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Symmetry is following me

This is my current weird thought. I’ve recently been thinking a lot about symmetry. A few things have happened in my life recently that have been symmetrical and I want to know why (‘question your teaspoons’ says George Perec).

I have always liked symmetry. I also like asymmetry. They are both interesting for different reasons.

Symmetry vs asymmetry

Symmetry has beauty, order, serenity.

Asymmetry winks in the face of symmetry. It is quirky. It sits outside the box. It turns neatness on its side. It warps the box.

It is like Schrodinger’s old pussy – both one and the other or neither.

Cat in a box

So I like both. Is that contradictory? I hope not. But who wants to be predictable and, well, symmetrical?

Recently, I’ve noticed symmetry appearing in the real world and that interests me. I can grasp the concept of symmetry in maths and art but symmetry in terms of events is a little too metaphysical to just accept as not worth examining. It is worth examining. What does it mean?

The sort of symmetry in real life I’m talking about is when something happens to a person, they then go forth and unwittingly cause that event to happen elsewhere. They may or may not notice this. They repeat the behaviour of someone else. They don’t know why they do it. They just do it. Or, someone hears a story about an event happening to someone they know, that same event then occurs in their life. They may or may not see it. I have seen this pattern recently in me and others. Why does it happen? I want to understand it. Is it a ‘thing’ or just coincidence? Some might wonder whether I am talking about karma, but this isn’t quite karma, as this isn’t necessarily a bad thing that a person commits coming back to them. It could be a thing (event, bad or good) that happens to them that they then unwittingly commit elsewhere.

Symmetry is related to repetition. And I am a huge fan of repetition (or at least I have recently become interested in it). However, symmetry is generally a once-only repetition rather than a repetition ad infinitum. It appears, it is repeated and mirrored.

Batman symmetry

A more simplified example is say you are planning a trip to Venice. You suddenly notice ‘coincidences’ around you with respect to the topic of ‘Venice’. You see references to Venice: someone else is going or has been to Venice, there’s a documentary about Venice on TV, you see an advert on the Tube for holidays in Venice or you spot Death in Venice on your bookshelf. Is this symmetry at work? Or just pure coincidence based on the fact that you wouldn’t have previously connected the ‘dots’ so to speak? I, being the airy fairy teeny, tiny possibility philosopher that I am, believe that it is symmetry at work.

Where I’m going in November

What I also like about symmetry is that it is one of those mathematical concepts that is also found in art (along with many others such as infinity, the void, the golden mean, the Fibonacci sequence, and the rhizome to name a few). I find the overlap of maths and art fascinating. I’m starting to think that they are one and the same (who knew?). The word ‘abstract’ appears in both. They both look at the meta. They both look at the concept. They both start with a gem of an idea and they work, rework, churn, think, work, rework until a diamond emerges.

Symmetry is pleasing because of the aesthetic. Aesthetics is desired, sought after, in all categories of art from representational to abstract and conceptual. All artists yearn for the aesthetic experience in their viewer. Maths is also all about the aesthetic : the aesthetic of numbers, and in this case, of symmetry.

Symmetry is beautiful and fascinating to me. To return to the idea of the symmetry of life. To me that is as beautiful and fascinating as mathematical or artistic symmetry. I see symmetry in my life and I reluctantly see the beauty in it even if it hurts when it happens.

Symmetry in purple triangles

So can we prevent this pattern? I suspect, not. So in conclusion. Don’t hate symmetry: embrace it. It is part of the fabric of nature and life.



Is 3 my magical number? Or is it a load of dangly bits?

This is a weird thought I’ve had for a while, for at least three months. It might be my imagination, or it might be real, but it feels as if the number ‘3’ is important in my life. Here is why:

Firstly, I am the third of three children so three was an important dynamic to me growing up.

Me and my two siblings

Secondly, most of my important friendships have been as a threesome rather than a twosome or foursome (or five-, six-, sevensome).

Thirdly, the houses I have lived at have been the following:

  • 18 (1 + 8 = 9 and 9/3 = 3)
  • 134 (3 of course, and 4 – 1 = 3)
  • 7 (see below)
  • 4 (take 7 from 4 and you get 3)
  • Then I lived in Amsterdam and I lived on the 9th floor (9 / 3 = 3)
  • Then Japan – Japan is a country pregnant with number significance so there lots of 3s in Japan
  • 2 (well, there has to be one exception I suppose)
  • 18 (see first house)
  • Blenheim Cottage (no house number – but the postcode was OX7 3SJ – there’s a 3 there and the house had three stories)
  • 24 (the number 3 comes between these two numbers)
  • 33 (no explanation needed)
  • 21 (2 + 1 = 3)

Blenheim Cottage – a three story house.

Fourthly, I have three children so that three dynamic continues in my life.

My three boys

Fifthly, I would describe myself as juggling three things: family, work, art.

Sixthly, I have three parents: a mum, dad and step-mum.

Seventhly, my birthday is 25th (5 – 2 = 3) of the 12th (1 + 2 = 3) in the year 1971 (1 + 9 + 7 + 1 = 18 / 6 = 3).

My birthday tree

Eighthly, I have lived in three countries: the UK, the Netherlands, Japan.

My favourite Japanese cat

Ninethly and finally as nine reasons is divisible by three, as I write this I am 45 years old, 4 + 5 = 9 / 3 = 3.


And as a final thought, I’ve finished writing this blog at 3.33pm!

Time is a messy scribble

This is a weird thought I’ve been having a lot recently. I’ve been a fan of Marcel Proust for a few years now, ever since I first picked up a copy of his mighty Remembrance of Things Past and started to read (and yet to finish).

This man again?

Arguably the most profound narration from Proust’s huge tome, which is composed of a number of novels, is the description quite early on of what happens to the narrator’s sense of time when he tastes a madeleine. This moment of remembering has coined the term a ‘Proustian moment’, which refers to how a sound, sight, sound (music), smell, taste or happening can trigger a flash back of strong emotion to an earlier time.

Proust’s cake

Through his writing, Proust examined what is perceived, and also what is remembered, and the repeated and ever-present links between perception and memory.

This interests me because I find the idea that time is a linear yet intangible ‘something’ completely meaningless. Many people, it seems, see time as something invisible that they live in and they travel along, as if they are a dot travelling along a long line that stretches from birth to death. They accept it as natural and dependable as the air that they breathe.

Is time like this?

I don’t see time like that at all. Time disturbs me. I see time as a big cumulus cloud with me in the middle.

Time, if it were pretty

If time were a line and I had to draw it, it would look something like this.

My theory of time

Time often feels as if it is traveling at a constant, linear fashion. Yet, there will be a moment in time’s journey, when I’m in a building I’ve been in before, or smelling a smell of the past, or tasting a taste of my childhood, or thinking about someone who has long left my day-to-day existence and I will get what I can only describe as a time-carrying emotional wack in the stomach. It can be a good wack, or it can be a bad wack.

I also have these time-carrying emotional wacks when I am driving. In fact, I get them a lot when I am driving. I also get them at Zumba, when I’m trying to sleep, and when I’m waiting in a queue. So they are sometimes triggered by an external stimuli (a smell or taste) and sometimes triggered by a total lack of external stimuli (boredom). Time exists in the chaos and the void.

So it may be n number of years since an emotional event happened, good or bad, but I can be thrust back to that event just as suddenly and unpredictably as I can not be thrust back to it. The idea that time heals, is utter rubbish. Why? Because time is a cloud, it isn’t linear. It doesn’t just have speed and direction. It has position as well. Perhaps the physicists need to step in at this point and make the observation that they have made many times before that you can either examine the velocity of a particle or it’s position but not both.

This theory is called the Uncertainty Principle. I therefore propose that we create an Uncertainty of Time Principle as well. Time is like a particle. We can see the position of time in our minds, or the velocity it is travelling at (with us along with it), but we can’t see both together.

If I could control my emotions and prevent the lack of or all-encompassing stimuli to the senses, then time would be predictable. But I can’t and it isn’t. So I have to accept that this is how time is. Time is woolly. It can’t be measured.

There’s no point fighting or seeking the emotional wacks, they will come when time wills.

Jayden K. Smith – who are you?

Last night I received a number of messages such as the below. This was a hoax. There are a lot of news items about this hoax. Lots of other people received this message.

One of many messages I received last night.

So today I decided to try to imagine who Jayden K. Smith might be. Why? Because I don’t have enough work to do at the moment and it’s fun. Is he real? Nobody knows. He is to me though.

This is what I have come up with.

He’s 23 years old. He lives in a small provisional town in the West Midlands. He has two younger brothers. They are called Simon and Adrian. He’s white. He’s 5’8″ tall. He’s not hugely tall compared to his contemporaries but he’s happy with that. He’s tall enough, he thinks. He doesn’t like to stand out in the crowd.

He still suffers a little from acne. He had very bad acne as a teenager so it isn’t as bad as it was. He has wispy blonde hair, it is short. He has a bit of a fringe though. His face sports a largish nose, big lips, and a light beard (its not really a ‘beard’ as most people would know it, perhaps a better way to describe it would be ‘a few sprouting hairs’).

The K stands for Kenneth. It was his granddad’s name. Jayden likes to go by ‘Jayden K. Smith’ rather than Jay, or Jayden, as he thinks it makes him sound important.

His favourite colour is purple.

He likes triangles.

Jayden finds this image very pleasing

He once met Jeremy Corbyn. That’s his claim to fame. He’s quite proud of that. He has voted for Labour ever since.

Jayden has met this man

He can touch his nose with his tongue.

He is more of a dog person than a cat person although he doesn’t currently have any pets. When he leaves home, he has decided, he’s going to get a dog. Or perhaps not, it depends on what he is doing at that point.

Jayden would love to have a dog such as this one

He has a good appetite. He has a high metabolism and doesn’t seem to put on much weight whatever he eats. If anything, his stomach is concave. He loves Nandos and goes there as often as he can. He will more or less eat anything though.

Jayden loves to eat here

He has a favourite white baseball cap. He mostly wears bleached jeans, trainers and football tops. He supports Aston Villa. He always has. He doesn’t know why. His dad did so he does. His dad died a couple of years ago from a heart attack. He was devastated. He hasn’t really gotten over it if he’s honest. He lives with his mum and brothers in a three-bedroom semi detached 1930s house. His brothers are both still at school. The house has a nice back garden with lots of shrubs and an apple tree.

Jayden lives here with his mum and brothers

Jadyen K. Smith has a degree in computer science. He got a low 2.1, which he is really happy about. He’s currently working in Asda (he only graduated last summer) while he decides what he wants to do with his life. He isn’t really putting in a huge amount of effort into looking for a proper job yet. He figures that he has plenty of time. His mum is a school cleaner. She hasn’t nagged him too much about his career. She’s enormously proud of his degree. He was the first of his family to go to university (although his dad was very clever).

He believes himself to be more-or-less completely heterosexual. He’s never had a serious girlfriend. He’s not hugely bothered though. He lost his virginity when he was 16 at a party. She was called Helen. He really liked her but it didn’t really go anywhere. She’s now living in London. He’s not sure what she does, something media-related. They are Facebook friends.

He has a few real life friends: people he knew at school and a few from Asda. He goes out about twice a week, mostly to the local pub but sometimes into town.

Jayden K. Smith isn’t very passionate about much in this world. He doesn’t have any hobbies as such, besides creating a Facebook hoax in his name and a vague interest in football. He’s completely overwhelmed by how many people fell for his hoax and how far and wide it spread. He has no plans for any other such hoaxes. He is quite happy living his rather quiet, non-passionate life. He is hoping that by this time next week everyone will have forgotten about him.

That’s it, that is Jayden K. Smith.




Nobody enjoys Sports Day and nobody admits to it

This is the weird thought I had today at my youngest child’s annual primary school Sports Day (he’s in top infants, or Year 2 for you younger people out there).

Shortly after waking this morning and realising that today was his Sports Day my reaction was not one of joy, elation, excitement or anticipation, it was one of annoyance and irritation. My second reaction was one of guilt at feeling annoyance and irritation. I reprimanded myself: what sort of mother doesn’t enjoy Sports Day? I don’t know of any other parent who feels the same way as me. But then I wondered, it this just another example of one of tose Things Nobody Admits To? There are a lot of Things Nobody Admits To but that’s a future blog entry.

Beanbags and hula hoops – the main ingredients of Sports Day since 1955

I don’t enjoy Sports Day and I hope that I’m not the only one (otherwise I really am a horrid mother). I didn’t enjoy it as a child and I enjoy it even less as an adult. Why? Well, I’ll tell you. There are a number of reasons and here they are.


It is the same every year.

Since having children I’ve attended at least 11 sports days. I’ve watched them toddle, jog, canter, skip and run in front of me. I’ve seen them throw beanbags into hoops, jump as high as they can, stumble over hurdles and slide over the finish line. I’m bored of it. The formula doesn’t really change much. I’m more than regular bored of it. I’m bored to tears by it. Sports Day has changed little, if at all, since the 1970s when I was at infants school.

This photo was taken circa 1980 on one of my sports days (I think this was the after sports day picnic)


If they have Sports Day why not have Maths Day or Art Day?

None of my  three boys are particularly athletic. They like maths and art. They are good at maths and art. They’d win maths and art races for sure. They never win running races. They don’t look to me like they are enjoying the whole Sports Day experience that much so since they look a bit miserable, therefore so do I.


Parents are expected to attend unless pinned to the ground at work by an elephant 

Sports Day means that I have to forego work for a whole morning. I am paid by the hour. It costs me £40 to attend Sports Day (on average). The timing of Sports Day is never convenient. They either start half an hour after school drop off or finish half an hour before the end of school and this entails a lot of hanging around and more small talk (see next point). So Sports Day actually costs me more like £50. Do I sound grumpy? Yes.

He so badly wants to go to Sports Day


Sports Day is hell for introverts

I have to sit with people I don’t know (at least this is the case this year as we moved to a new school in January) and wait desperately for someone to engage me in conversation.  This is painful. I’d rather take my laptop with me and do some work thereby negating the above point, at least a little bit.


Parents are more concerned about capturing the moment than enjoying the moment

See point below about ‘bringing out the worst in people’. All parents and grandparents have their phone out, and pointed at their child, as the race happens. Nobody is actually watching their child run. They just want that ever important photo. Yes, I do this too.

My middle son running last summer – good photo, eh?


The Great British Weather

It is usually borderline freezing cold (having said that, today was a glorious day).

We are having fun, honest!


Sports Day brings out the worst in people

I am not a ‘cheer ’em on’ type of mum. Today, I found myself sat sandwiched between two groups of screaming women who kept jumping up to holler ‘Leighton! Leighton! GOOOOOOO!’ or ‘COME ON SUMMER! RUN! RUN!’ They got on my nerves. They did it for every race. I have no urge to do that. I also witnessed one mother pushing a second mother out of the way today when the second mother lept up to cheer her son on thereby obscuring first mother from taking a good photo of her son. That really did happen. It was quite aggressive. I’m surprised second mother didn’t give first mother a knuckle sandwich. Now that would have made Sports Day more entertaining.

The one thing I do like about Sports Day is the mummy race. However, this is the element that brings out the worst in my personality. I know my children won’t win any races (and they accept that, as do I, as part of life’s way of saying ‘you can’t be good at everything and your skills lie elsewhere’). However, I am good at short distance running so this is my time to shine. I love the mummy race. As soon as the teacher in charge exclaims ‘and now for the mummies’ I have been known to leap up and be the first on the start line, with gritted teeth and a determined glare. I have won past mummy races. I once missed one because my youngest (who was three at the time) needed a poo. I had to hide my irritation that day but boy was I irritated.

My moment of glory

So at least today I had the hope that there would be a mummy race and I might leave these Donnington mothers as dots on the horizon as I glided gracefully over the finish line, arms raised, sweat poring and joy oozing. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. At the end of the last children’s race the teacher in charge announced ‘thank you all for coming, we’ve had a great day, bye bye see you in half an hour’.

So today was definitely a hip hugger sort of day (yeah, it wasn’t so bad really), not granny pants but no go commando either (which isn’t a good look on Sports Day anyway, especially during the mummy race if you are wearing a skirt).

Is it a granny pants day or go commando?

Recently I had a really bad day. It was an awful day. I spent the latter portion of the day in tears. That day was a granny pants day. A few days later I had a really good day, that day, I decided, was a go-commando sort of day.

Then my weird thought came: pants are a great way to classify 24-hour happiness levels.

Types of pants

So here is my classification system:

  • Control Briefs (Granny Pants): the worst sort of day imaginable, you have botched up big time at work, someone has died, you’ve crashed your car, you’ve had a bad review, someone has been really mean to you, you’ve failed an exam (or all your exams).
  • Classic Briefs (not far down from Granny Pants): a fairly bad day, you’ve got a stomach bug and feel awful, the exam you took was really had and you think you may fail, your dog is unwell, you’ve had a row with a close friend.
  • High-cut Briefs (I’m not even sure what these are): it hasn’t been a great day, work was full of niggles, you’re feeling stroppy and hormonal, you’ve got a headache.
  • Hipster (these are not unfashionable, but use more fabric than others): it’s been an average sort of day, not much has happened: things have been neither good nor bad.
  • Boyshorts (I wear these): you’ve had a reasonably okish day, perhaps you enjoyed a good cup of coffee but that was the highlight of the day. The rest of the day has been average.
  • Bikini Briefs (I don’t wear these, they are so 1980s): someone has paid you an unexpected complement, you’ve solved a problem, you’re feeling a little creative, you’re reading a really good book.
  • Tanga (I have no idea what these are): it’s been a good day, you’ve been shopping and bought an amazing pair of shoes or you’ve been out for a drink with good friends, you’ve had a good meal with your loved one, you’re book is unputadownable, you’re feeling happy and in love, you’ve got that warm gooey feeling you get from being content.
  • Thong: it is your birthday or Christmas Day and you’ve got lots of nice presents.
  • G-string: today has been excellent, from start to finish. You’ve been touched by human kindness, someone has surprised you in some way, a long-lost friend has got in touch, that handsome prince has kissed you, you feel healthy and alive. You’ve come up with a brilliant idea.
  • Go-commando: you are happiness. End.

These chaps are having the best day ever

We only live to 100 as we can’t cope with a century of change

This is my weird thought of the day.

Today, I came across an old lady in her mid-90s. She’s called Betty. She’s currently in hospital in Shrewsbury. She doesn’t want to walk. She’s not even that keen on feeding herself. I haven’t heard her talk. She’s inactive. She’s lived a good life. I don’t imagine she’s got a huge amount of time left on this world. Watching her sit in her chair today with her mouth agape I had one of my weird thoughts: ‘Perhaps we only live to around 100 because more than a century of change is too much for us to cope with’.

Betty was born in the 1920s. I’m not sure exactly when in the 1920s but at 90-something it will be the 1920s. She was born at a time when the motorcar was a novelty. The motorcar didn’t travel very fast. There were no motorways. We had had one world war, but not yet a second. I wonder if there were roundabouts in the 1920s? I suspect not. We didn’t watch TV. We didn’t have the word ‘television’. We didn’t really listen to the radio, or ‘wireless’. The telephone rarely rang and it had a handset and a mouth piece. I suspect we had to speak to an operator before we got to the person we needed. The idea of having a phone each would have been preposterous. There were no computers. We read books. We talked to people. We drank cocktails and sashayed about in flapper dresses.

Betty now lives at a time when we all have phones. We go to nightclubs. We watch TV every night. Our phones are connected to this amazing virtual land called The Internet. We drive up and down the M54 with such regularity, and rather fast, we could do it with our eyes shut. We don’t need to listen to the radio; we have iPlayer. Does Betty know what a pod cast is? Is she on Facebook? Does she update her status with ‘Spend the day sitting in my chair with my mouth open again.’ I doubt it. I suspect that Betty has reached her limit on change.

The M54

I don’t mean to sound patronising (perhaps Betty is very Internet savvy) but I suspect that in the year 2065 I, too, will feel tired of change. If I try to imagine what this world will look like in the year 2065, sat here in the year 2017 in the age of Facebook and Snap Chat, and I cannot. I cannot picture what it will be like. That’s my point. I suspect that by then, I will have had enough. I suspect that by then I will be like Betty.

This lady was born in 1898. She’s very old.

So I conclude, we simply cannot live past 100. Even as medical science advances further, we won’t live much past 100. Why? Because if we do, it’s just all too much and our brains explode. That would be messy.


What is the optimum number of friends one can have? Think of a number!

Last Sunday, I was driving from Shrewsbury to Newport at 11.30pm. When I drive home late at night, there is only one radio station for me: Radio 4. In fact, truth be told, most of the time there is only one radio station for me, that is unless I’m in the need to sing really loudly, in which case I listen to a CD (how quaint).

Anyway, to get back to Sunday evening, I was driving back home late at night after a particularly fun night singing karaoke at The Crown in Shrewsbury, and they were talking about ‘the future’ on Radio 4. Part of this discussion on ‘the future’ was focused on social media. In their discussion of social media the people on the radio mentioned something called ‘Dunbar’s Number’.

Me (far right) at The Crown on Sunday

My interest perked up at this point. I had heard of this before, but I couldn’t remember where. I have a bit of a soft spot for theories or postulates named after a real person (I also like diseases or conditions that are named after a person – I have a bit of a secret wish to invent Collins Theorem, Collinsitus, or Collins Postulate, or even Collins’s Number).

Again, back to Sunday evening, ‘Dunbar’s Number’, Radio 4 told me, refers to the optimum number of casual friends a human being can maintain whether they be living in the jungle or in Newport, Shropshire. Dunbar’s Number was named after a real person called Robin Dunbar who lives in Oxford. Robin Dunbar is an evolutionary psychologist and he came up with the idea a few years ago (before social media became the beast it is now) that we cannot maintain more than a finite number of, what he terms ‘casual’ friends / acquaintances in real or virtual life.

The magic number is apparently 150. This magic number, although coined a few years ago, is relevant today, Robin Dunbar claims. The irony is that Robin Dunbar, as he stated on the radio last Sunday evening, hates social media and prefers to sit in a pub with a pint and the odd friend than spending his time liking and commenting on Facebook. However, as I drove through Telford and across the most horrible roundabout in the world (Trench Lock) listening to this programme, I considered my Facebook friendship circle. I have about 390 friends on Facebook. That is 240 more than Dumbar’s Number. Does that mean that 240 of those people are not ‘casual’ friends (or close friends) and are just people I have met? If so, what are they to me? After all, what does the social media phobic Robin Dubar consider to be ‘casual’? He said that a casual friend would be a  friend you would call on for help, or someone that you’d go out of your way to talk to in real life. Well what do I have to say to Robin? I’d talk to any one of my 390-odd friends friends for help or to chat to about their mornings. So there!

Robin Dunbar and cat

I guess this disagreement with a scientist stems in part of my desire to refute those clever types who reside in places such as Oxford, Cambridge or Wolverhampton and say ‘aha, you might be wrong!’ I’m a firm believer in the teeny tiny possibility theory, as I have professed on here on many occasions, and I think that this is one occasion when I should play the ‘teeny tiny possibility theory’ card. Robin Dunbar, I have more than 150 casual friends! I agree that the category of ‘close’ friends is probably quite small. However, some of my ‘casual’ friends were close friends at some point in my life and circumstances have since meant that our paths stopped crossing so often. For example friends I went to school with or met at university, friends from my year in Amsterdam, or my two years in Japan, friends I met in Oxford or friends from when I lived in Charlbury for seven years. I had some very close friends at university and they are there on Facebook but we wouldn’t regard ourselves as close now perhaps. But it feels wrong to classify them as casual. They weren’t casual, yet we don’t see each other often now. However, should disaster befall me and I was in their area, I’d call on them in a heartbeat.

So in conclusion, my message to Robin Dunbar is, your theory is interesting but I think things are a little more grey than you presume. I have more than 150 friends I’d consider casual. There are Venn diagrammes of friendships that you haven’t really considered. So there! Poor old Robin Dunbar isn’t the only friend theorist I want to blow raspberry’s at, there is also Seneca, who had a lot to say on the matter too. What you say is interesting, dear Seneca, but you were not quite right. Sorry!

I love you all!

People are weird…

This is the weird thought that I had while waiting for a space at the petrol pump at Asda petrol station today.

A place of petrol

This isn’t going  to be a very deep, profound weird thought. But it is weird enough to share with my fellow over-thinking humans.

People are weird.

That’s about it. People are weird, they are odd. Don’t you think?

Why are we odd? I hear you cry. Well, we are odd because we wear clothes. We drive cars. We need entertaining. We are obsessed with our phones. We use Facebook. We moan. We like to drink too much and fall over laughing. We like to poo in private. We like to read while we poo. We look miserable as we plod around in the daytime. We think shopping is a form of enteratinment. We sit. We sleep in beds. We think we are amazing yet we also think we are utterly awful. We overthink everything. We don’t just overthink a few things, we overthink absolutely everything. That takes up an awful amount of energy. Yet, when we are stripped naked of our cars, phones, worries and clothes, all we are is animals.

We are rather similar to pigs. We have similar skin to pigs. I’ve heard we taste a bit like pigs. I think we are more like pigs than we are like monkeys (sorry, Charles). Yet we wear clothes and pigs don’t. Why do we feel the need to wear clothes all the time, even when we are too hot? That’s weird. We not only wear clothes, we have fancy, unnecessary things on our clothes.

People or pigs?

For example, there was a lady putting petrol (or diesel) into her car in front of me as I was having these thoughts and she was wearing a black coat. There’s nothing too odd about that. But her coat wasn’t just functional. It wasn’t just keeping her warm. It sported funny toggle things on the back. They appeared to have no function whatsoever. So, my busy overthinking brain asked: what the hell is their purpose? They weren’t very decorative. They just dangled. They looked, well, rather annoying.

This isn’t the coat, but it is black.

The people who design such things for people to wear are weird. The people who buy such things are weird. We are all just rather weird.

Then, just as I had that thought, a space became available and I had to put petrol in my car, just like all the other pigs.

Is sentimentality inevitable?

Just four months ago, I moved, with my little family, from Shrewsbury to the lesser known village of Muxton, near Telford. That move was a huge wrench for me. It was also a temporary move as the permanent move, to a house in Newport, wasn’t ready to happen. There are lots of reasons for this, which I won’t go into, mostly because I don’t pay attention to the reasons. But the reasons existed.

However, next week, the permanent move is finally going to happen. Next week, I will be moving from Muxton to Newport.

The temporary move was to a house which I fondly refer to as The Rented House. I have never loved The Rented House. In fact, I have always felt a strong dislike for The Rented House. I’d rather be out of The Rented House than in it. This dislike is manifested by the amount of time I’ve been spending in Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury since we moved. This dislike can be seen in the amount of money I currently spend on petrol and coffee.

This dislike is partly based on location (Telford – sorry Telford but compared to Shrewsbury you are a bit of an armpit), partly based on the style of house (1990s modern yet already falling to bits – honestly, this house is a right state) and partly based on what it represented – a move from a life I loved muchly.

My artistic interpretation of The Rented House

However, despite all of the above, over the last four months I have grown to love The Rented House in a bizarre love-hate unexpected way. I would even go as far as to say that I will miss it when the move to the permanent house finally happens.

The Rented Staircase

I feel as if I have gone through a lot while living for a short period in The Rented House. It has been a fun, fabulous, emotional, turbulent four months. I have dragged myself kicking and sometimes screaming towards a BA in Fine Art and I have laughed and cried my way to the end of May. It has been a time in my life I will never forget.

The messy Rented Kitchen

I feel a weird emotional attachment to The Rented House, the house that I hated on first sight. Why is that? Am I then just a naturally sentimental creature? Do I feel a inevitable attachments to ‘things’ whatever they may be, houses or otherwise? I think the answer is ‘yes’. I do find myself getting quite attached to things very easily. After all, try to take my cuddly poo off me and risk bodily injury. So, am I just going to be sentimental wherever I am, however happy or unhappy I am? I don’t leave any attachments to people in Muxton. Muxton isn’t Shrewsbury, not even close. Only one parent has spoken to me at the school gates since we moved here and that was just last week, I won’t miss Muxton. In fact, Muxton is confusing and weird to me. Yet, I feel oddly sad. The only thing I will miss is my Muxton lamppost.

The view out of the window

I know that I will shed a tear or two on Thursday. I didn’t think I would, but I will. I will leave a part of me in this funny old 1990s falling apart house fondly known to me and my boys as The Rented House. Bye bye number 33.

The messy Rented Sittingroom




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