In need of a redesign since 2011.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Cool internet things

+Anthony Ashfield Well heck dang, look what I can do! +Paul Roth holla.

This year we've had several apocalypses, and they've all ended with the same thing: sarcasm on twitter. But then, as sarcasm on twitter is the first response to any death, maybe they are one and the same, and we've all  already gone to the big snark in the sky.

I have been watching so many Let's Plays lately. I blame +Michael Fruen. Mike, look at this tomfoolery:

You guys, I practically wept with laughter when I first saw this. It's like pixellated Monty Python. It's sublime. 

I will be back with proper Crimbletide greetings when... I remember.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Dear Family:

I can't make it home for Christmas, and maybe for that reason I'm thinking about you guys so much.

Esther, thank you so much for the presents! I've had so many comments on my cute new bag, it's insane. Guys, look:

HOW CUTE is that? I'm delighted.

Michael, I've been watching your Minecraft Let's Plays with John and I'm really wishing we could hang out, and that you could teach me the basics of that dang game. I know I'm late getting into it. I'm late getting into everything. You remember how long it took me to discover (let alone finish) Portal? Too long.

Judi, it means that world to me that you came up to visit. I had a really great time shopping with you, and I miss y'all a lot less now as a result of that day. Also, I love my badass new reversible skirt (again, CHECK IT).
Look 1...
Look 2! Aww yiss
Naomi, I don't think you read this. You might not even know about it. Maybe it's better this way. But I should tell you that, in my dream last night, you had the most awesome Scottish accent. You were talking to me about how Ran was coping with sharing Michael's bedroom. :|

Mum, in the aforementioned dream, you started a fire in a bin to try to clear your sinuses. Important note: do not do this. It did not end well.

Give my love to Dad; I'll call soon.

I haven't decided yet whether your presents will go ahead of me in the post, or whether they'll come down with me in January. Which means, probably the latter (you know what I'm like). But rest assured I've been thinking of you all, and I hope you have a very special Christmas.

P.S. Uncle Steve, have a very happy birthday! John, Paul, I wanna hang out with you guys soon. Julia, I think you're partially responsible for my life-long love of purple.

P.P.S. Cousins on my dad's side, of which there are many: every time I find out what you've been up to lately, I get all smug because I'm related to awesome people. Keep kicking your various kinds of ass.

P.P.P.S. Nanny, thanks for recognising me even with purple hair. Granddad, thanks for looking after her. I know you won't read this, but I love you both.

Sunday, 9 December 2012


There are very few people in my life that I would do anything for. There are a few people who ask me out for coffee or whatever. Those two groups never seem to overlap.

One way to put it is that my standards are too high, although I'm not the type to have a check list. I just want to know I've got a connection with somebody. A physical, mental, chemical attraction to them, and them to me.

I don't think that's impossible. I think some people get it. A partner to go through life with, somebody who reminds them every day that they're capable of great things and great love.

I don't know. Some days I believe that that's an option, but never for long before my cynicism stirs from its den and says "It's very improbable, you know." Well, yes, maybe it is. But improbable happens. It does. I've seen it.

From a distance.

I think.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Frisky and Mannish and poems and hair

So! Yes! Hello! What wonderful and exciting things can I tell you about?

I saw Frisky and Mannish perform last week. They are truly legends in the making: Frisky can do justice to any female vocalist you care to name, and Mannish has such incredible range, in every musical sense. They're both skilled performers, and have an incredible dynamic. It's a thoroughly enjoyable thing, to see that kind of natural partnership: people whose thoughts and signals bounce off each other so flawlessly. Here is a video they made: Kate Bush sung in the style of Kate Nash. It's called Kate Bash, because of course it is. I feel like I might have shared this video before? I can't recall. In any case.

Here is a picture of my face in proximity to their faces:
It was as profoundly awkward as it looks
I don't know what else to tell you, other than that life continues and my poetry has all but ground to a halt. I really thought that having a creatively undemanding job would spur me to write in my free time, but honestly, I have just about enough mental energy to jot down draft after draft without ever finding the time or drive to work them into something.
I mean, take this for example:

So I said goodbye. What else could I do?

And me and the sea oh we both waved to you,
well no wonder it's blue.

That could be an actual song (not a good one, mind you, just a me one), if I just got my dang act together and finished it. I need to spend some quality time with my ukulele when I get my day off. I'm getting all of three minutes a day in which to practise, so I'm slipping backwards from "incompetent" to "an affront to ears."

My hair is getting beyond silly. My roots have grown out beyond the point where a hat can successfully cover it, which is due to being very impoverished for a long time, and then very busy recently. I still want to get along to Guy Christian - probably their new salon in the bay! - to get something done with it. Just as soon as I decide what that is.

Hair is a mystery, man. I mean, they say it grows back, but who wants to take that risk, you know?

Friday, 2 November 2012

Product review: mum, don't read this one

The world post- the invention of the internet is a strange one. You can be famous for a week, reviled for a month, and can meet all your heroes at peculiar conventions. One of the other oddities, one that applies to me today, is that sometimes people think your opinions matter just because you write a crummy blog. Hooray!

As a result, I have been sent, by the very generous Adam of Strawberry Blushes, a women's sex toy to review. At this juncture, I'd like to ask anyone not comfortable with the idea of that to skip this post - I'll be back to normal for the next one. Thanks.

Before I tell you what I picked from the site, here's a bit of background information: Ben Wa balls have been used for centuries to help stimulate women, either during sex or throughout the course of the day. It's thought that Japanese geisha used to use them, hence the alternate name "geisha balls."

They serve as more of a prolonged tease than a masturbation aid, so the aim with them isn't to orgasm. In fact, one of their uses is to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, in much the same way as kegel exercises do.

I bought some a few years ago. I liked them, but found them quite tricky to use, to be honest - they were small enough to slip out sometimes, and the feeling of them clicking against each other takes a bit of getting used to!

Anyway. Fastforward to now: I selected a product called "Girly Giggle Balls" to review. They're a bit bigger, because there are traditional metal balls inside the outer layer. Take a look at that outer layer, by the way. It looks interesting in the "tickly soft pink" colour that I chose - I can only imagine how I'd have felt faced with the "daunting black" option. (It's probably not labelled as that, but come on. Look at 'em!)

If I wanted to insert a morningstar I'd - no. When would I ever want that.
So yes, I chose the less intimidating ones. They were delivered quickly and in discreet packaging, so that ticked all the boxes.

My first issue was that there was no real product information on the packaging. You're told that they're made of "soft and nubbly jelly," which isn't very specific - and it does matter, because you're not supposed to use silicone-based lube with silicone toys. Because it might dissolve the surface and make them feel sticky to the touch (thanks, Wikipedia!). Luckily, the Strawberry Blushes website has a lot of information on it - what they're made of (PVC), their size (1.5"), what they do, how to use them... I mean, I know it sounds obvious, 'put them in;' but a helpful reminder to lie down and relax really wouldn't go amiss.

Because, boy, these aren't the same as my old ben wa balls.

They are bigger. And pricklier. And I really think you'd benefit from being pretty turned on before you even started, which I wasn't.

As I mentioned above, the idea is that the movement of the two balls against each other is intended to gently and continuously stimulate throughout the day as you go about your normal life, but the size of these ones means that they just don't do that. Not for me, anyway. It's not better than the alternative of them slipping out sometimes, because I'm pretty sure they're not toning any muscles. Keeping them in is not an effort. Taking them out, however, requires patience and careful positioning. They're not uncomfortable while they're in, but nor are they erotic, just - present, in much the same way as a mooncup (and, oh boy, I need to write a mooncup review one of these days).

In the absence of any product instructions, I thought I'd write some of my own so that anyone curious can repeat the experiment.

HOW TO USE GIRLY GIGGLE BALLS: instructions for use

  1. Lie back on your bed and slowly - SLOWLY - insert the first ball.
  2. Take a breather. Try to internally adjust yourself so that there's more room.
  3. Insert ball two and sit up - slowly.
  4. Question what you're doing with your life.
  5. Wonder why you didn't just take up your hot friend on his perfectly reasonable offer.
  6. Later, squat and pull the string to take them out - slowly, for the love of god, slowly - and wash them, taking extra care with the string because it looks like it's made of the same stuff as bathroom light-pulls and you've seen how grubby they can get.
  7. Have a cup of tea, and try to think of the least undignified way to describe the experience.


Appearance: 2/5
Ease of use: 2/5
Effectiveness: 0/5
Would I recommend them to a friend: maybe, if they'd annoyed me in some way. Maybe by oversharing. I can't think of any other way it would come up in conversation.
YM, as ever, MV.

This has been interesting, anyway! Next time, I think I'll get something else. Maybe a new vibe. Maybe something showerproof.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Presenting my findings: the dream journal

When I moved house a few months ago, walking out on a flooded basement and an angry landlord, I started keeping a dream journal. I've written and tagged 53 entries now, and while that isn't much, I've learned something interesting: my subconscious is a strange and twisty place. Some things are frankly baffling (why couldn't I remember if that millipede was my sister?), while other themes seem to be marked in flashing neon lights. "PAY ATTENTION TO THIS, IT IS IMPORTANT!"

Some of the recurring themes aren't that surprising, considering. The dreams where I have someone to cuddle up to; the dreams where I explore unfamiliar rooms with secret doors. The ones about packing (moving, unpacking, realising I've left things behind) in particular: they're reflections of my literal circumstances, as I've had to move my belongings into and out of storage on three separate occasions for reasons too tedious to list here. Those I get.

What I didn't expect, however, was the water. Water is everywhere in my dreams; flooding from the taps in a church's bathroom, filling my mouth, crashing in a big tsunami wave over an entire civilisation. I've stood in a rising tide, sailed a ship over a waterfall, and pissed off a river goddess. One in five dreams of mine features water in a big way.

Another one that took me by surprise is that - look, I'll apologise in advance, because it's going to make me sound excessively egotistical, but - I rescue people. I've led my friends down to a bomb shelter during an air raid; I've swatted bats away with a big stick while we fled a haunted house; I've even tried to get plasticine monsters out of a factory without them being seen (or mangled by machinery).

I don't know why this is. I've mentally linked it to my brief stint as a youth leader, but it's fun to think of what it might be preparing me for. Not that dreams foretell the future, I don't believe that; but perhaps by thinking of myself as 'someone who leads others out of danger' I'm making it more likely that I'll have the balls to do it for real if the time ever comes.

There's not many nightmares, as a whole. There's the occasional nightmarish side-quest, though. For example, I did recently took a brief detour from a fairly standard dream about my ex and secret rooms to face down these guys:

So, ya know, THAT was horrendous. Did you know that, if you blink, they can come through sheet glass without breaking it? Well, in my dream, they can.

I don't know what these dreams tell you about me (aside from more than you ever wanted to know), but I'm going to keep writing them down for now. I wonder what else I'll learn.

P.S. One dream I logged goes as follows:

Was in a room with about 5 other people. Dylan Moran was going through some material, and had wandered into really personal stuff. Hard to tell if it was still part of the routine or not; he seemed really sad. "You know I'm starting to realise my dad wasn't a very nice person. You know something's wrong when you have to explain to vampires how awful your dad is."

I've never seen Dylan Moran live, but I want to tell him everything's going to be ok.

P.P.S. Oh, I did see Ross Noble live the other day though! You know how I got turned into a fairy over the summer? (Oh man I just realised I never told you about that. I'll write about it soon.) Well I found these on the way to the gig, and took it as a sign...

Thursday, 4 October 2012


I was not going to celebrate my birthday. I was playing it cool. I always do, at first. It's a lowering of my own expectations, really, because I'm never convinced that anyone else is going to remember.

I promise this post gets less wallowy. Bear with me.

har! har!
Having a birthday in October, for a kid who grew up as bookish and introverted as I did, meant that people at school often hadn't had time to get to know me when my birthday rolled around. September kids probably have it even worse.

In my first year at uni, my first birthday away from home, I quietly mentioned my birthday to the three people I knew by name; and I got a surprised "Ah! Really? Happy birthday! ... So are you doing anything for it?" to which I answered No, no. Not really.

So, nothing happened.

It's my own fault; I'm bad at making things happen. For my 18th birthday, my friends demanded that we go to Pizza Hut at least, because I wasn't planning to do anything at all.

Since coming to Cardiff, though, things have picked up speed. I'm not the wallflower I once was, and I'm lucky enough to have friends who'll grab hold of the most tenuous excuses imaginable for a fancy-dress shindig. I love them, I love them (fancy-dress shindigs AND my friends; but I mostly meant my friends. I would not trade the wonderful, talented, gorgeous people in my life for anything, not even a kawasaki ninja, and LOOK how frakkin' pretty they are:
Are we still parentheses? We are. Sorry).

Yesterday, despite being in work all day, I was remembered by a great many people. As soon as midnight hit, Sean Solle got the first HBD greeting in, and the following 24 hours saw a whole bunch of people on twitter and facebook and even tumblr wishing me a merry one. Some of them barely know me, or were reminded by facebook, but every single one made me smile and feel valued. That kind of positivity really adds up over the course of a day!

And, to top it all, the very kind family I live with (whose generosity I can't begin to deserve) bought me a book on Graffiti - one I don't already own! It looks great, the pictures are grouped by area rather than by artist which is so cool bec- er, anyway - and a birthday cake.

And AND, the people I'm training with at work bought me cards and chocolates because they are insanely lovely. INSANELY. Get this: the lady who trained me for the first two weeks remembered that my short story has been published by the UK Zombie Defence League, looked the UKZDL up, found my blog along the way, discovered that Lindt Lindor are my favourite chocolates, got me some, and made me promise not to share them.


like -

I can't even -

That's lovely on a scale I never expected to encounter in a work environment. Dilbert did not prepare me for this. How are you supposed to respond? Anywhere else I'd have given her the biggest bearhug on record, because seriously, that's above and beyond the contractually-obliged Happy Birthday, but instead I just rambled and thanked for a bit and grinned my way throughout training for the rest of the day.

Also, a girl I met on a bus and befriended the heck out of lent me the first Harry Dresden book, so I've got that going for me too.

Just - keep up the good work, universe. This is all very very adequate.

Sunday, 30 September 2012


I'm not good enough. The list of things I would change about myself are as long as the phone book, and decidedly less interesting to read (and to write. As a favour to both of us, I will not enumerate them here). Ultimately, it's the length of the list that proved the biggest obstacle to my self-improvment; I get paralysed by the indecision. What's the biggest problem? What's the most urgent one? What needs long-term improvement? I have no idea. I hate lists.

I've always thought the "kid in a candy store" analogy didn't really encompass that moment: the moment when the kid clutches onto mum's skirt and hides their face because this is too many everythings.

I have, however, made a huge leap forward: I've targeted the one area that I really need to work on, and it's time management.

I've always been terrible at it. For the past 15 years, it's been the reason that I got incredibly creative with my excuses for having not done my homework. Remember this blog post? Of course you don't; it was seven freaking years ago (almost to the day), but it was by no means an isolated incident. Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow?

Maybe it's hereditary. My own family was habitually late everywhere. Memories of school mornings are a blur of stress and hurrying, trying to remember where in the chaos my shoes were.

One of the side effects of this perpetual lateness was that I am extremely paranoid about travel time. I am currently getting to work about an hour early in the mornings, just because the journey home sometimes takes a couple of hours. It's hard to calm myself down enough to actually leave home later in the morning. I prefer being early anyway, I tell myself. I don't get told off for being too early. I go for walks instead; mentally calculating and recalculating that, since it took ten minutes to get this far, I should allow twenty to go back. It doesn't make a lot of sense, I know.

Oh yes, that's a new development: work. I work full time in a call centre now; 36 hours a week, or thereabouts. So far I've had two weeks of training in customer service. I won't get paid until a month from now, due to fluctuations in the mysterious forces that govern administration. That's sad. I wanted money for my birthday this coming Tuesday. I'm deferring my celebrations until I am ludicrously wealthy a month from now. (This is my first full-time job; it will feel like affluence beyond reason to me!)

So my job isn't paying me yet, but what it is doing is forcing me to think harder about how I'm spending my time. If I want to catch up with friends, I can meet up with them in town for a couple of hours in the evening, or we can plan something on the weekend. That's it. No more spending a couple of days at a mate's house just because we've gotten addicted to a new cartoon. No more spending all day on tumblr, unless I've actively decided that that is what I need to do that day. (Sometimes that is what I need. Sometimes I crave the mental space to bumblebee around the internet, alighting on a topic for only so long as it takes my fancy.)

In other exciting (to me) news, a short story I wrote has been accepted for publication by the UK Zombie Defense League! I'll let you all know when it's out. I'm planning to buy the paperback and show it to everyone I pass for a month or two.

Here follows a miniature list of things I have been doing lately, in what I'll generously call my "hiatus":

  • visited my family on the beautiful Isle of Wight
  • saw Frankie Boyle perform, thanks to my lovely twitter-friend Meryl
  • went to see Jonathan Coulton and Paul & Storm again
  • discovered Gravity Falls and decided that Mabel is my soul twin
  • the other stuff that I've already told you.
A few photos I've taken recently:

Judi, my big sister, who is crazy pretty and doesn't even know it
Cowes week 2
I finally managed to reattempt this after losing an SD card a few years back!
Fly away
A helium princess. Blurry, but just about perfect.
To round things off and reward you for reading my witterings, here is a story told by Neil Gaiman, in which his family are more terribly late than mine ever were:

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Might you be a feminist?

The other day, my friend and I slipped into one of our recurring conversations about feminism. Prompted by a couple of recent incidents (oh hey I forgot this one), we got talking about the label, and whether it's positive or negative, and what the implications are.

It's one of the subjects I get passionate about. After getting into the swing of my argument for a minute or two, I had to rein myself in, and I think I ended our conversation with "er but if you don't identify as a feminist I should probably stop telling you that you are one."

My friend is very aware of the way the world is. He knows that sexism exists, that women experience the world differently than men, that some aspects of the systems we live within are unfair and / or oppressive. However he rejects the word "feminist" because, in his mind, it reads as "man-hating female supremacist." (He's had some bad experiences with feminists in the past; what can I say.)

My good friend Paul has just written a blog post about this subject. He didn't formerly identify as a feminist, but now he does. It's an interesting read, and highlights a very important point: that's it's ok, even good, to let your views evolve. To change your mind about what you are, and what words mean. Labelling oneself is a flawed system, no doubt, but it's how the world knows what you stand for. I stand alongside those who believe in equality. I am a feminist. And I think perhaps it's even possible to be a feminist and not know it.

These pictures are via the spectacular ohdeargodwhy.

Friday, 29 June 2012


Happy seventh birthday, blog!

If this blog was a child it would be learning to write, and reading more and more complicated books... and costing considerably more money than it is! Pros and cons, you know.

Web hosting isn't terribly expensive, and I'm glad of that. It means I'm not forced to make this blog worth anything, you see. No ads, no regular updates, no pushing and striving to increase my readership, because truthfully - I'm sure you've noticed - it isn't really for anyone but myself.

It won't always be that way. I go through phases, and I'd like to make this place a little bit tidier, a little more entertaining - I need to give some serious thought to the design and layout and (let's be honest) the quality of the content, but there's no hurry as I see it.

I'm seeing my parents tomorrow. That's going to be good.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


I've written a few posts on fashion before, and they've almost all revolved around how some people do dreadful, DREADFUL things to jeans. However, today I saw this photo of Sandra Bullock:

... which actually delighted me. Reminds me a little bit of these old jeans of mine:

Jeans 2

So, yes. If jeans look like they've been hastily constructed from fabric samples, I am all about that.

The picture's part of this article, "41 regrettably tacky photos of famous people." YMMV, I think some of them are delightful, the above included... though I'm inclined to agree about all the ones where the subject's knees look like they're not on speaking terms.

What a palaver

What a strange day. Called someone out on a lazy sexist stereotype, in a civil way that totally left it open for discussion, and she told me to fuck off and left the way open for anyone who agreed with her to weigh in which they duly did. Wil's right; it's clearly troll season.




Thursday, 21 June 2012

Searching again

Everything has changed again.

How is it that I can feel as though I've done nothing, when in fact since my last post I've been illegally evicted, left Cardiff, moved in with my friend Dave and his parents, seen an opera about Nelson Mandela's life, written several poems, been dancing, filled out needlessly detailed job centre forms (it's just a change of address, for pete's sake) and several other things that escape me just at this moment?

It's always the same. As soon as I stop moving, it feels like I've accomplished nothing, been nowhere. I can only attribute this to a mercifully short emotional memory.

The job centre in Penarth is very different to the one I went to in Cardiff. Not that people weren't friendly in Cardiff, they were; but I asked three different people there on several occasions to take a look at my CV and let me know what they thought, and nobody did. The lady I'm talking to now, Jan, she seems golden. Actually offered to send an email on my behalf to a contact at a company that I'd be very excited to work with. So, we'll see, maybe I shouldn't give up just yet.

In truth, though, I'm starting to see that very few people get where they want to be by following the pre-ordained, tried and tested, government-sanctioned route. I've been hoping for some miracle dream that will tell me which direction to strike out in. Now's the time to do it, you know? Whether it's music or video-editing or writing or whateverthefuck, there's no better time than now to decide that I'm going to do it. Only... I can't decide what the thing is. What do I love enough to do every day?

I'm pretty sure I'm getting some of this from Ray Bradbury. He died on the 5th, 16 days ago, and it seems like he left behind enough pearls of wisdom to keep me thinking for a long while.

Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things.
I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true - hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don't love something, then don't do it.
If you don't like what you're doing, then don't do it.

But then... he did also say "we've got too many Internets." So I don't know.

I keep winding up back here, wondering what to do with my life, and I'm sorry for that. It must get repetitive for you; I know it does for me! But in the meantime, I've got a book of poetry to finish, a short story to write, a script to hammer out and a lot of real life to fit in around that. Wish me luck.

P.S. I think Cardiff council have gone clean-wall-crazy; walls that I'd expect to be plastered in graf are bafflingly silent. Am making do with the occasional found tag, but there's a legal wall on the bus route between Penarth and Cardiff that's a splash of dynamic colour. I always stare at it until I'm taken out of sight. Hope to get some pictures for you (well, alright, mostly for me) soon!

king G


Saturday, 9 June 2012

Silver linings

Today has been... not great.

It started off badly because I dreamed of my ex with his new lady, which I readily confess is my fault for rereading old emails yesterday. He was describing what he imagined our daughter would look like. I know, why not just stab myself in the face, right? It's like I have no comprehension of consequences.

Then I read Kim Rhodes' most recent blog entry. Let me tell you, I love this lady, and not just for being in Supernatural - she's funny, charming, ludicrously down-to-earth and does not deserve even half the shit that's been thrown her way. I haven't commented on this post. I really am at a loss for words. None of the standard platitudes really seem to apply in this case, but on the off-chance that she ever sees this: Kim, you're an inspiration; write whatever you need to and I'll be reading.

Since then it's been a blur of packing for storage, getting threatening letters and bemusing visits from our landlord. Did I tell you our basement flooded? Probably not, it happened just after the rant about the door went up.

Luckily I've got dozens of little silver linings in my friends, without whom I really would have thrown in the towel by now.

They cheer me up, look out for me, offer me places to stay. They make cups of tea and offer words of wisdom on twitter. They link me to footage of lizards and websites about cats to cheer me up. I also found this gorgeous playlist (Spotify link) by an old friend that has been slowing my heartrate down a little.

So to all my silver linings (and, if you're reading this, chances are you're one): Thank you. I love you.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

When it's a jar

Some of you might be aware of the ongoing problems we've been having with our landlord / letting agencies (yes, plural). I've been keeping quiet about it on here because, honestly, the thought of writing down everything that's gone wrong is so bone-deep tiring that I'd sooner walk into traffic than lay it all out for you.

But, as a microcosm, as a focal point for all that negativity, how about we talk about the living room door?

  • When we moved in, there was a cream-painted door with a blurry window in it. The handle was slightly shonky, but it was otherwise fine.
  • When we got the lady from the council round to make a bullet-point list of things that needed to be fixed, the door made it onto that list. It's not a fire door, you see, and because our living room is open onto our kitchen, it needs to be a fire door.
  • So they replaced the cream door with a plank of featureless wood.
  • It's gradually becoming a fire door, so we're assured, but right now it presents more of a fire hazard. It's not sealed around the edges, so it's not fulfilling that function anyway.
  • They eventually added a handle - the same cream-painted shonky handle from the old door. Looks out of place on the unpainted wood, but whatever, a handle is a handle.
  • Then they added a closer, so the door closes itself, and requires a bit more muscle to open. Also fine.
  • Well, today the handle fell off.

I have blocked the door open with a beanbag because if it closes now, we won't be able to open it.
Because it has a closer.
And no handle.
And still isn't a fire door.

My housemates are all pretty fed up of this place, so in an attempt to soften the blow, when I texted them warning not to move the beanbag, I ended it with *sad trombone*... but I don't think it helped.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Ukuleles and graffiti

My mum took me to see the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain! It was a lot of fun, they're probably the least serious orchestra out there (possibly tied with the Kazoo Funk Orchestra, I suppose). Here's an example of the sort of thing they do:

I also saw my first ever Banksy in the wild! It was this one; I couldn't get a photo as I was passing it on a bus, and it took me long enough to believe what I was seeing that there was no chance to get the camera out.

Luckily, I had a slightly more leisurely stroll down a road with some of the most exciting graffiti art I've ever seen. There were full pieces, reverse graffiti, even some yarnbombing!

egyptian sketchy police ad infinitum something beautiful

More on my flickr, or on my facebook if you've got me there. But seriously HOW AMAZING are these... That last may become my motto.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Scrapes and japes

Last night, I was dragged out by my very loving friends. Knowing that I've recently made a decision that, while necessary, also completely sucks, they insisted on my company. Tiff made me pinky-swear, guys; it was that serious. We ventured into town for drinking and dancing, and I proceeded to have the most accident-prone night of my life.

Anna's list of minor wounds

  1. Index finger: paper cuts, two. No idea how they happened, although I suspect my recent nail-biting is the culprit. Stung like crazy.
  2. Knees: scraped. I fell over on the way into town (still completely sober!), and despite my leggings, took a layer of skin off. Standing up / sitting down hurts.
  3. Hands: saved from my clumsiness by my unusual decision to wear fingerless gloves into town.
  4. Face: elbowed by a 6'6" madman skanking at full speed. He apologised. Nose not broken.
  5. Arm: bruised by being hugged into a wall by aforementioned madman. Hurts a lot but isn't visible, which is the worst kind of bruise as you don't even get kudos.
Tiff used her nursing experience to field-dress my knees with tissue paper from the ladies'. That's not so unusual for me; a few months ago I treated a pretty deep wound at a house party with makeup pads and sellotape because nobody there owned plasters. I still have an interesting purple mark on my knee from that one.

That was the first time I've been out dancing in quite a long time, and I went for it wholeheartedly, inhibitions significantly lowered by a couple of rum and cokes and the smoke machine that obscured my flailing completely. The people I went with were absolutely lovely; I got talking to someone about graffiti; he's hopefully going to email me some of his art for me to have uninformed opinions about.
Various people pulled / passed out / puked, ultimately returning to our house and crashing. It's quite nice, at times, to come downstairs to a living room full of people who are still drunk / barely conscious / insistent on us all returning to their house for "mystery hot chocolate."

It was very mysterious.

   I kind of ache all over.

      Still, at least it took my mind off -
       - oh man... this sucks.

Monday, 14 May 2012

About me

I've been reading The Hunger Games lately, along with half the book geeks in my life, it seems; and there's a part where the protagonist grounds herself in reality by reciting things she knows to be true about herself.

Well, thinking about it, I don't exactly have an About Me any more - not since changing my blog profile to this G+ thing - and since every other bio on the internet wants me to say everything in three lines, that means I can't really take my time over it.

So, I'll do it here. My blog, my rules! Haha!

About Me

  • My name is Anna Fruen.
  • I'm 24.
  • I live in Cardiff, but grew up on the Isle of Wight, just off the south coast of England.
  • I play the ukulele. Not because I'm good at it, but because it makes me happy.
  • I write and perform poetry. Not because I'm good at it, but because I want to be understood.
  • I just got a poem published for the first time! It's in this here kindle ebook, which costs only 299 British pennies.
  • I'm terrified of the thought of going into space.
  • I adore graffiti, and exploring to find it.
  • I've recently gotten into urban exploration (wandering around abandoned sites and taking photos until a man with a flashlight asks you nicely to leave).
  • I have a degree in English and Creative Writing.
  • I don't have a job. I do want a job. Please give me a job.
  • Those last two may be more related than I'd like.
  • The first time I considered dying my hair purple, my best friends in the world tried to talk me out of it. They tried to steer me towards blonde.
  • I still dye my hair purple sometimes.

I don't really know what else to say, other than thank you. The people who read my blog do it, so I'm assured, because they care about me. Even if that's only a little bit true, you care enough to read my words and that means the world. So thank you.

Here is a song I like.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

please excuse me while I kiss this guy

Pissed the hell off. Not everybody likes reading rants, especially not ones that could be construed as gossiping / bitching (though I really really try to stay away from those), so if you're playing it safe just skip ahead to the kitty buffer. ↓↓↓

I've been with my boyfriend for three months now. He (let's call him M) lives with his ex*, and my friends and I used to go over to their house for gaming weekends, before he and I got together. I haven't been welcome there recently, at his ex's request.** That doesn't bother me too much.

But what happened tonight? Really does. I'll try to explain...

M works all week and sees me on the weekends, so when he turned up unexpectedly an hour or so ago, I was surprised but pleased to see him! My housemate / friend D had just ordered us pizza, so it looked like it was going to be a fun evening in. Which would be lovely, since my other housemates were going out, and I didn't want to be alone tonight.

Boy did I misread the situation.

What was actually planned was for M, his ex, and D to go bowling together. That happens sometimes. I used to go with them, but these days it's just 'understood' that I won't because that would be too awkward, apparently.***

And if M had told me before showing up "Look, this is what's going to happen, I won't be able to stay longer than five minutes," that would have been fine. I could have prepared for that. If D had said in advance "I'm ordering pizza but I'm going out with M, so please save me some," that would have been fine too. It would have been okay. Not great, still, but okay. But to have what felt like a nice surprise U-turn into another 'you're not invited' event, well, fuck that.

I normally try to squish whatever feelings I have about this, because it sucks for everyone involved, not just me, but if I don't tell them how it feels to be sat at home alone again after that fucking directorial mislead, then it'll just keep happening. And please bear in mind that I'm aware how childish it sounds to wail about unfairness, but if she doesn't want to hang out with me, maybe she just shouldn't come. And maybe my boyfriend and friend shouldn't aid her baseless social exclusion.

* Which is fine. Unconventional, but fine.
** Also fine. I completely understand. It's her house, she should only have to endure the company of people she likes.
*** Not for me, I should clarify: for her. I'll hang out with whoever.

Okay! Kitty buffer!

I cannot stress enough how amazing this video is. It's like Daft Bodies crossed with Tron.

Friday, 16 March 2012


Gah, I keep trying to think of fun subjects to blog about. It's not like my past week or so has been uneventful, by any stretch of the imagination!

First of all, my dad had a heart attack last week. He's ok, I think - the clever doctor people have put a stent in his heart, which is a cool wire mesh thing to keep an artery open. Hopefully that's sorted him out, so although he's tired he's hopefully be okay.

In other news, Fat Tony came to stay! It was so awesome. He was only here for one night unfortunately, but we crammed in some youtube, Mario Kart, Community, Archer, Wall-E, pancakes and socialising. I call that a success.

No silly pictures this time around, tragically, but I'll leave you with this.

I genuinely don't know what to make of it. It's so unabashedly cheesy that I find myself quite warming to it, and I think it's by far Alex Day's boldest and best endeavour yet.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Recent events and Muppet Me

I have been up to things! Exciting things. Things that I shall now summarise because they were too long ago for me to remember any details.

Last week sometime, I forget when exactly, I went to a business meeting at which, despite having a cold that was frying my brain, I managed to actually contribute some stuff. This is very good news. Maybe I have a head for business after all!

Last friday was fairly eventful! I was treated to Avenue Q, the puppetty explanation of life and its trials and disappointments; with such unforgettable songs as "What do you do with a BA in English" and "the internet is for porn." I would recommend it to anyone; it's irreverent and clever and my expression throughout was one of unadulterated delight.

After that, I went to Gwdihw and saw Hobbit and MC Zani perform! I cheered, I yelled, I lost my voice. It was my first beatboxing gig in over a year, so I was delighted that I got to show a bunch of my friends what beatboxing is supposed to sound like. Hint: that thing I do when I'm drunk and you're bugging me to beatbox is basically babytown frolics; these guys are where it's at. The highlight of that was when  I introduced myself to Zani, who said "Oh, yeah, you're Hobbit's friend right?" I was the epitome of cool about that, but internally my response was a little more jubilant.

Last weekend was Cardiff Comic Expo, which was a lot of fun for the admittedly brief time that I was there. The coughing and sneezing and blowing my nose was starting to upset people. However I did get hit on by a dalek and stop a baby from crying, so overall I'm counting it as a win.

I am continuing to draw silly pictures of the only thing I can actually draw, i.e. ladies with big boobs. This is because of reasons.

Also I recommend that you check out this blog. It is all kinds of excellent. What else? I think that's everything; I still have a cold, and my sister and our friend Katie are both in town, so I'm spending as much as I can with them before they leave tomorrow.

Peace out, homies, or whatever.

Saturday, 18 February 2012


The other night, looking in the mirror, I had a revelation:
Yes, I may be heavier than the societally accepted ideal, but I'm lucky to be an hourglass shape with awesome curves. I'm happy with my body.
Then the following morning, faced with a closer inspection of dry skin etc., I decided I needed renovating from the ground up.

My body image, as I'm sure a lot of you will relate to, is like using a trampoline that is also a functional set of scales: I'm up and down way too often to get an accurate reading. Some days I feel like this:

Did somebody order a Manic Pixie Dream Girl?
And others, I feel like this:
Did somebody say fudge cake?
And that, as near as I can tell, is totally normal.

 The thing is, beauty comes from healthiness and happiness. If you've got both of those, the rest is just taking care of yourself... I've been realising more and more lately that the 'healthiness' side of my life needs a lot of work. All pizza and no exercise makes Jack a fat boy. And Anna a lazy girl.

I don't want to be the slovenly kind of person who never does anything because it's too difficult.

Anyway, I've finally liberated my poor bike, which hasn't been ridden in a year and a half. It's been to Punk Bikes for some TLC, so I just need to get on that, in every sense! At least if I'm actually doing something, whatever shape and size I am, I won't have shame about it. Being ashamed of your body is ten times worse than having a few extra pounds.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


The theory behind affirmations, or "Cosmic Ordering" as the Mighty Wizard Edmonds calls it, is that if you repeatedly state your desire for something, you'll be more likely to get it.

My personal theory is that if you repeatedly state your desire for something, you're more likely to work towards it, because otherwise you look like a putz.

I already go on about things I want a fair bit. I want a motorbike, I want to shave my hair, and so forth. Like Chekhov's Three Sisters, I go on about it while never working towards it, because I am pretty lame.

NONETHELESS. I'm going to publicly say something that has been creeping up on me for months:
I want to go to America. I want to stay there. I want to see different states, compare different kinds of American life, get a feel for the geography and the people.

I'm still trying to work out ways this can happen that don't basically boil down to "get a job and spend no unnecessary money for three years." I'm sort of waiting for an opportunity to present itself. I dunno.

Anyway, yes, I am stating this here and now so that one day, I can look back and go "oh yeah that's when I decided to come here."

Also, please please watch this. It kicks all kinds of ass. The song has been wheeling through my head for a week or so now, and the video is utterly captivating!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


My romantic entanglements have, for the most part, ended before the other party became aware of their existence. It always goes the same way: inevitably, at some point, whatever poor guy I've been... not pursuing, as such, more... ogling with wilful intent, will have the following conversation with me.

Him: Let me tell you about this amazing new girl I met!

Me: Shoot (me).

Him: She's so nice, she's such a free spirit, she has awesome hair and she hovers three inches above the ground wherever she walks! All that is best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and her eyes, blah blah fuckitty blah (I'm paraphrasing here.)

This usually results in the following dichotomy.



This was my life in high school, and this has been my life for the year and a half since breaking up with my ex. For the past few months, I've again been staring at some oblivious dude, attempting to work out whether he was even single. Over Christmas, the matter was brought to a satisfactory conclusion when it was revealed that not only was he unattached, but that the lucky girl he'd had his eyes on was, in fact, me.

In the words of President Obama, "I got the sucker."

That was nice.
It's still nice.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Down the rabbit hole again

If you have been reading my blog for a long time, you might remember that I was obsessed with an alternate reality game called "The LOST Experience." Now, despite being left on a cripplingly cruel cliffhanger (RACHEL BLAKE, if you're out there, get in touch), it was one of the most exciting internetty things I was ever a part of.

Why mention it now? Well, I recently started watching Chuck. I've started watching from the beginning, and in the second episode, while spouting countless military secrets, Chuck mentions that Oceanic flight 815 - the same airline and flight number that crashed in Lost - was shot down! And that little part of my brain that catalogued and cross-referenced every slight hint at the truth flared into life again.

I felt the craving for an ARG. So I had a quick look around, and, what do you know? A new series called Alcatraz has put out a rabbit hole and a twitter account for the inquisitive. I won't link to the twitter account. You'll find it if you go looking.

Wheee! *clicks heels*

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Forgotten photos

I took these in October and forgot all about them until yesterday. After some amateur post-processing, I'm pretty happy with a few of them! The whole set is here, but I've posted my favourites below. I'd love to know what you think!

Yacht see

I want one


Off limits



In my hand

My life got flipped

Taking flight

Monday, 2 January 2012


There is a plastic cup in my room. It is on the windowsill, catching drips. What these drips are doing in my room is anybody's guess; although the letting agency, before pawning our house off on another agency, got as far as deciding that it might be the guttering.

Yes, well done. It might.

I suppose it's damp, then, that's turning my wallpaper a mottled pattern of bleached and black in that corner, despite the best efforts of a dehumidifier my housemate's relatives have kindly lent us.

It makes me feel a rush of hopelessness whenever I pull soomething from my wardrobe and smell, or see, that it is going moldy. I can't afford to replace anything. Or pay my rent, actually, let alone cover bills and food. It's a miracle that I'm limping along as I am, despite sort of having two jobs (I have had no shifts at the first job in two months, and the second is unpaid(ish) for now).

My new year's eve was uneventful. I've been nocturnal and listless for a couple of weeks, and that meant I had no resolve to fight my unfortunate tendency to hide from parties. If I'm invited to one, I'll generally go, but if I'm invited to five on the same night, you can bet good money I'll be at home, in my room, by myself.
As was in fact the case.
It got bad.
I went on omegle.

All of this, basically, is my attempt at complete and brutal honesty. Some of you seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that I'm interesting, or even "awesome." Well I'm not. But you know what? I have been. And I can be. And, goddamnit, I will be. One way or another, I'll shift gears and change from someone who is surviving into someone who is thriving. I don't know if that means I'll be getting more money in (though, Lord knows, I do hope so), but at the very least I'll be living the way I want to. Trying new things, working on my meagre skills, playing to my strengths and the like.

At least I've been writing a lot of poetry in the last month. I was looking for one I could share with you, but I seem to have started dozens and not finished any, so you might have to wait. Or check out my idlescribe tumblr, that's an option too...

I was looking for blogs to recommend to you, ones that count as an inspiration, but my google reader seems to have had a panic attack and dropped all its proverbial biscuits, so I'll get back to you on that one.

Much love, y'all.