twenty sixteen

December 12, 2016

I can't believe the year is over. I can't. 
Twenty sixteen started 12 months ago... 
and now it's over.
I just can't begin to even fathom it.
It's crazy.
How the hell has a year managed to pass by so quickly!?

My life has changed so dramatically in three hundred and sixty five days - the only thing that's stayed constant this year is my love for pop music and Jennifer Lawrence films, and the latter is waning day by day. I find it kind of petrifying. Yes, petrifying. That's the right word.

Maybe this is what the adults call growth? Am I finally growing up? I must be in some mental way, because I sure as hell aren't in height. So that's another thing 2016 hasn't changed. Three things have stayed as menially safe as possible this past year. Three whole things.

Twenty sixteen started with three exams and a stinking hangover from yet another night out at home where farmers think it's cool to throw beer through the air (remind me why I reside in a market town?)

Those exams were aced, my town was flooded, and it was February before things were back to normal. I sat my driving test during flood month. I passed. How crazy is that!? I passed my driving test in January and thank my lucky star everyday. 

I bought a car. I learnt a lot about myself in different situations and different roles, and looking back on my initial reasonings and apprehension - I understand why I was scared. Doing something new had always been a bugbear of mine, but now I can finally say I'm ready to do anything, ready to train to be a better worker and a number one Linkedin warrior.

(Linkedin is my new motivational tool. Who'd have thought?)

I had my nineteenth birthday on the same day I have it every year, and I finally visited Scotland. It wasn't as cold as I expected, but that's probably because I wore a coat (yes NYC in March trip, I'm looking at you)

I ended up on TV again for 4Music a couple of times and finally became a published journalist for The Times (!) - yup, can't believe it either. 

Looking back, this year has been good. I've made a lot of new friends, and learnt a lot about myself. My grades came out at uni and I was pleased, but I'm a perfectionist and won't be happy until I reach 100%. I'm that girl. Sorry.

Summer was manic, and the beginnings of the rest of my life finally came together. I'm annoyed I can't talk about it, but only two can keep a secret if one of them is dead, so sorry. Maybe next time. 

Back at uni, I became elected secretary of the Taylor Swift Society and course rep for (have a guess) my course. For somebody who refused to go for anything 'official' throughout school, it's a little bit crazy how my brain thought it was okay to run for not one but two positions -  there's been no rest for the wicked here. 

I was featured in an article for The Guardian, a newspaper I've been subscribed to since the age of fourteen. Five years later, my words were within the pages of paper I've scribbled on for half a decade. Life was finally working out.

I learnt the true definition of adult, and realised that not everybody I knew had reached that stage yet, and these final few weeks have shown to me (and the world) that one day this year, I grew up too.

As of March 2017, I am unable to call myself a teen blogger anymore, so maybe the adult in me had to come through. I grew up. I'm grown up. 

But still can't believe the year is over. I can't.
It's crazy.
But twenty seventeen is going to be crazier.

Quick apologies for the disjointed text above,but somehow the writing style that came out of my head for this post was reflecting my personal journey this year x
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a short drabble about words

December 08, 2016

As I look out onto a sea of textbooks borrowed from the library (fifteen to be exact) and a horribly full to-do list, I wonder why the hell I'm deciding to write a blog post. It's the last thing I should be doing right now - there's about 30 tabs open on 3 different browsers and my lunch sounds like it's boiling over on the hob. Yet I'm still here, writing. Maybe it's to inspire me to write more of my essay, maybe writing about something that's not statistics related will spur me on. Maybe I've finally realised that when I want to write, I need to write before that buzz inside of me dies out. 

I mean, I've read a lot of things recently, very few of them blog posts but reading any sentences bundled together to create meaning is good, right? I've discovered FictionPress, a website dedicated to little drabbles and a few multi-chapter gems, which is taking up too much of my life but as I say, if a paragraph makes me think, it's a freaking fabulous one. Multiple paragraphs? Even better.

I suppose this is a little blog ode to the written word. It might be short, but all the best syllables are. I've got four syllables in my name, and it's four more weeks till my essay is due in. Maybe I should be getting back to it. Still don't love you, @ statistics. See you next time for more disjointed thoughts.

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glory days, a little mix album review

November 21, 2016

shout out to my ex - the lead single from the album, shout out to my ex is a bop and nobody can deny it. the original lyrics are obviously about gigi, which makes the song even better because who can think about 'hope she ain't fakin it like i did' without thinking about hadid? not me
fu - this is such a TUNE! should probably make a reference to 1960s girlgroups and their influence on this track also, but the cleverness of the ABCDEFU hook deserves centre stage here
oops (feat charlie puth) - i can't think of charlie pugh without thinking of the time he wouldn't let go of meghan trainors face live on stage at an awards show but this song is very good if you minus the bits he's in from your brain
you gotta not - this is actually written by meghan trainor and it's very good. i do not think of award shows when i listen to this song. my favourite line has to be 'do you still use a bluetooth' because i'm a sad person who likes the addition of the word 'a' to make it sound like this poor boy doesn't really understand bluetooth or what it is. AND IT'S MEGA CATCHY yes
down and dirty - i'd probably hear this played in york salvation on a saturday night and i'd dance to it because what else do you do in a nightclub but i'd be wishing for the next song to come on so i can stop looking like a weirdo who can't dance properly to a song you can't really dance to
power - cannot decide whether i like this wannabe club style track, but the last 20 seconds filled with 'motorbike motorbike motorbike bike bike bike bike' makes me chuckle more than it should whoops
your love - FINALLY A BALLAD YAY. this is good to sing in the car because the notes aren't too high so i can sing it around family and feels without sounding even more like a strangled cat than i already do. it's also very repetitive which means my brain doesn't need to learn lyrics double yay
nobody like you - ANOTHER BALLAD YES! never as good as turn your face from album #1 but a very very nice change to the sassy club songs and jesy always sounds beautiful when she's pretending to cry through song
no more sad songs - the title will stick in your head for 10000 days and drive you crazy until you wish there were sad songs in the world, because if there weren't any sad songs you'd have to listen to this everyday. which i couldn't do because however catchy it is i do not want to listen to the words 'no more sad songs' rattling around my brain when i'm trying to write about math statistics. but otherwise it's an alright song
private show - at first i thought it could be played before a true private show but in reality it's the sort of thing blue peter would class as really risque, it's probably the reason the album says 'mild innuendo' on it and it's a song i'd sing aged 10 and then my mum would tell me off oops but for nearly 20 year old me i'd sing along to it any day
nothing else matters - wouldn't sound out of place on the 2011 flop 'on your radar' by the saturdays but it's probably better than 90% of that album because to be fair even team sats (cringe) hated the album too
beep beep - sassy CAN I PLAY THIS EVERY DAY (beep beep)
freak - i first listened to this song in an oldyworldy cafe and i physically moved my shoulders to the beat to the embarrassment of myself. honestly such a great song that makes me want to dance in said cafes, if this isn't released by a band in 20 years to try and overcome the second album lull i will not be happy
touch (acoustic)  - as if you hadn't had enough of the #1 hit in the making of touch (see track 2) here's an acoustic version!! yay!! very good because it shows off vocals and not very good because i want a whole acoustic album now

final comments - i somewhat wish that there actually were more sad songs (punny i know) because however great some of these bops are, they're not as amazingly tough to sing in the car as some of the ballads from previous albums. i mean, why would you want to sing along to down and dirty in the car when you can listen to the amazingness which is 'turn your face' from their first album? 
looking at the album sleeve is also a little bit disappointing because where's all of the name checks?! jesy wrote one song with her boyfriend, the rest of the girls wrote three more on the whole album. for a band who pride themselves on releasing content they wrote themselves, it's more than a tad confusing to see their names featured three times. they might say good things come in threes, but for this i disagree. i want more!

quick note on the bonus dvd - the bonus dvd is a recording of the get weird tour, the only little mix tour i haven't attended (cry). for a film that i'm watching on a tv rather than in real life, it's encapsulated the screaming 12 year olds very well HOWEVER it hasn't included the iconic ADIDAS tune which i know was performed so i'm not happy. please, please youtube the performances if only to see leighanne rap the middle eight. WHY SYCO have you not included the biggest bop of the 21st century?? otherwise v good

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Unedited Speech On Blogging

July 17, 2016

~ an unedited speech from my dictaphone, 17.7.16 ~

I never really know what to say at the moment on the internet, mostly because every time I load the Blogger front page I see the stats, or I get on to the actual writing page and I look, and I stare, but it just feels horrible and I don't know what to say. 

But I do know what I want to proclaim to the world and it's all running around in my head but I don't know how to express it in a way maybe I would one year ago today. And that absolutely disgusts me. I'm disgusted in myself for letting something that could have become so magical slide, for letting something that could have been my career end up as a hobby that you shove on your CV one day to make it look like you've got something better to say. 

Like, I say I'm a blogger, but I truly don't think I am. I'd say I'm a blogg-ah, like the AH emphasis kind of people who are like 'oh ma god I blog all the time!?!?!!!' when in reality they do absolutely nothing. The kind of people who are total dicks about themselves and the industry. And this is the kind of thing I write down in a journal of mine, hidden away in Microsoft Office where words come so freely; yet the second I try and import it into a blog post, everything just goes belly up and I feel absolutely horrible. 

I feel like a failure today. I feel like I can't even say what I'm saying now without the knowledge that it doesn't have to go online if I really don't want it to. I feel my words aren't articulate enough anymore; I feel like I'm writing as if I am retaking GCSE English, in a place where I have to make my words sound more grown up than I really am. 

I feel like a fifteen year old again.

And the only thing that stops me feeling like this is listening to stupid soundtracks, of films that hold special meaning. This in itself is a weird combination, bearing in mind that four years ago I probably couldn't even have named ten films that existed in my universe. Yet as I listen to the soft tones of the Joy soundtrack playing behind me, I feel something pouring throughout my veins into free speech, as I record this on a dictaphone. All because I'm too scared to write it on a bright orange page. 

Maybe blogging isn't for me. Today I found out my url had expired and I hadn't even noticed, and I've also found out some other things about blogging in the past week that have put me off creativity forever- but then I spent five pounds on a magazine the other day, dedicating itself to the written art of online creators. And it cost me five pounds. Who the hell pays five pounds for a magazine!? But I did. And it was rather fabulous.

There must be something inside me that wants to blog, I just can't seem to find the way to, this feeling just can't find its way out.

So I'm going to leave it here, my unfiltered ramble about my personal experiences (or lack of experience) on the blogging industry.

~~ I'd like to tell my mum that I'm not weird enough to talk to myself alone in my bedroom for seven consecutive minutes yet, I was talking to the internet. ~~

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this is part of a 100 day blog post marathon (day 2)

110% Fabulous Music #1

July 14, 2016

1/100: 14/7/16
Even though 70% of the music I listen to on a daily basis is classed by my Mother as 'depressing as heck;' I still love every song on this playlist and that's why it's 110% fabulous. In the past two weeks, I've discovered Youtube channels that focus solely on creating rhythms that I can use to journal to, where my creative thoughts come to life at the touch of a play button, yet I've also found beautiful stage school renditions of my favourite musicals (Legally Blonde anybody?) which I'm super psyched to play in the car as I prepare myself for yet another day at work. Here's the records that have made me smile recently.
  • Can't Feel My Superbass || Dodie, Andie, Orla
  • Into You || Lucy Moon
  • Cheap Thrills || Sia
  • Levels || Fleur East
  • Tears || Clean Bandit, Louisa Johnson
  • I Did It, Mama || Alexandra Stan
  • What You Want || Laura Bell Bundy
  • Happy (At Nylon) || Marina and the Diamonds
  • Final Medley || Over The Rainbow*
  • *the whole season of this show is fabulous
You can view the playlist here: playlist 

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this is part of a 100 day blog post marathon (day 1)

Missed Moments Of Spring 2016

May 30, 2016

Starting to write on here after one too many months is proving ridiculously difficult and I'm a little worried I've lost my blogging mojo, if I'm completely honest. I might have spent the best part of three years working on writing and dreaming up big dreams, but this time of year I always start to pack it all away and give up. It's like a reflex inside of me. I just stop. It's like writing is too difficult in the months of Spring and I'm too focused on quantitative equations rather than emotion and film and me and shit that I actually thought matter only days previously. 

So here's what I've missed in Spring. A mid length, true to life monologue of the past three months in less than 500 words.

March began with the Langwith Spring Formal at the Royal York Hotel, which was fancy as hell and featured wine borrowing (oops) and a hell of a lot of charity fundraising. Me and Meg painted the town red in York, I took a jaunt to the seaside town of Whitby and my lil Dingo gals had a long overdue catch up as we became reaquainted with the peacocks of Flamingo Land. Before term broke up at uni, me and Fran had a lovely all expenses paid afternoon tea with EY - thanks guys! - and I finished at the cinema with a film evening of How To Be Single and pizza. (Do I admit to falling asleep during the film here?) The month finished with a press trip to see Eddie the Eagle before release (thank you Metro!), essay writing, Swift Soc committee meetings, an exploration of Kings Manor and Subways in the city with El which were hella cute as always.

April started with people criticising my parking, yet more nights out and pass the parcel games featuring condoms and truth/dares. I had my first Groovy Moo of the year (AKA BEST ICE CREAM IN THE WORLD) and tasted the most disgusting shot of my life at the local Mexican. Me and Fran explored campus once more and discovered the beauty of Derwent College in the sun, while I finally realised the beauty of Street Angels as I received my first hand stiched pair of flip flops after yet another night in heels. I spent a day at my local theme park, successfully organised our first ever Taylor Swift Society event and experienced my first ever Marmite night on campus. April came to an end with a lovely event at The Body Shop Scarborough (post coming soon!), meet ups with Harvey, and a feature in The Times about the benefits of social media which I'm still uber excited about.

May began with a fab Sunday Revs, revision and a trip to the new Primark store at Monks Cross days before opening (#perks). I realised that a face swap with Jennifer Lawrence was possible with Snapchat's new filter, and took advantage of a life size Katniss Everdeen I managed to blag from work with a sick 'you look fab girl on fire' shot. Me and Emilia came prepared with Cava and wine glasses to our final exam of the year, and began the summer as it meant to go on with a shook up wine bottle and an explosion at 3:30 in the afternoon. McDonalds in hand, Fran finally explored (read:sunbathed) in Museum Gardens, while Bronte and I managed to go on a night out in the same. damn. coat. Similar taste problems. Last but not least, I took the trek up to Middlesbrough, and work received emails about me because I'm supposedly 'personable and friendly'. God these last few months have been busy. 

Looking at this and reciting the previous three months makes me feel less guilty for not blogging, as what I have done is experience life and tribulations and smiles and I'd like to say I've become a better person for it. What has your Spring been like? Leave your thoughts in the comments and I'll be sure to get back to you, I'm gonna be more active round these parts although social media posts may be sparse due to a new thinking in life... lets wait and see xxx

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All About February

February 25, 2016

February has flown by, and not because there's only twenty nine days within it, I don't even know where the time has gone! I feel like I've done nothing of note this month, instead focusing on starting projects and events that are going to continue into March, keep your eyes peeled! March is going to be crazy as so many things are going on, but I'm sure everything will work out fine. Here's February.
  • I bought myself my first car and I'm so proud of it, and after much persuasion (yes, that's from you Megan..) I've given it a name, even though it is a car. A piece of metal. A piece of machinery with a name. God I feel embarrassed even saying it has a name. But it does.
  • I got my first set of exam results for my degree and I'm so proud of myself! Next stop is getting a first overall for first year - a girl can hope!
  • I've fallen in love with sushi and pineapple juice once again, this feels like a 2015 throwback and I'm loving every minute of fruit and fish filled goodness.
  • I had acrylic nails applied for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and after some getting used to, I adore them and the noise they make when I hit them against each other. It's the small things in life. 
  • I was featured in an article for The Times, which you can find here and I appeared on TV for 4Music in their Valentines special of Your4Music, you can see a picture of me doing my thing here on my Instagram.

  • The Riot Club featuring Sam Claflin as the main character was a weird film choice for a Sunday afternoon, but a memorable one nonetheless. TRC focuses on a group of young Oxford students, members of the famed Riot Club whom exist solely to cause havoc at the expense of others. Although there were many a picturesque scene overlooking the lawns of one of the most famous universities in the world, the film was centered around a single country pub where things got very out of hand. It's a film I'm glad I saw and I was disgusted at the opinions of the characters, though I would never choose to see it again. 
  • Deadpool was one of only two cinema viewings this month, and was a great extension to the X Men group of films, you can read my review of the film here. Its a humour filled, R rated comedy which turns the idea of a super hero film on its head, and for the better.
  • The Forest (full review coming very soon) was another weird ass film which calls itself a horror, but I just thought it was creepy. Too creepy. Based on a real life forest in Japan, it's a bit naff and makes Natalie Dormer look like an idiot rather than a respected actress, but I'm sure somebody out there will like it, I just didn't. 
  • Little Mix's latest album Get Weird has been on constant repeat for the last two weeks, and although I still can't hit the high notes of Perrie Edwards, it's a very enjoyable listen and one that is appropriate for easy listening and high intensity workouts.
  • Melanie Martinez's Cry Baby (Deluxe) album is a new find as suggested by my little sister and I've found it to be the perfect mix of Lana Del Rey's magical yet sometimes samey tones and Marina and the Diamonds' pop/indie deep voice. 
  • Panic! At The Disco's newly released Death Of A Batchelor album is what I listen to in the car as I try and navigate the dual carriageway and all the crashes that come with it, and it's perfect happy music as the various different musical styles included in the record make it easy to relisten, as it doesn't get boring. You can read my full review of the album here.
  • Carrie Hope Fletcher's All I Know Now is a self help, advice type book and in turn, the first (and probably last) Youtuber book I've ever bought. It's filled with laughs and instructions on how to make yourself a better person, standard fare in an advice book aimed at young teenagers. I really like Carrie's Youtube channel (ItsWayPastMyBedTime) and the fact she had her hair cut off for charity the other week made me smile a lot. 
  • The University left a helluva lot of books on my to-read list this term about the oh so exciting topics of business culture and statistics, which were incredibly helpful yet not the best things I've ever read in my life (understatement of the century).  
So there's February! How was your month? Leave your comments in the box below :))

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Deadpool Film Review

February 21, 2016

This is the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life. (via IMDB)

Before going into the screen to see Deadpool, the only things I knew about the film was that it was foul mouthed, filled with dirty sex jokes and that the main character, played by Ryan Reynolds, made a cool 'chicka chicka ahhhh' noise right at the end of the credits. And boy I'm glad that was all I knew about it beforehand. The film was fab, don't get me wrong - but I'm glad I went in partially blind as if I'd have read up on Reynolds' previous attempts at action movie characters before popping in, I'd have probably have changed my mind about going. But anyway: I did go, and here's a thought filled log of my experience.

Baring in mind the film came out a whole 10 days ago, (10 WHOLE DAYS) I was incredibly surprised to see an almost full cinema screen, but I think that shows the originality of Deadpool and how it's accessible to everyone, that is if you're over the age of 15 in the UK and able to prove to the cinema staff that you're no longer a child. Being in an almost full cinema screen has its perks, as every joke became funnier just due to the fact that everybody else was laughing and as they say, laughing is infectious, but the movie really was funny enough to justify laughter every five minutes - especially if you find an onslaught of penis jokes funny, which I do. 

Constantly breaking the fourth wall worked well in the films' favour, with the quips about the limited budget and therefore the limited amount of characters creating some of the biggest laughs, as was the constant putting down of other, not so successful Marvel films - my favourite being the joke about how Wade would accept any superhero costume, as long as it wasn't green nor animated, a not so subtle nod to the failure that was Green Lantern. 

Bad guy Ajax/Francis reminded me of a Danny Dyer type character who wouldn't be out of place on Eastenders, which made it even funnier that he was fighting with Deadpool, who was essentially immortal, but I don't think anybody else would have instantly thought of an UK soap opera when a bad guy appears in a comic book film... yeah I'm weird. But in the sense of being the stereotypical bad guy, Ed Skrein played the part well.

Plot wise, I liked the way it flitted about back and forth from the past to the present, before cultivating in the typical, formulaic fight between the bad guy and the good guys, with a couple of hiccups along the way. This is the only bit of the film I thought was a tad boring, but then I was the girl who fell asleep in Avatar because I couldn't bear to watch yet another fighting scene... but it was brought back up to standard with the last few minutes which featured a reference to Wham! that wrapped the film up nicely.

Maybe some of the jokes did fall flat, but the majority rose laughter from the pit of my belly and for that I'm glad I came to see the film. I'd give Deadpool a strong 7/10 and I definitely will go and see the sequel when it comes out. 

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Remembering To Relax

February 15, 2016

Relaxation is something that doesn't fall within my vocabulary at the moment. In the past couple of weeks I've made some pretty life changing decisions and with that, I've needed to spend a lot of time preparing and thinking about things, whilst also attempting to keep my university essay preparation ticking along nicely, blogging, meeting up with friends and appearing on the telly (!) So you could say that life has been a little hectic in the past few weeks. So when Ocean Loans offered me the chance to take a day to just relax and wind down, there was no way I was saying no.
I began the day by taking a leisurely walk through some of my favourite parts of York, the city I call my second home for the next three years as I attend lectures at the University of York. It was a lovely day on campus for the first time in forever, empathised by the fact that the awful wind that has caused Langwith College to be nothing more than a wind tunnel had subsidised, leaving behind a chilly day but bright and sunny nonetheless. Walking through the town centre on a weekday always has its perks, one being that all of the tourists are busy at work themselves, too busy to stop at every scenic bridge to take pictures, which meant that I luckily had most of the city to myself for the morning and got to look around the usually packed tourist points myself! It's days like this when I stop worrying about the small things and remember to look up and around me, and it's days like this I relish in my memories as I begin to ponder the nuances of the locations I visit every day that I've never noticed before. 
Knowing I had the full day to myself, I popped into one of the local nail bars intent on just getting a manicure but ended up getting full blown acrylics for the first time - who knew so many different nail buffing tools existed!? I'm normally used to having stubs for fingers so they've taken a little bit of getting used to but once I realised that there was no way I would be able to turn my phone from loudspeaker to silent using the little button, I was fine with it and I've got used to having beautiful nails for the first time in my life. Whilst I was busy getting the top layer of my nail taken off, (it sounds really painful but it was strangely satisfying, just like getting your eyebrows threaded) one of my best friends Meg turned up to get hers done too, fate or what?! We ended up at the top end of town forty minutes later, complete with long nails and a cup of hot chocolate which was v nice and really helped me relax, which was the aim of the day!
In the evening, we went to our local Italian where we ate one too many slices of pizza and two too many glasses of wine, but that was the aim of the game and I left the restaurant feeling extremely full and satisfied. I had such a lovely day and I can't wait to cross a whole day out of my diary to relax and enjoy myself again pretty soon. Though it may seem that there's never too many hours in a day to achieve everything, if you take some time out and look at everything with a fresh perspective, the world will appear different and less terrorsome. Spending a day enjoying yourself will help you do that. :) :) :) :)

I would like to thank Ocean Loans for providing me with the opportunity to relax for a day. Although I was provided with monetary compensation for this post, all opinions are my own. 

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Panic! At The Disco: Death Of A Batchelor Album Review

February 10, 2016

 ~ yes, the album is SIGNED ~

Up until maybe a year ago, I'd never listened to Panic! At The Disco. I mean, I'd heard of them, but I thought they were like Slipknot and Black Veil Brides, aka not my cup of tea. That was that, until my little sister started to listen to them. She'd run round the house shouting IF YOU LOVE ME LET ME GOOOOO and at first, I thought she'd been listening to a Frozen parody. It turns out she had in fact been listening to an American rock(ish) band who had nothing at all to do with Frozen and that's all it took for me to start listening to all the singles. Then all the latest album tracks. Then even more of the old album tracks. Then watching lives, watching Brendon Urie slowly lose all of his band members and watching my little sister get even more hyped up for their next album.. which is what I'm holding in my hands right now.

Track By Track Review:
Victorious is definitely the most radio friendly track on the album, with a high note at the beginning that I didn't think could come out of a humans' mouth, let alone come out of somebody's mouth live half way through a action packed set at a festival, which I'm sure is a testament to Brendon Urie's talent. It's pretty poppy and catchy as hell - so a great listen. Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time also has a catchy beat (who am I kidding, most of the album is sing along worthy) and is a damn good alarm as it starts off quieter before slamming straight into ALRIGHT ALRIGHT - aka the time my brain knows it needs to wake up and get out of brain pronto. Hallelujah was the buzz single from the album, and was the first new thing to hit my ears since my introduction to P!ATD a year ago, and I was pleasently surprsied. A gospel song this is not, but as a buzz single I was very happy with it, and as I'm one of those weirdos who loves to analyse the movement from one era of a band to another, I thought the continuation of the religion arc was very nifty.

Emperor's New Clothes is one of those songs that if I'd have listened to it a year ago, I'd have turned the CD player off in disgust as to me, it's the perfect epitome of early noughties pop punk, something I didn't touch as Cheryl Cole didn't endorse it (Love Machine by Girls Aloud on the other hand....) Death Of A Bachelor makes Urie sound like a jazz singer. Well, maybe a Michael Buble version of a jazz singer anyway, or any pop singer trying to sound like they sing jazz. But it's good, it's really good, it's a song you can imagine being sung at one of the 1940's themed weekends you see dotted around the country, it makes the previous song sound even more pop punk as they're just so different, and I can see the Beyonce influences within the track.

I swear that a song from the Disney theme parks has the same tune as Crazy=Genius, which is why I physically can't take it seriously without thinking of Mickey Mouse dancing to the song, even though the track features swearing and references to drugs and the like. But apart from that, it's a fast paced few minutes of music that doesn't last a second longer than it should, which is fab. LA Devotee, just like the previous song, reminds me so much of Disney, which is hilarious as I'm sure that isn't what I'm meant to think when I listen to a Panic! At The Disco album. It's highly repetitive and that works to its advantage, and it's one that I can sing in the shower as it hasn't really got any high notes in it either, which means people don't have to listen to me attempting said high notes. Maybe there is hope for humanity after all.

Golden Days is just kind of there, and I don't really have an opinion on it. Boo. The Good, The Bad And The Dirty would sound fabulous at festivals with it's 'oooooo's and 'aaaaaah's all the way through the damn song. House Of Memories on the other hand is one that I keep singing around the house and is one I really like, maybe because of it's electronic influences or dark undertones whilst also staying kind of upbeat in tone... it's a song I can picture a storyline with after only one listen, as its intentions are so clear the second the first note rings out.

To finish the album off, we have Impossible Year, and if I'm perfectly honest with you, I completely forgot this one existed. Once again, this is highly influenced by Beyonce and Elvis Presley, and has a jazz undertone, showing off Brendon's vocal capabilities. As a conclusion to the album, I can consider it in two different ways. At first glance, it's kind of boring and is one I can swiftly zone out of if I'm not careful. Yet on the other hand, it's a track that rounds the whole album off and pulls a kaleidoscope of different musical influences together within the space of 3 minutes. But if this album acts in the way I intend it to be, aka sweet background music, it's not a good ending to a rather good album. Boo.

Overall, I would give this album 7/10.
Have you heard this album? What did you think? Leave your opinions in the comments box below.

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Room Film Review

February 05, 2016

Room tells the extraordinary story of Jack, a spirited 5-year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted mother. Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. Their life, however, is anything but typical--they are trapped--confined to a windowless, 10-by-10-foot space that Ma has euphemistically named Room. Ma has created a whole universe for Jack within Room, and she will stop at nothing to ensure that, even in this treacherous environment, Jack is able to live a complete and fulfilling life. But as Jack's curiosity about their situation grows, and Ma's resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, ultimately bringing them face-to-face with what may turn out to be the scariest thing yet: the real world. (via IMDb)

Room focuses on Ma, a young woman whose life was turned into a nightmare when she was kidnapped by a man named Old Nick, who proceeded to lock her in a shed outside his house until her son Jack (who she conceived in captivity), gives her the perfect idea on how to escape from the walls that have been her home for the past seven years. 

Although Room is a story about abduction and kidnapping at face value, once watching you begin to understand the underlying metaphors that peek out among the tension filled scenes. At one point in the film, I had to leave to regulate my breathing as just watching the film had taken so much out of me, and a friend who was watching it with me was crying silent tears throughout. 

The acting within the film was sublime, and I really mean that. Brie Larson, who plays Ma, is one of those actors whose eyes can do all of the talking and I think that was needed in a film such as this, where what isn't said is as important as what is spoken aloud. Her son Jack, played by Jacob Tremblay, was equally amazing, and I think he was robbed of a Best Actor nomination as his part in the film is anything but a Supporting Actor, as the Oscars describe him. He is his Mothers equal, and both deserve awards for their performances in a film that was tactfully filmed and acted. 

The camera shots were sensitive, with zoom in all the right places and sweeping shots kept to a minimum whilst the duo were held in the room to highlight that although their home was tiny, it was large to a boy who'd never seen anything else. This, coupled with the opening of Jack saying 'Good Morning' to every item of furniture in the building made their confined space appear much larger than it was, which is exactly what I assume the director wanted us to see.  

One thing that I noticed (although probably shouldn't), was that Ma's real name was in fact Joy, and at first, I thought it was funny as that meant there had been two films based around an uncommon womans name in the space of two months. Yet on second thoughts, I really began to think of the metaphor behind it - as even in the bleakest of situations, with two young humans stuck in captivity, there was never an absence of Joy - Joy/Ma was always there for her son, and there was always happiness, there was always joy in the made up fantasy world of Room, there was always smiles and laughter, even if it was fake or put on. 

One thing I think that Room did really well was detailing the aftermath of the abduction, how both her son and Ma/Joy herself dealt with being on the outside, having to see that the world had in fact moved on without them and things would never be the same again. Seeing Jack take his first steps onto unknown ground is something I don't think I can ever unsee, as his tentatively moved his body from a chair to the unforgiving, cold floor - it sent shivers down my spine and just thinking of it now sends tingles up my arms - it was acted so well. 

Out of 10, I would review this film 8/10

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An Afternoon at Leeds' Victoria Quarter

February 02, 2016

As a child, the Victoria Quarter in Leeds was a place I loved to visit as I could pretend I was a celebrity. I could walk down the parades in the centre, shielded from the wind outside from the double doors guarded by suit wearing men who would open the door for you. (!) I could point at dresses in the window that were waaay too long for my little child frame and say 'I'm going to be able to wear that when I'm older!' And for a child, that meant I'd made it - I was now as cool as Cheryl Cole, my number one inspiration in my formative years. So when I was approached to sample some of the delights in the shopping arcade, I jumped at the chance and hopped on a train to Leeds (squeezing in a Nandos beforehand of course).
Our first stop was the make up store Illamasqua, where we were treated to mini makeovers and given time to peruse their latest collections. I've always loved Illamasqua, and own a couple of their eyeliners as I find they're very long lasting and easy to apply, but I've always wanted an excuse to try some of their other products. My makeover focused on my eyebrows and lips - two things that I always try and make an effort with myself but usually fail - so it was lovely to have somebody make me up properly and they looked fab! I've tried to recreate the look since I've been home but unsurprisingly have failed - but how good does it look here!? 
 We then visited clothes store Sandro, a store that admittedly I'd never really looked in before, but I fell in love with their products - they all appeared to be very well made, with a favourite of mine being a deep green coloured bag which being typical me, I forgot to take a picture of (yay). With our visit to the store being in what I would call the big run up to Christmas, I didn't expect any items to be discounted yet there were quite a few sale items on offer, bringing the overall cost of the clothes down quite a bit, making it quite reasonable when you compare the quality to something you could pick up in Topshop.  
We then popped over to Links of London, where we were treated to champagne, chocolates and mince pies - I think I'm the only person in the world who doesn't hate mince pies though as they all seemed to be left behind at the end! After being shown the design ideas for their latest collection, which were all based on Big Ben and important landmarks in London, we set down to explore the store and their latest collections. If you know me, you'll know I adore things with a story behind them, which is why I was very interested to hear more about the origins of the collections, and being able to see a design process alongside the finished product added so much more value to the dainty bracelets and necklaces as you could see all of the love that went into creating one single product.
Before setting off to catch the train home with Rachel, we were all treated to a lush afternoon tea at the Harvey Nichols Expresso Bar, which I was not expecting after eating a Nandos for lunch and more than a couple of chocolates across the afternoon! Set within the middle of the arcade, just outside of the Harvey Nichols store, we were kept warm with large heaters set around us as we tucked into mince pie cakes and my favourite salmon sandwiches. One of the main attractions of the meal was the scone, and after a conversation of whether the jam or the cream goes first (definitely the jam), we dug in, and by half way through I was stuffed to capacity, unable to eat another thing. For £49 for two people, a champagne afternoon tea is a treat for sure, but one I hope to partake in again.

Thank you to the lovely girls at the Victoria Quarter for inviting me and if you're ever in Leeds, give the Victoria Quarter a go, I sure will be the next time I'm there!

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This Week I... #2

January 28, 2016

~~ This Week I #2 ~~
Here's what I've been up to these past couple of weeks...
  • Last Wednesday I skipped a lecture so I could speed around town in the car and take my driving test, which meant another 7am wake up call and copious amount of caffeine before hopping in the car. Thankfully I passed the test first time although I made an idiot of myself on the test route and kept making sarcastic comments about myself under my breath... whoops.
  • On Saturday I went on a beautiful night out with two of my favourite people, so a big hello to El and Amber if you're reading. The picture of us above was actually taken before we went out, and I look drunk as heck already which is amusing as I really didn't think I was...
  • Fell in love with Zoe London's new website design which I deliberately found a computer for so I could experience the full 'magazine style' layout. It really is truly beautiful and something I wish I could achieve with my limited coding skills - I also love the 'track of the day' feature that's now present in her blog posts as personally I prefer the music/lifestyle side of blogs rather than the fashion side as don't you think fashion blogging has become very samey in recent years?
  • I went to see The Danish Girl in the cinemas which was a weird ass film but nobody else seems to feel the same way as me about it, you can read my review of the film here.
  • I also watched Joy and the second film in the Hunger Games series again this week, the latter only because I couldn't work out how to use my own television which I've had for quite a few years and needed a film with dark lighting to test the brightness settings out on.. it turns out I am an idiot and still to this day I have no idea how to make a dark film actually viewable. Sigh.
  • Something else also happened this week which is really big but I can't remember it... but if I do I'll include it in next weeks, as I say I really am an idiot.
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January 25, 2016

~~ sunrise ~~
Looking out of my bedroom window, I release an audible sigh as I contemplate the events yet to take place in the day. It's 6:54am, and I'm late. Very late. Having slept through four alarms and countless repeats of Confident by Demi Lovato, there's little time for breakfast, let alone make up and hair styling. I'm looking at darkness, a black vapid expanse of nothingness, but I don't feel down. I feel tired, but alive. And I think that's because of what's to come next. The belief of being awake before the world. Knowing that I might be awake, but many of the worlds creatures are not. Well, until sunrise anyway.
Grabbing an 8am commuter train is something many would consider a nightmare, but I unashamedly adore it. I relish in the fact that at 7:35am I will be walking down ice ridden streets, barely illuminated by street lamps as mellow in colour as washed out linen, with little other to disturb my journey than rustlings of trees and the odd vehicle speeding down the lanes I inhabit every morning for only a matter of minutes.
I adore the fact that I get to see what few others will: the sunrise. The raising of colours and light across a town that only minutes previously was submerged in natural darkness, the beginnings of a new day and the removal of the night. I get to see our local river, which during the cloud filled days looks dirty and misused, bathed in orange and yellow light reflected through the overgrown bushes that threaten to fall into the depths of the water, I get to see the skate park filled with nothing but wildlife, with rabbits jumping over the metal structures rather than tracksuit bottom wearing humans.
Once arriving at the station, I get to hop onto a train so jam packed with people there are customers loitering in the aisles, knowing that by the time I arrive at my destination, the world will be alive and stores will be open to the masses, the brief tranquillity of my sunrise walk almost forgotten in the fog that is everyday life.
And that's why I like sunrise. The idea of colours mashing together to create beauty in a once desolate environment is something I adore, and I encourage you to wake before the birds one morning so you can appreciate it too.

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The Danish Girl Film Review

January 23, 2016

Plot Summary:
A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda's marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili's groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer. (via IMBD)
Watching films in Yorkshire is a weird thing, I've come to gather. It's not what's playing on the screen, as that's the same in every cinema worldwide, but more of the clientele that visit the screen with you. When I saw Titanic in the cinemas, a man maybe of 20 years shouted "HE'S FUCKING DEAD" as we all saw Jack slip away into the waters. When I saw The Danish Girl, another man, maybe of 60 years, repeatedly uttered "Bloody Hell" every time something that wasn't seen as correct 100 years ago came onto the screen. And yes, that includes a close up of Eddie Redmayne's penis. So as I first start to think of a review of the film, that's what comes to mind. But it shouldn't.
The Danish Girl is what I would call a love story, one which has a clear beginning, middle and end. It's a slow burner, with a beautiful setting that makes me want to visit Copenhagen tomorrow. Today even. It's a film that I would describe as made for awards ceremonies and the Academy Award ballot voters. It's truly beautiful, and the acting in it was, in some parts, sublime. But there was just something missing.
I don't know what it is, because the memories of it are of a film that I felt proud to have watched, enlightened even, as I saw somebody who obviously was torturing himself in his mind as he had to pretend to be the man he know he wasn't. It had humour, and Eddie Redmayne's style of acting really brought that out, every slight upturn of the lips timed just correctly so that it caused a smile for the viewer as well.
But then at the same time, it was filled with a hell of a lot of clich├ęs. As Einar steps out of the house and goes to a function as Lili for the first time, he/she/a gender neutral pronoun kisses a bloke and GUESS WHAT?! His wife sees. Shock horror. Oh my god. So damn predictable like a high school movie. Lili seems to fit every stereotypical female gesture into the space of five minutes, the careful caressing of ones own face, the shy laugh to a potential date... it screamed of a Disney Channel movie rather than what will probably be an Oscar winning one.
Yet the saving grace of the film was Alicia Vikander, who played Einar's wife Gerda. Although from history books we know that Gerda wasn't the person you'd think she was from this movie, she played her part perfectly. You could see the hurt and the happiness in her eyes every step of the way and she deserves that Best Supporting Actress nod, even if she doesn't win it.
As a story I enjoyed it. As an experience, it was one I don't believe I'll be participating in again unless it pops up on Amazon Prime. See it for yourself and leave your reviews in the comment box below.
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Joy Film Review

January 18, 2016

Joy is the wild true story of Joy Mangano and her Italian-American family across four generations, centered on the woman who founds a business dynasty by inventing the Miracle Mop, becoming a matriarch in her own right. Betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love, pave the road in this intense emotional and human comedy about becoming a true boss of family and enterprise facing a world of unforgiving commerce. Allies become adversaries and adversaries become allies, both inside and outside the family, as Joy's inner life and fierce imagination carry her through the storm she faces. Jennifer Lawrence stars, with Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Ladd, and Virginia Madsen. Like David O. Russell's previous films, Joy defies genre to tell a story of family, loyalty, and love.
 (via IMBD)

Joy as a story doesn't sound great, does it? A lady makes a mop? How is that meant to inspire me to part with my hard earned cash and take time out of my day? I mean, it's a mop!?! Yet still the trailers interested me, the first one having a backing track so catchy I found myself humming it when it wasn't blaring out of a cinema screen at work, the second one piquing my interest in something that typically I should have no interest in. But that's the beauty of film, isn't it? Being able to see things from other peoples' perspectives whilst also learning things about yourself along the way, being able to critically think about other people and what their needs are in their environment in relation to yours... and that's what Joy means to me. 

Joy focuses on Joy Mangano, a single mother of two whose life revolves around everything but inventions, the one thing that kept her imagination going at a young age. Long story short, she has an epithany whilst asleep on a set of stairs a la Cinderella, and decides to make a mop that, after a lot of heartache and upset, she will end up selling thousands of on the TV network QVC. 

Although the film may be based around a single household object, it signified so much more than that to a wide eyed eighteen year old who still doesn't know exactly where she's going in the world. From the humorous interactions between Joy's mother and father, to the upset and subsequent meltdown that happens later in the film, I felt a uncomprehensible feeling of inspiration every time the scene changed. It was like this film was made for me. Looking at Joy's life, I watched wide eyed as I compared it to my own and vowed to do something.

Though the film is in no way similar to Mean Girls, my reaction was exactly the same as watching that seriously for the first time - at the age of 10 years. Ten years old and slowly growing into a world I didn't truly understand yet was unwillingly flung into, sat in a living room gazing at a screen as the things I thought I could never put into words came to life in front of me. And that's how I feel about Joy. It's the film that's going to guide me through life for the next few years, until I see something else that blows the glass ceiling of my brain to smithereens as I try to hop, skip and jump through my twenties. 

Joy Mangano was a normal lady from a normal (ish) family who lived in a normal neighbourhood but achieved something extraordinary. And as I sat and watched the end credits roll for the third time in as many weeks, I've vowed to do something extraordinary too and to never give up, because by not following my dreams, I'm hiding away like a cicada - and seventeen years hiding is seventeen years too many, as Joy realises in the film. 

This review isn't really much of a review - more of a thought process, as I begin to scramble down my feelings of a film that has truly changed my life whilst trying not to sound like a total dick. Maybe I did choose to go and see it partly because of who was in it (yes, big Lawrence fan girl here) but that's not the reason I'll see it again and again, as even three weeks after the original viewing, I still can't stop thinking about what I witnessed, as if it was an epiphany. And I think that suggests to you my true feelings of a film you need to judge yourself. 

You can watch the trailer of Joy here: ~~trailer~~
You can read a better thought out review of Joy by a TPF1138 (Tumblr) here: ~~review~~

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