Monday, March 29, 2010

07 - A photo that makes you happy.

Reading this blog, it must seem like "I don't know" is my favourite phrase. I wish I was one of those decisive people. I'd love to answer questions in a way that made people feel like they were even a tiny bit closer to me. I want to be not so indifferent, I guess. 

I studied Photography in college. I must have taken thousands of photographs by now, developed hundreds. Even though I haven't processed film in months, sometimes I think the smell of the chemicals still lingers on me. 

What I am saying is, there are so many photographs that have made me happy. The walls of my bedroom are covered in images that have appealed to me. Scattered on my floor, lie more. I must be as nostalgic as they come. I've often found myself tracing my finger over a face in a photograph and trying to remember how the skin felt under my fingertips at that moment. 

I suppose the photographs that mean the most to me are those taken of the people I love, the people I have loved in the past. I think that must be the way with everyone. 

Once again, I'm guilty of dancing around the question and giving no straight answers. Here are some photographs that would make me smile :

My very wonderful bestie, Darragh. Words cannot express how much this guy means to me. He has been there for me, no matter what, and that is really saying something because there are (a lot of!) times when I'm not the easiest person to be around. <3

This little beauty, my friend Ellens daughter. I took this photograph one day when myself and the wee lady went  for a drive. This is her sitting in the back of my car when we were taking a break. She brightens up the dullest of days. I love colouring with her, watching cartoons, making porridge and cuddles. I don't think she will ever cease to amaze me. She is perfect.

My girl bestie, Katie. I lived with Katie for a year and we've still managed to remain friends so I suppose that sums it up! I share my Kinder bars with her, it must be true love.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I have a wee bit of an obsession with post-it's. I once brought a book home from the library and found a battered post-it in it which read, "Smile". That's all, but I smiled. 

I write a lot of blogs about unhappiness, I think, so I do cherish every second of contentment. I lived with one of my best friends last year and we covered our apartment in post-it's. I miss finding a "You're cute" in the cereal box! 

I sort of forgot how much one small, nice comment can brighten up your day. I find it really difficult to talk to people about things that matter (as I have said a million times!) and I don't actually know why. I wish I could communicate on tiny, coloured squares of paper - it'd be so much better.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

06 - Whatever tickles your fancy.

So... a few photographs from the last week of my life. Looks pretty fun, but everything is just a hazy blur of moments for me. Monday - drunk. Tuesday - not drunk because I was at home with my mum. Wednesday - drunk. Thursday - drunk. Friday - drunk. It's now the early hours of Saturday morning and guess what? Yup, drunk.

I haven't been to sleep since Wednesday, not for any time longer than half an hour anyway. All I've been doing is getting drunk, stoned and floating. 

I baked pink buns with my friends. In a bucket. We put in bananas, marshmallows, a few Galaxy bars, cocoa powder, nuts... Whatever we found in the house really. Tasted so bad and the mess was HUGE. The next morning was a serious case of, "What were we thinking?".

The rest of the week was a mixture of spinning around the sitting room, trying to find the energy to make it to the shop for Lucozade and Vogue's, telling huge secrets at 4am, lying on the balcony and thinking, "What do I need to do to make this stop?".

I'm just so tired but when I lie in bed, I can't sleep. The others have been falling asleep and I wander around between passed out bodies and wonder why I can't be the same. I mean, how long is it actually possible to stay awake for? Everything hurts at this stage, physically. 

It's kind of odd how deceiving looks can be. They say a picture says a thousand words, but often they're the wrong ones. I think from the outside looking in, it seems like I've had a cool, carefree week. I think I've just realised tonight that somehow, somewhere, my life completely spiraled out of control. I have no idea who I am anymore, and that's scary.

If you don't know who you are, how can anyone else know you? I feel like that. I can't stop pushing people away 'cause I don't know the right things to say. All I know is that I need someone, I need someone strong enough for the push 'cause I'm never going to get out of here by myself. 

Soundtrack for the week... 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

And I Was A Boy From School...

This is an acoustic version of the song 'And I Was A Boy From School' by Hot Chip. Just thought I'd share it because it's really lovely and I can't stop listening to it.

"I got, I got lost, You said this was the way back. I got, I got lost."

05 - Your Favourite Quote.

I think we might have established by now that I find it extremely difficult to pick a favourite anything! I could never pick a favourite quote though. You see, I love quotes. I highlight sentences that appeal to me in books, rewind bits of movies so I can write down narrative word for word. I'm not sure what it is. 
I feel really hard. I'm either indifferent or I'm a hundred per cent in love, a hundred per cent hurt. I don't like anything to be done by halves. I like intensity. I want to feel everything deep down. I want my life to be filled with moments where the emotion is so strong that I feel like I might be swept away. 
I seem to have a problem with expressing my emotion to others though. I always feel like "I love you" is just too small a phrase. It's just three words. It doesn't say, when you leave, I lie on your side of the bed, just to see if I can feel the exact spots where you nestled into sleep. It's three words. 
I like quotes, because I'm always searching for better ways to tell people how I feel. I could never pick a favourite because as long as people keep talking, keep writing, I'll keep highlighting, I'll keep copying and pasting. 

I feel kind of guilty for not giving any straight answers to these blogs, so here are a few quotes that I think are nice. (:

"You can't edit a blank page"

"Words are like nets - we hope they'll cover what we mean, but we know that they can't possibly hold that much joy, or grief, or wonder" - Jodi Picoult.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Love Hearts.

"I don't mean to close the door, But for the record, my heart is sore.
Corny movies make me reminisce. Break me down easy on this generic love shit.
First kiss frog and princess." 

I am loving this song at the moment. The first time I heard it, it sent little chills up and down my spine. I was kind of seeing a guy, once upon a time... I liked him. I didn't like him the way I liked most things. I liked him in a way that made my tummy feel a little bit funny and when he kissed me, everything else fell away. 

He bought me those Love Heart sweets. I bought them for him too. We worked together and when we'd get breaks, we'd go to the shop, buy the sweets and then as we walked past each other, we'd swap. I never ate any of them. Is that a bit strange? I knew he wouldn't be around forever, and you know, maybe the sweets won't be either, but I can hold on to them for a while longer. Sometimes, I need to remember that perfection can happen. 

"I'ma shake you off though, Look back with no remorse."

Friday, March 19, 2010

DTR - Defining The Relationship!

"Look, we don't have to put a label on it. That's fine. I get it. But you know, I just... I need some consistency."
"I know."
"I need to know that you're not gonna wake up in the morning and feel differently."
"And I can't give you that. Nobody can."

I've always felt that people sort of expected consistency. They liked you, you liked them, and then they wanted promises and they wanted you to say the no matter what's. Why can't two people ever just like each other and have fun liking each other? Are the "What are we doing?" conversations necessary? I find it a bit disheartening when someone asks me that. I thought we were just liking each other, I thought we were having fun. 

Life changes people. One day you might be liking someone, and having fun, the next, well, things can just change. Don't ruin the little moments by trying to define them. 


"Better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


He nestled up against her as he slept. His breath on the back of her neck. She wondered how it was possible to be so close to someone but at the same time so far away. He knew how she liked her coffee in the morning and that she liked to read the newspaper first so she could smudge out all the bad bits to make the world that little bit more perfect. He knew that without her, he'd look in the mirror and not see himself anymore, for she was part of him. She would die for him, she'd said so before, but as she lay beside him, she knew she couldn't live for him too. 

She turned and noticed that he had awoken. "How did you know that I was the one you wanted?", she asked him. She expected him to look surprised, to ask why. 
"When we met, it was raining. I walked the whole way home and didn't feel a single drop on my skin. With you in my life, it's always sunny". 

"I'm leaving", was her reply, and she got out of bed. He had often thought that all of the most momentous moments in your life happened when you were too busy concentrating on what you thought was coming. When they'd first met, it had been at a party. He hadn't wanted to go because he was studying for an exam. He failed the exam, but looking back he was glad because he'd gained the love of his life. 

Blah blah blah, to be continued, maybe...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mother's Day.

It has often been said that there is only one person in this world you can't possibly lie to, and that person is yourself. It takes two people to make a lie work, the person who tells it and the one who believes it. I can lie to myself though. 

For years and years, I thought I was completely detached from you. I always held you at arms length. When I felt that maybe you were getting that little bit too close, I stepped back. Did you know that I really wanted to hear stories about when you were a little girl? I wanted to hear about your hopes and dreams. I wanted to be able to hug you. I couldn't. I'd convinced myself I didn't need you. I've always been so independant because I've always been so lonely. 

When you fear that someone is going to turn and walk away from you, I think it's that little bit easier to do it first. I left you behind over and over, never because I didn't want you in life, only because I was couldn't bear to watch you leaving me. I leave first so that I can never be left. 

Love is a bit like jumping off a cliff and knowing that there is going to be someone there to catch you. I've probably jumped off thousands of cliffs. You've caught me every single time. I want to say thank you. I want to tell you that I'm sorry for not noticing. I want to jump off a million more cliffs, just so we can be closer.

Happy Mother's Day, mum. Don't be afraid to jump, because I'm always going to catch you too.

Friday, March 12, 2010

And I miss you.

Grief. It's a strange thing. I've heard that it gets easier with time. I don't think it does. Seconds pass, and turn into minutes, and then you're minutes further away from the last time you heard her voice, the last time her hand felt warm in yours. The time between you and her, it's flung apart like an ocean. Grief doesn't get easier, you just get so used to the ache, that it's part of you, like the freckles on your skin. 

I've always been scared of being left behind. Scared that I'd forget. What if I wanted to picture you in my mind, but I parted your hair on the wrong side? The scary thing about losing the people you love the most is that often it happens when you don't expect it. If I'd known the last time I saw you was the last time, would I have been able to think of anything better to say than, "Thank you"? Thank you for being you. 

I could never say goodbye to you. I have memories of you and I. Sometimes, I think that if I took all of those memories, maybe I'd be able to stretch them to forever. I could never say goodbye to you, because part of you, well, it must be part of me. You taught me everything I know really, and everything I learned by myself, I only learned from loving you, and missing you. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Have you ever had a fight with somebody; a really, really, big fight, and in a haze of anger, hit them with the bullet, "Yeah, well you don't know me at all"?! I have. It's my defence mechanism. Most people, they look at me and I can almost see the questions in their eyes. They look at me and they want to ask me a hundred things. They don't though, because these people, they all know my reply will be a simple, "I don't know". These people, they want to know me, but eventually, I guess they just realise that they can't. 

I've only ever met one person who, upon the meeting of our eyes, doesn't look at me like I'm a puzzle he needs to solve. He looks at me and I don't feel like I need to explain. It terrifies me. My mind is screaming at me to run, but every second he looks at me, every moment his lips touch mine, I can't think. 

I can't ever tell him that he doesn't know me, because even though I haven't given him all the pieces to make the jigsaw, he's brought his own pieces... And they fit. I'm terrified because if there's one thing I do well, it's thinking, and he has made me stop. I don't think anymore, I feel.

One Mistake.

You hear a lot that children make mistakes. I really don't think we make any less as we get older. It's not easy to talk about the things you've screwed up. It's easier to blame them on other people. It's easier to say that you were tired, or that you'd had too much to drink. 

I make mistakes. Often, before they're even made, I can play them in my mind like video tapes. Have you ever tripped? You know that feeling as you're falling? You're thinking, this is gonna hurt and wondering how badly. That's how I feel about making mistakes. You see, lately, I've been screwing up, and I've been screwing up badly. 

It's hard to explain. I'm sitting completely still, but I constantly feel like I'm running. People are desperately chasing after me, they're reaching for me and I see them and more than anything, I want to slow down, I want to stop and reach back, but I can't. There have been so many times when I've been held in someone's embrace, and I wonder as they're holding me, can they feel the cracks? Do they know that I'm broken into tiny pieces, or is that just on the inside?

Over and over, I promise. I smile and say that I'll take care of myself. I nod and agree when they say it'll be different this time, better. These are my mistakes. I can't keep promising I'm going to be happy and I can't keep hearing that things will get better. Promising, hearing - they just make the hours I spend in the bath feel even longer, I become numb to the chill in the water.

You hear a lot that children make mistakes. I think they make only one. Growing up.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

04 - Your Favourite Book.

"And the people in photographs always seem a lot happier than you are". Photography - the art of capturing a moment and the power to hold it forever in your hand. Of course it was something I'd be interested in. It was bound to be, I think. Some people are happy. Some people don't worry, they don't ask 'Why?'. I'm not happy, I'm not happy by nature. That's why Photography captured my heart. I guess I think it's important for me to hear that click, to smell those chemicals and to spend hours in the dark. That's how I know I'm happy, how I know those around me are content. No one wants to capture the sadness. 

'The Perks of Being a Wallflower', by Stephen Chbosky. It's my favourite book, not for the above quote alone, although it was almost enough to win me over. Charlie, the narrator of the story, I can relate to him - being an unconventional thinker. I hate re-reading books. I read a book once and then file it away, in my mind and in my, you could almost say library at this stage. With this book though, you can read it from a different angle every time. I've read it six times. Yes, I counted, and each time, I found another little gem of inspiration. That's what writing should be - tiny fragments of brilliance, hidden away in black and white, waiting to be uncovered. 

"I was looking at the old photographs, and I started thinking that there was a time when these weren't memories". Sometimes I look at photographs when it feels like happiness has just gotten that little bit too far away. I can hold a photograph in my hand, hold a smile and know that there was really a time when everything was good. That makes it easier to believe it will happen again. 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

03 - Your Favourite Television Programme.

So, I'm the type of writer who, when I write, I pour. My thoughts - they spill, a methodical tapping of the keyboard. It's in real life, that's where the problem is. If someone asked me, "What are you thinking?", as people often do, I'd shrug and say, "I dunno". It's not that I don't know. I'm probably thinking a thousand things all at once and I'm just too afraid that if I start talking... I'll never stop. If I tell you that I'm thinking when you look at me like that, it makes me wish I was someone else entirely just so I could sleep, only to wake up next to you, would you stop looking?

Ask me what my favourite television show is, I'll name you countless. I'll tell you why I like them. In real life, I can talk about these kind of things, no problem. For now though, I'm just gonna shrug and say, "I dunno".

Friday, March 5, 2010

I love you.

I've often sat on the sidelines of conversations and listened as friends of mine discussed love. How much they loved The Cure, how in love they were with their latest boyfriend. I've heard people say, "Oh, love, it's just a word, it doesn't mean anything". I've been on buses and overheard people ending phone calls with, "I love you". I've received cards and letters, all casually signed with love. Just four letters, side by side and I can almost guarantee, not a shred of thought or feeling behind them. 

I'm a thinker, an over-thinker. I have spent countless hours trying to figure out what love means to me. Today I found out. Everything.

Today, my mum told me that she loves me. Today. For the first time, ever. 

I don't love The Cure, or any guy who I'm gonna kiss for a few weeks and cry over into my cereal. I've never ended a phone call with "I love you". Love. I've been waiting to hear it for twenty years and it was worth every single second. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010


There are different kinds of people. That's pretty obvious. I'm reliable. If you tell me your birthday, I'll remember it. I'm compassionate. I hurt because other people are hurting. I'm passive, and I think, and I wonder. I wonder does anyone ever remember the things I've told them? Does anyone ever hurt because I'm hurting? 

When you become the person everyone relies on, I think you must become invisible too. 

I can't sleep. It's 2:35am and I'm wide awake, and this is a perfectly normal occurrence. I don't know what it is, but I can't sleep. So I stay up all night. I read, I write, sometimes I just lie in the darkness and hours slip away and the room gradually descends into light. When I physically can't be awake anymore, then I sleep.

At 10am on Tuesday morning, just as my exhausted mind was finally going still, there was persistent banging on my front door. My best friend. She is well aware of my sleeping habits. So, I wonder. I wonder am I the only one who thinks of other people before myself?

It can get difficult, you know? Always being the strong one, always putting on a brave face. "It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them" - Alex Karras. I'm always the strong one. I'm that listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. I have an endless supply of chocolate biscuits. I also have an endless supply of weaknesses. When I said I build walls, I meant really, really big one's. I never reveal the things that hit me the hardest. 

I guess, alongside my 30 named blogs, I'm writing this blog to reveal my insecurities. We'll call it a courage building exercise. I read somewhere that, "Mastering others is intelligence, mastering yourself is true power", so even if no one reads this, it'd be nice to know true power. I'd like to know that I'm more than just a crutch to lean on. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

02 - Your Favourite Movie.

Me and movies, hmm... I'm that person who has seen a million movies, but who hasn't seen any of the biggies. I've never seen Lord of the Rings, or Star Wars, or any of the James Bond movies. I don't mind, I've never had a particular urge to watch any of these. The only time I think that maybe I'm missing out on something is when I meet a guy and we do the getting to know you chat and then I hear the familiar, "Oh, jesus, you have seen nothing"!

When it comes to movies, I like them to be the way I like everything else in life - full of meaning and straight from the heart. I don't particularly like happy endings either, that's the pessimist in me!

"I'm just a fucked up girl who's looking for her own piece of mind. Don't assign me yours." - Clementine, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. My favourite movie, and my favourite line from it. 

I've always felt, in relationships, that people needed me. They weren't with me because when they pictured their life in twenty years, I was in it. It was never because curling up beside me in bed was like coming home. I was always just needed. One day, I realised being needed and being wanted, well, they're not same. When you're wanted, properly wanted, it doesn't matter if you're needed or not. And that's what I need, but more importantly, what I want. 

I can't be the girl who fixes what others have broken before me. I can't promise forever. I can't hold anyone else's happiness in the palm of my hand. All I can give is me, and now. 

If you haven't seen this movie, I'm not going to ruin it for you. I'm just going to suggest that you do watch it. I like it because for me,  it is true love. Usually, in movies, two people meet and date and everything is perfect, and bright, and shiny. Love isn't like that. Clementine isn't like that. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind isn't like that. It's real. It's full of emotion. It is perfect, but in an entirely different, and I think, more wonderful way. 

"I don't see anything I don't like about you."
"But you will. You will, and I'll get bored with you and feel trapped, because that's what happens with me."


I know I'm supposed to be doing 30 blogs, one a day for a month and this isn't sticking to the rules, but I guess seeing as this means more to me than most of the other junk I'll probably write, it deserves at least a few words. 

On the third of March, 2007, three years ago today, I had a miscarriage. It's something I've held very close to me since, never even having told my parents, or more importantly, my grandad. Yes, it was an unplanned pregnancy. I was seventeen. 

I remember the day I found out, I remember the exact moment. It was strange. I'd spent my whole life answering the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?", with, "A mammy!" and now that was gonna happen... But I wasn't grown up. 

I burst into tears. I was scared, but I never really saw it as a negative thing. I mean, sure, I was in college and I wanted to be a psychologist, but I'd only wanted to do that for a while. I'd wanted a baby for as long as I could remember.

I suppose, due to the fact that I grew up without that motherly bond and affection most people have, I always wanted to experience it in some way. As a child, I even wrote myself notes, things to do when I had my own baby. I figured when people got older they were only interested in money and boring things. I found the book I wrote in a while back. "Don't get boring, don't talk on the telephone, play Barbies". I think I would have been a pretty cool mum!

On the second of March, 2007, I woke up and went to the bathroom. I was bleeding. 

Holles Street. Sat around for ages. I don't remember much of what happened really. My boyfriend and his mum were there. They were both trying to keep me positive. I tend to zone out and build walls when I fear I'm about to get hurt though. I closed myself off completely from them. Don't think I said more than two words in all the hours we were there. I was sent home, and given an appointment for a scan the next week.

That night, I collapsed in the bathroom. My boyfriends brother rang an ambulance. All I remember is lying on the floor, with blood everywhere, while Mark stood at the door, in utter shock and stated his reason for calling an ambulance as, "My brothers girlfriend, she is bleeding... From eh, the vagina". (Have to laugh at that now!)

I was in hospital that night, all by myself. Seventeen, miscarrying, scared and alone. I didn't sleep one wink. I lay there listening to 'This Woman's Work' by Kate Bush on repeat on my i-pod. I kept thinking, "Maybe the baby will be ok", or, "Maybe the baby is alive still and these are the last few moments I have". So I stayed awake to hang on for every second. 

The next morning, during an examination, the doctor said I could be discharged. No one had actually told me I'd lost the baby so I said, "Is everything ok, then?". 
"Did no one tell her this wasn't a viable pregnancy?", was his reply. He didn't even speak to me. 

You know how people sometimes say, "Oh, I can still hear his voice". Well, I can still hear his. I remember the smell of the sheets on the bed I slept on. I remember the ultrasound, no flickering heartbeat, just black and fuzzy, like a television with no aerial. I remember lying in bed for the next few days and although my boyfriend was curled so tightly around me, he might as well have been a million miles away. I build walls, and even though they're invisible, sometimes I think they must be stronger than any walls anyone could ever build with brick. 

It's kind of hard when no one really knows you though, so this is me breaking a wall. I'm letting you in. I'm remembering, and I'm grieving, but I'm not gonna do it alone again.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

01 - Your Favourite Song.

I'm one of those people who shriek, "Oh! My! God! This is my favourite song, EVER!", every time a song I like comes on the radio. I know, I know. I have a different favourite song every week. I'll listen to it on repeat, over and over. I'll press rewind without even noticing. It becomes the soundtrack to my life. I mean, I can hear a song and moments of my past will suddenly be flashing before my eyes. People, places - anything and everything that means something to me has a song to go along with it. 

There is one song, however, which I listen to every day without fail. It's funny because it's a song which means a lot to me, but if it ever came on the radio, well, I wouldn't say anything. I'd just listen. 

"I Hope You Dance"
I don't think there are enough words to actually sum up how much this song means to me. I suppose anyone who knows me knows that I am exceptionally close to my grandad, as I was to my granny, who passed away in 2001. 
My mum, she was diagnosed with depression after I was born and so my grandparents looked after me. I was extremely lucky. They were amazing and I couldn't have hoped for two more perfect people to look up to. 

Anyway, I, unfortunately never had that mother - daughter bond and after the death of my grandmother, well, I didn't really have a female role model. There were years of myself and my mum barely speaking, not out of hostility, it was just like being in a room with a stranger. I guess we were strangers. 

One night, a good few years ago now, but I'll never forget it, we were home alone together and she asked me to come into the sitting room. She played this song for me. She said she'd found it and had listened to it every day since. That she'd always wanted to say sorry, but "Sorry will never be enough, so when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance. 'Cause when you sit it out, you miss what matters". 

Since then, we've become good friends. While we don't have a typical mother - daughter bond, we've accepted that and it's ok. I still call her 'mam' and she still tells me to "Be careful" in the voice that only a mother can do. 

When I hear this song, some days my heart breaks. Some days, I feel sorry for myself. Mainly, I feel sorry for my mum. I can't imagine how hard it was for her to feel like she was missing out on something as special and as wonderful as bonding with her child. Some days, I listen to it and think, "You know what, it's ok. I didn't run to her when I fell and scraped my knees as a kid and she never read me stories at bedtime, but I still have a mother and one who has hopes for me and that's enough". 

30 Blog Challenge!

So, I'm going to write thirty blogs, using the titles below. I'm not going to say one blog a day, because that probably won't happen, but I'll see what I can do.

Day 01 → Your favorite song

Day 02 → Your favorite movie

Day 03 → Your favorite television program

Day 04 → Your favorite book

Day 05 → Your favorite quote

Day 06 → Whatever tickles your fancy

Day 07 → A photo that makes you happy

Day 08 → A photo that makes you angry/sad

Day 09 → A photo you took

Day 10 → A photo of you taken over ten years ago

Day 11 → A photo of you taken recently

Day 12 → Whatever tickles your fancy

Day 13 → A fictional book

Day 14 → A non-fictional book

Day 15 → A fanfic

Day 16 → A song that makes you cry (or nearly)

Day 17 → An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)

Day 18 → Whatever tickles your fancy

Day 19 → A talent of yours

Day 20 → A hobby of yours

Day 21 → A recipe

Day 22 → A website

Day 23 → A YouTube video

Day 24 → Whatever tickles your fancy

Day 25 → Your day, in great detail

Day 26 → Your week, in great detail

Day 27 → This month, in great detail

Day 28 → This year, in great detail

Day 29 → Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days

Day 30 → Whatever tickles your fancy