The symptoms of falling in love go along the lines of-
- Smiling when you think about the person
- Racing heart
It is because of this, I can declare that I have fallen in love with the work of Nick Hornby! I have so far read four of his seven novels and adored each one thereby I could not recommend them highly enough. His writing is honest and perceptive. Here are a few of his quotations which I, in turn, adore-
“The plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone; you don’t need to be a heroin addict or a performance poet to experience extremity. You just have to love someone.”
“People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands – literally thousands – of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss.”
“Telling me I can do anything I want is like pulling the plug out of the bath and then telling the water it can go anywhere it wants. Try it, and see what happens.”
It wasn’t that long ago when I was totally resistant towards modern literature- I didn’t want to read the problems and issues of a society, I too, face each day. So I would reside only in the old classics where darker thoughts aren’t delved into too deeply and love is a perfect ending. But after reading Hornby’s novels (as well as the work of Saligner and John Green in particular), I have changed my mind remarkably. I’ve now felt the joys of read characters that I can relate to; that are faces I see in the real world and think about life as it is today.
If you were lucky on Valentine’s day you may have received a bunch of flowers, some chocolate and perhaps even a sonnet or two. But if you were especially lucky, your lover may have cooked you up a few of these hearty delicacies…
Because nothing says I love you quite like Lidl’s finest novelty encased dead birds!
A friend of mine made the ingenious remark that if Lidl had made them with actual chicken hearts it would have made this gesture even more romantic, although given the questionable quality of the shop and its produce, purchasing actual meat product would be perhaps more of a stroke of luck than anything else.
I actually like this product but not in the way that would have led me fill my freezer with them, rather, I’m fond of their delicious irony. Ultimately, they exhibit a juxtaposition between death and love, i.e. although the nuggets were made with the death of chickens and thereby a very unloving process, their carcasses have been used to represent love nonetheless.
In other words, they are heartlessly formed hearts. (That may or may not contain actual heart!)
And thus my English-wishy-washy mind continues to over-analyse, and seek amusement from, even the most secluded of freezer corners.
Here is a poem about change and how death isn’t always in body. (Still a work in progress!)
I grieve not
For bone and skin
But for the deceased mind
Once held within
A fickle façade
Where my love
Who parades your body;
And in the meantime
Discarded its beauty
Leaving it for dead
Like you left me?
As a person who has never been married, had a baby or even, as of yet, graduated, I have yet to feel the grander pleasures in life and instead have experienced only the simpler ones. Here is a list of the top ten!
#1 That glorious moment before kissing someone- you know what’s coming, the silence and racing heart declares all, when suddenly two faces become one in a warming frenzy of mutual appreciation.
#2 Compliments from strangers- whilst this is flattery in perhaps the purest of forms, it also draws attention to the marvel that is the kindness of strangers which is all too little recognised in a world fixated on the bad.
#3 Playing cards- without a doubt one of my favourite past times, nothing quite compares to the jovial participation in a game of cards- surrounded by and appreciating friends, folly and (in the case of Irish Snap) fractured fingers!
#4 Realising it’s Saturday- whilst Monday morning may be a killer for many, the looming prospect of Saturday can always raise one’s spirit through the drudgery of a long week.
#5 Hearing a favourite song on the radio- I’m not sure what it is about hearing a song on the radio which makes it just that little sweeter, nevertheless, cranking up the volume at the immediate surprise is a feeling that must be experienced! (Seated dancing is, of course, advised to maximise this rare occasion!)
#6 That first sip- when feeling utterly parched, not even the finest champagne can compare to the gloriousness of that first gulp of any liquid that is intensely chilled and magnificently refreshing.
#7 Dancing– although my dance moves have a great deal to be desired, the euphoria of dancing; with or without company, with or without music, is disastrously fun and equally therapeutic.
#8 Hugs– as the owner of a rather lengthy list of people who I long to hug, (see ‘Hug list’ above!) it is probably unsurprising that one of my favourite hobbies is this arm-sharing wonderment. Whether it is exchanged through love, sadness or anything in between, one should never refuse a good hug!
#9 Poetic shivers- I refuse to believe than any drug is as powerful, or as satisfying, as the shivers that soar through my spine when I read a beautiful piece of literature.
#10 When the milk turns chocolatey- not only a wonderful metaphor for the pleasures of life (i.e. there are always more Coco Pops to be had!), this phenomenon is perhaps as marvellous as the natural wonders of the Northern lights or Solar eclipses, if only just a little sweeter.
Being alive comes naturally but feeling alive isn’t always quite as simple or as easy.
When days can so easily churn in to weeks; where breaths become merely fuel for a machine and monotony is the norm.
It is perhaps the case that the moments when I have felt truly alive are almost countable; like standing on top of an Icelandic mountain range, soaking in the thousands of years worth of volcanic sculpture and still having to catch my breath behind a rucksack. Or the time when I was head first in a ‘mosh pit’ surrounded by bodies erupting from live music and dancing; just dancing. Or conversations with strangers; realising the faces you pass every day are not so strange but human and similar; with similar laughs and lives and loves.
In a world full of life, it seems almost ironic that many of us don’t always find ourselves living.
But perhaps the wisest words I can share at this moment are to never never never fool yourself into thinking you can eat spaghetti in a romantic, or even slightly appealing, manner.
I dare say I learn from experience.
(Here’s me training to become Grumpy Cat’s stunt double.)