Nothing breeds contemplation like commuting.

I’ve been taking the train to London for over three years now – an hour each way – and once music and the Metro became boring, the only thing left to do was stare out of the window and think (I can’t sleep on trains). Most of the time I think about things that don’t exist, like what it would feel like to be a CEO rather than an admin worker, or precise physiological reactions of the guy who spiked my drink if I hit him repeatedly in the face with a broken bottle, or how my unicorn would look at me if I walked past him on the beach with a perfect belly and finished tattoos. Then sometimes I think about deeper things; whether I’ll make a difference in the world, what will I think when I look back on my life, the precise chances of dying from a rogue blood clot at any random moment in time.

I’m not a fan of philosophising over existential issues; it’s much better to go out and do things without overthinking them, otherwise you’ll feel like you’ve already done most of the work and end up writing whiny blog posts about how difficult life is. But I’m too high-strung to meditate so the only thing left to do for two hours every day is to let my brain take over and fire off neurons in ten billion paranoid directions at once (incidentally I just googled the phrase “fire off neurons” and found this video which is pretty cool).

Sometimes it’s fun to mentally have an out-of-body experience and float above the train pulling into London Bridge station and London itself. One of the strangest realisations is that all the intense emotions, from euphoria to near-suicide are experienced by millions of people at the same time. They feel like they change the fabric of time but they’re just a storm in a meat-and-bones teacup. They are overwhelming but unnoticed by anyone else because we still keep a bored-and-slightly-pissed off facial expression and that paradox is scary.

I wrote the above paragraphs this morning and have been in some kind of daze all day. There are days when I wake up and feel so out of sync with the world that it’s like my brain has teleported to a different universe.

I’m also getting annoyed at this blog becoming all me me me but I haven’t done anything exciting recently that’s worth writing about.

It’s hard to go out and do things, even for the purpose of writing an interesting blog post about them (as good a reason as any), when all I want to do in my spare time is curl up under the duvet. It’s harder still when I get up with a ‘rah’ bravado and determination to git shit done and end up spending the day moping around the house and staring into space. I’ve also realised I tend to slip into the second person when writing about these things (i.e. “when all you want to do in your spare time…”), whether it’s because it’s difficult to admit to myself that I struggle with life sometimes or because it’s a technique to draw the reader in. Check me out. I use techniques.

What else? I’ve accidentally paid too much council tax because I hate logging on to my online banking so much that I forgot to cancel the standing order. I wore red lipstick that looked good for the first time last week. It’s my birthday on Monday. I feel less hostile towards people.

Life goes on, regardless of storms.

Let’s Get Boring

I recently moved house from a middle-of-nowhere urban wasteland to a 2-minute walk from the local bar district. The British love their booze and given that most of my social circle has worked in a bar at some point in their life, there hasn’t been a shortage of “fancy a pint?” texts.

One night I was sitting in Wetherspoons with friends and we were talking about getting older. I said, ‘It always annoyed me how society expects you to do certain things in a certain order by a certain age… go to uni, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids.’

Emily said, ‘And everyone feels sorry for you if you haven’t done that… even if you don’t want to do that.’

Her words reminded me of a time an ex said, ‘Congratulations, you now have the party lifestyle you’ve always wanted’ like it was an insult. Like now I was no longer eighteen, I should have settled down to a lifetime of monotony.

The truth is, yes I am a party girl and yes I like going out. I like the dissonance of a packed bar, I like the semi-euphoric feeling of occasion, I like the tipsy wine haze. The moment I give that up for slumping on the sofa in front of “crap telly” (seriously, if you say those words with a humble sense of pride then just kill yourself), I’ve let myself down as a person. I would have given up doing what I like for a calm, monotonous, sensible life because society thinks I should take up gardening or baking or some other wholesome bullshit that women who post memes about how being knee-deep in used nappies is the hardest job in the world do.

I’ll take the partying, thanks, especially given that I can bake the best chocolate brownies on the planet already. And instead of judging me, why don’t you judge yourself for being dead inside.

The Downside of Dignity

So the worst thing about not wanting to air your dirty laundry in public and smiling and saying, “It just didn’t work out” when asked is that people nod sympathetically and say things like, “Aww poor guy, he must be finding it hard still”. While you smile and make a semi-apologetic face and roll your eyes internally because they have no idea.

They don’t know about the texts you get asking you to hook up, then claiming it was just a joke (“oops wrong number haha lol”) then going demented at you and calling you a selfish cunt when you say you’re not comfortable with the jokes.

They don’t know about the bitchy comments (“not surprised you had to go have an STD test, hope it’s cleared up by now”) or the digs at your life (“what have YOU done with your life since we split up apart from get drunk”, “you’ve lost too much weight, you used to look so much better”).

They just think you’re an evil bitch from hell because all your doubts and uncertainties get paraded round a little backslapping circle of woman haters with bruised egos as proof of your bitch-from-hell status (“She wasn’t sure if she wanted to get back together? No no, she was STRINGING ME ALONG”. They’re human, you’re not) while you’re smiling and making a sad face and telling people it just wasn’t working out while thinking that everyone can just go fuck themselves. 


I like wrinkles; pathways to frowns and smiles and cigarettes in the sun. I like scars; keloid notches of fire and metal and trauma. I like tattoos; gritted-teeth art inherited from tribes and mutated into rotary machines. I like things that make a blank canvas with genetically correct features look more interesting.


To say that the human body is a temple is pompous and self-important. Life is a tempestuous, unpredictable journey that weathers and changes people, and the human body is a chronicle of that. It’s not a pure slab of polished stone that stands unmovable in the eye of the storm, as unnatural as a sixty-year-old with a smooth neck and perky breasts.




People who say, ‘That tattoo is going to look terrible when you’re older’ haven’t thought their argument through. Do we go through life with the purpose of preserving a beautiful-looking corpse?


No one grows old and wishes they stayed at home more.


We can – and should – do what we can to look and feel our best. But to treat wrinkles and scars and signs of ageing as something to be reviled rather than stories of a life of adventures and experiences is to admit that your own fear of going out there and really living is being projected onto other people.


Don’t end up as a beautiful-looking corpse. There are better things to do with your life.

There’s No Shame In STI

A few weeks ago I was sitting in the waiting room of the local GUM (genito-urinary medicine) clinic to get tested for STI’s/STD’s (I don’t know what the difference is). I’d never been to one before; I’ve been tested at my GP’s but at that moment in time I was in the process of changing doctors and when I decide I want to do something, I want to do it right fucking now.

The clientele ranged from giggling teenage girls to a couple in their fifties. I found myself thinking with disdain that the girls probably turned up for a positive test result every month and one of the couple probably cheated. Then I wondered what they thought of me; young, blonde, a little hungover. Maybe I looked like I was here to get the morning after pill after fucking some meathead I met in a club.

I was called in. The nurse went through my sexual history and a few other questions (“Have you ever injected drugs or been paid for sex? You’d be surprised at how many people have”). She was weirdly insistent on taking down the name of the last person I slept with. I refused because it made me feel uncomfortable. Then I took my bottoms off and got on the bed. She got the speculum out – “This will feel a little unpleasant in the same way that your smear test does” – I closed my eyes and thought of England. This part of the test was to collect samples to be tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. Feeling grossed out yet? I was as she explained all this to me.

Then it was time to move into the next room for the HIV test. The idea of one was sobering. Nurses with syringes instilled terror in me ever since I fainted and had a seizure halfway through giving blood. A second nurse came in to get some tablets out from a cupboard. She saw me and said she’d hold my hand. ‘How did you spend your Christmas?’ she asked.

I said, ‘I got drunk and spent Christmas day on my parents’ sofa reading a book and eating sausage rolls.’ She laughed.

I was given a piece of paper with the results line number on it and sent on my merry way. I checked Twitter when I got home and flinched at a Tweet that read, ‘Never holla at a girl in the doctor’s waiting room, she might be there because she has the clap’. I remembered how judgemental I felt about the girls and the couple in the waiting room. Really, they could have been there for any number of reasons. Maybe their partner cheated. Maybe the condom broke. Maybe they were there to get the Pill, or to change the type of Pill because of side effects. Maybe they were there to change their Nexplanon. Maybe they had sex with a new partner. Maybe they had sex with a stranger, or multiple strangers, and so what if they did? For someone who bangs on about not judging other people’s lifestyles, I was a piece of shit for glaring at the other people in that waiting room.

There is no stigma around catching a cold from someone sneezing on you. There is no stigma around getting an upset stomach from badly prepared food. But being diagnosed with an STI is massively shameful and dirty because sex is a clean beautiful romantic thing and the idea of HORRID DISEASES ruins the idea, right?

And that’s not good – because it’s wrong. There are still big conservative sections of society that believe in the sanctity of the unsullied vagina etc (side note: why is my “honour” and “self-respect” represented by my cunt?) but for the most part it is much more socially acceptable to have sex with multiple partners before marriage – if marriage even happens, and if it doesn’t then that’s completely fine too, hurrah society etc. Therefore more people have sex with more other people and there is a bigger chance of STI transmission.

Shaming people for having sex isn’t going to solve anything. We need to be honest with ourselves and with each other about sexual health, partners and the risk of infection. We need to know about symptoms (or in some cases, lack of) and to get tested regularly after each new partner. And we really need to realise that having an STI isn’t indicative of ‘slutty’ behaviour. I could go off on a massive tangent about how sleeping around doesn’t even make someone A Bad Person because I strongly believe that and anyone who doesn’t is an insecure child but I won’t because that’s not the point.

The point is that one of my friends, who only slept with four people in the entire thirty years he’s been alive, once tested positive for chlamydia and had to take a dose of penicillin that made him feel like shit for two days. My overall ‘body count’ is higher but when I rang the results line two weeks later, an automated voice told me that all my results came back negative.

Still think I’m a skank?

Angry and reckless

I miss being a teenager sometimes. I burned my diaries from that time (my mum found them in the attic last year and I couldn’t sleep until I had them back in my possession) but I’ve kept a few scrapbooks and looking through them reminded me of the kind of person I used to be. Even though I was a selfish little drama queen who made at least three bad decisions a day, the person that comes through in those pages has so much more energy and drive and general IDGAF attitude. I didn’t care about what people thought, I did things for myself. I had huge dreams and no clue how to accomplish them but that didn’t make me believe in the fact I was going to get there any less. I wasn’t afraid to try new things for fear of not being very good at them. I believed strongly in ideals and rushing out and doing things without overanalysing the fuck out of them in order to find a reason not to. I don’t really know how to get that back. Well, I do; I need to go out and start doing things again but it’s so hard to get out of the mindset of finding excuses to stay at home with the laptop and being crippled by self-doubt the whole way through. It’s hard to be at the mercy of your brain which can decide to go into a slump where getting out of bed in the morning is a purely mechanical action at any time. It’s hard knowing that the euphoric feeling of ‘no one can stop me’ can go at any moment. And it’s hard doing anything when at the back of my mind there’s a little voice always going, “What’s the point? It’s not like any of this is going to matter in five years time”.

I mean, it might. Anything could happen. But my subconscious has placed a bulletproof glass ceiling between myself and doing something with my life, and I don’t seem to have the energy to try and smash through it. I need a metaphorical tank. Where does one get a metaphorical tank?

Anyway, egoistical whine over.

EDIT: Found a gif on Tumblr that describes it perfectly


Go Alone, Get Ahead

One of the biggest compliments I’ve ever received was said to me about ten years ago. I was complaining to a friend about double standards in society and he said to me, ‘You’re not a cunt, you’re a rarity, and people will hate you for that’.

'When I was seventeen, I swore to myself to never be sensible and stayed true to that oath my whole life'

‘When I was seventeen, I swore to myself to never be sensible and stayed true to that oath for the rest of my life’

As I got older, I found that was true. I believe that you should always strive to be a good person but you should never change for other people’s sake, no matter how crazy it makes you seem. But people don’t like that because people as a general rule are judgemental cunts and they will judge you – vocally – behind your back and to your face.

A small minority will accept you for who you are and I’m very lucky to have a handful of people in my life that do so. I can tell them about the darkest, craziest ideas that come into my head and they will support me even if they don’t personally understand or agree with them. But if you want to be a ruthlessly ambitious quirky misunderstood genius, you will end up leaving a lot of people behind just because they won’t always follow your train of thought.

People think that being a creative genius is all yachts and free designer gear but they don’t think about the other side of it, the side where you end up sitting in your room for days on end because you can’t cope with life the same way that everyone else does. The side where you don’t eat because you’re too busy writing, or consciously starving yourself to make sure that the raw feeling comes across in what you’re doing. The side where you can’t put into words what you’re doing with your life because your own brain can’t compartmentalise it into a logical explanation. The side where you say ‘fuck what people think, I know I can do this’ but really you don’t know, you just close your eyes and grit your teeth and hope for the best because the only thing worse than being terrified and doing it anyway is letting fear paralyse your life. The side where, because you’re the first of your circle of friends to do something, you have no one to turn to and ask, ‘Am I doing this right?’

I’m not saying I’m a creative genius; most of the time I sit at my laptop with the best intentions and end up browsing Reddit for 5 hours. BUT THE POINT IS.

Update: I’m now actually in a position to say what the point is. The point I’m trying to make is that thinking and doing things differently is fun and interesting most of the time, but sometimes it can be a bit stressful and depressing, and make you write melodramatic blog posts.

Please Don’t Condemn Us

I always find it hilarious when I read shit in the news like, “David Cameron and Barack Obama condemn Isil’s execution of [name]”. As if the militants are going to read the article and go, ‘Oh no, we did it because we wanted those dudes to like us’.

Why The Manchester Dogs Home Fire Makes Me Proud Of Britain

I woke up this morning to the heartbreaking news that over 40 dogs were killed in an act of arson at Manchester Dogs’ Home. The alleged perpetrator is just fifteen.

It was a difficult article to read. I think animals are better than people in many ways; they’re honest, they’re not two-faced and they don’t scheme to bring harm to others. Not to mention fluffy, adorable and defenceless. I was horrified to find that a teenager could be so evil he would want to kill these animals – ‘our little brothers’ as Russians call them.

It’s the people’s reactions that restored my faith in humanity. Not only were people horrified, many weren’t content just being outraged on the internet. Volunteers ran into the shelter to rescue dogs and people have raised over £300,000 to help, not including individual pages such as this one and this one which at the time of writing raised close to £450,000. And that’s amazing, because people are willing to donate their money to a cause which brings them no personal benefit whatsoever.

To put it in context, I was brought up in a country where stray cats and dogs run rampant. I’ve seen people kick these animals and our first ever family cat was literally snatched out of the hands of teenagers who were taking it god knows where to do god knows what. I’ve seen ‘funny’ stories posted online about people scaring off Satanists where the sentence, ‘there was a cut up dead cat on the ground’ was added as an afterthought.

By contrast, we live in a country that is developed enough to have no-kill animal shelters, runs welfare checks and home visits on people to make sure they can provide a good environment for pets and has an organisation called the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (founded almost 200 years ago and patronised by the Queen), which actively prosecutes people for mistreating animals. That’s amazing and we should be proud of Britain for having the compassion and determination to help those who can’t help themselves.

To donate to Manchester Dogs Home, visit their JustGiving page.

The Craziest Thing About Mankind

The first people to see the Earth from space must have lost their shit. Think about it. You spend all your life looking at the moon in all its’ phases and all of a sudden you’re on the freaking moon and it’s dark and there’s still a lit-up ball in the sky except instead of being white with a funny crater face, it’s blue and green and yellow and white. You’re tiny, and alone, on an uninhabited rock where literally no one has ever been before.

I feel tiny and alone whenever I look up at the stars or clouds and think about where I fit in the world’s grand scheme of things. If I looked at the Earth’s curvature from space, I would have a full-blown existential crisis on the spot.


From left: Michael Collins, Edwin Aldrin, Jr., and Neil A. Armstrong. Source

And then they came back down to Earth, landed successfully and got treated like heroes because America won the moon landing race, fuck yeah! It must have been so strange being immersed in the world you watched from an orbiting rock like an alien god a few days ago.

Because really, the human race and what we’ve done with the planet and society is really fucking weird. We’re essentially a fluke; the only reason you’re reading this today is because 13 billion years ago a huge ball of gas blew up and we got stuck in orbit at an optimal distance to sustain bacteria. We’re ants on a rock, and yet we’ve evolved to develop some crazy shit, like:

  • Law. I’m not talking about criminal law, which is basically systematisation of cavemen killing other cavemen as revenge for killing some more caveman, but stuff like marriage – you’re only allowed to be in love with one person at a time (in the past you were basically allowed to own a woman), and you can’t be in love with another person you haven’t signed a contract with. Some countries actually punish that by physical violence (stoning etc). Fuck.
  • Fashion. People cut fabric into elaborate shapes and as a society we choose what we should be putting over our bodies every season. People who don’t put a certain cut or pattern over their bodies in a certain season are considered losers.
  • Brands. We pay extra money for a name, and we assign status and respect to what is basically a name, in everything from furniture to drinks to cars. We judge others depending on what name is printed on the label of their shirt or on their keyring.
  • Currency. We have bits of paper that we exchange for goods. Some countries’ bits of paper are worth more than others’.
  • Businesses. Owning companies, company structures (limited, partnership, sole trader, etc).
  • Stock market. Just fucking… what.
  • Those plants that make you chilled out and a bit hungry? Yeah you can sit in a tiny cell with no human contact for decades for smoking those. Drink these fermented grapes instead.

Basically we’ve developed this insanely complicated world based on centuries of patchwork traditions, yet when it comes down to it we’re just clusters of atoms wandering round a rock that spins around a burning ball of gas. And I think it doesn’t hurt to remember that once in a while.