Shakespeare and Popeye!

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(Written for The Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Picky Tongues: you have to choose one flavour that your sense of taste will no longer be able to distinguish. Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami, spicy (not a taste per se, but we’re generous): which one do you choose to lose?)

Ok, so the image may be referring to the wrong kind of ‘Olive’, and I may not be a Sailor Man, but the bitterness of olives is something I could easily live without.

Although I don’t mind its oil counterpart, olives are probably one of the few foods that I will not eat (I’m not a picky eater… I think!)

I am known to my friends and family as the ‘Cookie Monster’, ‘Sugar Addict’, ‘Sugaraholic’ and so on; names which reflect my extreme sweet-tooth, and as such I could never part with the blessing that is the taste of sweetness! God forbid the thought!
My good friend, William Shakespeare, once wrote “Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.”
If it’s sweet, then I wouldn’t mind! Throw on some sprinkles and I’m set.

Apparently, bitterness is the most sensitive of tastes – a good explanation as to why a bitter mouthful can often leave even children contorting their faces into the most impossible of shapes (I know I still do).

Analogous to happiness and hurt; sweetness and bitterness have their own importance in life.
The sweetness of happiness allows us to smile, however, without the bitterness of hurt we’d never be able to recognize what sweetness truly is.

Hmmm… maybe Popeye found a sweetness in olives that I have yet to discover.
I shall ask him the next time we set out on a knuckle-busting adventure!

(Image taken from http://www.comicbookmovie.com)

“I ate Granny!”

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(Written for The Daily Post: Daily Prompt – By the Dots: We all have strange relationships with punctuation — do you overuse exclamation marks? Do you avoid semicolons like the plague? What type of punctuation could you never live without? Tell us all about your punctuation quirks!)

Punctuation (or the lack of) – The all-defining factor of our grammatical skills, and the reason for many misunderstandings that are brought on by our rushed text messages and emails.
The reason why
“I ate, granny!” can make a world of a difference from
“I ate granny!”

Each mark of punctuation carries its own significance and cause, however, if I were to decide on which ‘one’ punctuation mark is used most often then it would probably be the ‘comma’.

I have a tendency to overdo it with scribbling down the little flick of a mark, everywhere that I can, and yet I’m probably most notoriously known for my shameful abuse of the exclamation mark!!!

Do I use it as a display of my overall excited and hyper demeanour?
Could I have the Exclamation-Infatuation because I like to create emphasis on my opinionated statements?

Whatever my reasons may be, I realise that in using these ‘techniques’, I am in some way expressing myself in the way I wish to – so too bad for all of the critics!
This post is riddled with punctuation errors, and yet without them you wouldn’t be able to get to know the real me!
(Of course, had this been a professional report, I’d have to de-clutter the post and make it a little more presentable!)

“I like cooking people and dogs!”
[Insert comma where you feel necessary… or not!]

Kicking the tastebuds!

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(Written for The Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Flavour #32: A local ice cream parlour invites you to create a new wacky flavor. It needs to channel the very essence of your personality. What’s in it?)

As difficult as it may be to sum myself up in one ice-cream flavour, I guess the recipe would probably go as follows:

Seven cups of sugar, for my extreme sweet-tooth
A handful of honesty, as I appreciate the truth
A can of “WACHAAA”, for my martial arts passion
A tall glass of love, joy and compassion

A tablespoon of patience, for the hardships and strife
Lashings of scars, that have painted my life
A pinch of perseverance, determination and might
Four pounds of courage, for the darkest of nights

A splash of creativity, respite for my soul
Understanding, chopped and peeled – add a large bowl
A kilogram of laughter, hearty and true
A teaspoon of insanity, actually, make it two.

Layer on forgiveness, and tie it with a rope
Marinate it all, overnight, in some hope
Leave it to set, and although it may look odd
Finally, add the main ingredient – keeping Faith in God.

Ok, so the Michelin chefs may not like the recipe, but hey… it’s a unique one.
‘Come one! Come All! Limited Edition Flavour that will leave you in stitches!’

 

(Image taken from http://www.wallsave.com)

Just around the corner…

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When our hopes are trampled on, and our ‘safety blanket’ – our false sense of security – turns out to be a fake veil made from threads of betrayal, the simplest of things can begin to feel impossible. We doubt our self-worth, feel inadequate and can easily find ourselves falling into despair. However, a world out-with our own painfully perceived bubble does exist; an alien land that we’re afraid to wander into in fear of change.
I may hope for the impossible, but with God, everything is possible.
Keep hoping, keep dreaming and keep trying – you never know what’s waiting just around the corner…

 

(Image taken from http://www.evansink.com)

The ‘Hello Happiness’ machine which already exists!

(Written as part of The Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Vending Wishes: Soft drinks, electronics, nutrient-free snacks — you can get all of those from a vending machine. But what type of vending machine is sorely needed but doesn’t yet exist? Share your automated retail fantasies with us!)

As predictable or cliché as it may be, it would be lovely if a vending machine existed which could somehow read a person’s emotional state, and print them a ticket to happiness – Be it in the form of a vending fortune machine which gives out inspirational quotes, or maybe just a picture of something that could turn their day around.
After completing a short survey of your current mental and emotional state, the machine would be designed to make sure you left with a smile on your face.

However, rather than focusing on if’s, I’d like to mention one that does exist but not many people know of (sorry, I’ll digress a little from the original prompt!)

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A short while ago, I saw an advertisement for a “Hello Happiness” phone booth by Coco-Cola. The description was:

It’s a well known fact that labourers in Dubai and UAE have to live through harsh conditions to make ends meet and save money for their families. Labourers have to stay in Dubai for years without any trips back home since airfare is usually not provided by the company as part of the perks. In these circumstances, making a phone call home is the only alternative. However, phone calls are also very expensive. It costs around 90 cents for international calls and it is a huge expense for labourers who make 6 dollars a day on average.
Coca Cola recently came up with another innovative and viral marketing solution by introducing Hello Happiness booths in these labour camps.
(Video at the end of the post)

These booths work by using Coco-Cola bottle caps as currency – and I believe that one bottle cap is the equivalent of 3 minutes worth of talk time.

Whether this was purely a marketing ploy to boost their sales (as stated by many people in the comments), I still really liked the idea of it.
If you read about the horrific conditions that people have to stay in, in those labour camps, and how they were basically conned and lied to with the dream of a great life in Dubai but found themselves in a labour intensive hell – any method of bringing a smile to their faces is still sweet, in my opinion.

Yes, Coco-Cola benefit from the sales (and the drink isn’t exactly healthy!), but seeing as how any vending machine is used for ‘profit-building’, at least this one allows these men, living thousands of miles from home in awful conditions, to hear the voices of their loved ones again.

It would probably be better if they could use any recyclable material as currency, so it doesn’t restrict the user to just one kind of bottle cap!

I believe that if you can do something to make another person smile, then you have not had a wasted day =)

(P.S. I am not an advertiser for Coco-cola!!  I don’t even drink the stuff!!)

Coco Cola Hello Happiness Video!

Sun Beams

(Written as part of The Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Groundhog Week: If you could relive the past week, would you? Would you change anything?)

As much as I might wish that I had avoided a few moments, cherished some moments more deeply, or discovered new ones; I would like to think that rather than dwelling over what has been, that I will concentrate on bettering what is and optimistically anticipate what will be.

Chin up. Spirits high. Stand strong. Onwards and forward…

I would not fear nor wish my fate, but boldly say each night, to-morrow let my sun his beams display, or in clouds hide them; I have lived today.
Abraham Crowley

Astronauts, Swords and Cakes – Oh My!

(Written as part of The Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Set for Solstice: Today’s Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere). How are you taking advantage of the extra hours of light this time of year? Do you like it, or do you already miss earlier sunsets?)

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The Summer Solstice – The day on which we get the longest exposure of sunlight throughout the year.
Scotland is famous for its magnificent mountain scenery and breathtaking natural wonders, however, we’re probably better known for our grey skies and continuous rainfall!
This year has actually been a bit of a surprise, because for the past few weeks we’ve been blessed with pretty good weather (touch wood!).

A few weeks ago, there was a day in which a strange glow came beaming through our curtained windows and we, the Scottish folk, side-stepped out of our doors, eyes shielded with our raised hands and confused expressions, as we investigated the strange phenomena taking place in our skies – the large yellow glowing orb.

‘What be that, Scotty? Who switched on the light?’

Needless to say, everyone took full advantage of the miracle and shed themselves of their year-round winter attire!

As with every longest day of the year, I haven’t got anything too special planned; work on some reports, get the chores done, try to squeeze in some sword work, play with the neighbourhood kids, save the world, chase a dream etc…

However, in the run up to this celestial event, I have been improving on my astrophysical port folio!
A few days ago, I met my 3rd and 4th astronauts: Doug Wheelock (NASA) and Mike Baker (NASA). George Abbey (former director of Johnson Space Center, NASA) was also present, with a few other scientists.
Having worked on European missions before, I’m still an ESA girl through and through (European Space Agency)! I’m glad I was at least wearing the ESA colours to balance out the photo that was taken of me with Doug Wheelock (although, typically, I had my eyes closed… well done, Naz!)

Astronauts from Europe, US and Canada: check.
Now just to add in the other major agencies! Japan, Russia, China: here I come!

But first… Ice cream and cake time!!