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Sunday, 27 December 2009

Sunday Shout Out

As you can probably guess from the title, I have decided to start letting you all know which blogs I read and why I read them. I should mention right here and now, this will probably not be every Sunday, so don't be too crushed if it doesn't turn up in your blogger 'recent posts' one week.

Anyway, this week I am going to point you to Anna Re:Born this is a fairly new blog but Anna is no stranger to blogging and you can read her previous blog here.

I really enjoy this blog as it is usually quite well written and is interesting and quirky. Anna has a way of telling us about her life in one of the more interesting ways I've seen and is often updated - so I can get my blog fix almost every day.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Self-Service Machines are What's Wrong with the World

Ok, so that title could be a little mis-leading. I take it back - self-service machines are only what's wrong with the world if you hold friendship and self-fulfillment (of any kind other than money) important. That is perhaps more accurate.

When doing my Christmas shopping (so thankful that that's over, now January sales time!) I noticed that more and more shops seem to be acquiring self-servicing machines; among them: boots, the post office and tesco (though to be fair, they've had them a while in my local tesco). I guess on the positive side, they may save some time - we don't have to queue quite as long, at least until the machine breaks or someone can't work out how to use it.

But on the negatives: they break; they lose jobs (only one person is needed to supervise however many self-servicing checkouts are available, as opposed to a person per till; they are supposedly simply yet I think I managed to put the wrong postage sticker on a few of my parcels; and, perhaps most importantly, they are yet another way for us to not communicate with other living, breathing people.

Now, I am not particularly a people person, there are many times when I just don't want to talk to anyone and the internet is great for that as you simply press the 'appear offline' button, but let's face it, communication (actual speaking and reacting to body language) is an important part of our lives. I don't think that losing it will benefit our society in any way, yet we still seem content to shunt human interaction further and further away. People need to socialise; it's in our genes; it's a survival instinct. If you don't believe me, lock yourself away for a week or two (no family, no friends except those you talk to through a computer) and you'll soon find yourself pining for interaction, not to mention the fact that you'll probably be bored out of your mind - there is a limit to how long you can play facebook games for!

Perhaps queueing for the till might take a little longer, but allowing yourself that time to slow down isn't a bad thing. And make sure you smile and thank whoever it is that serves you - they've probably had a long, hard day and just want to go home (but at least they have a job which they might not if everything was done electronically).

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Another blog?

Ok, so this is a question to all of you, my readers, and I'd really like it if you could leave your opinions, thanks.

Basically I'm considering starting another blog. Firstly, don't panic - this blog will still be here, full of my random observations and rants at the world. But this new blog... that will be about me. Yep, a blog for me to write all about myself (how egotistical can I be?) - what I do, what I eat, when I sleep - you get the gist. So my question is - does anyone actually want to read about my personal life (and if you do, why and what exactly would you want to know?). There's a possibility I'll start it anyway (I'm nosey enough to read other personal blogs so makes sense to put myself there as well - someone might want to know)

So please leave your thoughts in my comments, thanks.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Birthday Bash!

It was Carrie's Birthday Bash 2 days ago. I have not been myself the last few days - overly busy followed by overly lazy and today when I finally got round to checking blogger, I was horrified to find that I had missed my first online party! But then I remembered...
that little thing called time travel. And so I am travelling back 2 days, but first I go back a few years to find my old prom dress:

Obviously, travelling by time travel I don't need to worry about finding a mode of transport, instead, I just appear at the door (thought it better to appear outside rather than simply materialize in the middle of the room and give everyone heart attacks). It was a great day, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone and the food was good too!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Oh No, I didn't (Oh Yes, I did)

When I was younger I always loved going to the Pantomime; it was our family tradition to get slightly dressed up for a night together at the theatre, laughing at the lame jokes and having to have Dad talk us into clapping and shouting out "He's behind you!" (secretly I always wanted to join in but would never admit it).

So this year, when my Scout group asked if I wanted to go with them, I jumped at the chance. In many aspects it was the same - the ritual handing out of sweets along the row (there were 6 members of my family so it really was a case of passing the sweets along); only the adults joining in; some terrible actors (and a few good ones) and the well-loved character of Buttons. Although, this time Buttons was played by Basil Brush (yes, you read that right) who materialised from a mini TARDIS and the songs were well-known and slightly irrelevant including You Are Not Alone (as a Michael Jackson fan for most of my life, I absolutely abhor the idea of other people singing his songs as they tend to butcher them) and Right Here, Right Now (I don't mind a bit of HSM but when the actors in the film sing it better, you know you have a problem).

Overall though, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to revisit a childhood tradition (I still can't quite work out when it died out) and you never know, I may have made a new tradition for myself by going with the Scout group each year.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Is it because I'm British?

Yesterday, I went for my lunch time Costa as I do every week (sometimes, 2 or 3 times a week - what can I say? It's my guilty pleasure). Anyway, I ordered my usual medium and they gave me a small. So I did the worst thing imaginable - I complained. Yes, I actually took it back up the till and said "I'm really sorry, but I ordered a medium." They took it and a few minutes later supplied me with the medium I had ordered (and paid for) but the look they gave me just made me want to shrink up inside myself. I'm sure they'll forget - they must see hundreds of people - but everytime I go there now, I know I'll be worrying that they will be remembering the time I complained. And the worst thing is I knew that I was totally in my right to do this - yet I am the one apologizing? What is going on here? Why do I feel so terrible about getting what I paid for? Is it really because I'm British; everyone is always saying how polite we are (we do stand in queues) but are we too polite? Let me know - I'm especially interested to hear from those who aren't British and your views, or are you British but have no problems sending food back (I know I can't do it)?

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Planet 51 Review

The people on Planet 51 are enjoying their 50's and many of them are becoming obsessed with the new film Humaniacs III. That is until a real Humaniac lands on their planet and madness ensues as they try to save themselves. Meanwhile, Chuck has landed on a planet that he expected to be uninhabited (afterall, humans are the only race, right) only to find himself unable to get back to Earth as the locals believe he wants to eat their brains. It is only with the help of Lem (the resident astronomer) that he will have any chance of evading the military.

The cheese (especially the music) and the cliches make this film what it is and I found that it made the film much more enjoyable and funny, despite sometimes being obvious. I highly recommend this to anyone with children or anyone looking to just relax and have a good time without anything remotely taxing on the mind.

My rating: 4.5 stars

Friday, 4 December 2009


Do you write letters? I don't mean emails and I don't mean texts or blogs. I mean real handwritten letters to friends. Personally I love writing letters almost as much as I love receiving them. Knowing that that person has taken the time to sit down and think about me enough to write to me when I get something through the post - it makes my day. But I have noticed that not many people recipricate my love of letters. I think most people see it as a waste of time and money - why buy a stamp when you can quickly type a few lines and it will be received almost instantly (in theory)? Everything in this world has to be so fast and immediate and I find I just can't keep up - everyone is running themselves into the ground and I worry that suddenly we will find ourselves in a pickle due to our lifestyles. So my suggestion? Take some time out and write to someone, anyone. It could be someone you see everyday or someone you haven't seen in years, or someone with an illness/disablility (PostPals is a good site for this). But take a few minutes out of your day to stop and think about someone else and show this with a handwritten letter - I guarantee you'll feel better.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

A Birthday Bash

I am attending Carrie's first Blogging Birthday Bash here and everyone is invited. I'm so excited as this is the first time I'll have ever participated in any cyberspace event, I know my friend Kess is also attending, so feel free to come and join the fun.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Not Finished

You may have noticed that my word counter (to your right) hasn't gone up in a while. This is because I haven't written any more of my novel - I have officially given up on NaNoWriMo. But I am not that disappointed as I got a fair chunk done and I have realised that it is possible to find time to write for myself if I really want to (though maybe not to the extent that I did - causing myself to work so hard I nearly broke down). So I am going to leave the word counter up. I want to finish this novel - even if it still takes me a few years to do it, and leaving the counter up might just be the motivation to remind me that I need to write.

Well done to everyone who has/will finish their 50000 words before December, and to the rest of us - remember that there's always next year BUT November ISN'T the only month you are allowed to write!

Monday, 23 November 2009


I watched the docu-drama 'Enid' on BBC4 the other day. I was expecting it to be less than complimentary as I am an Enid Blyton fan, and am well aware of problems in her personal life. However, what was highlighted that I'd never really considered before was the effect of fame and the media on her life. The fact that she was aware of the slander being spread about her (that she didn't write her own books and that she was old-fashioned in her writing) creates a conflict for me. On the one hand I feel that not knowing and living in ignorance is often underrated - what you don't know can't hurt you. On the other hand, I am glad that at least she had a chance to defend herself. I guess I was just slightly surprised at how the media hasn't changed - they are still looking to find a good story, often bending the truth of celebrities to make good gossip (in my opinion).

As for Enid Blyton herself, I am not going to pass judgement on something that I cannot understand - her personal life. However, I will always be a fan of her work as it made my childhood, to the point that I now collect her books. The only problem I really have is the new, PC versions being printed now. So much is being lost from history by changing these books so I will always stick to the originals, no matter how hard they are to find. Not to mention that an average of 6000 words a day is simply inspirational.

Saturday, 21 November 2009


I am a collector of stuff - I have collections of fairies, lord of the rings, and books, books, books. Often I read things about decluttering as it gives us a more fulfilling existence; after all, they tell us, we can't take it all with us. And this may be true. If there is an afterlife, we won't be able to take all our material stuff with us. But I don't think that that's a decent reason to not have and enjoy the stuff we can accumulate.

Stuff is what makes us who we are. I know we all have personalities etc. but when we die (sorry to suddenly sound all morbid) all that is left of us is memories and stuff. And when those with the memories die (I did apologize already), all that is left is the stuff. So stuff is important - it tells others what kind of person we might be. Don't diss it because you are not as materialistic as me; it just means I have a different way of coping with the emminant death than you do, not worse, not better, just different.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Out of Order

One of my classes today was on the fifth floor (as it is every week). This is fine as there is a lift though I often find I have to wait and then when I finally get in I am squished against the many other people who seem to need it. Not good for my claustrophobia.

The problem today was that when we came out of our class we discovered that the lift was 'Out of Order'. This meant I had to walk down five flights of stairs - a quick way to remind me that my body hates me. It took my at least 20 minutes, stepping with both feet onto each step, large portions of my body being held up by my arms clinging to the railing. It was exhausting to the point where I just wanted to break down in tears and not continue. I was passed by many other students and lecturers, all giving me strange looks as if to imply 'what are you making such a fuss for?' and I wanted to scream at them. Only one person asked if I needed help, but my pride wouldn't let me say yes, after all, I only had the last half a flight to get down. I felt humiliated simply because he had asked (yes, I know that you can't win with me - I don't like people who ignore the fact I'm in pain but I hate it when you offer you're help).

After all this, I had to walk home, something that I somehow managed. And it came into my mind that it is me that is 'Out of Working Order'. My body just won't let me be who I want to be, won't let me do everything, if not anything. So don't tell me that M.E/C.F.S isn't real. Don't tell me that I'm making up - if I could get rid of it, I'd happily pay anything, do anything to. So just because I look like I'm just like you, that doesn't mean that I am as able, or that I'm lazy. I am in pain and I hate it. (I'll give my apologies now to everyone I know who fully understands the extent of my life - this obviously doesn't apply to you). Please think before you judge - you cannot know what everyone is going through.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Too Many Expectations

Lately I have been embracing my inner domestic goddess. Take today for example; I haven't done any uni work (yet) but have: baked a complex cake; done some washing; changed my bedding and enjoyed tv, book and magazine as well. More and more often I am finding that I prefer myself in this state. I am calmer and my efforts have a more physical presence than simply doing research for my degree. I don't have to worry about deadlines and so take the time to relax between tasks, making sure I don't overwork myself.

Don't get me wrong, I love learning and I love going to uni. But I am beginning to question my future of a job where I have to work hard to get anywhere (this is my brain remember). Though I am still adament that I don't want children (though I would consider adoption) and I don't want to get married; I can't deny that being a housewife is beginning to seem a great idea - let's face it, I probably won't ever be able to work full time thanks to my M.E/C.F.S, so perhaps this is where I was heading all the time.

The main problem I have with this is that I have been brought up to believe that I can do whatever I want in life, that I should chase my dreams. Of course there is nothing wrong with this theorem but to me this meant - get a job, be a highflyer, you're smart enough to earn lots of money. And so now I have to face my beliefs and work out what it is that I really want. It is scary and confusing but I know I can always change my mind if what I decide doesn't work out. Am just wondering if society's pressure on women to do everything has effected any of my readers in the way it is effecting me? Please leave any comments you have on this (whether you are male or female).

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Remembrance Silence

Yesterday, as the bell rang out through the university indicating the two-minute silence, my whole class fell silent. However, the effect of silence, respect and remembrance was ruined by those next door who continued their lecture. Is this respect for those that gave their lives lost? Are we forgetting the importance of taking a moment of silence? I'm not saying that they have to care (though I would hope that everyone realises the importance of not forgetting, so it never happens again); I just wish people would show the respect to those who wish to remember by shutting up - it's only 2 minutes, I'm not asking for a lot.

So if you were one of those who forget, try and remember next time that someone near you may want to remember, and being silent may give you the chance to think of those who gave their lives in a futile attempt to bring peace (I am a pacifist and believe violence actually makes things worse and wars cause more problems than it solves).

Monday, 9 November 2009


Have you ever been shopping and come home to find that you have forgotten to buy something, more often than not, the item that ws the whole reason for the shopping trip in the first place. This happened to me yesterday and it's not the first time. In fact, though I am very organised and often write lists, I still manage to forget things. I forget the list, I miss something off the list, I get it ready to pack (for holiday) but forget to put it in my bag. Is it just part of the human condition that we are unable to remember everything?

I'm tempted to say that it's because there is so much going on in my mind all the time, that you cannot possibly expect me to remember what I was thinking of in the first place but, though this has every possibility, I believe it's more likely down to laziness. I am often too lazy to actual write the list or organize my desk so I can find the list once it's written and so I bring it on myself. It is my hope that one day I'll be able to remember everything (afterall, I've never forgotten to pack the same thing twice so in theory I'll run out of things to forget soon) but perhaps I am just asking too much of myself.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Every Little Helps

It is day 7 of NaNoWriMo and I am only 3,500 words (or there about) behind target - and I have the rest of the day to catch these up. But what I've learnt doing this that is that every little really does make a difference. Even if I only have 10 minutes I can get some words down and it all starts to add up (see my progress to your right).

It occurred to me that this is true of anything. All large tasks can be broken down into smaller ones. Take for example tidying and cleaning. Now I don't really enjoy doing this - I don't know anyone who does (except perhaps Monica from Friends). And the main problem I have is that I don't do any and I don't do any and it adds up into a frightful mess. But if I were to spend 10 minutes a day tidying/sorting/cleaning, my room probably would stop looking like the tip it is currently in. And the best bit is once you get started it can become addictive - those 10 minutes turn into 20 minutes and before you know it everything is sparkling and shiny.

So Tesco really does have a point when it states that 'Every Little Helps'.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Uplifting blog

I had a post already made in my head but after reading Kess' shout out to my blog I couldn't go and ignore it. To start with I will post a link to her thought-provoking blog here: The Passing Place Not because she shouted out to me (I probably would have gotten around to sharing her blog at some point) but because she was my first follower and I have found her blog to be uplifting when I'm just not feeling myself.

The past few days I have been working very hard, what with uni (I have started researching and it's addictive), the novel, starting a creative writing society and general life. The result is my M.E has hit back with a vengence, making me almost bedbound. I came online to cheer myself up and the first post I read was all about this blog - there would have been no better way to cheer me up and keep up my faith and belief in myself and the universe.

While Kess and I have very different faiths, I have noticed that we often hold the same values and beliefs about the world - it's not what you believe, it's how you act within the world. So thank you Kess for your wonderful gift.

Saturday, 31 October 2009


November is National Novel Writing Month. For the first time I am going to attempt this crazy competition. In the past I've always put it off as it seems like a crazy amount of work - 50000 words in 30 days. Of course it's still a ridiculous amount of work, and I don't really believe that I'll complete it. But if nothing else, I'm hoping a sizable chunk of my novel will get written. I WILL write something every day.

The novel I'm going to write is one that has been sitting in my mind for years. I even wrote the first few pages a few years ago but never got any further. I want the motivation, I need to write this. And if I don't do it now, what's to say I'll do it later - now is better than never. I still have a lot of other work to do, but I am going to give it my best shot. And who knows - I might actually finish (but don't hold your breath).

Monday, 19 October 2009

Writing as Therapy

This year at uni we are studying Creative Non-Fiction and a lot of this is autobiography and memoir based - writing about yourself. Now we are told that our course is in no way meant for therapy but it is my belief that this type of writing lends itself very heavily to therapeutic writing just because there is so much about memory and self-analyse within it.

I personally believe that writing can solve a lot of personal problems - when my life isn't go the way I want it to, or I feel confused, I let myself write it out. By this I mean I sit with a pen and paper and just let myself write whatever comes into my mind. When I am doing this for self-analysis I focus more on myself and always write in the first person. I have found that quite often I work out what I'm actually worried about (and then I can address it) using this method. And though it is a valid type of writing, I feel that it is too personal to show the world - it is for my eyes alone.

The writing we do for this module is the next step up from this very personal self-analysis - working it into something publishable. But my point in this post is basically to say that writing can be very useful on a personal level and can help you realise who you are - it doesn't always have to be about getting published (though if this is what you want, then go for it).

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Running and Reaching

I was watching Casanova today (the BBC production written by Russell T. Davies, starring David Tennant) and it brought up a point that I have often thought about. It basically stated that it was better to have loved and lost than never loved at all; better to strive for a need and never reach it than have everything you need with nothing to live for.

As someone who has loved, fully and completely, with nothing in return, I know that I felt more alive then than I have in the rest of my life. In fairness I never lost (or in my mind I didn't) as we stayed amazing friends, and still are, never becoming more than that. So I would definitely agree with the first statement - loving is better than not loving, even when the second option is the safer one.

The second statement poses a problem for me as I've never needed anything. I barely even want anything - instead I create needs and wants that are fake and unreal. Though I always know that they are fake so it doesn't really work. I've often felt that I have no reason to keep going, day by day, as I don't NEED or WANT anything - I have nothing to run after. So I guess I would agree with the second statement as I know how hollow this kind of living is - all I need is something to want/need and so I will keep searching for it and hope that this searching is enough to propell me forward.

Friday, 16 October 2009

You Must Write

I am not a professional writer and though it would undoubtably be amazing to be published, I am sure that if that day never comes I'll be content that that's the way it is. The reason - WRITING IS BLOODY HARD WORK. I am in actual fact lazy. OK, I'm not necessarily proud of it but I prefer to sit at home playing pointless games on facebook to having to deal with real life and actually do some work. The thing about writing is that not only is it hard work, but the only motivation you have comes from yourself. At the moment I am doing a lot of writing but only because I have a close group of friends (all of whom are writers themselves) to make me sit down and do the work. Not to mention that if I didn't, I would fail my degree - something I'm not planning on doing. But to make writing really work, you have to do it every day. This is advice I've read over and over but it is only by doing it everyday that you realise just how important this practice is. Perhaps over time (I'm hoping) it will become part of my routine to write and so I will continue honing my craft and enjoying the process. Because the other important aspect of writing is that you have to love it - if you didn't you would have to be getting paid an awful lot to keep going (and we all know how rare that is).

I know I will always write because I am compelled to. But without motivation and determination that is as far as it will ever get for me. To be honest, I don't mind THAT much; but it would be nice to know that all this effort is leading somewhere. I don't want to find myself giving up - because that leads to the guilt and the shame and the pointlessness of it all which I find it best to avoid. So my advice: only write if you HAVE to write because you would die if you didn't. And if you're going to write - do it every day and give it the best damn shot you can. Then again, you can ignore me completely and just continue on as you are - I'm just sharing what I have learnt and what I believe to anyone out there who wishes to listen.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Life's Too Short to Read Proust

I am going to start by saying that I have never read Proust and so in fairness, the title of this post isn't my opinion. But it is the opinion of one of my tutors. Generally I just want to focus on the life's too short part.

When reading especially, I have this habit of wanting to read anything and everything even if it doesn't grab me at the beginning - once I've started it, I want to finish it. Usually it's just to get it out of the way but also it's almost as if I feel that I will let myself down if I don't finish it. When my tutor stated in class 'Life's too short to read Proust' part of me wanted to go and find the 14 volumes of his autobiography and get stuck in. But the other part of me, the part that wants to change and grow and learn decided that she had a point. I will never be able to read everything before I die so I probably shouldn't be wasting time with things I find boring (unless of course they are necessary, as in reading them for uni).

We don't have a lot of time on this earth - even if we don't notice how precious time is as we're living through it, we won't last forever. And it is my personal belief that once you die there is no afterlife, just the memories of you that others hold. So the only important thing in life can be what you do and how you act. If you knew you only had 24hrs to live, you probably wouldn't spend that time reading something that you don't care about; I know I wouldn't. But the fact of the matter is that you could die tomorrow (though I hope you, or I, don't) and what would you have used your time alive for? Have you wasted it or have you used it to get the experiences you need and/or want? I'm not suggesting for a moment that you should be wastful of your money, leave your job or have no regard for your future - just because you might die tomorrow doesn't mean that you will and you will have to continue your life and live through the repercussions of your decisions today. But that's really another post.

So to sum up - is reading this blog improving your life in anyway or are you wasting time reading about opinions you don't care about and that later, you will wish you had been doing something better with your time?

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Review: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

Firstly let me just tell you I went to see this film in 2-D so if you're looking for reviews of the effects - look elsewhere as I don't like 3-D films. OK, now onto the film, you probably don't need to know that it was a deserted cinema, just me and my bf with the entire screen to ourselves, but there you go - I have put it in now.

I totally enjoyed this film. It is funny with enough serious undertones for you to notice but to completely ignore if you so choose. Flint Lockwood is a young inventor set on saving his small town which is quickly losing money and colour. When his newest invention actually works he starts adventures with his best friend Steve (an awesome monkey fitted with a thought transmittor allowing him to communicate) and the weather girl on the scene, Sam Sparks. The invention: a device that turns water into food! The story follows how his success effects Flint and the rest of the town, unti it starts to go horribly wrong. Although Steve steals the spotlight from the main characters quite often, all the characters are entirely loveable - except perhaps the Mayor - and totally memboral.

I would recommend this film for anyone who wants to get away from real life for a little while (afterall, isn't that the reason we go to the cinema?). Aimed at kids, this animated movie will enthrall, sicken, and homour the entire family. Be prepared to be showered - in every food you can imagine.

Sunday, 4 October 2009


Today I got up at 9.45am and am already feeling the benefits. I have more energy and motivation to get things done. Already this morning I have had a shower, created and printed off my C.V (time to get started looking for a Christmas job) and now I'm writing this blog.

Normally I don't get up until I have to, and days when I don't have to, you'd be lucky to see me before 1 or 2 pm! But I'm beginning to think that's part of my problem. By the time I drag myself out of bed, half the day has already gone so I feel guilty about missing so many daytime hours. So to make myself feel better I watch crap and eat - proven not to be the best solution. So now I'm trying to make a difference. I am going to bed before midnight and am going to try and get up before 10am every day, including those when I don't have class.

If you're like me and usually stay in bed for as long as possible only to find yourself unmotivated and still tired, try going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. I can almost guarantee it will be really difficult to begin with (it has taken me at least a week to get to the stage where I am happy to do it) but believe me, the results will be worth it.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Judging a Book by Its Cover

I have always thought of myself as quite open-minded and non-judgemental but yesterday I had to call this into question. Basically, it was my view on CHAVs - I'm almost ashamed to say that I have the typical view of them: bad dressers; mouthy; rude; pain the arse teenagers. Yesterday I went to the park with some friends, we were sitting on the swings when a teenage girl came up to us and joined us on the final swing. She was wearing tracksuits tucked into her socks and when she opened her mouth her voice and choice of words screamed CHAV at me. What followed was a very interesting conversation between her and my friend John who is a 'alternative' - it was mainly about what he was wearing and what he believed. At no point did she judge him, though she disagreed with some of his beliefs, and yes, she did refer to him as a goth.

But then she said something that made me stop and think. To her friend, waiting on his bike, she said "At least they're polite, it's that whole you can't judge a book by a cover and all that, innit." I think that's more-or-less word for word accurate. And I realised that I had been judging her. As soon as she had come over I had gone on hyper alert, expecting her to become violent or just be unreasonably rude, and hadn't given her the benefit of the doubt. Realising this I thought back, and was ashamed at my attitude, as she had done nothing wrong, she had simply been interested in John's approach to life - trying to open her own mind. So I congratulate her: on her confidence and her openness and for not judging us. As she said "We are all who we are, no point being someone else, is there?"

Friday, 25 September 2009

That's 'nice'

I was watching Loose Women today and up came the debate about the word 'nice'. Apparantly, Michael Palin has voiced that he hates being described as 'nice' and therefore is going to change his image. This immediately reminded me of school. One of my English teachers, I can't remember which, really hated that word. And this prejudice has stuck - proof that sometimes things stick for years after they are taught.

Basically, I won't use the word 'nice' if I can help it, I'll find any other word to fit the bill. That word is bad - incidentally another one of those never use words. These words don't describe anything. They are bland and unimaginative. And as a writer, I feel they are way overused (probably by myself as much as I hate to admit it), and is simply proof of laziness. Surely you would rather the dinner you cooked was delicious/tasty/mouth-watering rather than simply 'nice'.

Words are a writers bread and butter - I know this phrase has been used over and over - but it's true. So think about the words you use to describe things, and if you get stuck, turn to a thesauras and learn some new way of explaining exactly what you mean, rather than sticking to the boring bland good/bad/nice which have very limited meaning.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Aiming for the top

I have always been told to follow my dreams, aim for the top and reach for the stars. But it occurred to me that perhaps that isn't always the best way to go through life. Of course dreams and hopes are important - they are what keep us going, make us live day to day, and what makes us human. But if everyone spent all their time and effort into making it to the very top, the world would become chaos. No one would have any regard for anyone else's feelings and certainly not for their dreams. We would be treading on each other left, right and centre. But it's apparant that not everyone is like that (I'm not going to say no one is like that as we all know that that would be a flat out lie). Then again, surely it depends on what your dreams are, as we don't all share the same ones.

My dream is to be published, but to be honest I want more than that - I want to be a bestseller, I want everyone to have heard of my book and of me, I want money and fame. Well for starters I don't have anything to be published - yet (I'm working on it). Not because I don't have the ideas, or the talent or the time. But because I'm not using even half my potential. I find I have better things to do - like dream and imagine about when I get to the top. But that's not of any use to me. I can't write a bestseller just by dreaming of it happening.

The main problem I have though is that I want to aim for the very top - I want my book to be a bestseller and to reach millions. And this thought alone scares me. How am I supposed to live up to what everyone else is writing? I'm worried I won't find a publisher let alone have my book at the top of the reviewers list. And so I don't even start. The fear of failing is holding me back. The little voice in the back of my mind which perhaps isn't so little, is telling me that it's reach the top or fail. Basically - if my dream is achieved to its fullness I will have failed. Even though my common sense knows better, that voice is still there; stopping me from starting.

Now that I've realised this, I am going to stop worrying and start writing. Afterall, I can't let my fears stop me from trying. Because in reality, just finishing a first draft of a novel, or having a short story published will be a big success for me - simply because it will be proof that I've done something. If I never write anything then I can't call myself a writer and I'll never know if my dream is achievable as, to use a wellworn phrase, the race can't be won if it's not raced.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The Gift

This morning as I was watching the end of series 5 of Buffy (episode - the Gift) something occurred to me. It wasn't so much as was it a gift that Buffy receives or a gift that she gives to the world, but more of a does it matter?

In my eyes, Buffy jumping off the scaffolding to save the world is a purely selfish act. She doesn't do it to save the world, but more that she doesn't want Dawn to die, as she would have to live with this. Granted, she probably doesn't want the world to end either but more because she would have to deal with it rather than what it is doing to everyone else. Summed up - Buffy dies as it's the easier, less painful option for herself. But in the end, it's the same result - the world is saved and Buffy is a hero (or heroine technically). So does it matter if she only did it through selfish reasons - does that change the act? Is intent the most important thing or is the end result the most important?

Personally, I believe that the result is more important than the intent. This of course only applies when everyone can live with the result and the result is in the best interest generally speaking. Though, being a relatively selfish person myself, I have to admit that this goes completely to pot when the result isn't as predicted - then, suddenly, intent becomes everything. (Granted, this is just to save my own back - like I said - selfish.)

I also believe that everyone dies ,so in the grand scheme of things, nothing we do actually matters. So long as you can live with your choices and stick to them, not regretting, life can become so much more pleasurable. Regret, in my book, takes up too much time and energy, so now I just enjoy life as it comes and leave the past in the past - or use it as ideas for my writing - the present is what matters, nothing else exists.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

A Walk to the Park ... or Not

Today I went for a walk with my bf. I have recently moved to a new part of town (finally sharing a house with friends rather than living in uni halls which I hated) and thought that having a random wander might be the best way to enjoy my new surroundings. I knew there was a park nearby and so we left with the theory that we could try and find it. Honestly, I wasn't that bothered.

Of course, thanks to my M.E I can't completely enjoy the freedom of random walks as I have to be aware of how far I am from somewhere where I can completely rest if it gets too much. The las thing I want is to be stranded, lost and unable to walk any further.

Perhaps that is the reason I have such great sense of direction. And I'm not actually bragging about that - it might take me a moment to work out how to get back but I usually know which direction to head in, even if I can't tell you the exact roads you should be going on.

So we went for the walk. We had a short discussion about which way the park was (as it happens, we never made it to the park but I still believe I was right'ish'). He was worried that we might get lost, but as I've said I have good sense of direction. Also, I kind of wanted to get lost. That was the whole point of the escapade. To find somewhere new and not need to worry about where we were going or how we were going to get back. I knew that I wouldn't get really lost unless I wanted to, I wanted to enjoy the walk. Once I worked that out, the walk became much more enjoyable, more of a ramble with decent company.

But it also got me thinking about life. So many of us start life with a plan, an exact route to follow, like a road map (did I mention he wanted to google the directions). Of course, this philosophy is fine if it all goes to plan, but when something unexpectedly crops up, we become lost. I am not suggesting we start blindly stepping into life - though that's how it can often feel - but become more flexible with our plans. Don't assume that you can dictate your life, if you do this, you'll miss the scenery and to be honest, I feel that's kind of a waste. In the end we all die. (OK, so that may have been excessively blunt but it's true.) The point to life isn't to get to the finishing line with everything, but to enjoy everything that is happening at the time. I realise that if you're depressed, or something not that great is happening at the moment, this will seem harsh - how are you supposed to enjoy it? Again, I don't mean 'enjoy' in the sense of enjoyment, more in the sense of allowing yourself to notice everything and take it as it comes, learning from experiences and actually experiencing them rather than closing off and only focusing on what you want. By all means do this, but don't panic when it goes wrong and certainly don't forget to see the scenery.

Saturday, 19 September 2009


The latest craze for anyone who enjoys writing is to be found at where you write, comment and challenge with stories. The catch? Each story must be 1024 characters or less - this is actually more than you might realise. Although the site is far from completion it has many users, with the same faces popping up constantly, enough that you can feel a real community growing - a feeling which is enhanced by the ability to leave comments and write prequels and sequels to other user's contributions. There is also the challenge page - my personal favourite part of the site. Users initiate challenges and then judge the entries themselves, not only does this give you the chance to compete against other writers in an informal and friendly way, but provides ideas and sparks the imagination.

I highly recommend this site for anyone who feels that they just don't have time in the day for their writing. Due to the short space you won't necessarily spend hours creating it (though of course there is nothing to stop you doing this), there are no other limits and the vibe from reading other works will make you want to start typing. Find me there at:, if you join, please leave a link in the comments for all to enjoy your work (and please excuse the fact that I have somehow managed to publish the same story twice - I can't work out how to delete the spare - if you know, please leave me a comment).

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Guilty Shoes

Every woman I know has something in her wardrobe that hasn't been worn, or something she has only worn the once and never taken out since. For me, it's a pair of sandals. Simply put, I don't like them. They technically weren't an impulse buy but more of a rebound buy. The sandals I really liked didn't fit, but I still needed a pair, and so I ended up with the second choice. I have worn them once, and that was more just to please my mother - she was there when I bought them and so she knows exactly how much I spent on them - the guilt just piles up. I have to admit that the guilt is worse simply because I'm worried about what my mum will think. However, when I was packing up for uni this year, I chose to leave them; partially because I didn't have space in my bag but also because I was taking a breath and making a decision on my own, leaving the guilty party behind me, and simply moving on. Granted, I'm not quite up to the point where I could give them to charity (I might like them next year) but I made the first step to getting rid of things I don't really need. So I have given myself a pat on the back, I believe I deserve it - make your own decision but stop being so hard on yourself - would you treat your friends like that? (I mean, I hope you would be supportive of them as you should be to yourself, not giving them away).

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Rushing Through Life

As a student on my summer vacation, it could be presumed that I am doing nothing. And in fairness, that's probably how it appears to most people. I stay at home most days (not by choice - I have M.E and going out a lot is just not an option) and watch t.v, read, blog, neopets, facebook, crafts, occasionally write and that's pretty much it. But I still feel that I'm rushing through my life; all the time I am constantly thinking about what I will do next, and for how long, and what after that, but I need to that, but I'd rather do that - and you see where I'm going with this. My mind is constantly on. Even when I'm sitting or laying still, I am always thinking about what else I will be doing. Even now I am watching 'My Family', and doing many things online and am thinking about how much I want to finish the book I am reading. But I am still rushing - I am not enjoying it as much as if I completely stopped and did one thing at a time and put all of my mind on it, I assume. In fact, I have managed to slow down to that extent once or twice and it was better, and induced much better rest, but I don't often achieve it as there's just so much to do.

This got me thinking about how our society always rushes through everything. We are full of clocks, alarms, timetables and calenders. We pack our schedules so as to stop ourselves getting bored and in the process manage to completely tire ourselves out and so therefore don't enjoy anything we have achieved anyway. Even walking through town, you will notice how most people are walking very fast and, ok, so some of them have places to be, the rest of them just feel the need to speed around the shops as quick as possible and pack everything in. Try walking slow and see how hard it is not to get knocked to the floor - tip, if you do try this you might want to hold your head high if you don't actually want to be walked in to (from experience). So slow down your life, even if it's just for 30mins of focus on one thing and see just how much more relaxed you feel.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Poke, Yellow Car, No Returns

Lately I have been playing the poke, yellow car game - most frequently with the bf. It's not like I'm specifically looking out for the yellow cars but I see them and have to poke someone, and he's usually the person who happens to be next to me. I know some people feel the need to punch but I severely hate anyone who does - not only because it hurts, but because part of the reason to play the game is to resurrect a part of my childhood. I love acting silly every now and again - it takes the strain out of life, not to mention that everyone wishes they could stay young forever. Playing poke, yellow car, almost has the same effect as telling someone YOU HAVE JUST LOST THE GAME - something I seem to be doing a lot lately. Keeping the fun in life is paramount to enjoying life - and you only get one (at least in my belief) so no need to make it all about succeeding and money.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Not Enough Time in the Day

I often find that I plan the day ahead in my mind but will only manage to complete half, or less, of what I originally intended to get done. I never seem to have time to do anything anymore. But then I actually assess my day and realise that that is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever made. I don't have time, but that is because I spend my time staring at a computer screen full of games, watching my favourite television shows over and over, reading books, sometimes I even manage ten minutes of tidying. I never have time to write. (Though I'm fully aware that that's because I do something else instead, anything to put off actually putting pen to paper). I am a chronic time waster. I do believe that part of this is caused by my having M.E. but I am also sure that it has something to do with the fact that there is simply too much to distract us. We have facebook, cinema, computer games, and I'm sure you can think of many other things you do that have no purpose other than to take us away from the lives we lead. Are our lives that bad that we need distractions to get from one day to the next? Do we all hate our lives? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for relaxation and recreation but maybe not to the excess that I, for one, live with. The problem is I just can't seem to stop doing these things, I have a compulsion to find out what happens in the next episode of Buffy (even though I've seen the show many many times), to make sure nothing too exciting has happened in the few hours I haven't been on facebook, and the time just flies. I'll start tomorrow with the same belief that I start every day with - today I'll be productive and actually do something, and you never know, I might actually do something.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

A Night Out

Last night I went to the cinema - I only went due to Orange Wednesdays (might as well use the offer) and we chose the film with a coin; the outcome was The Time Traveller's Wife, so that's what we saw. OK, so I'd heard of it, I even had a very vague idea of what it was about but didn't really expect much and as it was late I certainly didn't expect the cinema to be completely jam-packed with people, only a few seats left. But it got me thinking. Perhaps the pastime of going to the pictures isn't as lost as I had thought. You can't blame me for thinking it. Most people have a DVD player and many have countless DVDs - it's no surprise with many of them cheaper than going to the cinema. But I can also see why it has stayed. Films are impressive and there's plenty of choice. It isn't that expensive (though certainly not as reasonably priced as when I was a kid), there's the atmosphere if you have the right audience and if you're like me you fill your stomach with rubbish - ie. popcorn (it has no calories if you're on a night out), and it gets you out of the house somewhere where you know you won't have to put too much exertion in - let's face it, it involves sitting down for 2-3 hours. But is it the only pastime that has stayed? I don't think so. We still play board games, when I was younger we played hopscotch and cats-cradle. I don't know what traditions have been lost, after all, they are lost, but I'm happy to keep to those we've kept and those we're now creating.

And yes, the film was quite enjoyable - had humour, sensitivity and a different kind of plot.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

A Rose by Any Other Name...

Names are important. Many parents pore over baby name books for hours trying to find the name that will suit who they think their child will be, some wait til the child is born to make sure that the name truly does suit. Writers are the same. I almost always know the character before I give them a name. When I say I know the character I'm not talking about how they look, or even what their favourite things are (actually this usually comes after the name) but how they speak, what they say, what they mean (yes these are completely different). The name completes the character and it is my personal belief that if the name is wrong then it won't work - something I'm currently experiencing with the main character of my novel in progress; I haven't got his name right and therefore I don't completely know him which leads to the fact that I can't write him, or the story, convincingly.

It is not just parents and writers who struggle with names. Names are important to everyone. When we hear a name, most of us immediately our own imaginations about that person. Not only that, but we are all trying to project the right image. The internet allows us to be who we want to be, and many of us use psydoenyms or screen names, which have taken possibly hours, days, weeks to create. Especially as we don't want someone else's name and so have to be more inventive and creative if we don't want to add long lists of numbers to them.

But why do we spend so much time deciding names for either ourselves, our children, our characters? I think it's all about perception. Even though we are constantly being told we can be who we want, that we shouldn't worry about what other people think of us, we are also being told the exact opposite. Media is constantly bombarding us with the 'ideal' person and so we choose to follow or react against them - either way, we are making a conscious choice about how we want to be viewed. And as I mentioned earlier, the name is the first thing that creates the image - people view the name and judge the name before the rest of the person is even considered. So what image are you projecting? What does your handle say about you?

Friday, 14 August 2009


I often think to myself that I don't have any ideas for my writing - that's my blog, short stories, poetry, even my journal on bad days. I feel like my imagination is draining, that age is stealing all my childhood fantasies away, leaving me with little to write about. This, of course, is complete rubbish as the phrase 'write what you know' is still, I believe, the best source of anything worth reading, and therefore, writing. But working out what you know, that you would be able to turn into an interesting string of words, is harder than you would think. Try it now - think of something you know: a fact, a theory, what happened in Eastenders last night - now turn it into a idea. OK, so I've just disproved my point - I'm guessing you are full of ideas this very second. But was that because I prompted you - would you have been able to dig through everything you know and chosen something without them? So, the first point - write what you know (yes I know I'm repeating it), second point - everything you know can be converted into ideas if you can decide where to start. And my last point - if you can't decide what to use - find something new. Look around you, listen to conversations around you, watch how people move and I guarantee that you'll see something that sparks your interest. Remember that if it sparks your interest, the chances are, it'll spark someone else's as well.

So now all I have to do is follow my own advice. It's all very well to dish it out - and no doubt you're thinking this sounds very textbook - but it does work and it has worked for me, now I just have to get motivated enough to keep going and once those ideas role in, have enough motivation to keep writing and writing and writing. As without the words, nothing will be written.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Car booty

So I was at the car boot today - not because I particularly like them (though I have been known to procure some really great deals) but because they remind me of my childhood. When I was younger my dad would go to the car boot every weekend (at the moment he's going 2-4 times a week!) and so we would all pile in the car quite early (at least early for us) to spend our pocket money. As the years went on, less of us would accompany our dad, until it was just my brother who would get up for it.

Going today reminded me that many people I've met from elsewhere in the country have never been to a car boot. At this I've always responded with shock and disbelief that they've never visited something so traditional. But perhaps I was wrong. Maybe it isn't traditional for anyone else, it's a local thing and also a thing our family happened to do. This got me thinking about childhoods though. We all know how we were brought up, we all know what things were unique to our family, yet we never thought they were unique until we see the rest of the world and how they live their lives. Every family is different, every life is different, but we just assume (particularly when we're young) that everyone understands how we live our lives at home. I, personally, am very interested in other lives, the intricate details that no one talks about, the part that is hidden from me because it's so normal and natural to them that they don't even notice it is different from your own life.

Perhaps this fascination is what fuels my writing - I want to discover the differences and similiarities between individuals and highlight them through my characters. And that is the challenge - to write so everyone can relate (or as many people as possible) yet the characters have to be individual, not generic, and interesting. Else, who will want to read the words and listen to the tale being told?

Friday, 31 July 2009

Blogging Drama

Lately - as you may have noticed - I don't seem to be blogging as much. But it's not because I don't want to. I just can't seem to be able to think of anything that I've realised or that I'm finding significant enough to post about. It's probably the trap of: it has to be brilliant for me to write about it. This, as we know, never leads anywhere good, as it tends to lead to nothing being written at all.

So, instead of blogging, I have been avidly reading the blogs I'm following. I have found myself compulsively checking my blogger dashboard throughout the day to find out what new posts have been written. Often I read the first few sentences and decide, no, I won't read the rest, but every now and again, I continue to the entire post. It seems that not many people I'm following are blogging about anything I want to read about - not saying that it's not interesting, just that I'm simply not in the mood to read them. And the problem, I'm led to believe, is drama.

Honestly, I find long rambling posts of complaining pretty boring to read, but without them, the lives on show suddenly become unbearably rosy. As for those posts that are about things going right - very often aren't that interesting. I'm thinking humans just have issues - and we like to share them - and we like to know that we're not the only ones with them. It is something I've come across quite a lot recently in my blog reading 'I don't have anything to write because I don't have any drama.' Is it really true that we need the drama to find our lives interesting? Personally I'm loving every second of my life at the moment, and just taking it as it comes, (no, I'm not writing about it either, but for those of you who read this blog often, you will know that this is not a personal blog and rarely includes anything important in my life). There is no drama as such - though I have been known to create some to make myself feel more comfortable - but I would certainly not say that my life was boring right now. But it seems we have forgotten how to find it interesting when there isn't anything worth gossiping about, when everything is following a not so clear, as happy, path, when we aren't on the brink of any mental break downs. Do we really have to complain to make our lives worthwhile? Why can't we just sit back and let the good come with the bad? Why can't we just stop and relax and enjoy?

Monday, 27 July 2009

The Power to Rock the World

I was watching The Princess Diaries and when Lilly has a go at her friend Mia because abdicating being princess would mean neither of them have the power to rock the world. Lilly's show only reaches 12 people. But I couldn't help wonder, doesn't it depend on who you reach. It is true that if you are famous, the chances are it'll be a damn cite easier to get your message to a larger number of people, but that doesn't mean that they'll hear you or act on what they do hear. Lilly may only reach 12 people, but those people may really listen and act and tell others - setting off a chain which is much more effective.

It also got me thinking about blogging. I mean, that is the reason we blog isn't it - to let people know our views, and we all hope that someone is reading and really caring - at least I know I am (if reading this blog has made you think about anything or changed your outlook I would really love to hear from you through your comments). But I have to question if too many people are trying to rock the world through blogging - it's so easy now to start one, slightly harder to keep one, and much harder to keep your readers (because there's so much choice for them to read). Anyone can let their voice be heard, but the chances are it'll be lost amongst the other voices. Yet we keep going, keep writing in the hope that we have made a difference and rocked the world for at least one person.

Sunday, 26 July 2009


Everyone needs motivation. If we didn't have any kind of motivation, we wouldn't get up out of bed, we wouldn't go to work, we wouldn't do anything at all. Some of that motivation is basic necessity - we need to eat, sleep, go to the toilet. But other activities don't seem to require as much motivation such as we want to see our friends, we like the taste of chocolate, we enjoy sitting in front of the television, while these activities don't appear to need motivation on the surface, it is still there, we just don't notice it as much because we WANT to do them, they are enjoyable. However if we only did the activities we absolutely have to do and those we want to do, we would still have a problem. No one would be going to work, soon you would find yourself without much money and the chances are your health would go down the drain.

So what is it that stops us from living in this way? What motivates us? Of course, there is the long term wants - we need to go to work to earn money to buy whatever it is we want. But it is my personal belief that most of what motivates is learnt. We are taught from when we are very young that we have to go to school so we can get a job, this is the way of the world. Everything we do is based on how we have learnt to behave, how we want society to perceive us. We either fall in line or rebel, but both are what we are expected to do.

So next time you feel oddly motivated to buy something, think 'do I really want or need this? Or have I simply been programmed by the t.v, magazines, friends and family to think that I need it?' And when you get up to go to work, are you doing it because you have to (yes, I realise that money is very important) or because you wouldn't know what to do if you didn't? Just a few thoughts today.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Smoke and Clouds

I am sitting here watching the smoke from my incense stick float upwards in a single line before disapparating into the room. It is soothing, slow and beautiful. And it reminds me of when I was a child and I used to watch the clouds in the sky for hours. I remember noticing every little change that happened by making them into shapes; playing the 'I can see...' game. Don't get me wrong, I still play that game whenever I look up at a blue sky filled with white fluffy clouds, but I no longer make time to just sit and stare.

Of course I don't, I have too many other things on my mind, and my schedule always seems to have things being added to it (including some that honestly aren't that productive, but I still do them). And perhaps that's what's wrong with our lives. We rush through them, we don't look for the changes and often even the biggest ones can go unnoticed, and we no longer have time for simple pleasures. We don't stop and enjoy the moment. We don't allow ourselves to indulge in games for any period of time, afraid that if we do, something bad will happen. Well, it won't. Life will still be the same. But if you take the time, it will seem so much more than simply one thing after another after another after another. Watch the clouds, hell, watch paint dry, but take some time out and slow down.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Rearranging Your Life

I have just finished rearranging the furniture in my bedroom to make room for the new bed that will be delivered this week. As I have only just done it, I'm not entirely sure what I think of the result - it's not quite as I had imagined it but neither have I done anything particularly radical. It's one of those things that I expect I will get used to, and probably relatively quickly, but for now it still feels strange.

As it happens my life has recently turned direction with the introduction of 'the boyfriend'. As someone who has been single for over 4 years and has never had a really truly grown-up serious (wow, can I fit anymore adjectives into that?) relationship I am finding that I am changing quite a lot of my life to fit him in. And I'm thinking that that's similar to moving the furniture in my room. At the moment I am unsure of what I think but overall it has made my room look a lot bigger which could be seen either as a plus or a negative of the change. I could decide that I don't want a lot of space and it makes the space too open and not homey enough and move everything back or I could decide that the perception space could be a good thing and I'll give it time to let myself adjust. It's up to me. The same is true of the changes I'm making for the relationship - I could decide that I was happy with the life I had before and run or I could wait and see where this new part of my life will lead.

In truth, I was happy with my bedroom the way it was as I was happy with myself and the life I had. But having a new, bigger bed and the furniture in a different, more spacious layout is probably going to be just as good if not better.

My point (and I apologise for the long-windedness of this post) is just because something is different or has changed doesn't automatically mean it is worse. It could be just as good or even better, but you won't find out unless you embrace it, leaving all doubt behind.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Missing the Moments

No one wants to miss the big moments in life. The first step of your child, weddings, dancing at the school prom. And thanks to technology it is now easy to preserve all these big things with the help of a camera. Most big events have that person in the corner happily taking many pictures for not a small fee. But what about all the other moments in our lives that we wouldn't want to forget - a first kiss, having coffee with friends, a family meal? These are just as easy to preserve with the use of a digital camera - and you can have the images up on your screen or printed out for not much cost and almost immediately. But someone has to be behind the lens.

It is rare for me to go anywhere without my camera. It's not a particularly great one but it does the job - takes pictures and preserves all those moments I might forget otherwise. But this isn't entirely true. It is almost impossible to take a photo of yourself and completely impossible to take a natural picture of yourself, so automatically I am cut out of most of what I create, so I wasn't really in the moment or if I was, I have had to come out of it to take the picture.

The other problem with constantly looking through a lens waiting for just the right moment for everything to come together is that I sometimes miss it entirely. I can only see what the camera shows me - it doesn't show the full picture. And taking the photo means I miss the moment entirely.

Will I ever stop taking the photos? I'm thinking no. It is an enjoyable hobby and the subjects of each picture, I hope, will appreciate the memories that are brought to the forefront of their mind. As for my own moments I have other ways of recording them - I keep a diary, others sometimes take photos and my memory still holds out, at least for now. But what I try and remember is that it isn't the big moments that make the difference - it's the little things that often go unnoticed, they are what I hope to hold on to for they are what makes a person who they are: their experiences, their memories and their feelings towards them.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

I am awake, awake, awake!

Yes, it's half past two in the morning and I'm sitting on my laptop typing this. The reason? Espresso. I went for a meal at Pizza Express - absolutely brilliant pizza and worth every penny - and ended up having an expresso with my dessert. No, I didn't order it, it came with whatever it was I had. But who's idea was it to make it ok to have coffee after dinner? Surely having caffeine just before bed is never a good idea but I had to drink it as not only did it come with the food but I actually love coffee and rarely have the chance to have a decent expresso. So I'm not complaining about the fact that we have coffee, only the fact that it's common practice to have it after a meal. I know, I know, it's supposed to cleanse the palatte or whatever, but I stick by my previous statement - it just isn't sense to drink coffee a few hours before bedtime. And the result is clear - I am exhausted but my mind is hyper and I'm unable to sleep. Instead I'm using this time to play bejeweled on facebook and watch disney songs on youtube. At least it's a Sunday when I wake up and I won't have to get up at any reasonable hour - I'm going to exercise my right as a student to stay up in bed all day and get up just in time to watch Torchwood in the evening!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Everything I know, I learnt on TV

So I am back - finally sorted out the many, many, many problems with my laptop and ready to start posting once again.

OK, the title is completely incorrect (how could it be when I don't even have TV) but it's so catchy I couldn't resist using it. When I say TV I'm including film, tele and fiction books. Basically it occurred to me yesterday as I was watching 'Angels and Demons' - much better than I was expecting by the way - that if I hadn't read the book or saw the film I wouldn't have any clue who the Illuminati were or many of the laws of Vatican city. I'm not saying any of this information is necessary in life but it is that sort of general knowledge I mean. It's the sort of thing that they don't teach at school because it's not necessary; and so it is either learnt through discussion, or in most cases, through fiction.

Almost everything that classifies as general, world knowledge, I have aquired through this medium. Take Doctor Who - before the last series I had no knowledge of Pompeii. I had never come across it yet everyone seemed shocked that I didn't know. So I'm most certainly not condemning it though of course the fact that the information is conveyed through fiction can be a problem, when it isn't clear what is and what isn't factual.

So that's the ramble for today - look out for more posts on their way soon.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Communicating without the internet

Sorry I haven't written a post recently but am having internet difficulties with my computer - am writing this on a friend's laptop. But one thing I have noticed since this problem is I seem to have a lot my time on my hands - do I really spend 3 hours a day doing nothing online? Not that I'm filling my time with anything much more useful or important. What has entered my mind is that I'm not really talking any less to any of my friends or family. All those contacts I have on my facebook and I never really chat to any of them except those I talk to via text or over coffee anyway. Does having internet really make a difference? I suppose in fairness that a few of those friends I never would have met without the wonders of the internet. Many of those I have met online, I now don't talk to. Many of those I met in life I now don't keep in contact with at all - other than an extra contact on my facebook. I guess therefore the internet hasn't really changed anything other than the way in which we can keep track of who we know or knew and it's a lot easier to get in contact with someone you've lost contact with and are now searching for - all it takes is writing their name in a search engine. So things are the same, they are just done in a different way.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

The Wedding Ring

Today I went to a poetry reading and so it is almost with some shame that I begin this post. Surely in all that creativity I found something more important than a wedding ring to write about. But it hasn't only been today that I've considered this. The wedding ring, as far as I'm aware is an outward sign that you have made vows binding you to another, it lets us singles know that you're off the market and no need to think further than this. While today I wouldn't have been interested in any of the members there (through no fault of their own, simply a rather large age gap) I noticed how none of the men were wearing rings on the fourth finger of the left hand. This normally doesn't bother me - many people are unmarried or divorced in these times. But they were married. This is what confused me - they were openly talking about times with their wives, one even had his wife with him (sporting a wedding ring and an engagement ring on that special finger). So why weren't they wearing the rings. Granted, they may no longer be married for whatever reason - though that wasn't the impression I was getting. I just don't understand why it's totally acceptable for a man to not wear the ring when for a woman it would be unheard of.

I've never been big on marriage but that's my choice. I simply feel that those who chose this endeavour should at least carry it through by wearing a simple token - it can't be that hard to keep a ring on your finger. Unless I'm completely wrong (in which case I hope you take the time to leave a comment and let me know) there still seems to be a double standard where men and women stand. A woman who is married must show to the world that she has been spoken for; a man apparantly stands by no such expectation.

Friday, 29 May 2009

A Reason to Moan

Lately it has been hot, really hot, here in the UK. Sun shining, few clouds and even managed a decent gust of warm breeze today. So why am I longing for the warmth of winter? The winter months bring snow, rain (granted, most months bring that) and Christmas and so are to be looked upon fondly. At least if the weather outside is cold, I can warm myself up with curling up in a hoodie in my bed with a cup of hot chocolate - in this heat I am struggling to cool myself down. And so I moan that it is too hot. But in the winter, I know that I will be moaning that it is too cold and I long for the summer months (or weeks as it usually is).

The weather, it seems, has always been the topic to complain about. Of course, those who have real problems are totally entitled to moan about those. But the rest of us, it seems, need a good moan and the weather is what pulls the short straw. That way, we won't find ourselves in an awkward situation where gossip has found its way back to its subject. And we know ourselves to be in the safety of the topic - it's what us brits are expected to talk about to strangers, and it's unlikely to offend. So is it simply that the weather is a British subject? Or are we all just chronic moaners?

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Whizzpopping for the Queen

When Roald Dahl first submitted his manuscript of the BFG, he was told he couldn't have the main character whizzpopping - parents would just not appreciate it. So what did Dahl do? He added a scene where the BFG whizzpops for the Queen. We all know that this version was published - whether because it was so outrageous that it would work or simply because Roald Dahl was already a well known children's writer is unknown. But we do know that the scene with the BFG whizzpopping for the Queen is one of the most remembered episodes of any Dahl book.

Does our work have to be truly shocking to get noticed? As a writer, do I need to find something that will horrify and disturb the reader, simply to get readers and to be remembered? My dad has a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover on his bookshelf; not because it is a great book (I haven't read it so am not saying it isn't) but because it was banned. I'm not sure if he's read it or not, but he has it.

And in our modern society, where people have seen everything and are compelled to be open-minded, with freedom of speech, how do we find something controversial to keep ourselves from being forgotten? Should we start a piece of work in the hopes that the controvesy will make it well read?

My personal belief is that the artist should create for the love of his art and not for what they think people want or will respond to. It is only this way in which anything of true value can be made. However, that's not to say I haven't been tempted to add something into my work for the sake of controvesy - though I have found many of my pieces have something in them already, unintended and therefore true.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Carnival day

I have many great memories of carnivals, parades and fetes. When I was a child we went to the local procession every year. I remember them throwing sweets out to us and my dad having bags of coppers for us to put in the buckets. They're no longer allowed to throw things out to the crowd due to health and safety and if there were any buckets to throw money in to, I wouldn't have noticed today. Today I went to my local carnival - this was different than any year before as I am now at uni and so in an entirely different town.

When I say I wouldn't have noticed the buckets, it's not because I was too enraptured with the floats and costumes - it's because I'm not tall, I was near the back and I could barely see anything. Though what I did see was pretty impressive.

The rest of the day was spent wandering around the town and park where the rest of the carnival was taking place. In all honesty, I was disappointed. Other than the parade, I didn't see anything visual at all. There was every kind of music, blasting from loud speakers on every other road - even when I went home, I could still hear it blaring into my room.

But by news standards, it was probably considered a great success. The weather held out - so much so that I now have a red tinge to my skin and spent the day sweltering, unable to truly enjoy anything (though it was a great excuse to wear my sunglasses) and many, many people turned up. Again, too many for me to be able to enjoy anything - hence being unable to see much of the parade.

Does anyone really enjoy these carnival days? Is everyone walking around, wishing they didn't have to put up with the masses shoving them around and too many music stations, that all they can hear is noise - or is it just me? The worst of it is, I know that next year I will go once again in the hope that it will be as good as I remember from when I was a child and if I haven't completely forgotten how exhausting it was this year, I'll still hope for the best. Maybe carnivals simply exist for those who are in them (I used to be in the parade at one point and loved it, or at least I loved the preparation for it) and for children, and the rest of us just show up because there's nothing better to do.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Looking Forward

Have you ever noticed how we organise our life by what is going to happen? We fill up events on our calenders - mine is particularly full right now as the local arts festival gets into full swing - and make notes of things we want to do. But how often do we stop and realise that while we're busy planning our lives, our lives are actually happening right now? And does the waiting for something give it false expectation which it's unlikely to be able to deliver?

Films, for example, are something I often look forward to. Currently I'm eagerly waiting for the next Happy Potter installment, Alice in Wonderland and Disney's Repunzel. The latter two aren't out for at least another year yet and so I worry about how bad they will be in comparison to what I imagine in my mind. And with good reason - I waited months and months for Coraline and when it came out foolishly went to see it in 3D, only to be bitterly disappointed. Not because the film wasn't good - the concept and design were incredible, just not up to my heightened expectations of the wait. I should add that I really don't have much idea of what is actually in the cinemas now, as I'm waiting for what will be out next year.

So often we go to the events that have been planned for months and while we are there, we are talking, or at least thinking, about what we will be doing what we get home, next week, next month. We are so preoccupied with organising our future that we forget we are living it right now.

Friday, 22 May 2009


A fairytale to many of us is a happy story where the pretty princess ends up with the handsome and brave knight. They mimic todays idea of a fairy - pretty, light and good. This is not true at all - most fairys are evil and honestly, pretty ugly, as were the originals of many of the fairytales we know today.

I don't remember the point when fairytales stopped being the Disney version of happy ever after, and became warped and sinister. When I first found out that in the original Red Riding Hood she is raped by the wolf, for veering off the path, I was horrified. I know it actually makes more sense than the fluffy version we are all fed as children as this story has a clear moral - don't walk off the path when you've been told not to, but still, the idea of the childhood fantasy had been ruined for me. From that day on I've known that everything has a dark side, and fairytales are no exception - in fact I'd go as far as to say that actually some fairytales are darker than anything I've read or seen elsewhere. But is this because I know the happy ending, fluffy, smily versions? Is it because they are against a backdrop or childhood innocence, that I find them so dark and, likewise, so alluring?

I still love watching a good Disney film, and they've never been destroyed for me by knowing that most of them come from something much more sinister. But I will continue to be fascinated by this darkness and the bleak look of the world that the originals gave us.

Thursday, 21 May 2009


Apparantly everyone has secrets. I stumbled across the PostSecret website which is publishing a book of people's secrets. You can send your secret annonoymously on a postcard and it will be posted on the site or printed in the book for the world to see. The only rule is that it has to be a secret that you've never told anyone ever before. This is where I had a problem - I really like the idea and would love to send something in but I don't think there's anything about me that someone doesn't know. I can keep secrets, just not my own. So my question is am I the only person who doesn't have a secret? I am capable of keeping secrets; just not my own.

And this led me to wonder if secrets are such a bad thing. Obviously I believe in being completely open about everything, often to the point where I scare people by my honesty. But if everyone was more open about how they felt about certain things then surely there wouldn't be so many arguments. So many break-ups between partners, friends and family are to misunderstantings. If everyone just opened up that little bit more, these mistakes would be rectified and the world would be a better place. OK, so it probably wouldn't lead to world peace, but it might lead to a clear conscience - I know I never feel guilty about anything as it isn't my fault, I let them know how I felt.

So open up and let your best friend or mother or a complete stranger learn something about you.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

No, I don't care about everyone else!

Yes, that exclamation mark is there on purpose - and I almost wrote exclamation point, way too much American tele for me.

It's true - I don't care about you and I certainly don't care that Jordan and Peter Andre broke up. Don't ask me when, I only found out today as the story was featured quite helpfully on' msn today' which pops up when I just want to check if anyone I know is online for a chat. I don't need to know what is happening to celebrities and I never read the news. Recently I have had to make myself visit the BBC website as I realised I was reaching critical self-absortion when my Mum told me about swine flu a couple of weeks ago and I had never heard of it. I just don't see what anything has to do with me. As a writer, I am constantly told to find out things, discover what is happening in the rest of the world as it is important. But that's my point exactly - it's not important to me. Unless I catch swine flu, and lets face it the chances are slim to none, then I don't care.

Saying all that, I do care about individual stories. Not the stories of celebrities or anything earth-shattering. But everyday stories, how everyday people live their everyday lives. Yes, I'll admit it is because I'm nosey but also, that's what I care about. I want to know how someone, other than me, lives - I already know how I live. What someone had for dinner, why they went to see that film, the conversation they had on the phone to their sister - these are the stories that I find fascinating. And that's what I want to write about. I want my stories to reflect reality, showing snippets of lives (even if they are imaginary) as everyone I have ever met has found the idea of living, the actual moment to moment part of it, a bit confusing. Knowing that other people get through it gives us hope that we can get through it too.

Perhaps that is why we have become obsessed with gossip papers, and more recently Twitter - the place that where you can document every little thing you are doing right now. Even in the past we wrote letters and before that, there were the town criers letting the world know the details.

I realise that this post has landed in a rather different place from where it started, and certainly not what the label promised - but how often do we get what we're promised? - That's a topic for a blog another day.

So I'll leave you with the pondering - what has happened to you today that seemed completely ordinary, barely worth a second thought, that someone like me might find real life in?

An Introduction

It has taken me a while, but I find I have finally found my blogging style/voice, whatever you wish to call it. And so, for me that means I need a brand new blog to start afresh.

Basically, I plan to blog about thoughts I have. Provoked by everyday living - it is in the magic of the insignificant I find interest and so wish to share it with you. In fairness, it is true that this is incredibly pompous, the whole act of blogging is. It is writing with the expectation of being read and having people care. As a writer of fiction, I always want people to read my work, but now I am expecting them to read the nonsense I spew to my friends as well.

So until I have a thought - which I'm hoping will come at least once a week if I can't make it everyday - I will leave you to continue browsing the world of personal stories at your fingertips.