Explanation Part 6

Who would have thought there would have been 6 occasions where I have a wee apology to you lovely readers for not posting?  Well, I certainly thought it might be the case.  For me, blogging is a hobby, its something I love doing; writing and creating (hopefully) exciting and intriguing posts for you all to read … but its certainly not my life.  Its not my life, its not my job, its just something I do.  Life is far bigger than this blog.

The first thing that happened is I went to Scotland.  Ohh yes, I popped on up to John O’Groates and it was wonderful.  And then when I got home full of inspiration and ideas, my internet decided to stop working .. for 12 days.  Terrific timing.  Anyway, since the internet has been back up and running I’ve just been so busy.  I’ve had a few London days out, headed to Royal Ascot, been to a Boat Party, had my bi-annual Dance Show … life has been pretty hectic.  Hopefully I can fill you all in on it over the coming weeks.

For now … fall in love with life, I dare you.

Fall in love.

Fall in love.

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Paris

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These are pretty standard Paris photos.  The standard tourist shots.  But to me, they’re beautiful moments of a whirlwind week-before booked long weekend in the City of Love with the boyfriend.  And we certainly had a beautiful time.

We roamed the streets breaking in my new Vans, stopping for cheese and macaroons, paying 10 euros for a pint (sinful), climbing spiral staircases galore (don’t), got angry at Ipad tourists, drank cheap wine by the litre, read books by the river and even got a little sunburnt.  It was a beautiful weekend, it really was.  I’m thinking of doing a couple of niche posts about a market we visited and an incredible restaurant experience we had – interested?

Fall in love with life.

 

 

2013 – An AMAZING Year.

It comes to that time of year again of reflection, reflecting about the past 12 months and what you’ve achieved, whether it’s been a good year, a great year, or whether January 1st just can’t come quick enough.  I did a similar post this time last year (https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/gonna-party-like-its-2012/), I do just find it so amazing seeing how far you come.  It’s only when you really sit and think about it, that you realise it.  Here’s what I’ve done this year:

January

  • Celebrated New Year in Bruges, Belgium, one hour ahead of London!
  • Created the term #SNOLO (Holla, snow day, anyone?!)

February

  • Appeared on national television, on the hit BBC1 show ‘Pointless’.
  • Had a lovely getaway to Portsmouth to celebrate V Day.
  • Partook in the ‘Pure Dance’ dance show in front of hundreds of people with my university street dance competition team.

March

  • Competed at one of the biggest university dance competitions in Loughborough with my street dance competition team.
  • Celebrated my birthday (ever so slightly early!) with a murder mystery party.
  • Once again, attended the amazing Ideal Home Show and at ate at Greg Wallace’s restaurant.
  • Attended my first ever baby shower for a great friend.

April

  • Celebrated my 21st birthday with a getaway to beautiful hotel in Bath.

May

  • Sat (and passed!) my university final exams.

June

  • Spent an incredible 3 and a half weeks in Sydney and the Gold Coast, Australia.

July

  • Moved into my first ever grown-up flat with Boyfriend.
  • Went to the Cricket for the first time.
  • Graduated from university with a BA Geography 2:1 (Hons)

August

  • Spent a fabulous two weeks in Cyprus.

September

  • Had a lovely few and relaxing days in the Isle of Man.
  • Learnt to like red wine (this is a big one!).
  • Went Glamping for the first time.
  • Rejoined my local dance school, that I have attended since I was 11!
  • Began a Masters course in London.
  • Joined the gym.
  • Went on my first ever London night out.

October

  • Saw Jessie J perform live at the O2.

November

  • Joined a church Gospel Choir.

December

  • Celebrated 3 years with Boyfriend with a weekend city break to Barcelona.
  • Performed with the church Gospel Choir in a Christmas carol concert.

To Do:

  • Celebrate Christmas with a wonderful few days away in the Isle of Man.

Wow, when you write it all down like that, it really does seem like a lot.  Whilst Bella’s Bits is a place for me to chat to you all about clothes and make-up, it’s also a place where I share some of the bigger, more important things in my life, like my take on political or ethical issues, for example.  It’s also my little diary like slice of the internet where I can think about what I’ve achieved, and looking at 2013, I’m proud!  I really have done so much this year and am so proud and happy with what I’ve achieved.  I feel so blessed with the life and opportunities I’ve been given.  You know, I can’t really do it justice here, there aren’t any words!

I would really encourage you to do as I have, go through your year, and really think about what you’ve achieved.  Think about your friends, your dreams, your family, your hopes, your travels, anything that inspires you to wake up the next day and keep going.

Fall in love with life in 2014, I dare you.

(FYI – I’m taking a bloggy break over the holidays, so have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and I’ll see you in 2014.  Toodaloo!)

Social Media Madness

I love social media, I absolutely love it.  I love tweeting and texting and instagramming and facebooking – it’s safe to say I am a social media harlot.

In this day and age of smartphones and 3g, much of our social media participation is done on the go.  I’m talking checking in at the cinema, instagramming your dinner at a restaurant, or tweeting about your night out.  That’s fine, I do it too.  I encourage it, I embrace it.  What I DO have a pet peeve about is social media(ing) in the company of others.  Now I don’t mean walking along, or hanging out in a common room chilling and chatting.  I mean real company, spending quality time with someone.

It has become all too normal to turn up to a bar meeting friends for drinks and put your phone on the table.  It’s of course, fine it you’re waiting for an important call ot an email, but not if you’re waiting for a retweet or a ‘like’ notification.  What, is then wrong with the company you are keeping?  Are they less important to you that one of your 300 facebook friends commenting ‘fit’ on your new selfie?  They can’t be, otherwise you wouldn’t have arranged to meet them in person.

It makes me so mad when I’m having lunch with someone and they check their phone.  Instantly, there’s a digital barrier between us and all connection and conversation flow can vanish.  Again, it’s fine if they’re showing me a picture of something or a hilarious vine, but to connect with the virtual world when they should be connecting with the real world?  No.  Not on.

I recently raised this issue with Boyfriend.  I told him, that when I’m having drinks with friends at Uni, there are no phones on the table, that the conversation and banter is on fire and everyone is genuinely interested in each other – and how utterly refreshing it is.  Then I told him what I’m telling you, how cross I feel when social media company is put before my company (or maybe I’m just THAT boring?!).  He commented, that maybe phones and social media in company is our new norm in society, not something to feel angered or upset about.  This saddened me.  I love social media, I’ll be the first and loudest to admit it.  But not when I’m around others, not when I’m enjoying real life, my life, and living it to the full.

Ever since I can remember, phones or laptops have not been permitted at dinner or drinks in my family.  If you use your phone at our dinner table, you will be asked to leave.  I believe this is how it should be.  It is the height of rudeness to start a conversation with someone else whilst spending quality time with a person, so why is it okay to do it virtually?

I’m not campaigning we all put down out smartphones and digital detox.  I’m not going to go all crazy and throw a friends phone across a room if they dare brandish it in front of me.  I’m just trying to get us all to have a little think, about our social media habits, about our phone habits when in the company of others.  What do you think?  I’d be really interested to hear another take on this.  Feel free to like, retweet, comment, poke, repost, or any other social media action you can think of.  All I know is, I won’t be checking if you did, whilst in the company of others.

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Woops

What Happened In September

Way back when in 2012, I did a series of posts titled ‘What Happened In’, then said month, to give you all a monthly life roundup.  As life as got hectic once again, I thought I’d provide you with another, so hello to, What Happened in September.

My month started off in the Isle of Man (which I wrote about here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/oh-hey/).  As usual, I had a beautiful time there and am really excited about spending Christmas there this year (Boyfriend and I are official grownups now, we alternate).  I just love the peace and serenity of the countryside.  Despite having a few on-going internal tensions between rural and urban love and lifestyle, this September, I loved it.

I also headed back to Dance which you can read about in the above post.  I’m absolutely loving it!  Dance is my thing, if you know what I mean.  I’ve always done it, and always loved it.  At the risk of sounding a cross between Darcey Bussell and Louis Spence, I’m so passionate about the way a body can interact and flow with (or without as the case may be) music.  Monday nights are now dance nights.  My go-to nights of hard work, passion and (the next day, usually) pain.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

September also took me Glamping, which you can read all about here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/glamping/

As I wrote about in my post titled about September Syndrome: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/september-syndrome/, September can bring around huge changes for people, as they have for me.  This month, I’ve gone through a huge life change .. I’ve started a Postgraduate Masters course at University.  I’ve had Induction Week and two weeks of Lectures.  It’s full of big changes; a commute, new buildings to get the hang of, London prices, new people, harder material .. but I honestly think doing this Masters might be the best decision I have ever made.

3 years ago I wrote about my Geography A Level exam: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/make-me-or-break-me/  I’m making my dreams come true.  I’ve fallen in love with the life I have, the life I’m living, the life I’ve always wanted.  What are you doing this October?

September Syndrome

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It’s currently 8.38am.  So far today I have had two mugs of coffee, washed up and have done a load of laundry.  Now I’m sitting watching Lorraine contemplating my day, and it’s not even 9am.

On Monday, I started my Masters course at University and Boyfriend started a new job.  We are well and truly in the swing of September Syndrome.  Granted, we’re a few weeks behind everyone else.  All the children ran back to school the first few days of September, us Uni students are just catching up.  But nevertheless, the stationary shops continue to plug ‘Back to College’ gear, everyone decides they need new commuting shoes and a new bag is just, well, essential.  I also find September the time of year where people, young or old, assess changes in their lives.  Maybe it’s the combination of coming home from a summer holiday, the evenings getting drastically shorter and the need to find your scarf but something changes and people become more ambitious, driven and contemplative about the future.  I know friends who are years from education who use September as a time to address that diet, consider that savings plan or change their hair.  I don’t know why it is, or what it is, but with the going back to education season, people seem to want to become brighter, want to become better.  Myself included.  It’s almost a mid-year revolution feeling if you like.

Are you suffering from September Syndrome?  Don’t feel bad, it’s a good thing!  Perhaps you’ll fall in love with life..?  I dare you.

Glamping

At the weekend, I went glamping.  Or rather, hashtag glamping as I feel it should be said.  Nestled deep in the depths of the Sussex countryside (we didn’t even find out the location until we booked) we went to EcoCampUK (http://www.ecocampuk.co.uk/), a completely off grid camspide where all we had to bring was food and bedding.  As a keen camper (every year since I was 9) this was an absolute walk in the park for me but for boyfriend, who hasn’t camped since Beavers, we decided on a glamping holiday to ease him into the outdoor lifestyle.

It was absolutely beautiful.  On the first night, giddy on love, laughter and too much wine we put our fire out and scuttled into the tent to play scrabble.  It was only hazily around 5am where I heard the pounding of rain on our bell tent I realised we had left ALL our firewood outside in the pouring rain.  The ultimate facepalm moment.  Undeterred, we just about managed to make a fire using the wood from the bottom of the bag and my ‘Ideal Home’ magazine (sob, hick, sob), but shortly after, packed it in and went to the pub.

We went for long country walks, read that book I’ve been meaning to for so long, had a digital detox, drank wine, mastered the game Triominos (it’s amazing!) and spent pure, quality time together as a couple where our only company was the distant mooing of cows (oh, and woodmice come sundown).  On our last night we had a lazy stroll around the adjacent farmyard field, looking up at the stars.  It always strikes me how incredibly bright, light, powerful and beautiful they are away from the hustle and bustle of the city suburbs.  My weekend was peaceful, contemplative and I’m home feeling utterly refreshed.

Beautiful Sussex Countryside

Beautiful Sussex Countryside

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Our Bell Tent

Woodland View

Woodland View

Countryside Canopy

Countryside Canopy

Fall in love with life, I dare you.