university

Step 1: Ignore everyone.

September 19, 2012

Yesterday morning I woke up and saw a ceiling that wasn't mine, and that ceiling was the trigger for my mind to compute that this is it. I'm not going home.


A friend moved to Leeds a week before the majority of us moved to our own new places, and we watched him with open mouths as he settled and became a student. We felt like the aliens in Toy Story, "ahhhhhh"ing and "ooooohhhhh"ing as he uploaded photos on Instagram, tagged strangers in tweets, and updated his location after allowing his friend count to go up by about 100. My friend count has gone up by 4. One of them is my mum. But it's weird knowing that friends are gone and there's a unsaid feeling of not being able to talk to them. You can talk to them. They're right there, on Twitter, Skype, and Facebook. But there's a distance now, apart from the literal sense, now that the 19 year bubble of home has been broken and people can't see the end anymore. Those walls that are built around you for 19 years have been crushed down to make way for this whole expanse of NEW. Everyone's looking out instead of in. Old friendships and places and memories are still there, but have been frozen. Like figurines. You can get them out to play, but put them back and don't touch them again for years. There's a horizon now, that wasn't there before, and people want to go out and find it. So you let them. One by one you watch your friends extend their life to new people and places, that was once restricted to you. It hurts, a bit, in a selfish way. Watching people you loved for your own letting other people in. But "that's life", as they say. That's how life works. It's the letting go but keeping in your sights which is tough. A balance. No one wants to be forgotten, but no one wants to stop it if it happens. That's their life, and this is yours, and their horizon might not include you. 

I'm not made for Freshers. The going out, the making friends, the making out, the shit music, the constant drinking, the high heels, the photos, the whole pretend act where everyone acts cool and fine when they're not. I found such comfort last night in the Facebook sidebar showing me flatmates liking photos from, "OMG THAT AWKWARD MOMENT WHEN A GIRAFFE IS IN YOUR FRIDGE WEARING A SOMBRERO" whilst at the Lethal Bizzle gig in a club down the road, while I was eating biscuits and listening to Busted in my room. I won't pretend I like anything to fit in. That's shit. But at the same time, I don't want to not do anything with anyone just to make a point that I don't follow the crowd and don't enjoy the majority of student nightlife. I still want to try new things (NOT DRUGS, MUM. I DON'T MEAN DRUGS) with new people, but uni is what you make it. I'll do the things I like, not watch what the others like. I put my Steps poster up, and my Doctor Who poster, and my Brave poster, and covered my noticeboard in letters and postcards from writers, and quotes, and tickets from amazing nights, and funny stupid photos, and little bits of paper with AG < 3 LJ on, and cut outs of Caitlin Moran's columns. They're the things which sum up my past life and I want them in my future so much it hurts. I hate the present, because those things can't be there right now. I think in the future and I want everything I've planned now, not later. I'm too stubborn and independent and my flatmates just knocked on my door and I pretended I wasn't in. I'm way too happy with my life to let other people in and have a part in that. Essentially, I am awful. 

It's hard starting from scratch with people who have no idea about you. You want them to know every part of your life and everything you are and everything you've done, but to them you're a blank canvas. And that's terrifying. And that's the first part of homesickness, where you want to be held by those who used to hold you together. There has to be a bit of fakery as you try to act as neutral and humanlike as possible, before yelling out, "OH THE" from a private joke years ago, or singing the Doctor Who theme tune as you pour grease down the sink and become the first person IN THE WHOLE ACCOMMODATION BLOCK to block it. Ithankyou, ahem. You prod people with parts of you (steady) and wait with baited breath for a response that, more often than not, isn't what you wanted. But there are the moments where you find someone who gets it, and those moments fill your heart with so much joy that you want to open your mouth and let everything that's you finally pour out and magnetise to this person without them rejecting it. Like a blood transfusion. This person for me said, "Last night was shit. I spent £3 to listen to wanky music and miss Downton Abbey." Shouting, "KLINGON SLINGON" was met with tears of laughter, and I felt comfortable telling my nearly-dying-after-putting-orange-peel-up-my-nose-on-bin-day story within 10 minutes. We spent last night drinking wine and developing a game involving covering the whole floor of the flat in Twister and only being able to move anywhere by playing the game to Benny Hill. "I want to check the post." "Left foot blue." "BUT THAT'S THE OTHER WAY." "LEFT FOOT BLUE THE POST CAN WAIT FOR RIGHT HAND RED JUST DO IT." We're going to watch ParaNorman tonight and go to the pub. This is how we Fresher.

My bubble is in tact, and I'm not ready to let it go yet. But it's transparent and I can see a life out there that maybe I might like. And with a view like this, it'd be silly to not give it a try.



university

Becoming domesticated, by Louise Emily Jones, aged 19 years minus a few days.

August 29, 2012

Turns out you can't live on beans and cheese.

Bit of a problem.

A quandry.

Such a good word.

Mum took me to Asda the other day and made me shop for myself, because I'm moving to Bournemouth in three weeks. I actually did alright in my A Levels (asterisks turned up out of the blue, uninvited. they couldn't stay away, couldn't fight it wait hold on) and UCAS said I could go to Oxbridge instead. I thought about it, but the only plus point I could conjure up was being on the rowing team, and therefore improving my chances of being in Rio 2016. Because I WILL be in Rio, 2016, winning Gold. Okay? OKAY? Good. As you were...oh right no I'm still talking. AS I WERE....

So I'm moving to Bournemouth and therefore need to learn how to be an autonomous individual, without frantically tweeting, "THE OVEN'S MAKING A NOISE HELP WHAT."

or, "AM I MEANT TO BE INSIDE THE DUVET COVER, OR IS THAT NOT PART OF THE PROCESS?"

or, "IT SAID 1-2 MINUTES BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS A TYPO AND PUT IT IN FOR 12 AND NOW EVERYONE'S DEAD AND OH DEAR." etc etc.

I would happily have bought just a week's worth of Quavers in my Asda shop, and maybe a banana, but mum said no. Then I suggested perhaps a Quavers multipack to vary the flavour. She said no. So I had to buy proper meat and put some broccoli in a bag. But I couldn't buy any meat, oh no. APPARENTLY some meat doesn't have a lot of meat in it so you have to check. .... .................... I don't get it either. So I wasn't allowed any chicken nuggets. Pff.

"You could buy a whole chicken and do a roast for your flat!!1!!!1" Yep or we can go to the Harvester. I think mum's really overestimating my culinary skills. After our shop, mum dropped the bombshell that as well as having a go at doing my own food shop, I in fact was also cooking ALL OF MY MEALS. All of them. Along with the washing, ironing, cleaning, LOVING, I had to do all my own cooking too from now on. Haha. Oh.

Oh.

No really, when I say I cannot do my own cooking, I really can't. This was meal 1...


and this was meal 2...


Mum's developing a very nasty rash that seems to intensify every evening at about 7pm (time depending on how hard I've tried to escape to a friend's for dinner). To clam her rash (can we just all agree to change 'calm' to 'clam', because my fingers really don't like putting the 'a' before the 'l', and it'll save so much hassle, thanks), my family came down from Birmingham and we ate out a lot. My mum told me to watch how the chefs present food (like really), but I was too busy watching my cousin. She's a vegan, and demolished a tomato so impressively that I was almost jealous. 'Almost' because I demolished a pollo mariano so impressively that I fell back in my chair going, "LIKE A PRO." when I finished. 

Cooking I will learn. The washing I can do. The only thing I have to get over with washing is feeling racist when I say, "I'M PUTTING A COLOURED WASH ON." I'm just too up for equality, y'know. LET WHITES AND COLOURS BE TOGETHER, MAN. No, no let's not let that happen, Louise. Stand down.

By 11am today I had put a load of light washing on, emptied the tumble dryer, hung out clothes on the line, sorted out my ironing, and cleaned up the kitchen after baking flapjacks and cookies, which varied in success. The cookies? I was so proud of them I did the cha cha slide, then I stopped doing the cha cha slide, sat down, and had a think. 


The flapjacks?


Well they look alright from this angle, if you want to eat them from this angle...eat them from this angle...

So baking I can do. Washing I can do. Ironing I can do. Look at me holding this iron with such vigour and determination. Like an Iron Warrior.


The putting stuff on the line bit WOULD have been successful, if this didn't happen (it was raining, okay, but the camera didn't catch the rain so i did this editing thing and LOOK IT LOOKS LIKE RAIN or something good okay).


I'll get there. Tonight I'm cooking lasagne. Nothing could go wrong. In the meantime, while I become a domestic goddess, let ME teach YOU something. FlatFace. You're oh so very welcome.

feminism

Getting Flack and other puns.

August 21, 2012



Looks like something from Mean Girls, doesn’t it? The Burn Book. Abusing, degrading, picking apart girls. Apart from this isn’t the Burn Book. Nor is it fiction. It’s from a magazine. A real life proper magazine. What’s more, it’s not from a women’s magazine, or a celebrity magazine, or a trashy 30p magazine. It’s from a magazine aimed at young impressionable girls. Not even teenagers, probably. Tween One Direction fanatics who will gladly lap up anything the media throws at them because, at that young age, they need direction (pun not intended) and influence.

It’s the US ‘fanzine’, Girl’s Guide To One Direction, published by Topix Media Lab LLC, who constructed probably the most spiteful, ridiculous, and idiotic piece I’ve ever seen. A ‘voodoo doll’ of Caroline Flack, host of The Xtra Factor, with pins sticking in her and notes picking apart her appearance, choices, and, quite frankly, her whole existence.

Let’s start with the less appalling features of this piece. It’s immature. “Caroline was born in 1979, which in China is the year of the goat. Big surprise – she looks like one!” What are you, five? She doesn’t look like a goat. Quite obviously. Flack’s gorgeous. More to the point, making fun of someone’s appearance? In a tween magazine? Not on. That’s going to encourage bullying (physical bullying, more worryingly, with a voodoo doll. That suggests damaging the doll like you would the person), and revert the whole message of “everyone’s beautiful “ and “image is not the most important factor in life”. These girls are going to think it’s an acceptable social norm for women to be judged purely on their looks. This magazine has a responsibility to abolish this notion and care for their readers’ perceptions, which it has completely ignored.

It’s picked apart and emphasised not just her main physical features, but things that don’t even exist on her body yet. Crow’s feet. Showing that she’s a “grandma”. Caroline Flack is 32 years old.  These girls now think you’re old as soon as you hit your 30s and GOD FORBID if you start showing signs of age. EURGH. WRINKLES. GET RID OF THEM. No. No, silly magazine. Shush.

“Date boys your age, not your shoe size!” That would make Harry Styles, what, six? He’s 18. All this article is doing is spouting jealousy from a vicious ‘writer’, who’s probably got everyone who’s come within ten miles of Styles on a dartboard in her room. It’s teaching young girls to be jealous of women who have what they want, and that age differences in relationships is wrong. By all means, have your own opinions on age differences, but for the love of fragile and growing young brains, don’t preach them viciously to young girls who can’t have even experienced full on relationships yet. “Zero engagement rings. Because nobody wants to be with her.” Marriage is the only proof of love, then? So now we have young girls who aren’t going to be happy in their own skin, will want plastic surgery once they hit 32, will only date people their shoe size (on average – a 7 year old, oh good), will be jealous of other women’s success instead of finding their own, will prioritise boys over other relationships with family/friends/themselves, and will believe they HAVE to get married to be considered worthy.

So, where is Harry Styles’ participation in this? Anyone? Anyone found him? Haarrryyyy…oh that’s right. He’s nowhere in this article. Because it’s all down to Caroline, right? A relationship between two consenting people, but only one gets the flack (pun intended, that was good). The woman gets the blame. Much like the affair between 22 year old actress Kristen Stewart and 41 year old director Rupert Sanders. He was married with children, but who gave a statement and got all the abuse? Stewart. Of course she did. Because the man always has the right to do whatever he likes. Silly women for getting involved with entitled men. When will they learn, eh?

It’s bullshit. The whole article is bullshit and I really, really hope that these girls who picked it up realised how awful it is.  I hope the magazine is taken down, and I hope that it’s the readers who do it. Because I’m sure these girls are smart and know their own mind. And if they don’t, because they’re young and growing, then I hope we can at least help them find it.

relationships

Because a little self-love is mandatory.

August 03, 2012

It was a risk, I'll admit. A reckless move. We hadn't known each other long but I thought, "Oh to hell with it. This could be something special." I'd seen that spark the first time we met and our conversation bounced off each other like a kangaroo on acid. We had something. And I had to follow it up.

Deep breaths.

"Mum, I'm going to London today."

"Okay. Who with?"

"Me."

"On your own? Why? Where are you going to go?"

"Wherever the wind takes me."

"But-"

"UGH, MUM. YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND. WE LOVE EACH OTHER, OKAY. SHE MAKES ME HAPPY AND-"

"What-"

"GOD. WHY ARE YOU BEING LIKE THIS."

"I'm not-"

"YOU CAN'T STOP US."

"Loui-"

"I'M GOING NOW."

"Okay."

I was going on a date with myself to London. I was going to take a book, little money, my best shirt, lipgloss and polos (just in case i got lucky), and 4 packets of Quavers to eat on Southbank a la Lady And The Tramp. It was going to be a beautiful day. I was nervous, of course. What if I didn't like me? What if there was some awkward arm touching and stolen glances that were just plain embarrassing? I had to stop myself on the train. Stop with the 'what if's and stop devouring the Quavers. I'd eaten a packet already. Good thing I had the polos, eh. I just had to be calm, collected, and remember to just be myself. If I'm myself, then me would see me as I am. Me.

Me surprised I with a cultural twist at our first stop. We started at the Tate Modern and ended up in the middle of Tino Sehgal's piece. It was magical. We didn't have to speak, but I could tell that me was thinking what I was thinking. We connected. Of that there is no doubt. It was like the art was speaking to us. Bringing us closer together and suggesting that what we had was something indeed. Children, taking part in the art, were whisked away by parents with shouts of, "No! I want to hear more stories!", and I worried I'd have the same outcry. But no. This was a me date. I could do whatever the fuck I liked. We stayed for 2 hours, engulfed in the atmosphere of LOVE and PASSIONandstuff, until me led I out for part 2. I was all a flutter. Me was good. Me was very good.

Me date so far: 10/10. 

But things took a drastic turn for the worse in Leicester Square. It had started to rain, and thankfully I had an umbrella. But there was only room for one under it, which made things quite awkward. I was dry, but me got wet. And we definitely weren't ready for that part of a relationship yet. To make matters worse, M&M World was a load of rubbish because they didn't give anything away for free and I had to buy my own lunch in McDonald's.

6/10.

We had 4 hours of this date left. What could me do to redeem myself of this date with I?

Disney store. That's what could salvage the frays of this date and brush up the fragments of my disappointed heart back into place.

ALL THE BRAVE THINGS.

We made our way to the bottom level of the store, and were greeted with such euphoria that Snow White's mirror next to us reflected my smile and I saw me staring right back at I. We were one. Me looked into my eyes and saw love, I know it. The Brave section was accompanied by a hallelujah chorus and Jesus light. Such beauty. And behind us? A cinema-like screen showing Brave trailers. The small children parted, like Moses and the river, and we sat amongst the throng, not caring that we were at least 6 times larger than them. They looked up at us, with Pixar lamps dancing in their eyes, and wished to be I and me when they were grown.

I wanted to buy Merida's archery set, and fashion it into Cupid's bow to strike into my heart. But after much thought, the perceived suicide would be too much of a kerfuffle. So instead I bought a Brave pencil case and 4 Brave chocolates. One for I, one for me, one for us, and one for the man who would marry us, because this date was storming and the sexual tension was becoming unbearable. I just wanted to kiss me, tbh. Too soon? Would I scare me off? Did me want it? I didn't know. Me was a mystery. But hot damn me needed solving.

11/10. 

It was getting late, and night had fallen. The sweet sound of the pollution filled waves of the Thames lapped against the poor excuse of a pebbled beach and I was ready to give my cardigan to me if me got cold. Dinner in Strada and walks along Southbank made the perfect end to a perfect day, and there was only one possible thing left. The Kiss. Was it time? Do I go in for the kill? Bite the bullet? Take the bull by the horns? We were nearing the station. This was my only chance. It's now or never. So I went for a it. I took me in my arms and gave me a right smacker. IT WAS A RESOUNDING SUCCESS. We went home together, as it just so happened we were getting the same trains, and I did a big sigh as I lay in bed and began to debate whether to call me first or wait for me to call I. Such is the life of a lover. We're definitely made for each other, I and me. We make a great pair and I'd love to see me again soon.

Alas, it was not meant to be. The morning after the night before brought illness comparable to The Plague, contracted through the kiss. Oh, me. You fucked it up. So I text me, quite simply, to end further encounters: "It's not me, it's me."

Shame, we got on so well.

                         No but seriously I did get a Brave pencil case.

It was a thing that happened.

July 16, 2012

"Have you worn them in?" 


"...did you want to finish that or are you being purposefully elliptical?"


"I wish you wouldn't use such big words I don't understand."


"Worn them in what? A dress? A blizzard? A teenage mutant ninja turtle costume?"


"No, no, no. Have you worn them in and gotten USED to them? So they don't blister? You can't run with the Olympic Flame in unworn shoes."

I didn't know there were rules to this. I thought I could just wear my conver...shoe things that looked liked proper converses from New Look and be done with it. Surely that would be fine? They have a sole. They cover my feet. They have LACES. Shit gets real with laces.

I was in my uniform. In my trainers. Hair straightened within an inch of its sorry split-end life, and polos shoved down my trousers. Phone clutched. And still I didn't feel any sense of excitement or nervousness. The whole morning I'd spent in my pyjamas, feet up on the desk, watching the BBC live torch relay cam, trying to establish some sort of etiquette for what I was about to do. Do I wave? Do I hold it with two hands? Do I walk or run? I concluded that whatever happens, I was going to look like a prize twat. The only thing I knew I wanted to happen was for the crowd to sing Wings as I ra..jo..walk....moved my 300m. Likelihood? Minimal. Hope? Great. And that's all I had. Hope that somehow I knew what to bloody do at some point during the next 3 hours. And for the love of baby Pete and his family including pets, DO NOT DROP THE THING. DO. NOT. DROP. IT.


"Done any training?" another torchbearer asked me. Mum, dad, and Matt, all donned in red, white, and blue had dropped me at the Town Hall and now I was surrounded by organisers, the mayor, torchbearers, and the media. Lots of the media. I stuck to the wall and tweeted my way through the waiting, until HUMAN CONTACT WAS REQUIRED OF ME. It was downhill from here. Oh, oh wait no. No it wasn't. My 300m was all UPHILL, that's right. Of course. *I* had the uphill stint. Me. Only me. 


"..I ran up and down the stairs a few times this morning...two at a time." I said, with some conviction. 


"You're young! You don't need training. Here hold this." And a torch was thrust into my hands. One of the actual Olympic torches. I fumbled with my polos, lipgloss, and phone (essentials, don't tell me otherwise), as the torch tipped sideways and had to be grabbed to safety. 


"Oop, I'll just take that. We're going to have the briefing now, then some media photos, then we'll be on our way!" Organiser Northern Tom said. I liked Northern Tom. "But YOU will be in the middle holding the torch in all the photos!" Oh yay. Two hands, I repeated in my head. Hold the bloody thing with two hands.




At 5pm, one hour before my slot, we left on the torchbearer bus. Around 16 torchbearers, Northern Tom, and the driver. Just us. Until we left the car park and started the journey to the start of Ingrave/Brentwood's route. I was still glued to my phone, texting friends and family about where to wait, when I heard gasps from inside the bus, and gasps from outside too. Hundreds of people had already lined the streets. Hundreds of people with chairs, banners, bunting, cameras, friends, family, strangers, burger vans, music, MORE PEOPLE. I didn't understand. I didn't know Brentwood had so many people. And I was running in front of them. So I bent my feet forward, wearing my new trainers in.


"Louise, look. Look outside. The people. Look! There are so many and they're here to see US!" Leah's 16 and we stuck to each other the whole time. I was passing the torch to her and we went to the same school. We were the double act. Comedy required. 



It was only then when the adrenaline rushed to my feet, awakening them from their eternal slumber to think "...what the fuck is going on. Louise. Louise what are you doing. Why have we got energy. Louise. THINK ABOUT THIS.", and I found myself beaming and waving frantically to the now thousands of people. 50,000 to be exact. 50,000 people.

"So how did you get nominated, Louise?" someone behind asked. He was the oldest torchbearer, in his 70s, and had tears in his eyes the whole time.

"Erm. Well I didn't, really. I sort of got asked by Coca Cola over a year ago after I won this journalism-ish award with Channel 4. I have a blog and I want to help young people realise that they don't have to follow the crowd. It's silly really. Really cheesy. But I try to be funny and stupid so they know they can be themselves really and not take any shit." 

He didn't bat an eyelid at my language, and put a hand on my arm.

"You're amazing. That's brilliant. You're inspirational, you really are. Well done Louise."

And that was the first time I felt worth it. Felt like I deserved all of  *waves arms around* this. I gulped and said my thanks, before it was my turn to get dropped off.

Mum's footage. I applaud my face.

They screamed. My own torch clutched to my chest, I stepped off the bus and the crowds were the thickest yet, and they screamed. My name. There were flashes, and shouts, and security guards. And music and floats with people who jumped off and hugged me, shouting through a megaphone to the crowd to cheer my name.

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON.

"Excuse me, can my daughter have a photo with you please?" A man had stepped forward and nudged his toddler forward. I instinctively crouched to her level and she hugged me, resting her head on my shoulder as the crowd awwed, and I let her hold the torch to have a photo. Then I was surrounded. Everyone rushed forward, throwing me their children for photos. Pushing each other to have their chance.

SERIOUSLY. WHAT. I DID NOT PREPARE FOR THIS. DO I HAVE A SPEECH? WHAT DO I DO? NO ONE TOLD ME THIS IS WAS A THING.

My family was crying as the previous torchbearer came into view, and before I knew it, I was holding the Olympic flame. The whole world, possibly, could have been watching me. That flame. THE FLAME. Don't blow it, Louise. No matter how tempting. Don't. Blow. My feet were freaking out, my hair had waved, trying to bend round to see the action, and my face hurt. I didn't know my face could pull those shapes.

And then I was running.

Up a hill.

With the Olympic flame.

On telly.

In front of 50,000 physical real life sentient beings.

I saw friends shouting and crying, I saw family running to catch up, and I saw strangers taking photos and cheering. And all I could do was wave, forget about my aching lungs, and scream "I LOVE YOU!!!" to everyone. If this was my moment, then I was going to make it Oscar award winning worthy.

And then it was over. Leah took the flame and I was back on the bus, still waving to people as we followed the flame to the finish. Every torchbearer on that bus had tears on their faces, waving and gasping and trying to mumble words that meant something to their feelings. But it was impossible. I can't explain it. To feel like part of history and part of, just, SOMETHING. Like you've been good, really. You've been a good human. You deserve good things, and this was the epitome.

I sat on the bus, torch clutched, cheeks stinging, feet throbbing with pride, not ache. It's all worth it. All of this. I'm not being egotistical, I'm being appreciative. I think I'm an alright human. Yeah. I'm not bad. And nor are you. And that's awesome.
















feminism

The friendzone and its self-absorbed inhabitants.

July 03, 2012

Once upon a time there was a girl. Let's call her Anthilofloraptus, because I can call her Anthilofloraptus because this is MY STORY. Anna, for short. Anna was a nice girl. She was pretty, smart, funny, and lovely. Anna had a lot of friends, and some of whom she was quite close to. One of those friends was a boy called Jakubromorph. Jack, for short. Anna and Jack were really good friends. Some might even call them best friends. They laughed together, they confided in each other, and they debated on whether Matt Smith and Karen Gillan WERE, indeed, secretly married. One day, in this troublesome tale of mine, Anna and Jack were joking around eating lumps of cheese and watching youtube videos of cats falling down slides when Anna turned to Jack and said, with all sincerity, "You know, Jakubromorph, you really are like the brother I never had." BLESS ANNA. How CUTE of her. How lovely, how genuine, how showing of their friendship. 

BUT SOFT, what light through my window breaks on the floor (or something. hope they have insurance. call autoglass)? Jack apologises and says he has to leave. Fair enough, maybe his grandmother is on fire. Anna shrugs it off. That night, she logs into Facebook and sees THIS:

Jakubromorph 'Jack for short' Halluzitath FRIENDZONED. Don't come moaning at me when you get treated like shit by other boys. You manipulated me and you're selfish. Have a nice life.

Oh dear oh dear. Jack didn't speak to Anna ever again, because she didn't want to be with him.

WHAT A SHAME. WHAT A TOTAL. UTTER. SHAME.

"Friendzoning is when you are expected to support a girl you really like while she searches for a smarter, richer, and more handsome boyfriend. There is little you can do to get out without feeling like a dick. All in all, one of the meanest things a girl can do."

The term 'friendzone' makes me itch, and I despise it. I'm gutted that you, boys who are spouting out friendzone bile, are in the 'zone' of 'friends' because, shit man, being friends is awful. Being someone to rely on, care for, joke with, have days out with, share with, is total crap. I'm really sorry this has happened to you all. Tossers. Maybe I'm reading too much into this term, and of course feelings can't be helped (apparently. i don't really take feelings that seriously. maybe i'm not sentient. new wave of human. what? oh yeah. friendzoning), but I see red every time I see complaints about being friendzoned. 'Girls are not machines that you put kindness into until sex falls out.' If you're only being nice to a girl, and therefore not being yourself around her, in order to have your way with her, then that's kind of shitty. You're not being nice to her because you feel like she deserves it. You're being nice to her in order to get something out of it. Whereas, in fact, she doesn't owe you anything. She doesn't owe you her body because you've been nice to her. Fuck off. It instantly devalues anything a woman can offer which isn't sex.

I'm not having a go at all boys/men who are gutted that a girl they like just want to be friends. That's natural and happens all the time. Rejection sucks, in all forms. To you, if you're not angry at the girl, I'm sorry. I'm sure you're a great guy for someone, but just not the right guy for her romantically. I hope you appreciate her feelings and continue to be a really great guy and develop an even more brilliant friendship. I'm having a go at those who after realising the girl doesn't want a relationship, proceed to chat a load of shite about her; about how she's a manipulative bitch who leads people on and just uses them to moan at. A girl exercising her right to say no doesn't mean she's putting you in a zone away from everyone else and just using you as a pet with a fence to separate you.

The term can be used both ways, but it's generally used by men, inherently making it a sexist term. Expected rejection reactions for men and women are different. Girls are supposed to be self-deprecating, and wonder what's not right about themselves. Too fat, too clingy, too not willing, too short. But men, generally (and i hate generalising, so i'm sorry, but i think it fits) are quick to blame the girl. There's something wrong here.

If a girl is told that she is only seen as a friend, that's it. In a way, I have quite a bit of respect for the boy when a girl is told that. That shows the boy doesn't want to get into her pants because he can, because she wants it. In another way, it's sad that the girl tries to be really really nice and acts differently around him to make him like her. No. Stop. You're doing it wrong. But when a girl says that to a boy, she's a total and utter bitch for letting him be nice to her. For letting them be on the same level, instead of being submissive to him. No, she just doesn't find you attractive. So boo you. You can only ever put YOURSELF in the 'friendzone'. Suck it up, and move on. She owes you nowt, she appreciated your apparent loveliness and shouldn't be vilified for not wanting a relationship. You're not the victim, and I can guarantee she feels a bit shit for not feeling the same way. But what do you want her to do? Pretend? No. LET IT GO.

Just because you're a 'nice guy' doesn't mean you deserve any girl you want. That's not an entitlement. It's just a part of the bullet point list of what a girl looks for in a guy. Funnily enough, forced niceness doesn't appear. If you like a girl like that, then let your intentions known instead of waiting for her to succumb to your front. Don't find fault in a girl who thought she had an honest friend. She's your friend, she LIKES YOU. You're not in the 'friendzone', you're in a FRIENDSHIP. You know, that good thing. She's done nothing wrong, you arrogant and egotistical knobhead.

Don't make girls feel guilty. It's not cool. I only dig the friendzone if it's got an electric fence and piranhas. I hope you can swim.

This is called a blog post and they appear on blogs and stuff.

June 20, 2012

*door flies open. stands there in worn and torn prom dress, hair tousled in which a bird is nesting, one broken heel clasped in one hand, multiple biros in the other mangled dented rubbed red raw hand. stares deadpan at laptop. struggles forward, dragging revision notes stuck to feet. collapses onto desk chair. opens mouth as an attempt of communication. the little brain men are sat, leaned against teeth begging "PLEASE. NO. NO MORE. PLEASE JUST. NO. HAVE MERCY." the marks under eyes could either be bags or stale mascara. it is defined as indistinguishable. whole being is defined as indistinguishable.*


...

I think that's it. I think I'm done. I think I...can't think anymore. 

My revision posters are all in the recycling, *turns, does massive miranda style wink to camera and recycling logo tinkles on tooth*, my school and exam timetables are all ripped to shreds, and my school work is all BURNING IN THE FIERY PITS OF HELL AHAHAHAHAHA.

I mean, oh wow yeah sad. Left forever now. Really sad. Aw...sad. 

Freedom feels like walking around your house naked. I feel a change, like a fire deep inside. And suddenly I'm flying, flying like a bird. LIKE ELECTRICwait no what?

I have three free months ahead of me. Three months of NOTHING, where the whole time is mine to do whatever I wish with it. I am going to be productive, and utilise the time to SEE THE WORLD, and learn NEW SKILLS, and make NEW FRIENDS and HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no of course I'm bloody not, you blundering fool. I spent the whole day in my pyjamas yesterday and the most strenuous task I carried out was opening a pack of jelly tots. That shit is hard. Those arrows help fuck all. "LOLZ U WANNA GET IN? NOPE. HOW ABOUT THIS WAY? NOPE. LOLOLOLOL." Totters. (as in 'tossers', do you see? Do you see? lol)

Even though I've come out of education, I still refuse to grow up. Which, ironically, is how it should be done, apparently. The only person to object to this paradigm was a tiny human who, as I scanned her mother's shopping, pointed at me and said her first word: mum. I was not aware that I had squeezed a tiny human out of my vagina but IF MOTHERHOOD IS MY CALLING THEN SO BE IT, TINY HUMAN. COME HITHER, AND LET ME MOTHER YOU LIKE A MOTHERLY MOTHER AND RAISE YOU AS ONE OF MY KIND. I didn't do that. I smiled apologetically to the distraught actual mother and gave her a free Bag For Life. 

Alas, though motherhood is not what I will be doing during this free time, eating like a pregnant woman is already underway. I've eaten chocolate for breakfast for the past two days, crying, "BUT IT'S FAIRTRADE, SO IT'S OKAY." and my tears spelling I T ' S N E V E R O K A Y L O U I S E. Not really the best idea when I'm meant to be getting fit and healthy for the Torch Relay in two weeks. Dad came in yesterday going, "When people ask me why YOU are carrying the torch, what do I say?" Yes, well, quite. 'SHARE YOUR STORY!!1!!!2!!!1' Coca Cola shout at me, and I blink, and think...well I found out how to curl my hair properly and it was pretty life changing tbh, I can share that? WHAT DO THEY EXPECT FROM ME?! 

"I, er, have a blog." 

"Ooooh GREAT, on what topic?" 

"Well, erm, me. Mostly. All the time. Yeah it's all about me." 

"...about you? Are you special? Have you overcome a challenge, or are you part of a cult, or are you travelling the world or?"

"...I'm travelling my mind and overcoming challenges within it. *helpful smile* 

I'M WRITING A BOOK. THAT'S A THING. She says, still in the continuous present tense. No but seriously it's a thing and I love it and I will get it done this summer. *stares at tree outside for hours. daydreams. dribbles.*

*fucking asterisks* 

*IF YOU WANT MOVEMENT, LOUISE, MAKE VIDEOS*

*sorry louise, i'll keep that in mind*

*that's alright louise, it's a learning curve for us all*

*it's just so hard, y'know?*

*i understand. i'm sorry for shouting. go and have an apple and watch the tele*

*okay*
 Turns out I got over my phone phobia at 4am after prom.

Productivity Rookie

April 15, 2012

Hey hey guys guys guys guys guess what day it is guess guess.

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiit's THAT SUNDAY WHERE I REALISE I'VE DONE FUCK ALL ALL EASTER :D :D :D :D

Yaaaaaayyyyyyy.

This day pains me so because it's the one day where I'm identical to every other teenager in the UK. And that shit burns my SOUL. Therefore, I always like to make my TSWIRIDFAAE a bit edgy. Starting with spending at LEAST half an hour entwined with my duvet and trying to make my leg look like a chicken in the mirror.


I think you'll find I was rather successful with that challenge. If you look closely, there's a beak on my heel. Reeeaaalll close. Just...there. Got it? Not to mention my toes like the top of its...wait is that a chicken or...oh maybe...well it's poultry alright. I'm a woman of many talents just accept it GOD WHY ARE YOU SO CONDESCENDING jeez.

I will do actual real life work later.

I will. And it's not like I haven't done ANY productive tasks over the last 2 weeks, I mean I did an essaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahaha...oh wait no I did wow. I wrote an essay the other day. 3 whole pages of phenomenally articulate constructions of the English language, bar the last few paragraphs where I essentially did a few scribbles in the hope my teacher deciphers the works of the Gods within them.

Then I read a book about incest which included a BATSHIT MENTAL sex scene involving the phrases: "I feel him twitch inside me." TWITCH. And "I feel it prod my thigh." PROD. HAHA. Yeah, batshit mental. I couldn't take it seriously. Sorry Tabitha Sazuma.

Then Karen Gillan got twitter and I spammed her with love, I couldn't stop myself. I was like a rabid fangirl with no boundaries. Oh no wait I AM one of those. Yeah I should probably fix that. Especially the rabies bit. Just inconvenient. This was me for the first 3 hours of her getting an account, just refreshing manically until she tweeted that she's joined just for me sssshhhhhhhh yes she did tweet that just ssshhhhh now just nod.


Aw, look at me in my work uniform. Such a dedicated employee. I've been at work so much this week that I've become a supermarket nazi. I have no interest in customers who come to my basket till with a trolley. BE GONE. AWAY WITH YOU AND YOUR "BUT IT'S JUST A BASKET ON WHEELS!" CRAP. I also cannot fathom anymore polite amusement at the "IN MONEY IF YOU'VE GOT IT HAHAHAHA" reponse to my "How would you like your cashback?" questionIn all seriousness, I love work and those responses are good compared to the "I'll push it all the way in for you babe ;)" after my "Could you push your card in a bit further please.." yesterday. I suggested he takes his knobness to Lidl.

Feminism's been high on my agenda recently as I'm in the process of planning a UK Rookie site. It's gonna be so bloody brilliant with hilarious young writers. I'm excited. It won't be around for a good few months though because I should probably try and get into university first. But yeah, that's an exciting thing happening. See THIS IS WHY I GET NOTHING DONE. Too many ideas, too little action and TIME. Being aware of Jennifer Lawrence's existence hasn't helped. I've spent about a third of my time watching interviews with her and shouting "OH GOD LET ME LOVE YOU." at my laptop: 


Shouting "OH GOD LET ME LOVE YOU." is becoming a too regular occurrence, but when you've got friends doing stuff like THIS, it's kind of necessary.


So really, can people stop writing mentally addictive books, making legs have the potential to look like a chicken, and being so amazing and nice so I can GET SHIT DONE PLEASE. Thanks. Honestly, you're all so inconsiderate sometimes...

Paraprobablynormal Activity

April 07, 2012

Oh it's pun heaven over here lately isn't it. I regret precisely NOTHING.

...was that title even a pun? Have any of my puns ever been puns? I don't care. I'm calling them puns.

I'm eating fudge, it's lush. Thanks Baby Jeezy C.

TOPIC CHANGER. I don't know if I believe in ghosts, it's never something I've really thought about. My mum does though. She's adamant that after her Nan died she woke up in the middle of the night (my mum, not her nan, because would be WORRYING) and saw her Nan sitting on the end of her bed. They chatted for a while before she put my mum back to bed and said goodnight. Adamant. It wasn't a dream.

I don't want to believe in ghosts until something happens to me. I'm not religious, but I do believe in something. I don't know what that something is, but it's ingrained in my brain that there's something else there. A soul maybe? I want to believe in a soul purely because thinking that we're just a bunch of cells, a machine with systems that need maintaining, is a depressing thought. We're just here to keep the environment provided with carbon dioxide and thus alive. I get freaked out every time I'm hungry or tired, because my mind doesn't WANT to be hungry or tired, it's not a desirable thing. My mind is totally different to my body but where the hell is my mind? And why is it different from everybody else's? I, as a human, am so horrendously complex in my head, that I seem detached from the rest of me. All the time. And I find it not right that we can't control our bodies when it comes to illness and even feelings. No matter how hard you try to not be upset, or embarrassed, or angry, it happens. I failed in trying to find a quote I saw to put here, I think it's by Stephen Fry where he talks about being able to change states, but I found this one by him instead:

“We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing - an actor, a writer - I am a person who does things - I write, I act - and I never know what I'm going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.” - Stephen Fry

That's how I want to think, but right now this machine thing is freaking me out. Being in a hungry and tired state it happens because I essentially need refuelling. Like a machine. THAT'S WEIRD, RIGHT?! TELL ME YOU GET FREAKED OUT BY THAT TOO?!1??!1

So I want souls to be a thing. Or something LIKE a soul, I'm not necessarily using it in religious terms. What about fate? I'm in two minds about fate. I want to believe in fate because of the weird unexplainable occurrences that happen to me. The people I meet, it being a small world, dreaming and fantasising about things and them coming true, seeing a word you've never seen then seeing it everywhere that week, thinking you've seen a friend but it's not them and you see them minutes later. Just odd STUFF that can't just be coincidences. Everything happens for a reason, etc. Fate is my safety blanket, or fatey blanket (lolol) if you will, and whenever something goes wrong or I'm worried about something, I just believe that it WILL happen and everything will be fine. If something's meant to happen then it will happen. I have a direction in life and no matter how much is seems I'm slowing down or veering off, everything will come together and be fine.

But then that's boring. If we're all destined to be or do something, then what's the point? There's no freewill then. No spontaneity, no doing something out of the ordinary, no being daring. Just an excuse to be lazy, waiting for things to happen instead of making them happen. So then, I don't want to believe in fate.

That's why I believe in something. A something without a name, which I like and don't want it to be named because it makes it more flexible, mysterious, and quiet. It doesn't stand out, but I know it's there. I can't explain it, but it makes me feel better.

But then this something freaked me the fuck out big time the other night so we're now on rocky terms.

I've lived on my own this past week while my family were in Devon. No, no no don't, put your car keys down. The house is fine. NO. Disconnect the call. It's FINE. No fires, no break-ins. What? NO! Course I didn't you dirty cow.

On Friday morning, at 5:45am, music woke me up. I thought it was my radio at first, that my alarm had gone off early, but when I slapped it to hush it, it carried on. I had no choice but to properly wake up. Tsk. My next thought was my brother, and even from Devon I wouldn't have put it past him. But as I stood in the middle of my room, delirious with... deliriousness...I figured it was coming from my wardrobe. On top of my wardrobe. This music was still going loud and strong and my ears had deciphered the type. It was a music box. But I don't own a music box. I grabbed my chair and stood on it, not really the best idea when you're practically unconscious and it's a swivel Argos chair. But nevertheless, my hands waded their way through a spider rave where cobwebs were their smoke machine, and the music slowed. The closer to the source I got, the quieter and slower the music became. Then, as I pulled a box full of a old Christening gifts to the front, and grabbed the music box, it stopped. The music stopped dead as soon as I touched it. It was smothered in dust, and I tried to find the knob thing you twist to make it play, but it had broken.

THE MUSIC BOX WAS PLAYING ON ITS OWN.

It hadn't been touched for a good 17 years and was broken. How did it play? It had never done that before. It can't have cued by vibrations, or initiated by a previous twist, because IT WAS BROKEN. I couldn't make it play again when I tried. An inexplicable circumstance.

It was my something; my lovable, my awesome, my creepy as fuck something. And don't tell me otherwise because I want my safety net.

and make fate happen.

.............................................................................................................................

As a side note, I was in Phil Yeo's youtube video last weekend and he's awesome and I'm more Essex than I thought. So if you want to see what I ACTUALLY look and sound like...

running

I'm running with the Olympic torch! :) :) :) :) ... :) ... WAIT WHAT?!

March 21, 2012

May, 2011

"She's just sitting there doing nothing, look at her."

"Yeah, she's been like that for ages. I'm worried, I really am."

"We need to do something. Throw something at her, make her at least breathe a bit deeper."

"Or move." 

"Or that. She shuffles like Pingu now, have you noticed?"

"Hahaha yeah, and she does that thing you know-"

"That *demonstrates* thing yeah hahaha."

"Hahahahahaha."

"*sigh* What a numpty."

*louise stands up, walks to the window, stares out, goes at sits back down to continue scrolling*

"Oh."

"I thought we had progress there."

"I've had enough. Let's make something big happen, like, like PUTTING HER ON TELE!"

"But she's already done that, and coped disappointingly well with it. Formed actual coherent sentences, did some funnies. I even made Jon Snow ask her if she KNITS, and she didn't bat an eyelid."

"True. We need to put her on tele but make her uncomfortable or embarrassed."

"Embarrassing Bodies."

"She's tweets about her boobs, I hardly think that would faze her."

"Slut."

"What does she hate doing?"

"Moving, we've established that."

"Let's make her run."

"But she can't-"

"Running."

"It's a non starte-"

"Running."

"She'll HURT HERSE-"

"Running with fire."

"Look you can't ju-...wait, what?"

"Let's make her run with fire."

"...you are ridiculous. I thought you making her put orange peel up her nose was too far, but THIS?"

"Look, she was only meant to stick it up there a BIT, so it DANGLED, not stick it up so far she nearly DIED."

"You really think we should do this? HOW? Running with fire's not a nor-"

*chariots of fire plays*


"Oh. Oh I see. I SEE. The Olympics! We should make her a TORCHBEARER! You, my friend, are a genius. This is perfect."


"She'll look a mentalist. Remember the bin incident?"


"RAN INTO IT! Still got the scar. "


"Has her toenail grown back from her last running attempt?"

"Idiot. She knew those converses were too small for her."

"Tsk, converses."

"Conhurtses.....HAHAHAHAHA-"

"Stop."

"..."

"So, are we gonna do this then? Make her a torchbearer? Run in front of the nation, in a uniform, grasping a torch alight with THE flame, and, have I mentioned, IN FRONT OF THE NATION?!?!"


*louise turns around quizzically. "Muuuum." "Yeah?" "Did you say something?" "No, but if you want to hoov-" turns up music.*

"Shhuusshhh, we need to keep quiet about this. SHE needs to keep quiet about this....for 10 months."

"TEN? She could have a baby in that time."

"Yeah well I'm not mentioning that palava again, she actually liked that suggestion."

"Send the email then. Go on. Make them choose her. Louise Jones, part of a historical incredible event. Louise Jones. *sobs* Louise Jones THIS IS LOUISE JONES SHE'LL BE A RIGHT TIT NO STO-"

"Done."

"...you've sent it?"

"Yep. Look..."

*louise leans forward towards her laptop. she gasps, mumbling "Shitting hell." before running downstairs screaming "MUUUUM! THEY WANT ME TO RUN WITH THE BLOODY TORCH NEXT YEAR! THEY WANT ME TO...hold on...they want me to RUN..."*

"Oh, God."

"Let the games begin."



March, 2012

Yep. This is happening. I got an email last May asking if I wanted to be a Torchbearer. Not saying I'd be nominated, but that I could just BE one. Yeah, they trust me THAT MUCH with this. Idiots. So, obviously, I said yes, but until now I've had to keep it a secret. I've learnt that when I'm asked to be the next Doctor Who companion I can easily keep THAT a secret after this (Moffat, call me whenevs).

I'm running on Friday 6th July, around 6pm, in Brentwood, and I want loads of you there! This is a pretty big deal so the streets lined with you lot would be ace. I, evidently, cannot run, so need the moral support and dignity put-back-togetherers. Also, if any media type people want to cover me/it then email me: louiseemilyjones@gmail.com. (that's a technicality of this i've been asked to say, i'm not being arrogant, promise)

One foot in front of the other, how hard can it be? VERY HARD, ESPECIALLY WITH A BLOODY EXPENSIVE TORCH THAT'S ON FIRE AND THE WORLD WATCHING. HELP ME. FOR THE LOVE OF NANS. HELP ME. Yeah s'fine whatever love it easy shut up.

Look at you, drinking your tea. You like it do you? Tea? Hmm? Wrongen.

March 11, 2012

"I've had an idea."

I'm doomed in four words.

"You need to start learning how to cook, clean, wash, and budget for when you're at uni..."

"'need' is a strong word..."

"SO, each month from April, I'm going to give you a certain amount of money to spend on your own food, and YOU have to cook every one of your meals. I'm going to stop doing your washing, and cleaning your room too. You should set a day aside each week for you to sort your clothes ......"


Hahahahahahaha going to make me budget hahahahahahaha wash? Hahahahahahaha independencey LOL.

"So, that's what's going to happen. I've already spoken to your dad and he agrees."

Hahahahahahahaha....hahahaha....yeah.....hahahahahahaha.....oh shit she's serious.

I can't be INDEPENDENT. I can cross the Atlantic on my own but that's just following directions. Go West. Done. But sort out my OWN MONEY? WASH MY CLOTHES? IRON? I DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND HOW IRONING WORKS. Essentially, being a proper functioning grown up isn't on my to-do list and I don't intend it to be. YES I'M NEARER 19 THAN 18 NOW BUT THAT'S IRRELEVANT. AGE IS BUT A NUMBER. OR SOMETHING.

I've tried to be a grown up. Really I have. Last weekend I tried TEA. It wasn't an easy process, but I took one for the team and bit the bullet. I had to trick myself into doing it by pretending I was making it for mum. Yep, just a normal cuppa for mum. Niiiiiice tea for mum. Mum's tea. Oop, kettle's boiled. Pouring into mum's mug. Slight bit of milk just how mum likes it. Stirring lalala.

"TEA'S READY MUM."


"...what I di..."


"SHUSH DON'T SPEAK JUST YEP TEA NICE TEA."

Then I had to pretend it was a drink I like. "Oh look a mug with nice liquid I'd like to consume and soothe my dry mouth with." And I picked the mug up,  took it to my lips, and was about to make contact when BAM. EYES FLICKED DOWN, SAW BROWN, STOPPED EVERYTHING IN ITS TRACKS. My brain is too clever for its own good.

"OHHHH HO HO HO WHAT DO WE HAVE HERE, EH?! Who do you think you are, attempting to trick ME into letting you try tea? I thought something fishy was going on when Deception was nowhere to be seen. It wasn't until Personality came bounding in being all idiotic and sarcastic saying shit was going down that I stopped reading Take A Brainbreak and forced your eyes down. What were you THINKING? Drop it. Drop it now."


Silly brain, thinking it can control me. My brain can't control me. Oh, hold on. That's how it works. Nevermind.

I was still determined to try it and sat on the kitchen counter, with the mug at eye level, staring intently at the steam. I sat there for half an hour. Family came in and out, not questioning the sight before them, which explains everything really. Only my brother stopped, head cocked to one side, asking what the hell I was doing.

"Trying tea."


"You don't like tea."


"Times are changing, oh young one. Your time will soon come."


"..."


I didn't move my head, but flicked a sharp eye onto him and he got the message to leave me and my tea alone in peace.

Finally, I closed my eyes and went for it.

...

Half of it went down my chin. I can't drink from mugs, clearly.

...

But the stuff that actually went in my mouth?

...

Vile. Why do you people drink it? It's disgusting and should be stopped. I am strongly against the British stereotype of tea-drinking. I'm starting a revolution. More emphasis on the biscuit consuming and costume dramas, please.

DO YOU LIKE TEA? Comment, I won't judge you. *a look*

Humans are brilliant, said Canada.

February 29, 2012

"Right. Well. I can't go any further now, you're on your own."


This time, I wasn't worried. I felt years older than I had a week previously, and the only thing standing in the way of me at Toronto airport, and me safely happy at home, was the new found happiness, freedom, and confidence sunk at my feet which once danced in front of me. I did not want to go home, and no matter how hard I tried to spend my last day like I should have, this bubblewrap that had surrounded me had begun to pop and there was no way I could stop it. I was quiet, and slow, and my packing was horrific. My packing is never horrific - hello, Virgo - but even my clothes didn't want to leave. Their arms stuck out of the case, just missing a white flag. 


"Hi, how are you?" Yep, that was ME that time, actually making conversation with the security people. If I learnt anything that week is was that, in general, humans are pretty ace and interesting, so you should talk to them. The worst they could do is kill you, which is unlikely, and if they're a horrible person then really you should walk away feeling better about yourself. The confidence that plasters Canadians is admirable, and I fancy me some of that. There are so many opportunities you could miss by not talking to someone, or not saying yes, or not saying no, or not NOTICING what's around you. You may be set in your ways, and are happy with what you know and who you know, but CHEESUS there are so many fantastic people out there and there is so much to KNOW. 


I'd bought my Cadbury's-that-isn't-really-Cadbury's-it's-just-disguised-as Cadbury's-and-made-of-the-runt-of-Nestle and compulsory Niagara Falls magnet for nan. I'd been to the toilet with the sensitive flushes that went off FIVE TIMES while I was STILL WEEING. I was now sitting at the Gate with 3 hours to spare. But I wasn't bored, like I was at Gatwick. I didn't feel like I was lacking in anything to keep me occupied, in terms of material or anything on me. I looked up. I looked up and around and started noticing things with others, instead of noticing anything to do with me. 


The women directly opposite was quite young. She had bright turquoise tights on, and big hair, with a pen behind her ear. She's creative, I assume, and writes whenever she wants. She was sitting cross legged on the chair, bent over a book and chewing her fingers. Not even her nails, her fingers. A good book, obviously. You could tell by the crinkles in her forehead and her not realising the man next to her staring. He was a lot more relaxed, also reading a book, and had a black polo top on and black square glasses. They'd be good together, I thought, and soon enough she was giggling at a remark he made, swirling a section of her hair between her chewed fingers and ignoring the pen falling from behind her ear onto the floor. 


There were 2 boys sitting behind them, probably the same age as me. One was tall and blonde, with a red cap on backwards, and the other as dark haired, shorter, with glasses. Both with thick black coats on, and creased over laughing. I wonder what about. Maybe they're laughing at memories of the past week, or at someone around them,  or maybe one just said 'willy'. The dark haired one leaned back after a while, and the blonde held his head at his knees. Well, it WAS nearly 10pm and 3am in the UK. Maybe their poor little bodies were still suffering from jet lag. Bless.


One girl down the row of my seats hadn't got off her phone for hours. A black girl, slightly older than me, with a propa Laandan accen?. You couldn't miss her. Bright yellow hoody, jeans, UGG boots, a small patterned suitcase, and a designer tan handbag. A red streak in her hair and long acrylic nails. Shame her cared for look didn't match her stroppy, moody personality. I shouldn't judge, she may have had trouble, but she was rude, and there isn't any excuse for that. As the flight started to board, she was up like a shot and someone nudged her as they scrambled into a line. She gave him the once over and swished her high ponytail while rolling her eyes. I decided I wouldn't talk to her.


I didn't really like the couple in front either. Older couple, in typical travelling tracksuits. He had a phenomenal white moustache going on, which was an ace comparison to his baldness, and old skool big headphones draped around his neck. But whenever he leaned forward, with his eyes closed, she immediately massaged his shoulders. Not one word spoken between them. They seemed happy, nonetheless, but something made me uncomfortable and twitch. 


As the Gate lounge emptied, and the boarding line shortened, a family in a kerfuffle tagged on at the end. Mum, dad, 2 boys, 1 girl. The girl must have been about 8 years old, and was decked out in designer clothing, clutching a big teddy and Hollister bag. Shouldn't judge that sight either, as I was sitting in my new Abercrombie & Fitch hoody, but I decided she was spoilt anyway. The older boys were totally different. The eldest, about 14, had broken his arm. Maybe he'd done it skiing. He was looking down, scuffing his trainers, while his younger brother, 11? was moaning at his dad about something. The poor parents looked tired and ignored everything around them; solely focused on 'getting on that bloody plane home'.


Finally, they called my seat, and maybe I was the one then being thought about. I wouldn't have minded. I always wonder how people perceive me from the outside. I see me in the mirror, and I see me in photos, then videos, then dreams, then opinions, and they're all so different. Maybe it'd be nice to have someone analyse you without knowing anything about you. Whenever someone says "You're so *enter quality here*" I either don't agree, or have never thought about me being like that. It's odd, the notion of someone knowing something about you that you don't even recognise. It starts that age old debating about whether you're destined and pre-set from the start, or whether you choose what you're like. I have no idea what I'm like and hope that somewhere someone has written something about me. Tabula Rasa. Blank slate. 


It was only when I was sat in my seat, that I realised again what I was actually doing. Going home. I'd spent so long noticing everything around me that I forgot me. Which was pretty awesome, while it lasted. A rather attractive man sat down next to me and opened a book, so I opened mine. He helped me switch on the light above and I helped him figure out movie channels. Then I noticed red stains on his jeans and thought he must be a murderer so shot my fantasy down.


I didn't want to come home. But like every experience, it changed home. I want to know about people and have them intrigue me, because I'm fed up of being stuck around me. Yes, I'm insinuating that I'm selfish and self-centred, essentially. I'm walking talking human instinct, but what makes us incredible is that we can reason and socialise and use language. So I'm going to do it. Rack up the confidence my cousins have over the sea and go out and talk, and do stuff, and meet people. Maybe I'm stating the obvious with all of this, but sometimes we need to be reminded of the obvious because that's the basis of everything else. 


Life Lessons with Louise over, you are dismissed. 


         Well I had to get one mental photo at the airport, as well as being                   intellectually sophisticated, otherwise people would start worry. 

Your mission, should you choose to accept: Cross the Atlantic on your own. LOL.

February 25, 2012

"Right. Well. I can't go any further now, you're on your own."


I was biting down on my passport and boarding card so tightly inbetween my teeth that dad had to prise them out slowly, while my eyes were fixed on the security archways, like I was a teething baby. Up until that point, everything had been fine. I'd checked in fine, sent my suitcase off, answered "WINDOW!!1!!!1!1!" before the check in girl had even finished her seat preference question. Now, dad was yabbering away with "Text mum when you're on the plane. Actually, text her when you're through security, then sitting down in the lounge, then walking to the gate. She's your mum. I'm surprised she hasn't phoned to ask if you got up these escalators okay." I wasn't really listening. I was focusing more on the lack of saliva in my mouth, lips looking like they'd been fighting a cheese grater, and sweaty palms, smearing the ink on the boarding card. Now I didn't know whether I was in seat 23 or 38.

"I thought I'd booked a plane, not a tube! Haha! HAHAHAHAHA! Ah." The woman manning the new security gate just stared at me, chewing gum, with a look of 'bitch that's the 8th time I've heard that joke just this morning now leave' on her ever drooping face. I was hysterical. My emotions had gone haywire, and if no one was finding me funny in England then I had no hope in Canada. "REMEMBER TO EMAIL WHEN YOU GET THERE!" dad called, before I was directed into a line and people blocked my view behind me. Then he was gone. I was now totally alone and, somehow, had to get over the Atlantic by myself.

"Shoes off." Rude. Please and a smile would be nice. The archway had bleeped and a woman frisked me like a dog with two penises (that's the first simile that came to me, i'm really sorry). But she really did frisk me and I was glad I'd put my best fitting bra on. By the time I'd made it to the lounge, I felt rather exposed so went and bought a load of chocolate and handcream. My hands were flaking and I genuinely thought someone would think I had a disease and subsequently not let me on the plane. Turns out, putting handcream on incredibly dry hands isn't the best thing to do. They turned a shocking red colour, accompanied by a screaming rash and I swear to God they were vibrating. What the bloody hell was I meant to do now? I sat in the lounge, a quizzical expression staring at these anthropomorphised hands, and said "Oh dear.", acquiring the attention of the woman next to me who also adopted the quizzical expression. They effing hurt! No time to ask for help though, because my flight was called. I was now a flakey, rashy, chapped, dry, sweaty disaster. This wasn't starting to feel like such a good idea after all.

Thankfully by the time I was at the gate, my hands stopped their screaming and calmed down. They'd realised I was only trying to help them. I phoned my nan, who made me go through the brace position with her and what to do if my toes got too cold in Canada. I phoned mum, who wanted to know the demographic of my flight. I phoned Megan, who gave me strict instructions for capturing Justin Bieber, and I was going to phone others before the man next to me did a massive sigh so I thought better of it. Excitement took over fear now. I bloody love planes, and had a perfect window seat by the wing of the plane. I could see the flappy bits come out and the wind against the metal, looking like the monster bin in Monster Cafe. I'm glad you understand what I'm talking about. Just before we took off, a man on a crane sprayed green liquid all over the wings. I have never seen that before but it's obviously necessary so I gave him a massive grin and enthusiastic thumbs up. Unlike gum woman, he actually responded, in typical British fashion with a tight smile and short nod. Success.

I was proud of myself for not constantly manically hitting the woman next to me as we were taking off, like I would have done with mum, reminding her that "WE'RE GOING WE'RE GOING WE'RE GOING WE'RE GOING FASTER FASTER FASTER SCREAM WE'RE IN THE AIR I'M FLYING SCREAM HIGHER HAHAHA OW MY EARS HAHA MAKE IT STOP NO SERIOUSLY." Although I MAY have done, because I'm adamant she was poking and prodding me on purpose as I tried to sleep in the most awkward position. I woke up with my mouth open, face planted against my engraved cased phone...yep...which was now indented on my cheek. This was going WELL. My full page drawing of different sized circles, and bark laughs at watching Happy Feet on my phone, didn't really evoke the best of me and the woman did at one point ask if I was okay, with a slight head tilt and eyebrow raise. I muttered "Fine thanks" as tears streamed down my indented cheeks, and I wiped them away with my slightly rashy hands.

The annoying woman did come in handy, however, as we had to fill out our Canadian declaration forms before landing. If I'd have been left to my own devices, I would have said I was born on the 93rd September in 2009, making me a smart 2 year old making virtuous errors with nice handwriting. I had to really think about my nationality, am I English or British? Do I have animals in my luggage? How long am I staying here for again? I almost wrote H O P E L E S S as my name. But I did it, and we landed, and all I had to do now was get through tight customs, get my case, and find my auntie.

I waited at customs for over an hour.

Over an hour.

I didn't have WiFi.. I'd run out of water. I'd run out of chocolate. My feet hurt. It was hot. I was BORED. I watched the customs lady interrogate our flight like we'd committed murders whilst illegally downloading films onto stolen laptops at the same time. By the time I got there, I'd formulated answers to every possible question she could throw at me. "Have you ever caused harm to another human being?" "Matt punched me first." "Do you have any plans to take large quantities of food through?" "Our chocolate is better than yours." "What are your plans for the immediate future?" "Get through your questioning then eat said chocolate." But in reality all she asked me was, "Who are you staying with?" and I growled an answer of "My aundee" because I hadn't spoken in a long time and my mouth was still dry. I legged it before she could rethink my poor existence.

My suitcase has a red strap with my name on (thanks mum), so it's always easy to spot. So I stood, and I waited. People arrived, people left. The belt emptied. I waited. After 20 minutes, I was sure my suitcase was lost. There was one suitcase that went past me three times, identical to mine. But it didn't have the red strap. So it wasn't mine. "Are, are there any more to, er, come out?" I stuttered to an airport employee who cheerfully said "Nope!" before asking how I was and where I was from and "YOU'RE ADORABLE!" and I was definitely in Canada now. Turns out, if a case looks like yours and hasn't been picked up after the fourth time it's been round, IT'S BLOODY YOURS. My strap was lost/stolen/smart by finding a new sane owner, but I had everything now. I ran towards Arrivals where my auntie was waiting with a flashing camera, and collapsed on her repeating "I did it. I bloody did it."


Because I did. I got to Canada by myself. I was, officially, a clever, independent, adventurous, confident woman.

...

Kind of.

                                    Survival confirmation for mum 

feminism

Project Perfect

February 09, 2012

I went shopping to Westfield with one of my best friends, Gen, last night. Gen is tall, skinny, and blonde *look to camera*. But there was a moment during our spree, and I use that word in the most elasticated term, when she was sighing and mumbling, head deep amongst underwear rails, sifting through to find her size. She couldn't and started moaning at me about having small boobs. (I'll buy her food to make up for this public tit description.)

It was funny, seeing this generically perfect specimen having a proper strop over it, because I've never had that problem. It's the one thing I've never had to worry about. I thought, "Sweet. Now we're even. She doesn't like her small boobs, I don't like my fat hips." But then I thought, "No. That's doesn't make us even at all, because there's nothing to get even about in the first place. Gen looks like Gen, and I look like me. Done."


I'm taking part in Project Perfect, set up by Amy who is rallying together bloggers to divulge in their flaws and express their assets, in order to show everyone that even those who maybe naturally conform to the media notion of 'perfect' aren't so. Also, to prove what should be an obvious point that everyone is totally unique and it's impossible to look the same as someone else. I wonder where this 'perfect look' came from. Who came up with it? I don't get it. It baffles me more that those who try and promote this perfection DON'T EVEN LOOK THAT WAY. 



So, firstly, a photo I like of myself and 3 reasons why:


1) I like my eyes. My eyes are ace. They are big and blue and if all else fails I will widen them and stare at you intently until you become captivated.

2) You can see the streak of blonde in my hair. I know it's black and white so you can't really tell, but I have blonde highlights and I'm so glad I went back to blonde. My hair's really thick too which, although can cause it to be bolshy and, in both sense of the term, big-headed, I know I'm lucky to have. I've learnt that big hair is good.

3) You can't see the state of my terrible skin! There's a reason why my chin's buried and somehow I managed to look posey instead of hidey. Points to Louise for clever framing.

I frustrate myself constantly by hating on parts of my body. I KNOW I shouldn't give a shit, and I KNOW I look okay, and I KNOW if I tried to look like others then I'd lose who I am, but I still look at myself sometimes and think, "Mate, what is going on with that flab on your hips. I mean really. Sort it out."


So, 3 things I DON'T like about the way I look, but they're just assets in disguise:

1) I stick out in bad places. My hips and my stomach in particular. I'm a size 12, which is fine and pretty average, but I'm fed up of not being about to wear tight fitting dresses. But then if I wore a tight fitting dress, I wouldn't be able to eat or indeed breathe. And food and oxygen are nice.

2) My skin is dreadful. It's getting better, to be fair, but the problem now is scarring. I've tried a gazillion face products, and at the moment the Elemis range and Garnier Exfo-Brusher Wash seem to be helping, along with make-up. All hail make-up. I've also learnt to guide people away from my skin by wearing more eye make-up or lipstick/lipgloss. Enhancing the positives. Anyway, I totally blame hormones for my skin and now I'm 18 it should naturally get better.

3) Hamster. You can't tell in that photo, but I have proper chubby cheeks and I'd rather have a more structured face shape to be fair. But then I'd look, well, structured, which is boring, and I suppose chubby cheeks can be cute.

See, changing your flaws into assets is easy. Your flaws aren't even flaws anyway; they're assets too and make you DIFFERENT. Different is just always promoted as bad, which is so ridiculous. Why on earth would you want to blend in to the crowd? I stare at photos on Facebook of girls all wearing the same types of dresses and heels, adopting the same pose with identical hairstyles and none stand out. I wouldn't want to talk to any one of those girls because they don't look individual. If you want to attract attention, why look the same? Do your own thing, you plum.

I don't usually watch TV shows like How To Look Good Naked, or 10 Years Younger, or Genericise Me (it's only a matter of time), but Gok's Teens: The Naked Truth had me hooked this week. I was meant to be involved in the show during production by interviewing Gok Wan about it, but timing got the better of it and I couldn't. I was gutted at the time, but GOOD GOK (lol) I was kicking myself in frustration after watching because the man's a hero. I want a Gok hug and pep talk. He brought a group of girls to tears after showing them the whole process of a magazine modelling shoot, and essentially told everyone that everything is going to be okay. Everything IS okay.

When you really think about it, you can say so many more good things about your body than bad. Accentuating the 'bad' is just a human condition which when stripped to the bare bones is a load of tosh. Basically we're a bunch of flapjacks who need a bit of perspective and confidence knocked into us. I like me.
I like YOU. You are brilliant. No, you are not perfect. Perfect is boring. Perfect, in an existential meaning, means you have nothing to work on or learn from. But you ARE brilliant, because you can realise you're not perfect. Superficiality is rubbish and I'd much rather focus on flaws in my personality. Flaws in your personality can potentially harm you and others, but what you look like can't.

*scans writing for clichés* Nope. All good.

Please get involved in this. If you blog, take part and write a Project Perfect post. Remember to link it to me too. I want to read about how goddamn hot you are. If you don't blog, just comment below with 3 things you like about the way you look, and 3 things you don't but then turn them into positives. It'll make you feel great, I promise.