Saturday, 24 June 2017

With a bang, instead of a whimper?

Currently I am knee deep in the summer break from university. I'm pretty sure that I'm meant to be planning dissertation ideas and a future and I'll be honest, the whole thing is freaking me out. It has suddenly hit me that in a years time I will be finishing university. My degree will be over. Three years ago, I'm pretty sure it felt like it would drag on forever. And just as suddenly, I am faced with the abyss. A sickenly large void that is otherwise known as the future.

It terrfies me. Life right now is full of endings, and of new beginnings. And lots and lots of change. I'm wondering about what the end of my degree even means. Am I meant to finally start getting my shit together? But then, what does that mean?

But finishing my degree is the end of such a big chapter and I am worried about leaving it behind. I'm going to miss seeing friends every day and even announcing my panic in the safety of the lecturer's office. All of it.

Am I meant to start looking for a graduate job? I don't even know if I'm ready to do my masters or why I'm thinking this far ahead? I'm worried about being out of education; will my brain turn to mush?

Am I the only one who is worried about all of this?

I don't know. I'm hoping that all of these recent changes will bring about happiness and peace (probably a very unrealistic and stupid thing to hope for but here we are).

I hope you all have wonderful and stress free weeks

Friday, 16 June 2017

'Mierce's Marks'

So last night I decided to go along to a poetry event and it was pretty great. Mierce's Marks was organised by R. M. Francis, who is a PHD student at my university and prominent in the local poetry community, and Sam Roden. Sam is a graduate of The University of Wolverhampton and also my high school English Teacher. Together they gathered four other poets for this event and their choices were amazing.

I've seen both R. M. Francis and Willis The Poet perform before and they're both incredible entertaining and talented. Willis is hilariously funny and witty. However, the rest of the line up was entirely new to me. There were poems about parenthood, death, loss, love, heartache, the past, and the West Midlands. They were all so beautifully different. I laughed and smiled but sat in awe. I envy those able to perform their work. Especially so confidently! Maybe one day, eh?

I bought Sam Roden's chapbook, Catch Ourselves in Glass, at the end of the event and it is beautiful and witty. With regard to favourites, I'm currently torn between Shove Your Tissues and Zero.

I cannot wait to go along to another poetry event. They're always inspiring, and I cannot help but wish more people attended.

Have a good evening folks.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Wonder Woman!

Good evening folks.

I've been gone for a few days; partly because I've been working and I've been so very tired and partly because I've been trying to process the results of the general election. I think it is safe to say that
I am disappointed. I really thought that change was coming. I suppose that in a way change has come. Labour gave the Conservatives a damn good run for their money and I am proud to have voted labour. I do not regret my vote at all. I'm very worried about the next five years after today's outcome. I'm worried about the world that my sister is going to out into in a few short years. Worried about the world my children will grow up in. I am scared. And DUP?! What's that all about Mrs May?! I mean I'm pretty happy that Jeremy Corbyn hasn't given up. Oh and that Mexican wave from her this week guys- pretty crazy right? But the real question is: is the Mexican wave crazier than her running through fields of wheat? I think not. You simply can't top that level of cheeky.

Okay... last week I went to see Wonder Woman with Chels (dinner and a movie ready to be crossed off the bucket list for the summer). It was a pretty spontaneous and I only had about half an hour to get ready. But oh my god, and wow. Patti Smith's Wonder Woman is easily one of the best films of this year.

Okay, so the opening of the film depicts the Amazons; a tribe of women living on the isle of Themyscira. Diana is just a young girl when the film opens, and she is seen escaping her tutor in order to observe the other Amazons learning to fight. However, her mother catches her and explains their history. Their island was protected by Zeus, and hidden from the God of War that is Aries. Diana's mother discourages the little girl's dreams of joining the defense ranks by telling her this story; their origin story. She also introduces a young Diana to a room in which the gifts from the God's are hidden and includes objects such as the lasso of truth. The central gift within the room is what Hippolyta refers to as 'The God Killer'. I should probably mention that Diana herself is a gift from the Gods. She was fashioned from clay by Hippolyta and Zeus gave her life. Diana is already very unique.

Anyway, Diana's isolation is interrupted by Chris Pine. Now I haven't seen Mr Pine in anything since I battled my way through Into The Woods (ouch). But his role in Wonder Woman was amazing and much better than Into The Woods. I was very impressed and grew attached to his character quickly. Okay so Chris Pine, also known as the lovely Steve Trevor,  crashes a small plane into the ocean surrounding the island. Diana, after unleashing a strange power when engaging in combat with her Aunt, is stood on a cliff and sees the man break through the protective barrier. And she saves him from the water without a second thought. It was refreshing to see it reversed; a male in need of a woman's aid. The long and short of it is that Steve Trevor is a British Spy and has just blown his cover in Germany. Now, the young man must return to England with vital information that will stop the 'war to end all wars'.

From the very beginning there is chemistry between Gadot and Pine. Steve Trevor presumes Diana to be completely inexperienced and naïve in all aspects of life, after all she doesn't even know what a watch it. Yet he raises the topic of sex and her response is my absolute favourite. She admits that she has read about sex and is well informed, but the books she has been reading have informed her that men are not very good at it. She is brilliantly funny, strong and yet very feminine.

The World War One setting was very uncomfortable for me. I've sat through films such as Saving Private Ryan and the like, and not felt even half of the emotion that I did whilst watching this. I don't know if it's because I was seeing it from a female perspective or not. But this film was touching and I cannot disagree with Empire that it gave Jenkins 'a chance to play with themes of female empowerment, feminism and standing up against oppression'. From a woman walking out into no mans land to the same woman questioning the practicalities of female clothing. It covered it all. Diana repeatedly denies every male order she is given; she refuses to be instructed and confined. It was so refreshing and entertaining.Empire continues to state that Wonder Woman is 'a film about the evil that men do, from small, snippy stuff to the big, bad, bigoted bullshit that could destroy the planet'. I couldn't agree more but the film is about an underestimated woman who battles against all of these evils with her empathy. This was amazing to watch.

I guess it's important to mention that Wonder Woman was joining the ranks of female super hero flops such as Catwoman and Elektra and yet it blew all projections out of the water with its incredible sales, even in its second weekend. So I may not have not the election result that I wanted, but it seems that change is coming with regard to the role of women in cinema and the superhero franchises. It is inspiring and beautiful. Oh and her hair is pretty damn good.

Oh and on a side note, Remus Lupin makes an appearance. I will never be able to disassociate the actor from the character that is Lupin.

Have a good week folks!

Monday, 5 June 2017

A confession; I am anxious this week

I've been trying to write this post for a couple of hours now, because I couldn't sleep. I wanted to think of a clever and witty way to write about it. I wonder if this is because I wanted it to seem appealing as a blog post, whether I was afraid of admitting it, or because I fear becoming boring. I
don't know. But this week is sure as hell not appealing. This is not me challenging the universal stigma surrounding mental health, for once. This is me trying to be brave and admitting that I have had a bad week. The slightest little things have been making me anxious and teary. Like the fact that my Norton anti-virus is up in a few days. How crazy is that? I probably would have been better off staying in bed this week but I feel as though this evening I am coming out of an anxious episode. I've spent my day off relaxing, reading and shopping. And I'm quite happy to admit that I am feeling a bit better! I am on the road to being fully functional again.

Last night I rediscovered Eat Pray Love. I didn't watch all of it and I'm under no illusions; this film is soppy as hell! It's not your typical chic flick and it is what inspired me to want to go to Italy after graduation. Sometimes, it's helpful to me. Last night I watched to the point of Liz Gilbert's discovery of the Italian word 'attraversiamo'. I forget this word often, and I shouldn't. I think it's the whole reason I watch this every now and then. This beautiful Italian word means 'let's cross over'.

So I came here with some thoughts on self care. I know that I forget that I have the option to change and 'cross over' every single day. To me, this word means that just because you are walking one path it is never too late to look across the street and decide you would prefer to walk a different path, instead. For whatever reason that is, it is okay. You are never stuck. Right now, I want to express how important it is to accept that sometimes a person must be selfish. At some point one must learn to love and appreciate the sound of their feet walking away from the things that are hurting them. By god, I wish I had perfected this art by now.

So we all remember how my wonderful friend Lauren and I wrote those letters to our younger selves? Well I've been doing a lot of thinking today about the things I wanted to tell future me. I hope that future me will have so much more common sense and be a lot wiser than I. Right now I feel pretty stupid and naïve about the world. So I'm hoping that twenty five year ld, even thirty year old me, will be better at, erm, life.

I'm going to aim for three pieces of advice and anything else is a blessing.

1. Okay, number one. I hope that you learn to put attraversiamo into practise. I hope you learn that crossing over and walking away is always an option. I suppose this comes under the much and simple phrase that is 'never settle'.

2. Never stop questioning. Seek adventure! I cannot wait to travel!

3. This is crap advice but be happy. Do whatever it takes to achieve this state.

Right now, I'm going to leave you with the mental image of me dancing around my kitchen listening to the Coyote Ugly soundtrack- Don Henley's All She Wants Do Is Dance is my absolute favourite song right now (I just finished watching the film!). I have cheese on toast cooking so I'm going to enjoy that! I hope you all have a wonderful week; I hope that they are anxiety free weeks. I should be back soon- probably after my interview tomorrow.


Evening all! So it has been a couple of days since my trip to London but I thought I'd finally post the pictures from the trip! First of all, I bring you a filtered selfie of me on the coach! The journey was so long and I totally underestimated the ability of my phone battery. The little thing let me down! I spent the whole journey taking selfies and playing scrabble with Chels across many miles. I had Courtney for company too. So it wasn't a bad four hour journey down there, all things considered.
Having never actually been to London, I was shocked by how much I liked the big city. The speed of the place was pretty cool. Kensington is so damn pretty! I wish we'd had more time to explore London but it has intrigued me enough to want to come back. The city seemed mostly full of other tourists which made me feel a little better!

The Globe Theatre was beautiful! There was something breath-taking about sitting on a bench, watching a Shakespeare play and being slightly anxious that the heavens were going to open at any moment, despite the consistent sunshine. Well the good news is that it didn't piss it down and my ribs hurt due to constant laughter. The performance of Twelfth Night was absolutely brilliant! I've not read it before, so it was a total surprise to me. It was hilariously funny and Olivia was by far my favourite character! Gender roles were quite radical, I thought. The cross dressing elements and hints are homosexuality were surprising! Totally sympathetic towards Olivia though, very sadly. Poor sod.

Exploring the city had me taking a lot of photos of the Thames. It's filthy but the view sure is pretty. Have another selfie of me amongst some pictures from the Millennium bridge! London is one impressive city and I cannot wait to go back! I was even fascinated by the red phone boxes and busses. It sounds so crap and lame, but I am super excited to get out of Wolverhampton and go see some more of the world. I cannot thank the University enough for putting this trip on and I wish I had gone last year! Also many thanks to Courtney for putting up with me for eight hours on the journey there and back.

I'm going to round up my appreciation of London with a picture of me stood next to a rather snazzy looking bin (why am I so awkward). I desperately wanted to express how much I wanted to go back to London when I got home, on social media. Yet very sadly I felt that I couldn't. Just as I got home and into bed there was a news update of another terror attack, in London not too far from where we'd spent the day. It hasn't even been two weeks since that god awful night in Manchester. I had a series of messages from friends asking if I was alright. Over the course of a couple of hours, two more attacks across London were reported. Chels and I sat there marvelling at the craziness of these terror attacks. I just cannot believe that we are in this situation and encourage everyone to stay safe. I caught the last half an hour of the One Love Manchester concert on television after work last night. That made me cry, it was so so beautiful.

Once again guys, I hope you all have a good week. Stay safe and be kind.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The impending doom of the general election

Okay so I know that the election is looming over our heads right now and I'm sure that with this comes a lot of anxiety. Hell, I know that I'm anxious about it. I've spoken to lots of people thst still aren't sure who they're going to vote for. I could sit here all day and express my own political views. I've had several 'debates' with colleagues at work this week too and these conversations have made me question a lot of things about my views. But I'm comfortable with who I plan to vote for and it's no secret that I'm not a huge fan of the Tories. I would like to make something clear though, I am not planning to vote solely on the basis of university fees or based on my position as a student. Obviously this will be a factor in my decision because I am a full time student. But mainly I am voting as a young, working class, woman.

I wanted to write something that would seem less judgy with regard to who you are planning to vote for.

I'm hoping by now that more young people registered to vote. Because every vote counts. I've grown up being told that one vote cannot make a huge difference. This is not true. One vote can make a massive difference. Over ten million people all had this attitude in the last election and didn't vote. Imagine if all of those people had voted.

Research is so so important when considering voting. After the dreaded brexit vote, I spoke to so many friends that hadn't voted because they felt uninformed about it. I'm researching even more after my discussions at work this week. As I said, listening to somebody else's views at work raised doubts for me. I think it's really important that you make an informed choice. I would hate for anyone to feel as though they made the wrong choice or not vote because they didn't look into the options properly. Most politicians have Twitter, you can watch debates, etc.

I mentioned that i was voting as young woman from a working class back ground. Now my parents don't vote. Neither of them have ever voted.  But this is my vote. I sort of get where my parents are coming from. But ultimately I do believe that my vote will go toward making a difference. It would not sit right with me to be silent in the election as it's such an important event. There is so so much change that will follow these votes. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't let somebody else's views automatically be your own. Everyone will vote for different reasons and it's important that you understand why you're voting and whos views you are voting for.

One final thing: be proud if you vote. As I mentioned, I grew up in a non voting house hold. And I'm learning now that politics is one confusing feild that just following requires a certain amount of commitment. So voting is a huge deal. Congrats in advance and I hope that you get the outcome that you were looking for.

I had planned something very different for this post. But in the light of the early morning sun I've opened for encouragement and no judgement.

I hope you all have a good day and I'll probably return in a few hours.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Social injustice of the sexist variety...

Afternoom folks and welcome to post two of the day (wow I need a hobby)

Okay, before I start, I'd like to make it clear that I did not bear witness to any of this. I am working on the words of somebody else. But the concept itself is not unheard of and it is unsettling to me as I'm sure it is to others.

Yesterday I was informed of something particularly disturbing. My sister is in her first year of sixth form; she is going to turn seventeen next month. She informed me yesterday afternoon that there are some girls in the year above her that have been sent home recently. When I asked why, she answered that it was because their tops were considered 'too revealing'. I asked my sister what the girl was wearing, despite the fact that I had already made my mind up with regard to my opinion, but I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt. She was wearing a vest top. I'd like to point out that the West Midlands has been blessed with a bout of blazing sunshine this week. There have been highs of 27 degrees. No wonder she was wearing a bloody vest top! I wouldn't turn up to university in a blouse, for fear of over-heating, sweat patches, and similar issues and embarrassments.

And yet she was sent home anyway. I wonder what the answer would have been if one of them had dared to ask why they so desperately needed her to change. I wonder whether it would have been an issue with the fact that it simply didn't adhere to the dress code. Or whether it would have been because it was distracting. My sister, however, pointed out that her boyfriend was always walking around school in vest tops and he's a sports student. What was different? And her teacher, jokingly, observed that he was well built and therefore had a right to show them off. Joking or not, this angered me. You have stopped a young woman from attending her lessons in a day, because of dress code. Yet you have accepted a young man's dress code as a service, almost. Very very strange. It's okay to objectify men, it seems.

I just visited the website of the same school, in which they celebrate International Women's Day? Like you can't celebrate something as amazing as that day, and then teach your women that they must remain covered up and worry about being a distraction to males. That is wrong, and disgusting. I'm just gonna bring in the same argument that Emma Watson employed when accused of showing too much skin. She stated that feminism was about liberation and freedom. It breaks my heart that women are still subjected to this crap and that it's still considered acceptable to objectify men like this. 

Society needs to take a long hard look at itself. But this disgusted me and I thought it was worth sharing. I'll confess I've had panic attacks over what to wear in a morning. It's part of the reason I'm rarely ever on time. I worry about whether outfits 'go' and whether this top makes me look fat or too skinny. Whether the patterned tights make me look 'slutty'. I often put the opinions of others and wider society before my own and I hate that this is the world we live in.

For more brutally honest examples of every day sexism, check out the their Twitter at @everydaysexism.

I hope you all have a sexism free day!