Taking a Break 

I decided at the beginning of September to take a month long break from social media (is this blog social media? I’m not sure, the main thing I’m trying to avoid is mindless scrolling, and this doesn’t really allow for that) and it’s…been interesting thus far. 

The main thing I’ve noticed is that I feel a little…out of the loop, I feel as though I don’t really know what’s going on in a couple of my internet friends’ lives, since we mostly communicate through Instagram and I have deleted the app, but I’ve also noticed that, while I’m still spending time on my phone, it’s different. 

If I’m alone in public (i.e waiting for a friend) I just stand there, and people watch rather than look at social media, and when I’m doing things I’m definitely more ~in the moment~ and not really thinking about taking photos of what I’m doing, living my real life rather than through my phone. 

I’ll be honest, I mostly did this because I noticed that a lot of the things I post (specifically on Snapchat and twitter) are just kinda…inane? I don’t share things with any real meaning, and I think I want that to change. 

I am yet to form an opinion on weather or not social media is good or bad for me, this experiment is largely to see how reliant I am on it and if I can stop, and because I’m beginning my A-levels this month and I want to know if I can work better without instagram to distract me. 

It’s still early in the month, so we shall see, and I want to keep blogging through it. 

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A trip to Toronto (and other parts of Canada) 

Before I begin the bulk of this blog post, some context is needed: 

I have a huge extended family on one of my mums’ side. I always knew it was big, but it wasn’t until recently that I realised how big, and how widespread they are. It turns out I have cousins in South Africa (which I knew), Canada, Israel, and Chile, a lot of whom hadn’t seen each other for a long time, most of whom I’d never met, or heard of. This year a reunion was planned so, myself, my grandmother and two of the cousins that I did already know hopped on a plane to Toronto for the reunion. 

Arrival and Exploring 

We arrived on Wednesday evening, and went to bed early, so there’s not much to say about that. 

The next day me and my two cousins ventured into downtown Toronto (can I just say that their subway system is vastly superior to the tube) and did some exploring and wondering. For a while it rained quite heavily, which was very pretty. 

Then the sun came out. Toronto is such a gorgeous city, and (I know this is a deeply annoying thing to say) has a very nice vibe. I’d really like to live there at some point. 

The next day was passed in a similar way. 

The Weekend 

Here we go: the reason we went, the big reunion. I’m actually not going to go into a lot of detail about this because it was a family event and it was very lovely and I felt so light and happy but I feel like sharing to much might ruin it a bit, but I will say this: this new family were also lovely and kind and welcoming and warm and saying goodbye made me very sad. 

Niagra on The Lake

After saying goodbye to everyone and feeling quite sad, we headed to a cute lil tourist trap which was very picturesque and sweet. I took advantage of the long car journey to introduce my cousins to Hamilton. 

A trip to The Falls

After Niagra on The Lake we headed to Niagra Falls, we didn’t go on one of the boats, but we had a good look, and let me tell you they’re impressive 


That night we stayed with family again and the next day we flew home. 

I can’t quite get across how wonderful an experience this was for me, but it was so lovely and I feel so privileged to have gone. 

Tunes of The Trip

Ooooh?? What’s this? I’m trying something new? Yes. I figured I’d share some of the music that I listened to while I was away 

Mexico-The Staves excellent for listening to on flights. 

Back to You-Twin Forks a happy, bouncy, summery song 

Soon Goodbye Now LoveTom Rosenthal a very pretty song thlat was good for moping to when I was sad about saying goodbye 

Door Number 3-Waitresss (specifically the Sara Bareilles version)  

That’s all from me, thank you for reading! 

A Creative Slump

I have been woefully absent on here and YouTube the last few weeks, and I have no real excuse. I promised myself that once GCSEs were over I would create a stream of videos and blogposts, on interesting and creative topics, and I haven’t. I had prom, the official end of school and told myself I’d write a blogpost about it and share some photo, I didn’t. I told myself I’d write a song and share it on YouTube, and I didn’t. 

I haven’t really made anything in months. I was hoping that when GCSEs were over the things I was longing to make would pour out of me, that I would be able to honour my promises. But I haven’t. I think part of it is actually that my life needs structure. My exams ended over a month ago, and since then I’ve had a lot of agency and independence and I have, for the most part, wasted it doing nothing, with the exception of a couple of days with friends and a few hours in the sun with a book, I’ve been inside, doing what can only be described as ‘ blobbing about’ each night promising myself that the next day I’d do something (even if it was just go for a walk) or make something, and I never did. It was a vicious cycle, of wanting to do things, being frustrated that I wasn’t doing things, and then being upset and not doing things. 

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to be doing things to do things. While in school (before the stress of GCSEs, and I cannot reiterate or get across how tough they were) my days had a structure, I would get up every day, go to school, come back, and that time in the late afternoon was when I’d do stuff that made me happy. I think that now I have as much time as I’d like to do and make stuff for pleasure, my brain has swiftly become overwhelmed and gone ‘or, we could just sit in the dark and binge watch Riverdale’ and so that’s what I’ve done. 

I’m heading off now, about to go travelling with my family (which I definitely hope to write about and document on here) having essentially wasted the last month, and I’m feeling guilty about it. Part of me thinks that maybe I did really need to just do nothing, but for the most part; I know that I’ve been foolish and that I should have done a bit more and made a bit more while I had the chance. 

Edinburgh & a Belated Birthday 

As I mentioned in a previous post, my birthday fell right in the middle of exams, meaning that I couldn’t celebrate at the time, so as a belated celebration me and a few of my friends hopped over to Edinburgh for a few days. 

Day 1: Arrival and Getting Settled

Our train arrived in the early afternoon, and we headed straight to the flat we were staying in, and got ourselves situated. My mum had sent us with a Birthday cake that she had made for me, so my friends decorated that while I went to the Scotmid (a type of co-op that is infinitely superior, and, predictably, only in Scotland) to get supplies such as milk and vegetables (the flat was already partially stocked). 

Upon my return, I was presented with cake and birthday presents which made me feel very much appreciated and included Cards Against Humanity, which we continued to play many times over the time we were then. 

Day 2: Holyrood House and Arthur’s Seat 

The Palace of Holyrood House is very beautiful and an excellent, cheaper alternative to the castle, understandably you can’t take photos inside, but it is glorious, very ornate, as well as home (for a while) to Mary Stewart, so being the Reign fan girl that I am, I was very excited. 

We then climbed Arthur’s Seat, which was a fairly quick and easy climb, and incredibly beautiful (and windy. So. Windy. I was a bit scared that we’d be blown away) with glorious views of the city. 

Day 3: Pottering and The National Gallery 

On this day we wandered into central Edinburgh via some excellent charity shops, we then had lunch in a lovely little cafe on Rose street called Lattitude Coffe Co before walking down to the National Gallery, which is free and quite interesting, as well as being in a lovely building.  The sun also came out! There was a man blowing bubbles outside the gallery. 

Day 4: A Slow Start and The National Museum 

On this (our last day) we had a very slow start, and didn’t manage to get out of the flat until gone 2 o’clock, we had a lovely lazy morning which involved pancakes and cards against humanity. 

We then headed out to the national museum, which is (again) in a very pretty building (and mostly free!!) and has a lot of very interesting things. It’s a big museum so we didn’t get to see all the stuff, but what we did see was excellent (especially the exhibition on Fashion). There was an exhibition on Bonny Prince Charlie and The Jacobites that I really wanted to see but you had to pay. 

After the museum we went back to the flat and played The Hat Game/Who’s In The Bag (a game that involves a lot of frustration and hilarity) and the next day we went home! 

That’s all for now! What would you like to see next?? 

The End of An Era

As you will know if you have seen my most recent youtube video, on the 16th of June, I had my final exam, and my final day of school. I will still go in a couple of times, for sixth form taster sessions and a final assembly, and I will (hopefully) be staying on for 6th form, but it’s a huge shift. The summer seems to be stretching endlessly ahead of me, and it’s almost daunting. And after summer, it’s only so long until real life begins…

The fact that I am free hasn’t fully sunk in yet, I keep saying to myself ‘stop faffing and do some revision’ then the delicious realization that, at least for now, that’s over creeps in. It’s rather pleasant.

The fact that I now have (almost, there’s some bridging work) no school work until September means I have a lot more time which means I can blog a lot more, so what would you like to see from me? I’m very privileged in that I’m travelling quite a bit this summer, so posts about that? Posts about music, books? Outfit posts? I also want to make a lot more videos over on youtube, so if you have any suggestions for videos you’d like to see or songs that you’d like me to cover, let me know!

 

Light Escapism|Summer 2017

So if your life is anything like mine at the moment, you are a busy and stressed mess, and the rare moment I get to myself I like to use without really having to think. In view of this I have compiled a list of ways you can while away the time (I’ll be honest, it’s mostle just a list of entertainment/youtubers I am enjoying at the moment) .  I have made a vague attempt to order them by category (first youtbers then tv etc). It’s quite long though, so grab a cup of tea and get comfortable!

1. BedroomSoliloquies 

Also known as my friend Lay’s YouTube channel. Like me, Lay has exams coming up and so isn’t really uploading at the moment, but there are plenty of lovely, artsy videos for you to enjoy. As an added bonus, Lay has the most gorgeous, soft voice and her videos are very calming. This and this are my favourites of her videos.

2. Maja Anushka 

Another YouTuber! Her channel is so lovely and (again) she has a lovely soft voice. She does a lovely mix of videos, my favourites are RAG and this one about her journals

3. NotJustBlonde/Zannah 

She makes lovely, soothing videos. They’re often advicey but she also makes beautiful music and her videos are v aesthetically pleasing. This travel vlog is my favourite of her videos and I have watched it many many times but also her song Fine is utterly beautiful.

4. Mygreencow

I’ll be honest. This is really not usually my time of YouTuber. At all. But I have a very deep rooted love of stationery and a few of her videos help with that, however they are sprinkled among other videos about crafts that just aren’t my style. These unboxings are my favourites. 

5. Tom Rosenthal 

A musician who has recently released a new album that is absolutely magical. Truly. My favourites are Morning and Just As but honestly all of his music is life changingly beautiful.

6. Dancing Years

They’re a band (that have now, at great cost to us all, split up) that make beautiful, nostalgic, makes-you-feel-deeply-emotional-and-heart-broken music. My favourites are We Danced Last Night and  Suddenly Still

7. Castle 

And on to TV! Castle is something that I only recently started watching and.oh.my. That show is glorious. Witty and smart and Nathan Fillion. What’s not to love.

8. Reign 

If you know me you know the deep obsession I have with this show. Goodness. It’s feminist, tackles important issues, witty and a period drama mixed with a soap. It’s the best thing to happen to American television since Buffy.

9. House of Fools

A sitcom that is fronted by Vic and Bob but has a generally amazing cast and is just hilarious. It includes Matt Berry, excellent running jokes and low-key genius breaking of the fourth wall. Just. Go watch it.

10. Beauty and the Beast 

And I don’t mean the film. I have been reading an anthology of different versions of Beauty and The Beast from folklore from all around the world. You can purchase it here and I highly recommend that you do. It also means that you appear deeply intelligent and intellectual but really you’re just enjoying fairy tales.

Of course, this is not everything with which I entertain myself, Kimmy Schmidt recently returned and included Daveed Diggs (loml) and w1a and Upstart Crow are both set to return soon (and may have by the time this is posted). There are too many things I enjoy to fit into one post.

Thank you for reading!

Please Vote

My good friend Bee has just posted a blogpost about tomorrow’s general election but basically, I urge you, I beg you, to vote. It is of the utmost importance and it is your duty, if you are undecided as to who to vote for, I have a proposal for you; vote on behalf of me, I’m 16 and cannot yet vote, but I know how I would, I beg of you, vote labour. Jeremy Corbyn wants to restore the country the Tories are, and have been for the last 7 years. The NHS is falling apart, nurses are using food banks, and it cannot be denied that terrorism has hugely increased under Tory rule. The tories are murdering people, the disabled, the mentally ill, the working class and NHS waiting lists are so long that people are dying while they wait for treatment. 
Education has suffered hugely, and arts funding has suffered dramatically. Labour will fix that, as well as keeping the  free school meals that Theresa May wants to remove. Not to mention that labour will scrap tutition fees. 

(Also remember that Labour want to keep the ban on fox hunting). 

I went to a labour rally a couple of days ago and the atmosphere was incredible, thousands braved the miserable weather and enthusiastically cheered Jeremy on. There were other speakers who were truly amazing and it was one of the best things I’ve experienced.