Wednesday, 27 June 2012


"I quote others only to better express myself" - Montaigne

I have a playlist on my iPod of songs that express things I have been thinking. I hear lyrics and think "yes, that is relevant to me today!" (and none of them are love-songs, but we won't go into that)

I sometimes play a game with a friend in which we pick a 'song for the day'. Either a song about how we feel, or how we would like to feel that day. It is an interesting exercise in introspection and it is also comforting to know that others are thinking and feeling the same (obviously, or they would not have written songs about it)!

I need to play that game regularly. It helps me to focus. Today's song I think is "Every Day is Exactly the Same" by Nine Inch Nails. That says it all really. I seem to be swinging between over-enthusiasm and lethargy at present. I am angry at myself for wasting time.

Mondays and Tuesdays are my free evenings. What do I do with them? I have no idea! I get home from work at 6pm... suddenly it's 11pm! What do I do in those five hours?! Am I really lacking that much focus that I can lose five hours in a blink? It terrifies me.

"And we'll collect the moments one by one. I guess that's how the future's done" - Mushaboom

Monday, 25 June 2012

A Beautiful Lie

I spent most of this weekend with my grandparents.  Unfortunately I can only spend time with one or other as they cannot be in the same room without an argument and, as my grandmother has dementia it is always the same few arguments, over and over and over.

This weekend was different.  Mum and I had Sunday lunch with my grandfather in the dining room which has not been used in years.  All the Christmases, New Year’s celebrations, Halloween parties and birthday barbeques were whipped up with the dust from the table cloth.  Memories of a sneaky childhood glass of champagne on New Year’s eve, wiped away like a smudge with a napkin.

My grandfather’s hands, once the strong hands of a Navy Captain, shook with ever-worsening Parkinsons.  Should I offer to help? Or will that hurt his pride?  Mum and I pretended not to notice the spilled gravy or the stray carrot falling to the floor.  There was not much conversation, just the three of us seated at one end of the long table.  I think we were all remembering times gone by.  Wonderful, painful memories.

My grandmother spent this time in bed, wrapped in her favourite dressing gown, insisting that no one would want to spend time with a stupid old woman.

When dinner was over, my brother and his two daughters, eight and two years old, joined us.  I spent time sitting on my grandmother’s bed, pleading, bargaining, bribing her to come downstairs to meet them, as she insisted she had never seen them before.  My brother had not seen her in months, and was taken aback when she finally agreed to come downstairs when he saw how frail she was.  And she looked at him with a sense of recognition that she does not have for me.  This made me feel a little hurt, but reassured that there is still some of her old self inside.

My nieces spent the afternoon in the garden, laughing - a garden that has not seen laughter in over ten years. I remember the times my brother and I spent being super-heroes and villains... many, many years ago.

I feel I spent the weekend pretending things were as they used to be when we were children. My grandmother acknowledged me as 'Susannah's (my mother's) daughter, when she usually treats me as a stranger.

I know this experience will be brief and that the next time I see her she probably will not remember me, but it is those brief moments that mean the world.

Friday, 22 June 2012

All Aboard!

I have been thinking about applying for an admin job on a cruise ship. I saw an ad on a job site and thought it could be interesting. Yes it would still be admin, but the scenery wouldn't always be the same! I have been weighing up the pros and cons and to be honest, there are very few cons. I would be earning more money than I am now, I could still keep my flat, being at sea I would have less opportunity to spend money...

But I would be stepping far, far out of my comfort zone. I would be leaving town, leaving the country, for long periods of time. I am excited but terrified. But I think it's something I need to try. Also, if I am to start my Open University course it will give me more time to study without the usual distractions of home life.

I am talking myself into it. I should be talking myself into it.

My mother moved to Kenya 6 years ago. Sold her house and left. I try to imagine the emotions she must have felt... This way I won't be leaving the country, I will just get to travel. Could I handle months at sea?

There is one way to find out... take the plunge! (not literally!)

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


YJust write. I just need to write. I am hiding in my empty dance classroom while everyone dances next door. The red and orange lights and the deep bass of kizomba music makes me feel... I don't know... Safe? Happy? Calm?

I am finding, at the moment, the music is more affecting than the dancing. I find I am now thinking too much on the dancefloor. Not about anything important (that is impossible) but about my body, the way it moves, the things I can't do with it. The things I know i CAN do with it, but my feet are not under my control.

I got dizzy in the class tonight. I never get dizzy (the benefit of a ballet background) but tonight I nearly collapsed. I blame a muscle spasm in my neck (which is very real) but what if that isn't it? I'm being overdramatic again.