askygoneonfire: 'Love' painted on to four fingers of a hand (love hand)
 ".....as we are told that this is the end..." Then the freaking confetti canons went off and the air was thick with red, white and green confetti.

And I felt something inside me go 'click' and I knew that it was the end.  Of what, I don't know; I just know I felt the most acute sense of loss in that moment.  I stood, singing, staring alternately at Nicky's exuberant final strut and the impossibly thick rain of confetti and mourning the end of I know not what.

When it finished, and we turned and laughed and exclaimed what an incredible gig it had been, I noticed I was shaking.  I was still shaking as we made our way out of the doors and into a frantic Cardiff evening.

It feels like a dream somehow, over 130 miles away and nearly 24 hours since the event, it very nearly is.  Except I'm still suffering a real, hard sense of loss.  I've heard that song a thousand times and at 11 gigs, what was different this time?
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
On a train home to Brighton after my unsuccessful interview. I asked for feedback and she said about three times that I was overqualified, too intellectual for a menial job and er, overqualified again. Turns out when I got up to the school, had a look round and met the people I would be working with I realised I really wanted the job so went all out in the interview so I am disappointed.

Another dead person on the line in the Brighton-London area this evening causing train chaos, at least this one did it on a Monday, the Friday night jumpers are the ones I never understand.

Listening to an eclectic mix on the old iPod, just had Beach Boys (I just wasn't made for these times, which always makes me tear up at the wrong time of month/year. Beach boys lyrics are quality. True story) Los Campesinos! now. Later, Manics.

Anyway, moral of the story, give me a freaking break universe, I want a decent job, one that doesn't write me off the moment they see I have a degree (MA is now officially off the CV) or the moment I open my mouth and exercise my vocabulary. If all else fails I'll try and go back to HMV for Christmas.
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
I have two songs absolutely wedged into my head. I think both of them say quite a lot, in one way or another. Indeed the second one I'm linking to is the one complete with the John Lewis advert that is currently running, because I think it's kind of beautiful. And I know that makes me woefully prone to the effect of advertising, but whatevs, I loves it. The first one is beautiful too, only more lyrically than visually;

We still lie together every night, while I sleep I dream that we're all right, if this is love I'd rather keep dreaming, you could never be an actress, I know the knife's underneath the mattress, if this is love I'd rather keep dreaming, dreaming like a fool
The Boy Who Trapped the Sun

Billy Joel/John Lewis


My Northern getaway is drawing to a close and I can say with confidence that I am in no way ready to return to the South. Life down there needs to change dramatically in the next few months or I simply don't know what I'm going to do.

Actually, I think I do. Will review life in September with an option until November to make a decision. Leaving Brighton being the question at hand.

Strange, I thought I loved that city, but a few days away with the situation that is awaiting me on my return? Not so much. "Lately it feels like we're drifting apart". That's the way with love, I suppose.

askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
So, in what can only be described as a predictable development, I have been signed off work with 'stress exhaustion'. As I remarked to a friend on Friday, I can and have continued to work whilst this stressed but it does not end well, and why make myself ill over a job I hate?

I've just begun reading Moby Dick and, like Ishmael, when I feel the hopeless melancholy and pervasive paranoia descend my greatest wish is to flee the soulless city for the wild and absolute anonymity of nature. I find myself in my parents house where the question of how I've come to have a week off work remains prominently unasked.

I'm finding some sort of comfort in the silence which envelops this house, only the birds break the silence morning or night. In the void left by city bustle, of course, rests my frantic thoughts. A lifetime of listening to the anxious nonsense which spills forth provides no help in trying, as I am now, to quieten that hysterical rambling.

On Saturday night I attended a family gathering for my Mother's brother's 70th birthday, it's been around 8 years since I have seen that side of the family and once again I was misrecognised as my brother's girlfriend; a peculiar and embarrassing mistake. My Mother's other brother asked me if I still wanted to do a PhD, I told him I was desperate to, he told me he anticipated it's completion so that he could boast about having a Doctor in the family. I smiled. I am the first person on both sides of my not unsubstantial family to go to University, an honour which seems to leave me irrevocably distanced from a family of the terminally unemployable and the lifelong incapacitated. It's odd to regret your success in that sense and harder still to sense the weight of pride which urges me on to gain appropriate employment and fulfil that most loaded of words, my 'potential'.

Which all leaves me firmly where I started, laying in bed at my parents house, reading a book by torch light wondering just how much the protagonist and I have in common. Am I, like Ishmael, fated to go down this disasterous road too blind to change course, too weak in the face of hopeless destiny to break out an original course?
askygoneonfire: if you lived here, you'd be home by now (November the 15th)
When they are sad in their suburbs, robots water the lawn
And everything they touch gets dusted spotless
So they start to believe that they haven't touched anything at all
While the cars in the driveway only multiply
They are lost in their houses
I have heard them sing in the shower and making speeches to their sister on the telephone
Saying, "You come home
Darling, you come here
Don't stay so far away from me"

Tonight is the last night I will spend in my parents house in my old single bed.  I am looking forward to returning to Brighton and escaping my parents' well meaning but overbearing ways ["call us when you arrive, and when you leave" "are you going to be ok driving in the dark?" "why are you smoking?!" "do you know how to work the washing machine?"]

As usual, I am more than a little sad to discover that I simply don't have any sort meaningful relationship with my Mum.  My brother, in a discussion about this very thing, said "the thing you have to remember, is that you and Mum have been at war for years, that's not going to be resolved any time soon".  The biggest block between us remains her inability not to pull a face every time I mention women and my romantic relation to the same.  She won't stand in my way but good god will she disapprove.

Comparatively speaking, I'm lucky, for some people telling their parents they are queer is simply not an option under any circumstances.  My Dad couldn't be more laid back and my brothers never even considered it - it just was.  My Mum, on the other hand, cycles between throwing direct guilt trips on me ("Was I a bad Mother to you? Was I too distant?") and the passive guilt trips (telling me about friends and family who are straight and having kids/getting married and looking incredibly sad when I mention I have met another girl).  She actually said to me yesterday "wait till you have one" as we looked at a tiny baby being taken out of a restaurant by its heterosexual parents.  She simply doesn't believe that there is a 50/50 chance my lifelong relationship will be with a woman, or that children is not necessarily a part of that future.  It's simplifies her position to say she thinks it's a phase, but it's not far off that.

My brothers regard all of this with resigned bemusement.  They tell me to focus on the fact she is my Mother and loves me for that alone, and that at 60, I simply shouldn't expect her to adjust to my 'lifestyle'.  The reason I so desperately want her approval is because she is only 60.  She has a phenomenally healthy lifestyle, along with my Dad, and I fully expect them both to live well into their 90's - my Grandmother is still going strong at 94.

This is where my life is, and how it will continue, and I just want for her to be able to share in my happiness, rather than constantly wishing it was something other than what it is.  Somewhere wrapped up in what she wants my life to turn out like is the motivation for her to encourage me to move from Brighton and back to the East Midlands.  Back to suburbia and mediocrity.  I want excitement, and diversity and opportunities life in the East Midlands simply can't offer me. 

And I simply can't find a way to explain that, and it's importance to me, to my Mother.

askygoneonfire: Brighton pier being hit with massive wave (November the 13th)

Whilst the very worst storms in Brighton see me dig in at home and wedge my windows shut, I do enjoy a saunter out to see Brighton getting ripped to pieces by wind and rain. During the very worst gales Brighton has seen since I have lived down South it was too dangerous to even go near to the seafront as the wind and waves actually lifted pebbles from the beach and moved them over the fences onto the promenade. This was the occasion when many of the beach huts on Hove seafront were completely levelled.

This weekend weather forecasters are promising us gallons of rain and gale force wind. If I listen very carefully I can hear the wind whipping through the trees and the rain lashing against the windows, but I have to listen very carefully through the double glazed windows and the high hedges which protect half of my parents house from the elements. Back home in Brighton my attic bedroom is south facing and exposed to the elements. I have, more than once, been awoken in the middle of the night by gale force winds shaking the entire building and a sound that suggested the most inclement of the elements would be bursting through my ceiling in the immediate future.

There is something deliciously raw about the sound of wind and rain hurling itself destructively at buildings, which, in the face of unbounded nature seem terribly primitive and impermanent. Pulling the duvet over ones head and listening as the wind screams past the window is one of the basest pleasures in life. I often think that the knowledge that we are safe and warm inside, comfortable and dry, is the closest we can come to jouissance after infancy.

The sublime is a fearsome experience but one which not just transports but transforms.  My very worst mood can be complete eradicated (or perhaps I should say 'blown away') by a fearsome storm, to the point that I receive the news of extreme weather warnings with delighted anticipation.  It is in this vein that I lament my current location - some 200 miles from the south coast which has been promised floods and gales whilst the East Midlands braces itself for a bit of rain.

Winter, at least, is decidedly here, and there will be plenty more occasions on which I can shiver with awe as the house shudders beneath the weight of a storm.

askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (November the 12th)

Hi, I missed you.

All the stupid trips we went on.  The day we spent trying to find that hamlet because it had such a hilarious name.  The dangerous games we used to play.  The month we ate nothing but Super Noodles.  The month we drank nothing but cider.

The nights we did the thing that everyone knew we would except us.

The in jokes that will never get old.

The fact everyone we meet together - no matter how many years have intervened - always says we are so alike.  The same person, split into male and female.  The partners we've had that have been intimidated by our instinctive closeness.  Our bafflement that anyone feels threatened.

The times I cried.  The times you had no idea.  The times you just called me and said "come here".  The times you were everything good about my life.

I missed you.

Thank you.

Itchy Soul

Nov. 10th, 2009 10:02 pm
askygoneonfire: Battered union flag cloth badge (November the 10th)

My backpack.  This thing was the closest thing I had to home for just over 6 months. I can't pick it up without feeling a rush of affection.  It's a bit battered, and a bit broken, and my union flag (centre photo/dw icon for this post) is almost completely destroyed, but I am not going to let go of it any time soon.

Travel invigorates my soul.  An incredible statement given I didn't leave the country until I was 14 and didn't go on a holiday longer than 10 days until I was 20.

Waking up somewhere new.  Kipping on a bus, in a dormitory, taking a tactical nap at an airport, hopping on a underground train somewhere when you're only 40% certain you are going in even slightly the right direction. Switching time zones every month - crossing the international date line and travelling backwards through time.  Seeing things so glorious, so huge, so awe inspiring that no words, no pictures, no amount of gushing could possibly convey to those back home what you got to see, what you got to experience.

It's been a long time since I left the country - a year ago now.  And nearly 6 months since I jumped in my car and drove up the country in search of adventure, or just a cold beer.

I get itchy feet.  Actually itchy feet does not sufficiently describe the feeling I get: my whole body, mind, soul longs for change, for motion. Craving new panoramas, new skies, new....newness.

I've been promising myself a trip since...forever.  And now, as I sit in a bed that isn't my own once again, I realise the urge to travel is not just a desire, it's an imperative.  My everything depends on this now, on finding something new, of seeing something different, something with the potential to change me.

Money is, and as ever remains the biggest problem.  I owe my almost-sister-in-law quite a bit of cash and I need around £1000 to do the 3 week trip I have in mind.  So I need a new job.  Or a pay rise.   These are achievable, I just need to remain motivated.

This is so utterly focused on me and what I need I can barely comprehend I am committing to this.  But commit I will.  This is the answer to the future I have been searching for.  This is the next step.  This is the first thing that makes sense.

It is glorious.

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askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
a sky gone on fire

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