A whole year & another birthday

For as long as I’ve had this blog, I have never failed to post a little something on my birthday. So, it’s a bit late this year – my birthday was on Saturday – but I’ve put this together: it’s basically a few pics going back over the last 12 months. To be quite honest, I’ve enjoyed this short walk down memory lane, though I appreciate none of you will know the moments and stories behind the pics so this is really for me rather than anyone else. I’ve gone from blonde back to Brunette this year and it feels right as I’m in a really good place right now, I’m back to being me – fully and unapologetic-ally.

Here are all my blurry and not at all professional snapshots.

B44E75E7-662E-48AD-856A-97EF1D191A88

54E2C1B7-AE7F-4205-8F3C-037552F51BFC
I can totally do sweet and innocent…

804AF1EA-8611-4A70-84C9-0F308ACBF951

DFD65B83-465D-41C7-96BD-E61512EFC145
I was on my way to a ‘free speech’ rally in London (yes, again!)

04D3F4FB-133A-4D94-86D1-6246A5BCB094DC93EBF3-3295-4BAC-9FDE-5F554B5430E4

57C52642-BE54-4C5F-8C1F-C5F2664232B9

78C19EAF-0156-4B21-B5A9-E546A8988CE1
Last year, we – France – won…
444FE226-6FE6-4192-B624-A4FE3D0807E8
The World Cup!! This is the day of the final and I’d been ill for 3 days but who cared? Not me

300DB823-B1B1-4B2F-A092-8D8E60AEA08F

322746B2-9B78-4B81-8D39-9D1F8BEBA85C
Mermaid-like

CC8B2FB7-1099-47CC-AE5D-D447BF9A4BCA

ABC3BF59-7107-4C69-9399-8C805937AC13
Mermaid-like again

DD555314-059F-4F8A-BEF1-673162A05DF0B05DDF62-9AD1-4E34-B8EB-236A3058A7CE2717806D-AA06-4695-A7B0-8A46ADF17011

98725042-5637-4100-8F09-D4FB9257D98C79E11DB4-CDC9-42AD-AC89-7784EAB293E4

17636C4E-0D0F-4AA0-B9F1-F2656B5A8A90
Don’t ask me…
63295A75-13D1-4009-9B9F-4D5582141193
I’d just been to a funeral – feeling despondent…

8F30FCCE-19C7-4706-89B2-B117D4A939140CD72BD6-8CF8-4187-AB41-C23C75C2379C263F1C27-C4F3-4A56-BF1F-7A3E5FC17E7C

2D86D6E3-8D10-4F37-AF42-622E9287B00B
Somebody had just called me a ‘free speech warrior’ in a NEGATIVE way…

9BEF7129-922D-4758-BFF0-DA8AC0D5F28E965F2FFE-FE6B-4686-93F3-03B25393F708

F9407EDB-0FC0-4C2A-A5AF-1ADAC299A965
Red poppy day –
0CA41B6C-051F-4D6A-980E-4B97ADD68E4A
The New Jeeves book was out!
EFA5726C-78D7-4687-8DEA-C045E1594169
This was meant for a special someone…
36862F4F-531F-4850-9814-C654BED92544
Not sure why I was looking so angry – I was tired is probably why

12E63180-4869-47B6-8A6E-72B870839FA7

5CF9A147-9DDD-4E9D-ADC9-4AC85CAF4294ACDADD84-93E5-490D-8262-D3B1C4F40EBAEEFB0F17-F10D-4FC1-8B53-875BAAF56086134891F7-4087-45B3-8722-B2D7B77D3F34img_0218

67553F18-AA98-4973-8C68-367F56EA7C37
Ending it all on yesterday – I was about to brave the wind

Insomnia

554AD418-958E-4AF9-A1AE-87A40C11ACA2

Another year older, time zips past – a demented hare in this sometimes beautiful, often hellish race.

A great wave is rising – I am divided equally between making a stand, fighting, resisting

and letting it drown everything, everyone, the brave as well as the underserving.

My great love affair with words might be over. Too many times they’ve been used and abused – lies, propaganda, hysterical agendas.

And so it means that night, when it comes, brings on the usual insomnia.

The horrid fight starts, it saps any remaining strength,
motionless,
eyes wide open in the dark,
unseeing, looking inwards,
where thoughts circle, twist, turn, chase away rest,
decisions made, unmade, strings of fears appearing, vanishing,
night is heavy, it shivers – this is the dark of the tomb, my mind whispers.
In the distance, something, a great sphinx enigmatic,
peace, elusive, far out of reach
every night I try I but never reach it and I know I never will.

Mornings are harsh, eyes blurry, marked, mind weary, day or night there’s nowhere to hide. And so I put on the mask, a smile, which hopefully won’t slip – in public at least – though of course it does, I’ve never been good with lies.

Tick tock, awake around the clock, how long till I break, till all life drains,
All I need is a clean sweep, all I yearn for is deep, blissful sleep.

Epic

waterhouse_lamia_01

This knight follows no Lord
By his side a trusty steed
Wearing an old saddle
Adorned with a single white rose
And a sword
Never drawn
Unless
Honour or love dictates
As Proud is his heart
Pure is his soul
Mighty is his power
When he weaves words
To while away the hours
Waiting for the one queen
Of his love worthy
The one he will climb mountains
Fight dragons with iron scales
And red fiery breath
For
Some don’t believe he’s real
They assume he was borrowed
From some far-fetched fable
Tales told around a fireplace—
In hushed whispers
The language of the dreamers—
A fantasy given life and form
In volutes of ethereal smoke
Giving rise to a humble hero
Make no mistake
He’s no mere story
No figment, no trick
His name is Eric
My modest lines do him no justice
Not legend or myth, the reality is epic

*I wrote this for the lovely Eric @ My Sword and Shield… whose birthday it is today (and since we’re in different time zones, it is now the 13th for me if not for him quite yet) Eric’s birthday comes straight after mine and we are both Pisces, just another thing we have in common. You all already know I love this man, he has the most wonderful heart and his writing is out of this world.
Thank you for being such a special friend, Eric—wishing you a fantastic birthday! 😘💜

Image Credit: It had to be John William Waterhouse whose work I absolutely love

Anniversaire – toujours

So, since apparently the selfies are not p*****g people off too much…and I am still celebrating my birthday…and I am hesitating between outfits (though narrowed it down to two) for today’s shenanigans…I am shamelessly leaving these here…and anybody who might feel compelled to help me decide…thanks for your help! 😉

image  image

imageimage

 

 

Anniversaire

Today is my birthday: every year I dread it for no particular reason apart from the fact  I’m getting older. I can be found muttering darkly weeks before the actual event, from January onward actually.

Well, the day has arrived and it would be churlish to carry on with the pathetic self-pity when I woke up to cards, gifts, texts and so on from so many people.

I am very, very lucky to have many amazing people in my life, I have no right to complain about anything at all.

So, in that spirit, I will be sipping on French champagne by the time you guys read this.

I will be celebrating, not moaning about the inevitable because, older or not: life is really, really good right now—I am blessed in so many ways and it is not something I should ever forget.

Ps: I am aware I have probably already used up my quota of selfies for the entire year but…I don’t really care 😜

Slight panic & a little writing

image

Why so serious? If I look like a deer caught in the headlights, that’s because it’s exactly what I feel like. Another year, another birthday. On the surface, I’m totally cool about it, but underneath this placid exterior, there is a voice full of terror (and horror) roused from its torpor by the inevitability of the passage of time. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a freak like that… but I’ve been feeling the pull of time since I turned nineteen and I suddenly realised that there was so much to do — and that a lifetime would never ever be enough to do, and feel it all.
Today is when I allow myself to freak out a little, tonight I will slap some sense into my dramatic silly self, and by tomorrow I will be ready to face the day, my birthday. With a smile and (kinda) peaceful mind. And because I’d hate to have grabbed the attention of all of you good people for nothing more than some slight (yeah, right) pre-birthday panic, here’s a little writing from last night 🙂

Everywhere you can find some kind of malaise, but the truth is, for most of us happiness is within reach, yet our minds have grown selfish and cannot grasp that fact. Is it any wonder navel gazing is the disease of this century? Miserable and morose by choice if we don’t have it all…won’t you wake up and smell the coffee…and stop and smell the roses, you screwballs?
No, heaven forbid we should ever be reasonable, we like to foist negative thoughts on ourselves, and everyone else, we refuse to face life with anything resembling grace. Far from perfect? It’s a frown and a scowl, the frivolous needs of people have them caught in a spiral…or is it a circle? In any case, we’re talking hollow rather than hallowed. A hell of a lot of shitty things happen, and there is evil in this world, on a grand scale as well as everyday mundane, but there’s also beauty and kindness in so many different places….it really is up to us…and now I’m going to shut up because I’m starting to sound like…I don’t know, some kind of preacher…and I don’t want to be one of them, I’d much rather be…an oracle…divination comes easy to us INFJs after all…is that the sound of my ego? I might just climb down from that pedestal and pledge to stop writing under the influence of alcohol…or not. Over and out…and everyone’s relief is palpable.

The City of Light, again.

image

It’s funny (or prescient) that on Friday I was reminiscing about last year’s Paris trip  – because that very same night, Sweet Boy suggested a day trip there for my birthday. Well, not on my actual birthday but that same week. Providing he can get the time off work as well. But still, I may just be seeing the city of light again very soon.
A day wandering across this unique city soaking up the atmosphere is just what I need to replenish my French soul. A few more photographs out of the hundreds I took last year is in order. And a couple of quotes too.

“He who contemplates the depths of Paris is seized with vertigo.
Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic.
Nothing is more sublime.”
― Victor Hugo

image

image

image

image

image
The Eiffel Tower has to be seen at night when it’s illuminated. It could be seen from the hotel, keeping an ever watchful guard in the background

image

image
Because I’m classy (ha!) 100 Euro note next to a glass of wine and surrounded by French bread crumbs 🙂

“I guess it goes to show that you just never know where life will take you. You search for answers. You wonder what it all means. You stumble, and you soar. And, if you’re lucky, you make it to Paris for a while.”
― Amy Thomas

image

image

image

image

image

image

image
“The best of America drifts to Paris. The American in Paris is the best American. It is more fun for an intelligent person to live in an intelligent country. France has the only two things toward which we drift as we grow older—intelligence and good manners.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Passage of Time – and Paris

image

It’s my birthday in 10 days. If I was on Twitter right now, I’d use the hashtag scary….. because where the fuck have the last 12 months gone?
I could swear it was only a few months ago that I went to Paris to celebrate successfully getting through yet another year. A few months, 4, maybe 5 tops. But it was 12, an entire year!
There’s no getting away from it, the older you get and the faster time passes. It’s like, you know that small trickle you get from a spring in drought time? That’s what time is like when you’re young and blissfully unaware – but when you get older the trickle is a terrifying fucking waterfall.
Daunting. Petrifying. Truly chilling. And now I’m gonna quit with the synonyms and the drama and give you a few random pics of that Paris trip that happened a while ago. An entire year ago. My hairdresser had just started my hair transition: getting me from red to blonde, hence why I look weird – my hair was in between colours and looking awful. Plus, I hadn’t slept in 2 days by the time I got to Paris, which made the Museum visits an interesting affair. Gosh, it was a great trip all the same #LookingBack

image
One of the many amazing ceilings in the Louvre
image
Not looking very impressed for some reason – I think I wasn’t in the mood for yet another photograph, hence the hard stare

image

image
Gotta love Venus – I make sure I go and see her regularly

image

image

image
The controversial Pyramid – I ❤ it!

image

image

image

image
The entrance to the Musée d’Orsay which used to be a train station – fantastic building full of gorgeous works of art
image
Musée d’Orsay from above
image
One of my favourite paintings ever – for the drama, impact, skill and the symbol of course