It’s Time to Admit it… I Have an Addiction

After my flatmates left for a few days back at home together with their families, I found myself alone in my flat all caught up on all my tv programmes needing to start something new.

After countless friends telling me to watch Luther, a BBC Crime-Thriller with an amazingly talented cast, I finally gave in and I have fallen totally in love with the show, often watching it while doing university work- or pretending to. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed binge-watching the first series, and what with it being so impressive I decided to try something new and post about series one of the show.

I have found that I have become incredibly attached to John Luther, played beautifully as always by Idris Elba, the hard-hitting, tough talking detective who is devoted to his job despite some bad decisions due to this devotion. Alongside Elba is Ruth Wilson who plays the sophisticated genius Alice Morgan. Her role in supporting Elba is masterfully performed by this home-grown talent. Her character is an enigma who leaves nothing but question marks around her, whenever you think you know what she is going to do or how she feels the actress beautifully manoeuvres you away from your theory and back to your question marks.

The supporting cast is incredibly talented with each actor adding a different flavour to the tally of British talents gracing our screens. One of these incredible talents who will steal the hearts of many fans is Warren Brown who has proven his acting talents countless times. His character, DCI Ripley, is the loyal companion to Luther, he is admirable and played with great finesse, it is contrary to the ‘bad boy’ characters of his past.

SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT

The hardest part of Luther was watching his turbulent relationship with his ex-wife Zoe. At the beginning of the series they are separated whilst she has another partner however the relationship begins to blur throughout the series, the relationship is a difficult one to watch as the tension between Indira Varma and Idris Elba is undeniable. This is somewhat heightened when she is murdered in cold blood, a scene in which the tensions between the two is pushed to its limits and the actress really highlights exactly who her character was. A strong woman with a real love for her ex-husband, but not in the way he had hoped she did.

Towards the end of the series the storyline of the dirty cop, Ian Reed, who is a long standing friend of Luther picks up dramatically; with a kidnapping which leads to the death of Zoe Luther. Despite being incredibly in love with his wife all his unit turn their back on him except his loyal partner Ripley. This series was a real nail biter, with beautiful storylines and amazing actors running throughout.

Watching this programme started as a way to waste time however this has become a real addiction for me. It has been an amazing rollercoaster and I’m quickly moving into season two, I’ve heard only good things about the next two series and I am excited about seeing it progress.

Why I’m lucky to be scared that university isn’t for me

As a university student who is only nineteen I am always really scared that I’ve gone down the wrong path with my life, this was worsened by the fact that I got a job that I love and want to stay at, I’m often worried that I should’ve gone straight into working and worked my way up that way instead of postponing that for four years to gain a degree. However, I am not alone with many of my friends telling me they have felt the same way at one point or another and a couple of friends having already left to start their lives without university.

This made me realise, I am so lucky to be scared that this isn’t for me, I’m a student at the University of Stirling and am a Scottish student therefore my tuition fees are free due to my government paying for them. Whereas only a two hour drive away, students at the University of Cumbria pay £9,000 tuition fees, with their student loans to pay back on top of that. With the news of student grants being scrapped it really hit me that I am very lucky to be scared that university is not for me, as many who dread university isn’t right have the added pressure of thousands of pounds to pay back. As if the fear of disappointing your parents isn’t bad enough having to pay back money for something you didn’t complete would be even worse.

I realised that every university student is scared of failing, but it is also true that every university student has a little bit of ‘I want to change the world’ in them. One semester of failing or feeling like your degree is too tough for you to pass should not dishearten you to the point of leaving university. There are people who don’t get to go to university and I am lucky enough to be able to worry that its not for me, I refuse to give up on something I’ve worked hard for because I’m being pushed more than I expected.

However, I do understand how difficult things can be, being away from home with what feels like no support and being pushed by university, can be stressful and worrying, however I have surrounded myself with my friends and I am in constant contact with my family, which makes me very lucky. There are lots of people you can go to in order to get help, and importantly, university can offer a semester or two off to rethink your degree or they can offer you to change your degree altogether.

Basically what I’m trying to say is if you are thinking of dropping out, we have all been there, it is not something you are alone in, talk to your friends and you’ll find that its very common, there are things you can do to make university a little bit easier.

The Art of Masterdating and Mate Dating

 

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If you came to this blog post for anything dirty I’m afraid you should leave now, sorry to have led you on. However, if you are here to learn about how to have a better relationship with yourself, your friends and family, this is the place for you.

Everyone enjoys going on dates whether your a married couple or single, its always nice having that excited feeling and getting ready to go out and spend some quality time with someone you really care about, however; people do not enjoy spending time with themselves. That is the problem that masterdating hopes to change.

I should probably explain what masterdating is, it is to date oneself- as I said nothing dirty about it- it is a fix in order to attempt for people to like themselves more. This is important as it allows people to get to know themselves more just as people use dates to get to know other people better.

Mate dates are a very simple concept also, this is to create a date scenario for someone who is your friend/family member. This is to highlight the bond of the relationship and prove how important the person is to you. This is something I do regularly with my best friend/flatmate, it can be difficult to remind the person you live with how important they are to you, especially when you see them every day, so this allows us to have some quality time together and shows each other that we aren’t just flatmates but best friends.

This ideology is dedicated to showing the importance of the people around you and for me has proven to be very successful. I have mate dates with my flatmate when we haven’t spent much time together outside of the flat or when we haven’t seen one another in a few days and with my mum when I haven’t been home for a while and we’ve missed one another. However, dating yourself is far more difficult but is very important nonetheless. It can seem incredibly daunting to go to the cinema alone or go for a meal alone however it is possible to masterdate in other ways; pamper nights, watching your favourite movie with a nice home cooked meal or going a long walk. From there you can build up your confidence and go on a shopping spree and have lunch and then move to the cinema and dinner.

Myself and my best friend have had mate dates ever since we met over a year ago and promised to ourselves that we would make them regular, so at least once a month we do something together whether it be facials and a day of shopping, a movie, a pamper night, dinner for two or just binge watching our favourite shows after we made dinner together. They are always something to look forward to after a tough week.

Both of these are extremely helpful in keeping a positive attitude, it highlights how important you are to people and vice versa. Having friends who are always there for you and have your back is great but without spending quality time with them it is easy to forget. It is also difficult to remember to love yourself from time to time and it is something that is totally lacking in todays world, I feel that dating yourself is far more productive than hating yourself.

 

New Year Changes

I know resolutions are a huge topic of discussion at this time of year and the usual clichéd posts about having a ‘rollercoaster ride’ of a year get old fast. So I will be attempting (and probably end up failing) to steer clear of joining that chorus of people. However being the optimist I am I do try to better myself at every available opportunity and New Years is as good a time as any.

Overall, my year has been a great one, I found myself a job that I love, got to continue to watch my baby brother grow up, met some amazing people and have great memories with family and friends to add to the photo album. Of course like anything there were negatives within my year however without the darkness you don’t appreciate the light. (This is one of my first steps to having a more positive outlook.)

As much as I enjoy my job it has taken up much of my time in the past few months which has sadly lowered the amount of time I am able to be with my family and friends, to add to this I have also let it get in the way of my university studies and prioritised it over studying. I am aware this is a flaw of my own as I have a very understanding boss; so this year I have vowed to find a better balance between university, work and family.

Other changes I would like to have for next year are to blog more, I have been lazy with my posts only posting when I needed to or when I had an idea- which was never. I always promise myself I’ll always post one the next day claiming I have no time to write it up, type it and publish it, however I do really enjoy the experience and always feel happier once I have published a post.  This year I’m hoping to create a realistic schedule for my posts in order to make sure I post when I’m supposed to and consistently.

This next bit is where I get more cliché unfortunately; I am horrendous at saving money and I am constantly reminded by my mum that she was the same at my age and regrets it totally. So I’m aiming to take part in the 52 week saver plan, to save £1 in the first week, £2 in the second week, £3 in the third week and so on until the 52nd week where you have saved well over £1000. It isn’t towards anything in particular its just to prove to myself that I can do it, however it would obviously be a great thing to do so I wouldn’t need to have any added stress over christmas. To help with this I hope to budget better as that is a huge weakness for me constantly asking my mum for money gets really annoying and very embarrassing as I have a job myself so I really shouldn’t need her help at all. I am aware that she doesn’t mind giving me the help I need however I always promised myself as a child that I wouldn’t sponge off of my parents or the government when I got older and I intend to stick to that promise.

As a full time eater a passion of mine is to eat everything I possibly can and doing nothing about it afterwards, despite the guilty feelings that arise afterwards. So I’ve decided to eat healthier, exercise more often (at home of course), this is something that I believe to be achievable because instead of promising myself I’ll go to the gym, I am promising myself I will go long walks and do easy 15 minute workouts three times a week in the comfort of my own flat. I also have added support with me as my flatmate/best friend/life partner and her boyfriend will be helping with this as they have vowed to do the same to help me with my targets. They are also very good cooks and always make very healthy meals. With their support I’m hoping I will go the distance this year.

However, I did enjoy my 2015 and wouldn’t complain if 2016 were to be the same, I just hope to improve on 2015 and learn from mistakes.

Did you make resolutions this year? If so what are they?

Thank you for reading and Happy New Year!