Monday, 23 February 2015

It took my sister yelling at me to use my skype

for me to even remember this blog existed. I linked to it in my "mood bar" or some such.

Scary really how I spent a year pouring out my heart  and then just left it abandoned, it's been so long it took me three password resets and a lot of guessing to find my way back.

And what did I find? For the most part a version of me that doesn't really exist any more. I'm years older and non the wiser than I was at 21.

What might be scarier is the things that haven't changed.

Or which keep on looping back to where they were a year or five ago.

Apparently in some things you can stop time.

Monday, 3 September 2012

A Beginners Guide - Sleeping on commuter trains.

As a fledgling commuter I have been carefully observing train sleepers, sleeper haters and the insides of my eyelids. To help other AM train newbies, here's a simple guide to making it to London alive and dribble free.

1. Before attempting the morning sleep complete the following steps.
 a. Analyse your past sleep behaviour. Are you a walker or a talker? Call your ex and ask them if you snore. Have a snooze on the sofa and establish whether or not you are likely to sprawl. Check your pillow for drool. Categorize the above behaviours from 1-5 where 1 is never and 5 is always/severe. If you score more than 8 points you should never attempt to sleep on the train as you are likely to be clubbed to death with a briefcase by that banker you snuggled, dribbled on and called mummy. At the very lest you'll end up dribbly and ashamed at Charing Cross as death-stares follow you all the way to the Bakerloo.

b. Work out when you need to wake up for your stop. Set an alarm. Without this there will come a day where dreams of  showjumping bunnies will carry you all the way to the end of the line, avoid at all costs.

c. Drink water, not juice. Juice will make you dribble, dribble will make you ashamed. You'll also feel about 8 times perkier when you wake up again. Needless to say espresso is also not your sleep buddy.

d. Make up a good sleep excuse. If you are a hugger and end up overly intimate with a fellow assenger, a heartfelt story of a night in emergency vetinary surgery, or a child with croup (that still happens right?) is much better than trying to explain that you just couldn't not watch the latest series of Toddlers and Tiaras.

2. While step one relates to humiliation avoidance. Step 2 is all about practicality. Which side is the sun? Avoid it. Sit by the window as occasional head bumps are much less embarrassing than toppling in to the aisle (field test #15 21/08/12). Dress appropriately, sleeping you is much less concerned about keeping her knees together and shirt pulled up, and no-one really wants to see that. Also, train air-con is cold, so don't get all trigger happy with the British summer and wear a chiffon shirt in September.

With all the above in place you may now enjoy a stress free, mildly refreshing and only occasionally bumpy train-sleeping career.


Thursday, 30 August 2012

New Beginnings

As the mourning/post-university/summer season comes to an end, I'm turning over a new virtual leaf. And that means dispensing with the melodramatic prose which has accompanied my third-decade breakdown.

Instead I will now document my attempt at being a grown-up, until that gets boring.  I hope you enjoy reading my 'Very Important Opinions'.


Hello virtual (and likely non-existent) reader.
Welcome to my newly revamped blog - read below this post at your own peril.
I’m going to keep things simple here, because lets face it, I spend too much time online and so, probably, do you.
I’m a graduate, eg. A naive, inexperienced, fairly sheltered, hardworking, occasionally drunk and well intentioned new adult with big plans and absolutely no idea where to start.
The first thing I have learned about adulthood, is the importance of having a point of view. It enables more in control adults to figure you out, aids conversation and most importantly gives the impression that you haven’t just spent three years in the heat magazine lined bubble better known as university.
The problem is, you’ve spent 17 years in education being told if not what to think, at least how to present it favourably, and to add difficulty to difference you’ve lost your audience. Post-teaching, past parental tolerance of long winded philosophies and pre enforced audience in spouse/offspring, all these thoughts and opinions are floating around my newly liberated headspace with nowhere to go.
So where better than the Internet. Between the cat videos, naked women and angsty teenagers, I’m filling one more remote server with the barely formed opinions of an as yet untested adult.
There will be typos.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Back in Black (but not for long)

So I've been missing awhile and then some, as life rather got on top of me. A lot of good has come from these silent months, sadly tempered by a little tragedy and this is to clear my mind for my future, which after I graduate University in June, will finally be my own to shape. As a result this post is not flowery, verbose or grandiose. These are just simple words to try and do justice to a very complex sadness.

  For anyone who has followed a while, you may be aware that my grandfather was unwell. Sadly he passed away on Feb 29th (an individual to the last dying on the leap day!) and we celebrated his life with family and The Inkspots, the java jive will always make me think of him singing while making coffee, a cuppacuppacuppacuppa cup.

It's been hard on all of my family, we're a close bunch and see each other most days, so it's still sinking in really. In the weeks since I've had a lot of time alone at uni to think over what his life has meant to me, and how I have been changed by his presence. At first I mourned the idea of living without him, of my wedding without him there, not knowing what he would have said about my agrees, kids or haircut. It took a while to realise that I will never have to do these things. My grandfather is present in everything I do, in every decision made, he has shaped me and I know exactly what he would say. Every time I ask myself how I will live without him, I just have to remind myself that I'll never have to.

 My only regret is being stuck hours away from the family as they knit back together. I thought I'd found surrogates to help me pick up the pieces but have found that as I crumbled, so to did the friendship I'd been counting on. It's hard to tell someone that you need them especially when you know that saying as much will make them feel awful, but if you don't ask you don't get. The problem is that when you ask and you still don't get you begin to realise that that relationship, whether out of disinterest, busyness or spite on the part of the other person, is not a true friendship but a support structure for them. It's hard to withdraw the support,but sometimes you have barely enough left to keep yourself standing.

 So when you fall, they can fall with you or just let you go. And if it's the latter, especially when barbed by poisonous words which to be spoken must first be thought, drunk or otherwise, it is all you can do not to throw poison back and to resign yourself to the fact that to keep being the person you want to be, you have to lose someone else who matters to you, and all of the things which you shared.

 In the last two months I've lost a father, a best friend, the respect of many, the freedom to enjoy my last months as a dancer and the opportunity to say many goodbyes. I'm holding on to my new beginning and getting through this last month in a dark place.

 Some people can never be forgotten.
Some words can never be forgiven.

 Right now I'm lonely, scared and miserable, but I know that it's got to get better. Last dark post. Promise. XX

Friday, 21 October 2011

A Long Weekend

Travelling to a home away from home which doesn't quite feel like home any more.
Living two worlds, one is empty and the other is a lie.

Choosing; sickness or deceit, tears or a forced smile, castles in the sky or eulogies and flowers.
Who am I when I am in this world where no-one can live forever.


Sunday, 9 October 2011


After a summer surrounded by those I can tell anything to, it seems I am once more in need of the catharsis of writing out my worries if only for my own peace of mind.

Yesterday was a dark day where sadness stripped the world of colour and I couldn't have spoken to anyone, even if they'd been here. There are some things which must be borne in private. But today has been a day of choices.

I've spent days making up excuses for things which I want to avoid facing. Sometimes it is irrational worry or premature grief, perhaps it is a drawn-out and poisoned friendship or a relationship which is only half of what it should be, stopping just short of true happiness. Things become the norm which an earlier or a later version of yourself would see as out-of-character but happen nonetheless, because the alternative is difficult. It is almost impossible to abandon grieving and expose yourself to the greater injury of firmly holding on to the thing you are going to lose. It takes heartbreak to recognise that an old friend is no longer a good friend and to leave that chapter of your life unresolved. It takes heartbreak to look at somebody and realise you have outgrown them after they changed your life, even in a small way, for the better and to refuse to settle for less than perfection, when less-than-perfect has been so terribly good to you.

I think what I'm trying to say is that living a life which avoids heartbreak is cowardly. I can sit in my room and feel that the world is ending or I can go out and pretend that everything is okay, but when I look inwards all I see is regrets hiding behind excuses. I have to be brave and work for the things I need. I have to throw myself in to the final chapters of a closing book, I have to leave where I am no longer welcome and push away those things which while comfortable, no longer fit me. I can't wait for someone or something to break me, I have to jump, damn the consequences and then live with the pain until I can turn it in to a story of the places I have been.


Saturday, 8 October 2011

Love and Loss, or the breakdown of a sensible girl

I've always been one of those people that other people tell things to. Friends rely on my generally sunny disposition, wise sounding philosophy, ice cream supply and absorbent shoulder to catch them when they fall and put things back together again and I'm proud of that. But the problem is that I'm not the one who is meant to be broken, I don't know how to fall apart because I have no idea if I can put myself together again, which is why I'm breaking my blogging fast.

For the first time in my life I'm set to lose something I truly love and I'm absolutely terrified. Blessed as I have been to be a part of a stable home the passage of time is one trouble I can't explain away or plaster over or even lie to myself about any more. So I have to spell it out.

Some time, probably before Christmas, my grandfather is going to die.

The man that gave me my curls and taught me to read and made me love literature, who I was terrified of disappointing with my work, who paid for me to follow my dreams and loved me quietly from behind his newspaper even when I was a squealing annoyingly exuberant eight-year-old is done fighting.

I don't even know how to express how it feels. It's kind of like anger, a disbelief that he wont take any more medication or let them experiment on him, though it's the last thing I want, coupled with a crippling helplessness that I'm so far away and that I can't run to his side and spend every last moment in his company. And all wrapped in selfishness, the fact that I can't imagine Christmas without him, or him not being in the photographs at my wedding, never knowing what he's have wanted me to name my kids, or whether they looked like him. I don't know how to remove him from my expectations. It's just a numb stupidity.

And sadness. It's almost like he's gone already. I can't think about it without wanting to cry, the most well-meaning of friends will find a kind word reduces me to a puffy-faced wreck, curled up in bed, frustrated at my weakness and completely at a loss as to how to make it feel better.

Whoever said that it is better to have loved and lost than never to love at all must have had the benefit of hindsight, because while I would never wish away a second of the days I have spent with my grandfather, the mere anticipation of his loss hurts me more than anything I have ever experienced. I can't imagine ever being able to summarise it with such blithe succinctness.

Really I'm just lost.