Category: Lifestyle

My Favourite Things About October!

Hi guys,

When did it get to October?! It was June like two days ago! I was getting really excited about America and Summer and sunshine and…and now it’s October,  and it’s back to hard work and uni and singing and fresher’s flu…

Don’t get me started on fresher’s flu. I’ve been ill for over a week. It was in my throat,  then my nose, then all over, and it’s now having a last-ditch assault in my chest before heading on out the door.

As you can tell,  flu is one of my least favourite things about October.

But October is still one of my favourite times of year. Here’s why…

1. Autumn

pixabay-autumn-1

Autumn/Winter is my favourite time of year! For many, many reasons. Although the Autumn technically begins in September, it doesn’t really feel like it’s here until October. That wee interim period between Summer and Autumn is an awkward one, but it opens out into  a spectacular season of change, revealing a colour palette Mother Nature reserves just for this time of year.

2. Layers

Fashion is a weakness of mine. Paired with make up, it’s probably the main reason I’m a spectacularly skint student. Maybe food is in contention for that title, I’m an absolute fat git. Summer in Scotland is a funny one. It’s warm, but not warm enough to not have something to cover your shoulders,  but too warm for you not to be boiled alive the second you do cover your shoulders. Pain in the bum.

But Autumn is the time of year for layers. Winter you just wear massive jackets and you’re done,  but in autumn you can play with cardigans and scarves and shawls and wraps. The list is endless. I really love the wrap above from Amazon, you could coorie doon away from the cold and not reappear until Spring.

3. Knitwear

Leading in from the previous point, Autumn is the time for Knitwear. It’s so comfy and cosy and soft and…need I say more people? Get the Knitwear out the cupboard!

4. Hallowe’en

Hallowe'en Favourite things about october

Would October be October without Hallowe’en?  Answer…no. Absolutely not! I really struggle to decide between Christmas and Hallowe’en as my favourite holiday of the year (it’s probably Christmas, but just because it lasts longer and I’m a greedy git!). I do love all the dressing up and sweets and partying around Hallowe’en, and revel in the mystic of Samhain, when the veil between this world and the next is at its weakest, and spirits can come and wander as they please.

5. Hocus Pocus

One of my favourite movies of all time, I save Hocus Pocus for this time of year, just to keep the excitement built up all year, and add another touch of fabulousness to the Hallowe’en period. Winifred Sanderson is just wonderfully wicked, and is sass goals. Who doesn’t love to just sass the bejeezus out of people?

And are you honestly trying to tell me this isn’t the best version of “I Put A Spell On You” you’ve ever heard?

So there’s my favourite things about October. What are yours? Do you love Hallowe’en as much as I do?

Why_I_Want_To_Be_Bilingual_And_How_I'm_Going_To_Achiveve_It

You Speak Spanish? That’s So Cool!

Hi guys,

How many foreign languages do you speak? Answer if you’re like many of he people I know – “I can say ‘hello, how are you?’ in French”.

And I bet you say that in the most appallingly Scottish French accent aka no accent at all.

In 2004 the British government decided to make foreign language learning optional at GCSE and Standard grade level, as they stupidly believed that those who had learned languages at primary school would definitely want to continue their studies at high school.

Dumbass.

Language learning is seen as hard, and today’s lazy kids prefer to take different subjects they believe will give them an easy pass, rather than actually apply themselves and acquire skills that definitely will help them in life. I mean, I can’t remember the last time I had to use Pythagorean Theorem or tell you the chemical symbol for cheese, but only this morning was I hearing and translating French I was listening to on television.

Languages are useful. Learn them!

Countries in Europe teach languages as standard in their schools, be that other European languages or English!  They’re making the effort! Why aren’t we?! Europeans are so used to Brits being such ridiculous, for want of a better word, ‘dumb’ tourists, who go on holiday to be British in the sun, instead of travelling to see and feel these wonderful countries. But we make no effort whatsoever to blend in. You can spot a British holidaymaker a mile off (I am guilty of being one myself at one point I do admit.)

I’ve gone slightly off topic, this was a rant about languages…

University courses and foreign language departments are really starting to struggle with their pools of candidates, as fewer people are taking languages in school, and then even  less are taking them on into university. It’s madness!

I loved learning languages in school. The Modern Languages department at Greenfaulds High is something I can only applaud. They really pushed you to learn, and held activities at lunchtime encouraging people to try foreign foods and movies and culture, as well as learning the language. My Spanish teacher was phenomenal, I always loved her classes. She spoke to us and taught  the class entirely in Spanish, and so immersed you entirely in the language. You didn’t realise how much you had learned until you suddenly realised you understood every word she was saying to you, and if you didn’t understand, she helped you figure out by breaking down the sentence, all still in Spanish. it was fabulous. Plus she wasn’t one of those awful language teachers who hated their lives and now only lived to make their students lives a misery, I do get that those exist.

But with all this ranting and raving about how few people are learning languages, I have to admit I’m a bit of a hypocrite, as I’ve let my languages slip. I could still hold a pretty decent conversation with someone in both French and Spanish, and can now have a very basic conversation in Italian, but I’m a bit rusty, and could do with some revision, which is exactly what I’m going to do.

Duolingo is a website and app which lets you learn languages for free. Free! You learn languages in a sort of game like fashio9n, where you lose a heart when you get an answer wrong, you win points when you complete levels, and you can follow and compete with your friends. duolingo has been proven to work, and according to their website just 34 hours spent on Duolingo equates to an entire semenster at University or College.

It is never too late to start learning, or relearning, a language, and so I challenge you my readers to join me in my quest to encourage the world to become bilingual. I am setting myself the challenge of studying Spanish for fifteen minutes every day, and when I’ve completed that course I shall move onto French and the Italian. And after that, who knows.

So go on, get signed in, get learning! You can find me at LaurenJuli1. Follow me, and I’ll follow the next 20 people who follow me back! I’ll also keep you updated with weekly updates, let’s see how long I can keep this up, eh?

 

Pin This For Later:

Why_I_Want_To_Be_Bilingual_And_How_I'm_Going_To_Achiveve_It

My Blogging Goals 2016

My Goals for Wandering Scotland

Hi Guys,

I am currently taking part in the WordPress University course Branding and Growth in order to help me improve Wandering Scotland and grow my blog. Today’s task was to write out three set goals I hope to achieve for Wandering Scotland.

Without further ado, here goes:

 

  1. Have 100 Followers by the end of 2016
  2. Monetise my blog by September 2016
  3. Post at least once a week, every week

 

Given my track record I actually have to say number three might actually be the hardest of those three goal, which you wouldn’t think by looking at them.

Do you guys think I can achieve these goals? What do you suggest I do to meet them?

My Blogging Goals 2016

 

 

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Where the Heck is your Hair?

Hi guys,

so this morning when I woke up, this was my hair.

imageimage

Long, limp and, to be entirely honest, in desperate need of some TLC.

I have had waist length hair since I was twelve years old. I’ve been dedicated, and grown it out completely all through high school.

I will be the first to admit, waist length hair takes some maintenance, and nonsensically thick waist length hair even more so. Styling it takes hours, it’s heavy so won’t hold a curl. You have a permanent scarf, no matter how warm the weather – like, seriously, in the middle of the occasional hot Scottish summer (yes, I admit these are pretty rare) thick, long hair sticking to your neck and back is not a pleasant sensation.

And don’t get me started on washing and drying it.

Washing and drying my hair requires at least two hours of my day. Washing it, even a quick wash, takes at least half an hour. Drying it takes forever, and I can never do a proper blow dry, because my wee stumpy arms can’t reach the ends when drying it above my head. But letting it air dry takes years, so that doesn’t happen very often.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve listed many of the negatives associated with really long hair, but I absolutely love my hair. People compliment it all the time, there are so many different options for the hour long styling sessions, and it makes me feel like a princess with my long medieval hair. I love looking in the mirror and seeing my hair hanging right down my back, or being able to play with braids because they’re long enough to hang right over my shoulder.

However, much as I may absolutely adore my long hair, having the same hairstyle for so long does get a bit stale. To mix things up I’ve tried adding layers and a fringe, but today, I decided enough was enough.

wp-1459625660190.jpg
Fringy fringe fringe!

 

Where’s it all gone?! It feels so short (although, yes, I know by normal standards it’s still pretty long)!

But you know what…I bloody love it! It feels so much lighter, it feels great, and the fringe is just an unintended bonus. I asked to thicken the fringe I already had, and realised I could dry it in a proper full fringe! It’s so cool (who says cool anymore?)! I can even reach the ends with ease, so a blow-dry is now possible!

What do you guys think?

Where Would I Be Without You?

Hi guys,

Now those of you who know me today may find this hard to believe, but when I was younger I had some serious confidence and self-esteem issues. An early bloomer, I always felt that my body looked ‘weird’ compared to my other female  friends, and I was always bigger than them, which meant I permanently felt wrong and out-of-place. A true introvert, I also prefer my own company to that of others, that’s something that hasn’t really changed, but before I would actively look to spend time alone. I didn’t feel ugly on my own.

But a few years ago I met two beautiful young women who have completely changed who I am and how I feel in my own skin, and I will forever be eternally grateful to them.

I have to admit, I don’t actually remember the days I actually met Kerry or Katie. It just feels like they’ve always been there. Always there, building my confidence, making me feel more comfortable in me, turning me into the mad monster you see today.

image

In the company of my girls I feel invincible. I don’t care who likes me or who doesn’t, because I know they’re always there to pick me up when I fall down, as I will always be there to do for them. I can tell them anything, and know that they feel comfortable to do the same. Some conversations Kerry and I have had have occasionally bordered on the over sharing spectrum, but that’s why we have best friends. I have cried with laughter more frequently than I’ve had hot dinners with Katie, she just always seems to know what to do to cheer me up.

image
This will forever be my favourite photo of them!

These girls mean the world to me, and I am so lucky to have them in my life. They’ve shaped such a great deal of my life so far, and I hope they continue to do so for a very, very long time to come.

What about you guys? Do you have people in your life who you feel have shaped who you are?

Traditional Cob Horse Covered in Shavings

Why Did We Buy One With Feathers?

Hi Guys,

So earlier this year Missie the chunkamunk mare joined the family. She’s a great natured wee mare, very similar, in fact, to myself in character – eats a lots, doesn’t move unless she absolutely has to…

There’s just one drawback. A drawback we didn’t discover until the winter set in, and the rains came, and with the rains came mud, and with the mud came…

Dreadlocks!

Missie’s wondrously flowing feathers, one of my favourite things about her, quickly became one of my least favourite.

One of my least favourite because these feathers drag mud EVERYWHERE! And when I say everywhere I mean everywhere. When you bring her in from the field madam likes to flick her feet, meaning your back ends up covered in mud and yuck. She then gets to her stable and shavings stick to the mud.

Washing the mud off is a task of team work. Missie has a very bad habit of kicking out with her feet when you go near them. Not in a bad way mind you, I just think she doesn’t like having her feet touched or washed. She’s also an absolute bloody fidget. And so when you attempt to clean mud from her feet she paws and flicks her feet and moves out of reach of the hose, meaning you need a second person to stand there, shoving her big butt back within reach and checking her whenever she lifts her feet.

This, mixed with the difficulty of getting up every night in order to clean them has led to the mud setting and causing the feathers to matt into dreadlocks. Determined not to cut them, every time we’re up Mum now works for quite some time de-mattifying the feathers, one at a time.

With all this hassle I ask: why did we buy one with feathers?

To be fair, Missie is the first horse we’ve ever owned with feathers, and this is our first winter with her. Hopefully time and experience will aid us in discovering how to live with and extra hairy horse.

Do any of you have experience with a horse with feathers? How did you deal with the mud? Any tips or suggestions?

Post Inspired By: Dirty

Traditional Cob Horse in Stable

Here Comes The Sun

Hey Guys,

Yesterday Mum and I headed out with Missie for a wee hack, as there was work being done on the arena, and the weather was just so stunning there was just no way we could pass it up.

In an unusual turn of events, when I went to bring her in from the field I managed to get Missie to pose for a few photographs without fidgeting or wandering off. She however made me pay for it by dragging me into the bushes for a snack 3 times on the way up the hill, much to Mum’s hilarity. The walk from her grassy field to the hay filled stable is only about a minute long! Yet we needed to stop for sustenance 3 TIMES! It’s times like this that make me wonder why I have a horse.

MissieDSCN0998

I am reminded of why once we finally reach the stable, and Missie becomes the sookiest horse on the planet. I get kisses and cuddles and general loveliness. I then get completely ignored in favour of a hay net. Ah, the fickle love of an eternally hungry horse.

Anyway, after grooming and tacking up, we head out on the road.

I remember noting the moment I got on that Missie was in a fizzy mood, and boy did that mood not disappoint. We had ears forward, bouncy steps, walking sideways all over Mum-Missie was really going for it. Being such a novice rider, I usually get absolutely terrified when she does this, but I am slowly beginning to realise that this is all it is-maybe a wee runny or explosion if she’s really spooked-but she really is just a daft, nosy mare, and so I am getting better at ignoring her over-excited tendencies.

Missie is really not a great fan of cattle, which can be great fun considering the yard neighbours a cattle farm, but she is improving. In one of the fields there was a young cow standing right next to the fence bordering the road. A few weeks ago Missie would never have just walked past, We’d have had emergency stops, runs past it and dangerous spins into the middle of road. Now she just has a wee look, tenses up a bit and walks past a little quicker. What a quick learner my girl is!

Encountering new distractions on our hack can be hit or miss for us-sometimes she has a total freak out, others she barely notices. You would think, given that she never stops eating the stuff, that walking past hay bales in the field would not be an issue for our hoover of a horse. Think again. Missie went into her “Zorro’s Stallion” mode, as Mum calls it-high knees, curved neck, don’t get me wrong, it looks amazing! It’s just terrifying to ride. Thankfully this is all we got, no explosions, and so our hack continued up the hill.

This is one of my favourite parts of the hack, as the views are just magnificent. You can see for miles, and given that it’s a dead end, the road is usually completely empty besides us. Below are some photos taken in the style of “Through the horse’s ears”, a style of equine photography which is incredibly popular with equestrians worldwide.

received_10204819973607149 received_10204819973687151

Once Missie has walked past a hazard once without it eating her, she will normally walk past it without issue on the way home. This cannot be said for our hay bales. “Zorro’s Stallion” returned as we headed home, but this was quickly met with a sharp telling off from Mum, which was more or less acknowledged by our mad madam.

Lucky Missie was very excited on the way home to realise that her favourite new friend, a young lady with a never-ending supply of apples, was waiting for her at one of the cottages along our route. Whilst stopped for a snack and a cuddle, we were passed by one of the horse boxes heading home. I am extremely proud to say that our large-traffic skittish horse was almost completely unfazed by this. Go Missie!

Once home, Mum suggested we give our sweaty girl a hose down to cool her off. This is a job which requires two people, as our mad madam is also a wee feartie when it comes to water. However, after trying to fight Mum for a few moments, she gave in, and I actually think she quite enjoyed herself.

I have to say, I may be absolutely terrified at the time when “Zorro’s Stallion” makes an appearance, I do find it exhilarating, and secretly look forward to the next time it appears. And I do love my horsey cuddles with some of the other boys and girls on the yard too.