Let's Get Lost

Friday, 23 September 2016

One of my favourite things to do when I move to a new place is take my camera and just walk, take everything in, all the new streets, the new people, new places. That's hard to do when you've lived in the same place for two years but even with just moving down the road there will always be somewhere new that you haven't explored. I took my camera and followed the river, right past a residential estate, past some industrial buildings and then I began to hear water, I continued to walk and I was greeted with this beautiful water-fall-like weir and a little beach and it has already become my new favourite place. There's a sweet shop and a chip shop up the road from it as well so I just know I'm going to end up here with a portion of chips and just my thoughts, sounds like sheer bliss to me. I found my new favourite place today and all I had to do was step out of my door and aimlessly wander, with no sense of direction or destination. 

If you've moved to a new place this September or you haven't fully explored the place you have lived for years, do it. It makes you feel so free and tranquil just wandering around with no purpose. You might just find your new favourite thinking spot. Getting lost is healthy and triggers all sorts of creative and calming thoughts.

Now go get lost. 

A Not So Blue Monday

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

This week has been filled with studious activity and a weekend filled with alcohol and cheesy music. It's been a rather good week, I am now rather dead. Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

- Gaga's release date - I've been having Gaga withdrawals since over-listening to Art Pop and I need new things. Perfect Illusion was released last week but I wasn't too keen on it, but I'm hoping the rest of the album which is executively produced by Mark Ronson is much more reined in on the dance tunes and as long as there are some decent and unusual pop ballads in there that I can scream a long to in the shower I will be a happy bunny. Also it's released on Halloween which is perfect I'm so bloody excited. 

- Being Studious - I've been planning my dissertation and after a trip to the local library I've been feeling really on top of things, I'm genuinely excited to do my best at this and hopefully (fingers crossed) get it published. 

- A night out in Glasgow - All of my school friends joined together on Saturday for a huge night out for one of my friends Birthday. It was so nice to see everyone and catch up with them, we went to clubs and because there was a huge group of us we got given free things all night. With added drama of the fire brigade and getting lost at 2 am it was a very memorable night out, And also on a plus side, no anxiety was felt all night Yasssss!

- Culottes - On that night out I decided to go a little out of my comfort zone and order some culottes. When they arrives I wasn't too sure but when I paired them with a belly top and some chunky jewellery and sandals I fell in love with culottes and I've already got my wishlist on Asos for when my student loan comes in and it's safe to say there are a few culottes in there!

- Catastrophe - After watching Fleabag I wanted a similar kind of thing and then I remembered about this Tv series, so I started watching it and finished season 1 in a night which is not good because there are only 2 series oh dear. The humour in it is so sarcastic and raw, the characters are relatable and it's brilliant at tackling the taboo subject of pregnancy and children and showing a different side to parenting, absolutely hilarious but also really thoughtful. 

What I have been listening to: Still on that Bastille train and not getting off anytime soon, I've been listening to the extended edition which has some extra, brilliant, more balladey' songs. 

How was your Monday?


A Not So Blue Monday

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Yep, yep I'm a day late but I've been too busy making new friends and having a blast so that's better than any other excuse I've made. This week has been filled with settling into my new home and planning for the academic year ahead, which I thought would be scary but looking at everything I need to do and mapping out my dissertation plans I'm actually feeling quite positive and dare I say it quite excited (we'll see how that goes a few weeks down the line). Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

- My new humble abode - As much as I love being at home it can get a little bit claustrophobic. I like to have my own space especially when I need to study a lot. My new home is lovely, I love my new room (room tour coming soon) and I love my new housemates to bits. They're both doing a PGCE course which means that all of our social lives are going to fall at the way side, but at least we can be old and grumpy together yeyy! The best part of moving to where I am though is the fact that there's a Lidl so near, as I'm writing this post I can literally see it out of my window! Oh my, think of all the cheap veg I can pick up I am so happy!

- New crystals - I visited a gem and rock museum recently and I picked these little wonders up. I chose amethyst because it's one of my favourite crystals and it is the stone of sobriety and protection, I already have an amethyst key ring that I take on night outs and it makes me feel much more comfortable so I thought I would feel even more comfortable if I had a slab of it by my bed as well. I also bought a piece of rose quartz because it is meant to clean the air and ease anxiety and even if crystal healing is just a placebo if it works for me I don't mind putting a rock on my head and wrists once in a while! Lastly I picked up some green agate just because it was pretty but as my mum discovered, green agate is my secondary birth stone, so I accidentally chose my birth stone and now I feel a true connection to this little piece of marbled green rock and after researching it also has qualities to ease anxiety and help with sleep, strange.        

- First night out as a third year - We went out, we had a blast, danced the night away etc. etc. But the next morning I had work and spent my whole shift teetering on the edge of passing out because I was so 'tired' (hungover). Why does this make me happy? Because I completed this shift without the inevitable happening and I feel proud of that, I willed my poor body to carry on and it did and I rewarded it afterwards with hummus and a massive nap, my body is a fucking temple and all that!

- Fleabag - Gareth and I watched one episode about a month ago but I forgot to catch up again. I watched the whole series last night and absolutely loved it. It was so clever and funny and realistic and un-realistic at the same time and relatable and the breaking of the 4th wall didn't fall flat it was done so cleverly, loved it and might just watch it again. 

What I have been listening to:

Bastille - Wild World - I've been waiting for so long for this to come out and now it has I can't stop listening to it. It's very early days right now but my favourite songs so far are 'fake it' their new single and the last track on the album 'winter of our youth' it's so anthemic and the album as a whole is much more mature in a way that you can tell this is a second album. I'm also so glad they've kept the inserts from random 80's and 90's  films and soundtracks that they have on their live shows which they're now kind of known for. Must go and see them live, I must. 


How was your Monday?

A Not So Blue Monday

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

This week has consisted of spending time with family seems as my Nanna's over from Ireland and I don't get to see her a lot  and I'm going back to Uni soon, which I'm so ready for now. I've got a list of organisational things to do when I get back before Uni actually starts and I can't wait to get back on track and settle in with my new housemates,haven't got long to wait now. Here are the things that have made me particularly this week:

-Nostalgic walks - We went for a walk yesterday around where I grew up and even though I couldn't really remember it, it was still nice to hear stories from when my parents were younger and even when my Nanna was younger because she lived in the same place for a while. I did take some photos but I was really struggling with the ISO and most of the photos came out brighter than expected, I do apologise. 

This isn't where I grew up btw, it's an old hotel just incase you got confused and thought I was a posh git. 

-My last horse and trap ride - Over this summer I got the wonderful opportunity to learn to drive a horse and trap. My neighbour/surrogate Grandad owns one and needed some help when his health was poor. So I began to learn how to set up the trap and drive it. I can now drive it completely on my own with my neighbour's guidance and I can even do 3 point turns, I am official now a country bumpkin and I couldn't be more proud. 

- Ellen - It was beautiful short film shown on channel 4 at something like 1 in the morning and it blew my mind. It was so sad and thoughtful and melancholy and the acting in it was absolutely amazing. Apparently it was made to express young female talent and it did just that, I would encourage you to watch it on catch up if you missed it because it was shown at such a ridiculous time and more people should know about it. 

 What I have been listening to:

Jamie T - Trick - It's his new album and it is just  spot on and just what I wanted it to be. He's gone back to his roots with a sped up punk riff followed with poetic indie lyrics, it's what he's known for and it works so why change it. Yes the lyrics are more grown up now seems as he's in his thirties but he hasn't lost that cheeky flare and story telling skills he's known for. My favourite tracks at the moment are Joan of Ark, TescoLand and Robin Hood, all the faster, punkier singles but I do appreciate his experimental, lyrical slower tracks too. I think I'll be listening to this album for a while. 


How was your Monday?

One Year Of Being Vegan

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

I've been vegan for bang on a year now and I have to say it's one of the best decisions I've made in my life. I remember the conversation Gareth and I had about transitioning and it was all his idea, I was a little apprehensive (can you believe that) and it was him that gave me the push to be a fully fledged vegan. This post isn't going to be preachy at all, I'm keeping it all positive and just talking honestly about my experience and how I feel and what not. 

The Idea of Being Vegan _____________________________________________________________

Before becoming vegan I was a vegetarian for 10 years, I decided as an 11 year old that I wasn't going to eat meat ever again. It just clicked one day and that was that, with a little help from my role model at the time Mr Stephen Patrick Morrissey and his music video to 'Meat is Murder' one of the most anti abattoir songs out there, I began to cut meat slowly out of my diet. I did it sensibly and slowly, I would eat meat on just Mondays and Fridays for my body to adjust to the change and then after a month of that I cut it out completely. It didn't occur to me to go vegan until 10 years later and this is because of two things; My own ignorance and the lack of motivation to explore other options and secondly, the stigma that surrounds veganism and all the pseudo science and ridiculous rumours about it being linked to eating disorders and vegans being bland, lifeless individuals with no energy that die early (yes this is actually what I read on one website when I was a kid). It scared me away and I stayed in my little veggie world for a long time, until Gareth began researching into veganism and both me and him decided to give it a go. Hats of to him aswell because he went straight from meat to vegan in a space of something ridiculous like 3 days! I wouldn't recommend that by the way, he's just a superman! When I transitioned to being a vegan I didn't think it was going to be much different to being veggie but I soon realised that there's a big difference. I was used to people asking me why I didn't eat meat, what I wasn't used to was people questioning my very beliefs and integrity. If I did have to tell someone I was vegan I was always hesitantly waiting for the influx of ignorant questions and sheer defensive disbelief from some. Others were obviously much more accepting but a lot of the time a conversation would un-ravel as follows: (This is my dramatic, slightly over exaggerated version of true events)

Person: Do you want a piece of cake?
Me: No thank you sorry 
Person: Why you saying sorry?
Me: Oh, cause I would I just can't 
Person: Why can't you?
Me: Oh, because I'm a vegan 
Person: Ah right so you don't eat meat?
Me: Or eggs or dairy 
Person: What do you eat then? 
Me: A lot of things erm, too many to list really
Person: Do you eat fish?
Me: Erm, no they're an ani-
Person: Cause one of my friends Linda doesn't eat meat and that but she eats fish 
Me: (Linda's a fucking hypocrite) Oh right well no I don't eat fish 
Person: Can you eat chocolate?
Me: No, well I can eat some dark chocolate but-
Person: Oh god no couldn't do that me I love chocolate and bacon too much HAHAHAHA!
Me: heh heh 
Person: Why did you go vegan then?
Me: Oh erm it's quite a personal belief really but (states personal belief that is dear to my heart)
Person: Yeah but they would be eaten anyway wouldn't they? And anyway there's loads of research to say that plants feel pain! Just go home and have a bacon sandwich lass
Me: (Rolls eyes and continues to eat non-carbonated, delicious chickpea wrap...)

Now I'm not having a go, well maybe I am actually but this is what a lot of conversations end like when I'm trying to talk about my lifestyle/eating habits and it's so annoying. That's why I tend not to tell people anymore unless I have to, just to make things easier. Now don't get me wrong some people are very open to the idea and I've actually influenced a few people to cut down on their meat and dairy intake which is great (in the words of Tesco every little helps). But when I became vegan I did not think for a second I would be negatively viewed by others, I've now realised that it is not my problem it's theirs. If a meat eater gets defensive and childish about veganism it's because they feel uncomfortable about their own ethics and decisions so don't allow yourself to be undermined by them because you already own the moral high ground between the two of you already. This is only to the meat eaters that are argumentative or aggressive towards me, most of them are nice and say nice things please remember that, but when the negative experiences start to add up, it makes you think. This is why you must do your research, backing your points up with facts is the best thing to do because then you actually have answers to their thousands of questions and you can still keep your integrity. 

Tips for New Vegans _________________________________________________________________

Changing your eating habits is hard, but changing your whole lifestyle is even harder. Here are some little tips I have for any new-bees that are trying to figure it out. 

Take your time - Do lots of research and as I've said before if you are still eating meat and dairy remember to begin slowly. You might not want to eat it but your body still will and you can't blame it for that it's been eating it for years, take your time and if you feel like you can't right now that's okay try again another time when you feel stronger. Be kind to yourself. 

Supplement if you need to - I personally don't take any supplements because I was already a veggie but if you feel more tired than usual or start to feel ill, go to your doctors and talk about which supplements to take. They should be positive about your new lifestyle but if they are not don't let them put you off, health specialists are not properly educated in diet and some of the food groups that they tell you to eat as a child can do more harm than good. 

It's Okay to Make Mistakes - Veganism is a learning experience and if you accidentally do eat some meat or dairy in something don't beat yourself up about it. You will find that there are surprise meat/dairy ingredients in a lot of things that will sneak up on you. You will find yourself shouting in the kitchen IN WHAT WAY DOES MILK IMPROVE THIS WHY IS THERE MILK IN THIS! Trust me. 

Don't Buy Tesco's Own Soya Hard Cheese - Just don't do it okay, it tastes like vomit. Think of the worst thing you've ever eaten and times that by ten! And it's something ridiculous like £2.50 no thank you. 

Keep Your Head Up and Do Your Research - I can't press this enough, you will be questioned and talked down to, it's just the way of the in-group out-group world and I'm sorry to say that at the moment we are the out-group. Make sure you do your research from reliable sources, watch documentaries, read books, memorise facts ready for the influx of questions to come. 

Enjoy Being Guilt Free - The best part of transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is feeling the guilt and the ignorance sliding off your shoulders. You will begin to listen to your body and you might be lucky enough to feel a spiritual connection to the earth or something like that, if you're into that hippy shit. Have fun being able to sleep at night knowing you're making a difference on a daily basis Yeyyy!

How I Feel _________________________________________________________________________

I didn't think I would feel such a drastic change not just in my body, but in my brain but I do. When I wake up in the morning I feel like I have so much more energy, I feel less sluggish and just generally in a much more positive mood. I used to be a terrible morning person and now I'm not too bad, don't get me wrong I'm still a night owl, but I can say now that I am a relatively okay morning pigeon. During the day if I eat properly I don't feel a lack of energy that I used to. It would get to around two in the afternoon and I would feel this wave of tiredness come over me and I wouldn't be able to concentrate on anything. I did lose weight when in my first few months of transitioning which I didn't really want (I didn't do it for that at all) but I soon gained it back and I have now been the same weight for six months or so which is great because I used to fluctuate so much. My brain feels much better from the change, yes I do still get crippling anxiety from time to time, but now I know about my relationship between food and my brain, I know what to give it to make it a little better. I don't believe you can cure your anxiety by going vegan, not by a long shot, but if you do it properly it can help a lot. 

Being vegan has really made me look into the relationship between your thought processes and the food you eat. I now realise why some people are going gluten free, I wouldn't myself because I don't need to but after researching,in times of bad anxiety I do cut out bread and sugar completely which really helps. Veganism has really allowed me to listen to my body and not just my brain, if my brain is craving something fatty and carby but my body needs nutrients and protein, I will for sure listen to my body because I know that I will feel better for it. It's about finding the balance really, I didn't become vegan because of health but doing it has really allowed me to look into my health and improve it and I'm very thankful for that. 

What I've learned from this is it's not just some fad diet that people shrink it down to because you know Beyonce and all the other celebs are doing it now. It's a lifestyle that takes hard work and an open mind but it really does make your soul shine and I am never going back, I love being vegan and I love all the positive benefits that come with it. I said this post wasn't going to be preachy but why not? Why shouldn't I preach about this lifestyle that I think everyone should just try because it doesn't just improve your life, it looks into the bigger picture, the future and from what I've read and experienced veganism is going to be a pretty prominent part of it. Join us, why not?

I would love to know if you are a meat or dairy eater and are thinking about transitioning? Also if you are a vegan please share your experiences I would love to read them. 


A Not So Blue Monday

Monday, 29 August 2016

This week has been filled with yet more goodbyes and even more wine. I said goodbye to Gareth as he heads back to Uni and it didn't get any easier, at least I know I'm seeing him October time and it will give me another thing to look forward to. Overall I feel much better than last week and am kind of itching to get back now, sort myself out and most importantly sort my room out, can't wait to have fairy lights up again it's the small things and having a space to yourself is very important to me. Not that I wont miss home but it's time to go now, I can feel it in my fingertips I need to learn things. Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

Bake Off - Yep it's back and that means cozy nights infront of the telly craving cake and biscuits that I can't eat. Only this year I've heard that there's a vegan on it, but taking it from the first episode where everyone used eggs, milk and chocolate I think that was a little rumour gone wrong. I did find an article about one contestant who said that vegan snacks helped him lose weight, hmmm. Still going to watch it though aren't I and salivate over everything they make. Also with bake off being on it is now officially autumn in my head and that means comfort food, blankets and more tea yassss. 

Early Anniversary - Ugh I hate calling it that but yeah, it's mine and Gareth's 5 year anniversary next week. But because he had to leave earlier we celebrated it early in our true style, staying in bed all day with veggie percy pigs and surprise flowers and a good film. It was perfect and I can't get over the fact it's been 5 years, that's a hefty time for a 21 year old! But I wouldn't change that time for anything (ew). 

Spontaneous Local Pub Britney Bash - During the week I had a day off from work, that it a rare occasion and some local friends and Gareth and I got a little tiddly and decided to head down to the local pub in the next town. We ended up staying there until closing time and owning the jukebox, everything was played from Pulp to Britney, Stevie Wonder to Madonna. It was hilarious to dance around like a madden' and watch the local's faces as they didn't know whether to laugh or be appalled  at what was happening in front of them. Safe to say we shuck up the place a little bit! We then got home and ate the weirdest drunk meal I have eaten in my life; a stuffed marrow. That's what happens when you have friends who are basically farmers and a boyfriend that's a top chef, it was delish and such a weird, yet incredibly enjoyable night!

This Perfect, Aesthetically Pleasing Video of My Cat - I was filming him on a whim for his fans on snapchat and then he goes and does this. Florence was playing in the background and it was just all too perfect to not filter into black and white and put it on Instagram. If there are any cat modelling agencies that would like to enquire drop me an email okay. 

What I have been listening to:

Frank Ocean-Blond - Radio 1 did a listening party and I just lay on the bed and chilled. Opinions are that I didn't like it as much as Channel Orange, but that album is perfect. Some of the songs were just down right annoying and lacked melody but at least they made me feel something, even if it was annoyance. I think it's one of those albums that's good for doing something to, I think I'll listen to it more when I'm studying but again, Frank has hit the nail on the head with lyrics, he's a bloody poet. 

Florence & The Machine-Songs from Final Fantasy XV - I heard about her soundtrack for Mrs Peregrines. but when I was trying to find it (hadn't been released yet) I came across this bunch of songs for what I'm guessing is a new Final Fantasy film? Whatever they're for they're beautiful and my favourite is Too Much is Never Enough, it's just so anthemic and so Florence and I'm so happy she's back in the form of film soundtracks, now another album please? Yeah?


How was your Monday?