This morning I watched a YouTube video by artist mxmtoon where she created a PowerPoint to rank her Animal Crossing: New Horizon villagers. And that got me thinking…should I do the same? The simple answer is of course yes. So, meet the villagers of Deliaton!
Least Favourite (No 6):
Calls me Cardio and only talks about working out.
Bad at interior design.
Keeps away from other villagers.
Always ill or sweating?
His name reminds me that Big Bang Theory is a thing and that’s a crime within itself.
Honestly, might have him kicked out soon.
A Permanent Visitor (No 5):
A bulky boy with a smug face.
Horrible fashion sense.
Never teach me anything or gives me recipe cards.
Nook forced me to invite him to live in Deliaton…
Just not vibing with this camper turned resident.
Shape of Water (No 4):
Been there since the start.
Always giving me recipe cards.
Has given me some ugly furniture as a gift.
Only ever see her in the town square, doesn’t seem to explore other areas of the island.
Likes to fish outside her house.
I like Diva, she’s a valued neighbour with a strange taste in furniture.
Pep in Her Step (No 3)
Always exploring, reading books, and running up to me to chat.
She’s taught me different emotional reactions.
Supper sweet even when you give her weird presents.
A peppy villager who I can support.
I invited her to Deliaton for a reason. She’s the cheerleader we all need in life.
A Woodland Walker (No 2):
Classed as ‘lazy’ but is just super chill.
His home is so cozy and reminds me of autumn in the woods.
Wears the same clothes 24/7 – yet I’ve never seen him sweat so I guess it’s fine.
Likes to observe and catch bugs.
He’s a lovely lazy boy that I want to protect.
A Dumbass in Disguise (No 1):
Dresses like a grandma.
Always wants to chat to me and any visitors.
Doesn’t understand the meaning behind words and thus calls my friend ‘Inexperienced Crybaby’.
Just super normal and I love her.
I’m personally offended that mxmtoon kicked her out of her town…
Well, I hope you enjoyed that! We do have a new villager who is moving in today called Boyd. First impressions tell me I won’t be a big fan of a cranky gorilla villager, but we’ll wait and see.
I understand that this may be bottom of the barrel content, but I had fun writing it and cracking jokes about my villagers.
Who are your favourite villagers? What do you think of the guys above? Let me know down below.
I think it’s fair to say that things are a little wild right now. The UK is currently under lock down and I am self-isolating with my best friend in Lancaster. As someone with mental health issues, it’s no underestimate to say that this lock down is going to F me up.
My Current Situation
I’ve been placed on furlough at work which means I’m not allowed to do anything for my company. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I get laid off – it’s a small business and it’ll take a while for the workload to increase in a way that’d justify my return to work. That means I have nothing to do with my spare time.
I rely on work to get me out the house, motivate me to be productive, and give my life order. I realise how fortunate I am to be able to self-isolate at a time like this, but this doesn’t lessen the concern I have for my own mental health. Plus, I’m highly aware that everyone is sick of reading about different people’s isolation experiences which is why I’m not going into specifics about supermarkets and daily walks, etc.
I’ve created a list of bits and bobs I hope to do throughout the coming weeks to keep myself busy (a separate post to come). However, I don’t want to fall into the trap of feeling like I have to be productive. The world is in a state right now, this pandemic has really highlighted class divides, inequality, and how selfish some people are. So with this in mind no one should feel the pressure to be productive, to make the most of this time inside, etc etc however other blogs want to phrase it. It’s okay to just exist and focus on escapism.
That being said, I harbour no bad feelings towards anyone trying to make the most of their time or my work for placing me on furlough – we’re all just trying to figure this out and come out the other end in the best condition possible.
Keswick Film Festival
Before attending KFF at the end of February, I did a post all about what I wanted to see and do throughout the weekend. You can find that here. I had BIG plans and my goal was to do a follow up post about my experience, highlights of the weekend, and which movies really stood out.
Sadly, I got food poisoning before the Festival even began. It was bad. I spent the majority of the weekend suffering and confined to my hotel room (props to my friend Adam who stuck by me through it all and made sure I didn’t die). And, I think it’s fair to say following a fairly traumatic public vomiting sesh, I am probably bard from that hotel for life.
We did however manage to see The Farewell, Parasite, and the Ospery Film Awards on Saturday. I cried all the way through The Farewell, cheered throughout the Ospery Film Awards, and was pleasantly surprised by Parasite.
Overall, it was a good weekend. I just wish I could have helped out more and suffered less.
How are you coping with the current state of things? Let’s start a conversation down below.
Last year I volunteered at the Keswick Film Festival. It was an amazing experience seeing films I otherwise would not have had the chance to see, meeting actress Alice Lowe, and spending the weekend hanging out with some amazing people.
So, of course this year I volunteered again! Taking place from the 27th February to the 1st March 2020, Keswick Film Club’s annual Festival is set to be just as amazing as 2019’s.
My experience last year was only possible because my University covered travel with the Bright Future’s Fund, while the festival organisers covered accommodation. For a student, having travel and accommodation covered really took a lot of the stress out of venturing to Keswick for a weekend where I would be surrounded by people I didn’t know.
I was anxious but excited for a weekend of film. What I didn’t expect was just how much I’d enjoy hanging out with the other volunteers. When I arrived at the Theatre by the Lake on Friday morning, I met the loveliest bunch of Film and TV students.
As volunteers, we were offered free entry to all films, including student showcases like ‘Popcorn’, the Ospery Short Film Awards, and featured pictures/events. When we weren’t sat in the Theatre, we’d be handing out voting slips, directing visitors, posting on social media, conducting questionnaires, and just generally having a grand old time.
Plus, the Festival Co-ordinator, Ian Payne was the nicest chap and bought us coffees while we manned the front desk throughout the day.
Sometimes Always Never. Participating in a Q&A with actress Alice Lowe and Director Carl Hunter. Nervously asked Alice a question on my friend’s behalf and still have her answer saved in the audio files of my phone to this day.
Balloon by Emma Smith. Shown as part of ‘Popcorn’. Check it out on Youtube.
Theory of Nothing by Kitty Handley. Shown as part of ‘Popcorn’. Check it out on Youtube.
Fellowship of Hill, and Wind, and Sunshine. Shown as part of the Ospery Film Awards.
This year’s a little different as I’ll be joined by my friend, Adam. This time around my role will be mostly the same, however instead of this being a 3 day trip, I’ll be in Keswick for 5 days, taking in the town and working on personal projects when I am not helping at the Theatre.
I want to take things easy and try to avoid getting burnt out. Where last year I was out and about 12-13 hours of the day, constantly surrounded by other people, this year I want to enjoy more ‘Me’ time. After all, I work a 9-5 that I must return to bright and early Monday morning. Plus, as someone with an anxiety disorder, being in a ‘unfamiliar’ environment surrounded by people 24/7 can be exhausting, and I need to learn to take a step back and relax.
Therefore, unlike last year I’ll be on hand Thursday evening at the Alhambra for the opening film. Then, Friday morning my friend and I will make our way to the Theatre by the Lake where we’ll propose creating a rota with other volunteers to ensure there’s always help, but that no one gets burnt out.
Throughout the weekend I should be moving between the Theatre by the Lake, The Alhambra, and my hotel room. Maybe I’ll do some shopping, dine out and explore the market on Sunday, but those extra activities will depend on my mental state.
As I’ll be present for the entire Festival, I thought it only fair that I take advantage of our free tickets. Below is a list of all the films I plan to cross off my IMDB watchlist, accompanied by a student film showcase and the Ospery Short Film Awards.
Synopsis: After their home life is turned upside down, three children and the family’s donkeys escape across the backbone of Northern England, confronting both the harsh landscapes and what it means to be siblings.
Director: Richard Heap
The Patron’s Legacy Project
An afternoon of multi-media performances from the students who, this year, have taken their inspiration from the films of Tilda Swinton.
Only Lovers Left Alive
A depressed musician reunites with his lover. Though their romance, which has already endured several centuries, is disrupted by the arrival of her uncontrollable younger sister.
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Ospery Film Awards
A celebration of local film making where a selection of short films are showcased, with the audience voting for their favourite to win the Audience Award.
A Chinese family discovers their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decide to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies.
Director: Lulu Wang
A poor family, the Kims, con their way into becoming the servants of a rich family, the Parks. But their easy life gets complicated when their deception is threatened with exposure.
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
On an isolated island in Brittany at the end of the eighteenth century, a female painter is obliged to paint a wedding portrait of a young woman.
Director: Céline Sciamma
I am so excited for things to kick off. Will you be attending? What do you think of the films on this list? Share your opinions in the comments below!
*Warning: I did not optimise any of these images, so please be patient with the art loading*
Over a year ago, I put together a list of Artists to Follow Online. This list featured 6 amazing artist whose work had touched and inspired me. It was a list featuring beauty and talent from people whose work I wish I could afford.
Now, I present a new list: Artists to Follow on Instagram. Funnily enough, this list features females only. Unintentional as it is, I feel like with the revelation of my sexuality and heightened awareness of feminine issues, it only makes sense that my taste in art would gravitate towards the works of women.
So without further ado, here’s 8 artists you should be following on Instagram.
First on our list is Sacrée Frangine. A creative duo of artistic directors and illustrators, Celia and Aline have been partners in graphic design since 2016.
The work of the Frangines is inspired by portraits, still life and feminine themes that explore the beauty of simple things and everyday life.
Celia and Aline
Their work focuses on minimalist compositions that portray a harmony between shapes and colours. Some of my favourite work features bold, coloured areas, silhouettes, and a mix of yellow and burnt orange.
With a portfolio comprised of abstract and figurative pieces, their work emits positive, calm vibes.
Inspired by what captures her attention, whether it be natural, man made, light/shadow, colour, or structure, Sonal’s work is full of passion.
Her work can be found not only on canvas, but on any surface she deems in need of beautification. Her process typically involves beginning with a painted or hand drawn motif which is then developed digitally to create bold, colourful designs for products and textiles.
I am infinitely inspired by nature. My work embraces color, a free spirit and the beauty of imperfection.
Originally from the Peak District, Sara now creates art in New York. Taking inspiration from the tiny details seen in nature and her everyday surroundings, she creates these unique, calming, and colourful illustration.
Her primary materials are watercolours, gouache, and ink pen which add an imperfect authenticity to every piece. Buildings are crooked and roads are winding, and yet every speck of detail draws you in to these real, but romanticised landscapes.
Laura is an Australian abstract artist who runs online classes, a store, and an excellent podcast (I am obsessed). Her work combines so many colours in soft shades. She layers watercolour with pens, patterns, and acrylics.
Right now I am high-key tempted to sign up to her ‘Abstract Adventuring Online Class’ which is currently 20% off.
Beginning very early in life, Hannah found a deep love for art and design in Primary School. Now, she’s studying a Fine Arts Degree at Lancaster University. I was lucky enough to live with this amazing artist last year and whether she was doodling for fun or painting for her portfolio, her work is always stunning.
She has experience working with textiles, silk screen printing, clay, wood, acrylic, water colours, and oil paint.
Currently I am working with the concept of art as a process or a product. Exploring through different uses of mixed media I.e. stencils, colour and collage. My themes constantly change cause I believe that no art work is the exact same and therefore my art work constantly changes and evolves.
Hannah understands that inspiration comes from everywhere and weaves in elements of Salvidor Dail, Jackson Pollarck and fascism artists Henri Mattis and Andre Derain.
I was introduced to Kasia’s work at a pop-up exhibit last year. Hosted in partnership with my housemate (Georgina Harris, who’s name you may recognise from my previous ‘Artists to Follow‘ post), the work showcased at the Living in Time and Space exhibit really hit me.
Kasia’s art offers a whole unique experience. Focusing on memory and identity, she manages to illustrate the complexities our identities face and how they are constantly in flux.
In the process of creating my work I allow myself longer periods of time where I attempt to recall from memories very personal to myself (this could be anything from specific events/people/objects/places or associations which come and go in the space of seconds).
To portray this, Kasia uses charcoal and pencil which offers a temporary, ethereal feel.
A freelance illustrator from Russia, Anastasia’s art has been used in picture books, advertisements, magazines and posters. It seems simple at first glass, but her work is more reminiscent of Gris the video game, mentioned in my last ‘Artists to Follow’ post.
I would love to explore her work in an interactive medium as each piece/series crafts a story purely through the power of visuals. This narrative is evocative, emotional, and really lends itself to further contemplation.
I discovered Chloe’s work while I was searching for Sailor Moon fan art. Yes, that’s something I do. And in my search I found this amazing piece of digital art depicting Sailor Mars (as seen below).
I’m not sure what it is about Chloe’s work that keeps me hooked, but I cannot resist staring at each piece. Perhaps it’s the way she doesn’t shy from depicting female bodies as feminine, perhaps it’s the fashion, or even the winged eye-liner. I’ll never know. All I know is that I won’t be clicking ‘unfollow’ any time soon.
Like this list? Make sure to give all these artists a follow and check out their online stores so you can enjoy their beautiful work offline as well!
2020 marks the start of a new decade and I’m daunted with the prospect of another 10 years….y’know before climate change wipes us off the face of the planet in 2030. Bad joke? Please donate to Australia’s fire relief.
In all seriousness, now that I’ve graduated I really want to work on myself and find more in life to be excited about. I want to work on passion projects, make rubbish art, and indulge in every area of film, video games, and literature that I can.
However, the majority of my goals for 2020 are life related: home, work, and travel. They’re goals that’ll hopefully set me up for an exciting future, one where there’s always something fun around the corner. So, without further ado, here’s my top 5 goals of 2020.
Say goodbye to Lancaster
Back in 2016, I moved to Lancaster for University. Though I was used to moving around Middlesbrough and Stockton, Lancaster was the first place I truly got to live alone. Now I’m in my fourth year of residency and I’m ready to move on.
In my time here, I found that this town is perfect for students and graduates, but there is only so much you can do. I’ve discovered every nook and cranny, tried every cup of coffee, and even explored the wider area. This year, it’s time for me to move on and let my student life go.
Move away from my laptop
As a digital marketing assistant, I spend the majority of my day on the computer. Then, when I come home I open up my laptop, pop on Brooklyn Nine Nine or some Youtube videos and spend the next three hours staring at the screen before drifting off to sleep.
It’s not a healthy lifestyle and my eyes are begging me to chill out.
In 2020, I want to take a step back from the screen. Instead I want to spend my evenings painting, reading, or hanging out with a friend – something that really lets me relax and let go after a busy work day.
Establish healthy eating habits
I have terrible eating habits. Plain and simple. I rely on snacks, oats, and yogurt, rarely cooking a proper meal. And it’s evident that it’s affecting my day-to-day life.
So, for 2020 I need to stop eating like a starving student and actually focus on keeping my body running and alive.
There’s so much I want to do, responsibilities that require my full attention and focus, and if my body can’t keep up I’m not going to make it far.
Write more for myself
This is a goal I have every year. “Don’t just write for an assignment”, “Do something creative outside of class”, blah de blah. But since my graduation back in July, I haven’t done any creative writing.
I have projects from my Uni days that I’m dying to revisit, to improve, and fall in love with again; but damn is my brain not cooperating. Maybe I’m burning myself out by writing so much for work? I’m constantly doing blogs and social media content, so other creative endeavours just don’t seem as important.
But this year, I’d really like to revisit a play I’d written in 2018. Set over one evening, Olivia and Emmy celebrate their 3rd anniversary. They go for a walk in the park, a meal, and dessert. But old issues resurface as Olivia realises that proposing might not lead the happily ever after she’s been hoping for.
I’d like to explore a lesbian relationship that has over a decade of history, love, memories, and all the ups and downs. I want it to be heart-warming but realistic; an avenue to craft compelling dialogue. I want it to be something that’d have me crying all night as I relive every moment, the thrilling and the devastating.
I really want it to be something just for me. And if other people like it, that’d be cool.
In April 2019, I joined a friend in Paris. And, it was AMAZING. Did the Notre Dame set on fire while I was napping in my hostel? Yes. But was every other aspect of the trip utterly surreal, beautiful, and fun? Definitely yes.
We visited the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower. I discovered beignets, drank delicious coffee, and feasted like a king.
In 2020, I’d like to return and visit places we didn’t explore last time: Sacré-Cœur, Place de la Bastille, Petit Palais and so much more. The city is surprisingly easy to navigate, has beautiful gardens everywhere, and everyone I spoke to was really friendly.
In the very far future I’d love to live there for a time working in the video game industry and living my own gay fantasy. But, we’ll just have to see.
How will you be changing your life in 2020? Leave a comment down below!
For those unfamiliar with my writing roots I started out as a book blogger. Ah the days where I would obsessively read, review, and discuss books, take part in readathons and even host giveaways. I had so much motivation before University stomped all over me. But here I am, creating a post to one, pay omache to my origins and two, maybe actually get some reading done?
So, here’s my TBR list of books I wish to read before the end of 2019.
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
I still like YA, shoot me. Did I just graduate from University with a degree in English Literature, yeah. Did any of my studies improve my taste, heck no.
But, after watching the Netflix movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before I needed to read this series. And, imma tell you now I am a soppy girl when it comes to cutesy romcoms. They’re easy to dip in and out of, full of low stake drama, and generally fun.
To All the Boys follows Lara Jean, a girl who feels love so intensely she needs to write down her thoughts in a love letter that she’ll never send. But one day those letters get out and she must deal with the ensuing romcom shenanigans. The first book is fluffy and heartfelt as Lara Jean struggles to understand her feelings for the different boys in her life.
So much of love is chance. There’s something scary and wonderful about that.
Jenny Han, P.S I Still Love You
I’m around 40% through P.S. I Still Love You and I’m loving it. The narrative progresses naturally from the first book and you quickly slide back into Lara Jean’s shoes as she discovers new relationships and experiences. This is one of those books I keep on my phone so that I can dip in during my lunch break or while sat on the train because it’s accessible and a joy to read.
The first book picked for @theslowtravelersbookclub, Three Women is a non-fiction story 8-year-in-the-making. A significantly more adult novel than that above, this collection chronicles the sex lives of three women across America.
In a world where it seems that men are always open about their sexual desires, it’s rare to hear women discuss the matter. But in reality sex is just as important to us as it is to men, if not more.
Lisa Taddeo dedicated years to exploring feminine desire and how women of different religions and background experience it.
Sometimes there’s nothing better on earth than someone asking you a question.
Lisa Taddeo, Three Women
Sure to be a fascinating read, this novel comes to me at a time where I’m still trying to understand and become comfortable with my urges. It’s a long road and no doubt this book will allow me to explore it further. Plus, as a book club read I am extremely excited to discuss Taddeo’s work with fellow women come November 30th.
For anyone who has been anywhere on the internet over the past few years you’ve likely heard the name ‘Brock Turner’, how he was painted by the media and the way his case passed through the court. You’ve probably also heard the name ‘Emily Doe’.
Well this is her story. Chanel Miller recently came forward as ‘Emily Doe’ after years of media attention on the case and name ascribed to her. Her case highlighted major flaws in the American justice system, the stigma surrounding rape victims, and racial bias.
We force her to think hard about what this will mean for his life, even though he never considered what his actions would do to her.
Chanel Miller, Know My Name
Before purchasing this book I first wanted to read the sample to determine whether I could handle to material. And, while the beginning of the book gets right into the immediate aftermath of that night, Chanel’s voice and turn of phrase keeps you engaged, sympathetic, and understanding. This is surely a read that’s going to affect me deeply and I’m open to recieving every message Chanel puts forward.
Also, I want to say how incredibly brave Chanel is to come forward, to put her name out there and share every detail of her experience for the world to digest. I am in awe of her willpower and do not take reading this memoir lightly. It’ll certainly be interesting to discover how her words have shaped the minds of others.
There we go, the books I’ll hopefully be finishing before December 31st. I wanted to keep this list short and realistic, while also expressing how my tastes have changed. While I still love YA, it’s a genre I will dip in and out of in the future instead of marathoning.
As I am hopefully getting back into reading, I would like to shift my focus more to feminist/feminine experience texts. Right now, I don’t hear many female experiences in my daily life with a quiet office environment, male best friend, and no close relationship to females near my age. So reading literature like this will hopefully allow me to learn more about my own gender, our relationships and experiences.