i feel a bit like i owe them

person under umbrella
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There’s a massive debt

That hangs so heavily

Over my head

Like a storm cloud

Ready to open the floodgates

And let torrents run riot;

If only I had trust

In what I could be

This rain cloud would blow

Over and I

Could shine in the light.

I’m getting so nervous about starting my new job in July and I think a lot of the problem is down to the fact that I feel like they have only taken me on as a favour. I feel like I owe them for employing me.

However, I’ve been chatting with one of my colleagues in my placement school and she said I really need to stop thinking in that way. They must have seen something in me when I did my interview so I have something that they want.

I really need to shake off that feeling that I owe everyone some kind of debt of gratitude for wanting me in their life. I think most people would tell me to get lost if they didn’t want me around.

I do have something to offer to the world, as does everyone. I think it’s a really British thing to doubt our abilities and worry that we are just a burden on those around us. I think it’s really important that we all start to realise our worth and remember that if we get a job, we should be thankful, but also know that we were chosen for a reason and they should be glad to have such a fabulous person on their team!

Much Love

Rachel xx

a love of old buildings that are being used again

abandoned ancient antique architecture
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There’s nothing I hate more than flat pack Tescos

Dropped within a car park square that once

Was a park or where a library lived.

Now it’s flattened like that Joni Mitchell song

And we really do pay to see those ancient trees.

But then there are the buildings that

Are probably as old as time, predating humans

With their rulers and their technical computers

And I kind of like it when we breathe in life

To those dusty walls, carved with leering gargoyles,

A place where our descendants prayed or read

Or where the children went to school,

And now we’ve turned it into rooms

Where people come together in their droves

To do a Zumba class or tasting of French wines.

Use those places so they’re not torn down,

Add your patch to history, don’t ruin what was left.

I used to work for a convenience store chain that used to go and put their shops in old buildings that would otherwise have been torn down. Some people may say that it is sacrilege to repurpose an old building like that, but I really believe that it was a great thing to save these buildings.

The alternative would be to tear the buildings down and erect a flat pack shop like some of the big chains do. I hate that a lot of the time they come in and bulldoze down something beautiful to put up a great steel monstrosity.

Obviously, we need places to buy food and other services, so some old buildings will need to be used in different ways if we aren’t to run out of space. So why not keep these historical buildings and actually use them rather than board them up and leave them to rot?

In our town we had an old psychiatric hospital that was boarded up for years and they turned it into beautiful flats and town houses. They kept some of the main features of the buildings and now people can enjoy those.

I think that if it’s done right and done sympathetically, a make over of these buildings can be amazing. I love the idea of adding to the history of the these places, rather than just getting rid of them.

Much Love

Rachel xx

reading on the right day

Does anyone else love it when you read something and it is set on the day that you are actually reading it? I was reading yesterday and the character mentioned that it was 1st May and it made me feel deliciously content that I was reading on the same day.

I also love when writers set something on a very specific day and I can remember exactly what I was doing at that moment. Anything that was set when the Twin Towers went down is one example of this. Everyone remembers where they were and what they did on that day and I like to remember my life running parallel to the characters that I’m reading about.

There is a book called One Day by David Nichols and it is set on 15th July every year for twenty years. Most years I can’t remember what I was doing on that day, but my son was born on 16th July so when the story reached that year I couldn’t help but remember that I was in labour as the characters were living through their own stories.

I have heard that people make pilgrimages to some of the key locations in that book, every 15th July. I love that the date is so special to so many people who love the book and every time it rolls around I do think about Emma and Dexter and their story.

Much Love

Rachel xx

graffiti

The writing’s on the wall

In purple marker, scrawled in messy writing

By a girl who drank before she wrote her words

‘David is a dick’, in a sloping line.

She maybe cried as she perched upon the seat,

Feeling like a tragic maid in her party clothes.

Those words, they sing to me, in my sober haze,

That hurt that burnt the edges of her heart

May well have soothed by now, by another man,

But she has left her permanent mark,

Her anger poured out through the ink,

Her girlfriend speaking words of wisdom through

The gap within the door. She knows it hurts,

We all know that, but it will pass I think

As I add my own words to the chipboard wall.

I love reading graffiti that has been left behind before me. Most people see it as vandalism but I see it as people adding layers of stories to something that would otherwise remain pristine and bland.

When we visit Thorpe Park I see so many people who have left behind their Instagram and Twitter handles on the walls where we queue. I’m always tempted to look them up and see what they are like. I find it kind of cool that we can actually see people who have been in the places that we have been.

And then there is the old school scrawl on bathroom doors that claim Becky and David are going to be together 4eva. I sit and read them and wonder if these people are still together. For all I know they may not even be alive anymore. Our lives have just intersected in that one bathroom and then they carry on.

It’s probably a bit of a weird thing that I find so interesting but it’s a bit of modern day history going on right before our eyes. That bathroom door may end up in a museum one day and people will marvel at the scrawlings of us primitive humans that lived in 2021.

Much Love

Rachel xx

where have those ten years gone?

The passing of a month, a year, or decades can

Happen in the flutter of an eye.

Time will never wait or even slow for you,

So grip those precious seconds with

Hands that aged, wrinkled, paper thin,

You’ll need your strength within those bones

To tackle life, a journey bound

To knock the air and wrap you in a hug.

Can you bloody believe it that Kate and William have been married for ten years? It feels like that time has passed in the blink of an eye. And they have brought three really beautiful children into the world and they are so perfect it makes me want to vomit a little bit in my mouth.

I am joking, of course; I love Will and Kate so much and I personally think that they are a credit to the royal family. Plus, I have such fond memories of that day.

I just happened to be working at the head office of the supermarket chain that I was working for so I was entitled to the day off to watch the wedding. I remember the weather being beautiful that week and we had a whole bunch of bank holidays so it just felt magical.

I was drinking at the time and I started at midday so I feel like the afternoon was a bit of a blur but it still felt fun. Noah was in Year R so we made him and his friend pink milkshake and poured it into plastic champagne flutes so that they could toast the happy couple.

I still look at the photos of that day and marvel at how beautiful she was (and let’s face it, she still is). I feel like we need another big royal wedding soon. Prince George needs to hurry up and grow up so that we can have another day off for his wedding to a gorgeous girl he’s picked up at uni.

Much Love

Rachel

where have those ten years gone?

The passing of a month, a year, or decades can

Happen in the flutter of an eye.

Time will never wait or even slow for you,

So grip those precious seconds with

Hands that aged, wrinkled, paper thin,

You’ll need your strength within those bones

To tackle life, a journey bound

To knock the air and wrap you in a hug.

Can you bloody believe it that Kate and William have been married for ten years? It feels like that time has passed in the blink of an eye. And they have brought three really beautiful children into the world and they are so perfect it makes me want to vomit a little bit in my mouth.

I am joking, of course; I love Will and Kate so much and I personally think that they are a credit to the royal family. Plus, I have such fond memories of that day.

I just happened to be working at the head office of the supermarket chain that I was working for so I was entitled to the day off to watch the wedding. I remember the weather being beautiful that week and we had a whole bunch of bank holidays so it just felt magical.

I was drinking at the time and I started at midday so I feel like the afternoon was a bit of a blur but it still felt fun. Noah was in Year R so we made him and his friend pink milkshake and poured it into plastic champagne flutes so that they could toast the happy couple.

I still look at the photos of that day and marvel at how beautiful she was (and let’s face it, she still is). I feel like we need another big royal wedding soon. Prince George needs to hurry up and grow up so that we can have another day off for his wedding to a gorgeous girl he’s picked up at uni.

Much Love

Rachel

loss of independence day

car vehicle fire smoke
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The veil of darkness falls across the sky

As movement and my freedom wane,

I walk on weary legs, to places seen

Only through a window pane.

I realise now, the slave that I’ve become

And when that object that I crave

Goes up in flames, a wall of icy heat,

Then I know that independence was

The most important thing to me.

I realise that this poem is very dramatic and it sounds like my whole life has gone up in flames, but with my car quite literally going up in flames, I have lost something really important to me: my independence.

I learnt to drive when Noah was a baby and I realised that getting the bus with a baby and a pushchair and a few bags of shopping was just too much for me to cope with. And since then my car has become more important to me than I actually realised.

I work in a school that is out in the middle of nowhere and I have a teenager who I could need to get to if anything goes wrong at his school. So not having the car has actually made me feel a bit panicked.

I feel that it’s a bit sad that I’m so reliant on my car because I don’t even particularly like cars. But it’s that freedom that I crave. I’m hoping that I can get a new one super quick and I will never have to see the inside of a bus again.

I take my hat off to those of you that commute on public transport all of the time. You are all legends.

Much Love

Rachel xx

it took an explosion to realise something about myself…

I sometimes get myself so stressed out about some things and a lot of the time I couldn’t even tell you why I’ve gotten myself into such a state. However, there are also other times when I feel that I should be upset and I don’t seem to care.

Example: last night Noah came into my room to ask for ear plugs because there was a truck outside. I looked out the window and saw blue lights but it’s too far to see the road properly so I couldn’t see what was going on. And so I went back to sleep.

When I woke up this morning, I found tape all round my car and the front of my car had been melted by the vehicle parked in front. I think my car is a write off, but I don’t feel all that stressed.

I was thinking how losing a five pound note could make me so upset that I can’t sleep and my only form of transport being trashed has very little effect and how that doesn’t seem to make sense. But then I realised that one was my fault and one wasn’t.

I can’t seem to cope when I know that I am to blame and I know it stems from my mum making me really frightened to make mistakes. I feel like this has been another step in learning about myself and how I tick.

I’m just wondering if there is any way of overcoming this now that I have noticed it’s when I blame myself that everything falls apart. My brain continues to fascinate me and it’s actually been quite fun in some ways, getting sober and finding all this stuff out that I probably should have learnt fifteen years ago!

Much Love

Rachel xx

playing on heights

woman walking on pathway between rocks
Photo by Trace Constant on Pexels.com

The arms can circle like the spokes

Of a paper windmill in the seaside shop,

Trying to regain a steadiness

To overcome that awful sense of gravity

And its earthly pull towards the ground

Where bodies crumple in a shattered mess.

Yet still we let the children run along

The ramparts of a kingly castle,

Swing from branches of the royals oaks

But all that I can do is turn my eyes

Away from whirling arms and then

The piercing scream that follows

That grossly hollow thud.

Does anyone else have a real fear of heights, but not for your own sake but for others? I am a bit scared of heights for myself but I am absolutely terrified when I watch other people playing around anywhere near the edge.

I realised that I had a bit of a problem when I went to Paris with my swimming club when I was fourteen. We went to see the Eiffel Tower and we stopped to take photos in front of it. There was a really high wall and one of my friends jumped up on it and started to walk along it.

I literally begged her to get down because my mind kept thinking that she was going to trip and fall over the edge. I could feel my palms sweating and my heart beating way too fast and I was on the brink of tears I felt so frightened.

Since having Noah I have come to realise that I also cannot watch children playing on climbing frames for the same reason. Watching them take crazy risks is just too much for me and I have to sit with my back to the equipment to save myself from becoming one of those crazy helicopter parents.

And then tonight I was watching TV and someone was playing on the edge of a building and I thought I was going to die. It’s probably the thing that I’m most afraid of and I wish that I wasn’t so worried about it. It might be because I’m afraid of broken bones and I have a feeling that falling from a great height will lead to just that.

Isn’t it strange the things that we are most afraid of in life?

Much Love

Rachel xx

travelling forwards and backwards in time

Where would you go if you had a machine

You could climb inside and press sets of buttons

And pull various levers until there’s a whirring

And a flashing of lights. Your brain starts to swill

As the pulling of time twists your insides.

Would you go to the Ice Age and ride on the mammoth

Or visit the Tudors and watch a Shakespearean play?

Perhaps you’d go forward to a time we don’t know

Where there’s robots and AI, and holograms

So pop stars can sing in ordinary front rooms.

But what if you played with the time-space continuum

And our lives were all altered beyond recognition?

Would you still travel if it changed all you knew?

I am in love with any story that deals with time travel or parallel story lines. Anything like The Time Traveler’s Wife, About Time or Sliding Doors are right up my street. I think that the reason I love these stories so much is that they get my little brain ticking and thinking what if?

I wonder if I would actually like to go forwards or backwards and whether there would be any repercussions. I also wonder what my life would be like if I made a single decision just a little bit differently; would my life be completely different?

I’m always so curious about those photos you see on Facebook that were taken in the 1930s and in the middle of the crowd there is a man in Ray bans and board shorts. I know that they are probably photoshopped but it still gets me thinking. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you spotted somebody you knew in one of those photos? What would you do if you asked them about it and they just smiled and shrugged?

I’m sure that time travel has been achieved, just like there are probably loads of things that we don’t know about what the powers that be know of UFOs. I promise I’m not a conspiracy theorist but stories about these kinds of things are always going to pull me in; I’m a sucker for them.

Much Love

Rachel xx