Wednesday, 24 January 2018

what I've been... #4

As January comes to an end, I thought that one of these posts would be an appropriate way to reflect on the first month of the year and everything that has been happening in my life from minute details to the bigger things. It's probably not going to be the most exciting thing you'll read but that is life, it is not always glamorous events and exciting news. Sometimes it's despair, hopelessness and dread.

what i've been doing-
Nothing new to be honest, just working. I have finally got a desk now so I no longer have the excuse of not having a place to work for my low levels of productivity. It essentially forces me to sit down and get stuff done, something that would never happen without it. I've also been occupied with my History coursework, a lot of Spanish work and trying not to give up on my Biology A-level. You know, just normal things a young adult would be doing. I got my hair cut and blow-dried today, it feels so good to finally get rid off those dead ends that were dragging my hair down and now I can enjoy it straight for a while too. change can be good. 

what i've been reading/watching-
I've been reading Hystopia by David Means and The Power by Natalie Alderman. Those are both my enjoyable books. Christopher Haigh and Patrick Collinson's book on the Elizabethan reformation, Jesuits, Missionary Priests and factions have not been so enjoyable albeit necessary for my coursework so what can you do. Reading books that aren't academically orientated has been a highlight for me though, it truly allows me to disconnect and actually read words that I want to read so if you have any book recommendations then please let me know. I would also really like to read more Spanish literature, I think Don Quixote is obviously a must-read as Cervantes is deemed the maker of Spanish literature. Also Cien Años de Soledad by Gabriel García Márquez is also on my list. Maybe Yerma and Bodas De Sangre by my favourite, Federico García Lorca. I'm in the midst of watching the TV show Las Chicas del Cable and if you follow me on any social media outlet, then you'll know that I am a very keen fan of it. It's everything you could want in a TV show and more. I love the topics it covers, the context of it and all the loopholes and love triangles in it as they're executed so maturely. I do wish there was more POC representation however it is set in 1920's Spain so it's is expected. Anyway, I cannot recommend this show enough- it's definitely worth a watch. The cast is amazing too. I have developed several crushes for all of the main male actors in it (despite how terrible some of their characters in the show can be): Martiño Rivas, Yon Gonzales, Nico Romero and Sergio Mur.

what i've been listening to-
I haven't really listened to much music lately, I think it's the fact that my reading has me occupied on bus journeys now as opposed to before. I do really like Salt by B.Miles which I discovered via Las Chicas del Cable and After the storm by Kali Uchis which I found through Zoe's blog. 



what i want-
An offer from Durham University. 
A trip to Madrid. I feel like I need to go, just for 3 days at least. I need to get out of this place for my own sanity. It'll also be good for my Spanish. 

what i've been anticipating-
I haven't got much planned for the coming months except from revision for exams and the actual exams themselves as well as my coursework deadline. With that being said, I am looking forward to going to Brighton with a few blogger friends but I don't want to call them blogger friends because to me it sounds as if we're just friends because of our blogs when really, these girls really do feel like actual friends that I've known for years. I think it'll be a nice day out. Katie's letter is also heavily anticipated. I'm also really looking forward to shooting with Lucy in a few days time, we have a lot planned and the show I've been watching has really influenced one of the outfits and locations that we're taking on. I'll hopefully be sharing more of my outfits on here very very soon! And finally, Liv's birthday party. I feel like my social life has got cobwebs all over it. A metaphoric blowing away of dust and webs and awakening something that has been dormant for what feels like decades. 

This installment of the 'what I've been' series (if I can even call it that) has been super brief but I think it's the perfect representation of what life has been like for the past 3 weeks. Nothing special or overwhelming, just neutral feelings. 


How's everything going for you? Are you looking forward to anything?
Dalal

Monday, 15 January 2018

gold jewellery!!!




MUCH EXCITEMENT

I did this post back in May after having had the intention of writing it since 2015. I had actually originally planned to write this using my jewellery only but Aurate contacted me and asked if I could showcase a few of their products so I agreed. It's not really my favourite post to have put up because I feel like I rushed it too much and didn't put enough thought into it but I don't want to delete it in case the brand thinks it's an attack on them (it totally isn't)

I love jewellery, not so much the bold and bright beads and heavy duty metals but the lighter and daintier spheres of it. That makes me sound like I'm one of those scandi style bloggers haha. Gold jewellery is my favourite as I find silver to be a bit too harsh and cold for me, especially with my skin tone so gold and anything warm toned is always the way for me. I haven't pictured my more expensive necklace because it's always on me and I don't want to break the 3 years of me wearing it for a photo (is that lame?) Perhaps my obsession with gold is a cultural thing, it's of great significance in Morocco.

I'm so used to having more expensive and valuable jewellery because as I stated, gold is really highly regarded within my family so when it came to expanding my collection, real gold was not an option (unless a nice, wealthy man would like to PayPal me...also I need £40k for future tuition fees...and around £2k for my gap year) I went onto the haven that is depop and found a boutique (link is here) that sells really minimal jewellery for super reasonable prices. The 3 for £5 deal is definitely one to check out, I literally love everything I bought from them and wear them so often if not every day. The small hooped earrings are the coolest things ever, they look like studs but then the hoop is from behind your earlobe if that made any sense. These are my favourite pairs because they're so understated but genuinely switch up your classic earrings. And the confusion on peoples faces when they try to figure out "how do those even work?" is always entertaining.

Next are a pair of hoops which have managed to unite every teenage girl regardless of race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. All jokes aside, are you even a teenage girl if you don't own a pair of hoop earrings? I find that the regular pairs weigh my earlobe down and my worst nightmare is having a stretched out earlobe so this pair are perfect because they're essentially studs. They're quite big and in your face so I love wearing them when my outfit is a little more on the plain side and they fit perfectly in the 80s theme with bright blue eyeliner, big frizzy hair and bright clothing (these are the things you have to keep in mind when buying things lol)

The bloggers staple: the crescent moon necklace. I love wearing this with my other necklace because layering gold necklaces is my favourite look ever. It's pretty understated and looks really nice with  turtle neck top but I'm imagining the effortless and airy summer looks against bronzed skin. I can't wait for the warmer exam free weather to roll around.

And finally, my Daniel Wellington watch. It seems like every blogger has a paid partnership or discount code with this brand. Unfortunately I don't. If there's a member of the PR office at DW reading this, please hit me up. This is my favourite watch ever because it's so simple and basic which suits my tiny wrists perfectly as it doesn't look too chunky and big. It's all in all just a very timeless (ha!) watch and so so versatile. I'm not sure of the actual name of this style as it was a gift from my mum but there's a huge range of different styles available.

As I'm editing this and about to publish it, I have added another gold necklace to my collection. It came to a mere £3.90 after the fab sales at & Other Stories. I saw so many nice pieces in their store, both sale and new collection and I was so tempted to pick up a few other things but ya girls broke (if the potential wealthy man is still reading...please)

Quick anecdote which probably isn't going to sound as interesting as I anticipated it to be. This morning Ambra just randomly told me "You love gold jewellery don't you?" after complimenting my new necklace. "And you love those earrings too" Just found it amusing because little did she know I've written a whole post about my love for gold jewellery including the earrings and necklace I'm wearing.

yeah that definitely didn't sound as fun as I thought it would. oh well.

what are your favourite pieces of jewellery? are you a silver or gold person (or even rose gold)?
-Dalal

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

I can't stop crying


I cannot stop crying.
I don't know what it is.

Maybe it's an underlying feeling of incompetence
or just the fear of the unknown.
everything has gone wrong
but I don't know what this 'everything' is.
Anticipation and eventual potential defeat?
Or just insecurity?
I don't know what to expect in the next few months
tears? yes.
but will they be tears of defeat or joy?
I feel ill-judged

I can't stop crying. 
I don't know what it is.

I know I could and will do better
if I had just stuck to my comfort zone
I would not be in the situation I am in now
underpredicted
no hope
rejection
But they say
before something good happens
everything falls apart
and you know what
maybe that's true
maybe these feelings of pure depression
that leave me bed ridden
stuck
unwilling
lethargic
praying for an escape
are just the build up to something great.
I hope this 'great' thing comes soon
(it better be worth it) 

but for now


I can't stop crying.
I still don't know what it is.


-dalal

Sunday, 7 January 2018

vienna


As I'm ploughing through revision on the German reformation, the Habsburgs, the threat from the Ottomans and Valois rivalry whilst listening to 'Étude No. 3, Un sospiro' and Moonlight Sonata, I realised that I should probably get started on my Vienna post before it's too late.

The city I never knew I needed to visit so much.

I had always overlooked central-eastern Europe, just lumping it into one big grey area of bad politics and focussing on the typical Greek, Italian, Spanish and French getaways instead. I loved Austria and am yearning to visit more countries in the region.

This trip was really special to me, not solely because of how much I loved the city in itself but because of the reinforcement it gave me. I'm in a bit of a rough place and I don't know what direction I want to take in my life, specifically surrounding education. Spending a few days there and sightseeing from the typical landmarks from St Stephens cathedral to venturing out to the University of Vienna did help plant some seeds of curiosity and opened possibilities in my mind. Perhaps I'm easily swayed but University in Vienna is sounding very tempting right now. I went in with the intention of looking around and seeing the bust of Sigmund Freud in the courtyard and ended up being taken on a tour around the building by a few students.

I don't want this post to be filled with photos and me gushing on about how picturesque the place was. So I'll be writing little anecdotes from uber drivers whipping out fruit salads to to spontaneous German language lessons.







Day one and I forgot to bring my camera out with me so we were off to a great start. We spent this day trying to get our bearings around the city and started off at the base of Stephensplatz which is the centre of the city. We went into the cathedral, it's your typical gothic European cathedral to be honest but interesting to see nonetheless. Then we began to walk in the smaller back-streets and let me tell you there is a big difference between the backstreets of Vienna and those back in London. I managed to take around 400 photos of the amazing buildings and windows. There's also main shopping street down here too and this is where I saw the poshest H&M ever. Green marble, gold lettering, winding wooden stairs and a super old fashioned lift within it. It was definitely an experience. You will also find a lot of horse carriages travelling through a small street and it's definitely different but it suited the city so well. The horse carriage trips are surprisingly very useful, it's essentially a 20 minute tour of the city which covers a lot of ground! I bought a few random postcards to keep and also to send to Katie. We then went to the Hofburg Palace which was the Habsburg residency! I found it really weird to be walking through a place where the terribly incompetent but nevertheless, iconic Charles V lived. This guy possessed the majority of Europe as well as parts of South America and East Asia and his inability to control also led to the birth of Protestantism in Europe. He also majorly pissed off the Ottomans and the French. Sorry for the history lesson- it's safe to say that I was in my zone walking through here. We then found ourselves at the twin museums: one of art history and the other was a natural history one. It's free for under 19s so they're definitely worth a visit. As stunning as the art history one was, the natural history museum was a winner. Everything in Vienna compliments each other. This was also the day I had my first 3 hour long German lesson.










You can definitely tell that the camera was remembered on day 2. This was my favourite day because we got up to so much! We started at the Belvedere palace which was so pretty, I can only imagine how nice it would look in the summer when all the plants and trees are lush again, and then walked for what felt like miles to get to the centre. Can I mention how nice the trams are there? I love the red and white and it contrasts so well with the architecture. I dragged my family to the University of Vienna because it was on my 'to see' list and it did not disappoint. I loved walking through the courtyard and looking at each of the busts, of course stopping for Freuds and for the "saviour of mothers" Iganz Semmelweis. The University itself was seriously one of the nicest I've seen (much better than Oxford...I promise I'm not being petty) The staircases were so grand, the tiling on the floors was intricate, the courtyard was mysterious, the *super quiet* library seemed like the perfect place to hide away from the cold and the silence in the corridors was so enticing. Thank you to the History, Physics and Economics students who toured me around- you were so lovely and helpful! After the university, we hopped on a random tram and went to a butterfly house where I then remembered that condensation is a thing and my camera was failing to overcome that (obviously) I did like the soft, hazy effect it had on the photo though! Finally we went to Cafe Central which was something I'd been anticipating ever since we booked. I loved it. The cafe itself is decadent and was often visited by the architects of our society as we know it which perhaps explained why I felt a little giddy when I was there. To think that I was in a place that Altenberg, Tito, Stalin, Trotsky, Freud and Hitler favoured so much was strange yet weirdly satisfying. These people changed history for the better/worse. I went for the least sophisticated thing: a hot chocolate and chocolate cake with a pianist playing in the background. I couldn't talk about this cafe without the famous anecdote when Victor Adler told foreign Minister of Austria Hungary regrading the possible outbreak of Bolshevik revolution in Russia: "And who will lead this revolution? Perhaps Mr. Bronstein (Leon Trotsky) sitting over there at the Cafe Central?” 






On our last day we visited the Schonnbrun palace, a summer residency for the Habsburgs. It is massive and you could easily spend a whole day there. Tickets to go in are quite pricey but the uber driver told us that when you see around 10 of the rooms you've seen them all so we decided to walk around and up the hills where you can get a really good view of the city. It had snowed a little overnight so the grass was white and it looked so scenic and postcard worthy but to be honest I was just trying not to slip lol. I'm pretty sure we spent around 3 hours walking around (do not underestimate the vastness of this place) We took the metro to Hundertwasserhaus was slightly anticlimactic but I don't know what more I was expecting than colour blocked apartments. It reminded me of Gaudí's work and was a nice break from the super regal and baroque buildings that I'd been flooded with beforehand. After a brief detour (aka getting on the tram going the opposite direction) we went to the Freud museum which was yet another place that I was looking forward to going because it is literally in his old home before he fled to the UK from Nazi persecution. Whilst I am a huge stranger to psychology, I still found it really interesting to look through all the artefacts from sexual theory to the unconscious. I also found the thing about cocaine really amusing, who would've known that Freud was a #cokeboi.

And that is it. I loved Vienna so so much and there was a lot more that I wish I could've done like the Albertina Museum and just generally explore more- it definitely gives me a reason to come back ;) Even though it's a really elegant, high brow and cultured place (3 things that I'm definitely not) the atmosphere is so warm, despite the almost sub zero temperatures, and its just a nice place to visit whether you're a history fanatic or not. Every corner is graced with an amazing building and the streets alone have at least one interesting fact about them. Also Mozart is basically a God here. His face is everywhere

hope you enjoyed scrolling through these snaps!