Thursday, 29 January 2015

January Reviews

The Miniaturist
Jessie Burton
Picador 3/7/14 Hardback
Christmas Present!

I actually snatched this book from my dad, who was given this book for Christmas. I was so excited I immediately started reading it and finished it in a week.
Broken neatly into 3 parts, each more exciting and intriguing than the next this beautiful book follows Nella Brant in her new Amsterdam home. Full of gold, Guilds and gossip 17th Century Europe comes alive. With the fantastical twist of a watchmaker's daughter whose watchful presence disturbs the peaceful waterways with ripples. Is she casually observing, predicting the future or orchestrating it?
The characters absolutely made this book for me. They were each so vivid that I remember now a month later. I'd highly recommend this book. Nice one Picador, my 17th century hat is off to you.

How To Win Friends & Influence People
Dale Carnegie
Vermillion 6/4/06 Paperback
Christmas Present!

I was told when handed this book that it would change my life. And as I read it people would come up to me and start conversations about how it had changed theirs. Twitter notifications poured in to pay attention. Perhaps I'm still too young.
When I finished this, I felt like I should just flip back to the beginning and read it all over again. It was so well written and interesting, and obviously has some great advice that should be drilled into you. but I wanted to give my self a break first. I think I'll pick it up again in a few months and see if I feel any differently about it.
My biggest problem with this book was that it was all advice given from a position of power, how to get your minions to work effectively. Unfortunately I'm one of the minions, so there is never a moment where I can influence anyone really. I just do as I'm told. It didn't really help the little man, just big managers. Which is why I think I'm too young/in the wrong stage of life. My outlook isn't the most possitive, neither am I ever really asking anything of anyone. Plus I recognise that I probably am just being a 23 year old and assuming that I know everything.
It had some brilliant advice which I should try to use more often. Definitely one to pick up again.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

2nd Year Undergraduates

My Visit to Bath Spa.

On Tuesday 20th of January I visited my alma mater to speak about my experience post graduation. I LOVED it. First of all I got to meet a few lecturers and staff who I never had before, plus meet up with my old tutors. I also got to meet some other graduates who had really interesting stories as well. It was lovely to meet them all.

There was a distinct feeling of students up at my campus. Usually, in the wild, I see them all spread out or in small groups roaming the cities. I saw a guy skateboarding to the SU. That guy was winning at being a student.

In my final year, much of the campus was under construction while a new giant building was built. We were lucky enough to get to speak in one of the new lecture theaters. Obviously there were about 35 people in the room, this is their writing week to do nothing while the uni puts on career focused workshops.

There were definitely some despairing faces out there. Who didn't know what they wanted to do. But I felt like I crowbarred in enough of what I really wanted to say. One of the questions the leader of the seminar asked was:

If you were sitting in this room right now, what do you wish someone had told you:

"How much time you have now. Once you leave uni, there is no money, and no time. So while you have time and money at uni, make the most of it. Freelance, blog, intern, work shadow, and read."

One of my fellow graduates said: "Ah see, I'm pretty sure someone DID tell me, and I just ignored them. I'd say just make sure everything you do is useful. If you're on a team, think about how that would reflect on your CV."


"It's going to be hard. and scary. And it takes months or years of persistence to get a job." Why not start now??

What I enjoyed was that we all had very different stories, and we all said the same things from a different view point. If I was invited back next year, I would try to frame my answers a little better there was so much that I wanted to say that sometimes I felt a little garbled.

It was great to go back and I'd do it again!

Thursday, 15 January 2015


This is the only poem of mine which has ever been published. It's probably the one I like the best. I was going to put a disclaimer on it, mainly to my family. But it's powerful, and I like the rhythm of it so I'm just putting it out there. I hope you like it.


Under the glow of abandoned cigarettes,
The curved shadows of our bodies congeal on the wall.
I swallow your moans whole,
Smell the peppery slick of sweat on your neck.
I crave the slap
That sucks at our chests; and the taste of safety on you.

Monday, 12 January 2015

When Will My Life Begin?

This is what happens when a 25 year old Londoner who loves Disney tries to do all of the things in Disney's Tangled opening song. Some would say this was the manifestation of a quarter life crisis following a break up.  Here is my photo diary; and yes, I did everything...

7 AM, the usual morning lineup:

Start on the chores and sweep 'til the floor's all clean
Polish and wax

do laundry, and mop and shine up

Sweep again, and by then it's like 7:15.

And so I'll read a book
Or maybe two or three

I'll add a few new paintings to my gallery


and knit

And cook 
Tomato Pasta
Cooking gamon

and basically, just wonder when will my life begin?
Indian Wedding
Emotional, but happy tears at a baby shower

But I have the best support in the world

Facing my fear of needles at my first blood donation

Staying close to my friends

Star gazing in a full body sleeping bag

Happy hugs in travel mugs

Then after lunch it's puzzles
This bad boy glows in the dark!
and darts
Flight club darts game!

Cheesecake counts as baking right?
and baking
Raspberry and white chocolate bake

Paper mache, 

a bit of ballet

I am about to be chased down!
Starting my first chess game
 and chess


and ventriloquy,

candle making

Then I'll stretch,
STRETCH. I also went to a yoga class. 

maybe sketch, 

I went to a life drawing class to sketch
At my first climbing wall with my step brother
take a climb,

Sew a dress! 
Sewing my dress!
Sewing a Dress and making the pattern
Having never made anything on a sewing machine...this was impressive

And I'll reread the books
If I have time to spare

I'll paint the walls some more,
I'm sure there's room somewhere.
That is the blue wall I painted!

And then I'll brush and brush,
and brush and brush my hair

Stuck in the same place I've always been. 
London Caberet
My FIRST first place trophie 
Dancing with a lovely partner
Second place Great Escapee
First place in my category at Welsh Ceroc Champs
London Lions
London Lions
Fifth place

And I'll keep wonderin' and wonderin'
And wonderin' and wonderin'
When will my life begin?
Circus skills in the park!

Rowing in Madrid
Winning Great Escapee!

An amazing wedding in the country

Laughing on adventures

Blowing bubbles at the park

Tom the cat who I cuddle in the mornings


Hampton Court adventures