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Confidence Vs Courage

I had an epiphany this week.

Ok cool, we’re in for a light piece here.

Strap in guys, she’s going deep.

I’ve been struggling for years with a wish which wouldn’t come true. ‘I wish I was confident‘.

***

It started when I finally decided to take a photography course.  Oh, and I am loving the course.  I leave every class grinning and wishing it was longer.  It’s 3 hours every Monday night, where we learn the basics of photography, with weekly projects to complete. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since 2010, but, I just didn’t.

If I don’t apply myself, then I can’t fail.” –   It’s almost like when people tell you ”You shouldn’t meet your heroes, because they’ll only disappoint you”.  Only, my hero isn’t a person, it’s a passion.

The epiphany happened (Yes I know how it sounds, but let’s be uncynical for a hot second) when we were asked to write a ‘Statement of intent‘ for our work books.  ‘Why are you doing this course?’  ‘What do you wish to achieve?‘  The task seemed simple – I knew exactly why I was there, but every time I tried touching pen to paper, I couldn’t say it.  Too embarrassed to say that, actually, I want to be a photographer.

*Pauses my typing to take a breath.*

Even typing it here seems cringe-inducing, strange and… ugh am I gonna say it?… Profound.

I immediately hear the thoughts in my head-

”What will people think?”

”You know what people will think.”

”They’ll think you’re having a laugh.”

“Then a chorus of laughter will erupt all around you.”

”You don’t have the talent for this.”

”Give up.”

”You’re not as good as anyone else in the class.”

”The lecturer probably feels sorry for you.”

But it’s ok, because they’re just some of my thoughts – they’re not all of my thoughts.  They’re not ‘ME‘. (I can safely say I have Ruby Wax to thank for this – currently reading her book ‘How to be human‘).

And so this ‘confidence’ search thing snowballed.

One thing led to another – once I had opened my mind to accept new ways of thinking, things started popping up – A friend told me about a podcast, and half an hour later I’m listening to it.  An hour into the podcast, one of the guests mentions a quote by Maya Angelou, and my curiosity takes me to Youtube (Basic millennial behaviour yaass).  An hour later, and I am on a massive Maya binge, and I could cry with joy.  Lighbulb moments were exploding in my mind, and a rush of peace was inducing a calm fire in me.

I don’t mean that in an artsy metaphoric way.  I genuinely felt physically energised and warm. And no, I hadn’t accidentally peed myself – same feeling, different outcome.

One quote in particular resonated with me – and it’s still echoing through my thoughts all the time-

Maya Angelou on having a sense of yourself – ‘…  so that when you walk into an office, you don’t go alone.  Bring your people with you.  Bring everybody who has loved you, with you‘.

*Mic drop*

I realised that for all this time, I have been evaluating my sense of self from the people who have wronged me, made me feel like nothing.  I realised that for some stupid reason, their opinions had mattered more to me, than all of the people who have loved me, and championed me.  I’m laughing internally as I write this, because… like DUH?!

DING!

I was always a confident child – and when I say confident – I mean, imagine an only child who just wanted to be centre stage singing and dancing.  (You’ve probably either pictured Verruca Salt or Honey Boo-Boo, I know – but soz not soz, that was kind of me) I was always a performer.  I loved having all eyes on me.

Then somewhere at the end of Primary school, something changed.

Without going into it, or pointing fingers, I basically lost my immunity to negativity.  People’s cynicism and jealous digs slowly gnawed away at my sense of self.  This week I realised that I was holding onto every dig, every nasty remark, every eye roll, as if they were truths, even though I knew deep down that they weren’t.  For some reason, the negative voices are always louder than the loving ones.

By the time I left secondary school, I was a complete mess inside. I had no sense of self. And this whole time, I’ve been ‘searching’ for my confidence, as if it was a priceless beret I’d misplaced on the school bus. I blamed those people and events for stealing ‘my confidence’. But no, it was courage that I had lost. I wasn’t brave anymore.

It’s about having courage, not confidence. Personally, I think confidence is what others perceive in a person.  I’m not even sure that confidence is even a thing anymore.  To quote the incredible Maya Angelou again-

It is upon you to increase your virtue, the virtue of courage – it is upon you. You will be challenged mightily, and you will fall many times. But it is important to remember that it may be necessary to encounter defeat, I don’t know. But I do know that a diamond, one of the most precious elements in this planet, certainly one in many ways the hardest, is the result of extreme pressure, and time. Under less pressure, it’s crystal. Less pressure than that, its coal, less than that, its fossilized leaves are just plain dirt.

And just like that, I released myself from being a ‘victim’ of my past. Confidence isn’t a thing. I don’t want to be confident anymore. I just want to have courage. I just want to impress myself. Like hearing that louder thought in me, my people, my champions with me. And I know what they’re saying-

Go on mate, press that publish button. You’ve got this.

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Leftovers – Part 2 – Magical Milliseconds

Photography

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We knew from the start that Photography was number 1 on our list of priorities. I spent weeks researching wedding photographers from all over the UK – much longer than we spent looking at venues or anything else.

At the risk of sounding pretentious – actually – this will definitely sound pretentious, we wanted to commission art, not photos. Ok, yes, reading this back I hate myself and I was a little bit sick in my mouth. Let me try and dig myself out…

We’re not the kind of couple who take selfies, or enjoy having our photo taken. Having an engagement shoot was out of the question. Think Chandler in ‘The one with the engagement shoot’. It’s not pretty. I didn’t need to pay someone to show me how uncomfortable I look when I pose. I wanted photos which gave me a Wes Anderson vibe, and more importantly, someone who understood how to use light to their advantage. It’s Wales, it’s February, it was likely to be grey and miserable. At least with a great photographer it would look moody and mysterious.

I felt a huge pressure to find the right photographer. Each one has a specific style, and trying to find one which matched ours was surprisingly difficult.

Step in Louise. I finally came across Louise Jacob Photography, and I was hooked. Her use of natural light along with her talent of capturing millisecond moments is magical. The photos on the website were so honest, I felt like I was there, in the moment, with these strangers. We were sold.

Louise was so thorough and yet so laid back. The Photography was the one thing I wasn’t worried about on the day. We live far away from each other so we hadn’t met before, but when I stepped out of my dad’s campervan, there she was snapping away, and it felt like we already knew each other.

I didn’t actually speak to Louise until after the ceremony, and because I’d explained that we wanted photos with a nod to Wes Anderson, she knew exactly what to do. As you can see- it didn’t rain, it wasn’t even grey. It was bloomin glorious!

As I’m sure you’ll agree, she NAILED IT. I feel like a strong female character straight out of an indie film.

She captured details that I hadn’t noticed on the day. Meetings I hadn’t seen happen. Documentary photography is the way forward, especially when your photographer can sneak around like a fairy- I hardly saw her there, and clearly, she was everywhere.

The hardest thing for us is how to choose which photos to frame!  We received a few sneak peeks while we were on our honeymoon, and in the end we received 1004 photos!!! Each one as wonderful as the next. We are still so overwhelmed by them. 1004 works of art. Soz not soz. I know it sounds pretentious, but as you can see from these photographs, there is no pretence anywhere near them, just honesty and love.

Thank you Lou, I’m so glad we found you. You are exceptional!

M x

 

louisejacob.co.uk

Leftovers – Part 1 – Material magic

Josh Rhiannon Wedding-528.jpg

When it’s all over, you’re inevitably going to hit a slump – so what’s leftover?

I’m not talking about the real things from the day – of course I have a wonderful husband and my extended family is finally, officially, my family too.

I’m talking about the material things.  I know that I shouldn’t hold material things as memories, but I’m so grateful that I have them.

There are two main things which I’m besotted with.  Our photographer (I knew from the start that this was one of the most important things for us), and my dress (I never in a million years thought I could have cared so much).  Two things at the opposite ends of the spectrum.  Something I wanted, and something I thought I didn’t.

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Disclaimer – this post will be the most self-indulgent thing I’ve ever done.  But I think after your wedding day, a bit of self-love is valid, and necessary.  Gimme a min!

One of the biggest things I learnt about myself during this process, is that I don’t know myself as well as my friends and family know me.

I ‘knew’ I could never have a wedding at a grand castle (Yep, defo just got married in a castle)

I ‘knew’ I wanted a festival Summer wedding (Yep, just got married in February with roaring fire places, and no sign of a bell tent or pallet signage)

I ‘knew’ I didn’t want to buy a ‘proper’ wedding dress (Yep, defo just got married in a stunning hand-made gown)

And yet, we had the most ‘us’ day of our lives.  It was a grand old venue, but a relaxed atmosphere.  I think the Wes Anderson vibe really helped us here!  Regal, but crumbling at the edges. I’ll go into detail about the wedding later, but for now, I want to share the material things – my ‘look’.

The Dress.

If I’d taken my own advice, I would have been moderately happy in a white and colourfully embroidered dress from French Connection.  I liked it a lot, and didn’t believe that you could actually love an item of clothing, so this was good enough for me.  Enter Mother of the bride-

”It’s nice, but it looks like something you’d wear to someone’s wedding, not on your wedding”.

But much like my Mam, I’m a very stubborn woman. I didn’t want to spend money on a dress that I would wear for one day, and then would be stuffed in a box forever.  I was determined, and nothing could change my mind.  I couldn’t think of anything worse than going to a bridal shop and having some pushy woman pressure me into spending X amount on something I didn’t really care about.  At this point, I didn’t care about the dress at all.  The thought of being in the spotlight was daunting, and I didn’t need something else to draw attention to me.  Naïve and stubborn?  No – surely I’m just one of those people who knows what they want.

”Can we just go to one shop, and if we don’t find anything, then you can keep this dress.”

”Fine.” (Said with a roll of the eyes, which only an only-child could roll)

Looking back, I feel awful even thinking that I didn’t think it was ‘worth it’.  The service and product I received was so much more than an item of clothing. I’m so lucky to have such a stubborn mam!

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The first shop which came into my mind was ‘Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique’ in Penarth.  I remember reading an article about it years ago, and it just stuck.

I made an appointment, and invited my bridesmaids, mum and aunt for the ceremonial trying of the dresses.  I was not excited.  I hate shopping at the best of times, I’m self-conscious of my body, and my only knowledge of wedding dress shopping was a pushy sales-women thinking only of commission. I did not want to parade myself around a room full of people.

The boutique is not like that.  We walked into the boutique, on a quiet side-street in beautiful Penarth, Rachel locked the door and drew the curtains.  The boutique was only for us, a private, inviting space to feel safe in.  Rachel was open and friendly, and not overly ‘Congratulations!  Tell me everything!‘, it didn’t feel insincere, and it was like she wanted to get to know me, not ‘bride me’. It felt nice to be treated as a person, and not as a bride.  That may seem strange, but I hated the expectations of what it meant to be a bride (ooh!  Another blog post idea there – more to come…)

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We spent some time picking out dresses – they were all so different, so un-bridal-y, and yet so perfectly bridal.  Exactly what I had wanted.  Rachel spent time picking some out for me, her extensive knowledge of the gowns proved how much she cared about her work, and made me feel at ease. She was so passionate about championing Welsh designers, and proud of the creativity Wales has to offer.

I tried on about 5 gowns in total, and for someone so picky, I could have chosen any one of them.  But one in particular, ‘Isla‘, stole the show.  I received the hushed shock reaction from my ladies, and when I saw myself, I really did get ‘the feeling’.  Something last-year-Rhiannon thought was kept for insincere chick-flicks.  ‘The feeling’ was a mixture of emotions, I could suddenly see myself walking down the aisle, and I realised I wasn’t even breathing in – I just felt beautiful, and I finally felt like it was coming together.

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Rachel told me to take my time and not to rush the decision, there was no time frame, no ”you’ll have to pay a deposit today to guarantee the price”, no ‘‘we can’t guarantee you’ll get it in time”.  She was just perfect.

A week later, I ordered ‘Isla’ by Sophie of E&W Couture, a stunning lace dress in ivory.  I say lace, but it doesn’t look or feel like any lace I’ve seen before.  It was so delicate, and so different.  Material magic! I asked if Sophie could add sleeves – this was no problem at all.  A unique piece, made by hand, for me, by a Welsh designer!   Princess much?  Absolutely! Own it! (And now I do – cue smug emoji)

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I had 5 fittings with Sophie at the Boutique, and looked forward to my monthly chats with the ladies.  Rachel is welcoming, warm and so funny, she really gave me a fantastic experience in the run-up to the wedding.  I’m looking forward to popping in again for a French Fancy and a cuppa – I’ll be round when the wedding album is finished Rach!

Somebody said that I looked like a ’60’s Celtic Princess’ on the day, and I will totally take that! In the morning, when I looked in the mirror, I looked exactly like what I’d imagined – a kind of Stevie Nicks meets Blodeuwedd (Celtic woman made of flowers yass).  From the crown, to the veil, to the make-up.  It all came together so perfectly.  I still felt like me, but on a really good day.  Well, the best day actually.

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Rachel helped me see myself as a bride, and feel fantastic.  I’m so glad I read that article all those years ago, clearly, my subconscious knows me well.

M x

  • Dress from Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique – https://www.rachelburgessbridalboutique.com/
  • Hair and Make-up by the incredible Emma Jenkins – @emmajenxmakeup
  • Flower crown by Crown and Glory – www.crownandglory.co.uk
  • Veil – Bought the material from John Lewis for £16, and took it to a seamstress who charged me £25! Yass, love a hand-made bargain – Cathedral Veil for £41? Don’t mind if I do
  • Flowers by Sweet Peony Floral Design – www.sweetpeonyfloral.co.uk
  • Boots by ASOS  (Yass Bowie vibes!)

All photos by The incredible Louise Jacob- see part 2 for more on her

Millennials- Cold Brew Basic Bi*ches. 

Seems legit.

I’ve been seeing more and more articles discussing millennials. Almost as if they’re not for my eyes, they’re for the baby boomers. Their sole purpose seemingly an alarming call to arms- they’re spoilt, self-centred, narcissistic, entitled kids, who refuse to invest in the economy, and are the ruin and downfall of society. Oh and they’re obsessed with a certain shade of pink. Wow. Excuse me while I ignore this information and post another selfie and work on my reality TV career.

What is a ‘millennial’?


The term is often enthusiastically thrown around media outlets. Most use it as a term describing those born between the early 80s and the early 00s. Twenty years of birthdays. So technically, it is describing people from the age 17-37. You’ll have to double check my maths here as, sadly I was raised in an easy childhood where GCSE’s were dumbed down astoundingly in comparison to O-Levels in the 60s. 

Sarcasm is probably another one of my selfish traits honed from years of laziness and a lack of compassion for society.

So essentially, a person who is still in school, dealing with the ordeals of snapchat filter choices and first kisses, is painted with the same brush as a 37 year old person dealing with childcare issues and tax returns.  Seems legit.
As you might be able to tell from my ill-revised long sentences, I’m irate. I’m feeling hypocritical. I’m sick of being blamed for the economy and lack of interest in important subjects. Mainly I’m sick of being labelled like reduced meat at the supermarket. 
Here’s the hypocrisy- I want to blame the baby-boomers on behalf of my co-millennial generation. Generation Y. Generation why.

So why am I annoyed by this? I decided to address some of the points which were prominent in the media, to see if we really were that entitled and self-obsessed.

Golden pineapples.

Apparently, we are a generation obsessed with gold pineapples. How dare y… oh yes I do have a small gold pineapple candle on my mantelpiece. Right ok, touché. We’re obsessed with cold brew coffee and avocado everything… yes I have indeed got a jug of overnight cold brew coffee sitting in the fridge, perched next to 2 ripe avocados. It’s not looking good for me is it?

Let’s go back to the pineapples. I read once, that millennials are buying these, along with fairy lights and flamingo themed items because we are ‘generation rent’. Marvellous, another label for us. This time, I will accept the label. These items bring a sense of fun, creativity and ironically, an expensive feel to our rented flats and apartments. 

House prices give me that fun ‘oh sh*t I’m a failure and will never be a successful adult and where’s the gin and omg I just want to crawl into a cupboard and stay there forever’ kinda feeling. I am somehow expected to save for a deposit, while spending over half my paycheque on rent every month? Seems legit.

We also love a good DIY– it’s the ultimate millennial ‘trend’. I disagree. It’s not a trend, it’s a must. We are a much more eco-conscious generation, we like to re-use, make do and mend. And how do I make my damp-infested, over-priced rental home habitable? I make. Whether it’s embroidery hoops or acrylic on canvas, I love making things which might ordinarily cost a small fortune. But this is deemed a fad or a trend. Perhaps my bleached emo hair and black tutu days were a rebellious fad, but embroidery? Old home economic skills are becoming fashionable again. We grew up during a recession. We know how to make do.

Never mind the financial crash of the late 00s, we the millennial mob are responsible for the housing crisis. I know, right? We aren’t investing in things like generations before us did. And I’m not just talking property, we aren’t wise enough to invest in things like gold, diamonds, shares. We would prefer to fizzle away our cash on avocados and cold brew coffee.

Now, I understand the financial sense in saving every penny that I would use on premium veg, over-priced coffee and golden fruit from Primark. But in truth, I would rather have the joys of delicious food and drink, and live in a comforting, albeit rented home, than save and scrimp for a decade and miss out on my twenties. So is that why I’m entitled?

We are obsessed with social media.

I won’t argue with that. I check instagram daily, send happy birthday messages on Facebook and use snapchat to communicate with friends. Am I ‘obsessed’? I don’t think so, I get some of my news via social media, stay in touch with people, find classes and events, and occasionally post a photo of something that I think is worth sharing. I used to worry about people being obsessed with social media, and yes, it definitely has its downfalls. But there’s more to social media than selfies and emoji reactions. 

Millennials have invented a new form of entrepreneurism. Vloggers, bloggers and app creators. Take YouTube for example: It doesn’t matter if you think they’re talentless nobodies promoting capitalism with their vanity- they are self-made millionaires who work from home with their own rules. Good on ya.
This brings me to my final point…


Basic Bi*ches



A term which is broadly used to describe your average female millennial- no original ideas, under the illusion of being something on trend (Not to be confused with hipsters- That’s a whole other label in the millennial tapestry). Think pumpkin spice hand sanitiser, flat lay dinners and Unicorn lattes.

And don’t forget the golden pineapples.

So yes, I’ve recently bought a faux sheepskin rug to layer on another rug (Rug layering is all the rage apparently), and yes I just spent £3 on flowers from Tesco instead of saving for a deposit, but can we all just agree that this broad term of ‘millennial’ is overused and redundant? You can’t seriously compare a 17 year old to a 37 year old can you?

My life plan was to get married, buy a house and start a family. Most of our parents were able to buy houses for £20k at our age, so please don’t compare us to that. I’m not entitled, I’m annoyed. This won’t happen for me, and I’m ok with that. I’m comfortable knowing that these things will happen later in life for me, and that’s ok, because I love my job, and love working hard.

My generation: generation rent, Generation Y, will have to live with the decisions of older generations- we will have to clean up the mess of Brexit, Trump and the privatisation of national companies, to name but a few of the grand f*ck ups my generation didn’t ask for.

I may never own a house, but I’ve decided to own my titles. Millennials, Hipsters and Basic Bi*ches unite. Let’s not worry what others call us. I’ve decided I avocadon’t care.

We have a venue!

 We sat with my mam at the kitchen table. After trawling through pages and pages of barns, marquees and tipis, I was losing the will to live. There seemed to be a plentiful array of beautiful venues, all kind of the same, and all not quite right. What I wanted was an empty shell in a field, somewhere where I could pay the owners for use of the ‘building’, and I could sort out all the decorations, food and drink myself.  

 That’s what I wanted, a basic place with plenty of room, and I was looking forward to adding everything else MYSELF. I was confident I could keep costs low and ensure it all looked beautiful and welcoming. I organise similar things in my job, and was looking at the wedding as a new production to sink my teeth into.

Let me save you some trouble here- This dream doesn’t exist. I failed miserably. I found that every venue had strict rules on what food I could have (God forbid if I asked for outside catering!), what wine I could have, and as far as corkage went, the prices were astronomical. Basically “Of course you can bring your own wine, but we’ll charge you so freaking much for it, our expensive wine will be nothing in comparison.”

I very much felt like one second you had the kind “Congratulations on your wedding!” And the next was “Woman, we don’t really need your business so do you want this or not?”. Okay, okay, I get it, you’re a business. So how about the stripped down costs? How much for just an empty shell, before adding everything?

The prices were astonishing. For a basic barn (An empty shell), we were looking at £3500. Double that, if I wanted to decorate it myself the day before. So £7000. Before food, tables, chairs, decorations, dresses, suits, flowers, cake, and the ridiculously over priced wine. LIVID.

So apparently, DIY budget weddings are fashionable now – it’s a huge industry.

2 teapots and 1 cafetière later, I was flagging. Luckily, Josh and my Mam persevered, and something interesting appeared in the search.

Last minute Winter deals…
I’ve previously said that I wouldn’t want to get married in a grand hotel or a mansion. But what about a CASTLE!?
No that’s going to be ridiculously expensive.

That’s just not us.
“They have a last minute Winter deal thing…”

“I’m a princess, get me to that castle.”
We called them and arranged a viewing 2 days later.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. We drove through the Brecon Beacons and I was going through a checklist in my head.
-Near where I grew up? No

-Near where we live now? No

-Near anything vaguely related to us? No

-Barn? No

-Tipi? No

-Summer Wedding? No

-Cheaper than anywhere else? YES!

February warmth

It was a cold, fog-induced grey February day. The Beacons were hiding in the clouds, and as we drove up, we saw the imposing and overwhelming beauty of the Gothic castle. Castell Craig Y Nos.

We walked into the reception area, greeted by the resident cat, stoically ignoring the petting of passers-by.

As we waited for our host, we decided to have a quick look around. The warming ‘Welcome area’ with its characteristic chesterfield sofas and roaring fireplaces overlooked the Brecon landscape outside. For the first time since we started looking, it felt right.

It felt like we had stepped into a Wes Anderson film – a huge influence on our schemes and decor. The grandeur of the place was old – not tarnished by garish modernisation. It felt untouched, almost fragile. Josh’s parents and the wedding coordinator came to meet us and as we walked from room to room, it confirmed our feelings.

I suddenly didn’t care, or even want a festival wedding. I didn’t care if it rained, I didn’t care if I never saw another barn ever again. How wonderful it would be for everyone to experience what we had that day.

We have a word in Wales – ‘Cwtch’ – it means hug, embrace, comfort, and that’s exactly what Craig Y Nos offered.


I can picture our families mingling in the welcome area, shaking off the Winter wind in front of roaring fire places, looking out of the windows at the dramatic Brecon landscape.

I’m so. Freaking. Excited.

So we’ve booked it. 4 months earlier than planned, which means I am hitting the gym hard. It all happened so quickly, I suddenly have less than a year until we get married, and I can’t wait.

Writing, Honesty and Narcissism.


Last weekend I was offered to go on a day course with work. The course was ‘Writing for children’, and as I work in children’s TV, it seemed apt that I should attend.

I learnt a few interesting techniques on building characters and story lines, and met some really interesting people – teachers, producers, new Mothers and recently retired women.

Aside from this, I learnt something more important. I learnt that my fears and self-doubt are crippling my inspiration, and feeding my excuses. The whole point of this blog was to get out of my comfort zone and get some self-belief. And here I am in a stack of half finished drafts and ideas.

The course was at Tŷ Newydd, a writing centre in Wales. I arrived the night before, as it’s a four hour drive from home. The darkness was potent, the leafy drive to the house hidden in a shroud of wind and rain. We were staying in the Annex, a converted barn with a grown-up youth hostel vibe: shared bathroom, no locks on the doors, but beautiful Welsh blankets on the bed.

It howled all night, the window panes sighing heavily with the pressure of the storm. I did not sleep well. Luckily there was wi-fi, and French and Saunders helped me relax and unwind.

I woke up early, and to my delight, the rain had stopped, leaving a sun-soaked and rain-drenched leafy carpet for my first look at the house. It was stunning. I drank a cup of tea, staring out at the cloudless sky and distant sea. Peace.

As it was still early, I decided it was time for a hot date with my camera. Just the thought of being somewhere beautiful, alone with my camera excites me. I headed to David Lloyd George’s grave (how delightful!), because I’d been there before and remembered it was on the bank of a river. I was not disappointed.

Because it was early, the natural light was incredible, I was in my element. Just me, my camera and nature’s ring light. The best thing was that within half an hour, the light had risen, and the autumnal floor looked beige and basic again. I was smug. Hah! Gotcha light!

I walked back towards the house, and saw the small slate plaque at the entrance – ‘Tŷ Newydd, The National Writers’ Centre of Wales’. At the end of the driveway I could see the grand house, peeking through the trees, it suddenly seemed a lot grander, and a lot further. I don’t belong here. I’m not a writer, people are going to laugh at me, this is going to be humiliating.

Cut to- actually that was fine, I was not out of my depth, I learnt some interesting things and felt I was well within my comfort zone.

So what is a writer? Is it being published? Is it being paid full time? Is it writing a best seller? Winning an award?

This brings me to my next point-

Shameless Maya.

My God I love this woman. She is the most refreshing, fierce, tech-savvie, inspiring, fabulous and shameless woman! It always takes someone like this once in a while to slap me in the face with those truth-nuggets and shake me up. If you haven’t heard of Maya, please go and have a look at her YouTube channel. 

https://youtu.be/yqQSx3NX8RU

I’m still relatively new to her channel, but I could binge watch her for hours. She’s all about shameless self-promotion, which I’m beginning to learn isn’t about being a self-centred d*ck. It’s about sharing, learning, and pushing your career/dreams/passions.

It didn’t happen overnight, but I can remember when my confidence wained substantially. I went from being a bright, happy, confident teenager, to being deeply uncomfortable, lonely and self-loathing. I suppose it’s what some people might call ‘puberty’! But it was more than that. I might come back to re-visit this subject in full, but for now, that’s enough honesty! I could list a vivid selection of people, events and feelings which stem back to those initial feelings of self-doubt and introvert changes. 

In many ways, I wish I hadn’t let those things get to me in the first place. But if it wasn’t for those things, I wouldn’t have written some of the work I’m most proud of. You have to stop blaming your past, people, yourself and just move on. Honesty is original, because it is mine alone. 

I know this will be a long process, and there’s a good chance I’ll look back at this tomorrow and feel insecure and anxious. But that’s life, confidence is a work in progress. 

M x

Things I love this month-

Shameless Maya

Catching the morning sunlight

Ren 1 minute facial

Hot Ribena

Invites, bites and sleepless nights

It’s been a bit of a strange couple of weeks. I haven’t written anything, because there were almost too many topics to write about. So firstly for any cave-dwellers, here’s a list of what’s been happening-

  • Brexit onslaught
  • Wales in the semi-finals of the Euro World Cup
  • Visited a wedding venue and fell in love
  • Cameron resigns
  • Terrifying bull terrier is PM
  • Boris in general
  • Saw Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price in Cardiff Bay and totally fangirled. “You’re a legend” etc
  • Pokémon GO ❤

Secondly, a list of bad excuses-

  • Work is busy
  • Need to sort out holiday stuff
  • Midge bite swells up my entire foot
  • Big Brother is awful and I can’t stop watching it
  • I don’t want to write about politics, but it’s at the forefront of my mind.

Clearly there is no real excuse here. But I’m not going to worry too much about it. I’m back to feeling inspired, fresh and proactive. Much like a wall sticker at the Danone PR offices.

I’m not going to write about politics, so I’ll get my views and thoughts out of the way. 
I’m deeply saddened by the choice to leave the UK but respect our democracy. Tabloids are evil propaganda, but that’s nothing new. Theresa May scares the hell out of me, in so many ways. Finally, Pokémon GO is GREAT.

On the wedding front, we finally visited our first venue. Welsh Green Weddings, Carmarthenshire. This venue had always been high on the list for us, as it ticked many of our boxes, and we were not disappointed. They have pizza nights there once a month, so it was a perfect opportunity to see the venue in action. Oh, and the pizza was AMAZING. 

Inside the main tipi
Eleanor who runs the place with her family was a fantastic host who took us on a tour of the venue, and she spent time with us, suggesting different uses and ideas which had worked before. We all felt very relaxed and welcomed. We’re going back in September for a further viewing (and further pizza testing!), and I’ll actually make sure I bring my camera out this time!

View from the tipi
Also- As we left the venue, the acoustic singer started playing Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac- surely that’s a sign!?
We are definitely a step further with the planning now.

We have a better idea of guest list and invitees, and although we still want to look at other venues, we are very happy with the idea of Welsh Green Weddings. Seriously, take a look at the website!
http://welshgreenweddings.co.uk
I’ll be writing a more detailed account after our September visit!


Sleepless nights and bites



It’s been hot. It’s been REALLY hot. I was mauled by mosquitos in Bute Park on Tuesday, and now have a completely swollen foot and ankle. So I haven’t been able to hunt Pokémon. As you can imagine, for a 27-yr-old child, this is a huge inconvenience. It’s cooled down somewhat now, so hopefully I can get some sleep tonight. And yes, I included this dull fact just for the sake of the title. As well as for a little moan. *itch itch*
Favourite things this week- Antihistamine tablets and my Dad’s dahlias