Brief encounters: re-visiting acquaintances from a year gone by – 15/01/17

I finished my journal a couple of weeks ago in a weird coincidence that obeyed the rules of the Gregorian calendar. Completing a notebook is a similar feeling to finishing a book, except with extra hand cramp. Before the final pages had been filled, I re-read it, and was reminded of some characters I briefly met that had a weirdly profound and lasting effect on me. Here are words summing them up. 

Festival goers inhale laughing gas at sunrise at the stone circle on the second day of Glastonbury music festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset

To the boy with a shaved head trying to flog two bags of coke and ket at Glastonbury this year – congrats! You’ve made my top three brief encounters of 2016. How are you? I’ve been reminded of you more than once since June, and each time I am, it makes me smile a bit. This might sound a bit VICE, but I’ve never met someone so into drugs in such an excessive way, and the way you went about it was admirable and a bit brilliant.
I went all heart eyes for your infectious joie de vivre, which – in a field of festival-goers – wasn’t sparse, but yours seemed totally authentic: committed to the (chemical) cause. We were all sat at the Stone Circle during the Sunday night/Monday morning merge, and I let you kiss me a tiny bit while I was holding the hand of a newly-instated friend I’d first met earlier that day, who lay passed out on the grass among all the popping canisters. You were giggling with your best mate the whole time I was there: a right pair, out of your heads, hopelessly devoted to each other.

You were supposed to be working the get-out for Coldplay’s closing set in a few hours’ time, but decided to (rather sensibly) sack it off and continue to cane it instead. Hope the two of you had a mad sesh planned for New Year’s Eve. And, separately, to the group of sixth form boys we met in the whiskey tent at 6am, drowsy on Valium, I hope you passed your A-levels. You will all be fine.


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To the man I met outside Liverpool St. station in September holding a bag full of meat, I hope you got on with your brother all right. We met when I was waiting to meet a friend for lunch, and you were sat there looking noticeably nervous, with a plastic bag filled to the brim with pork.

You told me you were waiting to meet your brother who you hadn’t seen for nine years – and you’d just come from a charcuterie class. Whatever it takes to calm your nerves, I suppose. I’m glad I was there to witness the physical reunion of you both, experiencing a truly dramatic Slice of (Someone Else’s) Life.

I hope the rest of your date went as swimmingly as the reception did, and I wonder if you spent Christmas together. If so, I really hope you supplied the Christmas ham.



Alejandro*, my first crush on a Catalan boy that took place in Berlin during August, thanks for stepping in to my summer trip at exactly the right time – when I desperately needed someone to make out with at all the major sightseeing spots. Sorry I got so uptight about you not paying the train fare to go to east Berlin for the day, but I’m quite into paying for public transport (and secretly riding the S-Bahn was an affordable tourist attraction I was more than willing to pay for). Not paying did make you look really cool though.

Perhaps the most romantic thing that’s ever happened to me was when I walked you to the train station in the morning so you could jump the train to Amsterdam (transport troubadour), but then you called an hour later to say you were back at the hostel – and would I like to go to the zoo? (Answer: always yes.) You were my total guy for three days, and I will never forget that time in the Photoautomat booth. Happy new year, babe.



*Names have been changed to protect only the innocent

“I love you, Internet- but I just don’t like you anymore” & “my old friend, the scrapbook”

Hey! In this post I’m writing about the Internet! All users of the Internet definitely will find this interesting. Oh, wait- that’s you, isn’t it?

I wrote here before about the headaches of the Internet, which you can read about  here.  In the post, I started to tap (har har tap, as in tapping on the keyboard) about my agg with this beast, which I said I’d write about soon. Today is soon! Before you get all righteous and suspicious…like, “Hey, this chick SAYS she has itchings with the Web, yet she’s writing a blog!! She’s using the internet! She’s a hypocrite!” I’m not I swear, I love the Internet!

I love the internet as a thing, without the internet I wouldn’t know about half of the books I’ve purchased cheaply for pennies on Amazon, I wouldn’t have been bothered to learn the guitar, only being able to learn old stuffy songs in dusty books on the top of Dad’s wardrobe, (like, I can maybe see why people like Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence, but please can I learn the chords to this instead? Oh wow, I can?! Gee, thanks Internet!)

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Just to prove it’s all I do

Ugh, I love it so much. But I deleted my Facebook this week. I was sitting on my bed, listening to Horses, (again, all I ever do is listen to Horses) and I remembered what I said once, I must have been about 12. I said, “Oh, yeah I’ll delete Facebook when I’m 18, so I can live without having to document everything on line, and actually start to live.” So I just did. Now, my friends would laugh at this, my best friend once saying that I used to delete my Facebook more than I had a period, but now, we have so many other cool ways to utilise the Internet (hey WordPress! Hey Twitter!) I thought, why should I feel obliged to have it? It’s not creative, it’s no longer for me. Sure, I used to get my thrills from sending potential crushes pictures of baby seals, but this technique didn’t ever work- apart from one who replied with “is this a virus”

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to write about. There are other ways of documenting your life, on PAPER form. (HEy you’re writing a blog you’re jfsiahfakk…)

I found my old scrapbook earlier! I think I started this around 3 years ago, and I have about 7 free pages left. They’re just scrappings of old magazine pages that I thought too precious to chuck away, but they’ve brought back a hella memories of my different tastes, and how my likes have changed. Lookee here:

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This is from the first page. As with all first pages, one always feels obliged to make A HUGE EFFORT so I even went 3D with it, by terrifyingly taping worry dolls down to the pages. I love the first few pages, because they showed that although I didn’t know what I wanted to do whilst scrapbooking, I was enthusiastic, and now when I look at everything altogether, those first pages seem so different, but still sweet.

Next, is this page about SUBCULTURE, which probably came hand in hand with my discovery of riot grrl and No Doubt. So, I’d fallen for Courtney- and these ‘Pamflet Commandments’ were my life mantra for a while. Pamflet, a former zine and now a website, was my first real education into feminism and how it’s the best lifestyle choice.

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“WWCD?”

And then comes the frantic scrapping, going out buying old poetry books, ripping and sticking. DH Lawrence remains a favourite poet, which I no doubt would have forgotten about if I hadn’t pasted him in my book.

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Also: fashion I liked, once. And still do. Hey, it’s in the book- I’ll always have a thing for everything in the book.

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Documented here is the first time I used COCKTAIL sticks for nail art. I’d badly and neatly scrapped a page full of Jean Seberg, after watching ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ so fucked it up with gross old nail art sticks. Better.

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Sometimes just for newspaper articles I’ve enjoyed:

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And now for the greatest thing of all. By this time, I’d pretty much got the hang of old magazine cut outs, I wanted something else that would feel a bit more personal to me. You know those pictures that you’d never post to the internet because you’re not in the right angle, you have too much sunburn, your smile is a bit too teethy? They’d make it into the book.

Prom photos that didn’t make the cut:

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And when I went to Barcelona with my friends. I have so many great photos, but these ones were too dark, or blurred- but now I prefer them for their imperfections. I think we try so hard to forget that some things aren’t completely perfect, everythings photoshopped, drunk status updates deleted. They still happened, moron.

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On a really drunk shopping spree through a souvenir shop, I tore this “100 euro” note off a toilet paper roll….id won the lottery

 

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And that’s that. I still have my seven or so pages to fill. It’s nice, because most of it is essentially rubbish, but when things are all collated together that you really like, you end up really really liking your scrapbook.

I’d love to hear about your guilty memories stashes.

Keep reading, and thanks for doing so.

Tara X