I'm on holiday in the Isle of Wight with Jac, his dad and dad's girlfriend, and her seven year old son, Dylan. Dylan's an absolute sweetheart; he and Jac have only just met, and already you can see how much he looks up to him.
So we pulled up last night at the place we're staying at, and it's this darling cottage with a little arched front door like a church's, with flowers climbing all around it.
As you go inside it steps down slightly, set into the ground. The living room you enter from the front door is decorated with pictures and ornaments of animals; mostly African -- lions, zebras, giraffes, and particularly elephants. There's two pictures in the corner of Ganesha, painted on skeleton leaves and framed.
On the far side, next to the fireplace, is an old, winding wooden staircase that splits off at the top into two directions: one one side, a double room, which is mine and Jac's, and on the other, a single room which leads through to another double. In there, there's a door that leads outside -- up a couple steps and around the corner into a little rooftop garden, covered in grass and moss and flowers and snails, with trees all around. At the back, there's a wall with a gate standing ajar, hidden under dark foliage, and begging to be explored.
Back downstairs, behind the staircase, it splits two ways: one side leads to the bathroom, on the way to a huge kitchen and combined dining room; the other leads to a sun lounge, all painted white and decked out with wicker furniture and painted white heart decorations.
The whole house is like something out of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves; there's shells all over the place -- the bathroom has a giant pink conch on a shelf; the kitchen is full of cool decorative stuff like pasta and lentils in kilner jars and a pestle and mortar.
And that gate in the garden wall.. that adventure is mine, tonight.
+ Job interview on Thursday; only 8 hrs, but it's something.
+ Alton Towers on Saturday; Jac doesn't know it yet but he's going to be dragged on Oblivion before the day is done. >:)
+ Chapter 21 of A&A is done; enjoy! ♥
I was writing for A&A today and hit a dead end. I'm at this place where, I know vaguely what I want to happen, I just can't work out the best way to get there.( + Collapse )
Anyway, in an attempt to combat my block, I started to have a play on Corel with the intention of illustrating the scene. I knew I wouldn't get anywhere close to a finished image, being so awkward with and scared of digital painting, but I did, I think, get a fairly acceptable starting point. I stopped because I realised that I'd a) gone a little overboard with the light rays and they were also slightly bent on the left, and b) forgotten to put the background tree trunks in before I did the lighting, but I experimented enough with the dappled effect to know I could reproduce it in future if I wanted to.
Anyway. I'm still none the wiser on how to approach this.
It doesn't feel like even nearly a entire year, and yet time's dragged by so slowly without you. This time last year, you were living your last few hours on this Earth. I was getting ready to go stay with the girls at Wordsworth for a flat viewing with Her Royal Cleanliness on the Monday morning. I hadn't managed to make it to the London trip when everyone else had seen you last; Halloween was the last I ever saw of you. You were the Hatter and I was Alice. I lent you my grandad's old cane and that gold, satin sash from the cocktail dress I wore to Kat's birthday night out when we were at uni, so you could tie it around your hat. You helped me up onto the bar at R&D in six-inch heels with you for the costume contest. We danced like nutters together and I'll never dance like that again because I drew my confidence from you. The next day you hugged me goodbye, and if I'd known, then, that it'd be the last time I'd ever be hugged by you, I'd never have let go.
I miss you so much. I can't even fathom it; I've seen a lot of shitty stuff in my as-of-yet short life, and the majority of that has been death, but I've never felt loss like this. There's not a day goes by when I don't see or hear something that reminds me of you. There's a box of green tea or something similarly vile in the cupboard at home that was given to me, and nobody I know likes it -- nobody now that you're gone. Jac did this geeky thumbs-up thing the other day that had your trademark all over it. Yesterday I woke up virtually in tears because I'd been dreaming about you; you were right there, in front of me, smiling and talking as though reality was the true dream and it'd never happened. That was the first time I'd seen you in my dreams since it happened, and my heart broke all over again. I'm so glad I was here in Syston with Jac, and not at home. Looking at photos of you from good times gone by is one thing; seeing you alive and well, happy and tall and corporeal.. it reminded me of what's been missing from my life since you were stolen away from us. It made it that much more painfully real.
I was talking with Jac on the phone last week about how horribly unpredictable life is. In an hour's time, I could fall down the stairs and break my neck, and never see the light of day again. Or, I could go and meet Hazel according to plan and have a brilliant little catch-up and reminisce with someone I know to be a true friend, just like you were. Life's a game of Russian Roulette, and to whom the gun belongs, I don't know, but I know, and I know that you knew, that in the wake of tragedy, the best way forward is to adopt the vitality and determination of those lost, and plough on with a defiant smile.
I love you, HasuKimi. I'll never forget. ♥
The task at hand was a clear one, and she had no desire to burden her love with the gravity of it. She’d go it alone, she’d decided; if it worked, it’d save Gabriel the worry of the wait, and if it didn’t...
Well, it won’t come to that, she reassured herself, instilled with faith in God. It all makes sense now, Audrey thought. He’s endured so much... all this time, without her. Because of us. She imagined a life as long as the Lord’s without Gabriel by her side; looking after a planet full of toddlers who were to blame for the death of the one she loved. It was like eternal community service for a crime that wasn’t his, helping people who deserved it about as much as Hitler deserved the Nobel Peace Prize.
Her boots were cold on her bare feet, so, having removed them once more, she opted for the damp, sun-warmed, grass between her toes as she slipped out through the lilac flora, down the wooden steps and out across the meadow surrounding her.
It was bordered by a thick forest, inhabited by every kind of tree she’d ever heard of and countless encyclopaedias worth of those she hadn’t. She headed back the way they’d come the night before, towards a cluster of willow trees she recalled from the journey. Their branches formed a dense veil of leaves which, as she pulled them aside and passed under the canopies they provided, she discovered they concealed another clearing.
Much smaller than the one she’d just left, it was more of a glade, with long, lush grass growing sparsely from a pillowy carpet of moss dotted with forget-me-nots. Down the centre, leading on through the trees, was a soft, earthy trail, but it had all but overgrown, as though it were once travelled as regularly as the sun across the periwinkle sky. On one side of the path was a loveseat, made of ancient, weathered blocks of stone, covered in moss just like the forest floor and sprouting tiny, white flowers of its own. Directly opposite on the other side, grew a tree.
I returned to writing for Arms & Armistice today. I’ll be posting updates both here and on Tumblr, though for some of the longer ones it may be a link there to the post here. It’s been a while, so in case you’ve forgotten, this is where we left off: Chapter 19. Now, here’s the beginning of the next installment; enjoy!
Audrey stirred as another day dawned in Paradise. Squinting against the dazzling sunrise, she allowed her eyes to adjust before slowly lifting her head from the rise and fall of the warm, fleshy pillow upon which it lay. Gabriel was still sound asleep, his face a portrait of peace.
With an adoring smile, she carefully disentangled herself from his embrace and pushed back the woollen blanket she vaguely remembered Gabriel stretching for and enveloping them both within. Yawning, she dressed quietly, taking in the lavender glow of the sunlight through the curtains of wisteria surrounding the pergola, and their sweet, vanilla-like scent, amplified by the morning dew.
Jac and my dad are watching Legion, right now. Without me.
I asked Jac earlier if he'd like to watch it with me, because I want to refresh my memory in preparation for getting back to A&A. So we put the disc in and started getting drinks and stuff together, and Dad decides he wants to watch it too. I sit down waiting for everyone to be ready, and Dad's moaning at me to start it because he's got to be up early tomorrow.
We start the movie, but not long into it I pause it because I'm not comfy. Jac and I are laid across the sofa and the TV's at one end of it but slightly behind, so not only am I uncomfortable but I also can't see half of the screen. I get up to fix this by moving the sofa and Dad starts bitching at me again, even though it's my DVD and I'M the one who wanted to watch it in the first place.
In the end, I told him, You know what? YOU watch it. And once again, I find myself alone in my bedroom.
Right. Here are my New Years' Resolutions of 2012:
+ Draw more. A LOT more.
It used to make me incredibly happy and it's an old friend I've fallen out of touch with. I plan to do this by starting not only a new art journal, but also an Illustration Friday archive. I've already got both sketchbooks -- the journal is a salmon pink, hardback one I got ages ago from the Tate in London, and the IF archive is a small, fat, Kraft paper one I bought from Paperchase yesterday -- so there's no excuse! Except I do need to get myself a few good quality black and white pencils, but that shall be accomplished tomorrow on my day off.
+ Get way more involved with the Ourspace Appeal.
Nevermind whether or not I've gotten myself sorted first. I've figured out now that getting yourself to where you want to be is what life is all about, and if I sit around and wait for it before I take on anything else, it'll all just pass me by. This is my chance to really give back, for a really personal cause, and I need to grab it and get stuck in.
+ Work towards some kind of future for myself.
I've spent a really, really long time suspended between the fiery motivation to make something of myself and my life -- the second chance I was inexplicably blessed with -- and the practicalities and restrictions of reality. I need to somehow get one foot up on determination and the other up on opportunity, spread my wings to the best of my capability and kick off.
I don't usually make resolutions at New Year, because when I was younger it seemed like all anyone ever resolved to do were silly things like give up chocolate, which never actually happened, and it all seemed so pointless. Depriving yourself of something that makes you happy, as long as you bear important factors like health in mind, is hardly a worthy goal. It's not meant to earn you bragging rights, but to help you make changes you're really serious about. And of course, if you're that serious about something, what's the point in waiting until New Year to put it into action? If your resolution was to pay better attention to your houseplants and you put off making that change until New Year, your plants would all be dead by the time you got around to it.
I do think, however, that New Year tends to do a bit of an exposé on us. Whenever January 1st rolls around, we see something shiny and new with massive amounts of potential, and then we look at ourselves and go, Man, this ain't right.
So in light of recent events, and with an effervescent, roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-dirty mindset, here I go.
So glad to be getting away from this shithole for five whole days. :) Well, I'll be back for one shift at work the day after Boxing Day but I'll be getting the train straight back home again.
Christmas is going to be epic this year, I'm so excited! :D Usually it's just the four of us but this year for Christmas dinner there's going to be me, Mum, Dad, Fiona, Fiona's boyfriend Jamie, Jac, and Jac's dad is coming over too.
I can't wait to give everyone their presentsss! I love this time of year and I'm so ready to be assigned rationing duty for Dad and Uncle John's salted cashews. And probably Jac too. Pigs. ;D