Thursday, 30 April 2015

April Playlist

As another month ends, another monthly playlist post appears online and this month, it's a little longer since it is getting to the time of year where I really enjoy listening to chart music. Call me a hipster or whatever phrase is used for that kind of thing, but in my opinion anyway, chart music is at it's best during the weeks approaching summer and the month of October so I'm practically having a field day listening to the radio lately and will try not to ramble on about my favourite songs for as long as I usually do - I will make a genuine attempt this time, I swear ! 

The 1975 - You : I basically spent the Easter Holidays listening to The 1975's album and all the songs are all so different yet every one of them make me feel very calm so when stressed, this is what I listen to ! 'You' is one of my favourite songs, it kind of fits any mood and also, it reminds me of a song - that I'm still yet to identify - from when I was younger !

Passion Pit - Carried Away : I genuinely do not know how I haven't discovered Passion Pit before now, but one evening, I heard this song on the radio plus I remembered it from a lookbook I once watched about two years ago so I just had to look it up ! All their songs are kind of similar in the way that they always bring a smile to my face and lift my mood so just listen to their music, seriously ! 

Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine : This song is brilliant and can we have a moment to appreciate the even better music video ? It's a pretty good song just to air guitar or air drum along to the music video or in my case, sing badly and it's just brilliant ! I still am not one hundred percent keen on the Arctic Monkeys but I have been loving this, Arabella and Snap Out Of It. 

Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth - See You Again : I couldn't leave this song out since after observing friends cry listening to this song, hear people talk of how they've cried listening to this song and then not actually crying listening to the song, myself, but still feeling extremely moved and it's such a gorgeous song, you can't really not mention it. 

Kygo ft. Parson James - Stole The Show : Someone looked up this song on YouTube during a free Irish class last Friday and surprisingly, since I generally don't listen to this kind of music, I immediately loved it ! It is one of those songs that always come out during the span of time approaching summer and of course, reminds me that the end of the school year is approaching ! It has such a nice tone to it, I adore the song !

Hudson Taylor - World Without You : Hudson Taylor's music is so beautiful and I haven't heard any of their stuff played on the radio in a good while so I had to include 'World Without You' in this month's playlist ! Again, such a gorgeous song, I am running out of adjectives to the point where the thesaurus is even failing to assist me. 

The Academic - Different : This is such an amazing song, I can't describe how many different happy emotions I feel all at once when I listen to it and I really want to write all this in cap locks except then this post will look really untidy ! I can't help but smile and spin in circles when I listen to this song and what's better is that the band is Irish so I'm just here like "yass, decent Irish music, not all hope lost !"

Urban Cone - Weekends : Finally, I discovered this band over the weekend, again not what I would usually listen to but this song is just great and it just gives off such exciting vibes as if it's building up to something which makes sense considering the title. 

So there is an extremely short playlist ramble compared to my usual ones, but hey, it's a school night and it's almost 10pm and I have a history test tomorrow ! 

Until the weekend,

Grace x 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Wave Out

Penneys tee | New Look denim shorts | coat used to be my mam's | and the boots used to be my brother's 
Currently playing : Weekends | Stole The Show | World Without You | The Great Wave of Light

This weekend I finally began watching Freaks and Geeks ! I first heard about the series a year or two ago, watching Tavi Gevinson's TedxTeen talk, and I'd read so much about it since, yet never got around to actually watching it since it isn't available on Irish Netflix (boooo Netflix boooo !) but I searched it on YouTube and the rest, as they say, is history because I'm on episode seven and it's only been three days ! Anyway, the programme is brilliant, to the point that I'm internally squealing every few seconds with excitement at how brilliant it is or just being like "CRAP THEY REMIND ME OF INSERT-NAME-HERE" general casual stuff. I really love Lindsay Weir's style with the army jackets, burgundy jumpers and jeans and I wanted to recreate her style except I don't own any of that kind of stuff so this is my twist on the look which can either be seen as a massive fail or a vague success. Putting all that aside, this outfit felt so comfortable to wear and I'm just here like "can I wear this outfit every day for the rest of my existence ?", I felt that good in it ! As for the boots, they used to belong to my brother and I reluctantly - very, very reluctantly - wore them to Galway six months ago and I am finally beginning to warm to them - although we're not as far as welcoming each other with open arms yet, lettuce not get too carried away now !

As always 'in other news', I'm having an exceptionally good week - *touches wood about fifty times* - so I'm in quite a hyper mood tonight so I'll just apologise to anyone I've spoken to tonight, whether on or offline and then also finish this post by mentioning the fact that I accidentally sent a screenshot to group chat and now the chat name is "The Dailey Sprinkle". Currently giving a slow round of applause, thank you people, if only you knew what a dailey sprinkle actually was - cue dramatic music.

Grace x 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

TY Thursdays #19 : Workshops

Last week, whilst the majority of Transition Years were out on work experience or community service, a group of us were doing workshops and this is how the week went !

On the first day, I felt quite disappointed as I was looking forward to doing the film making workshop but the five of us from drama club, doing workshops, were told that we couldn't do it since we would not be present for day two of the workshop because of the drama competition. We were quite annoyed that this happened as it was the one workshop we all were really interested in and instead, we were put in a workshop - which we would have had to go to at some stage before the end of the year anyway - with others who had already done film making, where we learned about relationships, behaviour and rape. Those of us going to the competition the next day, only attended the first day of the workshop and although it was quite interesting, I didn't feel that I learned anything new and I also didn't agree with all the points made about rape. It was a pity that film making couldn't have been organised for two days when everyone had the opportunity to take part. 

The following day, of course, was the drama competition ! We had been preparing for this since the New Year and a lot of time - between after school, during classes and over the holidays - had been spent rehearsing so it was very exciting to finally get to perform our piece ! The bus left at 10am and we spent most of that journey going over lines we were unsure of and once we reached the venue and were briefed on how the next few hours would go, we had an entire run through of the play. Considering that most of us had no clue of our lines a week or two beforehand and the stage was slightly smaller than we thought so our whole seating arrangements were changed around, I felt that we did pretty great and our efforts to cover for each other forgetting lines were quite subtle - ignoring when I accidentally skipped two and a half pages. On Friday, we found out that our performance of the play 'Just Like That' had won the adjudicator's award for 'Most Ambitious Play' and two cast members were nominated for awards so everyone was delighted, of course !

I had heard mixed reviews surrounding the Matrix workshop but I honestly thought it wasn't the worst of them ! Sure, it wasn't exceptionally interesting or new but it was taught in a very non-formal yet still controlled manner which created a very relaxed environment and resulted in the day being quite fun. The workshop is all about 'you' so as well as learning a lot of tips to do with studying next year, I also learned a lot about my friends and classmates, as well as myself. The funniest exercise was the buzzwords one when we five random words were called out and we had to write down the five words that came into our head once we heard the initial five and then do the same, using those words, with the person sitting next to us. Then we were given the opportunity to run wild with our imaginations by creating a story using these ten words ! I got a bit carried away, except I thought that everyone else was too until I discovered afterwards that the rest of my classmates had written ten sentences for a story and I might as well have written ten paragraphs. So when it came around to my turn to read mine aloud, I couldn't take it seriously - it was a seriously long essay about a unicorn who's collar is like the Tardis for Doctor Who or the magic box thing in Adventure Time - and I spent most of it laughing through my words and everyone else in the class ended up laughing too which I took as a compliment for my wackiness. We also did riddle solving and everyone on the team I was placed in, had a talent for problem solving and I'm just sitting here like 'okay my only talents lie with the anagrams'. We came second place in the class which was brilliant, except we were all gutted that we had came so close to the answer to the one riddle where we fell ! 

On Thursday, the same group of us went to the Pop Politics workshop, which ended up being the funniest one so far ! For someone who finds politics in general interesting, the workshop was never going to overly boring for me but most of the class were going to - and did at times - almost fall asleep if there wasn't some kind of group work added to it, so we ended up with this whole imaginary situation where we're back in the stone age or something and we've just started this new village and there's the crop farmers, barley, herdsmen, woodworkers and we were the weavers ! We also had to pick and King and Queen and from then on, everyone was having problems because someone suggested the Queen should have a crown and the metalsmiths would make it in return for clothes because they had none, except us weavers refused to give anything away for free unless we received something in return and then the crop farmers had no income for several months and these guys making wine came on the scene and it was honestly the funniest thing ever, watching everyone in the class go completely ape over an imaginary village and imaginary problems ! We also had a mock election, where things got even funnier and at the end of the day, we learned a bit more about politics. It was by far the best workshop and I'd recommend it to anyone ! 

Finally, on Friday, I went to a portfolio workshop where I got last week's blogpost finished and worked on the cover of my photo album ! I really enjoyed this workshop as even though we weren't put under any pressure and were even allowed to listen to music as we worked, I got tons of work done and didn't procrastinate one bit !

All in all, I enjoyed the week of workshops but was glad to return to classes on Monday !


Sunday, 19 April 2015

Blue Toned

Penneys top, jelly shoes and tights | New Look velvet skirt 

Currently playing : R U Mine | Boys And Girls In Love 

I spent the first half of this weekend visiting Nanny in Dublin so whilst there, I had a look around the stores which are generally larger than the ones down here in the South East and first, I got hyper in Claire's because sparkly pink fairy wand, lace chokers and cute rings - none of which I bought, may I add, but nevertheless I was ecstatic and then when we got to the huge Penneys I practically screamed "MY FAITH IN THIS SHOP IS RESTORED" because I found so much cute clothes which I actually feel comfortable wearing ! One, being the sparkly silver jelly shoes I am wearing in the photos above. I spent half of summer 2014 looking for a pair of heeled jelly shoes and every clothing shop ever always seemed to be out of my size so I really didn't complain when I had to jump up and down to reach the only pair in my size at the back of the top rack ! They also had them in black and sparkly pink but I felt that the silver glitter might have been obnoxious enough for one day ! I'm obviously going to wear these all summer until they fall apart, no matter how tacky they may look walking down the main street, they are comfortable and they make me feel like a majestic unicorn or some magical creature who does not care all too much ! I also found a tank top and two "gypsy tops" which I prefer to call off-the-shoulder tops, they're really not appropriately named by the shops, but anyway, although I'm still unsure as to whether the style suits me or not, this rose print one is so beautiful and I thought it would look fitting with my velvet skirt which brings a different vibe to the entire outfit plus I can pretend that I'm at Coachella or a twenty first century Woodstock - just in a more temperate climate !

Normal classes are resuming tomorrow and I am way too tired and lacking in energy to function - it is a wonder that I finished my English homework, the only reason probably being that it was on a topic, gender equality, that I actually have an interest in and so I just kept telling myself that it wasn't homework and that I wanted to do it. Portfolio is also due this week and I've never been so happy that I chose to do blogposts throughout the year since for once, the only aspect I'm cramming is the photo album and even then, sticking photos in an album is more tiring and repetitive than anything else so I cannot really complain !

Grace x

Friday, 17 April 2015

Through the Glowing

Currently playing : Long Way Down | Shots | You 

So on the first day of Transition Year and even way before then, you are told by year heads, family, your goldfish and practically everyone that good 'ol TY is going to be beneficial to you for a lot of reasons - one of the main things being a great chance to meet new people and make lots of friends ! At that point, my friends and I would make a face at each other and some sarcastic comment since

a. The majority of us don't have the social skills to interact with practically strangers

b. We don't like the other side of the year - we like the friends we already have

c. We know that with our luck, none of this great "making new friends' kind of thing is going to happen to any of us except like two of our friends so we may as well sit back and get ready to complain anyway.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

I am pretty sure by now that I subconsciously began Transition Year with the full intention to practically force myself to be more outgoing and to get to know more people. All I needed was a kick or something to encourage me to do it and that happened when on the second week, one of my more outgoing friends told me that she wanted to start sitting at the TY bench during lunch and asked me to go with her as she didn't want to not meet new people and regret it by the end of the year so I went along ! I didn't really know anyone there but I was find with listening and observing until I built the confidence to start participating although by the end of the month, I was on an adrenaline rush filled with anxiety and fear - which is the only way to describe it - trying to put off panic attacks every morning and lunchtime, because I could not handle the social situations where I felt so uncomfortable since I knew barely anyone. I really missed Third Year when I used to love all my classes and felt comfortable in but now I couldn't even find one class I fully looked forward to ! It really took me until we returned from Galway and October midterm to feel that I had settled into Transition Year and the wait was worth it.

The whole aspect of building confidence and getting to know people has been the one aspect of Transition Year that I have really enjoyed and I feel quite lucky and grateful to have had a decent experience in that sense. As a quiet person who would never speak a word to the person sitting next to them in class or waiting outside the classroom because of such dire social and conversation skills, Transition Year has put me in a situation where I force myself - probably not always the best of ways but still - to be more confident and to cope in social situations better. So speaking in the second-person narrative, you really have to thanks the friend who encouraged you to sit with an entirely different bunch of people for lunch and introduced me to so many lovely people, the person sitting behind you in class who never shuts up and calls you out for making small talk, the friend who has accidentally made a new classmate by sassing them and has dragged you along, the person who you have got to know solely because all you ever do is ask each other the homework you are yet to do, the friend who always adds you to group chat on Facebook and the friends who tolerate you in that group chat even though you keep sending 'cats in space' gifs and creating small talk.

I'm lucky enough that as well as becoming closer to some friends and making some new friends, I also didn't lose any friends during Transition Year and since I'm an observer, I've noticed how much louder and confident some of my quieter friends are compared to this time last year and that makes me feel really happy ! I've so many brilliant and funny memories from the last eight months which I remember in detail, I wish I could write a blogpost on all of them, but that would involve like twenty more posts which is not my aim so maybe I'll compile a few into one at the end of the year. The photos above were taken when a few of us went to the beach on the last Thursday of the Easter Holidays. The beach trips are a result of a group chat we basically spent our Easter Holidays on, quoting one particular message "People are gonna think we're cracked with insert-boy's-name-here going around in a bikini top, insert-name-here rolling around and the rest of us being us !". One of my friends lives quite near to the beach so the lot of us have gone several times over the past month and every time we go the weather happens to be scorching, the beach itself is always fairly quiet, there's a playground and shipwreck nearby where my friends who are all much more adventurous than me can be crazy and there's always something to do especially when there's not exactly a small number of us. So between walking off too many times because still-can't-handle-social-situations, forcing people to eat sand covered cookies because eye for an eye and not being in the best of moods because of reason number one, I was surprised that people were still talking to me by the end of the day - and the weather then was amazing by the way since the beach looks even prettier at the beginning of sunset !

Pat on the back for me not writing soppy for the majority of this post, but I am really grateful for the opportunities I've had this year to make new friends and be less of a social disaster ! Referring back to my friends and I's sarcastic comments at the end of paragraph one,

a. our social skills have improved. Drastically. I'm not even being sarcastic.

b. the friends I've made from other side of the year are actually some of the loveliest people I know and nothing changed with the friends we already had.

c. The whole 'making new friends' thing did actually happen to all of us - even our friends who can't stand anyone ! There is no escaping it !