Paper Hearts & Tin Foil Tiaras ♥

The diary of a girl

Month: February, 2011

I do not have a spending addiction…I’m helping the environement.

Times are hard for many right now.  Times have been hard for many for a long time, forever in fact.

There is enough wealth in the world for not one person to be homeless.  For not one person to be starving.

Yet…………………in America alone there are over 35 MILLION people that are poverty striken.

There are times I moan I am skint……but really it means I can’t buy whatever useless not really necessary purchase I just have to have or my life will be over…..until I find something else I just have to have.

The world is consumed by materialism.  How much do you earn? Where did you holiday last year? How big is your house? What is your postcode?  What label is your outfit from? And so on and so forth.

None of these things are defining us as people, but the world has led us to believe it does so a few fat cats can get very fat and rich in deed.  The world needs us to shop and feel envy…..apparently.

Personally I think I’d prefer to live in a world where every child has the chance to an education.  That no one has to die needlessly.  That no one has to worry about where their next meal is coming from.  This is probably why I’d never make a very good rich person.  I don’t think I could own lots of cars and houses and have millions sat in the bank whilst people are too poor to be able to eat a proper meal even once a day.

The world isn’t fair.  I know that.  It doesn’t mean I have to like it.

There are plenty of things each one of us could do to help and I hope that each one of us does something to help.

A friend of mine is putting a child from a third world country through school.  At my work a group of us fund a few children through school and provide medication for them.  I donate money to an elephant sanctuary, I sponsor a guide dog for the blind, I am in finalising volunteer work for a women’s advice centre, I donate to the rain forest and campaign for an alternative to palm oil and orangutan protection.  I recycle.  I use my own bags where possible at food stores.  I hand over my old clothes, books and music to the charity store.  And I am sure there are many more things I can do and will continue to try to help in whatever little way I can.

As a light relief…….due to my wage packet being stretched more and more by things like rent, bills, food, travel…….I still like to have new clothes…..so I can help my pocket, my wardrobe and also the environment as buying clothes from the charity store takes very little resources, as the clothese have already been made.

Today’s purchases set me back by £13.50, so that’s a £13.50 donation to charity, little effect to the environment and my spending bug has been itched! Not bad for a mornings work!

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Don’t let them get you down

I saw this post on tumblr and it got me thinking…….

Being lonely. Feeling friendless. Not knowing what to do with your life. Having no money. Bumbling along. Feeling like you want to shut yourself away. Not knowing what to say……..they’re all the taboo things we don’t talk about really aren’t they?! All the things that once you get to a certain age you shouldn’t worry about anymore or you should know where you are going and what you are doing.

Thing is, I think most of us just fake it really well.

No matter what money you earn you will always want more.

No matter what job you are in, there will be bits you like less.

No matter how much you love your partner, there will always be bits of them you wish you could change.

No matter how many friends you have you will always wonder if you could be a better friend.

You will always have times of feeling lonely.

Hell, I can feel lonely in a crowded room.

Now none of this probably makes you feel better, but if people talked about things more, maybe it would help.

I am of an age where I should have savings, a great pension plan, know what I want to do with my life, be thinking about children and buying a house, have well established friendships.

But reality ain’t so.

A few years ago I realised my lifestyle was not healthy. The people in it were party people and that’s about as deep as things ran. I had to get away. I needed a few months out to collect my thoughts, instead I was overpowered by what could only be described as a very bullying man. I ended up isolated, not knowing who my friends were or where I could turn. One by one he’d seen them all packing with his horrible behaviour. I knew things had to change when I had a serious back injury, I couldn’t walk and had no way of getting myself any food, and he’d cook, for himself. As soon as I could I got out. Some of the damage stays with me today – but I am working on it. That person owes me a lot of money but I decided to see as money well spent to get rid….sounds harsh? Believe me it’s not. There is a lot more I could tell you – but why dwell too much.

I moved back to London and got on with my life. Whoopsie I fell straight back into the old ways, with the old crowd.

I got ill, but it didn’t stop me. I didn’t know what was wrong, the doctors didn’t know, so I tried to pretend all was ok. 18 months of hassling a doctor I finally got them to agree to send me to a specialist.

I can’t even begin to tell you what happened to me during that 18 months. I’ll cut things downs. I changed as a person. Saying things I never really understood. Feeling so down, so pessimistic, so out of control. I was made redundant but managed to find another job and go through the general stress of being the new girl all over again. Whilst all this was going on I also met my current boyfriend. I sometimes wonder what he thought was going on. He met me when I was still trying to find out what was going on. All I knew was I had no energy. I couldn’t even climb 5 steps without having to rest. My heart would almost hurt at times. My hair was thinning. My moods were up and down. I felt so lost. I had other symptoms that meant it was very difficult to leave the house. I had something called fibroid tumours. The effects of one of these was absolutely devastating to my life. I’ll save you the gory details but please believe me.

I felt lost – I hadn’t been told what it actually was that was happening to me and I didn’t really know what to say to friends.

I was having to cancel nearly every social event. The few times I was well enough to go out I felt so weak and so out of the loop I had very little fun. I was becoming so conscious of myself. Was feeling so down, so low and just generally no good.

Years later one lady summed things up when describing her own symptoms…….she said she was insecure like a teenage boy and mad hormones like a pregnant lady. Now I’ve never been a teenage boy or a pregnant lady but somehow I knew what she meant. Thanks to something as simple as a yahoo forum I found out so much about how I was feeling. It was so nice to know I wasn’t becoming a fruit loop.

I ended up having to have 3 big operations in 2 years. The whole thing dragged on for the best part of 5 years.

Can you imagine being that confused, that scared, that weak for that long? Your whole life changes. I hardly managed to go out in that time at all. I was told by a nurse that she had never seen anyone walking with such low iron and had been told I was very close to suffering a heart attack on top of everything else. I am still suffering the after effects today. I am tired all the time and sometimes I get pains in my heart….and I still live in fear that the tumours I have left will start to grow. But I try not to let it rule my life.

Now can you imagine being pretty much unsociable for about 4 years, through very little choice of your own? Maybe some can deal with that and bounce back fine. I envy you if you are one of those people.

London is not my home time. I didn’t grow up here. I have no family here. What I have here I’ve found and made for myself. My career took a hit and I had to start at the bottom again, on those lowly wages, with all the fight knocked out of me, at least for now. I have felt so hurt by some of the friends that just seemed to forget me and move on. They are there in the background, somewhere, but so far in the shadows I just don’t know anymore.

I go out with friends feeling like I am a failure, like I am no fun, like I am boring, I apparently hide this well but inside I am all eaten up and stressed out, nervous and angry at myself for being this way. For becoming this girl that I never was.

Where is the girl that would always be out, always with a gaggle of people, laughing and having fun?

I’ve not wasted the whole experience though. I’ve had time to reflect on my life in ways that many wouldn’t. I’ve really seen the true colours of some of the amazing people left in my life. My boyfriend for one, is still here, still by my side. I’ve started a writing course, something I wanted to do for years. I’m dabbling with photography and the blog world. I’m looking into my health and have started doing pilates. I’ve taught myself to knit and crochet and got my creative bug back. I just don’t know how to meet new friends, to embrace the girl I have become and find people that suit the person I am today. But for some reason we are not meant to talk about such things.

I don’t think it is just London that can seem like a very cliquey place on the one hand but also a very lonely place as well. So many people seem to be alone but shhhh we can’t talk about that.

I’ve been this honest to try to get the ball rolling – to try to get people to talk and to see that through everything bad, good things can happen and to admit that as an adult I still have so much more I want to do and I still have no clue how to go about it.

Maybe you’ll read this and think I’m a fool, but maybe someone out there will find some comfort in the words I have written, maybe you’ll have ideas or stories you can share?

I don’t really know – but one thing I do know is I am not ready to give up – I will find the energy from somewhere to get that life I want……to be a force to be reckoned with (thank you to my doctor for saying that about me.) For now it’s simple a case of watch this space, I hope the story unfolds nicely!

Time is no friend of mine….or is it!?!

It’s kindof nice to read that quote isn’t it.  Because it happens to us all at some point that we start to think we are too old for this that or the other.  I had theories for ages that the reason a woman starts to put on weight in their 30’s isn’t because they are being piglets, it’s so that they don’t look good in micro mini’s anymore, it’s a way of saving their dignity.  I had so many little theories like that – they’d make people feel better or laugh but ok maybe, just maybe they weren’t or aren’t strictly true.

One of the many things I love about living in London is that you feel that little bit closer to your dreams.  I know that sounds really twee and silly but it’s true.  When I am back home I am Alison, nothing more and nothing less.  But when you are in London – whatever you are doing or how ever your life is panning out there is that buzz in the air, that hope swirling around you – the possibilities feel like they are always there.

In reality there are some things that age won’t let us do anymore or certain things that you just have to realise won’t be part of your life, but just to keep that hope for better and bigger things – to keep striving for more is the essence of life I think….and everyone should always keep that alive inside of them.

Must. Have.

Sometimes I really do seem to like to beat myself up.


I’ve always been one to tell people to not care what people think – be yourself and if you know you are not being a total bitch or doing anything really bad – well then you know you have little to worry about.

It’s a fact of life that no matter how good or decent you are – not everyone will like you.

There are some wonderful people out there that have few people in their lives and some not so wonderful people out there that seem to have so much.

Life works in mysterious ways and so much of it is about circumstance. If you put yourself out there you are more likely to get more back. But that’s more back in equal measures no doubt. If someone doesn’t like you – don’t let them make you question yourself or feel bad or feel like you are not good enough.

Some people need to be surrounded by tonnes of people at all times. Some prefer some solitude and a small close group of friends. Neither is wrong, you just have to find what works for you.

Sometimes things happen that force the path we are on in life to go off in a direction we’d not even considered before. We have to roll with that otherwise every day can become a battle.

Thing is, as much as I know this and as much as I preach this and will be the first to kick off when someone makes someone feel bad for no reason…..well, I’ve found myself thinking lately…….I guess I’ve found myself doubting myself too much….and why? Because I am judging myself against other people and what I think others expect of me. I judge myself against the girl I was ten years ago, when in reality if I was still that girl of 10 years ago it would mean I haven’t changed, that I haven’t grown and that would be a big fail on the chart of life, surely!?!

I started a new job when I was not very well, I had to take time out to have a 3rd attempt at an operation. It’s taken a battering on me in mind and body. I walked away from about 18 friends. I had to. I love them and wish them well but I had to change things in my life. I focussed on me properly for the first time ever. Focussed on getting myself well. The friends left around me are wonderful, they are brilliant and I thank each day for them. The work colleagues, well something slipped there. It’s the first time ever that I can work somewhere and not really feel like I know anyone. And I judge myself because of it. I judge myself on not being the party girl that I once was. But I have grown up a lot in that time and grew tired of the fickleness of some routines. This is surely a good thing, yet why do I keep insisting on judging myself against a person I once was, or a scene I no longer want to be part of. If some people at my work haven’t gelled with me yet, why do I think that’s all my fault?

I need to remember that all things happen for a reason and that I shouldn’t try to fit into a shape that I was never built for. I need to be me and embrace that.

Sometimes I have to stop thinking that everything that goes wrong is my fault. That every silence has to be filled or is down to me. I don’t have to be out partying all the time to have a rich life.

Funny how I can be so quick to preach yet so slow to learn things myself.

You’re never too old to believe

There was that noise again, a little clatter in the pantry and the ridiculously loud whisper of someone, no, more than just someone, at least two somebody’s, whispering, giggling and making far more noise in the process.

For ages I thought it was my daughter, but now I am not so sure.

She’s a child that believes. You know what I mean. She believes in the fairies at the bottom of the garden. She believes in ghosts like Casper. She believes her toys come to life when she closes her eyes at night. She spends hours looking for signs of them all. I too did that as a child. I wonder when I stopped believing. To be honest, I don’t think I ever did. I still like to think of all those magical things like wishing on rainbows, unicorns and, well you know the stuff.

I charged to the pantry but there was no one there.

‘Becky?’ there was no response from my daughter.

I ran upstairs and there she was, sat quietly on the rug on her bedroom floor with her dolls out all around her.

‘Where you just in the pantry Becky?’

‘No Mommy, it wasn’t me. It was the fairies.’

I crept back downstairs, straining to hear if there was anymore noise from the pantry. As I got into the kitchen I could see the pantry door was open. I was sure I had left it shut. I waited for a moment and ran over, pulling the door wide. I saw a flash or light, almost like a little sparkle of glitter. Then nothing. No sound. No movement. Maybe it was me being hopeful, or my aging eyes playing tricks on me.

I suddenly felt a breeze ripple through my hair, and what was that? A giggle? It sounded like the tinkling of teacups far off in the distance. I smiled to myself.

Later in the day Becky asked to go out and play. I watched her take her dolls down to the bottom of the garden, playing in the flowerbeds and making them fly. I went out to listen. There is nothing like hearing a child’s make believe games. The fun, the inspiration, the pure not caring about being self conscious. I strained to hear her so I didn’t have to get so close. She sounded like she was having a proper conversation.

I walked closer. Becky jumped and turned around. ‘Mom, you made them go away, you can’t do that, you have to stay away, they say that adults don’t believe so they won’t show themselves on princ….on prinsi…oh I don’t know the word that they said Mommy.’

I looked at Becky and looked hard into the flowers, willing myself back to being a child and fully believing. Could that be? Could it be a little pair of eyes looking back at me? I blinked and looked again. Nothing!

I gave up and went inside.

Teatime passed with nothing unusual and it wasn’t until it was bed time that Becky seemed to act slightly strange. She was all giggles and jumpy and constantly looking over my shoulder. Each time I turned round there was nothing there, and she’d just giggle. I even tried to catch sight of what was going on in the mirror behind me, but I couldn’t see anything. I took Becky’s hand.

‘Becky, who are you looking at?’ Becky just looked at me and giggled.

I gave up and decided to get an early night. I was almost asleep when I could hear the noise of teacups clinking again. I opened one eye. I sat bolt upright and turned on the lamp. Becky was sat on the floor smiling at me. Was it her? Did she wake me? Was I just dreaming? Fairies only exist in a childhood imagination. In the morning I woke up and got dressed. I went out side to collect the milk and there in the garden were tiny little footsteps, and there was that noise again, the tinkling of little teacups.

I was definitely going insane, but if my world of insanity was filled with fairies then it wouldn’t be so bad.

I have another blog or two.

I have another blog at http://alisonthediaryofagirl.blogspot.com

I also have a photo blog at http://intheeyesofalison.blogspot.com the current project is to take a photo a day.

Happy reading or viewing!

I am new to wordpress so please bare with me whilst I try to work out how this thing works and how to find other great pages.

Are you sitting comfortably?

I asked some friends to give me topics to write about, one friend said I should write a story about how the weather is always grey and people are depressed and only get one day a year where it’s nice.

So I quickly wrote this…..

‘RARRRRRR That’s it. That’s bloody it!’ roared down the stairs, round the corner, over the cooker and bang into the ears of Loral. She jumped up, dropping the pan on the floor and hitting her head all at the same time.

‘Shhh….t’ she mumbled rubbing her head as she stood up. ‘What the hell is the matter Jamie?’ she called out to her sister.

‘My nails! It’s my nails. I’ve spent hours and they just keep flaking. I can’t cope. Look at me I am as grey as a squirrel….obviously not the red ones before you start…..I am sick of waiting around all the time for this damn weather to give up and to see a season…any season would be nice, I’m just so……..oh Loral you’ve dropped your cooking! That’s careless.’ Jamie chirped as she skipped off back out the room.

She knew it was her fault but couldn’t face another lecture by Loral.

Loral on the other hand looked at her sister with exhaustion. It was the same for all of them but Jamie always had to be so vocal about it. The girl had one volume setting. Off and on! Nothing in-between.

Loral peered out of the window. Another grey miserable day. This was day number 289 of the same thing. She wondered what all the weather forecasters did these days. You could set your watch by the weather now. At 315am it would start to rain. There’d be a mild break at about 9am and then it would drizzle until 5pm then there’d be cold wind picking up until about 3am again. Grey was the colour of the land these days. Gone were the lovely autumnal colours splashed across the skies and the pavements with what now seemed like such reckless abandon. So much use of colour all in one go. How they’d taken it for granted once. Now it seemed like heaven to think about it. To wish for sunshine and a clear blue sky. Still another 24 hours to go until they would get that.

Day 290 was now a public holiday. The whole world and their dog would be outside. Just being! Soaking up the sun, seeing spring appear for an hour, turning into glorious sun for the next 12 hours then autumn would seem to happen overnight. They had 24 hours of daylight on day 290. Day 291 would be the fading embers of the autumn night. Like the last sparks on a campfire slowly fading out, taking with it the sing song sounds of a campfire, or day out on the beach. By day 292 it would be back to grey. Like a colour blind world.

It never used to be like this. So Loral had heard. She’d seen the photos in her mothers top drawer, but it was always spoken about in hushed tones, like some dirty secret. The way the world was once. All taken for granted, and now? Well now it seemed to be that someone was punishing them for this.

They wouldn’t take it for granted again that was for sure. In reality it had only been like this for 4 years but it felt like a lifetime.

Loral longed for, even dreamed about waking up to feel the sun pouring through the windows.

A blue sky! Fresh green grass! Things that were once so simple.

Jamie was upstairs stamping about making so much noise that Loral gave up trying to daydream.

Loral scooped the (grey looking) porridge into the saucepan and chucked it into the sink. She hadn’t the energy to start again.

There was a knock at the door. The postman!

He handed her the post silently and walked away.

Loral heard the rattle and clunk of the milkman’s float and hovered at the door to collect the 2 pints they got every day. The milkman handed them over ‘Hello’ he mumbled and walked off without even cracking half a smile.

Loral sighed. Depressed! That was the word to sum up everything these days.

On queue Jamie hurtled down the stairs landing on the sofa with a huge explosion of air. Possibly her, possibly the chair….

‘Argh I just hate everything.’

‘Well hello to you too’

‘Oh p.iss off why don’t you’

‘Sadly it’s raining out so I don’t really have anywhere to pi.ss off to but thanks all the same.’

‘Ok Loral I am sorry, I know we’re all the same I am just sick of it, I’m craving smiles like a junkie.’

Loral shook her head – she had no clue how to cheer her sister up. She used to paint pictures of sunshine, rainbows, babbling brooks all sorts of lovely things that well, you just couldn’t enjoy anymore.

If you went out you couldn’t wear floaty dresses, you had to wear big waterproof coats and trousers. So much rain would collect that cars didn’t care about trying not to splash you, well hold on, maybe that thing had stayed the same.

Come on day 290. To feel the sun on their skin was what they all lived for.

And soon. Soon it would be here.

But not soon enough for some.

Over the road lived Rory, she was a quiet girl, alone in her world of colour. Yes that’s right. She seemed to be the one rainbow amongst the grey storm clouds of everyone else. She wore big bright rainbow frocks. Not caring if she got wet. She had lovely glittery wellington boots and an umbrella that lit up with little rainbow effect lights. Her hair was naturally bright red and she always had some wonderful coloured pieces of fabric in it. Her nails were painted an array of colours and quite often she was clutching flowers and a book that she would cover and draw all over, colouring it in a wonderful selection of bright clashing shades. She was always smiling. Always singing a tune to herself.

The neighbourhood looked at her with a mixture of fear and envy.

Nothing seemed to get this girl down.

‘Hello sky! Hello tree. Hello worm. Hello rain. HELLO LORAL.’ She bellowed out – giving Loral an elaborate wave. Loral couldn’t help but smile. Where did Rory get her energy from. This weather just made you constantly lethargic but there she was, a big grin from ear to ear for anyone or anything that crossed her path.

Loral had been told that Rory was a few hampers short of a picnic but honestly if it made her that happy who cared!

Thing is Rory wasn’t simple, she just believed in looking on the bright side and looking on the bright side meant her world was always in Technicolor.

She also knew that day 290 that was coming tomorrow was going to mark the change of the weather, not just for the day but for always. Her father had been playing about at his weather station in the attic 4 years ago – trying to work out how to paint the perfect sky and to create the perfect beach so you could control the weather for the week day and weekends. He’d been using ridiculous chemicals, weird symbols and a bit dollop of electricity. It had gone wrong and the less said about it the better. The town had been suffering for 4 long years but the effects were about to wear off.

She hadn’t told anyone as no one had really spoken to her since it had become common knowledge that it was her fathers fault that the ‘world was like this. See it wasn’t the world at all, it was just this little town. Like a black cloud hanging over this little town. If people had bothered to look just beyond the borders of Cranely Village they would see that the rest of the world was carrying on as normal. The lack of seasons had just zapped them of any free thinking, any creativity or anything half fun. There was a lesson learnt there in itself…..never moan about the weather again!

Day 290 was almost here. You could feel the sun crackling over the horizon, spreading out, getting bigger and bigger by the minute. The sky changing from grey to beautiful shades of pink, orange and yellow. Hitting the water and making it look like there were stars right here on earth. You could feel the mood of the town lift, the birds were starting to sing, and the flowers were spreading out their petals to greedily eat up every bit of sun they could.

Rory smiled again at Loral, she winked and said ‘Everything is going to be alright from now on Loral, just you believe it and it’ll be so.’

Loral looked at Rory quizzically, she had never really spoken to her, but maybe it was the sunshine giving her courage. She raced over the road. ‘That’s an interesting thing you say their Rory, and I do hope you are right….say, I don’t think I’ve heard you talk before….?’

Rory smiled, ‘Oh it’s nothing Loral, just think I was feeling a little under the weather that’s all…………..’

Sometimes I question things too much.

“The truly rich are those who enjoy what they have.”

It’s true isn’t it – almost as cliched as if you smile the world seems better and then it is better.

But they are both so true. We spend so much of our lives moaning about what we haven’t got that we miss all the lovely things that we do have.

One of the great beauties of life is that we are all different, that there is so much variety, but we all try to conform to the same clone at some point in our life. That we aren’t married, with 2.4 children, a house and a car and blah blah blah then somehow we have failed.

Wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same.

Money is useful – essential, sadly, but no matter how much we have (or don’t have) we seem to live within our means.

I long for more money so I don’t have to be skint two weeks after pay day – but to have more money I would have to trade off some of my own time and no doubt I would still just live within my means again.

I do my best in my job but I don’t live to work – I need things beside my job.

I count friends and think I am failing somewhere as I don’t have as many ‘friends’ as such and such. I need to learn to shut up on that one as it makes me sound so ungrateful for the wonderful friends I do have.

I tell myself off sometimes for not living the party life I used to but hey I think they just call it growing up and evolving.

Today I am going to try to learn to work with what I have – rather than forever judging myself….and that way I will become truely rich!