Sunday, 8 December 2013

Weight

An issue I've always felt rather passionate about is weight. There's no particular reason I'm so passionate about it, I just am. It seems that in the last few weeks it's one that's been brought up in a few different ways in different environments from YouTube, to TV, to friends talking about it and I wanted to share my opinion on the topic.

Although I know the topic of weight is a very sensitive issue and I need to be careful about how I say what I plan to say, that doesn't mean I'm going to be any less honest than I would be if I were writing about something that's not controversial at all. I do want to say before I fully get into it though that this is all my opinion, although it's what I think is right (naturally; it's my opinion) if you think differently that's perfectly okay.

I have never been the kind of girl who is naturally 'thin' but I have also never been 'fat'. Although when I was younger (until I was about 11 I think) I was a little bigger than all of my friends it never really particularly bothered me and as I grew everything seemed to sort of balance out (not that I've grown all that much since I was about 12!). I'm what I like to call happily in the middle. I'm not thin, but I am far from fat and, most importantly, I'm happy with myself.


I will happily admit, sometimes it's difficult to say you're happy with the way you look, I'm sure that's the same for most people if not everyone. Everyone has days where they think they look fat or their hair won't go right or whatever it might be just doesn't look good. That's okay. That's normal. Having days when you're not feeling completely confident is fine but the main thing is being able to move on from it the following day. Your hair doesn't look right? Put it up that day and hope it sorts itself out tomorrow! If you have these days a lot (like I do, especially if I'm tired) the only thing I can suggest is really try to ignore it, as difficult as that may be. I've found that if you're having a bad hair day or you didn't have time to do your makeup that morning and you feel like you look like a zombie, walking into school (or work/college/whatever it might be) with a genuine smile on your face means no one notices. It's hard to believe but it's true. If you're being happy, positive and friendly people won't notice if your hair's a bit frizzy or under your eyes is a bit darker than it normally is.
I'm a big believer in confidence being very important. I realise that's easy for me to say as it's something I've never particularly struggled with but having the confidence to say 'although I'd like to be a little thinner sometimes, I'm healthy and that's the most important thing'. As well as it being okay to have bad days, it's also okay to have things about yourself you maybe don't like all that much. My main tip for that is learn what style clothes suit you most and use it to your advantage. If you feel like the clothes you are wearing fit you nicely you'll feel more confident in them which will help you be happy and positive on those bad hair days!

Another quick little note I'd like to add, for those of you not in the UK or who aren't watching 'I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!' there was a conversation a while ago between Amy (a model/beauty pageant contestant) and Rebecca Addllington (Olympic swimmer) and Rebecca commented on how she gets tweets almost every day from people saying she's fat or commenting on her appearance. To me, that is totally ridiculous. I don't understand how people could call an athlete fat and I personally think that Rebecca is an amazing role model for girls as she proves that you can be beautiful even though you're not a size 6 or smaller.
It really upsets me that so many girls feel like they need to be a certain shape in order to be beautiful. It also upsets me that posts like these and videos like the ones I've linked here even exist because it means that although people are trying to make it less of an issue, it's not working. Carrie Hope Fletcher summed up how I feel about the 'weight issue' pretty well in her video 'Happy and Healthy' and I really suggest you watch it, it's nice to have someone in the public eye who is a healthy role model. Also, I'd just like to quickly mention that Jennifer Lawrence is another amazing role model. She feels strongly about the issue too and isn't afraid of talking about it publicly.

So that's my opinion on the topic. I'd love it if you could share what you think with me in the comments and I hope you check out the videos I've linked if it's a topic you're interested in or feel passionate about. 
Lucy x


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Life Update! (100 Subs, New Uke and Gigs)

For the past week or so I've been painfully close to 100 subscribers on my YouTube channel and just when I'd told myself to stop obsessively refreshing the page and just patiently wait for an email, the email came.



It is utterly mind-blowing to me that there are 100 people out there in the world who care about my music enough to want a reminder every time I share something new. I started my YouTube channel in January 2012, after being inspired by the likes of Tyler Ward, Boyce Avenue and Savannah Outen, because I'd been writing songs for a while but had kept them to myself and not played them to anyone. I'd also been working on becoming a better singer (and musician in general) and I wanted a way for me personally to track my progress. I never really thought anyone outside my closest friends and family would want to listen to it but here we are, nearly 2 years later with 100 people wanting to listen. I'm aware that to many people 100 subscribers isn't very much (especially when compared to the 'bigger youtubers', many of who have reached 1 million) but to me it is definitely a lot.

In the time since I started my YouTube channel a lot has changed. My musical style has evolved and I'm much closer to finding the type of musician I want to be, although I'm still not quite there. I've had the chance to have feedback from some musicians I really admire and I've even got a few of my friends considering setting up their own YouTube channels because they've seen me do it. The fact that I could have even slightly inspired someone else to follow their dream, even if only a tiny portion of it has been from me, makes me so happy. In September I started at a new school and with that came a massive change in environment. I've left a school where it was considered a 'weird' thing to post videos online of myself singing and I was told to give up because nothing would ever happen from it to an environment where they encourage it. My friends at my new school have all subscribed to my channel (something not many from my old school did), tell me often that they like my music and ask about gigs and are trying to come to as many as possible. This change in environment is amazing and I feel so lucky to be in such a positive, encouraging place surrounded by such supportive and lovely people.

Along with the excitement of reaching 100 subscribers, I also bought a new ukulele yesterday! I've been saving up to get a new one for a while and as I'm starting to get into playing live gigs a lot more than I ever have before now it made sense to get an electric-acoustic one so I don't have to rely on the venue's having enough mics. I went to a lovely music shop in Cardiff (G. M. Music) with 2 very specific ones in mind (both Ibanez) and surprisingly, chose almost straight away when I saw them (this is surprising because when I was buying my guitar about a year and a half ago we were in the shop for an hour and a half with me playing 2 different ones trying to decide. I'm not a very decisive person to say the least).

Lastly, I'm playing a lot more gigs! Although they're all very local it's still progress and although I've played live for a number of years at competitions and such it's very exciting to be asked to play more than one song, especially as it all sort of happened by accident. A friend of mine was helping organise a fundraiser for his rugby team and asked if I'd play and since then I've been asked to play another 3 in the lead up to Christmas. Along with the subscriber milestone, the fact people in my town are starting to talk about me is very exciting because it feels like what I've been working hard at for a few years is starting to pay off. When I was younger I was never much of a singer but it was something I had my heart set on and with hard work (and constant practice!) I feel like I've come a long way. I still have an even longer way to go but looking back on my old videos does make me realise that the hard work is definitely starting to pay off.

All in all, my life seems to be getting crazier by the day! With starting my A-Levels came a work load like I've never known and then adding all of the music things on top of that everything seems a little hectic, but I have to say, as tiring and chaotic as it sometimes seems, I'm loving every minute of it.

Lucy x

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Schindler's List (Film Discussion)

On Sunday, I will be heading to Berlin with the history department of my school. In preparation for this, when I saw the film Schindler's List was playing on ITV4 a few weeks ago I thought I'd record it and this week I finally got around to sitting down to watch it, and let me tell you, it was worth it.
Real life hero: Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler in the Oscar winning Schindler's List, which is based on true events

Schindler's List was made in 1993, stars Liam Neeson and was directed by Steven Spielberg (something I didn't realise until after watching it). As I'm not very good with summaries, here is the summary on the IMDB website:


Initially, Oskar Schindler aims to use the Jews as workers in his factory, but throughout the film he begins to care about them more and more.

As I've just started History AS (for those of you who aren't in the UK you do your AS's in year 12, aged 16/17 and A2 or A-Levels in year 13, aged 17/18) and Nazi Germany is one of our topics this year, I felt like it would be productive for me to watch this and it definitely was. This film allowed me to get some sort of insight into just how awfully the Jews were treated and although it is something I've read about and knew a lot of the facts on the subject, watching it happen is very different from reading about it or seeing pictures. I am aware that the film isn't necessarily completely historically accurate but it is still absolutely heart-breaking. 
On-screen horror: A still from the 1993 film depicting Plazow concentration camp and its vicious commander Amon Goth, played by Ralph Fiennes

On our History trip next week we will be visiting Berlin for a few days before moving on to Krakow where we will spend another few days. After seeing this film I have realised more than ever how heart-breaking it is likely to be in Krakow but it has made me even more interested in it.

If you have even the slightest interest in History, I can't recommend this film enough. I am sure it is a film that will stay in my mind for a very long time and is definitely one I will re-watch. It is one of those films that everyone should watch at least once. Oskar Schindler managed to save 1,200 Jews who would have otherwise been killed and the film, despite being black and white (which usually annoys me) is amazing.

Have you seen Schindler's List? If so, let me know how you felt about it in the comments, I'd love to discuss it with you!

Lucy x

Sunday, 8 September 2013

A New Start

As any of you who have read any of my other blog posts from this summer will probably know, I started a new school on Wednesday. Not only is it a new school, but it's the start of my sixth form experience. Although I was insanely nervous for a few days before starting, so far I really do love it there.

The beauty of starting at a new school where you only know a few people is that it gives you the opportunity to put things you'd rather forget in the past and be the version of 'you' that you want to be. Also, if there are a lot of people also starting the school (with my new school around half of the year are new students) as new students it means you're not the only one and you can easily make friends.

I was lucky in that my best friend has been at this school for the last 5 years and therefore has her group of friends that have all been so nice to me I couldn't explain. From the first moment on the first day they took me under their wing and have helped me out so much from introducing me to people to showing me where to go so I don't get lost. They've been really fantastic and I can see myself becoming very good friends with them very quickly.

Although it's been a big change and the days have got a LOT longer (from leaving the house at 8.15 and getting home at 3.15 to leaving the house at 7.30 and getting back around 4.45) if the next two years carry on like this I know I will be very happy there.

Have you started a new school before? Were you happier there than before? Let me know in the comments.

Lucy x

Monday, 2 September 2013

Music Mondays: A Very Potter Musical

As someone who's a massive fan of both Harry Potter and musicals, when a friend told me that 3 fan-written musicals based on Harry Potter existed I knew I would love them.

Click the image to watch A Very Potter Musical! (the first one)

A Very Potter Musical, A Very Potter Sequel and A Very Potter Senior Year are completely fan-written musicals by a company called Starkid and Harry is played by Darren Criss (be honest, who doesn't love Darren Criss?). Since discovering them I have had the opening song from the first musical 'Gotta Get Back To Hogwarts' in my head pretty much from the moment I wake up in the morning until the moment I go to sleep. (Seriously, it's about all I've been playing on guitar at the moment). Also, Evanna Lynch plays Luna in A Very Potter Senior Year which is just all kinds of brilliant.

I'd also like to add that Lauren Lopez who plays Draco Malfoy (yes, a girl plays Draco, it's hilarious) is fantastic and Quirrel and Voldy is one ship I never thought would be a thing but definitely is.

I just wanted to share with you what my friend shared with me in the hopes that you love them as much as I do. Also, if you have any Potter-related things you think I might like make sure you let me know in the comments!

Lucy x

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Dear Future Me

I've seen a few things like this (mainly YouTube videos) and I always think it's a good idea so I thought I'd give it a shot! I'd like to do more of these in the future but only when I feel like enough has changed for me to want to update my future self on it. Anyway, on to the actual content...

Dear Future Lucy,

You're 16 at the moment. The age when you're no longer a child but not yet an adult. Today is the 1st of September and you've chosen to leave behind the comprehensive school in your town where you never felt like you belonged for a private school in a city, a place you will go to for the first time as a student in 3 days. It is the school you wanted to go to in year 7 and your parents promised you could go for sixth form. You held them to that promise. A lot of thought went into the decision and although inside you're terrified because you've never been 'the new girl' before you're feeling VERY positive about it and can't wait to be back in school with your best friend after 5 years of being apart.

Books are something you seem to love more and more by the day. You've recently fallen in love with the Harry Potter stories (books, films, musicals, the lot!) and it currently means more to you than any other fictional story ever has before, more than you thought possible. You've recently got a kindle and although you thought you'd always chose a physical book over a digital one, that seems to change depending on your mood. You're also running two blogs consistently, both this one and a book one, and you love it, despite not having many people read what you write. You write it for you.

You've written a lot of songs in the summer that's just passed. Probably more than you have ever written in that amount of time before. Yes, a lot of them probably aren't very good and yes, 90% of them will probably never be put on the internet or played to people other than super close friends but you enjoyed writing them regardless. You're slowly getting better at guitar and ukulele, even if you don't practice flute or piano as much as you should. Your YouTube channel is slowly growing and you're now lucky enough to have 85 people see your face in their subscription box every time you upload a new video which is crazy.

Your cousins (currently aged 6 and 2) spent 6 weeks in the UK this summer from New Zealand. You spent more time with them than you normally do this time round which meant you got to know them more than in previous years. Although you loved spending time with them and love them so SO much it does mean that now they've gone back home you miss them even more.


You're pretty happy with life right now. Although there are days where you may feel like everything is rubbish you know that it's just something everyone feels from time to time and you know it will all be okay tomorrow. You're very aware of how lucky you are and you try very hard not to take it for granted. You're also feeling determined to work hard for the next 2 years no matter what it takes.

Lucy x

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Readathon!

My mind has been completely on books (and results!) for the past week because I've been taking part in the Bout of Books 8.0 readathon over on my book blog abookandabrew. Because of this, I've only just realised that I haven't written my usual Sunday blog post over on this blog and I couldn't think of anything else to write about in such a sort space of time so I thought I'd give you a little overview of my week in reading! (to see my daily updates, head over to abookandabrew)
I started the week aiming to read 3 books; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (which I had already started reading), City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. This didn't really go to plan but I did still complete 3 books! Because I got my results back on Thursday and I'd done well (don't be fooled by how casually I threw that in, I was super proud and happy that my hard work paid off!) my parents decided to buy me something I'd wanted for a while: a kindle. Because of getting my kindle on Friday, I abandoned City of Bones for a bit and decided not to even start Of Mice and Men and read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (both of which are fantastic, I highly recommend them!)

I loved taking part in this readathon and it was really nice how it was laid back in the sense that, as they said on their blog, the only aim is to read more in that week than you would in a normal week (which I definitely achieved!).
If you're a fellow book worm and would like to see reviews of any of the books I read this week (and hopefully a review of my Kindle too! It's the Paperwhite) make sure to keep an eye on abookandabrew as it's all coming very soon! (Just as soon as I get round to writing the posts...)

I hope you all had a really lovely week! Did any of you get results back this week too? How did you do? Also, if you have any ideas for blog posts you'd like to see from me make sure to let me know because I've run out of ideas at the moment so everything's welcome!

Lucy x

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Finding My Fate

As I watched my news feed on every social media network imaginable fill up with A/AS Level students receiving their results this week it made me even more nervous than I already was to find out my GCSE results next week.

On Thursday, I'll head to the school I've spent 5 years at for the last time and pick up a piece of paper with some letters on it which define what I do for the next few years of my life. Although I'm aware a lot of people say that, in the long run, GCSEs don't really count for much and A-Levels are more important and many variations of similar things but that doesn't mean it's not important. If I don't get a certain number of grades I won't be able to go to sixth form where I want to or study what I want to study and that could potentially change a lot for me.

Up until now, I've never been in a situation where I've been so heavily dependent on a piece of writing on a page in any sense and although it is highly unlikely that I haven't got the grades I need to get into sixth form, even if I might not be able to study what I want, it's still very daunting. Also, as a someone who has been considered a 'good student' for my whole school 'career' and is expected by teachers and my fellow pupils to get mainly A's, I feel a massive amount of pressure to get those A's. People often argue with me and say at least the people around me have faith in me as a student but, in my opinion, that's got nothing to do with it. The hours and hours of work I put in were up to me. The many times I went back to various teachers outside of lesson time because I didn't understand something was up to me. Those grades are mine and mine alone and if everyone else is expecting you to get high grades, the pressure can be daunting.

Ultimately, I know no matter what happens on Thursday I put everything I could into those exams and I should be proud of myself but the little voice in my head reminding me of the possibility of failure won't stop just yet.

Are you picking up GCSE results this week or have you recently received your results? Let me know whether you got what you wanted or not and whether you had the same pressure as I did or not :)

Lucy x

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Summer In The City Warm Up Tour (Cardiff)

On Wednesday this week (7th August) my friends and I headed into Cardiff for the Sitc Warm Up tour to see Tom Law, Dodie Clarke (doddleoddle), Dave Giles and Bethan Leadley (musicalsbethan), and let me tell you, it was fantastic.
Soon after we arrived at the venue (around 4pm with the gig scheduled to start at 7.30pm) Dave came outside to say hello and Tom and Dodie arrived at the venue (with a quick comment about how we were earlier than them) and went to leave their instruments inside before coming straight back out for a chat. The 3 of them stayed outside chatting to us (there were already quite a few people in the queue, maybe around 20...ish...) and taking photos for a while before going back in to get ready for the gig. The reason I wanted to mention this is because, to me, that is what YouTube gatherings used to be like and I wish they were still like that now. A small group of people got the chance to meet people whose videos they like and also make friends with other viewers. It was so lovely to get to spend time with Tom, Dodie and Dave like that and I can't really imagine a similar situation where you would get that chance these days because everything's grown so much (take sitc for example!). I know that the majority of gatherings are still just a group of people meeting up in a field somewhere but even then it can be difficult to talk to content creators because there's often a lot of people there. I'm not trying to say that bigger events like vidcon and sitc are bad, I think they're a fantastic chance to get to see a lot of content creators you like in one event but I definitely understand why people say they miss how gatherings used to be.

The gig itself was fantastic. I've watched Tom, Dodie and Bethan's videos for a long time now and Dave is honestly one of my favourite musicians at the moment and I've been listening to his music constantly since Upload 2 (and I'm STILL loving it despite listening to each song hundreds of times). Clwb Ifor Bach is such a lovely, intimate venue and we ended up sat on the floor for most of the gig just enjoying the music. As a fan of acoustic music, I loved having the chance to listen to them all play in that kind of environment and at the end of the gig they turned all the electric equipment off and played a song each with just them and their instrument while we all sang along (still sat on the floor).

They had a meet and greet afterwards but because I managed to get photos with them all before the gig I just took photos of my friends with them (who didn't manage to get photos before), bought an EP off Tom (which is fantastic, I've already listened to it loads) and went to have a photo with Bethan (Bethan didn't come outside before but she did say in the gig that she's ill so I assumed that was why she didn't. She was as lovely as the others in the meet and greet! I did have a photo with her but it didn't turn out great). I also mentioned quickly to Dave how much I appreciated him taking the time to comment on my YouTube video and he said that it was no problem, it was a good video and one of his favourites from Upload which made my night!
 




Overall, it was a really fantastic gig and they were all
so nice! I really enjoyed getting to spend time with them before and if you get the chance to see any of them live I'd definitely go. Also, if you haven't heard of them before please do check out their YouTube channels because they're all fantastic musicians :)

Lucy x

Monday, 5 August 2013

My Blog and I

Hello beautiful person who is reading this and welcome to my blog.

This week I was sort of stuck for ideas of what to blog about and it struck me that this blog doesn't really have any format to it and I thought I'd just ask if that bothers you? Would you prefer it if it did have a format or schedule?

Also, I have no idea how many people read this on a regular basis so I would really love it if you could just leave me a little comment down below letting me know whether you like my blog or not and why. It would really help me improve my blog which is something I'm keen to do.

I really want to get my blog to the best that it can possibly be but to do that I feel like I need feedback from the people who read it because I don't want to post content you're not interested in! I will always blog about things I feel passionately about or my thoughts or feelings at the time but I also want my blog to be a place you enjoy spending time and I want you to enjoy reading my ramblings as much as possible!

Like I said, I'd really love to hear from you if you've taken the time to read this, even if it's the first time you've ever come across my blog! I'd love to hear what I can do to make you stay!

Lucy x

Monday, 29 July 2013

Becoming YouTube Episode 10

If you haven't yet seen the latest episode of Becoming YouTube I suggest you watch it before reading this because otherwise it might not make much sense. Also, this is a bit of a long post so you might want to go grab yourself a cup of tea or something before you sit down to read it (please do still read it though, I'd love to hear what your opinion is). Right, got your tea? Here we go...
I've just finished watching the latest episode of Becoming YouTube, the series created by Ben Cook that follows some of the popular (British with the exception of Hank Green) YouTubers and it has really left me thinking.

Yes, they did make light of a very serious situation by making the last section of the video into a musical but  I think Ben's monologue (rant) in the middle of the video is really the main focus and we all need to really think about what he said. Although I would consider myself a viewer of a lot of YouTubers, possibly even a fan depending on the way you look at it, I've never been the type of person to send gifts via P O Box or to have 'fandom' tumblr or twitter acounts. Personally, especially in the case of YouTubers who are mainly just people who occasionally film a few minutes of their lives and upload them to a website, I've always found that to be an invasion of privacy, like crossing some sort of invisible line between enjoying what they do and appreciating their hard work and creativity and entering their 'personal space'. If they wanted you to know something about their lives, they would share it with you via one of their many social media platforms.

Now having said this, I would be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me that likes to speculate over who's dating who or who's really friends outside the realm of the internet but I remind myself of what I said before in situations like this. If they wanted us to know, they'd tell us. It's not our place, as viewers to demand information from them about their personal lives and they shouldn't have to tell us every tiny little detail about them. That's when it goes from being a perfectly harmless appreciation to getting, well, a little bit weird.

One of the main things that had me thinking after watching the video is what Ben says about people sending things to YouTubers. In the video Ben says...

'Most of you would prefer to send presents to your favourite YouTubers than you would to your own family, or, heaven forbid, someone, somewhere in the world, who actually needs aid. Syrian refugee crisis? Yeah, well, why bother? Send food packages to pointlessblogtv instead.'

The scary thing is, it's true. Think of all the time, effort and money people spend sending things to their favourite YouTubers or tweeting them or trying to get their attention for that longed for acknowledgement that they deserve so much more than everyone else because they've been around since the dawn of time (or 2007 as most people call it). I've honestly never thought about this myself until Ben brought it up in the video but once you notice it, you realise just how awful it is. How can people justify spending money sending things to YouTubers when they then claim they haven't got the money to spare to give to charity. What if, instead of spending time watching videos and leaving thousands of comments about how amazing their hair looked people watched the video and then did something more productive with their time like volunteering or even just doing something they love to do and could help their future (for me, this would mean spending more time writing songs or practicing guitar or something similar). What if the monetary value of paper, envelopes, postage and anything else that is put in the contents of the package was given to charity instead of using it to send things. 

Like a few of the interviewees say at the beginning of the video, YouTube has the power to change the world mainly because of the sheer number of people that it reaches. Think how easily videos go viral these days thanks to Facebook getting in on the action and people sharing videos on there too. Think what a drastic change could be made if the content creators managed to find something they all collectively care about strongly enough and we, as viewers, took on board every single word they said.

I really think that this video of Ben's will make a big change to the YouTube 'world', at least I hope it does. I hope that people think about what they're planning on sending to their favourite YouTubers and think of someone more deserving of their money like the people who care for them or people who actually need aid. I hope people think about the personal boundaries that have been set by the people they're watching and respect them before deciding to 'ship' people to the extreme, past the point of it being harmless until it just makes people feel uncomfortable. I hope people think about the content they're watching and actually listen to what people are saying rather than just choosing to watch because, as Ben puts it, they want to see a 'British boy with a fringe'. 

I realise that some of the things I've mentioned here may be hypocritical of me, it would be stupid to think I have never done any of the things I've listed, but what is important is that I've listened to what Ben said and I've taken it on board and it's changed my outlook on things. I feel as if, for me at least, something to do with my perspective on content creators has shifted.

This episode of Becoming YouTube has really put a lot of things into perspective in my opinion and although I could probably go on for a lot longer about the various bits and pieces I picked up on, these were the main points that made me stop and think. 

What did you think of the episode? Do you agree that we should think carefully about how we're spending our time and money when it comes to sending things to content creators? Do you think if you want to ask repeatedly whether two people are dating that's okay? I'd really love to hear what you've got to say on this one so please don't hesitate to leave a comment or to start a conversation in the comments!

Lucy x

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Thoughts From Places: My Local Beach

Before I start this blog post I just want to mention that yes I got the idea for this from the vlogbrothers on youtube. I am in no way trying to take credit for something they created, I just really like these videos they do and wanted to put my own spin on it. Also, I have a lot of thoughts from a lot of places. Okay, onto the blog post...

I've grown up in a little town on the coast of South Wales. Because of this, I've always taken it for granted that we've got a beach within walking distance (even if it does take about an hour from my door to the beach!) but recently I've realised how lucky I am to have this.


Our beach isn't the most amazing beach in the world. There's not much sand there, there are a LOT of rocks (just look at the photo at the start of this post!) and due to living in Wales, the sea is almost always too cold to go in. But it's there. I couldn't count how many summer days I've spent down there, when I was younger with my family and now that I'm older with my friends. We make the most of what is there by sitting on the rocks and only going in the sea for a short amount of time and although there isn't much sand to sit on comfortably, there are fields near that we can do the same with. Also, we're lucky enough to have paths on either side of the beach leading up onto the cliffs where we can walk if we get bored of sitting at the beach. The view is absolutely lovely (photo above).


Today got me thinking of how lucky I am to live in a place where I can walk from my house to the beach and then to a field and my friends and I can comfortably spend a day there. The last few weeks or so the weather has been amazing in the UK and we've been taking full advantage of that by going down the beach almost every day! It's so lovely down there when it's warm and it's the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon with friends.

If my summer continues in the way it's begun, I can see already it's going to be the best summer I've had so far. *finger crossed*

Do you have a beach near you? If not, where do you and your friends/family spend sunny summer days? I'd love to hear what it's like where you live! :)

Lucy x

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Lauren Aquilina: Sinners EP


If you've never heard of Lauren Aquilina, you're missing out. I've been watching her videos on YouTube for the last few years (and she's one of the very few artists I've stuck loyal to over that time) and she is honestly such an incredibly talented person.

This week her new EP 'Sinners' came out and the song 'Sinners' itself has been chosen as iTunes free single of the week (I'd head over there quickly and download it if I were you, it's fab) and I just wanted to write a little post letting you know how amazing it is.

If all goes to plan, I'll be covering one of the songs of this EP very soon and entering Lauren's competition for support acts for tour so if I do, I'll be sure to let you all know.

I honestly love every song on the EP and if you haven't already please do listen to it!

Lucy x

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Remember Me: A Time Capsule in a Song

For those of you that are interested in my music, I uploaded a new YouTube video today that is an original song called 'Remember Me' that I've put a few video clips and photos to from the last few years.


After my last official day in school (that's not including revision sessions or exams), in which my friends and I went all over the school having our t-shirts signed, taking about a million photos with all our year and then spending all afternoon and evening together, I got home and just felt like I really wanted to get everything I was feeling down on paper as a sort of time capsule. My song-writer instinct kicked in and before I knew it I was sat there playing this and scribbling it down on a piece of paper trying to not forget any of the lyrics.

For me, leaving school is a bit deal as I've mentioned in a few of my other posts (especially this one) because there's a significant group of people that I've been in school with since I was 5 and I now won't be. I've always been the type of person who wants to be remembered by people and the thought that in 20 years time the majority of my year won't even remember my name makes me so sad. I don't want to be 'that girl from secondary school who posted videos on youtube' or 'wrote songs'. I want to be remembered as Lucy.

I think that's the main reason this song means so much to me. Still, a few months after writing it, I find myself feeling the same emotion I felt while writing it so strongly every time I play it. This song really is a time capsule for me and I hope everyone who appears in the video at any point will be able to look back on it in the years to come and smile with the memories of the 5 (or 12) years we've spent together.

I'll remember you, will you remember me?


Lucy x

Monday, 22 July 2013

Music Mondays: Best Song Ever by One Direction REVIEW

Although the days in which I would identify myself as a 'One Direction fan' are behind me, I still can't quite summon the strength to unsubscribe to their YouTube channel or not click or not reblog the occasional adorable photo of them on tumblr. When I first heard their new song was called 'Best Song Ever' I have to admit, I was more than just skeptical. I couldn't see how they were going to pull this one out of the bag but I have to say, credit where credit is due, the song is unbelievably catchy and the music video is hilarious.

If you haven't seen the video yet you can click here to do so. I have to say, this is by far my favourite music video of theirs yet. I loved the fact they went a little out of their comfort zone and did pretty much turned the song into a comedy sketch and to see in the credits at the end that it was written by James Cordon and Ben Winston just made so much sense to me. Them joining forces with One Direction for a music video has to be a fantastic move for both and it really did make the music video stand out from the others the boys have made.

As for the song it's self, it's definitely a grower. The first time I heard it I thought it was okay but could be better and then before I knew it I'd be wandering round the house singing it under my breath.

I may not be a die-hard fan like some of those directioners out there but I do appreciate them as musicians and to me, that's the most important thing. The new song and video are great and I wish people who don't like them watch it because I honestly think it might sway them a little if they just gave it a chance.

Lucy x

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Nostalgia For Things That Haven't Happened Yet

Recently I've been feeling more and more nostalgic about leaving my secondary school despite the fact I haven't actually properly left yet.

I'm well aware of the fact this doesn't really make sense but every time I go to the school these days (which is surprisingly regularly as I have to walk past it to get to the beach and often get side-tracked talking to someone or another who's currently stood outside or by a door or window) I feel an over-whelming sense of nostalgia. My last exam there was 5 weeks ago today and I don't start my new school until September yet I still feel like the days that were spent in that place are so far away. 

I never fitted in properly in that school and deep down I know that going to a new place where I can have a completely fresh start and I haven't got the ghosts of my past lurking over my shoulder every where I turn is the right thing for me to be doing, but the more time that passes the more I feel like I want to stay at that school. There was a variety show in there tonight which I went to with a few people in my year who I've become increasingly close to since leaving school and it made it really hit home for the first time that although I'm gaining a fantastic new school where the education is far above the standard of that in my old school, I'm leaving behind a group of people I care about more than I could possibly put into words. 

What I'll miss most, without a doubt, are the friends I have in other years. The few people in my year I really care about I'm 100% sure I'll keep in touch with and I didn't really spend much time with them during a regular school day anyway but the ones in other years are a whole different story. I'm going to miss walking past them in corridors and hugging them without saying a word, each of us completely engrossed with our current conversation, and then walking off. I'm going to miss seeing them in the canteen at lunch time and waving to each other frantically. I'm going to miss hugging them at break and lunch as if I haven't seen them for years.

Ultimately, I need a fresh start and I know that, but I'll miss those guys so much it terrifies me to think about it. 

If any of you guys are reading this, I honestly love you so much and no matter what happens I promise to do everything I can to keep in touch with you.

Lucy x

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Butterbeer Cupcakes!

As is probably very obvious from my instagram and tumblr, I'm currently in the middle of a massive Harry Potter obsession. This being one of the longest summer's I'll ever have, I decided that there was no better time than the present to re-read the whole series back to back so I've been reading and watching them in order and am currently on Order of the Phoenix (5). This time, however, I've completely caught the Harry Potter bug and I find myself wishing I was a part of the world of Hogwarts and Hogsmead very often.

As I was trying to think of new ways to feel like part of the wizarding world I stumbled upon this recipe for butterbeer cupcakes (thank you so much to the creator of the recipe!) and although they're not mentioned in the books or films, they looked too good to not try. I'm a big fan of cupcakes and making them myself (I usually enjoy the decorating part the best as is shown with my Harry Potter themed ones shown below) so I thought this would be a fun thing to do on a day that would otherwise have not been productive at all.

Now I warn you, these did take AGES to make. I'm not sure exactly how long because I had to wait for them to cool and do a few bits and bobs here and there too but it was certainly over about 3 hours. That may have been because it was the first time I've made something other than standard cupcakes without anyone who knows what they're doing or it might have been because I knew I didn't have a time limit at all but either way, it might be something to keep in mind if you're planning on trying these (especially if you're a beginner like me!)

Having said that, these cakes are honestly amazing. There were several times throughout the process that I worried they weren't going to turn out right at all but after a slight disaster with the butterscotch ganache and having to substitute it with some 'baking caramel' (which worked perfectly well if you'd rather not attempt the ganache yourself) they are certainly a success. Having just tasted one I can tell you that they taste absolutely amazing (even though I was skeptical) and I think they're well worth the time it took to make them. Also, the recipe makes a lot of cakes (it made 20 for me) which is always good!

Lucy x

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Prom!


Although I don't live in a place like America where prom is a massive thing, our school does have an end of year 11 prom which I attended last week and it was something that's been hyped up a lot throughout the school year.
For me, prom was quite a big deal because it marked me leaving the comprehensive school I've been attending for the last 5 years in our quiet Welsh coastal town, ready to start in a new school in Cardiff in September. This is a pretty big thing for me because although I was never really 100% happy in that school, I did meet a lot of amazing people that I'm going to miss so much. Also, I've never been the 'new girl' because I went from Primary to Secondary school with the same group of people so September is certainly going to be an experience for me!
The prom itself was lovely. It was held in a hotel in Bridgend and pretty much consisted of eating, taking photos with everyone, a short presentation from our head of year and dancing. We decided as a year group to have a 'Hollywood' theme so the presentation was basically categories (such as laziest, cutest couple and celebrity look-a-like) which our year nominated people for. The people with the most votes then received mini 'Oscars' (naturally, my year voted me 'Most Likely To End Up On X-Factor').

After such a lovely evening I really think I'm going to miss that school more than I realised. It's not just some of the students I'm going to miss but the teachers too. Teachers that, over the last 5 years, have become friends as well. I'm so glad I got to spend time with them before leaving and it really was a lovely night.

Lucy x

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Bloglovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I very recently discovered a website called bloglovin that lets you follow all your favourite blogs in one place and sends you a notification when they share a new post. I just wanted to quickly let you guys know about the site because although I haven't been on it long I've already fallen in love with it and I can see how it will make keeping up with the blogs I like so much more easy.

If you want to follow me on there the link it above :)

Lucy x

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Where Have My Book Related Posts Gone?

For those of you who may have begun following this blog in search of book posts (reviews, tags, etc) this is just a quick update to let you know that I now post my book related things on another blog you can find by clicking here. There are a few reasons for this but mainly I just wanted to be able to keep my book things in one place and I wanted this blog to be more posts about music/whatever I want to post about at the time. I hope that's okay with all of you and please head on over there if you fancy checking it out!

Lucy x

My Book Blog: thebeautyinwords.blogspot.com

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Upload Tour 2


On Thursday 30th May I had the amazing opportunity to see the Upload Tour 2 in Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff. The Upload Tour 2 saw EddplantBribry and Dave Giles join their musical forces with Luke Cutforth (LukeIsNotSexy) as the host.

To say that I enjoyed the evening is an understatement. I have been a fan of Eddplant for a few years and I have listened to his album 'Confidence Tricks' more than any other album I've ever bought. It is no exaggeration to say that he is quite possibly my favourite musician of all time. To have the opportunity to see him live was amazing but the fact that I got the opportunity to meet him afterwards was just incredible. His performance was utterly amazing and he was really lovely afterwards, signing the copy of his latest album 'Nothing To Worry About' that I bought and having a photo with me. The friends I were with even told him I'd covered his song 'Butterfly in the Breeze' (which is my favourite song of all time) on YouTube and he said he'd watch it (I am well aware that as a busy musician he quite possibly won't have time but the fact he said he would was amazing in itself).



I was first introduced to Bribry a few years ago by a friend (who also came to Upload 2 with me) and I have been a fan of his music since. Bribry has such a unique sound and is not only a fantastic musician but also an extremely inspirational person, having set up charities such as the Ross Foundation in memory of a friend of his who sadly passed away from cancer and CutCakeNotWrists to help young people who struggle with self-harm. His performance was also brilliant and although there wasn't time to have a photo with him afterwards (due to the majority of the people there wanting to see him in particular) he managed to sign my ticket and seemed lovely, even if slightly over-whelmed (which was completely understandable due to the constant crowd around him).


If I said I'd been a fan of Dave Giles for a long time I would be lying. Although I'd heard of him before, I never really listened to his music properly before the Upload Tour 2. This is something I regret. Dave Giles is such a fantastic musician and a truly lovely person and he deserves so much more attention than he gets at the moment. His lyrics in particular stand out to me as he seems to have a way of making each of his songs a story with beautiful words. I was also amazed at his guitar skills and it is clear that he's not just a singer/songwriter but he is a true musician. If you have never listened to Dave Giles before I honestly can't encourage you enough. I bought his album 'Love, Life, Loss and Tea' at the gig and I have honestly been listening to it constantly since. Along with his being an incredible musician, Dave was truly lovely afterwards. He signed the CD of his album I bought, had a photo with me and even promised to check out my own YouTube channel. Dave Giles made the performance a completely unique experience for me as at one point he had the audience sat on the floor in a circle while he played his song 'Bangarang' with just his voice and an acoustic guitar (no microphones, backing vocals from the others or extra instruments) and it was an amazing opportunity.



I enjoyed the evening so much and if you've never heard of any of these people before, please do check out their YouTube channels. They're each unique, unsigned artists who deserve to have their music listened to. On the rare chance any of them are reading this, I would just like to say thank you so much for making the night so incredible with your fantastic music and your wonderful personalities. I won't forget the night in a long time.

Lucy x


Thursday, 4 April 2013

50 Subscribers, YouTube Absence and Too Close Cover


For those of you who don't know, I have a channel on YouTube which I use to post videos of me singing (mainly original songs but the odd cover from time to time). In recent months I have neglected my YouTube account because I haven't much free time. I'm currently in year 11 which means I'll be sitting my GCSE exams in May and June and I've had lots of coursework deadlines and revision things that have needed to be done. Seeing as though last week and this week were my Easter holidays, I had hoped that I would be able to film a few videos that I could use to upload over the next few weeks so I could create an almost regular schedule to upload video but it hasn't really worked out that way. Over the summer I hope to be able to film regularly because I'd really like to be able to get into the process or uploading videos regularly, whether that will be weekly, fortnightly or even monthly, anything is better than my current absences that last for months on end.


While I was away from YouTube I managed to reach 50 subscribers. I'm sure any of you with an interest in YouTube will think of this as a very small number but to me, it seems massive. When I think of it as 50 people turning up to a show to see me and only me, it just seems incredible. Also, in my opinion, 50 is the first milestone of follower/subscriber numbers and I can't even explain how grateful I was the day I reached it. If you've subscribed to me, thank you. I really do appreciate it.

The latest addition to my YouTube channel is a really quick cover of Too Close by Alex Clare that I recorded today. I was having a break from revision and the sun was shining so I thought I'd take advantage of having decent lighting (which is a rare occurrence where I live in Wales) and just film it. It's full to the brim with little mistakes and flaws but I figured a rough and unpolished video is better than no video! Especially because my last one was uploaded in December!

Let me know what you think of my YouTube channel and if you've got any helpful hints or tips I would very much appreciate them! Thanks for watching it and reading this and just being generally lovely. :)


Saturday, 16 March 2013

I Set Up A Bandcamp Page!


As some of you may know, music is something I've very passionate about. I've been writing original songs for a good few years now despite only being 16 and I've been posting videos of myself singing on Youtube for just over a year. Although I know that it's highly unlikely that I will ever have a 'career' in music and I will probably never make the majority of my money through music, I've always loved performing and sharing my music with other people. Because of this, I've been thinking a lot lately about ways that I could possibly get more people to hear my music and I decided that if they could download my songs, they might be more likely to share them with friends. So today I decided to set up a bandcamp page. There's currently one song on there which is an original called Sing To Me that I recorded in a professional recording studio about a year ago. It's currently available to download for 50p (in UK pounds) but you can pay more if you'd like to. If you're reading this, I'd appreciate it so much if you could give it a listen and maybe download it or send the link to friends of yours that you think might like my music. Things like that help more than you could imagine. Thank you for reading this! :)

Lucy x

bandcamp page: http://lucytregidon.bandcamp.com/
Check out my Youtube channel here: www.youtube.com/lucytregidon

Monday, 25 February 2013

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I couldn't find an image of the copy I read so this will have to do :)
Title: Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
262 Pages

Rating: 4/5

This is the first classic book that I've read outside a classroom situation and entirely because I wanted to read it and I have to say, once I got used to the older language in it I found it very enjoyable! It was as difficult to understand as I expected it to be and I found that by around halfway through I was just enjoying it and I was used to the writing style along with everything else.

I'm sure the majority of you are aware of the story of Pride and Prejudice, but it follows Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters. It sees them deal with difficult situations and follows their quest to find husbands.

Personally, I feel that this is the kind of book that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. It's such an iconic book and I can definitely see why. I would recommend it to anyone who loves reading and wants to read a classic book, even if they haven't read one yet.

One of the things that inspired me to read this book is the web series adaptation that I'm currently following called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. The web series (created by Hank Green) is based around a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Lizzie tells the story entirely through video diaries. It's definitely worth the time it takes to watch it. It can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/lizziebennet

(Book 6/50)

Saturday, 23 February 2013

A Visit to London

Seeing as though last week was our half term break, my best friend and I decided to take a short trip up to London. Living in Wales, very close to Cardiff, it's not too far to go just overnight. Despite the fact we've never been to London without a 'responsible adult' to keep us in check, we decided to just go for it. We talked to friends of her parents and they said we were more than welcome to stay with them in their house near the center so we booked our train tickets and that was that!

We set off on Wednesday morning, getting a train from Cardiff Central to London Paddington so that we arrived around 11am. We went straight to drop our things off then headed out in search of a bookshop that we'd seen on Google that looked like something from Harry Potter. It was called Daunt Books and I can honestly say that it was worth having to use the Google maps app on my phone to find it. Although neither or us ended up buying anything there, it was a great place to have been.
After going to Daunt Books we had a bit of lunch in "Eat" and then got the tube into the more central area of London. We walked through Soho with all it's cute little shops and walked all the way down to Trafalgar Square. By this time it was absolutely freezing so we went in the National Gallery for a bit of warmth and wandered around looking at the paintings for a bit as both of us are currently doing GCSE Art so it made us feel like our visit had been somewhat educational. We then headed over to Waterstones where I picked up a beautiful copy of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen as a souvenir. After a bit more wandering round which lead us to in Covent Garden and a quick drink in Costa, we headed towards The Strand for Pizza Hut for tea and then home for the night.
The following morning we were up and out of the house by about 9.30am, which for someone who is not a morning person, like myself, is pretty good. We headed straight for the area that everyone thinks of when they think of London, the Thames by the London eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. We walked from the tube station right along side the Thames all the way up to Westminster Bridge, then back down and to the Tate Modern art Gallery. After a little wander around the Tate, we had a quick look at the Globe theater from the outside, had lunch a bit of lunch and then headed home.

Even though our trip was only overnight, it was an amazing experience and one that I definitely plan to repeat. It was such an easy thing to do, the only thing preventing us from being able to go up and stay in London regularly is the price of the train tickets. My friend and I have already decided the trip will be repeated in the summer and I can't wait. 

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson

Title: Kiss Me Kill Me
Author: Lauren Henderson
260 Pages

Rating 3/5

I got this book for Christmas and wasn't really sure about it at first. I wasn't sure if it was my kind of thing and a lot of reviews I'd come across mentioned not to be deceived by the cover and described it as not being a light bit of 'chick-lit' but I think I disagree to a certain extent. Although the story line isn't that of a stereotypical girly book, I did think it was still a quick and light read.

Kiss Me Kill Me is the first in the Scarlett Wakefield series. When Scarlett gets invited to a party thrown by one of the 'cool' girls in the school, she jumps at the chance. The party takes a turn for the worse and she kisses a boy called Dan who dies in her arms. No one knows how Dan died but they all blame Scarlett and this forces Scarlett to transfer schools. The book shows how Scarlett begins to uncover the truth about that night and follows her on her quest to discover how Dan really died.

The reason I didn't give this book a higher rating is because I felt it didn't really have much content in it. I found the writing style nice and easy to read however the plot seemed a little slow at times. I still enjoyed it though and will be buying the next one in the series.

(Book 5/50)

Friday, 1 February 2013

Lord Of The Flies by William Golding

Title: Lord Of The Flies
Author: William Golding
248 Pages

Rating 4/5

This is the book I'm currently studying (in Year 11) for my English Literature GCSE. I wasn't expecting much from this book after reading last year's book To Kill A Mockingbird and not enjoying it because I assumed it was just that I didn't enjoy books I had to read rather than had chosen to. This book proved that wasn't the case.

Because we are studying this in school, a lot of it was read during lesson time by classmates and my teachers. I found that because we were encouraged to talk about the events of the chapter immediately after reading it, the novel became even more interesting. There were many examples of symbolism that were pointed out by my classmates and my teacher that I may not have picked up on if I'd read it myself.

The story follows a group of boys who are stranded on a desert island after a plane crash. All of these boys are under 12 years old. As the novel progresses we learn how they chose to deal with their situation and the community they develop.

I would definitely recommend this book as I personally found it a really enjoyable read!

(Book 4/50)

Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart

Title: Is It Just Me?
Author: Miranda Hart
323 Pages

Rating 4/5

As a massive fan of the TV program 'Miranda', when one of my best friends gave me this as a birthday present at the end of December I was very excited. It definitely didn't disappoint either.

This is book isn't what I expected it to be. It's not the typical book written by someone famous that's an autobiography they release seemingly for the sake of being able to say they've written a book. In Is It Just Me? Miranda tells many different funny stories that have happened over the years or just her opinions on certain topics and often talks to her 18-year-old self giving her helpful little hints and tips.

I found this book really unique due to the style of it and I don't think anyone who enjoys both reading and Miranda's TV show will be disappointed with this read. It's definitely worth it for me.

(Book 3/50)

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Title: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
313 Pages

Rating: 5/5

I read this book last year and it quickly because my favourite book of all time. Since it came out in January last year I thought it was a good time to re-read it and I'd forgotten just how much I loved this book.

The Fault In Our Stars is the story of 16 year old Hazel who has a form of cancer that affects her lungs and 17 year old Augustus who lost his leg to cancer. Although cancer and illness are obviously one of the main themes of this book, it's about a lot more than that.

I think one of the reasons I love this book so much is because it shows how 2 teenagers make the best out of the situations they find themselves in, often without meaning to. I also like the fact that what you think will happen doesn't and things don't always go their way. I also think the other characters are all really believable, from Hazel and Gus' parents to their other friends.

I really can't recommend this book enough. I think it's truly one of the most amazing books I've read and it's one that, if I had the time, I would happily sit down and read cover to cover.

This book has several paragraphs and sentences in it that I think are truly amazing pieces of writing, so I thought I'd share one with you:
"My thoughts are stars I can't fathom into constellations."

(Book 2/50)

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Title: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews
295 Pages

Rating 4/5

After seeing many BookTubers rave about this book (mainly padfootandprongs07 and jessethereader) I asked for it for Christmas and if was definitely worth it! There's just something about this book that I found amazing and couldn't put down. I wouldn't recommend it for younger readers because it's got a lot of humour in it that wouldn't be understood by younger people and some of the language used isn't appropriate for anyone under the age of around 13 I would say. Obviously, that's just my opinion though.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is written from the perspective of Greg Gaines, a typical high school student who's main aim is to remain 'friendly' with everyone without committing to one social group. His only real friend is a boy named Earl and even then, they describe their relationship as 'professional'. One day, Greg's mother tells him how a girl named Rachel that he knew when he was younger has been diagnosed with Leukemia. Greg then decides to spend time with Rachel, more because he feels as though he has too than wants to.

This book says so it's self, it is not a typical 'caner book'. There's something about the way this book was written that made me fully believe that Jesse Andrews was really Gregory Gaines and the character was so believable, even in writing style, that I found this book was really unique.

I can see how this isn't the kind of book everyone would enjoy but if you think it might be your cup of tea, try it because it's definitely worth reading.

(Book 1/50)