Thursday, 1 June 2017

Is Social Media Ruining Our Future?

Social media is the pulsating heart of modern day society, a vital organ without which we cannot survive. It beats with such a potent mechanical ferocity that it consumes us. Yet, absent from its core is empathy; a key emotion in the functioning of any heart.

This is particularly prevalent in times of world crises, where social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter become the dominating force as users desperately seek instant updates, from eye witnesses, friends, family, news outlets and celebrities. This is where the chaos begins.

Far to regularly information provided online by non-verified (and sometimes even the verified) sources are bolstered on misguided fiction, or, to put it more concisely: FAKE NEWS. Users tactically work to be the first to share information on global events to benefit their follower count, ultimately working towards becoming a viral sensation. This behaviour emits rationale from people’s consciousness, prompting them to act before they think, promoting irresponsibility.

In the wake of the Manchester attack, a viral post from 2013 re-surfaced on Facebook. It appeared on my timeline simply because several of my common connections had shared it. The lengthy post detailed how Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, had told immigrants to ‘learn English’ or leave Australia, quoting her as saying: ‘Immigrants, not Australians, must adapt...take it or leave it.’ The post has garnered over 38,000 shares since it was uploaded, four years ago. But, do those 38,904 people know that it is fake?

Dubious of the viral post, I researched it on Google, to learn within 30 seconds that it’s an elaborate hoax. Infact, that 30 seconds in itself was unnecessary, for the creator of the post had even commented on it himself to declare it as a fake, in an update littered with laughing emojis. But, it is no laughing matter. The post has been seen by millions across the globe. The damage has already been done.

I questioned one of my Facebook friends that shared the post, alerting them to the fact that it was false. I felt guilty that they had been tricked by the highly provocative status update. However, my concerns were met with a simple response of, “Well, it’s true.” Remarkably, the lines of fact and fiction become blurred online when you introduce people’s personal opinions, and this is where the trouble lies. Opinions. We are all entitled to them, but can you really declare your own opinion as an excuse for contributing to fake news? Whilst you may agree with what you are reading, if it is false, it is invalid and potentially damaging to society.

Ironically, many of those that shared the hate filled post (mostly out of fear rather than actual understanding) are the same people who cry out, wounded, when the news giants are caught peddling fake news. If CNN and the BBC are forbidden from embellishing the truth, then so should Mr Stevens, your old hockey coach, on Facebook. In short, do not endorse fake news, no matter where it originates from.
Elaborate internet hoaxes are not new, they have just evolved. Instead of haunting email chains that would promise you a visit from a deadly ghost if you did not forward them, we now have Facebook at our fingertips with an array of fake stories on a daily basis. Remember in 2014 when it was globally believed that you could charge your iPhone in a microwave? Fake. Or, again in 2014 when a young dog attack victim was asked to leave a KFC restaurant due to their unsightly scars? Fake. How about when France banned citizens from working any later than 6pm? Fake. What about when reputable news sources told us that redheads faced extinction? FAKE. Surely, nobody would make fake news out of a celebrity death? Wrong. Macaulay Culkin, Sylvester Stallone and Eddie Murphy have all been victims of viral death hoaxes online, which many of us believed momentarily.

Just like we became wise to the Facebook statuses of 2008 that prompted us to ‘Copy & Paste, or your mum will die tonight,’ we will also become wise to fake news in our timelines. Although, this time we will become wise not because we want to, to save humiliation, but because we need to, to save humanity. If you think I am being dramatic, then just know that 961,000 Facebook users shared a post in 2016 that falsely claimed that Pope Francis had endorsed Donald Trump in the presidential election. The significant impact this fake news may have had on thousands of American’s who believed it, will have contributed many votes to the Trump campaign.

You will have unwittingly, or even wittingly, contributed to fake news, even if it was just via a simple re-tweet. The headline you saw captured your attention and provoked a reaction promoting you to share the piece without delving deeper, or maybe without even reading the article. I am guilty, we all are guilty. Someone you trust online may have shared it before you, leading you to believe it is safe. A global news source may have posted it originally, meaning that it must be genuine. A celebrity has shared it, so naturally, it is true. Wrong, wrong and wrong again.

We have become too comfortable online. Almost spoon-fed. So, now that we cannot regress any further, it is time to grow. It is time to find truth in what we share and write online. It is time that we worked together to eradicate fake news from become viral on Twitter and Facebook.  

As the general election fast approaches in England, I urge you to share with care. We live in tumultuous times, where a small lie online can impact our whole future. If you don’t believe me, then just go back through the fake news archives to the U.S presidential election and learn how Hillary Clinton was supposedly running a child sex ring out of a pizza shop and that Donald Trump had offered free one-way tickets to Africa and Mexico for those that wanted to leave the U.S after he was elected president.

Share with care. Read, research and rubbish any embellished truths or straight up lies. You have the power to change the future, for the better.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Recipe: Chocolate Scotch Eggs

Chocolate and eggs? No doubt that is not a combination that you have been lusting after. But, what if I told you the eggs in question as the creme variety produced by Cadbury's? Game changer, right? Here is my incredibly simple recipe for the perfect chocolate scotch egg. Heart attack, not included.

6 Cadbury's Creme Egg's
185g of unsalted butter
280g milk chocolate (use Cadbury's for best results!)
100g of dark chocolate
3 large eggs (the real kind!)
200g caster sugar
75g light brown sugar
85g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
50g white chocolate

Step One

Firstly, you shall need to make the brownie mix which encases the creme egg. The brownie is used as a substitute for the sausage meat traditionally found in scotch eggs. Depending on your personal preference, you can skip this step! 

1) Preheat the oven to 160℃ and prepare a baking tray.
2)Place the butter, dark chocolate and 180g of the milk chocolate into a glass bowl and suspend it over boiling water. Wait until the mixture melts together, but be careful not to burn it. 
3) Place the sugar and eggs into a bowl and whisk with a hand mixer until it resembles a milkshake. This usually takes around 5 minutes. 
4) Combine your chocolate mixture with the eggy milkshake and slowly beat together until the mixture is a delicious thick chocolate brown colour.
5) Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and fold in gently.
6) Pour the mixture into your waiting baking tray and place gently in the middle shelf of the oven. Cook for 30 minutes, or longer if not cooked through.

Step Two
Next, is the bit that you have been waiting for: it is time to get your hands messy with pure chocolate!

1) Take the brownie which you have just lovingly baked and mash it to pieces in a bowl until it resembles a putty.
2) Then, take the smashed brownie and mold it around creme egg. Pack it in quite compactly and shape it into a ball. 
3) Repeat the process until all your creme eggs are balls of brownie goodness.
4) Place the balls into the fridge to allow them to set together.

Step Three
It is now time to add the finishing touches to your little balls of joy.

1) Melt the remaining milk chocolate
2) Grate some white chocolate
3) Dip the brownie balls into the chocolate and ensure that they have an even coating
4) Then, sprinkle the white chocolate shavings over the balls
5) Place back in the fridge to cool, one final time. Be patient, you can eat them soon!

Now, it is time to enjoy!
Happy Easter!


Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Is Feminism Just A Phase?

Feminism has collided with our world like a meteorite cascading from space. We shouldn't be shocked by the impact, for it has always been there, orbiting in the peripheral for centuries. Those with premier insight have been forewarning us of the impending force, set to send shockwaves across the planet. Some of us have listened intently to their warnings and have helped to prepare in any way that we can, despite only being an individual of a small commodity. Others, however, have ignored the writing on the wall and instead, they stand idly by proclaiming: "It is just a phase! They have scare-mongered us about this before. It will pass on by!".

People are naive to the history of feminism. Blinded by artificial lights and sucked into the abyss of politics and patriarchy. Their minds consumed and distracted by the people that lead this world who lament about other catastrophes (eg. fake news, China faking global warming and the unjust media - you know ~real~ problems). They presume that if they simply ignore it all, it doesn't exist

But it does exist. The term, 'Feminism' was first coined in 1837 (better late than never) by a man, no less. French philosopher, Charles Fourier is credited with having given the movement a dictionary definition. In fact, not content with just providing a term in which women could unite, Fourier stood by the same values himself. For example, he abstained from marriage due to his belief that it forfeited women's identity at a time when they were considered the property of their husbands. Instead, he focussed his energy intently upon liberating every human individual, man, woman, and child. In short: A true unsung hero.

Feminism, however, pre-dates Fourier. In fact, there are hints of female revolution at practically every moment in history. For example, in the 15th century, Catherine of Aragon (the first ill-fated wife of Henry VIII) bravely commissioned a book to argue women's rights to education at a time when women were just viewed as a vessel in which to produce heirs.

Catherine's only child, Elizabeth, would later become one of the England's most prolific monarchs, despite being a woman in a world that favoured men. Of course, Elizabeth was not simply able to glide onto the throne. The 25-year-old rightful heir had to fight for her place, in a way that mimics modern day women’s struggle to conquer their careers and obliterate the glass ceiling.

As Queen, Elizabeth was tainted by masculinity (despite not having any apparent masculine qualities) simply because her role as monarch was predetermined a male role and thus she was described as having "the body of a weak and feeble woman, but with the heart and stomach of a king". She was permanently illuminated by a harsh spotlight, that plagued her accomplishments as "ruthless" and prompted her to laboriously apply make-up in order to improve her appearance (according to history scholars, it would take Elizabeth four hours to get ready each and every day). Had she not succeeded to the throne, her male counterpart would have felt no pressure for his physical appearance and would have been celebrated for his ruthlessness, rather than dehumanised. Despite her continuous comparisons to men and her bitter battle with misogyny, Queen Elizabeth I left a fierce legacy that many King's before and after her could not compare to.

However, the world had not yet learned that women are equally as capable as men. In the 17th century, the witch trial pandemonium started. Women who spoke their own mind and acted without the authority of their husbands were punished upon a fiery stake, having been accused of witchcraft and allegiance to the devil. These women, deemed lunatics, were publically executed in order to maintain the patriarchal order.

Then, from the ashes of these repressed, falsely criminalized women rose the suffragettes. Furious in pursuit of equality, they stood tall, taller than any man in order to make themselves seen and heard. By 1918, they had challenged the British Government to allow women the right to vote, in which women above the age of 30 who owned property were included in the elections. It was a small victory. However, the suffragettes worked tirelessly, putting themselves at great risk, to level the playing field with men even further. As a result of their determination, in 1928, all women over the age of 21 were permitted to vote in England (in America, women were afforded this right in 1920, France did not allow women the vote until 1945 and Saudi Arabian women were only granted the right to vote in 2011). Each of these dates were a monumental victory for women. It remains so today. However, today it is also a bitter reminder that women's journey to equality only truly began less than 90 years ago in England, and 6 years ago in Saudi Arabia.

Thus, there should be no confusion as to why women rallied for the various Women's Marches this January. The reason is evident. Women have suffered and women still suffer. They have always been perceived as lesser human beings, despite their monumental achievements which challenge those of most men (here’s looking at you Marie Curie, Boudicca, Joan of Arc, Jane Austen, Florence Nightingale, Emmeline Pankhurst, Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai - to name only a small few).

Women are strong and alarmingly for many politicians and world leaders, when they unite, they are practically untouchable (yeah, that's right, put your wandering hands away!). But, as a surprise plot twist to our ancestors, women now have a majority of the media, politicians and men on their side for the ride too and if there is one thing that every history book is unanimous on, it is that men are indeed, strong.

Therefore, in conclusion, the next time that somebody suggests feminism is just a "phase", remind them that women have remained consistent in their plight for centuries, and what they are seeing now is the wave of feminism cresting upon them. Ask them, do they want to be washed away by the current? Or, would they rather swim into it head first, hand in hand, with some of the fiercest people on the planet: women.

If they need a little more convincing, invite them to join the next Women's March - if they are strong enough to handle it.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Important Lessons La La Land Teaches Us...


Let's admit it: 2017 crept up on us and gave us the fright of our lives. The only way that we could handle it was to listen to the La La Land soundtrack repeatedly in between composing angry tweets, protesting and signing petitions. The captivating musical allowed us respite from our melancholy musings about the world and our place in it. Ryan Gosling swept in in his tailored suit, like you'd always imagined in your dreams and dazzled us beyond all comprehension and Emma Stone, as usual, made you seriously consider dying your hair ginger. In short, it helped us to focus on something else other than politics and which Kardashian has the biggest lips, arse and Instagram following.

However, your eagerness to succumb to the spectacle may have made you overlook key elements which teach us some very valuable lessons:

Chicks before dicks.
It appears that even in Hollywood the girls prioritize whirlwind romances over firm friendships. Except, they are sacrificing friends for Ryan Gosling rather than Ryan-from-the-club (aka. Ryan Go Sling). Chicks before dicks is a true epidemic, that La La Land romanticizes it by distracting you with starry skylines and a killer soundtrack.

There is a brief moment where you question whether you are actually watching a re-make of West Side Story as Maria Mia, flanked by female friends, sings and dances her way into your heart. However, those female friends are gone before they can even consider being nominated for a Best Supporting Actress gong at the Oscars. They are unceremoniously turfed out of the narrative when Mia moves in with Seb and pursues her "one woman show".

The result? Her friends are not present in the crowd to support Mia's one-woman play. They are also not there to provide a shoulder to cry on when Mia's relationship with Seb breaks down and instead she has to run back to her parents' house. So, remember chicks before dicks, next time you are sad and need a gal pal to eat Ben & Jerry's in bed with.

If you get knocked down, get back up again.
Mia is rejected tirelessly at auditions, in quite a brutal fashion. Seb loses his sacred jazz bar which has its whole essence torn apart when it is re-opened as a Samba & Tapas restaurant. Mia's one woman show is a flop. Their whirlwind romance shatters into pieces. Yet they never stop trying. Eventually, they both get exactly what they want, well, except for each other.

Stay true to you.
It's not always that easy to reject work simply because it doesn't fit with your creative views, especially when your rent is due and your stomach rumbling. Sometimes you have to take something a little less desirable in order to understand what it is you really want. For example, Seb whilst playing with the band claims to Mia that that is exactly what he wants to do, when deep down his soul is screaming for something else. Eventually, he realises the error of his ways and pursues his dream. Moral of the story: Know what it is that you want to achieve and stick to it throughout, even when you find yourself comfortable. Never settle.

John Legend is a GOD.
Okay, okay, you already knew that. If your heart is still weak from repeatedly playing All of Me, then you were probably not ready for his cameo in La La Land. I wasn't. It is at this point that I tell you that once you have finished listening to the La La Land playlist on Spotify, it automatically waltzes into John Legend's latest work - and people say magic doesn't exist?!


Friday, 27 January 2017

5 Shows You NEED To Watch On Netflix

Christmas is over, even if we don't like to admit it and the New Year has rolled violently in (One word: Trump). Despite your better judgement, you will have compiled a New Years resolution list that explicitly declares: NO MORE NETFLIX. You will have made false promises to yourself in the first page of your journal, underlined three times in your best handwriting, such as: Be more productive. Eat more green food (ew). Don't get distracted - eyes on the prize! 

However, it is now the end of January and you have managed to abide by your own rules for approximately three months before realising that the Easter chocolate is on the store shelves already and eating clean is no fun. 

So, grab a bag of mini eggs, put your feet up and enjoy these gifts from the Netflix God's:

1. The Crown

Despite having reigned over Great Britain for 65 years, the details of the Queen's personal life are a mystery. Dogs with Instagram accounts provide more insight into their lives than the Royal Family - well, except for Prince Harry! So, you cannot help but be totally absorbed by the intimate view that The Crown provides. Lavish costumes, intricate sets and explosive storylines - that are based mostly on true events - will have you so captivated that your finger will permanently sit upon the 'Repeat' button. God Save The Crown!

What's the damage?
Season One includes 10 episodes which are one hour long. So, by my calculations, you can easily do it in one day! Season Two is scheduled for November 2017. Warning: side effects may include a sudden desire to speak the Queens English whilst wearing a headscarf and a string of pearls.

2. 13th

Documentaries are such an undervalued commodity. It is all very well sitting comfortably to watch the latest blockbuster, but they cannot educate and inform you the way in which a documentary does and in these turbulent times, it is knowledge that can empower us. Read the paper, read reputable news sources and WATCH DOCUMENTARIES, such as 13th. Never have I been so uncomfortable whilst watching something - unless you count the health and safety DVD's that you are forced to watch at work which teach you how to correctly lift a cardboard box. The documentary focuses on the criminalization of African American's and how the various Presidents of the United States have contributed to the (false) generalization that all people of color are criminals. Scholars, activists and politicians analyse the history of a culture that sees people of color as permanently guilty in comparison to white men and women. It is thought-provoking, emotional and downright inspiring...oh, and it is nominated for an Oscar.

What's the damage?
This must-see piece only requires 1 hour and 40 minutes of your time, however it will feel as though you're watching it for decades as you take a trip back through history that pre-dates you and even your parents. Warning: side effects may include a feeling of contempt towards the American legal system, politicians and the police - just like normal then?!

3. Louis Theroux Collection

Whilst we are on the subject of documentaries that totally kick-ass, let me introduce Louis Theroux. You should already be familiar with the British filmmaker who has provided a series of enlightening and downright terrifying documentaries over the years. Netflix knows something good when they see it and snapped up all of Theroux's old episodes from the late 90's and early 00's. Each episode within the collection on Netflix opens your eyes to a different culture. For example, in one you meet the Westboro Baptist Church who protest at the funerals of dead soldiers whilst holding placards emblazoned with "Thank God for dead soldiers" and in another rather explicit episode you are welcomed into the home of a legal brothel in Nevada. There is never a dull moment and above all they will make you feel incredibly normal the more and more you watch.

Whats the damage?
There are 21 episodes in the collection which focus on an array of subjects such as people with dementia, children with mental disorders, religious extremists, porn stars, jails and plastic surgery. Each episode is approximately one hour long. Warning: side effects may include a fear to ever leave the safety of your home again.

4. Dexter

Its an oldie, but a goodie, honestly. Even if you have not watched an episode, you have probably heard somebody talk about Dexter - or, maybe they were just talking about Michael C. Hall who plays Dexter, either way they are both pretty great. Once you start watching it, you will NOT be able to stop. Dexter Anonymous classes should be set up around the world to provide those who watch it with somewhere to discuss the glorious carnage that they see on their screens. It ain't pretty - Dexter is a ~good~ serial killer who ironically works for the police forensics team as a blood spatter analyst - but, it will certainly leave you desperate for more - you sicko!

What's the damage?
A Netflix series is for life, not just for Netflix and chill - something you should remember with Dexter. The series consists of 8 seasons, with each season being 12 episodes that are one hour long. It is worth evey minute though, all 5,76o of them. Warning: side effects may include bizarre sympathy for a serial killer and may make you regret picking on the nerdy kid back at school.

5. Peaky Blinders

Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy feature, end of story, case dismissed. Seriously though, this wild joy ride around Birmingham, England in the early 1900's will have you planning blue prints for a time machine so that you can go back and join in the fun. There is action, a strong storyline and adventure - and Tom Hardy - what more could you want?

What's the damage?
There are currently two seasons on Netflix, each season made up of 6 episodes that are one hour long. Season 3 has already shown on British TV and will be coming to Netflix soon. Season 4 is due to begin filming in March 2017 for release in autumn 2017. Warning: side effects may include a partial Birmingham accent and desire to turn violent. Oh, and heart palpitations when Cillian Murphy hits the screen - which is basically non-stop. 


Thursday, 10 November 2016

Social Media - The Millennials Achilles Heel

 Social media is a fiery pit of chaos. Sometimes we, as the users, are warmed by the flames as they flicker and rage, but mostly we are savagely burnt by them. We only have ourselves to blame, for we are the ones who ignite that fire, and stoke it. Adding kindling in the form of 140 characters. As they say, if you play with fire, you will get burnt.

However, we are blissfully naive to the impact and devastation we are causing on a daily basis. The metaphorical smoke alarm is not sounding and we, humanity, are soon to succumb to the fumes. That was until, the heat emanating from the 2016 American presidential election roused our spirits.

Over this past year, society has slowly woken, sleepy and dazed, to the fact that they are causing their own demise on social media. A primary example occurred in June, when a majority of the British people were left shocked and appalled after the Brexit movement narrowly won. Why? Because social media seemed to predict that all was well. For nobody on Twitter had seemed to support the change. Facebook too seemed to be saturated with comments in support of the 'Better Together' campaign. Did this prompt the British people to become lazy voters? Confident that the result would reflect their Twitter timeline?

It is hard to comprehend that there are people out there with a differing view from your own, when all you read are snippets from those whose ideas and morals you agree with. It leads you to a false sense of security. In the case of Brexit, only 71.8% of the population turned out to vote. Which means that over 27% did not think it necessary to fight for what they believed in. Many may scoff at 27%, and think that to be a significantly low number, but those people only need be reminded that the Leave Campaign won, roughly, by a minimal 4%. Every vote counted. The nation was divided, and we were completely blindsided to this fact until the result was broadcast.

Similarly, America has experienced the same situation with the election of Donald Trump as president. From the outset, Twitter was awash with mockery for the businessman, many were dumbfounded that it wasn't all an elaborate joke. Even a video of President Obama chastising Trump went viral. So, how did he managed to win? Who on Earth voted for him?

Half the American population did. Half. Over 59 million people ticked Trump on their ballot. Where were these people hiding throughout the debates? Clearly not on social media. Did this make Americans lazy voters? Did they presume that nobody could possibly vote for the man who was ridiculed by the world? Again, America - like England, five months ago - was blinkered to the fact that their country was split, fairly equally. I say equally, for even though Hillary won the popular vote by just over 200,000, this isn't a victory. If social media were anything to go by, Hillary should have won by a landslide.

Is it a generational divide? For, it was established that had millennials alone voted, they would have turned America blue and England wouldn't be in a 'complicated relationship' with Europe. At the US election, it is calculated that under 20% of people aged between 18 and 29 fulfilled their constitutional right and voted, opposed to over 50% of the over 60's. Could this have been impacted by social media? Back in 2008, when Obama was first elected, approximately 50% of 18 to 29's turned out to vote. Could it possibly have been that they felt more threatened at that point? Or, quite simply, that in 2008, social media was only fledgling?

You cannot deny that the young people of this world have been brought up in a society entirely different to those of the elder. The queues to the polling stations were peppered with those born anywhere between the 1920's and 1990's. Two years which are the polar opposite of one another. This past century has been a whirlwind, meaning that the children of today have entirely different standards, morals and beliefs to those 80 years before them. The predominant cause of this is the rise in technology and the creation of fast news. News which is available within seconds, and now even live, which doesn't allow many people the chance to think for themselves before they are spoon feed information. But, that is a whole other rant story.

With the election and Brexit aside. Social media is controlling what we care about. We allow it to consume us. Ignorant to terrorist attacks across the globe in favor of a celebrity divorce. It is beginning to influence us in ways that we are subconscious to. It is helping to divide this fragile nation.

All we can now do, is hope that the future generations keep alight their burning desire to fight for equality across all ranges. Fight for their countries and fight for their hearts. We need to start canceling out the white noise of social media. We need to continue to discuss and create. We need to read the whole story, and not just the clipped version published in a tweet or status. We need to fight for our futures, opposed to waiting for those we follow to do it for us. Social media is powerful, maybe more so than we have even realised. But, finally, remember that with great power comes great responsibility!

See you on the other side, let's hope they have cocktails. Oh, and don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@WTGH_Blog)


Saturday, 5 November 2016

Romance Is Dead (Thanks Tinder!)

Romance is on a rapid journey towards extinction. It has been brutally undervalued by millennials for years, and as a direct result, it is endangered. With your help and just one love letter a month, we can end this abuse and save romance from disappearing forever. DONATE NOW.

I have just cancelled, last minute, on my fourth Tinder date this month. Why? Because it feels as though something is missing. Preparing for a Tinder date is marred with dread, a feeling in my stomach that I can only associate to those school days where all I could do was consider pulling a sicky in order to escape. It's a notion that is confusing for me, as ultimately I have signed myself in for these dates. Indeed, I agreed to go. So, at one point it was what I wanted, right?

No, that's not it. I'll tell you what it is. It's simply a case of boredom, peppered with a hint of loneliness. I have just moved to London, and for this past month, I have felt paranoid that by making this move I am subjecting myself to spinsterhood. I don't know anybody here and nobody even so much as smiles at me on my daily routine. In fact, I would go as far to say that they legitimately frown at me. So, how will I ever find 'the one', my true soulmate, my partner in crime?

So, we are back to the beginning again. Tinder. The app that we all love to hate, but still use frequently. Why can we not stop ourselves from trawling through reams of potential suitors who do not have anything remotely in common with us? It remains a mystery. Tinder breeds creatures who wouldn't thrive on any other platform. If a guy walked up to you in the street and bluntly told you that he was into casual sex and needed someone that felt the same way, would you run into his arms? Or in the opposite direction? 

Ultimately, and to cut a long story short, I know what it is that is 'missing' from my Tinder experience. It is the elusive thing of romance. The type that is only featured these days in Hollywood films and questionable TV adverts. We need a romance revolution. A lot has changed since the good old days of Truman Capote and Jane Austen novels, and we cannot simply wait in our stately homes for a knight in shining armour to appear, horseback and gallop off with us into the sunset. It is time to save romance, before its too late. 


Sunday, 25 September 2016

5 Series You Need To Watch On Netflix

Netflix is undeniably a huge modern day essential, with the majority of the population possessing a subscription. Its a social normality to have a Netflix binge, and the popular phrase 'Netflix & Chill' has been coined. I, myself, am guilty of numerous binge sessions, and thus I present to you a list compiled of series you need to dedicate some time days  to. 

Orange Is The New Black 
No doubt, you are bored of the churned out, tired reality shows that all seem to feature Simon Cowell on mainstream television (you know, television that you pay a license for to be subjected to utter garbage for the most part?). This is where a Netflix original series, like OITNB can revitalise your view on the production industry. It explores relevant topics in a subtle manner, allowing you to come away educated and quizzical about pressing issues, such as #BlackLivesMatter and white privilege. You may only be watching for light hearted entertainment, but you will be surprised by the way in which it grasps your attention (not only the lesbian scenes, which I advise, are quite uncensored - not for the faint hearted or prudish). 
 OITNB is currently up to season 4, which is where it is at its best. The series matures into something quite heartrending and personal.

Stranger Things
The most hyped show of recent months title is awarded to Stranger Things (well, unless you consider the return of The Great British Bake Off).  I couldn't resist the temptation to jump on the bandwagon as my twitter timeline erupted with people gripped by the storyline. It took me two evenings to complete (#NoShame) and I was utterly compelled by every moment. It is bizarre, to the extent where I truly believe that it would almost benefit from you watching it intoxicated. The storyline is intriguing but, in all honesty, does not make a great deal of sense. Season 2, will hopefully offer the answers to my (and many others) array of questions. Regardless, it is a great series which will completely bemuse and confuse you and you will irrevocably fall in love with the children who star in the lead roles. (If you haven't seen them dance at the opening of the Emmy's, then you really must).

Its an oldie, but a goodie. So good, that I binge watched it for practically three months, which is predominantly because its a bloody good show and also partly due to the fact that I had a confused love for Dexter Morgan. There are a LOT of episodes, so this is only for the committed, as once you commence it will be difficult to stop. It is assumed that you know the premise of Dexter, however, if not: It explores the life of a serial killer, but a killer who will only target those who 'deserve' to die and pose a threat to society. It is all very ironic, really. A killer who kills killers to rid society of evil. But, the twist is that you will really like Dexter Morgan, and his vulnerability and it is him that carries the whole show (obviously, its named Dexter, after all).

Suitably one of the best dramas. It may make you question your own intelligence, but will quickly make you feel comfortable with being separate from any part of the corporate law industry. It will enlighten you into the way in which those high fliers function, and make you realise that maybe they are entitled to those large bonuses they receive. The storyline is realistic to a degree, and it reels you in, making you feel as though you're a member of the firm at your seat in the board room.

Peaky Blinders
Utter chaos, in every way. Compelling to watch, Peaky Blinders will captivate your imagination for a world not so far from our own. Set in Birmingham in the early 1900's, it gives you a taste of the gangster life which is often glamourised by Hollywood films in a raw and gripping manner. Side effects may include, you inadvertently falling in love with Tommy Shelby and adopting a brummy accent. There aren't too many episodes, and they feature Tom Hardy, so its a no-brainer, really. 


Saturday, 13 August 2016

The Adulthood Welcome Party

I turned twenty-one this year, and the expectation was far greater than the reality. In my mind I envisioned reaching this age naturally condoned some form of great acknowledgement (especially when you take into consideration my tendencies to injure oneself). I imagined that it warranted an exclusive pass into a new world, where adventure was predominantly situated on the menu alongside a dose of certainty and glamour. Where every hour was happy hour and the guests of honour were privileged opportunities. A cold beverage, preferably sparkling, would be supplied for a toast to your younger years, where you could laugh comically in relief that it was now all but a distant memory that was vital in order to project you into this world of adult status.

Undoubtably, you can pre-empt that this was vastly miscalculated. For many of you reading this will already have been deflated by the sharp, unforgiving object that is life. Unlike learning to ride a bike, this is not a practice run, you cannot cry to your Father requesting that he screw the stabilisers back on after you have fallen off and grazed your knees, embarrassed and unforgiving of the cruel nature that is learning. There is no dress rehearsal, if you fall off stage you are expected to spring back up and remain in character, for corpsing in front of an audience is frowned upon. But why? You don't automatically loose all your dependencies and insecurities when the clock strikes midnight on the eve of your birthday. I wish they would, but they simply don't.

So why it is, that you have managed to figure this out for yourself and yet the rest of the world cannot comprehend that there is no seamless transfer? Even those who have been firmly rooted within adulthood for a significant period seem to be niave to your struggle. Are you going to university? No, oh, well what do you plan to do instead? You don't know..? My dear, this is the big world now, you realise? 
If that is so, why do you still treat me with a patronising demeanour? Oh, how I have longed to bite back with a response of this tone, but have patiently refrained. There is no benefit to a retort of this manner, for it further weakens your composure. A composure which has already been pelted with damaging blows when life callously ripped away your safety blanket.

It would appear that there is no mechanical switch within us that flicks 'off' to the array of immature emotions and restless desires that accompany you throughout youth. The sort of immaturity that tells you to drink alcohol mindlessly, urges you to kiss boys who's name you can't even recall and sees you flit from one thing to the next, no particular sedimentary ties to anything in particular, as you search desperately for something that can set your soul alight. But wait, wasn't adulthood meant to present miraculous opportunities to you on a silver platter with an acknowledgement note that reads: Congrats for surviving your hideous teenage years, you rose to the challenge and it certainly wasn't pretty, so heres something on us - Kind Regards, Your Dignity. No? Okay then.

Just like that I accept that the hard work has actually only just begun. Those teenage years of embarrassing antics that you believed would all be a farcical joke one day, now appear a reoccurring element and the sort of stories you could recount over a glass of wine at a sophisticated dinner party and then accredit to your development stages, will now most likely have happened one week prior rather than ten years ago.

There is no welcome party to any stage of your years, or none that I am yet to stumble upon aged twenty-one, but if anyone does know of the location of an elicit welcome-to-adulthood party, I would be grateful for the details. But in the mean time, I shall entertain myself in the limbo stages where I shall maintain what is left of my dignity after the whirlwind of teenage mistakes and practice my grown-up voice and hand gestures.


Monday, 10 June 2013

Dressing Table/Vanity Table Decor

(Image Credit: We Heart It)
I am sure that I am not the only one who doesn't wish for a beautifully organised space that solely holds all of my makeup. I have been recently sucked into the world of Tumblr and am constantly seeing home decor inspiration pictures, it does indeed seem that I am not alone in my wish for a neat and tidy, yet pretty and girly space. I thought that I would share with you some of my favourite home decor inspiration pictures, to maybe help you if you're planning a summer re-vamp!

Acrylic organisers
Clear plastic trays have been popular on many blogs and Youtube beauty accounts for organisation and to help ease of use. After all, you can easily see through the clear plastic, meaning that if you have a large makeup stash, you can quickly find what you were looking for. Also, there is something crisp and fresh looking about the clear plastic pots! You can buy a range of different plastic storage containers from muji, (link here) and they're surprisingly cheap and affordable! They're a dream for an incredibly organised person as you can split different brands, and types of makeup into each section, again making everything very easy to find!
There is something about bloggers and their candles, for some reason, every dressing table (vanity tables to you Americans!) has to have a candle perching on top. I have had a candle on top of my dressing table for over a year now, and I am still yet to light it. I think that they can look pretty and just add something, plus a candle with a delicious fragrance always brightens areas! Obviously if you want to go all out and blogger style, there are a vast array of candles at diptyque, however if you're on a budget and think £50 is a lot for a candle (that will be everyone!), then you can always buy from your local supermarket!
Fairy Lights
No matter whether you're ten or twenty-years-old, fairy lights will always be magical and pretty. They can instantly add character and brighten up certain areas. I love turning on my fairy lights as they just feel cosy and magical. If you don't have a great amount of light in your room then fairy lights are ideal as they can instantly, with the flick of a switch, add light! Although I wouldnt reccomend solely using the lights given out from fairylights when applying your makeup! Its always best to use natural light where possible!

Flowers (fake or real)
Flowers to me always brighten little corners and bring an instant feel of spring and summer. On my dressing table I have a fake rose flower, which subtly adds an incredible amount of colour and, happiness, to my dressing table. Real flowers obviously have so much more character with fragrance and the fact that over time their colour will change. However, if like me you're no good with keeping plants alive or don't want to constantly be buying flowers, then you may just have to fake it! There is no shame in a fake flower, although the real ones are so much more satisfying and unique!

Vintage pots & jars
Pots and jars are incredibly handy, not just in the kitchen, but on your dressing table too. You can store many items in them from makeup brushes, to hair brushes, to lip balms, to lipsticks, the list goes on. Vintage jars have a unique feeling to them, in the fact that they look worn and used and also are probably quite one of a kind. Glass jars can look clear, crisp and almost quite modern and again, its easy to see what the contents of a see-through glass jar are. A mis-match of jars of all different shapes and sizes can really add an eye-catching point to a dressing table, especially when filled with many lovely beauty bits and bobs! There are many quirky glass items that can be found here, here and here (or you could always look in the home departments of supermarkets for cheaper alternatives, failing that search your cupboards!)

Quite obviously you'd need a mirror on your dressing table, otherwise, its simply just a table. You can buy simple, cheap mirrors from practically every home department of every supermarket or from cheap furniture stores like Ikea. However, finding the ideal mirror can really change the whole dynamics of your dressing table. For example, the colour, as dark wood can make your table have an over-all, well, dark feel to it, whereas a light (say, white) coloured mirror can have the opposite effect. The decoration also changes aspects, with ornate mirrors being quite eye-catching and decorative and plain, simple mirrors only being there to serve its purpose as a mirror rather than a centre piece. Either way, its best to find your ideal mirror first and build your dressing table around it, as the mirror is after all the key piece to a dressing table!
Lighting (featuring VELUX blinds)
Its quite an obvious point that lighting is quite important in the grand scheme of dressing tables. After all, it is where you will be applying your makeup and nobody wants to go out with orange lines and over-blushed cheeks, now, do they? (Bridget Jones moments as I like to think of them!) I am fortunate enough to have the most enourmous window in my room, which means that I have a lot of natural lighting (which is very important), however natural lighting doesnt have to be totally dull and boring. For quite a while I have thought about adding blinds to my room, to try and control the amount of natural lighting I get. Its very easy to swipe my curtains closed, but I cant close them halfway that is simply not how curtains work! So blinds have been an option now, and I recently fell in love with some very girly patterns! Who thought I would be blogging about blind patterns?! I was browsing through patterns at VELUX ®, who do everything from plain to girly florals! Everything in my room is quite pink and girly and also slightly 'shabby chic', and so I always thought blinds may take away some of that feeling and make it look very modern and, slightly clinical? However I am warming to the idea. You can browse through the different pretty blind patterns here at, if you like me think that you need to bring your bedroom into the 21st century! VELUX do have quite the array of funky patterns and colours and do indeed show that blinds dont have to be boring!

You can see a previous blog post, here, on my very own dressing table!
Share links to your dressing tables, I do love some good inspiration pictures!


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