Sunday, 27 February 2011

Day 09 – Your beliefs, in great detail

(I missed a few days.)

I’m not religious. I’ll just put that out there. I do not, all considered, believe in a higher power, or any kind of god. I went to a Church of England primary school, and so when I was little, I did believe in God. When I grew older and started questioning it, I stopped. This wasn’t some traumatic breakdown of faith. I just realised I didn’t believe.

My life has never been made better by imagining that there is a plan, that everything happens for a reason, and actually, sometimes when this is suggested it makes me plain angry. When people die young and someone says ‘everything happens for a reason.’ Don’t give me that shit. Yes, everything happens for a reason: teenagers die in car crashes because they drank too much vodka and drove too fast. That is the reason. I refuse to accept that it is part of some almighty game plan. If it is, that game plan is morally corrupt.

I have no disrespect for religious people, in general. I have a lot of disrespect for anyone who uses their religion and their beliefs as a vehicle for hatred and selfishness. 

I went to midnight mass a few years back. Most of the sermon was one specific idea, rephrased and repeated: 'even though you are a wretch, God loves you and can save you.' My problem with this is that I dislike the assumption that I am a wretch and that I need saving. I looked around the church, at the little old ladies who live in my village, and thought, are they wretches? Do they need saving? Because they seem like some of the loveliest people imaginable. I think I've adopted this view from my mother, who used to say she wasn't best pleased about us singing Amazing Grace at school, because of the 'saved a wretch like me' line, because she didn't believe her children were wretches. (Even though my primary school teachers probably thought I was.)

I don’t have a lot more to say on this unless I’m being asked for my specific views, so I won’t go on.

Day 08 – A moment, in great detail

I have no idea how to answer this so here is a poem I wrote for my experimental writing class. I don't know if it's very experimental or very good. Poetry baffles me usually.

after the church bells ring
bags are quickly packed
a man watches his garden
last orders are called

after the church bells ring
a woman rings a taxi
moonlight plays tricks
vomit hits the cobbles

after the church bells ring
a train journey, away
a glimpse of the past
a sight into the future

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Day 07 – Your best friend, in great detail

Her name is Holly.
She’s also 20.
I’ve known her since I was 4.

We think that we met, and became bestest friends, on the first day of primary school. As unlikely as this may be, it’s our story, and we’re sticking with it. Sometimes when we’re drunk together I like to throw my arms over her dramatically and tell the huddled masses, ‘WE’VE BEEN FRIENDS FOR SIXXXXXTEEEEEEEN YEARS YOU KNOW!’ I’m not sure if she enjoys this. I’m certain the huddled masses do not enjoy this.

Over these 16ish years in each other’s lives, our friendship has waxed and waned, unsurprisingly. While we were at primary school, we spent almost every moment together. We were at each other’s houses for tea all the time. A memory of her house that sticks is that every time I was there for tea, we had sausages. I’ve never really liked sausages all that much, but I dutifully ate them up without a peep of dissatisfaction. When I came home the first question my mum would ask would be ‘what did you have for tea?’ The answer was always sausages.

We’ve never fallen out, but we’ve grown apart occasionally, never dramatically, and every time we’ve eventually grown back together. I believe the true test of a friendship is if you can grow apart a bit, and then pick up where you left off, with no hard feelings, no questions asked, and the same level of comfort with each other as before. At the moment, we’re pretty close. She came to visit me at uni a few weeks ago, got on really well with all my friends and had a great time.

She moved to London recently (on Tuesday, in fact!) to work as an au pair. She had joined the Navy, but as they’ve been uncertain about when her start date will be, she’s chosen to do something else in the meantime. I’m very envious of how ambitious and proactive she is. She decided she wanted to work in London, so she applied for jobs and moved there, without much of a second thought and with no apprehensions. She hasn’t been there long enough to say whether she really enjoys it, but I think she will, and I think the kids will love her. She’s bubbly, active, kind, and laughs a lot. Her living there might mean I don’t see her very often, but I’m very excited for her all the same, and who knows, I might end up in London too, as everyone keeps telling me that’s where all the jobs are.

I would post a picture to show how lovely she is, but I don’t think she would like this.

[Pretend there is a picture of a lovely girl here.]

Isn’t she lovely?!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Day 06 – Your day, in great detail

I woke up at half 11. I’m aware this is very late, for some people. It’s not that late for me. Ideally, I would have liked to get up a bit earlier, but I somehow slept through 6 alarms, and since I didn’t miss anything important, I had to shrug it off and chalk it up to my body needing the extra sleep.

I got out of bed and headed straight for the shower. My shower lasted for about 20 minutes. (How much detail is ‘in great detail’? I’m sure nobody needs to know what order I washed myself in or what shampoo I use.) After my shower, I speedily dried my hair and threw an outfit together. Here is a very bad photo of said outfit:
I can only apologise for this picture

What’s wrong with this picture? My awkward pose and facial expression. The horrendous lighting. The fact that there are a million other things in the shot, including but not limited to: my clothes airer, my chaotic wardrobe, and the corner of the dresser on which the camera is stood. Basically, I have a shit camera, I’m an awkward human being, and I’m not very good at taking photos.

Once I was dressed, I added some fetching furry slippers to the outfit and headed to the kitchen, to join my housemates for food, coffee, gossip, and Eastenders on BBC iPlayer. I had a breakfast (brunch?) of scrambled eggs, toast and cherry tomatoes. After breakfast and Eastenders I went to gather my things, and came back to find my housemates had all retreated to their rooms. Charming. I drank some water and watched the tv and flicked through my notebook until it was time to leave. On leaving the house, I added a hat and these gloves to my outfit:

Fierce or what?!

 The answer is fierce.

On the way to uni, I stopped at the aptly named Nik Nax to buy some bin bags and lightbulbs. I was tempted, as always, by cheap peculiar shampoo, but resisted.I made it to my 3:15 seminar by 3:07, and then had to wait until 3:20 for the tutor to turn up. Poor effort, tutor. Of 17 names on the register, there were 5 people in the class, including myself. Even poorer effort. The seminar was for the Creative Writing Portfolio, which is essentially a dissertation for Creative Writing students: a 5000 word portfolio of writing. Even in my third year, reading my work aloud to others makes my toes curl, so I always try to avoid it, despite this not being a good move in terms of my education. Three of the five read out, all of which were very good. I never like to read out first, but in a way it’s worse to go after other people, because if theirs was good, it’s even more nerve wracking because I’m then thinking, ‘Oh god, is mine terrible compared to theirs?’ I sucked it up and read out and people seemed to like it. The tutor only corrected little things like paragraphs and continuity errors, which is both useful and reassuring to know that the story itself doesn’t need to be changed or improved, yet. The fact that only a few people ever turn up to this seminar is in some ways good, because it’s less intimidating to read your work, and because everyone chats freely to each other, so the atmosphere is generally quite friendly and relaxed. However, in another way, it sucks, because the peer-assessment element of the workshop is lost in that there are only a few other people to offer their opinion on your work. Also I feel like I should automatically get more marks because I made the effort to turn up when others didn’t. (Childish? Me? Nooo!)

The seminar finished around 5, I had a little chat with 2 of the girls, then headed off to the gym, where I met 2 of my housemates. We stayed in the gym for a little less than an hour. I decided to play around with the different kinds of workouts you can set on the machines, and ended up doing some kind of interval training on the bike. I thought I was going to die. If the saying ‘no pain, no gain’ holds true, then this must be bloody effective, and I will be doing it more often. I then did a few weight training exercises and called it quits. Even though I’ve been going for a while, I always feel like a bit of a newbie at the gym. Oh well. I’m building up to going 4 times a week, for an hour and a half each time.

On the way home from the gym, we stopped at the shop, and I bought a scratchcard. I did not win anything.

When we got home, I made a tea of fish cakes, sweet potatoes, green beans, courgettes, red onion, and salad with honey mustard dressing. For pudding I had a little bar of Dairy Milk chocolate and a cup of Yorkshire Tea. One of my housemates from last year, who has been studying in France this year, has come to visit for a few days. She’s gone out tonight and I just missed her when I got home, which is a shame. The rest of my evening was pretty uneventful. I watched some tv, looked for dresses for my End of Year Ball (I didn’t find any) and caught up on some reading.

So far? Confusing

My housemates started watching Paranormal Activity 2, which I didn’t really want to watch, because I haven’t seen the first one, so I came up to my room. Which brings us up to the present moment. I am currently reading blogs, catching up on work, and psyching myself up for sleep.

How’s THAT for great detail?!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Day 05 – Your definition of love, in great detail

Romantic love?

from Pink Sherbet Photography

I’m going to start this by saying that I am not the world’s greatest romantic. So if anything I say gives off the impression that I don’t place much stock in this idea of a ‘great love’, or that ‘love conquers all’, it’s because I don’t, at all.

I am in love with my boyfriend. We’re not soppy in public, and we’re not very often soppy in private.I believe that love has a lot to do with familiarity and comfort. I have not yet experienced any kind of emotional fireworks or angels singing. Love came gradually, I was happy when I realised I was in love with him, and I told him, happily. The words felt right coming out of my mouth, so I kept on saying them, at appropriate times and not too often, and I still do. At this moment in time I can’t imagine feeling this way about anyone else in the world, ever. I am aware, though, that I am 20 years old and have a lot of life left to live and feelings left to feel.

I reject the idea that being loved is all about being told you’re beautiful.

Sex and love are not the same thing. Love does not have to be a part of sex. Sex does have to be a part of love.

Then, of course, there’s the non-sexual love, the friends and family love. This love, I feel, is quieter but somehow more extravagant. To live without that kind of love would be a miserable existence. I could live without a boyfriend. I might not want to, right now, but I could. Personally, if I didn’t have the love I experience between myself and my family and my friends, there would be very little point to my life. That love has a lot to do with knowing that someone has got your back. Myself and my older sister, for example, don’t always get on. Sometimes we do, and sometimes we don’t. Even when we don’t, though, I know that she would fight my corner if she had to, and I would for her, and that’s love. Even when we’re screaming at each other and trying to avoid being in the same room at all costs, if someone did her wrong, I would be there, and hopefully vice versa. Love between friends is about surrounding yourself with people who you think are amazing, and who think you are amazing. It’s about fun and laughter. It’s about a support system.