Farewell From ‘DC to ZZ

Well, it’s been a great run but I’ve decided to let go of From DC to ZZ. It was ugly and disorganised and instead of doing yet another overhaul, I decided to make a brand new blog.

You can now find me here: http://www.fromabbatozappa.co.uk/.


Thanks for the Memories, Drop Dead Fred

I suppose everybody will be posting something about Drop Dead Fred/Rik Mayall and this will be seen as bandwagon jumping. Well, so be it. One of my childhood heroes died today and I am heartbroken. I have made absolutely no secret of the fact that my childhood was largely unhappy and I don’t have many fond memories of it- I much prefer adulthood. One beacon of hope, though was Drop Dead Fred.

Drop Dead Fred was a perfect example of what childhood should be- fun, carefree, mischievous and maybe sometimes going a little too far. Despite Elizabeth being in a very umhappy home, Fred was adamant that she’d get to experience the best of childhood. He didn’t pretend everything was okay and he didn’t patronise her… he treated her as his equal. Never underestimate how much children appreciate being treated like adults or at the very least, being spoken to as if they are.  Drop Dead Fred was also a shining example of the importance of imagination. He provided a shelter from the storm that was Elizabeth’s home and gave her a brand new world inside the world she was already a part of. She may have been frustrated and he may have been a nuisance at times but Drop Dead Fred was the one thing Elizabeth could control (whether she knew it or not).

So what was he to me?

When I think of Drop Dead Fred, I think of watching it snuggled with my cousins on a particularly rainy night. I think of being bullied at school and how funny it would have been to have my own Fred. I think of seeing Rik Mayall in The Young Ones and instantly feeling warm and hopeful. I think of watching it at a low time in my twenties and feeling all those childhood feelings return. I think of the fact that none of the adults I knew liked Rik Mayall… Which I loved. It felt like my own private secret.

Films and music are sometimes considered to be shallow and meaningless in the grand scheme of things but let me tell you, Drop Dead Fred helped me through a lot of tough times. Even if it was joking to myself about Fred throwing poo at my bullies. Due to his role as Fred, Rik Mayall always had a place in my heart and while I haven’t felt the need to watch Drop Dead Fred for a while, I’ll always be grateful for the memories. Both created by him and in my own imagination. Childhood is such a fleeting time compared to adulthood but I think the roots remain and the things you loved then, you always will on some level. I’m glad that for me, that’s Drop Dead Fred and Rik Mayall.


“Look, you’ve got you now. You don’t need me”

Goodnight Rik Mayall. And thanks for the memories.

Me, Myself & The OC: Catch-Up List

I lost all my photographs and stock photos are prettier anyway…




  1. I celebrated 5 years with Gavin last weekend. We drank with friends, we went to a gig, we stayed in the Edinburgh Malmaison, we ate delicious food in Leith and we went to the zoo. It was a perfect way to celebrate 5 years with my favourite person
  2. I reset my phone to factory settings and lost all my photos. I thought I’d backed them up but apparently not. It’s strange losing photographs. I didn’t look at them all the time but I still felt very attached to them and very sad when I realised I couldn’t retrieve them- contrary to my usual babbling, sometimes technology isn’t great
  3. I have a new blog and I interviewed a lovely new business owner- here
  4. Between the #YesAllWomen tag and debates over Kirstie Allsopp’s comments, I am loving how much feminist discussion is happening lately
  5. The new X-Men film was pretty incredible as was Godzilla
  6. The Independent wrote a ‘Happy List’ as an alternative to the rich list. A list of people who have helped and enriched other’s lives. Beautiful.
  7. I’m all of a sudden very anxious again and never manage a full night’s sleep which isn’t ideal but it has led me to Headspace which is a pretty great discovery
  8. Just after I wrote about loving the internet, my words came back to haunt me and I realised how harmful the internet can be. I’m fine now but it’s nice to have my mind changed on something. I used to be so stubborn and now I like finding out I was wrong, or could be wrong. I like surprising myself as well which leads me onto…
  9. Turns out I like teamwork! I thrive from it! I always thought I work best alone but in fact it is quite the opposite- it’s bloody lovely to know I was wrong all along.
  10. I used to have pub lunches around three times a year and now I have them around 1-2 times a week. I used to have one busy day out of ten and now I am always busy. I’m not complaining but wow I’ve experienced a lot of change in a short amount of time
  11. Because of being so busy, I have found that I have very little patience for petty issues and problems. I have to prioritise basically everything in my life and it’s nice to sometimes take a step back and say ‘no, I think I’ll look after myself this time’ 
  12. I really love my job and I feel extremely lucky that I get to say that
  13. I’m addicted to The OC again. I’m not even ashamed.
  14. I’m still trying to find a way to keep up with this blog between working, socialising, ‘down time’ and yknow, sleeping. I miss writing about music.



On Being A Space Oddity


I went to three different primary schools, two secondary schools, tried my luck in four colleges, moved from a city to a town and back to a different city and have moved home nineteen times. I have lost a whole side of a family at once, dropped friends for no good reasons and until March, never found a job I was happy in. I am a creature of change and any familiarity used to scare me senseless. I would create change so that I could be in control of the situation as I felt that nothing stuck. Friends, homes, courses, partners- I didn’t see these things as ever being consistent so I cut the ties on my own terms. Not healthy. Not something I do any more. My life is, dare I say it, pretty stable now. I have the same friends I’ve had for a few years, the same partner I’ve had for five years, the same home for three years (I’m about to move but shh) and now a job I feel absolutely settled in. Rather than feeling scared or overwhelmed, I think I finally got where I needed to be and I think my parents might actually be sleeping these days rather than worrying about their slightly erratic daughter.

Thing is, when change is consistent and any kind of happiness feels like it is absolutely fleeting, there’s no comfort zone. I have read countless articles on escaping this so-called comfort zone and all I ever thought was man, I’d do anything to have a comfort zone. I’ve spent most of my life feeling on the edge of losing anything good and understanding that nothing I loved would stay.

I remember hearing Space Oddity when I was around 17 and identifying with it so, so strongly. I can’t speak on behalf of David Bowie but for me, the song is about being a weird one, an oddball experiencing a new environment and a heightened sense of “I’m the weirdo here” and to me, that’s the closest thing I have or have ever had to a “comfort zone”. Feeling like everything is a million miles outside of where you are and no matter what the environment, feeling like an outsider. A terrified outsider.

When I started in my new job, I felt absolutely like Major Tom. For the first time though, in a very good way. I was scared and of course generally nervous but I was mostly hopeful and delighted. I always try to tell people when they’re going through hard times that they will eventually pass. Not because the universe is on their side and not because fate will find a way but because that’s how life is. I have applied it to dramatic and traumatic events in my life but I never thought to apply it to my life in general. Things can’t always be scary and things can’t always be teetering on the edge of disaster. Sometimes, things work out. Because that’s how life is. And hard work pays off. Passion goes a long way. It’s nice to feel happy and not scared. It’s incredible to feel hopeful again.

And hey, it’s actually kinda fun being an oddball.

The stars look very different, today.


I Love the Internet. So What?

I’m going to say it because nobody else seems to; I fucking love social media and the advancements in internet technology in the past 10 years. We all use these things but at the moment, it seems trendy to say that Facebook, Twitter etc are terrible things and everybody is dumbing down. They’re not, though. Kids of today who have mobile phones and use social networking are reading and writing more than they ever were. There are so many forms of communication and that isn’t ‘depressing’ that’s exciting! Face-to-face conversations are fantastic but I have had conversations with people online that have had so much depth and compassion that I refuse to believe that online communications are a bad thing.

There have been a few viral videos that express sadness at people ‘always staring at their phones’ and so on but what they never express, what they ought to express to give a fair picture of how it actually is, is what people are looking at on their phones. On my phone at the moment I have an app for learning languages, a Kindle app, a newspaper app, a podcast app which is full of podcasts about history, TED talks, science and so much more as well as the usual social media apps and a few games. All of those apps have improved my life. A lot of them have changed my way of thinking, have had inspirational articles on them and I have shared these things on social media so that my friends can feel as touched and inspired as I do. This isn’t a bad thing, this is brilliant!

If I don’t look at my phone on my commute to work, I read a book. If you leave me alone for ten minutes in the pub I’m going to look at my phone or read a book. I’m not the chatty type. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on the ‘real world’ while I’m looking at these things. I feel like I’m living and loving it!

I’m a really shy person and incredibly awkward. This isn’t because I use the internet a lot. In fact, the internet has helped me so much with communicating and I have made fantastic friendships through it. Some have then gone offline and some remain online. I don’t consider my online friendships to be any less important or special to me than my offline friendships. I owe so much of who I am, of who I’m becoming and want to be to the internet. I have always preferred writing to talking and because of the internet I can express my thoughts without stuttering or worrying about if my accent is being understood.

We are one of the most privileged generations and we have access to any information that we like. We can communicate with people all around the world. We can share articles and experiences with more people than we ever could. The world is becoming a more connected place by the day. Don’t reminisce about playing on the street or how great life was when things were simpler. It was a simpler time, yes, but simple is not really a positive word, it’s not an inspiring one. A simple life isn’t one to aspire to. A full life is.

So, yes, go outside and live a little I guess but I don’t know anybody who isn’t doing that, really. Embrace technology and learn to love science. These things are not the enemy- they’re the future! If you look back at any huge technological advances, people always resisted. My favourite example is Galileo Galilei who was a revolutionary astronomer.

In 1614, Galileo was accused of heresy for his support of the Copernican theory that the sun was at the centre of the solar system. This was revolutionary at a time when most people believed the Earth was in this central position. In 1616, he was forbidden by the church from teaching or advocating these theories.

This is obviously an extreme example and the universe is far more vast and misunderstood than the internet but he was still a hated man in his time and now, his theories and practises are taken as fact even by the most extreme conspiracy theorists.

Then there have been rejections of Kindles (I was one of them, yes, unsurprising), iPods even smart phones. In the case of Kindles, the argument is that they don’t beat the ‘real thing’. It’s said that the sound quality of iPods is less impressive than that of a record player and smart phones have stopped real conversations happening. What I say is- one doesn’t replace the other. You can have an iPod and a record player at home, you can have a mix of physical and e-books, you can use your smartphone to make phonecalls. None of these things have been completely obliterated and nobody is telling you that you MUST switch from one to the other. It’s just more fearmongering and rejecting of technology. YES I prefer listening to records than listening to music on my phone but I like listening to music in public and really, a good song is a good song even if the sound quality isn’t 100%. I prefer the look, feel and smell of physical books but I won’t pretend I didn’t enjoy reading a few books on my boyfriend’s tablet last year and usually, yeah, I’d rather have a chat on the phone but I sometimes don’t have the time, or enough to say to warrant a phonecall. Technology makes life easier and puts the things you love in small sizes at your fingertips. Why is this considered to be a bad thing?

Accept technology and embrace science! These things are always changing, always interesting and give you a great insight to how the future may be. Even if you don’t, you’re not making an impressive stance, you’re just limiting your own life and experiences.