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An open letter to my father, the first person to break my heart

Dear father, the first person to break my heart,

First and foremost, I’d like to thank you. 
The pain that you inflicted upon me earlier in life led me to grow into a strong woman. 

The first time I fell in love, I was already fluent in heartbreak. The way sobs rolled from my tongue was an all too familiar memory, so I handled it exceptionally well when she used and abused me. You taught me to recognise when I was not wanted, so I walked away.
See, at such a meagre age, you didn’t give me that option. You had me gazing lovingly at my very own father figure, just to be tossed far away. 

You’re lucky that my mother was fluent in heartbreak too. She’d had it harder than you could ever imagine, and she still played the hell out of the role of both parental figures, meanwhile you played none. All respect I had for you, I bestowed upon her. She has been my warm embrace, my knight in shining armour, my most frivolous laughter. She’s twice the father you could ever be. I thank you for giving her that strength.  
Right now, I’m in love again. I know you’d be disappointed to hear that. You couldn’t have cared less for me, yet you still wanted to chase boys away – left, right, and centre. Now, if I’m honest, it took me a long time to learn to love and to trust again, and I know that you’re to blame for that, but I’m happy now. You taught me how to look out for the warning signs, and for once in my life, I’m so god damn happy, I could hug you, and maybe even send this to you as a thank you note in calligraphic ink, on decorated paper, in an elegantly designed envelope – but I won’t.
Thank you for breaking my heart before anybody else could. I now know what to look out for, and in whom I should place my trust. 
And finally, I feel safe. 
Have a good life. 
I hope you regret losing me every day.

Writing Games

Writing Game

Place your finger randomly on the page in front of you. Your finger will have landed on a word or words. Write the word down, as well as the 3 words preceding it. You now have a 7-word phrase. Write this down & once you have written it, keep writing for 5 mins. You must not stop writing & you must not think. Try to write as fast as you can. You are not producing a work of art.

BookGrief is the Thing with Feathers – Max Porter

Death felt fourth-dimensional, abstract, faintly familiar.

Scary as it was, there was something oddly comforting about greeting death at the door – almost reassuring, in fact. After seeing my husband in his skeletal cancerous state, I often wished for it to be over for him. That was, however, after I spent five years praying and begging for his recovery, but to no avail. However, nobody could have ever prepared me for the turmoil that was to be the process of grieving.

I had never smoked in my life, but I now found myself hanging out of the window, inhaling the poison from clumsily made roll-ups. He died because of this very habit, so why did I wish to follow suit? I missed him unbearably, that was the problem. I tricked myself into believing he wasn’t really gone, and that I could just get out of this world and into the afterlife just as easily as he eventually did. But again, it was to no avail. I coughed, cried a little, cursed my love for not quitting his addiction earlier, then cried again until I vomited.

This was my life now, clearly, or lack thereof.

Review

Little Nan’s Bar, Deptford

The best of every nan’s living room, right on Deptford’s doorstep.

We’ve all been there – warm hues of scattered browns and golds, shabby trinkets, Bone China dinner sets, and worn – but equally as comfortable settees. I’m sure I speak for many of us when I say that the welcoming atmosphere of our grandparent’s house is one that we fondly remember. I remember well the days when I would stand in the kitchen with my nan and help her bake buns, cakes, and cookies. I remember thinking that nan’s buns were the best I’d ever tasted.

Little Nan’s Bar is a reprise of every single one of those memories.

Located a stone’s throw from Deptford station, Little Nan’s Bar is hard to miss with its eccentric outdoor seating, stuffed animals, and warm night mood-lighting. But it’s not until you enter its doors that you see how truly nostalgic the place actually is.

   

Attention to detail is a significant quirk of Little Nan’s Bar – I glanced around for the best part of an hour, and I’m not even sure I saw every last bit and bob.


Having just returned from a gruelling train ride from Essex, all I wanted was a nice, strong cup of black coffee, and Little Nan’s Bar was happy to provide – at a reasonable price too; £1.50 for a mug of filtered coffee big enough to keep me buzzing for the rest of the evening. It was quieter than usual, being a rainy Monday, which I was thankful for as it gave me the freedom to look around at my own pace without disturbing anybody. I can imagine that it can get incredibly busy, however, making for a night out that we all need to try. I mean, when’s the last time we had the opportunity to get absolutely bloody trollied on huge cocktails in a nan’s living room while propping ourselves up against a Daniel O’Donnell cushion?

I do regret not getting something bigger to eat, however. I’ve heard great things about the food, but I did treat myself to a small teacup of cheesy snacks to accompany my coffee, again at a very reasonable price of £1.

I fell in love with this adorable tablecloth

Little Nan’s Bar holds several awards for “Best Afternoon Tea” and “Best London Bar”, and rightfully so. I can’t say I’ve ever had such a whimsically kitsch, Alice in Wonderland-esque experience in the six years that I’ve lived in London, but here I was, sitting in awe of everything around me. I emphasise the word experience because that’s what good afternoon tea should be. It’s what sets Little Nan’s Bar apart from other similar establishments in London. You can really tell how much Grandson-Tristan cherishes his nan and experiences had with her. I would have loved to have met her, but I’m thankful for this insight into her home that Tristan has carried along with him.

 

Do I recommend? Heck yeah I do! Catch them right next to Deptford Station – you can’t miss them!

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Dear Birch

“Stop everything! It’s snowing”, squeaked the birch to the vast, naked oak as icy flakes fluttered slowly – down, down, down, to the lightly dusted ground.  Snow had been long overdue. Tiny tips of green had already begun to sprout from the very ends of the birch’s branches as winter drew to a pass. The oak gently shuddered and dipped its limbs to allow the snow to slip off the ends.

“It isn’t as if I can do anything but stand here anyway, dear, birch. My growth slows in the cold.”

The birch didn’t seem to hear much, too excited by the snowfall to listen. Oak didn’t mind too much, however. It was quite content watching the younger tree as it trembled every time the crisp wind licked its crusty, season-beaten bark.

“Be careful that you don’t get sick this year, birch. It would be an awful shame if you lost another branch.” Oak tenderly nudged at birch, being careful not to injure any more of its branches. The oak was much older than the birch, and therefore much stronger. Last winter was particularly nasty and the branches in the crown of the birch had been battered by the bluster. If the birch didn’t allow itself to slow, oak feared that it might fall victim to the same fate again this year.

As days passed, the sun started to rise earlier in the morning, but the snow continued mercilessly. Most nearby trees went into complete hibernation, waking only to soak in sunlight before drifting back into a warm slumber. The oak wistfully wished for enough sleep to last this final winter’s month, but decided against it, thinking it best to keep an eye on its ever-excitable best friend. Whenever the wind picked up, the oak allowed its thick branches to prop up the birch to keep it just as strong. Only sometimes, it wasn’t nearly enough. Several twigs had already fallen to the ground from birch’s dying branches.


Only a few days left to go
, thought the oak tree. Several of birch’s branches had begun to nestle again the oak’s own, but by now, the oak had sprouted just enough leaves to keep birch’s broken branches warm until it had enough strength to stand on its own again. Every day for the past month, the birch had woken the oak with the same gleeful exclamation about the snow; oak found this endearing, and warned birch to be careful each time, just as it did the first time it had awoken to the snowfall. However, this day was different. The birch hummed in contentment as the last snowflake fell to the ground, yawning immediately after. It seemed as if the birch had tired itself out in time for spring, where the oak was happy to help the birch grow its leaves again.

The birch slowly straightened as the days grew warmer, mumbling blissfully between yawns to the oak.

“Be careful that you don’t get burnt this year, oak. It would be an awful shame if you lost another branch.”

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An introduction

    At a meagre four years old, my mum decided that I was some kind of writing prodigy for no other reason than knowing how to spell the word “decide”. I had written a short story about a duck that decided to dress up as a swan. She even showed off to my grandma, wondering which side of the family I inherited my apparent “impeccable smarts” from. I thought – with the limited logical judgment I had at that age – that she was being silly, of course. However, I never lost my love for reading and writing. I like to think that I have a good relationship with words and the way that they can be strung together in so many different ways. I still think my mum was being silly, but my passion for writing still burns strongly.


    Eighteen years later, and it only made sense to make a blog.


So allow me to introduce myself –

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I’m Sharna, and I’m a 22-year-old cat mum, student, and a beginning freelancer. I live in London, UK, with my mother and two cats. It’s just us; I like it that way.
I’ve always been something of a wanderer, having been raised in the countryside and promptly finding myself longing for the bustle of the city.
I’m a big fan of video games, aiming to someday pen one – or more (aspiring developers, feel free to hit me up!) someday. More recently, Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts have won my heart. 


    I intend to write (hopefully quite regularly!) about many different things here; games, books, love, life, travel, mental health, various franchises that perk my interest – anything that draws a twinkle of passion in me. Most of all, I intend to write to connect with you lovely people out there as I learn to steer the reins of blog writing!