Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sundays.

(First posted 2nd Feb 2014)

I grew up on the Isle of Lewis, and so Sundays were a day where not much was supposed to happen. There were no shops open and you weren’t supposed to play in the swing park. I loved Sunday’s until I was about 13. They were the best day. My Dad and brother and I would have adventures, sometimes mum would even come too. We would get in the car, no matter what the weather, and we would go somewhere exciting like the West Side, or Tolsta, or Point, or Ness, or sometimes even Harris.If it was raining then we would wear wellies and big wooly jumpers underneath massive waterproof jackets, the kind with draw strings that you pulled tight under your chin. If it was really sunny we would wear loose fitting tshirts and shorts, because we would be pulling them off to go for a swim in the swimming clothes we wore underneath. If it was raining then it would usually be windy, and to this day I can think of few things as satisfying as the salty buzz on your skin as the sea spray hits your face. The way your cheeks would turn into tomatoes, and your slevers would taste like saline. We would collect things too, in our pockets. I had a shell pocket and a stone pocket in one of my sky blue anoraks. Both pockets had a lot of sand in them too. My brother used to collect things in his jumper, and then get distracted by a ball or a dog and drop them all absentmindedly. He and my dad would chase me down the beach with massive stalks of seaweed, and I’d get fed up and throw myself down in a huff, running sand through my fingers until I found a pretty shell that would cheer me up again. I was a moody child. After we came home from the beach on a rainy day we would get our jammies on and play Tomb Raider or Worms or Earth Worm Jim and eat hot soup and plain loaf. We would watch the Antiques Roadshow or Dad’s Army with our dinner, and then I would go for a bath to get ready for school the next day.

On sunny days we would have to do the awkward “getting changed behind the car door so nobody can see you” dance, I did this until I was about 9 when I decided that I was not getting dressed outside and either I would just not go in the sea or Dad would have to put up with wet seats. My Dad was always more keen for me to have fun than to have dry seats, so he let me go in the water as long as I sat on a towel on the way home. I remember the scratchy feeling of sand on the back of my legs as they rubbed against the towel for the whole journey home. As soon as I got home I was the first person in the bathroom, and if I was not then I would make a massive fuss because I was soooooooooo uncomfy. Sometimes when we were at the beach we would make exciting discoveries, like dead animals. We saw dead sheep, dead birds, dead porpoises, and even once a dead cat. Once my brother found a dead starfish and he kept it under his pillow for weeks. Other beach discoveries included things like rope and fishing line, which I would sometimes put in my bag and carry around with me in case of emergencies. Occasionally we would see shoes, and I would worry there was still a foot inside. Dad always checked for me, and there never was. Sometimes at the beach we would bring salt in hope that we could tease out a razor fish, but we never managed. In retrospect I am quite glad, poor wee razor fish.

Sometimes on Sundays we would go to the castle grounds instead of the beach. We went there most days after we got our dog Tess in 1999, but before then it was a treat. We would pretend we were going to visit Winnie the Pooh and we would sing songs about going on a bear hunt. We would climb up big hills and down long paths, and we would tell stories about everything and nothing. Sometimes we would go to the harbour, and because it was Sunday the fishermen would be away and would have left loads of fish lying at the side of the pier. We thought this was a waste of the poor wee fishes so we would throw them back in the water where they belonged. Usually there was a hungry seal waiting near by. One of the seals only had one eye and we called him Sammy.

I loved going on adventures with my Dad. To be honest, I still do

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Things I know to be true on the 1st of February 2014

(First posted 1st Feb 2014)

I don’t have anything to say today so here are ten things I know to be true on the 1st of February 2014. I might do these quite often, because I quite often will have nothing to say but will really want to write something.

  1. People are more likely to accept flyers from me if they have a beard.
  2. I have 52 days until  dissertation hand in , 31 until essay hand in.
  3. If I wake up between 8 am and 10am I will be in a bad mood.
  4. I don’t need anyone else to be whole.
  5. Fear is a tricky thing to describe without metonymy.
  6. There is nothing more attractive than having confidence in your convictions.
  7. I am terrified of being out of sight and out of mind.
  8. Names are important.
  9. My love for poetry is a giant cliché, but I don’t care.
  10. Everything tastes better deep fried.

Independence and Stories.

(First posted 18th January 2013, re-posted 28th Jan 2014)

“It’s not about the past, it’s about the now.  Independence I mean. Well the past is important to a lot of people and that is great, it is nice to have an interest in history. If you don’t look at history then you never learn from it’s mistakes. These things are pretty obvious and over said. Scottish History excites me, I can’t deny that,  but so does any good story. Stories are what make life worth living as far as I am concerned.Scotland is at a really important part in her story, where either she gets independence and can then decide what is going to happen next by herself,  or everything stays the same and her story continues to be written by someone who isn’t living it.  Someone who doesn’t have to live it. Someone who would never want to live it.

Mostly everyone cares about politics. You might not think it’s true, but everything in life relates to politics. What a lot of people don’t care about is party politics, and that is okay. People need to separate party politics from the independence referendum. I don’t read everything about the independence debate because a lot of it bores me. There is nothing anyone could say to me to persuade me that Scotland shouldn’t get independence,  and you might say that is narrow minded or what ever but it is something I believe with every fiber of my being, something that I have always known and believed since a very young age. I just know. And that puts people off. How can you just know? Well isn’t it obvious,  it would make the story better. What happens if we don’t get independence? We stay the same. What happens if we do? We can let Scotland decide.”

This is from an old blog post from the 18th of January 2013. It is from before I got really involved with the Yes campaign. This is what I started out thinking, and really I still think the same with the exception that I do try to read everything about the independence referendum because nothing excites me more

/ɪˈfɛmərəl/

(First posted 12th May 2013, re-posted 28th Jan 2014)

“I am not a good writer. I was, once, but now I get too caught up in the words. I think about them too much. I care too much about dictionary definitions and connotations. I get lost in metaphors. I can’t send a sentence into the internet without thinking about its permanence. The fact it will now be there forever. The idea of this makes me feel like there is a lot of pressure put on me to make what I am going to write be something that I won’t worry about people reading. I won’t regret an apostrophe, I won’t wish I’d spelt something with an extra ‘r’, I won’t be embarrassed by how liberal I’ve been with exclamation marks. Even there I used a thesaurus to find a synonym of regret (and couldn’t find one that was a true synonym). I am plagued by my desire to please. I don’t want to be ridiculed for my punctuation, grammar, or word choice. Writing, for me, is the equivalent of that outfit that you have in the back of your cupboard, but you won’t wear it because you are too worried about what people will think. Recently I have come to be of the opinion that it doesn’t matter what people think of my outfits, in fact I now believe that it doesn’t matter what people think of my appearance in general. I also no longer care about what people think of what I say. I will say what ever I feel like saying, and use what word choice and grammar I fancy. I am unable to do this for writing though, and I think the reason for this might be that, aside from in photographs and hurt feelings, my outfits and speech don’t leave anything behind. They are almost ephemeral. When I type the words are here to stay in plain view for everyone to see, forever. Or until I delete them.”

The above is from an old blog post from the 9th of May 2012. I think it is still relevant.

New rule

(First posted 28th Jan 2014)

Okay new rule, I am not going to predict when my next blog will be or what it will be about again. If I have an idea for a blog I am just going to write it there and then and that will be that. Life is too unpredictable for predictions. I set myself up for so many falls by making predictions about what future Kirsty will do. “Future Kirsty will go to the library tomorrow and she will write 1000 words and she will ride her bike and she will go to the shop and buy healthy foods and she will wash all her towels.” These were my predictions for today. In reality what she did was she woke up with a sore stomach, spent all day in bed watching The Carrie Diaries (mindless teen drama which is supposed to be a prequel to Sex And The City), and ordered take away for dinner. Now I am 1000 words behind schedule, under exercised, I have to have noodle soup for breakfast, and I have no clean towels. I need to stop trying to plan ahead like that. I should just set myself the goals of stay healthy, make sure my family and friends know I love them, pass uni, get Scottish independence. Those are really the most important things. Probably not in that order realistically, but still those are the goals I should be thinking about when I go to bed, not silly short term ones. I should plan what uni work I am going to do, what food I am feeling like, what chores and exercise I am feeling up to, all on the day I am doing it. There is no point in planning before because I just constantly disappoint myself and then I end up getting really upset because I have failed at something that should have been so easy. I need to stop being so hard on myself. Yes I have a lot of work to do, and yes there is not much time for me to do it, but I will get there. I have about a month and a half to write 23000 words. That is totally doable. I am reasonably healthy as it is, minus the whole brain disease thing, so just keep eating vegetables, walking to uni/work, and taking my vitamins. I think I can probably set up some sort of automated text that sends to my family and friends every fortnight that says something like “I value you as a person and I love you very much” but it’s probably easier just to eat meals with them and call them on my way to the library, because I need to do those things anyway. As for independence, well if I wear a Yes badge with every outfit and I bring it up in as many conversations as possible then I will hopefully feel less guilty about not making it into the office as often as I would like. As soon as uni is over all I want to do is campaign. We are going to get independence, and so I am certain losing me to my dissertation for a few months won’t damage the campaign too much.

On being cool.

(First posted 28th Jan 2014)

“…there are better things to be than cool.” – Andrea Gibson.

There are better things to be than cool, Andrea Gibson is right. If you know me then you might have already realised that being cool is very low down on my list of priorities. If I am annoyed about something then I tend to make it very clear. If I am excited about something then I make that clear too. I am not one of those people who “plays it cool”. Playing it cool is boring. If something is happening that makes me have feelings, I am gonna let you know.

I get really excited when a good song comes on. I want to sing along. Even if that good song hasn’t actually come on on any real world music device, and is only in my head, I will want to sing along. I might even dance. That will probably mortify some of you, you probably will want to pretend you are not with me or that you have a stomach ache and really need to go home. I am not sorry. That is your problem. Embrace your inner sound system. I am the girl in the street playing air guitar, I am the girl in the office pretending her desk is a drum set, I do use the hairdryer in the swimming pool as microphone, and I will turn my hand bag into a keyboard whilst I sit on the subway. If you do not have a whole hoard of imaginary instruments at your disposal then you are seriously missing out. Imaginary instruments are the best instruments because they aren’t at all heavy, and you don’t actually need to learn how to play them.Imagine yourself to be a rock star. Then you won’t need to pretend to be cool.

I really like stories. And poems. And plays. Like a lot. I might not spend all my days with my head in a book anymore, mostly because if I read fiction when I could be studying then I feel majorly guilty, but the books I have read, I feel a lot of love for. I feel a lot of love for their authors too, and I am not prepared to act like it doesn’t make me extremely excited when I am in the same room as them. I am not going to pretend that I would like anything more than to spend hours discussing my head cannon and how they possibly created such wondrous words. That is who I am. It is the same with actors or musicians or artists or anyone who had created something that I have completely devoured and fallen in love with. Playing it cool in a room with someone who has spent so many hours filling my head with new people, places, and even entire worlds is not on my agenda. I realise they probably are not as keen to talk to me as I am to talk to them, but even if I only speak to them for a minute I will not try to contain myself. I will not calm down. I will not take a “chill pill”. They are, to me, the most amazing people ever and I want them to know this. I want them to feel that the thing they have created has really wowed someone. I want to be myself around them because it’s me that has fallen in love with their work, not cool Kirsty. Cool Kirsty doesn’t exist.

I am angry about a lot of things, a lot of people will know that. I am very political, and I want a world that is fair and violence free. Those are some pretty tough ideologies to belong to and it’s not easy boycotting half the planet. I am not going to stop doing that though, just because it isn’t easy or because it isn’t cool, I’m not going to pretend that my morality is not important so as not to impose or seem weird. If everyone was to sit around playing it cool, not making a fuss, then the world would be a very depressing place to live in. It is up to me, and people who recognise the injustice that surrounds us every day, to speak up and act upon it. In high school I was afraid to be an activist, even up until my third year at university I was afraid. I spent time with people who were too worried about causing a scene to bother standing up for what was right. I still love some of those people very much, but now I realise that if you ignore that part of you then you aren’t just letting yourself down, you are letting everyone down. It is your duty to stop trying to be cool all the time.

Late

(First posted 27th Jan 2014)

Okay, so I was supposed to write a blog about being cool today but I didn’t have time and now I am really tired because I just got home from my friend’s birthday party, and I need to get up early for uni tomorrow, so the blog about being cool will need to wait until tomorrow. That was a really long sentence. Sorry. I am sleepy. Start as you mean to go on right?