Tuesday

| 2019 | 02 | 26 | don't stop believing |



I had a best friend at school, more of a brother. 

He was like me, always half plugged into an iPod and never fully listening to the conversation. It was from this we developed a mutual appreciation of the same bands - and in the end had all the words of wild young hearts locked into our memory. 

We were okay with that though, we spent much of those two years in each others company, whether it was walking to and from school or at the various house parties which signaled the beginning and end of the weekend. we were also in many classes - I was in charge of ensuring he was prepared for the tests that day by hurriedly sharing my revision notes on the walk in and throwing them at his head when he failed to absorb anything. 

He and I also used to make the long climb to the top of the hill - him to get high and me to just inhale a straight at the slow pace of someone who knew it was naughty but wanted to do it anyway. 

I wasn't proud of that either. we didn't drink, much. we were the babies of the school year and had baby faces to match. 


I'd say he was the first person I loved, but never told. Had I not been dating the other love of my life (lol) at the time I would have probably acted, perhaps rashly, and spoilt our friendship along the way. Since then there have been so many boys I've had feelings for but let pass because the timing was wrong, but as the first, he'll be the one I remember. 



Funnily enough, he ended up dating my university housemate and I'd say that killed the last reserves of our closeness. The strain there held up for a few years, during which time we tried to salvage our friendship but to no avail. 

I'm not sad though. we have some beautiful memories. 



| 2019 | 02 | 26 | violets are blue. well they're not |

It was with my best friend at the time, who, well, I guess that's not true either. I can't remember what we weren't, or what we were.

Hang on, let me start again.

I was out for a walk with a good friend. It was autumn I reckon, well, it must've been because I had my dad's coat on. No, I mean, the coat he lent me that I've never given back.

Right so. I was out for a walk with my friend and it was autumn. there were leaves all over the floor.

Look I don't want to move sticks anymore okay? It hurts my heart. but at the time I used to love rearranging the forest floor. no idea.

right. so at somepoint on this walk I dropped my phone. New it was.

I dropped it somewhere in the middle of the woods during a six mile walk.

I was so certain it was lost forever.

but i found it.

right where we left it.

now i don't take my phone when i'm going to climb trees.

---

there was this other time. oh my god there were so many times. but this time. we took a scooter and a skateboard to dorney lake and i didn't fall off. not once.

but i bruised my ego.

---

hands bruised with the cherries of youth
ground into brick dust
eyes shut. mouth lightly open.
grounded by afloat

---

i still get emotional about the time when i was five and someone told me you could open crisp packets from the bottom too and then all my skips were on the floor and i honestly lost faith in the world.

---

do bald aliens exist if they all have no hair

i like being asleep because then i don't have to deal with

jaden smith

butter?

ask dad. then ask jerry.

why don't watches have year hands.

we need a better way of naming pins and needles. why would you do that.

i think we should all do our shopping on tuesday.

you have never too big for the beach. but i am not your adult.

google hill.

google mountains the same hill
*mediocre view
*nicer view






Sunday

| 2019 | 02 | 24 | slush puppies and huskies |



I'm currently negotiating in cupcakes. It's going to be the new currency once this trial is over. 

terms and conditions apply. 




this is waterside a. it was bloody fantastic. the above needs work. the below does not. ever. look. at. my. grin. 


honestly i was having so much fun yesterday. there were only 21 portages. only over 13.5 miles. so like. you barely were in the boat. I had enough energy to natter on portage 21 too. mark was not happy. 


i think i was having so much fun because i've been listening to a small time kayaking podcast and felt truly prepared. it covers all the essential topics you'd ever need for the race, but in a funny and informative way. bite size pieces. perfect for someone with a small brain like mine. 

Friday

| 2019 | 02 | 22 | shot me down with my own gun |

Did you know, I like mud.

Specifically.


I like going out after the rain in my mucky shoes and getting really, really mucky.

I also really like the river.

new favourite things:
> finding old pairs of shoes you haven't properly appreciated
> being serenaded daily by my friend forever
> eating too much toast (okay I lie that's not new)

---

one of my earliest memories is running to my mum for a hug and her asking, seemingly casually, 'have you been snacking on hamlet's food again?'.

i didn't lie. she wasn't mad.

sharing food with the cat is totally okay.

 I spend a lot of time thinking too hard about things which don't require that level of thought.



Monday

| 2019 | 02 | 18 | do you want to build a snowman? |

the dichotomy of the performed self vs our internal monologue - the difference between those who look like they have it together and those who don't.

no one feels great 100% of the time, but because there are people who effectively manage to veil their feelings we think that they are

Here. my performance.

the smart coat, the nice bag and the over-ear headphones all scream - come at me day.

what you can't see in the background

the clothes thrown everywhere because i'm running late and can't find my favourite top. the fact i only have one sock on. the tiredness hidden behind concealer.


I always wonder whether the people who are most together are the ones who have stopped pretending they aren't.
---

the only parts of the past that still exist are the ones that we carry with us. The only parts that are still real are the lessons learned. the scars on our skin, the homes we build and the people who still walk beside us.

so what i'm trying to say, we don't leave anything behind. it's all here now.

but equally we don't walk away from something because we run out of love. we walk away because we run out of growth and space.

---

I realise now, what everyone truly wants is a nice person.


It's not about bravado, being cheeky or keeping you on edge.

> it's about meeting someone who is prepared to be honest, and vulnerable. without it being a game.
> it's about cherishing someone who will answer immediately,
> when you meet someone who keeps on trying to win you over, even when you're already theirs
> when you meet someone who cares. not just to prove a point.

I've rejected people in the past, the ones who call me back even after I hang up .
I've let people go who are prepared to fix things, instead of sleeping on a fight.
When someone drives for hours to see me, not just at their convenience.
when someone surprises me, i laugh it off, rather than seeing just how special it is.

I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to closing off the world.


Thursday

| 2019 | 02 | 14 | depth and breadth |

I wrote this, maybe two years ago.

I was trying to fathom the concept of both being, and falling out of, love.

---

so i'm going to start on a day
It was a normal day. the sun rose at some early time, and i rose not too much later.

I'm a light sleeper you see, and the blinds were the type to let most of the dark out. Quietly, or as much as I could, I ran to the kitchen and put the kettle on to boil. There's not a lot you can do when it whistles, but I did what I could and stopped it eventually.

The coffees I made were both too strong and too watery for anyone's taste, but they would do the job. I spilt most of it on a discarded pillow, thrown from the bed at some unnecessary hour, but some of it made it to the desired location - hands outstretched from underneath the duvet.

A grown was all the thanks I got for the scalding liquid, quickly disposed of, before we resumed the previous sleeping position. I lay there in the morning sun watching the light flicker on the wall.

It was going to be a good day.

As I finally rolled out of bed, he grabbed me firmly around the waist and pulled me into a hug, wrapping a leg round mine when I tried to escape. My attempts to free myself resulted in a tickle fight, one which the pillows and various items of clothing also got involved.

We were breathless, rosy cheeked and laughing - and almost definitely going to be late.

He actually had to leave before I did, and had cut it quite fine. I'd managed to get myself ready and was sitting eating my porridge in the conservatory, soaking in the morning sun. He'd been putting on his shoes but I could now feel his eyes on me.

'You're beautiful. You know that?'

I scoffed, ruffling my hair and scrunching up my face.

'No seriously. You're beautiful to me.' Slowly he came over and draped his arms around my shoulders.

'Yeah and you'll be late, you know that?' I turned to him, our noses almost touching.

'I wouldn't miss moments like these. Not for anything'

He said goodbye and headed out the door. Moments later I had chased him to his car barefoot and planted a kiss on the side of his neck before running back inside. My phone buzzed.

It was him. I couldn't stop smiling.

lets try another day. the same one. except it wasn't.
It was a normal day. The sun rose at some early time. I rose not too much later.

I sat on the side of the bed, and sighed. Rubbing my eyes I stood up - without looking at him. I grabbed my phone and walked from the room. The kettle was on, and I let it whistle for longer than necessary. Sighing, I pulled a half washed mug from the sink and plonked it down. Unable to find a suitable spoon I poured an amount of instant coffee in, adding too little sugar and what remained of the milk.

My coffee did the job. I jumped into the spare room bed and started scrolling through my phone. Around half an hour later I went back into our room, noticing he was already up and already on his phone - which was quickly slid under pillows.

Nothing.

There was nothing between us, yet there was so much. A distance we couldn't cover.

I met his eyes and for a brief second saw the boy I'd fallen for, but he quickly averted his gaze.

The tension was there. Not wanting to break the silence we chose instead to busy ourselves, putting a greater amount of vigour into getting dressed than was necessary. I'd never ironed my jeans before.

He didn't mention my hair. and I chose to overlook the fact he had new aftershave.

The goodbye was dutiful, The kiss on the cheek brief, without emotion.

I stood in the doorway after he left. Hand resting on the back of the door as if I could call him back.

There was no affection, the love (and I say love, before at one point we cared desperately), had dissolved.

Do you know what the rule is when everything hurts? When your emotions threaten to overwhelm and hurt?

You smile.

You take a deep breath in. You close your eyes and reassess the moment. Look out the window. Go on. Look. Take in the trees, the birds, or even just your neighbours wall.

Now breathe out. Let the smile spread slowly. Let it move. Let the pain in your chest go. It will spread first. It will feel overwhelming. but, you have to let it go. 






Wednesday

| 2019 | 02 | 13 | hi tops and sly drops |

strange things arrive in the post. 
even stranger things arrive by the post. 


did you know, every relationship has an expiry date?

did you really know that? I'm sorry if the penny hadn't dropped. 

I'm sorry if you just realised that every single person in your life, at somepoint, won't be there anymore in some form or another. 

every goodbye could be the last. every farewell could never lead to a hello. 


...

eesh that's a negative message for a wednesday, but it's also why you need to treasure those people even more. some dates, are inherent. the end of a contract, the end of a journey, the end of some kind of adventure. 


the hardest expiration dates aren't overt though. sometimes they creep into your mind with the stark realisation not everything can be resolved. sometimes you drift apart from someone you couldn't imagine life without (be it a friend, family member, colleague - you name it). sometimes. it just fades. 

an inevitable destruction of the worst kind. 

no matter how much you re-iterate these endings don't matter, they'll play on your mind. if something has to end, then when? why not get it over with? if something won't last forever then why not knock it down early. cut our losses. save ourselves from falling from greater heights. 

we forget that the worth of everything isn't measured by longevity. or frequency. some of the best things don't last forever, nor can they be replicated. i have one particular roadtrip to the seaside so firmly embedded in my soul i will treasure it always, and never attempt to repeat it again. 

our favourite books are just a countdown to the ending. but we read them nonetheless. 


I recently wrote about time. i wrote that i hate goodbyes because it fragments the forever of something. i'm rambling here. probably making more sense than you realise though. when my nan passed away i refused the final farewell. that way we're always on hold til we meet again. 


someday, you'll wake up and that person won't be there anymore. one day, you'll hear a joke they'll love but won't be able to share it. maybe you'll need their advice? or perhaps just their company. 
so you do what you can. you ask them today. you laugh with them today. 

you treasure what you have
 not what you might not 

just because something is fleeting doesn't make it less important. 
just because something is going doesn't mean that it's gone. 

Tuesday

| 2019 | 02 | 12 | those were the days |

this morning was beautiful. up again at the crack of dawn with little to no sleep (perhaps none) and my coffee tasted as it normally does - disgusting.

my body screamed no as I tumbled out of bed, falling into the carefully thrown pile of discarded jumpers which softened the landing.

our paddle was decent. the flow is up so i had to concentrate a little harder than usual - but managed to stay more in control of the back of the boat for the crossings so it was a smoother ride overall.

thinks she got it.

---

a while ago I wrote a post about how our lives and those around us can be represented by interacting lines. [for anyone who cares we're operating with an x axis representing time. but not to scale okay?]


I find it fascinating how the closest lines only have one way to go - and that's apart. you take a huge risk involving someone in your life, bringing them close.

we find souls made of the same stuff ours are. the lines intertwine and we can't imagine them being anything but.

it's interesting to think about how we make people who were our everything into nothing. how we learn to forget. how the space between our lines becomes something we can't bear to acknowledge.

how we fill that space. but sometimes it's a good thing to embrace the change. it's not easy. it's hard to remove anyone from your life, especially those you were close to - but sometimes you need to make that space for something different, or something better.

we all start as strangers, we probably all leave as them too. it's up to us along the way to pick the ones we want to cross paths with.


I think this is also why so many people exist as 'almosts'. it's easier to be looking toward what could be, than what was. 

--- 

i've recently brought my twitter back off the shelf. 

i used to love that platform as a repository for nonsense. the snippets of life I couldn't share with anyone because it was too weird, too abstract, too sophie. 

---

things. 

> having food at home, and eating it over the fun stuff in front of you
> ensuring you're dressed appropriately for the weather rather than just winging it
> paths of independence aren't just paths you walk together. you want to be independent? well walk by your damn self.





Monday

| 2019 | 02 | 11 | i'm a little tree trunk |

today was the adventure of a lifetime. aside from yesterday which was also the adventure of  a lifetime.

this is the outtakes from our little adventure [i do actually have all the useful footage elsewhere but genuinely thought it would not be inspirational on a monday].

anyway. we covered a chunk of the route i have no experience in and had a lot of fun doing it. i am now tired. grumpy and a bit scared.


it really drove home the true scale of this race. and just how stupid i am to be considering doing it at all.


the journey was more for my dad. as a rower - this just isn't our thing.

spectating rowing races is clean, clear, and not very involved. like horse racing.

also i have such wonky teeth. can't unsee that can you?


#nomakeup #nosleep

still happy.


i also completed this today.  the blanket. it's taken 7 months, 18 balls of yarn and a lot of hand fatigue. i'm so proud it's square, has no mistake and genuinely (despite the colour choices) - looks quite good. i've not laid it so well there - but the edges are straight. i swear!


anyway.

where was i.

we're making pizza.

i'm studying and reading things i shouldn't do.

// i was reminded of a night spent sitting on a car roof eating chicken nuggets and oranges before we agreed 3am was a bit late and called it a night.

then we went to the 24 hour asda and perused the shelves before being asked to leave because we were being weird.

i never got my gnome.

what is the date again?

such fun.

---

guys guys guys.


here they are. goals for the week

> actually get the copy written for the display screens. [soz werk]
> run 5x
> paddle 4x
> yoga
> read another 70 pages of my book
> pub quiz [see i wrote it]
> learn bridge names
> make a list of basic tasks, complete them and feel pretty damn chuffed i'd achieved. we're talking 'brush my teeth', 'get out of bed' level.
> go to bed earlier
> stretch in bed. become the duvet monster i've always dreamt of being
> respect the fact i still can't handle a hairbrush - don't fight it.
> payday chores

here are things i won't be doing

- buying a motorbike
- shaving my head
- drinking champagne
- crocheting a fricking blanket the size of the moon
- sleeping


THIS IS A SONG OF THE THINGS NOT IN THE ROOM


Sunday

| 2019 | 03 | 10 | i think the wrong person just left the room |

It is 01:21. the relevance of that is timing. 



play the song. it's nice. 




i'm sitting wrapped in my duvet, head rested on the windowsill of my room watching the late night traffic amble past my window.


their red lights are reassuring. i'm weirdly, surprisingly, sad.

my hair smells faintly of bubble gum (thanks to those cocktails) and I'm a little bit groggy. But my body is wide awake, amped up on adrenaline and the sugary mocktail I'd downed before running onto the dancefloor to join some friends in a particularly overzealous rendition of 'stomp'.

i fricking love that song. dj always plays it especially for me.

i digress.

today i yelled at a man called luke because he said i looked grumpy. i was. and then i wasn't. because i'd yelled at luke.

people are always nice until they're not.
you won't learn that you can't trust anyone really, unless you try trusting anyone, really.

//

ideas are not people they belong in your head.
i have a bag of chocolate peanuts and i'm eating them in bed.






// so. what we need to be mindful of.



| 2019 | 02 | 10 | fishy fishy in the sea |

the hell is conventional anyway.

agreed.generally.accordance.basedon.believed.

these aren't concrete. in fact. they're worst than real, they're what people think other people think should float.


---

Cold shock response is the physiological response to sudden cold - usually a body of water.

The short term involuntary response to being suddenly immersed can be short lived, but a threat to your survival.

Firsly. Closure of the blood vessels in the skin results in resistance to blood flow. The heart then has to work harder and blood pressure increases. At the same time, a sudden inhalation may also occur, after which breathing rate can also increase.

This initial response may last as long as a minute, but the loss of control over breathing can then inhibit your ability to get out.

Secondly. Incapacitation occurs within 5 - 15 minutes in cold water. Loss of meaningful movement in your arms and legs is a key effect of vasoconstriction to the periphery (to protect your core), which again, will slow your ability to exit the body of water.

tl;dr. being in the thames during winter is a bad thing. don't.

---

Whilst I have a fear of my K1, being in the water doesn't faze me.

It's not intimidating. it still isn't. the fear comes from the fall.

At the end of a 3 x 5k session, I was the first one back.

Then.

I fell in.

Not just my standard swim. I was exhausted.

I hit the body of water with almost a sigh, but found the air completely thrown out my chest. I also sunk a lot quicker than usual. It was cold. The river was very, very cold.

The air just would not re-inflate my lungs and whilst I was reunited with my boat, it didn't feel particularly buoyant. It took a little while to gain control of my breathing.

As I started to swim toward the bank, I wasn't really getting much closer to the bank.

I was just so tired. Taking a break, I lay across the top of my upturned boat, barely kicking my feet. The flow had started to push me along - less than helpful.

I was cold. Like really cold.

The overwhelming understanding that I had to get out was being fought against by the fact I wasn't sure how I could.

---

then we went to get cake.









Saturday

| 2019 | 02 | 09 | suck it |

irrelevance is one of the greatest fears of man.

a fear of being forgotten, a fear of not mattering, a fear that this was all for nothing. all the struggle, all the time. everything you put in was for.... nothing.

yeah but..

none of it really matters anyway.

---

there's a moment.

a slide.

where there are no longer connections joining you together.

friendships are like a rope. the stronger the connection, the more fibres holding you together. but when it starts to pull apart, they'll drop away.

 you watch the fabric fray.

you feel it happen. slowly.

the connections drop until there is no longer anything there.

the space between.

the hurt comes not from missing them ,but knowing that you no longer matter to them. acknowledge your own need to be needed and you'll find satisfaction from other things. don't nurture toxicity purely for self indulgence. it will only ever burn you.


Friday

| 2019 | 02 | 08 | i like cheese on toast |

There are words sometimes, which perfectly sum up an emotion. But more often than not, you can't.

The depth of feeling is rarely acknowledged because to admit how far down it goes is often perceived as weakness.

But it takes great courage to allow something to permeate so far, because if it is lost, the space it leaves is far greater than the space it once occupied.

We should be forgiven for breaking hearts and grieving minds. But instead, we must hide the holes in the fabric of our being, and ignore our shattered souls.

I went to a funeral recently.

I was sad.

But the assumption is, once you've been there, done that - then you're done being sad.

back into the normal workflow you go.

go on.



---

i've been a bit of a sappy git lately.

there's a lot of reading being done so it follows.

soz.


---

I don't want to be an island
I want to see your face again

---

I mean it when I say the river is my favourite place. I still can't work out why, but I have an immediate approval for anyone who has a mutual enjoyment of thames water.










Electricity.

Charges the air. Over great distances or small. it can heighten anything.

Hands not touching
eyes meeting
walking side by side
a glance
the returned smile
shared space

Long lists. they crackle. like the moment before a storm.


---

Fire is always something that is seen as so aggressive. so angry. so pent up.

I think it's the opposite.

It's sad. It's fleeting. It causes so much pain just to survive. It burns out.

---

hey can you just call up greggs and see if they have any sausage rolls left?


Long gone are my days of heading out for a 7 mile trot. or even 20. I used to pack a bag and just run. over the hills. through the mud. around in circles. I didn't care. 

Now. it's a bit more of a struggle. a bit less fun. 

if years ago I could have looked into the future I would be surprised to see how I have turned out. 

so basically. we're weeks away from the biggest game of our lives. 125 miles to paddle. 77 portages to run. many many many bites of food to snack on.

but, I think my body is starting to say no again. I can't match my energy depletion against the workload i'm doing or the food i'm eating and that's how it started last time.

I know i'm racing to get to the start line, because once I'm there I will finish. But I just have to get there first.

:D

YEAH

also this morning was so windy! I feel like this is the meanest, steepest learning curve. but that doesn't stop it being fun.

Thursday

| 2019 | 02 | 06 | fire in the rain |

I am so grateful for my chaos. The eternally unpredictable nature of my path. I feel like most people are walking along a pavement, carved into the hillside so whilst it has its ups and downs there is still some certainty.

I am thankful for the winds blowing against me. Howling in my ears, pressing against my chest.

I'm glad I'm scared of the dark. In all honestly I think it's wild.

I am soulfully well.

---

dreams we shared are never gonna fade

+

a dream is a wish your heart makes

=

thats why your heart hurts

---

the evolution of things.

I saw a puppy today

actually i reckon that dog was about 87, but I could tell he still thought he was a little puppy dog. I should've stolen him and then we could've gotten icecream.


Tuesday

| 2019 | 02 | 05 | my dog is my only friend |


Puzzle pieces. 

alright story time. 

Everyone loves a sob story.

Everyone loves to see the protagonist fall on their face and never quite manage to get back up again.


// 

way the other point I wanted to make is that arrogance, in small doses, is truly beautiful. Exaggerating your self-worth by 1% makes you a confident person. It’s when this confidence crosses over into ridiculousness that we start having problems. Be confident. Don’t be a dick.

//

enough of that. 

>> be grateful for the smell of fresh air. Especially the sea.
.. be grateful for the chaotic times. They balance out the quiet
,, be grateful for the things you were given, even if they were taken away
== smile because of where you are right now. Not where you aren’t.
Be glad every day has an end. Even the worst days.
Go and stand by your window. Look out. Got you! 

Monday

| 2019 | 02 | 04 | my dog is my only friend |


Birthdays are meant to be spent singing to yourself. Just FYI. 

I found this photo recently. I remember the days of every weekend hitting up some new and improved obstacle race with my best friend. 

This one was a particular achievement because I'd had to complete the longest of the three spartan races solo - Ross had broken his toe. I was heartbroken. 


Saturday

| 2019 | 02 | 02 | the fondest of farewells |

Today has been a very strange day. I wish I could truly describe how odd, but I'm not sure I can do it justice. 

It's been one of those weeks. 


I found two things in the snow today.

One, I hadn't seen in over a year, and I'm simply amazed I recognised it from a distance. Which I did. It was a ring made of two springs coiled together. Half buried, all you could see was a glinting of metal. For some reason I ran at it and retrieved it from the dirt. It's now safely back on my hand.

It's just a bit weird you know?


I've been sticking quite strongly to running 5x each week, getting up nice and early and hitting the road before 7.30. It's nothing record breaking but I am fairly certain it's good for me, given the fact it's getting easier and i'm running further.

Only time will tell.



These are my paddling shoes. You know - the ones I was so reluctant to buy?

Well I just replaced them. 

It's a fond farewell of use.