Pondering in Pontarddulais

Friday 6.7.18

I’m sitting in Noakes Bakers in Pontarddulais, overlooking the road and The Original Factory Shop. The sun is bouncing off the faux-marble surface – perhaps I should put my sunglasses back on.

I’ve been killing time for a couple of hours, waiting for my friend. I started off on a bench by the war memorial, surrounded by pink and purple flowers, and was bludgeoned by the heat. It was peaceful until the smokers arrived – they seemed pleasant, but it was enough to give me the jitters (it doesn’t take much).

I continued down the road. Did the Continue reading

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Victims of Hair Fashion

When I was younger, my hair was all wrong.

Everyone was meant to have thin, poker-straight locks, falling like curtains around their face. Mine is thick, wavy, and flies wherever it chooses.

I would watch straight-haired girls complain about their tangles, skimming the brush through them. I was more bemused by this than anything. (Note: If you start brushing, let go of the brush, and it falls to the floor, you know nothing about tangles!)

I remember buying hair straighteners and going through a period of taming mine, but it wasn’t very successful. I joked that Continue reading

Not Everyone Likes You: Get Over It.

How do you deal with criticism?

We have to decide which opinions should be taken on board and which should be ignored. This isn’t easy. We usually need a reasonable understanding of ourselves. Sometimes we gain that understanding through removing ourselves from others, and sometimes it’s through spending time with others that we discover our ‘tribe’.

Some opinions should be listened to carefully. As a writer, I have a few people who I deem ‘ideal readers’. This is the audience I regularly connect with, admire, and know to be constructive in their comments. They understand where I’m coming from, like my style, and generally enjoy the content I produce.

If one of my ‘ideal readers’ thinks I’ve missed the mark, then I would give it serious consideration. There are three possibilities: Continue reading

Be Bold and Wacky: Great Marks Vs Development

I’m frustrated with my second MA assignment. I’ve been labouring over the script for ages, trying to find the heart of the story, and trim-trim-trimming the excess words. Mum read it and said, gently, ‘It’s not your best work’. Unfortunately, she’s right.

‘What’s wrong with it?’ I keep asking myself. Most of it seems fine, but there’s something that isn’t, and I can’t locate the ‘fault’. I discussed this with Mum over lunch. She observed that my Continue reading

And Thus Endeth 2017

At this time two years ago, I started my blog. I had been thinking about it for a while, waiting for the ‘right’ time, and it basically came down to just do it. I’m so glad I did!

I started off not having a clue what I would write about, but I optimistically aimed to post twice a week. It quickly changed to once a week. Pretty soon, I struggled to do even that and went for the whole of June without posting anything. Still, I finished 2016 with forty blog posts, covering a variety of subjects.

I started 2017 knowing it would be a busy year. I didn’t want to make any goals for my blog schedule that would inevitably lead to failure. Instead, I decided to only post every two weeks. If I had the time or inclination to write more than that, then I would post them anyway, or hold them back for another time.

I surprised myself Continue reading

Small Things Can Have Huge Consequences

I was in agony with my teeth a couple of months ago. The gums on one side were already tender and then I chomped on a cashew nut. It was swollen, inflamed, and extremely painful over one tooth.

It wasn’t much better the following morning; I booked an appointment. The dentist said it was probably just a bit of food caught in there and that she’d ‘give it a good clean’. She proceeded to blast the life out of it. I would have screamed had there not been so many hands in my mouth! Rinsing my mouth was an experience – let’s just say, the mouthwash was a very different colour when it came out.

I cried on the way home. I told myself, ‘It’s only a bit of gum pain – the dentist said everything’s fine.’ That made no difference whatsoever. The whole right side of my face was stinging, my legs felt wobbly, and I had to lie down.

It may have been a small trigger, but it wasn’t the scale of the issue that was the problem – the problem was Continue reading

Eating on My Own

Wednesday 4th October 2017

I am sitting in a restaurant on my own and have never felt less lonely. Why doesn’t everyone do this? Well, I suppose not everyone is introverted – and many introverts would still feel uncomfortable eating alone in public, because of the dictations of society.

When I’m by myself, I tend to feel awkward if I don’t know exactly where I’m going. I worry that someone might steal my bag, and my senses are heightened, as if I’m on red alert. It’s wearing.

So, this is a breakthrough for me. I don’t know why it’s been different today, wandering Continue reading