Monthly Archives: November 2012

The end

This weekend I watched a couple of movies that, as usual, made me put my thinking cap on. One of them was a French movie called Le Temps qui reste and the other one was called Seeking a friend for the end of the World. If you haven’t watched any of them, please be aware that I may spoil them for you if you carry on reading.

Both movies are about the end of something and about loss in some way or another and it was a total conincidence that I watched two movies with the same theme in the same weekend. Watching them made me think about our time on earth, about losing people and about our reactions to extreme circumstances.

Le Temps qui reste is about a trendy photographer in his thirties and with his whole life ahead of him when he discovers that, because of a terminal cancer, he has only 3 months to live. Yes, some dark stuff there. Not really knowing how to react to the tragic news, he starts behaving in a terrible way, mistreating the people he loves the most. He hides his illness from his family, apart from his grandmother, and goes through a couple of months of darkness until he finally dies, apparently in a peaceful place.

Seeking a friend for the end of the World is, as the title says, about the end of the world. With an asteroid nearing Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbour who sort of changes the course of events. Unlike the photographer in the French movie, in Seeking a friend for the end of the World everyone is in the same boat, everyone is going to die. And the certainty of death makes people react in many different ways. Some people are calm about it and decide to just carry on as normal, whilst others decide that living life to the full and go crazy is their best bet.

As dark as it may seem, the two movies made me think about being in a situation like that. It’s practically impossible to know how you’d react to such news, but it made me wonder what I’d do if I only had 3 months to live or if an asteroid was coming to end our lives as Earth inhabitants. I think most people would want to be near their loved ones, so it will probably come as no surprise that my first reaction would be to fly back to Brazil to be with my family (Lee – my partner –  in tow, for sure).

I’d probably also want to see a few places again, like the beach I loved so much as a teenager, Harmonia. If I was ill, there is one thing I’d do for sure: I’d write a letter to each of the people I love, to say why and how much I love them and what a great impact they had in my life. And if we were all going to die, I think I’d craft a plan with my family to make sure we were all together when that happened. Scary, of course, but the thought of being together somehow makes ‘the end’ a little bit easier.

Things like this are so far from our usual reality that when you think about it you only go for obvious answers, but when you are in the situation it’s possible that we just end up reacting in very unusual ways. I think that movies like this, as well as situations like this, make us put life into perspective. They make us think if we are focusing on the important stuff or if we are getting distracted by all the noise day-to-day life brings, giving importance to a bunch of stuff that really doesn’t matter. Time does go fast in life and sometimes we just have to try and watch our priority list as if we were seeing life from above. It’s a good exercise to think about life and about what we are doing with it from time to time. In that sense, I’d reccommend both movies.

And now the killer question (haha, interesting choice of words there)… if you were about to go to the other side, what would you do?

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Categories: Death, Living away from home | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

My neck of the woods…

When I first came to England, I lived in London for 3 years. Then, I went back to Brazil to finish university (I was half way through it at that point) and then moved back to the UK to be with the person I (then) loved. We then went to live in Lancashire because of his work. We are no longer together, but I’m still here! I ended up in this little part of the world by chance and now feel so at home that I miss it when I’m not here. Talk about destiny…

I’m originally from Novo Hamburgo, a city in the south of Brazil and, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the place. It’s where I was born, where my family and best friends are and it’s the place that I know like the palm of my hand. However, I think that sometimes you just connect with other places and this is exactly what happened when I moved to Lytham St Annes. As the expression goes, this is my neck of the woods.

Lytham St Annes is a conurbation in the Fylde district of Lancashire. The neighbouring towns of Lytham and Lytham St Annes form a seaside resort. These towns are situated to the south of Blackpool at the point where the coastline turns east to form the estuary of the River Ribble (often called Ribble Ribble by the locals) inland to Preston. St Annes, like Blackpool, overlooks the Irish sea.

St Annes is internationally renowned for golf and has four golf courses and links, the most famous being the Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, one of the hosts for the Open Championship (also known as the ‘British Open’), which has been a competition course since first hosting the Open in 1926. Approximately once every ten years, the coming of The Open—a major sporting event—brings a major influx of visitors, including the world’s media, into our fairly peaceful community. Celebrities come to appreciate the golf championship and cause a bit of a havoc in the community. As you can see, the place is nothing like London, where celebrities can be spotted at Nando’s anytime. This year St Annes was the host for The Open again and I could witness the buzz for myself. Many people are out and about and the athmosphere is great!

St Annes, as the place is usually called (dropping the ‘Lytham’) is magical. You have sea, sand, nice people, nice pubs, international sport events (once every ten years so it doesn’t spoil the calmness of the place), amazing sunsets and a peaceful life. What more can you ask for?

Below are some of my snaps of St Annes, so I can share what all the fuss is about… there is a lot to see and do, but you’ll still feel like you are on a peaceful holiday.

The St Annes Pier…

The band stand…

The beach huts on the prom…

The swam and the ducks… Awww…

The ice cream stand…

The little café on the prom…

The local pub…

The main promenade…

A carefully placed bench…

Another great local pub, 5 minutes from home…

And yet another pub… no shortage here. This is 2 minutes from home!

Part of the lovely ‘square’, which is the main shopping area of S Annes…

The train station…

And even if all of the above didn’t exist, I’d still want to live here because of this one below… the sunset is the most amazing I have ever seen!

So there you have it… my little tribute to St Annes, a little town that welcomed me with arms wide open and that makes me feel at home every single day. So much so that I can’t think of living anywhere else anymore…

Categories: Living away from home, St Annes living | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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