Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christmas Time at Home

Well, now lovely people I have actually made it back to my parent's house in the darkest depths of Hampshire (which has recently been voted the best place to live in the UK - Winchester, you should check it out!). Anyway, now that I am back for the best part of two weeks, what am I going to do in this wilderness I hear you cry!? Well, your guess is as good as mine. I mean there's the constant desire to be classically Christmassy and watch films and eat till I explode, which I'm sure will come within the next few days and the fact that I've kinda finished most of my work, bar a few pieces that need editing, I have found myself with free time on my hands and as I am stuck in the arse end of nowhere, what better to do than actually read something for fun.

Yes, I said it. For Fun. I can't remember the last time I just picked a book off my shelf to read that wasn't involved in some coursework or essay deadline. So now, sat here in front of a roaring fire because the heating in our house has broken, and unable to watch Gilmore Girls because the Internet is so patchy and prehistoric, I am taking the opportunity to write this blog post and read.
Okay, I'll admit I am starting off with some YA fiction, only because these are two proofs of books that are set to be published early 2017 that I got from Scholastic in the summer - so I have been only waiting a ridiculous 4 months to read these amazing stories.

I literally just finished reading, The Goldfish Boy, what can I say, it was incredible. I know it has been compared to A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, by many reviewers and, although I haven't read it, I saw the play in the summer and I would agree that the premise of the storyline is very similar. However, I think Lisa Thompson's offering updates what has gone before it and is a very sensitive way of dealing with a complicated subject matter for younger readers. I won't say anymore so as not to give the plot away, you'll just have to go out and buy it for yourselves next year.

The other book from Scholastic that I've yet to read is Ink, by Alice Broadway. Although I've read the first half of the manuscript in the summer I haven't finished this book yet and the whole idea of this story is so exciting that I cannot wait. The idea of living in a world where your entire life-story is tattooed onto your skin is fascinating and very Hunger-Games-World-esque. The cover art is absolutely beautiful too!
For me, this was one of the greatest perks of working at Scholastic, getting to see the proofs before everyone else, and for a time, being sworn to secrecy. Definitely, one of the draws to go back, I would really like to go back there once I have graduated, so fingers crossed an assistant's job comes up at the right time for me!

Anyway, that's enough for one day, I'm gonna grab a cuppa, snuggle up with Alfie (my cocker spaniel mad dog) and get stuck into Ink. 

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx 

Friday, 2 December 2016


Hello all,
I'm back again in a much more positive mindset and a much happier post because its CHRIST-MAS!!!!!!!
Okay, so it might not quite be Christmas just yet, but it is now officially December which means it is no longer too early to put up the tree, although let's be real, the tree and Christmas decs have been up in our house already since mid-November as we've got to make the most of winter here, not being at uni for actual Christmas. Very sweetly the boys announced the other day that they will be cooking Christmas dinner for us this year which I am actually really looking forward to, and to see how it turns out, although I have every faith in them.
I don't want to get sad because this post is meant to be happy happy happy, but seeing as this is our last Christmas together as a group, and I know we've had our ups and downs completely, everyone has as housemates, but for the most part I think we have done pretty well as a group of strangers put together at the beginning of first year and we are still housemates three years on. We've done good.

I am pleased, though because next year I will be (hopefully) staying here at RHUL to do my Masters as I have been unofficially (thanks to the Classics department) given a place on the Ancient History course. So, Royal Holloway, you've got me for one more year!

But back to the subject in hand, CHRISTMAS. Although I have done none of my shopping yet, and it will probably end up being a last minute job with the help of Amazon Prime, I love the Christmas feeling. Christmas days itself is fun, but a little bit of a let down I always find compared to the fun of the hype of the weeks leading up to it.
One of my most favouritest things about Christmas has to be London at Christmas, the lights, the Christmas markets, the crisp London air, I just love it. Oh yeah, and Winter Wonderland, although the crowds there do drive me utterly mental.


Well that it for my random ramblings today, I'm gonna try and write more posts on here more often from now on, although I do say that every few months or so and fail, I'll try I promise!

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Persistence of Being Alone

While I write about many different and sometimes difficult things on my blog, this one may be one of the hardest things to write about which is why, although I will be publishing it, I won't be publicising it.

Regular readers (if I even have any - hello to those that are), will notice that I've been a bit silent over the past weeks. I haven't actually written a post since the beginning of October. I could blame this on third year, being busy, having more important priorities than this (sorry), or a whole host of a number of different things, but honestly I haven't felt like writing, partly because I don't have anything to write about but partly because I didn't want to write this blog post, which I always knew was coming at some point.

Don't get me wrong, I love university, and despite the ups and downs I've had, I can genuinely say I have enjoyed it and wouldn't really change it for the world. Well, that was until this term. In part, I am loving 3rd year, weirdly I am really enjoying my degree, yes there is a lot of work, but organising myself well is the one thing I can say I am really good at and excel in. The content of my work may be shit but I will get it all done on time, probably early. No, the hardest thing this year has been the persistent feeling of being alone. Not lonely, just alone.

Now, when you live with your friends, life can be great but also sometimes it can be really fucking hard. You don't always get to do the fun things you usually do with friends who you don't live with because you see each other every day, and your time spent together is doing silly house related things like arguing about who is going to empty the dishwasher next. I'm finding this very hard to explain without coming off very whiny and selfish, let me try again.
Part of the issue is that my timetable is so messed up with my job and me working from 9pm-3am or even later is that when I am at work, everyone is asleep, but when they are at work or busy with committee things, that's the time I have free, the time when it would be nice to spend time with people other than myself. Like I said, it's not being lonely, but I am increasingly finding myself alone in the house of an evening, perhaps a few hours before work, perhaps not, alone. I get it, everyone has busy lives, I do too. It is just hard sometimes when you see all your friends on a fleeting unimportant basis, and nobody has the time to make time for each other anymore.

This also may be me sounding bitter because I'm single, but it is really not meant to be, I'm happy being me, but it is hard getting sidelined by girlfriends and boyfriends of your friends. I'm so pleased for all my friends in relationships and I wish them the world of happiness together, I truly do, but how can I explain to them that I miss them. How can I ask them to want to spend time with me, just once that actually means something without sounding so extremely selfish, its not fair to them, they want to spend time with the people they love, and yet so do I. This feeling of fading into the background is something I've never experienced before and I'm not sure how to take it. It all got too much for me the other day, well this and a lot of other things that I got such an intense feeling of claustrophobia that I just had to leave Egham, get out of my house, and go some place where I could be alone without feeling alone. So I went to the gorgeous Beth's house at RVC, just for some peace from myself. Being there for 2 days has certainly helped but I'm back now and I'm still not sure how to cope.

Ultimately, I am really looking forward to having a break because I think I need sometime to myself, to believe in myself once more. I'm a very independent person, but not very good at being alone. I'm happy to go out for dinner by myself, hell I even went travelling by myself, and would do again, relying on other people to do the things you want to do is bullshit sometimes. You have to do something yourself if you really just want to do it, not ifs, buts or excuses. Yet that doesn't mean it is not better sometimes to do things with your friends, I think it is finding that balance that I'm struggling with at the moment. Not being somebody's number one priority is hard for everyone, let's be real, we all want to be number one in our friend's lives, just like they want to be number one in ours, but what do you do when that changes, how do you take it, do you keep holding on, or do you let them go? What is too much? What is not enough?

This post was always going to be somber and somewhat depressing so I'm sorry if you've come here looking for some cheering up, you won't find it from me at the moment. My answer to feeling like this? Tell people? Yeah, well I've tried that, it didn't really change much, so now I'm going to embrace myself and love me. Its about time somebody did, because I'm fucking amazing. I'm done feeling sorry for myself, I don't want to complain, I don't want sympathy. A long time ago I wrote a post on what it meant to be strong, now I think I know what it is. It is this.

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Wake up to Third Year

So here we are, 3 weeks into third year, the beginning of the end has already begun and I'm not going to lie to you, it's scaring me shitless. Don't get me wrong, I'm really enjoying my course so far this year as I, like everyone else hopefully, have finally got down to doing modules that I really want to do, none of this compulsory bullshit. well apart from the dissertation of course, but we don't speak about that.

The fact that in less than 9 months time I will have graduated (hopefully) is insane, the amount of things that have to be done between now and then is crazy, and the fact that I am meant to have ideally decided what I am going to do with the rest of my life is ridiculous. I am no way closer to knowing what I want to do than I was at choosing university age 17. I'm hoping I'll just end up falling into something again like I did with Holloway, and that turned out pretty fucking awesome for the most part.

Anyway, all this thinking about the future and the finality of third year malarky has made me come to the conclusion even more that it is totally okay if you have no idea and no plan what to do at the moment, or really ever for that matter, especially straight out of uni. This is the prime time to be working shitty 3am jobs and living in a crappy hole, because why not. Why not be saving your arse off to go travelling or whatever you want to do so much that all you can afford is beans on toast for weeks on end. Why not? Might as well do it now before the actual responsibilities begin. Thinking about it like this makes me really excited - but one thing I have certainly decided is that, as much as I love them, I cannot live back home with my family, so I am going to have to do everything in my power to not. For those of you that don't already know (and if you don't, where have you been for the last 4 years!?) my parent's house is in the middle of nowhere, Hampshire with a population of about 1000 and the average age of about 90. So yeh, no more of that thanks!

I'm applying for various Masters courses at the moment to try and delay the inevitable, but at the moment the idea of leaving here is also really scary. Can you see a theme evolving? Apparently, I am scared of everything in my future at the moment. Well no, I'd like to think no, although it is scary, it's always very exciting doing something new. I've got the whole world to choose from, so it better be ready for me!

That is it from me tonight my lovelies, I've gotta head to bed in a bit, tomorrow I have the absolute pleasure of driving the RHUL Men's 2nds Fencing team to their match in London, lucky me!

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Friday, 26 August 2016

Quick Catch Up

Okay, so I know I promised photos from Amsterdam last time and I promise I will get them eventually but as my phone, unfortunately, died in Lanzarote - may have had something to with me jumping in the pool with it..., well anyway my current method of photograph taking is crap so I left Emma in charge of photos. That was all well and good but as she has a proper, big, grown-up job as an archaeologist she is in a hole with zero wifi most of the day, so I'll get them one day.

Anyway, Amsterdam was pretty epic, got to try new things ;) well not quite like that, but yeh. Discovered the beauty of being an awful tourist and go on a walking tour of the city which was actually a highlight, mindlessly wandering around Amsterdam and not having to think about where to go and what to do was pretty good really. Oh, and also I got scared by a prostitute in the red light district, I didn't realise she was standing in the window behind me and she thought it would be funny to make me jump. hmmm... 

Apart from that I've been working pretty much full time at Scholastic as after my work experience was meant to end, the publicity and marketing department offered me a job as a marketing assistant for the rest of the summer, so I've been here nearly 4 weeks now, and I can't quite believe it is my last week next week, makes me a little sad to be honest as it has been really interesting and in a weird way fun. Although I will not miss the commute into central London, I will miss the people and working with and around 1000s of books and getting sneak peaks into the children's publishing world. 

I'm back in Egham now, and after I finish at Scholastic next week I'll be straight away back into conference work until the beginning of the term, well, until freshers, in which no doubt I will be working like mad on the Sshh bus. I wish I could say I had something financial in the way to show for all this but Pret is killing my bank balance every morning - need that morning cuppa!

Lastly, I wanted to take this chance to promote my society's new Facebook page which can be found here. There's not much on there just yet but we've got big plans for RHUL Travel Society! 

Better be off now my loves, I've gotta finish up here at work and then get home to then drive 5 hours down to St Ives for the bank holiday weekend.. which is gonna be hella busy traffic. Never mind - wish me luck!

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Mid-break Review

So, I promised I would try and keep you all updated and not go completely silent over the summer, although to be honest my loves, I'm even boring myself with the lack of news and interesting things that I have to share with you all. Really, all I have been doing is working with the lovely Lily Potter who deserves an epic shoutout on here as without her I think I would have gone completely insane while at work.

I reckon we are about halfway through the summer break now, and the weeks to the beginning of third year in my diary are scarily becoming less and less. I have so many plans between now and then so I know it is going to fly by and I'm going to find myself standing outside Founder's or wherever I am on the first day back and realise that it is the last first day here. 
Graduation was last week, and because I was on campus a lot for work I got to see all the third years in their gowns and having hundreds of photos being taken, and I am slightly terrified that it will be me next year. I know I sound really old when I say this, but it really does seem like yesterday that I arrived here on the first day of freshers. And I'm not going to pretend, I was absolutely shitting myself all the way up here. 

Thinking about all this future malarkey, I think my next step after graduation may be a Masters, it seems like a good idea for someone who doesn't know what they want to do with their life (then again there are few of us who do). Yet at the same time I would like to go travelling again, so hopefully, subject to acceptance, I may have found the best of both worlds by doing a masters abroad. The application process while doing a dissertation, rest of my degree, holding down 5 jobs, being on society committees, and doing a placement for BAFTA is going to be insane. I don't know why I decided I was going to do everything at university in my last year, but meh, at least I will be busy. Anyway, I have found my dream course as it is at University of London in Paris. PARIS! Imagine how awesome that would be, the actual opportunity to live in the centre of Paris. I'm not gonna lie, the appeal of probably being fluent in French by the end of the year also holds a massive attraction. Apart from that, I'm also looking at courses in Canada, cause it's like America and Britain in one so I don't have to go full American just yet. Also, who doesn't love maple syrup!? 

Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself, there is a shit ton of work to be done between now and then, and I'm going to South of France with the famalam at the beginning of August and Amsterdam the following week with Emma and Laura (all for just the weekend) but it will be lovely nonetheless.  I hope everyone is having a beautifully relaxing break, and for those of you who are still at work, I'm sorry, I feel your pain. I'll post up pics of Amsterdam when I'm back. 

Have a good week my loves! 

Lots of Love, Kate xxx 

Monday, 20 June 2016

Welcome to the Summer

Firstly I should begin with an apology for the silence of the past month or so, when I last left you I was still in the midst of exams (which have all finished, by the way, I survived, and passed them all) but now term has officially finished and I am splitting my time between my home on the Hampshire/Wiltshire border and my uni home back in Egham, resuming my job as a conference assistant for the summer.

Early yesterday morning I got back from holiday to Lanzarote, which was one of the best, most relaxing trips away I've had in a long time, and just what was needed after an incredibly busy year and prepare me for what is bound to be an even busier one next year. If you can, I would highly recommend checking out for that quick getaway, they have amazing deals for places that I would never have expected to be able to afford on a tight budget like mine. 

Travelling, even going on holiday alone always great, and from my other posts, you can see I am a total advocate for taking off and going where the mood takes you without other people, just relying on yourself and getting to do what you want to do. However, once in a while, or more than that, there is nothing better than just going away with friends and having a laugh, which is totally what we did. Going up on stage, somewhat drunk, singing and dancing our hearts out to ABBA dancing queen on fern's 21st birthday, in front of the entire hotel, will be an experience I will never forget.

This post is just a little bit of a catch up (and a chance to show off my tanned/burnt holiday pics!) 

I'll try to keep you all a bit more updated over the summer, between working, my placement at Scholastic and trying to get on top of dissertation research I'll do my best. 

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Taking Stock

Sitting at my desk in my towel, too lazy to get dressed, with the window open and a somewhat warm spring breeze flowing into my room I just happened to look at the calendar on my computer and I realised,

It was today, 

Today 4 years ago was the first day I was in hospital and the beginning of one of the toughest years of my life so far. 

For those of you that don't know, or have recently come to my blog, you can check out my oldest posts from when I started this to get some more information, but just quickly, when I was 17, after suffering for 6 months with acute abdominal pains pretty much ongoing to the point I would vomit, I was rushed to A&E in an ambulance and was quickly diagnosed with Pancreatitis caused by gallstones. This meant that approximately one third of my pancreas had died, it still has, it will never grow back and that I would require surgery to remove my gall bladder, that had caused this in the first place. Although, luckily the infection in my pancreas responded to the drugs after a few weeks, if not I was looking at being put on the transplant list and move to the High Dependency Unit. Basically I was really not very well and was in hospital in Winchester for near on two months. 

Thinking about it now, it all seems so long ago, and so much has happened in the past 4 years to make me forget about it, and I'm glad, and so lucky, that for the majority of the time I can forget about it. Although, if I'd had the option to not have been ill, I would have taken it in a heart beat, however, the fact is I was, and as shit as it was, and as difficult as it was for my family, my life wouldn't have been the same without it.

Okay, I know that sounds a little over dramatic, and really, from what I can remember it wasn't that bad, but I know it was hard for my parents. But I was thinking, what would my life had been like if it hadn't have happened. I wouldn't have missed my AS exams, but my grades may or may not have been different, so would I have got my Oxford interview, would I have been accepted to UCL with the better grades I would have hopefully got at A2 after missing AS? But if I hadn't have got ill, would I have ever made the decision to take a gap year and have one of the best years ever, would I have decided to have fun in my year off and go to Royal Holloway? Somehow I doubt it. 

I'm not saying that all these things happened in my life because I got ill, but I'm not sure they would have happened if I hadn't, or at least not in the same way.

Getting ill was shit, there is no two ways about it, but through it, and through beginning this blog because of it, I have been contacted by people who have suffered similar things to me, or have just wanted more information. Whoever it is, whatever they ask, I am just really glad I can help, especially, as to me, it wasn't that bad (in my blurry memory of it anyway - although I can't remember 5 days of it so who knows!) but I know how hard it is for families going through things like this. 

Not that this post was meant to be morbid or me saying yay - look at me I survived. No. But what it has done has made me appreciate even more the people who care about us in the hospital, the worried families for their loved ones, and it has given me a weird understanding of what it means to be totally vulnerable, because there is nothing you can do, and that is strangely settling. 

Anyway, enough of the deep stuff, I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU, to all my readers and friends that have stuck with me since it happened and I created this blog. I owe it all to you that it is even still here, and a big thanks to the nurses and doctors of Winchester Hospital Children's Ward who looked after me in the Spring of 2012. I wouldn't still be here if it wasn't for those amazing people. What a sobering thought.

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Monday, 9 May 2016

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Okay, so this blog post title may sound a little dramatic, but being slap bang in the middle of revision it feels like it was appropriate. With this lovely and somewhat unexpected turn of the weather being hotter than Ibiza this weekend, revision seems to be the last thing on everyone's mind.

Trying to combine this revision with the weather proved eventful on Thursday when me, Elliott, Fern, Matt and Romily packed up a picnic and headed to Virginia Water to basically roast ourselves in the sun and pretend to do some revision all day. The ice-cream van was a definite highlight too.

What you can't see from this picture is the lobster-like sunburn that obviously occurred afterwards! 

Making the most of the weather, the residents of 35 and 37 decided to try our hand at having a BBQ, which I think speaking for all of us was a bit of a disaster. Next time let the girls do it eh lads?!

Although I think the investment in a paddling pool and water balloons could have been the best purchase we've ever made. Oh and the foam swords, a great idea when living with fencers.

All in all, it was a pretty awesome few days - but coming back to the reality of the fact I still have 2 exams left is painful at best, the procrastination is real and the motivation is dwindling, but at least this weekend has proved that it is actually true that we should never grow up!

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Werk Werk Werk Werk Werk (to the Rhianna song)

After my relaxing week at home, I have found the exam panic has slowly started to creep in as I realised that my first exam is 3 weeks today... Ah shit. "what is this fuckery" as certain people might say. While I should be madly revising, instead of the normal procrastination methods of Facebook, Netflix and other crazy ideas that I somehow manage to have, I am out busy working earning the dolla. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am now a conference assistant for Royal Holloway, and right now I am working on my very first conference. There is actually way less to do than I expected as I think we are just here as backups and in case anything goes wrong or needs doing, and with this conference, it has been very little. Fortunately, as it is an internal conference everyone seems to know where they are going and what they are doing to a large extent meaning we are just sat twiddling our thumbs a little bit, occasionally doing revision more often than not just sitting around and nattering. 

As the workaholic that I am (having 4 jobs at uni and 1 at home I think entitles me to call myself that) the fact that I am sometimes being paid to sit around and wait for people to need something is very strange. From working in a busy pub to being a Student Ambassador to Notetaking to most recently driving the SSHH bus I am usually doing something at least most of the time. Ah well, shouldn't complain, it is all dolla in the end.  

One of the things I have noticed the past few days working here, due to the long hours (7am-6pm yesterday!) whenever I get the chance to sit down, as we are mostly standing, whenever I sit down I make this really unappealing 'ahhhhhh' noise, like a really long sigh. You know you are getting old whenever you sit down a sigh goes with it!

Anyway, just thought I'd do a quick update on what is going on at the moment, and as you can tell, very little! 

Let me you how your exam prep is going - if any, and any top tips on how to stop procrastinating would be really useful!

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Home vs. Home Home

I know, I know, this blog post is (technically) 2 weeks late, sorry, I did try to write one about ending term and second-year stuff last week but it wasn't really flowing too well. Now I'm home home (deliberate repetition, I'll explain soon) and trying to revise/procrastinate my ass off I've made some time to avoid learning about Greek Law and write this little piece. 

Just to clarify, this Easter break from uni means I have gone home home (not being uni) which for me is a small corner of greenery on the Hampshire/Wiltshire border in a sleepy village in which nothing ever happens. This distinct problem of nothing to do means I really should be preparing for my 4 looming exams, and you'd think I would be, but suddenly I have the great urge to go swimming, take the dog for a walk, and basically do anything to avoid revision, just like every other university student about this time of year. I know I my last post I said I was excited to get stuck into exams... well I was wrong, I don't know what I was thinking and why I said it, so many regrets. Now, I'm just excited for the entire exam period to be over.

One of the main things I wanted to write about in this post, however, was the difficulties and differences of being at university and having to split your life between two places and two 'worlds'. 
Now I've been in Egham for nearly 2 years now I definitely consider it home, while where I am now, where my parents live, I guess, is 'home home'. It is weird because now when I'm filling out forms and job applications I put down my university address, but I can't put my finger on the time when it changed, when did I really move out? I mean I know I moved all my stuff out when I started university, but what was the point that I started considering Egham home? I think it is partly to do with the people there, actually making it feel like a home, but also, it is weird to think, but I actually do think, after each time I come back here for the holidays, it feels like a holiday coming here. This place will always be the place I grew up and as much as this place was home for me I think (and hope) I've moved out for good, just because it reminds me of being a kid. I know that sounds really sad and cringe cause I'm 21 but it is weird, for me anyway, I guess I'm getting old! 

On a more cheery note, the procrastination has allowed me to start a new series on Netflix, which will be the death of my degree, but on the plus side, by the time I finish this term, I will have completed Skins! 

Anyway, I guess I should sign off now, back to learning/revising/netflixing - Gimme a shout if anyone has any useful revision techniques, I've got to start learning quotations for my English exam next week and any help would be most appreciated.

St Mary Bourne, Hampshire
Have a great week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

University Life and Exams

Hello and Welcome to my newly designed blogging home! A big shoutout to Gabriela at The Basic Page who designed and installed my new look, and to Alice's Antics from where I got my inspiration. Alice's blog and dedication to her blog encourages me to work on mine so I would seriously recommend taking a look, also she's a pretty cool human being. 

Now I was going to write about "University Life and Exams" today as recently I have been thinking about the importance, hmmm, maybe not importance that's not the right word...maybe the ultimate use of having a degree. Don't get me wrong, I've had an amazing two years so far, and I wouldn't change it for the world... well, somethings I may change! Anyway, what I'm trying to get to that, although I knew this, it seemed to really have hit me again today, that university, a degree and results aren't everything. I know I'm writing this in reflect to probably the worst essay mark I have ever received so clearly I'm going to go on a bender and say things like 'grades don't matter' no, of course, they do, and I'm really truly disappointed and frustrated with it this time, but also sometimes it is worth taking a step back. It's funny how, for me anyway, it takes something to go wrong or not the way I wanted it to for me to appreciate some of the other things in my life more. At the end of the day I know I am here for a degree and to graduate, and I know I want a 2:1, but if it is a 2:2 is it really the end of the world? 

Simply, No. 
Will it be annoying? Yes. Will I be pissed off at myself? Of Course. But will the world stop turning? No.

Sometimes I need to realise, and I think we all do to a degree, that we can't be good at everything and we can't please everyone. I have been so caught up in theadspaceace that because I have done badly on a few essays means that I am not worth being here and that it is not worth it, but then I thought back to my exams last year which I did well on, and another essay that I smashed. I just needed to rationalise things and say okay, I fucked up this time, but what am I good at, and how can I make myself better. And in that same theme, second year exams are about to rear their ugly head again, and as much as everyone hates exams, I'm strangely looking forward to getting stuck into it again, so I have recently discovered, exams are my jam, so bring it on!

Although I love being a student, it can be tough sometimes, we are somewhere between being real full-time adults and teenagers who have been thrown into this big pond called university and told to swim, but not just swim, you have 3 years to win gold in the Olympics while carrying coffee that you can't spill. It's insane, and yet we are all getting through it. As much as I would love to have taken a perma-gap year, I know I would have had to grow up at some point, even if the urge to run away and go on another adventure will never leave me, for now I'll just have to be content with planning the ultimate summer holiday!

Well, that best be it from me today, but taking inspiration from Alice once more (sorry Alice!) I am going to try and keep to some sort of blogging schedule by starting with one new post a week - aiming to be on a Wednesday. I think this sort of writing will keep me sane and hopefully you all enjoy my ramblings.. hopefully...maybe? 

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Welcome to Royal Holloway!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Kate's Fav Books: A Review

Here is a rundown of some of my all-time favourite books and some of the ones I have recently read. I would highly recommend them all if you've got a few spare hours, but they are all very different from each other.
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak: The Book Thief has to be one of my favourite books as the first time I read it I fell in love with it. Following the story of a young girl in Nazi Germany, and told with Death as the narrator, this book is a dark tale of adventure and history that stays with you long after finishing the last page. Although not a book to read to cheer you up, it is beautifully written and leaves a lasting memory. 
  • Birdsong, Sebastien Faulks: What can I say about Birdsong, although I had to read and study this book for A-level English Literature, it made it even better. Sebastien Faulks adds a tragic beauty to the setting of WW1 (can you see a fictional history obsession going on here). I really need to read this book again but from what I remember the intertwining between love and war really sets this book apart from any others. I think it will be the next book I will tackle.
  • Room, Emma Donoghue: While this book has been just turned into a film, and unfortunately I didn't get the chance to see it, it was an amazing read. Not an uplifting or cheerful book at all, surrounding the story of Ma and her son who have been trapped in 'Room' by a man who could only be described as a psychopath. The book follows Ma and Jack, told from Jack's perspective as they escape their captor and adjust to the outside world, and how the outside world adjusts to them. This book is not for the faint-hearted, and I know many people who have read it and not liked it. Personally, although I know it covers a really tough subject matter, I find it so interesting, and would highly recommend it.
  • Elsewhere, Gabrielle Zevin: I found this book while staying at one of my oldest friend's houses and I began reading it and couldn't put it down. As a young girl who used to be terrified of death and people dying, this book brought me a lot of peace. The beautiful story of a girl who tragically dies in a car accident aged 16, Elsewhere presents the idea that when we die we to go a place like earth where all those had died are. From here you live, like you did in life but age backwards, getting to age zero, you are then born again back to earth as a newborn baby and start life again. This beautiful idea really reassured me, not that there is life after death, but that there is something and that we will see our loved ones again. Zevin writes with heartbreaking beauty making this book almost like poetry, it is one that I will always have on my bookshelf.
  • The Radical Practice of Loving Everyone, Michael J. Chase: This book was given to me by one of my best friends and I have read it twice in about 6 months and each time I have read it in about 24 hours. Unlike most of the other books on my list this book is not a work of fiction, nor does it follow a story, but is filled with many stories from Chase on how we can learn to love everyone. Chase bases his philosophy and stories on the observed practices of his dog, Mollie, and how she treats everyone, especially strangers, with equal kindness. While reading this book, both times actually, it made me consider how I live my life, and what I can do to treat everyone like Mollie does.  
  • Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling: I couldn't write a list of my favourite books and not include the Harry Potter books. Everyone knows how amazing they are so I don't really need to explain, and if you haven't read at least one of the books in this series, what have you been doing with your life and have you been living under a rock?! I was so obsessed with these books that I even queued up at midnight to get the last book. I really hope the hype around Harry Potter never fades, it was a key part of my childhood and I really hope it will be something that I can pass on to my children and grandchildren someday. 
  • Michael McIntyre: Live and Laughing, Michael McIntyre: Although this book is an autobiography, it is the book I turn to when I am feeling down or in need of a laugh. Michael McIntyre is one of my favourite comedians and having seen him live twice, I had high expectations for this book and I wasn't disappointed. He takes you through the highs and lows of his life and how he made it as a comedian, pretty much what you would expect but with funny stories along the way. This is one of the first books that has genuinely made me laugh out loud so I have to read this book alone, else my housemates will think I am crazier than I am already am.
So there you have it, a few of my top book choices if you find yourself at a spare end I would suggest digging into one of these bad boys and they should provide a few hours of entertainment. Let me know what your favourite books are of if you have any recommendations, I'm always looking for new books to add to my list.

Have a great week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

I'm Back!

Well, I think I should start this blog post with a bit of an apology (again!). Once again I have found myself taking a little bit of an unintentional hiatus from blogging and now deadlines are over (again) I have a more time to dedicate myself to you lovely people. So what's been going on since I last wrote...

I think one of the biggest things that happened is my birthday, 21, god I'm old. My birthday weekend/week was a low key affair which was nice as it seems to be all downhill from here on the age front! haha, no I'm kidding, but now I really feel that I have to start to have a plan and get my life together and do proper adult I'll just hide again until that feeling passes I think. 

By some miracle or another, I have managed to land myself some work experience for the summer, with no help or inside contacts I might add, (can you tell I'm just a little bit proud of myself). In July I will be spending two weeks working at the London office of Scholastic, the children's publisher. Hopefully, it will give me a little peek into the world of publishing and maybe give me an idea if it would be something that I would be generally interested in... or just confirm that I should go travelling forever. 

Also on the topic of being grown up, I have got another job (yes really) as a conference assistant at uni - this will make my job total up to 4... but I couldn't not work. If I didn't have even 1 job I would be itching to get one. Ever since getting my first job at the pub aged 16 I have never been able to stop working. I have this awful compulsion to always say yes to an extra shift or overtime so juggling 4 jobs should be a piece of cake... or I'm just going to be crying into my laptop next time I write on here!

I'm still doing the odd piece for The Tab, it has got a bit of a shit reputation at our uni at least, mainly because they publish quite a lot of trashy or gimmicky articles, but like my editors say, when you stop reading them, we'll stop writing them. My last article was hilarious, it was about Elliott and Matt's fencing, and it was a work of art if I do say so myself. Check it out on the website! 

Oh, today I handed in my last essay of second year, which was really scary because that means exams and third year will be happening in the blink of an eye, and that means real stuff like dissertations... It also means I am now pretty bored with not much to do. I can't really start revision yet as we haven't learnt anything so right now our house is pretty clean and I think I will start re-organising my cupboard later. Oh dear, I need something to keep me sane. 

Along with this, my plan for my next blog post, which I hope to have out by Friday (but don't hold me to it) is a little book review of my current and all-time fav books. One of the benefits of having this time now is that I can actually read a book that is not on any reading list, I can just read for fun. Just reading a book because I want to is something that I love but rarely get the opportunity to do much anymore.
Another plan to keep the boredom at bay it to plan some travelling ideas for the summer. I can't sit still and that travelling bug has woken up again. I just got back from Copenhagen, Denmark, on Monday as I spent a long weekend there with Steph and Sabrina - lovely to have a short break from reality - but now the wanderlust is stronger than ever. While I'm waiting to hear back about the travel grant I applied for I will just have to content myself with imagining it instead! 

Anyway, the cupboard is calling so I shall end my ramblings here but it is awesome to get back into blogging my random thoughts and hopefully you lovely people enjoy reading my musings.

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

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