On words and images

On words and images

Since starting the blog, we’ve been playing a lot with photography, trying to give the texts here that visual kick that hopefully would get them noticed.

Truth be told, although this is meant to be a storytelling driven space, I’ve been fully aware from the very beginning that great visuals are not merely a plus to the words, but quite simply a necessity. So this is not a post about me realizing that people do not spend anymore too much time reading and they prefer visual content, that’s a known trend nowadays and, beyond debating whether this is good or bad, I absolutely pledge for always producing and using good quality photo content.

But…we’re not all professional photographers and there’s always a learning curve, which is also the case of this entire blogging venture. It’s a team effort here (don’t you just love my mastery in using corporate language? :)) and – if you’ll allow a bit of shameless promo – I would say we’re getting better and better at it.

This all is, in fact, just a long, long introduction about how this post is about photos, these Black&White photos that we’ve playing with and which all …well, they just came up too good not to be published. I’ll be posting some of them on Instagram, but there’s nothing stopping me from posting all of them here. Well, the perks of having your own blog!:)

 

Hope you’ll enjoy them, do let me know what you think!

Instabits

Healthy eating tips from a French fries lover

Healthy eating tips from a French fries lover

Let’s be honest here: healthy eating is not easy, especially if you are like me and your favourite dish in the whole world is a bucket of fries, just plain golden and crispy perfection, no fancy addition needed.

But life is not fair and most of us will not be able to indulge too much in the fries kingdom (wouldn’t that be nice? like a gingerbread house, or town, only much better😊) without that taking its toll, eventually.

So, when you need to join the healthy eating clan, but you’re a newbie lacking motivation, here are some tips to keep you on the straight path…as much as possible.

Getting started is hard, but then it gets better. Oh, my God, the hunger! Not joking, I was hungry all the time. And, mind you, my before diet was not that bad. But when you change the oh-so-good bread with basically green stuff and you eat salmon and lentils for days in a row (by the way, don’t do that and try to keep your menu varied), the first thing you feel with utmost clarity is hunger. And you probably become the definition of “hangry”.

Being stubborn helps. As said above, it does get better. All you need is a bit of consistency, strong will or, if I may, good old stubbornness. That will get you to the point when the good stuff kicks in and you start feeling the benefits. Amazingly, you’ll find that the healthy diet is indeed more nutritious (well, isn’t that a wonder?) and you actually get used to that.

And, then, everything should go on smoothly. Except that…

You’ll need to put some effort into it. And I’m not talking here about the psychological effort, but the very obvious one of preparing your meals. If you are a talented cook, then you’re fine, good to go, but if not, you might end up eating salmon and lentils for days in a row. Ok, it was weeks, but who’s counting? Not much philosophy here, being prepared means you will not make any rush decisions and, thus, not stray too much from the healthy part of things.

That being said, it is ok – and this is my personal bit of not-very-informed, average healthy eater – to indulge from time to time.  Therefore…

Keep the French fries in the mix. Or insert here your favourite food. After all, we’re not saints and is probably better to sin a bit than spending your time thinking about that tasty dish of …whatever. My sin time is during weekends, which is actually something that I’ve read somewhere that is not recommended, but, well, I’m not that strong and it seems to work. So, however you do it, allow yourself the pleasure of tasty food even if it doesn’t rank too high on the absolute healthy meter.

So, there you have it, my very obvious, not too fancy tips for keeping your diet healthy, even if just a bit.

I would love to be in the posture of offering some real advice on how to do it properly, but I’m not there yet. I’m hoping, though, that you can relate to this and I’ll also share some thoughts on the other element that goes in the healthy mix – exercise. But, that, in another post.

 

Instabits

Book: “The Last Anniversary”, by Liane Moriarty

Book: “The Last Anniversary”, by Liane Moriarty

I’m a very selfish reader, meaning that I will leave unfinished any book, however accomplished in style and plot, if it doesn’t make me feel good or if it doesn’t keep me interested. Or if it’s too painful to read, as some of the great books are. Following the same logic, I’ll probably cut some slack to a not so good book if it’s entertaining or somehow comforting. Well, I’m only human, I guess.

“The Last Anniversary”, by Liane Moriarty pertains to the latter category, but is nevertheless something that I would recommend when you are in the mood for an easy and uplifting read.

The book tells the story of Sophie, a fairly accomplished professional, single, nearing 40 and looking for a Mr. Perfect to father her baby. Yes,” have a baby by 40”, not very new, not very unexpected, is the tagline which opens the entertaining, but definitely not plausible sequence of happenings in the book.

Sophie receives an unexpected inheritance from Aunt Connie, the relative of Thomas, her former lover, whom she broke up with because… well, because he wasn’t the love of her life, basically. Aunt Connie leaves Sophie her house on Scribbly Gum Island, which, I’m sure we all agree, is totally normal and happens every day in real life.  Sophie moves in the house and gradually becomes part of the family owning the island, a collection of perfect beings, with perfect mysteries and perfect flaws. And, mind you, “mystery” is the other tagline that runs through the entire book.

The wealth of the family is based on the Munro Baby Mystery, an unfortunate happening that left a newborn girl orphan, but turned the small island into a tourist attraction. All members of the family are part of the enterprise keeping the mystery alive, but also living their personal dramas or stories of growth. I will not go too much into the actual plot, not to spoil the fun of an otherwise pleasant story, but cannot keep myself for saying once again that everything is waaaay too perfect.

Sophie is pretty, successful, has a perfect family. I mean, she goes out every week with her parents and the three of them have a little game reviewing gourmet restaurants. And there’s no irony in saying that her mother is her best friend. Aaaand, still, Sophie thinks she’s the ugly duckling when she compares herself to Grace, Nordic-like beauty, graphic designer turned children books writer and illustrator, married to Callum and mother to newly born perfect baby Jake. Actually, Grace’s life is the life Sophie dreams of, Callum is the kind of man for the potential love of whom poor Thomas was dumped, Jake is perfect even if only by being a baby. Even so, Sophie does not wish Grace to vanish or something like that, no, because Sophie cannot do such a thing. For God’s sake, no character in this book would genuinely do something like that, because – you got it – all characters are perfect. 🙂

Actually, no, only one character is not likeable and it is intentionally built like that. And that is Thomas’s wife, whose name I cannot be bothered to remember, whom he married after Sophie broke his heart and who is in fact the travel agent whom he bought a honeymoon ticket from, when he unsuccessfully proposed to Sophie. Aham… yes, you guessed it, Thomas is still in love with Sophie and the un-named unlikeable wife and mother of his baby (in the book she does have a name, but I really cannot remember it) knows about this and hates Sophie. Wow, somebody in this book is actually capable of hate.

Long story short, if you want to find flaws in the plot, this book will give you lots of opportunities. But at the same time, it is undeniable charming. Probably is the writing itself, or maybe the fact that, however hard to believe, the perfect imperfect life of these imperfectly perfect characters really draws you to the book and makes you really enjoy the read. I would say that a gloomy autumn Sunday, with a warm cup of coffee, cozy blanket and this book makes for a nice treat.

 

 So, go on, enjoy it, it’s perfectly ok to do so! 🙂

Instabits