30/03/2014

selfie

I know we're all over the #nomakeupselfie now and have moved on to #cockinasock (hellooo) but I've been procrastinating over posting this all week, so dammit I'm still going to do it.

I came home one night and took a bunch of drunken selfies.

Apparently this is what I like to do when I'm too drunk to stay out, too jazzed on jaegerbombs to pass out immediately.

Hair poofed and back combed, smoky panda eyes, gel liner, (remnants of) red lipstick, a hell of a lot of other make-up that either faded off or just didn't show up in my 3am bedroom light, and pouting to high heaven.

 photo IMG_5191_zps1e069839.jpg 


Approximately twelve hours later I got my #nomakeupselfie nomination through.

And I balked.

It was a reaction I wasn't expecting, as I'd spent the past couple of days almost looking forward to getting a nomination, so I could get on that bandwagon and be a part of something which was turning out to be pretty extraordinary. But when the nomination actually came, I kind of backed out. I had an arsenal of excuses, pinched from the various criticisms of the campaign, ranging from how the supposed bravery of going bare faced was not comparable to the bravery required in facing cancer, to the feminist knee jerk of women being able to do much more donation-worthy things that simply not wear make-up. 

Mostly I was just a bit fearful of putting my face out there without my protective layer of my Bobbi Brown longwear and my Naked palette. I mean, considering the state of my face in the selfie above, and all my other selfies, to go to a bare faced one would be quite the change.

But none of those things were the point. 

Although it was a #selfie, the picture had nothing to do with me and my fears or criticisms whatsoever.

It was about joining forces and raising money for a worthwhile cause. And the selfie campaign, although causing some real controversy, raised over £8m in six days, which is pretty incredible.

 photo IMG_5202_zpsc0e52800.jpg


Anyway, the whole thing got me thinking about selfies in general, and why on earth they seem to upset so many people. Selfies have been voted the most annoying social media habit, and they generate so much attention and criticism that they've been used in both advertising and fundraising campaigns to great success; the kind of success that something less controversial wouldn't have achieved.

But I just don't get it. What's the big deal with selfies?

Sure maybe it's vanity, narcissism, a cry for attention. But, what's wrong with a little vanity now and then? Is it really so bad?

If you read any kind of self-help text, or hear motivational speakers, or read any of those cheesy quotes that have been reblogged a million times on tumblr, there's always a message about loving/respecting/appreciating/believing in yourself, before you'll be able to love someone else or achieve your dreams, or whatever.  And I think selfies are a little part of that. They're a little celebration of yourself and your appearance, which, in a world where we're being pressured to conform to someone else's beauty ideal, I think can be a good thing.

Looking in the mirror and thinking "aw man, I look good today, i'm going to take a selfie" is not a bad thing. You're allowed to think you look nice, and you're allowed to take a picture of you looking nice and post it to your instagram if you want. Well, at least I don't have a problem with that. The only issues arise when you become dependent on the number of likes on your selfies, and start equating that to your self-worth. Your selfie-worth (sorry, couldn't resist). 

Maybe I think this way because I'm a selfie taker, and a selfie poster. But so are 99% of the people I follow, and enjoy following, on instagram.

I like having my IG feed full of people looking good and feeling good enough about themselves to want to take a picture of that moment. I also like the idea of me 'liking' a picture having a positive impact on someone's day, no matter how small. It's nice to be nice after all.

I just don't see the problem with selfies. Or even the problem with a little bit of vanity. If you want to celebrate your appearance, go ahead. It's got nothing to do with anyone else.

Take your selfie for your selfie* :)

/end cheese.

*(SORRY)

11/03/2014

sunday strolling

I love where I live.

 photo P1120621_zps77855282.jpg

It's very easy to get into a routine after you've been living somewhere for a while. You forget to pay attention to the things that made you want to move there in the first place, like the cobbled streets, the grandeur of the buildings and all the fascinating monuments and beautiful views, that make Edinburgh such an incredible place to live.

   photo P1120623_zps59ab81d2.jpg

 photo P1120625_zpsf865ecac.jpg

Sometimes it's nice to play tourist in your own town.

On Sunday, Julia and I met up and did just that. We took our cameras out to play and went for a little explore. It was a little bit of a soggy, grey Sunday, but nothing will blow away the remnants of a hangover like a nice dose of fresh air! We started with a little wander around Stockbridge market, which is pretty much a foodie's dream.

There was a beautifully smelling paella stall...

   photo P1120627_zpsc09117dc.jpg

There's stalls bursting full of local, organic, middle class type products, like these mouth watering pies and the paté, ooh we tried the paté and it was damn good.

 photo P1120629_zpsbac2ef6d.jpg

Handmade soaps... Not edible, but they smelled divine.

 photo P1120630_zpsbec35956.jpg

Sadly we made the rookie mistake of not coming on an empty stomach, so I didn't get to try Mummy's Chicken. Next time though, I'll come prepared and hungry!

 photo P1120635_zpse8cc5d1a.jpg

 photo P1120637_zps7848c3b9.jpg

I have a confession to make. As much as I try, I still don't like olives. Even after sampling some of these, which I was assured by Julia were really good olives, I just don't think they're for me.

I guess I'll never be a pro martini drinker.

 photo P1120640_zpsa518cc8e.jpg

Peekaboo!

 photo P1120638_zpsa0817a26.jpg

My favourite stall was this one, especially for our furry little poochy friends. Full of all kind of interesting puppy snacks that are healthy for them too, and clearly irresistible.

 photo P1120636_zps5faa927c.jpg

This little guy was getting very excited about the doggy donuts. And he was just the perfect height for the table! TOO CUTE.

After our little market amble we popped into Peter's Yard for a coffee and then went for a walk along the water of Leith.

There was a coffee stall at the market, but we quickly decided that Peter's Yard coffee was too good to pass up on, and that it must be full of some kind of 'scandi crack.' Really, it's bloody good. I may have a terrible starbucks habit through the week, but Sundays are for Peter's Yard's ridiculously creamy cappucinos. I don't know how they do it.

Oh no I do, it's the scandi crack.

   photo P1120645_zps0f919ef0.jpg

 photo P1120657_zps989db7a2.jpg

Told you we got a coffee.

 photo P1120647_zps3d271fed.jpg

 photo P1120649_zps6b7a5335.jpg

It's so nice and peaceful down by the river, so we just wandered along, chatting about our weeks and stopping to take pictures.

 photo P1120651_zps5a4e3421.jpg

 photo P1120652_zps8f3a6b7c.jpg

 photo P1120653_zps940a041e.jpg

 photo P1120654_zpsc627d668.jpg

 photo P1120662_zpsaec25740.jpg

 photo P1120664_zps0040e7c4.jpg

 photo P1120666_zpsc301b228.jpg

Julia was smarter than I was and wore some sturdy and well loved Hunters, and yet still managed to look chic in her Zara camel coat.


 photo P1120667_zpsac7bccd7.jpg

 photo P1120669_zpsefe2a934.jpg

Well. She was all chic and composed until she started breaking and entering and busting through fences...

 photo P1120671_zps34fe76cc.jpg

We kept walking and walking, discussing how nice it would be to live right by the river, and have a little balcony for barbecues and sunbathing in the summer, and all of a sudden we ended up here:

 photo P1120685_zps0d0b7138.jpg

I'm wearing a Topshop coat, Topshop Jamie jeans which OH MY GOD are as good as everyone says, little burgundy Supergas which were not as suitable for traversing muddy pathways as Julia's Hunters, and a distracted expression because I was busy watching this awesome dog going for a dip.


 photo P1120681_zps6208a6bc.jpg

He was a Golden Doodle. He was enthusiastically and relentlessly retrieving the ball from the river.

I want one.

After we'd had our fill of doggy watching we headed up to the gallery.

 photo P1120686_zps1cd6af0d.jpg



 photo P1120689_zps831df616.jpg

As much as I love galleries, oftentimes I'm left a little stumped by modern art. See Dublin. I mean I like that it's challenging and it makes you think, but a lot of the time I just do not get it.

The current exhibit on at the National Gallery however, is different.

They're showing Louise Bourgeois: A Woman Without Secrets and it's fantastic. You really get a sense of who she was as a person, which I think was aided by the fact that a lot of the descriptions of the works featured quite a lot of text from Bourgeois herself, so there was little ambiguity about what each piece 'meant' or was inspired by.

 photo IMG_5060_zpse95c2995.jpg

 photo IMG_5057_zps728af94d.jpg


There was lots about human anxieties and emotions, sexuality and gender issues (which if you've read my last post you'll know is right up my street!), mothering and nurturing. Although a lot of it on first glance looked mental, after a little reading and some contemplation it all started to make (some) sense.

We left wanting to know more not just about Louise Bourgeois and her art, but who she was as a person too.


 photo IMG_5055_zps90638ea6.jpg

 photo IMG_5056_zpsb1adc156.jpg


After we'd had our fill of art for the day, we strolled back home for some cake and some tea. It was the perfect Sunday!

Can't wait for the next one!

03/03/2014

wanderlusting

I graduated from university in June 2013.

I had no idea what I wanted to do in terms of career, so I planned a year of travelling. I'd go to France and work at a vineyard; I'd spend some time volunteering at a rural yoga retreat; I'd go to Thailand and do some casual work at a bar or a hostel or anything I could get my hands on; I'd then go and volunteer at an elephant orphanage because I'm ridiculously obsessed with the creatures; I'd just flit here, there and everywhere, picking up work where I could and spending my days barefoot and bikini'd.

 photo wanderlustpost3_zps06b94bb2.jpg 

 But I didn't make enough money fast enough. With all my friends spread out across the country and tired of living with my parents, I decided I'd move to Edinburgh. I got myself a fashion marketing internship and a retail job, to pay the bills. Within three weeks, I'd moved into my new flat and started two new jobs. In the end, the internship which I was supposed to love, drove me batty, and I fell in love with the retail job that was only meant to pay the bills.

Then, the misery of working weekends caught up with me. I missed my friends and my freedom to jet off at the drop of a hat to visit people down south, up north, on the continent.

So, I got myself a 9-5 office job.

From grapes, elephants and yoga to business dress, rush hours and telephone calls.

 photo wanderlustpost7_zps7e937f78.jpg 

 But I am not complaining. I am not doing my dream job, by any means. But it pays the bills and frees up my weekends. I am one tiny cog in one huge corporate machine, and perhaps avenues will open up to me as time goes on, but perhaps not. And if not? I'll have gathered a little pot of money together, and do you know what I'll do then?

 photo wanderlustpost4_zpse38d530c.jpg


I'll go and see the elephants, I'll go pick some grapes, I'll bum about in hostels with dirty feet and holey harem pants, I'll practice yoga on the beach and I'll spend too much money on cheap foreign beer. I'll sunburn my shoulders, work late in bars and dance like a crazy person with friends I've just met. I'll fall madly in love in a fortnight and forget about him in the course of a plane ride. Maybe I'll be gone a month, maybe it'll be more like two years. Will my career have progressed any in the passing of that time? Nope. Is that going to be detrimental to my happiness in the long term? Probably not.


 photo wanderlustpost6_zps5503f1af.jpg 

 So many people my age think you need to have a career sorted within a month of graduating and a plan set out for every stage of your life, and I can't help but think that's somewhat misguided. Of course, some people have a concrete dream job that they're working towards, and if you're passionate about achieving that then by all means go ahead with it, but so many of us have no idea what we're doing or what we want to do, so where's the rush to find out? Maybe that's naive of me, but it seems to me that we're going to spend the rest of our lives working anyway, so what's the hurry?

I highly doubt I'm going to reach thirty and wish I hadn't travelled, met those people, seen those sights, kissed those men, taken those pictures.

I'm definitely not going to wish I'd paid more tax.

 photo wanderlustpost1_zpsdbf1530b.jpg 



 But as with all things, we'll see what happens.


All pictures taken from my Pinterest.