A Not So Blue Monday

Monday, 23 November 2015

This week has been full of re-uniting and just having a plain ol' good time, I am now tucked up in bed, absolutely pooped. Travelling really takes it out of me, but it was all worth it. Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

-Having a train buddy- I'm an incredibly anxious traveler and having a friend there to take my mind off the fact I am speeding down a track at 80 miles an hour in a metal box only to be greeted by an un-settling train station full of people is always a plus. My course mate lives in Blackpool and commutes so she kindly shared her journey with an incredibly shakey and nervous me, thanks again Charlotte!

-Preston- From what I've heard of Preston I expected something industrial, lots of ugly buildings, grey sky, lots of chicken shops. Apart from the latter all these visuals were false, Preston is a real hidden gem, yes there are rough parts like every city but I didn't really see those as I was only visiting. The town centre was lovely and Christmassy' and the outskirts were filled with lovely little vintage and independent shops. We visited the big park there (the name escapes me now) which was huge and luscious and green and full of little monuments like this fountain. There was a miniature Japanese garden as well and a river, oh yeah and loads of incredibly tame squirrels that I tried to photograph but they were just too fast for me. Also the nightlife in Preston is so much better than Carlisle, there's so much more diversity, we went to a club with three floors of indie, punk and pop which is a great idea because if you're like me and don't appreciate sitting through 3 hours of house before everyone's drunk enough to put the good music on, you can always have your way! Preston has really made me excited to move further a field to a bigger uni, I know it's not exactly London but it's much bigger than Carlisle and it's really put things into perspective for me. 

-The weekend I had- It was so lovely to see Gareth as always, but because he lives with two of my best friends I got to spend quality time with them as well which was lovely. I honestly didn't want to leave, can I just move in so we can speak in memes and play Edward 40 hands more often pretty please?!

What I have been listening to:

Twenty One Pilots - I know I'm extremely late to this bandwagon, but I listened to one of their songs ages ago and just didn't appreciate it (I know I'm silly), but around a week ago I thought I would try listening to them again and oh my I'm in love. I love the way their songs are structured, the lyrics are realistic but poetic and once I heard all of Blurry Face my mind was blown and I can;t stop listening to it now, why did I not like them at the start?! 

How was your Monday?

On Being an Ambivert

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Before I started my psychology degree I thought there were only two types of social personality types; extrovert and introvert. These types are the most well known, but what if you feel like you don't fit into either category? That you like going to parties but your also perfectly happy staying indoors with your own company and a Tv series. Well my friend like me, you might be an ambivert and if you haven't heard of this before, I'm sure you're not the only one. 

  1. a person who has a balance of extrovert and introvert features in their personality.

Think back to a past social situation and look at (if you remember) how you felt in that exact moment, if you're an introvert science tells you that you shouldn't have enjoyed that situation. If you thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this situation, soaking up the conversation and joining in with it, science tells you that you are an extrovert, simple right? But what if you remember being pretty happy during that situation, even joining in at some point, but once you get home, away from people you suddenly feel emotionally and physically drained, for what you think is no reason. I had many of these experiences, I would spend all night with people and once I arrived back during the early hours of the morning I felt that if I had to hold one more conversation I would probably collapse. Pretty dramatic but that's honestly what it feels like, as soon as you leave that environment, you find how hard your body and mind have worked to keep the conversation going and remain your chirpy self that people see, but in that moment you don't notice at all. The best way I can explain ambiversion for me personally is that I feel the most comfortable when in the presence of a person, but I don't necessarily always want to talk to them. This sounds pretty mean but it's the easiest way to explain it, I have nights where I have to be on my own and I get really down because of this but once I'm with people I don't want to start the conversation, I'm more of a listener who likes to be in the moment, but doesn't really 
 want to join in with it. 

After a lecture on social personalities I decided to do a little bit of research on ambiversion and found that ambiverts take up more places in society than both introverts and extroverts , meaning that ambiversion should be a well known social personality trait, but because of past research psychologists only believed that there were just two types. But when you think about it it is an incredibly narrow spectrum, the human brain isn't that simple, you could feel comfortable in one social situation and feel under threat in another, that's just common knowledge. So it baffles me that ambiverts are not spoken about more, they now have a place on the spectrum but it has only been modern research that made a place for it. There's even a theory to say that the social constructs introvert and extrovert were created to make people conform, they are told they are this particular personality type and so they must act that way. Very interesting I must say. 

So if you feel like you have never really fitted in to these two types of personality, then do not despair, there is a group for you out there that can answer all your questions about how you like house parties but feel uncomfortable in nightclubs (cause you know I do). How you can talk to someone for hours but afterwards but afterwards have to take a 3 hour nap! I do think though, once you know what your social personality type is it is much easier to adapt your needs and even choose the places and people you want to be around, but don't let it run your life, if you are introverted please inform yourself about the difference between that and social anxiety because there is a big one and if you feel like you are extremely introverted to the point of being terrified of social interaction, that's when you need to see the difference and get help, don't let your personality type make decisions for you!

I love being an ambivert because it gives you a little bit of both. I don't crave for human contact all the time, I can be my own person but I can also be in a room comfortably with a lot of people. It's the best of both worlds and I really think that us ambiverts should have a little bit more notability. 

Do you think you're an ambivert?

A Not So Blue Monday

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

This week has been full of stress, stress over the amount of work I have to do, stress over bills and electric companies and personal stress, just a whole lotta' stress. I am currently lying in bed with the worlds worst period pain, eating porridge and reading my favourite book at the moment, I will get up soon and tackle my obligations, but not right now. Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

- A walk in a windy park- Having been at work for 5 days in a row and knowing I had a day off to do as I please, I finally had the time to seek out the park I had wanted to go to for a while. Google maps told me it was a 52 minute walk, but I found a 20 minute short cut right outside my house! I met lots of lovely dogs and sat on benches and just took in the scenery, it was nice to be with my own thoughts outside. We are currently doing a study at Uni about how nature helps a person's attention and I really do think it does, after my walk I managed to do much more work than I thought I would do that day!

- The Social Network- Yep I re-watched The Social Network, because I've only seen it once, just after to came out. I didn't know who David Fincher was or the genius that goes with his work, so I decided to watch it again with a more critical eye and it's now in my top favourite films list, much to the disgust of my housemate who thinks its 'crap' thankyou for your opinion, maybe keep it to yourself next time yeah? 

- Vegan chocolate brownies- I was in dire need of chocolate for reasons un-known, so I ventured to the shops, bought some Tesco chocolate bourbon spread (a vegan substitute for nutella) and created my own recipe (I literally just through everything in) and I have to say they were lovely. I nearly ate them all in one night!

- The Lady in the Van- I went to see this film with my Mum yesterday and I absolutely loved it, it was so surreal in some places and so realistic in others. Maggie Smith is amazing and it's like the role was made for her and the actor that plays Alan Bennet gets his personality down to a T! It's a hilarious but incredibly heart felt film with very clever concepts and staging (can really tell it was a play beforehand) I absolutely loved it. 

- Lunch with mum- We went to my favourite cafe and ate vegan chillie and just caught up on al the crack. It was lovely and even though we'd only seen eachother two weeks ago we still had so much to talk about. Seeing my mum has made me more and more excited for Christmas!

How was your Monday?

Dear 25 Year Old Me

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Inspired by a miss Dodie Clark's new video, I wanted to write a little futuristic letter to my 25 year old self. A lot can happen in 5 years and it would be so interesting to look back on this blog post when I'm 25 and answer these questions. Here we go:

Hello 25 year old Ciara, nice to speak to you.
 20 year old Ciara is currently pretty happy, trundling along at Uni, working hard to one day become a qualified art therapist. She is mostly happy and has amazing friends, although she has started feeling slightly separated from some people because growing up is currently happening. She's unsure on where she is going next but she is very sure that she has a great long term relationship with her boyfriend Gareth who has moved away but long distance seems to be working out. She suffers from an anxiety disorder and is currently at war with various doctors because they keep giving her terrible advice. She likes drinking wine, talking about feminism, animal rights and doing yoga. She feels like she wants to make a difference in the world but she really doesn't know how. She's writing this letter to 25 year old Ciara because she is incredibly nostalgic and is terrified of growing up without living life to it's full. 25 feels like decades away so I don't know how you feel being 5 years off 30! Anyway here's a few questions for you to answer, I hope you're doing okay. 

-How's being 25?
-Where abouts are you living? 
-Did you ever get out of that small town?
-Have you got your dream job?
-Or are you still at Uni?
-If you are at Uni I hope you've go enough money. 
-How's Gareth?
-Is he a famous vegan chef/film maker yet?
-Does he still bring you flowers?
-Do you still see him?
-If you don't you've let something beautiful go and you need to get it back. 
-Have you cut your hair?
-I told myself I would never get a proper hair cut again. 
-How's mum and dad?
-Does mum have a dog yet?
-Does she have a whole menagerie yet?
-I hope Ol and Lou are still alive. 
-Are you still singing?
-If you aren't you need to start again. 
-Have you seen Forest Gump yet?
-Cause you know apparently it's a big deal that you haven't seen it.
 -Do you still have anxiety?
-Can you swim yet?
-Probably not. 
-Are the Tories still in power?
-Are you so full of student dept that your homeless and therefore can't answer these questions?
-Are you still a vegan?
-Are you still a feminist?
-If you're not you need to re-think what your doing lass. 
-How is everyone?
-What is Emily doing?
-Is she a famous artist yet?
-Has she changed the world yet?
-Do you still see everyone at New Years?
-Is Georgia living in her house?
-Omg does she have children?
-Are you a Godmother!? 
-How's Nanna?
-How's Sam?
-Do you see a lot of them?
-Have you been to Ireland since?
-Have you been to any other countries?
-Did you get to Venice before it sank?
-How long did you work at Wilkos before the customers got to much?
-Did you ever have the experience of working in Lush?
-Do you still draw?
-Do you still write poetry?
-If you don't you need to start again. 
-Have you lost/put on weight?
-Do you have wrinkles?
-How's that double chin doing?
-Has your lazy eye got worse?
-Have you stopped wearing doc Martens yet?
-Has your fashion sense changed?
-Is the Lion King still your favourite Disney film?
-Is To Kill a Mockingbird still your favourite book?
-Is women's pay now equal?
-Has racism and homophobia been abolished?
-Who's your favourite band?
-Did you ever see Fleetwood Mac live?
-Have The Smiths got back together?
-Have you been to Glastonbury yet?
-If not you better get a move on. 
-Can you drive?
-Do you still write on this blog?
-Do you still write in your diary?

I hope you're doing okay and you've got a little bit more sorted out, there's so much more I could ask you but I'm being kind on your old arthritic fingers (jokes hopefully). See you in 5 years. 

Tiny Little Film Reviews

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Because the nights are getting darker and the house I live in is getting colder, I have resorted to a blanket cocoon and around a million cups of green tea. But I need something to entertain whilst I'm in said cocoon so I decided to start watching a film a night when I had the time. Because I am a poor Uni student I had to stop buying DVD's but with help from Netlfix, Now TV and 'other' websites *guilty cough* I have managed to watch a lot of films that I have always wanted to see but have never had the funds or had time to watch. I kind of despise writing really long reviews and when I saw this brilliant idea on one of my favourite bloggers Charlotte's blog I thought I would lovingly inherit the idea, no stealing here. I started noting down the films I have watched on a long list on my phone and these are the films I have so far:

Obvious Child 

"You're dizzy because you played Russian roulette with your vagina" 
                                                                  - Hilarious and incredibly heartfelt, realistic and warm.
☽☽☽☽☽☽☽ - 8 moons

 Welcome to Me

"Come with me. Into another time that happened to me"
                                                                     - Bizarre, colourful and slightly eery.
☽ - 6 moons

Hector and the Search for Happiness 


"How many of us, I wonder, can recall that childhood moment when we experienced happiness as a state of being. That single moment of untarnished joy. That moment when everything in our world, inside and out, was alright. Everything was alright"
                                                                          - Enjoyable, quirky and scientific until the end.
☽- 9 moons 

The Virgin Suicides 

"What lingered after them was not life, but the most trivial list of mundane facts: a clock ticking on a wall, a room dim at noon, and the outrageousness of a human being thinking 
only of herself"
                          - Typical cult film, creepy and leaves you with many un-answered questions.

☽- 5 moons 

Blue Valentine 

"I like how you can compliment and insult somebody at the same time, in equal measure"
                                                                                          - Melancholy, beautiful scenes with                                                                                                 underlying tension. 
☽- 8 moons 

Big Eyes

"From a distance you look like a painter, but up close there's not much there"
                                                                                            - Tim Burton toned down. 
☽- 7 moons


"Dad! Tony Bennet though!" 
                                       - Heartbreaking and makes you feel almost helpless, beautifully composed.

☽- 10 moons 

Montage of Heck 

"He'd always have to, like, do some kind of art, y'know, usually defacing something.  He never had, like, idle hands.  It just came out of him.  He had to express himself.
                         - An intimate look into Cobain's life, doesn't focus on his suicide, focuses                                           more on his successions and how he dealt with them, the animations are fantastic.

☽- 10 moons 

The last two films I watched have really started a new love for documentary type films which I didn't think I would enjoy, but both of them were amazing pieces of cinema so will definitely be watching more of those types of films. I hope you enjoyed my minuscule reviews and I will be sure to do more.

What are your favourite films at the moment?

10 Youtubers I Rather Like

Monday, 9 November 2015

A few years ago it was tumblr that was clogging up my internet history, now it's Youtube. According to my Google Chrome Youtube is my most visited site, nice to know! There is a lot of psychology behind why people seem to like vloggers and favour watching a 20 minute vlog to a 30 minute Tv program, it has a lot to do with mild narcissism on the youtuber's account and invasive personality characteristics on the viewer's account, a very very interesting read if you get the chance.But it doesn't matter why we watch these certain characters, what does matter is how they entertain us and make us feel feelings through a 10-30 min video, now that's talent! Youtubers have had some pretty bad press recently and with them becoming so well known and so envied of their apparently 'easy' career, it can be easy to get swept up in it all. Now Youtubers are getting famous they are being pressured into making deals with brands and advertisers on their videos and some people believe that the purity of their original vlogs has disappeared. I think otherwise and with this new platform for Youtubers some of the most talented people have come onto our internet screens, we could moan about how much they earn all day,but why are you still watching their videos huh? I started watching Youtube videos when my friend introduced me to the world of vloggers, I think the first video I watched was a Shane Dawson one and I disliked it very much (still do). This put me off, but one night when I was in need of some much needed advice and support I came across a Miss Zoe Sugg (Zoella) and I instantly related to her videos, she was so kind and funny and after I watched one video I found myself watching all of her past videos in one night! Through Zoe I found some more, now famous faces such as: Tyler Oakley, SprinkleofGlitter, JacksGap etc. (you know who they are). Now I am subscribed to 97 channels, 97! And I've picked out 10 of my favourite people on Youtube, hopefully for you to enjoy too:

1. ChewingSand (Hazel Hayes) - Aw Hazel,her monthly vlogs are possibly some of the best pieces of cinematography I have ever seen and she only uses a tiny vlog camera. They are so well editied and you can really tell she's a talented film maker. Along with her 'Time of the Month' vlog series she makes short films which she's really known for, my favourite of her films is 'Septem' a really clever short film about an extreme reality gameshow. She also does a sereis called tipsy talk where she invites her friends and they basically just get drunk infront of the camera and talk about, well anything they feel like, these videos always seem to be hilarious because they are un-scripted and you can really tell she has a great relationship with the people she does it with. Her most recent vlog was incredibly heart felt and sad, she reveals some really personal things to the camera,which I don't think I could ever do, she's so articulate and strong and I have a lot of respect for her.

2. Zoella (Zoe Sugg) - She's now 'internet famous' and she's just recently been made into a wax figure in Madam Tussauds! Yet she stays as down to earth as you or me, I don't know how she does it. I think my love for Zoe is partly made out of envy and support, which is a strange ol' mixture, of course I'm jealous of her lifestyle, who isn't?! She gets free stuff in her post box, has a house in which she lives with her boyfriend and her dog and she can afford to have a bath every night! I watch her daily vlogs on her second channel and just try and picture myself in that position, but then I think about her anxiety and how hard it must be for someone with anxiety to live in the spot light like that. I've heard that people stand on her doorstep and ring the doorbell multiple times during the day and she can't seem to go to shops without being assaulted by 14 year olds. no thankyou! I love her videos though, I can drool over her hauls and favourites videos and know that she is being 100% honest with the products she recommends. Her videos always remind me of autumn and winter because there is nothing better than coming in from the cold, getting into bed, lighting some candles and watching a makeup tutorial or a 20 minute daily vlog in which she shows us what bath bomb she's going to use that night. It's good for her that she has all this fame and fortune under her belt, yet she still makes good, honest videos because she cares and that's a breathe of fresh air in the internet fame  industry, keep at it Zoe!


3. Jack Howard- His talented film making and contagious sense of humour shows that he is passionate in what he does and he really reflects that in his videos. He's a real film buff and the way he talks about movies really reminds me of myself, especially when he says that he likes to put on films that people haven't seen before and then watch their reaction while they are watching. He's always been very honest to his audience and when he can't do something he will say that he couldn't do it, like the monthly vlog series that he began doing, which I thought was genius but you could really tell that it was incredibly hard work. His short films are always great and his latest one is so well shot and down right hilarious, but I honestly prefer his more simple videos of just talking to a camera with some subtle, but incredibly clever editing effects thrown in. I think my love for Jack Howard is based around the fact that we share the same sense of humour and (maybe this is a little creepy) I honestly think that if we met in the street, we would immediately become firm friends, here's to hoping.

4. Will Darbyshire- He's an indie kid that lives in London, he likes taking long walks in the dark and he likes taking candid photos of his friends. He's my dream guy and when I found his Youtube channel I watched all his videos in the space of 2 days between uni lectures. They're quieter and deeper than other vlogs, he likes to talk about issues such as depression and fear and he's very honest with his audience. He's quiet and thoughtful and in a world surrounded by loud, obnoxious male youtubers making content that requires no effort, his videos stand out and gives a voice to the much more introverted creators. His music taste is pretty nice too. 


5. DoddleOddle (Dodie Clark)- She plays the ukulele and has the voice of an angel but what I love about her is that her content isn't just musical. I think many youtubers that can play music or have musical ability get stuck in this kind of box, just doing covers and they end up thinking that they can't create anything else now because they have this name for themselves. Dodie has broken out of that box and creates whatever the hell she likes and that's why I love and relate to her. You can tell that she is very spontenaic' with the things she creates and she says so herself that she feels like when she has writers block about her videos, she has to create something there and then, even if it's shit she'll create it and that's how I manage things as well. I agree with Dodie that it's always better to try and create something when you have no ideas, they tend to be the best things you create. Her second channel is full of these kind of videos and I actually prefer them to her main channel stuff, she just sits down with the camera and says what she thinks and that requires a lot of bravery, her videos always make a great discussion in the comments bellow, she's not afraid to show who she really is on Youtube, uploading un-polished videos and opening up to her audience, we need more people on Youtube like Dodie. 


6. The Michalaks- My favourite Youtube family. I used to follow Hannah Magg's blog and when she started making weekly vlogs of her and her family I subscribed to her Youtube channel, since then they have changed their name to The Michalaks because the videos aren't just about Hannah anymore, they have a baby named Grayson and well, you know my feeling on children but I have to say he is my second favourite child (the first being my boyfriend's niece) he's so cute and funny and the vlogs are so well edited and you can really tell Stef (the editor in the family) takes a lot of pride in his videos. Their parenting techniques are very laid back and I really think that's a breath of fresh air, they swear around Grayson, not on purpose but when they need to because they believe that he will eventually swear anyway, the best thing is to teach him when it is appropriate to swear and when it is not and I love that. Their videos consist of a weekly vlog uploaded every Sunday and it can be up to half an hour long, also the soundtrack to these vlogs are always beautiful and they are where I mostly get all my new music from. My favourite thing to do on a Sunday night before I go to bed is make a cup of tea and curl up and watch half an hour of the Michalaks's lives, their 'silky montages' as they like to call them are very calming and they are really good at getting the balance of the reality of being a parent and a beautiful video right. Oh and I also hope one day Stef gets his latte art right,for his sanity!


7. Hannah Witton- Hannah is an outspoken feminist, who makes videos about things that people don't like to talk about. She has become an advocate for teenagers and their sex lives, her videos are so wise and funny and she really has her facts right. She works with a lot of charities and has made a lot of difference in the social media/sex world and I have lots of respect for her. She also creates a  hilarious video series called 'Drunk Advice' where she (like Hazel) gets drunk with her youtube friends and gives some hilarious 'none' advice. Hannah's videos are  brilliant and really make you think about your place in society and how you can change things on a day to day basis, deconstruct those societal walls with one Hannah Witton video at a time!


8. Plant Based Judy- After going vegan I went on the hunt for some vegan Youtubers that can give me really nice recipes to follow. Judy's 'What I Ate in a Day' videos are very beautifully shot and her food always looks gorgeous but along with her beautiful videos, when she does speak on camera she has a brilliant sense of humour and the things she says about veganism and the judgment around this lifestyle is incredibly relatable. Her recent video about why she has chosen to move onto a high fat diet from a low fat diet is brilliant because us vegans have this expectation of eating low fat high carb for the rest of our lifetime when really we need some choclolate in our lives as much as the next person (if it's dark obviously).  Judy likes to make the point in that not all vegans are on a vegan diet to lose weight, it's a lifestyle and having this diet labelled as a quick and easy way to lose weight is harmful and prevents the true message of veganism getting across. Judy is very outspoken about this and has changed a lot of people's minds and for that I respect her. And the way she eats chocolate nicecream for breakfast!


9. Meow it's Lucy (Lucy Moon)- Ah Lucy, so much love for her and her videos. She creates beautiful, unique vlogs but also videos that make you think. She has incredibly high opinions regarding politics and I think this is brilliant and she is the only youtuber I am subscribed to who talks about politics. Which I think is sad because if you have this high social platform you should be using it to inform. Politics is a much more taboo subject on Youtube than mental health, which in a way is great for mental health but still many, many young people are still not voting in elections and feeling the consequences. Coming up to the election Lucy spoke about politics in nearly every single video she uploaded, not which party to vote for, just the importance of voting. Along with politics Lucy has also created videos about feminism and even the controversial subject of Youtube being dominated by white people. She is incredibly articulate and I really appreciate her opinions, what I have to say though is her support with veganism, she made a video a few months back about how everyone should go vegan and how great it is and how brilliant it is for the planet, but then in her next vlog there was a shot of her eating meat? Hmm with no disrespect to Lucy, maybe she changed her mind and that's fine, or maybe the vegan lifestyle didn't suit her, that's also fine, I was just a little confused. But it doesn't stop her from being one of my favourite Youtubers and one whose opinion I really respect. 

10. Cam and Nina- My most recent and favourite subscription. They are a vegan couple that live in Australia, they live near a beach and don't have a job, they go on road trips daily and pick up the best looking fruit and veg from their local market place, my absolute dream lifestyle! Their videos are beautifully shot and their recipes are so quick and easy and I have almost made them all, they are both beautiful people that live by little amounts and give a lot away. Their videos are inspiring especially if you are wanting to live a vegan lifestyle and live by cutting out excess, I'm still working on that last one but Cam and Nina's videos are going to help me do that. 


So there you go, a lengthy and a little ranty insight into my fave youtubers and why. There are of course many people that I am subscribed to that I would also like to talk about but I thought ten was a good number to even it down to. I hope if you share the same love of youtube videos as me, you will also subscribe to some of these people and if you have any of your faves that you think I would like please tell me about them!