19 Dec 2013

Things That Make Me Happy #1

Wearing old clothes in new ways.
Before today my primary use of this old flannel shirt is to be thrown loose over plain jeans on lazy days or for extra warmth on a PJ day. But buttoned up right to the top I suddenly feel edgy smart, with this fancy necklace usually reserved for nights out rather than days at uni. Part Grace Helbig, part Bob the Builder. I know it doesn't really "go" but thats kind of why it's fun and why I likes it!

German Christmas Markets.

I love how popular German markets are in England around the festive season these days. The one in Sheffield is...um...disapointing? (Though still an improvement on Pompey where there wasn't one at all). So last weekend I hopped on a train to Birmingham to the king of all Christmas days out, the Frankfurt Market. We all met up at the station (cue slo mo running towards each other) then after taking our lives in our hands to eat in a football pub we drank mulled wine and looked at the lights and got drizzled on and everything smelled delicious and spicy and christmassy. Yum!


Do I need to explain? Beyonce's new album dropped and my life is complete. She is a queen, and if Grown Woman doesn't make you feel amazing then I CAN'T HELP YOU.

In other news...Six days to go til Christmas! I'm like a small child this year, enthusiasm levels through the roof, Bublé at all opportunities. Living away from home makes you SO DARN EXCITED to do the whole 'driving home for Christmas' ritual thing. Happy festivities!


29 Nov 2013

Friday Feels: This Is My Jam

I don't look for trouble, but trouble looks for me
Trouble - Neon Jungle

Don't tell me you don't love a girl band. Every one loves a girl band, especially if you're old enough to remember how kick ass you thought the Spice Girls were cos they made you feel like being a girl was cool (even if it does all look a little naff now).

Well thats kinda how I feel about this song Trouble. Neon Jungle are totally manufactured, and totally never gonna be as famous/cool as they want to be, but this song does make you want to bounce around the room and maybe wear a snapback, so I say good luck to them.

Now it's finally the weekend, go go go! xoxo

27 Nov 2013

In Appreciation of Winter

When I was an undergrad, young and pink and very fond of brogues, we used to do writing workshops. I probably complained at the time that it was all very self-indulgent and wasn't helping the universe, but then I remembered that there can never be too many artists and I started to miss it.

My MA is at a different uni, far less creative and much more serious. Yesterday, however, I turned up to class and for the first time we were told to write. Not facts, but opinions - on the subject of my favourite things. It was a bit like old times. I liked what I wrote, so I'm putting it here, in the hope it will spur me on to write more, not the serious stuff that helps humanity but the literary fiction that I like to read.
In Appreciation of Winter

The arrival of the first frost. 
Deciding that it's cold enough to get out your 'big coat'. 
Getting on a train home for Christmas, watching the blurry countryside turning all bronze and gold and orange and white and knowing you're heading towards your Mum's stew and dumplings. Films with Emma Thompson in, and films from the nineties that you've seen so many times you can quote along to them (Clueless, I'm looking at you). Mulled wine, mulled cider, mulled things-you--didn't-even -know-could-be-mulled. I've said mulled too many times. Mulled.
Walking the dog, a task I eschew violently in the warmer months, suddenly becomes a legitimate leisure activity courtesy of that icy mist that I take great pleasure in feeling swirling inside my throat. The sun sits so low in the sky that it makes everything illuminate. Old friends, who spent all Summer lolling about in languid apathy with vague promises to meet up soon, are suddenly spurred into action by the festive proximity. 
My wintery love affair is not just about Christmas, although there is nothing more fun than watching Grandma get her false teeth around a toffee penny whilst we all stop bickering in time to watch Wallace and Gromit. No, the great things about Winter go on well into February and beyond.
In the winter it is suddenly acceptable to put fairy lights on EVERYTHING, a task I take to with aplomb - my house, my clothes, my dog, my face, my consumables (have you ever put edible glitter in a cocktail? No? Then I urge you to stop reading immediately and get down Bargain Booze, no protestations about it being 10am thank you very much. It's winter, alcohol is practically necessary to keep out the cold).
  I like scarves big enough to be blankets, wearing what is probably too much eyeliner, curling up with a book and pretty much all the sections of The Sunday Times (except Sport, sorry). I like Florence and the Machine, although she is of course appropriate at any time of the year, ditto The Rolling Stones and Amy Winehouse. I probably imagine that I'm far more rock and roll than I actually am - I think I'm John Cooper Clarke, I'm more Pam Ayres.  
Maybe my adoration of the colder months is something to do with being English and bookish and a little bit soft-ish? Maybe they are symptoms of reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder? Or perhaps it's a chilling peek into my icy heart, the Snow Queen from Narnia reincarnate. 


22 Nov 2013

Friday Feels: This Is My Jam

lonely days are gone, I'm a-coming home
Box Tops - The Letter

As a die hard fan of all things sixties, this is perfection. The perfect tune for beehive-ing and shimmying. Check out those moves in the video! Swish.

It's finally the weekend, go go go! xoxo

the gloves are off, the wisdom teeth are out


an exploration of running away.

I live really near the train station, so I have to walk past it on my way to and from shifts at work, or the uni library. Every single time I am so incredibly tempted to veer off towards the station, pick a train at random off that big board of potential destinations, and just...go.

Does anyone else feel this way about train stations? I always have done. Even when I was not, as I am at the moment, super stressed and very tempted to run away. Even at the height of happiness I can't walk past a train station without being tempted to jump on a train and run away.

I'm not necessarily talking about running off and never coming back. We have responsibilities and that's just not how life works. But I wouldn't mind just...bunking off for a bit. Playing truant from adulthood, taking a day to go somewhere I've never been and forgetting everything stressful. And there's still so much of the country I haven't seen!

When I was young I remember watching a travel programme with my dad, which I would google if I wasn't feeling so lethargic right now, where the presenter man gave himself some options and then rolled a dice. He went with whatever option won.

I feel like that today. My feet are tingling with the overwhelming urge to stand in front of the black and orange blinking board in the station, dice in hand. Number the next six trains 1-6, roll the dice and go where the world tells me.

I probably won't, though.


photos from my travels in York, London, and a bonfire in Sheffield.

(p.s. I will try to be less dramatic in my next post! I've been reading too much Nancy Mitford and now I'm throwing myself down on sofa's and complaining that everything is oh so very difficult. Soz for the mellow dramatics. I'm very busy at the moment but will attempt some baking or something next week!)

19 Nov 2013

This Is My Jam: Best Coast

(the dreamy photo above by the amazing Carrie from Wish Wish Wish)

You see me everywhere, you walk around without a care
Best Coast - I Don't Know How

Do you remember that bit in Bring It On when Torrance (Kirsten Dunst) is listening to the tape Cliff (Jesse Bradford) made her, and it starts off rocky and then she dances round on her bed like a loon? (If not, go watch it, it's very 2000). Well this is the 2013 equivalent, where you start off all languid and 'why me' and then you go nuts when the tempo speeds up.

This one you need to turn up super loud. Helps if you pretend you're on Venice Beach, or driving a cadillac and wearing something neon. YOU'RE WELCOME.