Sunday, 20 December 2015

Halcyon

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Sometimes, it was hard for me to tell you the truth because it would impair your memory, and our story might be broken.

We all have that person in life that we remember, even when we don't want to.

It means nothing, except that they changed us. It means they helped us belong to someone else.

When I remember you, I remember atrophy and half smiles.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

The Last Time

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Most people don't know when it's the last time. For most of us, change is abrupt. We don't know that the last time is coming, or that these moments are finite. We don't know it's time to write the ending, or that we'll try to rewrite it's final word.

I think our stories are some of my favourites to tell. I write about you more than the rest, because you have an equal opportunity to become the hero or villain of the story. I never quite know which one you'll be until the very end. Usually, my words tip the scales in your favour.

For a time, there had been radio silence between us. There were different people and other bodies, and there were times I blamed you for my behaviour. You didn't know this, of course. Our dalliance came full circle a year after it began, and I threw myself away soon after.

Friday, 21 August 2015

The Old Me



Sometimes, I can't remember who I used to be.

My memory became my manipulator as soon as everything fell apart, and I started all over again. I tried to remember the things I used to do and say and love. My memory started to tell me that it was all so easy back then. In truth, it probably wasn't.

I've found my way to old friends again, and we talk about who we used to be. I remember that we were sloppy and impulsive. We've all changed so much, but I can't help feel the pressure pump it's way through my bloodstream. It's a hot sting, and it comes back to me every time I see someone achieving things that I can't. I see these old benchmarks for adulthood, and I see you collecting trophies and memories. It strikes me that I don't have any of these things, not yet and maybe not ever. I don't have my name on a book, or on savings accounts or mortgages. I don't have a ring on my finger, and I don't have an overwhelming desire to produce a miniature version of myself.

I wonder if it's because I've changed who I am. I wonder if it's because I'm softer than before. Mostly, I wonder if I should be proud of the person I've become.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Date Night at The Smoke Haus, Cardiff

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I'll tell you the truth, Rhys and I enjoy any kind of time together that involves food. Some couples go to the gym together, or drink cocktails in the Bay. We like to eat, and it's all very romantic, I'm sure. We aren't ones to shy away from a challenge, or an excuse to eat all of the carbs. I know what you're thinking- "These two are couple goals." So when we were invited for a meal to celebrate The Smoke Haus' first birthday, we jumped at the chance. Well, there wasn't actual jumping- broken ankle problems and all that.

The Smoke Haus is a low lit space with exposed brick and hoards of framed photos of American icons. Imagine TGI Fridays without the glorified spectacle, and without overly chirpy (and singing) staff. Although it's dim lighting and dark decor may seem a little too gritty if you've never been there, it emulates everything that you would expect to see in an American bar. The restaurant showcases remarkable attention to detail, which is something I really appreciate in a themed eatery. By using a remote app on your iPhone, you can also control the music in the venue by voting for songs in the playlist. Thanks to us, the other guests enjoyed a wonderful noughties mix of Blink 182, Foo Fighters and Will Smith.

Friends With Benefits

I can't quite remember feeling like we were strangers. I know that we are friends now, in every sense of the word. It took me a while to see this, and to identify the heart of the matter. To really understand this peculiar dynamic, I hunted through collections of messages and notebooks until I found my source. Of course I went searching for evidence, as any amateur journalist would. Some of my memories were met with eye rolls and amusement, while others were a trigger to parts of me best forgotten.

We are not in constant contact, nor do we need to be. Something about me, and something about you, feels familiar. We stripped down old stereotypes and ignored the rule that says we can't be friends. We know that we were once important to each other, but we know what this is- and what it always was. There is no foolishness in our friendship, only the shadows of people we used to know.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Thanks For Firing Me



The most insulting thing you could ever say to me, is that I'm stupid.

Call me bossy or boisterous, and call me aggressive because I'm a woman with a brain.
If you call me stupid, you might unravel me.

Two days ago, I was a scared little girl beaten by bad luck. I stood at a crossroads, and pulled the pin out of a grenade. I had no compass or atlas, no obvious direction towards my future. All I had was myself, and not much was left. Today, I'm starting my life all over again.

I spent weeks, maybe months trying to find something perfect to write about. I spent the longest time trying to evict shadows and exorcise self doubt, and I spent nights worrying that I was losing the ability to tell a story, especially my own. My life kept changing, and there was no record of any of it.

All I remember is landing on a rough charcoal side street.

I don't necessarily remember how I fell, only that I did.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

How to Save A Life


In the end, we couldn't save you.

For 3 months, we did.

It doesn't matter how it happened, and grief is unaltered by circumstance and uninformed excuses. Everyone is always interested in the "Why?" and the "How?", but I don't care too much about that. Neither should you. Life is life, no matter how it comes to it's end.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

I Didn't Love You

new york imageLong after I slammed down the phone, you still thought I loved you.

I heard her breath behind you, quiet through static. 

Two years and eight days. 

I didn't love you, I needed a way out.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Last Yellow Taxi

new york imageIt was one last trip, and it was locked in silence. The wind forced it's way through a cracked window, and I held my hands around one last cup of coffee. I was drinking it black, an uncharacteristic move due to a sharp nervousness in my stomach. It was although my body was preparing for me to pull the pin from the grenade, it felt as though everything I had known before had vanished in smog. We had taken one last taxi ride, encouraged by the misfortune that my suitcase had lost it's unruly wheels- which made the train seem like a disastrous idea.

I left New York on a cloudless afternoon on January 5th 2013, and everything was magnified beneath the snappy winter sunlight. After eight days of adventures and shameless parade, it was like I had been restored to my old self again. This trip was like my grand finale of my twenty second year. I could not shut off the voice that told me, "Everything is going to matter now." I knew that this goodbye would last longer than the rest.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Chuck's Rescue: Saving a Deaf Dog

american bull dog photoOn a Sunday morning in May, he looked up at me with a vague sense of familiarity. His grey speckled snout was bleeding from distress in a concrete block, and he looked vacant. He leaned into me, and I knew what to do.

I knew that he was my dog.

By this point, I had been walking him every weekend for six weeks. I became a volunteer at Cardiff Dogs Home after meeting him outside Pets at Home, and although I walked other dogs, I would always walk him first. He would drag me down the lane, and steal a Starbucks cookie out of my sister's hand. 

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Doubt, Multiplied

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What if I wanted to be a lawyer, a doctor, or maybe a lecturer?
I can argue any case, and tell any story.
I can be resourceful, ruthless or sympathetic.

I have never had any doubt in my mind about where I've been going. Growing up, I had always had a direction and an end game. In the space between careless hot breath and woven words were ideologies and purpose. I was positively bothersome about it, and my certainty would often waver on arrogance.

In hindsight, I could have chosen something more lucrative, and something with a straight path instead of a derelict road cluttered with hopeless wordsmiths and clusters of unlucky ones. I chose a career that doesn't want me, at least not yet. I chose words, and stories. I ask that you do not mistake these statements as a masquerade of self pity and wisdom, but accept them as I have. I hand picked a world of horrors and growing pains and I chose a career with no currency.

Now, it strips my lungs of fresh air, and it makes me panic.

Inhale. Exhale. Ignore. Move on.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Mentor I Never Had: David Carr

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"Keep typing until it turns into writing."

In 2012, I stood outside The New York Times Building twice. I was wandering through silver streets and my hands were rigid from the bleakest chill of January, but I found it. Both days were bone achingly bitter, and both days I walked away, marching further into the cold.

The New York Times represented the win to me, it embodied the endgame. It was credibility, and it was the castle of the masters. To me, The New York Times was the dream. To me, It was David Carr stood outside it's front doors, fingers clamped around a white cigarette. Twice I stood there, wondering if he had done so too that day. Twice I was too afraid to walk inside. I hoped that ambition would be my anchor, and that it would bring me back. I believed I'd follow my love of a story back to the city one day, and that day would be when I would make it. Then I would finally get the chance to hear his words firsthand. It wasn't my time.

The truth is that I didn't have the hustle, or the guts. And now I'll never get the chance to hear him tell me so.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Man I Take For Granted

I don't tell you enough.
I don't call you enough either, I know that.
I could text you, but I'm not sure you would read it.

I'm your daughter, and I don't tell you that I appreciate you.

I like to think that you know that I do, because you too are silent in your own appreciation for others. I don't want you to think that I've forgotten about you.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

You Can't Save Someone Who Doesn't Want Saving

In this world, there are innocents. There are beautiful things, and there are useless, broken things.

I take in these broken things, and strays.

My parents will tell you that I bring in stray cats, and my partner will tell you that I foster stray people. I let them in, feed them and then they don't really leave. I guess they're kind of like cats, too.

I'm always invested in their story.

Monday, 9 February 2015

The Internet Bullies We All Know

"She's such a slut."
"He's so disguting."
"That skinny bitch needs to eat a sandwich."
"They're just angry because they're ugly and jealous."

This is not what the Internet is for.

The internet should be this: It should be a playground of ideas and digital extensions of the human experience.

It should be where we can educate ourselves, and heal our hearts.

It should be about discovery.

It should be a world separate to the one we live in, a world where we can control the rules. 
Except, that's just wishful thinking.

Because everyone is a keyboard warrior, and we are not friends.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Identity Thief: Steal Kylie Jenner's Style

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Danielle Arapis as Kylie Jenner

Its all about new money, quick judgement and sculpted skin.
It's the gossip columns and Chinese whispers, and it's the time of the Kardashian/Jenner dollhouse.
Strands of black hair crayoned with teal chalk, and attitude of inherited wealth and Hollywood sob stories accessorise the curt retorts and dry humour. This is the Kylie Jenner front.

You imagine forced selfies and over filled lips. You see exuberant youth and privileged cavorts with teenage lovers and friends. You see life you don't understand, and money you can't count.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Pressure To Be Better

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They say "the pressure is good for you, darling."

Nothing makes me want to be a better writer, a great writer, like reading other great writers. I don't mean famous literary icons or journalists, I mean people like you. Human beings with stories to tell, and words to toy with.

But nothing scares me more than the realisation that there are better writers, more accomplished and wise with experience. At times I am animated by a puppetry of motion, electric with ambitious ideas and voltaic words. Sometimes, I'm incredibly proud of the things that I have done and the words I have said, until I read someone else's. Then comes the lump in my throat that forces me to admit, maybe I'm not as good as I think I am.

Creating a Photoshoot For Nichelle Jewellery

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Danielle Arapis and Nia Jones
After creating and shooting the identity theft of a Pretty Little Liar, myself and Danielle were approached to work with Nichelle Jewellery, a local business based in Cardiff. We collaborated with it's owner Luke Richard to stage our own photo shoot to use on social media.

Early Tuesday morning hours were spent combing through loose curls and lining tired eyes, and we spent countless moments framing faces and adjusting lights. This was our second project as a team, but this time it wasn't just for us and we were also throwing another face into the mix. 

Each girl was told to be themselves, and there was some apprehension. Pretending to be somebody else is easy, but letting people see who you really are is not.

Monday, 19 January 2015

We All Have Someone That We Used To Know

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Last year felt like I was headed for a one way collision, and it was 12 months of tired eyes dazzled by bright lights and headlights. It was a year of tattle tales and secret keepers, scarlet letters and dirty labels. It was 365 days of broken people just trying to make it. We ended the year with different people than we started it with, and we switched sides.

When I think about the people that have ran in and out of my life, or the ones I've exiled from it, I feel like I'm staring down a hall of magic mirrors, filled with reflections of myself that I can't avoid. On the last night  of the year, instead of staring into glitter and champagne flutes, I got stuck in the past. New Years Eve became a time warp.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Identity Thief: Steal Aria Montgomery's Style (Pretty Little Liars)


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This is the day you meet her, but it's not as herself. Her name is Danielle Arapis. Some of you know her, but most of you don't.
Today, she stole Aria Montgomery's identity.

Next week, we will perform another identity heist, and she will become somebody else.
Danielle is a thousand different people all at once, and it is about time you meet them all.
We are both quixotic hybrids of humans, and sometimes we are pretty little liars.

After a two month break from blogging, I've entered the New Year with a brand new mini project for my dusty and adored corner of the internet. I've enlisted the help (and face) of one of my best friends, Danielle Arapis, and together we'll be recreating our favourite looks from celebrities, television and whatever we're loving on Instagram. We'll be stealing identities, looks and personalities from the characters and humans that reflect parts of ourselves. We'll be collaborating with local businesses as well as each other, while she works on a modelling portfolio and I try to balance deadlines, blog posts, and a full time job. Basically, we're helping each other out- and we'd love for you to get involved. Give us a little feedback, or tell us who you want her to become.

Friday, 9 January 2015

The Contradiction of Individuality: We All Judge Each Other

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“Are you proud of yourself tonight that you have insulted a total stranger whose circumstances you know nothing about?” 
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Millennials, as a general rule, are less judgmental than our predecessors. We are waging our own war against unnecessary prejudice, and we know better than to indulge a narrow mind. We are often lost but sometimes found, we are explorers and romantics. We are old soul daydreams and moments of new age digital wizardry. Yet somehow, someone somewhere wants answers from us. They want you to repent your sins, and explain yourself. Someone you know has decided it's Judgement Day, and they want your truths. Who are you?