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blog it’s crazy, it’s turned from a great hobby and passion to the space a girl who sometimes writes like me with my (out of date) photo in the sidebar used to be.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.

New Year, New Me: Easier Said Than Done

January 1st 2016
I honestly think that people think that they will go to bed in the early hours of that morning, get about 8/9 hours sleep and wake up a completely new person with new morals and new goals, and most importantly, the new sense of self and drive that will help them achieve those goals. Rather than the reality that is witnessing your snapchat story from the night before, regretting that last Jägerbomb, and racking your brain as to who Steve is an why you proclaimed your love to him at least 5 times.

January 2nd 2016
Today is the day, gym memberships increase twofold as the majority of the population go out in search of the new them. Gone are the regretful thoughts of a snapchat story, the new them doesn’t think of such things, all they think about is healthy smoothies and kale. Shops are hit to purchase that much needed gym gear as you spot that salad in M&S and decide that you will live on trees for the rest of the year.

January 3rd 2016
The people that were too hungover to join the gym on the 2nd, now decide to join and repeat very much the same steps as the ‘January 2nd’ people, except they also pick up paracetamol with their salad, all whilst vowing never to drink again.

Fast forward to February 27th
Your bank account looks unhealthier than it did in December due to the ‘much used’ gym membership goes out each month. That ‘essential’ gym gear is sitting in your wardrobe after being worn one or two times, kale is now a distant memory and the massive bar of cadbury’s a present reality, and the people from the 2nd are sitting in Whetherspoons ordering their third vodka and coke.

But your not the same person that you were December 31st 2015, time has changed you, not matter how little. It’s exactly same as not being the same person as you were yesterday or tomorrow just on a larger scale. Maybe we don’t need gym memberships and  new eating habits to change us, sometimes everyday life is enough, after all life is a marathon, not a sprint.

It’s true, some things are easier done than said.

My App-Solute Favourites

Everyone has their favourite apps, the ones that are in a particular place on your phone as they are used daily. I live on my phone, whether I’m making a note, starting my next blog post, shopping, or snapping, much like the rest of my generation I cannot live without the ease of 4G and a strong signal. Today I want to share with you my favourite apps.

VSCO-Cam:vsco-cam-icon
I’m addicted to Instagram, with my new phone and a decent camera I love to show off my new shots, but for me the in-app editor doesn’t take the biscuit. Like all good things, if you need recommendations and an honest opinion, hit the blogosphere! This app came highly recommended by most of my fellow bloggers, so I thought I would give it a crack, after a couple of YouTube videos I knew what I was doing.  VSCO-Cam is a photo editing app, just in case you hadn’t figured that out already. This app is perfect for making your photos Instagram ready, my favourite feature has to be how once you have imported your photos it is organised like an Instagram feed, so if you’re going for a theme you can check if your most recent photos fits without having to upload and delete it!

Instagram:instagram-logo-transparent-background_zps6befc220I never really used Instagram until recently when I had a lot of photos and no clue what to do with them! So I went on an Insta-spam, and have been hooked ever since, uploading photos regularly (on average one every couple of days) but most of the time I’m a photo a day kind of girl, I love how easy it is to connect with other people who like the same kind of photos you do. Until recently, I thought promoting your blog through Instagram was futile as people came for photos not having to go to someone’s profile to click on another link to go to a blog was just too much when all they wanted to do is like the photo, but I put a couple of ‘link in bio’ photos up and my stats seemed to spike, Instagram is a fab app for sharing your snaps and unusually promoting your blog!

Pinterest:pinterest_badge_redI downloaded this app about a year ago, set up an account determined to use it all the time, and it just sat there, eventually I deleted it. But then a fellow blogger asked me if I was on in as they wanted to share a board with me and I suddenly remembered that I was, so I re-downloaded it when I got my new phone and have been inspired ever since. I love that all of the things you need are in one place, I have a board for everything, from a dream wardrobe to university tips! It’s really helpful, not just for pretty items such as clothing and hair tutorials, I actually find it quite helpful for studying I have a board set up from school, with other peoples tips on note taking, essay planning, and how to organise your time effectively. I will certainly be using this app for next year, both to improve my wardrobe and my study habits!

GoodReads:
2000px-goodreads_logo-svg
Come on, I’m a book lover at heart, did you really expect this not to be on here? I have a love hate relationship with this app, I love the website, the app and I have had disagreements in the past; yet I still haven’t deleted it! For those of you who are unfamiliar with this app, it’s the app version of a website (like many these days) of books. Yep, it’s an app for books. It’s great really, you can track your progress of a book, set yourself reading goals for the year and connect with your favourite authors! My favourite feature would have to be a draw between the closeness you get with the authors, as you get to see what they’re reading and compare shelves, and the to-read shelve. The to-read shelve does what it says on the tin, I find it really fun to just put some books that I want to read on there in bulk then a few weeks later come back to it and delete them. Don’t know why, I just find it therapeutic also it helps me become a better judge of character (that was my attempt at a book pun, funny?)

Of course I love the mainstream apps like Twitter and Whatsapp, but these are my ‘couldn’t live without’ lot. Share with me some of your app-solute favourites below!

See you soon,
Ellie

The Dreaded TMI Tag

I hate doing tags, with a passion, but I feel that you as a audience could do with getting to know me better, that and Matti (who tagged me) is so lovely I couldn’t face saying no, so here goes nothing.

What are you wearing?
A pair of jeans, a white top and a black and white tartan patterned scarf.

Have you ever been in love?
Yup.

Have you ever had a terrible break up?
Not really, I consider myself lucky like that.

How tall are you?
5″9 or 5″10

How much do you weigh?
You really think i’m going to put that on the internet! Not heavy, not stick thin.

Any tattoos?
Nope, one booked in March though.

Any piercings?
Two holes in both ears, always wanted my nose done but I decided against that.

8. OTP?
Molly and James and Bones and Booth.

What is your favourite show?
This changed quicker than the weather, at the moment it’s probably Pretty Little Liars, but my all time favourites have to be Bones, the 1st season is hands down the best, and Our Girl, can’t forget Our Girl.

Who are your favourite bands/singers?
Ed Sheeran, Parachute, Coldplay, P!nk and loads more, I’m not going to list them!

Something you miss?
My granddad.

Favourite song? 
Right now? Focus by Ariana Grande

How old are you?
Nearly drinking age, 17, I’m 17. But not according to my drinks cabinet!

Zodiac sign?
Aries

Quality you look for in a partner?
Great hair, good sense of humour, and height (I can’t be dealing with being the taller one)

What is your favourite quote?
“Keep your heels, head, and standards high.” Coco Chanel said that.

Who is your favourite actor?
Kate Winslet, Ben Aldridge, David Tennant, Emily Deschanel.

Favourite colour?
Turquoise

Loud music or soft?
Both.

Where do you go when you’re sad?
A good book.

How long does it take you to shower?
About 15 minutes.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
I have my everyday routine down to about 20 minutes, because of the extra time in bed I get, but to get ready ready, about an hour.

Have you ever been in a physical fight?
Nope.

Turn on’s?
Confidence, cheekiness, and respect for others

Turn off’s?
Ignorance, possessiveness, and being a snob.

The reasons I started my blog?
Thought it would be fun.

What are your fears?
The dark, and a really odd one of historical enclosed spaces. I’m okay in normal enclosed spaces but you put me in a mock up of trench and I’ll have a mini breakdown. Caves, a combination of all three, worst nightmare.

Last thing that made you cry?
Life, and leaving my family.

Last time you said you loved someone?
Today.

Meaning behind your blog name?
It’s shorter than the last.

Last book you read? 
‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes. I cried.

The book you’re currently reading?
‘When Summer Ends’ by Isabelle Rae.

Last show you watched?
Bones

Last person you talked to?
My nan.

The relationship between you and the last person you texted?
He’s my father.

What is your favourite food?
Ice cream.

Place you want to visit?
New York, Washington DC, Paris, New Zealand, South Africa. Oops that’s more than one.

Last place you were?
My dad’s house.

Do you have a crush?
Does an unfaltering love for someone I will never meet count?

Last time you kissed someone?
I’d rather not say.

Last time you were insulted?
Can’t remember. Which is refreshing.

Favourite flavour of sweet?
Blackcurrant.
What instruments do you play?
I don’t. I have an inability to make my hands work together when it comes to things like that.
Favourite piece of jewelry?
My collection of feather earrings.
Last sport you played?
What’s sport again?
Last song you sang?
‘Worth It’ by Fifth Harmony.
Favourite pick up line?
Are you my wifi router? Because I’m picking up a connection.
Have you ever used it?
I have some self-respect!
Last time you hung out with anyone?
Yesterday.

Who should answer these questions next?
Frances and Claire

There was a dreaded tag, if you have any other questions for me, drop me a comment below and I’ll try to answer. Thank you for Matti for tagging me, and I hope you enjoyed that. Normal service will resume next time!

See you soon,
Ellie