Written on | May 15, 2013 | No Comments
Something I really want to do is to get all my blogs and Twitter printed into books, because one day the internet will explode/Xanga will finally (and not a moment too soon!) be consigned to the scrapheap and all those memories will be gone forever. Has anyone done this before or have any recommendations for sites?
Anyways, I was looking over my Xanga today expecting to laugh fondly at all the old memories and silly writing .. and I did, but at the same time I was absolutely appalled at the awful pandering for friends and talking freely about people I used to do back then in the caveman days of 2007, like Xanga was the no-man’s-land of Google search. Good grief, I might overthink everything now and take myself far too seriously, but at least I can credit myself with having a bit more common sense.
However, one thing that did turn out to be a gem was my profile from 2009. I might be about a stone heavier with longer and blonder hair, but my profile information could essentially have been written yesterday.
Time, you are a funny thing.
Written on | May 13, 2013 | No Comments
For the first time in a long time I’m sitting here with a familiarly huge cup of coffee and on opening this space to write have some things to say. It’s been a while since I’ve had this time to myself with no other deadlines, to look at poems, and tumblr and old blog posts and feel inspired. To admit that I miss writing and want to write more. I miss sitting up late at night with the window open, living the blogger cliché, writing the first thing that comes into my head .. and then backspacing and thinking of something better.
I’ve been feeling downtrodden by work, uni, and life recently. It is hard to feel interested in my own likes and passions when it is easy to sit back and pay attention to Adam’s instead. It is difficult to feel like what I have to say is important when I am just one in a crowd of people who are supremely uninterested in me.
I am rediscovering that I am one half of a pair, but also a whole in my merit.
Written on | May 12, 2013 | No Comments
One of my favourite things to discuss with Adam is what we are going to call our future dogs. We both love dogs, and whilst he has a cute dog of his very own I am just living vicariously through my Gran’s dogs, Rocky and Dolly. Right now my vote is on a really small dog called Margo and a big dog called Titus Pullo. They will be best friends and look hilarious when they are walking along together.
I think dreams about having a dog are the best kind of dreams because there is absolutely nothing stopping us getting one! They are highly attainable.
You can take my money, my preferred job and my dream travel destinations .. but you cannot take my potential dogs of the future!
I can’t wait.
Written on | March 10, 2013 | 2 Comments
On the left is my great-grandmother Nettie Stephen, taking a break on Aberdeen beach from her day job working in Birnie’s hat shop in George Street. She was a lovely gentle lady, who spent her days in the Stewart Park playing tennis or taking part in the church charity sales.
This is my great-grandfather Peter Macnab. A mercantile clerk for a sugar-sack company by trade, he was called up in world war one and served in Mesopotamia with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He had a love of English, of words and rhymes, and even when dying too soon from cancer he would entertain my Grandma with his stories. Years later my Grandma would be the first person in her family to graduate from university, with a degree in English.
Front row, second from the right and smoking a pipe is my great great grandfather Tom Stephen. Expelled from Gordon’s college at 14 for hitting a teacher, he set off across the ocean with a shipment of his father’s Shetland ponies and was the first person to bring Shetland ponies to Canada. He worked his way around America on ranches before meeting and marrying my great great grandmother Jessie May in Toronto, Canada. They came back to Aberdeen during the first world war so Tom could sign up and serve in the RFA as a gunner, and so he could lug a Mesopotamian bomb shell across the desert and back home, to where it currently sits on the floor of my bedroom. Back home and after having retired from joinery he lived out his days in a little pensioners cottage dishing out tuppence to visiting grandchildren from a pile in his sideboard, so they could buy themselves a cappie.
Here’s my Grandma on the right, with her friend Dodo in London in 1945. At the end of the second world war prisoners were being marched back to Britain via a camp at Uxbridge, and with the influx of people wanting to phone home the British Telephone Exchange needed volunteers from their regional offices to cope with demand. Every night my Grandma and Dodo would sleep in bunkbeds in an underground bunker with other girls from all over the UK, and all day they would put through calls from ex-prisoners of war phoning home. They would listen to them sobbing and telling their mothers they were alive, and even though a call home cost a shilling they never charged them a thing.
Written on | February 26, 2013 | No Comments
1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
- Finished first year in uni and went into second year!
- Went to a research seminar about Chile.
- Did the Pass Plus driving course.
- Worked at 5am for the whole summer.
- Visited Castle Fraser.
- Celebrated my TWO YEAR anniversary with Adam.
-Developed an all-encompassing love for sweet potato fries.
- Became obsessed with taking an ridiculous array of vitamins.
- Had a gastroendoscopy and an ultrasound.
- Got a job in the Basque country of France for 2014 (!!).
- Watched the Olympics in Britain and went to the Olympic champions parade in my hometown!
- Met Bill Bryson.
- Went to a debate on euthanasia.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My main resolution for 2012 is to seize the day.
- Stop being so lazy and get out of bed earlier. Don’t waste the whole year snoozing! FAIL! Unless you count working at 5am in the summer.
- Pay off my credit card and then snap it in half. WIN! And how’s snapping it into quarters sound?!
- Build up savings. WIN AND FAIL! I saved .. and then I spent.
- Be more active online, writing here and commenting on other blogs. FAIL!
- Eat much more healthily and do more official exercise to bring my BMI down lower in the ‘normal’ bracket. I’m really excited about Tosca Reno’s Eating Clean and the Couch TO 5k. FAIL!
- Keep that diary for a whole year once and for all! FAIL!
- Visit Kerry in London and go to a Blitz Party. FAIL!
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but just after Christmas Adam’s family got a tiny little puppy, Bella, which my mum is treating as a baby. I went round to visit and was greeted as “Auntie Gemma”!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
Sadly, none other than Scotland. I went to Glasgow with Adam, and then again to Glasgow with Stuart and Alexbell.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
More exciting stories to sum up my year with! A feeling of forward motion in my life, that I am moving towards all the life goals I have instead of just treading water and maintaining.
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched on your memory, and why?
Honestly, none. It had been a plodding along at a steady pace year with no major mishaps or surprises.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting the job in Biarritz. I was absolutely aghast when I went to the first compulsory year abroad meeting and found out that because I am studying French and Spanish and have to spend six months in France and six months in Spain next year, all the rules and paperwork mean that I am not able to teach in each country like I wanted to do, unless I went to Argentina. To get round this the French advisor advised me to apply for a work placement which just happened to be teaching. I had to chase up old references, write a cover letter and CV in French, and then go through an interview with the adviser and the head of French. Then, I had to have a phone interview with the school in France which I prepared for all in French .. then on the day they interviewed me in Spanish instead. I am pretty proud and amazed with myself for getting the job!
9. What was your biggest failure?
Quitting the job at the convenience store where Adam used to work after two weeks. The manager said she would take me on as a summer job so that I could earn more money, but I ended up having to work extra shifts at the petrol station in the morning because the manager only gave me tiny shifts at night. I was working double shifts and was fed up and exhausted, so I ended up quitting and working extra shifts at 5am at the petrol station instead.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just successive colds and migraines.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My new iphone or my teeny tiny netbook to take to uni, which is so slow but its feather-lightness makes up for it.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My Gran’s, for all the happy times we had watching Downton Abbey and chatting at her house.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Let’s just say, if you steal forty thousand pounds from my family member and chuck them out of their own home, you are not going to be in my good books.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Honestly? Squandered. But other than that on textbooks, and translations of set texts.
15. What did you get really, really excited about?
Honestly? (This is kind of sad) Getting a new iPhone. I could use Instagram! And buy a Cath Kidston phone case!
16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
On my iTunes I have a playlist called “2012″ which contains a mighty .. 8 songs. They are:
Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine
Tree by the River by Iron and Wine
Saturday Night at the Movies by The Drifters
Kissing in the Back Row by The Drifters
Such a Night by The Drifters
Give It All Back by Noah and the Whale
17. Compared to this time last year are you: a) Happier or sadder? Probably a more balanced individual! And I would rather be a person more balanced between happy and sad than the extremes of happy or sad.
b) Thinner or fatter? FATTER. Dear oh dear.
c) Richer or poorer? Richer. No credit card debt!
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Saving and maintaining it.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Spending money on food and stupid women’s magazines that turn my brain to mush. No more, 2013!
20. How did you spend Christmas? At home with my family, with Rocky and Dolly eying the turkey, laughing at Trivial Pursuits, and glued to the TV watching the Downton Abbey and Call The Midwife Christmas specials with my Gran.
21. Did you fall in love in 2011? No, just happily stayed there.
22. What was your favourite TV programme? DOWNTON ABBEY.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
24. What was the best book you read?
The Casual Vacancy.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Adam’s band, the Sylver Bridal. And Ben Howard!
26. What did you want and get?
The job in France.
27. What did you want and not get?
Adam to get a job after his work placement.
28. What was your favourite film of the year?
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was twenty on my birthday, and I went to Prezzo with Adam. We went to Slain’s for cocktails afterwards, and had tickets to go see Die Hard at the Belmont, but it was such a cold night and I was frozen to the bone so we just went home instead and it was marvellous.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Finding nice friends at uni.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
I AM OBSESSED WITH GAP.
32. What kept you sane?
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Tom Branson and Matthew Crawley!
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Scottish independence! And THE ROYAL BABY.
35. Who did you miss?
36. Who is the best new person you met?
People at work. Gosh, that’s sad.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Don’t worry about things that don’t concern you.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope / It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat”keep going »