These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: DECEMBER 2019

Well well well… the end of a decade, the end of an era and the end of 2019. It’s crazy to think that at the beginning of the decade, in lovely little 2010, I was in year 10, stressing about my exams, was about to get my first taste of travel and complete a study abroad in Palmerston North New Zealand. In 2012 I graduated high school and in 2013, I packed my bags with a one-way ticket to London. In 2014, I moved to Wollongong to start my degrees. In 2015 I got my first grown up job, and in 2016 (in true Adelaide style), I packed up my bags (yet again) and headed to La Rochelle, France and Montreal, Canada to (yet again) study abroad. In 2017 I decided to squeeze in one more study abroad trip to Mexico, before commencing and finishing my Honours degree in 2018. And 2019, as you may have been following, I landed my dream job and moved in with my girlfriend. And what better way to finish off this decade, than with a great month, which was December. So let’s have a look back at the month that finished off the decade!

🎉Fairgrounds Festival

I love a good festival. I especially love a festival that’s local and encourages a balance of food, beer, chilling out and good music. Fairgrounds is just that. Located only 40minutes away in beautiful Berry, Soph and I cruised down the highway to this family friendly, hippy paradise music festival. We strolled in to the country twang of the one and only, Kasey Chambers. We were treated to hearing the beautiful words of Julia Jacklin, swayed around the Meg Mac, rocked out to DMAs, and pretended to know the lyrics to Liam Gallagher’s songs. Each musical interlude was complete with trying a new kind of food, finding a bar close by, and seeking some shade #sunsafetyissexy It was such a fun day spent with Soph and I’m so glad I got to spend it with her.

🎄Famous Haynes’ Christmas Party

Everyone knows that Christmas is a crazy time. So my Nan has decided to outsmart everyone and celebrate Christmas early! It also coincided with Pop’s 85th birthday (what a legend). Soph of course came along and she met my big, beautiful family as we tucked in to some delicious food, enjoyed a beer or two, and reminisced about the simpler times when we were young kids running around Nan’s house! It was such a great evening and I’m so grateful for my lovely fam!

🏡Christmas at home

As they say, there’s no place like home. And there’s no better place to spend Christmas, than beautiful Port Stephens. The tradition in Port Stephens is to head to the Country Club on Christmas Eve. Before you get too ahead of yourself, the Country Club is not a classy establishment so don’t go thinking we’re at all fancy. The best thing about this tradition is that you get to see all of your friends in one place, having a grand old time. The downside to this tradition, is that you’re usually a little hungover when it comes to Christmas morning. Just put a Christmas hat on and you can bluff your way through anything. I had such a great time at home seeing friends and family. I felt so freakin grateful that after all these years, I can still go back to the good old country club, and see some mates that I will always love, and that my family are forgiving first thing in the morning!

🌊South West Rocks

On Boxing Day, Elly, Mum and I road tripped our way up to South West Rocks. It was my first time visiting this beautiful little holiday paradise and wow! I’m a firm believer that all you need in life is a good beach and a good cafe. And I can tell you that South West Rocks has both. Our little escape was filled with early morning walks, parkrun (of course), coffee, yoga, finding nice little beaches, setting up umbrellas, soaking up some safe sunshine, binge watching ‘You’ and having a great time with my fam!

 📚 Books

Over the Top, by Jonathan Van Ness
This book landed in my hands in a rather unusual way. Of course, I’m a huge Queer Eye fan, but I’m also a fan of reflecting on personal experiences in order to inform your future decisions. Whilst I was chatting with my psychologist, she actually recommended this book. I never would have thought I would have much in common with JVN, but it turns out that worrying you’re ‘too much, too big, too little, too this, too that,’ is a pretty common experience. I loved this book and I actually learnt a lot about his life and what he did to overcome a vast number of challenges to be the fabulous self JVN is!

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Normal People, by Sally Rooney
Wow! Yes! Wow! Three words to sum up this book, enough said. I’d heard a lot about Sally Rooney and read her incredible book ‘Conversations With Friends.’ So I was lucky enough to get this from Christmas from the lovely S Washington, which was pretty short lived because I finished it in about 3 days! Love love love this book and I would absolutely recommend to anyone who’s had a complicated, painful and lovely crush.

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🎶Tunes

Flicks

Years and Years
Wow. Black Mirror meets the front page of your average right-wing newspaper. Seriously, this show is incredible! It’s set in a not-so-distant sci-fi future. Events unfold that have underlying truth and plausibility. There were moments I was genuinely scared, sobbing my eyes out, heart broken, and inspired. I stupidly watched it when only one episode was released at a time, though it was probably for the best. Binge watching this may lead to sadness and anxiety, but it has beautifully constructed characters and touches on big issues that we as a collective society need to address.

Marriage Story
Well it stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, need I say more? Side note, they are literally my celebrity crushes so I basically melted watching them on screen together. Though this is not a romance. It’s a story about romance dying and a couple navigating the messy world of divorce. It’s raw and captures the awkward moments when families fall apart. #relatable It’s not overhyped, it’s totally worth the watch and finally…. ahhhh Adam Drive and Scarlett Johansson, what babes!

🛍️Product

Diva cup
For anyone who’s been considering getting a Diva cup, now is your time! I myself had considered it for about 12 months before finally biting the bullet and buying one and after now 2 months of using it, I would absolutely recommend. I seriously feel like a better human because I’m not contributing a hell of a lot of waste to landfill. It’s actually super comfortable and easy (once you get the hand of it). Plus I’m excited for the money I won’t be spending on tampons, pads and liners! Woo!

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Sol de Janeiro, Bum bum cream
This smells absolutely delicious! I cannot get enough! I had heard about this cream, and of course the name is pretty unforgettable, and just had to try it out. I bought myself a little gift set with a body spray and body wash. YUM! This cream is so delightful, I’d put it all over my body if it wasn’t so damn expensive. Top tip: I always put a little bit on the back of my hand because you can smell it all day! Seriously obsessed.

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📸Vloggers, Bloggers and Podders

Kold
This is one of the most stunning YouTube videos I’ve ever watched (especially from about 8:10… WOW). His story telling just keeps levelling up and his shots are seriously awe inspiring! I seriously got chills in this video and made me want to jump on a pirate ship and set sail to Indonesia!

🎶Tunes

Boy and Bear
Sometimes you just need some chill music to get you through a pretty stressful time over the holiday period. Boy and Bear completely delivered. Soph actually got us tickets to go and see them in May (yay) and I cannot wait!

📝Quote

During the crazy holiday period, I was lucky enough to receive some pretty amazing advice. Take what’s in front of you. Sometimes there’s no point making plans for things that haven’t actually happened. It usually leaves you feeling stressed out and helpless. All we have is now, is a gentle reminder to take a breath, take one step at a time and not to stress about things that haven’t actually happened yet. Seems obvious but I assure you it isn’t.

What a month, what a year and what a decade. I think I’ll have to do some more reflecting on 2019 as a whole, but now it’s time to look forward to all of the opportunities that 2020 promises. I hope you had a safe and enjoyable holiday period and are already kicking goals in 2020! x

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: AUGUST 2019

August! Thank you for coming! This month I was professional Adelaide and out in full force! I went on my first ever international business trip (which was freakin awesome), I’ve been killing it at work, I’ve been getting active and sweaty, and having a great time with friends! What more could you even ask for?! August was such a wholesome month and I honestly felt on my absolute A game! So let’s have a look at the month where I killed it! #humblebrag

🏍️ India

Hello country number 30! And what an adventure it was! India is somewhere I have always wanted to go but thought it was a ‘one day’ country. Never would I have thought I would get the chance to go on a business trip to three cities in 12 days. I visited Mumbai (or Bombay as the locals still call it), Kolkata and Delhi. I was totally in the zone and have honestly never felt more confident in my work. And being, the adventurer I am, I needed to get out and about and explore the cities I was in. This meant, 6am starts, late nights, lots of food, lots of staring out windows and lots of ‘wow’ moments. Seriously India, I cannot wait to come back

🎉Parties!

It was my best friend cyclone Erica’s birthday! The one thing I love more than my birthday, is celebrating my friends birthdays! We went on a double date to Kneading Ruby and hello fancy pants, it was a lot of fun! No party is complete without a night out at the Harp, a bottomless brunch at Dagwood (margaritas YUM!) and finishing it off with a Sunday Sesh at North Gong!

🐤 Haidee’s Hens

The first time I ever went on a hens night out, I was 18, living in London, and somewhat crashed a hens. The hen herself took a firm liking to me and proceeded to buy me tequila shots all night until I was throwing up in the street (yep – I’m glad I’ve left that girl behind). So for my first proper hens party, for my gorgeous friend (and Soph’s big sister) Haidee, I was tremendously excited to celebrate her soon to be marriage!

🍷 Fam time

Those who know me, would know that I don’t see my family very often. It’s a combination between being way too busy, distance and travel. So when my family come to spend the weekend with me, it makes me pretty damn happy. It also coincided with a Fathers Day weekend. So we took Dad to a winery, out for burgers, pizza and cocktails. Us Haynes’, we’re silly and loud and don’t make much sense, but we know how to have a good time!

🎥 Flicks

Animal Kingdom
You better believe we smashed over all 4 seasons. Whilst this is filled with way too much testosterone, there’s something just chill and encapsulating to watch a young group of guys steal stuff and bash stuff up. Is this really entertainment? I don’t know, but I came to view Smurf as the ultimate badass.

🎵Tunes

Smith Street Band
I know there’s been a lot of controversy around this band lately, and in music more broadly (can you separate the man from the artist, and still appreciate their music?) And whilst I don’t have the answer, the inner rock goddess within me loves this song! I want to listen to it loud, I want to thrash around and kick something in my connies.

Thelma Plum
Woah!! Her new album is AMAZING! I have had it on repeat and wow it is an absolute banger! I was lucky enough to see her in concert this month and WOW! Her voice is so powerful and her voice is honestly better in real life (how that is possible I have no idea!). Oh and she is STUNNING! Mega girl crush!

📷 Vloggers, Blogger and Podders

Larissa DSa
Whilst I was India, I stumbled across this India YouTuber. And I was lucky enough to see her video on Kolkata, before I arrived in Kolkata. Whilst some might argue it can ‘spoil’ a city before getting there, I can honestly say it enhanced my experience and made me so much more excited to go, and happy to be there. Plus it was nice to discover another YouTuber (who I think is very talented and super likeable!)

❤️ Product

Phisohex
OK not the most glamorous recommendation but a worthy one at that! When I cam back from India, my chest was covered in tiny red sweat pimples (thanks 95% humidity). But after a week or two they still hadn’t disappeared. Naturally, I consulted my expert ex-pharmacy assistant who recommended good old Phisohex. Wow! I honestly reckon within a day it started to clear up, and now my chest is completely clear! I’ve since incorporated into my skincare routine, and if you suffer from persistent acne, I would totally recommend it. It’s not a miracle wash (nothing is) but this really helped my skin and I saw excellent results!

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📝 Quote

The magic happens in the process! I cannot stress this enough, and cannot seem to remember it enough. I’m always worried about producing excellent, perfect, ‘ready to publish’ work. And I’m so hard on myself that I often don’t get very far, or I’m so completely unmotivated by the fear of failing, that I don’t even try.

Well this is not the person I signed up to be! This has been a beautiful reminder that I can create work that isn’t perfect, the most important thing is that I’m creating, getting my hands dirty and giving it my all.

Thank you August! I am so grateful I got to experience such an incredible breadth of activities, pushed myself and made a lifelong dream of travelling for work, a reality. Dreams can come true! September, I’ve set the bar high so watch out!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: MAY

My my my… May has been FULL ON! Thinking back on the month that has been, I can’t believe how much I’ve managed to squeeze into 31 days! And it’s crazy to think that in *whispers* 25 days… I’m jetting off on my epic adventure. Whilst I’m currently trying to reframe from ripping my hair out (I’ve got 3 x 40% assignments due in the next few days), I’m also getting ridiculously excited for my trip. It’s served as a great motivational tool to get me through these past few weeks of intense uni work. So… it’s that time again when I recap on my favourite things for this month!

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Testing out the new GOPRO

I bought a GOPRO

The time came and I finally bought a GOPRO! And OMG I’m in LOVE! Now I’m sure you can read a million reviews about GOPROS online but honestly – I just absolutely love it! It’s small, takes amazing quality photos and videos and motivates you to get out there and take some awesome footage! You can check out a little edit I’ve thrown together about my roadtrip.

ROADTRIP!

Speaking of roadtrip (and if you check out the video above) you can see that I had a pretty good time! I work as a student rep at uni and I was lucky enough to be sent away for a week to represent the uni at various careers markets. Whilst a lot of hard work goes in to these trips, it’s always great when you get a chance to unwind at the beach, go for an adventure or explore a new place after a long day at work.

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Showing off at Nobby’s Beach, Newcastle

Lunch with my Grandparents and Family

Because I live about 5hours away from home, I don’t make it home as often as I’d like. And when I do it’s only for such a short amount of time. So I was absolutely ecstatic when my Grandparents called me saying they would be in Wollongong and wanted to have lunch with me. I always love catching up with my family. I’m constantly inspired and reminded of how lucky I am to have such a supportive family who loves and encourages me.

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Lunch with my beautiful grandparents

Uni Work

I know this is ridiculously nerdy, but I’ve really been engaged with a lot of my coursework for the past few weeks. I recently wrote an essay about gender inequality in the work force which I was ridiculously passionate about. At the moment I’m half way through making a short video about empowerment and nudity, again, another topic I find really engaging and important. That’s one of the best things about my degree, it’s not just ‘you have to learn this’ but it’s ‘I want to know more about this…’ 

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 Tunes

I think I’ve been driving my housemates absolutely crazy with how much I’ve played this song lately! I have no idea how I came across this amazing tune but I’m definitely not letting it go anytime soon!

Flume you’ve done it again! Providing the goods to pump us up and sing our little hearts out! This song was the soundtrack to my roadtrip, so every time I hear it, I just think adventure!

And just as an added bonus, this is another fave of mine from May. Again, I somehow stumbled across this one on a late night prowl through Youtube and dayum I’m grateful. This song is perfect when you’re winding down after a long day at work and you’ve got a cup of tea in hand!

Films

I don’t usually include films in my ‘favourites’ list – partly because I usually don’t have enough time to watch them but Oh My God this movie is such a laugh! I’m not sure if it’s because it’s too relatable, laugh out loud worthy or the combination of amazing actors but dayum, this is an absolute MUST for anyone trying to figure out how to be single. 

Quote

A quote I’ve totally been trying to live by this month is the following.. ‘may your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears’ – Nelson Mandela. With all of my adventures just around the corner, I’ve been making some awesome plans and I’m soooooo damn excited. Hopes don’t come without fears, and of course it’s only natural to be nervous, but that’s what life is built on!

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Well, June, you’re probably going to disappear way too quickly, so I’m looking forward to smashing out uni and enjoying the time I have left here in Australia before I jet off! I hope your month has been just as wonderful and that June welcomes you kindly.

 

 

 

‘The Media.’ A Guest Post by P. Thompson

In 1836 Samuel F.B Morse, an American artist, Joseph Henry, a physicist and Alfre Vail developed an electircal telegraph system relying on “on” “off” pulses. The “Morse Code” was born. The most common emergency sequence in the world is S.O.S (save our souls) and is still used today. The code is º º º – – – º º º It was used a lot during WWII, then after, all the post offices used it to send telegrams around the world.

Oh media, how you have changed. During the 40’s, we still used wind up handle phones, to turn rings would get the exchange the operator would ask ‘your number please,’ then they plugged you through, that is if you both had paid to have a connection, and then when you finished you rang off.

Telegrams, the text message before mobile phones
Telegrams, the text message before mobile phones

So now all has changed, when you see young people, children, adults, everybody is staring at the things in their hand and are transfixed; the mobile phone/computer is here. Is it good or is bad? The answer is… it depends on who’s hand it is in. The good sides, it can be used in emergencys such as accidents, breakdowns, rescues, to send nice messages (especially happy birthdays) and quick information (such as who invented the Morse Code).

The bad sides. Some use it for bullying, people can be influenced to do bad things (for example ISIS recruitment), it can be very distracting (driving a car), very bad manners in others company, possible eye strain (more glasses for children) and less activity (leading to obesity).

But we still call it progress!

My wife and I have four children, twelve grandchildren, eight and a half great grandchildren and we love them all. We’ve created a family, so we love it that we’re able to keep up to date with Adelaide’s life. We have them sent by email and we read them in awe, as she covers numerous topics. Grandma always says ‘come on, read me the blog.’ We love reading them, especially when they relate to early times in Australian history.

As time marches on, we hope if nothing else she keeps writing her blogs.

P. Thompson

*****

This is a guest post by my wonderfully thoughtful, helpful and talented Grandad. Over the past several weeks, Grandad has been helping me with my BCM240 blogging assignments, beautifully retelling his great stories from when he first got a TV, what life was like back in the 40’s and 50’s and various thoughts and perspectives of the media. Thank you so much for your time, expertise and storytelling, I appreciate and value every minute we spend together.

My amazing Grandma and Grandad
My amazing Grandma and Grandad

These Are A Few of My Favourite Things: August

The last month of Winter! Winter I love you, but I won’t miss you at all.

Running the City2Surf. Something I’d only been dreading for months finally happened and I couldn’t have been happier at the finish line! Just helps motivate me to push my comfort zone and never stop daring to achieve something great!

At the finish line soaking up some sunshine
At the finish line soaking up some sunshine

Banks. Goddess. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, this album is the real deal! Definitely helping me get through those study blues.

Sad airport trips. This month we had to say adieu to two of our favourite English exchange students. These boys know how much we’ll always love them, but it really does suck not seeing them every morning and every night. I look at the photo below and am so grateful for everyone’s unconditional friendship. You guys make me feel at home, safe and completely loved. Cheesy I know but deal with it.

Our beautiful little KB family
Our beautiful little KB family

Adventures with the family. Sadly I don’t get to see my family all that much. So when they come and visit for the weekend, we truly have the best time. We went out to the Sea Cliff Bridge which is an absolute must! Plus a lovely tour of Wollongong’s best restaurants and bars. Please come and visit more!

My sister and I on the Sea Cliff bridge
My sister and I on the Sea Cliff bridge

How to Be Parisian. One of the most beautiful little books that I own. For more reasons why I love it, read here.

My favourite French things; Coco Chanel Mademoiselle, red and black nailpolish and my gold plated Pierre Laniere watch I bought in Paris for my 19th birthday.
My favourite French things; Coco Chanel Mademoiselle, red and black nailpolish and my gold plated Pierre Laniere watch I bought in Paris for my 19th birthday.

Orange is the New Black. I have a problem. I’m addicted. Like seriously. I watched 2 seasons in just under two weeks. For anyone that’s been thinking about checking it out and has put it off (like I was) DO IT!!! Though it’s definitely not recommended during the middle of session when you have a million assignments due. But honestly, it’s such a quality show and I’m loving it!

So that’s about it from me. I’ve been ridiculously busy with work and uni so I’m glad I got to squeeze in this much excitement. September is looking even more scary with many assignments due but… just keep pushing on!

A License for Television: Memories of Television in the Home

“I thought we were Kings and Queens…” – Grandad

Imagine a device that made you feel like a king. Well that’s how my Grandad (Peter Thompson) felt when he first acquired a television set from his older brother.

Wind back to the 1950’s and you have my Grandma and Grandad, just married, and living in Kurri Kurri, NSW. When the TV came to Australia, people from the town who couldn’t quite yet afford one, would flock down to the ‘Harvey Norman’ of the time, and crowd around these mystical TV’s in the shop windows. Grandad inherited his brother’s TV set after moving to Perth for work, and only had to pay off a few remaining instalments. After lodging an application for a TV license down at the local post office (yes, you had to have a license for a TV) and installing the ridiculously long antennas on the roof, my grandparents had a TV set.

Source. Vladmir Fedotov, July 15, 2009. CC License: Some rights reserved
Source. Vladmir Fedotov, July 15, 2009. CC License: Some rights reserved

It was 1956 and the first images were broadcast from Sydney and Melbourne. Because they lived 150km away from Sydney, the signal was never reliable, so Grandad, being an engineer, developed a theory. Whenever the signal would cut in and out, him and my Grandma’s brother, Ted, would climb up on the roof, and spray the antenna with water, finding that it would help them get much clearer reception (turns out there was actually no benefit of doing this, but at least they tried).

“The A-Bomb Goes Up” – The News

Source
Source – For more historic events in South Australia, click here

The footage of the A-Bomb going off was actually welcomed by my Grandad. He shared similar views that as long as we had nuclear weapons to fight of Communism we were safe (refer to the Domino Theory through South East Asia). In hindsight, we see how irresponsible nuclear testing was in South Australia but the TV set that broadcast these images brought hope to a lot of people who had just survived the Great Depression and World War II, and were in need of some security and hope.

I am very close to my Grandparents, and some of my fondest childhood memories were spent in their loungeroom. Where the walls are covered with 50 plus years of marriage and their mantlepiece displays a family of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren they have created together. I remember Grandad making us watch one of his favourite films, ‘October Sky,’ and it was rather fascinating winding back the clock and discovering what it was like when a television set was the hot talk of the town.

So this post is dedicated to them. For feeding me countless sandwiches and biscuits whilst we sat under your watchful eyes that have seen so much change.

Grandma and Grandad
Grandma and Grandad

***

Further Information

Visit the National Film and Sound Archive website for similar stories regarding the first regional broadcasts of television in Australia. It is an indepth and insightful insight to the people who experiences the first broadcasts in regional Australia and broadcast stations that started up in regional centres like Orange, Bendigo and Toowoomba.

The following website looks at the 50th anniversary of NBN (the regional broadcast station for Newcastle where I grew up). It looks at how news and advertising broadcasting and production has changed throughout time.

Friends Across The Globe: Reunion

Me, Nicole, Charline and Mack
Me, Nicole, Charline and Mack

They say that the friends you make when you first move out of home are friends for life. And regardless of distance or time, or how long it’s been since you’ve talked you know that they’ll be there for you. I was fortunate enough last weekend to meet up with these beautiful (above), who were some of my housemates whilst I was living in London. Whilst some of you may think, what’s the big deal, well I’m not sure you could ever understand the incredible bond we created at Clarendon 9. I was 18 when I moved into that house and was just discovering myself and the world around me. I was always up for trying new things, going on adventures and making the most of every opportunity. My time in London wasn’t always smooth sailing and my housemates were by my side through thick and thin. Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 5.42.56 pm As I waited at Central Station, having not seen my London family for almost 18months, I was absolutely overwhelmed with anxiety and excitement. I scanned every face, my heart skipping a beat every time I saw someone resembling my friends. I had been lucky enough to see Nicole in February and seeing her face again was so exciting. When we (finally) saw Charline and Mack walking through the Central, I couldn’t contain my excitement. We crept up on them, swarming them with hugs and nearly giving Mack a heart attack. After smothering them both with hugs and covering Mack’s shirt with makeup (my bad) we headed off to have some lunch and coffee, just like London times. From then on, we did not stop talking. It was like no time had passed at all and hearing their voices and seeing their faces right in front of me was so special and heart warming.

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For a long time, I was always conscious of starting a story with ‘when I was in London…’ because I didn’t want to seem like I was bragging. But after reminiscing about all the crazy adventures we got up to, I really don’t care at all. Why? Because London was the best year of my life. It was much more than just me living it up in another city, but it was where I made incredible friends, learnt my limits, discovered new things and learnt more about myself and what I want in life. And my London family, my housemates helped me through all of it and I’ll make be eternally grateful for that.

At the Royal Ascot
At the Royal Ascot

So what now? Who knows when we’ll see each other next. In the next month, this year, or next? Regardless of when I see my London family next, I know that we’ll all continue to change. Whilst I may have grown up considerably and changed a lot, some might say even matured, but in some way, there’s an 18 year old me still looking optimistically out at the world that my London family know all too well.

Until next time!

xxx A

Ultimate Selfie vs. the Ultimate Self

The saying ‘there’s more than meets the eye’ is relevant to today’s society more than ever. The phenomenon of Facebook promised us the gift of connecting to friends and ultimately, getting to know people on a more personal level. But how realistic was that promise? Whilst we all may have thought Facebook had the best intentions, not only have we deceived each other, but ourselves.

So why is it that we think we know a person (on Facebook) and then realise that in person, they’re not the person you think they are. I believe it’s because on Facebook/any other social media website, we post our ‘ultimate selves’ aka our Mr. Brightside selves. We post pretty pictures, write a witty status, put a few hashtags in there and tell everyone about how awesome our saturday night was.

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Spongebob may not care, but your real friends do

The things that we neglect to post online is the other 20 photos we took in order to get that perfect shot, we sat there for 10 minutes thinking of the perfect way to say something and don’t tell the world about the epic hangover we get on a Sunday morning.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% guilty of this promotion of my ‘ultimate self.’ But lately I’ve been questioning why we do this? We complain that people don’t know the real us but the truth is that we don’t even know the real us, and even if we do, we don’t share it with anyone because we won’t get enough likes that way.

My sister and I
My sister and I. This was posted on Facebook as a family appreciation post. However what I neglected to acknowledge was my anxiousness about moving to a new place with new people and sadness about saying goodbye to my family.

We never seem to put out to the world when we need help, or need a shoulder to lean on, and maybe that’s a reason that we can’t get the help we need. I’m not saying that overnight the world will change and we’ll suddenly stop producing a false image of ourselves online, but I really do believe that if we start to make more intimate, genuine and caring relationships, then we can all live in a better world and live a happier life.

xxx A

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Is Christmas Really Just Another Day?

This year I was (un)lucky enough to work a split shift on Christmas. Working in hospitality, we were exceptionally busy, being both mentally and physically exhausting. Whilst the joy of public holiday rates kept me going, I couldn’t help but feel a slight pang of sadness flood through me when people said ‘aw you poor thing, having to work on Christmas,’ before finishing with a ‘oh well, it’s just another day isn’t it?’ And that got me thinking… is it?

Our Christmas Tree 2014
Our Christmas Tree 2014

For as long as I can remember, Christmas has been filled with tinsel, presents, big lunches that send us into a food coma, being with family, taking pictures and playing with our new and exciting gifts (by the way, this year I got a selfie stick and have had WAY too much fun playing with it). I have spent 18 Christmas’ with my family until last year where I was overseas celebrating Christmas with my London family at Clarendon 9, and on my 20th Christmas I was woken up early (as usual) couldn’t wipe the smile off my face at the stunning view of our Christmas tree (as usual) and then put on my work uniform and left my loving family at home to enjoy the rest of the day (not as usual). Work was busy (as usual for this time of year) and before I knew it, I was lost in a mountain of dishes, momentarily thinking, ‘yep, just another day at work.’

Our Christmas Feast in London 2013
Our Christmas Feast in London 2013

This got me thinking about how much emphasis we put on certain days of the year. What seems like another Wednesday is suddenly filled with Turkey, Tinsel and Presents… what seems like another Saturday is your birthday and suddenly you’re a year older (and apparently a year wiser), and another Friday means that you can’t eat meat and stock up on chocolate.

Whilst I tried to get through my split shift with the thought that yes, it’s just another day and I’m getting paid twice as much to do the same job… I couldn’t help thinking of my family at home. And that’s why I can’t accept the statement that all the customers said to me that day ‘Christmas is just another day.’ Because (sadly) there’s not many other days of the year that we come together as friends and families, surprise each other, talk, explore, open up, laugh, drink, eat, eat and eat and just enjoy a lovely day off with the people we love.

My (short) Christmas with my family 2014
My (short) Christmas with my family 2014

So would I work another Christmas? Absolutely… the money was freakin’ amazing! But in future, I’d definitely make sure there’s more time to relax and spend time with my family on a special day that we all get to spend with each other.

xxx A

Our little Christmas Tree in London 2013
Our little Christmas Tree in London 2013