“Your House”

Your house is a small one
Comprised of thin, chilly brick
But the kettle brings warmth
And the fleece blankets are thick

Your house is cardboard
Pizza boxes and McDonalds’ cartons
But the chatter flows freely
If missing some “thanks” and “pardon”s

Your house is a time bomb
Quietly ticking to explosion
Yet you shine from within
Immune somehow to the corrosion

Your house, I understand
Is now firmly off-limits
And through my relief, I confess
That I think I might miss it.

Sorry for the absence (holiday, A Levels chaos), but I have plans! Also this is from like February, don’t worry, I’m still in a relationship :’)


Am I going mad, or merely dreaming?
My world is shifting too fast to process.
I smile while in my head I am screaming.
Against all logic I still say “yes”.
Because my choice is yes, that much I know,
But what next? After that, what should I do?
A wound is flaring from not long ago,
But without a doubt I know I want you.
The pace is increasing, time flying by.
Each kiss is so painful but not a mistake.
Day follows day and lie follows each lie,
Yet I tread your path with each step I take.
Though my shoulders carry the weight of doubt,
I promise it’s you I can’t do without.

“You’re A Fool” (FMAB; Lingfan)

Disclaimer: Spoilers for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which I don’t own but highly recommend. And yes, I’m literally posting fanfiction here now, blatantly. Lingfan are adorable, and Greed is the best.

“You’re a fool,” he says, and he’s not incorrect.
Her mind is scarred and her body is wrecked,
But she needed to save the Young Lord from harm.
Only she is to blame for the loss of her arm.

“You’re a fool,” she says, and she’s not incorrect.
Blinded by avarice, he chose the prospect
Of evil, in the hopes he could still lead
A country while living in the shadow of Greed.

They’re both fools, he thinks, but he’s incorrect;
They’re driven by loyalty and the deepest respect.
And though they’re irrational, separated by power,
Their hearts will stay connected in their darkest hour.

“Pinhole Glasses”

I remember your chair in the corner
And the times that I sat on your knee.
I remember you were such a hoarder
And that you always spilled your cup of tea.
I remember that I never knew your age
Though that luxury, few can claim,
For instead of protecting the page,
You set your birth certificate aflame!
I remember it was Elvis you hailed
“He’s still alive, you know” you’d scoff.
I remember how you picked at your nails
Even though she used to tell you off.
I remember your wicked sense of humour
Like the bloody, rusted nail through your thumb.
The innocence you would feign to your accuser
Then, “hey Garrick, can you fetch your mum?”
I remember you wore pinhole glasses
Because you thought they improved eyesight,
And that you tried to preach them to the masses
Although any concieved difference would be slight.
I remember how much you always loved me –
In fact, how much I know you love us all.
And I know for a fact, up there you see
Every spontaneous trip and fall.

A few weeks ago, my family experienced the first major, close death it has had in my lifetime. I’m aware this poem includes a lot of inside jokes and references, but it was written raw and it felt wrong to edit it. It’s being posted out of respect and closure, I suppose.

I love you Granddad, rest in peace ❤


What is the tried and tested, perfect response to a stressful time? An impulsive hair decision, of course! However, after ruling out several other options – slashing my waist-length hair into a pixie cut, dyeing the whole lot pastel pink at home – I decided to take a more sensible approach to the impulsiveness; the next week, I was booked for a hair consultation.

My brown hair already had a blonde ombré, which had primarily outgrown, but I didn’t want to just have that redone. I could do that at home! No, I wanted a radical, full-head change.  The whole lot a sunshine blonde. If you’ve ever seen Teen Titans, I was essentially aiming for Terra’s hairdo.

The consultation went swimmingly. I was asked over and over if I was sure (which I was, I confidently assured the woman), and finally, she conceded.

“Salons don’t like doing full-head colonies,” Mum had told me, “because it’s a shock for the client. You have to be very firm.”

So against my nature, I was. And a week after that, I giddily entered the salon and confirmed my wishes, then we were off. This is, inevitably, where things went wrong.

A junior stylist came over. Now I have nothing against junior stylists, and they have just as much potential to be incredible at their jobs, but. But… I wasn’t fully sure about her. Nonetheless, she was qualified and I am not, so I felt I had no place to question. Even when she started dividing my hair as they had done for the ombré prior, and leaving large pieces untouched.

Politely, I asked, “Why are you doing it like that? Sorry, I don’t understand hair, I’m just a bit curious.”

“Well, that’s just how we do highlights,” she eventually answered, sounding slightly put out.

Now truly, I wasn’t trying to be a pain. I just had a hunch there had been a misunderstanding, so I questioned if we were doing the whole head, because that’s what I believed. Growing irritated now, she warned me that I would have a line of roots in four weeks if she just painted it all on, and I hushed up to avoid angering her. After all, I probably didn’t understand her properly. I had been clear, she knew what she was doing; it would be fine.

It wasn’t. Of course it wasn’t, or I wouldn’t be telling the story.

We rinsed it off, and I was faced with disaster. Jarring streaks of blonde glared amidst the muted brown, with a block of pure roots down my parting. Wonderful. Anxiety (boosted with painful disappointment) flared through me, and for some reason I was struggling not to cry. Imagine you had built yourself up for this extreme and daring change, signaling a new point in your life and a willingness to take risks… and then your first risk falls to shambles. You can probably picture my heartbreak. That, combined with the fear of having to live my life with this shoddy look after how much I’d bragged about being blonde, was not good for my brain.

The stylist panicked at my scrunching face, and fetched her manager. He was tragically unhelpful, completely flabbergasted at how I was unsatisfied. In tears, I retrieved my-mother-the-lawyer from work to argue my case, and received a patronizing explanation and finally a second appointment. You see, apparently the stylist has the right to ignore their client, because although it’s your hair, they clearly know best. I didn’t really want all of it blonde – I’d obviously desired streaks instead! Though with a painstaking sigh, they obliged to dye it as I had originally asked. How selfless of them.

I was furious. In teary-eyed despair, I boarded the bus home, fully intending to gobble a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ASAP. Thankfully I had pinged a message to my best friend, who intervened with her puppy and a trip to the TT fairground (possibly more on that soon?), and I resigned myself to my two days of sad hair. And in sheer honesty? It grew on me (pun intended). Although I had no intention of keeping it, I found myself able to leave the house and see people without an anxious meltdown, which was an interesting personal step for me.

And currently, my hair is as blonde as I’d dreamed of it being, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been with it. So there is a happy ending to this tale. My rage at the salon has dissipated, and admittedly, I will be returning for my roots. My most recent stylist was a senior, and she was bubbly and chatty and made me feel welcome. Plus, the ‘do was complimentary after the previous mix-up.

There are no dramatic life lessons in this story, unfortunately. I just felt like sharing. Maybe it’ll give some hope to someone whose hair has also not gone as planned.

Why I Quit My Job

There’s a long answer and a short answer to this. Short answer: I wanted to. Long answer, see below.

If you know anything about A Levels and how they work, you might think it’s a stupid idea to get a job in May of Year 12. Frankly, you’d be correct, though my mother would disagree with you. In a misguided quest to teach me responsibility and workplace skills, she badgered me into doing some job-seeking. I applied for a few and failed to get any interviews, so I assumed she’d let me off because I’d tried and hey, I could do voluntary coaching and build up a career there!

Ultimately I was wrong. Mum and I had gone for an ice cream after a good walk, and woe betide, they were hiring. I agreed to go and ask for a form – I could always “forget” to fill it in on time after all – but within five minutes, someone had fetched the owner and suddenly I was being interviewed. In the middle of the parlour. In complete surprise. In my post-walk sweaty state. Boding well, of course. The interview was a catastrophe (school is not kidding when they insist you rehearse for interviews, being caught unprepared is torturous), but somehow I was accepted for a trial period.

Spoiler alert: I lasted five five-hour shifts. That’s literally it. They were spread over about a month, but that still doesn’t amount to a great deal.

Was it an awful job? No. Was it overly complicated? Not really (I was just a bit rubbish at it). My work consisted of serving ice cream, occasionally blundering over the till, clearing the tables and unloading the dishwasher – only ever unloading, I never got the hang of arranging all the stuff so it would close. I know what you’re thinking: clearly I’m the problem. And honestly? Yeah, you’re right. It wasn’t a horrible job, and it wasn’t impossible work. My anxiety wasn’t even too troublesome initially, to my shock. Nevertheless, it wasn’t right for me.

My first three shifts were quite quiet, and they were decent fun. I liked most of my co-workers, none of my bosses were mean, the shop wasn’t big enough for me to get lost in. It gave me a good opportunity to learn the ropes and the basics. However, this pleasantry did not last. The Isle of Man (where I live, obviously) hosts an annual festival called the TT – it’s a motorcycle event lasting two weeks, and it floods the island with excitement, noise and most importantly, tourists. Fantastic for our economy; atrocious if you work in any kind of retail.

As the influx of TT-goers began to pack the parlour, I quite rapidly understood what the actual job was: dashing around like a mad thing, weaving around the shop, and doing a million things at once correctly. Absolute admiration to anybody who can work in that environment successfully, because golly gosh I cannot. I knew I had to quit when I found myself hyperventilating by the storage freezers, trying to meditate myself away from a panic attack. I finished the shift, had a little cry at home, then quit the next day.

So is the moral of the story to just give up when you struggle? Of course not. Although, it’s not to never give up either. Truthfully, the aesop of this tale is that if you need to quit, it’s okay to do so. Maybe not for good, but just until you’re in a place to handle it.

My mental health has been in shambles this last few weeks. My next poem will give an insight into why, but as always, mental health is unpredictable; I’ve had a lot of unhelpful factors, and it’s culminated in a serious decline. I’m managing, but not completely. I needed to make room in my life and my brain, so I removed the job I knew I could. Like trimming a plant, pruning away the unnecessary leaves to help it grow. Sorry, I’m so tired, it’s been a long week and it still isn’t over.

To return to the point, I understand fully that for some people, axing your job isn’t an option for whatever reason. I don’t have to pay my own bills, and I have other avenues I can venture down that I’ll prefer. Not everybody is that lucky. However, I’m almost certain that there is something in your life you can afford to take a break from at least. It might only be a week or two, or it might be longer. The crucial thing to remember is that your mental state is more important than anything else, and you need to take that time to look after yourself and get back to your spirits. Also, it’s okay to do that. Cut yourself some slack 🙂

Wise words I once heard were “talk to yourself as you would a friend”. If you told a struggling friend off for attempting some self-care, you would not have that friend for long. In my case, I would never force a friend to keep a job that was adding stress they could opt out of, especially during an already-turbulent period. So make friends with yourself, because it’ll change your life in the long run. That’s something I’ve been working on this month.

I’ve done my infamous tangent-ing again, I apologise. But yes, I quit my job because it was the best decision I could make for myself and my mental health at that time, and that’s okay.

It’s always okay to look after yourself, as long as you’re not actively hurting anyone else.