Sunday, 23 December 2012

Love at Christmas

    Love is a subject that has been driving me absolutely mental for the past few days, weeks, months as I try to understand the motions I've been going through. Wikipedia says 'Love is an emotion of a strong affection and personal attachment.' This makes a lot of sense because it explains why we have friendships, courtships, bonds between parent and child. Although, from what I've learnt of evolution, this sensation existed as a defence mechanism to nurture the young and encourage teamwork against a common enemy, i.e. lion.

   However, Wikipedia also says that 'Love is also said to be a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection —"the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another".Love may describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one's self or animals.' It is this that I'm having trouble coming to terms with - I would argue that any and all 'selfless' are in themselves 'selfish' because regardless of point of view, it'll benefit you in some way; be it physically, emotionally or morally. I feel bad talking of such a sacred emotion in such a clinical way but it makes me feel better as to why people are so consistently inconsiderate and thoughtless.

   When I was a little girl, I looked to my parents as what love meant, and I liked what I saw. They spoke warmly of each other, made each other laugh, they went out of their way for each other regularly and, well, they just had each other's back. Now, I'm not saying their relationship is perfect because I feel there have been a lot of compromises made and refined over the years to make it function, but it works, and they make each other happy. I want that so badly, to not feel constantly let down and hurt, for a person to show me how they feel in their actions, and not just in their words, maybe I'm just being impatient. The whole topic has got me confused - in my relationship, I've got Wiki's first definition down, but not the latter. There could potentially be hundreds of reasons for this; gender differences, social backgrounds, political standing, interests, that kind of thing. On the other hand, I've always been under the impression that this latter definition of what love was, was universal. It's not enough to say I love you, you have to mean it, and more than that, show it.

   I'm spending the majority of the Christmas holidays alone as a result of how love can go wrong within the family. The problem with this time of year is that everyone is doing the same thing, in returning to their resident tribes and indulging in practices known collectively to them. I've had several warm invitations from friends to spend Christmas with theirs but I know that this would serve no great purpose, except maybe make the family feel awkward, and me feel worse for not having what they do. I guess you could say that this blog post is a rant about how much I feel ripped of by the institution of love in all senses of the word, and how much this is emphasised at Christmas. It's an awful thing to say, but I'm truly losing faith in people's faith in me - I have lost countless friends simply due to them feeling uncomfortable with my complicated circumstances, and I really don't feel that this is my fault. Just truly abysmally bad luck.

   There's a voice in my head, and I'm sure many reading will be thinking the same kind of thing, 'get your head out your arse', 'get over yourself', 'get on with it', 'think of something other than yourself'. I know, I hear you and you'll have to bear with me. I've been doing this whole 'let's get optimistic and do stuff for people' thing since I was 16, and I have to say, even though i'm only 19, it's exhausting. Little rewards are being reaped for my efforts, largely due to circumstances out of my control i.e. moving home. I need shelter, I need family, I need friendship, but more than anything, I need love.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Short Crime Story

It was around 08:30 when an unsuspecting postman arrived at the door of 32, Owlett Grange to deliver the mail for the day. He had on his person two utility bills, a greetings card and a letter from Royal Mail demanding £1.78 in unpaid delivery costs. He realised that something was wrong as soon as he knocked on the door because at his touch, the door flung wide. He had the mocksy to let himself in, in search of this irresponsible home-owner.  “Hullo?” the man whimpered cautiously. All of a sudden, men in plastic blue overalls swarmed through the hall, carrying fragile-looking equipment, every inch of them covered in this sterile material aside from their tired but focused eyes. The Bobbies on the case were Detective Chief Inspector Range and his grasshopper, Detective Inspector Wendall. They soon identified the postman and immediately interrogated him for his presence on a crime scene on this crisp autumn evening. “I just came to deliver Mrs Cookridge’s mail I swear” the man pleaded, “Maybe I shouldn’t have just walked in but there was no foul play here from me, honestly!”

The Officers took his word for it and Wendall escorted the shaken postman round the back of the house, where the scale of the situation really came into perspective. Clinical gazebos, at least four or five, were set up on Mrs Cookridge’s land, and it was positively crawling with pathologists, forensic psychologists, police officers, crime scene investigators – the works. “So what happens now?” enquired the now very worried-looking postman. “Well Mr-?” Began DI Wendall. “Fellman” replied the man. “Okay Mr Fellman, we’re just going to collect a statement from you about all you know about Mrs Cookridge and what you saw here today. From that we can begin to piece together what’s happened here.” “What has happened here?” Enquired Mr Fellman curiously, raising an eyebrow as he once again took in his surroundings. “We don’t really know ourselves to be honest. Mrs Cookridge is dead and it’s a pretty damn nasty business.” The colour from Mr Fellman’s face drained as he realised what had happened.

Monday, 8 October 2012


Today has been a weird one. I don't know how to accurately write this down but I feel like I'm losing touch of reality a little bit. I went to bed as a result of fighting with my boyfriend and all of a sudden there came this sensation of detachment from my body and from the room as if they weren't mine. I feel really numb, as if I'm  all mind, emotion and reaction.

The last thing I want to do at this point is raise alarm as I think that would just alienate me further and make me feel further detached from what I classify as reality. Every action, every word that comes out of my mouth is the very epitome of insincerity. 

Alas, I am at a loss as to what it is I should do except following the classic "fake it till you make it" philosophy. Look after my basic bodily functions and hopefully the rest of me will follow. Maybe I just have cabin fever...

Monday, 27 August 2012


I thought it was about time that I updated my disgrace of a blog as it's been a really long time and a lot has changed. Naturally, I'm struggling where to start as it's been five months since I've contributed to this that is supposed to be my writing practice for the future. I guess I'll start with the most immediate and most life-changing - I'm going to Leeds Trinity University this coming September to study English.

 Initially, I was very excited by the concept of the "best years of my life", but now I'm full of anxiety because of all the crap that comes with it such as crippling debt, confusing relationships, taking exams and generally being surrounded by people all of the time. I didn't realise until now how much people will actually be looking at me and interacting with me on a day-to-day basis, and frankly it's frightening considering I've spent the last two years living alone content in my own little bubble; eating my own weight in noodles, passing gas and talking to myself. Even relatively small issues like breaking in high heels and studying textbooks is proving an ordeal at the moment due to all this underlying anxiety. However, I suppose one could argue that everyone else going to uni will be going through the same typhoon of emotion I am.

In other news, I have come once more to a standstill regarding my parents. Every single day I struggle to understand how I possibly came from them as they are so acutely different from me. I'll start with dad. There was a less-than-brief period where I made truce with my father and we agreed to make every effort not to upset one another. I found this challenge relatively do-able because I now consider myself to be an adult that can process anything thrown at me with a sense of rationality. However, I failed to take into consideration how much of a sociopath my dad has become. His anger issues, both active and passive, have not subsided at all and are just as strong as what they were when I was a child. Regardless of the fact that I've come of age, I found his behaviour unacceptable and he simply could not tolerate me telling him so. He, after being rebuked by me for explaining that my mum would not be offended by a cat fact, said that he didn't want to speak to me any-more because I didn't treat him in a way that made him feel "special".

However, he did speak to me after he'd said that which brings me nicely onto the subject of my mum. I received a text from him recently asking if I wanted to know the official diagnosis of my mother's mental condition. I care for my mum far more than anyone else in the world so I could hardly say no, although I'm in two minds as to whether I should have because what he went onto text was not pleasant. My mum has Chronic Paranoid Schizophrenia. I don't have to say anything about it, as just reading out the name is in itself distressing. It did explain to me why she does the things that she does but it is a really serious mental illness and to know that your best friend is bat-shit insane is a little overwhelming. Things are overall pretty good with my mum though and the only reason we fall out is due to her illness or my father. I hope things won't change between me and her, although the fact I'm going to university will mean I'll inevitably see her less.

I suppose the crux of the issue is that times are a'changing and this is something I have to eventually accept. I'm an adult about to do a very adult thing in going to university and studying at a degree level. I will truly be alone in my decision making, there will be no safety net if I fuck up. You'd have thought being independent from the age of 16 would make things easier, but I don't think so. In all the years I have been by myself, there has been a battle going on within myself - a journey of accepting not just the state of things but of its effect on me. It has involved completely rewiring my perspective, an isolating process which has made me emotionally numb and socially inept. Hopefully, these necessary qualities will come back to me whilst living in the bustling social environment that is university, but who knows? I could be fucked.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Friendship Fundamentals

So far this week I've been feeling highly sorry for myself as I have managed to catch the Flu and so this entry was written partially out of boredom and partially out of attention seeking. This respite from my normally busy busy life has made me think about the relationships I have with people and the essential ingredients needed to make them thrive. One thing I can tell you for sure is that visiting your friend whilst they are unwell is definite brownie points, so thank-you Navid! Anywho, I want to highlight the factors I think are important when it comes to both friendships and relationships.

1. Love Your Neighbour - Even if you're not a Christian, treating someone the way you'd like to be treated is crucial for maintaining equality in any relationship. Therefore, if you're going to act completely irrational around your friends for no explicit reason, you really shouldn't be surprised if you wake up one day and realise that you don't have any friends. If you want to be regularly texted by your nearest and dearest, make sure you text them just as often to find out how they are doing. If you're sitting on your own feeling bitter that you haven't been invited out by your friends, give them a call and find out if they're free to do anything! You get out what you put in so if you're going to be lazy with your "friend's" feelings, don't expect them to give you any special treatment.

2. You've Got To Show Me Love - It's not always enough to just hang out with the people you care about because as human beings we're all a little bit insecure. A little reassurance and reinforcement goes a long way in relationships and will build a strong emotional foundation between both parties. Obviously, there is a time and place for everything and so confessing your affections for your friend out loud to them during the pub quiz is probably not going to go down very well. If you feel your friend could do with some reassurance and reinforcement but are not the type to express yourself, there are other means of letting them know how much them mean which brings me on to my next point.

3. Surprise! - Everybody loves a pleasant surprise, everyone. If you're sitting at your computer, shaking your head, you're just being coy because the idea of somebody thinking of you and going out of their way to get you something that they know you like is enough to bring a smile to anyone's face. Now I know that there's nothing worse than introducing materialism into a friendship, where one person buys another person a gift and then they are then expectant they will receive something in return. This is not what I'm getting at, more the idea of being thoughtful towards your friend and it shows that you've been paying attention to them. I don't know about you but I love it when my friends just listen to what I have to say and nod and smile even if I'm talking nonsense. That in itself is enough, further demonstration of this thoughtfulness would be putting what you've heard into practice!

So there you have it, the three key principles that I believe are the bread and butter of any decent friendship. Of course, I've probably missed out a few key points and I might have worded things a little oddly but I can get away with it as I'm writing this entry from my sickbed. Nevertheless, I hope you can relate to what I'm saying here and even better demonstrate it towards people that you love because I don't think appreciation towards one another is promoted enough.

I dedicate this entry to my nearest and dearest including the Gtown Crew (you know who y'all are, I'd be here for a while typing all your names out :P), Tom, Josh, Nan, Granddad, Mum and Dad!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Catch up blog entry

I best let you all know what I've been up to over the past few weeks as I've neglected blog for quite a while now. I've very much been focused on investing in my future and so have had my head buried in the books (or internet tabs) doing coursework and looking into work placements. Talking of which, I have spent the last week at Bradford's local newspaper, the Telegraph and Argus - granted my role there was largely administrative but it helped me to appreciate newspapers on a wider scale. I had a brief meeting with the sub-editor who explained to me the difficulty of getting into such an industry and that the choice to be a writer should be fully vocational and not a way to make money. I was quite aware of this fact however and plan to make money as an author, not as a columnist.

Something I would like to raise though, is the limitations of certain careers - I don't understand whether people willingly get into these situations of not. For example, for the majority of the week, I was working with the advertising department of the T&A which sells ad space to various companies. The people that work there are for the most-part in dead end jobs, I know because there are people there that have been doing telesales for the past 20 years. At first I admired the fact that they had such drive to achieve their targets and did this every single day from 9AM to 5:30PM but then I started to question the mentality of these people. Do they not realise that they are in jobs that will bring in very little money and satisfaction for a long period of time? Didn't they ever once dream of being astronauts or teachers or archaeologists?

It has made me seriously think about my future job prospects and my aspirations of being a writer. My inspiration is none other than J.K. Rowling as she created an alternate reality and has made absolute millions from it. I want to be like that one day and for now that is all I know. I've never put any serious effort into writing fiction as I do admit I have a lack of confidence in my own ability but it is still a feasible option. I can definitely write items of interest because my teachers enjoy reading my essays and you guys like reading my blog as far as I know. It's just a matter of putting the skills and the dream together with the glue that is hard work. For me, this involves, three years of an English degree for which I am aiming for nothing less than a 1st and then a further pre-entry journalism qualification approved by the National Council of Journalists; I'll probably have to throw in a bit of work experience into the mix as well.

I'm not 100% what you wonderful readers will take from this entry other than the fact that unless your dreams are completely ridiculous (like my avid desire to be a cat), then they should not be put aside. Of course, in accordance with the bitch that life is, it isn't going to come for free and in fact, it's going to take a lot of effort on your part, and no doubt lots of tears as well. You'll get there though!

Saturday, 28 January 2012


Apologies for not writing last week as I was in York, visiting a friend who attends university there, and I'd of thought it a bit anti-social to blog in his company. Additionally, I have found myself to be in a really happy place and such an emotion can be a real inspiration killer. I could do a book review and in fact I would like to talk about H.G. Wells' War Of The Worlds at some point but in order to do it justice, I will have to have another good I'll get back to you on that. In the mean time, I guess I could talk to you about happiness, what it is and where you have to go to find it? Of course, this is my personal opinion and you can take as much away from it as you want.

I found that part of becoming as happy as I am now is a result of both active decisions to make changes in my life and fortunate circumstances. For example, I changed my diet to vegan and it's become a bit of a hobby of mine so I thoroughly enjoy it, I try to exercise around 5 times a week to boost my self esteem and I let my hair loose now and then and have a really good time. Making up with my dad and catching up with old friends that I'm not bound to was also a massive boost and I really cherish these rejuvenated friendships that I have. Having a good outlook about the future and having some idea as to what you're doing with your life helps to put things into perspective, especially for me, therefore by having small goals and then a larger overall goal you have a much better idea of who you are.

Moreover, knowing who you are in general is a big factor in achieving a happy state of mind and not caring what people think about you. I quite happily potter about my house talking to myself and then laughing out loud because of the fact I'm talking to myself. It's about being happy in your own skin and forgiving yourself for things that have happened in the past. Nothing can be done to change the past whatsoever and coincides with one of my favourite ever sayings, "There is no point crying over spilt milk". Also, the past does not define you as a person and the great thing about loving yourself is that you really can be whoever you want to be. For example, I could quite easily leave the house tomorrow with a duvet round my shoulders and pretend I was a marshmallow - I may get a few looks but I'd hardly care having the persona of a piece of confectionery.

Finally, I'd say a big contributor to that big-ass smile on my face to living and let live. Forgiving people for the mistakes they have made in the past has had a massive affect on my perspective on human beings in general and understanding the term "we are only human". Cady Harron made a good point when she said that bitching about somebody is not going to change a thing, if anything it will only make things worse. People are just people like you and I, feelings, families, aspirations, the lot and so you have to respect people for their choices and just let them get on with it really. So there you have it, my happiness hypothesis and I sincerely hope that you all find paths to enlightenment and happiness; sorry for the cheese but it had to be said.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Building Bridges

It is a well-known fact that human beings are social creatures and rely on relationships for reassurance and motivation in most aspects within their lives. The foremost relationships being that within the family and it is that which I wish to focus on now. So much emphasis is put on the family and I'm not sure whether this is a rose-tinted idealistic view promoted by through media such as film and television and marketing, or if indeed the institution of the family exists and more importantly works. I have studied sociology and learnt in that time  all about various family structures and the conflicts that occur within the family, that are often ignored by society. I do not understand nor do I think I'll ever understand why this "blood thicker than water" concept carries so much emphasis simply because so many people become unhappy as a result of family life.

So what does one do when in a dysfunctional family but with traditional family ideals being forced down our throats? YOU IGNORE IT! The thing about families is that they consist of people that just happen to be individuals meaning that they are all different so it is impossible to stereotype a family. There is not one group of biologically linked people that are in any way similar to another. For example, my family consists of a dominant father figure with an anger problem, an enabling mother with various mental illnesses and a 15 year old boy (nothing more needs to be said there) and yet today peace between me and them was achieved. Throughout my teenage years, I exhausted myself trying to nag, bully, beg and scream my family into a "nuclear" structure to no avail and ultimately got me kicked out. It has taken this long to realise that angry dad, mental mum and bastard brother are all individuals who are who they are and trying to forcibly change them into something they were not did far more bad than good.

To those that have no family, however, it is important to understand that the ideological family need not be neither nuclear nor biological. Your mother may be a woman who you've always respected and honoured and has always provided a welcome ear and your father could be anyone  who is not afraid to tell you how it is. Of course, in a way, I myself am stereotyping the roles of the family and in fact the only thing that truly separates mothers and fathers are their genders. The point I simply wish to make is that home is where the heart is and though it may not necessarily be in just one place it would be wise to cherish it.

We may not need family in our lives and can cope just fine without them but it's an irresistible feeling to be wanted by a bunch of people that love you. I've found that so long as you have that emotional base you can turn to when you're losing sight of it all, internal conflict ceases and peace takes its place, which is not something to shake a stick at!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

"New Year, New Me" and the like...

Apologies for the delay, I have been rather wrapped up in various activities that are typical with the new year: coursework rush, domestic chuck outs and the good ol' January burn.

So since the new year came in there have been highly contrasting opinions on starting afresh on new year; some saying that every day is a new day and so to wait till New Year is not particularly noble and other firmly believing that a new year means a new start and they have the perfect excuse to re-invent themselves. I sympathise with both sides in that yes, life is short, so there is no point waiting around for a day that happens once a year to make important changes in your life. However, as a girl who went through a lot of unpleasant experiences in the previous year relish in the concept of turning the page of 2011 and walking into 2012 brand new, with the slate wiped clean and with the rest of the year to look forward to in this fresh light.

I'd say, without wanting to sound cliche, let it be. There is around 7 billion people on this planet and each of us will have our own particular way of doing things, of course, because that particularity is what makes us individuals. People may or may not want to make changes in their life but when they do them is completely up to them - you've no idea what they may or may not have gone through the previous year and so it would not be fair to judge.

2012, for me, will be an extremely exciting but also nerve-racking year. I have to get decent enough grades at college to take me to university, to finally come full circle. Finally, after going through the process of being made homeless at 16, to hostel life, to living in a highly turbulent domestic atmosphere, to living in a house that would eventually become a home. Unfortunately, my housing contract runs out this year, meaning that I will lose the place which I have come to love so dearly this past year and I'm sure that people that have been here would agree with me. Also, I've decided to address my ignorance towards my mother's mental illness so I want to spend this year coming to terms with it, and accepting my mum for who she it. Not only that, but I also plan to make peace with my past and learn to love the fact that present me would not be here without the past me and all her experiences. I wish to reflect more through the means of yoga and meditation and also to read more classic and contemporary literature in order to centre myself with my aspirations of being a writer.

Like many, at this time of year, I have introduced a new fitness regime and have altered my diet. However, I plan for this to be a long-term thing because I no longer see the point in envying women with fantastic bodies when I myself could be one of those women. I've decided to adopt a daily workout routine and non-fussy vegan diet, meaning that I'm primarily vegan but will not reject food offered to me by others simply because it has meat or dairy in.If you've ever seen JennaMarbles on Youtube and her fantastic body, you'll know why I've made the decisions I have. That is things as they stand at the moment and the advice I'd give to anyone wishing to make some changes this year, I'd say never give up, stick with it, in the end you can only look back in pride in all that you've achieved and will make you even more determined in all that you do.