She Threatened To Smash My Face In

Writing

Who walks into a shop to buy some Christmas baubles for their tree and instead has ‘you’re a f*cking b*tch’ screamed into their face as ‘Jingle Bell’s’ plays in the distant background? Only yours truly ofcourse!

Nothing reminds me more of the season of giving than being on the receiving end of the odd curse word, tirade of insults and that all too familiar tsunami of spit. It’s never a dull moment if you’re me in the shops I can assure you of that.

Let’s rewind for a moment, it’s Friday, everyone loves a Friday (unless of course you work weekends, then it sucks to be you). And what better way to kick off the start of the weekend, and the start of your Christmas shopping, than with a wander around overpriced shops? Doing exactly this, last Friday afternoon was rather boring, yet in doing so, I was content within my mundane little bubble until it was abruptly popped by an aggressive ram to the back of my Achilles heels by a stranger’s pram. The force so strong it made the Trojan Horse look like ‘My Little Pony’. I ignore this ‘accident’ from a fellow shopper, perhaps they had a spasm, slipped on a banana peel, had a moment of utter delusionment and unknowingly forgot their manners. And thus, giving them the benefit of the doubt, I continue to rummage through the tat on the shop floor.

No sooner had the pain dissipated from my heels than had it returned again, like an unwanted smell wafting, which you somehow find yourself consistently down wind of. This time I grit my teeth, crumple a pasty paper mache angel decoration in my palm to a pulp and turn to the perpetrator of this unforgivable act.

I thought pigs couldn’t push prams? I say internally as I give the doting new mother a look like she’s just killed my family pet. No amount of make up disguises an ugly personality, with her overlined lips she seethed through gritted teeth for me to ‘not bother giving her dirty looks as she said ”sorry”. To which I blankly stated ‘I wouldn’t, if your pram push wasn’t intentional’. And to this she erupted like a flantulent St Helens. Hotheaded and rough af, she proceeded to storm around the shop like a bull in a china shop spitting verbal abuse at me from left, right and centre. ‘F*cking b*tch this, f*cking b*tch that’, I wish I’d brought my swear jar for this lovely lady.

Before I’d even had a chance to register what was even being said to me, I watched in shock as other shoppers stood from a distance with both caution and concern at the behavior of this show up. I look around me, I too am in shock at this individual’s escalation from 0 to 100, afterall she was the one who rammed me. Eager to diffuse the situation, my attention turned to try and find the shop assistant before matters truly got out of hand. I spotted the manager but on first glance thought she was a mannequin thanks to her lack of expression, concern or action for what was unfolding before her vacant eyes. I pleaded for her to call security as I truly feared for my safety as the headless chicken of a mother hen rampaged through the store, a hurricane chicaning, refusing to relent. The shop manager,  to my utter astonishment, proceeded to flat out tell me that I was making the situation worse. ‘How could a mother with a pram do you any harm? I’m not calling security’. Was her phrasing. I’m sorry but just because you’ve a pram doesn’t making you bloody Mother Theresa. You can’t judge books by their covers. With this I was truly deflated, my safety means nothing to nobody. Had this aggressive individual spoke to the manager or one of her colleagues how I was spoken to, getting up into my face at a point,  I’d like to hope she would’ve had the respect and decency to call security in that instance. But for me, just a ‘shopper’ I’m somehow the problem?

‘Well Merry Christmas to you ya filthy animal! Your shop sells cheap tat anyway!’ I should’ve said, yet with an overwhelming feeling of disappointment and sadness at the event which had just unfolded I left the shop several minutes after my aggressor stormed out at the sound yet unfortunately not the appearance of ‘security’ at my request.

Sitting on a nearby bench to the shop I reflected and wondered had my actions caused such an explosive aftermath? Or can you truly be caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time? Should I have just not turned around when she bumped into me? Was it really an accident?

How can you not turn around if you feel a thump to your legs? If it was an accident why did she do it twice and at such force? Besides from the way she reacted to my turn around said it all. She was quite simply someone with no manners. If she wanted passed, couldn’t she have said ‘excuse me’? But at the end of the day it’s not my job to teach someone manners, and unfortunately the reality is is that sometimes you may find yourself on the receiving end of this. With that aside what hurt me the most was the lack of consideration given to me by the shop manager. Whether I’m a customer who enters your shop to buy a £1 item or £1,000 item, shouldn’t I be treated with the same respect? Isn’t that what all companies looking your custom want to portray, so you shop with them? That they care for you? The takeaway message from that event is that you need to take care of yourself. Not in a  selfish way but have some respect for yourself and your own well-being. Know that how you handle difficult situations says alot about your character aswell as the others involved.

I hope you don’t have the experience I had too often, and that Santa brings you something a little better than a chorus of cussing this festive season.

Merry Christmas! x

 

 

 

Poem: Home

Writing

Where is ‘home’?

Is home my little brick house by the sea, corroded by gale gusts and seagulls?

Is home the place in my mind, that place noone else can see of?

Does my heart lead me home, where my parents still reside?

Or if migrated, is it instead the place where I first began life?

Tell me –  ‘home’?

Is it just a little place that we dream of?

 

What if I said that I had no ‘home’?

Would this be a joy or tragedy?

A nomad has no set land of their own.

So does this mean that they must live life tragically?

 

Why do we feel the need to call a certain location a ‘home’?

For a sense of security, comfort and shelter?

If we were to all lose our homes tomorrow,

Would it be for the worse or for the better?

 

 

 

 

Change

Writing

I feel like I’m in such a weird space at present, no sooner have I moved flat than I’m trawling the jobboards of everything from Indeed.com to Craigslist (ok maybe not Craigslist).  Being a seasoned veteran on these job sites is not something I’m proud of, frequenting them so much that Google ads now pop up with ‘need a new job?’ as I’m downloading a voucher off Groupon for a pair of discounted leggings.

What’s going on with me?

I just have this inbuilt element of restlessness, like the kind you get when you sit on a computer chair for too long and your ass starts getting really itchy. I have to get up and move, find something different. I truly think there’s something not right with me, I honestly get bored of things too frequently and too quickly. Tell me I’m NOT the only one who feels this way?!

This attitude has seeped its way into every aspect of my life, from where I live to what I eat. I’m a glutenous pig for chips, but I just can’t stomach any other food item repeated more that twice in a row.

This element of ‘change’ has sprung to mind in more recent times as I think about how much change I’ve actually went through since moving to London. Change to me is like a flame to a moth, I’m attracted to it but with dangerous consequences.

Jobs, housing, hobbies, hair colour! I’ve done it all! I seriously ask myself if I’m having some sort of identity crisis, a quarter life breakdown, perhaps? But these frantic thoughts and feelings are swiftly pacified by a session of binge eating and multiple episodes of ‘Botched’. But  I guess you can only suppress your feelings for so long, sooner or later they creep back out from under the woodwork. Manifest themselves in mysterious ways. If you’ve ever found yourself getting annoyed at the checkout lady in the supermarket for not scanning through your groceries fast enough then maybe it’s actually a sign that you’re internally annoyed at yourself for something. or if you find yourself crying after impulsively ending the short life of a housefly which landed on your homemade Victoria sponge, maybe it’s time for some self-reflection.

At least this is what I’ve found in my own life, frustration in myself can wrongfully be taken out on those closest to me. One thing I get frustrated about is this sense that we have such little time on this planet and it’s as if I change what I’m doing a little too often because in some subconscious way I have massive fomo (fear of missing out). Life is short I want to try as much as I can, I guess. But is this really the best attitude to have?

There’s really no point getting worked up about time, I know that but sometimes you can’t help it. When you see people your age travelling or enjoying certain experiences you can’t help but wish you had those too, right? That’s why I think social media on the whole isn’t a good thing for people’s mental health. We are being bombarded by a plethora of photoshopped pictures, and rented out rich lifestyles. Photos and opinions are liked and disliked, all of it a facade at the end of the day.

Apologies, I feel like I’m going off on a bit of a tangent, I just wanted to share with you this element of change I’m going through currently. I wonder if I’m alone with this, or have you went through change as frequently as I?

I’ll leave this with you, the words of Greek Philosopher Heraclitus (terrible choice of name):

change is the only constant in life.”

 

 

 

 

I Finally Did It!

Writing

If you’ve been following my quarrels and qualms in my quest to find a new humble abode here, then it may come as a surprise to both you and I that I have done the impossible and actually managed to find a place to live come September this year!

 

But before I bathe in blissful sunlight with a sigh of relief, let me remind you of the moment when I was wallowing in petty self-pity. It was the moment an estate agent tried to do me wrong! Nothing new there, you might say! It was several days ago, I had viewed a property that I’d quite liked the look of, I put in an offer literally the same day. Having heard absolutely nothing for the next two I then decided to ring up the letting agents, to which the blandest voice on the other side of the phone whispered ‘it’s been taken. But if you want you can put in an offer to the landlord.’’Ok, um …what offer did the other bidders put in’. I asked, to which he replied ‘I can’t tell you that information, just that it was higher than yours’. Well no shit Sherlock! I placed an offer higher than my original price out of pure desperation, then I hung up the phone and began sobbing in the toilets at work. Ok so maybe not sobbing but I definitely paced back and forth like a lunatic who badly needed to use the toilet but couldn’t decide which empty cubicle to use. After 5 minutes of pensive pondering I then flushed one of the loo’s randomly (and washed my hands ofcourse), and this was when I had my eureka moment. The estate agent was lying! He just said there’s been a higher offer so that I would push mine up in order for him to make  higher commission!!! 

 

This thought stuck in my mind like minty gum to the underside of a school desk, Mr Bland has tried to steal my money I internalised! I later got an email from him saying that the place was taken, that there was nothing more I could do, my offer wasn’t high enough and that was that! Not taking no for an answer, I proceeded to send him emails as a paper trail, asking for proof of the offer, one thing he did say was that this ‘higher’ offer was made on Friday, I viewed the property on Saturday so why would you show others around a property which has had an offer on it way above the original asking price? Anyway, his answers via email were more than lacklustre so I decided to take the detective measures into my own hands. Goodbye Natasha, hello Charlie! Charlie my other self, makes the odd appearance when I’m doing a bit of undercover work i.e. like when I’m sending emails to dodgy estate agents asking them if a property is still on the market! Charlie was able to get a ‘yes’ from Mr. Bland, yet Natasha somehow got a ‘no’. Conclusion – someone’s been lying! Finding this out made me even more angry but then it hit me, would I really want to have dealings with a lettings agency who lies to people like this just to line their own pockets? The short answer is ‘no’. And with that I gave up on that place I liked the look of and about a week later found, in my opinion, a place twice as good as it, for just that little bit more money. I guess the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ really does ring home in this instance.

 

Speaking of money,  because I was so desperate to get the place, I put down a holding deposit immediately to take it off the market, and now I’m broke af. 

 

Yes, I have a home, and now a new challenge arises! Survive 2 weeks in London on £30 in total! I’m not even joking this is all I have left until payday on the 24th of July. I just picture myself ending up like Voldemort baby in Harry Potter by the end of this week,nevermind the end of next. Either way, it will most certainly be the end of me! I will definitely let you know how this goes!

 

Le Moi:

4AkiO

Hunting

Writing

I’m currently looking for a new place to live here in London, having lived here for almost three years now, it’s safe to say I’ve done my fair share of moving around. From Golders Green to West Ham and places in between. I’m someone who likes change and I think as my rent will be put up even higher this year it’s time to move once again.

 

I’ve never seemed to have any luck with estate agents here in the capital, when I first moved here after graduating from university in Bristol I was quite naive and ended up turning up to places like Brick Lane and Hampstead expecting to view a property for £600 per month. Yet instead found myself stood up, the property never existed. I now have a better idea of what properties are realistic and what cowboy estate agents are trying to pull the wool over my eyes. Personally I find the rent here in London far too high, it’s pretty much extortion. But I guess with the attraction that the city has to so many of us, you’re always going to find people willing to pay eye wateringly high prices, after all competition for homes is rife here.

 

In addition to dodgy estate agents, I found myself in a rather unfortunate situation with flatmates too. I swear I’m cursed with property hunting. When I initially came to London I managed to stay with a live in landlady who was shady af. She only accepted the deposit in cash, never online (so there was no evidence that I ever paid her the money in her eyes, also she wouldn’t be taxed on it this way), I remember her also strictly enforcing that I had to deep clean the entire flat every week, if I failed to do so she would charge me a £20 fine each time. It’s not that I’m allergic to cleaning, I just don’t feel like I need to ‘deep’ clean weekly! Also I don;t know if this is legal but she said if I ever brought ‘visitors’ over she would charge me £15 per night! Hhahaa is she some pimp or seedy hotel owner? I never did bring anyone ‘over’ as she so vulgarly put it. The weirdest thing of all though was when I was awoken to the sounds of loud banging on my bedroom door one night, like after 11pm. I opened tn and to my surprise there were two men in leather coats speaking what sounded like an eastern european language. They asked me where the landlady was to which I distinctly remember her saying a few days prior that she was off for a few weeks ‘holiday’ (fitting timing). I told him this to which he replied ‘tell her I want my deposit back, I was the previous tenant of your room and she hasn’t given me my money back’. He then signalled to the apple mac which was on the table in the kitchen to which I said it wasn’t hers, it was another flatmates, which was true. He then told me  that he would’ve taken it if it was hers as a result of her refraining from returning his deposit. The scary thing here was that he did not come alone, another man was with him and that he had cut keys to gain entry into the property. Let’s remember he wasn’t standing at the front door he was inside the property. Shortly after this occurrence I left the flat and ofcourse I never got my deposit back either. This is a thing you have to look out for when renting, dodgy landlords aswell as estate agents who can try and steal your deposits.

 

After this rather frightening encounter I moved in with workmates from a media company I initially worked for when moving to london. All was fine until one of the guys came back high on cocaine with a bunch of other guys and proceeded to tear up the living at 3am in the morning, I was so scared I literally barricaded myself in my room out of fear of not knowing what they’re intentions were whilst off their heads. I was the only female in the flat at the time of this. And certainly didn’t go back to sleep once they made their presence known in the living room next to my bedroom. So you can see where this is going, I moved again. I often think to myself are my expectations too high for housing situations here in London, personally I don’t believe so, I just want somewhere which isn’t the size of a matchbox or has less light than a cave. Equally so if the flatmates weren’t trying to steal my money or peel the skin off their own faces while overdosing on class-A drugs then that would be a nice thing too. Not asking for much you know.

 

So on I go in my search for a new apartment, I’m a a seasoned veteran at flat hunting now, which is both a good and bad thing I guess. I hope you’ve never had to experience any of the things I did above, and that you’re home hunting has been smooth sailing. I think it’s time to get back on with the hunt then …wish me luck please, I’ll need it!!!!!

 

**If you ever need advice on some recommended places to live here just let me know! I’ve learned it the hard way hahah!

Why Are We So Messy?

Writing

If you’re a messy son of a b*tch like me then you should be shouting that fact from the rooftops, hilltops and every other kind of top out there. Wear your messiness like a medal of honour my friend. Let me tell for you why:

1. It boosts your immune system

Yes mouldy pots and pans are breeding grounds for bacteria. Which means sparring grounds for your little friend – the immune system. Exposing it to all types of bacteria will do you a world of good. If you’ve never had food poisoning in your life then thank your messy kitchen habits, don’t blame them!

Moving on!

2. You have time to do the important sh*t  

Why scrub the floors in your marigolds when you could be throwing ball with your son or catching up with old friends? Leave the spillage where it is! If someone falls on their ear, fate made it so, not you!!

3. Your blood pressure will thank you 

Anytime guests come over you won’t be running around like a headless chicken picking up the crumbs of the all butter shortbread you’ve just gave them with their cup of tea. If they drop a crumb it’s all good, the dust bunnies will nibble on it later. 

4. It feels more homely

 A home is meant to be a home not a live-in museum! Why would I want any guests feeling like they have to walk on eggshells for fear of accidentally knocking over my 16th century antique crystal? I want them to put their feet up and relax, nothing says relaxation like an already stained sofa, right?

“Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Is Being Messy Actually A Good Thing?

Writing

Maybe this is just what I keep telling myself to make me feel better as I hurdle over the dirty dishes, shimmy past the week-old laundry and divebomb straight into bed after a night out with friends. Yes, my flat more times than enough looks like the scenes of an explosion, comparing it rather to a game of minesweeper, where if you place one wrong foot you’re slipping on a banana peel or a copy of my latest electricity bill which is no doubt overdue.

 

Ashamed to admit it, I’m rather messy, but aren’t we all atleast some of the time? Are you telling me you enjoy washing up pots and pans after slaving over a hot stove, or folding clothes after 8 hours at work? Exactly!

 

On the hunt to convince myself that being a messy son of a b*tch isn’t such a bad thing I bring to you the following points:

 

  • Messy could mean creativity, In a study conducted by scientists at The University of Minnesota, Kathleen Vos, psychological scientist concluded –  “Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights,”.Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage convention and playing it safe.” Have a read here of their study it was really interesting, it involved chocolate bars and ping pong balls, what’s not to love about that?
  • You have more time for the important stuff, who wants to tidy up when you can go on that date to the cinema, or catch up with old friends at a restaurant? Stop placing your sticky notes in the order of colours of the rainbow and get yourself outdoors!
  • Your blood pressure will thank you, if you’re a neat person, chances are your beady eye will latch onto even the smallest misalignments. It’s like once you finally finish brushing the floor, only then do you start spotting the microscopic specs of dirt you need to catch. So do yourself a favour and be messy, you’ll stop sweating the small stuff as a result!

 

Whether the above points in favour of being untidy are totally true or not, shouldn’t I still take pride in my humble abode (matchbox of a flat) by keeping things somewhat in order? Doesn’t it show a sense of care for myself and for anybody else I’m living with? Even if I live alone and noone is there to see my mess, do I really want to have a zero f*cks attitude towards tidying? Not really, for the whole reason we aim to keep things tidy at its core is to keep thing hygienic and in good condition, to place value on sentimental possessions and to feel comfortable in the space we live in. To do this I must show respect to the place I call home, or else I’m not really respecting myself.

 

Well, off I go to pick up some mouldy fruit from under my bed!  

The Land Of Ice & Fire – Northern Ireland

Writing

I’m returning home for a short stint of rest and recuperation tomorrow, which normally means gorging on copious amounts of chocolate until someone shoots me with an insulin pen while drowsily watching yet another round of ‘Saving Private Ryan’. My dad’s choice btw, who I’ve no doubt will be out for the count before the opening credits are up.

 

This thought reminds me that I don’t go home enough. If you, like me, have spent considerable amounts of time away from your hometown, it feels weird going back. Why? For a reason I just can’t put my finger on. Everything is I guess, familiar in appearance, yet strangely it just ‘feels’ different. Well, at least it does in my case.

 

Northern Ireland may be a small place geographically, but I’m proud to have come from it. What other country hosts an accent so childlike one second yet so abrupt the next? What other place mentions their links to a ship that sank so proudly?! What other country sets the scene for so many epic moments of the Game of Thrones saga? Which reminds me, did I tell you about the time I signed up to an extras agency in Northern Ireland and oneday received a text message from a member of the extras casting team? Put it this way, the reason you’ve never seen me in GoT is because £400 isn’t going to buy me a realistic enough wig after shaving all of my hair off for one of their scenes. That was pretty much the offer you see, would you shave off all of your hair for £400? Maybe you would, but I wouldn’t! I’d probably have went through all of that to get 2 seconds of camera time and even then it would be of the back of my patchy shaved head! Yes, I know, I’m a glass have full kind of girl.

 

A change of scenery will be good no doubt, not that I don’t like London, but twisting the phrasing, a break away from sweaty bodies in tubes and overpriced milk won’t be such a bad thing I don’t think.

 

Well…..off I go, hope you have a great weekend where you are.

Home: Rent Or Buy Which Is Best?

Writing

As I wipe a tear from my eye each month as I watch more than ¾ of my salary fly out the window towards the cost of renting here in London, I ask myself – is it all worth it?!

 

This matchbox size of an apartment, does it really warrant the equivalent cost of a very expensive bottle of Brut annually? I think not. On a salary so low I’ve considered donating a kidney and a neat little portion of the liver to the black market, I have no choice but to rent.

 

I’d love to own my own home there’s just no feasible way I could afford to buy a property outright. And it seems with the way renting is going, savings will quite simply a foreign word for the next decade of my tender life. But before you pack away your violin too quickly, I’ll give you another reason why renting is the bane of my life – the landlord!

 

Yes you thief of the night, if you’re reading this please note that I love the fact that you send your builders round at the crack of dawn to fix blinds I requested fixing months previously. I love how you put the rent up year on year despite the conditions of the flat deteriorating daily! And last but not least, I love how you walked in on me while squatting on the loo and proceeded to tamper with the fire alarm and ask me how my day at work was in the process. Ahhh renting, don’t worry, you’ll never be alone, your landlord is practically your flatmate! Who’s only nice to you when you hand over the remaining entrails of Mr. Piggy.

 

All I can say is – please God, let me win the lottery soon!

cold dark eerie environment winter autumn halloween

Poem: Cold

Writing

It’s cold outside,

My windows – opaque.

Toes –  curled up tight.

Hands – beginning to shake.

 

Amber embers of fire flicker,

I begin to rock.

My breath in the air grows thicker,

There’s a hole in my sock.

 

The fat black cat returns back,

She always let’s in the cold.

I bolt shut the cat flap.

As she squeezes out the window.

 

If only I had another pair of socks,

Or a lazy fat black cat.

For now I’m running out of luck.

As the fire’s just blown out by the draught.