Why I use to dislike having Aspergers Syndrome. 

On this blog, I often write about my life, and how it has been impacted by being diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. Nowadays, I’m quite happy with it; it’s just a part of me what makes me ‘me’. But I really use to dislike myself because of it. For this post, I wanted to write a little bit about why I really use to dislike having this condition.

The thing that gets me is that labels can be used well; it gives you the reason as to why you need help in education. But it seemingly gives legitimation for people to be unkind; behind my back, there was apparently ‘bitch fests’ about my inability to get a joke. I would be excluded from social outings, when the very idea of them would be flouted in front of my face. I’d largely be left lonely. And that happened pretty much throughout the time in education.

Communication is also really difficult, such as with body language; I don’t know if I’ve weirded you out with my eye contact, or if you’re thinking of me as being rude because I lack it. I don’t know what an acceptable distance would be either; I find it funny now that various individuals thought I was being rude, by standing a meter away from them. I just wished not to offend!

The way that my Autism has been reacted to previously really made me dislike myself; this even dated back prior to my diagnosis. I would have loved a constant friend, and to be included in social invites.

Asperger’s is something that has allowed me to be unique, even original; I have come across one other peer who had a blog, which was regarded as a hobby. It allowed me to meet Anastacia, Brian May, Derren Brown… And I don’t regret it any more.

Lydia

XO

 

Coping strategies for Aspergers Syndrome. 

“How do you cope with having Asperger’s syndrome?”

Well, that’s quite a loaded question. And a tricky one to answer. Assuming that you have some knowledge of this condition, here is some of my tips and tricks for coping with ASD. Please note that this is entirely subjective, and is in line with my own experience; it may not necessarily be the same for you:

Carry headphones everywhere. 

The world is noisy, quite frankly. There are people everywhere, lights flicker on and off, tapping, cushion squeaking, etc. For me, music blocks pretty much all of this out for me. It also gives me a cover for stimming, as it looks like I’m clapping along to the beat of whatever song I’m listening to. The large majority of people also don’t bother me when I have these it. Just make sure they’re discreet.

Hand cream is also a bonus. 

A comforting sensory thing!

Have a specific quite space. 

If you’re going to have a meltdown, or are in the process of, a quiet space is an essential place. And it stops you being prone to prying eyes, as people can be nosey.

Immediately disclose a diagnosis. 

A college or a secondary school is obliged to give you help; but they can’t give you the help without you telling them exactly what you need. A diagnosis can be a blessing as well as a curse-just as a word of warning-but education should be a stress free zone.

Be open.

Being open is essential to the purpose of transparency; when I was diagnosed, I tried to make all my teachers and friends aware, because it just seemed to be a good idea. They can take it whatever way they want-some took it on board, some didn’t care, and to some it gave legitimation to be cruel about. But it gives you the help needed.

Keep something with you to fiddle with. 

Somebody who I know who is potentially on the spectrum kept rings with them, as they liked to fiddle-as it kept them calm, and focused.

What are your tricks?

Lydia

XO

 

15 Reasons You should Have A Planner.

Over the course of writing for this blog, you can probably see that I am an advocate for planners, as well as organisation and planning. But instead of posting a photo-centric post for today, I wanted to post a logical post about the benefits of a planner.

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They don’t crash. 

What bothered me most about my old Samsung phone was that, due to a storage problem, it was constantly glitching, crashing, and subsequently would loose information. A planner doesn’t do this! Everything needed is at your fingertips.

They hold everything!

My planner has everything, as it is almost like a backpack to me. It has my vouchers, my train cards, medication, and the occasional photo. They really do hold everything-and you can add wallets in also.

Keep a blog or a business going. 

In a planner, there’s a clear layout, meaning that you can juggle lots of information at once. This is a useful detail for keeping a blog, or starting a business, surely? And a very helpful asset at that.

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Never miss a deadline.

If you’re a student, a writer, a blogger, or anyone else who is always working furiously towards a deadline, this is for you. You can keep track of all that you need to do, and it’s all within reach (see next point.) You can keep your timetable in there, as well as planning various assignments.

Information all within a reach.

Every tiny piece of information can be caught in a planner. And you can easily retrieve it, without having to recall where you stood it.

Doodling!

Doodling is such a lovely thing….and there was something in Cosmo about it positively impacting productivity. I love to draw in my planner, just to ponder occasionally.

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It’s your own space.

In a world that is often very hectic, where we rush from one thing to another, there’s not a lot of space just for us, where we can think, reflect, etc. A planner is your own private space, and can act as a port of refugee.

Private diary. 

Because why not?

You can make it colourful!

A podcast I downloaded a little while had Gala Darling as a guest, but part of the conversation revolved around how adding just some colour into your lifestyle can have a positive impact. Looking into my planner makes me happy, because of the amount of colour I use.

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Organise a social life.

As a student, I don’t always wish to be doing homework, extra reading, tasks, revision , etc devoted to my qualifications all the time. This means I have to plan my time carefully, as to get the best out of both. And a planner does this well!

Keep track of a habit.

Whether you want to stop biting your nails, try new foods, stop smoking, etc, a planner can track this.

Reach your goals!

At the start of each year, I like to create a list of goals to achieve for the year. It’s an approach that allows me to set our my goals, thus systematically and logically allowing me to work towards them.

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Store the contact details of your friends and work.

Pretty self explanatory, really.

Keep track of your post.

I like to write letters, and there will be more on the blog about that soon. Anyway, a planner could be used to keep track of this if you’re like me-who you’ve written to, if you’ve had any replies, etc.

Save money.

As I like to save money, I have an insert, which allows me to keep my vouchers all in one place. You could do the same!

What do you use your planner for?

Lydia

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get a free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

My Love/Hate Relationship With Twitter.

Hello.-

Twitter is what I want to talk to you about today. Because, more and more, I find myself having a love/hate relationship with this social media site.

I love this platform because….

  1. It’s where most of my traffic comes from! (I do have Instagram and Pinterest, but not having had them as long as Twitter, they are not as useful, just yet.)
  2. Twitter chats and comment threads! This gives me a chance to get to know other bloggers, as well as garnering some comments, as well as more follows on my social media. Generally speaking, these people are lovely.
  3. Twitter is a resource that offers help when needed. Just tweet it-like when I tried and failed to move WordPress to blogger-a fellow Twitter user tried to talk me through what to do.
  4. You can see what your favourite artist is up to at that moment.
  5. Keep up with Bloggers! See their new and old posts..
  6. Post inspiration.
  7. Stay informed with current news etc.
  8. Find a penfriend!
  9. Support for the Mental health community.
  10. Engagement with brands.

But Twitter, since I started to use it, seems to have changed.

In the event of a Terror attack, there is just SO MUCH hatred on my feed; I don’t want to see any of that, be a part of it, or be forced to engage with it. I think, personally, more should be done to combat this. Same as with trolling. Why should a female MP be tweeted threats and abuse, simply because they are female? And do I really want to see racist meme or gif? No.

I also am slightly wary of a minority of the blogging community; why would you call someone out for buying Followers? This is just too much drama, creates unnecessary tension, etc. And on the flimsy excuse that you work your **** off for your blog?

And scheduling tweets.. I’m new to this, so please forgive me if what I say is inaccurate. Since doing this, my traffic has increased by quite a margin. But the thing is, in an event like the Manchester attack, I won’t always be able to edit my tweet queue in time. Not realising I had tweeted ‘Happy Tuesday Everyone!’ the same day as the horrific event, I was promptly called out upon. Fair play to the Blogger who did; my some people had also liked this tweet. Had I offended them? Or tweet insensitively?

Then the unfollow/follow game. Why???

Then subtweeting… This really gets on my nerves. Why do it? I don’t care you want revenge or the whole world to know what your boyfriends may have done or not done. That’s between you and them.

Finally, I see horrible tweets related to the Mental health community. Unhelpful, reckless, etc.

Lydia

XO

Five things I love about myself.

Wait, strike that, today’s post sounds narcissistic beyond belief. (Not my intention.) Anyway, this is a post idea I saw over at A Beautiful Chaos and This Stuff Is Golden; basically, the idea was to promote self love. (Always a good thing in my book…..I had to join in!)

Self love is important, because it defines us, as well as our relationship to ourselves. But I feel that, in a climate of hotly contested politics, and just a generally dire situation, we forgot about ourselves. (Gala Darling explains this better than me.) Anyway, here is five things I love about myself-and I encourage all of you readers to think the same way:

  1. My commitment to writing.

There probably isn’t a lot of things that I’m as committed to as my writing. (Other projects just seem to fall by the wayside, as they are not what I wish to be doing, but what I’m obliged to do.) But writing has lead me to do things that I never would have thought or dreamt I could.

2. My curiosity.

Because apparently this is a good trait for a wannabe Journalist. But this has allowed me to learn, create this blog, etc. By simple logic, if you don’t ask, you don’t get, right?

3. My Aspergers.

Because Aspergers Syndrome is a part of my life, and despite how much I wished it not to previously, it has defined my life. Like everyone, this does mean I am a fundamentally flawed human being. But flaws have to be embraced…. So, yeah. Having Aspergers isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And I get very bored being told to be ashamed.

4. My love of music.

Be it Rock, Soul, R ‘n’ B, Pop, Indie, Alternative, I love music. Rock is my favourite genre, but by looking back at its years of prominence-I’m think Freddie Mercury’s era, complete with The Who, etc-this is what interplays with my writing. It’s something to draw on, something to use as a comforting tool. It helps me on my way…

5. My beliefs.

I do believe that there is a God, but I also try my hardest to follow Feminism. Beliefs, as I call them, is what define my character. Because if we were all just kind to each other, rather than trying to impose our beliefs, this world would be a far better place.

What do you love about yourself? I challenge you to write a list of what you love about yourself, and learn it.

Lydia

XO

Why promoting Asperger’s syndrome is important to me.

It wasn’t too long ago that I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome; to be honest, it wasn’t really a surprise. I was always the lonely kid, with their head stuck in a book, too knowledgable for their own good, and way too nosy too boot. But since then, promoting Aspergers Syndrome has become more and more important to me. And not just because it was something related to myself; several people I knew were also diagnosed, there was problems with support, and more.

Despite the many struggles I had to undergo-bullying, lack of understanding my lessons, and more-it came to me that the whole condition could be used for good. Because we do not need to be ashamed. We should not have to be afraid. And above all, we should not discredit ourselves for having this condition. Aspergers Syndrome is something innately beautiful. And I say this from observing the people I know who are on spectrum, and not in relation to myself.

I strongly believe that all I have achieved is because of my ASD, coupled with hard work. Over the years, I have surprised myself. Blogger? Check. Columnist? Check. Interviewer (sort of)? Also check.

Promoting Aspergers allows me to educate people about this condition; I am tired of institutions lacking support as well as understanding. I am tired of people saying that the were scared of me, in knowing that I had been diagnosed with ASD. I hope for a world that, among other things, will one day understand people with Autism. I think that society disadvantages itself when it disenfranchises us; ever heard of job discrimination, trouble at schools, etc? People who have Aspergers Syndrome are human too, the same as everyone else.

I promote Aspergers as it’s something that I see differently; mental health does not necessarily have to be an issue, as long as we have the correct support network.

Thank you for listening.

How To Stop Time By Matt Haig; Release And Review.

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Disclaimer: I was sent this proof copy for a review by Canongate, at my own request. What follows is my honest opinion.

How To Stop Time is (finally) out today. Whew! Take it from me; this is a great book. And I really enjoyed it. Take it from me, if you like time travel, fiction, and just a little sprinkle of humour, you’ll love this book. (Oh, and if you’re a fan of the eighties classic Highlander, you’ll love this book. Like me!)

As not to give too much away, I’ll tell you the very basic plot line, in spite of the fact that there are many layers to dissect: Tom Hazard has an ailment, meaning that he ages not as fast as other humans. In fact, he has been alive for centuries. And it costs him dearly. But who would suspect this from a London history teacher?

I really like the structure of the book, it that there are continual flashes forward and backwards in time-perfect for somebody who loves history like me! There are appearances from Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, the Bard, Captain Cook, Witch Hunters, and many more. They interact with Tom, whilst he contemplates his own ailment. And the way that they are characterised is just so vivid-which makes the novel somewhat alive. Because that’s what you’d want in a history teacher, isn’t it?

My only real feedback is that the protagonist of Tom Hazard isn’t always in touch with reality-obviously, being somebody who has been alive for over three centuries, you wouldn’t be. But I feel that this lets the book down, just a little bit. For example, when interacting with boys in his class, he almost seems as if to not comprehend the situation-even during a mugging incident. He is seemingly away in the clouds, and not focused at all. The plot line could have been a little bit snappier as a result. (But then again, dear readers, that’s just my humble  opinion. Each of us are different in our tastes, after all.

I will admit that the end had me just a little bit teary. This book is innately human to the core, which can teach us a lot about ourselves. to anyone reading this, it’s worth reading. And I give it a rate of 14/15.

Click here to buy How To Stop Time. 

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect Boy Part Two

This is part two of a guest post written by Lisa Kallas, over at Sugar Loaf Dreams. Click here to view her blog.

 

Oh hi! Where did I leave you? Oh yes bullying……I won’t go into that too much as it could be a whole
post just on itself. Needless to say it was ongoing, physically, verbally and emotionally and it was relentless. The children, their parents and in their own way the teachers. No of course they weren’t bullying as such but back then they weren’t taught how to teach these children. So many of his teachers just put him in the too hard basket as they didn’t know what else to do.

So this takes us to when he was around 7 and our first encounter with a child psychiatrist. You see this was
when he first mentioned suicide to me. Yes you heard me correctly. My little boy, my tortured little soul, now what?

According to the psychiatrist it was a combination of the bullying, the feeling of being let down by his
teachers and the inability to understand and cope with what was happening inside his own head.

He suggested at that time that he also thought there was more going on than just the ADHD and sent us to a
specialist that dealt in multiple diagnosis. As I said….I always knew there was more going on in there than just the ADHD.

So off to the new specialist we went. I liked him immediately, he was great with Michael and certainly didn’t
pull any punches with me. We endured a barrage of testing……with medication, without medication, scans, written, reading and verbal testing. You have to remember he was 7, it’s hard to get all the results required in one or two tests.

A new diagnosis…….no doubts about the ADHD and he classed that as severe but my beautiful boy also had
rapid cycling Bi Polar. Are you sure? 99.9% based on all the relevant tests and results. OK so now we start an additional medication for that as well as his ADHD meds and regular council ling.

So life goes along…. I wish I could say with this new found information and treatment things made a vast
improvement, but they didn’t. He was still being bullied at school, still misbehaving constantly at home, still violent towards his big sister, destructive of anything that was in his way at home. Oh and even though he was now sleeping through the night, that started just before his 5th birthday, finally, he would be awake til around 11 or 12 even at 7 and 8.

When I say behaviour at home I think I need to clarify.

From around the age of 3 I would wake every morning to food all over the floor. When I say food you have no idea. I wish I had photos of it but I don’t, this was way before the Iphone made it’s appearance. He would break eggs, pour milk, sugar, juice whatever he could get his hands on ALL over the kitchen floor. It got so bad that I ended up with chains and locks around the fridge and the pantry all the time. This was not only inconvenient it just wasn’t fair, especially for his sister that had to ask me to unlock them every time she wanted a drink or snack.

All knives and sharp objects were also locked away, not only to protect him but us too, as he was starting to become violent. And yet again frightening me with his behaviour.

Back to this multi dimensional specialist…….more testing, more medication changes, more questions and not that many answers. As I had been told before the more severe the ADHD the more chance of a co morbid condition…….after several consults with extra colleagues it was mentioned and suggested that he may also have Oppositional Disorder running alongside his ADHD in conjunction with his Bi Polar……… oh wow….life was really starting to get interestingly scary now!!!!! You need to remember he wasn’t even 10 years old. How did this happen, why as his mum can’t I make it go away? That’s our job to guide, raise and help our children. I was doing everything I possibly could but it just wasn’t good enough, I felt like such a failure as a parent…..but I would  get up every day and start again.

Actually that was one of the best pieces of advice I was ever given by a Doctor…..in time I have realised it wasn’t only right at the time but is right for any parent of any child, no matter how “perfect”……..No matter what the day brings, what disasters or indiscretions had occurred or how much damage was done that day……ALWAYS go to bed and wipe the slate clean. Get up the next day with no residual resentment or anger hungover from the day before. In a world of hell that builds and builds learning to let go was THE best things I was taught.

So here I am, a daughter with virtually no problems…..except for the stress having a little brother like she did, it naturally affected her, their relationship with each other and unfortunately at 26 and 24 it still does. As a mum, you can imagine how that still upsets me. My son was almost 10, I have been given all these diagnosis which was overwhelming to say the least but you know, I still thought there was something they were missing, but I wasn’t and am still not a Doctor, what would I know? Call it mothers
intuition if you like……it just kept niggling.

I’ve told you what school was like and friendships were very few and far between. Most “friends” were only so because of what they could get out of him. He would do whatever it took to gain friends, so he was a gullible scapegoat for
being set up and caught out in the end. For the so called friends this was very funny, for my boy it was heart wrenching. Not only did he get caught and punished, he also so his new “friends” disappear…..he was devastated and couldn’t quite understand what
had happened and no matter how hard you tried to make him understand they were only using him he was convinced in his own mind that they were real friends. Therefore he would try to move back into the peer group and be shunned and bullied. This pattern went on for many years through out school. As his mum who could unfortunately see the big picture, I did everything I could to help him understand gently……..it took many, many years and a lot more insight than what we had then.

Again, hindsight is a handy tool or it would be if it was only foresight.

On hateful language in politics, and some ideas about reforming a system. 

Prior to taking Politics for my A-levels, I was warned that it would make me a cynic; whilst I’d describe myself as being sceptical, I’m not really apathetic. Today is a year on from that referendum; rather than commenting on Brexit or Bremain, I wanted to analyse the actual mechanics of the Referendum-thereby suggesting possible reform.

Parliamentary Sovereignty.

Because of the concept of parliamentary sovereignty, Referendums aren’t common. We had: the common market vote (1975), AV for MP’s (2011), Scottish independence (which England couldn’t vote in), and Brexit (2016). Although not necessarily binding, we still have the First Past The Post system, giving a majority, and also a mandate because of it, to Parliament. The reform here needs to be less of a fragmented system-because the results will be disputed otherwise, because generally speaking, it’s only two percent either way.

Collective responsibility.

Basically: the cabinet is obliged to work with the PM in public on policy. Once inside the cabinet rooms, they can disagree, but once public, it’s generally advised to be in line with the PM. But for this referendum, it was suspended, which I found a bit odd: surely our leaders should be unbiased, and not promoting another agenda? I would like to see secret ballots instead, without the need for campaigning-and also because it got to be so misleading. (Voters don’t need lies! They need truth!)

The question needs to have the implication.

Generally speaking, we are all opinionated. And we vote on those opinions we hold dear-whether it’s pro big buisness, against unions, etc. But to have a simple yes/no balloted paper does not give the implication of what happens otherwise, lest the result swing the other way. Because of the way his position had been undermined, David Cameron resigned from being PM. With that is a leadership election, new cabinet-so much transition. And I feel as if this was not really understood at the time. We need possibly implications, and procedures in place.

The way voted for.

Ostensibly, this referendum may have been a protest vote-along the lines of “vote the other way, we’ll shake the establishment”. This is not good because if true, it is not truly representative. Politics is about you, the people-and we only have the chance to show what we want every once in a while. We shouldn’t be voting like this.

But a note about mandates.

The majority vote gives the government a mandate. Simple as.

Hate crime is still inexcusable.

On reading that hate crime had rocketed after the referendum, I was truly disgusted. Brexit was a vote about whether the UK wanted to stay in a political organisation-not about hate! (The rhetoric of some leaders was awful; this was a vote about an organisation. ) And surely EU citizens and immigrants still have every right to live here!? We need them. We’d be silly to think so otherwise.

If there is a oddity of reaction-what I’m calling this reaction-but I would still like this to be called out.

 

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

“Should blogs be political?”

Well….we live in politically interesting times, don’t we?*

An issue that I’ve seen floating around on several blogs is; “Should blogs be political?” And, if I’m completely honest, I’m a bit divided about this. Therefore, for this post, I wanted to weigh up the pros and cons, and for people to decide whether they should or shouldn’t be in the comments:

The pros:

Well, it’s always good when we discuss politics, isn’t it? We can’t allow for politics to divide us-and by talking about it, we aren’t. We’re also spreading awareness, accounting for a lack of education on some parts-such as informing people who aren’t aware of how to vote, and who don’t know how to fill out a ballot paper. Democracy in progress, right?

The cons:

I study politics, so I guess that I’m not very typical as an example. But some posts can be a little bit misleading. Do we nearly need to go on about ‘Tory scum’, for instance? Do we really need to push our opinions on to other people? No, we don’t, because it’s inaccurate, unfair, and lazy in spreading awareness.

Conclusion:

I like that bloggers such as myself are spreading awareness, but I’m also a little bit fearful of being mislead or being misleading.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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* I’m writing this the day that Theresa May announced a possible snap election.

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

The Summer Of Impossible Things Release: Here’s What You Need To Know. 


Rowan Coleman’s latest novel, The Summer Of Impossible Things, is out later this month. And here is what you need to know about it.

  • It’s significantly longer than her previous works.
  • Expect some time travel throughout the book; it is sort of fantasy/thriller/drama. However, it forms quite an important part of the book.
  • This book will make you cry. Proper big gulpy sobs. Like her other books.
  • Family is the theme at the centre.
  • There’s one narrator, Luna.
  • It’s set in Brooklyn, United States.
  • There are so many twists!
  • What you read may surprise you.

The Summer Of Impossible Things is out later this month, on June 29th.

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

A 4 App Album Review.

Good morning-

It has been a while since we had a proper album review, isn’t it?

Well, my dear readers, I wanted to tell you about A 4 App, the first Anastacia app-which was the first thing that I ever downloaded from the Apple Store. Track listing for this is as follows:

  • Resurrection.
  • Overdue Goodbye.
  • Rearview.
  • In Your Eyes.
  • Dark White Girl.
  • The Saddest Part.
  • Who’s Gonna Stop The Rain
  • Pendulum
  • Time
  • Underground Army

For the sake of this review, I would just like to say that, owing to preview on her Facebook page, I was a little bit pessimistic about this album. Parts of the previews seemed a little bit flat at times, and not at all alike to what I remember of her in concert. But I eat my words, because this album is utterly fabulous-and something to be otherwise described as ‘Ear candy’.

Although at times I felt that there could be less talking-on the opener, there’s almost a minute of it, prior to the song-this could have been remedied by a recorded, succinct explanation of the whole A 4 App project. (Because it linked up via her app, etc.) But it captures the in-concert vibe well, in that there is the audience. And they seem to be enjoying a pretty good concert-clapping, stamping their feet, and calling for their hero. That is what a concert is about-the people who turn up, intent on enjoying some pretty good songs.

My favourite tracks are Resurrection (because this makes me feel powerful, and that I can stand tall), Overdue Goodbye (probably the politest ‘F you’ song), Rearview, The Saddest Part, and Underground Army (because this latterly reminds me that we are not alone in this world.) This is a great album-and I had forgotten just how brilliant of a singer Anastacia is, if I’m honest. Her voice is huge, and pretty all at one-just listen to the ‘meeeeee’ note on Who’s Gonna Stop The Rain. If you are a fan, this is a staple to add to your collection.

I rate this 10/15.

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For more Anastacia related content, try clicking these links: Resurrection Show Review , Ultimate Collection Release , Meeting Anatstacia  , Anastacia Interview, and A 4 App Release. Click here to follow Anastacia on Pledge Music, and to find out about future projects.

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

On the benefit of curiosity…

Curiosity, curiosity! Oh, how I love you dearly.

We associate the trait of curiosity of being synonymous with noisy, and therefore completely not needed, meaning that it is perceived as being rude. (Yes, oh yes!) And we are all familiar with the phrase, “curiosity killed the cat”, aren’t we? But curiosity-and just being curious-has benefits.

Being curious has benefits, really it does-and it is not necessarily rude, or designed by default to make people feel bad. Curiosity keeps people in power to account-such as if you’re a Journalist-as a form of checks and balances. (Because we all dislike corruption, don’t we?) Nobody would go looking for scandal-well, what leads to a scandal-otherwise, without feeling that there is something there, or something to question. It keeps a democracy in check. (A good benefit, no?)

Curiosity also allows people to expand their knowledge, and to better their minds. (Matt Haig often tweets about this-and how once we put down our books, to travel to other worlds, this is a travesty.) Because who wouldn’t love to do this? (I love to read, and find out about my heroes-it’s as if I’m sitting with people in history, those who I have never met.) I fully agree with this viewpoint-and I see it as a benefit daily.

Curiosity leads us to new places, new people, and more. (Well, why else would we go on holiday, read new blog posts, buy a book, go shopping, talk to our friends, enter into education, etc?) It is what makes us human, really. We are not all trapped, alone. There is always somebody here for you, regardless.

One final benefit: it makes us friends. And that truly is a benefit.

Thank you for listening.

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

My iTunes wishlist

For my eighteenth birthday earlier this year, I was lucky enough to receive a MacBook Air and an iPhone 6s. And I’m a convert to iTUNES, the in-house Apple Music service,where you can download your tunes. But I didn’t realise that you could create your own Wishlist-whilst you wait to have enough money for your next instalment. * Here’s the Wishlist I’m currently curating:

A Kind Of Magic-Deluxe.

This is my favourite Queen album-and I love Gimme The Prize, for the sheer amount of pomp and prestige that Freddie has, in being the Highlander. This album is Queen at their peak, to me; and I wish that I could have seen them performing then. (I was born eight years after Mercury died; go on, work out how old I am!)

No Secrets.

Carly Simon, You’re So Vain? Check!

Not That Kind.

This is Anastacia’s album-well, her debut. And although it can seem a little bit overproduced at times, I love the raw vibe it offers, particularly on tracks such as Made For Lovin’ You and Yo Trippin’. To be more like this woman will always be my goal.

Anastacia.

The album released after Anastacia first survived Breast Cancer. And it’s my favourite of hers! I LOVE Left Outside Alone, as well as the filler I Do. This album makes me want to be a better person.

Jagged Little Pill.

Because I was played this one when I was tiny, and I wish to rediscover it.

Live In Concert.

Yeah, Dire Straits. I love to hear singers in concert-it’s what I wish to do, and is rather fitting, considering I wish to be a music journalist-but I sampled this one, and the energy on each track seems enormous.

Happiness?

The rather feisty Queen drummer put his lyrics to music to this, which has gems such as Dear Mr Murdoch. (I love the drums on the sample I heard!)

The Best of Norman Wisdom.

I recall watching his films as a child-and interviewing his son was one of my first covers-but anyway, Wisdom’s voice has an elegant charm that has been lost in today’s era. His self-deprecating character of Pitkin comes across on the recording at times. (I already bought ‘Don’t Laugh At Me.)

Messenger Of The Gods.

All the solo singles-some unreleased-by Freddie Mercury. (Got to be some good times ahead!)

On Air.

This is a compilation of Queen and various performances on Radio, hence how the album gets its name. I downloaded Modern Times Rock ‘N’ Roll and Stone Cold Crazy, but I would love to hear the rest.

Hello Big Man.

Another Carly Simon album…

Spy.

This is another Carly Simon album; and I LOVE one of the songs, which is called Vengeance. I also really love the video-in that Carly wears an orange dress, seemingly so free, dancing to the melody of the song. (And when I needed it, this was the persona that I pretended to be.)

Coming Around Again.

You could probably call this section ‘Simon heavy’. This is one of my favourite albums of hers-because it seems so mature, in her recording history. And one of the songs, ‘All I Want Is You’, is what I would like to see played at my wedding, if ever I do marry 🙂

Spoiled Girl.

If only for its single, ‘Tired Of Being Blonde’.

Boys In The Trees.

With a gem such as ‘You Belong To me’-the very jazz-esque duet-what’s not to love?

Live At Knebworth.

This is a Genesis EP that I’m not really familiar with, but as I’ve already stated before, I do like to hear an artist live. And the same goes for Genesis.

We Can’t Dance.

One of my favourite Genesis albums, this has songs such as No Son Of Mine, Dreaming While You Sleep, Jesus He Knows Me, and I Can’t Dance. And I would love to be able to (legally) take it with me, wherever I go.

Stripped.

I remember being very small, and this being one of the very first albums that I can recall-maybe at about the age of six or seven. Christina is on top form for this album-and I love how she switches genre, from pop to rock, seemingly gospel, etc.

Back To Basics.

Another Christina album, but I love how this is ‘themed’-in that there’s a forties/fifties/sixties feel, in terms of the recording, lyrics, and album artwork. It has a far more mature vibe than Stripped, and makes me happy-especially on songs such as Makes Me Wanna Pray.

Thank You.

Megan Trainor and ‘NO’? Count me in!

What’s on your Wishlist?

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*As I’m new to this service, I have spent a lot of money, and prefer to do so in instalments, rather than a lump sum. Because I just do not have enough money to buy all the songs I’d love to own…

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

“Why feminism?”; let’s answer an F.A.Q.

Good morning.-

It’s a question I get asked a lot, and what will probably divide some readers. “Why are you a feminist?” or even “What made you a feminist?” It’s a personal belief at first, and is something I wanted to share with you..

Feminism is something that is entirely subjective, and there are many different versions, depending on who you ask. ‘My’ version is that it’s the practice of men and women being equal, because we have different assets that make us ideal to compliment each other. For example, a women’s biology is different to that of a man, but each has its strengths. Can’t we utilise this?

I guess it came from just wanting to be kind to each other. (If that makes sense?) To me, some issues seem really petty, but if we worked together, we could resolve many things.

And then there were the political issues; the gender pay gap (still alive and kicking!), Women in Parliament, the tampon tax, reproductive rights. And then the more social issues; wanting a career, women in business, etc.

We all have our opinions, right?

I sometimes feel that my gender is questioned, rather than my merit. It scares people, I think, that women have just a valid a view point as any other gender. But to me, feminism is about choice; if you want to stay at home and raise your kids, that’s fine by me. If you want a career, that’s cool. If you don’t want kids, that’s up to you. If you wish to vote and study to get a degree, good on you. And it’s about equality, and working with men, not against them; we could be a good team! We have a voice, and we can contribute socially also.

What made me a feminist? I guess it was that, growing up, there wasn’t really a curtail on my aspirations; if I could dream it, I could do it. (No one told me otherwise, largely. And if they said I could just be a housewife, or that I can’t do a certain task because of my gender, I usually just do it anyway these days.) And then I got introduced to people like Helen Gurley Brown, the Suffragettes, Caitlin Moran, Simone De Beauviour. These are all really cool women! And I wanted BADLY to be like them.

We’re all human, and I would like to see this embraced, in just being kind to each other.

What is feminism to you?

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.