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.

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A Confession at 23:58

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My ability to procrastinate truly does astound me sometimes, I promised a post quite a while ago and I’ve only just found the time, please forgive the delay.

The new year has ushered in a whole host of new problems – unemployment, two unfinished stories, a 10K run I need to train vigorously for and well, unemployment – it’s a major one.

But I don’t want to focus on them in this post, I want to focus on the past, I want to focus on 2013, I want to focus on what I WAS able to do last year. I achieved much and I never gave myself the chance to pat myself on the back.

Do you really need to? Yes, yes I believe I do.

You see, I think it right that everyone should look back on their past year. They should pick out all the events they felt proud of, the moments that made them grow in some way, or just the instances that made them smile. This will armor them for the next year, they can face the new digits with a positive attitude.

And that’s exactly what I want to do, so what was worth cheering about? What did I do that was worthy of note? Let’s list, shall we?

1) I passed my driving test.

And at 24 it really was about time. I got fed up of seeing youths driving around as young as 17 or 18 years old in vehicles of their own while I, a mere pedestrian, had to resort to public services. My own personal taxi service thought so too. And by taxi service I obviously mean my Dad. He wishes I paid him.

2) I Went on holiday to Canada with my Boyfriend.

This was our first proper holiday together, ABROAD! So it meant a great deal that we managed to survive the whole two weeks without any mishaps.

Well… there was one tiny argument… nothing to cause alarm… Well… it was a bit worrying when Bandicoot decided to storm off and abandon me in Toronto… But don’t worry, I found him sulking on a wall a little way ahead of me… he remembered that I had the train tickets back to our apartment.

I also had his sunglasses – it’s good to take hostages, remember that.

But, as always with us, we were laughing within minutes of the incident and we used it as a good excuse to… umm… well I think you get the picture.

I would definitely recommend a trip to Canada, Niagara Falls and the CN tower are wonders worth seeing. (As is the Steamwhistle Brewery!)

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3) I QUIT SAINSBURYS!!! Enough said on that point.

4) I GOT MYSELF AN EDITORIAL INTERNSHIP AND IT ACTUALLY TURNED INTO A PAID POSITION!!! I got to work from home, wear slippers all day and drink tea whenever I wanted! (It was only temporary though… hence… unemployment… but it was GREAT while it lasted.)

5) I discovered I love falafel after an interview which began with a ping pong match. (Yes that really did happen, can you imagine a girl racked with nerves, dressed in a sexy secretary outfit, playing ping pong with her interviewer? That was me. Oh and yes obviously I didn’t get it hence… unemployment… Arrrg, I said I wasn’t going to focus on my present problems! Let’s move on!)

6) I started and maintained a BLOG! For a girl who thought she was all out of ideas this was the one thing that stunned me the most. I can’t believe the amount of work I have written, the amount of inspiration I have found. It’s more than I was able to do at University! I shared two of my short stories on ReadWave and both have hit over 500 views, all the comments I received were so positive, I never expected such a wonderful reaction. It has definitely spurred me on!

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7) I rediscovered my love of Sailor Moon with my beast of a sister, complete with the purchases of series 1 to 4, all the films and a Sailor Jupiter Costume. (My sister is Sporting Serena’s red and blue number in this picture.) This programme from my childhood helped me through some the tougher times of 2013… it was an escape for both my sister and I. The ‘negaverse’ was always defeated thank’s to Sailor Moon and it was amazing how much I could relate to the show and the comfort I found from it.

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8) I started running. OUTSIDE! This was a massive achievement for me because for years I believed this was something I would never be able to do. My self-worth and self-esteem were among the bottom-feeders, I had virtually nothing. This was my Everest. I am not what you call fat or obese, but I certainly wasn’t fit or happy. All the exercise I had ever done before was indoors, to venture outside and RUN was unfathomable until this past year. I’m still what you would call a beginner, but the fact that I am outside at all is a miracle.

And the fact that I managed to do a 10k run in 55mins for an event called ‘The Croome Olympics’ is AMAZING! The chubby girl inside me still can’t believe it. (I also won Golden Lady, my first sporting medal, EVER!)

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YAY ME!

So yeah, this post is basically just a massive pat on the back to myself, everyone needs one occasionally and mine has been long overdue. It’s about time we all looked at ourselves in a more positive light and I invite you all to give this particular exercise a go, it’s a great ego boost!

(Although, I’m pretty sure this will only sustain mine for a couple of days, the negative thoughts will, inevitably, creep back. I can’t change myself overnight, as much as I’d like to.)

I am looking forward to 2014!!!

A Confession at 22:17

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(Drawing courtesy of my Sister – it is a diagram of my current life status.)

So I have realised that lately I have been neglecting my writing duties. Since running off to Canada for a holiday (Ooh la dee dah, yes, yes I know, how unfortunate for me right? Well anyway…) I have been unable to get my head back into writing slog mode. It’s been almost three months since my last blog post… what kind of writer am I? I have been focusing all my attention on applying for jobs that I have put my writing on the back burner, priorities eh?

What kind of woman am I? Why am I seemingly incapable of multitasking? Do other women have this issue or am I defunct? Have I been living in my boyfriend’s clothes a bit too long? Have I become another supermarket drone?

Dear God I hope not.  That is a fate worse than death.

No I think I am just fed up. These past two years I’ve been living at home but it’s just felt like I’m in bits and pieces. One weekend I am a writer, the next a girlfriend or an advisor to a friend or the big sister that needs to comfort the beast (that means sister for those that didn’t know) or I am the party animal who only occasionally remembers how to have fun.  I have been hurling myself from one side of the country to the other, from one pit stop to another and I’ve forgotten how to be whole.

(Ha, wait a minute, that just shows how amazingly multitasked I actually am. Who else but a woman could be all those roles at once? YES I AM NOT GROWING A PENIS! Although… It does look like I am losing what little boobs I already had… *weeps* (I blame that particular dilemma on all the running and exercise I have been doing lately – see folks losing weight isn’t always a great idea. Take heeeeeeeeed!) Lord how many confessions are you going to make today? …. Ok, let’s get back to what I was originally moaning about, shall we?)

I’m fed up of being in the pit stop already. I want to drive, not be under surveillance or testing. I want to be out there on the race track able to compete. I want to be up to standard.

For the past two years I have felt like I have been missing a tyre, a light or a gear. That I’m not up to speed with the people I left University with. They’ve gone shooting off into their careers and I am floundering behind wondering why I’ve stalled.

I’ve realised I am fed up of living 198 miles away from my boyfriend, being unsuccessful and a failure in the eyes of my peers and my annoying cousins. I’m fed up of grieving for the loss of my University years and thinking that those were THE best days of my life – because I really hope they are not, I want there to be better days ahead for me or at least for them to be equally as amazing.

I’m fed up of being pessimistic. I’m fed up of taking the easy road. It’s so easy to slip into the pity pot, it’s so easy to mooch on the sofa and complain about how nothing is going well for me.

I mean, come on, what was I expecting?

I tell you what I was thinking – I was naively under the impression that something good would happen to me as soon as I got back from Canada. I thought that a job would fall into my lap. That it would pack my bags for me, magically transport my ass up to London and move me into a decent flat with my boyfriend.  It’s been nearly two months since I’ve been back and I’ve had one measly interview.

Why do I put my expectations up so high? It’s as if I want to fail, it’s as if I enjoy tripping myself up.

It was never going to happen like that so why am I making myself feel so crummy about the whole thing; it’s not as if I am the only person in the world suffering from the same problem.

How self-centred… get over yourself! Get some bloody positivity inside of you for pity sake. This is why my writing has been in the back seat lately, I’ve been focusing on getting out of Devon so much that I almost forgot my blog existed.  It wasn’t until this weekend that it was pulled back into the front lines.

So, this brings me to why I have written this particular post.

I don’t want to be in bits anymore, and having a pen name is just another piece to deal with.

This other persona of myself is stealing all the good bits that I have done this past year – this blog got me back into writing and has given me confidence. So why let another name take my glory? Why let someone else steal the limelight?

Maybe this is my race track, this is the one I should be focusing on instead and maybe I am the one putting myself in the pit stop? This pen name is holding me back and why?

Because I am too cowardly to put my own name to my writing? LAME. PATHETIC. JUVENILE.

Again what kind of writer am I? Yes it was fun to begin with but now it’s time to grow a pair.

So here it is confession number 6 – I am Hannah Jamieson and this is my blog.

I don’t pretend to think that I am any good but I certainly enjoy what I do. Call me Hannah, call me Alexandra I don’t really care, just in my head it matters that we are one of the same. It’s just one less role deal with.

Ta.

 

Now see, wasn’t that easy? Funny thing is only the people who read my blog regularly will probably see this, so I guess it wheedles out the ones who are deserved enough to know my true identity.

A Confession at 14:37

Dear Tesco,

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I have written to you today because I have been left with no alternative, I have tried to move on and just forget what ails me but, I’m afraid, I cannot. Now, I am not the kind of person who goes around making formal and outlandish complaints all the time, no sir! I’m the type of person who usually bombards her boyfriend’s ears with her superfluous moans and petty grievances or shouts loudly, indoors, where no one else can hear. So you can imagine then what kind of monstrous act could’ve driven me – a common benevolent bystander – to my laptop to write up this letter of complaint.

I was a loyal customer to you back at University which was two years ago now. Your Egham store was, thankfully, conveniently close and I enjoyed those days of freedom purchasing the food I fancied whenever I wanted. I grew fond of your own brand of food and I soon had particular favourites which I could only get from your store. I shall now get to the point of this letter – I was absolutely in LOVE with your bakery’s own Finest cookies. I was hooked. Addicted. Crazy for them. Especially the raspberry and white chocolate ones. They were my luxury items which I made sure I had money for within my budget.

Unfortunately when I left University so did go my freedom to shop. The closest store to my family home is a Sainsbury’s and their cookies don’t even compare to yours. They were in no way a suitable supplement for my cravings. So from once being a loyal and dedicated customer I become a T-Total cookie consumer. It has been hard.

So when I had the opportunity to visit your store a week ago you can imagine just how excited I was. I had my list all planned and prepared before I arrived and headed straight for the bakery as soon as I got in. I had exclaimed to my partner throughout the whole car journey –

‘I can’t wait to finally have those cookies! Do you know how long I have craved them? Almost a whole year! I am so so so so ready to sink my teeth into them! I am going to buy a whole packet for myself and maybe reserves!’ and so on and so forth.

But when I finally reached the counter, when I was finally so close to my prize, they were not there.

They were nowhere to be found.

I have never ever felt quite as disappointed as I did in that moment.

My stomach felt like it had been vandalised and humiliated. The whole trip was a futile endeavour.

WHY DON’T YOU SELL THEM ANYMORE?

Was it just that one store that didn’t have them or have they been completely scrapped? THEY WERE THE BEST COOKIES IN THE WORLD! They were perfect. I loved their soft texture and their chunky pieces of chocolate. Why on earth would you get rid of them? I even checked online and they aren’t there! I am distraught.

You unceremoniously removed them without giving me the last chance to say goodbye!

I DEMAND that you either bring them back or for goodness sake give me the recipe because I cannot deal with them being absent in my life. I know that is lame but those cookies were HEVEANLY! I cannot express enough how much those cookies meant to me. Without them I really have no reason to visit your store ever again and I know it probably doesn’t mean much to you, I am now one of those infrequent customers, but on those rare occasions when I do grace your store with my presence I would love to know that they will be there. Waiting for me. One small symbol of consistency and love from your behalf.

The least you could do is send me the recipe if you don’t think it’s worth your while putting them back on your shelves, no? Anyway, that is why… that is why I just had to write to you and I hope at least that you hear my plea and do something about it.

Yours sincerely,

Alexandra Neon – Finest cookie addict since 2008

A Confession at 14:19

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I have been extremely girly this week. In fact I’ve been rather ‘anti-feminist’ for the past year… why? How? You ask? Well since I am in Devon, where not much really happens because I am severely lacking in friends and have been working part-time for a company that needs not my intellect, I have found time to dwell on frivolous thoughts. Spanning from the outrageously neurotic, where I truly believe my friends hate me, to the profound, sensible thoughts about the future and of…

MY wedding.

Yes, that’s right I think about MY wedding…

Because it’s going to be AWESOME!!!! And my Bandicoot has no idea what I have been cooking up for us… I have thought of all the things we like and have thrown them together in a cauldron of confetti and champagne. Imagine Pokemon, Cream Teas, Cougar Town, Thomas the Tank Engine, Life of Pi, 12 Angry men and John Wayne all meshed together at a National Trust property… ahhh what an idea… haha don’t worry it’s not really that crazy… or is it?

So you guys are engaged?

WHY GOOD HEAVENS… NO! Silly, I’m just a day dreamer. I sometimes imagine I am actually marrying Hugh Jackman… Captain America or the cookie monster… ahum… because well, I don’t really have the money to pay for this wedding, yet, and we’ve agreed to not get engaged until we can. That way I won’t have to be a fiancé for decades… I want to be a fiancé for as little time as possible… just seems like purgatory otherwise.

So yes that’s my dreadful little secret… I’ve even made a scrap book of all my ideas… from stationary, dresses and table decorations… but not the cake. THAT IS ALREADY SORTED!

I’d share some of my ideas with you but I have this fear that whatever I plan will be copied by my cousin. A girl who, for some reason, seems to know all the things I want and copies them without even realising… its infuriating. It’s like we have a mental connection; whatever I ooh and ahh at she will inevitably have, even if we are in different counties and I have her in my restricted section on Facebook… If she has anything the same as me I go berserk and if I find that she has copied any of my wedding ideas I will die.

I will rip her cake apart. I will claw at her dress. I will go all primeval on her guests and then I will look at my scrap book with hopeless longing.

That’s not petty is it?  

Or perhaps if I state my ideas now it’ll be proof that I thought of them first…

No that won’t matter to her… she’s not compassionate enough to understand…

OK it is super petty… but living with this mimic has led me to this irrational need to be different from her. I have done so much to escape this clone. My hair has suffered from all the times I have had to dye it a different colour when I’ve noticed she’s had the same hair cut as me. It’s like trying to run away from your own shadow, your own mirror image; its hard work. Trying to be different is hard work and at times I have never felt myself or natural all because she can’t get her own image.

To me my wedding is a sacred concern, a precious delusion that I will protect with the maternal instinct of a lioness; defending her cub.

If she gets a cake made by Choccywoccydoodah I will kill her.

A Confession at 23:50

Boob Envy

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Jealousy is an irregular and erratic emotion.

Imagine it as a rash; its itchy, its hot and it irritates you right to the core. There are different levels of inflammation that you can catch, ranging from the bearable to the insanely painful. You can have the reoccurring outbreaks of mild prickliness, which only appear in certain places, every once in a while. OR, and this OR is a bad OR because it’s an OR which no person deserves to have, you can have the full bodied blisters, which are constantly ignited and cause searing grief on a daily basis. It depends on your character, I guess, which degree of itchiness you have; if you are of a content disposition I doubt you would get this rash often, but if you are unhappy, insecure and resentful I could imagine how unbearable your rash might be.

It’s an unattractive trait to be sure; one that can creep up unannounced with not so much as a hello or good day to settle in on your heart like it’s a sofa-bed. It’s a squatter, a horrible green-eyed monster squatter, not welcome to stay but not easy to remove either.

I think everyone has this little green monster inside of them. I know I do and though mostly docile mine can be dangerously feral and has a tendency to pop up at the most inconvenient occasions. I think everyone would admit, if they were being really honest with themselves, that at one time or another, this green creature has had a house call.

And I have one that comes a-knocking most frequently.

So here it is; my third confession to you all – I have outrageous boob envy.

It started ever since my classmates hit puberty.

Did you get that?

Yeah/

I mean just so we’re clear – effectively everyone else but ME hit puberty.

I got tha/

My classmates, NOT ME, my friends, NOT ME, everybody else got’s the goodies… except ME. So we are clear, right? They got boobs, I did not. Yeah? Oh… you got that the first time?

Yes/

Without my help? Oh…

Never mind then…

Sorry…

P.E was the worst. I’d wander in all innocent and flat-chested to get changed and BAM… BOOB’S EVERWHERE! It’s no wonder they thought I was a lesbian (not that the short hair helped or anything) for I could but stare, dumbfounded, at them. My eyes would always wander away from theirs and drift down to their chests; at their perfect perky mounds of boob. I found it hard to look away. My jealousy was so severe, so astonished and so in UTTER awe of their tits, that it wouldn’t stop looking at them. Its green eyes were stuck.

‘I’m unhealthily transfixed by them’, partly because I find these big bosoms beautiful but also because I secretly want to punch them back into their chests… I think being a pervert is better than causing physical bodily harm, no?

Mine are pitiful; to quote Bend it Like Beckham they are like ‘mosquito bites’. I wish they weren’t, I wish they were as ample as Kelly Brook’s are… did you see Piranha 3D?  They were splendid… floating nicely underwater like inflatable balls of loveliness… Sigh

I am honestly not a lesbianbut damn… I love her boobs.

It’s funny how many words beginning with B perfectly describe the boobs I want –

Bodacious

Bountiful

Big

Breathtaking

Beautiful

Boobralicious (look it up on Urban Dictionary… it’s there. Also look up breastaholic and breasmerized…)

Baps

Blimpish

Blessed

Bloated

Blossomed

Balloons

Bouncing

Bulky…

Bulky, really? Think you are desperately clutching at straws now… hum? This is turning into a dictionary rather than a blog post.

Ok, ok, maybe not bulky… or most of the others, but you get the idea.

It’s an unattainable desire, one that I will probably never get over. I can only hope that pregnancy will be kind and make my boobs grow to a decent proportion.

But, until then, my boob envy rages on…

So if you see me staring at your bazooma’s, I’m sorry, just take it as a HUGE compliment and know that it’s either that or I cut them off… which do you prefer?

A Confession at 17:21

My writing has always been a rather haphazard and unstructured affair; and this blog is proving to be no different. The main reason I started it was to motivate myself into writing something regularly. So subject matters may overlap. I may be making pointless posts or indulging in my own egotistical opinions but at least I am typing. I am typing whatever pops into my head so of course it won’t be exceptionally coherent nor pieces of extraordinary literature – it simply reflects what I am pondering at that very instant (and I ponder many things).

 
So anyway I decided I had better explain myself.

 
And I also wanted to explain why I have named myself ‘Alexandra Neon’. I think I managed to skirt around that topic a bit too easily in my first post. It was a carefully thought decision and I’d like to share the process of how this name came together.

 

Alexandra:

 
I have always wanted to be called Alexandra.

 
Firstly; it was one of those names that sounded awfully au courant and primordial to me. I was insanely jealous of a friend of mine who had this name and it made me despise my own for a long time. I have, however, come to love the name I was given and I now look at this name with a waning sense of nostalgic envy. So it seemed only fitting to give my alter-ego the name I had wanted for so long.

 
Secondly; our family had to move about a lot when I was younger, following my Dad’s job wherever it had to take him and at one point I had moved to three different schools within three years. Not only were we following my Dad but something was following me too… and that was Egypt. Yes Egypt. Let me explain, you see at each of these three schools there would always be a big history project and each time I moved they’d always be studying the ancient world and, specifically in my case, it was ancient Egypt. I loved it. I found their Gods and Goddesses memorising and I enjoyed being the one in the class who knew the most about them. Alexandra, to me, resembled this ancient world and I was positive for a long time that I was a reincarnated Pharaoh and that my name had been ‘Alexandra’.

 
That would’ve been so cool… no?

 
Well… In my mind it was.

 
Neon:

 
Now this one doesn’t hold much explanation it just popped up and seemed the brightest idea at the time.

 
Brightest… get it?

 
I find neon to be an interesting word and not only does it sound playful its colours and forms can be equally lively. I find these pliable tubes of electrifying colours beautiful and arresting, I imagine myself holding them, bending them into shapes and words and then running with them so that a stream of light follows me wherever I go.

 

These luminescent bulbs can burst with personality. They can at times look trampy and tacky; these are usually the ones you find flickering in broken down shop windows and shady back alleys of the red light district. They can look artistically ostentatious in a gallery which only the avant-garde can see and can give humour to a place which otherwise finds such qualities to be lacking.

 
They, much like humans, can be individual and that is what I admire about them. I see my personality as these lights and imagine the colours and shapes dancing around with vibrant abandon.

 
They also last much longer than glow sticks…

 
So why not choose a word that encompasses so much variety and animation? Why not by jingo? So there it is. That is how my alternative name came to be. Nothing fancy – just built from the foundations of a sinful nature and from a childlike fascination with things that glow.