A Week of Enrichment

Important things I learnt this past week 
(staying/volunteering at OM Belgium/mission centre):

- Never prejudge people. Never assume someone is trouble-less.

- Our brains are inhabited by lies. Not all lies, which it makes it hard to find them tangled in the truth. For me at first this week, being around so many people, I just had this voice tell me I was annoying to be around. This turns to self consciousness and that turns into feeling trapped inside of yourself which ain't a feeling you'll be wanting. I also spoke to some people this week that spoke - beautifully honestly - how they see themselves and it broke my heart to realize that some people believe lies so keenly it becomes a reality.

- Humility is the key to a beautiful character. So yes, check yourself and your pride. But take action instead of over-analyzing everything you say/do and feeling stupid. Don't be a Mrs Elton, be a Mr Knightley - use wit to be gracious and uplifting. Use speech to be loving. Use physical touch for others not for yourself. Act what you believe. And then be grounded in that and love yourself for that.

- I learnt something about truth telling. Be careful what you say to people, yes, and also how you say it. An exaggeration is a lie, an excuse is a lie, gossiping is a form of lie and a lie is powerful in the worst sense, no matter how small. May your compliments be genuine, your laughter be real and your advice be sincere. You don't have to be boring to be clothed with humility.

- God never fails and breaks promises. I honestly think we sometimes see God as like just a really good human. He is GOD and He nEVER fails. 

-  Magnet illusion: When we're far from God we're not drawn to Him, we're distanced from Him and don't see our faults. When we get closer to God, He becomes more and more attractive.

- If you have no hope - are broken with sadness - let other people hope on your behalf. If you have a lot of hope, hope for other people who can't find hope.

Other less-important-but-still-shareable things I learnt this past week:

- MUSIC IN CARS IS THE BEST. Blasting the dramatic epicness that is Bohemian Rhapsody is especially uh, epic. Also, 'no excuses' by Meghan Trainor is fun fun fun.

- Michael Buble while washing dishes is equally amazeballs

- EMMA 2009 is such a good good miniseries ahhh. And friends who are just as excited as you to watch it are even better. The "Ship Court" gets me every time. The "if I loved you less I might talk about it more" GETS ME MORE THO. ahhhh. Mr Knightley! *heart-eye-emoji*

- When there's a healthy, solid, Thai-meal of 14 euros and an unhealthy cardboard box with frites for 2 euros, you opt for the unhealthy cardboard box with frites for 2 euros.

- Not everyone will get your puns, but that's ok. The oxygen in the air appreciates the unnoticed ones.

-Don't bring a novel to a mission centre; there's too many ppl to talk with to have time to properly read anything that isn't the Bible.

- Oh mah Lanta, Jimmeny Cricket, Jeepers Creepers, Booger Wooger are good alternatives to cuss words.

- As are 'sink meh' and 'odd's fish m'dear' and 'bally bally botherations' but we knew that already. :-)

- TALK TO STRANGERS. It makes trips extra memorable and it makes people happy and it's sometimes dang hilarious. We saw a man wearing a shirt that said 'I am not that guy' and I got dared to ask him 'Are you the guy with the shirt?' but I'm an unsociable Belgian so I passed the dare on to someone else and he went over, super chill and asked the man 'Are you the guy with the shirt?' and the man laughed and said 'No, I'm not that guy' and then we shouted from the other side of the street, 'Yes, you ARE that guy!' and it was hilarious. :)

- Sweet Carolina is a fun song.

- HARRY STYLES IS MY BOO :-P #secretisout #pizzaistillloveyou

- Oh and PS guys, they're making a Downton Abbey movie!!!

- France is, as I predicted, better than Belgium at football. 

I hope you all know this one thing:
  Righteousness comes from God


How are you doing?

Me to myself: Why do people write intros?
Myself to Me: Write an intro
Me to myself: Like, readers aren't stupid they'll figure out IMMEDIATELY what the blog post is on about
Myself to Me: Write an intro; it's weird if you don't wr -

Right now immensely drowsy because of 1) tiredness 2) heat. It is summer in full blast. I am not complaining but man alive it's hot. Also I'm feeling kind of disappointed at my unproductiveness today. Thus it feels good to write a blog post. A blog post is a good cure for feeling unproductive. (haha.)
I am also feeling undeservedly blessed. <3

So for some reason or the other not that many movies, but yesterday evening (till way too late) (so drowsy right now and I know I only am to blame) I watched (for the very first time) the TITANIC. (One of those movies one feels one must write in caps in order to do it justice.) The unrealistic, dramatic, overdone romance... the agonizing tragedy and death of the worst fail in history. I was gripped. fascinated. To anyone old enough to view with discretion, I recommend it.

(As anyone, I crushed on Jack. And also on the sailor acted by Ioan Gruffudd, the one who heard Rose's whistle and saved her aboard. Why is no-one else talking about that dude?)

About the grey, easy-to-get-into area between legalism and deciding what your own convictions are about the 'little things' within faith. It's so easy to snap into a 'rules' mode, where faith becomes a disgusting rule based thing. It's hard sometimes to be keenly aware that Jesus means freedom and that we react on freedom by obeying to His word. It all stems out of freedom and Jesus should always be first. Like, always. And man, when we start heated debates about whether or not we should show our shoulders or whether or not couples can kiss before marriage we are jabbering on about stuff that should never be this central in our faith. Yes, we should think about where we stand. But we must always know one thing; that everything we do must reflect Jesus and love and the freedom and holiness we get from Him. That is where it starts. But still yes, tricky, so tricky.
So yeah... A LOT of thinking about that and all the sub-topics that stem from subjects such as that. Sometimes it makes me kinda moody haha. But thinking is good. :-)

Also a lot of thinking about being productive. Because the more I read the Bible, to more I realise God hates laziness. He wants us to DO! (I wrote a book about productivity in one day last week. It was fun.)

Right now, to "That's the way God Planned it" from Joyful Noise. (Why I put one name in quotations and one in italics I do not know. It is neither consistent nor logical.)
Also to Olly Murs songs.
And not much else new.

My very own bedroom! This is a big deal for a girl with five bros and four sisters!

Plant hangers. Oh man, I found a new obsession and it's so much fun to do. All you need is youtube tutorials on Macrame Plant Hangers and string/rope and your hands. And bam you can make your own plant hangers. DO IT.

MY EXAMS woooot
Still in an daze about that! 1/3 of my degree accomplished. The hardest is still yet to come. :-P

I'm reading various things.
1) Eve's Daughters by Lynn Austin --- yes, it needed a reread urgently. I honestly almost cried rereading it from page 1. SO. GOOD. I read almost all of Louise's story on the train to (and from) my cousin's flat in Brussels, with the sun shining through the train windows. It was one of those moments.
2) Anne of Green Gables My Daughter and I --- SO GOOD.
3) A book about the Titanic and the survivors telling their story. I may or may not have become somewhat Titanic-obsessed. I think everyone goes through these fases right? It's just so so so SAD; like so freaking doggone heartwrenching. All those deaths for one stupid mistake which collapsed entire dreams and worlds. The freezing cold water, the screams... ah what has this movie done to me. What a nightmare that must've been. Just unimaginably horrible.
4) 2 Kings is a pretty witty book. "I don't like that prophet, he never says anything good about me" - the king of Israel to Jehosaphat king of Judah.

It's summer so what do you expect bro.

How are you doing?


Faith is not a feeling

Love is not a feeling. I've heard that said many times; at youth group, in marriage books (ok I've only read one marriage book, but still), in deep blog posts, and by people with lots of wisdom and insight. It's true. Love is not simply the feeling of passion, bursting, admiration and affection. It is more; it goes further than the simple thrill. It isn't an illusion; it is SOMETHING with deeper base and grounded foundation. It can't just shift depending on characteristic moods and sleep deprivation. It is commitment, sacrifice and all that Jesus embodied.

So. I was thinking about faith. Isn't it the same with faith? Our faith in God is more than a feeling. It is not just the personal conviction we feel when we hear, read and feel the presence of the Lord. It is (or should; cus yes, we're fallable human beings with tonsa flaws) - it is THERE. Believing, trusting, hoping; despite doubts, jostles or whatever may toss about the feeling of yes I believe.

This past month I have really learnt that. Like NO, I don't always get you God. And I don't always feel you. But I have faith in you because I remember your faithfulness, I remember how you have shown yourself to me and other people around me. I have faith even though I sometimes feel the "This Is Why I Believe" list I sometimes have so clearly and boldly in my head sagging loose. We can't let our faith be dimmed by our mood; our tiredness; our situation; our mental state of mind and clarity. That's not how faith or love work. They are more than feelings; they are almost a holy ground of basis and continuity and commitment. (If that makes any sense, lol :-P)

It is human to have feelings. And I do think it's important to work on them and give them credit. (*Hears Mr Collins say "your feelings do you credit my dear cousin"* *Tells brain to not let Mr Collins interrupt a serious blog post. ugh. creep.*) Like, yes feelings are so important and we got them for a reason. We are creatures who feel and think and connect emotionally. HOWEVER also so so so important to know that there is more to love, faith, forgiveness, peace than what we feel. I mean, think about Jesus, when he was sweating drops of blood as He prayed to His Father intensely anxious on His knees. I'm sure He felt no gooey sense of love; no overwhelming fuzzy presence of God... yet He embarked on what He was called for; the greatest act of all time.

One of the saddest things for me is seeing teens doubt their obvious faith in God because they feel like they can't say they have faith because they haven't had this 'experience' yet. I get that but I find it so sad. Like, God is just as much your God when you are trembling, overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit and crying than He is when you feel numb and sweaty after a long day of placid schoolwork. You don't have to wait for overwhelming 'faith-feelings' in order to proclaim that you have faith. Faith is more than feeling. It is knowing and doing and believing what you stand for; no matter what. Faith is.


Three British people in a Belgian bus

I had just finished my maths exam, had taken the train from Brussels to Waterloo and now had just stepped into my dear yellow local bus which would take me from the station to the tiny bus stop five houses away from my house. This is a free bus, which always thrills any new bus-costumer. Normally all the people in this bus are the same ones, ones who live nearby and ones that take its freeness for granted. But now and then a new person pops his or her head inside and asks the bus driver if this bus goes to - insert a street name - and then proceeds to go inside, ready to pay. Then the bus driver goes, 'c'est gratuit' ("it's free") and they repeat, surprised, 'C'est gratuit?!' ('it's free?!'). And they're always so pleasantly pleased. It always makes me smile haha.

Anyway, that day after my maths exam, three English young people - two young men and one young lady - went into this bus, asking the same. They went 'oh it's free' to each other. And I heard them say 'wow that's cool, a free bus.'

Ok, so these three British people it seems thought two things:
- Most people only speak 1 language
- These people only speak French and maybe Dutch but definitely not English

So they proceeded to go ahead and gossip about Belgium, the country they were visiting. (Their bags had badges with LONDON on them, and they just came from the station so they definitely were on a visit.) Belgium is such a badly organised, untidy country, they said. The roads are terrible, etc etc. I thought this was extremely funny. I was amused. And indeed Belgium may not be the best country but don't talk about bad roads. England has the worst roads, you hyprocrite. :-P

Anyway, what I wanted to do is just show them hey dudes and dudette; I too am British and I understand every syllable you utter. So what I did is when they said 'we need to get off, can someone press the button' (to each other), I turned around, and said, 'Oh don't worry I'll do it' - obviously stressing the fact that I SPEAK ENGLISH - (also I was sitting right next to the button so it worked out well). The girl said 'Oh, merci' (French for thank you) and I thought 'no no you don't get it' so I said, 'You're welcome'. SO I WAS SURE THEY KNEW I SPOKE ENGLISH.

I turned back to face frontward and I heard the guy said the s-word as in 'whoooopppsss'. The girl was like OPSIIIEEE, you should've seen her face.

Twas hilarious.

And the eerie thing is. I have this feeling I recognised them from somewhere? Like really, that woman especially and the man who said the s-word. I KNOW I'VE SEEN THEM BEFORE.

And thus the plot thickens.


The dark truth behind Wonderland Creek (clickbait)

I want to have a chat about something very insignificant.

Back in 2014, when I was 15, I started my blog, Wonderland Creek. It was March, I was the first in my un-technical-no-biggies-with-Internet-stuff-family to do this; I was excited as a three year old Laura getting that rag doll for Christmas. You most likely know this story, because I have posted about it before. I was the homeschooled Period Drama fanatic who only listened to the Andrew Sisters and who thought the other Period Drama bloggers back in the day were Royalty. Pride and Prejudice was my lifestyle and making headers was my greatest ideal of earthly bliss.

Obviously, I am exaggerating for entertainment's sake, but I am not exaggerating when I say that my blog was my golden nugget of pride - and for a moment, my favourite thing in my life. It was my hobby, The Thing I thought about first when I woke up. I was excited, excited about it. I love that I was excited about it. If I could go back four (4! gosh!) years and sit on my bed with my fifteen-year-old self I would tell her, yes, go Naomi, do it. I am proud of my younger self for embarking on the blogging journey, on doing what she loved, pursuing her small but big dream of running a no-big-deal-blog and making it a nice place. It's a good thing for a teenage girl to do. To write about innocent stuff and to make friends with people who sit in similar-shaped boats.

(I do have to admit, I would tell my younger self one thing. Don't make something not-God your god. Not that I did, but I think 15-yr-old me could have dealt with a deep thought about that. You know, a gentle reminder now and then that it's not the most important thing to do.)

I was fifteen, venturing in my years of adulthood, walking out of my awkward preeteen years. I had learnt so much about avoiding awkwardness, Jesus, and how I thought of deep subjects. The first two years of blogging I learnt so much more about those three things. Especially avoiding awkwardness and Jesus. Especially Jesus. Oh man, the crying-crumbling-down-because-of-Jesus'-love happened around when I sixteen. I had always known Jesus' love but around when I was sixteen it was like it hit me. Fifteen year old me loved God. Nineteen year old me loves God more. I know I still don't know the extent of it though. And that's what makes life worth living. We have a living Love to discover, explore and follow. And I want that love from me to my Maker to grow deeper and deeper till I get to hug Jesus in person.

Anyway, back to blogging. Sheesh, we don't want to get distracted talking about Jesus. :-P

By the way, if you are waiting for a climax to this post, stop waiting. This is literally just a discombobulated chat like it would be me and you sitting on the weeds in the little field at the youth group, with boys playing football behind us, God's Not Dead (the song not the movie) playing on the speaker, and the sun setting down to say hello to the Australian folks. But then without saying 'like' and thinking about sentence structure and an interesting word now and then. (Like that word 'discombobulated.' Emma taught me that word, back in the early days.)

So yes, 15 year old me. More about her. Honestly, she is me and we're still very much the same person. (lol wow obvs). It would be interesting to make two lists. One of how we've changed, and one of how we're the same still. And then make such lists every four or five years. I am still the same person, still single (heh), only I have elaborated thoughts, I have grown spiritually (not sure about mentally haha; sometimes I feel like used to be more wise), I have adapted new attitudes about life and I have learnt more things. I have gotten so much more experience. And independence. Which is pretty normal, but there's no waste in pointing out the obvious. I think I have also gained a little wit. I used to have awkward wit. Now it's so awkward it's funny. I think I've also become 100 times more extrovert and passionate about people.

Interestingly, as I have ventured closer to twenty I have cared less to act twenty. I have heard other people say this too; I think that's a common thing. Younger teenagers want to be taken seriously, so they try hard to act like the person they want to be taken as. Which is completely understandable and also actually kind of sad because I hate it that people label anyone between 12 and 18 as a phone-addicted parent-hating moron. But then when you reach 'adulthood' (what even is that) people are less likely to 'judge' (although I still look 16 so yay) and you can finally be 'un-adult' because you are one anyway, so it's up to you to define what adult is to you. If that makes any sense.

Also wow, my writing. It is by NO means a polished piece of English art now - I often read other bloggers and I drool at their simplistic and classy way of sharing experiences through their words - but man haven't I come a long way. Read any post from 2014 and you can just feel the lack of life behind the sentences; not because I wasn't enthusiastic but because I lacked practice in word crafting. If there's one thing I am thankful about for my blog, it's the way it's helped me develop a better writing style. Improved my English and all that.

No, that's not true. I am most thankful for the people I've met through this blogging jour ---no, I can't say the word 'journey' that just sounds way too cliché. Can't do it. Just can't. But seriously, I have met the best gals whom I can truly call friends I trust and love. Emma Jane, the girl who let me write a guest post about Period Drama underwear on her blog before I even had mine is now my darling wise and loyal American side-kick I phone to ask her to tell me to get schoolwork done. Gabby, the anonymous commenter who told me her brother was visiting my home town, Waterloo, is now my steady pen friend and my sweet encourager. Natalie, whose blog I stalked from the age of like 13 onwards, is now my email pal and on my list of favourite redheads. I could go on. Point made: Thank you Jesus.

Now it's your turn to talk.

You asked about my blogging life now. You say the enthusiasm has drooped out of my posts. You say that I am embarrassed of my blog because I didn't put the link in my instagram bio (that proves it.) That's not true. I love this blog. It is simply not my pride and glory. Don't bite me; that's ok and that's normal. One can't always have the same rush of adrenaline about a hobby. I guess I feel continually unsatisfied with what I post online; and that's not my favourite feeling. But I'm not going to overdramatise this unnecessarily. Nothing is happening, I am not officially dropping off the face of the interwebs, I'm simply stating a little fact. The first thing I think about when I wake up is not Wonderland Creek. And that's a-okay. Don't be silly and say otherwise.

I should do this more. Just TELL. This has been fun. Would you like to hear a funny little story that happened to me on the bus the day before yesterday?

Also what do you think of my new blog look? Don't it look lit... can't you feel the sunrays? (That's the look I went for. haha.)


Things you can do

Things you can do this summer/whenever

- Learn how to play the guitar (if you can't yet)
- Go visit a place nearby in your country (or state) where you haven't been yet
- Wake up at 4 or 5am and go on a sunrise walk
- Make pizza + Eat it (of course eat it duh)
- Write a book and illustrate it. Like even a short book for kids. Give it a go!
- Try writing a song. You may have an inner Ed Sheeran.
- Set phone-use rules. That way you don't waste away your summer.
- Make some cold beverage. IDK. Some kind of unique coloured lemonade.
- Sew something
- Do something sweet for your mum; like make a video or pick a bouquet.
- Write freakin cool letters to around the world
- Draw lil' imaginary people
- Read the Bible. all of it
- Make waffles + eat it (of course eat it)
- Rewatch Fiddler on the Roof (or *insert your favourite musical*)
- Watch an epic series. Like Poldark. (yeah, watched season 1 and man, I love it I love it)
- Learn something new. for ex. learn all the countries and capital cities of the world. (My sister did it in three days. I know. She is freaking fantastic.)
- Play the piano for 2 hrs
- Have deep talks with friends and also laugh a lot with friends. Plz don't gossip with friends. don't go there.
- Rant online. jk. Encourage people.
- Whatever ya do, don't waste yo precious God-given time.

This is a short post, I know. But I have exams coming up and a short post is better than nothing! Just wanted to encourage you that YOU CAN DO GREAT THINGS WITH YOUR LIFE! Try new things. Retry old things in a new way. Smile and don't compain about whatever it is that isn't perfect. Strive for perfection but while you strive, fix your hope on what is above cuz that's the only thing that truly is perfect.

Life is an adventure if you make it one. That made me cringe. :-P but it's true.

God is good. And he loves you.
That ^ wowowowow.


Don't let trouble overwhelm your soul

Don't let trouble overwhelm your soul. Our souls are not meant to grow weak; to flicker; to grey. Our souls are meant to live eternally. Our mind, yes; our body, yes - they will grow weak, they may die, they will cry, sweat. Blood will drip from your skin and tears will stream from your eyes. Feet will ache, hearts will weep. Fingers will grow stiff from age; from work. Friends will leave and family will fall down sick. Mental confusion will happen and desperate questions with spring out of the thin hair, attacking you in your face. It will rain. It will storm. But then there is your soul. Rejoicing. Holding a constant party. Because it's destined for the opposite of what our bodies are going through on this earth. Because Jesus saved it. Our joy is our hope. Our joy is our peace. Cling to JOY. Don't let trouble overwhelm your soul.


craving to create

(Craving to create. That's has a nice sound to it. I love alliteration.)

picture by Beth Joyce - ah her drawings <3 I LOVE // check her out

Whenever life hits me with a brick ton of education-related work, my fingers start itching with The Creative Itch as I like to call it, my brain starts bursting with ideas and every smallest thing can set me crazy with inspirearity. (I know the proper word is 'inspiration. ' Shush. I'm in a creative mood, hush.) I don't and I won't have much time this month to make things but because my creative juices may run dry by the end of my college semester, I am writing this blog post for my future 15-th-of-June-when-exams-are-done-ah-I-can't-wait self. And for you because it's so so much fun to GET INSPIRED TO CREATE. Ahhhh can we just all sit around a giant table and make things?! Please, for like an entire week?

So here are some things that have inspired me - made me yearn to make - to be creative - to create.

First category: 

Oona (@oona_who)
If you like art and you are on instagram, follow this one. She draws so effortlessly (it seems!) and every picture is CUTE and like, not-super-glamorous (I mean that in a good way, you know, like down to earth, CUTE pictures) but also really dang good and alive. I want to draw like this. P l e a s e give me that gifttt ahh. DRAW ME.

LIKE, look:

Fashion sketches of Dodie Clark (some youtuber.) Isn't that ridiculously cute?!

And this picture of La La Land:
I know. I wish I could draw like that too.

Because... well. Pinterest is the source of all creativity and inspiration. Amen and amen. I have a pinterest board called 'inspire + create' because every time I go into it (yes. into.) I get inspired to create. Go into it.


The cute things you find on Pinterest. ^^ for example. That makes me want to devote entire sketch books to drawing eyes.

Next category: 

Breaking news! Lately I have really been wanting to write songs! I randomly tried making one after a Bible study with my friend Gabby on Colossians 1 and I sort of managed to make a worship song with some of words in the chapter. It was far from perfect and I am continually un-confident in my musical abilities but you know one should TRY things one thinks one cannot do. SO this summer I wanna write some songs. Get out of my comfortable creativity zone. To do something creatively that I always thought I would never do. You know, that feels good. I may even write a poem this summer. :-P
So here's some music that has been inspiring me.

Tessa Violet - Not over you
Not only is Tessa Violet SO aesthetically pleasing but this song is simple but catchy but just unashamedly fun. I want to make a catchy song. This song is goals.

Owl City - New York
Not that I think I can be like Owl City. ever. But this music video is BEAUTIFUL and I want to be in it. (Ever since Natalie put this in one of her blog posts I've been drooling about it. Ah.😍)

Mason Ramsey - Famous

The High Kings - The Little Beggarman
THIS SONG. It's been on repeat x1000. Love love it. Come let's pretend we can Irish dance.

Dodie Clark - Lollipop
HER CREATIVITY. Firsly. Aesthetics are a 10/10. Secondly her creativity is beautiful. Thirdly I wanna make music like that. (Fourthy I love her style.)

Next category: 

I haven't been writing much but am I inspired to write? Yes. heckyes.

My own old notes
I was reading through my notes on my phone and there I found this story idea I had written down in the train randomly several months ago:

Story idea
Teenager (boy, 17?) Lives with his loving parents, older sister and dog. + at school someone set a fire. + teacher who has a background
Teenager finds special machine in attic/somewhere/in a bin outside - in a box that says "do not touch this; it ruined my life" and then "sometimes it is better not to know"
It's a kind of helmet attached with batteries and wires and a screen attached to a long wire. Teenager wears the helmet and sees his thoughts on the screen
Freaks out
He runs down to try it on dad, but he discovers something terrible... 
Wants to find man who made it, so he goes on a mission. He wants to know how the heck he made it
Finds mans wife. Man is mentally 3 years old cuz he accidentally deleted his brain content. So noone will ever know how he made it
When boy realises you can change brain content he decides to delete certain things from his fathers brain

I SHOULD WRITE THAT. I am proud of myself of thinking of that.

Also this one:

Story idea
Woman stares at man in train.
"Sorry," she says, "you just remind me of my high school boyfriend who died ten years ago"
Man looks at her. "Danielle?" He asks.
"No, my name is Hannah."
Later on Hannah finds out more about her past. She had an accident which means she forgot about a lot of her old life. She finds out her name really was Danielle.
Dun dun dunnnnnn

Dun dun dunnn indeed. I really wanna write that.

Not to brag or anything but my 'stories to write' pinterest board is pretty dope and basically a treasure hunt for story inspiration.

Can you smell the stories?! I can.

For instance, this is the story of a boy named Will who joins a squad and goes on evening adventures. Then he finds out the squad isn't just fun and games and jumping from railroad tracks into lakes and eating pizza and drinking coke. He finds out backgrounds and he finds out some 'members' of the squad desperately want to get out of the squad, but can't. CAN YOU SMELL THE STORY?!

Next category: 
Simultaneous/ aka.the rest

Ah there's SO much more.

I want to cook meals. I am the worst cook ever so those Instagram recipes really must be tempting. (I won't bother finding links. But basically I wanna make chicken nuggets and waffle pizza and I want to make chocolate bowls. Among other things.)

It's pictures like this:
@rachelclarkephoto <<< her camera talent tho
And this:
@dirtybootsandmessyhair // this picture // wow // I love love
...that make me yearn to take good good pictures. To capture emotion and memories and rawness.

OLIVIA'S JOURNALLING SKILLS. I give up on mine. Love love love.

Ok, that's it for today. I will come back to this post when I have time to actually put my creative itch into action. Now I must return to the life outside my laptop where I have a lot of schoolwork to do.Tomorrow I'm teaching 24 ten year olds. eek!

Send me some links!
Anything creative/inspiring-wise!
I wanna see :)


The Note on the Wall #9


If you haven't read it yet, here are the other installments:

I emailed Benjamin that night. I got a surge of excitement when I typed his email address into the address box and then again when I wrote ‘Hi, it’s Anna’ in the subject box. And then again when I started the email with ‘Dear Benjamin.’ The best bit was that I didn’t even hesitate to write ‘dear’ instead of something like ‘hi.’ Then I told him about Miley and what had happened today and about how Gayl still seemed to be so upset about her break-up. I wrote till the clock struck midnight and then sent off a 4000-word email. Signed off with, ‘lots of love, Anna.’

The next morning, somehow, he had managed to write an equally lengthy reply. I was completely distracted from work, of course.

We emailed each other twice, three times, a day – long novels of emails. We exchanged ideas, deep questions, stupid details and concerns about friends, politics and other silly things. We told each other random childhood stories and shared our favourite Youtube videos with each other on Google+. We sent each other links of articles on Bible passages that we liked and Benjamin got an Instagram account just so he could follow me and comment on my pictures. He went back and commented on every single picture I’d ever posted. I went to bed way to late laughing and replying to all of them.

Before I knew it I was in love with Benjamin Raines. Nerdy glasses and all.

I wrote it on the wall. Only not that bluntly. I wrote: “Apparently this wall has set two people up.”

After a few hours, I got a series of text messages from Benjamin.

Hey Anna.
Don’t you go and write about us on the wall.
Actually I don’t mind.
We owe that wall something, don’t we.

I replied back.

You forgot the question mark. Hipster.

He replied:

You should have seen the eye-roll I just did. It was huge.

I couldn’t stop talking about Benjamin with my parents and with Gayl. Part of me felt bad for Gayl’s sake to be so gushy about a boy when she was still so upset about Tim but Gayl insisted and said, ‘NO ANNA I DON’T MIND’ which was very nice of her, but still. I felt bad for her. She seemed to have lost all lust for life. Her smiles were kind of fake and she never texted me with spur-on-the-moment decisions, like she used to do. Why, I hadn’t even seen her wear heels and sequins and she used to do that like, every evening. Her Instagram account was ignored and she was buried with Biology exams. She was always behind on schoolwork and always seemed so weary.

I told Gayl about Miley and about how she was so upset. Sometimes it helps for a mourning person to talk about other mourning people. Like, you’re upset, let’s talk about other upset people. That’ll cheer you up. It doesn’t make sense, but it works sometimes.

Gayl was very touched with Miley’s story. “Blimey,” she said. “That’s terribly sad.”

Stories that end with kisses are usually sappy ones; no doubt, often very stupid. However, Benjamin and my first kiss somehow seems to be a very appropriate way to end this tale. It ends on a happy note – like adding a little pinch of chocolate flavour to a vanilla cake – and it wraps up the relationship we had growing throughout the months in a great stamp of official-ness. It was a great kiss; I could honestly spend three pages on metaphors to describe it. Sweet, like the kiss of a violet. Surprising, like burst and bubbles of red fireworks. Delicious… like chocolate. Only, of course, with a flavour of love; spicy, hot and delicious.

We met up at the wall that evening.

It was Christmas Eve, and Henffordd village had never looked more quaint and darling under the silver December stars. They winked at the electric strings of lights strung over the narrow roads between the houses, and the electric light winked back. Michael BublĂ©’s Christmas Album made its way from the pubs to the freezing outside cold, tempting passers-by to order hot chocolate and rum punch. The air smelt of gingerbread and turkey stuffing and pine cones and excitement.
Together we read the messages on the wall.

Merry Christmas all!!!


Santa is coming to Henffordd, to old and young.

Underneath that one was a young kid’s writing: No he’s not. I’m smart enough to know it’s all a lie.

Benjamin and I decided we loved that kid. I said that if I ever had children I wouldn’t do the Santa thing. He said he wouldn’t either. I thought, wow, we should be parents together, but of course I didn’t say it. But I did hold his hand. It was becoming a familiar touch by now – his warm palm against mine. It was so bally normal to do it, just like it seemed so bally normal for us to send each other novels of thoughts in email-form, phone each other from evening to morning and sit next to each other in Church.

“You need to cut your fingernails,” I said absentmindedly, while reading another chalk-written line.

You don’t need no mistletoe, someone wrote, to kiss your sweetheart.

I read that message before Benjamin did. He was reading some Christmas Carol lyrics someone wrote down. So I read it aloud, sort of laughing about it.

“Haha,” Benjamin grinned.

“What?” I asked, looking at his face.

“How ‘bout it then.”



The Note on the Wall #8

I have decided to do something. To post a novelette on my blog. In installments, of course. One chapter per post, once every four-ish days. Now, you may not care. You do not need to read these. But you may like it. So there you go.

(Small warning: this story does mention a case of rape at some point. Of course it is handled delicately (and it's not talked about in detail etc.etc.) but if you are younger than 13 you may want to ask your parents if they're ok with that.)

So, last time we ended with:

“Basically,” he sighed, “Miley’s mum got – raped, when she was – I don’t know, however old she would have been when she became pregnant with Miley. She doesn’t go into much detail. Obviously extremely painful for her to talk about. And, what’s more, Miley’s father doesn’t even know about it. He thinks – that Miley’s his daughter. But Miley’s the result of –”

“Oh no,” I moaned. I felt queasy. “That’s terrible. That’s just terrible.”.

I sent Miley the blog link via email. I knew she’d want to read it alone. Benjamin was right; it was going to very hard for Miley to read that blog post. It was filled to the brim with love and sadness and stories that should have never happened. It wasn’t very long, but it was one of the fullest blog posts I’d ever read. There was one paragraph in particularly, that brought tears to my eyes.

“When I discovered I was pregnant with you, Miley, I admit I didn’t want you. Daddy was overcome with happiness – he cried with joy when I told him I was pregnant; said it was an answer to our prayers. I shed my own tears on his shoulder, out of his eyesight. Tears that he thought were happy ones, like his.”

“Not telling my husband about all this was the biggest mistake I’d ever made. Please don’t ever keep secrets with whomever you’ll get married to, darling. Once I decide not to tell someone something, there is no going back. This is why I’ve never told him, although I wanted to, every single day of your life. I was scared; scared to take away his happiness and scared about everything. I was scared you’d come out looking like the man and not Daddy, but you look like me. Don’t leave Daddy, Miley. He isn’t your biological father, but he is your Daddy, and he’s an amazing one. And Miley, as soon as you were born and I saw your beautiful eyes, I wanted you with every inch of my body. And that has never changed.”

After I’d read it, I curled up in sadness. I cried about all the sad things in the world and then I cried in happiness about all the good things in the world. Life can be a mushy thing.

The next Sunday I went to Miley’s house. I had to ring the doorbell three times before her father opened it. His eyes were swollen and the traits he had before his wife’s death were buried with grief. My heart ached for him, especially after what I’d read in the blog post. Part of me thought it was his right to know – but then, I couldn’t even imagine how upset that would make him. He was overcome with grief already.

“Hi,” I said quietly.

“Hi. Miley isn’t here.”

“Oh,” I said. “Where is she?”

“She l-left.”

There is nothing more heart-breaking than watching a grown man burst into tears. He buried his face in his arm and his sobs came out loud and rough and sound. I didn’t know what to do so I gave him a hug, which he responded to by clutching onto my shoulder and crying on it. It was so sad there was no space for awkwardness. I closed the front door and had him sit down.

Miley had left him. She had packed her bags and left to live with her mother’s parents. She had told him that he wasn’t her biological father and just a burden and that had been it.

“Don’t worry,” I told him. “She’s just overcome with grief. She doesn’t know what she is saying.”

Miley’s father stared at the carpet. It needed a good hoover, but nobody cared. His sock needed to be washed too, but obviously he didn’t have the time to think about stupid things like that.

“Did she – show you the blog?”

“Yeah,” Miley’s father whispered.

“Oh, it must have been such a shock – to read – after all those years.”

“Yeah.” He wiped his nose with his sleeve. “It was. I never ever guessed. I feel like a fool. It must have been hell for her! And I wasn’t there to – well, I was – but I was just being stupidly happy.”

“You should not feel bad about anything. You have done nothing wrong.” I said. “Nothing at all.”

I left with Miley’s grandparents’ address in my pocket and went straight to the bus-station to go there. In the bus I also discovered a slip of paper in my coat pocket, with Benjamin’s email address on it. On the back he had written: “I think we should send each other emails. And yes, I fully realise this sounds extremely creepy.

He had probably tucked inside when he took my coat in the pub. It made me smile and God knew I needed a smile today.

Miley’s grandparents lived in a long, tall house with long, tall windows. Their front door had a plain Christmas-cone wreath on it. The red paint on the door was peeling off because of old age and the doorbell was one of those real bell ones. Miley’s grandma opened – she wore black trousers and she seemed tough. As well as adorable.

“I’m a friend of Miley’s,” I said. “I need to speak to her.”

“Bless you, child,” Miley’s grandma smiled. “She definitely needs a friend.”

“How do you know??” Miley exclaimed when I came inside the room she was sleeping.

“I know,” I said. “Because your lovely father told me, in tears, that you’d left. Miley! You can’t just do that! You have to stick together, especially now your Mama died! You read the blog post; she asks you to stay. He is your father, no matter who your biological one is.”

“Don’t talk!”

“Yes talk,” I snapped. I sat next to her and put my arm around her shoulders. “Darling, you are going through one of the hardest – hopefully the hardest – time in your life right now. Reading that blog post must have been heart-wrenching and I’m desperately sorry about all of this. Your mama died – that is ghastly. But all this doesn’t mean you have to leave your father. Can you imagine how he must be feeling now? You have to go through this together, dear.”

“But –”

“There is no need to explain,” I smiled. “I know we all do stupid things in sadness. It’s okay. But let’s go back home and you can go and give your Daddy a big hug.”

Miley burst into tears and wept on my shoulder. I told her everything was going to be okay.

“Now I feel so bad,” she said. “I’m a terrible person.”

“No, Miley. It’s okay.”

“I need to go home right now.” She jumped up and stuffed her clothes back into her bags. She was completely flustered. She kept on asking me if her father would forgive her and I kept on reassuring her that it would all be okay in the end. Watching her fingers tremble made me doubt my own statement, but I kept on saying it till she calmed down next to me on the bus.

“Mama and I – we were – well we loved each other – but – but there were times when I didn’t want to be her friend,” Miley suddenly said. She seemed to be ashamed of herself and didn’t look me in the eye when she told me.

“And I said things like – like mama you don’t know what it’s like to be sad – when she didn’t let me do some things. And – and – the look in her eyes – the look she gave me – now I know what terrible things she’s gone through and – and, like, the way she hugged me – now I know why she always seemed k – kinda – sad. I never was nice enough to her and – miss her so so much, Anna.”

“I know, darling,” I whispered, squeezing her hand. “I know.”

The next and last chapter comes ON MONDAY!