September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month


September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in the UK, US and many other countries worldwide. During the month, I urge you to try and raise awareness concerning Childhood Cancer and perhaps consider donating. The donations made could help to fund research for childhood cancer, or support groups for patients and their families, among many other things. Any donation made can be very beneficial.

If you are unable to donate, please go gold for September! Dress in gold, submit gold themed art, and spread the word with gold themed actions!

I first became properly aware of Childhood Cancer after hearing this song. The song was written for a boy named Ronan Thompson who was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma on the 12th August 2010.  Ronan’s battle with Neuroblastoma ended on May 9th 2011, just three days before his fourth birthday, but his mother vowed that his fight would go on. Maya Thompson, Ronan’s mother, started a blog and wrote where she wrote about Ronan and Childhood Cancer (which she continues to update).

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(And By That I Mean…)


If you are sitting there having not heard the LP (And By That I Mean…) then I am appalled. It is ten tracks of pure wonder. Don’t believe me? Take a listen.

As many of you might know by now, I am a particular fan of quotes. That being said, I don’t adore every quote that I hear or come across. One that I certainly don’t always agree with, particularly not with music, is that “a first impression is a lasting impression”. Often, it takes a long while for me to like a band or artist because I don’t like what I first hear of them.

This was definitely not the case with Max Wigmore Giroux.

The sixteen year old singer-songwriter is an upcoming artist from the UK and I fell in love with his sound from the moment I began listening to his track Just What We Need.

Max Wigmore Giroux - (And By That I Mean...)

The LP begins with the track I Should Tell You Everyday, one of the album’s more subtle (yet amazing) tracks with lyrics that immediately introduce you to the depth of the record. The next song is my favourite, Wilting, with it’s beautiful melody and catchy lyrics.

The mood and eccentricity of the lyrics throughout the record (in particular on Just What We Need and Your Button Up Coat and Canvas Shoes) reminds me somewhat of the work of Dan Croll and Max’s voice often resembles that of Morrissey in certain songs. Although many of the songs on the LP share similar conventions and sounds, each song is unique and stands out in it’s own way.

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Soundtrack to My Summer


It’s getting dark now, despite the fact that it’s Summer. You look at the clock. Half past ten. The street lamps flicker, casting a golden shadow over the garden where your best friend dances with your sister. It seems that they are the only ones who can hear the music.

You look down at the table and count out the M&M’s, making sure that there is an even number. When you realise that there are nine, you pop one back in the packet for some one else to eat.

“I want to go for a walk.”

“Now?” Your best friend looks up from doing his rendition of the “worm”.

“Yeah. Like a midnight walk.”

“Or a half ten walk, because it’s not midnight.”

“Yeah, a half ten walk.”

For most teenagers, Summer is not a season but a period of time out of education that is filled with spontaneous moments just like these Half Ten Walks. The memories of jumping that fence at eleven pm and realising that your friends have hid, trying to frighten you (and succeeding – but we won’t mention that), adorn your memories. You can’t help but smile when remembering the trolley races in the empty parking lot and how you carefully balanced your Shakeaway so that it didn’t spill as one of your best friends pushed you in the car park. The fact that you caught that amazing still in a YouTube video never fails to amuse you.

A still from this hillarious video.

A still from this hillarious video.

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Why You Shouldn’t Be A Music Snob


Music is a universal language. We listen, we perform and we relate.

We find comfort in lyrics and the fact that there always seems to be something hidden within them that relates perfectly to our lives. We feel the energy in a beat and allow it the power to alter our moods.

We adore music. Some of us are not any good at playing and performing it (like myself), granted, but we enjoy just listening. Others are blessed with the talent to create; to play an instrument; to sing.

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Gove Gone


If you recall, a few weeks a go I blogged about my thoughts on the British Education System and one of the topics I discussed was a man named Michael Gove.

You must, by now, have heard that in the recent days, Michael Gove has been removed from his position of Secretary of State for Education. Being one of the most recognisable (and controversial) faces in Education over the recent years, it was a shock to finally see him go. That being said, I was ecstatic upon hearing the news. The man who deemed “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Of Mice and Men” to be eradicated from the English curriculum has been revoked the permission to alter the lives of our young people. One can only be grateful that anyone who does not consider the two American novels influential is removed from controlling the education system.

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Please Stop Hating Your Body


OpD:

“Your body wasn’t meant to be treated like an object for others to scrutinize—it was meant to be treasured as the most incredible and most advanced instrument that you have to receive the world.”

Wise words; a very insightful post.

Originally posted on Seth Adam Smith:

Woman MirrorWe live in a culture that hates the body. Don’t believe me? Look around. We set unsustainable standards of physical beauty and enlist models to represent them. We then slather these models in oils and make-up, place them under “flattering” lights, and photoshop them into oblivion.

We take these deceptive images and publish them to the world, insinuating that these lies are not only desirable, but also “the norm.” Why don’t you look like this? Why aren’t you this beautiful?

Unable to attain this fictional and unrealistic level of beauty and perfection, we despise and destroy our own bodies. We do it in a number of ways. We either focus on our physical imperfections and try to starve them out, or beat them out through excessive exercise.

If that doesn’t work, then we try to numb our feelings of inadequacy through addictions that include sex, drugs, alcohol, perfectionism, gambling, gaming, overeating, working, cleaning, shopping, and sleeping.

Anyway you look at it, we are a culture that…

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An Open Letter: Sticks Stones Break Bones, Words Hurt More


I cannot begin to imagine what has happened in your life to make you feel so obliged to shout remarks and make comments about strangers; people you know nothing about. I cannot begin to understand what has happened to you that has converted you into the type of person who finds joy in being cruel to others. I cannot dare to begin wondering what horrible events you must have suffered. Because of this, my heart goes out to you and I truly hope that you can recover from whatever hardship you have experienced.

But, that is not an excuse.

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What Does It Mean To Be Young?


OpD:

One of my favourite of my own posts. If you haven’t already checked it out, I ask you that you do now. Thank you.

Originally posted on Opinionated Duck:

What does it mean to be young? Is it to be born after a certain date? Is it to think that thirty is old? Or, is it a feeling of infinity?

To be young can be defined by more than one action, more than one feeling, because it is more than one thing.

It is your love of walking barefoot across the grass; the new carpet; the sand. The carefree attitude in which the feeling of the world touching your skin is the most natural and most beautiful of all sensations.

Young Johnny Depp knows.

It is our craving for direction but our hesitance in following the paths that we are shown. Our contradictive nature in which we dismiss what we want to be shown once we are shown it, what we want to hear once we hear it, what we want once we have it.

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The Very Inspiring Blogger Award #2


On a scale of one to ten, how honored would you be if someone you considered inspiring also considered you inspiring?  For me, it measured a high ten – at least.

So, the very inspiring Godless Cranium was recently nominated for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award and, being the inspirational blogger he is, decided in all his delirium to nominated me for this award. I’d like to send my highest gratitude to you, kind Sir.

Colbert High Five

In order to accept this award, there a few rules one has to follow:

1.Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you.
2.List the rules and display the award.
3.Share seven facts about yourself.
4.Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
5.Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you

 

inspiring blogger award

Seven Totally Unimportant Facts About Me

I am so, entirely obsessed with the music from the past. I would say the 80’s, but then I have a lot of 70’s and 90’s in there, too. You know, U2, The Smiths, Fleetwood Mac, The Samples, The Calling, David Bowie, Tracy Chapman, Nirvana, The Goo Goo Dolls, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dexys Midnight Runners, Bob Dylan, R.E.M, Stevie Wonder, The Kinks, Marvin Gaye…among others. (Mix those artists with underground artists of the modern day and some mainstream artists – not many – and you have my taste in music. My music taste is very…strange. Keep tuned in for more on that soon.)


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Understanding The Mind: OCD


Mental health is often a topic of public discourse, but do we really know what we are talking about? Within this series (“Understanding the Mind”), I aim to provide readers with an insight about what mental illness is. To find out more and for an introduction about what this series aims to do, read this post. To read all the posts in this series, click here.

Today, I would like to talk about OCD – an anxiety disorder. Read more about what an anxiety disorder is here.

OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder which characterises itself through repetitive thoughts, creating a need to act on compulsions. These compulsions can include a wide array of activities: repeated cleaning, showering, washing hands, counting, arranging, checking door locks, refusal to touch other people or objects, and eating foods in a specific order.

It is estimated 1-3% of adults suffer with OCD, and around 5% of children and teenagers.

OCD can significantly interfere with your life, with compulsions restricting your actions and sometimes taking hours to complete.

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Is It Okay To Be Angry?


anger

noun
1. a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.

Anger is a common emotion. What’s more is that it is a perfectly normal emotion. Everybody gets angry.

Clearly, anger is a natural and common part of life which most people experience some level of on a daily basis.

But, is it okay to be angry?

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Thoughts on Adventure


As my life moves on, I realise that I am stuck in the same routine and it’s probably the same routine that everyone is cycling through. Wake. Work. Eat. Sleep. Wake. Work. Eat. Sleep.

What happened to living life to the fullest? What happened to the dreams you dared to dream and the adventures you dared to imagine when you were younger? When you grew up, you were going to travel the world. You were going to take a month out and do something so simple that it’s been almost forgotten: have fun.

Whilst many of us lose the passion for adventure throughout their teenage years, I can say that the passion is not always lost. We want the adventure. But, life get’s in the way of, well, living.

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Awkward Situations and How To Escape


Life is awkward. It presents you with awkward situations, introduces you to awkward people and is full of awkward moments. In our last, defiant attempts to relieve our discomfort when dealing with these awkward moments, we often make matters worse. But, there’s a secret. Despite all you have ever learnt, it is possible to survive awkward social situations.

Recently – on a post about farting being a milestone in a relationship – Jane and I found ourselves stumbling into the familiar territory of dealing with social situations. We came up with some creative (and oh-so-simple) phrases to escape any awkward meeting. (Jane did a wonderful thing and compiled them here – with a few added extra – for your benefit. Send your thanks.) After racking my brain for some half-witty one liners that will ensure your escape from any uncomfortable meeting, I started thinking.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all been uncomfortably meeting someone for the first time and eager to escape their company. These situations have tamed us into well-mannered animals. We often choose politeness over honesty, trying to spare all feelings where possible.

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*** COMMENT HERE ***


OpD:

Join Art’s mission in breaking the record for the most comments. There are a ton of conversations going on over there and, if you can’t find one that tickles your fancy, start a new one! There are plenty of smiling faces to help you along the way.

Join WordPress history and comment now.

Originally posted on Pouring My Art Out:

I want to break the all-time record for the most comments on a WordPress blog post.

*** PLEASE COMMENT ON THIS POST ***

Okay, some of you will see this as a shallow attempt on my part to bump up my stats.

And I’m not saying you are wrong.

But here’s the thing… oh, thing, I missed you, where have you been?

I have always said that I have the best commenters on WordPress. I have two posts that have over 1,000 comments on them… True, half of those are my return answers to comments, because I always answer my comments, but still… And I will even go so far as to admit that my comment sections… OUR comment sections… are sometimes the funniest part of my posts. Are you happy now?

But this all has me wondering what the record for number of comments on one post actually is. I want to see…

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Day Two

Day two of what is already starting to feel like a very long week…

Day Two

Late Night Musing 0:00


When someone feels low about themselves or has little self-esteem, it seems that, often, they belittle others to make themselves the bigger person.

What that person may not understand is that by wrecking someone else’s life you are doing yourself no favours. You are giving yourself something to be guilty over; something to tear you further apart. By breaking someone else you are doing the opposite of fixing yourself.
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Beating The Monday Blues


Random Funnies 161 20 Random Funnies to kick start your week

blue Monday

noun
a Monday regarded as a depressing workday in contrast to the pleasant relaxation of the weekend.

Monday’s often come as an unwelcome break from the weekend. When you have a case of the Monday Blues, it’s sometimes just necessary to have a laugh. So, if your day is starting off a little like this (or not), then read on:

image

When you sleep over your alarm and your parents have to wake you.

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Britain: The Misconceptions and The Cons


I guess you could say that I was patriotic. I’m proud to be British and I will happily wave that flag high. It is during these times (ie: the World Cup) where I am probably most patriotic. I enjoy watching our nation come together as one and support our fellow British-men.

I think that being British is entirely awesome but, that being said, there are some misconceptions that make being British all the more better than it actually is – particularly among the younger, non-British generation.

British Accents

You like the British Accent? That’s great! Honestly, it is. But…which one? There are so many British accents that you can’t simply state that you love the British accent in general. Granted, the British probably say the same thing about the Americans ect. and you guys probably all think the same thing.

If you want to get to grips with what each accent sounds like, here’s a great video:

The Queen

The Queen is the monarch of our country and, sure, that’s kinda cool. But we are no more likely to bump into her than an Australian is. Just because I live in England, doesn’t mean I exchange greetings with the Royal Family on the way to Tesco. Just because I sometimes venture into London doesn’t mean I have tea with the Queen before leaving.

I have a funny story, actually. My friend’s brother and his wife moved to New Zealand a while back and have just had a daughter. My friend’s mum went over to meet her daughter and, whilst she was over there, passed Will & Kate (Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge) in the car. She flew over 11 thousand miles and saw the couple for the first time, despite the fact that she lives not much over 10 miles from them back here.

A picture of Prince Harry – because he’s cute.

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Understanding the Mind: Bipolar Disorder


Mental health is often a topic of public discourse, but do we really know what we are talking about? Within this series (“Understanding the Mind”), I aim to provide readers with an insight about what mental illness is. To find out more and for an introduction about what this series aims to do, read this post. To read all the posts in this series, click here.

The Ins And Outs of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a mood disorder in which the person suffering with this disorder alternates between episodes of depression and elation (known as mania).

Some people also see or hear thing around them that others don’t (known as having visual or auditory hallucinations) or have uncommon and unshared beliefs (delusions).

It is estimated that around 1 percent of the population suffer from bipolar disorder at at least one point in their lives, with some people experiencing just once or two episodes of depression or mania and others experiencing many.

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