Primrose Hill


In days gone by, long before gaming consoles, mobile phones and in fact generally most of technology, our playground was the great outdoors. I’ve always been a country girl, ten minutes one way and you were in the sprawling countryside and ten minutes in the other you were at the sea, the best of both worlds some might say, and they would be right.

Imagination played a big part in most of my endeavours, because it really did open up the world around me, endless possibilities arising from the sometimes mundane every day.

One day, while venturing literally five minutes from my home I discovered the most beautiful place that I have never forgotten, I named it ‘Primrose Hill’.

The funniest thing about Primrose Hill was the fact that there was no actual hill. The process of reaching it however did pose a few problems and may have been considered a bit of a virtual hill to climb.

Firstly you had to walk through a field of cows, which I have to say sometimes scared the bejeesus out of me, especially when the bull was in residence. It was hard to traverse around the cow pats when you were trying to keep one eye on the ground and one on the livestock.

Secondly, there was a fence. These days I’d look at it and think, oh it’s a fence, but when I was younger it felt like a 10 foot wall. On my first excursion I considered turning back, but I was a curious child, so I carried on regardless.

Next was another smaller field, the grass longer here because there was no access for animals to be put in to graze. This was also the first glimpse of the primroses, little clumps of gorgeous yellow peeking through the brownish green.

At this point I must actually correct myself, because there was a small hill, a gentle incline, but nothing more. Easier to climb than the fence, it was the gateway to what I can only describe as pure heaven below.

There before me was Primrose Hill. Low hanging trees bowed down to the water which was in the form of a beautiful meandering river, touched only by sunlight and a few fiesty insects who dared to descend. On the bank of the river were stones, smooth and worn from years of being greeted by the rising and falling current of the water. Everywhere else there were primroses, turning their little heads to the sun, basking in the light falling between the trees. I was captivated.

It hard to put into words how beautiful it was, how the light fell on the water illuminating the ripples and stones underneath, the sound of the river bubbling by, the birds singing in greenery and the gentle breeze rustling through the grass making the little primroses shiver despite the warmth of the sun.

Do I make it sound whimsical and magical, well that’s because to me, in that moment, it was.

It was a step away from the ordinary into the something quite special. I felt like an intrepid explorer must when they discover new lands. I didn’t write back then, however had I, I can imagine many words would have been written in ‘Primrose Hill’

I have doubts that now, or even then for that matter that the place about which I am writing looked quite as magical as I remember, but then isn’t that where the aforementioned imagination comes into play. Regardless of what others might have thought, Primrose Hill became my playground for a summer and it still lives on in my heart.

It comes in waves

I’ve written before about the fact that I am not always able to remember some of the small details of my life. I’ve also said I’d like to document them, but it’s really hard to document nothing. Other times when I have a flash of inspiration I have nothing to hand on which to write them down, so the moment passes and the pages stay blank.

One constant in my life however has been the sea. I have never been too far from it and this is something I do not take for granted.

When I was younger it was my go to place when things were rough and the bumps in life had risen up to meet me. Unlike others though, I chose the beach when it was dark and rough. The roar of the tide as it crashed to the shore was a comfort to me, along with my walkman and a ten pack of cigarettes. I never wanted to leave to go home, but begrudgingly I did, I couldn’t stay there forever.

I avoided the beach in the summertime though, too many people jostling and angling for any little bit of available sand on which to pitch their windbreakers. It didn’t feel like a safe haven then, so it was better to stay away.

In the early Autumn was best, because summer was just passing and the cooler air had not yet started to descend so it was still warm enough to lie on the stones staring at the stars while listening to the calming rhythm of the waves rolling onto the shore.

Even now, on days when my anxiety needs to be calmed I stand outside my door and just listen, the sound faint but still there. Such is the world now that I would not sit on the beach alone, but I can still dream of the days when I did.

Those gut feelings…

Do you ever hope you are wrong about someone, that the gut feeling that you have that something is not right, is just that, a gut feeling that is never going to change into anything else. I have that hope, a lot.

I usually never voice my fears because it is hard to know if they are true or sometimes driven by jealously or hurt. I feel things more deeply than I would like and find it hard to let go, thanks over analysing brain! So like my ex friend for example, I can’t voice my concerns to him because he is just going to think I’m bitter, I am a little, he walked away from someone he allegedly cared about, but that aside I still have reservations about his other half and her intentions towards our friendship, but hey, it’s not my problem any more.

The public face is another one. I wear a mask most of the time, but still I speak my truth if anyone asks me, and often times the mask slips because I cannot lie or be someone I am not. The public face is a persona people portray but it is only as time goes on that you start to see the real person underneath, not necessarily because they want you to, but because they are unable to keep up the facade.

I am not perfect and never would I profess to be. Life’s difficult and along the way it leaves a wake of casualties, whether they be showing as scars on my heart or those of others.

Anxieties aside I get things wrong, but instead of realising I am human I berate myself with the would ave, should ave, could aves. I wonder sometimes if my past mistakes lead directly into my future, cosmic karma dealing it’s own particular brand of justice for my many misdemeanours.

When will I realise that I am enough. When will I realise that it is OK to be wrong about someone without it directly being my fault. When will I realise that I do not need to make apologies for being me.

On this occasion I hope I am wrong about myself and that there is still time for change.

The need to find space

I’m socially awkward, but allegedly the life and soul of the party when I am comfortable. This is not something I choose, it is something that crept up on me. It is something that happened and it is something I do not know how to fix.

Sometimes I feel lonely, because despite the fact I am always there for other people, oftentimes when I need someone there is no one there for me. Other times I need people to just step away and let me be myself without the need for explanation. Sometimes I crave the loneliness.

I am sick and tired of having to try and explain myself and my anxieties to people over and over again, I shouldn’t have to. I need people to actually hear what I am saying and love me regardless of what they feel are my quirks and faults. I am acutely aware of them, and while I might not always be jumping for joy about their existence, they are a part of me, they are some of the small pieces that form the bigger picture.

I hate people who tell me to do things when I am anxious ‘to take my mind of it’, yeah cos I haven’t tried that a thousand fucking times before, an anxious brain cannot always be quietened, in fact it can be so noisy that it shuts out eveything else. You just have to brace yourself, hang on, attempt the coping skills you can actually remember and weather the storm.

Anxiety is not something you can just get over or shake yourself out of, it takes hard work, a rewiring of your brain and it is extremely tiring, don’t you think many of us haven’t wished we could wake up one morning and it would just be gone. I know I have.

I’m trying, its not like I do nothing. I know my thoughts can be irrational, of course I do, I know that sometimes my worries are unfounded, and on a daily basis I counter them as best as I can. I am a work in progress and it is ongoing. I do not need to be pushed and cajoled into doing things to ‘take my mind of it’, I need people to leave me the fuck alone so my brain can have some quiet, I have enough on my mind without adding guilt to the mix as well.

I have social anxiety and I’m beginning to wonder sometimes if it is by choice.

I’ve been thinking…..

That’s quite dangerous, me thinking, it usually leads to trouble or me making more work for myself. I’ve been thinking that I want to keep a diary…the chronicles of my wonky top box. I’ve been thinking this for a while in fact, but I never seem to lift a pen and put it to paper despite having a millions journals in which I could write.

I want to be able to remember, everything, even the small seemingly unimportant details, the problem is I only ever seem to write when my mind is troubled, so the chances of me setting my backside onto a seat to journal every day is pretty slim. I could be given 10 outta 10 for good intentions though right?

If I was journalling to remember this month, I would tell you that my best friend is pregnant. I’m the only one of the friends who knows right now and I am over the moon for her, it’s been a long time coming. That said it’s also causing me anxiety because I know she is going to have expectations of me that I am not going to be able to fulfil. I would never have said I was particularly maternal, the romantic notion of having children wore off as I got older and anxiety took its grip on me. I think both myself and my disillusioned romantic inner child realised that I was having a hard enough time looking after myself so to add a younger version into the mix would have thrown me completely over the edge.

Then there is the babysitting. To someone with anxiety (well me anyway) this is a big thing. These people have spent so long wanting this child and it was not an easy road for them, so the thought that they might want me to look after it has me freaking the fuck out….I mean what if something happens on my watch, how would I ever live with myself. Now I know this is not rational thinking, but that’s my brain for you…welcome to my world….it’s hell sometimes! The problem is I need my friend to actually listen to me and not just tell me I will be doing something when I say I do not want to.

The other thing I would tell you is that one of my former work colleagues is really ill, as in it was touch and go for a while. Even though we have not had contact for a while, once I heard the news I could not get her out of my mind. I’ve always been the kind of person who takes people at face value, sure everyone will offer you their opinions of someone, but I like to take time to form my own. That was the case with this work colleague as before we met people had plenty of things to say and advice to give, so much so that I was actually starting to get a little nervous. But do you know what, we got along just fine and I had some really fun times while working with her. I really hope she pulls through.

I’d also tell you that I have been thinking a lot about my person lately and also failed friendships. I still struggle with how easily someone can walk away from a person they had previously said meant so much to them. I was talking to my friend T the other day and we were discussing my low self confidence and I said I thought some of it stemmed from failed friendships. How can I have trust or believe that I meant something to someone when they can just turn around and walk away from me like I never existed. Instead I am left with this legacy of asking people if they still want to be friends which almost has the effect of pushing them away.

Point to remember – when someone with low self confidence tells you they think they are bad at something or failing at something, they don’t want to you rhyme off the reasons they are not, they don’t do it to seek praise, they do it because that is actually how they feel regardless of whether it is true or not. Nine out of ten people with self confidence will not know how to deal with any compliments you pay them, because even if you said it one thousand times a day they would not believe it.

Anyway I have rambled on enough for today, it’s time for a shower, I’ve been cleaning and I stink!

Going all in

This is me, but I cannot decide if it is a good thing or a bad thing.

It seems of late that giving my all has resulted in nothing but pain and I feel it, that sadness and disappointment weighing me down.

I cannot understand why people lie, or why they choose to tell you what they think you want to hear, rather than the truth. I know the truth hurts, I know this first hand, that stark stab of realisation when eveything finally becomes clear, but the lies hurt too, because while your heart wants to believe, deep down your head knows that something is not right.

People come and go, it is a fact of life, but I feel the loss of someone I care for like a physical pain. I wonder what I did wrong, because my lack of self confidence has me believe that everything is my fault. I question myself and doubt myself and swear I will never open myself up to anyone ever again. But still I do it.

I rarely see the flaws in others, but I know they exist, I am not the only one who is not perfect. After time has passed sometimes I am able to see, able to understand that what I thought was a good balanced friendship was actually extremely one sided. I realise that I was giving without ever receiving. I realise that more often than not I had unwittingly become someone who changed my ways to suit that of others.

When will I realise that I matter, that what I want matters and that people can also be as lucky to have me as I am them.

Did these people deserve my friendship, did they cherish it as much as I cherished theirs, probably not, but I believe that people come into our lives for a reason, so regardless of the outcome I guess we have to honour that.

I used to believe that all the heartache and effort had to mean something but now I do not know. I wonder sometimes how many more knocks I will take before I eventually stop trying to pick myself up and carry on. I don’t want to give up, but I am tired, so I carry on regardless going all in, keeping my word and going the extra mile for those I care for.

Just like life, there is always light in the dark.

A yearning to write

I had plenty of time to write last week but I didn’t. Every time thoughts entered my head I had no desire to either turn on my computer or take out my phone to jot down the many random ideas that crossed my mind. Instead I had a yearning to revert to old fashioned ways, that of pen and paper.

It is a long time since I have felt that craving. Mainly the thought of someone being able to read my words worries me, which is stupid when you think about it considering I have a few platforms where I write online for all the world to see. It feels different though when there is a chance that those close to me might be able to read what I think, for I genuinely believe they have no idea of the muddled mess that inside my wonky top box can be.

But I didn’t write, even though I should have, something else always got in the way, always gets in the way and then the moment is gone and what I had to say no longer seemed to be important.

I need to learn that it is important. It is important to clear my head of the clutter and to make sense of the muddle. It is important for healing and for a healthier mind. It is important that I take time for myself, instead of putting others first.

One day at a time my friend, one day at a time…..