personal rebellion

To Where?

for Roween

Jayne found herself inexorably irritated by words that, when written down, didn’t offer a clear indication of how they should be pronounced. Sometimes, she simply read a word so wrongly, it bore no resemblance to its meaning.

Her friend, Cinnamon, never stopped ribbing her for mispronouncing the name of a famous painting.

“How can you get ‘Van Gogh’ right,” she teased: “Yet be so convinced that he had a ‘ban-dagged’ ear!”

“Stop it, Cinn – anyone could have read ‘bandaged’ that way.”

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Rebel With Good Vibrations

The year was 2005 and I was working in a well known high street sex shop on Princes Street Edinburgh. The pretty girls with good boobs stood at the front of the store selling lingerie while my quirkily dressed 20 year old self, who could sell a rubber dildo to an old woman without blushing, worked in the back, beyond all the novelty hen party items, with the sex toys, porn, specialist underwear and bondage wear.

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Fuss, fuss, fuss. Same thing every week. My first marriage was a disaster.

‘Nobody else’s husband comes to the ante-natal clinic.’

‘I’d like to hear what the doctor has to say.’

‘If there’s anything different I’ll tell you.’

‘Will you though? Wait inside then. The driver will come to the door and don't go wandering around on your own.’

'Stop being so bossy.'

'Somebody needs to be responsible. Where's my football kit?'

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Rebellious Old Lady

I’m NOT doing it.
I’ve had it up to here,
Washing, cleaning,
Worst of all, cooking.
Someone must come in,
Fill the pots with food,
Put them on the table
When I’m not looking.
No more making beds.
It’s like I said.
I’ve had it up to here.
All that washing-
Clothes and plates, cooker, sink-
All needing done again,
If I so much as blink. 

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the economist and I

Warning: this piece contains strong language


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I’m odd and different
My love for books and rock and roll
Is something my family don’t get
I argue and disagree with them all the time
I wear things that my parents disapprove of, saying
“You’re a girl, why do you dress like that”
“Why don’t you wear something that isn’t black”.
I want a lot of tattoos and I want to dye my hair, ombre of blues and purples
Which is a no because they love my hair
“Too many tattoos are ugly”
“Piercing are just holes in the face”
So I had to go against my parents just to get a simple nose piercing.

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On the kitchen top the old kettle rumbled, rising to its crescendo, the finale a desultory click.

Routine made the whole operation easy; in no time she was settled beside the living room window, chair angled to watch life outside. Most of her neighbours had left for work, there wasn’t much to see, or hear. The only constant companion, nature’s changing wallpaper. She often felt she was the street’s security guard, keeping an eye on any comings and goings. Not today though.

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Auld Rebel

Warning: this piece contains strong language

My itchy feet did not stop when I returned home from the Far East and met the man who would become my husband in less than six months. They were soothed. They were softened. They were worn, day in, day out, for many years. 

Worn, trodden upon, used … my feet were trampled over many times but still they plodded on. They say we hit a treadmill at certain times of life and maybe that’s where my feet found themselves for thirty plus years. 

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Are you a real rebel? Or someone who just thinks they are? Take our handy test below to find out more. Here’s how to rank your score:

0-2          You buy books by Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith. And never read them. But still talk about them at dinner parties.

3-4          You once thought Richard Dawkins was a bit of an idiot. Or suspected that a lot of medical research is a waste of time.

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Rebel without a handbag

On the 20th of May I walked down Bruce Street without a bag.

I have given up bag carrying. No handbag, carrier bag, or holdall of any kind, not even the respectable cotton shopper with identifying bookshop logo. I feel naked, so naked, that for the first time in years, I feel as if people are looking at me.

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