Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Nothing going on here

Someone pointed out to me that my Twitter links directly to this beast which hasn’t been updated for a solid twelvemonth, so I’m going to sort that out. I considered various options for how to do this, including paying a ghost-writer to bang out a post for me as well as just deleting the goddamned thing, but actually doing this seems to be a sensible form of procrastination from my dissertation, which for some unfathomable reason has not written itself yet.

First, as usual, here’s a quick explanation as to why I haven’t been writing my blog. To be honest, I haven’t been writing anything. I haven’t been a very happy bunny for the last year or so and I’ve barely been meeting work deadlines, let alone updating a blog that no one bloody reads anyway (if you are reading, though, cheers – my semi-efforts are not in vain). I’m going to try and do more of everything over the next few months, including working, writing, exercise, and student radio, in which I am trained but uninvolved. I’m not setting New Year’s resolutions. When I inevitably break them I’ll grow despondent and stop trying. I’m just going to accept any external engagement or reflection as a success and be done with it.

I considered telling my life story in this post but I don’t really have the energy right now and anyway it’s probably not that interesting for anyone apart from me and my therapist. I suppose I’ll write it all down at some point so if you do want to hear about misogynistic bullying, drug abuse, self-harm and lonely meaningless sex, stay tuned.

But on a lighter note, and considering that no one is going to read this, I thought that today I’d focus on my true love, cheese. I’ve written a poem.

Ode to Cheese

My darling is fair,
Pale gold like sunlight glinting off flaxen hair
Skin creamy like milk
As smooth as purest silk
Her breath at once pungent and sweet,
Her figure tidy and neat.
Behold! How my archaic English degree
Has managed to subtly influence me

Into declaring my love through antiquated, patriarchal stereotypes.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Ten Ways to Make New Year’s Super Exciting and Fun for Everyone (researched and experienced by the writer herself)

1. Go to your ex’s party, despite your natural misgivings. An especially good idea if New Year’s was the night he asked you out two years ago and the fact that you’re no longer together is therefore particularly stinging.

2. Take two bottles of cheap wine (I recommend Echo Falls for a flavour truly reminiscent of urine) and be well aware of the fact that you’ll probably drink most of it yourself. For seriously hard-core party-goers, hide it all under the coffee table. Then you can get well and truly hammered without too much interference.

3. Drink said wine out of a large mug. Be surprised when people think you’re weird when you joke that it’s tea and that you’re three years sober.

4. Insist that you’re bloody excellent at pool – and do a good job at aggressively beating someone you don’t know, until you pot the white on the black. Then lie on the floor in shame whilst everyone laughs at you.
5. Forget resolution not to smoke at parties. Completely destroy your lungs.

6. Mistime the countdown and try to get everyone started at two minutes to midnight. Be scathingly hushed by several people.

7. At actual midnight, get with your friend’s brother. Your friend’s seventeen year old brother.

8. Lie under the Christmas tree in the living room. When your best friend, understandably concerned by your behaviour, tries to help you move towards the sofa, struggle and angrily refuse whilst declaring that you’re a present “waiting to be unwrapped”. 

9. Get into a drunken screaming argument with your oldest friend. This should occur in your ex’s bedroom. Make sure that there is plenty of snot running down your face whilst you’re crying, and make sure that everyone can hear you howling from the other side of the door.

10. Be sure not to get so drunk that you forget anything. You must remember everything. Yes. Everything.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Loneliness and being unhappy

Right now I'm missing someone. Like seriously, badly, achingly lying-in-bed-full-on-crying-because-I-can't-stop-thinking-about-it missing someone. To be honest I actually feel weird that I can formulate sentences to explain it because I don't feel like I'm thinking in straight lines. But I don't really know what to do and I'm more unhappy than I have been for a long, long time.

To be fair, it is the middle of the night and I am massively overtired. But even my usual happy thoughts (country gardens, libraries, London early in the morning, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) aren't really enough right now because my brain won't let me distract myself. The missingsomeoneness is all-consuming and violent and miserable.

I think I should just turn out the light and wait to fall asleep and accept that I'm going to feel bloody lonely all night. There's not really much else I can do, apart from wake up my mum to cry on her shoulder and I think that's a terrible idea because it's three in the morning. I wonder if there's a site on which I can chat to other people who are lonely and can't talk to the person they're missing. That should definitely be a thing.

Monday, 23 September 2013

George The Poet

 Hello, internet. It’s been a while. Year 13 was tough but I’ve done my A levels and am off to university in two weeks. (Yes, I know I’m not mature enough. No, I won’t forget to do my own laundry.)

The thing that inspired me to write today – apart from reading a message from one of my favourite childhood writers, Caroline Lawrence, that she sent over a year ago to tell me she’d read some of this blog – was the fact that on 25th October I will be going to see a George The Poet performance in Cambridge. George The Poet is a spoken word artist from North-West London, where I also live. He went to Queen Elizabeth School in Barnet, where my brother goes, and then to the University of Cambridge to study Politics, Psychology and Sociology.

I think he really is one of my literary idols for a few reasons: firstly, because he uses his poetry to convey real ideas and opinions which many artists do completely fail to achieve; secondly, because his use of language and rhythm and dialect is innovative, gritty and engaging, and manages to portray personality and emotion together whilst maintaining an air that is somehow aloof and cold; and finally, because I am completely obsessed with the spoken-word genre. There is something very inspiring to me about being able to perform one’s own writing. It engages in a different, more experiential way than reading does. That’s not to say that I love it more than reading – but watching a spoken-word performance is often just as intense.

As much as I’d love to go into detail about his philosophies and experience growing up (because most articles online imply that it wasn’t easy), I don’t think I really understand him enough for that. To be honest I just wanted to spread the word about him and show off that I’m going to see him perform. Watch this space: I think, if I have the nerve, that I’ll try to have a chat with him, and he’ll probably be too busy but it would be great to ask questions et cetera. Otherwise I’ll just write a review and tell you how spectacular he was in the flesh.

Here’s a pretty good interview that he did with the Observer in February, which explains more than I can about his educational manifesto: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/feb/03/george-the-poet-rappers-power-educate

And here's my favourite of his beat poems. It's about London and I feel that I understand it.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Poor Charlie

I hope you all know who this guy is.

In case you don't know, he's Charlie McDonnell, he's 22, and he's from Bath, although he now lives in London. He's also one of the UK's most famous video bloggers with over 1,600,000 subscribers on YouTube and billions of video hits. I've been following his channel for nearly two years, as well as listening to his music: he's been in the bands Sons of Admirals and Chameleon Circuit. I'm half in love with him for a few reasons: firstly, because he's just as obsessed with Doctor Who as I am; secondly, because he's hilarious and adorable; and thirdly, because he is just so creative and talented when it comes to videos. 

It makes me sad that the confidence he's gained since joining YouTube has dwindled, especially as I think the videos he's been making this year have been his best yet. There is just no need for his anxiety - he is an exceptionally talented entertainer and he certainly does make me happy. I giggle in almost every single one of his videos. He is intelligent, articulate and engaging. What more could anyone wish for?

Charlie thinks his problem is that he worries what everyone thinks of him. He says that it's other people's perception of him that boosts his confidence, and when he feels unappreciated or unsupported he loses self-esteem. But I think it goes deeper than that; I think that really he's terrified of what he is himself, and his own lack of self-esteem forces him into some paranoid state where he is terrified of what other people think of him. If he can only find a way like himself as much as such an artistic, bright, friendly guy deserves, he won't feel judged because he'll have his own way to be comfortable. I think this is his problem because it's mine, too, and it eats me every day - but I'm learning to recognise it and deal with it without it disrupting my relationships with people who are my friends. I just hope Charlie can learn to do the same. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Laughing at Republicans

Obama won. Thank goodness – for a minute there I thought that a racist, sexist homophobe might actually become the most powerful leader on Earth. It’s nice to know that people have some sense. Just though I’d post a few of the gaffs the Republicans have made – and some responses – so we can all have a good English chuckle at right-wing Americans.

Here's something pretty massive that had folks all riled up recently. It made me despair at humanity. Luckily for the planet (and women who are victims of sexual abuse), Todd Akin lost the race in Missouri to unseat Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill. Clearly female voters have ways to shut that whole thing down.

One of Romney's idiotic moments had him cracking racist jokes on national television. Here's a pretty good response to the comments.

And last but most certainly not least, he's been telling people that climate change is a joke. There's one way to look at it - and then there's another.

And here's just something obscenely funny to cheer you up if you've had a bad day. Hope you're all well :)

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Some handy life tips, Sun Tzu-style.

Hello children. It’s been too long.

That looks really creepy written down so I probably won’t greet you like that ever again, but, honestly, it has been too long. It’s NOVEMBER. I love November. Such a good month. And I wish I could put my lack of contact with you fine people down to copious amounts of work and university applications, but that would be lying. I’ve been partying and drinking and generally wasting my youth like the hoodlum that I am. Ah well.

Anyway. Let’s keep this short so that I can return to that History essay somewhere that I’m supposed to have been writing. Here’s the inspiring quote for the day:

If you know your enemy and you know yourself, you will not be defeated in a hundred battles.

Or something like that. I translated it from the original Chinese myself, of course. Essentially what this ancient sentence from The Art of War is saying is, “When you have a problem, be strategic. Use your strengths and the problem’s weaknesses; figure out where you may have an advantage; don’t rely on brute strength, use the brain that you possess”. I’d like to make several popular culture references to illustrate my point.

Firstly, the opening scene in Gladiator when Russell Crowe totally takes out the German horde and it’s pretty epic. The Romans carefully plan their attack: they choose their position well, they begin with flaming arrows to disorientate and damage their enemy, they charge from an unexpected angle and take the Germans completely by surprise – not to mention an epic motivational speech from the man himself. Basically they know that they can be organised and their enemy is not, and they use this to their advantage. In that scene, Maximus wins an almighty victory.

Another example that occurred to me is the moment when Harry battles the Hungarian Horntail in The Goblet of Fire. Mad-Eye says to Harry, “Play to your strengths”, so Harry flies. Harry also knows that the Horntail will chase him if provoked, so he lures her away from her eggs. Finally, Harry has the advantage of speed and slightness over the dragon’s bulky weight, which means that if he dives for the Golden Egg it’ll take her a minute to work out where he’s gone. He pieces together this knowledge and BAM he’s tied in first place for the Triwizard Cup.

Finally, I’d like to point out the concluding scenes from one of my favourite childhood movies, The Princess Diaries. Mia’s monsters are internal: she lacks self-confidence, mistrusts her friends, and is incapable of choosing the most sensible and pragmatic approach to situations. However, throughout the film, she begins to recognise these weaknesses as well as learning to find her strengths: she is bright, kind-hearted and determined. By knowing her own faults and assets she is able to overcome her fears, address the problems she faces, and eventually becomes Queen of Genovia. And she gets the hot prince.

So really what I’m trying to say is, when you have a problem, don’t stress out or behave like a crazy person. Step back, chill out, use your brain and deal with it carefully and rationally. If more people did this there’d probably be fewer wars. And fewer divorces.

Speak to y’all soon – I hope. I may get dragged back under the dung heap that is Year 13, but I’ll try to keep writing anyways.