It Was Acceptable In the Noughties

As previously discussed, I am not good at accomplishing little tasks that I can avoid. I put the pro in procrastination. This is how, 5 years after moving out, my teenage bedroom remains relatively untouched. Sure, the surfaces are all bare and shiny, but lurking just beneath lies a powerful undercurrent of teenage angst, circa 2004.

Oh yeah, this is where the magic happened. And by magic, I mean this is where I read all seven Harry Potter books

Oh yeah, this is where the magic happened. And by magic, I mean this is where I read all seven Harry Potter books

My mum seems to have finally realised that she could actually use that space for things if I moved all the shit I haven’t looked at in five years, and has started to insist that I clear out my drawers. Enlisting the help of the sister, I decided to tackle one such drawer last night.

When, upon opening said drawer, the first thing out of my mouth was “OMG SCRUNCHIES!”, I could tell that this was going to be a lot more fun than I had originally thought. Hilarity ensued. Cleaning out of drawers did not.

Obviously, having laid our hands on a load of scrunchies, the first thing to do was put our hair up in awesome early noughties styles.

We also found fairy wands. Because what teenage girl doesn't need two tiny plastic wands?

Bunches FTW. We also found fairy wands. Because what teenage girl doesn’t need two tiny plastic wands?

Suitably prepared, it was time to empty the drawer. In the drawer, we found:

All of the Miss Sporty and 17 Makeup

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I assume that at some point, I heard someone say you could use makeup to bring out the colour in your eyes, and took it quite literally. I can just imagine 15 year old me, with my train track braces and ill-advised blunt fringe, trowelling various shades of green onto my eyelid and reassuring myself that not only were glittery green eyes totally cool and sexy, but also completely school-appropriate.

The worst foundation in the world

I’m going to stick up for my teenage self here and assume that this was a freebie. As much as my early eyeshadow game left a lot to be desired, I’ve always been pretty good at the whole foundation thing. But get a load of this.

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Seriously, whose face is this colour? Can we stop manufacturing orange foundations and instead concentrate on developing colours that resemble what real women’s faces look like? Why are the only two foundation colours available white or orange? Get it together, makeup companies.

This very fetching hairnet. And sunglasses.

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Why do I own this?

The original iPod shuffle

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Featuring such delights as Anastacia, Good Charlotte and the entire Les Miserables soundtrack (some things never change). I was the coolest cat in town with this little guy.

A battery that was probably seconds away from becoming sentient

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Okay, this is straight up dangerous. What makes a battery ooze? Is Sophie going to get superpowers from touching it?

A veritable plethora of disposable razors

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I took this opportunity to bust out my lesser known alter ego, Edward Razorhands.

Literally all of the lipgloss in the world

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And these are only the ones that didn’t make it to uni with me. I loved me some lipgloss. The one in the pot with the tassle smelled pretty funky, I’ll be honest. But I think it always smelled like that. Maybe.

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Pungent.

At this point, we realised it had gotten pretty late, so just scooped everything up, stuck it back in the drawer and vowed never to speak of it again.

And now, I can go back to employing the excellent doublethink that allows me to be exceptionally proud of a makeup drawer that looks like this…

Dat organisation.

Dat organisation.

…while completely ignoring the fact that I also own a drawer that, for all I know, could be the final resting place of Shergar.

God only knows what’s lurking in the rest of them…

Total Eclipse of the Heart

You know the strangest thing about feeling like your world is falling apart? Having to deal with the fact that it really, really isn’t. The world keeps right on turning, oblivious to how shitty you are feeling. Even on days where just putting one foot in front of the other seems like too much effort, you still have to brush your hair, and wash the dishes, and clean your clothes, and pay your bills, and go to work, and eat things that are not chocolate digestives.

Functioning so hard right now.

Functioning so hard right now.

I am not good at completing small tasks like this at the best of times. I still haven’t changed my address with my bank after moving last June. Parents, feel free to commence nagging, but you’ll have to get in line behind Niall.

I am useless at putting the rubbish out. Every day, I will open my front door, look at the black bin bag lying outside it, convince myself that I am far too busy to take down the rubbish, even though my walk to the train station takes me directly past our bins and leave it there.

Doing the dishes requires such a momentous amount of willpower that I always feel a bit cheated that no one is there to shake my hand and give me a certificate once I’m done. And upon discovering that a couple of hours later, dishes are once again piling up next to the sink, my mind reels at the injustice of having to wash them again. Like, seriously? I did the dishes! I earned my dish doing badge! Isn’t that enough for you, world? I just want to have a sandwich without facing the horrifying consequence of having to wash a small plate.

So, for somebody who is naturally very lazy when it comes to personal admin and daily chores, the fact that these little tasks still exist when I’m feeling low is utterly exhausting. Sometimes, the mere thought of hanging up my clothes, or washing my hair, or socialising with people makes me want to crawl into my bed and take a two week holiday from existing.

But two week bed-holidays are neither socially acceptable, nor, based on my experience with two day weekend bed-holidays, are they very effective at making you feel better. So I stumble on: catching trains, cooking food, taking phone calls, cleaning the rabbit hutch, paying my rent, all the things that the world requires of me on a day to day basis. Sometimes this makes me feel better, but a lot of the time, it just makes me feel tired. How do you cope when it’s not the world that’s falling apart, it’s you?

A 30 Year Political Career: About As Good As The Perfect Fruit Crumble

Those of you who have been frequently subjected to my rantings will know that I consider myself a feminist. As a result of this, seemingly innocuous activities can quickly turn into lectures (rants) on the injustices of being a woman in modern society. To paraphrase the great Francis Begbie:

“I’m no’ the kinda girl that goes lookin’ for a fight, but at the end of the day, I’m the one wi’ the liberal feminist agenda and he can get the fat end a’ it in his puss any time he wanted, like.”

Seemingly innocuous activities such as reading the paper.

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At first glance, all seemed well with this story. A woman rising to a position of political prominence, a headline focusing on her achievements, a photo byline that doesn’t mention what she’s wearing: tick, tick, tick! And then my eyes wandered up to the top left hand corner of the page, and a dark cloud descended…Life & Style?

I have a number of issues with this, but let’s start with the most obvious one. That being why, in the name of all that is holy, is this categorised as Life & Style? An article about the future of the UN, nestled in there between an article about the perfect fruit crumble and a piece on what the checkout girl is really thinking. As if, when women do it, politics is sort of an adorable hobby. A lifestyle choice, like a juice diet, or taking up crochet. Seriously, Guardian, get it together and stick this article in the Politics section along with all the big men.

Also, can we just talk about the fact that newspapers still have a women’s section? I mean I know I have a degree in politics, but thank you, newspapers, for creating a special section for me where I can read about whether teff is the new hot super grain and how to get a body that won’t send people running for the hills when I put on a bikini, without being bothered by all that horrible, boring news. Sorry for the absurdly long sentence, I just have a lot of feelings.

Now, to give credit where credit is due, the Guardian’s “Women” section does focus on women’s issues that I actually care about, like unequal pay, and the prevalence of rape culture. But, and I cannot ever say this enough times, there isn’t really any such thing as a “women’s issue”. There are issues which women are more qualified to talk about, but when we do talk about them, they shouldn’t be tucked away in a special section of the paper where only other women will see them. Binary gender roles are bad for literally everyone. It is in everyone’s interest to get rid of unfair, outdated, stupid standards of behaviour for both men and women. By qualifying feminism as a women’s issue, we’re giving men permission to ignore it. After all, it has nothing to do with them.

Women in Spain beating the recession by setting up a record number of businesses isn’t just of interest to women. Women in Afghanistan having more freedom in jail than they do outside of it isn’t just of interest to women. And the next leader of the UN certainly isn’t just of interest to women.

Sort it out Guardian, you’re totally harshing my mellow.

True Love Conquers All…?

Well, folks, it’s that time of year where mine and Niall’s love is pushed to the limits. That’s right. It’s time for the Scotland/Ireland Six Nations match.

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All morning, we laughed and joked and pretended that we were totally kidding with those thinly veiled death threats.

Such hostility.

Such hostility.

The battle lines were drawn.

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We were ready for the bloodbath to commence. Or, as ready as one can be for a bloodbath while snuggling under a duvet.

See, we live in one of these beautiful Bruntsfield flats, whose high ceilings, wooden floors and enormous windows are charming when you view the flat in the Summer. And then the Winter comes and you wonder, as you climb into bed with four pairs of socks and a hat on, how you were caught out by this again. Our kitchen does have the advantage of homing this guy:

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But on this occasion, was beaten out by the living room homing this guy:

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So we had no choice but to crack out the spare duvet and hide underneath.

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Hiding and avoiding eye contact with the enemy.

We were totally psyched.

Smudge being totally psyched. Or baffled. Difficult to tell, really.

Smudge being totally psyched. Or baffled. Difficult to tell, really.

And then the game started. After about 7 minutes of actually quite decent play, our team seemed to forget what sport they were playing. Instead of playing rugby, they suddenly started showing some serious promise in the Scottish national sport of Fannying About (not to be confused with English national sport of Being A Fanny).

What followed was a comprehensive masterclass in Fannying About. Seriously, any of you amateur Fanny Abouters looking to turn pro should take a look, there was some pretty inspiring stuff in there.

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Not the greatest start for Scotland, I’ll admit. But at least the tension of Scotland/Ireland is over and Niall and I can once again present a united front, dedicated to the hope that England will get well and truly trounced.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a consolatory cup of tea waiting. He’s not a bad lad, for an Irishman.