Sunday, 30 September 2012

Awesome Things the Fourth

It's been a while since I've done one of these, but I've been feeling pretty good recently so I thought it'd be nice to appreciate some more of life's little awesome things coz life ain't all bad, y'know?

-Discovering new music and really liking it
Now I love my music collection as much as the next person and have a sizeable amount of stuff that I listen to on a regular basis. Sometimes though, I wish I could take my favourite stuff and erase it from my memory so that I could learn to love it again-the feeling of putting a new album on for the first time and listening to it non-stop for days is pretty cool, gradually learning the songs unconsciously just coz you've heard them so often.

-Picking scabs/Squeezing spots/Plucking a particularly stubborn hair
Everyone knows that you're not supposed to do it, but come on, everyone does, right? It's just such a satisfying feeling! *splat*

-When people tell you that they miss you (and the feeling you get when you see them again)
It's always nice to know that you're wanted and loved/missed by people isn't it? The simple act of someone telling you that they miss you and it's been too long since they saw you can really make your day, but when you see someone you haven't seen in a while and you get the big squeezy hug and the endless chatter about all the things that have happened since last time you saw each other it's definitely an awesome thing.

-Going into a shop and them having that thing that you want left in only your size
Well it's like fate is telling you to buy it then, isn't it?

I don't know about you, but I love baking. Every so often I get the urge and then my friends and family end up with cakes and biscuits to gorge themselves on. It's really fun and quite a gentle relaxing activity to do by yourself plus there's the bonus of cake lickings and cookie dough to enjoy. There's also the great aspect of giving the stuff you made away to people to eat too, then everyone's a winner aren't they? OM NOM NOM.

So there we are, until next time. Add yours in the comments!


Monday, 24 September 2012


When I was younger I was determined that I was never ever going to move out of my house-I was going to live in it forever and ever and bring up my family there and then pass it on to them when I died. My mum once mentioned in passing wanting to move house and I actually cried. I never wanted to think of anyone else living there in my space-in the attic bedroom that was built just for me and still has the eccentric paint choices 11-year-old me chose to put there. All of my childhood memories are there, and I've experienced some wonderful things during my time living in it. I recently realised  though that it no longer feels like home to me-it's not the place I want to be any more. For one thing it's full of small children and small children's toys and small children's mess. It's also because I've grown up and grown out of it-my bedroom is full of clutter that I have accumulated over the past 10 years or more, stuff that I don't want or need any more. I think if my parents decided they were going to move house tomorrow then although I would still be quite sad, it wouldn't be the heart breaking thing it once was to me.
It's also the city-much as Nottingham will always hold a special place in my heart, I don't really enjoy it any more. I know all of its nooks and crannies and secrets, I'm no longer taken aback with how pretty it looks in the summer time and it's just lost its sparkle for me a little.
Although I'm not denying that it does look pretty!
Whilst I know that I will always come back eventually, if only to visit the best chocolate shop in the world or pop in to my favourite theatre for a show, my heart's not set on living there any more. 
I realise that this has come about because of my student life-living away from my parents and gaining my independence has just been wonderful, and getting to know somewhere that was originally brand new to me equally so. I know not everyone understands how I can claim to have falling in love with a city-a little over a year ago I was agonising about leaving important people behind in one city by moving to another one, and someone asked me how there could even be a contest between people and a place.
I can't really explain it, only to say that sometimes places can just feel like home, it's like something within you recognises that here is somewhere that will give you everything you need. I remember back in 2009 on an open day here (actually my 2nd for relatively boring and complicated reasons) standing at the window in my university library looking over the houses and hills of Sheffield and thinking "Yeah, I could definitely learn to love it here". 
It was something like this. Only, y'know, not because
I totally screen-shotted this from a programme filmed in Sheffield...
Source: Prisoner's Wives, BBC
When I actually got to uni, I always made sure I chose computers that looked out over the city so that when I was working I could glance up and see it in all its beauty laid out before me. I love to get lost in a good view and have been known to spend a lot of time in a bathroom at the top of a tall building just drinking in the sights of my favourite city coming to life in an early morning. Every time I my train pulls into the station I feel like I'm coming home again. Sheffield still holds a lot of magic for me because there's still so much of it that I don't know-a new gorgeous view to discover or a beautiful old building or a shop selling various nick-nacks and wonderful stuff. 
A beautiful old building, and one of my favourites-Firth Court
Also this is the sight that greets me when I step off the train,
makes my heart lift every time.
It feels so different to me to Nottingham too, not only because I have experienced it through the rose-tinted eyes of a student and not a proper person but also because the two cities have completely different atmospheres when you walk around them. And while I don't think I'll ever learn to love Sheffield's massive hills, this city has really stolen my heart in a myriad of ways and I just can't imagine wanting to live anywhere else at this stage in my life...just as soon as I find a job here.

Sheffield, my love, I'm working my way back to you so I can be home again.


Thursday, 13 September 2012

I'm Grateful For...

This made me giggle a bit =)

It's weird, it's less than a year ago since I wrote the first one of these posts but so much of my life is different since then so I thought I really should make a new one. Of course, I have a lot to be grateful for at the moment-I have had a lot of help over the last few months at getting me back to myself and without it I'd probably still be floundering around not sleeping and watching endless episodes of Hustle until I go mad*. As I mentioned though, I'm definitely getting there.
So thank you. Thank you to the one who was there at the start with endless hugs and cups of hot chocolate and for every "You'll be fine, I promise" even if I didn't believe you. Thanks for every time you let me come and annoy you so that I didn't have to be on my own, for every time you let me cry on you and for generally everything. Thank you to the ones who came just after, who took me to do fun things so I could stop thinking about it and who basically put up with me being a bit mopey. Thanks for the distractions and the giggles, because they were really needed. Thank you to those of you who didn't ask about it when I didn't want to talk about it, thanks to the ones who had rather delectable bottoms or lovely smiles that started me feeling like a normal person again. Thank you to Two Shades of blue and everyone involved, going to Edinburgh was very good for me in a lot of ways (plus it was friggin awesome to do!). Thank you to my besty who's never not been there and has called him lots of names for me. Thanks to everyone who decided it doesn't matter who's going out with who and stuck around in my life despite me being in a different city. Thanks for every hug, every sympathetic ear and every piece of good advice-you've all been wonderful and helped me SO MUCH.

So yeah,
Thanks everyone, I've appreciated it. I'm grateful for my brilliant friends =)


*This is basically what happened at the start of the whole thing anyway.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

I'm In Repair, I'm Not Together But I'm Getting There.

John Mayer-In Repair
Which just about says it all really.

This is the 3rd or 4th time I have written something about the subject of being single over the last couple of months, but each time I do the tone of the piece changes depending on how I feel. I went from being hopeful and optimistic to despairing that I would never find anyone who would understand me as well ever again to pondering just what I was supposed to do with this alien experience*. Now I'm just trying to get back to myself, and according to one of my friends I "seem to be more me" so hopefully it's working.
I'd never been heartbroken before, not really, and I was completely unprepared for just how much it would hurt (seems silly considering its name, but I hadn't really given it much thought). I was totally blind-sided with a kind of grief that I'd never known-I spent 4 days not eating or sleeping much at all and just went a little bit mad for a while. It did, of course, start getting better, but I still failed to see how anyone managed to function normally ever again after the break up of an important relationship, and failed to see how I would ever be OK about it.

We still talked regularly, he and I, still met up from time to time and I had to, on occasion ,stop myself reaching out to touch him as I always had done. Still I thought somewhere in the back of my mind that it would all sort itself out, that it would all come good and we'd start again, although not all of me believed this would happen, and maybe some small part of me, even then, didn't want it to.
I let myself get upset time and again whenever he cancelled a visit to see me for a better offer when I really should have been listening to my friends who kept telling me just to forget all about him and get on with life. But how could I forget him when so many things just kept reminding me of him all the time and life kept finding new and unexpected ways to make me cry all over again? So many things still do remind me of him, but now I refuse to do any more crying-I've done enough. Instead, I'm making new memories over the ones that always make my heart ache a little bit-by myself and with other people I am reclaiming the things we used to do together. I know it won't work completely-my brain is very good at remembering odd things when given a trigger for a very long time-but it will push back the memories of him far enough for me to enjoy the experiences again. Just another reason why I really want to move out of my parent's house-if I live in a place that he has never been to then it will be that much easier to not picture him there with me.

Another thing I was completely unprepared for was how many friends would disappear from my life alongside the one I was losing in him. (We tried to stay friends for a while, but apparently it's just too weird so now even that has lapsed.) Friends I thought would be in my life forever have since just stopped speaking to me. My (then) closest friends and confidants started to become less close even before the break up. I know some of their reasons for this, but it still hurts to think that they felt the need to pick sides of our relationship and that I wasn't the one that they chose. I won't go chasing after them though-if they have decided they don't want me to be in their lives then so be it, even if I do not share their sentiments.

Now we're at the stage where he has moved on and is in another relationship and I am OK with that. 2-3 months ago, the very thought made me sob-to think that he could find happiness with someone that wasn't me, let alone imagining myself getting there too. But getting there I am, and while I don't have anyone specific to move on to in the same way, I have noticed certain changes in myself that tell me I don't mind any more. I've started noticing other guys again, and in some cases had a good, long notice. I've been flirting which has been really rather fun, and it's nice to know my skills aren't too rusty after 6 years of under-use. I've started just enjoying life again, smiling at strangers in the street and laughing until it hurts. It's been a strange and unpleasant journey to this point, but it feels good to be here.

So am I over him? Not completely, no. There's still a part of me that would immediately say yes if he turned around and asked me to come back. But it's a small part, and it's a diminishing one. Am I getting there? Yes, I definitely am. Clich├ęd though it is, I am finally starting to see THE BREAKUP as less of an ending and more of a new beginning. And while I'm still not great at being single (I think some parts of me will always be happier when I am in a relationship), I'm no longer comparing myself to all the happy couples that I know and feeling sorry that I don't have that any more/jealously wishing they would take their happiness elsewhere. I will get that again, it's fine, and I'll hold on to that for now, thanks. But hey, if anyone knows any nice guys with a heart-melting smile** and a good pair of legs, it won't hurt to send them in my direction, will it? ;)

So yes. Definitely not together yet, but definitely getting there.


*I've never really been single, not as an adult. I've been in two almost consecutive long-term relationships for the past 6 and a half years so I'm still really un-used to it-I did all my growing up and learning myself whilst being with someone so I have had to re-learn it all now that I am not.
** AC & MF: Oh Shush.

Monday, 3 September 2012

The Edinburgh Diaries: It's Showtime!

So on Wednesday I returned home from Edinburgh with an empty purse and a million memories, along with the company cold and a buggered left leg* and a hefty dose of exhaustion. It's fair to say that I had an excellent Fringe Fest with some truly wonderful people and that my life feels ever so empty now I'm not waking up to a flat full of them every day. It was a bit of a mad week, and an exhausting one, but it was definitely fun enough to make up for that. Didn't get to see as many shows as I had originally intended to, which was in part because I very rapidly ran out of money and also because I hadn't actually factored in that I would be unavailable across the peak time for shows each day (6-8pm) due to y'know, being on stage and all. I did get to see a few though, favourite of which was definitely The Vocal Orchestra which was a spontaneous last day decision. They were completely amazing-if you closed your eyes you wouldn't know you were listening to something being performed by only the voices of the 6 people on stage, and it was such a great atmosphere that you couldn't help clap and sing along. Also want to give mention to a wonderful performance of my favourite Shakespeare play, As You Like It, done by SEDOS. Despite the fact that it was cut down to be only an hour long, I still loved it as much as I always do and it was performed very well indeed.
The Baskervilles Cast warming up fabulously on the Mile.
(Techie, Frederick, Lady B, Holmes, Mabel, Director,
Watson, Watson's Moustache, Bellatrix, Marple, Lestrade)
Our shows ( were pretty damn fantastic too. I managed to see the other two shows (Sherlock Holmes and the Sound of the Baskervilles and Quantum Battlestar Deep-Space Voyager Tardis Wars: The Million Dollar Space Epic**) 3 times each and play the "Trying to make people corpse" game on the last night which was a little bit too much fun. They were really well done and so very enjoyable to watch every time and even though half of the casts were suffering with 'Fringe Flu', you couldn't tell by their excellent performances. And Back to the Future:The Pantomime? Well that was pretty awesome too.
(Stolen from Biff, who hopefully won't mind)
We sold out every night PLUS 2/3 of the seats for an extra charity performance that we added last minute and I just had the most amazing time performing it again and again. I danced, I sang my heart out, I jiggled (there was a lot of jiggling) and I finally finally got to use my crazy Welsh accent on a stage-something I have wanted to do for a good while. We pulled stupid faces at each other to make everyone corpse*** and I exuberantly pied Biff in the face every night whilst trying not to cringe at the Flux Capacitor. It was truly wonderful.
But what really made my Edinburgh experience was the people. Bearing in mind some of these guys I met for the first time in June (and some of them only in Oxford 2 weeks ago) I was trepidatious about spending two weeks constantly in their company and sharing a house with them and introducing them to Morning Jenni (Aka Sleepy Monster). Now, I'm not sure why I was worried at all. These are all LIGHT ENTERTAINERS, they're my people-the ones that properly get me, no questions asked. I have laughed so much over the last fortnight that I've probably toned up my stomach muscles to a level they've never toned been before. There were so many completely awesome people there, such a mesh of personalities that you couldn't help not find your home. If you're reading this guys, thank you. You made my Fringe in so many different ways.
And now I'm back at home in the real world, which is dull and much less fun/giggly/jiggly and gives me very little incentive to get out of my pyjamas each day. It feels very weird to think that it is only a week ago tomorrow that it was opening night-this time last week I was in Edinburgh learning how to flyer and trying not to get lost and it's all gone so quickly. I won't be forgetting it in a long time though, because it was really really really awesome. Here's hoping it won't be my last Fringe adventure!


P.S If I never hear 'The Power of Love' again, it'll be too soon. Just typing the words sets it off in my head, sigh.

* I managed to get it trapped between my train and its platform in Edinburgh by falling down the gap...don't do this folks, it's bloody and painful.
**Think how fun it was trying to say that when flyering
***For you non-theatrey people, corpsing is when someone breaks character and laughs on stage when they're not supposed to. Trying to make your co-stars do it whilst not doing it yourself is something of a talent. But of course, we're much too professional for that...*shifty eyes*