I’ve been keeping a record on my phone of all the funny things the students say when they speak English …
Trick or tomato! (trick or treat!)
I am a biscuit! (I want a biscuit!)
I will drive past your horse! (I will drive past your house – One Way Or Another)
I’m gonna ketchup ketchup ketchup ketchup! (I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha - One Way Or Another)
I am wearing a teacher! (I am wearing a t-shirt)
Cheese 11. (She’s 11).
I am really excited for the summer, so I can start devoting time to things I am actually interested in. Sometimes I think I mis-placed my degree in something which I like but not which I am especially passionate about. A lot of the time, I am thinking about how late is too late when you are only twenty and whether I should cut my losses. I am excited to fill up my My Future Listography book these next few months. No matter what happens, the future has always been something with the ability to make me feel better.
I have had a lot to get through this past little while. I was telling a friend and they told me how they couldn’t believe how I had managed to cope. I looked back and realised how much I have to deal with and do without going insane or breaking down. I thought about it and have granted myself the right to a few breakdowns. I am covered in bruises and feeling positive and negative in the same breath.
You know that saying “buy experiences, not things”?
Well, that’s all fine and well, but recently I’ve been thinking that perhaps what I need to do is the exact opposite! I spend so much money on experiences and things you can’t actually hold or look in your wardrobe and say “I am so glad my hard-earned money bought me that.”
I honestly think that, for a little while, I need to be more materialistic.
Starting with these gorgeous shoes of my dreams.
Something I really want to do is to get all my blogs and Twitter printed into books, because one day the internet will explode/Xanga will finally (and not a moment too soon!) be consigned to the scrapheap and all those memories will be gone forever. Has anyone done this before or have any recommendations for sites?
Anyways, I was looking over my Xanga today expecting to laugh fondly at all the old memories and silly writing .. and I did, but at the same time I was absolutely appalled at the awful pandering for friends and talking freely about people I used to do back then in the caveman days of 2007, like Xanga was the no-man’s-land of Google search. Good grief, I might overthink everything now and take myself far too seriously, but at least I can credit myself with having a bit more common sense.
However, one thing that did turn out to be a gem was my profile from 2009. I might be about a stone heavier with longer and blonder hair, but my profile information could essentially have been written yesterday.
Time, you are a funny thing.
For the first time in a long time I’m sitting here with a familiarly huge cup of coffee and on opening this space to write have some things to say. It’s been a while since I’ve had this time to myself with no other deadlines, to look at poems, and tumblr and old blog posts and feel inspired. To admit that I miss writing and want to write more. I miss sitting up late at night with the window open, living the blogger cliché, writing the first thing that comes into my head .. and then backspacing and thinking of something better.
I’ve been feeling downtrodden by work, uni, and life recently. It is hard to feel interested in my own likes and passions when it is easy to sit back and pay attention to Adam’s instead. It is difficult to feel like what I have to say is important when I am just one in a crowd of people who are supremely uninterested in me.
I am rediscovering that I am one half of a pair, but also a whole in my merit.
One of my favourite things to discuss with Adam is what we are going to call our future dogs. We both love dogs, and whilst he has a cute dog of his very own I am just living vicariously through my Gran’s dogs, Rocky and Dolly. Right now my vote is on a really small dog called Margo and a big dog called Titus Pullo. They will be best friends and look hilarious when they are walking along together.
I think dreams about having a dog are the best kind of dreams because there is absolutely nothing stopping us getting one! They are highly attainable.
You can take my money, my preferred job and my dream travel destinations .. but you cannot take my potential dogs of the future!
I can’t wait.
Over the past few months I’ve been researching my family tree and have found loads of awesome old pictures. Here’s some of my favourites.
On the left is my great-grandmother Nettie Stephen, taking a break on Aberdeen beach from her day job working in Birnie’s hat shop in George Street. She was a lovely gentle lady, who spent her days in the Stewart Park playing tennis or taking part in the church charity sales.
This is my great-grandfather Peter Macnab. A mercantile clerk for a sugar-sack company by trade, he was called up in world war one and served in Mesopotamia with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He had a love of English, of words and rhymes, and even when dying too soon from cancer he would entertain my Grandma with his stories. Years later my Grandma would be the first person in her family to graduate from university, with a degree in English.
Front row, second from the right and smoking a pipe is my great great grandfather Tom Stephen. Expelled from Gordon’s college at 14 for hitting a teacher, he set off across the ocean with a shipment of his father’s Shetland ponies and was the first person to bring Shetland ponies to Canada. He worked his way around America on ranches before meeting and marrying my great great grandmother Jessie May in Toronto, Canada. They came back to Aberdeen during the first world war so Tom could sign up and serve in the RFA as a gunner, and so he could lug a Mesopotamian bomb shell across the desert and back home, to where it currently sits on the floor of my bedroom. Back home and after having retired from joinery he lived out his days in a little pensioners cottage dishing out tuppence to visiting grandchildren from a pile in his sideboard, so they could buy themselves a cappie.
Here’s my Grandma on the right, with her friend Dodo in London in 1945. At the end of the second world war prisoners were being marched back to Britain via a camp at Uxbridge, and with the influx of people wanting to phone home the British Telephone Exchange needed volunteers from their regional offices to cope with demand. Every night my Grandma and Dodo would sleep in bunkbeds in an underground bunker with other girls from all over the UK, and all day they would put through calls from ex-prisoners of war phoning home. They would listen to them sobbing and telling their mothers they were alive, and even though a call home cost a shilling they never charged them a thing.