Me, Myself and I

I have never felt whole. I think that’s a strange thing to think but it’s true. I never felt I belonged anywhere properly, I had groups of friends that I felt I was always on the edge. I never got ALL of the inside jokes because I was never on the inside properly.

I still have to fight that feeling. At home I feel slightly adrift, and in my house at uni. I don’t know why this is. I know I think about  things a lot. Maybe that’s why. When I catch myself thinking silly things that are most probably untrue I stop myself, remind me how I am present and valued. I love all of my family and friends and most of the time I feel like I am loved back.

When I first met my stepmum it was her who taught me that it is ourselves that decide how we feel. She is the one who made me accountable for all the things I thought others thought about me. And I love her so much for it.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have to work at it… hard. To not feel like everyone else has stronger relationships. To not think that people wouldn’t be bothered whether I was there or not. And no one can tell you, you don’t matter to them. No one has that right.

But anyway the point I was going to make before I started to go off on one was my feeling of not belonging is probably the main reason why I read.

Plots and storylines of most children, teenage and adult books are the progression from outsider to the main one in the circle. Look at Harry Potter, the Narnia books, most classics. All of them somehow lead to the protagonist being the hero, being accepted, adhering to social norms. And all of those make for a feeling of inclusion and solidarity. I think the thing I find most sad about finishing, especially a long series, is that feeling of acceptance comes to an end.

However, that feeling of non acceptance, of rejection of being left out fades as you get older. You find different friendships, understand people differently and better.

So yes, that is why I read 🙂 hope you all feel included all of the time 🙂 x

‘The Circus Arrives without Warning.’

Right now, at the moment, I don’t really read too much for pleasure. Oh I read. A lot. But its all for my course and that can be a bit draining. So recently I have shouted ‘No! I will ONLY read when I have to!’ I still have a half finished Terry Pratchet waiting for me at home, and believe me that never happens. However, I decided to dispence with my rebellion against reading because my cousin bought for me The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and I have to say I was blown away.

I haven’t been able to not stop reading for a while. That anxious feeling when you have to put a book down, the worry that you will never quite find the universe you were in, in quite the same way again. And deep down you know the worry, the anxiety means nothing. Oh sometimes it does. A book that you spent a solid three hours reading can in the next sitting be the most boring experiance, but a good book, a really good book, doesn’t do that.

And so The Night Circus.

When I started I wasn’t sure how the book and I would get along. Yes it was intriguing, the first line engaging in a way that the circus of the novel is supposed to. However, the ‘challenge’ did not engage me as I think it was supposed to right from the start. It is confusing, like the child protagonist, the reader is only informed when the plot needs to tell you and how much so the magic is still in force. This confusion and thirst for knowledge was tricky. I was tempted many times to skip ahead, vainly convincing myself it would make it easier to understand, I mean after all isn’t knowledge power? However, I’m glad that I didn’t. The twists and turns, the path through the novel echos of the path of the circus. This journey (for want of a better word) leads through a world filled with its own danger. This novel could be set in any time and it would still work. It seems very much like The His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman. A wolrd that is like ours but not so. It all seems so familiar and yet so distant, which I think adds to the appeal. A true form of escapism.

Apart from the slight confusion of the novel to do with the skips in time and place, and the swaps between character narrative, the book works. Not only works, is amazing. I could not put it down, I had to know what would become of these characters that I somehow loved, even though I knew relatively little about them.

At the heart of this novel it is a love story. But it is so much smarter than that. It challenges the idea of what is real and what isn’t and whether those questions are even important. This book is a wonderful read, and I would whole heartedly reccomend it to anyone and everyone.

I hope you enjoy your time in the circus,

Happy reading xx

Love/Hate relationship: Shakespeare

One of the main aspects I struggle to keep up with in my course is getting a shakespeare play read. I know this might be an odd thought, reading everything is the same surely?

No it isn’t!

Not only does the easiness of reading change from novel to novel, poem to play, and all of the variations in between, the difficulty of a reading also depends on its context, its history, who wrote it, what they wanted to say.

And an author can wear many faces.

This is extremely and annoyingly evident with Shakespeare. I love the tragedies, well most of them. I love Othello (mainly because of Iago) I love Titus Andronicus (mainly because it is so different) I adore Much Ado About Nothing (a comedy I know but…. well this is my blog)

What I hate, actually hate when I look at a reading list with dread and fear are the histories. Ok yes we have ‘we merry few, we band of brothers’ and the great speeches of that play. However, most of them are dull to the point that I sleep whilst reading. And within the ‘histories’ are a group called the roman plays. These are the dullest plays I have ever read.

They are mostly based around male pride and all that other stuff in roman society in history. They are confusing and long and all about the prominant role that masculinity plays in society.

I normally love the language of Shakespeare, but even that pleasure is destroyed in the roman plays.

So there that is my love hate relationship with Shakespeare. I am going back to King Lear and I ask that you wish me luck, I am off to love to hate this play

Goodbyyiieee xx

Freedom Tastes like Cake

Why hello again!

So I’m sure you are wondering where I’ve been, why I uploaded so much at once and then went. But actually you probably are not and are visiting because I spamned my facebook and twitter (which I most surely will) 

Well I had my big deadline in on tuesday, my big big one for the term. It all got in, all was safe. That crippling sense of worry, that knowing that every second you are not reading, writing, adjusting, thinking about your essay is time wasted and the guilt that merges into the crevice of your soul…… anyway, or just the feeling that you will never be finished is over and gone. It finished like everything always does. Every time these sets of essays are due in I see them as this never ending journey that will go on and on and on. And every time they end….. surprisingly enough I know. 

 

So now my dear, I am free. On my instagram I posted a photo which I commented on saying ‘freedom tastes like cake’ and yes, it did at the time. I went to a tea room with my friend. (Yes I do frequent a very nice tea room in Cardiff, the people are lovely, the tea is the best I have had, and I love the mismatch of everything in there.) 

But freedom does not taste like cake my friends. Breifly it did, but freedom is so much better than cake! (How can this be I hear you ask?)

Freedom is odering your books for the next term. Freedom is starting to read the introductions of books and figuring out what you will think of the next module. Freedom is getting up and actually looking forward to your degree again. I hope that everyone feels free everyday, freedom is enjoying life, so I hope each and everyone of you feel free everyday

So yes I am free, and baby freedom never tasted so good!Image

Yeah… I’m talking to you

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Like all teenage girls….. No wait I mean EVERYONE, I had self esteem issues that I had to deal with. I wished I was thinner, prettier, happier, funnier, more popular…. you know what everyone wants.

And it’s because I thought that everyone else had it all figured out. Now that I’m old(er) I’ve realised that no one ever has it all figured out, its just that most people accept that and make the most of it. People are either dealing with the stuff they want to deal with or have and are now happy with themselves. I’m getting to that. It’s taken a while but I am rocking the body I have (although I’m not quiiiiiite where I want it to be) and I’m happy.

I think my big push came when I realised that the girls who I wanted to be, I didn’t actually want to be them. I wanted to have interests and know lots and be interesting. What I saw from these other girls were how they talked about how much weight they wanted to lose, or what was wrong with their lives. And I didn’t want to define myself by what was wrong with my life. And it was that. I want to be positive. That realisation came a couple of months ago so I am still having to actively think to be positive.

So, yes when I look in the mirror I make myself say that in my head. Because it’s my belief that people need to be thankful and recognise, ACTUALLY RECOGNISE, what is great and amazing about them.

My News Years resolution is to be more positive about myself and I have to say at least one positive thing about someone (whether its a random person or a friend) a day.

Everyone needs to look in the mirror and ask themselves ‘when the f*** did I become this awesome’ because more likely than not, you are 🙂

Peace out! x

The man I love….. Terry Pratchett

I hate when people ask what your ‘favourite’ of something is.

My mind goes blank, I can think of nothing than the most embarrasing thing I liked when I was 15. Music, I can only answer McFly or Take That, when in fact the truth is more along the lines of Blur, Oasis, Pulp, Artic Monkeys etc.

Ask me what films I like and the only ones I can think of are Disney.

But ask me who my favourite author is and the answer is easy. Terry Pratchett.

I love his humour, description, character. I love the way he’s created a whole universe that is ridiculous, wonderful and serious all at the same time.

I like the idea of Death. I hope that when I die I am walked into the next stage with him. I wish that all forms of authority were as Sam Vimes is. I want witches to exist and that the we are flying through space on the back of a giant turtle suported by four elephants.

He is a genius and I love every book I have read by him. If he were 20 years younger and I 10 years older….

When my schedule finally lets me get round to finish Raising Steam, the newest Discworld Novel, I’m sure I will sicken everyone by shouting from the rooftops about how amazing it is 🙂

Until then 🙂 x

Why having a big family is awesome!

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This is some of my family. Yes. SOME.

Actually this is some of my step family, but blood isn’t everything. This christmas I spent it with my them in a remote part of Scotland. I won’t lie I was a bit concerned. There are some fairly big characters in the group (of which I would change none) but all in the mix I was worried about conflict.

Each has their own agenda (all for making it the best christmas possible but still…. conflict) Thats the thing about my family. Everyone wants the best for everyone else. I find that amazing. Although I haven’t seen a lot of them for a long time, I spend most of my time at uni now, it was as if I had seen them the previous week. You see what’s great about being loads of you is that there is always someone. ALWAYS. Whether its just crashed out in front of the TV or playing monopoly or pool or running around in the garden you are NEVER alone.

And it went smoothly. I hope you are as shocked as I was. There was one incident with a nerf bullet to my face and a threat that I would never carry out, but hey, thats what being a cousin is all about.

My parents are amazing, a constant inspiration, as are my brothers. I love them all and wouldn’t change anything that’s happened to make me meet them. x

Waaaahhhh

Well, this decision to start writing a blog came to me at 3am when I started to panic about a lot of things. I won’t list them here as I am afraid of the feeling of panic coming back…. *stares into distance*

…. Anyway, this blog will probably be a bit random or ‘scatty’ (ha ha ha) at first while I decide on what I want it to be, but there will be book reviews and stories of things in my life that I feel are worth sharing 🙂

Hope you enjoy! x