Uni: First few days away

Moving Away

Although university terms are only just beginning, some of you might have already moved into your new accommodation. For returning students, this is a return to freedom after a summer of confinement.

For those of you starting university, moving away from home for the first time can be daunting and terrifying. I know I was extremely nervous. I am not a party-girl, I hate clubbing and I find socialising to be – quite frankly – hard. Moving into uni accommodation therefore had me extremely worried. Would I make friends? Would I be lonely? How much will I miss home?Read More »

Hand Creams

Hand Creams 1

My hands are notorious for being dry. It’s not just in the cold weather; I struggle the whole year around. This year has been especially hard because I’ve been run down health wise, meaning I have really felt it. The one thing I have learnt throughout the last few months is that you really do get what you pay for. As a result, I am now using about three different hand creams – mainly to get them used up but each has their own effectiveness.

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Up and Coming – July

July Up and Coming

Who would have guessed: it’s a new month already!

There are a few changes taking place on this blog. The theme was one of them – I hope you like the new layout. The second is the way I am writing reviews. Then there is the matter of layout and pictures. Should look a lot better!

So for my first post of the new month, here is what is up and coming throughout the month of July.

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France Trip!

France 1

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my trip to the Cannes Film Festival. As the festival was only part of the holiday, I thought I would write a second one about the week as a whole. All in all, it was great. It is a shame it happened in my final year after everything had been handed in because everyone bonded really well. People I’ve known for years I now consider to be good friends and I won’t have the chance to see them again for a while. It has brought university to a fantastic end as the trip was great fun the whole way through.

The first day was travelling. It got off to a fun start though because I had a friend stay the night before so we could travel together. After an hour of walking around looking for a supermarket, dinner ended up being McDonald’s. The second day I mainly covered in last week’s post but after the failure at the screenings, a group of us spent the evening at the beach. While it was a stony and we all ended up in chalk, we still managed to pass a good few hours. Utter hilarity ensued, mainly because of the actions of a complete stranger. It will certainly be something we shall all remember.

France 2

Wednesday was beautiful. We went on a tour of the area. I’m not usually good on coach journeys, but luckily we were never driving for more than about forty minutes. We got to see two beautiful mountain villages with craft shops that were effectively built into the mountains. It did involve a lot of step climbing in the heat, but the shops were gorgeous and so unique. Naturally, that meant they were also expensive, but certainly not the usual shopping trip. In between, we were able to spend a couple of hours in Monaco. We were only able to see the area around the palace because the track for the Grand Prix blocked some of the usual routes down. But there were certainly some spectacular views and we had a delicious lunch while browsing some of the souvenir shops along the way. We were really lucky with the weather and it was such a fun day.

France 3

Thursday has also been covered. Friday was a little more shopping around Nice where we were staying, an hour on the beach and then a really yummy lunch by the seafront. Seafood pasta – couldn’t go to France and not have mussels! And followed by a crepe. I was very happy by that point, even if it did mean I was too full up for ice-cream! Then it was back to the hotel and time to start the journey home, by which point I was craving fruit and a good cup of tea.

It really feels like university has come to an end now. But wow, what a week it has been. It has certainly ended on a high. Has anyone else been away lately? Let me know!


Cannes Film Festival

Cannes 1

The great thing about being a film student is the opportunity to see films that are a little different. It’s even better doing it an exciting atmosphere with the possibility of seeing someone famous at the same time.

Well… I didn’t see anyone famous (at least, no one that I recognised), but there is nothing more exciting than being given the chance to see films at the Cannes Film Festival.

As a final university trip, a group of about forty students had the chance to attend the festival. Our first day there was last Tuesday. It didn’t quite go according to plan. We weren’t at the actual festival, but outside of it at Cannes la Bocca. Unfortunately, we were in one of the two cinemas that doesn’t have English subtitles. After watching one that was effectively a porn film no one understood a word of, we then found out the other screenings had the same language problem. We lost out on films that day. Instead, we travelled into Cannes itself and had an explore but didn’t manage to get into any screenings. We did, however, see some pretty incredible yachts that we could only guess belonged to some of the stars because they were so huge and expensive.

Cannes 2

The main day at the festival was Thursday. Before attending, I didn’t understand how it worked. It is lots of queueing. You get a generic ticket that gets you into one film. But then you have to queue for hours to see if there is a chance to actually get into the screening. I was fortunate enough to make it into two – hopefully will be able to get some reviews written up for when they are released if they make it over here. They were complete opposites of each other but both equally good. It was nice to have the contrast between a laugh out loud film and an intense one. The second film also had the cast and crew present in the screening which gave it an amazing atmosphere.

Cannes 3

After the films, it was a quick look to see if anything was happening on the red carpet. Unfortunately there wasn’t – even though people had seen Michael Caine the night before (from a distance!).  Then down to the beach for a screening. You are given a deck-chair and a blanket and snuggle yourself up (it didn’t make a difference, it was still absolutely freezing) and watch the film. I was able to watch the beginning of Apollo 13 on the beach – pretty fantastic. The last train time meant I was only able to watch about half an hour of it, but I was so cold I couldn’t have sat there for longer anyway. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t have changed the experience for the world.

While it might not have gone exactly the way it was planned, the festival was amazing and it was a fantastic experience. Has anyone else been to film festivals of any sort? Let me know!


Being Alone

Eating alone loses out on a lot of chatter.
Eating alone loses out on a lot of chatter.

After housing issues in my second year of university, I decided the best course of action would be to opt for a studio flat in my final year. No need to worry about anyone else’s mess or housemates being annoying pains. Just me. I thought it would be great.

For the most part, it has. Before Christmas, my timetable had me in uni three times a week and my part time job was the same. Although the days coincided, it meant I had three full days of being around other people. But this year, I don’t have my job. And my lectures are only twice a week. I’m not the type of person to always be out socialising, I have an intimate group of friends and if I’m honest, we don’t tend to do a lot.

So this year, I found myself dealing with something unexpected.



I’ve always been the type who is constantly emailing friends and having long conversations online late into the night. I thought it had always been enough. But when I found myself literally not speaking to anyone for five days of the week, I realised it was starting to get to me. I was lonely for the first time.

If I’m completely honest, I don’t really know what I did to try and get over it. I did arrange a couple of things with friends and catching up with them made a difference. I called home more times than I would have done previously and I buried myself in my work in order to pretend that everything was fine. But it started to be a struggle and when the Easter holidays came around, I was more relieved than I could say.

I suppose my point of this post is to show that even when you think you have made a decision that should benefit you, there will be problems. Everything comes at a price and even though it is much better here, I still have to deal with a lot of noise issues on top of being on my own. The key is to not let it get to you. I know I can handle this because there isn’t long left now before things will change. But if you’re in a situation where the end is not in sight, then it is best to try and tackle the problem. Ignoring it does not go away.

In my case, it should have been easily solved. No one need know I was lonely, because if people were there to tell, it meant I was out and about and therefore solving the problem. Not everything is that easy though and I know that although I will still not be the type to go out a lot (it’s simply not me and I won’t apologise for that), I do know in the future I will make more of an effort to make sure it doesn’t get to that stage again. All it takes is asking if one person wants a coffee and you’re sorted.

If only all of life’s problems were that easy to sort out.


Finishing University

Finishing Uni

Four years ago, I dropped out from university. It took a long time before I could even think positively about my future. Until finally, I decided that I wanted to go back and try again. Only this time, it was to do a course that followed my dreams and passions rather than one I thought was expected of me.

Last Saturday, I submitted all of my final work and can now say I have made it to the end. Despite everything life has thrown at me, I have finally made it to finishing university. Deciding to go back was the best decision I could have ever made.

The first time around, I let myself be swept up in the pressure: school, parents (although they’ve been nothing but supportive). I never stopped to think about what I wanted. To say the results weren’t pretty was an understatement. Even last summer I was fighting serious lows that I couldn’t shake off. It changed everything I thought about myself and I had no self-belief or even the slightest shred of confidence.


A few hours after submitting everything, the impact of what I had just done hit me. The confidence surge I received from that and my general desire to go out and show the world (and myself) that they had been wrong about me was almost overwhelming. I have never felt so determined in my life, so adamant for the first time in a while that I was going to make my dreams come true, no matter what.

So now I am back at home again, surrounded by boxes that have been my university life for the last three years and trying to work out where I’m going to find space for all of these things. It does feel strange that I won’t be packing up in September to go back for a new term. But at the same time, I feel ready. I feel like it’s time to discover precisely who it is I have become over the last three years and make the most of it. Between housing and health issues – as well as deciding to go back – I know it’s someone who will stubbornly refuse to give up.

The reason for writing this post today was that I wanted to say one thing: follow your dreams. It’s getting to the time of year where people might be thinking about their future as school/college/university comes to an end. It’s scary – I know I’m partly terrified of what is next. But we’ve made it this far and can handle anything else that might be thrown our way. For me personally, it’s about embracing what I can do for a change and stop focusing on the things I can’t. Easier said than done, I know.

But I’ve made it this far despite never thinking I will. So now it’s time to see how far I can get now I have the chance. I hope you do too – believe in yourself a little and it’s incredible what you can do.


Revisiting Resolutions (April)


If I had any superpower in the word right now, I think it would be to stop time. I had my final lecture of university today. My dissertation was handed in yesterday. How has it all come to the end already?

I know my initial resolutions for the year involved graduating, but I can’t believe it is practically at this point already. I have less than two weeks left. I’ve always looked forward to the end of university because it hasn’t been the best experience due to housing and health issues. However, now it has come to it, I’m not sure I am ready. I thought I would have been able to secure a job by this point, but have had no such luck. Therefore the future at the moment is just very wide and vast and I have no idea what direction I shall be walking in.

The first thing is to get everything under control in regards to my health. Luckily since Easter things have been a little better and that has made functioning like a human being easier. I never thought the day would come when I would be thrilled at being able to sit and work all day. But after the weeks of the headaches, it was such a blessing. I’m hoping the next few weeks will get everything sorted in regards to that and I can start building my strength back up again and proving that I am fine.

Resolutions 2

Over the last few weeks, I’ve also been able to increase my writing. Not nearly as much as I would have liked as I have just been simply too tired. But a few mornings have seen me having a writing session. Sometimes it has been for fanfiction, sometimes catching up on articles and reviews I haven’t had the chance to do. On other occasions, however, it has been writing more of the novel. Now that my dissertation is done, I really hope I can continue it to that standard and push myself. I don’t want to finish a writing degree only to find I am not writing anything. Besides, writing always relaxes me and puts me in a good mood and that in turn makes me productive for the rest of the day. If taking an hour out in the morning is what I need to get more done, then who am I to complain?

But for now the focus is just getting through these last few weeks. Something that is apparently being made even more of a challenge by the way that my laptop is deciding it doesn’t really want to work even though I only have a week left of university. I just have everything crossed right now that it plays nice although I do have a plan b in place just in case.

It’s going to be really interesting seeing what next month’s post brings. It will be the first new month of the rest of my life and that is a scary thought.

How is everyone else?


Dissertation Days #3

Dissertation 1

This is the final one of these. By the end of today, it will have been submitted. That is a terrifying thought. But I am also really excited to finally hit submit and know that is something out of the way. I have no idea what sort of mark I am working at, but I do know I feel like it is the best thing I have written in regards to a creative piece and that alone is enough to make me smile.

Over the last month, it has been a lot of tweaks. Odd words here and there. A sentence changed for more impact. I had to try and get more description present, but through the eyes of my protagonist – it had to be things that he would notice. It was not easy, and there were many occasions where I sat with my head in my hands literally trying to visualise what it was I thought he would see.

Breaking away from it for a few days before returning to read has been an interesting experience. I thought I had checked through it closely before, then only on the last reading I found four “needs” in two sentences. Stopping thinking about it can really then clear your mind when you come back to it. I just hope today’s checks throw up any other problems that might have slipped under the net and remained invisible up until now.

Dissertation 2

Some of the fun has been lost recently while working on the critical essay. However, a lot of it is about the progress, albeit disguised under different headings. It’s been interesting to write because it’s forced me to consider some of the obstacles that I’ve been up against and what I have done to overcome them. The fact that I’m writing the essay proves that I have overcome them, and that in itself is a great feeling. There were a few issues with the essay lacking focus, but I shouldn’t have been surprised by that. My first drafts are often unfocused while I’m working out what it is I’m trying to say.

Although I have had great fun working on this, now it comes down to it, I’m worried. Creative writing is so hard to score a higher mark on – I’ve always done better on the essays. And this mark counts twice. Needless to say, it’s nerve-racking to think that this could determine what grade I graduate with. Today is going to be full of checks to make sure I haven’t done anything stupid in it that could cost me marks. Other than that, I think it is just a matter of knowing I have worked hard at it and – as my mother would say – done the best I could. With handing this in, it certainly makes it feel like university is coming to an end – by this time in two weeks, it will all be over which is definitely a scary thought.

Right, back to work for me then…Let’s get this submitted!


Sunday Night Therapy

Sunday Night 1

It’s a Sunday night and the week ahead is looming. You might be looking forward to it. You might be dreading it.

But I know I for one try and greet it feeling the best that I can. I tend to use Sunday nights as a little bit of a pampering session. You’ve survived one week. You’ve made it through the weekend. Now it’s time to gear yourself up for the week ahead.

Here is a few of the things that I do to feel great!

A long hot shower. It’s amazing what the hot water can do. But it’s more than that. I take the chance to give my hair a wash. Have a shave. Use the exfoliator gloves that I treated myself to a while back. In other words, giving your body (and hair) a bit of TLC and a reviving session.

Moisturise. I’m hopeless at remembering to put moisturiser on during the week. So to apologise for this fact, I go all the way on a Sunday night. I find The Body Shop Body Butter is my favourite for my arms, stomach and feet. It’s not too thick and not too watery either, not to mention the gorgeous flavours means you can find the one that best suits you. But for my legs it’s always been Johnson’s Baby Lotion. There is just something about it – not to mention the smell – that just leaves me feeling good.

Sunday Night

Then I turn my attention to my face – a daunting task at best! After tweaking my eyebrows back into shape, I take the time out to do a face mask. Again, it’s The Body Shop for me with their 3-in-1 Blue Corn mask. It always makes my skin feel so refreshed and deeply cleansed after using it and is one of my favourite parts of the evening.

It’s onto nails after that. By this point, last week’s nail varnish has half chipped off, they’re broken, out of shape and just a mess. I get them nice and clean, short again (hate long nails) and shaped. Then I always give my cuticles a bit of a treat –Premier Cuticle Therapy is what I’m using at the moment and a good session with the hand cream. It’s the one time of the week I dig out my more expensive hand-cream and give my hands some proper nourishment. Then if I’m in the mood, I tend to paint my nails and just get things ready for the next week.

Sometimes I end the evening by straightening my hair. Sometimes I don’t bother, it depends what I am up to in the first part of the week as to whether it needs to look more presentable or not. After all of that, I’m always nice and relaxed so just top it off with some camomile tea and sleep – early to bed if I can, but that doesn’t normally work. There I am, ready to face the week ahead!

How about you? Do you have any sort of routine? Let me know!