Monday, 16 December 2013

My Own Girl Gang


When I look at my life I think of one thing: my friends. We've had so many happy times together it seems sad that it's in our nature to think of the bad things. Of course, we've had our fair share of arguments but doesn't that show how close we are? If you don't argue with someone you're really close to, are you really that close? For me, the arguments have now become happy memories, not because it's that "Oh, we'll laugh when we look back at how stupid we are" (I still do that) but because they've only made us stronger. If we can get through what we think is the worst time, then surely we can get through anything?

As a group, we've been strong since year seven, with our rucksacks being bigger than us and toothpaste on our school uniforms. Now, we're in our final year of college and, even though we're at different colleges, we're still strong. We talk to each other everyday as if nothing has changed since we were all put in the same form on day one. But as we got closer and as we spent more time together, you could tell the irritation was at it's height. By the end of year eleven, anything somebody said, there would be an argument. Someone would get overly sensitive, or overly competitive or they might just be a little irritable that day (we were under a lot of pressure with exams) and I worried that it was all wearing thin. 

If it was wearing thin, I must take some responsibility. When deciding which college we wanted to go to, I went somewhere else. I went for the easier option. There was a lot of stress going on in my family at the time and I chose quickly, not knowing what I was doing. I made myself think that what I was doing was good for me, I was more obsessed with the idea of going somewhere different than actually doing it. I wanted to be Angela Chase and just have a change. The tensions in the group were getting higher and higher and I just wanted out. I wanted to find my Rayanne Graff and become rebellious. But that's not in my nature and my friends knew that. I knew that, but inside I didn't want to admit it.

That first year of college was tough, to say the least. I didn't know what I wanted, who I was, where I was going and everyone around me seemed to know. I started comparing myself to everyone else around me. But I was comparing my 'behind-the scenes' to their 'highlight reel' (thanks to Taylor Swift for that). I thought my friends had it sorted and I began clouding my mind with 'what ifs'. What if I went to their college? What if I didn't choose this subject? What if I did this? What if, what if what if?! 

However, what I have realised is everyone my age is confused. We're at that stage in life where nothing is set in stone and that's scary, but it can also be excited depending on how you look at it. I was always scared of it last year, but this year, and I honestly can say, I find it exciting and I think that's down to my friends. It doesn't matter that I went somewhere else because I know I can always go back to them in the evening, at weekends, holidays and so on (insert 'You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home' by Miley Cyrus here and loads of cheesy shit). Finally, I can say, I have no regrets about the last couple of years. 

This summer was great. It was full of laughs and tears and memories that I won't forget and that's all thanks to them. When we all move away to go to University or whatever, I know even then I can talk to them and they'll understand me. It'll be hard, but just like me going to a different college, it's these leaps that we have to do in order to grow as a person and as a group. These past years, we've become more worldly than just the six of us and that's nice. We now see other things than just our little circle but when we need that closure, we can still come together and block off the world. My girl gang is better than any 'Pink Lady' or Riot Grrrrrrrl because they're where I truly belong. 

These past weeks I haven't been writing on my blog as much because I've been growing. To think, I didn't realise any of this until about a month ago. It's the people you surround yourself with that makes you the person that you are, I'm just extremely lucky that I found the right people so early on. What I really want to know is about your 'own personal girl gang', write a blog post or a comment about how much you loveeee your friends! Now, on that rather cheesy note, I feel like I should end with that particular Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana song because I have some inside jokes behind it anyway...

All pictures from per usual............

Friday, 8 November 2013

Thank you!

I'm nearly at 50 followers. The big 5-0. Half of 100. So I'm pretty chuffed with myself because when I started this I had no idea anyone would ever read this. As a gift to you guys, here is the article I wrote for my  college magazine. You guys gave some really good ideas and this is what I came up with.
I hope you like it! Tell me your opinion in the comments.

Gender or Genre?

If you’ve been living under a rock recently, or just have no care for any of today’s popular music, then you won’t know about the whole deal with Miley Cyrus. We once knew her as Miley Stewart, the normal girl by day and by night the rockstar, Hannah Montana, living the ‘best of both worlds‘. But now that’s all changed. She is no longer a Disney princess but is now a twerk maniac who smokes some weed on the side. But is it true what Sinead O’Connor said, is Miley being ‘pimped’ by the music industry? And is it the same for other female artists? These are questions with no easy answers. 

Throughout the years, there have been countless times that women have used their sex appeal to sell a record. Madonna’s 1992 music video for ‘Justify My Love’ had images of bondage and voyeurism and was ultimately banned by MTV. This just led to even more interest and the single is still making money 20 years after it’s release. Rihanna’s ‘Pour It Up’ music video (which was released on the 2nd October of this year) featured near naked pole dancers and a lot of twerking but was not scrutinised as much as Miley Cyrus’ music video for ‘Wrecking Ball’ or her video for ‘We Can’t Stop’. Is it because of how much Cyrus has changed over the years or is Rihanna seen as a more respectful artist? One thing’s for sure, after the release of ‘Wrecking Ball’, I have seen far more music videos on YouTube with the word ‘Explicit’ after it - maybe it’s because it has over 280 million views?

Whether they like it or not, females in the music industry are role models. Miley’s confidence is something that should be spoken about more. Everyone knows who she is and she gives off this persona that she doesn’t care what people think about her. She’s on top of the music industry at the moment, which is usually a male haven. But, Sinead O’Connor puts it better than I do, “the message [Miley] keeps sending is that its somehow cool to be prostituted…it’s dangerous. Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. We aren’t merely objects of desire.” While it’s great that Miley and many other female singers are comfortable in their skin, but, due to how society works, the naked body is overtly sexualised and they start to become “objects of desire” without one even realising it. Charlotte Church, in an hour long lecture for Radio 6, added that “the culture of demeaning women in pop music is so ingrained as to have become a routine.” Unfortunately, this is true in other forms of entertainment and society in general. 

But because of people focusing on this argument, we forget about the commercially successful pop women who avoid the controversy around them, for example, Emeli Sande and Taylor Swift have both outsold Rihanna this year. But another female has been talked about a lot recently as well as Miley Cyrus and that’s Lorde. Not because of anything controversial but because of her music. Her current single ‘Royals’ has been number one in America for three weeks now and her new album ‘Pure Heroine’ is currently the ‘album you should listen to this week’ according to The Guardian. There’s also M.I.A who is controversial but in the political sense, showing that women can and do have a say in what goes on around them and we shouldn’t be afraid of voicing our opinions. So while everyone else talks about the day to day life of Miley Cyrus and what she‘ll do next, why not think about other women musicians who are trying to be heard in a man’s world? 

It’s never easy to answer the question, are you doing it for yourself or for others? And that’s one of the reasons why this debate about Miley Cyrus has been so huge. After all this, maybe, just maybe, she is ‘just being Miley’. 

Pictures are from Tumblr

Thursday, 31 October 2013


Guys, I'm having a bit of a dilemma. I've been asked to write an article for my college magazine and I have no idea what to do it on. I currently have zero ideas and I'm having no inspiration. 
My dad has tried to give me some ideas (like a film script, and some other stupid ideas about needed the loo..but I won't drag you into that). But a film script doesn't feel...collegey (if that's a word). It sounds like a perfect thing to write for RookieMag or something. I know what the college magazine want, they want boring dribble. 
My mum also tried to throw a few ideas into the mix like a 'What to expect when you got to University Open Days' and I a little bit of sick went into my mouth. Writing that would be so dull and I couldn't make it good. 

So this is just a short post to see if you guys could help me with some ideas!! (Right now I'm meant to be making notes for my English coursework on a feminist criticism of A Streetcar Named Desire - THE BEST PLAY EVER!!) 

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. Any ideas would be grand!!!!!!!

Monday, 28 October 2013

I'm rambling on...

I'm finding it quite hard to know what to do with myself right now. I'm on holiday for a week (it's half term if you didn't already know) and I should probably be doing work but it's way too soon to start that crap, right?! I'm home alone and have no idea what to do so I'm writing this and I have no plan for it. I'm currently giving Prism (the Katy Perry album) another chance. I didn't like it when I first heard it, it seems better today. I also have fallen into the Miley Cyrus trap and decided to give Bangerz a listen...and I found myself enjoying it. I have no shame. It's becoming one of those days, y'know.

Last night I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's definitely one of my favourite films. I love the line "Why do I always fall in love with every girl I see that gives me the slightest bit of attention?" Because I find myself doing that even though I know they have no feelings towards me. I also love the idea that even if you try and forget something that happened in your life, it will always come back. Clementine and Joel are destined to know each other. It's like when people say "if you could change anything about your life, what would it be?" And believe me, I have hundreds of answers for that. But after I've realised that no matter what, what happens in your life will always happen. I can't keep looking back because life is always going forward and I'll lose it. It's like what the late Lou Reed said, “I think life is far too short to concentrate on your past. I rather look into the future.” Gah, I love him. Keep walking on the wild side buddy. (Sorry, everyone's said that so I don't feel very imaginative).

I think we have to get past the mentality that it's bad to quit. In my opinion, quitting is the heroic thing. Realising that what you're doing is useless and a waste of your time is clever. What's the point of wasting your time on something you hate when life is so short? It's like when people say life's too short to read bad books and watch bad films. Life's also too short to continue with something that is making you a worse person. To realise that you need to quit what you're doing because it's pointless/hurting you in some way/boring is the brave thing to do. I know that was random but I've been thinking about it a lot.

Jealousy is an ugly feeling. I'd say it's probably the worst feeling. Annoyingly, I get it quite a lot but recently I've been pretty good and I'm trying my best to change it. It's like my mind just fills with this black crap and I feel like utter shit. It might be because I'm so painfully paranoid which runs in my family. I feel sorry for the people around me. I feel like they must have to tread on eggshells around me. I'm really trying to get better. I really am. When I do feel jealous, I get away for a bit and breathe. I think about the situation and realise how silly I'm being. Then, hopefully, the black in my mind goes away and I feel good. Then I have a good time. Next time, I need to remember how happy I feel after I've thought it through then soon, that jealous feeling will dissapear. But just like everything that's hard to get through, it'll take time.

Prism has finished. I'm now listening to Bangerz. What have I become? I could be doing something productive now like my History or English coursework...ew...don't make me think about that. It's Monday 28th October and there's meant to be a huge storm in Britain. It's not raining at the moment in Birmingham. How disappointing. In 2005 (I think), there was a tornado in Birmingham. That was pretty cool. A tornado in Birmingham?! Who would've thought?!

I seem to be rambling on. I doubt people have read all of this. I wouldn't if it was me so I don't blame you. I've already started thinking about Christmas even though it's always pretty depressing. (BAH HUMBUG). What are you guys going to ask Father Christmas for? Because he exists. He does. 

I find myself always wanting to get drunk. I seem to always look forward to the next time I can get properly pissed. It's just some fun when you have such a boring life.

Oh, I can't wait for this year to be over.

I don't own any of these pictures...all were found on Tumblr as usual.

Friday, 18 October 2013

We're realists.

I decided to write a little fictional tale. It's not very long but I came up with it when I was walking to college  in the pouring rain and I felt as if the rain was only pouring on me. I've not been in the best of moods recently. I've felt very distant from a lot of people and the stress of A2 seems to be really bringing me down. I'm just trying to focus on the fact it's one more year. Then I'm done with college. In the meantime, however, I need to get the grades that will see me safely into University...where I can do English! I know in the past I've said I wanted to do History but I've finally realised how much I want to do English. You know that feeling you get when you read something and you understand it - like really understand it - and it just takes you away from everything that's going wrong in the world? I get a warm feeling in my stomach and to me, that's a good thing. I should be doing things that give me butterflies - the beautiful kind. 

Anyway, here's a little, sort of political, thing that I have written. I hope it....gets you thinking...?
I walk around with my head a little bit lower but a little more stronger. I may be young but I realise. I'm not the only one, there are tons like me, but more who are not - and that's the problem. We see each other from the rain cloud that follows our every move. We're not ignorant. We're not pessimists. We're right. We're realists. We see the world how it truly is and we know it needs to be changed. But it won't. Because they're too many people who are ignorant. So we trudge on. We live through the misery by putting our umbrellas up and heading into the world.

All pictures from tumblr as usual.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Evening drives

I haven't been here in a while. It makes me quite sad to think I left this for nearly a month. Something I really like doing. Something that keeps my imagination blooming. Something that makes me happy. And I left it. I've started my second year of college and, to be frank, it's awful. But right now, I don't feel like talking about that. (But don't worry, some depressing, teenagery, moody posts to come!)

It's been a while since I've felt a rush of happiness. You know that feeling, when your heart flutters and you can't help but smile. By using the term 'heart flutters' it sounds like I've fallen in love with someone... Well, not today. I've not fallen in love with someone, but something. Something, meaning my hometown. I've always seen it as depressing hole of nothingness. Whenever I'm walking around or on a bus I have a feeling of dread looking at the decrepit place that is Birmingham. But this time it was different.

I've always liked evening drives. They make me feel safe and innocent. Now, it's getting colder and the evenings are getting darker and while I usually (and most people) see this as a bad thing, I've started to view it differently. At the moment I've been looking at University Open Days which is an exciting prospect (but also really, really stressful). I don't want to grow up just yet but I do want to leave Birmingham. However, when me and my dad were driving back from Manchester, I couldn't help but smile when I saw the lights shine across Birmingham. 

Music was playing in my ears. The sun had dipped behind the buildings and was soon going to be unseen. Even the rubbish, that is inevitable in a huge city, made my heart warm. And the lights, the multitudes of lights, looked like stars. I felt like a child again. Anything was possible for me in that brief period and I just couldn't stop smiling. This feeling only stayed for a few minutes but I've started to realise that every second you're happy, even if it's a really minor thing, you should try and remember it. Life is hard - everyone knows that. But sometimes it just takes an evening drive, listening to the best music, to realise where you are and what you could possibly accomplish if you put your heart to it.

Saturday, 14 September 2013


I have a pretty good imagination. I always have. I have tons of stories that I like to read from when I was younger (one about a girl with no hair and finding a fairy to grow her hair? I don't know what was going in my mind that day). Most of the time I love it but recently it's become a nuisance. Do you ever imagine something that you want to happen and you plan it all out in your mind? I always do and it's always ludicrous. The reason this has become annoying to me is because every time it happens I realise, hey, that's never going to happen. So I get my hopes up for nothing and then I'm dissapointed.

 It wasn't til recently when I was reading 'I Capture the Castle' that I realised how much I did this. Cassandra (the main girl) was daydreaming about a wedding and when she snapped out of it she realised it was never going to happen. For some reason that never clicked in my brain before. I always thought there was a chance it still could. I never would daydream that aliens would take over the planet or I would find a dinosaur egg, I mostly imagine conversations with new people and how they would go and they seem like realistic things to dream about. Of course, I never even pluck up the courage to talk to them in the first place, let alone for that conversation to happen. 

I know everyone goes through this. We all daydream/imagine things. Better things. But now I always get cross when I do it. Before I fall asleep I like to plan out days in my head but now I can't because I know it's not going to work out like that. I have to live each day as they come, no matter how stressful they are. My life at the moment has been pretty stressful. I was really pleased with my results except one. It was really letting the pack down and I still can't stop thinking about it. I now probably have to re-think my whole University path which is why my daydreaming is not good. College doesn't help. We're meant to have decided what we want to do at University by now. But what if that all changes? What if we've all imagined our life as one thing and then it doesn't work out? These things happen and we shouldn't have to go through crap just because something has turned out differently. I wish life was smooth and easy but it never is and never will be. I just wish this sick feeling in my stomach would go away.

Other than that, I'm glad to be alive thanks to the arts. I went to see About Time last night which was a perfect feel-good film that really made me happy. Then tonight I watched The Impossible which was really life-affirming. I went to the Bristol University Open Day and I went to an English lecture. While I was there my stomach was feeling really sick and I thought I wouldn't be able to handle the stress. But then the lecturer said something that really helped. She said that when you see a piece of art or read a book or watch a film that is really good, just for a second, you are free. It's the only time you will ever be away from yourself and free. It's the thing we always want. It made me realise how helpful literature really is and how much I would love to study it.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

How do I think up these things?

I can't stop thinking about the world. It seems so small compared to everything else. I sometimes forget that people on the other side of the world are still on the earth. It feels as if they should be on another planet because it's just not big enough. It also makes me wonder if we're wasting what we have. There are very few 'influential' people compared to the seven billion people on this world. We spend most of our time drinking coke, watching television, eating food. Doesn't that feel like a waste? Problem is we're all scared (I am anyway). I can't talk. Whenever someone asks me a question my mind goes blank. I know what I should say after. I can write things down but can never say them. It's like my mouth wants to say something completely different to what my brain says and I sound so stupid. 
My brother told me about Jean-Jacques Rousseau today who's a Genevan philosopher. He said that he felt civilization has ruined us and we should go back to cavemen times (or as he calls is "savages").  
"...This state is the veritable youth of the world; and that all the subsequent progress has been in appearance so many steps toward the perfection of the individual, and in fact toward the decay of the species."
Maybe if we never became the "civil man" we would have no war, no racism, no sexism, no prejudice. Maybe it was our happiest state. Then again, wouldn't it be wasting our art and literature that has come from the human race? If the world were to end right now, what would be the thing you would be most pleased with? Mine would be the art and literature created which would have been wasted if we went with Rousseau's theory. However, with great art comes great unhappiness. You see the world in a different way. It's a mould. Would it be better to just be happy? Gahh these things really make my brain hurt.

I have currently been watching the second series of Girls. Everyone had told me it's much darker than the last series and yes, it is different. We see more of Hannah's boobs. Marnie and Shoshanna have more of a character. And Jessa is married to Chris O'Dowd (which I can't get over). But today I watched one that stuck in my mind. Hannah was just about to have sex when the man tells her she's beautiful. By which she replies, "I know I'm beautiful but it's never normally a comment I get." I loved that bit. It made me (and hopefully others) realise that it's not strange to think yourself as beautiful it's actually a good thing. 
I do, however, feel it's really hard to believe that in yourself - which I blame on society. I was reading Marie Claire today (which, ironically, had Lena Dunham on the front cover) and it made me feel like crap. It was filled with super thin, super tall models with perfectly structured faces which is not a good image for young females to see on a daily basis. It makes it seem like the norm when really, everyone is beautiful because we're all different. We should embrace our differences instead of feeling as if we're 'wrong' because we don't look like Karlie Kloss or Kate Moss (I didn't mean for that to rhyme). 
I wish I was one of the 'lucky ones' that sees themselves as beautiful because we all are. Beauty isn't just looks, it's personality also.. 

Anyway, I realise I haven't posted in a while. I've actually been at Shambala festival which was amaaaazzzzinnnngggg. Pictures and a longer post will be up soon. Right now it's going to be a pretentious post about the world and female beauty.

I looked up beauty on the Tumblr tag and this came up.

Friday, 9 August 2013

“Love is too weak a word for what I feel - I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F's, yes.”

I've been on holiday with my family this week. It was great to get away from the city and see a bit of the countryside (that includes cute little bunnies hopping around in fields). It also meant I could really get into my reading. I'm currently reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles. At the moment, I can't say it's my favourite book but because of the holiday I have managed to read a lot more of it then I would have done - I'm a really slow reader. (If you would like to have a look at some of my pictures and videos from my holiday then go to my Instagram here. Try not to laugh at my embarrassing selfies).

One other thing we did was watch a lot of Seinfeld and some films. We watching Marie Antoinette (which was beautiful to look at, Sofia Coppola really has an eye for that whole 'teenage-instagram-indie' phase thing.), Lost In Translation (again) and finally Annie Hall. 

Recently I had watched a Woody Allen documentary on the TV which made me fall in love with him. I wish I had his life. He makes a film every year and doesn't care about the reviews or the box office - he only cares about what he thinks of it. I really admired that because it's sometimes hard to remember that, out of everything and everyone, you should be the main person that's happy with what you have produced in your life. But it also makes you your biggest critic - which I think we can all agree is true for most people. 

By this time, I had only watched Love and Death, Sleeper (years ago so I can't really remember it) and Midnight in Paris (which I lovvveee) so after this, I knew I needed to get watching his other films! Annie Hall, I think, will stick with me for years to come. Woody Allen is able to analyse life, and make it funny - which a lot of people can't. There's this great bit where Woody (Alvy Singer) and Diane Keaton (Annie Hall) are making lobster and they all fall to the ground and it's just a funny scene. It's then reenacted, but with a different girl and it's just not the same. The girl doesn't find him funny (he's a comedian in the film) and doesn't find the situation particularly amusing. This is an ultimate human flaw. We find one thing funny once and then try to redo it, but it's never the same. It's a big lesson that I personally need to learn (and so does Gatsby, you know, "Can't repeat the past" and all that..).

There's also another scene where Alvy and Annie are in a book shop and Alvy tells us the way he views life. My mum had already told me this quote as, after seeing this film in the 70s, she began viewing life in this way also - and now I think I do. 

“I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That's the two categories. The horrible are like, I don't know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don't know how they get through life. It's amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you're miserable, because that's very lucky, to be miserable.” 

Life is hard. That's a fact. But we should be thankful that we don't have it worse. It's better to think positively, even while you are miserable, because really, everyone else is too. We're all in the same boat and we all just keep going through it because "we need the eggs".

If you haven't already seen Annie Hall, then watch it now!! Not only is it really funny (look out for the cinema scene early on, it made me laugh a lot) but it's also sad. I love films like that. It's a lot like 500 Days Of Summer - or shall I say, 500 Days Of Summer is a lot like Annie Hall.


Sorry for the overload of pictures but I couldn't choose only a few because they're all so great. Ah well, la di dah as Annie Hall would say.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

"You don't need love and sex in films" - Greta Gerwig

When it comes to films, I like all different kinds. I love the never wanting to admit they're your favourite films - rom-coms, disney etc. I love the really high-brow films that you like to quote in front of new people so they think you're intellectual. I love the films that are filled with violence, drugs, sex etc - even though I'm nothing like that in real life. And I really like films that have little or no plot, they've spent a few million (I'm saying it like that's a small amount, but it is in the film industry!!) and they're just made to represent life in it's normal way - if you get what I mean.

The latter is what I felt when I went to see Frances Ha on Tuesday (my cinema has 'bargain Tuesdays' ALL TICKETS ARE £5, that is my heaven!!!!). It's the ultimate 'indie' (it's in black and white, talk about arty), funny, feel good film. Well, that's what I thought at first, until, like ten minutes in, Frances' best friend, Sophie, moves out to live with someone else and leaves her to figure out the rest of her life. I felt so much empathy for her - when she was sad, I was sad, when she was happy, I was happy. That's always a good sign that you like a film. Frances wants to be a dancer and I connote dancing with happiness, so when her life takes a turn for the worst I felt unbelievably sad. THAT'S what a film should do to someone. Make them feel.

After the film, me and my mum were dancing out of the cinema, just like Greta Gerwig (who plays Frances and wrote the film!!) does in this long scene where she's dancing through the streets of New York with glee. Throughout she wears the coolest clothes, mainly dresses with converses and this huge leather jacket that I just want right. now. Instead, I'm buying myself a pair of converses which I haven't had since I was probably twelve when I thought I was such a cool kid. To be honest, I will probably think that again as soon as I put them on. 

Frances is just a normal girl. Someone you wish was your best friend or older sister because she's a laugh. She likes to play fight in the street, run around laughing and even pee on train tracks (don't try that at your local train station guys..). She has the coolest friends, including Lev who is played by Adam Driver (the dreamy Adam from Girls) and Rachel, played by Grace Gummer who is Meryl Streep's daughter (Okay, the person she plays isn't actually that nice but, hello, her mum is Meryl Streep). The only person I didn't like was her best friend Sophie (played by Sting's daughter...I don't like Sting). Overall, though, it's just a fun film. At some points you feel so deeply upset, my heart literally sank - literally is used extremely lightly here - but that's life. That's what's so great about these films, they tell the truth about life. There can sometimes be no plot that a 'normal' film may see but, hey, the real plot is life

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Observations from my younger self

When I was younger I used to stare at the clouds as we went on long car journeys. They would always float perfectly adjacent to the road in the horizon. I always thought that if we just kept driving, we'd reach that improbable joining and accompany a cloud. But we never did. The road would get longer and longer, but the joint would stay in the same position it always did - just so far that we could never reach it and we could never float away. 

Taken by me