I Graduated!

I only went and graduated with an honours degree in Politics and International Relations, and I couldn’t be more chuffed! As I hinted in my previous post, at the beginning of my final year I was in a pretty mentally challenging head space. It was difficult enough just to get out bed most days never mind to leave the house and focus on anything meaningful, but I knew I had to. Now, the academic year has passed and I managed to make it through the year getting better grades than I had previously and complete my degree! It’s about bloody time this day came…

The day itself was an absolute scorcher, reaching up to 30 degrees. I don’t know who thought it would be funny to have a goff out in that heat all day, but at least I wasn’t the only one head-to-toe in black for once. I knew I didn’t want to spend money on anything new for graduation day so after a pretty intense instagram poll, I pulled out an old Ted Baker dress that I bought in the sale a few years ago. It’s one of my favourites with embroidered gold dragon details on the sleeve and waist, then I topped it off with black buckled heels from ASOS. I knew my dress wouldn’t be much on show, so I wanted some statement heels to add some edge.

Overall, the day really wasn’t about what I was wearing, but it was a much needed celebration of four years of hard work from myself and my friends on my course! I’m not sure anyone was convinced that they’d make it to the end, after all it wouldn’t be a degree if it wasn’t challenging!

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Long Time No See!

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted and it feels pretty good to be back! I’ve had the intention to get back to blogging for the best part of a year now. I even re-emerged for a post about Valentines day, but it was never quite the right time to start blogging again. I never planned to stop posting to my blog, but as Summer ended last year my mental health had declined to a point that I hadn’t recognised since I was about 15. My motivation had vanished and I struggled to maintain an interest in anything so I decided that it was best that the little energy that I had was channelled into my uni assignments. I entered my final year after all and I really didn’t want to fuck it up.

I’m now at the end of that year. Exams are completed. At the time of writing I’ve celebrated at grad ball, and I graduate in three days time. It feels great! But with all that said, every single plan that I made for when I finished uni has failed thus far. From moving down south, or continuing at Uni and getting a Masters degree, none of it seems meant to be. So I have a lot of time on my hands and I think the time is right for me to start blogging again.

Being the unorganised mess that I am, I have no sense of what direction I plan to take this blog, but I do know that it is going to be different. Much of my previous content was about living in a long distance relationship but that is definitely something that is behind me now. However, I would like to bring more music content to this blog as I further explore the female music scene. I love listening to music and I love supporting other women in their ventures, so I intend to use my blog to share their journey and my own as I figure out where my life is headed.

Hopefully you all will join me once again!

In the mean time check out my links below

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alternative goth lifestyle zero photography dr martens duo tone hair
Photo by Euan Kinloch

Alternative Valentines Gifts

Maybe it’s a little ironic that the thing that got me excited about blogging again was Valentines day, but I always loved searching for alternative gifts, and creating my Villiantines Card posts, so I didn’t want to miss the opportunity this year. Everyone needs their spooky love fix and I am back to deliver once again!

Dapper Dead taxidermy Mouse Workshop

Dapper Dead Valentines Taxidermy Mouse Workshop

I’m starting with my own personal favourite. For just £45 (each) you and your partner could learn to make your very own adorable taxidermy mouse with Dapper Dead! This is based in Aberdeen, so it might require some travel, but could you really think of a better way to tackle both the gift and an early valentines date!?

For anyone interested you can visit the facebook page here.
Workshops take place on the 10th of February.

Shell Grimoire Book with blank pages by OrionOddities

We all know that one gal (or guy) who could lure a man to his sweet, unfortunate death (or just that one girl that has an unreasonable love for Mermaids – yeah, I’m looking at you Rowan). Treat them to this beautiful quirky book to keep track of their dead lovers – here’s hoping you don’t fall pray to their alluring ways!

Find it here: £45.44 from OrionOddities

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Wasp Entomology Frame By Necrology

Have you bagged that one weird boy that loved bugs as a kid? They will love this framed wasp piece inspired by golden reliquary from Necrology.

Find here: £43.80 by Necrology 

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Love Spell Kit by TheTwoWizards

Here’s a lil something for everyone. Whether you are lusting hard, or learning to love and embrace yourself, this love spell kit by The Two Wizards will have the person of your desire head over heels in love this Valentines day!

Find Here: Current Promo £18.61 from TheTwoWizards

Jewellery from MercuryHour 

If you are looking for something extra special Mercury Hour have your back! They have something for all, with their genderless section and the launch of their Valentines collection you are sure to find something that your partner will love. Or if like me you will be treating yourself this Valentines day, the Lust for Life necklace is the one for you!

Find Here: MercuryHour
Anything for Love Choker | Lust for Life Necklace

 

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Green Day Summer Tour 2017

To say that I was looking forward to this tour, is a little bit of an understatement. In true fangirl fashion, Lauri and I done all of the UK Green Day dates with the exception of Sheffield. It’s always a lot of fun following them on tour, it’s taken me to parts of the UK that I otherwise wouldn’t visit. And on this tour, I finally got to meet my long term twitter pals Alex and Ciara! So by the time it rolled around, I was more than happy to be packing my bags to head back on tour!

Belfast

Our first stop of the tour was Belfast. Needless to say on the run up to the twelth, it was a bit of a culture shock seeing so many flags draped around the city. I obviously knew about the divisions in Ireland, but I always expected their dedication to the twelth to be some last minute bunting flung up the night before. That wasn’t the case, and we saw the city in all of its sectarian glory.

We stayed in the Botanic Queens Rest. It was a twenty minute walk from Ormeau park (where the gig was held) and it was a pretty good  choice for the night! The staff were lovely, and our room was pleasant and clean, with plenty of plug sockets for all of your 21st Century needs. Bathrooms are shared, but we had our own personal shower. I really didn’t have any problems with this, especially because it was a short stay.

Belfast was my favourite of the three shows. The crowd had a great atmosphere, even if Billie stopped the show because someone was being an arsehole in the pit. But it’s little things like that, that make the show special. We were surprised that we managed to get a spot at the end of the catwalk, and that became our spot for the rest of the tour! At the end of the show I met my friend Alex, we had known each other for years on Twitter, so that was a pretty special way to end the night!

Green Day Belfast Ireland Tour UK Tour

Dublin

The following morning we woke at the crack of dawn and headed to Dublin. I fell asleep on the bus journey, and woke up covered in confetti from the night before. We had two days to spend in the city, but the day we arrived was the day of the gig. So we quickly stopped at our hotel, and found another of my long-term Twitter friends, Ciara, and headed to the queue! The weather was absolutely awful and rained all day, but luckily finding an umberella near Kilmainham Park wasn’t too difficult.

We had a total drama after we returned from checking into our rooms, when the queue had disappeared and the security didn’t want us to return to our spots. We ended up just storming past the gates and reclaiming our spots. Somehow, I ended up one of the first people to make it through the security check point, and I ran straight towards the spot at the end of the barrier. It was Ciara’s first time on the barrier, so it was nice to get such a good spot. The downpour had us freezing, until the band came on. I ended up getting kicked in the face by a crowd surfer and I was left with a big dirty mark on my face! (hahah of course that would happen to me!) At the end of the night we all met up with Alex again. We had pretty much planned this since we were all 13/14, so it was amazing that it finally happpened!

Green Day Ireland Tour
The following morning we had a lay in, our flight was really late, as we didn’t want to rush out of  our only shelter for the day. We found a good breakfast, picked up the most amazing red velvet doughnuts from Rolling Doughnuts and argued with anti-abortion activists all before 1 o’clock. After the thrill of the morning we headed to the Leprechaun Museum. It was actually a really good storyteller activity, and a great way to learn about Irish folklore.  It’s definitely worth the visit. Afterwards we went a  walk around Temple Bar, exploring the shops before we ended up in a pub for a quick cider before finding the bus to the airport.

London

For this gig we decided to commute from Cambridge. Our taxi was late, and the train station was a shambles, so we ended up late for doors. But it worked out fine, we managed to get wristbands for the golden circle and we could wander from stage to stage. We ended up hunting down the last two Drunk Bunny teddies in all of Hyde Park! Afterwards we spent some time getting food, and having some drinks before we wormed our way to the front of the crowd before Green Day.

Hyde Park was a special show. London is always a special show, it always feels so nice to be surrounded by so many Green Day fans. I’ve only ever had good experiences seeing the band in London. Although, I did feel as if some of the atmosphere was lost because the stage was so big and there was a huge gap between the stage and the audience. There was even the painfully awkward point when Billie brought two girls on stage to play guitar, and forgot about one of them. Despite this, the show was still enjoyable, and it was nice to finally see them in the sun!

Glasgow

The day following the London show, we headed home so stock up on sleep before the Glasgow show. We really wanted that to be a good one because it was our home show. Lauri has never seen them play here before, and it would have been my tenth Green Day show, so it we were sure it was going to be special! But as many of you know (if you follow Green Day, or live in Scotland) things didn’t go to plan. You can read all about what happened that morning in Monday’s blog post, here.

After the gig got cancelled, we didn’t really know what to do with ourselves. Eventually we ended up at a pub, with a bunch of other fans, which then led to the decision to go to their hotel, and see what happens! I was a bit hesitant about it, I never wanted to be that fan. But I also thought fuck it, enough had turned sour for me since I left the London show, so I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to potentially meet my favourite band. We ended up there all day, it started out a small crowd of people, but before we knew it there were literally hundreds. It was nice, we all gathered and sang some songs, then Billie posted saying he could hear us. I think it was around 9 o’clock that Mike finally came out to address the crowd. He looked devastated and apologised, ultimately safety comes first. We all got a big group picture with him. Afterwards we continued to hang around to see the whole band leave. Tre was up the windows waving and being an idiot. And somehow I got a picture with Jason Freese? It all passed like a blur.

Michael Schofield Mike Dirnt Green Day Blysthwood Square Hotel fans

 

Once we knew the band were officially out of our city, we headed to Saint Judes – an old church converted into a gig venue – to see Green Date. I never thought I would see a Green Day tribute band in my life, but it ended up being a really good night. Entry was free; the venue was jam packed; and there was even mosh pits. The security in the place were really strict, and threw quite a lot of people out, but I imagine that was in part because it was a one in/one out policy and there was a queue of people wanting to get in! (Not that it actually justifies it). By the time the gig got cut out we were all still singing.

I had so much fun on this tour. There was a silver lining at the end of every mishap, so it’s hard to be bitter about anything that happened. If anything, it’s left me more excited than ever to have Green Day back in Glasgow… hopefully playing at a nice indoor show, not organised by PCL.

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What Actually Happened when Green Day Cancelled their Glasgow Show?

Anyone that follows Green Day and/or is Scottish knows that this show turned out to be a bit of a disaster. By this point, Lauri and I were pretty much in the routine of waking up early and queuing in the rain, and that’s exactly what we did. We left the house at 6am, found our place in the queue and sat down. It wasn’t until around 11am that the rumours started circulating. We first heard it from one of the boys we met that day. One of the security guards at the gates of the park mentioned it to him, but we all thought that the guard was joking and brushed it off. Then again at around 11.30, one of our friends we met during tour arrived and showed the sound techs instagram page, where he had posted about how much of a disaster it was backstage. Very little of the local crew had shown up; the stage was unsafe, and half of the PA had gone missing.

Green Day Glasgow cancelled show Steve Lagudi PCL Bellahouston Park

After we read this we were all obviously wondering what was going on. I went to ask the security at the gates in front of the queue, but they hadn’t been told anything at this point/weren’t allowed to give out information. So we stayed in the queue as the rumours continued to circulate, we didn’t know if it was true, or if Steve was just having a laugh. A lot of people just didn’t want to believe it (myself included). We remained in that queue until about 5 minutes before the doors were due to open, waiting to be informed officially that the show had been cancelled. Meanwhile the signs on the motorway and on public transport had been changed with at least an hours notice.

The most disappointing thing is that PCL wont give us the truth. They continue to blame cancellation on ‘adverse weather conditions’ but not only is it nonsensical because Scotland has definitely seen much worse weather, but both Lagudi’s instagram and Green Day’s post contradict their statement.

PCL Green Day Cancelled Show announcement Glasgow

Green Day cancelled show announcement Glasgow

So what actually happened? I think it’s fair to say that no one actually knows. I personally take the view that it was due to poor stage set up, and lack of organisation from PCL that the show was cancelled. There have been a lot of rumours circulating about why the show had been cancelled. I’m choosing to list them in a bulletpoint fashion because firstly, there have been a lot, and secondly I can freely expand upon specific issues without it being too jumbled.

  •  One member of staff had fallen and injured himself during set up. PCL later came forward and admitted that this had happened, but denied that it effected the show continuing. Read here.
  • They only began setting up the stage the day before the gig, despite having told locals that it would continue over four days. 
  • PCL sacked their original crew when they refused to set up the stage without the boards underneath to stop it from sinking (technical terms please), and hired in a crew less qualified who would set it up how they wanted. This evidently lead to the stage sinking.
  • The council refused to sign off on health and safety at 9am that morning. The council have since washed their hands of these claims, pointing their finger at the promoter and the band. However, if it is the case that they had known from such an early hour of the morning, they left thousands of fans (some of which had been camping) in the lurch for far too long.
  •  They began dismantling the stage long before the doors were due to open. – Again, a claim that means fans were left in the lurch for far longer than they should have been. And one that would make sense if health and safety had been refused early in the morning.
  • PCL are not paying staff. You can watch staff members receive the announcement here, and a read letter from the MP for Glasgow South to PCL here. This is certainly no rumour, and something to be appalled by. If you are effected by this, you can get in touch with betterthanzero.
  • On a slightly unrelated note, I also want to add that SeeTickets are not refunding booking and postage fees. As if this whole affair needed more drama. Facebook is littered with complains about the poor customer service from the company, and both The Times and The Scottish Daily Record have reported this.

Overall, I think it’s fair to say that this failed spectacle was a shambles. As I have previously stated, I have taken the view that it is due to PCL’s lacklustre organisation that cancelled this gig. But it is still pretty unclear what actually happened. However, the varying reports suggest that information is being hidden, and the whole story has yet to be told. I doubt that in the future we will hear much more about this, I imagine PCL will be reluctant to post the details of their investigation. But this is the information that I have pulled together since the show. I should reinforce some of this is just rumours, but where I have been able to, I’ve provided any evidence. Hopefully we will hear a further statement when the investigation has been complete.

For more on Green Day’s UK tour (including this date), check out my next post coming on Thursday!

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We Broke Up…

I wasn’t expecting to be writing this blog post, not now, and I hoped it wouldn’t come in the future either. But ultimately, a relationship takes two, and I don’t call all of the shots. I don’t know if this piece of writing will be very coherent, but I am certain that it is the hardest blog post I have ever had to write. For that reason, I do want to keep things brief.

I’ve always been very open and transparent with my blog. I’ve invited the web into my relationship by detailing every visit we had for the last few years; and tried to give my personal insight on LDR woes. However, i’m not sure if going into detail about the where and why of my break up to an open platform is what either Bradley or I need, or want right now.

Basically, I just wanted to check into my blog to say that our relationship is over. It’s nobodys fault, and neither of us done anything wrong. It was just the distance that got in the way, and unfortunately at this time there is nothing we can do to fix that. I didn’t want this to end, but out of my respect for him, I had to let him go.

Some things are more important than love.

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How Dogs Improve our Health

It probably comes as no surprise, but I really couldn’t imagine my life without dogs. My gran got a tiny little black lab just a few months after I was born. He was my first best friend. He put up with baby me crawling all over him, and as we grew older together, I would pretend he was a pony, or curl up and rest my head on his furry little belly. I always knew he was there for me to nestle into if I was having a bad day because my friends had fallen out with me, or if I just wanted someone to keep me company until my mum came to pick me up. He was always there. He was the first dog that I had bonded with, and he is probably the reason I love dogs so much today.

Baby me and my first best pal

Since then my family have had dogs of their own. We now have two Akita’s called Kodi and Nala, and they are literally my pride and joy. In all honesty, they are the only reason I get out of bed most days. If I didn’t have to force myself awake to walk the dogs, then I would probably be left to moulder away in my bed and my day would never get started. Getting up and having just 30 minutes of exercise in the morning really sets me up for the day in a way that I know wouldn’t happen otherwise. It doesn’t let me slip into any sort of self-enforced depressive episode, which is so easy to entertain when you have no reason to even leave your bed. Having dogs is a benefit to me, both mentally and physically by kick starting my day and getting me exercised.

My dogs are also a great stress relief for me. Some people turn to eating, or drinking too much alcohol, but for me I just like to spend time with my dogs! During exams especially, when emotions are running high, and your head is all over the place, I always find myself longing to spend time with my dogs. So I always make sure to take breaks to cuddle with Kodi (Nala isn’t a cuddly dog) and I feel so much better afterwards. Just taking some time to breathe, and hang out with my dogs can make me feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Puppyspot.com list a whole number of ways that owning a dog can positively impact your health, for some it goes well beyond the mental impact that my dogs have had on me. Owning a dog can truly change your life.

puppyspot how dogs improve our health

If you are interested in finding a dog that is right for you, puppy spot are linked up with the American Kennel Club to help you avoid atrocious puppy mills and find the right breeder for you! You might find the right dog for you here. Alternatively, if you are looking to adopt from a rescue service – look locally! My family are personally involved in Akita rescue, and that is how we found our two. But you never know where, or how you will meet your new best friend!

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 ** I was contacted by Puppyspot to help spread their campaign on health benefits provided by owning dogs

*** Photos by Euan Kinloch (@euankinloch insta)