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Last night I emailed a girl I used to be very close to at school. We were best friends from the fourth year (when we were 14/15) til after we left school and she went to university. And then we sort of lost touch with each other.

I think part of the problem was, I wasn't exactly the best of friends towards the end - in fact at times I was a bitch. And I regret that now, and I hoping she will contact me, so I can apologize and maybe we can re-establish communication.

It's only as I've matured that I realise just how mean I could be. Which is rather a shock as at the time I pictured myself as the victim. But it's an unfortunate fact that victims can often be the most vicious of tormentors.

At my first senior school there was a most definite hierarchy to the classes. There were three of us at the bottom, and even there was a order, A, Me and then N. A quite often was one of the meanest to me when at other times she was a friend. N was right on the bottom of the class pecking order, and was disliked by everybody. I'm ashamed to say that I was probably one of her chief tormentors. I can remember at times being aware of how nasty I was, but not really understanding why I was being like that. It's now that I recognise that it was simply a defense mechanism - if they were picking on N, then they weren't picking on me. That's teenage girls for you.

I hope that someday I'll bump into N, and can apologise to her. You never know, one of the others might bump into me and apologise for their behaviour... Yeah right!
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I always find it strange looking at photos of myself as a young child and toddler. It's hard to believe it's me. I can see thoughts behind my eyes, but I have no idea of what those thoughts are. From six I can remember thoughts and feelings and I can connect to the girl in the photo, but before six it could be any child I'm looking at.

Today I looked at my son and saw myself at two. Face, expression, body posture all identical - and for a moment I was able to connect to all those photos of me that before I felt divorced from.

I look a lot like my mother. I look an awful lot like my mother. And my aunts. And my sister. (To the point people will ask us if we're twins) At any family gathering it is easy to see who's married into the family, and who's related by blood. My ties to my mother's family are strong, undeniable and welcome.

My father's family has always felt more distant. He doesn't have any siblings, his parents are dead and he's rather hazy on his own past let alone his family's. And I've never been able to pinpoint any similarity between my fathers face and mine.

But my son looks like my father. I have a photo of my father aged about two giving the camera that mischievous, cheeky boy grin that all two year old boys give - it's the same one my son gives me.

My son looks like my father, and this morning my son looked like me. I may not be able to find the likeness of my father in the mirror, but it's there. And it's already started it's journey down the generations.
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We popped into Mum & Dad's today. Mum was over at my Aunts, but Dad was in and had visitors - our old neighbours from eight years ago in Bristol. It was quite nice catching up with them - hearing all the gossip about the people in our old street.

It got me thinking though - when I tell anyone I grew up in Fishponds their first comment is generally "Ooh, it's really rough there isn't it?" and I would generally respond that I hadn't noticed how bad it was until I moved out. Indeed the first time I returned having left five years previously I was shocked just how rough it did look.

However the last couple of years has seen a lot of developers buying up properties and doing them up for resale, and as a consequence there have been a lot of people moving in from the new estates or further afield. So Fishponds is improving, yes?

No. Well at least I don't think so. Because whats happening to Fishponds now is the sense of community is being killed.

When I lived on R______ Road, us kids probably ran wild. I can remember the driving schools all brought their learner drivers down our road to practice their 3-point turns and parallel parking, and we took offense this - it was our road dammit! So whenever we saw a learner driver we'd get out our bikes and just cycle up and down the street in front of the learners - probably scaring the shit out of them! It was our form of protest. I can remember us running around the playing field accosting strangers, asking them if they knew where we could buy "impossible" items like invisible ink or a pint of bread. (pretty harmless by todays standards!) I can remeber the fueds between families at different ends of the road, and screaming arguments. But everyone knew each other, and was there for each other. People knew me, knew my dad and some could remember my grandfather.

But with the "prettification" of the area that's changing. Our old neighbours, R&J told me today that the people who bought the house on the other side of R&J's house, haven't spoken a word to them since they moved in - two years ago! If R&J are coming out of their house at the same time as the new neighbours, the new neighbours will deliberatly look away to avoid meeting R&J's eyes. And unfortunately they're not alone in their behaviour. They've moved in from Emersons Green, one of the 'nice' new estates.

It makes me sad to think how Fishponds is changing - but hopefully there are still enough of the old guard to stave off the eniviatable for awhile.
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Now this is going to come as no surprise to anyone who knows me well, but I daydream a lot. I always have done. My first conscious daydream that I can remember involved me battling the Wicked Witch of the West along side Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. I was about six at the time.

Nowadays I tend to daydream about TV shows I've watched or movies I've seen, whatever captures my imagination. (I know that some of you out there are going to be looking down your noses at the grown woman who's freely admitted to daydreaming, but to hell with you I say. I had to stop playing imaginary games when I was eleven/twelve, I'm not giving this up.) But now there is a fly in the ointment. Mary Sue's stopping me from enjoying my daydreams.

Now I'm going to have to take a little detour for those of you unfamilar with the weird and wonderful world of fanfiction. Fanfiction is stories, written by fans about the shows, films, books etc they're into. (An example of good fanfiction would be - Letters and Papers from Prison) Mary Sue in the simplest terms is an original character who is perfect. She's beautiful, talented, charming and normally the focal point for the plot. Which is why a lot of people don't like reading Mary Sue fic's. (There are quite a few who quite enjoy them, and there is, believe or not, a Mary Sue Appreciation Society) For more on Mary Sue read here - here.

So my problem with Mary Sue is that I want to avoid her - in my fanfiction. And to this end I've read lots of very good articles on how to recognise her, and how to avoid her. Only all this kowledge is seeping into my daydreams., which unfortunate as it's all the things that makes Mary Sue bad, that makes a daydream enjoyable. It's frustrating when your mind starts trying to edit out Mary Sue charateristics from your dreamself - a persona that by definition should not be realistic. Daydreams are inherently fantastical and ego-centric.

So Mary Sue Killed my Dreams, and I want them back - there are worlds to be saved out there.


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March 2010

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