Life

August Favourites

Okay, so I’ve jumped the gun a bit by uploading this before the actual end of August. But I haven’t written a favourite’s post in forever, therefore I’m a bit excited. Between the heatwaves, travelling, A-Level results and general summer madness I have actually accumulated quite a few favourites. Enjoy!

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Hang On In There

Hang On In There

I made two realisations last night.

1. I’m frustrated at the lack of content on my blog. 2. I have the power to change the amount of content on my blog.

I’m still finding it hard to get back into writing, most sentences are difficult to form at the moment. My travel posts sound like wikipedia articles, and my reviews seem to skip the bad parts. All whilst I’m seeing people being honest with their audiences, and I can’t help but think that I’m too honest too often, you don’t come here to see me publish content moaning about my lack of content, or to be informed that I’m taking yet another break.

If you happen to be here for that reason I encourage you to quit the window, or close the tab that currently displays these words, because I’m not doing that anymore. No more rebranding, no more “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I don’t need a schedule” Because I do. I want my posts to make impressions, create discussions and get people talking. But I can’t do that without an audience, and people aren’t going to read sporadic content that has been made with the least amount of effort possible, just so the creator gets to press the ‘publish’ button. I hope you’ll stay whilst I get some content sorted and establish a schedule.

Exciting times ahead, just hang on in there.

A special thank you to Matti, who helped me realise that I am actually capable of writing more than messages and emails. She’s pretty great. 

My Twenty By Twenty

When catching up with reading my favourite blogs this weekend, I saw a cute idea on ‘Frankie and George’ of thirty things Annie wants to do before hitting thirty. But as I can’t fathom the thought of one day turning thirty, because I’ve only just turned eighteen. I’ve decided to do twenty things by twenty years. That gives me, two years. Oh God, I’m going to be twenty in two years. Two years. Two! Shall we get on with the list? I’m just going to cry in a corner about my ageing.

  1. Pass my driving test.
  2. Learn to cook more an actual meal that I can serve to others.
  3. Make an effort to make new friends.
  4. Don’t forget the old friends.
  5. Become more confident when talking in front of crowds.
  6. Master the art of baking.
  7. Visit France.
  8. Read at least 10 books on my ‘to-read’ pile.
  9. Find someone to share great memories with.
  10. Raise money for charity.
  11. Move out.
  12. Regain my drawing skill.
  13. Get an article published somewhere.
  14. Improve on my gift giving skills.
  15. Get a pupilage.
  16. Give learning French a proper try.
  17. Share more recipes.
  18. Write a book.
  19. Expand my musical collection.
  20. Extend the date to Twenty Five, because this is quite a mammoth task!

Forward?

We all thought it, “Miss Backwards is gone and is never coming back.” I certainly did. Once you stop blogging and tell yourself that you have other priorities to think about, all you want to do is blog and write. Tell people about new, meaningless things as a way of assuring yourself that you won’t forget how to write content that doesn’t begin with “It can be argued that…” or “It is popular opinion amongst critics…” But then you write that context, well those essays, and you forget your blog. Then suddenly I woke up one Saturday in May allowing myself time to finally blog and I couldn’t. I didn’t know how to write a blog post, I’d been so busy wrapped up in analysis of literary works and kingships that I didn’t know how to type like a normal person. I didn’t know how to connect with an audience. Be the girl I was in posts, the bright and breezy girl who didn’t use “thus” and consider the relative importance of factors. Uninspired and disheartened at my writing skills I put blogging back to the bottom of the list, and if I’m honest I left it there. Not wanting to try, in fear of disappointment.

I’ve never felt so distant from this blog it’s crazy, it’s turned from a great hobby and passion to the space a girl who sometimes writes like me with my (out of date) photo in the sidebar used to be. I no longer feel that Miss Backwards is me, but then she is the girl I was when I went away, not the woman I am returning. I’m different now, I’m older, I’m wiser, and I no longer want to write filler posts or put up half-arsed content because I want views and that’s what everyone else is doing. I’m not going to mimic other people’s blogs; neither am I promising complete originality.  Complete honesty, no bullshit, that’s what I want to write, I’m not going to fob you off with half true comments and reviews.

I have no idea what is going to happen in August, for once in my life I have no idea what the future has in store for me, and that scares me more than anything. The unknown makes the monsters under your bed look like a group who you would take to tea at your grandmas. I’m staring the unknown in the face and it’s grinning at me like the Cheshire cat. Come the 24th June I’m in limbo, I start a 6 week waiting game. I don’t know what will happen but I know that I’m finding Miss Backwards again, I’m going forward into the unknown, hopefully not alone.

Care to join?

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18 Things For 18 Years

For those of you who don’t know, I turned 18 this week (22nd March for those reading this at a later date) so to commemorate that I thought I would share 18 moments, stories, facts, and life lessons for each year. So here’s 18 things for my 18 years.

  1. You don’t have to be a pigeon, you can be a flamingo.
  2. Change is good, sometimes it makes you mature into a person you never imagined you could be.
  3. Fashion is temporary, style is forever. I think a some fashion God said that, but today it’s me.
  4. Take pride in everything you do, even if is just having the strength to get out of bed in the morning because if nobody else is proud of you, I am.
  5. No matter what anyone says, family is one of the most important things in the world and you are within your own right to turn down something to spend time with them.
  6. I have a massive passion for the English legal system, major geek over here, and I’m unashamed!
  7. Once when I was about 2/3 I felt the need to get a roll of kitchen roll and just unravel the whole lot onto the floor, apparently I was quite the rebel.
  8. One of the biggest facts I have discovered in my 18 years is that craziness doesn’t just run in my family, it gallops.
  9. On my third day on of my second primary school I ran into a boy who was about 4 years older than me and my cheek collided with his eyebrow bone (I was a tall child, and just how short was he?!) and I had to have a butterfly plaster thingy on it, which caused a scar that I still have, it’s only small though. On the plus side I got the nurses last chocolate from the box!
  10. It’s okay to watch and know a countless amount of television and television trivia, you’re not wasting your life as some people would say, you are living it as you wish to.
  11. If it’s meant to be, the universe will show you.
  12. I once stole my dad’s cheese sandwich that he got after his kidney biopsy, only because he thought he would be able to eat a steak and kidney (the irony) pie lying flat on his back without being able to sit up. Oh father!
  13. Unlikely friendships are sometimes the best ones.
  14. My mum has become on of the most kick ass figures in my life, along with all of my parental figures. Although I fear PG might have actually kicked ass at one point in his life.
  15. Family is something you can find as well as being born into.
  16. It’s not normal to be in love with people you are never going to meet, but oh well! I’m not stopping me.
  17. Life can be harsh, but it only makes you stronger.
  18. You’re more brilliant than you think.

18 years is a long time, even though it has flown by for me, but I feel that I have accomplished a lot in 18 years and I’m proud to have done so much, as well as being granted opportunities that I could have never dreamed of. So here’s to the next 18 years!
Little and Big Ellie signing off.

Little Ellie, Big Ellie

A Week In Review

As far as weeks go I like to think that this week was a pretty good one for me. Because of that, I thought I would share it with you.

Wednesday 9th March:
On Wednesday, I had the honour and privilege to meet and present alongside a survivor of the holocaust, Janine Webber. I have previously mentioned on here that I was granted the opportunity to visit Auschwitz Birkenau with the Holocaust Education Trust as part of one of the programmes they run. As part of this programme me and Holly (my companion in all of this) were required to do something with the knowledge we had learnt from the trip. Early on we decided to do an evening and get a survivor to deliver their testimony, but we never realised all of the different things you have to think about when doing such a thing.100 hand cut programs, a lot of promotion, and a lot of  favours  later we pulled it off and delivered our experiences alongside Janine’s testimony to a crowd of about 100, raising around £450 in the process.

Let me tell you about Janine, as I can officially say with  confidence that she is one the bravest, kindest, most humble and genuine people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, she remarkable and her story is even more so.  Born in Lwow Poland (modern day Lviv, Ukraine) in 1932. Janine spent the majority of the Holocaust escaping persecution at the hands of the German occupying forces by seeking refuge with Polish families and assuming different identities that weren’t observant of her native Jewish faith. Losing her family in the process of running, Janine’s story is an emotional and inspiring one. Finally moving to England in 1956, Janine went on to marry her husband and have a family of her own, but not forgetting the family she was forced to leave.

You can read a full testimony here on HET’s website.

Edited with Janine

Friday 11th March: 
For someone who is possibly moving there in under 6 months, you think I would be spending a bit more time in Canterbury, getting to know where things are, the essentials that sort of thing. Honestly, I hardly ever go to Canterbury, which is a shame really because this week I realised how much history is about 30 minutes from my front door. Me and a bunch of great friends (Holly included) went to a trip with the most enthusiastic teacher I think I have ever met to the Cathedral and to the archives that are housed there, I probably say this a lot, but it’s a day that I will never forget. I’d never been to the Cathedral before so going for the first time with a teacher whose expertise is in medieval history and a tour guide telling us stories alongside. I think I will be disappointed when I go back next.

I’m kidding, with such beautiful architecture and windows, I don’t think I will ever be disappointed in the Cathedral, or Canterbury in general. After a great time exploring the Cathedral and looking at original pieces from dates as far back as 1072! We went on to all have lunch together, something I found very funny, the entire idea of having a sit down meal with my history teacher just made me laugh, needless to say it was one of the tastiest meals I have had in a while. We went to a place called Byrons near the Cathedral (where Lizzie let me take an ‘Instagram worthy’ photo of her hot chocolate) and all had some form of burger, I had a classic one with sweet potato fries (a new discovery for me). A day with great friends, plenty of history, and even more laughter. What more could I want?

Admittedly, this week as been quite a history heavy one, however I hope you have enjoyed hearing about it as much as I enjoyed living it.

 

See you next time,
Ellie x

International Women’s Day

I’ll awake to hashtags and news stories celebrating the gender of female. I’ll read the publications on the train on the way to a job that I will most certainly be paid less than my male counterparts. I’ll be given slightly less derogatory comments and stares in the workplace, because “C’mon mate it’s International Women’s day, whatever that is.” Meaning that one male co-worker doesn’t stare at my bum because he just about has the decency to recognise a day in which women are empowered and respected, but not the 10 others that are staring as the other turns away. On my break at lunch I’ll hear the short snippets of conversations, women greeting the others with happiness as they commemorate such a day with a white wine and expensive salad, whereas I carry my Boots meal deal to the nearest park, hoping not to be terrorised by pigeons. But most snippets will be comments of “What is international women’s day, aren’t they doting all the time? and “Why don’t men get a day? We work just as hard as them!”

I’m every so sorry to tell you Mr Suit guy who obviously holds a job title that is inaccessible to me as I’m a woman. Maybe you don’t get a day because you don’t have to be reminded that you are empowered. Maybe because as a woman I am immediately born in a lesser position than you. Before even given a chance to prove my worth I’ll be stereotypically be categorised into a job that is way below my skill set, and be forced to work up the career ladder, even though I am told that “everyone has to work their way to the top.” But I can see the male university graduate that is meant to be my boss accustoming himself to his new managerial office, whilst I unpack a stapler in an attempt to make my cramped desk home.  Maybe it is because despite the constant statements of feminism escaping men’s mouths I am still not convinced that I will see change in my lifetime. Maybe it is because being  a woman isn’t just about being able to go to work without having to worry about being sexualised. Maybe it’s about making sure that women across the world are being heard, from the underaged girls being forced into marriages and having children when they are still children themselves. Maybe it’s about reassuring and empowering that female rape victim, giving them the confidence to report such a crime because they way she was dressed was most definitely, nor will it ever be “asking for it”. Maybe it’s about making sure a woman can advance in whatever field she wishes without facing ridicule or jibes at her success. Maybe it’s about that.

Despite knowing this, and hearing such comments at my lunch break. I will go home and I will celebrate being a woman, I will share my celebration over social media, alerting all  that wish to know that I am proud to be a woman. I am proud to stand alongside figures fighting at the helm of this change, making sure that women are heard, and that they can do whatever they wish. Maybe Mr Suit guy from lunch, it’s about that. But then what do I know? I’m only a woman.