//A wee lil update pour vous//

(What a mess of a title, je suis désolée 😂)

Hellooo! It feels like such a long time since I actually sat down and write a blog post. It’s not that I haven’t had any inspiration – I kept coming up with ideas, but by the time I’d actually have some free time, I’d forget what they were (oops) or watch a couple of epsiodes of Waterloo Road from 2010 (I just love it so much, don’t judge) 😂. But alas, here I am, back to give you a brief update of what I’ve been up to lately!

As you can imagine, my life hasn’t been very interesting over the past few weeks, as *SPOILERS* it’s exam season *sighs* so most of my time has been spent doing revision (or rather, figuring out how to revise effectively).

I have been rather stressed over the past two weeks, as I’ve had a French speaking mock (which was comme ci comme ça si vous comprenez moi) and my history teacher left, so we’ve had various replacements and are seriously behind schedule (eeek!). On top of that, I realised that my revision just wasn’t effective and I couldn’t recall much of what I’ve been revising since February (such a waste of time..ugh) so now I’m trying to pull myself together and use these last three weeks to revise everything….again.

So yeah, that’s basically how my college life has been going. I also received my exam timetable and discovered I have three exams on one day 😭 – 2 hour geography mock, then a 20 minute French speaking exam, then a 2 hour history mock (in which I have to write 3 essays). As I’m doing the linear a-levels, I don’t have any “real” exams this year, which you might think would reduce the pressure and stress a bit but nope! I think the fact that they aren’t “real” is making me more stressed, as for the past two years I’ve got used to taking external exams, and having only internal exams just feels wrong?? I’m still treating them like real exams, but because they are just mocks, my teachers aren’t. So therefore, we haven’t spent much time practicing for the exams so I don’t feel prepared at all, and we’re not doing revision in class because we’re so behind we probably won’t even finish the content before the mocks, which is FAB.

But anyway, I feel like this week I’m coping with the stress a bit better, and I’m just so ready for summer. 

Ooh and I watched Eurovision on Saturday (obvs) and had a sort-of-party thing with the fam like last year, where we had food from across Europe, and this year I spent a few hours painting flag bunting which was cool.

Aside from that, I haven’t really done much. I’ve been trying to put university out of my mind for now so I can focus on my a-levels, but I have managed to book three open days – the first of which is coming up in just over two weeks at Exeter, which I’m looking forward to! 

What have you guys been up to lately? I hope you’re lives have been more interesting then mine 😂

//Can you help with my survey on Cardiff Bay?//

Hello, just a quick post to ask if anyone would be able to do me a favour and answer a quick questionnaire I’ve made for my geography coursework. It’s about Cardiff Bay – which I visited last week to collect data about regeneration in the area – and one thing I didn’t have much time to do was collect questionnaire responses so I thought I’d put it on here and see if anyone can help. So if you’re a resident of Cardiff or have visited Cardiff anytime over the past five years or so, I’d be really grateful if you could spare five minutes to fill it out as it would really help me with my coursework. I’ll leave the link here:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/3LJ97PD
No worries if you can’t help, I hope you’re all having a good weekend! The weather’s been lovely here all week and yesterday it even got to 19 degrees, which is about average for a UK summer 😂 anyway now I’m on Easter break I have a bit more time to blog so I’ve been planning some blog ideas which I will hopefully be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks.

Bye for now!

//An honest message to myself//

​My heart aches, for friendship, of all things. I don’t know if it’s loneliness or longing or just jealousy. I’m surrounded by people who I call my friends but when I think of how many people I have in my life that I can tell anything to, and who truly understand and who I can be me around, I couldn’t even count them on one hand – there isn’t anyone. I have an awful habit of not letting myself get close to people, intentional or not, I don’t really know why it’s just the way I am. I find it hard to open up to myself at the best of times, let alone other people, so it sort of just feels like all of my friendships are “stuck” in this phase where we can’t become closer because I just can’t take the next step and open up to people and trust people. Most of the time, I can manage. A useful thing about being an introvert is that I don’t mind being in my own company the majority of the time, I don’t need constant human interaction and compassion to survive, but what about to thrive? To truly live?
The truth is, I do get quite lonely and then end up in a cycle of telling myself it’s my own fault for not putting enough into my friendships to help them grow and blossom into something wonderful, something that breathes life into my lungs with every word and moment shared as friends. And then I get cross with myself because it’s stupid really – why can’t I just be like everyone else and trust people enough to open up to them, and let them see who I really am? Maybe it’s because I don’t think I’m worthy of such a friendship, or think I’m annoying people so shut myself off from them more. I hate it but I can’t stop doing it. It’s like a comfort blanket – when I get close to opening up and reaching out to people, I just convince myself that I’m fine or that they don’t care about me and just crawl back into my little bubble. 
Really, I am too overprotective of myself, not wanting to let myself get hurt – I know this is something that I’m guilty of. But surely this is worse? Surely this hurts more? Constantly feeling on the outside, that all my friendships are really shallow and that if I’m having a bad day, no one bothers to check up on me because they all just assume there’s someone else I go to when I need cheering up, but there isn’t, not really. I do have the blog squad, and don’t get me wrong I love them and am very grateful for them, but it still doesn’t stop me craving friendship. 
Then I just wonder am I just being ridiculous and overexagerating? I can’t be the only person who feels so isolated from their friends and just wants to find someone who understands them for who they truly are, so why should I complain about it? I don’t know. I just really don’t know anymore. 
What hurts more, is finding people that I do feel comfortable around and that I really value our friendship, only to discover that to them I’m just another friend – this has happened with a lot of my friends at college recently and it just makes me feel so empty after investing time into friendships that were never meant to be more than just casual friends.
But I’ll survive. I’ll wake up tomorrow ready to fight through the day and this feeling for however long it takes.
Thanks for always being there to listen guys, I really appreciate it.

//l o s t//

A while ago, I wrote about how I felt like I was just drifting through life, not knowing which path I’d turn down next and how I felt ‘lost’ because I didn’t know my place in the world. To say that I didn’t still feel lost would be a lie, because I do feel somewhat – if not more – lost than before. But it’s a different kind if lost. As if the lostness has evolved as I’ve changed over the past few months.

Whereas before it was sort of a peaceful, comforting feeling of being lost, because not knowing where I was heading kind of left lots of doors open and I could live by the philosophy of just going with the flow and seeing what happened. Now, however, I feel more lost and confused than ever. Loster, to invent a word (which is now making me think of lobsters but ah well).

Even when I felt lost before, I still knew roughly where I wanted to go and what was important to me, just not how I’d get to where I wanted to be. And now? I feel as if I’ve lost all sense of direction. I’m no longer wandering towards a set goal of where I want to be in the next month, year or the future in general because I’ve changed over the past few months, and so have my goals and dreams.

I think it all started when I began to doubt my academic abilities and limit myself to what I can or will be able to achieve in my studies because I just. Stopped. Believing.

I stopped believing in myself and along with that, stopped dreaming about things I used to want to do or become, and now I’m not even sure if that’s what I want anymore.

Along with my motivation and ambitions, my values have changed too. Trying to balance out studying with friendships and family and mental health feels like I’m on a see saw and if I focus on one thing, the others suffer. There is no equilibrium to reach. I can’t differentiate between what I need and what I want and if what I need is what I want or what I want is what I need. And if something goes wrong with friends for example, it has a knock on effect on everything else until I find myself in a downward spiral of self-depreciation and criticism and just generally not being kind to myself.

Basically, I’m just losing all sense of myself.

But, it’s not necessarily a bad thing because we all change as we grow older and experience new things, and this phase in my life is just part of that. It’s all about working out what makes me happy and what I enjoy, and then thinking about things that might not necessarily be making me happy at the moment (*cough cough* a levels), but I will be grateful for in the future. I just need to remember to be optimistic about what the future might bring and cope as best as I can with changes. A lot of the time I find it hard to try to be optimistic when it feels like everything is crashing down on me at once but then I get moments of inspiration to keep trying, which I cling onto and use to help me through.

Basically, this post turned out to be nothing like what I intended. I’m not really sure what I intended – I just started writing and let the wordsflow, but I guess then it’s more truthful that way??

Anyway, I hope you are all doing well and hopefully I’ll write again soon 🙂

 

 

//A Weird Kind of Happiness//

Hello! As you can probably tell from the title, I am in an oddly happy mood today. The past week has been quite stressful so it’s nice – yet surprising – to end it on a positive note.

I don’t know why but everything about today just seems so…perfect? Well, maybe not perfect (I don’t really know what I’m trying to say here so just bear with) but just lots of nice things have been happening.

Firstly, I Skyped the lovely Elly last night. There’s always something *magical* about Skyping blogger friends, hence I’m still in that kind of ecstatic mood where I can’t believe I actually talked to one of my internet friends face-to-face. I really enjoyed chatting to Elly and it helped me relax after a stressful week, so thank you very much Elly for always being so amazing ❤

Secondly, I’m wearing my favourite jumper ever today. It’s a knitted mustard-coloured jumper and it’s soooo comfy I just love it so much. It does make me feel very much like a Hufflepuff but I don’t mind because I really admire Hufflepuff house. Even though I am a proud Ravenclaw, I feel like I can relate a lot to Hufflepuff too so I think it’s nice to acknowledge my other, less obvious traits from time to time.

Another great thing was that my hair actually managed to stay in a bun today, despite the fact that I’ve recently had it cut to just below shoulder length. I also managed to go shopping between doing homework and buy a notebook and a candle (two of my favourite things ever) then proceeded to spend an hour or so taking photos of them (bc aesthetics amiright?).

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The candle.
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The notebook – on the spine it says ‘Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures’ and on the front it says ‘Explore’ and has a really pretty pattern.

This morning there was this aesthetic board tag thing going round on Twitter and even that made me happy to see other people’s aesthetics and make my own (which you can see below).

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That inspired me to go through my old phone photos and find pictures to make aesthetic boards with so I spent a fair bit of time doing that.

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Here’s the ‘Daydreamer’ aesthetic I made.

Then I decided to make a Tumblr account because I need more aesthetics/just generally cute and fandom-y things in my life and I want to make things and share them with people but I haven’t got very far in setting it up yet as Tumblr is very confusing lol. I have managed to choose my blog name and design though and upload my avatar image so that’s a start! I just need to figure out how it actually works.

Whilst doing all that, I’ve been listening to Bastille’s ‘Wild World’ album on repeat and fell in love with Bastille all over again (lets be honest, I never stopped loving Bastille).

So all in all, it’s just been a very lovely, relaxing day and the first time I’ve felt genuinely happy for a while. 🙂 I keep thinking throughout the day about how wonderful all you guys are. I really couldn’t have wished for better friends than the ones I’ve made on here and on Twitter and I love you all so, so much ❤

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend!!

 

 

//I Love – by Victoria//

Hi everyone, Victoria here from Addlepates and Book Nerds! This is a post to say thank you to my wonderful Em for doing a guest post on my blog. Yeah, it was ages ago, I’m very unorganised…

I asked bloggers to come and talk about things they love on my blog, so I thought I’d do the same for them. Other than reading, which is the obvious, I love making YouTube videos. I started my channel very recently, but I’ve found myself addicted to making all the new things. I have so many pages lying all over the place with ideas for my next videos – some are scripted, some are bullet point lists, some just vaguely say “midnight”, and I expect future me to know what I’m on about.

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My favourite part of the process is editing. Sure, filming is okay. I’m still getting used to the idea of sitting and talking to myself for long periods of time, and I ramble a lot if I don’t have a solid plan. Editing, though, means I get to cut all that waffle out. I make myself look very coherent and casual, which is not at all how I come across in the rough copy. I don’t do much editing in terms of lighting and filters etc, but it’s handy to know that when the sun is flickering through and ruining my great shot, I can get rid of it when I sit down at my computer. Adding music is always the final step for me, and it’s such a great feeling when I finally get to it. Once I’ve added the music, I feel like the whole video is pulled together. Plus, I MADE A THING! It’s not the same feeling you get when you write a blog post, because so much more work goes into it. Also, it’s so new for me, it’s a much bigger achievement.3n2XiLYa.jpg

Another great thing about my channel is that I can be completely me. Blogging is a lot more controlled, and at least in my case, I talk about things instead of myself. On my channel I make a mistake, laugh at myself, and let everyone else laugh at me too. I could never do that on my blog! I’m being me, and every subscriber I get is subscribing because they like me, not just because they like the books I review. To be a YouTuber you have to have so much self confidence, and while I don’t have that at all, every thumbs up makes it grow a little bit.

Do you have a channel? Or do you have a different creative outlet? Tell me all about it! You can find me on Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Bookstagram, YouTube, and of course my blog!

//Swap box with…Rebecca//

A few weeks ago me and Rebecca from Monthly Marker did a swap box where we sent each other stuff from our respective counties (as we both live in the UK). I really should have written this post up a long time ago but I’ve been very lazy  busy hence why I’ve only just got round to taking the photos for this so I could actually write it. Anyway, here is what Rebecca very kindly sent me in her Yorkshire-themed box!

First of all here’s the actual box itself:

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I love the little message on the inside of the lid – ‘hello 🙂 take a peek inside’.

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The first thing I opened was this cute little envelope which had a card inside it, detailing the origins of all of the other items in the box (and a very awesome unicorn).

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Then there was a lovely drinks mat with a squirrel on it (because you are most likely to see red squirrels in the Yorkshire Dales) and an awesome squirrel key ring! I’ve always liked squirrels, ever since I went to Brownsea Island when I was young and saw a red squirrel for the first time. I’ve never seen a red squirrel since so I’ll have to go up to the Yorkshire Dales sometime to try and spot one! I did, however, see a lot of grey squirrels in the main park in town the other day. I mean, there were literally loads of them – they kept popping out of bushes and trees near the back of the park and me and my sister counted about 9 squirrels within about a meter radius of us! It was just a liiittle bit creepy though as they kept following us around the park…

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Anyway, next there was a Chocolate Covered Kendal Mint Cake. I’ve heard of Kendal Minrt Cake before – my grandparents live up in Yorkshire and my grandpa is a keen walker (I’m pretty sure he doesn’t walk anywhere without a Kendal Mint Cake) – but I’ve never actually tried it! I’m waiting for the perfect moment to eat it – I’m thinking I might take it on holiday to Pembrokeshire (South Wales) in a few weeks so I can enjoy eating after exploring the coastline there.

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Then there was a packet of Rhubarb and Custard sweets which I absolutely LOVE. I never get fed up of them – they are one of my favourite type of sweets ever. Although I do love sweets, I hardly ever actually buy them – only for special occasions – so I haven’t had rhubarb and custard sweets in ageeeeees and I can’t wait to tuck into them!

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Lastly, but certainly not least, was a little glass sheep which is really, REALLY cute and I couldn’t help but name it Kendal! I introduced Kendal to another, slighter larger, sheep that was previously sat on my keyboard stand (the sheep is magnetic) but since becoming god friends with Kendal, the sheep couldn’t bare to be apart from eachother so they are now sat on my shelf together!

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And finally a picture of the entire contents of the box together. 🙂

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I really love everything Rebecca sent me and I’m so grateful that she wanted to do a swap box with me! So I’d like to thank her a lot for sending me all this awesome stuff! ❤


I also did swap boxes with Just A Blank Space and Eve!