Goals for 2017 (aka A Review of Last Year’s Goals

First off let’s see how well I did this year with the goals that I had in place, they were the following:

– Read 21 Books
– Work on my blog and Youtube
– Get back into photography
– Write a book
– Learn the ukulele (bonus goal)

Now if we look at this from a statistical view, I failed.  However, I’m not keen on maths and I am looking at this as aims to achieve more than anything. So let’s break it down, what went well, what worked and what my goals are for the upcoming New Year.

Reading 21 books was admittedly a high task for me, I had just finished university the previous year and frankly still had issue with sitting down and reading. As of writing this blog by the time, it gets to New Year I will probably be hitting seventeen/eighteen on new books that I have read. It is three off my actually goal but a massive improvement on the eleven new books I read in 2015. I am going to take this as a partial success and a lesson. I am not going set myself such a ‘high’ goal next year; instead, it is going be twelve books. One new book a month, at least. This seems achievable.

Regarding the goal about working on my blog and YouTube, I said last year that I wasn’t sure how I was going to measure the success of this. So here, we are a year later. Looking at my stats things have improved but ultimately not as much as I would like. I have posted 18 times on this blog, which roughly works out at 1.5 blog posts a month, which I would consider consistent. During the latter half of this year, I dropped out of blogging due to other life commitments yet despite this it does show I can be somewhat regular with my content. This is a similar story with YouTube, it is not as impressive but it does show that when I put my mind to it I can commit to doing things.

And the last three goals, I admittedly failed on all parts. I did start playing my ukulele early this year but once again, when things got busy I dropped it, which is a poor excuse. The photography goal was a nonstarter and it did not help with me being a slight recluse for most of the year. I do intend on taking my camera home for Christmas and seeing what I can capture. Lastly, the write a book goal was just an idea I had and I still have the same idea in my head, maybe in the upcoming year I might actually put pen to paper and make some progress with this.

This leads me to the question, what are my goals for 2017?

– Read 12 books (one a month seems easy enough.)
– Clean up my social media accounts/computer (it is something that needs doing, clean computer clean mind.)
– Work on improving the foundations of my blog and YouTube (this is something I need to continue with. Baby steps my friend, baby steps.)
– Find time to explore the ukulele and photography (I don’t have to master them, just be able to play a few chords on the uke and have taken some pictures that I am proud of by next year.)

– Pass my damn drivers test (third time lucky, here is to hoping!)

In year let’s review, same time same place, see you then!

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A purrfect trip to The Cat Café (Manchester)

Last week my flatmate and I went to The Cat Café in Manchester in the Northern Quarter. This was an advance booking which we made the previous week in the midst of having a breakdown over a freezing cold house.

By know you have probably heard about cat cafés, people pay money to spend an allotted time with cats in a café setting. It sounds crazy, right? Only cat crazy people would do it, well my friend you are wrong. As someone who is first a dog person (but does love the cats), the cat café is a great way to spend time with cats (especially if you don’t have any pets) and it does bring a smile to your face. My timing to the cat café came just after a very mixed week, so it left a very Cheshire grin on my face when I left.

cat-cafe-1
All the cats that live at the cafe

The Cat Café in Manchester opened earlier this year and seems to be a growing success like other cat cafes around the country. The café has 11 cats who have all had previous homes and reside at the café, they have their own chill out room away from the public and staff are on hand to keep an eye on the felines. The Cat Café has various house rules set in place such as no picking up the cats and disturbing them when they sleep to keep the kitties at their happiest. There is also a strict limit of 20 people (not including staff) in The Cat Café at any one time.

We arrived on a rainy Friday evening around ten minutes before our allotted time at six o’clock but the girl on the desk allowed us to go in earlier as the café wasn’t full. You are required to wear slippers or shoe covers to protect the cats when entering the café and you can store your items in lockers provided free of charge. As we entered the café itself (after a three door system) we saw the odd two cats running about, which I will admit disappointed me a little. We order our free drinks and took a table and then more cats appeared out of nowhere, it was feeding time!
If you visit, I recommend around the six o’clock time as you will see a lot of the kittens. Feeding time was a little manic as the staff made sure the cats all eat their own food. Some of the felines returned to their room but the majority stayed out.

cat cafe college.jpg
(L- R: Georgina and Harvey, Aslan, Gus and Joel)

So for the next hour Beth and I moved around the café and interacted with the cats, we briefly stroked a few but cats are cats and they do what they want. You could really tell some of the cats personalities. Joel seemed rather excited, Aslan was done with everyone and Georgina was happy to observe from the bookcase. I would say we saw all but three of the cats, which I would consider a success. My personal favourite was Aslan but Harvey and Gus were just as adorably fluffy.

Would I go again? Hell yes!

Surprisingly spending the hour with some kittens made me really happy and it was just a cool thing to do with my time. I am already telling my friend when she visits we will go to The Cat Cafe. If you know someone or yourself would love to spend time with some precious cats give The Cat Café a whirl. I am sure you will have paw-some time.

gus so fluffy.jpgThis picture of Gus makes me chuckle

The First Dive into the Online Dating Pool

After a bottle of rose, a sudden urge to flirt shameless and the realisation that I do need a date to take to my best friend’s wedding next May I downloaded Tinder. Let me just preface this entire blog, I have download Tinder several times and found it lacking in anything but for some reason I thought fuck it. So a few weeks ago I went on my first tinder date, the experience was interesting to say the least.

For the sake of this blog we shall call him band boy, that is his identifier for this blog post. After a few chats (lessons one) on Tinder and on Facebook, we quickly arranged to meet at the Irish equivalent of Wetherspoon’s in Manchester city centre.  Before we even got to the pub, he called me the wrong name (lesson two), that should have been my first incline to how the night would go. After then being ignored for several moments by the bartender we got some soft drinks and headed to chat on some sofas. We talked and I soon discovered that he was a little dull, he didn’t seem to have a passion for anything and was happy to just chill at home all his life. I didn’t leave within the first hour because I thought that things might improve, I was wrong. It felt that I asked him questions about his life and his interest yet he never returned the questions. Isn’t that how a conversation is meant to work?

We have moved sofas and on our third soft drink and he decides to sit next to me, which I was awkward as hell about. Soon we are kissing and the first thought I had was wondering what time train I should get back (lessons three). Before anyone jumps up he didn’t force himself on me, I was just somewhat surprised he thought the date was actually going somewhere. I soon made my excuses and left to catch my train with a promise I would let him now about if we were going to do it again.  I messaged him the next morning explaining it was nice to meet and I enjoyed the company but I wasn’t feeling it. Cut to my lunch break at work and I received a paragraph describe how he doesn’t buy the whole “it’s me not you” bullshit and he has had a shit love life this past year, band boy wants to know what he is doing wrong. What I expected was him to reply with a “cool it was nice meeting you/good luck” kind of text but no I was wrong. I told him I didn’t think we had a connection. I wasn’t going to say I found him dull, I am not rude and my mother didn’t bring me up that way. I haven’t heard from him since.

So what have I learned from my first dip into online dating:
1. Talk more before you meet.
2. Meet for coffee first, something short that you can leave if it is heading south.
3. I don’t like making out on a first date.
4. However, if things are going well and we do make out, ask me first, I like that.
5. And finally, appreciate it if you get my name right.

This whole experience hasn’t put me off, actually it has given me some confidence to step out again. I haven’t had the time in recent weeks but I feel more confident when starting a conversation on Tinder. I am ready to jump back into the dating world again and who knows maybe I will write up my next date?

Long Time No Speak

It has been a few months since I last posted on this blog, but here come the excuses.

I went to Ireland, moved house and got a new job all within a few weeks of each other! I had to let things drop off, the things that took a hit from my sudden change in schedule where YouTube and this blog, however, I am slowly getting to a place where I can begin to commit to these things once again.

As I have said, Ireland was a blast, a lot of walking and on one particular night a lot of drinking. Shortly after that I moved out of Yorkshire and over the pennies. I am currently working in a job that is relevant to my degree and I am enjoying it. It is odd to think that in a YouTube video that I did back in April I mentioned that I would hopefully be able to say on camera that by September I might have a full time job. Here I am, a prediction I made came true.
I also moved out of the family and into a house with my best friend, the house always seems to have problems but that is a whole another blog post. There has been time where I have wanted to scream and shout at my best friend but I feel this whole experience has made our friendship stronger.

So expect the odd blog post appearing every now and then, my next blog post after this will be my first dip into the world of online dating!

Albums That Have Had An Impact On My Life: Panic! At The Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out

a fever

Hello all and welcome to the second instalment in my miniseries about music albums and their impact on my life (I really need to think of a more catchy title). It has been a month and a half since I posted about Avenged Sevenfold’s self-titled album and today I am going to talk about Panic! At The Disco’s first album.

A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out was probably one of the first ‘rock’ albums I ever listened to, before this my knowledge of music was limited to what my parents listened to, the Top 40 and McFly.  I distinctively remembering listening to this album at a friend’s house around the age of 11/12 and thinking that it sounded different but I liked it. It was fair to say after a few more listens I was hooked.
If you know anything about Panic! At The Disco and their style, they were seen as emo back in the day (now they are in the Top 40!) This album was part of the holy albums from the emo music scene, some other classic emo albums included The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance.  At the time I really began enjoying this album it was the peak of the emo scene (2005- 2007), even though looking back this album does not scream emo to me compared to other albums from the era.
Since Fever, I have been a casually fan of Panic! and listened to them on and off throughout the years and was lucky enjoy to see them in 2012 on the Vices and Virtues tour. I love seen the change of style Panic has gone through the years but for me Fever is where it all started.

Critically the album divided critics and hit in the mid-teens for the chart listings, as time has passed the album has become highly thought of. Many critics praised the album for the emo status of the album where others said that Fever was bland and lacked creativity. However, if you have listened to the album for just one song you will hear that is it is not bland nor is it lacking creativity.  P!TAD first album was also recognised by Rolling Stones and placed in their Greatest Emo Albums of all time in 2016.

For me this album is extremely creative and is Broadway in the sense of styles and music that have clearly influenced the making of this album. Panic’s first album very clearly showed that they have a lot of talent and are rich in taking ideas from all genres, something which the band have continued with the rest of the albums none of which are the same.
Every time I listen to Fever I hear new melodies and interpreted different meanings to the lyrics, as I get older. It is like rereading a favourite old book and discovering things you missed first time round.  I can tell you without any doubt that I could easily lip-synch this entire album; it is ingrained in my brain.  My favourite songs off this album are The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage, But It’s Better If You Do and Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off (yes the titles are ridiculous long, almost Fall Out Boy length).

A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out solidified that there was a genre of music out there that I really enjoyed and it guided me into a new realm of music, which I was excited to dive in. It was like opening the door to Wonderland.  It will be an album I go back to repeatedly because I can’t deny myself a good sing along to Panic!

Monthly Favourites #10 (June 2016)

After a busy birthday month, which including spending a lot of a time at several trains stations I have finally accumulated June monthly favourites which sees the return of some previous favourites.

TV – Orange Is the New Black
By now most people have heard the Netflix original series Orange is The New Black (OITNB), a comedy drama series set in a women’s minimum security prison.  The premise for the TV show was based on Piper Kerman’s memoir Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Woman’s Prison. The first story we follow is Piper Chapman who goes to jail for the same reason as Piper Kerman, money laundering and drug trafficking. Over the seasons, the show has created its own story lines and characters as well as receiving cheers from the fans and critics alike. Season four made the three previous season seem like bubble-gum pop (with the odd exception), it was gritty and raw and tackled some important issues head on. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys comedy and drama, you most certainly don’t want to be missing out on this.
Also a quick honourable mention to Game of Thrones who is knocking out of the park this season!

S1Cast

Documentary – The Hunting Ground
Someone on Twitter mentioned this documentary and said it should be getting the same outcry of anger as Making a Murderer (both documentary’s can be found on Netflix), so guess who took the plunge and decided to watch it. The Hunting Ground is a documentary that focuses on the rising sexual assaults on college campuses in the United States; it also shows how the college administration have failed to help the victims. This documentary made me angry, it showed that the administration were not helping the victims but protecting the rapists. It is an eye opener and if you are not worried about being triggered I would give this a watch. More people need to be aware of the injustice happening on college campuses across the states.

Music – The 1975 & Hamilton
Really not much to say about these two as I have previously mentioned them in monthly favourites. But they are what I have been listening to this month.

Thing – Phone Case
I finally got round to buying a phone case for my phone! I headed to etsy in search of something fun and quirky and I stumbled upon a shop called TheSmallPrintCases.  They catered to many different types of phones and they have a great high quality choice of cases. I really like my dinosaur cases, I have had it for nearly two weeks and it is still looking good, so much so in the future I may consider getting another case from this wonderful shop.

Beauty – Sleek Blush by 3 Pink Lemonade
I went on a little make up shopping spree this month and picked up a few items but I wanted to include this one in this favourites. I am slowly getting back into wearing makeup, I enjoy putting it on and wearing but this blush is simply gorgeous. It is highly pigmented and just so beautiful with its three shades, one of which is a cream blush.  The picture does not do the blush justice, it is very pretty. A strong beauty recommendation if you are looking for a new blush. If you are in the UK you can buy it here!

Sleek blush

So that’s it for favourites this month. Do you have any favourites let me know in the comments!