Sunday, 21 July 2013

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Emma Woolf The Ministry of Thin - Review


I will always commend Emma Woolf for her honesty on tackling what is usually a very controversial subject and The Ministry of Thin is no different. The book covers society's growing obsession with thin, how it dominates every aspect of life and an exploration of the origin of these warped ideas on thin.

Despite herself admitting "what could be more irritating than a thin person calling another person fat" Woolf doesn't shy away from questioning our somewhat crazy preoccupation with weight. Every other week a woman's magazine will tell us the hot new way to lose weight, why depriving our bodies of caffeine, refined sugars and pumping in the 'super foods' will do wonders. All the while men are learning the best way to bulk up. The concept of what a successful woman and man look like are well discussed throughout the book; appearing that there are a gazillion more limits for a woman. A woman can't be older (or at least visibly), a woman must be in control of her weight (fluctuation of any kind is sacrilege),and  most importantly a woman must be fully committed to maintaining every aspect of her body. On reading Ministry of Thin it becomes increasingly obvious how ludicrous most of these ideas look when written down yet to a certain extent most of us conform to them in every day life.

The most praisable aspect of Woolf's writing style has to be her ability to give her readers the chance to identify with her views. Far from feeling forced into agreeing with Woolf, I felt myself wanting to shout "YES" at almost every page. Woolf is an empowering intelligent not afraid to tell the world what she thinks and we all have a lot to learn from her. I thoroughly recommend reading both The Ministry of Thin and An Apple a Day.

My thoughts on finishing the book: It's okay to like yourself, despite what society is saying it is HEALTHY to love YOU and conforming to the ministry of thin we live in isn't going to get you much further than the mirror. 

Something to take note of: "Of course Newcastle women wear the highest heels - they also wear mini-skirts and bikini tops to nightclubs in midwinter - Geordie girls are made of tough stuff."

Now get reading!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Barcelona Take Three - Beautiful Sites to See


A city famous for its ornate architecture; countless parks and beautiful coastline, Barcelona is not short of sites to admire. Here are a few that I recommend seeing (not all in one day!).

Parc de la Ciutadella

The park is located in the Ciutat Vella area of Barcelona and is a must go for anyone craving some down time. Now known as an open-air museum the park contains many sculptures and two museums, the most prominent feature of the park being The Cascada, a waterfall structure created by architect Josep Fontsére.

Whilst in the park I recommend hiring a rowing boat for use on the lake; however avoid doing this in midday sun (I learn from mistakes) and when there is a school trip on the lake unless you want to be bombarded. Just as you think there is nothing this park doesn't have they throw in a zoo! Barcelona's zoo is a most go if you have children and definitely go to the dolphin show, you will love it!

Plaça de Catalunya

Less of a "place to see" and more of a place to sit and watch time go by Plaça de Catalunya is a facinating place to sit both day and night. By day the city centre is buzzing with business folk, street sellers and buskers; it's nice to just sit with a cold drink and be thankful that you are relaxing in the heat when everyone else seems to be dashing about. I had a man come up to me, ask what language I spoke then proceeded to rap the work of God to me then just disappear, much of a "did that just happen" moment. 

Plaça de Catalunya by day
By night it is somewhat a different scene, for a start it is much more relaxed, the only dashing about being by young people on roller blades.

Plaça de Catalunya by night
Funetes de Montjuic

Funetes de Montjuic

Montjuic is a hill in Barcelona easily accessed by public transport or alternatively a more scenic route by cable car. The hill holds the most fantastic fountains I have ever seen, anyone going to Barcelona MUST go to see the lights show on Montjuic. In the summer months light shows are every 30 minutes 9:00pm-11:30pm Thursday-Sunday. The photos below will give an idea as to how popular the shows are:

Funetes de Montjuic