Tag Archives: culture
For those regular readers who have been wondering where James is and why he hasn't posted anything of late the answer is: I'm in India. I feel that it answers both of the questions! Anyway I am lucky enough to have an iPad and a decent internet connection so I thought I would post a small piece to keep you all amused. You troublesome lot, you!
Sadly though, it's not so much an amusing blog post but more of a grumpy old man piece.
As most of you know I regularly travel to India, as much as I can really. However, it has been two years since my last visit and while the mountains are the same and the brilliantly bonkers people are still here there has been a shift in the culture of travellers. Before, if you were travelling alone, you could walk into a restaurant or cafe and strike up a conversation with another fellow traveller over a chai or whatever your tipple is. Now you would struggle and the reason? Technology. I walked into a restaurant I have been going to for the last seven years were there would always be a little group of fellow travellers, a cacophony of different accents and now you only hear the technological click of buttons. I sat there sipping my hot Honey and Lemon (delicious by the way) feeling somewhat mournful as if something of our spirit of adventure had died. We were sat in the shadow of the Himalayas and as I sneakily walked around the customers I saw two people playing Angry Birds, one texting, another watching Homeland and at least ten people chatting on Facebook. People would rather be face down in a pile of Apps then witness the true majesty of nature. I drank my now slightly tainted drink and left, choosing to buy street food and chat to the shop owner then stare longingly at an apple logo.
I thought perhaps I am just being cynical and that it's not happening all over, but as I stared into each coffee house and restaurant along the road they were filled with people on their laptops, their iPads and phones. What a sad people we have become when rather than getting out there and experiencing incredible India we would still rather Instragram our lunch half way across the world. The hotel is the same, where once was a throng of people sat downstairs around the guitar, now they surround the wi-fi connection, like neanderthals around fire choosing to ignore the likes of me, dying to hear about their travels. Travelling is all about sharing experiences. So man next to me, please stop listening to Taylor Swift songs on Youtube and chat to me!
I made a vow that when I got to 50,000 hits on this old thing I would post a photo of my desk as a way to say thank you to all you brilliant readers and so you could see where the magic happens. So here it is in all it’s, ummm, glory.
It is a literal manifestation of my brain; quite a bit bonkers, cluttered and full of useless thing. For the keener eyes in the house might notice some of the many weird and wonderful things that adorn my workspace.
Now I’ve shown you mine, you show me yours…
Since the weather is far from Christmassy this year in the UK I thought I would bring you indoors, where Christmas is Christmas regardless of the rain.
So here is the first of a few photographs of decorations that are, well, decorating the house this Christmas.
I would love to know how you will be celebrating this year, so comment below!
I am trying to shift my 2012 stock in preparation for a whole new lot of prints and products, so this means reductions….
If you click over to my facebook page you will see in the album marked ‘Christmas Sale’ the full list of products in the sale and trust me they are a steal! Whats more since you all have been such brilliant readers over the years I am going to throw in a 10% discount just for you lot! When you email me with the product you want, make the title the name of my first blog entry that I wrote on here. I can deliver for Christmas and even drop some off for people in the UK, depending on where you live.
In other news, stay tuned on here for a few festive snaps I have coming your way.
I, like everyone else in Britain, am suffering from a break-up. We had a long, beautiful summer together the Olympics and us; we laughed, we cried and more than once we begged her not to leave. We felt like a better people with the Olympics by our side.
But now she has left us for a more exotic country. Apparently she moves on a lot.
Before she arrived it was safe to say we all had our doubts, safety being the main one. The day after we were bestowed the vast victory of securing the games, London was changed. Timetabled and quiet London was left scarred and scared following those acts of evil that cracked London’s veins. A question swarmed around our silent lands after 7/7: “who are we now?”. The Olympics has helped many people get over that day, especially Martine Wright.
Wright was running late on the morning of 7 July because she had stayed out the previous night with marketing colleagues celebrating the Olympic win. Her journey that day caused her to lose not only both legs and 80% of her blood but, her life as she knew it when Shehzad Tanweer’s suicide bomb detonated 3ft from her on a Circle line tube train at Aldgate. She competed in the Paralympic GB team from volleyball and, despite not winning any medals, she did something so much greater; she showed that we as a nation can not be terrorised.
I was lucky enough to get tickets to two events (one in the Paralympics and the other the Olympics) as well as a ticket to wander around the Olympic park. I can’t put into writing all that I felt and all that I still feel for those fleeting weeks. I’ve tried for so long and failed every time in every sentence.
One thing I will say is that it has re-instilled British pride.
We have a swagger about us now, so many doubters now left dumbstruck. We were told we could not match the money explosion that was Beijing. We didn’t match it, we conquered it. We showed ourselves as a proud nation, a funny nation, a successful nation and a nation with great heart.
Our Prime Minister once called our country ‘Broken Britain’ and the Olympics went a great way to glue it back again. It was perhaps a remedy rather than a cure though, for our nation divided. Our flag, the Union Flag, flew for exactly that; union. While the united elation was strong then, in the eye of the storm, even now it starts to weaken. The question that fills me with trepidation is: how do we keep this feeling rolling? You can only ride a wave for so long before it comes crashing against the shore of everyday life.
We were separate people from countries worlds apart. Yet we hugged and cheered together, strangers embracing strangers for another stranger whose name we will soon forget.
So she has moved on and we are left with photos of us together; they adorn our mantlepieces as a reminder of our summer love. Though she may be gone we will always have London.
To me the cauldron symbolised the Olympic spirit and all that is good about the world.
The cauldron consisted of 204 copper petals, each representing one of the competing nations. They were brought into the stadium by each team as part of the athletes’ procession and each was taken back home by the countries. A piece of London in every country. Why it showed what London was all about was because it wasn’t all about the pomp and show of us Brits but how each country was key to the wonder of the games.
This is my last photograph from the games but I will do a wordy post soon. So for now enjoy…