I quit my job, with nothing to go to.

Do you know what’s scary? You know that paralysis of fear that you feel right before the drop of a rollercoaster? Or the gut wrenching anxiety when you walk into a hospital? That moment of desperation when you swerve quickly to avoid a fatal collision? We each have our own definitions of fear. For me, losing your job is scary, but what’s worse is staying in your job.

Two weeks ago, I quit my job. What I do is not impressive, and it’s not particularly well paid. In fact, it is minimum wage and it has made me miserable every day for the last 8 months. The sensible thing to do would be to line another job up before quitting, but there’s a moment of content peacefulness that comes when you reach your limit. I knew that enough was enough, and had I not done it then I am not sure I ever would have. Continue reading

Help me, I want to be a journalist.

Some bloggers write as a side project, some make a reasonable living from it, and a lot of us do it because we want to be some sort of writer or a journalist. Those of us who do that are used to the struggling life of a writer, we know what it’s like to suffer in order to perfect our craft. It involves spreading ourselves far too thin, and staring at a blank white page on Word in the ugly hours of the night. Then we go to our normal jobs looking like a homeless version of one of the witches from Hocus Pocus. It is a delightful experience of everybody.

Who even gets to be a journalist now? Is it anybody who can afford to do a Masters at a prestigious journalism school? Is it someone with the right connections? Or can we chock it up to dumb luck? Journalism is one of the least secure career paths you can choose, stability is not on the cards and financially you’re not in for a pot of gold unless you’re secretly Piers Morgan. If you want to go into this field, you need a thick skin and an arrogant edge that tells you you’re the best. You’ll get no where without self belief.

These are the things I know about the path to getting your job as a writer or journalist. If you need me, I’ll be sat in a corner chewing on my hair, because this job path has driven me to insane and unbelievable actions. Read all about it, Goldilocks ruined her hair! Suffered for art! Continue reading

Dear Mr President, I wrote you a tourist guide – you’re welcome.

Original image source: Sayanythingblog

Next Autumn, Celtic Manor near Newport is hosting the 2014 Nato Summit, scheduled to take place between the 4-5th September. This means that the most influential world leaders will be brought to our fine Welsh land. The best part of this, is that it means Barack Obama will be joining them, marking the first official Presidential visit to Wales in history.

President Obama is a busy man, and will surely have little time to digest vast amounts of Welsh tourism guides. This is where I feel it is my duty to intervene, as anyone who has gone through my blog knows I take an active interest in the Obama presidency. So, it is down to my civil obligation that I have compiled a list of all things Cymraeg for the President to enjoy during his stay. Continue reading

Magic, Sparkle, and a Fluffy Scottie – It’s an M&S Christmas Spectacular

Image: Marks and Spencer

As adoring as I am of the annual Coca Cola truck and Santa’s twinkly eyes and friendly face on my television, the Marks and Spencer Christmas campaign is one of my favourite things of the entire year. In fact, the actual shop is one of my favourite things of the year once they’ve stocked up on all their Christmas goods – Yes, I do need a mini teapot with a tea cosy and yes Mother, you will buy it for me or there will be tiny tears.  Last year’s Greatest Hits campaign left me bored and wanting more, after years of becoming accustomed to a more glittery and heartwarming offering. The problem was, I didn’t care about the products as the stars. I wanted snow, glimmer, and exuberance-I wanted a show, dammit! It seems as though M&S have reverted back to their trusty old Christmas staple, Magic and Sparkle, a concept from the 2001 campaigns.

Continue reading

Something wicked this way comes: telling the story of Halloween

Image from my own Instagram
“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where one ends, and where the other begins?” – Edgar Allan Poe

Come in my pretties, can I take your coat? Please, make yourselves at home. There now, there is no need to be afraid of All Hallows’ Eve. Take off your mask, there is no need for that here, I know exactly who you are. Are you sitting comfortably?

It began almost 2,000 years ago, when the Celts across Europe celebrated their New Year’s Eve. Known as Samhain Eve, it was celebrated at the end of October before the colder months chilled the bones of our ancestors. They didn’t own overpriced Barbour jackets or hot water bottles to keep them warm, you see. Samhain, means November in Irish and celebrated the end of a bountiful harvest season and the disappearance of the warm summer months. As the line waned between autumn and winter, it was legend that so did the veil between the living and the dead. On this particular night, spirits were thought to walk with the living, many on their way to the afterlife. Continue reading

Why do we care what Banksy thinks of the One World Trade Centre?

Image my own.

Street artist Bansky submitted a controversial Op-Ed to The New York Times. It was rejected, due to the newspaper’s inability to agree on the piece or the images used. The piece was then posted as a NYT mockup on Banksy’s own website, among many things he stated that the new One World Trade Centre is evidence that “the terrorists won” and that New York has lost it’s nerve.  New York Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy also told the New York Post that “What he has posted on his site is not exactly the same as what he submitted.”

“It would be easy to view One World Trade Centre as a betrayal of everyone who lost their lives on September 11th, because it so clearly proclaims the terrorists won.”

You only think you believe in freedom of speech.

Image source: airobserver.wordpress.com

Disclaimer: Views are my own, this particular article is an expression of thought and not a reflection of my own life or circumstances. Any links made to my own life by others are purely speculative. All rights reserved.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want  to hear.” 
― George Orwell

You would like to think you believe in freedom of speech. Do you, though? When it comes down to lessons in expression of thought and freedom to speak out, would you be willing to silence others?

You can’t be afraid of thought or ideologies that are oppositional to your own. Discrimination, sexism and racism are all limitations of free speech and rightly so. You can hold whatever opinion you like in your own domain, but you cannot take those views from the private sphere and into the public sphere. You might not like someone’s race, religion or belief, but then again I don’t like your eyebrows and I won’t throw that into a public forum for careless scrutiny. So, do you believe in freedom of speech? If someone offends you, your family or your friends, do you really want to take it on the chin when you’re bombarded with things you don’t want to hear? Everything within reason, and everything within logic. You also need to consider what it is you disagree with before you speak, is it the person themselves, or the way they conduct their business. Continue reading