Off to join the circus…

I’ve been a little lost lately, not literally, though sometimes I think that’s easier, being lost physically can be a simple matter of turning the right corner, using a map or asking for directions. No, this sort of lost is the kind where no matter where you go unease follows.

I had always thought academia was my calling, my little niche where the pieces would slot into place and I’d fit in, where all my quirks, the little idiosyncracies could be maintained and managed, perhaps even celebrated. However I’ve come to question even that lately, maybe the academic world is one where I don’t fit in, not really. I’ve come to view it as being a closed off, suffocating sort of place, where progression is slow and riddled with the worst sort of office politics. It’s not what you know, but who you know, glimpsing behind the curtain renders the illusion flawed, the reality of the academic world is one of isolated wariness, where you have to guard your work with all the fierceness of a jealous, irrational lover. Competitiveness is the key in academia; publishing, writing, taking part in a frenzied haste to be prolific, the best, the most read and cited.

But…that’s not me, I’m not competitive, I’m not suspicious of others, I’m…far too nice. Honest. Laid back. Like this cat

I don’t have that drive, I’m ambitious, I want to succeed but not in the sense that I have to step over others to do so. I’d never make a good politician.

I suppose right now, pausing time for a little while will never do, because if I could travel anywhere I’d want to travel everywhere, see everything, take the world and all it has to offer in my own time, in a leisurely pace, a laid back manner, far from competition and politics and scrambling for a place. I’d hop from island to island, country to country, people to place, sights to sounds, aromas and tastes.

I think I’d have lots of fun if I ran away and joined the circus…I’m perfecting my juggling skills just in case.

Written for the Daily Prompt: Travels

I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician.

Desk Jockey junk…


‘I bring to my life a certain amount of mess…’ Francis Ford Coppola

Junk. Well, there’s a daily prompt that’s perfectly apt. My workstation is a mess, and I mean a mess. I’ve never been in the habit of being neat and orderly, my table is overflowing with books, notes, letters, leaflets…pieces of paper that really are junk. Things I should have thrown away months ago. But I’ve never been good at letting go, there’s an insane paranoia that persists…telling me that I shouldn’t throw away that leaflet offering a ‘massive reduction on eye-catching, fully laminated’ business cards, because you never know, one day I may have a need for 500+ business cards that proudly proclaim my neurotic tendencies in all their eye-catching, fully laminated beauty.

The mess and junk on my table tends to reflect the disorder in my mind. I live in, am perpetually plagued by the mess in my head, constant, perpetual paranoia of the clutter, the mess of my years on this planet so far. But that’s just who I am, I’ve tried to neaten it up, to compartmentalise things, to file things away in neat little boxes…but that never works, thoughts intrude, more ‘leaflets’ arrive, things get lost, swept away in the undertow only to reemerge, bobbing to the surface in all their abject, useless, ‘wrong time wrong place’ glory.

Until that is I have had enough, then all the junk gets swept into a rubbish bin, metaphorically and physically, and I’ll return to a neat, tidy table once more, enjoying the slate wiped clean. At least for a little while…

Now excuse me whilst I go back to my filing, *cough* I think there’s a spare piece of carpet not yet covered by books or papers 😉 

p.s I’m working on changing the wallpaper too.


Written for the Daily Prompt: Junk

Another round for you…

‘Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment…’ – Buddha

Life. Such a short word, such a multitude of layers.

Confusion, hopes, dreams…prayers.

Life. It’s a loaded term.

It comes with its own set of complications…multiplications, hesitations…


Life. It charms, beguile, disappoints and riles.

Swings between light and dark…shadows and brightness…

…laughter and tears.

Life. It can surprise, with a resilience…

…it ends.

But it can begin again and in the worst…when we think it’s over,

…the minutes pass…

And we begin again.

Life. Strange, but if you spend too much time worrying about the future, you’ll miss what’s happening today.

3 years is 3 years away.

Hate to be a cliché.

But as they say…

…live for today.

Not always easy I know. But as the Foo song says,

‘When the wheels come down
When the wheels touch ground
And you feel like it’s all over
There’s another round for you…’


Written for the Daily Prompt: Life

A little more conversation…

‘When the mind is thinking it is talking to itself’ – Plato

I wish I could talk,

Course I can ‘talk’, in the literal sense learning to talk came soon after learning to walk,

But I wish I was versed in the art of good conversation,

an effortless smile here, a quick flick of hair there,

a giggle, a witty retort, an éclat, a proverb.

But alas I stammer, I doubt, I question,

‘does that make sense?’

‘Will they laugh?’

‘Will they see through the pretence?’

I wish I could talk, that’d be my talent, the art of conversation,

Brilliant, witty, urbane, memorable conversation.

Yeah, that would be my talent, to amaze and regale

With words as well as deeds.

Daily Prompt: Talent:

Remember to stay in the lines

‘There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another.’ Edouard Manet

I hate being on edge, hate it, makes me feel like everything grates, like there are needles under the skin, scratching, bleeding hurting…can’t sit still, can’t concentrate, can’t work…just can’t do anything except wallow in the teeth grinding, nausea inducing, heart breaking uselessness of it all.

Except…except when I colour in. Yes, colouring in…that childhood activity involving a drawing, some coloured pencils and a joyful suspension of time and circumstance. There’s something immeasurably comfortable in opening up the colouring book to a brand new, crisp, never before touched picture of a butterfly, just waiting for you to apply imagination and colour.

Perhaps it’s the remembrance of childhood, that innocence, the simplicity. Of course I’m much better at colouring in now than I was back then, hopefully. Maybe it’s the metaphor of ‘staying in the lines’, the careful application of pencil stroke so that you’re close to the edge of the line, but you don’t cross outside, you don’t smudge the paper, you leave a perfectly printed outline with all your colour, all your imagination, all your creativity locked inside those little, dark, printed borders.

Mmm…maybe, but just once I’d like to be brave and colour in like my 5-year-old niece does when she’s feeling particularly giddy; by scribbling all over the page in a haphazard, ad hoc, joyful glee.

Daily Prompt: Activity

Queen of Procastrination…

‘You may delay, but time will not…’- Benjamin Franklin

I chuckled when the DailyPrompt turned up in my blog feed today, chuckled, then shook my head in mirth. I seem to have spent the last year putting off until tomorrow what I reasonably could have done today. I declare myself the Queen of procrastination, I’ll fight anyone for the title…just not this week.

I’ve been putting off writing my dissertation, my 25,000 word dissertation that’s due in November. I spend most of my day on a computer doing everything else…indulging my inner fangirl with Firefly, catching up on satirical news websites, listening to Pearl Jam albums on Youtube…anything but get on with writing my dissertation.

Why? Because I’ve always worried about being judged. I hate submitting work as then it’s the nail-biting wait to see if it’s good enough. If I’m good enough, I hate that, the self-doubt, the nightmares about a panel of people judging me…casting an disparaging eye over my research and deeming it…inadequate.


Here I am blogging again when I should be writing my dissertation. Dammit! Well I won’t tell my supervisors if you don’t.

Written for the Daily Prompt:

Lights dancing on the water

‘All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another…’ – Anatole France

Change…change…change…winds of change…those

Longed for whispers of hope…love…life…dreams

Drifting…floating…swirling, smoke in the water,

To grasp at it is to reach for the impossible…


Not impossible…for to wait for change is to wait for hope…

So sit patiently by the water’s edge, see the colours change,

ripples merge and sink…lights dancing on the water…now black…then…

…red…orange…yellow…brighter…brighter…as hope renews,

circumstances change and life begins…


Poem for Daily Prompt: Change

To thine own self be true…

‘Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice…’ -Hamlet- Shakespeare

Not everybody is meant to standout and there’s nothing in the world wrong with that. Finding yourself under an intense spotlight can be disconcerting, and, as shown with some in the public spotlight can be your undoing.

Choosing to standout can be a matter of complex intricacies, in a way all of us can standout if we wish to be the center of attention. But then there’s the old adage of ’empty vessels making the most noise’, those who standout from the crowd rarely do so on account of some brilliant mind, or some fascinating talent. Think of those in the spotlight right now, you know, the beautiful people always in the magazines, those who are ‘standing out’, how many do you know that have contributed positively, or meaningfully to the world?

Standout…shout out…louder, louder…louder…

Until that’s all they hear…drown out the little voices…

The voices that say…you’re not good enough…not pretty enough…clever enough…

Standing out isn’t about being the best, it’s about being at your best.

Shakespeare said it perfectly:

‘This above all: to thine own self be true

And it must follow, as the night the day

Thou canst not then be false to any man.’

Written for the Daily Prompt: Standout

Shadows of the world

‘And moving thro’ a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear…’ – The Lady of Shallot by Alfred Lord Tennyson

The Lady of Shallot a poem by Lord Tennyson fits perfectly here, and relates the tale of the Lady Shallot who is cursed to watch the world pass by only through reflections in the mirror. It’s perhaps indicative of writers and bloggers the world over who reflect their experiences outwards, seeing the world and interpreting it in their own unique manner.

The Lady Shallot is indeed cursed when she glimpses outside at the ‘real’ world, and by the time she floats down to Camelot, she is dead,  I’m fairly new to blogging, and when I started this blog a mere three days ago, I wrote as a means of exorcising some demons, the mirror had crack’d and I sought to reflect it’s fickle, unfair nature in my inital blog posts. My choice of theme was what seemed at the time an almost random choice, but upon ‘reflection’ I see that choosing a chalkboard was a matter of chalking up my bitter experiences, a way to show and tell, standing up in class and letting everyone know exactly what I’d done that summer.

My blog name, ‘notsinglenothappy’ is exactly what it says, no frills on that one. But I think it shows what a difference a day makes,  I was in a very dark place only three days ago, and I may not have left that place but I’m getting better, there are chinks of light reflecting from the broken pieces of mirror on the floor.

Reflections ripple outwards, they touch not only our senses but all who glimpse sideways at them, when what see of the world affects us we reflect that in our blogs, our poetry, in our pictures, in the threads that we weave both metaphorically and physically. I have read and seen many lives refelcted in writer’s blogs, glimpes that are sorrowful, funny, pitying, loving or joyful…all of them are reflections of unique perspectives on a world of shadows that can have many faces, plagued by light and dark.

Daily Promt: Mirror, Mirror on the wall: