Rambles, rants and raves

A lot of opinions spilling out of my brain


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A love story in 100 words

There once was a woman (not a girl) who met a man.

They did not fall in love immediately but got to know each other, became more and more curious and enthralled and eventually without even realising it had happened, they fell in love.

It was good, then hard, then they worked at it and kept working at it and it stayed being good. There were no break ups and no dramas. There were fights and shouting and apologies quickly followed.

There are kisses, hugs, touching. It is fun and hard and entertaining and exciting and difficult and easy. Indescribable.


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The art of missing

Last September was the month that the boy and I went from living together in our tiny, cold student flat to me moving back home, around an hours drive away. His degree is a year longer than mine so as I graduated and left to go back home, he had to hang around and finish off that ever-so expensive university education. And so began what our time apart.

We are six months into our time apart. His graduation will not mean us instantly moving in together because I haven’t won the lottery yet and my money tree doesn’t seem to be taking root. Instead ‘crazy saving mode’ has been installed on me and I am a woman on a mission.

Being apart sucks, but I have become an expert at missing. I was already ahead as having family abroad that you are close to means that missing someone is never far away from everyday life. It’s a norm rather than an extraordinary event and so I was better prepared for our time apart.

Well, I thought I was. In fact, the first few months of our time apart were terrible. I couldn’t decided between despair, sadness or anger. At first it was okay, I enjoyed having some time apart after living together and it was wonderful to reconnect with my family after being away for three years at university. But then I settled and the art of missing completely eluded me.

The feeling of missing cannot be ignored because then, a little like bacteria, it grows and festers until it takes over. The only way to truly be able to cope with missing someone is by not ignoring it. Embracing the fact you’re missing someone allows your brain to accept it and move on to work on something else.

Missing someone gets easier, a little like a healing cut. It’s there and you can feel it and if you focus on it, you can still feel that dull ache. Saying goodbye is where you rip that scab off and start again – but it’s worth it, and you get used to it.

Humans are brilliant at adapting and though I would love to be able to see the boy everyday, I am accustomed to missing him. Sometimes I don’t even notice it or realise most of the day has passed without me focusing on us being apart. Then sometimes it hits me really hard so that by the end of the day I’m exhausted from trying to concentrate on other things.

Usually though I just get on with it. Obviously the art of missing is to keep in contact with the person you are missing. A text, an email or a quick phone call can do wonders to keeping the missing at bay. It should be said though that missing isn’t romantic and artistic and beautiful like they make it out in films and in books. It is hard and dull and infuriating.

There is so secret on how to successfully miss someone and the missing that I am talking about with the boy is probably the easiest one – because I get to see him every weekend. It’s not like my family that I only see once a year if I’m lucky or like the missing of someone that isn’t here anymore.

But I think this applies to most missing and it is the only way I have found to successfully cope with it. To cope with missing is to embrace it, accept it and then keep on moving. Like a lot of things in life, diving in is sometimes the only way you can learn how to swim.


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Valentines Day is stupid

I have been feeling a little lax lately when it comes to blogging because nothing has really pushed me into posting. Usually I have a strong feeling or idea about something that I feel urged to write about. The last two posts didn’t make me feel that way and I was a little worried that I’d lost my mojo (maybe I have) but then February 14th arrived.

The day is ridiculous. A consumerist invention that requires us to spend money on things that are red, pink and heart-shaped. It’s all about expressing your love by going to a restaurant that has upped its prices for the day to make the most of the event. It’s about buying a stupid card with a ridiculous poem because it’s easier than saying all of that yourself. Basically, Valentines Day sucks.

This is me. I think that's all that really needs to be said. Picture found on http://piccsy.com/2013/02/this-will-be-me-unfortunately

This is me. I think that’s all that really needs to be said. Picture found on http://piccsy.com/2013/02/this-will-be-me-unfortunately

I know from the paragraph above you probably will consider me to be some sort of crazy hater who is probably single and prefers animals and humans. Only part of that is true because in fact I have a boyfriend who I love very much and who I am very, very, very happy with. It doesn’t change my opinion on Valentines Day though.

Many people spend more time and effort on Valentines Day than they do on actual anniversaries which is stupid. Stupid and dumb – same thing I know but I want to emphasise the idiocy. I know that Valentines Day is based on St Valentines who died on February 14. He wasn’t used as a figure for the day until the middle ages (dark ages) when things were so miserable they had to think of some sort of ancient figure that could be celebrated in between New Years and Easter.

Not much is actually known about St Valentine. Stories say different things: how he died for love etc and how he may actually be a joining of two saints that have just got melded together within history.

If St Valentines had any sort of emotion behind it, it would have been a long time ago. Now it is filled with tacky gifts and awful gimmicks as well as increased prices and the uncomfortable feeling that comes from being forced to do something. Because that’s all Valentine’s is – it isn’t special, we’ve just been told it’s special. Nobody actually celebrates St Valentine himself because there aren’t enough stories about him in history. It’s just another reason to buy crap that you’re going to stick into a cupboard and never look at again.

Valentines Day is nothing but an opportunity for shops to make couples feel guilty if they don’t do anything. Valentine’s Day has become a business opportunity, it is a way for shops to make up the money that they didn’t quite make in January.

There shouldn’t just be one day where you celebrate your love, that should be done every day. Love doesn’t need to come in the form of stupid gifts either especially if they’re just bought because it’s Valentines Day and no real thought has been put into it.

It’s funny because Valentine’s Day is nothing at all like love. It is fleeting and empty, filled with generic objects that are deemed appropriate just because they fit a certain colour scheme. Valentine’s Day is a little like eating a cracker, you forget it’s happened pretty quickly because it is that insignificant (unless it’s when you were born or married or whatever – but that’s obvious).

Romance and love is not a box of chocolates and some flowers on the day that everybody else is doing it too because WHSmith have a sign in their window saying so. Romance and love happens everyday in little messages, random gestures of caring and gifts that actually mean something and are bought, well, just because.

Love happens everyday. It’s not a birthday or a holiday, that happens at the same time every year. It’s a feeling.


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Public Displays of Affection

I have a few people on Facebook who often like to put up status’ about how much they love their boyfriends/girlfriends and how lucky they are to be in a relationship and how they just can’t wait to get married to said boyfriend/girlfriend and that they are currently snuggled up in bed (they can’t be having a good time if they’re on Facebook though).

Also the other day as I attempted to buy a sandwich from Marks & Spencers and was obstructed by a young couple who seemed to have glued themselves together at the lips. I don’t know what it was about the BLT sandwiches, but it was turning them on. I had to choose a chicken and bacon instead and everyone knows it’s not the same when your heart is set on a BLT. Stupid couple.

Prior to this snogging BLT incident, I also had a couple stop in the middle of the street as they were walking to frantically kiss as if they only had seconds to live. Either that or one was choking and the other was trying very hard to dislodge whatever was blocking the airway with his tongue. I almost crashed into them because I wasn’t looking where I was going. That would have been awkward on all kinds of levels.

And just now, the thing that actually prompted this post was a Facebook posting of a girl in bed with her boyfriend. It is photographed in a way to look like they’re both naked, which they may be, but that’s beside the point. The caption read ‘love my hubby so much, just chilling in bed, perfect evening.’ After I had finished being sick in my mouth and the anger had subsided at her lack of commas (I had to include them in my quote because otherwise I would have had an aneurism), I came to the conclusion that in our consistently sharing society, public displays of affection (or PDAs as I like to call them) have become an awful, terrible addition to our everyday lives.

I am very much in love with my boyfriend. He is lovely and smart and sometimes he smells but that’s okay. We are in a solid relationship and though he knows I love him and he loves me we do not feel the need to consistently post our adoration for each other on social media. Or to attack each other with our tongue in public. It doesn’t make us any less of a couple.

It is one thing seeing a couple lean in for a kiss. A five minute snog in the sandwich aisle or in the middle of a busy shop, however, is inappropriate. It is too much information and something that is supposed to be intimate. It’s like deciding to go for a poo in the middle of the road just because you truly are that desperate. Everybody can hold it in, be it the need for a poo or a passionate kiss. You can hold your ravenous hormones in for a little while until you get home, or into a cupboard or something – I don’t know, whatever floats your boat I guess.

As for Facebook, yes I’ve heard it all before: “if you don’t like it, delete me,” “it’s my page so I can do what I want.” Fine. But just know that you sound pompous whenever you put over the top messages of love to your loved one. Especially when it’s followed by a thousand fullstops. For the record, an ellipsis only uses three of them.

The funny thing is a lot of these over the top PDAs, especially online, seem to come from either of these categories. a) the one that cheated on a night out because they were, like, really, really, really drunk. b) the one that has had more relationships than they’ve had clean socks. c) the one that has recently entered into a relationship with the best person EVER. d) the one couple that have been together forever and have kind of morphed into one person, like some kind of siamese twin.

I think it’s great that everyone is so in love. Congratulations. It’s a great feeling, probably the best feeling ever. But please do not force your relationship down everybody’s throat. Nobody wants to see you practically dry-hump your other half while they are trying to get somewhere. Especially when I only have half an hour to get some lunch.

Nobody wants you to put over-the-top statuses on your social media about how crazy in love you are or how you’re snuggled up to your loved one while you watch tv. So am I, so is half of the country, it’s no big deal. And please, please stop posting pictures with the both of you in bed semi-naked – that’s just gross and I’m pretty sure it’s crossing some kind of line, even if you ‘both have funny bed hair LOL.’

If you want to write about love or you want to write about your relationship then check these out for inspiration. Just click here or here. There are lots more but these are my two favourite love blog posts (I’m going for the number two because of the whole love and couple thing, nice touch right?).

The emotion is amazing enough that you don’t have to go over the top to express it usually. Just thought you should know.

See? This is what PDA looks like to the people that see it.

See? This is what PDA looks like to the people that see it. If that isn’t enough to put people off, I don’t know what is.


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A love of two cities

People often say you cannot love more than one thing. If you’re heart truly loved the first thing, it wouldn’t love the second. I know this saying is used mainly for people but it applies here. Just because something you love isn’t human does not mean that it isn’t love.

I fell in love with New York for the first time when I watched Oliver & Company and connected the dots that this was the city my uncle lived in that I didn’t really think of. My first solid memory of New York and I must have been around six.

Regular readers of my blog may know that I had the opportunity to go to the city that never sleeps this summer as the most amazing birthday present ever which was bestowed on me by the boy. The flight was horrendous and technically speaking I never landed in New York because I am the unluckiest solo traveller in the world.

However, 48 hours later and I was standing in Times Square – my jaw on the floor from all the lights, the people, the sounds, the smells. New York was a sensory overload even when it was quiet, it wasn’t. Quiet in NY includes honking cars, and a buzzing atmosphere that is felt rather than heard like a pulsating bass line running through your veins.

Even in the middle of Central Park, completely lost and starting to become slightly manic, NY wasn’t quiet. It was still electrifying like it was plugged in and the ground itself was given you little shocks of whatever you needed in that moment.

I fell in love with New York. Even the parts I hated like the subway. And the lack of proper signs in the subway I hated with enough ferocity that could only have come from love. The opposite of love, after all, is not hatred but indifference.

London is different. For one it’s the place where I was born and I grew up. I will never forget the day my dad drove the whole family away to a town I considered the countryside. At 13, I thought the world at ended the day my family moved out of London.

London has always had a place in my heart. On moving day, my sister and I swore we would go back to London (to live) as soon as we could. I don’t plan on breaking that promise. I did become complacent about London, like when you don’t appreciate someone when they’re there but then miss them when you realise they’re gone.

Going to New York helped me appreciate London more. London is still busy but it’s like it already knows it won the race, it isn’t rushing. It expects time to wait. New York isn’t like that. London is beautiful and every part of it, every building has a history.

One of the side walls to the V&A museum is full of damage, cuts like the Hulk has punched it. It isn’t repaired because it has a story, those imperfections come from WWII. They are scars that prove survival.

London is a story. You walk through it and around it and everything is telling you something. From the bricks that make the buildings to the slabs that make the pavements.

London isn’t as obvious even when it tries. To compare the two cities is hard because London whispers while New York shouts yet neither is louder or more powerful. Both are self-assured and both are beautiful.

New York is younger, more energetic, more excited about things. London feels like it has seen it all and it believes in itself the way an eighty year old man does, in the way that comes from life experience.

I love London, I will always love London. It’s like the childhood toy that sits on my bed even though I’m working on my laptop. I would never be able to say which I prefer: New York or London. The loves are different but they are equal in strength and adoration.

But I left a little piece of my heart in New York when I left this summer. It is hidden there waiting for my return. And I will go back. I will make New York my home at some point in the future, New York is addictive. It is magical and I can see myself there, not in the way that directors and actors portray it but in a way that would be completely and utterly inspiring. For a person like me, it just seems a perfect place to blossom for a while and grow.

London will be my calm before the storm.


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Two years

I have always tried to avoid talking about love. Words don’t seem to do it justice and I am not a skilled enough writer to even come close to writing about those types of emotions. But today is a special day. I wouldn’t have used this blog to put something personal on it, but I’m changing and growing and learning. Call it an experiment. Happy two years, here’s to many more.

Image taken from http://www.pinterest.com

2010: It’s dark outside. The film has finished and the credits are rolling. The curtains aren’t drawn and the orange light from the streetlamp outside is shining in. He asks me to stay, I do. That’s it.

2012: A year living together and now facing a year of weekend visits. Hit a few walls, seen a few bumps, most of it has been sunny. We’ve grown, learnt a lot about ourselves and each other. Happier and stronger than ever. Excited now and excited about the future. Lots of love around. That’s it.