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


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


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