Monday, 17 November 2014

30 Survival Tips / No money No Problems


Being an independent adult is really hard, and if you live in a city like london or NY where rent is crazy you'll know that it is also very expensive. This post is for people who do have jobs or are in school but are struggling, and are way past the 'cancel your gym membership' tips.

Before anything: Make sure you know exactly why you don't have enough money to live and change it if you can. If your job doesn't pay enough ask for a rise or try to find another. If you are supporting an addiction get help. If you can't work then make sure you're getting money you're entitled to from the government.

1) Steal toilet roll from work if you work in an corporate office or chain anything. Don't steal from small businesses. Basically take anything you can from your work if they underpay you or are a big business, but don't do it too often and don't get caught.

2) Apples, berries, herbs, edible flowers, mushrooms etc all grow around London (just pick the high-up ones to avoid dog piss and be 100% that what you've picked isn't poisonous) and these things plus more (lots of fish, mussels, game birds, potatoes that have fallen off trucks etc) to be had in Cornwall.

3) Look after your belongings well, particularly shoes and coats. Learn how to sew.

4) Walk everywhere as much as you can. Wake up earlier if you have to. Travel is a budget killer.

5) Cut mold off of bread, vegetables and other food. Trust me, the rest of it is perfectly o.k.

6) If you can't afford your own food, and live with roommates or have friends and family nearby, then exchange chores for meals - cook the food, wash-up, dry up etc.

7) Go to all free events for the free food, drink and toilet paper.

8) If you can't pay all of your bills, prioritise. Rent is probably most important, and council tax is important because if you don't pay it eventually you go to jail. You can live without water and electricity in your house if you can get these things from elsewhere (like work or school).

9) If you can't afford rent either move somewhere smaller and cheaper with more people, or couch surf for as long as you have to (again offering to do chores). In London look into Property Guardianship.

10) If you have a pet to look after and can no longer afford to keep him or her then ask a friend or family member to look after them for a while. If that isn't an option then you will have to think about giving them up.

11) Go out but get other people to buy you drinks or drugs or whatever and make friends with band members, promoters and doormen with your dazzling wit, charm and malnourished body to avoid paying entry next time.

12) Keep in mind that you shouldn't pay for any of the following, as they are all available free somewhere: Pens, pencils, paper (most stationary actually) condoms, haircuts, plastic containers, plastic bags, sweets, hairbands, toilet roll, water, salt and pepper, sugar, tea and coffee etc.

13) Pick up money from the ground. It adds up eventually I promise.

14) Use coupons and buy USEFUL discounts in bulk as much as possible. Befriend co-op employees who have family discount cards that will get you 10% off and ALWAYS shop at the end of the day.

15) Be o.k. with liking certain foods you didn't before because their packaging got damaged and they were in the reduced section.

16) Live on homemade soups, rice, potatoes, and discounted food. Don't waste money on food that doesn't fill you up. This blog is good for cheap recipes.

17) Stay at work or school or any other heated place for as long as you can in winter. Dance and runaround at home if you can't afford heating and wear lots of layers/hats etc.

18) If you still have electricity (or gas), keep the oven door open to heat your house and insulate windows with the metro newspaper.

19) If you wear make-up and run out of it use the free samples in Boots and Superdrug.

20) Sell or trade anything you don't use. Definitely sell your t.v. if you have one and tell the tv license people. Avoid ebay (they take 10% profit). Lots of areas have 'buy swap sell' groups on facebook.

21) Charge electrical items at work or school.

22) If you are comfortable with it, take up something on the side to make money, but stay safe. It's better to be poor than it is to be dead.

23) Never buy things from corner shops as they are stupidly expensive. Bulk buy online or get yourself down to the cheap markets (no artisan shit) which are often cheaper than the 99p stores. In London, good places to go are Peckham Rye, Ridley Road, and Elephant & Castle (the stalls outside the shopping centre).

24) London is full of free things to do, so try and get into parks, libraries, walking around, and museums. Elsewhere isn't too bad if you get creative (eg Cornwall is a great place to scenically get fit for free)

25) If you are really struggling, you can find your nearest food bank here.

26) If you have a party to go to and want a new outfit buy online using as many discounts as you can and then return it asap after the event. Always keep the label on and buy something dark that won't show up tiny marks and nothing easily damaged like beaded dresses that fall apart instantly if you snag a thread.

27) Fill out a prescription fee exemption form which will come in handy when you get the flu from living on rice.

28) Give blood for free biscuits (not that reliable though as you can only do it four times a year and there are lots of restrictions)

29) Consider your talents. Especially creative things like busking, selling handmade cards or soap (idk) but other things like dog walking, babysitting, tutoring etc are quite nice tax free earners for those with no creative qualities and flexible schedules.

30) If winter is making you depressed and you own the house you live in, consider trying this free trial on the Guardian House Swapping site to look for somewhere to live temporarily abroad where living costs are often cheaper and it's generally more interesting and has better weather.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Run for your life



For your All Hallow's Eve dance party, masked ball pre-drinking/devil summoning ritual (I see you pz crew) or for burying a body in your back yard, You Ruin Everything has got your scaly, decaying back. Eat your heart out .

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Teenage Wasteland // Advice 4 Lyf


Tomorrow I will be twenty years old. It feels totally weird and wrong and gross because I want to be a teenager forever because we get away with so much shit you guys. Anyway, for those of you who still get to be living the dream, I wrote twenty pieces of advice that I have learnt in my twenty (eugh) years of being a person. You’ll most probably ignore this and do what you feel like doing and that’s cool with me.

1. Never be ashamed to love something because it isn’t cool or people laugh at you because of it. Loving something intensely is the coolest shit there is.

2. Be nice to other people, unless they are shit to you, then let all hell break loose.

3. Your gut will always know what’s up.

4. Don’t waste your money on stuff. Buy things second hand if you really need something and try to fix broken things before you replace them. Save as much as you can somewhere safe and hard to get to. If I had saved all the money I spent on clothes this past year I could be in Bali right now.

5. Everything you feel has been felt by someone else before, and they are probably feeling o.k. right now, even if it is the most painful, lonely feeling you've ever felt.

6. Worrying is counterproductive. So is the internet, T.V. drugs, staying up late, random hook-ups, fast food, breaking the law, and punk rock.

7. It is o.k. and important to be counterproductive occasionally.

8. Say please and thank you. Expect nothing.

9. Never ever fail to do something because you are scared.

10. If you fancy someone it is no big deal. Tell them or get over it, but don’t fancy them secretly for three years and think that they will magically fall in love with you on a school science trip to Poland because they won't and you will be miserable most of the time.

11. If you want to lose weight and feel better, exercise more and eat/drink mainly vegetables and water. This is, however, no way to live and sometimes burgers and Reese’s’ peanut butter cups are the only thing that will keep you going.

12. Make sure to tell people in your life that you love them (if you do), and that they are important (if they are).

13. It is not failure if you tried your best, but check yourself if you were lazy and didn’t work at it.

14. Apologise, forgive, and move on when you know you should. Revenge is for assholes and Quentin Tarantino films.

15. Work in the service or retail industry (or both like I do). It will be mostly terrible and you’ll hate it but you’ll learn a lot, and will always be able to get a job anywhere in the world.

16. Never miss an opportunity to get free things, but realise that there is probably a catch.

17. Sometimes, you need to shut up and realize you are wrong and stupid (but being wrong and stupid is okay as long as you're trying to learn shit as you go along).

18. You are a tiny insignificant bag of atoms on a rock. It really isn’t a big deal.

19. Don't give up when it gets hard, give up when you have no reason to continue.

20. Keep it as simple as possible, and always remember you're going to die (yeah yolo I fucking said it).

I'm now going to go to sleep so I can wake up and put birthday cake in my mouth and get sung to. Have a wonderful week.


Amy x

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

It's probably going to be ok

Callum, Josh, John, Poppy & Mimi at Bestival '14. MIA is myself, Charlie, Jared, and Harry.
This post is dedicated to everyone who has helped me through this asshole of a decision/process, I couldn't have done it without you.

I'm in my bed alternating between typing and staring at the A4 version of Thelonoius Monk's Advice (1960) stuck to an otherwise empty white wall in my old bedroom. Today I got a job in a coffee shop and it finally hit me that I'm not going back to school.

I guess I can blame the neglect of this blog on that. Although at first it was down to the sheer joy of being back home in summer and wanting to be in the sea the whole time and not working at all anymore and wanting to spend absolutely zero time on my laptop, but it eventually came down to me having to furiously write essay after essay during the days and nights of what felt like a month but was really only four days, nervous emails to the head of media and cultural studies at UAL, and absolute decision paralysis. 

It didn't help that I had to decide two days after Bestival, which, without meaning to sound like an absolute fucking dick head was the most beautiful experience of my life, with a comedown that lasted for weeks and involved me sobbing anytime Disclosure came on the radio, feeling seasick constantly and day-sleeping outside wearing sunglasses with glittery palm trees stuck to them.

Failing university (first year especially), is a scary, humiliating, and daunting thing to have happen to you. It's at that point you realise that you've fucked up monumentally and it's so fucking embarrassing. I wrote a piece two weeks ago when I was in the midst of this whole thing but which I didn't have the guts to publish, and reading it back I've realised I've never felt more alone and scared and confused in my life. If it wasn't for my family and friends I honestly don't know if I could've gotten through it, and I owe them so much. You realise that a lot of stuff you thought was important really isn't, who you can rely on/cry on the phone to, and you learn that feeling shit is like the symptoms of a cold - it's just evidence you're fighting something gross.

It's the details that are the worst though. It's the library books that need to be returned and the student loans and oyster card that needs to be cancelled, the process of finding someone else to take over the room in my flat and telling all of my uni friends I'm not coming back. Telling old relatives sucks, but telling random strangers who ask how you're doing is strangely liberating, especially because you know they don't give a fuck about how you are doing and over-sharing to randos at this point is the only thing stopping you from losing it entirely. 

And it is tiring. It isn't possible for someone to feel that much stuff and function how they're meant to. This past weekend I was in London packing all my stuff from my flat into a rental van. I've realised it's more than likely my last time there this year (although not definitely because shit can change in a heartbeat) and it already feels like a hundred years ago. All of the travelling and people I met, all the parties and shows and nights spent alone where I felt so exhausted by that fucking city. Every feeling and opportunity and thing that happened to me feels so separate and also insignificant to where I am now (geographically and in life I guess).

On Thursday I turn twenty years old. All of my friends (bar two) have left for their second year at university (or second season in Alp d'Huez) and although that feels strange, it's not that disastrous. Actually, being back in this town doesn't have solely negative connotations to me anymore. When I was stuck here at college I would've done anything to leave, I was dying of boredom and I was depressed as hell, but now I've lived in London for over a year, I've realised Penzance isn't such a bad place to be - I live literally five minutes away from the sea and short distances away from my favourite places - St.Ives, Falmouth, Newlyn and Mousehole. There are so many creative, warm, brilliant people in this town and I've been gifted an entire year to kind of do whatever I feel like doing. London, Exeter, Bristol, Brighton and even Durham (s/o 2 Emily) is only a coach away. It probably also helps that I'm not paying £130 a week rent. 

I've decided to use my time wisely, and to live very much 'in the moment' (yeah d/w I'm mentally retching). I've got myself two part-time jobs, I'm paying back my dad then learning to drive, I'm going to surf and travel a little and get back into running and illustration and who knows? Maybe I'll come back to london next year to intern somewhere fun. What I do know is that I'm not finished with education, and I'm reapplying for next year somewhere else. 

What two weeks ago felt like the end of the world, is now appearing to be the beginning of something quite interesting, and it's made me realise that even if everything goes to shit, it's still probably going to be ok. I'll leave you with a hand-on-heart promise that I have some really exciting content coming up, and this song by The Roches, which was on repeat for some weird, unexplained reason when I was doing my essays and seems particularly fitting now.


A.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

27/8

Full posts coming up soon, I seem to be increasingly busy at the moment and this blog is back seating it for now. Always updating my instagram though!


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Summer 2014 to-do List


Minute by minute, day by day, I can feel my summer wasting, dripping into the past like a melting ice-cream cone which will only leave you feeling sad, unsatisfied, and with fingers that are sticky and attract ants.

To rectify this inevitably disastrous situation, I have come up with a list. Most lists I write are shit and boring, to-do lists of essays and research and dishes to clean, but this one's alright, because it's full of (mostly weather dependant) fun stuff instead. 

These are all of the things I want to do now that I can do them, which sounds ominous, but it should do because we're all going to die. Enjoy!


1) Hang out with my friends

2) Read Carl Wilson's book Let's Talk About Love: Why other people have such bad taste

3) Have a night out in Falmouth

4) Pierce another hole in my ear

5) Find a chair for my desk in London

6) Have a yard-sale

7) Drop some acid

8) Go camping at the beach

9) Visit some art galleries

9.5) Sunbath in my garden and read books all day

10) Buy a new keyboard

10.5) Get bbq'in

11) Learn to kick-flip better

11.5) Go horse-riding

12) Go swimming/snorkelling off the rocks at Prussia Cove

13) Finish watching X-Files

14) Have a birthday party for myself

15) Find the perfect pair of black skinny jeans

16) Hang out in nicole's inflatable pool

17) Stay up all night just walking around and drinking cheap beer

17.5) Go to a pizza Saturday at the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

18) Go to a house party / try to get my friends to throw a house party

19) Finish a bunch of songs and PRACTICE BASS

20) Go on a Harmony Korrine film binge

21) Figure out ideal places to intern at in my third term

22) Go swimming again

22.5) Go to Bestival

23) Make a realistic band rehearsal schedule for a/w

24) Buy a fuzz pedal

25) Go to a party at the Ritz PZ

26) build a fort in my basement and have a sleepover (lame but so fun)

27) Go on a Wes Anderson film binge

28) Visit the Tate St.Ives with Nicole. Get carrot cake from the Ferrell bakery.

29) Camp in the woods

29.5) Play tennis (I'm great @ tennis)

30) Bonfire on the beach

31) Play basketball

32) Make these because they look disgusting and I'm totally into it

33) Find a cute boy and go on a row-boat date on Coronation lake

34) Make out with said cute boy 

35) Go swimming off the rocks in Mousehole

36) Watch the live-showing of A Streetcar Named Desire (with Dana Scully playing Blanche OMG!) at the Savoy Cinema

37) Swim in the tide pool at Cape Cornwall

38) Get high in the field at the top of my street

39) Take the open-top bus all the way to Sennen beach

40) Move everything into my new flat

Of course there will be photographs on here of everyone of these I do so keep an eye of for that but you can keep up with all my summer fun (lolz) on twitter, instagram & facebook

Now all I wanna know is WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR SUMMER?!

A x

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Back At It Again


So it's been a while, but the last month has been the busiest month of 2014 so far. I finished my 9-5 internship (helped by the daily play of Black Lips' Arabia Mountain album), found an affordable, not-too-shit flat in East London to live in from September and moved all my stuff in, then moved back home for the remainder of my summer and travelled so much I never want to see the back seat of a car ever again.

;) 

I also realised that earning money as an adult sucks because you have to spend it all on rent, bills, bin bags, and train tickets anyway, but that's #life and you just have to #fuckingdealwithit.

I have a bunch of plans for my summer, but working full-time for two months has meant I've missed all of the festivals I wanted to get to, so there's going to be very little in terms of live music stuff, but there will be lots of other content, including university posts, tonnes of playlists, photographs, more fashion stuff, interviews, and potentially a clothing haul..? (don't panic this isn't becoming one of those types of blogs).

Right now I have a resubmission deadline to meet, so I've kept it short and just want to say that I hope you're all having fun, and here is a picture of me outside my new place.



A x