A Not So Blue Monday

Monday, 27 June 2016

I know I haven't written a blog post in ages when I get itchy fingers and the urge to write something. So here I am, I'm back. These past 2/3 weeks have been really exciting, I went to Amsterdam which I'm currently in the process of writing a post about and I've been catching up with friends, doing charity walks, riding a horse and cart and taking the summer in its stride. I told you it was exciting, After Amsterdam and a few lazy days I was struck down in the prime of life with an un-known illness which wasn't fun, but now I'm back and raring to go! These are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

-Glastonbury footage- After finding out about the EU referendum result, I thought all hope was lost. We became a nation divided, abuse was thrown all over the internet and face to face, we hate the politicians and what they did to this country (especially the one that lied about the claim on that huge fucking bus) (you know the one). The news was extra negative and the only 'positive' take was the right wing media being smug and rubbing it in the lefties faces. I crawled into bed after a long day of staring at the news and worrying about my future, I turned on the telly and popped Glasto on and immediately my mood changed. I saw a crowd united as one, all music lovers all there for one reason, I saw Adele's set which was so good and so down to earth it brought me to tears, I saw so many bands speak out about how we need to love each other and stick together and I saw so many people having the time of their lives and it immediately cheered me up. My faith in humanity was restored and it was lovely to see there are still good things happening when a shitty situation is going on. 

- Game of Thrones- That battle scene was just omg, it was so clever and the shots were amazing and just the whole episode was just YASSSS! I don't think I exhaled for the whole episode. 

-Orange is the New Black- It's been a great time for telly recently and this particular series I think topped them all. It was dark and thoughtful and funny in all the right places, I think I might watch the whole series again very, very soon!

-Charity walk- Myself and the people I work with took part in a charity walk for The Guide Dog Trust. It was all uphill and more difficult than I thought it was going to be, but so rewarding because the views at the top were absolutely spectacular and we raised around £900. It was a lovely day to be with my fellow employees outside of work and it was so nice to do something outside of work for charity. 

-Winning an art competition- The castle that Gareth works at held an art competition the other day and I entered because I thought it would be a good way of getting a piece of work done for my none-growing portfolio. But to my surprise I won the category for under 24s and won a beautful box of Derwent colour soft pencils and £30! Alright going for something that I whipped up over 2 days, I think this will really motivate me to make more art and start putting together my portfolio. 

What I have been listening to:

Christine and the Queens- I have literally been obsessed with this woman and her dance moves! Her music is so unique and skilled and the fact she's French just puts a classy tone to everything she creates, I love her lyrics aswell and what they stand for. 

How was your Monday?

Tiny Little Film Reviews

Saturday, 11 June 2016

I'm back again with some tiny reviews and I have gathered quite a large pile. From cinema recents to old classics on netflix, in my last month of uni I got through a lot of films which shouldn't have really happened but ah well I needed to chill after all those assignments! I made a list on my phone as per' and here are the films I have watched recently:

Dear White People

"I listen to Mumford and Sons and watch Robert Altman movies . Do you really think I'm black enough for the Union?"

- Satirical, relevant, modern & smart. 

☽- 8 moons 

The Lobster 

"I just hope her pathetic screams can't be heard from my room, because I was thinking about having a lie down, and I need peace and quiet. I was playing golf, and the last thing I need is some woman dying slowly and loudly"

- Strange, slightly alarming & quirky. 

☽- 5 moons 


"Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I'm not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I've already felt."

- Poignant, thoughtful & stylish. 

☽- 7 moons 

Star Wars The Force Awakens

"I didn't know there was this much green in the whole galaxy."

- Classic plot line, watercolour-like scenery & robotic acting (not by the droids). 

☽- 4 moons 


"Everyone comes to Zootopia, thinking they could be anything they want. But you can't. You can only be what you are. Sly fox. Dumb bunny."

- Much more than a children's film,  many intuitive layers & really opens up simple conversation about deep,relevant issues.

☽- 9 moons 

10 Cloverfield Lane 

"I'm sorry, but no one's looking for you."

- Tense, claustrophobic & complex. 

☽- 8 moons

The Jungle Book

"They want to send you to the man-village? I say, you can be a man right here!"

- Nostalgic & modern at the same time, breathtaking. 

☽- 9 moons 

Hail Caesar!

"This is bad. Bad for movie stars everywhere."

- Great potential, hard to follow & meager plotline. 

☽- 3 moons

Begin Again


"You can tell a lot about a person by what's on their playlist."

- Uplifting, but deflated by the poor vocals. 

☽- 5 moons 

A pretty large list there, hope you enjoyed my little reviews I'm sure there will be more to come in the not so distant future. What films have you been loving?

Garden Appreciation

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Yesterday evening when I went up to the castle to see Gareth, my mum took us round the garden for a tour because she is brilliant with plants and knows all the names of the flowers, even the Latin ones! I myself am not a completely avid gardener, of course I appreciate flowers and nature in all its forms but I have to be in a certain mood to dig around in some soil. Gareth and my mum however will quite happily spend all day out there and I am pleased because this means I can photograph the beautiful plants that come out of a tiring process like gardening (I get the easy job). So I got a bit snap happy yesterday with my new camera and here are some of the photos I favoured, I've been practicing a lot with macro and I think I've just about cracked it:

It was a beautiful evening and as we were pre-occupied with the garden, a heavy mist from Scotland came round the corner and blended with the sunlight, it was amazing because you could actually see the mist moving along the hills. It could have almost been the set of a horror movie, if it wasn't so glorious and sunny at the same time, I then found a dock leaf that had been bitten multiple times, it was so delicate and fragile that you could see the light through it. 

Being around gardens and gardeners  has really made me appreciate nature and the hard work that has been put in to keep them maintained, I get to photograph this beautiful place because so many people work so hard keeping it so beautiful. I'm definitely going to educate myself in gardening much more and you never know, by next year I might even be able to know all of those Latin names! I'm so happy Gareth is living in this piece of paradise. In his own words 'when you're surrounded by things like this, there is nothing to complain about'. 

Do you appreciate your garden?

A Not So Blue Monday

Monday, 6 June 2016

I haven't been around here for a while, I thought it was time to take a wander past again. There is no excuse for not being around, I've just been settling into the rhythm of summer and reconstructing my daily routine, it's been pretty strange but I think I've got it down now. So hopefully I'll be wandering past here much more often. 

These are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

-Drinking with a pig- On Friday we had a shindig' at the castle and halfway through getting pretty gazebo'd we looked behind us and low and behold Huffer one of the resident castle pigs had broken out of her pen to join the party. As we cried with laughter she continued to knock over a bottle of prosecco and eat someone's shoe, it was at that moment I realised that drinking in the country is so much better than drinking in the city!

-A trip to Preston- Not so long ago we went to Preston for a week to do nothing but eat takeaways and watch films with some of my favourite people. It was the best rest bite week ever and I really needed it. I even classed it as a holiday because I felt so darn relaxed. 

-Summer clothes- When I was in Preston I took a trip to Primark and decided to stock up on a more updated summer wardrobe. I didn't expect to get as much as I did but I was pleasantly surprised. I'm hoping to do an outfit post this week to show you the lovely things I got for not much money. 

-Tinned red peppers- Yes it's a strange one, but these little beauties have improved my summer salads so much. I'd never tried them before and after watching a cooking program with them in I decided to try them, I didn't think they would taste any different but they're so much sweeter, they are the perfect thing for a wrap or a salad especially when pared with sun-dried tomatoes. 

-Peaky Blinders- I have always been an avid fan and while we were in Preston we celebrated the arrival of the third series with a Peaky marathon right from the start. Tommy Shelby is such a complex character and I just love everything about the production of it, the fashion as well, the plot, just everything. Also Cillian Murphy's cheek bones are pretty alright too!

-Game of Thrones- Unlike season 5 it wasn't a slow start and I have really been enjoying the storylines at the moment. Daenerys is kicking ass with her dragons and *whispers* is still alive what else could I ask for?!

-Being back with my cats- My cats make me happier than anyone could make me sometimes (sorry Gareth) their little paws and personalities are all I need to feel better after a shitty day. I've come to discover that a cats purr is actually my favourite sound in the whole world and after some research I found that it has healing and calming qualities. I'm going to start carrying Louie everywhere with me! Here are some more cute pics of Louie boo:

What I have been listening to:

This precious cover of I Took a Pill in Ibiza by Tom Odell- He's completely turned the whole song on its head and when the lyrics are stripped back, this upbeat dance tune becomes heartbreaking. 

How was your Monday?

New Camera & a Castle

Thursday, 19 May 2016

This week has been grand, I turned 21 and Gareth moved into his new workplace up the road from my house. This makes me excited for summer and what's coming around the corner, I love that we are living so close to each other but we're still living separate lives and working separate jobs. Also did I mention that the place where Gareth's volunteering is a castle? A bloody real, massive castle! And being good friends with the owner means I can come up and down to the castle as I please, so I get to see my boyfriend and sleep in a massive bed and eat nice food in a bloody massive castle, you jel yet? There are also plenty of animals at the castle to talk to and look after and did I mention it's massively haunted, I haven't seen anything yet but I've heard stories and I'm just glad that I'm okay with the paranormal because if I wasn't I don't think I would be able to stay there with the spooky vibes it gives off at night, but I have been told that all the ghosts are friendly and positive spirits, so that's all well and good. 

For my Birthday I was given a brand new camera, I've had my Sony for around 5 years and it was time for an upgrade, so I chose a Canon 100D and I've already fallen in love with it. The quality you get from this little DSLR is amazing and it's so simple to use. It's really brought me up to date with my photographs and I now want to pick up my camera on a regular basis and capture everything! It's definitely my new baby and I can't wait to take it everywhere with me this summer and the summers to come. I'm still getting used to all the high quality setting that my camera didn't have, but here are some shots I've taken so far from the castle grounds:

  I literally feel like a princess at the moment, might buy myself a ball gown to sail down the huge stone staircase in the morning awaiting my servants to get me some orange juice. This is the life. 

Reasons to Stay Alive | Matt Haig

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Can I first begin by saying that this is the kind of book that will change your life, just so you're prepared for that when you read it because everyone should read this book!

Aged 24, Matt Haig's world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again.
A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.

Although this is essentially a self help book, I believe that it has broken through that boundary. It's a book that tells you things and also tells you how to get out of those things. Matt writes in first person, bringing up painful memories of the beginning of his depression and the warning signs he ignored. At the beginning each section shows us how fast he spiralled and how quickly he decided he wanted to die. It's terrifying, reading about a man, a successful man in his mid twenties falling so ill so fast and not realising what was happening to him. But this is not an autobiography, as I said before it is a self help book, as well as Matt's painful battle with depression and anxiety he gives us facts, pretty scary statistics about suicide rates in the UK and why he thinks this is happening. He opens up about the personal stigma he has experienced  and why we need to stop it, he has brief chapters dedicated to conversations with himself now and his past self who desperately wanted to die and reassuring him that he'll be okay. It's just a very clever, down to earth, straight to the point book about mental illness, he touches on everything, nothing is left un-scathed.

I haven't suffered with severe depression, but I do have an anxiety disorder and he touches a lot on anxiety. I have even bookmarked pages to come back and read when I'm having a bad day, Matt doesn't make you feel inferior, a lot of self help books, especially about depression and anxiety are not written from experience, more scientific experience, which can be frustrating for someone who just wants to read about their illness in human terms. It is positive and written incredibly tenderly, you can really tell that he has thought about his words and his metaphors for mental health are some of the best I've read, there are even funny moments, of course there are funny moments, living with a mental illness does not mean you have to live a life of humourless metaphors, of course you can poke fun at the thing that is trying to ruin your life and Matt teaches us how you can use your humour to do just that.  

Even if you don't suffer or have suffered with depression and anxiety, even if you feel like your mental health is at 95% and in tip top condition. Please read this book anyway, it tells you how to steer away from stigma, it advises you on how to be around someone with a mental illness and it is always wise to educate yourself on something as big as mental health and this book is the perfect gateway for that to happen. Thank you Matt Haig and thank you for being so strong to show others that they can be too. 

It's safe to say this book has changed my life and it will be passed on to others until everyone I know has read it, I'm not even joking, this book is so important. 
If you've read it I'd love to know your opinions, especially if they are as passionate as mine.