Christmas Presents!

Hullo!
I hope that anyone out there reading this had a lovely Christmas and received some exciting goodies. I know I did! I thought i’d just do a quick post including some of the things that I got this year. I was going to try and do a bit of a fashion shoot thing, styling some of the below in different ways, but the day seems to have just disappeared before I could get around to it! So instead, here is a very lazy version of that idea:

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944284_10151769662186673_2083510484_nSorry if the formatting is a bit iffy – i’m still trying to get my head around editing images in WordPress. From the top left down to the bottom are where you’ll find the following (though I have no idea if they’re all still in stock).

1. Green coat: Topshop
2. Glow in the dark skeleton Jumper: Asos
3. Moon face cardi: SheInside
4. Tartan Cigarette Trousers: Topshop
5. Bat Jeans: Topshop
6. Holographic Jolene loafers: Topshop
7. Dr Martens
8. A load of pug stuff! (I have no idea where these things are from)

I’ll be heading up to Wales tomorrow night to celebrate New Years. Whatever any of you are up to, I hope that you have a smashing one!

Nigel_ThornberryCheerio x

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Characters

Writers don’t write from experience, although many are hesitant to admit that they don’t. …If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy. – Nikki Giovanni

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Edward Hopper

As a writer the main thing that has always inspired me most is characters. I feel like they can come from anywhere and everywhere, whether that be a stranger you notice in the street, a lyric in a song, a manifestation of an emotion or a random strand of thought that passes through you and makes you see things from a completely different perspective.

Once you have a character, the rest can come together. Their world forms from their loves and hates, from all your wonders about the hundreds of souls that surround you every day but have no meaning, no real connection. And as their stories unravel there’s the chance to feel closer to the world, and to live out a life that is a momentary escape from your own.

I think it’s this love of characters that explains why I love documentaries about people so much. That would probably be my dream job: to interview and document the lives of strangers. Because as boring as it may seem, everyone, whether outwardly strange or not is full of secrets and fascinations. You just have to look closely enough to catch the details.

Last night I watched a TV show about obsessive collectors, which aired on Channel five. This guy was one of them:

This is Barry Kirk, and if you couldn’t guess, he’s obsessed with baked beans. He has a baked bean museum in his house, two baked bean tattoos, an alarm clock that farts when it goes off and most spectacularly, a baked bean super hero costume that allows him to transform into ‘Captain Beany’. Oh! He also has his own website.

Barry Kirk appeared on the show alongside several other collectors, including a gnome fanatic and re-born baby dolls lover. While the extremities of their collections had led to all of them experiencing a certain amount of attention, some preferred this to others. For the Gnome collector and Captain Beany it had become a positive in their lives, turning them into local celebrities. This was a position that allowed them to not only openly share their obsessions with others, but also gave them  some much needed company.

While watching this I felt as though I could make better sense of the eccentrics that live locally to me, like the Wizard man:

SU20505-01I suppose the natural assumption for most is to see someone like the above and think they’re mad, because, I guess, it’s difficult to understand why he might choose to do that everyday of his life. This is a huge generalisation though. I think instead it comes down to something else: loneliness.

There is something inherently lonely in all of us, and how we deal with it depends on who we are as people. While some may choose to be around friends all the time, others might turn to collecting, or dressing up as a wizard and walking around the shops, chatting to strangers.

I also think that it’s this loneliness which makes us so fascinated with other people. Even doing things like watching movies, listening to music, writing stories and generally losing ourselves in the narratives of the world all feel like ways to better connect with distant spirits. Art especially conjures this comforting presence amid the terrifying “what does it all mean?!” questions of being alive.

While we might not relate to everyone, I think there’s something so vital in trying to understand who others are or might be because our characters are what make us so special, whether fictional or real.

As a final note, here is an Interview Project by David Lynch, which I watched a couple of years ago and fell in love with. It seemed appropriate for this post.

I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas and have an even better New Year 🙂

Wish list!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve all! It’s officially just two more sleeps until the big day and there’s a roaring storm outside, so I thought that I’d set up camp in the living room with a cup of tea and do a quick blog post.

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s compiling lists of stuff that I want to buy. I even have a ‘shopping’ bookmark tab that includes random links to pretty/awesome things I’ve stumbled across online. Not such a healthy habit for my bank account!

Due to being so close to Christmas I realise that this list comes a bit late. If you leave all your present shopping until the last minute, then you may be able to get some of these things in shops near you, or alternatively, you could just order them then give your loved ones a considerate “It’s on its way” card and some chocolate coins.

Of course, you could always just treat yo self.

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The New year brings with it sales and therefore the urge to spend spend spend, and at the same time, if you find yourself holding a wad of Christmas money yet somehow stuck for inspiration, hopefully some of the following will help.

NB: If like I am you are completely broke from all the festive expensiveness, I’m sorry. You probably shouldn’t torture yourself by looking through this.

Galactic Sweatshirt

b05fc8da0ef7224eThis Galaxy sweater can be found at Firebox or the Mr Gugu and Miss Go website. They make some really awesome stuff, though can be a little on the pricey side. You can get similar styles on websites such as SheInside if on a budget. I just love anything space inspired and as an FYI – holographic things go perfectly with this kind of design!

Speech Bubble Necklace

glencocoThis is the Bespoke Speech Bubble Necklace by the awesome jewellery makers Tatty Devine. You can choose whatever you want it to say as long as it’s in 40 characters. I’m still desperate to get one of these! They make such a unique gift or a good conversation starter for yourself!

Skeleton Dress

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This is the skeleton dress by Tee and Cake at Topshop. I think that this has been on sale for a while, as i’ve been eyeing it up for a loooong time but still not bought it. I seem to do that a lot with some things! Anyway, one of my obsessions is Halloween so anything slightly spooky or related to skeletons, monsters and ghouls is a must have!

Balloon Lamp

normal_balloon-lampA balloon lamp, yo! How awesome is this? You can literally use real balloons too. I like collecting weird lighting and I also love balloons so this feels like something of my dreams. You can get this here.

Flamingo Lamps

il_570xN.436274843_tdszSpeaking of awesome lamps, check out these FLAMINGO LAMPS. You can get them individually or in a pair here.

Dinosaur Brooches

il_570xN.467673146_a3jeHow could anyone not fall instantly in love with this sparkly Steg brooch?

Pug Bag

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My dog is a pug cross and in general I’m just madly in love with pugs. I sometimes just scroll through pictures of them when i’m feeling low. Yup. I recently bought the pillow from this Etsy site, but am also lusting after the bag! What better way to show the world your pug love?

Joker Converse

1922878570ex_mainNa na na na na na na na BAT SHOES. Well, they’re Joker themed converse if we’re being specific. I bought my first pair of converse about four years ago and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. They’re just so comfortable and look great, and at the moment I’m looking to get some new ones after completely wearing out my old ones! I wanted these SO much, but sadly they’re sold out in my size. Please restock, Schuh!

So, that’s it folks. Have a very merry Christmas full of delicious foods, strong beverages and good people.

Amber
xxx

What am I doing with my life?

I ask myself this question a lot. Often jokily, when I’m doing things like cutting up blocks of cheese to eat at 2am, or trying to make my dog howl for about twenty minutes by gradually increasing the pitch in my voice. In all seriousness though, it’s a thought that’s always at the back of my mind, clouding what I’m doing and feeling heavy on my character.

Growing up I always had some sort of a plan for my future. At first I wanted to be a vet, but put these dreams aside after realising i’d have to put animals to sleep. Next I wanted to be a ballerina, though that didn’t last long as I’m far too clumsy. Then for a long time I was content to be a writer, and for an even longer time, I wanted to be a famous actress. I especially wanted to be in musicals and get to sing and dance and be someone different every night. I still have a passion for that, but not the confidence. So, I’m trying to be a writer.

Life can really knock the spirit for things out of you though. I feel sort of like i’ve spent the last few years surrounded by whispers that I’m not good enough. It makes me wonder if I’m doing the right thing, and if I’m making the right choices for life. It’s the only one i’ll get, after-all, so I’m petrified I’ll mess it up and be left un-fullfilled and invisible.

Whenever I start to feel this terrifying, paralysing paranoia about myself, my boyfriend sometimes has to remind me that I’m only 23. That there’s always time to find the right opportunities, even though sometimes searching for them can feel exhausting and futile.

Maybe I am just one of those scattered people. The ones that never quite settle into one path, but instead explore many. I’m ok with that, even though it can make things feel very out of control at times.

If I think about who I was a few years ago I was such a different person. While I’m still not overly self confident, I do feel far more comfortable with myself these days. This inspires me of the possibilities the years have, and how although at one point where you want to be can seem like a far off dream, it can be slowly developing too.

I suppose this is just a rambly, pensive post to say, stay positive fellow confused and stuck humans. That’s the best way to attract what you want, I’m sure of it.