May, You’ve Done Me Good

It’s May and I’ve done it. I’ve completed three years at university studying for my English degree. It feels like I’ve reached this point far quicker than I ever imagined. It’s a cliché, but the day I moved to Liverpool in September 2014 honestly feels like it was yesterday. Although saying that, I am happy these three years are drawing to their end. Not because I haven’t enjoyed my time here, it’s definitely been a fun three years, however, I feel like I’m ready to move on. Move on to what? I’m still unsure, but I’m ready for the next phase of my life.

the alchemMy last assignments were submitted a couple of weeks ago, so now it is just a waiting game to distinguish exactly what level of degree I am leaving Liverpool with. However, that is not something I am thinking about just yet. I am simply happy to have a free mind and so much free time to relax and do what I want to do, without the pressures of assignments. Luckily for me, the end of my degree has tied in with my 22nd birthday. I have not been out a lot during third year so a night out was one hundred per cent needed. Since going out is a rare occasion, I thought it was only right to go to The Alchemist for a meal and cocktails. If you have been there before then you will understand what I mean when I say it is a beautiful place. – in all areas: aesthetics, food, drinks, people.

Following that, we went to one of my favourite night time destinations in Liverpool: Mathew St. And, I am fully confident now that I have been to every pub/bar/club that is down that street. – well, that is apart from the Cavern Club. (what kind of student residing in Liverpool has not been to the most famous drinking establishment in the city? Really. I’m such a sorry excuse for a student) I’m confident, however, I will get to the Cavern Club before I leave Liverpool for good. So, Mathew St was great. I highly recommend it if you want to be away from the student populated night life. Although, a lot of the time the lack of students is replaced with tourists. So, I guess it’s all about preferences.

sister actAs well as celebrating my birthday in Liverpool I also went home for a few days. I went to see Sister Act, a musical directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, at the theatre in Stoke. Which was honestly so good. I didn’t know what to expect, when you’ve watched the original films so often it’s sometimes hard to separate the characters from the original actors (i.e Whoopi Goldberg). However, the cast behind the Sister Act musical were fab, so thankfully I didn’t find myself making comparisons between the portrayal of the characters in the film and the musical.

Following my birthday celebrations, I also had my English Graduation Ball, at the Bluecoat Chambers. I wasn’t going to attend this as it didn’t sound like something that I would enjoy. However, a few of us decided ‘I’ll go if you go’. So, naturally, I found myself attending the ball. It was an enjoyable night with course friends, prosecco, a three-course meal, dancing, moreball 1 prosecco, a photo booth…oh and more prosecco. It has been so long since we’ve had a chance to dress up nicely, that it was great to have an excuse to make a bit more an effort than the usual jeans and trainers. Though, by the end of the night, and when I found myself sat in a tequila bar, shot in hand, I was majorly regretting not wearing flat shoes. Nevertheless, it was a great night and just shows that although I may think something will be… meh, it can turn out to be enjoyable. So, mental note taken for the next time I have doubts about an event or the like.

Well, that’s been my life over the last month or so. – I’ve completed university, I’ve turned 22 and I had a couple of enjoyable nights out. I have had a great May, however, now that I have finished I am finding myself with little to do. I am currently working one day a week on an internship…which I realise I haven’t spoken too much about, so maybe that’ll be a future post. And, although I am working for that day, the rest of the weeks have been a mission to fill, which hasn’t been made easy with the terrible weather. However, I have been productive, and I have planned the best week ahead. I will not go into detail about this yet, as I will save this for a future post. So, keep your eyes peeled, and i’ll leave you with these fantastic pictures from my solo, drunken trip to the photo booth at the grad ball.

photo booth 1

Until next time…

x

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So much history…

I am going to use this post to talk about a separate project I am currently working on. Usually I would not blur the lines between my personal blog and the blogging I do for university. However, it is a project that I enjoy taking part in, and it has taken up much of my life, so it would be wrong not to have it mentioned here.

This project is called Writing Lives. It is a module on my English course at Liverpool John Moore’s University. The aim of this project is to make working-class autobiographies available to the public. To do this, each student is required to pick an author from the Burnett Archive of Working-Class Autobiographies and write weekly posts regarding the author’s writing and life experiences. I have an interest in the first world war, so I made it my mission when searching through the archives to find an author who talked about their experiences of the war. As a result of this search I came across a man called Walter John Eugene Elliott (1890 – 1977). Who, to my excitement, served in the first world war 1914-1918 and had a lot to talk about regarding his experiences in the war.

Following my selection of Walter’s ‘Untitled’ memoirs, I spent a great portion of my time researching his family history and where he grew up. Luckily, he provided a lot of detail of his family ancestry prior to beginning his written memoirs. However, what I was really intrigued about was the family he did not list, the family that came after him, his children,
and grandchildren. This is because I was eager to find photographs of Walter and some more information about him that he did not necessarily divulge in his memoirs. Unfortunately, this search has not been of great success, I am yet to find a living relative of Walter. However, I am continuing to research aspects of his life that are mentioned inCaroline-Place-c1948-Royal-Oak-Hotel-awaiting-normal-demolition. his memoirs. For example, Walter goes into detail about some of his hobbies as a young adult. He names a hotel where he spent Wednesday evenings attending the Hastings Bird Club. I have from this come across a website that features many old photographs of the Hastings area and found a photograph of this hotel in the 1940’s.

I wanted to talk about this project here, on this blog, for two reasons. One, I wanted this project to reach an even wider audience that would not necessarily stumble across it otherwise. This is because I find a project like this to be so vital to our history in the United Kingdom. We often hear about the big events and the famous people, but why only them? These working-class autobiographies provide an insight in to the everyday, and how most people lived their lives at various points in history. Therefore, surely these accounts of life are just as important, if not more important, than the accounts of those who were considered remarkable and exceptional.

The second reason why I wanted to talk about this project is because it has led me to become more interested in my own family history, and where I came from. Thus, over the last few months, I have carried out research into my own heritage. I have always been intrigued in ancestry but I never believed I would get much further than my grandparents. This was mainly because I was unaware just how many sources are available to an amateur researcher. By this I mean I did not realise what I could access from my bedroom, using only my computer: from census, to marriage records, it is all available to us! It was the Writing Lives Project that opened my eyes to all of this “hidden” information. I began to realise how easy it is for me, and everyone else, to access the documentation needed to trace my family footsteps. Granted, there are some documents that you either cannot access or you need permission to access, but what there is out there is plentiful. Therefore, I wanted to bring this to light for those that were, like myself, also unaware of all the information available at our fingertips.

family tre

Researching real people, whether they be connected to you or not, is an extremely satisfying and rewarding process. I know many people myself who have considered researching their family history, but have believed it would be a fruitless task. So I know for sure many of you reading this will believe that too. However, I assure you, it is not! I therefore encourage you to take this journey, to discover where you have come from, if you have not already done so. You may find some fascinating stories, from your own history, and I promise you, it will not be a wasted effort!

  • You can find all my posts on Walter John Eugene Elliott here on the Writing Lives website
  • Check out my Writing Lives Twitter page for all the latest updates regarding my research on Walter, or check out the Writing Lives website Twitter page for updates on the project as a whole.
  • If you would like any advice or information as to how to go about beginning your own search, please don’t hesitate, contact me!

Until next time…

x

Such a Cliché

everybody’s journey is different, and everything happens for a reason.

I am coming up to the final couple of months of my university experience so understandably I am feeling a little bit reflective. I cannot help but look back over my three years of university and acknowledge both, what I have and have not achieved during my time here.

I started my university experience in 2014, moving from a relatively quiet rural town in Shropshire to the lively city of Liverpool. It was a big step, but one I am whole heartedly glad I took. Liverpool John Moore’s was not necessarily my first choice when I began looking at universities, in fact it was probably the last university I considered. However, from my first visit to the city I loved it. And I am glad to say that adoration for the city has continued throughout my time here.

When I think back to how I have spent the last couple of years though, I cannot help but feel a little bit of regret that I did not take advantage of the location more. I spent most my first year drunk, or hungover, and wrapped up in the freedom of doing next to nothing after the stress of A Levels, that I failed to immerse myself in what Liverpool had to offer – And my second year was hardly any different. Though, I did begin to explore the city further than my usual attendance to Concert Square three times a week, but in hindsight I do not feel I explored enough.

I feel that since September, in my final year, I have really come into my own though. Through putting drinking and nights out on the back burner I have discovered a whole new side to myself and to university life. I have immersed myself in my studies far more this year than I ever did in the previous two years. I have visited attractions and explored more of what the city has to offer – it definitely helps that I brought my car with me this year! I have also began thinking about my future, and where my life is going, something that I have heavily avoided for most of my life. As a result of all of this I managed to secure myself an internship, running the social media accounts and writing blogs for a small interior design company.

Even though when I think about my time at university I do hold some regrets over how I managed my time, I cannot help but feel pleased with the journey I have been on. After all, the clichés are always right: everybody’s journey is different, and everything happens for a reason.

Until next time…

x

So Much For a Quick Update…

Along with everything else I have going on, on this site, every now and then I do tend to write a sort of ‘life update’ post. So, if you’re interested what the last couple of weeks has brought me then continue on… (i’ll warn you, this will be a complete random selection of topics)

I’ve been trying to concentrate more on university the last couple of weeks or so. Since it is my third year I don’t want to be staying in the same kind of slump I’ve been continuously in for the last two years. In doing so I have found that I hate being in the house so much! My university hours are ridiculous as it is. I’m only required to be in for >six hours a week img_2079over two days this semester. (And I’m paying nine grand, for what?) So, after my lectures and seminars I’ve been avoiding going back to the house for as long as possible. Usually this is by simply going for a walk. You could say I’m taking the long way home… that is going the complete opposite direction and turning back when I reach the river Mersey! Last week though I saw myself going to Waterstones. I accidentally found a couple of books to buy (The Vegetarian by Han Kang and Alice by Christina Henry) and headed upstairs to the café. I definitely spent more time sat with cappuccinos than I probably should have. The store started off busy, but as time went on and one cappuccino became two, I was left being one of the only ones still there. It was so peaceful though. I’m not usually one to sit in a café reading alone, but I will be doing it again…

To avoid going back to the same store/café two days in a row, the following day, I went to the Central Library in Liverpool. How have I got to my third year, as an English student,inside-the-picton-reading-room and never been to this library. I have always wanted to go here, more so because you can climb to the top and get a great view of the city. However, I also found the Picton Reading Room, which I previously knew nothing about. I must tell you; the room is what dreams are made of. It’s like an old-style library. Completely silent with people working and reading, but you’re surrounded by shelves and shelves of books in a beautiful interior with spiral staircases. When you’re in there it just feels like you’re in another lifetime. I almost felt bad when I had to get my phone out to check the time. Needless to say, I spent a good few hours in there.

dsc_0278Along with these little adventures, I finally ordered and received, an LED Nail Lamp. I have wanted to buy one of these myself for so long. I know some of you may read this and just be angered that I want to do Gel nails as a non-professional on my own at home. But I am a student, I can’t afford to pay for professional nails constantly. I did a lot of research beforehand, bought everything I could possibly need and happen to think I have managed to do a great job! Thus, I will continue to do so. This though has caused me to be constantly looking for gel nail polishes in all colours of the rainbow. (Thank god for Mansion Student and my free Amazon Vouchers!) So, I’m currently waiting for pot after pot of nail colour to arrive in the mail. I’m just praying they arrive as they are shown. Unlike my first gel nail colour, a temperature changing one, which came slightly different from ordered. So, watch out people, things online aren’t always real! I will absolutely be updating you on this amazing purchase in future. (Hopefully once all my colours have arrived)

dsc_0280Completely switch up here, but I just wanted to congratulate myself for half completing one of my summer goals. Yes, my summer goals! If you read my past post where I made a list of goals for me to complete over summer, you’ll be aware that I wanted to read into mythology. This was one of my more ‘random’ goals. However, over the last few years at university I realised so many people around me knew so much about Greek mythology. And my god, how many times was it relevant to discussions on my course?! So, I thought I would be reactive and educate myself on this subject. I’m only what? Two months on from summer? So, I thought now would be perfect time to complete this summer goal. Right? Anyway, I purchased The Penguin Book of Classical Myths written by Jenny March, to achieve this goal. I have begun reading it, although there are so many names it often gets difficult to keep up. It’s definitely going to have to be a read that I completely focus upon. It may take me a little longer than I originally thought. I am though, determined to read it, and actually learn something!

img_2046I have though during the course of the last couple of weeks managed to retrieve some of my ‘lost’ student life. Or my ‘lost’ social life. With Halloween just passing, there have been ample opportunities for some night out fun. Which i can happily say has happened. I really don’t know what has happened this year but we just don’t go out anymore. It’s like us saying we’re going to knuckle down third year has actually happened. Who’d have thought it? Not me. And i certainly don’t like it… Speaking of Halloween, check out this amazing cakes. I had my first cake-a-way recently, and oh my it was amazing. But seriously how do people create these masterpieces?

Also, after spray painting my hair with crazy neon colours for Halloween i decided i really liked pink hair. So i took the plunge and bought some semi permanent ‘candy floss’ hair dye. So currently, yes, i am rocking pink hair. It may look patchy in some lights, it may barely49970927394__f51699fd-3b84-4d7a-a3c0-86e19f412e8c show up in others but i am loving it! Shame that it’ll wash out in a couple of weeks. Who knows, i may do this more often. (probably should have gotten a better photo than that…)

Along with this, doing nails, writing my blogs and everything else I still have university to focus on. The first assignment deadlines are drawing in, and all I can do is question where the beginning of September went. I’m completely unsure of how these last couple of months have passed so quickly! Where is Bernard’s Watch? I need to stop time! It’s scary to think that I will soon be graduating, and I am still not entirely sure what I want to be doing once that happens. Why have I never been one of those people that has their life sorted out? A question that has crossed my mind time and time again. Clearly it has not helped though. Off I go to try and sort that aspect of my life out so,

Until next time…

ximg_2065

The Beginning of the End

And just like that I have made it to my third year of university. I’m not sure how I have got myself here, or why it has gone so quickly. But nevertheless it is here and I am feeling mixed emotions. Happy because I have got myself thus far, but sad that it is nearly over. It is therefore ‘the beginning of the end.’ It’s such a cliché but it honestly does feel like yesterday that I was moving into student halls for my first year. Now here I am, moved in and settled into the house for my final year.

fullsizerenderI am living in the same house as I was last year. However, I have moved rooms in order to maintain the excitement of redecorating an alien space to make it my own. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the new room is significantly larger. I always get a buzz out of redecorating a new room as I feel like it’s part of the experience of moving away. Being able to decorate a space and anything and everything is completely up to you. I’ve also noticed that each year I tend to progress and change styles. Is this me growing up? My first year I can remember my room just felt so chaotic. There was stuff everywhere. Fair enough the room was smaller but still why didn’t I buy storage?! This year though is significantly different. I have been adult enough to buy storage and a mini book-case. I have also gone for, I feel, a very minimalist look. I have left so many clothes and so many ‘things’ that I never wore and never used at home. And my god don’t I feel good about it. Why do we think we need all this stuff? Like I used to pack things with a ‘just in case’ mindset. It’s just crazy. But here I am, having got two years of IMG_1939.JPGpacking experience behind me. I have made progress.

What is also sad about this year is that it was (or should be) the last year I will get to experience freshers as a student. There is a stark contrast between my freshers in third year and my freshers in first year. I didn’t realise it would be quite so bad, but I did find myself only going out twice in the week/two-week freshers. Compare that to first year where I went out more or less every day, yeah there’s a difference. But you know what? I didn’t miss it, and I don’t regret not going out more. I’ve said it for a while now, but I really do think I’m getting to that point where I’d definitely rather have a chill night in than going to a club. Plus, I’d rather keep the money myself than spend it on taxis, alcohol, entry fees and end of the night food. This img_1988lack of going out has even done me good. I decided to give Bootea a go. Just as little detox, try to sort me out a bit. I’m half way through now and I think it’s going well. It hasn’t been nearly as hard as I thought it would be to keep on track and keep drinking the teas. Also, they’re not as disgusting as I have seen a lot of people say. Granted the night-time tea is the best of the two, but the morning isn’t terrible.

However what hasn’t changed for me this year though is my addiction to shopping. I swear it’s like when people go bungee jumping or take drugs or I dunno. I seem to get some kind of high from spending, which later dwindles once I realise the damage I’ve done. First step of an addiction is admitting to it, right? Maybe by the end of the year I’ll be on my way to getting ‘sober’. Either way though the start of a new uni year in shopping terms only ever means img_1877the latest student fest in Liverpool. This is a great time for people like me. Anywhere and everywhere in town have the greatest student deals, offering crazy discounts. For just one day only it’s impossible to resist. Understandably then, I was unable to. I admit I spent more than intended. However, I did buy some great things. A lot of these I will admit come under the heading of ‘make-up’. I will be writing a blog about all the products I got my hands on. So really? I was just doing research for my blog. It’s all for you! Aside from the make-up though I want to direct attention to two of my favourite purchases so far. First is this gorgeous green knitted dress, perfect for the colder days. I found it in New Look, I think it was only like £20. It’s definitely not something I would usually go for but it is super comfy and just completely on point that I couldn’t resist. Secondly is these amazing trainers I bought. From Primark of all places. I rarely  shop there, and I don’t think I’ve img_1940ever bought a pair of shoes from there. But, I have fallen in love. The image doesn’t do them justice. They are gold and glittering and so ridiculously comfy. It’s hard to comprehend how they only cost £12. I will certainly be checking out their trainer selection more often. Watch this space!

Now the idea is concentrate on uni. Somehow I’ve managed to get a timetable that involves me being in uni only twice a week this semester. So I pray I’m not silly enough to start having the casual ‘sick day’ like I have done the previous two years. I am so far, you’ll be glad to hear, doing well! Time will tell though. I’m also contemplating getting a job alongside my studies. I’m not sure how wise this idea is in third year, but I could do with the extra cash for so many different reasons. If you have had any experience of working alongside img_1936your studies I would love to hear about it! I don’t feel like I have a lot of work to do, this semester I only have four assignments, but there is just so much to read.(the image shows less than a quarter of what i need to read) How is it possible? Because I don’t know anybody that manages to read all of the required reading let alone the recommended. So who decided this was all humanly possible? I’d like to know.

Anyway, I say time and time again but I’m hoping to improve my blogging. The content and the rate, most importantly the rate! When else in my life am i gonna have so much free time to just sit and blog? Maybe this beginning of the end will turn out to simply be the beginning of something great. Who knows? So this is me here saying as the adult I have become, I will do this. (Please Hannah do this) so….

Until next time…

x

End of Summer Road Trip

We may have just reached October, but I completely forgot to share the events of the end of my summer, and the road trip I took with a friend. So of course I have to go back to summer for this next blog post and divulge all the details of that week here…

img_0905I’m like the poorest person when it comes to summer, (always a nightmare), so this year we decided to keep it relatively ‘Hannah friendly’ and go on a road trip. Our main goal was to get down to Dorset, to the Jurassic coast for a few days camping. However, on the way there and on the return journey we decided to make some stop offs. I’ll keep it chronological and start with the way there. That makes sense, right? So, to split up our four or five-hour journey down to the coast we stopped off at Stonehenge. Which, if you remember, was on my ‘Summer to do list’. Yay, I finally can tick that off! I’m not sure what I was expecting, I mean I had visited before when I was a lot younger and didn’t have a clue what my parents were taking me to. But I feel like since then I’d been taken in with the romanticism of the landmark. Although yeah pretty great, some big rocks from years and years ago, mysterious and all that. I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty underwhelmed. I did however get a lot of great photos. I’m pretty sure we were the only two there not taking the whole scene seriously and were just having a laugh.img_1006

From there we carried on going to our destination; Durdle Door. We booked in to stay right on the coast at the Durdle Door Holiday Park, in a little wooden pod. Not quite camping, but not quite glamping. It was smaller than the pictures led us to believe, however it was perfect for us and we were not planning on spending a lot of time there anyway. Luckily for us the weather was great all week so we were able to do just this. Bonus though, the pod looked so cute at night when we were chilling from our days out. Just major regrets for not taking some cute fairy lights and getting all vibey.

Not to blow my own trumpet or anything but the Holiday Park was a perfect pick. It was right on the door step of two different beaches, Durdle Door itself and also Man O’War img_1124beach. As well as these Lulworth Cove was just a short walk along the cliffs. Reading this back it makes it sound like such a relaxing time away. And although it was mostly, man, the walk down to and up from the beaches were a killer. So steep and rocky, and just no. However, it was a hundred percent worth the effort. And you always feel good after putting in that sort of effort, don’t you? The beaches themselves were so lovely. I have so many photos it’s hard to choose a select few! I am a little regretful that I never went ahead with swimming through the Durdle Door arch, as I feel like that’s 14333012_10209510247726409_634567678369222283_nsomething you have to do.But I keep telling myself we never managed to get down there when it would’ve been safer to do so. And also we did manage to have an evening swim on Man O’War, so I actually can’t feel too bad. That was definitely one of the best nights though. Having the beach basically to ourselves and swimming in the cove after a long day of walking. The many people watching from the clifftops must have thought we were a little mad, it wasn’t exactly warm weather.

We spent one of our days in Lulworth Cove. The walk itself was probably less than a mile along the coastal cliffs. On the way there, such a lovely stroll looking at all the scenery. On the way back, killer feet and nearing on vertical walk up a cliff. (Ok, maybe a little bit of img_1111exaggeration) Either way though, it was worth the walk. We were greeted with a cute little village, and a beautiful cove. We relaxed on the rather stony beach, I had my first fish and chips at a lovely pub, (The Lulworth Cove Inn) and we went on a boat along the coast. It is definitely worth checking out if you are ever in the area. And if you have more time I saw an activities centre which you could take advantage of and go exploring stair hole and other such things!

img_1166Another of our days we spent a bit further afield. We drove along to Poole for a bit of a change of scenery. I don’t know how or why but somehow I also had romanticised Poole. Although we had a lovely walk along the waterfront, along the harbour, there wasn’t anything major going on there. So we continued on and found ourselves in Bournemouth. I had spent time there as a kid and surprisingly enough a lot of it remained the same to my eyes. And my god weren’t we happy to spend time on a beach with sand rather than stones! I feel like sand is just so much more tranquil, just because you don’t have to deal with the awkwardness and discomfort of walking along stones. It was also so hot there. We immediately were regretting not taking anything along to allow us to go in the water. And even to just chill there for a longer length of time. Unsurprisingly then we decided we would img_1192make a day of it the following day. Take our towels, swimwear, a picnic, a book, music etc etc etc so we could spend an entire day lapping up the sun. And it was such a good day. So windy though I am still, a month on, finding sand amongst the stuff I took with me. Annoying, but worth it. I also love Bournemouth beach. I love when you are able to just keep going when you’re in the water. Like you don’t feel like you have to stop, the currents are relatively ok, there’s no major drops from the ground and the waves are manageable. It’s just a safe, fun beach to go to. And there’s just so much to do there, with the pier, restaurants, bars, the beach itself, shops. Ideal if you ask me!

img_1225Bournemouth was our last full day, but on the way home we broke up the journey by stopping off at a place called Puzzlewood in Gloucestershire, in the Forest of Dean. At first I had no idea what I was going to, a puzzle in the woods? Hmm.  On its website it boasts of the various productions which have been filmed there, including Dr.Who. On arrival you can see why. It’s an interesting attraction and out of the two we did during the ‘journeys’: Stonehenge and Puzzlewood, I would definitely prefer to go to Puzzlewood again. Which is interesting in the sense that it is the least known of the two… and the cheapest. A hidden14265006_10209510243286298_531145024472763338_n gem, to me at least. Basically Puzzlewood is a maze. You go in and you have to find your way out again. In the meantime, keeping your eye out for specific elements. It’s an adventure, so a lot more fun! Along with this though there’s farmyard animals, there’s an indoor maze and there’s a café. So I can imagine it being a proper day out. For us though it was just nice to be out of the car, stretching our legs and all that jazz!

So that was our end of summer road trip type thing, all of this having spent less than £100 I cannot complain! We had such a good week, it was nice to be escaping our ‘real lives’ for a while. But also this just proves to me and everybody else, you don’t need to spend so much money when you’re planning a trip away! I am definitely now under the realisation that less can a lot of the time mean more.

 

Until next time…

x

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Progress Being Made

In one of my previous post I told you about how I had acquired and started my summer job. I am now two weeks in and I must say going strong. I can’t say it’s been a difficult two weeks; the summer camp has been blessed with pretty great kids.  I have had an incident free start to the job, touch wood the next four weeks go just as well. The only challenge for myself has been the routine. Working night shifts every other day can take its toll on your body, mind and most importantly your sleeping pattern. I think though, I am now getting used to it. I am learning how to work it and how to keep myself sane in the process. I’ve even come to the conclusion that having this kind of job, and working at night has been extremely beneficial for me. I have found myself with hours of time which I need to remain concentrated, and in turn awake. Therefore, this has provided me with the perfect opportunity to complete work, read books, work on my blog, catch up on t.v and even research future endeavors. So you can see, I have been an extremely busy night owl. IMG_0104

On a more serious note, the role itself has put me in situations which I would not have necessarily been in had I not had the job. This role has seen me interact with other employees and employers in a more equal role. Past jobs and work experience I’ve had I have always been seen as ‘below’ those I worked for. In this job though I am viewed as more of an equal, and I believe this is due to the responsibility given to me as a night time supervisor. A lot of my interactions at this job are with the international students, thus I am often in a position where I am the only native English speaker. Therefore, I am in situations where communicating can sometimes get tricky. This is certainly not a common situation for me in everyday life, though it is something I am enjoying getting to grips with. On top of this I am in a situation where I am in charge of a group of 12-17 year olds. Now, I have no younger family members so I have little experience of being authoritative towards young kids. (even more so international children who can’t always understand me!) This has probably been the biggest adjustment for me. I’ll get days when the children are being a little bit more mischievous and I just want to laugh, and honestly? Sometimes I do. But that is only because I can remember being their age and doing pretty much the same things as them. (I mean c’mon, I’m not THAT much older than them) I have thus been thrust into a situation where I need to take on that ‘adult’, ‘mature’ and ‘authoritative’ role. Although I have struggled with this to begin with I am enjoying the adjustment to it and discovering that I do actually have that person inside of me. Who’d have thought?! I’m now excited to see where my head will be at in another two weeks and even another after that, when I finish working for the language school. It’ll be interesting to see how I cope after the full six weeks of working here, and how I progress over this time.

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Now, one of my previous blog posts I discussed my ‘Summer Goals’ and I thought now, being over half way through my summer, I’d update you lovely bunch on my progress. One of my biggest goals was to get back into the routine of drinking more water. This might seem arbitrary, but when I’m at university I do always forget to drink water. Over the few weeks I have been glugging it back by the litres. Although the first week or so was horrendous, with always needing to go to the bathroom and the initial breakout from toxins being flushed out, I now feel great. I feel a million times better in myself and my skin is a lot better too. (although there’s a long way to go until it’s perfect *sad face*) So I am now a massive advocate in the drink more water policy. It’s such an easy thing to do to achieve great results. So I advise everybody to drink, drink, drink! And if you need any more persuading just check out what these websites say: ONE | TWO | THREE

Since I have started on a high, I am going to continue on with it, with another successfully fulfilled summer goal. I have made it my mission to make use of Joe Wicks’ first Lean in 15 book, and I can happily say I have done just that. I was originally planning to do an entire post on just this little feat of mine, however, I lost all the photographs I wanted to include and the idea just went down the drain. I do still want to say though the book has given me inspiration for some great recipes and has got me trying things I would not normally think to attempt. All the recipes are also really easy to follow and for the majority of it the ingredients are really very basic. More often than not Wicks uses stuff you would have in your cupboards at home anyway. So it is a perfect cook book to get your hands on, as there is no need to be traipsing through foreign supermarkets and travelling long distances to acquire the ingredients you need. Which I think anybody would agree is perfect! My ‘go to’s’ in the book seem to be the vegetable and fish fritters, perfect for breakfast, or a snack, the turkey and spring onion burgers using sesame oil (My new favourite to cook with, it smells A-mazing!). Also I’d say the meatballs and the cannelloni. That being said though, all the recipes I have tried in the book have turned out great. Even my mum, my human guinea pig has loved the finished products!

Some more of my other goals were to go to the beach, to go on more walks and to read more. These I have done, but I wouldn’t really say I have thrived at. I went to the beach a couple of weekends ago, although it wasn’t the standard ‘beach day’. It was more just an alternative place to walk the dog. Since we’re lucky here in the UK no place is much more than two hours from a beach. Perks of being a small island, right? I love going to the beach so even just a walk along the sand was enough for me. I have to say though I am always shocked when I go to the beach up north and it’s really pretty. For some reason I always associate Britain’s pretty, worth a visit kind of beaches with down south, but that really is not the case. Formby near the city of Liverpool is now one of my favourite beaches. I’d definitely recommend it for those like me who love their beaches surrounded by towering sand dunesIMG_0016.JPGNext was to go on more walks: I have been on a few, including the one to the beach. This plan kind of sat on the back burner though as I started work and the weather got progressively worse. I did however manage to go on another walk along the canal. We were blessed with sunshine for just one day so it would have been rude not to make the most of it. It’s days like that that make you appreciate living in the countryside a little bit more. It’s easy to forget how open and beautiful the countryside is when you’re in the city for most of the year. And you never know, the release of Pokemon Go might just be the catalyst that gets me out there more. (It would have been wrong for me to do a blog post and not mention this phenomenon just once). Lastly reading is again something which I hoped I’d do a lot more of but in reality I have completed only a few novels. I guess this is just me comparing the amount of reading I managed to accomplish last summer, where I’d read on average two books a week. Therefore, I am pretty disappointment in the amount I have read or really haven’t read. But I am hoping I am just getting off to a slow start this year. So watch this space, you could soon be bombarded with book reviews!IMG_0197.JPG

I think that brings us pretty much up to date with life thus far. It’s been a slow couple of weeks, but I always knew July was going to be like this. It is August and September I am looking forward to now. I have a lot coming up during those months, so keep your eyes peeled for future posts to see what I get up to!

Until next time…

x

A World Hooked on Pokemon Go

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Ok so I came to the conclusion that it would be wrong for me, somebody who claims to want to write about lifestyle, that be in general and my own life too, to not say anything about the phenomenon that is Pokemon Go. It is a craze that has gripped the world, having been downloaded more times than Candy Crush and Tinder as well as being searched more times on Google than porn. Having been released in America less than two weeks ago, and released in Europe and the UK in the last couple of days it is safe to say this is a game that has got everybody talking. But why? Why is this game so popular? Why is it intriguing to so many of us? And how has it managed to have such a huge effect on great portions of the world? So much so that it is becoming the norm to see people walking down the street eyes glued to their phone searching for the nearby Pokemon.

I admit I am somebody who went to the efforts of creating an American Apple account just so I could download the game quicker, rather than wait for the UK release. But why? I can only say that the hype I saw on twitter got me intrigued. I follow so many American accounts that it was just not a topic I could avoid seeing. However, although it was this initial hype that got me intrigued, it was not necessarily this that caused me to go to the lengths I did to access it. For me, I believe it was nostalgia the game brings to an older player. I was one of those kids that played Pokemon on my Gameboy and Gameboy colour, I collected and traded the Pokemon cards, and I watched the T.V programmes and movie. Thus when I think of being a kid again one of the major things I remember is Pokemon, and I believe this is a similar feeling for many people. Therefore, it is then understandable why something such as Pokemon Go has exploded as it has. It enables those who grew up with Pokemon to relive their youth, to ignore their adult priorities and responsibilities for a short time. It is therefore for many a form of escapism.

This is all well and good for those in a situation where they have grown up with Pokemon, but what about those who did not associate with or are just too young to have experienced it? Some would say that everyone is ‘jumping on the bandwagon’, that they are simply following the latest craze, but I’m not so sure about that. Yes, maybe that was many people’s primary reason to download the app, but it has to have been good for them to keep it and remain playing, right? For me I feel like the apps creators Niantic, Inc have struck gold in the creation of the game. In order to play one must venture outside and go ‘hunting’ for Pokemon, Pokestops and Gyms. And in order to do this many, kids for example, go out exploring with their friends. It has therefore become a game which you play by yourself yet encourages you to go outside and socialise with others. Because after all how many people, when they really think about it, enjoy being cooped up in their bedrooms playing games and not seeing their friends. Probably very few. Alongside the idea of socialising with friends the app also encourages one to explore places and areas they may never have been to. Therefore, in a sense expanding one’s horizons.

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When you think about it, there are many advantages to this app. Some shops and businesses have reported more visitors to their premises. Many neighbourhoods, in America, have come together in order to play this game. People have reported socialising and making friends with people they would not normally associate themselves with. The key idea behind the app gets people out the house and moving. You even have to walk a set amount of kilometres in order to hatch an egg. Therefore, you could say the app is playing its part in getting today’s kids and even adults moving more.

maxresdefault (1).jpgHowever, all great ideas come with their disadvantages too. We have to look on the flip side of such a game. You will often get those that are so into a game that they just do not connect with the world around them. For a game like Pokemon Go this could be extremely fatal. For example, you could be led out into the road trying to catch a Pokemon or you could be lead to a dangerous area you would not normally even contemplate going. It is important then to emphasise to people, children in particular, that the world around them still exists. The present dangers before the games release are still there. People should therefore remain alert even if there is a Mewtwo on the other side of a busy road, or on railway track.

This though has been a phenomenon I have enjoyed seeing progress. I have seen the app bring smiles to people’s faces and bring a lot of people together. It has been a great thing to witness, in a time that unity and solidarity is important to the world. Though only time will tell if the game is simply the ‘latest phase’ or whether it will stand the test of time. However for those few that slate the game and those that tell people to ‘grow up’ for playing it, I’d like you to answer me this: why are you so negative about people reliving their childhood, about people socialising, about people exploring the world? Because there are so many other, more deserving things in the world that this negativity could go towards.

 

I’m a Working Woman

It seems the idea of me blogging on a regular basis has yet to pick up pace. So I apologise on the delay between my last post and this I am posting now. I just need to get into the groove on things, eventually I’ll be writing far too often and just simply annoying everyone. Anyway, enough of me and my failure to keep organised and on with the post…

Me_Before_You_(film)The last couple of weeks have been relatively basic and adventure free. I have been to see ‘Me Before You’ (amazing btw, I would definitely recommend that you catch a showing sometime in the future), I have caught up with some friends, I have spent a day lounging in the sun ‘watching’ cricket and I have also discovered how much I enjoy using lists of threes. (Kinda ruined that one there!) The biggest thing to come out of the last couple of weeks though is my new, yet temporary, job. This has been a long time coming, it feels like years since I first applied. Although in reality only two or three months have passed. The point is though, I am now a working woman.

World_Ocean_Current.jaWhere am I working? And what is my job? I hear you ask. Well, I am a night time supervisor for a language school. Unexpected, right? Tell me about it, it was not the job I set out to acquire but I can say I am glad I decided to apply and proceed through the process. If anything it is going to be a unique addition to my CV and an interesting six weeks ahead.

I won’t lie, I was not 100% certain in what my role would exactly entail, so my first day was a bit odd if not slightly chaotic. That being said though, it was not just my first day, it was the first day for the first group of international students, for the staff and also for the school itself. This was because this is the first year the school has had a camp based in this particular location. Thus, understandably there was a lot for everybody involved to get their head around.

No sleepNow since I arrived with only the basic understanding of what I would be doing between the hours of 22:00 and 06:00 I was very much unprepared. By unprepared I mean I had no plan of how I was to fill up my time. The basic role of my job is to ensure the students are in their rooms, behaving/sleeping and kept safe. Therefore apart from the routine patrols around the accommodation block I found myself having a lot of time on my hands. It sounds easy, right? Nope, not at all. Throughout all hours you need to be continuously alert and aware of your surroundings. Pretty obviously this means no sleeping. Which for someone like myself, who likes their sleep, it is pretty difficult. I’ll be completely honest, on that first night I didn’t think I was going to make it. I started hitting the wall at around half three, I had to keep myself busy to push past that onset of drowsiness. Luckily though, I got through it.

After the experience of my first night I decided I would turn up better prepared for day two. Before leaving for work on that day I packed a bag full of all of the essentials. These included my laptop for writing, watching Netflix and general internet browsing. Food, because over 9 hours working and travel time is pretty lengthy. Green tea and a mug, because well how could anybody do all nighters without tea? An extension cord, as the only plug sockets are on the completely wrong side of the room. (handy). A book, pretty self-explanatory. Pro Plus for an extra kick of caffeine when I start to hit the wall. Lastly, I included my phone charger, in case of a ‘my phones died’ emergency. With all of this I felt far more confident for the night ahead, knowing there will always be something to occupy my mind. Suffice to say, day two went by a lot quicker and I am a lot more confident in my ability to make it through the next six weeks without dying from the nocturnal lifestyle.Time-goes-fast

Although I have only just begun on this 6 week journey I would definitely advise people to think more outside the box when it comes to applying for jobs. Whether you need a temporary job over the summer, or a bit of weekly pocket money it is definitely worthwhile to consider roles you have never previously thought about. Why go straight to the usual waiting on, or bar tending? I can’t begin to tell you the amount of people that have questioned my choice of job this summer. All I can see is a unique way to earn some extra money, an experience which is teaching me to spend and enjoy time alone, and practical improvement to my ability to concentrate for extended periods of time. All three which are going to be extremely beneficial. So if you take anything from this short blog update, take this:

Try something different. Challenge yourself. Dare to be different.

 

Until next time…

x

Summer has begun

hqdefault.jpgSo I have happily kicked off my summer, and the last week or so has been completely jam packed! It started off with going to see The Rocky Horror Show – which not only had I never seen it before, I actually had no idea what it was going to be about. I may have been living in a hole, but the only aspect of it I was familiar with was ‘The Time Warp’. Unsurprisingly I was a little taken aback by the whole show. I have never seen anything so… crazy? I’m not sure if that’s the word I should be using. But once I got my head around the storyline, I had to get my head around the flamboyancy of it all. Am I being uncultured by saying that I just don’t understand the obsession with the show? Don’t get me wrong any musical or play that has been in production for as long as TRHS has (1973) is impressive. Everybody has different perspectives and takes different things from these works of art. But personally? I am not convinced by it. Maybe I didn’t understand it, maybe I just wasn’t fully open to the ideas in it, but nothing seemed to make sense to me. It was an experience at least, and I’m always open to seeing new things. So we’ll see what shows I end up at next.

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How the weekend ended!

Following TRHS I was straight home to spend the weekend at a local music festival. This for me has become an annual event allowing me to catch up with friends I have not seen all year. So I had been pretty excited for the weekend to roll around. I mean a weekend full of laughs, music, cider, and (amazingly) sunshine. Sounds great, right? – And it was! The weekend was a lot of fun, although it definitely felt like it ended far too soon. However that being said, I was glad for the money spending to cease. (I never have been sensible with my funds.) It may be over, but just like every year, it will soon be coming back around before we know it.

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Following all this I finally mustered up the motivation to head back up to Liverpool to empty my university room. As you know I’ve recently finished my second year of university. Although I am excited to be finally enjoying my summer there was still so much work to do. Now, when you move out of your family home where you have pretty much lived the life of a queen being weighted on hand a foot (oops) uni housing can be a massive change. My first year, alike for most freshers, I lived in university halls. The significance of that you ask? They have cleaners! Every week our flat got cleaned. They weren’t perfect as you’d expect but it was far better knowing there was somebody that would force us to keep the place in order a little bit. Second year though? No cleaner, no help, no clue. Whether you’ve been to university or are planning on going I’m sure it’s universal that your parents will encourage you to keep a schedule, a rota, just something to keep everything in check. And universally, this will and is continually ignored. (First-hand experience here!) Oh the regrets I have for not taking that piece of advice a little more seriously. Living in a house without a cleaner this year meant not only dealing with our mess throughout the year, but having to deep clean at the end. This is a gruelling task. I’m not surprised they don’t forewarn you prior to attending university. No matter how well you keep up to date with the maintenance throughout the year there will always be days and days’ worth of work come moving out.

Last weekend, well my Sunday, was spent doing exactly that. In the baking heat, with the worst hangover having had minimal amount of sleep (I attended a party Saturday night) I moved all my stuff out of my third floor bedroom. Honestly, you do not realise how much stuff you have until you have to go through this kind of process. Not only that though, it was the amount of stuff I had but have not used all year that shocked me. There’s one thing wanting to make yourself feel at home whilst away but it was like I had taken my whole life with me. So as a word of advice if you do end up at university or in a similar situation – pack what you think you need, then remove at least of half of it. That is my plan for my third year anyway. Let’s be practical for once!

20160605_181817Although I’m happy to have checked out of my house I couldn’t help but feel a sense of loss too. My accommodation contract doesn’t actually end until August. So you can imagine at the beginning of the year there were so many plans to live in the city up until that time. Unfortunately though this hasn’t been able to happen. So here I am paying another two months’ worth of accommodation that I’m not even going to be living in! Student life, aye.

September will soon be around again though and I will be moving back into that same house. This time with some different housemates, which is always an exciting prospect. Each year seems to be bringing me something different. There’s never a moment to get too comfortable in my situation. Something always seems to change and this year has and will be a massive alteration. It’s funny how much aspects of your life can alter in such a short space of time. However I welcome this. I’ve come to enjoy it when parts of my life are shaken a bit. It keeps you on your toes and nobody wants a dull life, do they?

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see you next year!

Anyway I thought I’d just write a few words to catch up, to keep this place up to date on what’s been going on with me the last week or so. Now I’m back to feeling sorry for myself for getting sunburnt over the last couple of days. I can’t complain too much though, soon it’ll be raining, and I’ll be yearning for the blistering heat again!

Until next time…

x