sense and sensibility or just can’t hack it?

four people walking on gray path surrounded by tall trees
Photo by Ben Maxwell on Pexels.com

Is she sensible

And responsible

Or does she do things

For the undiluted thrill?

She’ll probably

End up doing herself

Some serious damage

If she doesn’t learn to bend

To everbody’s will.

I was supposed to be running 100 miles this weekend and instead I’m sitting on my sofa doing naff all. And I’m feeling incredibly guilty.

However, when Noah woke up this morning and saw that I had decided not to go, he said it was the most sensible thing he’s seen me do in a long time. When a seventeen year old is saying things like that, you know you can sometimes be a bit of an idiot.

Having been ill with COVID I decided that my lungs just wouldn’t be able to hold out for up to thirty hours of exercise. That is an extraordinary amount of time and I need to give myself a break.

No more feeling guilty. In fact, feel proud for not putting myself at risk like I would normally do. I’m growing up – sort of.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the monsters within

a couple wearing diy cardboard box mask while holding each other s hands
Photo by Daisy Anderson on Pexels.com

We had a bloody long day at school today because it was the dreaded Open Evening, where Year 6 students and their parents can come and look around the school and see if they would like to be members of our school community.

I say ‘dreaded’ because it’s a 13 hour day, and you are ‘on’ the whole time. However, I do actually really enjoy speaking to the younger ones and asking them about what books they enjoy reading.

We did a Gothic room in our department and I was responsible for getting the kids to draw their own Gothic monsters. And some of them were interesting, to say the least.

I asked everyone to give their monster a name and we had everything from Richard to Mrs Jelly Legs.

I find it so sad that the creativity seems to just get sucked out of kids as they reach their teenage years. My Year 9s couldn’t even come up with one thing that scares them and yet three years earlier, they could have come up with a three headed monster called Richard.

Don’t grow up, kids. I love you just the way you are.

Much Love

Rachel xx

is a strike on the cards?

monochrome photo of resist signage
Photo by Sides Imagery on Pexels.com

We stand in unity,

Arms linked firmly at the gates,

Some are angry, some are crying

But every person stands as one,

To drive down prices,

Shock the government,

And prove we act as one.

The news at the moment, is terrifying, quite frankly. All that we see at the moment is the shocking news about the energy cap that doesn’t appear to be a cap at all. A note to the government: a cap doesn’t keep moving.

We are now looking at possibly £6,000 energy bills by next April and there are many people in this country who earn less than £10,000 a year, so how they are going to cope is anyone’s guess.

There have been calls on Twitter for a general strike, where we all just down tools until the government have no choice but to do something about the price increases.

I don’t remember a time in my life when people have actually felt scared about the winter and it is going to lead to people losing their lives.

I don’t know whether us Brits have it in us to strike, but it would certainly lead to an interesting time. Perhaps it would bring us all together as one? Perhaps it will just end in riots and chaos?

Who knows, but I hope that people are safe over the winter.

Much Love

Rachel xx

dealing with a witch hunt

photo of halloween decorations
Photo by Vinícius Vieira ft on Pexels.com

They’re searching, hunting through the crowd,

They’ll find you – eventually,

It doesn’t matter if you did it,

They’ll twist your words

And chisel at your actions

To form the perfect argument

To frame you as the witch.

I was just watching the documentary about Operation Yew Tree and I found it really interesting to see how people dealt with the accusations.

For those of you not in the UK, this was a police operation that was launched after the death of Jimmy Saville to find other men who had committed sexual assaults on minors.

However, the whole thing became a bit of a witch hunt and there were lots of men that were arrested when there wasn’t any solid evidence that they had done anything.

Now, I’m not commenting on whether or not it was right that these men were publicly identified before they were charged as I think that there is an argument for and against that, and I don’t feel that I’m educated enough to put forward my thoughts. But I did want to comment on the way in which the men coped with the accusations, as I think that’s a really interesting thing to come out of such terrible circumstances.

Some of the men were obviously very angry, and I feel that I would be really angry if I’d been publicly shamed when I had done nothing wrong. But there were people who really took it in their stride and kind of accepted what was happening. They weren’t admitting guilt, but they were just allowing the police to do their jobs without fighting.

I found this really interesting as it’s human nature to fight when we feel wronged, but perhaps for a happier life, we should just go with it and stay quiet. And the man who did just sit quietly, had far less bad press than those that fought.

When you recover from any form of addiction you are told to ‘let go and let God’ and I see that as being very similar; we learn that we can’t control people, places or things, we can only control our own reaction.

I like to think of it as being a fish and it is far easier to swim with the current than against it.

Much Love

Rachel xx

you’re doing it all rong

notes on board
Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

Your spelling is all dodgy

And you’ve filled the wrong boxes,

You’ll never make much of yourself

Behaving like that

But perhaps you’ll have fun

When all’s said and done.

There is nearly always a right way and a wrong way to do things, but I have to say that I really enjoy seeing people do things the wrong way.

I think that everything is down to interpretation and you can’t be angry at someone who has gone about something a little bit wonky. In fact, I think that doing things in a different way can be show a certain amount of creativity and bravery.

I worked in a holiday place where we used to have to go out to guests staying on the site and check that they had no problems with their cabins. We had to fill out a sheet with the cabin number, our name to say it was us that checked and then there was a notes column that was meant to record any problems.

That final column was just labelled ‘notes’ and so this new guy went round all his cabins and wrote what he thought of the guests. The column was filled with things like ‘the lady was fit’ and ‘they had a cute dog’. I saw his sheet in the folder at the end of the shift and I was nearly crying with laughter reading some of his comments.

Now, that guy did eventually get the sack (for other offences), but I did admire the way that his brain worked. And these creative ways of doing things can sometimes lead to amazing discoveries.

Apparently, the glue on our Post-It notes was discovered as an accident, and instead of just chucking away the mistake, they filed the idea away and it became a serious money spinner.

Listen to the people who do things differently because they’re not always wrong!

Much Love

Rachel xx

parties at the old people’s home

woman wearing brown overall
Photo by Edu Carvalho on Pexels.com

Wine and cheese in the communal room,

Lots of wine, in fact

And music blaring kind of loud,

Curtains twitch as the new man arrives,

Beryl says he’s only sixty-eight,

A silver fox, all the women want

And the old men on zimmers grumble,

I bet he can’t party like us.

My dad is currently moving into his own little flat that is in a retirement community. I was a little bit against the move originally, but the more he talks about the new place, the more I find myself wanting to move there too.

I think I’m letting my imagination run wild because I’m creating this cast of characters made up of eccentric old people, thinking about all the crazy things that could be going on behind their closed doors.

Dad has told me that every time he arrives at his flat, some old lady is out on the landing to talk to him and they already know his name even though he has never met them. I find it hilarious because he is probably the hot young man in the building given that he is still in his sixties.

And then there’s the parties. The lease states that they are not allowed, but the residents seem to tell a different story. These guys seem to love a drink and I think the socials can become a bit raucous.

My point is that I think we should all be aiming for a retirement flat where we can live out our days having resident’s meetings and cheese and wine socials.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the perfect sunset

They tell me that it’s the perfect sunset

On the perfect beach, in a perfect part of this little world.

The kind of place where Instagram girls

Cycle vintage bikes with wicker baskets full of flowers

Looking for the photograph more beautiful

Than many thought there could exist,

But now I’ve been there too, and I can conclude anew,

This place is just a little slice of sunset heaven

Made for me and you ❤

the campsite shower block

line of tents on outdoor camping in forest
Photo by Mackenzie Ryder on Pexels.com

We shuffle across the dewy grass,

Flip flops sinking, lost in depth

Our toes so cold they crackle and burn.

Our towels are tucked with gawdy washbags

Underneath our youthful wings, we laugh

And shush each other as we slalom through

The tents and ropes and rounders bats.

We reach the block, the smell of bleach

Heavy in the strip lit air, flourescence

Lights our naked bodies locked in cubicles,

She sings next door to me

As soapy water swishes past, like rapids

That we ride in rubber dinghies.

Scrubbing at our reddened skin

We balance on one foot to dress,

Flamingoes in our native land,

But with our sodden socks we cut

A saddened, greyer version in the camping world.

I have things I like about camping, and things that I really hate. Last time I camped I had to sleep in my jeans every night because I was so cold. I must have slept for about three hours a night as I tossed and turned on that inflatable mattress that slowly deflated throughout the night.

However, I may be in the minority here, but I really love going over to the shower block each morning. I know that a lot of people probably find it a bit scummy, but having slummed it for a whole night, I love popping on my flip flops and trekking across the campsite with my towel under my arm.

I remember when I was a kid, loving putting the 20p into the timer and then racing to get washed before the water cut off.

And then there’s something so refreshing about walking back to your tent with your hair freshly washed and the coutryside air on your face. It feels very wholesome.

I was just taking a shower today and my ankles were really muddy from going on a run on the trails, and I just had this little memory bubble up, of being all mucky when camping, and enjoying scrubbing myself clean. It inspired me to write a little something and I kind of felt it necessary to explain why.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the poets typing in central park

writer working on typewriter in office
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

She sits with fingers at the ready,

To paint a world for passersby

In words that dot the postcard face,

The bullet holes each key stroke fires,

As powerful as weapons, deathly too,

But she shapes them into sunset hues

And mirrors back the love between

Her muses stopped to here her song.

I’ve recently discovered TikTok – I know I’m late to the game. I have obviously heard of it before, but I thought that it was only for doing dance routines.

I have found that I really like watching the spoken word TikToks and I’ve come across some really beautiful poems. I think that the marriage between poem and images works really well.

I then stumbled across these videos of the people who sit in Central Park with a typewriter. They ask passersby if they would like a poem written especially for them and then they just type something out on a postcard that the person can keep.

It’s possibly the most rmonatic thing I can think of, and my little INFP brain adores everything about it – especially the fact that it’s typed out on a typewriter.

I live on the side of a park and I want to go out and do my own poetry generation. Unfortunately I live on a pretty rough council estate so I have a feeling that most people would take a wide berth around me, thinking that I may be high on something.

Even if I can’t do it for other people, I may need to purchase my own typewriter and hammer my own little word gems.

Much Love

Rachel xx

cricket on the village green

people playing cricket on green grass field
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

The thwack of willow on wood

Echoes dull, through the summer air

As children squeal and wives will clap

Over English tea and sandwich triangles,

Sat upon those tartan picnic rugs.

The women look so wealthy as they cheer

For men in whites, running stump to stump,

A gentlemen’s sport played in cableknit jumpers,

With grass stains on knees

That will be soaked away soon,

As cold beers are swallowed in cricket club houses.

I live on the edge of a lovely green park and during the summer it is used for all sorts of activities. There are tennis courts that are always busy and a Junior Parkrun takes place every Sunday morning.

But one of my favourite things about the park is the cricket that is played all Saturday afternoon. There is something so quintessentially English about that sound of the ball hitting the bat and the slightly restrained clapping of the spectators.

I used to go to the cricket with a friend of the family when I was about seven. I used to love the vibe of the club house, with the women in beautiful summer dresses serving tea and sandwiches as we played on the edge of the green.

These summer days are so special and I know that it will only be a matter of time before the hot weather is blown away and the greens turn to the golden browns and reds of autumn. Until then, I will enjoy those endless summer afternoons of tennis and cricket and running. Autumn will bring its own joys in the form of hot water bottles and crochet blankets to read under.

Much Love

Rachel xx