Monday, 25 August 2014

August addictions...

Firstly I'm going to apologise for the serious blog neglect in the last two weeks, I'm not kidding when I say I've not even had the time to go on my laptop and draft this. I've been working an awful lot, and in my spare time I've been too exhausted to even procrastinate. Yes, it's gotten that bad.


Secondly, keeping with the tradition I've seemed to have created, I think it's about time I unveil my August addictions. This has been somewhat of a challenge to compose, as not only have I not had the time to blog, but I've barely had the time to procrastinate and watch tv shows or discover new music. I'll do my best!

Twin Atlantic - I've been a bit of a fan of this Glaswegian band for a while, but not an avid fan to say the least. But thanks to Em, I've completely fallen in love with them, and their new album, which both amazes and amuses me. They're so Scottish it's brilliant, I adore the way he says "brothers and sisters", it's a bit like "brothas and sisTAHS", and the ways he says memories with complete charm. This obsession has even stretched to going as far as buying a ticket to seeing them in November, with Em, her workmates and my workmate Keira. Seriously cannot wait. 



Celebrity Big Brother - This fills me with so much shame and disgust. I vowed I would never watch this show as long as I lived, but it seems I've succumbed to the need to fill my evenings with this complete trash. Admittedly, the lineup is somewhat amazing, with the likes of James Jordan of Strictly (I'm a huge Strictly Come Dancing fan), Edele from B*Witched (c'est la vie was a classic), and George from Gogglebox (I bloody love gogglebox so much). I feel like I'm living and breathing everything happening in the show and just want to gossip about it to anyone who understands. Just don't ask me who I want to win, because I'm far too emotionally invested into the show to give a straight answer. I know who I love to pieces, and who I detest. I feel like I need rehab to because I know how toxic this show is, it's like I'm slowly poisoning myself to death. I'm so disgusted with myself. 


Salt spray - Recently I made the bold move and had an astonishing 7 inches of hair cut off. It was actually quite liberating, and I must admit, I love it. Having shorter hair has many advantages. Being the lazy girl I am, it suits me just fine that my hair routine takes significantly less time now, especially as I can pretty much leave it to do whatever it wants and pass it off as a 'messy indie' look.The only product I've invested in is the got2b salt spray, which helps to make my hair go naturally wavy without being too messy. And it smells pretty wonderful. Delightful. 



Muller light cappuccino yogurt - This is completely bizarre, but I have eaten so much yogurt this summer. Not liking fruit much at all, this does limit which yogurts I'll actually eat, so I was thrilled when I found this cappuccino yogurt in ASDA. Okay, so it doesn't taste that much like coffee (thank God, I am definitely a tea-over-coffee kinda girl), but it's pretty damn yummy. I may or may not have 6 pots of this currently sitting in my fridge.


So there we go, I hope this short but sweet post is satisfactory enough for now, I'm planning a post which should be up in a few days. I'll try not to abandon you again!

Much love 


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

"Oh just lighten up a bit..."

I'm going to apologise now in advance for the seriousness of this post, it's a far cry from my regular posts of holidays musings, fluffy dogs and being drunk. But it's something which recently has been gaining a lot of media attention due to the heartbreaking loss of the amazing talent which is Robin Williams, and I feel as if I just need to have my say on the matter. 

Depression. 


Even the term itself oozes doom and gloom. I get so worked up every time I see that word, I have this weird mixture of emotions such as sympathy, rage, and complete and utter heartbreak going on inside of me. 

It's not really a secret, however it's not something I openly discuss, but I myself have battled with this old foe for years. Personally, and I cannot stress enough that everyone goes through depression differently, depression comes and goes in waves of intensity for me. Currently, I'm thrilled to say that I have my demons pushed to the back of my mind, and that I'm okay just going with the flow of my life at the moment. However, I have had moments of complete chaos where I cannot face the world, and I genuinely feel as if I just can't cope with anything. It took me a long time to realise what was wrong with me, it took a few long years of suffering in silence, hiding all my feelings away even from my mum, before I broke out of myself and got some help. 

But what does get to me, is the way people don't get that depression is a serious mental illness. It's completely misunderstood by anyone who is lucky enough to not come across it, but sometimes I feel this verges on ignorance. I've been a little bit wary about opening up with people about depression, because in the past I've been told "I have nothing to be sad about", and to "just lighten up a bit", because they just don't understand how depression works. It's not caused by any particular reason, you could have everything you ever wanted in life but still have depression, and there's no switch to miraculously turn it off and be happy again. It just doesn't work like that.


The lack of education and information available about depression is shocking, especially as more people than you may think do suffer from it. Because it's such an unknown to many, there's a lot of unwillingness to talk about it, to the extent that for many it becomes like 'the elephant in the room', which never gets discussed or mentioned, but is obviously there. Then there's the polar opposite, the part which really annoys me, is people throwing the term about because they don't understand how serious it is. Just the other day I was on the bus when I heard a girl saying to her friend that she was so 'depressed' because her hair wasn't styled the way she wanted it. It's just as bad as when people used to call things 'gay' instead of 'lame', it has just as much power behind it than people realise. And it's pure ignorance. I don't blame these people though, I just get upset that they obviously have never been taught how serious depression really is, so they genuinely do not know what they are saying. 

Sadly, it's taken the death of one of the most beloved actors of our time for this subject to finally be getting the recognition it's been needing for years. Robin Williams bought a lot of laughter and joy to all who watched films such as Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, and Flubber, and captivated audiences with roles such as in one of my favourites, Good Will Hunting. It's just such a shame that he couldn't find the happiness he bought to others within himself. I hope that people see him as the person he was, and not the demons he was fighting, and that the positive we can take from his death is that other people may find the courage to seek help and receive it. 


I found a comment online which really made me think about all this, and it's what really sparked this whole rant/post. It said, "When somebody dies of cancer, they blame the cancer. If somebody dies because of depression, they blame the person. It's an illness too, and claims just as many lives."

So there you go, that was a bit of a change from my usual somewhat lighter posts, but it's just something I felt had to be said. If anyone reading this is currently being affected by depression, don't suffer in silence. There are people who can and will help you, and you're not a burden or troubling them at all. I've included a few links below to help you, or for anyone who is after a bit more information on the subject.

The Depression Alliance - http://www.depressionalliance.org/
The Samaritans - http://www.samaritans.org/ 


Much love 



Saturday, 9 August 2014

Update - The new dog

Now anyone who knows me will know I'm definitely a dog person. Don't get me wrong, cats are cute, but I find them selfish and boring. Dogs are much more sassy and playful, and asdfghjkl; I just love them.

If you know me, you'll also know I currently have a dog, a King Charles Cavalier called Lucy, who will be 10 this week. I love her to bits, she's so placid and friendly, and oh so adorable. She's got these gorgeous soppy brown eyes and I adore her so much. One of the hardest things for me about going to uni, was leaving the dog. You can call your family up when you miss them, but nothing can replace snuggles with the dog. I even joked about how I wasn't homesick, but rather 'dogsick', because I was missing her so much. There was one incident where I was on the way back from a shopping trip with Em, and I saw this really cute dog and started crying, and had to go over to the dog to stroke it. Very awkward, very embarrassing, but I was a mess.

I'm a bit like this lady - only with dogs.


So imagine my reaction when I got told we were getting another dog! It was all a little bit hush-hush until we actually had him, just in case the whole thing fell through, but he's here and officially ours! (Well when I say ours, I mean my mum and her partners, but he's adorable so I'm totally claiming part ownership.)

Meet Nelson!


Okay, first things first - I had absolutely no say in naming him. My mums partner did, and I won't lie to you, I think it's a ridiculous name. It's slightly embarrassing. Yes I understand that because of his links to the navy, calling him Nelson after Admiral Nelson is quite clever, but to me, Nelson reminds me of Nelson Muntz from the Simpsons. I felt incredibly judged when I had to call his name on a walk the other day, because there I was on the local trail wearing a nice dress with a dog called Nelson. I looked like a crazy stuck-up lady with a posh named dog. Little did they know I'm pretty averagely common and the dog is a little shit. 

He's a Yorkshire Terrier, and he's a really sweet little dog, a bit clingy, but sweet. He's constantly following people and getting under their feet, because he loves the attention so much. You can't go over and stroke Lucy without him suddenly appearing and trying to wedge himself between you and her to steal her spotlight. I think she gets a bit fed up of him, it's hilarious. Only problem we've found is he's quite over friendly with the biting. He likes to greet you with a firm chomp on your hand, leg, thigh, or whatever he can get. He's also into the whole 'humping everything he can get hold of' phase, which includes all dog toys, pillows, shoes, or even a lampost. (Again, this was a very awkward walk.) But he is learning to behave himself, slowly but surely. He's definitely grasped the concept of the word 'NO!', but I think half the time he chooses to ignore it to humour us. 



He also like to bury things. Typical terrier, but so far we've lost two rubber balls and a squeeky bone. I watched him bury something up the garden, and it was hilarious. He has this little technique, where he digs the hole, places the item in it, uses his nose to fill the hole in again, then pats down the soil with his paws so the ground is flat again! Very sneaky. No wonder we can't find anything he's buried, because there aren't any suspicious mounds of dirt anywhere. 

I've also sussed that now I've got 2 dogs, I can totally train them to do stuff like this...


And...


He's definitely a character, but you can't help but love the skinny little thing. He's a keeper.

Much love 


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

What I can't live without at Uni...

When I first started packing a year ago to move into halls, I had absolutely no idea what I'd need or want to take with me. I searched all over the Internet for recommended packing lists to get ideas, and thankfully a few did come in handy. Looking back, I took far too much stuff to halls, so much in fact I had to do a trip to IKEA to buy another set of draws. Did I use everything I took with me? Hell no. I always fall into the trap of "I'll take this in case I need it", knowing damn well that'll never happen. It's probably because I'm a hoarder and just love being surrounded by all my things. So what is it I couldn't live without at uni?

  1. Netflix - After about two weeks of living away from home, I realised I suddenly had more free time than I've ever had before in my life. It didn't help that I was determined to survive the year without a job, which often meant I'd spent entire weekends on my own in the flat, with nothing but Netflix for company. I didn't need to get out of bed or anything, it was bliss. I found new TV series to get hooked on, like RuPaul (I know, I don't ever shut up about RuPaul!) and watched endless films until I got fed up of them (Ella Enchanted, anyone?). Life without Netflix in halls, to me, is unimaginable. It certainly filled a lot of my spare time, and the time I was meant to be working... 
  2. My F.R.I.E.N.D.S boxset - A gift from my ex on my birthday last year, but similarly to Netflix, this one was handy at filling up all the free time and late nights I had nothing better to do with. However, the boxset also provided me with a challenge. I aimed to watch every single episode before moving out of halls, meaning I had to spam watch it until I'd completed the challenge. I did, by the way. F.R.I.E.N.D.S is easily my favourite show of all time, but at uni it seemed even more relevant; a bunch of young people trying to make their way in live on their own, exactly the same as what we were trying to do. 
  3. My iPad Mini - Easily one of the best purchases I've ever made. When I got into uni, I just knew that my poor old laptop, as faithful as it is, would have no chance of surviving being lugged around to lectures. So I decided to splash out on an iPad. Not only did it come in handy for watching Netflix on the go, but it was also pretty useful for scrolling through Facebook in lectures when I was bored, and talking to all my friends in the room. But seriously, it was really useful for taking notes, especially after downloading 'Pages' for £6.99, and when my dad bought me a detachable keyboard for it for my birthday. It's definitely worth considering getting a decent laptop or tablet for lectures, especially for finding all the reading material and powerpoints online. 
  4. Super Noodles - Ah, the staple diet of the uni student. Cheap and cheerful, plus you can get them in loads of flavours. (Bacon is lush.) I ate far too many packets of these, and their counterparts, the pasta sachets, to the point that I thought I might turn into a noodle. Money is always pretty tight at uni, especially when there's drinking and shopping to factor into your expenses, so we're always looking for ways to eat well for less. I'm not too sure super noodles serve as 'eating well', but I survived a year eating them a good 5 times a week. (I'm definitely cutting down on the noodles this year.) 
  5. Antibacterial wipes - These are a god send. Not only are they easy to use, but they're pretty cheap as well. They will come in handy, especially in the kitchen, because I can guarantee you will end up living with some messy people. I definitely did, from meat packets being left on the side, to random sauce stains everywhere. We had sauce up the fridges, down the wall, on the windows, I swear to god, you name it, there was sauce on it. And let's not even talk about whatever was crusted onto the inside of the microwave. I very rarely used the microwave at uni, out of fear of what the hell had previously gone in it. Antibacterial wipes will make using the kitchen much less of a stomach churning adventure. 
  6. Photos - When I first moved into my little uni room, it felt a little bit like a prison cell. Because all the rooms are so uniformed and plain, I had to make the room feel homely to help me settle in. I'd bought with me pictures of family and friends from home, and blue-tacked them all over the noticeboard next to my bed. Next to that I had my poster of Florence Welch, and by the end of the year, I'd added more recent uni photos too. I also used bunting and loads of pillows to make the room feel snug, and well, mine. (This is my room last year, I loved how I decorated it so much, it was so cosy.)
  7. My 'Blates' - I bought quite possibly the worlds flattest plates with me to uni, so I couldn't have any meal which involved sauce because it just poured straight onto the table. So after another trip to IKEA, I came back with deep plates, which looked like the love-child of a bowl and a plate. I affectionately called them 'blates' all year, and were perfect for pretty much every single meal. (And yes, I did go on the IKEA website to find exactly the same one I have to use the picture...)
  8. My fan heater - I was unlucky when I first moved into halls, because my room was the most freezing cold room in the entire flat. I spent the first week avoiding my room, and shivering my way through the night, because my heating was completely broken. I was semi-convinced I was living in an igloo. Thankfully, my mum bought me a really cheap little fan heater, which warmed the room up really quickly. I had it on literally all the time, I'm a sucker for a warm room, and it helped me to to survive a pretty damn cold winter in Winchester. 

So there it is, my little words of wisdom and advice for anyone starting uni this year. I took so much more to uni than that with me, and as I said, I definitely did not use it all. But these things helped me to survive my first year, and are partly why I enjoyed it so much.

Much love