Saturday, 28 June 2014

WORK EXPERIENCE


This last month has been very exciting for me work experience wise and I thought I would share with you what I have been up to. I have previously completed work experience at Birmingham Mail as described here in my The Day I Met Hugh Grant blog post, and I adored my time there. I love being press, even if it is a little bit pretend. I love the responsibility of having people depending on me to have a story finished in time, the power of ringing someone to get the most information you can then writing something in your own voice, and finally the feeling when it is your name next to something you have written. I couldn't imagine spending my life doing anything else.

I did one week's work experience at Cardiff Times, I wrote Places to eat in Cardiff for their May issue, and I was very much looking forward to working behind the scenes of the publication. During my time, I met the lovely Louise Denning who let me take on loads of responsibility that I was so grateful for. I did the what's on section, the beauty pages and edited many articles. She even gave me a mention in the editor's letter. You can view the issue I worked on here. After my week there I was very sad to leave and so we kept in touch. I went on to write two pieces for the blog and worked with some great companies in Cardiff: Ten Mill Lane and Color Festival. I hope I can continue to work with Cardiff Times during my third year at Cardiff University.

Next was a week at Wales Online, I did not realise how much was actually going to be going on at the office who are responsible for around ten Welsh newspapers as well as the constantly updated website. The company are part of the same group as Birmingham Mail; Trinity Mirror. This company is actually Britain's biggest newspaper group, it publishes 240 regional papers, along with the national Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People. During the week I wrote countless articles and I was really proud to see them printed. It is not only the writing I enjoy, I also love dressing in office attire, and hearing office gossip. I can't wait to be a real part of that unique environment one day. It all truly fascinates me.

It's not all over yet in my work experience diary, I am very much looking forward to working with Buzz magazine in September. Their magazine looks incredible, I am excited to see what tasks they have in store for me. I would then really like to fulfill my dream of working with Cosmopolitan. Does anyone have any tips as to how to get noticed by these sorts of publications for internships?

TIE DYING DAY

I returned to Cardiff for my final two days in our Glynrhondda residence, which I have spent equal amounts of time loving and hating over the past year. The intention was to clean ready for the dreaded inspection which determines whether we will have our bond returned to us. What it instead turned into was pub visits, rooftop pre-drinking, a visit to Metros (one of our house's favourite nightspots despite it's dinginess), a TOWIM viewing, tapas and a giant tie dying session. We are the masters of procrastination.

As I had never tie dyed before but always loved the effect I resembled that of an excited child on arts and crafts day at school.



Mary chose a suitable top for the occasion.


Buy these dyes off Ebay here.



The whole tie dying day was my idea but it was just my luck that mine turned out by far the worst. It just looks like an orange t-shirt, it wouldn't even hang on the hanger properly! But everyone else's turned out amazing and it was a lot of fun! I feel next time I have learnt my lessons: don't buy a white t-shirt that already has an effect on it, don't drop your t-shirt into the pool of orange dye on accident and do make sure the elastic bands are plentiful and tight. Or maybe I will just buy my next one off ASOS?



My favourite design.



I couldn't resist taking a picture of Glynrhondda Street as I walked away for the final time. Second year has been a blast and I can't wait to return for my final year, hopefully with a tan and a summer of amazing memories (and a rich boyfriend would be nice too).


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

TV SHOW ADDICT

Hi, my name is Josie and I am a Television series addict. By this I mean when I start a new series I am unable to watch one episode a week, a day or even a morning. Instead I will sit there until I have completed it like I am being held at knife point. Without the restriction of Mr.Sky or Mr.Virgin giving me my weekly dose of programming I am incapable of self control.





I am always hesitant to begin watching a new series because I am aware of my flaw and know I am about to enter intensive television viewing. I managed to finish six series of Gossip Girl (121 50 minute long episodes) within three weeks, included in this time was a five day holiday. I then moved on to Lena Dunham's hilarious creation Girls which only currently has two series so I was able to fly through that in not much longer than a week. And now I am watching Netfix's newest hit Orange is the New Black. I am just on the second episode of the 2nd series and I don't see it being long before I am up to speed. By the way, how good are all those TV series?!

I have long insisted that there needs to be a word for the feeling you get when a series draws a close. It's a mixture of emotions for me; a sense of achievement for the completion, freedom to continue with my life, happiness for the characters but also sadness and the thought "Where do I go from here?". My friends always poke fun at me for pointing out that this word that encompasses all these feelings is missing from the Oxford Dictionary. Maybe Oxford will read this blog post and get in touch with me, and I could name the feeling after me. In years to come people will be like "Just finished INSERT SERIES, I'm not gonna lie I am feeling a little Josie." A girl can dream...


What are you all watching?


Sunday, 22 June 2014

AN HONEST REVIEW OF BEING 20 AND SINGLE


Being 20 is quite an odd phase in anybody's life, especially in our generation where the best age to have marriage and kids is somewhat blurred. While a lot of my friends are coming up to their 4/5 year marks with their boyfriends, I am forced to reflect on what I have spent that time doing; I've got drunk, lost my phone a bunch of times and had a heap of failed "relationships". Now I have waited this long, I feel I am becoming increasingly picky and have a mental list requirements for what my partner should have, but then I remember I am not Michelle Keegan.

If you are entering adulthood single then chances are you have dated some pricks. I can't help but think the people who marry their childhood sweethearts (like Nathan and Hayley in One Tree Hill) have it slightly easy. I often blame myself on down days, thinking about what I have done wrong. And sure I do have to accept some blame, especially as most the boys I date often follow me with a very long term relationship. It's almost as if I am the warm-up. While I am honestly happy that they have found someone, I do not want to be the warm-up girl forever.

Sometimes I think that what I have achieved is insignificant because I am not currently in a long term relationship. This is so wrong and I know it is. But I often compare myself to friends who seem to be on the verge on moving to the big steps such as engagement/moving in together. My biggest fear is being dateless at my best friend's wedding! My life fleets between I'm free, single and the world is my oyster and Bridget Jones' style why does nobody love me?!


Then I remember what the girls of SATC have taught me, be furiously independent and remember love can come to you at any age. Love can not be the definition of a person. Although imagining a life single forever, never married, never having kids is quite sad. But I am only 20 and when it's meant to be it's meant to be! Currently I am having the time of my life at university, planning a summer travelling to some amazing countries and festivals, and working towards my primary school dream of becoming a journalist. So while I am waiting for love it seems I have plenty to crack on with and a great group of best friends and amazing family to enjoy life with. I have 2/3 people components for a happy life, and that ain't bad!

The Daily Mail recently did a survey that said 24 was the ideal age to meet the love of your life, what do you think?

Monday, 16 June 2014

COCKTAILS AT TEN MILL LANE

TEN MILL LANE

This weekend Cardiff Times were lucky enough to be invited to Cardiff’s brand new trendy bar Ten Mill Lane for a cocktail fuelled evening.  The bar is located on the busy Mill Lane. It is squeezed in between clubs such as Retros and Soda, but Ten Mill Lane offers a completely different vibe to the normal Cardiff nightlife.
Their slogan is ‘You are welcome’ and that is exactly how the staff, venue and other cocktail lovers make you feel. Upon arrival a quick introduction to the energetic manager Jon Saunders was followed by getting comfy in one of their booths and an eyeing up of the menu. Being a poor second year student my taste buds are much more accustomed to Tesco’s Everyday Value vodka than the delights the incredibly talented mixologists could conjure up so I was very excited to get started.
The informative bartenders are unafraid to go off the menu to give you a drink that suits your personal taste buds. We were interested in something sweet and were treated to the following cocktails:


Our first drink was a refreshing Strawberry Fields, the main ingredients are strawberries and vodka, and it went down delightfully. A sweet cocktail ideal to kick start the evening.

Next up was a Rossini which is usually made using strawberries, however we swapped them for raspberries for a slight twist. It was a sparkling Prosecco based drink and was topped with brown sugar, chocolate bitters and marshmallows. The drinks presentation and taste made me think I was the latest addition to the Made in Chelsea cast.


We followed the fizzy delights with a fruity Singapore Sling, an old recipe from 1914 which uses 9 different ingredients. This drink was made especially for us for the first time in 10 Mill Lane history which left me feeling very special! This was my personal favourite drink of the night and I would definitely recommend asking for this fruity number.


As we were now onto our fourth drink we were feeling a little more confident (drunk) and so we asked for something with a bit of kick. The bartender David ‘Fitz’ Adams had an excited look on his face and told us that he was going to make us his signature drink; Fitz’s navy Mai Tai. This drink is the strongest drink on the menu, the only ingredient non-alcoholic was a singular shot of pineapple juice. He informed us that a lot of drinking on his part had gone into creating this unique beverage. It certainly had a kick but the different liquors worked well together to create this creamy concoction that slipped down with ease. It was topped with lashings of whipped cream (my favourite thing in the world), strawberries and mint leaves.


Finally we finished with some smooth French Martinis and a shot of a substance I am not sure of, and didn’t really want to ask!
Ten Mill Lane is now definitely going to be part of my Cardiff routine. The bar boasts opening times of 5pm till 6am, (one of the only places in Cardiff with a 6am license) and a slick interior. I would advise entering Ten Mill Lane and instead of looking through the menu just tell the friendly team what your personal preferences are. I feel this approach is much more worthwhile, as it would be such a shame to waste the team’s expertise and skills. I found they knew what I wanted more than I did, and I enjoyed the cocktails so much more than I usually do at other cocktail bars by letting myself succumb to the bar staff’s knowledge.
For guest list and enquires call 02921 15 10 15, or alternatively check them out on Twitter and Facebook.
Make sure you visit soon and take advantage of their constant happy hour with 2 for 1 cocktails any time you like, you’d be silly not to!
Thank you Ten Mill Lane for the amazing night.
*This article was originally published on the Cardiff Times blog.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

RIP RIK MAYALL








This week the tragic news came that Rik Mayall, the brilliantly talented comedy actor has died at the age of 56. Drop Dead Fred was one of Rik's master pieces, and the love I have for the film is ridiculous. I chose it as one of my top six films here.

It was a massive part of mine and my sister's childhood. It would always be the film that we begged our Mum and Dad to put on and then laughed hysterically to for the next 90 minutes. When the transition from VHS from DVD occurred it was the first film we had to buy again. Now both of us at the start of adulthood still know and will never forget that Drop Dead Fred is a film we can turn to for a great experience, no matter how many times we have already seen it. It is with great sadness I heard of his death and I will never forget the joy he continually brings.


R.I.P Rik Mayall, you will live on in our hearts and memories!

Now I will leave you with this gem...

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

KIRSTIE ALLSOPP'S A BIT OF A PLONKER

TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp yesterday claimed that women should ditch the books and bypass university in favour of boyfriends and baby making.


Allsopp told the Daily Telegraph that if she had a daughter she would tell her Darling, do you know what? Don’t go to university. Start work straight after school, stay at home, save up your deposit - I’ll help you, let’s get you into a flat. And then we can find you a nice boyfriend and you can have a baby by the time you’re 27.”

The middle class mother's advice is somewhat patronising to the younger generation. Waiting to go to university till a later age suggests that for the most part of a woman's life she should be dependant on a man who will supply her with money and sperm, while she waits to start her education and career at a later date as obviously her desires outside of family life are far less important than a man's. How could us women forget?!

The 'Location, Location, Location' host went on to say that “'Don’t think my youth should be longer. Don’t go to university because it’s an “experience”. No, it’s where you’re supposed to learn something! Do it when you’re 50!”. She is suggesting the fun side of university that involves being young and free, being put outside your comfort zone, meeting people you never would of otherwise and learning for the first time to live without your parents is all meaningless lessons and should come second to your womb. Her advice would instead be to hop straight into bed with an already successful man; that is much more worthwhile.

What if the girl never finds said man to support her, how long should she wait? Should she accept a position doing a role she doesn't enjoy, living in a flat funded by Mummy, and wait patiently until her Prince Charming comes and sweeps her off her feet. The whole story just seems completely ridiculous and almost as if it is a story from The Daily Currant, this is what I thought it was when my Mum told me in a recent phone call, but no it's all completely true. I think it proves that Allsopp's opinions should be pigeon holed to the property market and she should never ever become a Careers advisor!


What do you think of this controversial opinion?