Alphathon: Nurturing Nature…

Nature vs nurture is a debate I really like to take part in because I find the whole subject so fascinating.

I believe in nurture.

I honestly believe that given the right environment a person can grow up to be very different to one who grows up in another environment.

In college I studied sociology, where we discussed various things around socialisation, the norms and values that are instilled in us from a young age. The fact that before we begin school our only real contact is with our families is significant. Then when we get out there, in the world, we are exposed to so many more different things.

I honestly believe that’s why the world has so many problems it has.

Racism, homophobia, it all comes from the people in your life. People aren’t born racist. Hitler wasn’t born a killer…and I think it’s completely absurd that there was backlash when Will Smith said the very same thing. Babies aren’t murderers. The only people who are murderers are the teenagers or adults that babies grow into.

To an extent, I do believe that sexuality can be considered nurture. I’m not saying that someone who is gay is only gay because of the environment they grew up in. I’m saying the opposite. That people grow up straight because they’re not exposed to a world which is full of and completely accepting of homosexuals.

Nobody ever asks “are you gay or straight?” they just assume you’re straight until you state otherwise.

What sort of message does that send to the next generation? That everyone is straight…unless someone tells you they’re not.

So if you grow up in a heterosexual family with little exposure to homosexual life then you don’t really get the opportunity to discover whether that’s something that fits for you.

In the same way that a child who grows up in a family where both parents are unemployed, they’re not going to grow up with much desire to push forwards with their lives and do something spectacular – like get a career, earn thousands of pounds. But had they been adopted at aged three, taken out of that environment and placed into a “better” (really, wealthier, more ‘intelligent’) family then maybe their outlook on life would be very different.

There are some things you can’t change no matter what and that’s your genes/hormones. There’s people out there who grow up to believe they’re one gender but actually when it comes down to it they’re not very comfortable in their skin – that’s more to do with the hormone levels that are in their body, fighting with the nurture that they’ve been given, to believe that they’re one gender when their body is telling them they’re another.

That, in my opinion, is where nature is more significant…but most other things in life, it’s got to be nurture for me.

Alphathon: Meat? What’s that? KIDDING!

There are people in this world who like to tell others “I’m a vegetarian” and brag/complain/rant about how bad meat is for a person and the like. It’s almost bad to admit you like meat in some ways. I mean, people accept that others eat meat, but no one ever seems to admit to loving it more than anything else.

I wonder why that is.

I am, as I often tell people, a meat eater.

I’m a carnivore (well maybe I’m an omnivore, but I’d be happy being a carnivore). I believe I was given certain types of teeth in order to eat meat. I love meat and I’ll never stop eating it.

So move over vegetarians, I’m a meat eater and like you, I’m proud to admit to my dietary needs. No ever puts that on a dietary requirements sheet though, do they?!

However, saying that I love meat, I do have my limites.

I love chicken, I like beef, I’m okay with a bit of lamb and I really do quite like bacon and sausages.

Put a duck or rabbit in front of me and I’ll walk out.

Send veal my way and I’ll literally want to be sick.

I guess, the way I see it, I like “standard” meat and I’m more than happy to munch on it.

Sooo…chicken tonight anyone?

Alphathon: Ladles, Jellyspoons and a little bit of poetry

Ladles and Jellyspoons? What an awesome title for a blog theme. No, it’s not about food…it’s about poetry. So what is my favourite poem?

Well, I have a number of poems that I enjoy.

There’s a poem I know by heart from when I was a child that I continue to love:

There was a little tea party this afternoon at three.

Twas very small, three guests in all: just I, myself and me.

Myself ate up the sandwiches.

Whilst I drank the tea.

Twas also I who ate the pie.

And passed the cake to me.

I have a feeling I’ve shared that before and since it’s a children’s poem, I will also share with you a couple of ‘adult’ poems which have stayed with me.

Our Love Now by Martyn Lowery was in the GCSE poetry anthology when I did my GCSEs, it might still be there now. It’s not really very well-known but I absolutely love the imagery used. Usually the I said and She said are split on the page with the I said on the left and the She said on the right, but to make it easier for you all to read it I will post it all up in the order it should be read.

 

I said,

observe how the wound heals in time,

how the skin slowly knits

and once more becomes whole

The cut will mend, and such

is our relationship.

 

She said,

Although the wound heals

and appears cured, it is not the same.

There is always a scar,

a permanent reminder.

Such is our love now.

 

I said,

observe the scab of the scald,

the red burnt fl esh is ugly,

but it can be hidden.

In time it will disappear,

Such is our love, such is our love.

 

She said,

Although the burn will no longer sting

and we’ll almost forget that it’s there

the skin remains bleached

and a numbness prevails.

Such is our love now.

 

I said,

remember how when you cut your hair,

you feel different, and somehow incomplete.

But the hair grows – before long

it is always the same.

Our beauty together is such.

 

She said,

After you’ve cut your hair,

it grows again slowly. During that time

changes must occur,

the style will be different.

Such is our love now.

 

I said,

listen to how the raging storm

damages the trees outside.

The storm is frightening

but it will soon be gone.

People will forget it ever existed.

The breach in us can be mended.

 

She said,

Although the storm is temporary

and soon passes,

it leaves damage in its wake

which can never be repaired.

The tree is forever dead.

Such is our love.


Another firm favourite is The Ecchoing Green by William Blake. I seem to like poems that I study because I studied William Blake at AS level. I liked the poem but I didn’t really love it until I studied it and so began to understand the feeling in it and just how utterly heartbreaking it is. Every time I read it I always feel extremely sad and nostalgic.

The Sun does arise,

And make happy the skies.

The merry bells ring,

To welcome the Spring.

The sky-lark and thrush,

The birds of the bush,

Sing louder around,

To the bells chearful sound,

While our sports shall be seen

On the Ecchoing Green.

 

Old John with white hair

Does laugh away care,

Sitting under the oak,

Among the old folk.

They laugh at our play,

And soon they all say,

Such such were the joys,

When we were all girls & boys,

In our youth time were seen,

On the Ecchoing Green.

 

Till the little ones weary

No more can be merry

The sun does descend,

And our sports have an end:

Round the laps of their mothers,

Many sisters and brothers,

Like birds in their nest,

Are ready for rest:

And sport no more seen,

On the darkening Green.

 

Alphathon: Killer Smile and Murder on the Mind

Killing time is something I do a lot, mostly because being unemployed means I have a lot of time to kill.

Quite frankly, some of it I spend killing not just time, but people as well…fictionally speaking, of course.

Aside from being a writer there’s a number of different things I do with my time to help it to pass.

I spend a lot of time wallowing, getting frustrated and wishing time would pass because I’m bored, unfortunately.

However, when I do find things to do, well, here’s a list:

the internet: let’s face it, like most people, the internet takes up a portion of my time, probably more than most people. I can sit on the computer for hours and hours and hours and somehow I managed to still find things to do, most of the time.

television: sometimes I watch television more than others, it depends. Currently I’ve got into watching most of the programmes on E4 in the daytime. That’s Life Unexpected, 90210, Desperate Housewives and Greek. Unfortunately that doesn’t leave much room in half my day for much else, so I’ve taken to recording them and watching them later.

foooooood: I love, love, love food and I love to cook. So sometimes I just spend part of the day making awesome food for myself and sometimes my parents too. I really need to stop baking cakes and things though, or I’ll get fat.

dvds: occasionally I kill time by watching a dvd from my collection, it’s quite extensive in that I have a large-ish number of them. I filled 4 rows of my new bookshelves with them anyway.

arts and crafts: I dip into various different arts and crafts from time to time, from sewing to painting, I like to do it all. Having got calligraphy pens for my birthday I’ve started doing a bit of that and also pen and ink drawing, which is soo much fun. I have another canvas, so after the success(Katy S?) of the dinosaur sitting on a rainbow, I need to find something else to pain…any ideas?

games: I like to play games, mostly online games or computer games generally like the Sims. I’ve also played a few hidden object games recently because my mum really likes them and the ones she has can be played on multiple computers.

cycling: obviously this is something I’ve just taken up but I love to go out and peddle as fast as I can down the road, it’s exhilarating and wonderful. I got up to 37kmph the other day, that was amazing.

Don’t forget to head on over to the other girls’ blogs.

Alphathon: The Journey of Life

Life is a journey, it’s full of destinations but ultimately, it’s like travelling the world. It’s a long way and it can be tough sometimes, but in the long run, you go through some good times, you see some amazing things and you come out of it feeling like it was amazing.

It’s hard to think of an exact journey I’ve been through, a physical journey, an emotional journey…there’s been many.

The last year has probably been my biggest emotional journey. I’ve been very, very low and I’ve been very vulnerable. I’ve struggled to make it through some moments and other moments still make me feel unbelievably sad.

But there’s been some good times too.

I realised who I am, that I’m gay. I’ve looked deep inside of myself, I’ve battled my demons and I’ve fought back against the powerful grip of depression.

I am still on my journey and I know it’s probably not going to be truly over for a long while.

But it’s been interesting.

I’m sorry these blogs aren’t so good. I’m feeling really contemplative and weird, after seeing those idiots from school. I don’t have much to say, really.

Alphathon: If I could slap your wicked face.

If I could slap your wicked face.

If I could stamp upon your head.

If I could throw you to the ground.

If I could push you in the mud.

If I could watch you fall down.

If I could put staples through your balls.

If I could trample on your heart.

If I could ignore you in the hall.

I would never truly be satisfied.

 

Tonight I sat in a pub with people from Scouting to discuss Scouting…and yet I was also surrounded by people I went to school with. People who made my life a living hell.

I’m not a horrible person. I wouldn’t really do anything of the things above…but the way it made me feel to sit facing those people, as they stood on the other side of the room laughing and being idiots, sometimes I wish I had the balls to.

It doesn’t rhyme, it probably doesn’t fit the If poem, but it’s all I could come up with.

Alphathon: hip hip hooray it’s my birthday…last Monday

Hip hip hooray, it’s my birthday today!

Well, actually, no. It was on Monday, but I decided to avoid all things on that day and so I’m now considerably behind.

I’m here to talk about birthday cake though.

I love cake.

I always have really.

I’m not a big fan of icing so those shop bought cakes with heaps of icing always make me want to cry a little. The cake itself is lovely, the icing? No thanks.

Chocolate cake is much more my style.

I tend to get lots of Marks and Spencer’s cakes, which is fine with me. There’s this yummy round chocolate cake that had white, dark and milk chocolate swirl things on the edge, soo yummy.

I got one of those this year.

But only after asking my mum to buy me cake.

I was a little disappointed I must say that she didn’t realise I wanted cake anyway. She knows I like cake.

The best cake, in the history of birthday cake, in my opinion…is Colin the Caterpillar.

Have you ever seen Colin? Yum!

He’s basically a large swiss role covered in chocolate and decorated to look like a caterpillar. They also used to make a train version. I remember having both when I was younger.

A few years ago I asked for caterpillar cake for my birthday but my mum couldn’t find it.

I asked for it for about three years in a row until she finally found me one…and it was the best thing ever.

I don’t know what it is about it, it’s not like the cake itself is anything special. I much prefer homemade cake in that respect. But Colin the Caterpillar cake makes me happy.

Find out about Katy, Katy and Lauren’s most memorable cakes, or maybe they decided to share their happy thoughts, or even what they would buy for a hotel if they had unlimited funds to kit one out. Go!