I Have A Lot Of Feelings About When We Collided

(no, this isn’t a dramatic love poem. it’s a book review/ramble, sorry)

If you didn’t guess I just finished reading a book. Specifically When We Collided by Emery Lord. And I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about it. Overall, I liked it, but it’s not going to become a must-have-the-physical-copy-not-just-the-ebook omg-I-will-recommend-this-to-everyone-know favourite. Trying to stay as spoiler free as possible, I’ll just sum up the story quickly – boy meets girl, love, mental illness on both sides (either firsthand or dealing with someone else’s), ending. I really, really liked the mental illness storyline, primarily because it felt incredibly realistic and accurate (Lord suffers from the same illness as the female protagonist, Vivi) and not at all patronising or like it was trying to gloss over anything. I liked Jonah’s (the male protagonist) mental illness link too, and Lord managed to make a possibly difficult to believe family situation totally believable – I don’t think I once had to suspend my imagination. Another part of the appeal was that it felt like all of Jonah’s decisions relating to his mum’s mental illnesses were realistic, even when they ended up being mistakes – it was refreshing that it wasn’t just perfect decision after perfect decision after perfect decision, because that doesn’t happen to anyone (except me, obvs).

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via Pinterest somewhere

Howeverrr…

The love story annoyed me. Which isn’t the best thing to say, seeing as the book is billed as a love story. But Vivi as a character really annoyed me – in part due to her mental illness, she constantly seemed selfish. And that’s fine, that’s understandable and is part of what makes the book a convincing portrayal of mental illness. But what annoyed me was Jonah’s reaction (maybe it’s Jonah I’m annoyed with? Although other than that I love him) – even before he knew about her illness and just thought she was quirky, it felt to me like he let her trample all over him. Like yay for feminism and equally annoying characters for all genders and all that but it felt like he just let Vivi be flighty and keep changing plans and do everything to suit her. Maybe it’s just who I am that that annoys me or maybe that was intended to be seen as part of her mental illness but yeah, I wanted to shout at both of them at points. On another plus side though, the mental illness side and the love story right at the end (I’m a nice person so no spoilers) was so well written I nearly cried, and I never actually cry at books (except for All The Bright Places. That book broke me), I just think about how sad it all is.

So yeah, I wanted to get all that out of my system. How’s everyone doing in the blogging world since I disappeared a few months ago? Has anyone read When We Collided?

A Poetic Moodboard For The Non-Poet

I have a newfound interest in poetry. I’m studying the Chilean Pablo Neruda for college (the anthology we’re doing, 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair, claims to be ‘one of the most celebrated and admired books of erotic poetry published in the last 100 years’, so it’s a little awkward) and for once I’m actually finding the poetry interesting. Some of the GCSE stuff was okay but I mostly only liked the simplistic stuff and Neruda’s isn’t the most abstract, but still is interesting to read and think about. I’m also studying one of his 100 Love Sonnets for coursework (I Do Not Love You Except That I Love You, in case you were interested) and I’ve honestly surprised myself with how much I’m almost enjoying (gasp!) studying it. When I was researching what to do for my coursework I also read a little bit of Maya Angelou, which I like, and yeah, I’m not talking earth-shatteringly profound or intellectual but I guess I’m starting to see the appeal of poetry, just a little bit.

So, seeing as Pinterest has been Pinterest and made a whole load of super pretty pictures to go with quotes and excerpts from poems, I thought I’d put a few of my favourites on here, mainly just so I don’t lose them…

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This is actually available as an Etsy print and it’s my birthday soon soooo…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A little depressing but I like it (source)

 

 

Have you got a favourite quote or piece of poetry?

 

 

5 Things To Watch On Netflix (That Aren’t Riverdale)

Spoiler alert: I don’t like Riverdale. I mean, I only watched half an episode and didn’t really pay attention (sleep beats Netflix, always) but meh. I haven’t bothered watching it since, even though at least two of my friends are vaguely obsessed with Cole Sprouse and my social media has become inundated with photos of him/Riverdale stuff, but I have got into a few series lately…

Master of None

I binge-watched the entire series of this over the Easter weekend and loved it. Mega bonus that I only discovered it now and after a two-year gap, series 2 is coming out next month (how good are my psychic powers?!)

Girlboss

I only started watching this last night and so it’s perfectly possible that after binging six episodes I won’t watch any more, but I enjoyed what I’ve seen. It’s not particularly intense or intellectual so it’s good for when you’re in the mood for TV but not really sure what.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

I started watching this with my boyfriend because we were trying to find something to watch and I’d heard it was good. I can confirm that it’s good, but seriously weird, especially to begin with (after a few episodes you kinda get desensitized to the weirdness). It’s funny though, and the musical numbers (available on Spotify omg) are basically my new life goals.

Fresh Meat

I’ve actually not watched this in about two months, because I watched the whole first series in a couple of days when I was feeling really ill and now I can’t really face it anymore. HOWEVER, it was funny and just what I needed to distract me when I was feeling rubbish so I recommend it for some light evening viewing.

Designated Survivor

omg this series. my favourite. my new Jane The Virgin-level favourite. But it’s only new episodes weekly which is absolutely gutting. It’s about the US Capitol being blown up and the designated survivor being forced to become president and was interesting from the start, even more so now there are more twists and turns being added into the plot. Plus, they have actual former member of the Obama administration Kal Penn as both a cast member and advisor so it feels pretty realistic. Plus I just love Seth and Emily and everyone and I have no idea until I’ll wait till next Thursday for a new episode. Also fun fact: I like this series so much I broke the cardinal relationship rule and watched it without my boyfriend even though he first suggested it (but he did that with Prison Break so it’s okay).

Also, honourable mention goes to House of Cards which I’ve watched a few episodes of but not yet had a chance to get properly into. It’s good though, and I especially love the little asides to the camera.

Have you got any more Netflix recommendations??

Catching Up

So, I just checked, and I haven’t posted on here since January, and sooo much has happened since then that I thought I’d try and catch you all up in a quick post. At the end of January I went to New York for six days which was a mega tick off the bucket list (though, spoiler alert, it’s actually really like London and although I loved it it wasn’t the life-changing experience I expected). At the end of March I then went to Spain on a college trip for a week which was possibly one of the best trips I’ve been on, and then I went to Brighton with my family for the Easter weekend. College has been getting more and more intense, with the launch of our Extended Essays (4000 word uni-dissertation-style essays, eek) and impending mocks, whoop. On a more cheerful note, I’ve finally started regular trumpet lessons again, my birthday is in almost exactly a month and there’s another bank holiday next Monday!

I’ve also finally got a little bit back into reading…I finished Perfume by Patrick Suskind which I’m studying in college as part of my World Lit, as well as binge-reading Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami which 10/10 would recommend, it was SO GOOD. Unusually for me I’ve also been doing some non-fiction reading for my aforementioned EE, which was Patrick Kingsley’s The New Odyssey, which is basically an overview of the European refugee crisis but super interesting because it includes interviews and follows specific refugees so yeah, that was good. Netflix has also become a major part of my life – lately I’ve watched the Hitchcock films Vertigo and Rear Window because I’m seriously intellectual (or had to watch them for film studies, you choose), started Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Girlboss, House of Cards and Designated Survivor. I feel a Netflix recommendations post coming on…

That’s about it, really. After being away from the blogosphere for so long I’m hoping to start being a little bit more active and posting a bit more but we’ll see what happens! What did I miss while I was away?

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Music of the Month: January 2017

I know there’s 10 days left of January but a) I have lotssss of music in my January playlist already and b) I’m actually in New York (omg) at the end of January so I feel like if I don’t write this now it’ll never get done. Anyhow, here are some of my favourite songs from 2017 so far…

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Let’s Dance To Joy Division The Wombats

When The Sun Goes Down Arctic Monkeys

Foundations Kate Nash

How Far I’ll Go Alessia Cara (from ‘Moana’)

Cocoon Milky Chance

Shape Of You/Castle On The Hill Ed Sheeran (which of these do you like best? interestingly, a lot of guys I’ve spoken to don’t like Shape of You whereas most girls do?? Also, reputable sources have told me COTH is just Ron Weasley’s life story. The more you know…)

Livewire Oh Wonder

Oops Little Mix

No Lie Sean Paul ft. Dua Lipa

We Got U Lemaitre

I Don’t Wanna Live Forever Zayn & Taylor Swift

Inhale Kate Miller – I found this on Spotify ages ago from a Buzzfeed playlist but never really listened to it much till this month, when it’s become one of my go-to songs for walking to college.

Talking To You Izzy Bizu

Records Y.V.E. 48 feat. Hier

Going On Gnarls Barkley (if you like this, I also recommend Ella Eyre’s cover)

Can’t Stop Red Hot Chili Peppers

Naïve The Kooks

Love Is All I Got Feed Me ft. Crystal Fighters (+ the Friction remix of this)

Runaways Sam Feldt

All Night/These Nights/Ways I Can’t Tell/Good Girls Crystal Fighters

Notion/Jungle/Gemini Tash Sultana

Alright Supergrass

Best Fake Smile James Bay

On Hold The xx

Wake Up Circa Waves

Blame – Bunker Sessions Bastille

Redbone Childish Gambino


what songs have you been listening to this month?

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20 Ways To Be In Charge Of My Own Happiness

One of my goals for 2017 that I’m trying really, really hard to implement and keep on top of is being in charge of my own happiness. (Another one is to make my college notes beautiful and I’m very invested in the success of that goal) It sounds kinda stupid, but I feel like I rely too much on external factors, like whether I have a bad timetable today or if I’ve scheduled a Wetherspoon’s lunch, and other people to make me happy and change my mood. So, inspired by this, I decided to make a list of things that make me happy, as a kinda safety net for when I’m feeling down…

  1. Getting so into a new book you can’t put it down.
  2. Finding new songs on Spotify.
  3. Singing along to songs you know all the words to (at the moment, this is my favourite singalong song).
  4. Knocking off at least 50% of my to-do list.
  5. Fairy lights.
  6. Having a tidy, clean room.
  7. Exchanging stupid Snapchats with my best friends.
  8. Exercise (Zumba!).
  9. A small bucket of tea.
  10. Lotus biscuits (54 for £1 in Poundland 😏😏😏)
  11. Planning all the places I want to visit.
  12. Making plans to see friends.
  13. Online shopping (H&M has been so dangerous for me the last few months).
  14. Food food food – there’s a new Mexican place near college and it’s so good.
  15. Netflix binging a trashy TV series.
  16. Chain-reading my favourite blogs/scrolling through my favourite Instagrams.
  17. Random Buzzfeed articles.
  18. Writing down everything I have to do so I finally feel like I’m on top of things.
  19. A bath, complete with Lush bath bombs (or similar), a book and no phone.
  20. Moving whatever I’m doing to my bed, because that makes it 10000x comfier.

2016 Meets 2017

Quick side note: I’ve not been on here in at least a month and whoa WordPress has changed, I was not ready for this. Are computers catching onto the ‘new year, new me’ thing now too?!

Anyway, I’ve not been on here in ages but I thought I’d drop in and try and write a bit of a 2016 in review thing. I know that globally 2016’s been labelled as one of the worst years in recent history, but it wasn’t so bad for me. I finished GCSEs, went to prom, went to BBC R1 Big Weekend, saw Bastille, Lucky Chops and Kygo live, visited Holland, Cornwall and Scotland and just had a pretty great summer altogether.

In September I left school to go to college instead of staying on for sixth form and it hasn’t been all easy, but I definitely think I made the right choice. I still miss school and all the familiarity that comes with it, but I finally feel like I’m getting to the point where I know who I want to stay in touch with (definitely not some of the people I thought I would), I’m developing a bit of a routine for staying in touch with them (ish) and I’ve got friends at college. And, even though I’m taking IB, I’m still alive so that’s also a plus.

Of course 2016 had its ups and downs – I’m probably guilty of romanticising it, especially as I’ve left school – but I think it was one of the best years I’ve had lately. And hopefully 2017’s going to be even better – I’m going to New York, one of my dream destinations, in less than a month, Seville for a week at the end of March with, among other people, one of my closest friends at college, and then playing at the Vienne and Montreux jazz festivals in the summer. So yeah, 2017 doesn’t look too bad so far!

And just to finish off this post, as I’ve not written anything in sooo long, here’s a few of my favourite songs from 2016…

And if you got this far down, Happy New Year!

Music of the Month: October/November

I know it’s been over a month since I last posted, but I’m just going to jump straight back in with a mega, bumper Music of the Month which I think mostly covers October and November? I’ve kinda lost track tbh, but here’s a bunch of music I like…

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Albums

You Haunt Me Sir Sly

Death Of A Bachelor (+ This Is Gospel & Build God, Then We’ll Talk) Panic! At The Disco

Vessel (+ bonus tracks) twenty one pilots

Wild World (Complete Edition) Bastille

Songs

Final Song

Never Be Like You Flume ft. Kai

Human Rag’n’Bone Man

After the Afterparty Charli XCX ft. Lil Yachty

Re-arrange Biffy Clyro

Lovesick Mura Masa

24k Magic Bruno Mars

Water Under The Bridge Adele

Starboy/False Alarm/Sidewalks The Weeknd (+the Kygo remix of Starboy)

Would I Lie To You John Gibbons

Shout Out To My Ex Little Mix

Unknown Tuvaband

Treat You Better/Mercy Shawn Mendes

Fresh Eyes Andy Grammer

In The Name Of Love Martin Garrix

All We Know The Chainsmokers

Love Me Now John Legend

All Night The Vamps/Matoma

The Mack Nevada

The Greatest Sia

Say You Won’t Let Go James Arthur

Rockabye Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie

Highs & Lows Emeli Sandé

By Your Side Jonas Blue

Call On Me (Ryan Riback Remix) Starley

Liquid Lunch/Tangled Up/That Man/A Night Like This Caro Emerald

I’ve Got A Dream/Mother Knows Best/When Will My Life Begin? Tangled

That’s My Girl Fifth Harmony

So Good Louisa Johnson

Don’t Wanna  Know Maroon 5

Quick Step Maceo Parker

Stayin’ Alive Say Lou Lou

Anywhere Passenger

Dye My Hair ALMA

Good Girls Crystal Fighters

Love On Me Galantis

Starving Hailee Steinfeld

Sexual NEIKED

When You Love Someone James TW

Crazy In Love Eden Project ft. Leah Kelly/Oh Wonder

Fuel To The Fire Rationale

When I Wake Up Lions Head

Can’t Help Falling In Love Twenty One Pilots

Feel Good/Put Your Records On Aslove

Let Me Hold You Cheat Codes

This Town Niall Horan

Renegades X Ambassadors

Cheap Thrills Vitamin String Quartet

Danza 2016 Lucky Chops

listen to this playlist on Spotify here


What’ve you been listening to this month?

 

I’m Going To New York!

As I hinted at in this post, I’m going to New York next January! Like, actual New York City! With Manhattan and the Empire State Building and stuff like that! Eeek!!!

I’m going for six days with my college on a media trip that I managed to get a place on and I am insanely excited, especially as two of my college friends are also going. I think we’re staying in Manhattan and going to some film museum place, having a tour of TV/film locations, visiting the Empire State Building, 9/11 Ground Zero and the Statue of Liberty as well as having a tour of the NBC studios AND maybe seeing Aladdin on Broadway and watching Good Morning America filmed live. HOW AWESOME IS THAT I’M DYING OF EXCITEMENT ALREADY. Oh yeah and you might remember I’ve made a NYC bucket list before? I’m going to modify that and tick off as many as I can!

And as if my 2017 travel plans couldn’t get any better…I’m going on a tour of France and Switzerland with my jazz orchestra – we’ve been invited to play at both the Vienne Jazz Festival, who are also giving us tickets to the main stage in a Roman amphitheatre (!) and then the Montreux Jazz Festival, which will be my second time playing there and I am so, so, SO excited.

Have you been to any of these places? Any recommendations of things to do? Have you got any travel plans for 2017 or the rest of 2016?

Introspection: Songs for Sundays

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Today’s been quite a good day, nice and relaxed and a decent start to half term. Unusually for me I stayed in bed till about 11:30 (I normally start feeling guilty about everything I need to do and wasting time after about half an hour of extra sleep) and I had the whole day to myself, as le parents were up visiting my sister at uni. I did some helpful stuff like ironing, some scanning for le parents to earn money for my Travel Fund (I’m actually really truly going to NYC in January!!!!!!!! And performing at Montreux/Vienne jazz festivals in the summer). Then I went for a wander down by the river (I had to take a photo of something for geography half term homework) and while I was there, listening to Spotify on shuffle, began doing my thing of mentally compiling a playlist. I’m a relatively introverted person, but while I often like being alone for a while, I then start to think a lot and sometimes start to feel, not down but like my head’s kinda cloudy and then you’re in that mood when you get kinad lost inside your own head? Idk, it’s hard to describe, but here are some songs that matched my mood today…


Middle DJ Snake feat. Bipolar Sunshine

Make You Feel My Love Adele

The One Kodaline

Hallelujah Jeff Buckley

Life Support Sam Smith

Higher Love State of Sound, Viktor Noren

Thinking Out Loud Ed Sheeran

Stay Kygo feat. Maty Noyes

Oil On Water Bastille (I’M SEEING THEM NEXT SATURDAY EEK!!!)

XO Eden Project

listen on spotify here