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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Feminist Feelings #2: Who is Virginia Woolf?



“ I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them was often a woman” - Virginia Woolf

 So recently, I discovered the write Virginia Woolf through the wonders of my English Literature course. I thought I would share with you readers some of the information that I found out while I was doing some background research for my class.



Image result for virginia woolf  D.O.B ~ 25th January 1882                                                                     
    Died ~ 28th March 1941
    Spouse ~ Leonard Woolf (m. 1912 - 1941)
    Siblings ~ Vanessa Bell, Gerald Duckworth,
    Thoby Stephen, Adrian Stephen, Stella Duckworth, Laura Stephen

    Parents ~ Sir Leslie Stephen (Father)
    Julia Prinscep Stephen (Nee Jackson) (Mother)


  Early Life


Her father, Sir Leslie Stephen, was a historian and author, as well as one of the most prominent figures in the golden age of mountaineering. Woolf’s mother, Julia Prinsep Stephen (née Jackson), had been born in India and was also a nurse and wrote a book on the profession.
 Woolf was taught at home and utilized the splendid confines of the family’s library. Moreover, Woolf’s parents were extremely well connected, both socially and artistically.
 In 1895, at the age of thirteen, she also had to cope with the sudden death of her mother, from rheumatic fever, which led to her first mental breakdown and the loss of her sister Stella, who had become head of the household, two years later.
During this time, Woolf continued her studies at the Ladies Department of King’s College, London. Her studies introduced her to the feminist movement.
After her father’s death, Woolf met members of the Bloomsbury Group.

The Bloomsbury Group

An influential group of associated English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists which included Virginia Woolf herself. Their works and outlook deeply influenced literature, aesthetics, criticisms and economics as well as modern attitudes towards feminism, pacifism and sexuality. The group became famous in 1910 for the Dreadnought Hoax, a practical joke in which members of the group dressed up as a delegation of Ethiopian royals, including Virginia disguised as a bearded man, and successfully persuaded the English Royal Navy to show them their warship, the HMS Dreadnought. After the outrageous act, Leonard Woolf and Virginia became closer, and eventually they were married on August 10, 1912.

Throughout her career, Woolf spoke regularly at colleges and universities, penned dramatic letters, wrote moving essays and self published a long list of short stories. By her forties she had established herself as an intellectual, an innovative and influential writer and pioneering feminist. Despite her outward success, she continued to regularly suffer from debilitating bouts of depression and dramatic mood swings. Unable to cope with her despair, she committed suicide on March 28th 1941.

"I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier 'til this terrible disease came. I can't fight any longer." - Virginia Woolf's Suicide Note to Husband, Leonard Woolf (1941)

When I first read this extract from her suicide note, I got emotional. Writing something like this must have been terrible. I suppose I found this poignant due to knowing that soon after she weighed her coat down with rocks and walked into the River Ouse and drowned. Her eloquent style of writing can evidently be seen through this final piece that she ever wrote and I find that to be most powerful.


Literary Works
The Voyage Out (1915)
Kew Gardens (1919)

Monday or Tuesday (1921)
Jacob’s Room (1922)
Mrs Dalloway (1925)

So in my English Literature class, we are going to be studying Mrs Dalloway, I'd heard of this book previously but never got round to actually reading it. So I suppose my English class is a way to kill that from my to-do list.


So the general summary of Mrs Dalloway is:

'Mrs. Dalloway covers one day from morning to night in one woman's life. Clarissa Dalloway, an upper-class housewife, walks through her London neighbourhood to prepare for the party she will host that evening. When she returns from flower shopping, an old suitor and friend, Peter Walsh, drops by her house unexpectedly.'

The reason why I've given you such a brief summary is because I don't want to give any spoilers away to myself or others who might want to give it a read! Once I've read it over the summer I will definitely give it a review slot on this blog. I've got a feeling that due to her explicit role in the forming of the Bloomsbury group that this novel will be able to tackle some very modern issues that are relevant in today's society.

Legacy
Although her popularity decreased after World War II, Woolf’s work resonated again with a new generation of readers during the Feminist Movement of the 1970’s and remains one of the most influential authors of the 21st Century.

Virginia Woolf instantly drew my interest due to the fact that she's a feminist. I feel like her strong views that were developed upon during her time at Kings College and the vital role she played in The Bloomsbury group definitely showed her as a contender for the fight for equal rights.

Hope you enjoyed this post!
Thanks Guys!











Monday, 26 June 2017

Birthday Fun & Folly Farm Frolics!

As you know, as of last Friday I official celebrated my 17th Birthday!



So, I thought I would write this post to inform you of all the things I got up to during the birthday period!

23rd June 2017

MY BIRTHDAY!


I HAD TWO CAKES!
I must say I did have the best time on my birthday even though I didn't celebrate as such.

The most important things of a birthday I believe, are the gifts.
I received copious amounts of clothes from my parents along with some  albums from my favourite artists;

Steps: Tears on the Dancefloor (2017)
***

After Steps formed over 20 years ago, they have reformed to release a 10 track album. I could not be more excited about this because I've been such a huge fan of Steps since I first heard them when I was younger.  It's safe to say that Steps really do scream cheese. It always reflects the tracks of 90's cheese that we all know and love. Who could forget "Tragedy"?

 As much as I love this group, I feel as if this album isn't one in which I will instantly love. I believe that it is a "grower". There are, of course, some tracks that are amazing and there are also some weaker tracks that I feel could have been removed from the final versions of the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Scared of the Dark
  2. You Make Me Whole
  3. Story of A Heart
  4. Happy
  5. No More Tears On The Dancefloor
  6. Firefly
  7. Space Between Us
  8. Glitter & Gold
  9. Neon Blue
  10. I Will Love Again
Oh Wonder: Oh Wonder (2015)
*****


So, I recently discovered this band after searching for a theme tune to a TV drama. I do believe this is one of those bands that has almost too much talent to not be discovered! I am more than obsessed. Ever since discovering this band I have had so much love for the music they make and the members of the band individually. This is surprising because I'm not usually the kind of person that immensely supports one band. It's also not very often that I can say I love every single track on one album.

Track Listing:
  1. Livewire
  2. Body Gold
  3. Technicolour Beat
  4. Drive
  5. Lose It
  6. Landslide
  7. White Blood
  8. Without You
  9. The Rain
  10. Dazzle
  11. All We Do
  12. Midnight Moon
  13. Shark
  14. Heart Hope
  15. Plans
I'm sorry, but if a band drops fifteen tracks for a debut album, you know they're amazing.

Anyways,

25th June 2017

Folly Farm Frolics!

Now, if you don't know what Folly Farm is, it's an Adventure Park and Zoo. Now, you may be thinking I'm about seven years old (which I am!) but, I wanted to go here because I hadn't been in such a long time and wanted to see the giraffes more than anything!

I named this one Jeff the Giraffe!



Here's some other hella cute animals:

ComparetheMeerkat.com

Smile and Wave Boys!
Smile and Wave!

The other reason why I love this place is because of the vintage Funfair!
If you know me, I love all things vintage, and the vintage funfair was just perfect!
It brought back so many memories of my childhood and had a very nostalgic feel to it.
Safe to say I had a lot of fun!



From these photos, you can really see how beautifully vintage and well kept these rides were. I was surprised how these rides had kept there condition over the years, and they were almost exactly the same as I remember them from over 12 years ago.

I must thank all my friends for being amazing and supporting me throughout the years, and I'd really like to thank them for being great and supportive friends that I almost believe I do not deserve!
if you girls are reading this I understand this is full of heavy cheesiness and I probably don't tell you enough but you are amazing and are the best friends that I could possibly ever ask for.

Cheesy Acknowledgments are now over.
I don't believe this is the best post I will ever do, in terms of detailed descriptions and opinions,
but I thought I'd let you guys know about what I did to celebrate my birthday!

Thanks for reading this post!

Bye Guys!




Thursday, 22 June 2017

How To: Survive The First Year Of College

"Study (verb) - The act of texting, eating and watching TV with an open textbook nearby" - Not The English Dictionary



It's safe to say that I've learnt a lot over the last year in terms of independence and college life. I've learnt what to do and what not to do. Like any college student I have left my work until the last minute, not written essays on time, and cried into a tub of Ben & Jerry's about my future.

So, I'm here to give those of you who haven't experienced the pleasure of a 9 AM lecture some tips and advice to ensure your first year goes by without a hitch.


Get Organised! ~ What more can I say? It's pretty much self-explanatory. Get yourself a diary and use it religiously. Never not write a piece of homework down because it will catch up to you the night before it's due. Also ensure that you read your timetable before to familiarise yourself with the pattern of your lectures because, believe you me there's nothing worse than forgetting your books and files in a lecture. Choose outfits the day before, I have learnt this the hard way! The number of times I have worn 3 day old outfits with no wash, because I'm lazy is unbelievable.

Make Friends ~ This was a struggle for me, not just to work in a new environment but to also make a new group of friends. There is no real formula to making friends, however, all you need to do is embrace every single opportunity that is given to you because you never know what'll happen if you don't take them. Be yourself and you'll be fine.

Be Independent ~ One thing I've definitely learnt from my first year of college is to embrace my independence. Compared to Comprehensive School there is definitely less structure to a day. One hour you can have a lecture and then the next moment you have a three hour break. Of course such breaks where unimaginable to my little "structured day" brain. When I had these breaks I was amazed that within them you could do whatever you wanted! But now, if I'm honest they should be used for studying and not sitting in Starbucks gossiping. Because of these long and sometimes tedious breaks I would always wear a watch to ensure that I was never late to a lecture.

Always Read Ahead ~ If you ever decide to take an essay subject which requires independent reading and research PLEASE DO IT! I never did my extra reading and found that I'd dug myself into a pretty big hole when it came to the final unit exams! Always pre-order any textbooks and books that need to be read throughout the term because it just saves time.

Copy Out Class Notes More Than Once ~ You may see this as a tedious and pointless task, but is certainly not! Recopying your notes can be extremely beneficial when it comes to revision for final exams. If you make your recopied notes colourful and fun you are more likely to remember them! This is something I didn't do because I didn't see the point, however, now I do. Now, starting second year work this month, that's all I've done with my time in college is recopy my notes and I can definitely see why people in college do it.

Whether I've helped you or whether I've just painted myself as an absolutely horrific student who is probably going to fail I don't know, but I've posted this in early June because I want you guys to have as much time as possible to get organised and prepare yourself for AS Level exams!

But the biggest thing I've learnt about college is, that the first year always teaches you what not to do in the second! So this is why I've done this post to try and save you from the stresses of not knowing what to do with your life during the college months!

Thanks Guys!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Feminist Feelings #1 : The Media

"I feel like young girls are told this whole idea that they have to be this kind of princess, and be all delicate and fragile, that's Bullshit" - Emma Watson
*Disclaimer* - I have not written this post to try to offend anyone reading it, I just thought that expressing my opinion on this issue is important and thought I would share it with you guys!

We know for a fact that there are many subjects within society that are not openly talked about to a large enough extent. Today I've decided to do a blog post on one of the most serious and prevalent  issues within our society at the moment.. Feminism.

Feminism can be defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.

In the 21st Century it seems as if we as genders are equal.
Incorrect.

Women have fought for thousands of years to reach this point in history and yet, we are still not equal. Some aspects of society are known for oppressing women and there seems to be nothing we can do to be able to get out of the never-ending trials of a Patriarchal society.

Males = Dominant
Females = Submissive.
The Stereotype.

So, today's blogpost is all about how The Media can sometimes oppress and empower women all at the same time. I understand that this is quite a controversial topic of discussion for society as a whole as to whether the media influences the female ideology so here we go.

Firstly, I think as for a starting point, magazines is a pretty strong one.

I want you to pick up the most recent fashion magazine that you bought, Now flick through the pages and stop on the first page where you see a plus size model.

Have you stopped yet? I didn't think so.

The problem with magazines such as Vogue, Elle and InStyle is that they never truly represent the audience they are aiming their content at. God forbid should you see a size 16 model in the recent press releases for Gucci or Chanel. 

I think what I'm trying to say is, that it has been evident for decades that women are misrepresented in the media as being sexualised objects that all have what we call the "ideal" body. Well, that is utter bullcrap.

These expectations of women are unrealistic.
I don't consider a size 10 to be "plus size".



Recent advancements in technology, have also lead to more struggles for women in terms of body image, take Photoshop. This is how the media changes bodies. I'm not singling out women here. This can happen for men too. To me it's evident that the media itself all gives us unrealistic goals for ourselves and doesn't consider that everyone can be beautiful. Instead, the media have preconceptions over how we should look as individuals within society.

Just to demonstrate to you how heavily advertisement campaigns and magazines may use Photoshop:
Watch the video below:




Now, I don't know whether it's because they need to sell a certain amount of magazines or whether they are just narrow minded. That question can never truly be answered to extent where we all feel satisfied with the answer.

Body idealism does not just come from magazines. It comes from my two favourite words "social media". We all live in a internet world that puts body image right at the top of it's list. You will not find one social media site that does not pick out something slightly off with a celebrity's appearance or choice in clothes. The amount that companies make from celebrity endorsements of fitness programmes must be through the roof. I believe that this need for us as a society to go to the gym 5 days a week has to stem from somewhere, and it's evident that this "somewhere" is social media and representation of society in the media itself. This is unacceptable. I don't think we should run our lives based on what is the most fitness trend and release the pressure on ourselves to be "perfect".

In the everlasting words of Hannah Montana:

"Nobody's perfect! I gotta work it!"

Newspapers also have an influence on how people see women in our society.
I've noticed that newspapers allow themselves to be the main source of oppressing women with sexual empowerment. Whenever you read a newspaper, there's always at least one article that bullies one or two celebrities because of their promiscuity. I feel like judging people because of their promiscuity should be a thing of the past because after all, we do live in the 21st Century. The ideology that women should stay under wraps is absolutely primitive.

We do not live in the 1940's. We as women should be able to feel empowered through anyway we want. Whether it be choice in clothing, choice in activity or choice in our sexual activity.
Women in the 1970's did not fight for sexual rights to be able to become stigmatised by people in society and "slut-shamed".

Society can be seen to have double standards when it comes to sexual activity, for example, if a woman made the choice to have various sexual partners, we would be labelled a w**** or s***. However, if a male has more than one partner he can be labelled a "lad" or "player". As a feminist myself I do believe we need to eradicate any sort of negative labelling towards female sexuality as we cannot allow double standards to stay in such a progressive society.

As I've said, Feminism is of course a controversial issue within modern society today because of the many interpretations that individuals have of it.

At the end of the day, feminism should be about female empowerment and equality in terms of representation in society as equal. We as women have a long to go, but we should not give up because feminism is something worth fighting for.

Thank you for reading Guys!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Uplifting Summer Playlist

"In Summer, the Song sings itself." - William Charles Williams

Summer is coming! I think that the best way to get into the summer mood is to have the perfect playlist of tracks that are symbolic of summer holidays!

I've seen some Pinterest pins for summer playlists but none of them are perfect for me. I thought that it was a good idea to show you my summer playlist for 2017 because you may have the same taste in music as myself and therefore  I've just saved you hours scrolling through ITunes looking for the perfect tracks for summer. People have said to me that I have quite an old taste in music, where I don't really like many tracks that are produced by recent artists, which may be strange for someone of my age.




Song
Artist
Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)
Stevie Wonder
I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)
Four Tops
Stand By Me
Otis Reading
You Can’t Hurry Love
The Supremes
Walking On Sunshine
Katrina & The Waves
Summer of ‘69
Bryan Adams
Bennie & The Jets
Elton John
You Can Call Me Al
Paul Simon
Hey, Soul Sister
Train
Mr. Blue Sky
Electric Light Orchestra
ABC
Jackson 5
Fly Me To The Moon
Frank Sinatra
Mercy
Duffy
Town Called Malice
The Jam
I’m A Believer
The Monkees
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
Wham!
This Thing Called Love
QUEEN
Grace Kelly
MIKA
Happy Together
The Turtles

So of course, this is not my whole playlist which has 130 tracks, but these are definitely my top tracks for summer listening. I think you can now see what I mean by me having a taste for old music (70's,80's,90's). I think one of my favourite tracks on the list above has to be "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" by The Four Tops. I absolutely love this song because it is one of those songs that you just have to get up and dance to and this is just one of those songs that instantly makes you feel like it's going to be a great day! Did you know that The Four Tops had 16 US Top 40 hits from 1964-1970, making them one of the most successful American acts during the British Invasion. I'm just gonna leave a little link for you guys to have a listen:




You CANNOT deny that this is a summer song and it's the musical equivalent to a summer barbecue with friends and family. I first heard this song in a movie called "The Sapphires". If you haven't seen this movie, YOU NEED TO. Its about A would-be music promoter who sees something special in a girl group of four Australian singers and takes them to Vietnam to perform for American troops in the 1960's. It's just an uplifting film with an uplifting soundtrack to make you feel good. I have re-watched it over 10 times, it's that good!

What I would like to know is: What do you think is a great summer song?
I will respond to comments! :)

Thanks Guys

Monday, 12 June 2017

Bucket List 2017

"One Day your Life will Flash Before Your Eyes, But Make Sure It's Worth Watching" - Morgan Freeman
A Bucket List can be defined as  a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime. I have never actually made a bucket list. Now, you may be thinking that I'm a bit too young to be able to form a bucket list at seventeen years old.

 Although, I believe the quicker that someone makes a bucket list, the more time someone has to complete it.

 I think a Bucket List makes a great idea for a blog post for me to be able to open up more online. I do think people who make a list like this make changes and add things all the time.

SO HERE WE GOOO...

  1. Visit Monte Carlo
  2. Visit Barcelona
  3. Buy tickets to a West End Show
  4. Attend an open mic Comedy Night
  5. Learn a language
  6. Learn to drive
  7. Travel on a zip wire
  8.  Meet someone famous
  9. Learn to knit
  10. Attend a Music Festival
  11. Attend a Food Festival
  12. Live in a City
  13. Visit a seaside funfair
  14. Be an extra in a movie
  15. Win Money on the Lottery
  16. Vote in a General Election
  17. Read all the Harry Potter books
  18. Have a record collection
  19. Go to a Launch Party
  20. Be a bridesmaid
  21. Have my palm read
  22. Go to a Fashion Show
  23. Try all the things on the menu at Starbucks
  24. Try Sushi
  25. Work for an animal Charity
  26. Volunteer in an undeveloped country
  27. Run 10k for charity
  28. Go to a trampoline park
  29. Ride in a Tuk Tuk
  30. Visit all 7 Wonders of the World
I've just realised, I might just need to have a massive savings fund to do all this. I suppose it's a good thing that I have my whole life to complete these tasks.

My Top 5 Bucket List Goals


I think if I were to narrow my bucket list down I would have to choose

2. Visit Barcelona


  I actually went to Spain a few years ago, but I never got the chance to be able to visit the Sagrada Familia or Gaudi's Park Guell.
 I've seen so many beautiful pictures which  portray the detailed aspects of the architectural beauty of these attractions, but never had the opportunity to go again. The park Guell supports a wide variety of wildlife, notably several of the non-native species of parrot found in the Barcelona area. Other birds can be seen from the park, with records including short-toed eagle. The park also supports a population of hummingbird hawk moths, not only does it look beautiful but it is also home to many beautiful species of wildlife which is just amazing.
 The Sagrada Familia is another popular tourist attraction in the city of Barcelona, which is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona which was also designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. His work can be seen to be one of the most popular tourist attractions within Barcelona itself. It would be a dream of mine to be able to go to visit these two beautiful attractions to really immerse myself in the culture of the Spanish city.

4. Attend an open mic Comedy Night


There is no denying that I am definitely a lover of stand-up comedy. I adore always watching stand up comedy from lesser known comedians on television shows that promote a new generation of comedy. I have never ever been to a comedy live show or open mic night. I  would love to go because I feel that those who take part in these events could turn out to be an undiscovered star, and I love the idea that I may have been one of the first people to see a comedian with potential to become a big name in the world of television. I do feel lesser known comedians don't get as much publicity as those who wear out their comedic material for years on end and that more quirky acts need to be seen on the stage and screen.

11. Attend a Food Festival

I love food. Maybe that's why I got an A* at GCSE Catering. I would love to go to a food festival to try new things. I am a very bland person when it comes to food, by bland what I mean is the fact that I never stray away from the basics on a day to day basis. Going to a food festival would be amazing just to open my eyes to see how many different cuisines there are in the world. I've always wanted to try the dishes that I see on TV shows such as Masterchef but never got to try them. By going to a festival of food, I think it will further open my eyes to the cuisines available on my doorstep, maybe I could even try to make the food I've eaten!

16. Vote in a General Election


Voting in a General Election is such an important job. I feel that one vote can really make a difference to the future of a county and it's political stance. I finally become the legal age of 18 next year, therefore allowing me to be able to register to vote and finally make my voice heard within my constituency and have my say in the government of the UK. I can tell you the first thing that I will be doing when I turn 18 is to register to vote, so that I can have my say in the future.

17. Read all the Harry Potter Books


I have never read a Harry Potter Book. As surprising as it may seem I have lived 17 years without having to delve into the wizarding world of Harry Potter. I know that i'm probably way too late to be able to jump on the bandwagon (20 years too late to be exact!) but I feel that the hype must be for something. I did some research into Harry Potter and did you know that the Harry Potter franchise is worth an eye-popping $25 billion dollars! I could never dream of such money! So this probably does prove that I have lived a sheltered life in term of Harry Potter, so this is definitely one item on my list that I need to tick off As Soon As Possible.

I hope you've enjoyed this post, what I want to know is:
QOTD; What is the number one thing on your Bucket List?

Thanks for taking time out to read this post

Thanks Guys!!