Once Upon A Time

***SPOILER ALERT***

It’s cheesy, it’s got over-the-top CGI and it’s got Robert Carlyle covered in glitter as the infamous Rumplestiltskin calling everyone ‘dearie’. It’s not hard to love it.

Basically, a bunch of fairy tale lads and lasses are transported from the Enchanted Forest to a little town in Maine, USA, called Storybrooke. (Classic). Now, put those fairytale characters into regular jobs with regular(ish) life dramas, then add some Disney sparkle and a twist to the characters’ back stories and you’ve got the beauty that is Once Upon A Time.

They’re all in the quaint town of Storybrooke because the Evil Queen Regina cast “The Curse” to make the inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest suffer forever by giving them quiet lives in small-town America. Snow White’s torment is being separated from her true love, Prince Charming who is in a coma. However, in my opinion, the real punishment is that godawful pixie cut of Ginnifer Goodwin’s. By the end of the first season, though, “The Curse” has been lifted by Emma – the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming and therefore the product of true love – who grew up in the real world after being brought here through a magic wardrobe pretty much as soon as she left the womb… and she’s the same age as her parents cos of… reasons.

The second season sees Emma and Mary-Margaret (that’s Snow White’s Storybrooke name – keep up) trapped in the Enchanted Forest with Mulan, Aurora and Captain Hook. Ah, Captain Hook. Probably the most oestrogen-baiting character in the show. This series sees the characters struggle with their dual identities as despite “The Curse” being lifted, everyone remains in Storybrooke. The introduction of magic into Storybrooke, however, brings new threats as Regina’s mother Cora (aka The Queen of Hearts) and operatives from our world have an agenda to destroy magic. Remember, dearies, magic always comes with a price.

Now, the third season takes us to – have you guessed it? – Neverland. The main characters have travelled there in order to rescue Henry (Emma’s birth son who is adopted by Regina aka the Evil Queen – keep up). Henry was kidnapped because Peter Pan needed the “heart of the truest believer” and there’s a few twists in here that I want you to see for yourselves. Upon returning to Storybrooke, a power struggle ensues between Peter Pan and the rest of the characters (I know, right?) and the original curse is reversed, leaving Henry and Emma to have a life in New York with no memory of Storybrooke. A year passes and Hook tracks down Emma in NYC because the characters have been returned to Storybrooke with no memory of the past year. Who would do such a thing. Was it Regina, I hear you ask? No, it was the one and only Wicked Witch of the West. She’s a right jealous cow.

Season four brought not only the Snow Queen, but also Anna and Elsa from Frozen. Elsa has arrived in Storybrooke due to some complicated time travelling issues from the end of the third season, and she’s in search of Anna. Meanwhile, Regina is trying to write her happy ending by searching out the author of Henry’s Once Upon A Time book. Guess what, though? Mr Gold aka Rumplestiltskin has other plans, that he intends to carry out with a triad of evil women: Maleficent, Cruella De Vil, and Ursula.

I’ve not had the chance to watch season five yet but I just wanted to write about how bloody brilliant this show is. I love Disney, but what I love more is the twist that the writers have made with the histories of the characters. If you love strong female characters then this show is for you; particularly if you like your strong women dressed like someone straight out of a burlesque show. Here’s lookin’ at you, Regina dearie.

EU Ref Aftermath

Well, the UK has voted to leave the EU.

This is the single biggest mistake that this country has made in my (almost) 19 years on this earth. And, you know what? It has made this decision with its heart, not its head. 

It’s going to be proper sound as we see human rights and workers rights destroyed with EU safeguarding of those things removed. That’s without even getting started on the economic repercussions we’re already feeling that are only going to get worse over time, as well as the impact that new trade agreements will have.

To those who used the referendum as their chance to ‘teach Westminster a lesson’: well bloody done. You’ve wreaked long lasting damage onto our country. But at least you taught big Davey C who’s boss, right?

Oh, and those of you who put your focus on ‘stopping them bloody immigrants’ from non-EU countries, we already control immigration from non-EU countries you bloody fools. 

This referendum on the EU was about membership, but it became so much more than that. People have used it to rebel against a Tory government that they don’t think have a real mandate; to rebel against austerity; to rebel against lack of investment in the NHS. Very few were concerned with pros and cons of our membership. 

David Cameron, your gamble with the future of our country has failed. You may have placated the Tories for a while, but the country is now more divided than ever. 

Yes, this is democracy. This is the beauty of representative democracy: the people have a say. It’s wrong to call all Leave voters racist, xenophobic bigots. We now have to find a way to unite the country and work together. However, I do worry for the future of this country and agree that the grey vote for the Leave campaign really do ‘hate foreigners more than they love their grandchildren’. 

Having A Boy Best Friend

Having a male best friend is fantastic, but it can’t half be difficult sometimes.

You’re both very pleased being in the ‘friend zone’, and you’re fed up of having to explain that you are not in a relationship, and you will never be in a relationship. The ‘friend zone’ is nice. The ‘friend zone’ is place to be. You may have that agreement that if you’re both still single at forty then you’ll get married, but your entire relationship is completely platonic.

‘You look fab!’ ‘Babe, you look stunning in that!’ ‘Those shoes take inches off your thighs!’ Do not expect this from your male best friend. They just don’t give a shit. In fact, paying one another any compliments is very strange and results in some time apart to think about what you’ve done.

I’m not saying that girls don’t have a sense of humour, but as someone who has grown up as ‘one of the lads’, I can vouch for the fact that I appreciate banter from my male friends much more than my female friends. When it comes to risque jokes, your male best friend is your partner in crime.

When they start dating someone, he will have to spend so much of his time explaining to them that you and him are just friends, and nothing more. To prove that you’re not a sexual threat, you’ll even have to go to some lengths to reach out to them. He also has to size up any of your romantic partners to make sure that they’re worthy of you.

You can be as savage with him as you want. You don’t have to tip toe around his feelings. And the same goes for him. He’ll be real with you at all times. Besides, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the male psyche which can come in pretty handy. Are you a being used for sex? He’ll know, and he’ll be brutal, but it’s for the best.

He may be your best friend, but that doesn’t mean that he wants to hear about your uterus and the gory details of your sex life. Just like you probably don’t fancy listening to him talking about his penis and smelling the stale odour of farts. Despite all of this, though, he is your honest critic, your biggest fan and your protector.

Why I’m Voting Remain

The EU Referendum. June 23rd 2016. We are only 12 days away now, from making the biggest decision the people have made in a generation. Many people I’ve heard discussing why they want Brexit seem to be under the impression that leaving the EU will magically solve the migrant crisis and the UK will be a proud nation again. Sorry, no. I may only be eighteen years old but even I know that magic isn’t real folks.

Now, sorry Brexiters, but this is a one sided post. I just cannot justify the UK leaving the EU. Let me tell you why I’m voting Remain in 12 days time and why I think you should too.

We all love to travel, right? Let’s assume this is the case since around 29 million Brits went on EU holidays last year. Well, not only are UK issued driving licenses valid throughout the 27 other countries in the EU, but roaming charges are low, and are actually being abolished next year, and flights are cheap – around 40% cheaper since the 1990s – meaning that you can hop on a flight to Amsterdam for around twenty quid if you fancy it. No wonder we have around 1.5 million ex-pats living abroad and approximately 15000 students participating in the EU’s Erasmus student exchange programme every year. The EU gives us more freedom to live, study and work abroad.

As an EU member state, the UK has full access to the single market. This makes the EU our biggest trading partner, buying 44% (!!!!!!!) of everything we sell abroad. This single market is comprised of over 500 million customers (!!!!!!) and represents an economy over five times bigger than the UK’s. Remaining inside the EU guarantees FULL access to this wonderful single market that benefits us massively.

(FREE TRADE IS GREAT!)

Similarly, over THREE MILLION UK jobs are linked to exports to other EU countries. Being inside the EU’s single market means that it is more attractive to invest in the UK, meaning more jobs. That’s simple maths, right? That’s good, right?! *breathes heavily and foams from the mouth in disbelief at Brexiters who slam the single market* … Foreign companies have invested an estimated FIVE HUNDRED BILLION GBP £££££ IN THE UK OVER THE LAST DECADE. That is around £140 million every day coming into our nation.

On the topic of money (££££££), you know the argument that EU membership is super expensive? The UK’s annual contribution is around 8 billion pounds. That is literally 0.5% of our GDP. 0.5%. It’s an estimated £228 a year per person. That’s less than a season ticket for a second division team, never mind a Premier League team. Is the EU actually better than football, then? (The answer is no, as I’m more passionate about Liverpool than the EU but you get my point.)

Those of you who get pissy about terrorism and ‘those bloody criminals having the right to stay in our country’, listen up. Get close… YOU’RE WRONG. EU cooperation actually makes it easier to keep terrorists and criminals alike out of the UK. The European Arrest Warrant, since 2004, has been the reason behind 7000 extraditions from the UK.

If you want to become more informed about the EU before the referendum so that you can make a solid, informed choice, I have posted some links down below that you may find of some use. As much as I am pushing the Remain campaign, it is worth taking the Leave campaign into account too. While I admit that the EU isn’t perfect, we are stronger together.

#BETTERIN

Government Website

EU Referendum . com

The Guardian

BBC

Who pays for the EU and how much does it cost the UK? Disentangling fact from fiction in the EU Budget

 

Curves Are Boss.

 

I’ve always struggled with my weight. I’ve never been one of those girls who can eat endless amounts of pasta, chocolate and cake. I’ve done endless diet and exercise regimes. I even went through a phase of wearing all black to try and make it seem as though I’d shaved an inch or two. But now I’m at a point in my life where I can say, “you know what? Curves are boss. And so is my body.” It’s not easy. So many women despise their bodies, relying on social media and various media outlets like magazines to decide what their body should look like. It’s time to step away from Instagram and look in the mirror. It’s time to love those curves, ladies. 

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That’s me – the curvy bitch with the curled hair.

 

 

***DISCLAIMER***: This is not a post about skinny-shaming; this is a post encouraging women to love their curves.

Let me start by saying that curvy is not synonymous with fat. HAVING CURVES DOES NOT MAKE YOU FAT. Although, sometimes your curves can hide that bastard Christmas weight, which comes in quite handy.   Girls, the size of your arse doesn’t matter. Neither does the flatness of your stomach. Or the width of your thighs when you sit down. Stop fighting your body. Stop fighting the way you look. Embrace the curves that another woman wishes she had.

“Body confidence doesn’t come from trying to achieve the ‘perfect’ body. It comes from embracing the one you’ve already got!” – Unknown

Kate Winslet. Real life goddess.

Believe me, I know that it’s easier said than done when it comes to embracing those curves, but that’s where I come in. I’m here to waffle and hopefully help you to realise that your curves are boss.

Firstly, don’t do yourself the disservice of wearing clothes that don’t fit. By that, I mean don’t go out and buy a size 20 if you’re a size 16. I used to buy XXL t-shirts despite being an M, just because they’re super comfortable. You’ll never get to admire your curves if you can’t see them. Wear something that hugs your figure and look at the shape of your body. Isn’t it amazing how your waist is so tiny, but you still get a boss set of twins on your chest? Incredible, right?

Similarly, get to know your body and accentuate the part you like most. You like your legs? Get your legs out. You like your stomach? Show off your mid-rift. You like your boobs? Nothing wrong with a bit of cleavage. Stop hating and hiding your body. Start loving and showing it. Discover your body. Discover every nook and cranny. Then teach yourself to love them.

“I didn’t discover curves; I only uncovered them”. – Mae West

A friend of mine once told me that you can feel sexy if you have a bit of a sexy secret. Maybe wear some lacy underwear underneath your everyday clothes. Alternatively, you could pay a cheeky visit to Ann Summers. *insert cheeky, smirky emoji*

Seriously though, how boss does your arse look in a good pair of jeans? How boss do your boobs look in a fit, lacy bra? How boss do your legs look in that skirt and pair of wedges? How boss do your hips and waist look in that dress that hangs off your waist ever so nicely? BE YOUR OWN CHEERLEADER!

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“I’m dead sound, me.” – Me, 6 years old.

Sometimes you’ve just got to look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re beautiful. Soon enough, you’ll start to believe yourself. The most beautiful thing a woman can have is confidence. Tell yourself how boss your curves are. Tell yourself how great your boobs are. Tell yourself how juicy your arse is. Smile and love that body, girl. You only get one; it’s time to stop hating it.

Remember that girl in secondary school who called you a ‘heffer’? Remember that lad at the beach who shouted over and called you a ‘beached whale’? Ignore them. Forget them. Treat those nasty, unnecessary comments as if they’re unwanted dick pics from that creepy lad who super-liked you on Tinder. The only person’s opinion of your body that matters is your own.

This is for one of the mums who told me I was a ‘chubby ballerina’ in my leotard when I was 7 years old and caused me to quit dancing and swimming. This is for the girls who viciously bullied me in secondary school for being a ‘fatty’. This is for my ex-boyfriend who told me I was too fat for him. But, most of all, this is for me. And for all of the other girls out there who are made to hate their bodies because it’s not ‘the norm.’ You are beautiful. And your body is BOSS. Never forget that, and never let anyone tell you different.

CURVES ARE BOSS.

On This Day: June 4th

The evacuation of Dunkirk, code named Operation Dynamo, was completed. The BEF had to leave behind all its heavy armour and equipment, but an estimated 338000 troops were rescued. It was this day that Churchill delivered his defiant message to the House of Commons:

“We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.”