It is late evening on Boxing day. The fire is tickling away in the hearth and there is the soft hum of contented breathing as we slow our festive pace.
My head feels a little less content. I am fearful of tomorrow because it means real life, something these past three days have been an escape from. It means revision I don't want to do for exams I dread to sit for a future I don't want to happen.
Tomorrow morning I have to get up, put on clothes and do real things. I have to go into town and I have to laboriously write history notes and I have to tidy my room and get out of this fantasy of lethargic warmth I have been entranced by.
In my head, it means the end of total relaxation until the twenty-fourth of December, two thousand and seventeen.
Don't the dates look intimidating when written in that protracted fashion.
I can't allow myself to do nothing on any other day than the joyous festive period.
That's probably something I need to work on.

Here's three simple questions with three(?) simple answers.
Leave your answers too.

Something that makes you sad
Seeing the weighted bags under my beloved mother's eyes as she tries harder and harder to repel the demons that trick her mind
The way I don't allow my aching body time to rest, unless it is officially identified by an over commercialised, anonymous holiday
The end of cranberry sauce for another year

Something that makes you smile
My luck, privilege and fortune, the freedom and peace of an illuminated morning sky
New sweatshirts

Something you wish to achieve
More calm and more zen in my overdriving mind
An acceptance with who and what I am without the need to push harder and harder
Confidence about the future

*the questions came from here
**the pic above is the view I woke up to on Christmas day. I know.

Festive Decs

In between the MADNESS of the past few weeks, I have been trying to get festive. The main element of that was these super super adorable decorations I made. We have a massive branch in our backroom that has fairy lights woven through it and lil birds hanging off it and these clay emblems look great.
They were inspired by The Lovely Drawer.

SO here's how:
I used:
Das clay (it looks grey but dries white I promise)
Cookie letter imprints (I ordered these from Amazon, super cheap and work a dream, but keep them in a zip lock bag bc there are loads of small pieces)
Round cookie cutters
Rolling pin
Red twine

All I did was roll and cut out the clay, imprint the letters (it takes a lotta practise), make a hole and leave them to dry.
There are many lil tricks that make them look neater, most of which I haven't mastered but I think you have to press the letters a lot harder than you think and the smoother the clay the better.

I've hung some on the tree but also posted some to friends-I'm thinking of making labels for my presents out of them too-the possibilities are endless.

GAhhd, I'm feeling so festive-can't wait to get school over so I can read my book and watch Christmas films and wear my pjs all day.
Christmas holidays are always the busiest, with the actual day, the preparation, seeing family and revision (ew) but I'm trying my hardest to breathe.


bruised bones, curled on a chair,
tapping relentlessly, senselessly,
battling the padded wall of doubt
to get my thoughts into words.

my mind, ripped in two
aching to drift across the sea to a foreign land
to discover the remedy that ignites the
dulling fire in my belly

but also anchored, grounded in fear
the paralysing fear of failure,
whispering a repulsive slur of
patriarchal stagnation soothingly into my ear

you are not enough
you will never be enough
and my mind dotingly laps it up

(the bruises are metaphorical for stress idk)

Too many thoughts

I have a lot of thoughts at the moment. They have little relevance or significance but that doesn't matter, I need to get something out there.


There is a fly sporadically chasing my window pane, silhouetted against the greying sky-its occasional buzzing is agitating and doesn't aid my feeling of peace.

I am terrified of the future and at the moment, that future seems to be looming pretty near. In every scenario where I've needed to explain myself, I've used this to justify my fears:
I can't imagine myself in any other life/position than I am in now.
They furrow their brow, scowl-'get over it' is the message I hear silently slip their lips.
But let me explain.
When I was four, I imagined myself in primary school. I knew what the next 7 years would entail.
When I was eleven, I imagined myself in secondary school. I, again, knew what my (near) future would look like.
When I was sixteen, I saw a bridge with towering railings of security and an abyss of emptiness at the end, but I didn't focus on the abyss.
But now, I don't know what I'll be doing in a year or ten. I can't imagine myself at uni or away from home or without my friends or in another country or any age other than seventeen.
And this thought terrifies me because it feels like this is the end of my life.
Of course, that is metaphorical.
I know it is not.
But I can't imagine a life beyond school and friends and home because I don't know what the rest holds. Those who are intending to go to uni in September, while it'll be new and challenging and scary, they know what they are doing for the  next 3 years.
And I don't and that's hella fucking scary.
And this is consuming 90% of my thoughts at the moment, I can't stop thinking what next, what next. What exists beyond this life I know? What purpose can I devour all of my energy into to escape the emptiness that exists beyond?

And, I think I am losing myself again. I am fearful of the upcoming weekend because it is empty. Unscheduled time is the reason I obsess so much over my school work, because its 'necessary', because I don't have to think about doing it, because I can't remember what I do for fun or fulfilment and enjoyment. And I partly blame the education system for zapping any ounce of independent creativity out of me but I also blame myself for losing my identity in insignificant letters.
I work so hard at school, partly because I can't deal with the fear of failure, but also because I don't have to think and I can disappear.

The effin fly has come back.

So, this weekend I'm going to try. I'm filling my time the best I can, not with school work, but hopefully with things I want to do.
I'm buying my friends birthday present, and searching for a top for a party in a few weeks, and preparing gift boxes for the homeless, and posters for this tampon campaign we are doing at school**, and battling through essays and babysitting and reorganising my room decoration and watching Fantastic Beasts for the second time (the last one was a midnight viewing-fab but regretted when I got in at 3am then up at 7 for school) and reading and maybe journalling and-oh man that sounds like a lot.
But, I'll do it all so frantically fast, worrying about getting it done that it won't be with enjoyment.
I'll breathe, slow myself and try not to think of the future.

The fly has got inside my lampshade now, I ought to rescue it.

**basically, my friend and I have been doing research into the HomelessPeriod so are collecting tampons nd pads at school to donate to women's shelters and foodbanks. School seem game so we need to get cracking.

Questions that I want answers to

Long time no see, eh?
I have had many thoughts and emotions about the past weeks political developments. I want answers, I'm not American but these changes shape and affect the world we all live in and our future.

1. Does Democracy actually work? Does it need to be reinvented to fit our post-modern society?
2. Is Trump the final product of a free market, capitalist, globalised, commercialised society?
3. What next?
4. How has the establishment, twice in one year, misread the desires of the people to such a degree that totally unprecedented, unprepared changes hit them in the face?
5. Would the UK have chosen Brexit if this had happened prior? We now stand alone and isolated, surely Cameron could have timed it all better?
6. How can/why do people support a misogynistic, xenophobic, racist, repulsive, demeaning person and put trust in them to lead 'the Free World'?
7. What can we do in the rise of the Far Right? France, Netherlands and Germany all have elections in the next 12 months and the Right are gaining massive support.
8. Will it be as bad as we think?

I am studying the role of the perpetrators in the Holocaust for my history coursework and looking at different interpretations. One, Daniel Goldhagen, suggests that Germany was wrought with a 'different kind of anti-Semitism', the people genuinely believed in what they were doing. Does this have relevance to point 6?
And don't get me started on Nigel Farage.


In all honesty, this is all I really have to show for the past few days.
I am feeling empty.
I see little relief on the horizon, I am trying to remind myself that it always gets better but something in my bones tells me it won't.
Its getting dark early and when I think too much about the blackness outside, I feel a tightening claustrophobia, contributing to my already tight chest.
The past few weeks have been hard but also enjoyable, I am finding my head cloudy so its hard to reflect but I've spent a lot of drunk hours dancing and I think thats a good way to be.
Its half term (not at school) which I find embarrassingly terrifying, partly because I find it difficult to motivate myself when I am not at school but also because the stresses of summer come back. I feel a failure for not having full days but unable to give myself the break this week is intended for. I am desperate to find the relaxation and enjoyment in time off school but I find it stressful and uncomfortable.
I have topics I want to talk about on here but am unable to find the words to express my thoughts.
But, on Friday I am going  to London to see a real good friend and am meeting my pen-pal for the first time, we are going to a Halloween party which should be fun/terrifying/exhausting-but really, I am excited.
There is positivity, so much of it, sometimes it just needs unearthing.
Anyway, enjoy the collage-it was therapeutically made on Powerpoint, stylish.


Around my room, pegged up on loops of twine, or blue tacked to my mirror, or in a gift bag under my desk, I have physical encapsulations of my life.
Photos, tickets, postcards, letters.
The flittering memories that dance around my mind as I try to focus are engrained in still moments of the past.
Fingering through these makes me nostalgic and empty.
It makes me long for a glorified time that never existed in the pure form it is presented.
I wish for a time that I spent wishing for another time. It's messy.
Curled on the edge of my bed, under a quilt with melancholy music playing in my ears, I am enchanted by the photos that I have framed on my wall.
An image of my friend and I hugging around a birthday cake, bikinis in the north sea, watermelon on a Nicoise balcony, suited and booted before prom, idyllic summer fields and so many of friends and smiles.
And while every pixel is cherished and prized, they make me sad.
The ease and belonging feels arduous and messy and there are faces that belong to personalities I no longer know. Pictures where I have bossily dragged my best pals to the mirror, clad in our black dresses, to take what will be one of my most treasured possessions.
Today, these images feel impossible, complicated with our drifting lives.
I look at their familiar faces and miss the laughter and fun before A-levels and opinions and fears invaded.
A faded image sitting around a camp fire, in an assortment of patterned pyjama items, blankets and scarves, empty pots and pans discarded on the grass. The serene comfort I remember feeling makes me blue, such events become almost impossible to organise as our lives become busier and we move on.
God, I miss them.
They are captured in their purest, happiest forms, rose tinted and deceitfully beautiful. And even if I coerced the participator to pose with me (which I have a habit of doing), it doesn't show.
They are false tickets of the past.
And while I know these memories will be replaced with new ones, new faces will appear and new stories will be told, I can't help but feel the dilution of an integral part of me. Faces that have shared tears and firsts and fears and laughs and memories and have been my absolute insurance for the most formative years are fading and soon I'm going to have to go this journey alone.

It is a dark autumn night and I have been working hard and stressing hard and while such circumstances are prone to tears, I can't help but feel sad about my longing to be crossing a golden field to watch the sun set or dancing in someones living room or curled up watching a movie and feeling at home around the people I have grown up with.


Life is b-u-s-y.

Last weekend was undeniably shit, I was worried about my head and feeling trapped and never enjoying myself.
I've lost those captivating fears as the days have drifted on, they'll return one day.
Over the weekend, I discovered one of my triggers is an empty schedule. I had mixed thoughts about triggers, an annoying fragment of my brain told me that avoiding the trigger is like hiding from the problem. Possibly partially true, but not going to help me get anywhere. I will find my triggers and avoid them.
You should too.

So, I have packed my days. I am busy, perhaps a little too.
I have spent this week bare faced, watching Bridget Jones Baby (fantastic), working (as in earning DOLLA-I have a job!), writing essays, reading books, playing my flute, planning a London trip, going for meals, buying new pens, walking miles and sleeping. I am finding there aren't enough hours in the day to do the things that tend to my soul. I will crash at this rate, but at the moment it feels good.
I've been so busy I haven't watched GBBO.
Friday evening was spent in the place that housed the majority of my 16 year old drunk memories, happily induced by rum and coke, playing cards and taking pics.
It didn't feel as joyous when I had to get up for a train at 5:45 the next day, tired and groggy. I went to Manchester for the open day. The university was totally not my thing, the accommodation was horrific, and would, I know, be disastrous for my mental health and over all it feel uninspiring, incoherent and massive.
After boycotting the talks, we replenished eating mezze in the trees and enriching our minds with art, of which I managed to capture a few prohibited photos.
A raucous train home sat on the floor and I ended up at my pals, playing cards while they drank wine and I refreshed myself with Ribena.
Sunday I made a banana cake and ate it on the beach and washed my plaits that hadn't been touched since Wednesday (rank I know).

What have y'all been up to?

p.s check out my insta


An outfit post.
This has been this weeks staple outfit. I usually have an item that I wear 2 or 3 times in a week, this time it was this dress.
I would wear it every darn day if I could.

Pinafore-Primark (super duper worryingly cheap)
Long sleeve floral top-Primark
Boots-although yo can't see them, they're from H&M

My room is apparently a mess, the toilet roll and glasses were, I can assure you, not intentional props but just a bitta real life for y'all.
My hair was cut short again which I l-o-v-e because its different and isn't just a mass of dead ends lurking at my waist.
This week has been oh so much better than last. 
I am back into the swing of school and enjoying it.
The weekend was spent cycling, battling through a student infested town, getting more and more lost in my History coursework, drinking rum and pepsi (rank) at a party where tension meant we ran to the quayside, chatting drunk chat, sitting on the waters edge with our legs hanging over the edge. We ran, observed an argument, embarked on a long, late walk home in which I was coerced to sing Bohemian Rhapsody, watch the shark tale lava lamp scene and talk to every stranger we met. I also went on a beautiful early walk through alpine-y woods nd up a hill where we ate croissants.

This week of school has been a mass of hilariously adolescent stories from the weekend and kind teachers and hours in the library and nights in pubs and job interviews, lots of reading which is classed as 'homework' and an overload of unbearable laughter. 

Hope you are all well.

p.s the pics were taken on different days hence the different lighting and drained face. The mess was still in my room, I just strategically hid it.


It was when I stopped searching for home within others
and lifted the foundations of home within myself
I found there were no roots more intimate
than those between a mind and a body
that have decided to be whole.
-Rupi Kaur

Life has been tough these past few days.
I get into a habit of documenting the tough and this makes me fear that I rarely experience contentedness. I don't think this is true. Note to self, write some happy stuff once in a while.
I feel as though I am running an obstacle course of resilience, as though everything is trying to push me a little harder to see when I will break.
I broke today in the most public and vulnerable way but that isn't really the moral of this story.
There isn't really any moral.
Other than, asking people for help is good. They often do everything in their power to ease the strain.
And reliance on people is bad. They mess up.
And a damp school yard feels a dramatic place to expose your inner fears.
And history A-level is hard.
And pressure is hard.
And that feeling like you have nothing to look forward to is hard.
And being lonely is hard. Everyone creating a life for themselves outside of you, being left to think-and what now?
And social media creates false constructs of how life is supposed to be. Because in the words of Stephen Chbosky, I am both happy and sad and still figuring out how this can be. And I think this is life.
And some people are the kindest people you will meet. They engulf you in their arms to relieve your pain.
And social media really is bad.
And autumn light is so beautiful, the way it caresses the leaves with a soft, evanescent glow.
And insouciance is what I crave but will probably never find.

I hope people's lives are going okay.
I am figuring out what life is supposed to mean. Its scary.
I love talking about fears and problems in metaphorical ways so I would thoroughly enjoy an email or two if people felt they had something to share.
Some nice words or your fears or a poem you found or your favourite word.
yeh-I'm the kid that regrets their 7 year old email.
But still uses it.

Thank you for letting me whine and moan in the way I find easiest.

"She'd come again, with a greedy ear and devour up my discourse"-Othello

Oh Comely

Amongst all the crappy mundane loneliness that has filled my life, I have been finding a happy serenity in reading. Not just novels but magazines and blogposts and websites that discuss the creators thoughts and everyday activities and the mundane crappy loneliness that fills their lives that makes me feel so much more at ease.
A firm favourite in this category is Oh Comely. This is the third issue I have read and I think it is my favourite. The magazine itself is an amalgamation of everything minus that bullshit you find in trashy magazines that tells you to do this or be like that.
Its empowering and entertaining, full of stories and reading suggestions and thoughts and projects and DIY's and adventures all in the most aesthetic way.
This issue, issue 32, follows the theme of letters.
Some firm favourites include Letters of the heart (a collection of letters to the authors' ex lovers-it nearly made me cry), an amazing story about someone's great grandfathers great escape, dip recipes, a memoir of Sophie Scholl (The White Rose Anti-Nazi protestors) and someone who sends pick-me-up letters randomly across the world.

Letters of the heart

But there are also articles of the best benches in Britain, lost languages, the secret language of stamps and improving ones handwriting.
And even if you aren't that interested in the articles (idk how) the pictures and layout is to-die-for.

Unfortunately, I read all of this issue on the train last weekend so am twiddling my thumbs until the next comes out.
If you fancy a light, interesting, fulfilling read, give this ago.
I bought it from WHSmith for £5.

Currently: Loving: the sun and the blonde streaks in ma hurr//Thinking: Far too much//Needing: Some kind of social interaction, someone speak to me (@katielou_blog)//Wishing: that I was back on holiday.


(not my pic but very apt-source)

I have consecutively read two posts about the negativity of sugar coating life through social media, of not documenting the bad alongside the good and creating an ideal life that is so unattainable.
So here is the negative and the shit that is going on in my mind to get some reality back into this world.

I am a self diagnosed hypochondriac. I used to be horrendous, my life was taken over by 'illnesses', I've been better over the past few years but since Saturday (after I woke up with an ache in my neck having slept badly because I was drunk and gave my pillows to my friend (WHY)) I have had a pain in my chest.

Its a pain that in the right of my chest, stabbing sometimes. I also have an ache that runs down my shoulder blade. My chest feels tight and I am finding breathing constrictive and hard work.
But I don't know how many of these symptoms I have made up, how many I have psychosomatically generated in my head because I think I am ill when I'm not. I don't know if my difficulty breathing is because of my anxiety or because I'm telling myself I can't breathe or if I actually can't breathe.
And, as a common sign of hypochondria, I have seeked reassurance everywhere, mostly my mum.
I have texted her and pestered her asking if I am dying and she reassures me every time that no, I have no other symptoms, no fever, no cough. I have either got some kind of virus or have pulled a muscle.

But this isn't enough, my head is exploding with possibilities, mostly centring around cancer. So much so that on my 'Frequently visited' on safari, NHS Stomach Cancer symptoms features.
But I can't stop thinking. What if?
"Go to the doctors" you all scream. But I can't. Because going to the doctors could actually result in being told I have something wrong with me, could actually be the news that I have practiced receiving almost everyday for 6 years.
I can't go to the doctors because they will listen to my chest and will say "We need to send you for tests". And even if they don't, as they didn't the time I thought I had a brain tumour or pancoastal cancer or meningitis, they might have got something wrong. People tell you not to worry, that worrying is like walking round with an umbrella up waiting for it to rain (or something like that) but if I worry than I am expectant, if I worry I have predicted the worst.

I feel sick and I feel shaky and I feel exhausted and these are all symptoms of something serious but also symptoms of just bloody overthinking.

And I don't know what's real or made up any more and I can't focus or feel normal because this fear is eating me up inside.
I don't know what to do but it's making everyday such hard work.

So there's some real life stuff for y'all.
Its not a pity post its just my head.

If I do actually die, this will be a humorous kind of memoir.

I probably do need to go and see someone about this but the illness aint the point of this post ygm? Also, it was written in 10 minutes as the shit ran from my head to my fingers so probs not my finest work.

Back to school thoughts nd feelings

On the 8th September, we go back to school.
And this will be my last ever 'back to school'.
I am terrified.
I am terrified for change and decision making and hard work and new people and lack of security and loneliness but to refrain from a mush of erratic thoughts, lets do this concisely.
On the immediate, the 'starting year 13 but thinking no further than walking through the school gates I have walked through for 6 years of my life', it feels okay.
I am looking forward to getting back into a rhythm and having everyday filled and planned and seeing people daily without the extreme effort this summer seems to have required.
I am looking forward to buying new clothes and stationary and practising the 'new me' that makes an appearance for the first 3 days then runs to hide.
But then I think beyond just that first day with my paper and pens and its a downward spiral of messy stress.
I am scared to actually officially drop one of my subjects because its commitment and closing off doors and I am not prepared to do that.
But four A-levels would also be ridiculous.
I don't know what to do and I can't make a decision but there is pressure coming from every spout to make this frigging decision. PLS.
I am scared to make uni decisions because I don't know when or how and I only have 2 ideas so far and the whole bloody plan I had devised over summer that was making me feel oh-so-chill has taken a sour turn and now feels stupid.
I am scared to write my personal statement because its the first step on this path that I am not ready to travel but don't want not to for fear of cutting off options. I also find writing personal statement things hard and what do I really have to add?
And then I am scared to be trapped in the horrific cycle of work that I got myself into last year-even though it couldn't have worked much better in grade speak. Where I lost myself and became a shell of obsession. I don't want to lose my passions and fires allover again. I don't want to feel that looming cloud of 'I've got to revise when I get home' for the next 10 months.
10 months. Is that all?
I am scared by the fact that I didn't feel peace at all last year when at school and, in my holiday with my family, I finally rediscovered my rhythm and silenced my thoughts. I felt calm and at one. And I am scared that (and know that) this will be ripped from me with the beginning of school and exams.
I am scared to lose and leave people next summer, I'm scared to begin my French plan because it might not be right and might not get me into the course I want to be on. I am scared to feel like an adult and like I am leaving home and deciding what to do in a gapyear and not wasting my time when everyone else is off having the time of their lives.
I am scared to be growing up and moving on.
Man, I am scared.

On top of this (which isn't very much but internally is a frigging mountain) I have to find a job. I have £0.83 in my bank.
How does everyone feel about back to school? As scared as I am?

Currently: Loving: Italian wafer biscuits smuggled in my suitcase--sleep//Wishing: It would stop raining, I could be on holiday and internal pressures would pipe down//Lusting: A new pair of shoes//Reading: The Primrose Path


Last night, I returned from 10 days in Tuscany, Italy with my fam.
It was the most relaxing, warm, happy, enjoyable holiday.
We ate endless amounts of ice cream and sunbathed under the sun and swam and explored medieval towns and churches and read all day long and got to know the family who owned the apartment and tried to speak Italian.
But in practise it isn't that similar to French so I was limited to Ciao.
I will write a thoughtsy post about feelings/ideas/mind post about how I felt (because getting that kinda stuff down in words means it isn't flying around my brain and clogging it up-amirite?)-finding peace and serenity and escape- but for now, I will leave you with too many photos.
Because when do I not do that?



...And some words:

"Stop this incessant worrying that I cannot be loved as I am"-Anais Nin

"Lick the envelope.
Cross your ts and join
the dots, scribble and
splash outside the lines.
Post a pick me up through
a stranger's door, seek
out the mail that never
made it home. Write.
Write because the pen is
mightier than the sword.
Because you are here.
Make your mark"

"If only given a minute or two as our last minute or two to spill it all and say the final fragmented and fractured last words to each other, without pause or stutter for reflection I know we would both remain still and completely silent for despite all the beautiful words we could find to share through the streams down these cheeks, we have never needed them. A glance, a stare, and all things would be said. Hands on faces and fingers wrapped in fingers and our last words would not be words at all"-Tyler Knott Gregson

"The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for and the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof"-Barbara Kingsolver

All the pics can be found on my pinboard here.

I hope this fires some inspiration in you all, I love finding lil bits like this and writing them down or saving them.


Books: Hauling, reading and reviewing

It has been a while since I spoke soley about books and I figured I had a fair few to talk about, some I have read, others I have bought. I went into Waterstones the other day and came out with 2 books for £1.98-result.


The Primrose Path-Rebecca Griffiths
"Sarah D'Villez famously escaped a man who abducted and held her hostage for 11 days. Her case became notorious. Now, seventeen years later, that man is about to be released from prison. fearful of the media storm that is sure to follow, Sarah decides to flee to rural Wales under a new identity, telling nobody where she's gone"
Settling into the small community she is now part of, Sarah soon realises that someone is watching her. Someone who seems to know everything about her"

I love thrillers and this sounded quick paced and exciting. Probably not the most perfect of literary craftsmanship but a good holiday read none the less.

The Girl With All The Gifts- M. R Carey

"Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell tone collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps the gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh"

It sounds like it is written from an interesting perspective and is sizeably long which means it will last me a while on holiday. It also had raving reviews ("If you only read on novel this year, make sure its this one") and sounded interesting and unique.

Night Owls-Jenn Bennett

"Crap. He was definitely checking me out. What should I do? Earth to Beatrix. This was the night bus, not a journey song.  Two strangers were not on a midnight train going anywhere.
Meeting Jack on the Owl-San Francisco's night bus- turns Beatrix's world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive and possibly one of San Francisco's most notorious graffiti artists.
But Jack is hiding a piece of himself. On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is.
A unique and profoundly moving novel, Night Owls will linger in your memory long after the final page"

I have finished this but we will get onto my review later on. I picked this up because I was in dire need of a trashy romance, something you can flick through uber quick that doesn't require too much thinking. It sounded light hearted and just the sort of thing I was looking for.

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children-Ransom Riggs

"A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear the that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been quarantined on a desert island for a good reason. And somehow-impossible thought it seems-they may still be alive"

Again, this sounds exciting and unusual, I don't know what to expect but I feel that's the best way to approach a book.


Night Owls-**

I should have known, reading over the blurb, that this book would be the same as every other trashy romance I have read (which I am actually a fan of, but after the 17th book with sexy artistic mysterious guys and misfit girls, I wanted to vom-E.g: "Someone bumped my arm, and my portfolio flew from my hand (of course it did) My bad, I thought you saw me" A jacket bent over in front of me and picked up my portfolio. When the jacket stood back up, it grew arms and legs and a face that probably competed with Helen of Troy's in the ship-launching department").
Some of the ideas I didn't agree with (there was a strange comment on makeup) and, although it was sex positive (consent etc) there were some attitudes towards a virginal 18 year old that seemed a bit uneasy. It was unrealistic and predictable, they were head-over-heels swooning after meeting each other on the bus which, from the experience I and others I know have endured, doesn't happen all that often.
I was frustrated at the ease of their love, I increasing think novels such as these put unrealistic pressure on relationship expectations.
It also highlighted utter dependency on the male character-an almost life or death scenario.
When will someone write a YA about not needing someone for fulfilment?
Maybe I'm cynical (maybe??!) and I did pick up a romance but I thought it was predictable and totally unrealistic.
An enjoyable and quick read but after 200 pages, I was bloody sick of perfect love.
(for clarification, not everything in the characters lives was perfect and I think the other topics (schizophrenia, divorce, sexuality (I liked how casually they had a gay character, like that was so not a main aspect of the book)) were dealt with really effectively)

The Go Between-LP Hartley-****

I adored this book, as I knew I would.
It is set in Summer and, as it was sunny as I read it, it felt extra special. I love the naive view point and how innocent the protagonist is. At first, it seems like the perfect summer but, because the narrator is so naive, you can see all these sinister activities taking place around him. It made me laugh and cry, I finished it heartbroken at the advantageous attitudes towards Leo.
If I read it again, I think I would pick up on all the hidden metaphors and symbols but I was so engrossed in the story, I didn't really think about it.
I am considering doing this for my A-Level lit coursework so I will definitely be reading it again.

Eventide-Kent Haruf-****

Again, I book that I fell in love with.
Kent Haruf is loved in my family, this is the second one of the trilogy. They follow everyday small town life in Holt, Colorado and are so heart breaking and show all different aspects of all different people in society.
I think I preferred this one to Plainsong, it was quite dark but highlighted utter humanity and the true kindness of some people. You feel you get to know the characters so well as they are presented as totally real and I love how it follows several different stories that eventually weave together in everyday subtle ways.
I was given the third and final one (Benediction) for my birthday and will definitely take it on holiday with me.

The Fallen Idol-Graham Greene-***

I found this chilling sinister but perfect for a comparison with The Go Between. It discusses utter naivety and innocence but also the manipulation of children, very similar to TGB. Both present adults that use children and get them involved in their personal problems, having a detrimental affect on the children.
This is super short but quick paced and very metaphorical, to the point where you aren't always 100% sure what is happening.


Wide Sargasso Sea-Jean Rhys

Again, another one for school but I am actually quite enjoying this. It is short (121 pages) which makes it very appealing and has already provided me with some ideas that I had not previously contemplated (the attitudes of the emancipated slaves towards white people in places such as Jamaica).
The blurb reads: this mesmerising work introduces us to Antoinette Cosway, a sensual and protected young women who is sold into marriage to the prideful Mr Rochester. Rhys portrays Cosway admist a society so driven by hatred, so skewed in its sexual relations, that it can literally drive a woman out of her mind.
I don't imagine that this is going to have a positive ending and it is already dark mayhem however it is easy to read and is making me think.
I read somewhere that this text covers themes of Obsession and Possession which I am also considering for coursework in conjunction with Lolita.

If you were looking for a book to read, hopefully I have provided you with some inspiration.
What books have people been reading recently?

Exercising Creativity

In an interview I carried out with Alice for my Other Minds series, I said that she was "at one with her creativity". By this I meant she could peacefully be creative without feeling the guilt that I feel.
I have been creative my whole life, reorganising and decorating my room, drawing outfits, sewing bags-I spent every hour doing something that let my imagination run wild.
The pressures of school forced me into a bland, square box, no creativity just productivity. After revision consumed every second of my day, I didn't know what to do with myself.
"Do some painting" mum said, "But that has no use, its pointless" was always my reply.
I have been forcing myself, ever since, to be creative, to remind myself of the joy I used to get out of it. That the final product doesn't matter, its the process, the way it makes you feel.
My friends have all been away this past week and I have been entertaining myself with an array of artistic pathways.

On this day, it was bliss. I had The Breakfast Club on , my paints out and a large cup of tea next to me.

My favourite arty things to do are:
  1. Collaging
  2. Journalling (because this combines everything)
  3. Painting (but always filling in someone else's picture or just colours because I can't paint for shit)
  4. Colouring (I love the Secret Garden colouring book and the online Rookie pages)
  5. Writing
  6. Collaging on my laptop
  7. Photography
It never fails to relax me and take my mind away to a more peaceful place-that can only be a good thing right?
Slowly slowly I am feeling less of the guilt and more just enjoying the doing. School will whip around and it will probably zap all that inspiration out of me again.
Oh well.


After gathering inspiration from various different 'zines and deciding to finally channel my inner journalist-dreams (I think?), I came upon the idea of a series such as this:
An online collection of raw and real answers from people I find inspiring/interesting.
It will (hopefully) be based upon a myriad of themes, a different 'interview' for a different theme; identity, inspiration, fears, challenges, body image etc.
The series will be in conjunction with this blog but the organisation-craving me wanted it all to be housed in a separate place (link here but it will also be linked at the top)

Expect vulnerability and truth washed down with a bit of light heartedness and (fingers crossed) some relatable anecdotal writing.

I have just posted my first interview with Maddie Mills about identity-please go and give it a read!

Who knows where this will evolve but any suggestions for themes etc would be greatly appreciated


I have just returned from 3 days spent in Nice with my good friend Maddie.
We had such a lovely time relaxing and tanning and photographing and walking and talking and eating and doing all the things that make a holiday great.
I didn't have the thrill of independence that I had had from other holidays alone but I think that that made it better-it made it relaxed and meant we could take advantage of the scenery and culture.
I practised a fair amount of French and submersed myself in a country that I love more and more every time I go.
We visited the memorial of the attacks that took place the week previous. It was incredibly emotional but otherwise the city had returned to 'normal', with just the armed police for evidence of the tensions.
Highlights include the glorious sun, lying on the beach reading Rookie (so worth the hassle of dragging it on the plane), sitting in the evening sun on the balcony, the Musee Marc Chagall, the views from the headland walk we did and Place Rosetti in the evening where we retreated-but it was all pretty super.

I hope you enjoyed the photos (I took waay too many as usual)