The Sweet ‘n’ Sour Fruit Tale Part 2

You can read Part 1 here

Over the next 5 years Beth and Arnold still kept in contact. It was usually Arnold who would send Beth messages to check up on her. Then within no time he would disappear off the face of the earth. Beth was used to it; whenever she questioned his disappearances he would avoid the question entirely. Beth assumed she wouldn’t hear from Arnold again when he announced he was moving to another city. Then one day he popped up again…

“Can I ask you a question?” Beth asked out of the blue.

“Sure you can!” Arnold said with a hint of curiosity.

“Why do you keep disappearing?” Beth questioned as she expected the worst.

“Honestly I liked you a lot and I was finding it too hard ” Arnold explained.

For the first time Arnold didn’t avoid the question. Beth was finally able to understand where he was coming from. They were finally getting somewhere after all these years. The best part was the fact Arnold was moving back to her city!

“You inspired me to write a post on my online journal” Beth randomly mentioned in one of their conversations.

Arnold had a tendency to encourage Beth to write on her online journal. He would occasionally read through posts and give her feedback.

“Oh really, I want to read it. Send me the link!” He said as his voice was filled with excitement.

“No, I don’t think I want you to read it” Beth said nervously. Beth was nervous about sending Arnold the link. She didn’t want him to question why she had remembered a conversation they had 5 years ago.

“I’m waiting! You’re breaking my heart” He said jokily. Arnold knew Beth could be a little stubborn. Within no time she sent him the link and asked if he had remembered the conversation.

“Of course I remember!” Arnold said as he chuckled.

“Phew” Beth thought to herself. She felt a sense of relief now she was assured he didn’t think she was crazy.

There were barely any fights or disagreements. However when they fought their exchange of words hit home. Beth and Arnold had planned to meet up for the first time in ages. Beth was a little nervous and Arnold asked if she needed more time. She didn’t- it was a day she had thought about for a very long time. Then a couple days before their planned encounter this happened…

“Are you alive or are you just bored of me?” Arnold asked in a text message.

“I’m alive and I’m not bored of you” She replied swiftly as she anticipated what was to come.

“I feel like we are going backwards. I thought we were moving forward and over the last few days you seem away” He ranted.

Beth was genuinely confused. For the last week or so she was the one to initiate the communication. Arnold had taken a step back and she questioned his lack of conversation, however she didn’t express her feelings vocally.

“I have had a lot on my mind at the minute. If I have been away, it hasn’t been intentional, sorry” Beth explained; she felt like she was apologizing for no reason.

“That’s when you should talk to me, so I know how you’re feeling” He snapped.

“I would have if I needed to. It’s not like I haven’t made contact for ages, I even messaged you yesterday” Beth had a point. They spoke yesterday and even then everything seemed okay.

“I could sense something was up over the last few days, but I guess we can be friends. It’s better than nothing”

“Wow. You’re not listening to me. If I have been slightly away it has nothing to do with you!”

“K” He responded with the dreaded letter that ends conversations promptly. He shut her down, no matter what Beth said he didn’t believe a word of it.

Things took a turn for the worst and the day Beth had waited so long for wasn’t likely to happen. The fruit was slowly becoming sour…

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If Everyone Else Can Do It, Why Can’t You?

I had the strangest dream the other night, someone I would least expect to give me life advice said “If everyone else can do it, why can’t you?”. I woke up with no recollection of the rest of the dream other than this person saying this quote to me. I felt as though the person had said this to me face-to-face and knew how I was feeling.

I thought about the quote countless times throughout the following day. If everyone else can do it, why can’t you?...Well? Why can’t I? I thought to myself. There was room for a excuse to be inserted, but instead I had to remind myself that there really is no reason why I can’t do it and there’s no reason why you can’t do it either!
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Don’t Take It Personally

I’m alone
I’m in my zone
You can still contact me via the web or phone
My thoughts are occupying me
I’m trying to bring out the best in me
At times I feel like God is testing me
I’m never off the radar for too long
I’m not ignoring anyone so please don’t get me wrong
Bear with me until I see the light
I’ll make an appearance when the time is right
Don’t take it personally

There are days I like to be alone with my thoughts. I find there is always that one person that tends to take it personally…

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Are Apprenticeships The Way Forward?

In my last year of college we were encouraged to sign up to UCAS and attend university. I hadn’t explored my other options or considered what else I could do as an alternative to university.schoolnewThis is the route we all know so well.

My ideal university learning curve

University was a big learning curve for me; however I always found it lacked something vital. It was all very well having us sit through lectures and tutorials from week to week, handing out assignments and sending us on our merry way. What about prepping us for real life situations? Granted we all followed through and gained a degree; what could we expect to happen next?

Why not teach students about what employers want and the skills they need to obtain? Why not encourage students to get as much experience as they can during university?

Lectures could openly share their own experiences and hopefully inspire their students. At the end students would gain a degree along with great cover letters, CV’s, a portfolio, interview prep and so on. Not forgetting feeling more confident as they enter the world of work.

Having completed a Multimedia degree I look back at some of the modules on my course and wonder if they were really relevant. I would have loved a bit more focus on life after university; the importance of gaining experience, a chance to explore how to approach daunting interviews, time to develop our portfolio’s and prep for our futures.

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Is experience a must-have?

Experience seems to be more important than is emphasized, I know this from experience! I’m actually quite puzzled by the concept of some of these internships.I have been lead to believe that internships were a gateway for graduates; an opportunity to gain hands on experience. I have come across companies looking for interns with experience.

So you are telling me I need experience beforehand to get experience? Intriguing! Surely I’m missing something here? If everyone is asking for experience, how will graduates get experience, if you won’t offer experience #catch22.

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I am not ruling out the companies out there who seek candidates who are passionate and show genuine interest in the area over candidates with more experience. I’m glad there is living proof you exist! It goes to show that there is hope for graduates struggling to land a job or internship.

I took matters into my own hands and found an internship programme in my 2nd year of University. I was lucky enough to spend 2 months working for a charity called bibic in Somerset. I discovered this internship through the University of East London, their programme ‘Shellstep’ was open to students from all universities.

My second internship was in partnership with the University of West London and the first 2 weeks were spent working on self development. We attended public speaking workshops, developed our CV’s/ cover letters and learned useful interview techniques. It was a wonderful experience and one I will not forget!

Why do unpaid internships still exist?

I understand there are plenty of graduates out there looking for experience, however working for free in this day and age is ludicrous! Travel alone costs an arm and a leg! I am aware that some companies contribute to travel expenses and money towards your sarnies which is better than nothing!

I do wonder if employers expect you to jump on your skateboard and travel from the outskirts of North London to Central London every day. £5 a day won’t stretch very far in terms of life outside of work. Surely unpaid internships should be called “Volunteerships” or something along those lines. Students are volunteering their services after all!

I appreciate websites that ban companies from posting unpaid internships on their job boards. Graduates need to live too! We are hungry to learn but this shouldn’t compromise money towards living/eating.

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So are apprenticeships the way forward?

I’ve asked a few youngsters their plans for life after sixth form/ college and its apparent apprenticeships are a hit! Merely out of curiosity I have asked the reason behind their decision and it’s more or less the same answers. “I don’t want to go to university” or “I want experience before I go to university”.

Fair play to those who don’t plan on going to uni; uni isn’t for everyone and it certainly doesn’t guarantee a job. Ensure you explore all your options and go with what suits you. There are tons of apprenticeships schemes appearing from left right and centre catering for college leavers. Far more than what was on offer in my day.

All I can say is grab these opportunities while you can and make the most of them.

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Salmon With Bulgur Wheat, Peach And Avocado Salad

This salad recipe has been staring me in the face for the last two days. It is from a recipe leaflet recently picked up from my local Tesco supermarket. The salmon was cooked from the top of my head, it is very basic but tasty! I reduced the ingredients as I was only cooking for two.
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Here are the details:

Serves: 8
Prep + Cooking time: 30 mins

Ingredients & prep

Salmon Fillets
1 lemon
Coarse pepper
Salt

300g bulgur wheat
1 large red chilli pepper, seeded removed and slices
100g spinach leaves
4 spring onions, trimmed
31g fresh coriander
3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 lime, juiced
2 red peppers, seeded removed and slices
2 peaches, peeled and sliced
1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
A handful of radish, sliced
100g feta cheese crumbled

  • Wash salmon with water and lemon juice
  • Coat salmon with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Place in the refrigerator or set aside.
  • Preheat oven at 200 degrees and place the salmon in foil and on a baking tray. Cook for 15 mins and turn the salmon halfway through.

Cooking Method

1. Rinse the bulgur wheat with cold water and drain using a sieve. Place in a pot and cover with hot boiling water and place on a high heat. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes until it is tender. Drain the sieve, rinse with cold water and repeat.
2. Put the chilli, spinach, spring onions and coriander into a blender with half the olive oil and lime juice. Blitz it into a paste and stir into the cooked bulgur wheat.
3. Fry the peppers and peach slices in olive oil until brown and mix in with the bulgur wheat.
4. Add the avocado and radish along with some lime juice and the crumbled feta.
5. Drizzle on olive oil and garnish with coriander leaves (optional)
6. Serve

My review

My my my… this was quite possibly the BEST salad I have ever tasted! Bulgur wheat is my new replacement for rice. It tastes just like the white rice I adore. All the ingredients complimented each other well from the tangy lime, sharp spring onions and the sweet peaches. Radish added a little crunch to the dish, I just threw them in since they were sitting lonely in my fridge. The salmon was yummy too… 10/10!

Behind The Lies

At one point in time I was certain everything was fine

Then you proceeded to cross the line

You claimed I didn’t give you my time

Lie upon lie

I asked you a question which you denied

From there I knew I had figured it all out

I had finally figured out what you were all about

You implied it was all on me

I laughed to myself as I realised I was free

Free from your bullshit…I only wish I hadn’t wasted my time

A new leaf was turned that evening all because of one lie

All I have left is one question, why?

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UPDATE: Health, Fitness and Temptation (Week 1)

All and in all things have been going OK. I have no specific diet plan, I pretty much know what I should and shouldn’t be eating.

I will brief you on my journey so far:
*I totally forgot to take note of my progress until now, I can remember as far as Sunday.

Sunday 

Sunday…Funday! My family went to the shops and asked if I had any requests. I said no without giving it any thought. I had a lot on my mind and I would usually run to my beloved junk food, however this time I didn’t.

My family soon returned with two bottles of Cider (My summer favourite), Kinder Bueno (My love) and 2 Mars Ice Cream bars (Another one of my loves). I will be honest and say I gave in to 1/4 of the Kinder Bueno and then crawled into my bed shortly after. Phew! Temptation was apparent on Sunday.
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*One day we’ll meet again

Monday 

I woke up the next day like nothing had happened…After work I headed straight to the supermarket. I picked up:

  • Beetrout
  • A pineapple
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Feta Cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Courgettes
  • Cucumbers
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Oats
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Aubergine

This is all I can think of at the top of my head. I have no idea why I listed everything, but hey! There was only so much my little old hands could carry. When I arrived home there was more food waiting for me (Thank you!)

I decided to prep my smoothies. I am not one to follow smoothie recipes, I literally look around my kitchen, pick up anything that looks like a fruit or vegetable and throw it in the blender. I wasn’t too fussed about having a variety at this point. I bagged up all the goodies and headed to the freezer.

I noticed there was still a Mars bar left in the freezer trying to lure me in, so I slowly pushed the freezer drawer shut and resisted temptation (yet again).
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Tuesday 

I dusted off my Jillian Micheal’s 30 day Shred DVD. My ancient DVD player failed to work, I thought it was a sign to eat breakfast instead and start my day (I kid). I did eat breakfast though and I waited another hour before I did my work out (I used my PC).

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A lot of people say they hate breakfast… I love breakfast.. I’m thinking about breakfast now! I am having huge cravings for nothing in particular just something that isn’t healthy *grabs hold of water bottle*. I felt nauseous towards the end of the workout and spent 15 mins laying on the floor.

I left a note asking for no pasta with my bolognese for dinner and I came home to white rice. I boiled some sweet potato mash instead. My mum suggested I had a little rice and I said no. Sorry white rice, I still have love for you.

Later on my sweet tooth was crying out for a little something. I stopped off and bought; a nut and raisin mix, rice cakes and peanut butter to satisfy my needs.

Wednesday 

Today… My workout was great. I have been starving after every meal.

  • Breakfast: Half a smoothie (Beetroot, kale, spinach, watermelon & celery), Porridge oats (Pumpkin seeds, banana and blueberries)
  • Snack 1: Handful of nuts and raisins
  • Lunch: Turkey rashers, Salad, avocado and 2 boiled eggs
  • Snack 2: 2 rice cakes with peanut butter
  • Dinner: Turkey pieces, Baked courgettes, kale and salad
  • Drinks: Water only and a cup of kale juice in the evening

I was offered some ice cream and I refused! Ughh! Everywhere I look I see FOOOOOOOD! Everything besides the food on my plate looks so yummy.
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*No this salad isn’t on the list of food that looks yummy, I couldn’t bear searching for something mouth-watering.

If you have any tips please share! Also let me know about your journeys and post your links below.