I don’t understand why You allowed it. Her and I were not that close, but she was the type of person who made a connection with everyone she met. She made a beautiful impression. She was like another sister to my brother. She was the girl that my Mom couldn’t wait to work with: “so lovely, really brilliant with the kids”. She was the girl who my dad would tell my brother to “find someone like her”. I remember a pinky promise with her that she would be one of my bridesmaids. It was a long time ago - a bunch of girls getting over-excited talking about our weddings.
I can’t even begin to imagine how her family are feeling, if I’m feeling like this. I’m hurting for what they have lost. So suddenly.
She was stunning. Young, just twenty one, but with a maturity and spirit far beyond her years. She was someone I admired; someone who everyone could see You shining through. She was a ray of sunshine, a giggle, a comfort, an example. She was a blessing to everyone who knew her. So full of life. You must have been proud of the woman she was becoming. She emanated Your grace. She was so talented. Had a gift for making anyone smile. Gentle, kind, smart. It was good to know that there were people like her around. Thank You for lending her to us. I don’t understand why You chose to take her back. I will never understand. Written down like this it sounds like You made her too good to be true.
Maybe she was. Maybe that’s why…
I hope, I pray, that those who are now hurting in the space she’s left will realize that You are sovereign and reigning over all of this. Your timing is impossible to understand, but it. is. perfect. We won’t understand until we join her in Your presence. That’s the only thing that doesn’t make me feel sick at the moment: the steadfast knowledge that she is with You. Free from all we have to deal with down here. She’s dancing, singing, laughing with You. I hope, I pray, that they are dwelling on this too. I’m so thankful that she dedicated her life to You.
It seems so unfair though. Why her? Why them? They’re good people. I hope, I pray, that they turn towards You, not away from You now. That they remember that You love them as much and more than they love her. So, so much.
Please draw close to them now, and to all of us lucky enough to have spent time with her. Please give them peace. Please give them strength. Please give them an inexplicable joy in knowing that she’s with You. And please tell her that, even though her and I were not that close, it was an honour to know her. And that she is, and will always be, deeply, deeply missed.
Inside most of us there lives a little music snob. But some embrace it, feed it and turn it into a giant
arsehole music snob. We all know at least one. They’re those people who when you ask what music they’re into will rattle off a list of bands or people you’ve never heard of, coupled with a look of pity and judgement that makes you feel like you’ve wet yourself in public when you admit it. “Oh… you’ve never heard of the ‘The Plinky Plonky Poos’? Hang on one second whilst I gather saliva to spit on you…”
Don’t get me wrong, I will pity you and judge you and
spit on you resist the urge to spit on you if you own the entire Ke$ha album. And I love finding unknown artists that nobody else has heard of. But I would be lying if I said that I didn’t accidently-on-purpose buy ‘Tik Tok’ one day when my finger slipped and clicked the purchase button… and then accidently listen to it enough times to know most of the words. It’s really freaking catchy ok!!! One of those infamous guilty pleasures we all pretend to hide. And it’s upbeat and happy! I feel bad for those giant snobs who only listen to droning indie rock songs about politicians and brussel sprouts. What do they have when the sun is shining and they roll the windows down in their car? Probably just a fifteen minute “totally controversial” harpsichord solo.
It’s a good thing to get a little pop in now and then. But there should be a balance. The opposite of the giant snobs are the cheddar ears. These are those whose iPod is so full of cheesy pop that ten minutes of listening turns you lactose intolerant. They know all the lyrics to ‘Baby’ by Justin Bieber *shudder* and they squeal and do that jump-with-mini-clap thing when they hear Spice Girls on the radio. In my opinion, they deserve to be snobbed upon, for the very same reason that the giant snobs deserved to be cheddered upon – NO VARIETY! There’s nothing like finding a gem that doesn’t run the risk of being played to death on the radio. And it’s not difficult these days with Spotify and iTunes showing artists with similar sounds to those that you listen to most.
Hey cheddar ears – why not find a name you don’t know in the list of related artists and give them a listen? Not sure about them? Then click on their related artists! Before you know it you’ll be listening to a folk rock band from the seventies that’s not ever been played on Radio 1… and find yourself loving it. There are some massively talented people out there who just haven’t made it into the top forty! Get a little snob in you! And hey you giant snobs – lighten up and stop judging! Listen to the radio now and then! Not all mainstream stuff is terrible, I promise. Variety is the spice of life folks – add some flavour to that music library!
I am not the same person I was ten years ago. And I’m pretty sure it’s the same for you. If not, then I bet you’re annoying as frik. Because as we go through life, we go through life changers -those moments of realisation or periods of growth where you come out differently to how you were before. Here, in no particular order, are some of mine:
Being born – Probably in the top five biggest life changers. I was two weeks late so wasn’t keen to live in the real world, but I really believe that I’ve developed as a person since I made the decision to start breathing with my own lungs.
Realizing I will never be a cool kid – And being ok with it. Cool kids had an exclusivity about them that meant not everybody could be friends with them. I would rather be that person that everyone liked, not because they had to say they liked them but because that person was genuinely nice to everyone. I’m lucky enough to know a couple of people like this – they are the salt of the earth. I also realize that I am far too opinionated to be one of them, but I’m trying to get better… ;]
Being pinned by my little brother – It got a lot harder to beat him up after he got bigger than me. I now have to resort to surprise attacks (when he’s sleeping or eating, for example) and pinching.
Moving to England – I say this with love: People here are weird. And I say this with love: South Africans are weird. I don’t know which group of weirdos I belong to and I kinda like it that way! I have a British accent but I will complain if you get my food order wrong – best of both worlds!
Getting my scooter license – She was a beauty. 50cc’s of raw power and purple. What more could you want in life as a sixteen year old girl? My first taste of independence. The crazy frog song came out around the same time so the kids at school used to sing it as I drove past them… but they were walking and I was flying with the potential to hit 35mph if the road was going down a steep hill baby!
Eating an original glazed krispy kreme doughnut – I’m in love. If I could eat a dozen every time I passed a krispy kreme stall and not become one of those people that only gets out of the house with the help of 14 firemen and a crane then I would. Instead, most of the time I have to walk past them and pretend that I’m a normal person who’s not crying inside because I can’t stuff them into my face.
Making my first cup of tea – I knew then that I could survive on my own. As long as I could have tea, bring on the apocalypse.
Learning that all cornettos have a few centimetres of solid chocolate in the tip of the cone – Until then I genuinely thought that I was just really lucky and always got some sort of cornetto anomaly that had had too much chocolate poured in it. Every time. I was a very optimistic child. Then I learned that they were all like that and that I was not the special lucky chosen cornetto one.
Going to San Francisco – Didn’t know anyone or anything there but ended up having an amazing time! Pretty sure I made a massive arse of myself since everyone was super cool and charming, but got a taste of what I want in life; a job I love and a community of supportive people. And sweet potato fries with ranch dressing.
Downloading instagram – I now see everything as a potential deep and artistic photo. Show me a lucozade bottle in a puddle and I will stick the ‘Hefe’ filter with increased contrast and a bit of soft focus on that shizzle to make it a metaphor for how life can sometimes get you down kids.
I have such a huge brain that sometimes it’s so busy finding solutions to complex equations, world issues and reciting pie to a couple of thousand digits that it doesn’t shut down properly at night. HA, just kidding. Actually, my brain is so slow that it takes longer than it should to process what’s gone on during the day. Or something like that. Googling it just brings up information about how it’s only meant to happen with children and that I really should have grown out of it by now. But then I’m also meant to be too old for Happy Meals and Kinder Eggs but getting toys with my food is like totally the best thing everrrrr!
If you haven’t gathered yet,
Some song lyrics these days are ridiculous. Examples? Glad you asked:
“Boom, boom boom. Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon.” (Katy Perry - Firework)
I’m going to have to stop you there Katy - I’m afraid your physics is a little squiffy. You see, the moon itself is not bright. That is, it does not produce its own light. Don’t worry about it - you have blue hair - nobody expects you to know about the moon. What we see when we look up into the night sky is, in fact, the sun’s rays being reflected off the moon’s surface. No troubles though – not difficult to correct – you just need to change the words: “Boom, boom, boom. Even brighter than the sun’s rays being reflected off the surface of the moon, moon, moon”. You’re welcome.
“Want you to make me feel like I’m the only girl in the world” (Rihanna - Only Girl)
There would be a heck of a lot of pressure that came with being the only girl in the world. I wouldn’t be able to handle it. You’d have to be co-anchor on every country’s news stations and breakfast shows. You’d be the only person supplying tissues or receipts from your handbag to people who needed to spit gum out or blow their noses on the train. You’d be the only one to buy flowers for, so eventually the world would be overrun with flowers and we’d all die a horrible hayfeverey death. I can definitely see some benefits though… you’d win all the gold medals in all the women’s Olympic events, even if you do run slower than a three-legged tortoise with M.E. and you only do forward rolls and enthusiastic clapping for your gymnastics floor routine.
Frankly, you would be in so much demand that you’d end up having a breakdown and then there’d be no other girls to talk you through it whilst applying face mudpacks and watch “Never Been Kissed” for the four hundred and seventy sixth time. I know there are guys that would happily do that, but they’d all be busy giving hair styling tips and replying to ‘agony aunt’ letters.
Finally, and this is the biggie, you would be responsible for re-populating the planet. Single wombedly. No. Thank. You. Good luck though, Rihanna.
“Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack” (Ke$ha - Tik Tok)
Well that’s just going to chip a tooth innit. No plaque fighting or enamel protection there. I bet her breath stinks.
“I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way.” (Lady Gaga - Born This Way)
What exactly is the track that you’re on Lady Gaga? Judging from the looks of it, it’s the track to being sectioned. I guess if that’s what you’re aiming for then yep, you’re on the right track. I’m sure you’d love the straitjacket look. I bet you’d accessorise it with a pair of fishnet tights over your face, a hat made out of the souls of Peruvian children and pickled onion shoes.
And you definitely weren’t born that way Lady Gaga. You were a heck of a lot smaller… with a heck of a lot less random crap sellotaped to yourself.
“Hand you another drink, drink it if you can.” (The Wanted – Glad You Came)
I don’t know about you, but in my experience I have found that when somebody gets to the point of being unsure about whether they can drink another drink or not, they have reached the point when they should stop drinking. Do not hand them another drink. Continuing will usually lead to them passing out or throwing up, neither of which is a desirable outcome. I would avoid going out with The Wanted. They apparently pour drinks down into you, with no care for the outcome and then write cheesy songs about how glad they were about it.
“If I was your boyfriend, never let you go. Keep you on my arm girl, you’d never be alone.” (Justin Bieber - Boyfriend)
Highly impractical. And way too possessive Justin. It’s bordering on stalkery. You may as well add “wear your underwear and steal your cat”. I’d never be alone?? I’m a bit of an introvert dude; I’m good with being alone. If you never left me alone then eventually I would rip off both your legs so you couldn’t follow me as I ran away… laughing… putting them on ebay to sell to ‘Beliebers’.
What if I need the loo? What then Justin? If I was always on your arm then how would that process work? And showers?? You’ve got to put on ring on this before you get to my side of the shower-curtain boy. And the answer is no.
I am not very good at being a girl. I was a huge disappointment to my mother. She wanted to put me in frilly dresses and throw tea parties for my dolls - I wanted to run barefoot and throw rocks at lego. I laugh at fart jokes and I punch instead of slap. I have never cried at a film (my mom actually got mad at me and called me “hard-hearted” when I didn’t cry during ‘My Sister’s Keeper’).
My hair has three styles. 1: loose. 2: ponytail. 3: that front bump thing. Style 3 takes at least half an hour to get right because it requires some girl-power involving hairpins and twisting and I am low on those powers. Sometimes I combine style 2 with style 3 - that can take up to an hour.
I cannot paint my or anyone else’s nails. Nail varnish will get in your and/or my hair and neither one of us will understand how. Filing my nails, or being in the vicinity of somebody filing their nails, makes me dry heave.
I very rarely wear dresses because when I think about putting one on, the same question always pops into my head: “What if I need to climb something?”. It’s a serious question. I think the reason I ask it is due to a combination of loving to climb things, wanting to be always helpful and never wanting anyone to have even a remote chance of catching a glimpse of my butt (it’s a mild phobia – in a uni game of “would you rather” I am famous for picking “have aids” over “be naked forever”. Please don’t be offended by this – we were young and dumb and hilarious.). So my thinking is, imagine the horror of passing an old lady who’s beloved cat, Mr. Johnson, is stuck in a tree (apparently it happens all the time) and having to look into her lovely, wrinkled face and say “No, I’m sorry Mrs. Lady, I cannot climb that awesome-to-climb-looking tree and save your distressed cat because I am wearing a dress.”. I struggle to be ok with that.
I can. not. flirt. It is a completely foreign language to me. If I fancy a guy, then instead of doing the whole hair-twirling, lip-biting, giggling thing that they all seem to go for, I am likely to mumble something about leprechauns with a wild gesture that knocks someone else’s red wine all over him. Or I’ll jump into his conversation with someone else with something that I think is pretty funny but that may come across as mildly racist if taken in the wrong way and because I realize this as I’m saying it I get the intonation wrong and say it like a statement that definitely sounds racist.
I don’t find mini ketchup bottles or wine bottles or shampoo bottles or mini version of other things that aren’t bottles “cute”.
The thing is, while I’m trying to work on some of these (mainly the dress thing), I’m ok with the fact that I’m not a very girly girl. Proverbs 31:30 says “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” So I’m going to concentrate on that. I know that my relationship with God is the only thing that brings eternal satisfaction and fulfilment. When I’m living closely with Him everything else falls into place; it doesn’t matter if I have a bad hair day or if I can’t flirt with the hot waiter!
I also know that deep inside there’s a 50’s housewife waiting to allow a strong manly man to open jars and kill spiders for me… :)
This week an 8 year old told me that I am old. I know I’m not old, but sometimes I do do things that make me feel old. Hehe… I said “do do”….
- Young: I stay up until 3:30am for no good reason.
- Old: I yawn every 20 minutes, on the minute, until I catch up on the missed sleep hours. This can go on for days.
- Young: My brother and I beat each other up for fun.
- Old: I hurt for weeks afterwards.
- Old: I like olives.
- Young: I spit the pits at people.
- Old: I know they’re called “pits” and not “pips”.
- Young: I had to check google to make sure.
- Young: I’ll sit on the floor. Pavements, trains, funerals – if I want to sit down and there isn’t an acceptable form of seating in the immediate vicinity (children at bum height are not a viable option – their necks aren’t strong enough – trust me) then I will happily plant my arse on the floor.
- Old: I can’t sit cross legged for more than 4mins 28secs and I can’t get up without grunting.
- Young: I want to start fights with annoying strangers.
- Old: I ‘tut’ at annoying strangers.
- Old: I know what a thesaurus is.
- Young: I wish it was a well-educated dinosaur. Wearing a bow-tie….
- Young: I love playgrounds. I will literally push kids out of the way to get a swing or to do the monkey bars. I frikkin rock at monkey bars.
- Old: My knees reach the ground on the monkey bars and I get stuck in slides.
- Old: I do Sudoku.
- Young: If I make a mistake I can’t fix I scribble over the whole square and throw the pen down. Stupid maths.
- Young: I’m allowed to wear skinny jeans.
- Old: I’m not allowed to wear Heelys.
- Young: I desperately want a pair of Heelys.
- Old: I don’t need a babysitter.
- Young: I jump on the kids I’m babysitting’s trampoline after I put them to bed.
- Young: I say “I’m gangster”. Combined with some kind of generic gangster hand gesture.
- Old: I’m being ironic.
- Old: I talk politics.
- Young: Everything I know about it has been learned from “Mock the Week” or through glancing at newspaper headlines as I flip through to get to the cartoons.
- Young: I like Dubstep.
- Old: I like Beethoven….
- Young: ….the dog…
He heard the familiar sound of the fabric softener being splashed in and inhaled deeply. Jasmine and white orchid – it was a new bottle! His mouth watered in anticipation. He would not miss the strawberry and lily flavour and hoped The Hands wouldn’t either. A new bottle and a dark wash meant that this day could not get any better! So much more choice than the whites…. stripy, spotty, with writing or his favourite…. with pictures.
The Big Door closed as he scrambled down to the water pipe, using the little holes in the drum like a ladder. He remembered being a youngster, admiring how quickly his father had been able to climb The Big Shiny, and felt a sense of pride in the fact that he could now get about just as quickly. Maybe one day he would have a son of his own to teach The Hunt. He stretched his dark green legs out and unfolded the webs between his finger and toes.
The click sounds meant that the water would be arriving soon. He clung on tightly to the edge of the water pipe and braced himself as it rushed through. Not long now. The Big Shiny began its laboured spinning. Slowly one way, a pause, then the other. More water and the sharp zing of detergent. Round and round, faster and faster. He waited.
The spinning slowed and he prepared himself. There is was… the pause… a giddy rush on the senses as the flavour was added. The Hunt was on. He took a deep breath. As the water hit his toes he let go and stretched his streamline body out, long and thin. Years of practice came into play as he shot through one of the holes in The Big Shiny and collided with The Bundle. It began to turn, thrown about by The Big Shiny as he quickly took stock, pulled himself together and began his frantic but meticulous search. There was the familiar grey jumper. The faded underpants. A dark red dishtowel. He ignored them, his focus pinpointed on the small, dark outline stuck to the edge of The Big Shiny. He swam over and realized that he had been wrong – the day could, and had, got better! It was a brightly coloured picture one! A treat!
He grabbed it and used his sharp teeth to rip into it. The flavour had soaked in nicely. He held on to one of the exposed threads and pulled. As he unravelled it he swam down, back towards the water pipe. His timing was perfect. The Big Shiny slowed then stopped its spin and the water began to leave. Once more he stretched himself out and left through one of the holes, holding onto the end of the thread and taking it through with him. As he got into the pipe he turned back and pulled the rest of the delicious thread through, wrapping it around his slimy arm. He took a bite and was once again grateful that The Hands had a new bottle of flavour. This would go nicely with a bit of limescale.
By now the water in the pipe had receded and The Big Shiny was in the throes of its final spins. He began the short journey back to the sewers, nibbling on his catch as went and stopping to mine a chunk of limescale at a large patch his father had shown him.
Behind him, The Big Shiny had ended its work and The Bundle lay heavy and wet on the bottom. There was a rush of air as The Big Door opened and The Hands reached in.
The bundle was taken out and dumped on top of the washing machine. Mom began to sort through it, hanging up the familiar grey jumper and throwing the faded underpants and dark red dishcloth into the tumbledryer. They were joined by a black bra, a dark green towel… and a pair of green stripy socks, a pair of plain navy socks, a pair of spotted black socks, a pair of plain black socks…. and a single purple sock with a picture of a cow, never to see its mate again….
When I rule the world (…any day now), the following shall be illegal:
- Men wearing short shorts. Allowed when competing in sports but nowhere else. Nobody wants to see your hairy thighs.
- The double kiss greeting. Confusing and long and I don’t want to kiss you if I don’t know you mkay.
- Leaving a hi-5 hanging.
- Standing on the left on an escalator. Will be punished by inducing some sort of physical pain/death to the inconsiderate twonk.
- Wearing socks and sandals.
- Using bluetooth for a phone conversation whilst not driving. You look like a crazy person and I’m not sure if you’re talking to me or the voices in your head. If you’re worried about cancer then wrap your head in tinfoil.
- Enrique Iglesias.
- Moaning about not being able to gain weight. Oh shut up.
- Not having seen “The Lion King” if over the age of 3yrs.
- Leaving a missed call and not answering the phone when the person you called returns it 30 seconds later. WHERE DID YOU GO???
- Being under the age of 40yrs and having a goatie beard. Ew.
- Saying “I have a secret” and then not telling it. Just be honest and say “Hey give me attention!!!”.
- Humming/mentioning/even vaguely referring to Rebecca Black’s “Friday” song.
- Enjoying “High School Musical” if over the age of 14yrs.
- Men wearing pinky rings.
- “Go Compaaaaaare”. Go and diiiiiiie.
- Wearing sunglasses inside. You don’t look cool. You look like a douchebag trying to look cool. Blind people are exempt. Hungover people are not. You’re gonna be telling everyone how hungover you are all day anyways so why bother trying to hide it hmm hmm hmm??
- Chewing gum with your mouth open. Your spit should never be heard.
Obviously levels of punishment will vary according to the severity of the crime.
Take some time to study and commit the above to memory. Others may be added at a later date.
I am simply trying to make the world a better place. You’re welcome.