29 December 2012

New Year's Nostalgia

Whenever the year comes to an end I automatically question every aspect of my life and decide whether the year has been a good one - in which case: yay! - or a bad one (cue plan to drown my sorrows. ASAP). Hear that? It's the sound of nostalgia, hitting me smack-bang across the face.

Despite always thinking of the negatives, this time I've found it a lot harder to do so... because the more I think about it, the more I realise this year has actually been pretty amazing. Want the reasons? Oh, go on then...
  1. I managed to finish my second year of university with a secure 2:1, and did best in a FOREIGN LITERATURE MODULE even though to this day all I could tell you was "Hello" and "Very good."
  2. I have been reassured I am not completely invisible to the opposite sex. Ahem. Moving swiftly on...
  3. I have made new friends, gotten closer to people I used to consider not so close, and gotten EVEN CLOSER to my housemates. Not much I do can surprise them now.
  4. I went on my first holiday without my parents and survived, ignoring the fact we were delayed for over a day and we were terrified we'd never make it home.
  5. I won an award for "Best Comment Writer of the Year" - which I'm still absolutely thrilled about.
  6. I was lucky enough to score an internship with the lovely Yumi & Uttam, which meant I got to live the London dream for a week and remind me exactly why I'm working my arse off writing numerous essays. And I secured some work experience for Red Bull!
  7. I discovered Twitter. And this blog.
  8. I've had a phone interview for a possible internship for after I graduate next year (still waiting to hear whether that was a massive success or epic failure).
  9. I've learned that I cannot shot Sambuca anymore. And don't even mention Tequila.
  10. I have changed my hair for the first time in about 4 years. Goodbye fringe, hello dip-dye. Whatever next?
And, d'oh, forgetting the most crazy thing to have happened this year - I got a tattoo! Me, who said I'd never ever got one, only went a flippin' got one. Phew.

So even though this year has presented challenges, and pit-falls, and moments where sometimes I just couldn't be bothered to get out of bed, all in all, I've had the time of my life!

It's crazy to think that this time next year I don't know what the heck I'll be doing (hopefully internships) or where I'll be living (London, please), but it's also very very exciting.

2013 will be the year I hand my dissertation in, graduate from university and enter the big wide world; a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed graduate... Who knows what's in store?

And the big question - will I be making any New Year's Resolutions?

Answer: only one, and that is to try and come to terms with the fact that things, most things, are completely out of my control, and there's not much I can do about them! I've learned I'm a happier person taking each day as it comes and trying to look on the bright side, so I'll try and channel this into 2013. Easier said than done, but I could do a lot worse.

Have a happy new year, everyone! 

21 December 2012

Christmas Cheer!

It's Chriiiiiiiistmaaaaaaaas!

With only 4 days until we get to unwrap what Santa has brought us, no one can deny that the Christmas spirit has well and truly descended upon society. Turns out it's not the end of the world as we know it...

I celebrated the non-apocalypse by bravely venturing into York to do some Christmas shopping (I couldn't really put it off any longer once I knew we were definitely having a Christmas this year, could I?)

As predicted, it was oh-so busy.  I quickly remembered that I tend to stick to online shopping for a reason - p&p is a small price to pay to avoid the hassle of avoiding crashing into irritable people and lugging around presents in the freezing cold.

I think my favourite thing about the festive season - apart from spending time with my family - is the Christmas knits.  It's the one time of year you can bring out all the Granddad jumpers and wear them in a non-ironic way.

If you're a skinny minny/not very busty, you can throw on a jumper and look more cosy than... rounded, so take advantage of it!  Whether they be plain, studded, sparkly or printed, there is something out there for EVERYONE. No excuses.  As a wonderful means of fashion advice (/procrastination - go away dissertation), here are my favourite Christmas jumpers around at the moment.

Duck Jumper - Miss Selfridge - for when you have York withdrawal...

Crystal Necklace Jumper - Topshop - The blush pink is pretty and wintry and the embellishment stops it from being too plain

Polar Bear Jumper - Topshop - It's a polar bear with a Christmas hat on... do I really need to say anymore?

 Skiing Jumper - Beyond Retro - Not hitting the slopes in Val D'Isere this Christmas? Not to worry, you can wear a skiing jumper instead.

Gingerbread Jumper - Modcloth - If Costa's Gingerbread Lattes don't satisy your gingerbread lust, here's the solution.

Boxy Jumper - Modcloth - Big, baggy and warm. Perfect for those afternoon naps after consuming one too many eggnogs.

These are all really cosy-looking and make you want to snuggle up on the sofa, stuff your face with Quality Streets and watch Christmas movies (or maybe this is just me?)

I've personally asked Santa for two jumpers for Christmas. If I can get away with a baggy jumper and leggings for the next few months, I'll be happy.

Keep Calm and Stay Warm, guys!

8 December 2012

My foray into feminism.

I've always advocated equal rights for females, but I guess I've never really considered myself a "Feminist", as such.

Nowadays feminism is equated with men-hating lesbians who wear dungarees, shave their heads and refuse to wear bras, which is completely wrong.  It's created an odd taboo and I think it's high time this stereotype be put to bed.

I'm writing an essay on the issue of consent in Little Red Riding Hood and I've been thoroughly disturbed by the things I've come across in my research - rape narratives, the initiative behind the SlutWalk (which I never really appreciated before, the site is slutmeansspeakup.org.uk) and the attitude that remains about women who are supposedly "asking for it" by wearing short skirts.  It's harrowing stuff.

Unsurprisingly, this material has brought out my inner feminist, and now every time I come across sexist, malicious content, I get a little bit angry.  The fact that people continue to joke about sexism means it will never be taken seriously, and it justifies sexual harassment   Until women and men are perceived as equals, women ARE being oppressed.  People that think women have achieved equality in the world are wrong - there is still a lot that needs to be done.

For anyone who isn't aware, there has been a massive scandal over the last few days regarding one of Hallmark card's designs with an image that was posted on Twitter by EverydaySexism.  The design of the card is below:

(Courtesy of @EverydaySexism)

The design is said to have passed through checks 15 years ago and wasn't reproduced, but still. Everything is wrong with this card.  Telling a 13 year old girl she needs a boyfriend and that said boyfriend will shower her with expensive goods only if she gets "bigger boobies"... just, what?!

There's also been a scandal with FHM for this image, which jokes about men's "victims" - apparently domestic violence is a laughing matter now?

 (Courtesy of The Independent)

I just don't understand.  How can people say that feminists need to get over themselves when this kind of thing continues to be printed?  And sorry, but if the guy I was sleeping with asked me if he could wear my socks I don't think I'd let him.  They wouldn't fit, for starters, and it's a tad weird.

People may argue that serious things sometimes need to be made into a joke - after all, life is too short to live too seriously - but it's important that sexism isn't made into a joke because rape is no laughing matter.  Labelling women as "victims" is demeaning and shows a complete lack of respect. 

I'm pretty sure no one's laughing when they're raped;  maybe FHM should think about that one the next time they decide to be "hilarious".  I think until men appreciate the horror of being physically attacked/violated and being completely powerless to fight against it, there's not much that can be done.  A little bit of empathy would go a long way.

Over and out.
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