Monday, 1 January 2018

Alone or just lonely?

So, it's been a while.
I hope everyone had a good year and is ready to take on whatever 2018 is about to throw at us.
Not to put a dampener on the new year festivities but today I wanted to talk about something that has probably been one of my biggest sources of unhappiness since the age of about 12.
Characters in movies and Taylor Swift songs often talk about "being alone in a crowded room" and as corny and cliché as the phrase is, I'm pretty sure it's something everyone has associated with at one point or another.
On and off for years I have found myself among a large group of friends or my small but relatively drama free family but felt entirely isolated, disconnected and lonely, yet not physically alone. This has come to focus within the last few months with most of my friends going off to university and those that have remained occupying their time with busy jobs and relationships. When leaving school, becoming more independent and no longer having a close knit circle of friends whom you see every single day is something every 18 year old must come to expect and accept. However, the acceptation that the closest people in my life now live and lead their own separate existences is something I have quite selfishly really struggled with. The disappointment of not getting into university myself is no doubt a contributing factor, but for the first time probably in my whole life, I have found the past few months to not only be lonely but genuinely alone.
And this bubbled up to the surface when last night, new years eve, I found myself a broken woman, sat on my own on the floor of Smallbrook Queensway, sobbing down the phone to 2 of my very confused and sleep deprived friends who weren't even on the night out.
So I suppose that's my new years resolution: no matter how lonely or alone I feel this year I will not be broken and I will not burden the people I love with it at ungodly hours.

Having said this, there is absolutely nothing to be said for bottling up your feelings (mostly because at some point they will overpower you and you're likely to be sat on the floor outside a club crying).
My outlet is my blog but for those who do not have that, I am going to leave the phone numbers of some places that work to help people with loneliness as well as many other difficult life events. They're the kind of thing I would have strongly liked to advise to 14 year old me.

Samaritans: 116 123
Childline: 0800 1111
MindInfoLine: 0300 123 3393
British Red Cross: 0300 456 1155


Saturday, 11 February 2017

Comfort zones

I love my comfort zones and rarely stray out of them. They're my security and I know exactly how I will feel by staying in them... so I often do! Most of all though, they aid me to keep control.
One of my biggest faults has to be my control freak nature. Everything has to be according to how I want it and I don't cope too well in situations I have little control over. I waver constantly over whether this is a positive or negative trait of mine, but to be honest it's becoming harder and harder to maintain.
Having to admit that there are some things (some big, important things) that are completely beyond my control is very very difficult for me. Shit will happen though and there are always going to be situations of which I have no previous experience of and i'm having to start to accept that. Overall, as much as I love to stay in my comfort zones, standing still drives me mad and this year i'm really working on learning to jump in allow myself to grow. I had someone recently comment on how fucked up my need to have control is, and it sort of shone a light on it for me. I am having to learn that no one gets very far by staying comfortable. There are so many things I want to accomplish this year and i'm really hoping that, in the end, my desperation to make them happen with outweigh my fear of allowing myself to be happy outside of my comfort zones.
Sorry this is a bit rambly and irrelevant! Anyone else feel my struggle? Anyone have any tips on letting go? Let me know!
I'm going to try and just post about anything and everything that crosses my mind this year but also hope to write some proper, decent posts so stay tuned.


Friday, 20 January 2017

My first university interview

Yesterday I went to my first university interview and it was an experience.
Just for reference, I am applying to study midwifery. Because of the nature of the course, there are a lot of aspects of the application process that are very different to your standard course so if you’re reading the following post thinking HOLY FUCK THIS SOUNDS HORRENDOUS IM NEVER PUTTING MYSELF THROUGHT THIS AGGHH then don’t worry, you will probably get a very different experience if you're applying to study geography or English!
I arrived at the university of Manchester 20 minutes before the allocated start time of 9:30am. The whole process ran until 4pm which made for a pretty exhausting day but I didn’t let it deter me. There were a few talks, a few breaks giving us a chance to chat to one another and ask any questions to the student midwives milling about, and then the afternoon came which was basically when the proper interviewing began. There were 2 short written tasks, one asking us to discuss an article or book we had recently read on midwifery and the other requiring us to explain how we would cope with the pressures of the training process, both of which were fine actually. We also had to sit a maths test which at first glance gave be horrific GCSE maths flashbacks but it was fine. Just basic mental arithmetic really. Then the big boy interviews began.
The first was a group interview, consisting on many us crammed into a waiting room, nervously chattering about the distance travelled, is this our first interview etc. I have to say, the waiting was one of the most torturous and terrifying experiences of my life. Being sat in a room knowing that the next 5 minutes may well shape the rest of your life is horrendous. Your group is called and a group of 7 or 8 of you follow into the next room and sit in a circle in front of 3 really very lovely women. After the group interview, it’s back to the waiting room to be called for 1 on 1 interviews. I personally preferred this to the group as you are not only interviewed again by the same women making you feel much more confortable, but you don’t feel under as much pressure and you can take your time in putting your application forward.
Overall I actually think I did quite well. I was red and hot all day with a strange sensation of being in a bubble where my brain was 5 seconds behind my tongue, but apart from that I did my best to not be overly intimidated by the DofE girl with maternity experience in 4 different African countries and put my best case forward. My tongue struggled not to stick to the roof of my mouth growing dryer and stickier as I spoke, but at least I remembered to breath!
The feeling of being in that waiting room is almost indescribable. As a 17 year old, you suddenly become very aware that you have genuinely never wanted something so much in your entire life. This revelation can be hard to cope with, but you have just grip onto it and use it as fuel in your interview.
All in all it’s pretty terrifying but the feeling of coming out is like being on acid. The adrenaline carried me (almost) weightlessly on the 20 minute walk to the station where I then proceed to collapse in an emotional, exhausted heap on my train home.
I can’t really give you many tips in keeping calm apart from take deep breaths, walk around if you can instead of sitting, keep your mouth moving so it’s not a surprise in the interview when you open it up and word manage to fall out and don’t drink too much water no matter how dry your mouth is because you’ll just get more and more desperate for the toilet!

Good look to anyone with an interview coming up. When it’s over it’s over – don’t panic!


Sunday, 11 December 2016

My Top 10 Christmas Films

Happy December! Congrats on making it through the dreary post-summer bleakness of September & the surprisingly arctic October & November. To be honest, Christmas for me began as soon as we took down the Halloween decorations, but i've been modestly holding back my festive excitement until December broke... Well, sort of. I am writing this November 31st!
Needless to say, I love Christmas and there's little I love more than a Friday night in with my mam, a box of celebrations (or heroes but NEVER quality street) and an Xmas classic. 
Here are some of my faves (in no particular order).

1) Love Actually
I actually (haha) only watched this for the first time last Xmas day after my mam slated it for being boring and I LOVED IT. It's a romantic, heart warming, laugh out loud funny Christmas spectacular, one of those films that would be decent anyway but is twice as good because is set at CHRISTMAS! It's British which I like as it feels more down to earth and real, and has an insane star studded cast. Like really. Not joking. I'm rubbish with celebrities but every 2 second you find yourself going 'OMG I love him, what was he in?'... We're talking Bill Nighy, Kiera Nightly, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Martin Freeman, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Rowan Atkinson, Joanna Page, the adorable little boy from Nanny Mcphee, Tiffany off Eastenders and SO many more.

2) The Santa Clause
I first watching this about 7 years ago in school and it is sooo good. I haven't heard too much about this film from other people, but I just love it (even if it does have 2 pretty shite sequels)! 
It follows Tim Allen as a pretty useless dad who, when looking after his adorbs son Charlie one Christmas Eve, accidentally scares Santa who in turn falls of their roof and... Dies? Wow. This film is a lot darker than I remember...
It's actually really funny and super Christmassy. Tim Allen has to then BE Santa Claus to replace the guy he sort of accidentally killed. The plot sounds lame and i'm normally not a fan of any film that messes with the traditional idealism of how Santa does his thing by making it too modern but it's actually so good an I highly recommend it to anyone.

3) White Christmas
We're into the classics now. If you're in the market for something a bit more old fashioned than this is IT. Don't be put off by it being a bit older though, this 1954 classic features original king of Xmas. Bing Crosby and his mates singing it up in an inn in Vermont. It's romantic and has a classic soundtrack that will really get you into the Christmas spirit. It features 2 American, world war 2 soldiers and 2 performing sisters and a coincidentally shared Christmas. Brilliant and heart warming.

4) Miracle on 34th Street
Now, when I say Miracle on 34th Street, I mean the 1947 ORIGINAL, not the crappy 90's remake, DO NOT BE FOOLED. This may be up there as one of my faves. This magical classic takes place in New York and was clearly the modern Christmas tale of the time as it features a man working as Santa Clause in a Macy's department store, only to claim that he is in fact father Christmas himself. The tale follows him his relationship with event director of Macy's, Doris (NOT romantic relationship, it's not that kind of film) and her young daughter Susan who doesn't believe in Santa. This really is so heart warming and it's amazing despite being in black and white. PLEASE don't judge the film based on that because you soon forget and it becomes one of the greatest Xmas films you've ever seen. Absolutely magical yet somehow totally radical.

5) Nativity!
Featuring the lovely Martin Freeman, Nativity! is what i'd describe as warm and cozy. If you went to primary school in 90's or 00's in the UK, this film will 100% give you complete nostalgia. The decorated classrooms, the groups of friends and the indescribable excitement about a primary school nativity show will all come whizzing back to you, and the slightly ridiculous plot will seem a distant memory. It's funny and light hearted. Love it.
Warning: the sequel's only saving grace is David Tennant, but the follow sequels really are a shower of shit, like not joking so just leave it at the one film.

6) The Holiday
Another romantic escapism, this film jumps you to and from LA and Surrey at Christmas Time. Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz - she's actually okay in this) are both heart broken about a week before Christmas and, needing a getaway, do a house swap over the festive period. You get a strange yet marvellous concoction of American cliché and British love story, giving women the power to say FUCK OFF to the same bastards that have treated us so badly all year, and HELLO to our new lives waiting on the other side of the world. It's cliché but its cute, and is again v funny.

7) Home Alone
Surely everyone's seen this one, right? Meet Kevin. Drowned under a massive family of dickheads, all this little boy wants is a Christmas to himself. So, when the whole family are running late and rush off to their flight on Xmas day, Kevin is left home alone. It's a slapstick comedy to die for and full of Christmas cheer, and guess what... The sequel's actually really decent! Unheard of.

8) Elf
Another one everyone must have seen! Will Ferrell brings a funny, modern Christmas film set in a department store (sound familiar?). Actually, the film is covered with Miracle on 34th Street references, but that's by the by. This is actually an amazing film and I'm pretty sure is the highest grossing Xmas film of all time. Probably hated by hipsters because it's overplayed so much on TV, Elf brings a heart warming, American story of a human elf seeking his Dad in New York and finding love along the way. I've never been the biggest Will Ferrell fan (don't hate him, just don't love him) but he does this film proud and for some reason is another movie that just gives me total nostalgia. 

9) Arthur Christmas
This is another fairly new addition; I think I watched this 2 years ago. I wasn't expecting much, but I actually really like it! It's an animation about the whole Clause family, including hapless and useless grandson Arthur and how he proves himself one Christmas. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it seeing as it is one of those more modern Xmas films that's trying to bring Christmas eve into the 21st century with big spaceships and stuff. Despite all that, it's really enjoyable and describes the whole Santa, Christmas eve process in a way that I for sure would have thought about as I was trying to sleep if it had been around when I was a youngster. Good one for kids, but defo wouldn't rule it out for an adult. 

10) The Muppet Christmas Carol
Okay, so I think this might be my fave Christmas film of all time! I'm not going to go into the story of A Christmas Carol because we've all heard and been bored ridged with a million times after remake after remake, but this film is brilliant. Half humans, half muppets, the cast perform out the story alongside some absolute belters of songs. I don't mind the premise of the original story, but the Muppets bring a subtle comedy factor through 2 muppet storytellers the whole way through and, in my opinion, my the story better! I can't even count how many times i've seen it, all I know is when I first watched it as a 10 year old, I was pretty mesmerised. Again, the 'running over Christmas eve' style of the story gives me excited Xmas jitters, and the movie feels just as magical as the first time I ever saw it. I truly love this film, and I urge ANYONE to see it who hasn't already.

So, those are my absolute, bestest, most favourite Christmas films of all time. I hope this has inspired someone to try something new or relive an old classic. 


Sunday, 13 November 2016

A letter to me, in a year

Dear Me,
Hi. How’s it going. So you’re 18 now. An adult. Oh dear… You’ve always been a procrastinator, but I hope more than anything at over the past year you actually got you shit together enough to pass your exams and go to university, Manchester ideally. Anyway, if you’re not reading this from your uni halls, WHAT HAPPENED?!
I hope you still talk to your friends and family often and see them as much as possible. I hope you’re proud of everything you’ve achieved over the last year and have got some sort of a functional romantic life together (probably not but I’m aiming high here)…
I hope you have few regrets and are just, HAPPY. I want more than anything for you to be happy. What’s you brother up to as well? Atm he has plans to next year possibly move home and do an access course. Did he make it? What about Heather?
Not much else really, just don’t give up and don’t dwell on the negatives.
Oh, btw Donald Trump has been elected this past week and was truly devastating. I hope he hasn’t been a total dick by the time you read this. Is he even still alive?

Yours truly, you.


Tuesday, 8 November 2016


Everyone's been there. You're lacking any kind of motivation or inspiration to stick to something you REALLY want to achieve. Often, someone will tell you that if you lack motivation to do something you simply don't want it badly enough. True, if you want it badly you have to be prepared to put the work in to get there, however everyone needs reminders along the way that all the slogging will be worth it in the end. For me, the aim is university.
I am currently studying my A levels and am notorious for leaving any kind of revision till the last minute, which really isn't an option for me any more given my aspirational grades. So, whatever you're working towards, here are some of my fave quotes i've found over my time trekking through pinterest (incidentally probably when I should have been revising!) that have helped me remember that all the boring study hours will only ever help me get closer to my dream. I hope they can also be of use to you.


Sunday, 2 October 2016

Current Favourites - 2/10/16

Hi! It's been a while... Here are my new faves and stuff I've been generally loving, enjoy!

Estée lauder double wear concealer
I ‘borrowed’ my friends one of these on holiday and loved it! It has incredible coverage, is long lasting and has a yellow undertone that matches my skin tone well. It’s lightweight and, although a little pricey, sits really nicely on the skin.

Real Techniques miracle complexion sponge
I bought this a couple of months back, following the massive hype around beauty blenders, and adore it! I use it primarily to blend in concealer but it just seems to do it really well without leaving it streaky or buffing it away. I also want to try spraying it with a bit of MAC Fix + and using it for foundation which works well for dry skin apparently. Alas though, I dropped it in my room at some point and I’m pretty sure it landed in the bin because I cannot find it anywhere. I’ll have to invest in another one.

Essie nail polish – In Stiches
I don’t have too much to say about this one to be honest! I love essie polish, its glossy, dries quickly and long lasting, not to mention its array of colours including this one which is a complete holy grail for me right now. It’s a lovely dark, pinkish, slightly browney nude that seems to go with everything and really complements my skin tone. LOVE!

Podcast: Serial series 1
On a slightly stranger note, I was on holiday last in Ireland month with my mum, brother, friend and sister in law. My step-mum had recommended us this free to download podcast and we decided it listen to it in the car as it was a very drivey holiday. I never listen to podcasts but am pretty in love with audiobooks and that’s pretty much what it was. It was honestly one of the most gripping and amazing stories ever! It follows an investigative journalist in America looking into a 1999 murder case of which someone was convicted and has since been in jail. However, as she begins to study the case, many twists and turns make it almost impossible to crack and the fact that it’s real just makes it all the more exciting! I have never been so transfixed. I would constantly lie awake and think about it, try and figure it out ; I became pretty obsessed!
I don’t want to give too much away but it really is brilliant. I would recommend it to everyone and anyone, especially anyone a fan of making a murderer and shows like that. Just download it!

Harry Potter film series
I’ve always loved HP, as have my family, but my brother had forgotten most of what had happened and conjured up the idea that we spend 2 weeks watching them all through. It also happened to be his last week at home with us as he moved out the day after we watched the last film. It was a really nice family thing to do together and also reminded me how much I love the films. Warning: watching them back to back is weird! Becomes rather emosh to watch them grow up if, like me, you grew up with the actors and with the film series. If you’ve somehow got through life never seeing any HP, I highly recommend it. Its brill.

Troye Sivan – Blue Neighbourhood
I rarely get obsessed with a particular artist/album, but Troye has to be an exception. This isn’t a new favourite, I’ve been listening to his album for months now and am frankly shocked I haven’t mentioned him already. I first discovered him on Youtube. I love his videos and when he released his first EP, I have to be honest I wasn’t too bothered. However, I LOVED and still love the BN debut track Wild and it drew me to listen to the whole album… LOVE IT. I have it saved as offline on spotify. That says it all. I particularly recommend Wild (of course), but also Heaven, Ease and For Him. It’s so goooood just give it a listen.

Whittard hot chocolate
Basically just the nicest hot chocolate! I’m really not into the watery, instant shit so when I discovered this I was loving life. Its creamy, smooth and comes in loads of different flavours: white, dark, salted caramel and (my personal fave) mint. I like coffee but don’t like to overload my system with too much caffeine and so a hot chocy on a cold autumn evening is lush.

Natalia Taylor
I’ve found a new Youtuber I love! Her name is Natalia and I think we might just be soul sisters. One of her videos got really popular recently and she popped up on my recommended page. She’s a part time model and mostly makes “story time” videos that I just love. I really identify with her humour and I look forward to watching her videos at the end of the day.

That’s all this week