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This week I feel like an aviator cruising through a war zone, having to keep a cool head while dodging challenges. And sure enough, there ate plenty, and all of them pretty unexpected. When my perfectly good, still fairly new tyre bust earlier this week, it still threw me. Now it’s the end of a bizarre week, and even my mysteriously broken computer screen doesn’t even get a shoulder shrug from me. Ah well, a trip to the repair shop - just a slight course adjustment. Life, you can stop throwing things at me, I’m not afraid of it anymore.


Costume Changes 

Every time I open the door to a world of costumes and props, I feel the same delight I felt as a child when rummaging the loft for fancy dress and any odd bits of past stashed away in the dark pockets of our house. Back then it felt both creepy and exhilarating. It still kind of does.  

Now I don’t actually care all that much for fashion, for silks and satins and ribbons and lace - but it excites me to look around and instead of bits of fabric, to see so many other people I could be… I’m pretty happy being myself, but I find it literally impossible not to step out of myself every now and then.  
As a young writer I stumbled upon the concept of each person being an entire society - I sometimes think if I didn’t give the different characters inside some space, I’d be asking for mutiny. I might be the captain of this ship, but I’m not running this on my own. And sometimes I look in the mirror with astonishment, spotting someone I hadn’t seen there before, and no matter how it might make me shudder, I suddenly know: this is the person that can get my ship through the storm. 

I must remember, though, to put my creepy ship mates back in the box when I’m done.

The Taste of Sorrow 


The person who probably made the strongest impression on me in my life was my Grandfather. To me he seemed like a boundless fountain of songs, of jokes, of words that made you smile and lift your spirits. On difficult days I think of him, and I wonder how he did it. How did he stride through life, day in day out, exuding so much warmth?  How did he manage to live though the horrors of war, through his personal pain, without so much of a complaint, always a song on his lips? What gave him strength?

And I had to think of a character from a children’s book, who, after experiencing extreme sorrow, started a candy factory, because he wanted to make something sweet for the world. The sweets he made were magical: they tasted of strawberry and rootbeer, but - sorrow being their secret ingredient - also of melancholy. To different people, they taste of people leaving, of jail; of everyone's respective sorrows. Needless to say, I was extemely fascinated with these sweets from the moment I read about them. I wanted to taste them. I wanted to build my own factory.  

I didn’t see the connection. I didn’t see how my Grandfather had build his own candy factory. I didn’t even realize it has been passed over to me.  
I can truthfully say, was I to try one of these magic lozenges right now, they’d taste like all the moments I wasted, that I could have spent with him instead.


Confession of a Highly Sensitive Person 


For some reason I find the sight of a perfectly sharpened pencil extremely pleasing. Make it an 8B pencil and I’m ecstatic.
Give me some paper as well, and I’m unstoppable. I’ll scribble down anything. I’ll copy my council tax bill if neccessary. Just as much as touching a peach causes me emotional pain, moving an excessively sharp and soft pencil across the page appeals to my senses in an incredibly satisfying way. Throw in some textured paper and a pen with scented ink and I’m likely to be overstimulated.

I’m not sure how I survive the chaos of my days, considering how finely tuned I am. But I know it is just by moving my pen across the page, or my fingers across the fretboard that I can keep it together. Creating is no choice for me. It’s a neccessity.

“Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create—so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off…They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.” - Pearl S. Buck

Walking Down Scary Movie Memory Lane 


When I was young, to my delight, around Halloween all the TV channels increased their horror movie output. In fact, I probably thought the sole purpose of Halloween was  to celebrate my then favourite genre. 
It’s a little puzzling how I could get into horror movies, when, as a child, seeing Snow White bite into the apple was enough to make me hide under my cinema seat. 
The movie that sticks out even more for me (although I don’t even remember the film itself), is “Critters”. When I was about seven I watched it secretly with my best friend, who had come for a sleepover. Later, in the dark, as we were lying in our respective beds, I realised she was really scared, but didn’t want to admit it. Instead she tried to find out whether I felt similar. I didn’t - in fact, I was utterly unfazed, but suddenly found myself pretending I was, and asking if I could sleep next to her.
She readily agreed - and I remember feeling very happy in the knowledge that I made myself look utterly stupid, but was being a good friend. 
What are your scary movie memories?