first day headaches

exhausted woman falling asleep on table
Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

No more room for useless info

As vital bits have clogged my head

And now the booming has set in

So all I need is my sweet bed.

My head hurts! I didn’t even have a particularly stressful day, in that we were just sitting down and listening to presentations, but there is something about being in a new environment and being surrounded by new people taht just feels so overwhelming.

I’m now sitting in front of the TV with my feet up and a packet of ibuprofen close by. Luckily, I have quite a nice day with just the youngest in the school coming in for the first day so that they don’t get trampled by the Year 11s.

All I’m worrying about now is the IT situation. I have to teach from the morning and I still don’t have a computer so I may just have to entertain them with a dance!

I hope all the other teachers out there had a fantastic first day back.

Much Love

Rachel xx

why are we so drawn to the sea?

body of water during golden hour
Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

Why are we pulled to her gentle sound,

The lapping waves at our vulnerable toes?

She could eat us up in a ferocious mood,

And yet we just see the beautiful blue.

She’s the coldest cruel mistress

Calming our nerves in times of distress.

What is it that draws us to the ocean, as human beings? So many people talk about the power that it has to change our moods and even change our whole outlook on life.

There are so many examples of people who have moved from the city to the coast, and they speak of a slower life and a better quality of life. I find it quite incredible that humans can be affected so much by a body of water.

I do wonder if there are any mystical forces at work, and I certainly believe that the moon and the tides can have some sway over the way that we behave and feel – so it makes sense that those forces are stronger if you are closer to the ocean.

One day I’m going to pack up my things and move to the beach so that I can benefit from whatever those strange forces are. I long to just be able to hear that rhythmic sound of the waves coming in and how that can soothe even the most anxious of moods.

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

book review: the virgin suicides by jeffrey eugenides

overhead shot of woman with flowers on her right ear
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

So, we all know that The Virgin Suicides is not a new book so I am late to the party, but I just had to write a review because it’s definitely being added to my favourites shelf.

The book was written in 1993 so it’s cracking on for thirty years old and it was therefore written before mental health became a ‘thing’. Of course, there were obviously people who had depression, but it wasn’t looked upon in quite the same way that it is now.

When I was growing up, my maternal grandmother had schizophrenia and I remember being left in the car while my parents went to visit her in the psychiatric hospital. And back then they were really awful places to be.

My dad has since told me that the visits felt like a waste of time as she was in an almost vegetative state, pumped full of drugs to bring her down from the massive manic episode that she had been through.

The thought of it scared me shitless, and I think everyone was afraid of those places, before the old asylums were shut down. Now it seems almost trendy to have some sort of mental health issue, and I think that the fear of ending up in one of those hospitals would stop a lot of people speaking out about relatively minor illnesses (and may I add that I don’t think that is a good thing – being able to talk about ANYTHING is a good thing).

So, getting back to the book, this was probably quite trailblazing for its time as it looks at mental health and the way that teenagers, in particular, can suffer.

The writing is exquisite and I found myself rereading so many paragraphs just to make the most of those moments. I have watched the movie a long time ago said I had some hazy memories of that and I think that actually fed into my reading of it and made it even more poetic. I definitely feel like I need to go back and rewatch it now.

If you go on Amazon or Goodreads you will see so many awful reviews and I just can’t get my head around how these people didn’t find it as amazing as I did. The only thing I can think is that I do have extremely dark taste and I don’t think some of my favourites sit too well with others because they are a little TOO dark.

For other similar dark books that aren’t rated too highly, I would turn to My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell or How To Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie.

You will be disgusted and you are welcome.

Much Love

Rachel xx

anger dredged up, year after year

seascape of a turquoise water under a pink sunset sky
Photo by Ben Mack on Pexels.com

Those painful feelings bubble up

Year after year, the sun in the sky

And the state of the leaves on the trees

Remind us that one more year has passed

And nothing much has changed,

The wounds are still raw.

It is coming towards the end of August which means that there is an influx of shows about Princess Diana and her death on the TV. I do find the whole case interesting and I’m not opposed to watching them, but it does remind me how we do like to dredge up painful memories, year after year.

A lot of people in this country are very angry at Prince Harry because he went off to America, but we have to understand that he is angry about what happened to his mum. Watching it play out every year must have made his blood boil, and then to see his wife being hounded by the press must have brought all of those feelings closer to the surface.

And we all do it.

We all have anniversaries of deaths or break ups that play on our mind every year that they roll around. For years after I found out that my husband was having an affair I suffered from severe anxiety and depression that intensified in May.

I wouldn’t even consciously notice it coming on. The weather would start to get warm and the leaves on the trees would burst out and it was if my body just subconsciously reacted. By the time it hit the end of June I would be in a state of crisis and it would suddenly dawn on me that it had happened again.

I do wonder why we insist on reliving this pain, even if we don’t actually mean to. We could live such happy lives if we could just leave that pain in the past. I guess that one positive is that if it hurts enough we learn not to do it again!

Much Love

Rachel xx

feeling that social exhaustion

person sitting near table with teacups and plates
Photo by Viktoria Alipatova on Pexels.com

The coffee shop buzz still sounds

In my lonely, exhausted head,

The scratching and scraping

Will take some time to soothe,

A couple of days with my books

And my worlds on the TV,

A window outside, the battery recharged

And I can leave once again.

I went out yesterday and I don’t do that very often. I went to a coffee shop and met with a friend and her boyfriend and somebody who I will be working with in my new school when I start in September.

It was lovely and I had a nice coffee and a lovely chat, but it took every last bit of energy to do. And I’m feeling the effects today.

Everything has felt scratchy and I’ve felt like I just want to snap at everybody for nothing. For some reason I’m also ruminating on things that happened years ago and it’s like I’m deliberately trying to make myself angry.

The strange thing is that I don’t have any problems leaving the house to go shopping. Walking around town, amongst the strangers and just people watching is one of my favourite things. My issue is when I’m going to meet someone I know and I’m going to have to talk.

I’m sure there are other people out there who have the same feelings as I do, but it is bloody exhausting. I have to get myself ready to go again next week and so it will all begin again.

Much Love

Rachel xx

a workplace so snug and solitary

The office has walls that press in,

Perspex and glass to make it feel light,

But there’s no getting away

From the fact I can’t move,

I can stretch out my legs, and circle my neck

But I’m caged like an animal

For eight hours a day.

I like teaching because I have the ability to walk around my room; I don’t have to sit in one place and tap away at a keyboard for eight hours. And when I’m not teaching, I can take walks to the staff room and the photocopying room, so I get lots of opportunity to move about.

So, I do wonder how people manage in jobs where they have to sit still for long periods of time. I think that the only exception to the sitting rule would be if I worked in a booth of some sort.

I used to love working on the checkout in Sainsburys, there was something hypnotic about just scanning people’s shopping through the till and I never seemed to get bored.

I do wonder if my introversion plays into this. Although I hate working at a computer in an open plan office, I do love to be isolated. It would be even better if there were quiet periods and I could just sit in my ticket booth and read my book or do a sudoku puzzle.

I never thought that I would fancy working for the police but I found this image of London’s smallest police station and I think that actually I could get on board with that. I could imagine myself sitting in that little office, just watching the people go by. Not sure I’d get much work done, but I’d enjoy my working environment!

Much Love

Rachel xx

how to feel – when your dad starts dating again

two people walking on pier
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My dad has started dating again, after a recent divorce from my mum and I have to say that I have some mixed feelings.

I do need to start by pointing out the fact that I’m an adult and the divorce from my mum was very painful for the whole family – she now doesn’t speak to me or her grandson and we haven’t seen her for over two years. So with that in mind, I’m not going into this new chapter stamping my feet and throwing any tantrums over the fact that dad is dating again. I am happy for him.

However, I wanted to write this post because, even though I’m happy he’s getting out there and meeting people, it has strangely made me feel a little unbalanced. I feel as though we have been ticking along as a nice little unit of three, and the possibility of someone else ‘interloping’ is a bit unsettling.

He has been on a few dates with this one woman and although it’s very early days, it has that feeling to me that it could get serious. And I’ve spent this week considering how that would make me feel.

I’ve had friends who have seen their parents start dating again and in the two situations I can think of, it didn’t go well. There were family arguments and a lot of animosity between them and the new person coming into their bubble.

I suppose my situation is a little different because I don’t know where my mum is so I don’t have to feel like I’m defending her or that she is being replaced. She has effectively disappeared, so I just want to see my dad feel good.

Given how things went down with friends, I’m interested to meet this woman and see what the dynamic will be. I want to welcome her in, but what if I don’t like her? What if she takes a disliking to me? These things can all end in tears and I desperately don’t want that to happen.

I only wanted to write this because I thought it was interesting that I could feel a twinge of emotion when dad didn’t call tonight because he was out with his lady friend. I don’t think I can even identify what that emotion was, but something touched a little nerve. It just goes to show that even as an adult, we have very emotional reactions to these changes and I just wanted to remind myself that that’s OK – that makes me a real human, not a bad human.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the things she says to me

man and woman kissing
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

You know you’re crap at your job,

You know you look like a fool?

You know that guy is way too hot for you,

And what’s going on with your hair?

That woman looks fat, a bit like a walrus,

You know that you’re awful for thinking it

But you’re the worst human of all of us.

You know that your thoughts are unholy

Even when insults are coming from me,

It’s you that’s the dickhead letting them be.

I guess that everyone has some form of inner monologue that seems to run wild every so often. And I do hope that sometimes their heads say some things that shock even them.

It’s a pretty awful feeling when your inner voice says things that you would never dream of saying to someone’s face, but I’m sure everyone has felt that loss of control and you have no idea where it even came from.

And then when that voice turns on yourself, things can get really messy.

I really want to know why we were designed to have this horrible person rattling around our brains. It’s like we were formed with a faulty setting and I demand a refund or replacement 😁

Much Love

Rachel xx