Saturday, 29 June 2013

Book 2: Wait For You by J. Lynn.

A novel that from the first page, I fell in love with. J. Lynn has a unique ability of grabbing her readers ever-so-slightly by the throat, and not letting them go. Wait For You was a novel I hadn't even read up on, so I had no idea what it was about before I picked it up. (Okay, I technically picked my Kindle up, but there's no real difference.) By all accounts, it was a #1 New York Times Bestseller. That intrigued me. I love books like that. Without knowing anything about them, you know that the critics responded well, so I get all teary and optimistic and grinny as the pages get overturned.

So, what was my verdict? Not only was Avery, the main protagonist/heroine/star-of-the-show/whatever you want to call her, the most likeable character I've discovered in a long time, I found myself able to connect with her in a way that a reader only can in some of the most powerful pieces of literature. Avery was so well-written that now, as I've finished the novel, I feel like she's another one of the friends I have stored in my repetoire for rainy days, along with David Nicholls' Dexter and Fitzgerald's Jordan Baker. As for Lynn's other characters, I fell in love with them almost immediately. While the drop-dead gorgeous Cam has everyone's pulses racing, Brit and Jacob were more wonderful than words can describe. Brit's hilarious outbursts and endless blunt comments were totally refreshing, while Jacob's traits echoed Damien from Mean Girls to a T. Only he was smaller in stature, and even more blatant with his inunendos. The gay best friend 'do' wasn't outdone. It was brilliant. Fresh. Very naturally funny. Even Cam's roommate Ollie, a mere extra man-candy on the novel's horizon, was described perfectly. I feel like I'm hovering around major spoilers here, but I'll put it in the best possible way. 

I loved this book, plain and simple. It had me laughing, grinning and crying. One second my pulse was racing, the next, my heart was in my mouth. Definitely not to be thrown onto that decimated pile of "chick flicks" pronounced as if it were some dirty phrase. A book based around a very emotional topic, powerfully written and extraordinarily executed. If you aren't in love with Cam at the end, I don't even want to comprehend your being. Heart-wrenching at times, hilarious at others, and sometimes, incredibly sexy. It left me grinning like an idiot, and rendered me absolutely speechless. J.Lynn is onto a winner here.

“I think the key to the start of any good relationship is to remember how the other person likes their coffee."

Mood music, please.

Lying in bed, sprawled out on my stomach,- starfished. My iPod's drumming along to Florence and The Machine's Heavy In Your Arms, and I'm all weary and teary eyed. A song that seems to have been haunting me for days. I just can't seem to get the lyrics out of my head, or stop them flowing out of my mouth at any given opportunity. My head is pounding as the beat sounds over and over. Florence Welch has an amazing ability; she manages to capture how I'm feeling right now with such precision and exactness that there are no more words necessary. As I lie here, alone in the darkness, with only the light of my phone's screen (on which I'm drafting this, so beware, this is a "late" post) for company, I feel like I'm about to break in two. Text messages: zero. Tweets: all irrelevant tonight. Phone Calls: of course not.

It's the early hours of Saturday morning, and usually (okay, this time for about two months) I'd be found at the pub, knocking back tequila like there's no tomorrow, with anyone who'd join me. However, tonight is different. Tonight's refuge seems depressing, but it's all for a good cause. I've forced myself to stay in. Partly, to know that I'm not drinking myself into a vodka and lime flavoured oblivion, partly because it's necessary. I've barricaded the doors and bolted the windows and all that jazz. This isn't just some severe form of self-gratifying punishment, it's an attempt to save my pennies before I jet off to Ibiza with my two fave girls. 8th July, I'm counting down the days.

Despite my excitement, I've had a pretty shit day. A rude awakening on my part, I started the day with my dad hollering up the stairs, telling me to "get out of bed." Little did I know, my Friday would only go downhill from there. A little shopping was done, but it was full of effort, my mind being woefully preoccupied with a lack of coffee, sleep and genuine smiles all used up many weeks ago. To say I feel worthless today would be the biggest understatement ever. I'm an emotional wreck and it's sort of unexplainable. I sat watching EastEnders and was in tears. I'm an emotional person anyway, but today's been different. I feel like I've had to bite my lip to stop myself from tearing up at every little thing. The rain. The lack of sleep. The no energy. Trailing my feet around the shops, when shopping may be one of the things I was born to do. A smile nowhere to be seen, especially not donned on my face. I don't even know why. I think it's what they call "one of those days."A day that just seems to be drenched in negativity, even if you maybe secretly know why and try your utmost to hide it from yourself.

Anyway, I'm still lying here. Exhaustion is catching up with me, as the yawns take over and my iPod continues. Coldplay's Warning Sign may be my favourite song at the moment. Chris Martin's voice makes me melt. The strumming of guitars and the beautiful melody behind his rich tones makes me want to sing along and sway in unison. Everyone has favourite lyrics, right? That bit of a song you sing extra loud, has a special meaning, or a catchy beat. The personal few words you always wait and long for, and when they arrive, they're wonderful and brilliant and you sing at the top of your lungs.

And, here's mine;

"Well the truth is, I miss you. And the truth is, that I miss you so."

Sometimes a piece of music can explain exactly how your feel, even if you can't put your own emotions into words. Between Florence and Coldplay, I feel like I understand how my head is working tonight, and how, evidently, the tears are rolling so effortlessly down my cold cheeks. Even if the lyrics don't echo my own words, or my own situation exactly translated, it's everything combined that enables me to really get what I need. The meaning of any words, or lyrics, is entirely up to you. They're what you want them to be. You can ignore the lyrics altogether if you want and listen to the artist's voice, and only then, will you really, truly understand what they're singing about.

Well. In my eyes, anyway. A song isn't about the semantics of the lyrics or the beat or the instruments present or the setting it was written in, it's about every single little one of those things combined, as well as you. The listener. The audience. A song is, after all, only as powerful as the impact it has on it's listeners. So, whether you're feeling down or happy and grinny, reach for the radio dial, the television remote or the nearest music player you can get your hands on. Shuffle through, find your mood music, and let it take over. Sometimes, it's all you'll ever need.

and the truth is, that I miss you so.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

I don't need you.

I don't need you to hold my hand, or wipe away my tears, or brush the hair out of my eyes. I don't need you to look at me like that. I don't need you to act all protective and cocky around me one minute, and then the next, walk away. I don't need your 3 am phone calls or drunken texts being all flirty and weird. I don't need your acknowledgement that I'm "pretty when I'm drunk" or that you like me when I'm sober. I don't need your attention, your approval or your help stumbling into a taxi. I don't need you to tell me I've drank too much tequila. I don't need your hugs, or stolen kisses, or your stupid denial and your arrogant lies. I don't need your resentment. I don't need your ignorance, or your attitude, or your fucking lack of respect. I don't need your stupidity, your awful decisions and your ability to sweep me off my feet when you give me that look. I don't need your guilt trips, your sympathy or your pity. And most importantly, I don't, nor have I ever, needed you. Don't forget it, sweetheart.

I've got your back.

My year 5 teacher, Mr Rafferty, used to tell us (along with many other random life lessons) something that has stuck in my mind ever since he first breathed it. You can count the names of your true friends on the fingers of one hand. At the naive ages of 9 and 10, we all shook our heads in disbelief and amazement gathered around, sitting cross-legged on the carpet, looking waaay up to a man of six foot four inches tall. As you got older, you made more friends, right? Not necessarily, as we've all come to realise. The term "friends" seems to be thrown about a lot, when in fact, everyone knows who they really regard as their friends deep down. 

My nineteen (I hate to say it) almost twenty year old self, understands this now. I have very few friends who I'd consider my true friends, however, that's not a bad thing at all. Well, not in my eyes anyway. Those special few in my life matter infinite amounts. The few I'd run to at 3 in the morning because they've just gone through a nasty break-up, or a family argument, or just because they're drunk and upset, or ready to keep on drinking. The ones I'd spend the night on the bathroom floor with, holding their hair back when they've had too much vodka and coke's in town. The one's I can go for days without texting, seeing, or talking to, and everything will be the same when we reunite. The people who know me better, sometimes, than I know myself. The amazing few who I'd run into a burning building for, conquer my biggest fears to save (and yes Elizabeth, I'd sacrifice my left arm for you, babe.) The one's I'd bail out of prison or end up in A&E with (but let's really not jinx that last one!) The group I'd do anything for in my power, day or night. I'd be there for my friends even if it meant feigning sleep, or running on zero coffee (and that really is a big deal!) The ones who know and keep my biggest secrets, my worst fears, flaws and deepest insecurities, and still put up with me anyway. This is just a little thing, to say I love you all, I never want to lose you. Oh, and one more thing. I've got your backs.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Nostalgia is a dirty word.

I've done it again. Got all nostalgic. Caught myself looking through old snaps, and that strange mix of happiness and sadness crept up on me. And that stench drifting in, what was it? Regret. Denial. Horror. A mixture of all three. Those days. Years ago. The happier times. Or at least seemingly so. I seemed to worry less back then, I seemed to smile more, I seemed to be happier, more carefree. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm miserable now, or unhappy with where my life is at at the moment. It's just, every so often, that little bittersweet feeling of nostalgia kicks in, and gets me to reminiscing of simpler times. My "younger and more vulnerable years" as described by Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, were, to me, strangely some of my most daring and carefree. I guess it has something to do with age. 

At merely 14, the weight on my shoulders was less, light, easy to carry. I had less baggage, less experience of the world, less responsibility. I was naive, and thankful to be. The pressure was practically nonexistent. School was just somewhere to go to socialise with friends, the real work was yet to come. The real life was just around the corner. Experience of the big, bad world would be sooner than we expected. In the blink of an eye, we grew up. We aged overnight. Everything got serious, straight-laced, important. Those mid-term tests became exams, those spats with friends turned to unsettled feuds, those little jobs turned into big responsibilities. So, why now is everything different? As my teenage years are drawing rapidly to a close, (excuse me while I try not to dwell on this) why is it that I'm edgier than ever? 

The older we get, the more baggage we carry, and ultimately, the less willing we are to take risks. Why? Well I think I've figured it out. The older we are, the more we have to lose. At 19, I'm all too aware of what the big, bad world has in store, and sometimes, I'm not willing to take that risk, because there's just too much to stake. Even though I'm only young, there are certain things I'll hold on to tighter than ever, and not let go. It's also harder to say how you feel. Rejection, judgement and a thousand and one other factors come into play when you're in your latter teenage years. Those soul-destroying, stomach-plummeting moments we've experienced before, well, understandably we're reluctant to put ourselves in similar situations just in case the outcome matches up.

So, nostalgia really is a dirty word. It makes you bitter and confused and yet, at the same time, makes me want to get back to those days, those feelings of freedom. Throwing caution to the wind and risking everything you've got for something you want/need. Maybe it's time I did just that. For once, not concentrate on what's at stake, but what I've got go gain. Maybe if I play my cards right, it'll work out better than ever. 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Silver linings.

It's a typical Sunday for me, unfolding as they usually do. The skies are looking ominously grey and moody, the rain is only appearing subdued for a short period. Usual tequila-shaped hangovers are strangely not hanging in the air, so it's a bit weird. A sense of regret. A weird feeling of nervousness sits waiting in the pit of my stomach, like a lion about to break out of a cage. It's only ever summer for a few weeks of the year in the North East, and this year seems no different. The big yellow thing in the sky has done a disappearing act yet again, and everyone is waiting longingly and perhaps, urgently, for its immediate return. I feel life my life has been wrapped in so much turmoil since I blogged last, yet can be excused with an over-exaggerated shrug of the shoulders, too many vodkas and bad decisions. Chipped nails, sore feet and moody faces. Anger, upset and someone shouting "how could you?!" Days like this are overrated. I'm only happy because of the typical Sunday practise, of dinner with my family at my Grandma Juney's. This always happens, so it's quite a comforting release usually. Forgetting everything going on in my life, any problems or quarreling go sharply out of the nearest open window, and relaxation and laughter are welcomed in.

I've admitted on more than one occasion that I'm a pessimistic person. This is unbelievably true. With everything going on at the minute, I got to thinking; maybe sometimes, the grey skies and the blurry edges are sometimes all you can see. That a silver lining is just actually a stupid way of looking at a grey cloud, and that no matter how much you hope, the rain will still pour. You can only get screwed over so many times before you start to think that maybe that's just you. Maybe everyone else isn't the fuck-up types, and actually, you're the root of your own problem. Maybe, just maybe, your 'bad day' isn't something you want to shrug off. You want to hide in your room, close the doors, get under the bed covers, and cry until you fall asleep. You want to turn off your phone and turn up the volume on the television, and pig out, and not care what anyone else thinks, because sometimes, you need to put yourself and your own needs first. Not every sky has a sun peeking out of from behind the clouds, not every situation can be dealt with using a positive outlook and a cheshire-cat sized grin, and in my book, not every cloud really does have a silver lining.

Friday, 21 June 2013

The Last Time.

It was New Year's Eve, and the snow was falling heavily. The hustle and bustle of city life was becoming more vibrant every second. Crowds of people, all making plans to bid a fond farewell to 2011 and welcoming the new year in with open arms, overly optimistic smiles and unquestionably bad renditions of Auld Lang Syne. Throughout the town, people were buying assorted crates of alcohol, fireworks and all of the essential things required to see the new year in in style. This was no different for Hetty Jefferson and her partner Michael. They had been invited to Hetty's sister Ruth's party, a routine they were particularly familiar with. Despite this, Hetty loved it. Being able to celebrate the festivities of the season, surrounded by nearest and dearest. However, this year would be the most memorable, and for the entirely wrong reasons.

Hetty was walking down the cobbled high street, somewhat impractically dressed, bound for home. It was late afternoon, and she had been collecting last minute things for the party. She was wearing a red dress that came just above her knee, black patent stilettos and a fur coat, the expensive kind, probably worth a few months' wages. She was heavily made-up; her lashes defined with several coats of mascara, rouged cheeks and a hint of scarlet hung closely to her lips. Her red hair, complimented by her pale skin tone, hung in loose curls, and struck her face ever so slightly when she walked. The snow continued to fall and occasionally a flake or two would settle comfortably in her hair or on her cheek, before gently melting away and leaving a tell-tale streak in her carefully-perfected make-up.

Hetty was very obviously attractive, with carefully sculptured eyebrows, a wide mouth, and strong, defined cheekbones. She held her head high, and smiled enthusiastically at anyone she passed in the street, the excitement of the new year build-up was becoming infectious. Soon she arrived at her front door. Her slightly elevated sense of happiness continued as she fumbled with her key in the lock while trying to juggle her shopping; party streamers, confetti, a few bottles of reasonably-priced champagne, and too many helium balloons for it to be considered practical, all donned with 'happy new year' in fancy lettering. Hetty stumbled clumsily through the door, kicked off her shoes and relinquished ownership of her bags on the kitchen table, where she met Michael. They had been together for five years now, and as far as Hetty was concerned, she had never been happier. Michael was tall, with dark hair and eyes to match. They had met through a mutual friend, and had been together ever since.

They exchanged greetings, minimal but amiable, before Hetty journeyed upstairs to decide on her outfit and begin getting ready. Michael, who had already assumed a position in front of the television, was watching the news, but then begun to frantically flick through the channels, dissatisfied. He took yet another drag of his cigarette before stubbing the remainder of it into the glass ashtray, balanced precariously on the coffee table. Upstairs, Hetty was raking through her wardrobe, an air of impatience about her. The clock had already struck six, and she had yet to find something appropriate to wear. After trying on an abundance of dresses, she finally settled on one that accentuated her curves; an emerald-green cocktail dress. She then began to curl her hair, wrapping each strand around her tongs with artistic precision, before solidifying her tresses with a gallon of hairspray.

A few hours passed, and the party was in full swing. Ruth was in the kitchen, plating up the food she had been fussing over for the last hour, while guests mingled, alcohol in tow. Michael had found refuge in the corner of the room, and was clutching a bottle, occasionally swigging its contents and then puffing on countless cigarettes. He looked fed-up, and had started to get rowdy. The more he drank, the more aggressive he became, to the point where Hetty could no longer disguise her embarrassment, and suggested they leave. Michael, slurring his words, began shouting and protesting. Hetty, apologising profusely to her friends, rang a taxi, and the couple ventured home. She hardly breathed a word to him on the ride home, emphasising her annoyance and humiliation. However, as soon as they were behind closed doors, Michael's disposition soon became aggressive again. The insults overflowed. Hetty, disgusted at her boyfriend's drunken state, started to walk away, but he sharply grabbed her arm so they were face to face.

Michael's drunken state caused him to lash out. Hetty thought the stream of verbal abuse she was receiving stung, until she felt the force of his knuckles hit her cheek. As his large fist came into contact with her face, she stumbled backwards and hit her head off the stone fireplace. The room began to spin, but she could still faintly hear Michael's drunken slurs. She blinked hard, shielded her face with her crumpled, now shaking hands, and succumbed to a paralysing state of shock. Michael then muttered something about “getting some air” and the front door slammed, causing the noise to reverberate around the house. As soon as she was sure he had left, Hetty ran into the bathroom, slamming the door behind her and slowly sinking to the floor. Holding her knees tightly towards her chest, she became hysterical.

Her once-pristine make-up was no more, her mascara-ed eyes became sodden, and her tears fell with such violence that they left behind spatters of dirty grey down her cheeks. The brave face she had been withstanding for the past few hours finally broke away, revealing a somewhat younger sense of self. She struggled to catch her breath, gasping for air between stolen sobs. Hetty was 27, but with tears cascading down her cheeks, she appeared to be a teenager again. Her head was throbbing, a result of Michael's violent outburst and the sheer amount of tears she had shed. Exhausted, terrified and dazed, Hetty felt herself drifting slowly into a deep sleep.

The next thing she knew, Hetty awoke, to find herself curled up, foetus-like, on the ceramic tiles of the bathroom floor. They were cold and really uncomfortable. After a few minutes confusion as to her whereabouts, she shakily pulled herself to her feet, and caught sight of her reflection in the bathroom mirror.  Her right eye was painful, the bruising already developed; a harsh mix of purples and greys. Her head was pounding, an incessant kind of headache that just wasn't letting up. She wandered over to the sink, splashed her face with tepid water, and headed to the kitchen in search of pain relief, hoping with every ounce of her being that she wouldn't find Michael there. Waiting.

Her hands, still shaking, managed to retrieve some painkillers from one of the kitchen cabinets. The remnants of a cup of coffee were on the bench, she took a gulp, dehydrated, then, realising the contents are stone-cold, winced and poured the remainder down the sink. Armed with Aspirin in one hand, she reached for the bottle of whiskey that has been sitting quietly  on the bench since the night before, a mild, impartial observer to the turbulence. She struggles to unscrew the top, as her right hand is still clutching the tablets, but when she does, she slips them slowly into her mouth, takes an appropriate swig of whiskey and swallows harshly. She winces again, and recoils as the alcohol stings the back of her throat. Her stomach rumbles, but she is unable to face any food, still too nervous and shaken-up.

Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted, as the front door slammed shut and she heard footsteps in the hallway. They came face-to-face for the first time since Michael's vicious outburst. For a few seconds, no one uttered a word, then, Michael persevered with his tirade of abuse. Hetty, filled with rage, and feeling somewhat empowered, told him exactly what she thought of him. The reaction she got wasn't one she was hoping for.

As Michael raised his hand to her, Hetty decided, this would be the last time. In a fury of panic, shock and anger, she grabbed the nearest thing at her disposal, the half-empty bottle of whiskey, and thrust it towards Michael's head, in a desperate bid for self-defence. As the bottle hit his skull, it smashed; fragments of glass and whiskey scattered around the kitchen. His eyes went glassy, the smug expression that had been sitting so effortlessly on his face vanished, and then his eyes glazed over completely. Immediately, he hit the floor with an almighty  thud, and drifted slowly into a state of unconsciousness.

Hetty toyed with the idea of dialling 999, she even had the phone in her hand, but something in her caused her to prevail.  She took one last look at the man who had once been, and if she was being honest with herself, still was, the love of her life, now lying battered on their kitchen floor, with blood trickling down the side of his temple. A single tear rolled down her cheek, but she held her head high. She walked into the hallway and picked up her handbag, before slamming the front door behind her. When she reached the end of the street, she just kept walking.

Stand by me.

You may not always trust my decisions, share my thoughts or understand my reasoning, but that isn't the point. That's not what I'm asking you to do. That's not what I expect you to do. I don't understand everything going on in your life, but at the same time, you don't know the full extent of the events in mine. That isn't because I don't share things, because in fact, I'm the total opposite. I tell everything to the people I trust most. However, I do believe that there are certain things that no one, except you can know or understand. Your  real emotions and desires, your insecurities, your personal preferences that just aren't sometimes things you want to share. The things that make you who you are. I've been thinking lately, however comfortable you feel around someone else, I don't believe anyone is completely themselves around anyone, but instead, merely in their own company. Behind closed doors, I suppose.

As I sit here, in my room, with the curtains drawn and the door closed, I know this too well. My family, mostly, aren't even aware I keep a blog, (if it is in fact what you do, to "keep" a blog) as I like to think it's private. A way to let off steam and put my own thoughts and passions out there, perhaps things I don't always want to share with immediate loved ones. So, sometimes, I guess it's hard to understand another person's psyche, what really makes them tick, what they wake up and want to live for, even if you try to put yourself in their shoes. After all, you can squash yourself into my little size fives, but it doesn't mean they'll fit you like they fit me. It wouldn't be comfortable. It would be suffocating and infuriating and down-right wrong. You don't wear anyone else's shoes in the same way as you cannot live someone else's life, no matter how much you'd like to from time to time.

All I want, is for my loved ones; my family and friends, to always (I hope) stand by me, even when they may disagree with my decisions and choices. Maybe I'm not going down the typical career path, or studying what you'd like me to be, or perhaps I do tend to make irrational decisions, but that's okay, because, they are my decisions to make, and if/when they seem to become mistakes, that's alright too, as they are my mistakes; they are my burden to bare, not yours. So don't lose sleep over my mistakes, because I'll warn you, you'd spend too much time awake, and that's unhealthy. I love that you all care, but sometimes, it's okay to step back, it's acceptable to shrug off my choices or even tell me you think I've made a terrible mess. It's all okay for me, as long as I know one thing at the end of the day. That no matter how bad my life gets, no matter how many times I repeat a mistake or do something stupid, that you, my lovely lot, will stand by me.


Sitting in the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, surrounded by 20,000 other people; including many other die-hard Bon Jovi fans, the sun blaring, various support acts singing and drumming away, I couldn't have been happier. With my auntie, my clone as said by some. Drinking indecently expensive pints of Strongbow out of plastic cups. Scruffy floors, the height from the stage, people swarming about like bees, trying their best not to bump into other people juggling too many alcoholic beverages and band merchandise: the kind of gifty irrelevant things like t-shirts and mugs and programmes that require you to take out a bank loan to afford them. And everyone is here for the same reason. A very-fabulous, Mr Jon Bon Jovi. A man I've loved for many years, even if it was from a distance. Therefore, I jumped at the chance of actually seeing (and hearing him play) personally. Everyone knows the songs. The anthems. The soundtrack to so many people's childhoods, (unfortunately, I was born in the wrong era.) Those "how can you not know the words!?" kind of songs. The hype begins when It's My Life comes over the microphone, and everyone's on their feet in unison. Then for the classic everyone's been waiting for, Livin' On A Prayer. Even if you aren't a Bon Jovi fan, you know the words. There was wonder circulating around the stadium; what would be the final song? It was obvious wasn't it? It had to be. The song you sway to. The song you sing when thinking about the only person you really love. The ultimate power ballad. Named one of the greatest, most famous love songs of all time. Yes, you've guessed it. Always. Hearing a crowd of strangers singing in unison to one of my favourite songs ever written, as the sun gradually was disappearing on the horizon, mood lighting in tow, was one of the most memorable experiences ever. It was wonderful and romantic and very picturesque. Yes, I know. Gush gush gush. I was left speechless. Totally, utterly, unforgettable.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Dedication #3: The Gang.

My family. The people who, in some cases, share my surname, or in other cases, possess a different name completely, yet are just as close to me. The group my grandma affectionately calls "the gang." I love you all, from my parents, to my sister, to my grandparents, auntie and uncle, the abundance of cousins; you're all great. You're there to help me when I need it (or sometimes, when I really don't.) You're my friends for life, no matter what the outcome. I'd walk through hell for you all, and I know you'd do the same for me. The people I worry about, care about, and love unconditionally, even though we fight ruthlessly at times. I wouldn't and couldn't change you all. The family get-togethers, the random days out, the things you really can't laugh about with anyone else. The priceless moments. You can't make the stuff up, we've had so many good times, so many unforgettable memories. It's the age-old saying, that you can't pick your family, but even if you could, you lot would be my first and only choice. I may be moody and harsh and difficult at times, but it's only because I love you, and I know we're thick as thieves. You take my bad moods and my spat-out words, and I take the sometimes-unwelcome criticism, as we have a mutual understanding, that we're okay like that. The support I couldn't do without, the Sunday catch-ups I never want to miss, the feeling that I can walk through the front door, and there's someone there waiting to ask me how my day's been, and put the kettle on, if and when it's really needed. So, gang. This is to say, I love you all. I need you all, and I never ever want to lose you.


Drunk me and sober me, are two very different peoples; poles apart, opposite ends of the spectrum. While I'm overly-confident with too many vodkas down my neck, when Sober Me puts in an appearance, all of that disappears. The truth is, I'm a bundle of nerves and flaws. In reality, I'm selfish and neurotic and paranoid and I don't really trust anyone. I spend so much time trusting the wrong people, that the so-called "right" people, never get a look in. I tend to push people away when I care about them, because I'm just waiting for someone to lie to me again. I credit the people who don't fill my head with empty promises, even if it isn't silence I truly want to hear. Flaws are clear up-close, so I keep too many people at arms-length, and I'm always letting the wrong people in. I'm putting it down to being young and gullible, but that excuse is going to wear thin soon, as I'm turning twenty in a few months. Until then, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

The good things in life: #2

The people who are always by your side, no matter how hard you push them away or how much your drunken slurs hurt them. The ones who wait up all night to make sure you get home safely. The days that are spent in bed, because there's no reason why not. Hot nights you end up at the pub. Spending too much time entertaining a slightly demonic puppy. Knowing who matters and who never will. Overloading on caffeine and spending countless hours talking about unimportant rubbish. Laughing until you're in physical pain. Appreciating the good times, so that the bad times don't seem so bad.

Don't flatter yourself.

The spring in my step isn't down to you. I’m not giving you credit for the smile plastered across my face or the way my pulse is racing. My sore feet. My angry texts. My lack of dignity. My rotten hangover and inability to keep any food down. My tear-stained cheeks, my bloodshot eyes and my shaking hands. Those are down to you, partly, and somewhat due to the sheer amount of alcohol I binged on the other night. That horrible what-did-you-do-last-night feeling you can’t shift from the pit of your stomach. The self-hatred. The mind-numbing headache and feeling of regret. So, here's to the ability I have of pretending everything is okay. Of dusting myself off, getting back up and starting all over again. Don't flatter yourself. I'm more than capable of coping without you.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013


I find you wandering, slowly
The friction encompasses and suffocates
As I struggle to wade through
The misery of your mind.
The torment, burning scarlet,
The flames escape and devour
Everything they touch.
Burnt, blackened, blistered.
You hide in your own little bubble,
Floating and fluctuating,
Narrowly avoiding a dozen sharp edges.
A fragile spirit, a porcelain doll,
Its only a matter of time,
Until your exterior shatters.
Brittle to touch, hard to handle,
And harder to tie down,
One or two kind words,
And a comforting smile
And your anguish begins to
D i s p e r s e . . .
I see your once-lost eyes
Look focused for the first time.
The frail, troubled, china figurine
Sitting in front of me, calms.
My reassurance is all it takes.
I see you clearly for the first time.
And there you are, at last;

'Without You.'

I miss your smile, I miss your face,
And the way your coffee used to taste,
The glint in your eyes,
The way you combed your hair and wrote your name.
No one told me that the last time,
Would be the last time I'd ever hold your hand,
Or feel the way you made me feel,
Like I was the only one that mattered,
The only one I saw.
I've spent countless hours,
Drowning in my own tears,
Craving your lost touch.
Your voice can only be heard on the answering machine,
Sitting by the door, a lonely reminder
Of the aching void I'll never fill.
I never will speak to you again,
You're never there to hold my hand,
Or my hair back when I've drank too much.
I never do see your smile again,
Or see you walk back through the door.
Not in this lifetime. Not as long as we're here.
Not as long as our hearts thud and our chests heave,
But maybe there's more, after we leave.
Maybe one day we'll come face to face
Between the clouds at heaven's gates,
We share a moment,
You smile and take my hand,
And we'll do everything we said we would but never did,
Just like we planned.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Truthful lies.

My head is all over the place at the moment, it's like I can't concentrate on anything. I don't trust myself to make my own decisions, because every time I do, I get hurt, screwed over or let down. So, if I don't trust myself, how the hell am I supposed to trust anyone else? I realise I can't let my mistakes hang over my head forever, but they do seem to gather like a bad smell. It's like I can't get away from them. My own decision-making is gradually going downhill, so should I trust myself, when I seem to be the one constantly at the root of my own unhappiness? I'm too gullible to recognise a lie, and picking them out of the half-truths I get fed, is becoming increasingly difficult. Mistakes may make good stories, but eventually, you get tired of repeating them, it gets you down. How do you spot a good thing when you see it? Especially if you don't really trust your instincts? I have friends all around me, telling me to "be careful" and "watch my back" and all of the other trashy, half-hearted yet from-a-good-place comments, as if I'm the five year old who is unable to decide which crayon to draw with. I feel insulted when people don't trust my opinions and my instincts, yet I feel like maybe there's a reason they're so quick to dismiss my trusting ways. Maybe I do just make mistake after mistake after mistake. I need to figure out how to pick out the good times from the crowd, discard the bad decisions and not dwell on things that make me unhappy. To break the cycle, I must trust myself and have the courage of my convictions. Every time I say "I trust you," I need to learn to mean it with every bone in my body, so that when someone tells me otherwise, I can confidently dismiss them. It's not my fault, trust is such a dirty word.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Breathe your smoke into my lungs.

I trust you and I shouldn't. Then again, maybe that's okay. Maybe I'm finally looking on the Bright Side of things, for good reason. Maybe. I don't know. I'm not sure. Am I ever? Stupid question. We'll see. Everyone in my life is telling me one thing, but the feeling welling up deep in the pit of my stomach is urging me to follow my heart. For once, take the risk and don't push you away. The others didn't push back, and maybe you won't either. I think I'll actually do the impossible this time, I'll take the risk because I'm always so het up with what I have to lose that I forget what I may actually have to gain. This time, there's less at stake and I want the end result more. There's nothing else left to do. I'm running in blind. 

The good things in life: #1

I love the sunny days, and the tan I currently have, and the way I can drink too much and my inability to cope with hangovers, and lovely texts and vodka and singing badly to your favourite song. I love that everyone I know understands what "beer garden weather" is, and what to do when the sun puts in an appearance from behind those wretched clouds. I love long days and sleepless nights and the fact that Pretty  Little Liars stars again next week, and that I'm going to see Bon Jovi on Thursday. Imagine that. I'm going to be in the same room with Jon Bon Jovi (okay, technically its a stadium and there's like twenty thousand other people, but it's still fabulous.) I love people who have the ability to make me smile effortlessly, and good hugs and the people you can count on when your world falls apart. I love getting closer with my family and cherishing the happy times. I love the fact it's just under a month until I go to Ibiza, and I've bought next to nothing. 

I'm going to try and do one of these whenever I feel rubbish. It makes me feel better. The good things in life, we shouldn't forget. 

It's not quite Cider With Rosie.

It's a Saturday night and I'm singing to Don McLean's American Pie, burnt to a crisp, dangerously hungover and I have no plans, and I couldn't be happier. The simple things are sometimes what matter most.

My drinking escapades never to fail to amuse, embarrass and surprise me. Sometimes for the best, sometimes not so much. Last night was no different. A few drinks with food turned into a few of us heading home, involving a quick shower, an even quicker outfit change and by the stupidly early time of half six, one of my friends and I were out resuming our drinking. Lovely weather, a couple of cold refreshments and you're sorted, yes? Well, not quite. Eventful, as all my nights out are. Cue an unhealthy amount of trebles, shots of tequila at seven and jagerbombs at eight. Our "few drinks" rapidly turned into an all-nighter, rolling in at half 3, with messy make up and even messier hair. Today I smell like a brewery. Kind of gladly, kind of not. A good night? A bad night? Who cares, my state speaks for itself I think. A photo would be painful to take, and even more painful to upload. Just picture me as a very hungover, rough girly (with exceptionally burnt shoulders!) So, is it worth it? The banging headache, the nauseating feeling that makes you wish you'd never been introduced to a vodka mixer, never mind five, the soul-destroying feeling of "What did I do last night?" until you piece together the night before. The arguments, the tears, the confrontations, the spilled drinks, the sticky shoes and sore feet. Yes. It's worth it, because sometimes, it's not all screams and nasty words being spat left, right and centre. It's not always arguments and fights and petty disagreements and wrong decisions and bad timing. Just sometimes. And even then, we're young enough to accept that mistakes aren't worth dwelling on. The bad nights make the good nights even better, and a night out isn't complete without one bad decision. After all, the only thing that should be neat, is the vodka. 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The big 5-0.

This is it. My fiftieth blog post. I can't quite believe I'm saying that. To most of you, that probably doesn't sound like a big deal, or even a number worth celebrating, but for me, it is. For me, it's worth a lot more than that. More than an approving nod or smile. You know why? It represents a whole lot more for me, for many reasons, but one in particular. The fact I've got to 50 blog posts, shows I really do possess the determined streak I long for and am proud of. It shows I'm growing as a person, and more over, a writer. The experience, the feeling, the opportunity. All of it, I couldn't have done, without this blog. I feel a lot more confident in my work, and feel a certain freedom and fulfillment in posting my writing for the world to see, whether it be a few lines moaning about lack of sleep and too much rain, or a creative piece that is close to my heart, it has the same feeling,- I get the same release from it. I tell more people about my blog now, and receive so many compliments and reactions that it never fails to shock me. With every blog view or acknowledgement, supportive comment or tweet, my confidence grows, and I get closer to realising, maybe, just maybe, I can really MAKE IT BIG.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Wake up.

When are you going to wake up and realise that no matter how hard you try, I'm not going to be her. I'm never going to have her hair or her eyes, or that little twinkle in her voice you like so much. Forget that. Forget her. I'm not going to try and fit her mould. You shouldn't expect me to. If you can't accept that, then I'll walk away now. It's unfair for you to want that and I refuse to live my life in someone else's shadow. 


I want the weather to stay hot and sunny. I want summer to live up to, and defy expectations. I want to stay hopeful. I want other people to make the effort first. I want to make plans with friends. I want to show you all my puppy, Heidi. I want that exhilarating feeling of happiness to settle with me, and never go.

Book #1: Paper Towns

I chose this cover, as the one with the girl on the front, 
well, I just refuse to believe that's my Margo.

Just like I promised, this is my first installment in my 100 book list. I'm armed with coffee and Comedy Central's constant repeating of Friends, so this is seeming successful. I thought I'd kick it off with a piece from one of my favourite authors ever, a Mr John Green. Having previously read a few of his works; Looking For Alaska and The Fault In Our Stars, to say I approached Paper Towns with a mixture of enthusiasm, excitement and apprehension would be putting it mildly.While I absolutely adored LFA and TFIOS, I wasn't completely sure that Paper Towns would cut the literary mustard. 

Of course, it did. I from the moment I opened it on my Kindle, to the last line, I was utterly enthralled in Paper Towns in a way I never even was with the previous novels. The story follows protagonist Q or Quentin, a senior at high school, who is head-over-heels in love with his next-door neighbour, Margo Roth Spiegelman, a flighty, crazy, socialite, who attends the same school. While they were previously friends and 'playdates' when younger, one night changes everything and their friendship is rekindled in an unimaginable yet brilliant way. Applause for Green's brilliance here, it's well deserved.

A book I'd been told so much about, without giving any of the plot-line away, I had been recommended it so many times, I thought I better embrace the love, and I definitely have. It stars Quentin and Margo, an unlikely yet very successful duo, along with so many other characters, who all have their special place in my heart, for positive or negative reasons, as will become clear once (or if, rather) you read it. This includes Lacey (Margo's sort-of best friend) and Q's partners in crime; geeky yet funny Radar and playful, stroppy and secretly sweet Ben.

Without spoiling an awful lot, this is what you should expect from Paper Towns. More metaphors than you can shake a stick at. Lots of high school drama. An incredible group of characters. Hundreds of hilarious moments, and some definite tear-jerking ones! Too many practical jokes that actually never get old, and the unforgettable journey that this whole novel is wrapped in, both physically, emotionally and metaphorically. A book to make you laugh, cry and not want to sleep until you've finished it. A coming-of-age novel about so much more than high school. A novel that is not intentionally for children, as it features adult topics, and very true to life. Margo and Q's characters are so well thought-out that I actually felt like I knew them personally. Gush gush gush, I know, you're probably gagging a bit. But it is, as I've said, one of the best books I've read in a long time, and, surprisingly, I'd have to say, my new favourite book by John Green. A book that keeps you guessing, a New York Times Bestseller and ultimately, a must-read for anyone who is already, or is looking to be, a huge fan of the legend that is John Green.

Monday, 3 June 2013

100 books in the making.

Okay, for months now, I've moaned about how boring it is, only being restricted to reading Course Books for my Literature and Creative Writing degree. So, now that I'm finally free for four whole months, as well as getting wasted, I have a very carefully adapted list of books I want to read. Some are randomly added, some are recommended by others- friends, people from the twittersphere, my cousin Sophie (canny little mention there, hey Sophs!) who has a very keen eye for a great book, so we're always swapping our latest finds and fawning over them together over the dinner table on a Sunday afternoon.

So, what does my list consist of? I'll probably add to this, (okay, who am I kidding, of course I will) and some will probably be found, flicked through, then discarded, but for this moment in time, this is my list, as follows:

  1. Paper Towns- John Green
  2. An Abundance of Katherines- John Green
  3. Will Grayson, Will Grayson- John Green
  4. Reckless- Allison Brennan
  5. Safe Haven- Nicholas Sparks
  6. Pygmalion- George Bernard Shaw
  7. Lily's Mistake- Pamela Ann
  8. Silver Linings Playbook- Matthew Quick
  9. Never Too Far- Abbi Glines
  10. Fallen Too Far- Abbi Glines
  11. Gone Girl- Gillian Flynn
  12. The Story-Teller- Maud Lindsay
  13. Wait For You- J. Lynn
  14. The Book Thief- Markus Zusak
  15. Vanity Fair- William Makepeace Thackeray
  16. The Picture Of Dorian Grey- Oscar Wilde
  17. Inferno- Dan Brown
  18. The Dice Man- Luke Rhinehart
  19. Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend- Jenny Colgan
  20. The Beautiful And The Damned- F. Scott Fitzgerald
  21. This Side Of Paradise- F. Scott Fitzgerald
  22. Why We Broke Up- Daniel Handler
  23. Sense And Sensibility- Jane Austen
  24. Little Women- Louisa May Alcott
  25. A Streetcar Named Desire- Tennessee Williams
  26. 1984- George Orwell
  27. Mrs Dalloway- Virginia Woolf
  28. Lolita- Vladimir Nabokov
  29. The Sky Is Everywhere- Jandy Nelson
  30. Dash And Lily's Book Of Dares- David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
  31. Identical- Ellen Hopkins
  32. Someday, Someday, Maybe- Lauren Graham
  33. Kissing The Rain- Kevin Brooks
  34. Nine Uses For An Ex Boyfriend- Sarra Manning 
  35. A Day At The Office- Matt Dunn
  36. You Had Me At Hello- Mhairi McFarlane
  37. Mistakes In The Background- Laura Dockrill
  38. On The Road- Jack Kerouac
  39. Starter For Ten- David Nicholls
  40. The Rosie Project- Graeme Simsion
  41. One Night That Changes Everything- Lauren Barnholdt
  42. Revenge Wears Prada- Lauren Weisberger 
  43. The Post-Birthday World- Lionel Shriver
  44. Room- Emma Donoghue
  45. Waking Up Married- Lyn Mira Kelly
  46. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore- Robin Sloan
  47. About A Boy- Nick Hornby
  48. The End Of Alice- A.M Homes
  49. Me Before You- Jojo Moyes
  50. Engelby- Sebastian Faulkes
  51. Whale Talk- Chris Crutcher 
  52. How To Save A Life- Sara Zarr
  53. The Knife Of Never Letting Go- Patrick Ness
  54. Hold Still- Nina LaCour
  55. Wintergirls- Laurie Halse Anderson
  56. Please Ignore Vera Dietz- A.S King
  57. Ask The Passengers- A.S King
  58. Afterwards- Rosamund Lupton
  59. Breathe My Name- R.A Nelson
  60. A Thousand Cuts- Simon Lelic
  61. Attachments- Rainbow Rowell
  62. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  63. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  64. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  65. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  66. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  67. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  68. Harry Potter The Deathly Hallows
  69. Whiskey Beach- Nora Roberts
  70. Beautiful Ruins- Jess Walter
  71. Defending Jacob- William Landay
  72. Hunting And Gathering- Anna Gavalda
  73. Stay- Deb Caletti
  74. Such A Pretty Girl- Laura Weiss
  75. Kez- Barry Hines
  76. Gone With The Wind- Margaret Mitchell
  77. The Lucky One- Nicholas Sparks
  78. A Bend In The Road- Nicholas Sparks
  79. So Much For That- Lionel Shriver
  80. Big Brother- Lionel Shriver
  81. Lace- Shirley Conran
  82. Rachel's Holiday- Marian Keyes
  83. Catch 22- Joseph Heller
  84. Hate List- Jennifer Brown
  85. Monster Love- Carol Topolski
  86. The Rules of Disappearing- Ashley Elston
  87. The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
  88. Catching Fire- Suzanne Collins
  89. Mockingjay- Suzanne Collins
  90. Speak-  
  91. Umbrella- Will Self
  92. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  93. Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury
  94. The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath
  95. The Unknowns- Gabriel Roth
  96. Follow Me Down- Tanya Byrne
  97. Close My Eyes- Sophie Mckenzie
  98. Tigers In Red Weather- Liza Klaussman
  99. Cloud Atlas- David Mitchell
  100. Visitation Street- Ivy Pochoda

I'm not setting a deadline for these books to be read by, because life is unpredictable and I just know I'd end up resenting a task that should be nothing other than relaxing. For every book I read on this list, I will write a blog post, on what I think, what others think that have read it, and over all, my verdict on each piece of literature. Some are just for fun, some are deep and meaningful (well, the blurbs say so) and some are just sarcastic and witty words all thrown together. I'm looking forward to this. I love reading more than I can say, so this is not an effort for me in the slightest. So, I'm ready..Are you?

Summer- I'm ready for you.

I love hot, humid, slightly suffocating nights, where you can't get comfortable, and remind you of foreign places, and holidays abroad, and caravan sites in the height of summer, and having the curtains open at ten at night because it's still light out, and sleeping in very little, or nothing at all, and being comfortably, or even uncomfortably hot. There's something weirdly relaxing about being too hot to breathe properly. You mightn't get it, but I know what I mean. I love summer, and I'm praying, hoping, and keeping everything crossed, that summer 2013 will live up to, and defy expectations. In both weather and events. Are you all ready for the time of your lives?

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Pass me the chicken soup.

So, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and on the surface, this can only mean one thing. A recipe for a successful day, in the north east. As anyone will know, it's a very rare occurrence that we get a visit from that big yellow thing in the sky, so when said holy day arrives, everyone is out in full-swing; happy smiling faces, sparsely dressed people, donning sandles and shorts and very occasionally, sunglasses. But, for me, that recipe just isn't hitting the spot. Why? I'm not feeling myself. In more sense than one.

I'll not give you an unnecessarily dull somewhat-psychological analysis of my state of mind, or any sort of morbid list of my medical symptoms of illness, as that's also pretty boring to read (I presume, I don't mean to insult anyone who may actually find my illness interesting, you total sadists.) Kidding, obviously. Cold-like symptoms in June. You're thinking WHAT? So am I. I am never usually unwell, so when I am, it really gets me down. As for the last few days, exhaustion has set in. I've been even more miserable and intolerant than usual, and increasingly anti-social (and I hate myself for that.) I'm bored to tears. I feel like I have had such high hopes for 'Summer 2013' for so long (hence the inverted commas for entitling!) that it was likely it would fall short of my expectations, and it hasn't even started yet. Not, completely, anyway. I know, this sounds dreadfully pessimistic, but as I have said on many occasions, I am a negative person by default, although I kind of hate that. I just don't think I'm making the most of the time I have, and hardly ever see my friends, due to their prior commitments or my refusal to appear second best or even last resort. I've been so moody lately, I'm sick of being in my own company, yet am somewhat comforted by it.

On a more positive note, I invested in my own Kindle the other day and have fell head-over-heels in love with it. I already have a few dozen titles on there, just sat on their literary haunches, waiting to be read. I can now proudly say I've not only just finished reading my first book on my Kindle, but one of the first books I actually couldn't put down, for first time in months. I love that. Discovering a book, or an author who writes such pure genius, with such wit, that you connect in a way that makes you grin. The said book is The Dinner by Herman Koch. I won't give much away, as spoilers are hideous and I'd hate to be reading a blog and the ending to be revealed in three short, quipping lines, like a comedy act gone wrong. Originally written in Dutch and then translated into English, The Dinner follows the story of two couples and their families, revolving around a dinner at a restaurant, one night. It's obviously, so much more than that. An international bestseller. Read it. You must. It's one of the most brilliant, witty, sarcastic pieces of literature I've ever feasted my eyes on, and will undoubtedly spend weeks spouting off about Koch's wonderful writing style.

So, I guess I best actually try and pull myself together. Sick of feeling sickly and blue. I think it's about time I loaded up on chicken soup, miracle cures and whacked on my best smile, even if it is false for a while. Because, eventually, I won't need the chicken soup. In time (hopefully soon) I'll feel better, and I'll be back to my old (well, nineteen year-old) self, happily pessimistic and a lot more sociable than I have been lately. Promise.