Hello everyone, todays post is about the wonderfully peaceful Ninh Binh in Vietnam. I recently just got back form an extended weekend there and i think that two nights is the perfect amount of time… More
Now if you don’t already know the wonderful @dorkfaceblog runs a twitter chat on behalf of the @Thegirlganghq and it’s pretty damn good.
This week the topic was LGBTQ+ something that is obviously near and dear to myself.
As an active member of the community I was hesitant at first to see what kind of responses this chat was going to bring, I now see that I had no need to worry.
You know why? Because everyone was so wonderful.
First up we were talking about the saga that is occurring with YouTube at the moment. This whole ‘restricting’ LGBTQ+ content ultimately making it unavailable to audiences, the same way it’s unavailable to freely search for someone performing and act of something actually worth being restricted like, oh I don’t know, people actively showing abusive cases of homophobia. Totally mind boggling that these two acts fall under the same restrictions one being love and one being the hatred towards two people in love.
You know what made me feel better about this whole shit situation though? Comments from all of you guys, supporting and celebrating LGBT+ community. I mean only one comment pissed me off a little buuuuuut, I soon got over it because of the overwhelming group hug I felt I was getting from literally EVERYONE ELSE!
Throughout the chat people were giving their opinions and views on how to keep progressing with LGBT rights. How to keep moving forward for a brighter more rainbow filled future.
More than anything I want in the world, i just want plain old Equality. Pure and simple, and it was so so refreshing to see how many others were too campaigning and striving for the same.
Throughout the chat I did some internal ‘YES GIRL’ and ‘hallalujah’ praises to some people’s answers; for instance…
Sarah Jane @sarahjdocker made an excellent point, you’re literally stripping away role models for youths. You claim restrictions are for protection. I’d sure as hell feel more protected having someone to relate to when I feel all alone wouldn’t you?
These lovely ladies also brought up valid points about progression in the LGBT+ community and how we can continue to improve!
We are the voices of the future. You are so right. Together we make changes, and educating ourselves on what we are fighting for and aiming towards is key.
Anyway I know this is very different from my usual posts but I wanted to get this out there.
So from the bottom of my little gay heart, I just want to thank you all for speaking out and fighting for myself and others right to love.
You can’t even imagine how loud your 130character tweets sound to me right now!
Please let me know if you joined in the chat and how you felt about it!
Let’s get one thing straight NYC is perfect for theatre people. If there’s one thing for sure it’s that the streets are crawling with dancers, singers, comedians, actors, performers and other such like professions. The theatrical side of life runs perfectly against the shimmering lights of Time Square. I remember one of my first shows I ever performed was FAME (I mean, wasn’t everyone’s) I was about 11 years old and in love with the idea of becoming a dancer. Blissfully unaware of the future.
I loved that show though, I loved the story (for the most part, and what I understood at that age) I loved the songs, everything! I remember thinking…I’ll go to New York one day! My whole outlook on New York was what I had watched and performed as a child.
When I turned 24 I actually went to New York. Bam. There I am smack bang in the middle of this world that I had dreamt about so many times as a child. I visited all the places I’d ever wanted to Radio City, The Rockerfella, Broadway dance centre, the American ballet theatre. I saw them all!
Only thing is, when you’re 24 and you’re in NY admiring all these places it’s hard not to feel hard on yourself because inside these theatres are people your age DOING IT!
You do see the streets lined with dancers singers and actors but the harsh truth is that most of them are unemployed or working at what was the most tragic part of our trip, Ellen’s stardust diner. We arrived pretty late and struggling artists half heartedly yet beautifully belted out show tunes to drunk people indulging in late night fried cheese. I couldn’t help but say how much more i wanted for these amazing artists.Clearly these people were over qualified for serving me blue coloured cocktails with several bendy straws at 1am.
One thing that fascinated me in NY was the comedy scene! It’s huge. Now it could be just as big in LDN but I often avoided or because i got plain sick of the people filtering their events in my face in Leicester Square. That being said in NY when some joker tempted the idea of seeing Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in my direction I snapped up that ticket.
To neither yours nor my surprise.
I did not see Tina or Amy that night.
I did however see, Judah Friedlander at Stand Up NY and he was as funny as I imagined. The intimate crowd were buzzing as I took the last seat available. Right at the edge of the stage, the spot that literally said ‘pick on me’ for the comedians, before I’d even sat down the MC was calling me out about my ‘sexy outfit’ and asked me ‘ohhh girl- you out there looking for a man, damn girl you got dressed up’ With my awkward laugh i looked back over at Naomi who was sat further to the back and said ‘im not no!’ ‘good, send them my way then’ she laughed and on with the show. I was already ready for it. I was placed in the perfect position. Perhaps my highlight of being called on was when on the comedians came on, sat down, browsed the crowd and looked at me. I knew it was time, he had a joke ready. ‘ How old are you?’ he asked. I laughed. ‘Should she be drinking? Did anyone check her id?’ he shouted as i drank me beer. I’m 22 i laughed. He dryly bit back ‘ you look 12’
I agreed. and e continue with the act. I loved this, the whole interaction with the crowd. It made me so happy.
So imagine my delight when we were queing up for AssssCat 300 at UCB. Home of such talent like; Amy Poehler (SNL, Parks and recreation, Sisters) Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) Kate Mckinnon (Snl, Ghostbusters) Bobbi Moynihan (SNL) Matt Walsh (Veep) and many more! It’s such an incredible experience.
The whole show was based on audience interaction. You shout out a word and a monologist will create the foundation for a story to be completely improvised by the comedians. AND THEY CREATE AMAZING WORK. It’s so bloody funny. I was overwhelmed by the talent i saw. Heads up – que for the 9:30pm tickets and the show is FREE!
Aside from the comedy scene, as you can imagine NYC is bursting at the scenes with the chance to see a show. Broadway is forever pumping new shows out and with 5-7 shows a week you are guaranteed to find something that will create a lifetime of memories. If that be dance, drama or the favourite musical you’ve been wanting to see. It’s often that NYC has that show waiting for you. One thing i will say about this is, it isn’t going to be cheap. Tickets can cost from $59 to $199 on average. Check out the off broadway shows if you are looking for something to be possibly more money friendly. They are just as good quality shows most of the time!
If that is still out of your budget i recommend taking tours of the theatres. We looked around Radio City Music Hall, New York City Ballet, Rockefella Centre and Carnegie hall. Just go look around, go admire the stages, the seats, the feel of the building, the costumes, the rehearsal spaces. The foundations of the theatre are all there waiting for you to walk around.
One of the shows i have always dreamt about seeing is the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City. I was lucky enough to go on a tour of the theatre when i visited last time and it made me want to go back at christmas more than ever and watch the spectacular…one day.
Have you ever been to NYC and seen a show? Let me know in the comments before what you saw and how your trip was !
Can you believe I’ve been in Vietnam six months now? I remember when I made my YouTube video saying I was moving here ; https://youtu.be/2Lt5kwr7IdY
Now it’s six months down the line and I’ve taken some time to reflect and appreciate my self growth. So here let me share with you;
1. I learnt how to ride a scooter! Here in Hanoi. I know I’m crazy right. With only a couple of self taught driving lessons I’m now whizzing around Hanoi. The traffic is crazy and I did throw the bike across the parking lot at my work once but hey, this is still a major achievement for me!
3. I’ve tried food I wouldn’t even dare to in England. The food scene here can be crazy different to back home so I think it’s important to try as much as possible, even though I don’t like it. I mean, who else can say they’ve eaten stingray just because….
4. On Mondays I take two dance classes Ballet and Contemporary , at a class where the teacher speaks no English and I no Vietnamese. Probably the biggest dance challenge of my life and that includes auditions. Yet, I loved it, dancing is something I adore and it was an amazing challenge to take on. He even made me solo for the group at the end- Petrifying.
5. I’ve explored Thailand. I’ve seen from the south sunny island of Koh Phangan and up to the north little town of Pai. I’ve bathed in hot springs, splashed in waterfalls, walked with the elephants and explored temples all over the cities.
6. I’ve learnt happiness is fundamental I’ve had significantly less negative MH days here in comparison to the UK. I truly believe this is because I’m happier than I was working my mundane job 24/7 in London.
It’s really crazy how six months can change how you feel in different aspects of your life.
So if today, you get the chance. Remember, you can do anything you want, be anything you want to be and life how you want to live.
Please do comment and tell me something you’ve learnt about yourself in the past six months
So that’s it 2016 came and went in a flash.Well that’s how it felt most of the time.
Am i happy with how the universe played out this year? Well no not completely, i am not however i would like to say it has definitely been one year that i will not forget.
Now, i am not going to join in by saying GOOD RIDDANCE 2016 or THANK GOD 2016 IS GONE because i cannot see the future i don’t know if i’m leaving behind the terrible things 2016 threw at me or if i am now walking head first into the mess that started in 2016 only for it to continue into 2017, but i sure as hell am not going to waste my time dwelling on negativity and what ifs. I highly recommend you try not to either.
2016 gave me both ups and downs, i felt every emotion on the spectrum, i visited new places around the world, i had my first christmas away from home, i realised how horrible it feels when your vote doesn’t win (cough Brexit cough) and i learned to say ‘ahhh FUCK IT’
Within the year of 2016 i found my sunshine and rainbows in the form of;
New Friends- I met so many beautiful people in 2016. Mainly from my old workplace, i have met some of the most wonderful souls and cannot begin to thank 2016 enough for that. Also my beautiful best friend asked her girlfriend to marry her in 2016, not only am i happy that they will be getting married now but even the fact that LGBT couples CAN get married still makes me happy.
Travels – In 2016 alone, i went to Ibiza, Bangkok, Koh Phangan, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Guernsey and Cornwall. I saw more beautiful places around this silly little world. I realised i’m a teeny-tiny little part of beautiful big world and it’s actually incredibly fascinating.
Music – I managed to attend my first festival this year Lovebox , I saw Queen Beyonce and as always Ellie Goulding was incredible. I listened to so much more music this year and expanded my outlook on what i like and don’t like. I listened to everything and anything spotify gave me.
Days Out – Perhaps some of my favourite days in 2016 were day trips, Kew Gardens in London is so beautiful and walking amongst the tree tops was so beautiful. Harry Potter world at the Warner brothers studios was so much fun! The Eden project is something i recommend everyone goes to and try the zip line. PRIDE in London, a day full of glitter and cans of alcohol, people line the streets even in the rain to celebrate who they are and support others. Even though it was a crowded mess of rainbows i wouldn’t change it for the world!
Nights Out – London has some incredible places for drinks and i feel that in 2016 i really managed to take advantage of that. Great nights out with good friends and loud music can really be just the perfect way to let go and have some fun! Same as, getting together with the girls for cocktails and leaving drinks can be the perfect farewell, especially when there is gin involved.
As always 2017 had its negatives, i lost someone very important to my family, i moved over 5000 miles away from home and i changed my career goals but you know what?
I grew up.
Im not sure theres much more to say on that matter, i opened my mind, i said yes to more things i would usually say no to. I stopped being as afraid of everything i found too hard to comprehend. I trusted my heart more than my head. I fell hard and i got back up. I spiralled down and bounced back up like a firework. I exploded with anger and i sunk with sadness, i found happiness in the small things, and i laughed harder than i ever imagined but above all of this, i gave myself the time, respect and courage to carry on and accept all these feelings are justified , they are important and they are to be encouraged. They are me and i am ok with that.
Ok, so i know this was a short post for me but with the new year having been and gone, i thought it was something that i should share with you all.
Thanks for reading
Ok so as some of you may know already Naomi and I went over to the beautiful island of Koh Pha Ngan for our first Christmas away from home. We went for 6days and despite the horrendously long journey it was more than worth it in the end…
Just look at that beautiful beach!
How to get to Koh Phangan?
Now there are two main ways to get to Koh Phangan depending on your budget…want the quickest way, you’ll pay the most money. You can simply hop on a flight to the nearest airports and get the three hour ferry over to Koh Phangan.
Or if you’re budgeting then you can fly to Bangkok and get the 8hour bus ride and then ferry the next morning to Koh Phangan. All in all it could take from 11-12 excluding the flight and wait time in the airport. Not ideal if you hate waiting around but cost effective! Perfect for travellers and backpackers.
We dated at dreamland resorts in the more secluded and expensive north of the island. Away from the hustle and bustle of the port this area was more family and relaxation friendly.
The beaches were beautiful and calm with significantly less people on them than the most popular tourist hit beaches.
Our resort was in the form of little cabins ours was literally a 30second walk from decking to the shore and into the sea. I understand completely why it’s called dreamland. Now the rooms are pretty basic and not perfect but that honestly didn’t bother us as we spent 90% of our time lounging around the pool , pool bar and by the sea.
Just look at this view from my seat along the side of the pool, straight onto the beach!
2. Hire a bike and ride around the island, there are very few roads in Koh Phangan and the two main ones literally take you from point a to point b covering the whole island. The views you will see as you circle the island are mesmoring. Our bike hire cost 200baht day which was significantly less than the 800baht taxis we were getting . I must say though, Koh Phangan is a very mountainous island so drive exceptionally carefully. If this is your first time driving I wouldn’t recommend learning here, it’s very steep and very windy. Be safe. Wear a helmet and cover your knees/elbows if possible.
3. Speaking of views make sure to take a trip to Amsterdam bar if you are wanting to see Koh Phangan. look at this; the bar is one of the most chilled places we visited. It is called Amsterdam bar for a reason after all. The shakes are just as amazing as the view.
4. Watersports and/or diving tours . Well this could have been more fun had I not been convinced I’d seen a shark freaked out and yelled at Naomi IM GOING TO DIE. Let me set one thing straight, I’m not the best in the water but I really wanted to conquer that fear so we kayaked. Naomi seemed to love it, safe to say I’ll try something else like jet skiing next time! One thing I do know is I won’t be kayaking again any time soon.
5. Enjoy the party atmosphere. Get to 7/11 and get some cheap beers to pre drink with back at your hotel/hostel/beach and head to one of the parties! There are so many to choose from. Time it right and you just may make the full moon/half moon party. If you’re not there to make them we recommend the waterfall party for all your neon glitter and fire needs. Bonus: they literally sell food in the place.
There are more ways to make this trip action filled just have a ride around the island to see more!
Hope you enjoyed reading.
Ok today’s blog is about how I like to clear my mind. I feel sometimes it’s hard to just switch off. I find that getting myself to get up get dressed and head for a walk can help me to relax. I think it’s important to find a place you can clear you mind at and help yourself become happier.
Here I am in my big woolly hat that may just be my favourite ASOS purchase yet and heading for the local park.
I find where I live in London there isn’t many quiet areas but during school hours the park is quite tranquil. There is a bench at the back that i like to sit at and watch the world go by. I’m the kind of person that can very easily get lost in a day dream. So I never feel the need to have to be walking, or talking or doing something. I can easily spend time just day dreaming.
I don’t entirely know why but I feel when I’m outdoors that I’m not as stressed thinking about things as to when I’m indoors. Now what I mean by this is, when I’m out cleaning my mind I’m usually making a dream, a plan a goal. Whereas usually when I’m at home I’m scheduling or stressing about what I want to achieve and how I’m not there yet.
Something about the cold on my skin or the sun beams poking out from behind the clouds warming my cheeks puts me at ease. I think it’s important to take the most of these moments, treasure the simple things In life, remember to take time out of your busy schedules to centre yourself and make sure you feel good!
There really is nothing better than fresh air to free the mind don’t you agree?
Hello lovely humans, today’s post is about one of the most treasured weekend breaks i have had the pleasure of enjoying.
Where?Venice – Italy.
Booked with ?British Airways.
Upon arrival we hopped across the bridge on the bus and i was immediately astounded by the beautiful landscapes. The small enough island surround by blue sea looked beautiful as you crossed.
With it being January everyone was huddled in coats, scarves and jackets which actually prove to be too much when the sun did come out, later that day. Temperatures in Venice usually is around 3-6 degrees, so ditch those bikini’s and grab your umbrellas.
Once we arrived across the bridge. We instantly head to our hotel and dropped off our bags. We stayed at The Hotel Canal, perfectly situated from the main parking area within Venice the hotel was very easy to locate, within a small walking distance. This is ideal if you have bags or cases that you don’t want to be dragging around. The hotel itself has a traditional Italian feel, the shuttered windows that overlook the grand canal (if requested) really make you feel at home. What i will say is, don’t book this hotel if you are used to 5 star, modern apartment type hotels. This shabby little traditional treasure is anything but chic.
What to do?
During the day Venice is ideal for long strolls and relaxing walks. With the island being so small, there is no need to use transport. Get those legs moving, grab a pair of comfortable shoes and spend the day following painted signs on the sides of streets and houses like your own little maze to Piazza San Marco.
Piazza San Marco, is breathtaking. Theres something quite exquisite about the beautifully grand architecture framing the simple ocean. The musicians playing in the square as you sit and watch the world go by, creates the perfect ambience for your relaxing break.
It’s not just the centre of the square itself that is beautiful, if you can, then do take a stroll along the front of the square and pop into some of the smaller restaurants and enjoy the delicious menu’s they have to offer. In most places we stopped sandwiches/ pasta became an easy and reliable snack, the Italian’s know how to do food.
During the late afternoon/evening, we noticed that Venice got a buzz about it. Locals flooded the streets, meeting friends for drinks became obvious at around 7/8ish in the evening. A concept to us that felt a little strange, come late-late (after 11pm) Venice was basically quiet again. As Londoners the idea of a relatively quiet bar after 10 seems almost laughable but here a Bellini at 8 was much more fitting.
One of the places we visited in Venice was called Barco Jazz, the cocktails here were delicious. The small place, was filled with locals and the environment felt super accommodating and welcoming. We moved onto another little place called Taverna del Campiello Remer it was a little louder here and live music was playing, we instantly fell in love. The waiter showed us to a little table near the back on stools with candles lighting the walls and old fashioned tapestries and trinkets all over, it felt more like we had gone back in time and were sat in someones house as apposed to a bar. I remember it cost around 8Euros for a cocktail, 3Euros for Spritz and around 3-4 euros a glass of wine. If you did pay 8Euros however, you could help yourself to the little tapas-esque buffet they had at the front. We spent a good few hours here, relaxing, chatting and listening to someone play the piano by the fireplace.
Perhaps one of my favourite memories from our Venice adventure was the masquerade parade that passed through us on the Saturday. The most beautiful costumes, the extraordinary masks and the insanely passionate performers flooded the streets and flaunted their costumes. This captivated me. I was in awe of the talent and feel that covered the city. We spent the next few days looking in all the shops and admiring the different mask works around the island. We eventually did choose one for ourself a beautiful red and gold mask with lace around the trim and sheet music engraved on the mask.
Last but not least, what would a trip to Venice be without going on a Gondola? You have to do it! Quick tip though; do not go straight to the centre for a Gondola get one a little out and head into the centre on your route. This is going to save you a lot of money, you will find with every inch you move closer to San Marco the price increases. If you’re into learning about the city this is the perfect time to listen and enjoy. The guys are full of local information and can show you landmarks only accessible via boat/gondola.