10 ways to spread joy. 


Joy is something that is very subjective-that feeling on seeeing your work admired, when you see your kids at the end of the day, when your husband comes home, on finding out that new music is being released by your favorite singer, etc. It isn’t something that is very ‘big’-in the sense that we don’t use it to compliment people-and I wish to change that. For the better. So, here’s ten ways to spread a little joy…

  1. Comment on a bloggers post. Ha ha! But in all seriousness, it’s always nice to see your work being admired, and even knowing what you could do better. Bloggers put a lot of work into what we do. And yet it doesn’t always show. So, maybe next time you read a good post, you could comment on it.
  2. Visit your local library. These establishments are in general decline, which is a real shame. We need to use them more! So, next time you want a good book to read, or just a place to meet people, visit it. 
  3. Call somebody you haven’t seen in a long time. Don’t text them! Texting removes a personal element at times from interaction-just the sound of voices can be a real comfort. Better still, Skype!
  4. Give random gifts to people. They don’t have to be big, extravagant, etc-but they can be silly, thoughtful, or a ‘just because’. 
  5. Compile and exchange playlists with somebody. 
  6. Text a joke to your friends. Best not to be too corny, but it could be in a form of a meme… as long as it isn’t too offensive.
  7. Tweet your friends compliments.
  8. Better still, compliment people face-to-face. We all need that little ‘boost’ of confidence at times-just remember to be genuine about it, and not just for the sake of.
  9. Write a letter! I love doing this. Letters have such a great, personal feel-and they are a rarity these days. Even if it’s to an aunt you don’t see, these bring joy to people.
  10. Give your best friend cookies!

What do you do to spread joy?

Lydia

XO

Reflections on turning eighteen. 

If you’re reading this now, today is (finally) the day I turn eighteen. I’m writing this from the perspective of my seventeen year old self, so please bear with me 😁

Birthdays have always been the same for me; we celebrate, you get older. There’s cake on the table with candles, with people encircling you, singing Happy Birthday. Yet to age another year doesn’t feel different to me. It may do to you-and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

There’s a lot of fuss about eighteen. I don’t get the social element. But I do understand the adult element.

Socially, it’s all the anyone has been able to talk about for months: “When are you eighteen?”   is now a common occurrence in a line of questioning. People I know have begun to drive. But what seems to dominate the topic of conversation? Alcohol. Drinking. Consuming to get very drunk. 

My personal preference is not to drink, simply because I dislike the feeling of being out of control. It’s seemingly as if weightless, potentially able to drift away, without your feet staying on the ground. I don’t mind that people drink, really I don’t. I just won’t necessarily be the one to join in. And that’s the social element I really don’t understand.

But the adult element? As I write this,Eighteen is something that is looming; the age of legally being an adult in the U.K. is something that denotes greater responsibility. (In The run up to turning this age for this past year, there have been many one-liners and whispered comments about turning eighteen; largely, the semantics have similarly denoted this. ) I guess it’s more relief, now, that I’ll actually be able to play my part.

I’ll be able to vote, for instance. And that is something I have wished to attain for a very long time.

Let’s see what the future holds!

Lydia

XO

How to add more colour to your life. 

I first had the idea for this post on reading a post over at Dorkface; how to add more ‘Unicorn’ to your life. (Seriously. But it’s such a good post.) But I’ve also read Gala Darling’s website for a while now. The main piece of wisdom imparted seemed to be to add more colour to your life-even backed up by being a guest on a podcast, in debating the merits of bright lip colours. (Something bold, no?) Anyway, I wanted to write a post along those lines-how to add more colour to your life. (I’m bored of the stereotypical black, brown, and grey clothes that seemingly dominate my country all year round!) 

1. Choose more colourful books.

And I don’t mean the racy sort!

Books, firstly, aren’t always a stiff paperback-they can look very pretty on your shelf. (Left is Radical Self Love By Gala Darling.)

Secondly, books are very colourful in their characteristics; a good book could have a plotline with seemingly larger-than-life characters. Sometimes they rub off on us, don’t they? I mean, first rule of being a Writer; Read, Read, and Read some more, in the hope that the writing techniques rub themselves off on you. (Yes, ‘Read’ had to be capitalised!) 

But anyway: some characters I wish to emulate-for the characteristics they have that I don’t. They are the colourful ones that could be emulated by us all.

2. Add colour to what you wear.

Seems simple, right?!?

As I’ve already said in this post, I’m tired of the stereotypical colours that seemingly dominate everywhere I go-black, brown, and grey. Surely that suggest almost a dull feeling, lack of hope? Not that there’s anything actually wrong with these hues; I just dislike the dominance that they have everywhere.

I think that being colourful in what you wear-not too gaudy, but in how you style yourself-could have a good impact, in terms of confidence, and how you present yourself. 

Sorry for the cliche, but there’s also something empowering about this: showing that you’re yourself to the extent that petty cares don’t bother you. 

See why I want to do more of this?!

3. Wear it on ‘yo’ face! 

Because our faces are the one thing that we put forward instantly!

In all seriousness, with reference to the podcast I mentioned earlier; there’s something very brave about wearing a lip colour that’s quite bright. (Has anyone seen Cosmo recently, with their silver lips tutorial?) 

It’s a way to add colour-but all I can say is don’t overdo it, such as with eyeshadow and eyeliner in bright colours to boot.

How do you suggest adding colour to your life?

Lydia

XO

My problem with being Ladylike…and a bit of a debate. 


I have a problem with being “Ladylike”-and I write this as somebody whose general viewpoint is that we shouldn’t take offence at every little thing. I am not ladylike; neither do I consider myself to be very ‘feminine ‘. I’m just….well, me, to be honest. And I’m getting tired of being told to be more Ladylike. 

The very word is something that confuses me; essentially, Ladylike is to be a lady. At the age of seventeen, I have ostensibly yet to reach this; after all, I am not yet legally an adult. And it has connotations of being vaguely royal. Again, I am not royal, as in the daughter of an Earl. So what is Ladylike?

It has connotations of Femininity; yet this is something idealised now, I feel. A quick look at a dicationary says something along the lines of “the enjoyment in being female”. But what exactly is female? There seems to be a perception that it subscribes to something we set ourselves as the ideal of beauty-something that doesn’t “cover all”,  therefore we perceive something outside of this to potentially be ‘ugly’. (That’s also a horrible word.) But this is also something seemingly gendered; because of my gender, I also apparently have to subscribe to this. 

(Having not considered myself to be very feminine, additionally not to be Ladylike, I have to say that I don’t do this..)

To put a feminist slant on this debate-y seeming blog post; obviously there are some biological differences between men and women, yet there are some things that I can do that a male can also do. I can lift tables. I can eat a sandwich. I can vote. I can drink from a can and not a glass.

To be a female should not necessarily stop me from doing these things, and that’s also for the perception of being Ladylike. But I will keep doing them, because I feel that Ladylike is a bit of an outdated perception. I can’t keep up! And neither am I going to attempt to anymore.

If I could, I’d want to redefine this word; Ladylike should be what it is like to be a ‘lady’-a new sort of women who already exists, who has what Ann Shoket is coining to be “The Big Life”. It should also emphasise a can-do attitude, rather than having this foisted-upon perception; we can do virtually anything we put our minds to. (We just may not be equal.) But in my view, women are good in government, good as Doctors, good as teachers; we’re blooming great at what we do.

So there you have it; my problem with Ladylike and why I wish to redefine in. But what do you think-maybe we should subscribe more to being Ladylike?

Lydia

XO

On the value of the library; a plea to value them. 

Okay, this is a post I’m writing a little bit out of guilt; in spite of the fact that I have a library card, I don’t go to my local library often. Yet, this is an instution I value highly. 


Books have been a part of my cultural landscape for a long time now; ever since I learned to read, all those years ago, I have been fascinated by books. These are palpable time portals, and the easiest methods of transportation; you could sit anywhere-in a noisy cafe or the quiet park bench-and travel around all these worlds inside your head. And it’s something that I take great pleasure in.

Any library is effectively a curator of what I’ve just written; these are the instutions that hold these books dearly close to them. And unlike Google, they aren’t the most popular result; as the writer Caitlin Moran once stated, the difference is that they are the best result. And often from librarians who know what to look for, complete with familiarity of the books.

Nowadays, I’m a student sitting her A-levels, whilst juggling revision, blogging, writing a column, a shorthand diploma, and a (very limited!) social life. That’s why I don’t visit the library near my house any more; too busy, too wrapped up in learning, writing, cramming. Yet, these buildings are where ideas take true flight, where we could hone our beliefs, learn about anything we could have ever wished for. I value this instruction highly, yet I don’t use it enough.

The writer Matt Haig also made a very good point on Twitter; “Libraries are not just about books. They are almost the only public space we have left which don’t like our wallets more than us”. Apart from keeping my library card there, I find him to be completely correct; libraries are virtually free nowadays. We don’t have to pay an entrance fee, for instance. We can borrow books, for free. (Only a fee is paid if overdue, usually, or having to order in, etc.) 

Libraries are beautiful things.

As a Bibliophile, I wish to encourage you all to go to your local library more-it’s something that I’ll try to do more of. I do my part online for books-such as in reviewing review copies, interviewing writers-but I do worry that this is not enough. Our libraries are valuable. Our libraries are an educative tool. We need them now more than ever.

Lydia

XO