Met Favourite Author!

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Yesterday was my mum’s birthday, and the day after my dad’s operation, but I couldn’t not go. It was something I might never get to do again, so I convinced my mum to come with me, and we went to see Patrick Ness, my favourite author! Don’t worry: my dad had a lot of other family and friends willing to look after him.

It was also the day of the Brighton parade to celebrate their promotion to the premiership (woop woop) so it was incredibly crowded but I didn’t mind so much, because I got to meet Patrick Ness.

Before we actually got on the train to go to Brighton, a guy dropped a piece of paper (two minutes before the train was scheduled to arrive!) and went onto the tracks to pick it back up. He then climbed up again and, luckily, did not get hit by a train. Was scary though.

The actual getting to the theatre was horrific. We asked a taxi driver to take us there and he told us it was about half an hour away and would cost a tenner, when we were sure it was much nearer. Anyway, we trusted him, and he drove us to this location. When we got out, and asked around, we realised we’d been ripped off. The theatre wasn’t here at all; and it had just gone half past two, the time we were supposed to be at the theatre. I was so stressed.

We called for another taxi and this time the guy took us to the correct location but we had missed fifteen minutes of the talk. It was terrible, really. We could still get in and his talk was so incredible that it felt like it only lasted a few minutes. We were so engrossed! His sense of humour was amazing too. Apparently, he never got any success until his late 30s, but when he did get success, that was because he didn’t think about getting a publishing contract, he wrote because he wanted to write, and it paid off.

After the talk, he did book signings, so I got a copy of his new book ‘Release’ (which I have yet to read), and waited until the massive queue got shorter, then joined it. Once I met him, I asked him a question (technically my mum did because I was too nervous): “if you had to choose, would you choose writing or cats?” I asked him this because I know he loves cats too, like me. He struggled with the answer, but, as he said when he signed the book, he chose writing. I suppose it’s because he makes lots of money from it. To be honest, I’d always choose cats, because I’ve had them my entire life, and I’ve never lived without them. I don’t know how I’d live without them. A certain blogger (*cough* MyMindSpeaksAloud *cough*) said writing too, so I am going to steal her cats.

It was a wonderful experience, despite the earlier stress, and we also went into Primark and brought me some more black and white clothes. I love black and white. it’s just so… black and white.

Thank you for reading this post; I was very excited about going to see him and I’m so happy I did!

Lia

Day in Southampton!

So on Thursday, me and my mum went up to Southampton to watch, at the mayflower theatre, ‘The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Nighttime’. I’ve read the book so I know what happens. My mum, however, has not and didn’t even realise it was about a dead dog! First off, the acting was amazing. I really believed it. My mum actually thought it was based off fact. The main character was played very well too. Then there was the abstract depiction of autism, which I thought was absolutely stunning. They used lights and music to create a very overwhelming atmosphere, which was to try and make normal people feel how autistic people feel. There was also a real puppy at the end and I wanted to steal it!!

After seeing the play, we went to the Holiday Inn hotel, where we stayed the night. We shared a twin room which I thought was a bit annoying because I couldn’t sleep very well as my mum is a heavy breather and snorer. But, we did get breakfast there, with a very interesting toaster. It worked like a conveyor belt. You put the toast in and it moved along, getting evenly toasted, and then it fell down the other side and you could collect it. I actually got a piece of toast stuck in the toaster because I didn’t understand how to put the toast in at first. I think someone got an extra piece of toast as, when I went back later, it was gone.

We did a lot of shopping when we were there too, at the Westquay shopping centre (which is very complicated to get to unless you know the area). We went to Build-A-Bear and I made a little gangster kitty, despite the fact I am almost eighteen. We went to quite a few places to eat too! For my first lunch, we had a Spudulike (where I had baked beans). For the evening meal, we went to Zizzi, which has always been my favourite pizzeria, due to the fact that its vegan pizzas are stunning.  This was even better than the Chichester Zizzi I usually go to, as the vegan garlic bread had a lot more garlic flavour to it than the one at Chichester. My mum tried a bit of my pizza and she really liked it too. Then, for lunch number two, we went to The Real Greek. I wanted to try some new dishes so ordered this weird chickpea thing which I didn’t like. My mum told them we didn’t like it and immediately they said “we won’t charge for it”. The rest of the dishes were lovely though — the hummus, flatbread, and new potatoes. We gave them a large tip  (more than the usual 10%) for the great customer service.

I also ordered a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s. I’ve never had a massive American pretzel before, so I was quite excited. I had it vanilla-flavoured and it was beautiful.

Overall, I had a wonderful time, and although it was extremely exhausting, it was awesome. I’d do it again — but not for at least a year!

Thanks for reading this post,

Lia

Not All Cats Are Evil!

The stereotype most commonly associated with cats is that they are evil wanna-be dictators. Whilst this is certainly true of some cats, each cat has a different personality, just like humans. There is this cat down the road that we nickname ‘Mean Cat’. He definitely fits the typical stereotype. He is the cat bully around town. Even Pablo is afraid of him, and Pablo loves cats! He’s the reason Smiler comes home with cuts. He isn’t even nice to humans. He’s just rude.

But then you come to my cats: Diego and Smiler. Diego is the most unconditional-love-giving cat you could ask for. He is always waiting for me on my bed and he purrs as soon as I walk in, nudging his head against my hand and kneading into my duvet. He always gives love. He never got mad at us when we got a dog. Although he sometimes finds Pablo quite infuriating, I think he has accepted him as a member of our family now, like an annoying little brother. He still loved us. He didn’t run away. He accepted our decision and still gave us the love, even when people started to prefer paying attention to Pablo than him. He didn’t let that affect him. He has always loved us and will always love us.

Now, Smiler is the cat that wasn’t always ours, as you might know. He was someone’s down the street, but they didn’t care for him enough, so when he kept coming to us, they basically told us, in other words, to keep him. They didn’t want to pay his medical bills anymore. He is now a full-pledged member of our family and gets treated just the same as the others. He is also very sweet, though we think he is quite old. He doesn’t shower us with the love Diego does but the fact that he chose to live with us shows a lot, even when Pablo came. Diego and him are best pals and they love to play together. Sometimes Pablo even gets jealous and wants to join in!

The point is: not all cats are bad. There are just the few, like Mean Cat, that give all cats a bad name! Cats are quite awesome, actually.

Thanks for reading,

Lia

The Worst Part of My Mum’s Cancer Treatment

You might not know this, as I haven’t really mentioned it much in my blog, but when I was 13/14, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. Actually, at the time she got diagnosed, I had just started at a new school, so I had to deal with that, my own mental health & social issues, and this at the same time. It was very hard to make friends when you’re constantly worrying about your mum. I did make friends but not very quickly or easily and they were hard to find. I’m lucky I found them eventually but, as I said, I did struggle a lot as well, especially considering I can’t make friends very easily anyway!

She was actually getting a mammogram for a problem she had in her other breast. She felt so lucky that she had that problem in her other breast because it might not have been diagnosed so early if she hadn’t had that. Like I said, it was diagnosed pretty early, which was good, but obviously I still worried a lot about her. At first, they thought she would need radiotherapy, but then they changed their mind, which was good. She instead had to have a number of operations and is still having operations at the moment. A lot of them got delayed due to skin infections, which has been very annoying for her!

But none of that is the worst part of her cancer treatment: the worst part was hormone therapy. This is the drug prescribed to stop the cancer coming back. The side effects are terrible and my mum said they were “like a toned-down version of chemotherapy.” She’s very happy that she never had to endure chemotherapy or radiotherapy, but she’s still suffering a lot. Her hair is in poor condition, she’s had joint pains, tiredness, rashes, and lots of other side effects that really affect her quality of life.

She’s been on the drug Tamoxifen for three years-ish and she’s decided to come off it. It is recommended to be used for at least five years but she just can’t deal with the side effects any longer, and I agree with her decision. She’s been a completely different person since being on the drug. Her mood has been down a lot. I just want her to be happy again — and I feel that coming off of this drug will do that for her. The drug doesn’t even guarantee that the cancer won’t reoccur so, in her opinion, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. I really hope that she can come off of it soon and finally feel like her old self again!

Lia

My Five Minutes of Fame

http://www.worthingherald.co.uk/news/girl-writes-poem-about-having-autism-1-7766168

This article is my five minutes of fame, I think? My local newspaper interviewed me last week and then today the article was published online and I think it might be out in print later this week.

It’s kinda awesome, in a way, apart from the terrible photograph. My dad sent off the poem and then was like “oh, by the way, I just sent off one of your poems to the newspaper” and I was like “oh cool” without thinking much of it, because honestly, I didn’t think they would respond. But they did, and now I’m in the newspaper.

You can read it if you like but, if you’ve seen my Instagram, you will already have read the poem on there. 🙂

My New Years Expectations

Usually, I’d do resolutions, which are what I want to achieve each year, but I never achieve them and it just makes me feel rubbish, so instead, I’m going to do my expectations! This is what I expect out of the year, instead of what I want to achieve.

  • I expect to get through my last remaining a-level, and to get an alright grade. If this was resolutions, I’d say I want an A, but for expectations, I expect a B. 🙂
  • I expect to feel rubbish some of the time, but that’s okay. That is okay. I cannot go through the entire year without feeling some sadness.
  • I expect to have my 18th with my family and friends. I want to forget the fact that I’m gonna be an adult and play board games and have pizza like a kid!
  • I expect my pets to be there throughout the year, making me feel good when I might feel down!
  • I expect it to be a better year than last year. Honestly, tomorrow, A Monster Calls is coming out in cinemas — if that isn’t a great start to the year, then I don’t know what is!
  • I expect to start writing more again. I’ve kind of been doing a lot of poetry recently on my Instagram (of the same name as my blog), but I haven’t been doing a lot of stories! I think I will pick up the story-writing pen again soon! 🙂
  • I expect to continue going to a group I’ve been going to and to enjoy most of it.
  • I expect to continue blogging, and to also get a custom domain — hopefully very soon! 🙂

    Thank you for reading!
    What are your expectations for the year?

    Lia

A-Levels: Mental Health

I’ve been struggling with the stress of a-levels for a long time now and then I realised: my mental health should come first. Having suffered with depression and anxiety for a long time, I was back into a cycle I couldn’t get out of when I started my second year. The constant change of creative writing teacher certainly didn’t help. Now, I might only be doing one a-level soon. I know, I know, only one!? It’s because I’ve been having a lot of anxiety attacks recently and we’ve been talking to the college about the stress.

You guys have to remember that, although good grades would be nice, you shouldn’t let them be harmful to your mental health.You matter and you will get through this. I believe in you! However stressful a-levels are, they will be done one day. Just remember that. Especially if you have had mental health problems in the past, I would speak to people about what the best course of action is for you. They can help you by breaking the work down or referring you to counselling or whatever you need. Just reach out if it’s all getting too much. People do care.

🙂

Lia

Sorry!

Sorry I haven’t been so active recently; a lot has been going on. I’ve also been working on my instagram @bamboochewer, which I’d love you guys to check out <3.

This post isn’t going to be very long — it’s really just an apology post and to let you know I’m still alive. How was your Halloween? Mine was great because we had no trick-or-treaters so the sweets we brought were all leftover. :’)

Hope you are all okayy,

I’d appreciate it if you could comment some post ideas below 🙂

Lia

Again?!

Today, I found out that yet another teacher has quit us, though this time it was after only one lesson (what a record!). When I messaged Rose to tell her of it, she didn’t believe me because it was so ridiculous. She’d been ill so hadn’t come in, thus was very unconvinced. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been messing around.

I used to be ashamed of my autism, upon my diagnosis, wanting to hide it and never telling anyone about it but, then, when I realised that teachers who knew about my condition started treating me differently… I felt like I didn’t want to be different, but that I had to be. I wasn’t like everyone else and I had to accept that. So, now that I’ve accepted my diagnosis, I understand what aspects of it affect me. Change is a big one, and I’ve already done a post on it which you can find here. After struggling with so many teachers leaving, I was told that this one would stay. Nope.

It’s just really upsetting for me and I almost want to just drop out but I know that my parents would get a fine if I did, so I can’t. I have to put up with it. This isn’t something anyone should have to go through (especially when the college gets Ofsted outstanding!!!), but it is especially difficult for people with my condition and I am just not gonna do well this year at all.

I’ve been so sad today and they don’t seem to see how this affects my mental state as well as my education. It’s honestly ridiculous and I wish I could just have not done Creative Writing (my dream course) at all because, although I love writing, this course is so messed up that it’s just destroying me, to be honest. The constant change of teachers, the teachers who we do have not knowing anything, I just can’t deal with it. I wish I could but I wasn’t built like that. This just sucks.

How do you deal with difficult circumstances? Do you get out the other end?

Lia

After post P.S: Why do I need to approve me linking to my own posts?! xD

Anxiety and Trains

Train strikes are not good for people with anxiety. I was standing around for my train, which wasn’t direct and meant I had to change at a weird stop, and I was shaking as it kept getting delayed and I got confused.

I started walking back, really sad, when a familiar face appeared. She told me it was okay and made me follow her. Then, she found her friend and stood with him but I was too anxious of being late to get on the train, so I left again. I just couldn’t do it.

I was in tears to my mum, knowing I’d already missed so many days, but my anxiety feels like it’s destroying my life sometimes. It takes away everything from me: social interaction, education, independence. People say for me to just stop thinking about it but I can’t and the more I try not to think about it, the more I end up thinking about it.

This is really affecting my college work and my life in general and it just sucks. I wish I could get over it, but I can’t. It’s just always there, hanging on the wall, spiking my toes, clawing its way through my ears, my lungs.

I just want it gone but it never goes. Never.

Lia