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"Don't say I didn't warn you, honey; I'm no walk in the park. Most of the time I'm okay, but sometimes I'm a shadow of myself, a silhouette, like a ghost roaming corridors after dark. I'm the biggest contradiction I know. I say I don't want company, but deep down I'm testing to see if anyone knows me well enough to know that I'm testing. Or if anyone cares enough to ignore what I say and come spend some time with me.
I push people away just to filter out those from my life who don't bother springing back. I listen to sad songs and torture myself looking for things that I know will upset me. I want to be understood more than I want to help anyone understand me.
I hate myself for qualities that I find admirable in others. I know how to play the game yet I get myself thrown off the team.
I'm shy, I'm jealous, I'm insecure and my biggest fear is rejection. Yet I love recklessly, without abandon. I wear my heart on my sleeve and give more than I think I have in me to give. I put myself in the firing line time and time again, scrambling over mountains of insecurity to please those I love. I say what I think and admit how I feel, though I know it gets me hurt. I'm as open and straight as the lines on my skin though I've only ever been taught how to close myself off. I'm a poet, a romantic, a lover of emotions although I don't know how to deal with them. I've never known how to deal with them. I've spent so long craving them like an unobtainable dream, I didn't even think about what I'd do if I ever got them. Like I said, most of the time I'm okay. But I'm also the biggest contradiction I know."

The Dummy- Carol Ann Duffy

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Balancing me with your hand up my back, listening to the voice you gave me croaking for truth, you keep me at it. Your lips don't move, but your eyes look desperate as hell. Ask me something difficult. Maybe we could sing together? Just teach me the right words, I learn fast. Don't stare like that. I'll start where you leave off. I can't tell you anything if you don't throw me a cue line. We're dying a death right here. Can you dance? No. I don't suppose you'd be doing this if you could dance. Right? Why do you keep me in that black box? I can ask questions too, you know. I can see that worries you. Tough. So funny things happen to everyone on the way to most places. COME ON. You can do better than that, can't you?

Elizabeth Pleurnichard

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She came into the world a bundle of fists, puce and squalling, starting as she meant to go on; desperate for the comfort and warmth of her mother's arms - only her mother didn't want her. She cried hot, determined tears day and night. Her mother couldn't even bear to look at her. Soon Elizabeth learned to comfort herself with the familiar sting of salt behind her eyes, the only thing she could rely on.

As she grew up, she trusted only books and made friends with journals. She warped the descriptions of protagonists with her tears and stained the pages of diaries with anger as she wrote about being alone. Awkward and bookish, she didn't fit in with the other children in her village, and they revelled in tormenting her every day. Curled up under the protection of her covers, she cried herself to sleep just as she did when she was a newborn.

Later, her chest racked heaving and uncontrollable every night for a week in an uncomfortable hospital bed as she longed to be 15 eternally.

At 17 she cried anguished tears of shame into the dark, damp air one fateful night in the Subway station with the cold and the putrid breath in her face and the unwanted hands clawing forcefully at her clothes, taking what was not theirs to take. For a while not even the comfort of her own sobs could send her to sleep.

Moving into adulthood, she flitted in and out of love and companionship, craving affection she had never known. Reserved and shy, she pushed people away to see how quickly they crawled back and shut out those who did. Dejection zigzagged down her face as she realised that anyone who claimed to love her always left her in the end. Sadly she concluded that the only constant throughout the pivotal moments in her life had been the hot, prick of tears that always found a way to spring themselves on her in defence. Crying came easy to Elizabeth Pleurnichard. Life, so far, did not.


This is not love

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This is not love. This is smelling the clothes she left on the bed because you miss her, even though she only left ten minutes ago.
This is not love. This is wearing her watch even though you hate being controlled by times and routines, just to feel close to her.
This is not love. This is setting your alarm in the middle of the night when you're apart in case she misses you in her bed.
This is not love. This is taking snacks everywhere you go because she gets grumpy when she's hungry.
This is not love. This is heroine addiction in it's purest form.
This is not love. This is wanting nothing more than to fall asleep every night listening to her gentle snoring.
This is not love. This is staying up til 5am talking and then getting up at 6:30 for work.
This is not love. This is a constellation of rough sex induced bruises kissed by the gentlest of lips.
This is not love. This is the quickening of your pulse when her warm skin brushes against yours.
This is not love. This is watching her instead of watching the film you've rented, because nothing can captivate you the way she does.
This is not love. This is lying together so entwined you can't tell where you end and where she begins.

This is not love. This is more than love. This is symbiosis. Obsession. Adoration. This is adrenaline reminding you how alive you are. This is lust, want, need, infatuation, surrender, perfection, beauty.

This is not love. This is more than love.

This is home.


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This is a picture of this morning's Sun newspaper, with the headline "Halal secret of Pizza Express". Pizza Express are now the third restaurant chain after Subway and Nandos to be found serving only halal meat without telling it's customers, or in Subway's instance, removing pork products entirely.

The Sun has been called 'Islamophobic' for it's views in the past, and I don't normally read The Sun, but  I have to say I agree with it today. Before I get called a racist or an Islamophobe myself, I am neither of these. I simply believe I should be given an option about what I eat. I do not agree with the cruel way that animals are killed in keeping with the halal 'rules' and as someone with my own religious beliefs, I don't particularly want to be eating an animal that has been subjected to slaughter and prayers/blessings that contradict my own religion.

It enrages me that these restaurants are serving only halal meat in a Christian country. Yes, there are parts of England with a high Muslim population and I understand that halal meat is an intrinsic part of their religion, but why are many of us being unknowingly forced and deceived to partake in something that we may not believe in? Why not offer the option of either halal or non-halal meat, in order to appease both faiths? Why should one faith have to bow down to another without even having a choice in the matter?

Imagine the uproar if restaurants were serving non-halal meat to Muslim customers deceivingly and not giving them an option about what they are putting in their own bodies?
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