Horror F(r)iends

I might not have made it clear enough on this blog: I live for the movies. All movies really but mainly horror. Good horror, bad horror, cheap horror – most of it has a place in this old heart of mine. My absolute favourites of all time include Candyman and Hellraiser – with a whole lot of variety in between – and what better month than this to revisit the classics and discover new and exciting horror gems?

This post isn’t strictly about those movies though (we’ll do a 31 Horrors recap at the end of the month), it’s about the like-minded friends who love the same movies I do (specifically horror). People like this, the ones who really really get you are like gold dust I swear and this post is for them.

Of course anyone who reads this blog will be familiar with my blog wife Jillian already. We originally bonded over our love of odd movies and are now three years deep into our Great Blog Collab. Our specialty, and favourite month just happens to be Halloween so you could say we’re on the same page when it comes to horror films (and shark movies but they get their own month). In fact, Ginger Snaps is the first film we ever reviewed together, FACT FANS. We also appreciate women on murderous rampages, Film Noir and women who look good smoking.

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Katharine Isabelle, werewolves AND smoking? The holy horror trinity (read my review here)

Jill and I have had some real hits and misses over the years but most times seem to more or less agree on the ratings. Sometimes the films we pick are too good and that can be a problem when our original MO is to snark the hell out of the things we watch – but you can’t win them all. I’m so thankful for Jill, one of the best things to come out of blogging for me – a gorgeous friend online and IRL now too.

James, my podcast partner also deserves a shout out for sitting through some of the dreck I’ve made him watch over the years in the name of content. Cat Sick Blues, anyone? (I do NOT recommend). We’ve also explored a lot of anti-horror together. To name but a few: Felt, The Sacrament, Magic Magic, Spring and Digging Up the Marrow – all of which could be categorised outside the genre comfortably but are definitely shining examples of horror done well.

Honestly, the podcast has brought me so much joy and being able to just waffle on about films until the cows come home is the best thing ever. There’s a limit to how much people want to talk to me about these things so to find a like-minded partner is priceless, honestly. I hope we never stop. Even if James doesn’t rate The Exorcist III.

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Felt (2014)

And last but by no means least my lovely friend Matt who unwittingly inspired today’s post. Matt is the most knowledgeable horror fiend I know and even though we’ve only known each other for a year, I feel like he’s my horror twin. This morning we compared notes via messenger on what we’ve watched this month already and those are the conversations I live for.

We’re even planning a really cool project off the back of our interests and it is going to be so ace I can’t even tell you. I’ll share more when we’ve actually got off our bottoms and made solid plans. This week we’re just treading water until Halloween (2018) is released.

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Hai bae ❤

I can’t not shout out my husband as well, who puts up with all my shit and still seems to like me. Who hasn’t wavered (yet) when I’ve forced him to get involved in my 31 Horrors challenge. Who suggested The Company of Wolves for tonight’s viewing – and who’s just super-cute most of the time. How lucky am I?

So today I am feeling extra blessed to have these people in my life so we can share our common interests like the beasts that we are.

Thanks for being as horrible as I am deep down 🎃👻🔪

How to Lose Friends and Give Yourself Unnessary Anxiety For a Week

Honesty, am I right? I’m doing it here now, did I mention? Even if it’s scary or someone misreads it or thinks it’s a thinly disguised dig at them (If you think this post is about you, it probably is).

So today, let’s talk about losing or specifically breaking up with, friends. I’ve been lucky (maybe) in that I’ve only really suffered one crushing friendship heartbreak. It is akin to having your heart ripped out of your chest, or it was for me so let me have that dramatic statement.

Even though it was me who pumped the breaks on our toxic 15+ year friendship (and I’ve never regretted it), I still think about her almost daily with a sorrow that has never been matched. I ache with sadness that we didn’t make it but we never could have, the end was inevitable.

Now I have a number of GREAT friends but I haven’t seriously labelled any of them ‘the one’ because why would I exactly? I think I’m scared I’ll become someone’s property again. Yes, I know this sounds dreadful but I told you it was toxic. I was a performing circus bear for many of those 15 years and now perhaps you can see why it was doomed from the start. Bears aren’t supposed to tell jokes in a tutu and turn a blind eye to bad behaviours.

I’m scared of feeling loss again* because it really did leave a gaping wound. These days it’s no longer bleeding, it’s scar tissue that tingles when it rains. Which I can live with.

Much like shedding a shitty boyfriend after six years, living through that loss has taught me exactly what I need from my friendships now. And if I don’t get what I need, or catch a faint whiff of toxicity, I’ll be gone before you can finish humming the first verse of the Friends theme. This might sound like I value myself highly above all others and I suppose that’s true. I’m protecting myself and I think that’s perfectly acceptable.

I should be clear about what constitutes toxic for me. It’s not people with issues, everyone has those and I can handle friends that need me, for no doubt I will need them equally. It’s not drama so much, though I try to take after Mary J. Blige on that topic.

It’s, well it’s like my friend Michaela says: “Some people are radiators and some are drains” and never a truer word has been spoken. If my friend is all me, me, me and can only see to the end of their own experience then I’m afraid I’ve got nothing for her/him. Even then I think calling each other out is a healthy and honest thing, God knows I need educating all the time on things I have no knowledge/experience of.

Sometimes friendships do have a period of being very one-sided. I can be extremely selfish, with time mostly but sometimes food. I don’t share food. I may forget to inquire how a friend’s job interview/doctor’s appointment went because I’m too busy gazing into my own navel (try it, it’s not that easy) but we tend to right ourselves and balance it all back out again because that’s how friendship works.

I’ve recently fallen out with a newish pal, can you tell? I’m getting there, I just wanted to set the scene with that introduction.

So, I find myself on the other side of last week and I’m one friend down and I almost can’t believe it’s happened. Not because I’m so amazing that I can’t fathom someone not liking me, no. But because I didn’t see what happened going down the way it did, yet here I am.

I’m not going too far into this. Let’s just say I asked for some understanding on a subject I feel strongly about (diets) and got nothing but bullshit back. I even apologised in case I’d expressed myself bluntly (extremely likely) but apparently asking not to discuss something personally triggering was one step too far. So I AM OUT.

My learning curve has not left me in the position that I now find cutting people out of my life easy, quite the opposite. My anxiety means it’s pretty much all I’ve thought of since it happened. I feel physically sick when I should be singing Aretha’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

I want to cry and roll into a ball. I want to lash out. Mostly, I want to rewind time to before I asked for anything and bite my tongue. Except why should I? I’m not in the wrong.

This week I lost a friend and I don’t feel good about it. On the plus side, well I asked for some understanding and that’s huge for me! I’m delighted about that. Perhaps at the end of this post is where I say, a lesson was learned here today: honesty may be the best policy, but not everyone wants to hear it. And not everyone is the person you thought they were.

<SHRUG>

*This is next to impossible if you trust someone. You have to love like you’ve never been hurt before, even with chums.

My Own Best Friend

Sometimes when people talk about their very best friends I feel sad. I mean, let’s face facts here, my last long-term ‘friend relationship’ didn’t end well.

That’s not to say I haven’t had long beautiful ones since then but that experience taught me that in some cases labels are not a good thing. When I think back, I might as well have been wearing a badge saying “Hello, my name is Christa ~ property of xxx”.

Being a best friend became a job in some respects, part~stand up comic (performing monkey), part~cleaner (on account of all the damage done to others) and it wasn’t fun or healthy for either of us in the end.

So the last five years have been a period of reflection. I’ve talked about it before and two years later it’s still on my mind. I love my friends dearly but when it comes to best friend-dom, to pure exclusivity, to I am yours/you are mine alone ownership – I don’t think I’ll ever have that again.

I’m close with Panda, who surely understands where I’m coming from as she’s been there with me through most of it. And there’s David, who’s millions of miles away in distance only and one of my most favourite human beings on this earth. There are my girls; the greatest individuals you could imagine.

There’s no room in my life for jealousy or possession anymore, I want people to be around me because they want to be and because they think I’m fun, not because they own me. My friends are all my best friends now, as I am to myself.

Learning to be your own best friend is fun too. It’s about learning what you’re worth, listening to your body and mind, giving yourself a break and treating yourself with the utmost kindness.

It’s about buying yourself that soft sweater, taking yourself for coffee and soaking in the tub. It’s about knowing when you need help and learning how to ask for it.

I am mine, after all ~ better make this relationship count ❤

We Could Be Heroes #3: Barb Holland (Fictional)

tumblr_ob5j4zwxaj1s9au7co1_r2_1280**This love letter contains Stranger Things spoilers**

A couple of months back I fell in love, and I fell hard.

Sadly, this love was never fully realised as, a) it was for a fictional character and b) the object of my affection was coldly snatched from me before it could develop any further.

Still, that’s not going to stop me waxing lyrical on how great she is. So without further ado, let’s hear it for The Barb.

Barb Holland (of Stranger Things), on the face of it, comes off as a bit of a drag. I mean, she’s sensible and protective and that comes from the best possible place but she also has a judgmental air that isn’t becoming. But she’s the ‘mom’, she cares about her BFF Nancy Wheeler, worries about her virtue and means well.

I know how she feels for I was Barb back in the day, and this is undoubtedly why the character means so much to me. Slightly off in the looks department, terrified she will be dumped for the cooler crowd and not at all attractive to the opposite sex (yet) so therefore without a frame of reference as Nancy gains sexual experience and maturity. Me.

And millions of former awkward kids across the world, which again has to be part of the reason why she’s become such a stand out from the series, despite only being in three episodes.

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Mom-core

Barb has a style all her own, all mom jeans and ruffled checks, ginormous snooker-player spectacles and ginger helmet hair (which I remember only too well from my own follicle history). She is resolutely herself and that’s what I like. Had she not been dragged into The Upside Down perhaps this would have changed and Barb would have swapped the Dennis Taylors for contacts and lowered her waistlines, fallen more in line with the new crew. This would have been fine if that’s what she wanted, but Barb is/was perfect already.

The only fly in Barb’s ointment, apart from the death and all, is that when she was gone only one person visibly cared. Justice was never served for Barb Holland and it’s an outrage of epic proportions. When Will Byers disappears, the whole town gets involved and his mother Joyce doesn’t rest for a second. Neither do his friends. When Barb goes missing, only Nancy notices her absence and only Nancy mourns her when her fate is casually revealed. Barb deserved better.

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The Duffer Brothers promise #justiceforbarb in Season Two, coming up in 2017 and I bloody hope they deliver. In the meantime though, this one goes out to The Queen of the Upside Down, the slightly annoying but caring friend, who would have lived had she not tried to fit in, or if she’d been a worse friend and just left Nancy to her own nocturnal devices.

RIP my sweet friend, we hardly knew you ❤

Definitely May(be) & My June/July Pledge

Artist’s rendition of what Jill and I will look like hanging out

May looks set to be a very packed month round these parts. I’ve already chalked off my first social engagements (which went swimmingly) and can now start looking forward to the arrival of a very special guest indeed.

Clue: it’s not the Queen of England. It’s waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more exciting than that!

I’m thinking you’ll get a lot of social media updates about the penultimate week in May when Jillian and I are finally together so maybe we’ll get creative on that front and wow you with something different. Or maybe we’ll just eat lots, go and see lots, and watch lots. That’s more likely tbh.

I can’t say much other than I’m really starting to get excited about the whole visit. Although, not so excited about the extensive Spring cleaning I will have to do before our home is fit for guests (You’re worth it Jill).

I’d also like to take a moment in this post to lay down my pledge for the next few upcoming months (if it’s in writing I have to do it right?):

From the 1st of June to the 31st July 2016 I, Christa Bass, will not shop

Since that is rather a bold statement, I will elaborate below.

During the month of June and July 2016:

  • I cannot buy: shoes, clothing, accessories or books
  • I may only buy essentials which include: my base make-up items, shampoo/conditioner, moisturiser and nail polish remover*
  • I can buy gifts for other people but only if required/authorised by my credit card holder (which will be Glynn, who I have chosen as he’s closest)
  • I will remove my credit card details from all my most visited shopping sites which is pretty much just ASOS
  • I will use put money I would ordinarily spend onto my credit card and then into our savings account
  • I am allowed to have my hair and nails done because that comes out of the well-being budget (LOL, loopholes!)
  • Instead of spending money during these months, I will read books from my To Read pile, blog and go to the gym at least 3 times a week

Now I don’t think any of you realise what a profound effect this will have on my day-to-day life as I am such a prolific shopper. Like, I have a very real addiction and I want to try to shake it. I shop alllllll the time and have a package delivered to work nearly every day (if not multiple packages).

I send back a lot of things which is great practice but I do get a big kick out of the initial purchase and receiving of items, which makes me think I need to find another outlet. I don’t know what that outlet is but I’m going to try and find out. I’m hoping it will be working out (for the endorphins not weight loss, yo) and blogging more.

So there you are. An exciting month coming up, with two months of sensible behaviour to follow. I think that’s a good balance.

Until then, my friends, it’s business as usual on the blog and in my life. We’ve had some sad news on G’s side of the family which means we’ll be travelling up north in the next week or so but apart from that, same old.

What are you most looking forward to in May/the Summer? ❤

*Includes female products, cotton wool, etc of course but who wants to list every little thing?

I’m standing top the bright lit city and I’ll take your hand and pick you up

I’m sure there’s a rule in the Social Media Handbook somewhere about reblogging compliments. IDEK.

I’ve shared the lovely Lydia’s post anyway because I feel so strongly about the Girl Power element to this series of posts. A little while back she sent me a questionnaire about Feminism and other topics which I answered as truthfully as possible. Some of the questions really got me thinking and it was all quite emotional.

I hope you enjoy both the questions themselves and my answers.

Girl Power forever! ❤

Belle of the Bluegrass

One spring I met Christa at the shop in Brighton’s famous Laines where we were both doing nail art in a tattoo studio. The very tiny upstairs of this shop was packed full of creative and interesting people. The majority of us were women and fantastically strong and talented ones. Christa’s nail art was far superior to mine and I enjoyed watching her work as well as forming a friendship with this forthright woman.
The business fell through but we have kept in contact via social media and supporting one anothers blogging endeavours. A strong willed, funny, creative and smart woman with a penchant for bearded men; Mrs Bass is my kind of lady. A champion of supporting other women, I knew Christa’s answers would be truthful as well as insightful. Enjoy her answers and check out her blog once you’re more acquainted.

Name: Christa Basschrista

Age: 38

Location: 

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International Women’s Day 2016

Happy #IWD2016!

I’ve thought long and hard about how to mark this day and did think about doing a big old post about inspirational female authors, actors and literary characters. Which would be fine but honestly, when I think about true inspiration and influence I realise it’s all around me, all the time. In my everyday, at work, online. Anywhere and everywhere.

I couldn’t include everybody obvs but here are just a few of the women I interact with on the regs who make me want to fight, to be as strong and talented as they are – and to be all round better so I can make them proud too.

Here’s to the women we love, the women who inspire us, the women who raised us and all those who identify as female. I love you.

Woman Power!

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Who run the world?

From Top to Bottom, Left to Right:

Daisy (The Lucky Apple)
Lydia (Belle of the Bluegrass)
Hayley Margaret (A Stitch to Scratch)
My Mum
Madeleine (Madeleine Martin)
Meghan (The Lightle Side of Life/That’s Lightletainment)
Tatty (Camelia Ophelia)
Jillian AKA Wifey (The Pink Panther Snipes Again)
Hannah (Ponderous Pieces)

To you all I can only say thank you for being in my life. You make it a million times more fun and satisfying!

Coincidentally, WordPress has just reminded me it’s my 2 year blog anniversary today (my first post was on the 9th March 2014 and you can read it here if you want to). We’ve come a long way, baby.

I might elaborate on this a bit more tomorrow but until then:

Happy birthday to me – and a wonderfully womanly day to you all! ❤