Top 5 Podcasts I Can’t Stop Listening To

I was originally a bit late to the podcast party, but ever since I switched from music to podcasts as my commute distraction of choice I’ve been hooked. I love that I can expand my mind and learn new things while walking to work or sitting on a train, and they’re also a great way to feel like you’re doing something productive when you feel too tired to read a book or write. Today I wanted to talk about some of my favourite podcasts, and why you should be downloading them right now. Continue reading

Smoothies at Moments Cafe, Leeds

Little Things To Do In Leeds To Make You Feel Happy

We all have those down days or weeks – the ones where work is stressing us out or the to-do list is getting longer and longer or the city just seems a little bit too loud. My go-to solution when I feel down in the dumps is to book a holiday, but as much as we’d like it to be jetting off into the sunset whenever life feels a bit dreary isn’t always an option. So here’s my list of little things in Leeds that never fail to cheer me up. Continue reading

The Opposite of Loneliness, Marina Keegan

“We Have So Much Time”: On The Opposite of Loneliness

Aside from my Reading Challenge updates, I don’t really do book reviews on my blog. I think my English degree past leaves me worried that I’ll either come across as a pretentious twat, or try so hard to avoid coming across as a pretentious twat that I end up oversimplifying my thoughts to a mind-numbing extent. Whatever the reason, I usually just stick to short comments on my Goodreads account and discussions with my fellow bookworm pals, and that’s enough. But recently I read Marina Keegan’s The Opposite of Loneliness, and it got under my skin. It’s still there. So I’m going to try and put into words exactly what pulled me so deeply into this book, and why if you only read one thing this year, this should be it. Continue reading

Lake Bled, Slovenia

5 Ways My Gap Year Changed How I Travel

On the 26th August, an anniversary passed quietly by – three years since I stepped off the final flight of my seven-month trip around the world. In those seven months I visited eight countries, stayed in countless hostels and spent more money than I wish to share, and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. Aside from being a whole lot of fun, it was a massive learning curve for me in terms of tackling new and extremely different cultures, learning to live on a shoestring and adapting to a whole new way of travelling. Here are a few of the ways my gap year changed how I travel for good… Continue reading

Same Same, But Different

If you’ve ever been to Thailand, you’ll know there’s a phrase that you see everywhere. Same same, but different. One of its most common uses is to refer to fake designer goods, but is also used more generally to mean something that’s largely the same, but with some small differences. Right now that’s kid of how my life feels. Same same, but different.

On the surface, not that much has changed in my life since I got back from my gap year travelling in August 2013. I’m still living in Leeds, close to my family, working for the same company who gave me my first proper job and hanging out with my Leeds-based friends who I’ve known since high school. But if you look a little closer, there are so many differences which reassure me I haven’t wasted the last three years (unless I have. Have I wasted the last three years? Oh god, what am I doing with my life?) Shush brain! Moving swiftly on… Continue reading

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Places I Can’t Wait to Revisit

As a rule I don’t like to go back to the same places when I travel – my reasoning is that there are so many amazing things to see and do in the world, revisiting places I’ve already been to is a waste of my limited money and annual leave. But sometimes I go to a place and know that I’ll have to come back one day, whether it’s to see different parts of a country, have an experience I missed the first time around, or just to dip back into a culture that I loved so much. So today I want to talk about all the places I know I’ll go back to someday, and am already excited to revisit. Continue reading

Why Ghostbusters Is The Film All Little Girls Need To See

On Saturday night, I went to the cinema for the first time in god-knows-how-long, handing over the extortionate amount of cash Vue now charges and settling down with a knot in the pit of my stomach and one thought running through my mind.

“Please be good.”

Why? Because I was here to see the new Ghostbusters, which was subjected to huge amounts of criticism, outrage and downright vitriol online after it was announced that the cast would be played by *gasp* women. Legions of whiny men took to the internet to claim that their childhoods would be ruined, apparently sparing no thought for all the girls and women who have grown up accustomed to their gender being sidelined in film since the dawn of Hollywood. I was lucky enough to have a fairly gender-neutral upbringing, but I’ve still put up with years of seeing my gender reflected back at me as one-dimensional, hyper-sexualised secondary characters. I wanted Ghostbusters to be the anti-thesis of all these lazy character profiles, but I also really wanted it to simply be a good film. Continue reading

Moving house stress-free - hang pictures

How to Move House Every Year Without Losing Your Mind

As I recently discussed in a post about the frustrations of flat hunting, I move house a lot. Since leaving my childhood home at 18 to go to university I’ve had 9 addresses in 7 years – changes I made largely by choice, but that doesn’t make the process any less tedious and stressful. It does, however, turn you into something of a pro when it comes to packing up your life and quickly fitting it into a new place. Whether you’re moving out of uni halls, breaking up with a boyfriend who owns the house you share or being bribed by your landlord to live in a temporary property for one month (and yes, all three of those things that have happened to me), these tips should help you complete your move and settle in fast with the minimum amount of hassle. Continue reading

A Day of Belonging

Yesterday was a day of belonging. One of those warm, comforting days where you fit like the last jigsaw piece into every situation you’re in, snug and safe in the perfectly imperfect life you’ve built for yourself. In a world where we all feel unsure of ourselves so much of the time these days are hard to come by, so I wanted to share mine with you. Continue reading

Feeling Love at Big Disco

There are so many things I love about Leeds. I love the nightlife and the food, the buildings and the buzz, I love the feeling of coming home as I sit on a train and watch the skyline slide into view. But most of all I love how inclusive the city feels, the number of places you can go and see people of all ages, races, styles and professions mingling together, united by their love for a bar, or a cause, or some bloody good food. Let’s be honest – after the last few weeks, we could all do with a bit of unity. Continue reading