This book made me cry on the train there and back again.
I’d previously read Reasons to Stay Alive, Haig’s non-fiction book about his own experiences with depression. Suffering from mental illness or poor mental health often produces more introspection, more obsession with both ourselves, but also makes us question why it is everyone around us seems content with trundling on, ignoring the end of all things and the fact that no one really knows the point of our existence.
Today I made cinnamon oat pancakes. I ground oats into a flour, added cinnamon and baking powder, mixed in the egg and the milk and spooned the mixture on to the hot pan. I piled three pancakes on top of each other, added lemon juice and strawberries and sugar and sat down to eat them with a slight fear.
Sometimes you need a step back, a complete transformation of everything you knew. A change of place, the once-all-you-knew becoming some of what you know now. It’s made me question everything. I’ve lost a lot of a routine whilst creating a new one out of ashes of one I had thought long gone. Sticking them together slowly with sellotape rather than glue – a temporary measure for now.
My mum likes to pull out pages from the newspaper that she thinks I’ll be interested in. She usually sends a sort of blurry photo over Whatsapp where I can kind of make out a dog wearing sunglasses or something to do with Doctor Who. This time however it was a Harry Potter quiz with extremely obscure questions since the 20th anniversary of the publication of Philosopher’s Stone was a few days ago. (21 points could be won – I got 16 5/6ths.)
To the intern who put this together’s credit, the questions were pretty challenging and I couldn’t for the life of me remember Nearly Headless Nick’s full name. Whilst answering these questions it occurred to me how much useless detail about this book series I had gathered and stored away in a filing cabinet in my brain somewhere. How often for example am I going to be using the answer to the first question, who was Harry Potter’s babysitter, and for the bonus point, what is a squib? Arabella Figg and her inability to use magic despite being wizard-born seems lovely but she’s hardly going to help me on my CV.
No one is more surprised to see this post than I am, believe me. I have been outspoken about my opinion of Doctor Who, and what I saw as its gentle decline from a show I was thoroughly engaged with online and offline into a show that I no longer enjoyed. I made gifsets and read conspiracy theories about Moffat’s intense story arcs. I remember the frustration over the inexplicable extra floor of Amy’s house. I even watched a countdown timer for the entirety of that Saturday leading up to the series 6 finale. But gradually my interest has lessened and I’ve become increasingly disconnected with the show.
This won’t be an academic essay nor an unbiased review. This is just a run down of my relationship with the show over the seasons, and a lot of that does depend on my headspace at the time as well. Besides I got to hand in my dissertation last week (!!!!!) so I’ve been having some time off. Not really feeling like doing more formal analysis just now. So strap in for an incredibly informal look back at Doctor Who from my perspective.
This morning I woke up, sat in front of my small mirror and felt distinctly unlike myself. I looked in the mirror and saw a face I didn’t really recognise. Eventually it came back to me that I was me but I still thought that the “I” in the mirror looked a bit puffy, a bit tired. Had I had an allergic reaction in the middle of the night? Was I just this ugly all the time?
I’m late to the party, and yes, this is another post about something people have already raved about. But I finally saw it on Sunday and had to talk about it. Get Out is a tense horror grounded in the real world but managing to balance realism with hypnotism, brain transplantation and ‘the sunken place’.
I finished Nasty Women on the train to meet my family for a day out and on the way back, my sister complained about always being bored on trains. I handed her Nasty Women and told her to read it. She read the first four essays on the train and asked me what intersectional feminism was so I count that as a supreme success.
Sure, in almost every conversation I have with fellow students, at least one of us will make an offhand reference to the dire financial situation we are in or joke about our overdrafts. We might talk about SAAS, saving us every month on the 7th, and how we can’t really do much, pay bills or buy food until then, probably accompanied by an awkward laugh and a desire to move the conversation on.