Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Big Issue and a Small Beep

When I first started this blog, the grand length of time being about a month ago, I was planning on writing only when I was really, really happy. You know those times when you have to admit to yourself that things are just good now. But a little thing changed that. 

I walked up to town to put some money in to the bank, that in itself is a good feeling. I was going to buy myself a keyring for my house keys next as a treat but decided against it. (I'm that lame of a person.) Instead I paid £2 for a Big Issue, something I very rarely do. I, like most people, turn away. I don't like being reminded me of my failure to give. I do give to charity but nowhere near as much as I would like to. I think charity works in two ways: you help others and in the more selfish of reasons - you feel good about yourself. I think sometimes I focus too much on the selfish reasons. 

I'll be honest here though, putting a smile on the guy's face made me feel good about myself. I was happy to make someone else happy. Like I said, I had just put some money in the bank and it felt wrong not be generous. And more importantly than that - it does help. 

This wasn't the little thing, though. 

I went to the library - I was wandering round town, enjoying the sunshine after the rain of yesterday - and I got out two books. Lord of the Flies and The Yellow Wallpaper - two books that have long been 'To Read' List. Side note - the fact I have a 'To Read' list makes me quite happy. Especially because it involves quite a few classics and makes me feel like a more well read person. 

Anyway, there was a beep as my library card was scanned and in an instant I was back in my childhood. There's a library, well - used to be, across my house and I used to always go there and take out books. I read them in a flash. I used to take out the same books over and over again. And by hearing that little beep, I could recount my visits to the library, hearing that exact same sound. I was there again, a child, with new books and a sudden, strong rush of a love of reading. 

Long story short, I think by setting up this blog with the intention of only writing ground breaking happy moments is setting myself up for diaster. I've always said I prefer unexpected happiness rather than trying to convince yourself you are (hello certain people on social network sites with boasting updates) So by writing about the little things as well, I'll remember to appreciate them just as much. 

Oh wow, I really did not mean to end this as cheesily at that. 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

My First Twenty First

On Saturday I went down my friend's Jonny's house for his and his twin brother's 21st. It was a long train ride for me up since he's quite Southern and I'm quite Northern but I thought it would be worth the effort. I hadn't see my flatmates for most of the summer and I was looking forward to seeing them.  

I suppose I should give some back story to this. With regards to university friends I've always regarded myself as much closer to my course mates. With my flat (and I mean the flat below too) I like them and get on with them but sometimes - because some of them their closest friends are each other - I've felt a bit out of it. This party changed that. 

As well as the party itself being incredible, it made me realise just how much I love the people I live with. That night made me realise how much I had missed them and how much fun we all have. As soon as the lads walked down, hugs were exchanged, jager bombs picked up for all and the night went on to be amazing. Before going on to describe the party, what made it so much better was realising what a strong group of friends I have outside of my course. Maybe put more simply: I am part of this friendship group that I thought I am more so on the borderline. They like me (and think I'm a bit odd at the same time.) 

And the party? Well. 

Free bar - not having to worry about paying for drinks, just getting pretty much whatever you want is glorious. Though be warned, it leads to quite the hangover.
Just sitting round the shisha pipe - chatting and catching up and feeling myself slip in to the group, a place that had always been there for me but I'd had doubts about its existence.
The directions to the toilets: 'Follow the candles.' How nice is that?Hog roast. Enough said. 
Appetizers.  A small crumpet with cream cheese, smoked salmon and caviar. I tried caviar. As well as this really tasty chicken and sausage. And jelly babies and other sweets in jars on the table.
Speaking of firsts, I also tried a puff of a cigar.
There was a little bit of dancing. I have to be honest, that bit is a little blurry.

And the best moment?
It got to three in the morning and myself and most of my flat jumped in to the pool - all of us just in our pants. We swam, we sang uni chants and it was one of those moments of elation. It was a moment full of spontaneity, youth, freedom, and being close enough to people to not even be concerned about the fact you were half naked. And to older self for future reference:
Uni chat:
We go somewhere you don't go, you don't you don't
We go somewhere you don't go
(to be sung to the tune of Camptown Races) 

It was such a good night. Guys, if I show this little blog to you, please know that I love you. 

Most of us. Except Leah and Jonny.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

We Are Gonna Dance In to the Sea

The title is a lyric from the song 'Ma Cherié'  by DJ Antoine ft. The Beat Shakers. 

In the high likelihood your are unfamiliar with this song, then here is a handy YouTube link.

DJ Antoine

Why the hell is this song made it to my happy place blog when it's so terrible?

Well, I feel as if I should say that I do not like this song itself. Hand on heart, it's just awful. 

But what the song has connected to it is a four day holiday in Spain, Calella. We went out three nights out in a row, one of those included an unexpected foam party. And this song was played every night. I hummed it nearly all day without realising it. 

Hearing it instantly puts me back in the club, covered in foam, slipping all over the dance floor, laughing and just relishing that sense of freedom you can get when being abroad with friends for the first time. And slightly tipsy after a litre cocktail for 5 euros. 

It came on shuffle today (yes, yes it's on my itunes) and I swear the whole time it was on I was just smiling, which you might not think is too bad. Just to throw something to the mix - I was walking along an extremely busy High Street and I must have looked mental but I couldn't help myself. 

This song is a holiday song and despite it's questionable Euro beat and even more questionable lyrics, I can't help but smile when I here it. 

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

A Walk Down The Old Railway

Today I took a notebook on a walk with me. What is was written below was done so while sitting here: 

I seem to forget that I have this walk right at the bottom of my road. It's a place where my childhood memories cling to the branches and lie buried under the ever growing weeds. 

I'm not sure if it's here where a love of forests and greenery sprung. I find it so compelling being in and amongst the trees. To have sunlight glowing through the tree tops and making the leaves glow green. It's a beauty I am drawn to and never think to take for granted. Perhaps it's this place. Perhaps its because I associate forests so very strongly with fairy tales and magic. Though describing it as magical itself may be taking things too far. 

It's like I've stepped in to a another world. There is a quiet here that my problems and stress just don't fit in to. I want my brain to calm down so my thoughts can fit in to this place where the only noise is gentle bird song and the whisperings of leaves to one another. As cliché as this sounds: there is always beauty in the world and you have to remember to look for it. Wow, did I just write that? To add to that, perhaps not going for the obvious beauty but something you've overlooked - makes it something more. 
It's easy to go: "Oh look a sunset. Isn't that nice?"
But to see the same sun brush it's way through a leaf and make the spine of the leaf glow a green that even Crayola couldn't capture - well, that's something else entirely. Maybe more satisfying is what I'm going for. 

Whatever it is, within a wood, a forest, whether I'm there by train or foot- being surrounded by something so green and so untouched -for a while it's all I can do to stare admire. I am out of the world and in to my own. 

Sunday, 12 August 2012

A Paraphrased Introduction

I'm aware how long that first post was. Sorry.

To summarize:
This blog will consist of writing and or pictures of times when I've felt content. Or if I remember sometimes from when I was younger.

With absolutely no worrying or whining on my part.

I suppose it's a self indulgent thing to do but if anyone happens to stumble across and be inspired by it, that would be great. So, if you have somehow found this little site, feel free to comment with your own stories. Share the love and what not.

OK, I'll stop now. 

A Puzzling Realisation

I am starting to realise just how happy my life is and that realisation isn’t met with the relief you think it would be bring. My initial response is somewhat puzzled.  

You see, I am quite the pessimistic person. I am an over worrier and more often than not I assume things will go wrong. I expect the worst and maybe just a little of part of me hopes for the best. So to find myself on my bedroom floor, looking back over the past three years of my life in the form of yearbooks, scrapbooks and photo albums, something dawns on me that I’ve never quite properly grasped before.

I’m happy.

I don’t mean to say that I am forever your typical whiney teenager of the internet. Yes, I have esteem issues and avoid my reflection and associate the word ugly with myself more often than is healthy. But I am also constantly trying to savour memories for myself and the good things about my life.

My room for my first year of University 
This has happened a lot for me the past year since it has been my first year at university as well as the best summer I’ve ever had. Whether it's the feeling of laughter during pre drinks or the realisation of the fact I am actually a student and made it. The feeling of being in a crowded festival at Portugal, watching Mumford and Sons in the sunset. Or on a beach and the realisation I’ve made two of the best friends – there I would say I could of possibly asked for – but, at the risk of sounding cheesy, if I had asked I think it would have been asking too much.

Optimus Alive in Portugal

I am not a boastful, nor arrogant person (see afore mentioned esteem) but I will forever strive to remember what it feels like to be content. Little moments when I will admit to myself that this is good and I don’t want it changing. This can be anything from dancing to a song in a club, rather drunk and feeling freedom. Or just sitting at home in an evening in with my family, all of us drinking tea and laughing at something stupid one of us has said.

When we all watch Breaking Bad and drink tea

I’m aware this isn’t the most coherent of things but, you see, I’m not feeling quite coherent. I’m beginning to realise how many of those moments I’ve had. Sometimes they’re more than moments, they’re days. Times that I am, put quite simply, happy.

Even so, I still worry and ,yes, things do go wrong for me. Cue mention of having three phones nicked in the space of a month, drunken mistakes and being judged.

I think, what I’m trying to get at, is that right now I wouldn’t want to change a thing in my life. Which is saying something and it's taken me a long time to come to this. Of course, at this moment in time the worrier is me jumps up on my shoulder and with a flourish takes me forward two years down the line.

Out of university.


Little job prospects.




To those points, which I am highly aware will make me cry later in life, for now I argue back with these:

Out of university – those three years were worth it and you know it.
Debts – on a degree you enjoyed. On at least one summer that was incredible.
Little job prospects – write a book and get it published, it’s what you’ve always wanted. Don’t stop trying until you do. In the meantime, attempt with the media or at least pick a nice shop. Or supermarket with nice food.
Recession – the government will always fuck up, you don’t have to.
Taxes – Alright, they’re just a ballache but everyone has to deal with them. Avoiding them would be worse for you in the long run.

I am happy now.
I have been for 19 years.
I have had the sturdiest and strongest friendships as well as family who I love more than anything.
It’s not one of those things where you try to convince yourself you’re happy. It’s a realisation I have stumbled across and that makes it all the sweeter. With writing this, I want to try and maintain this thought process.

Or at least have something to look back on to try and remember what it felt like.