Tuesday, 30 September 2014

I don't know what I'm doing

I'm at uni now. It's Tuesday morning and I arrived on Sunday morning so I've been here for nearly 48 hours. And I'm doing okay! I'm heading off to a load of introductory lectures in about an hour where I'll be meeting actual people from my actual course. Amazing.

Not entirely happy with my room...

Or the bathroom.

Or the mess on my floor.

But fairy lights make everything look better.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

The week of love

This week has been a busy one. It's also been a really sad one because I've had to say goodbye to a lot of people as they head off to uni. I'm actually kind of thankful that I'm the last of my friends to be leaving because, while I'm feeling a bit lonely now, I'll be absolutely desperate to go by next weekend. I'm not feeling too pumped about leaving home at this current moment but a week by myself is sure to fix that.

On Monday I went to frequently-mentioned friendy boyf's house to finish watching the second series of Utopia. We ordered pizza afterwards and spent the afternoon vegging out on his sofa. I also watched Stardust with him which I'd never seen before. For a kids' film, it's actually really really good. I do love a bit of Clare Danes! In the evening, he and I went to the pub before meeting some of our friends and going to our local nightclub for one last adventure. (I know I look like I'm pimping in this photo - cringe - but I actually only know two people there!) On the way home I got my first doner kebab which was delicious! The air was all foggy and misty, and it was eerily quiet on the walk back but I really enjoyed it.

On Tuesday, my mum woke me up at the ungodly hour of 1pm (after only 9 hours' sleep!) and we went shopping to pick up the last bits and pieces for uni like coat hangers and door stops and laundry bins. I might do a post on everything I've got later but just looking at it stresses me out a bit. It's all quite overwhelming!

Wednesday was definitely my favourite day of the week. Friend boyf and I headed up to central London for our last day "out" together. I had my outfit planned but just before I was going to leave to get to his house, he texted to say he had some surprises lined up (umm, not a fan of surprises!) and to dress dressy. I literally own nothing even slightly formal so I settled for this with the trusty Doc Martens (100% not dressy):

Our first stop was Pitt Cue in Soho where we had pulled pork burgers. We've been meaning to go there for about a year now, so when better than on our last pre-uni day out together? We hopped on the tube afterwards and went to The Camden Head in Islington for their stand up night - surprise number one. It was the first time I've been to any kind of comedy show and I loved it! They've had people like Dara O'Briain and Simon Amstell there; definitely go and check it out if you can. We had some time to kill before surprise number two so we went over to South Bank which is where we had our first ever London date, ahh sentimental. There's something really lovely about sitting by the river and watching the lights on the water.

Surprise number two was scheduled for 12.15am. I hate surprises and being left in the dark so he told me it was a late night cafe. He lied. It was the Duck and Waffle. Oh my god. I heard about that place a couple of weeks ago and thought it looked amazing but I don't think I actually told him, it was just a fab coincidence that he booked it! Of course, I had to have the duck and waffle dish - 100% recommend, by the way. The restaurant is on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower and the walls are made entirely of glass. The view was absolutely amazing, looking out at the city lights and the descending mist. Afterwards, friendy boyf, me and my food baby ran into a very friendly homeless man who showed us the way to our bus stop. Even though he and I are both London born and raised, we managed to miss our bus stop in Streatham and had to walk about half an hour back up to the right one, only to find we'd missed our other bus too. Oh late night adventures! We managed to make it back home at close to 5am.

Thursday morning began with a text from a friend, a mere two hours after I'd crawled into bed from my crayzeee night of getting lost, begging me to go to the sexual health clinic with her so she could get the morning after pill. Something about dodgy condoms and a well endowed boyfriend (who has social anxiety and incidentally couldn't go to the clinic with her) meant that I had to forgo my lie in for a two hour visit to the clinic with a nice nurse named Mary. We swung by Tescos to pick up some Daim chocolate to revive me, before picking up her boyfriend and then dropping me and the chocolate back at my house. Wew, what a morning.

On Friday, my grandma and uncle came down from Birmingham to stay for the weekend. Friday afternoon consisted of listening to my grandma tell me how much harder than me she's had it and how supposedly easy my life is. Whatevz. I really don't like that some members of the older generations feel that it's okay to be rude to younger people for no reason other than that they are "older and wiser". In the evening, I went to a farewell house party for all of us going to uni. It was really sad knowing that I might not see some of those people again, or at least for a very long time. I also had to say goodbye to the friend boyf who was heading off to Cardiff for uni just seven hours after the party ended. He's actually gone from "a guy I'm kind of seeing" to um, boyfriend status, and we're doing the whole long distance relationship shebang while we're at uni. (He looks a bit more normal than this usually, it's just one of the better photos of me! #Sacrifices)

Saturday morning kicked off with a parkrun in Dartford, followed by a Big Mac breakfast with my dad, brother and grandma. I followed this up with a three hour nap at home because I've been feeling so sleep-deprived lately and woke up in time for a glorious dinner of Stilton stuffed pears and chicken curry. Thinking about it still makes my tummy rumble. I hopped into bed at midnight after more long chats with my grandma about the old days and her upbringing on a farm.

This brings us up to today. My parents, brother and I went to Pets at Home this morning and we are now the proud owners of two guinea pigs, Meep and Noonoo. (Blame my mum and brother for the awful names; I would have chosen Sharon and Linda.) The guinea pigs are currently getting used to their new home and we're not allowed to handle them for 24 hours because they apparently need to feel safe before we do so. I'm currently waiting for it to be dinner time because I am so ready to eat that leftover chicken curry.

I've called this post "the week of love" because these past few days have been so full of love. Love for my family. A new found love for pets (I'm not an animal person at all). Love for my friends, and love for my er, boyfriend. It's still so weird calling him that. This week was the first time I've ever said the L word to someone who's not one of my best friends and who's not my family. That's kind of a big deal. My love for my home and for London has also grown this week, but maybe in a couple of weeks I'll be blogging about my love for my little student house and for Chester. Who knows.

Have a wonderful week! xo

Friday, 19 September 2014


Writing a personal statement is simple, 1) because it's easy to write about yourself and 2) universities don't read them properly anyway - at least, that's what I've heard. And it makes sense. They have thousands upon thousands of personal statements to read and there's not enough time to read all of them properly, taking in every word and thinking deeply about whether or not you'd be suited to the uni. I'm pretty sure it's just a test to show that you're not entirely illiterate and that you can pretend you've got a bit of passion for your course.

I wrote mine in one evening in November 2013. It took maybe an hour of intense writing, and then another hour of checking and editing. And then I sent it off to my school via UCAS to be reviewed before it went to the unis. I got my first offer three hours later. I'm posting my personal statement below just for you to get an idea of what it should include (if you haven't written yours already, that is! I know I've left this a bit late). By no means am I saying that this is the perfect example of what a personal statement should be - because it's definitely not - but you can use it as a bit of a guide to write your own.

Neither of my parents can recall my first word. I’ve always wondered what it was; if it was “mama” or “dada” or even “car” because, to me, it seems such an important thing to know. It was the beginning of my journey into the English language, in which I have developed great interest. I am particularly curious about the acquisition of language in children and am immensely enjoying studying it now. During my AS studies, I also liked the creative writing aspect of my English language classes, drawing inspiration from my favourite book genre: dystopian. Attending university would give me the perfect opportunity to pursue my passion for the subject, increase my understanding of our prime method of communication, and allow me to explore new approaches to learning.

In addition to taking English language at A level, I also study geography and English literature. I feel that my essay writing skills have improved greatly through my English literature classes, this being a key ability needed for a degree course. My geography classes for the human element of the course encourage me to keep up with current affairs in the world. I have combined skills from geography and English language for my Extended Project Qualification. For this project I am creating an artefact – a booklet focusing on international travel aimed at students. I have a great interest in this as, although I have not yet travelled much, it is something I hope to do in the coming years and I am therefore greatly enjoying the research. As the EPQ is mainly based on investigation and planning, I believe it will complement my A level studies which require a structured approach.

I have a part time job outside school as a customer care assistant at McDonald’s, the large fast food chain. Being able to keep up a weekend job whilst attending school during the week has helped me to learn to balance my workload and has improved my confidence in communicating with others. I believe I have become more independent as a result, managing my own expenses which I hope will prepare me for life at university. I have also been involved in Girl Guiding for twelve years and have volunteered as a qualified young leader at a Brownie pack since the beginning of 2010. I’m currently working towards my Adult Leadership Qualification. I really enjoy getting to meet people from varied backgrounds through Guiding and also love knowing that I’m giving something back to the community. In my free time, I am an avid reader with Dodie Smith and John Green among my favourite authors. Alongside this, I’m currently reading The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. Something about the book which particularly fascinates me is the juxtaposition between the events taking place in the future and the Victorian elements of the culture. It is almost as if society has been reversed.

During my time at school, I have been a member of the yearbook committee, both designing pages for it and writing paragraphs to accompany the photos. I also proof read the entire book, correcting spelling and grammatical errors, something which I enjoyed doing and which also improved my editing skills. Similarly, I was sub-editor of the sixth form magazine, again writing a piece for it and checking and editing other articles for errors before it went to print. These experiences have led me to consider a career in publishing. I also liked writing with the knowledge that my work was to be read by an audience. On both of these occasions I was working with a large team of people which I enjoyed as it improved my teamwork and communication skills. I hope that studying English Language will enable me to decide on a direction for my future career. I have particular interests in a teaching career or working in the publishing industry and I think that the three years of study will provide a great platform for either of these career paths.

So, the basic structure of my personal statement was anecdote, why, school, why, hobbies, why, extracurricular, why. By "why", I mean why is what you're writing relevant to your university application? You can make anything relevant with a bit of bullshitting. I'm not saying BS your way through your entire personal statement, but you can link pretty much any part of your life to your passion for your course, or to your enthusiasm for university. 

You like flower arranging? It's a release for you and it's creative, evidencing that your love for creative matter stretches beyond the school curriculum. You've played for a football team for six years? It's improved your people skills, it shows your commitment, it's taught you about team work and being involved with other people. I mean, I wrote about my job at McDonald's and let me tell you, I did not get a job there to "learn to balance my workload" or to "become more independent". No I got a job there because I was broke and needed money to pay for a girls' holiday to Zante!

They say you should have around 75% of your personal statement on why you're passionate about your course, and the other 25% about yourself but mine seems to be the other way round - lots about me and not much about school and English language. I don't think it matters that much and it's certainly easier to just write about you and your life than to try and force yourself to write a lot about your subject. If you're struggling on how to end your personal statement, I'd say end it on your future aspirations. I feel like talking about what you want to do with your degree is a great way to finish things off.

My top advice would be to just write as much as you can when you feel a sudden flash of inspiration. Just write and write until you've run out of things to say and then leave it. Go back to it at another time and cut it down, chop out things you don't like anymore. Add in bits you might have forgotten. And most importantly, get someone you deem literate enough to read through it and check that it all fits together nicely. Don't stress too much over it; no one else really cares that much, admissions tutors included. Someone else's personal statement will always look better than your own because it's new and fresh to your eyes, but they're probably thinking the same thing about yours.

One last thing: it's really, really, really rare to get no offers whatsoever. No one told me that so I freaked out a bit but nearly everyone I know got five, and if not then four. You'll be absolutely fine!

PS: your predicted grades are about a million times more important to your uni than your personal statement is, so I hope you worked hard last year (or that you can bribe your teachers to bring yours up for you!).

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

My Favourite Dress

I recently bought a dress from Motel Rocks and it's my favourite dress ever. It's so comfortable and I like to think that it's flattering. I love its simplicity but I also love the lace-up detailing on the back. The length is perfect, the material is soft, and the pattern is beautiful.

Think of this post as an appreciation post for this dress, a love letter to it, if you will. Dress, I love you.

Song of the day:

Friday, 12 September 2014

The week of going out

I really liked the post I did last week about what I got up to because I'm running out of time here, and I'm trying to squeeze as much as I can into this time I have left before I move. I feel like crying on most days because I love my life here so much and I desperately don't want to leave it. I'm a bit of a homebody and I love what I know. I'm not really a fan of change at all but I'm getting a bit side tracked here, so let's just crack on with an account of my week ay.

On Monday, I woke up late and had a lazy day before heading to my friend's house for predrinks and then hitting up the only club in our town. It's small and local and cheap, so everyone goes there. I saw pretty much my whole school. I was with some of the girls from my football team and we posed for one of those horribly awkward club photos (spot me looking awks and forgetting how to pose properly):

We headed back to my friend's house afterwards and crashed there for about four hours. I had to leave super early because I stupidly forgot I was going out that night and had made a McDonald's lunch date with two of my friends Will and Jenny. I got home at basically the crack of dawn (9am) and had a power nap in my own bed before popping down to McDonald's for our traditional Big Tasty meal. Afterwards, I met another friend who was moving to Uxbridge for uni the next day. We picked up a coffee and just chatted for a couple of hours. It was really nice to catch up before she left.

On Wednesday, I had yet another lazy day but went up to London Bridge in the evening with some friends to a showing of The Truman Show in a free open air cinema. Again, it was really great to catch up with them and an added bonus was the film. I think it's jumped up into my list of favourite films; it really makes you question your life and morality and kind of the purpose of everything we know. It's so thought provoking. On the way back to the tube station, I saw the fabulous Kate McGill (oh my god!!!). Then she went into the tube station behind us and we kind of lost her for five minutes. But then, she appeared on our platform... and boarded the tube in the same carriage as us. And she was sat opposite me!!!!! But she was with her friend and I'm a scaredy cat so I said absolutely nothing. Tragically, I think she did clock the weird little glances I couldn't help but giving her, whoopsies! But she's honestly amazing, here's her best (in my opinion) song:

On Thursday, I went to my aforementioned friendy boyf's for yet another Utopia marathon. He'd made us some mulled cider which tasted of Christmas and sweet sugary goodness, and I brought an apple cake with me; very good combo! He also made carbonara pasta with chorizo for lunch but I can't take any level of spiciness in food and nearly choked on the chorizo. I know this isn't particularly interesting for any of you to read but I can look back on this in one year, two years, five years, and remember this day. He's leaving next Saturday.

In the evening, we headed to Tiger in Croydon with some of our friends, it's one of the best clubs around here apparently. It was a really great night and there's actually a whole room dedicated to 80/90s music?! Best idea ever! Again, there were loads of people we knew so it was great to just say hello to people we might not see again for a year. And yet again, a club photographer cornered us and we were forced into having another awkward photo (can you see how little any of us wanted this picture taken?!):

I got back home at 4am today and slept through till lunch time which is quite possibly a new lateness record for me! When I woke up, me and my mum went up to The Wolesley next to The Ritz for afternoon tea. It was kind of a goodbye thing for me going to uni but also because we haven't had mummy-daughter time for ages! I ate about 11 billion finger sandwiches (actually just 11), a scone, and 3 petit fours. Mental. I cradled my food baby all the way home! This brings us up to now where I'm vegging out on the sofa, too lazy to go to the fridge where there's some meatloaf. I've had such a wonderful week and I hope you have too.

I'm going to try and force myself to get up now an retrieve some meatloaf.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Preppin it up

I'm not sure if this outfit qualifies as "preppy" but it's a cute word and I think this kind of stripy pattern is kind of dominated by prepsters? Correct me if I'm wrong!

Again, let's please ignore the mess on my floor and my grumpy face. This is my first pair of high waisted jeans and it's the first pair of jeans that I love 100%. They're the Jamies from Topshop and I'm pretty sure like 8 out of 10 girls own them, but they're so comfy and wearable and lovely. And high waisted stuff is SO much more flattering than anything else!

I've been wearing this little stripy-and-jeans combo a lot recently and I always wear these shoes with it:

£3 at Primark, what a bargain! I'd love to say they're comfy as well as super cute but I've been getting killer blisters from them. Hopefully I can break them in a bit soon! Get yourselves down to Primark asap because they have some really nice things in right now and I believe there's a sale on. Happy shopping

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Floral puffer jacket

I am partially embarrassed and partially proud to say that last week, I bought my first puffer jacket since I was five years old. That one was a lilac satin-like material (mmm, classy) but this one is a granny style flowery number. Oh, how I've grown up.

What do you think? When I saw it in TK Maxx, I was kind of like "wow, what a horrifically ugly jacket... but I kind of love it". It caught my eye immediately and I didn't want to leave the shop without it. Besides the very ostentatious print, it's actually stuffed with duck feathers so it's super warm. I think it's a really great investment because Etage are a really well known outerwear brand in Scandinavia - they have such a great reputation because their down coats are so warm and of such high quality.

I'm really looking forward to it properly becoming winter now so I can don this and blind people with bright flowery goodness!

The week of tubes

I no longer keep a written diary so I'm finding it hard to remember what I've got up to, places I've been, and people I've seen.This blog almost acts as an online diary though, so it's nice to write about those things on here to keep a record. I've had a really wonderful week. I think it's because now that it's hit me and my friends that we actually only have a couple of weeks (or less!) together, we're making every day count. Speaking of making every day count though, I had a veggie day on Monday where I lay on the sofa all day and internetted for about 12 hours.

On Tuesday, my much-more-than-a-friend-just-slightly-less-than-a-boyfriend and I went to a very lovely girl's party. She's insanely well spoken, as are all her friends, and she lives in the most incredible house in a nice road in Tooting. Everyone there was so well dressed, and it was such a classy affair! I had a fab night but we had to leave pretty early to catch the last tube home. My friendy boyf thinks he looks like a "gimp" in this photo but I love it so much.

On Wednesday, my best friend and I decided to bus it up to London. We live in the suburbs of London - the London/Surrey border is literally 200m away from my house - but because we're technically residents of the city and we're in full time education, we have free bus travel within the city. Our underage Oyster cards expire on 30th September this year though, because we're all grown up now (apparently) so we decided, in order to make the most of them, we should bus it all the way into Central. It's something I've wanted to do for a couple of years now so I was really excited. Except... I woke up with the worst hangover of my life from Tuesday night. Oh god, I have never felt that sick ever. Probably not the best day to be spending a couple of hours on buses!

I had to take one bus from my house to our nearest tube station where I met my bezzi, and from there we hopped on the 118 bus to Brixton. We actually made a pitstop in Brixton because I was feeling so sicky, but a coffee blend frappucchino from Starbucks cured me nicely. Amazing. We looked around a couple of art galleries and found an incredible second hand bookshop. Of course, we had to take a trip to McDonald's to pick up some chips to sustain us for the next part of our journey - the 3 bus to Oxford Circus.

Once we arrived, we hit up Topshop - I'll be postin all about my purchases lata - and Vapianos for a beaut lunch of spaghetti carbonara (how do you even spell that?!). My friend treated me to that lunch as a very late 15th birthday present; she always said she'd take me there! Better three years too late than never, hey! We couldn't be bothered to take the bus all the way back home again (2 hour trip yo) when we could take the tube to get us back in less than half an hour. It was such a nice day and I'm going to miss her so much.

I've recently been getting into Utopia, and when I say "getting into", I actually mean becoming obsessed with. So, what better way to spend a Thursday afternoon than watching it with my friendy boyf. We powered through a whole two episodes (unimpressive, I know) before heading up to Patty and Bun on James Street for what was supposedly "the best burger in the whole of London" - according to his cousin. It was pretty good, but maybe not the best burger I've ever had. I think Honest burgers are just as good. At Patty and Bun, I went for the Ari Gold cheeseburger which was pretty darn yummy.


Much like with my best friend, I'm going to miss this guy so much. Without getting all mushy and stupid, I didn't think I was ever going to care about someone outside my family this much. After the burger, we did a bit of late night shopping on Oxford Street and then headed over to Covent Garden for some drinks in a really nice pub. You know there are some days you just know you'll remember for a long time? I think this is one of those.

The next morning, still stuffed from my huge Ari Gold burger, aforementioned friendy boyf and I headed over to a picnic with a group of around 60 of our friends, and their friends, and their friends.. and so on! We barbecued our burgers and chicken in a country park and munched on mini meringues, sprawled out on blankets in the sun. I had such a fab time and, for once, I actually felt like I was doing proper teenagery things. Basically, I misspent the majority of my teenage years at home in my room instead of going outside and I feel like only now am I having a proper social life. Too bad we're all going to uni in two weeks and I have to start all over again, hahaha.. cry.

This brings us up to date: I spent today at work, wuuurking hard and earning money. I'm currently slouched on my sofa life this...

... typing like a manic. I'm off to make dinner for my brother and myself now, but have yourselves a wonderful evening! xo

Friday, 5 September 2014

The Liebster Award

The wonderful Kimmy has nominated me for the Liebster award which I'm excited to do again! Her blog is fab - she writes so beautifully and articulates everything perfectly, so you should definitely all go and have a little read of it.

The basic rules of the Liebster award are that you link back to whoever nominated you, you answer their questions, and you choose eleven more bloggers to answer your eleven questions. I've kind of fallen out of touch with the blogosphere recently and so have very few people whom I feel I can nominate for this. I think I'm not going to nominate anyone, but you can do it if you want, so I will create some questions to stick on the end of this. But first, time for Kimmy's questions - which I've not yet read so I'm excited to see them.

1. What made you start writing?

I think it was from my love of reading that my desire to write stemmed. I've always admired people who can write well and I've always wanted to, and tried to, be one of those people. The book Adorkable by Sarra Manning was the reason I began writing on this blog though, and I love that I have a place to just pour out what I want to say where no one I know can read it.

2. What's your favourite memory?

This is such a difficult one. I'm sitting here trying to condense over eighteen years' worth of life into just one memory, because I've loved the life I've had so far. I suppose my most recent favourite memory is when I was sat in the car with a guy I care about a lot. He was driving us down an A road, the windows were down with the wind whipping through my hair. And Starlight by Muse was playing ridiculously loudly, but we were both singing (or wailing!) along and we were so happy. That makes me so happy, just to think of it.

3. What are you most looking forward to in the next year?

I think I'm most excited for settling into uni life and starting to love this new city, these new people, and my new lifestyle. I'm looking forward to feeling a bit more independent.

4. Your favourite photo from this summer and why you love it.

I love this question!

This was taken on results day, so 14th August 2014. We'd all found out about 12 hours before that we'd got into uni and we felt absolutely on top of the world. I'm sat here with my hilarious friend (far left), my two best friends (the two on the right), and my best-friend-boyfriend next to me. We had such a wonderful night and I'm so thankful for that.

5. Can you juggle?

No. Definitely not.

6. Do you cook or bake? What's your specialty?

Well, I'm not great in the kitchen. I do make some okay-ish vanilla cupcakes but I don't think even Mary Berry could find many nice things to say about them!

7. What are your talents?

I hate to be all self-deprecating but I don't have many. I wish I could play instruments or sing or be an amazing athlete but I can't. I can remember things though, I think I have a pretty great memory. I don't forget dates or names, things like that. I do forget key school-related things though!!!

8. Do you sleepwalk?

No, but I do sleep talk, and quite loudly apparently. I've revealed many a secret this way.

9. What's your favourite song at the moment?

This is so difficult. It's probably Boom Clap by Charli XCX.

10. If there was one skill or sport you could learn, what would it be?

Referring back to question 7, I'd love to have singing lessons. Of course, this would be if I was suuuuper rich and could go to the best singing teacher in the world. If you can sing amazingly, I admire you so much.

11. What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

Mint choc chip, hands down!

My questions are:

1. What will you be doing at this time tomorrow?
2. Who in the world cares about you the most?
3. Do you have any other tabs open right now?
4. What's your favourite line from a song?
5. Is there a film that you think everyone should see?
6. What are you the most scared of?
7. Where do you hope to be in 10 years time?
8. What about 20 years from now?
9. Pick up the book closest to you, turn to page thirty eight, and type out the second paragraph.
10. What's on your mind right now?
11. Name something you're excited for.

Thanks to Kimmy for the fab questions and for the nomination, and I'd like anyone who's reading this post (my guess is a whole three people!) to do this tag. Have a wonderful evening.