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Summer In Songs

As some of you might already know, and might’ve guessed due to the lack of posts over the summer, I had a veryyy busy few months. It was one of the best summers ever, and as much as I want to (and may still) do a mega write up with tons of photos etc, I feel like as a lot of my memories from the summer are associated with music, it made sense and seemed more interesting to make a playlist of all the songs I have distinct memories of, and explain the stories behind a few. I’m still hoping to do a mega playlist post of all my favourite songs from the summer, but these have all been chosen with a specific even in mind…


All The Right Moves – One Republic

Raging – Kygo feat. Kodaline

Viva La Vida – Coldplay

This, as well as the previous two, were all chosen from the Radio 1 Big Weekend back in May. One Republic, Kygo and Coldplay were all amazing, and that weekend was just a real highlight of my whole year – Thursday was my birthday, Friday I had a birthday meal out with friends, Saturday I did a charity 5K with a friend and then on Sunday I went to Big Weekend with so many friends, which was amazing.

Talk Dirty – Jason Derulo

Anaconda – Nicki Minaj

This and Talk Dirty date back to prom specifically, but really encompass my last three years at school…Talk Dirty has a very specific memory from our Year 9 battlefields trip that involves some ~interesting~ dancing, and Anaconda has music GCSE memories and a lot more attached.

Lovely – twenty one pilots

Bonkers – Dizzee Rascal

I think this has been played at every party I went to this summer, and every time it was amazing. Such a classic.

Mr Brightside – The Killers

I remember everyone wanting to hear this at the end of one party, but not being able to find it, then it ended up making me cry at the last party of the summer because a) it always makes me emotional and b) ALL THE FEELS about leaving school and my friends and it all just kinda hit then.

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen 

Same as Bonkers. And everybody always knows the words so it just turns into singalong squad goals.

Step Into The Light – Teminite feat. Jonah Hitchens

One Dance/Hasta el Amanecer – Alex Aiono

This and Step Into The Light remind me of a couple of days with two of my best friends between my trips to Holland and Scotland, when we went swimming at a local lido and absolutely froze and then had the best evening attempting hair chalking and just having a laugh. It’s hard to do it justice in words but it was just so, so fun.

hair chalk ➡️ real life 🦄 ➡️ too many tangles 😬🙎🏻

A photo posted by @mixolydianmusings on

Over and Done With – The Proclaimers

This is the product of a trip to Scotland and finally watching Sunshine On Leith…

XO – Eden Project

Middle – DJ Snake feat. Bipolar Sunshine

Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

This is for one of my best friends and her amazing talent that we discovered at a party – she can rap the entire thing, even under the influence of alcohol, word for word. It’s pretty impressive, ngl.

Dance Wiv Me – Dizzee Rascal & Calvin Harris

Same as above, except it was just aforementioned best friend and my boyfriend singing and we were all stood there like ‘how do you know these words’. Fun times.

Wonderwall – Oasis

Same party, but at this point we were all sat round the fire with a guitar singing a bit of Oasis, as you do.

Millionaire – Cash Cash & Digital Farm Animals feat. Nelly

Good Grief – Bastille

Nobody To Love – Sigma

For some reason I can remember that this was on the radio when we were coming back from a beach trip, and yeah, it just reminds me of that trip.

Forest – twenty one pilots

Bouncy Ball (from High School Musical) – Bad Lip Reading

I know this isn’t technically a song, but it was such a big part of my summer I couldn’t resist…the specific memories involve me, two friends and my boyfriend, blowing up balloons, my friend and I walking back from Waitrose to discover the other two bathing their feet in our (admittedly amazing) bath  and then attempting basketball and smashing a light in the process. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination…

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Take On Me – a-Ha (Kygo remix)

That moment my friend and I discovered someone else who liked Kygo at my party and just added half his album to the Spotify queue. Whoops…

This Girl – Kungs vs. Cookin’ On 3 Burners

Hair – Little Mix feat. Sean Paul

This reminds me of driving back when my sister picked me up from work on a really sunny day and we got McDonalds and this song was on the radio or we were talking about it or something and for once we weren’t really arguing.

If You Got The Money – Jamie T

How Would You Like It – Lauren Aquilina

I had to include this because a) Lauren’s debut album finally came out this summer and omg it was amazing and b) I had the best time reviewing it with Eve.

Manhattan Skyline – David Shire

The most recent addition, I played this in jazz band yesterday. It’s 70s disco from Saturday Night Fever and the strings are just amazing and it’s just amazing.

Are there any particular songs you associate with your summer? Which of these songs is your favourite?

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I’m Freaking Out: An Update

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After all the many seriously lovely comments on one of my recent posts about my college-joining nerves, I thought I owed you all an update, now that I’ve done my two days of induction and two days of lessons too.

Looking on the bright side to start with, overall college is great. So far I’m enjoying the courses I’ve started already (except Environmental Systems & Societies…the teacher isn’t great and I’m thinking about swapping to Biology), the work generally seems doable, I’m *beginning* to make friends and get to know people (the IB cohort is only 50 people so you get to recognise people pretty quickly, even in a multi-building college of 4000 people) and my tutor’s really nice. Plus, where else can you get 80p tea and £1 sausage rolls? (probably quite a lot of places, shhh.)  Altogether I don’t think I regret my decision to go to college, which is always a good start!

But…probably naturally, it’s all slightly terrifying and I miss all my friends and my old school so, so much. I miss knowing everyone’s names and knowing the teachers and the teachers knowing me and knowing how stuff works and where to go and everything like that. I just miss the familiarity, the routineness and even the people who I was never really friends with but who were just part of the scenery until suddenly, in the space of a day, they’re not.

I am starting to get to know people, but I’m stuck in that awkward limbo where you’re trying to figure out who you’re drifting away from and who you want to stay in touch with, and you can’t call someone you’ve known for max four days a friend just yet. Add to that the stress of finalising my course choices, a residential to London with a bunch of people I’ve met exactly once next week, all the catch up work from that and the impending doom and stress of ‘when will the mountain of work we’re supposed to get hit’, coupled with all the extra elements of IB like CAS (shoutout to my new photography/writing blog for my creative section), nerves over starting college enrichment next week and general September back-to-school blues and you can probably imagine just how cheery I’m feeling at the moment.

I get that all this is normal – I’ve barely been there properly for two days, I can’t exactly expect to be settled in already – but, and I think it’s especially because I wasn’t forced to leave school, most of my friends left and I actually quite liked it, it’s still making me feel pretty shitty at the moment. I can cope OK during the day, but two days in a row now I’ve had mini meltdowns after college (at least I’m getting into a routine – get home, talk about how great day was (and it genuinely normally is), deny anythings wrong, do homework, freak out, bulk eat chocolate or other sugary substance, hide in cushion fort with duvet and blanket). I know it wouldn’t be the same if I was at school because two of my close friends also left, and the thought of doing A-Levels (my school doesn’t offer IB) makes my stomach feel vaguely sick and fluttery and anxious and panicky, but it’s still not easy.

So yeah, there’s a bit of an update. Not the cheeriest, but accurate. And I know things will get easier, probably even by the end of this week, but until then, things are feeling a little bit bleh. But I promise to update you again sometime, hopefully when I’m feeling a little more settled!

– featured image via unsplash

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Lauren Aquilina – Isn’t It Strange (collab review)

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You might remember that wayyy back in May, the fantastically awesome Eve @ Twist In The Taile and I did a collaborative review of Lauren Aquilina’s Ocean EP and various other newish music she released, in preparation for her ~debut album~ release. And now, finally, (or as of August 25th anyway) her album is out, so of course mega fangirls Eve and I decided we should (virtually) get together again and review it. Amazingly, we managed to flail over the whole 10-track album in just one hour (our fangirling must be getting much more productive/we barely had to listen to the tracks because we knew them so well already) and produced these incredibly concise and well written reviews (jk they’re inarticulate badly punctuated fangirling word vomit I’ve made slightly more coherent but at least it’s REALISTIC (or that’s what I keep telling myself)). Anyway, here are our thoughts, track by track…

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Midnight Mouths

I wasn’t really that keen on this the first time I heard it, but I definitely think its grown on me. I really like how the texture thickens before the first chorus, it feels like it makes it more powerful and I also quite like the new-era Aquilina electronicy vibe. Also, likemost of her songs, the lyricism is amazing…especially ‘it’s just the lonely talking’, and ‘We’re in too deep, so let go of my hand”.

Eve:I wasn’t as keen on this on on my first listen — like, when they were released earlier? I think I was feeling a bit negative about all the electronic production compared to Lauren;s old stuff. BUT BUT BUT now I do really enjoy this one, especially the chorus! It’s VERY catchy. And I also love the whole ‘midnight mouths’ and the aesthetic of it haha.

Wicked Game

This feels like a different, more adult Lauren, more mysterious and and dramatic, especially because, as Eve put it, of the contrast between the darker lyrics and the more dance-y production style, and also the pitch of her voice is much lower than a lot of her others songs. I also really like the contrast between the lower pitched verses and then the higher choruses. Eve and I also both thought the lyrics were specific-but-vague-and-extremely-relatable at the same time…they apply both to the specific situation she’s writing about, but also to a lot of wider aspects of life, like ‘nobody ever taught me to play this wicked game’ kinda reminded me of how much of life you’re just expected to know how to navigate alone It feels like you can apply it to almost anything which is one of the best things for you to be able to do with music. Also, side note, I seriously love the lines ‘He said he didn’t do commitment/With tattoos on his skin/Maybe I wasn’t worth the pain’ and ‘
I’ve been thinking about death/But I’ll hold my breath’.

EveI absolutely ADORE this one honestly, and I do feel like this is a more grown-up song on this album. But asdfjkl the lyrics are so wonderful (‘I’ve been thinking about death but I’ll hold my breath’ arghh). SPOOKY.  Basically the high notes on the chorus just give me the chills every time. man I do just really love this song eek.

Kicks

I love this song so much, ever since I first heard it, and the lyrics are just OMG AMAZING. ALSO KICKS = KICKING ME AROUND = PUNS/WORDPLAY = LOVE. (*pause for Eve and I to flail about amazing wordplay*). Plus yay for positivity, especially ‘I’m done being down about this’…and I also like the more modern-y electronicy-ness. Overall this song feels more mature, and the message feels less naive than some of the old-era Aquilina songs.

Eve:  I love how the production feels, like…really seamless? And YAY for positive songs! Like the claps and the little electronic-y riff thing are so awesome.  I feel like a bunch of songs on here seem older? Not, like, OLDER. But I guess more mature haha. There are loads of different (relationship, song, whatever) dynamics. Lots of different situations and messages and stuff. *nods*

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How Would You Like It?

I love this song so much! It’s more stripped-back and that makes it a nice contrast to the rest of the album and lets the emotion really shine through…it feels very raw and powerful and again, even if not in this context/situation i feel like the whole ‘how would you like it’ message is very relatable and applicable in a number of contexts, which I really like.

Eve: Also gives me the chills. This is one I loved from first listen, I think — although it’s only improved with listening. WOW SO MUCH EMOTION. So much lyrics. And I think the more stripped production works well here. (*is feeling so many things as I listen to chorus woah*) . I also…find myself singing this a lot? Yeah. And THE BRIDGE IS SO WONDERFUL.

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Way Too Good

Okay I absolutely LOVE this song (such sad times when my boyfriend said it sounded like a ‘crappy christmas song’ like oi no this song is a masterpiece. The lyrics are so good and the stripped-down-ness really works well but for me the main thing about this song is the lyrics. I especially like  ‘If nothing is meant to last maybe we should drink to that’. I can totally relate to the feeling that everythings too good and something’s going to go wrong. 

Eve: Okay, this one is ALSO one of my favourites. (I think I’ve said this way too many times but I do adore this.) I looove the kinda humming bit at the start?? Idk what that is but yeah. And I love the ‘I am, I am’ and ‘I know, I know’ bits. And THE CHORUS. All the background things. I love the aesthetic of it like ?? idk it feels so classy to me.I like the whole vibe of kinda…being in the moment? (This is a terrible description. But yes.) And the kinda overlays of her voice on the last chorus are stunning. [insert heart eye emoji] 

Hurt Any Less

The start is so good! A real contrast to the last one but it works really well, then the slowing down at the chorus and yes again the contrast between tempo and melody and lyrics. I also just love the melody of ‘why did you have to let me let you in’. Yep it’s amazing and I also like that it *feels* happy even though it def isn’t, kinda bittersweet, as Eve put it.

Eve: This one…also SO GOOD. *cries* (way too good even) (ha) (anyway) I also really enjoy listening to the pre-chorus bit? Like, I LOVE THAT. ‘this was never love it was chaos’ is such a fabulous line. And yep, the contrast between the tempo of chorus and the rest is so wonderful, works very effectively. I also feel like ‘I gave everything expecting nothing’ is a bit of a theme across some of the songs? (Idk, i feel like there was a similar line somewhere haha.) YES overall honestly this is also absolutely stellar a+. 

#IsntItStrange track 6 – hurt any less. this is one of the songs i'm most proud of because i feel like i perfectly articulated how i felt about something (which doesn't happen very often). the lyrics describe how i entered into a relationship knowing full well that it was never going to go that far and that i would probably get hurt, but i did it anyway (classic me!! lol!!!). when the ending came around, even though i'd predicted it from the beginning, it didn't make it hurt any less. this was also one of the main inspirations for the album title, because i think it's so # hashtag strange that we all as humans put ourselves into these situations that we know are going to end badly just because we naively hope they won't! also, i know i've made this song sound like it's really sad, but this is actually the one i bop around to MOST in my kitchen, so.. get excited. congrats to @nephe_d_horne for winning today's #IsntItStrangeArt competition! (i know this is the second winner that includes a drawing of an eye but LOOK HOW AMAZING THIS IS)

A photo posted by Lauren Aquilina (@laurenaquilina) on

 

Fools – Live at RAK Studios

I read somewhere that she rerecorded Fools because her voice has changed and I also agree with something else she said, about the way she sings it now is more serious and less naive because she knows how the relationship ends. Also can we please have a round of applause that she wrote this aged 16?!?! (how can she do this, GCSE music composition was hard enough!!!) Also, it’s very stripped back and bare, maybe because it’s live? Also, because this was one of the first songs she ever released, it feels like quite an important one in her career so it’s nice to have that on the album.

Eve:  I like that this one feels less hurried, too — a little more reflective. Maybe that’s the lack of drums & like less piano and stuff?  (also wow live honestly wow) I quite like having Fools on the album in some ways bc it feels like a sorta…full circle? And as well with that line at the end of Broke. ‘Those hardest to love need it most’ is still SUCH a powerful line tbh. The new piano stuff is rad as well yep. (idk if it’s like new but I think it’s a bit louder & different? Yes anyway wonderful) 

#IsntItStrange track 7 – fools. it was very important to me that this song was on the album. not only is it the first song i ever released, but it's still probably the song that people consider to me most synonymous with me and what i do as an artist. it's a very special song to me as even though i wrote it when i was 16, i still relate to it as much as i did 5 years ago. i decided to re-record it for the album as my voice has changed in that time, and i wanted to give people an updated version as i sing it slightly differently now! i think of the original as a lot more naive and hopeful and the new version as slightly more sad, knowing what i do now and how the relationship i was writing about ended up. i hope you're all enjoying the new version of it 💙 congrats to @dodieisnotsexy for winning today's #IsntItStrangeArt competition! loved the simplicity of this. when i chose a 'key' as the symbol for the song, i had no idea how many doors that song would go on to open in my life!

A photo posted by Lauren Aquilina (@laurenaquilina) on

Suddenly Strangers

Ahh this is just WAY TOO GOOD (wink wink nudge nudge). One reason I really love this song  is because just before the album announcement she put on facebook etc a thing about how people can go from so close to completely separate so fast…I also love the ‘isn’t it strange’ line. And ‘from talking every waking hour to not knowing where you are now’ line…and it also feels very relatable because of the fear of how a relationship is going to eventually end. 

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Eve: Ah love the start to this, feels a bit water-y idk. It works v well as the album title too, and once again with the specific/relatable thing — I mean I relate to this a lot  Suddenly Strangers is also such a fab line on its own, tbh. (sibilance! knowledge!) I also liked the combination of slightly electronic but also minimal production? (If that makes sense. The whole thing just feels very smooth to me.) Just hearing a little drum beat thing-y in the pre-chorus and IT IS VERY NICE. also the drum beat on the chorus is pretty nice *nods* 

Thinking About

This feels very pared down, there aren’t many lines or backing but it still feels quite powerful…side note is it me or has the album got more pared down and simplistic and almost darker the further down the tracklist you go? It’s like it follows a relationship’s journey or something, and at the end it’s like the problems are more serious & unavoidable. Overall, I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite song  but “all i’m thinking about is not thinking about you” is one of my fave lines on the album i think. 

Eve: I was so excited to listen to this one because I remember I watched a youtube clip of her performing this live a while ago? And all the time I was waiting for the album I remembered the lyric ‘all I’m thinking about is not thinking about you’ haha. I feel like it gets more…like, serious and reflective? Bc wicked games & midnight mouths ARE the slightly more kinda tunes with more instruments & dance-y production. But also there are some quite dark lyrics throughout the whole album tbh. But I like that it does seem to follow a slightly linear thing…? OKAY just listening to that awesome piano bridge bit thing and WOW. Again getting slightly water-y vibes. The one piano note that gets played is also very cool…? And the verse has such like argh idk it just seems like a great start to the song for me. Mm yes I don’t think it’s one of my absolute favourites overall but definitely another strong song (and reminds me a little more of like kinda liars-y production? Idk yeah with all those floaty piano things and stuff.) 

Ocean

Eve: This is SUCH a great ending tbh. (& sure! Maybe we can touch a little more on like general stuff as well, haha we discussed it a bit above but. Let me know when you have to go!) Yeah so I think this is a great ending, I love the kinda catharsis & freedom of it. It feels a lot more abstract than the others & I think it’s good contrast…? (<— I 100% agree with all of this)

Overall Thoughts

I definitely think it was an album worth waiting for, you can tell its not the first collection of songs she’s released and i really like it. It’s honestly amazing in my humble opinion. 10/10 methinks.

Eve: One random thing I noticed about the whole album in general is that there are a lot more like specific third person pronouns used? I mean, not a LOT more. But there’s also like more than just ‘you’ n stuff which I found interesting. I feel like lyrically it’s less abstract; like still absolutely stunning lyrics but more cutting to the point and less vague imagery if you get me…? Honestly…tbh I adore every song on this. I think I do enjoy it more than the Ocean EP? Although Echoes was fab. 10/10 one of my fav recent albums i will be dying over this forever.


And there you have it, a track-by-track, vaguely incoherent review/fangirl session of Lauren Aquilina’s debut album, Midnight Mouths!

Have you heard the album? What were your thoughts, and which tracks do you especially like?

– n.b. all images via Lauren’s Facebook/Instagram accounts

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I’m Freaking Out

I’m sorry that this isn’t a very fun or happy post but I’m freaking out and I need to get some stuff straight in my head, and writing feels like the easiest way to do that.

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Maxime Staudenmann / unsplash                                                                                                                   

Today all my friends start sixth form at my old (?!) school, whereas I don’t start college until tomorrow (and then there’s two days of induction before teaching starts next week). And I guess it’s finally hitting me that I’m not with my friends anymore. Almost all of them have gone back to school, ones at a different college which started last Monday and then there’s just three of us waiting to start tomorrow, all doing different subjects and in different tutor groups.

I guess I’m just scared of being replaced, of my friends getting new friends and forgetting about me, which is all kinda expected and natural when moving school but still terrifying. I guess I’m almost a bit jealous of the new people at school, who get to join this friendship group whilst I’m leaving behind seven years of in-jokes and history. Even if you’re not such good friends with someone that you especially want to stay in touch, leaving behind someone you’ve known and who’s been part of your life for seven years is scary and kinda sad.

I know staying on, school would’ve changed – after all, three of my friends also left – and I know I have to at least try college, or I’ll spend the next two years wondering what I missed out on, but I’m nervous about how it’s all going to work, about being slowly separated from all the chat and gossip about school as new, unknown people infiltrate and I slowly become separated. I’m scared that as much as I want to, conflicting schedules or travel complications or just a lack of time and motivation is going to mean I drift apart from all my friends, even the ones I desperately want to stay in touch with. And even though I know I’ll make new friends at college, I can’t just drop my old ones like hot potatoes. Just thinking about all these possibilities is making me so, so tempted just to throw in the towel with college before I’ve even started, and stay on at sixth form. But I’ve said I’m leaving, and I have so many reasons for that, I just have to get through these first few days.

Add all these feelings into nerves about starting college tomorrow and restarting hockey tonight (I feel like I should be more nervous about college but nope, anxiety levels about hockey are way higher) and you can imagine what a bundle of joy I am right now, imagining my friends school routine as I stay at home, thinking about everything I’m missing out on.

I know that within probably a week, everything will feel very different. I’ll probably feel a lot more confident about college and friends and hopefully less jealous and worried about staying in touch, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough. It’s just so scary that the situation I’ve been thinking about (/avoiding thinking about) for the last six months+ is finally here, and about to start for real tomorrow. But today I’m just going to concentrate my nerves on hockey (totally healthy) and try and relax.

 

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15 Things I Learnt This Summer

As I mentioned in this post, I’ve had an incredibly busy, incredibly fun summer. Amazingly, even more has happened since I wrote that post – GCSE results day, having some Danish people stay with us, four more parties (including one of my own), two more shifts at new jobs as well as some at my old job, some college induction stuff and another horror movie evening (we watched Insidious then turned around and saw a freaking huge spider on the curtain and all freaked out a teensy bit, especially when it RAN AWAY AND DISAPPEARED). I’ve also got hooked on another Netflix series, Jane The Virgin and found even more music I love, but I’m planning on saving all that for a bumper ‘favourites’ post in the next week or so.

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me @ all spiders everywhere (via)

Anyhow, over the summer I guess I’ve learnt a few things, and I figured I’d be a nice person and put them all in a post to share my wisdom…(in the loosest sense of the word)

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  1. Your closest friends may not be exactly who you think they are and you may drift apart from some people, but that’s OK. Everyone changes and your friendships evolve to reflect that.

2. Black and white filters flatter everyone, no matter what the situation is.


3. Carling lager is gross, gets better the more you drink it but is then absolutely disgusting warm.

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4. Tents are bloody uncomfortable, especially when there are 16 teenagers in a 6 man tent and the tent starts leaking in the middle of the night.

5. Crunchie spread is A+ 10/10 would eat again (which is handy, as I’ve got a whole jar of it).


6. Liquid eyeliner is just as hard to apply as everyone says, if not more.

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7. On that note, putting an eyeliner pencil in the freezer because it’s a bit melty won’t have much effect.

8. And eyeliner pencils can stain carpets.

9. Crappy Netflix series (Jane the VirginPrison Break, the marginally less crappy Making A Murderer) take up so much time but are amazing, especially with a duvet on hand.

 

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Prison Break feat. ice cream and blankets

10. The only limit to the amount of tea you can drink in a day is your level of mental preparation.

 

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11. New things are scary and horrible but most people are actually pretty nice and/or equally terrifying.

12. It’s perfectly possible to bond with people over a mutual fear of icebreakers, a lack of willingness to talk to other human beings and social anxiety.

13. Outdoor swimming in a bikini in a non-heated pool in Britain in July on an overcast day is absolutely freezing and a really bad idea but really fun anyway.


14. Ditto for the sea, even on a sunny day.

15. Time really, truly does fly when you’re having fun.

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What did you do this summer?

– AOT

 

 

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Since I’ve Been Gone


I realised last night that its been a long time since I wrote anything other than a list or a bunch of photos, so waking up this morning to the sound of rain and nothing other than an unspecified number of hungover teenagers to deal with (results day…) I decided to postpone getting up for a while longer and have a go at writing something a bit different and a bit more chatty. After all, I was absent from here for about two months, and a lot happened in that time…but for now, I’m back. (try and stifle the depressed groans, pls)

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I went to Cornwall with my best friend, which was one of the best trips to Cornwall I’ve ever had…a personal photographer and Disney fan made everything better, and who wouldn’t want to spend three days straight with their best friend when they haven’t seen them in a few weeks?

Straight after Cornwall, I headed to Holland for a week to have a look at universities in Rotterdam, Groningen and Maastricht. I still don’t know if I want to study in Holland or if I can even do the subject I want at a place I like but I know that I still love Holland, especially Rotterdam and Maastricht.

After Holland I had a few breather days where I did my first shift at one of my new jobs (I was so terrified before I genuinely thought I was going to throw up but it went alright in the end)(mainly because there was a lot of free food). I also caught the train down to Plymouth to stay other with two of my best friends and go swimming in the absolutely freezing Tinside Lido. Only in Britain would you willingly freeze to death in a bikini because it’s above 15 degrees and not raining…(yet).

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Then I headed to Scotland with my sister to spend five days in Edinburgh with my godparents, which was really fun (and no murder or even too much violence occurred, you can tell my sister and I are getting closer to being responsible adults!), and although apparently my mum requested we were introduced to Prosecco, we were more interested in Pokemon Go. (Heads up, Edinburgh Zoo has an insane amount of Pokestops)

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I still didn’t relax after Scotland – within two hours of landing, I was on the train to the beach with friends, then ended up having a sleepover where I was forced into watching a horror movie. SO MUCH STRESS IT WAS SO NOT FUN. (but on the bright side I made a deal that if my boyfriend made me watch a horror movie I could make him watch Frozen. He’s now convinced Olaf is massively depressed and suicidal and has a fully developed theory for how Elsa can take over the world. Alrighty.)

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So apparently this really cute bit just illustrates Olaf’s suicidal tendencies? (via)

I’ve also, in my incredibly exciting summer, made it onto season 2 of 90210 on Netflix without realising it, and finished series 1 of Prison Break. Now to start Making A Murderer

Oh, and I spent a couple of days in Exmouth with friends and met another for lunch at Pizza Express, which was all fun but is making me more and more nervous about leaving the in September. I’m so looking forward to college but it’s hard to deal with the idea that argh I’m not going to have lessons or spend half my day with these people I’ve been chucked together with for seven years but instead I have to make new friends which is terrifying. If this is my last post on here just assume I turned into a weird jelly Thing of Fear. (alternatively I just got really lazy and unmotivated again, that’s probably more likely).

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me when I think about leaving school (via)

Oh, and in the most important news of this whole post, I made rocky road last night, in order to defend my title as Rocky Road Goddess. Some people have never tried mine and don’t believe it is absolutely the best, so I’m going to prove them wrong. Rocky road is my signature dish and I am the best at it. End of. I’m also very modest about my baking abilities, if you hadn’t noticed.

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via
MUSIC OF THE MONTH (4)

Music of the Month: July

MUSIC OF THE MONTH (4)

I’m back! I’m back! I’m back! (*mentally sings Back For Good*)

In true ‘me’ style, I’m now just going to gloss over my month’s worth of absence (in my defence I was in Cornwall, then Holland, then Scotland, then Exmouth…and yes, I promise to post about them soon, I was just too lazy to get all the photos together tonight) and throw a months worth of my favourite music at you…

False Alarm – Matoma feat. Becky Hill

Vessel (deluxe edition) – twenty one pilots (specifically Lovely, House of Gold, Ode To Sleep and Forest)

Tilted – Christine and the Queens

Capsize – FRENSHIP feat. Emily Warren

City Bird – Bud feat. Origin One

 

Over And Done With – The Proclaimers (I highly recommend the film of Sunshine on Leith, fyi)

Alarm – Anne-Marie (why oh why has my brain forever tainted songs entitled ‘alarm’ with associations of Nicki Minaj and Pound The Alarm)

Step Into The Light – Teminite feat. Jonah Hitchens (the sax solo on this is just too good and this song is one of my current go-to pick-me-ups, I love it so much <3) 

Cold Water – Major Lazer feat. Justin Bieber and MØ

Addicted Love, I Wish & Make It Funky – Maceo Parker

Wake Me Up – Dirty Loops

Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) – Buddy Rich

Dancing On My Own – Calum Scott (this makes me tearful basically every time but I love it)

One Dance/Hasta el Amanecer – Alex Aiono (bonus points for the flawless Spanish accent) (also his cover of Kent Jones’ Don’t Mind)

Fake It – Bastille

How Would You Like It – Lauren Aquilina

Perfect Strangers – Jonas Blue feat. JP Cooper

XO – Eden Project

Lost Boy/Talk Me Down/For Him – Troye Sivan


And that is my grand return to blogging in a couple of paragraphs and thirty songs. Hopefully it won’t be so long until my next post!

– AOT

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MUSIC OF THE MONTH (3)

Music of the Month: June

MUSIC OF THE MONTH (3)

OK so the title may lie a bit…this is kinda my favourite songs from June but also a load of stuff from the whole four days of July we’ve had so far, but it’s been so long since I’ve done one of these (/blogged at all, shh) that I thought I’d stick them in anyway. okeydokes, here you go…

You Haunt Me – Sir Sly

This whole album is so good, but my *absolute favourites* have to be Where I’m Going, Ghost, Gold, Helpless/Bloodlines Pt. II – Medley and Too Far Gone. They’re all just so good and relaxing and great though, kinda twenty one pilots-esque, so mega creds to my boyfriend for introducing me to them because they’re now one of my current favourite bands.

We Don’t Talk Anymore – Charlie Puth feat. Selena Gomez

I wouldn’t call either of these artists I especially like, they’re alright but that’s it, but I surprisingly like this song – it sticks in my head and ahh I just really like it. It’s kinda relaxed and chilled and I like it.

Final Song – MØ

If It Ain’t Love – Jason Derulo

Quick heads up: this song is SO. GOOD. for running to, as is Light It Up by Major Lazer feat. Nyla.

Middle – DJ Snake

Hotter Than Hell – Dua Lipa

Give Me Your Love – Sigala feat. John Newman and Nile Rodgers

Buyo and Best Things – Lucky Chops

WILD – Troye Sivan feat. Alessia Cara

This is also co-written by Alessia and she’s basically one of my favourite singers and songwriters ever so yeah, I was pretty much guaranteed to love this.

Are We Ready? (Wreck) – Two Door Cinema Club

Just Like Fire – Pink

This Girl – Kungs vs. Cookin’ On Three Burners (how did they come up with that name?!?)

i hate u, i love u – gnash feat. Olivia O’Brien

Cut To Black – Lemaitre

The Temple EP – Parson James

Take It Back – Ed Sheeran

The chorus of this is really catchy and I just love all of Ed Sheeran’s lyrics tbh.

Know-It-All (Deluxe) – Alessia Cara

I think I might know the words to every song on this album, I love it so much. The songs and the songwriting and everything are just too perfect for words.

Moanin’ – Mingus Big Band

I feel like I might be approximately twenty years late to the party but OH MY THIS IS GOOD. ESPECIALLY THE BARI SAX RIFF AT THE START. *faints and dies*

Groovin’ Hard – Buddy Rich

This is one of my absolute favourite pieces to play on trumpet, and listening to it isn’t half bad either.

Heathens – Twenty One Pilots

Good Grief – Bastille

uh, does this even need an explanation?! At a party last weekend, a Bastille song came on and my friend, who was, uh, fairly drunk, came up to me like “OOH this is Bastille” “yeeeesss…” “you LOVE Bastille” “yes, I do”. Either her ability to recall this is because she’s a really great friend or, much more likely, I occasionally may have let my fangirling get a *little* bit out of control…

Send My Love (To Your New Lover) – Adele (+ most of 25 really)

Gold – Kiiara

Sit Still, Look Pretty – Daya

Say It (feat. Tove Lo)/Never Be Like You (feat. Kai) – Flume

I Remember – AlunaGeorge

I Wanna Know – Alesso feat. Nico & Vinz

The Scientist – Coldplay


aaanddd I’m going to stop there before I add anything else…why am I so incapable of making short playlists?!?

What are your thoughts on my picks? What music have you been especially loving lately?

*listen to all these songs in one playlist here*

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The Start Of Summer: Radio 1 Big Weekend

Wahey, wahoo, callooh, callay (sneaky Rainbow Rowell reference totally intended), I’m back and alive and blogging again, yay. (I didn’t die or anything, just, y’know, GCSEs…although my social life has improved dramatically during exams, which I’m pretty sure isn’t meant to happen).

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But back to the point – about two weeks ago, in fact right before I wrote my last post, I went to a day of the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend at Powderham Castle, in my lovely sunnyish home county of Devon. Yay. And now I’ve finally got round to writing about it…

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I technically went with two of my friends, though by the end of the day we’d picked up four more and kinda temporarily met a bunch of others – because it was such a local festival, it felt like half the people I’d ever met were there, which was quite nice.  Anyway, we went on the Sunday, and after arriving, getting food because we’re teenagers and permanently hungry and meeting up with the others, we headed to the main stage, we watched One Republic, who were actually a lot better than expected…as they were the openers for some reason I didn’t think they’d be that great, but they actually completely surpassed my expectations.

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After OneRepublic more food was bought because some people didn’t get round to having breakfast and why not, and then we met up with five or six more friends to watch Kygo at the main stage while a couple of people went to see Panic! At The Disco on the In New Music We Trust stage. Kygo was just as good as I’d hoped (though not quite as good as when I saw him on his Cloud Nine tour in London) and there was a suitable amount of confetti…we all just stood in a line a bit off to the side of the stage and danced for the whole set, so yeah, that was a laugh.

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After Kygo, the group shrunk back to being five of us and we went to the INMWT tent to watch Jack Garratt, though we only managed the first fifteen or twenty minutes of his set because, well, the tent was hot and full and we all got a bit too sweaty, to put it bluntly, so we moved outside and sat in the shade for a half hour or so until Alessia Cara was due on (/we got sick of the Star Wars theme tune being played every time the ride next to us started). I think it was also here that we saw some people dressed as hot dogs/ice cream cones and a guy in short shorts and electric blue tights who made one of my friends get up and do the “hashtag dance” (FOR THE LOVE OF THE HASHTAG) so, uh, yeah.

Alessia Cara was one of the artists I’d most been looking forward to (I think I might know all of the lyrics to the deluxe version of her Know-It-All album off by heart…) and she definitely lived up to my expectations. I just really love her music and how relatable her lyrics are and she seemed so down-to-earth when she was talking between songs, which was really nice (plus we were nearer the front but at the side, so there was less of a heat problem). I think my favourite songs of hers, from what I can remember, may have been Here, Scars To Your Beautiful or River of Tears (I swear part of the chord sequence of the latter is the same as some other really famous song, Snow Patrol or something, but I can’t quite figure it out and it’s seriously bugging me so if anyone can figure it out please feel free to put me out of my misery). Oh, and we briefly met about five more friends there so yeah, that was nice.

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oh, and her hair and style and everything is just so great and I want it
After Alessia Cara we headed back to the main stage to watch Iggy Azalea who was, well, rubbish. You could tell because the camera never panned to the audience after the first five minutes because pretty much everyone was just stood there like is this over yet but hey, I got a decent photo of the stage so I’ll stick that in here anyway and we’ll just forget she ever actually performed.

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About halfway through Iggy four of us decided we’d had enough and headed back over to the INMWT stage (via the churros van because ahem who says no to churros and Belgian chocolate sauce? NOT ME, THAT’S FOR SURE) to meet back up with a friend we’d seen earlier and watch the first bit of Skepta’s set before heading back to the main stage for The 1975. In the end we only caught about two minutes of Skepta before we left so the friend we’d met up with, a diehard The 1975 fan, could get back to the main stage and as close to the front as possible for the start of their set which, incidentally, was quite good.

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Oh, by this point I think we’d also decided to invest in getting our faces PVA’d and glittered because hey, what better to spend £5 on? (it did look pretty damn awesome and the PVA smelled weirdly good (I’M NOT A GLUE SNIFFER PROMISE) and it came off surprisingly easily so yeah, it was worth it, even when it felt like half my face was covered in some weird face mask thing). Anyway, after The 1975 we met back up with the two friends we’d ditched for Skepta and got some lovely, slightly undercooked pizza and chips for dinner. Yum. We then just chilled in the sun whilst Ellie Goulding was on with even more people we knew that we found along the way, before heading back to the main stage for the end of The (very sweary) Weeknd’s set and to await Coldplay (YAY!).

 

For some reason I wasn’t actually that excited about Coldplay (I think Alessia Cara, Kygo and Jack Garratt were the people I was most keen to see) but, as pretty much goes without saying, they were phenomenal. They really upped the confetti game with rainbow confetti, and fireworks, and it turns out that when 25,000 people get out their phone torches at the same time it looks pretty incredible, as proven during The Scientist (oh boy, you know you’re hormonal when you nearly start crying watching that back…please help me, for my own sanity). Oh, and if you watched it on TV and saw an inflatable shark right near the start, I one or two people in front of that🙂. (and is it just me that thinks one of the Coldplay guitarists looks really like Andy Murray?!)

So yeah, I guess you could say it was a good day and a pretty decent thing to do a few days after your birthday🙂

Here are a just a few more snaps from the day, some courtesy of my friends…

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The Good Life


I’ll warn you now: this is a soppy post, so if you can’t deal with extreme soppiness, just stop reading now. I won’t be offended, promise.The last few weeks, month or so have felt kinda weird. On the one hand, I feel permanently stressed and under pressure and like only the tiniest thing needs to happen for me to just flip out. I’ve been revising a lot and neglecting this blog a bit which makes me kinda sad and not reading as much as I’d like to which is a bit disappointing (though tbh, I’d like to read pretty much 24/7, so I’m likely to stay disappointed until at least the summer, if not forever). On the other hand, just as I’m leaving my friends I seem to be having the best times with them (the cynic in me wants to say something about that being relief at leaving them but I’m sure it wasn’t). There’s been three birthday meals with them in the last few weeks (mine and two others) and every single time its just been really fun. Today it was like 19 degrees (good effort Britain, I salute you) so we all went and sat on the Cathedral Green and it was just so lovely for some indescribable reason. (I feel like there’s something wrong with the fact that my social life seems to be at its liveliest in the middle of GCSEs…oh well)

There’s been other stuff too – we had a Eurovision party which is now definitely going to become an annual thing, I did a 5K charity run with one of my friends last weekend, we’re planning on going to a roller disco thing in a couple of weeks (because why the hell not) and saving the best to last, last Sunday I spent a day at the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend with a bunch of my best friends and it was one of the best days of my life. (seriously, I’m rewatching OneRepublic’s set now and nearly crying because I want to be back there what the hell is going on with my hormones please send help)(Ryan Tedder is the Superman of songwriting though you have to admit and his vocal range is incredible).

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It was just awesome, it started off as me and two friends, then we picked up a friend of a friend and two more of my friends and then throughout the day we just kept gaining and occasionally losing people. One of the highlights of the day (apart from Coldplay obvs) was watching Kygo because a) Kygo (my sister doesn’t get why like him so much it’s so annoying) and b) we met even more people from school and there was just like ten of us in a line dancing just off the to the side and it was the most fun I’ve had in ages, it just felt like there was something really special about it. (I warned you this post was soppy alright) (more on Big Weekend in another post ~coming soon~)

I have some pretty awesome friends out of school too. (This is where it gets really soppy) I have no idea how I ended up so close with somebody two years older than me, especially after only knowing her for two years, but 90% of the time she’s one of my favourite people in the whole world. She’s funny and lovely and gives me the best birthday presents and writes the best cards and gives the best motivational pep talks and is always there for me to talk to and gives me large quantities of chocolate and is generally fantastic and knows exactly who she is so if she’s reading this, thank you so much for being a wonderful person who I can always rely on and who I’m so glad to be joining at college next year but so sad that you’re going to uni soon😦 (motivation to learn to drive quickly…)


I guess there’s not really a lot of point to this post, other than to say that I’m so happy I have such great friends that I do. I’m so happy that, at school, I’m in a group of friends that keep the bitching to a minimum and don’t tend to air any issues we have with each other publicly but are always really supportive. I’m so happy that my friends know me well enough that they get me the perfect presents – eg a legitimate TEAPOT, TEA LEAVES (separate and completely uncoordinated but brilliantly coincidental), the new Kygo album and the one of the prettiest journals I think I’ve ever seen. Oh, and a truckload of chocolate and a massive mug for all the tea that I drink. I’m so happy that I have friends that I can talk music and books and fanfiction and blogging and how-the-hell-do-you-apply-eyeliner-without-stabbing-yourself and how-beautiful-are-my-prom-shoes with and friends that just get me. I’m generally really, really happy that I have the friends I do and I just have no idea how I’ll cope next year without seeing the majority of them every day.

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