Saturday, 30 January 2010

Facebook Cull

So it's the end of love week and it's been fun. I've really enjoyed keeping up with everyones great efforts on twitter and over at the 100 days blog. It also pushed me into plagiarising one of the project I love most- Lina's 100 love stories. And the absolutely best bit about that was sitting down with the wonderful Gaby and Flavia to hear their story. I've known them for three years but had never asked how they met- it was lovely to find out.

But love week is no more. So what better way to celebrate by axeing some of my facebook 'friends'? Following Jason Graham's example have carried out a Facebook Cull.

Now there is nothing I like more than facebook stalking. I am hugely nosy and I love to know who from school is single, who turned out to be gay, who has been on holiday where etc. etc. I love knowing random details about people's lives even when I would no longer speak to them in person. And actually having lots of facebook friends has been very useful- when I moved down to London I messaged anyone on my list who was living there for advice on where to live and got some very useful tips from people I hadn't spoken to in over five years. And it was lovely to reconnect with them breifly. There are however people I'm friends with on there that I will never speak to again and I really don't care about enough to wan't to know anything about their lives. It's time for a clearout.

I got rid of 11 people today, 3 from a festival I worked at over a year ago, 3 old school friends I actually can't even remember, an ex-boyfriend of my sister, 2 guys I met once while on a night out in Barcelona and Andy. I will tell you about Andy using Jason's Facebook Cull formula.

I replied to Andy's dating post on Gumtree last year. I was new to Edinburgh, working in an office with about 5 men, none of whom were single and living with my sister and so not going out and meeting new people. I decided to have a look at internet dating and Andy's post seemed pretty normal and interesting.

After a few emails back and forth I added Andy as a friend so I could see what he looked like and check that he wasn't a freak.

After checking out his photos and some facebook messaging back and forth Andy seemed like a pretty cool guy. I suggested maybe we should meet up in person and he agreed and asked if I wanted to see a film at the Edinburgh Film Festival. I suggested we go and see Rudo y Cursi. I never heard from him again. Ever. I guess he really must hate Mexican cinema.

I should have deleted Andy within a month of him ignoring me. I kept him as a friend though as I didn't know many people in Edinburgh and wanted to promote my Christmas Book Tree to as many Edinburgh folk as possible. He never joined the group though and this deletion is way overdue.

I feel better for doing something I should have done a long time ago. This will stop me wondering what might have been every time his status comes up on my wall (answer: We would prob have gone on one date and never seen each other again). Also I live in London now and am very happy- I don't need reminders of Edinburgh based failings.

No Status

Nope, Should have been done this months ago

Mmmm Gael Garcia Bernal

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

A Love Story

Flavia and Gaby met some time in 2000 in Buenas Aires. Gaby’s sister, a teacher like him, was working in a kindergarten and Flavia was employed as a teaching assistant to one of the children in the class. They disagree over whether they met first at his sister’s wedding or a school outing but the first time they spent a lot of time together was on a ‘Colonia’ or summer camp.

The first thing that attracted Flavia was to Gaby was how good he was with the children. So good that she was worried she’d lose her job as the little girl she was employed to look after wanted to spend all her time with him instead.

Gaby was attracted to Flavia from the start. He was too scared though to ask her out though in case she said no and they would have to spend a long awkward summer together. Instead they had lunch together everyday and did the crossword. One day Gaby asked Flavia what her favourite foods were. The next day he brought them in for their lunch.

On the last day of the camp Gaby asked Flavia to the cinema and she said yes. Flavia had been living with some friends in the city. After that date she only went back to the flat to collect fresh clothes.

10 years later and Flavia and Gaby are living together in Bacelona. They came over with Gaby’s Spanish passport, a promise of a job through a friend of a friend and just 300 Euros. They were married in 2006 so Flavia could stay in the country, before her Italian nationality came through. It’s not all been easy and they separated briefly with Gaby going to Andorra to work for the ski season and Flavia staying in Barcelona.

Now though, they are happy. They are both part of a cooperative that works with disabled children. They are looking to move into their own flat in Sitges. They kiss on escalators.


This love story idea is based on one of my personal favourite 100day projects- Lina’s 100 love stories blog.

I’m plagiarising it today as part of love week


Friday, 22 January 2010

Love does exist

I am in love with the city.

Walking the streets of Barcelona for the first time in 18 months I am so overwhelmed with affection for this place. I love the architecture, the atmosphere, I have friends here I adore, I have so many incredible memories, I hear people speak Catalan on the street and jo tambe soc Catalana. I learnt so much in my time here and it feels wonderful to know I still feel at home. In the spirit of Mel, Sophie, Emerson and I´m sure many many others, and to fit the theme of love week, please find above my photo of the day.

This wasn´t taken today but some time in 2008 while I was living here. It sums up a lot of what´s fabulous about the city, the creativity, the positivity, the vibrancy. I was so grateful to return to that today. Love does exist.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Dia 50- felicidades a todos!


Hoy hemos llegado al dia 50. Para mi ha sido una experiencia increible. Felicidades a todos que han cumplido 50 dias hoy- me han gustado mucho sus ofertas. A ellos que empezaron tarde- felicididades tambien por estar en cualqier dia que esten. A ellos que hemos perdido por el camino- gracias por la compania y suerte con lo que estan haciendo ahora.

Hoy- como pueden ver estoy escribiendo en castellano como lo hace Linda Fuller. Debo escibir mucho mas en espanyol- como pueden ver no se como usar los acentos y seguro que hago muchos errores. Linda sabe que la unica manera de apreder y mejorar en una idioma es practicar- lo que esta haciendo ella muy bien.

Tambien estoy escribiendo en castellano por que el jueves voy a Espanya! Vivia en Barcelona para 18 meses y no he vuelto alli desde entonces (hace unos 20 meses) Estoy super SUPER emocionada! Voy a quedarme con amigos muy buenos y ver a gente que quiero. Y tambien voy a hablar mucho Espanyol (y tanto Catalan como puedo) Se que mi nivel de castellano ha bajado muchisimo pero como sabe Linda la unica manera de mejorar es intentar!

Un besote


Sunday, 17 January 2010

All my own work

As promised/threatened here is my 100 days writing from tonight. Not the best I've ever written but it will have to do. I've been getting a lot of my ideas from The Writer's Block and this weeks idea was to follow a $5 bill through the hands of 5 different people. This is the 4th person I've done and being English I made it a £5 note (don't worry, I won't bore you with the other three). This is the first time I've put my writting up for all to see so please be nice. Also apologies for the bad formatting- if anyone could let me know how to copy and paste from Word without Blogspot getting cross at meta in the html I would love you forever.

Arun £5 note #4

Fivers were the easiest to take; those and twenty pence pieces. Larger notes were hidden under the coin tray and his mother always knew how many pound coins there should be in the till. Plus five pound notes were the smallest and normally the most battered, easy to slide out and crumple into your palm while you were picking out the rest of a customer’s change. Or equally easy to hide in your fist while you went through the motions of lifting up the metal arm, placing an imaginary note under it and slamming it back down and the till draw closed in one fluid, aggressive motion. Sometimes Arun lifted so much he barely remembered it all. His mother would find crumpled notes in his trouser pockets when she went to wash them and return the cash to him with warnings to keep all his money safely in his wallet- after all there were thieves everywhere nowadays. This evening though, Arun had been more cautious; deciding to cut down for a couple of weeks to avoid suspicion he had taken only £5.80. It was enough though. Tonight was Thursday, Revenge was free entry on Thursday. At 11.30 he pulled the metal shutters down early, crept upstairs to his room, changed his underwear and t-shirt and headed into town. At 1 a.m. euphoric from the dance floor he went to the bar to get a drink. It didn’t take long.



You looked good out there. What’s your name?


Aaron- what are you drinking Aaron?

He had an epic hangover as he did the walk of shame home at 8 a.m. Even the noise of the change jangling in his pocket was unbearable. On the plus side with only three pounds spent (condoms from an all-night garage) it had been a cheap night. Maybe he should lay off the thieving for a bit. Although, thinking about it, next weekend was Pride. He’d need at least £50 for that.

Done (almost)

Items 1-6 ticked off my list and I feel pretty good about it. Although the majority of my tasks were completed at 10 o'clock at night after putting them off all day, they still got done. As Emerson said earlier in the week: "there's no better way to keep yourself going than the threat of letting down a (probably) non-existent internet audience"

Most things on my list were actually pretty hassle free, it was just a case of getting them sorted- especially after I advertised to the world that I had no contents insurance and was going abroad- Oops! For those of you that were planning to rob me I am now fully insured, my housemates will be home and unfortunately I really have nothing worth stealing. It's a pretty close call for the most satisfying item on my list. Scrubbing off the mould was actually fantastic (I should have taken before and after photos) but I think writing my letter to Andy wins. It was lovely to really take some time to communicate with someone, to dedicate that hour to them and really think about them and what you want to tell them. Also I can claim it as a plagiarisation of Sara Pascoe's pledge- win!

I'd like to say a big thank you Beth for letting me steal her pledge for the week, it's been great. Loads of luck for the rest of the list and advanced Happy Birthday to J-cub.

And finally the eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted I have 1 more item on my list to fulfil. I was actually pretty happy with my 100 days writing yesterday but I did it at 11.45 out of guilt so I'm not sure if I can really claim it. This evening I will dedicate my evening (after dinner and before Being Human) to writing. Depending how I feel about it I might even share it with you all!

Monday, 11 January 2010

To Do

Not only are other people's 100 day pledges more creative than mine, some are a lot more useful too. Take Beth. On December 1st she wrote a list of 100 things she wanted to sort out before her baby turned one (coincidentally on March 10th- day 100) She has been steadily working her way through her list doing all kinds of useful, productive things like baby-proofing the kitchen, making mobiles, fixing curtains and baking delicious food (and providing the recipes- try the banana bread, it's delicious).

I'm a huge fan of to do lists but I also like to waste my life watching 4OD. So in an effort to ensure my week is as productive as it should be I'm signing up to Beth's pledge. Here are the 7 things on my list I'm going to do this week:

  1. Write a letter to my friend Andy- he has sent me two letters and a Christmas gift since I moved to London- I really need to reply.
  2. Sort everything for my trip to Barcelona next week!!! This means travel insurance, confirming with the friends I'm staying with, organising when I'm catching up with friends and ex-colleagues.
  3. Tackle the mould in the bathroom with a scourer and bleach- then let the landlord know.
  4. Sort out evaluation for the Children's Book Tree project I ran last year. Email all the organisations involved and get stats and feedback from the bookshop.
  5. Sort out contents insurance for my new flat, try and find one that will cover my new phone as well.
  6. Post the Christmas presents I still haven't sent to Andy (see no.1) and my friend Rosie.
  7. Actually spend some time on my 100 Days writing so that it's something I'm pleased with, not a hurried 100 words at 11p.m.

Hopefully by sharing these online and making it official I will actually acheive them all.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

You know a gay

A new but very welcome addition to the 100 day camp is Andrew Phifer who, from the first of January, has been coming out to one person a day. In his own words:

Easily, one of the most important and rewarding events of my life thus far was telling my friends and family that I am gay. In the years since, I have become increasingly more active in the LGBT community, recently attending the National Equality March in Washington DC. At that rally at the foot of the Capitol and others I have attended, it has been repeated that in order to create change, you have to tell people you’re gay. Friends, family, coworkers. You have to let them know that they know someone who is gay. You have to put a face on who the inequality is hurting… Therefore, for my Hundred Days project, I will tell one person daily that they know someone who is gay – me.

I love that this is a project that not only benefits the participant but also goes towards making the world that bit nicer and more open for the rest of us (something my angsty creative writing is never going to achieve).

Now it's going to be pretty hard to plagiarise this pledge. Contrary to what my family assumed I am straight. Although it was utterly lovely that my mother and sister both (seperately!) told me that if I was gay it made no difference and they still loved me, sadly I'm not gay, I'm just a bit rubbish with men!

So not being able to come out to friends and acquaintances I thought I'd just share some videos with you. I expect I'm probably preaching to the converted here but I will do my best to publicise this blog so as many people as possible see, and hopefully share, these brilliant videos.

The first I actually found on Jason Mraz's blog. It's the most brilliant speech I think I've heard in a long time. Inspirational stuff.

The next two videos about the fight for marriage equality in Maine are by New Left Media (I strongly recommend you check out their other stuff too). I was a high school exchange student in Maine for 5 months in 2003. It's a great state and I made some amazing friends there. I was however, shocked by the level of homophobia I found there. Two of my best friends had come out to me just before I left the UK and then in my first few days in Maine friends of the family I was staying with, and the pastor of the church I was obliged to attend, made some of the most horrible homophobic statements I had ever been exposed to. I knew there were some people who thought like that in England but I'd never been in a place where it was acceptable to express those sentiments freely. Fortunately there are also incredible, sensible, rational and loving individuals in that state too. Mr Baldwin, my English teacher, and I were involved in my high schools first Gay-Straight Alliance. He is the man in the videos wearing glasses who is interviewed before and after the results are announced. Unfortunately seven years later Maine still isn't as tolerant as we'd hope but it's getting there.

I'd like to thank Mr Baldwin and all of the others involved for their dedication and passion.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


1. the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.
2. something used and represented in this manner.
1621, from L. plagiarius "kidnapper, seducer, plunderer," used in the sense of "literary thief" by Martial, from plagium "kidnapping," from plaga "snare, net," from PIE base *p(e)lag- "flat, spread out." Plagiary is attested from 1597.

( I don't actually own a real dictionary)

So thinking about it 10 Weeks of Plagiarism probably isn't a great name for this blog. Yes to the unauthorised use and close imitation of someone elses work but I'm not trying to pass anything off as my own original work. I'm all about credit where credit's due. And today credit goes to Chrissy Williams for improving my vocabulary with a new exciting word everyday. I'm yet to use pigsney in a sentence but I'm glad I know it exists.

So today, in the spirit of Ms Williams, here is a new word.

the act of throwing a thing or esp. a person out of a window: the defenestration of the commissioners at Prague.

1610–20; de- + L fenestr(a) window + -ation

(again credit to

I just love that there is an actual word for this. My challenge for the week is to use this in a sentence- this may be quite hard without resorting to actually throwing a person out of a window just so I can describe it but I'm going to give it a go. Who's with me?

Monday, 4 January 2010

Sit ups, press ups and not getting beaten up

Today I did 35 press ups and 35 sit ups. So did
Ryan Millar. Tomorrow we will both do 36 of each. He is intending to carry on right up to 100. I'm going to try and make it until Saturday.

Millar's was one of the first 100 day pledges I saw and wanted to copy- it's so simple and you really get to see the difference- in 3 months to go from an easy 1 sit up a day to an epically impressive 100. I'm planning to get to 40- as well as a pledge I wanted to plagiarise it was one that I wanted to copy in the first few weeks! I should probably also mention that my press ups are the girly kneeling kind- I'm still counting them though.

Having read Millar's blog again today I've noticed he is also 'touring' other people's pledges. I promise that I didn't steal the whole idea for this blog from him (although given the title of it I understand if you don't believe me)!

It's probably a good time to start doing press ups as I'll need improved upper-body strength if the lovely people at the London Word Festival keep on stirring. I'd be grateful for the mention in their blog today if they weren't trying to get me beaten up! How fair is a fight between me and James Clayton going to be? He's been developing an army of mythical creatures for weeks now, give him a couple of months more and he'll have a hundred! All I've got on my side is a furry pig that runs away from people and tired arms from doing 35 press ups.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Mythical Creatures

Today I thought I'd try and be James Clayton. James has a fabulous 100 days project where he writes a haiku about a mythical creature, draws a picture of it and writes a little bit about the history and legends behind it. I love this project because it's creative, informative and interesting- not only do I get to read a poem and look at a drawing but I also get to learn things- Did you know there was a killer unicorn rabbit in Islamic scripture? Well there is and you can read a haiku about it here

To find inspiration for my mythical creature I turned to the font of all knowledge: Wikipedia. And it didn't let me down. I found a complete list of legendary creatures and began to scan for a good one. I was particularly impressed that their description of an angel already fitted the haiku pattern- Heavenly being/ usually depicted as/ a winged humanoid.

However I figured that would be cheating so instead I decided on the Barbegazi, a Swiss snow dwarf with huge feet who whistles to warn humans of avalanches. So I wrote my haiku and drew my little picture only to realise that James had already beaten me to it back on day 9.

So instead, ladies and gentlemen, let me present the Arkan Sonney.

Come here lucky pig
Stop running away from me
I want my silver

A hairy fairy pig from the Isle of Man. According to legend (according to Wikipedia) they bring luck if you can catch them but they flee from humans. Also if you catch a lucky piggy, you will always find a silver piece in your pocket. That's the kind of mythical creature I like!

Friday, 1 January 2010


A whole brand new year
Not the best way to start it
Aching head, in bed.

I have lots of plans for 2010. I think it's going to be a good year and I'm intending on being very pro-active. Today however, I will mostly be drinking water, taking parecetamol and watching 4OD. On the plus side the last night of 2009 was pretty rocking.

Happy New Year everyone xxx