Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Chapter 15: Whoooo Are You?

Hi guys, I hope you're all okay and have had another fabulous week!

Not gonna' lie, but I do struggle to think of a topic to entertain you all with week by week. But I just want to say a massive thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with my blog and well, my random stories! I do think I am quite a random person to be honest... I have never looked at myself and put myself in a definite category... do you know what I mean? I certainly hope I'm not the only one on this boat!
When I was growing up, I was never hung about in a specific group of people. I was kind of a floater (queue the poo jokes). I kinda just spoke to everyone really... don't get me wrong, I had friends I would regularly meet up with at break times, etc, but as the years went on I became friends with different people and lost touch with others. I guess that's just a matter of life though. Things happen and you just fall out of touch with people. Whether it involved an argument, a loss of shared interests or you even just stopped talking for no apparent reason?!

I know that when times have been tough for me, I quickly come to realise who my true friends are; especially in recent years. Now that I am grown up (well, sort of), I think I have become a bit wiser when it comes to situations like these. But if there is one thing I can admit, I am one stubborn bitch. I've known this for the majority of my life. Saying it to you guys is fine, but when it comes to admitting this to someone's face... well, that's a different matter. But that being said, I still couldn't tell you what type of person I am?!

Let's do a check list of the types of people there are, shall we:

  • The Brainy People: the people who know everything and anything. Whether it is to do with Maths, Computers, Art, Politics, the general all rounders! You know. The type of people that talk about stuff and you end up nodding along to it like, Joey Tribbiani.

  • The Arty People: the people who are so creative, they look at a bin full of crap and think it is really profound and meaningful.
  • The People who CLAIM they're Smart: You know the type. They watch hours upon hours of YouTube videos about Science, Nature, etc. Then they report back to you with all the crap they know and could you give a shit? No. Because you know that in work, they're actually dumbasses.
  • The Travellers: The people that go off travelling around the world for the year and come back preaching about how they lived with a tribe in Papua New Guinea and they now know the meaning of life - I've never known anyone come back from Papua New Guinea. The majority of people I know have gone to Thailand and still claim the above.
  • The Musicians: Those cool kids who are naturally amazing at any instrument and are so up to date with the newest bands that when you say, "Ooo, have you heard Arctic Monkeys new album?" The other person is like, "Arctic Monkeys? Yeah. I like them when they first came out when I was 9. They're old news." - Soz, kid.
I could go on forever, but all I can tell you is I am DEFINITELY not one of the above. I'm not smart. I have to read revision notes and books on end to absorb information for a test. Hell, I even have to revise typical interview questions and answers before ANY type of interview and you all KNOW I have had shit loads of interviews... I enjoyed Art in school and I played a bit of the guitar when I was younger, but lost touch. The longest I stayed away from home was for a year and a half... in Sheffield. And no. I don't watch YouTube for hours on end and impersonate a smart person.

Although I'd like to say I'm one of the above just so I can categorise myself... that would be a lie. I'm quite happy to keep learning new things about myself everyday. Learn from my day, my mistakes, start afresh and take each day as they come.

I read a quote the other day from David Russell which said: "The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which to burn." I believe we all face moments like this in our paths to discovering ourselves, what we are, who we are, what we like, who we associate ourselves with, how we treat others, how we want to be treated.  I could go on, but the point I am trying to make is that if you don't know what type of person you are, that's fine. If you do, that's also fine. Everyone takes life at different paces and that is the beauty of what makes us all individual! I have a fantastic family, an awesome boyfriend, great friends, a good job and I really enjoy writing to you all every week. So on that note I'll say to you all:

I think the below clip is a combo of  "The Person who CLAIMS they're Smart" and "The Traveller":

A massive thanks again for reading my blog guys! I really do enjoy writing to you all every week... I'll leave you all with, The Who, Who Are You?

Later peeps.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Chapter 14: Three is NOT the Magic Number!

The clue is in the title peoples... this week I am going to discuss the POOR service that is provided by the mobile network, Three. And since I have already written a letter of complaint AND complained in the shops, I thought I would have a little rant about it in my blog this week. NOTE: for ANYONE that is considering joining Three, don't bother your arses!

A week last Friday, my phone went dead (I have a Samsung Galaxy S2) so naturally, I thought I would charge my phone. After over an hour on charge, my phone wouldn't turn on and all that appeared was the Samsung logo on the load up. Flashing, flashing, flashing. I HAD to have a phone because I was going away for the weekend for mine and my boyfriends four year anniversary. So I popped my sim in a Nokia E63. I never realised how much I depended on my phone until I used this phone for one day. I couldn't take photos which REALLY upset me, cause I'm all about the photos and Instagram, use Twitter OR Facebook?! 

When I arrived home on the Sunday, I decided to ring up Three to sort out the issue. I explained the situation and they told me to hold on to the volume, home and power button simultaneously to see if it would revive itself. The same thing happened... flashing Samsung logo over and over. I started to lose patience and they suggested I take my phone away for repair either over the phone (3-5 working days) or going into a Three shop (10 working days). I said I would like to have a loan/replacement phone while this issue is being fixed and they said they couldn't provide me with one and that I had to go into a Three shop, meaning more time and money for myself. My boyfriend then asked to speak to a manager and you know what the guy did? He laughed. WTF?! He then proceeded to say there wasn't a manager present and when we asked why he laughed, he said it was over a separate issue. Regardless if it was or not, it was a bad time to laugh and well, he shouldn't have laughed at all! In anger, I hung up on him and my boyfriend wrote a large letter of complaint as he heard all of the conversation and I was too angry to do anything at the time. 

Monday came and I went to Merry Hill after work (the only Three shop open by the time I get home). Again, I explained the situation. Again, the guy did the volume, home and power button scenario. Again, I was getting annoyed. Did these people actually KNOW what they were doing? When I asked if they had a replacement phone, they said they had non in stock and it was subject to availability. This was bull to me because I know most networks would provide a loan phone on the spot if someone's phone needed to be repaired within the warranty they were given when opening a contract. He then said there were two options:
1. Do a factory reset, which would mean starting my phone from scratch, losing all my contacts, photos... basically EVERYTHING.
2. Connect my phone to Samsung Kies to make sure all my data is backed up before doing a Factory reset... Well the phone has to be fully charged and functioning to do that, dip shit.

So I rang up Three again and they basically confirmed that if my phone wasn't turning on, then everything is wiped from my phone anyway. Great. So then I got REALLY pissed off. Non of this was my fault?! And no one was doing ANYTHING to help me?! All they suggested was that I send my phone off for repair and basically have NO loan phone whilst waiting for it to be returned. This was unacceptable. I said I would cancel my Direct Debit unless they helped me. Did they care? No. I even went to the Citizens Advice Bureau to see where I stood and they suggested I go to Trading Standards. GREAT ADVICE!! I spoke to people at work and my friend Shao reckoned it could be to do with my battery. Made sense as the battery was completely flat after charging it for several hours.

I gave Three one last chance to redeem themselves. I went into the Merry Hill shop again and explained myself AGAIN. I added that I thought the battery might be contributing to the fault and he flat out said no. He said it was definitely down to software issue and that a factory reset was the only option to clear any faults the software contains. However, this guy said something different. He said that if I had a Google account, then more than likely, everything on my phone was backed up (excluding apps). He said it was worth a go and if it didn't work he would suggest something else. FINALLY, someone was helping me. The phone turned on and when I logged onto Google, all of my contacts and pictures were backed up. Ranjit (the guy from Three in Merry Hill) was the ONLY helpful person I spoke to from Three and I was very happy with his customer service manner. 

This takes me back to what I said in my first blog... how can people afford to be rude in customer service when there are people out there CRYING for jobs?! Even though Ranjit came through for me in the end, there is no doubt about it... I will DEFINITELY be leaving Three come the end of my contract in February and I wouldn't recommend the mobile network to ANYONE considering going with them. Rude doesn't even cut it...

This week I would like you to tell me who you think the best and worst network providers are based on your own personal experiences. This will give me an idea of who I might consider joining next year. And if any of you take the hand and say Three are the best, I WILL be ignoring you ;). Again, just reply on here, Facebook or Tweet me by clicking over the highlighted links.

I think the below video best describes how I was feeling about the phone situation last week...

Take my advice, if Fenton pisses you off, you let 'em know!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Chapter 13: The Great British Fake Off

Have you ever gone out on a night and and said to your friends, "Let's put on a different accent tonight." I know I have. Of course it never lasts the more you drink. Mine is a Northern Ireland accent, purely because it's the only one I can do fairly okay! Scouse comes in second place. The other month me and my boyfriend were coming back from a night out in Liverpool and the Taxi driver asked where we were going. I replied, "Aye we're tekin the ney-xt ley-ft hee-re may-te." Luke turned to me and said, "What the hell?!", to which I HAD to carry on with the accent, otherwise I would have looked a fool! So why do we feel the need to change our accents? Probably because the Birmingham accent is the worst accent in the world... but why in general do people feel the need to fake something?

This can range across a BROAD spectrum of things, such as fake hair, eyelashes, teeth, boobs and now even bums?! When I go to Liverpool (my favourite city in England), I always go all out. Big hair, fake eyelashes, high heels, the lot! Don't get me wrong, I try to make an effort when I go out as I'm sure all of us do in our own way... but I think this has stemmed from an experience I had the very first time I went to Liverpool for my 21st. I planned a big weekend away with my friend Sinead and my sister and our mates. The first day, it was just Sinead and I. We had our outfits sorted and we were raring to go. But when we went shopping in the day, we couldn't help but notice the sheer level of glamour from EVERY  girl we walked past. We were pretty stunned when we saw about 10 girls walking around the town centre with massive rollers in their hair! So we took matters into our own hands and bought fake eyelashes (not much compared to rollers, I know). Later on in the night, we were ready to go! Legs out, heels on, hair curled, eyelashes glued on, extra glue in our bags just in case. We caught a taxi and this was how the conversation went:

Us: Hi Mr. Taxi driver! You okay?
Taxi driver: Yes thanks girls, you?  Where are you going?
Us: Anywhere that's good to go out

He headed straight for Concert Square....

Us: Well there are a lot of very glamorous girls in your city!

Taxi driver: Yes girls, you're gonna have to make a bit more effort, you've got stiff competition....

The silence that filled the taxi thereafter was so apparent, you could have dropped a feather and it would have sounded like a bang. So we paid the taxi driver, got out and walked to our first bar with our heads in shame. But why?! We felt glamorous going out! I think if you feel confident in yourself, then you shouldn't care about what other people think... However, that's only what I THINK. The way I am is a completely different matter as I'm sure this is the same for other women.... and not JUST women, but men too! Yes, all you men out there, I know you all want your hair to be perfect before you go out, and no doubt some of you have a cheeky spray of Aftershave in your nether region - sorry that was below the belt. I like to call all of this, showing others the best part of yourself.

Men... You all say you would prefer it if women didn't wear make-up, but you would be wrong. I'm just gonna come out and say it, I look like a ginger albino with no make-up or tan on. But there is NO way I would subject my boyfriend to this on a daily basis. Yes I wear make-up every day. Yes I tan. Yes I dye my eyebrows and eyelashes. But this is for EVERYONE'S benefit trust me. No one should be ashamed to do what they want and have their own little beauty routines to show off the best bit of them... Even if it does mean having to fake an accent because you think you would suit it more than a Brummy one ;). Don't worry though, I doubt my accent sounded as bad as this:

I'd love to know what you have done to change yourself for the better! If not for anyone else, but for yourself! I have chopped off my hair tonight by the talented Katie Stead I spoke of last week and it feels SH-AMAZING! ;). Just Facebook, Tweet or reply to this blog post :).

P.S. I don't know what I was so worried about with my Murder Mystery rehearsal last week, because it went well and I felt great for it afterwards! :). I shall be going to view one very soon and shortly after I should be having my first ever performance! :).

Come back for more next week lovelies!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Chapter 12: Why So Serious?

Hey guys! Hope you're all okay and are having a beautiful week in the sunshine! I realise last week people may not have been open to discussing about any time they have ever felt lost, as it can be quite a private or embarrassing subject. But just to let you all know, any time you feel like inboxing me or messaging me, it is all in confidence. Unless you obviously want to talk openly about it! As I said before, talking and sharing is important for peace of mind, an unclogged head and a weight off your shoulders!

This week I want to talk about nerves; everyone gets nervous at some stage or another. For me, it was queuing up for Oblivion at Alton Towers last week. I'm pretty sure I sharted (shat/farted) during the ride (jokes), but it was all worth it to say, "I've been on that ride!". I was extremely nervous before my 5K run for Race For Life a few weeks back. I kept thinking negatively and I convinced myself I wouldn't do that well, but I completed it in my best time yet and I felt amazing for it after. I'm also SUPER nervous as I have my first Murder Mystery rehearsal this week and it is the first time I have acted in about 7 years! But I will let you all know how I got on next week!

A very dear friend of mine, Katie Stead, is probably one of the hardest working people I have ever known. She is a fantastic Hairdresser ans Beautician and I would highly recommend her to anyone! Not only has she been in full time work since leaving school, but she has also juggled doing a degree for the past 3 years- FAIR PLAY! I know I wouldn't be able to do that as I'm sure a lot of you will agree. She finds out her degree results today and naturally she is nervous, but I know she will do brilliantly and all of her family and friends know it too. So why must we all doubt ourselves and our abilities? I'm not saying we should all go around being big headed, 'cause let's face it, that's just damn cocky! But why must we insist on being so nervous about things? I know it's easier said than done, 'cause if anyone of you have read my blog from the beginning, you will all gather that I am quite a shy/nervous person... but wouldn't it be fantastic if we could all be positive about ourselves, ALL the time?! I'd love to wake up of a morning and be like, "I'm going to have an amazing day today and I going to do really well in everything I do." But the simple fact is, that's not realistic, is it? Life doesn't work that way and we have to have feelings and emotions in order to be human. Life throws things at you that you don't see coming and it can take one thing to ruin our day, week, month or year.

One thing that has kept me in high spirits and feeling positive, is watching my Mammy get better and better over the past 9 months. If she can go through what she is going through and still have a smile on her face, we all need to really assess what's important in our lives; forget the negatives and look at what's good around us. Most importantly, we all need the support we can get to feel confident in certain situations... because without these people and this support, we would all be serious and nervous wrecks!

Katie passed her degree with flying colours - as I suspected she would. The point I am trying to make is that all these nerves and emotions we build up before doing something that scares us, is just all natural. It would be silly if non of us got nervous, EVER. Look at the Boy George wannabe in, The Wedding Singer... he was nervous, got booed for his singing and STILL carried on singing after?!

I bet these guys were nervous before they performed this:

Cheers me up every time...

Until next week ladies and gents!

P.S. Katie achieved a First in her degree and deservedly so! I wrote the above before I found out her results ;).

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Chapter 11: I'm Lost...

I have a new addiction everyone. I have this thing called Netflix, you may have heard of it? And on this device are MANY films and programmes. My new addition? Lost. I am only on series 2, but I can't get enough of it. I started watching it a few months back and for those of you who have seen it, you will know how long each series is. So far it has AMAZED me how long they have keep it going for and still kept my interest. The only other programmes that have done this for me are True Blood and Breaking Bad. I don't know if it is to do with getting older, but when Lost was first viewed on Channel 4, I was only 16 and just couldn't get into it. I don't know if it seemed too deep at the time or I was just being very studious and making sure my homework was done (NAT) but I just stopped watching it. The same for Desperate Housewives, I just couldn't relate to the characters and it didn't interest me. But again, I seen a few episodes a while back and thought, "Wow, this looks kinda good..." But back to Lost, if you haven't seen it, where have you been?!

The show is about a plane crash that lands on an Island in the South Pacific... in the middle of nowhere! There are all kinds of characters: the Doctor/leader, the convict, the person seeking revenge, the comedian, the druggy, the pregnant woman (yes, a pregnant woman) and even a dog! Overtime, they all start to build a sort of community and each episode delves into the personal lives of each character and how they became the way they are. Each character has their own deep, dark secrets that slowly become unveiled throughout time. Every episode I am constantly thinking, "Oooh I can really relate to him", or, "I think if I was on the Island, I'd be like her!". I can't count how many times I have cried as well, but I am just one big cry baby to be perfectly honest and I'm not ashamed to admit it!

When I watch programmes or films like these, I really over analyse it. Lost for me right now, is probably the one thing I can relate to and I think we all can. Because aren't we all? Don't we all feel lost at some point or another in our lives? Whether it is to do with ourselves, or our jobs or even a question someone has asked you? For me, this programme isn't about the character's just being lost on an Island, but about them being lost in themselves. I can't speak for any of you reading this, but for me this makes me feel half normal.

This is why I would love to write something as amazing as this programme. I would love to be able to create something that everyone can relate to and think to themselves after, "That is me. That is how I feel. That is what I want to achieve." They say you should write what you know, but let's face it, I don't think J.J. Abrams survived a plane crash and got stranded on a desert Island and thought, "Hey man, I should make a show about this." I think he thought about different situations people have gone through and thought about the best ways to get convey these to his audience. No wonder the show was a complete success, it lasted for 6 years and won several major television awards.

Gladly, I didn't get (too) lost this weekend when I went away to Wales with the girls - we had a satnav! We went on a Sun holiday with the newspaper tokens and it was a real laugh! I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to holiday in the UK, to collect the Sun tokens next time they are around. We stayed in Carmarthen and it was lovely! One things for certain though, the beach was nothing like the one on Lost - that is one beach I wouldn't mind being stranded on!

I'm sure you can all think of times where you have been lost, whether it has been in yourself, in a classroom, in a book, or in a television series! I would certainly love to hear about any stories you have and how you have dealt with them. Just reply on here or message me on Facebook or Tweet away.

Richard Ashcroft is one of my favourite singers of all time, so I think a bit of The Verve can reflect the programme, "Lost", and just generally being lost in ourselves: