Hello and welcome! Thank you all for being here, let’s kick things off…
Floating Woman’s Disease: Turns out, that was the name that was given to my chronic neurological condition back in the day. Thanks to the dissociation (dreaminess) you feel during an attack and a propensity to ‘zone-out’, us floating women were considered to have a form of ‘hysteria’. Hysteria, of course, meant Bedlam, so Victorian members of my spaced-out sisterhood would have been packed off to Bethlem Royal Hospital just south of where I am sat typing this very sentence.
Bedlam was the OG lunatic asylum where delicate treatment methods ranged from “lock them up and throw away the key” to “parade them for the rich and feed them gruel”. It was truly a hell-hole. Many women subjected to Bedlam weren’t even mentally ill, they were simply angry, sexy or partial to wearing a trouser. The only light in this desperately sad tunnel was that an occasional treatment option also seems to have been opiates and an orgasm, but I don’t imagine that’s as fun as it sounds when shackled to a cell that’s been built over a sewer…
Finding this out made me truly thankful to have been born in 1990 and not 1890, when my persistent floating would have signalled the end of life as I knew it (let alone my collection of sexy trousers). I will say this though, whilst we might have moved on from Bedlam and its barbaric treatment of both the mentally ill and the simply non-conformist, there were still 15 years that I was not believed. 15 years that I was asked if I was “making it up”. 15 years where I too was dismissed as hysterical.
And not one doctor offered me opiates or an orgasm.
I JUST LEARNED…
...that everybody’s favourite arsehole Malcolm Tucker (BBC’s The Thick of It) is not based on Alistair Campbell after all. It was assumed by nearly everybody that the sweary, shouty Scot was modelled on the so-called spin doctor, but it turns out that in a horrifying twist he was actually modelled, in part, on Harvey Weinstein. FUCKITY BYE.
I have been reliving my 19 year-old angst by incessantly relistening to Emmy The Great’s first album, First Love. I was lucky enough to see her perform it in its entirety as part of its 10 year birthday celebrations and haven’t turned it off since. I’m also not ashamed to say I did a small cry. I remember listening to the album as a naïve teenager wondering if this really was what love was like. Turns out it is. But only in your early twenties - hang on in there smol me.
TEN MINUTE TASTER:
1. My favourites have changed with age, but I think The Easter Parade will always remain top of the pile for me. A lovely little atheist hymn about the finality of death. What more could you want?!
2. Canopies and Drapes was not in my top 3 in 2009 because I had not yet dated anybody who made me want to burn books in the street and take up smoking. I GET IT NOW. It's so weird how time goes on…
3. 24 still makes me cry and that’s why it’s here, but if I could put every other track here too I would.
“And I am 24 today, I don't believe I'll sit Through another year of this While you are sewing up my lips”
We Almost Had A Baby truly sums up everything good about this album. A delicately sung ditty about the casual subject matter of wishing you could trap somebody into loving you by having their child. If that doesn’t epitomise logic as a love-crazed twenty-something I don’t know what does.
Thanks for reading, you absolute gems. If you fancy some more then there is a vintage piece below, otherwise I’ll see you back here next time x
FROM THE ARCHIVE
As a teenager, I had a drinking problem. And that was that I couldn’t do it. I knew that if I drank, I would possibly pass out, or start uncontrollably shaking, or become completely delirious, and whilst these might sound like familiar alcohol-based symptoms for many, I can assure you that the reaction I had was far from normal.
At this point it’s around 2004. I am 14, and like any self-respecting British teen I drink Bacardi Breezers at any social occasion. This is because I am a sophisticated young woman, who wants to get absolutely hammered on anything that does not remotely tastes like alc… [keep reading]