Drinking tea that tastes like bolognese, and sending brief emails

Listening fondly to nostalgic music like Kings of Leon’s Youth & Young Manhood.

Thinking about people not accepting compliments. Why don’t we? And how do we do it gracefully? In my ideal world everyone would follow the Cheese Girl philosophy and say, “Thank you, I think so too.” But if we all responded positively without a fight, or all learned to pay compliments in the right, encouraging way that helps people accept them/hinders them denying them… Would everyone just be falling in love and having sex all the time? I am aware of certain, imminent danger when two people who are clever with words meet as friends and have the time to drag out the establishment of who they each are through words as opposed to meetings. Inevitably, a compliment comes up at some point if the two are to become friends and establish some kind of bond. But how do they gracefully carry it off without either one of them taking it too far and getting a hankering for the whole hog? What constitutes the real difference between friends and lovers? (Of those who could end up together, if single and so-inclined, forgetting best friends and The Lads and other harmless actually-would-never-happen alliances.) Are we really just left to our own devices on this one? Is there no mercy? There are plenty of people in this world who will impress you, entertain you, comfort you, wow you even. Where do you get off the bus? And where do you get back on? Do you get a day ticket? When and how do you stop being Just Friends?

Naming and shaming the stupid of the world, to the soundtrack of Dad Jokes

Listening to this:

… And thinking about Dad Jokes, inspired by the Gag Mag that was left/found at work today, and a text that has tickled me enough to keep me giggling on and off for a little while…

“[She’s studying] Ancient History. So basically nothing that’s going to help her much in the future!”

Indeed. :) These are becoming a new fad with me. I’m itching to get them out wherever possible now, if only just for the chance to go, “Ey? Ey?” with a stupid grin on my face.

And speaking of stupid… What is WITH PEOPLE? How do people still exist that are so affected as to behave like they do in your pubs and clubs and public places? I met a shining example of a stupid today; a woman who must have read somewhere that in order to appear upper class and therefore respectable and mighty, one must be disgusted with everything in one’s wake. Well, she certainly did her coursework. She worked her way through two drinks that were ‘terrible’ before opting for something only she was allowed to pronounce correctly (after telling me ‘NO!’ with absolute aplomb and conviction, to the wine I was checking she had asked for, she then pointed out the very same one on the list) before bringing it back (about 5ml of it) to ask for a plastic cup, which was then far too big (half-pint), goodness me, and so equally as appalling as the as-yet-unsolved-mystery of my failure in good customer service. In short, she pulled off a very good demonstration of what it meant to her to be upper class.

In other veins, I am appreciating hippies and oneness, and thinking about getting back into early mornings and running and creative visualisation exercises. Let’s get this brain back into thinking.


Does anyone else ever see projections of themselves from an outside perspective? Walking along and imagining what you look like while doing it? I get these flashes of that sometimes. I got one tonight, on my way to a rehearsal for my first ever one-woman show, that’s nearing quickly, and felt fresh-faced for the first time in a while. Christmas-faced, in fact.

I have this turning point every season, where I imagine all the new clothes people will wear, all the new exciting turns lives will take, how things will change all over the place, couples will break and form, and this dramatically emotional soundtrack starts playing in my head, camera pulls back to a distant-height shot of me walking away, into the future… And all that jazz. Well, tonight I saw my Christmas Face, and it made me feel sparkly and new again.

I know it must seem completely nonsensical  how my logic and consequent moods work. But they work.

And because I can think of no better way to describe what the Christmas Face looks like, it’s something like what you’d look like while looking at this. Not on a computer screen.


On Connection

“When will people understand that one of the deepest and wisest speeches which can come out of a human mouth is that – ‘It is so beautiful that it must be true.'”
The Water Babies‘, Charles Kingsley

This book is taking me far too long to get through because it is very long-winded in its descriptions, and very sparse with any action, story progression or self-explanation (I am sort of wondering what I’m still doing with it), but today I found the above in it and it made me smile, so I thought I’d share it.

Among the very-of-the-time, racist, sexist, patronisingly blinkered comments the book puts across in its throw-away manner, this little gem snuck through, and I’ll allow that. It’s redeemed a certain amount of validity in doing so.

I have a love-hate relationship with humanity. What I’d like to say is that I am all for humanity, because of what the word ideally embodies, but with people carrying it, where else could it go. People are fickle, and weak, and affected by everything, particularly other people. It’s taken me a while to realise, in doing so much work with people, that I don’t hate people, I love-hate them. So there. That’s the discovery of the day. It’s not all bad. I knew there was more to it.

Written while getting into the dark side of the Eighties (Eighties-inspired?) music scene.


On Now

Things aren’t great at the moment. I’m hearing and seeing things again, and having more frequent panics. I have just landed a job that is a long-awaited relief money-wise, it gets me by, but I’m about four weeks in and it seems to be just as bad as every other horrible public sector job there is, where the customers can pick at you and the managers don’t care, and you generally feel a bit pointless and stamped on. Anyway, it’s not making life as easy as I’d hoped.

I am finding it hard to eat properly, or enough, because the thought of any food makes me feel ill, so I am instead randomly and miserably bingeing on whatever offends me least each time I can’t bear my stomach pains anymore. I’m just not enjoying the simple things that I used to. I don’t know when it started. And I’m worried that I’m going to have to live with this coming and going for the rest of my life.

I started a game with a friend at work the other day; a scoring system for making the best cup of tea. There were four sections, each marked out of ten, and each score range was assigned a name reflecting the overall success of said tea. It was trivial and fun, but it developed into scoring people out of ten, and after dryly remarking that the tea ‘makes me love you more and more every day’, I wondered what happens when you hit 10 with a person. Is that it? Do they stay there forever? No, they don’t. If you make a 10/10 cup of tea, and then never make any more, you remain a top cuppa maker. But if you make any less-than-perfect after that, you go down again. You only have the possibility to go back down.

I’m worried, unhappy, exhausted. Is this all there is? I feel like I’m still awaiting a calling in life, for something to tell me what I’m good at. I still can’t just settle into myself and know what it is that I am about, what I bring to the table (other than tea), what I offer the world. Because ultimately, I think everyone has to serve themselves, and people go about life in a way that’s acceptable for others and rewarding for themselves. I think what makes me feel happy is making people laugh, or smile. Or impressing them. A young wish to be noticed and wanted. I could say very easily that I’m not beautiful, I’m odd-looking and that’s because I’m funny, and that’s ok, but I don’t even know that for sure. I could say I’m clever, but that idea disappeared when I moved to secondary school and I wasn’t different anymore. I’d like to think that I am not a tortured-artist soul who will get noticed after she dies. Please.

A couple of regular customers noticed that I was new yesterday, and made a point of saying hello. I was overwhelmingly touched.


The Photographer Inside Me

Woke up to a calmly obliging sky and felt guilty that I had gone to sleep leaving it to its own devices, not helping while the clouds rushed past the neglected and beautiful full moon, but instead just trying to take pictures. Document! It must be remembered!

I am forced to examine the photographer inside me, and think endlessly and indulgently about what I find. Looking at these, I remember both what a gorgeous city I live in, and how brilliantly crisp and aesthetically exciting Autumn is. This is my York.

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Love to all


P.S. Starting to think about Christmas presents…


Clutching at Clouds

Re-listening to this (So maybe you should too, to be on the same emotional page while reading what was written to it) and feeling nostalgic,  grateful, and looked after:

I have felt recently like I’m being topped up regularly with certain feelings, and tapped on the shoulder by others, (That tiger has been pawing at my back again, I have to admit) like a glass of warm milk, with shoulders.

I am ever grateful for the friends I have who are staying, compassionate people who remain present in my life – something I don’t feel with a great number, but really appreciate when it’s there. I am starting to feel for the first time since moving up to York in 2005 that there just might be people in the North who understand me as well as those in the Forest of Dean. Maybe it’s just the amount of time I’ve spent here now; perhaps I’ll have to gradually assimilate into each and every environment I want to feel settled and homely in, over the same amount of years (A third of my life each so far.)

Maybe I’m getting softer, happier, stronger all at once, finally, since the adjustments of preconceptions that uni life brought about, along with the eighteen months of confusion and loneliness left in its wake. That’s a nice thought. To get back to myself, as I see me.

As well as, and perhaps leading to, noticing constant friends, I am very aware of my habitual proximity to fair-weather ones. Sad and petty as it sounds, I have always had lonely Summer-holiday birthdays where everyone forgets my party and goes on holiday, or friends that are bullies and don’t leave me alone until they find something worse to do, which is to leave me alone completely, and friends who seem wonderful and kindred, but then leave you in this non-mutual state of limbo with just the wonder left. Like temporary but haunting crushes.

What is the cure? What am I doing wrong? Am I hankering after people who I don’t fit with? Trying desperately to make my relationships work 100% of the time, and not acknowledging that sometimes, you just don’t have that kind of connection. Is that cause to give up on the people who don’t text you back, or prioritise you? At least, to stop putting in more effort than they are, and only allow yourself to care and to respond when they are. But that’s the problem, isn’t it? I can’t just shut off the caring part. I either love and appreciate someone, and want to spend time with them, or I don’t. Yes, there is room for elbows, and when it comes to boyfriends it’s a bit different – we are allowed on and off periods, keen and quiet. But I want something of the same kind of independence when it comes to friends. I don’t want to have to chase people like neglectful or uninterested lovers, or to suffer the sporadicness of moods when I don’t feel I’m close enough yet to the person to see past those moments of rejection. Where I come from, you have to earn that right. You have to be able to laugh at someone in an argument. Including yourself. Or else, you’re in dangerous territory, and it will most likely end in tears.

Which reminds me of something my mum once told me; girls seek boys that will have fights with them in the same way those girls had fights with their siblings when they were little. My brother (three years younger, but you couldn’t tell – he got the brains, the face and the spirituality) and I fought a lot, and (not but) it was always over trivial matters. Which bowl and spoon we got to use at breakfast, (Only the yellow plastic one and the wooden handle would do) which programme stayed on the TV, (Never my choice, obviously) who got to swing more times between Dad’s legs before leaving for school (I suppose when you’re seven and it’s not just your hair sweeping the floor but the length of your arms, you could possibly have better games to play.) And we kicked and shouted. But we laughed as well. At ourselves, and at each other, and it was wonderful. We had a good little scream and got everything out, and then relaxed. We allowed ourselves that space and time to be ridiculous.

And no one told me that this wouldn’t automatically transfer to men in the real world. That I would have to explain myself.

And that’s enough on that train of thought for now. For now, I wish you well and happy, and maybe a few spiritual enlightenments, and take myself to a peaceful, well-earned bed.