Monday, 6 October 2014

Age Appropriate Behaviour?

This tweet by Anna Kendrick is over 6 months old. But as soon as I saw it, a very loud "I KNOW RIGHT?"escaped my lips. I couldn't help but identify with her so I took a screenshot.
And its stuck in my head ever since.

She may be five years older than me, but I still feel like the odd one out.
People I went to school and university with seem to have it all worked out. Full-time careers, marriage, kids, their own houses. What is this growing up crap?

It still, as Anna put it, blows my mind that at 23 I'm not exactly thaaaat young to have a kid or two.
At this age, my mam had been married a year, had a little baby on the way in a few months and had been living with my dad in their first little house since the wedding.
I have none of that. This is a woman who had a joint 18th and engagement party. I can't even get my mind around that.
I don't even have a boyfriend for christ's sake. Would I feel hella different if I did? Perhaps.


Is all this something I should be wanting?
What is age appropriate behaviour for someone at my age?


Chandler: I'm 29. I want to sit in a comfortable chair and go to bed at a reasonable hour!
Joey: And I want to go to a quiet place and just talk with my friends.
Ross:Yeah! And so what if at the end of a hard day I like to kick on some Kenny G and take a bath.
Joey: Dude, we're 29. We're not women

I know I don't want all the teenagery stuff anymore. Drinking is a necessary evil. But one I rarely really indulge in. I don't want to go to Ibiza and get off my tits either.
I feel like I've kinda bypassed all that. I don't wanna go to a club, I wanna go somewhere I can talk and sip on something fizzy. 

To be honest, going out in general doesn't really appeal. I'm quite happy staying home with the television or a good book. Washing my hair, having a glass of wine and eating my weight in custard creams.
So what age am I?
The eternal singleton..destined to die, fat and alone, and be found three weeks later half-eaten by alsatians.... oh no, not another Bridget Jones reference.
Oh bugger.



Sunday, 5 October 2014

'Coffee, Cigarettes and Deadlines for Breakfast'

Before I got myself a 'real job'. Writing was all I did. Freelancing. A lot of the time for free, and only some of the time for any cash..sad, but true.
I lived on my (considerable) savings and on the kindness of my parents - who I still lived with up until May this year. 

When writing was all there was.. coffee, cigarettes and deadlines were all I consumed and put out.
Back in February, I was over in Montreal on a 'life break' of sorts. And that is literally all my days were. Waking up to two black coffees in quick succession, a cig and then getting down to writing up the article I had to have in.. or catching up  the artist/band whoever I was interviewing that week..on some badly planned transatlantic call.

I work well under pressure. If I have to have something done in a short space of time - it does me. I like the researching. The composing of the questions.. and then the total derail the conversation with that person actually takes. You always end up talking about things you'd never think. Cups of tea, and what they're having for lunch and who in the industry they fucking hate. Over and over. I love it.

It sounds a bit monotonous. I guess it kinda is. But that is what I wish was still my life.
Getting up and going out to clock in at work and deal with the public.. really isn't me. I'm not half bad at it, but its not me. 
I like the idea of being free to wake up when I choose. To leave the house only and when I choose. And to live my life around a deadline rather than a working day of 9-5..(or 12-9 in my case)

Coffee, cigarettes and deadlines for breakfast actually sounds pretty appealing.
And I wasn't hungry anyway.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

When life gets in the way..

I haven't blogged in an obscene amount of time. And that's not to say I haven't been writing. I have. Just not in the amount or frequency that I'd have liked. 
I write everyday. Whether it be notes on my phone or scribbles down in my diary. But recently, it seems like 'life has got in the way'.
The 'life' that most of us have to have.. namely a job that pays the bills. I work somewhere good, with people that are even greater.. but at the end of the day, it isn't what i want to do. it isn't my raison d'etre. Not even a little bit.
And when the end of the week comes, and I've worked 40 hours.. do I have the energy to sit down and blog? Getting in at nearly 10pm - I don't even have the energy to make myself a proper meal half the time.

But even though this job has given me new friends, and a good consistent wage at the end of every month - I feel like I'm losing myself ever so slightly. 
Not writing. Not having the time. And it makes me sad.

I'm still in a strange place. Mentally. I'm better than I was, but I still ruminate on the past. That is my biggest and/or worse flaw. I find it hard to let go of things and to find closure. And the worse thing is, I can recognise it in myself. I know that I do it.. and yet it still continues. Especially if I've had a bit of wine or something to that effect. 

But today is the end of it. I'm sat here on my third sick day off work (caught a lovely bug that's left me unable to eat or drink and pretty much contagious to anyone within a metre of me).. and I'm stopping it. I've said it now and its out in the world.

Leave the past. Just leave it Catherine.
And fucking write once in a while.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

"Only the good die young"

I've thought long and hard about writing this piece. I've started it and restarted it.. left it for weeks on end. The point is, I don't want to be morbid. But death is a pretty morbid subject, isn't it?
I chose that particular quote for the title as it is regularly banded around - true or not - I think, as a coping mechanism. Something people use to justify why a person might pass 'before their time', before they've really lived their lives.. still as innocent souls.

This year so far has seen several people I know pass away at an incredibly young age.. and an age very close to my own. Each of their own different, but all too tragic causes. It would be strange not to question one's own mortality.. and this has certainly been the case for me.

I recently found this saying..
and it gives me solace yet makes me sad all the same.
They will not grow old, they will stay as they were in our minds and hearts. They won't get to experience the rest of their lives, of growing old and moving on. They live in our memories as the 20-somethings they were. Its a lovely, yet sad image.
If I died tomorrow, would I be happy with my 23 and a half years on Earth? Have I made people proud.. have I made myself proud? Have I done the things I wanted to? They didn't have the choice..their lives were taken from them suddenly. Without warning. Without prior knowledge. Here today, gone tomorrow.

It is a shocking reminder of just how fragile life is. It makes me feel odd. Not scared exactly, but more like I want to wrap everyone I know and love in cotton wool and never let them go.
Everyone has their time, but why should someone be taken from us in their early 20's? In their prime?
It didn't make sense to me, and it still doesn't. 
The unfairness of it is still very tangible.
I can't believe any of them are gone. One person in particular was such an charismatic soul.. the sort of person you would imagine outliving us all.. but he didn't.
And I still can't get my head around it.

I'm not here to upset anyone so I'm not naming names - but it feels like the small town I grew up in has been cursed recently. Its not even an exaggeration to say that someone seemed to be dying suddenly every week. It scared me. It still does.

Its not wrong that when you're in your 20s you pretty much think you're invincible. Fresh out of your teens - you've got years to sort yourself out and find out who you are and make something of your life. But what if you haven't? What if you don't wake up tomorrow?
Fuck.

My life the past couple of years has been a bit of a mess. Plans falling through, minds changing, health failing.. amongst other things. Its made me question myself and my priorities.. and while I'm definitely in a better place than I was - I'm still not there. 
Its not that I feel a pressure to get myself sorted, like there's some kind of ticking clock.. but these events have been a UNgentle reminder (or kick up the backside) to reevaluate my life.. to look at what I really care about. Prioritise. 
Degrees and grades and money don't really matter.
Happiness and being content does.

I need to stop trying to prove myself to every man and his dog and just do things for myself. Do things that make ME happy and that I enjoy.
Live my life.. and bloody well like it.

I will never forget each and every one that has gone in these last few months. I hope you're in a better place. I hope that's true. 

See you again soon.

Monday, 23 June 2014

I have that kind of face.

I've covered this before in previous posts. I'm a pretty closed-book person. Not 'shy' exactly, but I'm pretty damn comfortable in my introvert ways thank you very much.
Yet I still seem to attract people. Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing.

I could be sat on public transport looking out the window, my bag on the other seat, ipod plugged in, deeply engrossed in a book, arms and legs firmly crossed. Not exactly inviting conversation.
And low and behold, even if there are a hundred other free seats..someone will come and want to sit next to me..and talk to me.
And I'm too polite not to. But why me? Do I have that kind of face?

I'll give you an example.
I've recently moved to Manchester. I live in the converted Macintosh Mills on Cambridge Street and across from my building I made a charming discovery.
In the engine house of the Chorlton Mills lives the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. Anthony Burgess - for those of you who aren't aware - was a very talented Manchester born writer and composer - his most well-known work perhaps being the haunting novel A Clockwork Orange, which went on to spawn the notorious Stanley Kubrick film.
Anthony Burgess
But anyway, at the IABF there is an extensive library, bookshop, a cute little cafe and work space for local writers and performers to do their stuff. There's tea and there's cake and there's peace and quiet. Which is more than enough to please me.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to venture in. Take my diary, order some Earl Grey and get some writing done in such a creatively stimulating place. That was the idea anyhow.
And that was going pretty well until the inevitable happened.

A drunk man came in.

I didn't see him at first. I just heard a male voice from the counter ask for a bottle of wine and "several glasses" for him and his friends. He was alone.
The girl assured him they didn't serve wine (it was 10:15 am after all). "That's okay" he said "I'll just have a whiskey then"
"We don't serve alcohol sir"
"You don't?" There was a hint of irritation in his voice.. along with the slurring from no doubt previous merriment that morning.
"I'm a poet" he suddenly said. "Can I recite you one of my pieces?"
"Of course" the girl said. A look of amused guardedness on her face.

And off he went.. into countless verses (some sounding rather repetitive) of love and roses and other such romantic drivel..all from the top of his head.

Until now, I'd been eavesdropping with my back to him.. but he'd seen me. Oh he'd seen me alright.
"What is she doing? What is she writing?" he demanded.

This could go either of two ways. either I engaged in conversation with him or I ignored him completely. In my experience, the latter never works.. if anything, it makes matters worse..
I turned around. 
"Could you please.. give me even a hint or an essence of what you are writing?" he eloquently enquired (for a drunk man).
"Its a diary. I empty my head in here" I replied.
"And do you think of yourself as a writer?"
"I don't think. I know. I am a writer"

A smile appeared on his face. At least I'm giving the right answers, I thought.
Many questions followed.

"And how long have you known?"
"And who is your favourite writer?"
"Recommend a book for me to read."

All of my answers to he seemed impressed by.
He then regaled me with stories of how he knew Anthony Burgess years ago. "I was 17.. he was more of a friend of my wife, Mary" he explained. "She's Irish Catholic. I was born a Jew. When I met Burgess.. or Mr Burgess as he liked to be called, he told me.. he said I should become a Roman Catholic. He called himself a Catholic Jew 'cause he had a big nose"

 I don't know how much of this was true.. but he sure seemed passionate about it.
He recited his poem to me. It was still as repetitive as the first time I'd (over)heard it.


There were confessions.
"I'm glad he's [Burgess] dead. This world is no place for him. I want the old world back"
"I know everyone thinks I'm a wrong 'un. And I am. I've been to prison more times than you could shake a fist at.. but not for raping writers, don't worry"
Yeah. He said that.
But I smiled and nodded. And soon he went quiet. 

"Do you think its alright that I'm here?" he asked me. "Could I come here again?"
"Maybe. Maybe when you're a little more sober" I said.
"Perhaps you're right." And with that he tipped his hat (flat cap, in fact) and left..crossing himself (I guess he took some of that Catholic stuff on board) and wishing us "a magical day".
Inside the IABF
The girl behind the counter burst into hysterical chattering.
"YOU HANDLED HIM SO WELL?! I want to hug you right now. Are you alright?"
To be honest, it was nothing. Just another encounter with a perfect stranger, whether I had wanted it or not. But for my trouble I received another pot of tea and a slice of homemade lemon drizzle cake. Free of charge.
All in a days work for a stranger magnet.

I have plenty more stories just like this. But that's for another blog post or three.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

I am a terrible blogger.. but guess what?

I moved to Manchester.
Since I last blogged.. I've relocated and gained like 3 jobs. Busy bee I know.. but its not until a couple of days ago that I got wifi in my new flat so blogging wasn't really a reality what with everything else going on. May was pretty much a write-off and I'm not exactly sure where half of June has gone.. Apologies.
Luckily.. I have lots of posts written and ready to post over the next few weeks - some thoughts, some rants, some new purchases and some OOTDs. My new flat has some great features like exposed brick walls that I've just about geeked over as they look so good as a backdrop to outfit posts. 

Just a quick update post anyway..
Watch this space..

lovelovelove Catt xx

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

OOTD - rhythm panther

Gold Chain - Primark
Helders Rollerskates Tee - Arctic Monkeys Store
Dollar Sweatpants - Primark
White Lace-ups - New Look
Lipstick - Rimmel Apocalips 'Stellar'

lovelovelove Catt xx

Saturday, 12 April 2014

25 Things To Do.. update pt.1

July last year, I wrote a kinda 'bucket list' (see here) of things I'd like to do or experience before I turn 25 years old. These ranged from silly things, things I've always wanted to do and stuff that I feel will really improve my life basically making me a more happier person - which is the ultimate goal right?

So... I've managed to cross quite a few things off of my list these past few months, and I thought I'd give you a little round up of what went down..


1. Finally visit somewhere I've always wanted to 
(Canada, hands down. This needs to happen)
Oh Canada. I finally visited Montreal, Quebec this past February for a just over a month. It was fantastic..ly cold. But lovely. I really enjoyed exploring a new city, and having to dust off my French language skills. I got to meet some really cool people over there, but also enjoyed my own company a bit too to be honest. Space away from home, a change of scenery, and time to think/work. I did my best tourist effort - visiting all the city landmarks (despite the freezing cold weather/daily snow). My favourite being the Notre Dame Basillica which was absolutely gorgeous inside.
I'd definitely like to go back to Montreal and Canada in general - perhaps when its a little warmer though!

6. Be more impulsive
I will always been an organised person, and a great forward planner. But I've found that recently, I'm a lot more impulsive. Take the Canada trip for instance - of course I knew I wanted to go in advance, but when I booked it I literally just sat down and booked it all in one go (flights/hotel/everything) and went for it. And I felt better for it. Rather than sitting and thinking over things constantly - which leads to stress and anxiety (one of my biggest faults) - if you want to do something and it will make you happy - why not do it?

7. Take more pictures
Maybe its the new camera or the new phone or the fact that I've finally got instagram - but I really seem to be taking a helluva lot more photos nowadays. Outfit posts, selfies, picturesque scenery on a country walk.. you name it. See my instagram - here.

8. Read my writing and name in print
For the last few years I've been contributing to various online and print publications - writing about music, fashion, lifestyle.. pretty much all that stuff. And now I'm getting quite a little portfolio together - see here - and I only hope to keep it growing!

10. Watch all of the Star Wars movies back to back
I was brought up in a household of two religions - Star Wars and Star Trek. I know many people don't think that the two can live side by side, but believe me they can. My mother raised me with a love of both - whether I liked it or not. And even though I probably know the Star Wars films backwards, I'd never sat down and watched them all consecutively. I'm a bit of a movie-marathon lover. Like..as in, for days on end. I love it. So finally. I managed it. All 13 odd hours of it. And before you ask - I watched them VI-VII then I-III - I ain't arguing with anyone - but that's how they were made and meant to be watched. End of.
13. Keep up my blogging regularly
And lastly in this pt.1 catch up. Blogging. I feel like I've partially achieved this. I feel like I've been more inspired and blog posts have come to me without feeling in any way 'forced'. But I would like to get more of a routine/planning to posting and there's still a way to go. I feel like I know where I'm going with my blog a bit more now. Good times.

Pt.2 soon!
lovelovelove Catt xx

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Dating? Sorry I have a better offer..the gym.

I am single. 
It is a fact I live with everyday and have done for the last 2 years - but I have always thought this to be my fault - for I would not take the time to 'date'.
There's believing in leaving it up to fate, and then there's just hoping a boy will fall out of the sky. It seems a little effort is necessary..

Dating is a weird one. Not the act itself - I mean drinks, a meal and even a trip to the flicks sound perfectly agreeable - but finding someone to date in the first place is the tricky part.
A lot of people find love in the workplace. For myself, being a freelance journalist - I have no fixed place of work, travel regularly and spend most of my time curled up in front of my macbook communicating only via email. Not exactly grounds for love to blossom. Plus I've never really been a fan of dipping my pen in the office ink anyway.. if you know what I mean. Ha.

In today's society many of us are career-driven, especially from a young age.  After leaving school, college or university - striving to find one of those job thingys (well-paid and full-time if possible) is paramount. And when this happens, we're often left with only the weekend to play out.
Popular dating website, Match.com found in their LoveGeist study (which tracks the changing attitudes towards dating, love and relationships) that Saturday is indeed Britain's favourite day to date. In fact, weekend dates are nearly FOUR TIMES more popular than week nights. 
Even more interestingly - 81% of respondents said that they would be more likely to cancel a date on a week night. People would even rather go to the gym than on a date.
Maybe after a hard day at work..all you wanna do is take it out on the treadmill or dive head-first into a glass bottle of wine in front of the telly?
Its fair enough that t
he week nights are your own.. to work out, or slob out. Whatever.

But what does this say about our hectic modern lifestyles?
Turning down a possible hot date in favour of the gym? Sad times indeed..
Are we making it harder for ourselves to meet people? Do we have other priorities and concerns that we hold higher than actually venturing out for a date? Body image perhaps?  Or maybe we're just hoping for a hot gym instructor. Who knows?
LoveGeist also found that many excuses for having to cancel a date were illness (33%), having to work late (18%), being tired (19%) and being asked out by someone better (6%) - can we just not be bothered?

 When you're single, its very easy to become self-absorbed. And I don't mean that in a negative way. I just mean - you wonder how you even found the time to 'fit a boyfriend in'? What with all the soap watching, Facebook stalking and sitting around in your pants to do..when would you see him exactly?

Which leads me to the inevitable - meeting people online. Its become more and more common - with dating sites such as Match.com, but also the array of social networking sites we all love to hate. 
And despite the reported 'success' of meeting that special someone to date online (tales of loved-up marriages and what not..whilst trying to ignore any Catfish vibes) - it all sounds a little less romantic, don't you think?
My grandparents have this really cute story of meeting at an RAF base back in the 40s.. and how, after courting for a few months, my grandfather actually asked for my grandma's hand by letter. It sounds like another world entirely.
So maybe we can't all have that cuteness - but what makes online dating so attractive to us?
For starters, its easier to work around our busy lifestyles - half of us have our smart phones physically superglued to our hands 24hours a day anyhow. But what about self-confidence? We're all guilty of choosing the profile pictures that only show our good side, abusing the filters on Instagram and bigging up our lives a little in a status or two - but does hiding behind a computer screen (at least at first) give us that little bit of a comfort zone?
Its like a safety buffer between 'meeting' someone and then actually real life meeting them. 
Plus it gives us time to do a bit of a necessary vetting process for that prospective datee.
And there's nothing wrong with that.

Rather than "We met at work", its now more likely to be something along the lines of "It all started when he favourited my tweet" or "When he sent me a private message" - But maybe fate has just moved with the times a bit - who knows, that notification could spell soulmate..?
    
lovelovelove Catt xx
   *This is a featured post

Friday, 4 April 2014

"Women Are Just Like Cats"


There's been many an article or a blog post written on this topic over the years, but it was something my grandmother said to me the other day which made me think..

"Women are just like cats." she said. "The temperament, the actions, the coldness, the independence. Its easy to tell from the countenance of a cat, what mood they're in. - and that can be the same for women. But that can also change in a second. If a cat wants to be alone, you know about it. Its all in the characteristics, the traits."

She didn't just say this out of thin air. Her little cat, a sleek black female named Precious (no, really), was sat on the windowsill cleaning herself and ignoring all attempts from us to capture her attention. In truth, she's anti-social, unless its on her terms. She spends a lot of time up in her (my nanna's) room. Tell her how beautiful she is and she'll purr as loud as a steam train and tolerate you stroking her.. for all of five minutes, then buggers off again. She's contrary and she's fickle.. and this might be to do with the fact that she was once semi-wild. She's a lovely little thing, but she's not loving.. and while I'm sure there'll be some cuddly cats out there who love nothing more than their owner's attention and affection 24/7.. it just generally isn't the cat's way. Dog's are more dependant creatures. 'Separation anxiety' is a common thing amongst canines and their owners.. dogs rely on you for food, play, exercise.. I mean, you wouldn't dream of letting your dog out for the night on its own. 
A cat can be gone for a day and a half.. or longer and that's not too much out of the ordinary. We don't own cats, if anything we're their staff.. and I think its pretty hard to believe otherwise. Cats can fend for themselves.. look after themselves, hunt for themselves if necessary. Independence is their middle name. 

But how does this relate in any way to women? Well, not wanting to get too Destiny's Child on you all, but.. I think you know what I mean?
Furthermore, without wishing to sound too harsh upon my own sex, its true that women can be seen as unpredictable. Think of your cat.. sat on your lap purring away happily as you scratch him behind his ears, next minute.. he's got your hand in the vice grip of his teeth. 
A change of mood, but hey, that's a woman's prerogative right? 
Women like things on their own terms. They are complexed and difficult. Perhaps then, you could say that men like the simple things in life.. walks on the beach, a kick about in the park, meals on the table for them..

But wait.. am I then saying that men are like dogs?
That's another blog post.

No sexism meant guys, just emptying my head once again..
lovelovelove Catt xx

Monday, 31 March 2014

I want it! - March 2014 Wishlist

Just a handful of things I'm mooning over at the moment..


I'm really into plain dresses and tops at the moment. I like basics that I can dress up and accessorise with shoes, mega jewellery or a pop of bright lippy.
This black high necked swing dress from Missguided is dreamy..not to mention it looks nice and comfy!

I am a girl of many many shoes.. but boots are my real love affair. I'm usually taken with black boots.. but these two..as you can see aren't black. I like how different they are not just colour-wise but with the buckles and elastic so you can just pull them on and go..
I think they'd both look pretty good with the dress actually.
..and maybe with bare legs, if I was feeling brave this Spring.
The holographic ones are tempting me so much..

God I love Boohoo and Missguided. Always a sure thing for bloody stylish stuff at purse-friendly prices.
lovelovelove Catt xx

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

-Is Tom Fletcher the real Disney prince?

Oh Tom. Tommy Tommy Tom. We're all kinda realising now, we were fancying the wrong McFly lad back in the day (I was a Danny girl personally - that voice oouf).
But Thomas Michael Fletcher.
He's a cutie, he plays guitar, he composes love songs, he has that nerdy look going on, he writes about dinosaurs pooping, he SINGS his wedding speech (12 million Youtube views later), marrying his childhood sweetheart Giovanna and now.. now they've made a beautiful little baby boy Buzz.
[Time Lapse Video Tom Uploaded titled 'From Bump to Buzz' 
using photos taken every day of the 9month pregnancy]

Its enough to make you sick.. or cry. Or both.
Do boys like this really exist? They must do - here he is.
I'm not saying Tom's a man without faults or perfect, but I think its clear that he's pretty damn close.
Disney is forever being blasted for raising our expectations of the unfairer(?) sex - we all want our very own Prince Charming.. and he doesn't seem to be forthcoming for most of us. 
But what makes someone a prince?
Dashing good looks, royal connections, and a habit of sweeping a girl off her feet are pretty much the job requirements. 
And 'lead singer of a band' is a pretty attractive quality too, but we can't all have that unfortunately.
Tom may be exactly that, but he's many other things. Is he the real life equivalent of that desirable mystery man we all dream of? Maybe so. But he's also just a 28 year old lad from Harrow too.
Without knowing him personally in the slightest - its clear to see his creativity, his sense of humour, his talent, his kindness, his strong family values, his obvious love for Gi - and that all sounds like prince-material to me.


At the end of the day, that's all we really want. 
Saving that, I'll settle for this Prince.
love&hugs to Tom, Gi and their little one. eee.
lovelovelove Catt xx

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Literature Love - Necklaces from Out of Print

Like any writer, I am many things, but foremost - I am a great reader. I can't remember ever not enjoying reading. Magazines are great, but I tend to get through them in a day or less. Getting lost in a novel, a book of poems, a biography, or even history books is my idea of heaven - and one I can relive over and over again, not just on rainy afternoons.

I am a girl of the classics. Those books newspapers claim you 'must read' in your lifetime, I've probably read them more than once. I get lost in Austen, blindsided by Bronte and I will always be in awe of Orwell. 
-
I recently came across the website TruffleShuffle after watching a video from one of my favourite Youtubers/bloggers and all round megababe Helen Melonlady. After browsing through the 90s TV show goodies and bloody cool band t shirts amongst other things on there, I turned to the jewellery section where I made (for me) an amazing discovery.

Label Out of Print have produced several 14 carat gold plated necklaces featuring famous lines from well-known and loved novels - and the three I found on there happen to be my actual favourite books (if I could ever narrow it down, that is).

"I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart: I am, I am, I am."
taken from American writer and poet Sylvia Plath's only novel, 'The Bell Jar' (1963)
Find it here

"If you want a stronger version of "good", what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like "excellent" and "splendid" and all the rest of them? "Plusgood" covers the meaning, or "doubleplusgood" if you want something stronger still."
 an example of doublespeak inspired by George Orwell's dystopian novel '1984' (1949).
Find it here

"So it goes"
 a repeated refrain, taken from Kurt Vonnegut's cult classic 'Slaughterhouse-Five' (1969)
Find it here

Priced at £26.99, Out of Print labels their pieces as 'Jewellery that really does tell a story' which I found a little kooky, but secretly liked. And for every necklace sold, a book is sent to a community in need through Books for Africa - spreading the gift of reading, something every child (and adult) should be allowed to enjoy.

I don't know if I'm just showing off how nerdy I am with this blog post - I'm the type of person with one of those "What do you mean Mr Darcy isn't real?" tote bags - but I found the discovery of these little gems really exciting. And being able to wear quotes from some of my favourite books on me at all times is a little ray of sunshine to my rainy life right now. So..yes, I've ordered all three.
 Top literary fan girl.

Check these out and all the other marvelous stuff over at TruffleShuffle - and do yourself a favour and read the books mentioned above if you haven't already!

lovelovelove Catt xx

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

-i am not a robot.

Do you ever feel 100% yourself? What does that even mean? Is it when you're with your friends? With strangers? When you're alone?
Who are you?

I was recently in a situation where, for an anxious person anyway, I was hit at all sides.
Turning up alone to a place I'd never been before, with people I'd never met in person before and one I'd met only once previously.. and was expected to socialise. I say 'expected' like I was forced or didn't enjoy myself. That's not quite the case.

 I have many friends. Some closer than others like any person. But I've accepted that my role in the friendship group is that of a listener. I feel completely at ease with my friends - but I'm not the spokesperson or the leader - and I never will be. I like to sit back and watch what's going on. I'm taking it all in. I'm enjoying myself and what people have got to say.. but I've never been one for talking for the sake of it. If I have something to contribute, I will.

I feel like this can often come across as shyness or being aloof or even rude.. or bored. And that really isn't true. In the recent situation I mentioned above, my anxiety took its toll on my behaviour.. and its not really something you can do anything about at the time. Its something you ruminate on afterwards. Why didn't I speak more? I should've done this. Did they think I was rude?
Those kinda unhelpful shoulda-woulda-coulda thoughts, that are only good for pissing you off.
I guess I was overwhelmed. Group situations, especially when I'm first meeting people, are not my strength. I feel much better one-to-one.. which you'd think would be more of an anxious situation.. but I feel like when I'm with one person I can have a two-way conversation where my input is heard and valid. I don't mean to say I feel like people wouldn't listen to me in a group - but I'm not the loudest person.. projection isn't what I do.

Maybe its my lack of confidence or self-esteem or just a bad habit I've gotten into - but I know that I'm not good at giving a good first impression. I've been told as much by people who I know consider to be friends, that they didn't like me or weren't completely sure on me when we first met. 
It could be my quietness or my sarcasm (probably both) but this isn't something I feel like I can change. You can't force yourself to be something you're not and keep it up. 
I guess I could've gone straight into that situation and been all loud and brash and confident - but that wouldn't be me. 

Trying to be something you're not may get you through certain situations in life.. but soon it can become exhausting to keep up. If you wear a mask long enough, you begin to forget who you are beneath it.
To paraphrase the old saying, wouldn't you rather be disliked for being your true self, than loved for a fake imitation?

I'm not a social butterfly or anything close. I'm a bit of a lone wolf sometimes. My own company, for even extended periods, doesn't bother me that much. But when am I truly myself?
Is it the eyes of new people on me that forces my closed mouth even further shut? What am I so afraid of? I know that I can be funny, intelligent, witty.. so why do I shy away from contributing that often? (this is something that goes back to school days.. report flashbacks of 'Catherine should try and contribute more to class discussion' etc)

There's something about being faced with a single person that makes me feel much calmer. Is it because there's just the one person to please or impress? Do I feel like I can be weird or that making a fool out of myself (always a worry) in front of one person will be less of an embarrassment. 

Struggling with anxiety, depression and self-esteem is a tricky one. You're constantly learning more about yourself.. and at the same time trying to figure out why it is you feel the way you do. My biggest goal right now is to try and have a little more faith in myself.. to stop worrying so much about the what ifs and stop second guessing other people's thoughts and opinions. I'm not in their head! I should stick to trying to clean up my own muddled one.
It's important to not be so hard on ourselves. We're only human. 
I need to take my own advice.

Live on and be yourself.
lovelovelove Catt xx

Saturday, 15 February 2014

oh ellen page - you babe and a half. ♡

YAAAAH.

-roses are red, violets are blue.

"Random thoughts for Valentine's day, 2004. Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap."
-Joel, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [opening lines]

A post about love on Valentine's day. From a single person, no less. But this isn't going to a hateful rant against all those loved up couples who've cluttered up my social network feeds with their bouquets and cards today..(ok I'm finished now. Promise.)
 I'll be honest, its more of a general pondering.. as someone who has been single for the last 2years.. what even is attraction? What makes us like someone? How do you grow to love someone? Just, what the fuck, really?
I'm not the sort of person who needs to be with someone. I'm quite happy to be alone and I enjoy my own company mostly. It does get lonely,  don't get me wrong and when your friends all have boyfriends it can be a little..grating. Who says I don't want date night and spooning?? A cuddle really wouldn't go a miss. But I could never just be with someone for the sake of it. 

I have had people on the scene.. and I've always found a way of talking myself out of them. Picking faults and such.. they were perfectly brilliant lads. But I think if I didn't feel it, I couldn't force it. Of course, sex and love are different things.. but one night stands aren't really my style and that really is another story.

Truth be told, I just haven't found someone in these past couple of years of singledom that I've really felt connected with or fully attracted to. 
I'm the kind of girl that tends to fall in lust rather quickly.. I'm probably still permanently about 14 years old. I find people attractive if they're passionate about something or have a talent that I find interesting.. I'll fantasise about them for about a week, and then I'm kinda over it. This is why I'm the sort of 23 year old who still has posters on her wall. No shame. Celebrity crushes are fucking safer for the most part.
But its that attraction to someone, even on a friendship bases, that really interests me. When you can talk for hours with someone about shared interests..or even differing opinions. I love a good debate. Films you both like, music, fucking Shakespeare and whatever. Just crap..anything. I miss that. I miss having that kind of connection with someone.

It has to be more than that that takes a friendship to something further. Looks are obviously a factor.. I'm not going to be all kooky and pretend they're not. Of course, a bad personality/no connection can make that good looking person.. less good looking.. if you will, and vice versa.

But there's that animal instinct that scientists talk of. The supposed scent that none of us can actually smell but that, subconsciously we are drawn to. I have no real reason for believing this other than the research that's been done. But I guess there must be something to it - why do we find ourselves attracted to this person and not that person?

It brings to mind for me the 'love potion' featured in JK Rowling's Harry Potter.

"Amortentia doesn't create actual love, of course. That's impossible. But it does cause a powerful infatuation or obsession. For that reason, it is probably the most dangerous potion in this room."
- Horace Slughorn

The potion itself has a different aroma for everyone who smells it, reminding each person of the things that they find most attractive, even if the person doesn't acknowledge or is unaware of their fondness for the object of their affection themselves. 
This of course is a way of forcing attraction upon another person - but it makes me think that this is in fact what people feel for real when they are drawn to someone. Whatever we see or hear or smell - whether we're aware of it or not - we like it. And the notion that even in the world of Harry Potter, love cannot be fabricated.. or at least, not indefinitely. Real love is more powerful than magic.. oo-er.
-

One of my favourite films is the 2004 Jim Carrey/Kate Winslet masterpiece - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A story of love and hate and attraction and differences. Apart from being a trippy confusing film - I love the idea that even after 'erasing' someone from your memory - if the connection you have with someone is true, it never really dies.. and Joel and Clementine end up finding each other all over again the very next day. Its kinda beautiful. Like a 'if its meant to be' situation. 


We've all been through breakups and heartbreak.. but if the opportunity were available to erase someone from your life. All of the memories. Good and bad. Would you do it? Would it help? Would it really erase the connection you had? Pain is only relevant if its still hurts.. and the spontaneous decision that Clementine made to delete Joel from her life, was just that - spontaneous spite from being hurt. 

Its like in any relationship, love and friendship. You have all those things you adore about a person.. and all the annoying stuff that goes along with it. But you love them anyway.
In short - love can't be forced (even at Hogwarts). Make sure you smell fresh. Maybe Valentines is a made-up thing just to remind singletons that they're single..and put pressure on those of us with partners to buy presents and shit y'know 'just because'. I don't know. But you can save your flowers and chocolates - give me someone to drink tea in bed with and argue with about how the genius of Ian Curtis will always be superior to anything New Order did..

..and this blog post made no sense
Happy Valentines Lovers. 
I'll leave you with Justin Vernon and his broken heart.
lovelovelove Catt xx