When life goes grey…

I have been back home from Paris now for two weeks and two days and I feel like my life has been resembling a spinning top, whizzing out of control.

I have of course been very busy with work and as the daylight hours dwindle, so does my enthusiasm for busy, social days (as I am zapped from the fast paced notion of my current career). But as I stop pouring in effort to maintain the life outside of work, I am slowly feeling a little lost and I’m not sure who I am as a person anymore.

I am finding myself trying to cling on to my taste in clothing; as I have always dressed differently (I definitely think differently too), I love adventurous, radical hairstyle changes and outfit combos full of colour. But I’m starting to feel like this liberal self-expression that I’ve explored for my meagre 20 years of life so far, isn’t suited to my life anymore and I’m starting to feel restless in my own skin.

I feel like the real issue is a sense of belonging. Paris really emphasised my need to be back home in this small seaside town, however now I’ve moved out of my family home, and relatives are all moving away; I’m not sure what home is supposed to feel like anymore.

With Venus meeting Jupiter in my 4th, impacting Neptune in my 8th the astrologer in me doesn’t think this is just a coincidence. Home is an important issue on the cards and the angles of the stars are making me pay attention to it.

All of this time away from family and friends has changed my perspective on my view of home. It’s not a set place, it’s the people that surround you which determine what is home and right now I’m craving the company of people that have help shaped my past which was full of fun and self-expression; something that I feel is waining within me now.

I no longer paint, sing cheesy songs in a dramatic way or do things that were remotely me and I feel my lack of blog posts resemble my current bleak outlook on life, as I have found it hard to materialise how I feel.

I want life to sparkle again. And I want to go home…

Have fun out there.

Love,

Pipedream xx

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NOSTALGIE DE LA BOUE 

 NOSTALGIE DE LA BOUE: A desire to live a simpler, downsized, less indulgent life. It literally means “yearning for the mud”. 

I finished the final day in Paris with a mooch around the Sacre Coeur and the building itself made me feel something I would never associate with a cathedral. 

I was raised an atheist but brought up to be appreciative of everyone’s thoughts and beliefs (however different to my own) and a place of worship is not usually a place I will actively go to on trips away. I cannot deny that I wasn’t particularly enthused with the idea of traipsing around a cathedral, and the students were very disinterested in the whole affair; picking Crêperies over the architecture. I put my pessimism aside and stepped inside and the energy within the building was electric. 

As soon as the door closed behind me, I had goosebumps crawling up my skin and I felt a unique sense of unity which laced the air. Candles were flickering along the walls of the Sacre Coeur, lit by anyone and everyone giving a little hope to the world. I found myself seated in awe of the tourists like myself and the praying in the central isles. 
I sat there for nearly 30 minutes taking it all in; the elaborate décor, the hubbub of people and the energy of hope. One woman in particular, stole my attention. She was kneeling, facing the altar, her hands so tightly clenched that her knuckles were white. The words she was whispering to herself, were felt with such conviction that you could visibly see the determination and need for what little hope to be had, to be received by her. 
I cannot begin to imagine what she was so desperately seeking from the deity “above” but it let my mind wander towards the streets of home and how I am desperate to return to them. Paris holds so much love, hope and prospects but there is only so long a small-town girl can spend in the chic streets of Paris without craving the comfort of a scruffy, little seaside town which is my home. 


This week has been full of fun, and memories that will reside in my brain forever. But as I pack up my suitcase in preparation to leave tomorrow, I have a giddy excitement to see the faces I left behind. 
Have fun out there!
From Paris,
With love. 
Pipedream xxx

The real Paris 

I feel like I am resembling Del Boy Trotter as I get to grips with Parisienne life. 
The French I am realising, are very courteous of my lack of, as I forget to talk the language of their birth in favour of my own. I find myself casually wishing them good days and thank you’s, which is very polite if you’re in Britain, but I’m not. 

I am now starting to think that I have found a new talent which is: consciously remembering that I am in France and then creatively stringing a sentence together, blending the two languages into this weird mix that makes absolutely zero sense. *I’m a mess*

However, Paris is a dream and I am forever in love with this city. Personally, there is nothing quite like being a tourist in Paris, camera in hand meandering around the streets capturing generic shots of the Eiffel Tower and Arc De Triomph. But from yesterday’s experiences, that is not the “real Paris”. 


Paris is one of the most walkable cities around, as the architecture is a joy and completely insta-worthy and there is always something to pique your interest (of course mine are patisseries. I LOVE MACAROONS). However 20 children in tow, and a small budget (not allowing frequent Metro stints) we really had to utilise that “walkable” city. 

From our hotel, the main sights of Paris are a minimum of 1 hour 30 minutes away (walking), which is quite the challenge with unenthused teenagers that have 0 interest in the sights. 


However, before leaving for Paris, I had this romantic image in my head of tours through the chic streets of Paris, trying the cuisine and feeling pretty damn sassy… Not the reality which was myself, leading a group of school children through a building site (lots of complaints about ruined white trainers), this street where you don’t need to pick up dog poo apparently (further complaints about ruined white trainers) and an underpass dedicated to the self-made shelters of the homeless (health & safety nightmare). I never expected a scenario like it, and I cannot express how thankful I am for the fact we made it through without being mugged of stabbed. *slides risk assessment into the bin* 

I didn’t think we were in an era where people still cooked on barrels? especially corn, in the heart of Paris. I was a little overwhelmed by such a sight. However, it’s not all glamour and cliché shots after all. There is poverty in the midst of wealth and it’s quite shocking really. As much as I did fear for my job and the children’s safety walking through such areas, I think it was a lesson for all of us. 

At the time I was cursing Google Maps for sending us on a wild goose chase around Paris, but now, looking back; we were just seeing the real Paris. 

Have fun out there! 
From Paris,
With love. 

Pipedream xx 

McDonalds in Paris 

I don’t know how people remain looking chic and glamorous whilst travelling, but I am feeling like a bit of a mess right now. 

I’ll admit that I had good intentions to document Paris through the lens of my Nikon camera, but as the coach was cruising down the dual carriageway at 4am to Ashford; I switched it on to find I had left my memory card in my laptop at home. Classic me. 
Our trip to Paris was booked through a company that supposedly takes the “stress” away from taking groups on holiday during the half term. However, sitting with the luggage; as my seat had been taken, with students dotted around 16+ coaches, is not how I pictured “stress free”. But I love a mishap, as it wouldn’t be a “holiday” without one, right? 

Of course, I had a mini-heart attack when it was time to get off the train as we entered Paris. The 20 lives I have to return safely back to school, were floating further away into the throng of people departing the international station. Alas, we made it to our hotel.
However, I would be lying if I said the Eurostar wasn’t enjoyable. The journey itself was actually one of the most pleasant I’ve had. We cut directly through the French countryside, watching the lull between dawn and day as the villages awoke from their slumber. I have always had a soft spot for France and this seemed to relax my spirits. 
Getting to the hotel was pretty simple (except for needing to be Popeye to lug the overpacked suitcases up a vertical flight of stairs) and Paris was full of the charm that I had previously remembered. But, then my Paris rose-tinted glasses fell off with a smash…

It is not physically possible to seat 20 people at lunch in Paris but this is a completely necessary feature of our trip – eating together that is. After debating many restaurants, only one could possibly prevail amongst a group of teenagers… McDonald’s (when in Rome) which was massively busy and overflowing at the door. The picnic creature, that resides in my soul, decided it would be a good idea to sit in the middle of a shopping centre and eat the said meal, whilst a boy played “fix you” on a piano, really setting the mood.  


It’s been a whirlwind of a day and it’s not even over. But, I cannot wait to sleep tonight in my Hotel room with such an Insta-worthy view. 

Have fun out there!
From Paris (Pipedream),
With love xxx  

Paris Soundtrack

* Jens Lekman – Put your arms around me

* Johnathan Bree – You’re so cool 

* TIEKS – Say a prayer 

* RY X – Bad Love

* RY X – Salt 

* Halsey – Sorry

* Pale Waves – There’s a honey 

To Paris, With Love 

If someone told me in January of this year, that by October I would be co-leading a trip to Paris with 20 international pupils in tow, I would laugh in yo’ face.  
The charming streets of Paris have always had a piece of my heart, especially in the cusp of autumn. However as tomorrow looms, the city of love fills me with nothing but dread. 


A few months ago, I couldn’t even breathe without my mothers assistance, let alone be responsible for 20 human lives, alone. Overseas. 

I am beginning to realise also, how daunting it is to look after such sacred things as passports. They are literally little books of gold dust and as I gather them all together, along with their visas, the whole situation is beginning to dawn on me. 

These little bundles of life and their parents are depending on me (and another member of staff *phew*) to give them a trip to remember… and I have everything crossed  that it’s for the right reasons. 

I cannot deny that I am excited and a little giddy to meander down the riverbank of the Seine, and to see Paris by night up the Arc de Triomphe as I’m a big romantic at heart. But, part of me wonders whether I will actually enjoy the experience as I feel like I will forever be holding my breath because of the possibility of something terrible happening!  *Cynic O’Clock* 

 Luckily I love my job, and the students are absolute joys! But I have a feeling in my waters that this will definitely be a trip to remember. For good or for bad! 


But alas, I will channel my inner Miss.Clavel (Adventures of Madeline) as I set off for the Eurostar at 4am tomorrow and enjoy Paris in all its autumnal beauty 

Have fun out there!

Love, 
Pipedream xx 

Lady who Lunches.

As I stare at the Michelin Man look-a-like, which is my reflection, in the mirror; something has got to change. *Exaggeration o’clock*  

I am very, very susceptible to weight gain because I am a lazy individual with the mentality of a sloth who absolutely loves cake (brownie in particular) and anything that goes well with bread. My working day doesn’t really leave me much time for a good night’s sleep which then results in me substituting tiredness with sugar and I have 0 problems with convincing myself to “treat myself” in the sugar department. Sweet-tooth-city.


I have always been incredibly insecure around weight gain (like the majority of the population in today’s society) and I know I am not unhealthily overweight, but we are superficial creatures and I look at myself and I am just not happy… However, I am absolutely comfortable with flaunting my imperfections on social media to hopefully inspire others to appreciate themselves but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I pine to look like the women in the articles of Vogue.

I understand that the models in Vogue are a singular perception of beauty, and everyone is beautiful. Period. But Fashion is an art, and art celebrates the “beautiful” or aesthetic and I feel that because those specific body types of women are celebrated so frequently that, that must be the ideal. 

And we are always looking for the ideal.

Over the years I have been round, normal, unhappy, non-eating, frivolous-with-food, content but never happy… Jheez so hard to please.


My new job has changed a lot about me, including the amount I eat. I eat if I am happy, sad, stressed, tired, alongside 3 meals a day and it is impacting my weight (which is obvious). The food itself never really leaves me with much energy or satisfaction, but it provides a sense of comfort and calm. *Can Jamie Oliver and Kayla Itsines enter my life please? I need some guidance.*

I really want to change myself in the pursuit of happiness and a little self-love. I would love for some help, if anyone wants to give me some tips…?

Have fun out there!

Love,

Pipedream xx

Clawing Back My Life…

It’s been specifically 49 days since I’ve posted a blog post and this makes me incredibly unhappy. 

Throw me back to August the 23rd when I received a whirl wind of an opportunity, requiring an immediate start, inflicting a massive change into my life; something I thought I needed from the stars for a long long time… 

I had to leave home, learn a new profession and put it into practise within a week of receiving the position and I didn’t realise the severity of how time consuming that position would be, until I realised that the consistently-inconsistent blogger within me was slowly dying due to 0 time and it was making me incredibly unhappy. 

The days rolled on and time dwindled away, and I felt that the old me was blurring into the background, along with the time to wear sassy clothing and bright lipstick. 

Who knew yoga pants and hoodies would be so on trend this fall? 

Because those are the only practical garments I find myself wearing these days…

Now, Im a big follower and advocate of “mum-blogs” on social media. Their time management skills and their ability to consistently upload FAB-U-LOUS content alongside their busy lives is massively inspiring and has made me super appreciative of their dedication to their craft (that’s what it is right?).

I have decided that I’m going to put myself in their power-house-mum-shoes and steam on through to make more time for my posts. *Fist Pump* 
I’m inspired and ready to take hold of my life again. Nobody’s got time for unhappiness! And that was a mood I felt myself slipping into far too often, as old me waved from the sidelines.   

Have fun out there! 

Love,

Pipedream xx 

The Best Wedding Guest Dress Review

After being a slave to the Google search engine for a solid 3 months, in the hope of finding the perfect wedding guest dress, looking back at the photos, I made a good call.

I have expressed before in previous blog posts about how I have a weirdly proportioned body, which many big names in fashion don’t cater for (I will clarify that I do understand that mass produced brands have such a hard job at catering for everyone’s figures that I won’t scold them too much for not thinking about mine).

I have the figure of a condensed, tall adult, which is politely saying I’m small and a bit round in areas, with a waist that doesn’t match my proportions. Trying to find a dress to cater for that, left me with a mammoth task because finding a dress online that would fit me, after trying dresses on in shops that didn’t, doesn’t usually bode well. However, online there are a 100x more brands which left me with a glimmer of hope, as someone out there must be prepared for a figure like mine.

To cut a very long, repetitive story short, I settled for a lace number from a brand called Chi Chi London. I am sure a lot of teenagers and parents reading this, who have gone through prom season, would have heard of them. But, if you haven’t, this is a brand that create feminine, sparkly-goodness for a competitive price, in cuts that cater for many shapes of woman.

The winning dress for me, was a midi lace, in pastel yellow with a plunge neckline. Not only did it cater for my waist, complimenting my hips (which I have an aversion with), it offered so much support that I didn’t need a bra. Any excuse to let the girls free, is a good one and as a big-busted woman I felt completely safe that there would be no great escapes or appearances from them during the reception.

The B&W version of this picture looked far more cosmopolitan.

Sometimes lace can be a little limp, losing its shape, which was a worry when I purchased this dress, but after giving it a good steam it survived: a heavy downpour, sitting down for speeches and dancing my life away, remaining beautiful and full of shape.

I received many compliments in this dress and for once, I felt radiant. At the end of the night I didn’t want to take it off, I loved how it made me feel and I wanted to feel like that for a couple more days (I’m not greedy).

I will now forever suggest Chi Chi London.

Have fun out there!

Pipedream xx

P.S. I wasn’t paid to say this by Chi Chi London… Although I wish I was! Aha!

 

 

Zebadee

As soon as I set eyes on him, I knew he was the one…

I had spent weeks leading up to that moment comparing cars for sale online (when I say weeks, I mean months, because as soon as I booked my driving test, car shopping was the new shoe shopping). *Eager Beaver Alert* Of course, I was an absolute beginner in knowing what to look for in a first car and a metal bin on wheels would have impressed me. But, I had decided to try and get my noodle (brain) around “car talk” and it made me feel as macho as someone repping knitted cardigans and shoes made of straw, can.

The intentions of my first car was to escort me on my day-to-day commute to work and adventures visiting friends at University, so it 100% needed to be reliable. To begin with I had overlooked the importance of mileage, previous owners, age and other things in favour of price which is a no-no if you want you or the car to survive, but my budget was modest.

Disclaimer: I am in no way saying that an old car isn’t the perfect first car, I am merely saying an old car wouldn’t suit what I wanted out of having a car; if it wasn’t going to be reliable.

After using those over-advertised insurance comparing companies, I had discovered that insurance is an absolute killer on older cars (information relative to my research not actual facts). However, the quotes were a little softer on newer cars from garages which is when my car hunting took a turn.

I had decided that maybe buying a newer car was the way forward… but I never ever thought that that would be something I’d even consider. I of course didn’t have the budget to buy one out-right and I am not too proud to say that finance was my only option, but after number crunching against my salary, I could afford too. I was offered money from relatives but I am one of those people that would rather do it myself; consequences considered.

*Enter Zebadee*


I am a lover of all things vintage and my heart had pined over the original Classic Fiat 500s years prior to passing and looking on all the forums for first cars, their descendants (which you see plaguing the streets today in all their vibrant finery) were up there on the list for being the best first cars.
I had compared and compared again all of the Fiat 500s in the area and the front runner was definitely the little silver number parked in a garage, 2 miles from my home.  I had a little specification and Zebadee fit them all, so I would have been stupid not to pick him (I am aware people have this unspoken agreement that cars are “girls” but Zebadee isn’t, sorry). I have never felt so adult in my life, driving away in my very own first car, which makes me feel a little silly admitting out loud. But, I am in love with my new-found freedom and I am excited for the future and all the adventuring possibilities that I now have.

Have fun out there!

Love,
Pipedream xx

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