Oh to be a simmie 

     Today I moved out of my university house. I was only living out for a year but it has been a good one. Of course living with other people is hard, but it’s nothing I’m not used to considering I grew up with a household of four. 
     Of course I lived in a crappy student place, where I paid too much rent and had many an argument with each of my flat mates about who’s turn it was to take out the bins, or who’s left their dirty dishes out for days on end. But on the whole I’ve had a great year. And I’m sad to be leaving. 
     My final year of university drew to a close this May, and after months of dissertation stress and many an emotional break down I made it through and graduated with a 2.1! I am very proud of myself, all my hard work paid off and the stress was worth it for a £27,000 piece of paper in the end.      

It is a sad feeling. I am never going to walk the halls of St Mary’s ever again. It is going to be a tough thing to let go of. Even though the experience has landed me in £36,000 of debt, the feeling of being a part of a community, of having some of my very best friends less than 10 minutes away from me, living my life the way I want to live it? Priceless. 

     I thought this summer would just be one giant party, and in some ways it was. But in other ways I’ve grown up so much. I realised that I didn’t need certain people in my life, and I’ve made some very grown up decisions regarding my future (that’s a lie, I still have no idea what I want to do, and I’m scared shitless). 
     Moving out of my flat and back in with my parents will be a huge adjustment, although I do have pretty laid back parents so I don’t think it’ll be too much of a change. 
     It has been hard to say goodbye to my flat mates. It’s been a tough year but the top floor squad has mostly stuck by each other through thick and thin, and saying goodbye to them was difficult. I didn’t cry though. I know I’ll see them again soon. Mother Hen lives 10 minutes from my home, and Petal still has one more year of university to go. I know I’ll still see them. I know we’ll still be family. 
     Looking back over the year we’ve hosted many a party, starting with pre drinks most nights during freshers. Each party holds a random drunken memory that I can barely remember now. All I can remember is loving every second I spent hanging out with my friends, new and old, in a drunken stupor. 
     The last semester was certainly the hardest. I took on an extra module, cried a lot, drank a lot and had absolutely no money at all. I spent a lot of my time at the library, hating my writing and wish I I could start again. Oh well, I still got my 2.1. 
     University has been such a challenging experience for me, and despite the rotten first semester, on the whole I have enjoyed it. My university is so welcoming and close-knit that I couldn’t possibly imagine being elsewhere. I’ve received such an overwhelming amount of support throughout my 3 years there, even from people that I don’t know.
     I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change a thing. On to the next chapter!

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Practice


     On a typical summers day, we would sit in my garden, sipping on tequila sunrises and laughing about the times we shared at school. She would strip down into her bathing suit, black or green or gold but never matching. Her ivory skin would turn shades of pink. ‘Do my back?’ She’d ask. Always. 
     I longed for those summer days of laughter, of intoxication and of fire. I longed for the sound of her voice, the gold in her hair, the emerald in her eyes. I ached for what she calls practice, but what I called love. I ached for her hand in mine, the spaces between my fingers where her own fit so perfectly.

     I longed for the adventures we would take, on the break from school. I longed for her sparkling smile and the fire that I felt when she touched me. ‘It’s just practice,’ she said. 

     One day, I told her, I’m going to marry you. I’ll whisk you away to Paris and we can elope. ‘No way’ she said, ‘I’m with Jake, remember?’ Was it Jake? Or was it Tony? Or Elliot? Or Mark? All I remember is her being drunk when she touched me. 

     She was always drunk when she touched me. And then she would say that she was too drunk, and couldn’t remember a thing.

     I look back on those summer days, grateful for my first love and what she taught about life. And once, she wasn’t even drunk when she touched me.

Arch Climbing Wall

So I did something absolutely terrifying. 

On Saturday the 20th August, I went bouldering. There was blood, there was sweat and there were (nearly) tears. All mine. 
If there is one thing you need to know about me it is that I am absolutely terrified of heights. 
Rollercoasters? Easy. Standing on rooftops? Piece of cake. I can even abseil. I can be very adventurous. But sometimes my fear of heights holds me back.
So yeah. Eliot’s birthday, bouldering. Which is basically a climbing wall but with no ropes or harness. I didn’t know this, and it freaked me out and so, to begin with, I was shaking so much I thought I would turn into a puddle of jelly. 
I struggled. For the first fifteen minutes anyway. It doesn’t help that my upper body strength isn’t that great, I’m quite out of shape where I don’t have my gym membership anymore. But then I became more comfortable. I even exclaimed that ‘this climbing wall is my bitch!’ roughly 30 times. I didn’t move up a section though, I wasn’t ready for that.
I am a very determined person, and I knew that if I didn’t at least try every single wall, I would kick myself. So I did. I tried every single climbing wall. And I aced almost every single one. I decided to repeat the ones I could already do, to boost my confidence if there was one that I couldn’t do. Alec supported that, and said he was proud. 
This was such a great achievement for me. I destroyed my comfort zone. It is gone, I need to expand it evidently. 
I think the thing that helped me through it was the great support I had from my friends, they guided me through it all to begin with, and then set me free to face it on my own. It’s a great learning technique. I applaud them for being so careful with me, although I’m not as fragile as people think. I proved that on this day, because I conquered my fear (sort of). 
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always be nervous about heights. But this, this helped me. I am stronger and I am better because of it. 
What a brilliant way to spend two hours. 

Severus Snape was not a hero and he doesn’t deserve the title of one…

Alan Rickman makes me conflicted. 

Severus Snape does not deserve your sympathy, and he certainly doesn’t deserve to be in the ‘hero’ category.

Yes, he was brave. Yes, he double crossed Voldemort by secretly being on the side of light and love. But really? Calling someone a hero because they want to bone Lily Evans? I don’t think so.

It is super creepy of Snape to still be pining after Lily. On paper it sounds sweet. ‘Awh he still carries a torch for her, his patronus is a doe awwwwh’ but no. Think about it. It’s creepy, and gross. Imagine it’s some strange guy doting on you, even after you’ve expressed no interest in him. You would be so freaked out! You wouldn’t be flattered!

And that’s another thing, Snape’s patronus being a doe? That’s so embarrassing! Lily’s patronus takes the form of a doe because of her love for James! So Snape basing his patronus on that is extra creepy and extremely pathetic. She didn’t love you bro. 

Let’s talk about the night the Potter’s died (RIP in peace, still not over it tbh). Snape appears on the scene (creepy) and not only does he STEP OVER JAMES’S DEAD BODY, but he also IGNORES A CRYING BABY and cradles Lily’s dead body to his chest. How pathetic! Harry Potter is a tiny little baby and he’s crying, and Snape comes by and just rocks Harry’s dead mother to his chest. I mean, that is just insane. I’m sorry (I’m not really sorry) but it is.

Flash forward to when Harry comes to Hogwarts. He’s a happy, smiley little first year, despite the rotten life he’s had so far. He’s taking notes in Potions class, little nerdy Harry Potter who is excited to learn, when mean and moody Professor Snape calls him out on not paying attention, and then proceeds to embarrass him in front of the entire class. Dick move Snape. You know who he is. You are aware of that fact that he wasn’t self aware. You know he’s new to this stuff and you make him feel small and vulnerable in front of the entire class, because of a personal vendetta that you had against his dad, who I might add, is dead, so get the fuck over it. 

In the prisoner of Azkaban, Professor Lupin teaches his defence against the dark arts class about boggarts. A boggart shows the wizard standing before it their biggest fear, and the young witch or wizard has to use the spell ‘Riddikulus’ to turn the fear into something comical. Great spell. Now, poor little Neville Longbottom is chosen first. No one seems to question that his biggest fear is Professor Snape? That isn’t at all puzzling to a school? That one of their students biggest fears is a teacher? No? Okay then Dumbledore, let’s not get started on YOU MISTER. 

Also in Prisoner of Azkaban, Severus Snape covers Professor Lupin’s defence against the dark arts class, as Remus is ‘sick’. Snape sets the class some reading, about werewolves. He is so pathetically jealous that Remus Lupin is the defence against the dark arts professor that he is trying to call him out on being a werewolf, by teaching the class the horrors of werewolves, rather than focusing on the positive. Remus Lupin is not violent or mean or a murderer, and it was wrong of Snape to try and perceive him to be that way. Remus Lupin was a good man, and I’ll light a candle for him every day.

Also, Professor Snape isn’t even a good teacher. He favourites the bad students, puts Slytherin first (although arguably they rarely get special attention otherwise, so I’m willing to let that one slide) and he pokes fun at other students if something goes wrong. For example, Hermione Granger is known for having quite bucked teeth, and at one point a spell backfires on her, and her teeth start to grow a comical amount. This is an embarrassing moment for her, and Hermione is quite scared that she’ll be stuck like this forever. Harry Potter says ‘please do something Sir’ and professor Snape says, I kid you not, he says ‘I don’t see a difference’. Snape is also jealous of the students who are better at spells and potions than him, so he puts them down and calls them ‘insufferable know it alls.’ 

LET’S NOT FORGET THAT SNAPE KILLED DUMBLEDORE AND TREATED HARRY LIKE SHIT FOR YEARS FOR NO REASON. 

But Alan Rickman’s portrayal of him was incredible. Alan Rickman was a terrific actor and it is a sad sad loss in the acting industry (or rather, the world) from his death. So his portrayal makes me conflicted, and I still cry every time Snape dies.

I mean I could go on forever about why Severus Snape doesn’t deserve your sympathy, and why he isn’t a hero, but I’ve taken up enough if your time. Tune in next time for something I haven’t thought of yet, PEACE! 

The Hotel Room


How did it come down to this? I think as I pick up a key card from the hotel lobby. Jessica had text me earlier in the day. She had told me what room to enter, and what time to be there. And like a fool I follow her every direction, wrapped around her pinky finger like the small silver ring she always wears. 

When I arrive, she is already there, champagne and strawberries arranged so delicately on a tray. Jessica’s long red hair is tied in a low braid, and it hangs so graciously down her spine. She wears a black satin robe, and nothing else.

‘Bonnie, you’re late.’ 

‘Babe I came as soon as I finished work. I’m running out of excuses. Jay knows. I think. He must do.’ 

‘Relax.’ Jessica moves to stand behind me. She rubs my neck, hitting all the right spots.

‘Jay doesn’t know. Brad doesn’t know. Our secret is safe, okay? Trust me.’ 

But that is the trouble, I don’t trust her, I couldn’t trust her, or myself, because we are sick, awful, nasty people. 

I stood at an altar and declared my love to Jay less than 5 years ago. And then 6 months ago I started an affair. Or Jessica started the affair. I don’t remember. 

The neck rub continues, Jessica putting pressure in the correct places. She nibbles on my ear, and breathes in the coconut in my hair. I lose myself. 

‘Okay.’ I say, giving in. Jessica knows just how to push my buttons, it’s one of the things that attracted me to her in the first place. I’d never been with a woman before, but she had. And it showed. 

Slowly, I feel the zip of my dress being pulled down, and I shimmy out of it in a hurry. I turn to face her, her green eyes illuminated by the candlelight. I undo the ribbon on her robe, and kiss the nape of her glorious pale neck. She lets out a low moan, and I push her down onto the bed.

We make love, in a tangle of passion and heat and lies. 

And then I can no longer help myself. I say it.

‘I love you.’ 

‘I know.’ 

Neither of us know what else to say, so we make love. We make love until it turns into hate, until it turns into revenge, until it turns into anger. 

For some reason, after that night, we never made love again.

The book was better


The DUFF: a review

Naturally, the title of this book is certainly a little intriguing. My first thought was ‘what the heck is a DUFF’?

The book was suggested to me on kindle store after I read a title from the same genre. (I went through a stage of reading only teenage fiction last year). 
So I read it. And I finished it in a day and a half.
And then I heard that it was being made into a film. I inwardly groaned at the news, but then perked up when I heard that the illustrious Robbie Amell would be portraying Hamilton High’s very own Wesley Rush, the male lead. Mae Whitman would be playing Bianca, the female lead, with Skyler Samuels and Bianca Santos as her gal pal’s Jess and Casey. And introducing Madison Morgon, a stuck up mean girl portrayed by Bella Thorne (who, I might add, doesn’t exist in the book.) 
The two adaptations couldn’t be more different. The movie franchise changed everything. Book-Bianca has crippling anxiety, a run away mother, a ridiculous denial complex, an unhealthy relationship with sex and a strong cynical nature. I admire Book-Bianca so much, because she is so perfectly flawed and relatable. 
Movie-Bianca, while still being incredibly badass and sassy, is not the same person. In the movie, her dad is the runaway. In the movie, she doesn’t have a friends with benefits type relationship with Wesley Rush. In the movie, the main focus seems to be social media. 
Enter bitchy Madison Morgon. Her role of the movie is to be hated, and mission accomplished. Social media queen, she is a self professed walking reality show. She has a minion to document every waking minute of her daily life, and Madison stands as an obstacle between Wesley and Bianca. 
It is interesting how the director (Ari Santel) chooses to make social media a main focal point of the film. It is brilliant, creative, artistic and very, very modern. She turned a potentially dark narrative and made it comical, it’s genius really. But did she have to take away Bianca’s issues? Did she have to tone it down to her just being a little bit awkward? Couldn’t have her protagonist be too f*cked up now, could she? 
The difference I noticed most was how easy the book was to read. The movie is definitely easy to watch too. I mostly fell for the book characters, and how Bianca turned the label ‘DUFF’ into a positive thing. The book faces insecurities head on, instead of making social media the prime focal point.
Overall, I’d rate the book a solid 4 stars out of 5, and give the movie a 3.5 star rating. I mean, Robbie Amell has his shirt off, and I can relate to that. 

The cavern meets the Beatles?


Last night saw the return of The Beatles to The Cavern…

Okay well not quite. My uncles played an acoustic set at The Cavern in Raynes Park, and as per usual they absolutely smashed it! 

The first half of their act was dedicated to various acoustic numbers, crowd pleasers if you will, where they performed songs such as ‘I believe’, ‘You do something to me’ and ‘Lucky old son’ (which has an emotional connection to our family). Each time my uncles perform these songs, it takes my mind back to when I was little and they would grab their guitars during a family barbecue and sing. It was the most euphoric experience in my childhood, and I’ve had almost 22 years of beautiful music to listen to because of their brilliant talents.

In case you are wondering, the musical genius doesn’t reach me or my brother, although we have dabbled in musical instruments throughout our childhoods. My brother played the drums, and he was quite good until he gave it up. I played the keyboard, which I wasn’t that into towards the end, but I did learn how to play ‘wonderwall’ by oasis, so that’s pretty cool. I know 3 chords on the ukulele, and sometimes that’s all you need to know. (Not always, man it can get tricky). 

The second act of ‘The Beatles at the Cavern’ brought us a solid 45-minutes of Beatles songs. Usually when I hear tribute bands (although, The Loudshirts are no tribute act) they just play the classic, which is great, but I have a top 10 list of my favourite Beatles songs, and I rarely get to hear them be covered because they aren’t the most popular songs. But Misters Jeff and Gary Summers took me by surprise, and covered four of my favourite songs! I knew, of course that they would perform ‘Hey Jude’ because that is a Beatles classic, but I almost teared up when I heard the first notes from ‘and I love her’, ‘Norweigan wood’ and ‘in my life’. ‘In my life’ is another song that has an emotional connection to our family. 

As we had all gathered to celebrate my mum’s birthday, my uncles shouted her out, and everybody sang. Now that is MY idea of hell, but I know my mum loved every second of it. My uncles know how to make every member of their audience feel incredibly special, even with just a look or a thumbs up. I’m serious, the last few times I have gone to watch The Loudshirts play a gig, uncle Jeff has shouted me out just before playing ‘feeling good’ which is one of my favourite songs.

The Cavern, Raynes Park, is very quirky. Posters and images of musical legends completely cover the walls. Behind the stage where my uncles perform is a shrine to John Lennon. I live for it! This is a great life, a great family to be born into. 

I’ll always know music because I learned from the best. My uncles, my heroes. Thank you for my childhood.