Thursday, 21 November 2013

The art of doing all or nothing..

So yesterday was a complete write-off.
An insane amount of cider on my work night out the evening before made sure of that.

Those days, filled with the immense pleasure of doing NOTHING, actually tend to happen a lot more often than I would like to admit. It is not because I get plastered and spend a lot of time hung over or anything, but because I need it. Crave it. 

I always used to despise this particular feature in myself. My need to veg in the sofa with a book, separated from the world, made me feel useless! I should be doing my research, hang out with friends and be social! Not waste my life away dressed in pyjamas!

I am a very social being. Love hanging out with people and engage in interesting discussions as well as useless banter. I have always been like this, and have considered myself a very social and extrovert person. How could I have a need to be alone??! 

But this was before I started talking to my dude about it. My dude happen to be one of the most well read people I know, and is a bit of a hobby expert in psychology and philosophy (as well as the topics of the Hibernian football club and random electronic music, but that's a different story all together)
It turns out that the definition of an introvert personality type is not at all someone who can't stand other people, like i always assumed, but rather someone who looses energy when socialising. Energy that needs to be replenished through alone time. Whilst extroverts and introverts both love socialising, only the former will actually gain energy by interacting with other people. 

So there it was. The realisation that I am an introvert!

Just having this knowledge has actually changed me! I now feel a lot more comfortable with the fact that I need to be alone. An inner calmness that comes through acceptance. An acceptance of who i am, and a realisation that it is all ok. I don't worry at all about this part of myself any longer, and it has also given me a lot more enjoyment in those moments on my own.

Whilst there are a lot of discussions that could be had regarding the validity of sorting yourself into a folder with respect to any personality type, the truth still is that introverts and extroverts exists. The line between the two is most likely not very sharp, and the degrees to witch you belong to either category probably varies greatly. 
But my opinion is that, as long as we are not starting to sort other people into folders, some knowledge of standard personality types can give a lot of insight that might be beneficial to our own well being.

What do you think? Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert? 

Alone on a train racing through the rainy Scottish country side = pure bliss for any garden variety introvert. 


//  Tee  --  Has got fully charged batteries and is ready for meeting up with a lovely friend in Cambridge tonight!


Thursday, 31 October 2013

All Hallows Eve


In my native Sweden, Halloween is a fairly new invention. And I mean new enough to make my own childhood relatively free from dressing up in scary outfits by the end of october.

Traditionally, we have a completely different kind of celebration:  Allhelgonaafton - All Hallows Eve.

If I was at home today I would go to the local cemetery. It is a beautiful place, landscaped over small soft hills, with plenty of large trees and bushes and even a small stream flowing through. I would sit for a while, on the little bench next to the bridge over the water, and I would think about my granny. I would light a candle by the fountain next to the book. The book made from solid copper plates, with names etched in to forever memorise the ashes that were spread in this beautiful part of the world.

I would think of the talks and games I played with my granny. I would think about the joys of living, and the sadness of death.
I would cry a little.
But mainly smile.
After that I feel peaceful, and content and ready to keep living.

In the evening of Allhelgonaafton, all cemeteries in sweden are full of lit candles. In the darkness of the north it is a beautiful sight.


Today is the day of the dead.
And my tip to you is that, before you don the vampire outfit, you take a wee moment. Sit down for a bit and acknowledge the people in your lives who are no longer with you. Perhaps light a candle.
Cry a little.
But mainly smile.
Then go on and keep living.

//  Tee -- Will light a candle today. And think of this fantastic lively woman, whom I am so happy to have known.


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The randomness of fear...


Isn't it strange how random ones fears can be?

And I don't only mean the 'classic' phobias like spiders or dentists, but the small things that have us spooked..

I sometimes covers a shift or two in a wee hotel, close to Edinburgh city centre. My job is simple - I just need to mind the bar and reception and make sure the local customers and hotel guests are happy.
However..
Come closing time; as soon as the final customer has left the bar and I have closed and bolted the door, it starts. The fear of the dark. The very instant I close the window blinds in the bar, my mind starts telling me stories. Telling me I heard something. Saw something in the window reflection… As I make my round of the hotel and walk through the cellar, turning off the lights, making sure every thing is in order, my heart rate slowly goes up. By the time I reach the dark corridor behind the reception on my way back I am positively running. And running in a dark corridor does NOTHING soothe ones fear! It is with shaking hands I punch in the alarm code before I bolt through the door in panic….

BUT. On any other night, I have nothing at all against walking on this path in the middle of the night:


Did I mention the wall on the right borders a cemetery?

It doesn't matter how much I try to think about horror stories, scary films and so on (and I've actually tried!), I can't get scared of the dark whilst I am outside. But as soon as I am indoors I freak out!

Random!

What fears do you have?

//  Tee  --  Is actually getting a bit spooked out… in her own home.. Perhaps I need to go outside?


THE greatest playlist

I am playing this playlist as often as I can!


A bit insane when it comes to style perhaps, but generally awesome!

How!!???!!


In yesterdays post I mentioned that I was allergic to how things should be. I thought I'd try to write a little bit more about this thought pattern.
Essentially it all comes from something I've learned lately. It is this:

How??!


Hang on, I'll explain:

I am the type of person who has grown up with the incredibly strong need of feeling accepted by the people around me. To live according to 'The Plan' (you know the one..)

I want to be accepted by my peers, colleagues, managers, friends, and loved ones.
It might very well come from my background as a child of a broken home, a child of a middle-class swedish society, a child of the 2000's. Perhaps because I am raised as a girl. Or something. Or maybe just a child of Humanity.

The reason is beside the point. The point is that, for me, no matter what the reason, the need to be accepted and live according to The Plan did turn into a problem. A big problem.

Stress, tears, omeprazole, councillor appointment, failed relationships with good men, self hatred. Days spent crying in a pile of mess, dust, and empty tubes of pringles

Time does heal however. And a very good healer it is too! As experiences pile up I know I am learning not to take things to heart too quickly. Learning to take a step back.

But the person who has taught me the most in the shortest period of time is probably my partner.
He is the one who taught me to ask: How??!!

If you're not used to Edunburgh-scottish:
How means Why.

My friends and family has always been there for me, supported me through so much. There to listen to me, and comfort me when I feel I can't live up to the expectations of the world. When I am not loved by everyone and don't have the energy to live according to plan.

And he pushed me even further. By asking why.

Why are there expectations at all? And why should they automatically suit everyone?
What if you don't actually want all the things that you thought you wanted? Things that you thought were universal? What if they just don't suit you, and your personality type?
What if working too hard is actually bad for you? Why should you do it then?
Why do you feel you always have to do everything for everyone else?
Why?

At the start I didn't get it..
I mean everyone needs to go out of their way to please others, right?
Thats a universal truth, right?
And everyone wants to live according to The Plan, right?

right?


How?!






Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A sneak peak..


So I am in the middle of something…
Something I feel über-excited about!

I have decided, finally decided, to try to get something a little bit longer written! And, yes, I do realise I will never get it published. That is not the point (she lied..)!  What I really want to do is to give it a go! Get those 13 billion (ca) ideas that is stirring in my head out, and onto 'paper'. Just to see what happens. Will it turn out longer than a few chapters? Will it turn out to be a brick full of shit?

Here is a sneak peak from the creative process from my trusty notebook:


The ideas are flowing thick and fast at the moment so I only have time to annotate them quickly, in no order, and with no particular concept in mind. Words mixed with glued in pictures and hand drawn maps (with uncanny resemblances to vaginas, according to my partner!?  :-O Will the story turn out to be set in Feminist-land?! ) and family trees. All in combination with insanely random iPhone notes such as this:



Not sure if any of this will turn out to anything at all. And definitely not sure is is a good idea or not. It all remains to be seen..
I am not a writer. I am not particularly good at keeping deadlines. But I am also allergic to how things should be -  I want to try and get through things in my own way and give it a go.

So, keep your eyes open for the next literature Nobel for short stories being posted on here that have the feel of loose chapters from a larger story… I might very well, shamelessly, use y'all as editors!



//  Tee  --  Excited! Off to get a coffee, with an added teaspoon of double cream (which is incredibly tasty - Try it!)








Friday, 18 October 2013

Time


Time.
The concept of time STARTING at some point, gives most people a sense of dread.
How could TIME start? What was before that? Oh, wait. The use of the word before would be void wouldn't it? No before, no after, and no now. No moments. No nothing.



Thank (please enter preferred spiritual entity), for the beginning of time! For the development of the universe, the world, the eons of evolutional selection and the formation of humanity.

The main concept of time, when thinking about it in the grand scheme of things, is that it seems to pass very slowly. Or quickly. Slow in terms of the lifetime of the Earth. Quick in terms of the lifetime of a human being.

Isn't it strange that humanity has changed how we live compared to the passing of time? Have shifted focus from Earth's to humanities' concepts of time, and timelines?

First, and most obviously, ecologically and environmentally. The nomadic indigenous people of the world left no trace. No structures that couldn't be taken down and moved easily, no cumbersome works of art. They lived with the time of the Earth. That changed. Now we use up resources left right and centre, and the timeline we follow is our own. Humanities'.

But that is not all.
In the grand scheme of things we have also changed the time perspective in society. Old political ideas used to be taken from years of research and used to be made after years of evaluation. For the benefit of the country, the religion or the state. For humanity. Now political decisions are made, not to fit the timeline of a human life, but even shorter than that. To last to the next election. Haphazardly the world is run, and the timelines shortened.

Average Joe had a timeline that stretched from his grandfather and to his grandchildren. Decisions were made to secure the future of the land and the farm.
But in a modern society information and data is available at lightning speed. Will we stop and think? Will we get back to the days where our decisions were made for the future of our family, of our children, and our environment? Or are we caught in a spiral of shorter and shorter timelines, until we make decisions that are beneficial in one moment, and fatal in the next?





Friday, 11 October 2013

Confessions from a self help addict


So I have this weird love for self help books.
Nothing inspires me more! For a day or two.. For as long as I can keep up the Positivity Diary/Daily Affirmations/"Smile all the time' - strategies. Then fall back to earth and back again in the every day worries and stresses. But every time I get a new book I get such a lovely fix of self help motivation that I always come back for more. However, there is one thing I always realise when I have my come-down from the latest self-help high: We humans are truly social animals.
Because nothing beats a quick phone call from my mum, a lunch break with a colleague, a discussion about wind farms with my partner (..yes... it was a great conversation at the time!) Or a laugh down the pub, or a game with friends, or a good work meeting, or...

So for this weeks Tee time i am trying out a poem - And it's dedicated to all the self-help gurus out there!

//  Tee  --  Has decided she likes the freedom of poetry! Perhaps because her general grammar is a bit...shady.. and many recent email has been sent in 'yoda-talk'


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The inner strength is easy to find
    Just do it 

make yourself happy and control your mind
    Just be it 
stop all the worries and suffocate sadness
(with something other than pity and ice cream)
The inner strength is easy to find
    Just do it

Failed attempts pile up fast
    Can't do it
piles up to a mountain for the weak climber
    Can't be it
the mountain of worries can't be conquered 
(even by the most experienced climber)
and failed attempts they pile up fast
    Can't do it

But there is the comfort from the dearest
    Is helping
comforts like snow softly and heavily
    Keep helping
covers the world in a sparkling blanket
(even fills up the valleys all the way to the summit)
all the way to the top of the tallest peak
    Can walk it





Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Vanity..

It strikes when you least expect it: The Vanity. 
And its force is especially powerful when it appears together with: The Bargain.

So there I am walking down the rainy Edinburgh street. Mining my own business, on my way to the bank. That's when I see the sign in the window: "£10 manicure with hand massage".
I try to be strong. Try to fight it. But I am no match for The Vanity an The Bargain, in a simultaneous ferocious attack. 

I walk in, defeated. The man in the salon looks at me and smiles. He knows.

I make it to the bank on time. 
And I look fabulous.


Friday, 27 September 2013

High School Drama


The morning of her first day in high school Mary stood in front of the mirror, dabbing her face with the latest formaldehyde face cream. She had her favourite wig on, a blonde bob with golden highlights. She was nervous. Going through school she had been popular and studying had been easy. But now she was starting at the new high school in town. New school. New people. What if she didn't get any friends? What if the workload turned out to be too much for her? Those new hormone treatments made her struggle enough as it was, without the added responsibility of studying.. What if there would be no other ZBs?

The ZB virus always hit unexpectedly. And silently.
The silence was the first sign. The deadly quietness. An absence of life.
Mary had only been a two year old baby when her mother had walked in on her lying in the crib with her eyes wide open and a smile on her lips. But without making a single sound. No rustling around in the crib. No gurgling or laughing. No breathing. Her dad always made jokes about how her mothers screams probably scared half the neighbourhood into ZB on that very day. Mary hated him joking about it, but didn't have the heart to tell him. It was his own way of dealing.
In panic they had taken baby Mary to the A&E. The hospital staff were used to it happening. Gave them coffee, showed them all the flyers. With regular treatment ZB victims could be just like any other person. Their regular routines would have to change obviously, and Mary would have to get used to plenty of hospital visits, but with care she would be able to lead a normal life. She would however loose her hair and teeth fairly quickly and, sadly, she would never be able to have children.
Mary knew her mother had cried at the news of never being a grandmother, but she couldn't see what the fuss was all about herself. But perhaps later she would.

Mary had changed a lot lately, and didn't like it. Ever since that day back when she was two she had been going to the local ZB clinic for weekly treatments. Regular inter cranial injections of epigenetically manipulated stem cells for her brain. A few electrical shocks to avoid the heart muscle from rotting completely, combined with blood transfusions to make up for the lack of blood flow. She also went for monthly physiotherapy sessions where she was taught a set of chest exercises to get into the habit of filling the lungs with air, even though she had no need for it. In combination with the daily injections of trioxane for normal nerve function she thought she had more than enough to go through. But on her 13th birthday she had been given yet another prescription. The customary cocktail of hormones served to all ZB victims to simulate puberty. It tasted vile, and she had to take it every morning until the age of 20. She knew it was needed to go through to adulthood properly. But she still hated it. With a fierce passion.



On the way to high school Mary was in a state of near panic. She had never been this nervous in her life. Her father tried to comfort her the best he could during the drive to town. She wished he wouldn't. He left her mortified at the school gate after having given her a very public hug. After waving good bye she rushed in to the building. She was sure she would have been out of breadth if she had had one, and used some of her chest exercises. Partly to get something to occupy her terrified mind with, and partly to try to fit in as best she could. It took nearly twenty minutes for her to find the right room for her first class, and she was one of the last of the students to enter.

There were no other ZBs. No one but her who had perfect hair and teeth. No one but her smelling faintly of formaldehyde. As she walked to an empty seat at the back of the classroom she could almost feel the eyes on her. Hear the hiss of whispers travelling across the room. She wanted to die. Again.

When the physics teacher entered the room, the class suddenly went silent. Everyone stared at the striking woman who had just walked through the door. Professor Cho gave the class a blinding smile with her false teeth, flicked a strand of hair from the wig out of her face and said; 'All right class, lets get started!'. As she turned to wipe the whiteboard Mary smiled. It was going to be alright.



Friday, 20 September 2013

What a Perfect Night!


The gothic architecture of Edinburgh closed in on her as she turned down the small close just off the High Street. Her heels echoed between the narrow walls. She had strong ankles, developed through years of wearing high heals on the 17th century cobbles of city.
What a perfect night! A meal out with work had turned into a bar crawl in Old Town. One of those impromptu events that you never realised was going to be great. She smiled a little to herself when she thought of her colleagues. Like the Edinburgh story of Jekyll and Hyde her somber, and somewhat boring, work friends turned into right beast after taking their magical potion, in this case; lager. For once she was looking forward to seeing everyone again on monday.
Suddenly her smile froze. Heartbeat raised instantly. She concentrated on walking at the same pace whilst listening intently. Thought she had heard someone. After a few more paces she was sure. The steps were not just an echo.



She kept walking down the narrow close at a pace as even as she could make it. But when she reached the main road by Waverley train station she turned the east corner as quickly as she could. She felt her own heartbeat at the base of her throat. And as she glanced over her shoulder she could feel, rather than see, the shadow exiting the close behind her and follow her up the street.
Her pace was very fast, almost running, as she finally reached the top of her own street. The shadow was still behind her. Her heartbeat was a heavy drum inside her head. Her breadth shallow and fast.
When she could see her own front door she broke into a full run, and fumbled with the keys inside her pocket. The steps behind her sounded too close. Too fast. She reached the doorway and, as by a miracle, got the door opened on her first try. As she entered the stairwell she slammed the door behind her. Leaning against the wall catching her breath she could see the outline of a dark figure behind the stained glass of the door. She quickly unlocked the door to her flat and ran up to the front room window without turning on the lights. Peeking out behind the curtain she could see the figure walk back to the other side of the street. He turned around. Looked right at her. Watching.


She quickly kicked her heals to the other end of the room and ran through to the kitchen and her locked cupboard. Everything was ready. She was excited now. The black soft leather trainers felt heavenly after those heals.
Her kit slung over her shoulder, she went up to the front window and carefully parted the curtain. He was still there. She realised he looked surprisingly handsome. Dark hair and eyes. Agreeable in a sinister way.

After a couple of minutes he turned, and walked down the street. She gave him the customary 40seconds head start. You can't be too eager! She then snuck out the door and started following him on soft rubber soles. When she caught up he was nearly back at the train station. She hoped he wouldn't take the route back to the busy city centre, and got lucky. He walked down towards the car park in the garage behind the station. She snuck in and kept low behind the row of cars that separated her and the man. The sharp yellow sodium lamps in the ceiling made him look even more striking. Her heart skipped a little and the warmth spread from between her legs. Excellent.

He slowed down by an old mondeo. As he started rummaging around his coat pockets for his keys she was already behind him.

She smiled. Breathed in the heavy air, thick with the smell of fresh blood. She licked the knife. What a perfect night!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

THAT feeling.. a.k.a The future scares the shit out of me


Whilst writing my latest short story, which is a small scene from a futuristic setting (check it out here), I obviously started thinking about the future... (Or The Future, as I like to think about it, with the accompanying sound effect: duhn, duhn, DUUUHN)




Ok, so the thing is this:
-- I am a researcher, so my very occupation has a time limit to it, as decided by my grant funding.
-- The field I am in, as any academic branch I guess, is competitive
-- I have moved around a fair bit when I was younger and so have sadly lost track of many of my close friends
-- I am in a relationship where my partner is from a different country, and used to a different culture, than my own
-- I have a tendency to think... A LOT

All of the above (... ok.....mainly the last one.....) forms crucial parts of a puzzle that adds up to a very stressed individual indeed. As soon as I start to think about my own future (The Future) in any way - perhaps when writing a story, making a plan for a nice holiday, or just write a shopping list - I instantly develop a feeling of dread, and go straight into a loop of crazy thoughts.

These include: will I ever finish my thesis, will I ever get the time to get a decent haircut, will I ever get postdoctoral position, will I ever be happy being myself, will I ever be able to afford a new phone, will I ever get time to spawn some mini-Tees, will I ever enjoy exercise, will I ever feel content with my life, will I ever get to do my own research, will I ever....


Tee working away in the office
Tee pondering over The Future












WHY oh WHY, do I have to analyse every little possible aspect of my future, all the freaking time??!!!!
WHY can't I just sit back, be content in where I am at the moment, and enjoy the ride???!!

And finally: WHY oh WHY do people have to write a facebook update as soon as they are think they are so bloody happy and so freaking content with their lives???????........................

Oh. Ok. Problem solved. I'm just jealous.
Sorry about the rant.


//  Tee  --  Thinks that anyone who actually has ANY suggestions or tips, as to how to deal with stress about the future, should leave a comment below. Or, alternatively, cash out a Noble Prize. 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Weirdo-moment of the day..

Just went for a coffee in the staff room of my uni and decided to nip into the ladies on my way over. Suddenly i got struck in a completely paranoid thought pattern;

What if someone sees me walking into the bathroom with my coffee cup, and thinks I am drinking my own wee????!!!

Bluarghghhhh!!!!

Or, perhaps nice and salty? It might be lovely! At least whilst its still warm... 
........... Yikes, nearly threw up a bit in my own mouth ........




//  Tee  -- No, I have no idea what on earth is going, and am fearing a mental breakdown. 

Friday, 13 September 2013

A feeling of being ahead


The adverts woke her up at her usual time. Happy tunes chiming away, promoting the latest in facial reconstructions and insurance policies. She got out of bed as soon as she could, and the adverts stopped automatically.
She had always loved getting up early. Having finished the latest news reports, gone for a jog on the treadmill and had an acid shower before anyone else in the house woke up filled her with a sense of superiority. Of being ahead.

As she sat down to start work she noticed a weird redness on her forearms. Perhaps the acid dose in the shower was a bit too strong for her? She had always had sensitive skin. She went to the bathroom cupboard and injected an extra dose keratin. Soon her new skin would be smooth again.

The keyboard hologram flickered a bit before it came alive in front of her. The projector was ancient. Not many people bothered with typing these days. The new clever dictaphone apps had certainly changed the life of a journalist! But she was of the old school, and liked the feeling of her fingers typing. It somehow gave her just the right amount of time between forming the message and moving her fingers over the letters. It kept her from making no where near as many mistakes as when she dictated her stories. She thought about what music to listen to as she typed out the interview she had held with the manager of TeleTub from the day before. Chopin. Her implant instantly translated her needs and she was soon engulfed in the sweet notes of a Nocturne. Just what she wanted.

It was nearly two hours before the adverts from the implant interrupted her in her writing. She had been enjoying her interview so much time had passed without her knowing! She loved that feeling of 'flow'. Journalism was her calling. The adverts sang out their messages of various new food replicators, TeleTub travel insurance, and new coffee brands. She realised she must have subconsciously been feeling a bit hungry and went into the kitchen.

Whilst waiting for the replicator to figure out what type of flavours she wanted she thought about TeleTub. The interview had been fascinating. She had no idea that the science behind human teleportation had finally caught up with them! That TeleTub transported goods like this was old news, and it was well known that the transported items sometimes came out a little worse for wear. The entangled photonics messaging that was used to transport the information were supposed to be impossible to decrypt, but it still happened that the products appeared at the receiving end with more than a few items missing or broken. Hackers were getting cleverer by the day, and TeleTub stocks had been losing their value steadily for months. No one would ever risk teleporting themselves and appearing at their destination with your arms missing. Or, as the anti-teleportation activists kept pointing out, the perhaps more sinister version where you arrive at your destination with a changed political view, or without empathy..

But her interview with the TeleTub manager had been a real eye opener. The new encryption algorithms had been tested in secret for months and seemed unbreakable. She had even succeeded in getting the manager to hint that a big publicity test was being done very soon. It was a real scoop, and she hoped she would get the opportunity to witness the first manned teleportation event! It would feel like science fiction!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Packing day...

...  and I really can not be arsed..

Moving into a new flat is really exciting, but the whole packing-up-ALL-your stuff procedure is hell!

Today is wardrobe day, and it is standing there, mocking me....



Baahhaha! I'm too lazy for this shit.
All I want to do is sleep!


// Tee  --  The only thing that could make her want to get out of bed would be the promise of a strong coffee with lots of cream..


Friday, 6 September 2013

Sleepy Hyde


The ring I had put on her finger only hours earlier opened up a long gash along my chin as she hit me square in the face with her left fist.
Dark brown eyes. Empty wells of darkness. No longer the woman I loved. As she tried to hit me again I managed to grab hold of the wrist and stop her. The noise she made was that of an angry animal. A primitive snarl.
Hands bound on her back. Bath robe belt stained by the bloodied ring. Having to restrain her made me hurt inside.



The wedding had been beautiful. Our closest friends all in the same place, celebrating our love. Her dark brown eyes had sparkled with gold and happiness, as she said 'I do'. The skirt of her dress was flowing like the frothy water of a wild river as I watched her dance the evening away. I had hoped all the dancing in combination with numerous glasses of champagne might tire her out. Give her a heavy sleep.

It was three weeks before the wedding when I made my decision. I was not going to tell her. As the big day approached I knew I had to make up my mind. Man and wife. Say it, of forever hold my tongue. I would deal with it. Subdue it. I would love her forever.

The dark empty eyes looked at me with hate. I tried to ignore it. Played with my phone as I laid on the luxurious bed in the honeymoon suite. Pretending not to hear its quiet growl.

It had been going on since the very start. The first time I saw her she was sitting in an old mans pub. Drinking a pint of lager and with her legs relaxed wide she did not look out of place. Until she turned around. Long blonde hair. Almost white. A thousand strands of golden linen that framed a stunningly beautiful face with dark brown lively eyes. I had no idea what on earth she was doing in my smelly local pub, but what ever the reason was, I was going to be forever thankful. From that moment on we were inseparable. The flames of passion had lasted for more than a year, and only barely cooled down since. She was vibrant.

The first time it happened I had known her for a month. After a night in with some wine and a movie I woke up to the most terrifying scene. Her. Standing in the middle of the room. Head cocked to one side, watching me silently. I realised instantly that something was different. Wrong. This was not just her sleepwalking. The eyes looked deep and empty. Almost questioning me. Like it didn't know who I was. I was not able to make a sound. After what felt like an eternity it left the room and I followed. When she woke up a few minutes later, lying in the sofa she did not remembered anything. She smiled at me, and laughed at her 'sleep walking antics' that had been a part of her life since her early teens.

As I looked over at its bloodied and ripped wedding dress I wondered why no one had ever told her. Surely someone would have noticed what happened to her in the night? Someone would have seen that this was not just a sleep walking woman, but something.. different? But I already knew the reason why. I had battled with the question myself and made my decision. No. I was not going to tell her. Nothing would be worse than knowing you turned into something else, something evil, when you thought you were asleep.

I would guard her, subdue the evil, and love her forever.




Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Art Deco Fetish


I love art deco shapes. Especially in decorative furnishings and art work, but also in buildings.

On my way to my bus stop in Edinburgh I walk past one of the most gorgeous art deco buildings I have ever seen. The Fountainpark Public Library.

If you have ever been in Edinburgh you will know that Fountainpark is far from the most glamorous of areas in town. It is in fact exactly the opposite. And that has sadly affected the upkeep of this stunning building and what it is used for. The Hall is no longer used for community activities (As I enter I can feel the ghosts of the early 1940s styled youth dancing away to the latest jazz tunes) but holds a citizens advice bureau. The public library is still there, but feels desperately run down and has a vague, yet distinct, urine scented atmosphere..

Entering this place is heart breaking, and I feel a strange need to help! Rip up the 1070 carpets, polish the bannisters, clean the windows, order in an insane amount of new books and organise excellent community events that everyone will want to go to. But there is clearly no cash available for institutions like these in todays Edinburgh. Paying nearly £1000 a year to a council that lets beauties like these decompose in front of your eyes makes me angry! When I get rich (... hmm... positive thinking is good for you I'm sure...) I will want to do things for communities like these. Communities that are known to be rough, communities that are dying and needs a helping hand to pull themselves up to be able to enjoy and feel pride in their historical heritage.

The entrance is on the corner

The stunning shapes and decorations of the old community hall
Above the entrance


The old ticket booth is now used as a pin board

Original fittings. Polished by 70 years worth of use



Fabulous staircase with mint green walls 



//  Tee  --  aka mother freakin' Tee-resa

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

More ramblings.. And a new blog category!

As you will have noticed, the blog has lately mainly been used as an outlet for me and my, somewhat twisted, thoughts rather than short stories. I hope that's ok. The thing is that getting into a proper habit of writing (no matter what that is) actually means I have gotten loads of inspiration! What a relief!
So I think I will keep writing some random posts here, when I feel like it.

For those of you who are actually here for the stories, rather than my ramblings (....I can't for the life of me understand WhY of course....*ahem*), you will be pleased to see a new category by the top bar of the blog, where I've collected all stories (under a heading cleverly named All Stories).

I just realised how incredibly useless this picture
probably is.. Never mind. That's what the new
category-button looks like! *YaY*

On another note, I bought a new awesome book yesterday. It's a fabulously huge brick full of historical facts. HOWEVER..... perhaps I should have thought twice about getting this delivered to my work at the Chemistry Department at the university......................???????......... :-O




//  Tee  --  Promises to post regular blog updates from Her Majesties Prison Service....


Monday, 2 September 2013

Hmmm....

I am stuck in a bar.... On the wrong side of the taps!


Was helping out with a few shifts in a wee local bar in the west end of Edinburgh last night. As it was really slow most of the night I mainly spent the evening failing to read some important documents I had brought with me. Instead I ended up thinking. Not always a good thing.
Some of the topics me and my brain have tried to sort out:


  • Why is it that as soon as I want to write a short story, I end up with heaps of texts about my own private thoughts and issues? Have I perhaps got a need to share? Or am I just one of those wanky sort of people who think their own views are superior and therefore deserve their own space? Or is it just procrastination?
  • Why does my awesome low-carb / high-fat foods give me such horrid breadth?
  • Why do my feelings about work, friendship, love life have such a roller-coaster behaviour, switching at an alarming speed between utter despair and extreme happiness?
  • Does it make me a horrible person that I am less interested in the crisis in Syria than figuring out when the new Sherlock series starts, when browsing the BBC web page?
  • Why am I the only one who openly wants gadgets mainly because of the way they look rather than their specs? I mean come on! No one wants to use things that are ugly! The beauty/feel/athmosphere component is so important! 
There. A scraping off the top of the vat of guey, slimy, nonsensical things that has been brewing away in my mind.

Deep in thought


//  Tee  --  Has just realised that she might be a shallow, bipolar procrastinator with a need to voice useless opinions through a bad smelling mouth. Bloody great.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Anger - or what I learned from a brief tour into the brain of an abuser


Angry Tee
I always feel the Anger in the chest first. On the exact spot where I imagine my heart is. It starts as a tension. A dull cramp that grabs the heart with a force I can feel all the way through my body, back to my spine. As if I am being impaled. Slowly bored through by a stake of Anger. Probably made out of steel, or blackened burned sharpened wood or something like that. Like one of those stakes Buffy carries along.

But I aint no vampire. I am a normal girl. In fact, I am a NICE girl. One of those girls who grew up without making any fuss. No tantrums as a child, no pre-pubertal mischief or teenage shenanigans. No questioning of authority, no deviations from normality. All nice.

A boy would have had a different normality to live up to. His Anger would have been expected. He would have been assumed to fight for his right to play with the toys in pre-school, be aggressively pubertal in his teens, and defend his woman's honour in adulthood. His anger would have been expected.

But I aint no boy. I behaved just as expected. Always. Well, almost..

The Anger always come in short bursts and strong flairs. Like that time when I was 14 and my new pair of jeans (an excellent pair of stonewashed Crocker's) felt too tight and I suddenly screamed, cried and pulled large tufts out of my hair. Or when I was 17 and cooking dinner and salted the food too much and screamed and threw a plate in the wall. Or that time in my mid 20s, when my opinion was dismissed in discussion at a party and I kicked a man hard on the shins. And now, two weeks ago, when the most moral man I know told me I was behaving ridiculously, and all I wanted to do was to punch him in the face. Hard.
A flair of Anger can be powerful and
completely uncharacteristic of your  own being
Every point in time when this has happened - sudden flairs of chest pain and Anger - have always been followed by a complete sense of misery. I have always hated myself. Completely. For not being able to control my feelings. For not behaving as expected of a nice girl.
But two weeks ago, when I suddenly felt the type of Anger that would have turned me into a domestic abuser, I came to an important realisation.

First, I'd like to make it clear that I do not believe that were as humans are built like pressure cookers - that feelings of sadness or anger can build up inside until we have "a good cry" or "a fight waiting to happen". Our brains are more sophisticated than that. In fact I think it might actually be harmful to always act on our feelings, as it will create a possibly damning behavioural pattern. If there is anything we humans are good at it is getting into habits. There are many people out there with a habit of crying, getting angry, or depressed. And I believe a change in behaviour is the only thing that can help. What was it Einstein said?
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result

However; what my insight into an abusers brain (which at that microsecond happened to be my own) made me realise was the incredible danger we are putting people in by assuming a predetermined behaviour.

I grew up behaving exactly as I was expected to behave. However, that turned out not to be at all suitably to my true being. My Anger was not allowed, so instead of acknowledging to myself that my feeling were allowed I built them up inside and only let them come out in strong flares - which only led me feeling more miserable. Human phycology is obviously exceptionally complex, but I think we can all agree that one sure way of making an unhappy human being is to suppress her natural behaviour.

This leads to a ridiculous situation where little girls are assumed to be all nice and quiet, boys are assumed to be loud and aggressive, teenagers are assumed to be moody and hostile, women are assumed to be vulnerable, have shallow interests and gossip about their friends, men are assumed to be strong and intelligent and have uncomplicated sport-centered friendships.

If we happen to come across an individual whom's true natural behaviour matches all our assumptions, then I think we would be very lucky indeed. We are all humans and our behaviour spans over the whole register to varying degrees no matter what gender, and obviously also no matter what skin colour, background or education we happen to have been blessed with.

Assumptions are likely to make us all unhappy and if we are really unlucky they might make us behave in a way that not only hurt others, but is against our own true beliefs.
Let's do our best to open our minds a little and throw our assumptions away.


I wonder how much things like these help cement our assumptions of children's behaviour?
Will it make girl behave less angrily than she really might feel?
Will it make a boy behave more angrily than he is comfortable with?

Sometimes all it takes is a clever comedian to point
out how much we actually assume about each other, (and our dress sense! :D)



//  Tee  -- Wanted to write a short story, but had a brain full of mess. So thought I'd have a bit of a Tee-rant instead :)

Monday, 26 August 2013

Is it a sign?...

... if so of what??



I took the bus to the university today. I would blame the weather (it did look rather bleak) but then again I live in Scotland.. If I was really bothered about an unexpected shower I would NEVER cycle. The truth is that I was simply too lazy.
But sometimes a bus journey can be really rewarding. I normally make myself a flask of coffee and bring along a nice book or a new podcast. I also play my favourite game of 'guess-my-life' - where I make up a life story of interesting people that get on or off the bus.
Anyway, So I was on this bus, when I saw it: The Sign.

It was not a sign that advertised anything in particular. The particularness (a word needed in the english language I feel) of this sign was the fact that I had NEVER seen it before. Now, this specific bus route is one that I have been on at least 5 times a week, for at least 30 weeks of the year, for at least 7 years.
1050 times. At. Least.
And never before had I seen it.

It was standing halfway out into a field, attempting to advertise the advantages of parking your car at the park-and-ride and take the bus into the city centre instead of driving. It was old, partially obscured by some bushes and falling apart. All I could think when I saw it was:
How sad.
This poor sign is old, fragile and threatened to be completely obscured by a patch of unruly spruce. Yet it is still here. Still on this earth, in Scotland, halfway out in a field just outside of Edinburgh.



It made me think.
I thought of how many of these signs there must be all over the world. All representing failed businesses, old streets, empty restaurants and forgotten dreams. Still here when their message is long gone and hopelessly outdated.
I thought of the people in the world with a similar fate. Perhaps all our lives are destined to end like this. Forgotten, unnoticeable and with a peeling facade. Screaming out a hopelessly outdated message and advertising old unnecessary ideas.
I thought of how, in a society where new innovations are being stacked upon each other at an alarming rate, this will happen for my generation faster than any other.

I will soon be outdated. Soon forgotten. Soon almost covered by dense undergrowth...

Then I reached my stop. And thank fuck for that. Was nearly getting a bit depressed there. Not good.
But it DID remind me to get a new razor.


//  Tee  --  Loves the feeling of the wind in her leg hairs on the bicycle. But sometimes treats her man to a shaved leg. or two.


Friday, 2 August 2013

Getting Physical


Professor Stevenson walked up through the corridor towards his office. He was in a foul mood after a long and restless night. The physics department was still deserted. As this was the first day back for the undergraduate students after the summer break, he was sure the department would be very busy very soon. The sun was just creeping over the horizon, throwing long shadows over the worn floors. He crossed over to his office door, wondering if he would be lucky today. He tried to open it. No. He tried again, concentrating hard. Nothing happened. He sighed. He walked back along the corridor towards the library, with the aim to pass some time before the rest of the staff would arrive and perhapsgive him a hand.



He didn't like the new person he had been forced to share an office with. In fact, he couldn't remember ever having voted through the absurd suggestion of sharing offices with each other in the first place. Ridiculous. What was happening to the physics department?! Professor Stevenson was going to give the University Committee hell at the next meeting. But until then he was confined to one half of his own office, with the new faculty member taking up more space than was needed. A Dr O'Donnell. He had no idea what she could possibly know about ultrafast lasers, being so incredibly young, but apparently this one was one of the latest stars. He wished she would at least look at him. But instead she was obviously mocking him by carelessly resting her feet on her desk and reviewing a research paper whilst picking her nose, as if he wasn't even there! Outrageous. He made a symbolically loud sigh. She looked up at him. He smiled, but she just shrugged her shoulders and looked away.

He was on his way to the library. The morning had been unproductive, mainly disturbed by the arrogance of his new colleague. He loved the library. It made him feel at piece. He could collect his thoughts, and also secretly look up all his old research publications, dreaming his way back to more productive times. He could stay in the library for days at the time.

He had to rush to make it back to the lecture theatre on time. He loved the first lecture for the new batch of physics students. Their innocent faces, still eager to learn and willing to study - not yet seduced by the cheap beer in the student union bar and the freedom of living away from your parents. The students were already on their way in through the door when he arrived. He had to squeeze past a young boy to get in. The boy suddenly shrieked for no reason and Professor Stevenson had to give him an angry look. What nonsense. He walked up towards the podium. But Dr O'Donnell was already standing there. He was confused. Did she want to speak to him perhaps? Maybe apologise for her strange behaviour towards him?

'Welcome to your very first lecture as physics students. My name is Dr O'Donnell, and as many of you might have heard I will be teaching your Mechanics Course this term, as I am taking over after the untimely death of Professor Stevenson earlier in the spring…'


He tried to understand. But he couldn't. He walked back out of the lecture theatre, along the corridor, slowly walking towards to the library. He needed to think. The University committee was going to get hell for this.





Monday, 29 July 2013

Well, well, well..

What do I have to say in defence of not having written any stories lately?

Boredom, stress, hunger... I don't know... Let's call it Life.

Evil orcas mocking skiving blogger


Life has an uncanny ability to sneak up on you when you least expect it, and it always brings with it issues ranging from lack of self esteem to homesickness. And everything in between. Such as:
-- finding the most gorgeous flat in Edinburgh, only to realise you are competing with TEN others for it. 
-- Or having the weird feeling that a fever is just about to break out.  
-- Or realising you forgot about the electron donating effects of a phenyl substituent on a porphyrin (It happens to us all) 
-- Or forgetting to clear out the plug in the shower for ages and ending up having to fish out a blob of black gunk with a knife. (seriously, what IS that??!!) 
-- Or arguing with lovely people over insane issues such as the correct use of ones clothing to show appreciation for others
-- Or falling flat on your face (twice)
-- Or running out of money to eat anything but penne pasta and mince
-- Or getting offered to do something lovely for free, that you know your friends payed loads to do, and feeling so horrible you can't enjoy the experience. 
Anyways. We'll just have to deal with it, brush ourselves off, and move on.





So, till Teetime!

//  Tee

Friday, 12 July 2013

Mind Movement


Oh my freaking God, it moved!
I am sure it did!

Or did it?

He blinked a few times. Closed his eyes. No. Surely not. Impossible.
He opened his eyes and looked over at the bookcase. His favourite green mug, the one with the ridiculous pattern of gnomes on it, stood on the top shelf. Vapour ringlets rising from the still hot coffee. He was sitting in the sofa, propped up on all the pillows he owned. In accordance with the Law of Sod he had just found the perfect position in amongst the pillows, put his headphones on and had just started the movie before realising his brew was left on the shelf on the other side of the room. So close, and yet so far.
In frustration he had instantly stared angrily at the mug and willed it to move, like some badass jedi. Ridiculous. But it had moved! Hadn't it?..

For a moment he thought that he might be going crazy. He was sure he remembered reading about some weird branch of schizophrenia where your mind is convinced it had super powers or something like that.. But no. It was a hell of a lot more likely that yesterdays monster session of Skyrim had something to do with it. Messing up his mind.

He sighed and smiled to himself at his ridiculous ideas. Perhaps he should lay off the energy drinks next time he had a longer gaming session? Or perhaps he should lay off the gaming completely...

He laid his he'd back and closed his eyes. Maybe the feeling of dread would go away quickly this time?
It was only 6 months since the end of high school. He had hated every minute of every year he had been forced to go to school. But now the fog created by happiness and beer from all graduation parties, the joy of final freedom after a lifetime of studies, was lifting and left behind was a harsh reality of unemployment. The finality of it all left him with feelings of panic - a slowly growing tumour, sprouting from somewhere behind his belly button, sending out slimy cold arms of anxiety, blocking his throat. He closed his eyes when they started to burn. People around him kept giving him advice. Everywhere he went, everyone he met and every website he visited seamed to scream out to him that he should DO something with his life. NOW!! Get a job! Live your dream! You can do it! Come on! Get a grip!

At the start it had been so easy to justify. Of course he should find out what he REALLY wanted to do with his life, but not yet! Surely he deserved a month or two of complete freedom after all these years of school? Wasn't he an adult after all? Could he not do what he wanted?
He was incredibly grateful to his parents. To let him stay in the flat rent free, in exchange for some menial duties. Mowing the lawn. Washing the car. He knew they would let him stay for as long as he wanted. The chores were only given to him to make him feel like he did something to deserve it. He knew he didn't. Knew he should get a job, any job. The tumour sent out a slimy hand, grabbing his lungs. He couldn't breathe. Recognising the start of a panic attack, he tried to think of something else - anything but the blackness of the future - and breathe slowly. It worked.

He took a deep breath. Tomorrow. Tomorrow he would sit down and write a proper CV. Yes. That was it. He would sort himself out. Tomorrow.

He got up off the sofa and went over to the book case. When he was about a meter from the shelf, with his arm stretched out in front of him, the coffee cup shot off the shelf and into his hand. The force of it splashed the hot coffee all over his wrist and lower arm and the reflex made him drop the mug instantly. He looked down on the floor. Onto the broken bits of his favourite green mug in a pool of coffee. No. Freaking. Way. 

He stretched out his arm and faced the desk by the opposite wall. When his mobile phone hit his palm after zooming through the air, he smiled. Oh yeah. 

Two hours later he was sitting by the desk, feverishly writing a list. A long list of all the jobs he had ever wanted. All the places he had ever wanted to see. All the things he had ever wanted to do. Nothing can stop a man with superpowers!



Friday, 5 July 2013

A GOOD blog post (I promise!)




Make sure that you are good at writing



That was the main advice I found in an article on the Guardians blog for writers.
The article was entitled something like 'How to increase your blog traffic'. And, yes, I get it. No one will tell their friends about a shit blog they're reading. Unless its REALLY shit. Haha, have a look at this looser!

But still. Isn't that the very WORST advice you could possibly give a writer? Or is that just me? Am I the only one who looked at the words on the top of this page and, after scrunching up my eyebrows, went through three thoughts in quick succession:

1. But of course you have to be GOOD at writing. Who is this idiot!??
2. Actually, he is a REAL writer. An ACTUAL journalist. He has probably seen a lot of shit in his time. He KNOWS.
3. Damn it. I hope he never sees my blog! I just write for the fun of it, and of course there are heaps of shit lying around amongst the pages of my blog! I need to become a GOOD writer. Now.


So, here I am. A thursday night just like any. This is when I normally sit down in my ugly wicker chair with its owl-shaped pillow. I normally choose the simplest text editor, and maximise it to cover the whole laptop screen. Pretend I've got a typewriter. This is when the excitement starts! When I might brows through my folder of stories, ideas and thoughts. Will I pick an old one, and perhaps touch it up a bit? Or will I sit down with the blank page, and just see where the story takes me? It is normally the latter. For a simple reason - For the indescribable joy of loosing myself into a story. A story I don't know yet. Eagerly awaiting the characters take form in front of me. I love it.

But not today.

Like an experienced hunter my mind brutally shoots down every idea that surfaces from the dense under growth of the subconscious. Too pretentious. Too dull. Too intricate. Clay pigeon shards fall to the ground.

Thank you, reverend Guardian Expert™, for your excellent recommendations. For not only pointing out the bleeding obvious, but doing so in a manner that ruins dreams.
Because you are WRONG.
First of all; To say that you have found an especially good story, is just about as useful as saying you have found an extra tasty piece of pickled herring - only valid if you happen to like pickled herring.
You do not need to be good at all. In fact, most of the blogs I follow have, what I consider, quite poor writing style. But they are all passionate. They all convey ideas. They all inspire.

Dear Guardian Expert™, gone are the day when only the GOOD things were published, as decided by the people who KNOW. I welcome you to the Information Era, where everyone gets the chance they take for themselves. Where everyone can do what they love, and GIVE IT A GO.

Now I am going to pull myself together, stop ranting, and go out into the mossy grounds of a very dark, yet beautiful, pine forest and rummage around the undergrowth. Perhaps I will cut myself on broken bits of clay. But I will keep looking for a shard of inspiration, passion, and perhaps even joy.

I'll let you know.

Friday, 28 June 2013

OffSpring


He loved her so much. If he could, he would give her the world. And some. He knew it was a cliché, but for once he was sure. And he had never been sure of anything in his life until now.  Been a train running on full speed, with no driver for so long. But now he was going to sort it out. Fix everything.

He was a child from before the OffSpring scheme. From a time when everyone, including his mother, were allowed to have children as they pleased. The thought had messed up his mind on many occasions. He hated his mother. Her unwillingness to give him a single glance, let along some comforting words. A slap on the face if he had been brought home by police, perhaps. A mothers touch. But did he wish he had never been born?
Well, here he was. Born and bread in a council flat in Gypsy Hill, south east London. Wanting to get away from the smelly flat, with his sweaty nicotine stained mother permanently camped out in the sofa watching dramas, he had roamed the city. He could not count the fights, the smashed windows, the bottles of cider. It was not a pretty childhood.

When the government publicised their plans of giving double the job seekers allowance if you did not get a job within the year, he had happily voted yes. Even though the price was high. Chemical non-permanent sterilisation until you could prove a suitable level of income to support a child. The un-loved brats roaming the cities, wrecking havoc on the streets, had become too much for the new government. "The OffSpring scheme is only for the benefit of the children, the ones who do not get the love and support they need. No one will be left un-wanted ever again!!" The suggestion had been hailed as a revolutionary idea. No longer would poor women be able to have children just to claim benefits. Children they neither wanted nor cared about. More benefits would be available for everyone. He had looked back on his childhood and agreed with the government. So had the majority of the population. At the age of 23 he had received his compulsory injection. A small injection just behind the balls. Could be reversed at any time. As long as you proved you were married and had a stable income of no less than £15000 gross per annum.

It only took three months after he had signed up for the new job seekers scheme before he had been offered a job. He liked it. Not that he had ever dreamed about being a postman as a child. But then again, he hadn't had any dreams at all. He liked to be able to walk outdoors. To wear a uniform. He knew the streets like the back of his hand and always planned his rounds to make sure he had spare time to chat with shopkeepers and pub owners when delivering their post. The salary was good. £13000 a year, with a 10 percent increase every 6 months for three years. Life was getting better.

It was a sunny day in September, a surprise late summer warmth in the air, when he met her. A cashier at the new teashop on Westow Hill. Their shop uniforms were pale blue, and he remembered how her beauty made him breathless as he entered the teashop with their first ever delivery of letters. Her dark brown eyes had smiled at him as he gave her her post, and he had suddenly found himself without a single word to say. Every day for a month he had entered the teashop with butterflies in his belly, and every day she had smiled at him and he had stayed silent. But one day it changed. He thought he saw something in her eye. A twinkle? It loosened his vocal chords and he finally blurted out his first words to her: "Would you like to go for a coffee with me on saturday?" She had laughed, said she preferred tea, but had happily accepted his offer. He didn't sleep for the rest of the week.
Their first ever meetings were strange and beautiful. They spent most of the time in silence, looking at each other, wondering if this was too good to be true. After six months they moved in as newlyweds into a small flat above Gypsy Hill train station. The trains were noisy, but so were they, riding on the waves of passion. Life was perfect.

Her illness crept up on them slowly. It pretended to be a common cold for the first couple of months, but then bloomed out in full blown pneumonia. She survived it, but her throat didn't. The scarring left her with a permanent cough and a dark raspy voice. He didn't mind. Made her laugh by telling her she sounded like a sexy jazz singer. The owner of the tea shop did mind however. Apparently no one wants to buy tea from a raspy voiced cashier who coughs on the fine blends. She was moved to the back, stacking boxes at two thirds of her pay. He tried to comfort her, but she didn't stop sobbing. Every night he cradled her in his arms, wiping her tears as the trains rumbled past beneath them. He knew why she cried. He had done the maths too. With her current income he would need to earn at least £20000 for them to be able to reverse their sterilisation and start a family. He had never heard of a postman earning that much.
But he loved her. He was going to sort it out. Fix everything.

On his way to the meeting with the head of the Post Office he passed a playground. He decided to sit down for a bit. A small girl was climbing the climbing frame, shouting at imaginary crewmen as she captained her imaginary pirate ship. He smiled. The mother of the child sat at a bench opposite him, her head bent down, emerged in the latest app on her smartphone. The girl fell and screamed. He felt like he needed to comfort her and help, but didn't want to intervene. It was only a bruise, and the girl had soon wiped her tears and was climbing again. The mother had not looked up from her phone once.

Sitting on a bench by a playground, he cried.


GENomskådad


Hon sätter sig framför datorn och knappar in adressen. Handflatorna är svettiga. En vag darrning.
Sidan laddas omedelbart.

GENomskåda!

Så löjligt glad titeln ser ut. Knalligt turkosa bokstäver på grå botten. En glad titel som döljer ett mörkt budskap?
Hon har aldrig förr använt sig av den nya tjänsten. Eller ja, ny och ny, den Amerikanska internetsidan har funnits i över ett år, men först nu har Sveriges riksdag klubbat igenom godkännandet av förslaget. Ända sedan regeringen sålde ut både justitiekanslern och justitieombudsmannen till privata bemanningsföretag har förslaget varit på gång, och fått stort intresse i media. Alla har haft något att tycka om den databas där alla sveriges medborgares gener ligger snyggt uppradade, och huruvida den ska vara tillgänglig för allmänheten. Självklart, tycker hon! Hon förstår sig inte på alla de som klagar. Alla människor är faktiskt inte lika, utan kommer med ett genetiskt bagage, och alla har rätt att kolla upp vem de till exempel arbetar för eller, som i det här fallet, vill dela sin kärlek med.



Det var bara tre dagar sedan hon träffade honom, på universitetets bibliotek. En riktig klycha! Hon hade tappat tre av sina böcker på sin väg tillbaka till sin lilla läshörna och som en gammaldags gentleman hade han plötsligt suttit på huk bredvid henne och hjälpt henne att plocka upp böckerna. " Så kan det gå! " hade han sagt klämkäckt, och hon hade rodnat. Hon rodnade alltid. Förbannat. Han hade givit henne ett brett leende och gått därifrån. Ett par timmar senare tänkte hon fortfarande på honom - de blå ögonen och det halvlånga lockiga håret som ramade in ett klassiskt vacker ansikte. När han sedan stod framför henne med en liten papperslapp i sin hand rodnade hon mer än någonsin. Ett telefonnummer. Med löfte om att träffas nästa dag hade han gått sin väg, och lämnat henne med hjärtklappning och klarrött ansikte i läshörnan. 

Dagen efter mötet hade varit som en dröm! Med kopiös handsvett - som fick fingrarna att slira runt på nummerskivan på den gamla retro-kobratelefonen - hade hon slagit numret redan på förmiddagen. Passade en lunch kanske? Det gjorde det. 

Han var perfekt. Pluggade psykologi precis som hon, men i året under henne. Gillade brittisk nittiotalspop, hundar och att se på Lynch-filmer. Skrattade med otroliga smilgropar. Lunchen på kafeet hade blivit middag på restaurangen över gatan och några öl på krogen halvvägs hem till henne. Hon ville inte låta honom gå. Så hon gjorde inte det heller. Med ett stort pilimariskt leende tog han emot inbjudan om en nattfösare i hennes lägenhet. 

Trots att det var mitt i tentaperioden hade de tagit ledigt hela nästa dag. Med huvudet på hans bröstkorg och hans hand lekandes med hennes hår hade de pratat om allt mellan mekanismerna bakom kognitiv psykologi och fördelen med hemlagad senap på varmkorv. 

Hon är kär. Så ofattbart kär. När väninnan imorse påminde henne om att gen-databasen var igång kunde hon inte hålla sig utan satt nu insmygen i sin vanliga läshörna med den bärbara datorn igång på bordet framför henne.

GENomskåda!

Orden nästan skar in i ögonen på henne. Det lät så smutsigt på något vis. Sm om Han skulle haft något att genomskåda. Som om hon inte kände, med hela sitt hjärta och sin kropp, vem han faktiskt var. Kände hans själ. Men det var väl ändå hennes rätt att få veta om det nu, mot all förmodan var så att han kom med ett genetiskt bagage! Eller? Nu när tekniken fanns att få veta, varför skulle man inte ta sig den rättigheten då?! Eller var det verkligen en rättighet? Med namn och personnummer på den vackraste själ hon någonsin mött inskrivet i den lilla rutan och med handen svävandes över enter-tangenten var hon inte längre så säker. Hon tryckte ner knappen och blundade.

Det som en gång är sett kan man inte göra osett. Det man gjort kan man inte göra ogjort. Sittandes med ansiktet gömt bakom sina uppdragna knän grät hon tysta tårar medan telefonen surrade på sängen bredvid henne. Men vem svarar på  ett samtal från en framtida alkoholist?

Friday, 7 June 2013

I dont wanna rub any thing in but...

... this is all I am planning to do for the next week!


Image and video hosting by HilariousGIFs.com


Finally finished all work needed before the holiday. Time to pack!

//  Tee

Holiday!! // Semester!!

So... 6am tomorrow morning my flight leaves to sunny (it'd better be!) Bordeaux. This means I am at this very moment very near the top of the first peak of this excellent diagram:


Essentially, what I am trying to say is that Teetime is off...

Click HERE for a video to make up for it!

I am hoping that lazy days in the french sun (and a wee bit of wine perhaps) will bring outstanding inspiration for short stories!
Till the trough..

Tee  //  Stockpiled 50+ sunblock yesterday. My complexion is used to the Scottish summers after all...

Friday, 31 May 2013

The Circle


The rune was black.
So black it nearly looked burned into the dark wood.
I couldn't for the life of me understand why. Dark red, or even a hint of green, would've been expected after my disastrous meeting during the day. But black?!



I very rarely used the runes these days. During my teenage years, hormones flowing wild, I had snuck away on almost every school break to shake the little wooden bricks in my hand and eagerly await their answers. But age brings all kinds of wisdom. By using the runes I had not only learned how to read people fairly well from body language and tone of voice alone, I had also learned that reading peoples thoughts can be very unpleasant and unpredictable. But today I just HAD to.

It started already in the morning as I was brewing my morning coffee. Whilst I was concentrating on adding three clockwise stirs with the silver spoon in between every anti-clockwise stir (my mums classic recipe which wakes me up like nothing else) the cat suddenly came whizzing past from the garden through the open kitchen door. She jumped up onto the kitchen table and started staring intently at me. I knew the look instantly. "She's had a Vision!" I thought, "Excellent!". My cat was a bit useless when it came to letting me know she had had a vision, but when she did, it nearly always paid off. Only last month she sorted me out so I could pull a sickie on the very day the waste drains burst in the office bathrooms. Helen had had to send her best suit to the dry cleaners and thrown away a perfectly decent pair of brogues.
I took down the battered copper tim from the mantelpiece and grabbed a large pinch of dried catnip. My gran would always advice me to steep the catnip in water to drink, but I thought it worked fine neat. Besides, my bus was due in ten minutes, so i didn't really have time. Chewing the herb, I called the cat over and sat down on the floor. It took her less than a minute to convey her feelings to me. It was happiness! She had had a Vision that was about to make me happy! It nearly made me teary. And exceptionally excited! Before I went to work I opened the cage in the larder and put one of my quite pricey white mice on to the floor. It was the least I could for the cat, as a thank you.

I spent all morning doing absolutely NO work, waiting for the event that would make me happy. At half eleven I gave up and coaxed Helen to come with me to a pub for a cheeky glass of white with our lunch.

That's when I saw him. The Man.
- "I'm sorry but you must have dropped this."
His voice was smooth and deep, with a faint arabic accent. The dark eyes that met mine as I turned around on the bar stool to take my dropped scarf from his hand made me weak to the knees.
-"Oh er..tha..er.."
I answered confidently.
My brain was on mental stand-by for another full minute before Helens laughter woke me up. The Man was long gone, long black leather coat swaying as he had left the pub, and I wanted to die a little bit. Or at least disappear into a bottomless pit. Only one positive thing remained from the lunch break: Helen had recognised the Man as one of the bartenders of the new wine bar in town, The Circle!

The constant 'pinging' noise from my computer, announcing the arrival of every email Helen sent me during the afternoon, did nothing for my continued productivity. But Helen wasn't the only one to blame. I spent a lot of time committing the Mans eyes to memory. Partly because it made me week in the knees, amongst other pleasant bodily reactions, but also because I knew the runes worked best with a clear picture of the Thinkers eyes in the mind of the Reader.

I jumped off the bus, and ran all the way up the path to the cottage. I didn't even stop to catch my breadth until I was sat at my kitchen table, clutching the bowl carved out of an ancient hip bone. With the eyes of the Man clearly pictured behind my eyelids I took the runes from the bowl and shook them in my hand thrice. I threw them out onto the table like a desperate gambler throwing dice for a very large bet. As a little girl I had sat at this very table many times, learning the meaning of the many shades of colour of the runes, my mother watching and correcting my mistakes. Yellow, green and red for positive, indifferent or negative thoughts. Those were the basic colours. But a true Reader could read more than that about the Thinker, from the slight shift in shades of the runes. But I didn't need my years of rune training for what I now saw in front of me: Seven wooden bricks, each with a pitch black coloured rune on it. It could only mean one thing. He was one of us.

The happiness flew through my veins like the bubbles in champagne. Maybe I had found a partner, finally?!

With loud jazz blaring out through the cottage I got myself ready for a visit to The Circle. I threw the broomstick in the corner a look, but laughed at the thought. With a skirt as tight as this I'd better take the bus.




the picture is a Dartmoor stone circle taken from http://blog.rachelcotterill.com