@unfoldtheday Instagram

Instagram storytelling, audio-style.


Who’s this, you ask? Well, ‘tis I, aged goodness-knows, mid-dance (or so it looks, and I wouldn’t be surprised), wearing either my football dress, or my puffball dress (I can’t remember which I used to call it), and a video of early-teen-me, expertly edited by my filmed-everything Dodge...for which (although at the time I might not have been) I am now entirely grateful he did!

Yesterday I happened upon a realisation that I have always been about connection and words.

When I was little I used to walk up to people, introduce myself with full name and address with the intention of connecting with someone. Every holiday we went on, I’d seek out friends to make and spend time with, filling hours with conversation, laughter, and a sense of self I didn’t have back home, returning with tears in eyes over goodbyes and a scrawled address for my pen-pal-to-be tucked in my pocket, unfolded later after I’d poured thoughts about my day onto share-with-you page.

Whizz forward to 2012 when I started using twitter, introducing myself over there to people whose blogs I read - a ‘hi, I loved your post about xyz’ here, a ‘you’re such a fantastic writer!’ there - before following gaining-traction suit in Feb 2013 and starting Tori’s Tales.

As I eased into sharing online, I came to understand that, along with that ‘hello, my name is’ connection, words and writing was something I had a passion (a word I rarely use) for, revving things up (as said understanding impacted) and diving head first into opportunities to connect, meet up, and write about my experiences.

Then...to now, and how funny it is to realise things have come full circle. Because here I am, aged 32, having just clocked that what I’m doing in my here and now is what the 5, 9, 14 year old me did in her time, introducing self, and jotting words on the back of a postcard to send to someone who lived in Germany, with long, dark red hair and an exotic (to my from-the-bourne ears) accent.
I’ve never known how to answer that ever-asked ‘what did you want to be when you grew up?’ question but...maybe what I wanted to be is exactly what I am now - an adult human who writes and connects.

And...I'm alright with that.

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Y’alright @viviennewestwood, how’s things?

I stood here for probably a little longer than is humanly acceptable yesterday, waiting for this car to move (there was a guy sat in it who kept bloody looking over at me...almost checking to see how long I’d wait...not that long, Sir! Your plonkin’ white car can be in my photo for all I care!)...which sounds rather indulgent (you know, very ‘for the gram’-y) but, actually, it was quite nice to just stand in a spot for a while, appreciate one’s surroundings, and 👀people watch👀 ‘til the cows came home while I was at it!

We all know I'm a nosey sod!

Ok, ok, we all know I’ve a taste for the red-brick-things of life, (ahem, don’t forget to use #aredbrickromance on all your red brick wonders!) but when this corner of the city comes a’knocking (and it does, a lot, because I frequently walk here thanks to the fella who stands behind me...that @hotelgotham taunts me in my wish-I-could-stay dreams!), all fancy baroque flourishes, and restaurants and shops I can’t afford to pop into (‘one day I’ll big mistake, huge mistake them all!!’ she cackles), I can’t help but come over all *swoon*, hands clasped to forehead and heart like some Old-Hollywood-star in an overtaken-by-the-handsomeness-of-a-human scene...just, you know, less glamour and more...sham-er.

I had a little dig around, by the way (I know, I know, the first in a while!), and found out this area of the city is where the 💧town’s water supply💧 used to ‘spring’ up from...which makes sense, considering this bad boy you’re looking at right here, ol’ buddy ol’ pal, is No.47 Spring Gardens!

In other news, the sunrise was so pretty today, hoorah 😍 I hadn't realised how much I'd missed a pink sky!

Friends, are you partial to red brick or yellow stone?

Or, does Gotham’s deco tickle your fancy?

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It’s responses like those I was most unexpectedly gifted (🎀wrapped up in from-the-heart-tied, cherry-on-top bows🎀) on my last post that makes a gal loop-play Newman’s ‘You’ve got a friend in me’ in my head alongside daydreams of a large room packed full with tea-drinking buddies that I get to hug one by one in appreciation...don’t mind if I did!

Skippers 👋 not interested in reading about gatherings, skip to the next bit...NOW!

I’ve popped a page up at unfoldtheday.com/gatherings for all those who are interested in ✏signing up✏ to find out when my next gatherings are going to be.

My first two are being held in April (the less said about the mistakes made in some emails I sent out about them the better...friends, when your JHS is playing up, don’t write page-long emails), and I’m looking for the next one to be held in June.

In addition, I’m planning on hosting some sort of larger-scale event I haven’t worked out the details for yet, so...👀peepers peeled👀 as ever!

Until then (she says, in a very grown up, and serious, I’m-wishing-this-into-existence voice), I shall carry on squeezing every life-inch of come-spend-time-with-me moments out of friends here in #Manchester, like I did when @Jennajohnston (she in the mirror! 😘) and I met up a couple of weeks back to give ☕@pioneercoffeemcr’s☕ menu a right jolly good, what-shall-we-have go!

In the interest of doing as I said I would a while back, I shall endeavour to share more of Manchester in posts here and abroad (aka Unfold the Day, the blog), so we can all get to know it that leeetle bit better.

To read (or 🔊listen...in case you didn’t know, I record all my blog posts for those of us who prefer to press play/don’t have the time to stop for a read) my thoughts about the visit to @pioneercoffeemcr, pop on over to the ol’ blogster via the link in my bio.

Think 🌿hanging plants🌿, tea (of course you knew tea was going to be involved), stuff on toast, and some try-hard editing.

Now, on with your day!

It’s a hot-water-bottle-on-my-back-pain one here *rolls eyes at own body* - keeping 🤞fingers crossed🤞 it’s a good ‘un for you!


Truth time.

As I flicked through these photos this morning, I felt a tug to comfort-zone-expand and share them here (not to stories as is my defaulted-want), and let you know...all is not always as it seems, judge-by-a-book-cover-wise.

Last night, I took myself out to meet my silver-glow moonbeam baby, @j.anne, to head to an event in celebration of (who run the world?) girls for #IWD2018.

These images suggest I had a good time. And that wouldn’t be wrong to assume...But what you can't see is that I felt like a bitter, twisted-insides, spite-got-my-tongue fraud. Or, as I said in a message sent to my boyfriend ‘the ugly friend no one wants to talk to’. And the reason? Not because of anything anyone said or did, but because, deep down inside, I’m still that vicious, bite-back (bitch of a) teenager who doesn't feel comfortable in environments that celebrate beauty, and the beautiful things, because I don’t see that in myself.

I hate having my photo taken by others.

Many will know this.

When I take a photo of myself, I can control what I show, instead of leaving that in the hands of others. When someone takes my photo, I see ugly in the form of my huge pointy nose (that a child once told me was akin to that of a witch’s) that only looks (perhaps society) acceptable from the ‘front’, and I often revert to age-old tactics of face-hiding or face-pulling, proclaiming my discomfort loudly so as to MAKE. IT. KNOWN.

I’ve always thought that, with age, comfort would come and that’s true, in some ways - I’ve accepted lumps and bumps as part of my form, the pigmentation mark and the dent of muscle wastage on one thigh, the JHS pain that rattles through my body day in, day out, but I’m not sure I’ll ever wholly see myself as beautiful, and especially not in environments that celebrate it based on outwards-aesthetic.

Most of the time I still feel my always-will-be(albeit with swan hair)-ugly-duckling-self...no matter what the jutted hip there, my smirky-face there, a boomerang to tie it all together suggests otherwise...what you might see is not always what you *actually* get.

Inspired to speak my (ugly) truth by @jengotch@_kellyu, and @superlativelylj.