Back From the Nearly Living


So earlier in the week, I linked a post from my plinky archive on a whim. I love plinky, the format is ideal for me (small, directed pieces) and the prompt in question (sea or sky and why?) ended up with quite a nice little answer. Putting it into the blog only took a click of a button.

The response I got was pretty surprising; likes, follows and page views sprung from no-where and hopped, all bunny-eyed over my internet. New followers aren’t something I thought such a dusty, rarely updated trifle would get, especially from such a little snippet of a post!

Startled Owl

I was this surprised.

So I want to take a second to thank everyone who came and read what I’d written. I use writing these days as a way to examine and structure my own thoughts on a topic, which makes it all quite internal. I didn’t think it would appeal to people who don’t know me personally.

In the last month I have (to borrow a clichĂ©) risen from the ashes. I spent exactly two years unemployed, to the day, and those two years changed me. Of course, I was consumed with self-loathing for most of that time, to the point where, alongside my love I began to find disgust in how I felt for my boyfriend simply for his insistence that he wasn’t going anywhere.

It’s only recently though, since I started the job I got via an apprenticeship scheme, that I realised how insular, lazy and selfish I’d become. I was resentful of the world for the sheer audacity it displayed in its continuing to exist. Incredulity when people acted as though I was still valid. It was as though I’d regressed to the age of sixteen and dyed my hair black. Maybe my next move would have been carving words into my arm with a compass.

I’m not back to being the person I was before the Big Black Dog joined the team. I doubt I ever will be that person again; how could I be? I feel as though I am beginning to fit in to the life of the adult I have created.

Clinging on to life.

It had been so long since I smiled like this guy.

Even beyond that, there are times when I realise I still have similar logs burning as I did when I felt like my smile could carry the world. At the job interview, a question, or perhaps a statement from the guy interviewing me (now my boss and director of the company) almost seemed to unbind a ribbon, allowing it to fly in the wind again.

We talked about continued learning and the flaws in a traditional boss/employee paradigm (a risky subject for a job interview I know) and I knew the gleam I could see in his eyes; it was the one which had just returned to my own.

Walking along the spine (a partially-covered walkway on Lancaster university campus) in the rain and I’m cold, tired and hungry. A woman around the same age as me stops to put down her shopping bags. One of them is beginning to split and she is flexing her hands in a way that tells me the bags are heavy.

I offer to help and she politely declines but I insist that I’m in no hurry. We walk back to her flat and she says it’s almost like a sign. “I stopped believing in angels,” she said “but maybe I should start again.” When we arrive at her building, she invites me inside for a drink but it’s my turn to politely decline. At that moment there was nothing in the world I could have wanted.

As I made my way down the stairs I called up and behind to her, ” I just hope that one day when you get the chance you pass on the favour.” I hope she does. The gleam in my eyes must have been like a floodlight.

Inspire

Too true.

The world is not perfect. I am not perfect. But I have started trying again.

In essence, what I really want to say is thank you. Thank you to anyone who reads this. Thanks for using some of such a precious resource (time, what else?) to humour me. Thank you, everyone who read and enjoyed my last post, and to those who read but didn’t enjoy.

Most of all, thank you to the people who are still here. Storms are hard to weather, but I think the clouds are dispersing. I think I can see the sun again.

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Water keeps on flowing


As much as I feel my life has been at a standstill for a long time now, I’ve actually lived here in Scotforth Road for nearly a year, and am about to move again. Over the last few months, I’ve been in such a state of mental stagnation personally that I’ve seen very little worth writing about. I don’t want every post in my blog to be about how much it sucks to be depressed and have anxiety (it’s a lot, by the way) and I fear that’s what it would turn into if I was in a more regular posting routine at the moment. I barely sleep, hardly ever leave the house, and only ever seem to think about how badly I’ve ruined my life since I left home. I’m in a constant state of fear that it won’t be too much longer before my boyfriend and friends give up on me entirely.

Which, in a round-about way, brings me to my point. Even if I was inclined to write more often and with more detail about my present state of mind, I seem to have fractured my writing bone. That first paragrpah is such a poorly written heap that I can’t see how to tidy it up without causing it to collapse in on itself. So not only would my posts be very maudlin, self-depricating and miserable, they’d be poorly written and unpleasent to read, too. No-one wants to read stuff like that.

Father Valentine


Firstly, a quick explanation as to my lack of new updates recently – I simply haven’t been able to coagulate my thoughts into postable material. There have been things I’ve wanted to write about but they’ve stuck around for a very short period of time, much less than it takes me to mull something over and decide on what angle to pursue in my writing. I think part of the problem might be my thinking a blog post needs to be a long, in-depth affair, whereas it’s really fine for me to write only a few paragraphs on something. Am going to try harder in the coming weeks to remedy this.

A friend of mine, luvlymish, introduced me to a very interesting tradition a couple of years ago, which she heard about from a different friend of hers. Originating in Norfolk, the annual tradition of Father Valentine is a rather quaint idea that can really spread a lot of happiness and smiles around the place. Also known as the tradition of Jack Valentine, a lucky person would be called upon and St. Valentine’s day by a mysterious visitor, the enigmatic Father, or Jack, Valentine. A knock on the door would signal the arrival of a gift for someone in the house (children and unattached people were just as likely to receive gifts as lovers). Father Valentine himself would be long gone by the time the door was answered but the tradition was to yell “Thank you, Father Valentine!” into the wind in case he was actually just hiding in the wind.

Being a truly sentimental romantic at heart, this idea appeals to me immensely. The opportunity to give and potentially receive anonymous gifts is one that I can’t pass up. The gifts can be anything, from a chocolate bar to jewelry and more. A pair of sunglasses rests amongst my ornaments, Father Valentine’s gift from last year.

In some ways, it’s a shame I feel like I need this kind of sanctioning in order to give tokens of my love and appreciation to my friends. However, I’ve found that random gifts aren’t always a good idea. The last random thing I gave a friend got accidentally left in Manchester without even so much as a thank you. I don’t like sounding whiny and petulant but that stung. So, something a little bit more organised this time.

I am tempted to bake goodies for my valentines, but our kitchen is small and often quite messy (my housemate’s insistence that the recycling goes HERE obviously didn’t apply to him, if the empty pizza boxes are anything to go by). Also I’m not sure how I’d deliver vast quantities of yummy cakes and the like – I’d need to scour the land for small boxes. Aside from that I have scant few ideas, but there’s plenty of time. Mostly, I think, I need to write a list of people. I’m lucky – I have many people in my life whom I love dearly and want to lend a smile to. But that needs lots of ideas, so off I go to come up with some.

I am a slow-cooker, ideas are my tasty casserole


I have a few posts, developing slowly in my mind. I am like a slow-cooker. An idea forms, but is not ready for exploration and blogging for quite some time, until it is soft and juicy and infused with all my knowledge and opinions and has been thoroughly thought about.

I have several ideas in this gestation period now, About topics such as my attention span, my brother Lewis, and about reading. I’m also considering doing an entirely text/screenshot based let’s-play-minecraft (since I don’t like my own voice, I am reluctant to make a video). This is most likely to happen after the second half of Minecraft’s adventure update has been released though, as there isn’t much point doing it at the moment, while the experience system doesn’t do anything and there aren’t any giant mushroom biomes yet.

Hopefully, I’ll be ready to actually spit out one of the above blog posts some time next week, so don’t despair! However, on a related note, I am interested to hear ideas of what I should write about. Whereas I can’t guarantee I’ll write about a particular suggestion, I will consider everything.

So go on, add your own veggies or meat to the casserole.

Blogs I Read


Anyone who reads my blog is likely to have noticed the sidebar, with various things. There’s a button for you to sign up to a mailing list (for those of you too lazy to check the blog, you can get each post emailed to you as I write and upload them), a feed of my (inane) twitter posts and also a list of links to various blogs I think people should read. One of my friends who blogs asked recently for a bit of publicity, so I thought I’d point it out to any of you who like to read blogs.

They are mostly where people I know in real life blog, but there are a few internet friends on there, and the blogs of  a few people who have made a name for themselves on the internet, such as Jen McCreight – atheist nerdy girl and Markuss Persson – the guy who invented Minecraft.

So, this is me encouraging you to check out other blogs. For somewhere to start with, go here, where Robin has made his profile look like a Wikipedia article with the aid of some very clever coding, and hilarious witicisms (including the longest drug list I’ve seen)