Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Death of The Screensaver: FOMO and the benefits of IRL.

9pm, Sunday night. James & I were engrossed in an episode of Fargo (we’re late to the party as usual) when we were hit with a bit of early 00s nostalgia in the form of one of those corny Windows screen savers appearing on one of the character's computers. You know the one with the 3D fish.

No? Remember it now?

Where the flip has all the screen savers gone? I can't remember the last time I saw one for reals. Do they suffer the same fate as all the hair-grips and merely vanish from the face of the earth as soon as one’s back is turned?

Somewhat irrationally, it spurred a sad realisation that plainly, there isn’t the need for a screen saver in 2017. We’re always switched on. So much so, our poor computers and phones are no longer granted the opportunity of a Sunday afternoon power nap.

Despite the occasional wistful idea I have of ditching technology completely in favour of returning to simpler analogue pursuits (who doesn’t like an instax snap or a hand-written note), I’m not going to say that computers are wrecking society or any of that malarkey, because quite frankly, I don’t believe it.

The Internet is SO GOOD.

We all know it really. We can learn about anything that we want to. We communicate all over the world daily, share interests and life stories, bonding with like-minded (and non-like-minded) individuals that we may have never realised shared the same planet as us.

Not only that, it allows us to create so much; to push ourselves and the world around us in to unmarked territory. It’s a place that’s constantly evolving because it allows us the space to expand our thoughts and creativity.

Despite all of that, I have found myself longing for more IRL ('in real life' time) and so, recently I have been trying to organise and say yes to more impromptu face-to-face meets - to talk more in that sphere, and most importantly, whilst there really listen.

I started before Christmas by deleting WhatsApp and OMG, why didn’t I do that sooner?

Gone are the group messages and all the “must-reply” guilt that comes with it, plus the FOMO that binds us to our phones.

No longer do I feel the need to constantly interrupt real-life conversations or making myself dinner to speedily comment on the current group-chat topic before the conversation changes, or send a soulless “good thanks, you?” response to someone I love. Now I relish in the IRL plans, enjoying the catch up whilst finding out how people really feel… and it’s blooming lovely.

In a time when we’re constantly being pressed to feel the feels, I think it’s also important to take the time to listen to all the feels that are being put out there. Something which I’m not confident I did the best I could have previously. I heard something recently that people don’t remember words so much, particularly those written in haste on a smart phone. They remember real acts of kindness and that’s what I’m striving for this year.

Even up until this week, I have been internally debating whether this whole notion is hypocritical if I still enjoy tapping away on twitter or sharing snapshots of my life on Instagram or even divulging thoughts on to this blog.

I hope not. These days we have the option of being present both online and offline; to say which lines of communication do or don’t make us happy or fulfilled and it’s that choice which we should embrace.

Will this laidback, easy-going persona that I’m currently entertaining last forever? Who knows, maybe not. Probably not. However, if there’s one thing my twenties are teaching me is that it’s okay to have fluctuating goals and stand points.

For me, at the time being, practising more kindness IRL is kinda cool.

Much love,
L x

p.s. all images taken during an INCREDIBLE afternoon tea at the place of dreams, Sketch London

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Anti-Bucket List...

If you follow me on twitter, you may have heard that I have booked my very first solo holiday. At the end of this month, I will be spending a few days in Barcelona, all by myself. Eek.

It may sound bleak to some, but I honestly don’t mind spending time on my own - for certain lengths of time, at least. Nevertheless, it is a complete brave-test, albeit a fun one.

I’ve caught a flight on my own before so I know that part will be fine, but there’s always been someone to hang out with at the end of it and as much as I protest otherwise, my sense of direction in new territories leaves something to be desired.

I declared at the time of my excited "I've booked a trip" tweet that this was to be the beginning of my ‘things to do before 30’ bucket list.


Not the approaching 30 part; the final year and a half of my twenties does indeed loom before me, but the the truth is, I don’t have a bucket list...
I love me a list. So much so, that my best buddy bought me the 52 Lists Project for Christmas, which excited me greatly.

Yet, the thought of cataloguing and navigating my way though ALL OF THE THINGS I feel I should achieve before I’m 30 seems completely tiresome and such a recipe for guilt. I'd much prefer to simply enjoy the day-to-day.

Besides, don't we all manage to do a plethora of fun, new things without having to put ourselves under necessary pressure.

For that reason, I’ve decided to leave the deadlines in the work place and instead draw up an Anti-Bucket List, a manifesto of the things that I'll (probably) never do...

1. Wake Up Chipper – Whilst I’m not the absolute worst in the morning and I’m rarely late for anything, I’m never exactly exhibiting a huge grin when my alarms goes off at half 6, quarter to 7 and 7 o’clock each working day (yup, I’m a snoozer) and a borderline-black brew is required to breathe some life in to me each morning. Why aren't we allowed to wake up with our bodies' natural alarm clocks?
2. Turn Down Salted Popcorn – Thou shall never turn down a snaffle of the best snack in town.
3. Talk Louder – I’m a low talker which I understand may be annoying for some, however my thoughts and ideas are big, so deal.
4. Do A Slow Walk – Saving all my energy on the talking front means that I can put all my gusto in to walking real fast. I will always look like I’m about to attend some serious business, even when meandering aimlessly. A fast walk whenever necessary (and also when not necessary).
5. Diss A Fellow Ginger – I don't even mean in a normal anti-bullying-just-being-a-normal-kind-person way. When it comes to fellow gingers, they may have just been mean to you but we’re kind of in this special club and that means we stick together. Likewise, I know the double-ginger dating rule is always a much-debated one but Domhnall Gleeson is BEAUTIFUL...
6. Go To A Phil Collins performance – Despite how many times my friend Chris sends me the link to this year’s British Summertime line up or proclaims that it’s his dying wish.
7. Fully Understand What Is Going On In Outer Space – I remain curious. I listen to Brian Cox. I love looking at the moon. Nevertheless, 2001: A Space Odyssey gives me actual anxiety and I have a feeling I would feel claustrophobic in a space suit.
8. Be An Eye-Liner Guru - It doesn't seem to matter that I've been wearing eye liner since the age of 14, or that looking at images of Francoise Hardy's perfectly lined eyes is pretty much part of my daily routine; me and eyeliner just do not mix. If putting on makeup was actual art and Da Vinci is the end goal, my attempts are Jackson Pollack and I'm residing myself to the fact that it's just the way it's always going to be.
9. Throw Away Books - I'm as ruthless as you like with most things (particularly since watching the Minimalism documentary on Netflix) but a serial hoarder when it comes to books. I just can't seem to throw one away because "What if I really want to read it!" and I find it SERIOUSLY satisfying to display piles of books around the house by theme and spine colour.
10. Truly Know What It Means To “Engage My Core” – Pilates is my favourite, but can I honestly say I know the difference between an engaged core and a slightly bloated carb belly? Nope.

So, who's joining me and saying goodbye to the guilt-trip list and replacing with a 'THIS IS ME' list?

Much love,
L x 

Friday, 10 February 2017

Rain On Me!

Previously, if I were to choose a raincoat I would have went for something my five-year-old self would have been proud off. Most definitely shiny, possibly with hooded cat ears, a coat that said, “Hah, I don’t really care about good old, functional practicality, I LIKE FUN CLOTHES but I am here at this festival and this rain is a bit annoying.”
An earlier example is the completely see-through plastic monstrosity that I bought from ebay, ahead of a particularly drizzly festival. My thinking is that it would still allow me to showcase the sparkly jumpsuit I planned to wear underneath.

As you can imagine, it was SO horrendously plastic and the weather was so annoyingly humid that together it forged some kind of a weird air vortex, which felt like I was trying to vacuum-pack my own skin.

Since then I have been trying to become much more of a grown up with my sartorial choices. I say trying; there’s no try involved I BLOOMING love it. Cosy jumpers, extra layers, straight-leg trouser, comfortable shoes and recently, a sensible, breathable raincoat for the unexpected showers.
After a little scout around, I picked up this beautiful green one from ASOS Men’s. Top tip: ASOS Men’s size range is really good and they’ve got some amazing pieces if you are into borrowing from the boys, like me.

It wasn’t too pricey, is crafted from that really nice soft matte rubber-effect fabric that’s so comfortable to wear and really breathable – so you don’t get that icky, raincoat sweat if it’s warm out.

I'm rather looking forward to the April showers this year! If you wanna know what it looks like on, here's a silly little video James put together from our trip to the Lake District :) ...

Much love,
L x

(Featured: ASOS raincoat, Monki Kimono Jeans, Topshop Striped Crop Jumper, & Other Stories Star Earrings).
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