Friday, 10 July 2015

summer dread, in list form

overheating, with list
it's summer!!! i've had a heat induced headache non stop for the past few days!!! I didn't know the backs of my knees could sweat!!!
well actually, the relentless heat is taking on/off breaks, giving me a chance to peel myself from the sofa, get stuff done and even treat myself to a leggings-and-jumper-dress-in-bed day, with my window open so i can hear the rain, with my brain cooled down from its melted stupor so I am in a position to assemble my thoughts on here. in an incoherent fashion. i haven't written anything, in any form, that I've lost the ability to properly articulate, or structure my ideas. I have lists, on my wall, in my diary, of tasks of varying importance ('buy a dressing gown' to 'get another job') which seems to suit my mindset at the moment. giving myself a series of easily completable, menial tasks, rather than long term goals. i put off all thoughts of 'improving myself' for the time being because it made me stressed, adding to the already suffocating set of non-self-imposed responsibilities. so I'm letting myself kick back, eat tins of mints, watch portlandia and read listicles. 

I came home on the 20th of June, after a week of celebrations, which were good, although a complete break from my usual life routine and so also infinitely stressful. i haven't really been particularly busy since then. i find the relentlessly hot and infinite prospect of summer daunting and depressing, all these weeks for me to feel bad about not enjoying the sun and the time off when really I just want October to come around again, so i can start wearing coats and buying stationary. Despite, or maybe because of, this boredom i can't concentrate on anything for more than 15 minutes. I can't even bring myself to watch films, listen to music, read, passive tasks which i told myself i would be able to enrich my summer by doing if i couldn't bring myself to be active. but i've sunk to such a low depth of bored laziness which means i have to be constantly feeding my mind non engaging information; endlessly scrolling through social media, playing mindless iPhone games.

anyway. in between the days where it was too warm to do anything apart from eat ice cubes and watch tv in the basement, i have managed to achieve some stuff. primarily i went to the alexander mcqueen exhibition a few weeks ago. I would advise anyone who can get there to go (apparently it's opening by night now! i wish i could go again in the dark), even if you aren't into fashion in the slightest because it is truly magical. it had almost every important mcqueen related item. the kate moss hologram (my personal favourite), the reptile dresses from his final collection, the robot spray painted white dress revolving in the middle of the largest room, the armadillo shoes. also the exhibition is curated in such a way which reflects mcqueen's own extravagant presentation, showcased in his runways, from the enormous 'cabinet of curiosities', a huge room filled to the ceiling with designs and screens playing his shows, a wood panelled room with the widows of culloden dresses, and the huge gilt mirrors behind his darker designs. I didn't entirely follow how the collection was organised and ordered (around themes in his work I think?), but the beauty of mcqueen's designs, and the sheer quantity of important pieces in the collection were enough for it to be an incredible experience. I felt really sad to leave, because however long i spent in there i don't think i would have felt was long enough. however, as a small comfort, in my post-viewing browsing i found that vogue has a photo gallery of pretty much every bit of the exhibition, which was a small comfort. 
it brought up all the 'beauty is terror' concepts as well which i enjoy. the idea that something really beautiful is something you can't stop staring at, that element of fear, danger, awe which elevates something above being just 'pretty', and keeps you transfixed.

apart from that, i fell my state of mind can best be expressed through things i have been reading and taking pictures of. my thoughts and feelings are v empty, aside from the endless internet articles i have been reading, which i haven't been able to form opinions, or an overriding narrative on so here they are ->
  • a thing i felt i sort of a bit related to, in a way
  • rose mcgowan. still amazing. has no time for adam sandler's shit, even when it gets her fired from her agent. also has directed a sinister, bubblegum-hued short film. 

i'm pretty sure this post has gaps in it, but if i recorded every single important thing which happened to me recently it would be unreadably long, and I'm tired. so here are a few pretty images my poor, dying phone managed to capture in reasonable quality.



Saturday, 23 May 2015

pre exams exhaustion and limitations

I've realised why I don't post on here as much as I'd like to, and why I get frustrated about it. I have all these ideas in my head which I really like, and I want to carry out. But I hate the vulnerability of putting care and enthusiasm into something, nurturing it, then leaving it to the possibility of being torn apart and disliked by other people, even myself, pre-emptively cancelling out my own future embarrassment by something I once did. I'm trying to work my way out of it. I stop myself every time I find myself cringing at someone else's pursuit of their passion, and have tried to reflect their enthusiasm in the things I enjoy doing.

This song came on while I was sat on the train back to university, and in combination with the peaceful fields going past the window it made me realise just how tired I was.  Not just the sleep deprivation, but the exertion of constant engagement, with people, books, plans for the summer, current affairs, music, all finally hit me as I was sat watching the fields go past the window. The past three days had been relentlessly busy, cramming my work around a job trial, visiting family and the endless travelling to and fro which came with both, and as I was on my way home I felt totally sick of everything. At a point in the year when I have so many unavoidable responsibilities, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the desire to be entirely still and ignore everything. To curl up somewhere with nothing to distract me or remind me of the things I should be thinking about. I've lost interest in having opinions or coming across as clever, or trying to make other people like me. I want to be surrounded by aimless, comforting things. I want to be disengaged, silent, weak and passive. 

Maybe one of my favourite photos I've taken on my phone. I was sat next to a sports field waiting for my mum to pick me up and the sky looked huge and dramatic 

In terms of milestones, I had a technically major one a few weeks back when I managed to drag myself out a mental hole and vote for the first time ever in the general election which felt really good until the results came out and it turns out we're going to be run by empathy-less reptiles for 5 more years.

*pre-voting apathy panic*
I really appreciate having read this article, which made me think about all the things we pour into our appearance and twisting them around, at a point when I'm so focused on my brain and the information inside it that I get quite severely dissociated from my body. Experimenting and examining my physical appearance is an effective work break, I've discovered. Even if I'm just going out to buy milk I put on makeup, decide on an outfit, and concentrate on how I present myself. It feels invigorating, and it keeps me occupied and engaged with something other than dusty history facts and abstract arguments. 

My exams are in just over a week's time. I'm not sure how seriously I'm meant to take them. I don't think they count for anything this year but I don't particularly want to get thrown out before next year either. I'm absolutely dreading them, but focusing on the time afterwards. I get about five days of doing absolutely nothing, apart from maybe re-dying my hair, watching tv. After that, we have the end of year celebrations balls, which I ate rice for three weeks to save enough to buy tickets for, and for which I bought outfits which I have spent the past month gliding around in my room in. So I'm concentrating on what is beyond the exams to try and get myself through them, remembering the wise words of the log lady:

I feel like there are more things I want to say in this post, but I'm tired and this revision break has already been extravagant. I hope you're all ok. If you're doing exams; good luck! If you've finished them, I hope they went well, and whatever happens remember they absolutely are not a reflection of your worth as a human being.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

home etc.

I got back home from easter about two weeks ago. I had forgotten many things about home. How small my room is. I spent a good 2 hours rearranging my room so I could fit all my stuff in it. What it's like being directly surrounded by people who know and care about you (a mutual pleasant avoidance now exists between me and my corridor neighbours, occasionally broken by unintentional kitchen/doorway encounters). How small and uninteresting my home town is. How it is to not live within a 2 minute radius of my closest friends, and not see them everyday. 

I have so far managed to mask the overwhelming feeling of 'what the hell am I meant to do here??' by choosing a bizarre and uncharacteristic kind of domesticity as my useful-but-not-really-useful activity to ignore revision for. Tidying, baking and sewing make me feel in control when everything else seems stale, confusing and frustratingly out of my control. 

***things I learnt from making way too many cakes***
crushed shreddies are not a suitable substitute for oats
the weird dark sugar you found in the cupboard makes everything taste of treacle
raw cake batter isn't dangerous/inadvisable to eat I should know I've basically eaten nothing else and so far haven't been ill..... (***frantically touches wood***)
no one ever. ever. ever doesn't appreciate the availability of biscuits. even if they're a bit burnt and you couldn't find all the ingredients. side note: this also sort of backfires and you often don't get to eat any yourself 
baking is kind of time consuming, i.e. a good way to spend the dead and unproductive hours between lunch and 4pm

*takes off incompetent-50s-housewife apron*

Sadly I haven't been able to put off the exam preparation. It's such a drag though because it doesn't even involve doing something new. You have to go back over everything you've done so far, which definitely feels counter progressive, and incredibly disheartening especially when you can't even remember all of it. 

another thing I've been cultivating : spotify playlisting. I find it difficult trying to keep track of all the music I currently like because it switches so often, but there are also songs which I will listen to again and again. anyway. here is the music I've been listening to over the easter break. Largely a taxonomy of girl band/female orientated music throughout the ages but also other good stuff. New Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt, Kanye etc.
(also, you don't have to be impressed that my html-ignorant self managed to eMBED A SPOTIFY PLAYLIST ON MY BLOG but uh, whatever. i'm cool)

also this song which has been stuck in my head for the past weeks because a) its so damn catchy and cute but also a bit weird and b) I've had to listen to it repeatedly because QT has done no other music???? this is a very real problem.

Some visual things I've purposefully had lying around my desktop to pick me up when I've been feeling crushed and gloomy, and when revising has been making me feel like there is nothing else in the world but FACTS and DATES and VERB CONJUGATIONS

some general good advice from teen vogue on how to get over feeling burnt out

this picture made me laugh hysterically  for about 3 minutes when I first saw it. I don't really know why, but I bring it up periodically while I'm working to keep my spirits up 

some of my favourite song lyrics this month to help keep my emotions circulating

Pictures from my most recent trip to London, which included my first ever trip to the natural history museum because apparently most people go there at some point in their childhood and I never had, and also stuffed animals are fascinating. Me and my friend also spent hours in the V&A. I never realised how huge it was before, or that the entire top floor is dedicated to ceramics. 

There was a weirdly hot day last term, and I couldn't work because I had a headache so instead I went for a walk then sat in my windowsill drinking lime juice and taking pictures of the sky.

Anyway. I've only got a week left now until I go back, and my friends are finally back so I can keep myself busy trying to see all of them/reorganising my life at home before I leave again. This is good. I really hate waiting around. 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

re-resolutioning a.k.a. still not doing anything of interest but hoping to soon

There are 1000 reasons I could give for not having posted on here recently, such as the trustworthy 'I've been really busy' (true, but also not busy enough to neglect this quite so badly) or 'I've been working on something really great' (I haven't. I've been trying every single variety of sainsburys cookies and watching 10 episodes of the office per day) or I could just not mention it because hey! this is my blog, and I've gone for longer without writing anything on here before. also it annoys me that I start every single post with an apology for infrequency/over frequency of posts.
I feel compelled to say something now though because this time, the reason that I haven't posted on here in a long time is that I have had absolutely nothing I want to write about. I'm not just being lazy, or feeling unable to cope with blogger's non-functioning picture arranging, I have not once in the past 2 months had a thought I wanted to share on here. Maybe I'm sharing more of this stuff with people in real life but I'm not entirely sure I am. Maybe I'm sick of writing. I write a full essay each week, researching for it, shaping information into arguments, pulling something interesting apart until it isn't so I can coldly analyse its separate parts before tomorrow evening. To do so for fun now, when I could instead be sleeping, or watching tv or seeing my friends seems ludicrous. 

(side note: term has finally finished now. hence the sudden availability for recreational scribblings)

It's at that point in the year now where the novelty of the university experience has worn off. I skip my lectures now because I'm bored of the walk there and back and its cold and I don't want to get out of my pyjamas. I plan my reading around having to drag myself to as few libraries as possible (I love libraries, but when I have to spend hours going there, negotiating the confusing classifying system only to have to haul several enormous dull volumes back to my room they lose their attraction). I put as little effort into my work as I can get away with because by now, I don't care if it isn't great or incredible or impressive, I care that it's acceptable and no one will be 'concerned about my performance' *shudders*. I find it impossible to even appreciate the beauty of the city and its buildings because I have walked through them almost every single day now for the past few months and all I notice are the tourists and bikes blocking the pavements.

I found myself subconsciously making some (alarmingly negative) resolutions halfway through this term:
1. stop going to clubs. you hate them. you've never ever enjoyed a night out, and at this stage you're probably never going to meet your soulmates in a room-shaped armpit you paid £5 to enter. let's face it, you only really do it for the chips on the way back.
2. stop spending time with people who have never paid you any attention in the vain hope that they suddenly might start finding you interesting. If they've never made an effort to talk to you, why should you?
3. stop caring what other people think. they don't care that much, so just do what you want. 
4. you have enough friends, stop grasping for more. be more discerning. the people you think are cool from a distance are rarely as neat when you get to know them.
5. reorganise your time and pastimes. go to the museums and charity shops. Give up on all the things you feel you ought to do but actually gain nothing from. Only you know how to best spend your time.
6.  trust your instincts. you are right more than you think.

tl;dr - do you on your own terms

I have been watching a lot of films in between huge bowls of pasta. Mostly faintly disturbing:
se7en - intriguing biblical undertones, Kevin Spacey
nymphomaniac vol. II - I saw part I and thought I should finish it. My face took a while to unfurrow after it ended.
twin peaks: fire walk with me - much, much, much more shocking in terms of content than the tv series. and more sheryl lee which is absolutely no bad thing.
lost highway - i only figured out how all the characters connected about 2 hours after I finished it. rammstein and someone's head gets impaled on a table corner

Also: when I said I hadn't felt compelled to share anything on here that was a teeny tiny lie. I found these videos in a semi-abandoned draft which I thought were cool/fun/catchy/entertaining

(Vintage David Lynch directed playstation 2 commercials)

(Allie X)

series of photobooth pictures of me eating food looking like garbage. a running theme for the past 8 weeks apparently.

'essay nesting with bottled water'

'mug of tea in fur coat because my radiator is radically temperamental'

'2am bowl of lentils after blowing off going out at the last minute'

'cheap low calorie bread. ew'

Anyway! Easter is now. Revising and trying to earn money are very much around the corner = more stuff to put off = predicted sudden increased interest in blogging. watch this space. 

Saturday, 3 January 2015

new year, new choice of typeface (and not a lot else)

2014 was, by default, always going to be at least mediocre owing to my car-crash of a 2013 which probably could not have been worse. it wasn't much more than that though. it was a year where things happened, important but dull things which needed to happen at some point, i.e. exams, university applications, reorganising myself, mentally and physically. a transition, experimentation year (as i correctly identified in my 2013 review post. go me). there were some not so pleasant revelations about myself, things about myself that i wanted to change and improve, formulating more clearly what i wanted for myself. i realised the things i want take hard work, are sometimes awkward to make happen, and inevitably involve some kind of conflict. 

it is with this perhaps misleadingly positive mindset that i approach 2015. i am determined to make things happen this year, more so than normal. although tbh i can never remember to what extent i feel like this at the beginning of every year, probably just as i feel now. ah well. i will continue under the delusion that this determination is unprecedented so that maybe this will be the Year of Improvement and Success

  • get a job ffs
  • better posture, more confidence, fake it til you make it
  • keep up journal, draw and write more
  • work hard for exams (sadly necessary)
  • more honesty, selective vulnerability?
  • start dying/cutting own hair
  • put yourself forward for more stuff - auditions, castings, applications
  • act, speak like you know you're interesting - be better company
  • speak up, stop mumbling
  • spend less time feeling sorry for yourself, making excuses. get stuff done.

went for a walk in a forest. it was freezing, but so so sunny, and completely blissfully silent. for a split second, my dog looked photogenic and i managed to get a picture before he ran after a squirrel

a v bad quality picture of my favourite bit of my room - inspiration pictures, hair ties, favourite necklace, and yeah, a framed postcard of jean paul gaultier.

exploring my town, i found the cemetery behind my house which has exceptional views over the rest of the town. had a very beautiful walk just before it shut and took 100000 pictures most of which turned out horribly blurry but here are some nice ones

some songs to match my hopeful-for-the-new-year mood/general music i like currently. i hope all you are having a nice january and feeling good about 2015 xoxo

Saturday, 20 December 2014


I am trying in a number of ways to make logical sense of the past two months. My first term at the university countless relatives and teachers told me I was unbelievably lucky to get into, which I spent all summer looking forward to arriving at.

Sometimes, I count all the beautiful moments I’ve had here: finding a way out onto the roof of our accommodation, running across the perfectly manicured front lawn late at night, sitting on benches by the river in the first week with bottles of cheap wine, talking for hours. The walks back from through my empty lecture site in the evening, listening to Kate Bush. The city itself, the buildings and the parks, the swarms of excitable tourists fighting to get pictures of the place in which I now live. Looking back on them, these were exactly the kind of stereotypically ‘magical’ moments I wanted. 

I can’t ignore the worst parts though. The first week I spent not eating, hiding in my room, counting down the days until the scheduled ‘fun’ of our freshers week was over so I could throw myself into essay writing and lectures, something which at the time seemed simple and easy. All the times when I came back after a night out with people on the edge of a group of friends and sat in bed unable to move, hysterically certain that I couldn’t do anything, that I wouldn’t be able to survive here.

Other times i try and look at it logically, to see how much I have achieved, how I’ve improved. I’ve managed the workload. I’ve connected to people, conveyed my opinions, made small talk with strangers, faced confrontation and lived among people I barely knew, when at home I could hardly bear to let anyone else into my bedroom. Overall, just having survived the shock to my system of carefully structured solitary preferences and routines. Small steps, but things I wouldn’t have thought I could have faced six months ago.

But most of the time, the only way I can describe it is as strange. Bizarre. A combination of exhilarating and alienating which I can’t quite figure out if I enjoy.

When I talk to people, when I call my mum or my friends to catch up, I am happy. I tell them everything that’s been going on, because I now have things to relate to them. I feel pleased that I can be interesting, and I surprise myself with the amount of things I am doing when I say them to other people. These moments, I feel truly grateful for where I am, and I don’t hesitate to share this with people. But then that’s where the catch is though. I love this place, but I don’t like being here. I love my beautiful new surroundings, but I am uncomfortable with my presence amidst them. I feel dwarfed by them, and I can’t shake the voice at the back of my head, every time something happens which I thought I wanted - ‘But why me?’

I know this is how most people feel. Its impossible to be at a place with such a reputation without feeling insecure. I can keep going. It will get better. Insecurity is either temporary, or so deeply ingrained in your outlook that you get used to it.