World Book Day

I love reading, but as a child I LOVED reading. Which, in turn, meant I LOVED World Book Day, because who doesn't want £1 book token and the chance to dress up as you're favourite fictional character?

My best and most memorable World Book Day fancy dress was the year I opted for The Cat in the Hat. We spent weeks prior scouring local fancy dress shops (because online shopping wasn't a thing yet) for the perfect top hat and bowtie combo. When they day came I wore it with pride, quietly judging those who had come dressed as a superhero or Disney character or something else that wasn't strictly speaking a book character. You know the ones.

I read a lot of books throughout my childhood. In one Year Four class assembly, we all had to stand up at talk about our favourite hobby. I didn't think I had a favourite hobby because I wasn't part of a club, and I didn't play the violin and I didn't like sports. So I – very reluctantly because if I hate public speaking at the age of 23, I hated it even more at the age eight – stood up and spoke about going to the library. And at the time I felt really silly, because reading wasn't cool. Except now I feel even sillier because at the age eight I thought baby pink parachute trousers were cool, so what did I know? Reading is definitely cool. 

Anyway. My point being, is that I read a lot. I read the obvious ones, the Harry Potters and Roald Dahls and the entirety of Jacqueline Wilson's pre-2004 back catalogue; and I read the classic ones, A Little Princess, and Charlotte's Web and so on. So today, I thought I'd discuss the ones that I still remember all these years on. Not necessarily my favourites, but ones that I recall really enjoying, and reading multiple times.

Each Peach Pear Plum - Janet and Alan Ahlbergh

If you don't know Janet and Alan Ahlbergh's Each Peach Pear Plum, where even were you. It rhymes and it encompasses a myriad of fairy tale characters who end up coming together to share plum pie in the sun (#spoliers). Also did I mention that it rhymes?!

There's a Wolf in my Pudding - David Henry Wilson

As well as reading this one, I also listened to it as an audiobook, on repeat, again and again and again. These stories are a humorous take on classic fairytales, if I remember correctly, often narrated by Red Riding Hood's Wolf. 

David Henry Wilson also wrote the Jeremy James books, which I also loved, and also listened to constantly on audio book. 

Confessions of Georgia Nicolson

The film version of Angus Thongs and Full Frontal (was there really and need to change it to perfect?) Snogging, has nothing on (the sadly late) Louise Rennison's 10-book-series. I'm not sure I'll ever get over the fact that film Jas didn't have a fringe, but it's ok because book Jas will always be fringey. 

Special mentions go out to The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson, Flour Babies by Anne Fine, The Sheep Gave a Leap by Hilda Offen, and Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.

OOTD – February

I miss talking about clothes. Or I suppose what I mean is, I miss sharing what I've been wearing on the internet. I stopped because balancing your camera on a pile of books and taking a photo against your bedroom wall wasn't cool anymore. Blogging got big, photos got really professional and I didn't have a fancy photographer friend to take some for me. I decided if I couldn't do something well, I didn't want to do it at all, so I didn't. 

But I like clothes, and I want to talk about them. Yes, I may feel incredibly awkward in front of a camera in public, but I like to think I can put a half decent outfit together most of the time. So, whilst I was in Bristol last weekend, I roped Charlotte in to taking photos of my #ootd and in return she got to spend a weekend in my fantastic company. It was a good deal.

Photo 19-02-2017, 11 33 25 (1).jpg

When: 19th February 2017

 

Where: queen square, Bristol

 

What: post bill's breakfast with charlotte. PRE-Driving home and realising this dress is not made for two-hour car journeys.

 

Photos by Charlotte MacKay

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wearing:

Things from January

It's a good job I'm not a 'new year new start' kind of person – although admittedly I was pretty glad to see the back of 2016 – because let's face it, January has been tough. Both personally (which I talk about here) and also for the world (which you've undoubtedly not been able to miss). 

Fortunately there were some nice things too:

La La Land

I'm not usually into musicals, but I am usually into Emma Stone, so I figured I may as well give La La Land a watch. And I loved it. I loved it so much that I went to the cinema alone for the first time ever to watch it second time round, and I'm pretty sure I've had the soundtrack on repeat ever since. To me, it was the right kind of magical without being cheesy or unbelievable. Plus the music. Plus I really enjoyed spending the entire film almost crying because why don't I look like Emma Stone? Plus I may have bought myself as new watch on the basis that it 'reminds me of the planetarium scene'. No? I don't know either. One of the more off justifications I've used to purchase something.

OPOA

Work wise, we finished Issue 3 of One Piece of Advice alumni magazine. This issue's cover features the work of Liv & Dom, which I'd definitely recommend taking a look at! I chatted to Dan about curating the Bournemouth Fringe Festival, and found out what Kate keeps in her car boot

Pillow Talk

My / everyone's favourite lip liner, Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk, is now available in lipstick form. This is good news. That is all.

Ok?

"I wouldn't think twice about tweeting about how I'd been stuck in bed all day because of a cold, so why should I treat this any differently?"

I had a really nice day on Saturday. I'd woken up and put on an outfit that I really really liked and I had Wagamama for lunch and went to see La La Land (and admittedly cried) and was generally just in a very good mood.

Yet something that should perfectly normal behaviour, seemed oddly unnatural to me, because I couldn't remember the last time I'd felt so OK. It seemed that I'd forgotten what it feels like to go a whole day without some sort of feelings of anxiety or sadness creeping up on me, and I don't think I am OK anymore. 

I've always been an over-thinker, but towards the end of last year, my somewhat anxious thoughts seemed to spiral into full blown and far too often bouts of anxiety. I found myself on edge a lot of the time, worrying about things that, logically, I didn't need to be worrying about at all. It got really hard to concentrate on things and I managed to turn any minor niggle my brain may have had, into something ten times the size.

And then I got sad. Except I couldn't work out why I was sad. Because it was a different kind of sad to the sad I felt when something had happened to upset me, or I'd read a sad news story, or I hadn't quite got what I wanted (hello only child). It was the kind of sadness that didn't have a reason, and it didn't care that it didn't have a reason, because it was here to stay. I can only describe it as though someone had put a very heavy weight in my chest, so heavy that I couldn't pick it up to move it off.  It's not all of the time. Some days, the weight is lighter than others and I can look past it and get on with my day. Yet other days, and these other days usually come out of nowhere, it gets heavy again and I'm constantly on the verge of tears for no logical reason.

If you know me at all, you'll know that I like to have an answer for things. I like to be able to fix things and explain things and have a solution. But I couldn't with this. Because you can't fix something when you don't know what's causing it. 

It's not like I didn't try either. I tried doing things I enjoy to take my mind off it. But you see, I don't enjoy the things that are supposed to make me happy anymore. And that has to be saying something when the unopened ASOS/Topshop/H&M parcels in the hallway are of absolutely no interest to me.

I've been somewhat wary about sharing this, but I try to be as honest as possible, and I can't bring myself to write cheery posts about my month and the things I've been wearing, when this feeling actually consumes most of my time. Besides, I wouldn't think twice about tweeting about how I'd been stuck in bed all day because of a cold, so why should I treat this any differently?

And yes, I phoned the doctors and I have a triage appointment lined up, but whilst the NHS is fantastic it's also slow. So now all I have to do is wait, and that's really hard.

Things from 2016

I've been feeling kind of sad lately and, a week ago, I was adamant that I wasn't going to write about my year like I usually do. Having not had the best year, the last thing I wanted to do was dwell on Brexit, the multitude of heartbreaking situations around the world, and all the ways my year could have panned out for the better.

But I do like having things to look back on. So instead of analysing each week and month and season, I made a list of things that I did/saw/read/liked that were actually pretty good.

Things from 2016

So, you know, not all bad.