Creativity – Changing stuff, being happier, repeating.

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Last week I went on a really good date night. It was good because it was a Thursday and that means it was nearly Friday and there’s never anything bad about that. It was also good because it involved an evening spent in the company of Caitlin Moran – funny Times columnist and author of books which I immensely enjoy.

It was a fairly low key event in The Troxy where she was interviewed by a fellow Times columnist and they talked about all sorts and it was funny and relatable and at times very touching. There was a game of ‘shag, marry, avoid’ involving Trump, talk of masturbating, talk of smelling of soup and talk of being scared of men. I saw Caitlin talk about life and writing at an almost identical event a few years ago and I took away from that exactly what I did from this one – I should stop doing stuff creatively that I don’t like that much and do whatever I want, even if that’s not much at all.

What this did was reinforce a feeling I’ve had for some time now. I haven’t been using my blog or social media in the same way as I have done over the last few years lately because this feeling that it wasn’t really what I wanted to write or do or put my name on kept resurfacing. I’ve been busier than ever before the past five months and this all consuming time has left me unable to blog much, but I also just haven’t wanted to. Massive cba vibes all round, which is not really what you’re meant to admit to people but it’s true. I haven’t wanted to blog, or tweet much or interact online because I started feeling increasingly like I hate everything I’m doing. Instead I’ve been enjoying my job more, getting out more in my spare time and trying to relax and lay off grinding my teeth.

I think when I started out blogging and trying to learn more about online platforms it was for a specific goal. I was looking to change jobs and do something more focused and when I achieved that, for a while it spurred me on to do more. Then after that time, I found myself doing the same as everyone else in what is a very over-saturated market. This feeling has lingered. My time has been limited. My energy has lessened. My motivation for this thing I used to love has frittered away.

I knew all of these feelings existed but I just sort of kept covering them up. I was putting concealer on my creative crisis. Like, hello massive life zit making me feel quite awful, let me just dab you with some nice nude cover-up until you look and feel even worse and people point and stare.

It took that evening of listening to one of my favourite inspirational women who openly tweets about the importance of weeing after you get laid in the battle against cystitis and writes columns about politics and women’s rights at the same time, to truly realise I was fully over my need to blend in and tick boxes. Caitlin Moran talks a lot about having a platform and using it to be honest and open and to reach people in a way you’re comfortable with. That’s why I came to this part of the Internet. That why I started giving WordPress some of my hard earned dollar, but it’s not the same anymore.

I don’t want to write about stuff I see tweeted onto my timeline everyday because I don’t feel I have anything new to offer. People are already doing a mighty fine job in that corner of the market and I don’t feel like it’s my cup of tea anymore. That doesn’t mean I won’t still read it, because I will, I love reading about other people’s lives. I just don’t want to do stuff just to do stuff. I don’t want to have this schedule of box ticking. I don’t want to do what people expect. I want to do stuff that I like, even if only two people read it and one of them is having IT issues and they’re stuck on my website involuntarily.

That is fine. I am happy with that. Sometimes I force my dog to sit on my lap when I feel down and she always comes round to it eventually. If you are stuck on this website I hope you’re easing into it. If not, apologies. Ask Siri to help you.

I know what I want to do with my spare time now. I have this almost fully formed idea in my head of what to burn creative energy on and what my hobbies will be over the next year.

It does involve doing stuff on here and it does involve trying to knit again even though I heard my mum and nan snickering secretly at my first effort (low point). I will essentially do what I want. I will enjoy it. It will be great (probably). Now I am going to lay down because I ate a lot of Thai food then ran for a train and it’s painful.

10 sources of happiness at age 26 and a half


The past few weeks have been stressful, busy and really long. When I say really long, obviously I mean they’ve gone ridiculously fast and here we are staring down the barrel of 2017 and more importantly, CHRISTMAS AGAIN! I’m just saying they’ve been long because it fits with my current ‘life is hard’ mantra. 

How it’s time to start wheeling out mince pies and making plans with every friendship group you have to go ice skating, I’ll never ever know, but this year it’s welcome. I need festive fun and lighthearted gingerbread snowmen and twinkly lights and all that other jazz. The lead up to Christmas is full of stuff that remind me of childhood happiness, which leads me onto happiness now. 

Happiness. Happiness when you’re aged 26 and a half like me, or you know, a few years either side of that. The past weekend has been a chance to breathe and do stuff that oozes happiness- mostly edible, but still, and I’ve realised how much happiness has changed for me. These days, these are the things that make me feel fuzzy or say YAY out loud: 

1) A really well baked cake. Like, a cake you can try while it’s baker eagerly looks on and comment on how moist it is and how perfect the filling is and ask what the recipe is even though you know it’s blatantly BBC Good Food. 

2) Rain. A day where it rains like the world is ending (let’s say Sunday) so you have the perfect, damp excuse to just stay indoors and not do the washing you had planned and not move much and feel actually rested. 

3) Waking up in a house that was cleaned the day before. I never thought I would be this person. I never thought the faint smell of bleach and clean bedding and lemony stuff would make me feel content BUT IT DOES. 

4) Waking up after 8am. Every week that passes sees my ability to sleep in diminish slightly further, even more so with a hangover. 

5) Quiet public transport. Yes, this is essentially a list of what’s most boring but isn’t it true? Isn’t people not shouting, not having loud phone calls with their cousin, not cackling and not arguing on your train carriage the greatest thing? 

6) Caffetiere smell. Needs no further explanation.

7) Those amazing ‘dine in for two’ meals that M&S started and now most supermarkets have copied that sometimes come with wine and can definitely be a dine in experience for one when the hunger is real. 

8) A really well ordered and empty inbox. 

9) Jeans that fit. I never really appreciated well-fitted jeans until this year when I discovered well-fitted jeans. There’s no going back to jeans that bunch up at the knee or slide down your bum. 

10) A clear, sunny view of my home city. 

Keeping friends and staying happy

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I know it’s said by so many people in their twenties every single day and might cause people to roll their eyes, but being an adult IS hard. I mean, there could definitely be less decisions, more freedom and longer annual leave allowances- I don’t think that’s too much to ask. It’s also hard to strike a good balance where you find time to do things that make you happy, if you can remember what those things are, of course.

I still think of really silly, small things as sources of happiness and a lot of them haven’t changed much from when I was younger. Stuff like pizza (you know it’s true), sleeping in, booking holidays, laying in really hot baths, swimming, cheese, melted cheese, baking- the list goes on in that fashion. Apart from it being fairly obvious that food with a high calorie content brings me joy, it also makes me realise how few ‘big’ things I can list.

I have my family, and I have travel which will always be givens and probably the same for loads of you, but the other thing is friends. I love my friends. I feel like  I’ve made good friend choices over the years but as you get older friendships really change. The dynamics of friendships and groups and how much time we have to dedicate to each other changes. Relationships start to play a part, work changes how we spend our time and then there’s the scary factor of people starting to move away. I’d happily round up my friends, go back to my uni town, put them all in a house and camp out there for a while, so I can see everyone and have the kind of buzzing social life I used to have. Maybe just minus the £4 corner shop wine.

I still make time to see my friends at weekends, and the ‘let’s get dinner’ thing has become a massive part of my working week. I would say I manage to get in a couple of after work social sessions a week and they definitely help to break the monotony- but I feel like when you spend a lot of time being ground down by life and feeling tired from work, you need your friends.

You need the boost of a stupid message with a link to something funny. You need the offer of a few drinks on a Friday or a few hours roaming around shops and talking about life. Also, I feel like friends are really important for later in life, so it’s important to put the time in now.

I’m going away with some of mine in a couple of weeks and now it’s looming nearer I literally can’t wait to go. I just want to be with my friends for more than a couple of hours. I want to lounge around with them and eat bad food and stay up late and relax and feel human again. I also want to feel the way I do when I spend a lot of time with people who I’ve chosen as life companions-  cheerful and refreshed.

21 ridiculous things people in their 20s have said to me

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1) He wrote a song about Anne Frank. It’s one for the wank bank.

2) Are wolves mythical?

3) what’s the Vatican?

4) I accidentally liked one of his Instagram photos from 2 years ago and panicked and just deleted Instagram completely then got drunk.

5) I haven’t heard back from any jobs so I’m just concentrating on men adoring me.

6) Who was that black guy who sang r&b songs in the 90s? Had a few hits?

7) I got the job and immediately went out and spent £100.

8) I had to get up at 3am and just finish off the block of cheese. So hungry.

9) I took my knickers off because I couldn’t breathe and now I can’t find them anywhere. (In a club)

10) Do you want to go eagle handling? I’m not joking.

11) The nurse asked me what I had to drink last night so I told her about the port, the tequila and the beer and then she gasped, so I just didn’t tell her the rest.

12) The gas man came to fix the boiler and there was a champagne cork wedged in there.  So yeah, that’s why it broke.

13) I came downstairs really hungover to get some water and the letting agency man was changing the wrong light fixture but it was really awkward and I didn’t say anything. The actual broken light is still broken.

14) I got to the airport and when they searched my bag they found a knife and two forks and I just denied they were mine. They are mine though, for my lunch at work.

15) I thought seahorses were only cartoons, like in Little Mermaid.

16) I washed and tumble dried an asthma inhaler. Can you imagine if it exploded?

17) My friend’s brother went on a date and didn’t realise until an hour in that the guy had one arm.

18) Starwars is the film where they all wear grey wet suits and there’s a bear? No?

19) When boys stay over I just make them wear my mouse pyjamas and then they have to leave at like, 5am.

20) I woke up on my doorstep and my landlord had to step over me to get inside.

21) I attempted to make toast four times and failed. I just give up. What’s the point?

22) I got a new job and cooked an amazing dinner with vegetables and I’m so proud of myself I just cried a little bit.