Monday, 7 October 2013

Ian McEwan 4

Ian McEwan 3

Don't really get the grizzly old man shot. 

Ian McEwan 2

Watching this reminded me of Chuck Palahniuk and how when he was writing 'Choke', he would go to sex addict meetings and listen to their stories, pretending he was one. 

Ian McEwan 1

I've just finished his first published novel 'The Cement Garden'. Very haunting. Very odd. Good? I think so. My lecturer called it 'a young man's novel', I think I agree. 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Goodbye Cardiff

I grew up in Cardiff and now, as I sit here listening to ‘All I Want’ by Kodaline I am telling myself that I will be leaving in less than twelve hours. I will put the boxes in the car and set off to Coventry where I am going to study Creative Writing as a Post-grad. 

I’ve been talking about his for over a year – my poor roommates Sam and Dom are probably sick of the word ‘Masters’ right now. But here, in Cardiff, is where I met them, where we would take trips to Sainsburys and moan about our lives or the characters we were writing, where we sat in what some people thought was a silent house but we heard that faint buzz of creativity. As my glorious, funny, eccentric, beautiful friend Hannah Barry wrote: "There was a house of men. They lived as a trio of poets, writers and creatures of crude love and romance. They lived like creations of fantasy in their own enchanted castle, waiting for beauty to come and break the spell of the beasts.

This is the place I went to school, where I met my oldest friends: where Anthony threw a rock at my head and confessed years later, where Suller and Tom and I climbed trees and jumped out of them for kicks, where we spent our afternoons going to the factories and exploring. 

(Drunk Anthony, scared me.)

(Camping - 2011)

(Tom and Me - 2010)

(Tom and Me - 2013)

This is the place I went to college and my circle of friends was extended for the better. The extension allowed me and Tom to sit on the benches at the Quarry and talk about his would-be girlfriend, Brogan. The extension allowed me to meet Hannah and forever hear the words “you fucking dickhead” with a laugh.

(College - Film Class)

(Superhero Night)

(New Year's Eve)

(Hannah and Me)

This is the place I went to University and met fellow nerds and book lovers. The place I met people I will care about forever – Dom, Sam, Hannah, Sarah, Abi and more.

(Sam and Me)

(Hannah and Me on the Vodka)

(Daps speeches)

(84 Coburn Street)

(Dom at Jungle Night)

(Daps Launch)


This is the place I met two true, wonderful, strong blonde women. First, Vicky, who gave me sound advice and introduced me to Roath Park at night. And, to Elly, who allowed me to lament, who drank with me was everything and more. 

(Elly, Vicky and Me)

(Drunken Love)


(104 Rhymney Street)

(Elly's beautiful flat)

(Gentlemen of the Road)

(Jungle party drunkness)

(Mad Men Party)

(The Lake District)

This is the place I had my first job and hated it and then finally found one that I loved and felt at home, a place where those I worked with treated me right.

This is the place I met Sophie. Where only she knows the meaning of the big bag of ten ps, only she knows who Betty is, she misses Joan, only she is as weird as me. 


(Mad Men Party)

This is the place I fell in love. Had my heart broken. The place I put myself back together and stumbled on. The place I wrote my first story and got published. The place where my family are – my parents, my sister, my wonderfully intelligent and weird niece. The place I met some people that changed and will remain with me forever.  The place where I had all of my firsts.

And now, as ‘All I Want’ comes to an end and all of my boxes and bags are packed it’s goodbye to Cardiff. I know I will be back but it’s onto new things. A new chapter as they say, time to move on. 

To those I haven’t named, I apologise. Cardiff has been my life for twenty-one years – it’s my home – and to those that matter, you matter.

Goodbye Cardiff. See you soon.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Favourite Scene 2 of Favourite Film #1

This scene shows the dreams of a woman completely and utterly crushed. April believes that by running away to Paris her problems will be solved because she will have something different, they will be somewhere different but she's pregnant and now that's not possible. The last line "can't leave, can't stay, no damn use to anyone" was used in a short story I wrote called 'Once Upon A Time There Lived A Girl Who Wanted To Die' that was published in The Cadaverine. I used it because the lead - Alice - feels a connection to books, especially 'Revolutionary Road'. 

'After seven gins she lets it out. "I don't know why we didn't work, Dylan. I do blame myself but I don't think I should really. You're the one who fell in love with someone else, not me. But you told me that I wasn't who I was when we were together. Not my Alice, you said. I hate that I gave myself to you – all of me – and now I feel…broke." And in that moment she knows she should leave. "Can't go, can't stay, no damn use to anyone."
She leaves, and two weeks later she ends up at the cabin.'

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

1 - Bits

A few months ago I wrote a min-essay about Cristina and Owen vs Romeo and Juliet. Cristina and Owen are such a confusing, twisted couple but they work because they get each other. They have something weird and wonderful. 

2 - Love

Owen's deceleration of love to Cristina. I think there comes a point in some relationships where one of the two notice how much the other has done for them. This is one of those moments. 

3 - Pillow Talk

I like this mainly because of Cristina's "that's not going to happen" but it shows a normal, sleepy, pillow talking couple. 

4 - Tearing Each other Apart

I think what I love most about this scene is it shows two people that love each other, know each other so well having the ability to rip each other apart. 

5 - The End

But then comes that realisation, that knowing that they can't be together because they want completely different things. Surgery defines Cristina, it's what makes her be her but Owen wants a child - she doesn't. She loves him so she's letting him go. 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Favourite Scenes of Favourite Films #8

There are a lot of films going around nowadays about people that are lost and fucked-up. This is the perfect film about that kind of person. 

Favourite Scenes of Favourite Films #7

There are so many things I love about this film - 'A Single Man' - not just the fantastic music, the sheer beauty of the film, perhaps just everything about it. The first time I watched it I was in and out of writing and uninstalling things on my computer. I stupidly unstalled my computer's ability to have Wifi the night I first watched it so it demanded a second watch and that's when I understood how wonderful it was. And no, it's not because of the bums. 

Favourite Scenes of Favourite Films #6

Awkward comedy is my kind of comedy. I love 'Girls' for this reason. I love the improvisation of it. The awkward 'I don't know how to respond to this' replies. 

Favourite Scenes of Favourite Films #5

Need I explain? 

Friday, 6 September 2013

Favourite Scenes of Favourite Films #4

I love the whole film. Meryl Streep is fantastic but this scene does stand out, especially as I think endings are so important. 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Favourite Scenes of Favourite Films #3

I watched this film for the first time when I was visiting a friend at University in Swansea. It always has connections to University in my mind. This film, however, is one of the reasons i love David Fincher. 

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Favourite Scenes of Favourite Films #2

So, if you read this blog you know I've mentioned this film before. And if you've been reading this blog for a while you probably know my obsession with relationships that don't work. This clip, this film, sums it all up. 

Favourite Scenes of Favourite Films #1

'Revolutionary Road', Sam Mendes. Hated it the first time I watched it. Fell in love the second time. Why I watched it for a second time, I have no idea but I'm glad I did. 

Their Rules

The other day I was re-reading what I had written of a short story I'm working on called 'Tables on Chairs'. What I had was too long, too pathetic so I cut it. I cut over a hundred words, some of which I actually really liked but didn't work. I cut a bit where the main character talked about why he is unhappy in his marriage. He says how when he met his wife they had a way they did things - their rules - but time went by and it became her rules. The reason I love this video of Cristina and Owen - my favourite couple ever - is because it's all about it being their rules. The convention of being married ruined them - among other things - and this is their attempt to bring it back to the way they do things, their rules. Whether it works or not, well I'm not going to ruin that for anyone who hasn't finished the season. 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Magic Number

I was having lunch today and the topic of sex came up. The numbers game. The magic numbers game. "What's your magic number?" is a question that means "how many people have you slept with?" It comes back, usually, with the question "what do you class as sex?" There seem to be a few classes:

1) Penetrative. In which case something is inserted into a woman's vagina or a man's asshole. 
2) Fooling around. In which case  said people usually participate in oral sex.
3)  Heavy petting. Which is not really a class but more something I thought I should throw in, just in case. 

Numbers were passed around the table. Numbers which will - for the benefit of those around the table - not be revealed. Later that day I went off to interview a musician that I know, Calum Ross, about his bands The Scarlets and The Magic Rooster Brothers and as I walked home, listening to Daughter, all I could think about was an essay I have been trying to write for a while called 'Sexual Desires', a kind of non-fiction/memoir/thoughts/collections/experiences of sexual activities. I got home, wrote the post prior and then looked  at my essay and thought...I need to work on this. So, I shall.

I was thinking about when writers are asked where do their ideas come from and thought that ideas are like brush-strokes, you do one, then another, then another and you just forget which one was the first. Luckily, I'll now remember where this sudden drive to write these essays came from and that I will post the majority of them here but until then...more brush strokes, I feel. 

Our Polite Society: 5 Things Being Polite Causes

1) Moving for people in the street.

You're engrossed in your music. Your phone goes off, you look down and tap away and then look up - oh shit, someone's going to walk into me. They think the same thing, spot the same thing and move to the right. But at that moment so have they. You move to the left. So do they. Now you're both standing in front of each other, moving, standing in front of each other once again. Until one of you has the balls to stop and you walk forward, embarrassed, flushed, screw my polite self. 

2) Saying 'Bye' Before The Train Door Opens

So you're on the train with your friend and your stop is coming up. You now need to stop talking about Saturday night, get up and head to the door. You do it with plenty of time. Wrap up. "Bye." Walk to the door. But you gave yourself too much time and now you have to stand awkwardly in front of the door. You look, the wide eyed "see you later" look and the doors still don't open. *Sigh* Then they do and you rush off, walk to the bit with the ticket and your friend whips past you again. Do you turn and say bye or simply walk? 

3) Joining Queues

You need to buy your toothpaste and the self-service machine is inches away from you but there's a queue - people standing one behind the other, waiting. So you join it. Naturally you join it. This has to be the queue for what you wanted. Why else would there be a queue? 

People in the UK are notorious for joining random ques. A few months ago my friend Sam and I joined a queue for the train and Sam noticed there was a self-service machine not being touched. He stood out of the queue and walked, bought his ticket and off he went. A shared look of disgust and fury came between all of those that stood in the queue. How dare this manic do the logical thing? 

4) Eating Food You Hate Because You Don't Want To Be 'That Person'

You're at a friends house and they're cooking lasagna but you hate lasagna  You love spaghetti bolognaise, they've seen you eat it hundreds of times but you hate lasagna  It's the sloppy texture, the fact that you have lettuce with pasta. But you don't want to be 'that person' so you sit there, miserably, sadly, eating something when you really want to vomit. 

5) Saying 'no' when you really mean 'yes'

It's Sunday. You're tucking into your chicken and roast potatoes, then someone says "does anyone want the last Yorkshire pudding?" A shared look of want fills each members eyes. Yes they want the last Yorkshire pudding. They just didn't want to be the selfish bastard that reached over and chucked it on their plate. Yes, of course, they want it. They all want it. But you've asked. They can't say "yes I do." So they say "no" and watch you eat it with a hint of hatred. 

Friday, 23 August 2013

A Great Speech

"I know people die. People die in front of us every day. But Meredith will survive this. I believe - I - I believe in the good. I believe that it's been a hell of a year, and I believe that in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we'll all be okay. I believe a lot of things. I believe that - I believe that Denny is always with me. And I believe that if I eat a tub of butter and no one sees me, then calories don't count. And I believe that surgeons who prefer staples over stitches are just lazy ... And I believe that you are a man who made a terrible mistake marrying Callie. And I believe that because I am your best friend, I can tell you this and we can be okay. I believe that even though you made this mistake, you will be okay. I believe we survive, George. I believe that believing we survive is what makes us survive."

I love this speech. It's from my favourite TV show 'Grey's Anatomy' and speaks volumes by such simple words and simple things. Simple is something I have neglected in my writing. Melodrama is something my past self loved. Simple is far crueler. 

Imagine the scene: A woman and her husband are together for twenty years. Then they break up. The melodramatic reason is that the husband has started a cycle of affairs and has fallen madly in love with one of them. He says he loves his wife but he loves this woman and doesn't recognize himself and must leave and clear his head. Tragic, yes. 

Imagine this: A woman and her husband are together for twenty years. Then they break up. The husband says "I just don't have feelings for you anymore." And that's that. 

Collection (n.late collection)

Once again, it's been a while. The long hours I seem to be doing at the shop and then coming home to a pile of boxes I am still living out of and a bed that might as well be on the floor has made me neglect my blog...once again. However, a tiny update is needed and here are some pictures I like. 

The story behind this is that a few months ago I was writing and I was thirsty and a sudden thought came to me. 'All the good writers drink when they're writing.' So, foolishly, I went to the shop, bought two bottles of wine and poured myself a glass. It went down quickly and the writing flowed until I knocked an entire glass into my laptop and potiently destroyed all of my work. By doing this I lost a lot of my photos but managed to salvage some. Here they are:

(Moral of the story: no wine near laptops, please.) 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Old Gem

Evil Dead


My friend Elly loves 'Brideshead Revisited'. Personally, I don't like the film or the book. I'm very anti-war literature or films. I'm not really sure why but anything that is based around a war and I don't like it. I do, however, love the music. 


Monday, 8 July 2013

The World

"You and I are two of the most morally corrupt people out there." 
- Anonymous 

In two weeks I graduate from University. I will have, under my belt, a First Honors Degree in English. So, what now? I'm lucky, I'm about to go and do my Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Warwick but what happens then? What happens after? When I have to go out and find a job and I've had a part-time job since I was sixteen and only since September have I felt the weight of a full time job on my shoulders, being that robot that gets up at 9 in the morning to stay until 5. Standing in a shop and looking forward to lunch or being invested in a business.

The other day I was thinking about how easy it would be to simply drop everything and get a full time job in something I had little interest in - a shop, a business, a place where money comes at you the same time every month with the same amount and, within two years, my debt would be gone. I would get a flat, have my job and simply exist. My name would not be known for what I want it to be known as. I would be just a person. 

I want to be a writer -in case you didn't know - and, in the past couple of months I've had my work published in a few places: my personal essay (, my poems soon to be in Agenda Broadsheet, my short story and poems ( That's what I want and I think that's what we go into University with the want of doing - we want to spend three years being poor, drinking too much and studying a subject that we love so that, when we finish, we go out and get a job doing what we love. But we come out of University with that horrible, aching feeling of debt of sponging off our parents. So we turn to jobs that we have very little interest in simply to get out of that, to live a life that we deem much more comfortable.

At University we live our dream or the vision of our dream and then, when its over, and the world throws us different choices some of us allow our dreams to crumble. What we must remember is to not let our dream vanish. Don't let the world get you down. 

Stephen King On Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey, Lovecraft & More

Friday, 5 July 2013

Ode To Sam Howe Sitting On The Back of a Tarantula Thinking About Jam

My manager, Sam Howe, spends a lot of time pressuring me to write about her - in my journal, in my stories, poems, all of it. So, one day, while at work, I scribbled down this title with the image of a young girl - much like Mary from 'The Secret Garden' - sitting on the back of a tarantula with her nose curled up to the sky thinking about thinking. This is what became of that: 

It began, as most things do, with an idea
and transported onto paper – through paper and ink –
the idea – however small – was created.

She sat on the back of a tarantula
arms folded
head pointed to the sky
thinking about jam.

Jam on toast
jam on scones
jam on pickles and sausages
in mornings and nights.

Ponder, ponder, that’s what she did
perhaps too much
– but definitely not too less –
thinking, at first about jam
and maybe all the things in-between.

It started with an idea
however small
it was created
she sat on the back of a tarantula thinking about jam. 

Sleeping At Last

My computer's ability to post Youtube videos on my blog was momentarily stopped. Now it's back, I feel like I must share things that inspire and enthrall me. I have spent most of today sitting at this dining table, surrounded by bits of books I have been reading and papers to try and sort out boring financials. I ran out to town and bought two cooking books for ten pounds. And now, here I sit, listening to this song thinking about a fantastic stop-motion film about two lost souls in the woods. Call it cliche if you want. But cliches come from somewhere. 

Why I Like Ian McEwan

I read somewhere once once "an English Lit student will say 'the writer chose the curtains to blue to imply melancholy' when in fact the writer would say 'I chose the curtains to be blue just because I wanted them to be blue'." Ian McEwan, continue speaking. 

Zola Jesus - Lightsick

This song will always remind me of living. I first heard it in 'Grey's Anatomy' when Cristina goes to her husband, Owen, and kissed him. They have sex. She does this a few weeks after he confesses that he has cheated on her and their relationship is in ruins. Later, as they lay there naked, he smiles and say that he's happy. As she lays on his chest she says "I'm leaving." 


Confession: I once set a fire alarm off in school.

Because: My friends dared me. 

Who Puts You Back Together?

When something bad happens to us, how do we put ourselves back together?

Fear 101: How Fucking Terrifying Is This

I'm sitting in my dining room trying to write an article about a kind of music I have never heard about - avant-garde music in which there exists a festival of such music. I'm listening to the strawing sounds and the grave voices, occasionally changing to lighter music that I enjoy - Mumford & Sons ready for when I see them live tomorrow. Upon my research I staggered across this...

...and I say this - how fucking terrifying is that. I recently had a discussion with someone I work with about fear - what do we, as individuals fear and one of mine is the fear of somebody standing behind me. I'm petrified of the idea of being in my kitchen and somebody standing outside, looking through my window at me or sleeping and somebody steps into the room without my knowledge. And, after seeing this photo I think: how fucking terrifying would it be if they wore that bloody mask.