The musings and misadventures of a girl unprepared

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Rainy Brighton


I'm currently sat in a cafe called 'Bella' near Brighton pier. It's raining like CRAZY but I've had a lovely morning pottering around and taking photos on my brand spanking new disposable cameras. I plan on heading back into Lewes in a bit as there seems to be a fair few sights for me to explore. First however, I'm going to have a stroll down to a nearby fancy looking building coz it looks kinda important so I want to find out what it is.

I think this trip is exactly what I needed, I already feel a lot more de-stressed and surprisingly fresh for having survived my first night in my new home. I slept pretty well considering I didn't have a ground sheet which made for a pretty chilly night, but as a proud Brit, it was nothing I couldn't handle. There's also a family than have now joined me in the field, who must have arrived rather late last night. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who is mad enough to camp at this time of year. It's just I love camping in the rain and although it's England, you can't always guarantee it in summer.

Fish and chips might just be the ultimate comfort food. I feel so sleepy now. Though I'm currently in that awkward limbo where you don't know if you have to go up and pay or whether they bring the bill to you... Every time I try and catch the waiter's eye he just looks at me funny... I hope he doesn't think I'm just hopelessly trying to flirt. On the plus side there's an old Take That video on the TV which is HILARIOUS... so of course, I'll share the fun with you all.

Last minute camping in Lewes

As I've tweeted this week, I'm going to 'live blog' my diary from last week's camping trip this weekend, because I was an idiot and didn't take my phone charger, so quickly became phone less and thus internetless. This also means I only have pictures to share from the first day of my trip for the time being, as the rest are on disposable cameras and are yet to be developed, so I'll try and keep the writing as interesting as possible!


I'm so glad I made the last minute decision to come away this weekend. It's nice to be alone for a while, to not have to put on any kind of front and have time for some inward reflection. Plus Lewes is a beautiful little town, with lots of cute shops and pubs full of locals.

I've set up camp at Housedean Farm and managed to successfully put up BY MYSELF for the first time ever without too much of a struggle (apparently reading the instructions is a BIG help). The campsite is lovely, just small and simple and tonight I get it all to myself :D It's super cheap too, only £9 per night including shower usage polite and the owner was particularly friendly, even when dealing with my multiple phone calls when I got lost en route... I can't wait to wake up in the morning surrounded by trees and grass and greenness!

My new baby ❤

View from my tent :D which I actually love despite the ominous looking clouds. A bit of rain can't hurt us Brits. 

I've spent my evening pottering around Lewes (a handy short bus ride from the campsite). I ate a scrummy dinner of mussels and chips followed by a incredible chocolate brownie and ice cream at a place called Bill's. I think it's a chain thing and perhaps a little pricey but I would highly recommend it for a treat now and then.


At the moment I'm sat in a pub called 'The Volunteer' where a band called 'Umbrella Men' is setting up as this evening's live entertainment. I haven't decided how long to stay for yet, I'm just very aware that I could miss the last bus and be stranded outside in the rain all night. Even if you think camping is mad at this time of year a tent is favourable to no roof over your head for the night!

This post was supposed to go up last night but for some reason my phone is being mischievous! Better late than never...

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Life Lessons

I've been somewhat lacking in inspiration recently, until I came across this post whilst scrolling through my tumblr feed in the early hours of this morning. I wish I could say I wrote this, but unfortunately I didn't, I just felt that sharing it might inspire some other people as it did me.

For my goddaughter.

Here’s what I’ve learned. 

Do not be afraid to let yourself feel. If someone breaks your heart, break that locket they gave you, the one with “S+E” engraved on it. Take 2, no, take 5 plates out of the cabinet and smash them, then stomp on the fine china until it looks like there was a mini blizzard in your kitchen. Do not be afraid to scream at the people who do you wrong, or the ones who do you right. If you feel it, show it. Nothing good will come out of keeping the fire inside, trust me. You will end up burning yourself to the ground, and you are not a forest fire. You are a hurricane. 

Make art. Cover the walls with it, hang it on the fridge and bathroom mirror so everyone has to look at it. Don’t let anyone ever tell you something you created is not good enough, everything you do will be good enough. Make art in the dead of winter, that’s when the world will need it the most. Make art in the bloom of summer, that’s when you will feel the love radiating from your fingertips. Just please, remember to create.

Travel. Any chance you get to see the world, take it. Even if it’s just a trip to Walmart  go. Get in the car, get on the bike, ride the skateboard, walk, run, it doesn't matter how you get there, just go. There is a deep rooted need in human beings to adventure. We are all born with a hole in our soul, sit still, ignore the beating of your heart and the sounds of your insides. Can you feel it, that hole? Good. Now let me tell you something about that hole, no other human can fill that hole, contrary to popular belief. No piece of clothing or cellphone will fill it. The only thing that will ever, ever fill that empty space is the unknown. So, get out there kid, see this beautiful world and all its forgotten nooks and crannies. You will never regret it, this I promise you.

Don’t ever think that you need another person to complete you. I can’t even begin to count the number of nights I wasted telling myself that all I needed was a lover, a shoulder to cry on, in order to be happy. The belief that we all have a “soul mate” is bullshit. It has taken me 18 years to realize that I have been my own soul mate all along, just as you are your own. So spend time with yourself, you’ll find she’s much more beautiful than you ever could have imagined. Take time to just be. Don’t always feel like you have to be doing something, sometimes the healthiest thing in the world is to let yourself go. 

Be kind. Be kind. Be kind. If there is one thing I can teach you it is this. Don’t let other people’s bitterness attach to you, like some sort of parasite. Always, always, smile at strangers. Hand out kind words like candy on Halloween. You will never be able to know what others are going through, remember that. 

Read. I would never be the person I am today if I hadn't fallen in love with books. On The Road taught me more about myself than any class ever did. Bukowski was the only person I had during some long, dark nights. Plath held my hand as I struggled with urges to end everything, and talked me back from my ledge. Looking for Alaska was like looking into my own soul and reading the small print. If anyone ever makes fun of you for reading, just wink, and kindly say “fuck you”, and turn the goddamn page.

School is not, nor will it ever be, the most important thing in your life. Do you know what the most important thing is? Keeping a hold of who you are. You are going to fail a test, I promise. But you are not going to fail life. When teachers hand you back tests with “F” sprawled in red ink, look them in the eyes, and say “Thank you very much.” Hold your head high when you don’t remember what the vocab means. Don’t let them get into your head, keep your true self guarded. You will already be smarter than them all if you do this.

If anyone ever makes you think you can’t do something because you’re a girl, do it. Ride a chopper, blow past all those assholes who laughed when you tried to talk to them about oil coolers and brake rotors. Get tattooed with portraits of Waylon, Johnny and Merle. Spit in the dirt then rub it under your eyes to show them all this life is a battle and you’re not here to fuck around. Run like a wild horse, howl like a wolf, fight like a lion. You’re going to meet so many boring people in this life, write them off. One day you’ll find your people. In the desert, on the highways, behind the tattoo shops, between graffiti filled walls. Oh, you’ll find them and you’ll know. 

Hit this world like the fiercest tornado but be gentle with the details. 

And carpe the hell out of your diems.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Proud Prestonian

'You can take the lass out of Lancashire, but you can't take the Lancashire out of the lass' - Every Lancastrian I've ever met ever.

As much as I love living in London, I can't deny that there are times that I miss my good old Northern heritage. No where else in the world can I refer to my evening meal as 'tea' without responses of ridicule or the hilarious joke "you can't EAT tea stupid", or say things like "flippin heckers" and "y'all reet" without even a single flutter of an eyelid. Plus there's the pies in Wigan and Formby 'beach' and the insane nights out in Leeds. The immense beauty of the Lake District and the lovely oldy worldy feel of York and Lancaster, not to mention the incredible music scene in Manchester and Sheffield. Plus we lay claim to the beautiful Geordie accent, as well as the slightly more controversial tones found only in Scouseland (I'm allowed to say that coz I'm half Scouse and proud). 

And of course, there is my gorgeous, heart-warmingly welcoming, beautiful haven; Preston. Which almost nobody down here has heard of. Unless it's the football team. Which is rather embarrassing. ESPECIALLY when we're home to the UK's first KFC. Now if you have heard of Preston or have even been lucky enough to pay it a visit, you might think that my description is perhaps, maybe, a slight over exaggeration. Which is probably is, but bear with me.

Although Preston (and other parts of the North) may not be the most glamorous of places, don't be so quick to judge on what hear'say might tell you. I know I've been known to joke about the insanely good transport links to help you escape from Preston (Europe's biggest bus station dudes, just saying) but despite the stereotypes, we don't all live in caves and yes we have in fact discovered the wheel and just because my accent might not make me sound as intelligent as someone who speaks the Queen's English, doesn't make the assumption true. I can't deny that the picture above does make me feel a little nostalgic for home, but it does leave out some of the key elements that make the North such a special place in my heart. 

For starters, it tries to represent the down to earth, grimy Northern scene as a bad thing. We're not necessarily grimy, we're just less fussy about the places we hang out. I'd like to point out at this point that I am speaking from my own experiences and in no way assume that all Londoners are the same, nor are Northerners. However since I came down to London, I have been to some shocking so-called classy bars, full of pretense and over-priced drinks, where I've had to wear heels and a tight dress to even be considered entry and boys have to pay £20 to get in whilst girls get off scott free. If that's not elitist sexism at it's finest then I don't know what is. Give me the shelter of Longton park on a rainy afternoon with my big warm over coat and 65p scallop barm any day. Or Warehouse where I can dance around like a loon in my trainers as unselfconsciously as I wish and regardless of gender the entry is just £2. And Southerners wonder why us Northerners have a certain depiction of this half of the country in our heads.

As I wrote earlier, I realise this isn't the case for everywhere/everyone in London/the South etc. Maybe I've just missed a trick by living in central London and there's actually some really cool places to go to where I don't have to open a vein in order to pay the entrance fee or become incredibly aware of my sexuality. Please please PLEASE do not hesitate to show me them, I would be eternally grateful.

Another aspect of the North that I really miss is the general openness of people to one another. As pointed out in the link at the top of this post, sparking up a conversation with a stranger on the bus is totally normal where I'm from, in fact I regularly smile and greet people in the street, regardless of whether or not I know them. And that doesn't mean I'm a little bit unhinged; it's socially acceptable and actually quite nice that strangers can be so friendly to one another. Where as if I so much as glance at a passerby in London I risk being torn limb from limb by the dreaded death stare. Lighten up people, not everyone who is pleasant to you without being paid to be so is a complete psycho.

Above all, Preston, Lancashire and the North are simply home. Although I travel all over the world and live at the opposite end of the country, I have never felt more at home than when I'm back in my familiar surroundings of Hurst Grange Park and Fishergate High Street, where Gregg's sausage rolls are 2 for £1 and I have to stop to say hi to someone every five minutes. Not forgetting of course, my Grandma's legendary cooking. Northern Pride may seem strange to some, though to me, being proud of hearty food, cheap beer and exceedingly warm locals is a bit of a no brainer.