me

Sep 11

9/11 has rolled round again. Everything that happened there is still one of the most terrifying things I can imagine, although maybe not for the reasons you might think. Just like, imagine dying in a horrible way and *then* your death is used to justify years of atrocities. Doesn’t matter who you were or what you thought. For the rest of eternity you’d be at best a statistic and at worst a symbol of nationalism and racism. You’d be warped forever without your consent. It haunts me and it could happen to me, to anyone at any time. Even if you *want* to dismantle the systems that made it happen, it means nothing in the face of war. Nothing you ever did would mean anything.

I hate 9/11 jokes.

The Queen Died

What a strange day it’s been. One day before my wedding anniversary actually. I saw “Balmoral” trending on Twitter and it turned out to be a news story about how the Queen was in ill health. Lots of wisecracks scrolling down. (My favourite was “She meets Liz Truss and starts dying the very next day, I respect that.”)

Later on today I marvelled at how much better I was feeling post-breakdown, I’m on some fantastic new meds. I decided to fix the TV box since it had been messing up since pre-breakdown and making the image flicker on and off all the time. I got it working properly and immediately, a black screen and an announcement saying “Stand by for a message from the BBC” like I’ve heard in World War II-set movies.

“Holy crap, she’s actually dead!” I told my husband.

She was indeed Actually Dead. But I suppose the Queen isn’t really what I want to talk about. There’s not a huge amount to say, I’ve never met her (a few members of my family have gone to special Palace events where she was there, but that’s all) and she lived a long, charmed life.

Actually I want to talk about my grandmother. She was born two weeks before the Queen was in April 1926. She went through World War II at the same age the Queen did, but in considerably more danger than the Queen was, because she was working class and from a working class area that was very heavily bombed. She ended up joining the Wrens, I think, though I don’t know what she did there. Here’s a pic of her, clumsily colourized by an app:

I just take a weird sort of pleasure in knowing that a working class woman outlived the Queen, I guess. She’s in a care home now on the other side of the country, I plan to visit her soon.

A lesson

Me in 2005, looking at pictures of myself in 2000: I was so pretty back then. Too bad I look so ugly now.

Me in 2010, looking at pictures of myself in 2005: I was so pretty back then. Too bad I look so ugly now.

Me in 2017, looking at pictures of myself in 2010: I was so pretty back then. Too bad I look so ugly now.

Me in 2022, looking at pictures of myself in 2017: I was so pretty back then. Too bad I look so ugly now…

The Millennium Dome redux

I posted these photos of the infamous Millennium Dome back in June, but since then I’ve found more photographs of the place! Turns out my family visited it twice… I kinda suspect it was because the first visit turned out to be disappointing and my parents thought the second time would be better.

I….can’t remember if it was or not.

Here’s me being part of the “net generation.”

This pic here, where I look incredibly sulky and pissed off, gives a good idea of the scale of the Dome. (Absolutely no reblogging this photo please.)

Now I’m curious as to what that wall of screens was.

Turns out it was the Self-Portrait Zone:

And I actually remember those sculptures! My 12-year-old self found them VERY unsettling (especially The Couch Potato, which was a guy melting into his sofa) but sadly I guess we didn’t take any pics of them.

This globe and spaceship marked the entrance to Home Planet, a sort of educational dark ride.

Y’know what? The Dome sold Dome-branded merchandise! And while going through old boxes I found what I myself purchased from the gift shop!

That’s it! Just a notebook with a holographic sticker on it! I wonder how much it cost to produce.

This brochure I found is quite interesting. It says “For one year only” so… Was that always the plan, to only have it open for one year? Or had things deteriorated so quickly by October they’d already decided to close it? Either way, how incredibly wasteful.

I DO remember the Blackadder film! I think it was the first Blackadder I ever saw.

CUl8tr, Dome! Though before I sign off – I ran across this photo from the same era in my boxes and boxes of photos. It’s a little LEGO dome at Legoland in 2001!

…The real thing would’ve closed by then.

Double jabbed

This time around things went much more smoothly. We were driven there by a very nice and helpful taxi driver, which is always good, and at the hospital there was barely any waiting at all.

I feel a bit nauseous and tired but that’s only to be expected. VERY glad I’m fully vaccinated, now go and get yours if you haven’t already!

Photographs, memories, lost things

The title of this blog isn’t just for show, y’know. I archive everything. It’s… not a million miles away from hoarding, in all honesty, I just try to be careful about it. Anyone who has literal OCD will know the deal there… anyway. Today I finished scanning in every! single! picture! I know exists of my childhood, and I’ve realised that as a teenager I experienced quite a few events that turned out quite formative and nothing was ever photographed of them. My parents were big into analog cameras, but when they went obsolete and digital cameras replaced them it was a totally different story.

I remember for example that in 2005 I went to see Green Day with a friend (who’s still one of my closest friends in fact!) at the Milton Keynes Bowl. I think that was the first time I’d been to a concert without adult supervision. I did go see The Monkees when I was a very young child, that’s one of the things which triggered my lifelong Monkees fandom. But this Green Day concert, everyone in school was talking about it and I wanted to go so badly! So I managed to grab some tickets off of Ebay and hell yeah, I got to go. I can still remember it, it was a fantastic experience. To this day Billie Joe Armstrong is the most electrifying person I’ve seen on stage. And yet… I have so little evidence, for lack of a better word, that I was even there! No photos, no ticket stubs, nothing. I do have this entry in my journal:

Which is a valuable thing to have! But I do wish I had photos. We live in such a photo-heavy society now, I guess, and it’s so weird to have whole years where there just… weren’t many. That same year, in the same town, I went to a convention with the same friend and all photos of that are lost too. I know they existed once, because I actually wrote an entry about it way back then!

But as you can see, all broken links now, and I have absolutely no memory of it whatsoever except that Chris Barrie was nice. My very unreliable memory is, I think, probably the main reason I desperately wish I had more photographs of my life in 2005. It was, according to the diary referred to up there, a pretty difficult and depressing year in many ways. I once saw someone call photographs “memory receipts” and man, I’d really have liked some good receipts of all that.

Kids who have no doubt seen the faces adults make upon seeing teenagers whip out a smartphone, please take as many selfies as humanly possible and upload them to all your social medias. You’ll be grateful you did, I promise.

Vintage Disneyland: DLP in 2001!

Poor old Disneyland Paris, it was always the underdog of the Disney parks, insofar that anything pulling in millions per year can be an underdog. It’s considered the worst of the Disneys. But it’s not, I promise you it’s not! It has its own French flavour and I really love it.

And here’s what it looked like in 2001…

I’m a big fan of animatronics and DLP hosts two terrific ones: the Dragon and the Giant Squid. If you have submechanophobia like me, try not to think too hard about how the squid is cleaned and maintained, mmkay?


A lesser-known animatronic in the park is this guy, the crocodile which sits outside of the Rainforest Cafe. He was still there as of 2017!




Here’s some shots of the parade through the Magic Kingdom. This was before the Studios part of the park opened, so no parades there.


But there was only one year to go until it DID open, so you could still see the entry gates and the water tower, you just couldn’t go in.


This is the Main Street Electrical Parade, which I’m sure looked MUCH better in real life. Sadly it exists no more, at least not in Paris. :(


And lastly… There’s no photos of me in here because I was hideous-looking in 2001, acne and puberty hit bad, so please enjoy this picture of the castle which I luckily am not in.

An autism thing, or maybe not an autism thing

I don’t understand why people ask questions they don’t want to know the answers to. This happens all the time on social media! People will pose what is very obviously a question, often with the question mark right there and everything, and then become furious when people offer answers. Maybe it’s always a joke they’re making? But how could anyone possibly tell?!

Assorted reliable Maybe You Have Autism tests suggest that “not understanding social rules” is a sign that indeed you are on the spectrum. But that one particular thing I do not get!! Am I the one following the social rule when it comes to questions and everyone else is ignoring it?!?!