A Weekend in Brighton

I’m back!

As you may have realised, I took a long break from blogging before Christmas. Not intentionally. I started a new marketing position last month and I’ve got some side projects on the go (But no side chicks sadly… which reminds me, what IS the male equivalent to a side chick?) so it’s been a bit hectic.

But I’m back to blogging again so it is all good!

The weekend just gone was pretty awesome, so I thought I’d write a post about it.

I’d decided last year that I’d go out and plan more trips in 2016.

I had a list of gigs I wanted to go to and places I wanted to visit that I hadn’t been to yet. Brighton was one of them. So when I saw that an artist I’d be listening to for a while (and was desperate to see live) had a gig in Brighton this month, I couldn’t not buy a ticket and plan a weekend away.

So my friend Grace and I went up on Sunday, ready to explore the seaside town where everyone is as cool as a cucumber (It must be difficult being that cool).

First up, I won’t lie to you. The weather was (insert emoji poo here)💩

I’ve always wanted to be swept off of my feet but the wind in Brighton was taking the mick. At one point my glasses were literally swept straight off my head. And then there was the rain. If rain were a person, it’d be the worse kind of person.

So I had planned to get some really inspiring and artistic photos of the pier and some really nice looking fish and chips but snap chat quality photography was the reality of the situation.

We did shop! Now I’m not a massive shopper (unless is online) but there is definitely a better selection of retail in Brighton then there is in my hometown, where you’d be lucky to find a shop that doesn’t sell either phones or anything that cost more than a pound. So the retail therapy did commence. Thankfully my bank account didn’t take too much of a beating.

Later that evening we then headed down to KO Media, an amazing little venue, to see Gavin James. First of all, this venue is so much like Luton’s Hat Factory it’s unreal. I’m willing to bet money that one’s design was based on the other. Just like Hat Factory, it looks like a little café but when you walk through to the back of the building, the stairs lead you down to a basement style room. I’m pretty sure these are my favourite type of venues for gigs.

You can’t beat the acoustics you get in a room of that size and it always feels so much more special. I literally felt like I was down the pub, having a pint.

Interesting story (disclaimer, I will not be held responsible if you don’t find this extract interesting), I found out about Gavin James purely by accident when I tried to Youtube Gavin Clark who featured on ‘This is England’s’ soundtrack and forgot his last name! So thank you, Gavin Clark.

Gavin Jame’s was as amazing live as I’d hoped he’d be. I’d listened to ‘Live at Whelans’ on repeat so I knew he’d be fantastic anyway but it’s always great when an artist is as good live, if not better, then recorded.

The support acts were also super talented and were amazing warm ups to the show.

Check them out.

Craig Gallagher Music

Orla Gartland

So yes, probably one of the best gigs I’ve been to! (The Cure being another!)

I got one picture of the venue itself.

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As you can see, it’s really clear and gives some great detail into what the hell is going on… 😳#sodarkyoucantflash

That was taken before the gig even started because, I will say this honestly, am I the only person in the entire world who thinks it EXTREAMLY rude to be on your phone during shows?

I get recording a single song or even a segment of it, but if you are on your phone for the entirety of a show, it looks really rude.

Also, people who talk through people’s performances? Is that considered OK now? Maybe I’m just old fashion but last time I checked if you’ve paid to see an artist/performer live you should at least pay some attention to what’s going on around you. Especially when Gavin’s signing Nervous because that is literally my favourite song ever.

Rant over.

So yes, it was a pretty amazing weekend, bar the weather. I’m definitely thinking of revisiting Brighton in the summer. Actually, sod that, who wants’ to come live there with me!?

Oh yeah and when we arrived at the train station after lunch, our train was delayed by a fallen tree but once I’d settled myself down for the most expensive hot chocolate I’d ever brought (even if it was the nicest), we realised the train to Bedford was in fact leaving in 10 seconds.

MAD RUN to the platform where once you’ve jumped on the train, you become very upset with just how un-fit you are and how much money you just wasted on half of a hot chocolate.

But sod it because the gig alone was worth it!

G

(P.S. I’ve got some really exciting projects coming up which I’ll keep you all updated on!)

Also, I’m on Twitter!

And here are some pictures from my weekend away. Not actually of Brighton but ah well.

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This is England 90 Review

SPOILER ALERT!

Anyone who has followed this phenomenal series from beginning to end will understand why TIE fans across the country were left bawling with a mixture of happy and VERY sad tears as the series came to it’s conclusion the other week. Yes, the last episode of the series had arrived, a series that had started as a gritty independent film set in 1983 and travelled right up through the years to the beloved era of the 90’s. I can honestly say, I’m going to miss those fictional characters on my TV!

Lol, Woody, Milky, Shaun. We’ve seen these beloved characters grow up in front of the screen (literally as Thomas Surgoose was only 13 when he prised his role on the film as young Shuan). We’ve seen their ups and downs. We’ve witnessed them mature and change throughout the years and true fans will agree, many have become ‘attached’ to them.

Just like the film and previous two series, This is England 86 and 88, this series was NOT a disappointment and the last episode, although upsetting to say the least, wrapped everything up in a gripping and nail biting finale where most of our characters got a happy ending.

Lol and Woody finally tied the knot in a wedding, which, although traditional, was certainly as close to ‘them’ as they could get! The reception at the Miner’s club was far from fancy but it was certainly true to the characters.

Kelly got kicked out of the flat by Harvey when he found out she was addicted to crack. She ran away and was pursued by poor Gadget. Sadly though, Gadget still doesn’t get the girl.

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I think Meadow’s was looking to portray Kelly as the lost soul, running from herself and blaming everyone else for her problems. But you couldn’t help but feel sorry for her when she turns up at Lol’s wedding with a card and finally admits she had a problem to her sister. I’m really glad Meadows allowed Kelly self-reflection as a character. I was starting to worry she’d gone completely off the rails. Her reunion with the gang was cleanly bringing down some walls that has been built between the characters this series. Harvey appears to be making reconciliations with Kelly. Although Gadget’s fairy tale love story was not to materialize. Harvey appeared to have that corner covered though. But as they say, mates before dates YO!

Shaun, however, did find himself an eligible beau in the form of fellow photography student Charlotte. And Smell was left no more then a fart in the wind. Although she was sure to show her green eyed monster before the episode was finished. I’m still a bit confused as to why Smell didn’t have more presence in this series, seeing as she was a more developed character previously. But I’m more then happy that Shaun found his vocation and ended the series as one of the most likeable and developed of the characters.

So pretty much all our favourite characters were together again, happy in life and in love.

But that couldn’t account for the fact that this last episode left just a few people ‘upset’ by Combo’s exit from the series.

The café scene in which Milky drove Combo to a derelict café to ‘talk things over’ was possibly one of the most powerful scenes witnessed in the series.

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For the first time since the series was born way back in 2006, we see vulnerability in Combo we have never seen before. Even when we cast our minds right back to the end of the film, remembering the brutal assault inflicted on the much loved Milky and just how unprovoked and evil it was, we still can’t help but feel desperately upset when Combo meet’s he’s demise.

Throughout the series, Milky has been deemed a quiet and gentle character. I couldn’t help but feel some frustration and disappointment when he allowed he’s relatives to take Combo away, tears and regret etched across he’s face, and didn’t even try to prevent the act from happening.

It’s quite easy to understand why he wanted revenge against Combo. After all, this was the man who left him so badly beaten, he’s family were unsure he was going to make it. Yet I think this series allowed the audience to reflect on what revenge really means and whether it truly makes us feel better in the long run.

We can understand the resentment Milky feels towards Combo, he’s anger. But seeing that look of remorse on Milk’s face throughout Lol and Woody’s wedding celebration just showed how a quick decision acted upon in a moment of passionate anger, can leave you feeling nothing but guilt. As the old saying goes ‘an eye for an eye, makes the whole world blind’.

Stephen perfectly portrayed a man on the edge. I couldn’t have imagined Combo could feel fear. Throughout the series he has been portrayed as the alpha male, the boss and a guy who stared fear straight in the face and laughed. But I can guarantee that audiences across the country who watched Meadow’s final instalment of This is England on Sunday, would have fought back tears as Combo cried and screamed for he’s own life as the hands of a vicious gang even bigger and stronger then he. I can honestly say that scene was one of Meadow’s most traumatic and emotional. The audience would have felt helpless. Nobody wanted Combo to suffer the way he did. The fans had grown attached to him. And to know he didn’t have such a happy ending will have left a lot of people still attached to their TV screens, hugging them tight and asking Meadows ‘WHY?’

Meadows really is a creative genius. He captured the countries imagination with some of the most lovable and intriguing characters to ever appear on British television and a story with true realism.

It was British television at it’s finest and truly BAFTA award winning if I do say so myself!

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5 Things I’d Tell My Teenage-Self

Growing up is never easy.

It’s commonplace to find your teenage years engulfed by angst and raging hormones.

Most people will remember those years fondly as they mature into relatively civilised adults. And some may do all they can to avoid reminiscing of such times. But you’ll almost certainly be who you are today thanks to your time as a teen.

It moulds you into who you are today. Every experience, good or bad, will have taught you a valuable lesson in life. And for that, we should always be grateful even if we wouldn’t necessarily choose to go back and do it all again.

As a 21-year-old, I understand I still have a lot more to learn in life.

But I also think I’ve changed a great deal since my years as an angry, moody and undoubtedly irritating teen.

There are a lot of things I feel I would have benefited from if someone had sat me down and told me about them way back when. And hopefully, a lot of you will be able to relate to it when you think back to your younger selves.

So, here you go, 5 things I’d tell my past self if I knew what I’ve learnt today.

Stand up for yourself.

Sometimes you can be a bit of a pushover. Remember, only you have the power to allow other people to belittle you. If you speak up and let your voice be heard, people will understand you mean business!

That doesn’t mean you have to be rude or obnoxious, though. Just don’t allow other people to speak down to you or make you feel less of a person than you are. Bullies prey on the venerable. Don’t give them the opportunity to upset you or stop you foing the things you love.

Be more confident!

Put your name down for school council! Sign up for drama classes! Start up a band!

Do all the things you are worried you’ll be judged for because other people’s opinion of you is none of your business.

At the end of the day, the only emotion you’ll feel will be regret for the missed opportunities you had a school. So what if people talk. Let them talk all. The only thing that matters is that you are happy and doing all the things you want to do!

STOP dyeing your hair black!

No seriously stop. I get you are going through the ‘emo’ stage and you think it’s really alternative and edgy, but you just look ill. The thick black eyeliner is also a no go zone. You look like you haven’t slept. Even My Chemical Romance would ask if you were OK.

Punky Fish isn’t the only shop in the world!

Let’s be honest. It’s not even real punk fashion. That furry purple jumper look’s like you’ve just skinned the Cookie Monster’s girlfriend. Also, Beetle Juice wants’ he’s stripy black and white trousers back. Just sayin’

Love yourself.

Ok, so I’ve insulted your fashion sense and your ‘emo’ inspired makeup/hair, but I’m telling you right now, if you learn one thing from high school, learn to love yourself.

Popularity and a big pair of knockers will not matter one iota in 5 years time. Enjoy every aspect of your personality. Understand that the only person who can make you feel comfortable in yourself is you. Embrace the awkward phase and the alternative clothing because if you want to dress outside the box, you’ve got to rock it with confidence.

Understand that people like you because of who you are and not who you are trying to be. The only person you want to impress is yourself.

So, to all the awkward, angst-ridden teens out there, understand there is no one else in the world quite like you. You are unique and amazing in every single way.

And I promise you, even though it feels like you don’t know who you are right now, you are not lost. You are just searching for your true self. And one day it will all make sense, the ups, the downs, the fights and the tears. They don’t last forever. One day you’ll see just how fantastic you really are.

G XO

Featured on BBC Three Counties Radio!

For anybody who doesn’t currently follow my Twitter or like my Facebook page (I’ll leave the details below if you’d like to follow me on social media), on Friday 28th August, I appeared on the brilliant Nick Coffer‘s radio show on BBC Three Counties Radio!

I was asked to go on the show to talk about my blog as well as the subject matters I talk about on Georgia Next Door (Anxiety and mental health). Nick and I had been speaking on Twitter a few days previously and realised we had a lot in common when it came to dealing with anxiety!

It was such an amazing opportunity to feature on my local radio and talk about issues which mean a lot to me.

For anyone who missed me on the show Friday, here is a link:

http://bbc.in/1Fjs8jW

Let me know what you thought of the show!

Thank you all for the continued support and hello to all the new followers!

Georgia

xo

Follow me for the latest news and updates about my blog:

Twitter: @thatgeorgiacoan

Facebook: Georgia Next Door

An Open Letter to David Cameron (Cuts to the Arts)

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Dear David Cameron

There was once a point, which seems many moons ago as I write this letter, that I could say I respected you.

When you first become the leader of the Conservatives in 2005, you stood out from the mundane leaders who appeared to be a normality in the Houses of Parliament.

You spoke up when other’s were too timid to say how they felt. You were articulate and well mannered. You often said what other people thought. But most importantly, you understood some of the hardships that life often throws at us due to your own personal adversities.

Yet, since you came into power in 2010, my respect for you has somewhat dwindled. I see a man who no longer cares for the people he says he speaks for.  I just see a man driven by his own ambitions and personal gain.

Born into wealth.

It wasn’t something you asked for. We don’t choose the life we are born to. You were born to privilege and wealth, the offspring of a stock broker and former Justice of Peace, and you would never want for anything. You were granted a life that many people could only dream of being able to give their children.

As I have stated, this is not an issue. We all know that if given the opportunity for such a lifestyle we would take it no questions asked. Parents only want the best for their children after all.

Due to your hierarchy, you received a quality education that allowed you to speak eloquently, giving you a platform in which to project your voice and be listened to by others, a privilege that many vulnerable and less fortunate members of society do not have.

Your education consisted of highly prestigious private schools. You were enroled at the well known Eton college before obtaining a degree at the Brasenose College, Oxford, in the academic subjects of Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

I can’t begin to imagine how much money was invested into your education. But it was all worth it in the end as you were to become the youngest prime minister in history.

Academically you excelled. No amount of money in the world could have made you intelligent if you didn’t have the brain to start with. There is no denying your intelligence. No one could take that away by stating that you only got that degree because of your background.

But it’s the harsh reality of the situation that you were given a step up to that outcome. A farmer cannot sow the fields if he has not been given the right tools to do so.

The problem is, it’s not all black and white

Many people in the UK have not been given the tools to achieve their potential. Whether they were failed by the education system or were born to pursue very different skills, they are not considered academic.

I myself was not necessarily academic within my school years. Tests were not my favourite and I was always quite confused as to how a years worth of learning can be crammed into an hours worth of exam. Teachers did little to push me or see my potential. I was amazing at English but almost every other subject I feel short in. It’s not that I didn’t want to learn. I just felt unmotivated. I had not really found my path. I was a little lost and like most young people, was made to feel as though I had failed.

It wasn’t until I took the decision to attend a college that I really found where my talents laid.

I enroled on a Creative Media course back in 2011. Initially, I was drawn to it due to my interest in Journalism, but I soon saw that this was the industry I was meant for. For the first time in my life, I was encouraged and motivated. I had teachers who saw my potential and inspired me to reach my goals. It was rather funny as I later found out that the majority of my mum’s side of the family worked in the media industry some way or another. It was obviously a calling.

If I had not had that opportunity to go to college and study media, I would have never guessed what potential I had. My creativity would have been stunted. I would have felt like a lot of young people feel nowadays, hopeless.

I wasn’t as academic as you David. But I found my vocation.

Sadly, you are slowly taking away that opportunity for young people and adults across the country, destroying ambitions and leaving people confused as to where they belong.

The Soul Destroying Cuts to Arts.

Your Government have already started the ball rolling of what will become one of the worst decision you have ever made.

You’ve made cuts to the Fashion Design Department of my local college, Central Beds. There have also been cuts to the same department in Barnfield College. Rumour has it there will also be cuts to the Performing Arts, a devastating blow to both tutors and students.

You say you want to continue to bring down youth unemployment. This only shows that you are moving backwards. You’ve taken away the options of young people. Young people who are looking to take different paths away from more academic studies will be left disheartened. Jobs within creative arts will start to dwindle or become more elite. Those less wealthy won’t have the chance to obtain placements or interns in creative industries if they do not have the qualification.

You were lucky enough to have many things handed to you on a plate David. You do not know the struggle of trying to find where you fit in or feeling like a misfit in a society where you ‘should’ know where you want to be in 5 years time.

Please think about the choices you are making.

Don’t leave young people across the UK lost and uncertain of their future.

Georgia 

Why the Women’s Equality Party should matter to everyone!

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Back in the late 19th to early 20th century, an incredibly powerful and vicious war was being waged.

There wasn’t a weapon in sight, but hundreds of innocent people were injured and mistreated for standing up against discrimination. It sounds like I might be describing a scene from a vicious world war film. But this was the reality for a number of woman who dared to speak up against the state and act as a voice for long suffering woman throughout the United Kingdom, individuals who had their voices muted, woman who had for so long believed that their society, tainted by unfairness, was the only way to live.

The suffragette’s were a group containing many of the strongest woman this country have ever seen. They fought long and hard for woman’s right to a vote. They fought for woman’s rights to choose. They were imprisoned and force fed during hunger strikes. And all at the hands of a male dominant Government who may have expected woman to stay ‘back in the kitchen where they belonged’.

Finally, in 1918, woman over the age of 30 with property could vote. It was a step in the right direction.

So,  you wouldn’t blame me for being rather perplexed as to why, after all this hard work and supposed win for ‘equality’ within our modern day democratic state, woman are still fighting tirelessly for the right to be seen equally.

Reports show that our little island has in fact, the SIXTH largest pay gap in the whole of the EU. Females are also the least represented in our Government despite obtaining a majority within our country, with a mere 143 politicians out of a staggering 650 being female.

And there was me thinking we were lucky to have as many rights as we do…

But times are changing. The wheel has been set in motion for what could be and should be a complete reform of our political system here in the UK.

Welcome Sandi Toksvig OBE, writer and presenter known by many for her Radio 4 show and quiz show ‘Fifteen to One’ on Channel 4.

2015 sees the launch of a party founded by Toksvig after the presenter left her radio show to support it’s initial lift off.

The Women’s Equality Party

It’s creation comes after much humour on Sandi part regarding the current state of our Politics.

“I’ve made jokes over and over again about politics. Do you know, this election I’m had enough”

It seems that this single-issue party, with the goal of producing a society with equality for all, has been a long time coming.

The Women’s Equality Party will strive for the benefit of all.

You might be fooled into believing, as it’s name states, that this party will only matter to those who identify themselves as female. But the inequality that we see all around us is at the expense of all. It’s a fight for all.

The party aims to tackle issues such as the current Gender Pay Gap and the lack of representation within politics, which will be a success for all, not least the woman of the 1968 Ford Sewing Machinist Strike who triggered the Equal Pay Right back in the 1970’s, an act that ‘prohibits favourable treatment between men and woman’ apparently… (Watch the Made in Dagenham film if you want to know more!)

This is a party which will hold it’s own as it stands between larger, more establish parties with men at the forefront.

We have already seen a change in our political systems face when this year, we saw three female politicians represent political parties during televised debates. This could be the push our country needs for reform.

Until we have equal rights for both men and woman, we can’t say we are truly a democratic country, nor a country of free speech. Change of this kind paves the way for equality for all minorities.

Men who look to take on the role of stay at home fathers would be better off. Higher job roles would see more competition and better candidate selections if all candidates, regardless of sex, were treated equally.

Working woman would no longer have to worry about the struggle of maternity leave. All human beings would stand the same.

This is important for all, not just woman.

So regardless of who you are or your interest in politics, read more about The Women’s Equality Party. The party hopes to field candidates in 2020 so there are lots of opportunities for everyone to get involved. Many woman and men have already stood up to support them. So let your voice be heard because god knows, woman over the years have fought hard enough for that right.

Georgia XO

Like them on Facebook for more updates!

The Alone Sibling: Dealing with Sibling Loss

1000205_10201530543682559_863423124_nAs a child, I couldn’t have imagined what life as an only child would be like.

A number of my cousins are only children. And although they knew no different, I almost felt sympathy for them. How lonely they must feel? With no one to play with, no one to tell their secrets to or moan about their parents with.

My brother and I were very close as children right through to the teenage years. We were also arch enemies, like most siblings. But through all the beatings and vicious insults, there was always an unbreakable bound and enough love to create world peace 5 times over.

We were best friends, although we wouldn’t have wanted to admit it. There wasn’t much we didn’t speak about. I think my brother was the only person in the world who could make me laugh so much I wet myself (literally). We encouraged each other’s confidence. We bitched about rude people and we would be the first to stick up for one another in a fight (I specifically remember almost reducing a boy to tears when I charged up to him in the school playground after he stole my brothers football).

Yeah, we were pretty much partners in crime.

One of my fondest memories of my brother was him riding down on his bike to my college so that he could walk with me home. (I would often have to bribe him with a Pot Noodle, but still)

The day I found out my brother had gone was single handedly the worst day of my life.

It was like the world had fallen from it’s axis and the ground had crumbled beneath my feet.

It’s strange all the small details that you remember. Like the wheel chair in the family room that specifically read ‘departures lounge’ on the back or the criss crossed button on my cardigan that I repeatedly ran my nail up and down whilst trying not to look at my devastated parents in the corner of the room. And the doctors face when he came into the room with a large group of medical professionals and told us they couldn’t save my brother.

All I can remember after that is falling to the floor as though the ground had dropped, sick to my stomach and crying so uncontrollable I honestly didn’t recognise the noise of my own screams.

All I wanted to do in that moment was go back to being a five year old child. I wanted my parents to sweep me up and tell me it was all OK and just a bad dream like the ones I had when I was younger. I wanted someone to tell me it was all a mistake, that normal, average families didn’t go through this loss. My naivety was so over powering. I felt like the smallest, most vulnerable creature in the world.

The weeks after were just a blur. For any one who has lost a sibling, you’ll know the swarms of people, both old and new who appear at your door step with flowers in hand, cards with well wishes and messages of condolence. And you’ll know that after a week to two after, when those flowers have begun to wilt and the everyday life once again resumes, those visits are far and few between. And suddenly, the daunting realisation that you are now completely alone with your grief hits you like the biggest wave you’ve even faced.

And those waves keep on hitting you, like a Tsunami that ceases to relent.

As a sibling, our grief is often not as noticeable to others. People will continually ask you how your parents are. They don’t mean this in a rude way, as though the are ignorant to the over bearing black cloud of grief that engulfs your head and hangs over you. It’s just they don’t know what else to ask you.

Let’s be honest, sibling grief isn’t widely spoken about. We don’t speak about the effect on an individual, how it changes their life’s for ever. Maybe we are frightened to speak about it. No one wants to image life without their sibling.

But that doesn’t mean our voices shouldn’t be heard.

This is the story of an alone child. How life can change in an instant.

It gets a little easier everyday, but everyday has its challenges.

And the reality of an alone child will always be with you, like a black crow sitting beside you. And occasionally it will consume you, the grief too hard to bear. But you will get through it. Because that’s the only choice us alone siblings have.