Tuesday, 19 November 2013

19.11.13- A farewell post from the Crazy Cat Lady, nearly 23, (still) without cats.

I know I'm not going to update this again this week as my workload on a scale of 1 to 10 is about 405.
Just taking a little break to put up one last post before I turn 23 on Thursday and my year of blogging on here comes to a close...as does my sense of youth and my own set of teeth and remembering what my middle name is.
Birthday kiss anyone?
Thinking back over a year, I have become a panicking wreck since starting my MA and completely underestimated how much work it was going to be alongside running the English Society and co-editing the student blog and teaching creative writing workshops in primary schools. But it is interesting and it's only for a year so I might as well keep going; yes, I've pretty much become a hermit and I'm one "night-spent-in-the-house-doing-work" away from buying myself a walking-stick and running out into the front garden screaming at school kids to get off my lawn.
How I approach critical workshops a week
before deadlines 
Even when they aren't on my lawn.
Today wasn't such a bad day. Of course I dreaded going into lecture. Of course I didn't print out my play because I have spent the weekend convincing myself it is a pile of cat excrement and no one will like it and it's not going anywhere except the recycle bin.
But I went and I'm glad. My coursemates restored my thinning faith in my own writing and offered so many helpful suggestions and I'm generally feeling better about being in the class. I no longer spend the whole lesson convinced everyone hates me; in fact I was quite touched with how kind everyone has been about getting me to keep going and stay on the course and telling me that I can write even if I don't quite think so right now.
I'm still a little scared to put pen to paper with it and carry on and will probably be working on my novel (which I'm very, very much enjoying writing) tonight rather than diving straight back into the play and losing my temper with myself again. There are 3 bottles of red wine in the kitchen which Sainsbury's kindly gave me (there were 4 on the weekend...then uni happened) for painting a Christmas display on their window and if I get pissed off they will be gone and no doubt so will I.
And nobody likes a text from a drunken Nat, mainly due to it having less clarity to the modern reader than hieroglyphics.
My finished Christmas window display for Sainsbury;s, who have come to accept
they will never get rid of me. Ever.
I'm very excited for Christmas. Not the shopping bit, obviously (I can't even log into Amazon without calling my laptop a massive "bollocksuckingwankpot" for not automatically buying everyone amazing gifts for under £20 in total...I think the only way you can do that is through shoplifting and I'm not into that. Plus I'm not sure if a big hoody really helps with "shoplifting" online). But for the decorations. For making little Christmas crafts with my little brother (ie, sending him out so I can colour in pictures of Rudolph by myself). For the listening to Christmas songs (I can sing a horrific rendition of Wham's "Last Christmas" in my car. With really authentic pained facial expressions which the car in front can probably see in their rear view mirror). For the Christmas jumpers (I can't weight to get my puddings out...oo-er).
I think the thing I like best about my birthday is that it's only a few weeks away from Christmas.
How I generally look from about November 15th.
And the fact people buy me drinks. I like people who buy me drinks. I just put them on my death list the day after when I'm crying into the toilet bowl.
In fact, my motivation for getting a bit of my portfolio done tonight is to watch Elf in my cow pyjamas. You could say I'm getting quite off the rails.
I'm going to keep this post short and sweet because I have things to do, am clearly wasting time but wanted to wrap this blog up once and for all with a metaphorical ribbon. One day I will look back at this and shed a tear for my youthful adventures in poetry, running (which unfortunately  have had to give up after a recent bone density scan as--joking about old age aside-- I have ended up with bones of an older lady and if I carry on I'll end up breaking them. Which doesn't sound fun...so I've had to replace with cross-training at the gym. Not the same, but sometimes made better by a nice arse on the bike in front). I'll look back at these crazy student nights and hangovers and friendship groups and life events and probably not tell the grandkids most of it (because I won't remember how to turn on a laptop).
And one day a therapist will look at this and section me somewhere safe and cosy.
One of my favourite day release adventures

One final time,
farewell time-wasters who really should be reading something better.
I don't know who you are, but in the most non-romantic, non-sexual of ways...love you


(...unless you look like this guy. In which case please take my sentiments in the most sexual way possible).

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

10.09.13- Nostalgia, Odd Compliments & "WHERE'S YOUR MASTERS GONNA GET YOU?"

So I had my tattoo. Having a thigh tattoo was an odd sort of pain. An almost nice sort of pain (this is absolutely not a hint to go all S&M. Both EL James and Rihanna can fuck off with their whips and chains; they do not excite me).
Also conveniently doubles up as a euphemism

Part of the odd pleasure in the tattooing session could also have had something to do with the fact that the guy tattooing me was an incredibly beautiful man and I absolutely would have gone back the next day and asked him to tattoo my whole body had I not realised that:

a) It is only a matter of time before HSBC start signing my bank statements off with "LMAO"
b) Nipple tattoos would hurt
c) Having all-over cat fur and whiskers tattooed on me may not always work in my favour during job
"Hi, I'm here for the job interview."
So I had to settle for just the one thigh tattoo. I hope to God I don't go off Dylan Thomas.
On another note, I have received some bloody odd "compliments" lately. I'm not entirely sure how I feel when I scowl at myself in the mirror at the moment. A favourite appears to be animal comparisons.
Unless bestiality suddenly becomes fashionable, I am left feeling only as though I must go and live in a zoo.
Flattering charming men have made the following observations:

1) "Aww. You remind me of an animal I think. Is it a fox?"
2) "You really do have a monkey-face." (An observation from a pair of my dearest friends. Yeah you know who you are. You sods.)
3) "What's those little monkeys with the big hair and the little bodies? Yeah, you look like them."
#instapic #selfie

4) "You have a funny nose. Like an elf."
5) "For a minute you looked like one of those really grumpy-looking cats."
6) "THAT RED'EAD BIRD IS FUCKIN' SMART." (Probably the nicest of "compliments". Thank you, Mr Chav hanging out of a Nissan Micra. Please pull over and give me a ride).
7) My brother didn't actually need to say anything; he just one day made himself cry laughing at my face.

Note: if anyone offers to take me on a date to the zoo, fuck off.

Dental appointments are never fun but at this age you're always going to get the inevitable question that is sprung upon you time and again by hairdressers and family friends and people on the bus making small talk (please don't talk to me on the bus, I'm listening to Coolio and Eminem).
How I like to think I look whilst getting on a bus
"So what are you doing these days?"
Wait for it.
"A Masters in Creative Writing," I reply.
"Oh." Disappointment in the voice when it's not "nuclear physics" or "an internship at NASA" or "plumber".
Wait for it.
"So where's that going to get you?" Mr Dentist really needs to stop talking to me when his hands are in my gob. It's a dangerous move, like asking a crocodile for fellatio.
"PhD," I reply, though it comes out more like "PHGeee."
"Oh," he says with a big white smirk. Mr Dentist has an impressive clump of nose hair. His nostrils are two caves stuffed with shrubbery. "You're going to be one of those, are you? Didn't do anything useful and vocational so inevitably end up getting a doctorate and lecture in a subject you can't stand." Small, smug laugh.
I could have reminded him that I could make a small, smug snap of my jaw and bite his fingers off but I was too polite.
Reasons why my dentist is unhappy no.348
Actually, it's the one subject in the world I am incredibly passionate about. I'm thrilled to be committing my time to my favourite thing in the world (other than good friends and felines). I think of the people on the Jeremy Kyle show and think of their dentists and suddenly understand.

In other news, tonight I am being nostalgic. I haven't been sleeping well (still. However Nytol is fantastic as I discovered last night, walking into a wall trying to find my drowsy way to the sink to brush my teeth. Think drunken Orc with a tube of Aquafresh) so I have been listening to
Good mornings follow a good Nytol
Disney playlists and spending time in the small hours watching Youtube videos of childhood favourites or Googling old treats favourites they don't sell anymore (I can't wait to tell the grandkids about Dairylea Lunchables).
I have made a top three list for these three categories (they're different now from when I was little. Being mature and all that, my tastes have clearly matured too). Because with Uni not starting until the end of the month and being unemployed until the start of October I have turned into an insufferable tragedy and have time for these things:


1) Everybody Wants To Be A Cat- The Aristocats (OBVIOUSLY)
2) Circle of Life- The Lion King
3) You've Got A Friend In Me- Toy Story
My innocent alternative to hardcore porn


1) Grizzly Tales For Gruesome Kids
2) Funnybones
3) Tots TV
The original So Solid Crew

1) Kellogg's Pokemon Cereal
2) TopTen Bars
A bowlful of additives never tasted so good.
I'm going to go back to listening to "We Are Siamese".

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

14.08.13- Endorphins, Getting Inked & "Modern Art"

My mood, fortunately, has continued to improve massively with the help of having such lovely friends, long phonecalls, plenty of writing and a pile of books. Energy levels are back up, running shoes are back on and I no longer view fit men with as much passion as viewing an egg-and-cress sandwich. I haven't even felt angry at anything the past two days.
"Phwoar, check out that BLT baguette."
Except the fact I wanted one courgette in Asda and they only came in packs of three, but that's understandable.
The past few days have been spent organising everything ready for Freshers' Fayre in September and meeting with the committee to plan plenty of events which have excited me a lot. I like events. They look exciting in my phone planner and I get to put really exciting little symbols next to them to give the impression that I am a very busy and important person, even though most things in my planner are along the lines of "haircut- Weds 10am", "get drunk- Sat 9pm" and "remember to put in prescription-Mon 2pm". 
"Yay, endorphins."
Yesterday was the first 6-mile run I have done in a long while. Yes, it's a long way from my usual 10-12 milers, but just getting in after 55 minutes, sprawling across the floor and lying out flat in the manner of a squashed swiss roll and heavy-breathing into the carpet like a sweaty pervert was beautiful. Not to look at, obviously-- I looked "hangin'" for lack of a better word-- but the endorphins were amazing after lazing about without energy for so long.
I absolutely can't wait to go for my morning run tomorrow. I guess running is my way of clearing my head. Laze about too long and I just get angry and explode like the unpierced contents of a microwave meal at 850 watts.
Anger: a microwaveable metaphor
Yesterday I also booked my next tattoo at Swansea Tattoo Co. Yes, it will be expensive. Yes, I will probably have to fund the next month through selling the entire contents of my bedroom and possibly my own family on eBay. But I know I want something to mark not only how much poetry has helped me with so much over the last few years, but with a line from one of my favourite poems from one of my favourite writers from my own hometown. It will inspire me to always keep going with following my literary ambitions and I suppose it's something to read on the bus, innit?
It's going to be a line from 'Do Not Go Gentle' by Dylan Thomas. I like that line. It makes me feel like I can be fierce and assertive, even when my idea of asserting authority is shouting "bullshit" at the TV if something crap gets valued at £10000000000000 on Flog It.
"I don't bloody belieeeeve it."
It wouldn't be right if I had a blog post that was without at least one little bit of ranting however. Doesn't everyone find pleasure in complaining? Isn't it a British thing? Or is this why my mother refers to me as "Victor bloody Meldrew"?
Earlier myself and two of my best friends were at the pub discussing the ridiculousness of some things that will pass as "modern art". Don't get me wrong, I love art. I bloody adore art. 
But seriously.
How do some things pass as "art"? Apparently one of my friends had viewed a tipped flowerpot that was worth thousands. Are you telling me I can go out into my back garden, boot my Nan's begonias (...why does that sound so dirty?) and suddenly I'm an award-winning artist if I give you some bullshit explanation on how it represents the fragility of life or the state of the tormented soul?
It's a flowerpot that fell over.
I remember once going to an art gallery in primary school whilst the guide was raving about some "amazing" painting. It was not amazing. It was a blue circle next to a bigger blue circle which had a dent in it. 
Blobs. Deep.
But I'll leave you with my all-time favourite piece of "modern art". Ladies and gentlemen, cats and kittens, I give you Tracy Emin's "My Bed". It is covered in underwear and condoms. It is a messy bed. It attracted over 2,000 visitors a day:
It's a bed.
This is why I can't always tolerate humanity.

Monday, 12 August 2013

12.08.13- Rage, Rage, Rage, Countdown to Uni and Cat Abduction

Hi again. I am alive.
You wouldn't be if you'd got on the wrong side of me recently though.

Today has seen me the most positive I've been in quite a while. I have been so boiling with rage the last few weeks I've hardly known what to do with myself. I can't handle conflict, and some people have really screwed me over lately. I hate the feeling that I'm despised by someone, somewhere. I know it's not realistic for everybody to be your mate, but getting a new enemy or two feels like a great big kick in the metaphorical testicles. It has me rolling around crying on the metaphorical football field. As for optimism, I've made Eeyore look like Motivational Speaker of the Year.
As a result, everything makes me mad. Everything.

Here is my recent list of Mad:

  • Trying to dig into my psychology-- don't. If I am in a mood, just leave me be in a mood. You are not a psychologist. I do not need your therapy. I have not had any recent deep psychological trauma. I just need a fucking coffee.
  • Smushy-slobbery Facebook PDA-- your profile picture should show yourself, not what the side of your face looks like when it's mashed up against another person's mouth. And please reel in your tongues. And stop publicly calling each other 'snugglebum', I have a very sensitive stomach.
  •  Children who gawp. Constantly-- go away, your eye contact is not cute, you are small and horrible.
  • Running out of teabags-- just no.
  • Failed Prince Charmings-- "Oh, your mate Nat...she's alright-looking isn't she? She's not so bad?" Thank you very much Brad fucking Pitt, yeah I suppose I'm passable if you just squint a bit.
  • Insomnia-- there really are only so many cryptic crosswords you can attempt at 1am, 3am and 5am.
  • "Pills-will-make-it-better" panic attack solution-- No, doctor, they won't. Unless sleepless nights, worsened panic attacks, major paranoia and losing any sense of libido puts a big smile on your face.Four days in and Michael Fassbender could have strutted in naked and waving his penis and I would have told him to move so I could see the TV. 
  • "How's your love life?"-- it's just as uncomfortable to answer as being asked "so how are your bowel habits?"
Things are now improving. I have a trip to London to look forward to with one of my best friends in the world, I have lots to sort out for the English Society and the student blog, I have seen Monsters University (twice), have more productivity in terms of writing than ever, and very very slowly am s
When selecting a tattoo, it's important
to choose something meaningful
tarting to get to the gym and running again (though 4 miles is pretty pitiful when you consider that I used to average about 10 miles a time, easily). I am also treating myself to a literary tattoo I've been wanting for ages (no, it will not be "Nat 4 Macbeth" or "SPANK ME MR GREY" inked across my arse).
I'm looking forward to getting enough confidence back to start reading again at poetry nights too. And catching up with all the people I haven't seen in a while. 
And drinking vodka and panicking over deadlines and writing lots and lots and lots and meeting new people and pushing Freshers over in corridors and losing library books and attending socials and working with published writers and befriending local cats and being mean to boys and sipping JC's tea whilst trying to look studious but actually just looking at nice arses in jeans.
TIME TO THINK POSITIVE. (Do I hear an excuse to go clothes-shopping? ...online, though. I hate both people and changing-rooms).
There has been one thing which has made me laugh uncontrollable lately though. No matter how furious I am, next door's cat will always put a grin on my face. It is long-haired, always has a messy little mouth and looks like it's been smacked hard in the face with a pan.
It is brilliant.
It's the face. It's that flat face.
Flat face cat. Brill.
My little brother being something of an evil minion/sidekick, I have now drummed it into him what he must do when he sees Gizzy prowling the lawns.

Me: "What do we do if we see Gizzy?"
Callum: "Put him in a box and bring him to Nat."
Me: "Good boy."

He is a fast learner.
Operation Cat-Nap has begun.
Now that's something to grin about.

Love, rainbows and smiles (I promise) :)


Friday, 26 July 2013

26.07.13- Crayola, Home Comforts and Malia, the Human Zoo

So, I've just got back from a week in sunny Crete. When I say sunny, I mean sunnier than Little Miss Sunshine on 200mg of Diazepam. Despite this, I went away tanned (thank you St Tropez) and have returned home with skin the shade of Ready Brek, hair bleached more ginger than Ron Weasley's pubic hair and thanks to a bout of food poisoning abroad, a figure about as 'bootylicious' as a B&Q garden rake.
I don't think you're ready for this jelly
Was it something I said?
I thought he liked me.
Greece was interesting. I have never been to Greece before but had so much passion for Classics at A Level that I was desperate to visit the land of Zeus and Achilles and feta cheese.
This is what I learned:

1) Greece is hot.
2) Crete smells of arse and drains. A lot of tourists like to throw their, er, soiled toilet paper anywhere but the bin. This is like a dog marking its territory.
3) Raki makes me dribble profusely. Do not drink raki if one wants to impress on a date, unless said date has a fetish for salivating, arm-waving women or hungry bull mastiffs.
4) Don't eat chicken if it tastes of fart. You will be poisoned.
5) You don't even have to shag Greek waiters for free stuff. They give you free bread and olives on the house and your virginal-like dignity therefore remains intact (though to be honest, you shouldn't really be sleeping with people for the sake of free bread).
6) The Greeks have serious road rage. 4 quad bikes, a bus, a car and a cat are acceptable on roads. Pedestrians aren't. They don't care if there's no pavement, fly or something, they'll shout at you anyway.
Just another day at the 18-30 club office
7) Greek people also like to frequently call each other 'wanker'. Do not try this in British society; it is too polite and neither the bus driver nor your great-aunt Betty will appreciate it.
8) Club reps are just alcoholics with name badges.

9) It costs 50 cents to take a piss in Knossos. If you don't have 50 cents then peeing on the floor comes at a great risk as mooning is illegal.
10) Malia is simply the human version of Bristol Zoo.

After doing 3 nights out in classy Malia (my most successful pulling outfit was in fact not a nice dress but a pair of shorts about the size of a handkerchief and a 118-118 bloke vest and moustache), I can only describe it as fascinating. There were a lot of topless men gyrating and flashing their sunburned chests in the same manner as a baboon flashing its bottom during mating rituals. The females on the other hand could often be found hanging from poles and revealing their nipples or displaying their thongs. They often became more excitable and responsive during times when Nelly or Rihanna were played, and thus responded with a call such as "woooooooo" before flocking to the watering hole (bar) to drink something cool and hydrating (vodka, Malibu, beer, WKD, Jack Daniel's, etc).
Typical night in a Malia nightclub
Most of these would then leave their territory to settle down somewhere secluded (empty hotel room) to mate (shag like goats).
Whilst in Malia we went to a paint party. It involved partying, which meant dancing in a field and also meant getting sprayed for hours with paint. I'm not sure what else I expected from a paint party.
Paint party. If you like paint and you like parties.
Despite the heat of Crete (oh, poetry), I found myself freezing on several occasions. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a complete and utter freezer. After joking to my grandparents that I'd probably be cold, I did on the first day find myself shivering hard in the midday July sun on a Greek beach at a restaurant and had to have a waiter cover me with a tablecloth to keep warm. This has done nothing to alleviate my fear that I may in fact be an 80-year-old in a 22-year-old body. Lunch at the restaurant looked like Nana's Day Out and an awful lot of time was spent wrapped in a towel on the sunbed to keep warm. The poolside looked more like a morgue.
Poolside valley of the dead
My favourite part of my Greek trip was probably the visit to Spinalonga island, Europe's last leper colony, which only closed in the 1950's. I was shocked by this. Knossos and its palace was nice enough but after getting food poisoning at a restaurant and having to fork out 50 cents to take a pee (HELLO? BASIC HUMAN NEED, DO YOU WANT ME TO PEE IN YOUR PALACE OR WHAT), I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth. Plus there were far too many people.
I hate people.
Spinalonga on the other hand was a pleasant boat trip, which was a surprise as usually I am vomiting over the side. Once there, the place had such a haunting atmosphere and I found myself genuinely intrigued by the history behind it. The inhabitants there apparently led as normal a life as possible-- earning a living, falling in love, having children-- though were left to die in pain and isolation there, never to return to their homeland. The cemetery itself was heartbreaking; there was not a single headstone in sight, but only a little monument in their memory with a cross upon it and writing in Greek. Suddenly I was struck by a need to read up on survivor accounts and to write something. Spinalonga has stayed with me long after the boat bobbed back into Elounda.
Spinalonga cemetery
This was not the only time I felt I needed to write. I was constantly scribbling stories, or descriptions of people I'd seen, or ideas for novels or plays, or tapping lines of poetry into my phone late at night. I found myself in love with ancient Greek art and felt keen to get back to my paintbrushes.
And getting back to my paintbrushes I have done. After doing the display for Sainsbury's for this year's Gorseinon Carnival, I have since thrown myself into painting murals for people and doodling away in my sketchbook. Yesterday I went out and bought myself a pack of Crayola pens and some crayons because I am five.
Art makes me feel alive. So long as I have my writing and my art, no matter how bad I feel, I know things will be okay so long as I have my notepad, my sketchbook and my friends. I've been feeling more and more distant from everything more often lately and going away made it hit home a bit that I need to slow down and sort myself out a bit. I'm panicking a lot and find it extremely hard to concentrate and wake up at 5am only to go back to bed until the afternoon, utterly exhausted. Sometimes I'm in a room full of people but feel horribly alone and cut off. This always seems to happen yet always seems to pass if I just stick it out. I also definitely need to gain weight again; after getting flu before holidays and sickness whilst away I am over half a stone lighter than at the end of uni. I miss running, but until I build myself back up a bit, I'm not going to be doing any intense training. Health is far more important (which seems almost ironic when running should be considered a healthy activity).
My window display. Because dragons and seagulls
are often seen together.
As much as I loved my holiday and as amazing as the girls' company was (I'm still missing them like crazy; my evenings are far too quiet and we now know some odd things about one another), I have missed my home comforts. My bed at my Nan's is probably the comfiest bed in the whole wide world. I have missed a good cup of tea more than Voldemort misses his nose. No, I haven't missed your typical Swansea bloke (I pulled a coke dealer this week. And no, I didn't accept his offer of a drink, I'm more of a Pepsi than a coke addict), but Malia's offerings weren't much better. I've missed my dog and my little brother even if one has slobbered on me and the other has spent the best part of this evening chasing me with a bogey. I've missed afternoons doing art and mornings tapping poems onto my laptop. I've missed online shopping for crap I will never use. I've missed flushing toilets (toilets matter). I've missed...Swansea?
Oh and the water's stopped working in the house because a water pipe burst in Gowerton so now I'm living in a third-world, first-world country.
That's it, I'm going back to Greece. They love cats and have incurable road rage.
I'll fit in just fine.
Welcome to Swansea.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

07/07/13- Deirdre, the Start of Summer and Why Graduation Eve is a bit like Christmas

As I sit here typing this to distract myself from a great life-changing decision (coral pink or hot pink for nails?), I know I won't sleep much tonight now that Graduation Day has finally come around. I'm not even sure what it is about it that's so nerve-wracking. I have come to the conclusion that it may be due to one or more of the following:

  • I'm worried that I'll display emotion for all of the wonderful friends I've made on my course and everyone will know that I have a soul.
  • I might wake up late and miss it.
  • I might fall over on the stage and slide across it like a pissed polar bear.
  • Does this cap and gown make me look fat?
    All any graduate needs to thank.
Despite the fact that the sun has been shining all weekend and it is warmer outside than Satan's arsecrack, preparing for graduation has been not unlike preparing for Christmas. There's the shopping. I nearly killed three people yesterday in Outfit. I could not for the life of me find a smart black skirt in my size. Go to H&M= size 8 is too small. Go to Next and New Look= size 6 hangs off like Fat Bastard's excess skin in Goldmember. Why can't there be a universal agreed measurement so that I wouldn't have to go in changing rooms and get mad? I could just pick up SIZE NATALIE and know it would fit. 6 hours of shopping later, I decided on a Marks and Spencer white blouse (I don't often go in there, it's cold and I'm not 80) and an Oasis tailored skirt that I'm having to hold up with my
Me snapped on CCTV in Tesco
tightest waist belt because if I'd stepped into one more high street store I'd have snatched up a coathanger, waved it about, pretend to be Captain Hook and start bashing someone in the face with it.
I. HATE. CLOTHES. SHOPPING. Unfortunately I've had ex-boyfriends who've dragged me around Topman and Burton for hours on end whilst I've sat sullenly outside the changing rooms and been pulled into queues. I remember a particular trip to Cardiff where he had to buy my a bag of Milkybar buttons to keep me happy because sometimes I like to think I am 4 years of age.
Today's shoe and jewellery hunt was easier; found the perfect shoes immediately in Miss Selfridge and some sophisticated jewellery in Debenhams instead of rocking up to the ceremony wearing a hilarious necklace with a giant perspex banana on it.
It may be July, but there's no shortage of fat red
bearded blokes
Preparation and gown orders and planning and families coming together? See? It's Christmas springing up in July, only without mince pies or sherry or fat hairy blokes in red coats.
Instead it's Magners in beer gardens, Nobby's Nuts and fat hairy blokes with red skins.
The Natmobile got taken away last week. I wasn't sad, funnily enough. I thought I might have wept when they took it away, but I didn't; I thought it looked hilarious.
On Monday I picked up Deirdre. Deirdre is lovely. Deirdre is a Citroen C3 in a very nice sky-blue colour and doesn't start smoking from under the bonnet like it's going to catch fire and doesn't roar and doesn't have a tape player which has collapsed in on itself. Deirdre does not slowly cook me
I feel like a cruel parent watching
my baby get taken away and wondering
what's for tea. 
during the summer; she has air conditioning. She has 5 doors so no risk of awkwardly crushed people in the passenger seat when a fatty gets into the back of my car. 
I love Deirdre.
I'm going to keep her shiny and clean forever. My brother has already influenced me to buy a ridiculous Mickey Mouse car aerial topper; all I need now is as many stuffed cats as I can possibly fit in the back (please donate any unwanted stuffed feline toys to me, I'll take good care of them), a cat tax disc holder, cat air fresheners and a real Siamese who will cruise on my bonnet and act as an alarm.
I also found out I was specially commended for an international poetry competition today which was a lovely surprise. It's been a very nice week in terms of all things literary. I did another feature at the Tavern on Thursday and it was great to see just how popular the Garage Players poetry nights are getting and just how many people want to stand up and share their work. There was some great talent and as always, a lot of wine, a lot of laughs and fantastic company. There was also a very very fit barman at another bar later on so perving opportunities were top-notch.
Unfortunately, upon coming home I thought that diabetes and cheap wine had finally claimed my eyesight and was about to run screaming into my Nan's room but after a few minutes I realised that I was pissed and the lightbulb was broken.
On that note, I really do have to go and paint my nails. Jesus I sound like one of those Bratz dolls that used to slut about on adverts and nearly had as many careers as Barbie, but who were meant to have more "attitude". However, they love shopping; I don't. Plus the painted nails are a rare occurrence. I usually only paint my nails if I have a big important event, I am going on a date or my brother's given me a "makeover". 
Anyone remember these sluts?
I'm even wearing St Tropez for a "healthy glow" as opposed to "anaemic hue". I have NEVER worn St Tropez up until now, so the choice was basically wear none and look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or put on a layer and wake up like Trevor McDonald.
I figured Trevor McDonald always looks quite smart.
So ladies and gentlemen, if the red hair dye is too bright and the tan comes out too dark, you can all cease wondering what Nicki Minaj would look like in a cap and a gown and a Marks and Spencer blouse.

Please God, don't let me wake up like this.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

25.06.13- A Brief Update, a Konked-Out KA and The "Cool Kids" From School

Well I haven't kept this up very well, have I?
No. No, Holborow, you haven't. 
Cake for my colleagues. A simply tragic design
of myself at the checkout.
Sorry. Possibly because the last few months have been so eventful I've eventually just burnt out completely and need this little time to unwind so I can give more time to my stories, poems, volunteering and to updating this ridiculous little blog. I've spent most of the last fortnight sleeping and working overtime and not a lot else but yesterday I unzipped the Sainsbury's fleece (oi oi) for the last time and now it's time to finally have a little breather after 3 years of bloody hard work before I embark on my MA in September.
I'm very excited to be co-editing The Siren this year and taking up a new role as president of the English Society. I can't wait to terrify all the little freshers into paying membership fees and flushing their heads in the toilet if they fail to recite Macbeth in reverse.
I'm not going to bore you with an in-depth account of what I've been up to, but the main things are:

  • Passing my degree with first class honours (surprisingly without offering sexual favours in red ink on the front of my exam papers. Everyone knows it's blue or black pen only).
  • Going on a spontaneous trip to Ireland as part of the exciting new WISPA exchange project for poetry. It was fantastic, the people were wonderful, 98% of my Euros went on wine and I spent an entire day not exploring Wexford as planned, but drinking tea in the bath with a hangover. 
    An important part of any literary project: checking out ass
  • The Terry Hetherington Awards evening which I can safely say was one of the best nights of my life. The talent there was remarkable, I took home some beautiful prizes and met some wonderful people. 
  • Got a scholarship to do the MA course, so now I won't have to eat bits of bean and chewed sandwich corners from the bin to afford to get educated.
  • I've moved back in with my Nan and Grandad. I've done the student living thing, it was fun living in town, but it's nice to be back where I feel more chilled out and where I will never run the unthinkable risk of running out of teabags.
  • Left Sainsbury's to focus on the MA and do more volunteering and work experience. I am going to miss my wonderful colleagues, but not checkouts or exasperated explanations of supermarket transactions. Yes madam, the bags cost now. I don't care if you had a free bag in Scotland. Do I sound Scottish, butt? Give me your 5p. Tidy.
  • The Natmobile is disintegrating.
Today was a day of relaxation after finishing my final shift. It was so nice just to lie in the sun with my poetry books. So nice in fact that I rolled over, fell asleep and now have a half-sunburn. I have
Spray tan? Ain't nobody got time for that.
one red leg, one red arm and the rest of me is the colour of Ready Brek. Aftersun is awkward; I am half-moisturised and confused.
I have no option but to roll over tomorrow and even it out, so if it rains I am going to turn the grill on and climb into it whilst leave half of my body dangling out.
Unfortunately, my little red Ford KA, my first car, bane of my life and beloved Natmobile is headed for Mr Scrap Man tomorrow. I don't know how I feel about this. It's failed its MOT more frequently than Stevie Wonder has failed an eye test but it's been my little Natmobile for the past 3 years and I remember how excited I was going to buy it. I'm not going to watch them take it away tomorrow morning. I feel like my cat is being put down.
And I don't even have a cat.
I wonder if Nan will let me have a cat?
Deffo feeling optimistic about this MOT
I also managed to arrange a work placement with the local newspaper which will really help me gain an insight into journalism and get me feeling more confident about The Siren. I love doing reviews so watching people in action (oi oi again) will help me learn how to do it (oi oi...oh, shut up). I will also be getting back into some volunteering. I'm not one of those people who can just sit and do nothing all day, day after day; whilst it will be nice to have a couple of weeks having a break, I need to be doing something productive. I plan to do a bit of art and short-story writing tomorrow, but in a few weeks I'll be starting as a mentor for am anti-bullying charity. This is something I feel strongly about; having been bullied horribly in school, I believe that it really had affected my self-esteem so negatively. I feel a lot better about myself now than I did then, where I wouldn't speak to anyone because I'd been told over and over how swotty, fat and ugly I was but there are some days when those insults still ring in my head and I fall silent and feel self-conscious. I think the problems I had later on were mostly to blame for what happened in school. Like many people who are bullied, damaging yourself in some way becomes a reaction, an act of self-hatred which thankfully is fading away with the confidence that poetry and writing has given me. Writing has given me something I feel I want to work at; a way to express myself and make my voice heard and the healing power art and writing is phenomenal. I know I'm not the only one to have gone through this and bullying is a massive problem for so many young people today. I think if I'd had someone to reach out to things could have been different, and I want to be that supporting hand when a young person is being hurt.
The "cool kids" at school continue to
make real successes of themselves in adult life
Interestingly, all of those bullies don't say a word today, though a group of boys who used to call me a "pig" shouted the same thing at me when I was out running a few months back.
Only this time I didn't listen. Mainly because they were hanging on street corners at twenty-one years of age with nothing to look forward to except their next dole packet, DNA test and bag of weed/lawn cuttings.
I also hope to start on a publishing placement in September which should be interesting. But until then, I have the big Graduation Day to look forward to (I am going to wear my cape and pretend to be Professor Snape when people aren't looking), a holiday in Greece (I vow only to return home with a fridge magnet and a nice tan, not liver failure, 10kg of halloumi and a baby called Nikos) and spending time with my best friends in the universe (even the ones who've moved out of the majestical lands of Swansea...Roisin I am coming to Landaahn luv).
I'm probably going to stop writing now because I want to search voluntary vacancies at the local RSPCA centre as a "cat befriender".
No, really.
"Miss Holborow, we have reason to believe there is a
Greek waiter in your suitcase."