Wednesday, 1 April 2020

March 2020: the round up

Well, March has been a bit of a weird month hasn't it? Started off pretty normal and we're ending the month in lockdown. Here's what I've been up to...

I tried Ella's, a local Turkish restaurant in New Brighton, for the first time. The food and staff are lovely and when all this blows over, I'd recommend a visit. I had the falafel and it was beaut. That was the only meal out I had all month (other than a lovely Spoons lunch with my creative writing group) due to places getting locked down etc and I for one can't wait to start going out for meals again.

I decided, somewhat recklessly but also before things got serious, to book a cruise for September 2021. As it stands I still plan on going, providing I don't drain my savings while I'm out of work due to the current covid-19 situation. Being entirely self-employed it's a scary time right now! But, yeah, I booked the cruise. It's a Baltic cruise with NCL, and I just really hope I can do it. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Lockdown cupcakes
Mostly, I've been watching a lot of YouTube and Netflix. I watched White Gold, a comedy about window salesmen, and I would highly recommend. I also re-watched Safe because my parents haven't seen it (and it's even better than The Stranger) and watched Penance (Channel 5) and Feel Good (Channel 4). Wouldn't recommend Penance but Feel Good is literally one of the greatest shows I've ever seen, so do watch that while we're all stuck in a bit.

Following on from that I've re-watched every bit of Mae Martin stand up I can find as well as some other comedians; I'm finding stand up to be easier to watch than most things right now. Other than classic Disney Channel shows, am I right? I signed up to Disney+ and already love it!

National Treasure on Disney+
In terms of music I've mostly been listening to Jason Isbell (the three tracks off the upcoming album are stunning) and old Lady Antebellum stuff. Also, the new Bowling For Soup song is brilliant. I'll throw a little playlist together of the songs that have been keeping me sane - coming soon!

Being at home means I've had time to do a lot of cleaning and tidying and stuff, but that's also really boring. I've been sticking to a decent skincare routine: the IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser*, La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C10 Serum* and the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo* too. More in-depth reviews coming soon, of course, but I'm loving them all.

I've applied for a job at Asda, and as I'm writing this now I haven't heard anything yet. They're under immense pressure and I'm out of a job, so it's a match made in heaven I reckon. But we'll see what happens! For now I'm just staying at home, rotating all my football shirts in place of actual outfits, and trying to remember to take my vitamins.


Lots of love to you all in this incredibly trying time. Shout out to YouTube, my dog, my parents and the box of 33 Cadbury's chocolate orange snowmen I bulk bought on Amazon for getting me through it so far. If anybody is feeling the strain please know my DMs on social media (and my emails) are always open.


Monday, 30 March 2020

Lockdown 2020: word dump

TW: this post may be triggering to those with mental health issues. Please take care.

Being alone with your own thoughts is never a good thing. Having too much time at home is never a good thing - with nothing to do other than read and watch Disney+ and rearrange your make up drawers, it's no wonder we're all going stir crazy. There was a few days of sunshine where things seemed a bit more manageable; now though, it's all a bit dismal. Grey skies and incredibly grey moods, for me at least.

This post is a bit of a word dump, so bear with me. But as someone who used to suffer quite badly from depression and spent most of my time indoors doing basically nothing, I'm scared. I'm scared of falling back down the rabbit hole and back into old habits. Bad habits. Because when you're forced into a routine that so vividly echoes the one you were in at the worst time of your life, it's triggering.

Happier times
I'm doing everything I can to keep my head above the water. I'm crying when I need to and doing my colouring in and painting my nails - old distraction techniques that I'd hoped I would never need to resort to again. Yet here we are. I'm barely eating and I'm over sleeping and I'm making jokes about it, but I am worried. I've come so far from where I used to be and I never want to experience that drowning feeling again.

If you're in the same boat (sorry about all the water analogies????) then solidarity to you. Please know you can speak to me if you need a distraction or just want a bit of a rant. As much as the word 'unprecedented' has been bandied about like nobody's business, these really ARE unprecedented times. None of us have ever experienced something like this and, frankly, none of it seems real. It's scary and it's brand new and it's confusing - nobody's got it figured out and if you're making it through every day then you can and should be so proud of yourself.

Why am I sharing this, you might ask. Bit personal, isn't it? But I have always used my blog as a place to try and make sense of my own thoughts as well as a place to review the latest lipstick collection or share my favourite books. And I know in years to come I'll want to look back on this crazy time - I'll want to remember how much I struggled, and know that I came out the other side even stronger. Because I know I will.

15 things I'm looking forward to after the lockdown ends

Lockdown is just so boring isn't it? So mentally draining - who would have thought that doing nothing could be so exhausting and so stressful? But it is, and everything is a bit 'doom and gloom' right now so I thought I'd try and share something positive. So without further ado, here are 15 things I'm looking forward to after lockdown...


✨Getting my brows done - they were booked in a couple of weeks ago and I had to cancel them, so I really can't wait for this one...
✨That first ice cold pint of dark fruits in my local when we're re-open
✨Snogging all my friends faces off without fear of infecting anyone
✨Going for a mooch around Poundland, Home Bargains and B&M for no reason
Booking a holiday and knowing it'll go ahead - the travel itch is real right now
✨Freelance work picking up again
Eating out somewhere nice for tea
✨Watching the football (in the pub with another pint of dark fruits)
✨Hearing my nephew tell me a rubbish joke
✨Seeing all my postponed plans get rearranged
✨Taking a break from watching the news every day
✨Seeing my screen time report decrease slightly
✨Being back behind the bar
✨Popping to the shop without feeling judged
✨Having soft hands again


Just a quick tongue-in-cheek post to share something more light hearted! What are YOU looking forward to when all this is over? I really, really hope it's soon.


Friday, 27 March 2020

My top 10 picks on Disney+

I wasn't going to get Disney+ initially, but when I saw they were doing a 7-day free trial I thought "eh what's the harm"... well the harm is, it's bloody AMAZING and I will be continuing my subscription. But at £5.99 a month I've decided it's worth it, for the sake of my declining mental health. Anyway, without further ado, here are my top 10 picks on Disney+ that you should definitely watch...

National Treasure


If you know me, you'll know this is my favourite film. I'm not embarrassed to admit that - and I've seen it more times than I can count. It's got everything I love in a film: history, romance, adventure, humour and a hot blonde. You absolutely can't lose - plus the sequel is pretty good too!

Moana


One of my favourite Disney animated films - the storyline and soundtrack are phenomenal, and the animation itself is bloody incredible. If you haven't seen this yet, for some reason, then add it to your Disney+ watch list immediately.

Phineas and Ferb


Easy-watching humour that appeals to everyone, with a theme tune by Bowling For Soup? What more you *actually* want?! I find this genuinely hilarious as cartoon series go, and if you want something to pop on in the background while you're working from home or re-organising your craft drawers or baking sourdough, this is the one.

Black Panther


I'm not really into Marvel but but but - Black Panther is one of the best films I've ever seen. The cast, costumes, scenery and storyline are amazing and I was mindblown from start to finish the first (and second) time I watched this. Absolutely love!


Coco


Another animated Disney film that I absolutely adore - a beautiful story with fantastic animation, and one that I would highly recommend! The songs are proper catchy, too, and it's the perfect cosy afternoon film to watch.


The Lodge


This is a really naff British series about a girl who goes to stay at the hotel her family owns, and ends up having loads of drama and stuff. It really is a bit crap but I watched and enjoyed it when it originally came out and it's just some easy viewing!

Recess


I don't know how I've gone so long without watching Recess. I was absolutely obsessed with this as a kid and if you've never seen it, now's your chance. Absolute scenes in every episode. Crazy kids - there's a boss episode where they build a pyramid or something. Just fantastic stuff.

Christopher Robin


I loved Winnie the Pooh as a kid, and the recent Christopher Robin film is proof that this sort of magic lasts forever. Ewan McGregor is fantastic in this, and the story is so heartwarming. Grab your tissues (if you're not rationing them) but definitely give this a watch.


Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen


This is, I'm certain, Lindsay Lohan's best work. Also Megan Fox and Adam Garcia!!!! I used to watch this regularly when I was younger and I absolutely adore it - it's funny and a bit charming and just an all-round great film.

Ice Princess


What a throwback!!! I loved this film when I was younger, because I love ice skating and chick flicks and this combines the two perfectly. If you haven't seen it, then definitely give it a watch. Such a lovely film and I can't wait to watch it again...

There is so much to choose from but they're my top 10 picks on Disney+ right now. I'm also excited to explore the NatGeo documentaries and the DisneyNature selection, and I promise I'll watch some films I've not seen before too... Let me know your recommendations in the comments below!



Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Creative writing | March 2020

Does anyone want to read poetry in the middle of a pandemic? I hope so, because it's kind of got me inspired to write - and I came up with this little number last night. As they often are when I post them on my blog, this poem is a first draft. But I like it a lot and I hope you do too. Feel free to let me know, but don't be too mean about it...


Photo by Kristopher Roller

The Dancing Dodo: Pandemic Poetry #1



I want to get out of here, I thought:
to step on cracks and hold your hand
again, and whisper secrets into the core 
holes of bricks all the way home - remember 

how it feels to dance with the devil and the 
dragonflies. To feel the rain bounce off
the streetlights in the early hours of a
Saturday morning as stars fall from the

sky hundreds of miles away, clattering to the
ground - a series of near misses as the headlines 
cry for what could have been. To smudge red 
paint on my aching lips and stroke the pavement, 

mimicking the heartbeat of a city that sleeps too much and
too softly. My skin tingles and the floorboards creak and salt 
gets stuck in the gap between two kitchen drawers: time 
keeps going. The world belches and all at once the clouds

roll in. I need to see urban foxes sneaking into building sites 
and scavenging moths from damp grass, and peel back this 
unwanted safety blanket as it begins to cause a rash - but for 
now I’ll keep my secrets to myself, and dance with the Dodo instead.