Notebook

TMI Post – Periods and Menstrual Cups

Fair warning, this post is going to get a bit…icky. I’m going to be talking periods, menstural cups, hormonal crashes, bleeding, cramps and spots. I won’t be posting pictures or anything, but if you faint at the thought of blood or cringe when you see the word “vagina” I’d recommend you skip this post. I’ll go back to strange stories, poetical pieces and random rants later, I promise.

I hesitated a lot before writing this post, which is kinda weird when you think about it. A massive proportion of the population have periods but talking about it is still pretty taboo. Continue reading “TMI Post – Periods and Menstrual Cups”

Mid Week Flash Challenge Week 5 – You Are My Heart

My next entry for Miranda Kate’s Mid Week Flash challenge, week 5 the General Guidelines for which are here.  
 
 
This week’s prompt photo was created by Marcela Bolivar, a digital artist from Columbia. You can check out some of her other wonderful creations on her website here.

You are my heart

 
Once, I am sure, I was complete. A whole, living, breathing being. I used to taste food, feel music. I used to be alive.
Then along he came. He filled me so completely, there was no room for anything else. Where once I held passion for art and dancing, good company and good movies, now there was only him.  I lived him, breathed him, he didn’t just hold my heart, he was my heart. I didn’t mind, I didn’t miss any of it. I didn’t need any of it, he fulfilled me completely.
And now he has gone, and I am a shell. I eat without tasting, I go through the motions of social interaction without engaging. I stare at screens without taking anything in.  I exist without living.
All that’s left of me is the ghost of him, as intangible as a rippling reflection on a midnight pool.

Mid Week Flash Week 3 – The Beat Goes on


My next entry for Miranda Kate’s mid week flash challenge, inspired by this guy:
 
 
 The picture prompt this week is by  Ekaterina Zakharova, a Russian photographer who named him ‘1Fairy’. You can find more on her Deviant Art page.

The General Guidelines for the mid-week flas challenge are here.  
 
 
The Beat Goes On
 
The trouble is, no one believes in fairy tales anymore.
Back when I was a kid, some people took them seriously. My Nan did, certainly – she left cream out for the little folk, touched wood, sprinkled salt, and always warned us to stay on the paths if we ventured into the woods. She even gave me a tiny iron horseshoe to keep me safe. I should have kept it.
But nowadays, with our lives so dominated by social media and selfies sticks and double shot mocha cappuccinos, we are lulled into a false sense of security. The woods are just somewhere I jog through, not an otherworld of mystery and magic.
I was panting along, well on course to beating my personal best, the only sound the slapping of my feet on the path, the thudding of my blood in my ears. I was totally in the zone. Then I noticed the annoying little stone in my shoe.
 
I tried to ignore it, but after a few steps I realised I couldn’t. Look after your feet, and they’ll look after you. If I ignored it, I’d get a blister, and that would totally mess up my training.
I reluctantly stopped,  and stepped off the path to sit on a convenient log and sort it out. As soon as I sat, it was like the volume had been turned up on the world. Suddenly I could hear the wind sighing through the canopy, the birds calling to each other. The sun was warm on my back and the air smelled so sweet. I lingered too long, breathing in the magic of the woods.
Then I heard it – or maybe felt it, I’m not sure. The steady beating of the drums, the low, intoxicating oboe, the high, infectious pipes that made my toes tap. I should have stayed on the path. Nan warned me. But I wanted to see where the music was coming from.

Continue reading “Mid Week Flash Week 3 – The Beat Goes on”

Mid Week Flash Challenge Week 2 – Blue Sky

Blue Sky

I’m coming in to this party fashionably late , since it’s week 2, but this is my piece for Miranda Kate’s  Mid-Week Flash Challenge.

The picture is the prompt, and is by Kasia Derwinska, a polish art photographer.

It’s the picture that keeps me going.

Because fuck, it’s dark here. There’s no end to the desolate, barren emptiness. It stretches on and on forever, but at the same time it’s closing in so tight that if I stop and think about it for a second, falter even a moment, I won’t be able to breathe.

I focus on the picture.

It gets me through the screaming silence, keeps me going through the blackness, when all is dust. It is my talisman against the aching fatigue of battling on. It reminds me that smiling is possible, here where I have forgotten how.

I focus on the picture in my mind.  Nothing fancy – I don’t want much. Just one foot in front of the other, just like now. Only the sky is blue, and the air is sweet and I can breathe again. Smile again. See the world in colour again.

I focus on that picture – blue skies to temper my storms, a life lived in colour, with feeling – I hang it in the foreground of my mind, and I keep on walking.

I focus on the picture, and I refuse to give up, and curl up, and disappear.

One day I will have my blue sky.

Broken Hearts

It’s Valentine’s day, so everywhere I look there are hearts. Heart frames for photos on Facebook,  hearts in hashtags on twitter, heart stickers coming up as options on prisma,  hearts all over the high street.
Hearts don’t automatically make me think of love though. For any parent who has experienced what I have, hearts have a very different association- CHD.
Today marks the end of CHD awareness week. 10 years ago I couldn’t have told you what CHD stood for, such was my lack of awareness. Now I could bore you about Congenital Heart Disease for hours. I won’t here though, honest.

Continue reading “Broken Hearts”

2016: A Patch in Time

Those of you who have followed me for a while know that it has long been my dream to write an episode of Doctor Who. Well in 2016, with the help of multitalented political and philosophical poet and musician Steve McAuliffe, that dream (kind of!) became a reality when I wrote and performed in an unofficial mini-episode of Doctor Who for the Ungagged podcast. Grab yourself a cuppa and a blanket and curl up for a 12 minute adventure that should (hopefully!) leave you laughing.

2016: A Patch In Time

Images by Debra Torrance. With a cameo from Red Raiph.


The Clock Strikes Christmas – An Alternative Christmas Tale

“You have to understand, we didn’t want this” said Berry nervously. “Every elf in the workshop chose this job because we are passionate about bring hope, joy and laughter to people all around the world-“
“Yet here you are, threatening to strike days before Christmas” said Santa, stroking his beard. Something about the movement made Berry nervous, reminding him of a Bond villain stroking a cat. “Happy to disappoint every child in the world, and for what? To make some kind of political point?”
Berry tried to swallow his nerves. He wished more than anything that it hadn’t been him that drew the short candy cane.
“With respect sir, it isn’t about the politics. Whether we agree with the expansion or not, things just aren’t workable as they are.” He scrambled around for the words to explain, words that would make him understand. Santa rarely visited the shop floor, preferring instead to sit in the grotto with his sexy secretary Mrs Claus and some of the perkier elves, counting out cookies and mince pies and basking in the adoration of the masses. He rarely saw the worker elves sobbing with exhaustion as they tried to work out how to craft the latest piece of gadgetry.

Continue reading “The Clock Strikes Christmas – An Alternative Christmas Tale”

Don’t Bring Me Flowers

Don’t bring me flowers
That fill my life with sweet perfume,
And cheer my heart with colour,
And bring a smile to my lips,
But wither and wilt
And die away in days
Reminding me that all things pass,
Even the most perfect rose
Will one day fade.
No don’t bring me flowers my love,
Bring me seeds,
Bring me bulbs.
Give me future flowers,
That keep returning every year,
Bringing my memories with them.
Don’t bring me flowers.
Bring me seeds my love,
And stay with me,
To watch them grow.

We’ve Never Had It So Good.

Shit, my head is banging. I didn’t think I was that drunk last night, but it feels like someone came in the night and replaced my tongue with a sock full of sand. I can’t even remember the election result, let alone getting home and going to bed. Maybe I fell asleep before it was announced. That would be embarrassing at work thank God I’m on annual leave.
I never really should have agreed to go to the work’s election party night. I don’t know what Tim, our manager, was thinking when he organised it. He’d seen the divide in the coffee room whenever the conversation came around to the hot political topic of the day. Nick and I had almost come to blows on more than one occasion. The whole team in a confined space with alcohol and the live election results? Great idea. I tried to make an excuse about previous plans, but Tim pulled me aside when our break was over and strongly suggested I reconsider.

Continue reading “We’ve Never Had It So Good.”

Craving You

First published in my old notebook April 20, 2014

Craving you

I have been craving you for weeks. I know we are bad for each other, that’s why I have been so strict with myself, refused to see you. I have been so good, but I don’t know how much longer I can deny myself.

It has been building like a thunderstorm, the need for you, for so long now.  Your scent, your taste on my tongue, the two of us melting into each other, becoming one. You are all I think of at my desk at work, pounding the treadmill at the gym, sitting in traffic. I need you, I want you so much, every cell in my body is calling to you.

I see you with that girl on the bus and something inside me snaps. I can’t deny myself, deprive myself of you any longer. I need you. I want you. I’ll have you tonight. Oh, I can’t wait until tonight! I’ve got to have you now.

My heart is racing as I reach for you, my fingertips trembling as they caress your familiar contours. I pull you close to me, take a deep breath and inhale your delicious scent. My mouth waters in anticipation and I hold back just a moment more, knowing I am committed now. I will have you and I will hate myself for it tomorrow. It is too late to stop it. I don’t even care. I just want to devour you.

I rip off your wrapping and shovel you in. Sod the diet. You, Chocolate, are well worth it.

Sixteen sixteen word love stories

I’m playing around a lot with micro fiction at the moment (a much longer piece is on its way) so I thought I would share some with you. I love the challenge of trying to write very short stories. Some of them are ripe for expansion; Protection has already been made into a much longer story for Strange Times.

Continue reading “Sixteen sixteen word love stories”

The Greatest Gift

I keep moving against the cold, never stopping my steady, ponderous progression. My body is warm – almost too warm actually, bundled as I am in heavy furs – but winter’s chill still bites at my nose, and my feet are tingly and numb.

It is rapidly becoming dark, and the snow is glittering with the reflected colours of Christmas lights that are just starting to come on. It might cheer the soul, if you were strolling along hand in hand with your lover, or heading home to your children. To me this day is always the saddest of the season.

They start to hang the lights earlier nowadays, though they have largely forgotten the reason. Some people have them up for the entire month of December, small points of cheer and defiance against the darkness. But today is December 27th, and soon they will all be gone. All the build up, all the belief, all the energy that built to wake me is slowly ebbing away. I feel myself weakening already. It is becoming harder and harder to maintain my stride, my breath wheezing now in asthmatic gasps. Continue reading “The Greatest Gift”

Remembrance

It is a small act
Just once a year
A pause
Slight hush
In the hubbub of life.
One hundred and twenty seconds
Of silent reflection
Such a small thing
In exchange
For such a sacrifice
Just silence
For the lives lost
And the loves lost
And the limbs lost
It seems a nothing
To simply do nothing
But in our busy world
And busy lives
One hundred and twenty seconds
Of respect
And remembrance
Seems a lot
So we pat ourselves on the back
For our two minute silence
And we look on
While men who still
Give orders to
Send other people’s sons
To pointless wars
Nod piously
And mouth the now meaningless
Never again
With seemingly straight faces.
And we swear solemnly
We shall we remember them.
Then we return to our busyness
There’s Christmas coming, after all.
Our paper flowers crumple
And fade
And blow away,
Forgotten,
Until next year.

The Door

I have a jar full of story prompts and sometimes I pick one out at random to write a story about. This is one of those stories. The prompt that came out of the jar was – a new door appears in  your home. This is what I came up with…

The Door

It was a sleepy Sunday morning when I first noticed the new door. It could have appeared on the Saturday night – I had been out drinking with my boyfriend Robert that night and was pretty distracted at bedtime, I might not have noticed it. It definitely wasn’t there Saturday morning.

My house isn’t the biggest – just a living room with a small kitchen attached downstairs, a bedroom and small bathroom upstairs. It’s not like I have a huge old rambling house where a door might be overlooked. Continue reading “The Door”