Friday, 28 March 2014

Gracie Writes: Creative Visions continued.

Again, a Creative Visions piece. We were given the first line, which we had to finish and start our own piece from. I went against the general idea, and wrote about the actual atmosphere of the Creative Visions seminars and how they made me feel - how certain people made me lose hope.

I once did a course about imagining a future, but I never imagined how much it would change me.
We were in a cramped little room with very little air circulation; radiators blasted dull hot air at our backs as we sat awkwardly attempting conversation with some utterly incompetent wannabe authors and some pig-headed opinionated arseholes who would give us no choice but to listen to their loud booming voices as they spouted their conspiracy nonsense.
he guy I sat next to was the worst. He had a grating inconsistent accent and horrific erratic opinions to match. His social boundaries were non-existent, as was his respect for authority and, really, his understanding of how a lecture even worked – he’d interrupt the speakers, talk over his classmates and dictate his notes loudly as he wrote them. It was only in the last two weeks of the course that the lecturer would actually explicitly tell him to ‘pipe down and let other people have their turn’, and she was met with emphatic nods, suppressed giggles and silent applause.
I had faith in mankind, once upon a time. I fancied myself a humanitarian, not an optimist but a calm believer in that old lie that someday we’d get our act together and sort each issue out as it came; the ice caps, the wealth distribution, the dirty water, the increase in temperature, the hatred of all things different… However, after listening to my supposed peers rant and rave about energy sources, lies and phony possibilities fed to us by politicians, that faith fell apart.


I never got an announcement. I never had my own proclamation. I was never paraded up and down, his arm slung over my shoulder, laughing and feeling like I was the most important girl in the world. I was never beside him in the sun.
I was denied, pushed aside, shoved into closets and kept a secret. I got a kiss behind closed doors and a fuck against the wall. I got strung along and left behind. I made dinner. I ordered the pizza. I sent the first text. I said 'I love you'. Just me, totally alone. 
It breaks my heart that I couldn't change you. You were the first one to make me feel, and yet I was just a blip on your radar. I was an ugly addiction you couldn't shake. You were everything. I was complicated. You ground your hands, and I screamed. We were never quite... There. Despite my wanting, despite my trying.
I can't be the one to teach you about love. I won't show you what it is and how great it can be. How painful it can be. Not like you did me. I'll settle for being the one that got away - everyone says that's what I'll always be. To you.
I wanted to be the game-changer. But you never let me. Now I can only hope that you learn with her what I learned with you. I hope you're happy, and I hope you fall in love. Just so you know.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


Sometimes, a dry wit and a hearty laugh can make everything better. As can a concerned face, an unexpected compliment and some much-missed peace of mind.
I’ve met all manner of nurses in my life. Vampires who brandished needles and yearned for my sweet diseased blood, grumpy old madams who doled out cynicism and never held back with the blunt advice, nervous little ladies fresh out of school and frightened of children and teenagers – even a male nurse who was happy, rough-handed and ridiculously hairy. For the most part, they’ve been poor. Either they don’t care enough, or are too out-of-touch or afraid to say much of use.

She was different. She was kind and funny, concerned and thoughtful. I approached the scale, jokingly rolled my eyes and said ‘Is this really necessary? It’s so depressing!’ Giggling and awkwardly stepping up, she then looked over my shoulder and said ‘Honey, if I weighed 60 kilos I would be dancing out in the car park in the rain… Naked!’
I blush and step down. She’s not even bigger than me, maybe a little taller…

She talks to me seriously about my prescription, taking in every detail I give and nodding or interjecting to show she’s really listening – she really cares. She gives me all kinds of freebies, takes all my details and marks the prescription URGENT – she didn’t have to do that. We then chat and giggle about mishaps with prescriptions, nightmare appointments and awkward encounters… I wish I could grab a coffee and talk longer. She wishes me luck for the day ahead, and for all my upcoming deadlines. I thank her and head off to a day of lectures, with a clear mind and a brighter outlook. For once I am thankful that I made a fuss and went through the massive ordeal to book an appointment.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Future freak-outs.

It's 5:12am. I'm suddenly so damn bloody completely awake, and totally irreconcilably terrified. About the future. About where I'm going. About life.
You'd think I'd be a little more chilled and collected after handing in my 10,000-word soul-sucker (which actually came to 12,000+ words), but no. If anything, I'm more anxious now. Because I'd been putting off planning the future until after my ECP was handed in; 'That's future Grace's problem!' I'd giggled while downing pints of cider, or while typing frantically with endless cups of coffee by my side.
Since the clock struck midnight on 31st December 2013 and it became 1st January 2014, I've been terrified about the fact that I have no idea where I'll be at the end of this year. 2014 is a mystery. Future Grace is here, and she's drunk as ever and utterly unprepared.

10 weeks to go.

It has suddenly dawned on me that I have precious little time left at university; hardly any time left in this beautiful tiny city, and I haven't explored it all yet, haven't made the most. So with this in mind, with the clock ticking and the end looming, every week I will be posting about what activities I've been doing or places I've been visiting in those 7 days. 
I'll also be remembering the little things I'm most thankful for, the things I'll miss most, in this place.

I'm so tired of walking past places and saying 'oh, I really like the look of that', or 'I must try the food there sometime', etc. I have barely any time left here, so I need to start opening doors and sampling what's new.
It all started when my boyfriend and I went for lunch at Baguetti Junction, a bright little sandwich shop by the train station. For two years I'd been walking by and giggling at the name, but never actually gone in. The sandwiches were nice, nothing to write home about - but the point was, I went in and I tried something new, something I'd been meaning to.

This week I am appreciating the Terrace Bar in the sunshine; as soon as the temperature creeps up past 12 degrees, I swear every student has the same thought manifest in their minds, like the flicking of a switch or the lighting of a fuse, and the thought is this - pints, Terrace, now. Suddenly my beloved bar is flocked and flooded with sun-seeking students, most recently triumphant third years celebrating their freedom from the 10,000+ word monster that's been sucking out our souls for at least six months. It's a wonderful place to sit outside in the sunshine and get comfortably tipsy at 3pm on a Wednesday, or to get a quick coffee before a lecture at 8:57am on a Monday, or for pre-drinking at 7pm on a Friday... Also, the baristas are a pair of charming Northern besties, both of whom I've come to love (in very different ways). 

I've been frequenting Zizzi recently, the gorgeous Italian restaurant at the top of the high street. They do the best pizza - the Primavera on a Rustica base, extra long and thin and crispy; artichokes, sunblush tomatoes, pesto, goat cheese, olives, roasted peppers, rocket, spinach... It's effectively a salty veggie explosion, and a wet dream for a non meat-eater like me. Mmm mmmm mm. I've gone there with family, with the boyfriend, with big groups of friends and on girly catch-up dates with my hometown gal. I'll certainly miss it when I leave. 

I bought a dress the other day at Fab Vintage, after going in there constantly to browse and leaving empty-handed; I've seen some friends' weird and wonderful performances in the Discovery Centre; I've had lunch dates at Cafe Monde and tipped the super-smiley proprietor every time; I had dinner and cocktail pitchers at Spoons on one of the best double dates in the history of the world; I wandered around the local library and marveled at the silence within, and I sipped a particularly bland mocha in Caffe Nero.

I suppose I'm starting off slowly this week, hence the lack of new things and the focus on my personal favourites. 
Next week my aim is to visit Blues, the little canteen-ish place at the end of Southgate Street which always has a joke written on a chalkboard in the window. Way cute, and apparently very veggie-friendly. 
I also hope to check out Boudoir Blush, a pricey lingerie shop on Parchment Street not far from my favourite tattoo & piercing parlour, Asgard (another place I intend on making one last trip to before I leave, shh!).
Suddenly I have a lot to do, and very little time to do it in. Better start ASAP. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Oh, hi. Me again.
Now, I'm not going to apologise for my absence (sorrysorrysorrysor) or for sitting my blog firmly on the back seat while I focused on uni work (rysorrysorrysorrys) and my beloved ECP which sulked unless I paid it my full attention (orrysorrysorrysorry) - no, I'm not sorry (SORRY). 

I have so many ideas for new posts, they've been buzzing up here *taps forehead, ouch* for so long now that I only hope I can get them out and onto the page. So please bear with me, this may be a shaky sleepy start...

Also, my beautiful loyal flawless followers, if you fancy checking out what I've been working on recently, please take a look at this fancy spangly blog I made for my short novel entitled 'Everyone else'.

Again, I won't apologise for the plugging (sorrysorrysorr) and I'll reiterate that I adore you all and cannot wait to get back to what I love most - red wine, biscuits, and blogging.
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