There’s no ‘right way’ of doing things. No one should read how one person lives their life and follow it strictly, and of course there’s no point in doing something purely for affectation. However, for me, I love Jeanette Winterson’s outlook in her introduction to ‘Oranges are not the only fruit’:
“Dinginess is death to a writer. When Keats was depressed he put on a clean shirt. When Radclyffe Hall was oppressed she ordered new sets of silk underwear from Jermyn Street.”
This has always worked for me and ever since I can remember I’ve been drawn to colourful things; clothes, decorations, and any bath products (baths are important to me) that are jolly or immature in any way make me ecstatic – Lush Cosmetics and Soap and Glory are the best for this. Soap and Glory’s packaging is fifties vintage which makes me feel like a burlesque queen, while Lush’s colours take me to a fantastical place.
How can you not love a ‘bath bar’ shaped like a mushroom? In order to remain able to think up bizarre and silly stories it is vital that I never grow up.
Ever since I can remember I’ve run narratives through my head, no matter what I was doing: “she picked up the leaf and held it against the blue sky. The sun sparked off the corners, blinding her.” No moment of childhood was left without some profound and hidden meaning or turning point in my character’s (me) life.
Perhaps it’s natural what with the constant growing and learning about yourself and the world at that age, but I also wonder if the ever typing words in my head were common. Did it only happen with people who wanted to be writers, or did all children do this?
Even now I do it to some extent. Aside from thinking up characters and phrases that would be good in a story, I like to make the world a bit more interesting in my mind and I’m pretty sure everybody else does too. Maybe some people just wouldn’t admit to it, but I think they should.
The things I imagine are probably not the same things as other people, but everybody has their own narrative. I recently tie-dyed a couple of night-dresses (find out how below) that I think makes me look like a Victorian ghost.
When a friend drives me home late at night and no-one is around, it makes me think of towns after a zombie apocolypse. When I’m dropped at my door I feel a tiny thrill of terror and excitement as if the undead have spotted me and are coming my way. This makes me feel extra cosy and safe when I get indoors, and I can enjoy my cup of tea whilst knowing zombies don’t know how to pick locks.
How to tie dye:
1. Find something white/pale which is made of natural fibres like cotton.
2. Fill a bowl with warm water and cold water dye.
3. Twist the fabric around until it looks like a worm.
4. Twist elastic bands around it
5. Leave in the water overnight
6. Hang out to dry the next day (be careful of getting the dye anywhere, dispose of water and hang outside).