Fictitious Emotions

I’m back, and a lot sooner than I was expecting. Things are looking up!

So, due to being unemployed and having very little to do, I have either been gaming (something I hadn’t done for a year so I have to make up for lost time, right..?), or watching films/TV series.

Yesterday (obviously this time will change depending on when you read this), I finished my old TV Series (Daredevil – came highly recommended, ended up being slightly disappointed), and moved onto my new TV Series: Broadchurch.

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Broadchurch, starring David Tennant (yes, this is what influenced me to watch it) and Olivia Colman, not to mention numerous other people of note (including Rory from Doctor Who! Though, he’d probably prefer to be known by his real name, Arthur Darvill), is a crime/drama/mystery set in the small coastal town of Broadchurch (Dorset, England), where a young boy of eleven is found murdered.

There are three main reasons I can think of for why I am enjoying it thus far (I am two episodes in as of this post). The first being David Tennant. Because Scotland… and Doctor Who. The second reason is that the Dorset accent (or the West Country accent) is one of the most joyful accents one will ever hear. In fact, I have looked up West Country specific phrases just for you guys (and for myself):

“Gurt” means “big” or “very”

“Spuddling” means “to cause trouble” or “to bicker”

“G’woam” means “going home”

I think I need to start using G’woam more.

Either way (getting off track. Nothing has changed in the past year (…on my Gap Yah. I HAD TO, I’M SORRY)), the third reason I am enjoying Broadchurch is that it is tense and full of mystery. And actually emotional, which is the main reason for this post actually. First episode I felt myself welling up. This has happened very rarely to me in regards to TV/films.

Though I hate to bring it up (complete lie) Lord of the Rings always gets me. When Boromir dies with defending Merry and Pippin? Yeah, sacrifice doesn’t get greater than that. But I have never cried. Tears have never been shed for a fictitious person.

My sister, on the other hand, cries probably more at fictional characters than in real life circumstances. Something I have never understood. In fact, I believe she owns a t-shirt that says “Leave me alone so I can cry over the deaths of fictional characters” (which is where the picture header came from). This pretty much sums up the difference between me and my sister. That and the fact she’s the academic one, I’m the sociable one, and many other things but yeah… emotions are one of the differences.

The only time I have come close to crying over a fictional character was when I was about twelve. I went to go see the film Bridge to Terabithia at the cinema.

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I don’t know what it was, but that shit was heart-wrenching. Yet re-watching it, I felt none of the same pangs. I mean, I still realised it was upsetting (my sister cried… again), but I didn’t feel any need to well up. Perhaps I am influenced more by shock than anything.

Game of Thrones Spoilers ahead. Stop reading here if you haven’t seen Season Five.

Also: rant ahead. Sorry.

Actually, as an after-note, let us discuss Game of Thrones.

Filthily riddled with death and surprising moments, it has caused many generations of the past few years to watch the show with a mixture of fear, hate, love and adrenaline. Then season five happened, and Jon Snow is apparently dead.

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Now, I am a book reader. I watched the first season, then read all the books before the second season came out (still waiting for Winds of Winter Mr. Martin, just saying). So I knew the majority of deaths were going to happen. Including Jon Snow. And his “death” has led to WAY TOO MANY RUMOURS AND PEOPLE ANALYSING EVERY SINGLE LITTLE THING THAT THE PRODUCERS/CAST SAY AND IT IS DRIVING ME INSANE. Seriously, these “Kit Watches”, as I believe they are being called are getting ridiculous. “Oh look, he still hasn’t cut his hair.” “Oh my God, he’s going to Iceland. He’s still in the show!”

WHO CARES. Yes, he is one of my favourite characters, and yes, Kit Harington is attractive, but please stop. Just watch for the next season. Now let’s watch some goddamn TV.

IN PEACE.

A Fresh Start!

*Pictured above: a happy Richard (that’s me, just to clarify – I refer to myself in third person after my Gap Yah) at Hobbiton, New Zealand.

Well.

How do you start a blog once again that you haven’t put any effort or input into for the past year? With difficulty.

I need a clean slate. Something fresh to start on. Yet for that, my life actually has to have a heading, something to aim for.

I just spent ten amazing months of my life travelling and working, meeting fantastic people, and gazing upon spectacular sights. Now I’m back home, not travelling, not meeting people, and not seeing sights. It’s certainly a change.

People (you know, the new people you meet travelling) say that travelling is addictive, and when you’re not actually living a life like they are, you can’t really accept these words as a possibility. But now that I’m back, I’ve realised that they are entirely right.

Don’t get me wrong. Being home is wonderful. Seeing family and friends after almost an entire year of being apart is marvellous. Plus, having my own room (and own bed), alongside having a kitchen I don’t need to share with thirty other people is equally wonderful.

Yet, there is definitely something missing.

Not that I like being a cheesy, predictable guy but I’ve changed travelling. Hopefully not in a bad way (for one thing, I haven’t come back from my travels saying “Gap Yah”… except then, and earlier (if you haven’t seen the video, please go watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKFjWR7X5dU), and secondly I don’t manage to connect everything I say with what I did whilst away)), but I have most definitely changed.

For one thing, I’ve been inspired to be more independent. Which is why living at home with family is a strange experience. Though, I haven’t seen them much as I was home for three days then my mum, step-dad and sister left for France. I’m well loved, you see.

I think the reason for a post entitled “A Fresh Start” is partially due to the fact I just finished the novel “How to Build a Girl” by Caitlin Moran. Not that I really want my life to be drawn in comparison to hers (those who have read it will understand), but it does get you thinking. It’s a semi-autobiography, and the narrator re-creates her image several times during the novel, ranging from a goth, to a prolific writer, to a raging sex-demon… You can see my point. Still a good book, though.

Not that I really have any desire to re-sculpt myself (after all, I have spent nineteen years of my life getting to this point!) but my life does lack motivation at the moment, something I intend to change. There are two ways I want to do this: find a job, and finish my own novel.

A job should be simple. Apply and wait. Go to trials, amaze with my amazing talents, get hired, worked. Tada! Truth be told, the job is more to stave off boredom than an actual necessity to have one at this point (after all, as I have discovered after my Gap Yah (and again), not paying for food or accommodation saved you a FUCK-LOAD of money).

In terms of finishing my novel, things are going… slowly. It’s my own idea, and it is taking shape, just it’s taking a while. I’d say I’m about a third way through of the first draft. The issue is that my motivation is at an all-time low, and even the smallest writers’ block seems to influence my hand to move the mouse/cursor to hover over the X in the top-right hand corner of the screen and left-click. Usually I manage a sentence then decide that’s enough. This needs sorting.

Moving away from life plans, I have just looked back over my old posts on here, and have realised how much (and how little) I’ve changed since writing them. For one thing, I like to think my writing is slightly more engaging now. Secondly, most of my views remain the same (for instance: I am still obsessed with Lord of the Rings and Pugs; I still strongly detest smoking; and Fantasy is still my escapism). I think this is a good thing.

I think I’ll wrap up there and take a break from writing (perhaps I’ll go write some of my novel?! No, don’t be silly). My intention is to get this up and running regularly again. We’ll see how that goes.

Following Religion, Comes Death

I like to tell myself that I am not afraid of death. I think that part of me believes that as well. Yet this nagging sensation, hidden deep within me, tells me that I have tricked myself into believing this. I want to believe it so badly, that I have lied to myself, so cleverly, so convincingly, that part of me has started to perceive that I am unafraid. That what comes After is not something to be afraid of.

What comes after is a question I have forever questioned, ever since I was first confronted with death. This first time, must’ve been when my Grandmother died. I was young then – five, maybe six years old. I think I was too young to truly feel the emotions you’re meant to: shock, sorrow, anger, even manic feelings.

I was still too young when it came to her funeral. I was sat in church, listening to the priest rattle on. But I wasn’t really listening. I was a child, more intent on the people around me. And they were all crying. And I wasn’t.

I remember turning round to my cousin – merely a month older than me – to check if he was crying. If I should be crying. I can’t even recall if he was. I just remember I wasn’t. Saved by my child-like innocence.

I don’t remember my mum actually telling that my Grandmother had died. That is a benefit of being an innocent child. Your mind blocks out all the horrors that you experienced. My only memory of seeing my Grandmother in a state of near death, was when we visited her in hospital. I think she was asleep, or was on some heavy drug. I can’t even remember what she died from – I think it was cancer.

Either way, that is my only memory. I have few other memories of my Grandmother truth be told. My abiding memory is one where she taught me about etiquette. As a kid, I was always in a world of fantasy (nothing has changed). I suppose most kids were, but still. I had a plastic Zorro sword, one which I carried everywhere. One time, my grandmother asked to see the sword, so I handed it to her. She shook her head, taking the sword as she did and gripping the handle.

“You should never hand someone a blade with the sharp end pointing towards you.”

So she turned it back round, and gave it to me, handle first.

And you know what? I have never forgotten that lesson. I always hand people sharp objects blade first, be it a kitchen knife or a screwdriver or whatever. Handle first.

Yet then she was gone, with only pictures there to remind me of what she looked like. And I never remember feeling sad. Sure, I felt sad once I came to grips with the concept of death. But never before. Never when it mattered most. When I should’ve been mourning.

It was like this when my parents got divorced. I was nine at the time, possibly ten. I remember walking into my dad, sitting on the end of the bed, crying, with my mum stood up. My mum said that she was no longer happy and wasn’t laughing as much with him. I don’t remember feeling anything. Perhaps I was too young to. Spared those emotions by my age.

But my sister. My sister was at the age where children just start to understand how the world works. Love, death, all those sensations that I was yet to fully understand – to appreciate. She was almost two years older than me and must’ve been upset for weeks.

Later on, I was told that she wasn’t only upset at my parents, wasn’t only upset that the divorce, or the world, but was upset by me. By my lack of emotion. Perhaps, in some ways, she was jealous. Jealous that I had been spared the pain and suffering that comes with a broken family.

I never remember feeling upset about it. They both moved on. A few months of mourning for my dad, but soon he was happy. It didn’t affect my life, save for that I now visited London every four weeks for the weekend.

Now I’m at the age where death and loss would affect me. Reading Pet Semetary (Stephen King) got me thinking about death. I had a neighbour – not quite a friend, but someone who I was close to – who died when I was in year nine (around the age of thirteen). He was about six himself and he died of meningitis. That I remember being distraught about. Longest day of school I remember, constantly close to tears.

I wasn’t even close to him. I had played with him maybe twice. Yet it hit me: that death can come snatch people away at any moment.

When my thoughts turn to this, my mind becomes depressed and sullen in itself. It starts to think what if. What if my mum died? Or my dad? Or even my sister? And I feel the emotions rise up, the emotions I should’ve felt when I was young, when my grandmother died.

Then I snap myself out of it, realising there is no need to think about it.

But what comes after?

When my grandmother died, I did not know what came after. I had been told before – whether it was at school or family, I do not know – that there is nothing after death. Nothing. Just nothing. Blackness so absolute that nothing can exist. But, as a child, I could not imagine there being nothing. Children have so much life, so much energy, that the idea of everything stopping is far too foreign to them.

Even now, I do not know what comes after. No one does. But what people believe is key. My belief? I do not believe in God, therefore I cannot rightly believe that heaven or hell exist. As comforting as the idea of heaven is, I cannot bring myself to believe in it. Yet I do not believe there is nothing after death, either.

The idea of reincarnation fascinates me. Coming back to life with no memory of previous life sounds plausible. I do not know if I believe that a good previous life leads to reincarnation of good fortune, or vice versa, but I think I could believe that we are in a never-ending cycle of life – always forgetting; never remembering. That could be plausible.

But you see, could. Could is the word that makes all the difference. Anything could be, but nothing is known. Nothing is certain. And so I carry on guessing, never sticking with a belief, for the more I think about them, the less likely they seem.

That is the point though: life after death is something no one can report upon. It is a myth about what happens next, much like the story of Christ. Belief, much like religion, is what keeps the idea alive.

I suppose one day I will find out what comes after life. But not for a while, if death is kind. No, not for a while.

Anniversary (apparently)

Now, according to WordPress, today (or possibly tomorrow – not sure whether my computer is set to New Zealand or English time) marks exactly one year since I first created this blog.

Though I do not actually have a lot to say about this year, I still thought it was a historical day, and therefore worthy of a post.

I do also feel as though this blog, along with my excessive and poor attempts at writing, have improved my writing considerably. Therefore, I concede that anybody who enjoys writing, should try their utmost hardest to write as much as possible, be it a blog or stories or poems or whatever you wish.

As ever, if you are interested in my New Zealand travels, have a gander at my New Zealand blog:

www.nzmeandering.wordpress.com

Home Alone… with a Painter.

Been quite a while since my last post that actually involves thinking.

So, as the title suggests, I am currently home alone with a painter. My loving parents have abandoned me for all of August, which incidentally is my last month in the country. They get back on the 25th, the day before I depart for London and then my flight to New Zealand. It is at these moments that I feel well and truly loved.

All joking aside (yes, I was joking) I’m not really saddened by the lack of presence from my parents. Having a free house is something every teenager craves… Or at least, I think so?

No, scratch that: every male teenager craves being home alone. Most females I have spoken to seem to be under the impression that I must be hating it.

What they do not is that I am not strictly home alone. Every day, without fail (except the weekends, thankfully) I have a mysterious man painting the landing of my house. This is an interesting arrangement, as I feel restricted by his presence.

That’s not to say that I haven’t organised things. I just haven’t organised many things during the day. Fairly certain he must think I’m a recluse. I rarely appear from my room during the day – for fear of annoying him or covering myself in paint by accident. The only times he sees people in the morning, which must look even more dodgy, with random people mysteriously appearing from my bedroom with pyjamas on (or just boxers in the case of one of my friends… that was an interesting greeting).

Apart from that, like I said earlier, being home alone is quite fun. Except for the independency for when things go wrong. Being only 18, my mum has always been there to solve things that are beyond my capability of solving. So when the dishwasher broke, I was a little unsettled by what the outcome would be. Or when there was a power-cut. That was equally worrying, especially when I couldn’t find anything wrong with the fuses (don’t worry, it turns out most of the village suffered from the same power-cut).

But the worst independent thing that I’ve had to do was the cleaning. The amount of cleaning I have done has been ridiculous. Somehow, my painter has developed a knack of, whilst painting, coating the floor in a thick layer of dust. I still don’t quite understand how this possible. Either way, dust, on a wooden floor, is an utter bitch to remove. So this is where the aid of a mother, who has always kept the house clean (credit also has to go to our cleaner, who, you know, cleans) would’ve been appreciated a considerable amount.

Welcome to the adult world, Richard. Full of cleaning and other horrible tasks that all teenagers take for granted. Damn you, growing age.

An Ode to Soothers

I was originally going to attempt (however feebly it would be) to try write an ode for this, but then it struck me that I lack the artistic talent to construct one… Plus I hate most poems, so writing one is a truly daunting prospect.

So here we are with an ode-which-is-not-in-fact-an-ode. All about Soothers. I’m kind of hoping they are Universal, or only British people will understand what I am passionately commending.

Soothers, for those poor souls who have never experienced them, are rather delectable sweets which have been in and amongst many debates about whether or not they actually have any qualities which can be deemed beneficial for people with the flu, and therefore also for people with a sore throat.

This brings me onto the reason why I have decided to write an oddity of an ode (ooh I like that…): I sadly have been suffering from a severe case of a cold (also known as ‘man flu’) for just over a week now. This has led to me missing the occasional day of school, as well as feeling the pressure that all dead people must experience of struggling to breathe. Not only that, my sinuses (turns out we each have four sinuses, which I never knew) have been blocked, my head has been thumping – though that is a usual symptom for me – and I’ve just generally had no energy. Hence, the Soothers are called in to the rescue.

My favourite flavour (due to Chrome being American, it strongly detests the spelling of both those words and I hate it for it) of Soothers has got to be the blackcurrant flavour. Not only does it smell nice, but it tastes rather splendid.

However, I fancied a changed. For the first time ever, I purchased the ‘Peach and Raspberry’ flavoured sweets. Whilst it primarily caused me to gag as the sweet became attached to my tongue and was slowly drained of its flavour, I must admit, it ultimately became rather pleasant, once I’d rid myself of the first few sweets. Of course, this could be due to the fact my tongue became rather numb and lost most of its taste receptors, but this flavour did have the advantage that it gave the feeling as though it was piercing through the mucus (I truly hate that word, almost as much as I hate Chrome right now) and unclogging my throat.

After thorough research – meaning spending about 5 minutes on Google – I have found that it, in fact, does fuck all for your throat. The main ingredient in Soothers, menthol, merely uses it scent to create the illusion of unblocking your sinuses. Whilst this is helpful in the short-term, it does also mean that in the long-term my feelings of suffering re-emerge. It also means that in the long-term, my money will continue to drain away as I spend more and more upon Soothers in order to receive the temporary relief that they grant.

Not that this will ever ward me off from spending my well-earned (in the sense of that my parents give me the money and I earn it by staying out of their way as much as possible) money upon the delicious sweets. Perhaps in the future though, I will stick to the blackcurrant flavour and avoid the new peach and raspberry combination… For medicinal purposes of course.

 

And there is my ode-which-is-not-in-fact-an-ode.

Thinking about it, perchance it would be more prudent of me if I were to invest in some actual drugs that will help clear up my flu… I did not think of that. 

A Complete Lack of Ideas

Hello all you unfortunate souls who bear witness to my blog.

This is basically just a very short post to explain about the problems I am facing… That sounded completely over-dramatic, and I apologise for that.

Currently I am unable to think up ideas which could be deemed as interesting, so this “weekly” blog is now most likely going to become a “main” blog. I shall still try to post my weekly challenges, as that is considerably easier to write, and shall occasionally post other topics if and when my brain decides to kick in and donate some mildly captivating idea.

That is pretty much it! If you have any ideas for me then please do let me know, as I could really do with a kick-start…

Bye for now!