Posts Tagged ‘expectations’

Despite not having yet seen the film, I saw the trailer of a ground-breaking movie back in late October last year (I can say last year now and not think it was yesterday!) and am utterly hooked until it comes out. The film? Cloud Atlas. I am a massive fan of cinema, especially when it comes to setting new boundaries. The Matrix is always to go-to for any word on cinematic history and of course it deserves all its praise. But that was over 10 years ago. What could cinema possibly have up its sleeve now?

To answer that, I’d like to take you back a few years when I was at University still. I had heard of the film Inception but had no idea how much it would influence not only my writing, but my life (perhaps not as dramatic as you may think though). In interviews, director Christopher Nolan admitted his previous films were all practise for his trump card Inception. Practise? Are you sure? Batman The Dark Knight Rises was just practise? Surely not! But it was indeed so, and then Inception was birthed. I remember vividly seeing it for the first time at the IMAX in Southampton. I was utterly bewitched and the ending blew me away. I couldn’t remember the last time cinema had such a profound effect on me, so I went back, again and again, to see if I had missed anything; a small detail perhaps that would unlock its mystery. What I found was even more incredible.

Spoiler alert for those who don’t know the ending of Inception: It didn’t matter. The ending did not matter. This is what probably confused a lot of viewers and, ultimately, put them off. But I found it even more intoxicating. It didn’t matter? How can an ending not even matter? The whole story revolves around Dom Cobb, and throughout we see how tortured he is about leaving his children behind. When we hit the finale and see the kids’ faces brighten up that dad is back, the camera leaves the happy reunion and focusses on the spinning top. Before we can see if this is real or not, the film cuts out and ends! So was it real? Was it a dream within a million other dreams? Simple answer: It doesn’t matter. Why? Because Cobb’s story arch is complete. He believes it to be real, so we have to accept it as reality too. Have to? Well think of it this way, in our own lives, in our own world, we perceive it to be real. But what is reality anyway and how can you prove it? Thinking of the Matrix again? Yep. It simply doesn’t matter.

Cloud Atlas is proving to be another one of those films, where audiences will laugh, love, cry, and go through a roller-coaster ride of emotions until, at the bitter end, when we see how everything and everyone is connected, we accept the lessons and leave the cinema feeling inspired, elated, perhaps even thoughtful. I got the vibe straight away from the trailer, and with such an all star cast, I had to read the book first. I am a mere two thirds of the way through and it is fast becoming my favourite book of all time. The complexities of writing, how the author willingly chose to stick his middle finger up to the world of literary and say ‘This is how I want to present my book! Screw you and your prose-has-to-be-THIS-way nonsense!’ And hats off to you, David Mitchell!

For me, spotting the twist in the plot comes easily, and I am already pretty aware of how all the stories will end, and for that reason I am incredibly excited about the film coming out here in the UK in February. If the author pushed the boundaries, I’m certain it will translate to screen in a similar way. Here’s hoping!


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Don’t you just love celebrities? Movie stars, TV soap actors, singers, auto-tune non-talented singers, I mean there are so many celebrities for so many different reasons it’s no wonder pretty much anyone can have their 15 minutes of fame. I am, without a doubt, a fan of Strictly Come Dancing. I used to do Scottish Highland and Country dancing (I got to the swords, couldn’t get it at all and unfortunately I quit). But I do so love to watch people dance on Strictly. From Foxtrot to the Jive, I always look forward to seeing what the celebs get up to. What do I find most enjoyable? Watching my favourite pro dancers.


One of which is Brendan Cole. Apparently he was quite the womaniser and has an ego bigger than Jupiter (I believe NASA is aware of this), but there is something in his energy, his sharpness, his determination. I won’t pretend to know what he’s like, and frankly I don’t care to, I just like watching him dance. Yesterday evening I thought to myself, as my phone went through all the music on shuffle, ‘God, I would so love to dance with Brendan Cole to this song.’ So distracted was I by this thought that I tweeted it. Ah, the power of Twitter. One simple tweet to a celebrity and you feel like you’re somehow conversing with them. Who cares if they don’t immediately get back to you? It’s just lovely to say hi. I must admit, it’s also pretty scary. I’ve seen some fans get rather, well, emotionally attached and thus very fan-girly. It can get rather frightening! I’m more of a ‘I admire you for your work!’ kind of girl as opposed to the ‘HOLY OMG I WANT TO HAVE YOUR BABIES!’ Although my tweet was purely for my own amusement, what I didn’t count on was a response.


‘Thanks : )’ How utterly adorable. Brendan Cole, pro dancer on Strictly and one of my all time favourites, tweeted me. Me. For two seconds out of his life, he looked at his Twitter account, looked over his many daily tweets (I’m assuming here), saw my comment, and decided to respond to his fan. I won’t deny I was on a high for at least an hour about it, but it made me wonder… Do celebrities realise how much ‘power’ they truly have?

x men

I don’t mean like an X-Men power, or the power  to dominate all life, but the power to make someone’s day with one simple gesture. I wonder, do they realise it? I admire Brendan’s dancing and he has real flair, for a simple ‘Thanks : )’ it made the rest of the evening awesome. Can’t rain on my parade tonight, Brendan said thanks. How sad! And yet, if your favourite celebrity acknowledged you for two seconds, I guarantee you’d be the same. Having said that, my dad met Eric Clapton. In a bar. In Russia. Dad was already at the bar, when a man sat nearby. He looked over, as you would, and instead of a random person, it was Eric Clapton. They had a nice chat, since the bodyguards practically sealed the entrance from fans or media coming in. I’m sure my dad felt awesome for a while after! And how nice of Clapton to take time to, not boast around saying ‘Oh look at me, I’m a celebrity don’t you know!’, instead take a minute to just chill out and have a human conversation.

At the end of the day, that’s what we all are. I’m no celebrity and have no intention of becoming one, but it’s nice to make a little good for someone else. I like doing kind things for strangers in the hope I can brighten their day. Even just a little. Like Brendan did for me.

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I am extremely privileged to say I have had a great upbringing. Based on principles and honesty, my family and I are a tight unit. I treat them as family and as friends, because if I have a problem I know I can turn to them. But we also have fun. One of my favourite things to do in the world is be around my family playing card games (but shh, don’t tell them. I always pretend not to like it as I did when I was a child!). One of the things my father in particular kept saying was something like, ‘Live your life well enough that, when you look at yourself in the mirror, you are happy with what you see.’

It’s true. Life can bring unexpected events that make you perhaps react in a way you wouldn’t have thought. Say you got a new job but after a few months you realise that it’s not what you want in life. How do you react? Do you try your best to just button down and keep going? Or do you think, ‘I deserve better, damn it!’ and quit. Do you quit before finding a new job, or quit and hope you’ll find your way after? It doesn’t matter what I would advise, what matters is if you can look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and be happy with your decision. It is easy for anyone who isn’t you to tell you their opinion or what they would do in your situation. But that’s just it. They are not you. Only you will know what is right for you.

For a year I’ve been in a stasis-like condition, where I’ve been living but not truly living. I’ve been scraping by but my social life has suffered greatly, my savings are now threatened by moving, taking a gamble on a dream of London. Then I looked at myself in the mirror. I did not like what I saw. I’d be throwing away my money for the privilege of living in a place where, yes I have a lot of friends but, is ultimately way too expensive to continue to add to my savings. In fact, I’d be doing more damage to my savings than assisting it. What if I want to put the deposit down for my first house? I couldn’t do that. I wouldn’t even be able to save up for it.

It took an injury to my knee, that I am still nursing after just over a week in bed (it’s horrendous, I am not a stay-still patient), to realise that I am not happy doing what I’m doing. What helps me through? My family.

Now I’m hugely lucky because I consider myself having two families. My actual blood relations, but my kind of adopted family in my partner’s family who have taken me in, loved me, accepted me, put up with me, put a roof over my head and looked after me just like I was always part of their family. No matter what my decisions have been or are going to be, I know I’m supported by two family units. And that is priceless.

I have guidance and love; two things vitally important to me to make sure that, when I do look in the mirror, I can change it knowing I will never be alone.

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We have the capability to need and want. We need basics, air, food, water, etc. What we want is something so completely different. I want a new iPad, I want the perfect job, I want that amazing romance we were promised in movies; I need something that I want, surely that doesn’t exist. I need everything I see. Now this is where it gets interesting.

I need everything I see can be construed as greedy. You don’t necessarily need everything you see, and what exactly does a person see? Because if that one person sees the world around him/her, the grass, the sky, the house they live in, the birds, nature, then maybe yes I agree, you need it all. We need an environment, we need the people we love around us, we need stimulation in our lives. Or is this, need everything I see as literally I need to possess every single thing I lay my eyes on (I’m sure that’s impossible, but I’m using the extremes as examples).

When someone says to another ‘What I needed in life was always right in front of me’, then I must ask why didn’t we see it before? Perhaps saying we need everything we see isn’t so far-fetched after all.  Wanting something means there’s a distinct lack of that aspect in your life, perhaps more adequately put an imbalance in your life’s harmony. This throws into question the reasoning behind the wanting of something; peer pressure? Want to fit in? Want to feel good about yourself and can’t possibly manage it without this one thing? Comfort of living? Whatever the reason is, something makes a switch in our brains or hearts that drives us into wanting something. And at what point does the want become the need?

Oh it’s getting all too deep now, isn’t it? However it is an interesting thought. We believe we need things, or certain events, people, or objects to be a little more complete. It’s where our fantasies kick in and take over, showing us a sneak preview of what it could be like. There are many things I believe I would like, but when I look around me, with a roof over my head, surrounded by people who love me, a good laptop for blogging and gaming, a phone that may not be the best but does what I need it to, how can I be so selfish in wanting more things? We do really well until we hit the stores. I have a roof over my head but those scatter cushions would lift the dull atmosphere in the lounge, and oh those new chairs would be better than the old ones, and oh ice cream is on special offer and it’s a food so that counts as a need right? Advertising, consumerism, marketing, social conventions… Imagine if we had no pressures, no expectations, nothing to prove.

Now that truly would be something we all need, and want.

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