Writing challenge day 3 – your first love 

A first love is open to interpretation. In the case of the writing challenge I think it means the first boyfriend or girlfriend you had. The first person you fell ‘in’ love with. But I think there are many different first loves. So instead of talking about the obvious I’m going to discuss my other less conventional first loves. My very first love was and still is my mother. She carried me in her tummy for 9 months. She gave birth to me, fed me, bathed me, clothed me, nursed me, nurtured me and still does most of those things 25 years later! 

My first book love was the secret garden. I read and enjoyed many books before that but it was and still is one of the finest books I’ve ever read and reminds me always of my childhood and the sense of escape I first found in reading. 

My first puppy love was my little chihuahua Pablo who sadly passed away 3 years ago after an attack by another dog. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and how he charmed the pants off everyone he met. How he loved me more than anything else in the world. He showed me what a responsibility it is to be someone’s everything and to be loved and relied upon in that way. 

My first friend love was when I met Amy and Danielle only a year ago. Some friends come into our lives late on and these two girls although I don’t see them very often are always in touch, lift my spirits when I’m feeling down and remind me who I am. 

To go back to the conventional my first true love (not the half loves that came before him) remains my boyfriend Ged who makes me happy when I am sad, supports me in my life goals and has shown me what it is to be truly happy.  

30 day writing challenge – day 2 – Your Earliest Memory 

My earliest memory 
Having looked at this part of the writing challenge, I was unsure what to do. I spoke to my partner and asked how do you recall your earliest memory? He answered straight away that his memory is of visiting cleethorpes with his family when he was a child. But for me I literally have no idea! Before the age of around 8/9 I pretty much remember nothing. My mind becomes confused with what I’ve been told are memories rather than what I can actually remember. 

How do we differentiate between the things we’ve been told we did and the things we actually remember. Memory is a funny thing and can often play tricks on us and we listen to the retelling of stories, look at photos and watch home videos these things become pictures and thoughts in our minds and allow us to form what we ‘think’ are memories but in fact are only memories of something we have seen or heard before. 

Therefore I will choose not to provide any early memory at all but instead leave you with the question of your own memories authenticity. 

30 day writing challenge – Day 1 

So I’ve decided to get involved in the 30 day writing challenge. This is actually yesterday’s post but I’m posting today due to being so tired last night!  

 
Here’s the idea behind it. Some of them are a bit less ‘story’ like than I would have liked but I decided they would work quite well for my blog and hopefully might garner some interest! So here goes. 

Day 1 – 5 problems with social media 

Social media is both good and bad. That is a well established idea that most people would agree on. Usage is determined usually by your age, gender and interests. What most people can agree on though is that social media zaps our time and takes over our lives. There is a growing concern that we spend too much of our time online and that social media can cause bullying, spending less time with family and friends, neglecting important things like work and study, obsession with looks not only your own but other people’s and preventing you from getting a healthy amount of sleep. 

Only a short one on this occasion as I didn’t see much need to elaborate on a well talked about topic. I’ll post day 2s (today) later on this evening. 

Playing nice… 

We all know that one person. The person who everyone likes. The person who plays on other people’s emotions and makes them like them yet really are not nice people at all. We’ve all been in that position where we feel like we’re the only ones who can see their true colours so I’m sure my readers can share in my frustration of the current situation I have found myself in. 

For the sake of confidentiality we will call the person in question Amelia. Amelia is a girl who I work with. To all intents and purposes she seems like a great girl. A born again Christian she attends church 3 times a week and gets involved (I’m not sure directly how but I know she wears a robe so has some involvement). She goes to yoga, she bakes cupcakes on her lunch and takes flowers for her mum. She lends her sisters money and she speaks in a sickly sweet voice and has a love of gingerbread men. Lovely girl right? 

No. Scratch the surface and Amelia is not at all what she seems. Being the sort of person who observes others in minute detail (it’s a writers trait I think) I have noticed Amelia’s true personality coming through when she thinks she is not being observed. She is sly and underhanded, always listening carefully to anything that you say that can be used against you at a later date. She is manipulative and twists your words to make you look bad. She tells tales on everyone in the workplace that she sees doing or saying something she doesn’t think should be said or done. Despite not being a particularly attractive girl she behaves as if she is. There are several things about her that have begun to annoy me about her beyond belief so I feel a list is in order: 

  • At 3pm on the dot every afternoon she ties her hair back in a ponytail and then insists on flicking it back and forth in an annoying manner every time she stands up. 
  • She doesn’t offer any help and begrudges anyone asking. Sometimes she is inheriantly rude and doesn’t even acknowledge that someone is asking her something. 
  • She gets out of the above by saying ‘sorry I wasn’t being rude’ 
  • Another favourite saying is ‘I don’t want to sound like I’m telling tales but…’ 
  • She bakes in her lunch break enough said. 
  • She forced her religion down people’s throats and then says she is not the sort of person to do that 
  • She talks in a baby voice and kisses the ass of every manager in the place 
  • She manipulates and changes things that have been said or done to make herself look better and others look bad

There are many more but I’ll not drag it out. Everyone else fails to see these things that she does and the ways that she acts. They think she is sweet and nice and innocent and kind. How do we deal with people in these kinds of situations? Do I sit back now and hope her true colours shine through or take it one step further and try to expose her? 

The ideal world… 

Imagine if we lived in an ideal world. What parts of our lives would change and what would stay the same in order to make it so? 

I was thinking about this tonight. It was a random thought triggered by a girl on my Goodreads account who seems to read 10 books a day and I wondered what her occupation was that allowed her that much reading time. It was one of those weird thoughts that sparks another and made me think what a great job being a book reviewer would be. 

So it got me to thinking about what my ideal job would be and from there my ideal life. So here’s how mine would be. 

In an ideal completely selfish thinking only of my self world I would be a writer. I’d write great novels which received great reviews and earned me lots of money. I would work from my home office allowing me to drink copious amounts of tea and smoke cigarettes at my leisure while listening to the 1975 and wearing my pyjamas. I’d be able to go out all night and not suffer hangovers or be an embarrassing drunk. I’d have plenty of free time due to not adhering to normal working hours where I would be able to spend time with family and friends dining out and drinking cocktails. I’d be sensible with my money, debt free and able to shop for what I wanted when I wanted. I’d keep some things the same though. I’d keep my family and friends but have more time for them. I’d still enjoy studying and have more time for that. I’d keep my dog and my boyfriend just the way they are and the way I love them. 

So I pose the question to my readers now. What would your ideal life be like? 

What do we use social media for? 

I’ve noticed that over the past few years there have been many articles and blogs posted on our use of social media. The pros of having access to information at your finger tips, keeping in touch with friends and family who live far away and promoting your business. The cons that we have become so dependent that we are now unable to manage without our phones, laptops and tablets. Just like frozen convenience foods swiftly took over from fresh so did the world of technology take over the pen and paper. 

There is somewhat of a stigma about what we post on social media because it is presumed that we do it for some kind of attention or self-indulgent narcissism the urge to be liked. I think that to some extent this can be true particularly in the instances of some people who we all know live and breathe Facebook. Looking at myself I realised that I often use social media as a way to drive traffic to my blog, help with my online university degree and I even met my now boyfriend on tinder! So I decided to analyse my social media posts and see which ones I could honestly say were narcissistic. 

My last three posts are made up of watching a film and eating Ben and Jerrys with my boyfriend. Taking the mickey out of a friend who thought a goat was a male sheep and then watching a film with my boyfriend again tonight. I guess people could consider it an over share that I’m telling you all what film me and my bf are watching but in context my thoughts at the time was what a great film I wonder if anyone enjoys it. 

So I decided to delve deeper, since meeting my bf my posts are much fewer and further between. I mostly just post photos and videos of my Scottish Terrier trying to catch feathers or programmes and films I’m watching. Photos are only there if I’m going out somewhere no general selfies. I use Facebook to share photos because it’s a great place to store them all, an online version of a photo album. So what about a year ago..? Or 2 or 3 years ago..? Well luckily to save me the hassle of hunting through my Facebook I have timehop! 

One year ago I was complaining of a hangover and sharing pictures from a big friend reunion the night before. Verdict? I don’t think that’s too bad, you need to rant to someone about your hangover right? Picture sharing obviously a good idea to ensure everyone has access to the pictures taken of them. 

Two years ago an abundance of pouty selfies, full body shots with bum popped at an angle and drunk status’ proclaiming what a great night I was having and how much I loved my best friend. Verdict – absolute social Media cliche! Looking back at those posts made me cringe with embarrassment! I couldn’t have been having that much of a good night if I was constantly on my phone updating Facebook and the pouting is just horrendous! I remember thinking at the time how slim my new trousers made me look and I admit I posted the pictures in order to get as many likes as possible and feel more confident and better about myself. 

Four years ago (nothing on timehop for 3) basically one whiny status about doing everything for everyone and getting no thanks for it. I couldn’t even tell you now what that was about! Verdict – over sharing and asking for people to comment and ask me what was wrong so I could say ‘I’ll text you’ 
Overall verdict – in the past I think I have used social media particularly Facebook to showcase pictures of myself and snippets of my life story in order to gain likes and comments and approval. I feel that as I’ve got older and settled down with my boyfriend I have become more comfortable with my self and self-image so that I feel less need to get others approval when I have the approval of those who matter most to me. 

Tips on looking after bleached or dyed hair

I have a love hate relationship with my hair. For years I’ve being dyeing it a variety of colours until at about 17 I settled on black. I dallied with red and blonde in between but I have stayed predominately black until last year when I dyed it ginger. The problem is that with my natural hair being medium brown I have to bleach it to get it this light. For those who’ve read my post on colour b4 from black to red here then you know about the constant struggle.

so I decided to pass on a couple of tips to keeping your hair in good condition and enabling you to grow it long if you want:

First and foremost its important to find a good shampoo and conditioner. At the moment I use Bedhead Urban Antidotes Ressurection which is the strongest of the Urban Antidotes collection.

img-thingIt has a great smell and makes your hair really soft and pleasant to touch.

In addition to this however I use another 3 conditioners which I have mixed together in one pot to create a ‘super conditioner’

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Its a combination of Tresemme platinum strength, L’oreal high colour preference (comes with the box of dye) and a Retread conditioner from Lush.

In addition to this once a week I use a hair mask which has to be left in for at least 5 minutes. I have two and use whichever one I fancy.

avon index

They’re both really good products but the Avon one smells absolutely beautiful

Aftercare has to be in the form of heat protection as heat is bad for the hair so I use these two products

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Tresemme heat protection spray is great and lasts ages I’ve had it for about 5 months, I use it every other day and it’s still not empty! The Ego boost is a split end mender and can be used on either wet or dry hair to prevent frizz and split ends. Both smell great too.

Some extra tips

  • Always dry wet hair. Although heat is bad, wet hair drying naturally causes tangles so it’s better to dry with a hairdryer than let it get knotted up.
  • Keep washing to a minimum, light hair gets away with being greasy a bit easier than dark hair so try to let your natural hair oils make your hair better.
  • Get a good hairdresser who understands your requirements. This is the most important as all as most hairdressers see split ends and want to chop it off. Make sure your hairdresser only takes off around a 1/4 of an inch every 4-6 weeks and this will get rid of the split ends but also ensures your hair is allowed to grow.

So I hope that this post helps if you’ve been having hair dramas and feel free to share any good tips you might have in the comments.

Everyday issues, political and social issues, everyday feminism.