Ooops! We all F*ck up…

 I am a pain in the arse, there is unequivocally no denying that. I am outright opinionated, argumentative, stubborn and particularly hard work. You only have to ask any member of my family to recognise the expanse of my stiff personality. Introduce alcohol into the equation and things escalate further and fast. My obstinate angle can be understood as troublesome but I consider my prospective in no way reflective of my morals, principles or ethics.

I was raised in a strict environment, taught to respect others, to always be polite, considerate, courteous and understanding of different outlooks and circumstance. My parents would be altogether disheartened if I purposely behaved in a manner unfit within their values and code of conduct. Although my loose-tongue and unhinged persona have led me into some interesting situations over the years, now my resistance and advance has certainly softened, I can find hilarity where I once found venom or I look now for understanding where once I saw malice.

We met on the platform and boarded the 11.30am train, heading south from Dundee to Edinburgh. Four fun girls, all as stylish as the other and each carrying a bottle of prosecco and plastic cups. Jen, home from New Zealand, where she manages a chain of world class bistros and cafés. India, enjoying her summer break from acting school. Hayley and I had taken a day off from our work/family schedule. You could say the nonsense began when we left the train carrying just one bottle of prosecco, the remainder filled the cups, balancing between our teeth as we tried to locate our tickets. India regrettably managed to pour hers down the blouse of a station worker, all looking at each other aghast, flamboyantly falling into fits of hilarious laughter. I decided it was going to be a good day.

Making our way to St Andrews Square, we enjoyed conversing in the gardens whilst supping expensive gin. Talks of the scandalous Lady W intermixed with selfies, tacos and curly fries. Empty glasses were our cue to find the nearest off licence as we made our way through the cobbled lanes and twisting whynds of Edinburgh’s old town. Arriving amongst the revellers, tourists and performers on the Royal Mile.
Heading towards the Grassmarket we bumped into Phil Jupitus, star of comedy quiz show ‘Never Mind the Buzzcocks’, who initially wasn’t considerably pleasant to the four young women who riotously invaded his solitude and plonked themselves on his lap, five minutes later and a few ghastly jokes, we had won him over. A swift top up and we were on our way once more, stampeding towards the Dance Space, home to our choice of performance.

Frida Kahlo is an artist I’ve always advanced to, the vibrancy of her work and her colourful fight and strength of character leaves me in wonderment of the Mexican painter. It was a treat to bag the last remaining seats to a five star performance depicting her life. Discovering on arrival the portrayal would be presented through the medium of contemporary dance, we discreetly left, admitting that bouts of giggles throughout the production may not be found appropriate.

Continuing our wanderings we meandered towards the Cowgate, meeting along the way our friend, Artist and artisan beer enthusiast Evan Rattray, who had been in the capital selling his latest Typography Map. We soaked up the atmosphere and listened to live music in an array of different bars. I persuaded my friends to join me at the Sin Club, to watch a comedian I had met on a previous London trip.

Chris Fitchew and his show ‘Ooops’

‘We all f*ck up. But let’s just unite and say ooops, laugh about it and crack on. Fitchew talks us through his ‘ooops’ moments from dealing with exes, job destruction and a smidgen of public humiliation.’ (The list).  

Ooops can perfectly describe this show, which got off to a raring start. We were seated in the front row, which of course encouraged the comedian to prey on our tipsy and playful demeanour. Hayley when prompted giddily battered on a set of imaginary drums and Evan laughed off nudges made towards his female company. I played dupe to a brutal personal attack but although in shock, simply sniggered it off. Chris failed to hold the interest of the small audience, who in their droves left and his show flopped. Ooops, if only he had kept his cool.

A kebab and a strut back to the train station brought our trip to a close. A grotesque text from a certain comedian, describing my friends and I as vile, crass, rude and belonging in the gutter, could not even nearly put a damper on our fantastic day.
Edinburgh Festival until next year!
Long live the VEF and learn some manners QUEEN!!!



‘There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind’-Virginia Woolf.

I have this unquestionably amazing ability of preventing myself from doing things. I often lie in bed and talk myself out of getting out of it. I can actually prevent my body from physically moving just by train of thought. Absurdly I resonate this projective throughout most things I do in life. I restrict myself from proceeding forth with just a basic insert in my brain, such as ‘there is no point, you can’t do it’ or ‘why even bother, you will never be good’. I often frustrate myself with my lousy effort and bogus attitude and I purely came to realise there must be depth or background to the limitation of things I determine I can do.

I uncovered the potency in restriction we face throughout life. From the womb we are administered a strict path of life-goals or targets to meet. We instantly restrict ourselves and others from obtaining full potential through our narrow, limited minds. Babies should be weaned off the breast by six months, toddlers should be toilet trained by two and a half years, children should be ready to attend school by the maximum of five years, by the age of twelve we should be moved on to further education, by sixteen we should be of sound mind to look after ourselves, we are now responsible for our own actions, to marry, to vote, but not to consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes. By eighteen you can drink alcohol but can only purchase it if you look over twenty five. We can gamble, drive a car and take prescribed drugs (but only when prescribed). Employment should be obtained, rent most certainly should be payed and taxes profoundly met. Rules should never be broken. Everyday we are unconsciously set up to trip over life’s social confinements. Take those limitations away and in fact humans are still capable of existing in a tolerant, unmerciful way, but keep these maxims in place, with the majority perhaps not excelling or meeting subsequent goals, therefore, diminishes a sense of worthiness and consequently creates a morbid tone of self doubt.

‘The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains’- Karl Marx. 

I am absolute in the knowledge that the restrictions I face are not wholly self-inflicted. Daily I’m met with suggestions which may hinder my potential. I’m employed within an industry that operates on a hierarchical level, restricting within reason my level of expected competency. A gigantic imaginary thumb pressed on my forehead. I learn I’m difficult, as managing techniques such as praising and reprimands become transparent and the idea and feeling of constriction impacts my romanticism of an otherwise creative craft.

‘All animals are equal but some animals are more equal that others’- George Orwell (Animal Farm). 

Thoroughly imprinted from birth we are moulded to accept the unacceptable, shaped to behave in a demeanour which is unchallenging to control. We worship a higher force through religion, we perceive merit through money and we idolise beings that we consider to have additional grandeur to ourselves. Materialism becomes meaning and we forget the fundamental reality of what is life?

Whilst I’ve searched vigorously in my quest to find my own path, I’ve unturned many supreme religious, non-religious and spiritual avenues which perfectly fit my pursuit of well-being. But my outlook is still plaintive and dissatisfied, I often wonder if I’m too engaged within a programme to ever connect with any true meaning of real life. I’ve toyed with my connection to my surroundings and my sole place in the universe but I am however searching for more. I recently came across the philosophy and the teachings of Albert Camus, who’s radical views suggest there may be no meaning of life at all.


‘Accordingly, absurdism is a philosophical school of thought stating that the efforts of humanity to find inherent meaning will ultimately fail (and hence are absurd) because the sheer amount of information as well as the vast realm of the unknown make total certainty impossible. As a philosophy, absurdism furthermore explores the fundamental nature of the Absurd and how individuals, once becoming conscious of the Absurd, should respond to it.’

‘Camus considers absurdity as a confrontation, an opposition, a conflict or a “divorce” between two ideals. Specifically, he defines the human condition as absurd, as the confrontation between man’s desire for significance, meaning and clarity on the one hand – and the silent, cold universe on the other. He continues that there are specific human experiences evoking notions of absurdity’. (Wikipedia).

After ordering my first of Camus’s books, I am aware that the little research I have achieved may only be the tip of the ice-berg, and further study may reveal conflicting notions, but I can’t help but feel enlightened in the encouragement that I can continue my voyage of non-conformity and rebellion through an alternative freedom of thought.

‘Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him’- Aldous Huxley. 

‘The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion’- Albert Camus. 

Long live the VEF and it’s one-nil to me QUEEN!

All images taken by Mark Ireland, Artist/Designer.

Instagram @MI.A1972

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