I am a sleepy social media madam today. I had an ingenious idea last night that if I went into work a little earlier than expected I would get more done. It was a good idea and maybe I did get more done but now at ten or maybe even eleven at night my brain is buzzing but my body is begging me for sleep. One of the most exciting and addictive things about journalism is the thrill of being ever slave to a deadline. It can be stressful, of that there is no doubt but the pressure of knowing the clock is ticking often forces us hacks to hammer out some of the most inspirational, witty and really just rather wonderful pieces which would never have been as good if they had been given too much time to brew and mellow.
Today has been hectic. For some ridiculous reason our phones went down. This would have been okay by itself but for some reason this also meant our email, internet access and really just about everything went down at the same time. You would be amazed at how adaptable one must be in times of technological meltdown.
Today I have used the yellow pages, not the yell version, but the kind which short men would use in the past to kiss girls which were just that little bit too tall for them to reach up to. I also became acquainted with an interesting tool known as an A-Z. As a girl who is unable to find her way to her fella’s home without guidance from Shawn, my friendly Irish friend of Tom-Tom fame, I was amazed to find I can still read a map. Admittedly I lost at least half an hour on my way home after forgetting to turn the map the right way up but nevertheless I must admit I am feeling fabulously independent.
I was hoping today would be the last time I had to stumble about the town in heels as I was due to have another chat with the giant this evening about the car situation. Unfortunately my mother, the peace maker intervened early on. She apparently sensed that one was too stressed and the other was too tired and so because of her uncanny powers of perception the talk will have to wait till tomorrow.
Though I am feeling rather romantic today about old-fashioned methods of communication and information acquirement there are a number of benefits and charms of the internet and IT which must be mentioned. Copy and paste is one of the most brilliant inventions of our time; one realises this after claw hand sets in after copying endless quotes from paper, actual paper! I was also informed the other day by a friend that Microsoft Office actually gives one the opportunity to recall an email. Just think of all the relationship breakdowns and diplomatic fall outs which could have been avoided had this trick been more widely publicised. Rather than trying to get people to ping, poke or bing, or whatever the new sappy sounding buzz word of the moment is, Mr Gates should be sending out emails across the globe telling people about this, the holy grail of idiots who email.
I had better get my blogging bottom off to bed for tomorrow is my actual first deadline day as a trainee reporter. I am paranoid about getting my patch page just right and have spent the past couple of hours craning over my copy to make sure everything is just so; however my eyes are starting to stream and my head is beginning to lull and if I do not go to bed soon I risk boring the tweeting world with my angst. I think I need to get back in touch with my counsellor.
- Today’s dress is from the lovely Lara who has donated a whole heap of dresses to the project. This dress is originally from Tu which I think roughly translates as Sainsburys. I must admit I am rather impressed with the supermarket frocks at the moment, yesterdays dress was also from a supermarket and I had quite a few compliments on it. I am totally in love with the floral print on this dress and even though I found it a bit too low on the bust the cut is quite clever and it tucks you in at the waist with a tie which runs round the back. I think it was originally designed to be a knee-length frock but Lara is a creative lady who is a little shorter than me and I think she has taken the hem up herself. Mummy took the photos, don’t ask.
At half five this afternoon I was feeling a little sorry for myself. I am already missing the boy and wanted nothing more from this evening than to curl up upon his chest and have a nice cuddle whilst having a chat about our day. Alas, we are once again in a long distance relationship and it will be the end of the week before I get my wish. Feeling a little fed up I had just about resigned myself to another evening attempting to counter the curse of writers block when I got a phone call from downstairs telling me a Ms Kenny was there to see me.
I had completely forgotten that I was meant to be meeting my friend for a cup of tea after work and feeling rather relieved that the choice of whether or not to work late had been removed from my hands I hurried downstairs to greet my friend. When I got to the door I was delighted to see she was joined by another of my great girlfriends and being the emotional wreck that I am at the minute I nearly burst into tears when I saw them both. I had mentioned to them that I was having a tough time and being the lovely ladies that they are they had turned up with flowers and friendship aplenty.
Good girlfriends are worth their weight in gold and these two are of a kind which one would never trade in. As well as bringing me pretty flowers to make my desk more effeminate they also gave me a card with a sweet little message inside about how proud they were of me for following my dream. We spent a couple of hours gassing away about the latest gossip and generally just putting the world to rights. Even though I was feeling glum they managed to make me giggle and by the time we left for home I had forgotten all about my troubles.
Though being apart from the boy is going to be tough being based in the borough does mean there will be more wonderful moments like this. When I was travelling back and forth between Manchester and the Midlands I was always missing out on girly get togethers and it’s so nice to now have our little gang back together again. One of the greatest things about our friendship at the moment for me is that I am actually honest with them about how I am doing. In the past I would always hide away when I was down as I was too embarrassed to tell them if I was having a dark day, week or even month. They are brilliant friends because they do not back away when I am low, they keep in touch and try their best to find a way to drag me out of my melancholy mood. I am a lucky girl indeed to have friends as good as these.
- Today’s dress is on loan from my sister. It is from Florence and Fred/ Tesco and I am a little bit in love with it as it makes me feel like a forties femme fatale. The photos taken by my mother were base attempts to show off the flowers from my friends, my mother’s herb garden and the earrings sent to me by a wonderful woman from the states who writes a daily blog about the rising sun. Sometimes there is just a description of the colours but every post is pure poetry and for those wanting a break from my verbosity will love her more succinct style. http://solsticetosolsticetosolstice.tumblr.com/
I do not know what is wrong with me at the moment. I have spent the past three hours trying to write a post from three days ago. I know what I want to say but I can’t seem to find the words. I am tired, exhausted if I’m honest and I feel utterly pathetic because I have only done a three day week.
I feel like a failure because I am struggling to keep up with the blog. Even though I love doing it I can’t see to find a way to fit everything in and my personal to do list is getting longer by the minute. I am so tired and so low that I have struggled with even the simplest of tasks this weekend. Yesterday I slept in till four in the afternoon and still today I am tired! What I guess I am trying to say is that I’m sorry. I do not know what is going on with my head at the moment but I’m struggling and as a result the blog has taken a bit of a hit. I will try to pull myself together I promise, I am sure it is just a phase but I apologise profusely nevertheless.
Today I have been a bit of a cross patch. The boy told me this morning that he was going to have to leave for home earlier than expected; a whole day earlier in-fact. Though I have often wished I was the kind of woman who could respond to such revelations with short breezy sentences which betray none of my frustration, I usually fail at being the rational understanding female and today was no exception.
The foolish thing is I know it is not his fault. He is a peripatetic percussion teacher and he has to teach his pupils whenever the schools timetable will allow. If he hadn’t headed back this evening he wouldn’t have been there in time to teach tomorrow and would have missed out on a whole day of lessons and consequently a whole day of cheques. I know all this, but when he tells me he has to go I still behave like an adolescent. I cry like a child who has just lost her lolly and ask him if he can just please stay a little longer. I am aware I am being ridiculous and irrational but I don’t seem to be able to stop myself from behaving this way.
Perhaps the main problem I have with him leaving early is that I know I have been a rubbish girlfriend. Even though he has come all the way down from the north to see me I have spent most of our time together sleepy eyed, tearful and tired. I want to be the girl I know he loves to be with; a social butterfly all bubbly and bright eyed. I should be chewing his ear off about my week at work, telling him tales from the piste or even just dragging him out to party the night away at the closing party of our old teenage haunt Helsinki. I don’t though; I try to go out, I try to summon some enthusiasm for it, for anything in-fact but everything feels like an awful lot of effort. I am being a bore and I know it but I can’t seem to stop myself and all I can think of is getting some sleep. I do not want him to go but I feel bad that he has to see me when I am like this. I can’t stand myself when I get this low and so I guess I can hardly blame him for wanting to get the next train out of here.
- Today’s dress was sourced and sent over to me by Hannah Cantrell. It was originally from Topshop and for some strange reason the top of it was left open. Now I am all for showing a bit of skin but even liberal minded me was a little reluctant to let slip so much bra. I have therefore modified the dress slightly with a white vest top to preserve some modesty. It is woollen but not at all itchy and fits like a glove. As I have been such a useless girlfriend this weekend I thought the least I could do was try to look nice. The boy took the photos which was nice as I have missed him being my official photographer. He got a bit crafty and found this spot for me to stand on so he could show the flowers of spring. I have a feeling he was trying to cheer me up by putting me in the middle of all this beautiful new life but unfortunately I think it just served to make me look even more miserable.
Che ricordarsi del tempo felice
There is no greater sorrow than to recall a time of happiness in misery.
Ib. v. 121 Dante Alighieri 1265 – 1321
Today has been a bad day, the worst I’ve had for several months in fact. The misery has consumed me, totally and completely. I feel gripped by sadness. The boy tries to pull me out of it; he suggests an outing to the park or a drink at our local but I am unmoving in my melancholy. I submerge myself in sadness, powerless to halt the tide of tears streaming river like from my deadened eyes.
Years ago during an episode of depression which had lasted for weeks, my father sat beside me on the bed where I was curled up like a child sobbing and stroking my tear sodden hair, he did his best to comfort me in the only way he knew how. ”You have to fight it darling, you can’t let it get the better of you because every day you lose to it is another day of your life.” Depression is like cancer; it creeps up on us when we least expect it. It strikes without warning, crawling quietly in to your mind to poison each and every thought. It feeds off your bodies resources and before you know it, it matters not that you are top of your class, dating the hottest guy in halls or doing your dream job all you can feel is sadness.
As I am reluctant to depress you all too much with more musings on misery and also in a desperate attempt to remind myself that I have been happy over the course of the last ten years, I decided to take a look through previous diaries and letters of the past for inspiration. I was rather pleased then to come across this surprisingly succinct passage. I actually remembered the feeling of that moment all those years ago and it gave me a little lift, just enough to lull me to sleep while the boy held me tight, soothing me to sleep by stroking my tear sodden hair.
19.1.2000 – 5.00 – Today I have felt truly happy; no false smiles that shelter uncried tears. Just me happy and laughing. Natural and unconscious. No simply going out of my way to impress and make things happen or going out of my way to frown at people and criticise. Note from Editor – this is obviously not something I would usually do, ha hem.
I looked out the window and the sky had turned the most perfect colour a gorgeous reddy, pink and the town had seemed to merge into a beach scene and a presence sort of passed over me and then I felt that everything was perfect.
Elinor O’Neill, 15-years-old
- Today’s dress is another from Hannah Cantrell. I feel bad that I have failed to give it the airing it deserved but the boy was very entertained by it – lots of legs plus magic mushrooms make boy happy.
Today, for the first time, my name has appeared in a byline at the top of a story for which I will be paid. It is very exciting for me but as I fear the story will bore anyone not from the borough I thought I might take this opportunity to publish here the first piece I ever had published. It is a poem, so I hope it will still please those here for the prose. When it appeared in a book of poems: 2001: A Poetry Odyssey, I was hurt. The publishers had added a postscript to the poem which placed it into a context which I was not comfortable with and was had only been happy to reveal through verse. I am leaving their lines aside this time as I want it restored to its natural state. I wrote it when I was 16-years-old so go easy with the slander on this, my former self.
It was half-four in the morning when they told me,
Silly o’clock as we would’ve called it.
I woke up hours later crying from a dream,
A dream where I’d lost you, I woke to the nightmare.
Lying in bed, I felt too numb to cry,
I could hear people speaking downstairs,
But their word couldn’t penetrate through my daze.
I cried teras of selfishness only for me,
You were gone, you’d left me wishing I was still with you.
Words of comfort offered by friends, seemed nothing but cliches,
And those who understood, I pushed away.
Indignant that they dared to compare their hurt to mine,
You were my sister, part of me.
Though confined to bed, I still hoped for a miracle.
But on the fourth day before you left, I broke down,
I hated to do it, to admit to myself and you,
Admit that no act of God was to come.
Elinor O’Neill (16)
St Paul’s RC Comprehensive School, Evington
- Today’s dress is another donation from collections by Hannah Cantrell. It is originally from Topshop and I had to pull it in with a clincher belt at work to make it a look a little more structured. The photos are taken outside in the back garden. I can tell how late this post is because looking out of the window I can see the same daffodils which have now opened up.
Last night after having a major panic about my ability to write I decided to focus on the superficial as at least it was something I might hope to change in the few hours that remained before my first day. First impressions as they say are vital and although they saw me before tomorrow is still my first proper day so I am keen to look the part. After debating with my mother over the merits of various nail polishes; dark blue was deemed too different, ruby-red too lady of the night; I decided to go with bubble pink as though it was originally dismissed for the brain-dead Barbie girl connotations once it was on it looked quite nice really.
My hair which has been allowed to do its own thing for the past few months was straightened mercilessly. I love letting my hair free to flow but there is something a lot more together looking about styled hair so I tamed the crazy curls and teased out all sign of rebellion from my locks. After moisturising and using some strange cream which claimed to get rid of wrinkles I went to bed confident I could wake in the morning with no cosmetic concern at the very least and having reversed the ageing process completely at best.
Unfortunately I had neglected to consider the dress situation. As we got in late last night I only had a chance to have a quick look through the pile of dresses I have been sent from the lovely Hannah Cantrell. This girl has gathered dresses from friends and neighbours for the project and sent them all over in a box as soon as she heard supplies were at a low. As my mother had already taken a look over it and described them on the phone I was confident there would be several suitable for work and besides as far as I could remember I had put aside a dress for my first day anyway.
It turned out I had but had forgotten to try it on. The dress which was sent to me by a wonderful fashionable friend turned out to be a little on the tight side. It was red and spotty, quirky but quite conservative enough, unfortunately it was also impossible to get over my ridiculous coat hanger shoulders. I did attempt to slip into it but only managed to get myself trapped within the folds of the fabric. Thankfully my mother was on hand to pull me free but there were a few frantic moments where we were both convinced I would be trapped in there forever.
I turned in a panic to the box of dresses but by this time the clock was ticking and my usual knack for turning a t-shirt into a dress had escaped me. As my regular readers will know I am not one to shy away from a short skirt but I was very aware of the necessity of not looking like a loose woman on my first day. Hemlines on the majority of the dresses were deemed to be too short and the ones which were long enough were more suitable for summer. There are some brilliant ones which will be perfect for the office but needed a nude coloured slip to go under them to avoid further frock fumbles as seen on day 81. Panic was settling in and just as I turned to slacks one dress caught my eye. Though it had a crazy colourful paint splash print when I saw it the previous evening I had been rather taken with it and though I tried it on as a last resort it actually looked quite wonderful and with its conservative cut and cute little belt we had finally found a frock suitable for my first day in the office.
Though usually I would not have bothered with the extras I was still conscious of going in looking too conspicuous and with a mind to the men I would be working with who were wearing smart suits when I last saw them I pulled on a grey jumper and a purple suit jacket. I love my mother so much, I do not know how I would have ever got through the dress crisis without her and once that drama was over with the rest of the day just seemed somehow more manageable.
- Today’s dress was sent by the lovely Hannah Cantrell who was my neighbour back when I was a baba. Her mother told her about the project after seeing the article in the Harborough Mail and she has been incredibly supportive since. She sourced dresses from all over the place and has sent over a dozen so far which I can not wait to showcase at weekends, in the summer and, once I am clear on the office hemlines policy, during the working week. Hannah has approached celebrities such as Daisy Lowe on my behalf in an attempt to get hold of more dresses and has promoted the blog to many more. The jumper is by Coast and is silk and incredibly soft wool it feels lovely on my skin and is suprisingly comforting. The jacket is from Primark, gifted to me by my Mum’s friend and though the buttons have fallen off the velvety feel makes it feel more riches than rags.
The Alps are so beautiful, I wish the boy was here. We have never had the chance to ski together but I know he would love it as much as I do. Today was a bit of a trial. It is horrible falling out with one’s family especially in a far away land where there is no room for escape.
My sister and I skied together today, for whatever reason we have always been a lot quicker to fall in than we are to fall out. My sister is a gem who is extremely forgiving and tolerant, I think it has something to do with being good at yoga. I was so glad she gave the piste another go as she has come on so much over the holiday and I didn’t want her to miss out on the last day to play at being nurse. We never got to ski together when we were children because she had gone off the sport by the time I was old enough to come along. The giants method of teaching is very much the die trying variety which my eldest sister did not take well to.
A couple of years ago however she decided to give it another chance and now she has her confidence back there will be no stopping her. I took her down a red run after I had checked it out to make sure it was suitable and she handled it better than me. I was half asleep after last nights drama and I fell over at least three times on the way down; at one stage my sister had to try and prevent collisions on the roadway as I was giggling too much to get up and had fallen foolishly on the corner of a particularly speedy hairpin bend.
I wish we could have just a little longer out here. It is so peaceful; every morning when I draw back the curtains the view is so fabulous I am convinced I am staring out at a giant scenic picture postcard.
- Today’s dress is from TK Maxx. It probably could have done with some kind of petticoat under it but thanks to difficult-jet’s luggage allowance I am rather short on accessories. The boots are Kurt Geiger and the tights are from Peacocks and though they were a bargain at only a pound they have unfortunately already fallen to bits but at least this means I hav one less thing I need to pack come tomorrow.