Saffron Watson

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Palmerston Road Christmas Lights Switch On

Hello my lovelies!

It's now November.

What.

I can't believe it's basically Winter now! I've been such a bad blogger, but not for lack of trying. I have a gazillion drafts and blog ideas, and even some videos up my sleeve but bare with me as my life has been a little chaotic.

Even in just the last 24 hours there was a possibility of my beloved MacBook dying, but fret not it's luckily living and breathing!

Right, onto this post!



I saw the event last minute for the Palmerston Road Christmas Light Switch On, but I was excited to pop along and see the Southsea Market and all the lights being turned on. I popped on my bobble hat and tartan scarf for the first time this season and grabbed my camera to take some snaps.

As I neared Palmerston Road I could hear the music playing from the Wave 105 stage. The sun was just setting, and I had a nose around the market stalls and came across Feed Cafe. All of a sudden I was transported to my second year of university where I would order Feed from Deliveroo (sometimes for breakfast if I couldn't be bothered to leave my bed, student life...).




They had given their hot dogs christmassy names, I chose to have the 'Sled Dog' which was a plain sausage with caramelised onions on top. The lovely man who served me noticed I was holding my camera and couldn't hold the hot dog and add sauce so he did it for me! Thank you lovely man!

Whilst stuffing my face with the huge hot dog, I made my way over to the Wave 105 stage. They had performances from lots of local dance groups with lots of Christmas numbers. My favourite was when the SD Studios had their little-uns come on stage dressed up as penguins and singing their little hearts out, everyone was in awe at their cuteness.

There were supposed to be fireworks, which was one of the selling points for me to come along to the event as I haven't been able to go to any major fireworks displays this year, unfortunately these got cancelled due to health and safety reasons. This is understandable but also a bit sad, when I was leaving just after six there were still people turning up to Palmerston Road for the cancelled fireworks.






However, I really enjoyed my time exploring some of the market stalls and watching the performances. It was quite an odd experience as I turned up to this on my own, which I never do things like this. Usually it's too scary or daunting, or sometimes it's just nicer to have someone with you. But, I actually enjoyed it on my own, I was also singing along to the Christmas songs, so people probably thought I was a right weirdo.




Now that I'm getting the Christmas tingles I look forward to going to all the other Christmas light switch ons in my area! I'm super looking forward to getting more seasonal photos, I'm quite happy with my little selection here but I want to up my game now, so watch out!

I hope you've enjoyed my little blog post! I enjoyed writing it and going to the event itself, and I hope to be posting lots more soon.

I also did a little vlog, you can watch it here.

Love Saffron xxx
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Saturday, 14 October 2017

A Letter To My Grandma

Dear Grandma,

It's been one year yesterday since I cried in the toilet at my job, when my mum told me you'd passed away. I knew you had deteriorated a lot and we knew that you were close to passing, but I think a part of me thought you were going to trooper on for a little bit longer.

I've had to grieve in a different way compared to my Granny. You started to deteriorate when I was too young to remember you pre-dementia. Dementia stole happy future memories from me. As I grew up I was aware that you might never be able to attend my wedding or my graduation as you became more and more house and bed bound.

I became desensitised over time, albeit there were a few occasions that terrified me to my core. The first time that you didn't know who I was, it swore me off of seeing you in the hospital for a while. I don't think I ever prepared myself for when you completely didn't recognise me, at first it was a few seconds and then you'd remember, to then feeling like you were staring right through me, like I didn't exist.

I do have positive memories, but I can't help but associate dementia with those memories. I just wish that there were more, or more that I can remember. I think I struggle sometimes because I would switch my mind off when we'd visit you, because it was easier for me to do that.

You were so sweet and lovely, and I wish I had gotten to know you. Instead of having to ask my mum and other relatives what you used to be like.

I'm not sure about the afterlife, but where ever you are I hope you finally are at rest after your journey with dementia.

My mum misses you a lot, and I've been doing my best to be there for her and be the shoulder she needs to cry on. When I see a photo of you around the house I do get a pang of sadness, there's the photo of you dressed up as Queen Victoria on our wall, and whenever I brush my teeth I see your smile in the reflection of the mirror.

You had quite a life, you'd live in France and learned the lingo, I hear you were a happy and bubbly character. I just wish I got to see you more that way, and got to learn your stories through you. Instead you'd try and remember things, and get them all jumbled up so we couldn't tell what was real and what wasn't.

You were such a strong little lady, you got through so much and were still trooping through. I am thankful that you didn't pass away on my birthday, I hear that was a close call. I just wish you didn't have to of suffered for so long. Even though your passing was sad, it was almost a relief that we didn't have to watch you in pain anymore. My mum says it'd been thirteen years that you had been deteriorating, getting lost, falling over and forgetting simple things.

We wish there had been something we could've done to make you feel better, but dementia at the time was still something not well known. By the time there was more research, it was far too late.

I'm sorry this letter is riddled with dementia, I wish I had something better to say, but this is an honest letter to you.

As I said previously, I'm trying to look after my mum as best I can, I'm plodding along post-university and trying my best to make something of myself. Rosie (our cat) is doing just fine, I'm sure my love of cats stems from you, you were a bit of a crazy cat lady but we loved you for it.

Where ever you are, I hope you're at peace now.

I'm sending you my love.

Lots of love,

Saffron xxxx
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Friday, 22 September 2017

Passing My Driving Test

I first started driving about four years ago. It was going well but I wanted to pass my theory (of which you need to pass to progress onto your practical test) and I had failed the first time. My funds were getting a bit thin and I decided to give my education priority, so I postponed learning to drive.

Then, last summer I got my bum into gear and passed my theory test, however my money still wasn't great (if you've read my budget and overdraft posts you'll know it's been this way for awhile). With my last student loan I decided to put the majority to one side and dedicated to learning to drive.

I started off with one or two lessons a week to slowly get back into driving, I wasn't really having a good run at first. I was quite nervous and panicky. With my extra wisdom in those four years I'd grown very scared and cautious of other drivers and everything that could go wrong.

My instructor recommended a therapy spray, and I tried some before a lesson and found that it did help calm me down. (Much like the one below, which I got from Holland and Barrett.)



Things were gradually improving with my manoeuvres and independent driving so we decided to set a deadline. I booked a test in a month's time, and started to worry a little bit as time was going to fly by! But it made it more real, and I could see the possibility of driving by the end of the summer and grew very excited!

My progress began to slow down a little bit coming up to my test, and I was crying in frustration a lot during my lessons which was very anti-productive. We decided that it would be best to have a week of lessons every single day to try and build up my confidence as we didn't want to cancel my test (you have the option to cancel three working days before your test).

I was getting there in my lessons, but I was having a lot of hesitation and doing silly things.

Then, it was the day of my test. Oh boy.

I've never been the best at exams and interviews, and I haven't really had to deal with either for quite awhile so it's bit of a shock to the system, especially with my anxiety.

Preparation

I tried not to think about it too much over the weekend, as I know what I'm like. I fantasise about the future and figure out all of the outcomes so I am prepared. I tried to keep myself calm as I didn't want to freak out, I have been putting so much pressure on myself to learn to drive.

On the day I woke up with plenty of time to spare, I had a small breakfast (Kellogg's Cornflakes) in case I started to feel sick with nerves, I didn't want a big breakfast. I tried to picture myself passing, I knew I wanted the conventional certificate pose to post later on my Facebook page. So I made sure I was wearing a bit of make up, and wore one of my favourite H&M jumpers that says "stay positive" on it.

I also had mine and my mum's lucky charm; a small snoopy toy that we take everywhere with us. My dad and my step nan gave me good luck cards and I brought those with me too, I wanted to have every ounce of luck I could possibly have.

Going to the driving test centre was very surreal and I began to feel panicky, but instead of breaking down and crying about it, I used my time to breathe and calm down.

I knew it was going to be weird not having my instructor in the car with me, but my examiner made me feel a bit more relaxed. My test wasn't completely smooth sailing, I did lots of little mistakes but I chose not to dwell on them and to carry on as normal. I thought I had failed in all honesty, but it turns out I only got six minors!

I HAD PASSED.



After all this time of being stuck using public transport and asking for lifts, I finally earned my freedom to drive myself around. Even though I was a little but chuffed with passing, it still didn't seem real and I was still disappointed with how I drove on my test. But, I knew what I needed to improve and was looking forward to getting my first car!

I'm thinking of doing more driving related posts as it's a huge part of my life now, and I'd like to help or inform people in the same position as me!

If you've got any questions about my driving test experience don't hesitate to comment below or tweet me!

I hope you enjoyed reading my post.

Love Saffron x
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Friday, 8 September 2017

Life After University

Top: New Look Sunglasses: River Island

I've been quite absent on social media and not tending to my bloggy things (apart from my Instagram which you should totally have a look at). It's made me sad as I love writing and publishing posts and interacting with other bloggers. I've been quite busy since graduation with working, going to Canada and Disneyland Paris (posts and videos to come for both!) and I'm still planning more adventures in the near future.

Since finishing university I've felt in limbo, I've got my degree but I haven't got a proper job (by this I mean either a full time job or a more serious part time job). I've applied for jobs in different sectors but I either don't have enough experience or none in that field. I'm also at that point where I don't want to offer my services for free anymore, one; because I'm not in education and two; I feel I'm worth more than free labour.

Whilst the job hunt isn't amazing right now, I've been quite focused on spending time with friends, family and myself. I've been looking back at how my mental health was one year ago to now a lot, and it's improved but I still have my bad days. I think we forget how hard it is sometimes to get out of bed, let alone go into anxious unknown situations, and we need to give ourselves a pat on the back.


I'm trying to get myself together, during university I sort of fell apart in many aspects and lost myself amongst all of the stress and mental health issues. So I'm trying to patch things up that I'd been neglecting and to become a new and improved Saffron, which also means going back to my counselling tasks to help me get back on track.

I tried meditation once and it was amazing. I believe it was this one by Mark Williams that my counsellor recommended, I'm not sure what happened as to whether I dozed off because I was so calm or if I was at peace by the end of the session. Honestly, try it! I want to become more zen, so be less stressed and angry at situations and take calmer approaches because being angry and irritated isn't going to help anyone.



In summary, finishing university hasn't been amazing! But, I do not and will not be missing deadlines and coursework! When I have spare time it's actually spare time to do whatever I want to do. I've seen a lot of other people struggle too after university, and post-graduation depression is a real thing.

Despite this being a rather gloomy rant, I  do sometimes feel positive about the future and I'm on my way to improving my day to day life, go me!


If you have any advice on how to deal with life after university let me know! I definitely could use it.

I hope you are all well and had a nice summer...now to look forward to autumn 🍁

Love Saffron x


Photo credits to Connor Cleary who shot these on his Ricoh.

Check out Connor's social media:

Connor's Twitter
Connor's Instagram


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Monday, 31 July 2017

Pryzm Nightclub Review | Portsmouth

The lovely Mike Douglas from Mike's Open Journal got contacted by an agency that invited the Pompey Bloggers have a VIP experience in the new Pryzm (previously Liquid).



It's based in the perfectly spot in Portsmouth, just an arms length from public transport and pre-drink bars and pubs.

The entrance has been modified, it's been brought forward which pushed the queues further out of the venue. What used to be the cloakroom is now a new room!

The Curve

I love the look of this room, I like how there's the perfect ratio of booths, seating areas and dance floor. There's also a huge mirror to take selfies in with your friends! The music was quite current and un-modified which I prefer sometimes to mixes.



Pryzm


I didn't spend much time in the main room, it looks so lavish with the big circular booths and I loved the lights. This room will most likely be where all the big names will be performing/DJ-ing.

Vinyl




With such a funky name, it lives up to it's expectations. With images of icons covering one of the walls by a seating area you get throwback vibes. You won't be able to miss the ginormous colour changing dance floor, definitely a huge selling point as there's plenty of room for everyone to jump on! Again there's plenty of seating and VIP booths, and there's a nice long bar to order drinks from. There was also a little cloakroom in this room as well.

I will definitely be coming back to Pryzm, I've got my birthday coming up soon so I might show my face there as I think a lot of my friends will love it and it's still all new and exciting.

Thank you to the lovely people at Limegreen Communications for organising the night for us!

Let me know if you've been to Pryzm or if you're thinking of paying it a visit!

Love Saffron x


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Monday, 24 July 2017

My Grad Ball | In Review

If you haven't seen on my social media I've recently graduated from University, and had my Grad Ball.

I was a bit sceptical about attending my ball, it's more the price that was concerning me. Starting from £35 - £45 each just for entry, or to help cover the attractions inside. However, any other day of the week the Students Union is free to enter...

I spoke to my parents about it and they convinced me to go as I only get to do this once, and therefor had to convince Connor to come with me too!



A little shout out to the lovely ladies at Diamond Quays in Fareham for doing my make up and hair for Grad Ball, it took a weight off of my shoulders and I was in love with how dolled up they made me!




The theme for the evening was "Spring into Summer, Fall into Winter"...not much of a specific theme in my eyes, but each room had a different season. My favourite was the big white marque decked out as Winter named 'Ice Palace', I loved the decorations and the fairy lights! They had live music acts on until 10pm then the silent disco started.

I didn't take too many photos I'm afraid as I wanted it to sink in that this was my last piece of university. Most of the union was draped in white fabric which did add a bit of mystery and it didn't look like the union by day. It was nice that there were different rooms to go to and little sitting areas, dotted around.



I loved that there were two backdrops for the photo booth (The Photo Lounge), one was summer and the other winter (as seen above). There were lots of props to choose from, but I panicked for original ideas for the four poses, and we had ten seconds in-between to change props. Connor made me laugh so much when he put on the goggles and rug he said "I can't see??!!" and I was creasing! They print out one copy there and then and the rest went up on their Facebook page the next day.

It was nice to see my peers all glammed up and have some good byes and see you soons, but in a way the event didn't feel as formal as we were dressed up to be. It was quite clubby, and in certain areas it was so crowded and a bit awkward to actually move around the building. However I'd say our favourite part was the Bandeoke in what was the Waterhole Bar but was transformed into An Ode To Autumn. If you haven't heard of Bandeoke before, it's where they have a band and a list of songs they can play and you go up and pick one of them to sing, so a more sophisticated karaoke. Connor and I were laughing so much at the drunkards getting up there and not singing along in time, but good on them for having the courage to do that!

All in all I feel if there was a bit more formality to the event and a bit more space as it gets quite cramped in there quickly! And of course it would have been nicer if it was a tad cheaper, as the whole graduation week and not to mention the whole process of going to University is so expensive, it would've been nice to have gotten a little bit more back...

I loved getting dressed up one more time for a University event with Connor. I started University with him, and I've finished it with him as well, and it's been the best experience to have had my boyfriend and best friend with me on this journey.

Let me know what your Grad Ball was like, or if you're excited for yours!

So long University!

Love Saffron x
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Monday, 10 July 2017

Embroidered Shirt Shoot


If you've seen one of my latest Instagram posts (or the amount of coffee I consumed over a few weeks) I recently completed a placement at a production company. I wanted to look smart so I bought a few things from; Boohoo.com, Primark, M&S and F&F at Tesco.

Before my placement started I wanted to have a little shoot to show off my favourite finds, and my willing photographer/boyfriend and I went on a scout for photogenic locations.







Embroidered Shirt - Primark
Bag - Primark
Jeggings - F&F at Tesco
Boots - Boohoo.com

I really enjoyed this shoot. I'm not a very photogenic person and most times I avoid having my photo taken by other people. Although I'm not the most confident with my physical appearance, I am working on it. I was quite surprised at how much I loved these photos, I hope to be doing some more exciting shoots in the future, and maybe have some more confidence!

Where else to find me


Connor's Social Media Links:

Twitter: @iamconnorcleary
Instagram: @IamConnorCleary

Saffron x
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