Not in love. Just looking, thanks.

Sometimes it’s difficult when you are twenty something and you think that the only important thing in life is when you’re next going to be held.
Sometimes in life it’s also very hard to realise that not only are you alone; but everyone else from the opposite sex wants not to hold you but just to get in your pants. It’s difficult then, to distinguish the difference between that good guy and that bad guy.
The Good Guy: he doesn’t call as often, doesn’t reply to many texts, and he isn’t really the smooth talker either. This all doesn’t sound like he should make it under the “good guy” category but its the other things he does that really matter which bring him on top. He spoons you, and when lying next to you he encourages you to put your head on his chest. He moves the hair from your face as you speak, kisses your forehead just because and holds your hand in front of people. He hands you your favourite Haribo from the packet without you even asking and makes sure he always brings enough BBQ sauce for the both of you when at McDonalds. The good guy is the one who will watch Eastenders with you even though he hates Sharon Rickman, just to make you happy and only complains before it starts, never during. The good guy will be your boyfriend and your gal pal, listen to your dramas and keep your feet on the ground.
The Bad Guy: he says all the right things and is always telling you about how fantastic your body is. He calls you gorgeous and makes you feel like a million bucks for the five minutes of intense attention he does spend on you. He skilfully helps you undress and gives you a gaze hotter than the sun (ugh gross… sorry…). But then you think to yourself that he never really helps you get dressed again. Nor does he romantically hand you your knickers from the floor when it’s all over. He doesn’t spoon you and tell you cute things about himself, he just turns around and falls asleep, there is no pillow talk. There is no sweet, heart-warming, tingle inducing moment. And when you wake up the next morning he’s fully dressed and halfway out the door with a “Take care, darling!” The messages begin to dwindle and the phone calls stop altogether. He doesn’t want to hold your hand anymore, but then you realise that he never did in the first place…
Maybe it’s just me? Maybe having had a relationship where trust and loyalty and friendship were a given, I’ve been led to believe that I can have it with any man, that all men will offer me the same protection I felt. Perhaps I had something I’ll never find again. But half the adventure is getting out there, window shopping, wading through the bad guys, to find the good, right…?

Aside

All We Need is Love and Beer, and Old School Metal and Holiday Cheer to be Happy

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Most of the time you will wonder what it is that makes you feel related to the people your supposed to be related to. Family isn’t a word that  most people would call hostile but then again, their families would probably kick up some kind of fuss.

Get-togethers are like walking into a Gorilla pit at the zoo, where the bananas are questions about your job (or in my case lack off) and the flying faeces is just more questions, about your love life…(or in my case lack off)…

And there isn’t much you can do when you have these metaphorical bananas of profitable career paths thrown at you but just smile sweetly, explain that your are still looking desperately and wait for the flying shit to hit you in the face next. And when said gorillas are done with trying to force feed you their knowlegde of the working world and how I should perhaps change my direction of search, the metaphorical bananas are un-strategically changed from employment to love life. From bananas to flying shit in a matter of seconds.

Sometimes all you really need are a few of your good friends, some lovely wine and the hours of a free day to feel like yourself again.

Most of the time it isn’t the family you were born into that digs you out of your self induced BBC iPlayer coma, its the family that you stumbled upon during those first few years you were introduced to clubbing, shots, Jägerbombs and fancy dress. The friends you have to keep close are the ones that make your pervy comments seem like valid discussion points. These are the loyal friends that think having a full on steak sandwich after a meal at a Chinese buffet is perfectly acceptable, and jump at the chance to join you.

Now if you have chosen your second family wisely, you’ll understand that these people are the ones that may not stay so close by your side for the rest of your life, but they bloody well make the time they are in your life pretty damn marvellous. So don’t be afraid to put your legs up call some people over and have a few bottles of wine at the ready. You’ll thank me later, I promise you.

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Let’s Start a Farm

To those who have green thumbs and to those you just couldn’t give a damn (why are you reading this?) why not try growing a farm? Why not move away from growing pretty little flowers in pretty little rows and grow some freaking onions? Or even some radishes? Know what I’ve started? Chillies. The first moment you see those shoots pop up from the compost, it isn’t pride you feel, it isn’t even joy. It goes along the lines of “Oh thank God I didn’t fail at this too.”

“Thank the heavens unemployment hasn’t destroyed all my brain cells, by spending all day refreshing the front page of Reddit avoiding looking for a job and I am still able to following those little instructions that come at the back of the packet.” 

Then of course there is the joy and the feeling of self-fulfilment. Fulfilment because these little shots will be your children for the next few months, and (because you are basically alone and you are single) you will find yourself talking to these little shoots as if they are the loves of your life. You will find yourself talking to these little green children as if they are everything you ever wanted in a family. They’re quiet, they listen to your every word, they don’t start pointless arguments, they don’t steal your clothes/food/time…They even gift you with precious fruits and only ask for water and sunlight in return. 

IMG_20140407_1[1] Just so you know I am actually taking this all very seriously. These are my children…

I also have dabbled in the idea of growing my own radishes. I say my own; what I actually have come to realise is that they aren’t my own at all. Haha no, no. They belong to the slugs of the night. I merely provide those slow motion beasts with a banquet of baby leaves, fresh horse shit and beautiful soil. They must think I’m either:

Their God, their provider of food and life.

Or they must think I’m the moron who didn’t buy the slug pellets when she had a chance to save her radishes…

Then again, they are snails. Who knows what they think besides “Shit, is that salt? Did I just slide through salt? Oh no my bad, I’m not melting that’s just my DISGUSTING SLIME!”

Spring Cleaning. Is it really that time of year again?

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Spring Cleaning. What is it? Is it just societies way of getting rid of all the year’s past mistakes? Relationships that haven’t lasted as long as you hoped a month in when you thought you’d be together forever? Jobs that have just become so menial that you can think of anything better to do with your time on a springy April day than to just clean! Has our society become so forced into believing that there isn’t much hope in anything being achieved before having a good rummage around all the things you haven’t touched within the year which now you must through away? Am I rambling? Yes of course I am, because I am obviously avoiding this damn spring cleaning session I have booked in with myself today!
Do we really need to change a duvet because we have had it past six years? Do we really need to throw out that bird cage in the attic just because Percy the parrot is no more? Must we throw away the memories and treasured storylines of the Christmas TV magazines? Well frankly yes we do, and if you do still have those things lying around then you are disgusting.
A great tip for all you people out there spending this weekend (preferably not as it is mother’s day) or the next clearing out cupboards, attics, garages and apartments: donate to your local charities and shelters, don’t just make spring cleaning an excuse to over-flow the bin with things other people may find useful.
I shouldn’t be needing to say this, but I believe the best way to stay clean and tidy is to give everything a good old polish and STORE IT PROPERLY. Now I know some of you are thinking when I say store I am being hypocritical and going against my words of putting things away in the garage. Far from it, my little wonders. The best way to keep things in place all year round and not just after spring cleaning is Ikea. Yes you read that right, Ikea. And let me give you some lovely homely examples…

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These little heavenly baskets are great to fit on your desk, in your wardrobe and in your draws. They fold away when you aren’t using them, and can be filled with all kinds of loose things around the room. Currently I am using the large square sizes for my lingerie and the long rectangular ones for products I don’t use every day. I even have two of the little squares filled with products I use on a daily basis and even some make up brushes. and only £13 for a set of 7, you can not go wrong!

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Something else I stumbled across in Ikea was this handy shelf draw. Under £50 and very stylish design, if I didn’t have asymmetric walls I would have loved to have these in my bedroom. Just for putting away a few things releasing a lot more space.

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Shameless plug for my first post in The Graduate!

My first post in the Graduate published yesterday! It’s brutally honest, and shameless! Check it out!

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Link

When in doubt, decorate something…or just buy a load of junk.

So I have had a lot of time on my hands lately, what with avoiding writing stories for this blog and not having a job etc. (We won’t dwell on the later as much, please).

I have been filling my time, however, with finding a lot of pretty things to make my teenager themed room into a space a mature and intelligent young woman does some very indepth thinking.

The first things I found were these adorable jars in T K Max. I just filled them with coloured glass pebbles and kind of killed two birds with one stone (poor birds) in the sense that I have now cleared away my nail paint and made the room a touch more graceful with the jars! I love them!

I’ve filled the larger one with larger glass hearts rather than pebbles but it gave a similar effect! They varied in price, the smallest being £3.99 and the largest being £5.99. There was another size up which I couldn’t get because I would have had difficulties getting it home, but maybe next time I go, I’ll pick it up!

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I also bought a vintage looking green glass jar which I also filled with pebbles and I think I’m going to find a nice artificial flower to put inside which will finish it off nicely. And I got it from the same store for just £1.99 and placed it on my windowsill.

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To keep to the glass theme I found this green glass plate or pot, and I knew that it worked well with my white room, also I knew that it would be ideal to place a few Lush bath bombs onto it so release an aroma so my room would be smelling fresh! I had this glass structure left over from an old popuri set that was lying around. and I placed it next to the green jar on the windowsill. I think it looks super sophisticated! And the added pieces of popuri make it look a touch more magical…

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Excuses and a new story! The Kitchen

So its been quite some time since I’ve posted any stories on here, with being a new graduate I felt pretty pressured into spending my time applying for endless job applications. But the holiday season is pretty much here, so I thought I would take some time to just relax, rediscover myself and try and get back into the flow of writing.

This ones a little older but still one of my favourites, and reminds me of the good times with my parents, not too festive but still a nice slice of home! (with some footnotes for assistance!)

‘I have to think of something to do with conflict in the kitchen for this week’s story.’ It wasn’t really what she wanted to be thinking about just before her dinner, but this week’s assignment was proving to be difficult for Sanjana. She was determined to do it. With such a broad subject, she was bound to find some kind of idea. Coming into the kitchen to feed her hunger, she saw her parents putting away the Tesco shopping bags, moving swiftly from one end of the room to the other, their movements almost synchronised like skaters on ice. The low friction between the porcelain tiled floor and their socks helping them sashay effortlessly.

‘Conflict…? Like what? What is that?’ her father didn’t really turn around to look at her, he still had on his green suede coat, and the rain had left traces of splattered dark marks on his shoulders. He opened a cupboard door, above the kettle, and shoved in some Corn Thins, a packet of mixed seeds and some PG Tips. Sanjana’s family had made a recent switch from all things sweet to all things that taste like cardboard. She wasn’t exactly sure whose idea this low calorie switch was as everyone seemed to complain about it.

‘Yeah, you know like a fight or something, but it has to happen in some kind of kitchen and has to have, like, smells or senses incorporated into it.’  She handed her father the milk as he walked over to the fridge.

‘Oh…ask your mum,’ he looked over to his wife and poked her with his toe, ‘eyy Pinkye-eh, what should she do?’

‘Hai! What are you doing? Ghandha![1] Don’t touch me with your foot, Yogesh!’ Pinky moved away instantly as her husband’s foot came close to her again for a tauntingly humorous second poke.

‘Move away from me!’ Pinky’s patience was beginning to wear thin and her husband knew that if he stepped any closer he would come close to losing the whole leg let alone the toe.

Sanjana began to see a scenario developing and said nothing to provoke a change of subject between her parents. This would be perfect for her piece and she knew it. Her father, giving up on putting away the groceries, lifted up the lid of the saucepan on top of the white cooker and looked inside. There was no steam, the dinner had been prepared a while ago, yet there was still the scent cardamom pods and cumin seeds diffusing around the house. Her mother had forgotten to close the door whilst cooking again and the tingle of ginger and garlic could be smelt from the living room.

‘The house smells of turka![2] You didn’t close the door again! Every time I come home from work and I can smell lassan[3] everywhere, bloody hell!’ Her father’s temper was always very extreme and over the top but never lasted too long. His temper was what kept Sanjana and her brothers in line, but it was his ability to cool down so quickly that made him slightly more approachable than her mother.

The cupboard doors above the counter top were still half open and bulging with extra bags of chapatti flour and rice, tins of plum tomatoes and tubes of garlic puree. Between the black granite worktop and mounted oak cupboards was the running seam of splash back tiles; stained yellow from the years of making oily curries and frying countless amounts of samosas and pakoras. She had not had a chance to clear up before her husband’s arrival and was now busy with putting away the frozen garlic cubes in the already over flowing freezer.

“Many times I tell your father buy freezer, buy big fridge, he don’t do!”

“Don’t do nain doesn’t do it hunda ya[4]!” Yogesh corrected his wife, “Ekee sal[5] it’s been since you’ve been in this country, more maybe and you can’t even speak the language properly yet!” Yogesh looked over to Sanjana and winked, “And my food isn’t even gharam![6] What is this?” He took a long sniff of the contents in the saucepan, “Chollay chawal![7] I’ve come home to bloody chollay? I should have gotten married to your sister, she was selling for less goats! And makes at least some decent food.”

‘Um…dad? Maybe this isn’t the best time…’ She tired warning her father, but he was hardly listening, caught up in his own mischief.

‘Your sister makes good food and has managed to keep her figure after bearing three children, what about you toddow?[8] You have three children too.’ Her father looked at Sanjana with triumph and pride over his comment.

Sanjana’s eyes shot straight over to her mother’s face and she analysed it to see the kind of reaction her father would get. From the crimson rising from Pinky’s cheeks to her pale temples, it looked like things were about to go the way of the Mahabharata[9].

“Ja, dafa ho, ja![10] Get out from here! Idiot man!” Pinky grabbed a broom from the corner of the room by the bins and advanced towards her husband.

“Hey, I’m your husband; this is no way to treat me!” Yogesh tried desperately to stop his wife from coming closer, but was met by the end of the broom to his crotch.

“You think I’m your naukrani[11]? Make the food, put away the food, and clean up the food! Now you make your own food! Ghando sala![12]” Pinky managed to sweep her daughter and husband into the hallway and held onto the heavy fire door to make sure they could not re-enter her territory. And with a final stab at her husband’s arrogance, yelled “Ja, buddhay ma dhey cucher wich bhet ja[13], I know she is your first wife and your only love!” and slammed the white door shut.

Sanjana was never really astonished or shocked at her parents’ behaviour. It was only when she saw other couples their age acting sane and conservative that she felt that there was something not quite ordinary about her own mother and father. She knew from a very young age that their relationship was one that was constructed by her grandparents, an arranged marriage. She understood that without her grandparents’ help, her parents would never in a million years have dated or even married and in turn she would not even exist. Sanjana loved that even though her parents didn’t know very much about each other before they married; they had blossomed into a relationship where it was acceptable for Pinky to drive Yogesh out of the kitchen with a broom.

She looked up at her father, he was grinning because he had enjoyed annoying his wife, he seemed happy with the fact that he was able to wind his wife up to the extent that she would lose her temper. For him it was a kind of triumph.

‘Why do you annoy her so much? You do it on purpose, I know.’ Sanjana quizzically looked at her father.

‘Of course I do it on purpose! She’s chucked me out of the kitchen, now I can relax while she warms up my food for me. She doesn’t understand jokes; she’s a very gullible person… Any films on tonight?’

‘You have no shame, dad.’

‘Ey Pinky-eh! Make sure you bring my food to the table, and make sure its gharam![14]

Sanjana could hear her mother from inside the kitchen but could not understand half the obscenities that were being yelled over the banging of the steel pots and pans. She heard a plate being violently lifted from the shelf and dropped onto the granite counter top. She then heard it a few moments later being thrown into the microwave oven with the miniature door being slammed shut. A few buttons were pressed and the hum of the machine began.

Sanjana gripped the door handle and opened the door. It was a risky move, but she went in for the purpose of her work, she needed to see her mother’s actions, she needed to remember every part of this argument for her assignment. Pinky turned her head away from the silver sink for a second to see her daughter enter, gestured her over and turned back around to continue washing the dishes. As Sanjana moved closer her mother began to speak loud and clear so that her father could hear.

‘Does that man seem crazy to you? He is making me so crazy, summaj dah ki apna ap nu?[15]’ Her mother seemed to be a little calmer now than before. Her ponytail was becoming loose and some stray hairs from her head were sticking up, but she didn’t seem to care. Her beige Marks and Spencer t-shirt was wet from washing the dishes and little stains could be seen from where the oil spat up at her while she was cooking. The suds had made her hands look like prunes and the gold from her rings shone in the fluorescent lighting.

‘Have I told you what your grandfather said to me about my husband?’ Not this old story again, thought Sanjana. Every time her parents had an argument, her mother would tell her the same tale over and over.

‘Your grandfather, my father, was psychic. He spoke truths about people that no one even knew about. He was having argument with me one night and he said to me my husband would be a monkey who loved his mother more than me. And look what I got? A monkey who just sits with his mother all day long after work.’ Pinky turned away and started to put dishes back into their places in the cupboards mounted above the counter. ‘You choose your husband properly; make sure he doesn’t live with his mother.’

Sanjana wasn’t too sure about the story her mother told her, she knew her grandfather was an amazing man, but a psychic? Perhaps Yogesh was right, perhaps her mother was just a very gullible person.

‘Take this food to your father’, Pinky opened the microwave, ‘tell him if it isn’t hot enough he can warm himself! I don’t want to see his butha[16]. I’m going upstairs to sleep.’

‘Right, okay.’ Sanjana held the plate at the edges and walked out of the kitchen and into the living room where her father was waiting for his meal.

‘Where’s Pinky? She’s gone ruskeh?[17]

‘I did warn you’, Sanjana could see that he was sorry for winding Pinky up and she could see that he was a lot more loving than Pinky gave him credit for.

‘You know I was thinking,’ her father’s guilt seemed to wash away within a few seconds, ‘you can use your mother’s argument as your homework, sorted.’

‘Yeah. Thanks, dad’, Sanjana sighed, emotionally exhausted.


[1] Dirty (masculine- to a male)

[2] Cooking/masala smell

[3] garlic

[4] It’s not ‘don’t do’ its ‘doesn’t do it’

[5] Twenty one years

[6] Hot

[7] Chickpeas and rice

[8] Someone who waddles

[9] Hindu Poem about an epic war

[10] Go, get lost, go

[11] Slave girls/servant

[12] Stupid idiot

[13] Go, old man, and sit in your mother’s lap!

[14] hot

[15] What/who does he think he is?

[16] Ugly face

[17] To sulk

 

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