3 March 2018

Thoughts and Prayers

Part One

I have been trying and failing to write this post for months.  But I have found it impossible.  For someone who has thoughts on everything and usually writes about them, why can I not put my words on to the screen now?



Which brings me to my first question.  At a time when there so much going on in the world, when did we go onto this auto pilot, merry go round from hell of "thoughts and prayers".  Has social media desensitized us to tragedy?

I remember joining Twitter in the beginning of 2010.  I remember being mocked at the time for joining a site that talked about "what you were having for breakfast".  I joined because I heard there was a great Formula One community on there and I wanted to check it out.

Twitter will always mean a lot to me because it introduced me to that great community.  In time it introduced me to the blogging community and to start my blog in earnest.  It enabled my words.  It encouraged them.  It introduced me to new ideas, new perspectives, causes and campaigns that I have never contemplated before.  It enriched my view on the world and what was happening in it, it educated me and opened me up to new ideas.  My journey into confidence started on Twitter.



My interest in politics started as a result of reading articles and the thoughts of people on Twitter.  It checked my privilege.  It showed me what others face in their lives every day; just for being how they are, for what colour their skin was, who they loved and what they believed.

Fast forward to 2018 and Twitter, and the world, is a different place.

ISIS, bombings, refugees, suicide bombers, school shootings, people being shot and killed by police just because they were black, the rise of Donald Trump and the far right.  Katie Hopkins calling refugees who die in the sea while trying to escape as "cockroaches".  We live now in a place where incels think they should be allocated women and celebrate mass shootings.  Where neo Nazis march the streets screaming "white power" and run down people where they stand.



We live in a time where death threats and hate speech is common place and any objection to them is called "taking away free speech".   We live in a time where an MP can receive 600 rape threats in one night. 

A place where Donald Trump can label anything he doesn't like as #fakenews which his followers lap up and escalate.  Where actual fake news stories can lead to a man shooting up a pizzeria because he was told that it was a pedophile ring.

A time when family members of the Manchester bombing victims are trolled and accused of faking their sibling's death.  Where conspiracy theories run rife about the shootings at Sandy Hook and Las Vegas.  Where children who have survived a school shooting are being accused of being crisis actors.

Something seems to happen every damn day and with each new tragedy, the desensitization seems to escalate.  A tragedy happens, we post about thoughts and prayers and wonder, blindly, how this could happen whilst simultaneously, subconsciously, waiting for the next thing to happen. Then the cycle begins again.

How did we get to a place where the right wing media, politicians and gun lovers are attacking and ridiculing children, who have survived a horrendous school shooting, for making a stand for gun control.  Where instead of fire drills, children practice what to do if a school shooting happens.

I don't recognise this place; yet it is the world we are living in.  We bounce from one tragedy to another, without some seemingly understanding the implications, the scale and the seriousness.  We say "thoughts and prayers" without registering anything.

Is this what we are now?  Have I articulated this how I want?  I'm not sure.

What I do know is that there is still good in the world.  Voices that will not be drowned out.  People helping people.  People rising up, standing up and saying "No".

Talk about this comes in Part 2 of this blog.





2 March 2018

7 of the Coolest Wall D├ęcor Ideas

When it comes to interior design, there’s no doubt that it’s a delicate art form. It takes a keen eye for trends, and how to effectively use a space to its full potential. One key element of any room is its walls. The colour acts as a background to allow your furniture and accessories stand out. However, your walls don’t need to just be a background – they can easily be transformed into the room’s main event. Here’s 7 of the coolest wall designs to give you some inspiration:


1. Wood Feature Walls
Often create by laying wood flooring across a wall, this is a style that looks amazing in both contemporary and traditional homes. Due to its durability and vast range of styles to choose from, it’s a popular choice for both longevity and appearance. When paired with wood flooring (that’s actually laid on the floor), it can make a room look much; laid vertically it makes a room appear longer, whereas horizontal wood on the walls gives the impression of a wider space.
2. Wall Gallery
If you’re a big admirer of art, or have a particularly big collection of family photos that you’d like to showcase, an eclectic gallery wall might be the way to go. By contrasting colours you can draw visitors’ eyes to its busy design. Alternatively, going for a more unified colour scheme will make the design flow easier, and almost merge all the features into one singular piece of art.


3. Patterned Textures
There’s so much scope for originality on this one, and the only restriction is how wild you’re willing to go with it. From extravagant textures to simple and unified patterns, differing texture sad depth and character to a room’s design – and it can have an explosive effect even covering a small part of a wall’s total surface area.
4. Mirrors
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book; hand a large mirror, and the space will instantly look larger and more spacious. This can be achieved through one large mirror, or a more decorative approach of hanging a number of smaller mirrors. They also help to bounce light around the room, making the space brighter and more inviting.


5. Tapestry
A good quality tapestry can make a world of different if you’re looking to make a statement. There’s so many design out there to choose from, it should be an easy job finding one that fits with your existing style. You can go for full wall coverage, or hang it like a piece of art as a commendable wall feature.
6. Photo Splitting
If you’ve got a particularly large piece of art that you’d like to showcase, or a huge photo you adore that you’d like to take centre stage, then splitting that photo can make it have even more of an impact. Bearing in mind if you’re doing this with art, expensive original pieces are officially excluded from this one! The split in the image warrants a second glance by visitors, and prevents it being overlooked as just another colossal hanging frame.


7. Patterned Wallpaper
Although this has been around for decades, there’s always a place for good patterned wallpaper when it comes to interior design. Foliage themes are very trendy right now, and the light colours draw the eye more than just a brightly coloured paint would.

Setting The Ambiance Of Your Home


Setting the ambience of your most cherished home space is important. Not only does it give you somewhere pleasant to retire to after all the work of the day is finished, but it affords you an opportunity to practice self-love. After all, a messy, disorganized home is sure to give you a message. It says ‘you are not living up to your potential, and you know it.’ That’s hardly a positive message to be exposed to every morning. A room is filled with stories, meaning that it can be important to understand how those stories affect you and your space on a daily basis. People who are the most self-actualized and organized usually have tidy home spaces.

However, tidying and cleaning a home is easy. You know what to do after purchasing the products and a quick Google. But is there more to this? Could the ambience, and every other furnishing decision you make have a much larger impact on what your room is trying to tell you? Of course.

If you hope to improve your home space to become a place you truly love and hope to reside in, yet you’re not sure where to start, you are for sure in the right place. The following advice should hopefully help you achieve exactly what you have been desiring:

Lighting

Lighting is the number one depictor of how ambient your room is. It sets the mood, and provides the visual cue to perceive everything else in your bedroom. You know when you enter a loving bedroom with dimmed warm lights? That’s so much better and relaxing than simply having a bright white night lamp illuminating the room. But there’s more to this than just purchasing the correct lighting fixture, although that can help.

First, we’d recommend ensuring that your home lights are energy bulbs where you can afford them. Not only does this save you money over a period of time, but the slow illumination of the bulb also does wonders to slowly make the room transform into your space, rather than quickly and bluntly lighting the place. It can be more of a romantic feeling to allow for this slow burn to happen. Also, consider the direction the light is pointing in. If a corner light isn’t illuminating the room as well as it could be, you might want to shift positions, especially if it’s distracting you or taking away from the focal point of the room.

Next, you want to ensure that your natural light is having its time in the day. Natural light from the sun will always be better than anything you can install or buy in a home furnishing store, and this light can be customized and directed to a degree using custom indoor blinds first and foremost. You might also decide to get a little jazzy with the whole affair, installing LED’s around the backlight of your television or along your bookshelf. Just be sure to have no more than two or three lights in your room at any one time (depending on size,) because there is such as thing as clashing light, and this can take away from the design. There’s no problem with having many lighting fixtures in a single room, so long as you’re happy that you can tailor and customize them depending on the room you’re in.

Ambient light can also make for a great personal statement. For example, a cursive pink neon sign above your bed that states ‘Queen’ can certainly add to the showmanship with which you consider your self-worth, adding a little bit of fun to the whole affair. Life is short, so why not?

Music

While it’s not exactly a home feature to install from a hardware store, ambience is almost exclusively dictated by the music you play. However, you need to get this right. You might be the biggest metalhead in the world, but do you really want that playing loudly in all rooms of your house? Not to mention the aggressive you’ll likely receive from your neighbors.

With the prevalence of Spotify and Apple Music, alongside features that afford playing different music in every room, this has never been easier to set up. You might consider making a few deep playlists filled with beautiful music you enjoy. For example, a great classical soundtrack during your introspective reading moments, or lighthearted jazz or soulful music whenever you’re making dinner. Whatever makes you shake  your tailfeather is usually quite a good option to choose first and foremost. Even if you live alone, this can be a wonderful way to spice up the interior taste of your home. The best homes always have an undercurrent of rhythm and music, and this is the most direct way to achieve that.

What do you think new people entering your home will be impressed by first? Your three thousand dollar coffee table, or the relaxed and smooth tones of jazz welcoming them into a home with love? We’d say sensory perceptions overwrite all.

Scent

That’s right, your home has a fragrance. You might remember heading over to the houses of friends in your childhood, and noticing that their house smelled exactly the way their laundry did. Homes have their own smell that builds up for many reasons, such as the fragrances they use, the detergent they clean with, and usually the amount of pets they have. We have stated that sensory perception overwrites all, so this is a great place to also start. For example, using odor replacement sprays and installing timed fragrances in the main rooms of your home (especially the entrance!) can help things smell more inviting when someone new comes in.

If you have pets, ensuring they are washed regularly can help, as can designating an exact space where they eat, drink and sleep (not your bedroom!) If you know people are coming round, keeping a nice assortment of scented candles can also work wonders in helping your home feel and look stunningly inviting.


With these tips, you can be sure that your home has the most ambience of all in your area.