#Playlist: Ghosts

Hi everyone!

I wasn’t sure whether to do this or not, but I’m worried that my content is suffering these days and I’m not putting out the quality I want. So I want to be sure I’m taking time to work on them properly and making sure I am including all the information I want to. I know I finally got some photos and all, but along with uni work I’m struggling to get my words up to the standard I want.

So you probably won’t see another post this week and might just see less posting from me for a while depending on how these next few weeks go. I have a few events lined up to fill the week before the term ends, so that’s also quite exciting. It’s wild that I’m over halfway through my first year at university.

Anyway, I’ve been feeling like my music needs a bit more shaking up again whilst I work on this assignment for university. Before you ask… Did I dive down into a pit of music recommendations from YouTube that I actually liked? Yes, the answer is yes.

It’s inspired this playlist of recent discoveries with a dash of songs I felt just fit right in here. It’s not too upbeat. As much as I love my pop music, I have a soft spot for music that’s kind of whimsical and dreamy but there are also some very specific things I like. Sort of deep and mildly depressing and perhaps a soundtrack for the non-existent aimless midnight wander.

Today’s playlist is a mix of English language and Korean language tracks.

Ashmute (Korean)Ghost, Scenery, Inferno – I really like the dreamy feel coming from this trio, and how they play around with the pace of their songs. My favourite of these is Ghost but Scenery has really grown on me. K-Indie tends to be kind of hit-and-miss for me as I focus on sound rather than lyrics and a lot of K-Indie can sound similar to me, but this is really nice.

Kailee MorgueGhost of Mine, Medusa – I initially got some Melanie Martinez vibes from Morgue’s vocals on Ghost of Mine. I really like this kind of music – the kind that’s just really strange and haunting but not too deep like Ruelle’s Madness – I like that sound too but not all the time.

Bipolar SunshineDaydreamer – Well… This playlist could do with some happy. I’m definitely up for listening to more Bipolar Sunshine now that I have discovered them, this is a jam.

DJ SnakeMiddle (ft. Bipolar Sunshine) – It’s funny, I do love the odd DJ Snake track I come across but I always forget to dive into their discography. This is the most upbeat track on the playlist.

MothicaOut of It – In doing a little bit of research on Mothica I saw the words ‘gloom pop’. At last, a word for the genre of music I like. I’ll go searching later for songs under this umbrella, haha.

Sojung of Ladies’ Code (Korean)Crystal Clear – Sojung has one of the most distinctive voices in the mainstream K-Pop scene and I really miss Ladies’ Code and love their newer songs so it is lovely to hear her singing again. I want to hear her in a long with Lee Hi one day. I think their voices would resonate well together.

Heize (Korean) – Jenga – There’s something odd about the end of the hook that I really like. What is it, dissonance? It was odd but now I really like it. I first watched Heize on Unpretty Rapstar 2 for a bit and really liked her as well as Kitti B and Yubin.

Heyne (Korean) – Insomnia (Unofficial, included to omit the snoring in the official MV)|Official MV – Heyne’s unusual voice is what stopped this from being too boring for me. That and perhaps the fact that she’s actually 26-ish and looks (and sounds) younger than me!

Tei ShiNevermind The End (unofficial)|Official MV, Say You Do (unofficial)| Official MV – I’ve been listening a lot to these two tracks recently. They’re just really nice to loop.

FazerdazeLucky Girl – I’m hoping this is a nice choice to tie off the playlist as well as leading back to the beginning when I feel like it.

I hope you’ve discovered something that you like today. I’ll get back to writing my uni assignment now!

Until next time,

X

Some Songs and an Attempt To Sum Up My Month

Hi everyone!

It’s the last day of February now. Compared to January, this month really flew by and lots of things happened. I didn’t just want to write about my month, so I tried to find the best songs in my music library to express the things that happened.

Since I listen to a lot of Korean Pop, I had to google a lot of the lyrics for the first time, haha. I was surprised to find that a lot of the sweeter love songs didn’t quite match the meaning I wanted for this song selection.

Galantis – In My Head | I actually don’t have much to say about this one, it’s sort of self-explanatory, lyric-wise.

Namie Amuro – Birthday | Also moderately self-explanatory, seeing as it was my birthday this month AND this year it’s also unintentionally been a case of “new year, slightly-better me”.

Melanie Martinez – Soap (Sailors Remix)| I am working on a sort-of filter for when I say things. I say stupid things, get annoyed myself for staying stuff and then take it out on someone else and what the heck, Swanna? PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER. Also, I’ve started letting out the occasional swear word at work, which isn’t good when I am working with kids. Luckily, it’s all been out of earshot but that needs work, too.

Carly Rae Jepsen – Warm Blood | For the longest time, as much as I adore this song to bits, I didn’t really get it. It sounds like a love song that is borderline creepy due to the blood imagery. But I was daydreaming up a music video for this recently and something just clicked.
I recently went out to the pub to hang out with some friends. My alcohol tolerance is really low, everyone. I felt my heart pounding after one glass of wine, and I stood up and my head spun and my hearing went muffled which was quite scary until I was outside for a bit. But anyway, that was the experience that made this song make sense, and what inspired me to write this entire blog post. It’s just a dreamy, muffled feeling of drunk happy.

Red Velvet – My Second Date | Okay, so I’m not quite at Date #2 yet. Did I tell you about how I had a Valentine’s blog post all ready, about being single and stuff? Yeah, you didn’t see it, because it wasn’t really relevant to me anymore. Yeah… Suddenly I wasn’t exactly single. As the song says, “from A to Z, it’s all so awkward”.
Dates are really weird, everyone.

Kisses are even weirder. I was tempted to include 3OH!3’s “My First Kiss” (which, to reference the lyrics, didn’t go ANYTHING like this) but no. Not that my expectations were high, but my YA fantasies have been proper shattered, LOL.

LOONA / Yves & Chuu – Girls’ Talk | Typically, all my close friends got almost-live updates as all this dating stuff happened, so despite me saying ‘oh my lawd guys don’t tell anyone’ they all know anyway. All the recent happenings were just so bizarre. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are moments with this guy that are really sweet and sappy and stuff and I do like messaging him (and also my friends) in the dead of night. That’s part of the reason this song is on this playlist.

But, on the other hand, it’s this gossipy part of the experience that makes it feel sort of like… a game. I won’t lie when I say I tell my friends things just to seek reactions, and that those reactions are entertaining. So, it’s not that I particularly care if people find out, but I don’t want certain people to tease me into oblivion. ANYWAY. Am I even making sense?


That was something just a little random for a mid-week, end-of-month post. I hope you enjoyed that!

Until next time,

X

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Hi Everyone!

I recently got nominated for this Award tag by Hoi Yin Li, who like me also blogs about beauty and some stuff about her life. I’ve particularly enjoyed looking back through her old posts about her university studies in Fashion. She’s really lovely; you should totally go check out her posts!

Rules:
1. Thank blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

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Without further ado, here are my answers to Hoi Yin Li’s questions!

Do you have any nicknames that your family and/or friends call you by instead?

Swan is my nickname! The entire blog persona revolves around it! My parents call me by my real name, and my siblings call me by the respectful term for Oldest Sister in Vietnamese. However in public they call me Swan too and so does just about everyone who has known me since secondary school. Anyone who has known me longer probably calls me Swun or one of the many other variations.

What’s the most recent song you listened to? 

As I type this, it’s ‘White T-Shirt’ by Jonghyun. I’ve been listening to his posthumous album, Poet/Artist as well, particularly ‘Shinin’ and ‘Only One You Need’. I haven’t been able to make it to the last track of the album when I listen to it – I hear the first few piano notes and completely nope out of it. I didn’t expect to be so upset over his passing, but I realised that I really understood where his actions came from and it really shook me up for a while.

What do you normally order at the coffee shop? (It can be non-coffee if you don’t like coffee.)

At the Waterstones Cafe in Birmingham, I order a pot of peppermint tea. At any other place it’s usually a latte of some sort. Since I’m relatively new to coffee shops, I like to mix it up and try new things.
I also order a Pumpkin Latte once a year from Starbucks just to remind myself why I don’t buy coffee there. It doesn’t have a special taste to it at all.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

There’s nothing in particular. I haven’t made any huge plans yet. I really should, though. I’m really looking forward to the longer nights and I just want to spend more of my evenings outside!

What are your pet peeves?

This is one of those questions where I have plenty of answers and forget them all as soon as I am asked. Er, I hate short jokes when they’re made by tall people. I am annoyed by blog designs with tiny light grey text on a white background that’s difficult to read.

Do you have a daily morning ritual before you officially start your day?

Not particularly. I head straight to the bathroom to wash my face, then I head back to my room and apply my skincare. This is my eye cream, emulsion, lip balm and if I can be bothered, my sunscreen. Then I get dressed and head down to have breakfast and head back up to do my makeup. I don’t like rushing and will usually end up running a little late (although since I always plan to leave early, I usually end up right on time…).

Where is the furthest place that you have traveled to so far, and why?

Việt Nam, definitely. That’s on the other side of the world and depending on the layover time can be 14+ hours of flying. I went to relax and spend time with my family after I finished retaking my exams, and I totally meant to blog while I was there and that just didn’t happen.

If you can acquire the skill of any language fluently, what would it be?

I’m learning Japanese and Korean at the moment, so obviously one of those two. If you asked me to exclude those languages, probably some form of Chinese…

Do you have any unpopular opinions? (i.e. an opinion that isn’t in agreement with a general population.)

Not that I can think of!!

Do you have a film that you really want to watch, but haven’t got round to watching yet?

This is yet another one of those questions I always forget the answers to. Baby Driver is one of the few on my list, as well as the new Kingsman film. Out of the ones currently showing at the moment, definitely The Greatest Showman!

What is your favourite quote? (It can be from a film/book/song/speech etc.)

I’m not really one for quotes, normally. At the beginning of the year when I was mustering up the determination to carry out my Lipstick No-Buy, Q told me to
‘waste your money on things that are worth it.’
That is now on my wall.
 My nominations
They’re almost all beauty blogs, I think! I’ve really been on a kick with reading these recently.
  1. Crystal Tan of The Crystal Cut
  2. Hannah Amethyst Beauty
  3. Hannah Poon
  4. Katie Emma Beauty
  5. Alice of SPRALLICE
  6. Holly of Thimbles and Spoons
  7. Emma Louise of Owls and Stags
  8. Anna of Kirakiratsu
  9. Morgie of Morgiereacts
  10. Jad Kurumi
  11. Louise of Pretty Polly Beauty
My questions:
  1. What do you like most about your appearance?
  2. What’s the most recent song you listened to?
  3. If you were only allowed to use one lipstick for the rest of the year (I know forever is too much of a long time!) which one? ONLY ONE, guys. I know, it’s hard.
  4. What was your very first makeup item?
  5. What is the one song that you could probably sing along to perfectly (most times…), whether or not you like it?
  6. What game, movie or book universe would you love to live in?
  7. When people come to you for help, what is it they normally want help with?
  8. What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
  9. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
  10. What’s the best thing that happened to you last week?
  11. What song or artist do you like but rarely admit to liking?

I hope my nominees enjoy answering their questions. They’re supposed to be fun to answer and require some thought, perhaps. I think those kinds of questions result in the most interesting answers!

Lots of love,

X

Handmade Winter Knits

After a long while, I have found my knitted accessories to be of some use. On top of that, I am knitting again! I have yarn that I want to use up! YAY.

For the first time in years, we had a wave of heavy snow. Now, just in case you live in Canada or other snowy places, I must explain that heavy snow in the UK is something like 10cm of it. Most years we only get a trickle of it, so having so much snow so early on in the year is fairly unusual for us.

Needless to say, everything shut down and the roads were dangerous and everybody made a snowman that day. Meanwhile, Twerp and I made a snowman on our first day of snow. It was taller than me and a very impressive effort considering previous years.

We planned to make another on Day Two of snow but it was powdery snow that wasn’t cooperating well so we ended up doing a photo shoot that I had been procrastinating for weeks. Behold – I wanted to share my hand knits.

In this grey winter, this neon hat has brightened the lives of everyone around me, I’m sure. People underestimate the power of neon combos and this blue and neon pink had always been something I wanted to try, so when I spotted the two yarn colorways sitting on a shelf together I practically leapt for them!

The lipstick is Revlon’s Matte Balm in Sultry. I think.

The yarn is from the store, Tiger – it’s the thick fabric yarn (Super Chunky weight) and costs £3 a ball. For this I used two balls of the main colour and one ball of a secondary colour, and improvised using this pattern as a base. This took me less than a week to make thanks to the large size of the yarn. Here are the main changes I made:

  • cast on 45 stitches with 10mm circular needles.
  • no pompom.
  • Decreased using the main colour but tied the ends in using the secondary colour in a star formation so it looked cute

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I remember I promised a pattern for this cowl that was improvised years ago, and I hate that I completely forgot about writing one because… guess what? I’ve lost the original, I want to make a new one, and there’s no pattern to be found. I must really hate myself.

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These fingerless gloves aren’t helping my fingers in the cold, but at least I can use my phone. For snowman making, I obviously would not recommend these! I made these three (!!!) years ago completely improvised and for a while, I thought I had lost one but it turns out both were lying in separate nooks and crannies of my room! I’m glad to have them this year! However… I have lost the matching hat… RIP caramel hat, you will be missed.

The yarn I used for these projects was Sirdar’s Escape DK, although I’m not sure if it has been discontinued or not…

Meanwhile, this cowl took two years to make. I used this pattern and started it because I needed a knitting project for watching the Great British Bake Off in 2015. Here’s the link to my starting post on it! It’s super cushy and cosy although the stitch pattern does cause it to roll up on itself. The pattern is Lael by Wendy Neal (linked to Ravelry page) and it’s a free pattern, so go knock yourself out! If I were to make it again, I’d use an even softer yarn than Stylecraft’s Chunky with Wool.

I hope you have enjoyed the snow too, this year. Especially as we likely won’t get something so wondrous for at least another five! It warmed up so quickly a few days later that our snowman lost its head overnight (although it took another 8 days for it to fully melt and only fully disappeared today – maybe that was jsut because ours was so huge!).

Seeing as this is my last post before Christmas (or on Christmas, even), I would like to take the time to wish you all a Merry Christmas whether you celebrate it or not!

Until next time,

X

Reflection: First Term at University 

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Hi everyone!

So, as I type, Christmas is approaching really fast and so are my January exams (!!) and as this post goes up it will literally be the last day of term. I know it is often said, but this term flew by crazy fast. I can’t quite believe my course started two and a half months ago!

I’m really enjoying myself. I like the institution I’m studying at. It’s far more relaxed than my old school ever was, which brings both pros and cons but overall I prefer it. Unexpectedly, I seem to have fewer contact hours (compared to my friends on other courses or universities) which is nice for settling in and joining societies and, if you’re not local, gives you time to explore the city you call home during term time.

Heck, I’m local but I’m still discovering new places in Birmingham, to be honest.

We have a few assignments and tasks to do, but generally, a reasonable time frame is given to do them, and I find myself regularly going back to doing work without wanting to complain that it’s tedious. I may be one of the few people who like writing essays even if it’s a little challenging. I would much prefer those to the looming exams in January, anyway. Revision is still one of those necessary evils.

Overall, it’s really not bad, at the moment, and thankfully so. So far, the course has been a lot of A-Level stuff but with an appropriate dose of new concepts to keep the A-Level students on their toes, so to speak. Lots of reading. I’ve managed to keep up with everything but the required reading…

Oh, and despite getting back into education I’ve been able to continue, or at least regularly revisit, most if not all of my hobbies. In small chunks. A chapter here and there, a doodle before bed, that sort of thing. I am learning Japanese at uni as part of their languages program, alongside my first-year Psych modules, and Korean as part of an unofficial language exchange, both of which have been a lot of fun!

Making friends is difficult. Surprisingly, I haven’t found it hard to just get talking to other people. I think that may be a skill I picked up by going to events alone during my gap year.

However, I think I’m forgetting that I don’t have to be talking to people 24/7 to be friends with them after seeing the same people daily at school before. Especially at uni where everyone has their own timetables and you might get to see your new friends three times a week, max, if they’re on your course. I have to remember that I didn’t make friends instantly back in year 7 or sixth form or when I first started my job, either, and that in most cases I went through years of awkwardness before I felt comfortable with people.

At the moment, I get really worried about what other people think of me. I kind of worry that I’m not the kind of person people want to be friends with, or that I’m not approachable, or that I’m not making the effort. I worry that I miss signs when people are talking to me, too.

I find it’s best to be a little blunt when expressing myself, but I’m not particularly outgoing, so if I’m in doubt at all I tend to stay quiet. I don’t really do subtleties very well in conversation. I also don’t do well in groups larger than four people, and I don’t feel the need to fill a natural silence which to other people might not be ideal. I stutter crazily over my words if my brain is working faster than my mouth (which is to say, all the time). All of that makes me kind of awkward to talk to.

I know. I’m over-thinking some things. But when has that ever changed? That’s my only main worry so far, otherwise uni has been interesting!

Until next time,
X

The March 2017 Media Editorial

Look, I know a lot of you are here for the beauty reviews but sometimes even I forget it’s only 50% of what I do here. Anyway, I am now in Full Steam Revision Mode (if that is a thing) and the Gap Year Diary is pretty much redundant now I have like, no life outside of that, hence me ditching this title as of now.

I still have things I am enjoying at home, though, which I want to share with you all, and whilst I have very much toned down the number of personal blog posts here since a while back, I know there’s still things I want to share from that bit of my life. This post ended up being super long, though…

Anime: Ghost in The Shell – Stand Alone Complex

Yes, this is the franchise that has now spawned the Hollywood remake starring Scarlett Johannsen, which is coming out soon. It’s stirred a bit of controversy for the decision to cast her as the lead, which I feel really conflicted about. I absolutely hate the fact that I think she suits the role and I could excuse it by saying ‘hey, the Major is a cyborg, her entire body is artificial anyway’. I can sort of go MEH about it this time but this was always going to be something that I wouldn’t support. I just really, really want to see more Eastern faces in Hollywood without all the tropes.

(On another note, there’s going to be a Death Note US Remake whose casting has also been explained away. I expect both adaptations to be FLAWLESS, okay, as both are franchises I adore. The trailer for this Netflix movie came out super recently – have you seen it? What did you think?)

Do I expect good things from the movie? I won’t be watching it in cinemas. Nevertheless, I think it will do well. From seeing the trailer, it looks visually stunning, but it seems the premise of the film takes a different direction to the anime, which I am slightly concerned about. The plot seems to be spun around the Major and her past rather than questions raised from exploring the setting and the idea/use of/manipulations of a cyberbrain, as in the Stand Alone Complex anime and (if I recall correctly) the first movie. I’m not sure how I feel about that, because I really enjoyed the Stand Alone Complex series and the philosophy behind it.

Either way, the original anime movie and series are bloody fantastic and I can genuinely say you are missing out if you dismiss the series no matter how well/not so well this movie does. It has an interesting setting that is really well explored and the soundtrack is also brill. Speaking of which…

Non-Lyrical Music: Yoko Kanno

I don’t often check out anime soundtracks but of the few times that I have, three have been by Yoko Kanno. She doesn’t have a set style but at the same time her ideas are quirky and distinctive which I think really adds to the atmosphere of the anime she composes for. Series include Ghost in the Shell’s Stand Alone Complex series, Terror in Resonance and Darker Than Black Season One.

My personal favourite is the Terror in Resonance soundtrack which is so calm and, like the anime,has a lot of Icelandic influence, but as the GITS-SAC soundtrack is really extensive I will not be surprised if I end up with a new favourite after more listens.

Lyrical Music

(There’s so much to talk about I’ve just hyperlinked everything in this section. Alternatively, here’s a playlist featuring all the videos in this section.)

Fifty Shades sucks but it gets such good promo. I love the sound of the Taylor Swift and Zayn Collab and I just like this dark smexy vibe. (If you like those and also like k-pop, by the way, check out Moon by Jonghyun and I Don’t Wanna Love You by Kim Joon Won and Krystal of f(x).)

In terms of current K-Pop, well, I am really liking:

  • BTS – Spring Day – sad, nostalgic, and not quite a ballad which I like.
  • TWICE – Knock Knock – ridiculously cute, and I love the dance.
  • Gugudan – A Girl Like Me – the debut song they should have had. Stylish and funky.
  • Taeyeon – Cover Up – I always like her more upbeat tracks, and she shows off a different vocal tone I haven’t heard from her before.
  • Debut SNSD/ Girl’s Generation – Into The New World and Girl’s Generation  – ITNW is still making waves even a decade after its release, and I’ve been grooving to this and their self-titled track for a while. ‘Party‘ is much newer but I’m grooving to that, too.
  • Highlight (formerly B2ST) – Plz Don’t Be Sad – B2ST are back and with the sound I missed from them. I’m glad they made their own way, departing from their old label, and I truly wish them all the best. K-Pop groups can suffer a lot and these guys are real survivors.

Manga: Gintama by Hideaki Sorachi

I’m not sure what I was expecting from a manga with a name that contains a punny meaning for ‘silver balls’. I had previously tried reading this before, and it was just too chaotic for me. It’s an incredibly random sit-com set in an alternate earth with samurai and aliens, with a hefty dose of dirty jokes and puns and cultural references. Wasn’t that a mouthful? I would rather recommend Sket Dance, which is quite similar, only more toned down, less rude, and has a high school setting.

If I had read Gintama about eight years ago I would have understood nothing, reference-wise, and even now I don’t get them all, and somehow I just got used to the strange humour. It’s one of those things I’m enjoying but can’t really recommend, haha.

Special shout out to the fans who translate and put up chapters, because so many of the puns are language-based and must be very hard to try localising into English!

What I also noticed was that after over ten years of random stuff happening, Sorachi has blessed the fans with a proper, classic manga arc complete with my favourite character (an underrated side character) dying. Despite the lack of emotion I felt reading through ten years worth of content I realised just how attached I became reading it. Strange, for sure.

There is a live-action movie coming this July with Shun Oguri (Hana Yori Dango and a LOT of other stuff) and Masaki Suda (Kamen Rider W and Assassination Classroom’s Live Action) so fingers crossed it turns out well.

Gaming: Super Smash Bros 4 (3DS)

This game came out two years ago, and I only got my hands on it recently. I usually buy my games preowned so they’re cheaper but this just so happens to be one of those that doesn’t get much of a price decrease, even years after its release. It’s simply a battle game featuring characters from multiple game franchises from Mario to Sonic to the Animal Crossing Villager.

Let me say this now – I suck at games. I suck at this one, too. I play with my CPU opponents on level 4-5 out of a possible 9 and I can’t clear classic mode on level 2.0 (I got to the final battle and lost that). But I also enjoy the hell out of myself playing it and can still get addicted to Smash Run (seriously, it’s so much fun). That said, I used to enjoy playing SSB Brawl on the big TV with my siblings and unfortunately we can’t do that with only one 3DS and one copy of the game, and we don’t have a Wii U.

TV: Clique (BBC3/iPlayer) and Robot Wars (BBC2)

On one hand, we have Clique. I love the fact that it is set in a university as I feel that’s a setting not used often, and there’s definitely a glamorous yet mysterious feel. I can’t quite grasp the characters but I feel like that’s the point so I don’t mind. All in all, the secrets of the Clique are enticing and I’ll probably watch to the end of this six-part drama to find them all out.

On the other hand, Robot Wars is totally my guilty pleasure. I have no engineering genes from Dad but it’s accessible and easy to understand even for clueless people like me, but let’s be honest – I’m mostly there for the robot fights. Sometimes we get a dud episode in which the fights aren’t exciting and the robots have failed to start up or work at full power but most episodes are enjoyable.

That’s all I’ve been enjoying recently! Let me know if you recommend anything!

Lots of love,

X

 

 

The Gap Year Diary: February

Here’s what I got up to this month!

I May Have Dropped My Laptop

In the year or so since I got this hand-me-down laptop from Derp I have not broken it. Well, those peaceful days are over. I stood up and moved around with my earbuds in and suddenly, it was on the floor. It worked fine for two days afterwards then it just… wouldn’t start up in the morning. The hard drive was dead. Along with all my old photos, giant music library and old school work I did not need anymore.

Thankfully, I didn’t take the vast majority of my old photos. That task usually fell to people with the newest iPhones to do. Thanks to group chats, H came to the rescue, sending me photos I never knew I was in. My music library was easily recuperated using my phone whilst all the tracks I don’t remember to add back, I obviously didn’t care about enough to keep on the phone. I re-downloaded some original soundtracks, though, which live only on my computer for study purposes. Final Fantasy XV, Professor Layton and My Hero Academia OSTs, anyone?

I backed up my writing projects in Dropbox and I am so grateful to my past self for doing that. It was a spontaneous decision. My writing projects, had I lost them, I would have cried over. A lot of my digital artworks were gone too but I’m actually not too fussed about those – I can always create more!

Let this be a reminder to always back up your work.

I Quit My Job to Focus On Exams In A Deal I Made With Dad

I also started taking private classes. I was gonna call it ‘extra classes’ but I don’t go to school anymore.

I Got an Unconditional Offer ish

This email popped out of nowhere and I freaked out. If I firm one of my unis they’ll make the offer unconditional. I am seriously considering it. Do I want to risk not getting into a uni again this year? Would I meet the offer for the other uni that is very similar but just closer to my home? In the end, I decided that, between now and the deadline, if my confidence in meeting my grades wavers then I will just go for it. In the end, I would rather have a university place on results day studying what I want to study, even if the commute might be a pain.

I’m 19 and Went Partying For The First Time

That entire sentence is an adventure in itself. As I’ve been nattering on about it in my travel bag post and the actual birthday post, I spent my birthday weekend with my best friend in Bristol… and went to a nightclub for the first time. It was a strange experience, I’ll say that at least. Just a bunch of people in a club in close proximity to one another busting out some really bad moves whilst holding and spilling drinks whilst we take selfies and scream a conversation over the music. Not for me, really, but I enjoyed my night and my weekend nevertheless! Here’s to surviving the last year and hoping I’ll survive the next.

Book Things

It feels like this month writing has very much been put to the side – I’ve made some small progress but I think, since hitting 10k words on the draft I have been replotting the rest of it. I know where I want the story to go, but right now my characters aren’t quite having the right conversations to get them there.

I went to a writing workshop held by Writing West Midlands especially for marginalised writers of the BAME and LGBT+ communities. We focused on building up character and I was able to take a lot away from it. The two hours of the workshop flew by! There will be more free workshops leading up to July, so be sure to check out the link here to see if there is something for you.

The same evening of the workshop, I picked up a copy of the gorgeous Caraval by Stephanie Garber and went to the talk and signing held at Waterstones Birmingham. Her talk was funny and insightful and I was able to get a photo too! I haven’t read the book yet as I am finishing up my current reads, but I did sneak through two chapters before the event and I have to say I am enjoying it so far!

Speaking of which, I have a new Instagram account especially for blogging and book-related posts! I am keeping @swanzig_x for personal photos and artwork, whilst @twentyswans is all bookish and bloggerly. I do hope you’ll join me there.

That’s all I got up to this month! On another note, some time ago we passed 100 WordPress followers and are now just at 130- thank you everyone!

Until next time,

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