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Sunday, 28 March 2010

Sunday Shout Out

This week I am sending you in the direction of a very new blog but one which I am already loving.  Chocolate Chip Bagel is filled with little anecdotes and tidbits from Alyssa but what makes this blog so special is that she includes a recipe with each post.  Granted, I don't actually cook that often (though I do bake) but I still like to read about other's kitchen adventures and it is so unique to see someone putting a different spin on their life.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

It's the Little Things

Having a had a few bad days I haven't been the most upbeat happy smiley person lately.  Today, however, I was playing CafeWorld on FB (yes, I know I have no life but that's not the point) and for some reason the little people on my screen are sliding across my cafe instead of walking around it and I couldn't help but laugh.  It reminded me that sometimes we have to focus on the little things that happen in our life rather than focus on just the big picture.

My mind isn't really coherent at the moment so I hope what I wrote above makes sense - I would expand but can't find the words right now so I hope you all find something little to cheer you up whenever you need it.

Friday, 19 March 2010


As some of you may know, I have reviewed a few films on this blog. I love reviewing, I love the thought that I am giving my opinion on something and that perhaps I can actually persuade someone that something is worth watching or not. Anyway, recently I went to see Alice in Wonderland. I have written a review of it and will be posting it on this blog soon - as soon as I have rewritten it.

The thing is, we had a class recently on reviewing. It was brilliant and I felt like I was learning so much. The only problem was that once I had had the lesson, I certainly don't feel comfortable with anyone reading my review as it stands now.  I mean it's not bad or anything but I know it could be so much better.  So just to let you know, I will be posting the review soon and you can expect it to be better than any of my previous attempts (or that's the theory anyway, and don't be afraid to tell me it is/isn't better once it is posted.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

St. Patrick's Day

Today is St. Patrick's Day as you are probably aware, unfortunately I couldn't be anything other than aware today as, having my usual Costa coffee, I had to put up with some truly terrible singing taking place in my local mall (right outside the Costa entrance - the singing, not the mall). I was not impressed. It practically ruined my coffee which I could easily have let ruin my day.

I do not celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I am not Irish. It's not that I have anything against the idea of the celebration but I do not believe it fair that St. Patrick gets such notice when St. George is left in the background. How many of you actually know the date of St. George's Day? I'm guessing not many, despite it being the English patron saint, we only seem to celebrate the Irish patron saint. So my rule is, I'm happy to celebrate St. Patrick as soon as St. George gets in on the action; after all, I'm ENGLISH not Irish!

By the way, St. George's Day is 23rd April.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Giving Up

As some of you may know, I am trying the 365 challenge this year - trying to take a photo every day for a whole year. The first month went great but come Feb and March I've found it much more difficult to keep going - I either forget or simply can't think of anything worth taking a picture of.

Now that I've missed quite a few days I have considered just giving up but I have decided that I will stick to it and try my hardest to keep taking photos. I pretty certain that I will be forgetful again in the future but that is no longer the point - I want to try and keep trying. If we all gave up the moment something went a little wrong nobody would ever achieve anything - and I'm relatively certain when I say that there would be no books to read (for those of you who aren't aware - writing is hard!)

So basically I'm going to keep trying at the 365 challenge as finishing it (even with a few holes in it) will give me hope that I can really stick to something and finish it, and you never know, I might manage to finish my novel one day.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Sunday Shout Out

This week I am sending you on a journey, on many journeys which can all be found at A Hazy Moon. With beautiful pictures accompanied by lines of verse and description this blog will take you around the world and share the secrets of finding beauty. Definitely worth taking a look.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Script Frenzy

Remember NaNoWriMo? Well, in April there is yet another crazy endeavour being run through the internet - ScriptFrenzy. The idea is to write a 100 page script (of any style and genre) within the 30 days of April. Find out all about it at ScriptFrenzy.

I'm not planning on attempting this this year as it is the month before everything is due in for uni and honestly I think that's where my efforts should be put, but thought I'd share it with you incase anyone has a hankering to writing scripts and needs a little nudge.

I actually really love writing scripts - when I had to write a theatre play at college I found it really enjoyable and am now doing a module on scriptwriting as part of my course, I'm currently writing a radio play based on Hansel and Gretel and loving every moment of it.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Today was my birthday (I say was because it's gone past midnight as I write this). To be honest, it wasn't that great. It didn't blow or anything, there just wasn't much substance to it - maybe it will all become right again on Friday when I actually celebrate properly. But it was a bit weird as until about a week ago I felt a couple of years younger than I actually was, now I feel my age. A few days ago it felt as if I'd suddenly matured. I'm pretty sure it has, in reality, been growing for months. But it suddenly hit and it's quite a bit of a shock. It feels as if I've gone from teenager to adult almost overnight, I actually feel older (well, the age I am) which is a totally new experience for me as of course, like most people (I assume), growing up doesn't really happen overnight. But that is how it has been for me. I think the fact that my mentality skipped a few years made it more noticable. Oh well, that's life, I'll just keep on living and trying to enjoy it.

By the way, I finally started that new blog all about my inner life (you know, that one I mentioned months ago). Anyway, find it at Empty Dreams, Displayed. Hope to see you all there.

Monday, 8 March 2010


Today in class we discussed disability after reading the memoir 'The Diving Bell and The Butterfly' by Dominque Bauby. Many points came up about how people react to disabilities and it is true that many people see the disability rather than the person. And then there is the flip side where the person must be a hero for coping with such a terrible disability - they are so brave, courageous etc.

As someone with an invisible disability (M.E./C.F.S.) I often feel that I fit into neither group - I am not someone who is judged by my disability but nor am I a completely 'normal' person who can do all the same things as anyone else. I think that for me this has to be the worst situation because I am also having to defend my disability. People tend to believe that because there is no physical proof that I am unable to do something, then I must be making it up. I feel guilty every time I get the lift because I know I look like I could walk up the stairs but the truth is I simply can't (unlike some of the people I know who use the life anyway).

But my teacher brought up an interesting point that perhaps the reason people don't believe me is due partly to the grief scenario - shock, disbelief, denial, anger, acceptance. I go through them all every day but to those who only partial know me I can see how it would be easier for them to disbelieve me, it is a way of protecting themselves from the truth. Because frankly, the truth stinks and my life is hard. So I'll try not to judge them for keeping themselves safe from the truth but I still believe that knowledge gives us answers and perhaps the reason so many people are still suffering from many illnesses and disabilities is simply because people turn away from finding the knowledge and so we will never find the answers.

I'm not sure I've managed to make much sense in this post but I wanted to share some of my opinions with you, however jumbled and confusing they may seem.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Laptops and Writing

Sorry about the delay in posting but I haven't had a laptop due to a technical fault in the wire. I'm actually still waiting for it to be sorted out but thankfully have found a friend who has lent me his wire (thanks everso). I have not had my laptop for over a week and it surprised me just how much I rely on it. I love you, my laptop, and hope never to be without you again.

I couldn't check facebook, couldn't go on my emails, am so far behind on blogs that I have no idea how to catch up and have barely got any work done.

I know that last one sounds silly as I am a writer and it is true, you don't need a computer to write. And I did try the handwriting thing. But I just couldn't get into the mindset - I need all the distractions of the internet while I work. The way I see it is that when I get stuck I can have a little break from the writing through facebook or whatever and then I go back to it to continue - there is less stress in filling the page this way for me. When confronted with a blank page of real paper I got scared and therefore didn't start the writing (very not good). Hopefully I'll be able to catch up now and not have to find something bearable on daytime T.V. to keep me occupied.

Monday, 1 March 2010


Fiona Robyn is writing a novel on her blog - every day she will write the next diary entry from the main character, Ruth. Check it out at Thaw.

These hands are ninety-three years old. They belong to Charlotte Marie Bradley Miller. She was so frail that her grand-daughter had to carry her onto the set to take this photo. It’s a close-up. Her emaciated arms emerge from the top corners of the photo and the background is black, maybe velvet, as if we’re being protected from seeing the strings. One wrist rests on the other, and her fingers hang loose, close together, a pair of folded wings. And you can see her insides.

The bones of her knuckles bulge out of the skin, which sags like plastic that has melted in the sun and is dripping off her, wrinkling and folding. Her veins look as though they’re stuck to the outside of her hands. They’re a colour that’s difficult to describe: blue, but also silver, green; her blood runs through them, close to the surface. The book says she died shortly after they took this picture. Did she even get to see it? Maybe it was the last beautiful thing she left in the world.

I’m trying to decide whether or not I want to carry on living. I’m giving myself three months of this journal to decide. You might think that sounds melodramatic, but I don’t think I’m alone in wondering whether it’s all worth it. I’ve seen the look in people’s eyes. Stiff suits travelling to work, morning after morning, on the cramped and humid tube. Tarted-up girls and gangs of boys reeking of aftershave, reeling on the pavements on a Friday night, trying to mop up the dreariness of their week with one desperate, fake-happy night. I’ve heard the weary grief in my dad’s voice.

So where do I start with all this? What do you want to know about me? I’m Ruth White, thirty-two years old, going on a hundred. I live alone with no boyfriend and no cat in a tiny flat in central London. In fact, I had a non-relationship with a man at work, Dan, for seven years. I’m sitting in my bedroom-cum-living room right now, looking up every so often at the thin rain slanting across a flat grey sky. I work in a city hospital lab as a microbiologist. My dad is an accountant and lives with his sensible second wife Julie, in a sensible second home. Mother finished dying when I was fourteen, three years after her first diagnosis. What else? What else is there?

Charlotte Marie Bradley Miller. I looked at her hands for twelve minutes. It was odd describing what I was seeing in words. Usually the picture just sits inside my head and I swish it around like tasting wine. I have huge books all over my flat — books you have to take in both hands to lift. I’ve had the photo habit for years. Mother bought me my first book, black and white landscapes by Ansel Adams. When she got really ill, I used to take it to bed with me and look at it for hours, concentrating on the huge trees, the still water, the never-ending skies. I suppose it helped me think about something other than what was happening. I learned to focus on one photo at a time rather than flicking from scene to scene in search of something to hold me. If I concentrate, then everything stands still. Although I use them to escape the world, I also think they bring me closer to it. I’ve still got that book. When I take it out, I handle the pages as though they might flake into dust.

Mother used to write a journal. When I was small, I sat by her bed in the early mornings on a hard chair and looked at her face as her pen spat out sentences in short bursts. I imagined what she might have been writing about — princesses dressed in star-patterned silk, talking horses, adventures with pirates. More likely she was writing about what she was going to cook for dinner and how irritating Dad’s snoring was.

I’ve always wanted to write my own journal, and this is my chance. Maybe my last chance. The idea is that every night for three months, I’ll take one of these heavy sheets of pure white paper, rough under my fingertips, and fill it up on both sides. If my suicide note is nearly a hundred pages long, then no-one can accuse me of not thinking it through. No-one can say, ‘It makes no sense; she was a polite, cheerful girl, had everything to live for,’ before adding that I did keep myself to myself. It’ll all be here. I’m using a silver fountain pen with purple ink. A bit flamboyant for me, I know. I need these idiosyncratic rituals; they hold things in place. Like the way I make tea, squeezing the tea-bag three times, the exact amount of milk, seven stirs. My writing is small and neat; I’m striping the paper. I’m near the bottom of the page now. Only ninety-one more days to go before I’m allowed to make my decision. That’s it for today. It’s begun.