This is my new pet project.
This is my new pet project.
Just absolutely and exactly the same way you would write a male character.
Don’t assume she likes pink. Don’t assume she likes being sexy. Don’t assume she wants children OR a career. Don’t assume she has hair that when she shakes it out of a pony tail she is automatically sexy. Don’t write about her like she’s a special little snowflake because she likes Star Trek. Don’t assume she wants to go shopping.
Just write her like she is a real three dimensional human being.
Except I could never make myself comfortable with it and I hated it a LOT.
It’s also an over reaction because it wasn’t really ‘acne’ it was just a stress breakout.
Five step plan.
1. Get into a weekly routine and stick with it. Don’t do a full routine every day otherwise your skin will FREAK OUT! Maybe a cleanse and moisturise everyday but use a scrub and a toner three times a week as well?
2. Find a nice gentle scrub. It might be tempting to go for a really coarse one to try to get everything off your face but pick something gentler!! If you use a really serious scrub, it will overly buff your skin and make it more oily in the long run. Gentler is better.
3. Always take off make up. Even if you come home drunk. Even if you have run out of make up wipes. Even if you accidentally fell asleep and woke up a couple of hours later and don’t want to leave your cosy bed. Take it ooofffffff.
4. Use a nice mask every so often. This is a sneaky duel purpose because it will help your skin and it will also mean you have to sit down and do nothing for ten minutes to relax which will help relieve the STRESS.
5. Use a light moisturiser. It’s the same story as the exfoliant. If you use a light moisturiser regularly, it will work better than two inches of thick heavy moisturiser. It will just clog up the skin and that will be grim.
Most importantly, sometimes I immediately expect my skin to get better but it will be about a week until anything adjusts at all. Within two weeks, it was better, but it just takes time and consistency!
Just the perfect film for the moment which sums up everything my Grampa meant to me.
All my Grandparents made and make the world magical for me.
Because both my Grandfathers are ministers and have shared in the lives of the communities they worked in, they really understood and shared their own particular kind of magic. God made the world magical to them.
They reached out to believers and non believers of religion, and nearly always, no matter what the outcome was in terms of adopting religion, people walked away believing in other people.
Magic is about cultivating an excitement and a belief in something impossible. I’m a believer in the religion that they taught but over the years, naturally, I have had spells of doubt.
What my Grampa taught me is reflected in this video. It’s fun to believe, learn and teach but behind everything, what is really magic, is the message and the people you share it with.
Without being preachy or pushy, if there is one message I could ever hope to teach to the people around me through my actions and my words, it’s about the goodness of people and the importance of community.
I’m very lucky to have had so many great teachers in that lesson and, like the family in this video, I’ll always have a divide between sadness that my Grampa is gone and happiness that I had the joy and privilege of knowing him.
Because my course involves a lot of seriously physical work, it just so happens that we don’t have huge amounts of students with special needs. Especially in our building.
However, due to building regulations, we have to have giant disabled toilets, just in case.
Usually, I’m nervous about using the disabled toilets in public places because it impedes the people who actually need to use them.
However, at uni where I know there is like a 5% chance of people ever needing to use them, it feels like absolute luxury to get to use this giant wizz palace.
A bit politically incorrect but it’s great.
In the main building, musicians use them as practice rooms. Great acoustics.
One of my best talents is going out with absolute idiots on dates. ESPECIALLY when I was in my late teens. I couldn’t get enough of the idea that I could be wined and dined by other human beings.
I had older friends who seemed really cool and like Carrie Bradshaw who would say hilarious things like 'oh yeah, it's a great way to get a free lunch if you are a student,' and boy, oh boy, would sixteen year old me laugh and feel so sophisticated.
The thing I didn’t know at the time was that they were definitely lying. Some dates are really really cool and fun but I know for a FACT that everyone has bad dates.
Here are the worst ones.
3. The time I was ‘sporty’.
This would actually be a really fun activity but it was just a shambolic idea for a date. Basically, I had been dating this guy on and off and he really liked climbing so I thought it would be a really cool idea to be ‘sporty’ and ‘fun’ and offer to go climbing with him.. Great idea. I’ll be naturally ace at it. I’ll look ace in a harness. A minor embarrassment might occur which could lead to some charming jokes which noone else would understand. I had it sussed.
This was not how the situation played out.
In reality, I’m not a lithe, athletic mountain gazelle that can hop up mountains. I am a very curvy version of a Catherine Zeta Jones type of human being. Maybe like Nigella. I’m really good at long distance running and I can climb mountains and ride horses and kayak. What I can’t do, is look attractive in a giant baggy round neck t-shirt, climbing shoes and a harness. I am also not in the type of shape which leads to effortless climbing. Carrying these hips on my two actual legs is an occasional struggle so hanging from my tiny little wrists was a disgusting nightmare.
Also, because he was 'Mr Climbing', he KNEW everyone in the climbing centre. It was really informal and not really a well established serious ‘date’ so I tried to be a cool, easy going chick and we ended up hanging out with a million of his climbing pals who were all really really good at it and kept running off to do black climbs with double somersaults ETC. Not prime.
Then, the worst happened. I am honestly not that big of a lass but when someone gets to the top of a climbing wall, there is a long way to fall and the person holding the rope at the bottom has to be paying close attention, especially if they are considerably lighter than the person on the wall. The man who was belaying (technical term because I am a pro climber as afore-mentioned) was one of Mr Climber’s mates and was basically a stick insect man. Anyway, I had decided that I didn’t really care about the date anymore and that I was determined to climb a climbing wall and I got to the very very top of quite a tricky climb when I. fell. off. the. wall.
Naturally, I screamed.
Because I fell off a wall when I was about ten metres into the air.
Then I kept screaming for some seconds because rather than paying attention to me, stick insect was checking his texts so when I fell down, he flew up.
So I looked like a thin whale or a generous porpoise, your choice, falling off a wall, screaming, pulling a stick person up in the air, in an unflattering harness, in the middle of a room full of people. On a potential date.
It was not a big success. I have not been climbing since.
2. The Time I Was Treated To Lunch
When I was younger, I did something called the ‘Cyrenian Sleepout' which is a charity event where schools raise money for the homeless by going to sleep in a big aircraft hanger type place for a night. I had just broken up with my then boyfriend (now gay) and my friends and I thought this would be a magnificent opportunity to
meet boys raise money for charity. We were correct. We met these really cool guys who liked cool music and who went to this different school which was IN TOWN.
This was a big deal.
They didn’t know we were super geeky. We had said we liked their favourite bands too and claimed that the early work was best. We were sorted.
So a couple of days later, I got a text from one of the guys asking if I wanted to go on a date with him. We would meet and he would take me to lunch.
Whit woooo.. I was basically a 25 year old New York, young professional and I was going to be shown the high life through the medium of being bought lunch.
I went home and looked up the cool bands so we had things to talk about and I wore a very cool outfit made up of skinny jeans, converse trainers, a spaghetti strap tank top and blue mascara.. Oh yes. This was going to be a big success.
That weekend we met in the allotted place and we went for a walk around the shopping centre while he moodily talked about cool bands and how he was going to be a DJ and he flicked his fringe about a million times and then he finally took me to the magical place where I was going to become a sophisticated adult who was bought dinner by charming young suitors.
And we had lunch in a subway sandwich shop.
1. The Time I Dated A Part Time Model
The worst date I have ever, ever been on, seems like it should be a good date but it wasn’t. It was dreadful. Lessons were learned.
I had been working on a show with this actor guy who had a bit part in the show and spent most of his time offstage. This should have been an indication to start with.
However, he looked like a supermodel and I had never EVER had interest from a guy who looked like that in my life. He was quite quiet but had a few comedy ‘bits’ he liked to do and he was pretty reasonable at at least three impressions so I had thought, 'alright, this guy seems alright'.
He asked me on a date and I said yes.
The date was that we were going to go to his place and watch a Disney film in which there is a character that was one of his three impressions. I thought, 'Yeah, that's clever, you're linking back to task like in an exam essay. Very intelligent to link a date idea to an in-joke. You know your stuff, Sir.'
I will go on this date with this very intelligent and good looking actor man.
Unfortunately, he lived out of town and so I travelled for forty minutes by bus and then a ten minute walk to get to his place.
It was on the walk with him from the bus stop to his place that I realised that I had accidentally mistaken three solid impressions and four medium-calibre jokes for a great sense of humour and intelligence. He was neither funny, nor kind, nor gentlemanly, nor clever. I did not want to be on that date an hour away from home any more and this had been a ghastly error in which my common sense had been blinded by good looks.
We got there and watched the film and then I made the excuse of work and left on the hour long bus ride to work where I was half an hour early.
I really did try to get to know him during the film but every time I struck up a conversation it turned out he hated his course, job and his main hobby was the gym. He wanted to be an actor and I tried to ask him about theatre or film or adverts or anything but he just mainly did Anchorman impressions. Which passed the time.
To be fair to him, he did try too. He did his full Disney character impression along with the entirety of the film.
It was a great personal experiment. Don’t date people purely because they are good looking because sometimes they might be really nice but sometimes they might be a bit accidentally racist/sexist and also dumb as a bag of bricks.
And if you’re reading this, I’m very apologetic. I’m sure your experiment to date an arty, pretentious nerd was just as much of a disappointment..
And you really do look quite like a model and you can take that to the bank.
P.S. This post was inspired by SprinkleofGlitter’s new video about disastrous dates. She is very very comical in hers!
I’ve always been a worrier. Since I was very little my Granny tells stories about how I was always worrying about something. I have no idea if it was a kind of, real life foreshadowing, but I think it was probably an early display of my anxiety.
I get anxiety fairly badly, as I’ve mentioned before, and sadly, due to family situations and work situations and friend situations, I’ve been in a constant panic for about a month. I struggle to remember a whole lot about the last two weeks and I was taken home last Friday but I can’t really remember anything for about 48 hours before that.
I know I hadn’t slept properly for a long time, I hadn’t really been eating regularly or properly (except in company) and I didn’t have a waking moment where I wasn’t buzzing off panic and adrenaline.
It is the most ill I have been in about two years.
Luckily, I have the greatest family and friends in the world. Unluckily, they didn’t know the extent of the problem until it was just about at snapping point.
I asked and was taken back to my hometown, I turned off my computer and phone and rested for about two days. I ate, slept and talked through what had led to that state of mind.
Then I went to the Doctor and she told me I was going to be absolutely fine. I needed some talking sessions to learn some more coping strategies and I needed some tablets which would only stop the physical effects of the panic attacks. The logic being that that would give my mind more time to process which thoughts where causing the panic jam inside my head.
I rested a little more, exercised a lot, saw friends, ate proper meals and didn’t work for a week. I’m heading home on Friday morning and I’m excited.
I have one big project to work on, a race to train for and talking sessions to go to and I’m going to be absolutely fine.
All my friends have been wonderful and supportive. A couple of them have been very weird about it but, at the end of the day, it is their problem. By being candid about my situation, other people know that it is alright. I didn’t realise that anxiety was as common a condition as it is until I looked online because noone speaks about it. By being aware and positive and motivated in helping myself in a slightly public way, I believe that other people won’t feel alone.
I did think a couple of days ago that I was going to look pretty stupid. I write about this stuff online. I write about coping strategies and ways to deal with situations but, at the end of the day, I’m having to accept that I am not always going to be on top of things. This is a part of who I am that is not going to go away. I’ll have to accept it and adapt my life to keep it at bay and I think I’m ok with that.
I’m going to keep writing and I’m not going to feel stupid for giving the advice I can give, even when I am ill.
It is more important to help and be part of the solution than to hide behind embarrassment.
And anyway, I’m getting better every single day.
Ok GOOD NEWS!
My first ever show I have set AND costume designed is now definitely touring to London and Ireland and probably touring to Berlin!
I have been offered a meeting with head of wardrobe at probably one of the biggest theatre companies in Britain.
I am meeting some incredibly experienced designers next week for portfolio day because my portfolio is finally finished.
I’m potentially meeting one of my all time heros this week.
While trying to give advice about anxiety and stress based on my own experiences, I guess all the stories can’t be all jolly laughs, bon bons and picnics.
I’ve had a couple of scary moments where I’ve felt myself losing.
I work weird long hours, don’t always want to burden my parents and friends and it is not completely my job to handle what is inside my head.
So I unashamedly phone Breathing Space.
Breathing Space is a UK based, free, anonymous phoneline which you can call when you feel overwhelmed. Their team are made up of trained professionals who take your call, listen to your needs and propose appropriate measures. I often know what they are going to recommend when I phone them but something about someone else caring, helps and motivates.
It’s not only a line for people suffering with mental health issues. I use it because I’ve taken on too much work.
They know all about bereavement, relationship issues, family problems, one off situations as well as mental health issues. No issue is too big or too small and you can phone as many times as you need.
Breathing Space is good.
The people are real people. They are encouraging and realistic. They propose good advice without being overbearing. They make it seem like you are solving your own problems.
This week I have been offered four incredible opportunities and instead of being excited, I was filled with dread that was difficult to mask. I already had so much on my schedule and mind that anything else was enough to tip the scales.
Maybe there are people who can deal with these things themselves. They can work out schedules and let the stresses pass them by or turn things down or simple stop caring about things.
I am not one of those people. I am strong and clever and I know when I need help sorting out the bit of jumble in my brain.
I would recommend Breathing Space to everyone. I don’t know a single person who couldn’t be helped by it in some way.
After ten minutes, those new ‘obstacles’ were beginning to sound like ‘opportunities’ again.