May 2017 | Monthly Wrap Up

Wednesday 31 May 2017

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May came and went. How is it June??

Favourite part?

I went back to Wales for the first weekend of the month, and got to snoop around my favourite bookshop and see some old friends, which was lovely, as always.

I’ve spent a lot of time with friends this month, whether that has been in college playing frisbee in the sun, at a party, or just helping out at a family member’s birthday party. I love you all to pieces.

On the last weekend of May, a group of us went to Common People for the day. It was my first festival and I have to say it was such a good day spent with great people. Definitely going back next year!

Best read?

I’ve read quite a lot this month, admittedly quite a lot of it was college related, but it’s still reading. First, I read Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates, which I would recommend to anyone. If you know anyone who is in doubt about the existence of sexism, send them a link to the hashtag. I also read Honourable Friends? by Caroline Lucas, the current co-leader of the Green Party. I genuinely love everything she and her party stands for and can't wait to see what they do in the future. I then read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley due to the parallels it has with The Wasp Factory, which I am studying for my English A Level coursework, and I have to say, I really enjoyed it so much! Currently, I'm re-reading Darcy's Story by Jane Aylmer as a way to relax and calm me in exam season.

Favourite tunes?

Harry Styles’ new album. Oh my word, it’s so good. It’s a great new sound from him, and in all honesty, he’s the only member of 1D whose new music I actually like. Keep on doing what you’re doing Harold.

Favourite watch?

This is a new section I’ve decided to add as I find that films and TV shows often end up in ‘any other favourites?’ and that, seeing as I watch a fair bit of TV and a few film, that I would give it its own chance at the spotlight.

This month, I’ve continued watching Downton Abbey again, which seems to have become a ‘run up to exams’ tradition. Do I have to tell you how much I love this show? I’ve also started watching Sex and the City, and am now onto the second season. It’s just a chill watch, to be honest and I have to say I love it (although I have seen the film so I know what happens to the characters in the end).

Ooh! And my La La Land DVD arrived 2 days before its release date, so I spent the latter part of a Sunday which had been quite stressful, watching Mia and Seb sing and dance and fall in love. My advice to anyone: watch one of your favourite films when you’re stressed.

What did I learn?

That I just need to relax when it comes to exams. I also realised how bad my diet was. I need to be a bit healthier. 

Not to go in the middle of a crowd during a headline act at a festival. I panic and it’s not good. It’s fine to dance at the back with your friends with plenty of space.

And terrorists will stop at nothing, remaining as cold and callous as ever when children become their targets.

What’s happening next month?

My last 3 exams in the space of 3 days. That’s going to be fun. My final D of E expedition, starting my second year at college, a whole load of stuff. It’s good to be busy, right?

What’s been on my mind?

Exams. I had my first one this month and have been in full revision mode for most of the month. Then also the stress that comes along with that and trying to give myself a break and doing well in my exams at the same time.

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

I’m not too sure on this. I have to admit I haven’t been reading so many blogs/watching so many vlogs this month, mostly because of the revision I’ve been doing for upcoming (and already completed) exams. I’ll tell you something I have been loving though: the amount of political discussion I’ve seen between bloggers online. It makes my heart swell with happiness, we just need to bring more of that into the real world, as I feel we may be preaching to the choir a little bit.

Favourite post?

My most popular post had by far been 5 Things to do in Pembrokeshire, which I wasn’t expecting. Personally, my favourites were The New Songs of Beauty and the Beast and My Experience With Classics AS, as they both gave me chance to reflect and discuss my thoughts on things I either love or find really interesting.

Biggest inspiration?

Mostly the fear of failing my exams. Ooh, the sense of inadequacy that haunts us all.

Any other favourites?

Greek yoghurt, granola and fruit compote/raspberries. Ask anyone I know, I’m obsessed.

If you liked this post you might like: April 2017 | Monthly Wrap Up

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Time | A Poem

Monday 29 May 2017

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Original Picture Credit

Time ticks by and lets us bleed.

In pools, it collects the blood, pours it into miniature glass vials,
Each person labeled and stored,
Placed up, on a shelf, high above
The crystal winking at the collector
In sheer glee
Laughing at the dents in the souls
That still lingered in each red blood cell,
Waiting for them to explode,
A ticking time bomb,
Gloopy, dark, congealed
On the cracked work surface –

Dripping from the stained wood,
Beaten and worn

One drop contains a hundred snorted laughs
Over coffee shop catch-ups,
Ten blushed-smiles from across the room,
Barely able to meet eyes.

Too many goodbyes to count,
Each as painful as the other, stabbing me in the eye again and again
Splintering the skull, crumbling the brain
As each neuron splits from its neighbor
And jumps away,
Throws itself off the cliff landing, crunching onto the rocks underneath,
The ones with white-horses cantering over its jagged top,
The pink bloody mush strewn across the rock-face
To be torn apart by starving seagulls
Ripping, gulping, screeching
As they aim for their wobbling food
As it crawls into the sea, and drifts
Further downwards – spiraling
Out of control
So that the salt darkness
Climbs into every crack and pore,

Waiting for something to filter it out.
When it’s stuck there.

A piece of gum under an initial-scratched exam desk
That welded there during the sweaty summer boredom,
Listening to the clip-clop of invigilator heels,
Patrolling through your manufactured intelligent thrown into an answer sheet,
Staring at the clock for the final



If you liked this post you might like: Je Suis Epuisée | A Poem

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5 Films I've Watched Recently

Friday 26 May 2017

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I’ve watched a few films lately. Why not have a chat about them?

1. The Iron Lady

I watched this film as ‘research’ for my upcoming EPQ on Margaret Thatcher (for those of you who don’t know an EPQ is basically as mini dissertation), so I was hoping it would have an interesting take on her, but overall I felt that she was portrayed quite neutrally but provoked a lot of sympathy for the watcher. This was mostly due to the fact that she was seen to struggle with dementia. And on that point, I researched the film afterwards and found that it was released whilst Thatcher was still alive and suffering from dementia in reality. Whilst I did enjoy the film and thought it was very good, I have the strong opinion that it was wrong for the film to have been made whilst she was still alive and potentially living through some of the scenes included in the film, even if they had consent (I’m not sure if they did, I’ll probably look this up). Despite that, Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent are amazing and there are so many well-known British actors featuring.

2. Dream Girls

I’ve been wanting to watch this for ages - especially after having seen one of the songs sung by Amber Riley in Glee. I really enjoyed it and thought all of the actors were incredible! The characters I thought were so interesting and having watched this has made me desperate to see it in the West End – I can just tell that Amber Riley is an amazing Effie.

3. Rebel Without a Cause

I have to admit that the only reason I watched this one was because of the huge number of references to it made in La La Land. Oops, ah well. I have some mixed opinions about this film. Overall, I think I did like it, although I wasn’t sure when I immediately finished it. I think I felt maybe a little bit underwhelmed because I’d hyped it up in my head, having thought it would be INCREDIBLE after having been put on such a podium in La La Land. I think I may need to watch it again to establish some more opinions about it. I did find it very interesting, particularly as it was spanned over such a short space of time and I think the mixed representation of the police which I think it quite realistic in general. The characters intrigued me a lot – each showed how a person’s family can mess them up and affect them in ways that the person in question can’t control. I would love to talk to someone who knows more than me about the representation of mental illness in this film as that’s an issue that is central to it.

4. Runaway Bride

This was recommended to me by my dad, who knows how much I love a good cheesy romcom. We watched it as a family on a weekday night and it was a 'rom-commy' as you can get. A reunion of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere a few years after their iconic appearances in Pretty Woman and all the predictable plotlines and tropes of a stereotypical romcom? You can count me in!

5. La La Land

If you’ve read basically any post on my blog before, you’ll undoubtedly know that La La Land became one of my favourite films about 5 minutes in to my first time watching it. As a fan of Old Hollywood and musicals, I knew I was going to love this film and I think that the first time I saw this film will be one of the ones I will remember for a long time. I had pre-ordered it on DVD and it arrived 2 days before its release date, so I was obviously giddy with happiness. As it is coming up to my AS exams, I have been really stressed, so the arrival of one of my favourite films really helped calm me down in time to do some revision that may actually count towards something.

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OOTD // College Day

Monday 22 May 2017

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Having started college in September, this past school year has been the first of mine to be without a school uniform, and I've loved being able to wear what I want.

Top - New Look
Jeans - M&S
Necklace - family heirloom (soz about that)
Shoes - Converse
Socks - Topshop

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5 Ways to Write More Poetry

Friday 19 May 2017

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I love poetry. I’d maybe go so far to say that I’m a bit of an addict right now. And I have written lots of poems, with a new one or two appearing each day. If you’re like me and love poetry but want to write more of it, here are 5 tips I have for you.

1. Take full advantage of the Notes app

Or a notebook, whichever works best for you.

I always get little ideas or lines popping into my head at the most random of moments, and I know that if I don’t write it down somewhere I’ll forget it and that line or idea could have the potential to continue on to something really great! So I make sure to write it down whenever I can. I can then come back and work on it. Obviously, I don’t write down all of my ideas but the majority I manage to salvage by doing this.

2. Read LOTS of other people’s work

By reading lots of poetry, you are adding to your vocabulary and learning about your craft. The more poems you consume, the better your poems will become. You can adopt different styles and get inspired by poets who will quickly become your favourites. If you’re writing poetry, you need to read poetry. Simple as that.

3. Got a spare thought? A feeling you can’t properly express? Write a poem about it.

The subject of your poems can be anything. Literally anything. Most take inspiration from their feelings, and that could be about any feeling you experience. There’s nothing dictating what you can write about nor how you write, so make up your own rules.

4. Make writing part of your day-to-day routine

When I first started getting into poetry, I’d sit down before I went to bed and try to write something. It wasn’t any good really, but it was something and I was only just starting so it was never going to be any good. I don’t even know if my poems are any good now but this post isn’t about the quality of my poetry. I digress… The point is that I now write a poem nearly every day before I go to bed. Admittedly, not every day I do nor do I always start a new one every day, but I at least edit one or read something. It’s all in the routine.

5. Put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard and WRITE!

It’s the only real way to get more written.


This post originally appeared on Through Our Eyes.

If you liked this post you might like: Bedtime | A Poem

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My Experience with Classics AS

Monday 15 May 2017

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When I started doing an AS level in Classical Civilisation in September, I thought I would be learning all about the Greek and Roman gods and mythology, with a bit of more factual Ancient History thrown in there. Boy, was I wrong! Well, mostly. Partly.

Classical Civilisation is the study of the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome – the cultures, languages, literature and societies – and that encompasses a whole lot of stuff other than the different mythologies.

There are two components of the qualification: the first exam being on the women of Ancient Athens and Rome, the second on Homer’s The Odyssey, which I already knew having researched the course beforehand (always do that!), but there were elements I didn’t expect.

When we studied women of Athens and Rome, our work was based on different sources from the time, the majority of which being transcripts and accounts from law courts - cases involving women. In fact, 5/6 of the Athens sources are on the law courts. I find this aspect in particular to be fascinating, as the people we learn about were real with real lives and real issues. I just can’t get enough of that. It’s kind of annoying as we don’t know the outcome of the cases, although we can probably guess reasonably well for some of them, but others there’s no way we can guess. There’s no doubt that if you’re feminist in any way, then you’ll object to much of the content of the course, but it’s great to interpret the different arguments and to better understand the lives of the women of the past.

I think, out of both sections, the Odyssey was the one that surprised me most. We studied the poem in great depth - so that it was like English Literature in a way, yet not as we didn’t study the exact wording in most cases due to the nature of translations. From this section of the course I have learned about plot and plot devices (in media res anyone?), how to create tension and suspense, showing not telling when writing and how that is more effective and a bunch of other things I would never have thought would be included at the beginning of the year, so I would therefore recommend it to anyone wanting to hone their craft in film or writing - any kind of storytelling really. The questions for this paper dig deeper into the poem - the story and even the morals of the characters. For example, I don’t know a single person who likes Odysseus. We all agree he’s a bit of a dick, but for Ancient Greek standards he’s great - a hero.

My time with Classics is drawing to a close, as I finish my last exam in early June, but this may just be the beginning for you if you’re starting your A Levels (bear in mind you can’t do AS now, at least I don’t think so anyway). If you’re considering this as an option I hope you found this useful!
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The New Songs of Beauty and the Beast

Friday 12 May 2017

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With the world in a mess, why not take a look at some things that make you happy to cheer you up a bit? That in mind, I thought I’d turn to Beauty and the Beast and give some appreciation to the work of Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.

Days in the Sun

I think Days in the Sun adds a lot of backing to each of the characters in the castle. As a lament for the past and all its freedoms, it also looks forward, hopeful, into the future. While it is undoubtedly very melancholic, I personally love the element of hope evident in it – the longing for humanity and redemption the characters express.

Some of my favourite lyrics from this song are sung by Emma Watson as Belle: “I was innocent but certain / Now I’m wiser but unsure,” and “I can’t go back into my childhood / One that my father made secure / I can feel a change in me / I’m stronger now, but still not free.” Okay, so this is mostly the whole of Belle’s part but we can forget that. I love the first two lines. They’re so true and show some development that I think everyone goes through, not just Belle. It’s almost certainly a universal character development as I think that anyone who is certain of themselves is undoubtedly a fool. I also think the last line mentioned highlights the fact that Belle is not free, putting some of the massive problems associated with the story into perspective but also suggesting that Belle wasn’t free beforehand in her village. The word “still” shows how she was equally as limited and trapped in the village as she was in the Beast’s castle due to the close-mindedness of her neighbours.

How Does a Moment Last Forever (Music Box and Montmartre)

If you follow me on Twitter, you will probably be aware of how much this song affects me – particularly the Montmartre version. Honestly, the amount of ties I’ve ugly cried to this song is ridiculous. It just breaks me. The lyrics just trigger something in my brain and make me feel 14/15 again – a time that was really difficult and complicated for me because of the fact that I moved from my childhood home to a place over 200 miles away – and the Paris scene in general completely took me by surprise when I first watched the film. An unsuspecting Jemima just broke down, sniffling and snorting through the tears next to a load of 5 year olds wearing Belle dresses (you know the one).

The Montmartre version of the song, sung by Emma Watson (won’t go on about the autotune here but maybe in a post in the future), is really short, as is the previous Music Box version by Kevin Kline, so there’s not much but it’s really impactful in my opinion.

The last two lines Emma sings I find to be quite poignant: “Easy to remember, harder to move on / Knowing the Paris of my childhood is gone.” The first line, I find, is relatable to almost any situation. It can be easy to wallow in self pit and pain, living in the past or wishing your life had gone another way, so that getting out of that rut can be extremely difficult. Things happen that affect us in a way that never leaves us. That’s the nature of grief. It crops up in moments we don’t expect and makes us relieve all the pain again, in that very moment. Time is often what is needed to cure many wound, I know that from experience, and whilst they may never heal fully, we can learn to live with them and even forget them at times. The second line mentioned to me marks the end of childhood and the split and acceptance of the loss of it. For me, I’d say my childhood has become quite isolated due to the move I experienced, but as I am now nearing my 18th birthday, I and many of my friends are coming to terms with the loss of our childhood marked by this specific event


Evermore is the Beast’s only solo, performed just after the original’s classic, Tale as Old as Time, where Belle is leaving the castle to help her father. I love this song – I genuinely think it should be nominated for an Oscar next year – as I think that it really gives further depth to the Beast’s character. It shows a real human side to him; he is vulnerable and sacrifices his own happiness for that of Belle, a great definition of love if ever I saw one.

The way Dan Stevens acts this is great. You can really feel the pain coming through as he sings and I know I much prefer this version to the original where the Beast just sort of flops and becomes helpless, and whilst he does become a bit helpless at the end of the song, it’s nowhere near the same scale as the original’s.

The staging of the song is so meaningful to me. The Beast runs upwards during this scene, higher up a tower so that he can see Belle for longer – her iconic yellow dress the only real splash of colour in the shot, in my opinion highlighting how Belle is the light of Beast’s life and how she has opened his eyes and helped him grow as a person. There are lots of other things to potentially analyse in this song but I won’t go into them as I’m sure this post has gotten far too long

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