The Black Destruction of Words…

As writers we all want to create something new, something poignant, something funny, something heartfelt, something honest…We strive to find that perfect phrasing, that sentence that says more in a few words than a paragraph could. We want clarity, perfection – drama.

We strive to delete all the unnecessary words, to strip back to what’s not needed to what simply is. It’s a hard task. Then there’s the inspiration. Where to start, how to draw together an idea from the hundreds of bubbling brooding thoughts of our mind.

What if, there was a way of using another’s work, and creating something, totally unique, unrelated to what was there before, that brings life, colour and meaning to a piece of work. Well, I introduce, Black out poetry.

Created by Austin Kleon, the idea is simple. Take a newspaper, find an article. Do not read it, do not spend time working through the article, do not try to force something out of it that is already there… Find a word – A phrase – something that stands out. It could and probably should be random, something that stands out to you. Skim for related words, words that fit the idea or the topic, the mood you’ve already chosen. Get a marker pen. Heres the fun bit… Draw around your chosen words, link the words across the page, and create something ingenious.

It sounds easy, but it’s a skill, a talent and something that will take time. Everyone can do it, but its a new way of working and as we all know, it takes a little time to adjust. When your little poems formed, black out everything else. Wipe the page clean so its only your words, your work that stands out against the darkness. You’ve made your first poem.

Blackout poetry provides a great starting point for all poets, writers and those who enjoy literature in general. It gets your creative flow going, it allows in the shortest of time to create something unique from something plain, bland – the pages of a newspaper. You can use the poem as inspiration for a longer piece of writing, to adapt into an epic poem or simply, to hold on its own, as its own piece of art.

The best thing about Newspaper Blackout is simply, you can do it anywhere. Over a morning coffee, on the train to and from work, in bed when you can’t sleep, in any spare five minutes you have a day. We all know of five-minute exercises that are supposed to keep us in touch with our creativity and help our writing, but what better way to do it than to, force something from our minds and get stressed about that five minutes. Sit back, relax, and just do it.

Austin Kleon is to me, a hero in his own right. A figurehead for the generation of writers that are finding more creative ways to be, well, creative. To find art in the profoundest of places, to work with something that’s already there, to reinvent the written word and poem.

Stealing! I hear you say… How can something be creative, be individual, be unique, when you’ve stolen someone else words, when you’ve had no hand in the writing itself. If you’re still of this mind, you’ve missed the point of Blackout completely. Its recreating not reiterating. You aren’t working with something already there and condensing, your finding something new, something hidden, amongst the garble of corporate wording.

Now I’ll admit, I’m not that great. I’m hardly the next and newest Blackout poet, ready to set your minds alight and show you examples of brilliance but you know, its a new hobby. Its something exciting and more importantly, its something I enjoy. Why not give it a go, and see what you may discover, lost and found on your favourite broadsheet.

To get a better idea of what I’m talking about check out, Austin Kleon’s book “Blackout Poetry” or http://newspaperblackout.com/ for examples and ideas to inspire you all. The best thing about the website, you can post your own works, and if your lucky (such as my friend and colleague at Uni) Austin may just reblog it himself as a fine example, of just what he wanted to achieve.

But why stop at newspapers. Think of the possibility, every old book you hate, those long-winded Victorian epics that bored you silly, wouldn’t you like to destroy the text and create something, brilliant? A journal, a pamphlet, an old novel, a horoscope… The opportunities are endless. Suddenly every word ever written can be recreated, redesigned, reinvented, recreated.

We always say how can you write something new when everything’s been written once before? Well… start with the stuff that has been done, and find your own magic within…

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If we ever needed encouragement…

We all have days, days when we want to give up, days when we can’t see any point, days when we take yet another knock and think, is it all worth it? It doesn’t matter if it’s at work, if its home life, it’s a hobby, or an interest. Whether its something we’ve just started like that new gym regime, or something we’ve been doing for ages – trying to see ourselves better. Some days it’s a little bit too much effort.

Well, if there ever was a story to inspire, it comes once again in my beloved Mr Murray, who after his Wimbledon defeat, myself and the English Nation poured their hearts out for. A dream whipped away by the greatest man in tennis. We all said, how do you bounce back? How can you overcome something that took so much emotional strength from you, and so much passion to reach in the first place.

By winning, in straight 3 sets, 28 days later, beating the same man, on the same court, and take home a gold medal. It was never going to be an easy task but a glimmer of hope, a window of opportunity opened  and Andy took it. Maybe it was a grudge match, made it was revenge, maybe it was to prove himself but prove he did. The same emotional, shaky and unsure Andy had disappeared. A new man stood in front of us all.

Calm, collected, full of composure and relaxed. He played the best tennis of his life, he threaded the needle down the line more times than we’d ever seen, his shots were sublime, his speed and reaction as fast as ever, and Federer looked, well tired. It’s not to say that he wasn’t, that he wasn’t himself having an off day, but Murray took advantage.

He showed that in loss there is not defeat. That with hard work, with self belief and courage, you can bounce back and achieve whatever you wish. He won, the biggest match of his life, in perfect form and made us all realise, we need not give up on our dreams.

Rutherford, who went on to win a gold medal in the long jump, after defeat in Beijing, nearly gave up, nearly quit his sport and retired for good. How he would have kicked himself. He wouldn’t have realised his potential, wouldn’t have realised his dreams, and accepted his place as Olympic Champion. It would have been easier, to accept and to give up, but with more time, harder work, and the same support – just shows what can be achieved.

We need not give up on things we feel passionate about, when the boat gets rocked and a storm brews, when life seems to throw hurdle and hail storm, it may knock you down but it wont break you. For me, it was another time to realise that despite life’s woes there are so many things to be happy about, so much to look forward to, so much to strive for – so much more to achieve.

We’ll all have our break, it might not be in sporting history in front of 15,000 people, but we all have our moments, our chance to shine, our spotlights, surrounded by our fans – our families, our friends, our partners – ready to celebrate with us. Whatever your back breaker is, lets not give up just yet, because in a months time, your life could have changed completely.

You could write a book…

How many times is that bantared around? Anyone with a half creative brain, anyone studying English, anyone have ever had an english lesson, everyone thinks could be a writer. It’s mentioned like, going shopping or popping to the gym or losing a few pounds.

No. simply no. We cannot all write novels. We are not all gifted enough, it’s a skill, yes everyone can write to a degree, everyone can put across their voice, can write a little bit of a prose, can write things that their friends will gush over, but as in, getting a publishing contract and hundreds of sales, enough to live?

No. I didn’t take the creative writing modules at Uni for the simple reason, that I couldn’t handle, hearing people every seminar saying, I’m writing my second book, this is an excerpt from my first novel, I’m currently finishing off my first paperback… instead I had to listen to everyone bitching about it. Yes there are a lot of authors out there, but compared to the number of people actually living in a  country or in the world? It’s a TINY percentage and it’s getting harder, with funding limited and publishers not so keen to print.

Oh yeah, anyone can self publish, but that isn’t quite the same thing is it? The same sense of achievement, the same sort of, book deal that everyone (it seems) craves. I’m sorry to sound like a heartless woman, damning everyone’s hopes and dreams of literary success, I’m just a realist. I would love to be a writer, a full-time erotic fiction writer…

Oh yes, that’s the other half of my brain, spent delving into dark corners and crevices of passionate embraces and sexy encounters. I would love, adore, to be that good, to give up the day job, teaching and to just write, to do product reviews and enjoy my dark side. But it isn’t going to happen. I don’t write fiction, I write erotic tales, there’s no romance,  no plot, it’s just sex and that’s what I love – and it wouldn’t sell.

I hate this culture of everyone being an author. celebrities bringing out books by the week. Do you actually think they write them? Not some poor twit that can’t make it and is hoping that one day they’ll be recognised by their amazing skills in putting across Katie Price’s life story, and writing something rewarding.

I have an unbelievable amount of respect for writers, for authors and for publishers. The hours writers spend on their own, immersed in their own thoughts, in a story, trawling over sentences and syntax, and trying to get it, just right. Publishers, for the tine and commitment in reading, re reading, editing, making sure we get the very best novel from an author that they can. Its gruelling – it’s not an easy job. What if it doesn’t sell, what if your ill and behind on a deadline, what if you can’t pay your rent, what if you realise, you weren’t that good?

I am not disillusioned, but I am respectfully envious, not of their success, not of their lifestyle, but of their ability, that they have found their niche, and a skill that many of us just simply don’t have. Well, I guess that concludes my rant. Maybe one day we’ll all have a book, maybe we’ll all write about our lives and keep it hidden for eyes one day to see, maybe we’ll call it a diary or something…

Rediscovering your past love…

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For once I am not referring to men, or women. No I’m talking about hobbies and those things we used to love doing, yet somehow no longer have the time too. I’ve many, we all have, things in our past that we were almost obsessed with at the time. I danced, nearly gave up school for dance school at 11, swam for my county, amateur dramatics – performances, singing, dancing the whole she-bang (nearly drama school instead of Uni)… I played cards, was an avid poker fan, read for fun before Uni got in the way, played Badminton, Rock climbed…. and of course, the crux of and purpose of my post.

Played the piano. Since returning home for the summer and getting to play as much as I want, having a piano back has been quite something. I’d forgotten how much I’d missed it, the hours of practising, getting a piece, then playing as though you always could, the sanitation, my hands dancing over the chords and arpeggios, my long nails clicking against the ivories with each note. I couldn’t be any happier when sat at my piano for hours.

I get wrist cramp, I swear, I get up make a cuppa in a mood only to return with a “right you bastard” as I stare out the music, the notes, the staves tormenting me. It’s a love hate relationship and I love every minute of it. It’s not that I’m amazing, I gave up lessons after my grade 5 exam, not wanting to put myself through the torment of a theory exam, which now… you could say seems pointless but never mind, Oh! to be young and headstrong. But what does make the difference…

Its my passion. Its something I will always enjoy doing. I rarely play for others, I find it unnerving, I’m happy playing in the hall and if people can hear well then I hope they enjoy. But I play for me. For the personal accomplishment, for my own pleasure, for the satisfaction of completing something. There are rare moments in life when we can literally acknowledge progress, doing well. We work hard at work and feel like we’ve made headway but there’s no proof, maybe a smaller pile of papers, we cultivate friendships, but there’s no pat on the back, there’s just another name in a phone book and maybe an occasional text… That’s pessimistic I realise. But playing the piano for me is progress and accomplishment personified.

I can see me having learnt, I can feel the change and the growth in my playing, in my repertoire, in my mood. I have a favourite composer, I will save the details for a later blog but I determined to learn all of his work. I know that seems somewhat daft and copycat. I have no desire to learn or write my own music, it’s not one of my talents, I know that already, but what I do know is I love his pieces, I like playing them, the way they feel, the running notes, the epic crescendo’s, the softness…

So, this post really only has one message, as ever as a conclusion. What’s your passion? Go find something you loved doing, and do it. Whether it was a squash game with buddies every week, or a bath that you no longer get time to take, or swimming … or anything. Rediscover it, explore it, enjoy it. We only live once and life’s far to full of the un-fun stuff. Its time reclaimed the things we do love.

A little bit Self Absorbed.

For the first time in a long time I can say I became totally absorbed in my life. Somehow, somewhere I have lost two weeks of my time to what I can only describe as a surreal reality. Not to sound overly vague or highfalutin, but literally time seems to have disappeared as I became totally immersed in my own world.

I’ve met someone.  Now that’s a big statement when only out of a relationship for 8 weeks, even if it was a long time coming, and I’m not saying that this is the one, the love of my life or anything like that. But we do seem to get on, too well. I am fully aware that what I may be feeling or experiencing is just a rebound, is a continuation of my past relationship of which I will snap out of, realise it isn’t me and need some time, that I may be feeling needy and lonely and wanting someone to fill a void in my life but whichever…

I’m happy. I’m happily being made happy and happy to enjoy being so. I believe in life we meet people for a purpose. I’ll go into it more one day and it might sound harsh but its true. So maybe my new beau’s purpose is simply to make me realise I need time, or that I’m not over my ex, or whatever but he’s making me happy – happier than I ever was before.

He makes me laugh till I cry, is immature and fun in a way that I’d forgotten how to be, is cute and cheeky and spirited, he adores me and makes me feel special, makes me feel important, respected, wanted… I’d forgotten how that had felt. Even in a long-term relationship I’d forgotten, because we didn’t have that. And its a lovely surprise and treat to feel so.

Do not get me wrong, I am not simply leading this boy up the garden path just for my own enjoyment, I care for him a great deal, having known him for two years, I respect him, treasure his opinion, care for his welfare, and like him immensely. This is not early doors in that sense. What I mean though is despite outcome, sometimes you just have to live.

It would be easy to say there are reasons this shouldnt happen or I shouldnt go along with it, get caught up in things when I’m vulnerable even if not feeling it whatsoever, yet why. Experience as I’ve said before should never be passed up. One of my favourite lines from a film is from the Bucket List, “Three things to remember when you get older – Never pass up a bathroom, never waste a hard-on and never trust a fart” its crude in a way that suits me but its got a point. My own memento would be, “Never waste an experience, never pass up an opportunity, never forget a feeling.”

Dont wait and waste days thinking what you should be doing, do what makes you happy. Enjoy life and take every hand that s offered to you, never forget how it felt to be liked, loved how someone made you feel before it went sour, how pain hurts and experience scars, but learn from it.

I’m not one for being self-absorbed but the two weeks when my new beau was staying have flown by. I wanted nothing more than to just be with him, like a teenage crush or a virgins first touch, I wanted to just be near to stare at him, kiss him, snuggle him… and all the more adult less fantastical features of relationships. We walked. we cycled country lanes and down hill courses, slept and sun bathed on sun-kissed beaches, talked till the early hours, snuggled in bed, ate out, ate in, ate off each other… you get the picture. If you could imagine a perfect two weeks, I’ve had it.

And I’ve woken up with a bump. I’ve been one of those who forgets her friends, forgets her responsibilities, gets absorbed in a fantasy and forgets what life’s about… and yet arent I allowed? sometimes? To be selfish, to be absorbed and wanted and liked and quiet and irresponsible and childish and all those other things. Isn’t life, living for the moment? Capturing life’s essence and enjoying the time we have?

I may not be going on holiday this year, but I’ve had the vacation I needed, right at home, I’ve forgotten my life and my woes and been happily washed away to a foreign land where nothing but sun fun and frolicking were the order of the day. So maybe we should all take a day off or two, enjoy ourselves a bit.

And I’ll certainly enjoy this new little chapter and turn of events, whatever it may hold for me.

Every book is an artefact.

Literature. The lifeblood of a nation, one of the true representations of our life, our current economy, our society, our… reality. Its stands to represent the thoughts and feelings of a nation. From the upper classes, to the lower, with popular culture and the start of the serial press back in Victorian Era, literature has come to be something we can all appreciate and reflect upon.

So why is it so important? Well, like all the arts, it’s a way of preserving our time. Think back to the Victorians, without the emergence of the popular serialised publishing by the new middle class, we would know nothing of the strife and struggle for the lower classes, the working conditions, the sense of the time they lived in. We wouldn’t understand the emergence of the middle class, it wouldn’t be, documented by those high brow writers we cherish. Victorian Literature that’s studied now is just that sort, the sort that focuses on the sociological and economical England of the time.

Every literature tells you something, ever written piece of prose, a thought, a doodle. Think of notes from a class, they reveal the voice of that age, their issues, their humour, the individuals perspective, their worries, which relates to the bigger picture. You get a note from a thirteen year old saying they’d love to do someone, well you can tell that the younger generations are sexually active, grown up, independent. It tells you something about the people of our time.

So why are we so concerned with the canon, the literary on that is. Of the high brow critics the writers that changed our nation, of Shelley and Joyce, of Hemingway and Shakes, of Woolf and Keats – because they wrote something revolutionary, the changed the course of the literature, they made a difference to our heritage or culture in someway with its representation of it. But don’t all authors do that.

A romance novel, concerned with a young woman trying to find herself and her lovers, husband the one. It shows the emotional state, talks of romance and love, of all the clichés we’ve heard a thousand times. Yet it does something more than that, so much more. It tells you about gender, about representations of the Masculine and Feminine in our time, it represents ideologies, so engrained within our culture, we write within them without realising or thought. It  tells you about what’s popular, what our nation is reading and why, about escapism, about a world which doesn’t reflect the romantic parallel we’ve made up. It explores the idea of anyone being able to write, about women writers, about their role within Literature during our time, our representation and restraints on society.

Erotica, a genre we might not normally consider. It represents our culture, open and accepting, or sexuality and the importance of sexual desire and freedom. It shows a nation willing and participating in the voicing of certain fetishes, of difference, of individualism, of self-expression. It represents issues of self-esteem, of freedom, of wanting to escape the norm, of fantasy. It shows relationships and the way we interact with one another, as sexes, within our gender constructs. All from one titillating tale of the plumber and the girl next door… But that’s just my point.

Everything we read is having an effect on us, its transcribing and voicing all these little details that we soak up and process without realising. It helps to broaden our understanding of our world, of ourselves, our society and our individualism. It challenges us with philosophy, sociology, psychology, politics, history and theoretical concepts. It imparts knowledge and understanding, opening our minds to new prospects, ideas and vocabulary.

Literature, every literature, is valuable. It should be saved and recorded, studied or enjoyed. In an age of technology we must not lose the written word, to online uploads and computer software. Books, the smell of the them, the feel of a hard back, of soft covers, of the pages, should always remain. What if we become so advanced, we lose books? We lose reading in all sense of the word, we simply get to a time where we download a book into our brains and we’ve read it instantly. The process of reading, of time out, of learning and the enjoyment of the journey would be lost. Its far-fetched I know, but its true. Reading is a learning process and one we must sustain and encourage.

Literature and every art form, represent us. Individually, because we fit into the grander schemes of society, of women and men and gender, of sexuality, of a nation, of a species, and therefore we are engaged with it. Lets not segregate ourselves from our world and heritage. lets read and enjoy, immerse ourselves in the brilliant minds and imaginations of others, enjoy each word, syllable and phrase for what it is – a journey through someone else’s eyes, a discovery of ourselves and an experience of our culture.

Pride in our Nation.

So Yesterday it was America’s big 4th of July celebrations, and my friend wrote this. “I sat in my garden, listening to the world go by without it really affecting me. Yet suddenly, a loud bang broke my silence and there it was, tiny sparkling flaming lights dancing in the sky – Fireworks. Somewhat Ironically people, English People, were celebrating a country gaining independence from them and I had to think, what an odd relationship the States and England have, in a positive sort of way” – Well of course. What a profound and brilliant musings from somewhere I admire greatly.

It got me thinking about America, our great friend and supporter and their attitude towards their country.

How many people do you meet who are so enthusiastic about their great nation, about their life, about their leaders, their holidays, about supporting each other, their fellow American… and it made me think, Why don’t we have that? We’re approaching a milestone for the United Kingdom, the Olympics is coming and how many people say, “I’m not really that bothered” or “waste of time”. If you aren’t a sports fan then understandably, so what about the Queens Jubilee…

How many people slated her and the state, claiming to hate the monarchy? Why? Why can’t we be proud of our nation, of our country and all that we are. Of our fellow-man, our position in the world, our… openness and acceptance of other cultures within ours. That maybe a contentious point, but we be so god damn – damning.

The Queens Jubilee was the first time I felt a sense of, English-ness. Of a country being united in support of our nation, of each other, celebrating what makes England great together. I felt proud to be british, to see the amazing talent at the show, to see our royal family standing together, to see the streets lined with people, out to celebrate British-ness. As soon as I’d felt this elation, I felt a pang of remorse…. it wasn’t going to last. It wasn’t going to last the weekend, let alone the week, or the year.

We are a flawed nation, as most are admittedly. We act as though we are a nation still with a large colony and able to compete on the international stage, when really, we are a small island with big dreams and aspirations. We have a past that we can’t be necessarily be proud of, of the empire and our role within it, but then, its our heritage, we should be. We are our nation, we have the opportunity, the chance to make her great, we are our country, each and every one of us, so if we strive for greatness, our country will too.

Most of our nation love our history. The programmes on the Tudors, the great Henry the VIII and Elizabeth, the Windsors and the Stuarts, Queen Victoria and The Duchess of Devonshire. They represent a time when England, the UK was a nation of greatness, of excess, of wealth, of power and elegance. Why don’t we feel that now? Why don’t we all strive to have that same dignity in our country today, to want to make it better, to feel that sense of belonging and unconditional pride.

I love my country, I love being British, I love the accent, the diverse cultures, the counties with their quirks, the scenery, the coast, the tiny island that is us, I wouldn’t want to be any other nationality, yet I’m jealous of those countries with that national Pride. I guess, I just wish, we could all love her too.

Like to be Liked.

What I’m about to say isn’t going to make me too popular I imagine, but I believe what I’m about to say many of us will have to admit to whether we like to or not. I’m talking about being liked. We all like, to be liked. Thats a given, no one wants enemies or adversaries, we all want to get along with people, to make friends, to fit in, be found funny, interesting, attractive…

That’s more to my point, we all secretly like to be liked, in that way. We all want to be fancied, to be found desirable, to be wanted by others. It’s a confidence kick, it’s a boost of the self-esteem, and it makes us feel alive. When you walk down the road, how many of us give people the eye, or catch people giving us it? It makes you feel good, gives you a smile, so you obligingly smile back at them, feeling a bigger spring in your step and lighter at heart.

How many boys walk along hand in hand with their girlfriend, their better half and shamelessly eye up every pair of legs, tits and pretty face that passes them by? Most. But what about the girls? We all walk with a gentle sway, up straight, we glance at faces as we pass them, we smile to ourselves and check ourselves out in shop windows… are we really any different? Do we walk in that way we know will attract attention because we like it? Do we secretly love it when someone chats us up in front of friends or even our partner, because it reminds them and you, your something worth keeping?

I don’t think its unfair to say most of us do, even those who are happily married, or settled, its human nature. After all window shopping is only the start. But what about something more? A friend of mine was chatting saying how she had snuggled up to someone she, knew she didn’t like that way, but knew he liked her… so that would be, Leading him on right? No. Its not all as black and white as that. If you aren’t making advances or promises, then I’ll disagree.

We’ve all wanted to be made to feel special, feel attractive, had someone to cuddle. It’s normally when we’re out of a breakup or single for a while – you get the blues. You just want that special someone there, the ex or mr/missus right and they’re not. But someone is, someone you care about, someone you’re comfortable with, that you can sit and cuddle, and laugh with, curl up on the sofa with under a blanket.

It isn’t something awful; taking it any further, well that’s different. That’s engaging sex and affection and emotion into the equation, and well know how those things complicate matters.  I’m a very tactile individual, with everyone, friends, people I’ve just met. I’m always one to put a hand on someone arm when I’m talking and lean in, to hug people I’ve just met, to lean my leg over someone when we’re sat talking… To me, its only natural. I’d find it odd to be the other way, so to me, a cuddle. Well its just a cuddle. It’s just you snuggling into someone for a bit of comfort, warmth and security, nothing to write home about.

So next time your with a friend, your feeling a bit lonely and they’ve popped over for company, you see them shuffle a bit closer, and you feel like laying against them. Do it, make a comment about having them there as a mate when you need them if you feel you need to lay down parameters. We’re all to fussy about being touchy feely, getting to close, about being over friendly, the barriers between men and women as friends. What does it matter? Really, no one can be hurt by a cuddle or a snuggle.

Engagements and rest.

“I’m happy to be the bridesmaid, the bride bit can wait till later…”

Today I attended my friends Engagement party. She’s 20, known he boyfriend for years and now a year later, on their first anniversary, he proposed, halfway up a mountain, with flowers, the ring, down on one knee, in a foreign land…It was devastatingly romantic, even for a woman like me, who doesn’t get soppy for compliments or gestures.

But it made me think. It’s not, what I want. For me, it’s all too soon, they’re ready as a couple but, they seem so young, to be committing your life. Is it wrong of me to want to, live a bit more? After a recent break up from a long-term relationship it made me realise,  I’m not ready for all that yet. For marriage, for the whole she-bang. I want to live more, to have a career, to live a little.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those pro feminists who says women shouldn’t be confined to their womanly role and should be able to be the businesswoman, the mother, the martyr all in one. I don’t mean that, for me you can’t be all those things. I don’t think you can be a mum and have a high-powered career and live your life to the full. Its splitting yourself in too many places, you end up doing two jobs half-heartedly well rather than one whole heartedly, and for me, I have to do everything to the best of my ability.

I want that one day, the marriage the kids. I want to be the stay at home mum like mine was, to be there with her kids, for every trip and fall, bump bruise, birthday, swimming gala, football match and Fete. I just, don’t want it now. I have so much more to learn as a person, I am not ready to give myself – all of myself – to another; to give up on my life, and my experience. I guess what ive realised is, I’ve not met that one; the one who I would do anything for, to put my own plans or aspirations on hold for theirs, to settle down and be nothing more than a wife, and a mother.

To say nothing more sounds as though I think it’s a bad thing, like we’re selling ourselves short as woman, but as I’ve already said, that’s not it at all. I’m kind of a traditionalist, I like the idea of cooking for my husband as he returns from work, for being a mum, having mothers coffee mornings, baking cakes for the little ones – being a mother, and a wife, are the hardest jobs I believe in the world. One of the most demanding and worthwhile careers a woman can have.

I’ve just not got there yet. For all my maturity, experience, relationships and loves, I’ve not had that. Or I did, but I messed it up, but that’s for another day. It hasn’t all clicked into place, and that’s exciting, that the world is mine, to explore again, to further myself, to build my career, and have fun finding that person who makes me happy, and you know, will for years to come.

I’m happy for my friends, that they’re there, beginning to build their lives together and support each other. I guess it’s that, I don’t need that now, don’t want it, if it happens, brilliant I shall embrace it whole heartedly, but I’m very much my own person, very much enjoying my life, and looking forward to all that it offers.

This time six months ago, I was planning an engagement for next year, my life in months to come, with a partner, a house, planning my further education around someone else’s career; how things change in a short space of time. It was naive, and needy, planning ahead hoping to resolve the cracks in my relationship with romantic fantasies and far-fetched notions and plans. Now, i’m celebrating with friends, looking at their relationship and realising everything that was wrong with mine, understanding myself, my mindset, my position and smiling, because despite everything… I like my life and I look forward to its next chapter.

Nudity or Naturism?

I have a little confession. It’s not one that will shock particularly, I’m sure we all do it occasionally, but I love being naked. I mean love it. We all have days when we jump out of the shower, we’re warm wrapped in a towel and we just, laze about. We drop the towel and head downstairs, make a good old cup of tea, sit and read the paper, dry our hair and pamper ourselves, maybe we do the household chores.

This I find quite a regular occurrence, in fact I avoid getting dressed if at all possible. At Uni I spend 60% of my time in my room and 58% of that time, will be naked, or in pants, busying myself doing whatever. I can be writing an essay, having a chat with someone, tidying or just sitting. I just love the feel of the air on naked skin.

There is something about being naked that feels totally free. My figure isn’t perfect by any means but that doesn’t matter. It’s not attention seeking or anything, I’m not popping to the shops naked after all, but its liberating. I’ve always wondered if I’m a naturist at heart. Whether I should explore that side of myself further.

I am tempted to the do the naked london bike ride, be liberated, see how it feels. My issue with Naturism is simply that, one its sort of, forcing nakedness and nudity down people’s throats if not contained in specific locations, and, its kind of an older generation thing. What young people, my age, 22, want to walk around naked?

There are enough guys and girls who drunkenly happily take their clothes off, flash, walk along with their arse hanging out of a far to short skirt, but soberly, to show the world yourself, in its truest form, without hiding behind anything? That’s something else entirely.  I think I’m a little bit of a hippy at heart. I hardly ever wear shoes, I walk around the city without them on, on pavement or sand or dirt, I like the feeling of your feet touching the surface your on, having contact. Its grounding, makes you feel very much there, rather than separated from nature and your surroundings.

Don’t get me wrong, like everyone in this world I conform to the social norms, I wear shoes when appropriate (after bare footing the underground, this is somewhere there needs to be a separation)  I wear clothes to cover myself up, and not dressing like a slut either. I havent got my cleavage on show, my legs out, have my back and my arms all at once. I’m quite conservative with it all. But maybe that’s the thing.

Conservative at heart and my nudity is a rebellion from conformity, from being straight-laced, from being, restricted. Maybe I’m a free spirit, a wannabe hippy, or maybe I’m just a girl so comfortable in her skin, she doesn’t feel ashamed to cover it up – at least when she’s by herself.