Let’s have a catch up…

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Hello everyone…it’s been a while. I was doing rather well with this blogging malarkey, and then somewhere in the middle of NaNoBloMo I disappeared. Let’s have a catch up…

The past couple of months have been rather eventful! I went on a wonderful shopping trip with the boyfriend. We unfortunately booked our little holiday during the Black Friday sales – unknowingly – and were stuck in the Trafford Centre in Manchester, in the midst of the crazy deal obsessed shoppers! It was okay really, we went to the cinema to escape it all for a little bit, and then shopped on the Saturday. It was worth it for all of the deals that we got! (Let’s just say, my family were spoiled at Christmas!)

My family weren’t the only ones! David was just incredible with his present choices. He spoilt me rotten and I’ve sworn not to ask him how much he spent…I think I can make a good guess though! Among my presents was a mandolin, an electric ukulele, a gorgeous watch, knitting supplies, a Disney song book, a How to Play the Ocarina songbook, Giovanna fletchers “Christmas with Billy and Me”… I could go on for hours! How I managed to get such a wonderful man to even consider dating me, I will never know!

Unfortunately my work situation still hasn’t changed, however I am a little more certain about what sort of job I would like to be applying for. I want to go into social work, preferably in nursing homes for the elderly. I have done my fair share of care type roles in my short life so far, and I have loved it! I think that growing up in the family that I did, has probably helped to shape my decision too – 3 out of my 6 aunt have either adopted or fostered, my mother is a school nurse, one aunt is a full time foster carer, a cousin is a social worker, another aunt is a midwife, my nan is a carer, another aunt is a school nurse, another cousin is training to be a doctor, a sister is training to be a physiotherapist…it’s just in my blood! It might sound like a bit of a silly thing to say, but I believe that it’s true. I know that this country needs carers at the moment, especially in nursing homes, and I want to do my part.

David and I are looking at moving out sooner than later, too. I think the parents are coming around to the idea a little bit more, which is helpful, we just need to do it now! It’s a little daunting, but it needs to happen. I have so much stuff in my room right now, that I have no where to put it all! We kind of started collecting things that we would need when we move – a kettle, a toaster, kitchen supplies, a clock, a T.V. – and right now, I’m attempting to store it all in my bedroom. Things will work out in the end though.

I hope I’ll get back into the blogging – I’m keeping a diary now, too. A present off David. I think it’s helping my creative juices! Speak soon.

Turn on the tap…

blog, nanowrimo, writing

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I have made it to the half way point. I have managed – somehow – to write a blog post every day for two weeks. Whoa. I am impressed with myself! I know that I’m only half way there but I am so glad that I’ve managed that make it this far! However, some days I feel like I’ve hit a wall. A dry spot. I want what I write to be something interesting, something that people actually want to read but it can be so difficult to know whether it is or not. I haven’t really got anyone to share my writing with before I ‘publish’ it on here, no one to tell me, “Um, Leah…that’s actually kind of boring.”

I set myself the task of writing something every day of this month for a reason. I want to create a habit – a creative habit! I don’t want writing to become a chore for me, I want writing to be something that I go out to do by impulse, “just because”. When I hit a ‘creative dry spell’ I want to automatically make the decision to just sit down at my computer, or with a notebook – and just write. What comes out of the tips of my fingers might not be the best of compositions, but I know that it will eventually ‘turn on the tap’, so to speak.

I don’t want to get home from work every night to just flick through Facebook and Twitter, maybe play a video game or two and then to fall asleep. I want to wake up an hour earlier than I need to in the morning, and write! I want to take notice of everything around me and describe it. Imagine stories and then put them down on paper. I want to make the most of my time here.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
― Louis L’Amour

Sometimes I have the opposite issue. I have so many thoughts and ideas in my mind, and I can’t physically write it all down! I get overwhelmed. I will start to write one thing, and then suddenly move on to another – it’s like a creative ADHD. (You might have noticed that in my previous posts…sorry about that! I’m a bit like that in real life too. One moment we will be talking about a movie we’ve just seen, and then all of a sudden I’ll be talking about something completely irrelevant. Of course I’ll expect everyone to know what I’m going on about.) The vast amount of stories in my head immobilises me.

Today I was knitting (see what I mean about the ADHD? There is a point to this, seriously..!) and I decided to pick up a work in progress that I put down months ago. I have so many unfinished projects up in my room and it often feels like I can’t start another one until I have finished the rest! I’m feel like this when I am writing. I’ll push stories and characters to the back of my mind, hoping to extract them at a later date…I never do. I try to force myself to finish something that I’m not feeling inspired to complete. Perhaps I’m just not ready to end that tale just yet…

I guess what I’m trying to say is, write regardless. Write when you haven’t got anything to write about – because you will find something. Write when you have too much to write about – otherwise you might forget it. Start new projects before you finish others, write little biographies for characters from a different land, write descriptive writings of uninhabited cities! And use them at a later date. Who knows, maybe writing something fresh will inspire you to finish something old.

The weekend is just on the horizon – really!

blog, nanowrimo, Work

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Do any of you feel like all that you ever do is work? That all of your time is sucked into a never ending working week; the weekend never seems to arrive, and the nights fly past in the blink of an eye? You’re too tired to dream at night, which in return gives you the feeling of sleeplessness. When you do dream, it’s just…weird. Weariness is your companion.

I’ll bet that a lot of you are lucky enough to have varied jobs. Perhaps you work in a school where something new happens every day! You’re doing something you love, you’re inspiring young people, you’re doing good. Maybe you work in the media. That seems like it would be a rather enjoyable job. You radio presenters all sound like you’re having a whale of a time in your little D.J. booths, laughing away with the latest celeb that you’re interviewing. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

You are lucky.

Some of you will be just like me. We work in a factory, the lowest of jobs. In despatch. The most monotonous of work. Picking. Packing. Labelling. Repeat. What good are we doing? You’re colleagues are real bundles of joy, complaining about every little thing with their double standards.

Who’s in charge of health and safety around here? Can’t they get us a bloody ladder that doesn’t f•••ing feel like it’s gonna break on me??

Oh, so now we have to wear high vis’? And hard hats? I don’t want to wear those!

And their wonderful break time conversations. Perhaps, like me, you sit alone at lunch. You don’t fit in with that lot; they don’t like you and you don’t like their conversations. About women. About how women are incompetent. About how women’s feelings are irrelevant. How women are good for nothing – except for a good f–! Oh.

Maybe you want to have a real conversation, an intelligent conversation -one that doesn’t involve porn, sex or drugs. Perhaps you want to have your beliefs challenged, you want to learn something new, you want to expand your mind. But you can’t.

You live for the evenings – the short, short evenings; you live for the always distant weekends. But they never come for long.

Festive Fun!

blog, christmas, festive, nanowrimo, tag

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Today I am gonna do something a little bit fun! I’m sure that many of you will have heard of the brilliantly talented Tom Fletcher of McFly/McBusted? If you have, you may also know that he, his sister and his wife all make YouTube videos and have started a Dear Tom/Dear Gi/Dear Carrie series – inspired by the VlogBrothers! Last week, Tom started a Christmas tag…and that is exactly what I am going to take part in! Whoopee – another Christmas post! Enjoy!

♥Fifteen Festive Favourite Questions♥

1. Favourite Festive food
There is so much food at Christmas! The festive food I love the most however, is probably sprouts. Unusual choice, I know – but Christmas is literally the only time of the year that we have them! Not a great aftermath, unfortunately…both of my parents like to be rather free when it comes to flatulence..!

2. Favourite Reindeer
Surprisingly, I haven’t seen anyone answer this question with Rudolph yet! Poor Rudy… For me, Cupid is my favourite – the reasons might be obvious…he is clearly the reindeer of love!

3. Favourite day from 12 days of christmas song
I can never remember the days. For some reason I like the tenth day – “Ten Lords a Leaping”. It sticks with me. I couldn’t tell you why…perhaps it could be to do with the fact that it sounds a little bit like “Time Lords are leaping”…that just leaves me with the image of David Tennant prancing around the TARDIS!

4. Favourite Christmas Song
My favourite ever Christmas song is actually “O Holy Night”. It’s probably something to do with singing solos from it at school each year! It’s so pretty. (Although “Baby It’s Cold Outside” comes in at a close second…)

5. Favourite Christmas Present
This is a hard one. Over the years I’ve had some really amazing presents. Books, CDs, films, art supplies – a macbook! (Although I did pay for half of that…) I don’t think I can choose just one! …buy if you’re gonna make me, I’ll go for my vast collection of books, which is probably made up mainly from Christmas gifts!

6. Favourite Christmas Film
My favourite Christmas film probably isn’t even considered a real Christmas film, but the one that we all used to watch when we were younger at my Grandparents house is E.T.! We used to watch it every Christmas, and for some reason Christmas doesn’t feel quite right without it!

7. Favourite Cracker Toy
The best cracker toys I’ve encountered were the musical whistles! My Gran had, for some reason, been saving this particular packet of crackers for years! We never opened them or anything…and then, I think it was last year, they were finally put out on the table. They come with sheet music and everything! You can play little tunes (and with a family as big as mine, you can actually make up the whole octave!)

8. Favourite Cracker Joke
I don’t know whether this one actually came from a cracker, but I’ll just assume it did!

Q: How do you catch a squirrel?

A: Pretend to be a nut!

I was a…sensitive child. Whenever I told this joke, people of course laughed at it – probably out of kindness more than anything. And then I would cry. I thought that they were laughing at me!

9. Favourite Christmas Decoration
I love tinsel. Silver tinsel to be precise! I don’t care what my mother says (she refuses to let us have it on the tree – thinks it’s tacky!) – it’s so pretty and sparkly and shiny! We don’t have it as much any more, but mum used to wind it up the bannister and hide Christmas lights in it, and it was just so pretty in the dark! I’m considering buying the Christmas tinsel wool to knit her a scarf with…I don’t think she’d appreciate it!

10 .Favourite Candle Scent
I love a bit of a Yankee Candle! I think my favourite one is probably the Winter Wonderland scent…the Mulled Wine one isn’t bad either.

11. Favourite Christmas TV Advert
This is probably a really random choice, but my favourite advert is the Boots 2014 advert. The John Lewis advert was adorable and lived up to expectations, and Tom Odell did a wonderful job with the music, but the Boots advert was really touching. It reminded me of how hard my own mother works (she is also a nurse) and it has kind of encouraged me to really try hard to thank her this year, for everything she’s done. Who knows how many more Christmases I’ll have at home, you know, before I move out and make a home of my own…gotta make the most of it!

12. Favourite Christmas Tradition
My favourite Christmas tradition is the Chocolate Oranges! I love ‘em! Every year, me and my siblings get a Terry’s chocolate orange in the bottom of our stockings. I usually manage to devour the majority of mine before I even get downstairs. The best part is the “core” of the orange, and if I’m not careful mum or dad will come along and scoff it!

13. Favourite Place to Spend Christmas
I’ve only spent Christmas away from home once or twice…One time in Barbados and the other, Scotland I think. But home is where the Christmas cheer is for me!

14. Favourite Christmas Fact
My favourite Christmas fact is that, on Christmas Eve French children put their shoes in front of the fireplace in the hopes that Father Christmas would fill them with presents. He apparently has a partner called ‘Le Pere Fouettard’ or Father Spanker! He would “reward” bad children with a spanking! How creepy!

15. Favourite Snowman Accessory
I love a carrot for a nose! He needs to be able to smell, right?

I hope you all enjoyed the questions – and more importantly, the answers! Should you feel the desire, I think that you should all go and answer them too! Spread the Christmas Cheer!

Rape Culture

blog, ched evans, nanowrimo, rape culture

I have been putting off writing about one particular subject over the past few weeks. Rape culture. When I first started this blog, I wrote a post talking about the sexual abuse and manipulation that was going on within YouTube, which is unfortunately still an ongoing issue within the community. However, despite the new allegations that were made this week I am not going to be talking about YouTube in this post. Today I would like to talk about Ched Evans. There is so much that I would like to say about this horrible situation, however I shall try to be concise. It has come to a point where I feel that this issue needs to be addressed on my blog.

Since his release from jail, the main question surrounding the case is, will Evans be returning to Sheffield United? As some of you will know, yesterday they made the decision to allow him to practice with the team again. I truly believe that this is the next step to allowing him back onto the team for good. This cannot happen.

According to his sentence, Ched Evans is a rapist. In the eyes of the law, he is a sex offender. Despite his continuous pleas of “not guilty”, until it is otherwise proven, he is a sex offender. The ‘facts’ are that he had sex with a 19 year old woman who was too drunk give consent. Evans believes that the sex was consensual. A woman (or a man) cannot give consent when they are drunk, and “R” (as the victim is referred to) was drunk.

For those of you who don’t believe that she was really drunk…she had drunk before leaving her house, and again at a bar. She had drunk so much that she didn’t remember much after leaving the bar. She didn’t remember having sex with either Evans or McDonald – they both confirmed that she did have sex with them. CCTV footage showed her stumbling around, leaving her handbag in a kebab shop and being escorted to the hotel by McDonald in a dishevelled state. There is no doubt that she was far too drunk to consent. McDonald even sent a text to Evans, which read something along the lines of, “I’ve got a bird”.

McDonald has been cleared of rape, so I am not going to talk about him. However, Evans was convicted, and this is where I have the problem. How can a football club take back an ex-player who has been jailed for raping a woman? How can they think that this is acceptable? Their actions trivialise sexual violence against women and they’re basically taking a massive step backwards. We live in a world where rape is a part of our culture. There is catcalling in the streets, people are harassed on a daily basis at work and in schools and universities, people get raped and their attackers get away with it.

Another aspect of this case that has really upset me is the way that Evans’ family has handled the situation. Of course they will want to support him in any way they can – he is going through a rough time right now (even if he did bring it on himself…) However, releasing footage of R and also exposing her identity is unacceptable. Rape victims have the right to anonymity. They took that right away from her when they released her name and when they posted video footage of her on their website. If they truly want to try to clear Evans’ name, they are going about it the wrong way.

Yet another big issue that I have had with this case is the victim blaming that has occurred. She is the victim. Whether Evans’ fans and family want to believe that or not is their prerogative, however they should keep their toxic opinions to themselves and never blame the victim. Whether they like it or not, according to the law he is the culprit. I know I’ve said it before, but he is – legally – the one in the wrong. People ask why women (and men) don’t come forward about sexual assaults. This is why. The reaction that they get from the public is why. Not only are they forced to re-live their assault when going through the court process, but they are also rarely believed and the attacker is rarely arrested. The victim is treated like the perpetrator and the rapist is treated like the victim.

I think that this case has a lot to say for football culture too. A few weeks ago I was doing a bit of research on women in sport and how they are portrayed. I put together this little photo…

football

Now what differences do you see between the two different Google searches? I won’t treat you like children, it’s clear; the articles on the left focus on the men’s skills. The articles on the right focus on the women’s sexual appeal. The women’s ability to please the male species’ eyes. The objectification of women. These five articles are the first to come up on Google when typing in “Male Footballers” and “Female Footballers”, respectively.

(Here is a link to the original post where I explain the contents of each link in more detail)

This is not okay. The football community view women as objects, as pretty things to look at. They are rarely judged on their actual abilities and skills. Did you know a female journalist was almost fired because she was “too attractive” and was “distracting the footballers”. By letting Evans off, by allowing him back on the squad, they are making the statement that rape is a forgivable offence. They are putting him back in the limelight, as someone for young aspiring footballers to look up to, as someone for 11 year olds to cheer when he scores a goal. They are reinforcing the idea that women do not matter, that they are only good for their bodies, or what they can give to a man, and that the men will be forgiven if they rape someone. It is normalising rape which cannot be allowed.

Evans even said in his video message that being able to play professional football is a “rare privilege”. It’s a privilege, not a right. When you do something so badly wrong, you have to face the consequences. When you rape someone, you can’t go back to your normal life as if nothing ever happened. When you do something wrong, your privileges are taken away. For good.

I think I am going to end this one here. The post is getting long, and I feel that I have probably repeated myself more than once! I would never normally “ask for comments” or whatever, but I feel like this is something that needs to be discussed, so I encourage you to talk about this is the comments below. I hope that this makes sense.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll speak to you again tomorrow.

A Letter to my Cat

blog, letter, nanowrimo

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To my dearest Poppy,

Oh why must you wait behind the door every morning? I’m sleepy, it’s dark and I’m at my most clumsy. Yet each morning you are there, ready for me to trip over you! Surely you should have learnt by now? I’m going to end up hurting you – or myself!

It’s breakfast time and I’m eating my Weetabix, or Cornflakes, or Granola. I pour the milk. I can see you out of the corner of my eye. You’re waiting. Just a small drop? Poppy, it’s my breakfast! Go away!

Let’s set a scene. It’s Saturday and I’m making dinner. How about a tuna sandwich? Suddenly, there you are – as if by magic – waiting for me to accidentally drop some fish onto the floor. It’s as if you have a sixth sense; the tin doesn’t even need to be open. You know. You know that it’s tuna. You will be there! (Although you got it kind of wrong the other day, when you sat there, waiting for me to open the can of kidney beans…I don’t think you’ll like them!)

You wake me up in the morning! I shut my door for a reason, yet at the crack of dawn, before even I’m awake (at the hideously early hour of 6am) there you are, scratching at my door, hoping I’ll let you in, let you onto my bed (so that you can shed your unusually long coat)! The first time you did this, I thought there was a rat in my cupboard! I freaks me out, okay?

Oh Poppy I wish you could understand me…the dogs don’t seem to have a problem! I can tell them off, and they’ll cower in their bed. I tell you off and you stare back at me, a look of “so what?” on your face!

Dearest Poppy, I do love you…but sometimes I don’t!

Cuddles and kisses

xxx

Christmas #2

blog, christmas, festive, nanowrimo

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Christmas #2

The other day, I posted a blog discussing why some people dislike the run up to Christmas…Grinch! I think I made it pretty clear that that wasn’t me! Today I am going to tell you all about why I love Christmas and everything about it!

The music. The music is wonderful! Somehow, it manages to lift my soul, hearing sleighbells, strings, choirs – the beautiful descants! Christmas songs are so uplifting, euphoric. I won’t lie, if you were a fly on the wall, you would hear Chrismas music being played all year round in my house! I love the idea of Carol Singers, although I’ve never been able to go around myself…

The decorations. I live in quite a small village, and at one end, there are two houses that face one another. Each Christmas, they seem to partake in an unspoken contest. Their houses are light up with every light and decoration imaginable! The trees in the gardens are adorned with lanterns and baubles, the chimneys host giant santas, and one of them even puts up inflatable Simpson characters! Last week, I was travelling home from work, and several houses had Christmas lights up already. Now that the nights are drawing in so early, it’s magical to see bursts of colour lighting up the streets.

Giving and receiving. Last Christmas, I had a student loan. I also had a job and lived in the Universities cheapest accomodation, and so I was able to spend more than I’ve ever spent before on gifts. People talk about the ‘gift of giving’, and I do believe that being able to present someone with a gift that I have personally picked out for them, and then seeing the happiness on their face is a really wonderful thing to be able to do. It’s also pretty nice being given presents too!

Family. As I think I mentioned in my previous Christmas post, at Christmas my parents host a party for all of my cousins, aunties and uncles to attend! I rarely get to see my relatives during the rest of the year. There are so many of them, and none of them live particularly close by. They’re busy with their lives, have jobs, are off at University. All of that is forgotten for a day when they visit. It’s lovely, although it’s probably a little stressful for my mother!

The food. With Christmas comes parties, and with parties, comes food! At Christmas, we eat foods that we don’t eat at any other point in the year! Mince pies, turkey, sprouts, mulled wine, Christmas cake…the list is never ending! Christmas is the only day of the year that it’s remotely acceptable to eat a full English, several chocolate oranges and then a massive Christmas dinner at the end of the day! I like to think that Christmas Day is also a calorie-less day too!

Midnight Mass. Christmas is the one time of year that a lot of people who don’t usually go, go to church. I love the service that the church next door puts on, and me and my dad usually get involved in leading the music side of things. This year, I have been asked to sing a solo as my contribution to the service, which is very exciting! The church itself is always decked out nicely, with candles and tinsel and holly, along with a full nativity scene at the back of the room. Despite the cold winds outside, and the lack of heating inside the villagers all turn up wrapped in scarves, hats and gloves. The community really comes together!

And of course there was a guy that a lot of people like who was born on that day – the baby Jesus!

A Blog About Blogging!

blog, blogging, nanowrimo

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Today I am going to, at the request of David, write a blog about blogging. (I didn’t know what to write about!) Okay, okay I’ll come clean. This WordPress blog isn’t the first blog that I’ve attempted to write. Over the years I have tried starting a blog on Blogspot, one on Tumblr, and I’ve even tried video blogging (or vlogging) on YouTube! They’ve never really worked out. In this post, I’m going to explore what may have prevented me from sticking with my previous blogs, and perhaps I’ll be able to avoid abandoning this one!

Firstly, I was too afraid to share my blog with my friends. I would type posts up on my laptop, upload them to the blog and then immediately delete any documents that I’d made, for fear that one of my siblings would find them. Sometimes I’d go as far as to delete my internet history! I treated my blogs like some dirty little secret, afraid that people would laugh at my opinions, my poetry, passions… Looking back I realise that it was all a bit silly really…

Secondly, I felt like my blog had to have one particular theme. Even when I started this blog, I did so having chosen one topic, with the intention of writing blogs solely about it. I felt like my blog had to be just about social justice, or just about fashion, or just about food. I felt like having a too varied blog would put people off and they wouldn’t want to read it. In hindsight, I realise how daft that was – I mean, who wants to read about the same thing every day? Who wants to write about the same thing every day? Variety is definitely a good thing; it’s what keeps people interested.

Thirdly, I often lost the ‘will’ to carry on. Like I said before, I never used to share this on my Facebook or Twitter. No one knew about it, and so no one cared. Alongside writing, I also love singing and I have a Youtube channel which I post song covers on. Whenever I upload a video I share it straight to my Facebook profile where my friends can give me feedback. If I don’t post a video for a couple of months, someone asks me why – it keeps me motivated. Although I don’t share this blog directly onto my Facebook page, I link it to my Twitter and other social networks that I use. Knowing that there’s a chance that my blog is being read by my friends and family (even if it is just my Dad!) makes me want to stick to this. I think that some people have a certain opinion of me, the opinion that I don’t see things through to the end, that I quit too early on. This time, it will be different! (Don’t they all say that..?)

Finally, I didn’t think that I was a good enough writer. One of the many reasons that I didn’t like to show my writing to my friends was because I thought that they would think that it was rubbish! It wasn’t just that I thought that they’d disagree with me or that they’d laugh at me for having a blog – how uncool! – I just had so much self-doubt in my writing ability. Regardless of the fact that I have an A-Level in English Literature and that I excelled in the more creative projects in class, I just didn’t have enough faith in my writing. It has only been more recently that I have realised that you don’t need to have a degree in English Literature or whatever to be able to write well, or to write something that other people are interested in.

I have spent too long caring about how other people would judge me, how my friends would react to me writing my daily thoughts and publishing them on the internet. A simple blog. Now that I’m slightly older and, dare-I-say wiser, I know that I just need to do what makes me happy, and writing is among that very long list of things that make me happy! If you enjoy writing but are afraid of what other people will think of you, I really do urge you to go ahead and write any way! Share it with a close friend or someone that you know who enjoys writing too. Ask for advice on how to improve and try to take any criticism that comes your way constructively – really try not to take it to heart. Good luck!

“L” is for the way you look at me…

blog, dating advice, looking for love, love, nanowrimo, relationships

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Starting a month long project can be daunting. It is day 7, and I feel like I could already be faltering – I’m only a week in! Thankfully my job is pretty mindless and I’m left with my thoughts so I can spend my days thinking about what I want to write about next. (My coworkers manage to give me daily ammunition with the disgustingly sexist and crude comments that they make! I have a feeling that there will be some anti-sexual harassment posts coming your way in the near future..!) Alongside the mind numbingly simple job I have, I have also had a good couple of hours after work/before my nightly Skype session with the boyfriend in which I can sit and write. Its very nice and I’m sure that once this month is up I will spend some of those hours reading instead of writing…what bliss it will be!

Today, my boyfriend is coming over. He lives in Leeds, so I can only see him at the weekends. The train journey can take up to two and a half hours, which probably isn’t the first thing anyone would want to do after a long day at work! Last week it was my mother’s Birthday, and so we decided that he should have a weekend to himself and I could spend a bit more time with my family…so he didn’t visit last weekend. *Sad face*. Therefore I am very excited to see him!

Whilst I’m on the topic of relationships, I would like to address an issue that a friend of mine has had. She recently asked me for some “relationship advice” (apparently having had one boyfriend in my life means I know what I’m on about..!) Basically, all of her friends are in relationships. Some are moving in together, others are getting engaged and some are even having children! She just feels that she is falling behind in the “dating game” or something. She feels like her friends have all deserted her; that they didn’t have time for her anymore. She thinks that they’re all so focussed on their significant others, that it is as if she doesn’t even exist any more! She hasn’t had a boyfriend before, but she’s never really met anyone that she likes enough to date.

I know that it’s easy for me to say this now, but for anyone feeling this way, “the one” will arrive, whether you’ve known them since your childhood, or whether you’ll meet them at the age of forty! Before I met David I really felt like I would never meet a man that I liked enough, and who liked me enough. I honestly believed that I was going to live out the rest of my life single, either living alone with an army of cats, or in a Convent. One of the two. I thought that no man would ever look at me twice, that I was too plain, that my sisters were just far more interesting. I was too shy to go out and meet people on my own, but when I went with others, it was if I didn’t exist – they over shadowed me.

In hindsight, I am really glad that no one was interested and that I waited for David to come along. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with having more than one relationship in your life, I’m just glad that I waited until now to have my first (and hopefully last!) It makes our relationship seem so much more meaningful to me. Neither of us are comparing the other to an old flame.

I guess I have one question. Why do we as a society base our self-worth and success so much upon our relationship status? So many people allow their relationships, or lack thereof to define them. I know that I did before I met David! Looking back I realise that it wasn’t until I was content and comfortable with the single life, that he came along. I wasn’t looking for anyone, and then he was there. I wasn’t flirting with every guy I met, hoping that perhaps they would return the action. I was myself. And when I met David, he met the real me. I had felt like I was falling behind in the dating game too, but in reality the right guy just hadn’t come along yet!

He/she will be worth the wait!

(I would also like to say, if you’re not interested in a relationship, then that is great too! My post is really more geared towards those who are looking for love, but I am aware that, that won’t be everyone who is reading this.)

Christmas #1

blog, christmas, nanowrimo

Christmas.images

Is it socially acceptable, for me to get excited yet? I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been looking forward to Christmas since probably the end of August..? I heard my first Christmas radio advert at the beginning September and Radio 1 (which is on all day at work) have been playing the occasional festive tune. Now that Halloween and bonfire night have both passed, I feel that it is acceptable for me to publicly announce my Christmas excitement!

However, as I sadly discovered, my excitement is not shared. *Sad face*. A couple of weeks ago, I was sat in the office on my lunch break and the radio presenter started to talk about Christmas shopping.

“Turn it off!” someone screeches from the other side of the room. “I will not listen to people talking about Christmas so soon! Any earlier than the middle of December is unacceptable!”

I just do not understand people’s aversion to the festive season. So what is it that causes people to hate the run up to Christmas? Lots of things, apparently.

Money. Lets not kid ourselves; Christmas is expensive. Hundreds and hundreds of pounds are spent on presents, decorations, food…and just for a one day event. (All the more reason to make it a multi-month-long event, eh?) Christmas has been so commercialised and focusses so much on the materialistic side of things. People start to forget about what Christmas is really about. (You know, baby Jesus…)

Enforced family gatherings. Christmas is the time of year when you are forced to see every single family member, from your Gran, to your second uncle-in-law three times removed – and your might not even get on with one another! For me, it isn’t a problem. The whole family really gets on well, and due to the extortionate amount of cousins, you can hide in the crowd – but for many families, having everyone under the same roof can be a bit of a nightmare..!

Congestion. The traffic is a nightmare; road accidents seem so much more frequent, probably because of my ice on the roads and the darker evenings, journeys home from work and school are often doubled, sometimes even tripled and the number of delivery lorries on the roads seem to increase tenfold!

The stress of shopping. Like the roads, the shops are crammed with hundreds of people who have all decided to do their last minute shopping at the exact same time. It really is a nightmare! Last year my mother took me, my sister and her friend to London to see David Tennant perform in Richard II, and we stupidly decided to stop off at Harrods. Worst mistake of the year. It was 10th December and Harrods was packed! (For some reason, they were also blaring weird dub-step music through the speakers which drove me mental!) I ended up standing out on the street talking on the phone with David! It isn’t even just the fact that the shops are busy either – people don’t seem to understand that standing like they’re a carefully arranged game of checkers, does not help the human flow. You can be walking along, and the person a couple of feet ahead of you will just stop. You bump into them with a crash and end up being the one who apologises profusely, as if you were the one who had caused human dominoes to occur!

Wishing the year away. Some people seem to think that by looking forwards to Christmas too early on is the same as wishing your year away. By anticipating Christmas from an early point, you’re not really living in the moment. You’re allowing the final couple of months to pass by without your notice. As if life isn’t already short enough!

The Religious side. Christmas is the annual celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Over the years, it has distorted to something altogether different. It’s turned into more of a cultural holiday for non-Christians, and is really geared more towards the non-Christians (in my opinion). For some people, the small amount of religious tradition that Christmas has managed to cling onto is considered too religious, and for others, Christmas just isn’t religious enough!

Its ‘fashionable’. Everyone knows that one person who thinks that being a bit of a Scrooge is cool. They go around, posting on Facebook and Twitter, huffing and puffing about Christmas, about how people are too happy, the streets are to bright with lights, the decorations are too tacky. Why kill the joy?

Christmas is supposed to be a celebration (whether you’re religious or not). A time to spend time with family, to give and receive gifts, to show one another love and care! I’m sure that within a few days, I will have posted another blog similar to this, explaining why I personally love Christmas so much. Do you love or hate the run up? If you hate it, are there any reasons that I haven’t mentioned yet?

Look out for my upcoming blog on why I love Christmas so much!