Friday, 30 June 2017

I have both recently finished Uni and quit my job and now I am finding many a day where I have nothing to do. No deadlines or things I have to get done unless there are consequences, nothing to complete daily; not to be dramatic but, nothing to get up for in the morning to be honest. When I was busy all I wanted to do was have nothing to do, but now I don't, I feel lost and no matter how many projects I have ladened myself with this feeling of otiosity is not going away. I'm sure many people feel like this at the moment seems as most Uni courses have now finished and it's coming to the end of school time, so I know I am not alone and that's why I have decided to write a melodramatic, long and probably waffly post about it. 

Un-productivity is my vice, if I don't make or do something everyday I feel like shit, literally. Many people feel drained from being productive but I have found if I don't do anything all day I will feel as low in energy as someone who has been at work all day, why am I like this?! Don't get me wrong, for the first 2 weeks of leaving Uni and work I felt brilliant, I wrote songs, caught up on my fave Tv shows, ate endless amounts of granola and just relaxed for the first time in ages. Now I'm living in Northampton with a house full of people that have just finished Uni and I have had so much fun relishing in the fact we don't have to do anything for a while. But it's during the day when everyone's busy with their own projects and things when I start to feel at a loss. I keep thinking about all the things I should be doing, but then when I try and think about them there's nothing urgent.

I realise that this is the perfect opportunity to start new projects and focus on the things I love and I am, but I've found that that doesn't fill up a whole day. I realise that this is quite negative and I feel like I'm complaining, but it's just strange and I'm currently struggling to acclimatise to this new lifestyle. I'm keeping myself as busy as I can and I'm enjoying myself, I have some things I'm working on and I'm starting to build up a routine. I have definitely realised that I find my worth in my productivity and I don't think that's a good thing for one minute. Especially when I made these decisions so I could relax a bit more, I'm going to work on it. 

I think the only way to go about this un-productivity is to do things that you absolutely love that make you feel productive in the long run. Take up a hobby or a project you didn't have time for when you were working. Watch that 13 season TV show you didn't have time to immerse yourself in.Start thinking about things you could do now to help you get to where you want to be this time next year. It's simple really and you might even start to enjoy this time to yourself, time to think, time to indulge. It's just all about acclimatising and establishing a more relaxed routine, but a routine non the less. 

I think I've just solved my own problem. This was one of those therapeutic style stream-of-consciousness posts and I think it's done its job. I need to learn to relish in this relaxation, but when I do need to do something productive, I can do it for me and no-one else. That's why I think creating a blog if you haven't already is perfect for people in the same position as me. Because you are doing something productive, you are writing, you are improving your skills but you're enjoying every minute of it. Almost 3 years a go this month I set up this blog for the same reasons and I must say it helped so much with my productivity levels. But do it for you and if you want to watch that TV show, you watch it and if you want to take a 5 hour nap during the day because you have nothing else to do, you do that; I wouldn't recommend feeling like you've been run over for the rest of the day though. What I'm trying to say is there's always something to do, find it and if you enjoy it, keep doing it. New projects are exciting and good for productivity levels, in the words of Shia La Beouf with a little bit of Northern on top; 'just do it eh' or not it's completely up to you now. 

I would love to know if any of you are feeling the same and what you're doing to combat it. Do you thrive on productivity like myself or are you happy enough with relaxing? Is Otiosity a problem for you too or do you relish in it?

Treasure Hunt | June

Monday, 26 June 2017

First of all can we just appreciate my friend's rug, I needed to take photos against this before leaving, it's beautiful and I need one in my life. Next music festival I will definitely be making an investment! Here are the treasures I have collected over this month:

Lee Stafford Coco Loco Heat Protection Mist __________________________________________

This month I ran out of heat protective spray and with the weather being like it was in England at the time, I needed some more ASAP for my straw-like locks. My old heat defence spray did the job but dried out my hair in the long run, it was Superdrug's own and it was very cheap and I normally love SD products but not this one, ney. So I stumbled into Boots and suddenly became very overwhelmed by the amount of gloop you can put on your hair. I then noticed the Lee Stafford stand and remembered a friend once told me they were cruelty free. I had a quick Google and wola! A parent company that doesn't test on animals or sell in China! I found this one and was immediately drawn to the coconut and after a little spray and a smell I knew I needed this in my life and my hair. The smell is really summery and it lasts all day and protects my hair really well and I have definitely noticed a different in split ends and hair quality. I feel like this will definitely be my go-to heat defense in the summer. 

Crescent Moon Necklace ___________________________________________________________

This was a late Birthday present from my auntie from a tiny jewellery shop in Ireland apparently and I absolutely love it, it's so simple and I've been wearing it almost everyday. I think my auntie is convinced I'm a witch and she likes to fuel this aesthetic with beautiful items like this one. I'm not complaining, I am a witch after all so you know. 

Superdrug Body Butter - Coconut & Orchid ___________________________________________

When I moved down to Northampton, I quickly realised I had left my beloved Zoella body cream at home and I desperately needed something to rub into my skin after a bath (too much information?). I headed to my favourite place that is SD and found their own range and obviously I picked up the coconut one and it has fast become one of the best body butters I have used. It sinks in quickly, it smells glorious and the softness lasts all day and if you're feeling minging, don't worry the softness also lasts up to 3 days without a shower, ew (saying this from experience). The tub is also huge and it's so cheap for the amount you get, about half the price of a Bodyshop body butter and in my opinion a little bit better. 

Lush 'Don't Look At Me' Fresh Facemask_____________________________________________

It was that time again, time to get a new free face mask from Lush with my empty pots. I love this time of the year/month (depending on how many products I use) and this time I decided to go for the BRIGHT BLUE facemask in the corner that I had never seen before. The woman was telling me all these things about it and what I should actually get because of my sensitive skin but I didn't care, it was blue and I wanted it. Thankfully it has done wonders to my skin and I really like how exfoliating it is, also it smells like lemons, what more do you want? I like to use this twice a week as a full mask and also an exfoliator for problematic areas. It's so fresh and perfect for warm summer night pampering. 

Steven Universe___________________________________________________________________

I recently finished the first season of this show and oh my goodness I became so invested! This was meant to be my light hearted program, a program to watch when I was doing other things like sketching or doing my makeup. But as the plot thickens on this innocent and beautiful cartoon, the characters get more and more complex and there are more social and cultural issues thrown in, you find yourself glued to the screen with tears in your eyes. This show is so beautiful and pure and not just a kids cartoon, I also relate so much to Pearl it's unbelievable, she just wants the best for everybody guys, she's okay! I will be sure to carry on watching this show but I just wanted to write about it after season 1 blew my mind. If/when I have children this will be one of those programs I will force them to watch no matter what because I think it is so important and so pretty. 

I hope everyone's been surviving the heat this month. Maybe stay inside and watch Steven Universe instead? What's your favourite treasure?

Songs For // June

Sunday, 25 June 2017

I always knew June would be a great month music wise because; 1) Lorde's new album was due to be released and 2) I was going to Parklife festival and would therefor find some more music to put under my belt. The inevitable happened and most of the songs on this months playlist are from Lorde. The new album is everything I wanted it to be, but it still managed to surprise me, taking her music style down a different path with full orchestras and even a choir?! But this isn't just a Lorde appreciation post, I have also picked up a few more tunes for this month, some relatively old that I discovered at Parklife and some new, shall we crack on:



And so we kick the month of with Lorde's 3rd single release before the album even came into fruition. I immediately was drawn to this song, it has very similar vibes to a lot of the songs on Pure Heroin and the same theme about extisential teenagers needing to escape their everyday lives. It's basically what I wrote my dissertation about and therefor I feel very connected to this song and the story it tells. A great sneak peek into what I knew would be an amazing album!

Lorde wasn't the only one that released an album this month. Good ol' Alt J are back and sadder than ever. I wasn't actually a huge fan of this album altogether but I did like a few songs like In Cold Blood that is just classic Alt J. The others are a little meh. And really, bloody sad, I hope they're okay. 

This month whilst at Parklife I got to see Japanese House live and they were wonderful. They played this song and then released it a few days later, the chorus is so catchy and I just love the way it builds up to a crescendo. I'm also in love with her effects pedal and her harmonies and her double denim. 

I also got to see Rat Boy while I was at Parklife and he was so good live. Outspoken, political and hilarious. He played this song and the crowd just went crazy, it's so catchy with huge Sex Pistols vibes but the lyrics are so thoughtful and reflective of our time in politics now. I also loved the part at his gig when he said 'who thinks Theresa May's a cunt' yes, yes Rat Boy, we all do hun'. 
I am currently living with Declan Mckenna's self proclaimed No.1 fan and although I had heard of him and have a few songs on a playlist here and there, I didn't realise his music is so different now compared to a few years ago. I love this new single, the lyrics are clever and thoughtful and I especially love the weird techno breakdown at the end of the song. I think this song will always remind me of June 2017 and you know it's a special song when it's capable of doing that. 

 I first heard this song randomly on a friend's playlist late at night. I immediately Shazamed it and added it to the playlist. I love the mellow style of this artist and his voice is so powerful but pure and whimsical at the same time. He really reminds me of George Ogilivie and I think this song is the perfect accompaniment to a chill out with friends or a nice bath or just when you're lying in bed feeling thoughtful. 

Oh look, three more Lorde songs, what a bloody surprise! After listening to Melodrama the whole way through three times, I picked out the songs that had the most effect on me. Supercut was one because once again the lyrics are incredibly relatable and it's just an absolute tune. The Louvre hit me like a tonne of bricks and I still dream about writing a chorus thread as catchy and tuneful as that one day, I also love the lyircs 'BROADCAST THE BOOM BOOM BOOM AND MAKE EM ALL DANCE TO IT' and I feel like they have to be typed in capitals, they just have to. I also love the end to the song when the guitar kicks in and this part especially has such a 90's blockbuster influence. I'm pretty sure it's taken from something else that is really familiar but I can't for the life of me remember what it is, I just think it fits perfectly with the style of the song. And lastly we have Writer in the Dark which made me crumble and shed many a tear. Once again the lyrics are relatable and so, so beautiful; about creative people and how they deal with break ups, how relationships have a lasting effect on someone and how you can use those feelings to make endless amounts of art, ouch my heart.

So there we are a very Lorde heavy month. But she is one of my favourites. I will definitely be purchasing this album on vinyl sometime soon and will be listening to it for the rest of this month and probably well into July. Also I feel like the rest of the songs on this playlist have a very summery vibe and I have enjoyed listening to them all through June. 

What have you been listening to this June?

Dear May

Monday, 19 June 2017

As I'm writing this I am currently residing in a 6 bedroom house in Northampton and I haven't felt this happy in a very long time; but you're going have to wait for the reasons why because it is now June. And I know I am late to this but a lot happened and May took its tole so I'm currently trying to kick back and relax for a change and I'm enjoying it so much. 

May you were stressful. You also marked the end to both my university years and the year I have had living in my tiny town house in Carlisle. For the rest of the world, you weren't great and you brought about a lot of anxiety, grief and change, why did you have to do that? I know the universe likes to keep us on our toes but this is ridiculous and cruel, please stop. 

When you began I decided, last minute to give myself a challenge. I wanted to write a blogpost everyday. I must have been feeling particularly creatively stifled and I wanted to reopen something. I don't really understand why I did this because I was absolutely sick of writing after my dissertation, but something must have told me to do it, damn universe. I did it though didn't I? And really enjoyed it as well, I love the direction my blog is going in at the moment and I feel like I've really got something going here on this slice of internet I have, I'm even thinking about buying my domain name and being a proper blogger, we'll have to see. All in all there's some very exciting things happening with my creativity right now and I think that's down to you May, so thank you, thank you for driving me to do things when I didn't think I had anything left after my dissertation. I thought I was defeated, a voiceless husk with nothing left to project, but you proved me wrong. 

You also brought a long my birthday, I nearly forgot. I knew it was going to be strange this year, a lot has changed and I'm still getting used to that everyday, so when my birthday came around I was kind of dreading it. But it turned out to be a normal day, I went to work which I was pleased about because I really didn't want to be on my own and then in the evening I had my annual Eurovision night and we drank and ate pizza and I felt genuinely okay. About as okay I could be on that day and everyone accepted that, there were no expectations about how happy I should be and people just left me to my own devices, I love my friends. Despite everything, thank you for another great birthday May it means a lot!

I completed my last assignment and therefor I have now finished Uni, I am no longer a student, what? I had to take another extension and therefor, almost everyone else finished Uni before me. Their relief filled me with determination to get it done and guess what I did and now I feel that relief too. I'm finishing on a high 2:1 and I have never been more proud of myself. That's probably the word for this month actually; pride. I haven't felt myself for a very long time and I've been rather insecure in my work and my writing and everything about me really, but knowing I can complete a very difficult, very academic Uni course just makes me so proud of myself. Despite all the shit I did it, where's my gold medal? 

It's not all been sunshine and rainbows though has it May? The world is a scary place and the events on the 22nd reinforced that for everyone. Britain came to a stand still as people mourned the mindless attacks in Manchester and then London. It's hard to put into words how I feel about the whole thing, it just hit home because myself and a lot of my friends have been to that arena multiple times and having experienced the same amount of excitement and belonging and enjoyment from a gig, especially when you're a teenager. And having that taken away from you, I just can't comprehend that, I just can't. The world is a scary place and we have to stick together, we can't let them win. Music will never be used for hate and violence, we need to carry on and that is what we will do. I just hope there are brighter, less terrifying things around the corner.

May you've been productive, the sun could have shined more but you've got time to change that. Be nice to us please, we don't deserve all this and I am so glad that I got through you mostly unscathed. There are a lot of exciting things coming up and I can't wait to live through them with my new sense of pride and love that you brought a long. Just keep giving it to everyone else okay?

How was your May?

A Not So Blue Monday

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Hello pals! It's been a hot minute and I'm sorry about that. I completed May Everyday and then completely ran out of creative juice and needed a big ol' break from blogging. Not to mention that I've also moved house for a month and am currently residing in Northampton, so I've been exploring the area and spending quality time with friends and it's been wonderful! I'm back now though because I hate waking up with nothing to do, no projects to work on and nowhere to put all of this energy when everyone else is getting on with their lives during the day. I now have a lot of free time and am determined to use it. So now on this hot summers day with a glass of water at my side, on the terrace of my friend's house I am ready to start blogging again. It's not a Monday but that doesn't matter, so much has happened and I want to talk about them okay? Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

Parklife 2017______________________________________________________________________

Lets get the big one out of the way first. This weekend Emily and I ventured to Manchester to annual young-person-rave/piss up that is Parklife. We applied to be volunteers in March and kind of forgot about it until that week dawned and we were like shit. After a debacle around voiunteer deposits and a spontaneous trip up to Manchester on my own (which I am very proud of myself for) we were ready to spend the weekend in a filthy field around equally filthy people. We arrived early, completed our 7 hour shift selling programs which; can I say is the easiest job I have ever done for a festival because if you situate yourself near the mainstage, you don't miss anything when you're on shift bingo. I got to see Japanese House, Ratboy and George Ezra whilst on shift and we also met some really nice people through volunteering, we were also allowed access to the backstage areas and I tried to catch many a glimpse of the Artists Village, just incase Matty Healy was just sat around drinking wine but alas. Speaking of Matty, The 1975 blew my mind and their gig was everything I wanted it to be and more, we even shared eye contact and a spiritual connection when they played Please be Naked and tears were just streaming down my face. I was such a mess, I knew I would be emotional; they're my favourite band and I've had a difficult few months and this was one of the things I was looking forward to. They played You and Robbers as well which killed me even more because they never normally play those songs live but in Matty's words 'seems as it's Manchester'. Because of the recent events in Manchester a tribute was given to the victims and emergency services and the people of Manchester who worked tirelessly on the 22nd of May which I thought was wonderful and I am so humbled to have been part of such a special and intimate experience. Manchester really is the best city and I definitely am thinking of popping over there more often. So I can now say I have seen The 1975 live, what?! And (oncoming dramatic statement) I think it changed my life, fuck they were magical! As well as seeing my dream band upclose I also got to experience a Stormzy gig, which was something else entirely. The tent he was playing in (yes tent) was jam packed and as soon as he started everyone went mental but the atmosphere was absolutely electric. He was so humble and pleased to have such a huge turnout and I enjoyed his set so much, even when he told us all to make 'the biggest moshpit in Manchester' which was quite an experience. I also got to see my sister Jess Glynn complete with a live band and choreography which was great and to end the weekend we were blessed with an incredibly strange yet intimate gig from Frank Ocean. It was unusual and slightly pretentious that doesn't normally work for a music festival but because it was Frank it was such a once in a lifetime thing that people didn't seem to mind. As a fan of Frank's music for a while I thoroughly enjoyed it and fan-girled everywhere, but I could imagine that if you weren't a longterm, hardcore fan you would be left a bit confused and a little bemused at his eccentricity, It was something different though. It's safe to say it was the best festival line-up I've ever seen, not the best festival; it was very drug and dance orientated and (like almost all festivals now) it was super expensive! But apart from that I think it might have been one of the best weekends of my life, I am now nursing multiple blisters, the beginnings of a cold and around 12 hours of sleep to catch up on, but was it worth it? Of course it bloody was, same time next year if the line-up's as perfect?

Emily's Art Show_________________________________________________________________

This week was so busy because it was also Em's end of year art show which she has worked so hard on. It was incredible and I am so proud of my talented best friend, she's really found her signature style and I know she's going to go far in her career. Just watch this space, you'll be seeing her illustrations all over soon! The show revolved around gender and feminism and what it means to be a millennial in today's society it had a pink theme and there were plants everywhere, it was like you just sliced Em's head open and her aesthetic came pouring out, it was beautiful. I'm going to ask her if I can put a picture up of her show, if she says yes just know that you are blessed because she is very discreet about her incredible talents and doesn't like to show off, that's why I have to show off for her! I'm so proud of my boo and everything she has worked hard for, the future is feminine and very, very pink.  

Settling In________________________________________________________________________

I have finally been able to properly settle into relaxation and having not much to do. After my dissertation all I wanted to do is lie in bed, watch films and eat crisps and I can now and that's so weird! I've unpacked my stuff now and I'm getting used to living with 6 other people, which is a huge difference to the one fellow housemate I was used to. It's just so nice though, to be surrounded by like minded, open people that are already calling me part of the family. There wouldn't be anyone else I'd want to relax with more. 

Listening to // Parklife 2017 Playlist __________________________________________________

The festival blues are real with this one. But this playlist consisting of the best tunes of all the artists that performed this weekend helped me get hyped for the festival and is helping me with my come down, not a literal comedown; unlike most of the ravers that were off their tits, my comedown's much more easier to deal with! I keep thinking about that 1975 gig though and feeling all the warm feels from the sweet, sweet mems, sigh. 

How was your Monday?

Songs For // May

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

This month has been amazing for music. Two stand out albums and some other wonderful singles that have got me feeling all summery up in here! Here is my soundtrack to the month of May:



I discovered Billie Eillish through Conan Gray's monthly favourites. I listened to Bellyache and a few other tracks but this song definitely stood out. It's a very catchy song and I love the lyrics, very clever. It's a perfect summer track for driving or walking somewhere. 

I've recently gotten into Mac Demarco after a friend recommended him to me. I love his music, it's perfect for a lazy day with a glass of wine and friends. This month we had a lot of sun and this album was great for those kind of days, kicking back and lying in the long grass. Although some tracks on the album are pretty dark if you listen to the lyrics but he's done that classic thing of disguising anguish in an upbeat riff. Baby You're Out however is just a perfect summer groove that just makes you nod along to the lead bass, love it. 

When I was patiently waiting for specific album releases I appeared to have no music to listen to. Now I'm not a big fan of Kasabian but I thought I'd give this album a go and I was so pleasantly surprised. I caught myself tapping my feet and then humming the tunes and then just fully enjoying it having a lil' dance around my room. It's such an upbeat and feel good album and this first track is just so catchy, although most of the lyrics don't even make sense. Get ready to see Kasabian again later on in this playlist, I couldn't choose just one song. 

HAIM are back and I'm so happy about this! Want You Back is once again a very catchy track (notice a theme this month) and it's got that classic HAIM style of chorus, where you find yourself singing a long to it all, even if you've only heard it once. The lyrics are also very relatable which makes me like it more and I'm very, very excited about this upcoming album!

After reading NME's new tracks segment I discovered this new band Blaenoven. Orthodox Man was my favourite from a relatively vanilla album and it really stands out because of the lyrics. The lyrics are cut throat and tells the story of a man who would do anything for this girl, but she just isn't interested, bless him. It's a very dark and brooding song with a lighter chorus with an upbeat indie riff that breaks through the darkness. Almost making it a summer anthem if you don't really listen to the lyrics, I love songs like this. 

I also discovered James Hersey this month randomly on Spotify and I really like his sound and Everyone's Talking is just a nice quiet acoustic tune with a nice little build up bridge about nosey people and staying out of people's business, what more do you want?

Oh look, another two Kasabian tracks what a surprise! I told you I couldn't just pick one, or two for that matter! Bless this Acid House is a brilliant take on the Northern England rave scene and it's once again; so catchy. It's one of those songs where the chorus is an instant ear worm and you could see a crowd of people singing a long at a festival. Put You're Life on It on the other hand is an anthemic slow number about loving people and I am all for that. It's got Oasis vibes and once again I could see a huge crowd singing the chorus. Kasabian have really mastered the ways of the Northern anthem. 

And here we are, the moment we've all be waiting for. Harry's new album! I absolutely adore it and I think I'm going to do a full review soon. In the mean time lets discuss my two favourite tracks; Kiwi is fun with a bluesy chord sequence and obnoxious lyrics, very Jagger-esque and very heavy on drums and guitars, I absolutely love it! Woman is completely different; a smooth and sultry piano led track about you guessed it; a woman. I love the beginning as well, observing a millennial relationship, good ol' Netflix. I honestly love this album and I'm so happy he's gone down a different route with nods to his favourite artists but yet still being original, full review will come soon I promise!

And now for the other fantastic album that came out this month that caused me to have a mild crisis on the kitchen floor like Ed Sheeran but a kind of happy one? After Laughter is everything I wanted it to be although it is much sadder than I thought it would be. It contains that classic Smiths-style technique of fast and upbeat tracks paired with wistful and melancholy lyrics and it just works so well! Rose Coloured Boy is so darn catchy (again) and a very interesting subject about overly positive people and being around them when you're not so positive (I know this feeling well). Forgiveness is also pretty relatable for me and it once again has a really catchy chorus and Idle Worship I think is one of my favourite songs from the album, it has everything; a weird minor note in the middle of Hayley's vocals, a catchy chorus (surprise) and weird la la la's that wouldn't work in any other song, but because it's Paramore it works. I might do a full review of this album as well if I can get my hands on it soon!

So there we go, probably the best month of music so far (I know I say this every month, but I mean it). Everything on this playlist is catchy, how many times have I said catchy?!  
Two album reviews are coming your way I promise!
What have you been listening to this May?