5 Tips for festival packing

Travel

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Last weekend I went to RiZE festival in Chelmsford. It had an amazing line up – Stereophonics, Liam Gallagher, Bastille, Rag n Bone Man, James bay… the list goes on. Whilst there my friends suggested I wrote this post as they both couldn’t believe I had brought so little with me. So here are a few of my tips for festival packing…

 

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1. Pack light.

For RiZE festival I took a pair of trousers, shorts and 2 tops so I could mix and match my outfits. Then I recommend bringing a couple of jumpers, one you can use as a pillow by putting it inside a pillowcase and another if it gets cold at night in the tent or in the evenings although to be honest, when you’re in the crowds of people dancing its pretty warm anyway.

2. Check the weather.

If it’s not going to rain you will only need a couple of pairs of shoes. I just wore my timberlands because I knew it wasn’t going to rain all weekend, if theres a slight chance I would bring flip flops because then if your feet get muddy you can just wash them off. However if you know its going to rain its time to bring those wellies out.

3. Remember toilet roll and hand sanitiser.

At any festival the toilets are always a problem, they usually run out and its much easier if you have your own.

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4. Bring a small bag.

If you have a big bag they are unlikely to let you into the arena, and if you only have a small bag and have packed lighter it will take less time getting through security.

5. Invest in a bum bag.

They don’t cost very much, Im pretty sure mine was the cheapest one on amazon but they are incredibly handy – you don’t have to worry about someone stealing your bag or leaving it anywhere and you can keep all of your valuables close to you.

These are only a few tips I have found that work for me but, obviously, you may have to pack more if its longer than a 2/3 night festival. But  I hope you have a great time at what ever festival you are going to, they are such a laugh and amazing fun particularly when you are with a good bunch of people and there is a great line up – have the best time 🙂

 

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Fact Or Fiction

Thoughts

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‘Fake news’. I by no means mean to quote Trump here, but certainly much of the ‘truth’ has been contorted by journalists and social media in recent years.

We have, now, got most information at our finger tips. With thanks to the internet we can find out the breaking news and the height of your favourite celebrity; any kind of information that will satisfy your curiosity and allow you to figure out how to build that Ikea coffee table. The internet has been an incredible invention that I doubt many of us can imagine life without. However, as with all things, it has its downsides. We can get brand new information quicker then ever before which means journalists are biting at the bit to get out the next news story; this often means that much of the information has not been backed up and that it could, in fact, be just a rumour. And it’s not just the information we are given, it’s the information that news broadcasters can choose not to give us. After all, as Sir Francis Bacon once said ‘ipsa scientia potestas est’ – Knowledge itself is power.

I recently read an article from a couple of years ago by Katherine Viner (editor in chief at The Guardian) entitled ‘how technology disrupted the truth’ it was a fascinating read and really got me thinking about the society we live in now and our dependance on technology.

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Viner talked about how “In the digital age, it is easier than ever to publish false information, which is quickly shared and taken to be true”. Not only does this mean that some of the information is censored but that rumours can be quickly spread just like in high school movies. She is referring to the use of social media. It is easy for anyone to read a post and share it to let everyone they know about this information, or for anyone to make up information and share it without any evidence. And with our busy lives we tend not to have the time to check the facts, we just assume and trust that the information we are provided with is true.

Social media is not only a place to spread information but according to many articles the companies can censor what information we are presented with online. So unless we are actively searching for a piece of information, it won’t be shown on our social media feeds. Viner writes about how “Algorithms such as the one that powers Facebook’s news feed are designed to give us more of what they think we want – which means that the version of the world we encounter every day in our own personal stream has been invisibly curated to reinforce our pre-existing beliefs.” This can be particularly an issue in Politics. If we are given information about a campaign or about someone running for prime minister then that information may sway our decisions about what or who we vote for, if after the decisions have been made and we find out that that information was in fact false then we may look back on our vote and regret it – then we have the issue of whether there needs to be a revote. (Just like we are having now on the Brexit ‘vote leave’ allegations.)

Facebook has pledged to begin to do something about this ‘filter bubble’ (as Eli Pariser, the co-founder of Upworthy, coins it). Although some think even this is ‘Fake news’ too. (Facebook ‘fake news’ article here)

Many people now rely on social media to gain information on current affairs and to help construct opinions but how can we do that if that information may just be a rumour? We are unlikely to check these ‘facts’ and just regard them as the truth without any further investigation, after all the news should be something we can trust in.

Many writers in the past have talked about issues with misinformation, the most famous of all being George Orwell in his novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’. The phrase Orwell uses to sum this up is “Freedom is the freedom to say 2 plus 2 equals four” in other words, freedom only exists if all the information we are given is actually true. He comments on how easy it is for those in power or those we trust to say that “two plus two equals 5”. The sales of his best selling novel he wrote in 1948 shot up when Trump ran for president, with people making links between society now and the dystopian world Orwell presents for us.

Also in Margaret Atwood’s ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’ she writes that ‘there are 2 kinds of freedom, Freedom to and freedom from’.

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Im not saying that all the information we are told is false only that perhaps we need to be wary of what allegations being made by the media are true. This can only be done by checking on the sources and by reading around – To ask ourselves if the information we are being provided with is Fact or Fiction?

July Favourites

Favourites

Its almost August! I hope you have had an amazing July and been up to some exciting things. This month, I thought I’d share with you some recent favourites as I have not done a post like this in so long and there are some incredible films, theatre and books i’d love to share with you.

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Beauty:

To be honest, I don’t tend to mix up my beauty regime very often; I wear the same makeup every day (if any at all) and have had the same skincare routine using the Proactive 3 step regime twice a day and it has been the best skincare products I have used to date so I stick with it. However a couple of months ago was my Birthday so my sister Kindly got me the IT pore perfecting powder which I have been loving adding to my everyday makeup particularly as it’s getting so much warmer to set my Makeup on those days I do decide to wear it.

Fashion:

My most worn item of clothing this month was probably my grey Timberlands, which I brought in the sale the month before (sometimes it’s good to be a size 8 haha) because they are the comfiest shoe I’ve owned, I’ve got the lightweight ones so they are not heavy and you can walk around everywhere without getting sore feet.

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Films:

I have managed to tick a few movies off my movie bucket list this month; King Lear (A new adaptation of it that recently came out with Anthony Hopkins) , About time (what a thought provoking story!) and The devil wears Prada (I can’t believe I hadn’t watched it till now, it’s so funny). Unfortunately I hadn’t managed to get to the cinema last month but there are loads of film I really want to see.

I did, however, go to the theatre and finally got to see The National Theatres production of War Horse. It was absolutely breathtaking, It was so well done and really captured the emotion of the book. The book was my absolute favourite as a child, I remember reading it before the Steven Spielberg film came out and because the words of the book were so fresh in my mind (being from Joey, the horses, perspective) thinking the film was rubbish (having rewatched it more recently I could fully appreciate it) and worried the theatre production would be the same but it was so clever with the puppets and incredible set design.

Series:

The Hollow Crown: I know this is not a new series, but I have only recently discovered it and have loved it. If you haven’t seen a lot of Shakespeare so far but want to get into it i’d definitely recommend The Hollow Crown – the acting is superb and the storyline is really understandable even though the language is that of the Elizabethan era. I particularly liked Henry IV part 1, following the story of Henry IV (played by Jeremy Irons) and his son Prince Hal (played by Tom Hiddleston) and the journey and commitment it took to be on the throne.

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Books:

This month I have read The Da Vinci code by Dan brown, A Dolls House (a play by Henrik Ibsen) and have just started reading a Handmaids Tale and Angels and Demons (the prequel to the Da Vinci Code). I really enjoyed The Da Vinci Code,  I have read a couple of Dan Browns’ novels before and I love them because despite an incredible thrilling story you also learn a lot about symbols, cultures, history and architecture along the way which is really interesting and puts you into the mind of this highly intellectual Harvard professor.

A Dolls House was also excellent, admittedly it had a bit of a slow beginning, but the ending is incredibly powerful – Ibsen explores the wife and husband dynamic and treatment of women in the 19th century. So far Angels and Demons is very similar to The Da Vinci Code story line but it may get better as I’ve only read the first couple of chapters, and the Handmaids Tale beginning is very captivating, diving straight into this dystopian world Atwood has created. Ive seen the first series of the BBC adaptation which was good although a little confusing so i’m looking forward to how the book pans out.

Overall I’d 100% recommend The Da Vinci Code and A Dolls house and i’ll keep you updated on the ones I’m currently reading on twitter, instagram and on here.

Music:

Tom Odell’s new song ‘If you wanna love somebody’ came out recently so I have been loving listening to that and I very much am looking forward to his new album that comes out in October.

Next month I have got a few things I’m looking forward too, hopefully going on holiday somewhere with my family and going to RIZE festival with a couple of friends.  But I have just got back from Pub in the Park in Bath; Tom Odell was playing and there were lots of yummy food stalls from some very talented chefs, pubs and local food stores.

Thank you so much for reading!

What have been your favourites this month?

Book Club: Origin review

Book Club

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I recently finished reading Origin by Dan Brown; I am a huge fan of his books anyway after having read Inferno, and this sequel does not disappoint – its just as thought provoking and fascinating as his past novels.

To sum up the novel, without spoilers, the novel is a thriller following the Harvard professor Robert Langdon going to see an ex students presentation about a new discovery he has made. He then finds himself running for his life along with Museum manager Ambra Vidal. It follows all the places they visit and all of the organisations, people and architecture in the book are real which is really interesting.

Brown also touches on some very controversial topics including the ongoing religion vs science debate and the impact technology has on todays society. It is incredibly thought provoking; it made me question and want to find out more about the topic and the way in which science and religion both have parts to play in todays society. It makes you ask questions about the relevancy of religion in the modern world, about the impact new scientific discoveries have on society and about the conflicts that can occur due to the differences in opinion people have over answering these questions.

Religion is presented almost like a comfort blanket in the novel by some characters (although the protagonist, Robert Langdon, remains a bystander throughout) as an idea that people go to when the world does not give them clear answers. For example what happens when we die – science cannot yet give a definite or ‘nice’ answer so perhaps religion is that blanket to turn to. Other characters depict a world in which science can cause more suffering for example issues with the lack of morality and emotion in computers or a lack of hope amongst society due to the less romantic answers to some questions Science is trying to answer. In this way, Brown presents a clear discussion of these themes allowing the reader to make up their own mind of what the answer should be. Science or Religion or maybe even both, side by side?

Overall I would 100 percent recommend this novel, it follows a very similar story arc as to many of his other novels but the topics are very relevant and fascinating – I couldn’t put the book down, I was so eager to find out what was going to happen next. It not only feels like you are reading a thrilling novel but also learning a lot from it too.

Have you read Origin, If so what did you think?

Have you got a favourite book? I would love to know your book recommendations – please leave a comment below!

Thank you so much for reading 🙂

(This is all my own opinion, unless otherwise stated, about the book and the themes it entails. You may think completely different ideas about the themes or have different thoughts about the novel as a whole and I am happy to hear your opinions about them)

 

Book club: On My 2018 To Read List

Book Club

One of my resolutions was to read more. I have always loved reading but over the last couple of years schoolwork seems to have taken over and my passion for reading diminished a little. I am currently reading Origin by Dan Brown, an author whose books I have come to love, I’m about half way through and I’m hooked. Now it may be reading over schoolwork!

This is my  ‘to read’ list for the rest of the year…

Sense and sensibility – Jane Austin

I’ve been wanting to read one of Jane Austins novels for a while, I’ve seen the films and I really enjoyed Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austin apparently writes in a similar style. Its also one of those classics that I think will be really interesting to read.

Hidden Figures

The film was incredible, Looking at the women in Science who were behind making the Apollo mission possible but were never recognised at the time. Its supposed to be a really empowering read and a compelling look back into history.

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine

This is currently one of the best sellers on Waterstones and looks like a thought provoking story line.

To kill a mocking bird

This is one of my friends favourite books and she’s been urging for me to read it for a while. Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties through one man’s struggle for justice.

The Da Vinci Code

I am currently reading Origin, which is Dan Browns newest book of the Robert Langdon series, and I read inferno last year but I have never read the earlier books so I really want to read the first book to see where it all started. A lot of people say this is the best one too so really looking forward to reading it later this year.

Wild

I really enjoyed the film and it was a really poignant story about a woman who backpacks across America to find herself. I had wanted to read it before watching the film but I never got round to it – better late than never… right?

The Road

I think I am going to be reading this in English next year along with A handmaids tale and its always good to be ahead 😉 haha

A pair of silver wings

My dad recommended this book to me – he claims it to be one of the best books he’s ever read so i’m looking forward to seeing if I find it as good as he claims it to be.

If you have any book recommendations please let me know! It is such a struggle to find a good book and I hope that my reading list may have helped you. For my other recommendations please see my ‘book club’ section xx

 

Who Run The World?

Thoughts

Happy International Women’s Day! A day for us to recognise incredible women from the past and inspiring women now. Life for women has changed so much in the last century, women now having the opportunity to vote, be independent and, in the words of Beyonce, run the world.

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There are so many influential women out there from Malala and other advocates to all the leaders in the UK; the Prime minister, the head of Met police, the Queen etc to talented actresses to inspiring artists. All reminding us, that as women now, we can achieve anything.  But this isn’t the case for many places around the world. I feel so lucky to live in a part of the world where we are almost at gender equality, and its awful to think that in so many places women are still being discriminated against and abused. There are many charities dealing with this issue such as the Malala fund, and I think it is so important that on this day we think about those that are worse off than us and you can donate, to help all these women who are deprived of educations and prejudiced, on their website.

Something closer to home though that we can all do, Is to empower each other! I think it is awful when there are still so many people tearing each other down when we should be raising each other up. Encourage everyone to be the best person they can be and achieve their aspirations. I bet all those women throughout history had some close friends helping them achieve what they thought would be the impossible. Just think about the suffragettes, they all worked together to get the medias attention to be allowed to vote. That wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t empowered each other.

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There are many movies about some incredible women, here are my favourites if you fancy watching something with some seriously strong female leads on this international women day …

  1. The suffragette
  2. Wonder woman
  3. Hidden figures
  4. The iron lady
  5. Sex and the city
  6. Brave
  7. Sense and sensibility
  8. Alice in wonderland
  9. The Devil wears Prada

Or if reading is more you’re thing here are some equally inspiring books…

  1. Jane eyre
  2. Hidden figures
  3. I am Malala
  4. The diary of Anne Frank
  5. The colour Purple
  6. Yes please

I’d love to know your favourite books, movies or even songs that are about strong women in the comments! Go out and empower each other this Women’s day, you’ve got this.

Thank you so much for reading and thank you to all my girl friends and family who constantly inspire and encourage me, you know who you are! ❤

Who are the women in your life who inspire you? xxx

5 things all successful bloggers do

Thoughts

Blogging. It is so much more difficult than many think, or at least to make it successful anyway. And I by no means am talking to you as a ‘successful’ blogger. I know that I need to do more of these things, that I’ve picked up that a lot of  the bloggers we all love do that I’m about to share with you, a lot more often!

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So what makes a blog ‘successful’? I think that that all depends on what you want to achieve with your blog but personally I would like to increase my following and get other people interested in my blog posts. So these 5 things are what a lot of bloggers do to increase they’re following and get a lot of traffic to their blogs.

  1. Engagement – Liking and commenting on other peoples blog posts. Now this is something that you might get emails from WordPress of; Engaging with fellow bloggers and getting involved in the blogging community. I have to be honest, if ever I’m reading a blog, I always forget to like or comment on it but I am going to improve – i’m sorry WordPress!
  2. Photography – Creating visually inspirational posts. I am always attracted to posts with incredible photography. It keeps me interested and intrigued as to what the post is about whether its about fashion, a product or anything else its the photography that leads me in to want to find out more. The photography on a blog is a bit like the first page of a book – if you’re not hooked by then, then you’re unlikely to carry on reading. I always find the photography one of the most difficult parts though, because you’ve got to find the right location to take the photos, and if it’s a fashion post then you have to find someone who will take a good picture and you’ve got to find the right lighting… I could go on.
  3. Consistency – Publishing posts frequently and consistently. Keeping those that follow you interested and the more posts you post the more topics you will cover that will interest more people, driving more traffic to your blog.
  4. Social media – A lot of successful bloggers have youtube channels alongside their blog. And lets face it – more people are likely to visit youtube than to read a blog post which is such a shame – lets get people reading more egh? But also having instagram, in particular, is useful to advertise your blog just like a business would, apart from rather than selling a product you are selling yourself ( not in a prostitute way haha) .
  5. Interaction – replying to comments from readers on your own blog and being actively engaged with your followers is important to keep your followers keep coming back to your blog. And its all about word of mouth, if you’re followers love your blog and are impressed with your interaction with them then they are more likely to recommend your blog to their friends.

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I really hope that this helped you in some way to help grow your blog, and I think I need to start taking my own advise! haha.

Shop my outfit:

Coat – Zara (on sale)

Jeans – Zara

Jumper – Topshop (no longer available)

Rucksack – Fjalraven Kanken

Shoes – Old skool Vans