Why your kid is not to blame if you fail to follow your passions

TEDxUW – Larry Smith – Why you will fail to have a great career

Hmm, not a very snappy title there but I think that angle on Larry Smith’s Ted Talk is the one that hits a note with me. Having a child is such a great responsibility that its all to easy to let that weight crush other aspects of your existence, especially for mothers.

Larry Smith in this video says everything I think about juggling your passions and parenthood. It is damn scary. But that’s nothing to be ashamed of – you should be fearful as it’s not just your life that’s in the balance but another person’s too.

But what this fear demands is respect, not cowardice. When I became a mother, just over a year ago I felt an undeniable gut feeling that if I was gonna spend time away from my son then it had to be spent doing something worthwhile, something of benefit and something I was passionate about.

The idea of becoming a wage slave, whiling away my days at a desk doing a job I hated and which prevented me from spending quality time with my son was one that I was adamant would not fall victim to. It’s far too early for me to sit on my high horse and extol the virtues of a life driven by passions but so far I think I’ve made the right choices… I’ll keep you posted on my progress

Should you cheat on your partner? Here’s some relationship advice

[A SilkScreen Kiss]

I’m a cheater. It’s something I have to confess if I’m going to share my thoughts on infidelity with you. Cheating isn’t something that I’m proud of but neither do I beat myself up about it anymore.

I’ve been faithful for the past six years and my current partner (who I’m in the process of separating from) is the first person I haven’t cheated on. Now that I finally know what it’s like not to have cheated in a relationship I’m feeling quite reflective on the whole issue of infidelity.

It’s a huge relief not to feel the insane guilt that I’ve felt in the past when I’ve had to live with the fact that I’d done the dirty on someone. The last time I cheated was with during a relationship with a delightful, charming but incredibly complex French guy that I was totally in love with.

You might ask how could you cheat on someone you love – surely the two actions are completely incompatible. I felt that way too for a while but on reflection I do think that just because you cheat doesn’t mean that you don’t love the person that you’ve been unfaithful to. I think it just means that you’re incredibly immature, insecure, selfish and short-sighted.

For me cheating has always been an expression of some frustration or anger at something that’s going on in my relationship. Kind of like a toddler who picks up a glass and throws it on the floor in a fit of rage it makes sense as you’re driven by your emotions to unleash the pent-up feelings inside and its satisfying to indulge in a destructive form of release. Yet once the act is over, as you survey the broken pieces that surround you the implications of what you have done kick in and the fact is that their effects will be felt for much longer than it took you to commit your indiscretion.

When I cheated on my French guy the moment that it was over I burst into tears. I was sobbing and a total wreck because I was hit by the totality of consequences of what I’d just done. For the next three years I kept it a secret and, worse, ended up putting up with a lot of completely intolerable shit from him because I felt I deserved it.

I finally came clean after we spent some time together after we’d broken up. It was one of those amazing chats that you normally only have at the beginning of a relationship. We lay in bed and talked and talked about life, love, the universe and everything in-between. We poured out our thoughts and feelings under the glare of the moon until the rise of the sun. I told him I’d cheated on him with my ex. He told me he’d always suspected that had been the case. He told me he’d cheated on me twice. I said I didn’t blame him and could understand why he’d felt he needed to seek affection and attention from someone else.

I don’t think either of us was looking to restart our relationship but the freedom we felt from being so open led us to try again. Unsurprisingly it failed after another six months – too much damage had been done, too many other issues needed to be dealt with. So now given the added hindsight that comes with having ended a relationship in which I haven’t cheated , I realise more than ever just how much damage cheating causes and how different my relationship with the French guy could’ve been if only I’d been able to communicate with him instead of seeking sexual revenge.

All of this is to say if you’re thinking of cheating just don’t do it. If you’re that attracted to the person you want to do the dirty with just end your relationship and give yourself the freedom to indulge to your heart’s content. If that seems like too drastic a course of action then DON’T CHEAT! It isn’t worth it. Whatever the reason is you’ll end up doing intense damage to yourself. Even if you don’t really care that much about your partner, care enough about your own well-being and stay true.

Happy days

Today was a good day. I want to avoid getting into the overly personal style of blogging that I seem to be spending most of my time reading these days but Tuesday 15 December has been a good one. Primarily due to a combination of interesting people and possibilities. I live for possibilities!

Currently reading an intriguing article by Evegny Morozov in Prospect.

The Hip and The Square is 1 year old


Seven days til my 29th birthday, 364 days since my first post on the blog and I´m still going. This might well be a record for me in blog terms. I normally ditch them after a couple of months.

There have been quite a few significant dry spells on this site. I´m also not sure that the content you´ll find has anything to do with the lofty aspirations mentioned in the about section.

But I´m happy to keep on typing.

Back on it

Things have been quiet online because my offline existence has been hectic to say the least.

I’ve been settling into my new apartment, embarking on a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend in Ibiza, shadowing with videojournalists on ITV London, hosting dinners, starting a new tumblelog, attending seminars at the Reuters Journalism Institute at Oxford, setting up meetings, being interviewed as well as creating social networking site that’ll hopefully anchor all of these actions in the future.

Thank you for bearing with me! I’m not sure where all of these developments leave this blog but I will continue to post. If you’re looking for other locations at which to follow my path to who knows where, try clicking on the links above.

In praise of the lunch hour

As someone who lucky to get lunch let alone a lunch break, I was enthused by news of a campaign encouraging Britain’s desk-slaves to make the most of their 60 minutes of freedom.

I’m tempted to do series of lunchtime adventures, detailing all the things I get up to in my lunch break but this sort of series works best with pictures and without internet access at my new house (AOL, please bring my broadband) I’m stuck to posting in a singularmedia. Boo – maybe next week though…

A new tourism organisation today launched a £3 million campaign urging Britons to explore their own country – even if it is only in their lunch hour.

A poll by VisitEngland showed only 36% of Britons regularly took a full lunch hour, while 66% did not make the best use of free time.

In a campaign entitled Enjoy Every Minute, Enjoy England, the new organisation urges people to make the most of what is on their doorstep.

The survey of 2,052 adults also showed 56% felt stuck in a rut and 55% reckoned taking a lunch break helped them work more effectively in the afternoons.

Also, 82% felt better when they had been on a day trip and 69% were happier if they had something to look forward to.

VisitEngland marketing head Amanda Smyth said: “We want to help people plan their free time better and make the most of what England has to offer.”

The campaign includes a series of TV adverts with a voiceover by actress Helena Bonham Carter.


Mugged on Gray’s Inn Road

A £3 meal?
A £3 meal?

As I’ve alluded to in previous posts I have a few issues with budgeting.

While it’s cool to have so many Librans in my life, the months of September and October are always tight as I seem to have parties to attend every other night.

This has left me with £23 in cash (£20 of which was lent to me by my mother) plus £25 on my credit card to last me until the end of the week. Shameful!

Given that I have to do dinner in Soho tomorrow and drinks in the City on Thursday I’ve had to be pretty creative with my budgeting.

Which is why being charged £3.00 for a portion of scrambled eggs and fried mushrooms at Andrews, the greasy spoon (cafe) round the corner from my office, is so outrageous!

I mean guys,  I know you’re being credit crunched but charging such extortionate prices is just taking the mick!

ADDENDUM: What’s worse is that it used to be one of my favourites, offering two hash browns and a cheese salad roll for £2.00. On hindsight, six hours later I do realise how churlish this posting seems, but it being ripped off really does get my goat.