Blogmas Day 21: Christmas Throwback Pics

Today I wanted to share some great throwback pics that I’ve managed to find (although none of me as a teeny tiny person, these have all been snatched from Facebook). It’s so much fun to look back on Christmas, even if my sister will kill me.

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Christmas 2016, I think. Sums and I after we opened all of our presents in matching Cookie Monster pjs. I think it’s rare that we look similar in pictures but this is actually one where I think we look alike.

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This picture is way back in 2012! Mum and I had just gotten back from Kingston on a visit to see if the uni was for me (and the rest is history) and managed to get these Minnie Mouse ears.

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I have no idea what year this was, perhaps 2012? Not quite matching but all cuddled up in our fleecy pjs on Christmas Eve. All of the girls in the family have Christmas Eve pjs, Dad usually gets some of the non-fluffy variety.

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Fun fact, this selfie was taken at 5am. Yep, my sister and I are those kind of people we turn into excited children. One will wake the other up, it used to be me waking her up but now she’s the first one up…I love sleep too much.

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In town messing around on Christmas Eve, that’s just how my sister and I roll.

OMG! My baby sister is 16!

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16 years ago, I woke up to the news that I had a baby sister. I danced around her kitchen, before asking if I could go to school just to tell my teacher, then go meet her. Instead, I went to meet this teeny tiny baby that was going to change my life. Now she’s sunning herself in Cyprus at the age of 16. I watched her first steps, walked her to her first day of school and saw her on her last. This isn’t going to be a long post but just to acknowledge the most amazing, kick ass, funny, loving and smart person my baby sister is growing to be. She makes me want to be better, be brave and be more like her. I can’t wait to see where this crazy little one goes next and what we’ll be doing in another 16 years!

I love you, Squidge.

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Feminist Friday: Standing With Our Sisters in 2017

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It would be easy to say that, so far, 2017 hasn’t been a great year for women around the world. With the new President often making sexist comments, wanting to shut down Planned Parenthood, make abortions illegal etc, we thought we’d seen a bad hit. We came back with marches around the world. Later Russia were happy to decriminalise domestic abuse in the first instance, another hard pill to swallow for women. Every day we hear more and more stories in the news of girls being the victims of honour killings, acid attacks and the like. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, scared and confused about how things have gone so, so wrong when it’s only February.

Of course, we’ve also seen women and men speaking out against such injustices. Speak out against the governments letting women down and continuing to do so. I worried, when writing this blog that I was talking about the USA again. I feel like I think and write about it a lot, this isn’t because the UK doesn’t have it’s problems, it’s not because I don’t care about women who have it worse, it’s because I need to process what’s happening in what is supposedly one of the most forward thinking nations on the planet.

In these times of darkness, uncertainty and, quite frankly, madness, we need to be there for each other. We need to remember what has come before, that we prevailed. Now that we have social media we can show our support to causes all over the world, let our sisters know they are not alone, that we are thinking and campaigning alongside them. We don’t know what is going to happen, I wish I could say this is all a nightmare that will be over soon, but it might not.

All we have in this fight is each other, fighting amongst ourselves is what they want. Instead of tearing each other down or judging one another we need to lift each other up. We need to let men be our allies if they are willing to stand and fight with us for equality and against the government (hating all men won’t get us any further, it just won’t).

We will stand with our sisters in 2017 and beyond.

15 Things I’ve Learnt Having a Sister

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Today is my baby sister’s 15th birthday, 15!!! In my eye’s she’s still the one year old I pushed to school on her first birthday present, still the 4 year old who wanted to follow me around school, never mind that she’s got a better social life than me now! For tonight’s post I wanted to write about 15 things I’ve learnt having the littler one around for 15 years.

Babies will throw up anywhere, so don’t hold them over over you with an open mouth

You can always prove doctors wrong

(Sum’s was born with bad hips, the doctors said she wouldn’t walk before she was 3…she was walking at just over a year old)

You always have someone to get opinions on outfits/hair just a phone call away

There is no fiercer love than that between sisters 

You deal with both of us when you hurt one of us 

There are more ways than I can count to annoy your sister 

No clothes, bags or make up is safe from being ‘borrowed’ 

You always have a secret keeper 

They’ll tell you when you’re talking BS 

They give the best hugs when your world isn’t going that great 

Very few other people can make you laugh to the point of nearly peeing yourself

You will copy each other and then deny it 

You, and only you, can insult your sister, anyone else needs to watch out

Never leave your phone unlocked around your sister. 

You never choose to be related but you choose to be best friends. 

Sisters – The ride of my life.

I’m struggling tonight. I’m struggling to get what I want to say on to the page, or really to know what I want to say at all. My sister’s gone home and it’s the first time in three days I’ve had time to just sit with my own thoughts and man they’re loud. It’s weird not to have Sum’s here because it’s just so natural to me to have my little sister around.

Every time I spend time with her now I just marvel at the person she is. I can’t be more proud of the kid, well she’s not a kid any more exactly. She’s smart, funny and just an awesome person that I’m so incredibly blessed to have in my life. I always get a little sad when we’re apart because I had this big thing when I went to uni, I was scared of not being around for her. Basically I didn’t want her to have the same troubles and make the same mistakes I did. She doesn’t and she hasn’t and I’m so grateful. In the hardest of times it was my sister that got me through, I could never have let her down, I don’t know if she knows that. At the same time she NEVER has to be perfect or pretend to be, she’s pretty awesome just the way she is.

She also reminded me that I’m not her age any more. I’m about to go into my third year at uni and that is more than a little bit terrifying. I’m finally going into this big unknown. What am I going to do for a job? Am I going to still want to do my PhD? Will I get the funding I need? Or will I just jump into something completely different? Will the band take off and I finally get to perform for a living?

Her excited voice and endless amounts of energy have shushed the worries for a little while but I know they’re there. I know that I’m heading towards the unknown and old enough to admit that it’s both overwhelmingly terrifying and incredibly exciting. I can plan as much as I like but I have no idea what’s going to happen. All I know is that my sister’s going to be coming along for the ride and she’s an awesome person to take along.

Paper Towns Advanced Screening!

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Tonight Summer and I were lucky enough to go to an advanced screening of Paper Towns at my local cinema. I’m a huge fan of John Green, he’s one of my all time favourite writers and last year’s film The Fault in Our Stars is possibly my all time favourite film as well as a book that left me speechless. To say that I was excited for tonight was an understatement.

I have to say that the film doesn’t disappoint. When I heard that Cara Delevinge was playing Margo I have to admit I was a little sceptical, it was wasn’t how I saw Margo in my head. I was completely wrong because Cara just acts so well as Margo, there are moments here and there where her British accent slips up but I think that’s only because we got to see the Q&A footage before seeing the movie (where she sounds very British). I don’t know, now I’ve seen it she’s won me over and will forever be the most amazing Margo. As for Quentin, or Q, John Green was right when he said that he Nat Wolff was born to play him. He expresses the good guy/ awkward/ hopelessly in love guy that we all know and love from the book.

The film made me and the rest of the audience laugh, a lot. It also had a much more diverse audience than TFIOS did when it came out. There were such a mix of people, I was really surprised! Also, my sister has never read Paper Towns and she didn’t feel like she didn’t understand it or missed anything out, so don’t feel like you need to have read the book to enjoy. Oh and if you did enjoy TFIOS look out for an awesome cameo!

The best thing is that although I knew what was going to happen, I still had shivers up my spine, I still wanted to know about the mystery of Margo. It takes a very special film to make you forget what you’ve already read and get lost all over again. I was disappointed that the Seaworld scene wasn’t in the movie, it was my favourite part of the book so I was a little let down and there was one change towards the end that I wished was the same as the book. It wasn’t bad at all, just different. That said I fully accept that it can’t be exactly the same as the book.

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Summer and I waiting to go in, with giant slushies of course

There’s something about Green’s books when they are turned into films that sparks this feeling inside me. With TFIOS it was the feeling of wanting and needing to love, love no matter what because you never know how long you’re going to get. Paper Towns just reminded me to keep doing what I want to do, not to slip into that life of doing what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it, to embrace and crave some extraordinary things.

Would I recommend seeing Paper Towns?  Yes. It’s not overtaken TFIOS as my favourite movie, but it has made me want to go back and read the novel and in fact appreciate the novel more. It’s so funny and just takes you along for the ride, oh and Radar and Ben are PERFECT. The chemistry between the trio was amazing, sometimes you forgot that you weren’t watching three best friends. As with the relationship between Cara and Natt, it was in a word, perfect. As soon as it hits general release, go and watch, if you’re a John Green fan, you won’t be disappointed. Similarly if you want to have a girl crush over Cara’s eyebrows this is also a film for you!

Guess who’s heeeeeeeeere!!

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Today after frantically cleaning and tidying my flat in the past few days my baby sister arrived to stay with me for a few days. I got the surprise of my little cousin coming to see me when Sum’s was dropped off which just made it even more special. We spent the afternoon after my cousin and Mum left pretty bored. It was too late to go out and do something but too early to just crash for the evening. So we did what any normal pair of sisters do, we bought Pizza, had a play fight and watched Netflix. Sorted.

After a few hours of doing nothing we had to do something before we killed each other (we can’t have that on day one). So we decided to make cakes, but not just any cakes. Hold the freaking press because we made PEPPA PIG CUPCAKES.

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Today might have been slow but from tomorrow morning I’ve got so much for us both to do giving her a look around the music buildings, going into town shopping, grabbing a quick dinner and then off to see Paper Towns tomorrow night! Eeek. Then spend more time laying around and messing around before watching the Bike Race on Sunday (Cyclists. Damn Cyclists.) visiting the comic book shop and seeing what’s up around the town centre, having dinner and then she’ll be heading home…followed by me on Tuesday.

For now we’re sat in matching PJ bottoms, both on our laptops stuffed with pizza and cakes and all that jazz, hopefully we’ll sleep at some point too.