When You Feel Small

When You Feel Small

It is but a small matter to look at the world and yourself within it and forget that behind all the facade, there is something left to be seen.

Even when the glass is finally empty there is still a drop of fizz left over from the tablet which dissolved impactfully within it; crackling into insignificance, but still making its presence known on its way out into oblivion. Or the unknown. Whichever comes first.

The point at hand is, it knew that behind the big performance, the mountain of fizz so very nearly flowing over the glass when it was still a mighty tablet, it was dying. The performance extracted each facet of its soul, washed out by the very water that once sustained it’s magnificence.

So when all that is left of it is the small, insignificant drop of fizz, it recalls its own strength, the power it once had. It knows that there is more to it than what the eye currently sees. If only they would look twice. They’d see.

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Three Amazing Places to Eat in Birmingham:

  1. The Boston Tea Party
    As suggested by the name, The Boston Tea Party (or TBTP as it is adoringly known by its regular customers), celebrates its American inspired roots by offering a selection of dynamic brunches. Boasting a sickeningly cool, rustic setting complete with warm twinkling lights, with a laid back, cosy vibe, it is the perfect choice for a stylish brunch with friends or colleagues.
    Whether you are craving a satisfying vegan brunch or experiencing the popular pull of an Eggs Royale, the Boston Tea Party has it all; it’s no wonder that it was voted one of the top places to eat Brunch in the UK by the Sunday times!
    As if that wasn’t enough, the establishment’s commitment to sustainability and using renewable energy, means that you can enjoy your time there guilt free and happy to have done some good in the world simply by tucking in to a delicious gourmet meal!
Photo Credit: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/566046246894902716/

2. Tamatanga
This unique restaurant offers a fusion of Eastern delicacies with Western dining. Serving a splendidly authentic array of tantalising Indian dishes, ranging from flavourful traditional street foods to a heart-warming selection of seasoned cuisine, there is something to entice all taste buds. Although this culinary haven sits unassumingly in the heart of the industrial city of Birmingham, there is a definite cultural charm demonstrated through serving the food on a traditional Indian ‘Taali’ (tray) to enhance the cultural experience and peak the curiosity of your party. Speaking of socialising, Tamatanga exudes an indie sense of ease, with its bold splashes of colour and romantic lighting, making it a great place for a relaxed date.
Ideally located in the City Centre near the famous upmarket shopping and office development, The Mailbox, Tamatanga is the perfect spot to hit up after a tiring shopping spree or before a walk along the nearby charming Birmingham canals. With all that it offers, Tamatanga is truly a treat for the doting diner!

3. Argeela Lounge and Grill
Argeela is a fashionable social spot in the trendy area of Digbeth, which promises a great night out with friends. It marries two of the city’s popular pass-times – dining, and the increasingly fashionable, Sheesha smoking. The lounge has a sophisticated yet young vibe, flushed with energy and an exotic Middle Eastern interior to match. If you fancy a night out with your friends, but want to lay off the Sheesha, there is a selection of grilled food and drinks available, including tasty premium mojito’s that’ll get you in the mood! Located near one the cities major universities, the lounge draws a vibrant crowd and even more-so when visited – as it often is – by celebrities such as world-renowned boxers, Amir Khan and David Haye.
Situated around the corner from the famous Custard Factory, a great day out in Birmingham would include a trip to the Custard Factory, admiring its many vintage shops and quaint café’s and finished off by an entertaining night at the dynamic Argeela. When the crowds are large, it is not unusual to queue for hours before getting into the lounge so arrive early for the best spot!

Photo Credit: https://twitter.com/argeelalounge/status/626497453441744896

Top Places to Visit in Bali: The Rock Bar

It is easy to see why Bali’s famous Rock Bar is so well known. Based in high end tourist hot spot, Jimbaran, the Rock Bar lends its name to the rocky cliff face on which it sits effortlessly, looking out onto the seemingly endless Indian Ocean. Advertised as ‘The world’s Best Bar and Tapas’ The Rock Bar boasts a sweet compilation of sea and sun, a large variety of tantalising drinks, enticing bites and excellent service.

Waiting for the first time in the long queue that leads to the Rock Bar, may cause you to question whether it will truly be worth all the hype. This is quickly dissipated by the amazement that comes from the option of being transported down to the bar via a compact cliff side lift from which you can enjoy the views as you descend (that’s something you don’t see every day!). Once you enter, you are quickly greeted by the stunning sight of the fresh blue sea below you – close enough to feel the sea mist – and the astonishing Balinese sun, perfectly bright and round above you, accompanied by expert music to set the mood of the evening. The staff are immediately very helpful and friendly, leading you dotingly to your table and returning in intervals to make sure you are happy.

During our honeymoon, my husband and I chose to sit on the upper level, close to the bar where the evening sun shone directly on us. As we sat behind the umbrella’s provided and sipped the most perfect, flavourful Mojito’s, we watched the sun transform from a brilliant, bright yellow to a unique, emotive rusty orange and fiery red as it faded into one of the world’s best sunsets (the perfect setting for a photograph or two!). The view alone made the experience worth it! The pleasantly relaxed yet energetic atmosphere was a plus; the environment was marvellously vibrant with a wash of different faces from all over the world, offering a wonderful social space.

Although the waiting time to enter the bar is often long, particularly around sun set, guests at Ayana Resort and Spa or its sister hotel Rimba, have priority access and can get in fairly quickly. Whether or not you are guests at Ayana, be sure to book in advance or arrive early to avoid disappointment as the bar is always packed with enthusiastic tourists!

Whether you are looking for a variety of tasty drinks, a lively night out under the stars, or simply wish to bask in the evening sun while enjoying the ambiance of the sea hitting the rocks below, this unique high-end bar is the perfect place to start or end your holiday; it truly makes for a memorable experience.

Photo Credit: https://thehoneycombers.com/bali/event/eve-eve-party/

Bali Earthquake 2018

It had been a cold, rainy few days in Bali so far. We hadn’t been able to do much in the way of activities as the weather was so bad. Wearing distinctly summery clothes designed for the sunshine, we felt miserable, shivering in our seats in the Balinese taxi which had no heating. The windows and windscreen were steamed up from the misty rain. The air conditioning had to be used to remedy this but it made the cold all the more spiteful and with it, our moods more despondent. “I’ll try and wipe the windscreen instead of using the AC” our driver affirmed, “I’m feeling cold too”. He told us that he had never experienced weather quite like this at this time of year in the indie centre of Ubud, as had so many other natives that we had met over the past few days. It didn’t quite strike us as strange yet.

After a long day sightseeing in the chilling cold, I felt ill, as I often do in such weather – the type that would warrant cosy big jumpers, fleecy boots and sensible raincoats back home in England. I was so looking forward to returning to the spacious hotel room in which we were staying, decked out in bright marble and oozing an air of luxury. I could hardly wait to run a hot bath to comfort the chill in my chest. What I actually came back to, was a tap that was dejectedly running cold water. We had complained of this issue the day before, and despite a warm shower that morning, it clearly hadn’t been entirely fixed. So I stood under the shower head, melancholy, disconsolate over my fate. I hadn’t thought that running hot water would have to be a huge achievement. The frustration was building up. I could feel the heat of anger boiling up inside me.

After a brief shower solely for the purpose of cleansing, not comfort, I threw on my over-sized slippers and white robe which was hanging on the gold peg above the large oak door, not bothering to tie it. I emerged back into the room, ripe with moodiness and ready for an argument with my new husband. Our honeymoon Afterall, was not going according to plan and I had to release the tension that the day’s events had built up within me. We stood silently opposite one another gauging each other’s body language, both ready at any moment to release the words that would initiate an argument.

At the very moment that I parted my lips and began to mutter something or the other, a strange rumble emerged from beneath us, accompanied by an unforgiving rocking motion. My husband looked around, confused, while I gasped “earthquake”. A sharp burst of panic slithered smoothly down my spine and through my stomach. In what seemed like a split second, he raced across the room and took hold of my hand firmly, just as the rumbling got louder and the rocking motion increased. We ran hand in hand as quickly as we could through the long, luxurious corridors that had been a beautiful sanctuary for us over the past few days, and now, a dangerous death trap. We continued to run, my robe flowing freely about my naked body, my slippers slapping along the marble floor. Enveloped in that most hideous moment of horror, I took a second to snicker internally about how the security watching the CCTV would later have a laugh upon viewing the footage of my public display of nudity.

As we reached the wide cream staircase we could see the exit in front of us. We sprinted one last time across the large isolated Foyer of our apartment building, near the bottom of our resort complex, sitting deep in a rainforest of Ubud. As our feet touched the ground outside we turned to watch the ferocious rocking motions that were still in full force, convinced that the fine glass chandeliers would fall and smash into a thousand tiny fragments and the magnificent statues of Hindu Gods would plummet to the ground, breaking into pieces. We stood there, frozen in our spots, watching in horror, too petrified to move or think.

When the angry rocking motions eventually ceased, after what felt like a life time, I suddenly burst into tears. My mind could not comprehend the emotions we had just felt or the sights we had just witnessed. It was fear, horror, shock, alarm, panic, dread, distress, trepidation, terror and so much more. More than can be described. My husband held me as I wept, enwrapping me like a baby in his comforting arms. In that moment there was nothing else to think – we were just lucky to be alive and unharmed. The walls that surrounded us were high and guarded by tall trees, both of which could have fallen in on us at any moment, squashing our comparatively frail bodies in a frenzied attack. The sharp glass shards of the chandeliers could have cut mercilessly into our shivering limbs, killing us. The large decorative stone chess pieces that sat serenely along the balcony walls outside our apartment, could have caved in and crushed us. It is funny how everything so beautiful can become so ugly with a quick change in perspective, a shift in experience. Stuck at the bottom of a long winding path leading downwards from the main hotel reception and Foyer, we would have had no chance of escape if the tall walls had descended on us. The earthquake had been a 7.0 on the Richter Scale.

We knew we were lucky. So lucky.  

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/qA4wf2TQ1q0

Into The Woods

Into the woods I walk, an unfathomable adventure of the mind. The opening I found totally by accident, so fate it must be.

I follow my heart, not my instinct. The rich green and murky brown call out to me, as though they know and expect me. The earthy scent of recent rain and age-old wood comfort my fast beating heart, willing me to continue forward into the unknown darkness that threatens to envelop me. They divert the darkness away, somehow making the sinister silence loud with character. The melancholy nervous ache within me cannot be reined in; it continues to flourish, threatening to betray me by inspiring an ungodly gasp that will emanate from deep within my frantic arteries. I know better. Yet I continue. 

I am almost too frightened to raise my panicked eyes above from their determined fixation on the dark dusty soil that is imprinted with my foot marks with every shaken step. But eventually I do.  I breathe deeply, willing the unfamiliar air to circulate around each petrified organ within my fearful body. I imagine it mercifully breathing life back into each one. I give myself a false sense of comfort, imagining that the air is a long-lost friend, returning to support me in my time of need. I am parched. But there is no fresh, cool water waiting to relieve the heavy dryness of my throat. 

Eventually, I lift my enquiring eyes slowly, determined to face the Woods, like an equal; I want to befriend it, not fear it. I want to fathom its secrets. I want to be a part of them. I want to join the story of this frightful, yet magnificent ancient place. I want to revel in its history; it must hold so many secrets from the past. It must have witnessed so much, its lips still sealed. I want to discover it all, to connect with all that it has connected to. 

What I see is unfathomable to my wholly curious, terrified mind. 
The trees lay serenely rooted in the tough, unforgiving, yet fertile ground. They stand tall and strong, the tops branching confidently out into many skewed directions, yet with a frail quality that can only be comprehended when reflecting upon their age. They are wise, yet quiet. They know so much yet speak so little. 

A sudden sound startles me and pulls me out of the deep preoccupation I had with the tops of the trees. I turn speedily, more quickly than I can ever recall doing, frantically rushing to pinpoint the cause of the alarming sound. Quickly I realise it was only a squirrel, or another similar animal. That is the thing about these magnificent woods. They are host to so much life, despite appearing so still and dead.

I breathe a sigh of relief and continue to trudge along the silent, misty path. With each cautious step my black leather boots generate a heavy thumping sound that echoes through the woods, weaving itself seamlessly into the fabric of the desolate atmosphere that surrounds me. The woods continue to be silent with just the tiniest moaning sound emerging chillingly from the background. It is haunting. But I know that it is just the sound of the woods. Perhaps it is the trees talking, not threatening me, but befriending me and encouraging me to walk on boldly, deeper into the unknown. My growing familiarity with the space has propelled me to conclude this.

 As I continue to walk along the path I designate for myself, I discover something about myself. I am here, not for an adventure, but for a self-discovery. I am here to test my limits, to discover my strength. 

Like the trees that I have found here, I have waited too long happily in the shadows, too afraid to step out. 

In stepping back into the shadows of reality, I have stepped out of my own, fantasy ones. I have discovered that I am strong, fierce and boundless.

These woods have shown me who I am. 

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/sp-p7uuT0tw

The Mind Of A Poet

They clap, wide eyed, smiles on their faces. They sing my praises. They chant and bray, like wild horses. They jump and shout, scream and lash out.

They tell me I transform their thoughts into perfect words; for this, they say, they are forever indebted to my talents.

I am god like to them. A human manifestation of something divine. Because I put words to feelings, language to simple thoughts. I create great symphonies of colloquy and conversation, Cradling them neatly in an unassuming poem. For this they rage with sensation, beg for my attention.

I laugh along with them, smiling with pride, playing the part. Inside I cry with loneliness. They do not understand me. Nobody does. My mind is a galaxy of creativity and the loneliest place in all the vast universe. I am trapped there, among the stars, so beautiful to those who look up to see them from below.

Yet with closer inspection, I am just a ball of blazing fire, ready to die out at any moment.
My life span has been so long despite being so short.
I have been burdened with the insight of an artist, one who sees more than what it is that they truly see before them.

I have spent too long lighting up the skies at night. Too long emanating light. The grandeur of it has stripped me of all energy and the will I once had to live on forever, amongst the red giants that seem to burn for an eternity.
Yet with each passing night and with each bright burst of light, they give away a part of themselves to light the lonely sky, until there is nothing of them left to give.  

When I was a young star, the sky was my playground, one which I looked to with such ambition and delight.
I could do anything, be anything, armed with my words so perfectly chosen, so perfectly placed.

But now my fire is near its end. I have lived the span of ten extensive life times in one so short. I have lived one hundred brilliant lives in one so painfully simple and so pitifully ordinary.
It is both the blessing and the curse of a star who burns so bright, a diamond who reflects such light.

Untouched by those around him, the poet’s mind is a lonely one. He cries for another to connect with. Another shining light. He weeps for a break in the eternal strain of words, flowing like the rapids of a river through his restless mind. He cannot sleep at night. He is alone in his evocative thoughts and his beautiful, brilliant mind.

The poet’s life is a lonely one.

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/rbgglHFy6Qw

When You Wish You Could Go Back and Change Things…

Life goes on and the world moves forward regardless of whether or not we are prepared to propel ourselves quickly along the journey with it. We may cast our thoughts and minds back to simpler, merrier, even seemingly perfect times and wish for those dearly departed moments to return and comfort us with their promises of joy and ease. But ultimately, we must learn to accept and embrace all that is given to us – both the good and the bad. That is a simple truth that is woven into the very fabric of life. It is extraordinary what we can achieve with the invocation of strength and perseverance. Such achievements are wholly dependant on numerous factors: the person, the time and the place for example, among other things. At times, this could simply mean passing through the span of a day without heartache. The point at hand is “all we have to do is decide what to do with the time given to us”.

Picture Credit: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/571183165309003364/