Wednesday 12 June 2019

Ni Hao Foshan: An Expat's Guide to Living in China

We all have different coping mechanisms. Mine, apparently, involve packing up my life in England and moving to live and work in China. No, I didn't speak Chinese. Yes, I was absolutely lost for a good two months. No, I don't regret it a single bit.

If you're thinking that maybe moving half way across the world is the thing for you, then you're in luck. Here's some tips, tricks, and recommendations that will make your life in China 1,000 times easier.

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Going Solo: Paris -> Bayeux -> Arromanches Les Bains

Like many people of my generation, I say that I love to travel, that I'm open to absorbing other cultures and grasping any opportunity that I'm given. And it's true, although often travelling with friends allows you to fall so easily into the tourist trap. You become lazy; you're around English speaking people and so fall into bad habits from your native country. I wondered, what would happen if I went somewhere with no back-up, no safety net, no fellow tourist? So I tried it.

Thursday 25 January 2018

The Cutting Block

Words have littered a woman's flesh, unspoken.
Memories that she has not made, places she has not seen.
They tell her that those are the days she'll remember,
a way of living that takes and takes and leaves you raw and brittle.
She hates those days, keeps them in a photograph, hidden on display.

Words bring her here, to the belly of the beast which is never full.
They bring her to a cavern, hollow save for an echo of what used to be.
She wears her best skin and ignores the hushed conversation, the whip
of a careless tongue over an open wound. You are not all you could be.

Have you seen the fine china, they ask. Have you seen the cracks
in the walls and the dark shadows that follow us to the graves we dig.
There's earth on her tongue and weeds growing in her throat, and can
you keep it down, please, nobody wants to hear your politics.

Polite conversation. Lovely weather we're having, they say, but
she's drowning under the growing rapids, struggling to stay afloat.
Cut into the steak, it's better when it bleeds. The walls tell the story
of a boy who kissed the barrel of a gun, but we don't talk about that.

We don't talk about the collective; we don't talk about being stripped
to bones and a heartbeat, having given so much there's nothing left
to take. Smile, extend a hand, return gesture to sender.
She's quite the artist, they boast, saying they knew her when.

Saying she'll make it if she's meant to, fire at their fingertips
with the door closed behind her. She's rasping in the cold,
lungs weak from fighting the ice they all take in so naturally,
and she's far from home with no place to get warm.

They don't remember the script they wrote, back when they were she.
They don't remember the labour sold for more than hers is worth now,
but they'll close their eyes when it's not their place and trust in a system
which was never meant to last.


We went to sleep in sunlight
and woke up in the dark.
There was snow and bitter cold,
and a sorrow in our hearts.
You had to say goodbye again,
the words never passed your lips,
and we couldn't hear what wasn't said,
only wait for the scales to tip.

How do we find the ends of a thread
when half a heart is gone?
How do we pull our bootstraps up
and try to soldier on?
If unfilled dreams go to rest,
I hope you're with them now.
I hope you're finding what you lost
and are making yourself proud. 

What did you whisper in the dark?
I guess we'll never know. 
How did the sun just go to sleep,
where did this, and more, go?
A thousand questions never answered,
A thousand reasons why.
Twenty-four hours weren't enough,
Not to say goodbye

Saturday 31 December 2016

What They Don't Tell You About Recovering From Depression

[My experiences are my own and do not reflect, nor do I speak for, other depressive experiences or depression sufferers. Article contains non-explicit mentions of self-harm, therefore reader discretion is advised.]

Although it's probably not the best note to end 2016 on, and definitely not the most positive to start 2017, depression will never leave you. Not entirely. Now, don't get me wrong, it does get better. It gets so much better - the day you're able to breathe in and feel the cold, crisp winter air fill your lungs and compare it to being alive as opposed to being suffocated, it's wonderful. Finally feeling happiness and sadness and excitement again after months of being numb is indescribable. But it doesn't end there.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

"Waiting on" Wednesday: When Ali Met Honour (e-book)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that are eagerly anticipated. 

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Being queer in a binary society*

* Queer v.s. Binary in relation to sexuality, not gender.

Ever since I was very young, I've known I didn't identify as heterosexual. Though I was too young to really know what this meant in the grand scheme of things, I knew it meant that I was different to most of the other boys and girls in my class. As an eight year old, different didn't automatically equate to bad like it unfortunately does for some people, and I decided my sexuality was something that could be saved to think about for another day - there was play time to focus on, after all.