July 2017 | Monthly Wrap Up

Monday 31 July 2017

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Thank you, July, for all the laughs, the friends and the hugs. No thank you for the feelings of numbness and lack of motivation.

Favourite part?

I honestly have had such an amazing month. It was kicked off by BST Hyde Park, where my family and I went to see Green Day, along with some other bands. Can I just say, Green Day are genuinely incredible live performers! I had such a good time and I would love to see them again soon.

After a long weekend off college (thank you year 11 Introductory days, you served me well), I had a lovely day at the beach with friends before returning to college for one day then heading off to Berlin with my college’s History department.

Here, we spent 6 days (one unplanned due to a flight cancellation) in Berlin, where I made friends with some incredible people. I was surrounded by intellectual, funny and beautiful women who I hope I can spend so much more time with for many years to come. I love you all so much.

I have to admit, after returning from college my mental state was a mess. I suddenly had no deadlines, no planned events for the coming days and a summer ahead of me filled with coursework and other work set by my teachers. I don’t know what ended that weekend of nothing, but I’m so glad it ended. I then had a lovely time over the next few days with friends, which left me feeling very happy.

On the day I finished college, I spent a day in town with a friend and in the evening, saw The Addams Family Musical with three other friends. It was such a great night and I loved the show so much. Because we had all been going mad on Twitter, we somehow ended up with cheap tickets courtesy of one of the cast members and seeing it for a second time a week later (with another friend the second time). It was so lovely to meet them and I cannot express how grateful I am. Somehow the show was even better second time around – well done to all the cast and crew!

Best read?

I have honestly read a lot more this month – a lot for college, but a lot nonetheless.

First of all was We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, which I enjoyed and I thought that the main character, Mary Katherine was just unnerving!

Everywoman by Jess Phillips. I read this in two days, I could have done so in a few hours if it hadn’t been for college. I urge everyone to read this. She wrote coherently and in a way that you could really feel how much she cared and her frustration, which was really motivating and inspiring for me. Something I thought was really refreshing was the fact that she criticized her own party. She called out the misogyny that is still present there. I loved the fact that she wasn’t afraid to do that.

I had to read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams for my English course, so I wanted to get them out of the way as soon as possible. Here’s to my probable hatred of them by next summer!

I then read The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher. As one of my idols, which I have spoken about previously, and I would urge everyone who loved her to read it. It felt very eerie as throughout the whole time I was reading it, I couldn’t help feel that Carrie knew something was going to happen to her and she needed to get some stories out as quickly as she could.

I’m currently reading GB84 by David Peace as part of my EPQ.

Favourite tunes?

I have had two musical obsessions this month: The Addams Family and Anastasia. I have always been a fan of the original Anastasia film, it is my favourite animated film, and I have had the musical soundtrack on repeat almost constantly. The new songs are incredible and I have cried a lot listening to it (but, then again, with me, that’s not surprising). I listened to the soundtrack a lot in the run up to the first viewing, but then stopped until I saw it again so I could just go in watching it with a bit more of a clean mind if that makes sense? Probably not but it’s okay.

Favourite watch?

I finished watching both Sex and the City and Brooklyn-99 this month. I love both shows so much and I am hyped for the fifth series of Brooklyn-99 later this year!

I have watched lots of films this month, from Miss Congeniality (1+2), Anastasia to Spiderman: Homecoming and Marie Antoinette.

Also, I watched most of the first series of Broadchurch in a day and wow! I really get the hype surrounding this show now.


What did I learn?

That damn I need to go to Germany and stock up on cheap alcohol. Be careful when eating German bread. Veganism is possible, even in Germany.

I need distractions and to keep moving if I’m having a bad brain day. But that’s just me.

What’s happening next month?

My family and I are going on holiday to Cornwall a week, which I am sure will be lovely. I’ve got AS results day to look forward to of course... yay.

What’s been on my mind?

My diet, a lot of the time. I’m now doing my best to be vegetarian (in a meat loving family, so I’m not a perfect veggie yet) and have significantly reduced my meat consumption. I’ve been eating vegan options wherever possible and feel like I’m finally on the road to a more ethical and environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

I’ve had a few this month. Laila (Tape Parade), Tara (Cattitude & Co.) and Rhianna (Rhianna Olivia, previously robowecop) have been three of my favourite blogs this month. For all of them, I’ve always wanted to click on their posts whenever I’ve seen them promoted and I’ve not been disappointed. Laila and Tara's vegan posts are incredible and Rhianna’s blogging and career posts have been so informative and helpful. Keep doing what you’re doing, ladies!

Favourite post?

My Berlin post! I always love documenting a trip, and I loved all the pictures I got from this one as well as remembering all the fun memories I gained from it.

Biggest inspiration?

Jess Phillips’ book, Everywoman. The friends I made in Berlin (and the friendships I strengthened there), who never fail to impress me, as well as all my other friends who are accomplishing such great things. I am in awe of you all.

Any other favourites?

My new stripey jumpsuit from Pull & Bear. I got in on our last official day in Berlin and I wore it on the day we were stranded (and since I’ve been back home). I am in love. If I could wear it all day, every day, I would.

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

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Why Women Superheroes Are So Important

Monday 24 July 2017

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Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about women in roles of superheroes and action heroes, particularly with the arrival of Wonder Woman (which I have still not seen yet!) which I think has changed a lot for women in the superhero genre, but there’s still a lot we need to talk about.

Image source

Superheroes and comic books have traditionally had a very sexist outlook. The costumes of some of the female characters are notorious for the way they hypersexualise their wearers. It’s not just their clothes either. You just have to look at the way women are drawn in comics to know that they’re sexualized in every aspect of the genre. Obviously, comics are meant to exaggerate, and do so for males as well, but just not in the same overtly sexual way.

When this is combined with a lack of real representation (over half of the major Marvel/DC film failing the Bechdel Test), women simply become sidelined minor characters, only given screen time to create and satisfy the expectations of 12-year-old boys who have barely ever actually spoken to a girl. This then perpetuates into later life with a cycle that ends up with women being treated like objects and their opinions not seen as valid. Sound familiar?

The importance of representation (of all kinds, for everyone) can never be over exaggerated. What’s that quote people always use?  ‘You need to see it in order to be it,’ or something along those lines. I am not stupid; I know that no one’s ever going to have superpowers (as much as that disheartens me to say), but by women seeing themselves portrayed as superheroes, they will become super through their own belief in themselves. Suddenly they can be strong, powerful, independent, do things their own way. Women fighting alongside men sets them on a level playing field – in real life as well as in the films or comics.


So Marvel, what’s your excuse for no Black Widow film? I think Wonder Woman has proved there is a market for a superhero film led by a woman.

If you liked this post you might like: 'Women's Fiction'

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5 Ways to Participate in Politics

Friday 21 July 2017

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A healthy democracy thrives from high participation rates in its population. We need participation for voices to be heard and for politicians to offer the best service possible to their constituents.

Here in the UK, we’re suffering from a bit of a participation crisis. Lately, I think we have been doing better, particularly with the younger demographics (72% turnout at the GE, come on!), but there are always opportunities for improvement

1. Is there a cause you’re passionate about? Find a local pressure group for it

My friend and I have recently started attending meetings for our local Amnesty International group. Amnesty is such an important charity, particularly, in my opinion, as they give a voice and hope to those who have none. I am now more educated and understanding of how to help and take action when necessary. I’m now in the process of trying to plan a fundraiser. Don’t just moan about something you don’t like about the world, try to do something to change it, even if it’s something as seemingly insignificant as attending a group meeting.

2. Join a political party

I think the percentage of the UK population who are members of a political party is at about 1%. That’s a pretty pathetic statistic, I think. We should be supporting what we believe in as much as possible. Smaller parties like the Greens struggle to produce campaigns that will win them seats due to a lack of funding on the same scale as the main parties, despite the fact that I know many people support their policies but don’t act on that support.

These days, it’s easier to become a member of a party, particularly if you are a student or have a lower income, as many parties have different options for membership costs so that you can still support them even if you can’t afford to spend lots of money on membership fees.

3. Turn out to bloody vote

In the UK, I think we did pretty well turnout wise in our last election (68%, which shows we are improving), particularly with young voters (I will not stop going on about that 72%). However, the local elections a few weeks beforehand were not such a great story. For years, the turnout for local elections in the UK has averaged at around 30%. Not good. Your local councilors matter a lot, even if they don’t have as much national influence as your MPs. They make the more detailed decisions that affect you locally and that you’ll definitely notice.

Vote, otherwise you have no right to complain if things aren’t done the way you want them to.

4. Regularly contact your MP

I email my MP a lot. I email her quickly before lesson if I know there’s a vote soon that I think is important. I emailed her before she even had a chance to take up her seat in the Commons again after the election, making my dislike of the DUP heard. I joke with my family that we're bezzie mates now. As much as I dislike her ideology and policies of her party, I think she probably appreciates a young person taking an active role in being represented. How can someone truly represent you if they don’t know what you want? (By going against what you say they want them to do, but that’s not the point I’m getting at here.) If you don’t contact them, they will just presume they’re doing a great job, even if they’re actually the crappiest MP ever to have the job title. Make your voice heard by the people who make the decisions.

5. Attend rallies/events in your area

Recently, Jeremy Corbyn visited my nearest city – tackling a Tory seat with a majority of only 31 votes. I personally couldn’t attend, but many of my friends did and from what I’ve seen, so did many other people. The area seemed packed and it was great to see so many young people attending. Show up to events for causes you support, let them know they are supported. The more people who turnout, the better. It will more likely get more media coverage if more people attend, and therefore do more for the cause as a whole – which is your aim, right?

Remember that many events don’t involve a huge trek to some far off place. A few days before the election, my college hosted a hustings for the prospective candidates in its area. The theatre where they held it was full, it was held at lunchtime in a place that was easily accessible to me and my fellow college students. There will be events that are near to where you would be otherwise, and you don’t even have to attend the whole thing, you just have to keep an eye out for them.

If you liked this post you might like: My Thoughts on the General Election

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OOTD // A Day in Berlin

Monday 17 July 2017

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Last week, I visited Berlin with my college. Here's one of the outfits I wore on a day of sightseeing.

Top: H&M
Shorts: New Look
Shoes: Converse
Bag: Mi-Pac
Necklace: Family heirloom, sorry about that one!

If you liked this post you might like: OOTD // College Day

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5 (1/2) Days in Berlin

Saturday 15 July 2017

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From Thursday last week to the Monday of this week, I spent a few days exploring the historical sights of Berlin with my college (technically Tuesday as well but we shun that day). It was such an incredible trip and I have made (and furthered) some truly amazing friendships that I hope I will cherish for a long time to come.

creds to my friend Eilish for being an incredible candid photographer


Sleepy-eyed and pajama clad, the group met at college at about 2 am and set off for Gatwick a little while later – the only sound on the motorway in the dead of night. A smooth check-in and flight and we had landed in Berlin! We made our way to the hostel, where we stored our bags through a game of real-life Tetris in a storage cupboard, then headed out into the city!

From there, we got went to Hacksher Markt, where we had a lovely lunch and got to know each other a bit better over pizza and pasta!

We took the tram and tube to the Palace of Tears – the main train station through which those in the East could travel to the West and vice versa. The guided tour we had was fascinating, particularly as it was about such recent history and such a modern repressive regime, and it really impressed upon us the oppression faced by the people of the East and those of the West through them. It was just such a shame that we couldn’t necessarily take in all of the information as we were so tired from our journey!

After that, we returned back to the hostel, where we ate and spent some time together up in our rooms. The girls went down to the Aldi near to the hostel to find snacks and drinks (German alcohol, may I just say, ridiculously cheap. Ridiculous as in 99 cents for a bottle of Rosé), then returned to have a girls' night I hope we can emulate many times in the future!


Thursday night I was ill (not alcohol related, I can assure you, turns out that something in a particular type of German bread doesn’t agree with me), so my Friday didn’t get off to a good start. However, I had a great rest of the day (until I ate more bread in the evening but we can forget about that). After breakfast, we all gathered in the hostel lobby and were taken on a tour around the historical sights of Berlin by a hilarious guide called Bernd. To be fair, we couldn’t hear what he was saying a lot of the time due to the noise of surrounding tourists and traffic, but what we did hear was either informative or comedy gold (the latter probably because it was taken out of context). We went around what felt like the whole city, although in reality, it was nowhere near that much.

We saw sights such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and Hitler’s Bunker and the Topography of Terror. It was so enjoyable (not the best word to describe the Topography of Terror, but it was so interesting I wish we could have stayed there longer, but unfortunately we couldn’t).

A group of us went to a nearby Italian restaurant (the second of the trip), then we visited Checkpoint Charlie and its accompanying museum. I felt that the museum really impressed upon us the realities of those who were desperate to escape East Germany and the lengths that people went to achieve freedom from their own state.

That evening, we were supposed to go to the East Side Gallery, however, as unpredictable as the Berlin weather is, we experienced a whole year’s worth of weather in one day: rain, sun, cloud and a thunderstorm. You can guess which one occurred when we were wanting to go out. Because of that, we had another night in – of course, I didn’t mind that!


Saturday was the day of museums. First off was the Stasi Prison Museum. We ventured out to the old prison used by the Soviet and then East German secret police, often known as the Stasi. We went through the first section of the prison, which was used by the Soviets when they occupied East Germany and was mostly underground.

The darkness came from seemingly everywhere and the damp was obvious from every angle. We were showed around each type of cell: the group cells (which could house up to around 20 people each), the solitary confinement cells and the ‘standing cells.’ The first two types had wooden benches that acted as beds, and none of the prisoners were allowed to sit down during the day so the guards could watch them 24/7 – although the day was dependent on how a guard interpreted it, so prisoners could be standing for potentially days on end. The standing cells left a prisoner with no choice but to stand as they were so small, often for around 3 days.

This horrific form of more physical than psychological torture was practically eradicated in the second part of the prison we visited – the newer section used by the East Government. The physical torture was replaced entirely by psychological torture due to the increasing pressures from external bodies such as the UN to uphold human rights, and these left no marks that could prove human rights violations, despite the long lasting effects of their methods.

From there, we went to the Stasi Museum. Continuing the same trend, this time, instead of the prison, it was now the staff headquarters that now operated as a museum. It was so interesting and felt like it was quite busy. The layout was left almost exactly as it would have been, obvious in the fact that the décor was so undeniably 80s, it felt like we had gone back in time.

We went back to Checkpoint Charlie, where we stopped only have a quick lunch. This time, we had currywurst, which seemed to be a major food staple across Berlin as we saw it being sold everywhere. Right next to the place we ate at, they had the Currywurst Museum. It was hilarious and I love the fact that it existed. It was so brilliant, I love it.

After lunch, we went to the Jewish Museum, which was a short walk away from the area Checkpoint Charlie is in. It was such an artistic and well thought out building, in such a way that it completely immersed its visitors in the experiences and lives of the Jews of the past. That, I think, is how all museums should be.

Can I also say, shout out to our amazing guide Sasha! She was such a lovely woman and I genuinely want to be friends with her. Sasha, if you’re reading this, hit me up!

That evening, we fulfilled our trip to the East Side Gallery, previously planned for the night before. The Gallery is the largest section of the Berlin Wall still standing, at about 1km, and is home to an incredible array of graffiti on the side facing the East. The perfect place to find a great Instagram (but also please take in and appreciate the history as well as making your feed look banging, okay, thank you, bye).


Sunday was perhaps one of the most memorable days for me due to the fact that we visited Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp about 25km outside of Berlin. It was a work camp and therefore no purposeful deaths took place there in the same way they did in places like Auschwitz, however I have never been to a place so eerie and with such negative energy (my visit to this camp and the Stasi prison confirmed my belief in energies and vibes, and I know that sounds very hippy dippy but I don’t care). Here, we discovered the experiments, sterilisations, castrations and physical torture (the latter carried out through forced labour and difficult living conditions) the Nazis carried out on a range of people including the mentally ill, Jewish and LGBTQ people along with political prisoners. It was such a difficult experience, but I would recommend visiting a concentration camp to anybody as it really opened my eyes of the realities of the camps and was a major reminder of my own privilege.

We made our way back to Berlin, heading to the 1936 Olympic Stadium, which was purposefully built by Hitler to demonstrate his own power and might – showing off to the international stage. The building was very impressive, especially due to the blending of the old with the new over the years since it served its original purpose. It was fascinating seeing the old Nazi relics, including the original Olympic bell that hung in the tower until recently. The evidence of the Nazis has been mostly destroyed, but what remains serves the modern visitor well. We walked through the VIP area, all of which Hitler named after himself (including the Fuhrerstairs), to where he would have sat in the box. There, the extra area on the balcony where Hitler sat apart from everyone else, all that is left of the Fuhrer’s seat is a small piece of stone jutting out – a small reminder of what can happen when extremism rises.

In the evening, we visited the Reichstag, which is the central building for the German government. It has a beautiful glass dome at the top. It was lovely to look out onto the city glowing from sun-hugs. It felt so peaceful and joyful, particularly when spending it with people I could now count as close friends.

We miss you EU. Please take us back.


This was our official last day, or at least, our only last day for all we knew that morning. We headed out across the city to the Kaiser Wilhelm II Memorial Church. The first building had the original architecture and acted as a museum and memorial to the second Kaiser Wilhelm.

The new church that is now used for services was also beautiful, although I know that the Christians on the trip felt a little uncomfortable or uneasy in there due to the fact that it felt like it was built more for the purpose of looking pretty and attractive, rather than that of worshipping.

From there, we all headed over to the Ka De We or, as our leader kept calling it, the German equivalent of Harrod’s. As soon as we walked in I think it’s safe to say our jaws dropped. Every kind of makeup you could ever want seemed to be there, and that was just the first floor. All sorts of food, clothing, alcohol... I swear you could live in that place. We went straight up to the restaurant, but when we saw the prices were a little too much for our student budgets, we found food at an amazing Mexican place called Dolores – a must-eat for anyone, but especially good for veggies/vegans. The burritos were incredible!

With our tummies filled to the brim, we dove into the Ka De We ready to spend what was left of our holiday money. I bought a pink Urban Decay eyeliner (of which I’m sure I will mention later on at some point on here) and some little bits of food for my family (pretzels for my brother and a small pack of truffles for my parents). We had a lovely time exploring the shop and speaking to the assistants and sales people, all of whom were very helpful and glad to have a chat even if we obviously weren’t going to buy anything (Perfume Man, I’m talking to you, you made my day!). On our way back to the meeting point we stopped off at Pull and Bear where I picked up the most gorgeous striped jumpsuit. I am actually obsessed with it and I’m sure I’ll feature it properly in an OOTD post a little down the line.

Back at the hotel, collected our suitcases from storage and made our way to the airport and through customs. We waited for hours to get told that instead of leaving a few hours behind its original take-off time of 9:35, our plane would now leave the next day at 7...pm. Naturally, we all went into a panic mode a bit (understatement of the century) and the next few hours went by in a busy and confused haze. However, by 1:30 we were mostly all settled in beds in a hotel that was better than the one we had been staying in for the past few days for free and were awaiting our flight the next day.


So, Tuesday. The unexpected day. After the debacle of the previous night, we slept in a bit more than we had done on nights before (about 9:30ish, which was a dream). The hotel had a great breakfast selection, meaning that I was able to have a freshly made waffle and 4 different toppings – everything a girl could want at that point! Having checked out for 11, we hung around the hotel for a few hours then went to a nearby shopping mall for extra supplies and food (also an unexpected run-in with some boisterous German girls who thought it necessary to comment on the appearances of the girls because we didn’t dress in a way that seemed appropriate to them. Screw you all, we will dress in a way that makes us feel comfortable and expresses us as we see fit, thank you very much), then returned to the hotel where we didn’t wait long for a taxi to the airport. There, our flight was delayed by another hour at least, however, this time we knew we would be going home and wouldn’t have to pay for any of the food we bought in the long run, which made the experience easier.

I eventually got home at about 1:30 am on Wednesday morning after a very long and stressful 30 or so hours, and I’m glad to say that I slept well that night.

I had such a fun time and got to know some incredible people. Thank you all for making me feel so comfortable and I can’t wait for our next girls’ night. It was so worth getting frisked twice to now count you all as friends.

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