Wednesday, June 28, 2006 

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Updated)

Yesterday I took a trip down memory lane. We went to North Shields, and while there decided to take a trip past our old fortune cookie factory. I remember the place being dark, cold, and metallic, but now it’s simply dilapidated. I couldn’t believe it. There was actually a big sign on it that said “Warning Fragile Roof”.

It’s been nearly fifteen years since I was there. The last memory I have is of being perched on a cold metal surface by my mom and watching as her, my dad and a whole load of workers bustled around in white jackets and those horrible catering hats where you have hair nets attached. The whole concept intrigued me. You started off with some flour and whatever else, and fed it all through a whole load of mixers and other scary machines, and then you came out with cookies.

But I had my job. I looked after my sister as she slept in her portable plastic cot. She was an adorable kid, and they really did need someone to look after her. I remember the time when I’d been sleeping in the car and woke up to find dad frantically searching the factory while my mom stood by the door to the office saying, “I just don’t know where I put her. I was so sure that she was on the desk here.”

The factory was the reason I was sent to live with my Gran. It wasn’t a good place to bring up a child, and my mom and dad ran it together, my mom would have made a pretty crap housewife anyway. So my Gran took me. She couldn’t take my brother on top of that, he was six years older than me, and it would have been too much for a seventy year old woman to cope with.

My gran had a stroke just before my sister was born. She still looked after me, but couldn’t take my sister as well. I went home at weekends, and started to notice the difference between being at home and being with my gran. I adored living with Gran. You should have heard my bawl every Friday afternoon when my dad came to pick me up and take me home. But I also felt incredibly left out. My brother and sister were so close, and though home wasn’t a happy or calm place to be, I still felt like they couldn’t love me if they sent me away every Sunday night. The logical reasoning behind it was lost on my three year old ears.

I got to move back home again when things started to go wrong. My gran had a heart attack, the company van pretty much exploded, and due to a series of unfortunate events the once thriving business ended up bankrupt. Mom became a housewife just long enough to decide she didn’t enjoy it, and divorced my father.

I remember that conversation vividly. Dad sat down with me, my sister, and my brother in the kitchen. I was rocking on the back of the wooden chair, and he told me to stop, we had to talk. It all sounded so serious when he told us that mum was moving to New York without us, and that the four of us were going to move house, move somewhere else, start over.

If you were to ask me when I was happiest, I’ll tell you with certainty that it was the year after my sixth birthday. My mom had just left, we’d moved to the best house in the world, it had a huge garden and the back gate opened up to a gorgeous hillside, a stream, and basically a huge public woods that as kids we explored and made our own. It was a new school, and everything seemed to be working out.

My dad went back to art. He’d become disillusioned with the field nearly twenty years before when exposed to the politics and the “if you rub my back” attitude behind the scenes. He gave up what was published to be a “promising talent” and went to seek his fortunes in the states. Where he met my mom. And finally moving back home when my brother was three.

In the new house we were living as a family finally. My mom wasn’t there, but she made home a battle field whenever she was around. When she was there it wasn’t home, it was just painful.

A few years later things fell apart a bit again. I don’t know if it’s just that I stopped being such a child, and started to realise what was going on around me. Or maybe things started to get old, my dad started to get tired, and the house with its many wonderful mysteries and oddities, became mundane. Whatever it was, I started to realise that my dad was unhappy, my brother is scarred, and my sister is who she is. She’s superficial, and completely insecure.

And now we’re where we are now. My dad’s even more disillusioned with art, and pretty much despises the fact that he relies on it for an income. I now understand why my scars are there. I know the reason for my cynicism, and I understand why I find it so hard to trust love. It’s all so far from the fuzzy memories of being chased round the factory by my brother. It’s a long way from standing in the garden with mum and waving our van goodbye. And its far from Floppsie the Bunny and playing hide and seek in the grave yard while dad painted the church.

I grew up a little; I learnt that life wasn’t like those cut out moments. And I learnt that grown ups are sometimes less adult than their children. Going to the factory brought back many memories I’d forgotten, and it was sad to see the place I only remember as full of life, to be so dead and decrepit. But they’re just memories. And they’re long gone.

I’m scared. I’ve got to go out there and be an adult. I’ve got to forget someone I love, and I’ve got to give up a comfortable home and life style, to have cooking disasters, wake myself up in the mornings, and stop relying on other people. And it’s made me retrospective. I’m spending my hours thinking of the past with a certain amount of nostalgia, and even though a lot of it isn’t that great, writing it all down frees me to look forward to the future, while still having something that is a firm reminder of how I got here.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 

Love and War

On Love - “When I saw you, I was afraid to meet you... When I met you, I was afraid to kiss you... When I kissed you, I was afraid to love you... Now that I love you, I'm afraid to lose you.

On War – “A contention by force; or the art of paralysing the forces of an enemy.

Most of the time my life feels like a battlefield. There is always some form of contention. My family, my friendships, the pressure to do well in whatever field, and the constant quest to find both love and enlightenment. But they’re just the external battles. The internal ones are harder because the enemy is not someone you can see, it isn’t something you can hack with an axe, or humiliate with words. The enemy is simply those aspects of yourself that you dislike. The ones you fight to keep control of. The basic instincts, and the emotional scars.

But there is another end of the spectrum. All of those things are what make my life worthwhile too. So my friends and family drive me crazy; they only do so because I care about them so much. Pressure is hard when you feel like you’re trying to meet some illusive idea of perfection, but the few times you come close are the times when you feel the most satisfied, the most victorious. And love. Loving anyone is hard because when you open yourself up to another person you give them the power to hurt you. To truly let someone in is to lie upon the sacrificial alter and hand the priest the knife. With love you will hurt. It’s a simple fact. But to avoid the pain is to avoid losing so much more.

I cannot vanquish my demons, but they remind me of all the things that are important to me. And if you were to take my mother as an example, she scarred me, she hurt me, and the pain isn’t something I can grow out of. But when you question me as to whether I still love her for it, I cannot but tell you I do. She could have beaten me senseless, she could have made the scars physical instead of just mental, and I’d still love her. It’s simply impossible not to.

So my life is a constant equilibrium between conflict, and love. I’m at war with myself, but still find that I completely adore my life. Sometimes I shift closer to one end of the spectrum, but I spend just as much time at the other end too.

I was asked if I had regrets. And I do, of course, have many. But could I go back and change them, go back and right all the wrongs. Could I avoid things, and simply delete significant parts of my life? No. Could anyone? Our lives are a serious of causes and effects. Either the cause or effect can be unpleasant, but then, so much in life always is.

Life is a constant struggle. We struggle to find true love, happiness, ourselves. And eventually we find those things, we’re happy. Some people will never find them. I know so many people who have simply never met the aspirations they set for themselves years ago. But everyone, for even a short period of time, has found happiness, no matter how small. And that’s what we live for; those short periods of joy.

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Monday, June 26, 2006 

Pointless Rambling

It’s over. One month of exams, and thirteen years of school has finished. I’m not sad to see either go. The exams… well, the less dwelt on them the better really. But suffice it to say that in that last multiple choice paper a monkey could get twenty five percent by just randomly picking a, b, c, or d. In all of the past papers, I have done worse than a monkey. The real exam was no better.

As soon as I exited the exam (all three hours worth of logarithms, partial pressures, and nitration’s of benzene- eurgh) I went crazy. Crazy even for me. Jenny was rather perplexed when I came running towards her squealing. But I can’t help it, I have never been so relieved in all of my life. There’s too much pressure. Too much pressure to succeed, to get the grades you need for uni, and to not collapse in a quivering wreck in the middle of the exam. I take three subjects at A level, and I had fifteen exams. Fifteen! That’s five bloody exams per subject. Are they totally and utterly insane?

Up until now I have been on a man, alcohol, and leaving the house for anything barely social- free diet. My father and I came to an agreement. I stayed in the house for a month, stayed single, and stayed sober. And in return he drives me to the airport and puts a hundred pounds down on the lap top I intend to buy as soon as I get back from Germany (i.e. when I actually have spare cash). It was hard. Believe me, this has been a very hard month for me. That’s why I’ve been so whiney, boring, and irritating lately. I apologise.

But, I am getting back to my old self rather quickly and enthusiastically. In a night I have drunk nearly a full bottle of weird pink rum stuff, and I will be seen again socially as soon as is humanly possible. Unfortunately, this will have to be Friday as humans need money, and I’m utterly broke. C’est la vie.

And the men. Christ. I have no idea why I allowed him to tell me that I was basically going to spend a month celibate. I guess he just knows me too well. I am a whore for money, or alcohol. He offered me money on the condition that I stopped being a whore. I sold myself to my father. I suddenly feel incredibly perverse. I regretted it pretty much immediately after I made the agreement, but by then I had already agreed. And I do try not to go back on my word. Ah well, at least this proves that if really forced, I can exercise self restraint.

But it’s fine. It’s over. All I have to endure is one night where the teachers and students all get totally smashed, and then go and get more smashed in the pubs right after. It’s great. And this time I really won’t get involved with anyone. The last time I said that was right before five months of being slightly too involved. But I mean it this time. This time I’m not bitter, still kind of stringing someone along, or basically dumb. And anyway, flings are much more fun. Especially when I only have a week left in the country.

Anyway. Enough rambling. I’m sure I can think of plenty of other more important things to be doing. Possibly starting to learn German…

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Sunday, June 25, 2006 


Apparently Blog Reviews have rated my blog "top of all blogs". I have to admit, when I received the random stars in my comments on my Dating Requirements, I was slightly at a loss as to what they meant. Oh well, as I am never one to dwell upon the reasons for praise, and am more the type to grab the compliment and run off in the opposite direction in case they change their mind, I shall move on.

I’m getting rid of the disorder. It’s hard, but to leave I’ve got to leave properly. I refuse to leave unfinished thoughts behind. I guess I will have to include Him in this. To move past him I’ve got to give him up properly. When we broke up it wasn’t final, when I last saw him it wasn’t final, and right now it’s just an unwanted headache.

But he isn’t the only thing to go. My words, precious stanzas depicting heart break, love, joy, and misery all met the open jaws of my rubbish bin last night. I watched them go. Falling, disconsolately, into the open abyss that is the bin which never seems to overflow. And I could not help but shed a few tears.

Writing is the lover that never leaves me lonely and cold in the night. The pages upon pages of my words are the comfort blanket that no one can tell me I’m too old to have anymore. And, as I watch them fall away, finally leaving me, I catch snatches of conversations, memories, my own thoughts lifted from their place in my brain, and etched onto paper.

I come across a simple stanza:
“I’ll go wherever you want to take me,
I’ll do whatever you want to do,
I’ll smile and tell you I’m happy,
I’m happiest when I’m with you.”

And then the tears really fall. They somersault through the air, tumbling onto and smudging the words I have condemned to silence. These words are the key to my soul. They give expression to a girl whose heart is locked in stone. And they remind her of all she has lost.

They are not the prose I save onto my computer. These are not those that I wish to whore out to publishers in the hope of a more comfortable home, and a more pleasant bank statement. These are the words that I don’t dare let others read. The ones that whisper secrets, feelings, lost memories of childhood. These are the ones that cause the most pain.

I watch them go with regret. It is the same regret I feel whenever I watch someone walk out of my life knowing it will be too long before they return. But at their demise there is also a feeling of hope. Hope that new words will come to replace them. Hope that leaving them behind will allow me to painlessly get on with the future.

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Saturday, June 24, 2006 

Just Because...

I remember the first time we met. Or at least, I remember not remembering the first time we met. I had to write your name on a piece of paper before I drunkenly collapsed. I knew how drunk I was, and also knew that if I had to ask Stacey what your name was again before I could write it down, the odds were I wasn’t going to be able to remember it in another four hours time when I got up.

You didn’t remember me either. You knew vaguely what I looked like because you know Jack, and you’d seen me waitressing before. But you used a bloody line on me. Told me you’d just got a new phone so couldn’t give me your number. I can’t believe I fell for it either. Yeah, so you actually did call me in the morning; I’m still pissed off that you didn’t intend to. Bastard.

I was horrible to you those first few weeks, I’m sorry for that. But I really wasn’t lying when I told you that I was confused. That night that I met you, I’d decided before I left the house that I wasn’t going to get involved with anyone for a while. I was pissed off with men in general, and then the first person I saw when we walked in was Mark. I ran away and hid behind this weird huge Greek urn thing. It was propped up in the corner and I sat behind that for half an hour until he went away. He may have been a bit pissed off about that. Though actually, he still probably thinks that I was in the toilets or that he just hadn’t looked properly.

So for a week or so I was blanking Mark, being annoyed, and trying to stay single. Which, of course, meant trying to work out a way to reject you. Quite obviously it didn’t work. In the end you just told me to call you when I was less confused. I figured that was it. But then we got talking again, and you took me out, and you treated me like crap the whole night. Admittedly in the morning you were much, much, nicer, but you still acted like a bit of a cock.

When that other guy was hitting on me, Christ, when you told me to go and get in there cos quite obviously he was interested, I was so ready to smack you. But I think we both got it out of our systems when I said okay, and went to dance with him. Dancing with him was fine; he was sweet and actually not unattractive. But really much younger than I generally go for (i.e. my age) and if I can walk over a guy in the first five minutes then what am I meant to do for the rest of our time together? There’s just no challenge.

Then the night afterwards, Hayley, Christine and I came into the pub. You actually went out of your way to see me, and you just seemed happy that I was there. People being genuinely happy just to see me is unusual at best. It was a crappy night, Stacey was pissed out of her brains, and Christine was grouchy. I had such a huge hangover that I had one sip of tequila sunrise and went onto lemonade for the rest of the night. But I still came home reasonably happy. Because of you.

I’m not sure how I managed fitting you in between my exams and everything else in the following weeks. I think that some of the answers to that question would explain my rather disappointing results. But somehow I managed it.

I suppose we had sex too early. You would have waited for a while; you didn’t push me into anything. But we were drunk, me more than you, and I wasn’t in the mood to go home. Well, to go to Stacey’s home as that was where I was meant to be staying that night. So I left with you. I’m still not sure about that. I feel like I should regret it, and after everything I think that it would have drawn the relationship out longer if I had waited, but maybe it was drawn out enough anyway. It was a reasonable length of time; we had a whole season.

Everyone hates you now. Though, to be fair, I’d say that a few of your friends aren’t too ecstatic with me either (*cough*Jack*cough*). There isn’t really any reason for them to hate you. Yes, on occasion you were arrogant, nasty, and altogether useless. But you never professed to be anything else, and you genuinely did care.

You’re texting me as I write this. I think you’ve worked out by now that my heart isn’t in it anymore. I’ve replied, but haven’t been too forthcoming with my own woes, achievements, etc. I’m acting aloof- something I’ve never before done with you. And I’m sorry, I have no reason to. It’s been nearly three months now; I should be past all of this.

But… Look, I was sure that I was over you. I thought that I’d managed to get past all of this crap. And, in a way, I did. But I loved you. And, I guess that I still do. I couldn’t tell you at the time because self preservation told me not to. I was scared of being rejected, of scaring you away, of you simply not feeling the same way. And you don’t. Yeah, you cared enough, but love? Nope. If I told you then I gave you power over me, power to hurt me, power to make me feel like crap.

This is no longer an open wound for either of us. We’re okay, and I can talk to you without it all being awful. But I can’t act like I used to around you, and I can’t talk to you too much no matter how much I want to. You were my best friend, the person who understood me, and still liked me. Scarily you are one of the few, and I’m including my oldest and closest friends in this.

So it isn’t that I want us to be awkward. And it isn’t that I don’t want to talk to you all the time. When something good happens you’re still the first person I want to talk to and say “yay me!” But that isn’t good. So I’ll talk to you, we’ll remain good friends. But I can’t let you in too close; I can’t let us be how we were before. I need the separation for my survival. Now it’s hard for me to just keep you as friend because I know what it’s like to have you as more than that, and it’s a hundred times better.

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Friday, June 23, 2006 

Seeing Sheep

Callum: You can’t really live in the middle of nowhere.
Hatty: When I look out of the window in the mornings, I see sheep.
Callum: Oh, well that’s never good.

People in my village are inbred. I mean that in the nicest way possible, truly, but it’s true. In reality, it isn’t just my village; it’s probably more accurate if I say people in this area are inbred. You talk to someone on a bus, mention a name, and sure as hell you know they’re going to say, “Oh, really? They’re my cousin!” It’s a simple fact. Everyone is interrelated or, if they aren’t, they’re cousins to someone who is.

I live in a rural paradise. Or at least, that’s what they tell me it is. It’s beautiful, absolutely heaven if you’re a big fan of squirrels, woodland walks and fields. Squirrels are great; you pretty much can’t go wrong with squirrels. Yeah, they can only talk in a weird piercing cheepy chattery noise, but other than that they’re cool. I like squirrels. And woodland walks are fine when you’re of a certain age, or want somewhere scenic to walk the dog. But fields? Fields I don’t like. They’re either filled with sheep, or that horrible rape stuff that is a stupid mustard yellow colour and flares up your hay fever within seconds of it flowering.

Socially speaking it isn’t so wonderful either. The hot spot is a tiny pub ten miles from anywhere that has so few customers that they’re willing to serve alcohol to someone thirteen years old as long as they look like they might, just possibly, be sixteen. If you want a good party, there is an eighty percent chance that it will not be in a house, but will be in either a field, or a barn. People have weddings in barns around here. Seriously. Yeah, so the barn was a nice one, it was still a barn. And it was still bloody freezing. Gotta say though, I did find the kitchen-in-a-cow-stall quite amusing.

The bus drivers now know me either by sight, or name. I find that impressive considering there’s about twenty of them that do my route. Luckily, though I live in the middle of no where, it is on a pretty useful main road that is on the way to a few marginally better places. If you can call two towns with a handful of clubs and pubs between them better. At least they were never too harsh on ID when I was of the age where that could be problematic. And Newcastle is alright as cities go; shops, pubs, clubs, and most of the people will translate what they just said into English if you ask them nicely.

Yes, we’re all inbred up here, but as none of my family is actually originally from here, no one speaks the dialect. Hence a lot of confusing incidents involving errors in translation. Geordies are all wonderful people, well, mostly, but they’re nearly impossible to understand. The first time I heard “I’m gan yem” I just thought it was a little confusing that they’d started speaking Japanese. Never did I even consider that “yem” actually meant “home”. They’re not even the same vowel sound!

So, all in all, it’s a pretty awful place to live if you only really feel comfortable around lots and lots of people. I can only get signal on my phone in either my bedroom, or front garden. Believe me, for me, this is a major problem. But even though when people patronisingly tell me who lucky I am to live in rural paradise, I’m inwardly substituting “hell” in instead of “paradise,” I’ll still miss it.

I’ll miss the local news letter that tells of the wayward youths that have rebelliously set fire to a haystack. I’ll miss hearing people gossip about who is having a property battle over eight inches of dirt that has someone’s prize begonias on it. I’ll miss all the drunken old men in the pubs that you really can’t understand, but who all really, really, want to buy you a drink. And I’ll complain, I’ll bitch, but really I am touched when the bus driver asks if I’m “alreet” and lets me on even though I don’t have my bus pass with me, just because he remembers the last time I was on and had to spend half the journey chatting to him in the front seat as I searched through my bag for my bus pass. Seriously, I think that thing has the ability to turn itself invisible.

I won’t miss the internal politics. I won’t miss being told off because my dad was told by my aunt who was told by her friend from the keep fit classes, who was told from her sister that I’d not said “hello” to her as I walked down the street one day. But it has its charms. I doubt I’ll ever move back, I’ll see more than enough of the place when I come home for Christmas. But sometimes it’s nice to just reflect on all the eccentricities, and really, they aren’t as bad as I make out sometimes.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006 

And, again.

Men. You fall in love with them, get cruelly rejected after however many months, despise them, finally manage to say goodbye, and then watch them leave, you think, forever. I said goodbye! It wasn’t even a “hey, have fun, see you when you get back,” type goodbye. It was a full on, melodramatic, “This is it, au revoir.”

Then on Monday night I receive a few texts. Just letting me know, “hey, I’m good, the navy rocks” type thing. Yeah, fine, I can deal. So I said goodbye, I was in a ratty mood when I said it, and being friends with your ex really isn’t so bad. I mean, yes, “I’m bigger than everyone else so no one is going to arse-rape me,” seems slightly strange overall as something to text your ex, but he is strange. I adore crazy people; I’m so damn insane myself. So I sent back a “hi, that’s nice,” and avoided further communication.

And, as always, he was completely and utterly unperturbed. Ten thirtyish last night, thinking of possibly going in search of something to eat (yes, I know, eating late at night is a VERY bad habit, but I can’t help when I’m hungry). Check my phone, “Have to get up at quarter to five tomorrow and no sex for the next six weeks!” Great.

When I want him to talk to me all I can get out of him is one argument, and a lot of pissed of texts along the lines of “go away.” Then, when I get over it and move on, he starts texting me about the various aspects of his sex life. If there is a god, he is seriously taking the piss.

A month ago I would have gladly replied with something cheeky and verging on flirty. A month before that I would have sent back something along the lines of, “Hah! I definitely don’t have the same problem”. I was really quite bitter for a while. But now… I don’t know. Now when I look back, I’m looking back at everything. I don’t just see the good and blank out all of the shit. And I also know that there’s no point to any of it as it is highly unlikely that I’m going to see him before Christmas, if even then.

God knows how often he’s going to be on leave and back up here, but I’m leaving in a weeks time for two months in Germany, then I’m going down to London as soon as I get back into the country. When I finally get back home I’ll have about two weeks before I’ve got to leave again for Edinburgh. Whether he’s considering some sort of booty call, or simply friendship, it doesn’t really matter.

But it isn’t fair. No one from my past seems to just stay in the past. There are always echoes, repeat incidents, and I always get messed up by them. I know, I’ll probably still be getting random crap of various ex’s when I’m thirty and still not contemplating settling down. That’s how they work, and I guess that’s sort of how I work too.

I don’t know. I’m confused, and annoyed, and amused all at the same time. I want him to go away and leave me alone because all he does is cause trouble. But I missed receiving all the crazy crap that he used to send me. I’ve missed the stupid conversations, and everything else that made up the relationship.

I don’t miss him. But the texts make me miss him. So they piss me off and I want him to leave me alone. But I still don’t want that really. I know I don’t want him back, and I know that I do want his friendship. So really, they’re a blessing. Until he starts talking about sex.

I think I’ve learnt to separate love and lust a bit too much. If they were as intertwined as they are with most people, I’d be as wary of the lust as I am of getting even a little bit involved with him again. Unfortunately, I don’t love him, but there are still a few aspects that I miss.

Right. I have succeeded in not only utterly confusing myself, but also completely wasting my time thinking about him. Again. Typical.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 

I'll write a book

“Harriet, don’t be a gold digger!”

“I’m not being a gold digger, really.” I promised, “It’s just, well, I’m broke, and sometimes, it’s just nice to have things bought for you. You know?”

“Okay, fine, so what? You want to marry someone rich and famous?” she asked.

I shook my head and sighed, then pressed the phone back to my ear. “No. Rich, yeah, but not famous.”

“What??” she squealed out of the receiver, “What’s wrong with famous?”

“Well if he’s famous, and I marry him, if I later become famous myself, no matter how many merits I have, and how hard I’ve worked, it’ll all just seem like reflected glory. Every woman who has married someone and then became famous just fizzles out. No one fully believes that they’ve actually done it on their own. I want to become who I will for me, and not because of my husband, my family, or anyone else.”

“I guess. I just want to be famous. I don’t care how I got there.”

“Ah. So what do you want to be famous for?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t know. I’ve always thought that I would write a book.”

Everyone thinks that. Eventually they’ll write a book. And I’m curious, why don’t you? What is it that’s stopping you from sitting down in front of the keyboard and starting to type the words that are floating around in your heads, just waiting for you to unleash them onto the paper? Everyone has a different reason, and I genuinely want to know. I think there might even be a book in it. The millions of potential writers, the stories, and the things that stop them from writing.

I’ll write a book. The truth is I’ll write many. But I can’t right now. She told me to write it. Told me to stop writing pages upon pages, only to get frustrated and just delete it all. Told me to get the extra money before uni- I’ll need it. But I won’t. She doesn’t write hers because writing is hard, and writing that much requires endurance. I don’t have that problem. I’m a more than prolific writer, and really am happy to sit there for hours on end and come up with a few hundred pages.

Or, at least, I used to be. When I was fifteen I was a better writer than I am now. I had a marginally smaller vocabulary, and far fewer real experiences to write down, but an immense imagination and a will. Recently life has got in the way. I’ve tried and tried, but every time I sit down I write variations of the same thing. The same tale, and it’s nearly enough for a three page short story.

My favourite author is Stephen King. Mostly, I can’t read his books. I enjoyed Carrie, and The Shawshank Redemption, but generally I’m not especially enamoured with the horror genre as a whole. So how come he’s my favourite author? His memoir, and guide to writing, On Writing. My problem with most Stephen King books is not the writing itself, it is the warped imagination behind it. But he does have the imagination. He has an enormous imagination, and that’s why his books sell. He can write about anything, and he’s prolific. I don’t have the imagination. I lost some of my imagination. We always do, if we could combine the extensive originality and imagination of youth, with a decent writing style and vocabulary that is acquired with training and time, then truly we’d make wonderful authors. But three year olds don’t write books, and I guess as an adult (sort of) I don’t either.

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Monday, June 19, 2006 


Intrinsically, I’m flawed. I don’t mean flawed in the every day nobody-is-perfect way. It’s like there is just something that I’m missing. Something that when I was made, someone left out somewhere. It’s like a drug addiction; they get to the point where they need the drug just to feel normal. They can’t be normal without it, they drug makes them whole.

I have this recurring nightmare. It isn’t something I get every night, or even every week or month. But it’s happened every four or five months for the last eight or nine years of my life. Not often, by still recurring.

I’m sitting on a cold marble floor. I’ve got tears and mascara running in rivulets down my face, and my face is ugly with rage and emotion. One hand is curled into a fist, the other clawed, and I’m sitting there with my legs pulled up to my chest, just rocking. Rocking myself, and crying.

There’s a sharp pain at the back of my head where my hair has been used to tug me upwards. I’ve got a bruise on my arm where it’s been gripped, and one side of my face stings. My thigh is painful where I’ve been kicked.

And I’ve been left there, in pain, alone, and livid. Angry that it had happened to me, and angrier at the futility when I’d tried to fight back. The complete inability to either fight back, or protect myself at all. I can’t stand being completely powerless, and in that room, I couldn’t even stand up without being knocked back down. So I sat, miserable, and rocked myself, quietly whispering the same phrase over and over again, “it’s all my fault.”

If I’d done things differently, if I hadn’t provoked them into anger, if I’d been good, it wouldn’t have happened. There are always consequences; the consequences of my actions left me bruised. If I wasn’t so flawed, it would all have been alright.

These things happen once, maybe twice, and though the actual bruises heal, somehow they still manage to leave a mark. It isn’t about the pain, the pain is sharp but it doesn’t last. It’s about the memory of the futility. It’s about knowing that if it were to happen again, there would still be nothing you could do to stop it.

It’s my fault. If I was whole, if could love someone properly and unconditionally, then I’d provoke the same unconditional love back from that person. If I was better, if somehow I improved, then people would treat me better, they’d care.

If I’d been a better daughter then my mom would have stayed. If I’d had fewer tantrums as a kid then my gran would have lived longer and I wouldn’t have had to move back in with my dad. If I’d been good then they wouldn’t have sent me away.

And then, of course, the final irony. If I wasn’t constantly thinking I was unlovable, so trying to make people love me, find me attractive, then they wouldn’t get bored of me and think me pathetic. But the constant rejection just causes me to try harder.

Sometimes I can be normal. If the relationship doesn’t mean anything, then I act like a normal human being. But if I let someone get close, or I grow attached to someone, then it’s already over. I push them away by needing too much. I try to hard, and everyone knows that the only time that things happen is when it isn’t important, when you’ll be alright either way.

Things aren’t going to start changing now. I’m still too internally bruised to change, heal. No one can love me, and its all my fault.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006 

On Father's Day

Today it is Father’s day. Well, in ten minutes time I shall have to change that to “yesterday was father’s day”. But we’ll ignore that. I think that my family is rather retarded. And not just for the many reasons that I have stated in here previously. Father’s day is supposedly a big deal. It is something that is important and wonderful in that Brady Bunch candyfloss ideal family type way. Which would explain why, as a family, the whole thing went right over our heads.

My mom can be left out of the name and shame as she lives in New York where they celebrate it on a completely different day. And also, she doesn’t particularly like my dad so wouldn’t wish him a happy anything anyway. Unless it was something like an enjoyable eternity with Satan, or a nice disfiguring disease.

I’m not sure if I’m allowed to put my dad on this list. He didn’t realise that it was Father’s day, even when my brother phoned up to wish him it, and only worked it out when I came confusedly into his room and said so. But I guess that’s allowed as he’s a) completely ditzy, b) naturally blonde, and c) senile. Plus, he was the one meant to be receiving thanks and presents and stuff rather than remembering to remind his children to remember it. Too many “rem”s in that sentence…

My brother probably comes out best. He gets the credit of actually knowing what day of the week it was; that as well as it being a Sunday, it was also fathers day; and he phoned up and wished Dad a happy father’s day. Basically the perfect son. Well, minus the present and card that are generally acknowledged to be compulsory. However, even though quite obviously he is wonderful, when he did phone up, he managed to confuse my dad into thinking that it was Father’s day in South Africa rather than here. This, I feel, is a rather astonishing feat as I have no idea why anyone would wish to phone up and say, “Hi, in South Africa it’s father’s day, so Happy fathers day!” when both the father and son live in England, and I am pretty sure neither actually know anyone who lives in South Africa. Or have ever been there.

It took me till half way through a conversation with Stacey to realise that it was Father’s day. She had been talking for a while about the great present that she’d bought her Dad, and when I inquired as to when exactly father’s day was, she told me rather disbelievingly that it was today. To sum up: Bugger. I had neither card, present, nor way of somehow making myself look semi-decent as a daughter. It had gone eleven o clock at night by that time, and he was already in bed.

My sister is in bed, and as she hasn’t mentioned anything about it today, and earlier was asking me what day of the week it was, (she thought it was Saturday), I would assume that she was as clueless as the rest of the clan.

So out of all five of us we have:
    a) One sleeping father who is still a bit confused as to whether it’s father’s day in South Africa, here, or both.
    b) A relatively useless son who did phone up, but didn’t actually succeed in getting it across to my dad what the point of him phoning up was.
    c) Me who at least managed to inform him of the fact, and also that I was wishing him a good one. For the whole half hour that he had left.
    d) My sister asleep.
    e) My mum who wishes him dead.
Overall, I would say that this was pretty typical family holiday and I hope that we have many more just like it. For one thing, it’s much cheaper than actually remembering, and having to go to all that trouble of card and present buying, and then having to pretend that I like my dad for a day.

Bring on Father’s day next year. I look forward to it.


Saturday, June 17, 2006 

Because a girl needs a mother

We hid behind the sofa when they were screaming at each other. We had these plastic guns, and we’d aim them at them. Whenever they shouted too loud, made us scared, we’d pretend that we’d shot them and they weren’t there anymore. We’d pretend that they just disappeared. That we were the only ones there, and that we were going to look after ourselves.

They were always screaming, always at each other’s throats. I once measured the time that there was calm, between fights. We got to thirty four minutes. There was just always something. She accused him of taking something of hers, said that he had to have moved it because it wasn’t where she’d left it and she hadn’t touched it. He got pissed off when he came home at eight o clock and found that she hadn’t made dinner for anyone and there were three whiny, hungry children. It was marriage, but it lacked happiness or harmony.

They got married initially because she got pregnant with my brother. They stayed married because she had me and my sister. They got divorced when she realised that she wanted to be single again, had enough of marriage and children, and wanted to move back to the states. So Dad got custody, mom got her life back, and we got a reasonably happy life. Cue end credits here.

Except not quite. She visited the second year after she left. She brought back weird fish and encouraged us to eat the eyes; she gave us presents, and took us to China town to eat noodles and sorbet. We got jewellery and giggled when she showed us photos of her boyfriend, and then later shyly spoke to him on the phone. My brother taunted me for liking her boyfriend too much when I spoke to him, made me feel guilty, told me I should just go and live with them and make his life happier. I ran crying to my room and refused to talk to him when he next called her up.

It was eight years before her next visit. I was fifteen and embarrassed by this short, loud woman who tried to charm my friends. I sat awkwardly through “The Talk” that I’d already had about eight years earlier with my dad, and listened when she told me about the evangelical Christian semi-cult that she had got involved in. We heard tales of her various boyfriends and of her friend who’s children all go to Harvard, Yale, or are in the Olympics. We got an over-sized “I love NY” t-shirt, and more arguments between her and dad. She tried to poison us with stories of how much of a bastard our father is, and generally rubbed my grandfather up the wrong way.

And she phoned up. My sister picks up, “Can I speak to Harriet?” This is an anomaly; in the past ten years I have not known her to be interested in speaking to me over my sister even once. I understand completely that I’m totally hung up and believe that she loves my sister more than me. But really, it hasn’t ever happened before, except maybe on my birthday.

She’s coming over. She needed the dates of when exactly I’ll actually be at home this summer (a measly period of three weeks) so she can decide when to book her flight. I’ve known for a week now, and I haven’t discussed it with anyone. I didn’t even mention it on the phone to my brother. I don’t know what to say. I’m pleased that she’s coming, but there’s so much other shit that we have to deal with when she does. And I’m the only one who’s pleased. Everyone else just doesn’t want her here. Which makes things awkward. I can’t argue her case because what else can I say other than, “she’s my mother”? Apparently that just isn’t good enough a reason for her to visit.

I’m not even sure how much I want her to be here. I don’t want my dad to turn into that argumentative asshole he becomes. I don’t want to be faced with just how many flaws she really does have, but aren’t as noticeable down the phone. And I don’t want to confront my own insecurities, all the old hang ups that make me special in that horribly messed up way.

But a girl needs a mother. I don’t need her to do the mothering anymore. I don’t need her to stand in front of me and protect me from the world. I don’t need her to make my meals or comfort me when I’m scared. I’m past that. But I need to make peace. I need to know that for her flaws, and for mine, we love each other enough to be okay. Before I can fully accept myself, I need to accept the woman that made me this way, and I need to accept her without hating her for it.

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Friday, June 16, 2006 


My horoscope tells me that Pisceans have split personalities.

"One fish can be seen to be the fish that wants to return to a state of deep unconsciousness. This fish wants to go back to the deep sea, where all there is to do is to eat, procreate and sleep.

"The other fish wants to swim to the light. It senses that to follow this longing to return to the state of oneness, as felt by them in the womb - with the added ingredient of awareness - of conscious knowing - is their potential awakening."

I'm superstitious. I generally don't pay much attention to horoscopes because I'm a scientist too, the astrology of it doesn't work with the universe expanding. But if my tarot cards tell me to watch out for having an accident, or there are a number of things that happen consecutively like breaking a mirror and falling flat on my face when trying to leave the house to go there, I take them as signs.

That horoscope worried me though. I guess it makes sense, occasionally you have to come accross one that sounds like you. If just because there are so many variations that it is impossible for there not to be one that sounds vaguely right.

Today my tarot card was the chariot. "It means a union of opposites, like the black and white steeds. They pull in different directions, but must be (and can be!) made to go together in one direction. Control is required over opposing emotions, wants, needs, people, circumstances; bring them together and give them a single direction, your direction. Confidence is also needed and, most especially, motivation."

Tell me I'm insane. Tell me my superstition is idiotic and that there is no such thing as serendipity. Yesterday I told you I was torn. Today I'm no better, in fact I'm probably worse. I'm torn in half, torn between which one of me to listen to, and torn between a lasting friendship and just throwing it all away. And I don't know what to do.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006 

Which one of me?

I’m… not happy. I haven’t been happy for a while. I don’t know exactly how long I’ve been unhappy for; going backwards I guess this has been for at least three months now. Probably more. And I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t know why I’m unhappy. I feel… bereft. I feel like I’ve lost someone, and I think the person I’ve lost might be me. I’m not the same person I used to be, we aren’t even similar. And I have this huge, horrible feeling of loss, like I’ve lost someone important, like there is this huge hole inside me and no matter what I pour into it to fill it up again, it just won’t.

I look out the window and I see sunlight. I see kids coming in on the school bus, walking past the house and chattering to each other. Happy. I hear dogs outside in the garden, playing with each other, yapping, and I go to look. It brings a smile to my face. A small, bitter, smile. Like they’ve got something I don’t, like there’s something that I’m missing.

I’m crazy. Sometimes I am happy. Sometimes I genuinely feel joy with myself, and the people around me. But there are other times. Times when I’m sitting there with my friends, and I go silent. I look at myself, I look at them talking, giggling, and I just think, “What’s the point?” I love them to pieces, but sometimes I can’t work out why they care, why we need to have stupid conversations about food colouring or chalk, why we bother with each other when I’m pretty sure that most of them don’t even like me. I look at them and I realise that I’m only there because they’re used to me being there. Because I drag them out of themselves, I call them up and organise things, and in clubs I drag them onto the dance floor and make conversations.

And I’m tired. I’m tired of chasing people to work out a situation. I’m tired of people telling me that I’m doing things wrong. I’m tired of being told that I’m a bad friend, when they aren’t doing so brilliantly themselves. And mostly I’m tired of feeling like I’m alone.

This is stupid. I sound like a little kid screaming at her parents that everybody hates her; the whole world is picking on her. It isn’t like that.

I don’t know. I have a good life. I’ve got everything I want, and more. And if I truly want to eradicate the loneliness then there are numerous ways of doing it. But I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t work. I’d be trying to make myself better on one level, by giving myself more on another.

My problem is that I feel like it’s all superficial. You get men, talking to you, flirting, watching you, blowing kisses, whatever. And they don’t know you, they see meat and that’s all it is. Christ, I play to it. I let them think of me as meat, I objectify myself to the extent where if they were ever going to consider me as something more, they can’t. I’ve done this to myself, and suddenly I’m not happy.

I feel superficial. I feel like I’m a dumb blonde who no one actually cares about other than for stuff thats completely shallow. I’m not blonde. But I’m going to go through life with meaningless relationships with men who use me up, then get bored. And generally I’m okay with that, mostly I chose this. But underneath everything I question it. I want to know what it is that makes me act like me, and if I have to put myself through this, then why can I not be content with it?

I feel schizophrenic. I feel like there is this layer of me on the outside that everyone talks to, that smiles and flirts and acts confident. And that girl on the outside is happy. But there’s another one. Another girl on the inside, deep deep down who barely ever gets noticed. But she’s screaming. She hates how shallow the girl on the outside is, and she hates that the girl is the only one people see.

So I’m torn. I’m torn between a life that makes me happy and sad all at the same time. And I’m torn between which one of me to listen to. And all I really want, what I want most in the world out of everything, is just for a little while, to be happy.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006 

I'll dance again

The music fills my ears, my brain, as a smile comes to my face, my eyes, as I spin. I spin with the breeze, my arms open wide, head thrown back, looking up to the heavens. The sun streams in through the window bathing my in a warm honey glow. I feel like an angel, a goddess, I feel like I could fly.

My bangles clatter round my wrists. Only my toes touch the floor as I pirouette, my long skirt spinning with me. My scarf whips in the breeze as my hair flies back from my face, curly tendrils falling everywhere.

When I was little we used to play a game. If the sky was pretty and the grass was dry, we’d go outside. We'd dance in the garden, climb the trees, and then when we were done we’d spin. We’d spin to celebrate the beauty of the day and the joy in our dancing. We’d spin until our heads spun with us, till our skirts tangled at out knees, and until we fell down and could spin no more.

It’s the same child-like joy that I derive from making snow angels. Throwing myself back into the snow with abandon. It’s the joy only a combination of a beautiful mood and gorgeous weather can bring. It’s a pure, unadulterated love of life. An acceptance that what is to come, will, and what is past can no longer hurt me.

And so I dance with the windows open wide and the smell of summer saturating my thoughts. The sun, the heat, and the breeze filling me with a feeling of content that neither love nor alcohol will ever bring.

Eventually I’ll fall. My head will pound, and I’ll spin no more. But that will not happen today. And when it finally does happen, I’ll be fine because I know that one day, somewhere, I’ll dance again.

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Monday, June 12, 2006 

Sun shines out from behind gloomy clouds

This is hard for me. But it’s easier than I expected. I’m not pregnant. The relief at that news was nearly overpowering. I’ll admit, the idea of living at home and dumping the baby on my best friend every morning while I went to uni was starting to sound appealing to me, especially when I found the website devoted entirely to baby names. But a baby? No. People can tell me congratulations, and other such morale boosting things, but Jesus Christ was I relieved to see blood. My history is not such that I would wish to pass on to a child. Maybe some day when I look out my window onto other oceans, and when there is someone in my life that I could actually contemplate raising a child with, but until then, I’m happy without.

Everything seems so final at the minute. I’m planning my leaving party. I know that I’m actually only going for two months, and that after that I’ll be back and in everyone’s hair as much as I am now, but it’s me. I’m not too fussed about the excuses- any reason to have a party is great. So we’re borrowing my aunt’s field and taking advantage of the astonishingly beautiful weather. It does mean that for the last weekend that I am in this country I will be either hung over or drunk due to the Leaver’s dinner for our final goodbye to full time education on the Friday, and then my goodbye party on the Saturday. But at least it starts the summer with a bang and means that I’ll have something to occupy me on the plane on the Sunday morning, even if that something happens to be a headache.

I said goodbye to him. And not just in here with a long essay on my mournful loss, but actually. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, not to his face. But I wished him luck, told him to try not to come back too camp, and told him to take care. And I said goodbye. I finally managed to do what I’ve been wishing I would let myself do for months. And I changed my mind.

People told me, “It’s better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all.” But I despise cliché’s with a near psychopathic passion. When recently on the phone to a friend, I had to hang up on her because she could have been reciting from “100 most overused cliché’s in the English language,” and I wouldn’t have known the difference. I despise them, and they’re worse when you are having an argument. How can you argue with someone who is talking in cliché’s? They don’t mean anything! It’s like expecting to win an argument by not saying anything, and then getting confused when the other person gets frustrated.

Anyway. Lost myself on a slight tangent there. I never believed the people who said it was better to have loved and lost. It didn’t make sense. How can you celebrate losing something that important? I mean yeah, you have the memories, but the happier those memories are, the harder it is to get over them, and the more pain you feel when remembering them. But I finally got it. I loved him, I lost him, and now I’m okay. I miss him slightly, his crazy sense of humour, and the way no matter how stupid my comments were, he would always respond with something equally or more stupid. The boy had imagination, and that I respond to. But it’s made me more adult, it’s made me more independent, and it’s made me become more the person that I will be, as opposed to the person that I am now.

So while I loved and lost, what I lost was made up for by the experiences gained. The wounds aren’t still open, and I can talk to him now and only feel a faint twinge. There is still the twinge, and always will be probably. But I don’t feel wrong when I flirt with others anymore, and if I behave scandalously then I know that it is only me who will get hurt by it. I’m happier, and finally, genuinely happy to be me again.

A lot of things have gone wrong recently. For a while I truly began to hate myself. That’s one of things he gave me that I’m glad I lost. But it wasn’t just him who was to blame for it. I’m not like that anymore. I’m less needy, more self-assured, and far more confident (though considering my confidence needed little boosting before, that one isn’t necessarily so wonderful). And while it feels like the end of something. While it is the end of a lot of things really. It’s also the beginning of more. And that I could really grow to enjoy.

Anyway, enough, I have a party to organise, host, and most of all, enjoy. :D

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Saturday, June 10, 2006 

The Final Chapter

Everything is about him. My hair colour, my lucky charm necklace, the way I still check myself whenever I walk past the pub. He’s in my thoughts, my dreams, and the way I refuse to delete him from my phone book. He’s in my memories, and the perfume I wear. He’s in the eyes of other’s, and he’s the reason I have to grow my hair.

I know that I don’t love him; the intensity isn’t there. But he will forever be my Peter Pan; the boy who can’t grow up. He is my first love, my biggest obsession, and the one I gave the most to. He was a good lover, just not such a great love. He fit my requirements perfectly, he fit me perfectly, but sometimes things just don’t work.

I’ve survived. It killed me to, and I think the last time I cried that hard was at my grandma’s funeral, and that was seven years ago. I can’t pretend that it didn’t hurt me, and it took me longer than I’d admit for me to move on. I still missed him when I was dating others, and no man measured up when I was in bars. And not just because of his height.

When I was given a week to make my decision about Germany, there were many things that I thought about. One of them was him. I found the idea of sticking around here, where there are so many memories, frankly horrifying. I’ll admit that were it not for him I would not have been as anxious to leave the country. My family, my friends, my own stagnation, and the increased opportunities were I to go were taken into account too. I made my decision not because of him, but I won’t lie and say he wasn’t a factor.

Were I given the choice now, I would have made the same decision, but for different reasons. He wouldn’t have been a factor. In my mind I’ve said goodbye to him. In my dreams I’ve talked everything out with him rationally, and we both moved on. I don’t need to actually go through it anymore; that would cause more harm than good.

And the pregnancy thing helps. It’s made me realise that the idea of being tied to him in such an absolute way, even if we were not in a relationship, scares the hell out of me. I love him because he’s my Peter Pan, I won’t love the adult, and I don’t want to have my children with him. Yeah, I know that if it turns out that I am, and we haven’t yet established that, then he’ll know. I don't want him to, I don't want him there, and for him alone maybe I wouldn't tell him, but I guess for his family, for everyone, for everything, I'll have to. Though I still don't believe that I can be, and he really won't want to know.

After that I realised how pointless it would be were I to get my wish and we got back together. If we drew it out longer I’d grow to hate him. Better to keep it short and keep only the nice memories. I can never regret a minute of it, even the times when either of us made drunken idiots out of ourselves. But I don’t need to keep reliving every painful second. I don’t need to keep him in my heart; he’ll last longer in my memory.

So I say goodbye my love. You are no longer held in the confines of my heart; I set you free. When my memories fade, and my pulse grows slow, another shall be at my side. My heart will belong to someone else, but I will always have room in my memories for you. It would be impossible to forget the crazy boy who always dreamed of flying.

You’ll fly, that I promise. You’ll get the beauty who wishes to carry your slippers. And you think that you’re immortal. You’re right; to me you are. Even if emphysema and alcoholism claim you as I always promised they would, your memory will be immortal, and it’s something I shall cherish.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006 

Moral Dilemma

The idea of me being pregnant is preposterous. Firstly because my recent celibacy means that of course I can’t be. And secondly because the idea of me being a mother is simply laughable. I wouldn’t trust me with a potted plant, never mind a developing child.

Of course, if it turns out that due to some weird biological fluke that I am, then I’ll just have to deal with it somehow. I’ll truly consider all the pros and cons of both abortion, and adoption. I’ll do some research, talk to a doctor, consult a psychiatrist. I’ll phone up and find out the privacy laws for adoptions these days, and I’ll talk to someone about benefits for single, unemployed mothers.

I’ll do everything I need to for me to make a logical, considered, decision. Then I’ll phone up UCAS and tell them I’m deferring entry to university for a year, then find out about day care for babies in Edinburgh. I already know that I would neither kill it nor give it away. If I have to have it then I’ll change Northumbria to my first choice of university, and live at home. It’s a lot to ask, but I have a hugely extended family and yes, they’d be put out, but no one is going to want to send one of ours off into some random person’s arms just because I’m an inept mother. I’ll go to uni, get a degree, get a job, and be a working single mother. I’m not exactly the first.

I’ll tell you now; this is frightening. But I work best under pressure. It’s the only time I work. But I already know it’s nearly impossible for me to be pregnant, so this is entirely hypothetical anyway. It’s barely worthy of consideration at all except that planning for every eventuality means that I won’t be unprepared.

And the father. Would I tell him? I don’t know. I guess that I would have to. It’s too small a community for me not to. But that’s only if I stick around here. Would I seriously consider just not telling him? Yes. Definitely. I’m not going to ask him for anything. What could he really give? He has many good points, and eventually he’ll make a wonderful father. But tying him to me in that way would cause him to hate me.

I disagree with the type of men who say a woman “got herself” pregnant. In 99% of cases that isn’t true. I can’t say all because occasionally a broody woman will stop taking birth control in order to become pregnant. I didn’t “get myself” pregnant, but I take responsibility for the child if it exists. As a partner I miss him, but neither of us are mature enough to look after a child, and I don’t wish to force him to try. With the right woman he’ll do great, but not with me. It doesn’t matter that I expect nothing; there will be a certain responsibility if I tell him. Whether he accepts it or not, it will still be there.

What’s the point? He’s as broke as me, he’s leaving, and I know I can cope. I have the means to survive, I have my family, and I know that whatever happens, we’ll both be fine. I may not have the future I planned for myself, and I’ll have to make a few sacrifices. But happiness is subjective. A child is worth more than whether or not I sell a novel or get into university. I’m already lucky and happy enough without that.

I don’t want to stop him from seeing his child. But I don’t want him to have regrets about us either. I think I just want to do what I always do: adapt, cope, and get on by myself.

Is that wrong?

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006 

Dating Requirements

My previous blog was simply a way for me to find enlightenment. It ended when the anonymity had gone, but I’d been thinking of killing it for a while before that happened. Mostly it just had to die because I got my enlightenment; I worked out who it was that I am.

This one is my search for love. Or at least for romantic happiness. I figure it’s a better thing to search for because it lasts longer, and there is less chance of me finding it. So it’s actually worth writing about. Anyway, if I am to properly search, then I should at least work out what it is that I’m searching for. So I’ve made a list. It's slightly longer than I intended.

My ideal man would be:

  • Tall. Height is important. It’s one of the few physical features that I ask for, so I’m not being shallow here. Or at least, not especially shallow. I average five ten/ eleven in heels, and I always wear heels. But I still enjoy looking up at a man, so short is out of the question.
  • GSOH. But by good, I mean my sense of humour. I want someone who is slightly ironic, and slightly nasty in their sense of humour.
  • Off the wall. The last guy I went on a date with was lovely, but boring. I said I was insane; he got confused thinking that I was insulting myself. If you think insane is bad, it just isn’t going to work. Crazy people do crazier things, and crazy things are fun.
  • Good sense of fun. I don’t mind someone who’s a big kid at heart, in fact, I prefer it. Serious types don’t do it for me; I need you to agree with me when I decide that it’d be cool to go for a walk in the rain, or try to escape out of the window. I love heights, I love rain, and I don’t like people who always need to do what’s normal.
  • Creative. Be it artist, writer, musician, actor, dancer (as long as he really isn’t gay, rather than gay but not quite out of the closet yet), or simply someone who just enjoys making things, or fiddling with them. It’s important.
  • Passionate about something. Even if that something happens to be Led Zeppelin or Exxon Mobil’s conspiracy with aliens to destroy the earth.
  • Strong enough to lift me up and carry me if I break a heel or twist my ankle. I’m barely over eight stones, I’m not asking for a steroid driven Sylvester Stallone type, I just want someone who isn’t weak and pathetic. Christ, I can carry my sister around and she weighs more than me.
  • Intelligent. Being crazy is great, and having fun is wonderful, but having conversation is good too. I don’t want an airhead, or someone who is insecure about their IQ so tells me that they never paid attention at school anyway. Einstein isn’t what I’m looking for, just someone who reads a newspaper (broadsheet, not The Sun) occasionally, and can laugh at me when I’m being obtuse.
  • Someone driven. To do anything. I don’t care. But telling me that you’re quite happy in a dead end job, or living with your parents for the next few years because you don’t want to miss your “home comforts”. That isn’t for me (and that isn’t nice either. I shouldn’t have mentioned that). You don’t have to want to get as far away from your parents as I do, but some ambition is important.
  • Someone who wants to travel. This isn’t code for someone who is rich and will fly me around the world on his private jet. I’m happy backpacking and staying in hostels, I just want to see the world. I don’t care if I don’t have a penny to my name while doing it.
  • Someone who understands that I have two levels and can deal with me on both. On the one hand I can act like a petulant child, and will do on fairly regular basis if I think that I’m not getting what I want. But I can also act like a self-possessed woman when I feel like it. I may act like a child at times, but I’m independent, confident, and am strong enough to go after what I want when I need to. I don’t want someone who will hold me back by treating me like a child all the time, or who expects me to always be an adult.
  • Someone slightly commitment phobic. If you start professing your love for me and the wish to stay with me forever in the first two weeks, I’ll either run away terrified, or laugh in your face.
  • Someone who can put up with my mind games. And better, someone who can play them with me, and win. I’m going to try to put you under my thumb, I want someone who’ll sneakily put me under theirs when I think that I’m managing it.
I will settle for less than is on the list. Although the height thing is compulsory actually, and the intelligence, creativity, and ironic sense of humour. Actually, most of them are pretty important. I can't help it, I know what I want, and I'll actually put up with quite a lot as long as my requirements are met. At least I'm not a gold digger.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006 


Twenty six days before I leave, twenty four days until I can truly say goodbye to high school, and twenty days until my last exam. Everything is on count down, my body most of all. I’m finding it practically impossible to make the seven o clock wake up that is required if I want to get into my exams on time and unpressured. And getting a reasonable amount of sleep on top of it all just isn’t happening. Today I wrote seventeen pages of chemistry notes, and that’s just for my exam tomorrow. I have another ten exams after that. Putting everything before my scholastic endeavours is catching up, and it’s catching up now.

Caffeine is my saviour; it’s the only thing that keeps me awake through the endless onslaught of redox reactions, nuclear fission, and cereal adaptations. I’m taking it in pills and in strong cups in the morning, and at night when my eyes are starting to flicker. I’m not stressed out. I’m not worried about doing badly because I know that the amount of work that I’m putting in has to get me decent results. I’m just tired.

Procrastination is something I’ve developed into an art. I’m intelligent in that I have a reasonable IQ and can pass exams even without the work, but I’m not clever because I could be getting much better grades, and more sleep if only I had done more work last year. I won’t tell you that were I to go back I would do it all differently. I’d take advantage of the stuff I know now and go out partying. There would be a few relationships that I wouldn’t do over, but the revision? I don’t know, maybe I would. Right now I’m starting to think it might be a good idea. I can only leave the house in a pair of shades because my bags are that huge. I’m starting to look like a vampire. A vampire that isn’t getting enough sleep.

And I need a lap top. I’m going to Germany on the second of July, and I’m not coming back until the start of September. That’s two months without a computer, or any of my friends. And maybe without basic amenities like alcohol, toothpaste and hair serum if I don’t start learning the language sometime soon. But every second of my day I’m either sleeping, panicking that I don’t own concealer due to me never having needed it previously, or learning two years worth of biology, chemistry and physics. I’ve got a lot to learn without a language on top of that. I’ve got five days until I leave after my exams end, is that enough time to learn German? Somehow I doubt it as I did a year of it in year nine and all I can remember is “Ich heisse Harriet.” But then, as I said before, I’ve never been scholastically motivated. Academically motivated maybe, I’m stupidly interested in truly uninteresting things like organic chemistry and biotechnology, but put me into a classroom and even those put me to sleep.

I can always write in notepads. And if nothing else I’ll have plenty of time to learn the language when I’m over there. What else will I do? Looking after toddlers is tiring, but not exactly taxing on the brain. My blog will, unfortunately, suffer. But hey, who even reads this thing? I doubt that I will be missed particularly. All that I’ll miss is a lot of drunkenness, partying, and working at a local pub. Not certain which one yet, but waitressing is just one of those jobs that you can walk into anywhere if you’ve already spent two and a half years doing it, and it’s the holiday season.

I know that the next thing I am going to do is get into bed and lie awake for the next three hours wishing I could sleep, but I’m going to do that anyway because my eyes are tired, I look like Dracula, and I still want to sleep after three cups of coffee. That’s a pretty good sign that it’s time for me to at least try to sleep. Plus, I have three hours of chemistry to look forward to tomorrow, it would be good if I get enough sleep to survive those three hours without falling asleep in the middle of the exam. I'm pretty sure that's something they don't approve of.


Sunday, June 04, 2006 

Searching the Horizon

When I was really young my gran gave me a jewellery box. It was a sort of strange purple colour, but pretty. When I opened it there was a ballerina that popped up from a spring at the back, and she’d twirl to a twanging xylophone type music that sounded maudlin at best. You couldn’t see her features, the box wasn’t expensively made and I’m guessing they just couldn’t find a paint brush that was small enough to do justice to her features. I always imagined that she’d be crying though. I know that if I had my feet glued to a spring and had to dance every time such sad music came on, I’d cry.

I knew that she was beautiful too though. The music had a slightly ethereal quality to it, and for music like that you can only envisage the figure to be like Liv Tyler in Lord of the Rings; ghostly, but beautiful too. She’d have her hair whipping in the wind, face looking steadily into the distance, searching for something, maybe happiness. I had a dream of her too. I dreamt that one day she found her feet free, she could escape, lifting the lid of the box silently and running away into the dark to go and find what she’d spent so long looking for in the horizon. One day the box broke. The music just stopped playing, she stopped her faceless twirling, and while there was still the little plastic figure in a tutu there, I felt that its soul had fled. I kept the box for years and years longer than I really should have. It was broken, and started to get tatty. But I couldn’t throw it out, even with her soul gone; it felt like I was somehow not honouring her memory. A child can dream.

We’re all looking for something. We’re waiting for our princes to find us, for the time that it would be right to escape into the sunset; we’re hoping to find ourselves. And, over time, we find what we’re looking for. We get our chance to run, we escape, experience new places and people. We taste new cultures, and look in wonder at the beauty of everything we experience. We meet many princes in our travels, and realise that just because they’re princes, they aren’t always as wonderful as we first believe. And sometimes, they’re even better than we first suspected. We grow, gain knowledge, and one day realise that we are the person we were waiting, trying, to become. We learn wisdom, and we learn how little it is that we know.

Lots of people have helped me become who I am. And at least twice that will help me become better in future. My gran gave me everything that is good about me, and my mom taught me tolerance. My sister taught me that it’s easy to be duped and about ruthlessness. She also taught me the fragility behind even the hardest, strongest façade. My dad taught me the most probably. He taught me that creativity doesn’t equal riches, no matter how good you are. He taught me how to be an adult, and how to survive. He’s also taught me that those you believe to be infallible are rarely ever so.

My most recent lesson was Dave. He taught me that I have a heart. And, subsequently, taught me that it could be broken. He taught me that it’s possible to find joy in sitting inside a train station, he taught me to notice the stupid things that we normally overlook, and he taught me that even though sometimes we lose things and that it kills us when we do, it’s possible to be okay at the end of it. I was beginning to be scared that there wasn’t going to be a time when I would be able to look back without wincing, without reliving every single aspect in painful detail. But it is, I can, and next time I have my heart broken, it won’t be so horrifying because I’ll know that it’s possible to get through it all. I can survive, be happy, and I don’t need to be in a relationship for that to happen.

So, I stand before you now. The people who have taught me in the past can only watch from the sidelines now, they are no longer the major players. My childhood has come to a rather abrupt end, and I’ve got to go out into the world on my own and pretend to be an adult. I’ve got to wake myself up in the mornings, make my own breakfast, and walk out the door without anyone to wish me goodbye. I’ve got to take heed of the lessons taught me, and hope that they make me a decent enough human being to interact with others. And I’m scared that I’m not up to it. When I turned eighteen people made reference to me being an adult, then laughed. I know I’ll never grow up; I’ll always be a child in so many ways. But maybe I’m mature enough to be adult too when it’s important. Maybe it’s enough to be who I am and carry on anyway.

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About me

  • An albatross can fly for thousands of miles without getting tired. I've always thought that love is similar to flying, therefore we should aspire to be like the albatross.

    I don't know if I can do that. So far I haven't been so lucky. But one day I'll test my wings with someone, and flying won't be so hard after all. Or so painful.
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Save the Albatrosses


    * In 2001 one New Zealand fishing boat killed over 300 seabirds in just one trip, while fishing for ling.
    * Each year over 300,000 seabirds are killed by longline fishing.
    * Over the past 60 years some albatross populations have declined by 90%.
    * Annually around 10,000 albatross and petrels are caught in New Zealand waters alone.
  • Save the Albatrosses
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