!
Do you have a high pain threshold? I’d like to think so. Although I had my knee taped up after an injury back in April and pulling that off hurt sooo bad. My sister who is a nurse might disagree with me.
What books do you recommend most to others? Honour by Elif Shafak, Small Island by Andrea Levy and The Kite Runner by Khaled Housseini. They are about honour and sacrifice and true friendship, and they all changed the way I look at love.
Which has been the hardest lesson to learn? I think it would be not to take things personally. Why do I always do that? And how to let go, that’s always tough.
Which food sums up happiness? Pizza.
What have you never understood? Bad manners and people who walk slow in the city.
What is the one thing you want to know before you die? Preferably when I am going to die so I can prepare for it.
Are you scared of dying or what happens when you die? I believe that if I live by faith then I have nothing to worry about. But I think knowing I am going to die imminently I would be anxious about it.
Quinoa or Quavers? Can I choose another type of crisps? Doritos chilli heatwave!
You say I am
for my own good
to all of my ideals
let them go,
I never would.
You say I am
in my existence
but because of that
And help make sense
Here in my
You are understood.
I wish I could explain to her,
Why there are so many wars, and peace is hard to find.
I’m ashamed to say I’m only 21 and I live a better life
Than the majority of the world.
Hatred, shame, brutality, at the moment rule the earth.
If tell her peace will return, it would only be wishful of me to think,
And I feel like such a hypocrite,
Explaining humanity’s suffering from a distance, out the thick of it.
As if I can really understand how people out there live,
Whilst sitting in my house, with running water made of brick.
I love baking, and working full time means I rarely get to cook for my own pleasure, it’s usually just a rush to eat something before the day starts or when I come home in the evening. Over the last few years, I’ve tried to incorporate baking, cooking & experimenting with my favourite foods throughout the week instead of waiting until the weekend.
As well as being a lover of everything sweet, I am also health concious and do try to modify traditional recipes so they suit the eating habits I like. Simple things like using natural honey and cinnamon instead of sugar, oats and brans instead of flour all make a difference in a recipes nutritional factor.
Today was Berries & Honey Breakfast Muffins (or a snack), I can make these on a Sunday and enjoy them for an on-the-go breakfast throughout the week, as they will keep for 5 days in an airtight container. So here’s the recipe, which can be adapted with different fruits and flavours depending on your taste :)
2 Large Ripe Bananas
250g Porridge Oats
2 Large Eggs
2 Tablespoons Greek Yoghurt
2 Tablespoons Natural Honey
1 Tablespoon Natural Peanut butter
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
1-2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
(Make it as fruity as you want!)
Pre heat the oven to Gas Mark 4, and grease a 12 dip muffin tray.
In a blender, add the oats, bananas, Eggs, Greek Yoghurt, Peanut butter, and Honey. Blend until almost smooth (a few chunky bits will just give the muffins extra bite).
Once blended, pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the vanilla extract, cinnamon and chia seeds.
In a pan, add half the blueberries and raspberries that you want in the muffins, and heat up until runny. Once hot, marble the fruit through the Muffin mixture.
Spoon the mix into the muffin tray. Add the last of the berries on top, as these will slowly soften whilst in the oven.
Place into the oven and cook for 15 minutes! (Check and 10 minutes and then leave them for an extra 5).
I think about returning
as I start to wake,
I let myself get lost in a golden haze
of soaring sun and childhood days
before I sink back into the unknown.
My daughter slumped on the back of her brother
across one border to another
lessening the load for his mother
as I attempt to fight our way,
over seas and ideologies
in search of a safer place for us to stay
which started that day
I left my home.
100g Unsalted Butter
200g White Flour
Dusting of Icing Sugar
1 Grated Orange Zest
1/2 Grated Lemon Zest
25g Ground Almond
2 Tsp Sweetened Cinnamon
25g Unsalted Melted Butter
26g Soft Light Brown Sugar
Heat the Oven to Gas Mark 4 and grease 16 hole muffin tins. (I use one of 12 and one of 4 as this is what I have in the kitchen).
To make the Pie Pastry, rub together with your fingertips, the butter and white flour. You should do this until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Add the grated orange and lemon zest with the icing sugar.
To turn this into a dough, mix in a splash of water, around 3 tablespoons should do. You can always add more if it fails to come together.
Once it has formed, lightly knead and then set aside to chill – this needs to be about 20 minutes so the dough has time to develop.
Once time is up, roll dough on a lightly floured surface.
Once rolled, cut out with circular cutters until you have 16, re-rolling to get as many as needed.
Fill each hole with a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat, I usually like to sprinkle some cinnamon on the top here, but this isn’t to everyone’s taste.
Mix together all the ingredients needed for the topping, ground almond, cinnamon, melted butter and soft light brown sugar. This should also resemble breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the mince pies. Drizzle with honey, or a sprinle of almond flakes, you can experiment with different flavours here!
Cook on Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes, checking after 10, when they are golden brown, good to serve & enjoy Hot or Cold.
The way you still sit here, is beautiful
Especially after this year
You give a whole new imagery to the butterfly and cocoon,
To grow old, and yet, to become new
for my padre
“Superrb blog! Do you have any tips and hihts for aspiring writers?
I’m hopinng to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or
go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confysed
.. Any recommendations? Cheers!”
Hey! I hope you don’t mind me publicly replying to this (maybe there are others that feel the same). Firstly thank you for reading and for showing love! I hope I can answer you adequately enough.
When I started the blog, it was because I needed other people to see my work, respond to it, I was craving that writer – reader interaction that helps you assess how other people respond to/view your words. It was also an outlet, a distraction (at that time) but the best kind.
I had been thinking about ways in which I could reach out to people, and connect to other writers, i.e writing forums, but I decided that I wanted something that was just mine. I initially chose WordPress because I knew someone that had used it, I didn’t know how to do anything at first, so I started off with a free platform (Perfect for students). I didn’t think about buying my current one, and transferring to a paid site until I was more experienced with how to host a website. Do whatever is best for you and what you are comfortable with – there is so much help out there about how to get started, and sites like WordPress will help you along the way because they are tailored to beginners. You will learn as you go along!
Also, you’re not an ‘Aspiring Writer’ – you are a Writer! Be honest with yourself, about yourself, your emotions and experiences and don’t be afraid to put that into whatever you choose to create. There is a reader for everything and sharing your work will only help you to improve, not only in skill but in confidence! Connect with other writers and readers and ask for criticism, feedback but learn to enjoy the process too.
If you ever need a second opinion but don’t want to publish just yet, feel free to ask me to read it – firstname.lastname@example.org.