The Races

March 13-17th marks a special couple of days for our town of Cheltenham, because its race week! Before entering the madness yesterday, I really had no idea what to expect, but after placing bets, meeting new people, and cheering on horses with names like “What’s Happening”, which is exactly what I was thinking for the majority of the day, I am so glad I got to experience race week firsthand. I was told this week gets crazy, and I have to admit, walking through town this week I’ve seen a lot more people carrying their shoes than usual, but I had no idea how big of an event this really is!

Before you get through the doors, or even close to the venue, you can tell how race week is able to transform the town. Places that don’t serve breakfast- are serving breakfast, you get asked for directions at least once a day, men are in 4 piece suits, women are wearing bright coloured hats, and everyone is smiling (the percentage of smiles after losing bets is significantly lower though). I decided I was going to place a couple of bets too, just to make the races even more exciting to watch. For a newbie race-goer like myself, I decided to put my money down on the horses that were favourited that day, so even though I wouldn’t really be making a profit, I could at least come away with a win! Though I thought my plan was foolproof, I didn’t take into account horse racing is really all about luck, and I ended up losing each race that I bet on.

Although I didn’t bring home any winnings, I’m taking it home as a victory in my books because of the outfits, the people, and the overall atmosphere. If you get the chance to be in Cheltenham for this week of utter madness, I have nothing but good things to say. The Cheltenham races were an event I’m so glad I didn’t miss, and something I know I’ll never forget!

Emi

 

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Walkin’ on the Wild Side

University is one of those times that can be the unhealthiest years a young person can experience. Stress, hurt, and, disappointment. Yet these things are what develop us as people. This being said it’s also one of the wildest times of our young adult life. For example; I have four different projects due, a weekly radio show to do, and the stress of being in a different country to name just a few.

But I’ve also been able to do some incredible things. With the university I’ve been able to meet amazing people on the sports teams, create my own club night at one of the student bars, and travel with some of my favourite people.

Plus there are some absolutely amazing events coming up this week. First and formally the Cheltenham Gold Cup will be featured this week with thousands upon thousands of people flooding our fair town with the promise of sports. The whole town will be painted red and we get to be a part of this world-renowned fiesta. It’s simply one not to be missed.

Also on the way for yours truly is a trip called Tour, in which each of the sports teams select an exotic destination to travel out to and play the sport they love! I’ll be joining the boarders club as we head to the French Alps for a massive outdoor ski & snowboard festival. It’s cheap as dirt and sounds like the opportunity of a lifetime.

While exhaustion, illness, or stress may be in store while you have your stay at university you can also expect excitement, opportunity, and just plain fun to be waiting for you as well. Should be one hell of a ride and I just can’t wait.

Till next time,

Ty Javos

Aime Toi Toi-Même

I figured I’d save this piece for the day after the international celebrated day of love, Valentine’s Day. Everyday should be a day to show love.

Sometime last year, a music artiste dropped an album that was a hit. One of the most played songs from that album was titled ‘love yourself’.

It basically bordered around a guy reminiscing, soliloquizing or leaving a message for a certain girl after the end of a relationship…

It ends up with the singer telling the girl that he has moved on and he has no regrets because she was a really hard person to love (or she just made it horribly difficult).

I read somewhere (and I’m not just saying that! I really did) that you cannot accept the love that you think you don’t deserve…and that is the truth (speaking from experience here people!)

Simply put: Love starts from within.  To accept love, you have to believe you deserve it (or make an attempt at least) and to believe you deserve it, you have to practice on yourself. SO!

Aime Toi Toi-Même. That means, “Love yourself” in Spanish. HOWEVER, there is a dental floss-thin line between self-love and self-obsession. Self-love comes from loving yourself (if the name didn’t give that away). It is about loving who you are, seeing and accepting your flaws and working towards growth. Self-love doesn’t mean flawless. It doesn’t mean ‘perfect’ or ‘all figured out’. Self-love means: “I’ll commit to being the best version of myself, and even when I don’t feel like there is progress, I will still be consistent in trying”.

Self-obsession, on the other hand, is a bit more but ironically involves fewer people.

It is more ”until I am perfect in my own eyes and I make everyone believe I am perfect, no one matters” (see how many ‘I’s’ one sentence carries?) “or maybe they do, but I just need to be perfect so, at the moment I cannot help you, or show up to your event to support you, or even check in on you at the end of your day, or ask you about work or how you fared on your test, but if you give me some time to continually brood over my imperfect life, then I could one day focus on you (hopefully, before you’re dead!)”.

The only one who is all round perfect created you perfectly. So yeah, maybe there is a possibility of attaining perfection (you are allowed to contend with that) but, alas: It does not happen overnight. Perfection is a process, almost infinite. It needs commitment and consistency, and the perfect creator is ever willing to help you on that journey, but you need to be willing to accept it. Even He cannot force that on you. To accept it, you have to understand that He thinks you ARE worth dying for (literally, He actually died for you).

Summarily, above this sentence are a couple hundred words, and if words are easier said than done, you need more than a couple hundred attempts at an action. It really is not a piece of cake or a smooth journey. It’ll have some bumps in it and may even spill over. However, keep the two C’s in mind: Consistency and Commitment and it’ll all be worth it in the end. Love yourself, because you really are beautiful (scars and all) and pleasssssse accept love because you really are worth it.

Happy Love Day,

M.

Romeo + Juliet

I have always had a curiosity about Romeo and Juliet, as I was never able to fully understand how so many things could go wrong at once. When I went to the opera of the play, I had decided to go with an open mind to see if I would be able to finally catch a missing piece of the story.

The opera was part of the Metropolitan Opera 2016/17 season in the Cineworld cinema in Cheltenham. I was fascinated by how passionate the couple, Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo, chosen to play the protagonists seem to be. In the middle of that tragic story, I started to question myself that same frustrated question about how that all happened.

I then realised that maybe the question is so simple that not everyone thought of asking it. What if Shakespeare intended, not only to demonstrate how love can burn our souls but, to criticise the power of the church? With that said, allow me to create a theory:

Romeo and Juliet was written in the year of 1595-6 in Verona, Italy. At the time, the church was the most powerful institution, although the families Montague and Capulet are shown to be more influential.

As a Friar, it does not seem right to lie to the families to help a juvenile love, especially when Juliet is promised to marry another. It could easily start a war between the two families, or create a distress between the Capulets and the church.

However, he does that anyways. He tells Juliet that he and Romeo will be waiting for her to wake up so they can be together. He never did, although he could have told Romeo easily.

Romeo and Juliet were the only main heirs of the two richest families, and after Juliet’s cousin death, there was no other person to have access to the popular surname or their inheritance. As a matter of fact, the church could take the families’ possessions when they pass away.

If Romeo and Juliet had achieved permission to love each other, their son would become a powerful man, and eventually a possible threat to the religious institution.

At first, when I came with this theory, I did not want to believe it was a possibility as It is difficult to find a villain when all characters’ intentions seem so clear, and the only question is why life is unfair. However, Shakespeare has a subtle way to create questions and give us the illusion of understanding his stories. It may be one of the reasons why his writings are still fascinating.

Reminders.

Isn’t it weird how the smallest things can have the biggest impacts? The other day I was cooking what’s called Kraft Dinner (I’m pretty sure they don’t have that here in the UK), which is just cheese and small macaroni noodles in my small kitchen.

When I finally sat down to eat and took in the aroma of my KD a flush of memories hit me from back in the day when we begged my mom for some Kraft Dinner – especially when she cut up hot dogs and threw them in. Sauce it up with some Ketchup – Delicious.

Yet still I can remember all the times when we sat in my kitchen eating the stuff, from the time it was just me & Mum, to moving into our big house with my step dad, to now when I could show my English roommates who had never had it before.

The flood of memories came back and made me think of home and how far away I truly am these days. It may be time for exams but the holidays are just around the corner and I know that there will be some people sticking around here with no one to celebrate – thinking about home the way I do now.

We might be busy now but those memories are soon going to hit us all when we finally leave the exam hall and can take a deep breathe of relief in.

I hope you all have those small reminders because in the end those are the ones that are the most important, the little connections that we all live for. It’s going to be a stressful few weeks but I hope everyone finds time for those memories that we’re here for, and for a second, take a breathe of relief.

Love as always,

Ty Javos