Tag Archives: Bloggers

Blogging Celebrations Ensue:

Because my blog’s birthday was a little lacking in posts and fun things, I decided that I would make it a week-long celebration. As someone who was actually born on Christmas Eve, I am a definite supporter of week-long birthday bashes! In celebration of my blog’s first year, I would like to write about some bloggers that have inspired me even if our blogs are within different spectrums. I’m not sure I really have a niche for my blog yet, I say ‘lifestyle’ but I guess it’s a ‘write whatever comes to mind’ style blog instead. Today I’ve decided to write about my friends, Amy from Cocktails in Teacups and Rachel from Happy Little Syllables. Both girls are two people I consider very close friends and who helped me more than they could possibly know last year, so what better way to thank them by shamelessly plugging their blogs and saying great things about them?

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I love Amy, she is one of life’s very rare treats and never fails to put a smile on my face. She writes at Cocktails in Teacups about fashion, beauty and her life that she shares with her practically perfect in every way daughter, Little Miss. I first met her very recently when we met up in Newcastle with Sian and Rachel for the day and I had a blast. She is an amazing woman who has had her fair share of struggles, but has weathered those storms and come out stronger and happier than ever. I love reading her blog because she has this effortless charm about her, that is probably as a result of her Disney infatuation, which I guess would make anyone bubbly and sweet, but I think Amy encapsulates the essence of Disney in a way that basically makes her a princess. I love her a lot and I know that she’s had a tough time lately, so I just wanted to give back to her what she gave to me, by shamelessly plugging her blog and her friendship. She’s a sweetheart and I think people like Amy deserve to be told all of the time.

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On paper, Rachel and I shouldn’t get on. She’s from Sunderland and I’m from Newcastle and tradition dictates that we should not be pals, but, like Romeo and Juliet and like Allie and Noah from The Notebook, we weathered those storms and became fast friends. We didn’t have sex or kill ourselves, either, so I guess that’s one thing that makes us infinitely better than the aforementioned play/book/films. Rachel and I met via Twitter, which is always the way, and formed a fast friendship through our love of wine, terrible banter and Absolutely Fabulous. She’s another person who helped me through a really dark time and I hope that I’ve been there for her in the same way. Rachel is suffers from a chronic illness, but as anyone who will know her, knows that she won’t let that stop her from doing all the things she wants to do. Late last year she started Femtellectual and asked me to write for her and having watched the site go from strength to strength and feature some of the most amazing blogging talents that the blogging world has to offer, it’s an even bigger privilege to be one of Rachel’s friends.

So, there you go, two of my lady loves that have inspired me both in terms of blogging and in terms of friendship. I’ve never really been one for female friendships, but with the help of these two, I’ve rediscovered what it’s like to be a part of a group that are loving, supportive and undoubtedly hilarious. Lots of love to you both. xx

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Happy Birthday, Doris Daze!

This time last year, I spent an inordinate amount of time alone; I would wake up alone, lie and stare blankly at the ceiling, wondering how many hours I would have to be awake before I could get hammered. If it was longer than ‘a few’, I would roll over and go back to sleep. During the week, I didn’t see a soul and the monotony of waking up and waiting to get drunk so I could feel something was my routine. My sister would come and see me and not see anything wrong with me, so would retreat back into her brand new relationship, telling my parents they were being paranoid for suggesting that I was depressed. I wasn’t depressed, though… I didn’t really feel anything in order to feel depressed.

From the space between September 2013 and May 2014, I saw my best friend once, a friend I had never met once and my other best friend twice. Other than that, I spent it alone. I hung out with my sister maybe four times. On a Friday, my dad would insist on picking me up and buying me wine so that I would spend the weekend with him and my mam. Neither of them liked the idea of me being alone, because they were frightened of what I would do. I would then spend the weekend staring blankly into space, locking myself in the spare bedroom or crying. I appreciated the effort my parents went to and I would sometimes put on my game face and pretend I was okay for their benefit, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t at all.

I was living in a house that was too big and too expensive to heat, so I didn’t heat it and wore blankets, trying to keep the winter chill from getting to me. Sometimes, I could see my breath when I lay in bed, it was that cold. It was a house where electricity was too expensive to light, so I didn’t light it and kept all of my energy for my laptop, so I could use Facebook and chat to my mam and my friend Sarah online. I had no job, I had no money and every day I received threatening letters about pay-day loans and other things that my ex had signed up for in my name – he had committed fraud, but I was being left to sort them out myself. My bank balance read £0.45 and I wasn’t eligible for any form of governmental help, so I had to rely on graciously accepting familial donations of £10 here and £20 there… I ate one meal per day, unless it was a special occasion (like, my sister came to visit, or my dad took me shopping) and that usually consisted of lettuce or cucumber, bread and the occasional tin of mackerel. I also used a lot of that money to buy wine, so that my nights weren’t spent cold and lonely, terrified of sleeping, of my environment, living in constant fear that my landlord was going to break in and be horrible to me. I hated my life; I hated waking up and feeling the way that I did, so I used a lot of the money that my family donated in good will, to getting wasted and self-harming so that it didn’t hurt as much anymore.

Then, one day, I decided to start a blog. I was at my parents’ house, as it was my dad’s birthday the following day and I was staying in my sister’s bedroom as she wasn’t home. I used her PC to play Skyrim on, which was my perpetual comfort blanket, when suddenly, for the first time in a long time, I decided I wanted to write. My family, particularly my beloved grandma, were panicking about Valentine’s Day, given that it was my first one as a single lady in a long time, but, as I told her, I didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day – I’d made the effort over the years, because I felt that it was right to do, but even to this day, I’ve only received two Valentine’s Day presents and they were both off my sister; An Audrey Hepburn print and a vintage-style champagne flute with some pug socks. So Valentine’s Day doesn’t really represent ‘love’ in my opinion. Then again, nothing I had experienced, really represented ‘love’. Convenience, maybe. Sex, maybe. But, love? No way… anyway, my first post was about Valentine’s Day. It was an entirely creative piece, but it was funny, I thought and that’s what I decided I wanted to do: I wanted to make myself laugh. I wanted to use life experiences to pull myself out of the perpetual slump I was in, because I wanted to move on. I didn’t want to be sad any more. And that’s how Doris Daze was born.

The happiness that I’ve been able to feel through writing this blog knows no bounds; it has been my constant, amazing best friend for a whole year now, and continues to be something I love to be a part of. Blogging helped bring me back to life again and allowed me to discover who I really am. Through this blog, I have managed to communicate with some amazing people, including some of the best friends in the world: Mungle, Sian, Emilie, Rachel, Amy, Marie, Leona and Becky. I rediscovered friendship and what it feels like to be loved and appreciated by people I get to call friends. I haven’t been a part of their lives much recently and I realise how much I miss them all; they are my lady humans and when I met them and began using social media to chat to them hundreds of times a day, waking up didn’t seem as bad anymore, because they were there to laugh and to play with. They were my company and slowly made the sting of loneliness disappear. Through these girls, particularly through Emilie, I rediscovered feminism and I embraced the movement like an old friend, which in turn helped me become newly self-assured, confident and respectful of myself. I began to write cathartically about bad things that happened to me and used feminist ideals to progressively feel better about those bad things so that they weren’t making me cry any more. I became an overall healthier person, intent on living life for ME and not for anyone else. I owe all of that to the opportunities that blogging has given me.

Moreover, and perhaps the most important gift my blog has given me, is the fact that it was Doris Daze that brought Brain and I together. Initially, I’d made an active decision that I would never be in a relationship again, that I would never allow another person to diminish my character and make me ashamed of who I was; I didn’t need a relationship and I didn’t want one – I didn’t believe in what people could do to you and the power they could exert over you when you were in a relationship. They were dangerous, I thought, and the words my ex and his mother had imprinted on my consciousness was that I didn’t deserve happiness. That I wasn’t good enough. So, it genuinely upset me that I was smitten with Brain from the moment I was introduced to him (Bob Dylan t-shirt, blue eyes and a beard? I mean, come on, I didn’t stand a chance) and we became friends. We became best friends, actually, on our first day of meeting and it only got better – those days where I was getting to know him will forever be etched into my memories as the best time ever – I’d made friends with the male version of myself and it was awesome. Brain was also the first person I actively gave my blog link to; it was the closest and most personal thing that I could share with someone and before then, I’d never felt secure enough to do so. It made me feel vulnerable, but for some reason I also felt like he was the only person I could trust with something as special as this. I have the link to him one Friday afternoon and by Monday he had read it in its entirety, from beginning to end, just like that. His reaction was, you should show more people, I think it will make them like you more. And that’s when I knew that Brain would remain the most important person in my life for as long as I could possibly try to do so; he didn’t see the bad things that happened to me as a black mark on my character and he didn’t besmirch me as some kind of terrible human who was to blame for all of the things that happened to her; he liked me more. Which means more to me than he could ever possibly know… well until now, because he still reads my blog 🙂 hiya!

I couldn’t be more grateful of the people who have taken time out to read my blog, because it means everything to me. Without my blog, I really don’t think I’d be in the position I am now. I’d probably be living at my parents, hooked on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication, living in a perpetual state of unhappiness and regret. Instead, I am head over heels in love with the most amazingly sweet and genuinely best human I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing and, better than that, I feel that I deserve the love he has to offer me. We live in an amazing little flat, overlooking the water, filled with belongings and paintings and posters that encapsulate our personalities (which are basically mirrored in one another) and our relationship… everything is so important because everything here I have experienced with him. I feel so safe, content and I feel happier than I have ever felt in my life and, more importantly, I feel that I am deserving of all of these nice things. I’ve genuinely forgotten what it feels like to be truly sad and when reading back through my old blogs, I really don’t know why I allowed myself to be so manipulated or so abused, or so sad as I felt about someone who was never worthy of my time.

It’s funny what blogging can do for people, but I’m really glad that my blog helped me discover who I really am. Thank you, all of you, who’ve taken time to read my blog over the past year… Here’s to you all. And here’s to you Doris Daze, happy birthday, my love.

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Funny Feminist – An Introduction.

Don’t let the title confuse you; I know the notion of a funny feminist is about as bizarre as peering into a tree trunk and watching a red squirrel donning nipple tassels and shaking what her mama gave her for leering grey squirrels for a few extra nuts during the winter, but worry not, fair reader, there are such things as funny feminists!

As previously discussed in another blog, I decided before Christmas that I would add a few more blogging goals to my general list of things I’d like to do this year and one of them was the concept of a series of ‘funny feminist’ posts written by either myself, or if people wanted to, other bloggers or readers/people who don’t blog of their own, but plenty of ideas they want to get out there.

It doesn’t have to be a post full of jokes etc. it could be anything at all; a generally humorous take on anything within pop culture, or a news piece, or even something that’s gone viral on the internet. A lot of women I know have hilarious opinions on pretty much everything, but they don’t really have the platform to post them anywhere other than perhaps a tweet or a Facebook status, so I want to do something that allows them to use my blog as their platform and allows them to write their opinions using their wit and personality as a basis.

‘Funny Feminst’ will be a series of blog posts posted once every week, or month depending on how I decide to do it, or how much interest there is, or how busy I am, but I think it’s a pretty good idea. I also want to use this to write about women who identify as feminists who I respect/like and would like to write a piece on, so there’s always that too.

I will be writing something shortly, but thought I’d introduce it a little bit first, before I get posting!

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Fem-Tellectual & Me:

Recently, Rachel over at Happy Little Syllables, launched a site for “pretty clever ladies” and asked me and a huge number of other women to write for her too. We write about our chosen topics, I guess, which include feminism, fashion, literature, science, technology… Basically anything that women are interested in, but in a way that is accessible to women from all walks of life.

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The basic ethos of the site is, that we’re all normal and just because someone blogs about fashion instead of the patriarchy, or that someone likes reading chick-lit instead of discussing misandry doesn’t mean that they don’t identify as feminists. As someone who has felt disillusioned by feminism, until she found her own manner in which to be an intelligent, feminine feminist without adhering to any stereotypes associated, I feel that Fem-tellectual offers women a safe haven to be themselves, discuss topics of interest to them and create a space where all women from all walks of life can go to and feel at home.

I wrote my first post on there today, which you can find by clicking here and make sure you visit the other blogs, written by other fantastically intelligent women!

Happy clicking!

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#BandAid30, Why I’m Not Buying Into It.

I am a huge supporter of charities and am more than happy to donate my time and money into funds and awareness raising to something worthy of the name, however, there is one thing I won’t be wasting my money on this year, and that is the Band Aid 30 Christmas Song. Or, as I’m taking to calling it: Bob Geldof and Bono’s Attempt at Shameless Grandstanding and Self-Righteous Preaching, Whilst Reluctantly Rubbing Shoulders with Inferiors in an Attempt to Further Glorify Themselves as Saviours of the Universe, Guilt Tripping, Publicly Shaming and Vilifying Anyone Who Dares to Say No to Them. I mean, I get why they called it Band Aid 30, more pleasing to the ears, I imagine.

Let’s not be under any illusion here: Band Aid 30 has nothing at all to do with fighting Ebola. Gathering One Direction, Ellie Goulding and Seal into a room, having them clutch their arms around each other and paint a woeful expression on their faces, crying out for us all to ‘feed the world’ is not about charity at all, and Geldof’s recent public shaming of Adele for not participating in the video is proof, if you ask me. Geldof recently stood in front of the media and slammed Adele for not taking part, vilifying her for choosing to ignore his phone calls and focus her attentions on her family instead. It turned out that Adele had made a private donation to Oxfam prior to declining the invitation to participate in the song, but that is still worthy of Geldof’s shaming,  is further justification that Geldof’s choice to reignite the dying embers of a song that hasn’t been relevant since the 1980s, is all about him. What can the perpetual regurgitation of an eighties song actually do to help fight whatever disease Geldof happens to be bothered about at the time of release? Whether it be famine (80s) or Ebola (today), what makes Band Aid 30 so important? How is being the fastest selling Christmas song ever released pivotal in the fight against Ebola? Answer is, it’s not important at all and the only reason we think that it’s important is because of Geldof’s constant grandstanding. The truth is that the song’s only relevance in pop culture is to guilt trip us, as a society, into believing that the fight against the spread of Ebola lies entirely in our hands; it’s scaremongering at its finest.

Geldof’s constant presence in the media this week is only a constant reminder that we are not doing our bit, that we’re selfish and that when we’re munching down on our Christmas dinners that, in most cases, we’ve been saving for the entire year to afford, that we’re laughing in the face of all those who’ve died of Ebola. We are being manipulated into believing that, if we don’t buy the Band 30 single, we are automatically synonymous with being racists who hate West Africa, laughing into our diamond encrusted goblets whilst thousands of people perish as a result of the disease. We are being manipulated into believing that the fight against Ebola lies entirely with us as a society: By ignoring Geldof’s grandstanding, we’re killing West Africans over Christmastime (but just over Christmastime, mind you. Once it’s over, we’ll not hear from Geldof for another decade when he’ll regurgitate the song for a fifth time to fight against whatever disease is relevant at the time).

I am electing not to feed into Geldof’s grandstanding, ego boosting, self-righteous attempt at superiority through his ‘selfless’ act of regurgitating 80s pop culture for the third time, opting to vilify people who don’t want to listen to or be a part of it. This does not mean I’m a racist who hates West Africa and wants everyone to die of Ebola. It simply means that I don’t want to be a supporter of Geldof’s ego; I would rather make my own donation to the fight against Ebola and be proud of myself for knowing I haven’t perpetuated the belief that celebrities en-masse equate to selfless acts of charity.

If you would like to make a donation (because, remember, it’s a choice), you can do so by following this link.

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