How I Am // a life update

I haven’t been feeling so great for the last little while, and I haven’t been feeling too great about blogging either. I’ve written some posts I really like but for some reason the inspiration  just…isn’t really coming?

This normally happens to me when I have a lot going on, or I get tired and stressed. As I get further into school I just don’t do creative stuff as much. Although it’s not nice, I’m used to that. But my earlier productivity usually covers for me and the cycle all works out in the end.

I mean, it’s probably because I’ve been doing a lot of stuff that has been stressing me out lately. I’ve experienced so many wonderful and exciting things over the last few months, and I am so grateful for that, but they do also sap my energy. I have found that once I’ve done all the 100% necessary things I just don’t have the strength to do anything extra.

I am currently also really, really worried for my CCF camp. CCF is this activity I do at school, and it’s basically cadets — I enjoyed it last year but to be honest this year has been a bit crap and I do regret choosing it over other options like volunteering. As I am in the Navy, we don’t learn a lot of stuff about how to actually survive on camps and the other people just look down on us for it. (Even though I’m pretty sure they can’t, like, tell you what neep and spring tides are haha.)

The camp is in two weeks and I have cried several evenings this week. I already feel sick thinking about it… I’ve been worried about it ever since I learned it was a thing, and I pretty much only survived that far by not thinking about it. I know that I might be making it out in my head to seem worse than it is, but I don’t quite know how to make it better except for blocking it out as much as I can.

I want to write regularly on my blog but at the same time I don’t want to post if I just don’t feel like it. Those posts just aren’t really that fun to read. They are not fun to write. They do not make me feel good. Instead I ‘d like to listen to some calming music/podcasts or something.

I am definitely going to have posts coming in the future! I’m going to some workshops at the Women of the World festival this weekend, and the weekend after I’m going to see Dodie on tour. (WHICH I AM STILL SUPER SCREAMING ABOUT.) I’ve been doing some nice stuff such as attending my school LGBTQ+ society, after a lot of worrying haha. But I might be a little less active for a while. I’m sad that I don’t really have the inspiration to post, but I don’t want to apologise because I would like to prioritise my mental health and not put of pressure on myself. I know you guys will understand, so thanks for being rad ❤

 

A List of Nice Things

Something that I wanted to do more this year was to make time for nice things sometimes, and to care for myself more. (Is this self-care? I mean, I think it probably is. I just don’t know when to use the word haha.)  I still have not great mental health days, but I think in general it’s improved a bit? Yeah. Anyway, I thought I would make a list of some things that I do.  (I have no idea if people want to read this but eh. It is in part a reminder for myself, so.)

Listen to some calming noises
The website Noisli has some really lovely sounds which you can combine and save for different occasions. I find that certain sounds can really affect my mood, or make me think of stuff. (I have a really weird thing about the cicada/evening sound… I don’t know. Possibly from when I used to live in Japan? But yeah, I like that one.) I use this to help me feel calmer when doing work or just chilling, I guess.

Watch some TV
I don’t really watch that much TV, so it really feels like a treat when I do. Sometimes I watch stuff after finishing work, but I have also kind of set aside Tuesday afternoons as my designated ~TV watching time~. I feel like I always have stuff that I can be doing — whether that’s homework, language learning, blog stuff, music practice, writing, whatever — so it’s nice to just have a time to…not do anything and enjoy it. Yeah. *nods*

Set aside time for reading
This is kind of similar to the TV one! As my workload has increased with time, and I’ve started to use social media and stuff, I’ve read less and less. Sometimes it’s cool to just say ‘Ooh look I have some free time, let’s read a book’. (Because obviously I would phrase it in that way haha.)

Have a warm bath
Especially in winter when it’s cold, I find a warm bath can actually help me calm down and get to sleep faster. I also like to listen to stuff in the bath, or sometimes I use a face mask which I’m pretty sure does nothing for my skin, but feels nice anyway. Just in general making it a ~calming experience~.

Clean around the house/my room
My room isn’t the dirtiest, but it’s not the most tidy either. Pretty much the same goes for the rest of my house. I don’t normally feel like cleaning, but that’s mostly just because I feel like I don’t have the time or I should be doing something ‘more productive’. But I actually find tidying very satisfying and calming! Especially if I’m listening to something at the same time.

Play music out loud
When I have a little time alone to myself in the house, I like to play music out loud from the speakers in my kitchen, or just listen to podcasts out loud as I do stuff. Just. Playing stuff out loud! I don’t know, I like it a lot.

I feel like I could probably include other things but YEAH. These are just the things that initially came to mind for me. I guess other things include not doign stuff — whether that’s writing a blog post after a certain amount of days, spending extra time on my homework, whatever. If I try and do that all the time I just get completely burnt out and it is Not Good.

how are you doing? are there any nice things you like to do for yourself?

Winter Favourites!

YES, I AM ALIVE. HI. Yes. Onto favourites it is. Just as I am getting tired of winter, it feels like spring is about to arrive… I can’t wait to have a few less grey and cold days haha. December feels like SO LONG AGO. But here we are, and I must press forwards!

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1. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour I feel like I’ve read a lot of great books recently, but I loved this one a lot!! It was so aesthetic and lovely and yay for happy queer girls! I thought Emi’s movie production thing was super cool and in general this was just a very happy read for me.

2. Rent I’ve been a fan of Rent for a while, and I was so overjoyed to hear that it was going on a UK tour! (Because it hasn’t been showing anywhere for a good while.) I went to see it at the end of December and aaah it was so excellent! The cast absolutely KILLED it — I was going to list the actors I thought stood out here, but then I kind of started to list them all? — the set was awesome, and overall it just really added to my experience of the cast recording and movie. I’m still flailing.

3. Podcasts I CAN’T FIT EVERYTHING INTO MY POST, noo! I feel like I am basically the only person ever who didn’t enjoy Welcome to Night Vale — I mean, it was cool, but I found it too creepy to listen to alone in the house or at night, which is basically when I listen to podcasts. (They’re great for cleaning.) But I have found others, and I am slowly but surely making my way through Witch, Please, The Adventure Zone, and Penumbra Podcast — all of which are wildly different but each excellent in their own way. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them! (Although bear in mind it takes me forever to listen to things haha.)

4. Your Name Oh man, THIS MOVIE. THIS MOVIE. It’s the best movie I’ve seen in absolutely ages. It’s an anime movie, but as with many Ghibli movies the animation is the medium for a really excellent piece of art. (Although the animation was also part of that art.) It starts off kind of like Freaky Friday, with a girl in the country and a boy in Tokyo switching lives but then MORE STUFF HAPPENS. It did exactly something that I look for — seeking out one of those weird indescribable feelings, the ones that give you an ache in your chest. I can’t recommend this highly enough, to be honest. (The soundtrack is also absolutely excellent.)

5. A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab Yeah, no, just excuse me whilst I GO DIE A LITTLE BIT. It’s so, so weird to think that this series is done with — although perhaps I do not flail about it as much as other things, I love it a lot! It’s just so…GOOD. Aah I don’t want to let the characters nooooo. *cries* But if the series had to end, then I think it was in the best way possible.

6. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency I KNOW. I watched a whole TV show in under a month?? Crazy, right?! I’m really terrible at finishing TV shows, but for some reason I found this really easy to watch, and I loved it a lot! Dirk Gently is a smol cinnamon roll. He and Todd are definitely detective boyfriends. Farah and Amanda are definitely detective/awesome person girlfriends. I fully expect this from the next series, okay?

7. Skam I feel kinda bad putting this on here because I haven’t watched all of it — I am just bad at finding TV shows, but yeah. I will watch the other series! Because Noora is beautiful and wonderful and I definitely need to see more of her! I did enjoy the episodes that I’ve watched, though. (I’m also midway through watching Yuri on Ice, which is wonderful. I shall update when I am finished!)

8. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore I know that I’ve already put this in my various wrap-ups, but MAN IT WAS SO GOOD. I got it for Christmas and it was everything I’d hoped for: magical prose, engaging and complex characters, and again something that really made me feel, deeply. I feel like this is getting really highbrow for a favourites post, but NEVER MIND.

stuff from around the internet:

in the diary:

  • A lot of stuff happened! There was Christmas, when I saw all my family which was really nice. My friends & I also had a stall at our school Christmas fair which was fun, and we managed to raise some money for charity. 🙂
  • I did some technical stuff for my school play which was really exciting… I mean, My job was basically to press the buttons for the cues at the right time, but it’s actually SUPER DIFFICULT and I now have a lot of respect for people who do technical stuff. Although it was quite stressful I’m very glad I did it, especially since a bunch of my friends were there too! (Hopefully I will next year too?)
  • I attended the Women’s March on London, which made me motivated to do stuff. *nods* I also wrote about it if you wish to read!
  • Probably also some other stuff. But I am rather sleep-deprived right now and haven’t written a post in what feels like a very long time, AAH.

how have your last few months been? have you read/seen/listened to anything I mentioned here? how are you doing?

LGBT+ History Month: Some Cool Resources

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*rolls in* YAY it’s LGBT+ History Month and I am very excited! If you guy haven’t seen, I’m doing a thing about LGBTQ+ history in schools and as a part of that project I started to research LGBTQ+ history myself… This is one of the main things that came up! Since I hadn’t really learnt much about the topic before then, I thought it would be cool just to collect some of the resources that I found through which you can learn about LGBTQ+ history. (Like, I wish we did learn about it at school. But pro-activity and all that.)

The LGBT History Month theme this year is is Citizenship, PSHE and Law. (Note: I think it is officially called LGBT History Month? But they seem to have things including people from across the spectrum, so I’m just kind of going with it as an umbrella thing if that’s alright.) This July will be the 50th anniversary of decriminalising homosexuality, which lines up nicely. I was having a chat about this the other day, but I think it is interesting how things seem to have changed fast… I mean, I don’t know. But my parents were still alive when being gay was illegal which I find kind of weird. Obviously there’s still a long way to go, but…yeah.

The LGBT History Month website itself has a whole host of cool things to offer, including posters about LGBT+ people from history and the wonderful official magazine. I’m literally just reading through it and SO MANY COOL THINGS, from mental health to TV representation to activist interviews! They also have a series of posters about inspirational LGBTQ+ people, and a super cool wallchart here: (warning for some not-great

The app Quist tells you things that happened on this day in LGBTQ+ history. If you are able to download it I think it’s a fun and easy way to learn a bit about LGBTQ+ history!

I know I have been shouting a lot about it recently, but I FINALLY WATCHED THE MOVIE PRIDE AND AAAH IT WAS SO COOL. I feel like I don’t know that much about the history of LGBTQ+ rights in the UK, and I read less historical UK books with LGBTQ+ characters, so it was super cool to learn about that. It’s based on a true story and it’s about a group called Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. (As in the miners’ strike.) You can even follow them on Twitter, which I think is wonderful; they did a panel alongside a showing of the movie but alas I couldn’t go. It was just!! Very fun but also informative. Yep.

The Proud Trust don’t yet have a guide for 2016 LGBT+ History Month, but they do have several from previous years, and an activity/information pack on LGBT+ Black History. These are more aimed towards schools and youth groups, I think, but they’re still well worth checking out!

I haven’t actually listened to this episode yet, so I’m not completely sure what it’s like, but Radio 4 did a thing on how British attitudes have changed towards being gay. (They also have a really interesting episode on non-binary people.)

By the way: I’m probably not going to be around much over the next few days since I’m mostly shrieking about my school play, but fear not! I am alive somewhere! And I hope you’re having a wonderful day. 🙂 If you want to share any other cool LGBT+ history things I’ve missed then I’d love to hear them!

7 Less Touristy-y Things to Do in London

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Whenever I go away to places, I like to try and find actual advice from people who live there. I think it’s really cool to try and get more authentic idea for what the place is like, and it’s one of my favourite parts of travelling! I also think London is pretty cool, and I think it has some really underrated activities, so I thought it would be fun to share some things that I like to do up and about town. 😀

1. Do a scavenger hunt

If you’re with a group of people and have some time to kill, them scavenger hunts are a super way to get out and about! You can find a selection for different areas and themes here, and once you’ve picked one you’re good to go. As well as little tasks like finding street names or counting things on the outside of buildings, the hunts that I have done also give you some information about the area you’re in. You can check the ones that i have used here — you have to buy them, but it’s not much, especially split between a group. There are also some free ones here!

 2. Visit the Southbank Centre

In general there are just SO MANY good things to do spread all along the south bank of the river. Stuff happens in the Southbank Centre all year long, from the Festival of Love to fountains to Women of the World to the Christmas market. The National Theatre nearby has some great shows — if you haven’t booked you can queue up on Friday mornings (I think?) for tickets if there are any left, or try and get a Friday Rush one — as well as some free things to look at and somewhere warm to sit. You might also want to pay a visit to the Globe Theatre, BFI, Tate Modern, or second hand book fair thing. Just. SO MUCH STUFF NEAR THE SOUTHBANK. It’s always on my list for a day out!

3. Go to a book event

I am an ENDLESS ADVOCATE for book events! I love them! They’re normally really cheap or sometimes even free, and they really give me something to look forward to. I don’t think everyone always knows that they exist, so…? Of course it depends on which events are on and whether they coincide with your visit, but a quick browse on the Waterstones website will do you no harm. (Basically all the events I attend are run by Waterstones, since they tend to have the YA ones. But there’s other stuff out there too, including various cons!)

 4. Enjoy some art at the Tate(s)

I know I already mentioned Southbank, but there was too much squeezed into that short space and I LIKE ART THINGS. Some things are better than others at the Tate — the descriptions can tend to overanalyse a bit in my opinion post-capitalist modern critique or whatever I DON’T CAAARE @ CONCEPT ART but there’s so much choice as well as great permanent collections. The buildings are well worth a visit on their own, too! Tate Modern is home to the Turbine Hall which has different installations inside, and the new Switch House building is cool too. If you visit the Tate Britain then your #claimtofame can be standing at the site of Lauren Aquilina’s live Echoes video, ayy. 😉 At the moment Tate Modern has a really good Rauschenberg exhibition, by the way! I like going to see art just on a day out because I don’t feel any pressure to analyse it or whatever; I just like to try and enjoy it and consider how it makes me feel.

5. Visit Covent Garden

Covent Garden has a bunch of shops, from the wonderfully cute Moomin shop to the Whittard’s tea shop where I normally just go around testing EVERY SINGLE ITEM in their cute plastic glasses. (I have actually bought stuff from Whittards so I don’t feel too bad. It is fun to taste all their things.) Sometimes there’s street performers or market-y stalls, and in general it’s just a nice place to visit! There are also some cool quirky shops around the general Covent Garden/Seven Dials area such as Tofu Cute and Tatty Devine.

6. Do a fandom tour

London is the home to lots of cool fandom things! Of course it depends what you’re into, but some internet searching can prove very useful should you want to explore some fannish London locations. For Harry Potter, you can go on a self-guided tour or an actual professional walking tour, which  really sounds like a job I should be applying for haha. A Doctor Who tour is available (though I hear it’s more focused on Classic Who), and as well as visiting the Sherlock Holmes museum you can take a look at one of the Sherlock tours. (That link is really good; it has locations for a self-guided one as well as organised tours.)

7. Trawl through the bookshops of Charing Cross Road

Charing Cross Road is well known for its second hand bookshops — even if some of the prices might make your eyes water, it’s so atmospheric to look around them at all the old books. (I love old book smells.) Sometimes you can find real gems! ayyy my 19th century copy of Les Mis The really big Foyles is also there if you want a different selection to Waterstones, and Forbidden Planet is around the corner on Shaftesbury Avenue. 🙂

have you been to london? done any of these things? do you have any underrated activities for where you live?

Femslash February // i rec some things!!

February is not only LGBT History Month, but also the wonderful internet creation that is Femslash February. It’s essentially a month where people do prompts, write fic, art, whatever, celebrating f/f  and girls liking girls! It’s mostly for fandoms, since both m/m and even f/m fanworks are a lot more popular there, which kind of sucks. (I talk ENDLESSLY to my friends about how people just aren’t as interested in f/f. They’ve heard all the things.)

SO! I am here today to recommend some fun queer girl things for you to read. I thought about just doing fic recs, but I have a somewhat specific and obscure fandom tastes, and also sadly I don’t know loads of f/f fic. (I’m hoping to find some more this month.) (Literally? I’ve read about 2 novel-length f/f fics ever. Which is small compared to others. I feel distressed.) I know it’s Femslash February, but in general I think queer girls are left behind in the fandom so I’m also including some GENERAL QUEER GIRL THINGS.

Thus: I’m also going to be reccing some books and comics. I’ve tried to include some different ones to what I always recommend ahaha. Enjoy 😀

books

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour I read this the other week and AAAH IT WAS SO WONDERFUL. I loved the setting, the characters, the soft & hopeful beauty of it. I know that I’ll be rereading it when I feel down. It was also cool to read because it’s about a girl who does film production and I’m currently doing some production for my school play. IT’S A SIGN AMIRITE.

Unbecoming by Jenny Downham I LOVE FINDING QUEER CONTENT WHERE I WASN’T EXPECTING ANY. This is about three generations of women in a family, and how their lives interact. And there is also a thing about sexuality.

Carol by Patricia Highsmith This one is also published under the title The Price of Salt, but my copy was Carol, so. It’s hella awesome! There are vintage lesbians in New York! The writing is lovely! And it’s also a super cool film. The soundtrack gives me a lot of emotions.

All of the Above by Juno Dawson Aaah!! Another queer girl UKYA! (I would also put Radio Silence here, but by now you guys have probably just accepted that I talk about it 24/7. I LOVE IT. READ IT.) Anyway: this is a funny, honest contemporary YA with a bunch of queer characters and it’s just generally cool.

The Last Beginning by Lauren James This is the second book in a series about science and time travel which I think is super cool! The MC is super gay, and I liked that it was less focused on a coming out narrative. (Those are very valid and important. But sometimes I want to read something where the character is also comfortable in their sexuality already and worries a lot about accidentally messing up the entirety of time.)

fic

Following You, Following Me by lady_ragnell An Eponine/Cosette AU in which Cosette has a tumblr crush on Eponine, and also a new neighbour. A podfic (like an audiobook except of a fic) is also available here.

to be loved and to be in love by missandrogyny Eponine/Cosette, soulmate tattoo AU. (Where the first words your soulmate says to you are tattooed on your arm. Yeah, don’t ask, just suspend disbelief.) Eponine and Cosette are music people! They are hella cute and I love them!!

your passion, you take me home by knightinbrightfeathers Clary/Izzy, Hogwarts AU. Things heal after the Battle of Hogwarts. By an author who I think is very cool. *nods*

Here, Queer, Getting Used to It by azurish REMEMBER BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM. Remember that movie?!? Yeah, no, I like it a lot. One time I just stumbled across this fic and I was like…in retrospect, it was a pretty gay movie. I realise there was stuff about stereotypes of all girls who play sport being queer but also — I think it would have been really cool to consider how then do they find their place within that? (Because queer girls play sport too.) I am not articulating my feelings very well but anyway. YEAH.

Grazed Knees by montparnasse Ginny/Luna. Also healing after the Battle of Hogwarts. Except it’s different to the other one. *nods sagely*

I have read a miserable amount of Harry Potter f/f, which makes me sad because I SHIP ALL THE THINGS. I think that’s probably because a) there wasn’t loads of it to begin with but b) I don’t really look beyond AO3, and a lot of HP fic resides in other places like livejournal or ff.net. However, a quick internet search pointed me to this 2007 masterpost, if you so wish to browse it.

(web)comics

Rock and Riot by Chelsey Furedi It’s 50s except way cooler and lots of queer characters aah! his comic is about gangs at school except there is diversity and GIRLS LIKING GIRLS and AWESOME ART STYLE and it is just all round very wonderful. I may or may not have read it all in one day. Whoops…?

Always Human by walkingnorth This is still-running sci-fi webcomic about the cool peeps Austen and Sunati. Although there is cool future stuff, it’s more about their personal lives and how they develop as characters. There’s a diverse cast and lovely glowy art and the creator is also a complete cinnamon roll! The updates bring me a lot of joy. 🙂

Lumberjanes Sometimes I’m confused by this comic, but it’s fun to be surrounded by just a whole lot of pure joy and enthusiasm, hehe. IT’S SO CUTE AND THERE ARE CUTE GIRLS AND SMALL CUTE PEOPLE GAH. There’s also a trans character, and maybe some some other queer characters about from the confirmed ones, so…?

Anyway! I hope you liked these recs, and perhaps find some use for them. I’d love to hear if you have any suggestions! 😀

The Women’s March on London

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As probably a lot of you have heard, last Saturday hundreds of Women’s Marches were held across the world in protest of recent political events. Donald Trump had just been inaugurated. Over the previous week he has continued to do pretty awful stuff. These Women’s Marches were in support and protection of our rights, and for equality.

I attended the Women’s March on London. It was my first demonstration/march/suchlike — I didn’t bring a placard, and I wasn’t able to march the whole way, but I walked for a bit and then my mum & I stood on the steps in front of the National Gallery. I was surrounded by others who were angry about the world.

We talked a bit to the those standing around us, and it was cool to see that there seemed to be a wide variety of people attending. The newspapers after said that it was mostly young people, but I actually saw a lot of families there, so. I’m not sure where that came from. I don’t completely know the stats, though.

You can keep reading this guest post I wrote on The Feministas. 🙂