Intensifying It

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Dear everybody, I’m starting a new website and it would mean the world to me if you could help me spread the word about it, recommend me or even be the right people to help me shape it up. Intensifying It is thought as a collection of original conversations where I’m gathering stories from feverishly inventive minds and passing them on.

You can find out more here (http://www.intensifyingit.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/intensifyingit), but in a few words I’m looking to create something that has heart and vulnerability and doesn’t only cherish conventional triumphalism. Do you know that moment when you’re feeling so energised by an idea that you can barely wait until next morning and get some sleep? If you do, you know what it’s all about. Are you with me already? 

Here are the link to the concept, the story and the vision behind the project, but I also feel like adding the first post here, because I’m hoping that some of you might relate. Thank you for looking and supporting me, let’s be great together and help each other!

“Someone’s writing; and words, and essence; the most fragile and, at the same time, and not paradoxically at all, most beautiful thing I can imagine. It makes my heart happy to know that I have access to other complex intrinsic worlds. It’s such a matter of respect, like being a museum and admiring all sculptures, like being in a cemetery and feeling a little embarrassed by all the tombs. Somebody lived. Somebody felt. Somebody wrote and let you read it. It gives me shivers down my spine. I want to make you write.

This is my first post here and, before letting others do most of the talking, I have a couple of things to say. Recently I have been going through my favourite inspirational material on Tumblr, and came across the quote above. I kinda liked it, it sounded like something I would say, so I turned to Google. Unable to find it and its author anywhere, I finally decided to think about when and where I found it. Surprise! It was me who wrote it. l laughed to myself a little, and then decided to use it here for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, it serves as a personal reminder that dreams don’t die, we just push them in the back of our minds and try to forget them. I wrote that thinking of the digital publishing platform — for great fiction works found online on sleepless nights  I wanted to build and never have (Emmett Perry, if you read this, you weren’t a bad mentor!) Some people like to dismiss this attitude by calling the person lazy, but we all should know better. Often, procrastination is not about being lazy. It is about perfectionism, the fear of failure,  and occasionally, yes, lack of interest. It’s amazing how much creativity and focus I can put in doing what I love, and how little otherwise. My idea is still here though, and I can’t wait to feel ready to take it out to play.

Secondly, because it talks about writing, but it really talks about anything and everything else. You know what? You live. You feel. You write, or sing, or draw, or build a little empire or a damn good little life for yourself, and you let me and the rest of the curious crowd watch and wonder. Seriously, how do you do the things that you do? (I’m not listening to Roxette, I promise) It gives me shivers down my spine to think of how open our lives are, especially nowadays. It’s so easy to look at your results, and so hard to imagine the struggle behind it. Do you want to talk about it? Because I’d love to make you tell your story!”

Schön! Magazine — Features

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The journalism internship I am currently undertaking at Schön! Magazine is proving to be quite challenging, but also fun and inspiring. I get to write about fashion, beauty and events, things I never tried to write about… except for a feature on Diesel’s new collection in my second year, and the fashion pages for a Romanian newspaper in London. Hey,  maybe I know more than I think I do.  Here are some of the articles I’ve worked on these last few weeks. I’d like to say that I can’t wait to go back and write some more, but it’s Sunday and right now there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than my bed, and my friend’s house as soon as I post this. I don’t know if I am one to live for the weekend, but this one sure is good.


 

The Glenlivet Releases the Winchester Collection

Anca Dunavete, October 2014

Schön! Magazine attended the exclusive launch of The Glenlivet’s The Winchester Collection, a series of single malts of unparalleled quality. Taking its name from current Master Distiller Alan Winchester, this exquisite collection of rare whiskies is anticipated to become one of the most sought after collections.

The London-based meet and taste event introduced Vintage 1964, the first 50-year-old single malt scotch from The Winchester Collection. Just 100 bottles of this inaugural release will be made available around the world, with each priced in parity to $25,000. The very first bottle is going on sale at one of the world’s most prestigious retailers, Harrods, this October. An undisclosed number of further releases from The Winchester Collection will follow, with Vintage 1966 confirmed to be next in line.

“This release marks a milestone for The Glenlivet,” Alan Winchester told Schön! “Casks of this age and quality are such a rare thing these days that I’m immensely proud to introduce the first of these rare vintages of preserved stocks from the distillery’s rich past.”

Craftmanship being taken just as seriously, every element used to design the perfect vessel is hand-crafted – from hand-blown glass to the inclusion of precious materials. Acclaimed Scottish glass artists Nichola Burns and Brodie Nairn  have been inspired by The Glenlivet’s history to create the design. The jewel-like stopper was made by internationally acclaimed silversmith Richard Fox, whose past commissions have included Formula One and Rolls Royce, and the beautiful presentation cabinet has been created by award-winning furniture maker John Galvin.

Nikki Burgess, Global Brand Director for The Glenlivet, explained that “The release of The Winchester Collection sets a new benchmark in single malt. We are excited to share this spirit, the product of 50 years of craftsmanship, with whisky lovers and collectors alike. Vintage 1964 allows us to tell a new chapter in The Glenlivet’s rich history.”

If the first bottle of Vintage 1964 goes on sale at Harrods this October, the launch date for the next release from the collection has yet to be announced.


 

Lisbon’s Fashion Legacy Showcase

Anca Dunavete, October 2014

If you don’t think of Portugal as one of the fashion industry’s key players yet, we say think again. October shed some light on the creative and commercial potential of this Iberian land, bringing to attention Lisbon Fashion Week – the most important Portuguese fashion event, a project supported by Lisbon’s city council and ModaLisboa Association that brings together the national and international press, VIPs and fashion lovers. Aiming to promote creativity, not only in fashion, but also in adjacent areas, such as photography and set design, it takes place twice a year – March and October – and showcases the work of talented established and emerging Portuguese designers.

The 43rd edition of Lisbon Fashion Week revolved around legacy, a theme which explored the idea of reconstruction as something which doesn’t necessarily equate to oblivion, emphasizing the fact that the new doesn’t erase history.

The events took place from the 10th to 13th of October, proudly presenting collections that anticipate the summer of 2015, new names in the fashion industry, pop-up stores of emergent Portuguese brands and an exhibition of fashion photography.

Sangue Novo, the platform created by Lisbon Fashion Week in 2003 that aims to introduce upcoming national talents to an international audience, introduced ten new designers at Pátio da Galé on the 10th October. With collections that set a very high standard, the ambitious young designers celebrated style, creativity and innovation. Olga Noronha, Cristina Real, Rua 148 and other up-and-coming designers revealed their collections on the catwalk, presenting fresh perspectives on the creative legacy that Portugal aspires to leave.

One of the designers, Inês Duvale, presented streetwear-inspired collection, Karma, featuring imprinted circular shapes in a cold pallet of white, greys and dark blues. Duvale interpreted the idea of circularity with concentric circles splashed on garments – symbols of protection – and circular earpieces that completed her strong vision. Inês works with designer Ricardo Andrez, a regular at Lisbon Fashion Week, who

showcased his own collection Chaser the next day at Pátio da Galé. Inês was later selected to showcase her work in June 2015 at FashionClash in Holland by Branko Popovic.

The three day event also featured Wonder Room, a pop-up store of emergent Portuguese brands, at Sala do Arquivo, in Lisbon’s City Council. Three of the designers participating in Sangue Novo’s show, Catarina Oliveira, Cristina Real and Nair Xavier, also exhibited their collections at Wonder Room.

Immediate interpretations of the shows were on display at Workstation, an exhibition of photography Capturing the highlights of the event as it happened. Workstation started on the evening of the first day and continued until the end of Lison Fashion Week Legacy at Paços do Concelho, showcasing photographic impressions of the occasion through the work of four young, promising photographers: Arlindo Camacho, Carla Pires, Pedro Duarte Jorge, and Ricardo Santos.

This autumn, Lisbon chose to believe in the power of ongoing projects, renewed energy and the conscience of what is valuable and essential about its culture. Legacy is to give and receive, and Lisbon gave faith, trust and a strong voice to its newest emerging designers – and now Schön! believes in them too.


 

Atelier Scotch Tailoring Line Available in Own Brand’s First Store

Anca Dunavete, October 2014

Amsterdam-based brand Scotch & Soda opened its first store last week, on Heiligeweg, in the heart of the Dutch Capital. With the store, which will stock the tailored line Atelier Scotch, the house is expanding its horizons. Focused on contemporary yet decorative formal dressing, Atelier Scotch is a stylish collection defined by bold combinations, luxury, and a love for details. Scotch & Soda is led by an international team of professionals that warmly welcomed Schön! at the opening. The spectacular opening saw local and international press, as well as devotees of the brand, discover the refined and subtle interior of the new store.

Presenting clothes bursting with unique mixtures of structures, styles and colours, that still stay subtle and elegant, it showed that this is a name to remember. Atelier Scotch has a serious tone to it, yet combines materials and fits that haven’t been seen before, resulting in a varied, distinctive and non-pretentious line.

The team behind the collection was inspired by the world’s style capitals and launched a strong collection that plays with contradictions, but keeps it classy. It launched at Pitti Uomo in Florence in January 2014, targeted at the gentleman who is “cool, not stiff; comfortable, but dressed up.” By boldly positioning itself in the fashion world this autumn through its signature collection and a fresh new store, Scotch & Soda is paving its way to a bright, promising future.

Head to Heiligeweg 45, Amsterdam, to discover the new Scotch & Soda store.


 

Loulou de la Falaise; Rizzoli International Publications, New York, 2014

Anca Dunavete, October 2014

A new release has become the first monograph to celebrate the life and work of Loulou de la Falaise, the style icon and muse to Yves Saint Laurent who became the embodiment of French chic. Born in 1948 to an English mother and a French father, Loulou’s chic style, powerful spirit and ability to transform anything into something made her an influential fashion icon and a breath of fresh air to the world of Parisian haute couture.

”I’m not a very strict person,” she once declared. “I’m more of an extravagant type of person. I’ll keep on mixing because it’s more inspiring.…I think fashion goes through phases. I just wait for them to be over.”

Celebrated for inspiring and accessorizing Yves Saint Laurent’s collections, she moved to Paris in 1972 to work with the designer. For almost forty years, she built her professional reputation designing jewelry and accessories both for Yves Saint Laurent as well as for her own line.

indexSlim, beautiful and artistic, she almost looked like a fashion sketch. She loved parties and cigarettes, but so did everyone else in Paris back then. Fun-loving and popular on the Paris social scene, Loulou was a glamorous figure with perfect proportions, seductive voice and bohemian flare. Oscar de la Renta said he always felt reassured when de la Falaise would declare, “I love that.” And although she loved socializing, she was almost always surrounded by Yves, her husband Thadée Klossowski de Rola and their daughter, Anna.

Loulou’s appetite for fashion and beauty continues to inspire millions today. The elegant and fun style icon really exemplified what French chic is all about. This volume is her life in over 400 pictures captured by legendary photographers, alongside conversations with her intimates.


 

Marianne Faithfull: A Life on Record; Rizzoli International Publications, New York, 2014

Anca Dunavete, October 2014

Edited by the artist herself, with accompanying handwritten captions, the new photo memoir pays tribute to the style icon that Marianne Faithfull has been for decades. Discovered in a coffeehouse in 1964 by the manager of the Rolling Stones, Marianne quickly became the sixties’ ingénue with big blue eyes and an angelic expression, the rock’n’roll queen with the hit records in a leather jumpsuit, the blissed out girl on Mick Jagger’s arm. While her story is not exactly a fairytale, it certainly is a fascinating journey from innocence to experience. Published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the release in 1964 of her groundbreaking debut single “As Tears Go By,” this book includes never-before-seen snapshots from Faithfull’s own archive, specially commissioned photographs of her Parisian home, and iconic images by the world’s best-known photographers. It is a brilliant, complete, revealing celebration of an extraordinary force in the popular culture.

Her singing, songwriting, acting and presence as the it girl of the sixties have made Faithfull an undisputed icon. As a singer, she collaborated with Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Nick Cave, and as an actress she worked alongside luminaries such as Alain Delon, Jean-Luc Godard, and Sofia Coppola. She has been a magnet for other artists since she was a 17 year old fresh-faced girl who sang like an angel, her voice confirming her image. The most striking thing about her during the sixties, decade that Diana Vreeland named the “youthquake” — the first great explosion of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, was her innocence. Other iconic girls of the sixties, like Veruschka and Edie Sedgwick, never looked innocent. Despite being carried to the top of the charts, when she turned 19 she followed the path set by her high-born parents and married her Cambridge-educated boyfriend. This duality fascinated the London press even more. As Salman Rushdie writes in the foreword, “With her big baby-blue eyes and her angelic expression, she looked as if the darkness of the ’60s couldn’t touch her.” Which, of course, foreshadowed that it would.

51T9GBEXhiL._SY300_Just one year later, aged 20, Faithfull decided to leave her marriage to be in love with Jagger. But the Sixties had many casualties and, by the time her new relationship had ended, her heroin addiction was ready to cost her custody of her son Nicholas (from her first marriage), her house, and nearly her life. What happened next, however, was remarkable. She returned for a second act in the late 70s, as a punk phoenix beating drug addiction, homelessness, cancer and hepatitis with her confessional comeback album, Broken English. Her new, deeper, rougher voice, the voice of a life full of rich experience, and her new smile reminded of the grandeur of the survivor.

Half-century since her first hit, the beautiful mature woman she is today is ready for a series of projects to celebrate her fifty year recording career. There’s her photographic memoir Marianne Faithfull: A Life on Record, but also a new album. ‘Give My Love to London’ was released in September 2014, soon to be followed by a 12-month world tour in 30 European cities. Ready to set out from her home in Paris, she notes simply in the book’s final pages: “What I love best is making records and performing. My motto: Never let the buggers grind you down.”

Magical realism. Introspection.

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Write hard and clear about what hurts. — Ernest Hemingway

His name was S. Was, and sometimes I’m not sure it even was at all. This is the story I never tell. It’s also my favourite story of all. There are nights when I’m still burning with passion for all the things we did and all the more we could have done. These nights I don’t sleep at all. I toss and turn in my bed for hours, ardent and wanting and alive like I’ve only been since I met him and until everyday life happened and took him forever away from me (but more on this later, because strangely this is the part of the story I accept the easiest) Other nights I sleep well, and I wake up laughing at all the others when I don’t. ‘What am I losing sleep over,’ I wonder as I stretch and think of hot coffee and outfits of the day, ‘stories with ghosts? Grow up, will ya,’ I tell myself and get up quickly, careful not to start questioning us again, doubting myself again, and generally thinking of all things that will never, ever happen again. The truth is that this story should be buried six feet under with me at the end of what I hope it will be my long and beautiful life, but day after day the same thought hits me  that can life never be as beautiful again. ‘There is blood singing in your veins, yearning life and wilderness and new hearts to be tamed. You can do so much more, you can be all that you want. Leave the ghosts where they belong  in your overactive, stubborn, chaotic mind, and move on from the stories you knitted with theirs; they aren’t part of your story, they aren’t part of anything. They aren’t and that’s that,’ I try to convince myself as I brush my teeth, roll my stockings up, put on some pretty flowery skirt and head out for yet another day in the land of make believe. It’s funny they call it that, when S was the only one who ever truly, deeply believed in me and he wasn’t even from around here; or around here. I shake my head in disbelief, I shake my head to shake off my sadness. How did our paths ever cross, and how can I be so sure they ever did? I am not. I have never been, but those new feelings must have come from somewhere. When and where are questions that I am unlikely to ever answer; but the what is so clear to me that every night when I lie myself to sleep and every morning when I laugh at my split personality can’t make up for half the truth I know in my heart.

If you want to know about my life, know that it hasn’t always been this mundane background with a splash of surreal. I have big dreams and not enough ambition, big questions and never any answers. I see sweetness in solitude, but I believe in having a soft landing below me if I ever fall, and it has names and faces and unbreakable bonds that make me smile through all the tears. Some stand out more than others, but in the end it’s my safety net, my security blanket, my heart and what I thought to be my life: a bright, young thing, trying a bit too hard to inject happiness into her veins, finding warmth in the road ahead and going on short bursts of adventures to pacify her wanderlust.

I was that, and probably little more, until S happened. And he happened for long days and torrid nights, and it felt like a little lifetime, so different from all I’ve ever experienced that I’m still wondering if I’ve ever experienced it at all. Every memory of him that I cling on to for dear life knocks on my every door, window and crack in the wall, begging me to play it first; and I let go of myself and the world around me, and stop time to get lost in the sweet, secret feelings. Stains on my heart, stains on humanity’s emotional evolution, stains on the world’s history, all the ways in which S affected me are things unheard of. I know of many great love-and-lost stories, but never have I heard of such enigmatic, wild forces that come and go so quickly, changing one’s life forever yet leaving them to ponder on their very existence. Those memories are all I have now and this is supposed to be the end of the story, but strangely, it is only the beginning. I need to do this, I’ll always need to do, much as it hurts thinking about it, because those memories make the familiar calm come back to me in the way I know that S will never do.

I write this knowing fully well that what’s been is long gone now, and I need to drain my sadness out through ink and tears and get out of this loop. And I tried and tried to write about the world around me and the problems students have to face and the lovely lady at the corner shop who’s been running her small business for forty years now but I always, always come back to writing about him. I don’t know anything else, and I probably never will, and this is another thing I need to be ok with. I will never, ever find anything that I can connect to on a level so deep that it makes everything pulsate, as if it was connected to my own veins. S made life vibrant and I experienced the state of being fully alive and aware of my surroundings, of myself, of somebody else to a point it’s painful to go to, even in my head. I can almost feel the hands that can awaken all possibilities and arouse all my senses, imagination, and insecurities. I reset my mind, body, soul through him. When you feel and experience something with so much depth, everything is intensified. In my mind, I’m going back to raw days, marvels, heightened senses, delicious ambiguity. To wherever the wind blows through our hair and intertwined fingers. S taught me about the analysis paralysis, about how seeing the good in people makes them believe it too and choose to be the good that you see in them, about never-ending adventures and the power of a strong soul.

Imagine a world where the character falls in love with the reader, where you don’t chase your dreams, but – plot twist – your dreams chase you, where books are written about silence and the things people only say with their eyes, their hearts and their vibration, and you’ve imagined the place where he comes from. It’s different; it’s difficult to put it into better words. I want to follow this strange, wild man down to the very depths of my imagination, all the way to where the magic happens  and it happens, I don’t know how I know it but I do, because I’ve never been there but somehow I know exactly how it feels  but I’m paralysed by fear. I know its roots, I know where it comes from, and I know what it’s trying to say though. I know, because it’s the same fear we all face after all. I can almost see its rolling eyes and shaking head, hear the you-should-bes and the why-can’t-yous, and ah, the whatifs. What if my rich, vivid so-called memories are just a trick of the mind, if nothing really exists outside the edge of this world, if the feelings I remember so well from the moments I felt most alive in are nothing but products of my foolish imagination? What is everything I think I remember are just a reminiscence of my mind wanderings to strange, forbidden places? What if S wasn’t real? What if S is real, but I never got that far down and I’m only having déjà vus? What if I can imagine things that exist somewhere else, that I never got to? What if they don’t exist at all? The only testimony that I have are the changes my inner world went through  what if it went alone, with no man called S guiding it with warm hands and soft-spoken words?

I don’t know if I’m making him up. I can’t tell reality from fiction. I wake up to new senses, I daydream of new adventures, I close my eyes and I live wildly and I open them and my soul collapses and I gain new experiences when I blink, and this world doesn’t live up to what my subconscious can do, but what if that’s all S ever was — if he ever was anything at all? But then there are his face, his voice, and all the things we did together than make me smile and blush and feel like I’ve already lived a life I’m proud of, and they are as clear as day to me. I just can’t remember what days they happened… 

to be continued

Book Review: Incorporated Evil

I reviewed this (really good, as you’re about to find out) book for Publishing Push, where I was also the Marketing & Communications Assistant.


Review: Incorporated Evil: A Business With One Goal…Absolute Power

Anca Dunavete, September 2014

Incorporated-Evil-Final-2014-KINDLE-198x300Incorporated Evil is that kind of novel; everybody knows them. They hook you up from the beginning and don’t let go until you’ve finished – and, after you’ve read the ending twice, it still haunts you for days.

Although a brilliant plot-driven novel by definition, Incorporated Evil is at its heart a story about people and the tension they face – between love and hate, duty and revenge, the good and the evil in all of us. Widdows doesn’t want to tell his readers a story; he wants to tell them all the stories through the characters who populate his imaginationland.

The book follows the journey of Sean McManus, business journalist for a London newspaper, whom the reader finds feeling helpless, turning a little cynical, and living in a quiet desperation for meaning. Despite his best intentions to be an investigative journalist, he grows softer and softer in time as his confidence starts decomposing. His life begins to change when he becomes interested in the untold story behind the CEO of the world’s largest company. A quiet presence in the press although despite his astounding results, Charles Barker-Willet strikes as a modest, media-shy man and intrigues Sean enough to send him in a quest for answers. Sean uncovers a whole new world as he ends up on a rollercoaster ride from around the world, chasing shadows and secrets as he begins to put together the pieces of the biggest, baddest and maddest puzzle there is.

On the surface, Incorporated Evil looks like a straightforward book about the corporate world – the aphrodisiac of absolute power, combined with a couple of other ingredients such as romantic love and a good cause. Yet this novel doesn’t do exactly what it says on the tin. While discovering what’s behind the world’s largest company would be nearly enough to keep one

Anca Dunavete

reading, discovering what happens to the characters soon becomes the priority. It is easy to fall in love with them and wish them well – then follow every step of their journey. While it is obvious from the very start who the main characters are, it is difficult to say that the rest are of any less interest to the reader. All have the great quality of being profoundly human, with warm blood and hearts racing and doubts so obvious that drawing the line between good and evil, ironically, becomes hard.

What makes Incorporated Evil special, besides the catchy story, is its plot twists. Although trademark of every book of this kind, they are so much humanized through the characters leading the story forward that their individual stories easily become the main story at times. Having transplanted almost every element out of the real life, but putting them together this way, Widdows has great a possible world that will send both shivers and tenderness down any reader’s spine.

Badland

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When nobody was looking, I buried my ring in the sand and left it for the waves to carry it far away. I didn’t want him and the symbols of his stupid, selfish love and, if I really had stopped to think, I might have thrown my own body to the sea.
Every cell at the surface of my skin still carried his fingerprints, and every ounce of blood running through me contained all the feelings under the sun next to memories of him, as if swimming together in a sea of so many others.
But I could think of only each second in front of me, hearing the wind and the silence rumbling in my mind and breathing in and out this dark morning of my soul.
All my storms, like silk cold aversions, had stopped at the edge of me and left my heart dry out and die. Who knew? I knew. He was the bad guy, but he already walked through all my doors marked private. I was becoming badland.
‘Baby, come here,’ he said putting an arm around my shoulders. ‘The guys are leaving, shall we go with them?’
I shrugged. The truth was that that day didn’t matter all that much, because we both knew where this was really going. Ah, all the things that were going to happen, all the things that were never going to happen anymore.
I don’t know, baby. You nearly killed me.

Fingers in my fists, mind as cold as heart. The Siberia of my lands, the winter of my years. He chose a bad time to visit.
‘You need two things to heal – time and love,’ he said to me, ‘and I’m going to give you both.’
Yes, I need time away from you and your stupid, selfish love.
I heard him swallow hard, and his tension didn’t move me. I nearly congratulated myself for the lack of emotion. New skills, always a pleasure.
It was midday and we were in the park. We came to look for squirrels. We had already been through all of this on the phone, when he asked me to meet him. I screamed at him for a little while before I said yes. I was drained.
‘I know you want to say no, but you also want to say yes. It’s the yes that truly matters. It’s the yes you’ll come back to in the end. You’ll stay. I know you’ll stay. and I’m not going to force you but I will be here, and somehow, you will be here too.’
I was going to turn to look at him, at that smug face that nearly crashed the car and yet still had the courage to talk to me like that, but I didn’t want to learn hate all over again.
‘You hit me,’ I said quietly, almost to myself. I nearly died.

People and trees and the city’s mystery and magnificence receded on either hand like the dark sides of a tunnel. I was walking – no, I was running back home, eyes and face full of tears. My head ached and my body burnt and I was bleeding. He hit me, and when he started the car I screamed and I screamed at him to stop but he would only scream louder and I was afraid that he was going to hit me again, so I stopped after a while and crossed my fingers so hard that it hurt. I didn’t want to die yet, I didn’t want to trust my dreams to a younger generation. I wanted to live to scream another day, to create another day, to claim, take, and love every day of my little life even if it meant being without him. Better, even. He was laughing like the drunken idiot that he had been all night when he lost control and crashed. I don’t know what happened to him, or to the other people. I opened the door and ran and ran and didn’t stop running, not even when I felt that the sticky liquid on my face wasn’t just tears – ah, whatever, a little blood. But he hit me, and then he nearly killed me. But he loved me, and he asked me to be his for the next twenty years or so. But I was running too hard to follow my thoughts, and as I ran I lost them all on empty streets. Never will I think them again, was the last one of them, and I had never felt fresher, wiser, easier in my then-bleeding skin.

‘Are you crazy?’ I laughed and leaned across the table.’You don’t ask… this… in front of everybody, I…’
I blushed, for sure.
Everybody was staring, and I was feeling slightly awkward, embarrased and forced to give an answer I hadn’t thought through.
‘Relax, baby,’ he said. ‘I’ll make the yes come in time. Everyday will be a yes day, baby. Just give me a little – he put two fingers together – trust, this much every day.’
He took another sip of his beer and she nudged my elbow.
‘You just got the luckiest girl at the table,’ she whispered in my ear.
‘You think?’ I smiled, and felt my cheeks turning red.
She gave me a long, intense stare, and then proceeded to gracefully ignore me.
When I went to the ladies room, I glanced in the mirror at my bronzed skin and long, gold dress. I looked pretty stunning. I knew the answer in my heart.
He just got the luckiest guy in that room.

‘So… how did you guys meet?’
Oh, God, I hate this question.
I ran my fingers through my hair, nervously.
‘At a bar,’ I finally said and giggled.
‘Oh yeah? Did he just pick you up randomly?’
‘No, no. He was… in a fight. Outside. Jesus, Helen, I hate our story.’
Helen’s eyes opened widely.
‘He was? Did he win?’
‘Yeah… kinda. Well, I dragged him out of there. Me and a coupe of others. Then he was lying on the ground, talking about how the other guy was being difficult and all that jazz, when his eyes stopped on me.’
‘And?’
‘And… before he was saying that we was going to wait for people to start leaving, then beat his ass again.’
‘He did that?’
‘No, he let me call a cab and take him home.’
‘Oh, wow. He moved fast. With you, I mean. And you did too. Wait, you did that? You’re not like that. What about your stranger danger theory? My God, you collected your boyfriend from a fight?!’
‘Ah, well,’ I smiled, feeling like a badass hero in front of you-never-have-enough-fun Helen, ‘he can never be a dangerous stranger to me anymore.’
‘He doesn’t have to, honey.’

Five Beach Essentials – or Things You’d Love to Own!

 

I wrote this article during my digital marketing placement with a451, for FTT Global‘s blog. They posted it under another name (ah, nobody ever gives enough credit to the interns…) but I’m still pretty proud they loved it!


 

Five Beach Essentials – or Things You’d Love to Own! 

Anca Dunavete, August 2014

If the thought of dropping your favourite gadgets in the water always makes you think twice before hiding them in your beach bag, know that technology is working on your dreams. Here are five fantastic devices for that geeky summer holiday that everybody is going to like (on Instagram at least):

The most versatile camera in the world’s advanced version, the GoPro Hero 3+ Black edition, is smaller and lighter than its bestselling predecessor, has longer battery life and faster built-in Wi-Fi. For GBP 359.99 you get to have a play with the SuperView™ video mode, which captures a much wider angle perspective, and the Auto Low Light mode that intelligently adjusts frame rate for low-light performance. Other features include a sharper lens, improved image quality and audio – and did I mention it’s waterproof to 131’/40m? As they say – wear it, mount it, love it.

How do you feel about binge-watching your favourite TV show while working on your tan at the pool – or even better, in the water? You know you wanna, so Sony has created Xperia Z2, the slimmest and lightest tablet that stays waterproof for up to 30 minutes in fresh water. It’s available for USD 499.99 for a 16 GB built-in memory or USD 599.99 for 32 GB. Just remember to keep all of its ports and slots shut!

The iGills SE-35 Smart Diving System works two ways: first, the smartphone waterproof case protects your phone up to depths of 130 feet. Second, its integrated computer system syncs to your phone and provides computer functionality through six buttons on the outside of the case – next to depth, time and temperature sensors. Other features available are a digital compass, an emergency flashlight to see what’s under that rock, and underwater still photography, filming and instant sharing options. iGills also automatically generates a dive log when you hit the water –  it creates a dive event, stores your depth profile and links pictures and videos captured, so that once you’re back at the surface everything is organised. Media generated with iGills can be synced, posted or emailed directly from your phone before you’re even back on the boat. For USD 329.99 your iPhone gets to go amphibian!

Imagine underwater Google Glasses, only much more affordable than you’d think. At only GBP 119.99, Model 305 Hydra Series HD 720P is a dive mask with built-in camera that lets you take great hands-free photos and spend the rest of your money on your scuba diving trips. It’s even got a video mode, and the estimated battery performance is 2.0 hours of HD 720P video. The buttons are really easy to use with diving gloves, so all there’s left to say is: Happy snapping!

The cherry on top of the list is the American specially engineered Barbecue Dining Boat – you know, for when you go fishing and suddenly want a barbecue. The fully equipped grill  measures almost 12 feet in diameter and has a 24-inch steel charcoal grill and a 30-watt electric motor, capable of eight hours of continuous BBQ’ing. The ABS table has 10 place settings that each have plate and beverage holders and silverware tray. The nylon umbrella can be retracted when using the grill, so although it costs USD 50,000 there are no excuses to, well, not give it a thought or two at least.

The only thing that’s left now is to think where to go first. I’d suggest somewhere just as exotic as the new devices you’re going to be holding, like a natural swimming pool! Think Gunlom Plunge Pool in Kakadu National Park, Australia, or Grotta della Poesia in Italy.