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Catch Up 22

Catch Up 22
It's the "what I've been up to/into whilst my blog suffered in my absence" list that in no way excuses or explains why I've been away, in no particular order.

Let us begin now with the cow...

1. Dietary Considerations

Considered cutting out meat from my diet for about 2.5 seconds as I snacked on a double pepperoni pizza ("snacked" being the operative word). With my growing appetite - and waistline in tow - I haven't been feeling particularly hot lately so healthier lifestyle alternatives were briefly considered, including vegetarianism but that one passed quickly. See, Quorn is alright in a non-gag-reflex-inducing way, I suppose, but I have no plans to form an opinion on tofu. The meat options are always the first to go at luncheons, so I'm no stranger to veggie wraps (hunger knows no dietary preference, children - unless it's marked tofu). But I wouldn't voluntarily pick one out of a line-up if one of its chicken-stuffed cousins was next to it, nor will that cure my impulsive snacking wherein the real problem lies. As a result, gluten-free options were also considered courtesy of Mo's weird new diet - tortilla chips (eww dot com), double chocolate chip cookies (I kid you not) and the like but, you see, I quite like enjoying the taste of my food. If anyone asks though, I refuse to shop gluten-free because I do not support allergy appropriation and finding sustenance on the shelves earmarked in the supermarket as belonging to a people whose plight I myself do not share... Genius, yes? In the end, I decided to avoid frozen pizzas, limit my monthly takeout allowance to £15 (Lord help me) excluding the rare special occasion and exclusive snack on fruit, fruit and nothing but fruit. Sticking to just five portions a day is proving problematic - apples and citrus will be the death of me - but it's a start.

3. Access All Areas

Excited to see emerging talents ISAAC AVA, Fashion By Marita and more present their latest collections at Manchester Fashion Week 2016 next week c/o Amanda Moss PR. The North West fashion scene is a fast-growing melting pot of experimentalism and individuality with multicultural influences - think modern art meets weather-appropriate functionality - so of course, I'll be documenting the shows and exhibitions closely with an onslaught of images on the horizon.

5. Back to Reality

I'm ashamed to admit it but I've relapsed into binge-watching reality TV in a really bad way: everything from Dance Moms (Chloe is life) to Real Housewives of Atlanta... and Beverly Hills... and New York (love Bethenny Frankel). I am a fair few seasons behind on all of them still, mind you, so please no spoilers.

7. The Amazing Spiderbot

... this was quickly followed by a bus ride to Satan's paradise Leeds the very next day to help my favourite Ethiopian, M with her third-year design project - the same wirelessly controlled hexapod I'd been working on before I left uni last semester. Funny how things work out. But as helpful as it was seeing her prepare for her presentation the following day, I'm now absolutely dreading my own when I get back. I still have no idea what I'd like my new project to be so I can't get a head-start working on it yet; panicked doesn't even begin to cover where I'm at right now. I should've asked for a lifetime supply of Xanax for my birthday.

9. Budget Cuts

It's no secret I love to shop. I don't necessarily mean spending an ungodly amount of money on lots of stuff (although, as my many closets indicate, I really like "stuff"). The very act of visiting a store['s website] and curating often hypothetical outfits or skincare regimes in my basket with no intention to pay gives me immense joy. I've lived a thousand lives in my head imagining myself clothes I'd never dare wear IRL (not in public, anyway) to places that best answer the world's most irritating question: "Where would you wear that though?" (The answer will always be everywhere.) However, I cannot tell a lie. 90% of the time I proceed to checkout especially if free delivery is in the cards (you'd be surprised how much weight free delivery carries in one's decision to purchase) but I didn't realise just how bad my addiction was until I got not one but two fairly steady sources of income. Crack addicts have my sympathies. Being on a first-name basis with the delivery guy was an all-time low, as was accosting my best friend with countless links over virtual space to get his opinion as I tried e-shopping for him instead; a desperate but very entertaining bid to distract myself from my own "needs" that only succeeded in doing the complete opposite. Pay day was last week and needless to say, mama's broke again. But all that ends now... If I can stick to Catch Up #1, which I have done for two weeks now, I can ignore the weekly New In e-mails from Zara and think only of the laundry list of items I've been "saving for" for years now**.

11. Tumblr Love

Daily mood boarding on Tumblr; the main reason I spent this much time away from SesRevs without even realising.

13. Remembering Lisbon

Well, this is awkward. Six months in and still no Lisbon updates. But have no fear, photo diary soon come.

15. Contact Time

Spent a considerable amount of time shooting and hanging out with Manchester's next generation of musicians at Contact Theatre

17. Service With Joy

Tip your waiters, guys. My second foray into the hospitality industry, the first being working in my boarding school's kitchen to fund the retail therapy my parents wouldn't and this one being in a conference centre pretty much for the same reason so far, has actually been fairly pleasant but mostly a lot of hard work and heavy lifting. Being the petty, sardonic person I generally am with the resting b---h face and newly acquired potty mouth to boot, the biggest challenge hasn't been the hours of cardio lifting and stacking chairs and tables, sweeping, wiping etc but the constant ebullience I have to maintain while we've got clients in. The last time I had to have it turned all the way up this long in one go was my first drop-in session as a student rep. On the upside, I am working with some of the coolest people in the city serving nonstop banter as we inhale the borderline toxic fumes from cleaning fluids and play Tetris with the storage shelves. Some people don't have this luxury. Please do them a kindness and leave a tip.

19. Growth Spurt

My hair, despite my lack of efforts, has grown quite quickly in the last year. I wish I had a comforting haircare regimen with products that promise similar results to share with the ladies who've asked but it's been pretty hard keeping track of nothing at all. For future reference I wash, condition, comb and air dry my hair once a week in that order with cheap drugstore products - the L'Oréal Total Repair 5 shampoo and an argan oil-based conditioner I got for less than a pound at Home Bargains. I pat it dry, comb it out and then force my damp afro into French braids or a top knot before it rises like a kinky soufflé and solidifies. Moisturisers are very rarely involved in the process and if they are, it's usually in the form of coconut oil or the Cantu shea butter repair cream. Unhealthy, I know, but my hair appears to be responding to it.

21. Free View

Desperately seeking foreign films available online, preferable for free but I am trying out Mubi so I may waver my aversion to doling out money on anything but textiles and food, as my search for video stores not primarily carrying modern English or Hollywood titles isn't going well. It would help if I actually knew where to look to be fair. I did strike gold the other day when I found this Iranian cinema treasure chest (soon to be taken down apparently so I figure I'll download now, figure out how to play .flv files on my Mac later) and Ousmane Sembène's Black Girl on YouTube. I'd been looking for the latter for ages but this find was short-lived as the CC had it taken it down before I got home from work to watch the rest of it #sadface. Any recommendations would be much appreciated!

2. The Cult of Beauty

Fantastically late to the skincare party, I recently discovered beauty's high priestess Caroline Hirons and my bank account is really starting to feel the weight of that decision. Gone are the days where Neutrogena and Simple were the fanciest things in my beauty bag thanks to Hirons' words of wisdom and Cult Beauty's impressive range of cosmetic goodies.

While I'm still trying to figure out what order things go in - cleansers, acids, serums, face oils et al - but I've been told my skin has a nice, healthy glow to it now (thank you, Pixi Glow Tonic) so I'll take that as a sign I'm on the right track.

4. Rinse & Repeat

This has literally been stuck in a while loop in my head for months now, it'd be rude not to share.

6. 99 Minute Film School

Picked up a few filmmaking (and life) lessons from the charismatic Elliot Grove at Raindance Studios on a spur-of-the-moment day trip to the Old Smoke...

8. Bus Rage

You're no doubt familiar with the term road rage. And according to an entirely made up study, pedestrian rage affects one in every two Britons at least once in their lifetime. Allow me to introduce their marginally less known love child bus rage, an almost uninhibited rage against any and every person both within and outside the public transport vehicle particularly prone in situations where tardiness is an immediate threat. Slow-moving motorists, negligent pedestrians, languorous passengers asking for directions and taking their sweet time getting their tickets, dull bus drivers who insist on letting people with prams on knowing fully well there's hardly any space left causing everyone else to budge up against each other unnecessarily, passengers who stare... you won't be hard pressed to find deserving recipients of your evil eyes and silent verbal assaults. Seriously, this is why people kill people.

10. Festival Goals

Quite keen on hitting up a festival or two this summer, ideally for next to nothing but I get that I'm quite late to the volunteering game. It goes without saying that Parklife tops my list, not just for proximity's sake but for another solid line-up this year: Skepta, Goldlink, Jamie XX, Nao, Ice Cube, Kelela, Wolf Alice, Pusha T, Kaytra... need I go on? Here's some Mac Miller if you're in need of some festival inspiration.

12. Unfriend Request

There are many ways to lose friends on Facebook: poking (stop it); inviting me to events you know damn well I will not be attending be it because your invitation is the first I'm hearing of it, it's on another continent without the complimentary flight pass or more commonly, because I simply don't give a damn; sharing old photos on one's timeline*; sharing anything on one's timeline, really but that might just be me... For my own dear friends, I adopt a simple two-strike system over a week-long period. For example, similar to photo tags, adding me to groups that have nothing to do with me will be met with a swift exit on my part. But should you re-add me within the week, I really don't care how I know you or for how long, I will leave the group again and unfriend you. This isn't necessarily a reflection of my feelings towards you or the state of our actual relationship. We just won't be Facebook official anymore. But feel free to add me again in another seven days, terms and conditions still apply.

14. Unsung Editorials

Forever unintentionally sitting on images, I amaze myself at how unmotivated I've been to do anything about them. Granted, most of them are trapped on my hard drive. I say "trapped" because I simply refuse to accept that my hard drive keeps crashing and ejecting itself without warning because the files - literally the only copies I thought to save - are actually corrupt. The rest, you can chalk up to writer's block or, in the case of the photo above, Sanni suddenly deciding to delete all but a handful of the photos before anyone even got to see them, myself included, and then go incognito for months before 'fessing up simply because she didn't like them. Go figure.

16. Tribal Instincts

A long weekend in Leeds in March meant gatecrashing the East African Society's annual fashion show, Tribal Instincts as one of the few non-indigenous people in attendance. Arise o compatriots, we're back at it again with the shameless immigration.

18. Good Morning Call

Very mild spoilers ahead. Do yourself a favour and get with the live-action shōjo manga programme if you haven't already. I can't quite put into words how much I adore the Netflix/Fuji TV coproduction Good Morning Call in particular, specifically the stoic leading man Uehara and the humorous albeit predictable writing (save for the random plot catalysts but who doesn't love those?) but you can read Mo's review to get the general gist as she put me onto it. Feminists beware of Nao. Everybody beware of F--kboy Daichi.

20. Digital Learning

There are an intimidating number of online learning courses in my immediate future but I'm determined to finish them all this summer. From Javascript to Japanese philosophy I am on the path to obnoxious Woody Allen-esque glory, making random references in conversation that, although humorous and timely, ultimately do nothing but indicate my apparent worldliness and desperate need to make that known. I jest, of course. As is my approach to drama within my social circles, I just like knowing everything.

22. Laser Quest

Spent an afternoon playing laser tag at the Trafford centre with the team from the conference centre, and kicked a lot of ass with the fourth highest overall score in the first round and seventh in the second out of twenty-five because I got Enders Gamed by a very synchronised group of kids who clearly didn't care about their own positions on the leaderboard. There was a rock climbing session as well during which my lack of upper-body strength became public knowledge. "Abysmal" just about sums up how I did. Never again.

*Late last year, a lot of people started going through old photos leaving comments that brought them to the top of everyone's news feeds but I personally didn't mind because I customised all remaining photo albums' privacy settings a long, long time ago so only those the pictures are relevant to/those I don't mind seeing my embarrassing throwbacks can actually access them. But to air out a girl's awkward, pubescent laundry? On her own timeline? With no warning? In the name of nostalgia? Why evils? Why, why, why?

** Watch how long that lasts.


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