Friday, 30 September 2011

THANKS HODDER



I would just like to say a MASSIVE thank you to Lisa Highton and Valerie Appleby, of Two Roads fame, for letting me come and work with them for two weeks.

Two Roads is an imprint of Hodder and Stoughton and over the past couple of weeks I have had the privilege of working in their offices. It has been really informative and interesting and I feel as though I now have a far tighter grasp of what it would mean to work in publishing. That's what work experience is all about, right.

I am now exhausted (see this post) and happy to have a week off from life. I am looking forward to having a lie in. MANY LIE INS. I am looking forward to having a social life again. But I am most looking forward to lying on this boy for many hours. What a dream-boat.

Have an ace weekend. Love you.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

All the rubbish of the last week, blogged.


I really don't know quite how to comprehend everything that has gone on in this past week and a half, let alone put it into writing. I am utterly exhausted. I don't remember the last time all energy and any kind of emotional stability had been zapped from me quite so monumentally. A lot of major life changes and decisions have been going down, all whilst nursing a seemingly never-ending dose of the flu and doing my two weeks work experience at a publishing house in London.

This is one of those times when it is really important for me to consider how much is appropriate to publicise. Generally, I freely divulge near enough anything on my blog. I don't particularly feel shame, it must be said. But this is a little more sensitive.

You may have noticed my posts, as of late, have been a little whiney and a little low. That's because I have been really unhappy in my job (not the work experience, my actual job). I couldn't specify, however, as my bosses are on Twitter and that would be awkward. But following this week's events, in which everything that has been upsetting me already was suddenly magnified into one horrible evening, I no longer feel I need to be so vague. I have left my job and I feel simultaneously sad and relieved.

I'm sure in years (possibly months) to come I will realise how much I have learned from this situation; both about myself and what I need to work on, but also about what kind of environment I do not want to work in. It's all life experience right? It's just that right now, when the-girl-who-doesn't-cry is crying at least once an evening and has no appetite for Hobnobs, I could not be more sad or angry or worried. I suddenly hate to be alone and have to sit with my family every night with my headphones in while they watch episodes of Prison Break I haven't yet seen.

I need a holiday. When this week is done, I am going to give myself some time off 'life'. I am going to bury myself under the duvet and not think about anything accept what is happening in the next season of Dexter for a week. And then, I'm going to take this opportunity to work for my dad and finish off my A Levels. I am going to go to uni next September, so long as I get the grades and the uni that accepts me is either Brighton or somewhere within a short distance.

And I'm going to be okay. Because I'm always okay. This is just life being life.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

SEND HELP

I haven't spoken about my OCD for a while now for a very good reason; it hasn't been much of a problem. Something of a backseat passenger. This weekend, though, it decided to join it's pal 'the flu' in their attempt to destroy me. They are doing pretty well. Send help.

I am so poorly and stressed. And the more stressed I am, the dirtier I feel and so the more stressed I become. It's a pretty fun game. So far my mate Obsessive Compulsive has given me a bit of a break whilst I've been dealing with other things. But it seems to have got bored of waiting around and whilst my mind implodes, it strikes, and the only thing left to rectify the situation is CLEANING. I could so do without it right now. I just hope with a small dose of Fluoxetine and a lot of remembering everything I've learnt over the past few years, I'll be able to manage.

Bring on October. September is crappy.

To cheer myself up over the last few days I've been spending a lot of time salivating over Pinterest. Pinterest is ace. Look... (I've been thinking lots about tattoos and knitwear).

Friday, 23 September 2011

In bed with Bear-Bear



Hello and welcome to a new (and super exciting) feature for I think I just blogged myself. Thank you Gareth darling, for coming up with the idea. I think suggesting a blog feature centering around my bed and my bear just exemplifies how well that guy knows me. Bravo.

Every week I will divulge what I am getting up to in bed. That sounds more seedy and oversharing than, in practise, it will be. I am sorry to disappoint, pervert readers.

Let's get started shall we?

Bed time reading material


The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill. This is such a funny read. I have spent many an hour guffawing under my duvet with this treat of a book in hand. It has managed to make me feel less guilty about my depressingly disorganised tendencies. Gareth and I are so much like the couple in this story it is frightening. I have had an accurate insight into our lives, 15 years on, and it's going to be chaos.

Bed time telly watching


Every night this week I have been sliding into bed at 10pm (latest) and watching the previous night's Big Brother on my laptop. (I can't watch Big Brother when it airs because I find adverts make me want to commit murder.) Thank you Channel 5 for bringing BB back to me, I don't care what anybody says about you or your choices of telly programmes, you had me at Neighbours.

Bed time biscuits


It's all about the chocolate Hobnobs this week. You might think this predicatable, my body mass being 85% Hobnob. But I will have you know that last week was Oreo week. I like to mix it up now and again.

Bed time hot beverage


It's got to be tea hasn't it? Tea is my regular liquid of choice. Coffee is a one-a-day treat (two if it's a tough day). So bed time calls for buckets and buckets of tea, and that's what it gets.

And that rounds up In Bed With Bear-Bear, I hope you enjoyed yourself. Bear-Bear and I will be back next week for more insights into our bedtime antics. This post is dripping with euphemisms.

What do you do in bed? (Nothing inappropriate please*)

*send me a private email.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A Rosamund Lupton FEST


A couple of months back I set out on a  Rosamund Lupton fest (possible overstatement). I have since read both her two novels, Aferwards and Sister (although not chronologically) and decided that she is completely brilliant. Understated, sensitive and furiously emotive. She is a master of words and imagination.

I read Afterwards first, Rosamund's second and most recent novel. It is the story of a mother's love, put simply, and the horrifyingly selfless things she will do to protect her children. I am not a mother, but I have a mother, as we all do, and this book made me want to hug mine - the girl who needs her personal space more than she needs food and water. What makes this book so good, is that somehow, the author tells a dark and terrifying story, still manages to make it resonate with the reader whilst also dousing her characters in a kind of tender sensitivity only the most skilled of writers can portray. And before I forget - technically, it is wonderfully written. Truly. You'll feel as though you know her characters like you know your best friends. It all just flows so naturally.

A few books later, I read Sister.

It's even better guys, it's even better. This time, hence the title, it is about the love shared between two sisters. Beautiful, is literally all I can think to describe the relationship that is portrayed in this story. It is heartfelt and emotional. Because it is just so real. There are no airs and graces. There are no niceties when they are not welcome nor needed. It is frank and honest and ugly. A masterpiece, engineered to perfection.

Rosamund Lupton is scarily brilliant.

I've fallen in love with her.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Weekend

London town, excellent pizza, podcasts galore, Kevin Smith and wife, Tell 'em Steve Dave, was very funny, long journeys, panic attacks, 4am bedtime, 12pm wakeup, a mouldy shrunken banana, season 4 of Dexter, best season so far, stomach cramps, extended periods in bed, tea, lots of tea.


1 photo belongs to Gareth.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Some figurative bleeding.


Ernest Hemmingway said, 'There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and just bleed." If you don't mind, I'm going to try to do a little bit of that figurative bleeding tonight. It will probably be good for me.

Sometimes I get so unhappy. Not all the time, I reiterate, but sometimes. Particularly after being happy for a little while. Somehow excessive happiness (is there such a thing?) gets me all pessimistic and expecting some form of impending doom. That's tonight, in a nutshell. Last week was tough, I was feeling unappreciated, exhausted and very sorry for myself. Then the weekend came and I found myself at the point I've been waiting to reach for a few months now. It was time to implode.

I've managed to over-commit myself monumentally. I don't say no because I don't think of the 'then'. I'll always just deal with it later, I'll hide under my duvet for now and somehow it will, it must, sort itself out. That is a stupid and self destructive way to be, let me tell you. It is stressful.

There's so many things that I want to do differently or I want to change or I want to run away from. But it's all stuff I don't have much control over. There are necessary steps to making these changes, and right now I'm  travelling over said stepping stones and I'm not much enjoying it. My life is in such a state of transition, with working, saving, work experience, uncertainty, choices; and to be quite honest with you I'm finding it really quite depressing.

I've got to save a lot of money before I can live with my boyfriend who currently resides a billion miles away from me. I miss him fucking loads. I've then got to find a job. With no qualifications and a rent and bills in need of paying. I have to make the right choice in terms of my career. If I'm not studying I need to be working my arse off in unpaid positions. This can be tiring and a little soul destroying. Not to mention a strain on the income. Particularly when you've got a million and one other things you need to/want to do and personally cannot cope with failing. There are things that I have committed to that I just don't have the time to do. I am not willing to give up my happiness, my relationships or my enjoyment of life, but, having said that, who knows what things could lead to. What if I give up something that could bring me everything I want? There's a lot of questions to juggle, you see. And it's just getting a bit much.

I did get to sleep, finally, at 4am last night/this morning, maybe this has something to do with my current state of despair. I'll keep you posted. I just hope that everything gets a little easier. I'll keep you posted on that too, don't you worry.

Oh and while we're here, if someone could go and get Gareth and bring him to me that would be grand.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Nothing, thanks.


THE WORST HAS HAPPENED GUYS.

I cannot find my camera lead.

Though you may not mind; this way you get a nice professional photo (that could totally be me anyway). Instead of my photo of a packet of oreos.

That's not even a joke. I really did take a picture of a packet of oreos with every intention of sharing it with the interweb.

I took one of the back of my head too. Because I don't have any makeup on. You may have also been treated to that little nugget of genius. If you were really lucky.

I have done 'nothing' since I got home from work tonight. I urge you to do similarly. Nothing, when the time is right, can be simply beautiful. Everything, if you will. Sometimes you just need some fresh sheets on your bed, a mug of hot chocolate, a good book and Charlie Simpson (non-negotiable) in the background. That, my friends, is my nothing... and it is glorious.

What do you like doing when you're doing nothing?

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

my barnet


I've been thinking of/talking about dying my hair for AGES. Boringly ages. And now I've found the perfect picture to take to the hairdresser. I am salivating over that girl. SALIVATING. How fit is her barnet? Really fit. That's how fit. I don't know if you've noticed but I'm totally excited. I AM TOTALLY GOING TO LOOK LIKE HER. Then my life will be complete. That's how it works right?

ps. I also really like that she is drinking hot chocolate from a jug. I want a jug of hot chocolate.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson


A book review is long overdue. Feel free to hit me. (Relying on the fact that you all live in America).

I've read a few books since my last review of How To Be A Woman. Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton, The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill (my kinda read) and the book I have chosen to write about today, Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson. It was grand.

If you like a story that will get your mind racing and your palms sweating, this is a good read for you. It's not a suspense thriller in the way a Sophie Hannah or a Steig Larsson is. It's peppered with character based drama and description, almost akin to Rosamund Lupton or possibly Maggie O'Farrell. If I didn't already know, I would have assumed SJ Watson was female. Maybe I'm being sexist but his delecate way of addressing characters had me making assumptions all over the shop. Of course he is, in fact, just a wonderfully sensitive writer.

He tells the story of a woman who has lost her memory in a terrible accident. Every morning she wakes up not knowing who she is, who she is lying next to, or even how old she is. As the book progresses she, with the help of a young doctor, manages to uncover the secrets from her past, her life, and the people that surround her. It is truly un-put-downable.

I will, however, criticise it for this. It is 50 First Dates in thriller-fiction-form. Essentially. It is not a unique idea for a story but it is executed very well. Make of that what you will.

I would seriously recommend this book, you will enjoy it. It's kind of impossible not to.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Weekend

(from pinterest)

As I mentioned yesterday, this weekend has been KNACKERIN'. The flat got a complete spring clean, and it is looking very pretty. Did I tell you that Gareth and I bought a sofa together? We are officially sofa-married. It is super comfy and I have serious floral-cushion-related plans for it. I just hope and pray no one messes with our sofa baby (wine stains, cigarette holes, etc; all not acceptable). Or they will be sure to feel the wrath of Claire.

Tom and Claire, Gareth's ex-housemates, moved out this weekend and the news housemates moved in. I really wish I was moving in.

This weekend, more than anything, has given me itchy feet. Wandering round homeware stores, gazing at union jack door-mats and chunky coffee mugs, I wanted to buy everything, forgetting I don't technically live there and would only be using said purchases two weekends a month. I am feeling a little glum about life at the minute - it not being EXACTLY as I want it to be and all - and Brighton really does lift my spirits. That and Dexter, hobnobs, and a Gareth in bed. If only life could consist solely of those four things.

I'm just looking forward to moving on in my life. Doing something a bit different and a bit scary. Being happy and excited and making a few mistakes.

I'd like a cat too. A fluffy ball of fur that will sit on me, comforting and reassuring, whilst I watch TV.

Today was not a good day. I sweated it out in a hot bath tonight. It didn't last long before the pulsating in my brain became unbearable, though. Bad times.


Pinterest does not help my yearning for space. Here are some more pieces from my 'Home' inspiration board. This is what I'm aiming for. I assume it is not too much to ask.


Sunday, 11 September 2011

Apologies


I apologise for the short hiatus. Everything is pretty hectic but normal service should resume shortly. I haven't forgotten you, in fact my life has felt somehow bottomless without the documenting of my every thought and movement. I'm sure you've felt similarly.

I'm in Brighton and Gareth and I have spent the weekend cleaning the flat from top to bottom (it's a flat, so that makes no sense), swapping the bedrooms around and re-doing the living room, ready for Gareth's new housemates. We are (to use the technical term) pooped.

Dinner is being cooked for me now and I am looking forward to the eating of it and the watching of X Factor.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

LOOK AT MY SEXY NEW BLOG


If there was anything that was going to cheer me up it was going to be a sexy new blog design.

Thank you Isobel, the most talented little lady in the world. That's her up above, go look at all her drawings, they are the shizz.

What do you think of the new design? Personally, and wholly un-bias-ly (should be a word), I think it's ace.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Uneasy.


I've got that feeling in my belly. You know the one. The one that admits I might just crack up at any moment.

Adrenaline has been keeping me going so far and it's just about warn thin. 

Usually I react by cutting myself off, retreating to my bed and hand washing. I am determined, DETERMINED I SAY, not that let that happen. 

I'm in a stronger place than I've been for a long while and I'm sure that if ever there was a time to reject my natural instincts it is now. 

I'm tired and I'm scared. It's hard to keep going. 

When I feel like the germs are little monsters coming to get me, I will read a book. Or watch the X Factor. I won't wash my hands. 

I am uneasy. I hope I feel better soon. 

Send me nice pictures and funny videos. 

Monday, 5 September 2011

Weekend


What a darling weekend. I was working, but that didn't taint it, in fact it made me appreciate the rest of it even more thoroughly. Radical.

I got a new camera (do you like my pictures?) (that is not an invite into telling me you do not). I went to see One Day and cried like a teething baby (dribbled less though). We had our oldest family friends over for a BBQ and we stayed outdoors until late with candles burning and a fire going, drinking tea. It was delicious. Both edibly and emotionally. I went to church for the first time in a long time on Sunday (I was 45 minutes late but Jesus isn't counting). Church is fun. Particularly when you have a cheeky youth worker/best friend sitting beside you. Becca, Dani, Markus, Jamie and I then went and ate a roast dinner. The gravy was OUT OF THIS WORLD. We watched Easy A to while the afternoon away. It could potentially be my new go-to movie.  Hil-ahh-rious.

I was super tired at work today. A yawn-monster I was.

What did you do this weekend boys and girls?

Sunday, 4 September 2011

My first published article.


This is my first ever published piece of writing. 

It was written for OCD-UK magazine. Not niche at all.

"Claire, nearly 19, (wannabe) writer, OCD. I remain uncertain as to whether the former sentence truly defines me but let us leave it as that for now. 

I have been suffering from OCD since (approximately) Christmas 2008 and ever since, the illness has somehow become a part of my string of personal traits. It’s inevitable, being something that has so innately buried itself within my very being, but I am resentful of OCD being a part of what defines me. This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about when it comes to my writing. I write a blog (www.ithinkijustbloggedmyself.co.uk); a blog that initially was supposed to be a place to document my coping and dealing with OCD and somewhere I can have contact with other suffers, as well as possibly being a place that they may find some kind of comfort and encouragement. It has been an ongoing struggle, however, to find a balance between writing about OCD and how it affects my life, whilst not letting it become my entire life. Because surely that is what any OCD sufferer is attempting to prevent from happening? 

I’m a fairly typical teenage girl and always have been. I’ve had my emo phase, my I-love-boys-and-makeup phase, my introverted phase (didn’t last long), and finally was left with something resembling a little more ‘myself’. A girl who likes to read and write, watches far too much television, socialises with her friends, and doesn’t do nearly enough work. 

And then came the OCD. And everything else was annihilated. I had to leave school due to anxiety, my bedroom (namely my bed) became where I spent 95% of my time, and cleaning and cleanliness took up my entire brain capacity. I became a girl with OCD, and that was pretty much it. My identity. When you’re in that place of inescapable, constant fear there is no time or energy to think about keeping up with a social life or an education, and you surrender to this. I remember my acceptance of a future solely in a relationship with my illness. It was just me and OCD, in it for the long run. 

And then I saw the light. Or something along those lines. 

I’m not going to imply that I had a momentous epiphany, it took a lot of will power and strength of mind to even begin on the road to recovery, but once I’d said no to OCD just the once, I could see a life without it. And I finally knew that I am not destined to be Obsessive Compulsive. It became a glitch, an obstacle in the journey that is life (apologies for the clich├ęs). And that’s when I started writing about it. When it became a journey of combat rather than an acceptance of miserable fate. 

Of course even now, when my life is far more than what OCD had in store for me, it is still hard not to believe myself to be defined by an illness that takes up so much energy and mental strength. The one thing I do know, however, is that I am far more a daughter/sister/friend/girlfriend/fan of One Tree Hill, than I am owned by OCD."

I hate looking back on a piece of writing and knowing I can't change all the things I want to change. But I'm feeling pretty proud of it never the less.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Getting all feminist on your ass.

It's impossible for a woman, a woman with no live-in makeup artist/stylist/airbrushing programme to look like the women who do have such amenities.

I'm talking about celebrity women who appear in our magazines with their blemishless skin, bronzed limbs and blow-dried bouffants, looking buggeringly picture perfect. Those are the women that our boyfriends/husbands/objects of affection are crushing over, those are the women us 'normals' are attempting to replicate. But to no such avail. Caitlin Moran talks about the issue of unrealistic representation of women and how they should look in her book, How to be a Woman. I should point out she is more talking about pornography and hair removal, than magazines and perfect skin (I'm a little tamer than Caitlin Moran) but the meaning is the same. She says "we're at risk of a situation in which every boy expects to undress a girl and find a thorough wax job, and every girl - terrified by the idea of being rejected, or thought abnormal - waxes for them". The same can be applied to the airbrushing of pictures. Perfect looking (airbrushed) women has become 'normal' in society. Let us imagine for a moment the practicalities of putting this into place in our everyday lives. Firstly we would have to look like we have a lady named Maria, with long pink finger nails, living in our bedrooms and doing our makeup every morning. We wouldn't be allowed to walk in the rain/snow/wind, or in fact move at all for risk of looking uncouth. We would have to stand in some kind of sexy pose, not sweating or smudging our eyeliner or laughing (and thus flaring our nostrils). And even then we wouldn't have a photoshopped body. We'd still have cellulite and a spot on our chin.

My boyfriend fancies Diana Vickers. And when I say fancies I mean FANCIES. This is his latest favourite picture which he tweeted earlier today.


My first thought was 'I hate him'. My second: 'I hate her'.

I can safely say that I have never, and will never, look like that. I can also safely say that should he ever (pah) get his wish of having her lying in such a pose, in such an outfit, on his bed, she too will not look like that. She's hot, I am not attempting to deny that, but she doesn't really look like that. 

There's nothing we can do about the depiction of women, except laugh at it's ridiculousness.

I, too, would look super hot having had my hair and makeup done by professionals for two hours before being photographed by a professional photographer (and editor). And so would you.

Luckily my boyfriend hasn't yet dumped me for not looking like Diana Vickers. I think this is promising, and to his merit. I just wish I didn't have to look at pictures like that.

I'm way funnier than Diana Vickers too, so it's cool. Men like sarcastic comedy over raw-sexual-magnetism yes?

Recent polaroids

1. Doing what he does best (debatable)
2. Gay Pride, Brighton
3. Me and my favourite person (looking a little scared of me)
4. Wanders in the sunshine
5. The sweetest picture. Ever. 
6. Me and Lady GaGa (cheers for that gag, Millie)
7. Favourite person
8. Picture courtesy of favourite person