Spreading a little love, sharing a little whisky… the secret to success?

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In this sponsored post with Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Rebecca Anne Milford muses on the idea of being lucky – and how, actually, it’s the seemingly effortless actions that will get you far in this world.

Life – they say it’s all about the journey.

It’s not just about reaching the finish line, but the experiences you have on the way. This can equally be said for imbibing a fine glass of whisky – one doesn’t simply drink it, one enjoys the quality and craftsmanship that goes into the creation. And this sentiment is perfectly summarised by Johnnie Walker Blue Label – that luxury Blended Scotch Whisky that delights us with the concept that joy will, indeed, take you further.

You must know someone who’s ‘lucky’. I’ve been called it myself, with a mixture of awe and resentment. People assume things just ‘turn out alright’, without the smallest bit of effort on my part. But just because the hard graft isn’t immediately noticeable – just because I don’t appear to be slogging my guts out – doesn’t mean I haven’t had a part in the good things that befall me.

Relying on the kindness of strangers; spreading a little cheer; putting others first – all while embracing the things in life that bring us happiness – this is what lies behind the sumptuous new mini-film ‘The Gentleman’s Wager II’, and why I was immediately attracted to the idea. Okay, so it helps that Jude Law is his typical dashing self as a chap who falls head over heels in love… with a gorgeous vintage car belonging to Giancarlo Giannini – a Delahaye 135S classic racing car, to be prescise. A wager is set, and soon Jude is racing through the countryside. And what countryside! Rolling Italian scenery, rustic farmhouses and the undeniable allure of the open road combine for the perfect backdrop to this good-willed race.

But Jude can’t do it alone, and along the way encounters more than his fair share of obstacles and, er, distractions. Will the beautiful damsel in distress turn his head? Will the motor hold up for the duration of the race? Will the general hurdles of rural living stop him reaching his goal? Or will, in fact, he embrace that unsung quality of joie de vivre that, I think, is just as important as hard graft?

Spreading a little love. Showing a little kindness. Sharing a little whisky. All things I’m definitely an advocate for – and why I’m rooting for Jude’s character all the way to the finish line.

BOE Magazine

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“Even the little kids… one might have a knife”: An American vampire in Juarez (Pt II)

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A few years ago, I stopped being able to spit.

Saliva is produced by ducted glands that squirt it into your mouth when needed, to begin the process of breaking down your food and to lubricate your throat so that you can swallow and speak. In my case, one day, my sublingual salivary gland simply stopped squirting, for no immediately apparent reason. It didn’t stop producing saliva — it just stopped squirting it. So it swelled up and became incredibly painful.

I discovered very quickly that if I reached into my mouth and squeezed it a certain way, it would release the pent-up saliva — an activity which medical types refer to as “expressing” the gland, a phrase which I find weirdly disturbing. Specifically, it would spray the pressurized saliva in a tiny jet that would invariably arc out of my mouth onto the bathroom mirror or my shirt, sort of like when you’re a kid and you spit water through your teeth (a process known to North Texas children in the ’80s, as “gleeking”). It was gross, but the alternative — letting my blocked gland fill with saliva until it burst, like the udders of an unmilked cow — was obviously worse…

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