Category Archives: Biographical Nonsense

Rear Windowing The Neighbours:

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The view from my flat… Missing the river, of course! 🙂

Not many of you may know that I live in a block of flats. They’re not a block of flats in the traditional sense; it’s three stories high and boasts six flats in total, including mine. Mine is ground floor and the patio doors boast a truly phenomenal view, to the point where I like to sit in the rocking chairs outside in the summer and watch the river idle by. Where I live is really quiet, idyllic and peaceful and I love it. I’m not the type of person who craves drama or intrigue, I like to keep myself to myself and living somewhere that is as quiet as my flat is truly amazing.

Even though I live in a block of flats, I very rarely see my neighbours. I sometimes see the family who live above with their tiny little girl who as of late has been screaming for hours on end, breaking her little heart over something that is troubling her. I see the man who lives with his partner opposite who ignores me all the time and sometimes drives in and out of the estate for no reason, before standing outside and smoking for ages. I am also pretty obsessed with the old lady who lives at the very top of the building; I’m not sure if she’s in a same sex relationship with the lady I see around often, but either way, I think she’s the type of person who likes to get drunk on gin and tell inappropriately filthy jokes, which basically makes her my soul mate and I long to pluck up the courage to ask her or happen to accidently drop a bottle of Hendrick’s one night as she wanders past, hoping to strike up a conversation that allows her to be my best friend forever more. There’s another couple that I don’t really know much about; I’ve said hello to them both separately and I very rarely see them… until recently. Recently, dear readers, Brain and I have developed a Rear Window situation, which basically means I am the Grace Kelly in the situation and he is the wheelchair bound James Stewart… we are obsessed with one of our neighbours.

Clearly I am Grace Kelly, look at the glass of wine, man!

Clearly I am Grace Kelly, look at the glass of wine, man!

They’re a young couple like Brain and myself, which means I have often thought about them and wondered what they’re like. I do this with people who are in relationships, because relationship dynamics intrigue me to no end; I like to wonder if all couples are the same and if their concept of love is the same as mine, for example. Like, I wonder if couples behind closed doors spend as much time cuddling on the sofa, or if they like to cook together or if they chase each other round playing stupid games like Brain and I do. I’m obsessed with the closeness that couples share and if it feels the same. This sounds entirely mental, I totally appreciate that, but either way, I have wondered about this couple.

They are both young, they’re both pale and they’re both very polite, prim and I think quite proper. She is very quiet and I haven’t really spoken to her and he only says hello in passing, so I haven’t managed to strike up a friendship with them yet, to be able to outright ask them what I am dying to ask them. So instead, I have to spy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t shimmy up the side of the building and Spiderman my way along until I can spy in their windows, and I don’t hang out in front of their door waiting or anything, it’s not that bad. Really, my spying is entirely accidental and I think that’s what makes the situation worse.

You see, every evening if I or Brain leave the house, or if we go out to our family’s house and return later on at night, or whatever, this couple are sitting in their car. The engine is running, the lights are on and they don’t do anything. They just sit there. And I am foaming about it.

Last night, we went out quite early because it was my dad’s birthday and we had gifts to take him, so we left at about six o clock and didn’t return until about half ten. When we left the house and I helped Brain put my dad’s presents in the car, the male human from this car couple was standing outside of the car putting his coat on. We exchanged pleasantries, as we always do and Brain and I got in the car. Immediately, as we do, we wondered out loud what they were doing sitting in the car, again. I mentioned that it was pretty weird and put it out of my mind, opting to bother Brain in the car by pushing all of the pushable buttons in the car and laughing wickedly as he clicks them all off, cursing me and calling me a nightmare, then we drove off, not to think of it again.

We had a lovely  night with my parents and after watching the Newcastle match, we came home. We got home at about half past ten and when I stepped out of the car, I realised that the couple were still in the car!! WHY, WHY ARE THEY IN THE CAR!!!!! I immediately started grinning, as I do when I’m excited and nervous and desperate to tell Brain some gossip and as soon as we got in the flat, we began wondering aloud what the fuck they could possibly be doing STILL SAT IN THE CAR. I’ve never known couples who do this, especially when they have a flat of their own to go into and do whatever it is they want to do. So I’m at a loss and I am so excited for night time to fall so I can watch them again…

Why are they in the car?

What are they doing?

Are they planning a murder?

Are they playing Mexican music loudly to mask the sound of them arguing?

What the fuck are they doing in the car?!

Stay tuned, because I will eventually find out. Until next time, Grace Kelly OUT!

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Happy Birthday, Doris Daze!

This time last year, I spent an inordinate amount of time alone; I would wake up alone, lie and stare blankly at the ceiling, wondering how many hours I would have to be awake before I could get hammered. If it was longer than ‘a few’, I would roll over and go back to sleep. During the week, I didn’t see a soul and the monotony of waking up and waiting to get drunk so I could feel something was my routine. My sister would come and see me and not see anything wrong with me, so would retreat back into her brand new relationship, telling my parents they were being paranoid for suggesting that I was depressed. I wasn’t depressed, though… I didn’t really feel anything in order to feel depressed.

From the space between September 2013 and May 2014, I saw my best friend once, a friend I had never met once and my other best friend twice. Other than that, I spent it alone. I hung out with my sister maybe four times. On a Friday, my dad would insist on picking me up and buying me wine so that I would spend the weekend with him and my mam. Neither of them liked the idea of me being alone, because they were frightened of what I would do. I would then spend the weekend staring blankly into space, locking myself in the spare bedroom or crying. I appreciated the effort my parents went to and I would sometimes put on my game face and pretend I was okay for their benefit, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t at all.

I was living in a house that was too big and too expensive to heat, so I didn’t heat it and wore blankets, trying to keep the winter chill from getting to me. Sometimes, I could see my breath when I lay in bed, it was that cold. It was a house where electricity was too expensive to light, so I didn’t light it and kept all of my energy for my laptop, so I could use Facebook and chat to my mam and my friend Sarah online. I had no job, I had no money and every day I received threatening letters about pay-day loans and other things that my ex had signed up for in my name – he had committed fraud, but I was being left to sort them out myself. My bank balance read £0.45 and I wasn’t eligible for any form of governmental help, so I had to rely on graciously accepting familial donations of £10 here and £20 there… I ate one meal per day, unless it was a special occasion (like, my sister came to visit, or my dad took me shopping) and that usually consisted of lettuce or cucumber, bread and the occasional tin of mackerel. I also used a lot of that money to buy wine, so that my nights weren’t spent cold and lonely, terrified of sleeping, of my environment, living in constant fear that my landlord was going to break in and be horrible to me. I hated my life; I hated waking up and feeling the way that I did, so I used a lot of the money that my family donated in good will, to getting wasted and self-harming so that it didn’t hurt as much anymore.

Then, one day, I decided to start a blog. I was at my parents’ house, as it was my dad’s birthday the following day and I was staying in my sister’s bedroom as she wasn’t home. I used her PC to play Skyrim on, which was my perpetual comfort blanket, when suddenly, for the first time in a long time, I decided I wanted to write. My family, particularly my beloved grandma, were panicking about Valentine’s Day, given that it was my first one as a single lady in a long time, but, as I told her, I didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day – I’d made the effort over the years, because I felt that it was right to do, but even to this day, I’ve only received two Valentine’s Day presents and they were both off my sister; An Audrey Hepburn print and a vintage-style champagne flute with some pug socks. So Valentine’s Day doesn’t really represent ‘love’ in my opinion. Then again, nothing I had experienced, really represented ‘love’. Convenience, maybe. Sex, maybe. But, love? No way… anyway, my first post was about Valentine’s Day. It was an entirely creative piece, but it was funny, I thought and that’s what I decided I wanted to do: I wanted to make myself laugh. I wanted to use life experiences to pull myself out of the perpetual slump I was in, because I wanted to move on. I didn’t want to be sad any more. And that’s how Doris Daze was born.

The happiness that I’ve been able to feel through writing this blog knows no bounds; it has been my constant, amazing best friend for a whole year now, and continues to be something I love to be a part of. Blogging helped bring me back to life again and allowed me to discover who I really am. Through this blog, I have managed to communicate with some amazing people, including some of the best friends in the world: Mungle, Sian, Emilie, Rachel, Amy, Marie, Leona and Becky. I rediscovered friendship and what it feels like to be loved and appreciated by people I get to call friends. I haven’t been a part of their lives much recently and I realise how much I miss them all; they are my lady humans and when I met them and began using social media to chat to them hundreds of times a day, waking up didn’t seem as bad anymore, because they were there to laugh and to play with. They were my company and slowly made the sting of loneliness disappear. Through these girls, particularly through Emilie, I rediscovered feminism and I embraced the movement like an old friend, which in turn helped me become newly self-assured, confident and respectful of myself. I began to write cathartically about bad things that happened to me and used feminist ideals to progressively feel better about those bad things so that they weren’t making me cry any more. I became an overall healthier person, intent on living life for ME and not for anyone else. I owe all of that to the opportunities that blogging has given me.

Moreover, and perhaps the most important gift my blog has given me, is the fact that it was Doris Daze that brought Brain and I together. Initially, I’d made an active decision that I would never be in a relationship again, that I would never allow another person to diminish my character and make me ashamed of who I was; I didn’t need a relationship and I didn’t want one – I didn’t believe in what people could do to you and the power they could exert over you when you were in a relationship. They were dangerous, I thought, and the words my ex and his mother had imprinted on my consciousness was that I didn’t deserve happiness. That I wasn’t good enough. So, it genuinely upset me that I was smitten with Brain from the moment I was introduced to him (Bob Dylan t-shirt, blue eyes and a beard? I mean, come on, I didn’t stand a chance) and we became friends. We became best friends, actually, on our first day of meeting and it only got better – those days where I was getting to know him will forever be etched into my memories as the best time ever – I’d made friends with the male version of myself and it was awesome. Brain was also the first person I actively gave my blog link to; it was the closest and most personal thing that I could share with someone and before then, I’d never felt secure enough to do so. It made me feel vulnerable, but for some reason I also felt like he was the only person I could trust with something as special as this. I have the link to him one Friday afternoon and by Monday he had read it in its entirety, from beginning to end, just like that. His reaction was, you should show more people, I think it will make them like you more. And that’s when I knew that Brain would remain the most important person in my life for as long as I could possibly try to do so; he didn’t see the bad things that happened to me as a black mark on my character and he didn’t besmirch me as some kind of terrible human who was to blame for all of the things that happened to her; he liked me more. Which means more to me than he could ever possibly know… well until now, because he still reads my blog 🙂 hiya!

I couldn’t be more grateful of the people who have taken time out to read my blog, because it means everything to me. Without my blog, I really don’t think I’d be in the position I am now. I’d probably be living at my parents, hooked on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication, living in a perpetual state of unhappiness and regret. Instead, I am head over heels in love with the most amazingly sweet and genuinely best human I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing and, better than that, I feel that I deserve the love he has to offer me. We live in an amazing little flat, overlooking the water, filled with belongings and paintings and posters that encapsulate our personalities (which are basically mirrored in one another) and our relationship… everything is so important because everything here I have experienced with him. I feel so safe, content and I feel happier than I have ever felt in my life and, more importantly, I feel that I am deserving of all of these nice things. I’ve genuinely forgotten what it feels like to be truly sad and when reading back through my old blogs, I really don’t know why I allowed myself to be so manipulated or so abused, or so sad as I felt about someone who was never worthy of my time.

It’s funny what blogging can do for people, but I’m really glad that my blog helped me discover who I really am. Thank you, all of you, who’ve taken time to read my blog over the past year… Here’s to you all. And here’s to you Doris Daze, happy birthday, my love.

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Doris and Her Festive Period

Don’t worry, this is not going to be a post regarding the menstrual cycle of a red wine addict at Christmas time. In fact, it isn’t about the menstrual cycle of anyone and if you thought it was, you have either misread or are following my menstrual cycle far too closely for anyone to feel at all comfortable with. Back off. No, this blog is about what happened during my absence at Christmas time! I didn’t blog at all during the festive period, I very rarely tweeted either, so I feel the need to catch up with some of my internet friends and, quite frankly, brag at how amazing my Christmas has been and how very lucky I am to have the people in my life that I do.

Not many people knew that my birthday was on Christmas Eve too, so the excitement around December is somewhat doubled and I am, generally, quite unbearable and this year was no different. It was my first Christmas in my new home, it was my first Christmas that I was actually looking forward to for many years and it was my first Christmas with my beloved, Brain. Before the festive period had even begun, I had a lot to be happy and grateful about, so I went into Christmas with the biggest smile on my face.

I woke up on my birthday at 6.30, upon realising Brain was no longer in bed and was pottering about the house. Being inherently nosey, I instantly wondered what he was doing, before realising he wanted to put my banners and balloons up that his mam bought for him (because he freaked out at the idea of having to do it, which, honestly, I am foaming about because when he turned 29, me and my manager arranged banners and massive helium filled balloons reading ‘45’ and also One Direction ones, so I thought it only polite to reciprocate that excellent effort), I also woke up realising that I’d moved them and he wouldn’t be able to find them, so when he came back to bed in a huff, I had to fully acknowledge my awake state and let him know where they were. I also decided that I would open presents at this time too. It was my birthday, I made up the rules.

Brain has bought me a lot of presents over the past few months we’ve been together and generally he’s a very good present buyer, but he totally out did himself with my birthday gifts. I received Nora Ephron’s book, I Feel Bad About My Neck, which I happened to tell him about when we were watching When Harry met Sally back in the summer and he remembered, which I found astounding and super thoughtful. He also bought me a mini Dwight (US Office) bobble head, which I can’t help but laugh hysterically at every time it moves – I have wanted one of these for an absolute eternity and it is one of my favourite things of all time. His main present was something absolutely astounding and it genuinely took my breath away and brought an abundance of tears to my eyes, so much so that it is getting a paragraph of its own:

It was a large square that I thought was either a calendar (which I’d have been a bit dejected by if I’m honest) or a vinyl. I thought it might have been a Rolling Stones vinyl, seen as neither of us own one and they’re my favourite band, but when I read the card, I realised it wasn’t that at all. It read “Sunday 1st June” and my heart stopped in my chest. It was the day after our first date and he came to mine so I could cook him some food and we could hang out / listen to music and it turned out to be potentially the best day of our relationship; it was very, very weird and absolutely amazing. We listened to a lot of Explosions in the Sky, so I assumed it was one of their albums on vinyl, which I was SO excited about. But when I opened it, I realised it wasn’t that at all and again, my heart stopped in my chest. What it was, was actually a custom made vinyl with all of the songs he thought best described our relationship from that day until now. I can’t quite remember the tracklisting but it featured so many songs that mean so much to us both and each of us have actual instances when we can remember first listening to songs together. The first track is Semisonic’s Secret Smile which is undeniably our song and naturally, as is our way, it features a few Bob Dylan tracks too. It is by far the most thoughtful gift I’ve ever received and listening to it brings me nothing but joy. It also featured a photograph one of my best friends took of him at a wedding they were both at, so it was even more special: My favourite photograph, taken of my favourite person, by one of my best friends. Very cool and very thoughtful.

I received some other amazing gifts and drank wine, spent time with friends and family and curled up in Brain’s nook and felt pretty damned lucky to have such a mint lad in my life!

The next day was obviously Christmas day and we had to get up even earlier, because we were both spending the day a part, with our families and I wouldn’t see him until the night time, so we got up and opened our gifts together. I never wrote here what I was buying Brain for Christmas because he reads the blog and I didn’t want to ban him from reading it, purely for the sake of essentially screaming LOOK LOOK LOOK. But I got him a lot of Marvel & Dragon Ball Z related stuff, which he really loved, I think, so I’m pleased! He went out of his way to spoil me rotten again and knock me off my feet again and overwhelm me again and make me cry again… It’s like he has magic powers.

The first thing I opened was something that I have been longing for since I was about fourteen; a DSLR camera. Naturally, I know absolutely nothing about it other than it is amazing, but I am happily learning how to take photographs and become better than someone who just snaps shit on her phone and posts it on Instagram. I find it pretty impersonal and that kind of stuff you can’t put in photo albums and create proper memories with, so naturally, I am overjoyed with his gift. Since Christmas, I’ve been practicing snapping photos every day and I’m starting to get the hang of it and have taken some really awesome photos, so watch this space as I might share some in the future. I thought this would be my main present, but it really wasn’t…

I also received a baby Groot who was hand made by someone on Etsy, I do believe and he is so cute, I love him so much that I put him next to my bed so when I wake up I can say shit like ‘I AM GROOT’ and not be strange. I also received an amazing Game of Thrones necklace, which basically means I am Mother of Dragons as it is the Targaryean house banner. I wore it a few times over Christmas because I love it, but the other day when I was taking my scarf off, it got caught and broke so I am irate and need a new chain.

The last present I opened, I thought it was a joke, because all Christmas he had been harping on about getting me some kind of stupid graphics card for HIS PC, so when I opened it and saw a motherboard, I think it was, for a laptop, I was a bit stony faced and like ‘what the fuck is this, bro?’ so poor Brain had to practically shout ‘IT’S A JOKE!’ and tell me to open it. So I did and inside were envelopes:

1. Train tickets departing from Newcastle and arriving in London’s Kings Cross.
2. A Menu for Maze, one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants.
3. A hotel booking at the Raddison Blu
4. Boarding passes for the London Eye
5. Two tickets to see Les Miserables

Needless to say, my breath was gone and tears were flowing from my eyes. Secretly, I was FOAMING that he had out done himself again, meaning that he wins Christmas and birthday, but mostly I was absolutely blown away by yet another amazingly thoughtful, sweet and generous thing he had done for me. He really is my favourite human.

So, in eleven days, I will be spending the weekend with the love of my life in London and I can’t wait. I had to share with you all because it really is an amazing thing that he’s done and I am so, so happy to have such an amazing man in my life.

Normal posting resumes tomorrow, including a breakdown of the general theme of my blog over the coming months. Stay tuned, folks! xxx

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A Series of Lamentations: My Granddad

Thirteen years ago today, my family and I lived in the south of Holland and had done for a while. We lived in tiny village, beautifully picturesque and small enough that you knew all the nooks and crannies. I was in my first year of comprehensive school, which was in a city to the south of us and the manner in which we got there as kids was to meet all of the other kids in the village and bike there; we were advised not to go it alone, because predators lay waiting in the bushes, so all of the other kids would meet at the dirt track road on a morning and bike there together. I never enjoyed it because I always had to ride at the back and no one talked to me, but I never expected them to simply leave me one day… but they did. Eventually, my dad had to drive me there and pick me up, because, as the kids explained when I dared to ask them why they left me, I was English and obviously a whore, thus didn’t belong in Holland.

That day was like most – boring. I was alone all of the time and when people did speak to me, it was usually to laugh at me or judge what I was wearing, or laughing at my sandwiches of choice that I’d taken that day. I remember one day some girls found a tampon that I had in my bag, after rooting through my purse, and parading it around like I was some kind of monster. They assumed because I was twelve (not quite thirteen), on my period and using tampons, that I must also be having sex, which made me an even bigger English whore than before. Fun, right? Yeah I know, buzzed off school, me. Anyway, this day was a non-day, as far as I was concerned. It was the day that I had history class, learning about the riveting history of Dutch farm life with a supply teacher. The children started bullying me; I was stupid, English and the reason that wars started and the sole reason why everyone hates the English. My mother was a whore too, because only whores gave birth to whore children like me…you know, basic bullying that builds character? Well, the supply teacher, naturally, sat down in front of my desk and joined in the bullying, which is always the way; professional and providing the duty of care that any parent would expect their child to receive. I stormed off, because I was going to leave school and never go back, but I forgot my coat and thought my mam would go insane if I came home without a coat, so had to wait like an idiot and have each of them walk past me as I tried to go back in, shouting Dutch obscenities, making me wish I had enough fists to punch them all, fighting back tears. This was also the day I found bubble gum in my locker, so I couldn’t get my key in, which added to the awesomeness of my day. At the end of the day, I waited for my dad to pull up in his car (a black Citroen Picasso, which I still miss to this day, it was like a bullet and I got to sit in the front because no one else was with him and I felt super cool in it) and he was a little later than usual. I got in the car, he didn’t speak much, but then again, neither did I and we drove home. My favourite part of the day.

When we arrived, something seemed decidedly off. I remember walking in and everything feeling cloudy; the house wasn’t as tidy as it usually was, the dogs weren’t excitable, my mam wasn’t cooking our evening meal in the kitchen. A half-eaten bowl of cereal lay on the breakfast bar… I looked into the living room and there lay my mam, still in her pyjamas and dressing gown. She looked pale, crestfallen, sad. My sister sat next to her, grinning at me, which confused matters slightly. I sat down beside her, my dad sat down beside me and she told me… she told me that my beloved granddad, her dad, had died. I instantly looked at my sister, who sat grinning like a Cheshire cat, prompting me to instantly question my mam and tell her to stop joking (turns out, when faced with tragedy or any form of emotion, my sister grins. It’s awful and we tell her to stop, mostly because we can never figure out if she’s happy or sad at certain news). My mam told me that she wasn’t joking and my sister was chastised for being insensitive and then told me that she had been contacted by a family member, either my grandma or one of her brothers, I think, to say that he’d passed away in the night. That’s it, just gone.

Today marks thirteen years since my granddad died and it still hurts just as much as it did then. In fact, that’s a lie; it hurts more now. I still miss him more than I ever have done and coming to term with his absence doesn’t get any easier. He was such a funny, amazing and brilliant man; I adored him so, so much and he adored me right back. He was my favourite person in the whole world, I idolised him. When I stayed at my grandparents, my seat of choice was either opposite him, so I could look at him at all times, or right next to him, so close that I touched him with all of my right side. He was so smart, stoic and handsome; he looked like a proper granddad and his wit, playful nature and attitude so full of joy made him an absolute pleasure to be around; he adored his children and grandchildren and we all adored him in equal amounts, if not more. His absence in our family, at Christmas time, birthdays, father’s day, is palpable; his empty seat filled by another person’s body hurts.

I’m so sad today. I’m sad because so much stuff has happened in my life that he hasn’t been able to be a part of. He loved hearing the stories that I wrote growing up, or receiving letters when I lived away (I once wrote an incredibly insightful and detailed letter telling him that I’d been suffering from diarrhoea, which he laughed at to no end, apparently!) and I think he would have enjoyed seeing me grow up, to see me as an adult and have conversations with me. My mam tells me that he would have been so proud of me, loved me so much and cracked up laughing at all my stupid jokes, that have all my other family members in fits of giggles whenever I’m with them. I’m not the success story of my family, I haven’t really done much other than become a writer with a wine habit; I’m not married, or doing a job like nursing or having babies, or going off on holidays whenever I can. I just live my life, writing away. But I think he would have liked that.

I miss him so much. It still hurts so much. I still grieve for him whenever I see his photographs on my fridge, I still remember the games we played and I just wish that I’d been able to see him before he died. Give him a cuddle and tell him I love him one more time. I can’t even remember what the last words I said to him were, presumably because they were so nonchalant, because as a child, I just assumed I’d speak to him again. I miss him. I miss how he smelled and I miss how he had an afternoon changing time, where he’d go into the kitchen and change from his morning pants to his afternoon pants. I miss the drawers in my grandma’s kitchen that were full of shirts and cardigans and trousers, because he liked to dress in the kitchen. I miss the scramble we had as kids to pick all of our toys out of the way on a Saturday morning, when he’d put off hoovering until midday and then run our toys over, laughing heartily as we shouted NO, GRANDDAD, NOT BARBIE!! I miss his smile, I can still hear his laugh and I ache, because I want to hear it again. I miss him. I love him. I wish he was here.

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A Series of Lamentations: Self-Love and Being a Woman

If you are here because you read the title and thought that I was going to embark on an intricate journey of self-discovery and ultimately, public discussion of an internalised regret at having spent the majority of my twenties attempting to perfect my masturbatory habits, then you are, unfortunately, very much mistaken. If you are here for anything that may potentially resemble masturbation, or the desire to read one girl’s tale of sexual awakening, then you should leave, right now. This is a series of lamentations and I, admittedly, have nothing to lament about regarding that particular element of self-love: I’m awesome and I get shit DONE. No, this is a little bit of an insight into the life of someone who was given all of the opportunities to become a self-involved, worshipper of one’s self, but someone who, through life experiences, hasn’t taken those steps and has suffered exponentially as a result.

There is no real method of denial for anyone to exercise when I say that, as a woman, we are not taught to love ourselves at all. From the moment we are catapulted from the warm bosom of childhood into the cruel and harsh world of puberty, with tiny lumps growing out of our previously flat chests and hair where we never thought hair would grow (which we are then immediately taught to shave, wax or make deals with the devil to keep it off, right there and then), and blood torturing our crotches on a monthly basis, all in the name of eventual reproduction, (because, there’s not even a choice in the matter, we all just have to suffer regardless of what our life choices end up being. Lesbian? I don’t care, PERIOD. Double period, because you may eventually live with a woman and you’ll have them at the same time and not only will your crotch be bleeding, but you’ll be attempting valiantly not to enter into some kind of Hunger Games style lifestyle for the entirety of your period which only lasts about seven days, but seems to last lifetimes in your pants. I mean, we never even got the opportunity to ask Mother Nature about periods, you know? Like, I would have appreciated sitting down with her and being like ‘so, here’s the situation – I’m eleven and I’m not really sure where my life is going to take me, I might not want children in the future, they are small and the idea of housing a tiny human in my uterus for nine months seems an unnecessary downfall of my gender, especially seen as how I will then have to shove it out of a hole that doesn’t look big enough to push a giant head out of and I am sure older me would agree, that I could probably not fit a giant head IN there, so where’s the logic, sister? WHERE?’), we have had no real control over our bodies or states of mind; it has all been done for us via the over-arching glue of the media – keeping women in a state of perpetual self-doubt since its inception. YAY!

Admittedly, growing up, I was given all the fodder to potentially become someone who promoted love of herself in every possible form; my parents were my perpetual cheerleaders and there wasn’t a concept of ‘no’ or ‘this isn’t possible’ within our family. My sister decided when she was little she wanted to learn origami, leaned towards my mother one lunch time and stated, “I want to learn pornography!” and kudos to my mother, she didn’t say that she couldn’t, only asked where she’d learned such a grown up word. The only time I ever really heard ‘no’ was when I decided I wanted to be a pop star and actress, but that’s something I’ve covered and generally have come to terms with (weeps). It wasn’t until we became teenagers and allowed external factors to govern our opinions of ourselves, did our family dynamic really change. Whilst we were never told that we couldn’t do something, I remember our parents’ perception of what others thought of us was greater than it had been before, which I blame entirely on the fact that my parents were raising two females of a very similar age – if my parents had sons, there wouldn’t have been any issues over what they were wearing, or who they were hanging out with. The general adage, boys will be boys would have meant that any sons of my parents wouldn’t have hit the barriers my sister and I did when we were teenagers. I guess it’s the same notion as society teaching girls how not to get sexually assaulted, rather than teaching boys not to sexually assault; my parents taught us how to adhere to gender stereotypes and behave in a manner that one would deem as ladylike, thus hoping to potentially decrease the potential of anything terrible happening to us, so I totally get it and I’m not trying to say that my parents did anything wrong at all – because they didn’t and I thank them every day for giving me the best life I could have wished for – but, their actions were only symptomatic of the society we were all born into: That women need to behave in a certain way in order to ascertain their true meanings in life… marriage and babies. And that is pushed onto us as much as it possibly can as soon as puberty rears its bitch of a head; we need to find a man and keep him in order for us to fulfil our biological duty. They were taught by society and the media on how to appropriately parent as much as we’re taught how to dress and how to truly satisfy our man in Cosmopolitan magazine.

Granted, my sister and I never bought into any of that shit. I decided that I wouldn’t rush the marriage and baby thing, because there is SO much do in life before I have to settle down and have kids and whilst there is always the tick tock of my biological clock, that the media is always telling me to listen to, it’s not something that bothers me. My sister decided straight up NO WAY I AM NOT HAVING KIDS I HATE THEM THEY ARE SO SMALL AND NEEDY I JUST DON’T WANT THEM and has only in the past year or so slightly changed her mind (as long as she never has girls) because she fell in love, but before that we all pictured her as some kind of spinster, living somewhere covered in televisions, game consoles and random Legend of Zelda merchandise. She would be the auntie to my children and they’d be the only kids she ever liked, but they’d be scared of her because she is a little foreboding. But, I was still the weaker one of the two and fell victim to a lot of aggression because of my independent nature… so much so that I entirely changed for a long period of time.

I’m not going to go into that element of my life in too much detail, but I did get to the point where I genuinely thought I was deserving of all the aggression, of all the ‘why aren’t you pregnant, what is wrong with you’ type conversations and a lifestyle that really didn’t cater to my needs or desires at all – my passion for writing was non-existent, because it wasn’t supported, I couldn’t even watch what I wanted to on television and my happiness hinged on the happiness of another woman; if she wasn’t happy, or if she decided I was in her bad books, then my boyfriend would act accordingly and it was usually to the detriment of my state of mind, my happiness and my emotional well-being. So, this is what I lament most out of all of my series of lamentations; I grieve for the woman who was given every opportunity in life; who did so well at school, college and university and could have explored the world, but instead ended up in a relationship that she wasn’t enjoying as it was happening, forced into being with someone who put her down at every opportunity, who’s opinion of women was so fucked up because he was raised by someone who kept him sucking at the teat of motherhood well into his adult life and who’s only real goal in life was to get to the pub; he was raised to be a misogynist and any woman who exercised any form of opinion that differed from mammy dearest’s, was punished. It was your typical, run of the mill, Norman Bates style relationship between mammy dearest and her little boy. In hindsight, I was clearly a mentalist and I am genuinely ashamed to have been a part of that misogynistic lifestyle that allowed me to become stuck and think that there was something wrong with me for not wanting to have his babies at the age of twenty one (or, ever, just to be clear).

I have learned some valuable lessons from this relationship, though and have since become a self-sufficient, adult woman who has learned from those mistakes and become someone who is pursuing her passions and living a life that I choose to lead. I have a boyfriend who isn’t necessarily a feminist, but someone who believes my passions and interests are just as important as his own and deserving of pursuing, so I get to write in abundance and be in a relationship where I’m not pressured to be anything other than myself. And that’s definitely something worth celebrating and definitely something I intend to keep up in my late twenties, because what is the point in a series of lamentations, without attempting to either celebrate my future, or make plans involving handsome beards?

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A Series of Lamentations: Food

My boyfriend (Brain) is constantly admonishing me for my relationship with food; he accuses me of being picky, which tends to catapult me into an irate state of melodrama that involves me screaming “I AM NOT PICKY, I AM THE OPPOSITE OF PICKY, I AM FAT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, ISN’T IT OBVIOUS THAT I LOVE FOOD IN ALL ITS GLORY?!” before listing items of food that I enjoy eating, that many people wouldn’t enjoy eating, either because their tolerance for dead animals and the food created from their insides is significantly less than mine (read: non-existent) or because they are vegetarians/vegans and their love of vegetables is so extensive that they would eat things that I never would without wanting to smother everything in thick layers of cheese and probably also some chicken.

However, and this is something that I have never told Brain, through genuine fear of him turning into the haughty, self-righteous know it all that he loves to be when he realises that he has bested me and that I am, as predicted, an unending example of persistent contradictions that render all of my arguments to the contrary positively inept (like, seriously, bro, how perceptive do you really need to be? Give a girl a break!) and that I did for a long time have genuine issues with food and most of my culinary discoveries only happened in the last, perhaps, one to three years of my life.

I still maintain that I am not picky, but that I grew up in an environment where culinary exploration wasn’t really a high priority; that set meals and an avoidance of foods that my mother didn’t want to cook was imperative and as a result, my palette was relatively infantile until I went to university and discovered an abundance of cheap restaurants that allowed me to explore food in more detail. So, if you are the type of person to read between the lines, I guess you’ve come to the conclusion that, not only do I blame my alleged pickiness on my mother, I also blame her for being fat too.

Isn’t that always the way: Slightly fat human in her mid to late twenties blaming her mother for her current state of tear inducing chubbiness that no amount of Spanx can conceal? Let’s not acknowledge the fact that I don’t live with my mother and that I haven’t done full time for the past three years and that, since the age of perhaps sixteen or seventeen, she had no actual control over what I ate for lunch or dinner unless I ate at home and no she doesn’t know that today for lunch I had a handful of Skittles and salted popcorn with extra salt, because she would judge me harshly. Quite rightly too.

You see, my mother is the true picky eater in this game of life we all play and therefore, my lack of knowledge where certain foods were concerned is because of her dislike for something. Chicken, for example, is something we very rarely ate; we would sometimes get a chicken curry for tea, but not very often because she hates touching it and thinks we are all going to get salmonella and die, which is why I have never been too fond of cooking chicken, because I’m frightened of getting salmonella and dying, fitting in all too well with my upbringing. This is also why I very rarely order chicken in a restaurant, because I will sift through the chicken, sticking bits in the face of the person opposite me asking if the chicken looks too pink to them. And that if I taste a piece of chicken that tastes too chicken-like, I will refuse to eat any further and want to order something else. And this is from someone who loves chicken.

I remember once we were ordering a very rare Chinese takeaway when I was a teenager, my sister and I opted to share a chicken curry together and my mother, who was writing down what to order so that she didn’t forget, looked at us with a face full of genuine concern and said: “chicken… Are you sure you don’t want beef?” prompting, naturally, my sister and I to burst into fits full of giggles and retort with something pithy and harsh, but all very well-mannered that no,  we actually want chicken and if we’d wanted beef, we would have said. But, her attempts at coaxing us towards the evidently far better takeaway option of beef did work, because I remember eating it thinking “this tastes too much like chicken. I don’t think this is cooked. Actually, I don’t think this is chicken at all…WHAT AM I EATING?!” and I have never ordered a chicken curry from anywhere since.

My mother has always had a genuine difficulty with handling meat (much to the lament of my poor dad! HA, sorry, but a good innuendo/inappropriate joke about one’s parents’ sex life should NEVER be missed…Let that be a life lesson to you!), and whilst we can’t class her as a vegetarian due to her love of beef roast lunches and the occasional lamb dish, we can’t class her as a meat eater, because she’d never eat spaghetti Bolognese or fish and chips if it was cooked by anyone other than the one man she trusts to cook her fish. Up until Christmas last year, she hated pork and was quite pissed off with my dad for buying a huge joint of pork and cooking it in her oven, until she popped her head around the kitchen door where my dad, myself and my sister were huddled, practically suckling the pig fat dripping from it’s delectable carcass and she actually tried some. Now she likes hot pork sandwiches. (Another great excuse for an innuendo, but I’ll let it slide.)

So, as you can see, any pickiness that I have exhibited is not pickiness at all, but a deep rooted loyalty to my mam that no one – not even you, Brain – can judge. And whilst I have always heartily enjoyed meat, rarest of rare steaks and chicken in abundance (only if it doesn’t taste too much like chicken), it wasn’t until the past few years I’ve discovered food that I like:

Haggis – as a result of my ex’s dad who played bagpipes and took me along to a Burn’s night where I had Haggis Neeps and Tatties for the first time (also the first time I realised I love turnip, but only if it is cubed) and it was divine.

Black Pudding – through walking in Tesco with my dad who asked me if I liked black pudding and before I could answer, my mam shouted, ”NO, SHE DOES NOT LIKE BLACK PUDDING!” prompting me to feverishly stuff it in my mouth next time I saw it on a menu in a restaurant, which was positively divine. I think I went home that evening, pointed at my mam and screamed “I DO LIKE BLACK PUDDING, WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS TRYING TO RUIN MY LIFE, YOU HARLOT!*” and locked myself in my bedroom because I am mature and not at all melodramatic.

Mussels – I didn’t realise I actually liked mussels for a very long time, mostly because I thought choosing this dish in a restaurant meant that I was eating the muscles of fish, which seemed an unnecessary delicacy that I didn’t want to try. I mean, I had tried sushi and some of it was lovely, I’d tried salmon and loved it cooked, but would never try it raw and the idea of eating a fish with it’s head and eyes and bones still attached freaked me out, so why would I eat a fish muscle served in a white wine sauce? Waste of wine if you ask me! Then I realised they were actual shell fish and served in a white wine sauce, because mussles go amazing with a white wine sauce, also a coconut and chilli sauce if you like spicy things and taste more meaty than I would have given them credit for (because I also don’t like things that are too fishy, another trait I owe to my dearest mama).

Admittedly, I have wasted a lot of my life thinking I hated foods when I don’t. I discovered that I love both olives and soft goats cheese this year as well as gnocchi and charcoal cheese. There are also things that I knew I didn’t like, but I tried any way, because Brain peer-pressured me, like camembert, stilton and other cheeses that smell and taste like mouldy, dead people feet. I will try to amend my lack of education in the culinary arts, but only for things I want to try like ostrich and venison and shark, but won’t ever eat pigeon or tomatoes because they are sinister looking and I hate them. So fuck you, Brain**.

*Slight dramatization. Probably didn’t happen like that at all. I’m a liar.

**I say this jokingly. For the most part. Love you, really, kidda!

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A Series of Lamentations

Today is 24th November 2014, meaning that in one month’s time, I will be celebrating my twenty sixth birthday. I’ve never been the type of person to lament over my age, instead embracing it like a new challenge, intent on living the next year of my life to the full and becoming slightly melancholy the day before my birthday the following year, realising that I have not fulfilled anything I had desired during my previous age. This was all fun and games in my teens and early twenties, when thirty seemed really far away and having one’s shit together didn’t seem as pertinent as it perhaps should have been. So, after standing in a queue in Aldi on Friday and discovering the stark, horrific revelation that my twenty sixth is not that far away (“Brain… On my birthday I will no longer be in my early twenties, or in my mid-twenties… I will be in my LATE twenties! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME? MY LIFE IS DRAWING TO A CLOSE!”*) ((Also who has a practical break down in Aldi of all places, I AM old)), I started to lament for the foregone years that have been wasted by my general nonchalance and ignorance that age is not just a number and anyone who tells you that is a liar and should not be trusted.

I know the word lament conjures up images of abject misery and an arduous solilioquy of previously unspoken guilts and regrets, but this series is not going to be entirely miserable. I am hoping to add a dash of glitz, some well placed glamour and a bit of humour in there for you all as I discuss a degree of topics that I have decided to lament over, blame being placed entirely on other people, so I remain unencumbered by the not-so titillating fact that I’ve wasted a large portion of my life existing rather than living, and something that I am hoping to change in the next year…but actually sticking to it this time, instead of ignoring it and posting another series of lamentations next year, when I realise I am almost twenty seven and nearly at that point in life where thirty is glaring at me like impending doom; grim reaper, slowly emerging from behind waving his scythe, greeting me like an old friend about to be reunited. Anyway, I’ve decided I’m not going to turn thirty, I am just going to stay twenty nine forever until I can die.

I might end my lamentations on a high note and write a list of things I would like to do before I’m thirty, but I might not because I am consistently inconsistent and also have written far too many lists lately, making me question my own sanity.

Anyway, enjoy and if you are in the same boat as me, send me some of your lamentations and we can share our misery over a few glasses of wine and a tearful Skype chat.

*Slight dramatization, but I was pretty upset.

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Twenty Something Midlife Crises:

If you’re reading this, then you may be a twenty something individual going through a little bit of a crisis. I understand. Crises are usually reserved for the middle aged and are thus appropriately glamorised because they had their shit together in their twenties and have therefore earned enough money in their lives to buy a new hairpiece, fill their faces with botox, buy a red sports car and develop a drug addiction, derived from having many dinners and sexual dalliances with high end prostitutes. Twenty somethings are not privileged enough, nor have they earned enough money prior to fly around in a sports car, paying people to have sex with them. (I should also point out that mid-life crises are not gender specific; women have them too, only they are far less glamorous and probably result in drinking wine in the afternoon and declaring themselves ‘cougars’ hitting up clubs with their other miserable friends in order to revitalise their youth in a manner which botox and sex with prostitutes wouldn’t be able to fulfil). Therefore, there is no readily prepared information on how to stop having a crisis in your twenties, get your shit together and stop lamenting over the fact that you’re in thousands of pounds worth of debt because of a degree you were encouraged to get to improve your quality of life/employment chances has resulted in unemployment and eating dried garlic bruschetta for lunch because you’re too cast adrift in your life to consider proper food consumption. I get it, so I’m here to help.

You see, I too have been, adrift and in crisis. One could argue that my current state of affairs is akin to feeling adrift and in crisis, but I would say that you are wrong, because the first stage of a crisis is denial that you are in a crisis. Much like a red sports car is such a good idea, because the ladies love a red sports car and no the media has not bastardised the red sports car to the extent that driving in one is synonymous with being an old creep looking to touch people young enough to be their daughters. You see, denial, it knows no boundaries. I am not denying that I am in a crisis, because I’m not – there is a checklist, which I have handily drafted for you all to highlight that you may be having a twenty something crisis, but I, most certainly, am not:

  1. You have a degree in some kind of artistic pursuit that filled you full of purpose during your formative years, but has since left you feeling empty in body, mind and pocket.
  2. You choose to pursue the talents bestowed on you by said degree by pursuing this as a hobby, which will accidentally, one day, flourish into a career.
  3. You have more wine glasses than you do any other type of glass in your flat.
  4. You take stands quite a lot and are often incensed by things such as the news, adverts and the inability to use your television due to your partner’s inability to explain how to use said device properly.
  5. You have too many dishes to clean on a daily basis.
  6. You have stood in front of a mirror and lamented over your girth, foaming at your reflection, but happy in your resolve that this must be your natural body shape and not a sign that you should stop eating ice cream.
  7. You don’t often wear a bra during the day, so that when people deliver packages to your door, you look like you’ve been breastfeeding two baby elephants simultaneously for the past half an hour.
  8. Or, if you’re male, don’t wear a shirt and the results are pretty much the same.
  9. Your mother often rings you to ask you if you’ve had any joy on becoming a proper adult, instead of the overgrown toddler you have essentially become, given your addiction to bottle shapes, afternoon naps and tears at not getting your own way.
  10. You write lists.

If you have checked positive for any of these, then I am very sorry, but you are probably going through a twenty something life crisis. Given, of course, that you are in your twenties. If you are younger than in your twenties, then don’t worry, your parents pay for shit and this is just childhood, enjoy it, get a tattoo. If you’re older than in your twenties and/or are married with children, then you should probably get your shit together, get off the internet and do something more worthwhile in your life. There is no room for you here.

The main problem, I think, with people who are going through twenty something life crises is that it’s not glamorised enough. Instead of being rich and having sex with people, we are poor and watching Netflix on loop every day watching actors have simulated sex with other actors. It’s all very drab. Plus, if you decide to inform someone that you feel you may be going through a little bit of a crisis, that you feel that your talents and life are dwindling away, that you’re at a point in your life where you see others with their shit together and it gives you feelings of intense anxiety to know that you are at the bottom of the gene pool in both terms of sexuality and employment. These people who you talk to are inherently selfish and will therefore laugh heartily until tiny tears are coming out of their eyelids, they will shake their heads, smile at you and tell you that you should pursue a life of comedy, or that you should write a fictional novel because the stories you come up with are crazy. If you don’t speak to someone selfish, then they will tell you how great you are and buoy your confidence up to a level where you feel stupid for ever feeling that you were in crisis, until they leave and you realise all they did was make you feel temporarily better and are probably worse than the people who didn’t support you and thought you were insane.

The truth is, twenty somethings worldwide are the first generation in life who are on the precipice of life but unable to jump over into that ship of self-sufficient adulthood and money in the bank that doesn’t need to be saved for bills or you’ll be kicked out of your house for not paying rent, because it’s just too far and you’re scared of the presumably shark infested waters that undoubtedly lie beneath. Our parents had their shit together, when they left school at sixteen, careers were pretty much handed to them, having been crafted throughout their school careers. My dad knew he was going to be an engineer and became an apprentice, my mam a hairdresser and did the same. I left school and I knew that I was going to spend a significant amount of time lying around looking at pictures of Ryan Gosling on the internet and reading books, before going shopping two days before college and buying clothes that made me look like a weed smoking hippy from the 1970s that wouldn’t make me any friends. We’re part of a generation that are in debt before we even decide what we’re doing in life, meaning we can’t pursue the things that we should do in our adult lives: mortgages, weddings, financial stability, babies, buying a car that we don’t have to lease, decorating and weekend DIY. Instead, we remain in an almost infantile state, attempting adulthood but failing miserably, working temporary, shit jobs whilst holding out for our degrees to finally pay off, developing addictions to things that remind us of childhood: which explains why EVERY male human you know has either an addiction to some kind of Japanese anime, playing army on his playstation or his xbox with his friends and that girls are weird and icky and why EVERY female you know has at some point in their lives bought a hat with animal ears on it and changed their Facebook status to Disney princess in training because they spent an entire evening drinking wine and singing along to Disney songs in their pyjamas, wishing that men were like Disney princes (not the parts where they kiss you without consent whilst you’re asleep, or kidnap you and refuse to let you see your family so he can force you to love him, though).

To me, it seems like the only thing we can really do at this point in our lives is develop the ability to time travel, go back in time and punch our childhoods right in the face. Tell them to not pursue academic excellence and instead settle for the mundane, because everyone you know who didn’t go to university is now in a proper career, has bought their first home and is married to someone they overlooked during childhood. Let them know that if they do pursue the arts they will end up fat, miserable and unemployed, the only joy in life being the fact that you have found your forever human, so at least that’s out the way and that if you’re asked to join companies under zero hour contracts or for barely minimum wage you should laugh in their faces and explain that they are what is wrong with the economy and spit on their shoes before storming out of their building, indignant and…well, unemployed.

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The Time I Could Have Started My Musical Career, But Was Foiled By Everyone in Life Who Are Clearly Jealous of My Talent

When I was very young, I decided that I was going to be a very famous singer and actress. Passion set ablaze from the very first moment I saw Sandy from Grease emerge from good girl nerd into a tight pants wearing, big hair owning, pouty lipped smoking girl all the bad guys wanted, I made an important decision that that was going to be me. It was practically written in the stars from the moment I sat down in the cinema upon its re-release, to going home and bursting into tears when I realised that Danny and Sandy weren’t married in real life, because they were ACTORS. Grease had a profound effect on everything that I wanted to be in my future. If I was a 1950s mobster performing a poorly written soliloquy in front of the audience of my life, I would have said things like ‘actor, hmm… interesting…We’ll see, WE’LL SEE!!!’ before going off stage to plot my diabolical life plan.

Apparently, pretty much from birth, or so I’m told, I have always had a penchant for both dramatics and singing. When I was a toddler, I used to sing along to the Milkyway advert (the red car and the blue car had a race… Yes, I still know it, shut up!), up until the part where they couldn’t drive anymore because (queue small me standing in front of the TV, blocking everyone’s view, putting my face to my hands in order to convey the sheer upset and shock when I shouted…) ‘OH NO, THE BRIDGE IS OUT!’ and that, ladies and gentlemen, was my first public performance; in my living room, in front of my parents. As I grew a bit older, I was always picked in school plays to be the head angel in the nativity play, which I felt was a teacher’s nod to my scholastic aptitude of awesome and also the fact that everyone thought I was an angel (because let’s face it, I am). I was also once picked to be Mary, which was less glamorous because I didn’t have a staff of tinsel and also I was wrapped in swathes of what can only be described as a curtain from the 1950s (smelled that way too) and also because Mary has to be my least favourite biblical character. Mostly because even as a small child, the idea of someone lying to her husband about cheating on him by saying a deity impregnated her with his mind seemed a little far-fetched and also, she ruins Christmas for Joseph by making him travel round Bethlehem on Christmas Eve looking for an Inn. Like, seriously, Mary, why so selfish?

Because I was a girl, Disney movies played a huge part in my desire to be a singer and an actress, eventually becoming a princess like Belle, not even minding that I’d have to be kidnapped by a giant beast first, because, let’s face it, it’s sexy. I remember seeing Pocahontas and wishing I was an American Indian, minus all the suffering and just span and span around my living room singing Just Around the River Bend until I toppled backwards and knocked a load of washing off the corner of the sofa (where it was standing just a little too precariously, MAM, like some kind of set up to tell me off for spinning). I also spent a lot of time constructing huge, elaborate stories for my Barbies’ to partake in, with the help of my equally imaginative sister, who mostly tried to cause death when all I wanted was a peaceful family wedding followed by my favourite Barbie performing an a capella solo of her favourite song. Then, when we started going on family holidays and discovered the beauty of the karaoke, I took my performances to a new level. My mam has a cassette tape (yep) of me and my sister singing Mama by The Spice Girls and it is perhaps the greatest thing my ears have ever encountered; I even do the ‘Mama, I love you-oooo’ bit that Emma does, its sheer magic.

In hindsight, I should have perhaps encouraged my parents to sign me up for dance classes or singing classes, or acting classes or anything that allowed me to pursue something that I may not have had talent for, but showed increasing enthusiasm for. S Club 7 happened and I would spend hours in front of my open window with the lights on so I could see myself reflected in the window, dancing and singing along doing all the moves, Destiny’s Child would creep in there too, anything that involved excessive dance moves and kicking my legs above my head whilst my mam tried to do some form of house work around me was killer.

Suddenly, in the summer of 1999, my entire life changed. Britney Spears emerged into my life like a phoenix emerging from the ashes; Baby One More Time, became my JAM! I would make up dance moves and stick a straw behind my ear and I would just sing exactly like her and kick and prance around for my mam and show her just how great I was at singing and dancing and professed there and then that when I was older, I was going to be a singer, an actress and a dancer. I remember her smiling and laughing in agreement, like it was one huge joke, because she’s clearly foolish and didn’t want to live off my many riches that multitudes of MTV Awards would bring. GOD, MAM.

Eventually, I think she realised that I did, genuinely intend on becoming a singer, so much so that I would actually practice my pop star make up (always baby blue glitter and super pouty, shiny lips) and stand around practicing speeches and not doing my homework, so she sat me down and had a conversation about what I wanted to be when I was older (joke’s on her anyway, because you can’t *be* things these days and that is why I am not anything. Other than a failure. Which is her fault cos I could have been a famous singer by now. With seven breakdowns under my belt. Benefit of hindsight, eh, mother?!), and I told her outright that I wanted to be a singer, dancer and an eventual award winning actress.

“But you can’t be those things! Do you know how hard it is to be a singer? It’s not a career, sweetheart, it’s a hobby. You can’t be those things, pet.”

And that was it. She left me and I planned to run away, but I lived in Holland at the time and had nowhere to go, I mean, how would I get back to England and become the singer I wanted to be? I had no money and also no idea how to get to England from the south of Holland.

Anyway, you might be wondering, why is she bringing up this cruel and harrowing part of her life? Her dreams were crushed, she is but an empty shell of a human in comparison to who she could have been had her parents allowed her to pursue her life long dream! I know, right? Well, I bring this up, firstly, because I spent this morning listening to The Corrs and remembered that they were one of those people I would listen to and absolutely buzz off, but also because when I was at her house the other week, drunk on wine, I was singing with vigour reserved only for the truly pissed and she turned to me (equally pissed) and said ‘oh, you really can sing!’ and I think when our eyes met, we were both transported back to the time when she told me I’d never make it and part of me wanted to slap her and tell her that I totally could have done, but Brain was there and he would have needed too much context and after the preamble leading up to the slap, the moment would have gone and the slap would not have been as vindicating for me. So I decided to complain and write about how everyone ruined my life instead. Fuck you guys.

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#BloggersPJDay // OOTD // Children in Need 2014

This week, Rachel over at Happy Little Syllables asked me to join in on a Blogger’s PJ Day for Children in Need alongside some other brilliant blogging babes. I initially accepted the challenge, fully under the illusion that I’d get to indulge in some fun blogging/sleepover antics – braiding each other’s hair, pillow fights, practicing kissing, underage drinking…You know, the stuff of sleepover dreams. I have since been told that it isn’t at all as I imagined and Rachel’s invitation did not entail anything of the sort, so as you can probably guess, I’m a little put out about the whole thing. Either way, I’ve still decided to take part as it is all for a very good cause and am now offering you all a little insight into how I spend my pyjama days. How lucky are you? Let’s get going.

Before I begin, here is how you can help:

You can go to our Just Giving Page and donate there, or you can donate by texting the words BLOG74 £5 to 70700

Here is also a list of the other beautiful bloggers taking part in the event, if you want to take part, follow us on Twitter and use the hashtag: #bloggerspjday

Snapchat-6581428320443379822There are multiple certainties in life: Santa won’t come if you’ve been a shitty person, when life gives you lemons, you sell those lemons and you buy wine, and that women wearing pyjamas isn’t at all as glamorous as the movies would have you believe. It’s not all tiny shorts and matching camisoles – and even if it is, it’s neither as smooth nor as tanned or as wobble free as on the big screen. Me, I am a huge advocate of comfort; I have worn shorts and matching camisoles and they’ve done nothing for me – I’ve attempted the whole sexy lingerie thing and laugh at the outcome; I am, therefore, a huge advocate of sleeping in comfort – not only in material/size, but also in terms of what type of comfort an item can illicit in one’s mind. Therefore, I choose optimum comfort for my bedroom attire of choice and you can, without a shadow of a doubt, guarantee that like my underwear, eye make-up and legs after I’ve epilated – they won’t match. It’s not that I don’t own matching pyjamas; every Christmas my parents and favourite auntie will buy me comfortable sets of PJs to enjoy over the winter months and every Christmas I will wear them once and then lose the top or bury it at the bottom of my pyjama drawer, promptly forgetting its existence. Matching isn’t something I’m very good at.
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The top is a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt that I have stolen from my boyfriend, Brain and claimed as my own forever. It’s not only nice, big and comfortable, but it makes me feel safe and warm when he isn’t here. Like I said, I’m all about clothing that can elicit positive emotions in your mind as you wear it, and wearing the clothing of the human you love is one of those things that make me feel good. Also, even though it is super comfortable to sleep in, it’s also great for a pyjama day, because I can slob around eating chocolates and things that are bad for me without feeling like I’m going to rip at the seams*. Also, I feel pretty awesome when I wake up on a morning wearing Hendrix face on my boobs. I mean, who wouldn’t? other bedroom attire includes Bob Dylan t-shirts, a Green Lantern t-shirt, a Hulk Smash t-shirt and both an Arizona Cardinals official football jersey and long sleeved top with the logo on it, they are my team after all… apparently. These are all mine and I have no intention of giving them back, because they make me feel good, so don’t bother asking for them back, Brain, because that makes you selfish. But, if you would like to wear any of my clothes for bed, all you have to do is ask.

The pyjama bottoms are giant trousers that were bought as part of a set when I was a significantly larger human. They are ‘oriental animal print’ and come with a shirt that makes me look like an obese Doris Day / granddad, but they are silky and feel both lovely to rub and very soft on my tush, so as you can see from my smile, they’re very comfortable. My favourite PJ pants, Marvel super hero pants, were not available to take part in this charitable event, but they send their best regards.**

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Despite what my pyjamas of choice may have you believe, I am a huge advocate of all things pink, girly and generally chintzy; my room is a plethora of floral patterns, pretty boxes, lilac painted mirrors and feathered lights and these are all things that make pyjama days even better, because my pyjama days tend to involve long periods of lounging in bed, half-heartedly carrying out various activities that I enjoy. These include: reading, writing and watching television, therefore, being in a happy space is imperative to getting the laziness to productiveness ratio just right. Here are some pictures of my bedroom for your general disinterest:

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Next to my bed, as you can see, I keep a photo of my favourite human, which was taken one day as I was blogging and he was playing his pride and joy (like seriously, he loves that thing more than me. If there was a fire and he had a choice, I would perish. It’s awful, being second best to a piece of wood. Although then again I guess he’s second best to a piece of wood IF YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING, LADIES!) I also have a picture of my sister and I when we were kids, an alarm clock that is totally pointless because when I take my glasses off I can’t see (and also I think it has stopped) a few books I flit between (alongside the five that I have to flit between in the living room) and a notepad, so I can jot things down that appear in my noggin.

My pyjama days also tend to involve watching movies, which, on rainy days like today, always include Doris Day and Cary Grant – my two favourite souls – and my favourite lighting goes on too, so I am bathed in a pink and feathery glow. I sometimes get up and meander to the kitchen looking for treats or I’ll go and sit in the living room with my laptop so I can listen to the record player and vinyl of choice. Today, I decided to meander in here because I wanted to eat leftover pizza for lunch (what? Don’t judge me), so I chose to listen to my limited edition, twentieth anniversary edition of Grace by Jeff Buckley, which is not only an amazing album, but it is a purple vinyl! IMG_20141114_113841Look at the goodness!! I love vinyl music on rainy, pyjama days because they can literally cast you back in time; I love the crackle of the of the needle and how even on brand new records like this one, a word can stick for a little bit before finding its way again. I also imagine that band aids, from back in the day, also wore mismatched non-pyjamas with pictures of their heroes on it, so essentially I am the Penny Lane or Pamela des Barres of my time, even if my favourite musician only ever plays in the house and when he thinks I’m not paying attention. I also don’t have a t-shirt with his face on (but his mam does, which is weird…especially as he gifted her it. Don’t get me one.).

As my blogger’s pyjama day ensues, I will undoubtedly do more writing as I have a bit about femme domme sexual relationships to write for a fellow blogger/magazine editor as well as various social commentaries that I’ve written notes on, before I finally have to get ready for my Friday evening with my favourite humans: Brain and the parental units. We will be tuning into Children in Need and donating via the Just Giving page set up for Blogger’s Pyjama Day. Whilst you don’t have to, if you would like to, we’d be more than grateful for you to click on our link and donate. We know this won’t make a huge dent in the eventual grand total and Terry Wogan won’t talk about me on the show (but it would be awesome, so if you’re reading, bro, give me a holla!), it’s still something I am glad I’ve participated in: I’ve helped raise awareness/funds. We really live in such a lazy generation where people will happily say ‘what’s the point in baking a cake or not wearing make up or taking part in a blog about your pyjamas’ and I guess I know where they’re coming from; what I’m doing isn’t solving world hunger… But, by taking part, I am helping, even if it’s only a miniscule effort.

There are so many horrible people in the world; people who are insistent on hurting others for their own gain, people who don’t enjoy seeing joy in people or people who kill their people in the name of religion. There are Ukip supporters and poppy burners, there are rapists and murderers who inflict pain because they have to or because they can or because they want to. Children don’t do that – children aren’t born wanting to cause harm to others. We as a society have a responsibility to allow children to grow up in safe environments where they can get a proper education, where their childhood and experiences throughout childhood can be nurtured and supported in positive ways. We shouldn’t sit by and watch as children die because they don’t have access to proper food or water, or medicines that can fix them so easily. All it takes is one click of your mouse, one minute of your time and one pound of your money to make a difference.

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