Black Lives Matter

So much has been said over the last couple of days by much more eloquent voices than mine about the atrocities happening across the US*. I have wanted to say something so many times, going back and forth on what’s appropriate, whether I have anything new to say – whether it’s even my place.

I’ve sat with my thoughts all week, trying to work out how I – as a white woman – can be an ally to my black friends and black people. I will never have an understanding of what it feels like to be discriminated against for my race but I can use the privilege I’ve been afforded to do something.

While my first instinct has been to mostly stay quiet – and share the odd resource on Instagram stories, donate and read as much as I can to educate myself – I realise silent isn’t the thing to be anymore. I’m angry and now’s not the time to be mute. Also, fuck eloquent.

We all, as white people, have so much to learn about the systemic racism we’ve all benefited from – and even if I get it wrong sometimes – I want things to change, they have to change. I’m going to get out there, march, shout – do what I have to do to support black lives.
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Weekly Digest #3

I’m going to have to think of a new name for this series, since I hardly post weekly – but here’s what I’m currently digging.

Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood (2020-)

A group of aspiring actors and filmmakers in post-World War II Hollywood try to make it big – no matter the cost.

Starring: Darren CrissSamara Weaving • Patti LuPone

Murphy’s latest is a very golden affair and heavy-handed as it may be, it’s very enjoyable. As always it’s very centered around LGBTQ+ themes but also tackles the topic of race and representation within the studio system.

Starring The Assassination of Gianni Versace‘s Criss, my standout is Patti LuPone’s Avis Amberg, former-studio WAG turned studio-head, who comes to make awe-inspiring changes to the way things are done at Ace Studios. While it does smack a little of white saviour shit, it’s pleasing to revel in the achievements of the team as they get their controversial movie, Meg off the ground – with a black leading lady and writer. There’s great support from Weaving, Laura Harrier, Joe Mantello, Holland Taylor, Mira Sorvino and a whole lot more.

I’m absolutely devouring it.

Supporting local/small business

Things are fucking tough for everyone right now so I’ve been trying to support my favourite small businesses during COVID times. This works out in my favour massively because I get to shop without guilt – something I enjoy very much. (And don’t worry I’m shopping as thriftily as I can and also saving money as a full government-sanctioned recluse).

I just had to share the prints I picked up from Brighton-based artist Tal Sharville, an amazing illustrator and all round good human. I don’t feel so bad about these as I see them hanging in the new house – the Mia Wallace one possibly in the kitchen…

Florence, Jodie, Mia

Tal’s Etsy shop here.

In other news, wardrobe staple Snag Tights recently sent out an SOS regarding their struggles during the pandemic. It looked as though all was lost for the brand given they weren’t eligible for government assistance. Well, they cooked up a clever plan, and with the help of their loyal customers, managed to smash their target. Which is incredible news because personally, I can’t imagine not having their tights in my life.

I’m also a massive fan of their Chub Rub Shorts which are imperative for a curvy girl if she’s going bare-legged in the sunshine.

Not mine, sadly

Nail art

I had to quit the acrylics at the beginning of lockdown so I’ve turned to gel nails at home instead. It’s so satisfying and it’s bringing out the nail artist in me. I was always into nice nails and getting acrylics has really wrecked the natural order of things, so I’m doing everything I can to get them healthy and beautiful again. 

I *think* one of the reasons the cat hates me is because he doesn’t like the smell of my nails but I’m afraid, I’m not giving them up any time soon.

Choose Love, Choose Our Carers, Choose Our NHS

I am loving these Choose Love x Choose Our NHS t-shirts. 100% of the profits from every item will be matched by ASOS and donated to the NHS, which is so cool. Lord knows the NHS and all carers are the heroes of this whole shit show and deserve every ounce of the praise they get.

They also deserve to be paid properly and given adequate PPE – and for the country to vote sensibly in the future (e.g. not fucking Tory), just sayin’.

Get your own at ASOS.

Lady V London dresses

I did a naughty splurge this afternoon which I have justified to myself in several ways. Firstly, the site currently has a VE Day 20% discount offer which is epic. Secondly, I’ve been saving money every week from not getting the bus, going out or buying lunch every work day. I’m also aware than when we’ve moved, I won’t have as much spare cash and any I do have will be put back into the home – so why the fuck not? Swish swish bitches.

I got these two beauties and I can’t wait to wear them outside or in the office.

 

What are you digging?

Working From Home diaries: Day 1

We’re officially on lockdown and I’ve joined the Working From Home crew which I’m actually incredibly grateful for. How privileged to be able to continue my job from the comfort of my own home?

I thought I’d start a series of WFH posts to keep myself sane and amused, though the novelty of it all will probably have worn off by day 3.

I actually got things working without the assistance of the IT bods around lunchtime. “I’ve bloody got this”, I thought until it became clear I shouldn’t have been given a work laptop, and instead should have been using my own. Best laid plans and all that.

So tomorrow I start again from scratch. I think I do got this though, for now. I’m planning on treating myself to a cup of tea and a think on the veranda (door stoop) tomorrow morning, then starting work at nine sharp.

Gilmore Girls has been on in the background this afternoon but I’ve absorbed so much I think I need a break (Dean and Jess have blended into one). Podcasts and the radio are the way forward instead.

I’m looking forward to working in my pants and drinking copious amounts of tea. I’ve ordered some loungewear to start WFH off right. I mean I’m not going out so I’m not spending money on that – ASOS are sending me a decadent velvet two piece tomorrow. Bouji and professional is my vibe.

Though I will get dressed for video conferencing – top probably no bra, the new most underused item of clothing. AM I RIGHT?

Anyone else working from home? Any tips for staying sane, keeping focused?

Nothing lasts forever

How’s everyone doing?

Personally I’m up and down. One minute anxious AF, the next levelheaded and philosophical. It’s a very odd time for all of us, rendered even weirder by the fact that it’s a global crisis.

It blows my mind to know my friends in the US and Canada are going through the same exact thing. If I didn’t know better I wouldn’t believe any of this. Alas.

I take comfort from daydreaming about the end of all this, whatever it’s going to look like. There’s a very real chance life will never be the same again.

It might be even better though, with us emerging more understanding and conscious people. I hope that’s the case.

I’ll probably never complain about having to go out again.

So yeah, I’m keeping positive where I can, keeping my fear to a minimum (when possible), deep conditioning my hair a lot and remembering that everything is temporary.

How are you?

Life in the time of Corona

It seems pretty weird to be blogging right now but honestly, what else can we do but get on with normal activity? And when I say that I don’t mean ignoring Government advice and going out unnecessarily. I’m definitely practising social distancing (and thinking about how that term will soon be working its way into the Oxford dictionary).

I won’t pretend I’m not scared, everyone is and this constant level of anxiety is very hard to stomach. Literally. But I also still have a job to do and a family to care about and mental health to maintain – which is why I’ll keep blogging and trying to stay positive until the end. And there has to be an end to this because everything changes eventually.

All this talk of social distancing and its pal self-isolation is quite worrying from a mental health point of view. While having to stay in for potentially twelve weeks in nothing but my pants might sounds heavenly, the reality is going to be very different.

We might not be allowed out all. If we’re lucky we’ll be able to maintain work from home (I’m lucky to be able to do this, I know) – but what if the world really does run out of bog roll and pasta? What if this goes on forever? What if is the hardest thing to take about all of this. Nobody knows.

All I can be certain of is that staying in will take its toll on even the most hardy of people – anxiety, depression, cabin fever – we’re such social animals at heart (even if we deny it), how do we adjust? I guess we’ll just have to get on with it because there’s no other choice but it will take some serious adjustment – and now more than ever we have to look out for each other. Which means lots of messaging, meme sharing and video calls (if I can figure out how to make one).

Honestly, I can’t stress enough how much we need to be decent to each other. Like most people have experienced, there’s been so much talk of this around the workplace – and it doesn’t yet feel like we’ve all come together. There are lots of different types of people in this totally unprecedented situation – naysayers, drama mongers, sensible souls, calmer downs – I’m not even sure which one I am yet. I just hope we can start acting together soon because I really bloody need it, I’m sure I’m not alone.

Meanwhile, I need to start taking positive steps to keep myself and my new cellmate/husband from jumping off the deep end. My first step in Project Calm going to be avoiding social media where possible. I think I’ll allow myself set (and short) bursts of internet time only. I can’t read about the rising global death count anymore or watch too much of the news anymore, it’s just too much. I’m not burying my head in the sand, I just literally don’t think I can take it any other way.

The good news is that this is probably going to be the last doom and gloom post I’ll write. It’s cathartic to let anxiety out but any more might feel like marinating in it. Instead I’m going to try and focus on the simple things that make me happy, like good books and films. Oh yeah, and we’re getting a cat on Friday – that’s a pretty huge thing and v. good for excellent mental health.

How are you coping? I’m here for virtual chat if there’s anything I can do ❤️

Project X

I realise I haven’t shared this with you yet and there’s a certain amount I’m only going to teaser for now – as we want to do a big reveal nearer launch time – but my lovely friend Matt and I have been working on a new podcast.

This one is probably a bit more niche than the last couple. Anyone who’s followed my side-lines in the past will remember All Out of Bubblegum and Say It Five Times.

AOOB actually ran for a couple of years and taught me how to sound relaxed (probably too relaxed) ‘on tape’. It also encouraged me not to hate the way I sound and has proven that when I’m talking about something I love, I’m pretty bloody good.

Meanwhile, Say It Five Times was a little more themed (horror movies) and we tackled a chosen film every episode. For that one Matt and I were joined by our ‘horror novice’ friend Sam and I have very fond memories of the experience.

Our next project is going to be an exploration of our favourite directors and their respective bodies of work. We’re starting with John Waters and his own particular brand of Avant Garde filmmaking purely because we’re both obsessed with him – not to mention his regular muse, Divine. Later we hope to do Lynch, Cronenberg, Wes Craven… you get the gist: directors with a horror edge.

So, I’m happy at the moment because I’m creating and I might sound like a millennial white man right now, but it feels good. I’ll share more when we’ve figured out how to edit the damn episodes and have gone ‘live’.

Oh, fuck it – we’re called Hardcore Filmography and you can follow our rather gentle teaser campaign here.

What have you been up to? ❤️

Smalentine

Man, I hate St. Valentine’s Day. I despise it with the fire of a thousand suns for making me think I want things I definitely don’t.

I mean, when I was single it made me feel bad for not having anyone to share it with. Now I have someone, the most commercial day of the year makes me feel shit because I’m not struggling home on the bus with a five foot teddy bear like Karen from Finance.

I’d be furious if Glynn spent money we don’t have on that crap, let alone where I’d store it but that’s not the point. The curse of Valentine succeeds yet again in making me question what constitutes romance.

I know what I have is real and I’m so grateful for it, a dozen red roses isn’t going to convince me any more on that. What counts in this life – something I probably didn’t have a grasp on until this relationship – is that being able to count on someone is the ultimate.

And it’s the small things we do for each other to make life nicer that matter. An impromptu lift home from work, a hot bath running as you walk through the door. Sometimes it’s just having someone who’ll be as pissed off as you are about certain things.

I even do things for my husband sometimes too, though he’s much better at selflessness that I am.

What I’m getting at is that I’m loved up every day and I won’t let International Chocolate Heart Day shake that. Love is an every day state of affairs and it shouldn’t only equate to romantic love either.

Family, friends, colleagues, pets – ourselves. If we simply have to keep doing VD, can we broaden our horizons a bit?

That said I wore a heart print dress today as a concession (sue me – I hate the day, love the aesthetic), I’ve just demolished a takeaway and now I’m watching pretty people get picked off one by one in Valentine. It’s not so bad.

Until next year, Happy Valentine’s Day fuckers! ❤️

Thanks I hate it

Let me tell you a secret… I haven’t been loving my blog for a while now.

It pains me massively to say it but there it is. I’ve not been as engaged with it as I could have been and I want that old feeling back. And the only way I can think of to get it back is to keep on writing as much as I can and as honestly as I can. No big fix, no bells or whistles, just hard graft.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate what I’ve written to date and of course I love doing the Blog Collab – it’s just I haven’t been as inspired as normal to get to work. Now I have a more creative job that actually encourages me to use my writer’s voice, I’m hoping that will spark something.

Since Jill posted – excellently – about the soundtrack she likes to write to, I’ve been thinking about my own approach to blogging, or lack thereof. There’s currently no ritual involved and, especially as a new witch, I now understand the importance of a good dash of ceremony.

I tend to blog with my laptop on my knee in front of whatever toot Netflix has currently released. One eye on the box and one eye on what I’m doing. No space, no soundtrack, not even a comfy chair.

Stephen King has spoken about the importance of having a non-distracting writing environment and honestly, who’d know better? I have On Writing ready to read up on this very topic but there’s a good condensed checklist here. Luckily for me my wonderful mother gifted me a beautiful drawing desk for Christmas and it’s just crying out to be shown some love. So I’ve taken Monday off work and I’m going to set myself up with a fresh writing/artistic space, one that’s all mine.

Then I’m going to write every day, just as the big man says.

Cut to the feeling

I’m taking my life lessons from Hannibal tonight as Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) tells the orphaned daughter (and suspected accessory) of a serial killer that the feelings she’s having will soon change.

As an Anxious Annie I hold on to that thought often. That one day I might be feeling out of sorts but in a week’s time, or a month, it will probably be a completely different story.

There’s a lot going on at the moment, lots of really satisfying things and I feel good about them. But I can feel imposter syndrome sneaking in and I have to remind myself I feel that way because it’s new. It’s normal and natural and actually there’d probably be something wrong if I didn’t feel this way. I’m in full creative mode right now and I think doubt just comes with the territory.

I look forward to the moment, however long down the line that is, when it all clicks into place. That I actually find my rhythm and flow.

How do you deal with self-doubt?

Deceptacon

Alright, so this time of the year is the pits, we all know that. I can’t really blame January for all my feelings of inertia though. I mean, Christmas has to take some of the responsibility, and the shitty weather too.

Instead of moaning about it all here though – and let me assure you I’ve been doing my fair share verbally – I’ve decided to celebrate the hardest month of the year, and with good reason.

Just after New Year I interviewed for the job I really wanted at work and I got it. I started today and it is great and it is going to be really great… it’s a communications job and I get to work with one of my best friends. I’m very blessed.

So for the first time in a long time, this January heralds an exciting change and I’m here for it.

I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for me.

How was your Monday?