Connections & Injustice


Last week, someone (very) close to me entered the rarefied atmosphere of the “privileged.”
Consequently, on Friday, I was invited to an extremely exclusive conference, tickets for which sold at a very high (crazy) price — I didn’t have to buy a ticket of course, my name was left at the door. I attended talks from leading names in their field, sipped the finest champagne, ate posh canapés and mingled. I talked to a lot of people: a tech CEO who had recently sold his company for 102 million dollars (holy f**k!), a writer for the Financial Times and another CEO of an online Art business of some kind, to name just a few. I was handed cards, told by countless people they were adding me on LinkedIn – I have already received a couple of emails with invitations to “pop into the office for a chat”, invitations for future gallery openings, and so on…and I was only there as a guest! 
I left the conference on Friday feeling more than a little drunk, and it wasn’t just due to champagne.

Connections are everything, I always knew this and always deplored this sad state of affairs. When I was studying to be a journalist, I was told that a little luck AND connections would be the difference between succeeding as a journalist or failing abysmally.
Well, I did manage to make some superficial connections in journalism, one celebrated writer who has interviewed everyone from Bono (U2) to Hillary Clinton is probably my biggest “catch.” I’ve never used those connections on a professional level though, because I find the whole concept of ‘having to ask’ and ‘selling myself’ embarrassing. (I know, I’m my own worst enemy)
All those ‘journalism’ connections and consequent interactions happened online, I’ve never interacted socially with any of them.

We all hear about that ‘other world’, the one where people are born into the “right” families, attend the “right” schools, get opportunities that the rest of us can only dream of. I’m not saying all of those people don’t deserve the success they achieve but, it is a fact that some don’t – they sail through purely because they have the “right” connections. I have a massive problem with “inherited privileges”, I passionately believe in meritocracy. I’ve always found it hard to swallow that some truly brilliant people languish all their lives in obscurity while others, mediocre at best, fly high.

But, that’s life, isn’t it? I accept it, even if I hate it. I’ve never sought to mingle with the actual “players”, not that I’ve had many opportunities to. I was thrown into a different kind of privileged world a few years back, the “new money” : self-made millionaires types that had no interest in intellect, just a very astute sense of business – I found it suffocating.

Being suddenly propelled into that exclusive, intellectual AND business orientated world on Friday was such a shock, it was surreal. I didn’t enter that world on my own merits, but thanks to someone who is an integral part of my life, thanks to a connection.
Because I’m obviously a real freak, instead of enjoying the fact that the “Elite” has (kind of) opened its doors to me, I have spent all weekend with that thought flashing at the back of my mind: life isn’t fair – for far too many people, it really isn’t. 

Image: my own, obviously: this is the “French look”: no make-up apart from lipstick bright enough to distract from your blotchy skin & dark circles caused by too much alcohol & chocolate, too little sleep and too much “creating”, “writing” & “thinking” – to sum it up: this is the tired face of somebody who is #Living (and whose hair needs doing badly)



The light from the stars
bleeds into the sky
brutal in its honesty —
no deceit
no lies
no silver tongue prophecies
or false promises
of a golden destiny
just merciless, cold beauty

*I had a fantastic weekend filled with friends, love, memorable moments and laughter: some of the things happening in my city in the last couple of days, you couldn’t make up if you tried = much hilarity was derived from it. The beautiful place where I live has often attracted the deranged attention-seekers over the years; you know what ‘they’ say : the people who are in therapy aren’t the ones who need it the most. Anyway, hope you guys have had (and are still having) a great weekend – let’s start this upcoming week flying high🙂 *

Image credit: foto_spirit on Instagram

Save The Day

I’m being shameless here, but that’s because there is no other choice at this point. Soon, very soon, there will be a decision to be made and it might seem better not to bother when you have to choose between a madman and a dishonest, corrupt woman – none of the options look good, does it really matter which? Yes, it does, it matters for all of us, USA and the rest of the world included. Dishonesty and corruption are never desirable, but they are still a step-up from sheer and utter lunacy – save the day.

PS: I’ve been in love with Robert Downey Jr for years, a fact  I’m revealing in the interest of transparency but which had nothing to do with my burning need to share this video😉



Citing fate and destiny is for the weak and the meek, the ones seeking absolution for their own actions.
“It was or wasn’t meant to be” only occurs in the rarest of cases – most of the time, life has nothing to do with fate but with the choices we decide to make.

“Whatever choice you make, makes you. Choose wisely.”
Roy Bennett


I lost a follower on Twitter yesterday. No big deal, it happens all the time. This one though had sent me a DM the night before asking me if I liked his new blog.
The DM was sent after midnight so I read it the next day, visited the blog and read a bunch of posts. I then proceeded to reply to said DM and that’s when I realised I had been unfollowed.
This is a person I know from WordPress, we’ve exchanged a few words on Twitter here and there but it has been nothing more than a very casual type of “acquaintance”.
So, I replied to him and jokingly asked if I had been unfollowed because I hadn’t read his DM till the next day: I said if that was the case, it was rather silly.

The reply shocked me a little: “that’s not the reason and you know it Nathalie”

Well, he was clearly angry which I hadn’t expected and I had NO idea what he was talking about so I told him so.

He replied: “lack of support! I’m always giving…ok! No support at all.”

This, I really didn’t expect so I asked what he had given me exactly.

“Fucking plenty of mentions, RTs, comments. “

Ohhhh, so that was it.

The thing is, I got Twitter long before I had a blog, I’ve always used it primarily for info (it’s the journalism thing) and it didn’t change when I signed up with WordPress. I know a lot of you use Twitter to promote other bloggers and their posts but I’ve never really done that. On occasions I’ve tweeted something that has really moved me for whatever reasons but it’s rare – it’s just not what I use Twitter for.

As I told this person, I assumed he favourited my tweets because they came up on his timeline, his never did on mine. I vaguely recall him retweeting something of mine here and there and a mention (which I thanked him for) not long ago but it can’t have happened that much or I’d remember.
I was obviously expected to return the favour, and I didn’t and it pissed him off. Well, I can understand he got fed up now I know what I was “meant” to do, but I didn’t know that’s what he was waiting for. I’ve never done that “like for like” thing, I find it ridiculous. If I tweet or retweet stuff, I never expect the person I’ve retweeted to do the same for me – I retweet (or favourite) something because I liked it, end of.
You see, I find it a bit much that someone would say I don’t give back because of a few RTs.

Earlier this year, when my “friend” had exams coming up and was going crazy because of it, I practically lived at his place for a few weeks. I went grocery shopping for him, never took any money for it either because he said “things were tight”, I cooked loads because I wanted him to eat healthily so it would help with the stress and his general health, I went through his revision questions with him (even though it was a subject I knew nothing about), quizzed him, etc…I don’t drive so I had to rely on the shitty transport system to get back home: he has a car but was too pressed for time to give me lifts home, it was fine, I was okay with making my own way back. I usually ended up walking home late at night because there were no trains or buses. I went to both his exams with him, got up extra early each time to make sure I would have time to go to Starbucks on the way to his place so he’d have a “proper” coffee. It was a tiring time, not least because he was so down all the time and I had to keep “propping” him up, I had to keep doing motivational speeches – I invested a hell of a lot of time AND energy in him. I was having family issues as well at the time but didn’t tell him about it because I figured he already had enough to deal with: he was a mess, I didn’t want to add to his stress.

While all this was going on, I wrote a piece for him which is still one of my most popular posts: “Rock” – I didn’t tell him I wrote it but I knew he’d see it because he checked out the blog as he was email subscribed; I dedicated this write-up to him publicly at the end of the post (I have since removed his name at the end of said post).
Well, I got one text from him a couple of hours after the post was published with one emoji: “😘”
That’s it, not a word, not anything…BUT he then went on Facebook and checked in at the cinema with a couple of friends posting that they were “looking after him 😍” when I was the one who was doing the looking after, his friends merely went to the cinema with him, such hardship! Love was also poured over everyone who posted on his FB wall while I got one fucking emoji for “Rock”. When I pointed out to him it was quite hurtful that he should take the time to reply to banal FB posts from his friends (you know the type of posts: “I miss you and I love you”) declaring his undying love for them while I never even got a one word reply for a piece of writing dedicated to him, he told me that I was “too sensitive” (yet again) and that if I’d only posted it on his FB wall then he would have replied properly! It was such a ridiculous thing to say, I dropped the subject.

You can see what I had to put up with – I truly had the patience of a saint. But, I still helped him throughout, I really was his “rock”… and as soon as the exams were over, all the promises I’d heard while I was helping him of “doing something fun once the exams are done” just…didn’t materialise, because he was always busy doing things with other people. Then I went through a bad time when I needed some moral support and he wasn’t there for me at all, couldn’t even send me ONE text to check I was okay. When I told him I was incredibly disappointed by his lack of support, he unleashed a torrent of abuse on me.

Now, THAT is what I call: “giving all the time and getting no support” – forget bloody Retweets!! Now, THAT is worth getting upset about, not Retweets! 

I documented it too much on the blog, that person is no longer in my life, because it was something that kept repeating itself: me doing loads over the years and getting nothing back. It took me a (very) long time to say: enough! I mean, we had other problems beside his utter selfishness but that’s another story – too many bits and pieces of it have already appeared on this blog.
I am such a loyal person, that’s who I am: if we’re friends, I’ll always have your back – if you need me, I’ll always be there for you. And I do it because I want to, because I care about you, not because I expect anything back. However, if you keep letting me down should I occasionally need your support, then…eventually, we’re going to have a problem.

It’s not even as if I’m just ‘generous’ with friends, I am like that with everyone. Just a couple of nights ago I spent 30 minutes walking the streets with a Japanese girl who couldn’t find her way back to her host family. She hardly spoke any English and it took me forever to understand what she wanted when she first approached me. It was dark, I was already late, but she was lost and getting frantic – there was no way I was going to leave her there. I took charge, got her to take her iPhone out so I could understand exactly where it was she was meant to go, then I went up to every door to check house numbers because I didn’t actually know the address – we eventually found it, she was incredibly relieved and really grateful. I do things like that all the time, I have NO merit though, because I just cannot walk past someone who needs help. I always think: what if it was me who needed help? Wouldn’t I want someone to be helpful? YES, I bloody would, hence why I do what I do.

My (long-winded) point is, I just can’t believe I’ve been told I’m selfish because of Retweets.
We all know what the blogging community is like: some people you connect with more than others. I wish I had more time to be supportive on WordPress, there are a lot of people I enjoy the posts of and click “like” before moving on without commenting. I don’t like doing it, I feel bad doing it, but there just isn’t enough time. I mainly (though not solely) comment on the blogs of the people I have really connected with, the people who blow me away, not just with their posts but also with their personalities.
Is that selfish? Yes, it is but I think it’s the kind of selfishness most of us are guilty of. In an ideal world (one with 48 hours in a day) I would do more, I really would. It doesn’t help that WordPress has a habit of unfollowing people for you so they just disappear until one day, you wonder what has happened and why you haven’t seen them in ages. The fact people switch blogs or start new ones is also challenging to say the least, it really makes it hard to keep up with them.

I’m aware I’ve been slack at times on WordPress because the last few months have been difficult for me, but I’ve really tried to keep up or catch up with the people who really matter to me. If I’ve noticed somebody I don’t know that well is visiting my blog regularly, I will always visit them back – it’s just common courtesy. I don’t necessarily expect others to do the same though: if I read your posts it’s because I like your writing or what you write about, or both – I don’t expect you to rush to my blog in return.
I’ve done my best in stressful and busy times: I haven’t been able to do anymore than that and I’m sorry for it, but that’s just the way it is.
So, dear blogger, and ex-Twitter follower: I’m very sorry that I’ve upset you, I genuinely didn’t mean to – I think we clearly misunderstood each other and had different expectations of what this very casual acquaintance thingy meant. I haven’t unfollowed you (back) on Twitter and I wish you well – may you find more rewarding Twitter followers than me.

Move along, people – there’s no karma here!


Brangelina is dominating the news. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you can’t have missed the announcement that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are getting divorced.
What truly amazes me, is how social media is awash with talks of “karma” and the fact that Jennifer Aniston (whom Brad Pitt left for Angelina) must be hysterical with joy at the news of the divorce.

WHY? It happened 12 years ago! Sure, it must have been a dark period in Jennifer’s life, mainly because it was all played out in public and the media would not let her mourn the end of her relationship in peace – they just wouldn’t let her forget that period in time. YEARS after the divorce, Jen was still being asked about it in interviews even though she had made it clear she did not want to talk about it anymore. She didn’t want to be seen as a victim, and who can blame her? Jennifer lost her husband to another woman, it happens all the time, all over the world. She mourned, she moved on – it’s the rest of the world that hasn’t.

Social media today was melting down with the fact that this divorce is “karma”, that Angelina got her ‘just deserts’ because she stole Brad from another woman – what a lot of bollocks.

The fact is, Angelina did not steal Brad: nobody can be stolen unless they want to be.
If Brad had a brief affair with Ange and then came back to Jen because he’d realised she was the love of his life, it would be different. We could neatly label Angelina as a dark temptress and claim she used some kind of femme fatale witchcraft to lure Brad away from his true love.
Except, Brad Pitt left Jennifer and never looked back: he went on to marry Angelina and adopt a brood of children with her – clear proof that this was no passing fad, no “madness of the moment”, no “temptation that he couldn’t resist and later regretted”.

I have never liked Brad, I never fancied him – and although I applaud his decision early on in his career to reject the heartthrob tag and his subsequent attempt to be considered a serious actor – I have found his acting too atrocious, too many times to respect him acting-wise. That said, it’s awfully clear to me that he left Jennifer Anniston because he fell in love with someone else. It happens, it might have been terribly painful for Jen at the time but it’s a story that’s occurred a million times over the history of mankind. I may not admire Brad as an actor, but as husband and father, I have nothing (that I know of in the last 12 years) to reproach him with. (I know there have been allegations of substance abuse and anger problems but until this is confirmed, we should reserve judgment.) 

As for Angelina, I am not a fan either but she clearly was dedicated to this man she married and started a (huge) family with. She obviously didn’t just lure him away from his wife just for thrills. She may have issues, she’s not perfect but she has done a lot of humanitarian work over the years. Leave her alone, there’s no “karma” involved here, just a woman going through the pain of a long and committed relationship ending.

I find it incredibly insulting for Jennifer Aniston that people should assume she’s been sitting there, waiting for this moment when her ex-husband’s marriage would implode.
It was 12 years ago, she’s had plenty of time to move on and if she has (and I assume she has, why not?) Brangelina’s divorce can’t have caused much of a reaction apart from “meh.”

12 years, people. It’s a hell of a long time to harbour the kind of feelings that would make you smile gleefully when you’re told your ex-husband is going through a divorce. 

What I find the saddest thing of all is that among all the bitchy comments on social media (I’m sure Jen is feeling real proud of her fans right now #Not), hardly anybody seems to remember that divorce is an awful thing, especially when there are children involved – some of them old enough to read all the shitty things written about their parents online. But, yet again, that’s the price of fame and celebrity, isn’t it? It always amazes me that anyone should aspire to be famous when you consider the utter lack of privacy – I can’t imagine having my personal traumas splashed all over the media with half the world commenting, judging, and even laughing bitchily. Ugh. Why would anybody want that?! 

*Written really quickly so again, forgive typos, clumsy turn of phrases, etc…*

Chameleons & sheep


The little girl squirmed on her mother’s knee, she wasn’t interested in stories and thought books were boring.

When her father tried to teach her the names of the different flowers, plants and trees, she sighed and wondered what the fuss was about.

All she wanted to do was to sit with the sheep out in the fields – they were fluffy and sweet – they didn’t attempt to speak to her, or teach her things. She liked to run her hands through their fleece while they stared vacantly into nothing.

One day, the little girl forgot to go home, or maybe she really didn’t want to, she slept between the sheep, dreaming in black and white, ate blades of grass, green stains spreading on her dress.

It was 2 weeks until they found her, she didn’t recognise her mother, she had lost the ability to speak and could do no more than bleat as they sought to brush her hair which had lost its shine and now resembled a tangled coarse mass of wool. She had only been gone 2 weeks but it took years to get her back to some semblance of normality – make of this story what you will.

*Have you noticed how some people take on the tastes, opinions, speech patterns, vocabulary, expressions and sometimes even habits and so on… of those they interact with the most? It’s a weird chameleon thing I’ve never quite understood, it seems to denote a lack of personality to me…or at least a weak one. I’ve had the occasion to observe this at close quarters many times in the past and very recently as well.  In any case…


Image credit:



A wind of insanity is blowing.
The hyenas are baring their teeth.
Anxious sentinels fidget, humanity is holding its breath.
Poisonous seeds sown by a callous hand are germinating, in a soil moistened with acid — drop by drop, it drips and feeds fears and worry.
Will the narcissist win, manage to spread dread and hate on a global scale?
Standing at a crossroad, surrounded by shadows, hope struggles not to choke.

Image credit:


Truth is the new hate speech


We do not burn witches at the stake anymore… progress, right? Yet, we live at a time when Political Correctness is threatening the very fabric of our society.

American author Lionel Shriver was in the news this week, for a speech she delivered at the Brisbane writers festival in which she talked about the concept of cultural appropriation, stating that she hoped “the concept was a passing fad.”
This speech, full of common sense, sparked an international row; the organisers of the festival were so shocked they censored her on the festival website and publicly disavowed her remarks.
The author gave the definition of cultural appropriation as provided by Susan Scafidi, a Law professor at Fordham University: “taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artefacts from someone else’s culture without permission. This can include unauthorised use of another’s culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc”

Lionel Shriver sensibly noted that a writer should be able to explore different cultures, write from different perspectives because this is what fiction is about. If you are reduced to write solely from your own perspective, you are stifled as a writer. She added that she was now weary about writing black characters which is something she had not hesitated to do when she first started out as a novelist. She now feels the need to censor herself while writing, so as not to create characters that would cause offence. Finally, she asked the million dollar question: what are you supposed to do if writing from another race or culture’s point of view? Are you supposed to ask permission, “standing in a corner and approaching passers-by with a clipboard, getting signatures that grant limited rights to employ an Indonesian character in chapter twelve?”

I am not a fan of Shriver’s writing but she has my full support regarding her speech. A writer, or an artist, should be able to draw from whatever source they wish to. This censorship brought on by political correctness is ridiculous and outrageous. Artists, whether they are writers, musicians, painters, etc have always taken inspiration from other cultures, countless seminal works of art have been produced thanks to what is now seen as “cultural appropriation”.

I sometimes feel like the world has gone mad. Marc Jacobs created waves in the news for sending models on the runway wearing cornrows. Justin Timberlake was pilloried on Twitter not long ago for tweeting his support for Grey’s Anatomy Jesse Williams’ speech at the BET Awards – the actor made a call to the industry to acknowledge black culture instead of “ghettoising and demeaning our creations, then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.”
How dare Justin tweet his support when he emulates black culture through his music while ignoring issues affecting black people…was the general sentiment.
Good intentions generally pave the way to hell, as Justin discovered.

This mass indignation is everywhere, I see it all the time. Why are people so willingly outraged? Why are they being encouraged to be outraged? Why do they want to be offended? There’s only one answer: PC. We are facing a generation which pursues victimhood.

This brings me to the LGBTQ issue: I’ll be perfectly honest, I have met many LGBTQ advocates who are so up their own arses, it’s a wonder they can breathe. One of them berated me recently for forgetting to add the Q while talking. How dare I deny that minority their voice? The Q is all important, and must not be forgotten.
When I asked that person to calm down, I was told that I was quite clearly homophobic and that I, and people like me, were the problem. Right, I forgot the Q, I become responsible for all their trouble.
Another ‘advocate’ who didn’t know the first thing about me told me I had never suffered, never been discriminated against, simply because I was straight.
Yet another one said that the quite high number of gay friends I had was a cover, clearly there to hide my rampant homophobia.
I could go on and on with examples of the kind, I won’t.

I mean, the stupidity is staggering. Those various encounters with idiots obviously would not turn me into a homophobe because it is clear to me these people are plain stupid, and it has nothing to do with sexuality and everything to do with their brain’s abilities. But, I do know of some people who’d previously had no problem whatsoever with the LGBTQ community and who suddenly developed a weariness (and sometimes stronger feelings) when confronted with some members of said community. That is what some of you LGBTQ advocates are doing, your fight is about ending discrimination but you’re going about it in such a way, you’re increasing it!

If you want to be a victim, you can, go in search of a bakery that refuses to bake a cake for a gay wedding, no doubt you’ll find one, alert the media and watch BuzzFeed wet themselves over the inequality.
Meanwhile the real issues are being masked and ignored because, there you are making a big old fuss about something you purposefully went looking for.
Did anybody see Owen Jones, a gay British journalist and writer – throwing a tantrum on Sky news after the Orlando attack, because the presenters did not state it to be solely an attack on the LGBTQ community, they dared to raise the issue of mental illness instead of concentrating on the “community.”
Owen Jones acted in a manner not befitting a journalist and writer – going into a rage and leaving the studio did not help his cause, if anything it hindered it. I do not agree with Owen Jone’s views generally, and that little performance on Sky news did nothing to help me understand his point of view – all I saw was a supposedly intelligent and educated grown man throwing a tantrum like a toddler.

Somebody pointed me towards a Facebook post from a gay man after Orlando: it was a tome of a Facebook status in which this man basically said that there was far too much self-obsession going on in the gay community, that they only went up in arms when they were being attacked. He added that it was natural to be moved by causes “close to home” but that there were many other important issues that needed to be addressed apart from homophobia and gay rights. It was a sensible, thoughtful status. Well, the abuse he got from his own community was shocking – they pretty much branded him a self-hating gay man: an homophobic homosexual.
Another proof: those who ask for tolerance usually have a hard time practising what they preach.

Even now, the furore goes on about the hashtag #AllLivesMatter
It seems like such an innocent thing to say and it’s hard to understand at first how it could cause outrage because, all lives do matter. And yet, people using it have been verbally abused all over the media because, apparently, using this hashtag means you are automatically an adversary of the Black Lives Matter movement. Again, who decided this? Who is the grand arbitrary of what is said in the media and what it means? The PC brigade, that’s who.
Well, I’m sorry but I do not believe that all black men are criminals just as I do not believe that every white policeman is racist – all lives do matter to me, just as racism is abhorrent to me. I want to be able to call out the bullshit as I see it, wherever I find it, without being personally attacked and my arguments shut down by the cries of racist or homophobe, or hater.

Am I automatically a racist because I have reservations about the burqa? Am I not allowed to have doubts about an attire that, yes, some women chose to wear freely, but that many others are being forced into?
Am I racist because I believe that people moving to a different country should integrate somewhat? Nobody has to give up on their culture and religion, but is it too much to at least learn the language when you move to England, France or the US? Is it too much to expect that – if you’ve moved to, say, England, you will not take your daughters out of school at 16 and send them to a country they’ve never been to (apart from maybe a brief holiday) to be married off to a 40-year-old man they’ve never met until their wedding day? You cannot send a girl to school in England, have her exposed to a culture which is the only one she knows because she was born here (or came over here very young) and then exile her to a land that is foreign to her, even if it is where she came from, and have her being raped (because that’s what it is) by a stranger – all in the name of your culture.
If you are a doctor who’s been practising in England for many years, is it right that you should agree to perform female circumcision on this soil in the name of culture?
In England, female circumcision is rightly viewed as Female genital mutilation, it is illegal – you live and work here, your barbaric cultural practises should not be performed here – nor anywhere else obviously, but we’re talking about adapting and integrating in this case. 

Does the fact I am concerned and want to talk about all these different issues make me racist? Islamophobic? Because I don’t believe it does, but according to political correctness, that’s exactly what I am. We are not allowed to raise issues, we are not allowed to talk, how are we ever going to achieve anything this way?
Surely, as long as there is mutual respect, most types of debate should be allowed?
Political correctness was born out of a desire to include, embrace differences but it has now become incredibly divisive.
When you cancel nativity plays in school, you do not make the children of immigrants feel more welcome. Similarly, forbidding children from exchanging Christmas cards does not accomplish anything but breed resentment.
As a society, we need to talk, we need to be able to express opinions, we must address and try to resolve important issues, not just the fashionable ones, we need to stop pandering to a left wing culture which has grown censorious and totalitarian – we need to slay the Political Correctness monster and replace it with good old common sense.

*Please forgive typos and such, this was written very quickly and it is by no means as long or thorough as I would have liked it to be but I just don’t have the time to write the actual ‘essay’ that I would like to, hence I’m letting this go as it is – just a rant.*