Category Archives: Thoughts

Watching Girls Go By

I feel like I spend most of my summer months obsessively people watching. Watching girls to be precise. I can take or leave men in summer or any month of the year – but women in the sunshine are something else.

The best outfits come out in the Spring as we tiptoe precautiously into the warmer months and I start to think about all the sartorial possibilities. Hey, if she can rock a blue and yellow print midi skirt with a plain navy tee, then I can, right? Hot pink? Why not? Stripey shirt that looks like a pajama top and mom jeans? I’m in.

I love it, it feels like hope and happiness to me. While the sun itself is sometimes my arch nemisis (ginger, what can I say?), I do like what it brings out in other people and I love witnessing women feeling themselves. They inspire me.

And it makes me think about age again but in a more positive way. Of how I don’t think I’ll ever be middle-aged in my mindset or attitude, how even when my body is heading south and my bones ache, in my heart I’ll still be as hopeful and dreamy and dorky as I was when I was 12. There’s very little difference between the girl I was and the woman I am. Except I couldn’t have dreamt I’d have Wonder Woman tattooed on my arm.

I think about how I’ll still listen to pop music, probably the same ten songs I’ve listened to since I was a girl as I walk to work. How I’m happy to grow up but not too much – and how certain things make me feel ten feet tall: jumpsuits, red lips, my rainbow umbrella. Less material things too: kisses and inside jokes, post-orgasmic chills.

I’m in a good place here, things are blessed. Sometimes they’re hard and sometimes I’m tired but I’m always open. To new possibilities, to new people. I’m surrounded by love and good companions, new and old. Young and my age and I’m learning for them everyday. Through them and through myself I am working out who I am and how who I am is okay. Honestly, more than okay.

All this introspection comes with the sun and with watching the girls go by and maybe to me that’s the best part of Summer.

Working Overtime

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I’m going to free flow this bad boy today because sometimes little truth nuggets pop out when you’re not thinking about them and that can be a freeing feeling. I’m very tired at the moment, doing lots of overtime at work to pay for things coming up later in the year. Birthdays, trips, visits. Life.

I’m also knackered because I’m feeling super anxious all the time, about everything. Last night it was because I’m reading Pet Semetary and before anything has even kicked off horror wise I’m fretting about death like I’m the little girl Ellie Creed in the story. She’s just learning about loss and death after visiting the Cemetary (PROPER SPELLING) and now she can’t get her head around the fact her cat might die one day and I feel you, girl. I feel you.

Death is something I think of often but it’s never really to do with my own mortality (lie, I’m terrified of ageing) but more about other people. Like, please don’t leave me alone in this cold, unforgiving world.

I know it’s irrational and it’s part of the reason I sought help last Summer, why I’m medicated and trying to learn to let go of the worries I can’t control. Losing my partner, family members or friends is my worst fear and I have to accept that I can’t do anything about it. Phew, this got deep quick, didn’t it?

Perhaps I should stay away from Stephen King for a little while.

In other news, I’m slowly saving money for our trip to Amsterdam in March. We’re going to do a graffiti tour and I can’t wait for that. March is Glynn’s birthday month so I feel as though this trip is a double celebration. I can’t wait to get on a barge and drift past the houseboat we’re going to live on when we’re old.

And before March, Lightle‘s coming to stay and that is the greatest! When your girl sends you a message saying all she needs it tea and movies, you know you picked a good one. So this is going to be an exciting year, I have Copenhagen in October, plus more coming and this girl better pull her socks up and stop shopping because money is a thing one needs to live, yo.

In creative news, I’ve started putting a plan for a novel together. There’s a theory that we all have at least one book in us and I’ve been doubting that for a while. Then I got a fit of inspiration and now I’m really planning it. It’s embryonic days obviously and I have the right to sit on my hands for a while while I work up the confidence to hammer it out but it’s there, at the surface. The splinter I’ve just started to work out from beneath the skin.It’s almost there. The story, which is likely to evolve into something altogether different, is going to be about friendship and that’s all I can reveal for now.

Things are good and bad, rough and smooth, heavenly and hellish – all at once. Life, in essence and who’d change anything about it?

How’re things with you?

I Used To Love Him: Michael Jackson (AKA Teenage Idol)

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“Hey spider, you’ve got a Michael Jackson stuck to your butt…”

Who did you idolise as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end? Via The Daily Post (January 11th 2016)

Justin Bieber? How young do you think I am?! (*Fluffs hair*).

It’s been quite a pressured week, so I’m taking time out to do a blog prompt because sometimes I like to seek inspiration rather than think for myself, alright? So sue me.

Obviously this week we very suddenly and shockingly lost a true legend in the shape of Bowie, and the world is still reeling. I haven’t seen this much widespread grief since Diana (or the person I’m about to wax lyrical about) and it’s incredibly sad.

It’s made me think on and off about heroes growing up, personal influences and how they mould us as young people and how we carry them into adulthood, like pretty, shiny talismans (men?).

I was obsessed with Micheal Jackson from a very early age. Like OBSESSED. Every video, album, film starring my boy – I was all over it. My Mum made me a ‘Bad’ birthday cake and there were MJ themed parties. I even convinced the girl next door, who was terribly uncool and ate only oranges and peanut butter, that I was named after my hero.

“Michael can be a girl’s name too, you know” is what I’d haughtily respond when she questioned me. I wish my name had been Michael to be honest but alas, my parents were not major fans themselves nor mind readers.

I would lie in bed at night with my Walkman plugged in, lip syncing the Vincent Price bit at the end of Thriller to myself. I knew all the words to Liberian Girl.

Man in the Mirror actually did make me look inside myself and ponder if I really needed to change. I decided the answer was no, I was only ten and perfect as far as I could see. 

Alas, my hero did some heinous things that caused his shine to all but extinguish. I won’t rehash those things here, nor will I deny them because I believe the accusations are true. There’s no defense and no amount of love for a former idol, who carried you through the awkward years into adulthood, that can excuse what he’s done.

My hero was messed up and then he messed up very badly. I think even before he died I’d forced myself to move on because good people don’t hurt the vulnerable, they don’t hurt anybody, even if they themselves seem vulnerable and childlike.

My ultimate hero wasn’t going to be a bad man even if he was Michael Jackson, King of my Heart. The first man I ever loved who wasn’t my father.

I can’t remember how I processed all that but I must of because by the time he died I was very sad but accepting. It had seemed only a matter of time, judging by his frail outward appearance and rumours of drug abuse. And again, how could I forgive him?

I still feel sad for the loss and that I’ve never felt the way I did about him since, about anyone. No more idols for me.

Actors and Musicians I like very much, sure but nobody I’ll ever pretend to be named after.

Boring is as Boring Does

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Big Bird says Partay!

I’ve never really worried about how my friends perceive me. I mean, of course I care as much as the next person what people think, but I always figure if we’re friends then they think I’m awesome, and vice versa.

Sometimes though you get a flash of how someone sees you and it isn’t always flattering. This is when I start to assess what I’m doing anywhere near people who think I’m boring. That’s how they make me feel, anyway.

But what is exciting? Is it someone who knows who they are, who can articulate and laugh at themselves, or is it someone who’s up all hours, shagging and dancing and flirting and shitting fucking rainbows? Isn’t there room for both, and everything in between?

It would be remiss of me to pretend I don’t sometimes feel old, that being married, though the greatest adventure I’ve ever had, means I’m not dancing on tables and swilling Tequila from hot men’s arm pit crevices anymore. But then I remember I was never really that person.

Maybe for a brief while, when all nighters and Speed were de rigour, then gay clubs and head injuries obtained from drag queen’s handbags. But I left it behind because in the end, I’ve done it. My quality time with friends is now a little quieter and a lot more enjoyable as far as I’m concerned. It rarely means padding home barefoot at 5 am, although it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility (hello work’s Christmas do).

But does that make me a boring shit?

I’m not a party girl. I like a nice meal and a good old catch up, I like talking and reading and films. I like to be able to hear what the other person is saying because I like to listen.  It would never occur to me to bombard anyone with intricate tales of every little thing I’ve been doing.

Do they need to know that I love Netflix, am obsessed with walking through Brighton looking at graffiti; that when I have time off I just want to be left alone? That if I really like you I’ll be there, but I don’t play well in big groups, where I don’t know anybody. Should I apologise that I haven’t been to Croatia this year, or anywhere for a while, that I don’t eat at the right restaurants or drink the best gin?

I suppose this post is cryptic in some ways, that I should just have the balls to come out and confront. But I don’t want to, man. I’m cool with who I am, and the people who matter know who I am too. Maybe it’s friend trimming time, the season to take stock of what I’ve got and move on from the ones that don’t think I’m cool enough.

Anyway, here’s to my boring life, the one I choose and the one I love. Here’s to the people who understand me and share it with me. Here’s to the ones who think I’m fascinating and fun, no matter what.

Here’s to me!

#one becomes #two

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Just under a year ago I claimed the blog title Two Girls One Book Club in a moment of absolute genius. I mean, you have to be a bit of a filth pot to get the thinly veiled reference but it’s classy as well, you know? Just like me.

The plan was to blog with another friend about books but it never came to fruition. Busy bees and all that.

Don’t weep for me just yet though, as there is a happy twist to this tale of how the #onewomanbookclub is well on her way to becoming one half of a perfect pair. It’s quite beautiful, actually, to have found a partner in literary crime. What? I’ve got dust in my eye.

A bit about my gorgeous reading buddy, S. Not long ago she sent me a lovely email asking for book recommendations. We’ve met only once in the flesh, through her boyfriend, who I’ve known for a good few years. In her message, S said she wanted to get into reading more and I bang on about books more than is strictly necessary because the printed word is my friend, so I guess I was a good bet. Not that I’m an expert obviously, I just know what I like.

I swiftly sent back a list of my favourites (and titles that I actually own), she shot back her own picks; which included some biographies, and a few that are right up my alleyway, genre-wise.

Luckily for us, our partners work together, which means we can send care parcels back and forth without much effort and this is always a great thing. But the best thing about #twogirlsonebookclub? Our emails. I love when I can talk frankly about my geeky obsessions and although this is something I can do in my own home, with my family and certain friends, it’s nice to find a girl after my own heart, not just when it comes to literature.

I don’t know where #twogirlsonebookclub will lead. I’m sure we’ll move on from emails to double dates (whether our boys like it or not), so we can talk books face to face. Maybe we’ll start an actual book club one day. Maybe we’ll take on new members.

Maybe the Two Girls One Book Club blog with become a thing, with actual posts on it. Maybe it won’t.

All I know for sure is that books are great and I’ve made a beautiful new friend because of them. We probably would have become real friends anyway, in some way or another, but books paved the way.

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it?

tumblr_n0c8amSTuP1svu7e2o1_1280All images via Google.

 

Mama

It’s show your ma you love her day here in the UK and I do, I do love my ma. She is an absolute peach.

But before I Iaunch into an ode to my dear old mother (she’s not old, she’s only, like, 66), I think it’s only fair to take a moment to think about those who can’t be with us today. Days like this are all well and good but there are people out there who have lost their parents, some recently and it’s understandably hard to keep cheerful on occasions like this. Believe me.

So, to all the mums that can’t be here with us, I’m thinking of you too; all those left behind and you, my Nana.

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Photo credit: Imagining the City

Back to Penny M, the greatest lady in my life. Everything I know today and every good quality I have, I learnt/inherited from my mother. If I am anything at all, I am my mother’s daughter and I wouldn’t change that for the world, because it’s blimming awesome. Here are just a few reasons I adore my mum:

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Photo credit: Claudia Rose Carter
  • She very, very smart and has a thoughtful answer for everything, which I admire. I like clever but I love subtle intelligence that doesn’t feel the need to announce itself loudly and arrogantly.
  • My mother reads more than anyone I know and this is where I got my passion for the written word. I started reading mature titles early on because I had access to them and Mum never tried to stop me reading them, which is amazing.
  • When I was 18, Mum bought me my own TV for my bedroom and it was here I started to watch amazing films late into the night, thus cementing my adoration for some of the greatest ever film makers. And horror. Lots and lots of horror. Thanks ma!
  • When she swears, I die. It’s the most hilaire. But she’ll still slaps me around the head if I use a really bad word, even though I’m 37 years old!
  • I can talk to her about absolutely anything.
  • Whenever I am going through a shitty time, she’s right there telling me that it’s all good material for ‘the book’. This is the book she truly believes I have in me, even though I’m not so sure. She also doesn’t judge me as hard as I judge myself, and tells me I’m just as brilliant as other people who have actually done things like further education, great careers, etc.
  • My mum understands me and even though sometimes it shoves my nose out of joint, when I go back and really think about what she’s said, it’s normally spot on.
  • Sometimes she calls me or sends me something when I most need it, and I don’t understand how she just knows.
  • She did shots at my brother’s wedding (below), the first time I have ever witnessed that. Plus, later on she was getting low with some of the bridesmaids on the dance floor, which was amuh-az-ing!
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Photo credit: Imagining the City

My mother, the legend. I love you Mum, more than ever and forever. Happy Mother’s Day!

All photographs from Madeleine and Tim’s Whitstable Wedding, December 2014, by Imagining the City and Claudia Rose Carter.

Solitude

Capture a snapshot that conveys the state of being alone. Via Photography 101: Solitude (6th March 2015)

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Yes, this is a banana left in the sun

I love being alone. When I think of it, although I am surrounded by people all day and live with another human being, I am quite often on my own by choice. When I don’t get this quality time with Me, I start to get angsty and then I seek it out.

It’s usually nothing that drastic, just a wander on a Saturday or a walk in the park, but I like to be able to dissect and then reassemble my thoughts.

This image is a banana, left out too long in the sun. I feel like this banana sometimes, overlooked and no longer wanted, abandoned without thought to rot, basically.

(What am I, a 15 year old Sylvia Plath, without the talent or the authenticity?)

Really, it’s just a banana in the sun. But it’s kind of beautiful, don’t you think?

This sh*t is bananas