A Love Affair With Bell X1

A Love Affair with Bell X1

“So she asked me to dance. I did but I wasn’t able. Oh where to put your hands when there’s so much food on the table.” – Slowset


On my mp3 player five of the six highest (And the three highest) played songs are by Bell X1. They’ve been my favourite band since I was about twelve or so, even now I see them as the start of me actually choosing a band that I liked for me rather than having picked them up from my parents or my brother.

But when someone asked me the other day what my favourite song was I was stuck! Choosing a short list of ten was difficult, but to choose one, just one was nigh impossible! So many different beautiful songs! Each so meaningful for me.

Once upon a time if you asked me without a doubt my favourite would be In Every Sunflower or Just Like Mr. Benn but I’ve changed a lot since then. I don’t need those songs quite as much as I once did.

Now my favourites would be leaning more towards Slowset, Nightwatchmen, Natalie and Next To Me. (Lovely alliteration in those titles).But for the most part they’re all good.(Though I must say there are a few on the two newest albums I’m not as fond of).


“If I had you here, I’d clip your wings snap you up and leave you sprawling on my pin. But this plan of mine is oh so very lame, can’t you see the grass is greener where it rains.” – Eve, The Apple Of My Eye


The way I found them was a kind of stroke of luck way. My friend Ruah saw Flock in the library; she liked the cover and asked for space on one of our tickets to take it out.

We went home and listened to it and we were in love with it. Our favourite song became Flame and then later (As we progressed to the next song) Rocky Took A Lover and it is to this day.

My best and most favourite thirteenth birthday present was going to see them live and the Point Depot (Back when it was indeed the Point not the O2) with her. I remember when we were there we were the youngest people by twenty years!

My seventeenth birthday present for myself was tickets for us both to see them in the Theatre Royal during their acoustic tour. We sent them some cakes backstage, they mentioned them after the interval and we actually got to meet them after the show! It was wonderful.


Though on their new album they do say they’ll “Never launch my own fragrance, Or be proper famous” but they seem to getting close enough to be proper famous, they just released their fifth album and they’re touring a lot in Europe and America.

I’m very glad that they’re making it and getting known; I just hope that they don’t forget that there’s a girl back here who knows practically all the words to their songs.


“I’ve drifted far from you, in this bloodless coup, I’ve drifted far from you, I say good-day and adieu” – The Trailing Skirts of God


A Woman’s Fear

I was in the car with my brother the other day. It was probably about midnight, he was giving me a lift so I could make the last train to Bristol airport for a disgustingly early flight. Because the flight was so heinously early I had to sleep in the airport, I was totally okay with the idea of it but mam and my brother were a little nervous.  Sitting in the car my brother he told me something that made me think. My brother is eighteen years older than I am and he was telling me that when I’d been quite young he was walking home in dark, through a park in Dublin and he realised that his sister would probably never be able to walk with the same ease as him, and he said he’d never wanted me or our younger sister to be afraid of doing things, to be scared.

But here’s the thing, I am afraid, there are things I don’t do, I didn’t walk anyway after eleven when I moved out, I’m nervous on my own in towns especially after dark. There have been times when I have seen someone who looks like they might be in trouble, drunk, hurt, people who might need help, and I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been to scared to go and ask if I can do something, to give them human contact, to help.

Like it or not, I’ve grown up in a culture of fear, a culture that says “Don’t walk down that alley, just in case.”, says “You can’t go travelling abroad on your own, not as a young woman alone.”, “Don’t talk to strangers.”, “Anyone could be a thief/rapist/murderer.”.

A culture that at the base of everything is telling me “You are a woman, you are vulnerable, you cannot trust anyone and if anything happens, it’s your fault”.

I Am Rising

I’d never heard of the V-Day Movement until last summer when I found a copy of the Vagina Monologues while on a college trip. I’d heard of them and I’d heard of Eve Ensler, but madly enough for the circles I moved in I had never heard of V-Day.

This year is the 15th V-Day held, a day to take the messages of love given on Valentine’s day and turn them to messages of love and support for any survivors or rape, violence or abuse. But this year there was a very particular call, a call for 1 Billion Rising.

The statistics say that 1 Billion women in the world are survivors of abuse, about 1 in 3 women abused, and the call went out for 1 billion people around the world to leave what they were doing, forget how they looked and rise together in a revolution of dancing.

The website says


A global strike
An invitation to dance
A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends
An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers
A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given
A new time and a new way of being.”

And today I joined a tiny group of women, men and children in the town where I live and we danced, through the streets and in the square. We danced and sang and we rose, with all the other people who joined us, rising around the world.

It’s a start, it’s a beginning, it’s a change, and we will all rise.

“Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.” – Maya Angelou

Please Don’t Stay Out

Please Don’t Stay Out –

Sing a little song,
Sing a song of me,
Sing a song of sixpence,
I’ll bring you home for tea.

Please don’t stay out too long,
Don’t stay away from me,
Please don’t stay out too long,
Don’t stay away from me

It’s getting pretty dark now,
I’m feeling all alone,
Getting frightened,
I’m wishing you were home.

Please don’t stay out too long,
Don’t stay away from me,
Please don’t stay out too long,
Don’t stay away from me

I am lost without you,
I’m afraid without you,
I am nothing without you,
Without you I am gone.

I’m falling into sleeptime,
Still waiting for your touch,
I’ll see you in the morning,
I love you so much.

Please don’t stay out too long,
Don’t stay away from me,
Please don’t stay out too long,
Don’t stay away from me 

10 Common Questions I Get Asked About Being A Lesbian

1. “But what do lesbians do?”  Entertaining because everyone seems to assume that there is some magical sex secret I seem to possess as a lesbian. But if there is one I certainly didn’t get told it.

2. “But what happens when you want babies?” Annoyingly enough very few people ever think that A. this might be a personal question, which I feel it kind of is, or B. that maybe, possibly I might (heaven forbid) not want to procreate. Even worse is when people follow me saying I don’t want kids up with saying “Oh but you’d make a great mum!”

3. “Let me get this right, you don’t like men?” Surprisingly enough a lot of the people I know get their heads around the idea of liking women, particularly my male friends, but most of them do not get that that means I don’t like dudes. Often followed with a plaintive “Not even me?” look or, in some cases, actual question.

4. “Do you get turned on by your own tits?” (Mostly asked by guys) Seriously? No. The best retaliation I ever made was saying really seriously “No, do you get turned on by yours?”

5a. “But isn’t it kind of gross?” OR 5b. “Does it not weird you out?” I can see why you as a presumably straight woman would find it so, but generally, no, I’m pretty okay with it!

6. “Are you like, some kind of man hater?” Not really no, I dislike certain people, but generally I’m in favour of gender equality across the board, I’m not going to start screaming or attacking men or anything. :p

7. “But you don’t look like a lesbian…” (Often phrased as a question) Astonishingly I don’t “Look like a proper lesbian”, probably because there is no such thing. Trust me, if there was it would make picking up girls lots easier.

8. (Always men) “Can I watch?” No.

9. (Always women) Do you fancy me now? I find this question quite weird and very self centered, I don’t assume all straight men fancy me, I wouldn’t assume all lesbians or bi girls do either, so why when I say I’m a lesbian do you get all freaked thinking I fancy you? And why when I reassure you that I do not fancy you, do you look all sad and disappointed and sometimes even ask “Why not?”? Really, I’d love to know.

10. “But what do you do in bed?” My most common answer to this is “Look on wikipedia”. After all it’s what I had to do!

Forever Hers

I suppose you wonder how a girl like me came to be sitting on the Throne of Bones? And well you might.
I was never someone you could call ambitious. I knew what I wanted and who I wanted to be, but that was as far as I went in terms of ambition.  All I wanted to be was a thief of some merit, petty desires considering where I am today, but that was my only dream, until I met her.
I was on top of the Kleinheim building in town, looking down through the skylight, pondering the stupidity of placing a pane of glass directly above the artifact they were meant to be protecting; when I saw a reflection fall across the glass.
She saw me at the same time as I saw her.
In the moment that our eyes met across the glass I felt different, better, more me, than ever before.
She flashed me a glorious smile, all white teeth and dark hair, before smashing the window and jumping down to the room below. I stared for a couple of seconds before following her down below.
“This is my theft,” I hissed in a low whisper.
“Finders keepers” she grinned conspiratorially at me, before running away from me.
I tried to catch her, but lost her a little way away from the museum.
That night was the first of many, I would pick a target, only to turn up and find she was already there, always one or two steps ahead of me. I would arrive, ready to take what at this point I most definitely deserved to see long dark hair disappearing beyond the corner with a thrilling laugh. For the first time in my life I had a desire beyond simple theft, I wanted to catch this girl, to talk to her, to… I didn’t quite know anymore.
It was a Friday, I think? After all this time it’s hard to keep track of silly things like dates or weeks. For the first time I thought I might have beaten her, and I was standing there in front of an open cabinet which still contained the necklace I had been after. I picked it up, and the feeling of euphoria I felt then made me sure I’d chosen the right life path. I slipped it into my pocket and turned around to leave only to find myself nose-to-nose with her.
And she was kissing me, passionately and I couldn’t think anything anymore, not even to remind myself that this was my nemesis, she made the world stop for a whole minute and it was just us two in that minute. Then she stepped back, smiling that smile, my necklace, MY necklace dangling from her hand.
“I’ve got a proposition” She drawled, I started to speak but she placed a finger on my lips. “You’ve got talent, you’ve got style and you have… Passion.” She grinned wider.
“I need a partner, and I think you might do for me. I want to work with you, to build our way up to stealing the Throne of Bones.”
Sure, what was I going to say to that? No? It was the opportunity of a lifetime.

And so we were partners, and working with her was incredible, I was clever enough, but I was absolutely nothing compared to this woman. She had so much power, could have stolen the sun if she wanted to, I sometimes thanked the powers that she had only set her sights on the Throne of Bones. She had stolen my heart with her dark glances, though I’m still not sure if she’d taken that intentionally.
She stole a day for us, it was just practice for her but for me it was the two of us by the sea for twenty-four hours. Whatever else happened later that was ours, a memory of her with no guile, no deceit, the simple joy of the theft and company to enjoy for both of us.
But that was the last peace we had, she was getting more and more impatient. We planned and plotted like never before, until we were sure that there would be no loophole, no chance for failure.
Darkness fell, I started to walk towards the House of The Throne, I looked behind me once and saw her vanish into the night, the plan was working. I entered the House and knelt before the Throne of Bones, looking at the King.
“What do you wish?” He asked.
“I wish to challenge you for your throne on my lady’s behalf.” I whispered, I hadn’t realised how intimidating The King would be, this was our liegelord, how could the two of us dare to challenge him, to even look upon him?
But even as the fear came upon be the dark became darker and I knew she’d succeeded. She appeared in a flurry and held a knife to the King’s throat.
“My partner and I challenge you, lord, make your move”
I stood back, suddenly scared of her too; The King glared at me, drew his sword and began to fight back. It was a long fight and a hard fight, but eventually she won, bloody and wounded she dragged herself to the Throne, looking at me pleadingly for assistance. I helped her onto the throne were she sat, beaming at me.
“We did it, you and me, we did it. We own the throne, we own the night, and it’s ours now!” She whispered and I smiled at her, stroking her cheek, no longer scared. But as she took my hand, her eyes began to droop and she coughed violently, before slumping weakly in the chair, dead.
I screamed.
But the Throne of Bones needs a master, and reluctantly I took it, not for power or glory. But for her, the woman I loved. Which is why I’m sitting here now, alone with the night, forever young, and always alone. Always.