adventure | photography

2017, lifestyle, photography, student, travel

Hello!

I’ve missed a couple of months of photography posts and for one reason or another, this idea just kept being pushed back.

Creative is something I like to pride myself in being – doing things in a different way or a new way of approaching things is what I like to bring to my work and making a post centred around photography every month really does help to challenge me to approach things more creatively.

So this month I’ve started a sub-series within a series – ‘adventure’ – what I did this month was go on a walk, from my flat down to the docks by Mayflower Park in Southampton and I took a picture every 20 paces and edited it all together in a little video.

By no means am I saying I’m the only one who’s ever taken photos of a journey they’ve done and pieced it all together in a stop-motion-esqe video but it’s a bit different to what I normally post when I do a photography post.

But there’s a reason I want to make it a series – one, I think it’s a lovely way to show off different places I’m going, so I could do one from home or from different places I visit and two, I don’t think this video turned out the best it could be. I know I could do it better and I want to do it again and do it differently and more it more creative and interesting.

I was going to write a post a couple of days ago about how I’ve submitted my last deadline of second year and how happy I am with how this year has gone. I’ve worked so hard through even harder personal situations and my results have really shown off the work I put in and I’m so proud of myself. I’ve found a really intense focus and ways of organisation that really work for me and I’m just so happy – I feel like I’m really ready for third year.

But that’s not for another five months. Well, I’ve got just over 4 full months of no university commitments, I’m working and hoping to go work at a few festivals over the summer but I want to focus a lot more on creativity in everything I make – on my blog, on my YouTube channel, I want to write my book and finish it, I want to start reading again because dear god I miss it, I’ve got a list of creative skills I want to work on and things I want to learn and this summer I’m going to make the most of the time I have, because I know there’s no way I’m going to have it in October when third year kicks off.

I love photography and I love finding a different approach to things, I hope you like this video I’ve put together – leave me a comment with any other ideas!

Thank you for reading (watching),

Sophie xx

 

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April favourites

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

It’s May! How is it May already? I’m not sure how this year has completely slipped away from me but it’s been another month so it’s time for me to talk about the things I’ve been loving this month!

This is the notebook I’ve started making notes for my FMP in – on my course I do a Final Major Project instead of a dissertation and I’ve got so many ideas and I want to do a bunch of research over the summer and this is the place for all my notes and late night idea scribblings to go. I love a white marble pattern and this beauty was only £2.50 from Primark, bargain!

Image result for Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Pen Black Excess

Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Pen Black – I struggled to get a decent, in focus photo of this liner but I’ve rediscovered it and I’m obsessed. This the eyeliner I used when I was still in school but the gel with the angled nib it perfect for a really precise line that’s really black. I’ve used a couple of felt tip eyeliners and I love them for their precision but they just fade so fast and I forgot how good this liner is for this. And it’s fairly reasonably price for drugstore make-up.

Going to sound proper vain, but I just adore my hair colour right now – at the beginning of April I dyed it purple and I was annoyed that I was so bad at applying hair dye all the way to my roots but the way the pink fades to the purple and the purple has faded to a bluey-purple colour has just made me so happy. Also I got my note pierced last month, don’t think I mentioned it but I paid someone money to stab a hole in my nose.

This second photo shows a bit better 1) what a bad dye job I did and 2) the variety of shades and colours in my hair. The left over red-faded-pink from Christmas with the purple-fading-to-blue that I added has just made for a beautiful almost-galaxy like hair and I really love it.

My plan with my hair is to keep topping up the purple until it runs out, then let that fade as much as it’s going to and put the red dye I already have over the top, then when that’s faded I’ll use the deep red dye I have. By then, I should hopefully have saved enough money to be able to go into Toni and Guy and get them to dye my hair the colour I really want, cut it short again and just generally fix my hair. I imagine this will probably take me to the end of the year, but I’ll let you know whenever I dye my hair again!

Final Cut Pro has been a blessing – I love editing video, but my December vlog (yes, the vlog from five months ago) has been plaguing me ever since January 1st and I finally got it uploaded in April. Who doesn’t need a bit of Christmas music in the background of Spring?

I’ll be honest, I didn’t buy FCP because I don’t have a spare $300 lying around, but I love the software – it’s so simple to use and for my, very basic, editing requirements and while one day I full intend to teach myself how to use Premier Pro properly, for now – this Final Cut Pro will be perfect!

I’m intending to edit a lot of videos this week, so keep an eye on my channel and maybe subscribe while you’re there? I’m very proud of everything I’m making right now!

With YouTube in mind, I’m obsessed with ItsWayPastMyBedtime, Carrie Hope Fletcher, and her series ‘Watch Me, Wednesday!’ where she vlogs her adventures playing Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family UK tour. I’ve already got my tickets for opening night at Mayflower Theatre in Southampton and if you’re a student, I thoroughly recommend having a look because they’re only £15 a ticket for students! Down from the full price of nearly £40, I couldn’t resist and I imagine I’ll be treating myself to move tickets after I’ve seen the show because I know I’m going to love it, I already love so many of the songs and I cannot wait. I just can’t wait and this series is making me even more excited.

Going to sound like the biggest dork in the world, but I’m really enjoying uni right now. I don’t know if it’s because I’m nearly done with second year, because I barely have any classes or because I’ve actually been getting some really good grades recently but I’ve really enjoyed choosing to go into uni in my own time and work on my assignments. It’s refreshing to have the choice – uni is so different from school and looking back, I was ready to leave school way before I actually finished and I’m loving uni so much. I’m having a really good time right now, and that might be the nerdiest thing I’ve ever said.

Even reusing my own photos of uni, this is what Solent looked like last August.

Again with reusing photos from an old favourites and again with sounding like a total loser – I’m really enjoying work right now. Over the Easter holidays, I did 55 hours at work and I actually didn’t hate it – I was a bit tired but I really like my job and everyone there and it’ll be nice to finish uni so work is the only thing I really have to focus on and worry about.

What’s student life if it isn’t going into Asda at 8am on Easter Monday to clear the shelves of cheap chocolate? Lindt is like my favourite chocolate ever so when these guys were only £1.25 each, I bought four. Well, I bought five but one was a present for my sister because she talked about really wanting one and I’m nice (especially when they’re only £1.25). This is my last one and I’m really sad about it.

If any friends of family are reading this and wondering what to get my for my 21st (not that you would be wondering now, it’s four months away); Lindt chocolate. I love Lindt chocolate so much.

This pencil case has revolutionised my bullet journal life – this wrap pencil case, only £8.99 on Amazon, holds 72 pens and has a blue elephant design on it is literally a combination of all of my favourite things. It’s quite big and bulky, but if you’re someone who wants to carry lots of coloured pens around all the time it’s actually quite compact. I literally take my journals and my pens everywhere with me and I can’t describe my love for this thing enough.

And last, but by no means least, Sonar Film – the society at my university that basically runs it’s own cinema. We show up to date films (I’m currently at a showing of the new Fast and Furious film) at a ridiculously reasonable price of £4 for Solent students and £4.50 for everyone else and I’m so proud to be a part of it. I’ve been elected as the Marketing Manager and President for the committee of 2017/2018 and I can’t wait to start working with everyone else on the committee to make Sonar Film the best it can be.

This post has ended up being a lot longer than I intended it to be!

I know my blog has been a bit sporadic recently – I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to take a week off last week but sometimes things just get on top of me and get the better of me and I’m glad I’ve reached a point where I don’t beat myself up too much if I miss a post or try a new schedule or something, because there definitely would have been a point even a year ago where I’d have forced myself to write something bad rather than not write anything at all. So thank you for allowing me to do that.

I’ve now planned blog posts from now until the end of the month, so hopefully I can plan my time accordingly to actually upload all these posts because there’s some I’m really excited about!

Thank you for reading and sticking with me,

Sophie xx

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Wonderland – Mayflower Theatre

2017, lifestyle, music, student

Hello!

I was lucky enough to be invited to see Wonderland at Mayflower Theatre in Southampton by @sotonbloggers and I’m going to try and put into words how much I thoroughly enjoyed it. ‘Try’ being the operative word.

Every time I sit down in a theatre for any reason I get goosebumps – architecturally I find theatres to be absolutely beautiful and I love sitting in a room full of people who love musicals and shows as much as me – but when the first notes of the first song begin I will always feel like I want to cry just from pure joy. With musicals like Wonderland that combine more traditional orchestral instruments with modern rock instruments like drums and guitars make for an even more interesting opening number.

The music is one of the most incredible parts of Wonderland – the musicians were absolutely astonishing and seeing how small the band is and how huge the sound was just made it so much more impressive. The vocal performances in this show were astounding – Rachael Wooding, who played Alice, was incomparable. She completely nailed the childish wonder of Alice but had this huge voice that suited the fast, silly songs, the slow, emotional songs and the massive power ballad  duet ‘This Is Who I Am’ with Natalie McQueen as the Mad Hatter.

However the dancing in this show was as important as the singing and balancing the two is a difficult feat – there was some incredible choreography and some wonderful dancers, but credit has to go to Dominic Owen, who played a truly wonderful rendition of the Cheshire Cat and also managed to continue belting out a pretty big song whilst doing a handstand. As someone who can do a (rather rubbish) handstand and has had vocal training, I really appreciate how difficult that would have been and needed to talk about it.

‘Wonderland’ is quite a different take on the traditional story of Alice, with more of a focus on Through The Looking Glass, the sequel to the more commonly recreated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The musical follows a grown up Alice, reluctantly divorced and looking after her daughter Ellie whilst neighbour Jack is desperate to catch Alice’s eye. The Looking Glass is a key feature of the musical, as it completely changes who the characters are – whilst trying not to spoil it, it reverses what each character deems important, for example – nice, helpful, wonderful Ellie becomes a typical, stroppy teenager.

But for me, the most amazing part of The Looking Glass was the quick changes involved – I reckon Ellie and Jack were inside the looking glass for maybe 10 to 20 seconds and in this time they completely changed what they were wearing, how their hair was styled and without any fumbling or mishaps with mic packs. The whole production was so slick and well-rehearsed and completely without fault – I was completely immersed.

The Queen of Hearts saw a particular twist in this version of Alice in Wonderland.

One of the characters that saw the biggest changes was the Mad Hatter – she was not written as a traditionally male character, she had an incredible costume and an even bigger voice. She owned every song she sang and every word that came out of her mouth just oozed the character of the Mad Hatter – I wish there was a soundtrack or a studio recording of this show because I’d love to hear her songs again.

From the point of view of characterisation, the Mad Hatter and Alice showed some clear parallels and it was really interesting that writers Jack Murphy and Gregory Boyd chose those two characters to align, especially with the huge duet at the end of the musical – This Is Who I Am.

I can’t quite describe how much I adore this song – it has roots and inspirations from the duets in Wicked but the beautiful, powerful harmonies contrasted with the softer lines. I don’t know if it’s just something about the end of a musical when everything is starting to resolve and the characters realise that they’re strong and independent but I really wish there was a soundtrack recording I could listen to because I want this song and these girls singing on loop whenever I feel like I’m not good enough.

There’s a version on YouTube that doesn’t sound very legally recorded and I wouldn’t normally support that but I thoroughly recommend listening to the song, it’s just beautiful. Totally 100% worth seeing in person.

“This is who I am, who I really am, i’m not going to pretend or apologise”

Then, of course I can’t forget the boyband, led by Alice’s neighbour Jack – their songs and choreography were brilliant and ring true of N-Sync days gone past.

One of the reasons I went in to seeing Wonderland so apprehensively is because I’m not a massive fan of Alice’s story – I don’t particularly like the Disney film, I have no interest in the Tim Burton films and the whole concept just isn’t my cup of tea. But this unusual take on the story, the musical and the production have completely changed my mind – the way the story was interpreted and aspects of certain characters adapted and shown differently made me thoroughly enjoy it, hopefully I’ll get to see it again!

Wonderland is showing at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton until Saturday 22nd April, to get your tickets called 02380 711811 or go to mayflower.org.uk – students get more than 10% off tickets with a valid student card!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

Press ticket provided by Mayflower Theatre via @sotonbloggers. All photos belong to Mayflower theatre.

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Going to uni so far from home

2016, travel

Hello!

Writing about travel and new places for me right now is difficult because I haven’t done masses of travelling, but I want to practise travel writing so when I travel I then feel ready and that I already have some experience to write about it!

Part of going to university for me was being far enough away from home that I had to be fully independent and getting to see a part of the country I hadn’t been to before, and that involved moving 170 miles away to a new end of the country and from that, I get to visit lots of new places and towns and cities I’ve never been to all the time because it’s all so new to me.

I also get called “Northern” a lot but that’s not the point. (#DefendtheMidlands)

Travel blogging doesn’t have to be exotic (though if you want to be a ‘successful’ travel blogger you’ll probably have to leave the country, let’s be honest) – big trips to other countries are really fun to write about but it can be a new town or a pretty spot that you found on a walk. I’m hoping to do a few more of these as the summer months approach and hopefully money will be more on my side.

Going home this semester has been a no go with the amount of deadlines I’ve had and how they’ve been spaced out to every couple of weeks, meaning one weekend I’d be working on the deadline and the next weekend I’d be making sure the assignment was ready to hand in and this has been going on since October.

At one point the plan was that I was going to spend Christmas in Basingstoke with my boyfriend but we’ve decided we’re going to spend Christmas apart – I’m so excited to be going home. At this point even it’s still undecided when I’m going home or how long I’ll be home for but I’m hoping everything works out in my favour and I get to spend as much time at home as I can.

I’m so excited to be back somewhere the feels so familiar and I’m excited for the New Year and 2017, especially in terms for what I have planned with blogging and my YouTube channel.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Wind in the Willows – Mayflower Theatre

2016, lifestyle, music

Hello!

img_3062The musical version of the popular children’s book Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame had it’s World Premiere at Mayflower Theatre and I was lucky enough to be invited to see to the press showing with @sotonbloggers.

Being back at the theatre was like coming home – I’ve not seen a musical or a show or any form of play in so long and I got surprisingly emotional at parts of the show I really did not expect to get emotional about! I nearly cried at the finale, I was a mess but, anyway!

The whole show was absolutely mind blowing – my mum messaged me before I left and said I should take a notebook so I could jot things down, as a trainee journalist, and I told her I wouldn’t need it because I had my phone. Oh how I was wrong! There were so many amazing bits in the first half alone that I don’t think I possibly could have remembered them all when it got to the interval and I could write them down.

david-birrel-as-badger-thomas-howes-as-ratty-and-fra-fee-as-mole-in-the-wind-in-the-willows-photo-by-marc-brenner-jamie-hendry-productionsThe vocals were flawless – the opening number, “Spring”, was an ensemble of incredible singers, wonderful actors and truly beautiful harmonies, it made me remember what I love about musical theatre. The dancing was so much fun (particularly the tap dancing horses and the Otter Ballerinas!), the sets were truly beautiful and intricately designed – the full size train carriage on the stage in the second half was so outstanding!

Costuming is a crucial part of a show like this that has such recognisable characters – there were nods to each of the animals that each character was playing, such as tails, ears and coats of spikes that the Hedgehogs wore, but the astonishing bit about the costumes was that the acting that went with each of the costumes is what really solidified each of the animals within the characters.
rufus-hound-as-mr-toad-in-the-wind-in-the-willows-photo-by-marc-brenner-jamie-hendry-productionsToad was eccentric and jumped and leapt around the stage, the rabbits walked on their toes with their bottoms sticking out and the weasels, stokes and foxes were all a little bit creepy and sneaky – it was the phenomenal talent of the cast that brought these beautiful costumes to life.

The music was truly astonishing – I felt a few Les Miserables vibes but the music was so fully orchestral. It was beautiful and all of the songs felt like they could be real classics. They’re definitely songs that I could hear people singing years down the line, particularly “Messing About in a Boat”, “We’re Taking Over the Hall” and “A Friend is Still a Friend”. I’m keeping my eyes out for the soundtrack because I can’t wait to listen to those beautiful vocals all day long!

I also loved the variety of speaking accents, there were some beautiful intonations.

neil-mcdermott-and-the-company-of-the-wind-in-the-willows-photo-by-marc-brenner-jamie-hendry-productions-3My favourite dance number was definitely the opening of the second act that accompanied “We’re Taking Over The Hall” because it was so much fun and it really grabbed everyone’s attention after the ice cream and drinks of the interval!

The whole show really reignited my love for theatre – I’ve not been to see a show in so long and when I got home, I went straight on the Mayflower website to have a look at what other shows are coming to Southampton (I’d love to go see the Beauty and the Beast ballet – last time I saw a ballet I was 8 and I fell asleep!).

fra-fee-as-mole-in-the-wind-in-the-willows-photo-by-marc-brenner-jamie-hendry-productionsIn terms of cast and characters, Fra Fee was a wonderful and endearing Mole, David Birrell played a wise and father-like Badger and all the dancers were very, very talented. Obviously, have to commend the wonderful Rufus Hound who portrayed the equally annoying and entertaining Toad.

I was expecting Wind in the Willows to be a childish, almost-pantomime like show aimed at the younger members of the audience that would make me roll my eyes even if it was technically good but that really isn’t what it was. Yeah, it was definitely a more child friendly show as opposed to more adult shows like The Book of Mormon or Rent but when the audience laughed, the entire audience laughed. It was an amazing piece of theatre and a very nostalgic tale, enough to make me well up at the curtain call!

And it was very exciting to have ‘press’ written on the ticket, the complimentary drinks at the interval were wonderful.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

img_3084

This post wasn’t sponsored but the ticket was provided by Mayflower Theatre via @sotonbloggers. All photos belong to Mayflower theatre.

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