musings #7

Here's a classic collage, except this time its some my faves from my insta saved. I got ridiculously drunk at a ball last week, had an argument with a hot dog seller, got lost in some woods, lost my phone nd thought I was dying the next day. Other than a deep mortification at the events, I learned that I don't really like having a phone (except for the total inconvenience of not being able to contact people!!!) and there are so many parts I find toxic.
I do, however, love saving things on insta to scroll through when I'm bored or sad or hungry or just needing some inspo. I always want to physicalise and materialise that things I've saved (but that is the inherent problem with technology lol) so I figured a selection of moodboards would have to suffice. I also just wanna share the things I love lol.

SO here we go! Enjoy the vibrant goodness. Maybe you can find some new peeps to follow or just feel full of colour and wanderlust and feminist solidarity.

Most of what I save falls into the categories of: places I want to go, food I want to eat, clothes I wanna wear or lame quotes to make me feel happier/less stressed/at peace.
Some of my faves didn't actually fit into the aEsTHetIC but imagine pancakes nd pics of dogs nd quotes which make u wanna vom with cringe.

be easy. 
take your time. 
you are coming home. 
to yourself.
(see what i mean)

It is the eve of boxing day. It's been a marginally uneventful Christmas. I wanted to relax more than I actually did and think I perhaps glorified the break a little. But I've enjoyed walking on the beach and being in the countryside and with my family and have allowed myself to consume as much as I wanted (yay!) and its been a very eco-friendly christmas, which sets the path well for my 2019 resolutions.
My break has been a little odd, very frantic nd a bit stressed. I've wanted to spend as much time as possible at home and going out hasn't appealed. But that's probably unsurprising seeing as I often don't get the luxury when I'm away (mostly out of choice).
I'm quite apprehensive about going back to Oxford, probably mostly because I have exams (which I haven't sat in 2 years!!!) nd so to do and the intensity and atmosphere feels very daunting, despite having an amazing first term. But once I'm in the rhythm and see my friends, I'm sure I'll, again, not want to leave.

Alas, merry christmas/happy festive season to u all!!! This evening shall be spent reading Crazy Rich Asians, eating (obvs), continuing to think/dream/yearn for summer nd potential plans nd trying to ignore the inevitable return to reality.


(pics above are as follows:
first: 1) @rookiemag (rip :( ) 2)@wearehundredclub 3) @___mylene 4) @sadgirlsclub 5) @wearehundredclub 6) @scottdunn_travel 7) @scottdunn_travel 8) @ramonaforgirls 9) @ramonaforgirls 10) @rossie_edenbrow 11) @iamlucymoon 12) @nobodysdarlingblog 13) @rossie_edenbrow 14) 15) @sophievstheuniverse
second: 1) @thecroissantpostcard 2) my queen @maddiemills99 3) @historyinpix 4) @matthewwilliamson 5) @papier 6) @thehundredclub 7) @subliming.jpg 8) @subliming.jpg 9) @bodiljane 10) @scottdunn_travel
(poem from @sadgirlsclub)
third: 1) @ramonaforgirls 2) @nobodysdarlingblog 3) @theeconomist 4) @scottdunn_travel 5) @momsgardenart 6) @lesparisiennedumonde 7) @subliming.jpg 8) @arielbissett 9) @nobodysdarlingblog 10) @matthewwilliamson 11) @tristamateer 12) @bmseventh)

growth nd stuff

(miss the sun eternally)

I was supposed to spend my christmas writing and sleeping and reading and not doing much else. But then, shit got really busy and I realised I didn't have time to do any of it.
So here I am, 2 weeks later having spent every day scrawling 'blog post' on my to-do list, longing for next week and the actual festivities and time to properly relax.
I didn't really realise I would be just as busy in holidays as I am term and that coming home didn't actually mean anything.
Lets talk about change. Change is so fucking weird and its sort of good and its sort of bad and whilst I crave it and thrive off it, its also exhausting and disorientating and you find yourself pining for familiarity.
(prepare for some self-obsessed narcism, y'all!)
Coming home, reading my diary and thinking about the events of the past 12 months made me realise how. much. has. changed. In the space of a surprisingly formative year that felt meaningless and transient, I grew in independence and resilience and headstrong-ness and confidence and adaptability and awareness and just fucking life experience man!
I think, through rose tinted naivety, I perhaps lay claim to resolution. That I've got everything sorted. Obvs I haven't. Fuck man, there are still so many mistakes to make and sad days to have and hours to spend crying on the phone to my mum but 2018 has been crazy for self growth and we're here for it.

Here are some of the things I've learned amongst the change:
that the same jeans can actually be worn for 2+ weeks nd no one will know (gross but who has time for laundry!)
you are essentially paying £9k to read books
inebriation facilitates debate and rum enables me to get very vocal when a privileged nascent tory begins telling me that taxation is bad! everyone should work for themselves! free market rules! people at foodbanks aren't in dire crisis!
keeping in touch with people is actually very hard nd I shouldn't have been so petty about my friends' distance
running is sometimes horrible but mostly actually very good and hitting milestones feels 10/10
contrary to personal belief for 19 years, I am apparently seem very confident and self-assured (lol!)
friendship crushes are apparently a thing
adjusting to different worlds was much less traumatic than expected therefore progress has maybe actually been made!!!
people don't fundamentally change that much nd its the best when u return to normality within 5 mins
life is good!
adulting is hard nd you actually can't just cry when you run out of change for the washing machine or don't want to go to Tesco
emptying your room hungover on 2 hours sleep isn't fun
free bars are, actually, not a good idea
getting with friends is never sensible and we all really knew this already

And here are some lessons I still need to learn.
I don't think people dislike you as much as you think they should, people actually want to be your friend despite you not understanding why
being away from home has worsened my relationship with food nd how to tackle this so i don't have to say no when everyone else says yes
how to tackle that panic between small talk nd forming actual friendships
nothing requires being thought about that much (my brain doesn't need to follow the question 'should I buy a coffee' with 10 mins of the pros and cons followed by panic that I've made the wrong decision)
and not everything or all the world's problems are your responsibility or fault lol
to tackle guilt that pervades almost everything
to make an achievable to-do list
be more emotionally available nd open
that time can be made in my day to do things
to stop being a whiny bitch

I'm feeling a bit worked up nd stressed and actually very fucked off with the state of world affairs (is anything not going to SHIT?). Its hard not to get down when all u hear is the mess of Brexit, the Labour party doing shit all, Trump conducting foreign policy through twitter, claiming the war in Syria is over, the rise of the far right across Europe, people in the foodbank who have had to survive off £5 a month because universal credit doesn't work. And then, amongst all this mess, Parliament being dominated by Jeremy Corbyn saying 'stupid woman'. Its slightly misogynistic, a little unprofessional. But it doesn't need to dominate our headlines. It undermines the feminist cause to those who think we are wet, petty weak women. Lets put the energy into positive activism, try and solve the mess.
I think I need a detox.

Hope y'all are well! Stay positive, the world will sort itself out. I fucking hope!
What have you learned in 2018?

books and rain

The last day of term was spent traipsing round book shops, astounded at the amount of freedom we suddenly had and convinced we all deserved a treat to celebrate our survival. I walked out with 4 books, of which I probably won't have that much time to read and probably shouldn't have bought, considering my card was subsequently declined twice later that evening.

I'm struggling with being home and alone and having empty time, a sort of microscopic relapse of September 2017, but these emotions feel so alien, despite having consumed so much. I'd forgotten what it felt like to want to cry, to have my brain overthink to the point of combustion, but these feelings are okay. I'm consumed with guilt (eating, not exercising, not earning enough, not being productive enough) and need to tackle these emotions which I didn't realise were actually still there?!? But I think one way to do this is perhaps through exposure. Force myself to sit and read in the day, and understand that it is okay, that bad consequences did not arise. 
SO anyway. I bought some books. I feel sad and stressed. I'm going to force myself to read the books to try and help. 
Here are the books. 

Black Tudors–Miranda Kaufmann 
A black porter publicly whips a white Englishman in the hall of a Gloucestershire manor house. A moroccan woman is baptised in a London church. Henry VIII dispatches a Mauritanian diver to salvage lost treasures from the Mary Rose. From long-forgotten records emerge the remarkable stories of Africans who lived free in Tudor England...

One of my modules this year is Tudors/Stuarts and as simplistic and banal as it may sound, I think this'll give a new insight and approach. I've been thinking and reading a lot about the new approaches to the study of history, how a 'history from below' is emerging and challenging our perspectives and understandings. Much of what we know and learn about from the 16th and 17th c's is based on the literature of the elite and therefore sort of neglects the actual experiences of the people. Books like this will hopefully challenge said perspective and help establish a new 'history of the people'. I also want to appear more studious than I am lol. 

The Dream Life of Sukhanov–Olga Grushin 
Stepping out into the dusk of a warm Moscow evening, esteemed art critic Anatoly Sukhanov feels on top of the world: his career is glittering, his wife is beautiful and his children are clever. But the year is 1985 and the air is heavy with change. Sukhanov's future will be haunted by doubt. Beset by heartbreaking visions of a past he gave up, he questions his choices: in swapping a precarious life as a brilliant underground artist for comfort and security did he betray his dreams? And if his dreams re lost, what does he have left?

Oxford has an insane selection of second hand book shops and I've already committed myself to visiting more next term. This was purchased in the Oxfam on Turl Street on a whim, as many of my books are. I, as I've said so many times, am obsessed with Soviet history, especially that relating to the collapse so this felt to be calling my name. From its blurb, it seems to me somewhat reminiscent of A Gentleman in Moscow, which I loved and it has mint reviews, so I am hoping for good things. 

The Immortalists–Chloe Benjamin  
Its 1969, and holed up in a grimy tenement building in New York's Lower East Side is a travelling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the date they will die. The Four Gold children, too young for what they're about to hear, sneak out to learn their fortunes. Such prophecies could be dismissed as trickery or nonsense, yet the Golds bury theirs deep. Over the years that follow they might attempt to ignore, embrace, cheat or defy the 'knowledge' given to them that day–but it will shape the course of their lives forever.

This one was a total whim. We'd been in Blackwells for hours and were on a tight schedule to cook pesto pasta before drinking disgustingly strong vodka-coke from bowls because no one washes up and dancing until 3am to the trashiest music in the best/worst club in Oxford. 
I needed a final book to complete my 3for2 and my friends were offering endless suggestions and I was s-t-r-e-s-s-i-n-g. They were sent out the shop lmao so I could choose in peace. Anyway, this sounds light and kind of trashy, just what I need on these winter days. Again, it has insane reviews so hopefully it'll be a nice surprise. 

Enigma Variations–Andre Aciman 
From a youthful infatuation with a cabinet maker in a small Italian fishing village, and a passionate yet sporadic affair with a woman in New York, to an obsession with a man he meets at a tennis court, Enigma Variations charts one man's path through the great loves of his life. Paul's intense desires, losses and longings draw him closer, not to a defined orientation, but to an understanding that 'heartache, like love, like low-grade fevers, like the longing to reach out and touch a hand across the table, is easy enough to live down'. Andre Aciman casts a shimmering light over each facet of desire, to probe how we ache, want and wave, and ultimately how we sometimes falter and let go of the very ones we want the most. We may not know what we want. We may remain enigmas to ourselves and to others. But sooner or later we discover who we've always known we were.

This was the main purpose of our trip. I'd noticed someone reading it in college and knew it had to be devoured over Christmas. I've already started it and its fragile and delicate and leaden with nascent desire, probably perpetuating my sadness. Its made me think a lot about love, which of course sparked existentialism, and growing up and familial relationships but more than anything it echoes that dry warmth of Italian summers which my body craves. When I've fought off the weighing guilt, I'm going to plough through this and treasure Aciman's lingering word because he is a literary genius. 

So, alongside the world of late antiquity and the roman empire divided, this shall be my reading material for the christmas break. I've also got a copy of Crazy Rich Asians which I know will provide a mindless disappearance into a world of trash. My fave.

As I finish this post, I am sitting in the library, writing a timeline and looking out onto a backdrop of grey. It is the bleakest day. The rain is ceaseless, which I sort of like. I still feel a bit all over the place, but my day has been better than I anticipated and maybe I'll see my friend later, but I also dream of crawling into bed and reading, where I know the wrath of exhaustion will take over. Wow, what a few months it's been. 

What are you all reading?

on feeling at home

How do you feel at home, when you're 250 miles away from your cat and your bed and your view?
Michaelmas term is drawing to a close, next saturday I make the 5 hour trek up north with my boxes and bags and a heart of pride and a brain of exhaustion.
But this feels like home.
And, for me, that is quite remarkable.
To achieve this peace in a room that isn't mine, in a city where I initially knew no one...
I filled my room with things that reminded me of summer, of warmth, postcards of places I'd been, ones I collected, Photo Booth strips, books I'll never have time to read.
I spent my final pay check on special bedding and decorative mugs and nice cushions because those things make me feel at ease.
I spent hours in my room in the early evening, when the sun streams in and caresses the wall with an ethereal glow.
I wandered the streets at sunset and found my way on runs and took myself on journeys around the libraries and the cafes, with my books and my laptop, getting a sense of my favourite places.
I spoke to my friends about how I felt, whilst we spent hours sitting in my room drinking tea and eating chocolate and marvelling at our lives.
I explored the things I'd saved on intsa, treating the city like I was a tourist, allowing me to marvel at its beauty. I explored the colleges and the botanic gardens and the museums.
I had people come to stay, a remarkable number considering how far I am from home. My brother, my mum, my friend, to show them this is where I live.
I said yes to everything. I scrolled through facebook endlessly to find a talk or a concert or a class to fill my already limited time, to create shared memories and an experience wider than the words of the Reformation .
I created a routine and ensured each day was filled with fun, alongside the endless hours of reading.
I think, more than anything, I was ready. I took my time, spent a year alone with my self and my thoughts and my hurt, and soothed it and my brain was finally ready to take the challenge.

So thats it! Michaelmas is almost over, I've survived. This morning is an unfamiliar luxury, and yesterday was bliss. My friends are great, I adore the hours we spend making risotto and laughing and drinking tea and ranting about boys we don't care about (but sort of do!) and, fuck me this degree is hard but its great. I am happy.
I can't wait to get home and have the hours to write and bake and think and read, but I also really don't want to leave this world which is like no other.

musings #6

if something is for you, all you have to be is you to receive it.

i see the sun, and if i don't see the sun, i know its there. and there's a whole life in that, in knowing that the sun is there.

I am living for the vibrant pastels of this mood board. The warmth and colour it radiates is the perfect antidote to grey autumn mornings. Life is chaotic (amazing, stimulating, exciting, exhausting, rigorous, challenging) and I am trying to adopt a mind set of peace. Living amongst the chaos, in the words of ambivalently yours. Letting it flow.
i may think of you softly from time to time//but i'll cut off my hand before i ever reach for you again
I think Arthur Miller is a fucking genius. I've been reading about witchcraft and the repression of women in the 1600's nd maybe I'll read the Crucible again when I get a chance and try to understand the absolute hysteria.

Amongst the endless deadlines nd hours spent reading nd no sleep, my life has been filled with an abundance of stimulation and excitement and fun and I am immeasurably happy in a way I never thought I could be in an academic climate. My brain is content.
And because everything else is new, there are so many new things I love and life for.

Here they are.

classical music: because I spend so many hours in the library, I've exposed myself to an accumulation of new classical tunez to motivate study and just offer a bit of focus.
Shostakovich Gladfly suite
Shostakovich Jazz Suite no. 2
Gabriel Faure après un rêve
Shostakovich cello concerto no. 1 in E (we went to go and see a performance of this on monday and it was the most inspiringly cathartic experience)
working in blackwells and drinking soya lattes (even though I think they actually make me anxious)
tesco runs
the architecture of oxford
the nightclubs of oxford (because a) they all play abba and b) oxf students actually know how to work hard nd play harder lol)
drinking tea with friends after late nights in the library
walks on the phone to my mum
having an academic focus and purpose
postcards (there's an amazing blackwells poster shop here nd it sells sick postcards)
receiving post
living with my friends
being surrounded by intelligent people 24/7
the mad array of talks and shows and events and music and activities that are on every night
cooking with friends
friends who bring you chocolate or leave you notes or do your washing in the middle of an essay crisis
the sound of the rain in my room
the sunsets
seeing my mum for the first time in 5 weeks but also feeling totally fine when she left

So I hope you are all well and are looking after yourselves better than I probably am. Adulting is hard. Actually decision making is the hardest.
I am, for the first time, allowing this morning off. I am relishing in the comfort of my bed and a slow breakfast and time to write and think and talk to Libby, who I miss.

I hope when I'm home I'll manage to process this experience properly. But for now, I am just living in it. Letting it happen.

(as always, all pics are from pinterest or insta (probs either @subliming.jpg, @bmseventh, @tristamateer or @nobodysdarling) and quotes are @subliming.jpg or the legendary Arthur Miller)


My room is blessed with the soft caressing of evening sun. It graces my wall adorned with photos and post cards and gives a sweet sense of comfort in this unfamiliar space. The room, the city, the people, its becoming more familiar and I perhaps have more of a sense of routine and purpose. Maybe not. But I'm enjoying it (except not right now because I'm existentialisng, hence the retreat to my room in which I rarely spend time).

The sun soothes me. Its warmth makes my body relax, its brightness fills me with life and energy and its a returning reminder that life is good and nature magical. Several days in the past few weeks have been so sunny and I've taken my work outside to be both distracted by friends walking by and to feel its heat as I read.

The sunsets here are also magical. So often I have embarked on a run across the meadows or looked out of the library window to see the sky dusted in a soft pink, illuminated by a euphoric glow. Its magical and I love it.

Today was a bit rocky but I stroked a dog and ate biscuits and drank tea with friends until the early hours and really, it was all okay. Even the bad days now replicate the good days 12 months ago.
I just need to become more efficient at time usage, rely on lists a little more and seek out a few more clubs and societies that offer weekly structure, because a history degree lacks that.
I probably also need to sleep for a few more hours and spend a little more time alone to do the soul soothing activities that are necessary for a happy brain.

So I'm loving this undeserved treat of autumn sun and feeling content with friends and fun and work but also need to remind myself that uni doesn't create immunity to every day emotions. They are still there and will always be there.

a breath

Here are just some pics from the city that is now home.
Its all a bit mad, my brain needs a few minutes of quiet. A bit of familiarity.
Its all amazing and a privilege and astounding and rigorous and exciting but overwhelming and underwhelming and exhausting and maybe I just need to allow days, weeks, months to find my feet.

Of course I do. Everything is so new and stimulating and man, I haven't done this education thang in too long. But I spent last week getting drunk, meeting new people, thriving on euphoria, this week in the library and exploring and seeing Hilary Clinton and running and a little bit of crying. But its good and its fun, but its also okay that bits of it aren't. That bits are scary, that home feels a long way away.
I need to establish a balance of work and fun, routine, re-connect with the bits of my life that are outside this (blog, letter writing, watching trash, reading) because I neglected them and my brain suffered.
So it feels I've lived a life time in 10 days. I need to remind myself that I am here, a sense that will become overwhelmingly real on Saturday, clad in our 'subfusc' (Oxford nd its wankery language am i right?) marching into a latin ritual. Lmao.
But also that bits can be bad and the whole experience can still be good.
It is good. Actually, its very good.
This city is amazing.

Tell me about ur lives g's. I need some familiarity and grounding xox

the end

we did it bitches! we survived the year we never thought we would.

(i love u so much Newcastle, i could write a whole essay about why this has been the best fucking place to be a teenager)

I wanted to write all about growth and healing and time but I can't really process it and verbalising such intense emotions is kind of tricky.
I do know I've bloomed in every way. In confidence and self-worth and belief and rationale and adventure and happiness and learned that exercise makes me happy and the value of socialising and the value of time alone and how to make the nicest risotto u have ever eaten and spend a whole day reading and fill my day of fun things and love myself mostly. I look back on the previous 12 months nd see a different person. And that's exactly how I wanted it to be.
I've learned what I want and what I don't, why I feel the way I do and that its okay, that time heals everything, that my mum is the best, that the bad days roll on and eventually they disappear, that sad insta quotes see u through, that music is good and social media is (mostly) bad,  that writing saved my brain, that nights out in Newc will forever be the best, that I finally found happiness and that earning money and spending it has been a fucking good feeling.

But, growth is also a linear process.
so here are some things I want to learn:
how to hold eye contact
accept rejection, learn that people have the right to say no nd I'm not stupid for asking
return to education with a pma and all the lessons I've learned from this year about life just being fun
fear of heartbreak isn't a reason to avoid it
be more tolerant and less judgemental about the small things
bad foods r ok (slowly getting there with this one yey)
how to challenge the bad things people say rather than being too scared
how to be forward with what I want
letting people finish what they're saying before interrupting (because I've noticed this one is v annoying)
accept that sometimes a crush is enough and enjoy the emotions (influenced by this)
have the ability to watch more than one tv show at once and keep up with the plots
be more emotional and open and tell people how i feel
be more patient, with people, with ideas, with life

And now I am confronted with a long to do list and not many hours to do it in. Lmao, classic. I've finished work (which was a lot sadder than it felt it was going to be 5 months ago, i'll miss the cute kids and the gossip and being in control lol nd in hindsight it was actually really fun) nd volunteering (which had the most elaborate farewell eva) and flute and clubbing and driving my lil car and everything is drawing to a close. Its time, but its scary.

So yeah. thanks to you for sticking around, for listening to the whining and existentialism, for the reassurance. Peace!


"When was a time you were most happy?"
"This summer. Now. These past few months. All of it"

I have been living in the most golden euphoria. In love with my city, my life, my friends, myself (for the most part) nd just living in an ethereal bubble.
Everyone deserves to feel happy nd at peace; obviously there's the yin and the yang and you've gotta have the bad to feel the good blah blah but I think I was pretty fucking ready for my yang.

It has been a ceaseless blur of nights out and days at work and a constant go and busy-ness and so many plans and adventures and trips and I have adored spending nights with my friends and knowing they are there for good and have laughed and reminisced and spent it all either drunk, hungover, at work or in the sun. What a lit way to spend your days. I've hardly slept and definitely haven't stopped but idk, its been sick. And I now have 2 weeks to focus on everything that was neglected, re-centre, sleep and prepare.

best bits:
listening to getting curious in my hungover naps
spending (pretty much) every single wage in the same bar (visited >4x per week lmao)
lying on a scottish beach with my fam in the beating sun
golden light on my wall
walking home too late nd hearing the birds singing nd the sun coming up and realising you're fucked
a night out that will never be forgotten
brunch the next day nd evie on my doorstep at 7am
eating pasta in Buda with my babes
the flight home from Buda (messy)
breakfast with my brother and sister
breakfast with my bffs who agreed to meet at 8am so we could see each other
a weird date and the messy entangled-ness that ensued but also the fun
corsican sun and corsican food and corsican mountains
reading in the sun
eating bread in the sun
sleeping in the sun, especially on the beach
floating in the sea
breaking my self-enforced drinking ban to watch the world cup nd drink beer on holiday
moroccan sun
moroccan palais
siestas by the pool
flying over africa with a sick view and realising how much I've grown
meeting my pals in the pub straight off the train, suitcase in hand, nd their excitement
seeing mamma mia 2 (for free)
a night of a problematic free tequila shot nd sunday nights in our fave bar
discovering the best club in newc (msa for anyone who's wondering)
walking along the quayside hungover nd crying at how much i love my city
a day in edinburgh
a sole walk on the beach
an eve watching shrek and eating takeaways
sitting on the street at 4am chatting shit
cooking pasta with libby and drinking too much gin
exploring nottinghill with dalal
driving nd freedom
seeing an old friend nd feeling happy that she'll be in Oxford to cure my loneliness
running in the evening sun
a day spent in the rain in scotland playing games and eating and not much else
drinking wine in Paris
eating picnics in Paris in the sun and reading
walking along the seine at 3am
monet's waterlilies
finally deciding how i like my coffee (soya cappuccino)
eating mexican food with a friend i haven't seen in years and catching up on the lost time
drinking trebles with my babes 1 last time then dancing to disco until the sun came up
guilty feminist nd the feeling of total safety and warmth and activism that surrounds the audience of that podcast (if u ever wanna feel good about society/need a safe space, go to a live show)

It has been the best. summer. ever.
I feel so lucky because its been so mint but I also worked so hard to make it like that so I guess you reap what you sow???
The nights are dark and cold and its scary but I think I have enough warmth and love from these months of joy to see me through. And when its lonely or its too much or I am returning to the sadistic ways of my previous academic self, I shall return to Jardin du Luxembourg, in the sun, or the Moroccan poolside, or a room full of my best pals and trebles, or my bed with my cat and peace, and remember there is so much more to life than it seems.

What were the best parts of your summer???

If you want more in-depth accounts of my summer adventures (because who wouldn't?!!?) check out this, this and this. Oh, and this.

musings #5

As I write this I am sitting in the library, surrounded by literature of the Reformation, attempting to rekindle my studious streak, after a year of getting drunk and reading trashy chick lit.
I've decided I like libraries, their calm sense of focus. Maybe I am looking forward to the resumption of education.

"remember to be tender"

Life is strange, I suppose when is it not.

"collecting tiny moments of joy to help confront the chaos"

I'm feeling a lot of things, primarily an overwhelming sense of emotional tenderness. Not sadness, just emotions. An episode of Rebelliously Tiny taught me about emotion and openness and how its okay if your innate response is to cry if you walk along the river and are hit by a love for your city, or if you are lying in bed tired from a lack of sleep, or if you hear a song that reminds you of a happy day. So I am attempting to embrace this tenderness, allow it to empower me not terrify me. I watched Sierra Burgess is a Loser and felt sad that my life will never replicate a teen coming-of-age movie and probably need to spend a bit more time telling myself I love myself in the mirror. Because, as What a Time to Be Aone taught me, no one else is going to do it if I can't. Expectation is haunting, and I think much of my expectation is unrealistic. I need to learn to let it be, but this is all part of the self discovery. I have had a euphoric summer (didnt I say?) and have had the happiest months of my life ever (so much more to come on this) and now I've just got to confront the reality that life is going to change. And its a good change and its exciting, but its scary. And that's okay.

"tender hearts work hard"

What else.
I got my hair cut to establish a new self to confront this new dimension, I am unable to picture this new self which is distressing for a brain that seeks to find reason and justification in everything. I've been on some hilarious nights out that have rolled into one mass of drunken memories and have been enjoying work. I've eaten too much cereal, not done enough exercise, spent too much money, laughed until my stomach ached and napped a lot. I am refusing to admit my emotions about university (a blur of imposter syndrome, fear about friends, fear about food, fear about enjoyment, fear about mental health, excitement for new people, excitement for new experiences, excitement for education, excitement for sitting in libraries drinking coffee, excitement for independence) and repeatedly tell anyone who asks that I "haven't really thought about it yet".

"moving forward with uncertainty and enthusiasm"

But really, I'm just rolling with the chaos of life. Understanding that euphoria and fear, peace and sadness, excitement and overwhelm, can exist mutually.
That emotions are dimensional, that I am too.

For all of you who are too moving on a new chapter, its scary and its overwhelming and the unknown is daunting. But its growth and its movement and, as this Rookie quote reminded me:
"sometimes pushing yourself leads you to discover a whole new dimension to the world; other times it just adds another item to the list of supposedly fun things you'll never do again. But the thing is, there's no way to predict the result of any leap of faith until you take it".
We are brave and we can tackle this adventure.


Its a remarkably autumnal September morning. The date marks things I don't want to happen (return to work for the final month, September in general, uni) and I'm lying in bed, surrounded by stress-inducing mess, refusing to move until 10:30 and the manic rush to make it to work in time.
I'm dreaming of the past, the 2 weeks of holiday I jam packed with a trip to London, a visit to my grandparents, a weekend in Scotland and a paradisiacal adventure to Paris. The latter induces the strongest longing.

The trip was symbolic; Libby was my gap year g (despite living 300 miles away) nd it was a homage to our experiences and adventures and the challenge and growth of our years out. We were celebrating surviving and conquering some of our most testing days, and where better to do it in my favourite city in the golden sun of late summer, drinking wine and slipping into a faux Parisian life.

It was fucking magical, as though it exists in an ethereal paradise, to which my memories don't belong.
Our weekend was filled with minimal sleep and trains and croissants and coffee and pasta and reading in the sun and picnics in stunning spots and endless photo taking and walking and metro trips and laughing and wine drinking and relishing in the peace of Monet's water lilies and the beauty of Paris and hours sitting on the banks of the Seine in golden hour and indecisive coffee traipses and trying to recreate the most cliched Parisian stereotypes (see: stripes, skinny cigs, red, white & blue) vulnerable and intimate conversations (s/o to Libby for encouraging me to do dis)
and speaking broken French and outfit crises and ice cream eating and feeling very, very happy.

Some of my most treasured memories include:
drinking in our apartment, feeling at ease to be totally emotionally vulnerable and wishing time could stop
opening the shutters to see the morning sun and hear the shouts of Paris waking
our picnic in Garden de tuillieres
walking through the streets of Paris at 3am
our meal on the final night, feeling suave and pretending we could actually afford to eat there lmao
reading with wine in hand and the sun on our faces
the eurostar there, excited nd consuming good-ass snacks

I love Paris and this trip reinforced my adoration. It is undeniably stylish and sophisticated and I could stare at the architecture and walk along the banks of the river and explore the parks endlessly. My next dream is to study at the Sorbonne and I refuse to admit its unrealism. I will. One day.

I owe this girl a lot of thanks nd love for saving my gap year, soothing my loneliness, spending hours existentialising with me and just being the best. And I also owe a lot of thanks and madness to blogging nd this site nd the internet which has given me literal friends for life and provided mad opportunities and just given me somewhere to escape when its is all too much.

reading material

Despite having no money that I can actually viably spend (thanks to expensive uni purchases, spenny trips nd lack of self control) I have managed to accumulate a large number of new books. Alongside an introduction to the reformation and a second copy of The Good Immigrant to give as a gift (because that book is so. fucking. good – informative and shocking, so accessible and rich with information and experience that makes you check every bit of your privilege – check! it! out!), I also picked up these 2 winners.

What a time to be alone – Chidera Eggerue
This has been dominating my twitter feed nd insta lately and I knew I couldn't rest until I bought it. I've been going through a slight life crisis (shock!) and figured some motivational literature about why I am 'already enough' was exactly what I needed.
Chidera Eggerue started the #saggyboobsmatter campaign (advocating for body confidence and acceptance) and she's overall just a badass bitch dominating the internet. What a time to be alone is all about teaching us that we are entirely enough as we are, learning to understand ourselves and our worth and how to deal better with those around us in a way that lifts everyone.
I'm so down to read this over the next few days and learn (hopefully) how to make peace with myself. I am always kinda dubious about self-help books but this one feels much more like a guiding confidante, accepting and acknowledging mistakes and putting the power back in you.

The unwomanly face of war – Svetlana Alexievich
Someone recommended this on insta but it is just my kinda book. Soviet history + feminism, yeh boi. Svetlana grew up in the Soviet Union, surrounded by the 500,000 women who had helped out in the monumental war effort but whose stories were untold. This book is a documentation of interviews she carried out with Soviet women; their experiences in war, the efforts they went to and the utter lack of acknowledgement. It has a strong underlying message that these stories deserve to be heard but that for many years, no one bothered to listen. The manuscript was completed in 1983 but was left unpublished, going against the 'official history' of the war. It wasn't until perestroika nd the collapse of the USSR that the voices could finally be heard. I can't wait to read this on the train tomorrow and learn of the stories of our sisters that went completely untold.

In the final month, before Oxford, before the resumption of education and the chaos that will ensue, I plan to read in every possible moment and, with both these books at hand, I doubt I'll want to do much else.

What are you reading at the moment?


Last week, in a fire of fury, I drove to the beach alone. And sat.
And I've been thinking about it ever since. About how calm it was and how timeless nature is. About how soothing the ceaseless waves are and about how the space allows the mind to run. 

I've been thinking a lot about how much I'll miss where I live when I soon leave. The identity and the grit and the gaudiness and the industrialised spirit that fights on despite no funding and total governmental ignorance, the city that exists entirely from its nightlife, the accent, the escape, the beach, the fields, my room and its view, the hills nd the cows, the towering streets, the iconic bridges, the same pub we visit 4 times a week, the cheap drinks, the feeling of home

Home is perhaps a transitory concept. Something that exists within you, exists within others. But this, for the moment, is my home. And when I return I breathe a sigh of relief at its ease, its effortless sense of self, its comfort. 
I'm so excited for new things and new people and new places and I thrive off change. But, after years of feeling like I don't belong here, hate it here, dreaming of moving away, this year has taught me that I do belong and just how magical a sense of home is. 

Unsurprisingly, life is fucking busy. I have 12 hours home until the next adventure and am using the emerging restlessness to type up some words to look back on when I'm lost. I want to tell you about the books I've read and the things I've watched and the trips I've been on, and the time will come. But until then, 
what does home mean to you?

a funk

This is a melancholic interjection in the summer thrill to centre the emotions and recognise a sense of dejection. Its a sort of heavy blueness that has been on and off in the past few weeks. Its nothing, and it will pass.
But my head feels cloudy and weighted and there are niggling thoughts that are chipping away at my rationale. Namely: aesthetic insecurities, academic insecurities, future, romance love and the timeline, friends, uni, lack of sleep, end of summer and the fun, food nd exercise.
That seems to cover most bases.
So this summer is lit but the past few days haven't been and I know I need sleep nd perhaps a few consecutive nights in but there is an internal fear that I have to squeeze every drop of fun out of this summer. Saying yes to everything, burning the candle at both ends, until my skin rages with angered blemishes and my brain is screaming at me to stop.
The cerebral mantra is dominating in its sly tongue, managing to create inferiority in every aspect nd its getting me down.

So really I am just fucking terrified for uni and the 2 weeks before uni, I'm scared about being so far from home and scared about eating and surviving, definitely scared about my mental health (because it was shit last time I was in education) and making friends. I am craving romantic engagement or just some fun nd attention (lol), fucking hating that I can't breach the subject of love without qualifying it with humour to maintain the unbreakable boundary, trying and failing and exploring my fear of intimacy and openness and suffering in its repercussions, dreaming of August being over for no understandable reason and hating myself for it, getting myself down for the things I haven't done, feeling very very very scared about growing up (adulthood, what the fuck is that), wondering why there are still so many topics, thoughts and worries that feel too big to verbalise and understanding that this isn't healthy, feeling angered at dicks who say humanities are 'flaky' (fuck u, just watch me change the world) and probably just needing sleep and to see my mum.

I want to cry every time I think about summer being over because I hate winter and the darkness and summer is where I belong and the coldness and long nights get me down. My soul needs sun and its soon gonna be gone. I have had unimaginable amounts of fun the past 2 months and my brain can't stop telling me its over and I know that this is just the yin and the yang and of course the come down had to happen but it fucking hurts when it does.

I'm being dramatic nd revelling in my privileged pity. But writing is cathartic and grounding, and this is my diary.
Hope you're all well, the fun and sun will come back.

marrakech in film

I don't even know how to begin this post, other than my tan is fading and I am craving the blistering heat*** of northern Africa.
Marrakech is chaotically beautiful, and 4 days spent there with Dalal were a blissful adventure. I feel like the charm of the city is so perfectly captured in film, it evokes the rustic magic of the medina, with its fading red buildings and winding souks of stalls and watermelons and donkeys and carts and snake charmers. The faded exposure gives a sense of times before and walking the streets of Marrakech has a similar effect.
The adventure was filled with 20p orange juice and problematic henna and 3 hour siestas by the pool and oases of calm and vibrant colours and a lost (and found) phone and mad roads and long taxi journeys for which we both slept solidly and tagine and mint tea and photoshoots and tiles and long walks and postcards and refreshing swimming and some questionable french (on my part obvs) and too much cat calling and a lot of very cute kittens and a mission to find the cheapest water and an utter adoration of the heat and all those little things you can't quite put into words.

The sun terrace of our Riad felt like a haven of utter tranquility, with our claimed sun beds, magical views over the city and a rare silence. We spent hours, after wandering the streets, lounging, reading and talking and swimming, before adventuring into the Moroccan night (which is an experience like no other–think snake charmers, monkeys on chains ( :( ), horses, stalls, street sellers, traditional musicians, dancers, a constant noise of excitement nd busy-ness). We would then return and sit by the pool and talk until fatigue got the best of us.
This trip marked my first out of Europe and, in a totally naive and ignorant way, I adored how different it was. This was definitely enhanced by the fact that we stayed in the Medina, as oppose to the new city, but everything was so exciting and contrasting (typified by me shouting: "oh my god its a camel!" approximately 2 minutes after meeting Dalal) and refreshing. A couple of the disposables are taken at Ouzoud falls (approx 3 hours out of Marrakech) and, when I wasn't sleeping, the journey was a fascinating realisation in just how rural and traditional Morocco is, with people riding donkeys, pushing carts and herding their goats along the main road.

The main 'touristy' bits we did include: le jardin majorelle, le jardin secret (my fave), la maison de la photographie, palais de bahia, katoubia tombs, ouzoud falls, djemaa el-Fna, the medina and probably much much more that I've forgotten in the whirlwind. These were all madly aesthetic but I also adored just wandering the streets and taking in the language and the culture and the chaos.

And, after parting with Dalal (she stayed on in Morocco with family) and 3 hours of intense Moroccan airport security, I kissed goodbye to the blessed sun (I adore the sun) and leaned out the plane window and thought "fuck thats Africa!" and "fuck! I did it!" (dis bitch could't stay away from home (for even a night) until she was 16 lmao). I then cried on the train home because I'd been travelling for 13 hours, because my train was delayed by 2 hours and because its actually a very long way from Marrakech to Newcastle. In true Katie style, I then jumped off the train and straight to the pub to see my friends and break my 3 weeks of sobriety lol.

So here's to an ace 4 days of Moroccan paradise (that ended 2 weeks of general paradise), internet friends who you go on holiday with (?!), sun loving and the immediate resumption of this summer's madness that consists entirely of work, friends, g&t's nd no sleep.

***blistering heat is absolutely no exaggeration, my feet started to spontaneously blister and thus became crispy (yum!). I also had a dramatic nosebleed in the pool which led to a trail of blood running through the riad
Twitter - Bloglovin - Instagram