City Lights

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The orange glow

the constant go,

struggling nocturnals

in incomplete night.

A blazing hue

Replaces.

A weak copy of

day

a false replay.

Unnatural strife.

Urbanised life.

24 hour light.

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Just Homesick

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It’s odd when you move.

You start noticing things that are suddenly missing in your life; weird and rather mundane things that you never even noticed while you were at home. Sounds and smells you never focused on before become part of the home-sickness. You suddenly really miss them and wish they were in your periphery again, the quiet unassuming remnants of home that never ventured into your radar when you were a full time occupant.

Things like the sound of my Dad coughing, I could recognise my Dad just from his cough if I needed, it was a familiar background sound that I heard daily but never focused my attention on.

I miss hearing that cough.

I miss hearing the recognizable footsteps of each family member going up and down the stairs. I could even tell you what mood those footsteps were in, sometimes.

I especially miss my Mum bringing me tea in the morning, that’s laziness talking really, but my bleary eyed and drowsy self misses waking up to the sound of the door creaking open slowly and the smell of a good cup of brew drifting in. She’d sometimes snap ‘wake up!’ at me as she placed the mug on my, I’d like to say bedside table but it was a chair by the bed, but I’d happily take a good snapping with a Tetley by my side.

Although I’ve kinda gone off Tetley now… I think they’ve done something to their recipe… just doesn’t taste the same.

I’m ‘totes’ into Rooibos nowadays.

So urban life, how does it compare to the countryside?

Well it’s dirty, I can feel it on my face and in my lungs, I wash my hair everyday and can’t imagine not scrubbing at my face twice a day now.

But there is transport here. No duh. I can go ‘whereves’ I want! No waiting days for the next train to take me home from a shopping trip. If I miss my last train home I know I could walk there easily enough, mind the stabbing, mugging and potential raping, but I could do it, safety permitting. It’s a very liberating feeling, I’ve not had this kind of freedom since I was at University, which was three years ago… a long time to wait for the ability to walk out my house and go somewhere.

I miss running though, since moving to London I haven’t had the courage to plod the streets and shed the pounds of home-sickness-comfort-eating fat I’ve piled on.  My running route at home was awesome, just over 10K with varying terrains from moors, woods and fields… *goes misty eyed*…

And a damned great big hill!

*thuds back to reality*… maybe I don’t miss that hill too much.

I’ve got roads, roads through estates, roads through parks, roads by canals, roads by the Thames… roads by more roads.

I’m going to have to brave it at some point but I know I was blessed with the best running route imaginable at home.

I miss my cats ignoring me, I don’t care that Millie probably only sat on my lap 3 times in the whole time we’ve had her, but I miss her black fuzzy fatty presence. Her and Diesel both would choose the armrests of our sofas over our thighs, they would stare at us in such an enticing way that each time we would hope against hope and coo at them to sit on us, only to have them jump on us to reach the back of the sofa.

Mind games.

Damned cats.

I miss Millie saying ‘ham’ actually saying ‘ham’, she somehow knew what it was and would always be there to plead me to give it to her while I was making my sandwich.

I’ve recorded her saying it, there is indisputable evidence, so don’t even try to denounce my claim.

I miss how our house functioned, from the creaky floorboards, low ceilings, noisy pipes and freezing cob walls, I was used to dealing with these issues. I knew which part of the landing to avoid in order to be quieter, I knew when to duck my head when I was in the living room, I knew what to do when the hot tap decided to randomly howl and I was ‘used’ to the cold…. as much as I disliked it.

I miss having to press the kitchen door hard against a piece of makeshift Velcro my Dad had stuck between the door and tabletop in order to keep it open rather than barely ajar.

Anyway, enough of the weird things you won’t really get or understand… down to the basics.

It’s the familiarity I miss, the everyday, the ordinary, the usual.

But most of all, I miss my family.

My rocks.

My bolts.

My glue.

Leaving them behind was always going to be tough, so you’ve got a lot to live up to London.

Don’t disappoint.

Hide It! – An Anthology of Short Stories – available on Amazon

Ok so I am going to do a shameless plug here, it’s been something that I’ve kept to myself for several, several months now and it’s about time I got it out there…

I’M A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!!

YEAH BABY!!!

If you type my name – Hannah Jamieson in the Amazon search bar it doesn’t say ‘did you mean this?’ or ‘author not found’ it comes up with this…

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barnett-Jessica-Collett-Stephen-Rhiannon-ebook/dp/B00KIXZGY4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1416416719&sr=1-1

I am actually a search result and I can’t believe I haven’t shouted out and bragged about this to everyone I know!!!

Well I do… but it’s really really silly…

So explanation is as follows – I won (as did 19 others) a short story competition on IdeasTap at the beginning of this year, the prize was having your story PUBLISHED by Mardibooks in an ANTHOLOGY that would be SOLD as an EBook on AMAZON….. OMG! OMG! OMG!

It was published on the 22nd May 2014.

So yeah, its nearing December now and you must be wondering why it has not been plastered over every form of social networking site I have… well… I know I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth BUT the reason I haven’t been telling everyone about this is because I had some disappointments when it came to the final product.

My bio was poorly poorly adapted. As required for the competition, I had to write a short paragraph ‘about me’… and to my dismay they had completely butchered it in the anthology; tenses and grammar were in limbo land.

It upset me; my Bio was a joke compared to all the others.

I emailed them requesting an edit and have been waiting since May for it to be changed. Ta Mardibooks.

But I have decided to buck up. I am going to ignore the fact that my Bio is a colossal disappointment (and that I also noticed a few typos throughout the anthology)… and to tell people about it anyway!!!!

I am a published author…. ME!!!

And I still can’t quite believe it, I just hope people judge me on my story and not on my Bio…. (please please don’t read it)…

So yeah… Look for THE SHADOWMAN BY HANNAH JAMIESON and please do enjoy.

Here’s more info on the Anthology –

http://www.mardibooks.com/hide-winners-announced-young-adult-fiction-short-story-competition-april-2014/

Thanks, thanks, thanks!!

My Thoughts on Feminism: Part 3

I love noticing when my opinions change.

I see it as a reminder of the kind of person I am and want to continue to be; open-minded.

I am susceptible to change just like everyone else and I’m glad that I am. It proves why knowledge is power and why I strive to learn more and more about Feminism every day.

I can admit when I am wrong and can take on other people’s opinions, even if it hurts a little to acknowledge it.

I’ve decided to revoke my opinion about changing the name of Feminism to something like ‘Equalism’. Something as simple as a comic strip made me change my mind. A simple drawing and speech bubbles made me realise that changing the name to make it ‘more inclusive for men’ is just a form of back stabbing and a firm kick in the proverbial cunt.

If men are threatened by a word then that’s their issue. Why should we change the name to something else just because they don’t understand what it represents?

History means ‘his-story’ but we don’t go round demanding the word to be changed to ‘hisandherstory’ we know we are included in this word and that we are part of ‘his-story’. Just because it’s a male word doesn’t mean we should suddenly be up in arms and offended by it. It goes without saying, we are part of history, we are not forgotten.

So Feminism should be seen in the same way, no? Women are the ones facing the inequality, we are the ones who need to be pushed up to men’s level, we are the ones who need it most… but that doesn’t mean that men are excluded.

If they can’t understand that Feminism just means equality, then that’s their ignorance. If a man knows what it means and is still threatened by it then… well, it’s word… let them be threatened – it just helps to prove that there is inequality if they can’t stand and support a female word.

And in some ways it’s just a bit insulting towards the men who do get it and support feminism, it’s like saying – ‘You don’t understand what this word means, silly boy, that’s why we are simplifying it for you! Yay!’

So yes, I’m assured of my stance on this one. I’m sticking with and standing by Feminism.

Here is the comic that helped come round to this view; it’s by Rebecca Cohen –

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If people really think that focusing on the people who are facing the inequality is reverse sexism then I say to them -‘bunkum! Hogwash! Codswallop!’ – make of that what you will.

I also had an interesting discussion about the phrase ‘like a girl’ when I posted this photo on Facebook.

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One of my friends pointed out that calling someone a gender they are not is what’s offensive.

‘I think it’s more the offence of calling someone a gender they’re clearly not. I’d be offended to be called a boy, but that’s because I’m a girl, not because society has taught me that being a boy is of lesser value.’

Now I agree with that to a certain extent when I was in my teens I had short hair and was called a boy, oh and a lesbian, because of it. I found being called a boy offensive because, well, I wasn’t a boy.

But of course being a boy isn’t of lesser value, but in our society being a girl is.

When they say ‘you are such a girl’ or ‘you throw like a girl’ or ‘you run like a girl’ what they are really saying is ‘you are weak. You are unintelligent. You can’t run fast. You can’t throw.’ There are connotations and implications that are attached to this phrase, it’s not solely calling someone a gender they aren’t, they are degrading them to a lesser being.

It’s often thrown back in our faces when we behave in a stereotypical girly manner or when we can’t do something like change a tire or fix the plumbing – it’s because we are female that we can’t do these things.

Of course! It’s not because I haven’t been trained to do it… no, no it can’t be that!

We are also called butch or tomboy (names I can’t stand) when we stray from the stereotype as well, we are made fun of for not being girly and then put down for it when we are – we can’t win!

‘Trying to be more like a man?’

‘No I’m just doing stuff I like and wearing clothes that are comfy.’

‘Hilarious, what a joke, you’re still a woman, tomboy. Try as much as you like to be one of us; you’re still a girl at the end of the day.’

‘Thanks?’

Boys suffer for it too.

Whereas, for a man, to be stereotypical is celebrated. Being an alpha male is THE goal – being able to drink copious amounts of liquor and lift weights is the dream! But, if you can’t do those things or if you are of a ‘softer disposition’ then you are told to ‘man-up!’ and if you can’t ‘man-up’ then…. well… you are demoted! You are emasculated and become something utterly repulsive and embarrassing.

A eunuch?!

Heavens no… a woman!

I found this discussion apt because Always has started a campaign tackling this very issue. It’s time to see that being a woman isn’t a bad thing, not just for men, but for women too.

In part, I believe my friend is right, if a man said that he was offended by being called a girl just because he’s not a girl then I would believe him. But I can’t ignore the fact that there are other meanings and insults that underline this phrase when it is said as well.

If it’s said and intended as an insult then that just proves it, doesn’t it? If it didn’t mean anything else then why use it as an insult to begin with? Why would you attack someone’s gender otherwise?

It’s exactly the same the other way round, when a woman says ‘you are such a man’ you know there are other inferences being thrown at you, there are hidden meanings.

To a manly-man though he would probably only hear it as a compliment.

It all reverts to stereotypical insults, and I am very much fed up with it – so let’s just stop using gender related insults altogether and let’s try to be more conscious and celebratory of our differences.

I end on the awesome Always advert –

 

 

A Joke at My Expense

Blurb: A short story that exploits my current situation and transforms me into a caricature.

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I want to moan, I want to whine and I want to vent. That’s all I want to do.

I have this horrible insatiable craving to wallow in self-pity.

I don’t have a job, and I all I can do about it, is complain. Conversations are on repeat with me, I have nothing new to say, mostly because, I haven’t anything new to talk about. I can’t do anything. I have no money.

Oh woe is me, I can’t do a thing.

All discussions with my friends drift back to the shame topic.

‘Oh Loser, pity you couldn’t join us… it was amazing!’

As all ‘it’s are.

‘I know, but I don’t have any money I’m afraid.’

‘So, how is the job hunt going?’

If it was going well, need I brag about how little money I have and how little society I see?

Why yes it is splendid, I am hunting all the time, shooting out CV’s and covering letter’s as if a whole flock of pheasants had burst forth from a single bush.

‘How impressive.’

Yes, I’m the best hunter and shooter in the world… I’m just not the best catcher.

‘You’ll get one soon, I’m sure of it.’

And so they have said, for the last three years.

Soon has a strange ability to span over decades, tricky devil; soon.

Such luxury. Such leisure these last three years have been, what with that delightful affair at Sainsbury’s that lasted two of those splendiferous years.

I ended up with Raynaud’s Disease thanks to that place. I had several freak collisions with their large metal rollers which resulted in my poor middle finger being rather badly squashed, several times I repeat.

Not sure how they knew to target the same finger, but they did, aaaaand now it goes ghostly white whenever it’s a bit chilly.

Cheers Sainsbury’s.

That’s my lasting impression from you.

And then I got this Internship, which has tallied over the past year. I spend my days reading and editing over three hundred stories a week.

Without pay.

Oh the joys of unpaid labour. You can’t tell me reading stories with my slippers on and a hot cup of tea isn’t gruelling work.

Oh wait it isn’t.

But the endless reading and editing and commenting is, especially when you’re not getting paid.

Honestly it is.

My eyes have gone completely square; they see only a muddle of pixels and words now. I have daily headaches and sore eyes, all because I’ve had to stare at a computer screen for far too long.

I leave my desk blindly wide eyed and zombified.

Like an owl forced to fly in an unnatural day.

‘So what are you looking for now? What are you going to aim for?’

The echoing questions chime in my ears. Each conversation is just a recording to me know, they all go the same way and I certainly don’t stray from the script. I read off my dialogue diligently and with the same enthusiasm as the scene before.

‘Anything Dear Sir or Madam. Anything but retail.’

‘Oh?’

I’m holding out for something that won’t turn me into a mindless drone. I actually enjoy using my brain.

So the job hunt goes on and I have no one to blame but myself, my pride and, of course, all those idiots who have chosen to not hire me.

I’m great.

It’s just hard turning ‘I’m great’ into a whole covering letter.

***

My cravings have been getting worse lately.

My pity pot keeps getting deeper every time I return to it and with each visit it’s getting harder for me to crawl back out.

The sides are becoming smooth underneath my frequent footing. I’m making it slippy with my tears and snot. With each hulk like punch to the floor I drive myself closer to the earth’s core.

Even though the release is only ever momentarily cathartic.

***

‘She whines all the time.’

‘God I know, it’s getting so annoying.’

‘All she ever bleats on about is her job hunt.’

‘She’s such an ear sore, every time I see her now I feel like I’m her bloody therapist. I have problems too, you know? It’s as if mine aren’t equal to hers!’

‘So condescending and it’s her own fault she’s unemployed. Goes around acting as if she’s a bloody victim, so pathetic, I’m like, please… just get a job like the rest of us.’

‘Miss high and mighty.’

‘Miss oh woe is me.’

‘So bored of her.’

‘So bored.’

‘Doubt she’s even really trying.’

***

I sigh as I watch another mascara-laden tear slide down my face.

‘Well I really needed to hear that.’

I look away from the mirror and go downstairs.

***

Visible Oppression

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I am oppressed,

without chains.

 

I am oppressed,

without a cage.

 

I am oppressed,

without a curfew.

 

My tyrant is a Notion

A threat which has

Words

It whispers my

Downfall

And rages

Unseen

Behind eyes

It hides

Within bodies

It possesses

 

It has a view of the world

I do not live in

As an equal

I am

NOT

Admitted

 

It controls a world

I do not want to live in

As a woman

I am

NOT

omitted

 

Forced to face such a world

This is my torture

As a prisoner

I am

 

Inhibited

 

My cheeks are pressed against the glass

My eyes

Rub

Against the clear surface

 

I see it

Cloying before my eyes

The truth

Such nectar

Such poisonous nectar

 

The Notion,

sees’ it too.

Though feigns ignorance.

 

It’s what’s holding me against the window

Looking at me through the glass

It’s what’s done up my button hole

Trimming my secret garden with it’s

Scythe

Violating my justice,

Coming in my nectar.

 

I am militant

In suffrage

smeared

jeered

feared

 

The Notion

The conductor

The puppeteer

Plays on with the defilement

It’s theatre

A distraction

My rage disguised

 

But my eyes remain open

Merged with the glass

I watch

The Notion

The pornography

The deception

Do It’s work

It’s wrong

Such fuel

Such rage

It builds

And it will build.

The glass won’t withstand the volume of eyes

Dried

And forced

Upon it

So we wait

And watch

And fuel

And rage

 

under the visible oppression.

Pixelated Generation

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Pixelated generation,

Square eyed and wired up.

We see through screens not a,

Looking glass.

Liberated yet confined,

Online,

The notification generation,

We twiddle our thumbs and

In fantasy lands we play.

We’re virtual,

We’re viral,

We’re out but not outside.

Fresh air deserves a selfie,

Friends deserve a like,

And our faces are nothing without a

Profile.

Revolutions storm the media,

Not streets,

Campaigns are hash tags,

And chants are tweets.

Keyboards are weapons,

Each Enter a

Shot.

We’re aware,

We can see,

Our world has shrunk.

We’re lost,

We are struggling

Our WWW has us stuck.

We’re silent yet social,

Loud but not heard,

Contradictions define us

Lose us

We’re absurd

We’re hypocrites

Immortal machines with

Decaying

Youth

Our hearts are

USB ports,

desperate for interaction.

We download, off-load

Our emotions are all

Online.