Sunday, 18 January 2015

The breakup.

You know it has to happen at some point in your life, you just know. That first, heart shattering, world changing break up. You live in hope and disbelief that it hasn't happened yet. You kid yourself you've got it right first time and you've miraculously avoided all Bridget Jones scenarios. 
Then it hits you like a fucking train. And whether you saw it coming or not it doesn't make the impact any less. You're torn down to a tiny fetus like shadow of your former self. Light hurts and talking is impossible. You're filled with nothing but grief and nausea. If you're lucky you'll have friends that force feed you and drug you so you can sleep. If you're unlucky you'll lie awake at night relieving every tiny detail and wondering how you could've done it differently. How you could've changed his mind. If you're really unlucky you'll do both. You'll have sleeping tablet induced dreams of normality that seem so real, when you wake up and feel it all again you'll be back to square one. It's shit. You'll do this for weeks on end. Go about your normal business, or at least try to. People at work will wonder what on earth has happened; you look ill, you look pale, are you okay? You'll nod and walk away because you physically can't verbalise it. Its too much to comprehend, it doesn't seem real yet. 
You'll reach out and find solace in the weirdest things. If you're a sadist you'll trawl over old texts, photos, his social media. You might try and cut contact together. Neither helps. Neither heals. You're still left alone at night sobbing yourself to the safety of a dreamless sleep for a very few hours. 
It doesn't last though. That emptiness, the numbness, the pain. It begins to fade. Gradually you'll have a few hours where it doesn't cross your mind. Hours will turn into days and soon your grief:normality ratio will turn around. The sun will shine a bit brighter and someone will make you laugh. You'll realise you haven't heard yourself laugh in too long. You'll start to think of life beyond this hole and what it could hold. You'll make plans. Book flights. Book appointments you'd always wanted but never had the balls or inclination to book. You'll join a gym. Eat healthier. Start to feel better.
All it takes is time. I lost count of the amount of times I wished I could fast forward until I felt better. But you need to feel that, need to have your heart smashed into pieces so it forces you to go round finding them. Discarding the bits you actually never thought worked for you and stitching yourself back together. Piece by piece. And you'll be stronger for it. The wounds will heal and the scar tissue will never let you forget but it'll make you stronger. Better. 

Make a sassy playlist and play it loudly. Cry. Scream. Get in the shower for hours so the water runs into your ears and you can't hear yourself think. Lean on your friends, hard. Talk. Or don't. Give yourself time to heal. Avoid Ed Sheeran and Adele. Avoid happy couples. Do things that make you happy. Be selfish. 

You will be okay. It will take a long time. I'm nowhere close to being okay. But I'm closer than I was last week and the week before that. Listen to people's advice but ultimately, do what you have to do. Be careful. Learn to love yourself again. Learn to be happy on your own. It will come. Believe. 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Life | Dear Sam Pepper

I don't know if you've seen, but Sam Pepper (a YouTube I'd previously had no knowledge of, although wasn't he in big brother years ago?) has released a video on his YouTube channel of one of his 'pranks' (it seems he does this type of thing a lot) in which he accosts young beautiful women on the street with a pretence of asking where the apple store is, only to secretly grope them with his hand whilst they're looking the other way. Ha ha ha. He squeezes their bum and then blames it on an unsuspecting member of the public who's walking passed at the same time. Ha. All of the girls look anything from mortified, embarrassed, shocked and a little scared with one girl saying "I don't like that, I don't like that" 

I'll tell you why I have a problem with this, and it's really made my blood boil...Firstly, it's just a prime example of some arrogant little shit using women for his own enjoyment, without any thought to how it makes them feel. Women's bodies are not the play thing of any man who sees fit to use them, and to do so, film it and then put it on the internet?! It's lower than low. Ask any girl, anywhere about this sort of thing and they'll tell you it happens daily. Sometimes in broad daylight in the  street, sometimes verbally. It's embarrassing and creepy, we all hate it. Even worse, in a club when some guy thinks because you've got a drunk in hand, a pair of heels on and you're dancing means you're 'fair game' and will therefore touch you, grind up against you or put his hand up your skirt. If this ever happens to me, I turn around and ask the guy exactly what he thinks he's doing touching me without my permission. It's usually enough to then make them walk off, sometimes I have to make a scene to make them go away and realise I'm serious. I will always do so though because the sooner men in general realise that this is not ok behaviour, the better. 

The second thing that bothers me so about this video is the comments. I know the internet is not one for censorship and everyone is entitled to their own opinion but so, so many people (mostly men but also some women) saying the video was ok because the girls didn't seem bothered prove just how normal this type of behaviour is. And it's terrifying! Because Louise from sprinkle of glitter (@SprinkleofGlitr) is right in the sentiment that I want any future daughters of mine to grow up in a world where her body is hers, and sacred and respected by everyone. Not groped all for a joke and a few likes on a YouTube video. 

I've posted about feminism before and it's a controversial topic but nothing moves me more than seeing such casual sexism glorified and promoted by idiots such as Sam Pepper. 

So, if you're reading this Sam, or any Sam fans, any men or women who think this sort of behaviour is okay...imagine your daughter or sister or girlfriend or best friend or even mother in the position of one of those poor unsuspecting girls that Sam groped and see if you don't just want to rip the moron's hand off. It is not okay, it is assault. There is nothing right with touching someone without their consent, and if you find yourself a victim of such an event then cause a scene, and tell the person in no uncertain terms to never touch you again lest he suffer your wrath. Your body is YOUR BODY and can only be touched with YOUR CONSENT.

The world is full of idiots. Do not become another one.  this is a great video from @JackHoward about consent. Watch it a hundred times and take note. 

EDIT: I apologise for the ranty off the hip post, but it's something i felt strongly about and couldn't leave without adding my piece. I know it is not all men, before anyone points this out. However not all sharks have eaten people and they're still seen as dangerous as a species. There are plenty of really decent guys out there. But unfortunately there's just as many bellends. I won't apologise for that. 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Review | Birkenstocks; shoes to wander the world in!

With less than a week to go until my Trek America trip the preparations are in full swing! Hopefully you've seen my Hand Luggage post, that bag is all packed and ready to go just waiting a few last minute additions! I'm constantly thinking about packing my suitcase and watching all the videos I can find on YouTube. I've got lists for everything coming out of my ears and I'm lapping up any information I can get in relation to my upcoming travels! 

I'm in love with Victoria from In the frow's channel and she has some excellent packing and travel tips that I've written down and am using to pack my case!! I've also read all of Monica from The Travel Hack's posts on trek America and am constantly bugging poor Rosie from A Rosie Outlook for her experiences and advice! I'm a woman possessed!  

One vital preparation I have made is ensuring I've got the right shoes. It sounds stupid but it would be tragic to travel halfway across the world to explore exciting cities and new places only to moan half way round because I've got blisters! With that in mind I headed to Schuh for some comfortable yet stylish sandals. 

Enter my perfect Birkenstocks! These are the Rio 2 style in white with an ankle strap in addition to the iconic slider style toe strap. I wanted a sturdy pair that would look good walking round San Francisco but I could also explore the national parks without fear of breaking an ankle, getting a blister or losing my shoes and these fit the bill perfectly. I'm not sure why I went for white, as I'm definitely more of a black accessories girl but actually I'm really happy with them and have worn them loads! They go with everything and are seriously comfortable. Like, seriously -I could hike up a mountain in these -comfortable. 

Birkenstocks are really well made and are timeless in style so I know these will last me for years to come. I'm excited to wander the world in these! 

Life | Harry Potter's Biggest Fan?

(Photo Pinterest) 

Ask anyone I know and they'll tell you I'm a die hard lover of the Wizarding world, and I'll make no apologies for that. Ever since I read "Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say they were perfectly normal, thank you very much" I was hooked into JK Rowlings magical world. I grew up with Harry, Ron and Hermione and they taught me a lot. I remember devouring the first few books from a young age and then awaiting the next one with a violent impatience. It became, and had remained an obsession. I've got the books in every format possible, and several copies of the films. I've been to the studio tour twice, and have the Deathly Hallows tattooed on my foot. But I know that being a Harry Potter fan isn't about the material possessions you've's about really living and loving the stories and continuing to learn from them every time you read them.

When I saw a tweet asking for Harry Potters biggest fans to make themselves known I instantly fired off an email to get involved. To celebrate the opening of Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the people at Florida4Less are trying to find the ultimate Harry Potter fan. So here's my entry! A little poem. I hope my complete adoration for JK Rowling and the world she created is clear from my effort! 

Magic is why I love Harry Potter. 
Magic is what drew me in.
Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin.
The Wands and the brooms, 
The magical rooms
The wizards and witches and spells. 
I was hooked.

Friendship is what I learnt from Harry Potter.
Friendship is what kept me there.
As solid as a Bludger, hurtling through the air, 
he protected them and they fought for him. 
Even when he had no plan, only Ron did despair 
(But he came back. Dumbledore knew he would care)
They followed him into the unknown and never left his side. 
That is the pride,
the loyalty of Gryffindor. 

It excited me, I felt they were my friends too and we were in this journey,
travelling this unknown path together.
From Hogsmeade to the Forest of Dean
Whatever the weather, 
The trio of friends were on a quest, 
And it was up to me, the reader to invest 
my time and my childhood to reading along. 
Rowling didn't just write about magic, she weaved actual magic 
with her pen as her wand. 

I couldn't get enough. 
I'd lock myself in my room for hours, 
Imagining myself in Hogwarts, the astronomy tower.
Lost in the adventures and triumphs and heartbreak 
of the boy who lived. 
The misfit with the most honourable aim,
to die for love. 
Who just strolled into the head of a woman on a train
who wrote for us. 
Exquisite. The world she has created, the evil she has slain, 
how can something so intricate, so detailed 
Be encapsulated by just a name.
Harry Potter. 

Even now, as an adult it is the world that I love, 
The notion that imagination was my most powerful spell, 
And friendship the most potent potion
you could have. 
It wasn't the Death eaters, or the Dementors or the Dark Lord 
the twists and the turns, the action galore.
It was a boy! The chosen one, The Boy Who Lived that won!
The Potters' son. 
In a story about loyalty, bravery, courage and heart
Where from the start he faced adversity and hell
That in the end, he taught me
"All was well."

"Whether you return by page or by screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home"

Monday, 15 September 2014

Travel | hand luggage essentials.

In preparation for my exciting trip to the US, I've been constantly hunting down what's in my hand luggage posts and videos and taking notes! I've made a few sneaky preparation purchases based on what I've learnt and pulled some important items from the sample stash I seem to have acquired! Here's what I plan to include so far. I'm writing this a bit before I go so I've got time to add in anything you think I'm missing. Please let me know in the comments or on twitter as it's been so long since I've been on a long haul flight, I don't want to miss anything out! 

1. A travel pillow 

This is the J pillow and is a relatively new concept to the travel pillow world...whilst the original travel pillows are U shaped, the J pillow has extra 'wings' that can be used to support the chin and neck. You know when you're travelling, even if you've got a travel pillow your head seems to either flop all over the place or end up on the strangers shoulder next to you? The J pillow stops all that and is just a revolution. I got mine from amazon and have tested it on a couple of long car journeys and whilst sitting at home...I can confirm it is genius and I will be the envy of all on my plane! 

2. Headphones 

Obvious. What's cool to listen to these days? Let me know what your favourite songs/albums are at the minute, I need some new music to listen to! 

3. Travel documents. 
This gorgeous document wallet is from Bombay Duck and houses all my tickets, passport and spending money in one really cute place. It's not a necessity but I couldn't resist. 

3. Electronics. 

My iPad, kindle and iPhone. I'll also be taking my iPhone and camera but they're currently otherwise engaged during this post! 

4. A clear plastic bag...
This is the bit I've done the most research on, if I'm honest! 

The lineup so far includes; face wipes, moisturiser, eye cream, tissues, cotton pads, eye mask, rollerball perfume, miceller water, toothpaste, concealer, hand cream (x3...) facial SPF, hand sanitizer, lip balm (disguised as nipple cream...don't ask) and ear plugs. I'm planning to add in a blemish treatment, a toothbrush, a hairbrush and clips, tablets (incase of headaches etc). 

5. Spare top and underwear 
I'll save you the photos on this, they're pretty self explanatory too. It'll be nice after a long flight to be able to change and feel slightly fresher. I'm also paranoid about my luggage getting lost and being without clean pants...nightmare! 

6. Sunglasses and reading glasses.

7. Notebook and pen
Vital for the travel diary I intend on keeping, any plane games we want to indulge in (classics include squares, noughts and crosses and the alphabet game) and for any details I need to write down and keep safe! 

8. Portable charger 

While I am taking a camera and iPod, my phone is my default for both those functions and using it a lot will inevitably cause a serious battery drain! I don't fancy being stranded abroad with no way of being contacted so this is an absolute necessity! 

All of this is neatly housed in this gorgeous pastel leather rucksack from Topshop. 
This was a summer purchase inspired by Victoria at In The Frow's beautiful purple backpack. I couldn't quite stretch to an exact copy but this one suits all my needs and will look cute with all the outfits I'm taking! Perfect for leaving my hands free whilst sight seeing and exploring the West Coast! 

What are your hand luggage essentials? Have I missed anything out?!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Books | 'Because she loves me' Mark Edwards.

After recently speaking to the lovely Mark Edwards (@mredwards) on twitter recently about my love for his first book The Magpies (if you haven't read it I seriously suggest you go and find it!) he kindly offered my the opportunity to review his new book 'Because she loves me' before it was released. 

I finished reading 'Because she loves me' in about 2 days. It's one of those books that grabs you and sucks you in until you're reading so fast you're missing bits out and you have to remind yourself to slow down (tell me it's not just me who does this?) 

Because she loves me is written from the male perspective of Andrew as he meets his seemingly perfect girl, Charlie. It's a book about jealousy and the destructive nature of that particular emotion. I also thought it portrayed well the idea that real monsters are closer to home than you care to imagine. There's lots of twists and turns in this book, the most surprising of which coming right at the end.

Now I'm all for plot twists and I'm never one to turn my nose up at a surprise ending but I found the end of 'because she loves me' was such a total twist that it fell a bit flat for me. I think maybe I was so caught up in how I thought it was going to end that I was disappointed I was so wrong! Saying this, it didn't ruin the book for me at all, I loved the suspense and the ambiguity of everything that happened. Edwards is very good at weaving a thick plot web so you're never sure what's going on or what's coming up! The characters are genuine and believable and I found myself really liking Andrew and enjoyably disliking Charlie, which I'm sure is the intended effect! 

Let me know what you think if you give 'because she loves me' a read! It's well worth it and if you can guess the twist at the end I'll give you a pound*! 

*i won't actually be giving anyway any money. 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Life| Dear 16 year old me...

Dear 16 year old me,
Hey girl! How's it going? So you're just about to start college and you're dead excited, right? I know you're really worrying about college and making new friends. Don't. You make tons of new friends, and still keep your old ones (the ones that matter) can I give you some advice though? Don't wear that black top on the day you have your photo taken, you'll regret it every time you get your student card out. Also, don't imagine for a second that biology will be interesting. It's not and you'll fail it anyway. You'll enjoy college though, you've always thrived when you're learning. Join the netball team and the dance club because you'll wish when you're older you'd kept up those hobbies! Get back to learning the piano too, for the same reason. Don't get your ear pierced halfway up, it'll hurt and get infected. Do experiment though. Get your sternum done like you really want (mum and dad don't care!). 

Life wise, you'll be okay. You'll be more than okay, in 6 years I can promise you you will be astounded at what you've acheived, and so so proud. I won't tell you what will happen or where you're going because half the fun is finding those things out! Stop worrying about boys though. You're okay, you're not as ugly as you think you are and honestly no one cares about your braces. They're not the reason you can't find a boyfriend! You don't need a boyfriend. Have fun. You've got high standards and not many people meet them. Stay calm. Study hard. Join a gym, eat healthier. It will help with your skin and self esteem but you don't need to lose weight, trust me. 

Stop spending all your money. Save some for a rainy day, you'll need it. You're not going to work at Asda all your life so stop being so miserable about it, be happy that you're lucky you have a job that pays well. And actually it will be the reason for a massive life change for you so hold on tight to that green shirt and roll with the punches. Smile more at work aswell. You'll thank me for it. 
Stop using face wipes, start reading blogs. Caroline Hirons is your first point of call, the rest will come from there. Enrich yourself. Read up on feminism. Make friends with people you think are a bit odd, they'll teach you the most. Learn sign language. Learn any language actually, it'll be so much help in the future (try polish. Seriously, learn it now). Endulge your passions while you've got the time and no responsibilities. Consider a gap year, you'll wish you did it later on. 

Your parents love you, a lot. Whatever is to come they never stop loving you. Look after your little brother. He won't get into the army and he'll be heartbroken but promise him from me it's for a better reason and good things are to come. 

Overall, be happy my little flower. You're smart, you're healthy and you've got amazing friends. Spend more time with them. Treasure every moment of the life you're living now. You're coming into you order prime, it will be amazing. Look forward to the unknown, don't be frightened. You achieve everything you want to, and much more, so continue to work hard it's so worth it. The good times don't ever stop. 
Stop worrying. 

All my love and best wishes. Make good choices (don't cut your hair!) 

22 year old you (I'm not that old, I heard that).