Saturday, 31 August 2013

#30daychallenge day 20: how important is education?

obviously, education's pretty important. quite important. rather important. very important. sort of important.

i could take this blog the way of looking at how important the government (or, future government, yikes) thinks education is, but frankly, i'm pretty politicked out right now, and have another week of frantic electioneering to get through/avoid as much as humanly possible, so i'm going another way with this.

i've been thinking a bit about the hierarchy of education in our lives. by this i mean the ways in which we value a person's education; how we decide someone is smart; how we measure ourselves. i'd like to acknowledge that i'm writing from a priviledged white perspective; obviously even within australia there are huge discrepancies between socioeconomic groups, and differences of heritage etc at play. i'm speaking from a pretty comfy point of view, and i know it.

i am lucky enough to have a Bachelor of Arts; i am lucky enough to be able to undertake a Masters while i continue to work. all through school, i did quite well; i was lucky enough to fit into the education system as it stood at the time. i know that for a lot of people, the education system is not really a happy thing; school is just a period in time to survive before you get out into the world and start your real life. of course, i've been thinking about school, and what it sets you up for, and what you do with your life afterwards because tonight is my 10 year high school reunion. 10 years after the fact, everyone will have gone their own way, some to university like me, some to apprenticeships, traineeships, parenthood, starting their own businesses, some have traveled and/or are still traveling. one notable laila is doing her PhD- not many people can brag that level of ability!

for a while there, the most important thing for me was to get to university; it was a driving factor and a focus upon which to motivate myself through end of school exams. i wouldn't do it any other way; i think i always knew that my final mark would be relevant for all of the 10 seconds it took me to get into uni with it, then it became irrelevant. your school mark is not you, or representative of your future life's success.

and i loved my BA, every minute of its decadence; learning just for the sake of learning; feeling your brain expand with each wonderful fact. it widened the world for me; it introduced me to feminism. it gave weight and justification to consuming countless coffees, debating endless points of politics and history, dressing the part with opshop chic, working at a pub on the weekends. outside of uni, life was a little on the rough side for me, but at uni, learning, i was enthralled. again, i think i always knew that my BA wouldn't open the world of extremely well paid work to me; there were not piles of letters offering dream jobs awaiting me out in the Real World. but it didn't matter; those years will always be golden. they helped make me who i am now.

of course, i am in awe of those who make a career of academia; that's another direction i might have taken if i had a longer attention span and an idea actually worthy of a thesis. still, i maintain that long after the facts and figures of a PhD have blurred, the other skills you learn from the simple situation of dedicated study are there with you for life- they are your tangible, take-away education.

and now, let me get to the point of this post; my formal education, the actual things i learned, are pretty long gone. what i got from that experience was a different sort of education quite apart from facts, and so what i really believe is important, as an education, are the things you do in your life that force you to grow and change. my life's education has been the people i've met and the places i've seen. it's been my highschool years and my BA, but it's also been moving to canada; it's been learning to snowboard; it's been a long-distance relationship that failed; it's been my quiet and peaceful life in the here and now, where i get to write, work, study, collect thrifted clothing and drink over-priced bourbon.

life is an education, and so it's unavoidable, to a degree (geddit?!). all those folk i'll meet again tonight, some for the first time in 10 years, have gained their 10 years of education in all manner of places, i don't doubt.

the important part, i think, is the part where we grow and change. it's how we grow, and how we change, that counts. the important part is that it happens. whether you fight it or not, you're still having that education shoved in your face.

so choose to learn.

treasure: a beautiful list that i found

Friday, 30 August 2013

secret: it's Friday and I'm excited

yes, I have officially become one of those 9 to 5ers who loves Fridays.

I did write a serious thing here for the 30 day challenge, but I wanted you guys to have these:

#30daychallenge day 19: disrespecting your parents

So here's some thoughts more on generational issues than on parents in particular; could mean coworkers, older family friends, aunts and uncles, grandparents ... relationships. Tricky.

I don't think it's news to anybody that close relationships operate a lot better when everyone respects each other. It leaves room to disagree, without things getting ugly.

I think it's important to note that in the case of adult relationships, the respect thing has to go both ways. It's interesting, to come back to your hometown as an adult and have to renegotiate that particular relationship. Once you factor in the generation gap, there are plenty of negotiations to be made; a balance between support and independence, the push and pull of meeting expectations and being free of them, the space to pursue whichever path your life is taking that particular week and the confidence to make decisions of your own.

It has been interesting for me to get into this analysis of Generation Y for one of my assignments; there was certainly the heartening discovery (or I should perhaps call it a reassurance) that it is typical of our generation to lack the financial capital to purchase a house at the earlier age that our parents did; that we pursue further education and career changes constantly throughout our lives; that different world events have moulded our perceptions of ourselves, our peers, our parents, our lives, our family. While our families watch our lives unfold, chances are there's going to be a disconnect between those living this stage of life and those of a different generation who are watching. There's just not a lot of point saying "by the time I was your age I had this and had done this and this", because really, it's just not that relevant anymore. Nor are we, the Generation Y (oldest of us in our early 30s, youngest of us just 13) particularly fond of hearing it. We're not failures for doing things differently.

A feeling of disrespect might often be as simple as miscommunication, but for Gen Y where communication is everything, this probably has a significance to us that it may not have had to our parents and friends when they were at our age. We are social media kids, and so we are used to having a voice. It's less and less the case that children are meant to be seen and not heard. For instance, I use my 'voice' loudly, on a daily basis, and I expect to be listened to. The earlier generations can grumble about how it used to be, or they can realise that time has passed and things are done differently, and marvel at how much people like me who are writing are willing to share with them.

I mentioned in this post that one of my highs of this year was getting to know my parents and be friends with them, and it's certainly true. It's always a bit weird to sort out how everything should work when you still want them to make you feel better when you've had a bad day, but you also don't want them to know all the details of your life (and they probably have a point where some things might become Too Much Information). I like to think I've got it figured out, so far, for now.

To lighten your mood and leave on a sweet note, I also like to use 'kids these days', ironically or otherwise. And to completely embrace my inner Gen Y, here are some more hipster cats. I know you love them, even if you're too cool to say so.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

#30daychallenge day 18: my beliefs

it's awkward when i feel like i've sort of already touched on this with day 4: my views on religion.

so i shall, at this point, wildly ad-lib some ideas and opinions (which could be transposed into beliefs). i ask of you, excuse the repeated use of the list format; i just find it easy to think aloud this way.

Nothing grates worse than someone who actively likes their life.

Don't be a dick about that though.
Except when you're shredding the gnar. Because everyone should do it. I believe this for true and forever.
  1. people should do the best they can. try to be good as much as possible, and i don't mean good like making your bed and never having old teacups in your room. i mean like, don't waste your tiny amount of time on the planet arguing and complaining. do the things that make you happy, but also, step back and let other people do the things that make them happy.
  2. don't ever talk in a complainy voice; not even as a joke. 
  3. it's hard to get the balance of cynicism and realism right, but try.
  4. you'll never regret dressing up crazy in opshop clothes, but dressing boring every day may just kill ya.
  5. be prepared to be amazed by stuff. by this i mean, stuff you were wrong about, like pop music, or pop rocks, or popsicles.
  6. have fun being an adult. try to do something every now and then that you used to fantasise about doing when you were a kid waiting to be an adult. like i don't know, drinking beer in the daytime, staying up late watching moves, telling people your opinion about things like it matters.
  7. Remember that things are fleeting and you have to be brave.
yolo, motherfuckers.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

July music challenge: week 4, or, In Conclusion

I'd like to say that it's taken me this long to get to wrapping up last month's music challenge because I wanted to take some time to reflect, but the truth of the matter is, I just didn't get to it til now.

While I have found myself more likely to put on a female-based playlist this month as an echo of the habit of July, I have enjoyed a whole lot of new music that I was waiting until August to enjoy. And interestingly, what I've found is there's a lot of hiphop in that list. See, besides supporting women artists I'd like to support local artists, so there's a bunch of Aussie MCs I have grown quite fond of over the years; I suspect the love affair started when I was snowboarding, and it's never really gone away.

My ultimate dream-scenario would of course be an Australian female MC. Anyone know anybody? Please do let me know and make me the happiest girl in the world.

Statistically if we look at triple j (see way back to the first post for a link to such things), women are just not getting as much airtime. See also: this article. If women aren't getting as much airtime (let's for fairness sake assume these artists are just as talented as male-fronted bands... because they are) then we're just plain old less likely to get their songs stuck in our heads. Our favourites are partly our favourites from repeat listening, don't you think? If women musicians are statistically less like to be our favourites, we're less likely to buy their records, which means there's less of a market, which means less women are successful musicians, which means there's less of a pool of female-made music to put on the airwaves... and it all goes south at about this point. Understand me here though; I'm not saying you're not allowed to like male musicians anymore, or that you've been tricked into your favourites and you only think you like them. We definitely like what we like, but it's not such a stretch to think about why we like them, in terms of such a simple thing as what we've been exposed to. And I am not giving up Matt Corby for all the First Aid Kits in the sea.

This is the point where I admit it: fucked if I know how to sort this one out. Sometimes it's just awareness, but there is also the fact of your dollar: after a month of listening and admittedly barely scratching the surface of the female talent out in the world, I have to say, the thought of giving preferential spending treatment to female acts appeals. It's investing and being just slightly political with my pennies. For now, that's the best I can do, besides making you all mix cds that I'll be insisting you listen to (this probably won't happen, unless you ask me nicely and tell all your friends about my blog). Let's start a revolution: it would make an impact if we all started giving preference to purchasing music by female artists, or even making a point to request a song by a female artist once a week on triple j. ripple effect, and all that. no action is too small to make a ripple.

In a broader scheme, I have liked putting myself through a 'feminist challenge' - hopefully those of you reading for whom feminism is a squirmy word will realise that small and simple acts can hold a personal political significance. This is where these things start, and I have found it to be quite an easy task. So on top of various other writing-related challenges I'm committing to with my writing, I'm going to start a segment as regularly as I can manage to talk about how I've actively practised my feminist identity. Watch this space, and if it so pleases you, play along.

I'd like to leave you with a few favourites, old and new:

this one, because she's amazing and lovely, and I remember seeing her live at Woodford years and years ago, before she was even a solo act. 

this one, because Flume = awesome, and Asta is a newbie from my July Challenge. I like it; apparently not everyone on youtube does, but meh.

and this one because of 500 days of summer, and because I have a wicked girl crush on Regina Spektor; she is just bloody spectacular.


I've updated some things and added some things to secrets n treasures. Now you can search by tag, read the most popular posts, follow my Instagram account and have your blog delivered into your inbox every morning like the paper... except without it getting wet from dew.

#30daychallenge day 17: highs and lows of this past year

it's going to have to be in traditional list format this time, partly to save you all from a wordy response which starts with a point but disintegrates into complaining about being single (not really, being single is awesome).

highs include but are not limited to:
  • learning to drive a manual and being better at it than my ex
  • moving into town and unpacking my clothing for the first time in actual years
  • making new friends
  • starting a book club
  • starting my masters
  • writing this here blog and feeling validated by actual people telling me they read it, to my face
  • making friends with my parents, like real life friends
  • falling in love with armidale
  • armidale sunsets (and sunrises when i get up early enough)
  • my acquired whiskey appreciation
  • my ongoing conversation with my brothers, who i love even when they don't do what i want
  • putting new energy into old friendships and being rewarded with continued friendship agreements
  • live music and general inspiration
  • opshopping in my hometown
  • poached eggs and coffees at goldfish bowl
  • the bottle of bourbon i recently invested in
  • the sunday session i just partook in with some cool kids

lows may include:
  • having to rethink my plans when i'd already purchased a fucking german dictionary
  • my need for physio; between my ankle, hips and ribs (apparently), shit is getting expensive
  • running into the back of a stranger's car with my car
  • not always knowing my next move in life with any certainty
  • missing whistler (and yes, sometimes wishing i'd never left)
  • being far away from kindred spirits met in canada and missed to pieces
  • not having time to write letters to people who really deserve my letters
  • being broke and paying for it
  • that time i was housesitting and a chicken broke into the house and shat on everything.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

#30daychallenge day 16: my views on mainstream music

I have a general view on music: I say, music is good.

Music makes you happy, music makes you dance, music speaks to you on some level you hadn't quite articulated yet. Music gets you out of bed in the morning, music grants you joyous collective experience in the form of concerts, fangirling, social occasions where sing-alongs are appropriate.

Music is key.

I've talked a bit about music already, and last month I did a music challenge, where I only listened to female artists. But I probably haven't talked very much about mainstream music (and for all intents and purposes here, I'm interpreting 'mainstream' as 'popular', as in, top 40 artists). These few are not by any means representative of the scope of things, they're just on my radar currently, and that's that.

Taylor Swift:
Let's start here because she's kind of a big deal. Having recently been validated in my secret enjoyment of TaySwift by Tavi Gevinson, I have now gone public with my like of her. Well, by public I mean, I listen to her in my car while I drive to work some mornings. It helps to get me into the mindset of things! and stuff!, both of which are significant to my day. She's very poppy, but still harks to her country roots by mainly singing about relationships, which is how she speaks to a generation of girls and women for whom such things figure high-up on the priorities list. My current favourite song is '22', and I just think she deserves a bit of respect for her achievements at such an early age. Plus she's a bit of a dork, really:

(I also love Zac Ephron, but that's another story)

The only thing I really find to hold against her is her general snottiness about Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's joke at her expense at the Golden Globes this year, because it is important to be able to laugh at yourself, and I mean, everyone knows just how awesome these 2 are, go with it TaySwift! I suspect that sort of down-to-earthiness might develop with time, she is only 23 after all.

Miley Cyrus:
Bah, I don't have much to say personally but she is currently inviting a lot of criticism for her behaviour at the MTV VMA Awards last night; read this article here for a bit of a breakdown of her implicit racsim which I do agree is just not cool. Besides that, I'm not sure she's going off the rails like everyone seems to think, I suspect she's just a tiny bit of a douchebag at this stage in life, and I hope that maybe some of this criticism hits home in some way or how.

I choose not to touch how sexualised her performance is, because I think it's a hyper representation of the fact that sex sells, which we all know is the state of things currently. May it not always be the case that women have to simulate sex on stage for millions of fans to be provocative and popular (although, apparently she's pushed the limits too far; not sure where the line is, but it appears to be pretty blurry, which brings me to my next act...)

Robin Thicke:
I get into trouble here, because I found this single incredibly catchy when I first heard it. Like, put-it-on-a-birthday-mix-cd-for-my-dad catchy. Then, I saw the film clip, which made me think about the lyrics. Then I was put off. But it was still catchy. Which is why I heartily endorse this cover/parody:

A few things I might observe within hearing distance of Robin Thicke, or T.I., or Pharrell Williams (passive-aggressive styles): you're not subverting anything (Thicke holds it's a subversive track, pfft), you're silly, and I make hashtags look way better than you kids ever could.

Lady Gaga:
Nope, just kidding - don't want to touch this one. She sounds pretty cool when Caitlin Moran writes about her, but this burkha crap lately is just nonsense, and embarrassing, and no thank you.

I made an 8tracks playlist which you can check out here of some of my favourite "mainstream" hits that have immediately come to mind... (what is "mainstream", anyway?) - there are some remixes that I like. When the mood is right. You know the one.

Music does connect us... and sometimes it's pop music that means the most to someone- that doesn't make it any less meaningful.

a musical treasure: meghan tonjes covers bon iver's skinny love

i'm a bit sensitive about folks who cover bon iver (funny that, seeing as i've learned skinny love and flume on guitar) but meghan nails it. and is awesome in general, if you have time to watch her on youtube.

Monday, 26 August 2013

#30daychallenge Day 15: your favourite blogs*

*i've amended this - it called for my favourite tumblr sites, but i am new to tumblr and really haven't put much energy into it yet. it's like twitter for me - can see why it could be cool, but haven't gotten there quite yet. it's not like i don't have plenty of social media in my life already... what with all the facebookin, pinterestin, instagrammin, bloggin etc.

Let me start off by observing that I'm relatively new to being a reader of blogs, despite having written blogs for about 3 years. In Whistler it was all I could do to find the time to write something, whack a picture with it and hit 'publish'. Now, I'm studying and working full time and I still have that feeling slightly. However I get around this by following my favourite blogs on Facebook (this is why I have started my own Facebook page for my blog) and so I can see what all these folk are writing and when a title of interest pops up on my newsfeed, I can check it out. Alternatively, Z of 'Sometimes Z takes pictures' has this article with helpful suggestions.

But I will share a few blogs that I follow on the regular, just so you get an idea of what sort of stuff is inspiring me these days:

1. Her Library Adventures: this blog, written by Sophie for the past few years, was something I found while researching thrift blogs before starting on something for Re-Use-It Centre/ Whistler Is Awesome (FYI: this is my favourite blog from that time in my life). Sophie is now based in QLD, but has a lovely thrift/vintage/crafty vibe to her blog, with a bit of depth and careful thought. Recently, there's a lot of baby-themed things going on, but that's because she's due in less than a month, so I can forgive her, mainly because it's just so lovely and she's just so happy about it. Her 'Mid-Week Thrifting' section from a while back when she lived in VIC was always one of my favourites... it got my thrifting cravings going!

2. Another lifestyle blog I can't resist is Pip Lincolne's Meet Me At Mikes, which I've organised to come straight to my inbox, because I like to read it off my iPad in the morning when I have breakfast. Pip tends to offer commentary on all kinds of things (life & politics & culture & DIY & general awesomeness happening around the place), but not in a particularly pushy way, which is just the right vibe for breakfast time. She is also the author of several very lovely craft and project type books, and used to run the store called Meet Me at Mikes on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, which I discovered once and promptly forgot about (fail). Go and have an explore of her site - you won't regret it! 

3. Fiending for Hope is more on the feminist side of the spectrum; Britni is extremely eloquent on her opinions on things that I haven't figured out yet, which I find to be helpful whether or not I actually agree with her (because I'm a mature adult and don't get freaked out by ideas different from my own). Go here for discussions on everything from why Miley Cyrus's new song is not ok to the work she's doing with Hollaback! Boston (another cool blog/organisation to get into). Be warned though, Britni does tend to discuss things that aren't always so nice to read about, like rape, and this blog does actually come with a trigger warning, which is a kind way of letting us know this.

4. I may possibly have mentioned how I feel about Tavi Gevinson (I'm working on a loved-up blog about her talk at the Opera House earlier this month) but you really should check out her online magazine, Rookie. Just awesomeness. I wish I'd had this blog at my disposal when I was a teenager. Lucky I had Radiohead, that's all I'll say. Favourite posts I've read lately include decorating your room like a tv show or movie and this one about reunions and a lot lot lot more. One of my favourite parts of this website is the random tags section in the bottom righthand corner... there's so much content on this website that it can keep you occupied for hours. I just read this one about body acceptance today, and it's making me want to write a post of my own. In conclusion: rookie.

5. I've been partaking in a 30 day thrifting challenge this month, and while I'm waiting to the end of the month to do my write-up, Modern Girls in Vintage Pearls have been covering each day. It's great, and weirdly addictive, and I think I have spent more money on thrift stores this month than many other months combined, all in the name of this challenge (also, summer is nearly here! and thrifting is cheaper than regular shopping! and other such excuses!). I love her Op-Shop love post best so far.

That's enough for now, but I'm always looking for more things to read (while trying desperately not to get overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of words out there in the world). If you, dear readers, come across anything you think I might like, by all means, send it my way!

#30daychallenge Day 14 - your earliest memory

memory's a tricky one, isn't it? i have some memories of early on, not sure if they're My First Memories or any such thing. I think they only stick out because we were doing something out of the ordinary, but who's to say where they feature in terms of the common and familiar every day memory? i don't remember sitting up at the table eating breakfast with my family, but i also don't remember ever being surprised by it- so some of the everyday stuff has been absorbed before the point which i can remember.

and that itself makes me wonder, too- does it have to be something out of the ordinary to be a first memory? when something triggers my memory now, i wonder what values those memories hold, the ones that pop up unbidden.

and isn't it just funny how we can work for a memory, even struggle for one as someone else is asking us to remember, and yet others torture us by always being there?

i had been working on a piece earlier on the year, reflecting upon Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, and how powerful memory is, even when we'd choose anything but remembering our broken hearts and our lost love. needless to say, it was a fairly melancholy piece; there are nice parts to it which i may revive or shed new light on, sometime, one day.

down to business: my first tangible memory is of the time when my mum and dad took us overseas. stu and i were around 2 and 4 respectively, but hugh wasn't around yet. how weird to think of a time before hugh was in the world... anyhow. our parents took us across the world on a sightseeing tour, barely any of which has stayed in my mind. of the sights, i have fleeting memories of stone castles, large bodies of water, owls at a bird enclosure. but the very first graspable thing i remember (that i know i'm not remembering from photos) is that we went to stay with a family in the UK - family of one of dad's old flames, no less - and mum had bought some small gifts for their kids. for matilda, my age, there was an animal-shaped soap (can't remember which animal; dolphin, or koala) which i coveted the heck out of. i wanted that soap for myself, but i never got it- matilda did.

that's it. that's my first memory. 

i wish it was something more special, especially seeing as we were, you know, travelling the world. but that's it- that's what i've got. 

someone help me out- anyone else have an unglamorous first memory? 

#30daychallenge day 12: Bullet your whole day

On first reading, this prompt made me wonder about just shooting everything and everyone, but no, that was yesterday's migraine-induced mood. Today I love people again, so it's all good in the hood. Let the bullet points begin:

  • 6am wakeup to feed chooks and dogs yields this lovely sunrise
  • de-ice windscreen, drive into Armidale to the fine tunes of bliss n eso, chance waters, plus some bonus warbling along to jessie J's "Price Tag" and straight after that, "No diggety" as covered by the lovely Chet Faker. love a bit of iShuffle in the mornin'!
  • arrive at townhouse (currently housesitting mum's place; henceforth referred to as my countryhouse, thus making my actual rented room the townhouse)
  • shower, choose awesome thrifted clothes for today's 30 day restyle challenge prompt: metallic
  • dress, add finishing touches to article for UNE's Nucleus magazine (it's not my finest work, but I have all the necessary disclaimers and excuses, including afore-mentioned migraine)
  • get to work, wait for Kate J to do her regular wacky carpark activity (i could tell you what this entails, but then i'd have to kill you ... suffice to say she has a certain disregard for the white lines) and wander up to work together, procuring lunch invitation and other such joys
  • computer goes on, first cup in a long line of cups of tea gets put together and promptly sipped at, bag of japanese goodies gets cracked open (turns out they are puffed rice covered in chocolate, which i'm going to say counts as breakfast)
  • i make jokes about putting things into envelopes at my job. today, i actually put some things into envelopes
  • more tea
  • me n excel, we're tight: lists of people are the order of the day today!
  • lunchtime with kate J, parents of kate J and Gabi. We proceed to solve some problems of the world. No biggie.
  • an afternoon of some more lists, printing mailing labels (first on the wrong side, then on the right side) until finally ...
  • 5pm! hometime is the best time on a Friday night
  • home via dan murphy's because i've been craving dark beer all day - white rabbit dark ale does the trick, then
  • dinner and gossip at ellie's house with a cameo by trent
  • sad attempt to watch an episode of suits when i get home... proceed to fall asleep 20 minutes in
  • the. end.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

secret: planning ahead

Tiny post for a tiny thing that drives me crazy about myself-

Every single fucking year I buy a diary. Every single fucking year I use about 2 weeks’ worth; non-consecutive days of course.

Every single fucking year.

You know what I did yesterday? Nearly pre-ordered a diary for 2014. In August. Even though I never use them. This year I have 2 diaries, neither of which have been properly used.
I stopped for a second, and I thought some things at myself, and moved away from clicking the pre-order button. Next year I’m just gonna try and write notes to myself in a book with no dates in it, then try and look at the notes in time to avoid hefty library fines.

Thou shalt not buy copious diaries for no good reason, and instead make use of one of the thousands of blank notebooks already purchased and at your disposal: The 11th Commandment

If I were to buy a diary, it might be one of these.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

secret: a list of things to think about when you can’t sleep

1.       wonder if you had any caffeine today, by accident. Dwell. Realise there is caffeine in tea (somehow, in your mind, caffeine is relegated to coffee and energy drinks)

2.       remind yourself not to panic about the no-sleeping thing

3.       do backwards maths about the alarm (ie my alarm goes off at 7, it’s 1.45am, that means I’ll get 5h 15min sleep if I drop off right now, which I won’t, because I’m...

4.      ... planning my wardrobe for my trip away next week, and accommodating all related trains of thought, for example, must do washing -> must buy drying rack -> must go downtown (when is good? Settle on Saturday afternoon after considering Friday lunchtime and Monday lunchtime) 

5.       reminding myself to pay rent and bills and book a ticket for the high school reunion

6.       realising you owe emails to no less than 3 ex-boyfriends and almost instantaneously realising that you don’t quite know what to say to any of them (this thought leads you to wonder how long a gap is rude when someone has broken your heart)

7.       remember that you didn’t plug the iPad in to charge; scrabble round in the dark for longer than sensible before turning the light on to assist with the task

8.       trying to figure out the best time to get mum to dye hair before the trip away

9.       think of the list of people to catch up with while away, spare a second or two of non-religious prayer that you won’t run into the ex who hasn’t been emailed in a timely fashion

10.  drink herbal insomnia remedy that tastes like dead ants, write down everything bothering you, turn light off and try again.