Letters to Natalie: Your Birthday, Music, and Christmas

*As always- if you want to read the other letters to nat, you can find them on the blog somewhere*

Dear NatNat,

Writing to you is becoming something I barely go a day without doing now. 90% of the time I just write them on my computer and never re-read them or do anything with them. But sometimes I put them on here. I’m not always sure why. Sometimes I feel like doing a whole separate blog just filled with letters to you, but then I have enough going on without having TWO blogs on the go!

I re-listened to some of the songs on one of our many playlists last night.

I had completley forgotten That Josh Groban “To where you are”  was on there.

And as soon as it played I couldnt help but smile. ” I feel you all around me
Your memory’s so clear “.   Its so frigging true.

Josh grobans music is always beautiful. But when I listen to certain songs that you made me add to our playlists, well it just makes them that much more special.

I’ve gone pinkyred and purple again (my hair not my skin, I’m not holding my breath whilst typing or anything stupid) – Its B R I G H T. You’d  love it.

It was no secret that you loved christmas. You’d have been so pissed off with me this year though. We didn’t have a tree this year. BUT we did decorate PisscillaPriscilla (my commode) with tinsel, so surely that counts for something?!!

Today would’ve been your 38th Birthday.  Happy Birthday My beautiful Bestfriend.


Its so weird to think in a few days 2017 will be over. And then we go in to 2018, a year that I’m actually excited for.

I started writing my yearly post of reflection, and I couldnt help but think about what you’d be saying about my appalling grammar skills. It took me back to the times I’d sit next to you and you’d wack my hand away from my keyboard and point at the screen and go “ERRRRM” at whatever bit of coursework was in front of me.

Writing this years reflection, I write a bit about making the most of every moment.
That’s something I can hand on heart say we did. The time we had together was not long, but we made memories constantly. Even toward the end. And for that I’m grateful.

Someone asked me the over day who you were (whilst pointing to my necklace). And everytime I get asked that I can’t help but smile as I say “Natalie. My BestFriend.” Then if they ask more questions, I tell them your story.

Now I’m 20, people dont seem to ask the question they used to. “But the age gap…?”. The age gap was nothing really. Because you  said I had an old soul, that I was actually an old granny in a 16 year olds body… and you were just you 😉

I can’t have an alcoholic beverage today. I havent had one in a while now.

But I’ll have one for you soon Nat.

No doubt you’re having a few up there.

I miss you.

I love you always.

Your LanaLoo.




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Letters To Natalie: Rambley letter, 4 years and remembering conversations.

*if you want to read the other letters to natalie you can find them on this blog somewhere*

Dear Nat.

I suddenly feel really old, and people keep saying I’m being silly, that I’m only 20 years old, that I don’t know what old is – which makes me want to scream. I know you’d understand EXACTLY what I mean by that.

Nothing has turned out like I had planned, or expected it to but when does it ever? A few months ago I still felt extremely bitter about it but now? I’m still a bit bitter, but I’m kind of glad because all these new opportunities are coming my way, and if the stuff that did happen never happened then none of this would’ve been going on now!

Its been about a year since I last wrote you a letter on here. I find myself writing texts to you, and instead of pressing send, I delete each word, remembering that you’re not on the other end of that phone anymore.

So much has happened although I already know you know because I feel you with me in so many different, in the number 3 that pops up, in the smells that suddenly appear out of nowhere of, in the songs that play on the radio, in the weird noises and  the just plain spooky stuff that keeps happening.

I’m in the process of starting a giant adventure. Although I suppose its already started. Each week I hope this weeks the week we hear news but so far no news. I’m terrified yet excited. I’m excited for this new step, this new part of my life, and I know that things will be so much better for me, that its another door opening. But its still a bit scary.

I miss you so much.

Its been 4 years since you grew your wings.

4 years.

How is THAT possible.

It still feels like yesterday.

I keep having these little moments where something happens and I grab my phone and go to ring you.

And although its been 4 years I STILL go to whatsapp you every single morning like I once did. Its 4 years yet I still find myself laying on my bed with my phone in my hand typing our usual message out.

I still expect you to be sitting waiting for me when I go in to see your mum.

There’s stuff happening at the minute, questions that I know I need to answer and have the answers  but im not ready. Not yet. I’ll face it head on when Its time. But not in 2017.

Its stupid. I’m sat here typing you a letter and i’m close to tears. Because my heart hurts again. I miss you. And now I miss uncle twat. Your daddy number 2. Now hes with you again and I miss you BOTH.  I know you’re together. Reunited. Causing mischief. Eating Steak. Getting drunk. And looking at us down here thinking we’re idiots. But i’m still angry. Angry that you’re both up there when neither of you should’ve left in the first place.

They say times a healer. That over time things will be easier. Well they’re fecking liars nat.

It doesn’t get easier.

It still hurts.

I’m still quite angry at the world.

My heart still hurts and I still have a piece of me missing.

You’re missed every day. And we talk about you all the time.

I keep my promises. I hope you’re keeping yours.

You’d love my godchild. I feel like you were with me when I helped her come in to the world. Shes adorable. As Esmeralda’s mummy teaches ME about cloth nappies, I’ve been teaching/showing  your mum. I bet you’re finding THAT entertaining.
I look at Eslan (Esmeralda’s current nickname) and I cant help but smile and imagine what you’d say about her. You’d probably accuse me of being broody… and then take the kid of me and hug her for the next century and a half.

I had a cuddle with Eslan the other day, and I remembered about a conversation we once had about babies. All i’m going to say is maybe you’re right after all.

I don’t dream often. but when i do, the dreams I have are just bizarre. They don’t make sense. I’ve got this feeling right down in my gut that you’d know what it’s all about. But as I can’t ask you, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

we only have a few weeks left of what has been one of the shittest years I’ve ever had. I can’t help but wonder what 2018 will bring. I wish i knew. But most of all I wish I could have a moment with you again. I would give anything to have you back with us again.

I Love You NatNat.

Your LanaLoo.








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Never. Again. – the birth of my godchild.

October has been a strange month so far.

On the 3 rd of october, I helped one of my bestfriends, Lou (aka Louisabum if  you follow my twitter and have seen previous tweets she did on my behalf) deliver her baby girl.

To say it was dramatic is an understatment. I was the only one there. So it was just me, lou and a woman on the phone.She was born before the paramedics got there. It was super fast and super scary. Mum and baby are home now, and doing well. She came to visit me a few days ago and she is aboslutely gorgeous. I love her so much.

One thing I have to say. When lou asked me to be her birth partner all those months ago, I didn’t expect to be her personal midwife at her flat!!!!!!

First words out of our friend Stevies mouth was “At least you can cross it off your bucket list”.
It was certainly a life experience I have to say. Not one I think I ever want to have again though.  Especially as there were some complications. Thankfully mum and baby are perfectly fabulous now and are doing beautifully.

Lou is absolutely amazing. I knew she would be an amazing mum, but seeing her with her daughter – shes just so bad ass and awesome and I’m so fecking proud of her. It proves that having ehlers danlos syndrome doesnt mean you have to stop living life!

So on behalf of one of my best friends Lou, id like to announce the birth of her gorgeous baby girl Esmeralda-Lani skylar Margaret Louisa Kay River Ambrosia Alba Opheliana   *plus their surname*   weighing 8lb 3oz.

The kid has more names than royalty. And the last 4 names were added just a few days ago. Lou would like me to publicly say that she’s chosen the names for several different reasons and to honour lots of important people.

Shes called esmeralda-lani. The lani is after me (Lou calls me Lani (pronounced larn ee) ) Im also very proud to say that a few weeks ago i was asked to be godmother- an honour i have accepted. MY GODDAUGHTER IS HERE LADIES AND GENTS AND I HELPED DELIVER HER! I HELPED A HUMAN ENTER THE WORLD ❤️ The kid flew out like a rocket, most amazing scary and magical thing ive ever been involved with!❤️❤️❤️

welcome to the world little one auntie lani loves you lots xxx


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Why I blog.

I get asked almost all the time. Why do I blog. Contray to what some people i know think, I do NOT blog for attention.

It’s taken me a long time to be able to get the words together to explain it all. I don’t even know if it makes sense BUT here we go.

I started blogging because being ill was dragging me back to a dark place that I didn’t want to be in. A teacher of mine (who knows who she is) encouraged me to start it.

I originally had a blog called life in the dizzy zone, which mainly focused on my journey with POTS. I didn’t enjoy it. I felt like it was pointless.

However, about 6 months later, I had an encounter with a rude older lady, who long story short, called me an inconsiderate cripple. When someone is so rude to you like that, it sticks in your brain. It can be soul destroying.

The day that that happened. I realised that actually, I needed to educate the world about my conditions.  I wanted to raise awareness after that incident now more than other.

So this blog was born.

It was like it all clicked inside. I suddenly had this huge passion for writing. I became documenting my journey, and I wrote about everything and anything.

Over time more people started reading my blog and people got in touch, sharing THEIR stories, and how they were grateful to me for sharing mine, because it made them realise they weren’t alone.

Then I did my tena ladies review, and a post about my hair situation, about coming out as pansexual,  and I wrote about grieving for nat, and for my grandad.

I then suddenly had all these people emailing me telling me how I had helped them in various ways. How I gave them confidence to talk about things with their loved ones, and even how I had helped them find the strength to seek professional help.

Over the years since starting this blog, I have made many friends, and have met so many incredible people with incredible stories.

So why do I blog?

I blog because its my passion.

I blog because its what keeps me sane at 3 am when I’m in so much pain the tears don’t stop rolling down my red face.

I blog because otherwise I would be depressed and I would be bottling everything away inside until I hit rock bottom and explode.

I blog because it helps me cope with my life and situations i find myself in.

I blog because all I’ve ever wanted to do is help people, and this is my way to do it.

I blog because it gives me a purpose.

I blog because sometimes its the only thing I feel will get me out of bed in the mornings.

I blog to document the journey I’m on.

I blog to raise awareness of my conditions and educate the world.

I blog to share memories.

I  blog because sometimes its the only thing I CAN do.

I blog because sometimes, I need to.

I blog because I want to give something back to the world.

I blog because time is precious, and limited, but a blog will always be there for others to read. My memories and words on a page will be there to comfort people if I can no longer do it myself.

And most of all?  I blog because I love it. It makes me smile. Sure it makes me stressed as feck sometimes and thats why i’ve had a few months break from it all. But i’m back for good this time.

That is it.

That’s why.

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A Letter to my Nan- 13 Years, Memories and Missing you.

Before anyone reads this letter, this letter is written as a form of “writing therapy”. I talk about death, grief etc. I also talk about my nan and how friggin awesome she is. its not all doom and gloom I promise. Its also kind of fitting that it was mental health day this week, and i kind of touch on it here. Anyway like I said. mainly a letter to and about my nan. Also contains some pretty awesome pictures of her.



I love this picture of  you and Grandad. I don’t know how old you were. But it makes my heart all warm and fuzzy. Grandad gave it to me on christmas day, the year before he died. It was only a little bigger than a postage stamp this photo. He had it in your old bus pass wallet, along with a picture of me, aged 2 ish on my little trike with a bobble hat on. He said he wanted me to have it and I immediately hugged him tight and gave him a kiss on his cheek. He melted my heart and made my christmas magical.  It was like he was giving me a piece of  history, it felt like he was giving me a piece of him. Looking back now its life he knew that was the last christmas we were going to have together. Like he knew there wasnt going to be a better time to give me it.

I photocopied that photo and carried it in my own bus pass that year, and i hid it in my pocket when I had my GCSEs and it felt like I had you both with me. Stupid and soppy as that sounds, its exactly how i felt, and it kept me calm whilst everything was happening.


Today, 13 years ago, you grew your wings.

I think about you every day not just on  your birthday or the 13th of October (the day you left). I often write posts about you, but rarely publish them. Today I think I will press the upload button.

I’ve always been quite angry with the fact that you died.  It wasn’t just angry about you growing your wings, it was the fact that you died when I was 7, and I always felt that having 7 years with you wasn’t enough.  When you left, I didn’t cry. not properly. I didn’t really start to grieve for you until fairly recently and even then  I don’t think I’ve ever really cried about it.  I’m not entirely sure why, but I had it in my head that I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t show my grief, or my sadness. I had to be a big girl.  I had to be a big girl and be there for everyone else. I didn’t go to your funeral. I asked mum what it was all like, and she said it would be sad, people would cry. I chose not to go. I went and spent the day with a friend and her family. I had it in my head that I would be failing you if  I went and cried in front of everyone. They were dealing with their own grief they didn’t need to deal with mine too.  I did however go to the scattering of your ashes. I stood and left without shedding a single tear.

Being 7 at the time, the whole situation and the grief that i experienced was a tough thing for a little girl to carry around with her. Yet I did carry it around with me. Never really talking about it. I’d talk about you all the time, at every opportunity, but I wouldn’t really talk about how it all made me FEEL.  Mum and I would talk about you all the time. There would be times at Auntie Carole’s that we would all talk about you, about funny things that happened, like the time I emptied by Pee filled Potty in to your handbag and you ended up with soggy fags (sorry about that nan). I knew I missed you, we all did, and I thought that I had dealt with my grief. Little did I know that I hadn’t even started. I didn’t even realise that I was carrying it all with me.

It actually wasn’t until I met Natalie that I started to realise. I would talk to Nat about almost everything going on in my mind. One day, this was just a few months after I had lost Grandad, we sat there talking about death. Something we talked about a lot, and I suddenly blurted out exactly how I felt about losing you. I remember holding my breath after, Waiting. I don’t really know what I was waiting for. Nat didn’t say anything at first, she just grabbed my hand and pulled me close to her, cuddled me and I cried. And I honestly think that was the first time I had cried for you. Its weird writing that. It was such a private moment and I’ve never really told anyone about it. As far as I am aware The only ones who knew were myself and Nat (and bailey the dog who didn’t know what the hell was happening to his lanaloo). After that I had so much going on in my brain I pushed it aside. It wasn’t until a year or two later that I had counselling and later after that, a psychiatrsist, that I started to properly process my grief. That’s when I first started writing all these letters.


I’ve written hundreds. Letters to you, to grandad, to Nat, to my nanny J who I never met, to faith, to auntie Terry to auntie Rita, to pretty much everyone.  I keep them saved on my computer, rarely uploading them as some are too private for me to share. Writing about it all helped me process it , and deal with my grief. It helped me through it all. I wish I could write to my 7 year old self and tell her its going to be okay. Recently with the influx of emails I get from my readers, I’ve decided to start talking about it all more openly on my blog. I want to help people. I think you always knew I wanted to help people. I was obsessed with playing “doctors” with Zo and Brendan. I’d shove them on the floor, prod them with my doctors kit and give them “Medicine” (Mini m&ms mainly).  My health wouldn’t allow me to go in to the health profession, but knowing im making some sort of a difference to some of the people that read my blog, well it makes all the pouring my heart and soul in to a post worth it. I hope I’m making you proud.


I’m  talking about you in my conference soon. I’m going to tell them about the time I poured my pee pot in to your handbag. I’m going to tell them how I watch the video of you and auntie terry singing when I’m in bed crying in pain and in frustration of being in the situation I am in ,because that video cheers me up every single time. It was before I came in to the world, but I feel like everytime i watch it, you’re singing directly to me.

I miss you. And it took years for me to realise its ok to miss you.


I don’t want this letter to be all about you growing your wings.

Because its not all I think about.

I focus mainly on our memories. I focus on the fact that you loved me. SO MUCH. And I love you even to this day.

Holding your hand, going to the shop, getting Grandads paper from Alfred, talking to john the sockman, playing on the balcony with you watching me. People watching from your lap  in the living room, waiting for auntie carole to turn up.

I still remember your voice. Your laugh. I still remember you singing to me. I still remember how warm your hugs felt. I still remember how you smelt ( that sounds like an insult but I promise you its not).

I wish vlogging had been a thing that everyone had done back then, as it wouldve been hilarious to catch me tipping my piss pot in your bag.  Or filming the reactions to my chef surprise.

I wish the day grandad played with my toy kitchen with me on the sunday you looked after me had been filmed. I can still hear you laughing at the two of us even now. And when i said “mummy doesnt let me play with real food” and him saying ” well mummy isnt here and we wont be telling her”. That was a rarity, it being just the three of us- and grandad being fun and playful was a side not everyone got to see. im honoured that i got to have that relationship with him.

Zo and I were talking not that long ago about why you and grandad called eachother mole.

I wonder if I’m right in thinking its an amalgamation of the two surnames. if it was because of that that is bloody awesome. Its like you made your own (what “modern” People refer to as) ship name before  it was cool. Thats you though, made things cool before it was cool to do it.

Bet you laughed at me and zo doing those video things. and when she put the filter on me and I looked like bill odie.

Making memories with you was the most important thing. Time was and is the best gift anyone could ever receive.

So now I want to thank you.

I want to thank you for being the best nan I couldve ever had wished for.  Thank you for loving me. Thank you for the 7 years of making memories, because those memories are so strong and important to me that I will never let them fade from my mind.

How many people can say their Nan wore a Dipsy Mask for their 1 st birthday because they were obsessed with the teletubies?!

You never made me feel anything but loved and safe.

I have so many questions to ask you. So many things that remain unanswered. There are so many things that have happened and sometimes I just feel like I need to hear what you think about it.

I wish I could have a day with you again. It would be even better if the day I could have with you would be my 21st, as time draws nearer it makes me wish you were here to celebrate with me and all of our family.  It makes my heart hurt sometimes that you never even saw me reach 8 let alone 18 or 21. If you were still here I think you’d constantly be telling me off for swearing too much. I would say blame Nat or Jackyboy for being bad influences, but I cant blame them anymore – im just a pottymouth aren’t I.

I still laugh at the fact for those 7 years, I referred to you as my nanny witchy. I don’t know if I’ll have kids myself, but if  I do mum and I have already said she’ll be known as Nanny Dragon. I know you’d find that entertaining too. I wonder if theyll shout BYE BYE NANNY DRAGON LOVE YOU from the street like i used to (only I screamed nanny witchy, not dragon).


I wish we had more than 7 years together, but im grateful we HAD those 7 years.

I often wonder what you would think about Jackyboy and Titch. You’d probably love them. They’re good eggs.  When I’m old and grey, I know we will still be bestfriends. And I just know itll be like it was with you and Mrs G.  I hope you found her again. Gladys was hilarious, I loved her, but then I think she mightve loved me seeing as I was the only one that called her Gladys 😉 Everyone else called her Mrs G/Mrs Graham, even you!

I hope you’ve met Nat. You’d love her too.

I hope you’re proud of me where ever you are.


One of the biggest things I think about with regards to my illness and you, is what would you say about it. I think it would terrify you.  I know you’d be there at every london appointment I have. You’d have been there when I needed you to be.  I feel like you still are with me when I need you to be. Sometimes I can hear you in my mind. I don’t quite know how you would’ve reacted to this whole me moving out thing though. Ha!

Whatever the future brings, I’m not scared. Because I know I have you in my heart and in my mind and behind me, Even if you’re not on earth anymore. And everything really will be ok.

I’m determined to extend olive branches, and mend bridges in my life. It may not work out but at least I will have tried. I’m just going to focus on making the most of every single moment. Up to them if they want to be involved in making memories or not. Their loss if they don’t. I’ll be making memories with you still in my brain.

My 21st, I’ll have a picture of you and grandad there. I know you’ll be with us though, dancing with us. I mean, look at this picture. You’re a queen. A dancing queen (ooo see what I did there!).


It took me years , but I’ve finally realised that I will never “get over” losing you. But it has got better. Its still sad sometimes. But then I look at the pitures of you. And I remember. You, my nan, were BADASS, and you weren’t a sad person, at least you werent around me, and I’m taking a piece of you and your bad assness with me going forward in life. I have days where I’m sad about my life, and about my situation, about my health and about the people i’ve lost. BUT generally im happy nanny. I’m happy because I’m still here. I’m still alive. Life is a gift. A gift I’m determined to make the most of. Theres a song called they live in you from the lion king musical, and it makes me think of you. You do live in us, in all of your family, all of the people who love you. And Nan I promise you for as long as I live you will be remembered and you will live in me.

I love you. Always.

Your Grandaughter

Lana x

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Reusable Toilet Paper. This sh*t is no Joke.

You’re all going to think I’m mad. Well actually most of you already think I lost the plot years ago. However I just know most of you are going to lose your shit (lol ) over my current thing I’ve got going on.

I’ve started to use reusable toilet paper (it’s also often referred to as family cloth or unpaper toilet roll etc)


But look, I haven’t lost the plot despite what many of you think – I promise. I do have very valid reasons!

First off-  I keep having reactions to normal paper toilet roll. I get rashes and blisters and sores – it’s not just to a particular brand either its most toilet papers, and ” disposable wipes” too.

Secondly, I started using RUMPS (cloth pads) because I would react to disposable sanitary products, even with changing them every 20 minutes within seconds I would react – something which apparently is very common. My cycles are very VERY irregular, but when I do have a period, I bleed very VERY heavily, I would go through packet after packet of disposable pads each cycle, NOW when I have a period, I don’t use as many pads, I wash them after each cycle ready for whenever my body decides to give me another one and the whole thing is a lot more comfortable. WITH NO REACTIONS.

Changing to Cloth Pads was the best decision I’ve made in a long time (I’ll be doing more on this soon).

When it was suggested that I should give reusable toilet paper a go, I thought you know what, sod it. Let’s do it, you never know it might actually help my reactions.

So, almost 2 weeks in I can tell you that IT HAS WORKED!

I am now a full on convert to this alternative toilet roll. Its incredible.

As a disclaimer – I do of course use normal bog standard (see what I did there) toilet roll when im out and about at someones house or in a public toilet etc, or if my reusable toilet roll is in the wash but  I have noticed a VAST improvement.

The Kit I went for was this one   from cheeky wipes.

I also got some additional wipes from there and an etsy store (which is currently shut but when its back up I’ll link it) to supplement my stash that came with the kit.

If you’re interested I’m thinking of doing a whole series on this and how it all works very soon. But basically you use them store them wash them and use them again.


If you know me in real life, don’t panic, if you come to my current home, I’m the only one using cloth, everyone else here still uses regular toilet paper, and when I move, I’ll make sure I have a stash of toilet roll there so that guests have an option of the flush-able stuff (that and ill need it if there’s a moth in the bathroom to SQUISH IT #sorrynotsorry)

Thought I’d just blog about it as lets face it I Blog about most things! and it might help someone out there you never know!

L xx

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Music and Why its important.

I recently read about how a school in Essex had cut music from its timetable for children aged 11- 13.  This combined with an article I read back in March about how music could be “extinct” in secondary schools,  made me think back to my schooling and how important music was for me- and how the things I learned back then help me now.  I know this post is a bit different to things I normally talk about but I think its something I need to say so I’m going to say it.

A fair few people know that I was bullied in both primary and secondary school. I was the fat kid who  was not only fat, often with greasy hair, i also had a name which could be used as ammo.  I was the fat girl often known as ” Anal a pussy”.

It was music and english lessons that helped me escape all of that.  Both lessons I could be creative in. I could be in a new world through it all.  Maybe another day I’ll talk more about the english lessons but today I want to focus on the music.

I started learning the clarinet just before my 8th birthday in 2005. I would leave my normal classes to go to another room in the school, and I would learn the clarinet with a woodwind teacher. A year or so later, after persuasion from my clarinet teacher ( a different one from my first teacher) at the time, I joined a wind band. It was a place that I felt accepted in. I didn’t feel out of my depth like I often felt, I wasn’t bullied like I was in school.  I had something that I was good at, that I enjoyed, and I made friends in a place where we all had music in common.

I would have lessons once a week with my clarinet teacher, then on a saturday morning, we would have the Beginners Concert Band or whatever we were called. Don’t get me wrong, the whole learning to read music and play clarinet, and have to play WITH other people whilst trying to learn how to stay in time with the conductor – it was hard work for a 8/9 year old, BUT IT WAS FUN.

We would perform in concerts, and I would perform in assembly’s at my school – and my confidence improved, and my love for music grew.

I’ve always loved music, even before this. I remember being fascinated by musical instruments, and listening to music and the different types of sounds that could be produced. Cher has always been a love of mine- seriously, ask my parents and my godfather. I asked for a Cher CD when I was about 2, My godfather brought me it- it was “Believe”, and I STILL Have it today.


I found something that I loved doing.

Years passed and I did all kinds of cool things involving music, I did day courses which ended in a performance or two, I left beginner group and went in to the junior one, I did a whole load of performances, AND I ALSO JOINED THE CHOIR! (which was even cooler! turns out I loved to sing too!)

I had a clarinet teacher who I loved but then sadly left- and was replaced by someone who although was lovely- just wasnt the right type of teacher for me. In this ones defence she was my third clarinet teacher at this point and the one she had replaced was bloody amazing- tough boots to fill.

I had a keyboard at home at this point too and had started to learn ( mainly self taught). I could read music fluently and would muck about and write my own stuff too – mainly to play on the clarinet or keyboard, nothing with lyrics.

I then had to choose a secondary school.    I didn’t get in to My first choice, and a V E R Y long story short, I ended up having to decide between two different schools.

One school, all of my friends were going to, another school I didnt know people.

I went to look through the school I had never looked round before & I didnt know anyone who was going to (it turns out I did know some people in the school but at this stage I didn’t know this!).

I Looked around and it all seemed so big and scary, until the deputy head who showed us around , asked me what I enjoyed doing… When I responded music, she took me upstairs and we walked in to the music department and I honestly fell in love with it all.

I saw pictures from their concerts, and the staff that spoke to me that day were so lovely ( and they are lovely people who I will never forget!) – and then I noticed a piece of paper on their notice board… which said “woodwind lessons”… and the name underneath it was The clarinet teacher that i had before, that was in my eyes the best (no offence to my other clarinet teachers but she was the best!), and I  was so happy and I knew it in my head and my heart that this school would be amazing for me, because good lord look at their music department… AND I COULD STILL HAVE CLARINET LESSONS.

I made a decision to go to that school. Now, I had a few problems at the school don’t get me wrong, but this post isn’t going to be a post about the whole school, just the music department.

I loved that department.

I played my clarinet,  I did well in my music lessons, and I joined the Junior Choir where we did songs in the pop concerts.

I was still bullied in secondary school , but in the music department I could be myself. I could play my clarinet, and I could sing, I could play the piano/keyboards, and I could be me without fear of judgment or bullying.

I didn’t join the main choir until the end of year 8, but when I did join The Choir? I loved it and I had so many amazing moments being a part of it.  We sang in competitions, in projects with the BBC, we did all sorts-  and to this day I am still proud of what we did back then (and still to this moment I can remember all the words to the songs we would sing- and the dance moves/actions to the two we had moves for).

Music was what kept me from giving in to the bullies. It was what kept me grounded, what kept me sane.

I began composing and arranging more music as my time at ICC went on. It was something I would do to relax.

Music was, is and always will be something that I find enjoyable and something that I love.

It is important to me, and I know its important to a lot of people, especially younger people.

Music lessons weren’t just about playing a tune, it was about the history of music, culture, the building blocks that make each song, the ways that music can be used for different things.

It wasnt a “doss about” subject like other departments seemed to think, and it wasnt always easy, even for someone who spent most days involved with some sort of musical project. It was hard work, but so worth it.

My mum often says its sad I didnt take my music further, But the thing is I never saw myself in the music career.  Music was my release. BUT i’m always thankful I took it as a subject at GCSE as it challenged me in all the right ways.

Music is important. its a part of our every day lives. Go to a shop, and 9 times out of 10 they play music.

Get in a car, turn on the radio- music.

Turn on the tv, theres music.

So why do people think its ok to deny the next generations of a music filled education?

Music as a subject isnt just about learning to play an instrument or sing, its about culture, its about history, science (breathing techniques), Design technology (the designs of the instruments and how they actually work), languages, its an art, its everything rolled in to one.

Music for me is important not just in my education and hobbies.

When I became ill, music was what helped me through it.

I became too ill to continue my education. But I would sit in my bedroom and compose music, page after page it would all flow out and It would give me something to do at 3 in the morning when the pain was too much and I felt like I was drowning in the never ending shit that was my life.

Things I  learned physically helped me too. Breathing techniques that were taught to me by my teachers and choral directors/conductors help with an array of things such as relocating a subluxed rib, coping with the pain of my daily dislocations and my chronic pain, the aftermath of a seizure and often get me through panic attacks.

Fun Fact for you – When I had a panic attack in a mri tunnel recently, I layed there and sang Fiela. (a song we used to sing in choir) – IT CALMED ME DOWN, but I  have no idea why that song popped in to my head.

When my best friend Natalie died in 2013 – it was music that got me through the first stages of grief. The day she went in to a coma, I came home and played on the keyboard. Music was kind of our thing too. we would sit and listen to music together, and sing, and she’d laugh as I danced around her living room. I wrote her song after song, one was specifically for when she had died, and its still on youtube now.

Then when Faith died this year, music helped me through that too. We had many songs that we used to sing to each other to distract each other when things got tough. She had written a few letters to me for when she had died, and one was just a list of songs. When i’m upset or I really miss her I listen to our playlists.

I did a favour for a company recently that were doing a charity concert. They needed someone to rearrange some music (basically do arrangments for them in various parts etc). I did it for them- and they sent me a beautiful thank you gift of an conductors baton. I always ALWAYS wanted to be a conductor. Don’t think itll happen now but we shall see.

My life is beyond unpredictable, and I as a person have changed massively and I’m so glad I still have things that I enjoy, and things I’m passionate about, and I’m glad that I still have bits of the old me that haven’t left me completely.

Music Matters.



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