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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Monday, 3 July 2017

July Giveaway!

When I hit 1,000 followers on Twitter, I mentioned doing a giveaway as a HUGE thank you to all of you who follow and interact with me. I got busy with university work, completed a placement and I've been working a lot.

Now here I am announcing the giveaway! I currently have 1,242 followers and I feel so lucky to have reached these milestones. This giveaway is to celebrate my small successes on social media, and to treat ONE lucky follower with goodies!


So we've got three face masks from Superdrug's own range, the two NEW LIMITED EDITION nail varnishes from Barry M with Boots (Stargazer and Shipwreck) which are a lovely mixed metallic colour, Barry M Matte Me Up Lip Kit in Runway and my favourite compact mirror in the shape of a mermaid shell from New Look.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to be following me on Twitter @SaffronWatson_ and retweet my pinned tweet.

-Quotes won't be counted.
-Must be following me.
-Giveaway is UK only.
-Giveaway ends 3/8/17 at 6pm.

Good Luck!

Love Saffron x
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Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Truth About Uni | Finishing My Degree

So this is possibly my last post with the student collab. The reason being that I've finished my degree, I've had all my grades back and I'm now preparing for graduation. I've really loved being a part of this collaboration and talking to the other bloggers involved.

Even though my last deadline was well over a month ago, there's no instant relief when you hand in your last piece of work. Yes, there might not be any actual work to do anymore but I had nightmares about my grades, and which units I passed etc. Not fun. But now that I've got all of my concrete grades, I do have a bit of relief that I've officially passed everything and got the grade I wanted. I'm sure it'll hit me when I'm walking across the stage in my cap and gown!

Now that the hard part is over, the even harder bit is round the corner. Getting a job! I've applied for countless jobs and even training schemes to not hear back. There's so many other graduates, previous graduates and even those who didn't extend their education going for these roles. What matters a lot to employers is your experience. There's some stressful times, but it's figuring out how to use your time wisely and effectively which could help you get employed.

It is nice to have a bit of freedom, I can work more or less if I want to. I can blog more, spend time with my parents and my friends. But there is the worry of money, of wanting to get into the film and TV industry hanging over my head, but I'm trying to enjoy myself and unwind a little bit. It's been really hard for me to complete my degree, and I do need to accept that I'm a little fragile and probably shouldn't jump into anything too soon.

I'll admit that sometimes I look back on university, and I have rose tinted glasses on. I have hated university so much that I've wanted to quit, at times it's been too much for my mental health and I've struggled to cope. If I hadn't gone to a university close to home, then I'm sure I would've quit. By being close to my family they supported me and helped me complete my degree. I do have to laugh at myself when I think I'll miss university, I'd rather be in the real world moving on with my life than do more further education.

I have learnt a lot whilst being at university, about myself and life lessons. I found out that I shouldn't be turning away from my parents, that actually it's ok to lean on and need your parents. I've been in and out of debt, and I know that I never want to be in debt again! I've also learnt a fair bit about the TV and film industry and luckily by using the university resources I got to experience being on a film set, at a production company and work with the university filming and editing videos for clients.

Even though I really didn't enjoy university, I worked hard to make the most of it, and to find the opportunities I needed in those three years to build my portfolio.

I still have a few university related posts up my sleeves, so this won't be the last one I assure you!

I wish the rest of the lovely bloggers in the collab all the best and look forward to reading the rest of their journey's!

Jasmine from Thoughts From Jasmine (she brought us all together)

Jen from Velvet Spring

Becky from The Owlet

Annaleid from Actually Anna

Sophie from The Glamour Reel

Katherine from Millennial Rants

Tori from Legally Brunette

Love Saffron x
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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Grab A Cuppa

If you haven't tried Coffee #1 you're missing out, especially their caramel macchiato.
I'm thinking of turning this into a series of posts where I open up about thoughts and feelings I've been having. I've been wanting to be more open and honest on my blog for a while now, and even on Twitter I've been trying to talk about issues that are important to me.

I've had a post in my drafts for a while about Feeling Lost At 21, but it's more than just feeling lost.

I advise you to grab a cuppa with me while I talk through what's been playing on my mind. I will section up topics as best I can, so if you get bored you can skip to the next topic (how nice am I?).

Feeling like a failure

This is something that's rooted within me, I've always had high expectations of myself and I always want to please others, and if I don't...I have failed. If I forget something; I have failed. If I don't make a phone call or write an email; I have failed. If I can't meet with friends; I have failed. If I can't bear to go outside; I have failed.

I thought that I'd stopped doing this when I was receiving counselling for anxiety and depression. I've only recently realised that I'm still doing it. When I feel like I've failed I get so frustrated at myself, this then turns into a downward spiral fuelling my depressive side.

I need to stop putting myself on a pedestal that I can't reach, I expect so much of myself when I just can't and I make my mental health even worse.

My depression 

Recently I've started taking part in mental health chats on Twitter, and I love getting involved in lots of chats but especially talking about mental health. It makes you realise you're not alone, and I love to try and help others who are still struggling. Some of the first questions are usually about if you've been diagnosed with a mental illness. I usually reply that I have generalised anxiety disorder and that they also diagnosed me with depression. My thoughts on the latter are usually that I don't have it anymore, or it's not as bad, or it comes and goes like waves.

I've come to the conclusion that I think I've always had it. I do have short periods of my life in which I feel happy, but it never lasts long. I don't like to spend too much time alone because I don't like my own company, I often don't like myself at all. If I'm alone too much I do become depressed and helpless.

It doesn't help when you always feel worthless or like a failure on a day to day basis. I feel like if I don't talk about being depressed or even my anxiety people often forget I still have it. It doesn't go away, trust me I've tried fixing myself, or "curing" myself and there's no quick solution. It's frustrating that people don't take into account my mental health sometimes, I don't want to be treated differently or have special treatment. I just want people to remember that I'm not ok, and maybe just check in every once and a while and listen to me ramble over a cuppa.

When people ask me how I am, I reply "not too bad" but most times I want to say that I'm not ok. But, that's far too deep a conversation to get into when you pass someone in the hallway, on the street, at work or at the pub.

Why am I not ok?

Reasons why I'm not ok:

Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Loss, Self-hate, Weight, Uncertainty, Pressure, Money, Work

If you add all of that up I'm sure we can all agree it equals not being ok. With graduating on the horizon and my part time job isn't 100% stable at the moment I've got a lot of stressful thoughts roaming around my mind.

I've applied for a total of TWENTY JOBS so far and I've heard nothing back. I've tried re-working my CV but I'm not confident about it, I don't have enough "credits" for it to sell what I can do. I also can't drive yet and almost every single job requires you to drive, or be 23 or 25 for insurance purposes. It's really off putting that I can't apply for these jobs because I can't drive or I'm not based in London.

I don't often realise how stressed and anxious I am, I used to get physical symptoms; high heart rate, sickness, IBS/poorly tummy. I got better at coping with the physical symptoms but sometimes I can't control the invisible symptoms. These can be just my mood, how I talk to people, and lack of motivation to name a few.

It feels like there's so much to do it's unbearable, everything is out of my control or far ahead in front of me. This causes my anxiety to act up because I'm not in control of my future.

So what now?

Right now I'm trying not to give up hope. I'm looking forward to graduating, and it's been nice to not have that workload on my shoulders. But I'm still anxiously waiting to get my grades back. I'm trying to keep busy so that I don't work myself into a post-graduate depression, because that is a real thing that everyone experiences.

I want to focus on my blog, getting myself together and trying to enjoy life a bit more. I tend to hole myself up almost like a vampire that I forget how beautiful the sunset looks. And of course job hunting for a 'proper job' but I shouldn't get my hopes up. Plus my film is getting some finishing touches before releasing it into the wild world of film festivals.


I recently binge watched Girl Boss on Netflix and absolutely loved it, completely recommend if you haven't seen it yet!

Sorry for being a bit absent, I hope all of you are ok!

Love Saffron x

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Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Truth About University | Workload

This is the fifth instalment of the student blogger collab, this week it's all about university workload.

When I was at college I could manage to workload of preparing for exams and completing essays (just about), albeit sometimes I was a bit lazy...

When I started university I was quite care free and happy, I suppose I might've had minimal effort as you'll hear this phrase circle quite a lot "you only have to pass first year". I would like to shut down this known phrase to university students, if you don't put in your all you won't receive an awful lot. I did ok in some units but if I had tried harder and watched less Netflix I might've done better.

The purpose of trying harder is to see what grades you can achieve, plus each year the workload gets more intense. I know that each course is different, whether you're doing a creative or academic course they both can be hard and demanding.

My advice to you (if you're a student or about to be one) is to look up all of your deadlines and what each deadline requires of you. My university give out these free academic wall planners, if you can get one of those or make one yourself to map out how much time you have per deadline. It'll also feel amazing when you start to tick off your deadlines!

When I had my dissertation I would start crossing off the days that had passed, it might sound a bit delusional to count down the days that I didn't have to finish. But, I found that adding that small bit of fear made me try a lot harder.

University isn't a joke and should be taken seriously, but you should know when you let loose and have breaks as well. Some people go through university constantly partying and only focusing on the social aspect, I'm not saying to ignore it, but it's not the whole reason why you're there and getting stupidly in debt!

Every year I tell myself that I'm going to keep on top of my work...and every year I more or less fail at doing so. I hate to admit the amount of times I've been doing work the night before a deadline, and every time I do it I kick myself for not being organised!

I know for some people that they can handle workloads and get high marks, so it does depend on your own ability and you need to work round that, and ask for help if you need it. There are loads of places for support at university, you just have to ask.

Let me know if you've got any advice on workloads!

I'm currently doing work for my last submission...which is tomorrow...I never learn!

Saffron x
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Sunday, 7 May 2017

A Letter To My Granny

Dear Granny,

It's a bit strange writing to you when you're not here anymore, but it reminds me of the letters and notes we'd write to each other. Like the one I wrote to you when I was too poorly to come and see you in hospital as I didn't want to make you any worse. I wrote about the time you saw a runner in the Great South Run in a lime green mankini and you didn't stop laughing for the rest of the day, and in turn made me laugh with you.

It hasn't gotten any easier now that a year has passed. I hate to think of you sometimes, because the thought that you're not here brings me to tears and it's too upsetting. I've learned that grief isn't easy, and you were such a big character that there's a huge hole in my life.

You were such a lovely lady and you didn't deserve to be in pain, so I often try to think of you at rest. I don't know if there is an after life, if there is I hope you've got your feet up reading a book, doing a crossword, cigarette in hand. If you're there with Grandad I expect you're embarrassing him, as he used to roll his eyes at you, but I always found you hilarious.

I started to write a post at the end of last year about you, and I stopped writing mid-sentence because it was still too raw, it's hard to write about you even now.

A lot has happened in the past year, not all good things I'm afraid. Part of the reason I have the strength to carry on is because I think of you, I think of how proud I want you to be of me, if you can see me. I want to succeed and be a good person, I know you were proud of me for going to university but I had wished I made more time for you. If I'm completely honest, I would've rather have watched bargain hunt or homes under the hammer with the subtitles on with you any day of the week than do university.

I'm sorry I let my social anxieties get the better of me, and didn't come to see you as often as I could have. As I learned I had no trouble coming to see you in the hospital, and I know it doesn't make up for it as I still feel guilty now. But I did all I could in those last few months, I didn't want you to be alone and I wanted to help in any way possible.

I always imagined you at my twenty first birthday, at my graduation, my wedding maybe even when I had children. I never thought you would pass so soon, I wasn't ready at all.

A year ago today I was about to be on my way to see you in the hospice when I had some missed calls. My mum phoned me to tell me that my dad needed to talk to me. It wasn't good as you will know. I stood in my bedroom opposite Connor as he awaited my reply, I tried to be strong but I couldn't. It feels like a part of me has been ripped away, like I haven't been the same since.

I think in the back of my mind I was still hoping you'd miraculously get better, which was wrong of me to give myself false hope. We do that stupid thing of looking back and thinking what we could do differently, but unfortunately I think there was nothing we could do. For some reason you had to go.

If you hadn't guessed by now, I miss you. A lot. It still hurts to say your name and to talk about you.

I never got to tell you that I was changing my name. A few years ago you told me how you wished one of the grandchildren had the middle name "Rose" like yours. I thought for a while about what you said, I changed my name on Facebook to "Saffron Amy-Rose Watson" and it wasn't until you were poorly that I realised you didn't know this. I thought that this was perhaps the perfect time to officially change it and show you. I started the process and paid for it etc it was nearly finalised, and then you were gone.

I still haven't dotted the i's or crossed the t's because I'm afraid that that's the end. I feel like it almost has no purpose that I can't tell you that I did it for you. I guess now's a better time than any to pick up where I left off and finish it for you. That way I will always carry a piece of you with me.

I find that sometimes I need days where I cry and need to let it out, but I also need to pick myself back up and LIVE. I'm not going to make you proud by sitting around in a hoodie and jogging bottoms binge watching Netflix am I?

My promise to you is that I will make something of myself, I will be happy and I will finish my name change.

Where ever you are, I just hope you're at peace now, that's all I can ask for.

I can still hear your voice and see memories of you which I'll cherish forever.

I love you lots,

Saffron xxx
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Sunday, 30 April 2017

The Truth About Uni | Relationships

The fourth instalment of the student bloggers collab is about relationships and friendships.

If you didn't know already I'm in a long term relationship with my boyfriend of seven years and four months; Connor (who I've mentioned in previous posts). We met at school when we were fourteen and we've been with each other ever since.

Originally I wasn't interested in university, but Connor persuaded me that it'd be the better route. The other option being work experience/placements/apprenticeships you get the gist. At the time I wanted to be a writer not a journalist, and I became engrossed with the idea of writing film reviews so I would continue a writing career after completing a one year film production course. But when choosing between three years of creative writing/journalism or three years of film production, film won by far.

I tried not to make my decision on which university to go to based on where Connor was going, I didn't want to be one of those girls. I wanted to be strong headed and make a decision that was best for my future career, although it terrified me to be in a long distance relationship.

We both chickened out of moving away to London, and I made my decision to stay local and go with Portsmouth. Connor was looking at Cardiff in clearing but it fell through and he decided on Portsmouth too, which was probably for the better.

He was staying at home as he's fairly local too whereas I moved into Portsmouth so it wasn't too bad, mainly he stayed round mine as it was easier to get to university...cheeky.

We both were studying film production at Portsmouth, so at least we weren't alone in our lectures, but we both quickly made our own friends as we weren't in all of the same classes. People thought it'd be weird that we were on the same course at the same university, but we'd already been on the same course at college and had developed a "work relationship" where we'd exercise our top banter as best friends and not girlfriend/boyfriend in front of everyone. As we are best friends it's been really great that he understands the stresses that I go through and vice versa.

I think the only issue was when people would refer to me as "Connor's girlfriend" on our course rather than my fairly unique name. It didn't bother me too much but I am my own person and it would've been nice to be called by name.

I'm looking forward to graduating with my boyfriend and my best friend this year. Not many people can say that, and it's been a hard three years so I can't wait to end it with Connor by my side.

I won't go too much into friendships otherwise this would be an incredibly wordy post! But as mentioned in The Truth About Uni | Accommodation it was a bit harder to make friends as I didn't live in halls or go out an awful lot. But, I'm happy with what I've had at university, and I've got my friends from school so I've never been too far away from a friend when I've needed one!

How have you found maintaining friendships and relationships, or even starting them at university?

Saffron x


Please check out these lovely ladies posts!

Jasmine from Thoughts From Jasmine (she brought us all together)

Jen from Velvet Spring

Becky from The Owlet

Annaleid from Actually Anna

Sophie from The Glamour Reel

Katherine from Millennial Rants

Tori from Legally Brunette

Connor's Social Media Links:

Twitter: @iamconnorcleary
Instagram: @IamConnorCleary
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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Beefeater Harbour Lights Review

I got approached by Beefeater to do a review on one of their recently refurbished restaurants. I chose the Harbour Lights in Portsmouth as it was local to me (I had previously eaten here before it's make over).

I was so happy to be able to work with the lovely people at Beefeater, if you know me then you'll know that I love food...a lot.



Images from Beefeater.

Beefeater is a British chain of restaurants which serve all the classic meals, and their restaurants are decked out with cow decor.

I really love how they've redecorated, they've opened up the area between the bar and the restaurant part and there's different areas to sit in. It feels a little posh but not too much that you feel out of place, it's comfortable.

Myself and my boyfriend; Connor sat in one of the lovely booths in the photo above. We had a table booked for 5.30pm and although it was still the Easter break it wasn't too busy or too quiet.


I ordered an Appletiser, it has to be my favourite soft drink by far and it's one of your five a day (wink wink).

Our waitress was friendly and put up with us being indecisive, the third time she came back to get our orders we both ordered a medium rare fillet of steak. This comes with a tomato, mushroom, and unlimited triple cooked chips (loving life). We also ordered a side of onion rings, and bourbon sauce.

I realised I'd never had medium rare steak before, but I know that I usually like what Connor has so I followed suit and I was not disappointed.


Pictured above was my gorgeous steak, if you tapped the meat it did a little wobble similar to that of a waterbed. It was lovely to cut, soft and succulent. It was a dream in my mouth, I am not making this up! I didn't need to add any sauce to the steak, you can eat it as is and it's amazing.

When the waitress came back to check everything was ok, Connor was gushing that it was the best steak he'd ever had! I thoroughly agree with him.


Here's an awkward photo of me before I ate my food, I thought it might look cool but I'm just as I usually am!



Here you will find Connor and myself in our little booth, another waitress offered to take a photo of us which was very kind as we don't get a lot of photos together.

Also a fun fact, in the background are four images displaying how your steak feels depending on how you have it cooked. Your index finger to your thumb is rare, your middle finger to your thumb is medium rare, ring finger medium and pinky finger well done.

I love that when you look around the restaurant there is something cow or meat related on the walls.

Even though we were both quite stuffed after the amazing steak and triple cooked chips (we had another portion each), we thought it'd be rude not to have a dessert.

We both went for the Mississippi mud pie which came with ice cream.


It was beyond satisfying to slice up our dessert with our spoon, it tasted lovely! Unfortunately I couldn't eat it all otherwise I wouldn't have been able to leave and the Harbour Lights would become my new home!

I really would recommend you pop to your closest Beefeater, it's affordable and really good quality. I can't stop thinking about how good the steak was, I've heard from a few people now that medium rare is the best way to have it cooked, so if like me you haven't had it cooked that way try it!

I was super impressed with the service, I think we will definitely be back for our next date night!

Let me know if you've been to a Beefeater in the comments.

Also a huge thank you to everyone at Beefeater and Chris Brown for putting this together for me.

Disclaimer: This was a complimentary meal for me to review the newly refurbished Harbour Lights.

Connor's Social Media Links:

Twitter: @iamconnorcleary
Instagram: @IamConnorCleary
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Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Truth About Uni | Finance

This is the third instalment of a collaboration with other student bloggers. This week is all about finance at university.

Being a third year at university I have honestly been through the whole finance drama.

Firstly, before you even start university there are a few financial questions:

1. How much will my loan be?
2. Can I live off of it comfortably?
3. When do I have to pay my deposit?

To answer question one, you can get a rough estimate from the Student Finance Calculator, all you need are some basic details such as how much your tuition fees are, family income (prepare for your parents to not want to tell you this information even though you need to know it to fill out the actual finance forms), when you're starting and if you are going to university in or outside of London and any disabilities or extra help you might need.

This is a rough guide of how much you might get for that year, and keep in mind you get three payments throughout the year. We were on low income so a lot of my maintenance loan turned into a grant (grants mean you don't have to pay it back - yipee!) and I also qualified for an extra bursary each term (more free money).

For those of you starting this year, it's all unfortunately been turned into loans [insert sad face emoji].

Here is an example of the finance calculator:


You shouldn't be terrified of finance, there's lots of help around and especially at your university to guide you through the process.

The second question depends on how much you get, you will need to budget and work out how much rent you need to pay each term, if there's anything you'll need to pay for as part of your course, and a rough food budget. Notice I haven't included booze in this! First and foremost you need a roof over your head and food! There are lots of stories of students getting their first instalment of their loan and spending it all on the first Fresher's night - please do not do this. Unless you have rich parents to fall back on that is not advisable!

In my first year I didn't go out drinking much, partly because my housemates weren't party animals and I was quite happy binging Netflix and making Angel Delight. I also kept to roughly £20 per week on food as I shopped at ASDA and would raid the reduced sections as I memorised their reducing times!

If you keep to a strict budget you will be perfectly fine! I also kept my job so I had some extra income for when that loan starts to disappear, I would definitely recommend looking for a part time job even if it's just one day a week. It'll put some extra money in your pocket and also show's people you were prepared to work through university and not just party all the time.

My third point is very important, I didn't actually realise I had to pay a deposit before my loan came in. This is so that landlords can have security that they will have tenants for that year and usually they aren't refundable. I was completely broke before going to university, it was a very recent thing where I went shopping a bit too much and had to ask friends for money as I was ashamed of nearly having noughts appear in my account.

Luckily my parents saw I was hiding something and helped me cover my deposit and I paid them back with my loan. If you can save up now for your deposit I would advise it as you don't want to get into a bad habit of borrowing money (cough that's me cough cough).

As I mentioned earlier, in my first year I did ok I didn't have a lot of savings (I paid for a holiday, an iPad and lots of clothes that I never wore or didn't fit me), but then I kept getting into a bad habit of having to borrow money to see through the months. I also tried leaving my job for other jobs and it didn't work out and I ended up getting taxed a fair amount for having two jobs, and at one point they thought I had four?!

I made the mistake of getting an overdraft in my second year, as everyone had one and I thought it'd be a nice safety net and I wouldn't have to borrow from my parents anymore. I started off with just £500 as I could easily pay that back with wages. However, I could increase my overdraft online. Bad mistake. This then lead onto making an appointment at the bank to ask for an even bigger overdraft, and by this point I was in too deep.

If you saw my post earlier this year Why I'm On A Spending Ban you'll have noticed it's taken me awhile to get my finances under wraps. If you can avoid overdrafts I'd advise that! I didn't really need one and I abused it a bit too much.

I've got my last loan this month and it's terrifying. I have no savings and I still need to clear some debt and pay for driving. So you can guess where it's all going to go...

My one last piece of advice to you, whether you're about to become a university student or are a first or second year, is to save or spend your money wisely. If you need a phone, laptop, camera, decent clothes that are durable and can justify it then go ahead. But these loans won't last forever, trust me! These three years go by really fast!

Sorry for a very wordy post, but I hope it's helpful and can give you some insight!

Please check out these lovely ladies posts!

Jasmine from Thoughts From Jasmine (she brought us all together)

Jen from Velvet Spring

Becky from The Owlet

Annaleid from Actually Anna

Sophie from The Glamour Reel

Katherine from Millennial Rants

Tori from Legally Brunette
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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The First Time I Was Objectified By Men

This post has been inspired by 13 Reasons Why and by Vix Meldrew. When I saw the female characters getting objectified by the male characters in 13RW, it brought back a lot of memories from clubbing and even when I (like Hannah) moved to a new school. I think we get a little too used to the treatment we can get from some men boys, and we don't often speak up and say that actually that's not ok.

The first time I was objectified by males, was when I was eleven. I moved secondary schools and I became the interesting new girl where everyone gawked at me. Before boys even talked to me they were asking me out because I was a new toy. I kept rejecting them as they didn't even know me and didn't even try to.

When I was thirteen my first kiss was stolen from me. He didn't ask my permission he just shoved his tongue in my mouth and I had no idea what to do, I didn't fancy him and he was my friends boyfriend but she was ok with it?! I felt so violated and sick for a few days afterwards. I was sad that that was my first kiss.

At fourteen, I was coerced into kissing a guy I was seeing. I wasn't comfortable but I didn't want to seem frigid and boring. At this age many of the guys in my year started slapping and pinching girls bums around school, with no fear of consequences. I don't think any girls spoke up about it (including myself) even though we were clearly uncomfortable and not "asking for it".

During my mid-teens at school many guys would flirt with girls with no intention of being with them, it was just because they could. They wanted to be seen as an alpha male and have other classmates be in awe of their presence. I made it clear one day that I fancied this alpha male and he kissed another girl in front of me, what purpose that had I don't know other than to hurt my feelings.

Although at the age of fourteen, I met my current boyfriend when I had just about given up on boys. He was kind, sweet and cared about me. I started to love myself and have confidence as someone actually loved me for me (apart from my parents).

When I was eighteen I started to go clubbing, for awhile I didn't get any male attention which I liked as I had a boyfriend and wasn't interested. I was happy in my bubble until various men boys started to pinch and slap my bum (much like during secondary school) and had no interest in talking to me. They would flee or hide in their group of mates and laugh because it's hilarious when a girl wants to confront the person who just assaulted and violated her. It's too loud in clubs to lecture these boys (because they are clearly not real men) so you suffer in silence.

I've heard from many of my friends worse accounts than I've had, and I don't appreciate strangers groping me or my friends. For the record I don't flash loads of skin, I cover up because I'm not comfortable in my own skin, I wear leggings and leather jackets so I can hide my flaws, and yet I still get harassed and felt up.

A few times I have been quite drunk and some guys spot their chance at seizing my vulnerability to 'get' with me. Why is it that guys want to get with girls/women who aren't completely conscious? It's twisted, the same as just wanting to feel a woman and walk away with no intention of getting to know them.

I know this is not all guys, but I've had so many encounters I've lost count. I've also lost count of the amount of nights ruined by guys harassing me and my friends over and over again. Just because women are out clubbing does not mean it's an invitation to assault and harass them.

13 Reasons Why made me sad and angry about the way that men boys look at us, even though it's fictional I bet the majority of women out there have experienced harassment at least once in their life.

It shouldn't be right to have to completely cover up so you don't "ask" for attention, and still get groped. It shouldn't be right that women can't get drunk because that's "asking for it" I don't hear of many cases where men are drunk or wearing revealing clothing and getting groped and assaulted by women.

If you've had similar experiences with harassment in clubs, or feel you've been objectified from a young age, please speak out. The more we talk about this, the more chance there might be of changing the way society is behaving.

Let me know what you think in the comments or @ me here.

Saffron x
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Friday, 7 April 2017

ASOS Spring Wish List

Here's a few items I am lusting over from ASOS for spring.



One of my must have items at the moment is an embroidered jacket or patches on a denim jacket, I really would love a comfy slightly oversized one. There's something really summery about denim jackets, and if it's oversized you can have a hoodie inside it so if it does rain (which it does, it's England) you've got a practical hood. 

My style changes from day to day, but I'm loving the tops and dresses with chokers attached to them, and I quite like rock-style tees as I tend to pair them with my leather jacket when I go to the pub, and I feel like a boss in it.

I really want the laurel shirt, if you're a film buff or know much about film festivals when you get nominated or when you win you put a laurel on your film poster. One of my favourite parts about spring and summer time is that you can dress a bit more casual as you don't have to layer so much and there's more room for accessories!

Now that it's starting to get a bit sunny I'd love to sit in the garden with a cute colouring book and colour any stresses away, and this book looks so instagram-able!

Links from left to right:


Are you following me on social media?

Twitter//@SaffronWatson_
Instagram//@saffroroon
Bloglovin//Saffron Watson
Facebook//Saffron Watson
Pinterest//Saffron Watson

Saffron x

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Thursday, 6 April 2017

Why You Should Watch '13 Reasons Why'

WARNING: There might be spoilers in this post, and discussion of mental health and suicide.

If you haven't heard of 13 Reasons Why yet, where have you been and get Netflix asap. I managed to watch all thirteen episodes and the behind the scenes video within twenty four hours...I had a day off ok...I thought I'd do a little post while the series is hot on why I think everyone should watch it.




It starts a conversation about mental health and suicide 

So many important issues are raised in this series, and I feel for each and every character (except Bryce), the story is so detailed and they tried to get it as accurate as possible. I can't remember the last series or film to touch on an issue so strongly in a long time.

Anyone can relate to some part of the series

I personally can relate to some of the issues that pop up throughout, and I don't think I've ever felt so tied to characters before by knowing what they've been through. And they are fictional characters.

It's easily binge-able 

Ok, yes the episodes are nearly an hour long each, BUT I just had to know who was on the next tape and why Clay is on one of them.

The soundtrack is amazing

I personally cannot stop listening to the soundtrack, it sounds so "come of age" and there's some Cure and Joy Division on there too. Take a listen for yourself, I don't usually listen to albums all the way through but after loving the songs in the series I can listen to it on repeat.

You're never sure what's going to happen in each episode

From the outset you know that Hannah commits suicide, but you're not sure of all the reasons why until the end (so watch it all the way to the end, please).

Cassette tapes 👌🏼

Everyone thought cassette tapes wouldn't make a comeback, well they were wrong and I want a cassette walkman now. Every time I wear my Sony headphones I feel like I'm listening to the tapes.

Some parts are uncomfortable to watch

But that's good, it's not supposed to be easy. I know some people are a bit squeamish but for me it was so good to see how it feels. It's meant to start a conversation.

It was a book before it was a Netflix series 

Seeing how amazing the series was makes me want to read the book (my inner book worm coming out).

It's good to get angry

During and after watching this I did feel down, but also anger. For the injustices, against a number of the characters, and what people in real life might go through. 

Parents should watch this

If ever a parent wanted to understand what their millennial child is going through, watch this. For someone who's experienced bulling in real life and online this is a pretty accurate representation.

Clay is bae

For me Clay is the living embodiment of an awkward teenager, Dylan Minnette plays him so well. Even though he's a male character I can connect to how he feels, he makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me cheer him on.

There are some beautiful shots

As a film student I analyse TV series and films automatically and by choice, there are some stunning shots. One is during their winter formal, and sometimes the narrative flips to visions that Clay has and they are beautifully haunting.

Have you ever wondered?

If you've ever wondered what emptiness looks like, what depression/self harm/suicide/objectification...then look no further. If you want to understand what it's like to be a girl in a man-made world, and how your reputation can diminish with a few rumours, then please watch this.

Oh look that was 13 reasons why...



What did you think of 13 Reasons Why? Or let me know if you now want to go and watch all thirteen episodes!

Another perk of this series is before an episode begins that might trigger some audience members it tells you beforehand, and it lets you know where you can seek help. I know the US and UK might be slightly different but I always see adverts for the Samaritans and Childline, if ever you are seeking help.

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