Just under two years ago I met a lovely man. I asked him out and I was quite surprised and excited when he said yes. We got on really well, we went to the cinema and to a couple of gigs and out for food. One night when I got a lift home from a friend and our evening was cut a little short, he walked across the city to see me.
When I was in primary school we did loads of cool art things that I don’t get to do any more. I could do something about this; I could build a makeshift flower press; I could take out some crayons and paper and head out for a walk to take some rubbings; I could even buy a load of different pasta shapes and make a collage, but I am less likely to do any paper marbling at home. Mainly because I can’t really remember how to do it and I don’t really remember what equipment I might need.
So when I saw that my friends at Edge of the Universe Printing Press were running a series of workshops last Summer I signed myself up straight away. It’s just taken me this long to type up my notes about what we got up to!
I went along to have a go at marbling and book binding in a two part session. Sarah and David divided up the participants into two groups, one tacking the marbling first and the others working on the book binding. I had brought along some coloured paper, trimmed to A5 size, and sat myself down to bind my little book first.
This post contains some issues that may be triggers for people. Please do comment below if you would like to.
When I was 13 I was walking across the courtyard of school, just chatting to a friend and heading to a lesson. Three older boys were walking in the opposite direction, one veered towards me, groped my breasts and walked on laughing.
When I was 16 I was traveling on bus in Oxford, sitting by the window when a young man came and sat by me. When he sat down his hand brushed my leg, he apologised and I said not to worry. As the journey progressed his hand resting against the side of my leg started moving further up my thigh. I squirmed towards the window to move away but there was nowhere to move to. I got off the bus three stops early to get away from him, but he stood up followed me, pushed himself up against my bottom so that I could feel his erection. He smiled at me, shrugged and walked off.
On Friday the 13th of May I got up stupidly early, took the tram to the station, sat on a train bound for Manchester and made my way to the absolutely huge Paperchase store that they have there. Now I like stationary as much as the next girl, but that’s not my reason for making the trek, oh no! I was going to learn a new technique for making things, lino cutting.
I’ve seen lino cut prints before but I’ve never actually tried it before, so when I was sent a link to the Paperchase Project craft workshops it caught my eye immediately and it turns out I bought the first ticket.
The class takes place on the first floor, but you have to pass through a mezzanine level to get there. The lass who was teaching us introduced herself, but I’m afraid I forgot to write down her name, so if you work at the Manchester shop please tell me so that I can amend this! Continue reading
Winter is flowing into Spring once again and although it’s nearly May (yes, I know it’s May now that I’m typing this up, but let’s just stick with it.) the forecast threatens snow today.
I have arrived at work two hours early, because I can’t keep track of my calendar at the moment, I’ve drunk too much coffee and so am drinking lots of water and forcing myself to write. Why am I forcing myself to write? Because I’ve not been writing and it’s a good habit to get myself back into.
So in the last 6 months I have worked, read lots of books*, done a bit of screen printing, investigated European folk patterns and embroidery on a superficial level, watched some films, cut and dyed my hair, walked along a river and seen a heron standing before me, looked after my sister, read some more books and made a mess of my bedroom. I keep trying to control the bedroom mess but it’s having none of it.
The day before the Hartlepool Festival I had an accident, my knee dislocated and it was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life. If you are a bit squeamish then it’s probably best not to read on at this point – to be honest, for the last two weeks even telling people about it (everyone wants to know) makes me feel faint.
I’d been in Hartlepool for all of an hour, been round a few of the venues we were due to use for the festival and I was hungry and bursting for the loo, so we headed back to Crump’s house for refreshments. I got through the door and her dog jumped up to say hello, I must have been at the wrong angle because his little jump knocked my leg and my knee popped out of place.
I’ve been on online dating site for about a year now. I had one site recommended to me by a friend who had met her husband through it. I’ve not had any luck with it, perhaps because of its matching procedure – people’s answers to questions are sometimes prescribed and sound really tired and annoying. It might be because I’m picky or because I don’t put myself across well online, who knows?
So I’ve signed up to another site which I got quite excited by initially – so many attractive men nearby – hooray! (I’m also reading their profiles, not just focusing on looks) I’ve sent out a good number of messages to people, a couple have replied, so that’s nice. I’ve also had a number of messages from guys I’ve not replied to yet. I feel a bit bad about that, but I don’t want to lead people on, nor send a message that basically says ‘Yeah, not so much thanks…’ because that seems harsh. Perhaps that’s better than not doing anything, I’ll have a think.
The worst message I’ve received so far is ‘Hey babes, I’d let you domm me anytime.’
Firstly, we’re going with a pet name, a plural at that and secondly, no small talk? No light hearted chatting to get to no someone? Straight into a rubbishy come on. He’s been blocked.
I’ve been a bit quiet again recently, sorry! But I’ve been making stuff for my brother’s wedding, dying my hair and working a bit too.
Have a look at what the weekend brought here:
More updates soon I promise!
Ah, the world of internet dating.
Every so often I begin to think it’s a really good idea, that I can get to know people, communicate with them and see where things go from there. These are normally times when I get a general feeling that I could really do with a boyfriend, as I find myself eating a large amount of toast and watching Grey’s Anatomy from the beginning again.
Speaking of Grey’s Anatomy, I’ve been re-watching a fair bit (as I am prone to) and this little quote from new doctor, Maggie Pearce, jumped out at me:
Maggie: There’s a gap. Between me and most people. There’s just always has been. I used to think I was younger in school but even after school. The gap, it just got bigger. And more impossible. I wasn’t too young, I was just too different. So I know what it looks like when I say yes to Ethan. It’s fun and we’re happy for a while until it’s not. Things always get awkward and weird so I over correct and he misinterprets and then we’re not on the same page anymore cause we were always miles and miles apart with this gap between us, pretending it wasn’t there. I don’t wanna pretend. I came here to work and just stay focused on that, and I’m fine on my side of the gap. I’m a little lonely but fine. There’s just no point to me saying yes.
Now this is not entirely me, but there are some aspects that made me just think ‘Yep! That’s it!’, specifically thinking there’s a gap and me over stressing an interest in something the other person likes that I’m not so bothered about. For example, a couple of months ago I meet a man who was stupidly beautiful and as I got chatting to him I found he was into comics. I like comics, I’ve seen a fair few film adaptations but I’m by no means an expert, but I could get away with a shallow level discussion about them. But why would that be a good idea? Feigning an interest in something to get someone to like me? That’s not a good way to go ahead. I’ve done that lots with men and perhaps that’s why I’m still single. Because I wasn’t being me.
But, every so often I think ‘Come on, you’re a grown up, it shouldn’t be this hard.’
So I sign up to a site. I start off quite eager, sending off messages to people I think I’d get on with and getting excited when I get the email through saying I’ve got a new message or something. Then my enthusiasm sags as they admit to enjoying hunting with dogs or that their mum is their best friend and they do really enjoy going on holiday with her twice a year or that their favourite band is U2.
As regular readers may know, at the moment I am looking for work. I’m doing volunteering and applying for loads of jobs but no luck yet. It’s only a matter of time.
What this does mean, however, is that I have to regularly go to the job centre so they can see how I’m getting on and I can get a small amount of money to live on.
About a month ago I had an interview at Sheffield Uni and then had to go in later than usual to the job centre. Everyone was on their lunch, but I had to go and pick up a little boy I was babysitting, so the supervisor agreed to see me and was lovely and very helpful. She was going to head downstairs with me to find some extra forms that might be useful for me, but just had to deal with something else, so asked me to wait a second.
Now since I had been to the interview, I was a little dressed up – a 1930s style green dress, cardi, heels and even had foundation and mascara on. I got up from my seat, started putting on my coat and one of the security guards came over to keep an eye on one of the other visitors and started talking to me. He said I looked nice, I said thanks, I’ve been to an interview. He didn’t ask how it went but asked me if I had a boyfriend.
When I was younger, maybe 8 or 9, I loved anything on TV that involved Tony Robinson – obviously Blackadder, Maid Marion and her Merry Men and Time Team but he also did a fantastic show based on Bible stories called ‘Blood and Honey’. I would go every week to the library and borrow the cassette of ‘Odysseus the greatest hero of them all’ that was written by Robinson and Richard Curtis, read by Robinson. I’m not sure if anyone else got to borrow it much because I always had it. I’m not sure how it survived so many listens. I loved the way Robinson read it, doing all the voices and putting in all the drama, just like he did on the telly.
Mum and Dad must have been sick of listening to it over and over, because for Christmas that year they got me two new story tapes – The Light Fantastic and Equal Rites. Of course, they were read by Tony Robinson, and so in a round about way I was introduced to the brilliant world of Terry Pratchett. I’m not sure that my parents knew what they’d introduced me to.
Today, March the 8th, is International Women’s Day.
These days it seems that every day is national this or international day of that, so why should we take notice of this? Why should we care about today and celebrate it?
There are days,
There are days when your life clouds over
and the world gets so dark
that all at once you can’t tell night from day.
There are times
when your heart cries ‘this isn’t happening’
but the truth is cold and real
and I know this storm won’t go away
‘It’s her or me’ from Miss Saigon, by Boublil and Schonberg
I’ve been quiet on here for the last few months. I know some people have dropped by to see if anything has been written and I have tried to, but it’s been a difficult end to the year.
Not many people know, but I’ve been off sick from work for 2 and a bit months. Mental health issues are still quite taboo in our society and I don’t really understand why. It’s something that can affect anybody and yet still it’s not something we feel confident talking about. I have depression, which I think is something that I’ve been battling with for a decade and it’s dreadful. This bout has definitely been the worse of the lot. A stressful job, moving to a new area, not having much if a social life, various things that have happened in the past, lack of money all building together until I essentially cracked. I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t go outside without having a panic attack and I couldn’t go to work. It’s such a difficult thing to describe. I get frustrated with myself because I can’t physically do things that I want or need to do. I can’t get out of bed. I can’t speak to people. I don’t have any outward physical manifestation of this, there is just this mental block, a cloud, a haze that won’t let me through. Then I spend time arguing with myself in my head – you know what you need to do, just get up, just get up, just move yourself, just stop wallowing in self pity and get up and do something. But it’s no good. There is some chemical imbalance at the moment. There is something just stopping me whether I want to or not. Ruby Wax says it better than me, so here she is:
Eight months ago, I started writing a book. Over the next 3 months I wrote about 12,000 words that make up the beginning and some of the middle of the story. Then I got a bit stuck, the inspiration left me as I spent my evenings talking to fellow travellers, rather than just siting on a bunk with my computer writing.
I was ill last week with a horrible bug. I’ll not go into details but it wasn’t pleasant. And whenever I’m ill something horrendous happens to my face and my hair. All nutrients and good stuff that get whizzed around by the little red and white blood cells get re-deployed to fight whatever is battering me. I picture it like this:
If you want to understand how it works, then this instructional video will definitely help. Despite watching days, weeks, probably months of House, ER, Grey’s Anatomy and all that jazz, this is still how I picture the inside of my body. I love those red blood cells. I’m far too susceptible to TV programmes.
Anyway, by Saturday I was almost feeling normal and the only way I could make myself fell almost human again was to get my hair cut. I’ve been growing it since last January, only having a small trim and getting my fringe cut in, so that’s what I planned to have done again. Or get it cut really short, one or the other.
It started reasonably well, with the bleach going on to boost my red and blue streaks, the brown going on to sort out all the grey roots. I chatted to the lady, she seemed quite busy. I said that I was going to try and keep it long and to get some long layers in.