Late night sleeplessness.

Okay.

 

It has been around five months since my last blog post. And what a five months they have been. I don’t want to go into it all now; I’m too bleary eyed to do so. Needless to say I probably will, at some point.

 

I have no idea where I am going with this post.

 

I used to have nights like this often. Nights where I would toss and turn and go into several different positions in my bed, do all the relaxing techniques I know of and sleep just wouldn’t come. So I traipse downstairs and listen to rubbish on my laptop or on the TV until I either fall asleep for an hour or so on the sofa, or climb back up the stairs to my bed for a couple of precious hours of sleep. It used to happen when I had school the next day, too, which was torturous.

 

Especially if I had double Maths or Science the next day.

 

Now, I’m not sure of the reason. I had counselling this evening, but it was a fairly positive session for once. Lots of things are going on at present but I’ve got the summer holidays and I’m feeling pretty relaxed. I’m travelling to Manchester tomorrow for a talk on Mary Shelley, so I need to be a bit bright eyed and bushy tailed. Which I probably won’t be now.

 

Oh well.

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About me- the redux

So, as I said in my last post, it has been a fairly long while since I blogged here. There are a plethora of reasons for that- mostly involved with tech and teething issue with my domain name but I am hopeful that those are all sorted now!

Reading back through my blog I am struck by how much I have changed since I started writing it nearly six years ago.

Six years!? Six years.

So many things are different now. So many things can- and have- happened in that space of time. It’s over half a decade now since I began this blog as an attempt at ‘fat fashion’ before I very quickly felt out of my depth and uncomfortable in my surroundings as a fatshion blogger. Not that I have anything against fatshion or body positivity. I’ve just learnt a lot about myself, and about my health, and come to my own conclusions about things. Of course I think it’s important to feel comfortable in, and love, the body you are in for however long you are in it. Whether you are striving to lose weight or very happy where you are, everyone deserves to feel happy and comfortable in themselves.

Subsequently I moved fairly quickly on to becoming an ‘alternative’ blogger, focusing on fashion, beauty and lifestyle. And here I have stayed!

However, not necessarily here. On this blog. I have branched out to Instagram, which is something I am a little bit, low key obsessed with because I love the fact that I can share short, single picture (or more) snapshots of my life with the whole world. I have also of course branched out to YouTube- still have only a small number of subscribers but I am enjoying learning how to make better videos and the whole process that comes with filming.

More than this blog and my space on the internet, though, I have changed. I am not the person I was when I first sat down, logged into WordPress and started to type nearly six years ago. I have six years more experience walking this planet than I did then. I am just a few months over two years away from my thirtieth birthday, whereas then I was just a few months away from two years after my twentieth. I am two years into a career that I am not certain about with every passing day. I am more in debt but I have more savings. I have learnt things about myself and I have learnt things about the world. My family has expanded in the shape of a Sister-In-Law and a step niece. I am more confident in myself and I am more willing to seek help when I need it. In many ways I am stronger but in so many ways I am more scared than I ever was.

So. About me now.

My name is Hannah and I am a twenty-seven year old primary school teacher from the UK. I still live in my family home but that’s okay because the cost of living in modern England is sky high. I am tattooed and pierced, but I have to hide part of myself in a traditionally reserved work environment. I am unashamedly myself in all other aspects of my life. I am a girlfriend, a sister, a daughter, an Auntie, a niece, a sister in law, a cousin, a granddaughter.

I am me.

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Boho Goth (Collab)

So these photos have been sitting ready to upload here for days, but I was unsure how to write this! Y’know, how to start? It’s been so long since I wrote a proper blog post, and this one is a really cool one!

Something that has struck me recently is lots of talk (especially on the Goth side of YouTube) about ‘types of Goth’ and ‘what type of Goth are you?’. It amuses me somewhat, because I remember how desperate I was to find ‘my kind of Goth’ when I was first starting out. Nowadays, not so much. I kinda take different pieces and bits from here and there to just create me. I pretty much wear whatever I want to wear, to be honest!

However, it definitely goes without saying that there are ‘types’ of goth. You have your big ones, the main draws to the scene- the vampire, Victorian, trad, romantic and nu goths. But there are lots of other types of Goth that I think can sometimes get overlooked.

Such as Boho Goth.

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This is my take on Boho Goth. When I hear the word Boho, I immediately think hippy, New-Agey sort of vibes. Is that just me? And I guess I’m showing my age here but I also think Sienna Miller and Kate Moss. That’s not necessarily something that screams Goth straight away. However, I soon realised that I could get those hippy, Moonchild Boho vibes with this Killstar maxi dress and a beautiful velvet, fringed kimono from Primark a few years ago.

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It somehow felt the wrong sort of weather for this kind of outfit, but I definitely enjoyed putting it together! The shoes were something of a struggle for me- neither combat boots nor creepers nor New Rocks seemed fitting!- but I remembered I have a pair of black fabric-strapped flip flops in my wardrobe and so out they came.

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Accessory wise, I went with silver hoops, pentagrams and a simple silver ankh. Again, those esoteric New-Agey vibes seemed to be the way I was going. I also wore my black vintage fedora hat because for some reason a hat seemed to give me extra Boho feelings!

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So, how do you think I did? I don’t think I did too badly at all! If you have any suggestions for future ‘lesser known Goth styles’ I could have a go at, do let me know down below!

ALSO- this post was written in collaboration with the lovely Vansheeka from India of the blog Goth Girls Grail (Insta: the_midnight_temptress). Please do click on the links and check out her version of this look!

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Sorry not sorry.

Ahoy, there, written blog!

WOW this feels intensely weird. But I’ve missed it all the same!

I have been struggling with trying to fix a domain name issue for the past YEAR. No word of a lie; I tried desperately to make a written-blog-comeback around this time last year (or a year and a half ago) but to no avail.

So now is the time- I’m back!

You might have been keeping up with me on my YouTube channel. If not, it’s okay. I will forgive you. However I missed writing. I missed the fact that I can always feel completely honest when it’s just me and my laptop and my keyboard. Writing is something I live and breathe and always have. Words are a part of me, an intrinsic part of me and have been since I taught myself to read at the age of two.

Y’know what though, reading back on this blog… I am such a different person now to the one I was even two years ago when I last posted. I have qualified as a Primary School teacher now; I completed my NQT year last year. I have been through two breakups and seen my baby brother marry. I’ve gained a sister (in-law) and a (step) niece. I have started to seek proper help for my anxiety and depression and the myraid of issues contained within my brain, through both talk-therapy and medical intervention. I have grown and I have been hurt, I have lost weight and I have gained some of it back, I have begun to learn to relax and let go and move on from all the rubbish and the pressure I have always forced upon myself for my life to be a certain way.

I return to the blog embarking on a new relationship (it’s funny, that’s not the first time I’ve included that on a blog ‘return’ post) and thinking more positively about my future than I have in a long time. And that’s with everything, not just him (although I have good vibes). I feel positive in my career, in my prospects, in myself.

The great irony is I am writing all of this in the midst of a downward mental health day. Wading through a quagmire of anxiety and self loathing, I can see the light at the other side. The fog is dissipating, somewhat. It doesn’t feel as all consuming as it once would.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just older and wiser and have more grey hairs and more life experience. I don’t know what this space on the internet will be for me any more. Whether it will still be the structured alternative blog it used to be, or whether I will use it to document and vent and write my feelings for the world to see.

Who knows. Maybe the next post I write will be in another two years apologising for my absence. But I hope not.

I’m done apologising.

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26 elephants in the room

Hoookay. It’s about time I addressed these elephants; my 26 before 26 things.

Let’s be real here. I ain’t gonna achieve all 26 things. So how about a recap, and then I move on and start thinking about (more realistic) goals for before 27… because I am nothing but a glutton for punishment.

 

1- Read 30 new children’s books (30/30)

I’m actually going to tentatively mark this and the next one off as complete- I’ve utterly lost count of what I’ve read and how many but I think I probably did manage to reach these goals.

2- Read 25 new YA/adult books (25/25)

3- Lose some weight

Again… Yeah, I kinda did lose some weight. Not much, but some!

4- Change my hair again

I’m not cheeky enough to think that I managed to do this. I haven’t changed my hair that much since my last birthday… so no. And it ain’t gonna happen in the next month- unless you count possibly buying a wig!

5- Get a tattoo

Nope. Pricing up some though!

6- Pierce my ear again

Nope but again- see above.

7- Run another 5k in less than 45 minutes

Aha! So blooming optimistic of me. No way this is going to happen- neither is the next one. Or the next…

8- Run a Tough Mudder

Nope.

9- Get a first draft of my novel written

Again- what was I thinking!?

10- Visit 3 new places

Unfortunately not- though it was an interesting and not too unrealistic goal!

11- Have at least £1000 saved

No, I have too many outgoings! We’ll see if I can manage some savings by next year, though.

12- See the Northern Lights

Nope- haven’t managed to see these yet. Maybe next year?

13- Have afternoon tea

I’m actually having afternoon tea with my parents and boyfriend for my mum’s birthday this weekend, so BOOM. Done.

14- Buy a corset

Yep- bought a cheap(ish) one for my Halloween costume (a corset is a requirement when one is dressing as a dead Victorian lady of the night, of course!). So even though it’s not a decent one I’d wear more often, I’m still counting it!

15- Continue to learn French

I’m tempted to mark this as completed, because I am teaching it! Which is rather hilarious…

16- Visit Paris

Nope, but I might just manage this over the summer so fingers crossed.

17- Go on a trip by myself (doesn’t have to be far away or overnight)

Yep!

18- Throw a dinner party

Nope- but I am chomping at the bit to do this soon!

19- Pick up the cello again

I failed miserably. I REALLY need to do this though!

20- Learn geeky cello tunes

See above!

21- Succeed in my training year

I’m calling this done. I may not complete it with the highest marks in the end, but I’m actually doing pretty well right now and I’m damn proud of myself.

22- Try some Pinterest recipes (2/10)

I can’t remember how many I have done but not quite 10, I don’t think. Probably will keep this for next time though because I just have too many pins not to try out!

23- Continue running

I failed miserably at this. But hopefully I will be running again from now on!

24- Get back on the ‘scene’

I think my boyfriend would agree I managed this one!

25- Visit Ollivander’s

YEP! And I got ‘my’ wand, even though I wasn’t chosen for the experience. It was AMAZING.

26- Post a blog once a week

Ha, we won’t go into this one too much.

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Hopping back on the workout wagon.

I think it’s pretty understandable for me to confess that I’ve pretty much done no real working out since I started my teacher training course.

Getting to grips with all the planning and paperwork and marking and reading and everything I’ve had to do has left me with hardly any time to do anything and in the free time that I do have? Sitting on the sofa doing NOTHING is much, much more attractive than doing some kind of exercise. Anyone who has ever been in the teaching profession can probably attest to that.

However, I’ve been actually feeling kinda antsy, itchy, irritable lately. Annoyed with myself and irritated that I’ve started to slide back and feel unfit again

Could it… could it be that I… MISS exercise?

Lemme tell you that it’s a good job I’m sitting down right now.

So yeah, I admit it. I’ve become one of those people and I missed exercise. Therefore, I wanted to do something about it. And I wanted to do something adult about it because my birthday is looming and it’s an awfully adult sort of age so I thought pretending to be a grown up might be kinda fun.

Where I’m working for next year is quite near to the location of my (most) local easygym, which I saw advertised whilst exploring the shopping in the town (note to self: crap, but a well stocked Holland and Barrett. Proceed with caution). Cautiously curious, I checked it out online and thought to myself “… Huh. This actually sounds pretty good.” No joining fee? No contract? A monthly fee that would give me change from £20? It was worth a look. I mentioned it to my mum and she also sounded interested, so I booked us in to have a look around on Easter Monday and we went, dressed for a workout. The facilities are HUGE with an open-plan sort of arrangement, with a tonne of cardio and resistance machines, a pretty sizeable free-weights area and a ‘free zone’ with stretching and ‘toning’ equipment and a load of yoga mats by a mirrored wall. We thought “why not”, shrugged, signed ourselves up (less than a tenner for the first two months!) and had a work out.

Well, I was so shocked at how unfit I was, but determined to see it through. We went back again this morning and I managed a 10 minute jog/run. Whilst on the one hand that was frustrating- less than a year ago I was comfortably and happily running 5k weekly- I forced myself to see the positives. I -RAN- for ten minutes, after about six months of doing nothing. I persevered when it was feeling a bit hard and my legs were a bit sore and my breath was heavy. That in itself is a victory.

So I’m back on this here wagon and hoping that I don’t fall off. Even if I only manage to go once a week for the forseeable future, I’ve already made back my money- ‘day passes’ would cost £7.

Here’s to the future and getting back to running comfortably by the summer!

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Tales from teaching…

So I’ve been considering starting something of a new series on this here blog, dedicated to the things I’ve learnt and the experiences I’ve had whilst teaching.

OBVIOUSLY I will be keeping it totally professional and including neither names of places nor of people but I think it may be useful for anyone who is considering getting into the teaching game (as it were) and also it may be interesting for any of my normal readers to see just exactly what I’ve been doing with myself when I’ve not been blogging here!

I thought about this today as I am currently curled up in my bed, having been suffering with the WORST migraine (I’ve actually never had a migraine before to my knowledge, so it was kinda terrifying) and all round dizziness/nausea and had about two hours sleep last night so as I stumbled to the bathroom this morning, mum told me to get back into bed and they frantically rang my school to let them know. I feel incredibly guilty- I HATE missing work, I’ve only missed two days so far because I suffered with Labyrinthitis before Christmas and couldn’t actually stand up straight- but there was no way I could drive myself to work this morning, let alone stand up in front of a group of ten year olds and teach them about poetry and various other things. My headache has eased off and is now just a generally unpleasant pain right at the back and base of my skull but I am still ridiculously dizzy- me trying to climb down the stairs to get a drink earlier was hilarious for anyone watching, I can only assume- and the only way I am able to read is by wearing my glasses (and my eyes are still blurry and moving in and out of focus constantly) and use my laptop is by turning the brightness right down, and it still hurts. But I have work to do, including resource creation for a Geography lesson tomorrow, so I need to grit my teeth and get on with it.

And that’s something I’ve learnt from teaching so far. Resilience. I have built up my own levels of resilience but also learnt that I am much more resilient than I ever thought I was. However, I have also learnt that sometimes, you just have to take a step back, be honest and say “…no. I can’t do this” or “I need some help.” The government do their very best to grind us into the ground constantly, they don’t need our help to do it. And I’m not saying you should take a day off work whenever you feel like it. I’m just saying that sometimes it’s okay and actually may be sensible to take the time to rest and recover. If you make yourself sick by pushing yourself to the limit on a constant basis, you’re only going to make things worse for yourself- and for your students!- in the long run.

Love yourself, because enough people will hate you for being a teacher!

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