Maybe I've always been more comfortable in chaos....

Oh it's been a while since I've written a serious post hasn't it? Recently if I've not been on some adventure or writing about it, I've been busy working to pay for the next one, so that I've barely had the time to stop and think about everything. My mind has been filled to the brim with a million thoughts, and I've been on the point of snapping for too long, so I've forced myself to get my act together and sort it all out.

In the last few months I've been super stressed out. Uni work seems to be never-ending. The wait to go home dragged out, and Winchester and I were seriously stuck in the middle of a love/hate relationship. I was really starting to feel like I'd been there too long, and it was time for a change of scenery and to go back home to Weymouth. But now I'm back in Weymouth I've found I'm itching to go back to Winchester. I honestly can't figure out where it is I really want to be anymore. Plus everyday life was just grating on me, like all things I had to do, and the people I was around. It's really unhealthy, and was just generally making me really angry at the world. I like to think I'm usually a really lovely person, but recently I had been so angry, I wasn't even smiling at strangers anymore. (I know, how atrocious.) This way of feeling had gone on for so long it was becoming my natural state, and I was becoming totally oblivious to it, and it was only when people around me pointed out how stressed and chaotic I was constantly, that I realised I had to change. I'd become comfortable in my own chaos, despite the fact I'd been taking all my angst out on myself, and everyone around me. I decided I needed to find a little time just for me, and make myself the most important person for a while. No disrespect to the people around me, but sometimes my problems need to come before theirs, and I need to just forget about them for a little bit. There's only so much space in my head.

So here's my fool-proof way to clear your head, even if it's just for 10 minutes. Consider this a little self-help guide, a big hug if you will from me to you, letting you know that it's okay to be really pissed off at the world, but don't let it get you down for too long or you may go crazy.

Light some candles. Honestly, candles make so much of a difference. They can change the atmosphere of a room, and make it much cosier and comforting to be in. Scented candles are the best, choose one you love (for me it has to be either Jasmine or Vanilla), and light them up.

Go on a little walk. Walking can do wonders for a troubled soul. Walk away from your problems for a little while and get some fresh air, and everything will feel so much better. I'm extremely fortunate to currently be living by the sea, so a little trip to the beach always sorts me out.

Blast some tunes. Whether it's the album you're currently championing or some classic cheesy tunes, play it loud and play it proud. Have a bit of a sing-along and dance off your blues, seriously, it'll make you feel better. I've done this so many times now, I'm convinced my neighbours can see me and think I need locking up in a padded cell. I just really hope they don't mind Florence + The Machine's new album..

Make a list. Write down all the negative things on your mind, and write down how you intend to sort it out. Making an action plan of how you're gonna tackle everything makes things a little simpler, because you can see it all in front of you, and it's not all just swimming endlessly around your head anymore. Cross them off once you've sorted them out as well, it makes it that bit more satisfying.

Clean something. I'm a firm believer that a tidy room = a tidy mind. It allows me to be able to think straight, and it's often a great distraction for when my brain is drowning in stress.

Vent your issues. Lockdown a confidant and talk to them about what's on your mind. I have two people I always turn to for some balanced and sound advice on pretty much everything, which is an absolute blessing. Just be aware that you're not putting too much on them, or whining about everything all the time. Venting must be done sparingly and fairly.

Plan something worth looking forwards to. This one is basically my life. Always keep your hopes up by having something to look forwards to and work towards, it makes difficult days seem much more worth while and easier to get through. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, it can just be a trip to the cinema with friends, but always plan something fun ahead.
Don't let things get on top of you, take time out for yourself, and only take on as much as you can cope with. You are a world within yourself, and you need to look after yourself. And trust me, even though you might not think so, you're doing great.

(Also bonus points for anyone who realised the post title is a Florence + The Machine Lyric from the song St. Jude on How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful!)
Much love  ♥  


All aboard the Hogwarts Express...

I was only 7 when the first Harry Potter film came out, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, so like many others my age, I grew up reading and watching the Harry Potter series. It was a kind of magical escape for me growing up, I longed so much that I could hop on the Hogwarts Express and go and learn how to practice magic, but unfortunately my Hogwarts letter never arrived. But many years later, luckily for me, as a summer surprise my mum booked for her, my brother and I to go to the Warner Bros. Studio Harry Potter Tour at Leavesden Studios. I was completely over the moon, I'd always wanted to go but never really got around to organising it. Plus it was a great excuse for me to feel like a 12 year old again.
It's probably a little naïve of me to say this, but I'd never really appreciated just how big a production the Harry Potter films were. There were so many people involved from beginning to end, across many departments I hadn't even really given much thought about. The studio tours shows you every little detail involved in making such an epic film series, from the concept art, to scale models, props, costumes, special effects and so much more...
Here are just a few pictures of my day!

Just on my way to platform 9 3/4...

The Great Hall

The Hogwarts Express
 Some of the costumes, Privet Drive, and the teachers costumes in The Great Hall
I'd definitely recommend going to anyone who loves Harry Potter, it's such an amazing experience allowing the magic to live on. I would also recommend anyone interested in film production go along, because it's honestly inspiring and eyeopening as to just how big and varied the film industry is. I spent far too much money in the gift shop at the end, and I was super tempted to buy a replica wand (definitely Hermione's because I always wished I was her when I was younger), but couldn't bring myself to splurge the £27 for one. I did however settle on a copy of The Tales of Beedle The Bard along with many beautiful notebooks which seem far too pretty to use and some postcards for my wall at uni.
Some of the many things I bought in the gift shop

Much love ♥  

That Wildlife though...

Continuing on from our awesome few days in Edinburgh, Em and I headed straight down to Brighton for Wildlife Festival. I persuaded Em to come with me months ago, and she agreed after I pointed out Sam Smith would be performing. Long story short, he wasn't after the whole throat surgery thing, but we still had a hell of a weekend! (Plus technically we did see Sam Smith in the crowd, we just didn't actually hear him sing...)
First things first, we checked into our room in a Travelodge. I know, it was pretty much what you'd expect, but not the end of the world. If you can get past the feeling that it sounds like the person in the bathroom is literally right next to you when you're curled up in bed, then it's fairly decent. We got the lovely surprise of finding out our past selves had pre-paid for breakfast, which we totally forgot about. Word of advice however, never stop at the first place you find for food. Especially if said place is a kebab shop and you're not drunk. I had to walk back through the hotel holding a pie, which genuinely felt like I'd hit rock bottom.
The festival was onsite at Brighton City Airport, literally not that far from Brighton City Centre, and they put on a bus service for the occasion which was decent. The whole weekend was brilliantly organised (minus the hour long wait for a bus back on the first night, needless to say after thousands of complaints they stepped up big time on the Sunday night), and just a whole lot of fun.

Although there were loads of people playing, here are just a few of my highlights from across the weekend.
  • Jess Glynne - Somehow we ended up right at the front on the barrier for Jess Glynne, and she was incredible. Her voice is so powerful, and she played all the songs we love her for, such as Hold My Hand, Real Love, and Rather Be.
  • Mark Ronson - Whilst we were still at the front, we decided to stick around for Mark Ronson, and it was such a highlight of the weekend! He played Uptown Funk (for the first time ever at a festival he told us!), and we all went mad. His last track was Valarie, who he dedicated to his old friend Amy Winehouse, and again, we all went mad. Such an amazing set, plus we realised we both have weird crushes on him...
  • Black Butter Tent - A.K.A our spiritual home for the weekend. Here we were offered a plethora of drugs (haha as if!), got a bit drunk, and loved life to the max. Everyone was dancing like an idiot and nobody cared, and of course we joined in. It was so exhilarating not to be judged for looking like a complete idiot swaying around holding two bottles of cider, because everyone else was doing exactly the same. My favourite moment in the tent was 'Dancing Man', a guy with moves so incredible, I filmed him. Enjoy...
  • George Ezra - I can officially saw I've seen my future husband in the flesh now, even if we ended up in a really bad bit of the crowd. Emily got clawed in the ribs, and called it quits, leaving me in the thick of the crowd. I guilt tripped, left to find her (cue a two hours search wandering around the site for each other because there was no phone signal!), and missed him sing Budapest. What I did see though was bloody marvellous, and I'm definitely still in love with my G. Ezra.
  • Rudimental - The whole place went mental for Rudimental! They played all the classics such as Feel The Love, Not Giving In, and Waiting All Night, and Em and I jumped and danced around like crazy. This was also the beginning of a very brilliant dance routine which I'm sure will become a part of every night out from now on..
  • Jimmy Napes - Producer, song-writer, and friend of Disclosure and Sam Smith, and now musical artist in his own right. This was his first live performance, and yet again we were at the front, and he was brilliant. A pleasant surprise from an act we'd never heard play before, I've gone and downloaded his EP and am looking forwards to hearing more from him soon!
  • Years and Years - I am a HUGE Years & Years fan, I love their music so much it's ridiculous (although not as much as the Y&Y fan club who were next to us at the barrier, who were so intense it was slightly terrifying). I've had their new single Shine stuck in my head ever since. I'm going to be seeing them again in October, but this set was brilliant, as was lead Olly Alexander's dancing/slut dropping...
  • Annie Mac - Confession, I was actually pretty drunk during the majority of Annie Mac's set, and I think we walked off and missed quite a lot of it. However, what we heard was pretty impressive, and got the whole crowd hyped up and ready for Disclosure later that night.
  • Disclosure - I am so in love with Disclosure it borders on ridiculous. Like genuinely, their music is just insanely good, and I could listen to it forever and ever. I figured that had it not been for this festival, I probably wouldn't get the chance to see them live again, and the crowd was loving it. They played so many songs, bought out guests such as Gregory Porter who sings on Holding On, and rounded off with Latch, which they dedicated to Sam Smith. My mind was completely blown during the entire set, and it's up there on the list of the happiest moments of my life. My absolute highlight of the entire weekend. (I'm also very much in love with Guy Lawrence from Disclosure, and if things don't work out between me and George Ezra, he's next on the list...ha!)
The next morning, we were so wrecked and defeated by Wildlife, that we actually chose to skip the free breakfast from our past selves just so we could sleep in! It took a bit of recovering I won't lie, I was exhausted from having too much fun. One thing is for sure however, I will definitely be signing up for next year after how incredible it was. I'm converted from loving gigs to going crazy for festivals! Hopefully one day I'll get tickets for Glastonbury, and maybe even Coachella if I'm lucky enough.

Much love ♥