Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Book List Challenge

[Source-Open Clip Art Library]
Recently, whilst browsing through Buzzfeed (the King of procrastination websites, if you didn't know-to the point where I've just lost half an hour on it instead of writing up this post...) I came across a list entitled '65 Books You Need To Read In Your 20s' which caught my interest enough for me to actually read it rather than just skim through it.
I was intrigued because it wasn't full of the usual books which seem to populate the numerous '101 books you should read before you die' lists that I've seen in various corners of the internet-lists that are usually full of archaic classics that people think will complete your life when you read them. Here's the thing (and call me a heathen if you like) but I don't really enjoy reading classics-I find them really difficult to get through and the story lines are tiresome and tedious. I really don't like the excessive amounts of detail in them-every little thing has paragraphs of unnecessary description that you have to wade your way through to get back to the important plot points and I just find it really rather dull. I can't say that I wouldn't enjoy the stories in  the end (as I've never really given them a chance) I'm just really unmotivated to actually try and find out really. If given a choice I would always prefer to read one of my gory, modern-day thrillers over a classic book, even if they are all almost the same. I will let you judge me as you will.

This book list though, is different, because it is mostly comprised of books that I've never even come across before-I've only heard of 3 or 4 of them, and I've only actually read one. Plus I love a challenge with a time limit-I'm in my 20s, I love reading, I could totally tackle 65+* books in 7 years. I could probably read them before I was 25 actually, if I had them all already in a nice, teetering stack, and didn't have to physically locate them all.

So there we go. I'm setting myself a challenge-complete the list before the end of my 20s (Deadline: 7/7/30). It means I'll read books from all around the world, from every genre and most importantly ones I probably wouldn't have chosen to read for myself. I'm always wanting to increase the range of books that I read because I do have a bad habit of sticking to the same genres again and again-essentially reading the same story a hundred times. (Seriously, if you want to know how to write a crime/thriller/police novel I can give you the perfect formula off the top of my head!)
I'm not saying I'll enjoy every book, but I will endeavour to read them all cover to cover (unless they turn out to be truly awful a few chapters in, to the point where I can't bear to read any more). The ones I love, I'll keep, the ones I'm not so fond of will go to a charity shop or back to the library (if I ever get around to setting myself up with a library card, that is!). I'll review them, if I remember, or at the very least record whether I enjoyed them or not. I'm not going to read them in the right order, and I'm not going to solely read books from the list because I've got 7 years to do it, I'm not in a big rush. I only need to read 10 a year or so to keep on track, and I probably read at least five times that each year.

Whatever happens, my bookcase will be full and my brain will be brimming with tales. It should be fun!


*I say 65+ because some of them on the list are trilogies or series, so it's definitely a bit more than 65 in total.

P.S This is my 100th post, hurrah! Here's to the next 100 more, ey?
For all the updates and to see me talking about having a beard, like my Facebook page.

Monday, 27 May 2013

My Time With The Superbikes

From the Superbike website
I spent the past weekend "working" at Donington race track for the Superbikes World Championship weekend. My role has basically been to man an information point used mainly to give results out to riders and their teams. I was sat behind a table at the bottom of a flight of stairs, quite often with my nose in a book or scribbling down a new blog post in my notebook (Side note-I wrote this one while I was there too!). I actually rather enjoyed myself.

You know sometimes you get those really awful jobs, the ones where people don't even notice you or they do but they ignore you as if you weren't even there? The ones where you can feel a little bit of yourself being whittled away with each vacant stare until you feel as invisible as you must actually be for all these people to look through you as if you were nothing. Jobs like flyering, or those people who ask for money for charities in city centres (who everyone hates, lets face it) or the staff in fast food restaurants at 3 in the morning. Jobs that you do purely because you have to, not because you want to, where you can feel your spirit slowly dying with every passing minute?

This could have easily been one of those jobs. But this was not one of those jobs. Despite the fact that I was only there to give out bits of paper, despite the fact that I don't know anything about Superbikes, despite the fact people kept asking me questions I didn't have answers to-everyone said hello to me. Everyone who passed by my table on their way up/down the stairs smiled at me or greeted me in some way. I was literally the bottom most rung on the ladder in that place, and no-one there knew me at all, but everyone has been really nice to me.
I've had many conversations about the books I was reading-from joking remarks about how they hoped it wasn't Twilight or 50SoG to full on conversations asking whether they should read it themselves. People were constantly checking if I was warm enough (because my little patch of hallway was FREEZING), offered me wine gums or other sweets, or just a snippet of chit-chat as they passed by. I worked there for four days and already felt more valued than I had in some of my other places of work.
There was the odd occasion where people would sail right past me and my nicely stacked piles of results to ask the guy in the photocopy room for them directly, but most of the time he'd direct them back down to me anyway. I didn't really mind that-it could always be worse. At one point I saw two girls dressed in very very tight, very very white lycra body suits, decorated with a particular brand name and logo, wearing heels too high to actually walk in.
I mean really fellas, it's 2013, do we really still have to trick you into trying/buying something by putting it in the hands of scantily clad young ladies so you can ogle them for cheap kicks? She doesn't come with the free sample you know. If she was wearing clothes that meant you couldn't actually see her thong, would you shake your head in disgust and not be tempted?
"No, I wouldn't buy that product, she's wearing layers!"
"Euch, look how comfortable she looks! That's just not right."
I felt full of feminist ire (I had been reading Caitlin Moran in fairness) but at the same time I was rather relaxed and contented so couldn't get too outraged (I'll save that for another day!) because I'd had a weekend of people being really rather nice to me, reading good books and writing a large number of blog posts, (this one was my seventh, plus two half finished ones) so that I shouldn't struggle for content any time soon. Plus some of the bikers were rather easy on the eye so I was enjoying their visits too. (Hmm...does this make me as bad as the blokes gawping at the scantily clad ladies? I'll add it to the debate for another time.) I even got to see a race or two, too, which was obviously reallyfriggincool.

I won't miss the early starts though, and have been looking forward to my lie in this morning for days. Now I just have to find a way to keep myself amused this week whilst I've got the house to myself so I don't go either completely mad or completely nocturnal.

Goodbye Donington, you've been good to me (even if your icecreams are ridiculously expensive!)


Dearest readers, if you enjoy what I do here please would you take a moment to go and vote for me and Rara (Jenni and Sarah) in this competition? We really want to win but we're lagging behind somewhat. Get your mum to vote, get your dad to vote, get your sisters, brothers, nan, dog, everyone you know to vote. If I win I promise you excellent blog posts about my trip (Blog posts may not be excellent) and cake (cake may not be possible) and undying gratitude and love (Virtually, nothing icky.) THAAAAAAAAAAAANKS.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

30 Posts of Truth-Part 9

9. Someone You Didn't Want To Let Go Of, But Just Drifted

When I was at college (16-18) I had quite a few friends across my modules and subjects, some who I've kept and some who have sadly fallen by the wayside. I've always hated losing friends, there's always been people who I've not wanted to let drift out of my life but sometimes it seems inevitable.
My three closest friends at college were three guys that I used to hang around with a lot-we used to sit around nattering for hours after we'd finished for the day, claiming a bench in the local shopping centre or on a nice day finding a space in the market square. We used to do stuff at the weekends and in the holidays too-either all four of us or various combinations thereof. I spent a year going to gigs with them too, and I've never seen as many different bands in one time period as I did when we all hung out-it was really fun. 

But time passes, and people move on.

I had a sort of falling out with one member of the group in our gap year and though we eventually patched it up, things were never the same. We went to universities scattered across the country-Durham, Sheffield, Birmingham, Nottingham-and even when we were all in the same place we were revising, working or too poor too meet up often so we just grew away from each other. University changed us (as university does) into new people and I can hardly claim I know them any more. Last I heard they were all doing very well for themselves (certainly better than I am!) and are still scattered country-wide. We exchange friendly greetings on Facebook when it's someone's birthday or something exciting happens but that's about the limit of our interactions nowadays, which is fair enough really after 4 years of not seeing each other.
I can't say I mind too much any more either, we've all of us moved on to new places, new people, new adventures.

But if someone offered me a chance to have one day like it used to be, one day where I wasn't the one with the most hair, one more curry night or trip to the beach where I got pushed over in the sand and splashed in the sea, one more endless summer day laughing in the Market Square? Well I'd seize the chance with both hands because I'm sentimental, because we had a really good time together, because I collect memories like some people collect stamps, because they were really fun times and sometimes I still miss them.
If you're reading this boys, have a drink* for me.


*Yes, it has to be a stupid girly drink that's bright pink or orange, with hardly any alcohol in it and only tasting of fruit, because that's how I roll =p

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Diary Of A Scrounger

Ugh, even this makes me feel depressed
I've been on the dole for a little over two months now and they've already made me want to jack it all in again-if it weren't for the fact that I kinda need the money I probably would have by now. I'm a little in awe of anyone who chooses to deliberately live like this (like our dear government seems to think so many people are doing)-going in for fortnightly meetings, being moved around from person to person, having forms filled in for you (because of course they're much too complicated to do by yourself!) and jumping through all of the necessary hoops to keep them satisfied that you're actively looking for work-it's exhausting and humiliating. I can't understand why anyone would choose that as a life for themselves if they had any other options.

When I was sat there the other day having the appropriate form filled out for me, there was a box to fill in my National Insurance Number, so I rattled it off to the guy. He continued searching through the various bits of paper looking for it so I assumed he hadn't heard me. I told him it again, and this time he acknowledged that I'd spoken to him, yet he still found the appropriate bit of paper and copied it down as if I'd never opened my mouth. I just felt like a child, like I couldn't be trusted to know my own personal information and it had to be verified through another source.

On another occasion my advisor expressed surprise that I hadn't got a job if I was applying to all the ones I'd listed on their stupid form. I told her why-because I'm really crap at application forms-then asked if they had anything that could help me with that. She basically replied that they only really have workshops to help people who have never had a job and that there wouldn't be any point in me going on them because they wouldn't tell me anything I didn't already know. Apparently I have had too much work experience for the job centre to help me find a job...great. Oh and my degree, that confuses them every time. I sometimes have to wonder if I am the only person who's come through Higher Education who's ever stepped foot in that place, the way they goggle at me like I'm an alien. Clearly the concepts of a graduate failing at life is not something they encounter all that often at the good ol' dole office.

This week they didn't give me any money. I've been racking my brains trying to work out why this is, because as far as I know I'd done all that they had asked of me. Apparently I didn't jump through every hoop properly, or forgot to do something and therefore MUST BE PUNISHED. Now I'm kinda lucky in that I do have a little bit of spare money to play with-money that was ear marked out for driving lessons but is slowly but surely being consumed by trips to Sheffield and a new waterproof coat for this lovely British summer we're having etc. I'm not desperate for the dole money (yet!), but I can't help but wonder what would happen if I was? What if that £113 was all that I had to last me two weeks, and it got taken away with no prior warning, where would that leave me? I had a meeting with my advisor last week, she could have told me what I had neglected to do, given me some forewarning that I wouldn't be getting anything this week, pointed out my mistake so that I wouldn't do it again. Instead the first inkling I had that I was getting any money for (at least) this fortnight was when it wasn't in my bank account on Monday morning. If I'd have needed that money to, y'know, LIVE OFF, I would have been absolutely screwed: No food for me this week, I have nothing to buy it with. That's OK though, because I can't even pay for the bus trip to the supermarket because I have no money. Better not turn on any lights or use any hot water because I have nothing to pay the bills with.
I know I am lucky because these aren't problems I am actually facing, but Jesus, if the people who run the country think that people would actually choose to live like that, their livelihood decided by the whim of someone else, then they're bigger wankers than I thought they were. Here I was thinking the job centre actually want to help people. Fat chance.


My dear readers, can I ask of you a huge favour? Me and my best friend Rara have made the final of a competition to win a holiday to Dublin but the result is decided by Facebook votes. Please can you spare a couple of seconds to go to this link and vote for 'Jenni and Sarah' to give us a shot? I would be forever grateful!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

What I'm Doing With My Unemployment...

I'm having a bit of a dull fortnight to be honest, nothing really interesting is going on in my life and so finding fun stuff to blog about it is a bit like panning for gold in a murky river-sometimes you get a glittering nugget of inspiration but most of the time it's just stones and mud. I'm so bored of late, nothing at all is happening to me-today I shaved my legs to give me something to do (I wish that was an exaggeration...) and the only reason I had to get up and get dressed (a dentists appointment) got cancelled before I'd even properly got out of bed. Another pyjama day, then.

In a bid to remind myself that life is fun, and also because a good friend of mine is pressuring me to write more blogs so she can read them as procrastination (Love you really AC ;) ) I'm going to tell you the fun stuff I'm doing with my unemployment and dole money.

-Bass Guitar
I found a Groupon for music lessons in September last year and bought it practically on impulse. I didn't really know what I wanted to do with it, I just wanted to do something. I opted for bass guitar, because it's a little different to standard guitar lessons, and because that way my Dad (who has been playing guitar since his teens) can't interfere too much. I begged my parents for a bass for Christmas, found one that I totally fell in love with, and was so lucky to find her wrapped up under my tree.

A friend told me to take a picture "rocking out"
so I did! </highlyselfabsorbedphoto>

Now she's not perfect-she isn't an expensive bass, and her strings need a bit of jiggering about with to get her sound right, but I love her. She's beautiful and lovely, and sounds reallyreally good. The only downside is that I can't afford lessons at the moment, but I'm going to ask for some birthday money to put towards them because I really want to get back to playing-I really like having something that's totally mine, that I chose to do completely as a whim and with no other influences.

-Swing Dancing
Technically, I haven't started this yet, but I've bought a block of 10 lessons, again on Groupon, because I've wanted to learn to swing dance ever since I went to a taster session at uni in my first year. Why I didn't join the society I don't know, but for whatever reason I didn't, so when I saw them crop up on Groupon, and after a quick Facebook consultation* I bought them for myself. I'm quite excited to get started! (Note to self...ring up and book!) I'm also hoping this will help make me a little fitter/healthier, just because I'm unemployed doesn't mean I can't look after myself, right?

-Pen Pals
I don't know about you but I really like getting nice things in the post. In a fit of boredom and insomnia one early morning I googled 'pen pal sites' just to see what would turn up. There was a surprising number but the one I liked the look of most was this one- -where you can create a short bio for yourself and leave your email address for people to get back to you. I got quite a few responses from mine-and now have four lovely pen pals from around the world! (Two in the States, one in Brazil and one in Italy) It's just really pleasant to be able to sit and write letters to people that I don't know at all on thick, creamy paper and in a fountain pen and it's also really nice reading about them too!

I dunno, it feels old fashioned and quaint and really quite nice, like a throw back to another time. I think that's why I love it, in this world of smart phones and twitter/Facebook and technology that allows us to keep in touch with people 24/7 I quite like the fact that you have to post a letter than wait weeks for a reply, it feels like you're slowing life down a little. I don't even know what any of these people look like yet, it's a tiny bit magic =)

At the same time I discovered my pen pal site, I discovered PostCrossing. A bit like my (failed!) attempt at sending postcards out to my followers, the premise is fairly simple-you get an address and send a post card to it. When the person receives that postcard, they register it on the site and then your address gets moved to the top of the list for people to send one to. So it's not quite like having a pen pal because you get postcards back from someone you've never sent one to, and so forth-it's really quite fun. I so far have received 16
postcards from all around the world and also sent lots everywhere too!

Please excuse the peculiar angle, this is a
wall on my stairs and really hard to

I've had to limit myself to only sending 5 postcards a month though, because otherwise it gets quite expensive, but none the less it's still awesome. I've even gained a blog follower or two from it (hello!) so it's reaching further than just pretty things landing on my doormat =)

So there you go. I mean that's obviously not everything I'm doing with my free time, I spent a lot of time on the internet, I read a lot and I visit my friends/get them to visit me when I can. It's definitely not all bad, but recently I've noticed that time seems to be slowing down, making days last years because I have nothing to do in them but search and apply for endless jobs that I'm not even qualified for anyway. It's got to that stage of boredom, where you resort to tidying your room because it's something that fills a couple of hours.

I am, however, glad for the little things, the moments of fun, for every time I get something mildly exciting in the post and for every time someone makes me laugh by talking to me on Facebook, even for 5 minutes.

Right, so that's this post done, now what to do next?..


*with answers that ranged from "Yes, then I'll have someone I can swing dance with" to "There will be menfolk there Jenni"-my friends know me well...

Sunday, 19 May 2013

30 Posts of Truth-Part 8

8. Someone Who Made Your Life Hell
(or treated you like shit)

When I first saw this list of truths I knew exactly who I'd be writing this post about-my first and second year housemate at university. For the sake of anonymity I'm not going to reveal her name, but I'll give her a pseudonym to save overuse of pronouns. Let's call her Tracey, because I don't actually know any Traceys so I hope I won't cause offence to anyone reading this. 

Now Tracey was the first housemate I met when I moved into my flat and she seemed nice enough-she jumped up from her room to shake my hand and helped me and my Dad bring my stuff up from the car. For the first few weeks of term we got on well enough, we went out together (as is practically required) in Fresher's week, we sat on the floor of our kitchen (we didn't have a living room) with our other housemates and found out all the interesting personal details about each other's sex lives, we generally rubbed along, whilst of course getting used to being away from home and in the big scary world of university. 

All the people that lived in our flat (plus two others) signed for a house together in the November, so I was obviously still getting along with her well enough by this point. I can't really remember at which point that changed, nor why it happened-truth be told I think I've blocked a lot of memories out of those two years because I can't remember much of it at all, and to be honest, I'm kinda grateful for that.

Maybe it's because we both had quite strong personalities-we both were vying for the "top dog" position I guess. Tracey was also one of those people who had to have the better story than you-no matter what situation you were in she had it worse/better. I can remember one incident where I, having not received any Student Finance at all at this point was very stressfully eeking out my £500 overdraft to last me the term. Tracey came into my room and complained at me for about half an hour that it was so unfair that her mum wanted to get remarried because if that happened  she would lose about a grand a year in loans. This from the same girl who was constantly telling us she would probably come out of university with no debt. From a girl from a fairly affluent family, who received full student loans because she lived with her mum, a single parent, but who also got money from her Dad plus two bursaries from the university for being there.
It's no exaggeration at all if I tell you that Tracey was the most self-centred person I have ever met. She basically thought the world revolved around her and if you contradicted that view then you were unequivocally wrong. She just made it very difficult for me to actually like her very much.

Fast forward to my second year, through the summer that I had spent dreading my return to uni, because I knew it meant returning to sharing a house with her. My stress levels were so high that I was probably an awful person to live with too, because I couldn't cope with the little un-important things because I was already at a level where everything caused me anguish. There were 6 of us in this house-me, Tracey and four others. At the start of the year it was just me that had problems with Tracey, and I had put it down to an epic personality clash between us or something. By the end of the year there were 5 of us left living in the house, and only one of them was still left talking to Tracey. She'd turned even the most easy going of people against her, someone who would go out of her way to be nice to everyone and always tried to understand things from the other person's point of view, so it can't have just been in my head. 
I don't remember any arguments though, that's the weird thing. I remember passive-aggressive Facebook updates (hers) and passive-aggressive notes (mine) but I don't remember any big blazing fall outs. All I know is that the situation devolved to the point where I ended up having to take special circumstances for my second year summer exams, so that I could retake them when not under the hugely stressful influence that was living with Tracey. That when my friend offered me a room in the house she had already signed for with 6 other people I'd never met before in the January of that year I took her up on that offer like she was throwing me a life boat as I was drowning. In a way, she truly was. 

As I said, it's weird, I don't really remember what caused it all, if it was any one thing. There are a few incidents that will stick in my mind forever-one that I shall refer to only as the Sugar Glider Incident *shudder* but I think overall I just couldn't tolerate someone who was that set on making all around her feel inferior. She had to show you that everything she had was better than whatever you had-her relationship, her grades, her life. She must have been desperately insecure but I can't feel sorry for her because she was just so horrendous to live with. She definitely made my life hell for a while, but thankfully I haven't seen her since the day she moved out for good (leaving her bedroom such a horrendous mess that we lost some of our deposit to have it cleaned professionally...) and have no intention of ever going back to resolve any of the issues between us. 

Actually, no, that's a lie. I did see her, the other day in a pub in Sheffield. She saw me at the exact same time...and then we both pretended we hadn't noticed a thing and carried on with our lives. And that is EXACTLY how I like it.

So long Tracey, I don't miss you.


Friday, 17 May 2013

Five Minute Friday-Song

At the moment I keep getting stuck on a single song that I feel the need to play over and over again. The other day it was 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' by Bonnie Tyler-I just kept playing it on repeat and singing along ALL DAY. Then came the turn of 'Let’s Fall In Love' by Ella Fitzgerald-again it got put on repeat and I couldn't stop singing it. More recently when I was feeling miserable it was Poison's 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn'* because it has words that I can relate to almost too well. I don't know why I keep getting taken over with the urge to listen to only one song for an entire day, but it keeps happening, so I just go with it.

I love singing, I've always sung things-whether it's bursting into song because someone said a phrase that's also a song lyric or just generally singing along to my music late at night so my parents come and tell me off because they can hear me downstairs. It's probably annoying as hell if you're one of my friends and I interrupt our conversation with random music, but I love it. It always makes me sad when I have a cold because I can't sing all the time. I'm not really a very musical person-I don't have (as my bass tutor put it) an internal metronome and I couldn't tell you what a note was if someone played it to me if I tried. But song lyrics stay with me forever-once I've learned them, whether it was for a show or just by listening to them on repeat hundreds of times, I know them for good. I might not get the tune spot on but I will know the words!

Source: Open Clip Art Library
I am someone who connects to songs completely-there's so many songs that speak to me, and have done throughout my life. Whatever the situation, whether I'm feeling happy or sad, there's a song lyric that reflects this. Songs that make me cry, songs that make me happy, songs that just make me go “YES. This person understands.” I love them all! In a way I collect them-I remember | all the songs that have held significance to me over the years, even if they don't any more. There's songs that will always remind me of people and will invoke memories in me, both happy and sad. There's songs that I can't listen to any more without giggling because me and a friend have either turned them into a personal joke, or misheard the lyrics, or just had a good time whilst they was playing. Similarly, there's songs which I actively avoid listening to because I know they'll just make me feel upset. I guess I have a kind of Pavlovian response to songs-they will always make me feel the same emotions that I have subconsciously attached to them as when I first discovered them. I wouldn't change it though, wouldn't go back and have those lyrics mean nothing to me again, because they're all significant for so many reasons, so many events in my life. My songs are important to me, and always will have a hold over me, and I wouldn't be without that for anything.


*My music taste is nothing if not eclectic!

| denotes where my 5 minute alarm went off

For more details about Five Minute Fridays or to read more entries/take part yourself, visit

To read more of my 5MF pieces, click here.

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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Letters to Mr. Nobody

[Source-Muffet on Flickr]
When I was with my first boyfriend, I developed a (bad) habit of writing him letters telling him all the things I couldn't bring myself to say to him because I was scared of the consequences (namely that I couldn't bear the thought that he might break up with me...again). I'd pour my heart out into those letters, smudging the ink with my tears (disadvantage of using fountain pens, right there) and telling him all the reasons he was making me unhappy and then...I'd never send them. I probably still have those notebooks full of my misery, full of letters that were never read by the person whose name they bore-he probably doesn't even know now how much I cried over him, over a relationship which I can now see (ah hindsight!) was already doomed to fail. Not even the strongest of bonds between people could be maintained with that wealth of unsaid words between them, and ours was certainly not what you would call a strong bond!

Why did I write the letters if I was never going to send them, I hear you ask? (I do, honest...) I guess I thought that if I could just get the feelings out onto paper, to feel the pain and cry the tears then I wouldn't feel them any more, that they wouldn't affect me when I was with him, that they wouldn't matter. Of course, that's nonsense-feelings don't go away because you took them out of your head and wrote them down, they still persist if you never speak to the appropriate person about them, unless you tell them that they're making you unhappy.

I tried harder with BoyfriendII to actually talk about stuff that was upsetting me, and for the most part it seemed to work much better-we had more arguments than me and BFI but felt like we tried to resolve them instead of pretending we didn't have problems and that our relationship was perfect. I stopped writing my feelings down as often, and when I did I showed him them-so we could discuss it and try to work through it. I felt like this was the much more mature and rational response to having a problem than just trying to hide it away from everyone and I guess it was really-airing grievances and all that, rather than leaving them to fester away in a drawer somewhere, niggling away at the back of my mind. Every sensible Discworld fan knows that words have powers of their own.
[Source-Open Clip Art Library]

I thought I'd left my letter writing habit behind me, more or less, but I recently seem to have fallen back into old habits. It's just easier to confess things to a reassuringly blank page than to tell someone something that might change the way they see you, or lead to judgement and condemnation. It's not just letters now, it seems, but blog posts too-I write them and never publish them for fear of revealing too much of myself and then never being able to go back to a point where it's not been read. I've got a letter full of emotions just itching to be sent, but I don't think I'll do it. I don't know if I can, or even if I should. I'm too hung up on the idea that telling people how I really feel just gives me nothing more than a million reasons to end up regretting it. I can't dissuade myself that revealing my emotions means that something will hurt me more than the contents of the letter ever would, that will make me wish I'd kept it safely tucked away in the dark with the rest of them.
Realistically I know that it's just a letter. A letter with some feelings in. Its something that by its very nature should be shared, should be read, a story that isn't told until seen with different eyes. Realistically I know that it won't make my world end, and that I really should just post the damn thing, if only as a way to get over the silly idea that the way someone reacts to something I have to tell them will just end up hurting me more, to get past the idea that feelings sometimes should be hoarded more closely than a dragon and its treasure.
Realistically, I know all this. Emotionally/Sub-consciously though? I'm not so sure.

What do you reckon?


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Sunday, 12 May 2013

30 Posts of Truth-Part 7

7. Someone Who Has Made Your Life Worth Living

There are lots of people I could have mentioned for this because there are lots of people who have, one way or another, done something amazing for me that I really needed at the time. Some of them have been there for the big things, some for the small things but they've all been there for me and I'm very grateful for all of them. But there is one person who I feel I should mention above all others and that's my best friend Rara.

Rara has been my best friend for all of my life, and I realise I'm incredibly lucky because not everyone has someone awesome in their life that long. She's known me every day of my life (she's 3 months older than me so not every day of hers!) and I've known her every day of it-our mums are best friends too. As I tried to explain it to someone the other day-it's like when you have a brother or sister. You can never go back to a point where you don't have a sibling, and they'll always be someone you're inexorably linked to-I'm like that with Rara. She's my constant-no matter where I live she'll be my bestie and provide me with endless endless giggles. Every time we get together we laugh ourselves silly for one reason or another, and we have so many in-jokes between us that it's almost like we're talking in code. We went for a photoshoot together in December (thank you Wowcher!) and the photographer even commented how we were a proper double act. We got him laughing pretty hard too!

She's my perfect bed partner and doesn't wake up even if I get out of bed (and clamber over her in the process), we go on holiday together and bicker like an old married couple and we always text each other when one of us does a stupid thing that'll make the other one laugh. We have a million memories between us (most of which she can't remember at all =p) and they all make us grin like loons. When I told her I couldn't ever find her on Facebook because I always searched for 'Rara' she added it into her name to make life easier for me. We go on adventures and day trips and have sleepovers and giggle til our sides hurt. She's the other piece of my jigsaw and I love her to pieces.

She's made my life worth living just because I can't imagine what it would have been like (BORING) without her in it.

I loft thee, Razziepants!


This bit's just for you, hope it makes you gibbon:

-Ungh Ungh-Fleckle Fleckle Fleckle-Can I put my finger in your moth?-Every day on a regular basis-I wear goggles when you are not there-sneezing and farting-"I'll put in on Macro...Where's it GONE?-MUSHROOM-Bit nits-Baps and cream, baps, baps and cream-Mummy B's turning into a turkey!-You know the quality street wrappers? I put them on my face!-Clubfoot and Strokeface-Cabbages? Cabbafges? Cabbamfges?-That had lumps in but I swallowed it anyway-Colosseum?-I can see your badger-Whisking and sieving-I left boob behind the cat-

We are such wrdidpoos =D

Also this:

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Fringe Fever

Yesterday I arrived home from a mad but wonderful weekend away performing at the Brighton Fringe festival, tired out and achy but content. The weekend has sped by so quickly and I have almost no idea what day it is any more-it feels like I've had four Saturdays in a row. There's this weird atmosphere I've noticed around Fringe Performances-like you're living in a kind of bubble universe separated out from the real one. Everything else temporarily stops existing and your world shrinks down to your cast and crew, the show and the in between time (often spent flyering, eating or getting drunk!). Emotions are exaggerated and heightened and feelings get stretched and flipped about on their head until you're not quite sure what's real or what's not. The same faces become your life-you spend 24 hours a day with them-eating, sleeping, performing and of course sharing a bathroom. You learn each other's habits almost unconsciously-who snores, who isn't a morning person, who spends ages in the shower, who sleeps almost naked, who is a fussy eater, who will hog the mirror in the bathroom. Nerves are pulled taut and strummed like a harp, thoughts don't make sense and you start to feel differently about people just because you've spent all that time together.

And then, like someone taking a needle to a bubble, it all stops.

I always feel a bit melancholy on the last evening of a Fringe show, because I know that that is it, it will never feel like that again. Even if you gathered the same people together it wouldn't be the same without that fevered intensity, without the only thing that matters being The Show, without the stresses and awesomeness of living and performing together as one highly functioning machine made of many parts working side by side. It's always such a come down to reality again, to exams, to deadlines, job applications and work. And while it's always blissful to sleep in your own bed again, you still wake up half expecting to be surrounded by people in various states of undress and sleep deprivation. I always find I need a bit of a readjustment period, to get used to how normal life feels again, rather than the slightly off-kilter world of the Fringe. I find I need to realign my thoughts too, to get used to thinking in straight lines again rather than the topsy turvy helter skelter of trying to have three different conversations at once whilst drowning out several more. It's almost too quiet to be on your own, yet the solitude is lovely after being around people constantly for four days.

The come down also gives you time to think about the madness of it all more objectively, now that the Fringe Fever no longer holds you tight in its grip-time to work out which emotions and feelings were real and which would have never happened in a 'normal' situation. You can forgive people some of the things they did, decide which you want to hold on to and which you just want to forget. You can feel shame at some of things that you did or said, pride or happiness at others. You sink slowly back into your normal life and it's almost like it never happened, like the madness never wrapped you and drove your every move, your every thought.

It's always there though, at the back of your mind, waiting to be pulled on like a comfy sweatshirt the opening night of the next show that takes over your life. And I, for one, welcome it back.

The cast and crew of Titus at the Brighton Fringe, May 2013

Thanks for an awesome weekend folks. Back to reality, for now...


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Sunday, 5 May 2013

30 Posts Of Truth-Part 6

-I'm still performing in Brighton so this post has been pre-scheduled-

6. Something You Hope Never To Do

Honestly, I meant it when I said it, I never want to have kids. People never seem to tire of pointing out to me that I'm ONLY 22, that one day my hormones will kick in and I'll feel all broody and that this is pretty much an inevitable part of being a woman, and I'm pretty sick of hearing it all to be honest.
So what if I am only in my twenties-I still know my own heart, my own mind, my own body-and none of these things are telling me that I want to procreate-in fact they're saying the opposite. A large part of me doesn't really understand the desire so many people have to have children, and I'm not sure I ever will. OK, so perhaps one day I will come over all hormonal and start cooing over babies whenever I see one until I feel like my ovaries are about to explode with longing. Maybe. Maybe I'll change my mind someday and decide what will really complete me is a tiny person entirely dependent on me for its survival,  that will leak all manner of disgusting bodily fluids everywhere and ruin all my precious things. Maybe. Maybe, though, I won't. Maybe I'll never feel that inexplicable urge to breed that so many people seem to share. Or perhaps I will feel it but will ignore it anyway in pursuit of a life that is entirely mine. Who can say? Perhaps I'll actually end up having 13 children and living happily ever after under piles of toys and dirty washing and whatever other strange and mystical things kids seem to cultivate. Right now, I can't think of anything worse.

I also hope to never end up in a committed relationship with someone who is desperate to be a father-someone who will never be happy to be with just me but will always feel like something is missing. I doubt it'll ever happen, but if I end up with someone who has always pictured having children then there's no way it could work forever-at some point I'd have to make them choose between having me and having something that they'd always dreamed of-and I'm not sure it's a battle I would win easily. I don't want to be that person, I don't want to give someone that ultimatum, don't want to make someone choose between the love they have and the children they might have someday. I also wouldn't want to lose, to end up broken hearted because I wouldn't give them the thing that they'd always wanted, because no matter how much I loved them, I couldn't have kids just to keep them mine. It would be wrong. I just really hope it's a conversation I never have to have.

So there we go-something I never want to have to do in my life-create another person. I'd also really like people to stop expecting me to want to as well, but that might be a wish too far ;)


Friday, 3 May 2013

Friday Letters The Second

Hello again!
Apologies for not blogging again this week, but it's slipped through my fingers like a fish in a stream and all of a sudden it's Friday again, when it feels like Monday was only yesterday. I've not been doing anything particularly huge, but all the little things seem to have added up and stolen my time from me. And now, today, I am off to Brighton to take part in a show that's running over the opening weekend of their fringe festival.  Some friends of mine have started a small theatre company, and I am in the cast of their very first show-Titus-and thoroughly excited about it. I'm sure you'll get a full blog on the matter next week!
Here's some Friday letters:

Dear People of Brighton: Please look after us, come and see our show and laugh at us. There's nothing worse than performing to an empty theatre, and it is a very good show.

Dear Weather: Stay as lovely as you were yesterday, pretty please. It was glorious.

Dear Body: Please, please let me get to sleep OK in the hostel room with my fellow cast members. It's going to be a pretty rotten weekend for us if you insist on keeping us awake with stupid anxiety, as usual.

Dear Headphones: We've got a lot of train journeys ahead. Please, please last this weekend before you fail completely.

Dear Bag: Please fit all my stuff in OK without bursting at the seams! You've never failed me yet *crosses fingers*

Dear London: I've got three glorious hours to explore you today, be kind to me and please don't let anyone steal my camera again. Camden Market/Covent Garden, I'm coming for you.

Dear Fellow Cast Members: Break a leg and let's have a ball ey? Just please no more crustacean references ;)

Dear Brain: I get it, you think we need a boyfriend again, and that we need one now. Fine. But please can you stop sending me sexy dreams with my friends in, it's getting kind of awkward now.

Dear Future Love of my Life: Can you arrange to meet me soon, if only to shut my stupid subconscious up? I'm looking forward to awkwardly falling for you.

Dear Me: Enjoy your stage time and your weekend. Just have fun.


If you're in the area and fancy a giggle, please come and see Sheep Theatre's performance of 'Titus' at The Old Courtroom, Brighton. More details/tickets here.