Posted in A-Levels, Academic, EPQ, Essay, Feminism, Feminist, Sexism, Student, Theatre, Writing

My Extended Project:Is The Theatre industry Sexist.

Currently gender equality is debated more hotly than before, is there still an excuse for sexism? Not only is sexism still happening in the workplace, schools and in the media it’s also happening within theatre. In the UK  there’s a 2:1 male to female ratio within British theatre (1). We may think that art creates positive  liberal changes for society but sexism is so ingrained, it often goes unnoticed and when it is noticed it largely is ignored. Is sexism only prominent within regional theatres or does it go much deeper beyond the parts and into the playwriting? If this is the case what can be done about it?  

 

Sexism within theatre may be due to the history of English theatre going back to Shakespeare, who was writing for all male theatre companies. In Elizabethan time period “actresses and prostitution were merely synonyms” (2) .It was taboo for a woman to enter the world of theatre as “In many Western countries women were forbidden to act on the respectable stage until a mere 400 years ago”(2),during this time period women “were played by male actors in drag while real women were banned from the stage” (3) to the Elizabethans the lack of women  on stage wouldn’t be seen as sexist due to the patriarchal society banning women from the stage.

Shakespeare wrote the vast majority of the parts for men out  of his  981 characters 826 are   male,whereas 155 are female (1). Women don’t have as many lines as men, of roles with over 500 lines only 13% of these parts are female(1). Rosalind one of Shakespeare more loquacious heroines has 730 lines, Hamlet has 1,539 (1). Meaning there are  fewer opportunities for women to develop their acting abilities; the foundation for much of theatre is Shakespeare limiting the roles for women.

Arguably the sexism that has  stemmed from Shakespeare means we’ve  become so used to not seeing women on stage as “classical play (are)..regarded as allies in..suppressing real women and replacing them with masks of patriarchal production” (3). Elizabeth Freestone suggests “we’ve been caught thinking that 30% women is good enough..there has been a sort of  blindness to female actors due to the burden of the classical canon” (1), suggesting an institutional sexism within the theatre industry. Arguably Shakespeare didn’t think about the gender breakdown within his plays only what made good characters. As Twelfth Night demonstrates, Shakespeare  plays around with gender roles as Viola and Sebastian both cross dress.

 

Tonic Theatre looked at a sample of plays and found that if a play was written by a man 65% of the parts were for males; when written by a woman this figure dropped to 48% suggesting women are more likely to split parts up equally.

 

In 2014 Maxine Peake took on the role of Hamlet, possibly a backlash to the sexism her interpretation was widely praised “though reviewers still focused on the presence of a female actor in that role” (8);possibly suggesting that critics still stick to the canon ignoring multiple gender possibilities. Maxine Peake’s performance of Hamlet has allowed the reinterpretation scripts and ideas, however by doing this the misogyny is ignored(9). Even in the twenty first century we still can’t erase Shakespeare’s injustices (due to the patriarchal theatre conventions he had to conform to) and write them off as a product of another time (9). When changing the gender canon we should still remember that sexism  is still a problem within theatre; instead of challenging the problems we pretend they don’t exist in the first place.

 

Stella Duffy echoes this point, arguing when women “do not see ( themselves) on stage( they) are reminded yet again that the people running our world ..do not notice when we are not there. That they think men..are all we need to see” (1). This is also echoed by Phyllida Lloyd who suggests “It’s not a conspiracy by men to keep women off ..stage, it’s just they don’t notice when we’re not there”(5). Duffy then goes on to  argue that “fringe theatre is better balanced” in terms of gender and “national theatre companies should lead by example” (1).  According to the guardian in 2012 the National theatre had a record low of female actors, of all female actors employed on 34% of these were women. Tonic theatre who in 2014 took a snapshot of females in creative roles and found that of the 20 plays in the West End 29% of performers were female compared to 71% of male performers .From my own research looking through theatre programmes, graph one shows within touring companies the male to female ratio always has a higher proportion of males within the cast and overall. Particularly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s where there’s a 3:1 ratio. Within amateur productions ( graph three) there are gender differences, with a higher proportion of males. However  in High Green Musical Theatre Company there is a significantly higher proportion of females, but within amateur theatre groups the directors have to work with volunteers who want to be involved. This suggests the theatre industry is more sexist within professional theatre, there are women who want to be involved but barriers stop them.

Phyllida Lloyd had an all female cast of Julius Caesar at the Donmar warehouse covent garden London, Shakespeare’s most male heavy play giving five females the male roles the share of female lines only increased  from 0.67 to 14%  (1) giving women a greater voice on stage. However 14% increase is a small as female characters  don’t have many lines to start with. This is a positive step forward to challenge sexism however this was on a small scale in a lesser known  location which isn’t as likely to make as much of a change like it would if it was performed somewhere like the National Theatre.

In opposition to this  Nastazja Somers suggests most people “blame big guys at the top” however goes on to say she doesn’t see much diversity at the fringe (4), giving women a voice needs to start from the bottom and work its way up. But it may be a difficulty for this to happen because fringe theatre is often freelance, a hard place for women to sustain a career and children as there is “no pension, no maternity leave, a nomadic lifestyle and unsociable hours” (1) meaning that women are less likely to be represented. Arguably it is the role  of big theatre companies such as the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare company to be inclusive of women so they will be able to sustain a career. Hynter (previous Artistic director at the National Theatre) suggests he “can’t..tell directors how they should cast”(1).Jonathan Church ( previous Artistic director for the Chichester festival theatre) argues regional theatres face huge pressures when programming 20th century or contemporary work for an auditorium”(1) , for this to be successful they need to attract  big “names “ that have West End success  such as  “Coward, Ayckbourn, Stoppard, Hare, Rattigan: (who are) all men”(1).

Church can be criticised because he ignores the work of amateur groups who attract a large number of audience members despite a lack of “names”. He ignores that an audience member may attend to see a story not a particular actor. Arguably the theatre industry is sexist due to more parts being available to men, potentially gender-blind casting is taking place.Rosemary Squire suggests that sexism in theatre will never change unless quotas are introduced to encourage directors to employ more females, she then goes on to “No one’s going to stop(the sexism) unless they are told to” because after “a few decades, nothing’s really moved. There must be a forced cultural shift”(6) suggesting that it is not only female actresses who need to voice their want for sexism to end but also audience members ;a change of view from society as a whole is needed to achieve this(6). Playwright  Duncan MacMillan suggests a “characters (arguably actors) gender is visible somehow, whereas if it was a male character (or actor) I don’t think we ( as an audience )would think twice..That surely reflects that we have certain biases and a certain type of theatre culture that notices when a woman is talking on stage about something other than men”(7) suggesting that there is an uproar when we distance ourselves from the male canon.

As well as the parts within theatre there are few female scriptwriters adding to the sexism. According to the New York Times, research was undertaken by Emily Glassberg Sands (an economist) who suggests “There is discrimination against female playwrights within the theatre community”, to do this research she undertook three separate studies; she looked at playwrights themselves. She reviewed information on 20,000 playwrights in the Dramatists guild Doodlle.com, an online database of playwrights, her findings again showed a 2:1 male to female split with men writing more plays. Arguably suggesting the theatre industry isn’t sexist if men are putting more effort into writing plays, agreeing with the statement that good scripts by women are in short supply.Ms Sands also discovered that women playwrights were more likely to write about female characters, however they were less likely to be produced adding to the 2:1 gender divide within the parts within British Theatre.

 

But study can be criticised as the source of Doodllee.com relies on the users and the information may be incomplete, therefore her results may not be valid.

 

For her second study Ms Glassberg Sands sent identical scripts to artistic directors and managers around the country split equally between male and female names. In her research she found that the scripts with female authors received worse ratings in terms of audience reviews and economic prospects compared to the scripts with male authors, despite them being exactly the same script.Adding to the evidence that the theatre industry is sexist,arguably a lack of female playwrights adds to the patriarchy. However the biggest twist is the results were driven by female artistic directors and literary managers, suggesting it is women themselves putting barriers up for other women who are trying to make it within the theatre industry. Suggesting it is not men stopping women progressing in the theatre industry but  women themselves. Ms Sands goes on to say “Men rate men and women’s playwrights exactly the same”. This evidence suggests that the theatre industry is sexist to an extent as there are more barriers for women within theatre, but this evidence suggests women are  putting up their own barriers.

 

For the final study Ms. Sands looked specifically at Broadway where women write fewer than ⅛ shows. She examined 329 new plays and musicals produced in ten years to see if the bar was set higher for women. The goal in any theatre is to make a profit, her research shows plays by women sold 16% more tickets than plays written by men and were 18% more profitable. However even though these shows earned more money they didn’t continue running any longer than less profitable shows. Ms Sands suggests this is clear evidence that the theatre industry is discriminative against women, but it could be argued that certain shows (if touring ) are booked in for different time periods therefore the fact that women’s plays sold more but didn’t continue may be due to this.

 

These studies could be criticised on a whole because they are  small scale and don’t look at the amount of female playwrights as a whole. However according to the guardian the latest research show that little progress has been made with gender and play production, a decade ago 30% of new shows were written by women in 2013  this figure stood at 31%.The only area where women playwrights came close to male playwrights was work for children and young people where 40% of shows were written by women ,suggesting women are only successful within theatre when they stay within the stereotypes that society has told them to remain in. In September 2014  Tonic Theatre took a snapshot of the 20 shows being performed in the West End, only  4% were written by women amounting to just one Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap. The amount of female writers within non for profit organisations was only slightly bigger at 8% ;suggesting yet again there is sexism within theatre.

 

However there is a cultural shift happening within theatre, Tonic Theatre is a programme which brings together “brings together the Artistic Directors, Chief Executives, and senior staff of leading performing arts organisations” from May 2013 to October 2014 it piloted a scheme with 11 theatres to get them to look at the root cause behind the lack of women within theatre.  From their research they found that there was a lack of women on stage due to out-dated structures linking back to Shakespeare, suggesting that if changes are left to occur naturally they will happen but slowly. It is also pointed out that women having babies is an excuse for the imbalances there are a range of factors which act as a barrier for women, like Squire suggests there is a need for quotas, “sometimes imposing..50:50 targets is the only way to go”. As a result of this scheme the cohort of the 11 theatres have outlined what they will do as a result of this scheme such as noticing the unconscious bias and becoming aware of its impacts. Secondly create symbolic relationships with artists and freelancers to support their career in a more sustained way and finally work collectively to  achieve change. Sheffield Theatres  was a worked with, in my own research (graph 2) in 2 out of the 3 plays women accounted for a smaller proportion overall however in Lady Chatterley’s lover this was only a small difference with 9 women to 10 men suggesting positive steps are being taken to close the gender divide. Also showboat ran from December 2015 to January 2016, when the plan for change had only just been implemented. Overall these steps are positive in achieving change to close the gender gap and stop sexism within theatre.

 

To conclude in many areas the theatre industry is sexist ; this is largely the case in regional theatres such as the Royal Shakespeare company and The National theatre because they have to attract big names to pull audiences in. There arguably is less sexism within fringe productions this may be because it is done largely on a voluntary basis and there is less pay, also their career is less stable than in a professional theatre company. Female scriptwriters also face sexism within the theatre industry as there are very few women who are able to get their script produced, there is a lack of female scriptwriters on Broadway, The West End and non for profit organisations. However Tonic Theatres initiatives are positive ways forward to reduce this sexism and eventually stop it.

 

Graph 1:

Graph one touring Productions

Graph 2:

Graph 2

Graph 3:

Graph 3

 

References:

(3)Ashton, E and Case,S (1988,2008)Feminism and Theatre.ed.[ebook]Basingstoke, Hampshire and New York:Palgrave MacMillan,p5-28. Available at :https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=OvMcBQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&ots=PYv7kKf1Oa&sig=rIjSojGrsBfT0OlsTFBBxFkQx-8#v=onepage&q&f=false [Accessed 2nd Jan 2017]

 

(6)Barnett,E(2013) British theatre’s most powerful woman:sadly we need quotas for women.The Telegraph [online] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-business/10091323/Rosemary-Squire-British-theatres-most-powerful-woman-sadly-we-need-quotas-for-women.html[Accessed 26th December 2016]

 

(7)Crompton,C(2016)Sexism on stage- meet the women tearing up the script.The Guardian[online] Available at:https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/jan/17/sexism-stage-female-playwrights-royal-court-theatre [Accessed 26th December 2016]

 

(5)Gardner,L (2015)In 10 years nothing has changed for female playwrights-it’s time to act. The Guardian [Blog] Available at https://www.theguardian.com/stage/theatreblog/2015/apr/28/nothing-changed-female-playwrights-uk-theatres-gender-equality [Accessed 5th December 2016]

 

(9)Gentry,R(2016)How should we respond to Shakespeare’s sexism.The Clyde Fitch Report [blog] Available at http://www.clydefitchreport.com/2016/01/shakespeare-sexism/ [Accessed 13th March 2016]

 

(1)Higgins,C (2012) Women in theatre:why do so few make it to the top.The Guardian,[online]Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2012/dec/10/women-in-theatre-glass-ceiling [Accessed 5th Dec 2016]Wo

 

(4) Masso,G (2017)Nastazja Somers ‘Everyone blames the big guys but diversity has to start at the fringe’. The Stage [online] Available at:https://www.thestage.co.uk/features/interviews/2017/nastazja-somers-everyone-blames-big-guys-diversity-start-fringe/ [Accessed 13th March 2017]

 

(8)McManus,C (undated) Shakespeare and gender: the woman’s part .The British Library [online]Available at:https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/shakespeare-and-gender-the-womans-part [Accessed 13th March 2017]

 

(2) Wandor,M (1986) Carry on understudies:Theatre and sexual politics.ed.[ebook] London:Taylor & Francis e-Library,2005,p14-16.Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=21yQAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA14&lpg=PA14&dq=%22In+many+Western+countries+women+were+forbidden+to+act+on+the+respectable+stage+until+a+mere+400+years+ago&source=bl&ots=hYoCV6P4El&sig=QHaNcvZjKElHgkw8B0bg8POpmLY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwilms65-u_SAhWMDcAKHWMMDbcQ6AEIGjAA#v=onepage&q&f=false [Accessed 2nd Jan 2017]

 

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Posted in A-Levels, Advice, Student, University, Writing

Things I learned from A -level results day 2017

Strawberry-results-day-blog-1200x675As you may know I’ve just completed my A-levels, I collected them three days ago it’s been a very hectic week and I’m very sorry for not keeping you up to date. For me results day went amazing better than I expected and I have gotten into my first-choice university which amazed me. I remember waking up, checking track and saying to my mum “I’ve gotten in, I’ve actually gotten I!” and yes, I did get a little bit teary but didn’t cry, I’ve done enough of that over the past year. It took away the stress and the sickly feeling of getting my results because I knew whatever happened I got a place at a top Russel group university regardless of my results. I mean I was very nervous because my year was the first year to do the new ‘tougher’ linear A-levels where we had to remember 2 years’ worth of information for three subjects; I suppose that’s a flaw with the education system it isn’t about the joy of learning but about remembering. I feel a lot of exams are about luck some people revise three weeks before and come out with top grades due to their reliance on short term memory, but then again revising is about understanding not necessarily memorising. Results day was a shock for a lot of people, some good, some bad but here are the things I learnt from the experience which I think are good to pass on.

 

1.)    Your results don’t define you, it is how you deal with them:

For me my results were the perfect outcome and I’m off to university in about a month or so, I think the problem with the education system is we are valued by what grade we get not what type of a person we are or what we do. To succeed we need to get high grades and we are pushed to breaking point until we finally get them, for some people who didn’t get the grades they feel their best Is no longer good enough; I feel that when things don’t go to plan we can see and appreciate all the different options open to us. When things go wrong taking a deep breath, carrying on and trying to pick yourself up is better than wallowing in self-pity, yes it’s ok to cry but life always has a funny way of working itself out. We must have bad times to realise the good times, we only achieve good things by making mistakes no matter how big or small they are and we’re made a better person for it, we learn to become more resilient and respond better when things don’t always go to plan.

Even though I did well, I didn’t share my results with many people apart from my theatre group, close friends and family because I didn’t want other people to feel like I’m bragging and I didn’t want people to compare themselves to me or me to them. We’re all on different paths in life and just because someone did better or worse than you it doesn’t make them different.

 

 

2.)    Being a good person is more important than your grades

In an ideal world grades wouldn’t matter and I suppose in that sense we would all be a lot happier and have less stress. A teacher once told me that “Being a good person is more important that your grades, the fact that people care about you and want to help you shows that you are a good person which is more important that what you can get out of any grade. If anything goes wrong (on results day) people will want to help you.”

 

 

3.)    The worrying was a waste of time

As a student, we are often focusing on the future, what ifs, what buts etc, etc If etc. When you’ve done your exams, there is nothing more that you can do. If a university or college doesn’t want you purely based on grades then they don’t deserve to have you, that’s what I had to train myself to think. Worrying steals your happiness and the outcome is never as bad as you think it is.

 

 

4.)    Whatever happens is meant to be

Whether you got what you wanted and whether you didn’t whatever you achieved was meant to be. If you didn’t do so well there may be a reason for that, whether it be your effort (of lack of it) that you put in, finding out that A levels aren’t for you or maybe you should go down a different route to achieve where you want to finally get to. If something goes wrong for you, you will be able to reflect on what you did wrong then try again and don’t make those mistakes again.

 

 

5.)    Believe in yourself

This is probably one of the hardest things to do while taking A levels or any other academic qualification it’s very difficult to see the bigger picture and the finishing line. I think that believing in yourself is essential throughout my A levels I thought I wouldn’t get into my first choice, I didn’t think I was smart enough or could do it. However, when results day finally came I was in shock, I’d managed to secure a place at one of the top Russel group universities. The thing is I put a hell of a lot of work in to secure my grades so I could get it none of my teachers, peers or family doubted me but I very much doubted myself. Doubt is a horrible thing it consumes you, it certainly did me but whatever you put your mind to you can do it and if you want something so badly it will happen. I think results day taught me one  thing that I have to keep thinking positive and knowing my efforts and capabilities are enough.

 

 

To conclude  I hope this has helped you if you didn’t get what you wanted or if like me has taught you some valuable life lessons and to most of all stop stressing about the future because you can’t change your path.

 

 

 

Posted in Advice, BBlogger, Beauty, Lifestyle, Skin Care, Student, Vacation, Writing

My Holiday Wash bag

By the time you’re reading this I will no longer be sunning myself in the Canary Islands, rather be awaiting the impending dread of getting my A-Level results (which will be tomorrow). So, I thought I’d write this to make the time between waiting a bit easier and remind me of the fabulous holiday that I had. My wash bag itself is from the simple collection which I received as part of a gift from either my Christmas or Birthday presents, it is a small white bag with a sort of green leaf design across the front and is the perfect size to keep in a suitcase.

 

  • Smugglers Soul Shampoo bar from Lush:

This is the perfect size it is very small and fits into a carry case, it has a beautiful smell and has a smell of sandalwood and is both a shampoo and conditioner bar. As it is not a liquid it can be taken through security also it reduces the need for lots of liquids. To be honest I didn’t use this while on holiday as my hair gets very dry aboard due to the sun, even though I wear a hat and I need something that is a little stronger to fully moisturise my hair.

 

 

  • Simple Kind To Skin Moisturising Facial Wash (mini):

I’ll start off by saying this didn’t last me the whole 2 and a bit weeks I was in Spain, purely because I had used some of it in Berlin, so I ended up buying a Lidl facial wash while I was there to put me on until I got back home. When I’m abroad my skin becomes a combination of both oily and dry, dry because of the amount of sun and oily because of the sun cream however this time my skin has remained normal which could suggest my skin is maturing and settling down. What I like about this product is that it gently cleanses the skin without over stripping its natural oils, it is ever so gentle on the skin ; I have quite sensitive skin and this hasn’t broke me out or irritated me at all. I also love the consistency of this product it is a gel like texture but when mixed with water turns into a foam like substance which is very easy to cleanse with. However, a disadvantage with this product is that it isn’t suitable for removing makeup so you would need to use something else to take your makeup off with.

 

  • No7 Beautiful skin: Radiance Exfoliator For Normal To Dry (mini)

I got this as a sample from somewhere ages ago and I thought my holiday would be the best time to use it as I heard that if you exfoliate your tan will stay on for longer. My skin isn’t dry so the product isn’t suitable for my skin type but it is a sample so it doesn’t really matter too much. On application, the product feels very soft however I don’t think the exfoliating beads really do much for me as I like a more intense exfoliator like the Lush Dark Angels. I think it’s perfect for people who are quite dry skinned or don’t like an intense facial application but for me it wasn’t my favourite.

 

 

  • Lancôme Galateis Clarte: Gentle cleansing fluid for face and eyes (mini):

I used this product to remove my makeup before I cleansed my skin, like the other products it was very gentle and removed all my makeup. To apply I poured the cleanser onto a cotton pad and did it that way so it didn’t go everywhere as the it is a watery creamy texture. However, I don’t like the smell of this product, I think it’s too scented and over-powering.

 

 

  • Simple Kind To Eyes: Eye Make-up Remover (mini)

Like the name suggests I used this to remove my eye makeup, usually I am funny with eye make-up removers as they can usually sting my eyes as I have quite sensitive skin and some products cause my skin to burn. This product was an absolute Godsend, all my eye makeup was removed with a couple of swipes and it didn’t irritate my delicate eye area.

 

  • Simple Kind To Skin: Hydrating Light Moisturiser

I love, love  this moisturiser, during the day on holidays I don’t normally moisturise as with the added sun cream my skin gets terribly oily so I just moisturise at night. The cream doesn’t have a heavy feel to it or overpowering smell and feels lovely when applied to the skin.

 

  • The Body Shop: Mango Whipped Lotion (mini)

I received this as part of a Christmas present it is a body lotion that I used when getting out of the shower. I have eczema prone skin and was worried this would cause a flare up however it didn’t irritate me at all. The formula goes on very easily and the consistency isn’t too thick which is nice. However I don’t know what I think of the smell as I love the body lotion but I go through a love hate relationship with the smell as at times it is quite sickly sweet for me.

 

 

To conclude I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my post, one of my top tips for travelling is always take minis and if you run out of something you can always buy something when you are away whether you are in a foreign country or not as they will have the same brands as us or something similar. If you have any things that you take away with you I would love to hear from you.

 

 

Posted in Berlin, Boyfriends, Stories, Student, Writing

The Narcissist That I am.

Hello!

I’ve noticed that since I’ve been away I haven’t updated you on the things I’m now doing what I’ve done in the past year etc. So, I feel that this blog post will finally give me an excuse to tell you more about myself so you can get to know me a little better. The problem with blogging as we all know is that sometimes life can often get in the way meaning we have very little time to blog, once you stop blogging your inspiration goes and your readers follow (Well some of them) not that you blame them. Blogging in a way is like a relationship but without the clingy other half, you have to keep your readers begging for more, like I suppose a romantic partner not that I’m experienced in that department and I’d love to say I took a break from blogging on a high leaving my readers begging for more but quite honestly, I didn’t. I’ve detailed in my previous blogs why I stopped and I’m not going to bore you with that because I’ll become like an old person in the early stages of dementia. So, I’m going to try and condense what I’ve been up to in this blog post, I’ll try and keep it short.

 

1.)    I have just finished my A levels

I have just finished full time education completing three A levels in English Literature, Sociology and Geography. I hope to be at university in September, studying English and Theatre studies although for privacy reasons I don’t want to disclose which university I’m going to go to. I can’t fully tell you what I want to be, what I want to do or where I want to go in life, but life has a funny sort of way of sorting things out for us so I guess I’ll just have to see where it takes me.

 

 

2.)    I turned 18 in February and am now a fully-fledged adult

It seems strange to say that I am an “adult”, although I don’t look old enough I’m told that often enough; I usually get asked “So have you finished school, what are you planning to do next?” and I mean ok, I’ve still got my baby face but come on. I suppose in a funny sort of way I don’t mind people mistaking my age because I’m hoping I look young in my forties. I always joke that “I’m going to get a 20-year-old toy boy” when I’m forty, but thinking about it I’m two years off twenty and forty-year olds don’t seem to appeal to me. Sorry Dads.  For my birthday, I didn’t really want a big party because alcohol and buffets always seem to bring out the worst in people as it suggests in Othello “Why put an enemy in your mouth to steal away you brains” something like that anyway. And I myself am not a big drinker, I’m 5ft 2 (ish) and weigh 7 stone so I really can’t handle it, and I don’t really like paying for it either. So, alcohol isn’t really my thing as I’m an old soul finding nightclubs to be too loud and playing crap music and the alcohol not tasting nice, I suppose that’s not the point though alcohol isn’t supposed to taste nice in those sort of establishments, just get you drunk. For me I’ve not yet gotten drunk, I don’t want to be out of control in a busy town centre and I wouldn’t say I abstain but alcohol isn’t really my vice. I don’t think it’s clever as alcohol is expensive and you’re paying for yourself to be ill the next morning as well as face liver damage. No thanks. For my birthday, I got some lovely presents, I’m not going to post them on here and brag about them because I’m not that type of person and I also feel that it’s too late for me to write about them, maybe on my 19th. For me I thinks it’s not the presents that you get bought that you remember but more the experiences you have with family and friends which really makes it special. My birthday was on a day when I was at college so I couldn’t really do much in the day time, a lot of teachers were surprised I’d turned up, but birthdays are like busses they come and go. Luckily, I wasn’t starting until eleven so I got the morning to open my presents. To celebrate I was bought a bottle of champagne which I still haven’t drunk and we went out for a eat where I had my first legal drink. The next day luckily, I had a day off so my mum took me out to a patisserie for an afternoon tea. The half term holidays are usually quite close to my birthday so we headed up to York where I met my university friend and we went out for a few drinks and I was taken to Bettys tea room for cake. (I have a shocking sweet tooth if you haven’t gathered)

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3.)    I visited Berlin

As part of my birthday present I asked to go to Berlin with college, I’m not a very materialistic person and prefer experiences I remember rather than having gifts. I had an amazing time we visited lots of monuments:

  • Alexander Platz
  • Street food Market: Markthalle Neun
  • TV Tower
  • The Berlin Wall
  • Potsdamer Platz
  • The Jewish Memorial
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • We had a canal ride
  • Visited the East Side Gallery
  • Museum Island
  • Concentration Camp (Swchenhausen Memorial and Museum)
  • Reichstag
  • Berlin Zoo
  • I visited Bowie’s café

 

 

3.)I had a boyfriend

I’m not really going to go into this because I feel I am allowed my own sense of privacy and I want my blog to be a positive place which is like a warm hug. I dumped him but I’ve learnt a couple of things never go out with a man:

  • That is the same shoe size as you.
  • Brags about his “7.8-inch penis” (I never saw it, don’t worry)
  • That makes a crap cup of tea.
  • And votes for an opposing political party.

 

4.)    I voted in my first election:

After not being able to vote in Brexit as I wasn’t old enough I could finally vote for my chosen political party. I voted and I was so glad that the youth vote rose because for a while politicians haven’t really cared about us because they haven’t felt that we could help them win. I feel like it works like this the young haven’t voted because of the lack of policies geared towards us and because of that there’s been even less policies geared towards us, so it’s like a vicious circle. After Brexit, I think we finally got the message and I know I kind of can’t include myself but still. The youth vote allowed labour to win more seats, which I’m very glad about.

 

 

5.)    I volunteer for Girl-Guiding UK

I have been a volunteer for with Girl-Guiding UK for over seven years and I absolutely love it, it allows me to give back to my community and gain good experience around children. I’ve gained so much confidence and have enjoyed every minute of working with them, I don’t have a bad word I can say about any of them because they’re all little stars who make me laugh.

 

 

So that’s all I have to say for now, I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog please like, comment and share if you so wish to.

 

The Girl With Purple Dockers xx

Posted in Advice, blogging, Confidence, Life Lessons, Love yourself, Memories, New Year, Self image, Speaking Out, Student, Teenager, Uncategorized, Writing

The cliche New Year blog 

Hello! I’d just like to wish all my followers and readers a Happy New Year and I hope you all had an amazing Christmas. I’m not going to make this cliche, well all know what 2016 has been a very big ,historical year there was Brexit and Trump winning the US presidential election along with a lot of celebrity deaths. However I feel like I’ve grown up this year and learnt a lot of valuable life lessons.

1.) Change happens for a reason

I know this sounds cliche but I swapped my acting hobby for writing . I never thought that I’d enjoy it but I’ve been able to create a blog , write more poetry and gain more confidence in myself as a writer. As a result I have performed my work at an open mic in my city and even got recognised for it which was lovely and I never expected it to happen.

2.) True friends will stick around

Most of my friends are older and have moved away to university. Despite not seeing eachother, we’ve still kept in touch and met up several times in the holidays. Exploring the city and adventuring into independent restaurants. We still have the bond that we did before they moved which shows that if your friends are true they’ll stick by you.

3.) The only person who decides your self worth is you

This year I have learnt to throw away the negative labels that have affected me and learnt to embrace myself.

4.) Red lipstick 

Is a girls best friend ..Bring out your inner femme fatal.

5.) Never put myself under too much pressure.

I am an A level student ,currently studying for 3 A levels. I am one of those people who revises constantly and never gives myself a break because I want to do well. Sometimes things get too much and I’ll cry over something because I’ve overworked myself. I have learnt to break my revision into 25 minute chunks ,take regular breaks , take time for myself  and don’t feel guilty about taking breaks.

6.) Confidence takes time 

Most importantly I have realised my self worth; beauty doesn’t always come in forms of aesthetic appearance but it can come in forms of intelligence,honesty,kindness,I could go on. I have realised that I am beautiful ,my imperfections are beautiful and show the wars I have battled throughout my seventeen short years. I may still have my bad days but that’s alright everyone has them and you need them to be human . I have learnt to throw the negative labels away and embrace positive ones.

Goals for 2017

Possibly make my blogs more diverse and not just poetry.

Give myself more self love;take time to relax.

Don’t doubt myself 

Say no to things that I don’t have time for.
Thank you for reading and being my followers thus far .I’ve been amazed how many likes and views I’ve had on my blog ;thank you for each and every view, comment or like it is really appreciated. If you have any things you’d like to see on my blog please let me know .

~SS

Posted in Advice, Comedy, Creative Writing, Dead, Drunk, Emotions, English Literature, Free Verse, Growing up, Humor, Humour, Hungover, illness, Love, Memories, Monologue, Poetry, Regret, Sarcasm, Spoken word, Stories, Student, Theatre, Writing

 Hungover on poetry

Hungover on poetry,

It’s wrapped around my eyes.

I’ve drank it buckets.

Now I see the Light.

Head pounding,

Eyes hurting,

Throat sore with speech,

My eyebags are dark.

Like images of words,

that I now see.

Was the poetry spiked?

 Did I lap up too many,

too quickly?

Yes.

Over too soon.

Did I trip over?

The words.

Did they  make a fool out of me?

Yes..

But I can’t remember a thing.

Words , oh words . Oh God please stop!

There’s  vomit  on the doorstep,

My shoes ,

My hair,

The clean bed sheets,

And the toilet seat.

I shouldn’t have mixed mixed  Carol Anne Duffy, with my own special brew.

Or let others give me shots of

Poems.

I should have closed my mouth

To stop the migraine.

The litre of water last night wasn’t enough.

To cure the poetry hang over.

Breakfast might make it better.

Still more words .

On the box.

Sickness is growing and I can’t stop the din.

The words are louder, 

Caving in.

Dead on my bed, 

I can’t find the cure.

Drink some more poetry.

That might stop the sore.

Posted in blogging, Creative Writing, Dead, Emotions, Poetry, Stories, Stress, Student, Writing

The Dance of the Dead

I saw them plastered into the wall those heads, those mouths. White eyes reflecting the rays of the sun looking at us as we entered the school gates. Sticks ,stones , old battered text books thrown at their unblinking faces. Their mouths still open as if the plaster had silenced their repeated mumbles.

They were staring at us as if they were trying to give us some message about God, or the meaning of life , or something, something which I couldn’t place my finger on.

Then the darkness came, the sun dipping like a wave , shattering everything. Their eyes blinked, a spark enlightened. The heads along with morphed bodies filled into the playground like a line of soldiers marching.

Haunting music played ,the bodied danced intertwining legs, arms, bodies tongues; In a repeated seductive whisper.

The children watched frozen like ice. Their heads tearing away from bodies, their blood pooling into a river. Eyes popping out of sockets.

The music stopped playing ,the noise ended. The heads, the bodies floated only to be muffled by concrete and dust.Voices silenced, pupils vanished.

Leaving me . Alone.

~SS

Posted in blogging, Creative Writing, Emotions, English Literature, Poetry, Stories, Stress, Student, Writers Block, Writing

Dear Writers Block

I want to know…

why; you blinded me covering my eyes with useless ideas.

Clamped my mouth stopping expression.

Shackled my mind with empty thought manacles.

I want to know why ;

You let me run with stupid nonsensical ideas.

Bringing back the nightmare of my most hated fictional character whilst having an epiphany.

Stopping me …Mid sentence .

Ideas are gold .

Once found treasured.

You stop them ..Thief.

You’re doing it again!

I was running..

Now tip-toeing over faint ideas.

Lost in a maze of jumbled thoughts. Trying to catch the words.

Tripping over them, escaping from my grasp.

Falling over full stops..

There…

Done .

Defeated.

Sorry for my unusual lack of posts, I’ve been extremely busy with coursework , various governors meetings and writers block .Also the tiredness that accompanies it. So thank you for supporting me this far. Any comments would be appreciated.

~SS

Posted in blogging, Creative Writing, Emotions, English Literature, First poem, Guilt, Poetry, Stress, Student, Writing

Invention of the mind

You’re choking me, killing me. 

I can’t hear, see, think. 
I arise to your stare. 
You’re the pang in my stomach,  throb in my head… like venom. 
You’re watching me;
 Hurling me down a spiral of self destruct.

Wrapping around my neck like a noose. 
Halting my breath;
Dragging at my feet;
A halo in reverse. 
When you seal your lips ,you haunt me in a hundred silent ways.

Your stench plummets me into darkness
The rot of animal corpses. 
Housing the souls of unwanted men. 

I’m existing in a Senseless nightmare. 
Entangled in your satanic clutches.

You’re an invention of the mind.
My mind 
A fiend. 
Yet,I cannot escape .

I’ve been so busy these past couple of days ,college work and the extended project is getting on top of me. I wrote this on my old blog it was one of the first pieces of poetry that I’d ever written and got me in to creative writing. I think my creative writing skills have come on a lot since. Please let me know your thoughts.

~SS