A familiar stranger book review

Recently I had the pleasure of reviewing A familiar stranger by Matthew Williams. I was given a copy of the book for the purpose of being reviewed by Matthew. I’m not getting paid to write about it, and the fact that I was given the copy of the book won’t impact my review of it, so don’t worry you’ll still be getting my honest thoughts.

The collection is based around the realities of living a modern day life. It covers topics from mental health to politics, big life events and day to day encounters. There is at least one poem in there for everyone.

The author isn’t afraid to play around with layout and stanza length to, it’s a contemporary collection. You’re not going to get bored with this collection, every poem has it’s own unique spin. It’s a credit to Matthew’s ability as a poet.

The layout of this collection is very well thought out, it add to the pleasantness of the reading experience. There’s four chapters within the collection, off of which could be their own collection as they stand if I’m honest. These chapters, living, loving, falling and rising, will then be the theme of the poems that follow. Continue reading “A familiar stranger book review”

Dear Social Media, lets break up

Dear Social Media.

I’ve known you for a while and I can say that I can’t stand you. Hate feels like too strong of a word and anyway, if I truly hated you then why do I spend so much time with you?

I guess you’re something I love to hate.

I don’t know what it is about you, maybe it’s the way you keep me entertained, maybe it’s the way you show me adventures and beautiful places I would have never imagined existed. Maybe its the funny cat videos and the cute puppies that bring a smile to my face. Maybe it’s the dopamine rush I get from people liking a picture of mine.

No matter what it is, I can’t seem to put you down.

You make me feel connected, yet I’ve never been so lonely. I can’t remember the last time I spoke to some of the people on my news feed. I don’t send them a text, I won’t meet them for coffee, why should I? I only have to scroll and I know everything they’ve done for the past year. But hours of scrolling makes me seem dull, friends I once knew pose for a photo and my loneliness only grows. I have a fear of missing out because of you. Continue reading “Dear Social Media, lets break up”

My favorite read of 2019 – Branches

Since starting university I’ve read so many great books… and some not too great ones. But rather surprisingly my favorite read of this year wasn’t a part of my required reading. In my poetry class we had the opportunity to chose what collection we wanted to analyse and review. Without any hesitation I told my professor that I was going to chose Branches by Rhiannon McGavin. I didn’t even own the collection at the time, I had to order it as soon as I got back to my flat.

I’d come across Rhiannon’s work via YouTube, she has a channel called The Geeky Blond where she shares not only her poetry but general life chatter. She’s one of the people who influenced me to become a poet. I’m not sure if it’s her personality or delivery of her work that I enjoy more but either way she’s a joy to watch.

Branches is everything I love about her work, it’s the perfect poetry collection in my eyes, every poem is a pleasure to read. When reading it I have the book in one hand and a pencil in the other. Ideas I’ve had whilst reading the poems are scribbled in the margins. Some pages have big stars in the corners for the ones I really love. Words are underlined and stanzas and circled. Continue reading “My favorite read of 2019 – Branches”

What to do when zero waste isn’t an option – living smart at University

I’ve spoken a few time on this blog about how I wanted to start living more a sustainable lifestyle. From a young age I’ve been more environmentally conscious than my peers after an assemble in primary school first introduced me to recycling. In my late teens I came across the zero waste moment when I  saw the viral video about a woman who had put two years of trash in a mason jar. However, as I said in a previous post, living zero waste is only possible for a handful of people and I’m not one of them.

So what do you do when you want to change your lifestyle to a more sustainable one but zero waste isn’t possible?

The answer is you take it one step at a time.

For the past three years all I’ve really been able to change is getting a water bottle to carry with me at all times and recycle a bit more. There were many reasons that was all I could do, my main one being that I lived at home at the time so didn’t have complete control over aspects of my day to day living. But now that I’m at university I’ve been able to have more control over my day to day habits and made a few swaps.

So today I’m going to share what I’ve been doing to live more sustainably at university. Also, some of these are really good money savers so if you’re a broke student then give these a go. Continue reading “What to do when zero waste isn’t an option – living smart at University”

The stigma of using mobility aids as a young person.

So I brought a walking stick…

Not going to lie, shopping for a walking stick at 20 years old was a surreal experience. It was not something I ever expected to need and it was something I most certainly didn’t want. But here we are, I’m now the owner of a sparkly purple walking stick.

Long story short, for those who are new, I have chronic pain in my feet and through that I’ve now got dodgy knees and hips. For the past year and a bit I’ve been in some degree of pain every day what often causes me issues with walking or standing. Some days I’m fine and I can walk around normally without help as whilst I’m in pain it’s manageable (though these days are now few and far between). However, other days I’m in so much pain I can hardly walk let alone stand, for example today it took me an hour and a half to get out of bed. I have a cabin bed with a ladder and I was in too much pain to go down four steps… it kinda sucked.

In a bid to have some level of independence back and to allow me to be as normal as possible I eventually started to use crutches to help me get about. I started off with only using one but eventually moved on to two for more support. Using crutches comes with it’s own set of problems, my main one being that I was off to university soon and needed to be walking with less support so I could have a more normal uni experience. I thought they would create a barrier whilst I was there. I’ve also been getting stronger walking unaided for short periods of time, so I found that on better pain days the crutch (I’d only be using one) would cause more issues than help. It’s big and clunky and if I’m not in massive amounts of pain and not using it properly, it does more damage to my feet than good. So at the start of this week I made the decision to get a folding walking stick, one that I could keep in my bag at all times. It allows me to walk without aid for as long as I can manage, building up strength, but have the security of having an aid when the pain gets too much.

It’s taken me a long time to accept that I need mobility aids now, but I think I’m pretty much come to terms with it, and now that I do feel comfortable talking about it I can write about a topic that’s been bugging me since day one of my crutches – The stigma of using mobility aids as a young person.

Continue reading “The stigma of using mobility aids as a young person.”

Being vulnerable online and remembering the start

A pretty cool date slipped under the radar yesterday, it was this blogs second birthday. It’s been two whole years since I published my very first post ‘Breaking it down’

I did start writing a post to reflect on two years of blogging however, if you’ve been keeping up to date with my posts then you’ll know that I’ve been letting myself relax more with my blog for my own health. I used to keep to a weekly schedule with my posts but as my physical and me natal health took a turn for the worst, I made the decision to relax my grip on myself regarding my blog and only post when I feel up to it (hopefully by doing this you guys will also benefit from better content to). So yes, there’s a partial post in my drafts pile reflecting on two years of blogging, but I was in no shape to finish it… sorry.

Today however, I’m feeling a bit more up to writing so I’m thinking I want to draw on some of the points from reflecting on my blog’s second birthday and some more recent events and do a bit of a Q&A.  Continue reading “Being vulnerable online and remembering the start”