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.

Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

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.

Continue reading

Advertisements
Standard

Third Year Reflections

I started writing this during a very boring period this summer just after I’d finished my second year. I stumbled across it, unfinished, and thought its relevance to how I and many like me are feeling now we’re half way through our last year at university made it worth finishing! So here is a little insight into my thoughts on a period in my life that has changed me and the way I see this world!

***

It has just turned July. It is summer, my second year is done, and I am broke and bored. Every day is the same. I fill in part time job applications with as much enthusiasm as I can muster (not much), I flick through sub par American crime drama after sub par American crime drama on Amazon Prime, I eat hummus, and I check my bank balance. £-97.45. Great.

Of course this narrative is nothing new. Students, complaining all year about how hard that essay on Foucault was, get to the end of their year and suddenly find themselves pining for the silent section of the library, the dusty books, the fag breaks. The student loan. And I am no different.

Approaching the end of my A-Levels I had no idea the direction that my life should take. Endlessly skipping school to attend open days, wandering around campuses, listening to subject talks, somehow simultaneously underwhelmed and overwhelmed. The enormity of the decisions I had to take becoming ever clearer, coupled with my inability to make them made for a testing time.

It is well documented that our choices and experiences in life have a lasting effect on us. Some leave scars, some heal them, and some, I believe, help turn you into the person you were always going to be. That, for me, is Sociology.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been many times when I have sat, colossal reading pack in front of me, and questioned not only my judgment, but my sanity too. “Why would you do this to yourself” I mutter. These waves of self doubt and existential crises were no doubt brought on thanks to the likes of Judith Butler – sometimes she may as well have been writing in a dead language for all the sense it made to me, Weber – I’m still not entirely sure about his stance on bureaucracy – I must have blacked out during that 9am lecture – and so on. But there was always something bigger, something more important, I felt, about what I was studying, it was a feeling that has gotten me through the three-hour exams, the endless essays, reading lists and those early starts. It was the feeling that no matter how confusing or abstract what I was trying to get my head around was, the fact remained that everything I was reading had been written to try and help us make sense of the world around us, and to provide a way of making it a better place.

I have no idea if I will be able to live my life fully according to the beliefs and philosophies that sociology has granted me. Hell, I don’t even know if my career will even remotely relate to what I have devoted three years of my life to (scary thought). But I’ve decided that that’s okay. Sociology has gifted me with a strong sense of what is right and what is unquestionably wrong. It has also taught me that sometimes, there is a grey area amidst the two, and it’s okay to acknowledge this. I believe in the basic goodness of people, I believe in true and realized equality, I believe that just because things appear fixed and immovable, it does not mean they are.

Today, when I look out at the world, often my gut reaction is despair, fear and cynicism. It’s easy to be cynical – to give up on the world, detach yourself from it, as if refusing to acknowledge your place in the world somehow prevents you from getting hurt by it. But it doesn’t. So I say we might as well form beliefs, opinions, we might as well argue and debate with each other, disagree furiously or agree whole-heartedly. Stand and fight for those beliefs, guard them with all your might. Let no one tell you that as you age the passion of youth dies away. Passion, strength and morality relate in no way to how many years you have walked this earth.

I hope that with age, rather than a fading of the strength of my beliefs, what comes is a greater and deeper understanding of the complexities of their lived realities; an understanding that it is okay to not live by them every single day if you can’t manage it. That it is okay to have your beliefs shaken up, shifted and reimagined by another’s words. The ultimate lesson Sociology has taught to me is that to have opinions and beliefs, for me, is vital – it helps to define me, my place in the world, it guides my choices, actions and the ways in which I treat anyone I meet; but as well as this, and even more significant is that it has taught me that having my beliefs, actions and opinions questioned and challenged every day, either by the world around me or the people I share it with is even more important if I’m to be the best possible version of myself.

E x

Standard

A day out with Mum and Dad

Living independently is great, but as a young 20-something in a big city with zilch dolla, it can get rather draining from time to time, especially when you’re drowning in essays and dissertation work like I am currently. Sometimes a top up of TLC and unconditional love is just what you need to get you back on track.

Luckily for me my Momma bear and Papa bear only live about an hour and 15 away from London up in the Midlands and so yesterday they popped down for a day out in the big smoke with their eldest.

As we got up to some pretty lavvly stuff I thought I’d share it with you along with some pics of our day out in London!

SO. The day started oh – so – very early – as I met them at 8.30am (N.B. as a sociology student at an arts university I may have forgotten that such a time existed), at St. Pancras station, from there we popped over the road to The Great Northern Hotel for a spot of breakfast at their restaurant Plum and Spilt Milk. You don’t have to be staying there, or book a table to enjoy the foodie delights either – score! I had a buckwheat crepe with coconut yoghurt, mango, and agave syrup…YUMM, along with a fresh mint tea.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetProcessed with VSCO with 6 presetProcessed with VSCO with 6 presetProcessed with VSCO with 6 presetProcessed with VSCO with 6 preset

After a leisurely breakfast catching up properly  we headed underground to catch the tube to Moorgate in order to have a wander round  Old Spitalfields Market. Due to the ludicrous time Mum and Dad arrived in London the market was still being set up as we arrived, so we ventured in to Leon for a coffee.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCO with 6 preset

Having never been there before, and seeing it pegged itself as a “naturally” fast food restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised by the lovely interior! Quirky and funky, it was relaxed and a very pleasant way to spend an hour or so.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb1 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb1 presetProcessed with VSCO with 6 preset

Once the markets opened we tootled around, ooing and aahing at the products on offer. If you’re looking for something bespoke, vintage or unique, this market is the place to go. Its a Christmas gift haven with everything from slogan tees, cloche hats, handmade leather bags to vintage shirts and artisan street food.

Once Mum and I had exhausted all the window-stall shopping, and dad had gotten sufficiently bored of trying on hats, we headed over to Hyde Park to get well and truly christmassy at Winter Wonderland.

Processed with VSCO with 6 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb1 presetProcessed with VSCO with 4 presetProcessed with VSCO with 6 preset

It took us a while to find the Christmas Market or Bavarian Village as its called within the walls of London’s Winter Wonderland, but once we did, it was well and truly Christmas in the Toms household. After pottering around soaking up the Christmas cheer, it was time for food!

For food we headed back down south of the river to my turf – Brockley. One of the brightest jewels in the Brockley crown is The Orchard.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

The cosy bar and kitchen boasts seasonal cocktails, heavenly burgers, walls lined with books that upon request customers can swap with one of their own if they spot something they fancy, and an almost cinematic fish tank – cinematic in that the fish seem to captivate staff and customers alike with their bizarre behaviour – everyone is very concerned about the tiny clownfish-looking tank resident who hides in the corner looking rather forlorn! I settled in with a melt in your mouth burger and a peach iced tea, and it. was. Deelish.

So there you have it! A classic Toms day out – food centric and Christmassy as hell! Links to menus and info below!

day-out-10

The Great Northern Hotel – Here

Plum & Spilt Milk – Here

Old Spitalfields Market – Here

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland  – Here

The Orchard website – Here

E x

Standard