Wednesday, 3 July 2019

A Trip To The Theatre: The Light In The Piazza

Welcome back to another brand new post finally!! I've been so bad on here recently but if i'm honest i've not really had any inspiration/ motivation until now. On Sunday 30th June, I went to see a musical i'd only come across recently called The Light in the Piazza and I wanted to do a little review and share my thoughts whilst the show is still fresh in my mind. I won't ramble too much in a long intro so i'll just get on with the review and hope you enjoy!

The Light in the Piazza is set in 1950's Florence, Italy. To begin with, it does seem as though it is just your typical 'rom-com' type show. It has a stunning, romantic score behind it with the most talented cast perfectly performing through each song in it's own right. It follows the story of a boy and girl meeting and falling in love but, as with any love story, it does not run smoothly with misunderstandings and obstacles standing the way of the two being together.
Dove Cameron plays Clara, a young girl on holiday with her mother Margaret Johnson played by Renee Fleming. Mrs Johnson makes hints that Clara is not like other girls her age and we later learn this was due to an accident Clara had aged 12 leading her to have learning difficulties and a more child-like innocence. The interactions between Clara and Fabrizio, played by Rob Houchen make for beautiful scenes as their love grows and the language barrier never being a problem which is explored through song.


As I previously mentioned, The Light in the Piazza has a truly stunning score with the opening number "Statues and Stories" setting the joyful scene with some well timed comedic notes.
Clara's first solo song "The Beauty Is" is potentially one of my favourite songs from the score. It reflects Clara's optimism and innocence and is so beautifully sung by Dove who truly has a beautiful and almost angelic like voice.
Next up, "Il Mondo Era Vuoto" - this is sung by Rob and done so perfectly in Italian. This is the audiences first opportunity to hear his powerful tenor range and done brilliantly, in my opinion, Rob can sing pretty much anything and everything.
Renee does an outstanding job as Clara's mother and has some brilliantly done one liners. Her voice ranges from powerful tones, to more soft and gentle tones to coincide with the scenes perfectly.
Passegiatta is another of my favourite songs. It's beautifully written with Fabrizio asking Clara to walk the streets of Florence with him. With lyrics saying "come with me, walk with me in the place that I know" and "walk with me in the place that I live from a child" it's hard not to fall in love with the wonderful simplicity of the lyrics during this song.
Rob, Liam Tamne who plays Guiseppe - Fabrizio's brother and Alex Jennings who plays Signor Naccerelli, the boys father, make up a clever, light-hearted humerous trio especially during "Aiutami" in act 2 in which we see an Italian family argument with Fabrizio unsure what to do, this song also features the ever amazing Celinde Schoenmaker as Franca, Guiseppe's wife.
Another personal favourite song is "Say it Somehow" which is sung by Dove and Rob (Clara and Fabrizio) and is their way of telling each other to express their feelings in a way they'd both understand. It perfectly captures the love between the characters and highlights just how well Dove and Rob's voices compliment one another with some beautiful harmonies merging together effortlessly.
"The Light in the Piazza" shows off Dove's angelic vocals once again as she fills the audience with another beautiful song with "Love To Me" being a love song sung by Rob after Clara has expressed to Fabrizio there's something wrong with her and she isn't quite "normal", however he proves this doesn't phase him during this song as he only sees her positive qualities.
There are plenty of other songs which I haven't mentioned during this as i've picked out a few to give you an idea on the song/music style and if you haven't already, i'd highly recommend checking out the soundtrack and I guarantee you'll fall in love with it just as much as I have.

In conclusion, The Light in the Piazza is an incredible piece of theatre with the most beautiful score and I honestly can't express enough through words just how good it is. It's not a show i'd come across until recently, but I am so pleased it came about and came to London as short a run as it may have been. It had the most wonderfully, talented cast shining throughout from start-finish and as a lover of going to the theatre, there's one thing I absolutely love seeing and that's the cast enjoying themselves and the show they are doing and that certainly has shown within this cast. Going on the audience reaction from the show I saw and the responses i've seen on social media, i'm sure this won't be the last we see of The Light in the Piazza and i'll patiently await the day it hopefully returns to London and i'd highly recommend anyone checking it out if and when the day comes.

Thank you for reading, i've really enjoyed writing this post and i'd definitely love to do more of this in the future. I hope you enjoyed and hopefully i'll be back soon with another post!
                                                        Beki x

Monday, 6 May 2019

Life Update - May 2019

Hello everyone, welcome back to my blog...finally! I just wanted to give a little update on things and why i've had such a big break from blogging. My last post was back in October 2018, after that work started building up and I was quite busy so didn't have much time to sit down and write. Alongside this, back at the beginning of December, my Grandad got taken into hospital. He had been very poorly for quite a while and had Parkinsons for around 12/13 years. During that time, I was more focused on him and my family rather than blogging. Sadly, he passed away a couple of weeks later and I was completely heartbroken. He was such a wonderful man and I have nothing but good memories of him. This time really made me realize just how quickly things can change and it's taught me to never take anything or anyone for granted. My mental health definitely went rapidly downhill and I ended up feeling very low, helpless and lost. I'm slowly starting to get a little better again and I want to talk through a few things in this post that have given me that much needed 'pick-me-up'. I really hope you enjoy reading the rest of this post.


Back in January this year, myself and one of my friends Fleur went to see Ramin Karimloo in Southend at the Palace Theatre. For anyone who doesn't know who Ramin is, he's an incredibly talented musical theatre performer/actor. He has the most amazing voice and I was completely and utterly mesmerised by every song he sung. This was my first proper time seeing Ramin live (not including seeing him in a musical called Murder Ballad a few years ago) and i'd 100% book to see him again in a heartbeat! If anyone may be interested in him, he has music available on iTunes, google play etc, highly recommend you check him out!!


March was a busy but good month. I had a week off from work and made the most of it. 

This started off on Sunday 17th March seeing Rip It Up: the 60's with another of my friends, Dani. Rip It Up is a singing and dancing through 60's music show starring Aston Merrygold (JLS), Harry Judd (McFly), Louis Smith (Olympic Gymnast) and Jay McGuinness (The Wanted). We had M&G, front row tickets and loved every single second. It's such a fun loving, feel good show and i'm so sad that it's West End run is coming to an end soon. If you have a chance, catch it at the Garrick Theatre in London before 2nd June, you won't regret it if you go!

Next up, I had 3 Collabro shows in the one week in Southend, Cambridge and Guildford. Anyone who knows me will know how much I adore those boys. They've been a huge part of my life for the past 5 years and I don't think i'll ever tire of seeing them perform. I'm beyond grateful for all the memories they've been a part of and all the friendships i've made thanks to them.
This was their 4th UK tour to go along with their 4th album - Road to the Royal Albert Hall. The shows were so incredible and each night slightly different. They sung every song from the new album plus their beautiful original song 'Lighthouse' and their 2 BGT songs both from Les Mis - 'Bring Him Home' and 'Stars'. They also added the song 'Faithfully' by Journey/from Glee - this was a song i'd personally never come across before but have ended up loving it, it's a beautiful song and they do an amazing version and I know i'm amongst many when I say I hope it's a contender for album 5! They also wowed the audience with a Motown Medley as their finale which covered some of the classic Motown numbers finishing with 'Can You Feel It'. It was great to get up and have a dance at the end of the show as well as in the middle with their Jersey Boys medley which was one of my personal favourite parts of the show!
We were introduced to a new support act for this tour; Georgia and the Vintage Youth. Georgia is a jazz style singer/musician from Essex and had 2 band members with her; Harry on the drums and Marco on the saxophone. I'll admit I wasn't sure what I was going to make of Georgia as i'm not really a jazz music fan, but I was pleasantly surprised and found her very good! She's a talented young singer and I believe she'll have a bright future ahead of her.
The boys also had 2 incredibly special guests on tour with them; west end superstars Kerry Ellis and Lauren Samuels. I saw Kerry at all 3 of the shows I went to this week, now I knew she was good but I wasn't prepared for how much she'd just totally blow my mind when performing. She is an absolute powerhouse performer and I felt so incredibly lucky to be seeing her perform live. A personal highlight of the shows for me had to be the Collabro boys joining Kerry to sing 'A Million Dreams' from The Greatest Showman. One of my favourite songs from my favourite film and so beautifully done!!

To finish my week off, myself and my friend Emily w
ent to see Wicked on Saturday 23rd and it was, as always, fabulous. I think i've seen Wicked 4 times now and each time I end up loving it even more and I am desperate to go back asap. Wicked relates to The Wizard of and it tells the story of what happened before. I can't fault this show at all, the cast are always amazing and the music/songs in the show have a mixture of fast and slow numbers, happy and sad, love and friendship. It's a truly special show and i'd definitely recommend it to anyone who maybe hasn't seen it!

This was such a good week and I was so sad when it came to an end and I had to go back to work. The comedown from that week hit me quite hard and quick but thankfully it wasn't too long until I had something else to look forward to!


April wasn't quite so busy but I had an equally exciting few trips out. First up was another Collabro show (yes, show number 4) this time in Ipswich. This show was so special and also slightly more emotional for me. I suddenly came over filled with anxiety and dread before the show and wanted to walk out but I was so thankful to have the support of my friend Elly to help me through the show. I think the main reason I got a bit more emotional at this show was down to the fact I was in the same place I was in when my Grandad passed away in December and had no idea at the time, so as nice as it was to go back, it filled me with very high emotions for the evening. I was also  trying to hold back tears during Georgia's set which made me realise just how emotional i'd end up that night although I wasn't quite prepared to cry as much as I did...never mind! Once again, we saw the legend that is Kerry Ellis and I was still just as in awe of her talent as I was the first time I saw her perform. Aswell as singing A Million Dreams with Collabro, Kerry performed 2 solo songs being 'Anthem' from Chess and 'This Is Me' from The Greatest Showman - both of which were incredible each time I heard them!

My next trip in April was to see the musical Waitress. Waitress has recently transferred to the West End from Broadway and i've been desperate to see it for so long. I'd become obsessed with the soundtrack which was written by Sara Bareilles and seeing the show live was everything I hoped it would be and more. It follows the story of Jenna, a Waitress in a pie shop who dreams of a better life for herself. Currently, the show stars Katharine McPhee as Jenna, Marisha Wallace as Becky, Laura Baldwin as Dawn and David Hunter as Doctor Pomatter. I went with Fleur and we actually saw Piers Bate as Doctor Pomatter who is the 1st cover and was making his debut in the role the day we went and he was wonderful! You wouldn't have guessed it was his debut that's for sure. The whole cast of this show gave it 110%, it's a heart warming, funny show with some wonderful songs! I have 2 favourite songs from this show and surprise surprise, they're the ones that make me cry, pretty typical me really! The songs are 'You Matter To Me' which is a duet sung between Jenna and Doctor Pomatter. The lyrics to this song are just so beautiful and for me, it's more than just your typical love song, it's powerful and can have a meaning to relate to love, friendships or family. The other song is 'She Used To Be Mine' - I definitely feel as though I can relate to this song and certain lyrics due to my depression battle. When Kat was singing this song she put so much emotion into it and it had me sitting sobbing in my seat at how beautiful she sounded aswell as the relation to the lyrics. I will definitely be booking to go again asap, I feel it could quickly end up in my top favourite musicals and I am also desperate for a London cast recording!

My 3rd and final April trip was my 5th and final Collabro show of this tour - the grand finale at London's iconic Royal Albert Hall. This show was super special, it was a time where I was reunited with friends i've not seen for a while and a time I got to meet new friends who i'll hopefully be friends with for a long time to come. Now, they'd promised surprises at this show and it was definitely packed with amazing surprises. Surprise number 1 came in the form of Anna Bartle (Matt's beautiful girlfriend) performing a stunning dance to 'Maria' from West Side Story as the boys were singing. Personally, I found her dancing stunning and inspiring and she looked absolutely amazing too. Another surprise was Christopher Edwards (Jamie's beautiful boyfriend) doing a beautiful dance during Electricity. This again inspired me and as I dance myself, i've decided to set myself the challenge of one day attempting to create my own dance to this song, not for any reason other than to challenge myself and see what I can potentially do. Next up we had Michael Xavier who is an amazing west end performer join the boys to sing 'Why God Why' from Miss Saigon and one things for sure, he fitted in wonderfully and sounded brilliant! I finally got to see Lauren Samuels perform at the RAH too aswell as Kerry. Kerry once again sung Anthem and Lauren sung Tightrope from The Greatest Showman. Both of these ladies are superstars in their own rights and with the both of them singing 'A Million Dreams' with the boys, I was just in awe and I need to hear that again and again! The absolute highlight of the night came just before the Motown finale when the Collabro boys, Kerry, Lauren, Chris and Anna all coming out and singing the most iconic (in my opinion) musical theatre song EVER - One Day More from Les Mis. Being a huge fan of both this musical and song, it's safe to say I got very excited at this and I have to say another huge thank you to my friend Nicola who very kindly filmed it for me! The whole show and tour was incredible and definitely the perfect 'pick-me-up' which I very much needed after an awful few months, i'm now sad it's all over but so thankful I have some amazing memories to look back on and cherish for a long time.


We're only 6 days into May so I haven't got alot to say just yet, however yesterday (Sunday, 5th May), myself and Emily went to see a show at Cadogan Hall - West End Does: The Magic of Animation 2. West End Does is a company set up by Rob Houchen who is an incredibly talented west end superstar, Tom Callister and Rob's mum. They put on shows with different themes and a year ago was the first ever show - the magic of animation. Yesterday was a sequel to it and it was definitely my favourite show yet. Hosted by the incredible and hilarious Dan Buckley and Scott Paige, the cast of insanely talented west end stars sung through some brilliant songs from the world of disney and animation. The cast was made up of: Rob Houchen, Bradley Jaden, Dan Buckley, Scott Paige, Laura Baldwin, Celinde Schoenmaker, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Rachel John, Jenny O'Leary and John Ellis. Each performer was absolutely incredible and I heard some songs i'd not come across before but have fallen in love with. Especially 'If Only' from Little Mermaid the musical which I didn't know existed but need to know more about from just hearing that one song. I had such a fantastic evening and I know Emily did too. We've both been to every West End Does show together so far and I always have the best time at their shows and I can't wait to see what's next!

So this marks the end of my little update and hopefully it's the start of some new inspiration and i'll be back with another post again soon!

I hope you've enjoyed this post and thank you for taking the time to read it.
                                                          Love, Beki x

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

A Trip To The Theatre: Eugenius

Hey everyone, welcome back to my blog! So for today's post, as you can tell by the title, i'm doing another theatre show review. I don't make a secret of the fact I absolutely LOVE musicals and going to the theatre, it's definitely by far one of my favourite things to do in my spare time. Sitting in a theatre and watching a show just takes me to another place for a couple of hours and i'd probably go as far to say it's my "happy place". Anyway, i've been to see a particular show twice within two weeks now, Sunday 30th September and Sunday 7th October, and whilst it's still fresh in my mind and I have a bit of time, I wanted to sit down and tell you about it and my thoughts/opinions on the show. That show is Eugenius and I am currently listening to the soundtrack as I write this post.

If you've not heard of Eugenius i'll give you a quick backstory. It follows the story of a geeky boy named Eugene who has a genius creative flare for drawing and writing comic books inspired by his dreams who longs for recognition and with the help of his best friends, Janey and Feris, Hollywood comes calling when a producer wants to make a film out of his comic book called 'Tough Man'. This is where trouble begins and comic book fantasy mixes with reality. The show opens with the song 'Tough Man' which follows the story of 2 twin boys being born (Tough Man and Evil Lord Hector) but the weaker of the two (Hector) has to be sent away. During the filming of the movie, Hector finds himself coming to Earth in an attempt to find and defeat his brother Tough Man. The story isn't all fun and games and it does have it's twists and troubles that all tie in perfectly together to create a fun, energetic and happy ending. It is a very up-beat show with plenty of comedic factors but there are moments that can tug on the heartstrings but it's an all round wonderful show.

Eugenius has some incredible and up-lifting songs that you just can't help but smile at and sing along to. My personal favourite song is the duet between Eugene and Janey at the end of the show - "Comic Book Kind of Love". This may be quite an obvious choice but as the true power ballad it simply shows two people realising their love for each other. It's a very well written song and I can't help but smile anytime I listen to it and hearing it sung live by Rob Houchen and Laura Baldwin is mesmerising.
The song "Happy Endings Don't Exist" is definitely one that will tug on the heartstrings a little. It comes after Eugene realises he doesn't want the Hollywood lifestyle after his story gets changed and misses his life back home. Janey also appears on this song wondering how Eugene is getting on. This song reveals just how much they care for each other and they begin to wonder if there is such thing as a happy ending.
"Go Eugenius!" is the anthem of the show. It's a very upbeat and punchy song for all to enjoy and creates the perfect ending to the show with an energetic dance routine for the audience to join in from their seats.

Now, I need to mention the cast. The current cast in this show are INSANELY good. There's not one bad cast member and everyone gives 110% to their performance. It's so nice to watch performers who look as though they are genuinely enjoying what they're doing.

Rob Houchen - Eugene: I could honestly sing this mans praises all day. Rob is incredibly talented and has possibly one of the best and most versatile voices i've ever heard. Prior to this show I have seen Rob in Les Mis, Titanic the musical and at a few of his own gigs and every single time I see him perform, i'm blown away again and this time is no different. It's lovely to see him doing a more energetic show and see another side of him as a performer, especially with the dancing. He's just an incredible talent and i'm already excited to see what's next for him.

Laura Baldwin - Janey: Laura's voice is so beautiful and angelic. She plays the role of Janey with perfection and finesse. She fills the theatre with her infectious energy and smile whilst performing and i'm definitely excited to see what she does after Eugenius.
Dan Buckley - Feris: I think Dan is hugely talented and has the perfect comedy factor for playing Feris. His comedy is timed perfectly and is very witty and has the perfect filthy-humor that just fits this show so well.
Scott Paige - Theo: Scott is just brilliant. He plays out the campness and humour of Theo so well and he's a true joy to watch perform in every aspect.
Neil McDermott - Evil Lord Hector: Neil first came to my attention playing Ryan Malloy in Eastenders and i've loved getting the opportunity to see him perform in something different. Last year, I also got to see Neil play Chief Weasel in Wind in the Willows so to now see him in Eugenius is wonderful. He's another incredible talent and he plays the villainous roles so perfectly whilst also adding the comedy to Evil Lord Hector.
Alex Bourne - Lex: Alex does an amazing job of playing out villainous Hollywood movie producer Lex which contrasts and blends so well with Neil's Hector.
Simon Thomas - Gerhard/Tough Man & Emily Tierney - Super Hot Lady: Emily and Simon work so well together and offer a brilliant comedy value once cast in Eugene's musical and are both joys to watch on stage.

I also have to mention how incredible the ensemble members are. You have Tom Senior, Ben Darcy, Alex Tranter and Dillon Scott-Lewis who make up the high school jocks alongside Lauren Concannon, Amy West and Sasha Wareham making up the cheerleaders, followed by showing off some incredible dance numbers during their ensemble tracks. You also have Christopher Ragland who plays Lord Tough Man and Eugene's dad, Alison Arnopp who plays the Space Diva and Titus Rowe who plays Laurence (Evil Lord Hector in Eugene's movie). Every single cast member brings their own talents and they are truly what makes this show so amazing and heart warming to watch.

This musical really is a show about finding your place in the world and about love and acceptance. It's the perfect family show and perfect for a night out at the theatre. It truly deserves the West End Transfer it's just got and I can't wait to go and see it again. If you get a chance to go and see it, I highly recommend you do whilst you can, I can promise you now you won't regret it! If there's any lessons i'm taking away from this musical it's actually a line which appears in a couple of the songs, "don't shoot for the stars, shoot higher" - this inspires me to continue to reach for my dreams and it's definitely something i'll think of in everyday life.

Thank you to all the cast, crew and producers for this wonderful show. It transported me to a happy place for a short while and I wish it continued success. Also, a huge thank you to my two wonderful friends, Emily and Fleur who were my company seeing this show!

         Thank you for taking the time to read this post and hopefully i'll be back again soon!

                                                                  Love, Beki x

P.S - if you check out my twitter, I posted a short clip of the ending of "Go Eugenius" for all to see and enjoy! Twitter: @xo_beki

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Life Update - August 2018

Hi everyone, it's been quite a while since I sat down and wrote a blog post but finally I am back!! If i'm honest, i've had a busy few months going on a few holidays, working and also just haven't been motivated or inspired to post. I've had a fair few down moments the past few months alongside some great moments so I thought it about time I post a "life update" and fill you all in on the past few months - enjoy!!
The first few months of the year I was busy working alot so the excitement didn't really start until April.
In April, myself and my friend Fleur spent a lovely week away exploring 3 different places - Berlin, Utrecht and Amsterdam. We only spent 2 days in Berlin so didn't get to do or see as much as we may have liked to do, but none the less it was a very beautiful city. I definitely enjoyed it there alot more than I expected to, it's so interesting with so much to see and do and I honestly wish we'd had more time there. We did go to a few of the main touristy spots including Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg Gate, Alexander Platz, Berliner Dom and the TV Tower (which is incredible for viewing all of Berlin!). Our first night we also enjoyed amazing food at Peter Pane which is a burger restaurant Fleur recommended after visiting another elsewhere in Germany. We sat outside in a beautiful little garden area enjoying a warm, sunny evening with great food and a great atmosphere - if you ever visit Berlin, I highly recommend checking it out, both the food and staff are fab!! Our second night we were actually at a Collabro concert - their debut in Germany and one of my favourite shows i've ever been to (despite the fact I got injured beforehand - but we won't go into that). Our time in Berlin was short but sweet and i'd do it all over again in a heartbeat and will definitely go back again some day!
Next up was Utrecht in The Netherlands. We stayed in a really cute and secluded place by the Canal and explored a bit of Utrecht in the day and it is super pretty but we were so tired from a late night and early morning flight we probably didn't appreciate it as much as we could've done. The evening was spent at another Collabro concert with them making their debut in The Netherlands also and it was so wonderful watching them performing to a virtually sold out crowd away from home.
Final stop of the trip was 2 days in Amsterdam. We were incredibly lucky to get last minute tickets to the Anne Frank House which was amazing. It was a very emotional, inspiring and eye opening visit and I feel very lucky we got the chance to experience it, definitely a must if you're planning a trip to Amsterdam!! We also went to the IAmsterdam sign (very typical tourist spot), the Love Lock Bridge, Dam Square and Lovers Canal where the famous bench from The Fault In Our Stars sits! I'd definitely love to go back to Amsterdam and explore a bit more and see what else it has to offer and if anyone has any recommendations - please let me know!
Another April highlight was another Collabro gig, this time in London at Pizza Express Live in Holborn. This was a very intimate gig and a massive highlight as I got to see some wonderful friends I don't get to see often so that made the whole day 10x more special!
Next up - May. May was my family trip to Puerto Banus/Marbella (Spain). What a wonderful week that was! We stayed in a beautiful appartment with views of the sea, Gibraltar and Africa in the distance and had beautiful weather. The beach, town and harbour were all within easy walking distance and it was nice walking along by all the expensive, designer shops where I can only wish I could afford to shop at! We spent a day driving to Gibraltar and walking up to the top of the famous Gibraltar Rock. Now, I am absolutey petrified of heights but I managed to make it to the top and the views were insane! You do have to be careful of all the monkeys that roam the rock but they tend to keep to themselves, it's so nice to be able to walk among them and see them in their natural environment. My sister and me also got the boat over to Marbella and enjoyed exploring the old town which is super pretty aswell as wandering around the prettiest church. I'd have liked to have seen the more 'up-market' part to Marbella also but i'm super happy with the parts I did get to explore! We also had dinner out one evening in a pretty little Italian resturant close to where we were staying called Casa Italia - also highly recommend trying that out if you're in Puerto Banus!! All in all we had a lovely, relaxing week away and i'd definitely love to go back.
Onto July - yet another holiday! This was only a week in the UK but in the New Forest. If you've never been there and like the countryside i'd highly recommend taking a trip down there. This trip was me, my parents and the dog and it was lovely to take him for long walks in the forest and on the beach a few times - he certainly enjoyed himself! The New Forest is somewhere I have been quite a few times and I love it more every time we go. This was just a nice get away from work for a week with no stress.
Aside from the holidays i've been lucky enough to have, i've been pretty busy working and squeezing in seeing friends when possible, including my best friend who became a mum to a beautiful baby girl back in April! I've also been lucky enough to squeeze in trips to see Les Mis and Wicked so i've had a pretty busy few months! As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I have had a few difficult moments with my mental health and have also lost a couple of friendships I thought were strong enough to last, but I don't want to delve into that or dwell on it as i've had many good moments to counteract the bad and i'm lucky to have some amazing friends I can count on when needed.
So far, August is looking quite quiet, another holiday in September followed by a busy October. Without going into all of that, i'll end this by saying I am looking forward to the next few months after having a fairly busy time recently.
Thank you for reading and i'm hoping to be back again soon with another post!
Lots of love, Beki x

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Mental Health - the importance and understanding

Hello again everyone, welcome to another brand new post! I'm not sure where this sudden inspiration has come from but i'm hoping it continues! Apologies for the long title of this post but this one is quite an important and personal one for me. Today's post is going to be about mental health and the importance of it and understanding it. Now, i'm in no way an expert on mental health and I won't pretend to be either. But as it's something i've suffered with personally and know of others, including some of my best friends, who have suffered in some way, I feel as though I can shed some light on the topic in the form of my own experiences and opinions. I promise this isn't intending to be a negative post, i'm hoping for it to possibly be something positive and, if I can inspire or reach even at least one person, that'll make me happy! I won't waffle on in this intro any longer and I hope you all like the post!

To start off, I just want to talk a little bit about my own personal mental health. I didn't have a good experience at school, I was bullied badly - verbally and occasionally physically - almost every day for 5 years. To this day, I still have no idea why, but I guess no one ever really knows why they become a "victim" of bullies. Maybe because I was quiet? Maybe because I kept to myself? Maybe I was just an easy target? Who knows. But what I do know is that it was an awful experience and I truly wouldn't wish something like that upon anyone. Eventually, I ended up being scared to go to school and i'd be in tears every single day before and after school. Being bullied did lower my self esteem and my confidence, i've always been quite shy but this definitely worsened me. My parents did at one point consider taking me out of school and having me home schooled so I wouldn't be in that environment, but I muddled on, still at the same school, same thing happening. I ended up hating everything about myself so took to self harm when I was around 15/16, for me that was a way of coping I guess. Harming myself on the outside gave me a way of of relieving the hurt and self hatred I felt on the inside. I'd keep my arms covered even in the summer so people wouldn't see. I also had my first suicide attempt mid way through my GCSE's aged 16. I have had another few failed attempts since aswell.

Once I left school and started college I thought "great, new start, new people, maybe now is my time to get away from all the bullying" - this was sadly proved wrong. I was made to feel like an outsider by people I considered to be my friends. I used to hear people talking and laughing about me when they didn't know I could hear them. I think this potentially hurt more than school. People I thought of as friends bitching and making me feel even worse. I put up with this for a further 4 years at two separate colleges and two separate and completely different courses. 9 years in total I put up with it all. I didn't only put up with it during education, I've also put up with it in different work places - one for almost 5 years.

In June last year (23rd June, 2017 to be precise), 6 years after leaving school where all my problems stemmed from, I finally went to the doctors and spoke to someone about my feelings for the first time. 6 years of feeling low every day, anxious, suicidal etc. I ended up being diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. Looking back, I do wish i'd had the courage to speak up before, but at least I now know of ways I can help myself - if and when I choose to seek out that help. I know that so many people potentially have it worse than I do which is why I now know just how important it is to speak up if you don't feel 'yourself'. There's always going to be something that can help you to feel 'okay' again even for a little while - for me that has always been listening to music. It has that power to calm me down, lift me up and help me to forget my problem's for a short time.

Onto the next part of this post - the importance of mental health. Personally, I think mental health quite often gets overlooked and ridiculed. People think it's not real and that it's just "in your head". Wrong. Mental health is VERY real and it is a subject that matters to so many people and needs to be taken more seriously. It can be hard enough for a person to cope with mental health without having a certain stigma and discrimination attached to it and it really is time this ended. Mental health is so much more common than we may realise with statistics showing 1 in 4 people will experience at least one diagnosable problem at some stage in their life and around 615 million people suffer from a form of depression or anxiety. According to the Mental Health foundation, 70 million workdays are lost every year due to mental health in the UK alone.

Mental Health exists in so many forms other than just depression and anxiety, personality disorders, eating disorders and so many more come under the same category and none of which are a joke. I think what people don't realise is that mental health is just as important as physical health. It can be exhausting and draining and there can be days where a person doesn't wish to get out of bed or leave the house. It can also hit at any time, it's not the same as just falling over and hurting yourself. It can act up at random points for no reason whatsoever and it is difficult to understand which is another reason I personally think it's so important.

Mental health affects a person emotionally, pshycologically and in some cases, physically. It can affect the way we react to or handle certain situations, how we relate to another person and how we make choices in life. It's not easy to understand if you personally haven't gone through it. Being honest, I don't think it's that easy to understand even if you have suffered in some way. But it is important to remember that even if you may not necessarily understand a persons feelings, supporting them is a key factor to helping them. Even just listening or offering a shoulder to cry on can help a person in so many ways. You may not always know what to say but offering that support can be a key factor to helping someone.

For me and so many others, mental health is such an important subject and I can only hope that one day, it's taken just as seriously as physical health. I spoke to a few people I trusted before I finally had the courage to speak to a doctor, i'm still a long way from where i'd like to be, but with help and support, hopefully one day, I may get there. If you ever don't feel yourself, please talk to someone - even if it's a friend or family member you trust - talk to someone. And if you do get the courage to seek the professional help and advice, please do take that chance, it'll benefit you in the long run and one day, you'll see it was worth it.

Thank you for reading this post, I hope i've managed to do some justice to the topic and shed a bit of light on the importance of mental health. Remember, always speak up and I promise you are never alone and it's okay not to be okay.

See you all soon for another brand new post!
                              Love Beki x

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

2018 Wishlist

Hello again everyone, another brand new post time! As you may hopefully be able to tell, i've had a little inspiration (and time) recently for 3 brand new posts and i'm keeping my fingers crossed this lasts throughout the year! In today's post, i'm going to share with you my '2018 wishlist' - hence the title - where i'll share what I want to achieve, do, see, where I would like to travel or aim toward travelling to or just any goals/ambitions i'd like to start to work toward during 2018. If you read my 2nd most recent post, I apologise if this repeats/overlaps in any way, but none the less - I hope you enjoy!

 I'm going to be realistic in this post, i'm not going to say things like wanting to 'get over' my depression and anxiety, because mental health isn't something you can just get over, it takes time but I definitely do want to work on it more this year. So what really do I want to achieve this year? Well, i'm not really 100% sure. I think one of the main things is definitely work. I'm not necessarily saying I want to be in a new job by the end of the year but I definitely would like to feel more appreciated and learn and achieve more work wise in whatever way I can, and if that means looking for and potentially getting a new job, then so be it!

I'd like to aim toward becoming a better blogger and posting more often. I want to post whenever I can and not worry about what others opinions of it are. It's something I enjoy doing so why shouldn't I take it a bit more seriously and be proud of it?! I'm definitely going to start reading and following more blogs too - never know what inspiration I may find by doing that.

2018 is also the year I definitely want to travel more - I know this sounds the 'typical' thing to say but it's something I would like to do. I want to see more of the world and have already got a couple of trips planned - they just need to be finalised but they're definitely looking exciting! I can't go to as many places as i'd like but I can definitely use this year to plan some future trips! If anyone has any tips or ideas on where I should go, please do let me know as i'd love to hear any suggestions!

I'd also like to potentially start up a youtube channel. This is something i've thought about for a long time and have attempted to give it a go before but never really followed through. I guess that's just the fear of failing, the fear of just being awful at it or no one being interested, but i'm planning on giving it a go at least, as the saying goes "you never know unless you try".

All in all I am hoping for 2018 to be a good year. It's only mid January but it's already been a bit of a mix of ups and downs but hey, nothing is ever going to be perfect and no year is ever going to be perfect. We have to be the ones to make our days, weeks, months or years as good as they can be and that's what i'm hoping to do this year!

I hope you all enjoyed this post and thank you so much for reading! Please let me know your thoughts and what your ambitions/goals for 2018 are! I'll hopefully be  back soon with another post.

                                                          Love Beki  x

A Day in London...

Hey again everyone, welcome back to another brand new post and it's close to the previous one - starting as I hope to continue throughout the year! So, in today's post, i'm going to be talking a little bit about my day in London with my friend Fleur recently - hope you enjoy!

Last Thursday (4th January) I went into London to spend the afternoon with my friend Fleur - a chance for us to have a catchup and my first outing of 2018. We didn't get up to too much but sometimes, that's the best kind of day. 
Once we met we headed to Planet Hollywood for a lovely lunch - okay I had a burger and chips so not exactly the healthiest of meals but it was damn tasty! After lunch finished we headed to Covent Garden for a bit to have a wander and it still looked super pretty and christmassy - i'm that person who definitely wishes it was acceptable to have christmas decorations up all year round as I just love them so much. I love exploring Covent Garden and especially the high end makeup shops they have. I decided to treat myself for a change and finally brought a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in the shade 'Pillow Talk'. This is such a nice colour, it's a nudey type shade so it can be worn as an every day go-to lipstick and it goes on so nicely and just feels and looks so nice on. I love it and will definitely be purchasing another Charlotte Tilbury lipstick - if anyone has any suggestions on which shade to consider please let me know!

We also went to the cinema to see The Greatest Showman and my god what an INCREDIBLE film that is! It's a movie musical and every single song is wonderful and super catchy - i'd highly recommend downloading the soundtrack so you can enjoy it too! The Greatest Showman follows the life and story of P.T Barnum and the first ever circus. The film features the likes of Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Zendaya and so many others. I mean, any film with Hugh Jackman is obviously going to be amazing - he's by far one of the most talented actors around and he does not disappoint in this film. His acting, singing and dancing all absolutely wonderful and he's just phenomenal. Its also SO good to see Zac Efron doing a musical again. Another who doesn't disappoint and his talents just shine through (and obviously he's pretty easy on the eye also which always helps). Michelle Williams is fabulous, this is the first i've heard of her but I absolutely loved her, and Zendaya is also hugely talented and it's so nice to see her in a big movie and she absolutely shines.
I also HAVE to talk about Keala Seattle. WHAT. A. VOICE!!! I'll admit i've not heard of her before this movie but she's absolutely incredible. I'm in complete awe of her voice, especially during the song 'This is Me' - if there's one song on the soundtrack everyone needs to listen to, it has to be that one. It's an incredibly powerful and inspiring song and to me, it has that message to try and teach people to be proud of who you are. The lyrics speak for themselves in the chorus saying "when the sharpest words wanna cut me down, gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out, I am brave, I am bruised, I am who i'm meant to be, this is me". I feel those words are saying to not listen to the bad things people have to say, even when you've been hurt by people's words in the past, rise above it and show everyone who you are and be proud of it. I know thats so much easier said than done as i'm one for shutting myself down constantly but this song is definitely already inspiring me. My favourite song and one of my favourite scenes from the film is 'Re-write The Stars' - this is a duet between Zac and Zendaya and it portrays two star-crossed lovers who long to be together but are kept apart by the colour of their skin, the song and the scene where they sing it is just so beautiful and as I say, onr of my favourite parts. Another favourite part is toward the end when Hugh (PT Barnum) and Zac (Philip Carlyle) rebuild the circus and perform "The Greatest Show" - this song is incredible and so full of life, any time I listen to it I just want to get up and sing and dance.
All in all this film is phenomenal and i'd highly recommend everyone go and see it if you have a chance!

So there's a little round up of what we got up to and if you'd like to read/follow Fleur's blog, i'll link it for you here!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed! Have you been to see The Greatest Showman or listened to the soundtrack? Or seen any other films at the cinema recently? Let me know your thoughts, i'd love to hear from you!

I'll be back again very soon with another post,
                                                          Love Beki x