He splashed his face with cold water. The heat was unbearable. Even without his full kit on and the cover of the tent his brown t shirt stuck to his back his cargo trousers heavy and beads of sweat rolled down his forehead.
“Alright private” he heard someone say behind him. He swiveled round to find a robust looking chap who chucked him a can of cold coke. “Thanks “ he said giving him a smile and nod of approval. “I’m John” the other man said holding out his hand for him to shake “Roy” he answered. He clicked open the can taking a swig the liquid fizzy and sweet in his mouth enough to pick him up a bit. Roy wiped away another bead of sweat that had escaped from his forehead. “ You’ll get used to it” said John. Roy wondered how anyone could get used to this heat. You better get your stuff on quick if the Sargent catches you like that he’ll make you run around the camp for an hour in full kit. The thought made Roy quite terrified.
They were fighting in Iraq a pointless war his father had said but Roy loved being in the army. Loved the routine , Loved the thrill of holding a gun , loved wearing his uniform for all to see. Before he joined he was on the dole for a year after he left school. It was humiliating having nothing just hanging about smoking pot and staying in bed all day. so he relished every experience now , even the heat and that was saying something.
I’m not sure exactly why I Write , I suppose before you write stories you read them. As a child I devoured books I would literally start reading as soon as I opened my eyes in the morning. I enjoyed it so much. I wanted to put my mark on the world and like the amazing authors I read , I wanted readers not just be entertained but to see something through the eyes of the writer. Me. I owe a lot of my talent (if I can call it that without sounding too arrogant) To my grandparents my gran would read the wishing chair to me as a child and it would take me off to another world. I think there’s something different about reading and writing as a child. My talent wasn’t really discovered until secondary school after it had been nurtured for eleven years or so through the education system. I also liked to write my own stories in my spare time , I remember as an early teen I got more into young adult fiction and liked thrillers. I would write stories about kidnappings and bizarre things like that.
I left school prematurely and grew very depressed this is when I started writing poetry. I remember finding a thin paper back book of T.S Eliot poems in my family’s loft and running through to my mum to tell her how amazing they were. Poetry I found a lot easier to read and write. My first poem was called Lang Town which is near where I live. I started to write about things around me which at that point and I suppose still is poverty. I would write about bus stations and dreary things like that. The characters I suppose had my voice but lucky for me I don’t live in a damp run down flat like the protagonist in my story.
Writing is a very personal act you are basically turning out your soul for others to read and scrutinize. I suppose we all want to live forever and a good poem or book is the closest thing we have to it. We don’t know what it was like to live one hundred years ago but through some of the great writers we can have some understanding of how they lived. I write to change people’s perspectives and make my mark on the world. That is why I write.
I’ve done a post on what I love about Scotland blog post but never one about what I hate. So here is a list of what I Hate about Scotland
Hate – This might shock some but I hate traditional Scottish literature Robert Louise Stevenson and Walter Scott I find their books dry and not to my cup of tea.
Hate – The way we treat people – It might be worse in England but Scottish people like to label people junkies a lot.
Hate – Shortbread its just not a good biscuit
Hate – Nationalism. I’m just sick of our country saying they want to stay in the EU it might be alright for skilled workers to sit back in their chairs and call us racists but we have family’s to feed , houses to heat we need jobs and there all being taken by immigrants. I wouldn’t go as far to say I’m a unionist but I hate how the younger generation all want independence and that its stupid not to want it when most of them are students and are not actually full time workers or on benefits and think its easy to get a Job I can tell you now. Its not. The rich look after themselves it wouldn’t matter if we were independent or not.
Hate – Our stereotypes. I think people think that us Scottish people are a lovely friendly folk when in reality most strangers look like they want to spit on you for saying hi.
Please leave a comment on this blog post and share your thoughts.
Before I start this post, I just want to put a disclaimer that I’m trying to reach 1000 followers by the new year so please follow and like thank you!
Although I like to talk about films and poetry and other random stuff on here, I also feel really depressed at this time of year. Whilst others have been out working and having fun as the seasons change and the colours of the leaves turn I feel especially low. All year I’ve been depressed snoozing through the day and going to bed early to avoid panic attacks. I barely leave the house except to go shopping or go to college and do a course im really struggling with. Its true when they say it goes in one ear and out the other. I thought going to college would help boost my mood but all its done is make me feel inferior when other people in the class aren’t struggling.
It’s a known fact that life is unfair but in the past year I’ve realized how stuck I am in poverty. nothing excites me and around me the area is very bleak. I cant drive and I am getting in a way that im to lazy to take the bus. I used to like getting on the bus and having a look round the shops but now I feel too dependent on my parents, still needing my mum and dad close by.
Its very frustrating for me like a fly entrapped in a spiders web I am desperate for my own independence and freedom. But there’s meds to remember , washing and cooking to do and at the moment I even struggle to clean my own bedroom.
I definitely think I have PTSD from my time(s) I’ve been in hospital which now effects my life. When I was 17 I went through a horrific time looking back now it was completely out of order to treat a teenager like that.
I think writing this blog helps to get it out on paper so to speak. Doing this is a great distraction. I almost feel selfish for feeling this way as there’s people who have probably gone through a lot more than me. Its not like I went through any major trauma growing up apart from my mum having epilepsy but that never stopped her looking after us yet I feel like I’ve let my family down by dropping out of school and like my blog says I feel lazy as my depression makes me feel like i am just sitting around leaching off the state.
I saw a blogs bio which says their a writer of professionally unemployed so maybe I could come under that bracket even though I don’t make any money (yet) My goal is to have enough money to live comfortably maybe have a bigger house that I’ve grown up in however at the moment it feels like that dream is way off.
Anyway, If you feel the same way as me at this time of year just know you’re not alone. Amen x
Nor limpit in poetic shackles: I love the opening to this poem it’s so poignant and
Captivating. I think the first line expresses confusion with the words in this strange land. A land unkown to prose or rhyme. I think this is symbolic of the isolation burn feels as a poor writer not many can relate to him. Also perhaps its symbolic of society’s ignorance whither its to do with illiteracy at the time or poverty that blights Scotland. “Where words no’er cross’t the muses heckles Nor limpit in poetic shackles.” This shows that burns feels trapped perhaps by his situation and lack of money but also by his gift for the written word.
A land that Prose did never view it,
Except when drunk he stacher’t thro’ it;
Here, ambush’d by the chimla cheek,
Hid in an atmosphere of reek,
“A land that Prose did never view it.” I think this expresses burns frustration that although he is one of the most gifted writers in history he still cant capture all that he wants to. Except when drunk he stachert thro it. This reveals what burns sees the drunks of the streets and perhaps his own battle with drink. Here ambush’d by the chimla cheek. Hid in an atmosphere of reek. This shows what the city was dirty at the time and covered in reek.
I hear a wheel thrum i’ the neuk,
I hear it—for in vain I leuk.
The red peat gleams, a fiery kernel,
Enhuskèd by a fog infernal:
Here, for my wonted rhyming raptures,
I sit and count my sins by chapters; In this stanza what stands out to me is the line “k
For in vain I leuk. This suggests that Burns perhaps feels guilty about his
Fame and talent.
“The red peat gleams, a fiery kernel Enhusked by a fog infernal. These lines are symbolic of heat and perhaps the devil or anger, burns maybe feels like the Devil. “Here , for my wonted rhyming raptures I sit and count my sins by chapters.” He feels guilty about his gift perhaps because of his position in society and the fame and talent he has.
For life and spunk like ither Christians,
I’m dwindled down to mere existence,
Wi’ nae converse but Gallowa’ bodies,
Wi’ nae kenn’d face but Jenny Geddes,
Jenny, my Pegasean pride!
In this stanza he is in conflict with himself and his religion , he admits he’s not a very good Christian maybe because his love of drink or sex. “Im dwindled down to mere existence “here he feels that society does not value his talent and he is merely living a pointless life that wont amount to much.
I stumbled across an interesting article in The Herald today that argued that modern mental health disorders are more down to capitalism than a biological disorder. In the article written about the book sedated its says the economical issues like poverty and isolation are more common causes to why people are “sick” I myself have been on anti psychotics for years and I believe this to be true growing up in cramped housing , having a poor diet and mostly just struggling to get by may have caused my illness. Although I would never put anyone off taking medication as I believe like dementia there is biological factor behind diseases like depression and psychosis. I think any mental heath professional who does not treat mental disorders like any other illness is not doing their job properly.
However , unemployment and cuts to benefits does not make you happy. If you have a job you have some sort of motivation in your life. Your around people so less likely to develop psychotic symptoms from isolation, the wealthier you are the better your diet and exercise is and so on. Which all lead to better mental wellbeing.
Davies argues that radical political reform is needed to tackle the social issues of despair. Basically higher taxation on the rich. So many things including mental health are linked to poverty. Substance abuse , crime , physical illness , attainment gap , shorter life span. The poor are constantly penalised. We blame poverty on ourselves when in fact our lives are made shittier because of capitalism. We’re forced into low paid jobs or benefits. While some (who can drive ) whizz around in fancy cars and spend their money heating their massive houses. It’s a way of life you don’t know unless you’ve experienced it. And for most unless you win the lottery never will.
I’m a summer baby. I was born on the ninth of June 2000 which makes me 21. Getting older scares me. I’ve never had a full time job because of my health and have not really got any decent qualifications. Most people my age will be studying and partying whereas I’m stuck in my stuffy old bedroom at my grans the only interesting thing in my life who is going to be evicted from love island.
I cant help but feel the pressure of the ticking clock. I’m not even in a relationship anymore and I feel like the only thing I’ve achieved since leaving school is giving myself brain damage from rock music , taking up a hospital bed and being a regular just eat customer.
It seems like the months are slipping through my fingers and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. When I think beck now there’s so many things I wish I’d done differently , but like my mum always says you have to look forward. Its difficult when your health incapacitates you I want to believe what kills you makes you stronger but it is simply not true.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that Ive spent a lot of time in my young adulthood in and out of psychiatric hospitals. The thing that bothers me the most isn’t the dire experience of these institutions but more the aftermath of life outside of them. Depression , anxiety and PTSD makes life difficult.
I worry about my chances of getting a job as i’ve been unemployed for five years and my ability to have a normal healthy relationship , or raise a family.
I’m not gonna say I’ve tried my best because I haven’t. My recent admission was partly my fault I thought going into hospital was the right thing. It wasn’t. Although I still believe that going into hospital at 17 as horrible as it was , was necessary to combat my psychosis. I’m still very codependent on my parents. The most frustrating thing is not being able to get away or live without people your not happy with. I cant drive and although I appreciate my family trips to McDonalds its not enough to fix the damage that being in these places has had on me. I feel lethargic a lot I fall asleep during the day and go to bed early at night I struggle to concentrate on TV as most dramas trigger my psychosis. I’ve gained weight , I vomit probably just because of the state I’m in. My parents answer to this is move on. Yet I cant everywhere I go I’m still in that ward.
I struggle to look after myself although I set alarms on my phone , I still struggle to take my tablets or keep my flat clean without my parents help. I want my children to have a better life than me. However currently the only money I get is PIP and universal credit (Im getting a donate button soon folks)
Probably the worst thing is i’m too depressed to write , the best piece Ive ever written, reading it back gives me nausea as it reminds me of a period in my life I don’t want to go back to. Even poetry I feel I can never get right.
I try to go out for walks alone , to smoke instead of eat , to stay up late , to get a job but the comments people have said still come back to me , but what can I do besides stuff my face with jammy dodgers and fall back asleep two hours after ive woken up? I feel inadequate. One of the rare people my age in Scotland that doesn’t have highers and has borderline dementia. Reading a book feels like a mockery.
(Before I start.I would really like it if you commented and put forward your opinions on this topic)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. No one owns art. I feel like the only accessible art form in 2020 is music and film. To most the books are left to collect dust on a high shelf’s out of reach to many and great paintings are ruined by the coffee stains of the class divide. Literature like classical music and fox hunting seems to be a possession of the higher classes. Believe it or not I don’t hate the church. The elite built me aside from school and my parents I was raised by the church. The psalms of the bible and the verses of the hymns helped me create poetry and write prose. The summer clubs helped tutor and nurture me. However I wasn’t on the same level as them. My mother dusted the pews and scrubbed the toilets whist the conservative Christians preached the pure word of God towering above us on their high podium.
At school I was always degraded siting in a third set English class I was bitter , but I made friends I will never forget despite walking along the narrow tightrope that was the poverty line. Clutching a pen for balance , one slip and I would of tumbled to my doom. Perhaps I already have. in fact I know I have. What I write is in vain , they will spit on my grave.
Survival of the fittest is interwoven into our society despite anyone taking into account the middle classes head start at the game. Yet to say this puts a black mark against your name. Artwork is too expensive to buy for many , words to extravagant to understand. , and if your a woman who tires to challenge this you may as well thump your fists against a brick wall until they are bloody and bruised , but perhaps I’m biased. No one owns art. That’s all their is to say.