10 TV shows to binge watch on Netflix this Winter

Get back from your Sunday afternoon winter-walk, pour yourself a glass of wine, grab a blanket and curl up on the sofa with one of these fabulous boxsets on Netflix.

All the programmes listed here are available on Netflix UK as of November 2017. I have checked to make sure the programmes included have all seasons available, otherwise you’ll start watching something and then have to find three seasons elsewhere – which is why I haven’t watched Peaky Blinders yet because only half of it is on Netflix.

I’ve tried to keep it diverse so it’s not all the same type of programme and although there are quite a few Netflix originals on here, I’ve also included standard television programmes as well.

House of Cards

Here’s a show that’s been in the news a lot recently – for all the wrong reasons. It is now rumoured that production of the latest series has continued and will be available on Netflix soon but, it’s still not certain whether there’ll be anymore after that.

Based on a novel, the show follows the life of fictional Congressman Frank Underwood in his quest for power. There’s a lot of manipulation, back-hand deals and breaking the fourth wall with snide little comments from Underwood throughout and plenty of confrontations to keep you on your toes.


What can I say? Hilarious, terrifying, mysterious and infuriating. Sherlock will seriously keep you on your toes. For me, it was one of those shows that I always meant to watch but because I missed it from the start all those years ago, I’d never seen it. However, now the first three seasons are available on Netflix, it’s terribly easy to binge watch it. And whilst you’re doing that, you can feel smug that those who watched it from the start had to wait 2 years between each series!

This modern version of the Sherlock Holmes stories sees the detective updated with mobile phones, guns and the underground. There’s all the usual suspects – Mycroft, Watson, Irene Adler and more, with some classic Holmes stories like Hound of the Baskervilles thrown in. Oh and there’s an added bonus in that one year they did a Christmas special and that’s actually set when the original stories were written.

I should mention that the most reason episodes – namely series 4, are missing from Netflix so far but, since it’s been nearly a year since their release, they should be added soon.

Orange Is The New Black

Another Netflix original, this series follows an American woman who is sentenced to 15 months in a women’s minimum-security prison for smuggling drugs for her girlfriend. Piper is quite a classy woman and at first struggles to fit in with some of the other women in the prison. The show focuses a lot on the reasons why the prisoners are there, with flashbacks to help illustrate this, as well as the relationships and friendships built between the inmates, any conflicts they have as well as life in the prison in terms of health, overcrowding and ethical issues.

13 Reasons Why

After a high school student kills herself, a series of cassette tapes appears, where she explains to thirteen people, why they are one of the reasons that she took her own life. A gripping, heart-wrenching story, this Netflix original series consists of thirteen episodes. Be prepared as there’s mature content, this series deals with a lot of serious issues such as suicide, mental health problems and rape. It’s not a very cheerful series but, it’s worth a watch and makes you re-evaluate things in your life slightly and appreciate those around you. Don’t worry, there are some humorous moments.

The Crown

With the second series of this stunning Netflix programme on the way in just 2 weeks, I couldn’t be more excited. This show follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the first series included the death of her father and her early marriage to Prince Phillip. There’s conflict – within her family, marriage, government and country, political crisis, love, hatred, scandals and more. The series is expected to have another couple of seasons in the works, with the actors for the main cast being changed up after series 2 due to how much time will have passed.

It’s tense, but it’s also amusing at times, with stunning sets, backing music and fantastic acting. Series 2 is available from 8th December.

Stranger Things

Yet another Netflix original – I will include some other programmes as well I promise, I couldn’t leave this one out though. This show has it all, it’s sci-fi, jump-scares, it’s an investigative drama with some light horror thrown in, with lots of pop culture references since it’s set in the 1980’s. They’ve already planned another couple of seasons but for now, there’s two seasons on Netflix to get your teeth stuck into.


Tense at times and hilarious all the time, this series follows a team of (mostly) geniuses as they work with the government to solve serious problems such as missing nuclear submarines. They usually have about 5 minutes, a chicken and a cup and need to save the world. There’s secrets, romance, detective work and a hell of a lot of nerdiness. Oh, and forgive the CGI because it really does suck.

The first three seasons are currently on Netflix, and for UK viewers, the fourth season is currently being shown on ITV2.


This one’s quite a long one, with 65 episodes altogether, but they’re all there on Netflix and definitely worth a watch. Most people have heard at least some Arthurian legend and this British drama is the perfect mix of adventure and fantasy. It follows the life of the young wizard Merlin as he slows works on improving his magic and learns of his destiny to protect Arthur, there’s Guinevere, Morgana, King Luther, Lancelot, Mordred of course and more.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be able to talk about King Arthur next time you’re at a dinner party.

War and Peace

Originally a six-part series on BBC One, Netflix have listed this 2016 adaptation of Tolstoy’s epic War and Peace novel as three episodes. They’re long and can be heavy going at times, it’s not one of those programmes you immediately fall in love with, but after a while you’ll be hooked. This epic saga follows the lives of several aristocrats in Russia during the time when Napoleon had his eyes on invading Russia. There’s swanky parties, battles, lots of death and plenty of romance and Paul Dano, Lily James and James Norton are absolutely fantastic in the starring roles.

Doctor Who

What can I say? It’s British, it’s classic, it’s sci-fi/nerdy goodness. Each story has a moral to it and there’s lots of tense moments and laughs along the way. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, this show follows the life and adventures of a Time Lord – “The Doctor”, as he travels through time and space picking up chicks. This show has a series cult following and is a mainstay of British popular culture. With several tongue-in-cheek gags per episode and lots of awkwardness on the Doctor’s part, it’s hard not to have a giggle when you’re not hiding behind the sofa from the aliens.

Seasons 9 and 10 aren’t currently on Netflix as they’re still quite recent but, hopefully it won’t be much longer! In the meantime, there’s 8 seasons worth on there to get stuck into.


Game of Thrones actors you’ve seen somewhere before

We all know that horrible feeling when you’re sat enjoying a television programme or movie, but you can’t concentrate on what’s going on because you’ve seen one of the actors in something else before but can’t quite place their face. Yeah, that.

Lately I’m finding that this happens with pretty much every new thing I see. And fair enough, sometimes I can place the actor straight away and instantly remember what else I’ve seen them in but the rest of the time, I’m sat there for ages trying to figure out what else they’re from, and then inevitably giving up and having to Google it.

I realised the other day that normally when this happens, it’s somebody from either Doctor Who or Game of Thrones – two of my favourite television programmes, which both have large casts and feature predominantly British actors. So I decided to write a blog post about other notable works that Game of Thrones actors have been in – whether it be another television programme, a movie or a music video. I’ll probably follow it up with a similar post about Doctor Who actors.

**Whilst I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum, I can’t guarantee anything so if you’ve not watched the series (for some ridiculous reason) and plan to in the future, I probably wouldn’t continue!**

Iain Glen – Ser Jorah Mormont

Downton Abbey, Doctor Who and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

As this Twitter user points out, Ser Jorah did a stint on Downton Abbey a while ago, he also appeared in the first Lara Croft movie back in 2001 with Angelina Jolie and a few years back he was in a double bill of Doctor Who alongside Matt Smith and Karen Gillan.

Maisie Williams – Arya Stark

Maisie also appeared in several episodes of Doctor Who alongside Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman back in series 9. She also starred in the music video for Oceans by Seafret as a schoolgirl/superhero and more recently she’s been in a sci-fi film called iBoy that’s exclusive to Netflix.

Julian Glover – Grand Maester Pycelle

Yes that’s right. Grand Maester Pycelle has been in literally the biggest franchises in Hollywood, and although he’s usually in smaller roles, he’ll always steal the show. The best part though – he’s usually a baddy.

Michelle Fairley – Catelyn Stark

Blink and you’ll miss her but, as this Twitter user points out, Michelle Fairley does appear as Hermione’s mum in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Who’d have thunk?

Stephen Dillane – Stannis Baratheon

As well as appearing in leading roles in both The Hours and John Adams, eagle eyed viewers have also spotted him playing the artist Graham Sutherland, who comes to paint a portrait of Prime Minister Winston Churchill in an episode of The Crown.

Liam Cunningham – Ser Davos Seaworth

I’ve spotted the Onion Knight in quite a few smaller roles over the past few years, including an episode of Doctor Who – “Cold War” back in series 7, as well as a brief appearance in the BBC series Merlin. He also appears in the music video for the song “High Hopes” by Kodaline.

Natalie Dormer – Margaery Tyrell

One of the most conniving characters in Westeros, Margaery has been in quite a lot when you think about it, from performances in the Tudors and The Hunger Games Mockingjay parts 1 and 2, to that time she appeared in the first Captain America movie and snogged the Cap. She even had a key role in the recently released video game Mass Effect: Andromeda, for which she provided both her voice and motion capture performances.

Iwan Rheon – Ramsay Bolton

His despicable actions made him one of the best characters that we just love to hate in Game of Thrones but where else have we seen Ramsay? He’s set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe soon as he takes on a role in the Inhumans series however, we’ve also seen him in Secret Diary of a Call Girl as a shy client of our favourite high class escort!

Sean Bean – Lord Eddard (Ned) Stark

Sean Bean is one of the most famous Sheffielders out there, sadly though, he’s more famous for dying in almost everything he’s ever been in – and yes this includes Goldeneye. Most will probably remember Ned Stark from the Lord of the Rings series but, way before that, he also starred alongside the brand new Bond – Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye. And yes he dies in that too. Not once. But twice!

Ed Skrein – Daario Naharis (Number 1)

That’s right. The first guy to play the gorgeous Daario Naharis before the actor was changed in the next season, also played the villain in the hilarious Deadpool movie alongside Ryan Reynolds. Whatever you do, don’t call him Francis…

Indira Varma – Ellaria Sand

That’s right. The stunning paramour of Prince Oberyn did in fact star in two episodes of Torchwood series 1. Not only that, Indira Varma also appeared alongside GoT co-star Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) in Mass Effect: Andromeda. 

Ciaran Hinds – Mance Rayder

We all know Irish actor Ciaran Hinds as the King Beyond the Wall however, some eagle eyed viewers have spotted him in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 as Aberforth Dumbledore, the slightly eccentric and often overlooked brother of Albus Dumbledore!

Jonathan Pryce – The High Sparrow

Jonathan Pryces performance as the villainous newspaper man Elliot Carver in the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies is seriously underrated. Not only that, he also appears in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as Elizabeth’s dad, the Governor, and absolutely rocks the pompous wig.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster – Jojen Reed

Is there anything cuter than Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Love Actually and Nanny McPhee? This child star looks older and wiser in GoT but somehow still exactly the same! Also worth mentioning is that time he was in Doctor Who as a bullied schoolboy who saves the day.

I should probably apologise both for the length of this post and for the lack of a number of actors who should be on here however, I didn’t want to make the post any longer than this and I also wanted to focus on actors who have had smaller roles in programmes, films, games etc. and have possibly been overlooked/forgotten about in the time between then and now, rather than people who have been in leading roles. I hope you enjoyed this post and I’ll see you next time!

9 Things You Should Know About Tom Hanks

I’ll try not to make this a super gushing blog post about how amazing Tom Hanks is but, I’ll probably fail. Since I was a teenager I’ve been a huge fan of his films and other works, not only is a fantastic comedic actor, he’s also capable of portraying characters in more serious situations. What’s more is, he supports several political and sociological issues and has a deep commitment to space exploration – I mean seriously, what a guy. Okay okay, I’ll get on with it.

12818 Tomhanks

Due to his amazing performance in Apollo 13, NASA named an asteroid after Hanks –  12818 Tomhanks. Hanks has had a long-standing interest in everything space related and has stated he originally wanted to be an astronaut. He is a member of the National Space Society and was awarded the Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award in 20006 for making a significant contribution to raising public awareness of space programs.

Typewriter Passion

Hanks has a passion for old-fashioned typewriters. He reportedly has a collection of more than 80 of them, and in 2014 he released a very popular iOS app that emulated the sound and feel of using a typewriter. He’s even said he’s thought about writing a series of short stories, inspired by his passion for typewriters!

Fan Interactions

Whilst filming in Rome, Hanks escorted a Bridal party through the filming set so that they could make it to the church, a few years later Hanks come across a wedding whilst on a run in Central Park and hung around for a while! He also did a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ question and answer which saw fans sending him all sorts of ridiculous questions – which of course he answered. He’s clearly very appreciative of his fans and is happy to interact with people when he can.

Comedy Acting

Hanks has done some amazing performances in roles that are considered rather comical. Films such as Forest Gump, Toy Story and The Terminal has serious underlying messages but, Hanks never fails to bring some humour to his portrayal of the character.

Dramatic Acting

As well as humorous roles, Hanks has been in several movies with much darker themes. In films such as Philadelphia and the Green Mile, Hanks manages to convey the message of the film, stay true to related real-life events and blows us all away.

Tom Hanks on Sky Movies

There’s just too many amazing movies with Tom Hanks in to be able to mention them all, there’s a few mentioned above but, this actor is so multi-talented I really can’t list them all in different categories! I think Sky agrees that Hanks has done a great many notable works and they’ve created a specific category dedicated to Tom Hanks films on Sky Cinema!

Same-sex Marriage

Being the top human being that he is, Tom Hanks openly supports same-sex marriage. In 2008 Hanks supported and aided the fund that was created to prevent Proposition 8 from being passed by the Californian constitution that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The fund raised over $44 million and although the bill was initially passed, it was then retracted in 2013.

“I Really Like You”

In 2015, Hanks appeared in the music video for a new single by Carly Rae Jepsen titled “I Really Like You”. I recommend you go and check out the video on YouTube if you haven’t already cause it’s a classic. Most of the song’s lyrics are lip-synced by Hanks as he acts out a daily routine then performs a street style dance with Jepsen and several extras.

Medal of Freedom

In 2016, Hanks was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. The highest civilian honour is awarded due to contributions to their professions and for humanitarian efforts. Hanks was awarded the Medal due to his efforts with regards to raising awareness of space travel and supporting projects such as electrically powered cars.

Well, there’s my reasoning for believing Tom Hanks is a stand-up guy. If you can think of any, drop me a comment and I’m sure I’ll need to create a revised version of this article in a few years depending what he gets up to!

Yellow is an overlooked colour

I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest fan of yellow – although my bedroom was yellow when I was a child. When you think of your favourite colour, or ask another what colour they enjoy, they’ll rarely answer with yellow (so far as I have experienced anyway), it’s usually red, green, blue, pink, something like that. Hence the title of this blog post, I think yellow is often overlooked in terms of the colours on the spectrum and yet, there are lots of lovely things that are yellow. So, with this in mind here are some of the things I think about when thinking of yellow, and some of the reasons why I think we should appreciate this beautiful colour a little more. Many thanks to the WordPress Daily Prompt, which gave me the idea for this post!

1. Coldplay – Yellow

I won’t pretend to be a massive fan of Coldplay – to be honest I’m more of a Killers or Red Hot Chilli Peppers kinda girl. However, sometimes a bit of Coldplay is just what the doctor ordered, mellow yellow! I mean, who’s not partial to a bit of The Scientist right? The word yellow always brings this chilled song into my head, it’s just a classic.

2. Daffodils

Yellow will always make me think of daffodils. As a person I’ve always been fond of them but, really they were my Nans favourite. She passed away from cancer 4 years ago now and they’ll always remind me of her. As soon as they appeared in the shops they’d be all over her house, they’d sprout up all over the garden during Spring and she’d keep them until the winter would come. Nowadays my parents, auntie, grandpa etc. will keep them all over, just to remind us all of my Nan. When I buy daffodils now, I don’t buy them for me, I buy them for my Nan.

3. Sunsets

I think most people will tend to think of orange and red tones when they think of sunsets. However, when we were young and we drew the sun in a picture, we’d always use a yellow crayon to colour it in. I think there are lots of colours in sunsets, it does depend on the time and season of the sunset though, summer sunsets take longer and produce more colours. The beautiful tones that come together, work in glorious harmony to create the vivid sunsets we enjoy, with oranges, reds, pinks, yellows, all blazing across the sky. Even thinking about the sunset now, I can feel close my eyes and picture the waning sunlight coming through my eyelids, the stillness of a mild summer evening, the last warmth of the day on my skin.

4. Autumn Colours

From summer sunsets, to autumnal colours. I think this is another one that people overlook, again people will think primarily of red and orange when they think of the leaves turning to autumn colours before falling from the trees. However, depending on the type of tree, a lot of leaves will turn a wonderful golden, yellow colour, and that’s my personal favourite.


Everything Happens for a Reason

So eerie means strange or frightening right? Right. But it has a butt load of synonyms that stray a fair bit from those terms. Words like ‘sinister’, ‘uncanny’, ‘strange’, ‘curious’ and ‘mysterious’ come to mind. And I don’t know whether it’s just me but, I don’t particularly find anything strange or frightening in those words.

When I first saw the theme for this week, I thought about walking home at night. All alone. It’s dark, it’s autumn so it’s pretty nippy, there’s a light breeze so all the leaves on the floor are blowing all over the place, the trees above rustle in that menacing way. To me it’s nice. It’s peaceful and tranquil. Other people might shit their pants. And to be fair it’s not particularly safe, in this day and age, so it’s not something I’m 100% comfortable with but, if the world was a safer place, I’d be in the great outdoors all night if I could. It might seem eerie to some but, to me it’s relaxed.

So that was my initial idea, to have a bit of a waffle along those lines. However, as I was looking up some of the definitions and synonyms for ‘eerie’ – the WordPress daily prompt for the day, I spotted a bit of a theme that I hadn’t noticed before. Which is that we don’t just describe a particular atmosphere or place as eerie. We also use it to describe things that happen, coincidences and goings-on in our lives. So this Halloween, I’m not going to think about things that go bump in the night, but rather, some of the random events and chance meetings that have lead me to where I am now. Obviously I won’t go through my whole life story, just a few of the bigger happenings!

So for starters, I guess I need to mention that, back in 2012 I joined a dating website, after my ex-boyfriend recommended a site to me that he had joined – it’s kind of a long story but, I ended up on Plenty of Fish. Not a bad site as it a goes – not that I have much to compare it to since it’s the only one I ever used but anyway, I created a profile blah-blah-blah and had a few messages. Granted, most of them were from weirdos but some were nice and I ended up talking to a few of them for quite a while. However, after about 6 months checking it quite a lot and chatting to a few people on there, I only had one date and although it wasn’t bad it wasn’t going to go anywhere so, my activity on there just kind of fizzled out.

I stayed on there for another 6 months or so, popping on every now and then just to see what messages etc. I’d had but, nothing ever came of it. Until one random day in September 2013, I can’t even remember the actual date, I got a friend request on Facebook from somebody I’d never heard of. I’d just given up my place at the University of Derby, it’s hard to explain why but, I just had a gut feeling it wasn’t right for me. It wasn’t necessarily the course or the University or the fact I was staying at home, I just knew that something wasn’t right. So you could say I was in a very weird place when I got the message, things in my life were all up in the air, I knew I would be okay staying at home for a while longer but, I didn’t have a clue what to do next.

So I message this guy trying to add me – after having a quick poke around his profile of course, and he replies that he’s adding me after seeing me on the dating site. He dropped me a message on there but since I hadn’t checked it in quite a while, I wasn’t replying so he decided to try and find me on Facebook instead. Since I was using the same profile picture I guess it wasn’t very hard! He notes that we have quite a bit in common and we start chatting, things take a little while to get going but, after a month or so we started dating.

At the time he’d just started his third year doing a photography degree at Sheffield Hallam University and, after a few dates closer to home I agreed to go and stay with him in Sheffield for a few days. I’d never been to Sheffield and was excited at the prospect of exploring somewhere new and spending some time together. As soon as I arrived, something clicked. I fell in love with the place, the views, the atmosphere, the thoroughly Yorkshire people and, as he showed me around the University, I fell in love with that too.

We carried on dating and exploring Sheffield, I went to a few open days at Sheffield Hallam and was somehow absolutely sure that it was the place for me. The Media course they offered suited me and my interests perfectly and I guess they liked my application because they accepted me onto the course!

I’m now in my final year studying Media at Sheffield Hallam University. I’m still with the weirdo who stalked me on Facebook, we’ve had our ups and downs but, as with coming to Sheffield, it feels absolutely right. Everything that’s happened in my life over the past few years can be traced all the way back to that first message he sent me, telling me that he’d seen my profile on the dating site, he thought I was cute and that we had lots in common.

Going back to the meaning behind this blog post and the link to the daily prompt on WordPress, I think this is a classic example of eerie. It’s not atmospheric and spooky. But, it’s strange and, it makes me believe in some sort of cosmic power that’s supernatural and mysterious and keeps everything happening. Everything fell into place at just the right time, things were all up in the air for me and then I found my way. I don’t believe in any kind of higher power or God or religion but, I think you have to believe that there’s something. Some kind of fate or universal order to things. And I think that’s kinda eerie.


Why being clumsy is a pain. Literally.

So the theme for the Daily Post today is Clumsy. And luckily, I have a lot of knowledge of this particular topic! Well, I say luckily..

First off, being clumsy hurts! If you got the gist of my the pun in the title of this blog post, and indeed if you’ve ever accidentally trod on a plug, hit your arm on a door handle, stubbed your toe, walked into something etc., you’ll know that the result of being clumsy means hurting yourself. A lot. And the pain from these accidents is never relative to what you’ve done. You stub your toe and it’s followed by 10 minutes of hopping around, clutching your toe, checking for blood, hitting the object your stubbed your toe on and profanities – such is the agony.

Secondly, it’s time consuming. Like I said above, you stub your toe and you’ve got to take 10 minutes out of your day to lose your shit as a result. Plus, if it’s something more serious than stubbing your toe and you end up going to A&E, you can basically write off most of the day due to the strains on the NHS. And what about when you’re in a rush, so you try to move quickly and efficiently and everything goes to shit? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.

Being clumsy is also pretty expensive. You might not have thought about this before but, how many times have you accidentally broken a plate or broken a mug? How many times have you made a cuppa, then spilt half of it on your way back to your desk or sofa? It might only be £2 for more coffee or £3 for a new plate but, a lifetime of breaking, smashing, dropping and spilling things certainly adds up!

Last of all, being clumsy is embarrassing. It’s un-wanted attention, being in the spot light is never good when you don’t ask for it, and when it’s because you’ve spilt half a bottle of water over yourself it’s even worse. You always manage to locate the secretly wet piece of floor and have to do a little sort of dance when you lose your balance to stop you going arse over tit. Or on a bad day you actually do go arse over tit. Even if your clumsiness isn’t in public there’s usually somebody within earshot to hear your shame. If I lose my footing on the way up the stairs there’s always somebody in the house to hear the resulting thud and curse words.

I will admit that sometimes it can be quite entertaining to be clumsy, especially if you find another human who shares this trait with you. If you’re heading somewhere with some friends and one of you stumbles up the curb, you’re going to get the piss taken out of you but, at least you can laugh about it as a group. But to be honest, I find that clumsiness is basically just a pain.

So there you have it, that’s why I think being clumsy is a pain and yes, all of the clumsy, accident related adventures in this post are things I’ve actually done.Take care guys!

Flattery Will Get You Nowhere

So I was planning on doing a post for World Mental Health Day. I don’t want to write a cliched post about self-belief and not letting other people dictate your current mindset though so, I figured I’d take a peek at the WordPress Daily Prompt. Rather intelligently, WordPress chose Flattery as the theme for the day, I think this enables more people to think about the thoughts and processes behind World Mental Health Day rather than just spouting generalised nonsense about esteem and feeling happy with the hashtag for World Mental Health Day attached.

To me, flattery is a negative term. It’s not something to be celebrated or excited by. Essentially, it’s kissing somebody else’s ass, giving them excessive praise and not being particularly sincere about – this is usually done to further ones own interests. Flattery could be seen as something positive however, in the loosest sense of the word, to flatter somebody is simply to compliment them. And everybody likes compliments. Some people just take it too far.

If you’ve stolen your mums car and wrapped it round a tree, you’d want to go home, compliment her haircut, shoes, new dress and perfume before breaking the news to her. This just shows that flattery is just something you use to get what you want. Of course you can put a positive spin on most things if you set your mind to it but, this one is a bit tricky even for an optimist like me.

So since it is World Mental Health Day, the main reason for this past today is to discuss what that means. It’s essentially a day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues and combating the stigma associated with them. If you went into work and became sick, you’d be sent home. If you went into work and had a panic attack, what would the reaction of your manger/s and co-works be? Hopefully bringing these issues to the forefront of our attention on a day-to-day basis will soon mean we can discuss mental health issues freely and openly without fear of repercussions or misunderstandings.

I’ll say right here and now that I struggle with anxiety. I struggle with the amount of confidence that I have – or rather don’t have, in myself. When it comes to University, my working life etc. I’m fairly confident in my professional and academic competency. However, when it comes to socialising and being kind about myself, things start to get a bit sketchy. I’m not saying I have no love for myself at all, but everybody knows what it’s like sometimes to look in the mirror and be unhappy in some way about the person looking back at them.

Music for me is a great form of escapism, whilst also bringing to focus important issues in your mind and wider society. This particular song by Jessie J focuses on being true to who you are as a person, doing what makes you happy and staying strong. Although I’m not a massive fan of Jessie J and her particular style of music, she has a unique, quirky sound and her songs tend to have powerful messages behind them.

I know I made a bit of a leap from flattery to mental health but what I’m trying to say is just to remember that everybody has individual feelings. Complimenting somebody and being sincere might make their day if they feel anxious, stressed or under the weather about themselves. Flattery might make them feel more positive in the short term but, long-term it’s easy to spot when people want something from you in return for their flattery.

So, I think the main message of this post is to be kind to yourself and your fellow man.There’s plenty of other people and things in this world that will be down on you and make you feel like shit. Don’t let yourself add to that. And don’t let people dictate to you how you’re supposed to feel.

10 Jobs I’d Love To Do

I’ve always considered myself to be quite open when it comes to my working life. I can’t say for sure what I’ll end up doing during my career – to be fair most people are in the same position, even though I’m nearly through with my degree. I don’t think I’ll be somebody who goes into a specific industry or area of business and stays there, I’m more indecisive than that I’m afraid to say! And I think I’ll have a tendency to go from one job to the next, following different paths and opportunities as they present themselves. As much as I search for things to enrich my life for various reasons, it’s usually the case that things come along just at the right time, for the right reasons!

So I’ve decided to write a quick blog post today about different jobs and roles that I think I would enjoy and would (hopefully!) be good at. Underneath each one I’ve tried to explain a little about why I’ve chosen that particular job just to try and explain my thought process!

1. Full-Time blogger

I’ve enjoyed running this blog for a long time. It’s been changed around and altered a lot over the years but, it’s been going for about 5 years now. It’s not something I always have time for, I’m sad to say, and I wish I could post more but, for now, I enjoy updating it as and when I can. Hopefully in the future I can use it more and more and perhaps one day, at least for a time, have it as a full-time occupation!

2. Property developer

I know this one may seem a little random, even to those who know me quite well but, I’ve always loved property. I’d enjoy the process from start to finish, getting stuck into the refurbishments and re-design of a run-down property would be a dream come true for me. If I had a certain amount of money to get started with the first property I’d be away so, I suppose I ought to start saving!

3. freelancer

Oh to be your own boss! I understand that many have this dream and many never accomplish it. I think it’s something that depends on the effort you put in as well as other factors such as connections, luck, a head for business and more, it’s not all black and white but I think it’s possible to make it work.

4. Science/technology correspondent

I’ve always had such a passion for science, technology and engineering. I watch every documentary going – paying particularly close attention to anything based on engineering or space. To have a career writing about the latest advances, mishaps and successes in the realms of technology and science would certainly be a very interesting position for me.

5. social media

Having recently gained more experience working with social media in a professional sense – through my summer internship and my role at Sheffield Hallam as a #hallaminsider, I’ve become more and more interested in how it can be utilised for business. I think to work as part of a social media marketing team for a large organization would be very interesting – planning posts and campaigns engaging with the public and viewing the statistics.

6. charity founder

If I ever get the chance in the future – if I have a stable or substantial income, I’d love to start some sort of charity. Probably something based around children and education, in order to ensure young people, have every opportunity to reach their potential or desired position in life.

7. Property company owner/manager

A few years ago I worked as a project coordinator for a student property company. I enjoyed the logistics of the position in terms of managing the turn-around, contracts etc. as well as being involved in the properties and maintenance. I would enjoy some sort of high up role or managerial position within a similar company in the future, or even starting a company like it myself from scratch – renovating old warehouses into high-end student accommodation at a reasonable price!

8. media tutor

This is the role that I’m actually aiming for. I’m looking to do a Master’s Degree next year once I’ve completed my undergraduate qualification. After that and, after gaining significant experience within the media industry, my aim is to teach at college or university level and eventually earn a PHD in a relevant area of study alongside a teaching position. No doubt this plan will change somewhat along the journey but, that’s the basic idea!

9. English Teacher – ESOL

I’ve always quite enjoyed languages. I began learning French when I started secondary school and since I progressed well with it, I was invited to learn Spanish after a few years. Since school I’ve never done much with either language but, some of it has stayed with me! I also took a week-long course in British Sign Language a few years ago that I really enjoyed. I’ve had a passion for France and the French way of life for a long time – I suspect it’s because of all those holidays I spent there when I was younger, so to spend a few years teaching English as a second language to French students would be very interesting I think.

10. Author

As an avid reader I’ve always envied how authors can create such stunning stories, however, I’ve never particularly felt that I have the kind of skills in that area that my favourite authors have. That being said, I’d love to write some sort of story, academic book or even a children’s book and have it published, even if it’s not something I can make a career out of.

A-Z Favourite Things

So, I’ve seen a blog post trend that’s been going around these past few weeks and I’ve really enjoyed reading other peoples’ so, it’s inspired me to create a similar post. The idea is to write a list of your favourite things but in alphabetical order so, starting with A and finishing with Z.

Some have been posting only one choice, some have been choosing 5 for each letter and some have been putting as many as they want – I’m gonna go with the latter!

A – Accents, ASMR (Autonomous Sensual Meridian Response), Autumn, abandoned places, aeroplane, astronomy

B – Barbecues, blue, brushing my hair, blue skies, being really meticulous and organised, blankets, blogging, balcony, books

C – Clean sheets, clicky pens, cooking, cars, Christmas (especially Christmas music), cheese, car journeys

D – Doing things for other people, Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, documentaries, daffodils

E – Engineering, eating, educating

F – Flowers, friends, forehead kisses, family, fruit, freckles, fluffy clouds, fountains, ferries

G – Grass, galleries, geeks, growing food, gaming, getting a haircut

H – Hoodies, heights, home, holidays, holding hands, hugs

I – Ice cream, ice cubes, islands, interesting people (with something to say)

J – Jokes,  jeans, junk drawers, jigsaws

K – Kittens, keys, Kodaline

L – Learning, lingerie, live music, lanyards, lunch box food, libraries,

M – Music, men in suits, marshmallows, movies, Mumford and Sons, mountains, museums, Mediterranean food

N – Naps, national parks, notebooks

O – October, oceans, open fires, orchestras

P – Packing, photography, puzzles, pictures,

Q – Quilts, quirks, questions (asking and answering)

R – Road trips, rivers, reading

S – Socks, sliding in socks, stretching, splashing water on my face, stubble, smell after rain, swivel chairs, scrapbooking, science, Spring, seeing the good wherever possible, stationary

T – Tall buildings, tea, travelling, traditions

U – Un-packing, University

V – Vacuuming, video games

W – Wrapping up warm, walking, whispers, water, warm drinks, Whovians, wholesome home-cooked food

X – X-rays, x-men

Y – Yin and Yang, Yankee candles

Z – Zips, zoos

British Sign Language Classes

Hi folks! Welcome to another blog post – I’ve had a rather wonderful experience today and I wanted to share it with you.

A couple of weeks ago I booked to do a 2 day taster course for British Sign Language classes with my local councils Adult Education Centre. It was a free taster experience so, 2 hours today and 2 hours last week just to get to know the basics. Obviously there are longer courses available later on/afterwards but, since I’m moving away soon I wanted to just try the taste, see if I like it and then go from there – maybe see what’s on offer in Sheffield.

So this evening and last week, I went over to Swadlincote and spent 2 hours with a bunch of people I don’t know, being taught the basics of British Sign Language by a lovely man who was born without the ability to hear. Once everybody got started and realised what was going on, how the tutor does things etc it was really fun. Everybody was throwing themselves into it and really picking it up – laughing at each others’ mistakes and our own mistakes, getting to know each others’ names. We went through things like asking for names and who, what, when and where, the months, the alphabet – next week it’s families and numbers!

When I was in year 9 at school our French tutor was off for the week so, we had 3 hours of classes that had to be filled by a sub-teacher. We were excited because we thought we’d just get 3 hours of dicking around and trying to make the substitute cry but, instead we had a lady who taught sign language. At the time I remember really enjoying it but, I’ve never pursued it. Since I don’t know any people who are deaf or hard of hearing I guess I don’t use Sign Language in my daily life but, it’s interesting and, something to add to what I do/enjoy so, when I saw the taster I thought ‘why not?’

Needless to say I’m really glad I gave it a go. I really hope I can try and pursue it further and I’ve started looking at other courses I can perhaps have a taster/go at – something for computers maybe? Maybe try and pick up French or Spanish again? I was always decent at languages at school but, with the other kids messing about or, the exams etc it was always too much pressure or listening and not enough actual practice.

Anyway, we’ll see! I just want to pass on the message that, if you want to do something or you’re interested in picking something up or learning something new – you might have dabbled before or just been interested in something just because but, I think more people should dive into things like that. I know I should more often. It’s important and enjoyable I think, to better oneself, have fun with it, be creative, get educated, learn something new or just improve upon your skills. It’s all good!

That’s all the waffle you’re getting from me for today – until next time folks 😉