Featured Post

5 Ways You Can Support Ethical Fashion Without Spending a Penny

Whenever discussions around sustainable and ethical consumption happen, they inevitably come around to the topic of inaccessibility and the...

Read More

April 2022 | Monthly Wrap Up

Friday, 29 April 2022

No comments

April has been a slower month than the past and for that I am grateful!


Favourite part?


I’ve had a bit less on this month which has been great, especially after such a hectic month as March when I didn’t get much chance to relax. I got some long extensions for my uni assignments which has definitely helped me go at the slower pace I needed. I’m now spending most of my days ensuring I get the sleep I need, doing some essay reading or planning, going to my job, and doing fun things when I can. Not too bad.

 

My friend Rosie and I went to a Made Up North independent sellers’ market at the Biscuit Factory art gallery and had a great time looking at all the businesses, chatting to the people selling things, and bought some snazzy stuff too. I came home with a print, some vegan fudge (!!), a book, a coaster, and a plant! It was such a nice way to spend a Sunday morning. 



I’ve had quite a few great evenings and afternoons with friends this month actually. Whether that’s going for a gin and some ice cream or wine and cake... Okay, so there seems to have been a lot of alcohol and desserts but you know what, what better past time can you have?

 

I took myself to go see Eight Grade at the Star and Shadow Cinema. It was such a good film – I can really understand all the praise it got when it was released. I used to go the cinema by myself loads before the big panini so it’s nice getting slightly back into that comfort habit. Self-care people! 

 

I had a great beach day at Tynemouth with FemSoc. We had a look around the market, I had a doughnut (it was amazing!), and then had a barbecue at one of the beaches. It was decent weather and a couple of us even had a quick dip in the sea – I can confirm it was still pretty cold!

 

A couple of days ago I went to a rage room also with FemSoc. We had a great time basically just smashing lots of things up. I wasn’t expecting it to be such a workout but as I’m writing this there are many muscles in my body which are still aching! 



Best read?


I finished off The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte – a potential text to write on for uni but plans changed! I still enjoyed it though, Anne is the underrated Bronte. 

 

I then also finished off reading Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom by Derecka Purnell. This book is incredible in so many ways and I really urge you to read it, especially if you’re unsure on what police and prison abolition actually means in practice. 


 

I then read Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers, which I still haven’t figured out my opinions on. It was a slow start but an interesting premise, and I got much more into it as it went on, only to be very confused by the sudden and quite annoying ending. I didn’t feel like I had closure with the characters or any kind of resolution. I feel like I need to speak to someone who has also read it and has out some of my thoughts. 

 

I borrowed a copy of Hands: An Anxious Mind Unpicked by Lauren Brown from a friend, and read it pretty quickly it. It’s a memoir primarily discussing the author’s anxiety and experiences of dermatillomania, or compulsive skin picking. I felt very emotional reading this book, as I experience the same compulsions, except in different areas of my body to Lauren Brown and also alongside hair-pulling. I think this book really gave me a push to realise just how much I’m affected by my anxiety and skin and hair-picking and to do something more about it. Would highly, highly recommend! 


 

I finished read Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell hooks. As always, bell hooks is incredible. I made so many notes which I know I’ll be going back to. 

 

Sesame and Lilies by John Ruskin among chapters of various other books and articles relating to the essay I’m currently writing for uni.

 

I’m part way through several books at the moment. First Reputation by Lex Croucher, 

Abolition Feminism Now by Angela Davis, Gina Dent, etc. and The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy which I started for Shado Mag’s new Book Club! 


Favourite listen?


I’ve mixed it up a little bit this month and have listened to something other than Taylor Swift or Little Mix. I know, wild right? The Regrettes, Orla Gartland and Olivia Rodrigo, along with some dodie nostalgia, have been some faves this month, as well as their artist radios on Spotify.


Favourite watch?


I’m on season 11 in my Grey’s Anatomy rewatch. I’m currently behind on Interior Design Masters and the new season of Derry Girls, so I need a chill catch up day! 


What did I learn?


Even if you love some projects it can be a relief to let go. Having a slower life is actually the goal, and I’m gradually getting there. It’s a good thing to ask for help more often. 


What’s happening next month?


I’ll be doing more prep for and writing up my next essay! Some pals are coming up to visit me and I’m going to visit pals and family too! 

 

It’s now my final month on the committee for my unviersity’s Feminist Society and our last events of the year!  It’s going to be emotional but it’s the right time for me to stop. We’ve got some time to celebrate too with some awards evenings at the Students’ Union. 

 

I’m hoping to get cycling more now that I’ve had some recovery time after having Covid again and to have some more time to see friends. 


What’s been on my mind?


I’ve been thinking a lot about my own mental health recently. Or maybe just being more aware of it, and noticing changes or habits, especially after reading Hands. 


Favourite post?


Haven’t written any posts other than this one! I’ve come up with several ideas but I’ve just not had the capacity to write them. Hopefully when a few things come off my plate soon I’ll be able to spend more time on this here blog! 


Biggest inspiration?


Honestly I’ve been getting a lot of creative joy from TikTok and it’s genuinely giving me so much energy. It may seem a bit ridiculous but it’s true! If you’re not following me already, go and have a look at some of the videos I’ve made. They’re mostly in relation to fashion/the climate and I hope they’re a good way of engaging people and getting them into movements for change.


Any other favourites?


I treated myself to a new candle from Nook Candles! I got the Machlud candle, which is quite a citrusy one. It smells lush, and it’s amazing getting to support a Welsh independent brand! 





If you like my work and have learned something from it, please consider helping support me (so I have more time to write posts and articles like these!) by buying me a virtual cuppa


If you liked this post you might like: March 2022 | Monthly Wrap Up

Read More

March 2022 | Monthly Wrap Up

Monday, 4 April 2022

No comments

A lot has happened in March. It’s seemed non-stop in parts. And now it’s time for more of a rest.



Favourite part?

 

There’s been so much stuff happening March, my trip to Edinburgh feels like much longer ago than just the beginning of the month. It was such a great trip and while I spent way more money on books than planned, I loved walking around by myself and having an explore, both of the city and Holyrood Park. More solo trips in the future please! 


 

After my holiday some friends came up to visit me for a long weekend and I was so lush to spend time with them. I totally switched off that weekend and loved being a tourist in my own city for a change. Now that so many of my friends live far away from me, I feel like I value visits like these so much more than I used to.  

 


I am President of my university’s Feminist Society and for the past few months the rest of exec and I have been working so hard to put on the society’s annual conference – this year known as FemCon! I was so nervous and stressed about it beforehand but it went so well, it was such a relief! The speakers were all incredible and I’m so grateful to have been able to have them all on board. 


 

Newcastle Students’ Union held a week-long campaign in March called Climate Conscious Careers, and I was a part of these events! The first one was a collaboration with university’s Sustainability Team looking at climate action beyond individualism, with me talking specifically about why being involved in movements is necessary for change. The next day I was on a panel about green jobs with 3 other people who are much more established in their careers than I am, which, I won’t lie, was quite intimidating. I really enjoyed both events, especially as the people attending were so engaged, and they left me feeling very validated in the work that I’m doing. 


I kept talking about green jobs after the Climate campaign at the SU, specifically at the UCU pickets at uni. It was great speaking with staff and students about the issues staff are facing, and to speak to a crowd of people about Newcastle University's hypocrisy on climate issues at the Newcastle Climate Strike. Some pals and I made it onto the BBC North report on the strikes, something that made me chuckle. 


Photo: Screenshot of BBC North Report

 

At the end of the month I had my delayed graduation. My family came up and it was such a lush couple of days until it came to bit of a crashing end. After getting a snotty nose that evening I did a Covid test and ended up being positive, so I’m currently writing this from my bed having spent the past few days in isolation and not moved much from the position I’m in right now. It’s been a relief that my symptoms have been a lot milder than last time I had Covid, but and the anxiety about who I may have spread it to during my graduation has been huge. 



Best read?

 

I’ve been back on reading books for my next uni essay, so overall I’ve read slightly less, and that’s okay! 

 

I started the month reading How to Blow Up a Pipeline by Andreas Malm. It was interesting for sure, and while I found his writing style engaging I’m not sure what my opinions are on what he says. I know one of my friends is reading it soon so I can’t wait for them to because this is a book I feel I need to discuss with someone. 

 

I picked up a battered secondhand copy of The Doctor’s Wife by Mary Elizabeth Braddon in Armchair Books in Edinburgh. I was very excited to see a Braddon book that wasn’t Lady Audley’s Secret. Reading it was hilarious, mostly because of the fact two of the male characters tell the main female character that (and I paraphrase) ‘she’s not like other girls’ multiple times. It just cracked me up that things haven’t changed in over 150 years. 

 

I then read The Pyjama Myth Sian Meades-Williams, which I pre-ordered on Unbound I think almost a year ago now. Sian has some brilliant and practical tips and advice in this book. I now have 2 books on freelancing and I feel like they’ve both been necessary to give me a bit of a kick up the bum to sort out the admin side of my writing work. I will certainly be dipping back into The Pyjama Myth here and there in future! 

 

I’m now halfway through The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte, which is potentially another book I’m going to write on for uni.

 


Favourite listen?

 

I’ve mixed it up a little bit this month and have listened to something other than Taylor Swift or Little Mix. I know, wild right? The Regrettes, Orla Gartland and Olivia Rodrigo, along with some dodie nostalgia, have been some faves this month, as well as their artist radios on Spotify. Some abs

 

Favourite watch?

 

Bridgerton series 2 of course. I watched it all in the first few days after it was released, and then the second half with my mum. I am obsessed. My TikTok For You page is no dominated by Kanthony and I don’t know how I can change that. I’ve also been rewatching Grey’s Anatomy yet again so that I have a refresh for watching series 17 which is now on Disney+! A new series of Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr is back on and I am loving it. 

 

What did I learn?

 

I can be good at things and people can actually take me seriously for the things that I’m good at. And all climate panels need a gobby young person, and I am perfectly happy to fit that bill. 

 

What’s happening next month?

 

April will be a quieter month hopefully. I need to recover again from Covid and from a ridiculously hectic few weeks. The main focus will be continuing my uni work, seeing friends where possible and if the snow doesn’t continue like it is now, enjoying the sun.

 

What’s been on my mind?

 

I don’t feel like I’ve had much chance to think recently, what with everything being so busy. But then when I do get chance to think it gets a bit overwhelming with all of the things happening in the world. I need some more brain space.

 

Favourite post?


I didn’t post this month so I guess this question is void right now? 

 

Biggest inspiration?


Seeing some wins actually happen (like Tim Farron finally signing the Green New Deal bill after months of back and forth) and to experience people being genuinely engaged in the work I’m doing. Honestly the week where the sun came out and it was warm made so so happy, and combined with being at the pickets I got so much motivation. I can’t wait for summer.


 

Any other favourites?


Balsamic vinegar and the Hellman’s chilli vegan mayo have been obsessions of mine recently. Not together mind you. But balsamic vinegar with tomatoes and pasta in some combination oof I love it. I never used to be a mayo person but recently I’ve been having mayo on everything and the Hellman’s chilli vegan one is simply god tier. 




If you like my work and have learned something from it, please consider helping support me (so I have more time to write posts and articles like these!) by buying me a virtual cuppa


If you liked this post you might like: February 2022 | Monthly Wrap Up

Read More

February 2022 | Monthly Wrap Up

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

1 comment

February has been full on but all in all pretty good. 



Favourite part?

 

One of the biggest things that happened in February was probably becoming President of my university’s Feminist Society! It’s been exciting to plan out events for the next few months and to bring everyone together. Here’s to seeing what the rest of FemSoc 2022 holds! 

 

To show solidarity with the UCU strikes at my university, myself and some other students worked together to organise Teach Out on the Green New Deal. It was so much fun and I’m so proud of how the event went. We discussed what the GND is, why we need it how we make it happen, and how the strikes link to climate justice. The discussions felt really engaging and it was great to have so many young people interested in action. 


 

I had a new article come out this month. It was for One Off Nature, and will be on their upcoming website as well as in a post on their Instagram page. It looked at upcycling and why having joy and sentimentality attached to our clothes is key to sustainability in fashion.

 

I also got a tattoo! It’s my first one and I was and still am very excited about it. It’s an outline of Leia Organa’s classic hair-do, and I’m glad I finally got it as I’ve been procrastinating booking an appointment for literal years. Fair to say I’m obsessed with her! 



I spent a lush evening doing a couple of different painting by numbers images from a set I was given for Christmas, while watching Encanto and eating crumpets. It felt like I was able to properly wind down and I want to find some more sets to do. 



The last weekend of February was actually really fun. One of my friends was in a musical with a society at their university and a group of us went to watch opening night. It was lush to see them as we haven’t been able to spend much time together recently. The next day it was my flatmate’s last football match with her team and we went to watch and headed to the chippy afterwards. 

 

All of February I’ve been working on different drafts of the first research assignment for my degree, and last Thursday I finally submitted it. The process was a bit of a learning curve with getting feedback and having lots and LOTS of edits to make in a week, but I feel more confident heading into the next one. But first it’s time for a bit of a rest and then reading lots to figure out what I’m writing about next!   

 

Best read?

 

I’ve had some pretty fun reads this month. I started off with First Comes Love by Tom Rasmussen which is absolutely brilliant in every way. Tom’s analysis and anecdotes about marriage are so insightful and so funny. I have lots of notes on this book and need one of my friends to read it so we can discuss! 

 

I then read No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood. It took me a while to get into this one, but I found it much more interesting and impactful from the second half onwards. 

 

I then read Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston which was fun and silly and sentimental, and My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwate which was also quite fun despite being very different in tone. I also read Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl as part of my tutoring job.

 

I am currently working my way through How to Blow Up a Pipeline by Andreas Malm, Becoming Abolitionists by Derecka Purnel and Feminist Theory: from margin to center by bell hooks. 


 

Favourite listen?

 

I’m extremely late to the party but I’ve been listening to Olivia Rodrigo’s album SOUR on repeat for the past few days. I get the hype now. 

 

Favourite watch?

 

I finally got around to watching Encanto and yes, it did make me cry. I also watched series 2 of Starstuck in one night and yep I’m still obsessed with that show. It’s so so good. I just absolutely adore the characters. 

 

What did I learn?


I don’t have to be amazing at all creative things to enjoy them. 

 

What’s happening next month?


Trips away, seeing more of my pals, the annual FemSoc conference, and getting started on my next essay! And hopefully resting where I can. For some reason everything has seemed to be happening all at the same time so I’m trying to find pockets of rest where I can and ways to do all these things in a way that is sustainable for me. 

 

What’s been on my mind?

 

Trying to find joy in things when the world around me is falling apart. 

 

Favourite post?


I only shared one blog post this month and it was my Valentine’s post on 5 Steps To Getting Over Your Break Up with Fast Fashion. I had an absolute blast writing this and was chuckling at my laptop the entire time. I hope it makes you laugh too! 



Biggest inspiration?


I’ve been feeling really excited about the research I get to do as part of my degree. It feels very creative and to really be pushing me in the best of senses. 

 

Any other favourites?

 

I’ve had a few small things that have been giving me a lot of joy. One of those has been my new Jane Austen mug. I got it to keep at uni and it makes me so happy. It’s a great size and is just so pretty. It somehow makes me feel more legitimate as a research student, although I have no idea the psychology behind that. 

 

The next are a few items I received as a late Christmas present (due to having to isolate over the actual Christmas period!) and which come in the form of an insulated food pot, many sachets of miso soup, and a hand knitted scarf. The pot and miso soup have particularly been helping me get through my deadlines. I’ve been roasting tofu and any veg that I have in the morning, shoving them in my new insulated pot and adding a miso soup sachet and hot water when I’m ready for lunch in uni, and it’s just so tasty. I will forever be keeping miso soup sachets in my locker at uni now. 






If you like my work and have learned something from it, please consider helping support me (so I have more time to write posts and articles like these!) by buying me a virtual cuppa


If you liked this post you might like: January 2022 | Monthly Wrap Up


Read More

5 Steps to Getting Over Your Break-Up with Fast Fashion

Monday, 14 February 2022

No comments

Fast fashion is the ultimate shitty ex. It’s the truth. You’re caught up in an intense and possessive relationship (potentially for many years) that you keep going back to because maybe they’ve changed this time. It’s only once you’re out of that situation that you can fully see how many times you were lied to or taken for granted. This Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating getting over our breakup with fast fashion and moving on to healthier and slower relationship with clothes and consumption! 



1. Acknowledge that this relationship was toxic


Make a list of red flags. Yes, all of them. They said you were ‘not like other girls’ and claimed to be an intersectional feminist while paying black and brown women poverty wages behind your back. They repeatedly lied to your face about the impacts of their sustainability efforts and how much they care for the environment. They got angry when you returned their hoodie and threw it straight in the bin.


2. Talk trash about them with your friends


The ultimate cure. Maybe get a bit drunk while doing so, turn all your friends, colleagues, family against them. Tell them the facts, show them the stories of millions of women (and the also that 1 big planet) they have harmed too. Get it out of your system and rant to the world. Your feelings are valid and shouldn’t be kept in.  


3. Unfollow, block, delete on ALL social media


You do not need that kind of negativity in your life. Leave the reminders behind. Yes, that includes their Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, even their crappy little newsletter you think no one reads. If they have a YouTube channel, block that too. But don’t worry we can still be bitter and leave comments calling them out on their lies and deception – we’re just protecting those to come right? 


4. Reflect on what was missing in the relationship and what you’re looking for in the future


What were you so unsatisfied with that you kept going back to fast fashion? What was at the root of the short term gratification but prolonged feeling of general shittiness? This year, we’re working on ourselves, and feeling more confident in who we are, what we like, how we want to dress, and our own values, so that we’re not sucked into trends and end up with things we don’t actually want or have any interest in. What kind of clothes do you actually want? And what do you want their stories to be? 


5. Forget them and thrive in your new relationship with fashion


At this point you will only remember them when listening to Taylor Swift’s ‘I Forgot That You Existed’. Years, potentially even months down the line from your cutting ties with fast fashion you won’t think about needing new clothes, and if you do, you’ll reconsider if you actually want that garment or if you only want to buy it for the short-term gratification to briefly fill the void of inadequacy that white supremacist capitalist patriarchy pushes on you constantly. Here’s to being able to better spot red flags, see beyond the lies, and having better relationships with ourselves and the clothes we wear!



If you like my work and have learned something from it, please consider helping support me (so I have more time to write posts and articles like these!) by buying me a virtual cuppa


If you liked this post you might like: What's So Bad About Fast Fashion?

Read More

January 2022 | Monthly Wrap Up

Monday, 31 January 2022

No comments

January, you were overall quite a good way to kickstart 2022. 



Favourite part?


I spent the first few days of 2022 in isolation with Covid. I was eventually able to get out and travel back home after seeing my family over Christmas. It was nice to be outside again but also just very weird being around people. I got very paranoid I was going to infect people even though I wasn’t infectious anymore. 

 

Quite quickly I had to start cracking on deadlines which were looming. I feel like I’m getting into more of a swing with my masters with a routine and habits, and I’m certainly getting more comfortable with what I’m doing and settling in for the next (nearly) 2 years I have left. 

 

I may have had a slight resurgence in my book-buying addiction recently, mostly because I’ve been getting excited at the prospect of reading more novels just for the fun of it. It doesn’t help when there have been lots of sales on by publishers of radical non-fiction books I want to read anyway. Book buying and book reading are two completely different hobbies…


 

Half way through January I was part of a Green New Deal Rising action challenging her championing of the Policing Bill that is currently in its final stages in Parliament. I spoke to her directly and many others flooded the Zoom chat with challenges and held up Kill the Bill signs. It all feels a bit like a fever dream now. And seeing a video with my voice so prominently shared by thousands of people, including big name groups and individuals, felt a bit surreal. I felt like some of the pressure or credit for the action was on me when I did very very little for the actual action itself, I just turned up and said some words then left and drank half a bottle of prosecco while jumping up and down in my kitchen. If there’s one thing I was wish people knew more about actions and political organising, it would be that there is so much that goes in to one action, even if it looks like a couple of people just doing one thing one day and filming it. Yes, people do turn up. But there’s also many planning meeting, admin to make sure it runs smoothly, role assigning, filmers, writing out what’s going to be said, finding opportunities for actions, editing the film, captioning… There are so many roles and so many people involved with every single action. That’s what creates a movement and impact: people showing up and doing something. If you haven’t already, watch and share the video (it’s incredibly well edited) and learn about how you can get involved with GNDR here


 

I’ve loved being able to spend more time with friends. It feels hard trying to see each other now that everyone is on different schedules and in different parts of the country, so I value seeing them more now when I do. Whether that’s going for coffee or lunch, or walks around a park, or having a games night, it makes me so happy to see them. 


 

I spent a great weekend celebrating some friends’ engagement. It was great for us all to be reunited and to just have fun dancing together. 



Best read?


I’ve been getting back into reading fiction for fun recently, and I am loving it. Let’s hope I am able to continue this for the rest of the year! I first read A Christmas Party by Georgette Heyer on my train back home after Christmas and in my first few days back before I started working again. 

 

I then read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins-Reid in about 24 hours and absolutely loved it. My favourite book of the month (if not favourite fiction book for a lot longer than that). I was a little bit skeptical because of the amount of hype around this book but honestly it’s worth it. I couldn’t put it down. It’s so gripping and the characters are brilliant. And I was not expecting the final twist. Read it. 

 

I then read Sabotage by Emma Gannon (mostly while I was in the hairdressers having my hair re-dyed). It’s one I need to re-read because I’m not sure I fully took in everything she was saying, but it definitely had a lot I need to hear about in.

 

I also read Esio Trot by Roald Dahl and Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan. I read those for my tutoring, but honestly I actually found it quite fun re-reading some nostalgic favourites. I also finished reading How to Be an Anti-Capitalist in the 21st Century by Erik Olin Wright after having started it in December. 

 

I finished reading Lovers and Writers by Lily King yesterday evening. I heard good things about this book but it’s been a bit of a slow-burner for me. It picked up a bit more after about 100 pages and became faster paced at the end. I think there's a lot you could say about the pacing of the novel linking with the main character's state of mind, but in general I thought it was okay but nothing incredible. 



Favourite listen?


I had a great time listening to Emily Stochl and Venetia La Manna’s discussion on Pre-Loved podcast. It was interesting and a joy to listen to!


Favourite watch?


When I got back up to Newcastle, I rewatched The People v OJ Simpson and Black and British. I have now seen Black and British several times and it always makes me feel emotional. 

 

I also stumbled upon the series Black is the New Black from a few years ago, and spent an afternoon watching that.

 

I finally watched Cruella, which I enjoyed a lot more than I was expecting to. I mean, if something has Emma Thompson of course I’ll enjoy it. 

 

I then watched Afterlife (and had the occasional cry at it), bits of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and a full rewatch of Bridgerton in preparation for the new series. 

 

I’ve been watching more book related videos on YouTube and TikTok too, but still watching mostly my usual faves Jack Edwards and Leena Norms.


Image source


What did I learn?


It’s not a great idea to have cards that make up most of my life in one bus-pass holder. And it’s also not a good idea to leave that bus-pass holder on the bus, and especially not on a Friday afternoon. 


What’s happening next month?


Getting my next essay in then relaxing! Taking a well-deserved break. 


What’s been on my mind?


Essays, resting after having Covid.


Favourite post?


I think 10 Best Non-Fiction Books I Read in 2021. I read some incredible non-fiction books last year and it was fun to look back at those books as well as to think about the books I’m going to read this year. 



Biggest inspiration?


Honestly, enjoying what I’m doing. I’m loving what I’m studying, I’m loving what I’m writing, I’m loving the organising work I’m part of, and the prospect of being able to spend more time doing those things. 


Any other favourites?

 

Having downloaded it while in isolation over Christmas, I am now slightly obsessed with TikTok. It’s becoming a problem. My For You page is now 90% Taylor Swift and cat videos, sometimes both at the same time. 




If you like my work and have learned something from it, please consider helping support me (so I have more time to write posts and articles like these!) by buying me a virtual cuppa


If you liked this post you might like: December 2021 | Monthly Wrap Up

Read More