Memory

memory

noun

  1. the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information

  2. something remembered from the past.

For the most part, I like to think I have a pretty good memory. Long-term, it's fantastic. I can remember details of events from years ago, what I was wearing when a certain thing happened, and who said what in conversations that no one else seems to remember. I'm also good at remembering the little – some may say insignificant – things. A co-workers favourite colour, or what they had for dinner three nights ago. And yes, sometimes (maybe too often) I'll open a new tab in my browser, or get up from my desk and have absolutely no idea what I was about to do. But like I said, for the most part, my memory is pretty good. And I love this.

I've been told before – with eye-rolls and the implication that I'm being silly – that we choose how we remember things. But of course we choose how we remember things. 

When I remember my childhood, it's in a late spring/early summer haze. It comes in flashes. A montage of green and picnics and stomping on the berries in the pathway by the park. It's triangle sandwiches and Sylvanian villages in the garden and midnight feasts at 9pm because three eight-year-olds can't stay awake until midnight. 

My teenage years are less flashes and more lingering. It's Saturday afternoon cupcakes and Skins and The Wombats' A Guide to Love Loss and Desperation on repeat. It's cold Februarys and then, later, warm summer evenings and sand in my shoes that I can never get rid of. 

And now, things that were once a 'last year I did this' or 'this time two years ago...' are fast becoming memories too. Albeit more solid ones. Ones that smell of coffee and a certain scented hand wash that I can't use anymore. Mid-week days off and constant train journeys and Taylor swift on repeat whilst driving through the forest. 

It might sound terribly nostalgic, all of this, but there's something so wonderful about trawling the corners of your mind and reliving things from the past. The thing is, because I'm so fascinated by it all, it means I'm also very scared of forgetting. 

And so I write things down. I record the flashes. And if they change over time and I choose to remember them differently, then so be it. 

 

A post about Sunday

How nice would it be go an entire day without feeling anxious?

Some days I nearly make it. I think even some days I do make it, but I don’t remember those so the last one must have been a while back. Most days I don’t.

Sundays I definitely don’t. And of course no one likes Sunday evenings. No one likes the clock reading 6:55pm and suddenly the weekend’s over and you’d better start thinking about the week ahead; but how nice would it be to simply dislike it?

I can have a lie in and wake up feeling somewhat refreshed, even though I’ve been exhausted for weeks now and can’t seem to make it go away. I can open the curtains and make a cup of tea and eat four rich tea biscuits and think that today is probably going to be ok because I have no plans and I can tidy my wardrobe and go to Tesco. So I clear out my wardrobe and charity bag the things I’m not going to sell and list everything else on Depop. And I’ll list it all for £5 plus postage because I was only going to give it to charity anyway.

I can scroll through Instagram and look at photos of brunch and dogs and the colourful front doors of strangers' in London, only to be interrupted by a notification. I have a message on Depop, undoubtedly from someone who wants to buy one of my previously listed £5 items. But what if they’re going to ask if I’ll take lower? And then I’ll have to respond. And then they’ll respond? And then – you get the point. So I’ll just turn off notifications for now and leave that until later.

I can have a second cup of tea, and decide to drive to Tesco to buy lunch for the week. I won’t worry about doing my hair, because it’s a Sunday afternoon and who really cares anyway? But it turns out that Tesco is quite busy and I can’t remember where everything lives because I usually go to Sainsbury’s and I’m now very aware that I didn’t worry about doing my hair and I also remember not putting on mascara and suddenly now I care. There's too many people. And I’ve walked up and down the same aisle too many times looking for the yoghurts I wanted, so I only buy some rice cakes and satsumas. It’s fine. I didn’t need the yoghurts anyway. I’ll just go home.

I can get home and have a third cup of tea and finally respond to my Depop messages because what was I even worried about anyway? I’ll make some avocado on sour dough and have a bath and use up the last of my bubble bar and try and enjoy the rest of my Sunday. But now it’s almost 7pm and I need to make lunch and I haven’t decided what to wear tomorrow. And what if I can’t concentrate at work tomorrow? What if I wake up exhausted again and my eyes hurt and I have another bad week?

I can put on a film to distract myself. Except an hour later I’m only one minute in. Because I can’t concentrate and I had to write about it right now so that the hundreds of thoughts whirling around in my head have somewhere to go. And I can’t stop thinking about how nice it would be to go an entire day without feeling anxious.

World Book Day

I love reading, but as a child I LOVED reading. Which, in turn, meant I LOVED World Book Day, because who doesn't want £1 book token and the chance to dress up as you're favourite fictional character?

My best and most memorable World Book Day fancy dress was the year I opted for The Cat in the Hat. We spent weeks prior scouring local fancy dress shops (because online shopping wasn't a thing yet) for the perfect top hat and bowtie combo. When they day came I wore it with pride, quietly judging those who had come dressed as a superhero or Disney character or something else that wasn't strictly speaking a book character. You know the ones.

I read a lot of books throughout my childhood. In one Year Four class assembly, we all had to stand up at talk about our favourite hobby. I didn't think I had a favourite hobby because I wasn't part of a club, and I didn't play the violin and I didn't like sports. So I – very reluctantly because if I hate public speaking at the age of 23, I hated it even more at the age eight – stood up and spoke about going to the library. And at the time I felt really silly, because reading wasn't cool. Except now I feel even sillier because at the age eight I thought baby pink parachute trousers were cool, so what did I know? Reading is definitely cool. 

Anyway. My point being, is that I read a lot. I read the obvious ones, the Harry Potters and Roald Dahls and the entirety of Jacqueline Wilson's pre-2004 back catalogue; and I read the classic ones, A Little Princess, and Charlotte's Web and so on. So today, I thought I'd discuss the ones that I still remember all these years on. Not necessarily my favourites, but ones that I recall really enjoying, and reading multiple times.

Each Peach Pear Plum - Janet and Alan Ahlbergh

If you don't know Janet and Alan Ahlbergh's Each Peach Pear Plum, where even were you. It rhymes and it encompasses a myriad of fairy tale characters who end up coming together to share plum pie in the sun (#spoliers). Also did I mention that it rhymes?!

There's a Wolf in my Pudding - David Henry Wilson

As well as reading this one, I also listened to it as an audiobook, on repeat, again and again and again. These stories are a humorous take on classic fairytales, if I remember correctly, often narrated by Red Riding Hood's Wolf. 

David Henry Wilson also wrote the Jeremy James books, which I also loved, and also listened to constantly on audio book. 

Confessions of Georgia Nicolson

The film version of Angus Thongs and Full Frontal (was there really and need to change it to perfect?) Snogging, has nothing on (the sadly late) Louise Rennison's 10-book-series. I'm not sure I'll ever get over the fact that film Jas didn't have a fringe, but it's ok because book Jas will always be fringey. 

Special mentions go out to The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson, Flour Babies by Anne Fine, The Sheep Gave a Leap by Hilda Offen, and Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.

OOTD – February

I miss talking about clothes. Or I suppose what I mean is, I miss sharing what I've been wearing on the internet. I stopped because balancing your camera on a pile of books and taking a photo against your bedroom wall wasn't cool anymore. Blogging got big, photos got really professional and I didn't have a fancy photographer friend to take some for me. I decided if I couldn't do something well, I didn't want to do it at all, so I didn't. 

But I like clothes, and I want to talk about them. Yes, I may feel incredibly awkward in front of a camera in public, but I like to think I can put a half decent outfit together most of the time. So, whilst I was in Bristol last weekend, I roped Charlotte in to taking photos of my #ootd and in return she got to spend a weekend in my fantastic company. It was a good deal.

Photo 19-02-2017, 11 33 25 (1).jpg

When: 19th February 2017

 

Where: queen square, Bristol

 

What: post bill's breakfast with charlotte. PRE-Driving home and realising this dress is not made for two-hour car journeys.

 

Photos by Charlotte MacKay

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wearing:

Things from January

It's a good job I'm not a 'new year new start' kind of person – although admittedly I was pretty glad to see the back of 2016 – because let's face it, January has been tough. Both personally (which I talk about here) and also for the world (which you've undoubtedly not been able to miss). 

Fortunately there were some nice things too:

La La Land

I'm not usually into musicals, but I am usually into Emma Stone, so I figured I may as well give La La Land a watch. And I loved it. I loved it so much that I went to the cinema alone for the first time ever to watch it second time round, and I'm pretty sure I've had the soundtrack on repeat ever since. To me, it was the right kind of magical without being cheesy or unbelievable. Plus the music. Plus I really enjoyed spending the entire film almost crying because why don't I look like Emma Stone? Plus I may have bought myself as new watch on the basis that it 'reminds me of the planetarium scene'. No? I don't know either. One of the more off justifications I've used to purchase something.

OPOA

Work wise, we finished Issue 3 of One Piece of Advice alumni magazine. This issue's cover features the work of Liv & Dom, which I'd definitely recommend taking a look at! I chatted to Dan about curating the Bournemouth Fringe Festival, and found out what Kate keeps in her car boot

Pillow Talk

My / everyone's favourite lip liner, Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk, is now available in lipstick form. This is good news. That is all.