Archive | November, 2011

My New Eyes.

29 Nov

So, I’ve put up a new page with my photoshop attempts. They’re not good. At all. But, hey! I can only improve!

So, this is my latest one. Started off as two black smudges…

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My Merry Wake

29 Nov

This was inspired by Alasdair Roberts’ song The Merry Wake. It is once again not in Iambic Pentameter (help?!)

My Merry Wake

As they danced by the banks of the river,

And they laughed, and a merry tune they sung,

And they promised to love me forever,

And through the air their joyous voices rung,

And when to the depth of the Clyde I dropped,

And they gaily ‘celebrated my life’,

Nobody noticed, and nobody stopped,

None, save my own sweet bride, my darling wife.

And the black veil hid her tears from their sight,

And in the depth of her heart, her pain stirred,

And she lost her love to sorrow that night.

Is this how I am to be remembered?

Oh, my bonnie darling what will it take,

To make you smile, smile at my Merry Wake?

My First Sonnet!

24 Nov

I’ve made a new page to put my attempts at sonnets on! I’ll put them up as a post every time I write one (or a short story etc) so you guys see them, cause I know you won’t check the pages when I update them. So.. (Copy and pasting…)

Okay, so this is the first sonnet I’ve ever written. It’s mostly not in Iambic pentameter and it’s contents are crap not very good but it’s really just an experiment to see how I get on.

So, as always criticism is much desired! And help with rhythm would be grand!

Here goes.

 

So says the Fairy God Mother. 

 

So there’s this new chick I’m working for, right?

Cinders is her name. She’s one of these New-

Age women; all liberation and ‘fight

For rights’, hairy pits, equality spew.

 

Apparently a days hard graft demeans

Her bloody human rights. So now she’s all

Up in arms, demanding all of her dreams

Be fulfilled and I get her to the ball.

 

All right dear Cinders, if that’s your request,

I shall magic you up a pretty dress,

A carriage and horses, only the best,

And I’m sure your night will be a success.

 

But you’ve only got ’til twelve with your prince;

You’ll be home early, you’ve dishes to rinse.

Making grown men cry…

18 Nov

So, obviously it’s only been a little while since I last wrote but a combination of my desire to whinge about stuff, how bad the last post was and being guilt tripped by my friend about not posting often enough, I thought I’d shock everyone to their foundations and get a post out, not only on time, but early!

Okay, I’m sure you’re probably desperate to hear more of the riveting life I’ve been leading… Well, I’ve spent the last few days relaxing, or as my lovely new friend calls ‘Zenning out’. It may be obvious to you that he is a Buddhist, and he replied to a message I wrote on twitter about learning meditation. He’s given me some pretty useful advice so if anyone wants me to put it on her, just leave a comment and I’ll do so!

Anyway, yes, I’ve spent quite a lot of time the last few days attempting to meditate, something I’ve never tried before. Safe to say it was a bit of a nightmare. For those of you who have ever attempted meditation, you’ll probably have experienced the same ‘mind buzz’ that’s plagued me. My brain just won’t shut up! I’m trying to follow the advice I’ve been given though, which includes attempting to ‘unburden my mind’, so here I am doing just that.

Okay, there were a few things I wanted to fit into the last post but, as is my wont, I rambled on for too long to actually say anything I wanted to.

Well, one thing which I had planned to moan about was my misfortune at bumping into a religious campaigner, intent to convert me to some rather obscure branch of a religion. (I’ll refrain from mentioning which religion, in case someone takes offence and think I’m implying that all the folk of this, while obscure, still quite interesting sect are as nutty as this muppet). This man pulled me aside while I was hurriedly rushing down Byers road, laden with four bags of heavy shopping, soaked through from the torrential downpour which had barely calmed down. Apparently thinking that this would be an excellent time to have a theological chitchat, he persistently stepped in front of me, smiling and asking if I truly wished to burn in hell for the rest of eternity. Apparently, answering that at least it’d be warmer than Glasgow was not what he had hoped to hear. As I attempted to side-step him and avoid the argument I knew was about to ensue, he then decided to tell me God would hate me for my sins and for not listening to him, who was God’s holy messenger. Now this I could not pass up.

I think it’s fair to say that, after this comment, I was justified in ‘discussing’ this with the half-witted eejit. So, he proceeded to ‘debate’ God, religion, heaven, hell, wrath, atonement and how ‘God loves you, but if you don’t do what I tell you, he’ll send you to hell and let Hitler, Sudam Hussein, Mohammed and Buddha rape, abuse and mutilate you’.

After this last comment I admit I did actually have to pause and wonder if he really just classed Buddha and Muhammed with Hitler and Hussein. By this point in the conversation I’d pretty much anticipated complete and utter nonsense to come spewing out of the man’s mouth, however this astounded me.

I interrupted him for the first time during out conversation and asked him to explain why the Buddha and Muhammed would do that. His answer?

“The Bible tells us that worshipping other Gods means that God hates you, so yes, eve n the ‘perfect’ (here he felt it necessary to emphasis his disgust by ‘air-quoting’) Buddha would go to hell.”

And why would he be abusing me? Because he’s a man and God made men better than women so even in hell they have the right to do whatever they like to women because women are subordinate and naturally sinful, like Eve. The only way to save yourself was to embrace Jesus, accept you’re naturally sinful if you’re female and donate a whole lot of money to his campaign.

And this is where I thought I should enlighten him (no pun intended) on a few things.

I started by pointing out that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all Abrahamic faiths, and all derive from the same God. Then Pointing out that Buddhists do not believe in ANY God. Then pointing out that men did far more sinning in the Bible than women. Then pointing out a few reasons why every argument he’d said contradicted itself, taking him by complete surprise by quoting passages of the Bible (more accurately than he did).

When I then went on to politely inform him that attempting to convert someone to a religion, when they know bugger all about it is never a good idea. And it’s an even worse idea to do so on Byers road, where the majority of folks are students that are as equally likely to go through him like a dose of salts for attempting to. By the time I was finished ‘explaining’ why I would not convert to his religion, he burst into tears, stamped his foot on the ground drama-queen style and told me I was the devil incarnate, come to create havoc on earth. I decided my day had significantly improved.

Moving on, some nice stuff has happened too! I’ve spent a lot of time catching up with some old friends and teachers this week. I met a good friend of mine at the English Literature society and we had a blast trading gossip on all our old friends. This weekend I’m meeting up with some friends as well, going for a few (possibly significantly more than a few) drinks as well.

I’ve also been working on sonnets this week. I’ve written one which I was very glad to just finish, but reading it over, I’ve decided it needs some serious reworking. I’ve also got a few ideas for short stories milling about, I’m just trying to get them off the ground. I’ve been getting a bit of feedback on some ideas too, so hopefully I’ll kick this bloody writers’ block and get some things written!

Anyway, again, I’ve gone off track and said bugger all. I’ll behave next time I promise! I’ll post soon! Bye!

“Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.” O. Wilde

16 Nov

I’m afraid I can’t even start this post apologising for being late as I usually do, as I’ve no idea when I last wrote, and even if I did, I’m not too sure what day it is, so my general self-loathing at my lack of organisational skills will need to suffice you today.

Anyway, (I reread my last post this morning and realised I say ‘anyway’ and ‘so’ way too much, so I’ll try and cut it down(as you will see, I have NOT done this…)) I’ve had a hectic week (?and a bit?) Firstly, yay!! my essays are finished!!! I’m so glad to be rid of them!

They were a complete disaster from start to finish. I spent the majority of the last two/three weeks on the edge of a mental breakdown, trying to simultaneously read secondary sources, write a ‘comprehensive’ analysis and convince myself that Descartes is right and that I’d wake up in the morning and realise it was all just a bad dream.

I think, though, that by doing such a horrendous job on these essays, I’ve learned a lot about what not to do next time, which might help. Firstly, do not put it off, at all, start it immediately. Secondly, don’t plan a time schedule, you’ll never stick to it. Thirdly, if you do give in to your tendency to ‘plan the life out of everything’, make sure you give at least four days of overlap incase you screw it all up again and have to spend way too much time on one essay, leaving yourself with the daunting prospect of having only two days to do another one. Fourthly, read lots of secondary sources; they know what they’re saying, you do not. Fifthly, doubly, triple, quadruple check the deadlines: they are out to deceive you!! Sixthly, and most importantly, if you’re writing an essay on a novel, or perhaps an annoying French guy with a big nose’s meditations, read the bloody book. Under No Circumstances attempt to write an essay when you have not read the book or half of the novel. Especially if said novel doesn’t have a decent wiki page!

Anyway, it doesn’t matter now, they’re gone and I’m going to pretend they didn’t happen. Until I get the results and spend days crying myself to sleep…

So, how did I celebrate not being burdened with essays I hear you ask? I slept. ALL WEEKEND! In fact, I only left, my room to get food and use the toilet. And do you know what, even seeing all the status of amazing nights out exam free etc, I don’t regret a thing!

My classes have all been good this last week (ish?) but I’ve been too stressed out and/or exhausted to appreciate them. We’ve been studying poems in English Lit and I’ve surprised not only myself but anyone who has had the misfortune of ever having discussed it with me, by finding a new love for all things poetry.

I’ve always found it very difficult to understand poetry. I haven’t really studied it in detail that much so I don’t really know the different structures, metres etc. Also, I’ve always found poetry really hard to follow. I can’t really ‘get into’ a poem unless it’s something I’m studying and I’ve been told what it means and what it says etc (at least, my teacher’s representation of it). The only poems, actually, that I’ve ever really manage to read, understand and enjoy is Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol and Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee. The first of these is a bit surprising really, for two reasons, firstly, it’s bloody long, much longer than any other poem I had read, and secondly because, at that point I absolutely hated Wilde. It feels like I’m sinning or something to say that now, but at the time my only experience of Wilde was An Ideal Husband which, in comparison to his other works, is quite boring. Now, Wilde is one of my favourite play-writes and A Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favourite novels.

Now, though I seem to be understanding poetry a lot better. I can easily sit down an read through a poem and not only understand what it means, but be able to appreciate some of the finer details I would never have picked up on before. I still have difficulty with the metre, though, because for some reason I just can’t seem to hear the stresses of the syllables! It’s almost in monotone when I hear poetry, I can’t hear the difference. I’ll keep working on it though, and my flatmates will just need to put up with me repeating the same line over and over out loud with several different inflections at two o’clock in the morning.

So, we’ve moved onto Christianity in Theology now, which is something I’ve really been looking forward to. Despite being raised Christian and being brought up with my morality stemming from that, I’ve actually been very shocked to realise how little I know about what I had claimed to be my religion for so long. I don’t know if I could say it’s quite lived up to my expectations but then, I wasn’t too sure I knew what I wanted it to be.

The lecturer is really good, although out of all three lecturers we’ve had so far, one teaching Islam and one Judaism, she seems to have her work cut out for her most. For the other two, they were lecturing to a class of people very few of whom were actually followers of the faiths they were teaching. However a large proportion of the class is Christian and I can almost feel the tension amongst them at times, as if they’re always waiting for a blow against their religion, or they feel that they must be paying careful attention in order to be able to correct/defend their principles. I can understand this, especially as a large amount of the class live locally and sectarianism is still at play even amongst this generation.

The lecturer, however, is really good at describing and explaining Christianity, while still being respectful but also scrutinising and stating disagreements without causing offence. It’s mostly when someone else in the class speaks up and says something which could be deemed offensive, even though it has never been meant as such, that anyone really begins to stiffen and take sharper notice.

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled for too long now, so I’ll sign off now. There’s still quite a lot I wanted to whinge about, but I’ll save it for next week! (Sooner actually!I feel guilty about how rubbish this post is, so I’m going to start a new one and get it up by the end of the week!) Bye!

Getting drunk, eating ice-cream and making children cry…

1 Nov

What a week! (Slightly over a week, I know, I’m sorry. Blame Philosophy. Or better yet, blame Descartes, the horrible, horrible man…) For once, though, I’ve actually done something to write about! **Happy Dance** Nothing you’re going to find particularly interesting, but at least I don’t have to think up something to spend this post complaining about! (If I did have to chose something, it won’t come as a surprise to anyone who I’m friends with on Facebook, it would be Descartes, the insufferable sod.)

So, on Saturday (22nd) I went to my friends 18th, which was brilliant, being able to catch up with her and some other friends. It was great to see everyone’s been doing well, even if it was a bit sad at the end of the night, knowing it could be ages before we could all meet up again. I think my friends had a good night too, although she sadly broke the tradition of getting absolutely steaming on your 18th. Don’t worry though, me and a couple of other friends more than mad up for her. This night was a milestone for me too, as it was the first time I’d ever stumbled in the door at one o’clock in the morning absolutely burling. And my parents didn’t even kill me!

My little sister told me the next morning that she thought I was nicer drunk, and that I was much more fun. I’m not sure how to take this… She was particularly amused by the fact that I was too afraid to leave the living room, believing the door was going to beat me up, after my dad told me not to let it hit me on the way out. Yes, safe to say I did not enjoy waking up the next morning.

On the Tuesday after this was my own 18th. My parents took me out to Shanghai Shanghai for a lovely meal, and I ended up walking around Carlisle with an 18 badge and helium balloon (give credit to my sister for this monstrosity) and trying not to throw up the outrageous amount of ice-cream I ate.

It was Friday before I made it back up to Glasgow. And it was an absolute nightmare having to drag my suitcase filled with over twenty books and six plus bottles all the way up to Murano from Hillhead! Definitely learned my lesson there! From now on, just bring the alcohol, leave the books at home…

Anyway, Friday night I went out with some friends up here to another Chinese buffet, which was also delicious, and I ate far too much, although not as much as one of my friends, who astounded us all by eating more food than could possibly fit inside a human stomach. I was genuinely worried for his health after that meal. We ended up stealing the helium balloon that they’d put above the table (which is still lying on the kitchen floor now) and then going to a cocktail bar in Ashton Lane called Nude. It was very dark, and very loud, but had such a gorgeous atmosphere that I’m already desperate to go back! And their Strawberry Daiquiri was amazing.

Saturday and Sunday were spent curled up in bed, eating beetroot and trying to do my philosophy essay (God, I hate Descartes…). It was due in today and I finally managed to reach the lower word limit at two o’clock this morning. Safe to say, I don’t think I’ve ever written a worse essay in my life, but at the moment I just don’t care. It’s finished, no more Descartes!! YAY!!

Oh, I went to a synagogue yesterday for theology which was absolutely fascinating. The building itself was beautiful, and the woman who talked to us there was absolutely lovely! She’s one of those little old ladies you can picture sitting at home knitting and drinking tea (I say while drinking hot chocolate and sewing a cushion….). A lot of the information she gave us was things which I had already known before, which is great because it means I’m actually remembering things from my lectures! But I was a little bit shocked at some of the things she told us. Like the fact that in her community of 4,000 Jews, only about 30 attend the synagogue regularly. This is quite a significant decline and it was quite eye open to see that, even in the Orthodox church, the decline in daily/weekly practice has taken its toll.

I’ve also decided (yesterday) to do NaNoWriMo this year. I was almost bullied into it last year by my friends and this year I thought I’d give it ago. Whatever possessed me to think this was a good idea? I have no plot, structure, characters or title and it starts today! Safe to say, I’m not going to finish this year! But hopefully it’ll at least get me writing a bit more. Even if I do end up writing some depressing story about child death or suicide.

Oh, actually, I had a comment on one of my depressing stories the other week and a couple of you asked about it. It was from a lovely woman who asked if she could show my story to her higher class, for inspiration or some such nonsense. We exchanged a few emails and she gave me some great feedback on a couple of stories I’ve been working on and also spent a fair amount of time talking me into doing NaNo too. (thanks for that Suz). Anyway, one of the emails was to tell me that she’d shown her class my story and half of them ended up crying (which amused me so much, for some reason) and saying some lovely things, which she wrote down and emailed to me. It was fantastic to get such good feedback and reviews of my story! I’m really glad as well when a couple of them used my story to guide their own depressing tale about death… Glad to know I inspire such joy in people! (The story was A Box Full of Kisses by the way, check the top of the page to read it if you want!)

Sorry guys, but I really have to go now, my English essay is demanding to be finished, or even started. Post to you soon,

Bye!

Oh, I forgot to add, I now have Meebo (at the side) so if you want to get in touch with me message me on that and I’ll get back to you. Or you could add me on twitter/facebook, which would save me the hassle of figuring out how to use Meebo! 😀