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I swoon over fictional men

My new place

I’m not gonna lie…I did cry earlier on when I got dropped off here. About ten minutes after my grandad left, I was curled up in my chair sobbing “I just wanna go home!”, but after cooking some dinner and meeting one of my flatmates, I’m feeling much better. I’ve even begun setting up my room!

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You don’t have to say it, I know you love my duvet cover.
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Tea, pandas and books all on one shelf…perfection. 

Thank you for all of your support these past couple of days. You guys have really made me feel a lot better about moving! I promise I’m gonna be catching up in the next couple of days.

 

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Tomorrow’s the big day…

…and I have comments to respond to, blog posts to read and reviews to write. Today has been spent packing and I went out for a meal with my family tonight too, but once I’m settled and have my internet sorted, I’ll catch up and annoy you all with endless pics of my new place!

Thank you for all the support, guys ❤

Need to vent

Sorry, guys. I was gonna use tonight to catch up on some comments and check out new posts, but I’m feeling down so I’m just gonna vent if that’s okay. Some people might just think I’m being stupid and whining. I probably am stupid but it’s my blog, my little corner of the internet, and I need to vent. The anxiety I’m feeling is becoming unbearable and I’m hoping me getting some of my feelings out into the ether might make me feel better.

I’m moving to Leicester on Saturday and I don’t want to go. It’s not me being nervous because I’m leaving the family home (again). I’ve done that before and I enjoy having my own space…

…I just don’t want to go back to university and there’s no one to blame for this fucking mess other than me.

I want to get on with my life; work and have my own place.

I’m socially awkward, shy and anxious. I’m going to be living in university accommodation, sharing an apartment with six strangers and the thought of it is making me feel physically sick. I know I’m nearly 25, but I keep remembering when I was in my first year of my undergraduate degree and lived with two girls who were absolutely vile to me. They were nasty to me and made fun of me and it got to the stage where I was spending nights at my friends’ places so I could get away from them. I know I’m a lot older and a lot more mature now – as will the other postgrads I’ll be living with probably – but I’m getting so anxious at the thought of living with unknown people. I’m not good at living with loads of people and I just know I’m going to be the person always left out of things and who no body wants to talk to. I repel people. They just think I’m stupid because I can barely string two sentences together without stumbling over my words and the thought of living in a place full of people who think that is terrifying me.

I’m not working at the moment and while I get I shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a part time job, I feel like I’m drifting around without purpose. The financial side of this venture is causing me a lot of anxiety. Postgrads get next to nothing once the loans have covered the tuition fees. I can pay my first lot of my accommodation fees but I have no fucking clue how I’m gonna pay the second installment in the New Year. Even with a job, I won’t be able to cover the costs.

And the social aspect of it too. The friends I have I have because they’re all just as weird and wacky as me, but what if I find no one like that where I’m going? What if I just spend the whole year feeling sad and lonely?

I’m being stupid. I’m being pathetic. I know that. I’m just beginning to fear I’ve made a massive mistake. I think about Saturday and I literally just want to cry.

 

 

Change – a poem

My podcast

Hey, guys! As some of you might have seen, I uploaded episode 10 of A Cup of Tea and a Chinwag with Jazz yesterday (check it out here if you so wish) and in the episode, I briefly explained why I hadn’t recorded any episodes in the last couple of months. I’ve decided to give PodBean a try and I have the memory capacity to upload two episodes with their free trial. Afterwards, I’m gonna have to start paying a monthly fee and I’m still debating whether or not it’s worth it. I know with a bit of promoting, I could get more listeners, but we’ll see. Anyway, check out episode 1, if you missed it all those months ago, which I uploaded today.

Music Monday – ‘The Burden of Being Wonderful’ Steel Panther

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This is my second week participating in Music Monday – a weekly meme hosted by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek – and I’ve got a real treat for you guys this week. This week’s song is The Burden of Being Wonderful by the incredible Steel Panther. Not only is it insanely catchy, it’s also weirdly uplifting. If I’d ever had a shitty day at work, I’d come home and play this song, cranking the volume insanely high as I sang into my hairbrush (yes, really) while I pretended that guests at the hotel were only mean to me because they were jealous…

Lyrics

Why in a world of ugly faces
Should I be allowed to be so hot?
So many people without talent
Yet I was born with all the magical gifts I’ve got.

The perfect body, the perfect face
It’s like God’s best work all in one place
But the haters hate perfection.
Can’t you see?

It’s a burden being wonderful like me.

How in a world that’s so imperfect
Did I wind up with so much cool?
Friends never stick around too long,
Never feel like they belong.
Next to me they feel like a fool.

I got the grace of a dancer, a golden voice
People seem to hate me like I had a choice
Being this blessed is a lonely way to be.

It’s a burden being wonderful like me.

Like me.

So you say you wanna hang around
Don’t ever ask me to dumb it down
I’m a diamond, I’m gonna shine
Compared to everyone else
I’m like a whole damn diamond mine.

Oh, yeah…

I’m just a Maserati in a world of Kias
Genius would describe any of my ideas
If I was born in 1453
Leonardo Da Vinci would be jealous of me
But a world of Stevie Wonders will never see.

It’s a burden being wonderful like me.

 

 

A Cup of Tea and a Chinwag with Jazz; Episode 10, ‘Books that were inspired by or based on true events’

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I was feeling very inspired today – like, I was literally struck down by this idea – so I decided to record a new episode of A Cup of Tea and a Chinwag with Jazz. In today’s episode, I’m discussing horror novels that were inspired by or based on true events. I won’t reveal too much, so grab yourself a cuppa and kick back and relax for the next 15 minutes! Also, how many times can you hear my phone ‘boing’?

You can check out the episode here.

Companion – a poem

Meet my constant companion;

we met when I was in my mid teens

 

Tell me, what do you think?

 

Was our union simple coincidence or

something just written in my genes?

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‘I call myself a feminist’ Victoria Pepe (and many others) – review + short essay

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Is feminism still a dirty word? We asked twenty-five of the brightest, funniest, bravest young women what being a feminist in 2015 means to them.
We hear from Laura Bates (of the Everyday Sexism Project), Reni Eddo-Lodge (award-winning journalist and author), Yas Necati (an eighteen-year-old activist), Laura Pankhurst, great-great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and an activist in her own right, comedian Sofie Hagen, engineer Naomi Mitchison and Louise O’Neill, author of the award-winning feminist Young Adult novel Only Ever Yours. Writing about a huge variety of subjects, we have Martha Mosse on how she became a feminist, Alice Stride on sexism in language, Amy Annette addressing the body politic and Samira Shackle on having her eyes opened in a hostel for survivors of acid attacks in Islamabad, while Maysa Haque thinks about the way Islam has informed her feminism and Isabel Adomakoh Young insists that women don’t have to be perfect. There are twelve other performers, politicians and writers who include Jade Anouka, Emily Benn, Abigail Matson-Phippard, Hajar Wright and Jinan Younis.
Is the word feminist still to be shunned? Is feminism still thought of as anti-men rather than pro-human? Is this generation of feminists – outspoken, funny and focused – the best we’ve had for long while? Has the internet given them a voice and power previously unknown?

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I am a feminist. I am a feminist because I believe that all women are entitled to the same rights and opportunities as men. I believe women are entitled to these rights and opportunities from the moment that they take their first breath, but too often this isn’t the case. In 2015, India’s Minister on Women and Child Development stated that approximately 2,000 girls are killed across India on a daily basis because of their gender. This reason, among many countless others, is why I am a feminist.

Within modern Western society, there’s this dangerous misconception that because “things are better than they used to be” there’s nothing left to fight for. In legal terms, things have indeed progressed within the last century in Great Britain, but sexism is still prevalent in our everyday lives. The misconception that sexism aimed at women doesn’t exist has arisen because it’s something that’s become so entrenched within our society that a lot of people simply don’t notice it. It’s become almost normal and there’s something seriously fucked up about that. Furthermore, even if sexism didn’t exist within our society, why shouldn’t we continue to fight for the rights of other girls and women worldwide? For the girls and women who are denied a voice, denied an education, denied autonomy over their own bodies? It is our responsibility – men included- to fight for the rights of these people. It’s sickening that a woman felt that her only option was to commit suicide after her family denied her the right to an a cesarean section when her labour became too painful and dangerous. It’s wrong that girls as young as six are married off by their families, denying them the chance of a childhood and an education and robbing them of their dignity. It’s disgusting that some women aren’t allowed to leave the house without their husband’s permission, as though they are objects and not free-thinking individuals. Shouldn’t we fight for them too? Women such as Emmeline Pankhurst fought tirelessly for women’s rights and it’s time we carried that fighting spirit to other parts of the world.

A friend and I had a discussion about the aforementioned everyday sexism that’s entrenched within our society here in England, the focus of the conversation being on the differences in the language used to describe men and women. There are certain words that are usually exclusive to the describing of women. Words like ‘high maintenance’, ‘hormonal’ and ‘ditsy’ are words that are lacking from the repertoire of adjectives used to describe men and words such as ‘ambitious’ and ‘bossy’ are words that have comparatively more negative connotations than their synonyms of ‘driven’ and ‘strong-minded’, which are more likely to be used when describing men. Our conversation then moved onto the sexism that we ourselves have experienced and I’ll share some of my experiences with you right now. When I was 20, a guy told me that if I “just lost some weight”, I’d be really “pretty”, as if my worth is weighed by my outward appearance alone, as if beauty boils down to the size of a person’s body…as if my sole purpose is to be aesthetically pleasing to those around me. When I was 22, a guy lectured me on what my body should be able to do because I had the ‘audacity’ to say that I was too tired to have sex with him again. The same guy also got indescribably angry at dinner one night when it dawned on him that I, a woman, got paid more than him. He then proceeded to near enough wrestle the bill for said dinner off me because I’d suggested going halves, saying that as a woman I couldn’t pay for things like that. He also used to laugh in my face when we were arguing – ironically, it was usually about feminism – saying that I was “cute” when I was angry and “tried” to argue. He was a disgusting person who thought my sole purpose was to serve his physical needs and to be a bit of arm candy. He didn’t respect the fact that I was happily independent with my own income and my own set of beliefs and values.

So, let me reiterate; I am a feminist because I believe women worldwide, including those who identify as female – of any age, sexuality or race – are entitled to the same rights and opportunities as men. We’re entitled to not be lectured on our bodies. We’re entitled to autonomy over our bodies. We’re entitled to an education. We’re entitled to a voice. We’re entitled to the same wages as men for doing the same jobs. We’re entitled to exist and to be free to enjoy that existence.

And this is why I love I call myself a feminist. It’s essentially a book of short essays, each one written by a feminist. These women cover a broad spectrum of the global female community and gives them each a moment to voice their ideas on feminism and what it means to them. I love how inclusive this book is in the way that it recognises that women of all backgrounds suffer at the hands of discrimination based on their gender.

There’s a massive emphasis on intersectionality, which is essentially the fact that many forms of discrimination and oppression intersect with one another. This book helps a reader to understand this notion and emphasises the importance of understanding that many women fight a battle against discrimination on many fronts. This understanding helps the feminist movement become an all-inclusive movement, a movement that recognises and respects the individual nature of each person’s experiences.

I also love how this book promotes the reality that men can be feminists too. Men have a responsibility to change their attitudes towards women and to support the women in their lives. Many men already have feminist values, but are reluctant to label them as that because of the the negative connotations that the term has been weighted down with over the years. Feminism is often branded as ‘man hating’, but it’s not this at all. Feminism is about being on equal footing with men and there is no shame in a man wanting this for women.

To conclude, there’s an extensive bibliography at the back of this book which I think is a fantastic way of encouraging readers to expand upon their knowledge of the issue regarding the equal rights of women.

I call myself a feminist is an engaging and enlightening read and one I recommend for everyone. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

Song: Lesley Gore’s You don’t own me

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This book is available on Amazon in both e-reader and paperback format.

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