2017: A Year in Pictures

Disclosure: Glamorous holidays and expensive clothes excluded due to lack of existence in my 2017.

JANUARY :

January 2017 feels like such a long time ago…my 2017 started with a bit of heartbreak, a lot of anxiety about the year to come but what I remember most is being happy to back at Goldsmiths, surrounded by great people. This photo was take on a walk around Goldsmiths with my best friend Alice, and this was a rare moment – for reasons two fold: 1) I’m not pulling some mortifyingly embarrassing face/pose. 2) It was sunny…in January…In London..whoa.

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I took alot of pictures of uni in January, partly because it looked so cool, and partly because I was trying to relish the little time I had left there (she says writing this blogpost from the library a year later).

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This photo was taken at the very end of January, I was on my way out to meet a friend in Greenwich. It ended up being the most liked photo I’ve ever posted on Instagram, which is bizarre as it was taken rather hurriedly, on my phone camera, and the aesthetic of this shot can only be described as “messy student room with crap in background”. What can I say, the people love a pattern clash.

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Honestly, I don’t remember all that much about January, it’s the Monday of months and I’m usually quite glad when that “bleak midwinter” vibe eases come February and March time. If I had to hazard a guess at the dominating themes of my January 2017, I’d wager my heart was a little bruised, my brain was a little fried from all the dissertation/coursework malarkey, and knowing me, I was probably cold for 90% of the month.

FEBRUARY:

My February was made a little more exciting thanks to a family skiing trip.

This photo was taken in Geneva. We stopped overnight in the city before heading to the French Alps. Geneva is a bizarre city, with beautiful architecture and steep cobbled streets lined with higgledy piggledy shops, although it felt like a bit of a ghost town whilst we were there. I snapped this with my new camera and was quite happy with how it turned out.

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This shot was snapped in Brockley later in the month, and I’m still really digging this look. The quality isn’t great, my editing is even less great, but I still identify with this kind of outfit and it reminds me of what was in general, a really happy time. I was stressed, I had mountains of work and was dirt poor (update: no change there), but we had our tiny little flat with our routines and our local pub(s) and we were pretty darn happy!

MARCH:

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March was International Women’s day, and I wrote a post about the significance of the day for me, which you can read here. I felt a really strong sense of solidarity and empowerment all around me, in my own life and all of the outpourings of support for women everywhere from all walks of life online. In a world where a sexual predator is President of the United States, where our politicians abuse their power on a daily basis, and where the rights of women to do with their bodies as they choose are regularly threatened, it was refreshing to see some hope and some light at the end of a sometimes pretty dark tunnel.

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I wore what is essentially a picnic blanket, got some funny looks, and felt pretty sass-y.

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I had my last ever lecture in Sociology and was pretty glum about it. Whilst i’d like to play it cool and say that I definitely don’t miss those hours spent scribbling down sentences you don’t understand from books you most certainly don’t understand…I’m afraid I can’t. I 100% miss it all, the lectures, the note taking, all those seminars I didn’t go to and 12 hour library sessions I powered through. Sure it was hell at the time, but I loved it nonetheless.

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Took a short break from Easter dissertation writing to take a few outfit shots around uni. I don’t really think I look like myself here, but I also think I look pretty good, so hey ho. Because we’re not in Harry Potter and pictures don’t move/speak, there’s no way this photo can accurately portray the major stress-head I was at this point in the year. Exams were looming, I was falling deeper and deeper into my overdraft, I couldn’t get my head around all the work I had to get done, and so I did what all students do when it all gets too much, buried my head in the sand, ignored all responsibilities and looming deadlines and procrastinated like a PRO.

APRIL:

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April was much the same, and so my Insta posting decreased, I was at library so much that the majority of my posts came from the little side streets around it, as I couldn’t stray too far without guilt about not being there setting in hard. Despite this, these are some of my favourite photos from last year, my outfit is simple, but I love the light and shadows that Alice managed to capture in that golden hour that starts to arrive earlier as the months wear on. I also like this last photo as it captures a rather frazzled me, ft. greasy fringe, but behind the camera is Alice making me laugh like always, and it was a moment of light heartedness in what was a very stressful period.

MAY:

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Not much happened in May..or if it did I both don’t remember and did not document it. But I did cut my hair off, something I do periodically before I decided to grow it out again…before I decide to chop it all off again…it’s an ongoing cycle…bare with me.

JUNE:

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My knitwear obsession continued despite it legit being summer…and my room got no tidier.

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There’s no story behind this photo but I’m here for the red stripes.

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June came, and I finished my exams, handed in all my work, officially finished my degree. There was a heatwave in London and whilst my ginger, pale outer shell desperately clung to any shade I could find, I loved it. London in a heatwave has a kind of atmosphere, energy and heat to it that has nothing to do with the temperature, and it isn’t something I’ve ever seen anywhere else. London in a heatwave means the world and his mate pile on to any green space available, strip off as much as is socially acceptable and all of this makes the city feel more alive, as if we’ve all awoken after a winter of hibernating.

The photo above was taken at Horniman Museum and Gardens, I was wearing hardly any clothes and believe me, it was still too many. A group of us got ice cream and collapsed onto the banks of the museum, looking out over London as we chatted and wiled away the hours.

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June also brought an impromptu day trip to Brighton. We were still in the grips of the heatwave and the pesky cut outs of my swimming costume made for some interesting burn lines. We wandered and paddled and had a lovely time, then, got on the train back to London. What I love most about that day though was the evening. It was getting on for 10pm when we got back into Central London, we found a late night gelato place just off of Borough market and wandered up and down south bank. It was mid week, but the banks of the Thames were lined with the overspill of pubs and bars, city-workers with pint in hand, sweat patches a plenty and merriment everywhere. The heat seemed to free everyone from their normal routine,  the monotony the working week and everyone seemed to collectively let loose. My flatmate and I wondered whether we’d look back on that night for years to come, as the point where which things were all about to change but hadn’t yet. And it’s safe to say I definitely will.

JULY :

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I moved back to Leicester at the end of July with a heavy heart. I was sad to say goodbye to London, though I still haven’t really said goodbye, and probably never will. I also graduated…but don’t have many photos of the day as it all passed by in a blur. Three years of work culminating in one day that was over in the blink of an eye, it was overwhelming to say the least!

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This photo was taken in July.. and I like it…that’s about the only caption I can think of for this.

AUGUST:

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At the end of August my family and I went to Copenhagen and boy did I fall in love with it. It may even surpass London in terms of just how much I want to live there. Coolest. Place. Ever. It also really upped my Instagram game.

SEPTEMBER :

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The reality of living back at home started to sink in in September, and life got hard. I was applying relentlessly for jobs, and was getting nowhere. To this day, nearly four months later, I still haven’t gotten one single interview *sheds a single tear*.

OCTOBER :

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I roped my little brother into taking this photo in October and I was pretty impressed with his skills. I was spending alot more time with family at this point, and I’m really glad we’ve stayed so close despite having to go back to living in such close quarters again. The increasingly inevitable reality of moving back home after university provides quite a shock to the system. I do struggle to feel like an adult from time to time, my finances are worse than they were when I was a student – yes that it is physically possible believe it or not, and it can be hard to feel optimistic at times.

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Autumn had officially arrived, leaves on the ground, a chill in the air. Alice and I shot this blog post and it had a super autumnal feel to it that we were both chuffed with.

NOVEMBER : (Or basically the beginning of Christmas)

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My  bare ankles were not happy with me but this was a good shoot to end the year on. The backdrop even matched my jumper and we mastered a shoot in the dark! In November I started work at a supermarket in order to be able to actually buy presents for people and enjoy the festive period. It was an eye opener on a number of levels and for a number of reasons, and whilst as far as temporary jobs go it was alright, looking back on it I was pretty miserable. The 4am starts did not help, but spending my time doing something I had no interest in or passion for, purely to be able to get buy, meant that my morale and resilience took a bit of a battering. What it did re-affirm is that I have lived a relatively charmed, sheltered and privileged life. My determination to create a career and a life that is driven by doing what I love – whatever that may turn out to be – is in itself a privilege. Lots of people will never be able to have that relationship with their work /job.

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I finally got some wear out of this blazer, despite the frosty temperatures.

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I love December – Christmas! My Birthday! It’s the part of winter that’s made bearable because of things to look forward to, rather than Jan/Feb where it’s just all round bleak. It was the first Christmas that I’ve worked. I worked Christmas Eve and Boxing Day (and a tonne of other days and nights), and I won’t lie it wasn’t much fun compared to finishing uni on the 10th December and spending the whole month pigging out at home in front of the fire…but let’s face it that wasn’t going to last forever.

I still had a great Christmas, and despite hating new year with a vengeance, I feel more positive than I have done in a long time. 2018 is the first year I can remember that I have no kind of plan for. I don’t know what’s coming. It could be filled with heart break and grief for all I know, but for now at least I’m embracing 2018, at least a little less begrudgingly than usual.

I don’t make new year resolutions. I never keep them. My heart is never in it. But there are things that I want to remind myself to do and be all year round, and January isn’t a bad (albeit arbitrary) starting point:

  • To be understanding, but to stand up for myself,
  • To respect myself as well as others,
  • Most of all, to be kind, to myself as well as others. Kindness, my mother always says, is a trait we never fail to undervalue and take for granted in people, and something we often forget to be to ourselves.

E x

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Honest Chat – Life Is Hard

Evening you lot, I’ve been wanting to write a post along these lines for a while now, but was a little unsure of how to do it and get it right.

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The blogging/Instagram world is an overwhelmingly positive place. People support each other, follow each other’s lives, celebrate the highs and commiserate the lows, together (for the most part). Yet comparison is often inevitable, and when your feed is full of successful, beautiful people loving life, it can become a strange place when your own circumstances and feelings fail to mirror those staring back at you from your screen.

To put this into context, life since I graduated has not been particularly easy going or straightforward.

For three years I studied. And I studied hard. Long (seemingly endless at times) stretches in the library, with my head buried in books and journals and fingers furiously typing essay after essay. And, thankfully, it paid off, I ended up with a First, and its something I’m very proud of, as I genuinely never thought I’d get a First, like, not even close.

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Fast forward 4 months, and I’m living back in my old room at my parent’s house, I’m working early morning shifts at a supermarket, trying to edge my way out of my significant overdraft, whilst also having enough currency to have some semblance of a social life (currently failing, will to try to improve).

I have applied to countless jobs, from jobs I knew were a long shot, to positions I was confident I could do well and thrive in, in different sectors, some I was under qualified for, and some I was significantly over qualified for. But regardless, I didn’t manage to secure 1 single interview, let alone actually getting a job.

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In the context of the world we live in today, this is no big deal, and it’s not even a unique situation. Almost all of my friends are in a vaguely similar position, and its something thousands and thousands of graduates understand.

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And it’s not all bad, by any means. I still have a close and supportive group of friends. My parents and I get on really well and have taken to living back in close quarters quite smoothly, despite initial fears all parties would regress back in time to 2012 – peak teenage years.

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I’m still relentlessly applying to jobs, and am thinking more and more about a Masters Degree. I miss London, and would love to be back living there soon. I miss the business, the sense that around every corner is a new experience, a new friend, a new opportunity.  But London isn’t going anywhere, which is a comforting thought.

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I’m wary of this post being whiny, overly negative, and something a kin to a privileged millennial’s self-indulgent ramblings, asking the internet to feel sorry for her. It’s not what I intend, though it is certainly a ramble.

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What I hope this comes across as is a piece with honesty (an honest, well meaning moan if you will) at its core. We all know that no one’s lives are perfect, or 24/7 Instagram ready. And there’s a growing anti-perfectionist movement that is working to tackle that idea, and make no mistake, I resent no one I follow simply because they’re happy – I don’t resent anyone I follow, I’m inspired by the people I follow and the people that follow me. They are people I look up to, who’s style, individuality, work and dedication I love and want to encourage.

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Simply put, When life is hard, and it grinds you down, and it causes self doubt, and in those low times, we often resort to unhealthy behaviours – comparing ourselves to others is a classic.

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This piece is being written in the hope that by sharing how not cool my life is currently, how hard it feels to get up in the mornings sometimes, and how demoralising it can be to put work in and not see the benefits, it will comfort anyone reading who feels the same, and who feels alone in it.

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I am broke, often unemployed, over qualified, and I live in my parent’s house in a single bed. But it will improve, it always does.

I’m a work in progress.

Coat – Jigsaw,  Jumper – H&M, Vans – ASOS,  Jeans – ASOS old  – Similar Here

E x

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Winter Is Coming. But First, Autumn.

Ah Autumn. It’s here.

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I love Autumn. The Autumn – Winter seasons are my favourite. Whilst I love the summer sun, I’d take curling up by an open fire, long walks in the crisp cold morning air, hot drinks and candles, any day. I’m sure my bias in favour of the colder months stems from A) my love of Christmas and B) my birthday, but regardless, I’m a sucker for all things cozy and snuggly.

Granted, fewer daylight hours is a major setback for A/W, and I can fully understand why people hate these months. When it’s windy, rainy, cold AND dark, it can be grim.

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And yet, there is something that warms the cockles of my heart about a Saturday evening in mid-November, open fire roaring, the smell of warm soup and toasting bread wafting in through the door from the kitchen, blankets piled high, fuzzy socks, massive jumpers layer upon layer, with a warm mug of something in your hands, and the tea candles flickering.

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Nothing beats it, and it’s what I love about living in a temperate country. I’m not quite sure how I’d feel about 30 degree weather come December, it just doesn’t feel quite right!

Today I took a walk around the city centre, and for the first time in a while (thanks to the brief Indian Summer a couple of weeks back), it really felt like Autumn. I was glad to be layered up, glad I had brought my coat with me. The leaves are starting to turn to that deep orange colour, mixed in with shades of brown and golden yellow. They littered the pavement and made a great contrast to the bleak grey sky.

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Every season comes a change. A transition. What I’ve experienced in recent years is that often, somehow, with each change of season comes a feeling of transition for me personally. Whether it be from student to graduate, London to Leicester (though not for too long I hope) or even in relationship to single, all of these things at different times in my life have coincided with a change of season.

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This season the most prevalent one is by far going from a student to an unemployed graduate, and having to move from such a bustling, sprawling, massive city like London to relatively slow paced life of Leicester.

Anyone who has to move home after uni will tell you the same thing. It’s bloody hard. All that freedom and independence (not to mention student loan) is gone. And it suddenly becomes necessary not just to find a job, but more broadly speaking to find some way of bringing purpose back into your life, and to your days.

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This is no small task. And to be frank, I’m struggling a little!

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If anyone has any advice, inspirational stories, or just wants to sympathise with me please let me know!

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My only hope is that it’ll all be okay in the end. That counts as a plan right? Well in any case, I’m glad I have an open fire, a near constant supply of hot drinks and a mountain of knitwear to turn to this autumn. Because there’s nothing like burrowing down under those layers to make all your worries feel far away.

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  • Jeans – And Other Stories
  • Shirt – Vintage
  • Jumper – Zara (old)
  • Shoes – Asos
  • Bag – Vintage

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E x

 

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Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen

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Last week my family and I headed to Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, for a few day of exploring a new city.

I’d heard great things already – Megan Ellaby’s vlog and blog post had me seriously excited before we’d even touched down, and I was not disappointed. The following is a little overview of where went, what we did, what we ate, and some outfits I wore, it’s hefty one so buckle up, and if you make it to the end I’ll be forever impressed.

Food & Drink

I’ve heard it said before, but it really is true, it’s harder to have a bad meal than good one in Copenhagen. Seriously. From sea food to pizza, coffee to Aperol Spritz, the quality was staggering. You would hope so, given the high cost of living – similar to that of a central London/ Kensington high street type level – is so high. I’m talking £11 (90kkd) for a cocktail. Yikes. But at least the quality of food and service really did match up to the high prices.

Mother

 

Mother is situated in the meat packing district, in the hip, young, Dalston-come-Peckham equivalent of Copenhagen – Vesterbro, where we were staying. A relatively new hub of business and creativity, in recent years, restaurants, galleries and bars have popped up creating a new centre for Copenhagen’s beautiful young people to gather. The pizzeria has an open air oven, benches – complete with blankets to keep warm in the evening, a minimal, tiled, cool as hell interior, and hella tasty pizza. Also offering antipasti, a shed load of beers, wine, and luckily for me, a delicious april spritz, the place is, in my opinion, a must for a meal out. However if you have a particularly sweet tooth this place not satisfy your sugary cravings, as it provides only one dessert. I quite like this though, they know what they’re good at, and they stick to it.

Mad & Kaffe

If you don’t mind a wait outside, then head to this place for brekkie. We had to wait in the rain, but the gang at Mad & Kaffe have got it all covered with benches and parasols to shelter in, and a mass of huge umbrellas to huddle under whilst you wait. Always bustling – bench the queueing, but worth the wait (f.y.i. not too long considering how busy it was). Whilst you wait you’re given a menu, customers have the option of choosing  either three, five or seven items to make your perfect breakfast, and you can pick the same thing twice if one of something isn’t going to cut it. With everything ranging from avocado, bacon, scrambled eggs, croissants, yoghurt and muesli, strawberries and cream and a homemade cinnamon bun, they’ve got all your breakfast needs covered. Drinks are not included in the 3/5/7 items either. I went for the hazelnut iced latte, butter croissant, cinnamon bun and homemade blueberry yoghurt with muesli. Hands down one of the best breakfasts and coffee’s I’ve ever had and the service was quick and friendly, the atmosphere buzzing.

 

 

Spritz O’clock

Not an april spritz themed bar. I just have a lot of photos of aperols consumed. Beware, they are expensive, 90kkd on Paper Island (£11.25), and around 70kkd at Mother (£8.75), so if you’re wanting to drink but aren’t fancying the price tag that accompanies cocktails, wine is a little less expensive, and beer is pretty reasonably priced, with craft beer available basically everywhere – Copenhagen being the liberal bastion that it is!

Paper Island – Street food heaven

Paper Island, once a big load of warehouses used for nothing more exciting than storing massive quantities of paper, is now an indoor borough market type, with a staggering amount of food stalls to choose from and multiple bars for a tipple if you so choose. Next door is a gallery space currently showing a Yoko Ono exhibition outside, with a new exhibition opening the day we visited.

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Whilst as expensive, if not a bit more so, than the rest of Copenhagen, it’s a great place to stop and refuel. I chose a pretty gin cocktail and a BEAST of a hot dog complete with potatoes, two organic sausages, and sauces of various description.

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Must See Places: Nyhavan

The iconic backdrop of Copenhagen is the Nyhavan Harbour. It does not disappoint at all. Gorgeous colours, old boats lining the canal banks, tourists everywhere, even an outdoor  Ei Wei Wei refugee exhibition to boot.

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Note to all, it is not easy to take photos here – in the summer the streets (and boats) are packed to the brim with tourists – and idiots on cyclists who wolf whistle as they cycle past mid photo-taking.

The weather was wish washy to say the least, around 20 degrees, but with brief bursts of rain and blazing sunshine. Needless to say this patent jacket from Monki was on and off, on and off, all day long. Underneath I wore one of my favourite shirts. Complete with ruffle collar and bib, a purple, green and blue check, this shirt always makes me feel put together with minimal effort.

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On the bottom I wore my relatively new And Other Stories light wash straight leg jeans. This wash goes great with the colours of the shirt and my boxy patent jacket, though if I were to go back in time I’d try and get a shorter leg length, which I feel would be more flattering.

 

If you’re looking for a colourful backdrop for your photos then this is the place to head. Every single building is painted in a gorgeous colour, and it’s not hard to see why this tiny part of the capital is such a draw with locals and tourists alike. Not to mention the endless restaurants, bars and gelato shops that line the canal on either side.

 

Architecture – buildings, cobbles, cobbles galore. 

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It isn’t just Nyhavan that can claim the award for most coloured buildings. Everyone side streets, cobbled square and main road has gorgeous architecture all around. These colour buildings line a hidden away square just off of the main shopping strip Strøget.

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My Vans Old Skool were my saviour on this trip, whether paired with my new alternative to denim – a pair of wide leg high waisted black trousers with some serious side slit action going on – or with fishnets and light wash jeans, I could spend all day wandering and exploring without any rubbing, and my feet are notorious for being rubbed to shreds in just about every pair of shoes I have ever owned. For a casual look I added a fun pink and red ringer tee from Asos complete with strawbs on my boobs. Could you get more fun in a t-shirt? I doubt it. I paired all my outfits with this funky banana print tote bag also from Asos, lightweight and big enough to fit my camera, phone, makeup and jacket in it was perfect both in terms of utility and style.

 

 

Exteriors

Everywhere you look in this city, there is something interesting to see. whether its yet another piece of interesting architectures, the roller coaster landscape of Tivoli or the gothic looking Christiansborg palace and Central Station.

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Interiors 

Design is everywhere you look in Copenhagen. The national bank took seven years to complete and the architect died before it was completed because he designed every single piece of furniture inside, as well as the building itself. Every single building I walked into, was amazingly decorated, fitted out and filled with most scandi cool furniture ever.

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Final Thoughts 

  • Everyone is beautiful – no really. So damn beautiful.
  • Watch out for the cyclists – the roads really are run by the cyclists.
  • It’s expensive. Divide all prices you see by 8 to get the sterling price and you’ll see.
  • There exists a culture of trust alien to the UK – particularly Londoners. Thousands upon thousands of bikes – none have locks. Everyone just props their bikes up against walls of buildings.
  • It’s safe. I could count the number of sirens I heard in five days on one hand. People are out having fun, but it doesn’t appear to turn rowdy, stealing is far more rare than in the UK.
  • Everyone speaks english. And yes, it will make you ashamed that you speak no other languages.
  • The Danes are like the British – reserved. But still more friendly than Londoners on tubes.
  • You can walk everywhere – we didn’t use the metro or the buses once, but you will be tired at the end of the day.

If you’re looking to explore a new city I would THOROUGHLY recommend Copenhagen. It’s one of the only cities other than London I’d love to move to, it has everything, and feels more spacious with more room to breathe – with only 500,000 living in the capital. Expensive, yes. Worth it? Hell yes.

 

E x

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Making The Most of a Small Space

Hi from “wonderful wonderful Copenhagen”!

On Saturday my family and I touched down in Copenhagen for a mini city break and I have to say I am utterly besotted, queue google searches along the lines of “how to move to Copenhagen” and “jobs for graduates in Copenhagen” … Oh I wish.

A Copenhagen blog post will be coming soon but now for a more spur of the moment post. We’re staying a cute, scandi decorated apartment on the top floor of an old courtyard building, and the room I’m staying in is small to say the least.

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Sitting on the bed earlier, I was thinking about how best to use this space vis a vis blogging. At first glance it doesn’t offer much in the way of backdrops, but as someone who blogs non-professionally, I don’t have the means at my disposal to hire photographers and scout out the perfect backdrop for every post I want to create. And so I thought, let’s make the most of a small space.

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Thankfully the attic room I’m in makes up for in natural light what it lacks in space.

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The room is BOILING, so I’m just wearing the coolest thing I brought with me – my Topshop wrap dress, and I think it works well with the aesthetic of the room.

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This is a super quick post, and I hope it shows that you don’t always need grand and glamorous backdrops to create the imagery you want – you can work with what you have!

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See you all in my next post which will be something along the lines of a Copenhagen travel diary/guide!

 

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Back to Blogging…Finally

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Well hasn’t it been a while! Writing this post, I’ve suddenly realised just how long it’s been since I posted anything to the blog! Life got in the way for a while there, but I’m back and raring to go.

So much has happened in the time I’ve been away – I finished university! Dissertation – DONE. Coursework – DONE. Exams – DONE. Miraculously I’ll be graduating with a first (pinch me…hard), and the hard (x 1000) work that has gone into the last few months – and years – seems to have finally paid off.

My plan after finishing everything off at uni was to get straight back in to blogging, no time to lose, create create create…yeah..well…as they say…the best laid plans.

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In the limbo between student life and the real world, I’ve found myself in a bit of a rut. Applying for job after job, unpaid internship after unpaid internship (never mind the rejection after refection part – it’s a dog eat dog world out there) began to take its toll and really sapped and drained me of energy and creativity.

So I did what I often do when life gets me down – I turn to my loved ones. Escaping the big smoke for a while I’ve come back to Leicester to recharge, refresh, and regain some much needed perspective.

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It’s amazing what some time with loved ones, R&R and a change of scenery can do (not to mention a sassy slogan tee). London can be a lonely place, and if there’s no one there to talk to, to bounce ideas and thoughts off, you can get far too caught up in your own thoughts.

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Having been home now for about 48 hours, I already felt the blogging bug making a return. Frustratingly my usual photography wiz kid (and best friend) Alice, was 200 miles away beavering away at an internship, so my lovely mum decided to step in and save the day. What’s so great about creating this stuff with a friend or family member is that there is literally 0 awkwardness, and countless countless laughs.

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Leicester isn’t known for its mediterranean weather..and this shoot provided no such climates..in fact it was bloody miserable! Whilst most of my wardrobe is still in London, and I try to carry as little as possible when travelling back and forth, my sartorial choices become somewhat limited. A capsule wardrobe girl I most definitely am not. Not wanting to wear yet another pair of jeans, I dug out this old pleated polka dot midid skirt, donned my sassiest – and comfiest slogan tee, and threw on my trusty Vans Old Skool. Whilst this may not be my most put together, or even favourite outfit, it made a nice change to my denim failsafes and added a bit of fun to a truly dreary day.

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Having never felt overly comfortable in midi skirts – at 5ft5 I worry they make me look like a sack of potatoes, this type of skirt was, oddly enough, quite an out there choice for me. I always love how midi length skirts and dresses look on bloggers and models, but am never quite sure I can pull them off. But sometimes you just need to bite that fashion bullet and try something different!

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I do hope this ramble of a blog post wasn’t too dull – more than anything it’s my “guess who’s back” post, and more regular and purposeful posts will be appearing from now on!

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Vulnerability

Vulnerability is a slippery little fellow. Highly dependent on the environment it exists in. Sometimes it exposes its host to pain, grief and hurt. Other times, it strengthens our sense of self, the resolve of our character and the decisions we make and the experiences we have can be most beneficial when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

Often, when vulnerability is most needed, it is the hardest mindset to conjure up. To wear our hearts on ours sleeves when they’re most likely to be broken, to be open and honest about our feelings when they’re most likely to be rejected. It’s no easy feat. Many people struggle to allow themselves to be vulnerable. After being hurt in the past, it can get harder and harder to put yourself out there.

For most of my teenage years, I had the opposite problem, and still do to an extent. I find vulnerability to be quite a natural state of being, being honest with my feelings, whether they be good or bad, uplifting or depressing, rational or ridiculous. Acknowledging the way you feel about a situation or a person, whether you’re happy about feeling that way or not, has for the most part, provided me with a contentedness and inner peace with who I am, that maybe I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

The flip side of being honest with yourself and others about how you feel 100% of the time is that it leaves you, to some extent, at the mercy of others, and your feelings can take on more power and sway than they should.

People can sometimes mistake vulnerability for weakness or passivity. And so you can be taken for granted, lead on, and used. For another thing, it becomes exhausting! The heightened self awareness that comes with an open and honest relationship between you and your feelings can lead to an almost daily assessment and evaluation. “What am I feeling right now?” “Why am I feeling like this?” What does the fact that I’m feeling this way mean about me as a person?” “Am I the only one who feels this way?” “Why am I asking myself so. many. questions.?”.

Often it can be hard to see the point of feeling so much, and exposing oneself so often to the potential for pain, grief, and confusion. When another relationship ends because the other party wasn’t honest with themselves, or with you, it’s easy to wonder why you bother. Especially when it can leave you feeling cheated, having laid everything out on the table yourself. This is when guards go up and walls are built. Not just in romantic relationships but friendships, relationships with family members, colleagues etc.

I must confess that 2017 has indeed been a year of guardedness, and caution so far. And whilst my ability to trust easily may be slightly depleted at the moment, I know that in time the batteries will recharge. And in fact, I have had to, and am still teaching myself to be guarded. To be cautious. To let people show you they deserve your trust before giving it to them blindly, on the assumption that because you wouldn’t abuse it, no one else will.

Being guarded, and careful, thinking with your head instead of your heart is a necessary part of life. And one I find tricky. How can I make rational decisions about experiences that are so full of feeling and emotion, this still doesn’t make much sense to me. Pro and Con lists are all well and good, but how do you reconcile that with a gut instinct, with intuition, with lust, with love. I have come to accept that I am someone who trusts easily. Who listens to her heart or that feeling in the pit of her stomach, far more readily than she’ll listen to reason, logic, and even, sometimes, proof. But as long as I’m aware of the inevitable pitfalls of this personality, as long as I, from time to time, put my brain firmly in the driver’s seat, then this is okay.

Trusting easily means a potential (lets face it a pretty high potential) for hurt.
But trusting easily means I trust my own feelings too. I listen to them.
It also means that I’ll miss out on less experiences and relationships because I won’t have my guard up, I won’t push people or opportunities away.

Wearing my heart on my sleeve means it’s going to get a bit battered and bruised. Maybe more often than others.
But it also means the people I love will never be in doubt of the extent of my love for them. They will never have to question whether or not I really care. It will be plain to see. And the right people won’t take advantage of that. They’ll treasure it.

Being open and honest with how I feel means, from time to time, I might scare people off. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not running around declaring my love for every human I mildly get on well with. But I have little ability to play games. So boys, if you like the whole ‘hard to get vibe’ then walk on by because I couldn’t be cool and aloof if I tried. And believe me I have..it does not work. So if that means that some silly people with outdated ideas of how women should come across deem that ‘desperate’ or ‘too nice’ then so be it.

Whilst I’m constantly striving to better myself, to be more informed about the person I am and how I deal with what life throws my way, I have no desire of any kind to apologise or shy away from the traits that make me who I am.

There is no right way to be or right way to feel. I often envy you lot who- like my little brother- seem to be able to handle anything that comes their way with a cool assuredness that never fails to amaze me. I should at times take a note out of the books of all of you who take your time, who wait to give our trust until you know it’ll be kept safe. There are times that I wish I was more this or more that. But hey…

I am Eleanor.

I feel ALOT.

I trust easily.

When I feel. I FEEEEL. There’s no half arsing. Including the bad feelings.

I’m constantly self evaluating and self assessing. It’s like 20 questions on a loop in my head.

But when I’m knocked for six. I come back around all the better for it.

So that’s all okay by me.

 

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