staying true to you.

staying true to you.

If you asked anybody to describe me with one word I’d expect something along the lines of  “crazy, gobby or funny” and maybe a few explicit terms from people who don’t like me but we will ignore those. I’ve always been the same; at every parent’s evening at school my parents would hear the same line from every single teacher “she’s very chatty”. Although at the time my parents can’t have been best pleased, nowadays I’m very proud to be called chatty because I know that I haven’t let time change me.

I’ve been in so many alien experiences in my lifetime; I moved schools, houses and across the UK when I was around 13- one of the most important times of a teenage life. In my old “life” I never really fit in, I had friends however I never really felt like I belonged to a particular group. After moving, I had the same issue- I wasn’t the “cool” kid, or the “clever” kid or any group in between. Several times I felt the need to change, maybe I needed to be a different person in order to fit in. One day pretty soon after I moved I decided to try to be “cool”, I backcombed my hair (yes that used to be the cool thing to do) pierced my own nose (I was pretty dramatic back then) and thought I was the coolest kid on the block. “Edgy” Tamsin lasted about 24 hours before I got bored and realised nobody cared- although I do still have my nose pierced- I must have become attached to it. Now at the ripe old age of 21 I can look around and admit that nobody seems to fit in these stereotypes and have the best bunch of friends.

Many times I even thought about deleting this blog because I worried people would find it cringe, boring, tacky or all of the above but I remembered it’s something I wanted to do and realised it didn’t matter what people thought. My point is, the thing I love about myself the most (and something I’d like to think people think about me) is that I am myself. I am weird, loud, chatty, just as I was back in primary school; I’m messy, disorganised and lazy (ok, probably not so good) but I am also loyal, hardworking and caring (if I do say so myself). Whenever I look back at old photos,  I can see that I have grown as a person (in personality and by about 3 stone) but I can also appreciate that I have kept all of these things about me that I could have easily given up a long time ago. These days people try so hard to be liked and sacrifice their personality to look good online or to seem a certain way but I have found when I am myself people are more receptive. I hope that I can look back in the next 21 years and think the same about myself (probably another 3 stone heavier and probably minus the nose piercing).

 

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As sassy as ever.

 

 

T x

 

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

So we are 5 days in, so far I haven’t cried once, have eaten at least one salad and have listened to the Greatest Showman soundtrack 138563 times. Not a bad start eh?

So 2017 was crap, I don’t know about you but I faced challenges that I never thought I’d have to and at times my strength was really tested and I began to lose myself.  I’m not going to bore you with the details of all the negative things that happened, and I’m sure many people had it much worse, but let’s just say this year could only be up from there.

I’ve never been a big “new year, new me” zombie but this year I feel a bit different, like the stars have all aligned waiting for me to make a big change, maybe it’s real and it’s this is the year I magically turn into the adult Tamsin that everyone expects me to be or maybe it’s just all the cheese I ate over Christmas repeating on me. Either way, this new found motivation to make a positive change of myself hasn’t gone amiss, it’s time to get back to a routine that I so badly fell out of towards the end of the year, get back into doing the things I love and stop putting off going to the god-damn gym.

It helps to be entering this year surrounded by supportive loved ones and friends and leaving behind the nobodies (to put it nicely) of last year. That’s probably my take-home message from the horrible experience we call 2017; live life for what really matters. I spent so much of time worrying about people and situations that I had no control of and losing focus of what really mattered.

It wasn’t all bad, in 2017 I visited the beautiful city of Galway, Ireland, landed my dream placement which will lead me to my desired career, gaining a lot of confidence in my driving and realising who I do and don’t need in my life.

SO here’s to the many drunken nights, tears and tantrums of 2017, you definitely won’t be missed but here’s also to a productive, happy new year full of love joy and (hopefully) more cheese.

T x

10 things you’ll know if you’ve worked in retail

10 things you’ll know if you’ve worked in retail

  1. The look you give your colleague when you’re serving a rude customer speaks a thousand words.- Just know, you’ll be the talk of the staff room later.
  2. Wanting to die inside when people STILL complain about having to buy a plastic bag- It’s 5p Sharron, I think you’ll survive.
  3. Going shopping and finding yourself wanting to tidy and pull forward in other stores. You barely do it in your own store but you can’t help yourself, we all gotta stick together right?
  4.  The long wait while your customer searches for their loyalty card. “It’s always the last place you look” *awkward laugh*.
  5. When customers ask “do you work here?”. No honey, I wear this uniform because it looks fab.
  6. Breaking down your days into smaller chunks to make it through. SO you’ve got 2 hours until your next hour break then only an hour and a half until you have to move department and then an hour until your break. Easy.
  7. Not being able to finish your story to your colleague because of all the stupid customers getting in the way.
  8. Starting to give someone’s change and panicking when they say “can I give you the spare 16 pence” and having to think back to GCSE Maths to work out the change.
  9. When you get bored you can wander round the shop and do mental shopping. You’ve got so much spare time you can work out all the best offers because let’s face it who wants to spend all their wages back in their own store?
  10. Feeling unnecessarily offended when customers put their money on the counter rather than in your hands.

Just some fun things, I’m sure we’ve all experienced working in retail.

T x

The (not so) good, the bad and the ugly..

The (not so) good, the bad and the ugly..

SO today’s post is something that you don’t really see talked about on blogs a lot….. COLD SORES. These little buggers aren’t on most people hot topics but can be the bane of some people’s lives.

They aren’t pretty, not only are they something you can’t really hide, they can actually be really uncomfortable. For those of you who have never had one (lucky you) you may not be aware of what they are, what causes them or be unsure whether to believe some of the myths you may have heard.

So the common cold sore is caused by the Herpes virus (not the strain you get down there) and can be caught very easily through contact with others who have a cold sore, including on towels etc.  and pretty much anybody can get infected. The virus stays in your body and can cause the cold sore if your immune system becomes compromised, even the simplest cold can trigger them. They can also be triggered by stress and things like the weather.

Post-face ruining scab, people can experience tingling and itchiness (which is worse because touching it only helps spread it), blisters break out and when they eventually burst it scabs over. This can turn into a horrible vicious cycle of scratching of the scab only for it to scab again, until eventually your skin heals. Symptoms can range from a couple of days to an ugly couple of  weeks.

My top tips:

  • The creams you can buy aren’t a gimmick, an amazing drug called acyclovir found in most creams such as Zovirax is involved in some amazing science (my fave thing)  to help treat the outbreak however are pretty much only effective pre-scabbing stage. Other creams like toothpaste can be used during the blister as it helps to dry them out (similar to when you use it for spots)
  • Try not to let it make you feel too self-conscious! Ignorant people who may stare or ask you what is, purely because they don’t understand. Just as a person can’t help getting spots, a cold sore is only a temporary inconvenience that you can’t prevent.
  • Try not to cover it. Whacking loads of concealer on top of a cold sore can be so tempting but honestly leaving it exposed will help it heal so much better plus if you use makeup brushes or sponges with foundation/concealer you may spread the cold sore further.
  • Treating a cold sore early is vital. I’ve heard from so many people to apply a cold wet tea bag as soon as you feel a tingling (not sure why this helps) but I’ve done it before and it was a miracle. Give it a try next time!
  • Be mindful of others. As you’d expect kissing is kind of off the cards for a while, but you have to be mindful of other things like sharing straws, towels and bedding.

 

T x

My African Adventure

My African Adventure

Hey all,

SO, after after months of posting about my fundraising and the potential China trip, I reached my deadline. Unfortunately, for the China trip I had been preparing for, I didn’t hit the fundraising target that was set by the charity I was working for. However I was offered a place on another life-changing trip, working with the charity  ChildReach International to help build a school in one of the Berber Villages of Morocco. At first I was so sceptical, how could pale old me deal with going to Africa??? But I took on the challenge, booked my flights and off I went, not knowing any other volunteers going or what to prepare myself for.

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Last month I returned back to England after being in Morocco for just under 3 weeks and I can’t even begin to list everything I saw and learnt on my trip but here I am attempting anyway.

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One week was spent within the village, living amongst the locals, learning their way of life whilst working with other construction worker to help build walls. The money that each volunteer raised ( I managed to raise £1,800 roughly if you were wondering *proud face*) helped pay for the wages of the other builders, the construction materials, towards other project around the world and a few personal expenses. Obviously this was a daunting task- imagine little old me carrying bricks and doing manual labour. However with my team of 8 other volunteers we worked together every day making cement, moving bricks, and painting the walls, even painting a beach scene on one wall.

Life in the Berber village was a pretty big culture shock, the community live literally just on a mountain so everything requires clinging for dear life climbing. The lack of toilets or showers was probably the biggest shock: although my squat game has improved recently, going for a poo in a hole in the middle of the night to me was pretty unforgettable but to them it’s pretty normal (sorry for TMI). Another thing that surprised me was the sheer sense of belonging we felt within their community, random villagers would welcome us and our guides into their home for tea and food without a second thought, they even threw a party to thank us for our helping 20160914_125108hand at the school. The lack of internet up in the mountains probably did me good, me and the other volunteers had so much time to hang out and get to know each other- luckily we all got along so well even after 3 weeks stuck together.I have to thank ChildReach International for letting us join this amazing project and Rare Adventures for looking after us so well.

For the rest of our time we were given the opportunity to travel freely and visit the rest of the country. As someone who hasn’t done “the travelling” thing before I was pretty anxious but as group we travelled around Marrakesh and explored the Markets, visited it’s famous Ouzoud Waterfall (talk about some amazing insta photos) and then to a city called Essouria, which was more coast based, for beach days and camel rides. I tried many new things in this time; haggling in markets, cocktails on a rooftop bar and even arabic McDonalds (Exotic, I know). Whilst travelling around, I learnt a lot, mainly that I probably wouldn’t be very good at backpacking (too much walking around soz not soz , but also a lot about myself … the classic stereotype of “finding myself” whilst travelling springs to mind.

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I am now back in the swing of normal life back at university and working, I didn’t even get a tan to remind me of my trip (pale people problems). There are some times when  I look outside the bus at the rainy weather outside and miss the beautiful country. I’ve taken home so many memories and (hopefully) 8 new friends. Certain westernised traditions were sorely missed; cups of tea and flushing toilets mainly. This whole fundraising experience, which I started all the way back in October last year, has been stressful to say the least but overall I am so glad I took this challenge as I never would have imagined myself doing some of the things I’ve done had I not. Who knows what this new adventurous side of me will lead to, but I know for sure now I’ve had a taste of travelling I am eager to explore more….

T x