Sunday, 2 October 2016

let's just ignore the big pink elephant

So... It's been a while.

I know, I know, nobody even reads this thing and I guess that's why I've allowed myself to get lax with it. 

But, you know, I've been busy!

I wouldn't even know what I last wrote about without having to look back, or when that even was.

But the point is: I'm writing now. And I'm very excited. Why?

Because it's officially Autumn.

And I LOVE Autumn.

Another thing I love is lists. So basically today is an excuse to write about all the things I want to do between now and the end of the year.
  • apple picking/visiting orchards/farms
  • carve pumpkins
  • decorate the house
  • make autumn/winter crafts with Roisin
  • donate to a foodbank
  • make and send Christmas cards
  • actually go to Guy Fawkes!
  • Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
  • country walks
  • visit Eloise in Birmingham
  • St Albans Christmas market
  • try different winter soup recipes
  • Paris in November with Kaylee
    • Vitrines at Printemps
    • Disneyland Paris
    • Père Lachaise
  • Christmas shopping in London
  • attend mass at Our Lady's
  • have lots of movie nights
This is all I can think of right now, and I'm trying to be realistic about my ability and the amount of free time I actually have between now and the end of the year.

The next list is all the films I want to watch, although I won't be limited to them because we legitimately have a gigantic collection of Christmas films in my house. Anyway, here goes:
  • You've Got Mail
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Corpse Bride
  • Stepmom
  • The Grinch
  • Love Actually
  • The Holiday
  • all 3 Santa Clause movies (preferably in a movie marathon)
  • The Family Man
  • White Christmas
*Sigh* I love this time of year.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Is there something somehow wrong about writing about your inability to write?

Like, is it bad luck or something?

I mean, i haven't really written in a long time, hence writing about my inability to do so, so I don't know how bad luck could really affect me at this stage but... throwing that out there.

It makes me really sad when I think about it, that I really haven't put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) for such a long time to write something creative. I used to write all the time. It used to be you couldn't stop me. It wasn't always really good but I was doing it. 

I've seen people talk about the fact that you should revisit what you did as a child to show you what you should be doing in life, to really make sure you're doing something you have a passion for. I read it about six or seven months ago, thought about it for about five minutes and then went about my life again. It came up again the other day, I can't even remember where but it's stuck with me for a while again. 

I remember being about 8 or 9 at my dad's flat in St Erblon, Brittany, sitting at his makeshift desk made of a plank of wood and two sawhorses, writing what was probably my first proper start to finish story. I had been obsessed with the 1993 film adaptation of The Secret Garden so I remember the story being about a princess walking through this ethereal and dense garden, trying to find her prince. 

I seem to remember also finding it a few years later and re-reading it and realising how bad it was but... I think the point I'm trying to make is that writing is really the first thing I remember really loving doing apart from painting when I was 4 (and even then the only reason I know that is because of the number of times I've been told that's all I did when I was really little)

Lately all I seem to be able to write is the start of an idea, something floating above my head but never quite coming down to settle. Maybe it's because I don't give myself time to focus. I get impatient with myself and want the words to flow beautifully, perfectly, magically from my fingers the instant they flit through my head and unfortunately that's not how it works. I have to forgive myself for not getting it right the first time and remember that writing is a labour of love and is best when poured out and edited at a later stage. Or at least that seems to be how it works for me.

I still have things I wrote 5+ years ago saved in the depths of my computer that I open up every now and again dust off the cobwebs and still manage to find things to tweak in them. 

Along with the starts of ideas, I also seem to write a lot more just of blurting out how I feel in a particular moment, things I've been thinking about, all these great and fabulous plans I have for myself... while there's a time and a place for that, it's not really what I want to be doing. 

There's something I've been considering writing, I guess working my way up to because it's not fleshed out in my head yet - I was talking about it to my mum recently but still haven't managed to put anything down yet. I don't know if maybe it's because I'm scared of what it could mean (even just mean to me) or what it could do but it's not happened yet.

I want to write something about the relationship between a father and daughter, something cathartic and something that I hope I'll be able to some day show to my own father. The hope is to make it something honest and from deep inside me but without making it too accusatory, without making it seem like the father is completely in the wrong and should make up for all the wrong in their relationship. 

It's not something I want to write specifically about my own relationship with my father because I don't think that's something I'd be able to write about objectively. It's not something I feel like I'd be able to actually show him without hurting him.

I can never really pin down what I do want to write about however so I guess it's something I'll have to do some thinking about before I really commit to writing it. I do think I should probably challenge myself to writing it before the end of the year. Or at least get properly stuck into starting it.

On a completely different note, another thing I find with writing (especially at home) is that I always find something to distract myself with. I've finally (after all this typing today) decided to make use of the fact that I have two different desktops set up for this laptop (that will probably only make sense if you're a mac user) and moved only my iTunes and the safari window I have blogger open on there so I'm not tempted to open up another tab and have a look around the internet. 

I was watching a vlog earlier today and the couple went out to a coffee shop and had a writing date so they could write and not be distracted by everything that is there at home. It's so easy to think "oh I'm just going to have a look at..." and then all of a sudden you realise you've fallen into a vortex and haven't moved in three hours.

I always found people that sat in coffee shops on their laptops kind of obnoxious but I feel like maybe I should try it. Maybe not in a coffee shop but the library, to be away from home and to just listen to sigur ros (because that seems to be my "focus and get down to it" music) and type away. 

Anyway... this is getting to be a really long post. I'm not even sure if I want to press "publish" though I do feel that now I've been sat here typing for so long it would be a waste not to.

I should probably go put my money where my mouth is and try to create something that I will some day down the line not hate.

Monday, 19 May 2014

is this thing on?

Apparently we're experiencing a heat wave.

Today was the first day back at work since this "heat wave" started (I mean, it's nice weather but I would by no means call it a heat wave). 

I have an hour commute to work each way and lately I've been spending it reading books because I've challenged myself to reading more this year than I did last. This morning, however, I decided I wanted to catch up on my unread posts on bloglovin. I am terrible at being consistent in my reading of bloglovin posts. I let them pile up and pile up until there is no end in sight and I end up just marking everything read and then just missing everything. I must get better at that.

As I was finishing I took notice of how nice the sun felt on my face, how I could feel the heat through the window and let my eyes slide shut. I was listening to the beautiful Tim's House by Kate Walsh and I pumped it up so the little notification turned yellow to warn me that I was heading into the land of "high volume" and enjoyed the vitamin D.

I used to hate closing my eyes in any form of public setting. Remember back in school when for whatever reason your teacher got a bright idea and said, "Now class, I want you all to shut your eyes and imagine..." my reaction was always "Nope, not happening, not with these bozos in my class."

But now that I've been commuting 2 hours a day for nearly 4 months (as of this week! When did that happen??) and rare is a day when I don't at least doze for 5 minutes. So it was especially nice this morning to be able to do it with the insides of my eyelids blazing orange and feeling the warmth of summer timidly coming to say hello. 

I took a photo this morning in the park but it really doesn't look all that impressive looking at it now (don't you hate when that happens? You take a photo of a beautiful moment or scene and you look back at it afterwards and it kind of looks... flat?

Anyway, here, have one of the king of the household catching some rays on the balcony a few weeks ago. I think it's pretty happy summer's on its way.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

New Ventures!

It's been a bit of radio silence around here for... a good few months. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and are excited for the opportunities that come with the clean slate of January (of course you can start a clean slate any time of year but there's just something that feels special about a new year, right?) 

I personally spent New Years Eve at home, working hard in my living room. I had been thinking over the last couple of days what I wanted to achieve in 2014 and how I was going to do it. I don't want to call them resolutions because I feel like there are so many bad connotations to resolutions and it's like there's this big joke that we all make them and they last two weeks into January before we collectively give up. What I was working on was a plan to breathe some life back into my... uh, life. I've now been unemployed for 6 months and it's honestly starting to get really old so I wanted to take the opportunity to do something amazing. 

I decided to map out some work-related goals (namely, find a job!) and some personal goals that I wanted to work on in the near and distant future. Knowing that you have to keep working at your goals little by little to have a better chance of achieving them, I also have plans of sitting down at the start of each month to take stock and think what I need to do in that particular month to get me a little bit closer. (Is my inner Virgo showing here? I'm actually a Leo but right on the cusp and I definitely think it has affected my personality!)

So, on Tuesday afternoon I had the crazy idea that I should start the year out as I mean to go on and get one of my goals live right on the stroke of midnight. This goal in question was to open my etsy shop. It's something I've been meaning to do literally for years, but especially in recent months when my cousin's husband told me that the next time he saw me he wanted me to have started my business (and then sent me a Facebook message a few months later asking how it was going!)

Now, I don't know that I necessarily consider this a business, at least not right now, but it definitely has the power to become that - I also have a crazy amount of apple stickies with plans for how I want to expand in the future. For now though I'm happy for it to be my little side venture... that I'm actually secretly (or not so, seeing as this is the internet) very proud of.

As you can imagine, deciding to launch this shop mere hours before the clock struck twelve, I wasn't exactly prepared. I'd been designing the prints that I wanted to sell for a good few months but I had never sold anything on etsy before and had no idea how it worked. I did my homework, writing copious notes to myself to make sure I understood (because I am a big nerd) and was still trying to sort everything out with five minutes to go but... I'm proud to say that I managed to get everything done and dusted and pressed the "publish" button just as the rest of the country were ringing in the new year with kisses and alcoholic beverages. I didn't even have a glass of champagne!

So, without further ado, I present to you my most recent achievement (may there be many more this year)... my etsy shop! You can either click the image below or here for the link.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

this is probably a tl;dr but...

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here, but I feel like I'm finally coming into myself, at least a little bit.

I know it's something I've mentioned on the blog before, but your twenties are the time for you to go out into the world and make mistakes and find yourself (as silly as that expression may be). I feel like I'm now maybe coming to realise that that's what's happening to me.

I recently turned 23 (like, last month recently) and I have to say, I wasn't a fan. I was kind of depressed around the time of my birthday and I didn't want to be yet another year older without really having changed that much since last year or the year before. It's entirely possible that the fact that I still had no idea what I wanted to do, that my friendships were kind of on the downturn and some other personal relationships weren't (aren't) where I'd like them to be had a part to play in my feelings but there's no point trying to analyse.

Being that I'm in this state of unemployment and still living with my mother, it's given us a lot of opportunity to have discussions about life and what I'm going to do and where I've come from. It's kind of weird to write about, but I guess this is a personal blog and I'm free to do what I want with it – she was saying that when I was little she was afraid that I was going to be a bit of a pushover in later life because I was always so calm with the people and other kids that I interacted with. It turns out, however, that that's not the case.

The conversation got me to thinking about it and I'm proud to say that I think she's right. There are actually a few things that have got me thinking in the same vein that I've come across lately – maybe it's that I'm more attuned to it because of the conversation or I'm subconsciously seeking out websites and videos that are related. 

One of these things is a video that I watched on Garance Doré's youtube channel which was a recording of a Google Hangout session she hosted. It was all about career and professional life as opposed to regular everyday life/fashion advice, but one of the things she said (and yes, I took notes, because I'm a geek, but I'm paraphrasing) was “to me, a brand is values, you need to figure out what you are but more importantly what you're not and what you don't want. That defines what you do and helps people understand you”

Okay, she was saying this in regards to a brand or what you put out professionally but I think it also applies on a personal level. That and the conversation with my mother made me realise that I while I may not know what I do want at all times, I do know what I don't want, or what I don't agree with. I am the kind of girl that will stand up for things if she believes strongly enough in them, or will get into arguments (with some people more than others) if there is a sense of injustice or just... stupidity. One of my favourite quotes is “I didn't always know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be” - Diane von Furstenberg (find more DVF quotes here - I think she's fabulous and I kind of want her to be like, my wise and fashionable aunt or something) 

I found it when I was clearing out my mum's desk a few weeks ago and it struck me because this was back still when I had no clue but I remember thinking "surely that's the most important thing I can do - to find the kind of woman I want to be, the kind of values I want to have and be sure of that, and then I'll be set for whatever life has to throw at me"

Finally, one last point I'd like to cover was from a conversation I had tonight - so, okay, I have an idea of what I want to do at the moment, how I can envisage my life and career developing at the moment. The thing is that it doesn't matter if 5 or 10 years down the line I change my mind and go in a completely different direction - nothing is set in stone when it comes to career and it is never too late to change what I want to do. The thing that is important, the thing I want set in stone is the kind of person I am.

I guess the point of me posting all this was for anyone who happens to be reading this, especially if you're in your twenties and feeling a bit lost - don't stress too much about knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life right now. That's gonna change. I think it's ridiculous that in the UK we're asked to figure out what we want to do with ourselves when we're 14 choosing our options for GCSEs - I wanted to be a graphic designer back then and while I think it would be really cool to do still, I know a lot of people my age are doing things with themselves that have absolutely nothing to do with what they studied when they were fifteen/sixteen. I'm getting kind of like a broken record here, but I really think that the most important thing to do is figure out who you are as a person and the rest will come to you. Just go out and enjoy life, keep your eyes open for opportunities and inspiration will strike. 

(did I sound too much like a self help book here?)


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Friday, 6 September 2013

life lately & lightbulbs

So I figured it was time to stop being all doom and gloom and oh poor me I don't know what to do with myself and post something positive! 

Starting off on a not so positive note, my Canon 50D (aka my baby, my pride and joy) decided to give up the ghost recently so I have been without DSLR. I didn't realise how much I would miss it, considering I can't really remember the last time I properly picked it up, but I guess as the saying goes, you don't know what you have till it's gone. When we were on holiday I was primarily shooting with my Mamiya SLR, which actually was kind of a blessing because I've missed shooting film, as well as my phone.

We've been back a few weeks but I wanted to share a few photos from the trip, as well as two others from when I went to see my Nanna two weeks ago. She has two big apple trees in her garden... she gave me a few (cough).

Also, in terms of lightbulbs, I had one the other day. 

The parts that I really enjoyed about my last job were the customer service and the actual organisation of the workshops. This then made me think a little bit more seriously about what I want to look for other than "oh, you know, admin... client service... that kind of thing" and it clicked! Events organisation! It's perfect! I like organisation (um... a lot) and having a project and getting things sorted to make a project/event go perfectly. 


And to be fair I did look into this a few weeks ago but all the adverts I found were asking for specific experience, which with the way my CV was worded, you wouldn't think it. But now I've reworded it and I'm going for more of the assistant positions to then be able to work my way up. 

It feels good to have a bit of a plan. 

I mean, a tiny one but still...