Monday, 30 December 2013

'How do you measure, measure a year?'




My, oh my, 2013 you've been a crazy one haven't you? The year has whizzed by so fast, I'm left reeling as if it's all been a wonderful (okay, mostly wonderful) dream. 
As the festive season draws to a close, I've found myself reflecting on the metaphorical rollercoaster ride 2013 has been. I feel that I've accomplished a lot this year; 2013 has seen me begin many new chapters of my life, as well as improving on others. 

So, what better way to document and share with you my personal highlights of the past twelve months than a big smushy let's-get-overly-emotional-and-talk-about-all-the-good-things-that-have-happened type post!   


University

2013 has seen me complete my First Year at university, and dive headfirst into the stress that is 'Year Two'. I was apprehensive when beginning university as I was still in my home town, living with my family. I didn't move into Halls of Residence, I didn't have flat mates. Therefore, I was forced to put myself out there even more in order to make friends. This scared me for a number of reasons. Was I still going to get a good experience without having as much independance as those students that do move away? What if I couldn't make friends in a lecture because I'd be too busy scribbling down notes? Of course, as always, I was worrying far too much. Luckily, I met lovely people on my course and soon found my feet. 
I know it's super cliched to say but, University has quite frankly changed my life. I've learnt a lot, I've partied a lot, I've laughed a hell of a lot, and I've had a smile on my face an immeasurable amount more than the year before. I'm now a much more confident person; I've had the chance to take many opportunities that never would have arisen had I not stayed in education. I've also met some of the best people and made some very strong friendships that I hope to hold onto for many years to come.
Although it's not always easy, and I'm often up to my eyeballs in essay stress, I know that every moment is helping me to get to where I want to end up. And the fact that I'm getting to have fun alongside that is pretty darn great. 

Musical Theatre Society

Gah, I barely have words to describe how much this society means to me. I remember forcing myself to pluck up the courage to go to the Fresher's Induction back in 2012. I was terrified. And my God am I glad I went. Through it, I've met most of the amazing friends I mentioned above. During 2013, I had the opportunity to perform in two shows during my first year at University; 'Down on the Avenue' - an original showcase in January and 'Grease' the musical in May. I wrote a post about Grease in more detail, which you can view HERE. All of the people I met were so lovely and made me feel so welcome. I love my MTS family! 
At the end of the semester, when Elections for the new Committee arrived, I decided to challenge myself massively and ran for the role of President. Again, I wrote another post about this which you can catch up on HERE. I won the vote, and as of this September I have assumed the role of President. It has been tough at times, but I love it. In January, we will be performing our showcase, 'The Phantom of the Musical', and I cannot wait for people to see the amazingly talented, hard working members we have.
The most rewarding part of the role is knowing that I'm helping to give the new members a place they love as much as I did last year. Seeing them form friendships with people they may not have otherwise met, and hearing how much they are enjoying the whole experience makes all the late nights, endless emails, phone calls, forms, organising and problem solving stress worthwhile. 
I'm aware I sound like some form of deranged proud Mother, but I have a lot of feelings, okay?

Travels

2013 saw two firsts for me in travel. Back in July, my mum, my sister and I went on holiday for a week to Tenerife. This was the first holiday we'd been on just the three of us, and it was nice to take a time out from all things Internet and work (yes, I did just say it was nice to be away from the Internet) and enjoy some quality time together. I documented my time away in a good ol' post which you can view here
I also went on my first 'holiday' of sorts without any parental guidance in August. I spent the most amazing few days in London with one of my closest friends. We went to the YouTube gathering 'Summer in the City' and I spent my birthday evening watching my favourite musical Les Miserables live on the West End for the first time. It's safe to say August was very kind to me this year. If you'd like to hear more about my London adventures, I wrote more about them herehere and here

Gigs

Although I haven't been to that many gigs in 2013, the ones I have attended have been pretty spectacular. Most prominently McFly's 10th Anniversary gig at the Royal Albert Hall. That night was just incredible. In 2014, I intend on going to more, including 3 McBusted dates which I already have the tickets for. What? My inner 12 year old just couldn't deal with only one, okay? 

Birth of this blog

2013 saw me take the plunge back into blogging, and it's a decision I'm pleased I made. Although I haven't had as much time as I'd have liked to commit to creating more posts, I'm pleased with where I've got to so far. I'm still finding my feet here, but I intend on improving and writing more in 2014. I have a few little ideas brewing away in my mind and I'm looking forward to sharing them with you here, so I hope you plan on sticking around to see them! 

Without wanting to sound too cliched, I've changed and grown a lot this year. I feel like I'm slowly starting to 'find myself' for want of a better phrase, and it feels good. Positivity is the way forward!

What better way to end this post than with a photo montage of my favourite memories?






(It's okay, I cringed too.)

2013, you've been a blast. 2014, you've got a lot to live up to but I look forward to seeing what you have to bring!

For those of you that haven't seen my previous post on New Year's Resolutions for next year, you can view it here.
Alrighty then! I think that just about rounds up my posts for this year. Thankyou for reading, and for following if you have. It means a lot.
See you in January!

A
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xxxx


Saturday, 28 December 2013

New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions: The promises we make to ourselves at the start of January that get forgotten about before the time February rolls around. Well, that's always been my experience of them anyway. However, 2013 has seen a change for me.
On the 6th January 2013, I saved this note onto my phone with the hope that I would complete it all by the end of the year: 




I fully expected to have forgotten about them, but for some reason they stuck. Every time I'd make a list in my phone (which is a LOT) I'd notice the note there and be reminded of the things I wanted to change. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot more about myself that I'd like to alter, but these seemed the most prominent at the time and so I put in a proper effort to complete them. 
This year, I tried to set myself goals that were achievable if I set my mind to it. But, I also wanted them to be things that wouldn't mean I had to change drastically straight away because that never works in my opinion. 
 So, how did I do? Well, minus the one about going to London so often, I completed them!
(In retrospect, I could've and should've taken a LOT more photos, but I still improved on the year before.)

In light of my successfulness (yup, claiming that's a word) I have decided to do the same for 2014 and see what happens in the upcoming year. My resolutions are to:

- Again, take more photos. I want to document this amazing time in my life that I'm experiencing much more. 
- To cut down the amount I procrastinate. This one is going to be tough, but I know I'll gain a lot if I do manage to combat it. When a job needs doing, I need to start doing it there and then, rather than putting it off.
- To stick at blogging, with the hope of growing and improving my little space here.
- To continue saying yes to opportunities. Even the ones that scare me.
- To have started a plan for after Third Year. This one is SCARY.

Like every year, I have had some tough times during 2013. However, on the whole it's been pretty darn good. I can only hope that 2014 brings me more of the same.

Happy New Year!!

A
xxxx

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Untitled

Like being on a boat,
Drifting, often aimlessly
Sometimes purposefully
Reaching, surging, navigating
Surviving 

With waves that crash
Unexpectedly overboard, 
With a mass of power
Sometimes manageable, other times with a force
So great
The boat soars up,
Into the air
Like a bird leaving the nest.

And in that moment
Free-falling
Everything is silent,
Calm

And in that moment 
The chaos of the ocean, the upheaval
The torment, 
The mindless meandering,
Can be forgotten,
Left behind.

And it is only in that moment,
That the beauty of the ocean can truly be understood.



(I wrote this a while ago but haven't posted it as I'm not too sure whether I'm happy with it. It's been years since I've written poetry, but I thought I'd give it another go. I'm aware it's different to my normal posts but I'm still finding my feet here in this little corner of the Internet I can call mine.

Thanks for reading as always)
A
xxxx

Monday, 18 November 2013

November Playlist

Hello!
Recently, I've been listening to the radio and music a lot more in the day whilst I'm getting on with work etc. (Of course, by getting on with work I mean procrastinating on the Internet for hours). So, today I thought I would share with you a few songs I've currently been listening to and loving a lot.
Before I start, I will just say I know nothing about music so don't judge me for my terrible descriptions, thanks!

1. Paramore - Ain't It Fun

This is easily my favourite song from Paramore's latest album. The album itself took a while to grow on me, as it's quite different from their usual material. However, the first time I heard this song I loved it. The lyrics are just so great, and resonate with how I've been feeling a lot lately.
I also got to see it played live at their Self Titled tour earlier this year which was pretty freaking awesome.


2. McFly - Love Is On The Radio 

It's McFly. Do I really need to add anything else?!
I love the slight country sound to this. Every new McFly album has been different, but I've loved them all as you probably already know from this post dedicated to them. I cannot wait for Album 6! Until then, this is going on repeat. I don't think I'll ever tire of watching Dougie lick that hammer.


3. The Lumineers - Slow It Down 

This isn't a new song, however I only recently discovered it whilst trawling through playlists on the app 8tracks. The simplicity of it is just beautiful. Ahhhh, it's one of those songs that makes me feel all fuzzy.
Everything by The Lumineers that I've heard I've liked, so I'm definitely going to listen to more of them.


4. Lewis Watson & Gabrielle Aplin - Droplets 

I love both Lewis and Gabrielle's solo work, so for them to collaborate makes me happy. I've abused the replay button on the live videos of this many times whilst waiting for it to officially be released. Again, it's another mellow number, but I'm really loving that kind of vibe lately.
If nothing else, watch this for the video; it's so cute!

5. Bastille - Poet

I love the lyrics to this song so much I was tempted to write only about this and forget the others! The idea of capturing and savouring someone forever by writing about them is so beautiful. It's one of the main reasons that I love reading and English so much. Team that thought with Bastille and you're onto a winner in my opinion. Again, this isn't a new song but it's one I've only just properly found again and I love it. Music can be so great sometimes.

That's it for now I think! Let me know if you have listened to any of these before, or what you think of them now. Do you have any suggestions you think I should add? What songs are you currently obsessed with?

Thanks for reading!
A
xxxx

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Ten Years of McFly - My Story



So, the other night I was at the pub with a few friends and the subject of music taste was brought up. Anyone who knows me even remotely, will probably be aware that McFly are my favourite band. No, they're not constantly at the top of the charts. No, they're not the most popular thing around anymore but for me, good music isn't about that anyway. The size of the fan base does not dictate the quality of the music. Anyway, before I go running off on a tangent and start ranting, I thought I would share with you why McFly will always hold a special place in my heart.

I'll start at the very beginning, I've heard it's a very good place to start! Back in the summer of 2004, I saved up my pocket money and bought McFly's first album 'Room on the Third Floor.' Right from the start, I was hooked. They reminded me of Busted, and I bloody love Busted! I remember sitting on a bench with two friends at breaktime in my final year of primary school, studying the lyric book and memorising all the words. Oh yeah, I was one cool kid. Whilst those two were arguing over who's hair was the best, I used to sit there and think 'God, these songs are awesome!' Again, mega cool. Who needs to play Scarecrow tig when you can read?!
Back in those days, there was no such thing as iPods and smartphones -can you believe it?! We actually managed to cope without them! - and instead I was the proud owner of a CD Walkman. There I'd be, in the back of the car humming and singing along to whatever album was my favourite at the time. I used to go on holiday within the UK a lot and so long car journeys were something I did frequently. I used my time wisely, and introduced my family to my new obsession. One of the most memorable journeys I had was around the time when 'Obviously' first charted. The song had made it onto one of the NOW Compilation CD's which my sister collected. She and I used to attempt to hit play at the same time on our seperate Walkmans and listen to it 'together'. As you can probably imagine, this never worked well and so my grandparents were often treated to deafening recitals slightly out of time again and again until we eventually gave up.

The first time I got to see the boys perform live was relatively far into their career -the Radio:Active tour in November 2008. It was also the first gig I'd ever been to without an adult! Aw. I was incredibly excited during the lead up to it as I had envied my friends going to see them on the tours beforehand. Now it was finally my turn, and I was sure they wouldn't disappoint. My predictions were correct, and I had one of the best nights ever. Seeing them perform live only increased my love and respect for them, as I could truly understand how talented they are. Far too often we see manufactured boy bands step out onto stage and perform songs they haven't written, to backing tracks they haven't recorded along with dance moves they haven't choreographed. Don't get me wrong, cheesy pop music is not always a bad thing, but there is something so special when a band comes together and writes their own material and then play it live. It's more genuine, relatable and in my opinion creates a much better show. 

Since 2008, I have been to at least one gig of every other tour. One of my favourite moments was on the 'Keep Calm and Play Louder' tour in early 2012 when they played 'No Worries'. This isn't one of their most popular songs, yet it is definitely one of my favourites. I hadn't looked up the set list before going so I had no idea that it was going to be played. Danny quietened the crowd, and then him, Tom and Dougie grouped around one microphone and performed it acoustically. The amount of goosebumps I had was quite ridiculous. I think it was mainly because I never thought I'd get to hear it live and then I did.

In 2010, they did a radio tour to promote the next album and so I roped my mum into driving us to a nearby town so that I could finally meet the people who had been such a big part of my life. 


Yay for looking rough in photos I wanted to show off to everyone...

However, my favourite gig of all time happened earlier this year, September to be exact. McFly decided to celebrate their 10th birthday in style - by performing at the Royal Albert Hall and I was lucky enough to get tickets. I'd always wanted to visit RAH, and the fact that the first time I'd be going was to see them was pretty awesome. (Beware, if you weren't already overwhelmed by the amount of fangirling in this post, it'll more than likely get a lot worse now). I can't even properly find words to describe how much I loved the show. I've never cried at a gig before until then. The music combined with the VT's of them through the years, messages from loved ones, Tom in tears as he sang his McFly Musical was incredible. And then what did they go and do? Just when I thought it couldn't get any bloody better they go and bring out Matt Willis and James Bourne. TWO THIRDS OF BUSTED. Yep, it's safe to say all my childhood dreams came true at that moment, haha. 
Throughout the night, I felt like I'd been transported back to those days of reading the lyric book cover to cover all over again, and reliving it all. I've grown up alongside McFly. As their music has changed and evolved so have I, yet I've never stopped enjoying it. As cheesy/cliched as it sounds, no matter what times I've been through, good or bad, there's always been a song to fit the situation. Music is such a powerful thing, and their's has always been one of the first artists I turn to no matter what mood I'm in. And that night in September, I realised just how much their music meant to me. 
Not only did they play an amazing set, you could see how much it means to them. They truly do love what they do, and to see people live their dreams is pretty damn cool if you ask me. They're so genuine and down to earth compared to a lot of bands shoved into the limelight these days. I honestly believe that if they lost all their fanbase, McFly would still continue; they'd just be in a house somewhere rather than a packed venue. 

They are the first proper band I truly became invested in, and I genuinely feel proud when they accomplish things. As much as I may sound like a fangirl throughout this post, I'm not ashamed at all. In a way, I feel like I know them because of how big a part of my life they have been. They've worked hard for everything they've achieved and I can't wait to see what comes next for them, and for us! If you haven't listened to McFly before, check them out. People tend to still view them as these hyper teenage boys jumping around but they're so much more than that. They deserve a lot more recognition than they get.

Now time for the mega-cheese ending. Feeling prepared? Okay, here we go.

Another year over,
And we're still together,
It't not always easy,
But McFly's here forever.

As always, thanks for reading!

A
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xxxx

(P.S. I just have a lot of feelings okay.)

Thursday, 24 October 2013

How I'm Feeling At The Moment

Hello,
Lately, I have been avoiding blogging for a number of reasons. One being that I am simply swamped under with uni work at the moment, but another (and the most prominent) is that I haven't wanted to fill the page with negativity. Even now as I sit at my desk typing this, I'm finding myself at a loss of what to say. I haven't wanted to create a generic piece just for the sake of posting something, I've wanted to write something real but I struggled with what. So, I have decided that I'm simply going to tell you all how I'm feeling in the hope that it will help me to free up some of the space currently filled with negativity, making from for positivity and productivity!

This year at university has already seen me come across a number of challenges, for instance being President of a Society. This takes up a vast amount of my 'spare' time, but I am loving every moment of it. Musical Theatre means the world to me as cliched as it sounds. The friends I have made within the society are some of the best I will ever make, and my experience last year truly shaped my university life. Therefore, I am determined to work hard to create the same (if not better) experience for the new members that have joined us this term. This means I am frequently adding many more items to my to-do list before I've managed to cross any off! Luckily for me though,working under pressure is when I perform at my best and so this is a challenge I am willing to accept again and again.

The main challenge I am stuggling with the most at the moment is living away from home. Despite being in the same city that I grew up in, and being able to see my family on most weekends, something just doesn't feel right. Unfortunately, I feel the reason is down to one of the people I am living with.
Last year, myself and two friends put down a deposit for a house for us all to live in the following September. But, in the middle of Summer, right before we had to start making rent payments, one of the girls dropped out choosing to live with the boyfriend she had recently got engaged to. Helpful, not. We were left up the creek without a paddle as my Grandad would say! Myself and my friend contacted practically everyone we knew, but it was too short notice for anyone to be able to afford to move in with us. We were left with having to advertise the property and live with someone we had never met before. I found this extremely daunting as not only had I never moved away from my family, but now it was to be in with someone I had never met. 
To cut a long story short, we found a guy willing to move in and everything was settled. Or so it seemed. Although there is nothing wrong with him personally, I find him extremely difficult to live with. He cooks on average 3-5 massive cakes a week which he then eats, yet is being extremely picky about electricity bills. He has stunk the house out with various foods, the main being fish pie and a huge pork joint. As well as this, I find him to be very uncomfortable to be around. Because he is a few years older than myself, I feel like he believes he has to prove this all the time as he consistently patronises me on a regular basis. It has got to the point now that my other housemate and I come back from lectures and go to our rooms. That is where we stay until we go down to cook, and then come back again. The living room simply doesn't get used as you can't have a conversation without being corrected or interrupted all the time. I don't feel homesick because I'm away from home, I feel homesick because I'm uncomfortable where I am.

However, I have decided that I am not going to let this get me down any longer. I am paying good money to live in this house, and so I want to feel happy in it! From now on, I am banishing all negative vibes from myself, and am purely going to focus on being positive. I am very fortunate to have a lot of great things in my life, and so when I'm down I will put my energy into those, and into creating something rather than just sulking. I'm aware that this post will not be good reading for many of you, but I needed somewhere to let it out. I often find that by writing down my troubles, my brain forms solutions for them at the same time! 
Hopefully, my inspiration will filter through at some point soon and I will have some worthwhile content for you to read!
Have you ever had any bad experiences similar to mine? How did you cope with them?

A
xxxx


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Another World: Grey Coat, Green Scarf

I sometimes wonder how it'd be if we met today. 

Walking down a bustling high street at rush hour, coffee in hand, a mixture of golden leaves rustling under her feet, she rushes to reach the station on time. Then she notices. The grey-coat-green-scarf combination; a sight burned into her consciousness forever. Him. Here. Could it be?
 He disappears behind the mass of people weaving their way through the street. Despite the tiny voice at the back of her mind warning her to stop, she can't help but speed up, desperate to get another look. Just to be sure.

Would you stop and speak? Or would you walk by without a second glance?

Hastily, she attempts to surge through the throng of people, their briefcases beating against her, creating a personal obstacle course. It had to be him, it couldn't possibly be anyone else. She couldn't be wrong again, surely?

I'd like to think you'd still be the same; that we'd go for coffee in a cliched chain store and catch up on times gone by.

There he was, directly in front of her. Her heartbeat pulsing so loud it resonated around her mind creating a soundtrack for her whirring thoughts. Just do it, reach out, touch him. You've waited so long for this moment, dreamed of it endless times, what are you waiting for? Just do it. Reach out. Touch him. Do it. Reach out. Touch him. Do it, reach out, touch him.

'Hello...' 
'He-wow...Is it- is it really you? ...I can't believe it.'
'No, me neither.'

She did it. She reached out. She touched him, and in that one moment, a huge fraction of her life seemed to flash before her in slow motion. All the memories came flooding back, entwining with one another, filling her mind and heart with a montage of images and long lost emotions.
'Sorry, do I know you?'
'Oh. Er...sorry, I-I thought you were somebody else.'
She had been wrong. Again. It wasn't him and it probably never would be. Carrying her embarrassment and heartbreak with her, she fell back into the crowd.

I wonder if I'll ever find out.



Hello everyone,
As you will have guessed by now, I have started to post short extracts that I have penned myself. I really miss being creative, and having the chance to write so hope to post more like this when I feel inspired to! In order to distinguish between these and my regular(ish) type of post, I will name them 'Another World'. I must stress, this is a work of fiction. My life is neither this exciting or romantic, haha.
I'd really appreciate your feedback, so if you have any comments you'd like to share, please do! And if you write anything similar to this yourself, leave your blog below and I'll follow you. 
As always, thanks for reading.

A
xxxx




Monday, 30 September 2013

Moving Out


Hello!
Sorry my posts have been a little lack luster as of late. I promise you I have a good reason behind this, though. These last few weeks have seen me officially move out of my childhood home and into a student house ready for my second year to begin. As you can tell, my life has been a little hectic! However, now that I'm beginning to properly settle in, I thought I would show you a few things I love about my new room, and some of the things I've found most challenging about the experience so far.
Little bit of context before hand - I am still living in the same city as my family so am lucky enough to be able to pop home if I'm missing them or having a crappy day. I'm very lucky to be able to do this! I'm just beginning the second year of my English degree and so have decided to live closer to university purely to save time travelling back and forth 3 or even 4 times a day like last year!
I've lived in my student house for just over a week now. One of the things that's helped me to settle in so easily is that I brought some home comforts with me. For example, in the picture above you will see I brought some cushions. The owl one is handmade by my Grandma holds a lot of sentimentality for me. I also had quite a few photos printed which I haven't got round to putting up yet. I find that they're a nice reminder of my favourite people. This would probably mean a lot more to people who have moved further away from their homes. 



 Owls seem to be a recurring theme in my room actually! My grandparents bought me this amazing leaving gift. I have yet to name him (yes, I name inanimate objects) but he looks so cool glowing away next to me whilst I blog.

Another 'tip' I would suggest you do if you're moving out, is to decorate the blander areas of your space. It only takes simple things like some cheap fake flowers from Ikea dotted around, but they can soon turn a daunting room into a little haven for yourself. The same goes for posters or artwork - anything that you love really! The more things in your room you love, the more you'll learn to love it. I've brightened up my window like so:





If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen the gift boxes I hand painted, and turned into make-up and beauty product storage. 



These took me between 2 and 4 hours to complete and were super easy and fun. I popped down to The Works and took advantage of their cheap art supplies; 2 big tunes of acrylic for £5!! I then handpainted on one of my favourite ever quotes - a line from Les Miserables. They look great in my room as they add a bit of colour and stop everywhere getting cluttered with products. 
If you ever need inspiration for cute additions to your room like these, browse Pinterest. That site is my new obsession!

I've been very fortunate so far because there hasn't been a day where I haven't been busy so I haven't spent too much time missing home. It is difficult though. I find myself making an effort to talk to my Mum a lot more now than I did at home. I guess when you live with a person you end up taking for granted finding out about their day and things. It's only when you move away that you realise how much you did speak to them. The same goes for my sister really. It's kind of ironic that distance between us will probably end up making us closer.
So, that's about it I think! I would have provided better photos of my whole room, but I am yet to find a bookcase and some other things so there are still boxes around etc. I hope you've enjoyed this post. I think from now on, my blogs will tend to be updates of my life here at university - if anything it'll be more of a public diary ha! I love blogging so am going to try my upmost to find time to post as regularly as I can! I'd love it if you followed me, too.

Thankyou so much for reading. Have you moved out recently or ever before? How did you find the experience?

A
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xxxx 


Monday, 16 September 2013

Life in Letters



For today's post, I have taken inspiration from Alex Day and one of his recent videos entitled 'Life in Letters'. For those of you that don't know who Alex is; he is a British musician and YouTuber who runs the channel 'nerimon'. 
The concept for 'Life in Letters' is simple really - all you have to do is choose a word that describes something about you or your life to align with each letter of the alphabet! I thought this would be a good way of telling you guys a bit more about myself. If you would like to watch Alex's video (and I recommend that you do because he is brilliant), you can find the link HERE.
So, let's begin!


 - Ambitious.
I like to describe myself as an ambitious person. I set myself goals that are often challenging to reach, but I enjoy working towards something. 
 - Bossy.
I'm the first to admit that I can get a bit bossy when it comes to certain things. I was at my worst in school when I was helping to organise some shows. I've learnt how to listen to other people a lot more now though, thankfully!
 - Confidence. 
Confidence is an issue I struggled a lot with when I was younger, especially in lessons. I remember when I first joined secondary school I was far too scared to raise my hand during lessons even though I knew the answers. Luckily, I have now come out of my shell and am much more confident. I do still struggle sometimes though.
 - Drama. 
Drama and Theatre are huge parts of my life. In fact, taking part in school shows was what built my confidence levels up. I figured if I could perform in front of hundreds of people, I could do anything! Drama soon became my favourite subject throughout school.
 - English. 
On an equal par with Drama, English is also a subject I adore. It has been my strongest throughout my school life, and I am now doing a degree in it at university. I love reading different texts, and discovering many new and exciting ways of interpreting them. Language is such a powerful thing.
 - Friendship.
Friendship is so important to me. My friends are my favourite people, and I am lucky to have met and made many new ones in the past year since starting Uni.
 - Gatherings.
This year I attended my first YouTube gathering and I blooming well loved it!! I intend on going to many more, and hope to go to some that aren't solely about YouTube too. If you are interested in my Summer in the City experience, I wrote some posts about it which you can find herehere and here.
 - Happiness.
'Happiness is not a destination. It is a mood, it is not permanent. It comes and goes and if people thought that way then maybe people would find happiness more often.' - One Tree Hill.
One of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite programmes. Too often I see people striving for 'happiness' as if it's an object that they'll suddenly wake up one day and have. 

 - Internet.
Much like the majority of my generation, I am addicted to the Internet, most specifically social networks. I actively update and scroll through LINKS TO ALL 
 - Journey.
I wanted to use the word 'travel', but I have already thought of an idea for T. Instead, 'journey' is the word I've chosen. I love exploring new places, and would love the chance to visit many more. I hope one day to get the chance to travel all over the world. 
 - Kind. 
I have often been described as a kind person. This makes me happy! I live helping others in any way I can. 
 - London.
I love London. It's so easy to become lost in the hustle and bustle of thousands of people wherever you go. It also contains the West End, which is one of my favourite places in the world! I hope to live in or a short distance from London once I have graduated.
 - McFly.
McFly are my favourite band. They are the first band I ever properly followed, I have grown up alongside their music and have been to see them numerous times. One of my favourite memories from Primary school is sitting in the playground with two of my friends pouring over the lyric book to their first ever album, whlist debating who was our favourite. Oh, to be 10 again, haha. 


 - Nervousness.
Nervousness is something I struggle with quite often. I have an irrational fear of never being good enough, and never achieving things to the highest standard possible. Therefore, whenever I'm given an important responsibility I get nervous. I tend to thrive through this process though, so I'm okay with it now. 
 - Organised.
I love lists. I love notebooks. I love folders. I love labels. You might as well just say, I love organising and being organised.
 - President.
This year, I have been elected as President of my University's Musical Theatre Society. This means I have now taken on even more responsibility, but I am excited to lead a group of my favourite people. You can read more on this here
 - Quiet.
When I was younger, I was very quiet due to my confidence issues. However, after discovering my love for Musical Theatre, I came out of my shell a lot and am now much louder than I was before! I'll still be quiet and shy when meeting people for the first time though.
 - Reading.
I love reading, and always have done. Some of my earliest memories are either of reading, or being read to. Books are amazing in my eyes!


 - School.
I was very fortunate in that I loved my school days. Don't get me wrong, I went through a period of horrible bullying but luckily, I had teachers around me who managed to put a stop to it. School was easily some of the best years of my life, and hopefully most of my adult life will be spent in the same environment as I want to be a teacher. 
 - Tea.
I love tea. How very British of me! My favourite type has to be Earl Grey. Nothing beats a cosy Autumn evening curled up with a good book and a hug mug of steaming hot Earl Grey, in my opinion.
 - University.
As you will already know by now, I am currently studying at Universtiy. This September will see me start my second year of a BA (Hons) Degree in English.
 - Veracious.
This means to be truthful/honest (yes, I did use Google if you must know), which is something I like to be. Lying gets you nowhere, and can only cause upset. I'd much rather tell someone the honest truth and them be upset, than to hurt and deceive them in a much harsher way by lying.
 - Walking.
Walking is another hobby I enjoy. I'm sad that I don't get the opportunity to do this as often as I used to. I participated in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme in school and loved it!
 - X.
I couldn't think of a word beginning with X for this. Everytime I tried, I ended up thinking about how weird it is that we use X's at the end of messages to symbolise kisses, and wondering who thought of that first....
 - Youtube.
I love YouTube. I spend more time watching videos on the Internet than I do watching television these days. This is probably obvious from my many mentionings of Summer in the City. Have I said how much I loved that weekend yet?! Ha. 
- Zoo Keeper.
Bit of a random one to end on, but when I was younger I desperately wanted to be a zoo keeper. My animal of choice to care for would be giraffes, I love them! I soon realised this wouldn't be the best career for me as I used to bawl watching wildlife documentaries, so I would definitely not cope with real life loss! 

So, there we have it; the alphabet according to me! I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it wasn't too long and rambling for you! I get a bit carried away with things like this. I would love to see other people doing this, so let me know if you have tried it out or done something similar! Thanks for reading.

A

xxxx



Thursday, 5 September 2013

On The Bookshelf: Harriet Evans - Happily Ever After

Hey!
Today, I am posting my second book review on here. I recently finished reading Harriet Evans' 'Happily Ever After' and I quite simply adored it. So, what better is there to do than to share my love with you, in the hope that maybe you will enjoy it just as much? 

 
This Summer I've found myself splurging on luxuries I wouldn't normally treat myself to. I'd been trying to curb my spending but, as every book lover knows, bookshops are nearly impossible to go in without buying anything! I had tried to resist, but I knew once I'd read the first two sentences of Happily Ever After's blurb I just had to buy it. 

'This is a story of a girl who doesn't believe in happy endings. Or happy families. It's the story of Eleanor Bee, a shy, book- loving girl who vows to turn herself into someone bright, shiny and confident, someone sophisticated. Someone who knows how life works. But life has a funny way of catching us unawares. Turns out that Elle doesn't know everything about love. Or life. Or how to keep the ones we love safe. Absorbing, poignant and unforgettable, Happily Ever After is a compelling story of a fractured family and a girl who doesn't believe in love.'

I mean, come on...how was I supposed to resist that?! Luckily, the story itself not only lived up to the blurb, but went beyond it. Set in London and New York, you follow Elle through a large section of her life as she begins her career at a publisher's. I found this book to be so captivating because of how real it feels. Elle is such a relatable protagonist that I found myself thinking that if I met her in real life, I could easily be friends with her. The plot doesn't always go the way you expect - again echoing the troubles of everyday life. It isn't a glitzy, slushy romance, instead I felt like I wouldn't be surprised if I found out at the end that it was a true story; I think that's what I loved most. 
Most of the novel focuses around Elle's career and the choices she makes within this. As a self-confessed book lover, I enjoyed reading about the process of publishing books too. Evans explores a couple of Elle's family situations too, as a kind of sub-plot running throughout which I found especially moving. 
For me, I felt the main message of this book is to do with the dilemmas you can face throughout your life and deciding what is most important to you. Elle struggles as she finds herself and we join her on that journey. The book sees her discover what makes her successful, what makes her happy and deciding whether these are the same things, and if they're not, which is the most important to her. 
It's quite simply the classic case of choosing to follow your head or your heart; something I believe we can all relate to whoever we are and whatever we do. 

That being said, if you love books, romance and honesty, I highly recommend you buy this. I finished it a good few weeks ago now, and I'm still in that 'post-book-depression' stage! (For those of you on a budget too, you can pick it up in The Works for just £1.99!)

Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you've read Happily Ever After, or if you will now! I love finding new books to read so if you have any recommendations, please comment below.
 Thanks for reading!

A

xxxx





Sunday, 1 September 2013

Summer Round Up!

Hey!
So it seems I have been pretty poop when it comes to blogging this week! However, seeing as it is now September - where the hell has this year gone?! - I thought it would be a good idea to do a 'round up' type post of the things I've been up to this Summer.
2013 has been a hectic year for me; normally my summer's pass by in a dreamy haze of reading, eating and strolling around with friends. This year has seen me do so much more than that and I have loved it! 

My first year at university kept me brilliantly busy so when May came round and my exams were over, I was very happy to spend some down time relaxing at home in the garden. This didn't last long before I found myself spending many a golden night in a pub garden surrounded by my friends. A few of them have now got cars meaning that we're able to take a short trip out of the city to cute village pubs. When we weren't sipping drinks in the sun, we have been chilling round each other's houses chatting and playing games. Although evenings like this aren't necessarily the most adventurous or outgoing, I adore every minute. I'm a firm believer of it not mattering where you are or what you're doing as long as you're surrounded by good people! I've been very fortunate to get the chance to do this a lot this year.

Cake and drinks in the sunshine! (Posted from Instagram)
July found me travelling up to Nottingham for my close friend's (and soon to be housemate!) birthday! This was so much fun. The pre-drinks were themed as Alice in Wonderland and we spent the whole day catching up, baking and decorating ready for the evening. I wrote a post dedicated to the weekend which you can check out HERE

August has been my favourite month by a mile. Not only was it my birthday, (I mean, who doesn't love birthdays?) but I got to spend my birthday in London watching my favourite musical on the West End for the first time. Talk about perfection. Les Mis was absolutely brilliantly fanstastically amazingly mind-blowlingly spectacular. As you can probably tell by the vast amount of adverbs, I LOVED it. I still can't describe properly just how it made me feel; I always end up in a rambling mess of feelings like I am now, haha!
But that wasn't all... I also went to Summer in the City too! The gathering was so great, I had the opportunity of meeting some of the people who inspire me most in the world, as well as listening to some awesome music and great comedy surrounded by like minded people. If you'd like to read more about losing my SitC virginity, I complied 3 posts which you can read herehere and here.
I had such an awesome August, 2014 has a lot to live up to.

SitC 2013
This Summer has been one of the best of my life, and I hope Autumn continues the same way. I'm looking forward to watching the trees turn golden and being able to wear my favourite comfy baggy jumpers! 
This September I'm taking a huge step and moving out of my childhood home into a house near uni with two other students. I will also be fully starting my role as President of a society too so I'm feeling pretty nervous about it all! Hopefully by the time Winter comes around, I'll still be feeling as happy as I do now! 

Thanks for reading! What have your summer's been like? Do you have anything coming up in Autumn that you're looking forward too?

A
xxxx