27th July 2013

“Rien n’est plus beau qu’un corps nu. Le plus beau vêtement qui puisse habiller une femme ce sont les bras de l’homme qu’elle aime. Mais, pour celles qui n’ont pas eu la chance de trouver ce bonheur, je suis là.” 

“Nothing is more beautiful than a naked body. The most beautiful clothing in which a woman can dress is the arms of the man who loves her. But for those who haven’t had the chance of finding that happiness, I am there.”

Yves Saint Laurent

I came across this in the French and thought it was a rather nice little quote. Also, in one month’s time I move my life to France for a little while, better get practicing my translation!

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26th February 2013 – A WHOLE YEAR!

“To laugh often and love much;

 to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children;

to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends;

to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self;

to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation;

to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, here we are. It has been a whole year since I decided to start this blog. 205 posts, 840 tags and 80 followers later, I’ve recorded many of my thoughts and experiences of the past year. It started off being something I wanted to do for myself, to express my thoughts and feelings, but the fact that people took to the blog so well and gave me such positive feedback made it feel like something really worth doing and writing about. My  sentences and choice of word may not have been the most sophisticated, but I wrote as I thought and went along with it. I think I find some solace by relating to the words of other people, knowing that what I’m trying to figure out myself has been discussed before. For me, this blog was a bit like a diary, but it recorded some of the more intangible, emotional parts of my year too.

This quote was one that was given to me by a teacher after my GCSEs in year 11, so nearly 5 years ago. It was on my bedroom wall at home, in uni halls and in my second year home too. I really liked understanding somebody else’s criteria for success and these ones seem accessible to everyone, regardless of circumstance and situation. For me, over the past year, I would say that I managed to do or experience most, if not all, of these things and they bring up happy, positive things for me, as well as reminding me how I have grown and changed. The most basic things life can offer: song, laughter, playing – are the ones that essentially have meaning when it comes down to it past the trouble, strife and difficulty of everyday life. If I take what Mr Emerson says to be true, then I have had a successful year.

Although ‘My Year in Quotes’ is technically up, I don’t think I will stop posting just yet. If and when I come across something interesting or when I feel the need to express myself, I will write about it here. Looking over this makes me wonder if things are different after 12 little months. Have I changed? Perhaps. I would say I am more self aware and perceptive, and I know that I am braver when it comes to facing scary or difficult things. I am more able to see and remind myself of what is truly important but in other ways I am more confused about the world (a feeling I don’t think will lessen the more the years pass.)

One thing this blog has highlighted for me is just how quickly time disappears; its a little frightening, really. Maybe one day in the future, I’ll look back and think ‘wasn’t I a whinge bag’ or ‘gosh, I was innocent and naive’ or maybe I’ll just cringe at some of the things I have said (most probable) but most importantly, I hope to look on it and think of happy memories and many, many smiles.*

*this is something I can cringe about in the future.

17th December 2012

“Qui dove il mare luccica
e tira forte il vento
su una vecchia terrazza davanti al golfo di Sorrento
un uomo abbraccia una ragazza
dopo che aveva pianto
poi si schiarisce la voce e ricomincia il canto:

Te voglio bene assai
ma tanto tanto bene sai
e’ una catena ormai
che scioglie il sangue dint’ e’ vene sai…”

“Here, where the sea shines
and the wind howls,
on the old terrace beside the gulf of Sorrento,
a man embraces a girl
after whom he has been crying,
then he clears his throat and continues the song:

I love you very much,
very, very much, you know;
it is a bond now
that melts the blood inside the veins, you know…”

Dalla, Caruso

This is something my Dad has been playing non stop recently. I’ve heard it before as a beautiful piece of opera and sound but he showed me the lyrics the other day and they are so incredibly descriptive and beautiful. I felt I should share this as firstly, it is stuck in my head, and secondly, because music lovers everywhere should give it a listen.

11th September 2012

In Munich, Germany

“Die Erde ist gewaltig schoen, doch sicher ist sie nicht.”

“The earth is wildly beautiful, but not as safe as we suppose.”

Wie Ulfru fischt, Mayrhofer

I saw this sign outside Die Residenz in Munich and thought it was a really nice quote to have up. It’s from a Lied (ballad) by Mayrhofer. I thought it was especially significant today due to it being the anniversary of the 9/11 bombings.

12th August 2012

“One is not born a woman, one becomes one” 

Simone de Beauvoir

I totally agree with this and that ‘womanhood’ is a manner of being, acting and having a certain understanding of the world. Recently there has been a lot to do with women in the press: lots of people have said that the London 2012 games for Team GB have been dominated by the women. I think that its amazing that they have had such a high profile for the past 2 weeks. And I think that these women who are so dedicated and hard-working and who carry themselves in such a manner are brilliant role models to other girls in the country.

24th July 2012

“Mister blue sky please tell us why you had to hide away for so long? Where did we go wrong?
Hey there mister blue ,we’re so pleased to be with you, look around see what you do, ev’rybody smiles at you”

Mr Blue Sky, Electric Light Orchestra

The unlikely has happened. After a month and a half of almost non-stop rain, the sun is back and the skies are blue once again. Spent my day sunbathing in the garden 🙂