I MOVED TO LONDON TO GET A REAL JOB ( yeh i should do that )


so it's been a while since i've done one of these idiotic 'what i've been up to' posts, and since i've moved to london to start my actual life i thought i should do a lil update about some of the things i've learnt from this fair city in the month-and-a-bit i've been here.

yehyehyeh everyone is supposed to know this about london but seriously it actually takes the old biscotti. every day i am optimistic about that £5 minimum top up i put on my oyster card, and after about half a journey it's GONE. come on guys. buck your ideas up. being a cheap scottish broad i really resent paying over like £1.50 for travel so i will literally do anything, ANYTHING to avoid paying for transport. whether it be classic 'i'm from scotland, i'm really confused about the ticket system here, am i supposed to have a card of some kind?' or using the same dayticket for weeks at a time on the bus. the trick is to really dawdle with finding your card when you get on. in edinburgh bus drivers won't start driving til the last person pays, but here it appears that they do not care if a young girl is in fact a devious fare-dodging stowaway because they start driving. so by the time you get your ( blatantly a month out of date ) day travel card out they are too busy concentrating on the road to notice. however, you do have to be careful because i nearly broke one of my ribs when the barriers at waterloo closed on me. they are not gentle. all i was trying to do was, you know, run after some old woman when she put her card in. anyway the barrier closed on me and i was very much trapped. it was pretty mortifying because this guy had to like, come and let me out. at this point i kinda didn't have an excuse so i just sort of, looked confused (classic) and ran away.

so here in london i am back working for old faithful (ATG) and, yet again, i am working at the lion king. i thought i'd seen the last of that pesky old maid but yep, it's come ROARING back *pun intended*. i must say though, i have missed it and it is a fun show to work at, i just don't know if i can ever listen to hakuna matata again without wanting to kill myself. anyway unlike edinburgh the majority of the audience are tourists, so you get people from all over the place chatting to you. sorry but. 'will-call'. what is that. have you ever heard of that? i don't think so. so who can blame me for thinking they wanted to use my phone? i got a very blank and confused stare back. anyway everyone i really super nice at work, EVERYONE is a performer which is so weird coming from the playhouse where most people just want to get money and go to CC blooms ( luv n miss you guys ). but they're a nice loud creative bunch and yeee work could definitely be worse. the only thing that is slightly lacking is the uniform. i have to wear a bow tie. yes. a nice shiny red bow tie. and a waistcoat. i look like a right tit.  here's a pic of me with dick van dyke on my way to work:

burlesque is something i've wanted to try for aaaages and i was like ' HEY, london is a sexy cool city, what better place to get my kit off in ???'. as i expected, there are LOADS of options here, there's about a million burlesque schools and loads of lessons. sadly though, they are all pretty expensive, and since i nearly broke my ribs trying to save £1.50 on the train i don't think i'm going to be able to shell out £200 for a bunch of lessons. BUT - i found a little hours taster lesson for £10 which i thought was perfect. one of my best friends down here wanted to try it too so we booked it together. however, i failed to read the smallprint. well, it wasn't smallprint, it was quite loud n proud on the website but i didn't read it until we had booked: 'PERFECT FOR HEN PARTIES'. now, i don't wanna be judgemental, but the prospect of dancing around with a bunch of middle aged ladies wearing penis deeley boppers and L-plates was not one i found particularly inviting. immediately i thought of a lady teaching us going ' COME ON GIRLS, SHAKE YA MONEYMAKERS! SHAKE WHAT YOUR MAMA GAVE YAA! ' nevertheless, we had both paid our £10 and i'd be damned if i was going to waste that. so we got to the place, actually really nervous, and the first thing we saw were a gaggle of women all wearing SPARKLY COWBOY HATS. we ran around the corner and were like 'we can't do this, we can't do this', 'this is too awful and embarrassing HELP'. eventually we psyched ourselves up and just bit the bullet. luckily the ladies with the cowboy hats weren't actually there, and there was a nice wee mix of people so it wasn't nearly as mortifying as i thought, though as expected it was super basic beginner level stuff. the funniest bit was we did a kick line ( lol ) but because it's very beginner-y the woman was like 'just lift your foot slightly off the floor'. when finally everyone had mastered the art of lifting the same foot off the floor at the same time as everyone else ( took a good 5 minutes ) she put the music on. and we did it for like the entire song. right foot up, right foot down. left foot up, left foot down two. over and over again. very slowly. to THIS SONG:

i was. dying. dying inside. i've never done anything like it. it was funny though.
anyway despite a less than enigmatic introduction into the world of burlesque it's still something i'll prob look into/just make it up?? can't be that hard right ??
overall though, i'm loving london so much!!! there is so much going on here and just so many people to meet and chat to. 10/10 i recommend. and i know lots of people are going to be coming down here to live over the next few months so i'm so so so excited to hang out with everyone here and share more of my wonderful, practical london advice with them.
lots of love X

artRAVE GLASGOW 19/10/14

hello lil chums,

two nights ago, i attended lady gaga's artRAVE in the glasgow sse hydro with one of my friends. here's my artRAVE experience.

as anyone who knows me in any capacity will know, i am a big lady gaga fan. I have been since around 2009 when i'd listen to Paparazzi and Christmas tree over and over and over again because those were the only songs of hers I knew. before she came along, i wasn't really that interested in popular music and hadn't followed anybody closely for years, but she got me back into pop culture and once acted as the soundtrack to my life. an adolescent life filled with tragedy (fooled me again, honest eyes), melodrama (bad romance) and euphoria (disco heaven). nowadays i no longer need her as a crutch but i still love (most of) her stuff so naturally i had to attend artRAVE, the fourth 'ball' she's toured. i was interested to see how it compared with the other two i'd seen (the monster ball and the born this way ball).
BUT FIRST ;; lets start with the outfit !!!

my other outfits to the balls have been pretty understated so i wanted to try and make a bit more of an effort this time. i promised myself that i'd never try and 'replicate' any of her looks but i did wear a distinctly gaga-esque costume this time around. although i don't actually recall a time where she wore a flower bra. anyway, here it is:

it was actually super simple to make. all you need is an old bra and hella cheap flower hairclips. i got all of mine from tiger in the st. james centre in edinburgh for £1 each. it worked out so well because i was sure i was going to have to utilize my terrible sewing skills for this costume but i could clip the orchid-style ones to the top and sides of the bra. the roses all had pins in the backs of them so i just pinned them and voilĂ  !! 1 flower bra !! 

i really didn't know what to wear on my bottom half, if i could do it again i'd probably have got more flowers and made a 'garden panty' with some black elastic pants but i left it too late. i ended up wearing just a plain black skirt with a frill around the bottom because i thought it looked a bit mermaid-y. and then my friend let me borrow her holographic skull glasses to cOmPlEtE dA lOoK.

anyway, we'd bought early entry tickets which i was a little bit trepidatious about at the time bc of the price and i'm a skint bitch. but i cannot express how glad i was that we bit the bullet and bought them. we arrived about 3.30pm, the earliest time you could 'register' for your wristband. there were two queues already, one for GA standing which was pretty long and a slightly smaller one for early entry. it looked like people had respected the 3.30pm rule and hadn't queued for early entry thaaat much earlier than the rest. i was worried about turning up and there being the biggggest queue for early entry so STILL not getting a decent spot despite the package. but we joined the queue and got our wristbands. gradually the queue got bigger but we were certainly in the first quarter i'd say. oh yeah btw don't be a twat like me - if you're wearing no clothes, TAKE A BLOODY JACKET. i was like 'yeah man i don't need no jacket the promise of gaga will warm me up' a sentiment i held onto until my lips went blue. i thought we'd be queuing inside!!! but we definitely weren't.

queue was taken into the foyer about an hour later where we got our lil merch bag thing, another perk of the early entry tickets. included an artRAVE tote bag, an artRAVE picture book ( hardback also swanky swanky ), a laminate and a bubble gun which was my favourite thing of all. it even has 'artRAVE' on the side of it. 

another hour and we were in the aud!!! this bit pissed us right off, everyone was moving s o slowly and congregating around the catwalks etc. we wanted main stage ( slightly to the right ) so we had to lightly jog avoiding people all the while. we got the perfect spot imo, second/third row in front of the main stage. she was literally DIRECTLY in front of us for about 70% of the show, close enough to make eye contact. GA were admitted 10 or so minutes later and so didn't stand much of a chance of getting as close to the main stage as we were aiming for so i was thankful that we got the package. but i had some other friends who were GA and they still got a pretty good view of the stage, catwalks and the piano plateau.

i wasn't going to go into this for fear of a proper long post but i gotta talk about the support. the support was some goon called 'breedlove' and lady starlight, both friends of gaga's from new york. i saw lady starlight open for her before at the born this way ball - she did some weird performance art that involved masks. ok so i can appreciate that stuff sometimes but it was just the wrong crowd for that type of performance. sadly there was the same issue here. she played a sort of dj set where she mixed electronic music on the spot. i guess it was okay for like 10 minutes but then after that everyone got really bored and fidgety. again it wasn't like terrible stuff i think it was more just not suited to that particular crowd. and oh jesus i don't even know where to begin with breedlove. i think the word 'cretin' might partially cover it. he opened with a song that went 'i'll meet you at sex o'clock in the morning' over and over. the was accompanied by slow, calculated thrusting movements. oh and he also looked like he'd just walked off the set of jeremy kyle - jogging bottoms and a gold chain - rly?? i get what he was trying to go for but it didn't really suit the set or his image or anything. it might have been passable if he was dressed like more of an eccentric idk. the most excruciating part of it was he would stop singing at intervals and just STARE at the audience with his hand in his pocket in the creepiest way imaginable. it must feel weird to sing that kind of song and do those kind of moves and look out and see an audience made of a lot of very young girls. awful awful awful.

HOWEVER the show itself didn't disappoint in the slightest. as huge fans of the fame era aesthetic my friend and i found artRAVE to be a total return to form after the darker, space-y vibe of the previous ball. it still had a futuristic atmosphere but in a more pastel-y glitter-y way. i loved the nuances of the performance like the inflatable flowers that bloomed on the catwalk during 'Venus' and the marijuana-shaped confetti that rained down during 'Mary Jane Holland'. another highlight was a hilarious gratuitous prop she used during 'Donatella'. As she sang 'This purse can hold my black card and tiara' the dancers brought on a giant black amex with her picture on it out, danced with it for about a second, then took it off again. how we laughed...

the dancers were INCREDIBLE. so so so super sexy and there were points when i actually hadn't noticed gaga had returned to the stage because i was so distracted by them. one blonde female dancer in particular really stood out for me, she moved so sexily. i also absolutely loved the partynauseous interlude - you'd think any bit of the show without gaga in it would be a bit of a downer but no. their costumes were perfect too, and i loved some of the props they used. at the beginning they came out with big round pastel balloons, danced with them then threw them in the audience.

probably one of my favourite gaga looks ever... ( brooklynnightss.tumblr.com )
gaga herself performed so flawlessly. she came up out of the stage at the start of the show and was so close to us i totally lost my shit. she looked incredible the entire way through and her vocals were so en pointe, as were her piano skills. her wee talks in between each song were almost just right, there was less sycophantic cooing over the fanbase than i thought there would be so that's a plus. she spoke a lot about encouraging others to make their own art which i thought was really nice and heartening. she even wore a jimmy hat, tartan scarf and carried a bear playing the bagpipes around with her before fretting over whether she was being offensive or not. which was super cute and funny in a scottish context. it was very sweet of her to be worried. she played some songs that i didn't expect like judas and just dance. it was also the 5 year anniversary of bad romance so it was great to share that with her.

a GOOD TIME was had by ALL, especially by me and my friend. i loved every second of it!! she's coming back in november and omg the thought of not seeing her again is so horrible... anyway, i hope this post will be of some use to other fans attending artRAVE or at least help them get pumped for it!!! you're in for a hella great evening of entertainment!!!

Sailor Moon and Girl Power

hey guys xoxoxox

so yet again i am BACK with more feminist-y stuff. i wrote my dissertation at university about the value of sailor moon and with the relaunch of the series this year i thought i'd drag all this stuff back up. it's kinda become fashionable recently to watch and invest in the franchise and i'm so glad it has!!! because i believe as a series it's really apt and empowering esp for young people. anyway i did a hell of a lot of research for my paper sooo this'll have lots of stuff to back it up.

girl power aimed to redefine what it meant to be feminine in the late 20th century. early third-wave feminist groups like the Riot Grrrls kicked off the movement by aiming to take “feminine” traits which were seen as negative, such as vanity, and turning them into positive notions of self-appreciation. thus, girl power aimed to represent that “'femininity' is not opposed to feminism, but is positioned as central to a politics of agency, confidence and resistance.” (Munford) It aimed to present these feminine “acts” not as a shameful product of the patriarchy, but to affiliate them with freedom, irreverence and independence. 

this is certainly still a relevant movement today ( although arguably under a slightly different guise ) as young women still strive to redefine both femininity and feminism - this is plain to see within blogging communities on tumblr and within art, fashion and music. choice has always been a significant word in the feminist movement and maybe even more so over the past ten years, and sailor moon definitely illustrates this.

Takeuchi supports these ideas by utilising aspects of stereotypical femininity and displaying them in a positive light. this can most clearly be seen in the protagonist, Usagi Tsukino, the alter-ego of Sailor Moon. usagi herself undoubtedly “acts” as a female. she is often depicted with love hearts in her eyes as she looks at pretty clothes, good-looking boys or sweets. by unabashedly adopting girlish traits and adoring girl culture without shame she is embodying some of the values that “girl power” promoted.

importantly as we discover, the feminine usagi is connected to a higher and more adult sensibility than is first apparent. usagi and her friends have been reborn on earth in order to awaken in the future. as they discover, they were the protectors of the moon, and played highly important roles within the Moon Kingdom. this is interesting because, as young girls, their own adolescent fantasies are often diminished and side-lined by society at large, yet in Sailor Moon the girls act as the link between earth and the rest of the universe. just by associating “Usagi” with “Sailor Moon”, Takeuchi portrays her girly lifestyle as important.

how great is it that usagi shows young girls that you can be into fashion, makeup and boys AND still 'save the world'??? v great i'd say.

oh also, Takeuchi makes this even more apparent by directly associating 'girly' attacks with physical strength. lets clarify - 

so - it is not often that you see tears ( emotion - typically 'girly' ) melting a villain’s face off. Takeuchi assists girl power in characterising feminine “acts” as capable; just as capable, if not more, as the testosterone-driven “acts” of a male hero. “G33k_anddestroy” concurs: “[Putting] forth a female superhero that uses a stereotypical feminine trait to defeat enemies, which is shown to be even stronger than stereotypical masculine traits such as aggression and violence, is a very positive message in my eyes.”

and need i mention the destructive power of "rainbow moon heartache" and "silver moon crystal power kiss"? yeah. it's cool to see lovehearts and flowers obliterating bad guys.

as i said earlier, the word "choice" is extremely important in the feminist movement. sailor moon does not present usagi's stereotypical femininity as the only femininity. the sailor scouts, her best friends, represent a wide range of women:
Sailor Mercury is maternal, caring and loves math and computers
Sailor Jupiter is a tomboy who also loves to bake
Sailor Venus is a lively romantic
to put it another way, the scouts both disregard and acknowledge gender binaries. they confirm these actual gender “acts” by performing them as they are supposed to be performed like Usagi's typical femininity. however they individually freely and knowingly participate in both male and female “acts”. most blatantly - sailor jupiter is a tomboy who was expelled from her last school for fighting. however she also enjoys cooking, cleaning and more domestic tasks. freedom to display differing elements of gender in your character is certainly inclusive of the third-wave “messiness” that defined it. indeed, embracing contradiction and paradox was a notable feature of the third-wave, tracing back to the Riot Grrrls who purposefully used to wear a mix of different fashions together - Dr Martens (which have masculine connotations) with pretty feminine dresses and so on. as Baumgardner and Richards explain, “girl power” acknowledged that “feminine things weren’t truly the problem – being forced to adopt them was.” in other words, girl power encouraged the adopting of the traits of your own choice, whether they were masculine, feminine, or anything in between. the movement thus insisted that empowerment was accessible to every woman, no matter what “type” of girl she may be.

anyway i could literally write about this topic for hours and hours but i'll stop there. i hope you enjoyed reading and keep watching SMC!!


Hello dears,

Thanks for clicking and reading !! however this post will probz be slightly different to the usual codswallop i post on this thing so you might be disappointed, or maybe you'll be relieved because i won't be talking rubbish about nothing for once. anyone who knows me knows that i'm a true scholar at heart ( lol ) and a feminist so i thought i'd talk about an issue that has affected me and my friends over the past few years.

recently, I read this article entitled “Why Women aren’t Crazy”. The article is centred around ‘gaslighting’, which is a term taken from the 1944 film ‘Gaslight’. in this film, the spouse of the lead attempts to institutionalize his wife for being crazy in order to get his hands on her possessions. in a bid to convince everyone ( and most importantly herself ) that she’s crazy, he tinkers around with the gaslighting in their house making it flicker and falter. whenever his wife reacts to this, he maintains that she is seeing things. Ergo, she’s a crazy lady!!! and must be removed from society. thus, as the article puts it, “a gaslighter is someone who presents false information to alter the victim’s perception of him or herself.”

I read this article aloud to one of my closest friends who, in her last relationship, had been a victim of gaslighting - although of course she couldn’t see it at the time. This guy had basically convinced her that emotion, namely her emotion, and irrationality often go hand in hand. she was constantly being told that her feelings were an ‘overreaction’ and that she was ‘too sensitive’ or she ‘couldn’t take a joke’. this got so bad that she actually changed her contraception (on his recommendation obv) several times in an attempt to ‘stop the crazy’, which is shocking. what she couldn’t see was that emotions are emotions whether others deem them as irrational or not, and that surely a loved one should respect those emotions. anyway, I read her this article and sadly she nodded along to almost every word. “I genuinely thought I was crazy,” she said, “When you spend so much time with someone and you’re constantly being put down you really do start to believe it.”

I too have personal experience to back this up, but maybe in a slightly more innate way – which is worrying. I’ve never really been in a long term relationship before, yet I feel an inbuilt need to constantly apologise for my emotions. I do feel that this is partially to do with the kind of person I am – I’m quite a strong, ‘no holds barred’ person. I live to entertain people and make people laugh and I think, ludicrously, there is a part of me that wants to wall my emotions in and pretend they don’t exist. this undoubtedly builds and comes forth in uglier ways like obsessive thinking and even, in the past, bouts of depression. I have to say I’m getting better at expressing emotion, but I can still feel it niggling away at me sometimes – one of my good friends would often describe me as having an ‘emotional disability’. However I too can also trace this to a relationship/friendship whereby the person convinced me that my friends didn’t want to hear about my emotions or how I felt. i literally clammed up, in fact i can remember making the conscious decision 'right, i'm not going to say a word to anyone about anything then.' Of course, looking back, this was obviously a tactic which was put in place so that I didn’t go off and badmouth him and I’ve since spoken to my friends about it. surprise, they didn’t say anything of the sort. Although it has been resolved now, i somewhat still hold this view deep in my psyche that nobody wants to hear it. in fact, I’ve kept journals since I was pretty young in order to vent: in other words, I write as not to ‘bother’ anyone.

And you know what the sad thing is? I used to keep a very, very private diary throughout school i.e. I’d literally hide it in the most obscure places and... I still apologize in my writing for being emotional. I apologize to MYSELF.

“I know I’m being so over the top here”
“This sounds so petty”
“This is really self-indulgent”
“I really hate to whine but...”

I have diary entries from when I was 15, 16, 17 and even as recent as last week which start with “I KNOW this isn’t a big deal, but...” It’s like I feel guilty for expressing emotion and need to apologize even when I know I’m the only one who is reading and writing. That’s kind of fucked up. And I started to wonder why this is and that surely this sense of your emotions being redundant and stupid is much more ingrained into our way of thinking than we think. Or maybe it’s just me.

ANYWAY I basically found these old diaries and it triggered these thoughts so I thought I’d publish them in a bid to be a bit more vocal and fearless about my own emotions. And I would like to encourage others, especially young women, to never ever apologise for feeling things and expressing those thoughts and feelings. You should know that if they love, respect and value you, they should equally love, respect and value what they deem as your ‘crazy’ emotions too.

ps i should also take this opportunity to say that i have a wonderful group of supportive friends around me and never for one second think that they are disinterested in me when i need advice - it's definitely more to do with my own experiences and my own inbuilt sense of self awareness - which is disturbing.



yes, by some miracle i am still here, fit, able bodied and alive more or less. WARNING this entry might jump about a bit because loads of funny stuff has happened this month ( lol soz for lack of updates again ), it's been a bit hectic and unpredictable but hey, SUCH IS LIFE INNIT? sooooo last time i updated i'd just arrived in brisbane qld and was staying with my two friends from glasgow, abbie and gemma. it was AAAMAZING to see people who actually know proper me and not travel me and just watch loads of films and eat loads of food and drink loads of coffee from their amazing posh coffee machine. we also did some fun "active" things, we went to this creek which was so pretty!! the way there was pretty hilarious though, i think even bear grylls would have had his work cut out for him. we had to clamber over about a million rocks, over a waterfall, over fences... it was a pure mission. but it was worth it in the end, there's like a tarzan swing thing that you can jump into the water from but i was too scared to do it lol my 10 year old self would be very disappointed in me. here there were pure jagged rocks right below it though right so it was quite terrifying. also the water was OUTRAGEOUS, nipples a gogo . i don't think i warmed up properly until like a day later.

so in brisbane i was VERY unaware of my plans. i had absolutely no money. no exaggeration, i was eating shapes ( these amazing ritz cracker things ) for brekkie lunch n dinner. i firstly planned to travel up the coast to cairns ( couch surf, hitchhike, megabus ) but then i realised that with the money i had i'd probably get stuck around mackay and most of the places up the coast are really little towns anyway and since i'd be alone it'd probably be a bit grim. yes, i didn't want to admit it, but i was going to have to GET A JOB. sooo i resolved to go to byron bay which is like everyones no 1 fave place in the world. i dunno it's like a seaside town thing with a really big bar, club and backpacker culture, but then i chatted to some people and apparently EVERYONE goes to byron bay ( or "byron" as they call it - i don't like it ) to find work. eventually i chatted to one of my mum's friends who has lived in queensland for years and she said that call centre work would be the best option for me. yep. call centre work. mori eat your heart out. and that the best place to go for this kind of work would be the gold coast, north of byron bay and about two hours south of brisbane. she was right, i emailed round and had secured an interview within hours. so i packed my lil red case with the broken wheel ( nightmare ) and headed for a place that was called "surfers paradise". sounds lush, right? wrong. imagine an australian version of magaluf and you're pretty much there. most of the population there are from liverpool and have a great liking for kebabs. i was expecting the cast of geordie shore to pop out at any moment. anyway, when abbie and gemma dropped me off i felt like a child being dropped off at school camp as i clutched my bag and waved goodbye to my two nearest n dearest and the promise of security, food and warmth. now, i try not to be a snob, but there i was, alone, in a hostel where this was the logo:

truly disconcerting. i had also been invited to "get my goon on" within seconds of me checking into the hostel, a sentence that confused me on many levels. it turns out that "goon" is another word for sweet yellowing alcoholic pond water ( boxed wine ) and is simply the tipple of choice around surfers paradise. anyway, i was pretty certain that i may not get out of there alive, everyone was very loud, "modern" music was constantly blaring, there wasn't even a coffee machine in sight... "reps" kept knocking on the door and attempting, in vain, to get me off my high horse and encourage me to be social. i spent the majority of the first few days just reading and judging everyone over the top of my kindle. the sooner i got a job and got out of there the better, i said.

so here it was, the ~big opportunity~ that i had arrived in surfers paradise for. i dressed in my cute lil matching two piece suit, did my make up all nice, gave myself a motivational speech in the mirror. i'd obviously lied extensively in my CV about all my call centre experience ( my mum's friend actually wrote a reference for me, 99% of which i didn't understand, so if they asked me any questions about that i'd be scuppered ) so i was a little bit nervous but was sure i could just wing it, it's only call centre work after all, right? so i trekked my way across the city ( ok admittedly it's not v big ), arrived at the place specified, and waited. i actually had no idea what the company was called or what they sold, so i was rather keen to find out. maybe something financial? if it was i'd be fucked because i'm terrible with money and numbers and understanding things. i was hoping it might be some kind of market research company so i could just survey people or something. anyway, i eagerly looked up the number on the list of rooms and i saw the words "carpet shampoo" flash before my eyes. oh man. yep. i was being interviewed to be a carpet shampoo salesman. not carpets. carpets would have been bad. but CARPET SHAMPOO. and the worst thing about it is that the guy didn't show up. i waited outside the place for an hour and a half, looking like some kind of carpet shampoo prostitute. i trailed home all dejected, and then cried with laughter at the thought that i didn't quite make the cut to sell carpet shampoo.

it was around the time of "the great carpet shampoo debacle" that i realised that i actually couldn't even afford to stay at the hostel, or any hostel for that matter. i had to inquire about work for accommodation - i was a failed carpet shampoo salesman, really i had no other choice. the woman at the hostel reception had the most peculiar voice i've ever heard, sort of a mix between a baby and arnold schwarzenegger. she informed me that she would require 4 hours work a day, which would range from cleaning to, erm, "repping". i had training that evening. success! i finally had a kind-of job, the kind that doesn't pay.

we were trained that evening by this woman with the most alarming eyebrows i have ever seen in my life. here's an accurate representation of what they looked like: n n . she took the word "arched" to a new level. anyway, she was very raspy cockney and soft spoken. this allowed her to be critical but made her sound nice and non threatening at the same time. imagine a whispery girly cockney baby saying "you're a bit of a dick, arent you?" and that was her all over. she took us through the cleaning, all the cleaning products etc. the nub and gist of the training was that we should use "mould away" on everything. anything and everything. any question anyone asked, the answer was always "mould away, but it does have bleach in it so be careful". she must have been a spokesperson for bloody mould away the way she was going on about it. i met some of the people i'd be working with ( i knew a few of them already ) and they all seemed like a pretty good bunch of people, so maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all...
the cleaning was fine, in fact i apparently have an aptitude for cleaning toilets. there were a few minor incidents though, like the time i was cleaning sick out a sink ( yep ), professionally using a butter knife to unblock the drain and accidentally dropped it down the pipe. i obviously didn't tell anyone, and swore the two others i was working with to secrecy. this lead to the pipe being blocked, and the next day they had to take the sink apart. this lead to many jokes being whispered between us, including "wow, you could just CUT the tension right now", and "it's really good that they're having a STAB at this". there was also the time when i was assigned to work with a guy called rob who happens to be just as lazy and inept as i am, and what should have been a 4 hour shift took 7 hours because we were dicking about and kept being called back to rooms because we hadn't done them properly. it was pretty hilarious though, we were cleaning in our underwear and, for a time, i was wearing a bin-bag. it then took us about an hour to make up 4 beds ( we had to call for help in the end, we kept getting the wrong sheets and putting them on the wrong way and by the end we were just hysterical and mid-way between laughing and crying ).

however, i would have taken these diabolical cleaning shifts over the nightmare that was REPPING. If you don't know, "repping" involves taking everyone on a night out, getting them all riled up and ready to "party" and "get drunk" and "have fun". now, if you know me at all, you'll know that this kind of thing is pretty much my worst nightmare. of course, i do like going out and i like a drink, but forcing people to do so is really not my forte, nor is encouraging people to, as they say, "get their goon on". the first time i did it, myself and a guy called jamie had to host a trivia quiz which was an absolutely disaster. all was going relatively smoothly ( probably because i was on my third pint of goon ) until we realised the answers at the end of the quiz didn't match up with the questions. we looked at each other in horror and sort of stood there awkwardly not knowing what to do. the participants of the quiz didn't take too kindly to this fuck-up, in fact they were actually rather hostile and rude. in the end we abandoned the quiz and resolved to get them out the hostel as quick as we could so we could deposit them at the venue and escape ourselves, the shouts of "worst quiz EVER" and "ARE YOU KIDDING" still ringing in our ears.

anyway the long and short of it is that i lost myself in surfers paradise. i was going out every night. i suddenly enjoyed games like "goon pong". i listened to bruno mars and david guetta. i went on the "backpackers big night out" bar crawl. FOUR TIMES. but don't worry guys, i didn't change too much. i still managed to strike a blow for feminism towards the end of my stay. some annoying guy kept catcalling me as i walked through the hostel, things like "show us your tits" and "seriously, this girl has huge tits" ( original ). i had a moment of blind rage, ran over and threw a pint of goon in his face. yaaas. proudest moment. RESPECT by aretha franklin was playing in my head.

despite misogynistic arseholes i couldn't actually believe it but i was really quite happy there and was really sad to leave. the staff were absolutely amazing, and i started to really really enjoy it despite myself. alas, now i'm in SYDNEY working for sydney film festival which is so great and PAID HOORAY. getting my daily dose of culture again after spending a month as a trashbag. so i am currently seeing lots of films and eating lots of really nice food that my great host is preparing for me!! also both r.patz and cate blanchett were at the film festival yesterday hehe

enough for now. phew. miss you all as always - only 1 month 9 days until i'm home!!!!!!!

lots of love

jess x


hey hi hello! i bet you didn't expect to hear from me again hey??? ( Australians say the word 'hey' after every sentence for no reason )

so yes i am back with my bi-annual update to reassure you all back in the UK that i am not, in fact, dead. on the contrary, i am currently lying in a nice comfy double bed in a wooden beach house lookin thing in Brisbane with two of my nearest and dearest from home. well they aren't actually in the bed with me, gemma is at work ( lol ) and abbie is upstairs doing some important research ( watching sun sex and suspicious parents )

anyway, where was i ??? sooo the adelaide festival finished and i volunteered to do the bump out... for people who don't know, this is the process where we get eeeverything out - tents, rides, containers, everything - and pack it all away. so it's essentially a few days of intense manual labour. i know what you're thinking - its got me written all over it!!! but the money is amazing and obviously i had drank and eaten my way into the poorhouse by this point so i was like WHY NOT, I'M A STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN, I OWN A FILOFAX. well firstly lets say i have never felt so useless in my life. i was like a gooseberry in a hi-vis jacket. everyone knew things and people kept using words I'd never even heard of before - "what the bloody hell is a pallet" - and i basically nearly busted a lung trying to lift things that clearly were not meant to be lifted by a weakling. not to mention the day where i ended up in first aid twice before 10am ( both glass related incidents ) . however i did spot a forklift ( yeah I definitely thought they were called 'forklets' before this, true story ) which was only like the best job eveeeer. i even made it into a merry game in my head. there were these miniature flags sticking out of the ground all over the park and i was seeing how many i could run over with the forklet (7 at the last count). apparently though, in an unfortunate twist that nobody could have forseen, the primary job of a spotter was making sure that the vehicles avoided these flags as they were marking water points or something. awkward... anyway it actually ended up being really quite fun and i learnt a lot, so if anyone wants to know anything about cable ties, yutes or front loaders then I'm your woman !!

( EDIT: SO according to some know-it-alls (lydia milne), that is apparently not an australian flag. not like I've been in the country 3 months or anything... whats the point in having flags so similar, get some originality eh? )

so the time had come to wave farewell to adelaide and say a big GDAY to melbourne. ali had kindly offered me a lift in her car alongside some of our other friends from the festival ( jenny, hope, kiran, liz and matilda ) and we resolved to drive down the great ocean road. the scenery was great, we ate fish and chips, drank blue moon, sang taylor swift and had a great time in general !!

when we got into melbourne i felt as if I had been reborn. this place had BUILDINGS. and SHOPS. BARS THAT WERE OPEN PAST 12. and 7/11s that sold $1 COFFEE. and it was full of cool cats and all the food was packed full of "smashed" avocado and kale. anyway it was a bit of a shock to the old system coming from adelaide to an actual city, so i was wandering around in a bit of a daze at first. i was obv homeless at this point so my first prerogative was to find somewhere to live ( i crashed at my friend anna's for the first few days, thanks for that bbz ). i eventually was put in touch with a house share in West Brunswick. as soon as i stepped through the door i was greeted with fresh fig from the garden and i knew that this was the place for me. when I inquired about the keys, I was met with " oh, none of us really have keys, the back door is always open " .... fab. anyway my flatmates were super cool ( one of them even gave me an embroidered ribbon with my name on it yaas ), all laid back and stoned and/or drunk most of the time. they were also super into cooking, and were frequently whipping up various culinary delights, usually from our very own garden. and so the tale of my terrifying biscuit ordeal begins...

once upon a time I was leaving the house to get the tram into town. as I made my way to the back door ( wide open, didn't see that one coming ) my flatmate offered me a delicious looking cookie. well, who am i to turn down any baked good ? as I reached for the treat, i hesitated. "why!" i exclaimed "this biscuit appears to have a greenish hue about it!" it turns out that these cookies were for a party that my housemate was attending that evening and had added a rather substantial measure of marijuana to them. now, i haven't eaten the stuff since i was about 16 at Big John's in Dumbydykes, and it failed to have any effect on me then, so without much of a second thought, I ate it ( almost whole, it had chocolate chips in it and everything ). i got on the tram. i walked through the city. i met my friend. we had coffee and had a nice long chat. then all of a sudden, i had an existential crisis. i was melting. i felt like i was melting??? one minute i was there. next minute i was somewhere else. how did i get there??? how did i get on this planet??? what am i doing here???????? deep fried macaroni cheese seemed to be the answer to all my queries, but my satisfaction was fleeting. i then sat in a chair and simply couldn't get up, for what felt like hours. many hours. gradually, very gradually, i started regaining the feeling in my limbs and mastered the art of speaking once more but wow... never again. my weed eating days are very much over, and they had barely begun. never again will i shovel anything with chocolate chips in it down my gullet without inspecting it and mulling it over thoroughly first.

despite the unwelcome presence of edible marijuana, Melbourne comedy festival was slightly more low key than Edinburgh or Adelaide. the plus side of this was that I managed to see plenty of shows which kind of made up for my pitiful effort in Adelaide !!! saying that, i did manage to drink A LOT and eat a lot of lord of the fries ( this amazing veggie burger fast food place ) and i also went slightly off the rails and evoked my inner trashy teen by getting my belly button pierced. it was quite the spur of the moment, hungover decision. all was well until after it was done and the guy ( classic Melbourne hipster, beenie, plugs, tattoos ) decided to say "okay, all done, check out your new BODY BLING." yep. body bling. i couldnt believe i had just let this man pierce me. anyway, it's so great to be chilling now in Brisbane watching films every night all snuggled up in a duvet. however soon I am leaving Brisbane for the unknown ( no really ). I simply do not know what I am doing or where am I am going, mostly because I am extremely low on money right now. busking with 'the getaway game' may be the answer...

anyway, that's enough boring rambling for one session!!! I hope everyone's well, I'm missing you all greatly. please spare as thought for me in the next few weeks as i will be living in a skip. i spent all my money on "body bling".



HIIIIII okay I feel a certain degree of shame and embarrassment because i have been in australia for quite a while now ( 1 month 28 days to be precise ) and i made this blog mainly to update people on my hilarious misadventures and um yeah this is my first post. no one would have predicted that right, I'm usually so punctual and proactive I'm sure it was a great shock to everyone reading this... DONT KILL ME LYDIA I'M DOING IT I'M DOING IT. so yeah sorry about that, i kinda feel like the one kid late for the party, all shuffly and embarrassed with my hands in my pockets

uhh yeah so where the bloody hell to begin. i arrived in adelaide very confused and disorientated and sleep deprived after the world's longest flight ( probably literally ). I made the fatal mistake of speaking to the person next to me. i had to chat to this old woman about her granddaughter who is in performing arts for about 100 years so i was about to pull my own head off by the end. anyway my state of confusion did not subside when i went to pick up my luggage and realised EVERYBODY had the same suitcase as me. clearly business is booming for whoever manufactures those classic red square wheely bags coz they are obv the must haves of the travelling world. i was standing there hauling luggage on and off for about 45 minutes and i kept checking THE SAME suitcase over and over everytime it came round looool it was a bloody pharse. then i realised the one id checked then put back about 8 times ( I'm not exaggerating ) actually WAS my suitcase and my mum had just snuck a book i didn't recognise into the front pocket in a bid to get me to read one of her faves ( sadly not 'one good turn' rachel, i woulda recognised it straight away) GD ONE SHAYNE.

so it turns out adelaide is not the metropolitan capital of australia. in fact, adelaide is, i have been told, the 'rape capital' of australia and essentially a large country town. so festival time totally sweeps the city and makes it all mental for a month ( like a million festivals happen all at once ) then it just disappears into gold dust. it's like the city is briefly touched by the alcohol and churro fairy. ANYWAY the long and short of it is that everyone goes a little bit raj during february and it's SO GREAT. i was doing front of house for the first time which was EXCITINGGGG coz you got to use megaphones yep but according to marina ( one of the girls on my venue ) nobody could understand a word i said on those things because of my accent ? yeah that's another thing everyone thinks i have a super thick scottish accent when um i have the lamest most watered down accent evaaa. so anyway it turns out front of house work is HARD. never again will i scoff at those at assembly who complain about moving chairs and turnarounds and pre-ripping tickets. i was bruised and battered to the utmost degree from wrestling with ( and sometimes tripping over ) annoying heavy STUPID chairs. also you are on your feet. A LOT. anyone who knows me knows that my preferred position is horizontal ( shh) so this was a challenge. in the first week i couldnt deal with it so thought id just have a little lie down outside the venue you know. nicole, our third counterpart, met this with 'uhh you should probably get up, they wont be happy if they see you doing that' to which i replied 'but...but...I'VE BEEN STANDING ALL DAY'. we laughed about this conversation for weeks to come as i gradually realised that really important bosses tend to walk about the garden just observing us work, expecting the utmost professionalism at all times. which i delivered if any of my bosses read this. I'M SORRY I WAS YOUNG AND NAÏVE I'LL NEVER DO IT AGAIN please rehire me

anyway i, to put it mildly, had a hoot and a half in adelaide. i don't think i have ever been in such a ridiculous routine, which went something like this: wake up ( around 1pm ) > eat something, usually with absolutely no nutritional value > go to work at 5 > finish at 1am > get a free drink YEAH EVERYONE GOT A FREE DRINK AFTER WORK HOW GOOD IS THAT > go to fringe club until late and drink your weight in 'tiki iced tea'  > repeat. the shows were great too, although my 'theatre degree' was really making appearances where it was not welcome GO AWAY SIMON MURRAY. this manifested itself in the worst way when i gratuitously attributed sexual themes into a children's show while i was watching it, decided that i wanted to share a little wink and a nudge with the artist like YEAH I GOT IT, ALL ABOUT MASTURBATION RIGHT ?! i approached him BOLD AS BRASS and all pleased with myself (despite protests from fraser our techie) and was met with "... ive never thought that... i don't really think these things when I'm doing these shows for kids". i had to backtrack and go on about how i have the mind of a theatre scholar and i've been trained to look for underlying meaning in everything but really, i think I'm just filth. i discovered the wonder of fried dumplings, and that EVERYTHING that is vegetarian here is also spicy, whyyyy put chilli on it Australia????? i had the pleasure of helping out at hot dub time machine which was pretty hellish, but nice to feel a smug sense of superiority when you see people all trashy and falling about. even though i looked the same way the night before. OH AND SOMETHING SO GREAT was that i flyered TOPLESS. yep there's a really great show called 'asking for it' ( check it out if you're in Melbourne ) and me and a few others agreed to exit flyer a show half naked which was super exhilarating and fun and LIBERATING MAAAN but yeah it was realllly fun and something I'll remember for ages !! it was really funny, the patrons looked all sheepish and uncomfortable and all of a sudden a lot of the staff had 'things to do' at the idolize tent. ONE FOR THE GRANDKIDS HEYYYY.

anyway that is essentially an extremely brief summary of some kl lil things that happened in adelaide. we drove down the great ocean road which was beeeaaauuuutiful but i think I'll save those stories for my next post ( to be written in approx 1.5 months ) and I'm now in Melbourne living like a hippy so dont be surprised if i come back to Edinburgh having grown a beard and hating on " the man" lots.

LOVE YOU ALL and sorry for being so rubbish at keeping in touch !!!!! tell me about you too i feel bad ranting on about myself on this thing MESSAGE ME

jess xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

ps everyones really good looking here