Adventures of Younger Me

My school made everyone keep an endless supply of jounals/diaries every time we went on a school trip, and I recently unearthed one from one of our week long expeditions. Younger me had clearly thought a lot about myself: rifling through the pages, I thought it was empty until I found the first (and only) entry I had deigned to make:

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“I am very exciting”.

Because clearly nothing else needed to be said.

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Adventures of Younger Me Contd.

I did a post a while ago about some “artwork” I found in my old school things that baffled me completely. To recap, it begins with an orange blob labelled “playdoh”; like so:

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It then leads to a drawing of me holding the now obliterated “playdoh” as if I were weightlifting it, and a drawing of my own face, looking slightly murderous, with the ominous caption “I squashed it”. Behold:

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I also seem to have given myself lopsided bunches parted by a bald spot. The trio is rounded up with a depiction of a sad little orange lump, imprinted with the shape of my fist, with the statement “it looked like this”.

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I am glad that little me apparently treasured this so much, because I can’t help but laugh every time I see it. But the Adventures of Little Me don’t stop there: the next thing I’ve found is a slightly alarmed note my mum scribbled in my homework diary for the teacher:

“…Also, there seemed to be an incident involving a cake & another girl” (let’s call her Jane) “…which Heidi has been very upset about?”

To be fair, if this “cake incident” ended in any other way than me getting to eat the whole thing, I probably would have been very upset.

I rifled through the rest of my homework diaries and, ominously, Jane’s name is never mentioned again…

Dapper Dogs

I have spent the last two years teaching myself to rein in on a student budget, getting outraged at the price of cheese, and living for that magical moment in the dead of night where all the supermarkets wheel out the trolley of reduced items. This, along with the knowledge that I’ve got a presentation, two essays and a dissertation meeting coming up means that I’ve spent the majority of the day seriously debating with myself whether I should get this bow tie for my dog. And how furious he’d be with me if I did.

Uni does weird things to you.

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Book Problems

I had to do a third year at my college for health reasons, and basically decided on a complete do-over, doing both AS and A-Level in the final year. This meant that in my English class I came across a lot of the same books several times, and then again when I started uni. I have an issue with books that are overly pretentious or depressing- which is basically half of the books on any given English course.

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So, after having struggled through these brick-sized tomes once, under the impression we had a mutual understanding to part ways immediately after, coming across them again feels kinda:

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These books and I had had an arrangement- we did not like each other. I acknowledged them as the classics they were, they dragged on for page after page, and that was that. However, almost against my will, I’ve discovered that the more I read them, the more they’re growing on me. I don’t know what it is; that I’m a bit older, or maybe that I’ve matured a bit more, but I’m starting to appreciate them for what they are. Especially since I’ve got to uni; exploring them in more detail, with a couple more years experience of studying English Literature, means that when I face them I feel more:

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Let’s go through this.

Starting with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’:

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Studying this at college, I got so frustrated with the characters. I felt depressed even at the start- Nick-the-Narrator did nothing to change this or inspire any sympathies; “this went wrong, then this went wrong, I had a dog, it ran away…”. I knew that it had far more depth to it and that it was about something way more important. To me however, the book just seemed to be made up of characters with an endless supply of angst, whose problems weren’t real problems. Their “problems” existed only because the characters had such limitless supplies of money that they could afford to beat around the bush and never address them. They had “rich people problems”. If they’d been regular people with everyday jobs, these issues would have been over and done with just out of sheer necessity, because there wasn’t time in the day to indulge in pained looks and aggrieved sighs. But no, these characters are perfectly happy to let the next 20 years span out with quivering lips and tense silences like the world’s most awkward tea party to conform to shallow societal behavioural expectations; to deal with problems “wouldn’t be fitting”. My overall impression of the book was that a good slap to any one of the main characters would have been enough to sort things out. I just had the constant urge to shake them, go full Edna and shout:

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However, after three torturous re-readings, I came to admire it. I saw that the book as a whole was beautiful. I understood how Gatsby built and built Daisy up in his head, transforming her completely, so that when the moment came when he saw her again, she couldn’t hope to match his mental image. I loved the quote:

“Her voice is full of money,” he said suddenly.
 That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money—that was the inexhaustible  charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it. . . . high in a white  palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl. . . .”

And I was stunned by the last page (after we’d had the idea of the American Dream drilled into us)

“…a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees… had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an æsthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder…Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning——

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”

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The same with Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’. I had no patience with Lord Henry at first; he seemed as though he was an entirely 2D character made up of nothing but Aesthetic witticisms, spitting them out at random. You could spin him like a game-show-wheel and see what the needle landed on. What’ll it be today, Lord Henry? Ribbons?

“Never trust a woman who wears mauve, whatever her age may be, or a woman over thirty-five who is fond of pink ribbons”

Just trying to picture the characters in their world, I couldn’t imagine what Dorian and Lord Henry talked about all day; he seemed so unutterably boring. And then, really struggling I read it a few more times for school until I suddenly appreciated it. I guess it helped having 3 years worth of A-Level notes on the background/context/neverending doubles imagery, but in any case, I liked the book. I liked Lord Henry. I could really appreciate the characters. That first speech in particular, where LH first gets inside Dorian’s head, when he begins in with the whole

Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses

It really emphasised the horrible futility, and the sadness, of Basil’s attempts to save his friend. The book is a piece of art.

Next came Charlotte Bronte’s (no idea how to do the little dots over the “e”) “Jane Eyre”.

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Me and this book have really struggled. I have to be honest; at first I could not stand Jane as a character. This book seemed to drag on and on, (especially the boggy bit that was St. John Rivers) and every time Jane’s seemed to pass out in a ditch or puddle on one of her countless dramatic escapades in the country, I have to admit, I held out a little bit of hope that she’d finally die and the book would be over- until the next page: “but my spirit prevailed…” and I’d just be OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD

But, after I’d calmed down and read it a few more times, I suddenly stopped hating it and switched to the other side completely, and loved Jane’s character. She was completely badass. The fact that the author gave her that much agency meant that Bronte was badass too. Jane was absolutely not about to be a shrinking violet, refused to let the man she loved disrespect her by making her his mistress, and in true Northern fashion, is more than capable of stomping across the moors rather than take any nonsense from broody Byronic men.

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That’s one of the things I love about books. They’re not dead objects; the stories are living things that transform each time you read them.

Basically, books are just

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procrastination problem

Sometimes it feels like uni is making me more stupid the longer I study here. Sometimes it feels like I’m doing great, I’m on top of things, I’ve done the reading and LIKED the reading and everything feels just:

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But sometimes, I don’t understand anything and I’m somehow already behind even though it’s only the first week and I haven’t missed a single thing. This wasn’t such an issue in the first and second years, because I was queen of procrastination.  I could get so much done when I was meant to be doing something else; I bingewatched the tv series I was on to completion, I caught up with friends at different unis, I completed drawings, I read (non course) books, I even cleaned. Yeah. But somehow, along with the occasional sense of not having a clue what’s going on, I have also lost my procrastination skills. Before, when I said I was doing nothing, I just meant I was doing other stuff. Now when I say I’m doing nothing, I’m literally doing nothing. I’m quite bewildered by this lack of procrastination. You know that feeling after you get out the shower and before you get ready for the day when you just sit on your bed for a full 30 minutes and contemplate life? That seems to be what I’m doing. Not even with any benefit- I haven’t come to any earth-shattering conclusions or reached an epiphany; I just trail slowly around the house eating everything in my path. Kind of like a mammoth.

The other day I achieved nothing- too confused to do work, too guilty, and also somehow too lazy, to do something else that I enjoyed, I just sat, in the words of A. A. Milne,

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And that just sums it up- I have a nagging feeling that (what with apparently preparing for hibernation with my consumption of all food in a 3 mile radius) I am literally turning into Winnie the Pooh.

If I had had any doubts left:

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Clothes Haul

Sorry in advance for the long post, but now that it’s *officially* cold enough to be winter I can wear the other 98% of my clothes

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which is great because winter clothes are just so. much. BETTER than other clothes- just layers, and cosy jumpers, and my favourite things of all, BOOTS. So without further ado, behold my haul of new winter clothes:

Starting with my new favourite jeans:

Which I also got in black:

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And which I’m also glad to get out of the way because I HATE jeans shopping; don’t know what it is but something about jeans fabric makes my fingers all irritated, which makes me irritated, which leads to me having a mini breakdown in the changing room because I can’t hook the jeans off my ankles. I was really happy to get something other than regular blue denim, plus I love the detailing on these; they have a cool ribbed/layered effect:

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Which I would never normally be brave enough to wear. However, these are now my new favourites, and the black jeans in particular because they help make up my new favourite outfit, comprised of this print t-shirt:

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(Which I love despite the fact that the sequins are a death-trap for any possible snaggable material) and this new jacket, which may be my favourite piece of clothing ever:

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(The white things in the pic are just packaging for the zips). Seriously though, look how shiny:

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Again, I would never normally be brave enough to wear something as loud as this jacket, especially because I have a curse with clothes shopping where it’s a 50/50 chance whether I’ll pick up something gorgeous or something that is completely hideous, and have to rely on one brutally honest friend to kinda “just…no“. However, I loved this jacket so much that I was determined to wear it, opinions be damned, even before it gained her seal of approval- I loved how it looked, how it made me feel, and it also weirdly makes me feel a bit like a dragon. Probably ’cause of the sparkle. I dunno. Anyway, together it makes one of my favourite outfits:

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(^^ ‘scuse the facial expression- Kieran had promised he was done taking pictures)

which leads to one of my other favourite pieces:

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I love this skirt. Something about it feels elegant, although it does have a weird habit of rucking up when you sit down that is definitely not elegant, and neither is the little dance I have to do when I stand up again to correct the issue. However, it goes really nicely with this top I also got:

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Which, I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, is kind of cropped and so fits nicely with how high the skirt comes up, as you might be able to tell from this picture of me determinadly facing away from the bombsite that is the mess I made at mine & Kieran’s place:

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I do not take photograph well. Hence this next pic: I tried for ages to take a picture because this outfit actually looked really nice (if I do say so myself) but for some reason, in reality I looked nice, in photos I looked like a potato. Hence, me giving up a little and just standing head on, before giving up entirely and cropping my face out.

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Anyways, it does lead on to my other favourite; my new coat. I’ve wanted one of those trench-style-coats for ages; everything about them just seems to be completely timeless and classy. However by the time I was able to shop for one, they all seemed to be more detective-style than anything else, so I searched around and picked out the least Inspector-Gadget one I could find:

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Which I love to death. However, because real life isn’t like movies, and unlike women in those movies who can stand around in the rain in Beautiful New Coat looking elegant and mysterious, after 2 minutes in the rain both me and Beautiful New Coat would be transformed into Drowned Rat, I was also practical and bought a properly thick coat which can handle British weather. I love it almost as much as the other one though,

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and the picture doesn’t do it justice for how cosy it is. It also has the fantastic and completely essential furry hood:

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which I love despite the fact that when I put it up the world is abruptly cut off to an area 2 inches around my feet. I also have the lovely jumper:

Which is so sparkly:

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And which is solely responsible for the cascade of glitter which has showered over everything in the flat (including Kieran) and which is responsible for his outbursts every few hours (“more! why! how is there more!”) As it’s cropped, it too goes well with a higher-waisted skirt:

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Meaning I also have an outfit for my other new skirt ^^^ which, like the other one, is also cursed with the urge to go exploring and refuses to stay still, instead twizzling around my waist and giving it an interesting spinny effect. I have another new jumper:

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Which goes nicely with Practical New Coat:

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And which, in keeping with the jumper theme, is also sparkly:

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And then, I have the World’s Comfiest Jumper. For some reason its real colour doesn’t come across in the picture:

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It’s more of a lovely soft brown colour. I don’t know if you can tell from this picture:

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But its fibers just seem to be made of comfiness themselves; it’s the softest thing ever. Kieran wouldn’t listen to how comfy it was, so I made him wear it. He agrees. Anyways, since I. love. BOOTS I also have a new pair:

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My normal favourites are longer boots, more knee length, but I am sort of in love with these ankle boots, also because they have these little gold tips which set them off:

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I’ve been wearing all this (as I wear everything) with one of my favourite necklaces:

Along with two of my favourite rings:

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And despite the fact that sometimes I just love being inside and not outside, in reality, with real people, I now have a set of clothes that make me want to actually get up for an early lecture. Either way, I just keep looking at them kinda like:

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Kieran vs. Cabbage

I asked Kieran to pick up some lettuce on his way back from Uni (ham & mayonnaise sandwich not complete without).

He brought me a cabbage.

“It’s the same,” he said.

I made him eat some.

“…It’s not the same”

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Just to give you a clearer picture of how much Kieran does not like cabbage, here is a Kieran vs Cabbage montage:

Daily Prompt: Promises

via Daily Prompt: Promises

As of today, my promise to myself is to be braver and not let social anxiety lead me to do ridiculous things.

Let me explain.

Today I went to the hairdressers just to get my roots touched up and ended up taking British politeness to a whole other level. Since this hairdresser has been practically the only place to get my hair the colour blonde I wanted with no fuss and not much expense, I felt pretty confident to let her do her thing again and make my hair *flawless* again:

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…maybe more:

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Anyways, she did it perfectly last time. This time however, it was going wonderfully until the last half hour when she went kinda “I want to try this, I think it’ll look nice”. “This” being a silvery-grey colour which I’d seen looking gorgeous on other people but which I knew would not suit me. I stuck to my guns for as long as possible, until social anxiety would not let me disagree any longer; British politeness kicked in and demanded my hair as sacrifice. I agreed. I literally sat there and let this hairdresser carry on with something I didn’t want to avoid being rude. It did not end well. The colour backfired and I ended up with an interesting blue-grey hue, reminiscant of a Disney witch:

To be fair, the colour itself wasn’t so bad, it was just definitely not right for me. I spent the rest of the day shuffling around my house, chuntering away under my breath old-woman-fashion, and probably making myself look even more witchy in the process. Kieran, ever the gentleman, manfully avoided jokes and left a placatory calming offer for his witchy girlfriend:

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So. The promise: I will be braver.

…Starting tomorrow.

Note-Book-Worm

After 2 weeks at Uni I have finally managed to complete the mandatory and vitally important task of buying all the pretty stationery I could lay my paws on- which, clearly, I couldn’t start actual uni work without. Behold:

A pretty notebook for dissertation work:

(Paperchase)

A shiny notebook for all-round lecture/seminar notes:

(WHSmith)

And a sparkly diary to write uni dates and reminders to buy more sparkly stuff, which, despite me never using a physical-paper-diary before in my life, is clearly also of the utmost necessity:

(Paperchase again)

Because who doesn’t need a diary with 3 wolves posing in boy-band style atop a background of majestic mountains, encompassed by a spirograph, all topped off by a galaxy design. Obvs.

 

 

Daily Prompt: Tree

via Daily Prompt: Tree

Ever since I was little I’ve loved trees. I was incredibly shy when I was younger, and just being around nature, trees in particular, was hugely reassuring. My school had grounds that looked like something out of Lord of the Rings/an Enid Blyton book, and since trees make one of the best reading spots, whenever I couldn’t be found at school I was probably reading under a tree and very happy to be squidged up amongst gnarly roots and flowers. Seriously, can’t sympathise with Martin enough.

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Oak trees are probably my favourite, and growing up in the New Forest gave me unlimited access to any number of gorgeous walks- no matter how big your problems are or what they may be, you always feel better after a walk. Despite living in the New Forest for years I still never get used to how beautiful it is:

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and no matter how I’m feeling, whenever I’m out walking and see trees I get an indescribable sense of calm and contentment. Trees are a big mix of relaxing, reassuring, a feeling of safety, and just magic- little me was profoundly convinced that fairies, unicorns and dragons were just around the corner. I’m still 99% sure I’ll stumble across Winnie the Pooh someday, especially in places like this:

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One of my favourite colours is green- not just any green but the green of oak-tree leaves, and the green of the very first leaves at the beginning of spring, when they’re so bright they’re almost fluorescent. One present I got for my birthday this year was a Pandora bracelet, and the first charm I chose was from their birthstone range:

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which has a green crystal to match May’s emerald birthstone. It wasn’t til I went I went for a walk in the forest recently that I noticed how perfectly it matched:

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There are so many beautiful places in Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall, but if I’m ever in the middle of the city, thinking about the forest and its beautiful trees:

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It’s nice to feel as though I’m carrying a bit of greenery with me

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