Music Made the Girl

10 Apr
Music Made the Music

Music is such an every day part of our lives that I think we can sometimes take it for granted. Music isn’t just entertainment, it’s an art form, but also a means of expression that can really mean something to the listener. We can be touched by the lyrics or the melody, or felt understood when a songwriter somehow managed to put into words what you have always felt or thought. Music can mean so much.

When I was a teenager, the British pop punk band Busted meant a huge deal to me. To many, Busted would be considered a guilty pleasure, but I could never feel guilty for loving a band that did so much for me. Continue reading

Blog Reading: Must-Read Writers – Part 1

5 Apr
Blog Readin: Must Read Writers - Part 1

Over the past several months, as I’ve been learning more about blogging and the kind of writer I want to be, I’ve come across a number of blogs and websites that have helped me figure things out. I’ve come to be avid readers and huge fans of these lovely people, and so I thought I would share the love. I’ve started following quite a number of must-read and hugely inspiring writers, so this is likely to be the first in a series of posts.

Must-Read Writers – Part 1

Almost Amazing Grace

This wonderful blog is run by the incredibly inspiring Gracie Latter, who I’m now lucky enough to call a friend. I’ve mentioned Gracie before, but I raved more about her as a person (for good bloody reason) than about her blog. Gracie writes fantastic posts with insights into her life, whether it’s about the books she’s reading, cafes and coffee shops she would recommend, or the health issues that came with having a brain tumour. Gracie also writes really powerful pieces on topics such as mental health and sexuality. As well as writing for her own blog, she also contributes to a number of other sites (The Olive Fox, Zusterschap, and Oh No, Not Another Blogger), and it’s mostly through her that I’ve discovered the other wonderful writers I now follow. Whether she’s writing about the every day or the serious, I find Gracie’s writing compulsive reading, and I find her honesty (I.E. regarding how she feels about the way her brain tumour affected her life) refreshing as well as awe-inspiring. Continue reading

Live Your Life to Your Own Schedule

3 Apr
Live Your Life to Your Own Schedule

I come from quite a large family, and on my father’s side, I have 11 cousins. Out of all of us, I am was born third. Jane, the second eldest, got married to her husband in 2013. Tom, the fourth eldest, got married to his wife in 2014. Last year, both Liz and Dave became parents. Continue reading

Six Years of Friendship

29 Mar

“Hey, how are you? If you even remember me. Lol.”

A message I received on Facebook. I went to the guy’s profile page to see if I did remember him. Vaguely. I kind of recognised his face, but I couldn’t tell you where from. I awkwardly replied saying I vaguely remembered him, and he told me we used to chat after one of us found the other on a penpal website years ago. I remembered the site, and it was probably me finding him, to be honest, as I would try making friends with a number of people. But I still didn’t remember him from back then that well. I still don’t. That message was sent six years ago today.

My best friend Adam and I have been friends for six years! Continue reading

Take Yourself on a Date

27 Mar
Take Yourself on a Date

The other day, I had plans to go out with Mum. We were going to watch a movie, and then go dress shopping for a couple of weddings coming up this summer. However, that morning, Mum woke up feeling ill, and wasn’t able to come along. So, instead of cancelling the day, I just went on my own. (I’d like to point out here that the movie wasn’t one Mum was too bothered about.)

Yes, I go out alone. And people seem to think this is strange, or out of the ordinary, and I don’t really understand why.

I’ve had my brother – who often goes to the cinema alone – that I shouldn’t do the same, because it’s sad for a girl to go on her own. Apparently, if a girl goes alone, it looks like she’s Billy-no-mates. I’ve also had my aunt tell me she thinks it’s really brave when I went to a restaurant nearby on my own, that she couldn’t do it. I was completely bewildered; what’s brave about going out to have a steak on my own? Continue reading

My Three Favourite Poems

21 Mar

In honour of today being International Poetry Day, I thought I would share with you some of my favourite poems. I will bolden my favourite lines, but not in the first, because the whole thing is just brilliant. Enjoy!

The Sick Rose by William Blake

O Rose thou art sick. 
The invisible worm, 
That flies in the night 
In the howling storm: 
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

Continue reading

My Bucket List

17 Mar
My Bucket List

I’ve had a list of things I’d like to do before I die saved to a draft email for quite some time now, but haven’t done anything with it. But having had my birthday a couple of days ago (a reminder of getting older), struggling because my Nan wasn’t here for it (a reminder of how life is short), and seeing the movie How to Be Single, a fantastic movie about figuring out who you are on your own and doing all those things you want to but can’t exactly do when in a relationship, I got to thinking that maybe I should actually try and do something with this list of mine. And what better way to try and make sure I do these things than posting it here, where other people can see it?

I’m not giving myself a time limit. I’m not saying these things have to be done by a certain age. There just here, to be completed in my lifetime. Some of these things are more acheivable than others, so I’m splitting my list into two; those things that are acheivable, and those that are unlikely to happen. Continue reading

How Do You Celebrate After Loss?

15 Mar
Nan and Me

Today is my birthday. I’m now 29.

I’m normally the type of person who loves celebrating birthdays. Of course, when I was younger, I loved receiving cards and presents. That joy and excitement I felt as each one approached has never left me, though now it’s less about what I’m given, and more about the celebration; getting dressed up, spending time with the family, eating good food, and, yes, getting some love. This birthday is different though, and I have been wishing it was further away each day, as it steadily came closer. This is my first birthday without my Nan.

I was really, really close to my Nan, as a child and as an adult. I would take time off work just to visit her for a week; take her to lunch, take her out for a drink. Have her cook me steak in gravy, and laugh while she got angry at her favourite soaps’ storylines. Just spending time together. So I’m really struggling with her not being here today. Christmas was hard and upsetting, but today is worse. It’s my day, and she’s not here. It’s been almost a year, and I’m doing ok in general, but I’m feeling her absence much more strongly today, a day in which she was always present, even if I didn’t actually see her. I live in London and she lived in Kent, so it was more likely than not that I wouldn’t see her. But I would always receive a card in the post, one that was a bit of a “story” – what my family call cards that have a lot of words. I’ll get a card from her with two, maybe three pages of verse, a card she had taken the time to choose amongst many, the one with just the right words to express how much she loved me. Not this year. She would always phone to wish me a Happy Birthday, ask me what I received, and what my plans would be for the day. Not this year. Continue reading

Finding a Safe Space

10 Mar
Finding a Safe Space

I wanted to update you guys with something that has been happening lately. I’ve become a Team Member of Safe Space, a blog for young women talking about the various issues we face, personally and in society. It’s a blog that is very feminist, with focuses on mental health, body image, sex and relationships, and life in general. It’s a place for real honesty, and a place where judgement is not allowed.

Safe Space has been huge for me. There are eight of us on the team who are also book bloggers, and so we all bring our own followers and friends to Safe Space. I reach more people at Safe Space than I do at this blog, and I think the knowledge that people quite a few people will be reading what I write has inspired me to come up with so many ideas of things to write about. I write for Jo’s Scribbles with the idea that it doesn’t matter how few people read, if what I write reaches one person and they find it entertaining or helpful, then that’s good enough. But the larger audience, and having seven other ladies to bounce ideas off of, has led to ideas a-plenty. Continue reading

#BeYourOwnValentine: A Love Letter to Myself

14 Feb
A Love Letter to Myself

Dear Jo,

I haven’t always been kind to you. To be perfectly honest, I’ve been mean and hurtful. I have said awful things about who you are, and about how you look. It’s not ok, and I’m really sorry for treating you so badly.

We get on so well today, so much better today than we used to. You’ve forgiven my harsh treatment of you, and we’ve grown close. So on this Valentine’s Day, I thought I would write to tell you just how awesome you are.

I love your silly sense of humour, and your willingness to make a fool of yourself for a laugh. You find the most unfunny jokes absolutely hilarious, and it’s hilarious in itself that once you start laughing, you just can’t stop. Your screeching seagull-come-witch’s-cackle laugh is unbelievable, and when it goes on and on, with you struggling to breath… well, it’s infectious, and everyone will join in and laugh, too. Granted, they’re laughing at you and your over the top non-stop laugh, but they’re laughing. I love how you don’t care about how stupid your laugh is, and how you just enjoy the moment. Continue reading