Family & Home..., My Year Abroad...

My top five things about being British…

I think of 2012 as the year that I started caring about where I came from. This happened for two main reasons. The first is that we pulled off the most badass Olympics in the history of all Olympics (that is an objective opinion) and secondly I started living in a different country.

Weirdly enough, before the summer of 2012 I would have happily told you that I could not care less about where I came from, on some days I might have even told you that I was embarrassed/ashamed/unhappy to be British depending on my mood and our current standing on world issues.

The main thing is that I’ve never really understood patriotism. Why should you be proud of something which is really an accident of your birth? I feel lucky that I was born here because I’m allowed to do most things I want to do and because I’m safe and healthy and I get free healthcare but I never felt a huge connection to being British. If you asked me to make a list of words which identified me, being British would fall so far down the list, in fact it may not even make the list.

But then I moved to America. Maybe I was inspired by the Americans love of shoving their patriotism in your face, their pride and happiness at shouting ‘I’m American’ at the tops of their voices and their many many days they take to celebrate their various achievements in the path to becoming AMERICA.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against all this, I find it pretty fascinating to be honest and I think a part of me was inspired. We all like the feeling of being included, of being part of something, and being proud of where you come from makes you feel like you’re part of something special, gives you a connection to all the other people who are part of it too.

Or maybe it was the fact that Americans really like British people that prompted me to feel a bit more pride in my heritage.

What I think it really comes down to most is that being away makes you realise that there really is ‘no place like home’….or something like that. I never realised before how much you rely on the fact that things are comfortable and safe at home. Sometimes nothing can beat that familiarity which comes from being in a place you instinctively understand. That’s what being British is for me, feeling like I know how things work, I know what’s expected of me, I know what to expect of it.

And yet that is no way a reason not to get out of that comfort zone and explore the world. Sometimes it’s just nice to know that that place is there and that it’ll always be there waiting for you.

So, with that said, here are my top five things about being a brit.

1) I’ve already said this but I have to include it in my top fives because I am SO PROUD of our Olympics…it was bloody wonderful.

2) The NHS is one of those things that we will happily complain endlessly about, but some other country try and say shit about it and we will defend it with just as much passion. It’s ours and we’re proud of it.

3) We make great TV that other country’s then try and rip off…try The Office, X Factor, The Apprentice, Britain’s Got Talent, Strictly Come Dancing, Masterchef, The Inbetweeners, The Jeremy Kyle Show, Skins*

4) We have a lot of history…not that I particularly enjoy learning all that old stuff but I do like the fact that we have a long history and we did pretty good on the world stage for a while there, considering we’re so tiny and all.

5) Just like anything, it’s the little things that connect you that make you feel part of something. Being British means liking fish and chips, loving or hating marmite, being unable to say a bad word about The Beatles, having a royal family, drinking a lot of tea…you know, all that stuff. And, as it turns out, I love it!

*Disclaimer: I don’t really class X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent as ‘great TV’, I was just trying to make a point…The Jeremy Kyle Show I stand by, that show is comedy gold.

That’s all for now

x

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My Year Abroad..., Politics...

Martin Luther King and the speech that changed everything…

I find it very difficult to write about ‘serious things’. Take this post, for example, I sat down to write with all the enthusiasm and interest I normally have when I start writing. But then I just sat there staring at the keyboard.

I think there’s two main reasons why I struggle with it. The first is that I worry that I don’t have the skill to do a subject such as this justice, I can write about silly things and happily ramble on, but if I’m given a serious and important topic I panic a little because I think maybe my writing ability won’t live up to the subject matter at hand.

The second problem I face is that I don’t feel like I have the authority to write about something like this. I have never been the victim of racism, I have never lived in segregated America or really even seen much racism taking place. So, with that said, what right do I have to say anything at all on the topic? I suppose it’s a fear of being wrong, of having someone who knows a lot more than me tell me that I should shut up and go back to writing about my life; the only thing I know well enough to be able to comment on.

This is a stupid attitude, don’t worry you don’t need to tell me. If we all only stuck to writing about things we’d personally experienced then how would we ever get any balanced opinions? In fact, often an outsider is able to see things which someone directly involved is unable to. Also, of course many of the people writing about historic moments, even from fairly modern history, weren’t there because they most likely weren’t even born when it took place!

I apologise if you feel like this note on Martin Luther King Jr. doesn’t do him or his life and work justice but I’m writing it anyway because I feel like I need to break through this barrier that stops me from writing what I want to, this blog is meant to be the place I can do that after all.

Last night I watched a BBC programme with my parents about the run up to King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom which was to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of that day. As you would expect, the programme was equal parts touching and inspiring. It got me thinking about my own personal experiences of America when I was living there.

When I was on my year abroad I was lucky enough to take a trip to Washington DC. My most prominent memory of that trip is when we went to the Lincoln Memorial. I stood at the top of those steps, probably just a few feet away from where King stood and made the speech that changed everything. I looked out and imagined what it must have been like for him to stand there and see those hundreds of thousands of people listening to what he was saying, all there because of him and the people standing around him on those steps. In that moment I thought about what had happened there and I remembered the fact that a few weeks earlier I’d watched Obama get sworn in for his second term and it felt like all those problems from 50 years ago had gone away for good.

Several months later, at the end of my year, I went travelling around the states with some friends. As I’ve written about before, we went to many sites which were key players in the Civil Rights Movement. Some were inspiring, such as the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis TN – once a sight of devastation as Martin Luther King lost his life just across the street from it, now a museum which fills you with joy at the distance the country has come.

Some were not so inspiring. When we drove through the city of Jackson MS we were shocked. We went to the visitor centre and got a driving tour booklet which directed us to various key sites related to the Civil Rights Movement. Many of these sites looked like they had been forgotten…abandoned. This was not the shining example of progress we had become accustomed to seeing, we were saddened by the fact that a city which had been so important to such a passionate and long fought movement had been left in this way. The booklet we had, clearly published long before we were given it, claimed that much of the city was undergoing restoration…due to be completed in 2002.

When I was in Baltimore MD, a friend and I were stopped by the police who had been radioed to come and find us. We had gone on the hunt for Edgar Allan Poe’s house which is, unfortunately and unbeknownst to us, now in a particularly dangerous neighbourhood. When the police found us they simply told us we had to leave, when we asked why they said ‘you’re two young, white girls in a black neighbourhood, it’s not safe’. This kind of clear division along racial lines was something I had never experienced before and it shocked me deeply. Here was me naïvely watching Obama on TV and thinking that all the problems of race had disappeared and yet there are places where police patrol simply to keep the peace between people of different races. It might sound stupid, but I had no idea.

I’ve read a lot of people’s opinions about the impact that Martin Luther King, and in particular the speech he made that day, had on the success of the Civil Rights Movement. While most are praising him, I’ve read some that doubt his impact, that question whether that day did what it said it did. I guess when you go to a place like Jackson, and I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceburg; we all know the facts when it comes to the inequality which is still prevalent in the States, it’s easy to argue that there’s still so much to be done. It’s just as much, if not more, of a situation fraught with extremes as it was in the 60’s; while King was going for meetings in the White House, black people throughout America were struggling, now Obama is in the White House and yet there are still plenty of African Americans who have no hope of ever fulfilling their American Dream.

So, of course, it takes looking at how far America has come, not how far it has left to go. America is a wonderful country, something which I learned when I lived there last year, and not an opinion which is shared by many who aren’t Americans themselves! I regard Barack Obama highly (you can read my top fives on him here) not only for the reasons mentioned in that blog and for the fact that I tend to agree with him ideologically but because he has had to face the struggles of a country which is only just beginning to understand its own views on race. There are many problems which the U.S still needs to overcome but, that being said, I don’t believe you could doubt for a minute the impact which King’s work and that speech had on improving the situation. He instilled in those thousands of people that were watching 50 years ago a feeling of hope and a determination not to give up which is how America got to where it is today.

Something I like to think about is how King would react if he knew that Obama was in the White House, if he knew that his work had allowed that to happen. It makes me feel better about the world.

That’s all for now
x

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Films I've Seen...

My top five films I spent my childhood wishing were true…

When I was little I used to do the classic kid thing of getting obsessed with films for weeks on end, refusing to watch anything else and getting it out of the video shop (remember those?) every weekend without fail. As I’ve got older I’ve discovered that many of my friends had the same experiences with their parents dutifully going to the video shop every Friday to rent whatever the obsession at the time was. We now all subsequently wonder, of course, why they didn’t just buy us the video and save themselves the money, my parents claim they were always hoping that one week I’d want something different…well no such luck!

Also, much like most other kids, I regarded my life to be incredibly boring and was continually wishing that my favourite films were the story of my life instead. I’m not casting the movie of my life, instead I’ll share with you five films which would have made up my life story if the decision had been left to my chilldhood self.

1) The Parent Trap

The remake of this film starring Lindsay Lohan was a massive craze when I was in primary school. This was one which I was actually allowed to own, I think my mum bought it out of nostalgia for the original and of course so that she could watch it with me and enjoy the sights of Dennis Quaid (erm yum). When I was a child I GENUINELY believed that I had a long lost twin. I would ask my mum repeatedly whether she was 100% sure my dad wasn’t actually out in the world somewhere living with my twin who I was separated from at birth. Thinking back this was probably pretty unpleasant for my legit dad who had to hear his daughter wishing he wasn’t who he said he was…it was nothing personal though Dad.

Look how cute she used to be!

2) One Fine Day

This isn’t strictly a children’s film of course, this was the film that I would watch with my mum when my dad went away for work. It was one of those ones that was only from the video shop. At that age I think I loved this film for the fact that it had two cute kids in it and was quite funny…now I happily still watch it because ‘hello George Clooney‘. When I was little I think I was already charmed by New York City and the idea of getting to go on a school trip on the circle line (I’ve been on it since, it was ok) so I would imagine how wonderful it would be to be one of those cute kids.

Oh Troy…

3) High School Musical

I don’t know why I’m even admitting to this since it’ll take anyone with a knowledge of when High School Musical was released and of my age to work out that I was far too old to be even viewing this film, never mind wishing my life was anything like it. But instead of being ashamed of my past, I will come out and confess that, as a teenager, I was a little bit addicted to High School Musical. I honestly and truly went through a phase where I was mildly depressed about the fact that my life was not also a musical. Obviously everyone wishes their life was a musical, that goes without saying, but a musical based around a bunch of annoying teenagers who sing songs about basketball and being a geek…really? Oh and there is Zac Efron obviously, the film’s one saving grace.

4) The Babysitters Club

The Club

Ok so this was originally a book obsession – as a 10 year old The Babysitters Club books would have been my specialist subject on Mastermind – but then I discovered the film. I’m looking to my American readers for some love here, I feel like not that many people read them here, especially by the time I started reading them. Anyways, I remember the first time I watched the Babysitters Club film, probably top five happiest moments of my childhood. There are many things that I couldn’t relate to about being a character in The Babysitters Club…mainly a world where people would let 11 year olds look after their infant children (it was written back in the 80s, it was a simpler time I suppose). Still, I could actually think of nothing better than being a member of such a club, unfortunately having older parents meant that I knew precisely one family with children younger than myself and therefore requiring babysitting, so that dream remains unfulfilled.

5) Three Men and a Baby

I have previously discussed my love for this film so if you’d like to read that it’s right here. Another film which isn’t really intended for children (it deals with promiscuous men, drug smuggling etc etc, fortunately children have absolutely no idea what these things are so it went completely over my head) but I grew up in a house of adults so I watched a lot of things that weren’t really meant for children. It helps that I’m an absolute wimp so I’ve always deemed a lot of things ‘too scary’ and censored things for myself. Anyways, I think I can avoid going too far into this one by simply saying THE PHONE. See, now you’re going to have to read that other blog I just linked to to know what I’m talking about!

Thanks for taking a trip into my viewing past with me, now I’m off back to my life where I have no twin, no singing, no New York, no babysitting to do and no antique phones…it’s ok though, I have a cool life I just didn’t realise it when I was 10.

That’s all for now

x

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Weekly Posts...

My top fives of this week…#2

So this didn’t quite make it within the parameters of a week from the first one. I had a really busy end to last week which left me with all good intentions that I failed to fulfill. I had a good time though! Right I’m gonna get straight into it…enjoy!

1) Cooked some cool stuff

Last weekend I made some amazing raspberry cheesecake brownies (see the picture below). I’ve tried to make them once before and they didn’t go quite to plan, I used the wrong sized tin which meant that they didn’t cook all the way through. Anyhow, this time they worked pretty well and I would recommend them if you like baking, the recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.

Yum yum

Yum yum

I also made a shrimp tortilla soup for my parents which was pretty nice. You can find the recipe here. It’s pretty easy and I made my own tortilla chips which is crazy simple so that was a fun discovery!

2) Caught up with some nice friends

Since being home it’s been a bit tricky to catch up with all my friends here in Birmingham thanks to it being summer and everyone going on holiday and stuff. On both Thursday and Friday of last week I managed to see friends, some of whom I haven’t seen for years. I wrote about seeing my best friend on Thursday which you can read here if you’d like. Anyways, I got to see nice people and eat out two nights in a row so can’t complain!

3) SW4

On Sunday I went to a music festival in London called SW4 with my boyfriend and some of his friends, it was a reallyyyy fun day. The only downside being that I felt like I was dying by the end of it, like seriously dying. All I could say when my boyfriend asked me if I was ok was ‘…I huuuurttt’ in a particularly whiney voice, I guess that’s what dancing for 10 hours will do to you. Anyways, it was worth it and I felt just fine yesterday which is lucky lucky.

4) I didn’t watch the VMAs

I’ve obviously seen all the many many thoughts people have been sharing about the whole embarrassing Miley Cyrus palaver at the VMAs. On Monday I watched the performance and cringed a suitable amount. Almost as much as when I watched the music video to the rubbish song she sang when it first came out. For some reason celebrity gossip really doesn’t interest me so I normally steer clear of celebrity stuff unless it’s about someone I particularly like. This story only marginally holds my attention, although I have enjoyed reading some people’s opinions on her performance. Basically the conclusion I came to is, she did exactly what she intended to do which was get EVERYBODY talking about her. It was a massively cringey and embarrassing performance, much like an extreme version of the cringey and embarrassing things all of us have done while growing up, shes’s just doing it for everyone to see. I don’t really like the way she presents herself and I think it’s probably more concerning that she could go the way of other child stars we all know and love to hate while taking some of her young and most impressionable fans down with her…but she’ll hopefully grow out of it before it gets to that.

5) I watched a lot of TV

English: Gordon Ramsay in 2010.

Oh Gordon…

So now you’re thinking ‘oh cool Amy…what an interesting thing to end your post on..not.’ And yes, you would be right, I basically just couldn’t think of anything else at all that happened last week except me and my boyfriend started watching Mad Men (liking it so far although I can’t keep quiet about all these horrible cheating husbands and sexist workplaces so spend a lot of time swearing at the TV). My parents and I got well into the final season of House which is bittersweet since the thought of a world in which I’m not getting to see Dr. House/Hugh Laurie on my screen regularly is a depressing one. Also I just got more and more into Masterchef US, which again indulges my love of grumpy old English men with Gordon Ramsay, and America’s Next Top Model, which indulges my love of all things Tyra Banks (don’t ask me why, I JUST LOVE HER).

That’s all for now

x

 

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Family & Home..., My Favourite Things...

For the best friends…

This isn’t strictly related I just really like pictures of cats being friends…also, they can have best friends too

As soon as you start with life you’re on the hunt for someone to share it with. Before anything as complicated as romance enters your mind you’re just looking for a buddy who’ll play tig with you (otherwise known as tag, it etc. I’m told no-one else calls it tig); you grasp onto someone at nursery or primary school and proclaim them to be your ‘best friend’. Of course at that age most of us switch best friends on a regular basis…why have just one when you can have one for every day of the week? As we get older they start to have more staying power, we maybe have a best friend that lasts us through most of childhood. Maybe you’re even best friends with them now…I’m certainly not, I wasn’t that good a judge of character when I was 5 years old.

People change as they grow up and, as I’m sure we all have, I’ve found myself to fall in and out of friendships fairly fluidly at different stages of my life. Some people have stuck around, I still have a group of friends from college who I see when I’m back in Birmingham and I am still very fond of them all, but many friendships fade as you realise you’re not that good a fit anymore.

That’s fine, I’ve never been the kind of person who measures their self worth by the amount of friends they have. The only friendships I miss are the ones that feel unfinished or their ending is unexplained, the ones that I didn’t feel ready to lose yet.

This blog is about that one friend. The one who you can go for months without seeing or even speaking to and still nothing’s changed when you do. The one who will wait to tell you the most important news before they’ll tell anyone else. The one who has seen you at your absolute worst and knows things about you that no one else in the whole world does or ever will.

I saw that friend tonight. Our lives have taken different paths. She’s still in Birmingham, working full time as a nurse, living with her boyfriend and looking to buy a place (shock horror). And I’m doing completely the opposite. But everything is just the same as when we were 15. She is the one who will be there forever regardless of who else comes and goes.

robyn

This is her

I hope every single one of you has one of these friends.

That’s all for now

x

P.s This isn’t a top fives because there are infinite things I like about my best friend and I don’t want to bore you.

P.p.s I apologise for being so sappy in this post but, as you will come to realise if you keep reading my blog, I am a sappy person, sometimes you need to be sappy.

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Uni Life...

My top five things about going back to university…

Oh the way I clap my hands together with glee when a Daily Prompt lends itself to me hauling something out of my drafts where it has been sitting waiting for the perfect moment to shine…or just get published, can’t guarantee the shining. After yesterday’s thoughts on giving up, I’m back to a good old top five, I can practically hear you all cheering! Number 5 has been waiting in my drafts as a kind of independent thought missing a top fives to fit into.

So lovely people, today it is my (and WordPress Daily Post‘s) desire that I write about going back to ‘school’, which is what these crazy Americans still call it even when you’re clearly years past school and are actually at UNIVERSITY.

1) I get to live all by myself again

Well by myself with three other people. What I really mean is I get to live with the absence of any of those pesky grown-ups. Don’t get me wrong, I actually quite enjoy living with my parents in a lot of ways. I get cooked for, I get my laundry done, I get to watch endless episodes of House with them…it’s a pretty sweet deal. Still though, there’s a weird, prematurely old, part of me that kind of likes doing all that stuff for myself just a little bit. I love cooking and I find tidying oddly satisfying. Point this out to me in a few months time when I’m eyeballs deep in coursework and haven’t eaten anything but chocolate in a week or am on my last pair of clean underwear and I may punch you in the face for reminding me of my naivety, but for now I’m kind of excited.

2) I’m going back to Nottingham

Nottingham is one of my favourite places in the world. To the outsider it may seem like nothing special, just a regular city you might say, but being at university there has been a great experience. I’ve had two of the best years of my life in Nottingham and I have every faith that next year will be just as good.

University of Nottingham campus

3) I get to see my old friends

Many of the people who I was closest to in my first two years at Nottingham graduated this year and I know that being there without them will be hard. They are the reason those first two years were so special and living it without them seems almost wrong to me. On the other hand, there was a good sized handful of people who went on a year abroad and will be back this September. I can’t wait to see them. Being back in Nottingham is going to be different and maybe a bit scary at first, but it’s also going to be fun. There’s no denying that a year abroad is a life changing experience and I’m eager to see how the year has changed the people that are left.

4) I’m graduating

Except apparently it’s against health and safety to throw your hat…i’m definitely doing it anyway

It’s weird and exciting and oh so very, very, very scary to think of myself as being a graduate. I’ve seen how hard it’s been for some of my friends to find graduate jobs and that’s freaked me but it’s also inspired me to try and get my shit together this year so that there’s at least a chance I can get a job at the end of it. And regardless of all that I’m excited to wear a gown and a cool hat and officially have a degree if nothing else!

5) I get to be a student for one more year

So before all that graduating nonsense I get one more year of being irresponsible and having fun (not to say you can’t have fun when you’re a graduate…I’m fairly sure adults still have fun despite what they try and tell you). Being a student is a weird time, you’re kind of stuck in this in between stage where you’re officially an adult and can do all the things you spent your teenage years wishing you were old enough to do and yet no one really expects you to behave like a proper adult yet. A lot of us are still heavily supported by our parents, there’s very little judgement over getting horribly drunk and embarrassing ourselves and although there is much talk of our futures they still very much seem (for me anyway) like an abstract idea which we’ll deal with at a later date. For me at least, being a student feels like an extra stage of life which should be added on between teenagehood and adulthood, where you’re just not quite a real grown up person yet. And I get that for another year. Yay for that.

That’s all for now

x

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Family & Home..., My Year Abroad...

Giving up…

So it’s a bit different today. I’m writing a response to a Daily Prompt and it’s not really a top fivey kind of thing…bear with guys, next post will be back to normal I promise!

As I usually do, I’m taking a kind of loose approach to this Daily Prompt and using it as an opportunity to write about something that has been on my mind an awful lot lately.

This is me normally

So the person I usually am is a person who hates giving up on things. I’ll refuse to admit that things aren’t working out far past the point I should have let go. Some would call it positivity, some would call it stupidity. Whatever it is, it’s the way I am but it’s the thing I’m going to need to be the opposite of for a while.

When I went on my year abroad I got taken in by this big adventure. I let life take over and I got distracted too easily from maintaining the friendships back home. There’s some people I used to be close to who I’ve let drift away, one in particular who I’m feeling the loss of. It’s my own fault in many ways but I guess they let me drift too.

Since I’ve been back I feel like I’ve tried so hard to get them to come back to me, to make things how they were. I’ve become preoccupied by it at points, I’ve dreamt about it and made plans and got upset about it more than seems rational. These people were my best friends though…that’s what it comes down to.

I’ve tried, I really have and I can’t think of anything else to do. I feel like I’ve dropped off their radar, I’ve become a friend that they used to be close to and maybe they’re ok with that. Now I need to be too.

Maybe one day there’ll be a chance things could go back to the way they were but for now I’m giving up. I’m taking this opportunity to do something completely opposite to my instincts and to who I normally am and letting it go before I let it consume any more of my thoughts.

That’s all for now

x

And here’s some more Daily Prompt posts in case you want to read some more…

  1. Rural Russia. Welcome! | Bright Moments Catcher
  2. Godrick Gnomish
  3. Sunset | Agrifun.com
  4. Welcome to Russia | Agrifun.com
  5. Agrifun: From City Slicker to Potato Picker | Bright Moments Catcher
  6. Daily Prompt: The Full Moon | Fasting, Food and other musings by determined34
  7. Daily Prompt: Nighttime | Books, Music, Photography & Movies : my best friends
  8. Daily Prompt: The Full Moon | Under the Monkey Tree
  9. Moon Dream: response to Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  10. Daily Prompt: Nighttime | DCMontreal
  11. When was the last full moon? | Sue’s Trifles
  12. The Goddess | Sincerely, Ms. Roberts
  13. Moonwashed in Rann of Kutch | Life is a Vacation
  14. A new and different me | Life & Times
  15. Daily Prompt: The Full Moon | littlegirlstory
  16. Daily Prompt: The Full Moon | The Land Slide Photography
  17. Think she is being good? | We Live In A Flat
  18. An Evening at the Fair | It’s a wonderful F’N life
  19. Changes the full moon brings | Journey of a Dutch Witch
  20. Fool Moon (short fiction)   | The Jittery Goat
  21. The Whole of the Moon | Nicki
  22. Nightfall | Andante Cantabile
  23. Two for Tuesday – Nighttime | Tommia’s Tablet
  24. Daily Prompt: The Full Moon | Faraziyya
  25. Daily Prompt: The Full Moon | Words We Women Write
  26. Daily Prompt; The Full Moon | terry1954
  27. Night | Vampire Maman
  28. Full Moon – A poem | JuSt ViSiTiNG THiS PLaNeT…
  29. Peaceful Gaze [Daily Prompt: The Full Moon] | unknowinglee
  30. Lycanthrope (Huitain) | Liars, Hypocrites & The Development of Human Emotion
  31. Moon on the rise | I Didn’t Just Wake Up This Morning with a Craving
  32. The numinous moon-imous | Random Encounters of an Inquisitive Mind
  33. “The Full Moon” | Relax
  34. Daily Prompt: The Full Moon | Kevin says the randomest things
  35. The Reckless Me. | ayimas
  36. Night | stubblytroll
  37. Not About You | clarior e tenebris
  38. Daily Prompt: The Full Moon | Completely Disappear
  39. The Were-Cap : The Full Moon | thanks for letting me autograph your cat
  40. snippet: Insomnia | cellarfloor
  41. The Full Moon | Blue Loft
  42. Dancing In The Moonlight | Breathing Space
  43. The Full Moon Me | Ty
  44. •Ø• too full moon •Ø• | The RunningFather Blog
  45. Daily Prompt: The Full Moon | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  46. Daily Prompt: Night in the City | SERENDIPITY
  47. Daily Prompt: The Full Moon (or I don’t like opposite day…) | Anne Squared
  48. A moon’s memory | shame
  49. ON A FULL MOON. | Fiction O’Clock
  50. Nighttime on the Hiking Trail… | The Rider
  51. Daily Prompt: the full moon « Equitherapy
  52. Night Time….daily-prompt-nighttime | Daily Observations
  53. The Full Moon | stubblytroll
  54. Daily Prompt: The Full Moon | prettyswan
  55. The Full Moon And The Call Of The Wild! | The Political and Social Chaos Blog
  56. Nighttime Royalty | The Magic Black Book
  57. Daily Prompt: The Full Moon | My Atheist Blog
  58. It Disturbs Me | Southern Eyez Photography
  59. Daily Prompt: The Full Moon | Let There be Peace on Earth
  60. Daily Prompt: Opposites Repel | One Starving Activist
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My Favourite Things...

My top five reasons I’m addicted to reading blogs…

Until recently I hadn’t used my WordPress account as a way of discovering other blogs. I would dutifully come online and post whatever top five I was working on that day and then head off back to an episode of Come Dine With Me or whatever other trash I was watching at the time.

Now I linger. When I have nothing to do, instead of turning on an episode of something, I’ll click onto Freshly Pressed and find someone new to learn about. I hover over my reader page waiting for someone I follow to post something new for me to consider. It’s my new favourite thing.

1) I’m so very nosy

I admit it, there is a part of me that simply loves reading blogs because I like hearing about other people’s lives. I always have been very interested in other people. I like to understand how other people live and what interests them. That’s not to say I want to push into people’s lives and know more than what they’re willing to share but when I click onto someone’s blog and they tell their stories about what they’ve been doing that day I feel like I’m getting to know them a little bit.

2) What I don’t know

I can tell you close to anything you want to know about what it’s like to be a student in the UK right now, if I haven’t experienced something, someone I know probably will have. What I like is that I can get to know what life is like for someone else entirely. Weirdly, I love reading parenting blogs, make of that what you will! I love reading about what life is like for people in other countries, that travelling curiosity coming out. People write blogs for so many different reasons…I love to find out what the are.

3) They’re inspiring

I can look to people who are writing their blogs to help them deal with personal trauma, depression, loss and find hundreds of people that are inspiring in their own way. Even if they feel as though they’re struggling to make it from one day to the next, as they document this struggle they are offering the rest of the world some hope as they find ways to deal with the lives they have been given. Not only that, but people who are writing simply to entertain, for something to do, because they love writing…why ever they might be doing it, their blogs can offer little pieces of inspiration, especially for blogging beginners like me.

4) Learn stuff

People are writing blogs about all sorts of things. For me, cooking blogs are my favourite for this. I’ve always loved cooking and baking and cooking blogs are my way to learn more about food and more about the way people cook, especially on a budget as I will be once I’m back in a student house.

5) Have a chuckle

Of course there are the humour blogs which set out to make people laugh and I follow plenty of them. But then there’s all the others. I guess what I like about reading people’s blogs is that along with the sad and the touching and the thought provoking, there’s a lot of people just writing about their lives and, as it turns out, life is pretty funny. As well as feeling for people when sad things happen to them and supporting them with a comment when they need it, I just like laughing with people who want to share their funny stories with the world.

I’m sure if you’re reading this you enjoy reading blogs as well, if you know any great one’s please recommend them to me and help feed my addiction!

That’s all for now

x

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Weekly Posts...

My top fives of this week…

Hello Dear Blogging World,

I’ve decided to start a new thing. I’ve been struggling to think of new material for my blog this week and I’ve been in a bit of sulk because of it. I guess there is benefits to having a format to a blog such as mine; I do really enjoy researching and writing them. But sometimes I just can’t think of something that fits that well into a top fives…at least not something that’s remotely inspiring me.

But I still want to write. So today (and once a week from now) you lucky people are going to get to read about the things that have been on my mind, the things that have been preoccupying me, the songs I’ve been loving, the TV I’ve been watching , the things that I’ve enjoyed and the things that have pissed me off. Not quite a cop out because I’M STILL DOING FIVE OF THEM!

So here goes!

1) How do I get the internet to love me back?!

Please love me back..or at least like me on Facebook

I’m currently working for a company that sells incense and candles and stuff doing some social media for them. They recently launched a new website and I’m trying to build up their twitter and facebook following. This week we published our first facebook ad and it had a kind of varied response. One day we managed to get over 20 likes in one day, which for us is amazing, but it was only teasing it turns out…the rest of the week has been pretty av leaving me very frustrated. Combine that with obsessively looking over blog viewing figures and my head has been filled with trying to work out just what I can do to please the internet world!

2) Meeting the family

Last weekend I went to stay with my boyfriend and met allll of his family. My boyfriend and my family can testify that this is something I have been freaking out about…I don’t have much faith in myself to make a good impression although I’m not sure why because I’m fairly inoffensive. I tend to just smile a lot and not say much, I’m quite shy really. Anyways, having met his parents a few weeks ago, it was now time to meet the siblings plus their partners. Actually went pretty well and they are lovely…obviously. I don’t know what I was worried about….

3) Songs I’ve had on repeat this week

P.s. If you like stuff like this you should follow High Class Filter, a blog for electronic music lovers.

Oh hey Barack, mind if I write 10,000 words about how cool your wife is?

4) I started my dissertation reading guys!

By far my proudest achievement this week is that I started reading for my dissertation. For those of you who aren’t in the UK, over here most degrees (at least ones in the humanities) culminate in writing a dissertation of around 10-12000 words. Mine isn’t due until next May but I’m not particularly skilled at keeping on top of things so I figured I better start early. Combine that with the fact that my dad is way too excited to start having in depths conversations about it (something about him wishing he could go back to uni I think). I’m writing about First Ladies (for anyone who hasn’t previously read my blog, I’m doing an American Studies degree). It doesn’t have much of a structure or anything at the moment but I’m unusually excited about the topic so that’s a good start…expect that to all change once I’m reading about it non stop. Anyways, more than likely I’ll become so obsessed I’ll start blogging about them all at some point.

5) Big life changes

Ok well not quite life changes but hair changes. Last week I did something very exciting. Something I’d been planning for quite a while (ever since watching Pitch Perfect and deciding I wanted to be Brittany Snow). I went and got my hair dyed red. I used to be blonde guys…THIS IS A BIG DEAL. Fortunately I love it which is all that matters right? Well, that I like it and my boyfriend still fancies me, which he claims he does so it’s all good.

Five semi-interesting things about my week. Hopefully I’ll have some really big exciting things to talk about in the coming weeks. Can’t think of anything right now but I’m living at home and working full time, something amazing is BOUND to happen to me…

That’s all for now

x

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My Favourite Things..., My Fresh Start...

My top five things my blog can tell you about me…

This is my 19th post on this blog. I feel like a reflective post should be on a nice even number; here’s a fact about me for free…I hate odd numbers, don’t know what it is about them they just don’t look good to me. My lucky number is 8, in case you’re interested.

Anyways, this Daily Prompt fell on the day of my 19th post so who am I to argue? I shall persevere through my hatred of odd numbers and present you with a nice reflective 19th post.

1) I’m not too good at sticking things out

At least the old me wasn’t. I started this blog last September and my final post while I was in Albany was in December. If you were basing a judgement on that track record you could definitely argue that the meagre effort I put in last year was a reflection of a person who struggles with seeing things through. But like I said, that was the old me, you can read all about the new me here. So maybe the first thing you can really learn about me is that I’m trying to improve myself.

2) I like positivity

The prompt suggested considering your blog title. I guess in my mind this blog could have been called ‘Five things about’ or ‘Five reasons why’ or something like that (ok those names kind of suck but you get the picture). The reason it’s called ‘My top fives’ is because, on the whole, I tend to prefer thinking about five reasons I like something rather than five reasons why I don’t like something. Negativity kind of bores me a lot of the time; it’s not so much that it upsets me but that being around people who are perpetually negative kind of gets a bit old after a while, what’s the point in assuming the worst?

3) I LIKE YELLOW

Well just in case you thought my choice of background was arbitrary, it’s not. Yellow is my favourite colour and it used to be somewhat of an obsession of mine. My family used to buy me everything yellow up until a few years ago, maybe I’m growing up now that I’m open to other colour choices, I don’t know. Anyways, yellow things make me smile.

4) I spend a lot of time contemplating both the past and the future

I guess this is just a human trait really. If I’m not missing the good old days and writing lame posts about childhood bands, I’m thinking about the things I’ll be able to buy with the money I assume I’m going to make one day and writing posts about what I’m going to be when I finally grow up.

5) I love a good ellipsis…

Take a brief stroll through my blog and you’ll find an excessive amount of full stops scattered all over the place. I don’t know why I do this but it’s something people often comment on. I do it on facebook, twitter and now on here too. Wikipedia tells me that an ellipsis can be used to indicate an unfinished thought or a trailing off into silence. I feel like that’s pretty accurate, most of the time I stop talking it’s because I’ve been distracted by something else or realised I’m sounding like a bit of an idiot so should probably trail off quietly!

That’s all for now

x

P.s Oh and here’s some more fun daily prompt posts for ya

  1. Reflections | The Magic Black Book
  2. A Seperate Side | Godrick Gnomish
  3. My Blog About | The Lurker’s List
  4. Daily Prompt: Reflections | Books, Music, Photography & Movies : my best friends
  5. Reflections | thoughtsofrkh
  6. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall | littlegirlstory
  7. that’s me in the spotlight | bodhisattvaintraining
  8. Mirror Mirror On The Wall | suzie81’s Blog
  9. Pride | cellarfloor
  10. Crystal World | Foto Challenge
  11. The Sights You Will See | Good2begone
  12. Right Back Atcha | JuSt ViSiTiNG THiS PLaNeT…
  13. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall | Life & Times
  14. Reflections: Ali in Bloggerland! | alienorajt
  15. Mirror? | Hope* the happy hugger
  16. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall | MyBlog – solaner
  17. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall « Mama Bear Musings
  18. Reflections | The Ambitious Drifter
  19. Blogging Is Sharing Flowers | The Jittery Goat
  20. Mirror, Mirror | ciara the unicorn
  21. I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU HEARD ABOUT ME…. | Phoenix Flights
  22. Shadows of the world | notsinglebutnothappy
  23. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall | Fasting, Food and other musings by determined34
  24. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall | Under the Monkey Tree
  25. Daily Prompt: Reflections… | The Amateur Camera
  26. Reflections | Andante Cantabile
  27. Daily Prompt : Mirror, Mirror on the wall | Valley Girl Gone Country
  28. Daily Prompt: Mirror,Mirror, On the wall | Motherhood and Beyond
  29. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall | life n me!
  30. Stop staring at me | Mind of a Mouse
  31. Mirror, mirror | Sue’s Trifles
  32. Tuesday and Morning, what do you see in the Mirror? (me?) | tuesday and morning
  33. Daily Prompt: Reflections | Postcards from
  34. How do we see ourselves? | New Visions
  35. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror ~ This Snow White is black, white and wants to be read all over | theempathyqueen
  36. What if I could be myself? | Okay, what if ?
  37. Creative Cauldron | Blue Loft
  38. Reflections Eternal: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall | Eyes Closed, Mind Open.
  39. “Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall” | Relax
  40. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall | The Story of a Guy
  41. Photoblog for a writer | Life is great
  42. Daily Prompt: Reflections of Me & the City | Far from Done
  43. Mirror Mirror On The Wall . . . | Spirit Lights The Way
  44. Reflections… | The Rider
  45. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  46. I saw a human-cat. | Nekoruchii: Life of a Commoner
  47. Twin Reflections | Travel with Intent
  48. Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall | Along Life’s Road
  49. duck (Reflections) | photo potpourri
  50. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall | LADYBOY PROMPT
  51. Sex, Lies and Vampire Parenting Blogging | Vampire Maman
  52. DP ~ Reflections in a Blog | Saving Daddy’s Soulmate
  53. TAGS ARE THE MIRROR OF THE SOUL, AND A CAR MADE OF FUR | Standing Ovation, Seated
  54. Dry Tortugas | The Life NomadikThe Life Nomadik
  55. Molly Greye’s Blog Rap Poetry | Molly Greye
  56. Cant « froodian pseudoanalysis
  57. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall | Simply Julie!
  58. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror – Who Am I? | Randomness Expressed
  59. Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall -Reflections | Cosmos Wonderland
  60. My Blog and Me..what do I see? | Daily Observations
  61. Habit of burden | shame
  62. Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall: Reflections | Khana’s Web
  63. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall | From Slacker To Scribe
  64. Reflections | The Nameless One
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