#BodyPositivity (And Then Some…)

I am 5’1”.

Translation: I am very short. I am nowhere near the average height for a girl my age (5’6” if you were wondering – so a whopping 5 inches shorter). I don’t seem likely to grow but I’m resigned to the fact. (I also own lots of pairs of heels, wedges and platformed sandals, so it’s fine.)

I have eczema. Which sucks quite a lot, because it never really ‘goes away’, you just sort of subdue it for a while. I don’t have it bad, but I have it in small patches behind my knees, on my stomach, on my back and on my arms sometimes. It flares up when I eat dairy products, which is why I need to go vegan… I’m working on it though, I promise Mags!

I have lots of wobbly flesh. I don’t know about my arms, but I know that my thighs are thick and wobbly (#ThunderThighs) and my calves are really thick and wobbly too. I’m quite pudgy. My stomach isn’t flat, or even close to it really, and when I stand sideways, I can see it sometimes protruding from the waistband of my jeans/skirts/shorts etc. Sometimes it even pokes out of my dresses. (*gasp*)

I’m not toned at all. Like I don’t think a single part of my body is toned. I have a mostly non-existent waist; if you squint, and stand 5 miles away and turn around and close your eyes, you can see its’ cousin. I don’t have an hourglass figure. (That’s what they’re called right? Hourglass?) I don’t even know what figure I have.

[Hang on, I’m going to google it. After a quick google (and much confusion) I’ve decided that I probably have a pear-shaped figure.]

I have quite wide hips. (*winks*) That means that in certain cultures, I would be an ideal bride for my ‘child-bearing’ hips. Not for anything else though really LOL. I don’t have super large boobs. They’re comfortable for me though, so it doesn’t bother me.

My body is VERY disproportionate. I have really short stumpy legs and a very long torso, so I mostly wear clothes that hide that fact, like high-waisted jeans and longer tops that look like tunics.  So you can’t see that I have no legs.

I’m not fit? I’d like to think that I’m healthy, but I’m not particularly fit. I can’t run or jog for a substantial amount of time. I can walk, but brisk walking for long distances gets me out of breath.

I have quite a lot of body hair. Most people do, it’s natural? Who cares?

I have a really large bum. Like seriously large. It is the bane of my clothing struggles, along with my not-entirely-flat stomach. I also have stretch marks; on my butt and on my thighs.

My feet are large and wide. They’re a 6 to 7, depending on the shoe store and style of the shoe. Most of my heels are 6 or 6½, and I have a few shoes that are 7. Because my feet are so wide, sometimes they can’t fit into really nice shoes, which is sad. But also quite good sometimes, because when you want to steal shoes from someone, you can just bust them out. I also have quite long toes. When I was younger, my toenails used to be really brown but they’ve faded now, so they’re that natural shade of pink or whatever colour nails are.

I used to have really crooked teeth. I got braces about 4 years ago now, and got them off 2 years ago, but before that my teeth were so out of place.

I’m learning to embrace my body, and everything else about me, because I’ve been taught to think I wasn’t beautiful for so long. I’m trying to not care what people say anymore. This post is pretty important I think, because people get so touchy whenever you mention ordinary human body parts when they’re not what society calls ‘normal’ or ‘beautiful’ or ‘conventional’. And it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. For years I’ve been told that I can’t be ‘beautiful’ because I’m short, because my body proportions aren’t normal and I don’t have a flat stomach or whatever. That’s fine. My body proportions are probably never going to change. Maybe parts of me will grow, maybe they won’t. Maybe I’ll get hairier, maybe my toenails will go brown again, maybe I’ll get wobblier, maybe my stomach will never be flat, maybe I’ll never be toned.

To be entirely honest, I don’t care. Okay, so I can’t wear some of the things I might like to, but the important thing is health. I could be super healthy and super fit and still have a bit of a pudgy stomach. My thighs might still be chubby, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll shed weight. Either way, it doesn’t matter. As long as I’m healthy, I don’t care whether I embody the societal image of beauty or not.

I mean, I already don’t, I’m a black female.

So this was my attempt at #BodyPositivity. Did it work? I don’t know. But here we are.

Anyway, I’m out now. Got lots of other important stuff to do, like procrastinate for the rest of the evening, and cringe thinking about the transparency of this post, but then convince myself that this is a step in the right direction of self-love.

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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¿Cómo te llamas?

In Spanish, when you ask someone what their name is, rather than saying ‘¿Cuál es tu nombre?’ (What is your name? – which supposedly, is more formal), you say ‘¿Cómo te llamas?’ The literal translation of this is, ‘How do you call yourself?’

I’ve always thought this an interesting concept, because I think there is quite a difference between asking someone what their name is and asking them what they are called. I could be entirely unnecessarily building this difference up, but let’s see, shall we?

The opening sentence for the story I am currently writing is:

“Many people say that the first gift you are ever given is your name.”

In many ways, a name is a gift. The protagonist goes on to mention how the meaning of your name can shape who you are and give you the ability to do amazing things.

According to Google, ‘name’ is a noun which means a word or set of words by which a person or thing is known, addressed, or referred to. Therefore, asking someone what their name is, is asking them what title they are known as. More often than not, names carry some level of significance, be it culturally, socially or domestically. For example, names convey class and status. Someone named ‘Jane Boggs’ for instance, is perhaps not as highly socially regarded as someone called ‘Penelope Clarington’.

Names also convey meaning.

My name, ‘Rianna’ is a variant of the Welsh name ‘Rhiannon’. According to ‘Behind the Name’ (which, may I add, is a very exciting website to use) this means ‘Great Queen’. Which I completely was. My surname, ‘Davis’ is similarly a popular Welsh surname, and according to some quick googling, it originated from the Davidson clan in Scotland. But is mostly now used in Wales and England.

Names also convey cultural heritage.

Which, it is, at this point, that we shall have to pause for a moment. Because, I mean, I don’t know how obvious it is, but clearly, my ancestors were neither Welsh nor Scottish. I have a very Welsh sounding name, especially in its pre-derivative form (‘Rhiannon David’) and this gives absolutely no clue as to my origins, except pointing back to slavery.

In fact, the only thing I can tell conclusively from my name is that my ancestors were once owned by a ‘Davis’ family. Because that’s effectively what it tells me. I have no other link with my heritage because my name (here it comes again) has been erased and scribbled over with somebody else’s name, effectively denying me the privilege of knowing and understanding my cultural heritage.

So what makes me very sad is when people have their cultural heritage (due to their beautifully, rich-sounding names and/or surnames) and choose to reject them because of society’s Eurocentric standards. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the stigma there is around ‘African-sounding’ names, and I get that obviously many people will be eager to change their names so they don’t ‘sound black’. And that sounds bad, but you have to consider the fact that we do live in a White Supremacist world, so everyone in Western societies feels like they have to conform to a Western societal standard. Which, to some extent you do in order to get by.

In the West, ‘Babatunde’ isn’t a beautiful, meaningful name. In the West, ‘Babatunde’ mostly connotes ‘freshie’, ‘African savage’. It doesn’t hold the same cultural meaning that it does from its’ roots. In the West, anything that sounds remotely ‘ethnic’ is mostly laughed at and scorned (unless it’s at the Kardashians’ or Jenners’ initiation, of course) and because of these culturally-rich names, people are denied the chances to jobs and such because interviewers see their application and immediately recognise the person applying is clearly not white-British. Or alternatively, recognise that this person is African and want to hire them as evidence that their workplace is not racist because of their ‘multi-culturally diverse’ employees.

So we return to my name. As lovely as my name is (gracias a mis padres) and as much as I don’t want to change it (because I don’t even know what I’d change it to!) there is a part of me that wishes my name wasn’t so ‘bland’ and ‘whitewashed’ so that I was able to trace my heritage right back to its roots.

That’s why people denying their cultural names because they get teased for them make me sad, because they have the opportunity to know where they come from, what part of Africa their ancestors live in, or lived in. As much as there is a huge stigma around these names, and lots of racist stereotyping and such, the under-appreciation of these names really upsets me. I mean, society teaches us to really hate ourselves, gosh! Not just the way we appear and the way we look, but also the way we refer to ourselves; which comes right back to the point I was making at the beginning. When you ask someone “What is your name?” (because English is such a great language, we only have one way of asking that) and they tell you their middle name, because they are too ashamed to tell you their first name, they are not lying. They are telling you their name. They are telling you the words which have been attributed to them in order to identify them and the words which they are used to being addressed by.

But when you ask someone “Como te llamas?” (how do you call yourself? – I mean, I know it’s Spanish, but the point still remains), in my opinion, you aren’t just asking them what words they use to identify themselves. What someone is called is more than just what they are referred to. What someone calls themselves also says a lot about who they are. They could still answer this question with their middle name, because that is what they call themselves, and that is how they view themselves. They don’t necessarily want to associate with their culture or their heritage because of the stigma surrounding it, and it’s effectively them denying who they are.

I understand there is a lot of controversy surrounding this anyway, as in choosing ‘socially-accepted’ names over heritage names, and I probably see in it a more ‘black-and-white’ way than someone else who is actually in this predicament. And yes, I understand that society has a funny way of destroying our lives and culture from the roots up, but if you have those roots, why wouldn’t you reclaim them? Why would you want to let go of them, or feel ashamed, if you’re one of the few lucky ones to know where you come from? Why would you want to exchange thousands of years worth of your geographical history for a few decades of social prosperity but cultural ignorance? Maybe I’m asking a stupid question, but I think it’s a fair question, as someone who would love to get in touch with my own history.

And when I say history, I don’t mean that I want to be told that my ancestors were slaves in Jamaica and then probably slaves in England. I want to know my specific history. I want to know which country they were taken from in Africa. Which tribe they originated from. If that tribe still exists today. There’s so many gaps in my own knowledge of my personal history, because of the gaps in my name.

And society, especially Western society, makes you feel guilty that you name is unpronounceable, and forces you to shorten your name to make it less ‘ethnic’ and more ‘blandly ethnic’. I mean, disregarding the fact that they didn’t shorten slavery because it was ‘unstomachable’, how dare they try to strip people of their culture?

They don’t make us shorten Shakespeare’s name into something less ‘British’.  Everyone can pronounce Truman Capote and Jack Kerouac, despite the fact that their names aren’t phonetic, and we’re taught how to pronounce them, and Scott F. Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway are never referred to as ‘Fitz’ and ‘Hems’.So why should you have to do that for a name that holds just as much significance for you culturally as the Union Jack does for the British?

I think I’m pretty much done with my rant about names, but before I finish up, I just want to drop this YouTube video of Button Poetry (my absolute FAVOURITE) and end on this note:

I don’t hate my name. I don’t feel any particularly strong way towards it, to be honest. My name is what I am referred to by. But my name is not who I am. My name cannot tell you – nor can anybody’s, for that matter – about my hopes and dreams, my aspirations, the person I am, my characteristic or my personality. But names have meanings, and names have significance. My name means something to my parents who chose to name me that. My name means something to people who know me and hear it, and think about me. My name means something to God and my name will one day mean something to even more people when it’s on the spine of a published book. Everyone’s name carries a significance. Appreciate your name and its’ meaning, no matter where you come from, no matter what your name is. Because your name is YOUR name, and if you don’t let them, then nobody can take it (or its’ meaning) away from you.

 

Peace out, (I wrote this all in my first two study periods LOL, I’m being productive!)

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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Perpetual Percentages

I am currently sitting at my desk with a tab open with YouTube playing and the face of Henry VIII from my history textbook disconcertingly staring at me.
I don’t know what I’ve come here to talk about but seeing as I haven’t posted anything since February, I thought I might maybe once again grace the face of my own blog.
What is there to update you on? Well, I have my first actual AS Level exam this Friday. Nobody panic, it’s just Drama. Well… I say JUST but I’m only doing this one practical, so it’s pretty damn important and Drama is my AS Level, so I can’t afford to flop this one.

#ThanksBritishEducationSystem
I’d rant about it but I really can’t be bothered to rant about anything right now. That’s a lie, I want to rant but I have nothing to rant about. And I always whine about the British Education system anyway. We already know how flawed it is.

My internet is also playing up, so I have had to refresh this bar several times. My music doesn’t want to play anymore because it seems like this is ‘Violate Rianna’ Day – it says ‘Problem loading page’ – and so I’ve had to literally copy and paste all my blog post text onto a WORD document (a Word Document… am I living in the dark ages, internet provider?) so I can continue to write unhindered without the worry that the website will crash and I will lose all my carefully crafted sentences.

I lie, they’re not carefully crafted. But would you like to know what IS carefully crafted? My witty responses to people when they’re stressing me out. I’m not a funny person (I admit it, reluctantly, although it may surprise you to hear) but for some reason, I become funny when I’m being witty and sarcastic. Although I know several people who would contest this, let me tell you, it’s like every ounce of humour is being stored up within me, and I simply cannot access it. But then suddenly, in one moment of scathing wit and sass, every single bit of humour pours out of me, with the force and intensity of a skilfully-wielded sledgehammer, and it is truly mind-blowing.

I’d also like to take this moment to point out I like to exaggerate things a lot. If I was to rewrite that last sentence, I’d replace the phrase ‘skilfully-wielded sledgehammer’ with the phrase ‘all-destructive tsunami’. Perhaps that works better in toning down my hyperbole.

English is going well. I didn’t think I’d like Frankenstein at first, I can’t lie, but I have come to a grudging tolerance of it. Perhaps myself and the novel’s relationship will improve sometime in the near future, but I wouldn’t stake my life on it, to be entirely honest. Also, I recently starred (I say ‘starred’ but all I did was read) as the part of Blanche in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. I think I did an alright job, considering that I gave her one of the poshest British accents you could imagine (despite the fact that she comes from SOUTHERN America) and that I – like Blanche DuBois – am the epitome of a ‘Southern Belle’.

[Rianna’s Note: The internet has returned and I’ve managed to reload my YouTube but I’m not going to be so trusting of WordPress just yet… Also, le sister has just called me for dinner, so I shall return in a few short moments after this undetectable break…]

Para la mayoría, Español me haces querer a morir. (That sentence was probably wrong anyway, but I think that it means: For the most part, Spanish makes me want to die) It’s definitely great, because I love learning it and it’s an amazing skill to have – as in, speaking another widely-spoken language – but the standard which we learn it at is no longer the standard where you can breeze through. Like there’s so much effort involved and so much work and so much grammar. And so many rules! Like they say, you have to learn the rules to be able to break them, but there are so many more irregular verbs and conjugations than you would ever believe!

[Rianna’s Note: The internet has once again removed itself from my computer, so Windows Media Player is now the best substitute for YouTube. By the way, do I get money from these endorsements, because I’m actually mentioning them? Windows should sponsor me LOL @BillGates do you want to sponsor me? I’m more than happy to write positively about Microsoft for a few thousand dollars or so.]

But History is the only thing that is (mostly) not making me want to die. The source papers are a joke and Edward VI’s and Mary I’s ecclesiastical policies are going to be the death of me. We can summarise all by saying, “Somerset was useless, Northumberland was LESS useless, Edward was completely useless, Jane was useless, Mary was useless, Phillip was just a complete idiot and nothing was restored effectively until Elizabeth took the throne.”

But would I get full marks for writing that in an essay? No.

[Rianna’s Note: I just did some quick research on Microsoft and apparently Bill Gates is no longer the largest shareholder, it’s some guy called Steve Ballmer so @SteveBalmer or @BillGates, whichever one of you it is, please. Honestly, I won’t even ask for that much.]
And let’s discuss how PEAK Mary I’s life was. She came to the throne after both her father and half-brother had disinherited her. She misinterpreted England’s support for her as support for her almost fanatical Roman Catholicism, and decided, ‘Great, I have England’s support so I’ll change making drastic changes and burn people at the stake.’ To make it worse, she married a Roman Catholic Spaniard, Philip (technically Felipe, if you want to be entirely correct) II of Spain, who was already responsible for the Inquisition in Spain, and together they pretty much tore down the name of Roman Catholicism in England and forced Protestants to the continent. (Which just means mainland Europe, so I’m not sure why they call it ‘the continent’ like it’s the only one in the world…)

But the BEST bit (and by best, I mean worst) about her life, was the fact that her husband didn’t even love her. Not even a tiny bit. And he didn’t even pretend. He’d literally visit England, burn some Protestants, do his ‘duty’ by her (i.e. sleep with her and try to pop out some heirs) and then return to Spain. He’d GET UP after sleeping with her and then hop on the next boat to Spain. How much of a violation is that?

Not just that, but as soon as she died – without children, may I add – he proposed to another gal. Which doesn’t seem so bad, if we disregard the fact that his new proposed affiance was none other than Mary’s sister, Elizabeth I. He really had no shame.
I feel like Philip would be that guy who you’d message, then he take 43 hours to respond, and when he finally opens your message, he wouldn’t even respond. He’d just leave you on read. You get me @Squad?
I mean, personally, I don’t like Philip, but each to their own, eh?

[Rianna’s Note: I found out that neither Steve nor Bill are the CEO of Microsoft. The CEO is in fact Satya Nadella. @Steve @Bill @Satya, please don’t let me suffer here in the depths of hell that is the British education system. Seriously. I’ll say whatever you want me to about your products. Not that many people read what I write anyway, but take pity on me. How else will I pay for my Higher Education? If I tag Microsoft in this, will they be more likely to see my desperate pleas?]

On a combined Spanish and History note, however, my Tudor teacher told us that there is a gap in the Tudor field for competent Spanish speakers. Because obviously, as Philip (yes, the Spanish one whom I do not have an affiliation with) was a pretty important figure in Tudor England, a lot of his documents are undecipherable, because they’re in Spanish. Not to mention, you can hardly Google translate the jumble of language that is Tudor English, let alone medieval Spanish in relation to the Tudors.
So she told us we all have to go to King’s College, and that myself and Babs have to go into Tudor history as we’re the only two in the class who do Spanish, and basically decipher the important documents. (She didn’t specify which important documents, but there ya go. Life plan mapped out for us by teachers LOL)

[Rianna’s Note: The internet is slowly coming back and then going again.]

What more nonsense do I have to ramble about?
Well, I’ve made some more friends since February and March. Which is great, right? And one of them (shoutout to Becky, if you’re reading this LMAO) literally understands every single one of my struggles.

Also, there’s this girl who I usually see travelling home on my route, but I figured she lives in my area. But we take different routes home, so I figured out her route. And we always see each other but we’ve never spoken. But today, I went to my Consortium school and she is friends with one of the girls in my group I suppose? So, she was walking with us and stayed with us for a bit and it turns out she’s actually hilarious. (Who would have thought, right?) Anyway, I’ve finally spoken to her; she told me she figured out my route home too – which is entirely NOT creepy, because that’s the sort of things girls do – and we’ve agreed to talk whenever we see each other now. Que fabuloso. (See, my Spanish isn’t entirely wasted!)

[Rianna’s Note: My back hurts. Also my dad just brought a new battery for my laptop, because the one before was completely WHACKED. Literally, if you used the laptop, you’d have to keep it plugged in and charging or the computer would switch off. And even when it was plugged into the power cable, it wouldn’t charge. It just stayed at 34% perpetually, until it’s perpetual percentage dropped to 20%, then I was terrified it was going to die. So I just kept it on all the time. But now it’s fine so praise the Lord, I can walk it around the house without having to bring my power cable everywhere.]

Well, I think I’m done. This has been a productive use of time. I need to bring a slice of bread into school tomorrow for Drama, and I have to sort out my costume, so I’ll just go now and sort out my life. (Still in the continual process of doing so, but at least I’m getting somewhere!)

Love
The Faerie Squad Mother x

p.s. I did, in fact, hyperlink as many social media sites as I could find from those three guys from Microsoft, so let’s hope they see my plea and fund my life.

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To 8-year-old Rianna

How the hell do I start this? Oops. Shouldn’t say hell, that’s probably a bad word right now. Uhm. Ignore that sentence.

Right now, we are 16. (Do I say we? Are we the same person or different individuals? Who knows?) We could have avoided so many problems right now if I’d have written this to you earlier. I just want to try to correct what should have been corrected about 8 years ago, but I was unable to tell you, being 8 and all, because I didn’t know the things I know now.

I know this won’t change anything but let’s pretend that this will. These are some really important things that you have to listen to, okay?

Firstly, please love yourself. Don’t let people trample all over you. Don’t let people bully you or tell you that you are worth any less than you have been taught to believe. It will take you many more years to learn to love yourself if you don’t right now, and you don’t need all the drama of self-acceptance and self-confidence. Really. You don’t. Understand that you matter, that you have a voice and that you can use it. Understand that nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.

Understand that you are beautiful. Just because your hair isn’t blonde and you don’t have freckles and your eyes aren’t blue, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t beautiful. You will learn later that the way you wanted to look was just society telling you how you should. But embrace the way you look. It doesn’t matter whether everyone else teases you for your hair and your butt and your height. You are a beautiful black girl and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And if they do, don’t believe them. They are taught to believe that you cannot be beautiful, but you can be, and you are.

Keep working hard. People will call you a nerd, and a geek and whatever other offensive words they can find to use. Don’t cry, they don’t matter, because in a few years when you are going to sit your exams and they are the ones asking you for help with revision, you will smile at the reversal of fortune. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re ‘too’ smart, that you’re ‘too’ intelligent, that you’re ‘too’ anything. You are just right. Put effort into the things that you do, and I promise you, it will pay off.

Stay strong in what you believe. It will take you a while to fully embrace and understand everything you believe, but make sure you believe it for yourself. Right now, some of what you believe is what you’ve been taught to. Understand everything for yourself, and don’t just let people tell you right and wrong; learn it for yourself. In about two years you will want to be baptised, and you will, with your best friend. Keep the enthusiasm you have for God, and don’t let anyone take it away from you. Don’t be ashamed of what you believe in. It will become harder to express your beliefs when you get older, but the more you do it and stand up for what you believe in, the better it will be.

Keep being sociable and friendly. Everywhere you go, you will make lots of friends and lots of acquaintances. The difficult thing is learning to differentiate between the two. Don’t just give your phone number out to everyone that you meet, because you will end up with lots of phone numbers of people you don’t even speak to anymore, and you’re too scared to delete their contacts. Also, you will get a smartphone one day. I won’t tell you when, that’s a surprise. But keep waiting in anticipation. Your waiting will one day pay off.

Act, dream, write, sing, dance, do the things that you’re good at. The more you do them now, the easier it will become for you to do them when you get to where I am. You won’t be able to do Street Dance, even though I know you really wanted to, but there are other things you can do. Keep up all your talents and hobbies. Keep drawing! Don’t stop because the moment you do is the moment you might lose your ability. Don’t rip up your drawings when you’re mad or when you’re upset. Don’t make hasty decisions when you’re mad or upset. Try and manage your emotions properly. Channel them. Talk to people, never, EVER bottle your emotions. It will only cause more damage and pain than you can begin to fathom. (I know you know what fathom means, don’t worry).

Don’t stop reading or dreaming. Sometimes they can be the same things. Keep reading, but PLEASE I beg you, stop reading Jacqueline Wilson. (I think you’ve probably grown out of her by now). Also, don’t read romances. They won’t get you anywhere and will fuel this entirely unrealistic romanticist nature in your teenage years. And don’t read manga either, no matter who tries to get you to. Read historical fiction. I have a hunch that you’ll really like reading about the Tudors, and Ancient Greece and Rome. Learn about the world around you. Learn about the past, and the present. Learn about your heritage, your culture, where you came from. Ask questions. Never stop dreaming.

What you can stop, however, is relying on your friends. The sooner you grow out of being a follower, the better. Your friends will try and make you do things that you don’t want to do. Sometimes, if you let them, they will succeed. But you have to be independent. You have to learn how to cope for yourself and make your own decisions. Sorry to disappoint you, but none of your ‘best friends’ from primary school will even talk to you by Year 11. The people you will find as your friends will surprise you. And popularity doesn’t matter. Friends aren’t about how many you have, or how popular they make you. Friends are about the people who are there for you time and time again.

You’ve probably got a huge crush on someone right now, I don’t know who, and it would probably make me laugh just remembering. But if you can (the key word here being ‘if’) just leave off boys for a couple years. Say… 52? Wait until you’re 60. That’ll probably make your life a lot easier. Obviously this is unrealistic, but just try and be patient. Not every boy that you like is going to be your future husband LOOOL. Don’t mistake liking the attention someone gives you for liking someone. Have expectations and standards. I mean, I know you’re only 8, but boys are barely all that and a bag of chips.

No matter what happens, no matter what you achieve or where you go, remember where you’ve come from. You will go on to do great things. You will change your life goals 4 times, probably even more, seeing as I haven’t quite settled yet. You will be a Queen and then an Empress, you will rule nations and empires, you will advocate for Black History Month and slowly evolve into a social justice warrior. (I know that doesn’t exist just yet, but I promise you, it’s as worthwhile as it sounds). You will experience things you have never experienced before, you will have your expectations reached and exceeded.

Believe in yourself. Trust that you can, and will, do amazing things.

And, one last thing, for your near-future: I’d appreciate if you could lay off the Disney please. The soundtracks take up an awful amount of phone (and mind) space, and they’re too catchy. Be into them, by all means, but don’t be such a die-hard fan.

Lots of love,

16-year-old You (aka. The Faerie Squad Mother) x

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Help for the Helpless

Valentine’s Day. A day of love, romance and cards from your friends – a continual reminder of just how single you are.

But this year is the game changer.

LOL, not really, I’m just kidding.

But here is my pre-Valentine’s Day prep post, for all those romantics out there. This is it. An advice post on how to dismantle your SO’s (or crush’s) heart – but safely, romantically, and FIGURATIVELY speaking (please don’t go round dismantling people’s hearts…)

1. Date Ideas

Okay, so you’re fortunate enough to have enough money to spend on someone else without feeling entirely anxious the entire time. Congratulations, you’ve made it. Alternatively, you don’t have much money. It doesn’t matter either way, my suggestions are relatively universal. Here are my favourite date ideas:

  • Don’t. Just don’t take anyone out on a date. It’s February, it’s going to be freezing, all the restaurants are going to be packed and have jacked up prices. Just don’t do it. Save your money, people.

However, on the off chance that you feel the advice above was not adequate, and for whatever reason, you don’t want to adhere to it, or you have a psycho Bae who would murder you if you didn’t take them on a date, then here are my suggestions:

  • Find a bookstore. (That’s pretty romantic right? Just take the person to a bookstore and walk around in complete silence, only making comments when you are excited about a book, but otherwise, you can minimise interaction. Buy some books. Date done. Whoo.)
  • Hire a pair of stinky boots, make a fool of yourself, trip over several times while avoiding to have your fingers sliced off and freeze your butt off in the inadequate attire you chose to wear… Oh, sorry, I meant take them ice skating.
  • McDonalds. Or any other fast food retailer. Cheap, effective and they’ll definitely know how deeply you feel about them after that.
  • Read them any of the following epic poems over the phone/in person: ‘Paradise Lost’, ‘Odyssey’, ‘Iliad’, ‘Aeneid’, ‘Divine Comedy’, ‘Metamorpheses’, ‘The Argonatutica’. (NB: Ensure you have enough credit for the 137 hour recital).
  • Invite them over and watch ‘Roots’. (Alternatively, if you can’t source this, then read the book to them – it’s by Alex Haley for those of you interested). You won’t have time to ‘chill’, you’ll both be far too horrified by the vivid display of inhumanity.

Effectively, the opportunities are limitless. Of course, your options aren’t limited to these, but these are some of my favourite ideas.

2. Outfit Ideas (for Dates)

Because what’s more important than your outward, superficial appearance on this day specifically? Nothing, really. Not even impoverished people in impoverished countries. After all, poverty stops for a day… on this day specifically.

So here are my best suggestions for more appropriate clothing.

  • Anything with your shoulders, ankles or wrists on display. Now, I don’t usually condone this, as obviously, all the aforementioned body parts are intensely sexual, as proved by the dress-code system of most schools, colleges, institutions etc., but this is a special occasion. For this reason, your partner/SO/crush may find it somewhat gratifying to have tantalising glimpses of these body parts throughout the day/evening.
  • Sweats and a hoodie. Appearance is important, but comfort is key.
  • Anything with glitter. Lots of glitter. The more glitter, the better. This just means that if anyone tries to touch any part of you without your distinct permission, you will have inarguable proof; glitter on their hands/arms/coat, etc. It’s like a monitor, or tracking system. You can see.
  • A onesie. Any onesie with distinct themes, such as an animal onesie, or a boyband onesie. These are all acceptable to venture into the outside world with. Ensure you hold your partner’s/SO’s/crush’s hand while wearing this. The strength of them hand holding while you wear this onesie in public society will be enough to gauge their interest in you.
  • Yesterday’s clothes. Because why go out of your way to wear something different? You still have to pay for the water and electricity for your washing machine/servicing at the launderette. Doubling up on clothes is definitely an economic principle.

3. Card Ideas

This is also a day of romantic cards. And cards from friends are great, don’t get me wrong. But, if you are one of the more fortunate ones with a SO, and you feel like you’re stuck for ideas as to what to write inside the beautifully decorated cards you buy (which will later be discarded), you have NOTHING to fear. For I, the Faerie Squad Mother, am here.

Here are some basic templates that can help get your brain going.

  • Idea 1Most appropriate for food lovers

My love for you is like pomegranate seeds: at first, they are very sweet, but then the more I manducate them, the more bitter they become, and I WANT to spit them out, but I don’t out of convenience and politeness, and continue to ingest them, despite my obvious discontent.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

NB: The fruit (pomegranate in this case) is interchangable; ensure the following parallel matches up with the fruit as appropriate.

  • Idea 2Most appropriate if you want there to be no doubt of your feelings

Doubt thou the stars are fire, /Doubt that the sun doth move, /Doubt truth to be a liar, /But never doubt I love.” Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2.

As lovely and romantic as this quote is, you – unfortunately – shall have to doubt my love. The aforementioned conditions which guarantee my love to be certain, are all, in fact, doubtful. The stars are NOT fire, we now know that we live in a heliocentric solar system, and there is this amazing thing called the liar paradox, where a truth can be a lie. Also, this quote is taken from Hamlet, and he tells this to Ophelia. Ophelia goes on to commit suicide.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • Idea 3Most appropriate if you want to throw some shade, romantically

How much do I love you? I love you as much as Ken loves Barbie. That is to say, as much as he loves her despite his constant subordination, being treated as a disposable object and giving far more to the relationship than she does or deserves. Also, in the same way that he continues to shower her with love and affection, despite her never outright turning away her other love interest, Ryan, despite the evident exclusivity of her relationship with Ken.

That’s how much.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

***

Once again, the opportunities are limitless. You can always work from here and expand.

4. Gift Ideas

Let’s just get straight to it. Customised and initialised jewellery, teddy bears and plush toys are FAR too cliche… And don’t worry if you don’t have much money; it’s the thought that counts, right?

  • A tracker. Because what says ‘I love you’ more than an object so you can know where they are all the time? (Alternatively: A tracker app. The app store is a wide, wide world now, so make sure to download this onto their phone… as your gift to them of course).
  • A collage of all their exes. (Attach a picture of yourself in an envelope) It just shows how much you care, and how much you care about their love life. Also, that way, if you ever break up, they can add your face to the canvas. (This shouldn’t cost too much; just get all your friends (LOL, friends) to social media stalk them, and find enough to screenshot. Then send them to yourself and print them off, then stick them onto a piece of paper. Easy peasy.)
  • Gift vouchers for Pets At Home. Only get them this if you feel they have real potential as a future cat lady.
  • A homemade calendar. Yup. Compile a bunch of pictures of your worst [Snapchat] moments onto a calendar for 2016. The uglier the better. That way, when they hang it up, they can never forget who they’re with.
  • An unsigned (framed) Wedding certificate. This way, they have no doubt as to what’s coming next…
  • A Wedding Magazine subscription. (See above.)
  • A Netflix Subscription. That way, they won’t have to trek round to your house to ‘watch it’. Now they can watch it from the comfort of their own home. This will also get a clear message across: “Netflix time is MY Netflix time. I do not want to chill with you during MY Netflix time.”
  • A chastity belt. Great gift. Goes down a storm.
  • A hand-written note on why you don’t believe in monogamy.

Some of the above may cost money, but if you don’t have money, then use some of the other options. Or I can suggest some more?

I don’t want to overdo it. I feel like these are all some great ideas, and I don’t doubt that many of you will use them. Maybe I’ll repost this closer to the time as a reminder. And to end, some final tips:

  • Make sure to tell everybody your plans beforehand. Post it on every social media site you’re on, tell their friends and family. That way, they can be absolutely prepared for the ideal… sorry, I mean experience, they are going to have.
  • Leave all your bookings to the night before. Contingency planning for such a commercialised and popular event as Valentine’s Day is ENTIRELY unnecessary.
  • The less money you spend, the better. You should come out of the other end of the day with a positive bank balance. (Or at least, with a stabilised negative one.) We don’t need more debt to add to that student one which you’ve been repaying for the past 7 years. 🙂

Anyway guys, I hope this has helped.

And for all of those who don’t have SOs, partners or crushes this Valentine’s Day, enjoy yourself. Indulge yourself. Who cares about relationships? (Not you, is the answer).

Love you all and take care,

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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Oops! I Forgot to Post…

I’ve recently discovered one of my favourite phrases to use during my posts on this blog. This comes in many forms, but interestingly, they vary so much that I can’t even find some of these. After a quick search for them, I found a few, some of them being:

“I’ll post about that another time.”

“That’s a story for another day.”

“But I’ll write about that later.”

Amongst others. So I had a quick scroll through all my posts and found some things (but probably not all) that I said I would post about later, but never ended up posting.

  1. Thinking About the Future (found in my second-ever post; I reference to the future a lot, but I don’t think that ‘Dear Future Husband‘ really counts as thinking about the future in a profound sort of way…)
  2. Racist and Offensive Opinions of Small-Minded White People (which was in the recent rant about Black History, and I’m pretty I’ve mentioned it briefly before)
  3. Street Shakespeare (when I was talking about my One-Man shows)
  4. Why I Should Be Voted Prime Minister of England (does this even need context?)
  5. A Rant About Visiting the Care Home with NCS (but the thing about rants is that you can only rant when you’re in the mood… so this post doesn’t seem like to happen)
  6. Turning Books into Movies (I actually posted this, though?)
  7. Why Disney Sucks (but I always talk about this, though haven’t done an actual post dedicated to this… I suppose to some extent ‘Fairy Tales Should Be Illegal’ counts, but not really? I mean, that was more generic than specifically aimed at Disney)
  8. How To Be A Boy 101 (long story short, I wrote 11 pages of this social satire when I was half-tired in Wales during NCS, at about 12 at night, and it made me cringe so much when I read it back; I literally indirected so much, and I know why now LMAO)
  9. My 10 Questions (The Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award required me to write 10 questions, so I did, but I wanted to answer them myself. So maybe I shall)

Don’t get too excited. This post doesn’t mean that I have the intention to write about these all soon, but I will try my best. (No promises, because we know how well those have gone down, looking up at that 9 strong list there…) And this was just a quick post anyway.

Also, I have updated my site and its pages, so I’ve moved my ‘Exam Diaries‘ page, and now have an ‘Ask The Faerie Squad Mother‘ page, where you can drop comments and questions, and I’d love for you to do that as well. (I’ve put the links in there, in case you can’t find them, but they should be on the Menu along the bottom of your page.)

But that’s it today. Perhaps you would like me to post some of the points above, and maybe I will at some point. Keep reminding me. 🙂

Take care everybody, and have fun going back to school LOL.

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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Dear Future Husband

First of all, I’d like to offer you my (premature) congratulations. It will be a commendable achievement to have married me. I don’t know what more you could ask for but clearly your life will be very complete with me in it. Likewise, I will take this time to also offer my condolences. It is also quite unfortunate that you will consciously make the choice to spend the rest of your existence with me. I apologise in advance, and also question your sanity and clarity of choice.

So this is a letter for you. (And all the other people who are following my blog who will read this.) I don’t know if you are reading this right now or if you will one day hear this read out to you on our wedding day by my Head Bridesmaid, but either way, it doesn’t matter. I’m going to write this anyway. 

I don’t know how old you are but I SINCERELY hope that you’re already alive. Someone 16 years my junior definitely would not be my preference. Additionally, I hope that you are doing well in school and that (if you are doing A-Levels) you’re doing amazing because your girl isn’t right now. If you’re at University, l hope you’re studying something that will benefit you in the future and something that we won’t have arguments about during our marriage. Graduate quickly. Do well. I believe in you. Whichever Uni you may be at. And, I suppose it’s too much to pray you’re not doing lots of things that you will regret and that you will be reluctant to tell me about.

Just a few requirements. I’m going to need you to learn all the Troy parts in HSM songs because I can’t sing both his and Gabriella’s at the same time. I can’t sing harmonies, it’s simply impossible. So it’s very important that you can do that for me. You will also need to learn some (by which I mean the majority) of Disney songs, songs from the Sound of Music, Annie and any other musicals later needed, because I often burst into spontaneous song. If you don’t know them and cannot join in with me or finish off my lines then I can assure you it will put a strain on our relationship.

Also, if you don’t like my sister… Wait, that won’t happen. LOL If you don’t like my sister then I won’t even consider marrying you. So the fact that you are marrying me means that you are practically best friends with my sister. Ignore me, silly me.

You’re going to need to be good at and/or like cleaning. I don’t like cleaning. I prefer to cook. So I’m going to need someone to wash the dishes… i.e. You. I don’t mind cleaning but I just don’t like it. So you can do it. You should be able to cook quite competently though, because I don’t think I can be bothered to cook all the time. And if I get sick or something, I don’t want to have to eat takeaway constantly. I’d like home-cooked soup and stuff. (Also I’m a vegetarian and that doesn’t seem like to change so… Be aware of that?)

It’s necessary for you to be able to do DIY. I refuse. I just refuse to do it. So you’re going to have do that.

Also you need a sense of humour and strong sense of self-worth. My family are savage. They will tear you to pieces verbally and if you are unable to take it on the chin gracefully and suffer them and then even give it back, then I’m sorry, you’re not the right person for me. There is no place for fragile masculinity in my household or my family. So that’s not an option.

Being non-socially aware is also not an option. You need to understand my struggles and even if you don’t experience them yourself you need to understand and sympathise where necessary. No more said. 

My mum needs to like you. Seriously. This is very important. My dad will probably take a long (ish) time to warm to you and that’s okay but if my mum doesn’t like you then… We have a problem, Houston.

Religion is important. I don’t doubt that you are the same denomination as me, purely because it’s difficult to have to compromise in my religion without giving up some of my beliefs entirely. Also when we have children (not if, when, because they’re a priority for me) I don’t want to have to fight about which denomination we raise them in.

Children. Seeing as you influence their surnames, I think it’s only fair that I get to choose their names. You can have the middle name if it will make you happy. I’m joking, you can help to influence the choice, but ultimately the choice comes down to me.

I am not conventional. I am prone to bursting into spontaneous song and dancing etc. in the kitchen. I dance in the bathroom. I dance in my bedroom. I dance everywhere. I burst into tears at the slightest thing. (Downton Abbey Season reruns are the biggest cause of this and I often need lots of consolation after particularly distressing episodes. Also some books evoke the same response.) I have an addiction to chocolate which you will have the God-given responsibility to encourage and I like just putting on Classical Music and prancing about. I don’t like wearing pyjamas to bed, I prefer t-shirts and shorts. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning very disorientated, I look quite terrifying and zombie-like. To which I say, for better or for worse.

I’m not sure what else to add really. I’m sure if you are marrying me you will know and learn a multitude of things which I would be reluctant to post online on a public website. You will discover all my lovely bad habits, you will learn how I function and how I deal with a majority of traumas. You will probably already know how dramatic I am.

But I look forward to meeting you, marrying you and quite frankly I wish you all the best.

Lots of love, your future wifey

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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Nostalgia Only Makes Me Old

The title of this blog post is from a fantastic poem that we studied in English Literature. I don’t even remember what the poem was called but all I remember was that it was about handkerchiefs or something? Oh well. Never mind.

So, I suppose it makes sense for me to write some soppy post about how AMAZING 2015 has been for me, and all the lessons I’ve learnt, and all the wonderful people I appreciate. And of course, let’s not forget all my 2016 resolutions, all the plans I have for next year and the goals I hope to achieve.

But that would be FAR too cliche. And how can I expect to liberate mankind when I just blindly follow the masses? (Plus, I’m pretty blind already; I wear glasses). And I really dislike this ‘New year, new me’ thing, because I’m really the exact same person. The earth completing a single lap around the entire sun does not suddenly transform me into a glittering goddess. I’m literally the same person.

So. Let’s be different. I’m not going to write about things I’m going to leave behind in 2015, or new things I intend to do in 2016.

No. This is:

‘The Unchanging, Perpetual Existence of the neither New nor Improved Rianna’ (All Rights Reserved)*

First of all, I’m not changing how I look. I’m not gonna ‘update my style’ or whatever; plus nobody has enough money for that. (I fully intend, however, to buy those beautiful T-bar ankle strap heels from Clarks). I mean, for me, it just doesn’t make sense to suddenly be like, “You know what. Scrap my wardrobe. Scrap all the looks I so amazingly worked together last year. It’s time for a change.” NOOOO. It’s not. It’s time to keep working with my reliable angles and that warm lighting. It’s time to keep rocking that lazy look, every. Single. Day. (Seriously, trackies and hoodies are amazing. They’ve saved my life. Perhaps not my dignity though, but who cares?) I would love to say I am going to lose weight (and I will try my best for my Summer holiday, #deadlines) but it won’t be my priority.

Secondly, I have absolutely NO intention to make a New Year’s resolution. They don’t even make sense. Why would you make something that you full and well know you aren’t going to stick to? (There are very few people that actually stick to them, and those people are either a gift to society or a pain in it’s butt). It’s such a hard knock to your self-confidence, when you don’t achieve something that you knew you weren’t going to in the first place but tried to convince yourself it was a worthwhile commitment. New Year’s Resolutions are like cheese, jam and tuna sandwiches; it seems like a great idea to make one, but when it’s been made, it suddenly looks like a lot to digest and terribly overwhelming. (True story).

Next, I refuse to clear stuff out. It’s not time for a Spring Clean. It’s a new year, not time to throw everything that held sentimental value in the past year away. Learn the difference people. I’m not doing it. I’ll keep whatever I want to keep, and throw away things when I feel it’s time, not just because the earth’s rotational orbit has put pressure on me to do so.

I don’t want to ‘become a better me’. I like me just the way I am for now, to be honest. Becoming a ‘better me’ does not take place overnight. I cannot just emerge from the ‘New Year’s Eve’ cocoon into a new year like a beautifully transformed butterfly. I shall remain a caterpillar until it’s my time to #GloUp.

I’m not becoming a vegan just because everyone else has decided that veganism is the ‘in thing’ this year. (Or next year. Ah, it’s so confusing). I would like to be a vegan, but it’s going to take me a while to do so. Also, changing your food habits is a psychological thing. It was easy for me to become a vegetarian (the decision which I made in Jamaica of the summer 2013) because I had determined that I was going to make an effort. Let me tell you, if you can resist every form of chicken ever (I kid you not) in a Jamaican resort, then you can come home to England and be a vegetarian. It was a breeze once I got home. ANYWAY. Sorry, not relevant. FOCUS. I don’t have the right mindset to become a vegan just yet. Ergo, it’s not happening just yet.

As I have said before, the completion of our planet’s orbital circuit will not suddenly make me more organised. The amount of lists I’ve seen people start to draw up, like planning out every single little detail of their days. And why has everyone suddenly become obsessed with diaries? Truth be told, I never use diaries. I write in them, but then I never look in them, which isn’t very useful – and sort of just defeats the whole point of them altogether. So no. No diaries. And no pretending I am magically more organised than now… or before. (Which one is it now?)

“2016 is going to be my year.” Said me, never. 2016 is just another year. Yes, I’m entirely grateful I’ve made it through 16 years with my life fully intact, but I have no idea what the next year has in store for me. I don’t know if I’ll even make it through the year. Nobody knows. I refuse to call 2016 ‘My year’ because anything could happen. Calling it ‘my year’ makes me feel very vulnerable, simply because I have a false sense of confidence in something which is entirely unpromised to me. Tomorrow isn’t even promised to me; who’s to say I’ll make it through another 364 tomorrows?

Also, romance. Why is a year not (socially) complete without romance? Why do I have to kiss some stinky boy in order for the year to be complete? That’s nonsense to be honest. (Also, I only talk to about 4 boys). The only romance you will be seeing in my life is the romance between myself and my education. Now that’s some steamy stuff right there. And honestly, it sucks being such an unrealistic romanticist, because I base my notions of romance on novels and movies, and if my life was either, he’d stand in the back garden under my window, blasting Disney tunes from his iPod, with a really dweeby hat that had mistletoe on it, and then propose to me. But that would all end up quite disastrously. *clears throat* Let’s get back on track shall we?

I’m not going to ‘be happier’. I mean, yes I would love to be happy, but happiness is arbitrary. It’s not a permanent state of being. Life is a mixture of happiness and sadness, and that’s what makes it life. Otherwise you might as well just be in a movie, that’s as real as your life would be. Once again, the change in position of the big round Terra ball that humans reside on cannot instill perpetual happiness within me.

So there it is. My (potentially) bitter but realistic post about the future, but hey ho. Anyways, I think that’s all from me, so I’m out, goodnight and I hope that you all have a wonderful

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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*I only wrote this because it looked very official and that made me feel quite important LOL. My apologies. I really hope it’s not illegal to do this. It’s not, is it?

A Weapon of Mass Construction

The pen is mightier than the sword.

Thought it’d be a good idea to start my post off with both a thought-provoking title and a (mostly) overused quote, just so that you’re efficiently baffled. Perhaps you’re starting to form ideas in your mind already as to what I’m going to write about.

I was talking to my friend last night, and I can’t remember how exactly we got there, but we (REALLY) briefly touched upon the power of words. The conversation went a little bit like this:

Me: It’s so much fun. Writing these whole new worlds.

Him: Yeah I know. Funny how words can completely shape an environment/character.

Me: Yeah. Words are amazing. They can do so much man.

(And then, here comes the amazing bit…)

Me: That’s my next blog post. Words and their power.

So here I am. And here we are.

Let’s return to the quote from the beginning. I actually love this quote so much. “The pen is mightier than the sword.” It’s so relevant and so true. Allow me to enlighten you as to some of the many ways this quote is relevant. But first, some context.

This quote is attributed to the novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839, in his historical play ‘Cardinal Richelieu’.

Francois: But now, at your command are other weapons, my good Lord.

Richelieu: The pen is mightier than the sword… take away the sword; States can be saved without it!

Now, since Richelieu is a priest, there is obviously the stigma that he is not allowed to take up arms against people who are trying to kill him. However, he acknowledges that even though he has no weapons, the power of words is more powerful than any weapon he could use. He even goes so far as to say that without armaments, entire states can be saved.

I haven’t read the play (the above was the result of some quick googling – thanks BBC) but context is always helpful. However, the BBC article also informed me that there were even earlier references to this path of thought.

A similar phrase appears in 1582, “The dashe of a Pen, is more greeuous then the counterbuse of a Launce.” (The dash of a pen is more grievous than the counter use of a lance.) Going back further, the Greek poet Euripides, is quoted as writing: “The tongue is mightier than the blade.” “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than 1,000 bayonets,” is another quote comparing a weapon to words, and is allegedly attributed to Napoleon.

So, what we learn here is that many people, not just writers and artists, but world leaders, and leading thinkers alike all seem to have the same train of thought. Let’s keep going.

According to Google definition, ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ is an old proverb which means ‘writing is more effective than military power or violence.’ According to the Cambridge Dictionaries website, it means ‘thinking and writing have more influence on people and events than the use of force or violence.’

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

“But this cannot be!” You say. “How can something which simply emits ink onto a page be more powerful than that which can take lives?” (You’re probably NOT saying this – or at least, I hope you’re not – but just pretend you are for the purposes of this blog post).

Let’s look at this from a more literal standpoint.

The thing about a sword is that it has one purpose: to destroy. I very much doubt any soldier would have picked up a sword and thought “Hey, this would be GREAT to cut my nice block of cheddar with,” or “Perhaps this would look nice if I melted it down and made it into a necklace.” Swords are for killing, really. They don’t have much other purpose. The people who wield swords have one intention: to kill. Yes, swords can take away lives, and yes, they can rip lives apart because of the lives they have taken away.

The thing about a pen, however, is that it also has a purpose, but one which both reflects and counteracts the purpose of a sword: to destroy AND create. With a pen (or a metaphorical pen; I think typing counts too) authors have single-handedly crafted worlds, characters, Kingdoms, realms, and even re-created parts of history, all with its’ carefully wielded use. Yes, pens might not be able to physically kill people – although, I suppose it depends which pen you use – but, to an extent, they CAN physically kill people. Pens can also destroy. People used pens (or quills, rather) to sign death warrants. People write malice and hate-fuelled letters, which can tear someone’s life apart. Newspaper articles filled with slander can ruin someones career… or alternatively build them up. There is very little limit to the power of the pen.

A sword, on the other hand, would not be used for construction. What good can you do with a sword? Swords aren’t made to create. Pens are, however. And words do exactly that.

I also thought that the blog title was rather apt, because a sword, or any other weapon really, is a weapon of mass destruction. But a pen, being as it is, can be used as a weapon of mass construction. I think it’s amazing how powerful a simple word can be.

Words literally create a whole other realm of thought. Reading a book is not just an amazing feat for the reader (who, in a sense, is doing a bit of work on their part too, as no two readers view a book in the exact same way) but also for the person who wrote it. In order for you to have imagined the book, or the character, or the setting, in the way they would have wanted you to, surely that required a level of skilful use of words.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone is necessarily able to use words in terms of literature. But everyone uses their own powerful words in different ways. Some people (like myself) prefer to write their power. Some prefer to speak it. Some prefer to sing it. Some prefer to dream it.

But everything we do with words has some form of power, whether we recognise it or not.

Words were what the slaves used in their songs to empower themselves and each other in the darkest moments of their lives. Today, we have the lyrics of Negro Spirituals to remind us of that. Words were what the Popes of Medieval Christendom used to wage war on countries. Today, we see the effects of the Crusades, all because some men had willed it with their words. Words were what Hitler used to rally the support of millions of German citizens, and instil a sense of nationalism and patriotism within them all. Today, we look back at the horrific results from the rule of a skilled orator and yet an evil, racist, homophobic, misogynist dictator.

Words are amazing. They are beyond comprehension. How is it that we can both look at the same tree, but you describe it in a different way to me? Because the physical appearance of that tree manifests itself in words in our mind in different ways.

Pens are the metaphorical vessels of words. Since we live in the age of technology, I suppose not very many people use pens anymore; we prefer to type. (Speaking of type, I would LOVE a typewriter, actually). But pens, quills and ink, fountain pens, were what many famous poets, writers and singers used to pen their eternal works. The pen was what immortalised Shakespeare, Austen, Chaucer, Poe, Hemingway, Dickens, Tolkien, Orwell, Steinbeck, Woolf, Tolstoy and hundreds of other creatives like them.

So. That’s it. I think I’ve effectively used words to try and explain how words can be used effectively. (Also, the English language is so weird and complicated). To end, here’s a poem which makes me grateful that I grew up speaking English and didn’t have to learn it as a second language. And once again reiterating the power of words, to not only create and destroy… but also to confuse.

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you
On hiccough, thorough, slough, and through.
Well don’t! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps.
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard but sounds like bird.
And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead,
For goodness sake don’t call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).
A moth is not a moth as in mother
Nor both as in bother, nor broth as in brother,
And here is not a match for there,
Nor dear and fear, for bear and pear.
And then there’s dose and rose and lose–
Just look them up–and goose and choose
And cork and work and card and ward
And font and front and word and sword
And do and go, then thwart and cart,
Come, come! I’ve hardly made a start.
A dreadful Language? Why man alive!
I learned to talk it when I was five.
And yet to write it, the more I tried,
I hadn’t learned it at fifty-five.

Good afternoon everyone, and love you all.

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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Don’t You Forget About Me

Hi everybody. This is it. My new blog look.

Don’t get too scared. It’s still me. Just newer. And fresher. And more exciting – OOH this is so exciting. I feel like I’m cutting a metaphorical ribbon. (The ribbon is pink, by the way. And satin.)

It took myself and my sister all evening to come up with this. I hope you’re happy, because I certainly am. I feel that this change was necessary and embraces everything about me. The new title, ‘Oops! I Forgot To Think’ is literally me, ALL the time. Sadly. And my tagline, ‘Liberating Mankind from the Comfort of my Bedroom’ will one day be written on the t-shirts of my fans. I quite like it. I feel both parts effectively encapsulate every aspect of ‘Rianna’.

So, since I’m starting again, perhaps an introduction would be in order. Let’s draw a line under this all.


Hi. My name is Rianna. I’m 16 years old.

I’m a blogger, a History enthusiast and a writer. I’m currently writing about 4 books/short-stories (one of which is co-authored) and I fully intend to be published by the time I am 20.

I have the mental age of a 10 year-old, the emotional capability of an over-dramatic 5 year-old, and the maturity of a 3 year-old. I’m not particularly proud to admit those things, but they must be said.

I am happily married (20 years and counting!) with too many children to count. I would also very much like to get married, have a few children and become a housewife. I would also like to be a teacher, of History or English, and not only inspire children (or teens… I’m still not decided on who I want to teach) to follow their dreams, but also help them to become more socially aware. #GetWoke

I am quite dramatic. I love acting and have been in several plays. Drama is one of my A-Level subjects. Because I have very little respect for my life, I chose 4 essay-based subjects.

I’m very good at winged eyeliner. It’s one of my few skills, but one I am very proud of. My wings are always sharp and even; something which seems trivial but gives me great joy.

I wear glasses. I like to read a lot. The latter of which, taking place in dim lighting, caused the former to occur. I mostly read Historical Fiction, my favourite authors being Philippa Gregory and Conn Iggulden. I try and steer clear of cheesy and predictable Romances and Psychological Thrillers. I really can’t stand Psychological Thrillers. Or Crime Thrillers. Or just Thrillers in general.

I would like to study History at University. Studying English at A-Level has made me realise that I DON’T want to study it at Uni.

I’m not very organised. (As the order, or lack thereof, of these points about myself has probably demonstrated to you). I have quite a creative mind, though, I love my Sharpies (WHSmiths Back2School Sale 2k15), and I occasionally draw. I like to draw fancy lettering and calligraphy. I’m quite good at that too.

I’m good at baking cheesecakes. They’re literally the only things I can bake. I make a mean White Chocolate Cheesecake. I can make Lemon and Lime ones too. I’m working on other combinations.

I recently discovered that I like 80s and 90s chick flicks. (Also, please note the reference to ‘The Breakfast Club’ which I – artfully, if I may say so myself – slipped into my title).

I have an issue when people use the wrong ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. It really stresses me out. It causes me a lot of issues.

I have recently self-elected myself the Faerie Squad Mother. That is the symbolism of the image. The glasses are the exact frame I wear, and I just added some wings to connote ‘Faerie’. (Yes, I intended to spell it the ‘old’ way. ‘Fairy’ is just boring, to be entirely honest).

This post is now finished. I should probably go to sleep.

So goodnight, my lovely readers. I hope my new look doesn’t put you off. Have a wonderful day and good morning.

The Faerie Squad Mother x

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