Sunday, 30 September 2012


So it's been a week since I re-located to student housing in the second home that is Nottingham. (Lack of posts has been a result of this upheaval.)
The change of pace experienced when one comes back to the academic fold is not always what is expected. The student life portrayed on television by the likes of 'Fresh Meat', 'Skins' and the rest of Channel 4 only shows one very narrow part of realistic experiences. Yes there are nights out with your top girls...

 ...and yes you spend a stupid amount of time watching shit telly and trying to winch yourself off the sofa to do something productive, but the domestic expectations which hit you like a train after a whole summer of home with a mother cooking, cleaning and reminding you to 'PICK UP YOUR PANTS!' brings you back down to earth. 
An equilibrium therefore has to be reached. There will be times when you feel lonely and you're sat alone in your room with only the Sims 2 for company, there will be days when you're walking around campus in the rain wondering why its so damn cold when you have 4 layers on and you seem to have been running around like a headless chicken all day with pen on your face that none of your 'so-called friends' have pointed out. The realities of budget also come into play and you soon come to see the benefits of 'Tesco value' and BOGOFF's over you're usual indulgences. The first week is also the week of admin over load, re-adjusting to the REAL reason you're at university, i.e. an education. The effort required takes immense self motivation and organisational skill which needs to be awoken from its summer hibernation in order to start the year in the way you wish to go on and avoid flustered phone calls to your heads of Dept. with an empty timetable and that feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach.
However, after a year as a fresher, and a week of second year successfully completed with body, bank balance and most of my kitchen appliances intact 3 survival tips have re-emerged in my frazzled, wine fuddled brain; 
1.If you wake up in the morning with the darkest of dark clouds hanging over your bed, wash it away with a shower and your favorite smelly stuff, (my fav is a Lush shower gel bought for me by one of my Best Friends called 'It's Raining Men' its like washing in honey mmmmm), do your hair and put on an outfit which you feel like you can conquer the world in and get out of your room, even if you have nowhere to go, you know that you look and feel nice and are ready for any eventuality.
2. Buy one little indulgence every week. This week i bought myself 'Date Bouquet' L'Occitane hand cream, made extra indulgent by the fact that it doesn't officially hit the shelves until next week but the luurrvvllyyy shop assistant informed me they had just received the delivery and made by day by fishing out from the back stock room just for iccle me! There is nothing more luxurious than hand cream and whenever I felt shit this week I just put some on and I felt like a princess (despite looking like a mentalist walking round the town center/campus smelling my hands). £8 well spent!
3. Don't ever stop making friends. I was waiting in a queue to see my personal tutor and saw a familiar face in the queue, one of those faces which you see but never talk to, just because the opportunity never arose. Anyway.... a borrowed pen and swapskis of numbers later and out of the blue I spent yesterday afternoon having a mooch round the shops, dinner and wine with a girl who I CANNOT BELIEVE has not been a part of my life till now!! 

 Take every opportunity and say YES! Pursue sparkle and get out there; life is waiting...
Peace and Love x

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Rembrants ('Friends' Theme)

As the summer holidays draw to their inevitable close and the new academic year advances, the conflicting feelings of unbearable anticipation and resistance to change become two common characters on your shoulder.
Speaking of two common characters in my life; these last few weeks have been spent with my two bestest friends, making the most of the last days of close proximity. The beauty of making memories like this is that it reminds you that you are still the same dorky little teen on the inside despite insisting that maturity and experience have taken their hold over you.
As the following photo-dump shows, this is perfectly epitomized by our exploits...
The CLASSIC Wagamama's Walrus pose...

Of course, age has shown its benefits and new activities become available.... and when i say activities I mean...

As you can probably see the photos took on what I like to think of 'candid' (or as most people would claim 'unsteady') character. A hangover is made infinitely more bearable when you crowd round the camera and know that all the tired panda eyes and achey feet were worth it. Sometimes you just have to suffer for your art.....

While this post seems abit disjointed I guess it might help to illustrate what i'm trying to say...
 Life is disjointed.
It took 3 months for the three of us to really spend some time together; holidays, work and family commitments made what seemed like a relatively easy task of reunion a real riddle. Now we are all out in the big wide world, spreading our strange sayings, actions and in-jokes all over the globe (Australia, Czechoslovakia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe...) it is a credit to our friendship that none of this matters. When we get together you realize who you really are and it reminds you of what you could lose if you don't put in the effort. 
Life may be crazy and unpredictable. We all have our own hopes, dreams and aspirations. We come and go but we know we have our power base to charge us back up when we sound the alarm. 

So to the future... to the new experiences... challenges and adventures. I can't wait to snuggle up in PJ's in front of a sweetie buffet and a 'so crap its good' film and tell my girls all about it when we all come back. Sharing 'shiggles', shoes and nail polish.
Only a true friend can give you this and say 'hey this bar was made for you...' thanks RAE!!!

I thought this was more rational... (and boring) 

So here's to you guys... Bring the sparkle...I wouldn't have mine without you.

Peace and Love x

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Good Life...

It is a paradox of modernity that as the world seems to become materially smaller, one can't help but wonder if, as a consequence, humanity and a sense of community fragments. In true 'keen been' fashion I have been trying to get a head start for my degree next year by pre-reading and trying to familiarize myself with the periods and issues that will plague my brain in the coming year. My first compulsory module is ' The Contemporary World since 1945' and in true modernization fashion (and with reference to 'The History Boys') Nothing seems further away than the recent past.

What struck me most was that as technology and post-industrialism took a firmer grip on society, it seems to squeeze out traditionalism and values that have characterized the British isles for centuries.  A gain in globalization has led to a loss of locality.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A trend of 'kitsch' and the glamorization of 'country chic' makes sure old English tradition does live on and (while plagued by commercialism) 'Grassmere Sports' in the Lake District re-affirmed my faith in simple pleasures and a good old fashioned sense of Heritage. Since my youth, i have been drip-fed a love and appreciation of the lake district with a family pilgrimage every few weekends to the top of the world with a promise of a pub dinner and nap in the car journey home if we got back down to the bottom. This charmed aspect of my childhood was sorely missed when I left for university last year so one of my summer wishes was a family day out to renew relations with an old friend.
So donning the wellies, waterproof and gilet we set out (along with new puppy) to fulfill my wish.
Mud, Tug of war and real men in Lycra is probably the best way to summarize my day along with the smell of cider, Cumberland sausages and wet dog. After eating a poor guy out of flavored honey samples (Apple, Rhubarb, Sticky toffee and Dandelion and Burdock but to name a few) we entered the Daisy in the dog show as a kind of 'inauguration' into Lakeland life. Safe to say she didn't do herself justice but giggles were many.

Okay so i wasn't necessarily only focusing on the dog's merits.... but i know who i would give my rosette to ;)

What a couple of Bums... hahaahahha (okay so not that funny)

 Please welcome to the 'Sparkle blog' Mummy and Daddy Clark...

Nawwwwww their giving each other a hug.....


Another flirtation with tradition was had last weekend when attending a 21st Birthday party. Little did I know until I had already picked my outfit, that the theme of this soiree was Barn Dance and Hog Roast. So in true Anne Hathaway as Cat-woman style, not even harm inflicting boots could prevent my involvement. Yes i was petrified of impaling old women and small children with my Jeffery Campbell boots but the compliments and admiration I got afterwards just made the experience even more hilarious.

The moral of this post is STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREEN AND INTO LIFE!

Peace and Love x