For the last few years in about the middle of July I have done a round up of things from the previous year that I am glad I have done/ experienced. (Here is last years). It started as a sort of bucket list in reverse, instead of things I want to do but hadn’t yet done, a sort of way to celebrate those random things I had done. This year I have been putting off writing my list, partly due to the lack of internet, but partly as I wasn’t sure what to write on it. As some of you will know I moved just under a year ago to do some more study. I’ve not really settled where I now live, and don’t really like the academic side of the course, but the placements have reminded me that I am doing the right thing. Anyway here goes a maybe shorter list than some years.
1) Watching 16 year old (who is autistic) in his school play, I first met him when he was 10 days old.
2) Finally making it to St Andrews
3) Ship meet
4) Going over the Forth Rail Bridge
5) last year and this years Tour de France, and this year having the time to watch lots of the live coverage.
6) some amazing friends
7) passed the first year of my course
8) Christmas day, which was for once chilled out, and my Grandma and I wanted to do the same thing, (Knit and watch Holiday Inn
9) Re-discovering my love of cycling
Without doubt however the best thing about this year has been my flatmates. I have shared with two other girls and we have got on really well although we didn’t know each other in advance. I am very sad that one of them has today moved away (because of work), but am pleased that the other one and I have moved to a new flat this week.
As some of you will know I am a Tour de France fan, so I have been loving the last few weeks, even if I did become slightly obsessive about it! I have previously blogged about the team work needed for an individual to win. This again has been apparent this year, Bradley Wiggins may have won over all but really it is a victory for the whole team (which has come out in the different interviews with him.) Often the early part of each day one of my favourite cyclists Edvald Boasson Hagen has been setting the pace, often for the part of the race that doesn’t get T.V coverage. (He’s not the only one he just happens to be my favourite.) Again I was amazed by what they put themselves through in order to just make it to the end, let alone win. The dedication and insanity shown by the different riders often inspires me to keep going when I feel that I have lost motivation/ reached the end of my abilities.
Sorry this post has been a little rambling, but I guess I am celebrating the achievements of the Tour de France this week, enjoying the first British victory and being inspired!
I’m staying with friends at the moment who have small children. There three year old daughter has got new lego which has both pink and purple bricks. I commented about this and another friend, moaned about the world being obsessed with making little girls into “pink princesses”. While I share this complaint, why is there so much obsession at the moment with pink and blue. being for girls and boys. The way I see it, having pink lego bricks, is saying you can be “girly” in a non traditional girl area. Maybe it helps us to remember that we don’t have to conform to the stero-types, we can twist them on there head, in this case by being girly but not being girly. Maybe in life we need to remember to subvert the status quo and say no we don’t have to conform to the boxes that others want us to be in, we can embrace stero-types when they are true of us, but go our own way at other times.
This post is partly prompted by the ongoing debate about immigration, partly prompted by Ian’s post, but mainly by some letters I have been reading. Recently some letters have come to light in my family which were written by my Great-Grandad to my Grandad and Great Aunt in the 1920’s and 30’s. He was at the time living in New York and they were living in Bristol. When they were 12 and 13, there Mother died, and several of the letters were written around this time, with some others being written when they were in their later teens. At the time he was living with very little money illegally, and wasn’t in a position to either return to the UK or get his children to America. Reading the letters re-enforces how he desperately wanted to do the right thing for his children, but couldn’t change the situation. The letters just remind me that anyone can end up in the situation of being an immigrant, it is by an accident of birth, it’s because of the situation that I was born in to that I am not the person hoping to find a better life in a different country, relying on others good will. Reading his letters I can also see he regrets his initial decision to seek a better life else where, but that once he had made what he thought was the right choice for all his family, that he was stuck in a situation that he was unable to change. Before judging both asylum seekers and economic migrants, it is worth reminding ourselves, that if we had been born somewhere else, then it could have been us.