That is all.
Oh no, wait. So are sisters and their friends. And tonic water. That really is all.
That is all.
Oh no, wait. So are sisters and their friends. And tonic water. That really is all.
I know she doesn’t read it, but I wanted to write here that I have the best friend in R that anyone could hope for. She’s always been there for me, no matter what: and I do mean that. I’ve treated her terribly, I know – I don’t even want to go into the details.
There was one party once where some of the things I’ve done came to a head, I did a lot of shouting and screaming and was infeasibly drunk, and said some terrible things to her and to many other people (sorry it’s cryptic, if you were there you’ll know) – but I met up with her afterwards and she was sympathetic towards me and understood what I’d done and why, listened to me and was a great friend to me when she was the one who needed friendship, and I didn’t deserve hers, not then.
The last year, I’ve only behaved worse really; there aren’t really any worse betrayals in friendship, but these things seem to have only brought us together. She’s been a rock whilst I’ve been here in this new town, made me feel at home, grounded me. I can be myself around her, entirely, and she always cheers me up, if there’s any chance I can be cheered. I am so lucky to have her in my life; and I don’t deserve it for a second.
And I just wanted to say that, because in the end friendship is the most important thing we have in life. Even the people who’ve waited months to be able to forgive me for things I’ve done, and then did so, the people who’ve listened to me when I’ve been acting utterly crazily, amazing though they’ve been – sometimes I feel so lucky – there’s nothing and no-one like R in this world, and I love that she’s there for me. And I love that last night she was the one who thanked me for my friendship. I can’t help but love her completely for and despite everything.
So yes, to R, with love, and thanks. I owe you so much.
There’ve been a couple of comments around recently on a couple of the blogs I read – for example Flix – about how when we’re happy, us bloggers, we don’t blog so much.
I find that weird, but it is true, and it’s true of a lot of things. I keep a journal – have done for years – and I write more when I’m sad and confused than when life is going swimmingly, such that sometimes I have to write ‘catch-up’ entries for several months when things have been pretty much OK before I can go back into the extended whine that is my diary (well surely it’s better than whining at people?).
And yet the things we write about aren’t all about the doom and the gloom; we write about what it is to be a human on this planet at this time, about how we relate to one another, how we work, and about things that actually have a world-wide scope. Politics and such. You know.
So I guess I’m just wondering: why do we write? What is it that draws us back? How come I can say things here I don’t say to the people to whom I actually talk? What are we all doing here?
Why do you blog?
Not much to say, dearest readers, except that today was a good day.
Well, not that good, do be serious! I was woken up at half five by the fire alarm, debated for too long about whether my hoody went better with my pyjamas than my coat would, couldn’t find the hoody, plumped for the coat, couldn’t find matching shoes, left, barefoot. Outside it was pouring with rain and our front path – a tarmac-gravel super-evil hybrid – sliced my poor darling feet. Worse, I had a splitting hangover/headache and felt revoltingly ill; suffice to say I was in a terrible mood. Back upstairs I couldn’t get back to sleep.
Eventually, then, I got up. Failed to eat anything, get my bank cards back, sort out my room or my laundry or my woeful lack of airer, and finally was horrifically late to get down to climbing.
But this is where my day markedly improved. Surrounded by people who really can climb, people who I really like – and who apparently don’t think I’m half bad as a person either – doing something I love more and more every time I do it: could there be a better day, excepting if we’d actually got out onto the hills rather than onto the wall? More than that, I even bought myself some purple climbing shoes. I tried on literally every pair on the shop before the man would let me come away with a pair and we agreed that these were the best fit in the shop. Not top-of-the-range, but I’m a beginner. That would be like giving a Stradivarius cello or a set of fire poi to a seven year old. I met a couple of people who I really like as people, who I could really see as real friends. And I rang my mother: it was good to hear her voice and words of wisdom again.
So I’m feeling pretty good. Now it’s supper time – K has done what looks and smells like the most amazing pasta sauce ever, ever.
Au revoir! x
About a millisecond ago, maybe less, it struck me how weird a thing memory is. For no reason, today, I’ve had millions of snapshot memories of thousands of things. (A festival I went to, my friend wrapping her sarong round her head like a turban; several parties I’ve been to; wandering around my first sixth-form college; encountering another friend of mine blind-drunk in the town-centre after a break-up; evening after evening in two of my favourite pubs. And thousands more. Things that happened last night, or the night before, my first ever walk down to lectures). Who knows what triggered those thoughts. I find that amazing, that my brain works so fast and so efficiently that not only can I feed myself and stay warm and alive, but I can also have loads of unnecessary thoughts and experiences which are what make this life worth living. (There goes another one: my first evening in New Zealand and my sister falling asleep almost directly into her plate! An evening spent listening to gypsy jazz in the village hall! The Hi-Lights Barn Dance! Another ceilidh in another town, sometime, some town, I don’t know when. Loch Lomond. My old primary school, and the one that came after that, and my nursery, my old house…).
Why, how does my brain do this? How, when I’m thinking about what I’m going to buy in the supermarket tomorrow and whether J has finished cooking yet, and what assignments do I need to do now and what I’m going to do about my stolen bike – all these things at once – how do we still find time to flick through all these memories? (A kiss under the stars, a kiss in the rain, sitting in a car at night singing Muse loudly and badly, crashing through Les Miserables with several other drunken sopranos, sitting round a fire in the darkest part of the night…. They tumble on.)
Obviously now I’m thinking about memories in general so of course they’re coming rushing at me double quick, but even when I’m not thinking like this, memory is always there. Is that all we are? Memory? And can there be anything else to us, really?
And why is it that when you have one horrible jerking moment when one awful thing comes back to grab you by the throat, why can you not let go of that feeling? Why do all the other terrible memories come rushing back all of a sudden? Things I can barely say out loud, things I wish I hadn’t done, things I wish other people hadn’t done?
This may sound like a rhetorical kind of an entry, there to be creative and decorative, but really, I want to know the science behind all of this. If it is known, though, it’ll be years before I can understand these things: at the moment we’re doing the working of neurons at the most basic level and there’s so much to understand before I can even ask those kinds of questions. Today in our tutorial we were looking at Alzheimer’s, among other things. I am so excited about the things I am learning now, the things they’ll allow me to learn in turn.
In brief, it is worth mentioning that last Sunday I went to church.
Moreover, I think I can now say I’m religious, or at least a darn sight nearer to agnostic-religious than I previously was. Church was a bizarre experience for me: I ended up crying and smiling all at once, and you know that huge heart-swelling feeling you get about once in a blue moon, to do with being loved, happy, or receiving some really heart-warming news? I could have sworn it would burst. But it didn’t, my heart is still here, and so am I. Anyway. I’m going again tomorrow, I’ve borrowed a Bible from R, and we’ll see…
Now I must get ready to go out. Au revoir!
It’s all about faith, really. I was brought up absolutely as atheist as they come. My family has the greatest respect for all religions, with the possible exception of Christianity (their argument being, ‘how can you respect a faith symbolised by an instrument of utter torture?’). Every religion, they tell me, is peaceful and intellectual in a way Christians are not. I’m not being fair; we have a number of religious friends for whom we have the utmost respect, however much their religious choices may be derided for absolute blindness and sheepish conformity. Oh, we’re not bad people, we’re not as bitchy as all that, but I am aware it’s something we do.
We ourselves have no god; we are cynics, the lot of us. My father was brought up a Catholic and rebelled against that absolutely with adulthood; my mother was confirmed, I believe, but religion was never a big thing in her family at all and I know she doesn’t believe now.
But that’s not really what I’m writing about. The major thing I have against religion is the ability for the faithful to justify the most cruel things. Huge wars, terrorism, the way women are (or can be) treated under certain sections of Islam and fundamentalist Christianity, female genital mutilation, the pro-life racket, the way that catholics preach against condom use in countries crippled by HIV and AIDS. How can these things go on in the name of religions that claim to be all about love, giving, sharing and recieving (to plagiarise from Joey’s proposed wedding speech (a Friends reference, in case you hadn’t guessed)? And why is it only Christianity and Islam, and to a lesser extent, Judaism, that spring to mind when you think about these atrocities? Do Sikhs or Hindus get on their high horse and get violent with it, but somehow it almost never hits our radar here in the West?
Are these things actually anything to do with religion? Or would they be done in the name of any given cause by the people who do them, because those people know no better, need to lash out and throw their weight about, and find that God is a handy reason for which to do that? For people to do terrible things, they don’t need a god so much as a damn good reason, be that the way in which they were brought up, psychological insecurity or sheer arrogance. People have done terrible things in the name of atheism too – look at Stalin or Mao – or without any major religious reason (Hitler’s holocaust (which I hesitate to bring up, being an argument ad hitlerum) was arguably on grounds of race rather than religion, if the two aren’t inextricably linked).
So I guess I’m only trying to say that feeling superior about being an atheist just because religion is such a violent, war-causing mess is probably a slightly blind piece of reasoning. It surprises me that I’ve thought this one out, having always been as atheist as they come; I suppose I’ve always hated a bad argument, no matter what I think about the thing in question. And more than ever, I hate discovering my own bad reasoning.
Sometimes it’s only when you talk about something out loud that you realise that it’s the truth, you really do mean it. Sometimes that realisation really does change everything.
Meanwhile, today I sent a text to a friend of mine – a cry for help, if you will, and the reply I recieved was just exactly what I needed at that point in time.
Later, I spent the evening in another friend’s room with Ugly Betty and tea and cake, and lots of girly chatter about everything from perfume to babies.
And I met and got talking today to at least three people about whom I definitely wish to know more.
Mood? Decidedly hopeful. Determinedly so.
I think I’m happy here.
I think, if I haven’t already found them, there are real friends out there in this city just waiting for me to find them.
I think it’s somehow really inappropriate that there’s a lingerie boutique here called Gash, and that it’s bloody hilarious that this name comes about because the founder of said shop is called Julia Gash.
I think I’m a mess right now, and I’m really sorry about that.
I think I can be OK.