Monday, 31 January 2011

I want Tess's hair (Gemma Arterton's, same thing)

I'm reading Tess of the d'Urbervilles at the moment. Not for pleasure, for my A2 English Literature. I like to think of it as reading-under-duress. Only kidding, that's not fair to poor Hardy, he is very talented and very interesting and has a wonderful moustache. Look! I wouldn't say I'd rather read a Hardy novel than a witty Marian Keyes, but that's only because I'm not bright or deep enough to appreciate Thomas Hardy to his full extent. And also because he uses big words that I don't understand (see previous sentence). I'm enjoying reading about Tess though, from Hardy himself and from other critics. Literature, old and new, takes on another level of excellence once you delve that little bit deeper.

For me, one of the most poignant issues raised in Tess, and one my tutor and I had interesting discussions about last week, is the idea of idealism. Tess is idealised in the novel to an enormous extent, by her fellow characters and by Hardy himself. Her appearance is perfect and pure. Her  mouth and eyes are payed special attention to: "her mobile peony mouth and large innocent eyes added eloquence to colour and shape". She is described as innocent and a maiden. For nearly the entirity of the book. Setting up for the massive sense of irony after that innocence is taken away from her.

 Angel Clare, the man she loves, is the character most guilty of idealising Tess. And it is his idealising that ultimately destroys them (possibly unfair to solely blame Angel, I should point out that initially it is Alec d'Urberville's robbing of Tess's innocence that destroys them). Angel can't cope with the idea of Tess not being perfect, everything he believed her to be. This is a completely unrealistic attitude to a woman and although she is beautiful, sweet and kind, a realist would understand that every woman has faults. (And before you go all feminist on my ass, men obviously have faults too). But Angel is not that, he is not a realist, he is an idealist and in my opinion stupidly naive and selfish. When Tess finally plucks up the courage to tell him of the rape (following his own confession of his sexual irregularity, the hypocrite), he reacts as if she has somehow done him an indiscretion by letting herself get raped and pregnant. No thought is given to poor Tess, of how this must have affected her, he is solely wrapped up in how this tragedy has ruined his ideal of his perfect wife. Essentially he has set himself up for this downfall. In my opinion, it was coming, whether Tess remained a virgin or not. Because believing someone to be perfect, having ridiculously high expectations of them, is only going to result in your own disappointment and their feelings of inadequacy. What a bastard.

There is no such thing as ideal. (I came up with that). And I think that's a good thing. Where would comedy come from? Have you ever wondered why almost all comedians have had depression or some other sort of mental illness? It's because, as humans, we need the bad, we need to be able to learn from it and feed off it. That's what makes us appreciate the good. There's nothing wrong with having an expectation, sometimes we have too low an expectation and that's almost as detrimental. When problems arise it's because we want something that isn't there. And it isn't there because are lives are much too interesting for that, and we as people are much too interesting for that. There is a scene in High Fidelity that my boyfriend told me about (way back when), after I told him about my OCD, how mental I am, and how much of a handful I was likely to be (have probably embarrassed him now, sorry love). It really relates to what I've been talking about. And I think Angel Clare could have done with taking a leaf out of John Cusack's book. He tells his bird: "I'm tired of the fantasy, because, it doesn't really exist. And there are never any surprises and it never really... delivers. Right, and I'm tired of it. And I'm tired of everything else for that matter. But I don't ever see me getting tired of you."


Friday, 28 January 2011

An ode to baked beans

Dear Heinz baked beans,

Thank you for being there when I need you the most. Thank you for your safe, sealed, air tight, canned exterior and your ability to be microwaved. Thank you that you marry so lovingly with my other crush, buttered toast. Sometimes I add marmite too, because you taste so delicious together. But sometimes I like our alone time, it's nice that we can share both don't you think? Whenever I feel a little blue, or worrisome I know I can count on your bean and tomatoey goodness to make all the bad go away. If only for those 5 minutes (I eat quick). So today when I started to feel stressed and ugly and like my fringe was too long (which it is) I went to you for some light relief. And now, with an entire tin of you in my belly, I feel a little better. Thank you kindly. And I'll see you tomorrow.

Love, Claire

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


I bought this mug today. My mum was worried that I'll always have to have OCD if I have the mug. Do not fear though mother, when it's all dead and gone the mug can just be a humorous reminder of that time... you know, when I like, had a mental illness. *lols*

Anyway, lying in bed last night I was thinking about this blog. I was thinking about the fact that it's not very good yet, I haven't managed to get into any kind of a rhythm. My problem is that it hasn't found its niche. I've promised people on the OCD forum that they'll be able to read about my 'ongoing struggles as an OCD sufferer'. Something which I'm not all that comfortable writing about unless it has a punch line. It says in my 'about me' that I'm a christian. Something I haven't even written about yet, bar the post I deleted because I got-a-wee-bit-nervous. And people that know me, have commented on things I've written before, or follow me on Twitter, might be expecting/hoping for light-hearted entertainment in the form of celebrity gossip and television banter - my personal favourite writing topic.

At the minute it's just all very jumbled and disorganised and doesn't quite know what it is. I promise I'll amend this. In the next decade anyhow. 

I'm going to have some regular features on the blog. For instance on a tuesday I'm going to do a telly review. Or just something telly related. And call it telly-tuesday. INSPIRED. I was hoping to do a daily-dream feature (I like alliteration, so sue me) relaying my dream from the previous night (I really enjoyed the last dream post I wrote). But recently I haven't been dreaming nearly as much. So the majority of the posts could literally consist of: 'Fell asleep. Next thing I knew I woke up'. Maybe I'll just let you know whenever I do remember the crazy subconscious things that happened in the dead of the night before. And still call it daily-dreams. Even though it won't be daily. Because daily and dream both begin with the letter D and that's quite pleasing to the ear. More features will come, when I can find more alliterated titles behind the cobwebs of my brain, and I'll notify you as and when. But for now, the rest of the blog will be made up of anecdotes from my life, topical topics, and new Ellie Goulding videos that appear on the internet (I've literally watched every single one currently there). How does that sound?

I just ate a really nice muffin. Not a euphemism.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

EG I love you

I know I've posted about her before. On more than one occasion. But I dont care, Ellie Goulding is my primary use of the internet, and she should be yours too.

I saw some friends last night that I hadn't seen in a couple of months. One of the first questions they asked me was who my latest obsession was, and had previously discussed it amongst themselves on the way to my house, they soon found out (by way of much gushings) it was Ellie Goulding. And that's pretty much what I do, I obsess over particular people, never more so than with this lady. I youtube interviews and music videos and live performances whenever I get a spare moment. My new thing is working out to EG songs because they are perfect to get you motivated. A word previously absent from my vocabulary. (More than that though it's because she loves to run and life pretty much comes down to my quest to be her).

So here's to you Ellie Goulding...

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Jamie's 21st (not gonna lie, mostly about my cousin)

Yesterday was the first day of the celebration of my dear brother Jamie's 21st birthday. That sentence doesn't read easily, but please excuse it for the time being, I'm very sleepy.

About 25 family members congregated in our house, ate food prepared lovingly by my mother, and listened while my dad explained rules to games we already knew. It's quite a rare event to have family from both my mum and dads side in the same place at the same time. It was nice, albeit slightly disconcerting.

I've got no idea what Jamie got for his birthday, I didn't ask. Except for something that he hasn't got yet, so can't publish anyway, as will ruin the element of surprise.

If you follow me on Twitter it *may* not come as too much of a surprise that I am now going to talk about my favourite person in the world. He is 2 years old, is extremely clean and orderly, and quite literally has the cutest smile you will ever lay eyes on. My wee cousin Archie is possibly the most perfect child. I'm sure his parents will tell you of times when he is less than perfect, living with his 2 year old self 24/7 and all, but in my eyes he's wonderful. I've always said I'm not fussed about having children, they are dirty and noisy and tend to throw up more than the average person. Not cool. So when Archie appeared in the world, with his keen sense of personal hygiene, his sweet but cheeky persona, and a genuine kindness to others (bar their family cat), I was converted. He knows how to say X Factor, and does so whenever he hears music on the television. He knows how to use an iPhone and an iPad far better than I do. And when he picked up my BlackBerry yesterday he said "BlackBerry". Honestly, I don't think there is anything more I would want in a child. I realise most children aren't as good as Archie (not biased at all), and I am sure to be sorely disappointed when any children I have aren't, but as I said, I am converted. But to be honest, a lot of how Archie is is surely down to his parents? So from now on whenever I'm around them I'll be taking notes.

I feel a little bad that I haven't even mentioned his baby sister Mia. She is 3 months old and is absolutely gorgeous. Her massive cheeks are competition for my baby-self in the massive-cheeks-contest (see below). The reason I don't have quite as much to say about baby Mia is because she is only 3 months, can't say X Factor yet and likes sleeping quite a lot. She's lovely though. And has a lovely face and lovely clothes.

We had a nice day and hopefully Jamie enjoyed himself. Still haven't really spoken to him, except of course for the "Claire" *nods* "Jamie" *nods* on greeting.

I'll leave you with a little video of Archie playing the drums last night. I can't get the sound to work. But you get the picture.

Just realised the sound was turned off on my laptop. Feel free to laugh openly at me.


Friday, 21 January 2011


I posted earlier with something quite Christian and quite personal. I have deleted it because I felt uncomfortable and have since only been strongly inclined to be sweary and rude because that's cool right?

If you read my earlier post before I managed to delete all trace of it, I am going to have to kill you.

I really need to go and read Tess of the d'Urbervilles now. It needs to be read by the end of next week. However. Part of me wonders whether I can wikipedia it, read a synopsis, and perhaps watch the adaptation with Gemma Artherton ('cos she's quite fit), and get away with not reading the book at all. It's really long, and the pages are unfathomably thin.

I might have a nap first anyhow.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Grumpy Claire

I'm really grumpy today. I don't like people, they are irritating. I think I may just become a recluse. Spend my life in a sterilised room with a massive TV and a lifetimes supply of jacket potatoes, baked beans and Lindt chocolate. Heaven in four walls.

No, I'm just joshing. But I'm certain I could cope (and enjoy) such a situation for considerably longer than the average person.

I'm lying on my bed, watching E.G videos on youtube, and thinking that I don't want to go out tonight and socialise with my fellow human beings. There will be an empty house here with no one to enjoy it. The idea of spending the night with Jack Bauer and my chocolate supply is more than tempting. But I do this, I retreat when I feel down or stressed or worried. Resulting in me feeling a million times worse. What I need, as an extrovert, is to nab someone else's energy. You can do this easily by just spending time with people (preferably ones you know/like) and letting them revitalise you. So that's what I'm gonna do.

It doesn't help that my tummy is all bloated and massive, like I've somehow managed to suck in all the air in Chorleywood. I haven't.

"Heaven is not here, it’s There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next."

That is probably the most profound thing you will ever read here. Enjoy it while it lasts. Bask in it.

And I didn't even write it. It is a quote from Elizabeth Elliot.

Excuse me while I ponder it a while...

 picture source: here

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

I honestly have no idea whether Episodes is any good

There is currently a new comedy programme on the telly box called Episodes. You may or may not have heard of it. It stars Green Wing actors Tamsin Grieg and Stephen Mangan, the only English characters (as of yet) in the show. And Matt LeBlanc, or as he is more widely known, Joey from Friends.

There has been two episodes so far and I have yet to let out any kind of audible guffaw. I had positive expectations going into this new programme. I thoroughly enjoyed Green Wing and Stephen Mangan is an extremely humorous man. And as for Matt LeBlanc, anyone who was involved in the revolutionising comedy scene that was Friends, is fine by me. In fact more than fine, I would happily spend the rest of my life in a darkened room, eating my own toe nails, with only Friends on repeat for company (possibly not true). In any case, it had potential and I was willing to give it a good go.

In a nutshell the show is about an English couple (Greig and Mangan) who have written and created a comedy programme that has been running in the UK for 4 years. Episode one introduces the two characters and another American character Merc, a big TV boss that we meet along with the couple. He loves their show (in fact he 'wants to have sex with their show', just a little example of Episodes use of 'clever' humour) and wants to bring it to America. Naturally they are thrilled and leave for L.A. The programme is then made up of Greig and Mangan getting more and more irate at the ignorance of those they are working with in regards to their creation. Greig and Mangan look out of place and irritating when applying their blank faced, subtle British humour in an environment where American's are merely using the words 'fuck' and 'sex' in an attempt to make 'comedy'. Matt LeBlanc plays himself, an element of fictional television I have always found intriguing, but in this it becomes less interesting and more odd. He goes from being pretentious and arrogant and a character the viewers take an instant dislike to, to someone who appears to have genuine feeling and thought behind his words. Leaving us just not quite knowing where we stand. You want to trust him, you want to see the best in him, but there's that flicker in the back of your mind that says 'don't do it, he's not to be trusted, he slept with your sister and put her in a box'. The show does have one saving grace I will admit, Carol, the female (hence the name) American working for Merc. She is good. And funny. And gets all the good lines. I think, on occasion, she has caused me to titter.

All in all I'm certainly not a fan as of yet, but I still wouldn't say I actively dislike it. I just feel very indifferent. And I must say this puts me off it more, I am uncomfortable with having no strong opinion. I'll probably watch next weeks episode and make final decisions regarding my opinion then.

p.s. you have no idea how many times I misspelt episode. Every time, that's how many.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Give me your worst

I'm a thinker. There are hundreds of millions of thoughts spinning round the vortex that is my brain every minute of every day. (If you're a science person and are sitting there thinking 'vortex? Pah, what a fool. A vortex is a spinning, turbulent flow of liquid and does not make sense to be compared to a mind', fuck off). There is one train of thought that has been at the forefront of my mind for quite some time now. As always though, don't expect any kind of conclusion at the end of this post, you will only be sorely disappointed. I'm more of a 'I've-been-thinking-about-something-and-I-have-no-idea-how-I-feel-about-said-matter-but-I'm-just-going-to-write-about-it-anyway-like-some-kind-of-literary-diarrhea'. So bare with me.

I'm not a sensitive person. Although the boyfriend will tell you different. But that's only because he has the ability to hurt me more than most. Because I am not a sensitive person and generally couldn't give a flying fart what anyone thinks about me, I become someone others can abuse without a second thought. That sounds worse than I mean it to. When I say abuse I don't mean 'bully' or 'attack', I mean it more in jest. I mean that people are free to be brutally honest with me, to make me the butt of their jokes without the after taste of guilt, or to treat me as 'one of the lads'. I genuinely believe this to be one of my greatest strengths as a human being. To be able to brush off negative comments is an amazing quality and one that I will always be grateful for. However, recently it's been leading me to wonder whether it is a healthy thing or whether I'm setting myself up for a colossal fall.

I think it important that I point out that I can give it as good as I get it, and probably beyond. My younger brother gets the majority of my derogatory words, bless his heart. But he is ginger. Sometimes I upset people with my words, even though they are always said in jest, because people are more sensitive than I realise. I suppose this means I should be more careful with my words or my attempts at a 'joke'. But I can't help but think, particularly in the context of my family, is it really fair that I have to bite my tongue because others are sensitive when others can abuse me freely because I am not?

It's male friends/family members that feel they can say whatever they please to me. I had a male best friend from the ages of about 15-16 and boy did I get the shit ripped out of me. I didn't mind, it was all in good humour and we were friends, so he can't have meant it when he told me I was "disgusting" "fat" "ugly" "an idiot", no. That sounds bad, but I genuinely didn't care and it genuinely was said with jest. He would then ruffle my hair and tell me "I'm joking Claire Maxwell". And we would have a little bit of a giggle and I would punch him in the face. However, as much as this didn't bother me I have to wonder why boys always feel they can treat me like that. Does my very being shout "go on, call me fat, I can take it, it will probably make me like you more"?

My brothers treat me in exactly the same way. And to be completely honest, I quite like it, I like being the centre of attention and if I'm getting the piss taken out of me I am indeed the centre of attention. This bodes well. My boyfriend is also the same, there are scary similarities to him and the friend I mentioned earlier. I like the way we are and I like the fact that he can say whatever he wants to me without being worried about hurting my feelings. The only reason I'm even thinking about this is because as I'm getting older I'm meeting more and more people who treat me in exactly the same way. A way people wouldn't even dream of treating anybody else. Is it because I myself find my flaws funny and have no problem with discussing them in a humorous/derogatory way? Is it because I enjoy making jokes at the expense of others so people feel they can do the same to me? That sounds fair enough, but from my experience, every person who has ever taken the piss out of my face/personality/television programme of choice, gets seriously offended and upset should I try the same out on them.

As I said, I have no conclusion to this post. It is something that I will continue to think about and wonder. But, I've been pretty honest on this blog and given a lot about myself away, is there something you can decipher about me that fuels that need to tell me you "can't wait to do me from behind so as you don't have to look at my face". (Quote from the boyfriend, what a gem).

Monday, 17 January 2011


I'm standing on Brighton station, platform 3, waiting for my train home.

Oh I think I see it approaching.

I'll tell you something, it was just lovely not waking up 20 minutes before my train was set to leave and arriving at the station with seconds to spare, in yesterdays makeup and panting like a dog (also yesterdays underwear, but I was hesitant to mention that. Oh look I just did). No, today I managed to get up when the boyfriend got up for work, put makeup on with precision, and eat shreddies. I will admit I then went on to nap for half an hour before finally getting up again, chucking everything in my bag and leaving the flat with time to spare. It's like a new me.

This weekend has been nice. We haven't done much but then we never do. And although I got through 1 and a half canisters of antibacterial soap in 2 and a half days I was still washing a lot less than I was a week ago. So it's all relative. We started watching 6 Feet Under last night, boyfriend has the boxset, and I'm very excited because I am very excited about anything boxset related. It will be good bedtime viewing.

The slight vibrations on this stationary train are making my head go funny.

This week I am going to be going for coffee's, cracking on with my A Level work (this aim is being carried over from last week) (oh Claire), and doing general organising of my life. My bedroom (the hole of Britain) needs a clear out. I don't even remember what colour my carpet is and there is one section of my room I haven't entered since 1999. It will be exciting to explore it. I'll hopefully get lots of blogging done too. Because I've just got so many words and they're cluttering up precious brain space.

Happy monday.

Friday, 14 January 2011

My train journey

Stressed doesn't really describe it.

I was getting ready for my journey to Brighton (training it, as usual), and I had washed my hands a good hundred million times (and counting). Because in my head, washing my hands till they bled would of course render my train journey completely stress free. Yes, that makes perfect sense. Usually I'm ok. I've done this journey lots of times and trains have become my second home. But this time was different, I could feel that sickening panic in me for days beforehand.

Friday, d-day. I woke up, showered, had my fruit and fibre (new highlight of my day), and packed my suitcase. You'd think, being prone to anxiety and stress and being well aware of this, I would organise myself efficiently. Maybe pack the night before. Get my bottled water to take. But no, in true claire-maxwell-fashion I left everything to the last minute. This resulted in me missing the train I wanted. And instead was forced on the Metropolitan line, the worlds most bumpy transport system. But while I spent 50 percent of my journey in the air, clinging to my belongings, knuckles white, I begun to feel a little more relaxed. Strange that.

Next up was the underground. The underground used to freak me out, mainly due to maniac terrorists I will admit, but these days I quite like it. Possibly my favourite part of the journey (no offence Southern trains, but you're utter shit).

Has the Victoria line changed recently? The trains looked different. And so did some of the underground platforms. Disconcerting.

Now, I'm sitting on a Gatwick Express train which is filling in for some of the snow-damaged Southern trains. This bodes well. The seats are far more plush (oh yes), and it all just looks a little cleaner.
Someone is eating though, and I hate the smell of food on a train. Rude. If this insanity persists I may be forced to go and twat them in the face. Oh, here we go, someone's opening a packet of crisps now. Please god don't let them be cheese and onion.

I'm going to have a wee nap now. See you on the other side.

Just arrived in Brighton. On the walk from the station to the flat my skirt rode up an inappropriate amount. However, it was raining, I was cold and completely laden with bags. Therefore I flashed the world with what should only be seen by myself and one special significant other. Oh well. Time to prepare myself for a sad boyfriend. Eddie Howe has left AFC Bournemouth and boyfriend is feeling his loss.

 P.S no need to thank me for the outrageously interesting pictures. It was nothing.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The fat around the middle.

Something I've struggled with/been challenged by when dealing with my anxieties and OCD is eating. As I've previously mentioned I lost a lot of weight when I was at my worst. Over 2 stone. I later found out that friends of mine were worried about me just from seeing me, not having known anything about what was going on. I couldn't understand this. Because in my mind I was just losing an extra few rolls that had troubled my self-esteem for years. Whoop! Was my initial reaction. It was only when my body started to not function in the way a woman’s body should (for the more sensitive minded among us (my brothers) I won't go into detail nor use the actual term) that I realised something might be wrong.

I'll tell you what pissed me off no end though. I've always had fairly skinny legs, and my arms have never been tubby. Love that word. But I've always been very conscious of the fat around the middle. I have vowed never to wear a bikini as 'I don't and will never have the stomach for one', which I stand by. Although my stomach may have become slightly more acceptable in my eyes I would still never be seen baring it for the world. So while my legs and arms lost all extra coverage and my collar bone protruded my chest, that lovely grabbable roll around my middle remained (grr). I suppose this is why I wouldn't allow people to tell me I'd lost too much weight. The one thing that troubled me most about myself (bar my nose) seemed unchangeable.

As I improved my weight went up. GUTTED. I was still about a stone lighter than before I got ill though. I didn't feel good about it, but this might have had something to do with the fact that most of my meals consisted of chocolate followed by cake. 'Cos that's all I like eating really.

Then I got a bit worse and stopped eating much again. Wouldn't say I felt good about this either. Dizzy and sick and malnourished is not a look I aspire to have. And it hurts a bit too. I have no conclusion to this post. I have just been thinking a lot about it recently and why my mind works how it does. I lost a bit of weight recently but in the last week and after receiving an inappropriate amount of chocolate for Christmas I've started eating more again. (My poor body doesn't know whether it's coming or going). It'll probably be something I continue to struggle with, but tell people that I'm not. You know how it is, gotta look cool haven't I? What I would say though, is that I love food and would love to be able to always enjoy it to it's full extent. It's one of life’s great luxuries, or so they say.


If I still love her in 5 years I am going to get some of these lyrics tattooed on me.

Human behave yourself,
you have burst at the seams
let it all fall out open your mouth
often I lie wide awake,
think of things I can make
but I don’t seem to have the parts to build them
Human I wonder why you’re a better make than I could ever build or create,
you know not love or hate
I am so scared of what will kill me in the end for I am not prepared,
I hope I will get the chance to be someone,
to be human,
look what we’ve done,
look what we’ve done

I would give my life, to be human
I would give my life, to be human
I would give my life, to be human
I would give my life, to be.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Listen + love

Tonight I asked Twitter to recommend me some new music. My friend suggested Lissie so I had a browse of some of her music and came across this...

It is a live collaboration with Ellie Goulding. If you know me, you will know that I love Ellie Goulding with a love that will never die. I think she is absolute perfection, in the most raw, unperfected way. Her lyrics are beautiful, engaging and dark and I think she is an amazing talent. She also seems like a stand-up lady.

When listening to some of Lissie's stuff I wasn't overly impressed. Mostly with her singles. I felt they sounded a little Taylor Swift-esque. Someone I would go as far as to say I actively dislike.

However her more acoustic stuff is nice and a sound I think I could grow to like a lot.

This video is lovely. The song and their voices together sound gorgeous. I can't believe I've never come across this before. Join me in milking it for the rest of the week.

A coupla things


There are a couple of things I would like to talk to you about today. That sounds ominous doesn't it? Don't worry, unless you work for Orange, no harm will come to you.

You see, my BlackBerry has been an on-going stress in my life. Granted much of this is down to my own incompetence with money. I fail to pay my bill every month (without fail) and so am cut off and have to ring Orange, shamefaced and isolated from the outside world to pay it and ask them to un-bar my phone. However, the handset has broken twice. First of all it was the 'E' key, it stopped working for about 2 weeks (I admit during that time I never managed to phone it in) then that started working again. For a week. Before the 'R' decided to bugger up. Both letters are in my password, so both times I was left completely unable to use my phone. I left it for a little while, thinking that the BlackBerry fairies might come again while I slept, but to no avail. FINALLY I brought myself to call Orange, 3 days ago. They said that they would courier a new one to me the next day, phew. However, the next day rolled around and still no phone. I called them that evening and they said that they'd tried to call me and left me a message (they called my phone, my BROKEN phone), basically the previous day they hadn't realised that they were in fact out of stock. Fuckers. Once again they told me that they would courier it to me for the next day. Today. It did come, a new model, very exciting. However the cursor button is absolute shite and takes a unreasonable amount of thumb action to move it. And finally once I'd managed to download a Twitter application (priorities are well and truly in order), I clicked on it ready to tweet something along the lines of "tweeting from my new blackberry, omg omg omg, so exciting", and it told me that my service plan would not allow me onto this application. WHAT?! My service plan has allowed me to tweet my little heart away for the last year, I do not believe it. So basically I now need to ring Orange again. I might just start dating them.

Secondly, I want to ask you a little something about the blog. As I've previously mentioned I can be fairly eclectic. And so my posts reflect that. For instance one day I may be posting about my struggle with OCD, something that is quite serious and not particularly humorous. Other days I'll post about TV and celebrities I find to be both funny and gob-shites whilst being a bit of gob-shite myself. And I may post about being a Christian and how that effects my life and what issues I have with that. Basically my question is, what would you like to read? Is it ok to have a mixture of posts? Is it ok for some of them to not be funny?

I'll leave you with that. I need to go and put off calling Orange.

Monday, 10 January 2011

A Christmas roundup

I am, essentially, Mrs Christmas.

I love all things Christmas. October rolls around, tacky baubles start conspicuously appearing in shops, and the Coca Cola advert lights up every ad break (which I hesitate to mention, given how much the influx of "OMG. Just saw the Coke advert. Its like, OFFICIALLY CHRISTMAS!!!" facebook status' get on my tits), and I'm like an elf on prozac. My first mince pie of the year is a special event. Although usually I'm eating mince pies till March so technically it cannot be called the first of the year. The first of the season if you will. That sweet, spicy scent of mulled wine makes me all tingly, and once Christmas songs start playing on the radio, well, I start to get somewhat irritating.

As I've already mentioned in a previous post however, December 2010 wasn't the most wonderful of December's. I'd come off the medication and my OCD was getting worse. Mostly though, it was depression that hit the hardest. Something I am not in anyway used to, being generally the kind of person contented doing nothing except sitting with my own thoughts. During the last couple of weeks of December it started getting better though. I went to stay with my boyfriend in Brighton and we had a nice chilled out time, watching lots of Darts and movies. Then the week before Christmas my home town was a snow covered wonderland. We went shopping, went for meals with friends and generally had a jolly old time.

Christmas eve was spent with my family. The 5 of us. And my best friend Becca. Cos she's practically a Maxwell. We had church in the evening. I did a reading. Oh, FUNNY STORY. I'd burnt the roof of my mouth that morning on some stupidly hot beans on toast, and managed to get a blister on it. One of those nasty bubble ones. Anyway, I was waiting to do my reading, just playing with the bubble with my tongue, as you do, when it popped. Naturally I got a horrible taste in my mouth but just had to sit and ride it out, then get up and read from the Bible pretending I wasn't in need of a gag. Nice.
Then we went home, had a nice meal and played games.

Christmas day. Like every other year me and my brothers got up and went into my parents bedroom to open our stockings. The older we get, the more practical Santa is. Amongst other things I got hair moose, make up wipes and underwear. My brothers both got batteries. Then we were downstairs bound, to open the presents under the tree. I was very pleased with my array of gifts this year. No one went off list.

This year we went to my Aunty and Uncle's house in Richmond for our Christmas celebrations. They have two of the most gorgeous kids you will ever lay eyes on (and I bloody hate children). Archie is 2 and I'm not sure there is much I love more than him. And Mia is 3 months (I think), and has the most massive cheeks.
I'll tell you why I love Archie as much as I do. He doesn't talk very much, but can say X Factor with perfect diction. Child genius.

Mostly we ate a lot of food, played a hell of a lot of games and watched The Jungle Book with Archie. Mia was sick on me, which isn't advisable given I have a massive phobia of sick. But as she has such massive cheeks, I let her off.

Boxing day was spent at my Grandpa's. My step-grandma's Son, wife and 2 kids were there too. And we again, ate a lot and played a lot of games. We got home late both days and I was zonked. So slept for the rest of my life.

The day after boxing day was a fairly standard day. But I went to say goodbye to my oldest bestest friend Roz who is going to South Africa for 3 months, over a mince pie and a coffee. I love that girl, and I'm going to miss her terribly, but we have plans to Skype. And although I am extremely awkward and uncomfortable communicating by way of video calling, I will try my hardest not to be too weird.

Phew. Sorry for such a mammoth post. But that's me up to date. Hope you all had nice holiday's. It's just 349 days till Christmas.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Last night's dream.

I feel a little odd and unsettled after my dream last night.

It's already fading from my memory though.
It was set on New Years eve. Or the morning after. No idea what I had been doing, but that is neither here nor there in the context of my dream.
[The Dream]. I woke up, logged into Twitter and my boyfriend had been getting a little tweet happy during his night out. He was declaring to the world just how pissed he was (something he'd never do in real life, rather, scorn others who do). I saw that he'd @replied someone with 'tried to with a fit blonde girl, but then realised I'm already with someone'. I assumed this was in reply to something along the lines of 'did you shag anyone mate?'. This upset me deeply. But did I think, 'Oh what a bastard, I'm for sure going to dump his arse'? No, no I did not. I felt a bit sick and just ignored it. [end scene]
Next thing I know, I'm with him, asking him what was going on with this girl. He said nothing happened, but they went home together. She fancied him and wanted to sleep with him but he told her he couldn't because he already had a girlfriend. Something he only apparently remembered right at the very end (very memorable, me). [end scene]
We're at his house (but it's not actually his house). Girl in question is there too. She's blonde, got massive boobs, and is flicking her hair around at him. (Am genuinely getting a little pissed off reminising). He's talking to her, they're obviously getting on like a house on fire. She just pushed him in a 'oh you!' type manner. Fugly bitch. [end scene]
Talking to (my) boyfriend again. He tells me that he again told her he cannot sleep with her. She then apparently told him 'we can thursday'. Thursday, THURSDAY? What the shit is happening on thursday?
Apparently they're meeting up and I'm not around.
(In dream world this is a totally acceptable scenario. A lone meeting with a girl who blatently wants to sleep with you. Fine.) [end scene]
We're still at his house. I don't know where he is, so go and ask his step mum. He's with the blonde bird (obviously). Go back to his room. Which is dream land is in fact a garage converted into a studio flat. I think I'm crying a little bit now, at least feeling like a little weep is in order anyway. [end scene]
It's Christmas (we've gone back in time, yes. But not really, everything above has already happened. Are you following?), I'm at home and with our German friends, the Rolfes and the Howards. I am flirting with anything male that isn't related to me. Because that will make everything better. Boyfriend and blonde tits appear at the party (bit rude, bringing your little-bit-on-the-side to your girlfriends house). [end scene]
Am at some kind of picnic. Get a text. Is from the boyfriend, he writes 'we should probably just carry on going out'. Heartfelt I'm sure you will agree. [mum wakes me up telling me I've only got an hour to get ready before church]

So there you go. Dream experts if you have any conclusions to this, please refrain from telling me, I already know I'm a little-bit-mental.

Oh and if I ever find this skank I'll be sure to throw things at her.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Goodbye excessive sleeping, it's been nice knowing you.

It's my last day in Brighton. I'm alone, it's 15:07, I've only just had a shower, and no one is shouting at me. Bliss. This week has been about resting, and boy have I taken full advantage of that. I would estimate that 60% of the last 5 days I have been unconscious, and the rest of the time I have been either watching Gilmore Girls, refreshing Twitter, or thinking about when I can next fall asleep. In the evenings my boyfriend comes home from work and I have had the pleasure (ahem, usually) of his company. It's been nice, just what I needed.

Tomorrow though, I am travelling homeward. My family are getting back from holiday tomorrow night so it will be nice to see them. For about an hour an half, and then it will again be what can only be described as a pain in the nether regions.
I've booked an early train. 9:19 am. That means I am going to have to be out of bed by AT LEAST 8 am. I am quite literally shuddering at the thought. Then I am spending the day with my bestie. We will mostly be consuming food, talking about farts, and watching telly.

And that's it for the fun, it's down to business.

I need to get on with my A Levels, of which I treat as though they are on a par with finger painting. I need to order myself a new BlackBerry (the R key has stopped working). I need to organise myself some work experience and I need to learn what exercise feels like.

Must dash. The boyf will be back in an hour and I still haven't done the washing up.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

If 2011 does not pick itself up I am going to be very pissed

It's January 2011 and the year has not got off to the greatest of starts for me.
2010 was going well. After getting OCD in 2008 (I think, not great with timings), 2010 has been the most improved year. My mind has managed to make a trip into the realms of (almost) normal. Not gonna lie, much of this is down to a (lovely) dose of Fluoxetine. But I still think I've done pretty well, challenging myself to do the things that scared me most.

Most people have an element of OCD. Do you ever feel unsettled if the television volume is not on a multiple of 2 or 5? Do you have to return to your house just to check one-more-time that you haven't left the stove on? These are all OCD tendencies and it's extremely common in most people. The problem for me, and a few others, is that it can begin to control your life. The funny thing is, I don't suffer from some of the most common OCD tendencies. Personally I like the television to be at the right volume for my ears, and I don't come out in hives if that happens to be an odd number.

My problem was germs. I was a tad obsessed with them (or creating a lack of them). Everything was dirty in my mind, and nothing was allowed to touch me. Eating became a big issue, because I had decided that everything *must* be contaminated and so was not permitted into my body. I lost 2 stone, mostly by eating nothing, it works a treat. I wasn't worried though, losing weight was like the saving grace of the rest of my world going to shit. I didn't really see anyone, my entire life was consumed by cleaning myself or being physically paralysed with fear.

Wow, this is all getting a bit dark...

In the end, I was referred to an 'adolescent mental health unit' (although they were also a dentist, I liked to rub my tooth whilst sitting in the waiting room in an attempt to make myself feel more normal). They diagnosed me and put me on medication. Sweet, sweet medication. And it was up hill from there.
Gradually I started to feel a lot better. I managed to get out, get a part time job, and start living my life again. Hooray!

I was prayed for a lot during those (ummm) 2 years, but was never miraculously healed in a fully-blown-falling-over fashion. Although at times I thought that God was being a little mean, I put my sensible and unashamedly-holy hat on and decided that it wasn't up to me.

A mixture of support from friends (one lady in particular, she knows who she is) and family, and meeting a boy I fancied massively and didn't want to put off with my mental ways, helped.

By September 2010 I came off the medication, although I was still experiencing some symptoms I really wanted to and thought I could handle it. To start with it was going alright, then December hit and it was depression city. You know that donkey advert where the donkey talks and asks you to give him money so that he can rest his weary body? I'm pretty sure I cried at that. And I'm a heartless bitch.
Depression soon became inescapable anxiety and we decided it was time for me to go back on the meds. So here we are, my family are on holiday skiing at the moment and I am not, due to overwhelming anxiety. But I'm feeling better than I was a week ago, and that makes me happy. My friend came home from a weekend away to stay with me and keep me company, because she's just a bit lovely. I wouldn't permit her to give me cuddles though obviously, I don't do touching. Now I'm in Brighton staying in my boyfriends flat and I feel loads better. I've over dosed on sleeping and Gilmore Girls and have managed to get back into Hollyoaks (I'm not sure the latter is at all a positive thing).

2011 is about moving on, properly this time. I'm not defined by this illness, and I never have been. Therefore it doesn't have to be a part of me.

Now leave me in peace, Hollyoaks is about to start.


I'm an avid blog reader and have dabbled in my own blogging for the last couple of years. I have yet to find my niche. I think it is because I am a massive mixture of a little bit of everything. I love to write, it is both therapeutic and fun, but I struggle to find a thread of inspiration. I am not effortlessly cool and creative and able to create a twee fashion/lifestyle blog like one of my favourite's, I'm not a cooking extraordinaire with an incredibly good quality camera and knack for making food look and sound delicious like, and I'm not employed by The Guardian, The Times or The Telegraph like many of my favourite writers; Grace Dent, Caitlin Moran and Bryony Gordon.

I'm Claire Maxwell. I'm 18 and a half. I love to watch television (while sarcastically picking it apart by way of Twitter). I hate working, like, more than the average person. I dropped out of school when I was 16 because I managed to get Hepatitis (not the sexually transmitted kind, oh no). Shortly afterwards I developed OCD. Mental illnesses are quite funny anyway (let's be honest), but I would like to think OCD is one of the funnier ('cos if you can't laugh about it, you will be putting your head in the oven). I'm a Christian, a proper one (contrary to popular belief). But I swear a fair amount. I have good friends, and I have a boyfriend who I like quite a lot.

I want to write a blog that is both candid and entertaining. And let me tell you, if you're interested in 18 year old Christians with OCD, you're in for quite a treat.