Venom

Well, I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this at some point, but at the moment I’m having to wear sunglasses (yes I’ve been crying and I’m not ashamed to admit it) and they’re not prescription, so typing is hard. Oh, Lasik, when will I be able to afford you?

I’ve seen quite a few comments about My Chemical Romance’s split (oh God I hate typing that) saying things like “they clearly don’t care about us”. I understand that people are hurt by this news, but let’s not lose sight of the years of devotion and respect they’ve given to us.

Many tweets I’ve seen are furious and insulting (but that’s always been the way, and I don’t think I’ll ever quite understand why people would behave that way to a band or people they claim to admire and love). One particular comment I saw said that the band don’t care about their fans. This was my reply:

Don’t be ridiculous, of course they do. It’s so disingenuous to start spouting stuff like that. They gave their fans more love and gratitude, more guts and grit and joy than pretty much any other band I’ve ever seen. I don’t like the way they’ve announced this news, but let’s not turn on them. I’m sure we’ll hear more from them about it as time goes on.

And, for now, that’s all I have to say about that. 

Keep your boots tight, keep your gun close, and die with your mask on if you have to.

And now, I’m going to DANCE.

Little Noo is Twenty-Two!

In commemoration of my sister’s 22nd birthday today, I’m going to post a piece of writing that I just stumbled across.

I’m not sure of the age Fiona was when she wrote it, but it shows a depth of insight that one would not believe possible in such a small child. In fact, I firmly believe that if this piece is not an example of an uncanny knack for reading the future, then little Fifi at least had powers of foreshadowing to rival that of Charlotte Bronte. For this tale, edgily titled ‘The Skelenton’s’, seems to be an accurate vision of her life as a twenty-something. Just replace the words ‘two skeletons and a dog skeleton’ with ‘Me and Evey and a dog skeleton’, and you may well be reading a diary entry written only last week. I feel we must excuse the blatant plagiarism in the first lines, as she was only little.

(Transcription below)

The Skelenton’s

It was a dark dark night.

Two skelenton’s and a dog skeleton.

They woke up and read a poems and mad[e] up this

I like brecfast yum yum yum I like brecfast in my tum.

I don’t like that do you? said little skelenton

yes. I do. Shall we go to the park

okay came on then.

So they went out and fell aslep on the park bench until the next day.

The next day they were scared so they hid behind a tree but they saw nobody.

Rattle rattle what was that.

The[y] where scard so they said help and ran back home.

Aaah its foloing us. 

Oops is was my arm.

It has it all; reading, writing and criticising poetry, falling asleep on a park bench, love of breakfast, hiding behind trees, being followed by one’s own rattly arm. Ah, the carefree life of a twenty-two year old.

Seriously though, little Noni is my rock, when I need one. She’s hilarious (often without realising it).

She is quite literally the music that fills our home.

Her frown may be enough to make a snowman shiver, but her smile is bright and warm enough to melt it. Poor little snowman; it just can’t win when it comes to Fiona.

I love you, little sis.

Sally x

I’ll be posting my annual blog post/introspective nonsense and unfulfilled predictions at New Years :)

So long 2011, and thanks for all the coldsores, PART 2

Things I learned in 2011:

I can do anything I really set my mind to. Or at least, I can talk my way into it.

Slow down and let good things come to you instead of panicking and launching yourself at something not quite as good.

The worst day of your life might just turn into a cracking barn dance.

Short blonde hair really freaking suits me.

I’m actually obsessed with dogs, weddings, and babies.

I firmly believe that there should be a chair in a bathroom.

Long lost friends can, with a little effort, become new found friends. And great friends, at that.

My sister is the strongest person I know.

I’m a pretty crap housewife.

I’d rather have a baby than a puppy.

The female pelvis and its relationship with the fetal skull is amazing.

Often the people who seem the most sincere, are in fact the least.

Thinking about money brings me near to a panic attack.

I’m no longer scared of needles.

CPR on adults, children and infants is easy when you know how. But tiring. And I keep forgetting how many breaths to how many compressions.

I love haloumi. “Do you like salt? Do you like wellies? Great! Then you’ll like haloumi!”

Old people are great. (Mrs Entwistle is the best person I’ve met in a long time)

Some friends, no matter how much they say they miss you, will always flake.

Mums throw the best birthday parties.

Porthleven may be one  of my new favourite places on earth.

The Help is a really great book.

My heritage is mostly Jewish. And Scottish.

The things I have been sad about for years regarding my granddad would actually have made him laugh. Thanks mum.

Achievements:

Wrote to Doris Day

Started plan for a novel

Received signed copy of Snuff, by Terry Pratchett

Got a 2:1 on first midwifery essay

Read the whole of Persuasion by Austen

Set up house with Jack

Assembled Ikea furniture (some without help!)

Researched and created family tree.

Lost a few pounds

Graduated from Leeds with a 2:1!

Got onto Midwifery degree course!

Things I want for 2012:

Do well in first placement and exams.

Not to be totally skint.

Good health.

Mum to settle in to new house and feel happy.

Start running again.

Grow my hair to a 1920’s bob.

Consider getting a tattoo.

Spend time with Jack.

Get further with family tree.

Holiday at some point!

Write story.

Go to church.

Read Sense & Sensibility

A better wardrobe.

See a birth!

Predictions for 2012:

Duchess of Cambridge will be pregnant.

X Factor will be cancelled/have such low ratings it won’t make it to 2013.

Duke of Edinburgh will make it through the year, live and kicking.

Obama won’t be re-elected. (sadly)

The Olympics will be everywhere, and it will get boring.

I’m going to need a filling. The New Years Eve ice cream and Downton Abbey fest turned into a blinding tooth pain and Downton Abbey fest.

Resolutions for 2012:

Try to get 8 hours sleep every night. (haaaa)

Work hard.

Arrive early to everything.

Be a better ‘housewife’.

Join a choir.

Write.

Keep in touch with people.

Cycle to mum’s house.

Go running at least once a week to start with.

WORRY LESS.

So long 2011, and thanks for all the coldsores, PART 1.

Things that happened in 2011:

January 

Twin baby girls I call my nieces were born.

February

Dad got married.

Our beautiful tortoiseshell cat died.

Had an interview at a uni to study midwifery.

March

Got into university! MUCH REJOICING.

We moved to Wiltshire.

April

Saw Noah & The Whale in Leeds with Fiona, met the boys. All very lovely, very talented, very handsome and extremely sweaty.

Hot Easter holiday, lovely long days at Lydiard House.

 

Fed little lambs in Jack’s garden.

Royal wedding fever! Catherine! So lovely!

May

Last English seminar ever- Harry Potter, with Frances and chocolate frogs.

June

 Cut hair short, dyed blonde.

Finished exams! Full day of partying on terrace with Leeds girls and the boys. Got sunburnt.

5th June, moved out of Leeds. Got degree classification- 2:1. YIPPEE!

Not bad for a CRAZAY  GIRL.

July

Graduation! Wonderful day.

House hunting with Jack. We see some of the worst S-ton has to offer.

August

Summer hols! Old Sarum, New Forest, Lydiard Park, Jack’s leavers ball (Chesney Hawkes!).

 

September

Holiday in Porthleven, Cornwall.

That was the view from my bedroom. Seriously.

                

                     

Started studying at S-ton.

Moved in with Jack, lovely house.

October

Adopted Morag, semi-feral beautiful kitten who just this evening jumped up and down on a box of chocolates until it fell to the floor.

Went with the Hills to pick out Lola the WH Viszla pup!

                       

Okay, she is now twice that size, and still a puppy. A BOUNCY BOUNCY HUGE PUPPY.

I also met up with my Leeds girls at Covent Garden.

November

My 23rd birthday!

Then I got sick for two weeks. AWFUL. (caught from twins, probably, as they were doing a lot of sneezing and also grabbing my face with their little baby hands and drooling on me)

But there’s no way you could get angry at that little face. Bless her and her little germs <3

December

Decorated house for Christmas. Lights fell down at least twice a day. Puppy-sat Lola over Christmas- EXHAUSTED INAJWDBBHHBHJMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Fell asleep, so exhausted. Mum moved to same town as me, yay! However, MORE EXHAUSTION.

Oddly enough, NO PICTURES.

New Years Eve 

Spent eating ice cream and watching the box set of Downton Abbey.

J’ADORE.

  1. ***

Bad Sarah.

I am so bad at this. I always start a blog with great intentions, but all it takes is one month of not bothering and suddenly it’s August and I’ve missed a few months and I feel both guilty because I didn’t keep up with a project and ridiculous because there’s not really an audience out there feeling abandoned!

I’m going to try to come back now though. This post has only come into being because I’m not sleeping-  I can’t. One reason is that London is on fire, and Birmingham is being looted, and Bristol is getting rowdy, and it’s just fascinating and horrifying and bizarre and awful.

The other reason is that I just can’t stop sneezing.

 

My nose is rioting.

What is going on with my FACE?

About a year ago I suddenly developed a purple rash of small spots all over my arms, face and chest. It wasn’t itchy or anything, just pretty scary. I hadn’t taken any new medication or eaten anything new, so I had no idea what was causing it.

I was on a long train journey, so I couldn’t go to A&E in case I had, you know, meningitis. I looked around for anyone who looked like a doctor, which is difficult as they don’t actually wear stethoscopes around their necks all the time. In the end I freaked out so much that I pulled up my sleeve and thrust my purple arm in front of the guy next to me (a young guy listening innocently to his iPod) and whispered ‘WHAT IS THISSSS?’. He didn’t know- but he did put the armrest down between us a minute later.

Anyway, the rash lasted a few hours more and then gradually faded. EXCEPT for a small patch at the bottom of my chin. A year later, I still have a small area of red dots on my skin. When I’m poorly, they sometimes get darker. It’s weird, but I can live with it.

HOWEVER, today I managed to hit myself in the face with a laptop. Long story, involving a miniature schnauzer and a coffee table. Yeah, I don’t know how I’m graduating from university this summer. I hit myself in the septum and top lip. I thought I’d broken my nose. My nose, which is a relatively decent distance from my chin.

I was beginning to prepare myself for the possibility of having a bruise resembling a Hitler moustache… and then I looked in the mirror. I am thankfully free from dictator-style facial hair. But, and this is a big but – MY CHIN IS PURPLE. Like, the rash area AND the area surrounding it, basically my WHOLE CHIN… is PURPLE. It doesn’t hurt, it’s just hideous. I don’t have a Hitler moustache, but I do have a devil goatee. I have asked the wise people on the Dooce Community about this, but I’ll ask the internet at large too… My question is twofold: 1. Can rashes scar you in this way? 2. WTF is up with my chin?!

Rebecca Black, ‘Friday’

Ok, so I just watched Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ video. I have a few questions.

1. Why are they ‘looking forward to the weekend’ when they’re blatantly ‘partying partying yeah’ on Friday?

2. Why does she even bother going to the bus stop if she’s going to skive off all day with her friends? Ref. line ‘I see my friends’. She doesn’t take much convincing to bunk off. However, the fact that she doesn’t attend school explains the bad grammar in the lines ‘We we we so excited’ and ‘We gonna have a ball tonight’.

3. Why are 12 year olds driving cars and attending raves? (in particular see kid at 1:38)

4. Who is the random rapping adult? Is he on his way to pick up his child from the rave?

‎5. Why does she have such a hard time choosing where to sit? “Kicking in the front seat, sitting in the back seat. Gotta make my mind up- which seat shall I take?”. Both seats in the front are taken! She then repeats this line, despite the fact that she’s ALREADY sitting in the back. Is she considering jumping forward into the front? This would be very dangerous. However, it seems that she and her friends have little regard for road safety, considering they are standing up in the back of a open top convertible. Also, she is happy to be in a car being driven by a 12 year old. What would her parents say?

6. WHY??? WHY????? WHY DID SOMEONE THINK THIS SONG/VIDEO WAS A GOOD IDEA????

PS. I actually genuinely enjoy this version:

Photo: Sister

I took this photo in December 2004- our first Christmas at the house we’ve just left.

My sister, Fiona, is 14 here.

This dark, high contrast black & white style was my favourite form of photo editing at the time (I was only 16, to be fair!)… And although it looks dreadful on many pictures I look back on, I like it on this one. I don’t even have the original of this picture, just this version.

I don’t know what I want to say about it today, I just came across it again and thought it was beautiful. My sister has such a lovely face. I think this picture looks like some artist with charcoal saw her and wanted to capture that young beauty. She even reminds me a little of Vermeer’s ‘Girl With A Pearl Earring’.

The curve of her cheek, maybe.

Cassie

There was the silent slink, a knack for entering a room totally noiselessly. This enabled her to catch you unawares when all of a sudden she leapt onto your bed, stuck her nose in your ear and padded over to examine your bedside table. After scrutinizing your jewellery, inspecting the books you’re reading, and considering dipping her paw into your glass of water, she’d nestle down in the bed next to you and purr you to sleep.

Or, bouncing into the room with an audible ‘meee!’, she would head straight for the sofa and sink her claws into its cover, looking up at mum, waiting for the inevitable ‘ah ah ah, Cassie!’ which meant we’d noticed her being naughty. It was inevitable because it was a routine Cassie had been doing for years. Then she’d leap up onto the sofa for cuddles.

The cat flap would make its familiar clattering noise and the tortoiseshell blur streaking through the kitchen would apparate on the kitchen table into the form of a sweet-faced cat asking for a slice of ham from the fridge or a bit of butter to lick at. Afterwards, she’d flop down onto her back for a tummy tickle; her signature move.

When I was running a bath she’d trot up the stairs, greet me with a ‘mi!’, and watch the water run. She loved water.

Speaking of which, one of her best entrances was also one of her most startling. Our house was originally a Victorian pub, and it has a deep well of cold water in the dining room. It’s got a thick glass cover that a fully grown human can safely stand on, and a light bulb so that we can see down into the well. The bulb had gone and so one day mum and Uncle Clive had lifted the glass cover to change it. Cassie, sensing an audience, ran full throttle into the room- probably to get a tummy tickle from Clive. She wasn’t expecting the floor not to be there, and unceremoniously dropped straight into the well. Luckily my uncle is a tall firefighter who kept his head while my mum screamed, and simply reached as far as he could into the well and lifted an unimpressed, confused, and soaked cat out of the water by the scruff of her neck. Once Cassie had recovered from her shock, Fiona penned a song in tribute to the event, entitled ‘AQUACAT’. We sang it in her memory the other day.

There was a time when, as a kitten, she’d been bouncing up and down behind the sofa separating the living room from the dining room. My dad was sitting on the sofa at the time, oblivious to the mischief going on behind him. She’d been practicing getting her claws out mid-jump and clinging onto the vertical surface of the sofa back when she leapt a little too high and instead sank her tiny little claws into the back of my father’s head. That was quite the entrance; attached momentarily to my screaming dad’s scalp as he leapt into the centre of the room, before coolly letting go and scampering off.

One of her favourite entrances: My sister, who was Cassie’s ‘mum’, would slowly push the living room door open and enter awkwardly, hunched over like an old woman. Cassie, regal and comfortable, would be draped across her shoulders, blinking slowly and serenely. When she decided to get down, she would. Otherwise, she’d just stay there. She often reminded me of a queen- in this case, Cleopatra. But most often she was our little Queen Victoria. There was just this soft round elegance about her in the last year.

There is so much more to Cassie, but today I’ve written about her talent for always making an entrance. I’ve written about that because we’re all still expecting our little torty girl to pad into the room with a ‘mee!’. I know I keep seeing her enter the room out of the corner of my eye. I see her everywhere, every time I enter a room, and I am so mad at my mind for playing cruel tricks like that. But it’s also comforting, in an odd way. We’re moving house next week, but I’m strangely hopeful that in my imagination at least, she’ll come with us.

Mocastor ‘Cassie’ Baillie

2006-2011

Photo: Creation

I love how this flower is wearing the colours of Easter.

I can’t wait for Spring this year. I really can’t. I feel like everyone’s in need of a bit of warmth, sunshine, colour. I know I am. It’s been a long winter. I normally love cold weather, but I’ve had enough of it for now.

Spring is the best time to be in Leeds, I think. There are crocuses and daffodils lining the walk into university, and it’s gorgeous- the crocuses just spring up out of nowhere. Spring! And they’re all different colours, and ever so fragile. There’s always some idiot who tramples them, though. I just try and enjoy them while they’re there.

I honestly think one of the best uses of a camera is a close up shot of a flower. It’s often the only time you really get to look at a flower properly, to take in its tiny veins and places where the colour merges. You see where the petals curve. When I really think about it, I just find it fascinating that a flower knows how to grow in the way it does. The flower in my photograph somehow knew it ought to be purple and white, with a brilliant orange trumpet in the middle. Some will say it’s all about procreation, the result of evolution and lots of enthusiastic bees. Others will call it God. Maybe it’s both.

Whatever made it that way, it made it beautiful.

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