upstairs, downstairs

brown boat on sea
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They drift around in black, like shadows,

Quiet while the rich ones dance

And drink and eat and make a mess,

But all of it is whisked away

By morning time when sun streams in

And bodies turn in silky bed sheets

Ready for a breakfast made

By people poorer than ourselves.

I absolutely love watching Below Deck. I think that it’s aired around the world, but in case you haven’t seen it, it follows a group of people who work on board a luxury yacht for weekly charters. Each episode follows a new set of guests and how the crew manage and interact with those guests.

The season I’m watching at the moment is actually American, but it feels like there is something decidedly British about the set up on these boats. The idea that the upper class can sit around drinking champagne in the sun, while the poor people scurry around in the shadows making the magic happen. I find it strangely intriguing to watch.

And then there’s the relationship between the crew which is so fun to watch. You put a group of strangers together and have them live and work in such close proximity and there are always going to be a few fireworks.

I’ve written before about how much I enjoy watching relationships form in real life and so I can’t help but fall in love with Big Brother, Love Island and all those other reality shows. Many would say they are just trash, but I feel like it educates me in all the parts of life that I feel like I kind of missed in my twenties.

They teach me how to be a better human being.

Much Love

Rachel xx

how does anyone deal with that?

I went hunting on Twitter and was pretty shocked at what people can write on there. I’m a mad Love Island fan and I’m not going to pretend that I’m classier than I am (we all need a bit of down time).

But, this year we have another daughter of a famous person and so I went onto Twitter to see if Michael Owen had written any Tweets about his daughter.

And Oh My God.

The vile things that were being written on there. I don’t know if it’s because of the culture around football and the fact that people think it’s all just banter, but the things I read were disgusting.

I did wonder why he had been quite vocal about the fact that he was so against his daughter going on the show and I realise how naive I am. I guess that as a celebrity, he knows how awful people can be and was ready for the onslaught.

I wonder what it must be like to have that kind of stuff said about your family on a daily basis? I can’t even begin to imagine surviving it. I literally have a break down when I hear one person have a little bitch and a moan about me.

I just hope those people that say those things realise how crappy they must be making someone feel. We are all humans on this earth and some people really need to have that drummed into them on a daily basis.

Much Love

Rachel xx

love on the television

red flower photography
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kissing underneath the mounted cameras

stolen glances, little laughs

in places where you can’t be seen

and then the tantalizing lure

of making love in private rooms

filled with bubbles and the petals of

a hundred roses bought for you

but always there, aware

that parents are at home, watching

cringing at your fumbled moves.

Love Island is back! And I love it so much. But I now have a son that is only two years younger than some of the contestants on the show, and it makes me wonder how it must feel to be the parent of one of those islanders.

There comes a point when you must just have to turn off. I don’t know if I could even watch my child flirting, never mind kissing, and don’t even get me started on having sex.

So many islanders get drunk on champagne, have the hideaway to themselves and end up going the whole way and it’s like they forget that the cameras are even there. I’ve never really considered this before now and I think it might be because I can relate, having an older teen of my own.

Good luck to all the parents of this year’s contestants. I hope that you don’t embarrass too easily and I hope that you don’t have to watch anything too uncomfortable. And remember that there have been several successful marriages out of the show so you might have a really happy ending.

Much Love

Rachel xx

riding on the coat tails of parents

white concrete building and body of water
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

A luxury villa, and men in trunks

With a contract for millions

At the end of it all

And all because dad

Is famous already

And you’ll hold on real tight

For the ride of your life.

We have Love Island coming onto our screens from Monday and everybody is buzzing to learn more about the new batch of contestants. And, not for the first time, one of the girls going in has a famous father.

This year it is the daughter of football legend Michael Owen. I can tell I’m getting old because I can hardly believe that Michael Owen would have a daughter old enough to go on the show. But that is besides the point.

I always find it really interesting when the kids of famous people step out into the spotlight, and I wonder how well they would do without their famous parents. In all fairness to Gemma Owen, she already owns her own business and she is an international dressage rider, so she seems to be doing perfectly well on her own.

It would be interesting to know the conversations that go on behind the scenes before a famous offspring steps out into the limelight. It seems from newspaper reports, that Michael Owen was a little hesitant about his daughter going on the show. Understandable Michael.

I really hope that she does well and that her parents are really proud of her. I’m not sure if I was famous that I would be too keen to wave Noah off to Mallorca for a summer of cavorting on national TV. But each to their own.

Much Love

Rachel xx

talking about suicide with young people

autumn fallen leaves on gravestone
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In tutor time today, I happened to stumble upon the subject of Caroline Flack. We were talking about kindness and we were looking at the quote that she wrote on her Instagram just before she took her life – in a world where you can be anything, be kind.

For those of you who are not in the UK, Caroline was a famous TV presenter who got arrested for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend. The boyfriend didn’t want her charged, but between the court dates and losing her job, she was hounded on social media by trolls. She went on to commit suicide in February of last year.

I hadn’t planned to talk about this subject, but having started speaking, I couldn’t really reverse. I suddenly realised that I do not know these kids very well at all and if any of them had any trauma I could have done damage.

Luckily for me, they seemed interested in what happened to her and nobody seemed too upset. However, it did make me stop and think about how we approach subjects like this with young people. It’s so important that they understand how powerful their words are – even words that they have just typed.

My tutor group is made up of twelve and thirteen year olds, and I found that they really did seem too young to understand why someone would commit suicide. They are old enough to understand death, but the complexity of what happened to Caroline seemed a little too much for them to take on.

I remember when I was about seven a family friend committed suicide and my brain could not comprehend why it had happened. I was also morbidly fascinated and I remember asking lots of questions that were probably really inappropriate. I don’t know enough about child development to know if my lot really understand death – I mean, if I’m being honest, even I can’t quite grasp the fact that there will be an end to this adventure.

It does feel as though it’s important to speak to our young people about suicide, because it’s not a cry for help, and much of the time that’s all teenagers want to do. It’s a scary time for them as they become adults and crying out for a hand is to be expected, and healthy, and normal.

So all in all, I had another day of educating myself more than the kids as I thought really deeply about everything from mental health, trauma, respecting feelings and the power of my own words. One day the kids might actually learn more than I do!

Much Love

Rachel xx

stirring the pot

We dip in spoons and move them through

The hocus pocus potion we have made.

We formed the spell ourselves

So why indeed

Do we feel the need

To change the form, the molecules

That held our dreams

When we set out to meet the world?

It’s for scientific purposes, I promise

I’m still finding my feet,

A teen in a grown woman’s body.

I find myself watching reality TV

In an attempt to learn what to do.

*

Some people turn up their noses

But I actually need those things.

A road map to help me through

A world that I once drowned out.

I have found since I stopped drinking that I’ve begun to watch a tonne of reality shows. I find that I’m absolutely fascinated by them and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. I almost felt a bit embarrassed about the fact that I adored Love Island.

However, I think I now know what it is that keeps me hooked. I think that it’s because I’ve been drinking heavily for my entire adult life and now that I’m only three years out of it, I’m still trying to learn all of the things that everyone else learnt during their twenties.

Romantic relationships are completely beyond me because I’m emotionally about fifteen years old. So Love Island is a treasure trove of ‘information’ for me. I get to see all these people fall in love and break up all in fast forward.

You may all be laughing at me and being all judgey, but I promise, I’m only watching it for scientific purposes.

Much Love

Rachel xx