Monday, 25 February 2013

My Amazing Weekend

Last week I was stressed and feeling quite lady-emotional (you know what I mean, girls!). I was anxious about a couple of things I had coming up, I wasn't sleeping and I kind of fell out with one of my best friends, so I was just generally feeling poopy for a few days.

However… I've just had the best few days I've had in such a long time. You know when you have a great few days and it seems like everything that you were stressing or upset about before has just dissolved and all you can think of is the great things going on in your life? Well I feel like that right now.

So this post is really just to describe everything over the past few days that have made me feel this way! I think it is important to focus on the good things in your life and although bad things happen and they do take energy and deserve to be 'respected', they shouldn't be dwelled upon unnecessarily, so I am trying to take a much more positive outlook on life as much as I can. This is mainly due to the Being Happy video by Louise of Sprinkle of Glitter, which I will include at the end of this post. (It's 20 minutes long, but so worth it!) So this might be a very soppy post, for which I apologize in advance!

My amazing few days started with a really nice lunch in this cute tearoom in Huddersfield with my lovely friend Sarah, followed by a fantastic performance of an opera we are both the leading ladies in. It was attended by a sell-out audience, in a lovely venue and it went really well and was so well-received. I stayed at my director's house that night and got to hear the comments on the feedback forms, all of which were so complimentary and made me feel lovely. And on that note, even though it was a very last minute arrangement (made that day), my director was so hospitable and made me feel so at home, it was so nice – so thank you, Jane!

Lucia and wine
Yesterday didn't start amaaazingly, but that wasn't anything but the effects of nerves. I was up really early to get ready and leave for a train to London for an audition, and I had butterflies from the off. But I made myself eat (which I find so difficult when feeling sick with nerves!), and I left on time and the trains were all running smoothly so I got to London without any hitches and it was all good. However, another thing I was nervous about was travelling in London alone for the first time. I was sure that there would be lots of problems with the tubes and I'd need to find alternative routes and I would be late for my audition (although I had allowed 4 times the amount of time I actually needed!). But, even though some lines were down, mine wasn't so I got to my audition nice and early. I won't go into details about it, but my audition went well and I've got a recall. Yay! And even if it goes no further, I'll still be happy as I had a great time, learnt a lot in the short space of time I was there and met some really awesome, like-minded people.
Then I met up with one of my bestest friends Lucia (a.k.a. my "twinny", as we're very similar when we're together) and although I was already feeling good, the second I saw her, I could feel myself lighting up and any troubles just melting away. It's amazing how friends and family can do that sometimes. You just need to know they're there, and then everything is good. It's like going to that 'happy place' some people have, but it's 'happy people'. So that was great, then after we had gone to hers to regain some energy, we went out for a meal, some wine and lots of conversation at The Leather Bottle Pub which was looovely, and it was just one of the best evenings I've had in ages. Then we went home, had a cuppa and then fell asleep in front of Sex and the City. Perfect.

Today we had a lie-in and Lucia was so sweet and woke me up with a cup of tea – we like tea – and we chilled in front of Friends with bagels (thanks Luce!) before getting ready and going to Wimbledon. There, we went to the cinema and saw Les Mis. I cannot believe it has taken me this long to see that film. (For those of you reading who know me at all, I'm sure this will come as a huge shock to you. It's okay, I've seen it now. Take deep breaths. In and out.) And another shock is that I've never actually seen the stage show, only the anniversary concert DVDs. But considering yesterday was only the 3rd time in my life that I'd visited London, it's not too much of a biggy I suppose. Anyway, I loved the film. Of course I did. I found it very hard to not burst out into song in the cinema as of course I know pretty much all the music, but I refrained and was quite impressed by most of the singing (although Hugh Jackman is no comparison to Alfie Boe in Bring Him Home) and the acting was just wonderful. So I'm really pleased to have finally seen it, and thank you to Lucia for suggesting it, even though she'd already seen it before. Then we headed to Kings Cross for my train home. We were really early so we went up to a pub in the station for chips and pudding and a glass of wine (nutritious!), and then we said farewell and I left. It wasn't a sad goodbye though as I’ll see her in a couple of weeks. And although the massive delays on the train home could have tainted my mood, I'd had such a good few days and I sorted stuff out with my friend with whom I'd fallen out previously, so I just felt nice and warm and fuzzy. I got home to a lovely cosy house, a cuddle from my auntie and a cup of tea. And then eventually, I started writing this.

So to conclude, I’m feeling pretty happy right now. If anything, this is for me to look back on in times when I'm feeling low or disheartened to remind myself that there are so many good things going on in life that often don't get the credit they deserve (so stay positive, Wendy)!

Cheese over. I'm going to bed. Night night :)


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Making a Spectacle...

I got new glasses! Hooray!!

Now this may not be exciting to a lot of people, but 1) I'd had the same pair of glasses for almost 4 years and although lots of people actually complimented me on them, I wasn't sold (I did have another pair for the 3 years or so, but they were lost almost a year ago, not by me!) and 2) my lenses were 2 prescriptions old, so not very good for my eyes to focus between glasses-vision, contacts-vision (which are the correct prescription) and natural vision (short-sighted).

Now I don’t usually get this excited but I picked up my glasses yesterday and although it had taken mighty long for me to choose pairs in Specsavers last week (with much help from Weez and a lovely assistant called Dorothy), it was worth it as I really love them. I would go as far as to say that they’re 'specsy'. :) They're not designer or anything, but still cost enough to get the 2 for 1 offer that Specsavers have (which is such a good idea, I’m pleased it’s a permanent deal). So I went from this…

…to this!

And this!

Do you like them? I have a wide face/head and as so many specs these days are not wide, I find it really hard to find pairs that suit me and I like.

The only thing I’m not massive on with these pairs though is that it is super noticeable that I didn't opt for the ‘Ultraclear’ anti-glare/reflection coating this time. It costs £30 per pair and as I am trying to budget as much as possible right now, I figured “how bad can it be without it?”… The answer is: pretty bad. I’ve only been wearing them since lunchtime yesterday and within the first hour I kept on having to take them off to inspect as I thought they were dirty (which obviously they weren't as they were brand new) until I realised what the problem was. The reflection from lights and the sun actually make vision harder, and on the other side of the lens, I notice that more things are reflected onto the glass (you know like with aviators; they’re like mirrors? Like that). So I don’t know if there’s the option to get the coating on them now that I've already got them, but if there is I’m definitely going to go for it. I’ll just have to fork out the money, as this is one case where I actually think it is worth the £30 each.

Having said that though, they’re still pretty :) Right, I’m off to enjoy them now!

Byeee x

Sunday, 17 February 2013

My Family

As I will probably be mentioning them from time to time, I figured I should probably give some details about the members of my family quite early on, so anyone reading has a better picture of who they are.

I am very close to my family, and although I have been living almost 400 miles away from them for about 9-10 months of the year since 2008, they are still the most important thing in my life and I don’t know what I’d do without them. I’ll just get to it.

(l-r) my dad, niece, sister and mum
So, in the order of the photo:

Dad and me
My dad (Iain)
I love my dad so much. He’s the only male in our family, so I’m surprised at how well he copes (us girls are all a bit crazy individually, so together we can be downright scary). I call him Papple – don’t know why – and when I go home I make sure to get as many fleecy cuddles from him as possible (i.e. cuddles when he’s wearing his fleece - he's like a big teddy bear). He’s all about music, computers, cars and curry, so he’s quite a dab hand at many things. Very dad-like.

My niece (Aria) 
Aria my little angel. Well not always, but she’s very close to it! She’s just turned 8 and I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. I feel like another mother to her (I lived at home with her for the first few years of her life, so helped to bring her up – I like to think anyway!). We are very close and very similar: apparently she is like a clone of me at that age, evidenced by my mum constantly calling her Wendy (and me Aria…). I sometimes want to cry when I think of how much I love her.

Me and Weez
My sister (Louise)
I call my sister Weez. This is how I used to pronounce her name when I was little and I haven’t stopped! She is my best friend in the whole world and I can speak to her about absolutely anything and everything. She’s shorter than me by 3 inches so I have to bend for cuddles – I’m the younger so should be the ‘under-cuddler’ I think! She’s older than me by 3 years but looks after me like a second mum. She’s awesome.

My mum
My mum (Susan)
Superwoman. She has a super stressful job and battles with being ill a lot of the time (she’s very prone to colds and has had some pretty bad bouts of Labrynthitus) but you wouldn't tell a lot of the time: she still manages to be the best mum ever and is there for me whenever I need her. At times she is quite ditsy (which can be hilarious), her cooking is of course the best and she has incredible social skills. And she’s squidgy so grrreat to cuddle! And she's beautiful.

Also have to mention my auntie and uncle, Anne and Steve. They have been such a support to me over the last few years of living in Yorkshire, to the extent of even opening their door and having me live with them for 12 months over the past year and a half. I love them to bits, and will never be able to thank them enough for everything they've done for me.

(l to r) Steve, my cousin Ed, me, Anne

So in a nutshell (kind of), that's my family. Here are a few more pics from the last few years to finish off.

Mum, Aria, Weez
Aria on her first day of school (she looks so nervous!)
Dad and Aria
My crazy mother
My granny (mum's mum) being a thug
My late Grandpa (dad's dad) and Aria
My late Gran (dad's mum) and Aria
Crazy Papple!
Crazy Weez, Granny, Mummy and Aria!
All of us at my Graduation '11


Friday, 15 February 2013

Things I am loving at the moment: February

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (book and film)

To give you a bit of a context, I used to be terrible at reading books. I was more into films, and though I had tried a few times to sit down and get into a book, it just never worked. Until I read The Hunger Games Trilogy at the beginning of summer last year. Then everything changed and I constantly had a book on the go. For that reason, I only got round to reading the Harry Potter books last Autumn. (I know, shocking! Just a decade later than everyone else my age!)

Anyway, I read one, then watched the film; then read the next book, watched next film; etc. It was from this that I got an interest in Emma Watson as an actress. I wondered: “What must it be like to have been filming in the same series of films for over half your life and from such a young age?” “How must that have shaped you as an actor?” “I can’t imagine her playing any other part now!” (…and so on.) I then started researching what she’d done since HP, and was reminded of a film I had wanted to see when it was released in the cinema called The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I unfortunately hadn't got round to seeing it whilst it was in theatres, so I did a bit more research on it, and was quite intrigued. As I knew I’d have to wait a couple of months before the film would be released on DVD, I decided to read the book first.

Wow. What a wonderful book. I won’t go into details about the storyline so as to not spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but I will say that it is moving, educational (in a way), it lifts your spirits and is just lovely, lovely, lovely. Quite different from any of the books I have read since the start of my ‘reading-revelation’. I have since bought and watched the film, and it lives up to the hype. The main three characters (played by Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller) are just perfectly portrayed and just make the film amazing. I have to say Lerman’s performance was exceptionally good.

So even if you’re not into books (like I used to be), the film is a definite  ‘must watch’.

Rocket Volume Express Mascara by Maybelline

I have been a big fan of Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara recently and was lucky enough to be given one for Christmas. However, I have a new favourite in the form of the Rocket! (FYI, I bought it from Boots last week, and it was on offer for £5.99, down from £7.99.)

It sounds so trivial and lame to say this, but I take pride in my eyelashes, ha! I would spend a long time making them pretty. But with this baby, I don’t need to spend a long time on them. They give such great volume; I actually find it is noticeable from a distance. I’ll catch myself in a mirror a couple of meters away and think “gosh, my lashes look good today!” And when I’m in too much of a rush to put a full face of make-up on, I chuck this mascara on and I almost don’t notice all the blemishes and imperfections on the rest of my face.

The actual brush of the Rocket is quite similar to Max Factor’s False Lash Effect mascara: it’s made of that silicone-y stuff (I’m not a beauty guru, I don’t know!) instead of bristles, and it catches my lashes so easily. And I would usually have to apply coat after coat after coat of other mascaras to achieve the voluminous effect I get from just one (or at most 2) coat(s) of the Rocket. Plus, in direct comparison with They’re Real by Benefit: the Rocket dries much quicker after application and doesn't rub onto the skin beneath my eyebrows later in the day like They’re Real does. Considering it would be considered quite a cheap mascara compared to what’s out there, I really don’t know what else it could do to be better. (And, if you haven’t guessed – I love the name: Rocket. Rocket. It’s just fun to say.) In conclusion, it seems I could go to the moon and back and be hard pressed to find a mascara that tops the ROCKET.


I have been doing a lot of research into plays recently, including a lot of Shakespeare.

Shakespeare is possibly the most famous playwright ever, but I had never really given him the time of day to find out why. I had studied Twelfth Night at school and did some work on Titus Andronicus with Scottish Youth Theatre many a year ago, but other than that my knowledge was very limited. As someone who wants to pursue a performing career, I decided I needed to buckle down and find out what all the fuss was about.

I started with MacBeth. As one of his greatest tragedies, I did find the language a bit of getting used to, and of course constantly going back and forth between the dialogue and definitions of the dialogue, it was a bit laborious to begin with. But once I got into it, I thoroughly enjoyed it and was quite happy to continue my pursuit of plays. I then read Romeo and Juliet and LOVED IT. Another tragedy, it was so much more beautiful in the poetic speeches and the very last 2 lines just cut me to the core: ‘For never was a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.’ Whyyy?! If only Friar John had delivered the letter to Romeo in time… Oh well. Anyway, I’ve just finished my 3rd Shakespeare play, As You Like It. A comedy this time, and a fab one at that. And one whose leading role is female, which seems to be quite rare for Shakespeare (as I’ve learnt from my research). It has pretty much a ‘happily ever after’ ending, making a nice change to the previous plays, and which I love anyway (I am quite the fan of chick flicks!).

So what I’m trying to say is: give Shakespeare a go. It really is awesome reading, and you’ll find out where all these well-known phrases like “The world is a stage” and “Knock knock! Who’s there?” come from! (Anyone thinking “I can’t afford to buy all these Shakespeare plays to read”, they were written centuries ago so are no longer under copyright, and therefore can be found online.)


So I thought I would start my own blog. Only recently did I start to get into reading blogs, and it seems like a lot of fun, plus a chance to de-stress (at times) and make some new friends. So here we are.

To be honest, this blog could be about anything (or everything); we’ll just see how things go!

If you'd like to find out a bit about me, please visit my About section. Here is where you'll find probably most of the topics I’ll be writing about (at least for the near future), so keep checking back and you’ll find out more bit by bit. Let’s take it slow ;)

That’s all I’ll say for now, as it’s starting to sound like a profile on an online dating site.

Anyway, I am interested in finding new blogs to read, so if you think I’d be interested in what you have to say on your site, do let me know!