(adele voice) hello… it’s me… da da da da da da da da da i don’t know a whole lot of that song

yes, yes, my absence has been lengthy as the mourning of a victorian spinster for her wealthy uncle, albeit a widely disliked one. second year has swept over me like a cloud of midges & left me with a financially devastating addiction to almond butter, shockingly robust mental health, & a habit of bringing up how shit capitalism is at inappropriate moments, like when on the phone to a customer services rep from the book depository. also quite a nice 40% of my english lit degree in the bank, which i ain’t mad about.

for months i’ve been trying to mentally compile one of these posts & sort of shying away. there is suddenly (not that suddenly, actually, it’s been a good six months) a certain amount of Romaunce in my life & while i am very good at romanticising, as regular readers will know, one cannot really romanticise the romantic. or you can but it’s sort of obnoxious when you’re talking about your real life.

however: in reality a great deal of Other Stuff is readily available for the keats treatment by yours truly. i have done some silly things & read some excellent books; i have done some excellent things & read some silly books. silly thing exhibit a: i cleverly decided to write my 2.5k shakespeare coursework essay on both hamlet & twelfth night. as if this wasn’t enough, i ended up writing it whilst on a lovely seaside holiday with a certain Lofty Redhead & his family, in-between barefoot trips to the rainy dunes, & ended up uploading the thing after perhaps one glass of wine too many. while i escaped with my grades intact i really need to stop doing this sort of thing. i think i get myself deliberately into these Academically Complex situations just to prove that i’m clever. wherefore art i so full of shit?

(now racking my brains for the excellent things i’ve done for the sake of narrative balance but the only thing i can come up with is my brave lone trek out into the dangerous, yet fruitful lands of brewing water kefir. yes, over this year i have become a full-blown coconut yogurt-munching, sweet potato wedge-worshipping, avocado-toast-crunching villain. it’s delicious fun. i ferment, my friends.)

meanwhile my novel ferments also. reader, it ferments in its own narrative corpulence. trying to drag myself over the finish line of something i really just do not want to write anymore is every bit as tiresome as i remember from the last time (i was twelve, the book was magic misfits at an evil school, one of them had magical hemp-growing powers). the jostling line of new & exhilarating projects i have waiting for after i finish it doesn’t exactly help.

also, i’ve been busy. since turning in my last piece of coursework (an epyllion about a lesbian underworld-nymph) i have dashed across the country & back in service of a family member’s probably-not-a-fatal-fungal-infection, done my time at hippie camp with Lofty Redhead, repainted, de-iced, de-moulded, bicarb-scoured & otherwise sterilised the filthy ruins of poor dear edric after his year of student warfare, & travelled back north for summer with a second-hand suitcase full of poetry.

as things stand, i have four days left of teenager-hood, & incidentally also four days until i start lifeguard training at the local swimming pool (where, urban legend tells, the water hasn’t been changed in thirty years). hilarious fun! the weather has been back-&-forth between grey & chilly & swelteringly bright here; thus also my mood. i’ve started to find parts of sheffield representative of my least favourite qualities: dusty, polluted & filled with other people.

but i’ve managed to get my head together & Thrive nevertheless. at three p.m i have just returned from my second trip to the forest so far today; burying myself in greenery is really helping at the moment. it’s so good to smell the trees, the mossy ground, the river, anything that isn’t car exhaust. i’ve been prioritising seeing my beloved pals. i had some quite excellent sourdough toast at the steamyard with my mummiest mum friend, who called me a cliche & made me feel a great deal better; tomorrow ibby & her sister & i are going to make banana bread & bingewatch gentleman jack. i’ve reunited with an old partner in mischief (as children we invented a game called Tampon Javelin) & soon Lofty Redhead is visiting for, presumably, a weekend of arty horror movies & midnight capers.

& then i need a job, because, like, capitalism.

Lofty Redhead & i did have one rather excellent Caper last month but it’s so very writeable that i really think it deserves its own post. perhaps that will motivate me?


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