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Last Week #3

SiobhanAlfordLastWeek2013

♥ OOTN Parrot crop tee, skinny jeans, heart necklace | Red lips & Nails | Barry M Coral with Red Wine tips | OOTN heeled trainers ♥

Sorry that this post is late! Bloody useless haha. But without further ado here is my latest ramblings and happenings complete with Instagram best snaps of the week.

♥ T H E  G O O D ♥

Outfits & Nails: So I’ll work backwards and start with the weekend : ) I went for a couple of drinks with John’s housemates & friends on Friday night to New Cross. I wore a cropped tee shirt that I’ve had for ages. It’s navy blue with little bright parrots on, subtle but with a small pop of summer colour. It also has lovely scallop edges including the sleeves which makes it a bit more interesting for a casual evening outfit. I wore this with my super skinny jeans (the type you have to wiggle in to – but luckily they have an elastic waist instead of a button!) and brown, heeled trainers from River Island. I wore red lips and painted my nails a deep coral with dark red tips (both Barry M).

aprilphotosupdate

♥ A handful of ratties | Lovely midweek sandwich | Sleepy | Homemade lasagne & wine  | Samples | Becks arty labels
| Makeup and Nails | Late night chicken burger | Hangover mission, fry up for five ♥

Work: The week itself was uneventful, I did some reception work in Farringdon Monday and Tuesday, John made a really nice Lasagne which was a surprise on Monday so that was dinner for 2 days >.<

Samples: Collecting dust amongst my beauty products are numerous samples and freebies, those you tend to accumulate every time you get a nice shop assistant or in a beauty bag free when you spend a certain amount on a brand. These little mini versions are often overlooked, I tend to already have something else on the go so put them aside. But I dug them out the other day and I thought why not!? I’ve been using them all everyday for the last week so for their miniscule size they pack in quite a bit of product. I’ll get a full review up soon, but here’s what I’m trying out: No.7 Protect and Perfect Beauty Serum, Estee Lauder Idealist Skin Care Illuminator, Dior Capture Totale eye serum and eye cream.

photosoftheweek

♥ Underground | Greenwich Park | Neutral nails for work, O.P.I Alpine snow | Buskers in Greenwich | The Market | Johno in the park! ♥

Sunday: On Sunday we walked in to Greenwich because the SUN was out, yep that long-lost friend of ours that’s been hibernating for, oh, only about 8 months!! It was a really nice day, had McDonalds, walked to the top of the hill which has a pretty good view over London and sat and drank some cider. The Market in Greenwich was pretty nice for a wander around, there were lots of unique patterned tops and crafty necklaces I’d have probably treated myself to if I’d had money!

Sometimes I can’t believe how fast a week flies by! I’m starting a new temping job role next with as a Communication assistant for a Hotel brand. Wish me luck! It’s scheduled to last a few weeks but we’ll see! What have you been up to now the sun has surfaced?!

T w i t t e r | B l o g L o v i n | Y o u T u b e | I n s t a g r a m | T u m b l r

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Last Week #2

♥ T H E  G O O D ♥

TV Roundup: Game of Thrones, New Girl, Dr Who: *spoiler alerts* *spoiler alerts* 

Well Game of Thrones season 3 is here!! There was a huge buzz about its return and I think the first episode didn’t disappoint! I’ve only recently become addicted to this series but as you can probably tell I can’t stop raving about it. Definitely one of the best television shows out there at the moment and I do stand by my belief that atypically for its genre it appeals to a wide audience so if you don’t think this will be your cup of tea you may be surprised. Me and John become so engrossed each episode that we are often literally shouting at the screen and you feel such a huge rush of pride when one of the ‘goodies’ triumphs! (Although the line between the ‘goodies’ and the ‘badies’ is always thin in GOT.) Things I cant wait to find out in the upcoming series, When will Daenerys (who I did love but seems to be quite a brat recently) make it to Westeros and will she have any allies? Will Jon Snow become a traitor or will there be a allying of the Wildlings and The Wall as they fight the white walkers? P.S best quote from him in S3E1: “I want to fight for the side that fights for the living.” Also how is Arya going to get on and Bran (they’re two of my favourite characters)?! I’m thinking I have to start reading the books, they seem right up my street plus I just want to know more about the world and the characters. The only downside to the return of the show on TV means I can’t watch them back-to-back anymore, a week is so loong (yes I’m impatient).

Other things I’ve been watching this week are the latest Dr Who episodes. I quite like Clara as a side kick. She seems brave, curious and kind-hearted  (and I’ve got a bit of a girl crush >.<). Plus I’m very interested to find out about her parallel versions. I also caught up on New Girl. I kinda get why they are dragging out the Jess/Nick romance, (its hard to imagine where they are going to go with it’), but I think it opens up a lot of avenues and am rooting… so just happen all ready! Schmidt still continues to deliver epic quote after quote: (to Nick) “Here are some things you want to hide about yourself on tonight’s date–you’re cheap, you’re a heavy drinker, you’re broke, you have a problem with anger” (S2E21).
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Socialising: For the past month I’ve been being good on the weekend and staying in, trying to save money, and except for my trip to Cornwall for Lucy’s birthday, I’ve been achieving this. However with Lucy out over the weekend and John back in his hometown Oxford I thought I better get out and about and see some friends. Surprisingly I managed to have two really great budget nights! On Friday I went in to Leicester Square with my friend Charlie and we had a few (4 large each…) glasses of wine at Yates. It was one of those nights where it was just really fun to get drunk together and have a natter about whats been happening in our lives and it was only £6.30 a round (which Charlie mostly bought because she’s amazing like that.) I ended up falling asleep on the last train home though which is never fun! On Saturday I met up with my ex work colleagues (and beautiful friends) who worked with me in my last restaurant. It was a guy’s birthday which he had reserved an area for, there was wine, there was jugs of cocktails and there was prosecco… yum! Here’s some piccys from the night! I stopped myself getting a taxi back and went for the night bus home so all in all a pretty cheap night : )

♥ Saturday Night | Friday Night outfit: Skinny Jeans, heeled boots, denim shirt done up, grey vest | Bus Friends
| Make up Friday | Birthday Present | Cecilia & Vlad | Me and Beautiful Tara | Make up Saturday | Birthday Boy & Us ♥

♥  T H E  N O T – S O – G O O D  ♥

Hangover Hell: With the joy of going out and having a good time usually comes the dreaded HANGOVER day! Of course you can argue that days such as these would easily be avoided if you didn’t drink to excess the night before, but in all fairness I don’t think I do. Sometimes I can escape with a minor headache, or a general grotty feeling but both nights out this week left me feeling rotten the next day. The hangover miracle cure I swear by is drinking tonnes of water, (in fact I’m a bit of a water obsesso in general), but as always I don’t always follow my own advice. Instead I stupidly passed out in bed as soon as I got home, no water was drank, no make-up removed (ouch poor skin). This meant I missed out on a really nice day Saturday, I stayed in bed all day mewing and feeling sorry for myself watching too much YouTube and New Girl until I finally dragged myself to Tesco. After some Lucozade, Innocent raspberry and apple juice, tea, soup, bread, pringles and dip (I always have the weirdest cravings when I’m hungover) and a shower I felt marginally better and dragged myself in to town for round two. OH the things we do to our poor bodies! It’s safe to say I’m going to be taking it easy this week and making sure I’m being a bit more healthy.

Window Shopping: Is the only shopping I can do right now *cry* I had a browse around Urban Outfitters in Spitalfields the other day, so many cute things I want! Nice mugs (I love buying mugs) nail polishes, coasters, candles and quirky books (don’t even get me started on the clothes!) Oh well a girl can dream.

Buses: Neither good or bad but I found it quite amusing when I was walking down The Strand the other day and saw seven buses in a row… you know the saying >.<

Do you have any miracle hangover cures? Have you been watching any of the TV shows mentioned, thoughts please! : D

photo credits ©:  BBC | HBO | Fox Broadcasting

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Last Week #1

LASTWEEK

♥ T H E  G O O D ♥

Work:
So last week marked my second (and a bit) week of temping. I haven’t really mentioned much about this because I’m saving it up to write a blog post all about my temping experience (the pay, the hours and my general opinion.)  But just to fill you in briefly I’ve signed up with a lovely recruitment agency who send you out on assignments across central London to office assistant or reception based roles. So far I’ve done a Friday on reception for a financial company, the majority of the week before last I helped out with event co-ordination for another financial firm (they had an absolutely lovely kitchen with lots of yummy food and tonnes of tea we could help ourselves to!) and last week I worked right next to Tower Bridge in another reception role.

It was a front desk position at this super posh building called 4 More London.  There was a slight misunderstanding about the dress code when I arrived so spent the first day sheepishly in my light brown (dress code black) top and casual cardy (dress code smart). But despite my NON-EXISTENT funds at the moment I managed to make a dash to Primark to better equip myself. I got a few nice black tops, some patent look high heels and a blazer. Teamed all week with the only pencil skirt I own (also Primarks finest)!

It’s been quite a nice role, 8am – 5pm, and I just had to look attentive at the front desk, sign in visitors, call the companies in the building to announce people etc etc. I’ve spent a fair amount of each day reading blogs because there are long quiet periods. Situated right on the river there was an AMAZING view from the all-glass reception area, but on the downside when you step outside it’s a hurricane. Strong, icy winds that destroy any attempt at nice hair for the day and manage to seep in and make you shiver whilst working. But working in the heart of London is definitely an experience I wouldn’t pass up on. Each day is pretty unique and I had an easy journey this week, ten minutes to London Bridge and a 5 minute walk.

Game of Thrones:
In other things me and John have been plowing through Game of Thrones we only started watching last week and are now halfway through season 2. (Coincidentally season 3 comes out now! so must catch up.) It’s so addictive, confusing at times but fast paced, action filled (a tad gory really) and fascinating. I love things that fall into a high fantasy genre but only when they are structured with a solid back story and a certain level of realism. GOT translates really well to the screen and I think they’ve done a superb job of crafting the world of Westeros and Easteros and intertwining the parallel story lines and the conflicts between characters. Not just one for those with a love for Medieval drama either GOT has depth and is also heavily focused on politics, family values, betrayal and morality.

CORNWALL:
I took John Home to Cornwall for Easter!! which you can read about more h e r e. I had a Lovely Easter weekend with my family and it was also my flatmate’s 23rd birthday so we celebrated that in one of our old haunts in Truro.

Pizza Bus:
We went to our local Deptford pub, which is called The Bird’s Nest, after work this week. Well happy hour ‘one-drink’ turned into happy hour three and before we knew it we were pretty starving! I’d always wanted to try the Pizza Bus next door which is a novelty London double decker bus turned restuarant. It was much better than I expected. The interior of the bus is decked out (haha) nicely with candles on each table and the food was great. There was also a bar and seating area outside with pretty fairy lights! : )

Home made treats:
Made a pretty tasty spagetti bolonaise the other day (the leftovers also turned into chilli) and John made us some American style pancakes which we ate with Bacon, eggs and maple syrup. MMmmmm.

♥  T H E  N O T – S O – G O O D  ♥

Train Etiquette:
I’ve found my rage for how a certain few (in fact most) use the London train and underground system has reached new levels. It’s never pleasant when you have to join the masses and fight your way onto the train, just to stand between someone’s newspaper and another’s armpit (lovely). But it must be done if you need to be somewhere between those peak times and it can be bearable if everyone just showed a little train etiquette! Now I rush myself, it’s hard not to match the pace those mornings require, but it really riles me when you get someone behind you stepping on your heels when YOU CAN’T GET ANY FASTER. I always shoot them a dagger look. Same goes for when the overground train pulls into the station and you get that eager guy by the door pressing the ‘Open’ button repeatedly before you’ve even stopped. You’re already rolling your eyes at him and waiting to get off, then someone behind you starts elbowing through trying to pass you in their panic to disembark. Just be calm, be patient we’re all going the same way! It’s so frustrating and makes an already unpleasant journey even more so. Rant over.

Early Mornings:
I. do. not. like.

Mess:
No matter how often it feels like I tidy my room… mess finds me again! I need to get a bit more organised I think and start making my room prettier.


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Dissertation Dilemma

I got back my dissertation proposal yesterday and, to my surprise, it had been given the go-ahead by my tutors. I say surprise because since submitting my idea I had began to question it. You can read the full proposal here but basically I’ve proposed to do a creative dissertation, specifically a selection of short stories, very character focused, based on strands of the existentialist philosophy. I knew my proposal was quite weak – my stories underdeveloped and my theme only a starting point at best – and had since been wondering whether I should switch to doing a discursive dissertation, a literature based investigation into a writer or theme of my choice.

Now my dilemma stands as such: do I throw myself into developing the short story suggestion? Even with the risk that always accompanies creative fiction, that being how subjectively it can be read (a bad mark on this could really affect my degree). OR do I change my whole idea without guidance from the powers above (aka my lecturers) to a discursive dissertation which allows for an essay format I am already familiar with?

Take a look at my proposal – let me know whether you think my idea has any strength and if anyone has any suggestions or starting points for research please feel free to comment or e-mail 🙂 many thanks

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Creative dissertation proposal

My dissertation proposal – feel free to pick apart and offer suggestions in any form!

A collection of short stories: An hour to exist – conceptual outline

The project will comprise of a collection of short stories based on concepts taken from the philosophy of existentialism. The stories will incorporate themes of absurdity, meaningless, angst, alienation and boredom. There will be 3 or 4 stories (around 1200-1600 words each) which will be entirely character focused with an aim to depict a ‘snapshot’ (an hour) of the characters lives. The characters will not know each other or live near each other but there will be details within each piece of fiction that ties them all together.

Hooper (2000 p.2) when talking of Edgar Allan Poe’s famously gothic short stories describes them adeptly: “In the space of a few pages and a few minutes we are offered quick but indelible glances into Poe’s dark characters.” He then furthers his view on some of Poe’s classic work such as ‘The tell-tale heart’ (1850) as offering us “peeks at the possibility of darkness in our own souls.” This sense that the reader can draw out of a story a sense of dark and quiet reflection is something that the collection proposed would aim to recreate.

“A good short story asks a question that can’t be answered in simple terms” (Mosley and Keison 2003 p.XV) The themes that the stories proposed will encapsulate will ask questions, and draw upon many worries in life that many of us think about or at least lie dormant within our subconscious. These include a sense of not fitting in, an awareness of death and a struggle to assert meaning to human life and existence. The issues raised by those who believe in the concept of existentialist philosophy can be seen as relevant to us all.

Many existentialist issues have been raised in literature such as Albert Campus’s novel ‘The Stranger’ (1942) and Satre’s play about the afterlife entitled ‘No Exit.’ (1944) Furthermore elements of such concepts can be seen woven into modern fiction such as Nick Hornby’s ‘High fidelity’ (1995.) Works such as these will be closely looked at and interpreted for their views on existentialist concepts and themes. ‘The Scream’ (1893) the famously haunting painting by Edvard Munch will be used as a starting point for inspiration as it is a beautifully captured piece that expresses intense and painful desperation.

Medium
The short story feels right for this project. There is a sense of totality in the reading of a story in one sitting, an intensity that can strengthen the message intended. “The pleasure of the quick, concentrated reading experience is more piquant.” (Hooper 2000 p.2) Every word in a short story feels precious; leading purposefully toward a predetermined effect.

The short story can also be seen as a ‘fragment,’ as a small glimpse into something immense. This ties in with the concept of the collection in that the stories would be snap-shots, focused and intense insights into individual’s lives, thoughts, and anxieties. The short story can be seen to present “in a vigorous, compressed, suggestive way, a simplification and idealization of a particular part or phase of life.” (Albright 2009 p.5) in other words it can be seen as a small piece of a puzzle, that although can seem abstract and sometimes incomplete, can still bring something to the user, and is vital and needed despite its size.