“Heavy Toll” on BBC Radio 4 Extra

     “Heavy Toll” is an audio documentary which is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra, a radio station whose main aim ”is to provide speech-based entertainment.”(BBC Radio 4 Extra,2016) Overall,the station is designed ”to be a mixed speech service, offering in-depth news and current affairs and a wide range of other speech output including drama,readings,comedy, factual and magazine programmes.”(BBC Radio 4,2017) that mostly ”appeal to children.” (BBC Radio 4 Extra,2016)

     As the title subtly suggests,the short documentary unveils the dramatic story of Collette and George,both railway employees,whose regular day of work turned into an unexpected nightmare by becoming witnesses to a tragic suicide of a traveler ”Tabitha took as her subject a very grim narrative, that of deaths on the railway.” (The Charles Parker Archive Trust,2017) According to the Collins English Dictionary,”If you say that something takes its toll or takes a heavy toll, you mean that it has a bad effect or causes a lot of suffering.”(Collins English Dictionary,2017) Thus the content of the documentary reflects an unfortunate situation,while it manages to raise awareness and controversial reactions towards the subject of suicide,which became more of an issue that people are willing to acknowledge.According to the Office for National Statistics,”Deaths from suicide in the UK rose slightly from 6,122 deaths in 2014 to 6,188 deaths in 2015 with a subsequent increase in the rate from 10.8 to 10.9 deaths per 100,000 population.”(ONS,2015) Moreover,considering that the victim was a male,”Suicide remains the leading cause of death for men between 20 and 34 in England and Wales, representing 24% of all deaths in 2013, and for men aged 35-49, at 13% of deaths.” (The Guardian,2015)

     The documentary puts emphasis on the use of actuality,which represents the ”audio material recorded on location”(BBC News,2008) in order to amplify the severity of the situation,as well as to paint a clearer picture for listeners regarding the visual experience that the interviewees have faced ”It had excellent mixing and very revealing interviews which paint a horribly vivid, very human picture of train suicides and their effect on train staff.”(The Charles Parker Archive Trust,2017) Actuality within the documentary includes the sounds of the train coming to a halt or the travelers who bought tickets for the train ride.

    The thought-provoking piece produced by Tabitha Konstantine,an actual student at the University of Salford,brought her impressive achievements and recognition,more precisely Tabitha ”struck gold at the recent annual Charles Parker Radio Awards in Sheffield. Her radio piece – ‘Heavy Toll’ – beat numerous submissions from all over the UK to win Best Student Radio Feature. ”(Salford University News,2017) The judges of the radio competition were particularly impressed by Tabitha’s choice to spread this story through the eyes of two witnesses,both “well contrasted speakers ” that ”had a terrific articulacy in very different ways that were entirely complementary.”(The Charles Parker Archive Trust,2017),which made the whole piece more personal and intense to the listeners.

 

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Tabitha Konstantine,along with her Radio Production lecturers Jimmy Ewing-left and Garry Morrisroe-right /Photo taken from staff.salford.co.uk 

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Bbc.co.uk. (2017). BBC – BBC Radio 4 Extra – BBC Trust. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/services/radio/service_licences/bbc_radio_4_extra.html [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].
  2. BBC. (2017). Information for suppliers to Radio – BBC Radio 4 – BBC Radio. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2FC4S5Nr3dbMH6XJzyM8tHX/bbc-radio-4 [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].
  3. Cpatrust.org.uk. (2017). Charles Parker Prize – Winners 2017 | The Charles Parker Archive Trust. [online] Available at: http://www.cpatrust.org.uk/prize/prizewinners-2017/ [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].
  4. Collinsdictionary.com. (2017). Take its toll definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary. [online] Available at: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/take-its-toll [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].
  5. Ons.gov.uk. (2017). Suicides in the UK – Office for National Statistics. [online] Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/suicidesintheunitedkingdom/2015registrations [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].
  6. Davies, C. (2017). Number of suicides in UK increases, with male rate highest since 2001. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/19/number-of-suicides-uk-increases-2013-male-rate-highest-2001 [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].
  7. News.bbc.co.uk. (2017). BBC NEWS | School Report | Glossary of common media terms. [online] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/school_report/4791411.stm [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].
  8. Staff.salford.ac.uk. (2017). Salford Staff Channel-Home | University of Salford, Manchester. [online] Available at: http://staff.salford.ac.uk/newsitem/5684 [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].

 

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”Kicked Out:From Care To Chaos” on BBC Three-Documentary

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Rebecca Southworth,the filmmaker of ”Kicked out:From Care To Chaos”/Photo taken from BBC

    ”Kicked out:From Care To Chaos” is a powerful documentary which reveals a deeply personal insight into the life of Rebecca Southworth,who grew up being physically and emotionally abused by her father and then taken into the care system at the age of 13.Her story hits close to home to many more 16-18 years olds care leavers who experienced similar acts of domestic violence and whose psychological traumas caused by a dysfunctional system are exposed throughout Rebecca’s vulnerable documentary. ”When Rebecca went to university four years ago, she was part of a tiny minority of the 10,000 16-18 year olds who leave social-services care every year, as far more end up in prison, homeless or as sex workers, and she wants to find out why the care system fails so many young people.” (The Sun,2017)

      The television programme aired on Thursday 6th April 2017 and was broadcast on BBC Three,whose main aim is ”to speak to this audience with intelligence and on a level and in a way that will stimulate strong emotion and provoke reactions.”(BBC Three Commissioning,2017) Thus this documentary is suitable for the BBC Three channel because it evokes mixed feelings of revolt,sadness,helplessness and empathy but nonetheless,it strives to produce a change among the mentalities of people and it raises questions regarding the poor support that care leavers are provided with by the government.In terms of factual programmes,BBC Three is the channel where documentaries like ”Life and Death Row”,”Our War” or ”Don’t Call Me Crazy” became successful and as a result, it ”will continue to be the home of modern factual content that speaks to a young audience.”(BBC Three Commissioning,2017)

   However,Rebecca Southworth,who is both the filmmaker and the storyteller of the programme,managed to turn her troubled past into a strong motivation to succeed,because it didn’t stop her going to university and pursuing a career in media ”Rebecca Southworth is working as a filmmaker for a television production company after graduating with first class honours.” (Manchester Evening News,2017),in spite of the fact that the ”latest statistics show teenagers leaving local authority care in Manchester are seven times less likely to study for a degree.”(Manchester Evening News,2017) Moreover,she hopes to become an inspiration for teenagers who are struggling being in the social services care system and advices them to not let their past  experiences dictate their path “I would say to anyone in care now that they should not let the stigma define them before they even start. It’s hard and it probably will get harder but it’s all worthwhile.” (Manchester Evening News,2017)

     Inspiring,raw and brutally honest,”Kicked Out:From Care To Chaos” has at its core the heavy question ”What has taken so many from care to chaos?” that this documentary strives to find the answer for ”Is it the experiences that led them to care in the first place, the process of going from home to home whilst ‘looked after’, or learning to live independently at such a young age without much of a safety net?” (Blakeway North,2017)

REFERENCES:

  1. Thesun.co.uk. (2017). Kicked Out: From Care to Chaos, The Get Down and Mafiosa…all at your fingertips. [online] Available at: https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/3225010/kicked-out-from-care-chaos-the-get-down-and-mafiosa-all-at-your-fingertips/ [Accessed 21 Oct. 2017].
  2. Bbc.co.uk. (2017). BBC – BBC Three – Commissioning. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/commissioning/tv/articles/bbc-three [Accessed 21 Oct. 2017].
  3. Abbit, B. (2017). Inspiring young women who went from care to university. [online] men. Available at: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/going-from-care-to-university-12831015 [Accessed 21 Oct. 2017].
  4. Lapping, B. (2017). Kicked Out:From Care To Chaos, BBC3 | News | Blakeway North. [online] Blakewaynorth.co.uk. Available at: http://www.blakewaynorth.co.uk/news/kicked-outfrom-care-to-choas [Accessed 21 Oct. 2017].

“Don’t Log Off” on BBC Radio 4

 

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Alan Dein,the host of “Don’t Log Off” / Photo taken from BBC Radio 4

     “Don’t Log Off” is a talk show hosted by Alan Dein,which is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 4pm on Mondays.According to the BBC Trust,” The remit of Radio 4 is to be a mixed speech service, offering in-depth news and current affairs and a wide range of other speech output including drama, readings, comedy, factual and magazine programmes.”(BBC Trust,2016) The show puts emphasis on the surprising and honest stories of ordinary people who willingly accept the invitation of Alan Dein to talk about their dramas behind their online social platforms.The timeslot is appropiate for the wide range of subjects that the show approaches and it involves an emotional impact over the listeners,like the Kathmandu student who tells his experience related to a recent earthquake in Nepal.The purpose of the show is to inform,as well as to inspire the audience who is curious to learn more about foreign places all over the world through other people’s personal experiences.”The service should appeal to listeners seeking intelligent programmes in many genres which inform, educate and entertain.”(BBC Trust,2016)

    “Don’t Log Off” could be seen as a modern reboot of Alan Dein’s previous radio show from 2002,named “Don’t Hang Up”,which consisted of “programmes featuring people who answered his calls to telephone boxes. Jump forward a decade and the technology has changed, but the idea’s the same:in “Don’t Log Off”,he invites strangers to talk to him via Facebook and Skype.” (The Guardian,2012)

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Alan Dein live in the studio/ Photo taken from thejc.com

  Therefore,known for his friendly approach and genuine interest of people’s lives,”Dein never seems to set traps for his interlocutors, never exhausts them.” (New Statesman,2017) His show appeals to a wide and mature audience,especially because he manages to create a familiar and inviting environment,as well as he frequently uses the phrase “It’s really good to hear your voice”, which encourages people to open up to him,to already form a bond and to feel like their stories matter to someone.Moreover,”he says that one question guaranteed to get someone talking is, “Why do you live where you do?” All things will unfurl from this: personal circumstances, family history, work. Communicated in that quintessentially undramatic Dein way, like puddles gently drying in a courtyard.” (New Statesman,2017) The seven series of the programme is currently running on BBC Radio 4 and this proves its long-term success over the years.

    Alan Dein uses Facebook as a tool to interact further with his listeners and he never fails to express his gratitude and amazement towards the captivating stories of people who gained a voice through this radio show.

Message posted by Alan Dein on his personal Facebook account-07/08/2017

 

Posted by Alan Dein on his Facebook profile-07/07/2017

REFERENCES:

  1. Bbc.co.uk. (2017). BBC – BBC Radio 4 – BBC Trust. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/services/radio/service_licences/bbc_radio_4.html [Accessed 15 Oct. 2017].
  2. Mahoney, E. (2017). Radio review: Don’t Log Off. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2012/jan/02/radio-review-dont-log-off [Accessed 15 Oct. 2017].
  3. Newstatesman.com. (2017). Why is Alan Dein so good at getting his interview subjects to talk?. [online] Available at: https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/tv-radio/2017/01/why-alan-dein-so-good-getting-his-interview-subjects-talk [Accessed 15 Oct. 2017].
  4. Facebook.com. (2017). Alan Dein. [online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/alan.dein [Accessed 15 Oct. 2017].

 

 

 

 

”Eden:Paradise Lost” on Channel 4- Reality TV

 

The cast of the show Eden:Paradise Lost/ Photo credits:Channel 4

     ”Eden:Paradise Lost” is a documentary,more precisely a social experiment in form of a television series which was originally broadcast on 8th August 2017 at 10 pm.According to the Channel 4 remit,which could be split in four main categories,namely “to champion unheard stories,to innovate and to take creative risks,to inspire change in the way we lead our lives and to stand up for diversity across the UK.” (Channel 4,2017),this reality television show suits the programme because its whole psilosophy revolves around the question “What if we could start again?”, so “Channel 4 executives could have been forgiven for wondering the same.” (The Guardian,2017) The timeslot seems appropriate for an older audience,considering that the show involves a strong language and even animal slaughter during some episodes.

    The name of the show could have multiple connotations,yet the concept of it resembles a lot with the Eden of the first people on Earth,Adam and Eve,who did not have anything aside from the guidance of God.

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Adam and Eve in Eden /Photo taken from RadioTimes.com

    However,the cast of the show were left with nothing and with no one to rely on other than themselves and their own powers.For an entire year,23 men and women chose to embark on the mission to build a new society from scratch in a remote corner of northern Scotland and to showcase a revolutionary way of living away from the modern world.The emphasis on their road to survival,the emotions that they constantly put on display,their own personal fears that they have to overcome,as well as the team work between them in order to accomplish their purpose were meant to keep the audience’s suspense and curiosity.Contrary to everyone’s initial belief,”The series launched with four hour-long episodes on Channel 4 in summer 2016, but then nothing.Eden entirely vanished from the schedules while the contestants continued to survive–rather than thrive–completely unaware that they were left stranded without an audience.” (RadioTimes,2017) Moreover,one of the main reasons was represented by the low viewing figures “Eden was pulled from screens after racking up rating highs of just 800,000 viewers.” (Daily Mail Online,2017) and it suddenly “descended into a mess of bullying, misogyny and fistfights.”(The Herald,2017)

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Ardnamurchan peninsula on Scotland’s west coast where “Eden:Paradise Lost” was filmed/ Photo taken from RadioTimes.com

    By the time 2016 was over,only ten contestants remained out in the wilderness.As a result,”Eden:Paradise Lost” was born and it “will show how their story unfolded across five nights.” (RadioTimes,2017) The new show suffered some alterations compared with the previous one,particularly “Eden: Paradise Lost is darker, though, largely because the 10 people who stuck it out to the end gave a whole year of their lives to what they thought would be a demonstration of resilience, a back-to-basics examination of what it means to live without the trappings of the modern world.”(The Guardian,2017) Also,Ian Dunkley,the broadcaster’s commissioning editor,believed it will bring “a Lord of the Flies-type narrative that will draw in viewers”.(RadioTimes,2017)

    Surprisingly enough,Channel 4 didn’t see this necessarily as a failure,as the series producer Liz Foley considered it a success,mainly because “we didn’t manipulate the story, we just filmed events as they unfolded. Whether the society that evolved is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is not for me to judge, but there was a community built and some amazing, lifelong friendships made, so as a social experiment it worked.”(RadioTimes,2017)

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Channel4.com. (2017). Channel 4’s remit | C4 Corporate. [online] Available at: https://www.channel4.com/corporate/about-4/what-we-do/channel-4s-remit [Accessed 14 Oct. 2017].
  2. Tate, G. (2017). Bullying, cliques and fistfights: secrets from Eden, the reality show that nobody watched. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/aug/04/eden-paradise-lost-reality-show-nobody-watched [Accessed 14 Oct. 2017].
  3.  Harrison, E. (2017). What is Eden on Channel 4 and why is everyone talking about it?. [online] Radio Times. Available at: http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-08-07/what-is-eden-on-channel-4-and-why-is-everyone-talking-about-it/ [Accessed 14 Oct. 2017].
  4. Mail Online. (2017). Eden contestants WALK OUT out of the show after one breaks the rules. [online] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4768292/Eden-contestants-walk-Channel-4-reality-TV-show.html [Accessed 14 Oct. 2017].
  5. HeraldScotland. (2017). Paradise lost: how reality TV show Eden was cast into darkness. [online] Available at: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15456341.Paradise_lost__how_reality_TV_show_Eden_was_cast_into_darkness/ [Accessed 14 Oct. 2017].
  6. Nicholson, R. (2017). Eden: Paradise Lost review – not quite a Lord-of-the-Flies descent into carnage. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/aug/08/eden-paradise-lost-review-not-lord-of-the-flies-carnage#img-1 [Accessed 14 Oct. 2017].
  7. nightmare, E. (2017). Eden on Channel 4: The social experiment that began with a dream but ended in a nightmare. [online] Radio Times. Available at: http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-08-07/eden-on-channel-4-the-social-experiment-that-began-with-a-dream-but-ended-in-a-nightmare/ [Accessed 14 Oct. 2017].

 

 

 

 

Fighting Talk on BBC Radio 5 Live

     “Fighting Talk” is a sports panel game on BBC Radio 5 Live which had its first series broadcast in October 2003.According to the BBC remit which is “to provide live news and sports coverage.It should be BBC Radio’s main outlet for breaking news by bringing its audience major news stories as they happen. It should provide context to its news and sports coverage through wide-ranging analysis and discussion.” (BBC Trust,2015),the show is ideal for those passionated by the sports matches or who want to catch the latest news worldwide and it is on air every Saturday morning.

     As for the presenters of the show,there have been made several changes throughout the series,more precisely “Johnny Vaughan for a year and a half, Christian O’Connell for about the same time and Colin Murray since February 2006. It’s been more difficult to get rid of him”, (BBC Radio 5 Live, FAQ, 2017).

    The format of the show reveals “a hilarious look at the volatile world of sport where guests compete for points with their sporting punditry. Informed comments are rewarded but witless outbursts are penalised.” (BBC Radio 5 Live,Fighting Talk).There is an emphasis on English top-flight football and other sports covered by the British news media.Moreover,Murray encourages that any female panelist can flirt with him for some extra points.

     The audience of “Fighting Talk” may be more male-dominated,considering the emphasis on the sports events. This is not particularly a good thing,given that about 2 years ago ,”5 Live’s new lineup was criticised for its lack of women presenters at a time when BBC director general Tony Hall has pledged to put more women on air.”(The Guardian,2015)

     However,Murray does have guests during the show that join him in the studio,namely “BBC 6 Music presenter Liz Kershaw, Canadian sports broadcaster Greg Brady, writer and broadcaster Dougie Anderson & comedian and voice of Love Island Iain Stiring” (BBC Radio 5 Live,Fighting Talk).They are not the only ones that interact with the presenter,as the listeners play their own important part-they are able to have their say on the show and answer some of the questions by e-mail or text message that are on the panel.The best and the most entertaining responses are read live by Murray. The audience even has “homework questions” that “often involve likening sports people to objects, animals or concepts: for example, “If footballers were houses, what would they be?” (www.revolvy.com)

 

REFERENCES:

1.Bbc.co.uk. (2017). BBC – BBC Radio 5 live – BBC Trust. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/services/radio/service_licences/bbc_r5_live.html [Accessed 8 Oct. 2017].

2.BBC. (2017). Fighting Talk – FAQs – BBC Radio 5 live. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/5lNs09w5Yrm9RgCx03Bv4cl/faqs [Accessed 8 Oct. 2017].

3.BBC. (2017). Liz Kershaw, Greg Brady, Dougie Anderson, Iain Stirling, Fighting Talk – BBC Radio 5 live. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b095p6m7 [Accessed 8 Oct. 2017].

4.Plunkett, J. (2017). BBC Radio 5 Live audience ‘below where I’d hoped’, admits controller. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.google.ro/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/media/2015/feb/05/bbc-radio-5-live-audience-below-where-id-hoped-admits-controller [Accessed 8 Oct. 2017].

5.Revolvy, L. (2017). “Fighting Talk” on Revolvy.com. [online] Revolvy.com. Available at: https://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Fighting%20Talk&item_type=topic [Accessed 8 Oct. 2017].

 

“People Just Do Nothing” on BBC Three-Comedy TV

The cast of “People Just Do Nothing” from left to right side-Dan Sylvester Woolford(Decoy),Hugo Chegwin(Beats),Allan Mustafa(Grindah) and Steve Stamp/Photo taken from BBC3,2016

  “People Just Do Nothing” follows a mockumentary format,which represents,according to Collins English Dictionary,”a satirical television or radio programme in the form of a parody of a documentary” and was broadcast for the first time by BBC Three on 20 July 2014.”While TV has been undergoing this existential crisis,there has been one programme plugging away at the lost art of making people laugh” (The Guardian,2016).

 Starring Allan Mustafa,Steve Stamp,Hugo Chegwin,Dan Sylvester Woolford and Asim Chaudhry,the manager of the group,the British television sitcom reveals how the MCs of a pirate radio station,named ‘Kurupt FM’,based in West London,can combine their personal lives with their  greatest passion for music.There is no time slot on BBC Three,as you are able to watch it online at any time of the day.

 Its source of comedy comes from the stereotypes about mostly the youth,from their simple choice of clothing,the drinking and smoking habits to their careless and non-conformist manner.”Every character is really,quite comfortingly,dense,and their inability to read scenarios correctly is the source of nearly all the comedy” (The Guardian,2016). However,the actors do not want to admit their low status,given the multiple Grindah’s comments about how they “are going to go global,but you will very much have to be in the Brentford area to hear us”.

  The popularity of the cast increased rapidly over a short period of time,”Parallel to the central plot of Beats, Grindah and co’s unstarry existence as small-time garage MCs, the show’s cast have become stars in their own right, playing festivals in the UK and abroad”(The Guardian,2017) and one of the main reasons being that “it was created by a team of unknowns who were originally talent-spotted after posting some of their comedy ideas online”  (The Telegraph,2014). Furthermore,the relationship between the five of them,along with the transition to being adults and having obstacles to overcome both in their personal and proffesional lives,as well as the desire to chase their dreams are relatable facts and represent some of the key aspects that the audience,starting from the teenage years,may identify with.”These are some universal themes that they hope will broaden its appeal.”(Independent,2016)

  Refreshing,entertaining and the first show from this channel with an iPlayer debut, “People Just Do Nothing” suits the BBC Three programme,the remit of which is to “bring quality public service broadcasting through a mixed-genre schedule of innovative UK content.” (BBC Three Service License,2013)

REFERENCES:

1.Collins English Dictionary|English (2017) | Definition of mockumentary in English by Collins English Dictionary [online] Available at:https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/mockumentary [Accesed 7 Oct. 2017].

2.Aroesti, R. (2017). Bare jokes: how People Just Do Nothing made sitcoms funny again. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/sep/22/how-people-just-do-nothing-made-sitcoms-funny-again [Accessed 7 Oct. 2017].

3.O’Donovan, G. (2017). People Just Do Nothing, BBC iPlayer, review: ‘impressive’. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/tv-and-radio-reviews/10828816/People-Just-Do-Nothing-BBC-iPlayer-review-impressive.html [Accessed 7 Oct. 2017].

4.Newall, S. (2017). How a resolutely British show about pirate DJs has garnered international attention. [online] The Independent. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/people-just-do-nothing-series-three-bbc-3-ash-atalla-series-2-a7195231.html [Accessed 7 Oct. 2017].

5.Davies, H. (2017). People Just Do Nothing: every episode is more hilarious, and more harrowing. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.google.ro/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/sep/19/people-just-do-nothing-every-episode-is-more-hilarious-and-more-harrowing [Accessed 8 Oct. 2017].

 

 

 

 I graduated! 

    The last few weeks were eventful,chaotic,full of bittersweet memories,yet the one thing that was on my mind the whole time was the fact that I made it.

      I graduated from high school.

     Earnestly speaking,I cannot comprehend how or where the time had flew.It looks like yesterday I was a junior,with an enthusiastic and overly excited face,bad hair and funny clothes,waiting to embark on this new adventure.I was just a happy child,with no clue about what I was going to experience,learn or discover.I have to admit that the thought of growing up scared me at times.I just didn’t want to.Who would like to give up childhood? Who wants to be a grown up?

    Nevertheless,high school came with so much more that I could have predicted at the beggining.Happy days,proud achievements,long lasting friends,precious life lessons,a whirlwind of emotions are just a few of the moments that truly shaped me into a better,wiser and happier human being.

    As far as I can tell,I had some amazing opportunities during high school to evolve and to exploit the abilities I didn’t believe I had.For instance,I was involved in a couple of national projects from whom I have learned a lot about team work,social skills and patience.My creativity,determination,inspiration and strive were on high demand,always pushing me to outreach myself.The emotional side was developed in ways I didn’t experience before during a particular project,where I discovered that I am blessed in more ways than I can count and that happiness always hides in the littlest of things.You just have to acknowledge this unique feeling and treasure it deeply each day.The results of my work were proudly shown through recognition from my teachers and some diplomas,yet the most important outcome was the feeling of accomplishment and utter excitement while discovering my own self,my own passions and my own desires.These memories would certaintly not leave me anytime soon.

      Regarding the lessons that I have come to learn through great and sometimes,rough ways,I believe they are the essence of my high school years.They weren’t always easy or pleasant enough to bear at the time,yet the fact that I lived them at that certain stage of my life helped me to understand myself better and to prioritize my needs.I realized what path I want to follow.What carreer would make me feel like everyday I’m on a vacation rather than at a boring work place,as well as what is going to bring out the best of me.Some dreams already became reality,some of them not yet.Sure thing is that I am on the right track. Ambition,perseverance,patience and faith never fail to do their magic.

   Finally,four years went by faster than the wind.Four years filled with memories,beautiful events,complicated feelings,sleepless nights,the messed up me was able to get through it all.At the end of this chapter,it is supposed that I am going to be mature and to pave my way towards the future that I am wishing and looking for.This is exactly what I am doing.The funny thing? I am still a child.I always will be.At least this thought eases the guilt whenever I mess something up.

        To mark my words,take a look at some of the pictures I have and that shows me even more excited than when I eat ice-cream.One in a million sight,that’s for sure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pursuit of happiness

At the end of this challenging,yet indeed rewarding year that flew more quickly than I could comprehend,I choose to reflect upon myself and my most beloved treasures.

Looking in retrospective,I believe that this year brought me more than I could ever hoped for.I laughed a lot.I cried.I smiled.I loved deeply.I cared.I won.I learned.I did.I achieved.I lived.There is nothing more gratifying than simply acknowledging all the emotions that have enveloped me,that I have felt with such an intensity,as well as that have been a part of me during all the encounters I had this year.To feel whatever I felt the need to,without any constraint,remains one of the best feelings in the world.To be able to express myself in order to find answers to whatever I was looking for on my own is the greatest way to know,discover and love myself more each day.Still,I am incredibly overhelmed by every single thing,experience,lesson and blessing that I have the power to count.Regardless of its nature,each moment was different and was meant to made me feel something.That something made me evolve,think further and broaden my horizons in ways that I didn’t even dare to think about before.

You see,if is one thing that I don’t believe in,that is coincidences.Thefore,I am aware that everything that I have been through,both good and less good,was destined for me and was something that I could handle.Better or worse,time had told or had showed me.Either way,reflecting upon this,I do not think that my sorrows or bad times didn’t play a massive part in my self-development process.I like to see them as essential pages,without this chapter couldn’t be truly complete or without I couldn’t treasure and acknowledge my happiness entirely afterwards.

As this year slowly draws to a nostalgic close,I feel the need to express my pure emotions towards everything I have obtained,as well as I have lost,every memory that I am filled with in my heart and soul,every person that I have met and  that have managed to change me in ways I couldn’t imagined.I could not wrap my mind on how I have all these people by my side and all the loving memories to hold onto and to treasure deeply.

I feel a better,happier and the richest person here just by thinking that my life had and will always have the same pursuit that will continue to guide me faithfully throughout this crazy journey-happiness.

May this new year lead you to discover your own pursuit and to never,ever give up on anything that makes your heart race.That’s what life is all about.

 

The power of thank you’s

  Saying that you made it is easy.Saying that you feel content for what you achieved is easier,even if you don’t feel like it for real.Saying that everything is yours to deserve might be the easiest thing to do.However,saying a mere “thank you”,from the bottom of your heart,to the ones who helped you along the way,who stood by you day by day,who simply were there,may not be that easy to say it out loud.The question that left me wondering is why? 

    It is said that the best kind of people come in your life unexpectedly,at the time when you were left hopeless,lonely,in need of guidance,perhaps when your soul wasn’t completely happy.They manage to sneak into your life,to steal your heart and to never give it back to you.In a short period of time,these people prove to you what older friends couldn’t or didn’t even want to.That is a real friendship based on love,trustworthiness and honesty.The moral qualities that you have searched in so many,but have found only in a few.When you come across these kind of people,I want to tell you just one thing:keep them.Keep them with all you have got.Don’t make your life all about them,but make your life happier by being and growing together.Moreover,thank them.For every little thing.Thank your friend,your lover,your beautiful mom,your dad,your annoying sibling,even a random stranger that made your day,your neighbor.There is always someone or something that you have to be thankful for simply making a difference.You just have to acknowledge their importance into your life and start cherising every moment deeply.Right now.Trust me,you do not know when it is over.

     During my years through life,I have come to realize that gratitude represents the essence of happiness.The more grateful you are,the happier and lighter you become.There is no bigger satisfaction than being surrounded by the ones you love and the best way to cherish them is to show them your gratitude towards every single thing,big or small,that they do for you.You can do no wrong by expressing sincerely and out in the open your inner feelings and more importantly,proving them to the ones you truly care about.

    Taking into consideration what I’ve just rambled about,I believe so much in the unspoken power of a “thank you”.I believe in people and the raw way of healing one another through love.I am sure that even if you don’t realize at times,for most of them,a mere “thank you” does wonders because it shows that their efforts,commitment,love and appreciation towards you never go unnoticed.

    Earnestly,it is the simplest and easiest way to spread your love,your kidness,your emotions and the safest way to ensure the joy of tomorrow.Everything that you have,that you achieve,that you represent is a team work between you and your soul people.Let’s not take a single person in life for granted,either if they are a blessing or a lesson.So just say,from the bottom of your heart,”thank you”,as often and as loud as you can.Do it.

  

My dear 18

          Last week,I turned 18.Some may assume it is just an usual age that I have to go through,or that I’m just slightly older and more vacant,yet,in all honesty,I’ve never felt so good.So full of love,joy,strength and elation for what is to come next,for the future which is slowly,but surely shaping into my present.

         I cannot lie and tell you that I’m not quite nostalgic about the outstanding power of time and the incredibly fast way it flies,without any questions for our humble human condition,whether or not we are ready to reach the next step in our lives.Nothing prepares us for what are we going to receive,live or feel.Perhaps that is why life itself is a mistery,an unique journey into the unknown,with nothing such as maps,instructions or backways.All you have is you on this one-way road.You are everything that matters.

         However,I like to believe that whatever life has in store for us,it would be so much better than we have ever possibly imagined.That is exactly what happened to me.

        Reaching the age of 18 years old and officially entering the “adulthood”,I must confess that although I look the same,I feel the same way about my life,about myself,I am filled with so much more positive energy,love,trust in my own fierceness and faith that give me so much power to look forward to living my beautiful life to the fullest.I may be a little bit sad about growing up so quickly,yet I know that every chapter of my life means more valuable memories and experiences to hold onto and treasure deeply.I am surrounded by a few,yet extremely precious people who makes me feel every day like I am the luckiest girl alive.Earnestly speaking,I feel blessed and filled with such a strong sense of contentment and pure joy just by thinking about that.It’s surreal.

      What I am trying to highlight is that every single age comes with something thrilling,new,fascinating and brings us so many incredible things that we cannot even realize at time,such as wisdom,maturity,more power of understanding and perception,as well as  love for your inner self,with whom you have made it through it all.It is indeed crazy how time is running,yet I love to believe that we become richer in thoughts,happiness,memories and knowledge only by growing up,constantly evolving,improving ourselves and discovering the breathtaking beauty the world truly holds.There is nothing more gratifying that living the moment with the most intensity and knowing that everything that it is destined for you,whether it is a person,a situation or a thing,will eventually find its way into your life,one way or another,under the most unpredictable circumstances.Either way,let it be.Let everything come to you naturally.

   All that it takes to be happy is to live gracefully,to love deeply,with all of your being,without expecting anything in return,to spread kidness and to know within yourself that you deserve the greatest things in the world if you wholeheartedly believe in your own self.

       Oh,and as a little gift for you,I am going to post some photos from me and my brother’s super sweet 18’s birthday party,where I realized that every moment spent with your beloved ones is absolutely worth a lifetime.