Dwelling…

Five years ago I was 22 years old and living in a Backpackers hostel in Melbourne, Australia. I was in the midst of an unhealthy affair with a man ten years my senior. And there was a boy. A good, sweet, slightly mad, boy who held my hand in the street, played scrabble with me in cafes and sang Moldy Peaches songs with me into the early hours  of the morning. I nearly kissed him on my 23rd birthday. It was a burning, intense friendship which I think we both wanted to be more but were too damaged and mixed up to  vocalise. When the time came for him to leave, I cried and we sat holding each other for hours.

I haven’t seen him since. He wrote a song about me. This is my rebuttal. He saw into my heart but never saw that a piece belonged to him.

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There is where it all began… There is where I understood how far I could go – Picasso

I was quite bright as a child and subsequently won a scholarship to a private school, at the time my parents were financially comfortable but we were nowhere in the league of most of the girls I joined at C………. High School for Girls. I did not own a pony, I did not carry my books in a Chanel bag and we did not summer abroad and I was therefore somewhat of the odd one out.

One of the few friends I made there was a girl called Abbie and the year we were 12 she summered in Barcelona, two months of sun, sea and culture. I didn’t know much about Barcelona at the time but upon receiving a postcard featuring Gaudi’s Casa Batlló I fell in love.

Gaudi’s work went a long way to shaping my current taste, my interest in him pointed me towards Modernism, Dali, Luis Buñuel, Dadaism, Avent Garde film making and surrealism. He also spawned a lifelong interest in architecture and taught me to look up. All this having been said time for a confession. I have never been to Barcelona.  I suppose I am afraid that during my teen years of wishing myself away from a school I loathed with people I detested and who felt the same about me I built it into place which defies reality.  Barcelona to me is a mythical place where I will dream I will achieve a sense of belonging. My beloved Woody Allen did not help, his love letter to the city Vicky, Christina, Barcelona has only made the place more magical to me. Sometimes I feel a bit like Christina, searching… certain only, of what I don’t want.

This summer I am going. You know how the omnipresent we say don’t meet your heroes because they will only let you down? Well this city is sort of my hero, please don’t let me down Barcelona.

Wednesday night introspection

The internet is an amazing thing filled with knowledge and beauty and inspiration (and lots and lots of porn, seriously how people got their rocks off pre internet is beyond me).  All this knowledge and beauty and inspiration also has the ability to send me into a spiral of self doubt because there are already people out there doing the things I want to do and doing them brilliantly and they are only a click away.  How can I ever be as wonderful as these pre existing wonderful people, surely there isn’t enough wonderful in the world for us all to have some?

Self doubt is exhausting though, I waste a shocking portion of my day wishing I were perkier, prettier, skinnier, more chilled out, more fun, basically a new and improved version of me because if I were that new improved version of me everything would be perfect. That’s not true though is it. In fact, I spend so much time wishing away and second guessing what I have, I am surprised I have time to do anything else.  Wanting to improve upon what you have is not necessarily a negative thing and jealousy is just a by product of being human and having other humans around you but wishing your life away without actually taking any steps to change things helps no one.

The most frustrating thing is that I know I go through these peaks and troughs; I know that right now I am happy and productive and finding ways to change my life and be the version of me I want to be.  I am never far away from falling down the rabbit hole though, and wanting to crawl into a nest of sad and hibernate. I am my own biggest critic and my own worst enemy when I should be my own personal cheerleader. As corny as it sounds, the only person standing in my way and stopping me from doing what I want to do is me.

This is one of the reasons I came up with my 30 before 30. Quantifiable achievement is always good, ticking stuff off, giving yourself a gold star, just being able to say, “hey this is a thing I wanted to do and I have done it”.  I am hoping that by making this list when the inevitable happens and I am again weighed down by all the negatives it will help me find a way to bust through.

Oh, Hi

1) I over analyse almost everything.
2) It is rare for me to go more than 2 months without reorganising my furniture.
3) I’m quite shy with people I don’t know but once you get past the wall it’s hard to shut me up.
4) I have a love of storage systems.
5) I love Green an irrational amount.
6) I like spontaneity but if you are a consistent canceller of plans you will piss me off.
7) I really want to be able to knit but I’m crap at it.
8 ) I’m a sucker for anything acoustic.
9) I fuck up, a lot.
10) I get crushes on odd people, like Hugh Laurie.
11) My favourite snack food was discontinued whilst I was travelling but I still look for it every time I go to the supermarket just in case.
12) I have known very few of my good friends for over 5 years.
13) I love pub quizzes and board games.
14) I have been dying my hair since I was 15, at this point I don’t know what my natural colour would be.
15) I rarely cry over things in my own life but almost always tear up at the overcoming adversity moments in television and films.
16) My favourite place on earth thus far is Angkor Wat.
17) I like to use antiquated terms such as thus and henceforth.
18) I am very organised but also very messy.
19) I would tell you my favourite movie/song/band/book but it changes so often I can’t.
20) I have never felt more at home anywhere than I did in Melbourne.
21) I believe in good syntax, even in text messages.
22) I don’t really want children but if I do have any they will be called Ophelia and Baker James.
23) I can forgive a hell of a lot, but once you’ve lost me you’ve lost me forever.
24) I LOVE a good cup of tea but I drink coffee more often.
25) I don’t believe in forever.

Paris – Chapter 1

I admit it, I am procrastinating. I should be writing a rather important assignment for my MA, and if I’m not going to do that I should be in bed warm and snuggled up because I’m a bit sick but I have bought an hours Internet time for my laptop and I would much rather use it writing a blog. To be honest it’s nice to be writing something fluently, I have the worst writers block with my assignment and every sentence has been a real battle. The deadline is Thursday and I have a long way to go so I am hoping that fear based motivation kicks in soon! Anyway, that’s not what I planned to write about, I was going to tell you about a rather delightful weekend I have just returned from in Paris.

After a rather early morning drive on the M4 (motorway) I met Kate Erring at her home and we made our way to St Pancras for our 12.30pm rendezvous with the Commander, lunch was enjoyed and I accidentally stole a packet of crisps. It was a genuine mistake, I did present them at the til along with my tomato and mozzarella panini but later realised I had not been billed for them. In all honesty I could have gone back and paid but by that point it had been a little while and the offending item had been consumed so I decided the embarrassment of returning to the shop to give them 60p far outweighed the guilt of my foray into shop lifting.

When travelling by Eurostar in the past I have always been on the car transporter so have never really experienced the check in procedures but they went very smoothly except for Kate Erring setting of the metal detector and being wanded, this became somewhat of a theme of the trip and in fact I believe it is a bit of a theme of Kate Erring’s life, there is a strong possibility that she is part adamantium.

The train ride itself was comfortable and brief, The Commander spent much of her time with Harry (Potter) whilst Kate Erring and I made detailed notes on the journey and the scenes from the window – 2.14pm: aboard train, stared out a small boy – and so forth. These leisurely pursuits were followed up by a blinding game of travel Cluedo in which I was victorious and then just as we had become acclimatised and settled we were in Paris. The 15 minute walk from Gare du Nord to our hotel turned out to be more like 30 minutes but I think the darkness and our disorientation played a large role in that. The Hotel Windsor Opera is all I could have hoped for and more. The reception area is decorated in a deep purple and accessorised with chrome aeroplane parts. Our room was large with an enormous freshly decorated bathroom and a little terraced area. As we unpacked and organised ourselves we watched a little of the French version of Don’t Forget The Lyrics, N’oubliez Pas Les Paroles – the French version of Shane Richie is terrifying and has the checks of a hamster!

Dinner was a dignified (!?!) affair we dined at a french bistro in the enclosed but outside heated area, Mojitos all round (mine an Apple one, I think that might be my new drink) and several games of Sex, Marry, Kill were enjoyed, I am pleased to announce that Bill Oddie is not as bad as Hitler!

After breakfast on Day Two, we made our way to Notre Dame, we visited hunchbacks and thankfully avoided being flattened by failing tourists in the style of Amelie’s mother. We then made our way to the river where we purchased Babtobus tickets and made our way to the Eiffel Tower by boat. There is little I love more than a good boat trip and this was certainly a good boat trip.

I must stop here for tonight, it is very cold in my little flat and I am going to get into bed with my electric blanket. I will continue soon and post some pictures as well, until then Bon Nuit.

Un Petit Voyage à Paris

At the end of November Kate Erring, The Commander and I are taking a little trip to Paris.  One great thing about living in the UK is the travel possibilities right on your doorstep. I am quite in love with America, I love to visit and one day I hope to live there but it does have it’s limitations travel-wise unless you have a lot of money. By contrast in living Europe you can explore a foreign country on a long weekend on a relatively tight budget, which sort of makes up for the rainy days and pathetic summers.

Despite the fact that Paris is easy to get to I have only been once before as a Christmas trip with my Mum when I was about 15 so I am very excited about going again.  I currently spend a good portion of my day dreaming about gallivanting about the city streets taking photo’s like a mad woman, visiting museums, quaffing champagne and nibbling at pastries.  I was planning to post an itinerary but then realised that providing random strangers the details of my movements was probably not a wise thing to do so I will give that information post trip but let me tell you now we have done a very good job in picking the hotel, it looks absolutely fabulous. I am almost as excited about seeing the hotel in person as I am about the whole trip and I have no doubt in my mind that I will be singing it’s praises and giving it a high recommendation.    

The trip is for 3 days and I have some must to activities of my own but what are yours?

I hate Kevin Bacon

It’s not his fault. He could be a perfectly nice guy, he could be a total dick I have no idea. The reason I hate him stems from watching Sleepers as a teenager. The character he plays in that movie is so deplorable that I have never been able to get over it. Having never mentioned my loathing of Mr Bacon to anyone before I though I was alone in my hate of him but today I discovered that my boss shares my feelings and now I am wondering are there more of us out there?  Look at this face…. don’t you just want to punch it?

  

Line of Best Fit

The passage of time is a funny thing, a minute can feel like an hour and two years can feel like the blink of an eye. I was listening to Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie last night and I started to think about an overnight bus trip I took in Australia at about this time two years ago. I was hot and uncomfortable and struggling to sleep but in love with my life and listening to the track to try and lull myself to sleep.

Living in Australia seems like a million years ago, two seconds ago and as if it never happened all at the same time.  I really miss living out of a backpack sometimes, I miss going on epic adventures. I miss being the girl who got on a plane from Thailand to Cambodia on a whim, on her own because it was right there and why the hell not.  My life has become very small recently and there are good and important reasons for that, I’m doing valuable stuff like getting my MA and being a responsible adult but that doesn’t mean that the desire for a big life has gone away. I guess I have just reached a point in my life where I have to put some of my dreams on a shelf where they can wait patiently for me to have the opportunity and resources to pick them up again.  

To survive

In order to survive I require the following:

Coffee

Breathing Space

Music

I’m not all that complicated, give me these and we are good.

(images c/o weheartit.com)