H O M E .      A B O U T .      C O N T A C T .      T U M B L R .      T H E   B O O K   J O U R N A L .      sailorjennie [at] gmail [dot] com

Friday, 16 June 2017

A Birthday, A Garden Centre Adventure, Melodrama, and A Rainbow Cardigan

I'm writing this post in the midst of a mild essay-induced panic in the hopes that it will help me to chill out a bit before I have to begin attempting to cobble together 4000 words that hopefully, at least vaguely, make sense and address how power relations affect the transmission of narratives before my deadline next Thursday. I had been hoping that constructing that sentence would make my task sound a little more achievable, but it's safe to say I'm not confident about this one. We'll see though. As usual, the materials have been super interesting, but the actual essay writing part currently feels like a ridiculously impossible task to complete.




Life feels as though it's been running at a million miles per hour and somewhere amid the chaos we all carved out some time to celebrate my Mam's birthday. Alongside a bottle of her favourite perfume, which was wrapped waaaay better than I ever could (10/10 for Escentual's wrapping service!) I had a brilliant time choosing a stack of books to add to her summer reading list, and locating the silliest card in the shop.

We also received a bottle of SPAR Extra Dry DOC Prosecco and some SPAR Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco as lovely gifts from the brand, both of which were happily received and glasses of which went down very nicely sitting outside in the evening sunshine with slices of cake. We must admit that although we certainly aren't experts, both come very highly recommended from all of us! I think they're both under £12 and so make brilliant gifts, especially if you're planning any summertime get-together's with your loved ones this summer.

There are periods of time where living feels so much heavier, like you're trying to walk when you're knee deep in treacle and you don't really know where you're going. But it's in these moments that setting time aside to be with those people who help you to feel truly yourself in spite of everything is more important than ever. So, say those I love you's, send that text, and make those plans. Even if you think you don't have time. Because you do. And it's all worth it because those moments are what make life wondrous.




Gifts aside, we decided to have a little wander around our local garden centre to choose some plants for some of the beautiful pots my Mam has been collecting for her garden. I have a bit of a soft spot for both potted gardens and garden centres so this trip was basically my dream come true. We found some super cute alpine plants, as well as a collection of fragrant herbs and a stunning lavender plant that looks so glorious in the sunshine. We also got a sweet little bee house that I'm incredibly excited about because we're all well and truly in 'save the bees' mode here!

All that, and I got to forget about the impending doom of my essay for a couple of hours, which is always appreciated!

Sorry about the filter. I'm forever living my best koala life over on Instagram stories. No regrets.

A trip to admire some beautiful blooms seemed like the perfect occasion to wear my new Lazy Oaf cardigan for the first time. As soon as I saw this rainbow beauty, well, it was love at first sight. But, typically, I dithered and before I knew it they were all sold out. Thankfully they decided to restock and as soon as it made its way back on to the website I snapped one up. And oh my goodness. It's everything I had hoped for and more.

Speaking of everything I had hoped for and more, can we just talk about Melodrama for a second? Lorde's second album has been worth the wait and my next post, whenever it appears, is almost certainly going to be a stream of thoughts about how vivid and fierce, euphoric and so bursting with light and life it is. Writer in the Dark, though. Much talent. So wow.

Bet you rue the day you kissed a writer in the dark - Lorde

Lots of love,
xo

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

This is the beginning of something.


But we can, and we must do more.

Witnessing so many people using their connections and their platforms, large or small, to engage in political discussions has been one of the most inspiring things I have seen in a very long time. I'm not talking about the unfortunate number of hate-fueled tirades, but instead the hugely positive galvanising of the youth vote that has resulted in one of the most impressive turnarounds during a political campaign to date. I'm talking about queues of young people outside polling stations, engaging in healthy debate, proudly expressing their opinions on the issues that matter to them the most. Politics affects us all, to varying extents and now we've come this far, it's so important to stay engaged.

Practical Steps To Demonstrate Continuing Engagement

1. Email, tweet, phone, send a carrier pigeon, anything it takes to contact your MP to express any concerns you have. You can search for your postcode, constituency or MPs name in this Directory of MPs to find their contact details, or use WriteToThem to get in touch. I can't guarantee you'll receive a reply, I'm still waiting to hear back from my MP, but I think it's becoming increasingly important to make sure your views are known to your representative.

2. Consider donating to or becoming a member of a political party whose policies best reflect your views.

3. Attend peaceful protests and/or sign petitions. The latter can often feel somewhat fruitless, but any way you can make your voice heard on a matter that's important to you is never a waste of time.

4. Follow a range of journalists, political commentators and politicians on Twitter to keep up to date with emerging developments. Immersing yourself in political issues can sometimes feel like being trapped in a dense fog with no idea where to turn, but reading a range of viewpoints will often shed some light on even the most complex of arguments.

Lastly, it's okay to step away sometimes. Political debate can be all-consuming, but don't let it take over. We're all finding ways to do what we can.

And remember there's always hope.

xo

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Some words at a difficult time.




There's something about stepping off the train at Manchester Oxford Road station that somehow always feels like going home. It's not even 9am but people are already exchanging bright 'hellos' and 'how are yous?', genuinely interested in listening to the answers, whatever they may be. I'm no good at small talk but Mancunians always know exactly what to say. Bleary eyed faces making their way into coffee shops for their first cup of liquid energy. Cheery calls of 'good morning' from the booksellers in Blackwell's as I'm scuttling in through the doors just as they open, eager to browse the shelves of inspiration and knowledge.

There's something special about the way the early morning sunshine illuminates the University buildings. A hub of diversity and tolerance, each one filled with students with a desire to absorb knowledge from the very walls of buildings standing tall and proud and welcoming. I listen to stories about eccentric academics who have graced the hallways. I don't study with UoM but I can't seem to still the desire within me to join someday, sometime, somehow.

Every second spent within this very special city teaches me to be more compassionate, more open, and more curious. To live without limits, and to celebrate life. The good parts, the difficult parts and, perhaps most importantly, the seemingly insignificant parts.

Take more photographs, capture more memories. Take note of the way the light falls through a window. The way you felt when you finished your latest book. How the smile on a loved ones face brightens up your whole universe. The birds tweeting, marking the start of a brand new day. Because our new days are not limitless.

Pick your battles. Try not to worry too much about insignificant things. Nourish your body with the food it craves. Nourish your soul with music and film, literature, theatre and laughter. Be brave and reckless. But also try to be safe. Tell someone you love them more than you've ever loved anything before. Film yourself lip synching to your favourite song. Be generous with your time and your heart, but don't you ever forget about yourself. Take a new class; yoga, or piano, or learn a new language.

Chase your dreams, and if you don't know what your dreams are just yet, keep moving forwards until you find them. They're there somewhere, I promise. But they won't come to you. When you find them, never lose sight of them. It won't always be easy and you might feel like giving up, or that you don't deserve to reach them. But you do. Prove you're resilient. You deserve the world.

Let yourself feel, truly feel. It's okay to cry, and scream and shout until your lungs ache and your throat is sore. But then, let things go. Keep moving on, but know not to let go of the really good things. They don't always come around too often. Say yes, but not to everything. Be a fan of things, unapologetically. It's cool to love things, to tend to your passions and celebrate them wholeheartedly. If you love it, it's not silly. It could never be silly. It's perfect.

Stay up all night talking on the phone. Take naps. Sleep under the stars. Run until your lungs burn and your legs refuse to take another step. Say goodbye. Reconnect. Grow. Celebrate change, consistency too. Trace the palm of your loved ones hand with your fingertips. Sit in silence. Dance the night away. Learn how to be your own best friend. Try not to take anyone or anything for granted.

Choose kindness, tolerance, and compassion. And never stop learning.

You are more than you know. More important and valuable and insurmountable.
I just wanted you to know.

xo