Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The banks are buggering us all....

Many years (Four) have passed since I could go, on a weekly basis or if I am going to be honest, a three daily basis to one of the three girl-friends houses I have for wine, and chatter.

So with my educational purgatory complete (I've been at University) I returned home and one of the first things on my 'To Do' list was to meet up with them and fill them in on all the diabolical misadventures I have had, and hear theirs. Essentially we needed to set the World to rights.

Amidst all the tales told (and believe me, there were MANY) one thing was cripplingly clear. As graduates we were broke. More broke than we had ever concieved we would be when we were young, idealistic and working on the tills at Tesco using our wages to buy whiskey, vintage and vinyl.

We weren't totally ignorant, we knew this debt was coming and we took it on with open eyes and optimism that what we were doing was going to lead us into a brighter future. I know I have no regrets. I even prepared for this poverty by working my way through a gap year. It seems that this and the generosity of debtless parents has been my saving grace, I have emerged almost but not completely unscathed moneywise.

I say this, but I know that in it is a lie. Im not unscathed. I am overdrawn. I owe the bank money. My lovelies are in a similar state, and they are worse off than I am, and I am unemployed.

With the recession thrust down our throats, graduate employment is obviously, and unsurprisingly down. The jobs those of us have been successful in attaining appear to do nothing but feed earnings into empty pits. Trapped in a vicious cycle where we never climb out of the red into the black, as overdraft fees charge us into an oblivion that we cannot seem to escape from.
Charging us for exceeding overdrafts that they promised could be extended, but then refuse us when we hit the line.

Dont get me wrong, I am not angry that they refuse to extend our overdrafts. More debt is the last thing on our minds. BUT...
In the beginning I had the opportunity of a £2000 overdraft, I turned it down and opted for a £200 limit with a £150 reserve. I then had personal and financial trouble in my second year, work were failing to pay me so I rang up and extended my overdraft to £700 in order to pay my rent. The bank REFUSED to extend it any further than that, regardless of my promise that a large pay was impending, that my parents were going to transfer money, and that I was worried that Id be unable to live. (I left the branch in tears, hysterically standing outside costa sobbing at the reality I couldnt afford bread.) When my rent came out, it clipped the £700 mark by mere pence, and I was charged £22 for the pleasure, thus thrusting me deeper into my reserve costing me more money. There was nothing I could do, I just sat and watched the charges mount until I recieved my pay. It was a lovely Christmas.

That is just my story, the others are not ones I am in a position to tell, but believe me they are worse. They include branch negligence with regard to personal information, accounts and tranfers.

To add insult to injury I remember that my bank offered me credit cards to keep me afloat as I started my degree. MORE debt they know we cannot repay. I am still offered credit cards now, as an unemployed graduate.

In future I am going to keep my money in my mattress because it is quite clear to me that The banks have buggered us well and truly...

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Party of One?

It is one of the most frequently mocked realities of a social situation; a woman gets up to go to the toilet, and immeadiately she either expects another woman to join her, or all the women decide they need to go. So women inevitabley end up waltzing off to pee in tribes, as if they all need to go together for moral support...or something.

I used to be one of these people. I never instigated the loo-gatherings but I was certainly one of the ones who got up to follow if anyone left.

Similarly I have noticed that no one ever turns up to a cafe, restaurant, bar, or club without having someone to meet, or a person with them. If they do show up alone they tend to hover, uncertainty and embarrassment etched across their faces, at the bar or counter. Or sitting alone their eyes constantly doing the needy flick around the room and towards the door in anticipation of someones arrival.

God forbid you show up anywhere alone, people stare at you as if you were a leper. So socially incapable that you have absolutly no friends.

If I am honest, I love being by myself. Shopping solo is best because I dont have to worry about who I am shopping with and when they want to leave or where they want to go next. But most significantly, I never feel the necessity to drag a girl to the toilet, and these days I never follow.

This all struck me with a good sharp crack last Monday night when, as I frantically got dressed for a night out, I realised I was constantly checking my phone for confirmation that people were out and doing something.

A singer was playing at a local club, I have loved him and his type of music for years, and had no idea anyone I knew liked him. All I knew was I wanted to drop in a catch his set, and then move on somewhere afterwards. So, without confirmation or contact from anyone I went out by myself.

Walking into the club was overall pretty liberating, and if I am honest listening to him play was even better. However I will never forget the looks I recieved off certain people - girls mainly, and the odd member of the bar- for not actually having a companion, nor giving a shit that I had one. To my surprise halfway through his set people I knew appeared at my side, I was chuffed that I had people to share the night with. But I know as I am sitting here and writing this that if they had not showed up I wouldnt have been bothered. Id have listened, finished my drink and gotten the last bus home for a comfy bed.

Somewhere along the line I feel like people have become needier. Maybe it is not even needyness that is the issue, maybe it is a deep insecurity. Maybe somewhere within certain people there is a need for them to not go out alone so that there is an affirmation that what they like, or are doing is considered worthy of a persons time and attention.

It really is just an observation but people should have more confidence in themselves. If you like something you like it. If you want to do something do it. Dont be chaperoned, and most especially dont take someone somewhere and share something with them if you think for one second their reactions and advice on the matter would make you ashamed of your passion. Because really, Fuck them if they dont like what you like they arnt you...

I saw Jonah Matranga this Monday night, and he was wonderful.

Friday, 4 June 2010

A New Start

Alot has happened since my last blog entry.

I started a tumbler and occasionally added a blog or two there, they can be seen HERE along with my writings I uploaded artwork, as well as poetry, photographs and quotes which I intend to continue doing.

However my blogging is going to take a new and different direction. I have exhausted myself, and realise that all my blog had become was a glorified journal, something I looked back upon and more often than not I felt uncomfortable with. I had allowed myself to confess to unwitting members of the dark internet world things that in hindsight needed not be said or read. Instead of reflective and self analytical ramblings I will point my blog in a different direction.

Stay Tuned...

Friday, 2 April 2010

A Return to the Homeland.

It is The second of April today, the beginning of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Which for some of us who come from Terminally Catholic backgrounds (myself being one of them) it is a sign that you should start feeling moderately guilty for all your sins (which if you are me are many and unforgivable) and do a quick trip to the shops, for emergency cards, chocolate eggs and suitable attire to wear to church.

I grew out of my 'Im catholic and care' shoes a very long time ago, and my parents seem to have accepted this with relative ease, so this Easter I am taking what can only be described as a brief rest before the last - and very short - leg of what has been a speedy three years.

Being back at home with my parents after living independantly for what will be nearly 4 and a half years is taking alot to get used to. Im used to living out of a bag, or surrounded by people who dont know me completely. Iv become introverted to some degree within my living space, if you were to look around the rest of the house the evidence of me being there is nonexistant. I appear to be trained to live in one room. I have no intention of changing that fact, as I think it will make it easier on my parents and their 'empty nest syndrome' when I move into my own place next year.

This break has also showed me that I am not actually very well. So doctors trips, and healthy eating and bedrest have become the focus of my day. Im living in pyjamas drinking tea, playing guitar,and getting back into my artwork. I am also contemplating baking as much cake as possible, so I have some sort of supply for when I go back to finish my degree. I have about 17 books to read and 10,000 words to write and Im not going to do that living on pasta and lettuce.

This blog was going to be a reflection on Easter time, and Catholicism and how it makes a person who doesnt beleive in organised religion feel. Im not athiest, I definitly have Faith although in what I as yet dont know.

In my personal experience the greatest thing that religion ever did was bring people together under one roof to share their appreciation and passion for life and the people they love, or at least that is how religion affected my family. But I do not think that a person should look to organised religion to be a provider of this way of acting and feeling.

There are many things out there that can do this, and as a girl who beleived herself to be Gay for most of her teenage years, alienating myself from the religion that I was indoctrinated with was first priority on my journey to claiming a sense of self. Searching for a place of acceptance was the second.

I also, after a fair bit of education decided that scientists were probably right and that the entire 'garden of eden' fiasco was not only utter and complete bollocks, but also fairly sexist and patriarchal.

So with this in mind, and with the catalogue of experiences I have, I am sticking my 'faith' to the rather generalised 'inherent goodness in people.' I also joke that I have faith in 'Life, the universe, and Everything' which probably suits it better.

So to celebrate Easter this year I am eating an entire terrys chocolate orange for breakfast, meeting all my friends in a pub and listening to their band play as I stand in my favourite high heels in a cloud of sweat and laughter, and I will remember that the only way we can save the world is by saving ourselves.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Discovering Loudon Wainright III

I woke up today and realised that in about a month and a half I will be completely finished my three year degree. The time has flown and it came as quite a shock to discover that I am not looking forward to returning home.

I left for uni, filled with all the fire of someone who wanted to experience more in life. I presummed like many my age that uni was the automatic, and obvious natural step after high school. I also presummed that I was going to meet new friends that I will never lose, party hard, break laws, ride in trolleys, steal traffic cones, and experiment with everything I had not done before. I basically had a preconceived idea (from the television, and cinema) what uni would involve.

I was young and foolishly immature. I will let the world in on a little, not so secret, secret; uni is not all its cracked up to be.

I was a year older, and a year wiser when I came. My life was deeply focused around music, art, literature, festivals and the people I loved. I wasnt devastated at leaving home, I emptily packed and walked out without a backward glance with the certainty of someone who knew what they wanted.

When I got there nobody had anything in common with me, and I suddenly realised I had already done all the things that the kids around me were doing for the first time. Drugs, Alcohol, sex, theft, all nighters till sunrise, kissing in the rain, Standing on rooftops at dawn, in depth chats about life with total strangers, Trolley rides, and cones. I had been doing it without realising for nearly 6 years with people that I realise now will always be there; age,time and actions be damned. I became everyones mother, the one who people came to for advice, or help. The one who could never get drunk enough because my tolerance was the highest. The one who carried you home, tucked you into bed, dried tears and made cups of tea.

My time at university was a trial by fire, not fun. At the time of me starting I was right in the centre of one of the most important relationship I have ever experienced in my entire life with someone who has effected me completely and who I know I will always love in a way that can never be changed. But it was also a relationship I always knew would end, because as sad and pathetic as it sounds, I beleive there is one person for everyone and he wasnt built for me regardless of how much I changed myself to fit him.
Ending things with him broke something inside of me, and the subsequent death of a family member that was preceded by one of the hardest summers I have ever experienced, pushed me to question not only the point of existing at all but who I was and what I wanted.

I beleive that you do not really know who you are until you are faced with being at the very lowest point; broken and completely alone, waking in the morning faced with the reality of your own flaws, mistakes and mortality.Where for a second you wish that you had not awoken at all and that the life you were living wasnt real.

I spent my time at uni rebuilding myself, learning what was most important and finding the things that I truly love.

I came to uni to experience life and I know I got what I asked for, just not in the same way as everyone else.

I do not think that higher education is the most natural step after High School. Nor do I think that everyone is capable of it. The course I chose was something I had always been passionate about and it is only now that I fully appreciate how intensely I grasp and understand the essence of my subject. I know this is what I have always meant to do, and what I will do for the rest of my life. It switches me on, fills me with wonder and I joke to people that sometimes I feel so electrified I could light up europe.

I work, earn my keep, pay my rent, and live happily as well as doing uniwork. I am independant and I am not afraid of being alone, infact sometimes I prefer it to being in the company of people who I dont connect with.

Do what you feel passionate about, not what is expected of you. Do not conform, rise against the expectations that surround you and make your own way, go where there is no path and leave a trail.

Friday, 15 January 2010

A New Year. Jan 2010.

I turn 22 soon, and it is the strangest feeling.

I remember as clear as crystal being 10. Before the harshness of puberty had made its demands upon my life and body. Where everything was simple, and I still claimed some essence of innocence and sweet ignorance.

In hindsight I can see that even then there were hints at what and how I would change. 12 years on and I have seen more than I would ever have wanted myself to see. I always wanted to be wise, and educated. I never realised that this education and wisdom would come from pain.

I have broken hearts, my own being one of them.
I have witnessed death, and not quick death, but a slow and painful loss of all that it means to be alive.
I have seen and experienced depression, loss, hurt, shame, disgust, the list could go on.

I am not innocent, I am not wise. I am not ignorant, and I am not educated.

I am experienced and I do not regret it, or wish it otherwise. But I often wish that I could relive the summer of my tenth year to savour the feeling of not knowing.

Friday, 11 December 2009


I will wake in the night from dreams of you.
Dig my nails into the palm of my hand. Bite my tongue; Taste Blood.

An ache for the memories of moments, unspoken words, and eye contact never made.

I will sleep alone for the rest of my life, before I ever do what I did to you again.