Fiction and Tea

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Sunday, 24 September 2017

September Favourites

Well, it's the final Sunday of September, so that means it's time for the first of my monthly favourites! My last post was very long, so I'll try to make this one a more reasonable length - let's just dive right in.


BOOKS:

The Power // Naomi Alderman

plot: All over the world women are discovering they have the power. With a flick of the fingers they can inflict terrible pain - even death. Suddenly, every man on the planet finds they've lost control. The day of the girls has arrived - but where will it end?

This book is insane. I'm loving the surge in feminist literature - stuff like The Handmaid's Tale TV show has really brought attention to this genre and it means so many incredible books are being written which call out systemic sexism or exaggerate issues women face to get the point across. For example, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood exaggerates the lack of say women have regarding their own reproductive rights. The Power shows how the world would be if the systemic sexism was flipped, and it's a fascinating read. I loved it.

Stories of You Life and Others // Ted Chiang

plot: What is men built a tower from Earth to Heaven - and broke through to Heaven's other side? What if we discovered that the fundamentals of mathematics were arbitrary and inconsistent? What if there were a science of naming things that calls life into being from inanimate matter? What if exposure to an alien language forever changed our perception of time? What if all the beliefs of fundamentalist Christianity were literally true, and the sight of sinners being swallowed into fiery pits were routine events on city streets? These are the kinds of outrageous questions posed by Ted Chiang. Stories of your life... and others.

I got these book for my birthday and loved it - it's a collection of amazing sci-fi short stories, one of which is the basis for the recent film Arrival, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, which is why this was bought for me as a present (I love Arrival - please watch it if you haven't seen it). It was such an interesting collection of short stories, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a clever bit o' science fiction.

FILMS/TV SHOWS:

Orphan Black

plot: Sarah, a streetwise hustler on the run from a lifetime of bad decisions, witnesses the suicide of a stranger who looks just like her and adopts her identity.

I started this show towards the end of the summer and finished it a couple of weeks ago and now I'm in a seemingly endless mourning period because it's gone forever and I miss it. Tatiana Maslany is such an incredible actress, and the show's exploration of ethics and moral issues, as well as the strong family bond it creates between the characters over the seasons means this show is interesting and emotional and mind-blowing. I miss watching it for the first time.

IT

plot: A group of bullied kids band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.

You must have been living under a rock if you haven't heard of IT. Stephen King's classic novel is amazing enough, and I know the 1990 miniseries starring Tim Curry is meant to be amazing also, but this film was just so good. I'm not a fan of horror films, but IT is so much more than just a horror film. The cast is insanely talented as well - when did child actors become so good at acting?! Needless to say, I'm excited for the sequel

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

plot: When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman's journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organisation in the US. These two elite secret organisations must band together to defeat a common enemy.

I loved the first Kingsman film so much, so I was very excited for the sequel. It wasn't as good as the first film, of course, but it was so enjoyable and I laughed for the whole 2 hours 20 minutes.

MUSIC:

Too Good at Goodbyes // Sam Smith

I just love Sam Smith. That's about it, honestly. This song went straight on my 'Chill' playlist. It's really sad but I love it.

Alone // Jessie Ware

Jessie Ware is hugely underrated - I loved her first album so much (Say You Love Me and Champagne Kisses are such tunes) and this new single is just as good.

Praying // Kesha

I love Kesha. I know it's an odd thing to say but I'm so proud of her for getting through all she's had to deal with and releasing some incredible comeback music. If you don't know what she's been through, Google it so you can better appreciate her beautiful music and lyrics.

CLOTHES/MAKEUP:

Burt's Bees Strawberry Lip Balm

I don't know how I've never used this before but my goodness. It smells so good and my lips are actually a lot less chapped than usual.

~Autumnal~ Shirt

I love Autumn (or Fall if you're American) so so so so much. As soon as it's September, I'll whip out the jumpers and the dark colours and start wearing plaid 24/7. I recently bought this lovely shirt and I've been living in it for the past few weeks. It's so comfy.

Chokers

I've been incredibly reluctant to give into the choker trend, but I did and now I'm obsessed. They just make every outfit look a bit more put together, you know? Also the black velvet one has made many an outfit look a lot ~edgier~ than it actually is.

Ring

This beautiful ring was a birthday present from my brother's girlfriend, and it's become something I wear daily, along with the ring I was given for my 16th birthday. I just really like rings now, I don't know why. They make me feel fancy.

MISCELLANEOUS:

Macbook

I recently bought a new Macbook because my old one was on its last legs - before I had it, it had been my brother's for 6 years, so I was in need of a much faster, updated one that didn't run out of power after 2 minutes. My new one is so much lighter and faster, but mainly I love it because it has a touch-bar at the top which means I can turn up the volume or turn down the brightness or find emojis to type so much quicker than I used to. Also, it's just really cool to have a touch-bar. I feel like that's just something we can all accept.

Wireless Beats


When I bought my Macbook, there was a deal on for students (which I am) which meant my laptop was cheaper and I got some free wireless Beats headphones (what an amazing deal, right?!) Safe to say I am loving them - I use them all the time, and feel so cool when I wear them. Also, it is so much easier to paint while listening to music now, because I don't have wires dipping into my watercolours.

Planning Notebook

As you all know, I've been trying to be more organised with my blogging, so I bought this beautiful notebook for a few pounds and I've been using it to plan each of my blog posts as well as writing various to do lists. It's worked for this month, so hopefully I'll do as good a job for the month of October!

And that's everything! I hope you enjoyed this post - let me know if any of these things have been your favourite this month as well. I'll be back with a post on Friday letting you know all the things I have planned for October.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Soundtrack to my Life

I love music. That's just a well-known fact about me. If you know me at all, you'll know any chance I get, I'll have my headphones on and have some kind of music playing, whether it's a film score or one of my favourite albums or classical music. I love recommending and being recommended songs, and just generally talking about music, so when I discovered this tag, I had to do it. Below is the soundtrack to my life.

(I love music too much to be able to only give one answer for each question, so I've given two - although there are exceptions to that rule because some of the questions were too hard to narrow down)




What song do you listen to when you're happy?

Good Vibrations // The Beach Boys
Something Good Can Work // Two Door Cinema Club

I adore the Beach Boys - is there any other band that just sounds like summer? There are so many happy and upbeat songs of theirs to choose from but I think Good Vibrations is my absolute favourite. As for Something Good Can Work - Two Door Cinema Club are an amazing band, and this song is so fast that it's incredibly satisfying to sing along to when you can keep up with the chorus. Both of these songs just make me want to dance and laugh and go on a drive with the windows down and the sun shining on my face.

What song do you listen to when you're sad?

Liability // Lorde
Laughter Lines // Bastille

I listen to a lot of music when I'm sad (I have playlists for pretty much every mood, and my 'Sad Tunez' playlist is probably the one I listen to the most) so this was hard to narrow down, but I managed to pick two (mainly because I found ways to include the other sad songs later on in this tag). Liability is a recent addition, because Lorde's new album Melodrama (please listen to it, it's amazing) has only recently come out. I listen to it a lot because I relate to it a lot, and it's nice to feel understood. Laughter Lines, however, has been on my sad playlist for a long time - it's one of my favourite Bastille songs, just because of how poignant it is and how beautiful the lyrics are.

What song will you play at your wedding?

Only Us // Dear Evan Hansen
Falling Slowly // Once

Y'all, Dear Evan Hansen's soundtrack is so dreamy. I haven't seen it, but it's coming to London in a few years, so I'll just wait like I did for Hamilton and then I'll get tickets because I love the premise so much. Only Us is one of the most adorable and pure love songs I've ever heard, and it perfectly encompasses how I view love. The same goes for Falling Slowly - what a beautiful song, made even lovelier by the storyline of Once (although once you've seen Once and know the ending, it becomes exceptionally bittersweet). Also notice how both of these are from musicals. Huh.

(side-note: if you're going to listen to Falling Slowly, I suggest listening to the 'Live from Spotify London' version - you just can't beat a live version).

What song do you dance around the house to?

September // Earth, Wind & Fire
Footloose // Kenny Loggins


They're making me dance just thinking about them. September brings back memories of being home alone with my eldest brother who was making us both bacon sandwiches, and we put this song on and danced around the kitchen. It's a small moment in the grand scheme of things but it's stuck with me because that was a true moment of happiness for me. And then Footloose. I mean... who doesn't dance to Footloose whenever it comes on?

(What You Know // Two Door Cinema Club - I didn't put this as one of the main songs because I'd already mentioned Two Door Cinema Club, but it's definitely one I've had dance parties to so I thought I'd pop it here).

What song do you listen to in your headphones when you're out and about?

The Chain // Fleetwood Mac
My Generation // The Who

Two of my all time favourite songs anyway, but they both have such good beats to walk around to (you know when you're walking and walk in-time to the music you're listening to? They're great for that). I adore Fleetwood Mac and The Who, mainly because of my dad - I have a very eclectic taste in music because when I was younger, I'd listened to music my dad listened to in his teenage years, like The Who and Fleetwood Mac and Simon & Garfunkel, as well as pop music that my brothers were listening to, and now I pick up bands from my friends, so it's a big old mess of genres. I have a lot of friends who are big fans of Fleetwood Mac so my love of them as just grown, and if any of you like the film Kingsman and have seen the trailer for the second film, you will have heard a remix of My Generation (which is a great remix).

What song do you listen to when you're angry?

Black Skinhead // Kanye West
Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time // Panic! At The Disco

Ok, so this has taken literally everyone who has ever discovered it about me by surprise but I'm a lowkey rap fan. I can rap all of Nicki Minaj's part in Monster (also by Kanye West), the Childish Gambino is a baaabbeeeee (he's also playing Lando in the Han Solo prequel film, which I am insanely excited for), Logic is amazing, and Kanye West is incredible. Life of Pablo is an amazing album (Ultralight Beam is probably my favourite from that album) but if you're looking for angry songs, Yeezus is where it's at, and Black Skinhead gets me mad pumped. As for Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time, it's not exactly angry, but it has an incredible drum beat that's perfect for an angry music-listening session (especially at full volume).

What song would you have at your funeral?

If I Die Young // The Band Perry
Songbird // Fleetwood Mac

I put the original singers for both songs, but honestly (and don't judge me for this) I prefer the Glee covers of both, because Naya Rivera, who plays Santana, sings them and she has an incredible voice. I love the original versions also, but I'm just saying, the Glee versions are beautiful. I don't really know why I want these specific songs played at my funeral. If I Die Young is pretty obvious, but Songbird I'm unsure about - I can just imagine it being played? Both beautiful songs.

What is the last song you listened to?

The Night We Met // Lord Huron
Praying // Kesha

I gave the last two songs I've listened to so it would be consistent with my answers to the other questions. I'm guessing a lot of you watched or at least know of the TV show 13 Reasons Why, and The Night We Met is the iconic song from it - it's such a lovely song and gets me incredibly emotional every time I listen to it. And just before I listened to that, I was playing Praying by Kesha oh my goodness that song is beautiful. The lyrics are beautiful and the message is so incredible, especially when you know what Kesha's been through during the last few years (google it if you're not sure what went on). Also can we talk about her vocal range?! Because that high note she hits during the climax of the song is insane. I can't even begin to comprehend how she does it.

What song will make you lose your shit at a party?

Everybody (Backstreet's Back) // Backstreet Boys
Mr Brightside // The Killers

I don't think there is a song that so perfectly encapsulates the early 00s for me the way Mr Brightside does. I can and will sing/shout the entire song if it plays at a party, as will everyone else in the room (also who doesn't love a bit o' The Killers). Backstreet Boys were mainly my brother's influence - I was born after this song's release, but it was played often enough in my house for it to become associated with my childhood. Obviously there are many songs that I'll lose my shit over, like TiK ToK by Kesha (a true classic of the late 00s) and of course Cha Cha Slide by Mr. C because oh my goodness who doesn't slide to the left and take it back now y'all when this song comes on? It's basically universal law to dance when it comes on. A classic school disco tune.

What song would you love to see live?

Yellow // Coldplay
Pompeii // Bastille

It used to be A Team by Ed Sheeran but, as I mentioned last time, I'm going to be seeing him next year, so that's off the list now. The two bands I'd love to see live the most are Coldplay and Bastille, and the songs I'd be most ecstatic to hear would be the first songs I heard of theirs, which were Yellow and Pompeii. I just can't imagine actually hearing them live, I think I'd lose my mind.

What song would you do for karaoke?

Grace Kelly // MIKA
The Winner Takes It All // ABBA

I'm not a huge fan of karaoke but if I had to, I'd sing one of those two. I already know all the words to Grace Kelly, and The Winner Takes It All is such a good song to belt out.

What song do you work out to?

Sorry Not Sorry // Demi Lovato
Send Them Off! // Bastille

Sorry Not Sorry is such. a. jam. It gets me really hyped up, so it's perfect for when I go for a run, and the same goes for Send Them Off! because it just has a great beat to run to. I'm not a huge fan of exercise but these songs make it bearable.

What song has the most memories attached?

Home // Gabrielle Aplin
We Both Reached For The Gun // Chicago

Home perfectly encapsulates for me the years 2013-2014, as does that whole album (English Rain if you want to listen to the album). I saw Gabrielle Aplin live in November 2013 (just after I created this blog) with my best friend, my first live concert. 2013-2014 were the last years I was truly happy, honestly - year 10 (2015) is when the anxiety and stressed started, and I very much miss the carefree days I was living when I was listening to Home on repeat. Looking back, Home perfectly describes how those years felt to me. As for We Both Reached For The Gun - I first watched Chicago over the summer with Anna. I was staying with her for a week, while her parents were on holiday in the Lake District. This meant, once we'd watched Chicago (what a film and what a musical) on the first night, we could listen to the soundtrack over and over, while washing up, while making breakfast, at 2am. So the whole soundtrack reminds me of that amazing week with one of my best friends, but specifically We Both Reached For The Gun (because we can sing the whole thing in time, even the really fast bit - that's true talent).

What song makes you cry?

Secret For The Mad // Dodie
Somebody Else // The 1975

I don't cry at many songs, but there is a list of about 4 or 5 that have made me cry (Liability by Lorde, which I put up there ^ under 'sad song' is one of them, and the ones which I haven't listed will have a little * next to them when they appear below) but these two that consistently make me cry. Secret For The Mad makes me ugly cry because, same as Liability by Lorde, it's so nice to feel understood. And to have someone tell me (in a beautiful singing voice) that everything will be ok. Somebody Else isn't something I can relate to, but it's a song I've listened to many many nights before I go to sleep or when I can't sleep or when I'm already crying, so I now associate crying with it. Which means I cry at it. A lot. It's the song I cry at every time, without fail. And it's also an amazing song.

What is your guilty pleasure song?

Sweet Creature // Harry Styles
New Rules // Dua Lipa

Pretty much any pop music is a guilty pleasure (Little Mix, anyone?) but ~club~ music is probably my guiltiest pleasure. Half the time it makes no sense, the other half it's derogatory in some way, but there are some gems in amongst the rubbish - like New Rules, which is such a tune. Harry Styles isn't really a guilty pleasure, and certainly is as much of one as One Direction was, because his solo music is genuinely really good. But I still feel a bit guilty about loving him as much as I do.

What is your favourite song from a musical?

Someone In The Crowd // La La Land
Electricity // Billy Elliot

Who doesn't love La La Land? Like seriously? Does a person exist who doesn't love this beautiful film? It's easily one of my favoutite musicals (even if it isn't a theatrical musical) and the soundtrack is just beautiful, so obviously I was going to put a song from it on this playlist. Billy Elliot is also one of my favourite musicals (thank you, Anna, for introducing it to me - she introduces me to a lot of musicals) so that was going to feature.

(An additional one - Satisfied from Hamilton, specifically the mix tape version by Sia featuring Queen Latifah and Miguel. Such a good song)

What is one song that you hate?

Look What You Made Me Do // Taylor Swift
Despacito // Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber

Listen. Taylor Swift is #iconic. I love her. But I don't think I had ever experienced true disappointment before the verses and bridge in Look What You Made Me Do hyped me up and then I got that chorus. Biggest anticlimax of my life. I was waiting for this giant beat drop where everyone would lose their minds. And I got Too Sexy For My Shirt 2.0. As for Despacito, my goodness has there ever been a more overplayed song. I'm so done with both of these songs.

What is your favourite song of all time?

The Fall // Imagine Dragons*
Autopilot // Kodaline*
Dreams/Little Lies // Fleetwood Mac
Somebody Else // The 1975

The hardest question you could ever ask me (along with favourite book/film/TV show) but I managed to narrow it down to 5. All of these are songs I could listen to over and over and over and over and over. If you listen to no other songs from this post, please listen to these five. They are truly breathtaking, all of them.

Honourable Mentions:

Heartbeats // Jose Gonzalez
6/10 // Dodie*
Someone That Loves You // HONNE
No. 1 Party Anthem // Arctic Monkeys
Seaside/She Moves In Her Own Way // The Kooks
Power Hungry Animals // The Apache Relay
Alone // Trampled By Turtles

I am so sorry for the awfully long post. I could talk about music all day. I'll be back next week with a (hopefully shorter) monthly favourites post. Until then!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

17 things I learnt at 17

It is official - I am 18 years old. I'm old. I'm an adult. I can vote. I can drink (sorry to all the Americans that can't relate to that one)


This is me this morning, in my brother's old US Office sweatshirt and PJs, crying and laughing at a photo album documenting my 18 years (featuring some of my lovely presents on the side - more on prezzies later!)

17 has been a long year, filled with a lot of misery and stress and anxiety, but a lot of good times as well. I am definitely wiser than I was this time a year ago. So I thought I'd write everything I've learnt down, in the form of advising my past self. I thought I'd impart my new-found wisdom on those younger than me, or see how similar my journey to adulthood has been to those the same age as me, or older.

Here are 17 things I've learnt at 17 - the big, small, insignificant, and life-changing.

1. Set multiple alarms in the morning
You will literally never get up after the first alarm, please stop lying to yourself. There's no shame in setting 6 alarms on your phone as well as using an actual alarm clock, and then having your mum as a back-up plan if everything goes wrong. You'll never be one of those people who get up early, go for a run and do some morning yoga before drinking a healthy smoothie and putting on an immaculate outfit. You're not a morning person, accept it.

2. Game of Thrones is incredible and you will regret putting off watching it for so long
It is brilliant and you will adore it. It will also lead to so much more in your life - more than you could have possibly imagined. You will talk to people about Game of Thrones whom you never would have spoken to before, you will become closer to people because of Game of Thrones, and you will forever be thankful for it (it's an odd thing to say, but it's true).

3. Go to the cinema every change you get
The cinema is a beautiful place to escape - films are amazing for shutting things out, and you tend to go with some pretty great people.

4. Sixth Form isn't as fun as you think it will be
You'll start Year 12 filled with anxiety but mainly excitement, and two days in you'll realise you can't find happiness in anything you do. It sucks, big time, but you'll get through it with the help of some wonderful teachers and amazing friends, and you'll come out of it ok. Starting Year 13 has meant more of the same feelings, but I'm sure you'll be just fine.

5. You can love water-colouring and calligraphy again
I know GCSE Art was borderline traumatic because of your teacher, but you'll learn to love art again, and will continue making cards and water-colouring gifts for your friends.

6. Man, you love your friends
You are friends with some of the best people in the world, and you'll come to fully understand this during your 17th year. They are incredible people and I'm not quite sure how you've found them, but keep them close.

7. Nutella and crunchy peanut butter on toast is a truly dreamy combination
The after-school snack game will never be the same.

8. Sometimes there are friends you need to lose
(This is a pretty recent lesson learnt) I know you love them deeply, but if it's a relationship based all on your love and there's no kind of reciprocation, it's better to have them out of your life and be able to focus on the friends who love you back. It hurts so badly and your heart will break a lot during this year, but you're so much better off without them.

9. Actually doing the work when it's set will change your life
You're still working on this one, but doing work the day it is set and as soon as you sit down at the kitchen table will mean more free time to read and watch Netflix, in the short and long term. It also allows for days when you're too ill or sad or tired to do any work. Take care of future you and do it asap.

10. Makeup and clothes are actually really fun
Buying and wearing nice clothes and doing your makeup fancy is really fun, but only do it when you're in the mood - don't grow so accustomed to your made-up self that you're too scared to show your real skin occasionally (I'm still working on that part - everything just looks so much better when it's covered in highlighter).

11. Don't give people your Netflix password
I mean it! You will regret letting so many of your friends use your Netflix when you just want to watch The Defenders but your Netflix is in use.

12.  Change is terrifying, but it's usually for the better
There are a few changes heading your way, and they're difficult to work through - questioning what to study at university and ultimately deciding against your life-long passion of English will send you into a bit of an anxiety spiral - but now you're happily embracing your adoration of History and researching courses and still loving English. You don't need to feel like you're cheating on English by enjoying History, and you don't need to be scared of change. Embrace it, babe.

13. Always be kind, even when pushed to breaking point
You'll have a fair few disagreements with people, but never respond maliciously or with a mean comment. Be kind and gracious and don't allow your pride to get in the way of ending an argument. Also, don't hold grudges if you can - some grudges need to be held, because some things can't be forgiven, but generally they are exhausting and pointless and it's not worth the effort.

14. That said, know when to stand up for yourself
There are some things that are a core part of your beliefs, and you need to let them be known. You wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community, you are a feminist, you are super duper liberal, and those are good things, and they are a big part of who you are. Own it and don't remain passive just to save a friendship. There will be relationships that become strained, but only momentarily - you learn to just avoid those topics, but it's so vital that you address the fact that you disagree with them.

15. What you feel is valid
You know your own brain better than anybody, and if you think you know what you need to be happier and feel better, then you ignore the doubting and the questioning. Also, talk to people about how you feel, because 9 times out of 10 they're not going to laugh at you, but they actually help and support you??!?!!! I know, it's a wild concept, but trust me on this one, not everyone is going to hurt you.

16. You can't hold the weight of the world on your shoulders
You are a deeply empathetic person, but you can't take on everyone's worries while keeping yours to yourself and not share any of the burden with other people, just hiding everything behind worried eyes and distant gazes. Again, you're still working on this one, but please keep trying to share things and let things go, because you are exhausted.

17. People generally aren't lying when they tell you they love
Trust that you are a lovable person, even though you can't see it.

And that, my friends, is that. I hope you enjoyed and maybe learnt some life lessons or just some new information about me and the kind of person I am! (spoiler alert: a very worried one)

I thought I'd mention some of my favourite birthday presents, because I got some pretty spectacular ones. I'm going to get a new phone at some point, but that's not that exciting. The most exciting ones are all experiences rather than objects (although I got some rather pretty jewellery, books and clothes). Firstly, my parents got me tickets for an exclusive La La Land screening where the film will be played along with a live orchestra who will play the score and songs over the top. I adore live music and orchestral pieces (and La La Land, of course) so I am very excited.

I then got *deep breath* tickets for Hamilton in London from my older brother and I have never been more excited. I adore History and musicals and Hamilton is INSANE (I've listened to the soundtrack so many times) so I am incredibly excited. I didn't think I could get anymore excited.

But then my best friend got me tickets for ED SHEERAN next summer.

SCREEEEAAAAAMMMMMMMSSSSSSS

So yeah. There's that.

I'm going to combust with the amount of excitement in my tiny body.

Honestly, the amount of adorable messages and love I have received today has overwhelmed me. Much love to all of you.

- B xx

Sunday, 3 September 2017

a plan for september


The day after my last post was spent planning planning planning. I got out a notebook I use mainly for doodles and calligraphy practice and got to work sorting out a schedule and planning posts for all of September.

Here's the plan: I will be posting every Sunday, and will write an overview of what I'll be posting in the month to come on the Friday before the first Sunday of the month (that sentence is a bit of a mouthful). The overview post will be very similar to what I'm writing now - obviously I couldn't do it on the Friday before this Sunday because I had to write a quick 'hello I'm back' post and create this schedule.

I'm hoping writing out a plan for each month will help me stick to my schedule and mean my posts are more thought out and enjoyable. Obviously if there's something pressing I want to talk about (like the post I wrote about Carrie Fisher after she passed away) then I'll write that and use my scheduled post another time.

I'll also be posting a monthly favourites on the last Sunday of every month (which I attempted to start doing this time last year) just because I know I love reading about the books, films, TV shows and music people are enjoying at the moment, so I'm hoping you'll enjoy reading about my current favourites.

Now I've got all that scheduling talk out of the way, here's everything I've got planned for you this September:

SUNDAY 3RD SEPTEMBER: A Plan for September
This post. You're reading it right now. Hello. I just thought I'd include this Sunday so you've got an overview of the whole month.

SUNDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER: 17 Things I've Learnt at 17
The 10th is my 18th birthday (eek!) so I thought I'd write a post about the many life lessons I have learnt during my 17th year - big, small, insignificant, they have all changed my life in some way or another. I also might include a little note at the bottom letting you know all the exciting stuff I got for my birthday, as I know my family have got me some pretty big and amazing presents for me (they won't shut up about them!) and I can't wait to learn what they are.

SUNDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER: The Soundtrack to my Life
Music is a huge part of my life - I listen to it on the train into town, when I'm hanging out with my friends, on my way to school, while I'm revising (I'm listening to it right now - Seaside by The Kooks is playing at the moment). I've seen this tag done a lot on Youtube and I think it's a great idea. I'll be answering questions like "what song do you listen to when you're happy?" and "what is your guilty pleasure song?" and by the end of the post, I'll have a soundtrack for this part of my life. I'm just really excited to share some of my favourite music with you guys! I'll probably leave a link to my Spotify at the end so you guys can check out more of my playlists if you want.

SUNDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER: September Favourites
This will follow the same layout I used last time - I'll split my favourites into categories (books, films/tv shows, music, and miscellaneous) with around 3-4 favourites for each category, and I'll give you guys a bit of information about them and why I've been loving them this month. I am considering putting in a 5th category for fashion/makeup, so let me know in the comments if that's an addition you'd like.

I've planned each of these posts already (minus the favourites, because I don't know what I'm going to discover and love in September - I, unfortunately, cannot predict the future!) so they will definitely be coming to you on time - my logic is that I can't not stick to my schedule when everything is essentially written already. I'm also hoping to sort out my blog's design. As you can tell, it is currently ~under construction~ and I'm hoping to make everything beautiful and fit the image I have in my head by next month. I'm also hoping to have taken some photos that will match my posts' themes, as I'm currently just using pretty pictures I took this summer*.

I hope you're as excited as I am for this month's posts - I'm so happy to be blogging and writing again! Let me know down below which post you're most excited for (and whether or not you'd like to see a fashion and makeup category in my monthly favourites).

Thank you all for sticking with me through my many absences! Have a wonderful Sunday.

B x


*technically Anna took the above photo but sshh