Photo Diary: Where Have I Been?

I haven’t posted a photo diary for a little while…therefore, for today, I thought “why not?” This shows what I have been up to recently, with a little look at behind the scenes of this blog at points.


I went to see Emeli Sande! This was onlr as tickets to write about it for this blog and in my column…


Can I now not claim to not be a legitimate Journalist!? I’ve been all the way to Fleet Street!*

*But then again, this was in Brighton..


This proof copy also came in the post for me to to review, courtesy of Canongate. Needless to say, I am very excited to be reading this book!


Where’s the front cover?!


This was part of a larger sample that was posted to me recently to review…(coming soon!) I could smell it through the packaging, which smelt divine! You’ll be able to read all about it soon..


Adding colour to my life!

What have you been doing?

Lydia

XO

***

I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and with the purchase of a Spongedry, you can get a free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK FOR black. 

My top five essentials for my handbag. 


Handbags are very funny things: considered widely now to be a staple of a women’s wardrobe, they contain all sorts of things. They even are used as a handy tool. (Take a look at Mrs Thatcher!) Instead of showing you what’s in my bag, I thought I’d share with you what my top five things are for my bag.

  1. Tangle tamer. Does anyone else have really bushy hair? Mine is horrible, and does exactly as it pleases-whether it’s sunny and I’m walking, or it’s rainy and I’m running for a train. I’m keeping this with me now, in order just to look a little bit more professional.
  2. Highlighters. I colour code everything! Meaning I know what something is at a glance…
  3. Eyeliner. This is Topshop’s magic liner, and I love it. For it is easy to use, good durability, comes off easily, and doesn’t stab me in the eye. (As somebody with glasses, eye make up is a real hassle.) It adds an extra feature to my day, and allows me to feel better about my poor eyesight and glasses.
  4. Book. Mind over matter, right!? 
  5. Magazine. News is everywhere I go, meaning that I have a slight addiction-I have to know what’s happening in US politics, UK politics, the NHS, books, films, fashion trends, photography, etc. And I get this from regularly reading glossy magazines, newspapers, and news websites.

What are your top five essentials? 

Lydia

XO

Why I Like To Write; An Answer To A FAQ! 

*By FAQ, I mean frequently asked question.

Hello.-

For this post,I thought I would answer a frequently asked question: why do you write? 

For me it’s almost funny: now as a Columnist, Blogger, Interviewer,and  Freelancer, I, still asked: why do you like to write? It’s a question that has taken a long time to answer-alongside the variants of it.

Usually this is phatic talk, and we chat on about what I hope to write in future.

I wasn’t always a writer. And that’s why this is a seemingly funny question to me-becacuse I write like I talk, generally speaking. My features and blog posts are littered with features of spoken language. Writing is just having a conversation in print, essentially, to me. I don’t write to inform like a reporter; I do it instead to share my opinion, as well as to entertain. Not for the ego gratification.

Writers are important, because these are the people that live on, in terms of legacy; for instance, English students are still talking about The Great Gatsby. Book Bloggers review new releases all the time. They essentially write the history books, influencing us beyond what can sometimes be comprehended.

But at the end of the day; writing allows me to get rid of the cares of that day, dissolving my negative thoughts, and carry out a need to do so. If you lot weren’t here, reading this, I’d still be writing. I’d still be writing because I feel the need to-be it blog posts, columns, letters, missives, articles, books, poetry, etc.

At the core are words, the very thing that fascinate me; after all, I was never very good with numbers. But they are subjective in that they can mean different things to different people; love can differ in context, language, the pragmatics of the situation, etc. This is an endless puzzle, one that I want to solve.

Lydia

XO 

Why I dislike having my photo taken..


Photos. Photos. Photos. Uggghhhh.

I really dislike having my photo taken. And as a warning, this post was written as a ‘rant’-although I’m trying to be logical and balanced. That’s a possible fail.

Anyway, back to the topic; I dislike having my photo taken. I really detest it-the awkwardness, coupled with the fact that it’ll possibly be put on display-be it a byline photo, your parents mantelpiece, newspaper, etc. (The latter one was a particular ‘favourite’; me smiling with a rather large tongue stuck out. How embarrassing.)

In my lifetime, there’s been a general increase in technological culture;you’re reading this blog right now, for instance. We Instagram, tweet, Facebook, email, read e-books. Essentially, we move electronically, in amongst this huge field of data. But what happens with such a thing as trolling?

In spite of the fact that I’m a blogger, my life is still private to me; I have every right to maintain my privacy. I may write about my social impairment, yet you don’t know intimate details of that. You don’t know my friendships, my likes or dislikes, what I eat for dinner, etc. 

Plus, I’m just awkward. And there’s so much time between posing and snapping!

Caitlin Moran wrote the brilliant piece about why she doesn’t just smile, but brings out her ‘Muppet face’ for photos-simply because it proves the point she isn’t static, but rather alive and kicking. But I think I’ve used that trick for too long-I’m told to smile more often, stand up straight, etc. The mullet face isn’t going to work any more.

As long as I’m laughing, I’m happy, just not comfortable in photos.

What do you think about having your photo taken?

Lydia

XO

Frustrations of being an Aspergic teenager. 

Disclaimer: This post is entirely subjective to my own opinions, and own hallmarks of the spectrum of ASD. I do not claim to be a Doctor or medical professional. Rather, this post is just my opinion, not intended as a guide or advisory. I cannot take responsibility for anything that happens as a result of this post being misconstrueded or misused. 

For all of my posts relating to ASD, and my personal observations of my version of Aspergers Sydrome, I’ve tried to strike a positive spin on the issues discussed. I’ve had to, really; I would b a very different indurvidual otherwise. Similarly, I’m in opposition to negative perceptions of ASD; here are a group of often marginalised indurviduals, who have so much potential. Why leave them behind, lost in broken systems?


Anyway, I digress.

I was a teenager when diagnosed; I still am. At times I’ve become really frustrated, though; often through lack of understanding, I have sometimes felt sidelined. (This is now the rarity-being open about my social impairment has worked better and in my favour, in educational instutions.) 

Social. 

Back in 2015, it was not a surprise to me to have a diagnosis on paper. I think the main characteristic attributed to me was ‘eccentric’ whilst at secondary school; but really, that was just my Aspergers manifesting itself. But socially, it has had a big impact.

Making friends is really hard for me. The simple reason as to why is that I cannot always identify what you’re trying to tell me by your face; humans are more nuanced than just the basic happy vs sad notion. This is really frustrating; I make mistakes, yet did and still feel lonely at the best of times.

Communication is also a problem. Taking the face facet I just mentioned-that mollifies conversation at times. I can chat easily to people considered ‘adults’-lecturers, parents, editors. But to chat to my classmates easily? I find that really difficult. I’m probably more likely to say something perceived as inappropriate, stammer, apologise, and repeat the same pattern. 

People can also be really confusing-are you being sarcastic, genuine? Why did you decide to ignore me? What gave you permission to mock my dress sense? Why do you care so much about popularity? Why are teasing me? Is that supposed to be funny?

See. These I’ll never be able to answer.

I also rarely get to talk about my special interests; it is always boys/cosmetics/hair/homework. With Trump and Brexit, there was a little bit of political discussion-yet with levels of apathy, it seemed a little bit pointless. I want to talk about Jacqueline Kennedy, World War Two history, the prime minister, Feminism, poetry, Rock opera, blogging, etc. This hasn’t happened yet.

Sound.

If I can control it, that’s fine.

As somebody who wishes to be a Journalist, potentially specialising in music, this is probably a bit of a contradiction; I could sit through a Rock concert, yet become very agitated at something as mundane as cutlery clunking against a china worktop. (Ugh!) Some noise can overwhelm my brain; I’m still working on a way to define it-the sharp, shocking, strange noises that overwhelm me. 

This is frustrating in a classroom-all the voices floating around!

But in transit round places; I was called out, told “it’s not that noisy”, when travelling round with other students getting to lessons. (I had my hands clamped to my ears, just wanting to block it all out.) It’s overwhelming to me. To be honest, at times I’ve wanted to cry. I can’t work as well, my speech becomes tangled in my throat, and I stim. (For bullies, this has been a signal, almost a target.)

I love the sound that voices make in musics; whether it’s Phil Collins singing Mamma, Freddie Mercury singing Tear It Up, or Anastacia singing I Dreamed Of You, these voices calm my brain. (Even Carly Simon-All I Want Is You.) They are different to the sudden noises that shock my brain.

Stimming.

How to define stimming? 

Whenever under stress-a change in stimuli, environment, etc-it is a movement carried out repeatedly, aiming at being something calming. For me, I slap the outside of my legs. A I can also tap. (Rocking back and forth on the toes seems to be the main one.)

I wish I had a different response to changes in stimuli, environment, etc; I get stared at, people suggesting that what I’m doing is wrong facially. 

Stimming is alright to music; I’ve since learnt that any beat seemingly covers it up. It looks like you’re tapping along to the beat. Although I feel that this should not have to be the case.

But….

Here comes the positive spin.

Of all the people I have met with either Autism or Aspergers Sydrome, none of them have been dull or boring. These are the larger-than-life characters that I wish to mirror. They don’t fit into a mold. They are colourful characters intent on being their own indurvidual.

Without Aspergers Sydrome, I highly doubt that I would have been able to achieve any of the things that I have. Prior to the age of eighteen, I’ve seen Queen and Adam Lambert in concert, interviewed Anastacia, built this little blog, scored a column with my local paper, met Brian May, reviewed albums prior to release, seen Lissie live in concert, spoken at Portcullis house, interviewed Jodi Picoult, and met Derren Brown.

It’s a message I wish to include in my novel; I identify as the ‘little proffesor’ that Hans Asperger identified. (Aspergers Sydrome is named after him.) In spite of the frustrations and restrictions, I am determined to overcome. And you’re going to watch me run.

Lydia

XO



Photo Diary: Day out to Brighton! 

Owing due to personal circumstance-being told I had “nothing to wear” to a party-I went down to Brighton not too long ago with a few realitives, in order to ‘remedy’ the situation. Whilst I was there, I took a lot of photos, enough for a Photo Diary Post-which I’m going to share with you now. 


(This won’t necessarily be in chronological order, due to varying quality of my photos, and the sequence of editing.)

I was fortunate enough to have lunch at Ed’s Easy Diner. This is a lovely American style diner that stays truely authentic to its USP; it has mirrored walls, graphics of the classical waitress, an all-American menu, and a lovely jukebox system. And the food is lovely! 


Although not full size, and sitting at your table, for every song choice you put twenty pence in at the top, and select the corresponding letter/number combination. Instead of playing at your table-imagine how noisy that would be!-it plays on the overhead speakers. (Fifties classics on the selection menu vary from Jailhouse Rock and Rock Around The Clock, to Hello Mary Lou and Johnny B Goode. Lovely!

I also tried a Cherry Flavour Pepsi Max; not being a big fan of fizzy drinks, I was pleasantly surprised-although this was a little bit too flat. (Too much ice!)

As a meat eater, I was pleasantly surprised at the range of meat; sometimes going round restaurants, I feel like the meat doesn’t vary a lot, and is often heavily greasy. (May not be suitable for vegetarians!)

The waiter was also lovely-very smiley with an easygoing manner. What more could anyone possibly want in a Diner?!

(Although next time I visit, I’m determined to try the desserts. But then again, Rees’ Cheesecake is not something that I can get on board with…) Give me a slice of chocolate cake and Icecream with caramel sauce any day! And there was also a possible side of sweet potato fries-I didn’t have them this time, but these are on ‘The List’ to try.

If you look carefully, you’ll be able to guess what I had to eat-although we shared a side of fries. 

Brighton is a lovely place, one of my favorite places there is; I love how there’s just a place for everyone-there isn’t a conventional standard to be followed, really.

Apart from it being utterly freezing-we had snow, people, snow!-I was happy to explore, despite being very cold at points. (Having left a spare jumper in the car, at points I was kicking myself.)

Anyway…

I can also report back that Waterstones has finally completed its general work and repairs; it now has a white exterior, marketed as a book cafe. The Romanovs was the book dominating the window display at the time; must read it soon!

(As you can see, I have a one track mind; books and food, books and food, books and food. Maybe Netflix ought to be added into the mix?!)


What’s not to love about a cat-themed beanie?!

I believe that I found this in H&M, although I may be wrong about that. It didn’t see, to be on their website, although you can find a different cat hat by clicking here.

This was a shirt that I felt particularly inspired by. Warning: a little bit of a rant coming up.

I really dislike the way that some clothes are marketed for my age range, in comparison to male counterparts; female clothing puts forward the perception of only being concerned with being a socialite, whilst male clothing is more to do with being brainy. 

Why?!?

There was one I saw online that particularly irritated me; being “allergic to algebra” is apparently a good thing in female clothing. I really disagree! 

Anyway, for once I spotted a shirt, retailing quite cheaply, and in correlation to my views. Finally!

(Sorry for the rant.)

I’ve also possibly found a replacement for my Starbucks-not that I drink it regularly-and that is probably far healthier.

Smooth is obviously a Smoothie drink franchise, that makes the smoothie up as you wait, in correlating to its menu. You can also choose your size-Kids, Small, or Regular.  (For this photo, I went for Regular-I was thirsty, after all!)

(Just as an aside: I don’t generally go around, taking photos of my food. To me, food is food; gotta eat or drink it that moment! I don’t mean this as an offensive thing to anyone who does-I just don’t want to be stereotyped as a millennial. Maybe I should do a post about that?)

But yes: eat, drink and be merry.

Hmmm….


Continuing with the cat theme…

Funnily enough, I found a bow tie for cats. (Yes, really, you read that correctly.) I was t sure what to think, to be honest. To me, putting human clothes on animals seems really cruel-the same as putting them in prams, bags, etc. But who am I to judge? 

Additionally, I also began to notice that some clothing has begun to pay far more attention to internet phases and language. Just take a look at this shirt on the left…

(‘Salty’ is essentially being sassy, I guess, although I’m not really explaining it well, for those of you who don’t know..)

In targeting collections, I guess that this could be a good idea; it’s relevant to the buying demographic, which is why we buy X, Y, or Z, right?

But then again, I do feel that it can be a little bit patronising, in making up their own abbreviations. Online one particular brand had marked one such product as being O.C.D-Obsessive Cat Disorder. 

Yep.

You read that correctly.

Basically; I’m on board if it’s fitting with actual slang, and is not used to stigmise a serious condition.

Plus, unicorns!

Generally speaking, whenever I think of an English high street, I see rain, and people dressed either in head-to-toe black, grey, maybe even brown. That’s quite a negative image, isn’t it? It just suggests boredom, trudging on, not caring.

One such marketing too, I would like to see is more of a ‘Unicorn’ vibe; putting back glitzy hues into our clothing. (Because unicorns are cool, right?)

Ironically enough, the shirt, pictured to the right, is what suggested the whole above commentary. And it’s grey!

Not that there is anything wrong with grey, it’s just running in contradiction to the point I was trying to make.

(This’ll probably be something in my next “Goals for….’ post.)

A few things I saw in Topshop!


Gotta keep teachers on their toes!

There was also a lot of stationary that made me feel very envious-for example, a kit basically making complimentary notes about somebody. What a good idea..

But then again, this epistle stack.

I’m not sure what to think.

What should I think?

And what do you think?

I’d love to know.

That way I can come to my own opinion.

Please help.

I am really not sure.

Moving on…to the final photo.

I feel in love with this leather jacket; it’s one of those garements that just seems to tick all the boxes needed. (And it’s a birthday present-I can’t wait!)

Have you visited Brighton?

Lydia

XO 

Radical Self-Love By Gala Darling. (Book review!) 

Disclaimer: This is a book that I bought for my own personal consumption, and has not been endorsed by any publisher. I am reviewing this for myself, and not in exchange for a proof copy. 

Ever since I read a post over at Oberjean by Jean about Filofaxes, having clicked an external link to Gala Darling’s website, I’ve been fascinated. Here was somebody with a very relatable writing style, a back story to listen to, and so much colour! For a long time, I’ve wanted to read her book-Radical Self Love-so I thought I could review this for today’s post. (At The time of writing, I haven’t finished it yet.)

First of all-and this will probably sound a little bit odd-but I really liked the feel of the book. It’s a paperback, yet it has a different feel to the average version-and is possibly more glossy. It’s also pink-as in, Gala Darling Pink. (Yes, that version of pink has to be capitalised!) Every time I look at this book, I can’t help but smile. It’s bold, ballsy, and just a little bit enviable-and differs to the average paperback in that respect.

To be honest, I haven’t finished this book yet-simply having not had the time-but at times it seems just a little bit too simple. 

One of my favourite sections has to be Tapping; I’ve heard of this practice before, but have always been a skeptic-“how can tapping a part of the body be at all helpful when you’re talking to yourself?” was my general line of questioning. But now it makes sense-to admit to yourself what you can change, etc. Additionally, the section on How To Infuse Your Day With Magic is just pure brilliance.

Gala Darling, thank you for writing this. This is part of a facet that I’ve found that speaks to me as an individual, and that I have come to admire. This book is brilliant. And we could all read it. 

What do you think-would you read this?

Lydia

XO

Click here to buy Radical Self-Love by Gaka Darling.