February 2014tori's tales: February 2014

16 February 2014

171 // Getting to know me 01

I have, very kindly across the year, been nominated on a few occasions in question/tag posts and, up until now, haven't responded - not because I haven't appreciated the nomination, no-siree - but because I'm not the question-thinker-upper kind and didn't want the 'chain' to break with me. However, after reading Dani's post, I decided I'd like to get involved (hopefully that counts?! It's important to me you all know I appreciate the time you put into the tag!) so, over this mini series, I'm going to be answering the most recent one's I've been tagged in, in the hope of y'all getting to know me a little bit better (and here's to keeping my fingers crossed that you enjoy the experience!)

Shall we begin? Today's edition comes courtesy of Ellen, who tagged me in her '30 Questions Tag' post (note: my font and layout may look a little different to usual, for which I apologise - I wrote the post in a doc first then transferred it to blogger, which is only when I realised I had no idea what font is used in my main text!):

I am wearing jeans, my new (and completely worn-to-death) black floral blouse, a black cardi, odd socks (always odd socks), a checked scarf and - most importantly - a sofa throw. Because it's that gosh-darnit cold!

Maximo Park's new album, Too Much Information. We are off to see them on March 11th and it'll be my first ever gig of theirs - quite special considering I've been listening to them for some five-or-so years (and because Nosebleed is one of my favourite songs ever. Do you reckon they'll do requests?!).

I think, prior to last Summer, my answer would have been a no (mainly because I equate the beach with boredom - I’m not one for lying in the sun!) but, since travelling the north of England, and around parts of Scotland, it's now a definite yes! I'm not much of a swimmer (although the weather was actually on our side and we had sun and warm days a lot of the time when we beach-visited) so my favourite things to do, when on the beach, is welly-walking, stone skimming, looking for crabs in rock-pools (it seems to be quite the art form!) and chatting with my boy in the fresh sea air!

A bagel from the pack I bought yesterday. Wait, that's bad, right? Saying food instead of, like, world peace. Crikey, I wouldn't make at all a decent pageant contestant.

That would be.........Amy, a friend from uni.

Just standard-ly pierced ears. I had mine done when I was ten (I think!). My ear-piercing journey began when we were flying (I think back home from a holiday, rather than to one? I’m not sure!) and I'd seen some earrings in the in-flight magazine that I wanted that were, typically, for pierced ears. Anyway, I'd pointed them out to my parents and the next thing I knew they arrived in my lap! I was so excited because I knew that meant a yes, you can get your ears done (i.e. stop bloody asking!).

Oh stores. Sigh. Topshop. There's just something about it that leaves me feeling full of wistfulness and longing when I enter it's doors. Other shops, I like. But Topshop? I love. Thus, that'll be it.

No idea, I don't really ever wear it! Well, I do, but only ever on my toes (because I smudge it instantly whenever it's on my finger nails. And then I take it all off again because I can't deal with one bad nail) and even then I go by the colour, not the brand.

I can't remember. Possibly, but it would have been way back when I was at school and my memory doesn't hold out past what I did yesterday (and even that's pushing it!).

If I had to choose - and let it be known it's a bloody tough choice because neither are something I wear! - it would be shorts. Skirts look uber weird on me thanks to their often entirely-unflattering cut.

Welly-walking Bamburgh beach

(yes, it deserved capitals!)

Do people still say rofl? Even if not, it's what I'm doing it!

I want long. But sometimes I feel the greatest of pulls towards short. It's called indecisiveness and impatience! Oh, hang on, does this mean is my hair long or short? It's mid-way. Always mid-bloody-way!

Right now it's - 'Do what you feel in your heart to be right for you'll be criticised anyway'. 
It speaks so true of many-a-situation; we never can please everyone!

Cream, cream and more cream with a rather sumptuously-brown (said with great sarcasm) 'feature' wall. 
I would like to point out that we are in rented accommodation. Please don't judge me.

It entirely depends on the situation and who I'm with/what I've got to do. I don't find meeting and chatting to new people something that makes me nervous, which I think has come with age. However, in situations where I'm even just a little out of my comfort zone, I often fail to say one word. So, it all balances out!

That would be a catch-up text to Gemma!

I have! Two via social media, Twitter to be exact (are you getting why I love it so much now?!). 

I sleep with one, though it's often shared by the head of a certain boy, so I guess I really mean half. 
Yes, that's right, I sleep with half a pillow.

IRL, that would be the boy. IIL (I'm not sure if that's an actual abbreviation, but I'm just gonna go with it in the hope that I've created something meaningful if not) that would be.......Jess via Twitter!

The boy (and I) preparing to welly-walk the moody-look beach in St Andrews

One (though that's certainly enough, as I live in it as often as I can and, if I owned any more, they'd be all I'd bloody wear!). From the men's section in Primark.

Washing up. Cleaning. Researching a scary thing I'm doing tomorrow (this is when the 'not one word' thing may come into play!). Everything but what I'm doing right now.

Is this a thing? Should I be getting some sort of complex about my forever-dirty shoes? 
I have no idea, I've never thought about it before!

I absolutely 100% wouldn't change it. If you'd asked me half my lifetime ago I would have said I'd happily switch to any name from my own (mainly because people called me Vikki - yes, that spelling - back then, which I abhorred) but I've grown to love it. Plus, how often do we really ever use our own names? In a verbal sense, I mean? I hardly ever say Tori (or Victoria, which is what my name 'actually' is) out loud!

It definitely depends on the quantity, and in what capacity, but I think milk seems to be the entirely true, but incredibly boring, response. I eat it more than any other variety, I'd say.

'the inward parts of man's body; which inward parts, for the connexion they have with the brain,' - Leviathan, by Thomas Hobbes (as if I'd read this for pleasure - it's a uni text!)

I don't, though that's mainly because I have too many other things to watch. However, if I did it would be something classic (one of my favourite ever films is Peter Pan) as I'm not really a fan of the newer stuff.

The boring-sounding, but fill-my-tummy-ing, butter on toast.

Can I count the boy? Because he reminds me of a puppy at times.....

By 'holiday' I'm assuming this means the American kind, so I think I'd have to go with Christmas, though I don't really have a preference!

13 February 2014

170 // One Year of Tori's Tales

Though the tweet says the 14th, my very first post on Tori's Tales went live one year ago today; February 13th 2013.  

Above is the very first photo I ever posted (from a previous trip the boy and I had taken to Nottingham, before moving here). 

Chloe's was the first ever comment I received. 

This was the first post I felt entirely comfortable publishing (and yes, that is right - it took 110 posts to find that perfect fit).

This post is (one of, I can't choose!) my favourite(s) ever. It took me forever to take photographs of my camera and I genuinely love them!

And this post is your favourite ever, i.e. my most well-received! (If my outfit posts are going to be the ones most commented on, you cheeky mares, then this means I'll need an entirely new wardrobe, asap!).

I could go on. To think that a year ago today I clicked 'publish' for the very first time boggles this brain of mine quite entirely. I feel like so much has changed since then, both regarding Tori's Tales and myself. It took me a long time to pluck up the courage to finally decide to put my words 'out there' but, boy, am I glad I did. Nothing beats the feeling of sitting down, writing, and subsequently 'publishing', a post; this is my only creative outlet and is, I think (and this thought sparked in me after reading Rosie's post), the passion I've long been waiting for in my life. I'm lucky that I have this space to call my own; a space I can pour my words into and feel a sense of pride in (and let it be known I'm not one to ever use the p-word) when I release said words into the blogosphere. Who knew writing could ever bring me so much pleasure?!

Of course, there's no way I could mention such a milestone without thanking all of you. If you can't see your face above, please do not think this means I don't care about your support - I DO. Very much so. I wouldn't be a year down the line without the encouragement, kind words, happy tweets, warm and wonderful emails and smiling faces that ALL of you have shared with me over the past 365 days. Thank you. 

Here's to many more years with you by my side. 

12 February 2014

169 // Tales of the Week

1 // Tavi Gevinson for Ruush 2 // Original not found, via tumblr 3 // Match, Plamen Stevanov 4 // Mi Armario en Ruinas - edited (poorly) by moi
I'm not sure where I was going with this header, I just fancied something a bit darker/bolder/moodier than usual. Something a little more striking, if you please (and here's hoping that is how it comes across). Plus, ya know, one can never have enough Tavi on one's blog (guys, that hair. She's making me want to chop mine off again, arrgh!).

I know I missed out on Tales of the Week last week (though I hope you saw this post, which offered up a few bits and bobs in it's place!) and, yes, I'm late with this edition, but - at long last - I'm excited to share these posts with you and hopefully you are excited about me doing so! May I suggest - to fully appreciate all that I am offering you (and by I, I mean everyone who wrote these posts!) - taking half an hour out of your day, grabbing a cuppa, popping your feet up and savouring the read!!

*As ever, one must note that all images shown belong to the blog from whence they came, and all credit belongs to the authors of these posts*

Monday 3rd
Hannah's polka dots had me green with envy

Tuesday 4th
Stacy shared swoon-worthy (Italian) imagery

Wednesday 5th
Rusty snapped some February shoots

Thursday 6th
Darling Magazine shared a guide to lifelong learning

Friday 7th
Emma took part in a Ray Ban campaign

Saturday 8th
Giulia pondered her Pieces

Sunday 9th
Jess shared what happiness is..

Monday 10th
Gemma made a mouse!!

9 February 2014

168 // Let's keep talking

--- Woods Ferry
Image // Kenneth Edwards
Edit: This post is dedicated to opening the minds of any and everyone who crosses the paths of others. It's dedicated to the decision to putting ourselves into other peoples shoes. It's dedicated to instilling in us a feeling of kindness. To the creation of a mouth full of warm words and a pair of arms that hug with the strength of an ox. It is dedicated to understanding. And to hope. 

This past Monday I had a panic attack. It's not something I've ever experienced before, though it happened because of something I very much have done - worrying. I had begun to put together a post about how I was feeling that day (which I'll come to soon) as I'd always found it to be a largely therapeutic experience (and many others I've spoken to before about such posts have agreed - the jotting down of words and thoughts have always allowed for a de-clutter of my mind) yet this time it had the opposite effect; the piling up of words on the page caused my heart to quicken - I could feel it; that tight, heavy fluttering in my chest that occurs with my anxiety - my breathing to become shallower and my vision to blur. I turned to my dear friend Megan for advice and, after reading through her words, I searched for some calming music and moved myself to the sofa to lay down and focus on it's beat (and thus distract myself from my own). After about half an hour my breathing returned to normal and my heart had stopped it's frenzied battle to force itself out of my chest.

Image // Hannah Davis
It's nearly a week on now and it almost feels as though it never happened. It would be all too easy for me to ignore that it did, to just forget how I felt in that moment, and to not discuss my feelings now I am a little less worried and a little more settled. However, I believe it's important to share my story, especially during a time when the topic of mental health is in the spotlight. This past Thursday 6th February, Time To Change - a programme aimed at challenging mental health stigma and discrimination - held an it's 'Time to Talk' Day dedicated to igniting one million conversations about mental health. I have since read multiple stories of every day struggles with mental health problems of all varieties - Megan, Lyzi and Toni all showed great strength in discussing their own struggles and experiences - and today I am adding another story, in the hope that the chain continues and the conversation keeps on growing.

I am a worrier. This won't come as news to some, and though others may feel a little 'so what?' about my admittance, it's something that has a negative impact on my life. No matter what I do to try and curb those feelings, anxieties and ever-present niggles of self-doubt (they like to settle, more often than not, beside my ear, ready to pounce) they are darn-good at persisting, making themselves known, and burrowing themselves deep in my psyche (out of reach). Last Monday I started to worry about university - this isn't a new worry, it's something I battle with on a daily basis - and my thoughts quickly spiralled out of control. As usual, I worried about how little I connect with my course. I then began to think about recent conversations I'd had with multiple friends - and the boy - all of whom are applying for internships and work experience; many of them, when I asked what they were applying for, replied with the same question, to which my answer was (and is) always the same - 'I don't know' (and that's because I honestly don't; no inklings, no ideas, no 'lightbulb' moments for me as of yet - just a blank page on which a future should be forming yet not even a dot yet adorns it's white mass). On top of this I began to stress about seminar reading I'd been set for one of my modules; one 6 page piece that took me half a day to get through and one 26 page piece whose words swam about the page, as unidentifiable as a foreign language. And that's when the panic set in.

Image // Hunt Fanelli
I am my own biggest enemy - I pick and pull myself apart at the seams, unravelling any positive thoughts I may have until they fall in a heap of jumbled-up mutterings, allowing the negative ones to pick themselves up, dust themselves off (as if that's at all necessary - more often than not they aren't tucked away long enough for dust to form) and assert their (great and powerful) authority. I fight when I can; I plaster a smile on my face, place a song in my heart and I sit and write a post, or I scroll through pretty things and read peoples words and dream about lands visited and times forgotten. But still they persist. It's a constant power-struggle; a fight to gain it and keep hold of it. Sometimes I win, more often I lose, but I certainly won't give up that fight (in case they're listening - they should know who they are up against!). My biggest concern is always where my future will take me; if I'll ever build a sturdy foundation to grow from. I hope, as others have suggested, that one day all will click into place, or that I'll find myself in a situation whereby I'll think 'hang on, that sounds interesting..' and I'll read about it and feel the embers of passion stoke in my belly. And it's that hope that keeps me going - wading through the hard times, fighting with those negative thoughts, battling with my fears.

Image // Millie Clinton
I am aware that (and must mention) we all suffer in different ways - the problems I struggle with are small in comparison to those dealt with by others, though I am sure to let myself know that this doesn't mean they are irrelevant or unnecessary (and I implore you to do the same). We all have our own problems, fears and worries and they are all worth listening to. If you are struggling to hear yourself, your own voice, among the crowded thoughts that settle in your mind, then I suggest asking someone to help you do so. It is hard - there's no doubt about it - to reach out to others when we are struggling (my instinctive reaction is to brush my worries to one side in the hope they'll eventually just sort themselves out) but the saying is true; a problem shared is a problem halved. If you don't want to talk to someone IRL - if it's all too much to seek out a friend one evening, or a relative over the weekend - then pick up the phone, use twitter, send emails - you'd be surprised at how many people are ready and willing (and want) to help in any way that they can. And if that someone you approach doesn't understand, or can't sympathise or empathise with your situation, that does not mean the conversation has to stop there - that your thoughts aren't valid or your worries are nonsensical - it just means they're not the right person to reach out to. Find someone else and begin a new conversation.

Now I've shared my story, I hope you'll do the same. It's so important for us to keep talking. Stop silencing yourself - it's time to make that change.

Time to Change:
- Website
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- YouTube