If you want a different perspective

revisit those thoughts in a new place. 

Which is what I’m doing right now. It’s been a strange year. A year of ‘Look at!’s and ‘What, ho!’s. A year of cannot avoids. This year I turned 28. Somehow, things are erupting left and right, externally, but mostly (and most importantly), internally. It’s like everything is coming to a head. The dominoes are on their final leg. 

So what do I want?

At one point, I thought it was a degree in Architecture. I felt I would have been happy if only I’d worked things out differently/tried a little harder/wasn’t such an ignoramus. I would have been in my final year now. But lately I’ve come to realize that my discontent springs from something much bigger than that. It encompasses my whole life. And started way before I thought, “You know what? I know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to build awesome spaces.”

It’s not freedom. Although I thought that was it for the longest time.

It’s identity.  

That in all my awkward weirdness, in all my realness, I had the right to exist. My thoughts, my beliefs – they take up space. That I can and should stand up for what I feel is right. But I keep forgetting that. Sometimes it slips my mind.






A lesson in unconditional love.

After a deluge of back and forth, excuses, postponements and just plain bad weather, we finally made that trip to the zoo. I was, as usual, the initiator of this very rare and totally necessary family outing, which was completely for my niece Joya’s benefit – I wouldn’t have cared otherwise – the zoo being one of the last places I’d think of hanging out on a glorious Saturday morning I can spend cooped up indoors.

It was fun. Even though we’d been here countless times before, we all shared in a renewed sense of enthusiasm because this was Joya’s first visit. I couldn’t wait to show her all those animals she’d only known through the pages of a book or on TV. Her reaction? Disinterested and whiney, only showing some enthusiasm at the big open area where they housed the elephants, at the monkey section, and at all our ice cream stops. The heat, and the fact that most of the animals were looking equally parched and sorry themselves probably contributed to her disinterest. But it was fun, because everyone was relaxed and we were all together; commenting at every stop, trying to get the best angle for photographs (all our batteries ran out towards the middle), helping out sun-stroked alligators and stuffing our faces with ice cream and bottled milk (yes milk).

And at some point during the day – probably when gazing at the gently bobbing head of the African elephant with Joya on my lap or while watching geese waddle down into the water with her dribbling ice cream all over me – I sort of started thinking, that when it comes to children, we make a lot of exceptions, no matter how infuriating they may sometimes get or no matter how unloveable they may sometimes be. Because maybe we understand that as children, they cannot help being who they are, and we love them anyway, regardless. A five year old can say hurtful things, but he’s still forgiven. Maybe because he doesn’t know better? And maybe because we know that no matter what they say or do, it does not mean that they are not loving us back with all they have. And yet here we are expecting things of people. I know I do. It is known now, that though we strive for perfection in everything, our flaws are what makes us human. And who’s to judge that when the people close to you say they love you, they are not doing it in their entirety?

We have been sold to

Countless of times, in various forms, that picking our way through all those well guised market offerings has become a crucial skill to navigate through a very consumerist world. My sister and I were talking about money the other day – it’s power to move and change things – and how almost everything, from market to social forces tumble over themselves to pledge allegiance to and serve those that have the most of it. We talked about the ills of capitalism and a socialist system alike and came to the conclusion that like just about anything in life, it is always best to strike a balance of sorts.

I was always for privatization from all the way back when I first learnt about it in school. The freedom, the abundance of choice was a heady mix and I was delighted to find that the country I lived in was one such place where progressive/forward thinking people had decided that market forces would be the major deciding factor on how the country’s resources were allocated and that most importantly, people (both manufacturers and buysers) were allowed to chose: what they bougth, how they sold. I thought that was pretty awesome.

It’s a text book thing. The good side about a privatized economy is that the more people participated in it the more opportunities it opened up for everyone else. The engine of growth and all that. Competing for the buyer’s attention (and his pocket) meant better products and services at increasingly lower prices. So where are all these ‘better’ products that offer real value then? Growth maybe, but value? Why do I get the impression that as a consumer, we are being sold ‘stories’ instead of the real deal – products and services that actually make our lives easier/better? When did the deal go from ‘superior value’ to ‘superior branding efforts’?

How rare a find is  a product or service that actually delivers?  And since when have become so desensitized to our own wellness, that a ‘brand’ and what it connotes carries more weight than the value it supposedly offers?


Her attention to detail is just amazing.

Madshobbithole's Blog

Background on Bag End:

My name is Maddie Chambers/Brindley and this all began when I was a young child and read the Hobbit for the first time. I believe I was about 10 and I was instantly hooked. My Nanan lent me her copy of the Lord of the Rings about 1 year later and I remember thinking that the trilogy leaped into a far more complex world and one that I completely lost myself in. I have read Lord of the Rings about 20+ times now and each time it holds as much magic as the first time. When they announced that they were making a movie, I was really concerned that it would not live up to my imagination and that I would be disappointed. As it happens, a lot of it DID live up to my expectations, and when Gandalf visited Bag End in the Fellowship of the Rings…

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Well this blog

Already had it’s role assigned to it when it burst forth from the sea of dark nothingness into the blinding light of existence. I didn’t want it to be a ‘me’ blog full of soul searching posts alternating between depression and general indifference. I already have one for that.

But incidentally, I googled my name and found two of my old blogs. I’m not sure how I felt going through all those posts again, just that I used to be…different. And I’m not her anymore. There were some things that were really important to me and I gave up halfway.

The other one is not something I’d actually want to share. Just that it is the dark, somber, self absorbed version of this, hopefully more positive blog.