Living in Crewe

Hello bloggers.

I have taken a short break from blogging. No, I haven’t. I just have not blogged for a while. I haven’t been busy, as such. Well, I suppose I have, in the grand scheme of things!

I have edited (finally) my husband’s 24,000 word dissertation. I even did some research on the history of cars, from the designs of Leonardo Da Vinci to the Model T created by Henry Ford. As a non car-enthusiast, I can honestly say I found it all immensely fascinating. What really stood out starkly for me was the revolution in all economic systems that was created by cars. Traffic control systems had to be created from scratch through trial and error, 60% of the deaths caused by careless driving and speeding, at a time when speeding was a concept nobody had ever heard of let alone contemplate, were children. The growth of the car industry was a tragic and nostalgic business. However it sure has saved us a LOT of time and hundreds of feet worth of horse manure! (I speak very literally here when I say hundreds of feet – in the year 1900 the horse population outnumbered the human population in New York city!).

I have also been working on my own dissertation, which is far less fascinating and a whole lot of nonsense, really. I am taking a creative analysis course, where I have to analyse creativity in language. All the theories are entirely subjective, so it’s a little tedious to hear somebody’s opinion on something and quote it as fact. In all honesty, I don’t think much of it at all. But shhh, don’t let my lecturers hear you say that! It would be a travesty and might potentially affect my final grade! The grade which determines the outcome of my degree! Huzzah! It could NOT come sooner, I tell you.

Britain is sunny, the dogs are barking cheerfully and sometimes suspiciously, and the small town I now live in is a piece of literal crap. *insert taped laughter*.

It’s called Crewe, in England, about an hour South-East of Manchester and two hours East of Liverpool and three and a half hours North-West of London. I could cycle the entire town in about fifty minutes, and walk it in around two hours. The people are remarkably racist and treat me as a second class citizen because of my olive complexion and my dark black hair. I know this because they give me English looks of disapproval (I do it myself so I KNOW) and they also make comments about ‘immigrants’ and ‘they shouldn’t let them in’. I am not an immigrant. My maternal grandmother was. So was my paternal grandmother. I am just a very diluted English person. Even if I was an immigrant, one oughtn’t to treat immigrants like that. It’s rude and unwarranted and plainly ignorant. Also inhumane. When I open my mouth they are often taken aback by the British accent. They are uneducated, pro-Brexit and against Islam, brown people, and immigration. They are also remarkably poor, and very uncivilised, often leaving their homes at 3am in their pyjamas (oftentimes without) shouting at each other and toppling bins over.

It isn’t all negative, though. The shop ladies are lovely, and my neighbours are a sweet Polish couple with a bubbly little blonde daughter. Once I was cycling on the road and my long cardigan got stuck in my chain (fashion over logic, in this case, ha ha!), so I had to stop and yank it out on the road. While I was thus occupied, a woman darted out of her house and asked if I was okay and did I need any help? I was mighty touched, thanking her for her kindness. Another time I got my chain caught (on nothing, this time), a couple of really shifty looking young men came up to me when I was trying to fix it. I panicked because they did look menacing, but one of them said, as they drew close, ‘You alright, love!? Need any help?’

I was pleasantly surprised by their helpful kindness. I suppose it isn’t all black and white, and there is some ying in this yang. Or was it yang in this ying?

 

Destiny.

Hello, world.

I just want to put this quietly out there. This video is one that resonates with me on an extremely personal level. Almost word for word.

I know a lot of people have gone through this sort of experience. But it is good to share the feelings.

A few years ago, Something Big happened to me. It changed who I am fundamentally, and left me a lot more vulnerable and scarred. Ultimately I did learn a tremendous deal from that experience, but it has changed me on such a deep emotional level that I am noticing the change every day in my life, every single day. Everyday I am reminded that I am stunted because of what happened, bile and nausea have become a part of my existence.

I have moved on. I am happier, of course. But I know, deep down, that I will never have the joyful abandon I had before The Thing.

I was a different person before it. And I am sad because I don’t like who I’ve become because of it, because I know that the child I was then would not have grown into the adult I am now. And that, to me, is pretty hard to think about.

This video is very short. But it is very well articulated. And if you have ever experienced something like this, well, know that you aren’t alone.

Are we a society of narcissists?

Lately I have been very disillusioned with society. Not just because Donald Trump won. I know his winning has caused global stress. Not just because of Brexit, or that 25% of voters in France are far right voters.

All I see are selfies every where.

‘Love your body’

‘Lose weight’

‘body image’

‘thinspiration’

‘looks amazing’

‘Wow you look so good’

‘Wow look at you stunner’

And the likes and comments pour in and in and in until they are drowning in comments about their looks.

‘You ugly’

It’s all about appearance. Don’t get me wrong, a selfie here and there is fine. But a constant stream of selfies makes one seem, at the very least, self absorbed.

And then people become so depressed because everybody seems to have such a good life but they don’t. And their compare and compare and all the heads are looking up at those who have more instead of those who have less.

‘Oh her house is nicer than mine’

‘Oh his looks are better than mine’

‘Oh how come he can afford such a nice car wth’

‘She’s ugly’ -she is actually stunning-

And the SELFIES. Instagram is the WORST. All my friends, constantly uploading exact replicas of their face at a particular angle with different coloured lipstick on.

‘Ugh look at my eyebags’

‘Feeling pretty today’

I just feel like society is all a ruse. Nothing is real. People are just projecting themselves out there, hungry for attention. If you look at those who don’t have as much as you do, you become thankful for what you do have. And you become more content, and less ravenous for those likes, for people to appreciate you, for more and higher and better and bigger.

The other day I was on the train and there was a man sitting a few rows ahead of me, blaring music out from his phone. Three people stood up and walked away from him, but he was oblivious. One man tutted loudly and glared at him as he walked past, and the offender waggled his eyebrows at him, and did a little shoulder shake. It made me laugh. I admit, I was a little annoyed with the music, I was tired and his music didn’t sit well in my ears. but I didn’t say anything. So, this guy was happy at 6am in the morning. Why kill a guy’s buzz? Let him be.

I don’t know why that situation depressed me so much.

The screen over the carriage door said, ‘This train is for Stanstead Airport, via Leicester.’

And I thought to myself, what if I didn’t get off at Leicester. What if I just skipped work altogether and went off to Stanstead Airport. Bought a ticket to Somewhere with whatever I had in my account, and escaped it all. But then I realised that wherever I go there will be humans, and humans just don’t make me happy.

They are just so self involved. I am so self involved. A lot of people are. Not all of them, of course. But so many people are.

I want to escape but I don’t know where I want to go.

Maybe I have SAD, now? It probably is that. Lack of vitamin D causes depression, apparently.

Maybe I need to be nicer to other people. Cynicism is not healthy.

So, what do you think? Are we all becoming narcissists? Is this ease of access making it simpler for narcissists to bud and grow, when before such ideas would be smacked right out of their silly little heads?

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Narcissus

Two Cold Uncles Knitting to the Beat

Hello everybody!

I was sitting in the library today, trying so hard to conjure up an idea for a short story. I have a hand in on the 17th of March; I have nothing to write about!

Anyway so something inspired me to get on to google and type in ‘story idea’. A website called ‘Plot Generator‘ came up and I thought, holy moly, have I just stumbled upon a goldmine?!

Turns out I did. A hilarious gold mine. I filled in some boxes with keywords and names, and it generated a little story for me. It had me laughing so much I had to get up and take a breather.

Have a look, if you’re interested!

 

Two Cold Uncles Knitting to the Beat

Twig Blackadder was thinking about Emilia Blake again. Emilia was a kind angel with handsome hair and slim lips.

Twig  walked over to the window and reflected on his pretty surroundings. He had always hated peaceful Lancing with its slobbering, strong seaside. It was a place that encouraged his tendency to feel sad.

Then he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the a kind figure of Emilia Blake.

Twig gulped. He glanced at his own reflection. He was a stubborn, wilful, coffee drinker with built hair and brunette lips. His friends saw him as a modern, magnificent monster. Once, he had even made a cup of tea for a villainous grandma.

But not even a stubborn person who had once made a cup of tea for a villainous grandma, was prepared for what Emilia had in store today.

The rain hammered like thinking parrot, making Twig bittersweet. Twig  grabbed an ethereal key that had been strewn nearby; he massaged it with his fingers.

As Twig stepped outside and Emilia came closer, he could see the slobbering glint in her eye.

Emilia gazed with the affection of 4480 selfish amused ant. She said, in hushed tones, “I love you and I want closure.”

Twig  looked back, even more bittersweet and still fingering the ethereal key. “Emilia, I’ve always loved you,” he replied.

They looked at each other with nostalgic feelings, like two glorious, giant goldfish sobbing at a very considerate holiday, which had piano music playing in the background and two cold uncles knitting to the beat.

Twig  studied Emilia’s handsome hair and slim lips. Eventually, he took a deep breath. “I’m sorry,” began Twig in apologetic tones, “but I don’t feel the same way, and I never will. I just don’t love you Emilia.”

Emilia looked happy, her emotions raw like an old, open old shoes.

Twig could actually hear Emilia’s emotions shatter into 8876 pieces. Then the kind angel hurried away into the distance.

Not even a cup of coffee would calm Twig’s nerves tonight.

THE END

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They even generated a cover for me!

In the Night Sky

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My husband shushed me when I tried to talk to him today. He was watching some Youtube video or other. Naturally I threw a hissy fit and told him cruelly that if I died tomorrow he would regret paying his precious internet more time than he did me.

That hurt him. He said, “Ouch.” and made that sad face he makes to ensure my heart melts and I can’t stay mad at him, so I felt really bad. But no! I’m hurt too! I stand by what I said. It’s true!

Some might say “well he doesn’t have to spend every moment at your beck and call” and that is true but y’all don’t know Damian. When he has screen time it’s really hard to ‘rouse’ him. I can call his name ten times and he won’t ‘hear’ me, he is so focused.

So what will it take for me to get my husband’s attention? Throwing a hissy fit certainly won’t work all the time. Maybe I should just turn into a computer?

Well, this is what I want to say: Love wholeheartedly. Don’t be afraid of getting hurt. Spread your love through the night sky, let it mingle with the stars and scatter over this torn earth; throw it out on the breeze, let it float with the clouds. Sprinkle it onto the heads of children and in warm cups of coffee hot chocolate laced with mint. Lather it in special soap that you keep for your best friend because you know she loves lavender, hide it in a small gift for your brother, or in that book your sister has been wanting for a long time. Let it drift over to the harassed looking lady on the high street with a big, wide smile that, and allow it to be the warmth of a hug to make someone feel better.

Nestle it in the blanket you gently pull over your mother who has fallen asleep on the sofa, and whisper it in the ear of your spouse as he is glued to a computer screen reading about the latest mac rumours, wrap your arms tightly around him and swivel his chair around so he can see the love you have for him for himself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Internet: AKA Brain Juicer

Here’s a thought for you: The internet is stealing your brain!

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Nicholas Carr, author of a book called The Shallows, reckons that “the net is making us more superficial as thinkers“. This is a remarkable concept to think about because the majority of what one sees on the internet, unless one does a thorough search to sift through the piles of nonsense that Google farms as its most viewed content, is a load of superficial dung, consisting of articles about celebrities and what they like to eat and wear, and the latest pointless scandals around the world.

Here are some facts:

Carr claims the internet is responsible for a noticeable disappearance in attention span (human, of course).

It is interesting to note that our brains release some dopamine when we research or discover new information.

The increase in the availability of the vast pool of information, via smartphones (and other such devices), is creating a compulsive habit within us, promoting us to be constantly aware of what our phones are doing, constantly keeping one ear out for any notifications, constantly reading texts, news articles, social media posts.

The constant distraction of the steady stream of information we are getting from the internet drives our brains into a frenzy, always wanting more.

This way of thinking is stressful, and overwhelms the calm, collected mindset that we humans need to memorise information, by transferring it from our short term memory to our long term memory.

This is an important process because through this process our brains are able to create connections between all the information we have gained, which adds to our “life experiences” and intelligence.

Information is prevented from going into long term memory because of constant distraction, meaning we are prevented from learning anything new.

This concept speaks to me directly because I am extremely guilty of spending hours studying with ten minute breaks in between, during which I surf the internet and read articles/blogs, and watch videos. I have also noticed that for all my hours worth of study, I cannot seem to recall anything remotely helpful from my course materials, which makes me seem very stupid when I attend my tutorials.

It is immensely thought-provoking to me that all the information in the world is just a google search away, and yet a lot of us (especially the younger generation) don’t know much of anything about the world. What we do when we google search information is get it quickly, but don’t  have the time to absorb it.

This is why I am taking my time with this post, so that my brain remembers that distractions are ruining my writing ability and my ability to focus for a long time on a book (a habit which I only recently got into) or a film (I habitually check my phone when I am watching something). Also because I want to make sure the information I am writing about here stays with me for a very long time otherwise it is all just a vicious cycle.

Have you noticed any differences in your attention span since embarking on the magnificent journey that is the internet? Do you think a lot of the superficiality that is rampant in this modern, fast-moving world is related to the knowledge we possess at our fingertips? Are we, in short, abusing what we have, at the cost of our own minds?