Other

In the British Summertime

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In the Summertime.”

If it’s autumn or winter where you live, what are you most looking forward to doing next summer? If it’s spring or summer where you are, what has been the highlight of the season so far for you?

Summer officially started 9 days ago, and for the UK, it hasn’t been too bad so far. I’m typing this while sat outside in warm but only partly sunny weather. That said, I have already been sunburnt at least twice this year.

A couple of weeks ago I went to Manchester on a gloriously sunny day, and I wish I’d been planning to stay there longer to enjoy the evening in the city and maybe have a cocktail or two while sitting outside. This last Sunday I spent the whole day outside, firstly at a horse competition, then walking the dogs on the beach with ex-colleagues, then back to the horse competition. It was a really lovely day apart from the sunburnt neck and scratches from impatient dogs wanting me to throw their balls!

But my highlight so far was going to Black Rock Sands (Morfa Bychan, nr Porthmadog) with my grandparents to meet my aunt and uncle. It was the best weather of the summer so far, and we had a lovely picnic and chatted all afternoon. I took the dogs so they had a run on the beach and a paddle in the sea. There are two campsites right nearby, so I plan to visit again (maybe a few times) over the summer.

I’ve still got a busy summer ahead: I have something on every weekend from now until half way through September. I have 10 horse shows, a birthday party, two hen parties and two weddings, and maybe some other stuff. It would be nice if the weeks were busy too, but hopefully a job isn’t too far off.

(I know it’s a bit like blasphemy in the UK, but I wouldn’t mind a bit of rain: the ground is as dry as a bone and I’m worried about my horses having enough to eat!)

Music

Playlist of the Week #4: Inspired by Glastonbury

This week: a Glastonbury inspired playlist. I still have plenty to watch on the BBC website, but these are some of my favourites so far. I haven’t uploaded videos from the festival, but full sets can all be watched via the BBC link.

  1. Catfish & The Bottlemen – Kathleen

I don’t pay much attention to the charts or record sales, but I really hope this band make it big. I saw them in Chester when they became really popular after Homesick won Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable, and they were great. They got good reviews for their set at Glastonbury too, and maybe one day they’ll headline!

  1. Super Furry Animals – Do or Die

SFA rule. (in the search results for this video, a live performance from CD:UK came up, reminding me how old the song is, and how old I am)

  1. The Mothership Returns – Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)

I would love to see these live. If I was in Glastonbury, this is definitely where I would’ve spent Saturday night.

And one extra this week: if I was there I don’t think I would’ve watched the Foo Fighters if they played. I’ve seen them live a couple of times and they’re awesome: one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. But I’m not keen on their newer stuff, which is what most fans seem to know and want to listen to. When I saw them in Manchester and they played Monkey Wrench, there was no-one else around me singing along. When they played This is a Call, no-one even knew it! When I saw them in Leeds, they were cut off before the end of their set, so all the crowd could hear was Taylor’s drums. I’m pretty sure it was this song, also my favourite Foo Fighters song, and one of my favourite songs of all time: Everlong.

Music

Playlist of the Week #3: As Seen on TV (and a Guilty Pleasure)

I haven’t listened to a whole lot of music this week, something I really should make a point of doing since I decided to start this regular post series! With that in mind, this week’s playlist is a rather diverse mix…

  1. Annie (Official Soundtrack) – It’s a Hard Knock Life

I was catching up on Big Bang Theory episodes earlier this week, including an episode where Howard, Raj and Stuart are cleaning the kitchen and start singing this. Fast forward several days and there’s me walking around humming the tune.

  1. Nerf Herder – Rock City News

Another one from TV: Buffy is about to be removed from Amazon Prime so I decided to go through Season 7 quickly. Despite watching this episode (Empty Places) several times, it wasn’t until this time that I realised Nerf Herder guest starred in it.

  1. Jason Derulo – In My Head

I’ve been listening to my ‘unknown album’ album on my phone in the car this week. And because I’ve had to switch my phone off a few times, it keeps forgetting that it’s on shuffle. So I start every journey with Taio Cruz’s Dynamite and Jason Derulo’s In My Head.

Also, I ‘read’ an article on BuzzFeed (UK I presume) where they went to Download and asked a bunch of heavy rockers what their favourite pop song was. I wouldn’t class myself as a heavy rocker but I am a music snob, and this is definitely a guilty pleasure. It’s just so bad it’s great! I’m actually singing along, making silly faces, while it plays on YouTube in another tab. This is pretty much what I’m like every time it comes on in the car. I dread to think what I look like…

Television

Angel and Buffy

I’ve just rushed through the final series of Buffy and some of the episodes in the final series of Angel, because they leave Amazon Prime in a few days.

I’m reminded about how much I liked the final series of Buffy, despite popular opinion. Yes the potential slayers were mostly dull and cannon fodder, like most viewers I wished Kennedy would die early, and Buffy made just a few too many speeches. But Faith was back, Principal Wood was hot, and it was a great ending. There were also some really funny bits (Buffy and the bazooka, Anya in general) and some genuinely touching moments (Xander’s extraordinary talk with Dawn).

But I’m also reminded of how much I didn’t buy into the Buffy and Spike thing. I really enjoyed the episode in Season 4 where Willow cast a spell on them and they were getting married. And I suppose I could understand the self-loathing, no-strings sex. But the romance? To me it always felt like Spike just wore her down, professing his love so much she felt obligated to reciprocate. I don’t really believe in ‘falling’ for someone just because they’re in love with you: sounds a bit too much like settling. I’m not saying I wanted her to end up with Angel, but at least that felt equal: they liked each other and fell for each other at the same time (no matter what happened after).

I wish I could say I enjoyed the final season of Angel. The standout episode is Smile Time (where Angel is turned into a puppet), but mostly it felt like a drag. One in which they killed off their two lead females, replaced their great female antagonist with one no-one cared for, at least brought Harmony back for some comic relief; and brought more men into the picture. Don’t get me wrong: I love all the male leads, and ‘Spike and Angel’ was great. But I really missed Cordelia, and killing Fred was just cruel. To be fair, Angel started going off the rails when Connor came into it, but I felt like it could’ve been recovered. Admittedly more difficult after Season 4, but not impossible.

Part of me wonders if the male-female ratio was in some way to counteract all the women in the Buffy TV finale, but most of them didn’t speak; and they actually increased the number of men (5: Xander, Giles, Spike, Andrew, Wood) so it compared more favourably to the women (6: Buffy, Willow, Dawn, Anya, Faith, ugh Kennedy and other non-speaking potentials) compared to earlier series. And they killed Anya.

All that being said, I still intend to buy the comic books and continue to follow the Buffyverse.

Music

Playlist of the Week #2: Punk History (and a bit of Rock & Roll)

I found something I actually wanted to watch on BBC4 this week! A documentary that wasn’t about religion or art: Punk Britannia. OK, so the programme is 3 years old, but I missed it first time around, so it was like it was new. Anyway, it was the second of three episodes about the history of British punk and two tracks on this week’s playlist is inspired by it.

  1. Sham 69 – If the Kids Are United

I love this song, but I’d never thought too deeply about it, or learnt that much about the band. The documentary featured Sham 69, saying they had a different background to a lot of punk bands (many of whom went to art school) and so attracted a different audience. Unfortunately for them this included National Front supporters, at a time when (much like now) there was a lot of anti-immigration, xenophobic sentiment. And this song was Jimmy Pursey’s response. I particularly like:

Just take a look around you
What do you see?
Kids with feelings like you and me
Understand him, he’ll understand you
For you are him, and he is you

  1. Stiff Little Fingers – Alternative Ulster
  1. Bo Diddley – Who Do You Love

My final track is inspired by a blog post I was reading on Everyday Feminism about cultural appropriation, which included the fact that rock & roll was largely shaped by black musicians. Record companies liked and wanted the music, but from a white person. Nowadays people think of Elvis and The Rolling Stones when they think of rock & roll, but mostly forget some of greatest musicians that influenced them and helped develop their sound. And here’s one.

Music

Playlist of the Week #1

After looking back on an old post about music, I’ve decided to start a regular weekly post: my Playlist of the Week. I’ll post videos of 3 songs that have been in my head in the last week for one reason or another.

  1. Coolio – Rolling with the Homies

Clueless was on the TV this week. Classic 90s film that I owned on VHS, and you can’t watch it and not walk around humming this afterwards. I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard this song the whole way through, or know any of the other words.

  1. Manic Street Preachers – You Love Us

The Manics played the 20th anniversary of The Holy Bible from Cardiff Castle on Friday, and it was live on TV for those of us who couldn’t be there. This isn’t my favourite Manics song, but (almost) closing the show with the national anthem and then You Love Us was pretty awesome. My dogs didn’t appreciate my tone deaf singing though! And if you’d prefer one with better audio, watch the official video.

  1. The Swinging Blue Jeans – Hippy Hippy Shakes

My best friend loves doing karaoke. But she isn’t great at picking songs, which is where I come in. I pick a few songs that she likes (Rihanna, Madonna, Blondie) but also use this opportunity to get some of my favourite rock and roll classics in there, so I can hear them on a night out, rather than just the latest chart drivel. I’m putting together a new CD for her, which only has 5 songs out of 22 that were released this side of the millennium. I hope she likes it.

Sociology

Microaggressions

Now that I’m unemployed again, I have found time to read and watch stuff that interests me. I think it really started with Freddie Gray. I wasn’t sleeping well during the protests, so I’d wake up around 4am and read Twitter updates and articles they linked to. I learnt a lot about the reality of police brutality in the US, and the lack of awareness of institutional racism (and the denial of its existence). I hope to write something about this soon.

Somewhere along the way, I found marinashutup on YouTube and have since watched loads of her videos and follow her on Tumblr. She is yet another woman writing and talking about feminism, and getting a shitload of shit for it! But she’s fab and really smart.

As well as feminism she talks about intersectionality, which is something I was already aware of (but not what it was called).

Intersectionality (or intersectionalism) is the study of intersections between forms or systems of oppression, domination or discrimination.  An example is black feminism, which argues that the experience of being a black woman cannot be understood in terms of being black, and of being a woman, considered independently, but must include the interactions, which frequently reinforce each other (source).

She has a video about things not to say to person of mixed race. I totally understood all of them except one: “where are you from?” (meaning heritage). I understood that she meant just because someone is mixed race doesn’t mean they don’t identify as being American (or whatever country they were born in/live in). But I didn’t understand why it would be insensitive to be curious about someone’s heritage. From my point of view, if I was to ask, it would be because I have a genuine interest in people’s personal histories and family trees. I’m also a ‘supporter’ of migration (that sounds weird): people have moved around the globe pretty much since the beginning of human history and there’s nothing wrong with that. I hate that migration (or specifically immigration) has such negative connotations and I like finding stories of people who have migrated, or whose ancestors have migrated to question people’s “return to your country of origin” mindset.

But I also know that it’s not about my ability to understand why it was an issue, so was willing to accept it and know that, if I want to ask about someone’s heritage, I must ask permission and accept it if they choose not to answer. Not that I’m the kind of person who would ask a complete stranger anyway, but at least now I know for sure!

So following on from this, I read a bit more about intersectionality and something I read linked to the Microaggressions Tumblr page. And now I absolutely understand why these questions are a no-go. Some people really suck. If ever you wonder why people are sensitive about their identity or don’t want to come out or open up, just read some of the posts on this page. I was massively disturbed by the things people have been subjected to, and often from someone in a position of power (teacher, boss): someone who should know better. And the stuff parents say! Does unconditional love mean nothing?! And total strangers who have no boundaries or shame! It was eye-opening.

One of the key points about intersectionality is that minority people (whether that’s race, ability, ethnicity, orientation, gender, religion, etc.) have safe places to themselves, free from the ‘majority’ people. This often gets referred to as ‘reverse racism’ or something equivalent because white people (or equivalent) are being excluded. And this then becomes the problem that people want to talk about, rather than the larger structural problems that led to the need for such places.

As a white, (lower) middle class, able-bodied, cis-gendered female, there isn’t much about intersectionality that applies to me. This doesn’t mean that I can’t talk about it, but it’s more important to listen to the voices of the minority groups it does apply to.

And my advice to people who can’t wrap their head around that is to put themselves in the position of the minority. Choose an aspect of your life where you are in the minority and people question you about it, or don’t understand it, and think about how that makes you feel. For me this would be the fact that I’m vegan (and to a lesser extent the fact that I don’t want to get married or have children). Various aspects of my life are made a bit more complicated and frustrating. Companies are generally awful for labelling their products. People assume every day is a struggle to avoid animal products that I must be craving. Food service staff are badly trained. I often have to book ahead to ensure I can get fed when eating out. I went to a vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Cambridge at the weekend. It felt like a real weight was lifted just because I had multiple choices on the menu and knew I was surrounded by others like me (even though I was there with 3 omnivores). I felt the same when I visited Portland, Oregon in 2007. It is one of the biggest pull factors when I consider moving to a city.

This is nothing compared to what real minority people go through in their everyday life, but I find it helps me understand the need for a safe space with others who are like me. Without the need to answer questions or explain or justify your position, or educate people. The internet is so full of information that it is not that complicated to educate ourselves in such matters: just more effort. But if you really want to understand, surely you wouldn’t care about the effort?

Television

Community: the TV Show

OK, OK, so I’m late to the party. But what a freaking awesome show! Seasons 1-5 leave Amazon Prime in 14 days. I started watching when there was 21 days left. I’m already on Season 5, and I’ve had to force myself to stop watching several times! I’m so glad I decided to watch it before it left Prime, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have bothered.

Community-NBC-TV-Show

I would go as far as to say this is now my second favourite TV show of all time.

  1. Red Dwarf
  2. Community
  3. Frasier
  4. Gilmore Girls
  5. Buffy and Angel
  6. Supernatural
  7. The Wire
  8. Veronica Mars
  9. The Good Wife
  10. Big Bang Theory
  11. House
  12. Southland
  13. Nurse Jackie

I can’t imagine anything knocking Red Dwarf from the top spot, and Community is deservedly #2, but the rest of the order isn’t set in stone. There’s so much crap on TV, I tend to watch the same shows over and over, and it can take me a while to catch on to something good. So there’s quite a few shows I want to watch that I haven’t yet (some of which have already finished), like Modern Family, Arrested Development, Oz, Friday Night Lights, Orange is the New Black. I’ve also heard good things about Sleepy Hollow and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

But back to Community. I love it. I love how close the cast is and how intense the fans are. I love the movie parodies, tropes, insane storylines, running jokes. I think I might be addicted to it. I’m watching interviews, conventions and outtakes on YouTube when I’m not watching the episodes. I’ve found themed jewellery and furnishings I want to buy. I want to watch the episodes again and again so I can quote lines. I want to get a new pet so I can name it after one of the characters.

But I can’t imagine any of my friends being into it, which is no great surprise (I am the oddball) but is a shame. I guess I’ll just have to carry on being weird by myself. Or find some friends who do watch it.

I’m hoping that when it finishes (inevitably after its 6th season) someone will create a new show that brings this cast back together.

Depression

I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself

My most recent job ended on 31 March, as funding for our project came to an end. I had applied for a couple of jobs before finishing, and got two interviews. I was only able to attend one, and that went pretty badly, partly down to my lack of preparation. I didn’t prepare well because another job came up which I wanted more. Anyway, I applied for that and didn’t even get an interview. I also didn’t get an interview for another job, which I think I could’ve done standing on my head.

I know my application form stuff needs some work: I used to go for quantity over quality, but learnt about the STAR method recently and have been trying to change what I write. Word limits are a real pain (900 words to cover 15+ points?!), as well as differences in online application methods. The job that I wanted didn’t allow space for training (which is a really big part of the organisation) nor education that fell outside normal school or university qualifications.

It would be nice if all jobs could be applied for via the same service, so you don’t have to re-enter the unchanging information each time you apply to a different organisation!

But this isn’t supposed to be a rant about poor methods of applying for jobs: it’s about my unemployment and lack of direction.

I’ve got enough of a buffer to not get worried about being unemployed for a couple of months, so I can still be a bit selective. I also have an open invitation to work for a former employer albeit at NMW. A former colleague has also offered marketing volunteering experience, and there is a possibility I can make use of redundancy funding to do some training. I also have plenty of work to do on the land which can keep me busy, and take a load off my mind if I finally get it sorted.

But it’s still disheartening when you apply for jobs that you know you could do well and don’t even get an interview. I live in a fairly rural area so I don’t expect there to be a lot of competition for jobs. In fact, I would expect the two I got interviews for to have been the ones with most competition, so I’m not really sure how to deal with this?!

I think my biggest problem is that I have no idea what I want to do with myself. I don’t think I ever had a plan about what to do with my Politics and Economics degree. I did my Masters because I wanted to work in disaster management, but I still didn’t have a definite idea for a job role. Lack of funds over the years and Dad dying have restricted my options somewhat, so I’ve flitted from one job to another, mostly based on the fact that they’re nearby. Everyone I work for seems to like me and think I do a good job (even when I don’t think I do!). I can get passionate about an industry once I’m working in it, which probably explains why employers like me. But I haven’t found a job that I really want and am passionate about before I’m working there. And this doesn’t help when I write application forms and go to interviews and have to be enthusiastic about a job!

And while looking for an image to go with this post, I came across a post on Mark Manson’s website (7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose), which I think might be quite helpful. Maybe it’ll help me figure out a direction, or get me out of this funk, or both. Or neither.

But I’m so ready for this funk to be over.

Depression Other

How helpful is the past?

I moved house recently and, as part of the move, I brought the diaries/journals I have been writing for 20 years. They’re currently taking up a fair bit of space in a drawer in the spare room, and I started to wonder why I was hanging on to them.

They’re mostly about feelings and life events and boys. A part of me seems to think it’s important to hang on to them, like they’re a part of me. I’ve looked back over some entries over the years too, so I’ve worried that I didn’t want to lose the ability to do that.

But now I’ve had a change of heart.

A lot of it is pretty depressing, mostly because those were the times I chose to write. And why do I want to go over that stuff again? In some cases it’s stuff I’ve almost completely forgotten about, so it’s not just going over it again, but bringing it back to me.

There’s also a lot of cringeworthy stuff in there, and why do I want to be reminded of embarrassing stuff? I have a tendency to remember really inane information and trivial events, especially if it embarrassed me or made me self-conscious, and will be affected by it for years. I often wonder if I’m the only person with this affliction, but then I remember this meme and figure probably not.

Most of the boys – who where hugely important at the time – are now just blips on the horizon. In fact, I don’t even remember some of them! My mind is still good enough to remember the ones who actually turned out to be important, so do I need the feelings surrounding each date, kiss, etc., or is a general feeling about the person/relationship enough?

But my point is,

Is hanging on to my diaries helpful?

I’m beginning to think I’d be better off without them. But maybe I should go through them one last time and pick out anything really important, just in case.

Horses

Burdens

It’s been a hard morning. I had a message which set me off in a bad mood and on a bit of a rant about Dad and the mess he left me with. Because why be angry with situations that can actually be changed, when you can be angry with someone who’s dead?!

Oh, and it’s his 60th birthday, or would have been. So, angry with him for leaving this shit behind. Upset because it’s his birthday and a reminder he’s not here. And guilty because I’m angry with him on his birthday, and he’s not here.

The days when things go right are great, or fine at least. But today I was thinking about all the things that go wrong, and I was so angry with him for leaving jobs undone or half done. So I come along with less experience and less knowledge, and have to learn how to deal with this stuff, as well as trying to deal with the estate, earn a living, and have a life.

I just wish he’d left it all a bit tidier. But he never was a tidy person. And neither am I, so maybe I’ll do the same?!

There are things that need to be done, and I am making some headway slowly. I’ve had help from people with various things, but I refrain from asking for too much help because I don’t want to be a burden. I’m quite happy to pay for help, so I’m finally getting round to having some fences built. I’m just so fed up of a tractor that doesn’t work properly (that he deliberately wanted that way!), a half-done water supply, and a ‘tenant’ I don’t like. And why couldn’t he just get his arse into gear and get a proper shed built? Instead I have the remains of a mobile field shelter that blew over the hedge in high winds, so it’s just added to the general mess.

I feel so alone in this. No matter how many people are willing to help or do help, I am alone. I will always try to be strong and to not be a burden, so I will only let people help with a certain amount. And as much as I might be angry with him at times, no one else is allowed to be. That hurts in a different way, and is likely to make me bottle up even more.

I’ve been very aware of my blogger’s block lately and thinking about why I wasn’t writing anything. This isn’t really the tone/subject I was hoping to start up with, but hopefully the block is gone.

Other

Parenting

I’m not a parent and have absolutely no intention to be, so I know I can’t really judge other people on their parenting skills. But I worry about my brother’s relationship with my nephew.

James provides everything Marcus needs: shelter, food, clothes, school, glasses; some things we wants: books, toys, lots of ice cream; and some things he comes round to, like his bike. He works hard to be able to pay for all these things, because his mother does sod all, except buy him something every now again for his affection (like a tablet).

But I worry that James gives Marcus a hard time: he gets so wrapped up in trying to raise a well-educated, well-behaved son that he forgets about the fun. Not just that Marcus needs to have fun, but that he does too: that it’s good for adults to behave like kids sometimes.

After I visited in January, James told Mum that I was great with Marcus. And it’s basically because I like the fact that I have an excuse to behave like a child: play, run, dance, skip… basically burn off loads of energy and laugh and smile while doing so.

And every now and again, James does join in (at least when I’m there). But he doesn’t instigate, and is generally quite stoic. And that makes me sad: it’s like he’s forgotten what it’s like to be a child. I hope that with time, some of my young-at-heartedness rubs off on him. He needs to loosen up.

Grief

Catrin Pickles: 26 May 1991-19 February 2012

Me, Dad (d. 4 Dec 2012), and Catrin (d. 19 Feb 2012)

I started writing this post almost 3 years ago, and for reasons now unknown to me, I never finished writing it.

On 20 February (2012) I received a text from one of my best friends telling me that Catrin had been killed in a car crash. I had to read it several times before I really took in what it said, and was able to reply. Later that night I was on her facebook page reading all the messages from her friends who were also in a state of shock.

(Yesterday) I went to her funeral, along with what appeared to be a few hundred other people. Every seat in the church was taken, people were standing at the back, and there were still quite a lot of us outside, listening to the service through additional speakers.

I didn’t know Catrin particularly well: in fact I’d only really started gatting to know her about 6 months before she died. But I really liked her and wish I’d known her better. She was really optimistic and happy without being in-your-face peppy. She volunteered in Mexico with an organisation called Therapies Unite, and they have posthumously named the first swimming club after her (Catrin’s Penguins). She loved to dance, and I was in awe of her natural talent. She was determined and brave, and just made everything she did seem like no big deal.

She was a good egg, and the world is poorer without her.

Dad knew Catrin before I did: he trained her in Pony Club for a few years and was always interested in what she was up to (like he was with all of them). I’m pretty sure seeing him cry in her funeral is the only time I’ve ever known him to cry.

She is Gone

You can shed tears that she is gone

or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back

or you can open your eyes and see all that she’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her

or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday

or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she’s gone

or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind,

be empty and turn your back

or you can do what she’d want:

smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

Social Media

Tumbling

A couple of years ago I had a Tumblr page/profile and quite liked it. For a while I thought it might take over from blogging as it seemed a nice cross between blogging and Twitter.

Today I decided to rejoin the Tumblr community. For about 4 hours, before deleting my account again.

There’s definitely some good stuff in there. But quite often you have to trawl through all the shit people are flinging at each other. My Facebook news feed occasionally has much more vitriolic (uneducated) hate speech than I care for. I don’t go on Twitter enough to really care.

But Tumblr is just a massive amount of people being aggressive and hypocritical, basically saying ‘my facts are FACTS, yours are nonsense – that’s so typical of your *ism.’

There’s good stuff on Tumblr, and funny stuff too: I used to create it and share it! But it’s just mixed in there, hidden. Like real news hidden in media noise.

I got so angry after reading a few posts, and I just don’t want to my emotions controlled like that by a bunch of strangers. Not long ago I thought about doing the #100happydays challenge. I know someone who has done it, and she’s quite chipper anyway; but I thought it might help me focus on finding and noticing the good stuff every day, rather than let the shit take over.

Closing the Tumblr account today was a choice not to let the shit in. Pinterest is a much nicer, friendlier place and I’m happy there. I know there’s stuff I don’t agree with too, but it seems easier to ignore.

It’s a difficult decision to make because I have a lot of opinions and part of me wants to share them, chime in on the ‘debates’.

But another part of me just wants to be a bit more cheerful.

Other

Take your hatred out on me, Make your victim my head

I feel like I’ve become a sponge for negativity. Whatever I do, I upset someone, and they unload that onto me. I can only listen to what they say. I can’t defend my position because I’m not 100% sure about my decisions, whichever option I go with.

So I spend all my time fretting about it, and not wanting to answer the phone or check emails, because no doubt there is more negativity.

There are still positive comments and people saying thank you. But somehow these are always drowned out by the negative. I guess those with the issues are those who shout loudest.