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Marking occasion

It is really important to mark occasion. On each birthday, my husband takes a day to take stock looking back on the happenings and achievements of the last year and looking ahead to what he wants to achieve in the next.

This year, on his birthday, I found myself looking back over my own last year and the enormous changes that have occurred in my career, and recognizing how different what I perceive as success and achievement is now from what it was then.

Therein lies a really important point. In an ultracompetitive world, whatever career path you are in, many people are stuck in a feeling of underachievement, stresses created by tension of what they perceive as their own lack of success compared to their contemporaries….but I wonder if many, like me, hadn’t taken the time to map out their own path within the accepted norms…

What does achievement, success and recognition look like to you, in your eyes, with your goals?

Our motivations are often very different from our contemporaries, so why does it follow that our measurements of achievement would be the same. Comparison drains creativity and motivation, and it seems much more productive to understand our own need for achievement, and map out our own vision, and our own set of goals and tasks to get us there….and to celebrate each and every milestone reached on our own journey.

So let’s make a toast to the next, more unique year….

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M - June 26, 2012 - 12:29 pm

like it – very insightful!

I don’t know

I love Lisa Hannigan’s music. I’ve been to a couple of her concerts, first time was at the Royal Festival Hall in London. As she filled the enormous room with the power of her voice I realised that no matter how much I like her albums, hearing her live was something else entirely. She played an incredible version of Personal Jesus that gives me shivers just remembering it. And when she sang a traditional Irish folksong unaccompanied, dedicated to her parents who watched her from one of the boxes, I bet there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

The second time I saw her was at a tiny venue, the Norwich Arts Centre, a converted church. That time it wasn’t her power that overwhelmed me but her passion for what she does. Just like me she’s a geek who stands up there and gives it her all.

I also love her music videos. They always appeal to my quirky side. Here’s one of my favourites.

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Like the warmest childhood summers

Some objects, like smells or sounds, can conjure up reminiscences and feelings from another time. This glass reminds me of my mother when I was a child. I guess we owned some of these Duralex Gigogne glasses then – I would have seen her drinking tomato juice or ginger ale from one, but I have no specific recollection;  it’s only that when I see them I think of her and I feel warm and safe – like the warmest childhood summers.

Recently, walking around our new town, Oxford, we fell over a very wonderful shop called Objects of Use. It is a household/kitchen shop, but with a  real difference. Every choice item comes with a little luggage tag on it with the object’s history and use – almost like a museum. What an inspired approach. Fascinated there for tens of minutes, I came across these favorite but long forgotten of glasses on a top shelf, with a tag that read…

“Duralex Gigogne

Boxes of 6 22cl tumblers. Teetering on the verge of (and into) bankruptcy for much of the past decade, Duralex has been resurrected once again following a management buyout. Made from pressed glass and tempered using a process developed by Saint-Gobain in 1936, these glasses are chip, shock, and heat resistant, microwave, and dishwasher safe. For these reasons the Gigogne was once ubiquitous throughout institutional canteens – to many they are the archetypal school tumbler, although personally they conjure mouthfuls of rough wine washing down a marvellous aile de raie aux câpres in an earthy fishermans café on the back streets of Yport. Each glass is stamped with a serial number from 1 to 48, for reasons we have yet to discover… (actually its probably so they can quality control the moulds.)”

Credit to Objects of Use

…so I guess they hold different memories for many.

Such archetypal and utilitarian objects exist in our lives, consciously unnoticed perhaps, but who knows what they may signify for us in years to come.

Words & image {Ria Mishaal}

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