Brain dump.

Halloween is my favourite time of year, and for the first time in a few years, I’m going on a night out to celebrate. I have been experimenting with gory special effects make-up for about six years now. I’m absolutely fascinated by wounds, scars and diseased skin! I could Google real life examples for hours. Many people would find that disturbing, but in my head l’m planning how to recreate the textures of rotting flesh and blend colours with my bruise kit. Halloween is truly the time of year when I can fly this particular freak flag and no-one will bat an eyelid. I’m so excited!

I shall be staying over at a friend’s house and we’ll get ready together like old times, so Mr Ponytail has a free pass to game all weekend in his underpants, if he so chooses! My little Hamster usually travels with me in her ‘caravan’ on weekends, but her actual home is a giant rat cage so I think she’ll be fine this time.

Speaking of Rodents… I was posting so much about all the stuff I was doing for my Hamster and basically boring everyone on Facebook to death with pictures and statuses about being obsessed with her, that it actually led to an interesting development. An old friend of mine had two Chinchillas that unfortunately he could no longer take care of, and to cut a long story short, he’d seen my Hamster posts and was quietly hoping that I would take them. I knew precisely bugger all about Chinchillas but I couldn’t possibly refuse. I’ve done lots of research since and have made significant enrichments to their environment.

The best part of the day is letting them out for a run around, (sans cats obviously). I have learned through trial and MAJOR error, to remove all wires and important articles from my room. They are not yet fully comfortable with me, but the female has started sniffing my nose through the bars and had a test nibble to see if I was edible. I hope this means she’s accepting me as another Chinchilla. The male, (neutered, thank Christ!) is super wary and squeals like a piglet when I approach, but he occasionally lets me feed him a strand of hay. So that’s progress.

I love the process of learning their individual personalities, and am fast becoming known as the local rodent woman. I had to physically restrain myself from commenting on a picture of a rescue rat! I’d have inadvertently ended up adopting it.

I’m also pleased that the B12 supplements seem to be kicking in, I’ve got more energy in the day to clean out the animals and properly enjoy them, and while I still indulge in a regular nap, it’s usually because I want one, rather than that horrible crash out feeling like you’re powering down and can’t fight sleep. I have more energy and motivation at the moment to focus on my crafting too.

I bit the bullet and created a selling page, but have yet to sell a single item. This may be because I’m currently only sharing my work with personal friends to guage interest levels, and hopefully will have the confidence soon to branch out to the wider online marketplace. This venture won’t earn me my fortune, but finally in my life I can say I’m doing something I truly enjoy. Not many people can say that about their regular jobs. Besides crafts, writing, and telling awful dad jokes, I don’t really consider myself to be that talented so I feel quite lucky, but still broke.

The more and more I read up about the autistic spectrum, the more I identify with certain female traits, (bear with me, there’s a point – waffling is also a peculiar talent of mine.) My childhood ‘quirks’ make a lot more sense to me in retrospect, if I imagine I was an undiagnosed autistic girl. I have the perfect example. When I was about 8 or 9, my head teacher took me aside and said “Indie, you’re working above your level in maths, would you like to take some extra-curricular classes?” I replied “No, thank you.” He wasn’t pleased and I can’t remember if I went to the classes in the end.

Nothing about this exchange seemed remarkable, except that I found out years later, my Mum was called into the school and was told that I had an attitude problem because I refused to participate. Now I don’t know about most people, but if someone asks me a question with a yes or no answer, I’m going to be honest with them. I hated maths so it was all incredibly confusing to believe that I actually had a choice, when really he wanted me to comply with his authority.

Anyway, the point to this story is, that since then I have learned that sometimes ‘yes or no?’ means ‘definitely yes’, and sometimes ‘I’m fine’ means ‘I’m not fine but don’t really want you to ask’. I am able to decipher the rules of society through intense study and reading, not being naturally gifted at knowing the right things to say at the right times. And still spectacularly putting my foot in it occasionally.

Now to bring this back to crafting, I think that’s where my insecurities and anxieties lie. I completely over-analyse and second guess all potential reactions to my work until it bothers me so much that I don’t even try to put myself out there. This is why I don’t have a ‘proper’ job. This is why I am happiest creating a mess in my attic and going for days without having a proper conversation with anyone. This is why I exhaust myself thinking about all the what ifs, psyching myself up for social interactions and being in a mild state of panic if events go off script. This is why it has been a HUGE deal to me to get my craft page up and running. I just hope I don’t let myself down, or the people who said I could do it.

This is also why I have an anonymous blog, so I can waffle to my heart’s content and it’s of little consequence whether or not anyone actually reads it. I’m here and I’m creating. I’m proud of myself.

P.S. The post is called ‘brain dump’ because that’s my interim title until I usually find a theme in the post after which to name it, but this is what it is. So it stays.


Summer Loving

I have adopted a Syrian hamster! 

Granted, this should be last on the list of my financial priorities at the moment, considering I have an expensive gym membership and car to maintain, but I’m in a good emotional place in my life in general, and felt ready to take on the responsibility. (FYI the cats are still oblivious!)

She came from a local animal charity with her own very large cage, which I was pleased about because I had only yet purchased a smaller ‘travel/vet trip’ cage which would not have been suitable for full time living. She also has a large indoor playpen and has already learned how to scale the fence so reinforcements will be required! 

Her current cage is great, with several levels and a deep burrowing box. Mr Ponytail and I are planning on building a ‘Hamster mansion’ out of a converted IKEA unit, which will become her main home, and the large cage will be back up, along with ‘caravan’ travel cage, and ‘garden’ playpen. Costing up the whole thing so far has been estimated as a chunk out of the best part of £200, so I hope my car is fixed and sold soon! But in the meantime, I can still afford her upkeep. She is a very happy little soul who loves to run, and explores everything.

Mr Ponytail claims to be indifferent to small animals but I know secretly he cares. Her house incidentally will match his TV unit, (a sign of acceptance into his home), and the other day I took a stealth photo of him sat in front of the cage. He’d been watching her eat a blueberry for 10 minutes! It’s attractive when men show their nurturing sides towards animals and children, even though the latter is way off my radar. Unfortunately though, he will still not let me call him the hamster’s ‘Daddy’!

My own Dad thinks it’s hilarious that I bought a tiny hamster litter tray, but he won’t be laughing when I’ve potty trained her and don’t have to scrub crystallised piss off the cage floor every week!

I can’t wait to get started on the unit, I do enjoy a project. My only time constraint is the life span of the hamster! But, should it be a success, it would provide a spacious and exciting potential home for any future little fur babies.

I love the motivation that Summer brings. I have been crafting loads too. Finally completed a mirror frame made from a collage of vintage comic book frames. Of course I made sure the comic wasn’t rare or valuable before chopping it up. It contains minor Marvel characters that no-one cares about, but still looks awesome.

An upcycled shabby chic wicker chair is also in progress. Just needs a couple more coats of weather proof paint. I have created a slate chipping area on the front lawn where the chair will go, and become a pedestal for a big plant pot. 

The only thing standing in my way currently, aside a few financial niggles, is my exhaustion. I have very productive mornings and then am completely wiped out by lunch time. I’m hoping that slow release energy from porridge, and a vitamin B12 supplement, will help get me back on track. Stupid body and stupid wacky menstrual cycles! Spin class is going to slay me tonight.

I suppose I’d better get moving. Tschüss! 

How do you define ‘normal’? 

Mr Ponytail has very kindly taken on the responsibility of selling my old car, and in the meantime has somehow managed to bribe a colleague into fixing it first. This has taken a massive load of stress off my shoulders, because I got extremely panicky the first time sometime came to look at it, only had ten minutes to prepare, and then the bastard thing wouldn’t open. The locks had jammed! I’m trying not to think about the sale, but could really do with the money ASAP because…

I may have, sort of, accidentally joined a gym! I only went to do a Spin class taster session, but somehow got talked into a monthly membership. I’m very easily persuaded and convinced myself that if I commit myself to this contract, then I’ll be forced to go and get fit. This was a huge test of motivation, coming from a woman who won’t even commit to a phone contract and lives to scout for free WiFi. So far it is working. I’ve lost about 8lbs doing two classes per week for the last 2.5 months, which absolutely kick my arse every time. Plus I’ve been following the occasional YouTube yoga video for strength training/relaxation. Once you get over the feeling of wanting to die on the bike, it’s actually quite energising.

Until the next day, when all I can do is lie like a big sweaty blob in my knickers and bum around on the internet. Fatigue is a huge bitch and I struggle with her daily anyway, thanks to some mysterious hormonal health problems that keep rearing up. I invested in a massage roller stick, basically a glorified rolling pin that is supposed to stretch your muscles and loosen knots. I do get temporary relief from the dreaded DOMS thanks to this contraption, but am now peppered with tiny uniform bruises and look beplagued. (If ‘beplagued’ is not a word, it totally should be!) Black leggings all Summer it is then! (I’ve never needed an excuse not to bother shaving my legs.)

How does anyone fit in everything they need/want to do in the week without another area of their life spectacularly falling apart? For me, when one interest takes over (i.e. gym in this case) there seems to be no energy left for anything else and my week revolves around preparing and psyching myself up for class. Whenever I get into crafts again, my personal hygiene and fitness fall by the wayside as I immerse myself into that current obsession. I genuinely don’t understand how to function ‘normally’. Sometimes I even wonder if I’m on the autism spectrum, and then go into obsessional research mode over that. 

Luckily I have Mr Ponytail in my corner who reminds me to eat, occasionally tops my car up with fuel, and generally guides me through life at the moment. I don’t feel depressed at all, just heavily distracted by various life things, hence not writing a post for a while. Though I’m always comforted to know that my blog is here when I need it.

Nap time.

P.S. Bonus points for anyone who noticed the post title is an X Files quote. 

Car today, gone tomorrow? 

I hate paperwork faff.

I finally have to sell my beloved car and all I can think of is the hassle. There’s loads of dings and scratches where I’ve been less than careful, there’s some corrosion, squeaky brakes, and two of the locks don’t work. It’s going to take a lot of hard graft to make this appealing to prospective buyers. 

I was gutted when I got my first bad dent. It happened three weeks after I passed my test when a knob sped into a junction I was approaching the exit of. To avoid a head on collision, and risk hurting my heavily pregnant friend in the passenger seat, I pulled left and went into a parked car. The knob and the parked car were undamaged but I got a nice big crease down the side. I was so mad, mainly at myself. And then I stopped caring and let my car get into whatever state it would.

I’m lucky that I will still be mobile. My Parents are upgrading to get a better car for Mum’s wheelchair, so I’ve got their old one, which is still newer/better than mine.

This sounds ridiculous, but I struggled for ages with the thought of giving up my car. It still runs really well and is a pleasure to drive, so many storage solutions too, and I’m really attached to it. The ‘new’ car seems so sterile and unfamiliar in comparison. I would be a fool not to take it, but I actually got upset thinking about having to sell mine.

My first car. My baby. I’m going to miss it so much until the next one feels more like my own. The pressure I put on myself not to turn it into a shit tip will undoubtedly mean it will become one! It is in my name now but I’m not insured yet. I get anxious over form filling, and major change. I was happily willing to run mine into the ground, but it’s becoming way too uneconomical for me to maintain. Eventually, replacement parts would cost more than what the car is worth. So rationally, I know this is the best decision, but emotionally I’m still torn.

There are much worse things in the world to be upset about, but when you get emotionally attached to objects, it feels like a bigger deal than it looks to everyone else. I will have to force myself to be grateful that I can even drive, and have use of a car. Just not looking forward to the selling process.

Mr. Ponytail is being so helpful and fixing things on my behalf. I shall thank him by putting him on my new insurance. We can share the responsibility of long drives, yay! 

This is a really crap post compared to my others, but I’m only using it to blurt what I struggle to express verbally. That I’m dreading paperwork and really going to miss my car. Could have just written that one sentence and be done really. That’s not what us wafflers do though. Hopefully my next post will include more riveting content… 

A Pile of Craft

Despite managing to be frugal most of the time, (see previous post), I do have the occasional splurge on things that I think matter at the time. Recently I spent an arse-clenchingly obscene amount of money on handmade pottery, and then at a vegan festival I also went a bit wild with odd foods. Soy jerky turned out to be rather nice actually, but I could still never give up eggs and cheese. 

So, logging into my bank account has been extremely painful the last few days. I have literally £60.55 to my name. I’m not including my savings jars in this total because I’m not allowed to touch them until they’re full, and it will most likely be spent trying to keep my rust bucket on the road. 

I have deduced that unless a long lost relative croaks and leaves me a massive inheritance, I’m actually going to have to do something about this problem myself. I am so fortunate that my parents don’t charge me any rent for staying in their attic, and I’m usually kept fairly well fed, warm, and entertained. So in that respect I’m far better off than a large chunk of the global population and shouldn’t complain, but this situation was meant to be temporary and being broke has officially lost its hippy charm. 

I am still, (and probably forever will be), in the process of sorting my shit out, so the idea of a ‘regular’ job still terrifies me. I can’t imagine myself in an office environment again, the anxiety just wasn’t worth the money. A couple of years ago, myself and a friend who suffers from a chronic illness, looked into sex chat line work. Only half as a laugh. I couldn’t give out my parents’ landline number, so that ruled me out of the most profitable medium. I also think my accent could be off-putting, and I can’t do a sexy voice to save my life. Texting was the next option. The pay was abysmal, and though I consider myself a wordy sort of person, I would still definitely have trouble coming up with creative responses all day when I’d rather be on Netflix. It’s just not for me.

This means that I’m going to have to start getting crafty again, and actually sell some this time around. Or flog all of my possessions and live out of the boot of my car. Option one is looking more attractive. But I’ve not completely ruled out eBay if I can get someone to help me figure out how it works. I can buy things fine, but selling is an alien concept, I’ve always just hauled my stuff to charity so it’s out of my face before I can change my mind and claw it back.

Crafts seem like a fantastic idea when you have a million ideas floating about, which I do. But I have this annoying habit of starting many projects and not quite getting round to finishing them. When I eventually do, I have so little confidence in my ability that I just end up stashing the items away or giving them as presents, because A) I’m generous as fuck, and B) I just can’t get my head around the idea of anyone being willing to pay me real money to own something I made, from an idea I pulled out of my arse. 

I have seen some of the tripe that people are selling on Facebook. And yet someone is buying that stuff. I whinge (internally) that I could do better quality things, but the fact is that I’m not even trying, and they have a basic but somehow popular business. I worry that putting myself out there will generate a similar response from other crafters. “She’s just copying the trend/on the bandwagon/totally shit.”

As I write this, I’m mentally critiquing my business when it doesn’t even exist. The idea is so daunting. How would I stay organised to take orders and keep up with postage? I’d have to actually talk to people! The ideal scenario for me would be to just make whatever I fancy making, whenever I have the motivation, and just sell on an as and when basis. This is not going to drastically improve my current situation, but it could help my morale.

I think It’s time to conclude this post and work on doing something productive with my life. After extensively googling get rich quick schemes and daydreaming about financial freedom.

My Frugality, (“my, my frugaaaliiityyyyy”)

I can’t say ‘My Frugality’ without thinking of the tune to ‘High Fidelity’ from Fame, hence the title of this post. I am well known amongst my friends and family for being extremely frugal (read: cheapskate) most of the time, so when I need to spend big, I can afford long lasting quality items. Or have the occasional splurge on frivolous things because I made some basic reductions to my general lifestyle. Here is a list of some of those things. I may not recommend them all, but it’s what I do!

  • Have a profile on a friend’s Netflix multi-user account, a bit cheeky, but the only con is they can see what you’ve been watching! No more documentaries about weird sex practices from around the world!
  • PAYG phone. Rarely top up and use WiFi wherever possible
  • Only download free apps and books. Mostly the cheesiest, crappiest romantic e-novels. Good for light entertainment but you don’t learn much. Except for 500 different ways of saying ‘vagina’
  • Save all leftover change in various tins to deposit into bank account
  • Bulk buy staple products. Only generic stuff like pasta and porridge. I can totally taste inferiority when I go for certain unbranded foods
  • Find deals on eBay. Recently learned about taking advantage of misspelled items. Not sure why it works, maybe because less people will find them so the prices are rock bottom
  • Buy gifts and cards in sales. January sales are especially good for buying Christmas presents for people who you know you won’t get to see til after Christmas. You save postage then also
  • Hand-me-down clothes from sister and cousin, or receive as gifts. Or trawl charity shops to find the one decent top amongst the millions of granny ones. Time consuming, but worth it if you want something basic or possibly even to use as part of a fancy dress outfit
  • Make gifts wherever possible/appropriate. I’m crap at baking, but everyone likes it when you’ve tried
  • Upcyling (must do more of this – search charity shops for finds with good potential)
  • Save wax from used candles to melt into new candles
  • Soaps – do that last sliver collecting thing my dad does
  • Collect freebies from hotels. Soaps/drink sachets etc. Good for travelling or if I’ve run out. Currently have a huge stockpile
  • Use pea sized blob of toothpaste/handwash and slightly less detergent than stated
  • Use laundry EcoEgg. A bit of initial cost at nearly £18, but you get about 720 washes out of it and then only need to buy refill balls. Pennies per wash!
  • Only drive when necessary. For me this is every weekend to my partner’s house, as I can do most things I need to from home during the week. I also have my dad on my insurance so benefit from his 25+ years no claims bonus!
  • Go on hikes for fun/exercise/appreciating nature
  • Keep good gift bags for re-use
  • Cut bits of greetings cards to recycle as new decorations on homemade cards
  • If people ask what I want for Christmas/birthday, suggest toiletries e.g. shower gel/bubble bath, (that I can stockpile and actually use)
  • Don’t shave my legs that often. Find a man who doesn’t care if you’re part gorilla, and cling onto that motherfucker!
  • I haven’t had a haircut in over a year. It’s well overdue a trim but this is mostly out of sheer laziness than conscious frugality
  • Learn a new language. I recommend the Duolingo app, it’s free and keeps you motivated by earning points aka ‘Lingots’ for topics learned. You can only ‘spend’ these with Duolingo, and purchase options are limited, but it’s a fun way to get competitive with yourself
  • Mr Ponytail works in the public transport industry, so I’m entitled to a free travel pass, which I will take advantage of when I can be bothered to spend money on a new passport sized photo!
  • Use WordPress to blog. Free hosting and good therapeutic activity
  • Learn DIY. There’s a YouTube tutorial for practically everything these days
  • Live with parents. Super extreme, and not recommended for most 30 year olds, but at least I don’t have to worry about a mortgage. My parents paid theirs off years ago when they got an unexpected windfall, which was most appreciated during lean financial times.

I will add more to this list I am sure. 

It’s been a while…

I got an email from WordPress to say happy anniversary, and it jolted me into actually remembering that I have a blog! I’m not sure where to start with this post because a gazillion things have happened since I started blogging here.

So in a nutshell, from Approx. August 2015:

  • Reinstated my dating site account
  • Went to close it in frustration a few weeks later, but found an unusually thoughtful and articulate email from a guy with a ponytail
  • Responded to ponytail guy
  • Met 2 weeks later. Second date was on top of a cliff, so it bodes well for us both that it went OK…
  • He was my date to my sister’s wedding, and there I found out his dancing was just as terrible as mine. This was the first time I got rotten drunk in front of him too, merely a month after meeting. So I credit him for not running for the hills when I demanded he “kiss my sicky mouth!”
  • He took me on a trip for my 30th, we visited Christmas markets and asked the fudge stall lady what her favourite was. Her reply, “Well, when your life smells of fudge, the novelty does wear off a bit…”
  • My actual birthday was spent visiting my mother in hospital. She was in for a whole month so that time was a bit of a blur, but Mr Ponytail stayed with me throughout
  • He encouraged me to sign up to a Counselling course, which I’d been dithering about joining for ages. Having experienced the ‘Black Hole’, I wondered if I could learn something about myself as well as potentially help others to recognise their own feelings. It was the first time in as long as I could remember that I actually enjoyed academic learning, and did my homework on time. For several reasons, the course couldn’t run the next level, but I’m still fascinated by the subject
  • Lots of stuff followed, and finally Mum came home
  • Skipping a few months because it would just be loads of guff about me and Mr Ponytail’s honeymoon period
  • Brexit. I could write all day about this, and may even do a separate post on it, but it gets me really angry. I voted ‘Remain’.
  • Going to Germany with Mr Ponytail soon, who now also has a beard and looks a bit like a lion in the morning. Looking forward to this immensely, but now our Euros are going to cost a fucking fortune. I’m semi-considering claiming political asylum and not returning to the UK! Deutschland, ja!
  • Today… distracting myself from brewing packing rage by writing this post
  • Still living in my parents’ attic

More in depth musings will hopefully follow, as the tone of this blog changes from ‘single don’t give a fuck’ girl, to ‘committed to a man with weird hair and gives slightly more of a fuck’ woman. Tschüss for now.

Refugee Crisis. Heartless people are infuriating!

Well, I’ve been quite a busy bee the past month, prepping for my sister’s hen do amongst other things, but am finally compelled enough to write again.

We are facing the biggest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, and reading the callous comments of some people regarding the refugee situation has really angered me. I want to address a few of those points.

1. We can’t afford to let them into the UK

Yet we can afford to spend millions on renewing our nuclear weapons?! I call bullshit.

2. Britain is too full already

Well, due to the government’s previous lax policies on immigration, and as a consequence buggering about trying to catch people who enter illegally, this naturally makes the population suspicious of any economic migrants. Let’s not forget the distinction here. Refugees are not here specifically to find work, they’re trying to not get killed! There are many thousands of empty homes that could be used to accommodate desperate families.

3. We need to look after our own first. We have homeless veterans on the streets. Are you really prepared to take a refugee into your own home? 

Actually, if any made it as far as my town, yes I would. This argument is the most laughable. I would like to ask the people who state this, how much have THEY done to offer a bed to homeless ex military personnel? Practise what you preach!

4. We don’t know who we’re letting in, they could be terrorists

While it would be virtually impossible to conduct a full background check on every person entering the UK in an en masse situation, I am inclined to believe that the vast majority are just ordinary people trying to escape an unimaginably shit situation. Put yourselves in their shoes. No matter what your religious or political views, you would do anything you could to get your family the fuck out of there.

5. They will steal our jobs

Whose jobs exactly? Genuine migrants contribute a vast amount to our economy and bring so many skill sets. If anything, they work harder than anyone to prove that they are not ‘benefits scroungers’. In my area we are not as ethnically diverse as some, yet we have many Indian dentists, Filipino nurses, Nigerian doctors and Polish engineers, who all provide vital contributions to our community. Not to mention the Chinese and Bangladeshi families who operate some of our finest eating establishments!

Let’s make the distinction again. Refugees are NOT economic migrants. If they had the choice they would rather be in their own homes. I do not believe anyone would risk theirs and their childrens’ lives just for the prospect of claiming the dole. When their countries are peaceful again, they may wish to return, but I personally would not begrudge them if they didn’t. Amongst the refugees there are many skilled individuals. More so than myself. Why shouldn’t they deserve to live wherever they choose to give themselves a better life?

There are photos of dead children washed up on beaches. Do people really think they gave a fuck about the economic status of the country they were trying to enter?! They’re just innocents caught up in a horrible mess that should never have happened.

What angers me more than ignorance, is the fact that countries like ours have no qualms about going into these countries all guns blazing to ‘help them sort out their problems’, but when the devastating consequences of those actions land on our own doorstep, our lead politicians couldn’t seem to give an all singing and dancing fuck.

We welcomed refugees from Kosovo in the 90s, and the country did not cease to function. Have some compassion on a basic human level.

Why I think keeping bits of useless tat is okay

Clutter. Everyone has it. Even people with OCD. Though they may organise things in parallel lines and keep a place spotless, they still have all that emotional clutter. I’m going to concentrate on talking about actual clutter. When I graduated uni in 2009, I brought back many boxes of junk to add to the junk I already had, some of which still hasn’t been unpacked!

I get sentimentally attached to the most seemingly ridiculous and unimportant things. My sister says if it doesn’t have a purpose or bring joy to your life, get rid of it. Sometimes though, it’s not the item which brings me joy, but the memory attached to it.

I kept the disembodied plastic arm of a figurine that I found on some train station steps, because it reminds me of coming home with awesome friends after one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. I kept a little broken Chinese charm with a bell in it because it was given to me as a thank you for rescuing a stray kitten. I kept a disgusting, grubby, rubber chicken keyring because I had it with me when I backpacked and interrailed across Europe.

I can force myself to throw away shoes which have been worn to the death, or threadbare knickers which have even gone way beyond ‘last day before laundry’ suitability status. I can even donate to charity some of the masses of nondescript t-shirts I have accumulated over the years. It’s a painful process, but still possible. However, if there is a good memory featuring one of the nondescript t-shirts, I just can’t bring myself to do it.

It’s almost like I feel sorry for the item, that it above all others has been chosen for the chop. It’s physically hard for me to justify what makes this ticket stub more worthy of being kept than that one. When I was a kid I had a tub of pencil shavings, but have since become a tad more selective about the crap that I keep.

In our throwaway culture, why not keep a little scrap of paper with a rubbish doodle on it? Someday, my descendants may find that scrap and make a treasure of it.

When my maternal grandparent’s home was being sold, we had a jolly good nosey through all their things and the bits of stuff that they had left behind, and it brought me infinite joy. A box of anti-diarrhea tablets with a note attached telling my grandfather to enjoy his trip to somewhere in the South Pacific I think. A round of caps for a 1960s toy gun. Doodles and caricatures created by my uncle. Odd little trinkets from around the world.

If my future possible grandchildren find my little plastic arm, the broken bell, or the grubby rubber chicken keyring, I hope to be around to tell them what makes these bits of tat special to me.

I am working on my emotional clutter, but as far as I’m concerned, I can live with the actual clutter if it means I get a decent story out of it. In fact, that’s what I like about family stories passed down through the generations. I’m not bothered about birth/marriage/death dates, I’m more fascinated with the anecdotes from their everyday lives. If there is a bit of tangible evidence to back this up, even if it’s as insignificant as a natty old sweet wrapper, all the better.

I just don’t know what to do (with myself)

Today, my Dad asked me what I intend to do with my life. He didn’t utter those exact words, but during a general conversation the meaning was most definitely implied. I stress that he was not malicious in his statement, merely curious.

I have no idea how things will play out. If I knew what I wanted to do with myself then I wouldn’t be living in the attic of my parents’ house, (yes, I’m finally in my big girl’s bed!) I am totally in awe of people who have a ‘plan’, but also feel sad for them when they don’t appear to allow for life’s little flexible moments.

There are actually a ton of things I would love accomplish. Write a novel and/or a children’s book; Get back into crafting and experiment with all sorts of techniques; Travel more, possibly working abroad; Volunteer at a cat shelter. I’m actually making enquiries about the last one, but the others demand a certain level of motivation that I lost during my personal black hole, and have not yet quite regained.

Currently, I call it a success if I manage to organise myself enough to get dressed and leave the house. The road to recovery is long, sometimes boring in fact, and being reminded of how my life has stalled can be quite disheartening, compared to others my age getting mortgages and starting families etc.

Then I have to remind myself that every one of my peers and friends are on the face of their own personal Everest. Absolutely everyone. They’re all having a good time according to Facebook, but when we confide in each other the cracks are readily on show.

Struggles to get their child’s autism recognised in school; Problems with mother-in-laws/exes/current partners; The loss of a parent; Overstretched at work; A new Mum struggling with loneliness; The constant issue of only appearing to attract knobheads. The list goes on and on.

Which leads me to a lovely old proverb, probably written by some anonymous monk from the middle ages, that I read once and it really resonated with me:

Blessed are the cracked, for they let the light in.