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Feb. 21st, 2014

Prompt session

Also posted at website and mirror accounts - feel free to leave prompts here and I'll link to the stories when they're completed.

From now until the end of this month I'm after prompts about mysteries, enigmas, and that which has been lost. This can include lost people, lost places, lost races, lost histories, lost worlds, mysterious artifacts, unknown languages, something that's been hidden that can't be found (eg. the thing you put in a safe place but can never find again), and things that were lost that have been found. As always feel free to leave a random number prompt, or several, ranging from a single number to several together, which can be for a specific collection, character, or for a prompt - so you could give me something like 7, lost race, which could lead to the start of a very interesting AU. My aim, as always, is to write 500 words for every prompt, no matter how long it takes.

This month I'm going to be trying something new. Donations and links will buy time instead of words, which may mean you end up with more words than you would have done if I was sticking with the old way of doing things. Linking to the session or one of the stories I write for it will gain you an extra fifteen minutes of time on that particular prompt. Every £3 donated will get you half an hour, so if you donate £15 then I'll work for 2 and a half hours on your prompt (although this probably won't all be done at the same time). On a good day half an hour of work will lead to around a thousand words of fiction, although there have been days when you'd receive more and days when you'd receive less - it all depends on how easy the prompt is to write to. My top limit is £30 per prompt, not per prompter, so you can ask for more time on several prompts.

Perks this month are all dependent on how much I make. If I receive £10 in donations specifically for this session then I'll add a list of perks to this post.

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Jun. 8th, 2010

H/C bingo

I just joined hc_bingo and this is my bingo card. It looks like it's going to be interesting.
Bingo cardCollapse )
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Mar. 11th, 2010

I'm fed up with putting a subject... lol

Well this week, so far, hasn't been very productive for me at all. There are things I want (need is probably the better word) to do but I just can't do them. I'm not entirely sure what is that's stopping me. Being locked in my room just in case something happens isn't helping and not eating anything apart from crisps and sweets isn't really making my energy levels rise. I am tired; I am hungry; and my emotions have stopped working... again.

Sometimes I feel like I don't have emotions. I just shut off. The only two things I really feel right now are anger (most of which gets focused at James even though it's not his fault) or absolute depression. It's been a long time since I've hit that big black pit, thank whoever it is that's currently looking over me, but I'm still having major problems. I don't know if these are problems related to the last eleven (ish) years or my childhood. If it is related to my childhood (if I can count those years as a childhood) then I really need to find a way to get my memories of that time back. I've been thinking about writing a history of me but I think I'd probably bore everyone. It would be good for me though, I think.

I feel really bad when I complain about my life. I know in relation to some people I've had a really good life but sometimes it's overwhelming for me. If things hadn't of happened the way they did then I would be a different person. I'm just not sure how different I would be. Right now I wish I was more sociable, more open, more trusting and trusted people more. I am none of those things and it's pretty depressing.

Maybe I could force myself to socialise. I just don't think it would do me any good right now. Trying to connect with people I have barely anything in common with is so very difficult for me most of the time. The silly thing is I like people in general. It would be nice to have people in my life I felt I actually had something to talk to them about. Most of the people I know don't often sit and have philosophical or religious discussions, which is what I really need. I need to be able to be open about who I am.

I've been thinking a lot today about religious things; about the deities that are appearing in my life; about the totem animals I believe I have. Right now I'm strangely annoyed at the fact I believe one of my main totem animals is the wolf – it's so cliché. I don't want to be a cliché. I just feel this connection so deeply that I know I'm right. Then there's my worry about the eclectic collection of deties that seem to be becoming a part of my life. How do I connect to Greek culture? I'm not Greek and yet there is a huge group of Greek deities that seem to want to be a part of my life. Then there's Bast. I connect even less to the Egyptian culture, even though I've always been obssessed with studying it (a long story connected to moving schools – I studied the Tudors three times!).And the newest one is Epona who is finally a Goddess I belive I should be connecting with because she's Celtic. The only problem is the fact she's a horse Goddess and I don't understand why I have a new, random, connection to horses. It's kind of confusing. I want to know what is happening but right now I can't. My energy is all over the place so doing anything like that probably wouldn't work out.

The way I feel now is the reason I want a two storey house. At least then I wouldn't be so close to Aaron and having to deal with his energy suckiness. Whenever he's in the house I always feel like crap. I'm still ill as well which isn't helping. If I could be upstairs, a whole floor away from him, I think I'd feel better. Of course this could just be wishful thinking because we haven't lived in a two storey house for years (I think around 7 or 8 years).

They went to see a place last night but thankfully it wasn't any good. It was right in Bognor town and that's somewhere I really don't want to live. It's a long drive for James if I'm in Bognor so he wouldn't be able to come over so often. I'll also be further away from Nan and I don't want that. I like being able to walk up there whenever I want. They have to find a place in Pagham.

James and I got into an argument. I didn't see him today but he rang me to tell me about the problem he was having with his bank card and proceeded to change our plans for the day. He knows I hate it when he does that – I need structure in my life. It was of course somebody else's fault for not contacting him though. That wasn't why we argued, even though I told him changing our plans wasn't going to make me happy. We got into an argument because he's drinking more than he has done in the rest of our relationship (it's been going on for about the last six months) and I worry about him drinking too much. He says he understands why but I don't really think he does. If he did understand my worries he wouldn't make me feel so paranoid and stupid. To him it's all a part of being young so he acts as though he has a right to binge drink 'sometimes'. I just don't get it. Drinking is bad.

Feel free to disagree with me on that.

I've got some new art materials. I found some pearlescent medium that I hope will work and some pretty metallic acrylics. Tonight I'm going to buy some other materials, such as paper, canvasses and pastels. Then when I'm not writing I can focus on my art. I just hope I can draw the things I want to draw without screwing them up. I got a new putty rubber because I know I'll go wrong and can't wait to use it. I've always loved putty rubbers. At some point I need to get my watercolours out again but they remind me a lot of Granddad.

Mar. 8th, 2010

Random stuff

Nan thinks I should get rid of some of my books.I don't understand why she thinks this. I've spent a lot of money and time on gathering my collection of books so why would I want to get rid of any of them. Yes they take up a lot of space in my room but to be absolutely honest I'm not bothered that I have piles of books everywhere in my room. I would prefer it of they were on a bookcase – there just isn't any space for another bookcase in this room. Yes there's a lot of them but that's because I want to have a lot of books. Books make me happy. If I'm not reading a book then I'm trying to write one. Why is it that I have so many people around me that don't understand why I want to have so many books and why I keep buying them? It's not like reading a book is the end of owning a book. There's the strange joy of putting them into an order, my order is books I love most to books I don't like quite so much. I have put some books into 'storage' (which is three boxes of books currently in the spare room) and it's really irritating because I've put some of the books I now want to read into those boxes. Then there's rereading the whole series when a new book comes out. I feel the need to get to know all the characters again because they become friends in a way. Then of course there's the 'getting attached' to characters that happens quite often with me. I'm the girl that will sit there sobbing my hurt out if something happens to one of my favourite characters (such as Kisten in Kim Harrison's books) or laughing at one of my favourite characters doing something especially funny (such as Silk in David and Leigh Eddings' Belgariad and Mallorean). They all mean something to me even if they don't actually exist.

Maybe that's why I have so much trouble with real life. Can anyone think of an illness caused by reading too many books? Suffering from bookwormitis? Being allergic to people who aren't technically made of paper? Lol.

I'm sitting here right now staring at the books around my room, wondering why there are such people as non-readers. I've been reading ever since I was a child and I remember reading every book that my school owned by the time I turned eight. That was the only reason I was glad to leave my old school – I got to read new books. Now I read at the speed of light and find that I can't put a book down once I've started it. I'll promise myself I'll just read a couple of chapters and the next thing I know I've read the whole books. It's really irritating.

James took me to the scrap yard today. We go there quite often because the car is twenty years old and has a habit of falling apart on a regular basis. Thankfully James is a very good mechanic. Between us we even replaced the gearbox. His dad wants him to get rid of his car and get a new one. I think it's because he wants his other son, James' older brother Kevin, to have a car and wants James to give Kevin our Volkswagen Golf so he doesn't have to buy a car. I've told James that we're not giving Kevin the Golf no matter what because the car he owns is still in Russia because he can't drive yet and I don't want the car that James loves so much stuck in the middle of nowhere. We'll probably going to turn it into our project car and make it into a GTi.

Over the last few days I've found my writing abilities have come back. I was going to write some short stories to post on LJ but I seem incapable of writing a short story. I had a really good idea for a short story that turned into a novel in the space of about ten minutes. It would be nice to write a short story but I need a subject and a word limit. If anyone has any ideas they'd like me to write the send them to me with a word limit and I'll see what I can do. I'm probably going to post my first chapters on LJ just to see what people think of my characters and storylines because if some people like them then hopefully a publisher somewhere will.

I've got to focus on my letter writing for a while. I'm going to try to write two letters a day until I've caught up because I've been a really bad penpal recently. Writing letters has been really difficult recently, unless I've really cared about the person I was writing to. There are a few of those so I've managed to keep up with them but there are a whole group of people I just don't really connect with and I'm not sure what to do about it.

I'm thinking of getting hold of some anime to watch but I have no idea what I'm looking for. If anyone had any recommendations for me let me know. I'm thinking of starting to hire some DVDs because there are films I want to see but don't want to buy the DVD. I never should have bought Twilight. All I did was sit there and complain about how bad the film was so I don't want to do that with other films. If I like the films I watch I may buy them but I have a habit of watching a film once and then losing all interest.

On a random note Eric from the Sookie Stackhouse novels was in my dream last night. I haven't read the books in ages so it was weird but I think it comes from thinking about the novel where Eric looses his memory. I really want Eric and Sookie to get together properly at some point – Bill always irritated me for some reason.

I've stopped doing my tarot card of the day thing while I'm ill. I don't think that I have as good a connection with them when I'm ill and I don't really want to sneeze on them. I'm not sure if I'm going to take it up when I'm better – please be soon – or after we've moved house. If we take forever to move then I'll probably start again before we move. I'm after some new decks but I don't want to buy any more because I do have quite a few of them. It would be nice to have some sort of computer program with lots of decks on so I can do readings on my netbook. I don't know how well that would work but I like the idea.

Oh, and Aaron's home. I think I mentioned him being at work and that he should be gone for two months. I should have known better than to open my big mouth. On Friday he was told that he was no longer needed (long story behind that) so he's home again now. It's really very annoying but there's nothing I can do about it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he either finds another job soon or that we'll find a nice two storey house to live in so I won't have to put up with his abuse any more.

Mar. 5th, 2010

Clever kids

I hate seeing adverts with 8 year-olds reading Shakespeare and child geniuses. It makes me feel stupid.

Mar. 4th, 2010

More random mutterings and moaning about being ill

This week has been awful. I've had a cold all week and it's made me absolutely useless. If I'm not coughing then I'm sneezing; if I'm not sneezing I can't breath; and I'm not sleeping well because I'm either waking up not being able to breath or because I'm having weird dreams (one of which I'm tempted to turn into a story). It's depressing to say the least – I hate being ill and the timing is atrocious. I should really be packing but the thought of packing in this state fills me with dread. I actually did the washing up today (mostly because Aaron was being his usual lovely self wandering round and putting me down because 'she hasn't even done the washing up'). The thing is I hate complaining about having something as small as a cold but it really has knocked me for six for some reason. I'm guessing it's probably stress and my body going 'relax Kayleigh or you're going to make yourself really sick'.

James has been in the process of applying to join the RAF as a pilot, which is a major hassle. He needed to get his medical records, because he has an enlarged vertebrae in his neck, so he went to the doctor's and they said he needed some sort of consent form from the RAF. Although he trusted me when I told him he has automatic access to HIS medical records he still contacted the RAF for help, just in case there was something he needed from them. They didn't reply to his first letter so he sent them another one and they rang him to tell him what he needed to do, while also managing to tell him he was an idiot for not knowing better (or at least that was what I got from it). When he finally got hold of his medical records, which cost him £16 (conartists!!), and sent them via Royal Mail who then promptly lost them. He didn't send it Special Delivery or anything because he assumed it would get there safely – and hindsight is a wonderful thing. Then a couple of days after they ring him to say they haven't got his records he gets a letter saying he can't join as a pilot until 2013 (as long as he has no symptoms anytime in the next three years) because he has hayfever. Why could they have not told him this when they told him they needed his medical records? It seems like such a waste of time and effort. He's going to reapply as an engineer but the neck thing could still be a problem. Either way it's taking so much time.

I've been doing a lot of thinking this week, even though my brain hurts from all the coughing. This may turn into a very long ramble, especially as my brain doesn't seem to want to work right at the moment, as I've got a lot of things on my mind that I need to get out on paper.

On Saturday I saw one of my real life friends and it made me realise why I don't socialise. It was nice to actually see someone other than James or my family but it reminded me that I don't really have anything in common with anyone I was once friends with in college or the people I still am friends with now. To be honest I can't be bothered spending time on people I have nothing in common with and have to act like I'm someone else whenever I spend time with them. It's like I have this happy confident mask on that hides all my insecurities so people will never know the real me. There were some people I wasn't confident telling about my beliefs and I don't remember ever mentioning my past because I learnt a long time ago that people don't always believe the truth, especially if they haven't lived through any difficulties. It was as though there was one Kayleigh living college life and one Kayleigh living home life. James was, and still is, the only person who got to see behind that mask. I even use it on Nan and Mum so they don't pry too deep into things I don't feel are their business. Sometimes I wonder if I should even bother spending time with people because they don't know the real me. I just don't know how to change it.

It makes me wonder if my past really has affected me adversely. I know I went through situations that really weren't normal but I can't really tell if they changed me because I can't remember anything ever being different. Right now I'm having trouble finding the right words to use. I know there are people who went through situations that were a lot worse than mine (I'm dating one of them) so I don't want anyone to think I'm looking for sympathy. Sympathy isn't really something that will help, mostly because it irritates me. It's just I know my childhood was difficult to say the least: the things I witnessed before I was eight were definitely not something the average eight-year-old saw; then after a year of bring bullied for being too honest about my past (I was so naïve then) Mum moved into a house with a verbally abusive bully. Sometimes I wonder if I should try out counselling but I know I'd have major trouble talking to them. Talking to 'outsiders' has always been one of my problems because I've had it drummed into me that family problems should stay in the family. That's why I write things down – then it's technically not talking about my problems. Maybe that's part of the reason I spend most of my time writing. I think I can find some of the answers if I start looking inside myself (eg. more meditation, etc.) but then I wonder if I can ever find all the answers by myself.

Oh, yeah. James and I had our four year anniversary on the 26th of February. Yay, happiness.

Feb. 25th, 2010

Random mutterings and house news

The latest on the house is that the landlord has to give us longer than two weeks notice before he knocks down half the house. He wants to remove the extension, which includes my room, the lounge, the utility room, two conservatories and the porch, leaving us with something that would never be big enough to live in for us. We've collected so much crap over the years that we need more space than that. He also wants to get rid of the shed, the garage and the pond (the pond I'm really annoyed about because there's a family of newts in there that are doing really well). That will leave us with a 'two' bedroom bungalow about the size of a doll's house. I'd probably be plunked into the dining room, which is smaller than my room now so I don't actually think my furniture would fit; all the lounge furniture would have to go into the spare room which is a lot smaller than the lounge now; and we wouldn't have a washing machine as the only plumbing space is in one of the conservatories that he wants to knock down.

Thankfully Mum has decided the best plan of action is to look for somewhere else even if we do get some extra time to get sorted. There's no way we'd fit into what was left of the house. The extension isn't that well built but it gives us the space we need for a comfortable family home. If I was to move into the dining room I'd have to get rid of half the furniture I just bought to give me more storage space as I didn't have enough. The room itself is only just big enough for the dining room table and one storage thingy so trying to fit in a bed and bedroom furniture would be like playing tetris. I probably wouldn't actually be able to walk through the room by the time I'd got everything in. Then we'd have to find somewhere to put the dining table.

I am glad Mum decided to make the decision to move, even though moving itself is so stressful. It just feels like the right time for me now that I've had time to think about it. Something about the timing and how what my daily tarot cards have been make me think this is going to be good for me. I know it will be good for me if we find an actual house rather than a bungalow. The last two places we've been in have been bungalows and I think the time living in them have been the worst in my life. At least if we have an upstairs I won't have to listen to Aaron all the time.

Right now I'm still waiting for boxes as I don't have any. Then I'll have to pack everything up. At least I have my netbook and I can keep the Gamecube out as it has it own bag to travel in. Everything else will have to be packed up ready for whenever they find somewhere for us to go. There were a couple of nice places in the paper yesterday so we might even be out by the end of next week. It's all happened so fast that I'm still sort of dazed. However we have been through this before in the bungalow before this one so I know it's something we're capable of coping with.

In my 'family' we pull together in times of crisis and then when the crisis ends everything goes back to normal. That's what happened last week when Aaron was in Malta and it's what's going to happen now. I kinda like it when we're having a crisis because it means I get some freedom. Sometimes I wonder if I cause these crisises by wanting some freedom or whether it's just fate.

Moving should also be good for my spiritual work. I'm hoping we might be able to go back to the house I felt most comfortable in but I don't think it's going to happen (Saxon Close). We lived there when I first started studying witchcraft and it always felt like the house was welcoming my studies. That was the house where I had my first spiritual crisis and decided to become a Christian (which lasted about two months before I realised where my heart lay). Sometimes I think that crisis has something to do with my wonders about whether there really is some creative being out there who planned everything or not. I think the Big Bang might have been said creative being trying out some chemistry experiments.

When I think about the Big Bang I wonder if there were multiple Bangs that could have created parallel universes. I wonder what my parallel Kayleigh's would be doing. One Kayleigh is probably still living with Mum and Trevor so I feel very sorry for her, especially as she never met the lovely James; another is living in Berkshire with Mum and Aaron, still missing the lovely James; while a third is probably still living in Saxon Close and has met James (I kinda wish I was her but then there may have been other things that happened to her).

In times of stress I seem to get like this. It makes me wonder what things would be like if these crisises didn't happen and how different decisions would change the way life goes. Whenever I make a decision I try to go with the flow, then look back and wonder how things would have been different if I hadn't made the decision. If I hadn't of decided to go to college rather than staying at sixth form (I hated school so why would I spend another two years there?) then I wouldn't have met James. What would life have been like without James? Sad and lonely or would I have got with someone else?

I wish I could go back and see how different decisions do affect things.

Feb. 24th, 2010

Bad news

Today is a day of unexpected bad news. Our landlord is demolishing half our house so we have to find a new place to live some time within the next two weeks. We had no idea until today. He didn't put up one of those bright orange planning permission thingies so I think that what's he's doing is illegal – we should have had a chance to dispute it as it's our home he's going to be demolishing. Mum's trying to find a way round it but I don't think it's going to work out. There's not really a lot she can do because we're on a yearly lease and it's up for renewal this month.

I'm kinda looking forward to finding a new place now. When I heard the news I was pretty devastated because it is my home and it's the last home Sharna had but change can be a good thing. This time we might find a two storey house – I hate bungalows as there's never really any privacy – and I might have a bigger room. Of course there's no guarantee that it anything will happen the way I want it to but I'm always hopeful.

Moving could be good for me. I might find somewhere I can work because this place hasn't been good for my writing. This house is lovely so it would be nice to stay here, but then if I stay I might never get anything done. It's never been somewhere I've been particularly productive. I've got this image of a lovely large room where I feel comfortable, have enough space, and feel safe away from Aaron.

I should really be packing right now but I can't. I haven't got any boxes to put anything in so I'm watching James play Zelda: Twilight Princess and writing this journal entry. Hopefully I'll be able to post the entries I've done tonight when Aaron goes to pick up Mum.

Tonight I'll either be packing or writing. It shouldn't take me too long to pack everything up as I haven't got a lot of stuff in this room – most of it is still in boxes in the spare room as there really isn't much space in this room compared to my old room. This is the better room of the two though as the other house had damp problems so everything went mouldy and I had to chuck a load of stuff out. However I am hoping for a larger room so I can get another bookcase. Being able to put all my books on a bookcase will be nice.

Writing

Why can't I write?

I know what I want to write but I just can't seem to actually write it. It's really irritating. When I gave myself a month to complete a draft I managed to actually finish it (well, mostly, I couldn't really write any more without rewriting it) so that's what I want to do now but it just doesn't seem to be working. For some reason, even though I have all the storylines worked out in my head, everything I write seems wrong. I can't tell whether it my perfectionist streak coming through or whether it's something else. I don't know what the something else might be though. The stupid thing is I seem to be writing more journal entries than I ever have before.

Maybe I should read or something.
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Stuff

I'm not happy with myself. Yesterday was meant to be a writing day but it turned into a playing solitaire for hours at a time day. I sat there last night for three hours. Today I've promised myself I'm not going to play solitaire at all and I am actually going to do something productive.

The letters I need to write are piling up. Every time I pick them up and think about replying my brain seems to go into meltdown. I'm utterly useless at the moment. All I seem to do is spend time with James when he's here and waste my life when he's not. I really need to focus. I've given myself to the end of the year (which does seem like a very long time but when writing novels it really isn't) to complete at least one final draft to send off to publishers to see if they're interested. If they're not interested then I'll focus on my holistic therapy stuff.

While I'm writing I'm going to need to actually do my holistic therapy courses otherwise it's pretty pointless having them as a back-up. I am qualified in two subjects but I want to know more. If I was just to offer crystal healing and colour therapy then I'd feel a bit pointless. For some reason I've started a new massage course even though giving massages makes my back ache. However, according to Mum, I have healing hands (because I gave her an aromatherapy massage when her sciatica was playing up and she was fine afterwards).

At the moment I'm obsessed with Fleetwood Mac. I've always loved them and James got me their greatest hits at the end of last year so I is a happy person. I'm still at that stage where I listen to the songs I actually know over and over again until I gather up the... courage(?)... to listen to the rest of the album. I do that with almost all the albums I buy, although I don't buy so many, simply because it's easier. Music is something that has always made me happy and I have certain songs that I associate with books because I was reading them while listening to music. Whenever I hear the song I'll remember the storyline of the book.

I also enjoy singing along to my music even though I know that I can't sing. It's just fun to lsiten to music in my headphones and sing along. I have a great memory for song words for some reason. Most days at the moment it hurts my throat because I can't get a cup of tea until the irritating thing Mum married leaves the house.

Right now all I want to do is get out of this house permanently. It's what I dream of. I want the freedom to cook my own food; to walk around the house without having to worry; to have my post delivered to my own home; to be able to live my life the way I want to. Right now I'm so fed up of being stuck in my room day after day, feeling unable to leave it at any point. Sometimes I wonder what I did in a past life to deserve this but I think it's more a lesson that I need to learn in this one – no matter how nasty some people can be, there are always going to be good people out there. I'm dating one of those good people so I know that for definite.

I'm really looking forward to our anniversary. Four years, to me, is a very long time to be dating someone. We have our problems but we've worked through them and I love him much more than I did when we first got together. If I'm honest I didn't think we'd last much beyond three weeks (neither did my old friends and they actually bet on us – HOUSE WINS) but we ended up living together for a year and a half after we'd only been together for two months and I think it did our relationship a lot of good. If it wasn't for that time then I'd think we were falling apart all the time. Really I think most of our problems are caused by the fact we aren't living together so we worry about each other a lot and we get stressed out when we don't know what's happening to the other. Then we take the stress we're feeling out on each other.

We both know it's wrong and we're working on making it better but right now all we want to do is get some money together and move out. That's part of the reason I'm so desperate to get published. If I have enough money we can buy a nice house without having to have a mortgage – I hate the thought of having a mortgage – and finally be happy.

Feb. 23rd, 2010

The Past

This morning I've been thinking about the past and how much things have changed. It's bad for me really because I have a habit of putting on the rose tinted specs and seeing how much better things were then. Things really weren't better then, even though I had a lot more 'friends' than I do now. Maybe that's the reason I'd rather not push myself into having a real life friendship now – I know how much of an influence the people you spend time with can be and I need time to be myself without wearing a mask or pretending to be someone I'm not.

About four years ago I lost almost all the people I called friends. Even now I'm not quite sure exactly what I did to be treated like that but my best friend of five years said I wasn't worth the effort any more. I might have kept a few more friends but I was too scared to find out who would actually talk to me. I'm sure something must have been said about me, behind my back, and no-one gave me the chance to dispute whatever had been said. My best friend had ditched me before that for 'poking my nose in' because I was worried that she something had happened between her and another friend but I got the tone wrong as she was actually talking about the friend and her boyfriend. I even said that I'd obviously got it wrong but that still led to best friend ditching me. She didn't even give me a chance to tell her what had happened from her point of view.

I guess I wasn't easy to get along with during secondary school. Life seemed almost entirely overwhelming and I wasn't dealing with it in the best way. I would swear I was depressed, but I never went to the doctor's about it then so I'll never know. When I got the chance I'd drink to forget my problems, even though it actually caused a lot more problems and didn't really make anything better. Then when I wasn't drinking I was doing something even more stupid but I'm not going to go into that now. It'll just make me sad for the rest of the day and I want to be able to write. During the summer holidays I was almost entirely anti-social because I preferred to spend the time writing.

Then at college I moved on and made new friends. There wasn't really anything else I could do. Looking back I think that losing my friends was a good thing because I would never have got with James otherwise. I was worried about what they'd think if I got with someone like James, although I don't know why. There is nothing wrong with my boyfriend even though he's had a really troubled childhood. Sure he's not perfect but that doesn't change the fact I love him for who he is.

During school they were good friends and I was a moody cow. That hasn't really changed even now but I am learning to deal with my moods better. It's always been hard for me to deal with my feelings and actually talk to people about them. I can still remember some days when I'd walk to the bus stop alone, feeling like I was the extra cog. It seemed like everyone had couple off whether it was with a closest friend or a boyfriend and I felt absolutely alone. It wasn't something I felt I could really tell anyone about, even though they were my friends. Shutting off was always easier, at least until my shield broke and I ended up crying over something absolutely pointless.

Even now I still do it. I am working on talking to James about how I'm feeling when I'm feeling it rather than letting everything bubble under the surface until I burst but it's not easy.

Feb. 22nd, 2010

British Schools

I'm currently watching a documentry on 4 about the maths ability of 11-year-olds in English schools. Watching it actually makes me feel sick. Most of the kids don't even know their times tables or simple measurements. When I was in school I knew all of that well before I turned 11 and more. It makes me worried that any children I may have won't actually learn what they need to learn at school. I've said to James that I'd rather home school my children rather than send them to school but he says there is a huge benefit from them socialising at school rather than being stuck home alone. I do understand that children need to socialise as well as learn, school for me was always about seeing my friends, but that doesn't really change the way I feel about the usefullness of schools. I want my children to learn about what they're really interested in rather than following the curriculum, especially as so much of the curriculum seems to focus on end of year tests.

James and I have all sort of interesting conversations about the English education system. We both want to make things better for people who aren't necessarily academic. They should be able to so practical subjects as well as the core subjects (English, Maths and Science). Then the academic children should be able to choose what they really want to learn about from an earlier age. If I'd have had a choice I would have done Latin as a subject rather than forcing myself to learn French and German. I never felt any connection to those subjects so being forced to do them made me want to learn the subject even less. James would have done a couple of practical subjects because he always hated exams, even when we were at college. He always had trouble with the time constraint and finding the right words to say to answer the questions. When I first met him he was retaking English because he'd had trouble at school but never got any help with it.

I also think that children should learn about more religions from a much younger age. We learnt about Christianity when I was young but that was it. When I went to secondary school we learnt about Buddhism and Christianity but I don't remember learning about anything else. Mostly we just messed around in R.E. In year 9 we did have this cool new age sort of R.E. teacher but she didn't really seem to teach us about many different religions. I'd have loved to have learnt about paganism, Hinduism, and other religions in depth.

I don't know how this turned into a rant about our education system. I just get so irritated by it. I'd have loved to have gone to an American High School as there seems to be so much more choice. I would have loved to have chosen which area of maths and science to study and be able to take more electives. We didn't have electives at school until we got to year 10 and even then there wasn't a lot of choice. I would have loved to have had more freedom when picking my GCSE subjects.

Me again

I'm not very happy this morning. Aaron didn't take Mum to work so I haven't had a cup of tea or breakfast yet. My throat is quite painful but that's not going to stop me from singing along with my music. It's weird how many songs I can remember the words to. I find it quite hard to sing while I'm writing though as I have two sets of words I'm trying to think of. If I was visualising something and singing I'd be ok.

Part of James' anniversary present came today. He may get the rest of it late because it hasn't been dispatched yet but I'm going to keep my fingers crossed. I'm glad he has no interest in staring a blog online – he only has Facebook because I made his profile for him – as I can write about what I bought him. The bit that came today is a SNES. He had one before but it basically got stolen (he lent it to someone about seven years ago and never got it back) so I've replaced it for him. I'm like that. The last bit is a couple of tiger canvasses. He loves tigers, especially Siberian tigers, so I like to buy him things with tigers on. I think it's very possible that the tiger is his totem.

He woke up this morning without my help. At about five minutes past 8 he pranked me, which meant he was awake. I think he may have taken what I said yesterday into consideration but I'll have to wait and see. I'm hoping he'll be over later to give me a lift to Nan's so I can have a shower. The shampoo I used when I had a bath, one that I've never used before, hasn't been very good for my stupidly tempremental scalp so I need to wash it with my normal shampoo.

Before that I'm going to try to write a couple of letters and I have other things to post. I have a couple of books to send back and a book to post to someone as I'm on GreenMetropolis. GreenMetropolis is a site where you sell books you no longer want on. The only books I can sell are books that I didn't really enjoy when I read them because I never get rid of a book I enjoyed. That's why I have so many of them and could really do with another couple of bookcases.

At the moment I have a huge pile of books that I need to read and I've got a few more on the way. I do this: I get stages where I buy lots of books on different subjects (all of which have something to do either with witchcraft or with bettering the self) but I don't really have the time to read them so they collect up. It's quite irritating as I want to read the books but I know I should be writing. I'm not the sort of person who can read a chapter and then put a book down. If I'm interested in the book then I have to read it all the way through when I first read it. It irritates me because I keep promising myself that I'll read the next book slowly but I never do. I get totally engrossed and by the time I realise what I've done I've read the whole book.

Today I'm planning on doing some story writing too. I'm going to work on a couple of short stories first then go back to my novels. There are two that I'm working on at the moment but I have a lot more that I want to write. When I'm happy with them I may try to get them published. I don't know though. I always worry that my work isn't good enough, that my characters aren't interesting enough and that I write awful storylines. My old English teacher told me that I was good enough to get published so I think that's probably my perfectionist side telling me I'm not good enough. That's why I want to post the short stories here as getting feedback on how good my writing is will be very helpful.

Now I'm going to open the package that came so I can hide James' anniversary present until Friday and then do some work.

Feb. 21st, 2010

Me

I'm so tired right now. It's irritating. I mean it's just gone help past six so why am I tired? When I actually go to bed I'm probably not going to be able to get to sleep (I'm so glad I made the most of actually being able to sleep last week) because of all the things that will be going around my head.

Mum's in a strop for me for some reason. I think it's because she's quite obviously had more than enough to drink for today and yet I'd bet she had another drink next to her. Last week she got through about six bottles of wine by herself. I'm really worried that it's going to do her liver long-term damage but I know that she needs to come to the conclusion that she's drinking way too much without me getting involved. If I tell her that then she'll just deny it. I honestly don't think she realises how much she's drinking, even though I can't understand how she can't realise it. Being drunk isn't exactly something that you can hide from yourself. I'd quite like her to realise she's drinking too much so she can get help before she pickles her liver for good. If she doesn't I know I'm going to end up watching her die slowly and painfully.

Aaron being home is just how I thought it would be. I'm in my room alone (unless James is over) while they're in the lounge acting like everything is fine. Things aren't fine and they never have been fine. From the day we started living in the same house, when I honestly believed I might have a real family for the first time, he has treated me like something he stood in. He even treated the dog better than he treated me. I don't begrudge her it because as far as I was concerned she was my sister, but I wished for years that he's treat me like a normal human being. Some days he'd be ok, although those days didn't happen very often; on a normal day he'd put me down, turn the telly up every time I tried to talk and make funny noises, much like a boiling kettle every time I walked into the lounge. After 11 years (ish) I've had more than enough of it. Mum knows what's happening but doesn't have the will power to chuck him out. She says she'll talk to him about what's happened but she's done that before and he's never changed. I don't know how many last chances she has to give him before she realises he is a waste of effort. When he tried to assault James I thought it was over but that was about two years ago and he's still here. One thing I'm absolutely terrified of is leaving here for him to start on Mum when he no longer has me to pick on. I shouldn't worry so much about her, it is her life, but I can't help it.

Right now I should be eating dinner but I don't feel like eating. I'm hungry though so I might go and heat up the food Nan sent me. Then I've got to tidy my room, for the second time in three weeks, because it's starting to annoy me. I don't really feel like doing it but if I don't force myself to do something I'll waste my evening staring at the telly.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to work on my short stories but I don't know how that's going to work out. Being at home, locked in my room, isn't really conducive for me doing any work.

***

Well that's dinner done. I didn't really enjoy it that much. Microwaved roast dinner without the meat  isn't my favourite meal in the world but I like it because it's Nan's cooking. Mum isn't the best cook in the world so having dinner at Nan's is a treat. Microwaved food isn't – it always seems to go dry and nasty as well as lose its heat quickly.

I was watching Dancing on Ice while eating. The first routine was done to one of my many favourite songs 'Ever Fallen In Love' by the Buzzcocks. I have lots of favourite songs – I've never been able to choose a favouritest song any more than choose a favourite book.

I burnt my finger earlier so it's a bit uncomfortable typing. I'm such an idiot because I knew I should have put it under cold water straight away but I didn't. I didn't think it was really that burnt. To be honest it isn't really that burnt – there's a tiny white bubble close to the inside of my nail – but it's still not very nice.

Waffling

I'm going to be able to get on the net today as they're going out for lunch but I'm still writing this on the netbook. It's partly because I like writing on the netbook and partly so I can get used to the keys. The keyboard is very different to the one I'm used to so the more writing I do the better I get. I've always been a fast typer – I have lots of practice – so I have this habit of hitting the wrong button all the time. I am getting better now, even after only writing on it properly for a couple of days, although my finger does sometimes slip so I have the wrong letter in the middle of the word. I also have this habit of hitting the letters the wrong way round so I occasionally have a space in the middle of a word or the letters in the word are the wrong way round.

James and I had another argument this morning. I guess I should be used to it by now. He's always a grumpy sod in the morning and I'm the one who drew the short straw so I have the wake him up every morning. I'm just fed up with it. I like it when he sleeps over here because it's really easy to get him out of bed. Just wave a bowl of cereal under his nose and he's awake. It's a lot more difficult on the phone, especially when he keeps falling asleep on me. When he's having a good morning, which are few and far between at the moment, he's great to get up, but when he's having a bad morning... I kind of want to tell him to get himself up, which is selfish really because I want him to see how much he relys on me. Maybe I should tell him to get himself up for a week and see what happens. He might surprise me. Our argument this morning was about him applying for jobs as he wants me to fill out an application form for him while he's working on the car (he thinks there's a petrol leak and I think he's overreacting) which I don't mind doing if  know what he wants me to say. Today I don't know what he wants me to say so I'm worried about filling it in wrong and getting him the job based on my application. He just doesn't seem to understand that and got mad at me, which was followed by him being mad at me because I said I might see him today. He somehow heard that as 'I don't think you'll be able to sort the car out' when all I meant was it might be something big so I was being realistic and saying might. Then he hung up on me. I wonder why I put up with him sometimes.

On a happier note I started a short story last night and I have plans for a few (read few as meaning about 27) more so if anyone is interested let me know because I'm going to put them under a filter. I'm not ready for the whole world to read my writing yet but if I get some good feedback I might open up a couple of the best. I was also thinking of putting my poetry up if anyone was interested in reading it.

My oracle card reading today said it would be a good idea to start up a dream journal so I may try that. I'm not very good at dream journals though. My dreams are always so very weird that I don't think there is any meaning to them. Last nights was weird but I can only really remember the end. I was in this place where they sold girls to people and I was one of the girls there. There was one guy who really liked me and he tried to save me but it didn't work out. It kind of reminded me of one of my ideas for a short story so maybe that's why I dreamed of it. Who knows? Most of my dreams involve supernatural creatures or people I've seen on telly so I can't really see how they mean anything important. Just that I read too much supernatural fantasy and watch too much telly. I have had a few dreams with James in. There is one I can still remember that involved us having a baby but that was a long time ago and I think I know where the meaning is now, looking back. I even had a couple with James in before I even met him which is kinda weird.

I'm also planning on going to the doctor's at some point soon about my knee, not that I think they're going to do anything about it. Nan said it could be a cartilage problem so I'd have to have surgery but I don't know. They'll probably just tell me to take pain killers, which don't actually work on my knee pain. Anyone have any ideas what it may be.

Just got a funny text from James. It was funny because he's obviously got it on predictive text. He said he didn't want to 'waste shoe arguing'. Now that I've written it down it's not so funny but I found it hysterical a couple of minutes ago. It's amazing what I find funny.

Feb. 20th, 2010

Meness

Today is the first day of writing LiveJournal updates on my netbook so I can put them on LiveJournal at a later date. It's kinda cool because I love my netbook (it's a shiny black Toshiba, although the shiny isn't so good as I can't keep it clean) and I don't feel like I've been using it enough for the reason it was actually bought for. So far I've spent most of my time playing solitaire rather than doing any writing at all, even though I bought it so I can write in bed while watching telly. I hate always having to turn the telly round so I can watch it while I'm sitting at the desk. It's not like I even really watch it while I'm writing anyway – it's just in the background and I pay no attention to it most of the time. The rest of the time I watch it rather than writing which isn't good. I prefer listening to music as I can listen to the words without being drawn into a storyline.

So the plan is to write some short stories based around my main novels and maybe post them here if anyone is interested. If no-one is interested I'll probably post one up anyway and see if I get any feedback, then decide whether to go on with it. I may put it under a filter so people who have no interest in reading my awful writing don't have to. Then those who are interested can be added to the filter. It might help me get somewhere with the one novel I really want to get written. If anyone is interested in reading my stories let me know. I may even have a couple done if I can't get on the net for a while. It's also possible I may have written nothing at all.

Writing is the only thing I've ever really wanted to do as a career. I've never been one of these nine to five people – I like being able to work when I feel I can and not work on the days when I'm feeling awful, especially as those days can be pretty regular at the moment. I think that James understand my need to focus on my writing for a couple of years but no-one else in my family seems to. Mum's never really told me her opinion, but then she lives in a bubble most of the time, and Nan thinks I should have some sort of job right now, which I understand, but there are some days when I don't even feel able to get dressed.

That makes me seem like I'm out for sympathy when I'm not. I've never been diagnosed with any problems so it's not as though I have a medical reason for not feeling up to doing stuff. I sometimes wonder if I have some form of depression but I spent so much time in the doctor's surgery when I was a child, mostly because I suffered from stress related rashes, that I absolutely hate going now as I always feel like I'm wasting their time. I guess that what I'm feeling now is probably due to stress so I'm just going to see what happens when I finally move into a less stressful atmosphere for good.

Of course that's unlikely to happen anytime soon. Being unemployed isn't very good when it comes to moving out. James is applying to join the RAF so hopefully something will happen with that sometime soon (he sent his medical records off a couple of weeks ago because he has an enlarged vertabrae in his neck) but then he'll probably be in training for six months as he wants to be a pilot if he gets in. Then if things work out we'll get a place together. We have lived together before so it can work even though he hates me being so untidy. I can understand that because I hate being untidy but it seems that I just can't keep my stuff tidy no matter how hard I try.

I don't think it helps that I keep buying books. I swear it's an addiction. There's just something about opening a new, or second hand, book that makes me feel happy, especially if it's a book in one of the many series' I collect. Being a part of something that isn't my life makes me feel better a lot of the time. I just hate it when the book ends. I can't tell what's worse – a cliffhanger or the end of a series. I also hate it when the story doesn't go the way I want it to. I think both of those things are part of the reason I want to write. Writing my own books will mean I can make things go the way I want them to and as the characters were created in my head their story will never really end.

Feb. 19th, 2010

Random post

Three days in a row... fabulous. This isn't going to last though. Tomorrow Aaron comes home and life goes back to normal (well as normal as my 'family' gets. I shall be writing things on my laptop and then posting when I can get on the net. I hope he finds a job soon so I have freedom during the day.

That wasn't the reason for this post however. I was wondering about my need to get to know people. Most of the people I'm close to are either people I've met on the net or that I'm penpals with because I've had enough of trying to see what's behind a person's mask. I find with writing people are most honest and open. For some reason I don't believe people can lie when writing - they can tell stories but not lie. I'm not sure if it's a stupid belief or not. The only people I really spend time with are James, Mum and Nan; I only fully trust James because I feel I can't really trust my family most of the time.

Anyway if I add you as a friend it's because I want to get to know you. Maybe become friends. I want to make friends with 'real' people too but I'm terrified of being hurt again. James and I have had several discussions about the fact I don't really leave the house unless I'm going to Nan's and that I need to move on but it's not that easy for me. I'm working on moving on but it's going to take time. I need that time to strengthen myself again and become me again rather than some battered thing vaguely resembling the person I once was.

I really can't stick to a subject.

Feb. 18th, 2010

This is amazing...

I'm actually posting twice in two days. I think the pigs may be flying outside.

Anyway this post actually has a reason - that doesn't mean I'm not going to ramble because I don't know how to stop myself most of the time. I'm going to start picking a card a day out of my favourite tarot and oracle decks to post on here. I'm hoping it will help me reconnect with the tarot because I haven't done any readings in forever. I feel bad for that, especially as I know certain of my decks are going to be very very grumpy with me (all of my decks have their own personality).

As well as that I'm thinking of posting some of my poetry and short stories. I'm not sure whether anyone will be interested though. I think it will help me focus on the things I need to do rather than wasting all my time doing absolutely nothing productive. I like being productive. I also may post some short stories I'm thinking of writing connected to my novels. Then I'll see if anyone is interested in the subject matter.

Right now I'm going to go and pick out some cards.

Feb. 17th, 2010

Entry 1 - rewritten about 17 times

I hate this bit. I never know how to begin. At the moment I'm really happy that the delete button exists on a keyboard. If there was no such things as the delete button I think I'd go insane. It's a perfectionist thing I think. It doesn't matter what I'm writing - if I make one mistake then I have to restart it. It's especially annoying when I'm writing a letter to one of my penpals because it means I get through a lot of paper (I hate using any correcting fluid because it still notices that I made a mistake).

I've tried to keep journals before. I'm useless at it. I have no idea why because I'm a writer by trade (well, sort of). It just seems like I'm incapable of writing about my own life. My life is so epically out of my control right now that I don't really want to admit it, even to myself sometimes. There are things that I planned on doing way before now that haven't happened and then there are things that I never believed could happen that have. I'm 21 (although my ditzy brain thinks I'm 22), I'm still living in the 'family' home, and I'm unemployed while dreaming of actually getting something published. Right now I should be working on my writing or studying but I just don't feel like it right now. It's been too long since I felt like writing. All I seem to do at the moment is glare at the telly as though it's the telly's fault that I feel so lost and depressed.

The one good permanent good thing is James. We're coming up to our four year anniversary. I'm amazed he's put up with me and my 'family' for so long. I honestly have no idea what I'd do without him. He puts up with all my moods (most of which are bad at the moment) and with the insomnia that I suffer from most of the time. Of course there are days when I'd quite like to throw him out of the window because he can be so annoying. I know he's only annoying because he's showing me the things I hate about myself but that doesn't change my annoyance with him.

Along with the mood swings and insomnia I also have a bad knee. I think it's from where I ran into a glass pane door knee first, even though that happened nearly a year ago. I should really go to the doctor's but I think they're all useless.

This week has been better. My 'step-father' is currently in Malta because of circumstances out of his control (his Mum broke her hip while on holiday - I do feel sorry for her but I'm so so happy that he's gone). For the first time in almost a year I'm actually comfortable living in my own home. I know it's not going to last so I'm making the most of it. I've been sleeping properly, which ironically is making me feel stupidly tired, and I'm actually relaxed. Of course I never truly relax - my body is always on stress alert - but for me I'm absolutely relaxed.

Having the house to myself while Mum is at work gives me the chance to make the most of having the net. That is why I'm starting this blog and searching for friends. If I wasn't doing this I'd be staring at the computer screen waiting for the Hunter's Horn on Mousehunt and refreshing my email. There's nothing else for me to do apart from play games and I need to be productive. I have things I need to do so writing this may lead to me doing something useful... maybe. I've got hundreds of letters to write because I'm really behind as a penpal - I wish I could just stare at the paper and think the letter at it - so that's one thing on the list.

To be honest this entry was just going to be about my plans for the next couple of months but I seem to have hit the ramble button. I do that sometimes.
  1. Focus on the present and stop wondering about the future.
  2. Complete all letters (by the end of February)
  3. Finish a couple of first drafts
  4. Study more
  5. Try to do more tarot readings
  6. Work out my pagan path rather than just drifting
Well, I think that's it for now.

Dec. 1st, 2009

Facebook Sharna

I entirely blame Allie for the need to write this. I was just on her website reading about Karli and Callie which made me feel the need to write about the most special friend I ever had.

Sharna was more that a dog. She was my sister really because I'd had her since I was six. We supported each other through the bad times and she never judged me for who I was or the mistakes I was making. There must have been times when she disliked me, especially when I used to blast my music and try to get her to dance with me, but she never turned her back on me.

She never ate the food she was meant to have when she was a puppy. It did look very disgusting so I wasn't surprised she hated it. It turned out she preferred a cup of tea and a slice of toast with marmite on for breakfast. Until the last day of her life her breakfast was a cup of tea and a slice of toast. She also liked Weetabix so that was what she ate when she was young. That or porridge when it was cold.

When she was young she spent a lot of time at the vets because she was losing her fur. We found out she was allergic to something in dog food. That was so typical of her - only Sharna would be allergic to dog food. After that we started making her dinner specially - some days it would be mince and vegetables, other days it would be fish, then once a week she would have Weetabix with an egg. On Christmas Day she'd have her Christmas dinner.

She was always the best things about Christmas. Wrapping paper was one of her favourite things to destroy so now things will never be the same. She's not there to help me open my Christmas presents. She also used to love Christmas crackers. We had to get her a cheap set every year so she could make her own bangs. Of course that did mean we had to get the bits from the cracker away from her as quickly as possible otherwise she would have torn the hats to shreds.

She would shred any paper left on the floor. Tissues were another of her favourites so we always knew when she'd found a tissue as it would be scattered all over the floor. When she was young she'd eat anything - crayons, shoes (I had a pair of hedgehog slippers that she liked to chew on the noses of), and my homework. Mum had to go into my school once to explain that the dog really had eaten my homework and it wasn't just an excuse.

It wasn't as though she didn't have enough toys of her own to play with. She had squeeky toys that she liked to leave in strategic places so she'd always know where you were at night if you came downstairs. Her favourite toy was the rope because she could throw that. It nearly went through the TV several times because of her enthusiastic tossing. It got taken away from her after a while because she was dangerous with it.

As she got older I used to wear her out by walking her. We used to really enjoy our afternoon walks and because we lived near a lagoon she used to enjoy paddling. She never learnt to swim. I used to throw rocks into the lagoon just to see if she'd chase them but she never did. (I soon found out that other dogs did chase stones but thankfully they learnt to swim very quickly). Usually she'd give me a look that said 'if you want the stone/stick/whatever it is you've thrown so badly then you get it'. The only thing she would chase was a tennis ball.

Another thing she enjoyed paddling in was mud. She loved mud. If she could get muddy or wet or both while walking she was happy. If there was a puddle she'd missed while on a walk she's make sure she dragged you back to it just so she could walk through it. We used to try to stop her from going through especially muddy puddles but she was having none of it.

One time when we were out walking we were going across mud flats. We were with the whole family and they were avoiding the mud but I was following Sharna. I can still remember the disgusted look she gave me when I got my foot stuck (and lost a jelly shoe). We had to get another pair of jelly shoes after that and I was lucky I kept both of them. On another walk we ended up having to travel across some deep water. Nan and Grandad had to go slowly because they had no shoes on and Grandad had diabetes which meant he couldn't feel his feet properly. Mum and I went across first with Sharna, then Mum left me to go to help Nan and Grandad. When Sharna realised when Nan and Grandad were she decided she had to help too. Mum had told me to hold on to Sharna so I did, even when she was hurtling back towards Nan and Grandad. Nan had to yell at me to let go of the lead. Mum took Sharna back and I stayed to help, which was when my shoe came off. Luckily Mum put her hand down in time to catch it as it floated past thanks to Nan's yell.

Sharna used to like playing with rabbits because we had some. She used to snuffle at them and they used to sit there and let her. When we came across wild rabbits she must have thought they were going to play with her too, but they weren't interested. Instead they ran away so Sharna used to chase them. She never caught them though.

Even though we had cats she never liked them. One day when she was visiting Mum's husband's parents she chased their cat out of it's own house and then ate it's food. That was so typical of her.

To be honest she'd do anything for food. Usually she'd just drool at you until you gave in. She loved fruit, especially apple cores, yoghurt (she used to lick out the pots) and white wine. Nan always bought boxes of wine and she used to give Sharna the bag when she was finished. Sharna used to suck out all the wine she could, then play with the plug thing. She never had a lot but it used to be one of her treats.

Sometimes she'd also eat things that weren't food. One day I came home to find that she's been ill and there was something unusual there. I thought it was a pork chop bone or something like that but it turned out she'd swallowed the wooden doorstep whole. There were no tooth marks on it at all so it was obvious she'd somehow managed to swallow it.

As she got older I was the one who usually cleaned up after her accidents. I didn't mind because I knew it wasn't her fault. Then her back hips went because of her arthritis and it got to the point where we'd have to carry her around sometimes. She wasn't a light dog so it was always difficult if you were alone with her. She used to play it up with me because she knew I'd always help her up. In some ways she was just lazy. She also got deaf but she could always hear the opening of a crisp packet or someone biting into an apple, even if she was outside. It was magic.

I miss her now and I know there will never be another dog like her. Some days she comes back - I've heard her walking around the house, usually at three o'clock in the morning, which was the normal time for her night wanderings. I know that wherever she is she's with Grandad but that doesn't alway help because I want her to be here with me.

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