Wednesday, 3 December 2014

❄ Album Advent Day 3 ❄

Take Care by Drake

 Chosen by: Maria Pizzeria, London. Stylist, blogger & Coffin on Cake fashion PR.

Reason for Choosing: It reminds me of a time when I moved to London and discovered Dalston and all the clubs and loads of bangers from this album were on every time. It basically represents a very important part of my life!

Also as soon as I meet someone who loves the album, I know we're gonna be very good friends. The album also inspired me to create #DrakePanties, because I want to carry Drake wherever I go.

Favourite Track: The Ride

 Contenders: PARTYNEXTDOOR by PartyNextDoor

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

❄ Album Advent Day 2 ❄

Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys

Chosen by: Jake, Falmouth. Bass and vocals in The Black Tambourines, and keyboard in The Golden Dregs.

Reason for choosing: The single most beautiful and interesting album I've ever heard. I love it so much I could cry, and sometimes do. The reason Pet Sounds is my favourite record is due to the fact that every time I listen to it I am still amazed and puzzled by the songs and without a shadow of a doubt it manages to inspire a feeling in me that helps me know my place in the world. 
Musically it is so rich and through the lyrics of the songs I think it conjures up a lot of difficult feelings that are hard to express for many young people, particularly myself. It has and probably always will be a major source of inspiration for me and I aspire for people to feel something similar when listening to the music I create, the feeling that you're not alone.

(N.B: Jake got in really quick with his answer. It was the fastest response that I recieved during this series, saying that it is the only thing he is decisive about. "...any other subject I have no answer". There were no contenders.)

Monday, 1 December 2014

❄ Album Advent Day 1 ❄

Welcome to part one of a twenty five part series (yeah twenty five) which involves a You Ruin Everything post everyday from now up until Christmas Day. My friends, my family and myself will be writing about our collective favourite twenty four albums of all time to celebrate this blog's favourite thing, unearth some forgotten, slept-on tracks, and to give you some gift ideas for C day. 

Picking the 24 was difficult and I managed to throw everyone I asked (bar one) into a tailspin, but rediscovering these albums (and hearing some for the first time) was an absolute joy. I hope you get something out of this series (it beats that weird tasting Christmas tree-shaped advent calender chocolate anyway). Without further ado, here is part one from my very good friend Emily, who turned Twenty yesterday. 

Graceland by Paul Simon 

Chosen by: Emily, 20, Geography degree student at Durham University

Reason for choosing: "Firstly, the music on it is just ace! You can tell that the songs are from the same album but they're also unique and I feel that the lyrics create a strong imagery and there is a real story to each one. Secondly would be the context which I first listened to it (a volunteering project in Swaziland in 2012) and driving through South Africa listening to it. Made some fantastic friends on that trip (s/o to Georgia & the associated Pz gang and that) and it always reminds me of hurtling along some red dust road chilling out with them."

Favourite Track: You Can Call Me Al

Contenders: Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water and The Graduate Soundtrack

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.