Category Archives: Endings

What I Like About The Future

I have no idea what’s going to happen. I have no idea, either, what I’m going to want, and whether what I want this time next year is going to be the same as what I want now or somehow entirely different. And so it doesn’t matter that I don’t know what’s going to happen, because I also don’t know how I’m going to feel about it, so I basically have to assume that whatever it is it’ll be fine; because even if you could tell me what’s going to happen, how I feel about it now and how I will actually feel about it could well be two entirely different things.

So actually, yes, it’s all OK. Even though sometimes I would like someone to drop out of the sky and whisper in my ear, tell me about my future, promise me it contains Nobel prizes and a real-life Daniel Craig/Mr Darcy hybrid and a car that drives like an Aston and runs on solar power or the breath of fairies or something. It’s not going to happen (the sky person thing, I mean, not the Aston thing, that’s a definite). I don’t know what’s around the corner and, if I’m honest, I’d rather not find out too soon. It’s like reading the last page of the novel when you’re still only just getting up to the dramatic bit. You really don’t want to spoil the ending or know about twists in the tail, they’ll surprise you soon enough.


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Mr Fox! I Hate This Game, Sir. This Game Makes My Tongue Quite Lame, Sir.

So, for nearly twenty-one years of my life, I couldn’t say the letter ‘r’, at least, not in the context of words like ‘red’, ‘really’, ‘green’ or ‘cream’. No, it’s all ‘Where’s Wodewick’ and ‘weally gween cweam’, except with the merest hint of ‘v’ thrown in for good measure. Seriously. Fail. And my friends and housemates have all over time found this hilarious and even once made me record myself singing the rainbow song. Honestly, I sounded like a creepy Dr Who Evil Child kind of a character, which must be really scary to have as an alarm waking you up but there we go, it takes all sorts.

And then one day quite recently I worked it out, how to do it properly, so it’s neither a ‘w’ or a hard rolled ‘r’ but somewhere tidily in between, a real ‘r’, like most people manage. And it’s easy, and natural-sounding, and normal. But actually it still takes concentration, a lot of the time, to catch those ‘r’s as they approach, and make sure you say them properly. And it takes practice and when I’m tired or I’ve got a lot to say, I struggle to remember or think it important. But hey, I have to keep remembering and doing it right or I’ll never learn and my children will be just as bad at it and so it goes on.

Anyway. I was proud of myself. So I just thought I’d tell y’all. Enjoy…!


Filed under Beginnings, Cloudlife, Endings, Introspection, Life, Thoughts


I wasn’t sure if it was him, walking towards me. He had the same arrogant lumbering gait, all testosterone and shoulders, and the friend with him also looked familiar, and I was somewhere where I would not have been surprised to see him. For a few seconds all I was aware of was how my heartbeat seemed to be making time slow down, every sound muffled, my mouth drying out. I nearly turned round – wanting to run I would instead have just walked, fast, in that way you do at school because you’re late and you’re not allowed to run in the corridors. But I thought, no, don’t be daft, and I kept on walking, and it wasn’t him, and gradually the rest of the world flooded back into focus.

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So This Is Where We Are

Home now – building works. A three-storey tent (C and I both independently coined this description so it must be true). A loo in the attic, cold tap in the kitchen three floors below, brick dust everywhere, shoes on all the time, cats traumatised, tempers fraying, and a vanful – all my wordly goods – on the front room floor, no route to the piano even, until they’ve put my new skylight in and me and my room are left in relative peace.

Shadowing researchers round the university. Labs, day old mice pups, killed quickly though I won’t tell you how in case it makes you squirm. Microscopes, centrifuges, familiar technology, techniques (Western blotting, cell culturing) heard about and now to be seen and learned, Nanotechnology, collaborations across all kinds of fields of expertise, building condemned though to my eyes stunning. Showers (and thank goodness – options at home = washing-up bowl, kettle, what a performance) in the basement, splashy, motion-sensitive timer-switch controlled and a little chilly but heaven as far as I’m concerned), day flashed past. Sister, tears, tension, fear, homecoming, guilt; I never tell her how proud I am of her, how I tell all my friends about all the things she does, how much I love her – but I never say these things to her, it’s not my way, I suppose.

American quilts, trains, buses, food, drink, pubs and friends and plans and hopes and sunshine which I am rarely able to go out in. New year, I feel, every summer, not winter – I mean, here it all is, being new.

I’m mainly just glad to have clean hair.

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Second Life

I always kind of assumed that when I was a bit older or something I’d get bored of large swathes of the internet. That I’d use Facebook and email to stay in touch with people but other than that, well, nothing. That I’d stop writing a blog, I’d stop going on MSN and talking to people there, I’d stop reading webcomics or other peoples’ blogs.

I still kind of believe that. There’s a bit of me that thinks there’s something a bit weird about, say, married people who blog – about baby’s first word or that funny thing that happened on the way to the supermarket or their in-laws hilariously outdated and dodgy political views or whatever – that I blog because I’m single, I spend a lot of my time on my own working in my own little bubble and so this is an easy and itneresting way of reaching out to the rest of hte world without having to leave my desk. Even now part of me thinks this is a little bit sad, somehow. That I ought to be outside at the pub or drinking coffee with friends – except that I spend a significant chunk of my time doing those things already, it’s not as if I’m lonely, so that can’t be why I do this. It’s not as if I don’t have massively interesting and informed debates with my friends over coffee and tea and ale in the real world, either, it’s not as if I haven’t subjected them all, severally, to the rantwhinebitchwhingebrainsplurge on the subject of my education, miseducation, or otherwise, just for a recent example, more than once.

I do also assume that somehow once I am ‘an adult’ I will somehow no longer have the time for this virtual world. But it’s not as if I’m not incredibly busy at the moment, either, and it’s not as if keeping a blog requires huge amounts of time or thought – words just flow from brain to fingers and I write them, it’s as simple as that, it’s only irritating that I type so fast that my hands get slightly out of sync and the letters get in the wrong order sometimes (I hope you’ve all got as used to ‘becuase’ as I have, because it’s there to stay and I’m sorry), or my other favourite, my brain goes completely doo-lally and we go in for phonetic typing such that ‘in sync’ becomes ‘in sink’ and ‘there’ ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ are simply confused because they all sound the same so surely (thanks, Brain) it doesn’t matter.

So. I’m unlikely to run out of the time to have a blog. And you all know me, I’m unlikely to run out of things to say. And, not to boast, I’m not likely to run out of readers. And it’s my primary means of contact with some friends and although those friendships (if that’s what you can yet call them) are gradually moving into emails and even, tentatively, real life, we don’t always have the time for five paragraphs of intense social commentary in an email when you can write a comment just to say, hello, hope you’re OK. So what is going to happen? When will this stop? Does it stop?

And what about Skype and MSN? It’s on in the background, I’m usually on ‘appear offline’, I haven’t had an online conversation with anyone for weeks, actually, a few people have attempted to catch me, I’ve tried to say hello to one or two people in the rare moments that I have the time and am not doing something more useful or more relaxing, but, ships in the night. But sometimes it is useful. When you don’t want to phone because it’s expensive or late at night or you’re also trying to hang up your laundry or whatever. When you just want to quickly organise something with a group of people. When you want to stay in touch with home friends and you’re at uni – I think that’s its main use for me. And, shamefully, those conversations you start having which are very lighthearted and backgroundy and you’re working at the same time but then gradually you get all deep and serious and late night and emotions come crawling out of the woodwork and actually those are conversations that perhaps you’d never dare have face to face because that’s just scary and will I be any better at talking about my feelings when I really am a grown-up? I doubt it. Not, actually, that I’m all that bad at it, when it comes to it. Bite the bullet, say what you’re really thinking, no-one needs a screen to hide behind except that equally you’ve made me blush, or I really don’t want you to see/hear me crying and thank god if we’re on MSN I can be far more matter-of-fact and nonchalant. Don’t tell me that you don’t sometimes prefer it like that.

I think my dad feels that it’s kind of sad that we all still use these forms of communication that we were desperately attached to when we were fifteen. But I think our use of them has evolved. Who still has song lyrics for their MSN name, or uses some ridiculously unreadable font and a billion animated emoticons? I can’t imagine still having conversations over the internet in real time when I’m fifty. But equally, it’s somehow quite useful, and I can’t see why or when it’s going to stop. I think the internet has changed our lives and the course of our lives to come more than we can quite imagine.

But I really, really don’t want to be a fifty-year-old blogger with an MSN account and a webcam. I want to check emails once a day, and otherwise, read a book, phone a friend, watch telly. Possibly have facebook. Check the news online sometimes from work during a tea break. That’s enough internet. No more internet. But really, what would be wrong with occasionally skypeing my sister, say, or putting pictures up on this blog of the kitchen units I just built, (YES I will build them myself, I got all inspired by my neighbour’s handbuilt, home-made kitchen and now I want to try) or writing about my thoughts on the new Green PM or the end of oil or whatever.

Oh, future, you weird and scary thing.


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I'm Going To Be Away All Weekend Again So…

…have some of the Notes I found on my phone.




(I love him but he can’t spell).


I wonder what of the music being made now will stand the test of time:? I have a theory that by and large the music that hits the charts now from less popular genres has broken through that particular barrier so maybe they will last?

(As you might have guessed the time stamp on this one is definitively the wee hours).


I have actually developed a minor crush on that last guy becuase he takes photos of his pets and flowers :S !

Renegade Brass Band.

(talking to H at photosoc one night. Well, writing her a note, anyway).


Some kind of emotional dive bar I crank out the same feelings like cheap spirits or piss-weak beer in seedy profligacy. Discounts and doubling up so you get twice as much cliche for your cash and could drown your wretched face in the brine spilling from my eyes.

I imagine my heart skittering across a tiled marble floor – black and white, Italian, leaving a trail of shining scarlet blood, gappy, clotted, lumps and gouts and thin translucent trails between, and the toe of your shoe as you walk away, red on brown leather, pointed, shining.

(Jenny goes all emo ‘n’ ting).


‘Course you’re not, you’re not scared of anything. Box falls out of the sky, man falls out of box, man eats fish custard!’

(The first episode of the latest series of Doctor Who. As if you didn’t know).


“…and every time we did it, it was destroying me inside…”. X’s testimony. Sex. Guilt. Oh, help.


Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards.


Random Man At Bus Stop: What he’s looking at is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen, yet he can’t quite believe it and however much he loves it it hurts his eyes as it – she? – and now (if I ever wasn’t) I am extrapolating wildly, from my mute seat here in this bus in the slowly waking springtime heart of the city – walks towards him. The end. The beginning. Chapter One.

(Please tell me I’m not the only one that makes up stories about the people I see waiting for buses/on trains/on other journeys?)


You are the person that I love most that I’ve ever met. Shofolk sandals, £125.

(No, I don’t know either. I think one’s a quote from what is quite unreasonably one of my favourite books, and one is, well, shoes).

The rest of my notes are excruciatingly dull, the end.

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The Princess Bride

When I was in Year Seven, so, about eleven years old (in fact, definitely eleven years old, being as how I’m an August baby ‘n’all), one day our teacher was away for a lesson and so our form tutor took the period, but because he couldn’t be bothered or something, he let us watch the first part of a video (remember those?), The Princess Bride. I remember it being big and epic and scary and adventurous, with a love plot of some kind, but mainly about the adventure. And the big cliffs were really scary and there were these massive eels and a deep dark forest and an evil prince.

But I never got to see past the first forty minutes or so because people kept talking, our form tutor kept hitting pause to punish people into silence, and then the bell went for the next period anyway. I knew I wasn’t meant to like such a deeply uncool thing as a clearly very nineties fairytale, when all the kids in my class by that point were constantly quoting Forrest Gump and that awful film with cheerleaders and Kirsten Dunst, so I never breathed a word about it, but I always, always wanted to see the end.

So a few months ago I was in what H and her friends and I call ‘the sex shop’ (by which I mean Central Entertainment Exchange, or CEX, duh, we’re so funny, and I saw it on the shelf for £2.50, and so, now I’m a grown-up and don’t need to worry so much about things like ‘cool’, and only marginally about things like £2.50, I bought it.

I’ve been so busy these past few months, out of the house four evenings a week as well as every day, usually out with friends on Friday evenings anyway, and away for a number of weekends (leaving out for a moment that I was doing some seriously uncool things like IVFDF, the Church Weekend Away, and visiting my grandmother), so this term I’ve hardly watched any TV (and that would be on iPlayer whilst getting on with other things like packing/tidying/etc anyway) let alone found the time to sit down and watch a whole film (seriously this term my main source of narrative entertainment has been a couple of pages of a book sometimes before I go to sleep, and The Archers (oh I’m such a catch)), and anyway, I reach the end of term and I’m at my aunt’s house and having finally made sense of packing and not started cooking supper yet I decided to sit down and watch The Princess Bride.

I wish I had got to see it when I was eleven; I would have loved it. Heck, I enjoyed it now. It’s definitely a kids’ film, but it’s great fun. The love plot is soupy when relevant – swelling violins and chaste sunset-lit kisses and big declarations of undying love – but completely unobtrusive the vast majority of the time, since due to the complex twists and turns of the plot the lovers actually share the screen for probably about ten minutes total and spend eight minutes of that time with him fighting giant rats and swooping her out of the way of flames and killing things with his sword, and her twittering about looking scared and swishing her hair about (as heroines go she could definitely be more gutsy, but then, with a name like Buttercup, what can you do?). So basically that’s pretty much ideal for a pre-teen audience, keep the girls happy with a bit of kissing, but don’t do it enough that they get disgusted/bored. The script is pleasingly witty but obvious – I don’t think I would have found it so obvious at the age of eleven, but of course the villains are a bit pantomime and the hero always has a brilliant and biting comeback to more or less everything. There’s a swordfight, a distinctly unscary torture device, an albino, a tree with a secret door, lots of great costumery, Billy Crystal (I’m sorry but as far as I’m concerned he can do no wrong), Andre the Giant (oh yes that’s right), adventure, comedy, suspense, and a friendly grandfather to remind you all that it’s all just a story, just when you get most scared.

Funny, though – I don’t think it would get made now. I think kids of the right age to enjoy it are just a bit too knowing, aren’t they. They watch films ostensibly aimed at teenagers and adults, I think. I mean, ten years ago I felt embarrassed about enjoying this film just when I was bang in the demographic to which it is aimed; who knows how it would go down now. Can you imagine Jumanji being made now? Or Flubber, or The Secret Garden, or  any of the films we grew up on (she says, running out of ideas because she spent seemingly most of her childhood reading books instead)?

Anyway, that’s not the point. The main point is, The Princess Bride. And also, someone please remind me how every time I hear the words ‘pride’ or ‘prejudice’ I make yet another mental note to buy the BBC DVD of Pride And Prejudice since we only have it on VHS, and I haven’t got round to replacing it yet, and would that same kind someone forcibly drag me onto the Amazon site or something so that I actually do so? Thanks.


Filed under Endings, Film, Happenings, Society, Thoughts


You do something you shouldn’t have done, and perhaps you could wallow, so you do for a bit, and it doesn’t make you feel any better, so instead the next day you get up and you go to yoga at some stupid time in the morning and you push yourself and you tie yourself in knots and the instructor comes up and tells you that you’re really flexible and you should watch out and hold yourself together better in some poses so that you don’t do some damage by mistake and so you do, you feel all strong inside, and then you leave, bang on time, out of the room before most people have rolled up their mats and you go to your 9am lecture via Starbucks for a fairtrade mocha (forgetting, bother, to ask for decaf), and the Union shop for a new pen, bang on time, concentrating, the perfect set of notes, not just a transcription of the slide show like it’s so easy to slip into doing, and you stride out of your lecture at ten to ten and get to the gym in good time for an hour’s swim and a decent (hot) shower (we don’t seem to have those at home) before your next lecture – you might even get time to drop your shoes at the cobblers if you’re lucky – but you get to the gym and there’s a big sign saying that the pool is closed due to ‘unsafe chlorine levels’, so you go home instead and pray the shower will be hot and you’re going to do some violin practice instead because there isn’t time to go to the library and you don’t own the textbook you need (yet).

And then you go to Oxfam, and then you come home for an actual meal, not necessarily sitting down, but never mind, and then you’re going out for drinks with your possible new housemates, except that you’ve given up alcohol for lent so like last night you’re going to feel all clean and clear-headed when you set out home at eleven (it’s odd how even one drink makes the difference, and it’s so nice being completely and utterly stone-cold sober, even if you would seem no less sober after one half to any observer, that you start thinking about going teetotal altogether, not just for lent, but it’s early days yet and it’s just a shame that some drinks taste so delicious and could you really miss out and also it’s sort of socially awkward being a non-drinker, people get the wrong impression about you).

And the next day it’s Friday and it’s the church weekend away and that’s good, lots of prayer and perhaps you’ll try to take some work or something to do in your free time, there has to be some free time and you have to do something useful with it, so you do. And the next week there’s orchestra and choir and things all over again and you just keep moving and being the best person you can and you’re madly polite to everyone and you smile a lot and you’re a good Christian and this time you actually go to homeless outreach like you said you would and you put daft amounts of money into the collection plate at Church because you really ought to get into titheing even if you are still a bit overdrawn and you try to do everything you know how to do that could make you in any way a better person than you’re starting to think you are because the only way to be a better person is to go out and do things that mean you can respect yourself. And so it goes on.


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The Creation Story

There’s a reason it’s called a myth. I still believe in evolution, you know, but I don’t believe that the real purpose behind Genesis is to say, here, look, the world was created in six days three thousand years ago – no, it’s all about saying look, here is this one God, who at the time was completely different from the gods of other religions, multiple very human gods skipping about turning women into trees and fighting over each other’s wives and sisters. Here is this one God who is completely different, and so much bigger than you can possibly comprehend.

Anyway, currently, when I am not doing anything else I am watching The Bible: A History, which you can find here on 4od, and it’s very interesting.


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The Road

This is another film I watched recently. Obviously being The Road I didn’t enjoy it as much as I liked Avatar, because, let’s be honest, it’s about a man and his son slowly dying all alone in a post-apocalyptic, dead-Earth hell, where seemingly everyone is out to steal their stuff and also probably eat them.

It’s not wholly faithful to the book and there is, surprisingly (but also not that surprisingly) too much schmaltz – all this flashbacking to scenes before the wife/mother to man and boy dies, played by Charlize Theron and utterly, hopelessly, pathetically adored by Viggo Mortensen. One wonders what she ever saw in him. The cat is currently standing on my shoulder so I’m sorry if he takes it upon himself to contribute to this entry. A couple of we-are-going-to-make-you-cry scenes with a piano. And an ending that was ambiguous but in almost entirely the wrong way – not, Can I Trust You, but Can You Even Be Real? Now I can’t see the screen. Thanks, cat.

However, for a film adaptation of a book it was better than I expected by a long way and definitely worth seeing. Beautifully shot, and it threw up a lot of questions about morality, death, suicide, grief, love, and so on. Good acting, and maybe they missed a trick on some of the screenplay but the film is probably worth watching for one scene alone where they meet on their travels an old blind man and see the slowly changing morality of the boy and his father, separately, and also, just who is really in charge.

I have to say, though, if everything was dead, if all that was left was me and a few thousand other human beings, with nothing to eat but each other, the odd dead insect, and a dwindling supply of stores to loot for tins and the like, if I had the guts I would seriously consider suicide; I would certainly not make much effort to stay alive, just because, well, what for? The film managed to present suicide as actually the most sane and rational choice; Viggo Mortensen’s optimism was blind, naive, visionary, and utterly mad.

Anyway, if you’ve read the book, I would definitely at least consider watching the film. If you haven’t read the book, you should read it; and I don’t know whether or not it would be your type of thing. The cat is nudging my face now and definitely wants some attention, or more food, or something, so I’d better be off.


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