A Not So Blue Monday

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Using an old photo from summer at home because the lighting in my room is so dire tonight. I've been no where near trees this week and that makes me sad, but this week has been mostly happy so it's okay. Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

Freaks and Geeks - I started watching it at the end of last week and I now only have 2 episodes to go. I don't know why they didn't make a second season it's so brilliant. It perfectly depicts that teenage angst and confusion and how wonderful and painful school can be at the same time. It makes me miss school a lot but at the same time I'm so glad I'm out of there! All the cast is amazing and my favourite characters are Nick cause you know, it's Jason Segel and he's so adorably hot, Bill he's a hilarious geeky boy with such a warm heart, Sam because he has the best facial expressions I have ever seen and this will forever be my go-to gif for absolutely everything from now on! I love all of the cast especially James Franco as well cause you know, hot. I think this show should definitely be everybody's October tv series, it's just so good to cosy up to and laugh out loud, I can't believe I've only discovered it now. 

New volunteer job - For my MA next year I have to have a sufficient amount of hours of volunteering under my belt, I also think it would be nice to give back to the community a little bit and meet some interesting people along the way.  I went for an interview this week and it was a success! I will now be the head of Tuesday workshops, doing crafts with a mixture of different individuals, they're all such characters and I can't wait to get stuck in.  

The Craft - Yep it's that time of year when you whap' out the nineties Halloween witch films. I love The Craft, I love the outfits and the actors and the crazy plot, it's the perfect Halloween movie to embrace your inner witchy weirdness. 

Tesco free from choc cookies - I picked these beauties up the other day for only £1.20 which is so cheap for free from stuff. They taste just like I remember Marylands tasting like and are perfect to accompany your cuppa as the nights draw in. 

What I have been listening to:

Melanie Martinez - I hadn't heard about her until this week when Beth be Rad drew her for Snarled  I then spotified her and fell in love with her babyish little voice singing about really hard hitting issues to catchy, unique choruses. Beth said in her video that she was a voice contestant and got knocked out pretty early, but she's built herself back up again and is now on the rise. She's weird and she's a breathe of fresh air and her gappy smile is just too cute to ignore!


How was your Monday?

Fusion of Fandoms

Monday, 17 October 2016

This post has been inspired by the lovely Noor, her blog provides me with endless creativity and inspiration, she's the best. These are the people I fan girl over on a daily basis, these are the people that culturally and socially construct my style, personality and creative flow. I hold them all very dear to my heart, fiction, dead or very much alive. Most of them are musical because my biggest inspiration comes from music and song writing, You know that question 'who would you invite to a dinner party alive or dead or fictional?' this would be my answer. There are of course many others that could have sat at my table, but these are the ones that are the most important at this time, I like to chop and change.  Now let's introduce my special guests:

Matty Healy- Like  Noor and Areeba  Matty is my number one person I tend to fan girl over at the moment. I think Matty introduced me again to what fan-girling' actually is, whenever I watch him or listen to him I feel this goosebumpy' feeling in my body and just a need to meet him and talk to him and maybe *cough* kiss him *cough*. No, I don't know who I have become either! I role my eyes at fan girls constantly but alas I am lost to Matty's undeniable coolness and hilarious egotism. I think I get a lot of inspiration from him because he is constantly working and creating, his lyrics are so well thought through and he's really found what makes him happy (as he's said in multiple interviews). I also love the fact that he's so down to earth and grounded, he has a dog called Alan for fuck sake! He's also incredibly flamboyant and not afraid to kick those gender roles in the stomach with his 6 inch platform boots. He's a character that completely fascinates me and I think out of this bunch right now, he would be the one that I would love to meet the most. Maybe I might one day, oh god I'm getting palpitations just thinking about it, shit, how do these fan girls do this with multiple people?! 

Stevie Nicks - I was introduced to Fleetwood Mac from an early age, my dad and I used to sing along to them on the school run. I then discovered pop punk and the Mac were demoted. But they've always been there and one day I decided to buy their greatest hits again and that was when my obsession with Stevie was born. That and the airing of American Horror Story Coven in which Stevie appears in two of the final episodes. I used to watch documentaries and screenshot them for the outfits that Stevie wore, I bought my first black kimono in Asda and spun around my room listening to Rhiannon. My obsession grew when my best friend Emily told me she loved them too and many of their songs I hold very dear to heart because they remind me of her. She's such a badass, I remember reading something about the production of Rumours and during the  recording of my favourite song Silver Springs she basically jumped Lindsey because the lyrics made her so angry and emotional she ran out of the booth and attacked him! I also love the witchy' vibes she brings with her to shows and the actual rumours (see what I did there?) that she's a genuine witch, who's to say she isn't she's fucking cool enough. Nicks inspires me through her music and her style, when I go on stage although it's just me and a guitar I try to channel Stevie's stage persona because she can light up a stage on her own, she also has inspired most of my wardrobe and I have to endlessly thank her for that.

Janis Joplin - One of my earliest memories sees me in the car with my mum singing along to Bobby McGee. My dad gave me a copy of her greatest hits when I was about 11 and it sparked a huge inspiration in me, I suddenly wanted to be on stage all the time like Janis was and wear my hair down and bushy and frizzy like Janis did. When I look back actually, Janis was the reason I still loved my hair in school, even though I got a lot of stick for it.  My mum told me that in an interview Janis once said that she got teased because of her hair too and to get back at them she just back combed it and made it bigger, once my technology teacher said I looked like Janis Joplin and I nearly burst with pride! I know Janis wasn't a perfect role model, but her legacy still lives on in little kids dreaming of being onstage and being proud of their red hair, her voice was just epic as well and so unique. I still take inspiration from Janis today and she will always be one of my favourite singers forever, she has a very special place in my heart.

Phoebe Buffay - We have a lot in common Phoebe and I, apart from the damaged childhood and the homelessness and all that. I share a lot of the same hobbies as her and many friends tell me regularly that I remind them of her, which makes me very happy because Phoebe is my absolute favourite, I think she makes the show. I love her personality and her comedy and now looking back on her style she would be very in-trend right now. We also like to play the guitar although I'm hoping my capabilities are a bit better than hers smelly cat, smelly caaaat! Phoebe inspires me through her optimism, she's had a tough life but she always sees the positive side and that's what I aspire to be like, maybe not as annoying as she is, but the optimistic, non-fur-wearing, hippy-lucifer-worshipping weirdo and that's who I want to channel.

Luna Lovegood - The Harry Potter fandom is one of the most important fandoms, just saying and I hold it very dear to my heart. I grew up with Harry Potter, I was at that golden age where the films synced perfectly with my journey into teenage-hood. The films were never too dark or scary for me because I grew up with them, the books were another story because I read the first three at a pretty young age, I remember Azkaban scared the shit out of me when I first read it! Anyway, the character that I relate to the most is miss Luna, we are both a little away with the fairies most of the time, we are very much idealists and we are Ravenclaw forever and ever. I love everything about Luna, I love her Irish whim, her fashion sense and her way with words and unusual spells that no one has heard of. I love how strong willed she is and that scene in the last film when she stands up to Harry is golden, I also love how optimistic and idealistic she is and I think that's the thing that most inspires me about her. Luna taught me to embrace my weird, wacky self and use it to help other people and bring a little bit of colour to the world, and one day I will make that lion head and wear it with pride!

Morrissey - Stephen Patrick Morrissey, my one true love. Although he's a bit of a dick now Morrissey in his prime was a force to be reckoned with, I know before you say anything I was not around in the 80's but I have watched every Top of the Pops interview there is with him and now I feel like I can say he was a game changer. He flipped pop on it's head with his melancholy lyrics next to uplifting guitar riffs, he used to waltz around the stage with flowers in his back packet, he was a very outspoken vegetarian and caused a whole generation of kids to write poetry and stop eating meat. No matter what you say about the man you can't argue he wasn't an influencer. Morrissey has influenced me in so many different ways, the biggest one being my opinion on animals and eating meat, his beliefs in veganism are questionable but nevertheless I remember watching the video for Meat is Murder and I was like that's it meat is never touching my lips again and it didn't. He has influenced my singing style to no end, when I'm singing a song I find myself doing these long, wavery licks like he does, I found myself dropping my voice a whole octave sometimes, but me doing that has made my voice become quite unique and I have Morrissey to thank for that. Morrissey also taught me to not give any fucks, he taught me that people might not like you, or get what you're about and that's absolutely fine. I will always love Morrissey, no matter how much of a wanker he is now (and he is a pretty big wanker) he made a big imprint on my teenage years and I don't think I'll ever stop listening to The Smiths, his solo albums? Meh, they're alright, but whose Morrissey without Marr though, amarite'?

And there we go, that is my little concoction of  fandoms that have influenced me over the years and, from a pop culture side have  kind of made me who I am today (social construction is weird). I will always have a place in my heart for these particular people but I know my fusion will always be developing and changing. In a year or so this list might have increased, you never know I could be an official fan girl by then, stalking Matty Healy's every move and turning up to airports to give him weird gifts, I'm sure a lot of my friends would see it coming the amount I talk about him!

I hope you've enjoyed a little look into my fandom fusion and I think you should all do this, it's great fun, tell me who you love from pop culture and why?
Matty & Morrissey 4 evs' 



A Not So Blue Monday

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

This week has been filled with reading, a lot of reading, so much reading. And in between reading for my dissertation, I even managed to do some leisure reading and finish The Bell Jar for the 3rd time, I've kind of come to a tradition now that I read The Bell Jar every September, I don't know why it's a pretty miserable book but I don't know there's something about it that warms me and it is definitely one of my favourite books. Apart from reading, here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

- Going to open mics again - I decided to go to a brand new venue on Thursday. I ended up doing a half an hour slot and absolutely loved it, it turned into one big jam with people joining me on the piano and drums. There's nothing better than having conversations with people you have a lot of common with and jamming with such talented musicians. It's definitely going to be my regular Thursday night from now on. 

- My pie - I made a fab pie this week, it had all sorts of lovely things like chick peas, sweet potato and onions (I can't remember the rest). I kind of threw it all together thinking I was making a stew and then realised I had short crust pastry in the fridge, so I sculpted a very rustic looking pie and it was a success, a success meaning I could actually eat it and it lasted me all week! When I make it next I will be sure to write down the recipe to maybe share, it's a perfect autumn pie to warm the cockles. 

 - Bingo - Yes, I went to Bingo and hated it. The bingo didn't make me happy (I got really anxious about the thought of shouting things out and not being able to keep up with the numbers, it was a lot okay) but the way I felt after doing something out of my comfort zone did. I'm trying to do new things and I know Bingo isn't exactly jumping out of a plane but it was a new experience and it stimulated my brain, I won't be going back though I don't think competitive-chance-gambling is for me. 

- Spotify Premium - I finally decided to get premium because Gareth is taking over the Netflix soon I hope (hint hint) of course I got the student discount and I've been making brill playlists, you can follow me if you want. 

- Speaking of Spotify - What I have been listening to:

My playlists obvs. My favourite one at the moment is my study playlist, it's been in a lot of use this week because you know, reading. It consists of only instrumental songs because song lyrics really distract me when I'm trying to read or write. It's got a little bit of everything The 1975 instrumentals, Explosions in the Sky the go to instrumental band, a little bit of classical mostly James Rhodes on the piano because he's just fab and some movie soundtracks, specifically Harry Potter I went a bit crazy and put all the Harry Potter on, apart from the really stressful scores like when Lupin turns into a werewolf or the Bagshot scene nope,nope,nope. But apart from that I've literally got all the HP scores from all the films, I just couldn't pick and I've found it's the perfect soundtrack to a good, knowledgeable read. I've also started making a Christmas playlist already (no judging please) which also consists of a lot of Harry Potter, well mostly Harry Potter at the moment, it's early days okay. If you do want to follow my playlists I would say my Magic Mixtape and my Mellow playlists are best, jus' saying. 


How was your Monday?

Dear September...

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

September you're normally quite a difficult month for me, but this year you've changed. I went into this month with as much optimism as I could, due to past Septembers that wasn't a lot. I think September has always been difficult because it marks a lot of change and I am not good with change, at first it was going back to school and now it's going back to Uni. I also have to say goodbye to a lot of people I like to have close to me and that's a big change. I was waiting for the melancholy feeling to come over me but it just didn't arrive. September you have surprised me, I now look at you in a completely different light, change is good, change is nice and I've learned to accept it and even enjoy it. 

The start of this month was spent saying goodbye to Gareth and packing up my things. I then spent a week with my Nanna as she was over from Ireland which was lovely, we went to a lot of markets and crafty places which was really nice and I picked up some little vintagey' crafty things. It was then time to go back to Uni and move into my new house, I was very optimistic about the move and I was even excited about meeting new people. I settled right in, my new housemates are lovely and so funny, they brighten my day. It;s such a change to last year where (to no one's fault) I spent a lot of time on my own, I now have a busy and bustling household and there's always someone to talk to which is so nice. I spent Freshers the same way as I always do, slightly inebriated and chatting to strangers but this year I couldn't take it off work so there were a lot of hungover shifts that I just don't want to re-live ever again, but it's my last year with these people I have to make the most of it! Then Uni began and again I waited for the panic to set in, but no panic arrived, just excitement. I'm really looking forward to this year the courses I chose look really interesting and I'm really pleased my dissertation topic is something I know I will enjoy.

Let's talk about mental health. This time last year my anxiety was at an all time high. I was just wondering whether I needed help and was probably about to book a doctors appointment in which they would refer me to a CBT therapist. I kept all this incognito because I just didn't want to talk about it, talking about my anxiety always made it worse. I look at how I'm feeling today and compare it to last year and I feel like crying with happiness. Yes anxiety comes and goes but now I think I can handle it better so I'm ready for it if it ever comes back and rears it's ugly head. Now I'm not saying it has disappeared completely I still get days when I can feel it right at the pit of my stomach, but after doing my exercises it just vanishes again. What I'm saying is that compared to last year, I'm feeling a lot better and I think that's partly why I've had such a great September. 

I have a lot to look forward to this month and the next and although you've been great to me September, I'm so, so excited for October because it is my favourite month of the year. I'm excited for autumn leaves, crisp air, mist, rain, Halloween and those candle lit dark, dark nights,because you know, that's my aesthetic. September you've been wonderful, but as I'm looking forward now, I'll see you next year September. 

How was your September?

A Not So Blue Monday

Monday, 3 October 2016

I've been trying to do a room tour blogpost for so long now but alas I have come to the conclusion that the lighting in my room is terrible, even in daylight. I think it's because my room is kind of in a corner of the house meaning I don't get an awful lot of natural light (which is going to be great for taking photos this year!) meaning some places in my room come out on the camera in darkness and yes I have tried to adjust the ISO and everything, but still no luck. What I was trying to say on this tangent is that I don't think I will be able to do a room tour this year, just because I can't publish photos that arent up to scratch. I'm gutted but I'd rather have that than the dreaded orange hue that just wont go away! Anyway apart from that I've had a pretty great week, here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

- Corbyn's back - I'm very open about my political beliefs and it is no secret I am a Corbyn supporter. So hearing the news that he won the Labour vote with an overwhelming amount of votes made me very happy and very hopeful for the young people like myself that need him right now. 

- Going to the zoo - Before you say 'OMG BAD VEGAN YOU MUST BURN IN VEG HELL FOR GOING 2 A ZOO' It's a conservation zoo meaning it gives a lot of money to help animal conservation in other countries and help protect species from hunting and deforestation etc. Also the park aims to make the habitats as realistic as possible giving the animals huge enclosures and giving them hidey holes to escape from the public eye, you don't feel like you are looking in on them, you feel like you've kind of been invited into their habitat. And yes zoos are still problematic, no matter how many bushes people plant in a tiger enclosure does not take away from the fact they are not in the wild, but whose fault is that? Humans and now we must do as much as we can to protect these creatures, even if it is putting them in a safe enclosure and educating the public about them. Also when all your friends decide to go to a zoo you are left in a difficult position of being left out or putting a few of your morals to the side and just go and have fun. 'BAD VEGAN' My inner voice tells me everyday since but what are you to do? Rant over. Anyway I fed some giraffes and some penguins which was magical and learnt a lot about certain species and chatted to the keepers and learnt about the animal's characters, it was just a wonderful day. Animals make me the happiest, especially when I know they are happy, healthy and well looked after.   

- Depop - Gareth and I have decided we want to be minimalists. Gareth's much more motivated with this than me because we all know I like my home comforts, but I do need to downsize and I'm going to try my best. I'm starting with a capsule wardrobe, meaning I'm getting rid of clothes that I wouldn't wear on more than 2 different occasions. It's working really well at the moment and Depop is helping me make a little bit of money as well which is always nice. Follow my Depop it's listed on my twitter and maybe buy something so I can eat this week (jokes). 

- Student Lock in - Yes I bought a lot, but I told myself I would treat myself on that day and I did indeed and it feels nice. I worked all summer but because I had to pay for bus tickets there and back I couldn't spend any of it on myself really, so when I was back at base I decided to save the money I would have had to spend on bus tickets and treat myself. Treat yo' self!

- The 1975 Live Lounge with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra - Everything about this gig was perfect apart from the fact that I couldn't go and had to watch it in bed with a box of tissues and a blanket. Tickets sold out so fast, I just didn't have a chance. It was magical though, even though I wasn't there, Matty's hair was fabulous and their music just merges so well with an orchestral sound. I just couldn't deal when Matty had a little cry and when they played Please Be Naked I lost my shit. The aesthetic was beautiful and everything was just on point, I think if I was there I would have had a spiritual experience, maybe I did from my bed who knows. Watching this concert live from my bed has just reestablished the fact that I have to go and see them live REALLY SOON before I just wither away from lack of Matty Healy vibes in my life, am I fangirling? Yes, yes I am. 

What I have been listening to:

After listening to The 1975 for 3 days in a row Matty mentioned this 'band' called The Japanese House on Twitter so the loyal fan girl that I am (really?) I gave them a listen and now I know why Matty likes them, they have a 1975 vibe but much more relaxed and mellow, I love their new single Face Like Thunder it's really funky and indie at the same time. After researching more into her The Japanese House is just one woman on her own which is cool and Matty and George have helped her produce the album, That's why the vibes are so similar, it just makes me love her more. 


How was your Monday?

Songs For // September

I haven't done one of these for a while and that's just because I couldn't find enough new, good music to fill up a playlist. But then September came along and graced us with some absolute gems, lets talk about them:

 It started with Jamie T's wonderful new album, stripped back to his roots with some sincere indie tunes that tell stories it's what he's good at and I'm glad he's gone back to that kind of style. My favourite songs from the album were Robin Hood, Tescoland and Joan of Ark which went straight onto this playlist as soon as I heard it. It's so upbeat and indie and has such a catchy chorus. Then came along Bastille's new album which I fell head over heels for and Snakes is definitely my favourite song on the album although it was really hard to pick because all the songs are so perfect, I also think that this song will be their next single, it just has those single kind of vibes you know. Now lets talk about Gaga's comeback. I am so excited, so, so excited I have been a little monster ever since that first album or even before that I think (hipster). But when I heard Perfect Illusion I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed, I think it was the key change that did it for me, it's just so cheesy. It did grow on me though and because it's Gaga this song had to go onto this playlist. I'm so excited for the release of Joanne though, I'm just hoping there are a few more ballad-y songs on there because I think that's what she does best. Passenger's back with a much more upbeat sound and I'm kind of digging it, the guitar riff sounds like the beginning of a Smiths song and the lyrics are very sweet, the two of these things make me very happy. Ah Sia, anything she releases I am just in awe of and The Greatest has become my go to blast-it-out-in-the-shower song, it's just so catchy and the vocals in it are wonderful. Also lets talk about the music video with Maddie, I love the choreography and the sheer attention to detail and when I found out it was a tribute to the America club shooting it all became apparent as to how poignant I felt after watching it. Rag'n'Bone Man is my new favourite vocalist, I saw him on a youtube video my mum actually showed me and boy can he sing! And last but not least Frank, oh Frank, he did it again. The album is wonderful, he's so good at what he does and you can tell that every word and every chord has been thought about, it's perfection. Pink+White is definitely my favourite song from the album but I still don't think it works without listening to the whole album first. He didn't make a song specifically to be a single and you can tell and I think that's genius.

That's my September Playlist over and done with. It was a wonderful month for new albums and I reckon October's going to be as good or even better!   
What have you been listening to this September?