My Tenerife Holiday!

Hi!
I’ve pretty much been silent for the last few days because I went to Tenerife, as I said in this post. It was such a nice holiday and finally, two days after I got back, I want to update you on it. There were both good points and bad points but luckily, the good outweighed the bad.

My mum, sister and I went last Friday to the airport, getting up at a painful 5 in the morning. As usual, I’d packed last minute at 11 the night before so everything was rushed; I was tired; I barely spoke to anyone in the 4 hours between waking up and getting on the plane. I don’t remember much of it honestly. The plane journey was uneventful apart from me falling asleep (which I never do). How do people manage to always sleep on planes? I got horrific pins and needles and my neck ached.

When we actually arrived, it was boiling. Really, really hot – 30 degrees! Compared to England I felt as if I was in a dessert but I refused to complain. I was used to hot weather, of course (I really wasn’t) and so I’d be dignified and get used to it. After whining about how much sun there was for about half an hour, we arrived at the apartment we’d rented for the 6 days. Although it was small, it was surprisingly airy with a balcony outside; my sister and I shared a room and I spent about 20 minutes frantically organising my clothes, moving them around when I didn’t like how I placed them and generally stressing as I always do.

Pretty early on, I realised that neither I nor my mum or sister could speak Spanish. That didn’t stop the other two from trying: on the first day, we managed to order something in Spanish before realising there was an English menu on the back, talk to the man in charge of the building in which we could only say “thank you” and me screeching over their mispronunciation of words (not that I could talk). It was pretty boring except for me inwardly fangirling in the supermarket when I heard a song from Eurovision on the radio. I would have been embarrassed but my family were too busy looking at fruit to notice my singing.

After a not too shitty night’s sleep, I woke up feeling irritated for no good reason. On Saturday, we went to the closest beach, neglecting to realise that it was really, really windy. So windy, in fact, that it was like we were in a miniature sandstorm. It hurt like hell; I hate sand anyway but when it’s being pelted at you at high speed, it’s even worse. Apart from me aggressively trying to wipe sand off of every single part of my body, it was alright until we decided to leave. Then, my legs felt like they were being pricked by needles and my hat ran away, causing my sister to chase it. By the time we got back, I had sand in my ears and also on my eyelids.

After that unpleasant experience, we just went to the pool. I rang a friend and attempted to relax. That day went into a blur because most of it was spent trying to get sand out, although I did start reading a book which has taken over my life. Bloody typical.

Sunday was significantly less stressful. We went to another beach – do you sense a pattern? – that was less windy. I actually sunbathed, read a section from one of the most interesting 18th century books ever and then we ate lunch at the most adorable little Tapas bar. I barely thought to be worried about anything that day, except the buying of a new book which I didn’t even read that day either. Instead, I wrote creatively for the first time in months: it felt amazing to sit there for hours, writing and developing my own thoughts. I went to sleep feeling an odd mixture of happiness and relief because I’d connected myself to something I loved.

We’d mostly kept to the surrounding area of our apartment (which I always managed to get lost in) but on Monday, we went to a holiday resort called the Playa de las Américas for the day, just to see what it was like. The beach was wonderful: it had a bunch of people sunbathing on it so I joined in and there was no painful wind to contend with. Eventually, my sister suggested, coerced and then finally forced me to go in the sea. I have a tendency to not want to do things at first but when I actually do them, I enjoy them. I’d forgotten how freeing it felt to get splashed by waves, do some version of what I call “swimming” and to smile as waves crested right beside me. When we’d had enough of the water, it took an age to find the restaurant where we’d eat which turned out to be lovely but god, my feet ached. Our eating times were always irregular so my sense of time that day was kind of warped.

I noticed a pattern in my thoughts for the first three days: they were quite blurry and I don’t specifically remember what happened in those days besides what I wrote down. I think it was because my mental health had been declining and I couldn’t put a finger on why. However, on our return to the first beach on Tuesday, I started to figure it out. Whilst lying on a deckchair, I came to a rather panicky realisation that I won’t mention here because I haven’t told anyone. It was to do with my feelings and how I think about things and I even interrupted my reading of Daughter of Smoke and Bone to think about it which made things have a little more clarity, I suppose. It made me feel so weird that I went into the sea with my sister to try and distract myself. As we ran across the sand, and was so hot that my sister said it felt like torture and we crashed into the sea with something like relief. For the rest of that day, I couldn’t stop thinking about god knows what: my mind wouldn’t shut up. I rang a friend and freaked out on them about it which helped, I think, as I’d messaged them the night before when I started to feel like things were crowding in on me.

On Wednesday, we climbed a mountain. Well, it was in a car but still. Along the way, we saw (or in my case, felt) really cool rocks that were part-volcanic; I also climbed a few. It was kind of embarrassing when someone random came up to me and told me that I was doing a “very good job” but I just had to deal with my face going red, not from the heat, as I walked back down the rock formation. I got rock dust all over my hands and as soon as I got back, I spent what felt like a year trying to sort out the 5 photos of me which had been taken. Yeah, I really am that pathetic.

In the evening, I did my best to pack as my mum made some lovely food. It was actually quite nice to eat at the apartment as we’d eaten at restaurants for most of the other days. I glued myself to my book and didn’t really emerge for the rest of the evening because I’m an antisocial moth like that.

Thursday was our last day and I couldn’t help feeling sad about it. Going back to England would mean a return to life where I couldn’t relax as much. It meant facing up to the reality that I hadn’t done much work, that I felt panicky. Maybe I need that, though, despite the sadness I felt. We didn’t do much: apart from packing, owe stayed in the apartment until 5 when we were picked up by a taxi to go to the airport. Shortly before that, I’d lost my sixpence necklace and had a full-on breakdown about everything so I went to the airport with reddened eyes, feeling sick. However, I soon cheered up and spent the entire plane journey writing and thinking so that I felt more alive than I had in a while.

Now, I feel rather listless but I’m at my friend’s house today which is going to be great! I miss Tenerife, it sun, the apartment and running into the sea but I know I can experience that again. My family, apart from the occasional argument, got on with each other and although nothing too momentous happened, I liked it that way.

Oh, and I got sunburnt. Quite badly. I only noticed it when I started to really hurt. It was, in a word, tragic.

Have you gone anywhere this summer?

From Elm 🙂

I’m going on Holiday!

Hi!

When this is published, I’ll be on the plane. Along with the fact that I am now scared of flying, despite the fact I’ve gone abroad ever since I was a baby, I’m going on holiday with my mum and sister. It should be… Interesting.

We’re going to Tenerife; I’ve been once before when I was small but I don’t remember it. It’s going to be boiling; we’re mostly going to be relaxing and going on the beach. I’ll have to get over my intense dislike of sand but I should be able to do that. If I get scared or something, I’ll just go to the pool (oh god, I’m so bad at swimming!).

I’m actually really excited in my own way although it might not seem it. I love going abroad to new places, especially to relax. It’s going to be a good escape from everything as my mental health has been very bad the past couple of days, ever since I got hit with a horrible spell of loneliness. That means this holiday I could actually relax – for once in my bloody life!

However, as usual, I’m a little nervous. There’s the fact that my mother always gets stressed on holiday and can’t understand why sometimes, I don’t feel like doing things or why I get paranoid incredibly easily. Also I’ve done no work so far this holiday which means relaxing will make me feel guilty. In order to combat that, I’ve downloaded a lot of books to read – both for English and just for fun. Because I love reading, it won’t be a chore and I can do some research whilst I’m at it.

I also need to work on my coursework and personal statement but that’s not so important. The main priority is for me to relax – write, read and do the things I love. I’ll be writing some posts on the plane and on holiday to either schedule or just post whenever so there won’t be a blank from me for 6 days, don’t worry!

The truth is, I kind of just want to get away from everything. Ever since my friend left on Wednesday, I’ve been really dispondent because I miss him and having someone to talk to if that makes sense? Going abroad should distract me from that awful feeling. I forgot how feeling happy for a bit felt and I’m looking to get that back. I’m terrified that I’ll be lonely because I’ll be away from my friends but honestly? MAYBE I need that.

I’ll still be around to talk of course! You’ll be getting some holiday-type posts and creative posts on your reader in the next few days because for me, blogging helps me relax.

Have you gone on holiday this summer or are you hoping to?

Love from Elm 🙂

The Beauty in Paris

When I wade through all of the other stuff that happened, I really enjoyed going to Paris. How could I not? It’s an amazing city, filled with so many things, and walking down the streets and listening to people talking gave me the enjoyment I needed.

I’ll dwell on the pain tomorrow. Today is reserved for the amazing things that happened, the light and smiles and almost magic. So, I’ll run through what happened, snapshot by snapshot, to show you a little of what it was like.

S, my ex-boyfriend, came to stay with us on Sunday, as you saw by my last post. That involved talking things out, dealing with emotions and other things I really don’t want to talk about, and surprisingly a lot of happiness. You don’t realise just how much you miss someone until they’re there again, even if not in the way you’d like them to be, but that’s a whole other bucket of shit.

On Tuesday, we took a train and a cab up to a travel lodge in King’s Cross. After we met up with people, I screamed for about ten minutes when I reunited with Violet and the girl who now has an unofficial “thing” with S, I’ll call her… Pansy, because she’s someone who means a lot to me. I hadn’t seen her in a year, and so when we met up again, we laughed until we howled, walked around the hotel trying to find a toilet, got lost when we attempted to find our room and so much more. It’s easy to be around her, and a lot of the sadness melted away because I KNOW she’s a great person.

We spent the night there, singing in the communal area, doing a lot of shouting and just making new friends or reuniting with old ones. I shared a room with Pansy and another girl that night, and we stayed up until 1 as we couldn’t sleep, speaking about deep shit but also laughing until our sides ached.

The morning was kind of hectic. We ate breakfast early, listening to the classic bustle of London, as I sat with L and Violet and ate a croissant (I was getting into the French swing of things). We were taking the Eurostar, and so we went into St. Pancras (NOT Pancreas) but not before S and Pansy got a photo at Platform 9 and 3/4 at King’s Cross. Border control was easy, but it did involve me holding the hands of three strangers. Then, we boarded the Eurostar – I’d never been on it before and IT WAS SO COOL – which was uneventful as fuck, except for L finding chargers beneath the seats and Violet crying with laughter over a song on her boyfriend’s phone.

When we got there, we got on the Metro which was about the best thing ever for the whole trip. I’ll whizz through all of the days, what we did and how fun it was, so as not to bore anyone. For anyone that doesn’t know, the Metro is a train system in the City: think of the London tubes, but they run on wheels and have tyres; you’re much more likely to stumble and fall over, but the people don’t mind if you grab onto them.

On the Metro, I almost strangled S because I fell over, screamed and laughed. We arrived at the hotel (involving getting lost and being tired), relaxed for a little, but then went on a little tour of the surrounding area. I shared a room with Pansy and two other girls (one lovely, one not so). I also had to share a bed with Pansy, but because I’ve known her for 6 years, I didn’t feel uncomfortable.

A french woman, I think called Marie, took us to Montmartre. On the way, we tried a baguette from the bakery (French baguettes are beautiful), splashed water at each other, nearly got run over, almost got high off the smell of paint, and did so much walking that my feet hurt (then again, I’m VERY unfit as it is). Going to the Church, Sacré Cœur, was a great experience – it was quiet, echoing and majestic, and though I’m not religious at all, I loved it. Walking through it filled me with a horrendous sadness, but I won’t dwell on that: we walked out of the church and it mostly faded.

After that, we said bye to Marie (I spoke French to her or tried to), walked down the street singing hymns with Violet, and then went to relax. That day was bloody emotional as I spoke to both Violet and Pamsy, and tried to help Violet as much as I could. For dinner, we went to this adorable little Crêperie because the restaurant we’d planned to go to hadn’t received our booking. I think that was better, because it was just us there – about 15 of us including kids +volunteers, all laughing. I sat next to Pansy, and between eating, we whispered that we’d talk later, and I overheard some pretty weird conversations with Violet, her boyfriend and L. After my conversation with Violet, we all went up to the boys’ room – all 9 of us – and didn’t leave until about 11. I nearly lost my cane, and just sat on the floor like a rebel.

On Thursday, we went to the Eiffel Tower, and that day was simultaneously the best and worst – the latter, I’ll explain tomorrow. Being classic terrists, everyone was excited, exclaiming over the Eiffel tower-shaped EVERYTHING (Pansy bought pasta, L bought about six models of them, and others bought keyrings). For both Violet and I, there were some horrendously low points, but also high ones too. Standing near the edge of the tower’s second floor, I looked out. I couldn’t see a thing – S and Pansy could, on the bit of floor slightly below us, but I couldn’t. All I could see was sky, a bit that wasn’s sky where there was a boundary, and some darker things below that was an unbroken line of… Nothingness. How do I explain it?

There was a volunteer there, and I’ll use his real name – John. John understood me, because he found me standing there, and took me to walk around. He described it all, from the river to the buildings, and said that there was always something he noticed when he came back to look, that he hadn’t seen before. I opened up to him and another volunteer, and we went into the gift shop to see everything. I’d say that the people who made my week were him and the other volunteers, for just being so relaxed: when we stayed up until 1 that night, they didn’t bat an eyelid, and told us that it was our decision and that they wouldn’t stop us. Their thoughts were that we were responsible enough to make our own decisions, and because they were so relaxed, we could freely swear and yell in front of them (I called Jamie, another amazing volunteer, an utter fucking bastard once and he choked on his laughter).

On the Tower, L screamed “QUI VEUT ME MARRIER?!” (a phrase Violet and I repeated under a bridge the next day, whilst 5 french boys walked towards us). It means “Who wants to marry me?” and he got no response, except for screaming laughter from me. In the afternoon, we went on a river cruise down the Seine, in which I saw the sunlight glancing and shimmering off the water. We screamed various phrases as we went under bridges, and there’s a video of us chanting under one of them. I sang to myself a little, and talked at length to the girl who I shared a room with that first night; we’ve grown much closer now, which is great. Some drama also happened which wasn’t too pleasant, but for a little while over dinner, it was mostly forgotten. I ate snails – which are actually really nice – Pansy and Jamie sobbed whilst laughing (still don’t know why) and whilst we were walking to the the place, Violet and her boyfriend got lost. We thought they’d gone to the numerous sex shops which frequented the streets, because they promised me they would if I let them cheer me up, but psh they didn’t.

As I mentioned, we went to “bed” at 1: again, we hung out in the boys’ room. That involved S “falling asleep” though he was actually awake, which made me cackle like a witch. In case you didn’t know, L had his blogiversary on Friday, and so at exactly midnight I ran over to him and bugged him, squealing “I’m SO PROUD, you’re so old now eyyy!” and that probably scared him. After going back downstairs, I spoke with Pansy until 3. The rest of them didn’t sleep much at all – S only got about an hour and so was delirious with tiredness, something that still makes me laugh. There’s a photo of both Pansy and I hugging him, and he could barely put a sentence together because he was so exhausted. To be fair, our adventures on the Metro and the rest of the day woke him up.

Speaking of that, Friday was definitely my best day, before we went home. In the morning we went to the Louvre, to an amazing art gallery with sculptures. Translating into French braille is surprisingly difficult, and took me a while, but then I felt the recreation of every single sculture. The attention to detail was exquisite, the lines of the flowing robes, fingers and sweeping features giving you such a good impression of what it looked like. Then, I could appreciate art, standing in the silence of my little section of beauty, marvelling at how beautiful everything was: Venus, Mercury, the Three Graces, each figure standing tall despite its size. I loved it all, even the maps of castles, even when we walked through rooms with cobbles and rough walls. Jogn explained it all to me, staying by my side with all the statues, helping me when I got stuck on what something was.

He did the same too, when we went to the Notre Dame: I couldn’t see the decorations, the purple on the stained-glass windows, the high ceilings and model of it with all its spires, or the floor worn down by thousands of feet, but I got a good picture of it from him. We spoke about the Pope, Saints, religion and everything in between: it was nice to be there in the hushed quiet, feet clicking on stones and just walking, not reflecting on any pain, and just existing.

Now, it wasn’t all like that. Throughout the day, before and after going to the hotel to pick up our bags, things happeng that made me almost vomit with laughter:
• We had a leaf fight, where I got leaves in my hair and Jamie chucked leaves at the leader of our group
• We went to a chocolate shop: I fangirled over the selection, eventually buying the most beautiful hot chocolate (it was literally like LIQUID chocolate)
• I drank it, and then immediately ate ice cream. Don’t try that at home, kids.
• Jamie made me sit on a freezing, metal lounge chair, screamed “OI WATCH OUT THERE’s A PIGEON!” and poked me with a leaf. I screamed very loudly, jumped up and then proceeded to yell at him. L fell for it, too, and everyone laughed at us.
• We danced the Cha Cha Slide in the middle of the Notre Dame square. I wasn’t embarrassed, and eventualhy we fell on the floor. So many people stared at us, but to be honest, I dinn’t care.
• On the way to the Metro, Jamie made joke sexist comments, and I’ve never yelled “Right FUCK OFF!” in public before that day.

Four of us had to go on a separate train, because the previous one was so full. It was me, Chef Boob (e’s actually called Bob and isn’t a chef but that’s a long story), Jamie andthe girl I shared with that first night. Jamie tried to say a stop in French, to which the French couple next to us burst out laughing. The girl said, “Jamie, they’re all laughing at you, shut up!”
“We most certainly are,” replied a random french man. I started talking to him, unable to speak because Jamie was so embarrassing. When we left the train, Jamie shouted “Mercy buckets!” and I couldn’t stop laughing for the next 20 minutes.

On the Eurostar on the way back, Jamie, S, Pansy and I walked down to get food. That resulted in Pansy’s dolphin laugh, me falling into people’s arms who were sitting down, me accidentally groping a man’s stomach and the slowest food line ever. When we got back, we were all talking, which caused two to LEAVE the train carriage because we were being so loud. By the end, I was so tired that I couldn’t walk properly.

Saying goodbye was the hardest part: S was coming home with us, but I knew I wouldn’t be seeing Pansy for a while, or Violet. I promised to come and visit Pansy some time in her school, and I hugged John and Jamie because they were fabulous. It feels weird to be back in England, almost unreal, and I miss the laughter, Jamie’s awful French and everything else.

There were little snippets of things that I’ll always remember. I’ll never be able to think about the word “pulsating” in the same way; whenever I cough violently I screech, and there are too many inside jokes to count. I feel like I’ve grown closer to a lot and people now, something that I needed to do. I got more than I wanted out of Paris, in some ways.

Oh my GOD, that was a long post. I hope I’ve done Paris justice, and that you could see what I felt and what I experienced there. It was funny, insane, and I made friends with French people for about 5 seconds.

From Elm 🙂

 What’s Been Happening

I was tempted to use the word “Updatery”, but that’s coined by my lovely friend Luna and so whenever I hear it, I think of her. I can’t help it shhh!

So. I have a vague and indeterminate amount of Wifi on my computer, because now we’re staying in a hotel for a few nights. Because of that, I thought I’d take this chance to update you on the things happening in the world of Elm, because I’m lazy as shit and can’t be bothered to write a massively long post.

I like bullet points, so I’ll use them. Not that I ever have before, but I’m TRYING to be different.

• The posts I wanted to put up are no longer relevant, which is sad because I spent ages on them. Maybe I’ll put one of them up tomorrow?
• Ever since we got here and up to now, really, we’ve been staying in the village of my stepmother’s family. You know what, I think I WILL post that post about it later on, so that I don’t have to explain everything again.
• As I said in my voice recording yesterday, I have a cold. It’s actually got worse, and I’ve been coughing insanely. Yeah, not fun, and rather painful too: sometimes I feel so sick that I have no energy.
• I’ve done shit all homework and it’s upsetting me more than I thought. Mainly because of the lack of internet and time, but also no motivation. Hopefully, though, I should manage to do some tonight.
• I thought I broke my computer – don’t even ask – and when I found out it was working again, I started crying. Yep.
• As well as physically, I’ve not been feeling great mentally either. For the past two days, nothing’s been able to cheer me up, and I’ve been in a state where I just snap at everyone and feel shit.
• We’re going to a blind school tomorrow – it’s a boarding school, and though I went 5 years ago, now I think I can properly appreciate how different it is. I REALLY want to write about that.
• I’m exhausted. Thailand is great, but part of me just wants to go home where I feel like I’ve got my shit together. The plane journey back has caused me to worry so much, but I know in my heart we won’t crash.
• This afternoon, I got my legs waxed which didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. There’s still a bit of hair there, which bothers me a little, but at least that’s another experience.
• I miss my friends. A lot.

How have you been? I feel as if I have so much to do, and all of this “Relax! It’s okay!” talk from my family isn’t exactly doing much.

Sorry for the short post; I promise I’ll write more tomorrow.

Love from Elm 🙂

I’m Back! (Kinda)

Bonjourno! Or not, because I’m no longer in Italy. *cries*

I arrived back yesterday, coming home at about 10 o’clock (though it felt like 11, because of the time difference). Robin stayed over at mine with her family, and she left this morning.

Saying goodbye to her was so emotional, but I should be seeing her soon because I plan to visit her at blind college. Convincing my mother to let me do that will be a challenge, but I should be able to.

God, I’m so tired. Checking out of the airport was possibly the most stressful thing ever, because I ended up snapping at my dad on the phone when he was telling me where that the taxi would pick us up. I feel bad about that, but we both apologised after and he said that he’d had a bad day. Robin’s brother kept on doing his god awful New York accent, which ended with him running up and down a travellator with his friend.

Honestly, not much of interest has happened since then. I felt like a zombie this morning when I woke, but I’m mostly human now. I think I just need to relax, being so exhausted. I’d rather be doing nothing and actually making a start on my holiday homework, but noooo. Such a nerrrddd uurgh.

On Tuesday, I’m going to Thailand until about the 23rd, which will be fun (I HOPE). I’m going to try and post, like I did in Italy, but who knows: the wifi might be terrible.

I still have a post that I need to do on when I visited Venice last Monday, which took a bloody age to write. Robin should be giving me some photos to post, which is a first!

Ahhh, I need sleep. I hope you’re all doing great, and I finally got to catch up on some blogs I’ve been meaning to read. That made me feel less unproductive. If you guys ever need anything, remember I’m just an email away.

Tomorrow, I have something exciting going on, but I’ll tell you about it once it’s done. I promise that I actuY will! It may not even happen; the likelihood is it won’t, but I can still hope.

Sorry, also, for not replying to many comments. I’ll do that as soon as I can. I just need to pack for Thailand, talk to some friends, sort out some shit and then maybe, MAYBE relax.

Hehe, relaxation’s a joke. Just BREATHE, Elm, breathe!

I’ll update you if anything interesting happens, as I always do.

From Elm 🙂

I Can Vaguely Socially Interact

Today, Robin and I went to a water park. I’m writing this on Thursday night, and half panicking that I won’t get it up in time. (Which I didn’t because #Rebel) CALM, Elm!

The water park was about half an hour from our campsite, and was huge. It had so many attractions, but Robin and I only went on two because I’m a wimp. After we went on them, we walked around (even though the floor was fucking boiling and our feet killed), went to get food at a noodle bar and relaxed in the “shade”. Saying that, the shade got interrupted by sunlight most of the time, and suncream had to be reapplied multiple times. Urgh.

You’re probably not wondering what the title means, so I’ll tell you anyway. It’s the thing that sticks in my mind when I remember the day, as sad as that is.

The first thing we went on was something similar to rapids. It was a water slide where you had to go in those rubber rings, and I went in one with Robin. You slid down and shrieked whilst you splashed into water, and it was bloody brilliant. I mean, I enjoyed it immensely, and yelled “BLOODY CRAPPING HELL!” on at least two occasions.

On the second slide, the “social interaction” happened. It’s actually laughable how I put that in quotation marks. Whilst the queue for the ‘crazy river’ wasn’t too long, the one for the other slide was significantly lengthier. As the sun beat down and I waited, with Robin and her mum and dad, I heard teenagers – speaking English – behind us.

Now, this has been rare this holiday. The norm is to hear Italian, German and Dutch, so to hear English was a shock. It was even more of a shock !hear it from someone who sounded close to my age, so because I’m a weird child, I fixated on it.

Oh, Elm.

Luckily, it’s fresh in my mind, so I can recount it properly. The whole experience happened at about midday, before I had lunch, and so the sun was intense. There were breaks of shade, but all throughout the time when we queued, I heard them behind me. I’m really fucking strange in that I like to socially interact, though I’m awful at it, and so I tried !get an opportunity to speak to the boy (he also had a little brother who was about 10, though I had no idea of the older boy’s age at that point).

Robin’s mum was talking to me about how old I looked (apparently I do look about 14, sometimes 15), and I kept on thinking about the people behind me. When the conversation moved onto how I supposedly had a good figure, and that Robin and I were both very pretty, I started to feel more confident. It wasn’t that I felt insecure before: today wasn’t a bad day for me in terms of that, because I feel alright about my body. It was more that I was worried as to how people would view me in a social situation. Because of that, as we reached the top of the staircase, I turned. Partly !get the sun on my face, and partly to just… Build up the nerve !tell myself that I could talk to people, if I wanted to. It was important to me that I could because it proves to me I can be okay in situations like that.

After I was ahead of Robin and her family on the staircase, I thought my chance had gone. That makes me sound like a stalker, but it was honestly only that I wanted to talk to someone my age. At school, I don’t branch out often (OMG I’ve made that pun before but still) and so I felt a crushing disappointment when I thought that I wouldn’t be able to show a stranger, someone I didn’t know, who I was when I was feeling the most free I’d felt in a long time. Does that make sense?

We turned right at the top of the staircase, walking into a patch of shade. I’d hung back a bit, mostly to get Robin in front of me so she could help me not look like a complete moron on the slide.

Robin’s mum spoke to them first. They were talking about a slide that they’d had to queue for for one and a half hours, that was – I think – one of the tallest in Europe. On hearing that talking, something changed inside my thinking; I thought: why not? So I turned once more, and just asked a question like “Are you SERIOUS?!”

After that, it was surprisingly easy to speak. I only thought I was an idiot once, when I said that I was so paranoid that I’d burn and he laughed a little. His brother was cool too: they were going to race each other down the slide for 5 euros, which made me chuckle.

Feeling somewhat bolder, I decided !ask questions. Robin’s mum found out he was staying at a campsite not far from the water park. When I spoke to him, he said he was 15 – and the strangest thing? It turns out that he lives in a place very near to the town where I go to school. AS IN, he lives VERY CLOSE to my school and would have gone to it if his dad didn’t move house.

As we got on the slides – there were five slides going down next to each other – I found out his name was James. Using his real name might be risky, but I’m at the point where I just don’t care. Him finding my blog is pretty much impossible, and even if he did, he most likely thinks I’m strange (which isn’t a bad thing!)

Possibly the most hilarious part of it was when I came off the slide. I realised I couldn’t exactly stand up, all 5 foot 1 inch of me, so I shrieked exactly that, followed by “WOAH, where am I?!”
James then called, sarcastically whilst laughing, “In a swimming pool!” My response? “SHUT UP I KNOW!” Laughing all the while, to show I was taking the piss. At least, I hope he realised I was… Oh god.

“So, we’ll see you around,” was the last thing he said. Afterwards, jokingly, I said to Robin that we should go looking for him, but I knew we wouldn’t see him again. The park was massive, with so many people that it would be like looking for half a needle in twenty haystacks. The disappointment I felt was short-lived, but it was more a sadness at a missed opportunity. Not really romantically – realistically, nothing could ever have happened, but just in a friendship and potential future happiness sort of way.

I didn’t get his number, or his facebook or anything. However, the possibility of us having mutual friends is so much higher than it’s ever been before with anyone I’ve met on holiday, which is rather scary if you think about it. I was in my bikini for fuck’s sake, acting like a total lunatic and laughing, carefree. He is someone I will, most likely, never be around again and so for me, it didn’t matter how I acted: only that I was happy.

I didn’t worry that my hair was horrendous, that I laughed too loudly, or if I turned and faced him too much. I didn’t think about how he saw me, or if Robin would judge me (which of course she didn’t). Again, he’s just a random boy on holiday, who I met for 20 minutes, and who I know nothing about. Still, I’m smiling because I’m remembering how great it felt to be in that moment.

It’s getting so much easier to say that I’m proud of myself. I spoke to someone, spontaneously and randomly, without thinking I was out of place or that I should just shut up. Maybe, over the past year, I’ve become better at speaking to people I don’t know, but this time was when I put it to the test.

I passed that “test”. I’ve never been more glad of that.

From Elm 🙂

I Can’t Speak Italian

Hii guys! I’m not actually sure when I’m going to be able to post this, but currently it’s the night of the 30th – so the second full day in Italy, and I love it so far.

Turns out, there isn’t good wifi here. Well I mean there IS – you have to buy it – but at the moment, I don’t have it and the only access I’ve had to les internets is 5 minutes using Robin’s data, but to be honest I’m at the stage where I don’t need it. Getting 10 hours of it costs you 10 euros, which is an insanely good deal considering what it’s been like the previous years. Okay, I won’t bore you with that.

Italy is really lovely. It’s boiling – yesterday and today, it was about 30 degrees where we’re staying. At times it’s just way too hot, but it’s rather nice and a break from rainy England. You walk outside and the heat hits you, and it’s got to the point where the air conditioning, inside, feels much too cold.

We’re staying in this awesome caravan, like we did when we went to France. Robin and I share a room, with her brother and his friend sharing the one next door. There’s a kitchen, a living room in the same room, a room with a double bed and then a nice seating area outside. Also, the place itself is picturesque, with lots of trees (which I’m happy about) and shade, which is broken by patches of sunlight along the pathways.

On Thursday, we arrived (getting to the airport and boarding the flight was VERY stressful, but that’s because I was paranoid). After we landed, we stepped outside the plane and I just had this thought that now, I was on Italian soil and it was exhilarating; I went a bit hyper.

Shopping for food was actually less frustrating than I expected. Going round a supermarket with Robin and her family, choosing what we wanted to eat, felt a shitload more freeing than just having it done for us. Plus, Italian food is great. Once we’d done all of that, and arrived at the sort of campsite where we’re staying, we didn’t do much. Just relaxed, and chatted as we usually do.

On the first day – so yesterday – Robin and I explored. By that I basically mean she walked around whilst guiding me, and we had a look at all the different things there were. In previous years, it’s just been rather simple with a bar and caravans, but here it’s organised in neat rows and it’s almost like a little town. You have the bar, the pool (in fact there are about four pools which is brilliant) and all of the caravans are different, owned by different companies, and there are even some chalets and tents scattered about.

Exploring involved over 2 hours of catching up, where I told her everything that’s happened over the last 6 months. There was a lot to tell, but luckily she wasn’t bored as I basically regaled her with how my life has been. She was unbelievably supportive and not judgemental, as she always is, but that shouldn’t surprise me. Because she goes to a boarding college, there’s not much she HASN’T seen or heard, and in the hours of catching up, she told me many stories that had me laughing insanely.

Last night, we went out for dinner. We’d gone shopping beforehand, but because I’m boring, I didn’t buy anything. Oh, and Italian pasta is gorgeous. It’s been my personal goal to try eating pasta in Italy, and finally that’s achieved! I regret nothing.

Today, we just went swimming. Both days, we woke up late – at about 9:30 – which felt really great because I was calm and not stressed. Robin got bitten by mosquitos, and because she’s allergic, they swelled up and are now the size of bloody golf balls. I feel so sorry for her honestly, but she went to the doctor this evening and has some prescription drugs, so she’s okay.

As I said, we went swimming (in the pool, not the sea, because fuck beaches). For the first time ever, I wore my bikini – after dousing myself in suncream – and god, I’ve never felt so… Confident. I thought I’d be a mess, constantly questioning how I look, but because Robin was there I was fine. She said this, which stuck in my mind: “I started putting bikinis on because though I felt insecure, I just thought fuck it! Why not?” I went by that philosophy, and it worked, because I could lie on a towel and sunbathe without asking myself if I looked disgusting. If you ever feel nervous about putting something on, like an item of clothing, just remember that it’s YOUR body and that you do have the confidence to feel comfortable.

It’s about 8.30 now, and I’m writing this just outside the bar. There’s music playing on a stage a way to my right, people talking and the busy sounds of chatter to my left, and Robin sitting next to me. I feel really peaceful, and this is the first time I’ve written a post outside, which is so liberating. The air is warm around me, with people walking behind my chair and kids shrieking. I’ll definitely be repeating the experience someday.

Tomorrow, we’re just going to do nothing – relax as per usual. Robin still hasn’t caught me up on all of her stories, and I’ll hopefully have wifi tomorrow so that I can actually post this. Recently – when I had my 5 minutes of wifi – I checked WordPress and saw some truly lovely comments that made me smile. I’ll reply to those as soon as possible, but I’d like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I DO mean that: I can’t read blogs at the moment, and won’t be able to for a long time, so I can’t return the favour on new blogs I find.

If you ARE a new blogger and just want someone to chat to, I’m here. I thought I’d say that now, because now’s a good enough time as any.

Also, I’ve decided that I won’t be trying to “get with” someone. I did a lot of thinking, and realised I’m in no emotional state to do that. My “legendary paranoia” puts me in the position where I’m finding it difficult to trust myself, almost? I’d love to just have something small, meaningless, to let myself be free, and the more I think about it, the more appealing it comes. However, it would feel like a betrayal and I’m not sure to whom. My mind is on other things, and so it wouldn’t be fair to the person at all if I did. It might not make sense, but I’m just trying to make myself happy.

I adore Italy. Because there are not many English families around, you can hear a blend of different languages: Dutch, German, even some French and obviously, Italian. The latter’s such a beautiful language, and I love hearing it. In the coming days, I hope that I can post more, but I sometimes just need time away from everything. A break. I can’t and won’t feel guilty about it, and you know I haven’t forgotten about you all.

I hope that you’re doing great. If you’re on holiday, have a fab time!

From Elm 🙂

Holidays Are Actually Stressful

You know what this season is? Summer.

Yes, summer. Where you’re supposed to RELAX. Key word: supposed. Because guess what I’ve done? I’ve started to mildly stress about my holiday to Italy, which starts on Thursday.

There has to be an emphasis on mildly. I’m not as bad as I used to be in terms of stress, but it is still there. I’ve found the most ridiculous things to stress about, as well. This is a time to have fun and be happy with one of my best friends ever, Robin, and catch up on six months of gossip – er, I mean, events that have happened in our lives. I have a lot to update her on, but that’s a story for another time.

Because I’m a complete conformist stereotzpe (psh, where’s the rebel gone in me?) I wanted to buy a bikini for this holiday. I’ve never worn one before, because I’ve never seen the purpose, and even though I am somewhat self-conscious about my body, I thought I’d give it a go. There’s no time like the present, after all, and I’m going to Italy to get new experiences, and to just be free.

The only issue was actually buying the damned thing. My mum and I went to our local shoping centre, and looked through about five shops. To put it bluntly, I’m a size 6, and they literally had none in my size. Only one shop sold them the size that would fit, and you had to order it online. As you can imagine, I got a tad bit upset (and stressed), but I’ve got much better at not showing it and I only once snapped “Yeah, well that’s fucking great isn’t it?” Also, I only went into self-hating “why don’t you just put on more weight you’re awful” mode ONCE! I’m vaguely proud of myself?

All of this worrying about my body is irritating me. If people aren’t happy with how I look, then to be honest they can actually bugger off: I feel insecure as it is, not being able to see myself (oh here we go aggg. As a result, I HAVE to rely on other people to tell me if I look good. Luckily, it’s Robin and her family, who I’ve known for 5 years, so I know they would.

After we got back from shopping, my mum ordered a bikini online (no idea what it looks like). It should hopefully arrive tomorrow, and I’ll see if it fits then, but I have this constant worry that it won’t and I’ll look like a complete moron. Ahh, I’ll just see how it goes: there’s no use worrying about it now, and I think I just need to relax before my holiday. HA!

This is most likely oversharing, but it’s got to the point where I trust you with this kind of thing. I really don’t like the hair on my legs: it’s blonde and there isn’t much of it, but I can feel it. Because it’s not very visible, I haven’t needed to shave, wax or anything which kind of makes me feel like a gross outcast? Anyway, my mum is addiment that I don’t remove the hair because otherwise, it’ll “grow back a lot more” in her words, but I’m worried about what I should do. I might ask my stepmother for help if I see her before I go, actually.

I STILL haven’t done much holiday homework. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to do it ON holiday because I stupidly procrastinated. The main thing I’m worp ied about is, surprisingly, the English, but I think Robin can help me out because she’s insanely intelligent. Let’s hope I don’t leave it to the last minute.

Tomorrow, and possibly the day after before Robin comes, I’ll be writing and scheduling posts that will be published in the time I go to Italy. Who knows – I may get a chance to po still in Italy, like I did in France last year. If there are funny or embarrassing stories, I’ll definitely let you guys know, because I’ll NEED to write about them.

Thinking about that, does Robin know I have a blog? I don’t actually know. Amid most likely hours of conversation about what’s been happening with us, I’ll drop a mention of Elm.

To summarise, holidays CAN be stressful, especially when you’re me and find it somehow amusing to find many things to worry about. I still have to buy suncream, aftersun and various other items like that.

I’m worrying about not talking to friends, especially to you bloggers. I’ve not been active in the community much recently, which makes me sad – sorry! It’ll be okay though. I’ll also miss my real life friends like Odd, Wren, Red and Willow, but I should be able to speak to them all at some point.

OMG Elm, just enjoy your holiday! ARGH!!! (Sorry about that)

I’m obviously not going until Thursday, but I wanted to update you guys on how I’m doing. Again, I don’t know how much I’ll be able to write, so I won’t give an exact estimation.

You guys doing anything interesting over the holidays?

From Elm 🙂

Just a Little Update

Eyyy!

So I got wifi, but it’s a bit inconsistent at times. For those of you who DON’T know, I’m in France at the moment on holiday with one of my best friends (need to make a name for her).

It’s AMAZING! Boiling, but amazing. Like last year, there’s a sort of club for teens called BASE, which is fab. We went to a different campsite last year, and one of our friends (let’s call him the Farmer) we met there has come here. Completely by chance, we booked the same place at the same time.

In other news, I haven’t:
A. Read any blogs
B. Talked to many bloggers
C. Answered ANY emails
D. Been on Kik much
E. Been able to post on the Feministas next Wednesday

Whoops?

Like I’ve said before: if you guys need me, drop me an email or Kik message, or comment on one of my posts. I still HAVE wifi, but I don’t have much time to read things, as I’m relaxing (like a pro).

Anyway – I hope you guys are having a great holiday. I got sunburnt and it hurts.

From Elm