Miss You

In recent years I’ve become far more emotionally ‘strong’ and ‘independent’ (by which I actually mean numb and detached) as I’ve learnt to cope with life a bit better. I’ve stopped feeling excitement so I can never be hurt by the disappointment which almost always follows it. Similarly, I struggle to feel love because the danger of rejection and humiliation make it seem unattractive. Also, I’ve learnt that the little emotional energy I do have isn’t worth investing in anything as nothing in this world gives a fair or worthwhile return in comparison to the time, money or energy it requires. As a result I have little motivation as I’m aware that my dreams and desires will never materialise and trying to chase those dreams only reveals how naive you were to believe otherwise. Furthermore, I now know any attempt to fix myself will only make me more broken. So why bother?

Paradoxically, the older I get the greater my problems are, but the less I am bothered by them. I yearn for the time when my biggest worry was whether my friend had started to prefer the new Lego Knights Kingdom range of toys over the Lego Bionicles which were mine (previously our) obsession. I miss crying when I was worried that my favourite TV shows, such as The Demon Head Master or Dick and Dom, were coming to an end. I miss crying more than a boy ‘should’ and I miss being ‘too’ sensitive for my age. I miss caring too much about everything and being overwhelmed too easily. I miss caring much more than I do now, over much smaller problems than I have now.

Unbelievably, I miss going to bed and hoping I wouldn’t wake up. I miss waking up and thinking that no one would’ve cared if I hadn’t. I miss having my heart broken. I miss being angry at my parents, being angry at myself, being angry at society, being angry at politics and being angry at religion. I miss lying in bed till 4 AM every night overthinking and worrying about every single social interaction I had had that day.

I miss all that because those intense negative emotions came hand in hand with intense positive emotions. I miss the intense joy that came from spending time with my friends and making them laugh. I miss the explosive excitement that went with forming my teenage identity and discovering my passions. I miss endlessly daydreaming about being a Rockstar and being able to want nothing else. I miss the constant insecurity that gave way to relief and pure euphoria when I discovered that I meant as much to someone as they did to me. I miss being so (childishly) infatuated with someone that every second not with them physically hurt, and every second with them was a constant struggle to keep my heart from pounding through my ribs.

I miss enjoying the present, instead of spending all my time questioning whether I’m truly happy anymore. I miss looking forward to the future instead of spending all my time missing the past.

I miss myself so much.

BB x



The Curious Case of Boiler Babie!

To say I had felt completely indifferent to my 19th birthday when it came and went over a month ago would have been an understatement. To tell the truth I almost completely forgot about it, which sums up my attitude towards it almost as much as the fact I asked my sister for a basket of M&S tinned curries. In my view it meant nothing, just that I would be one year older than the last time….Right?… WRONG!

Suddenly the other day I was struck with the horrific realization that I appear to have aged about 40 years in the last four months (for which I blame university entirely), skipping, from the age of 18, straight past 19 and crash landing in the late 50’s. The event that sparked this enlightening moment of self-understanding was the Courtney Barnett show I went to see earlier this December.

For those of you who don’t know Courtney Barnett (of which I am a big fan), she is an amazing guitarist/singer/songwriter who rambles dry, witty lyrics over what I would describe as melodic grunge music.


The first clue I received of my recent leap towards dinner parties, BBC 4 documentaries and the grave was when halfway to the venue I realized that I, in my newly found senility, had forgotten my ticket. Almost an hour later of riding the same bus the whole way around its circular route I arrived at the gig. I had missed the support band but for this I was grateful as it meant I’d have to spend less time standing around and standing is an exhausting activity!

Upon entering I saw the entire crowd was aged somewhere between 30 and 50 (I suppose Barnett doesn’t particularly appeal to the Grime-loving, pill-popping, edgy youth of Bristol) which was a completely new experience for me. I bought a drink and took my place at the back of the overfilled venue, and patiently waited for the band. Yes I know what your thinking, I am now one of those weird, sad individuals who will sometimes go to gigs on my own (I must be becoming reclusive in my old age).

Eventually the band came onto the stage and proceeded to play every song as if it was the last they would ever play. Barnett commanded the stage, oozing presence and playing guitar like a true rock star. The band as a whole made their skill and accuracy look effortless, giving every song bite and impact which forbade your attention from drifting away from the music for even a second. One thing was clear! To them a live show is a show!  

I loved it! I also loved being able to stand at the back and appreciate the whole thing with my eyes and ears while not moving a muscle. Not long ago this would have seemed like a revolting possibility to me. The idea of going to a gig and not jumping around in the moshpits until I’m dripping with sweat would have been insane. Recently though I just can’t find the energy and it doesn’t appeal to me so much anymore. Whenever a moshpit opens up now I groan internally before bowing to the social pressure, jumping in and pretending to enjoy it. Furthermore, I now frequently find others gig goers irritating inconveniences who get in my way and make me grumpy. I was beyond relieved to find the audience here weren’t the moshing type and it was that thought which made me realize I’m becoming more like my dad with every passing second. Eventually the shock of how at home I felt in this sea of middle aged people wore off and became shameless acceptance.

How boring I have really become is only truly seen when I talk to people about festivals. I’m not a festival veteran but have been to Download, Reading and Boomtown and have had some amazing experiences that I will reminisce fondly about for years to come. Festivals are great fun, although I’m not a teenager anymore (well.. y’know what I mean) and I can’t be dealing with a whole non-stop weekend of traveling, dancing, drinking, hangovers, not sleeping, leaky tents and feeling grimy.  When I’m down the pub with my quiz mates, who are all mostly in their mid 30’s, some of them talk about how they go to Download every year and I just think to myself “I’m too old for that shit!”, even though I’m fully aware that biologically I’m supposed to be in my prime.

It’s not just gigs but in all aspects of my life I am seeing this. Clubbing is slowly becoming a chore which merely keeps me from my bed for way too long and becomes a little more disappointing each time. I would rather be wrapped up in my covers playing Tomb Raider, watching Scrubs and eating chocolate. I honestly now get more excited about going to expert talks, than I do about absinthe shots and rock nights.

Once I had realized my true internal age, more evidence became immediately obvious, like how I played dodge ball for only a couple of hours the other day and managed to cripple myself for over a week. I genuinely lost the ability to obtain items from low cupboards and had to lower myself onto the toilet using the towel rail. I have never empathized with my Nan more.

Other signs of the wrinkly old man living inside my youthful, sexy body, apart from the permanent exhaustion, are the fact my bladder seems to have developed the stamina of an asthmatic sloth, the fact I’ve become content to be average and not “reach for my dreams” as I’m too lazy to even reach for anything beyond an arms length from my bed, and the fact I have decided I can’t be bothered to follow politics or world affairs anymore and want to just mindlessly agree with my preferred party instead as forming my own opinion takes far to much emotional energy.

So I’ve grown up a lot at uni, just not how I thought I would. What I expected was a higher level of cognitive understanding and the ability to lead my life in an independent and responsible manner, not the inability to do more than two things without needing a nap in-between. If I aged this much in four months I’m dreading what the next 60 years will do to me!

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  1. Survive this hangover, just get through today one step at a time and try not to throw up or have a panic attack! Try to stay awake and positive and don’t think too much about last night, the little you can remember of it. Try to forget because residing in the unclear, unordered scenes, depicting some stranger you barely recognize using your name, is the intense all consuming paranoia that you exiled years ago, waiting to infect you again. (I must have brought the stranger home because he was staring at me from across the sink this morning, his skin was pale and his body was shaking!) 
  2. Drown the irritating, time consuming, new-born puppy that is your social media addiction before it grows too large to hold underwater and actually start writing for this blog regularly instead of convincing yourself that playing Hashtag games on twitter counts as “promotion”.    
  3. Cancel your plans for tonight. (I feel too much like that squirrel who lost a game of chicken with my dads car the other week to think of a witty response when my friends call me a “POOF” for not drinking during the pub quiz! Why do we as a society penalize and scold each other for not drinking past our limits, why do you care how drunk I am, worry about how drunk you are, worry about making sure you don’t vomit, do/say things you’ll regret, or wake up too unwell to make it to the bathroom without collapsing)
  4. Get a FUCKING hair cut!, you haven’t shaved for two weeks either, you just look…. truly awful!
  5. Finally learn your lesson and follow through with all those empty promises you make to yourself the mornings after the nights before when your scrubbing vomit, blood or worse of off your bed sheets and wanting to puke out every last drop of the poison you swallowed last night and every piece of the person you allowed yourself to become. If being consoled by your Ex as you sit on the pavement crying because your favourite club refused you entry is a scenario that ever repeats itself you really need to review your decision making process and wonder if pride and maturity are feelings you have ever truly earned.
  6. RECOGNIZE YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!!! RECOGNIZE you’ve been dependent on alcohol since you were 14 and always will be. RECOGNIZE your lonely. RECOGNIZE you’re not happy with where your life is right now! RECOGNIZE the weapons you created to defeat your depression last time have been rusting and the walls and defenses are sprouting weeds and crumbling. RECOGNIZE you’ve lost sight of yourself again!
  7. Get up tomorrow!
  8. Smile!
  9. Be yourself!
  10. Regain control of you life!
  11. Regain monopoly over your mind!

………………….Also finish Crash Bandicoot 100%

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BBQ weather is my enemy!!

Summers great isn’t it, the heat, the sunshine, the euphoric laughter of free spirits (as seen in every advert past February)? You’d have to be insane to dislike summer! Who the %$*> doesn’t love summer?! WHO THE %$*> INDEED?!!

As one of those rare freaks, who hates summer and dreads its unrelenting, punctual return each year, I can tell you the reaction received when I inform people of my curious disposition can lie anywhere between mild confusion and mass hysteria. Although I’ll admit the reaction itself is understandable, my inability to find the kindred spirit I so badly yearn for escapes my understanding.

The statistics, however, not only challenge the validity and basis of my surprise and frustration but smash it into tiny pieces, while reaffirming my fear that I am the minority (and could possibly be a reasonable proportion of it).

For example, studies estimate around 5% of the UK suffer from seasonal affective disorder (depression cued by seasonal changes). You may be thinking “Hear that Boiler? You’re not alone!” alas that is not the case! The majority of these cases are winter SAD (the type of SAD that can be biologically explained by a lack of vitamin D and is described on Wikipedia as the “classic” kind), only 10% of all cases worldwide are SAD caused by summer and its incidence drops the further away from the equator you get. Therefore, as I live in “sunny” old Britain, not only does my summer blues make me one of a kind, it also makes me ungrateful.

So I am fully aware that you are, by now, screaming at your computer “WHY? WHY DO YOU HATE SUMMER? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, YOU FREAK?” well don’t worry, I shall tell you before the suspense causes you to rip out your hair.

Firstly, I hate the constant sun. As someone who doesn’t learn life lesson first time round, I usually manage to get heatstroke regularly each year which makes me lethargic, unmotivated and sucks the enjoyment out of everything (playing a gig with your band in front of six people, including staff, can easily make you depressed, but doing it with heatstroke is a completely different experience).

Don’t get me wrong, all this warm weather does have its perks. Girls enthusiastically free themselves from the shackles of suffocating layers and squeeze into short shorts and slip on summer dresses, and I look forward to this as much as they do, if not more… believe me! That is, however, the only benefit of this warm weather, and it is cancelled out by my own stubborn fashion sense confining me to a sweaty prison of skinny jeans and long sleeved t-shirts primarily consisting of more shades of black than you would believe existed.

The other main reason I despise summer is the lack of routine I experience during the holidays. I can’t stand having nothing to do for days on end (“woe is me”, right?), I waste my days, stay up late and scroll through facebook (the internet equivalent of a sensory deprivation chamber!), and then wake up late feeling tired, and emotionally flat.

Now I know you’re thinking “God, this guy is just some sort of creepy loner with no social life” and while I’ll admit I am no Robert Downy Jr, or Keith Richards, I have a reasonable portion of close friends and frequent many social circles thank you very much! I just seem to shut down socially in summer, and the main reason for my social hibernation is the self-esteem, depression, and paranoia issues I have struggled with throughout my teenage life.

Some of you may hate getting up to drag yourself to college and work five days a week but I honestly loved it because I got to enjoy the company of my close friends as well as interact with a smorgasbord of other lovely people. Although at times I found these numerous and intense social interactions stressful and tiring it was also the most fun I’ve ever had and improved my self-esteem and made me grow as a person.

Let’s be honest, the whole point of life is to enjoy the company of those you love and care about and I would go to hell and back to keep the wonderful friends I made at college in my life! SO WHY THE HELL WON’T I PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL THEM!!

Unfortunately, it turns out that when routine and constant social interaction is swept from under my feet my paranoia and depression are set free to run riot, unmaintained by consistent reassurance of my social worth. I turn into a hermit (a pretty one without the beard though). This results in a downward spiral, I sit around just making myself more depressed and unmotivated, and therefore more socially isolated.

The final reason for my hatred of BBQ weather, despite the fact I love BBQs, is last summer was the worst of my entire life!

The truth is last summer I just seemed to “run out of steam”! I was tired of failing! I was tired of my faults! And I was tired of trying to be someone I wasn’t! It was my first summer since I had broken up with my first girlfriend and was the first summer that was stealing me from the college I loved and not the secondary school I despised. This caused the darkest and deepest depression spell I had ever been in, a depression with the smoothest sides I had ever seen and an exit so high I couldn’t be sure of its existence.

Like a man terrified of the dog that attacked him I am phobic of summer and, unlike the fore-mentioned man, cannot avoid it.

So I’ve rambled on and if you’ve had the patience to keep reading, not only do I apologise, but I commend you. I tried to keep this short but failed miserably. I want to assure you that although I feared this summer like a man on death row, I was determined to not let this one almost kill me. That is why I have promised myself to keep busy and use this time productively and one of the products of this promise is this very blog.

However, to be completely honest with you, a small part of me had actually been looking forward to this summer in a tentative, paradoxical way. I was excited (and TERRIFIED) to see if my new positive, sunny, “brush it off” attitude, formed while recovering from last years summer, could protect me from my Kryptonite. Furthermore, this is, in some way, the last summer of my Childhood, and I was looking forward to getting to see all my old friends, hanging out and having a laugh in the sun just one more time as teenagers before everything changes again. In doing this I have started breaking my classically conditioned hatred of summer and replacing it with more positive associations.

The heat already seems less scorching and less exhausting!

So far I think I might make it out of this one alive, it’s touch and go, but I’m feeling lucky!

Please contact me if you wish to discuss my views on summer, if you yourself are the kindred spirit I seek, or you have any comments or criticisms about my blog or my writing style. I’d love to hear from you

Thank you for reading

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