Monthly Archives: October 2011


Those of you who follow me on twitter (@gemma_fox) will be more than aware of my recent drama filled rollercoaster of a life.  There are housing issues, job complaints and to top it off, man confusions.  The combination of these 3 things has led to some serious tears and childish strops.  The most recent of these occurred today…well by the time I have published this, yesterday, and was the main reason I started writing this blog.

Now, so as not to make anyone reading this stop straight away I am not going to delve too far into the details as they are not necessarily essential to the basis of this post.  The reason for the most recent outburst is an email, or should I say lack of email from the man.  He is currently in Africa on a 3 month volunteering scheme (which in itself is a totally different and drama filled story I am certain none of you would want to read).  Now, it has been 2 weeks since he left and I am yet to receive an update…I put this down to lack of internet in the Kenyan wilderness he is apparently inhabiting at present.  Imagine how I felt seeing a facebook update, and not an exciting one, a profile picture change!

After about 20 minutes of tears and general grump, I remembered something James had told me to take a look at before he left.  It is the poem I am about to share with you, the poem which he loves so much he is having an abridged version tattooed onto his back, the poem which having never read before I instantly also fell in love with.  Re-reading it again today instantly instilled a sense of calm and made me re-evaluate the whole ‘facebook update’ issue, so I felt the urge to share it.

Desiderata – Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence. 

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit. 

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass. 

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. 

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labours and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul. 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy

Having done a little research in order to make this post worth reading, I have discovered that there appears to be a great debate as to whether Desiderata has religious connotations.  As a Christian, I can happily say that the words do help to highlight my faith, sections such as:

“You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

Simply remind me that God created me, he has a path for me even if I cannot see it as yet.   The ‘things to be desired’ (literal meaning of the Latin Desiderata) outlined here are just ‘fluffy’ versions of lessons laid down in biblical texts, Proverbs for example.  I am not saying it IS a religious read, far from it, James is not religious, in fact he has admitted to me that he struggles with the concept of a deity that can ‘allow’ bad things to happen to good people (let’s not get started on that here), and he likes this text so much he wants it to be etched onto his skin!

Whatever your opinion on the texts undertones I hope that it inspires something in you as it did in me.  Without James pointing me towards this, you would not be sat reading this post.

Inspiring words…

Taking the plunge…


After a few weeks of thinking about it, I have taken the bold step in branching out of my twitter ramblings and into the world of blogging.  I have no idea if this is going to be good, bad, great or a huge failure.  I don’t even know if I will keep it up after one or two posts, or if anyone is going to read if I do!

The main inspiration for the entire blog has been one single incident which I will come to in the next post.  But for now… I can assure you what I write probably won’t be too interesting and will almost certainly involve me ranting about things (men/housing issues/rugby) and I can be certain that as soon as I get a house and start baking again, random mumblings over the success/failure of my baked goods will appear here too.

Who knows…I could be a fantastic writer (doubtful) and this blog could make me famous…not likely!

Enjoy my musings….