A Life Update #2

Hey folks! So, yeah, remember how I said I was going to try and post more? That didn’t happen. I’ve had a bunch of ideas but sadly I’ve had absolutely ZERO time over the last two weeks.

However I’m working hard at…not punishing myself for that, because I need to stop punishing myself for taking rests. One of my lovely friends told me that I seemed like I was taking care of myself, which was sweet, but I feel like I often give off the impression that I’m fine when I’m actually just not. It’s so much easier for me to practice self-care at the times when I don’t actually need it.

YEP. So: what have I been doing? And what is in store for the next little while? Well, friends, I have mostly been consumed by my school play and then frantically trying to catch up on school work. I’m not actually an actor — a few of my friends and I are members of the tech team, which means I was basically sorting out props, set, and just doing the stuff that no one else wants to do.

Instead of a big play, this was a series of 6 short student-directed plays from only my year group. It was super rewarding and I am so proud of everyone, but there was a LOT of pain and stress along the way, especially since this is the first year my school had done this so we had a massive learning curve the night before the play was due to open. *winces* I was one of the people bringing stuff on and off in between each play which sounds easy but IT WAS SUPER NOT. Also, we didn’t get much rest for about 2 and a half hours.

Yes. I had a pretty big anxiety episode when I dropped some breakable glasses and everything was going badly and just felt ALL TOO MUCH. I felt pretty sick on opening night. But, yeah, it was great when things mostly worked out.

So what’s going to be on my blog? Well, it’s the holidays fairly soon, but unfortunately I have to be revising for mocks. However I’ve got some posts planned that I am VERY excited to work on, and I hope that you’ll be excited to see them! Love you all, and thanks for sticking around. ‚̧

how is your december going? have you ever helped with a school play?

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Summer Bucket List (& Other Plans)

summer bucket list 2017

I’ve just put on my summer playlist and for once the sun is shining here in the UK. Yep, it’s summertime again! AKA the time where I celebrate not having to do schoolwork only to end up being bored. I wish I was someone who could really take this time to relax and do nothing but unfortunately doing that just makes me feel TERRIBLE. By the end of the holidays I actually miss the structure and purpose that school gave me.

But, I am determined that I’m going to do FUN STUFF this summer and NOT MOOCH AROUND. I might be starting off with too high aspirations, but I’ve printed out a calendar and I’m hoping to get back into using my bullet journal as that really helped me structure my day.

I’ve made a to do list of all the stuff that I want or need to do — ranging LL from homework to visiting museums — so I thought I’d share the most interesting here with you. (Trust me, if I just shared my actual word document with the list it would be pretty incomprehensible.)

ink swash 2

activities

There are so many great museums in London & I don’t think I make enough use of them! I’m hoping to visit the Queer Art exhibition at Tate Britain, the LGBTQ+ history thing at the British Museum, maybe visit the V&A or the Science Museum. I have’t been there since I was about 8 so I’d love to see how it’s changed.

I’d also like to take some day trips for example to Brighton, since it’s pretty easy to get a train ticket places, and also I don’t think I’ve ever been to Brighton. SO I’D LIKE TO DO THAT. I’m still working on convincing my friends to come with me haha.

personal

For personal activities, I am hoping to dye my hair blue tomorrow. I actually dyed it blue earlier but it was a semi-permanent dye so washed out basically immediately. ūüė¶ This is something I’ve wanted to do for ages so fingers crossed it works out!

I am also trying to practice more self-care at the moment. I think I’m doing a better job, and currently I feel…fairly good in terms of mental health? Which is nice for once? I’m using the app Smiling Mind to do short daily (or almost daily haha) meditations, and my mum & I are doing some yoga from youtube videos my aunt recommended us. (She’s recently got super into yoga.) And it’s nice to do something together! Especially a physical activity since I don’t really do much in summer and it does make me feel better. I HOPE to go swimming at my local pool but to be honest I’ll probably end up forgetting. I do use my bike to cycle places though, since my parents can’t take me.

Finally, I’m using Duolingo to learn Japanese. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you might know that I’ve been trying to learn Japanese for a while — I also did a bunch last summer. However, as I predicted school got in the way, so I am hoping to use Duolingo as an easy way to learn some stuff for my school trip (!!!) in autumn. I find I’m quite motivated since I don’t want to lose my streak haha.

online

I’m pretty sure I say this every single holiday, but I’m going to try and write a whole bunch of blog posts so that I can have some buffer posts when school/life gets busy. (BECAUSE GCSE YEAR AAAAH I’M FINE.) We’ll see how that turns out.

I’ve also been considering rejigging my blog a bit in terms of design and the way I post. I do quite like my current theme, but I’m sort of feeling like it’s time for a change? And that I could make something which both looks nicer and has more consistent content. (Not that this is necessary for an amazing blog. Just something I’ve been thinking about.)

I’m vaguely considering doing some podfic — if you don’t know what it is, it’s like an audiobook except for fanfiction — since a) I love listening to podfic and b) now I have a mildly better microphone to record with but we shall seeee.

writing

In the last few months I’ve done basically¬†no¬†writing. I’d like to say school just took up all my time, but whilst that’s true to some extent, I also haven’t been feeling very motivated to write anything. This is the first year where I haven’t really got any new poems by the summer. ūüė¶ However, I do have a new idea that I’m working on so I hope to do some of that!

One of my big problems with writing is that I get so worked up over THE NOVEL and how it has to be perfect. I find it a lot easier to view any writing projects from a different way — like, what would I do with this if it were a fanfiction? For me writing fic is really all about enjoyment ¬†so that often gives me a way to feel excited about my story again. Or: what if this were a collection of short stories? a podfic? a webcomic? Obviously different stories work better in different mediums, but that’s just a weird thing I do.

media

As all my friends know, I’m terrible at following up on the stuff they recommend me.¬†So,¬†I’m planning to use this time to watch a bunch of different TV shows (Steven Universe, Brooklyn 99, Jane the Virgin, Carmilla probably others I’ve forgotten) as well as various books, webcomics, and other things. I also want to watch some musicals like Heathers, A Very Potter Sequel and Spring Awakening. (I’M SORRY. I feel bad watching bootlegs but the production is done and I don’t know how else I’m going to see it.)

Along with all this there’s schoolwork, reading/buying books for YALC, read a bunch of watching movies like Star Wars. I adore Star Wars but my family doesn’t enjoy sci-fi so I haven’t seen them all. And I’m seeing the Angels in America at the National Theatre Live thing in the cinema over the next two weeks which I am SO EXCITED FOR. AAH. Hopefully I’ll write a post about it.

ink swash 2

I’ve probably left out some other stuff I want to do, as I always do, but this post has somehow reached 1,000 words and it’s getting hot in this room so I shall end here. ūüôā If you like you can check out my summer bucket list from 2015 (I didn’t do one last year); I just did and woAH what a throwback. I do hope my writing style has developed a bit since then ahaha.

what are your plans for the next two months? doing anything nice? what do you think of the ink squiggles??(it’s an experiment)

Delobbi, Sleepover and Studio Ghibli

Eve- Today, the Sleepover of Awesomeness with Anna and Eve culminates. We have some pictures of Delobbi (Delilah/Dobby) to share with you. Delobbi are ducks. DID YOU HEAR THAT? ANNA HAS DUCKS IN HER POOL! ISN’T THAT AWESOMELY AWESOME??!!??!!

Except we think Delilah and Dobby might have broken up, because Delilah has just disappeared. Though she might just be hiding in the tree…we’ll give you an update soon. For now, be content wth these pictures of Delobbi.
Anna- I think Eve might be just a touch hyper. It might have something to do with the several Nutella/banana/sugar pancake combination we had at breakfast. Or not.
Eve- Anyway, have you ever typed in a bunch of random letters and seen what spellcheck comes up with? It’s fun. Look:
Anyway colicky Ivor urn pakeha rsem x Ewan oxides jvodhem
See? It’s fun. You should try it.
Anna- But on a way, way, awesomer note, we went to see The Wind Rises with our friends. It came out only last Friday, and it is the last Studio Ghibli film by Hayao Miyazaki.
Eve – And it was SOO sad! It was very different from other Ghibli movies like My Neighbour Totoro and Porco Rosso. At the beginning, the boy kept having dreams in dreams in dreams (maybe the whole thing was just a dream) and it was very confusing. It was Ghibliception. But it was an EPIC film. The use of ‘epic’ in that sentence doesn’t mean ‘great’, by the way, it means ‘long and meaningful’. Or something. Think Lord of the Rings.
Anna- I kept crying at the end, and sneaking glances at the people sitting next to me, just to make sure I was the only only bawling. I wasn’t. Eve came over to my house afterwards, and we basically just watched Merlin, ate popcorn and sweets for the entire time. I personally was not complaining, even when we had to talk in whispers because my brothers were alseep- no! Delobbi!
Delobbi has disappeared. A sad day for all.
Eve- NO, DELOBBI, NO! Delilah, you have to come back! Actually, we’ve just been told Delilah is in the tree. Delobbi hasn’t broken up after all.

Bye, Anna x
Byeeeee, Eve c:

Anna blogs at Paint.the.Sky.

Eve blogs here.

An Introduction to Anna (with extras by Apple)

Apple: Hello, people of the world. This post is going to be mostly written by my awesome friend who blogs over at Paint.the.Sky. She is going to share some of her mind with you.

I’m just testing this guest post thing out, but I’m hoping to make it a regular feature so if you just send me an email/comment then perhaps we could we you up here! And now, I shall pass the baton on to Anna…

Bye!!

Anna: I’m not good at introductions. I think that goes without saying for me. Whenever I guest blog (i.e- never) I’m pretty much like this;

“OK. Right, I’m going to ace this. When I’m done, my/this blog is going to have 1,000,000,000,000 views. Or something with a lot of¬†zeros…”

Ten minutes later

“What should I say? Hi? Hello? How many exclamation marks¬†should I put? Or does that make me sound like I’m permanently hyper? Sorry, I’ll rephrase-¬†more¬†permanently hyper. Meh, my grammar is evidently dying. Oooh, ‘evidently’ is a good word.” ¬†And why on earth am I talking to myself?¬†*Thumps head against desk*

Etc. You know, that doesn’t really put me in a very good light. Phhhhtttt, dignity? Nah.

Basically, I’m Anna, Apple’s friend and completely insane companion.

Phew, I need to lie down. Anyways, hi and goodbye!

Is Beauty Really in the Eye of the Beholder?

We often hear the phrase ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. It effectively means that beauty is what a person thinks is beauty; if you see something as beautiful, then it is.

But could you look into the mirror and honestly tell me that there was not one thing you would change about your appearance? Are you totally happy with who you are?

However much I do not like it, my own answer would be no. If I could then I would be skinnier, have a smaller nose, a thinner face Рthere are many things that I would change about myself if I got the chance.

Mirrored beauty

Why do we want to change these things, though?¬†Why¬†do we want to be ‘prettier’, ‘skinnier’ or ‘have a smaller nose’?¬†¬†¬† Why¬†do we actually want these things?

To answer these questions, we need to think some more about what beauty actually is. Does beauty exist if there is no one there to see it? Of course, this question is very much a matter if opinion, and is not really that different from if I asked you ‘If a tree falls in a forest with no one there, does it make a sound?’.

In my view, I think there is a definite possibility that beauty can exist if no one sees it, but if there’s no one there to see it – does it make a difference if it’s beautiful or not?

I could also apply this question to daily life, and say that someone or something is not beautiful unless it is seen by someone else to be so. This, sadly, seems to be truer than ever at the moment, or at least to me. If it weren’t, then the beauty industry would not be so successful. We wouldn’t slather ourselves in makeup everyday because ‘everyone else is doing it, so I wont look pretty without it’ [*]. Because beauty isn’t just in the eye of the beholder anymore, is it? It’s also what the beholder has been told is beautiful. If all of us were brought up to believe being skinny is ‘ugly’, then, generations later, we would probably still believe that. ‘Beautiful’ is only a word; it only means what we want it to mean, because a word is just a sound attached to a meaning. If we are constantly told we are beautiful, then we come to believe that we are. flower

Another question to ask yourself is: ‘Would you rather have a beautiful appearance or a beautiful soul?’ A beautiful personality and soul is also important, too, because this is not so much skin-deep, and we change our personalities according to the choices we make or have made.

[*] I’m not trying to say that everyone is like this, or that makeup is always a bad thing because isn’t always, and it can be a great way of expressing yourself.

So what we need to do in this day is to stand in front of a mirror, see our flaws both inside and out but then¬†see these flaws as what makes us beautiful, and remember that perfection isn’t flawless either.

Apple xx

Touching lives

I know that title was a bit weird, but I’m not really sure how else to put it: it’s that person you smile at from in the car, or the cute baby on the train who played with you.

You know? Those people you meet or just a couple of minutes or seconds, never to meet them again? Maybe you’re out there, thinking about the girl in a green jumper, and maybe I’m thinking about you. But we’ll never know: that’s what makes those moments so special, so unique, because you’ll never meet them again.

So, hello, girl who smiled at me from the taxi this morning, and hello, baby that I met on the aeroplane.

In a way, blogging is a bit like that, too, because although us bloggers hope that you’ll keep reading our blogs and liking our posts, it might just be that one sentence that reaches into your heart – and then you click away. I’ve done it, you’ve probably done it.

I don’t know. It’s just nice to feel I have¬†a connection with that person who I’ll never meet again, a small thought joining you with someone who could be halfway across the globe.

Hello, people whose lives¬†I briefly touched. Hello, people whose lives I have not. Hello, everyone out there who has an understanding of what I’m talking about.

I’m here, just one of the seven billion people in the world, but I’m here and I’m thinking and living and breathing a world just as complex as yours.

And I hope that I touch someone, somewhere out there with what I have said.