Appreciating The Things That Make Me Happy

It sometimes feels like everywhere you turn – and especially every time you complain about something – you see messages and get told to appreciate the things you’re happy about. This can be seriously annoying at times, but whilst I’m sat on the sofa feeling depressed about doing an 11 hour waitressing shift tomorrow, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to put together a bit of a list of the stuff thats making me happy right now – because if so many people say to count your blessings, there must be some logic in it, right??

Enjoying my work

Despite the aforementioned feeling of dread at this week’s three 11 hour shifts – and the 7 hour shifts last week and next week – I’m almost, dare I say it, enjoying work at the moment. I’ve got a casual summer job with my local uni’s catering company and as I’ve already done quite a few shifts this summer, largely the same type, I’ve got to know quite a lot of the people I’m working with (more impressive than it may seem at first, given I have around 400 potential coworkers!), which has made the daunting task of walking into a super long shift where you’re working with 30+ other people significantly easier. I’m not sure I know anyone working tomorrow, but I’m gonna try and keep myself feeling okay about it, seeing as there’s bound to be at least one person I recognise!

Friends

I’ve been finding myself feeling a little down about some of my friendships lately, largely because one of my closest friends left a month ago to spend a year in Denmark, and I’m not seeing her till Christmas. I’ve been a bit surprised about how much I’ve missed her, but I’m trying to stick in the mindset of ‘at least how much I miss her has shown how much I value her as a friend’. Plus, I’m visiting Copenhagen in December to see her, which is bound to be amazing! I’ve also got another best friend spending a month in America, which is a little tough, but I’m getting to spend more time with some people I used to be friends with at school, which I doubt will be as fulfilling and close as my main friendships, but it can never hurt to have more friends, right?! Also, another of my best friends got back from a year abroad in Provence last week so I can’t wait to see her!!

Independence

I recently passed my driving test (so recently I’m having to use my passport as ID until my licence arrives…) and the ability to just up sticks and go out for the day without relying on buses or train times is so refreshing. It’s let me go and do fun stuff with my friends in more places than I normally can, and it’s great just not to have to rely on anyone.

The weather

Because I am British through and through, the amazing weather we’ve got at the moment had to feature in here. It’s a seriously weird feeling being able to go out without a jumper or a jacket, wearing my bikini three times already this summer (!!) and being able to wear my ‘foreign holiday’ clothes about ten times more than normal!

University

Finally, ever since I got my IB results  I’m so excited to get to uni. I knew where I was going anyway (Birmingham, in case anyone’s interested) because of the nature of my offer, but something about getting my results made a switch flick in my head and I’ve gone from being predominantly nervous to insanely excited. It helps that I’ve recently been able to officially register for uni and I’m finding out about my accommodation in the next two weeks, so I guess it’s all becoming a bit more real. I’m also proud of myself that I’m feeling this way, because I’ve previously been so anxious about going to uni – it feels like a real breakthrough for me, and even if I turn into a wobbly mound of butterflies nearer the time, I’m proud of how I’m feeling now.

What things are making you happy at the moment?

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Surviving the IB

I mentioned in my first post in nearly two years that I’d been studying the IB, and at some point wanted to write a post about it. Though I’m not really sure I have any special wisdom to offer, I have now totally completely utterly finished the IB, having got my results today, and it feels wrong to have barely written about something that my life has basically revolved around for the last two years.

I started the IB in September 2016, after leaving it to the last minute to decide whether to do A-Levels at my old school sixth form or swap to the local college for IB. For those (read: 80% of the global population) who don’t have a clue what the IB is – here’s the basic rundown:

  • IB stands for International Baccalaureate
  • It’s equivalent to UK A-levels
  • You take 6 subjects (3 standard, which is kinda like an AS level, and 3 higher which are closer to full A levels)
  • You also study Theory of Knowledge and that’s examined by a presentation and essay, the grades of which are combined with the grade for a 4000-word essay on a topic of your choice to produce a score out of 3
  • Each subject is out of 7 points (7=A*, 6=A etc) and adds up to 45 points
  • You also have to do 50 hours each of sport, service and creative activities and a project based on these three strands which don’t have any points attached but are required to gain the diploma

So yeah, that’s what I’ve spent the last couple of years doing. IB generally has a reputation for being quite challenging (aka bloody difficult), but I remember thinking in the first term that it really wasn’t very hard?? I think I actually asked my tutor if I had missed some massive chunk of work or something? Turns out, they just make the first term easy and then start piling on the work after Christmas, and don’t really stop – the summer holidays were basically an extra term, because exams are really early on in May.

Second year was especially hard – it seemed like there was coursework after coursework, then mocks, then oral exams, and it just never ended – if anything, reaching the final exams was a relief because all we had to be doing was revising! It was especially tough at some points too when there were issues with my coursework due to various teachers, and it felt like I was working myself to the bone only for everything to go wrong. That was one of the reasons I actually burst into tears when I opened my results – I was so scared all the work I put in would be for nothing, like with some of my coursework, that it was such a shock for it to actually be reflected in my results. Even thinking about my score now I’m starting to happy cry!!

IB was an amazing experience though. Yes, it was hard and felt like it was never going to end, but the feeling of achievement at finishing it – and with a score above my predicted grades and way above what I even dreamt of achieving – is the best feeling I’ve ever had, and possibly the proudest I’ve ever been of myself. I’ve formed some amazing friendships – what can I say, there’s nothing to bond a group of 40 teenagers like two years of academic hell – and would do it again (only slightly ironic given I spent two years mocking a poster which quoted someone saying they would absolutely choose to do IB again). It was a crazy couple of years, and I’m honestly not sure I know how to relax anymore, but it taught me how much stronger I am than I thought, and how I can do so much more than I think I can.

I think the best way to describe IB would be in the words of an ex-student who came in to talk to us at the start of second year – prior to this we’d just had visits from students who scored 45 and made a career out of giving study advice to IB students, so this guy who scored around 32 was a breath of fresh air. He told us honestly that second year was going to be shit – that we would be so stressed we’d burst into tears at knocking a cup of tea over (though this is indeed a very sad occasion) and that it would be hideously difficult at times, but he also said that the feeling of putting your pen down after the final exam and knowing you’d survived the IB – even if you didn’t pass it – would make it all worth it. That advice really kept me going in the last few months, and is so, so true. There’s probably some deep analogy for the struggles of life in there, but I’ll leave that as a mystery, seeing as my brain has now officially signed out for summer!

I have no idea if this post was interesting or not, but it was fun for me to write down a bit of the rollercoaster that was IB – and if you’ve got any questions about it obviously just ask!

 

music of the month – june

I’ve only recently curated my April-and-May-and-June playlist into one that just has the stuff I’m enjoying in June, so I figured I’d set myself the challenge of narrowing it down even further, from 168 songs to my top ten. I’m also going to predict there’s a 98% chance there’ll be more than 10 songs on this list by the end of it, but a girl can try and be decisive.

1 – A Large Amount of Ed Sheeran

Going straight in there and breaking my own self-created rules, I’m gonna just say 75% of Ed Sheeran’s discography – I saw him live in Cardiff last week and ever since I’ve been stuck in that phase of rediscovering every song he’s ever released and how much I love the all. Current favourites are definitely You Need Me I Don’t Need You, UNI and New Manthough.

2 – Quarter Past Midnight, Bastille

omg. this song. is one that I very much like and I’ve not had enough chance to talk about with other people, so if you’re also a Bastille nerd then hello please can we discuss how good this song is.

3 – Shotgun, George Ezra

I’ve almost definitely put this in a playlist on here before but in the last few weeks especially, it’s become my go-to song to make me feel summery.

4 – Torn on the Platform, Jack Penate

I found this song while listening to Radio 2 (I feel old, just to clarify it was not my choice of radio station), and thanks to the wonders of Shazam now being built into Snapchat, a Spotify-streaming-love-affair began.

5 – Spiritual Dark Age, To Kill A King

I went through a bit of a TKAK phase a few years ago but I haven’t really liked/heard much of their stuff since then. Spiritual Dark Age has been the first thing to really catch my ear and earn its place onto my monthly playlist (which is highly selective, as you can tell by the approx. 170 song length…), and I definitely recommend it for something a bit more chilled but happy.

6 – Carolina, Harry Styles

Yes, I did write a whole post about how much I love Harry Styles’ album, but I think Carolina is my ultimate fave. It’s very much ~a bop~, and I don’t say that lightly…

7 – Lost in Japan, Shawn Mendes

I’ve never really considered myself a Shawn Mendes fan, but Lost in Japan plus owning up to how many of his other songs has made me reconsider, even though I still get him, Charlie Puth and Troye Sivan mixed up…

8 – Trigger, Anne Marie

I don’t know what it is about this song over others on her album, but this has become such an earworm for me, and also regularly makes me dance (and as people who know me can testify, I do not dance when sober, so that’s quite a feat).

9 – Smoke and Mirrors, Paloma Faith

Not gonna lie, I first found this song when my best friend was spamming me with ~girl power anthems~ after a breakup, but this is the main one that’s transferred from the ‘yasss you can do this’ pep talk playlist to my everyday one. It’s sassy and brilliant, though that may be more just because it’s Paloma Faith.

10 – Delicate, Taylor Swift

So I know reputation came out approximately forever ago, and I listened to it then and then just kinda forgot about it, but Delicate has suddenly popped up again and become a solid favourite.

11 (told you it wasn’t going to be 10!!!) – If You’re Over Me, Years & Years

This is another post-breakup banger and it’s also something that makes me sing out loud, and a bit like sober dancing, that never happens.

12 – Too Much Fun, Sea Girls

Another Radio 2 find (oh no), this is another summery fun song that just puts me in a great mood.

13 – Barbed Wire, Tom Grennan

I know someone who saw Tom Grennan live a few months ago, and I am very jealous because this is now one of my favourite songs ever. And yes, I’m all too aware I’ve said that about at least 50% of this playlist so far.

14 – Born To Be Yours, Kygo ft. Imagine Dragons

Another classic Kygo banger, don’t think any more description is needed really.

15 – Rise, Jonas Blue, Jack & Jack

Jonas Blue’s always been very take-it-or-leave-it for me, but something about this track has really caught my attention. Again it’s just a song that makes me happy, which is good enough for me.


 

Andddd that’s it, with only five extra songs (pretty good for me and my indecisiveness…). What are your thoughts on my picks, and what have you been listening to lately?

 

The One Thing Love Island 2018 Is Missing

As per last year’s surprise smash-hit of a series, Love Island 2018 seems to have all the perfect ingredients for a cultural phenomenon – sunny Spanish weather, check. Enviable villa, check. Free clothes courtesy of Missguided, check. Witty Scottish voiceover, check. Major drama, check (looking at you, Adam/Eyal!). The one thing it’s missing is inclusivity, and sadly this is, in the increasingly body positive era that is 2018, a pretty vital ingredient to be missing.

All of the contestants are beautiful, thin, clearly spend a lot of time at the gym and quite possibly spend a chunk of money on beauty-related enhancements that us ‘normal’ viewers would rather spend on clothes and food. None of them are ‘plus size’ and they could all be models – as I’m sure a lot of them will become when their time on the island comes to an end – which just seems outdated and, at least to me, a real shame. 2018 has become a year of major social change and increasing inclusivity – from Me Too and Time’s Up to brand after brand – including Missguided – showcasing more ‘real world’ models and giving up airbrushing their websites. So, in the face of this growing wave of change in the fashion and beauty industries, I struggle to understand why ITV haven’t included a more diverse range of body shapes in their contestants – judging from the number of negative comments on Twitter regarding the lack of inclusivity and inability to see your own body shape on Love Island, it seems the audience wouldn’t have complained.

I believe one reason Love Island has been so successful because its the best form of escapism there is – it involves sun, Spain and the prospect of falling in love, a pretty much universal experience and therefore one that helps the audience relate to the cast. But as long as the contestants remain entirely stick thin and impossibly attractive, its relatability will be limited and so will the show’s lifespan. Hopefully, in time ITV will see the public wish for a more diverse cast, and will accommodate this with latecomers to the island – after all, the 85,000 applicants for the show can’t all look the same! Judging from the preview on last night’s episode of the new entrants to the villa though, I don’t hold out much hope…

What are your thoughts on Love Island 2018?

 

the album I never thought I’d be writing a blog post about

I’ve had a few ideas for blog posts tumbling around in my head lately, and although this wasn’t the first one I came up with – that was some top tips for doing the IB, but given my current stress level it may be best to leave that until after my exams – this album has been on repeat in my head for the last few days and is a completely unexpected new favourite of mine. Partly unexpected because its very, very rare for me to listen to a full album (even more so for me to like everything on it) and partly because…well, it’s Harry Styles, of One Direction fame. I never loved One Direction – though equally I didn’t understand the depths with which some people hated them – and didn’t pay much attention to any of their debut stuff when it first came up. A couple of their solo singles made it onto my Spotify playlists, but I made no effort to go and listen to full albums or anything.

This began to change the other week, when I rewatched Dunkirk with some friends and remembered Harry Styles’ existence. In true procrastinating student fashion I then ended up watching his Carpool Karaoke with James Corden, which is pretty great (highlights include their rendition of Hey Ya! and recreation of Titanic). After watching that I ended up listening to all of his album and, completely unexpectedly, I loved it. It’s been in my head so much the last few days that I figured I’d write a blog post about it, breaking it down into each track and my thoughts, in the hope it’ll finally get it out of my head…

Meet Me in the Hallway

This is quite a chilled, laidback start to the album and wasn’t a track I particularly paid attention to start with but, though it’s not one of my favourites, has grown on me a lot. It’s easy to listen to and relaxing and I love the chorus – I think it does a really good job of livening the track up a bit without losing the dreamy feeling of the rest of it. It also opens up the album immediately showing that this is not going to be a One Direction clone, which is nice.

Sign of the Times

This song is probably what actually stopped me from bothering to look into his music before because I was profoundly unbothered by it when it first came out as his debut single. It was OK, a bit different from One Direction but nothing drastic. Listening to it now I definitely like it more than I did then but it’s probably one of my least favourites on the album. The dramatic strings from 1:33 onwards get a shoutout though, and I discovered that it is actually him being suspended from a helicopter in the music video, not a stunt double, which is pretty incredible.

Carolina

Carolina’s the third track on the album and from its opening notes its showing a different side to ‘solo Harry’ – a bit funkier, a bit livelier, a bit less restrained. The opening riff’s the kinda thing you can’t listen to without letting your head bop along (bop is a fantastic verb and this song is very deserving of its use) and as the layers start to build it just gets funkier (I especially love the little ‘oh yeah’s). The vocals start off pretty laidback but quickly ramp up at the chorus, giving it more of a rock-y vibe than the first few tracks. Then the brilliant ‘la la las’ start up, giving the song a really fun vibe – Harry said in an interview that this was the last song written for the album and gave it a kinda missing piece of fun, which is definitely how it feels. The layers keep building up and, in my entirely objective opinion, the song just gets better and better – it definitely cheers me up in the middle of revision, anyway! Also, love the guitar on this.

Two Ghosts

If you’ve heard of this song, you likely know it as ‘the one about Taylor Swift’. This is another one I really like, and I can personally really relate to the lyrics. Musically, the little guitar riff throughout is beautiful, and the return to the more laidback vibe provides a really nice contrast to Carolina. I’d definitely say it’s more pop-y, more along the lines of some of One Direction’s stuff, but that’s absolutely not a bad thing.

Sweet Creature

Sweet Creature‘s another more chilled one, but a little more folk-y? (I’m not very good at identifying musical genres so feel free to tell me there is absolutely nothing folk-like about it at all haha) It’s similar-ish to Two Ghosts and just a really nice, laidback song for a Sunday evening, and I especially like all the backing vocal bits around 2:30.

Only Angel

So the opening to this track is pretty misleading about the overall vibe of it, as it quickly changes into being much more rock-like. This is one that kinda escaped my notice at first, but now I absolutely love it – it’s great for yelling along to in the kitchen while baking cookies (absolutely not that I was doing that ten minutes ago…). It’s veryyyy different to One Direction and more along the lines of Carolina, once again with great backing vocals and clapping bits, and the little instrumental bit around 3:15 is one of my favourite things in the world right now.

Kiwi

This is one of my absolute favourite songs at the moment, and it’s the most non-One-Direction like one on the album – Harry said himself that it started out as a joke but ended up as one of his favourite songs, which kinda explains the lyrics a bit! Similarly to Only Angel it’s great for just yelling along to (very handy stress reliever for a currently very stressed student with exams in three days) and has kinda become my personal hype song? I don’t know how either, but I’m not disappointed. For the optimum first listening experience, I recommend playing it as loud as you can. Side note – I really love the bridge.

Ever Since New York

I wouldn’t say this is one of the stand-out memorable tracks on the album, but its got a lot of good stuff going on (even if the very opening does remind me of the music they use at the start of lots of programmes about schools on TV – just me?!) It’s apparently thought to be about his stepdad’s cancer diagnosis which adds a whole different level of poignancy to the lyrics – my favourite is probably ‘There’s no water in this swimming pool’ (I always love a good water metaphor). It’s obviously quite a sad song, but in a way that feels chilled out rather than full-on make-you-cry, which is nice.

Woman

Woman perks the album up a bit again, going back to the heavier sound of Only Angel and Kiwi, but a bit more chilled out. It starts with a nice bit of piano and guitar, soon followed by some duck-style sound effects (don’t sound as bad as you think they would). Yeah, not sure what else to say except I like it…

From The Dining Table

First things first – I LOVE the opening guitar motif. I know I’ve said that about basically every track on the album but its all true, okay?!? This is definitely one of my favourites, and like Two Ghosts, I can really relate to the theme of the song. This is definitely not one to cheer you up, but its the kinda song that makes me really think and gets me in the feels, as the ~youth~ say. I also love the change in melody around ‘maybe one day you’ll call me and tell me that you’re sorry too’ – there’s just something about it that I really love, as well as the poignancy with ‘but you, you never do’. I just think the whole song does a really good job of capturing heartbreak without trivialising it or being clichéd.

A Few Final Notes (Musical Pun Absolutely Intended, sorrynotsorry)

I feel like you can split this album fairly easily into ‘chilled out, a bit sad’ and ‘jump around and sing along’, though somehow it still manages to feel pretty cohesive. I just really like it to be honest, hence the fact its got a whole blog post to itself, especially as I never thought I’d be such a Harry Styles fan. I’m also impressed by how true to thestudio versions all his live versions sound – I never realised he could actually sing so well. I also now firmly believe pretty much everything he sings ends up golden – see his cover of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain, Rihanna’s Wild Thoughts (which I don’t even like the original of) and One Direction’s Stockholm Syndrome for proof…

What are your thoughts on Harry Styles’ solo music?

Catching Up: A Brief History of My Past 2 Years

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high five to anyone who saw that title and thought of Bill Bryson’s ‘A Brief History of Everything’ by the way, that’s what I was going for

So you may or may not have noticed but my blogging’s been pretty sporadic for the past two years. I left school and went to college to do the International Baccalaureate (hereafter to be referred to as IB, aka a very stressful experience that is ‘a fancy euphemism for hell’ according to the highly reliable Urban Dictionary). Just for a little more, absolutely not dramatized, context:

The small cult-like group of students who are involved in the International Baccalaureate program. Laugh at the bags under their eyes and insane amount of homework now, but your sorry ass will be working for one of these guys in the near future. The near future for an IB kid is not so near, though. Having several hours worth of homework doesn’t exactly make the time fly. Because of this, they have extensive knowledge about useless topics, for example :Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of long words. 

– Urban Dictionary

I highly recommend you look up the rest of the Urban Dictionary entries for IB if you want a better idea of what it is, it’s scarily accurate

So yeah, been pretty busy lately and my writing and this blog just kinda fell by the wayside. Eventually it felt like too long to just pick it up again and I didn’t really know what to say, but now I’m giving it another go (so apologies in advance for any incoherent rambles while I get my blogging head back!).

What else has happened in the last two years?

Aside from college and everything new and exciting associated with that, I’ve…

  • Gone to Seville, Spain
  • Visited New York
  • Played at the Montreux Jazz Festival for the second time
  • Played at the Vienne Jazz Festival (France) for the first time
  • Left the jazz orchestra I played at those festivals with
  • Lost contact with a number of friends
  • Made a load of new friends
  • Been in a nearly two-year relationship
  • Come out of the end of that relationship trying to fill my time (any idea why I’ve restarted blogging yet?!)
  • Experience two lots of heavy snow in the south of England, in March
  • Booked a holiday to Seville for the end of my exams (yay!)
  • Slowly begun my transition to a creative, arty type who wears lots of floaty clothes and tassel earrings
  • Probably done a lot more things that I now can’t remember

So yeah, been pretty busy! I’m not really sure what way I’m going to revive this blog, but I’m hoping to kinda stick with my old mix of music and books and films and general life stuff, as well as maybe a bit of stuff about the IB/coping with college in general?

We shall see! What’s everyone else been up to in the last two years (oops…)

Music of the Month: July

For me, the summer so far has been filled with an odd but interesting mix of jazz, pop and things in between. I’ve been to a few festivlas in the last couple of months – one with the Kaiser Chiefs and Scouting for Girls headlining, and a couple of jazz festivals in France and Switzerland, all of which have had an influence on July’s Music of the Month, as well as my friend’s trip to Lollapalooza in Paris and her subsequent insistence of playing half the line up to me…

Anyway, here’s my picks for the last month and a bit, brought to you from a sunny-ish balcony overlooking the Cornish sea…

Tired – Kygo Remix Alan Walker, Gavin James

Here Come The Girls Trombone Shorty

Strip That Down Liam Payne, Quavo

Debora T. Rex

Harlem Shuffle Bob & Earl

Feels Calvin Harris & co.

There For You Martin Garrix, Troye Sivan (shoutout to Troye Sivan for being lovely and liking our British accents when I met him at JFK on the way back from New York woop)

Hole In My Soul Kaiser Chiefs

Dancing In The Breeze Gentleman’s Dub Club

Came Here For Love Sigala, Ella Eyre

Wild Horses – Sam Feldt remix Birdy

Your Song Rita Ora

Perfect Places Lorde

Shape of You – Stormzy Remix Ed Sheeran (guess who’s seeing him live next year wahey ITS A ME, MARIOOO)

Know No Better (feat. Quavo) Major Lazer, Travis Scott

Call Me Over Dusky Grey

Silence Grace Carter

Praying Kesha

Glorious (ft. Skylar Grey) Macklemore

Concrete Tom Odell

As per usual, that playlist got a bit longer than I meant, but if you only could listen to three of those songs, make it Glorious, Call Me Over and Came Here For Love. And Harlem Shuffle because I’ve already proven I can’t stick to short lists. What’ve you been listening to this summer?

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??