I am proud of myself.

A pretty self indulgent blog post I’m not going to lie…
To put this post into context you may need to read THIS first.

In May 2014 I pretty much hit my rock bottom, or at least I hope things don’t get worse! But now, at the start of 2015 I am genuinely so proud of myself. I still have a very long way to go but I can feel things (very slowly) changing and I don’t think we as humans give ourselves enough credit, so here I am saying;

  • I am proud of myself for moving to London all on my own. For attending job interviews, arranging flat viewings, phoning utility companies and registering for a doctors surgery. There was once a time when I hated change! My dad always likes to remind me of the time I said ‘I don’t like change, I don’t even like it when people change their phone number!’. Well 8 year old Siana…look at yourself now!
  • I am proud of myself for securing an internship at my dream agency with no help from family connections or my ‘fairy godfather’ dad who until this point had arranged every opportunity I had.
  • I am proud of myself for meeting new people and making new friends.
  • I am proud of myself for no longer being afraid to be alone. For going to the theatre or the cinema by myself and being completely content.
  • I am proud of myself for saying yes to more, even if I am afraid, for not hiding away in my flat and for making my time here so much better because of it.

As I said I still have a long way to go, there are still a lot of things I avoid, and things that make my stomach turn just thinking about them, but I honestly feel like London life is slowly but surely changing me for the better and bringing me out of my shell. I have absolutely no idea what this year is going to bring, or where I am going to be come the end of it, or how I am going to feel, but I’m going to fasten my seatbelt and attempt to stay on this roller-coaster (wow what a cheese ball I can be!).

I don’t think I say this enough but thank you to everyone who has helped me in some way, big or small, it doesn’t go unnoticed!

Lots of love xxx

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The woes of a single girl on a mission to avoid men.

Ok so we all know I have an extremely poor track record with the R word…relationships…or just boys/men in general really! I pretty much spend my time avoiding single men and ALL of my best boy friends are my friends boyfriends, it’s just safer that way! No need to deal with the awkward situation where one likes the other and things get tangled…

HOWEVER

Despite living by these guidelines I still seem to find myself in THE most awkward situations (for me anyways! Let’s face it I can be a very awkward person). On 3 separate occasions since moving to London I have found myself having to smile and politely edge away from the male species as they tell me I’m beautiful, that they ‘just had to say hello’ and that they would love to go out with me…CRINGE.

Let me tell you some stories:

Covent Garden Man
This was encounter 1 of 2 whilst living in London during summer 2013. I was walking through Covent Garden when all of sudden I hear ‘Excuse me, excuse me!’. Naturally I think I must have dropped something and some nice person is trying to return it to me however, when I turn around I see a man (can’t remember what he looks like I was too shocked) bounding towards me! He tells me that he was sat outside at a nearby cafe, saw me walk past and couldn’t resist running after me to tell me how beautiful he thought I was. I MEAN WHO DOES THAT!?

‘Right…’ I thought!

I then proceeded to answer every question he had for me with a complete lie.

‘What are you doing?’
Oh just been shopping. (Actually been at work but didn’t want him to know I worked around there)

‘Oh do you live near here?’
No I’m just in London for the day…(Actually lived about 10 mins walk away and did so for a month or so)

‘Do you have time for a drink?’
Afraid not I’ve got to go meet my Mum sorry! (Actually went home and spent my whole afternoon sat watching episode after episode of Drop Dead Diva)

I then very politely thanked him for the compliment and walked away QUICKLY before he had chance to decide on another sprint to catch up with me again.

London Eye Man
This was encounter 2 of summer 2013 in London. This time I was spending a Saturday afternoon minding my own business catching some rays and people watching in Jubilee Gardens next to the London Eye. Next thing I know a man who looked like he must be in his very late twenties at the least came and sat next to me deciding to strike up a full on conversation. He had a very strong accent and so hurdle number one on trying to politely shoo him away was simply understanding what he was saying!
This man had decided that he wanted us to be ‘friends’. Now whether he meant friends or ‘friends’ 😉 by this who knows but honestly…I didn’t want to talk to anyone! Friend or more! When I politely tried to tell him that we couldn’t be friends without knowing each other first he said ‘Yes that is why I am talking to you so we can be friends’…

‘Greattt…’ I thought! Now what?

I went on to tell him that he seemed like a very nice man but I just didn’t really need any more friends and wasn’t going to be in London very long so it would be difficult anyway. THEN he decided it wouldn’t be so difficult if he had my phone number!!

‘Oh joyyy..’ It just gets better!

I told him that I was sorry I didn’t want anymore friends and he asked ‘Why?’. I told him I had enough, he said ‘you can never have too many friends, I’ll be good!’ I said sorry I just don’t want anymore, he once again asked ‘Why?’. It was like trying to reason with a 5 year old!! I told him I was shy and didn’t want to make any more friends, to which he replied ‘you don’t seem very shy’! I tried EVERYTHING to get through to him but he was not having it! By this point I was hoping someone, anyone, would come and save me, even another guy! Gosh then I’d be like the piece of bread all the seagulls flock around! HA! Ye right! Anyways I won’t drag on (like the real conversation did), I did eventually manage to get rid of him by repeating the same things over and over again until I’m pretty sure he just got bored!
Safe to say the minute he walked away I went home to avoid anymore encounters! Peaceful afternoon of sunbathing well and truly ruined.

Pret Boy
Now this encounter happened today and was the final straw of inspiration to writing my woes in this blog post. You may notice that this was a ‘boy’ rather than a ‘man’ that is because he was still at uni. I know I have only just graduated and may be the same age as him but somehow him being at uni made him seem VERY young! ALSO…how is it that I went through 3 years of uni without ever being so much as chatted to by a uni guy and NOW I attract them!?!
Anyways I was sat minding my own business with my headphones on next to the window in Pret when I get tapped on the shoulder. I think it’s someone asking me to leave because I’d finished eating and it was busy but nooooo he had purposely come into Pret to tell me how beautiful he thought I was. Naturally I looked shocked, awkward and was wishing him to disappear to which he said ‘you look shocked, do you not get many handsome guys coming to tell you you’re beautiful?’ HA! Oh god could he be any more corny. THEN he said ‘Oh look it must be fate the people next to you are leaving so I can sit and chat to you’. I used every ounce of fairy dust I had to wish those people to stay there but unfortunately they DID leave and he DID sit down. The conversation continued, him asking me where I was from, what I do etc etc. and me being very friendly and polite because I could never be anything else but then he asked for my number… doh! He also did that thing which I am pretty sure is programmed into guys when they’re born whereby he phoned me before saying goodbye to check I had given him the right number! Luckily I had and just planned to ignore him when he tried to contact me but then when he decided to watch me save his number into my phone too I had that awkward moment of not remembering the name he had just told me, partly because I wasn’t really paying attention and really was just praying for it to be over! Anyways, he decided to set a date to meet again, so if anyone wants to meet man number 3 then be at Oxford Circus Topshop next Friday at 9pm, he’ll see ya there 😉 Don’t worry I do plan on replying if he messages me letting him down gently, but no thankyou i’m not going.

One final detail about this encounter…I got a kiss on each cheek when he left, a kiss on each cheek from a horrible wirey beard, the feeling of which lingered for hours afterwards! Bleurgh.

Now I know this may all sound like very strange reactions to any normal girl who would love to be flattered by men feeling the need to tell her she’s beautiful but honestly, this is why I avoid guys! I find that odd need they all have to flirt with a girl instantly really rather annoying! I am just about getting comfortable with talking to strangers (who don’t want to flirt with me!) now…lets take things slow hey!

Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and had a giggle or two at my very unlucky expense!

**Oh and here’s a fun little game…count how many times I use the word awkward!!**

Top 10 Highlights of 2014

When life doesn’t go quite the way you had planned it is VERY easy to focus on the negatives, I for one am extremely guilty of this and just the other day found myself saying that 2014 had been an awful year full of bad memories. HOWEVER, when I decided to flick through a years worth of Facebook photos and pick out my top 10 highlights of 2014 it’s fair to say I was wrong, I have a lot of really good memories from 2014 I just needed a little reminder. I wanted to share these memories with you here and as a nice little post for myself to look back on. I will list them in chronological order as best as I can to avoid favouritism. Hope you enjoy!

1. My Housemates

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Living with these girls made this year fun! We did pretty much everything together from dance to food time and there was an endless supply of great conversations about Beth’s summer romances and LUDanS gossip. I can’t say the house was always beautifully clean or at all hygienic as Beth and I spent one evening unclogging the shower to find what can only be described as some living monster in there. We gagged and cried with laughter. Flo often made us all feel ashamed at how hard she worked and how little we all did as we sat and caught up on Dance Moms or Revenge, but living with 4 girls who shared the same interests as me whether it was dancing or tv shows was great and I wish we could all still live together down in Landan town. Love you girls ❤

2. Working for LUSU

My role on the LUSU Solutions Team was the first job I ever had and I Blog21couldn’t have enjoyed it more. Every day was different (except a few mind numbing occasions behind the desk where NOTHING happened). I got to work at events, help people with enquiries, attempt to tackle my fear of phone calls, work with the best team of 12 students, have the greatest boss (shoutout for you there Tom Pinder) and be surrounded by some of the wackiest but nicest personalities in that office. I miss them all a lot!

Working for the Students’ Union meant working alongside 3 of my best friends Jenny, Becky and Em and being a student ambassador for the University. I got to tell prospective students how amazing it was and how much I loved it. Pretty sure I needed that as otherwise I may have exploded from Lancaster pride.

3. LUDanS

I can’t narrow this down to any one particular moment because whether it was being President, competing, choreographing, performing or making friends with everyone, everything was amazing and literally shaped my 2014.

I got to be President of THIS society of talented and bubbly dancers.

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I got to work alongside THIS gorgeous exec full of some of my closest friends.

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I got to compete with THIS amazing competition squad winning numerous trophies, best choreography awards and turning heads wherever we went. The amount of pride that this brought me throughout the year is like nothing else i’ve ever experienced!

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And finally I got to organise and perform in this show!

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4. Being the ‘Poster Girl’

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Just a funny little thing I will Blog12always remember about 2014.

The year Lancaster hosted the 50th annual Roses sporting competition organised by my best friend and promoted by my beautiful face. I was featured in all my life size glory on pillars around campus and my lovely headshot could be spotted around the opening ceremony arena and football pitch. I can’t act as if I was embarrassed though…it’s no secret I loved it and now have my own copy of the picture (under my bed, not too sure what to do with it!)

This was also the first and only time I will ever wear pointe shoes. Amazing how deceiving a photograph can be hey. You’d think I was a prima ballerina from the look of this! Truth is I could just about stand there like that but when asked to turn…or arabesque…it was a big fat NO!

5. My 21st Birthday

What was supposed to be a quiet birthday which I didn’t bother celebrating very much because it was in the middle of everyone’s exams and I wasn’t in much of a celebratory mood turned into the BEST birthday surprise I could ever have asked for and am still so grateful for. Emily organised a birthday treasure hunt around Lancaster involving breakfast, shopping, manicures, ice cream sundaes, movies and ending with a meal with all of my friends who gave up precious revision time to spend it with me and I love you all for that! MASSIVE thank you once again to you too Emmy, you’re so good to me 🙂

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6. Cycling around Grizedale Forest

A somewhat unexpected memory butBlog23Blog24 I certainly won’t forget this any time soon! The day Em and I decided to cycle 10.8 miles up and down the ‘mountains’ (i’m going to call them mountains!) of Grizedale Forest. Never have I had such an achey bum or been so proud of myself for actually doing some exercise! Despite the pain and bruises for days I had a really good time that day and it’s a cute little memory to hold on to.

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7. Grad Ball

Dressing like a princess, having Loui as my date and going to Grad Ball with so many of the friends I’ve made over the past 3 years just had to be included in my top 10. I watched all of my older friends graduate and attend Grad Ball so when it came to my turn it was definitely a bit surreal but everything I had expected and a lovely way to end an amazing 3 years. It was also a proud moment as once again Em and a lot of my LUSU friends had organised it and boy was it a fantastically put together event!

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8. New York with my Mummy

The trip of a lifetime to New York to celebrate my 21st birthdayBlog22 and tick it off of the bucket list. It’s a well known fact that I am a very well travelled little missy however one place I had never been and always wanted to go to was New York so we had always said that when I turned 21 my Mum would take me. It was lovely to spend some quality time with her, seeing the city, trying to work out the subway, cycling for 9 hours, getting drenched in the rain, watching Broadway shows, eating too much pizza and taking lots of pictures. Mum…if you’re reading this (which you probably are), then thank you for the most amazing holiday and week away with you. It won’t just be a highlight of 2014 but 2015, 2016, 2017…you get the picture! I love you.

9. Graduating from Lancaster University with the girl it all started with

Yes you Becky. You made it in to my highlights! Woohoo! We both made it through our degrees and graduated with a 2:1, but the highlight for me was getting to graduate with this beauty. We had very different friendship groups at uni and drifted a little bit during the beginning of 2014 however I would never have wanted to graduate with anyone else and it felt extra special to know that we quite literally were together from the very beginning, that first day I followed you through the Management School, all the way to this day…when we graduated, supposedly as young women…hmm! You know you’re a special lickle egg to me.

Blog410. Moving to London to start a 3 month internship at AKA

So 2014 ended with the big brave move to London to start an internship at Blog2an agency I had my eye on for a year prior to graduating. A dream come true really! Well..besides getting on a West End stage but that’s a very different story of which I’v partly achieved now…

I have found myself working within the loveliest team and loving every minute of the past 10 weeks I have spent with them. I have no regrets whatsoever about the choices I made post graduation and am happy where I have ended up. Now we just have to see where 2015 takes me!

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When I said 2014 had been a bad year I couldn’t have been more wrong really hey? It did certainly have its low points but at the end of the day they only make you more grateful for moments like these. I don’t plan on making any big new years resolutions this year as I’m still working on some of the challenges 2014 threw at me and would find it all too easy to just put pressure on myself to make 2015 perfect…which isn’t realistic. I do however plan on getting back to dancing as I haven’t danced since May and that is just unacceptable, and I plan to lose the stone I have put on since the beginning of 2014. We’ll see how I get on with those for now!

To anyone who has featured in these 2014 highlights. I love youuuuuuu. And to anyone who hasn’t, I probably love you too because I’m nice like that!

**HAPPY NEW YEAR**

Made in Dagenham

MiD logoA little while ago I told myself that I most probably was not going to write about all of the shows I have been seeing recently because in comparison to the many thorough reviews I read at work, I really wouldn’t have much to add…HOWEVER, having just watched Made in Dagenham for the second time and left the theatre feeling (potentially) even happier than I did the first time, I just HAVE to tell everyone about it!

Granted I am a sucker for a good girl power story with some belting tunes (take my obsession with Legally Blonde for example!) but this show also has an extremely poignant storyline, an incredibly clever script which I picked up on more the second time around, and some ridiculously talented cast members!

If you’re reading this wondering what a musical based in Dagenham could possibly be about then I shall tell you…

In 1968 the women who worked as Machinists at the Ford factory in Dagenham had their pay downgraded to B grade meaning they were considered unskilled workers. What then started as a fight for grade C pay developed into a fight for equal pay for women. This musical tells the true story of the women of Ford Dagenham and their fight.

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It has just the right amount of politics to do justice to this true story, combined with humour, emotion and some amazing scenery to put together a fantastic show I would happily go and watch again tomorrow! Gemma Arterton stars as the lead, Rita O’Grady, and despite sometimes disagreeing with shows which cast celebrities purely to, in my opinion, sell tickets, I think that Gemma plays the role perfectly requiring her to go on an emotional roller coaster throughout pretty much the entire second half, get the audience on her side almost instantly to ensure they believe in everything she is fighting for and sing almost every number in the show. She is a beautifully talented leading lady I would MiD2happily watch again in future productions. Other amazing cast members are Emma Lindars who belts some insane tunes throughout the show and who’s parts I could only dream of managing, Sophie Isaacs who also has an incredible voice and is an eye catching cast member throughout, Sophie Stanton who is just downright hilarious the whole way through and who brings some light hearted moments to an otherwise very serious second half, Sophie-Louise Dann as Barbara Castle with her powerful voice in ‘Ideal World’ and finally Adrian der Gregorian who’s song ‘The Letter’ hasbeen stuck in my MiDhead since the first time I saw the show! That is just to name a few…really the entire cast is amazing and Mark Hadfield probably can’t go without mention for his extremely funny portrayal of the Prime Minister.

In all honesty I cannot recommend this show enough for a light hearted night out which leaves you with a serious message and a ridiculously catchy soundtrack in your head. There have been rumours of quiet audiences at Made in Dagenham but tonight there was a standing ovation just like the last time I saw it and rightly so, if you’re reading this and haven’t been lucky enough to see the show yet then don’t wait, don’t listen to any negative rumours you might hear, just BOOK YOUR TICKETS now and thank me when you are as enthusiastic about it as I am!

Tara for now, I’m off to vote in the WhatsOnStage awards! You should too =) Xxx

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The Breakfast Club – Soho

You cannot queue for The Breakfast Club for two hours and NOT blog about it! So here goes, I attempted to take some artsy photographs (and failed!) and ate a fry up. Woop!

 

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Oh…and I know you’re asking ‘Was it worth it?’. Honestly…what food IS worth queuing for two hours? But it was one of the best cooked breakfasts i’ve had, but no I would not queue up for it again! Once is enough, been there, done that, got the food baby!

New Home, New Job (Part 2) – Week 1 as an AKA Intern

Roughly 14 months ago I decided I wanted to put my marketing knowledge into practice in the industry which I have always loved; theatre. From that moment on I started searching through my collection of West End programmes to find out where and how I could do this. I came across an agency called AKA and pretty much from that moment on have wanted to work there…..and now I am!! I can’t say I have ever really wanted something, put my mind to it and got it before so this feels pretty great!!

On 13th October I started as the Social Media Intern at the AKA offices on Shaftesbury Avenue and am absolutely loving it. I have found myself surrounded by some of the most lovely people and obviously share my theatre obsession with all of them! Having completed 3 work experience placements in the past I consider myself to be pretty qualified when it comes to reviewing a placement and this one rates highly! Everyone made me feel so welcome and I was given things to do straight away making me feel useful and wanted, unlike some other placements where I have sat doing nothing for 2 weeks. The offices are reeeeeally cool with the reception area looking like a theatre with a fluffy red carpet, theatre seats and musical memorabilia on the wall, a big ‘Stage door’ sign over the door to my office area and a lit up ‘Diner’ sign on the wall in the Kitchen. This waaka interns in fact all of the office that I saw for the first 4 days of my internship due to a slightly minimal tour hehe. Turns out there were a lot more people hiding up the other 2 flights of stairs!!  So far I have had the privilege of complimentary tickets to two shows, Uncle Vanya and The Scottsboro Boys, I have worked on content for a number of social media pages for shows currently on the West End and some opening later this year, I have sent some official emails to bloggers making me feel super important and I have spent a lot of time reading through theatre reviews and getting to know the ins and outs of who to listen to when looking at the industry. I have another 11 weeks with this fab team and I already do not want to leave. Unfortunately there is no permanent position at the end of this internship but regardless of what happens next it is going to be a great experience to have under my belt!

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Check back in the future for mini reviews on some of the many shows I am going to see!

New Home, New Job (Part 1) – Welcome to SW19

Since my last post things suddenly started to look up and I signed for a flat and got myself a 3 month internship all in one week! I have now moved into my flat and wanted to share a few pictures with everyone! Visitors are always welcome and if anyone is looking to move down to London I have a spare room and could happily welcome a flat mate!

My Bedroom


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Bathroom


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Guest Bedroom


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Living Room


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Kitchen


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I’m starting my AKA internship on Monday 13th so tune in soon after that for Part 2!