Late Night Ramblings of a Girl A Year On.

I keep writing this blog post in my head and then I go to tell someone and it’s all gone. Before Jess died a year ago she asked us all to write letters to her or talk to her when we wanted to tell her something. At the time we all thought it was silly to write letters and then after she died it seemed like the perfect thing to do.

I’m putting the letter up as Late Night Ramblings because for all intents and purposes this letter is one long ramble. I’m also putting it up here in the hopes people will relate and get something out of reading it. All your comments on other Late Night posts are supportive and helpful and I think you’re all awesome for it.

Well Jess here we are one year on. One year where I haven’t told you all the good the bad and the ugly. One year where we haven’t cried on each others shoulders or laughed so hard we’ve cried and most importantly one year where we haven’t spent countless hours on Tumblr and watching Disney films while eating as much sugar as we possibly could. What a waste of a year. And yet it doesn’t feel like a year at all.

I honestly thought it would be easier. People have told me it get’s easier and yet now I realise they were bull shitting me. If anything I’ve cried more today than I did when you died. Why can’t shock last forever? It hurts so much knowing you’re not here. Knowing I can’t ring you up and just rant for hours and you’d have a one word answer that solved all my problems. Looking back that answer always seemed to be food related. I miss it all so much! More than anything though I miss you. I miss your smile and your courage. You stared death down so many times and came back to us smiling. We all have our theories about that, Liam still thinks you’re really a vampire. You gave me the strength to apply for new jobs and go to new places, make new friends and learn the halfpipe but you weren’t there to watch. I sometimes think you do cheer me on and it makes me smile and I carry on. You used to laugh when people called you a cheerleader but that’s what you were to us.

You do realise you should still be here right? The doctor told you in the beginning that you had at least a year left. You looked so relieved and happy knowing it could all turn out right. We were happy too knowing we could keep you that much longer. All those plans we made turned to dust in 5 minutes. All your hopes and dreams gone. We promised we’d do some of your wish list but damn it I am not sky diving. Neither am I going hunting for yetis. You must have been on the good pain meds when you wrote this list. You were crazy enough to do it. You were crazy enough to do anything.

You’d be happy knowing how we’ve all grown and you’d probably be dancing at the fact that there’s a fair few of us here today stood at your graveside with letters. The looks we’re getting is amazing. Your Grandma is here with us and she’s even put stamps on her letters to you. She has your sense of humour and it’s quite comforting knowing that the angels that take the post to heaven are stamp collectors.

I miss you but I know it was your time to go. All the good times will stay with me forever and all the bad have changed my outlook on life but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve cried enough for one day and every time I think of you it feels like my heart gets stronger.

Thank you for being my friend. My best friend. Thank you for allowing me to spend those last days and moments with you and thank you for just being there even though I can’t see you anymore.

I hope you’re enjoying your big adventure, Doll. Oh and you’d be vey proud of Poirot’s new found skills. He’s a great wallpaper stripper.

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Late Night Ramblings of a Girl who’s struggling to cope. Again.

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I’ve been doing pretty well with my depression and anxiety. I know I’m doing well because I myself feel brilliant. I feel like a completely different person. In the past 6 months I’ve changed jobs met new colleagues who’ve become friends. Come to like the job I’m doing and actually feel comfortable in what I do. I’ve been offered jobs and had no anxieties about turning them down. It’s been excellent.

Then I lost one of my permanent journalism jobs. Which in turn led to me not having enough money to go for the house I want. I also realised that this time last year i spent every waking, and in some cases every sleeping, hour in a hospital watching my best friend die.

Yeah. In 2 days I turn 25 but in 8 days Jess will have been gone a year.

This is destroying me. I can’t help it and I don’t really want it to stop but it’s making me a completely different person to who I’ve been for the past 6 months. It’s made me feel like a fake because the new friends I have where I work really don’t know anything about me. I’m now anxious all the time that it’ll somehow make them hate me or see me as weak. I’m paranoid that i’ll be watched closely because something might trigger me to be sad.

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The friend I spoke to about all this isn’t here anymore and I haven’t seen my counsellor in 6 months because silly me thought ‘hey new job, new me. I can totally pull all this off!’ I was so wrong it hurts. I haven’t felt like this in years. Before it’s always felt like something I can snap out of, this feels like it’s here for much longer. Mixing depression, anxiety and heartache together is a stellar combination and one which I don’t think I’ll come out of unscathed. I’m at the point where someone says the wrong thing and I feel like crying. I can’t handle a situation at work and I go all quiet and retreat into my little dark place where no one can hurt me but on the outside I’m basically blank and ignoring you. Not good in a customer based environment.

As it get’s closer to Jess’ anniversary I think I’ll get worse. At the moment I get teary eyed when her favourite songs come on and I’m having 2am conversations with another of our friends. It’s bizarre but it’s how it’s all playing out.

In the end I’m stuck with depression and anxiety. I just wish I had a warning system for when it’s going to strike and how bad it’s going to be because let’s face it thinking everyone is looking at you and you have no idea why isn’t the best way to go about your day.

Late Night Ramblings of a Girl Six Weeks After

Six weeks ago today Jess died. You might remember reading the post I wrote on that day. In it I mention that she left me a letter. I’ve read and re-read that letter so many times and it’s only in the past few days I’ve felt like writing her a response. I actually went to visit her grave and read her my letter and the only other place I feel I should put it is on here for you guys to read.

One of the reasons I feel I should put it on here is because people keep asking me if I’m okay and how I feel now she’s gone. The letter should explain everything. I’m sure she’d think so.

Dear Jess.

Like you I’m having problems putting into words what I want to say to you. I bet your letter to me didn’t take six weeks to write. Mine has actually taken this long because I hated you so much for a time that I felt you didn’t deserve a response. I was furious that you’d left me, then even more so when people were calling me selfish and nasty for hating you even though you’d died. Liam called you a selfish cow and I laughed so much I broke down and cried for the first time since you’d died. I probably hated you for that too. You left me when I still needed you. In fact I will always need you. I sometimes cry when I think about you, don’t worry sometimes they’re happy tears.

Six weeks ago you broke my heart. You held my hand until the end and yet I still get shivers when I think of that moment. You were there and then you weren’t. I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone but the way it changed you haunts me. Seeing up close how it changed and twisted you makes me realise how strong you were to keep smiling, playing jokes and watching Disney films. You, Doll, were the strength behind us all. I’ll never forget when they found candy floss under your bed and Mars bars under your pillows when they banned you from sugar. We laughed so much after.

You can’t say you hope your death won’t change me. You know I don’t have many true friends but I’m now scared of them dying on me. First Ben and then you. I hated that doctor who told us you had 12 months to live and then 2 months later said you’d be lucky to last the week. Your death has probably changed me for the better. I always think of you and push myself more because of you. You won’t have the opportunities I have. Obviously I’ll mess up but then someone says “Jess would be proud of you” and it makes me smile. My life was falling apart but I’m slowly muddling through it all. Sometimes it doesn’t feel real that you’re gone, six weeks feels like two minutes and then feels like years.

IMG_1546It feels weird talking about you in the past tense so I sometimes speak to you as if you’re Poirot. Yeah he’s settled in well and reminds me of you which is good.

I hope you’re okay on your big adventure and are not alone, I know how much you hated to be alone. Someday we’ll see each other again and I look forward to that day. Until then I suppose I’ll keep talking to your gravestone. Or the rabbit. Either way I’ll be able to tell you all the good, bad and rambly stuff.

Remember I love you and will miss watching films with you. I’ll miss everything as you probably will. Liam misses you too. I’ll also miss you making me read Le Petit Prince to you in French then asking me what it all meant.

I’m glad you didn’t suffer much in the end and no matter what I say I’m glad I was there with you till the end. You did achieve so much and you’ve made us all better people. We’re so proud of you. Go adventure Doll, I know you’ll always be there.

Good night for now and I’ll leave you with this…You’re now invisible because you’re essential.

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Late Night Ramblings of a Girl in Mourning

It was strange walking into the hospital today. It was like I knew this was the end for her. Things seemed too different. Too bright. Too cheerful. The sun was shining when I thought the skies should be gloomy.

Today Jess died.

Today I feel like no one should smile. I don’t know what to say so I thought I’d write it. Hopefully my feelings won’t be too extreme, but at this point I don’t care. My friend is gone. My beautiful talented friend isn’t alive to see her 24th Birthday and I’m angry that she isn’t here. Cancer took her and turned her into the complete opposite of what she was. I can remember her crying for a day when her hair started falling out and yet a month later when they told her she didn’t have much time left she took it in her stride and simply said “Okay, that’s fine.” At that point we cried for everything she would not see and do.

I think her death has hit me a lot harder than I hoped it would. She died in front of my eyes while she held my hand. That is burned into my head. I’m glad I was there in her final moments and that she didn’t suffer much. Jess wasn’t scared and that helps but now I have to move forward without her in anyway possible. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I’m fed up of people asking ‘Are you okay?’ even though I know they’re concerned and are genuinely asking.

Let us go back to yesterday when she laughed and smiled. She seemed to be better. She still wasn’t eating but she smiled! That was the best feeling ever! It’s like she knew that was her last effort to make us smile. Today though she had a shadow of a smile when she told us she loved us and would miss us. She’s wrote letters to us and I daren’t open it. I’m terrified of a letter. What if she’s said something and I need to reassure her? I can’t now. Certain things keep popping up and it makes me hate her for a second. Jess you’ve left me with no one to talk to. You’ve left me with your bunny who also seems to be mourning you. I’ve been worried for you for so long I don’t know how to feel anymore. Part of me wants to join you on what you always called your big adventure.

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I’m glad your suffering is over and that you’re at peace but, Doll, you shouldn’t have died yet. I am proud of you and love you like a sister. You told me to keep on smiling every time I told you we’d be fine and you could go when ever you needed to. I don’t think I know how to smile anymore. I’ll try though.

I’ll remember every moment with you. The good, the bad and the funny.

Goodbye and Goodnight Doll.

This is mine and Jess’ favourite song… Listen closely to the lyrics.

The Best of Eli Wallach

MV5BMTc2NjEwOTQ4Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwODk3NDc3._V1_SX214_CR0,0,214,317_AL_Every so often we find a actor who can fit into every genre and basically looks and feels comfortable in every role they have ever starred in. Eli Wallach is one of those greats. Many people today probably don’t have a clue who he is but he has a very recognisable face and voice. Sadly it was announce today that he had passed away aged 98. That’s another of the Great Hollywood stars gone and not surprisingly the numbers are dwindling. Wallach’s career spanned decades and in these decades he starred with some of the all time greats but most importantly he starred in many films opposite his wife Anne Jackson.

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Wallach was a great method actor and had roles in many films and tv series so I’ve decided to mix things up a bit. Here are my favourite Eli Wallach moments, some may not be expected.

 

The Misfits (1961)

Wallach plays Clark Gable’s best friend in this film and gives a great performance which is often overlooked because it was Gable and Marilyn Monroe’s last ever film.

Here Guido (Wallach) tries to persuade Roslyn (Monroe) to leave Gay (Gable) for him.

 

Nurse Jackie (S01E03, “Chicken Soup”)

Only in one episode but plays a very memorable character, Bernard Zimberg. Wallach certainly proves his acting skills cross over perfectly into a medical drama. To me this is one of the clips I remember most from Season 1. Sorry for the quality

 

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)

The film starring Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach. It’s a cowboy film about bounty hunters. I decided upon the trailer because of the iconic accents and theme tune. Who can resist?

 

Murder, She Wrote (S04E13 “A Very Good Year For Murder”)

eli-wallachAgain only in one episode and even to this day I can tell you, without looking, which character he is and what happens in the episode. Billy Zane also makes a guest appearance. Wallach plays a wealthy 75 year old, the family have a birthday party and luckily Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) is invited because someone ends up dead. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a clip but if you live in the UK re-runs are always on of this classic series.

 

Eli Wallach will be missed by the entire world and he should be proud of the work he has left behind. His memorable voice, style and looks will live on.

“As an actor I’ve played more bandits, thieves, killers, warlords, molesters, and Mafiosi than you could shake a stick at.”
~ Eli Wallach

 

The Book Thief Film

thebookthiefposterLast week me and Cat went to see The Book Thief. It’s one of the films I’ve been dying to see since it was released in the US. The book is one of my all time favourites and I love everything about it. In this sense seeing the film scared me… A lot. What if the film has been destroyed through all the changes that might have to be made? We all know what happens with artistic license in films.

I’m here to tell you that it was fantastic. The film and storyline made it easier to picture certain scenes from the book but to me that wasn’t the best part. It was the cast that made the film perfect. Sometimes when you watch a film you find yourself hating or loving an actor because of what they’ve done to the character. In The Book Thief you’ll find Liesel, Hans and Rosa fit Markus Zusak’s character profiles brilliantly, even Death fits in well.

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One of Death’s more memorable quotes

Now what would The Book Thief be without Death? Nothing. Death is integral to the film has he is to the book. During Death’s narration we found ourselves wracking our brains because we knew the voice from somewhere. Roger Allam voices Death and his lovely voice makes you feel all at ease, quite like some of us weirdly felt during Death’s time in the book. Allam has been in just about everything British and US audiences may recognise him from his short time in Game of Thrones.

Onto the main characters…

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Liesel after attending a book burning

I fell in love with Sophie Nélisse’s portrayal of Liesel Meminger. I’ve never seen Nélisse in anything before but her face will stick with me forever. Her eyes are stunning and draw you into her on the screen. She fits what I came to expect of Liesel though out the film; quiet but confident, a good friend with knowledge beyond her years but, most importantly, she fit the genre of the film like she’d actually lived through it. We all know these are emotional films to make yet the way she play’s Liesel is full of emotion for a child of her age. She’s not scared of the role or detached from it and when you watch certain emotional scenes she doesn’t struggle, she draws off those actors around her. Sophie Nélisse is someone to look out for if her role in this film is anything to go by.

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Liesel & Rudy

I’ve always been a big fan of Geoffrey Rush and we all know who he is. When it was first announced that The Book Thief had been optioned it was like no one could begin to speculate who would play who. When Rush was announced to play Hans Hubermann no one complained. Everyone knew he could pull it off. Hans is exactly how he is in the book and it’s all down to how Rush plays him. He plays such a playful, helpful soul with a big heart, enough to encompass everyone around him. It was fun to see him being berated by his wife but watch him still be the man of the house (even though we know that’s technically Rosa.) We’ve seen Rush play all types of roles and he made this one work for him too although after watching the film and re-reading the book I’m convinced the role was made for him. Rush and Nélisse’s pairing as father and daughter was brilliant casting because of the way they acted and had fun together. Just look at the way they smile (in the films momentary happy moments) and bond over sadness when it occurs.

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Liesel, Rosa & Hans

Rosa Hubermann, in the book, reminds me of a few of my German friends Oma’s (grandma’s) They take no crap from no one and you do as you’re told or else. Might sound strange to us but I’ve seen them in action and they are basically leader’s of the household. Rosa is played by Emily Watson in the film and she certainly pulls off this demeanour throughout the film, even seeming harsh when she’s trying to be loving. She has a few choice phrases throughout the film which definitely brought a smile to my face, she calls Liesel Saumensch a lot through the film which means “female pig”. Watson keeps Rosa on the same level as the book by making her strict but not abusive. You can imagine the upheaval caused bringing an unknown child and then man into the house but Watson quietly but surely shows us that Rosa does have a heart and does care in her own way. The relationship she has with Rush is fantastic and the fact that everyone outside the household knows she’s boss really makes clear the divides in society at that time.

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Max & Liesel in hiding

So these four are the characters that really set the film apart for me. I could probably go on forever about them that’s why I’m not writing too much on Rudy and Max. I don’t think they really need words because they fit what Zusak cast in the book. Nico Liersch plays Liesel’s best friend Rudy and will have you crying by the end of the film. He makes you remember young love. Ben Schnetzer takes on the role of Max and gives a very believable performance of a man not just on the run and in hiding but misses the real world and things we, today, take for granted.

The film is well worth seeing even if you haven’t read the book and will give you a great insight into the other side of  WWII. There’s also a chance you’ll shed some tears, you’ve been warned.

Peter O’Toole dies aged 81

It’s with sorrowful hearts we tell you Peter O’Toole, star of Lawrence of Arabia, as died aged 81. His family released a statement today informing the press of his passing.

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O’Toole retired only last year but will remain one of the best actors to come out of Britain. He did live in Leeds, Yorkshire for a while growing up meaning Yorkshire as lost a hero.

Our prayers and thoughts are with his family at this time and we’ll obviously update you all when more comes to light.

For now lets remember the great actor who deserved all the praise and fame he got and unfortunately never won an Oscar outright. That my friends is an outrage.

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