Review: The Unpredictability of Being Human by Linni Ingemundsen

The Unpredictability of Being Human

This is the book from my book haul earlier this year that I was annoyed about because it turned out I already owned a proof copy of it yet went out and bought another copy in the store. However it did look good so I was immediately drawn to it.

The book is told from the point of view of Malin who knows she can’t fix the big stuff in her life like her Dad’s yelling, her brothers lie and her Mum falling apart. But at least she makes friends with Hanna to help her out. Because life is getting complicated – learning how to kiss, what to wear to prom, and what to do when you upset the prettiest, meanest girl in school. It’s tough fitting in when you’re different. But what if it’s the world that’s weird, not you?

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This book broke my streak of not wanting to read new books. You know where you go through that phase of not being able to get into a new story, you’d rather read ones you’ve already read that are comfortable ‘cos you already know the characters and the outcome? I was going through that but forced myself to pick up this book and give it a read because I’m sick of buying new books and not reading them. I was hooked almost immediately.

I think the best thing about this book is Malin herself. There doesn’t really seem to be a firm plot because if I sat down to tell somebody what it’s about I would kind of struggle. It’s more about Malin herself and how she struggles to cope with what are sometimes relatively mundane things but sometimes she finds herself with bigger issues that are more complicated. Malin is autistic but this is never said outright in the book and as another reviewer pointed out although this is great representation the fact that her autism is never diagnosed or mentioned is quite irritating as some people may just misinterpret her as immature or clueless. Although of course this could be part of the point as girls are not diagnosed as much as boys are and it’s mentioned a few times that her Father is in denial about Malin needing support. However, having read some reviews it’s clear that some people definitely don’t understand Malin’s character at all.

The book is set in Norway which felt like a breath of fresh air because generally the only settings for YA books sold in England are either set in England or America. I’ve read the odd book set in Australia but other than that nowhere else really.

Although the book didn’t have much of a solid plot I still ended up really enjoying it. It’s quite emotional and can be quite frustrating when the mean girls are clearly plotting against Malin but she doesn’t know enough about social cues to see this. Similarly her interactions with Hanna were interesting and I wish their friendship had been as solid as the blurb had made it out to be.

Overall I did really enjoy this book and was disappointed when I finished it. It had a similar vibe to ‘Silence is Goldfish’ because I feel like I really connected with the main character and they felt more like a friend than a character. I would definitely recommend this one!

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Top 10 Favourite 24K Songs

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It’s no secret that I’m a massive 24K fan. I’ve seen them live four times now and definitely intend to see them again if/when they next return to Europe. I don’t care if I have to travel abroad. I will do it! Anyway, I’ve written a few lists of my favourite songs for other groups so I decided to do one for 24K. Here goes nothing!

10. U R SO CUTE

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I don’t care what anybody says, I love this song even if it doesn’t sound anything like the music they release now. They don’t perform it live anymore and like I don’t really blame them but I low-key wish they did. I would be absolutely jamming. “I’m breaking down!”

9. Our Block

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This song goes hard and I live for it. It’s not my absolute favourite but it is lit and I love it when they perform it live. When I was first getting into 24K this was one of the songs that Jess recommend to me and I really liked it from first listen. Definitely recommend this one.

8. Still 24K

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This song seems really important since 24K have been through a few line-up changes and now the only original members left are Cory and Kisu, and Kisu’s currently in the military. Regardless of the member changes the group have grown and come far and this song showcases that. I think Hongseob and Changsun were just added to the group at this point and I couldn’t imagine 24K without them. I love this song and I wish I’d watched this MV before watching the ‘Bingo’ one because ‘Bingo’ continues from this one and sort of makes more sense if you’ve seen this one first.

7. Superfly

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This was 24K’s ‘popular’ song, if you know one 24K song it’s probably Superfly. And it is good, it definitely deserved the fame it got and so much more! The dance goes hard man and it’s another song that’s amazing to see live, it always gets the crowd really lit. The song is really good and it’s another one of the first songs I listened to when I became a fan.

6. Honestly

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Okay I’ll admit something, I hadn’t actually listened to this song until they sang it to me. And I really love the song but because it’s associated with that memory I do tend to freak out a bit whilst listening to it. But it’s still such a sweet song and one I definitely recommend!

5. Bingo

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This was the first song I ever listened to by them which seems so long ago because I’m absolute trash now. When I first saw them live last January this was pretty much the only song I knew confidently. I’d listened to other songs but I ‘knew’ this one and proper went for it at the show. It was amazing and it’s always one of my favourites when they perform it live.

4. To for You

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This song was written by Kisu and was included on the latest album because he wouldn’t be taking part in promotions due to being enlisted in the military. The title is based on the fandom name which is ‘24U’. On their latest Europe tour Kisu had prepared a video for at the concert which was an English cover of this song which had most of the audience crying. It’s one of those songs that I stick on whenever I’m feeling stressed and I think it’s one of my favourites off the album. It just really chills me out and I’m glad this song exists.

3. Bonnie n Clyde

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24K’s latest comeback and it was absolutely amazing. They introduced their new member Kiyong and I’m sorry but he’s actually the sweetest person on the planet? He’s just so cute! I wasn’t sure on first listen but after a few I was sold and now it’s one of my favourite 24K songs. The boys just continue to impress with every comeback and I wish they had more fans to appreciate their amazing songs.

2. Hey You

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For a long time this was my favourite song because I love the dance and I just think the song is really lit. I’m pretty sure Jinhong and Hui were introduced for this comeback but they wore masks so as not to reveal their identities. It’s such a good song, please listen to this if you’re gonna listen to one of their songs!

1. Only You

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This was the first comeback they had when I was officially a fan! And I loved everything about it. The music video is aesthetic goals, the boys look amazing and I love the dance. I loved it upon first listen and I’m so sad I didn’t own the album at the London Fan Meet because I could’ve had a signed copy BUT NO I was too broke. I did get given the album for my birthday though which was good. I definitely recommend this song, it’s amazing!

There we have it, my ten favourite 24K songs – feel free to leave your favourites in the comments!

Favourite Sleepover Memories

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I was writing a different post where I started listing some of my favourite moments from sleepovers and I really liked it so I figured I’d write a separate post about it. I’m probably going to have to bullet point a lot of my memories and it may not make complete sense but I still wanted a little document of my favourite moments. Enjoy!

– Girl’s Night when I figured you just had to whack on a face mask but Becca said there were more steps than that. We ended up on the landing with bowls of boiling hot water and towels to steam our faces. I didn’t realise I was meant to close my eyes and nearly burnt them off. Then we watched ’10 Things I Hate about You’ and some of ‘Clueless’ until we just had to sit around talking until stupid o’clock in the morning.

– The nights me, Becca and Hirst watched horror movies and absolutely pooed ourselves. There was the time at Becca’s where we ate our weight in chicken nuggets and then watched Insidious. Becca was so creeped out she carried a knife around the house with her for the rest of the night. And the night they slept at mine and we watched ‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones’ and ‘The Conjuring’ and absolutely peed our pants at every little thing. Becca was sat in the middle and by the end of each movie me and Hirst were proper cuddled into her.

– The first night my parents went away and left me, Becca and Jess in the house by ourselves. We stayed up all night and things got a little weird around the 4AM mark. It was officially a ‘Supernatural’ night as we were watching Season 5 but after the first couple of episodes it was more background noise as we messed around. Becca kind of lost her mind at 4AM and was rolling around on the floor, laughing manically and generally making weird comments whilst Jess perched on the end of my sofa crying that she was either going to give birth or lay an egg. At 6AM we decided to walk to McDonalds and get breakfast, staggered home afterwards and collapsed asleep at 8AM.

– ‘Marvel Night’ where me, Becca and Jess planned to watch our favourite Marvel movies but didn’t actually watch a single one because we were too busy watching a puppy cam all night.

– Halloween when Becca’s Dad played that prank on us (as told here) and we all picked parts in the horror movies we were watching. We then ended up playing catch at about 4AM and I got creeped out standing by the back door in case Jason from ‘Friday the 13th’ suddenly appeared.

– The night Jess’ phone alarm went off but no one knew where it was coming from and Becca practically emptied her bag to try and find it and stuck her head in and yelled “JESUS IS THAT YOU!?” It’s one of those moments that doesn’t sound funny but was truly hilarious at the time.

– After we’d watched ‘The Conjuring’ Becca and Hirst slept on my floor and Becca whispered “Hollie I don’t wanna creep you out but it looks like the girl from The Conjuring is on top of your wardrobe.” Her and Hirst then proceeded to wave their hands around going ‘look, don’t this look weird!’

– ‘Superman Super Night’ where we watched all the original Superman movies – third one was the best, Lana was way better than Lois Lane could aspire to be.

– The first time I ever slept at Hirst’s house aged about 20 and we were all desperate to go to sleep but Hirst’s Mom came into her room and kept showing me and Becca photos of bald men she thought were attractive.

– The night me, Becca and Jess were on Omegle and got serenaded by some guy with a guitar.

– When we’d switched the lights off but none of us were ready for bed so everyone started making shadow puppets with the light from someone’s phone. Becca also practiced the crab even though she hates other people doing it.

– I can’t remember if it was the same night but Hirst rolled over and snorted so for some reason me, Becca and Jess assumed she was possessed. Becca flicked water on her even though it would’ve been ineffective as it was just normal water. We took a photo of her to make sure she wasn’t pranking us.

– Disney Movie Night where we watched about three Disney movies. Sam fell asleep early on and was not disturbed for the rest of the night. I tried to go to sleep but couldn’t because Becca and Jess wouldn’t stop whispering – Becca was genuinely whispering whereas Jess talked in a stage whisper so it was impossible to sleep. In the end the three of us got up and went on Omegle while Sam continued to sleep.

– Pretty much every time we played blind man’s bluff, I absolutely loved that game.

– The night me and Jess stayed up dancing and doing K-Pop quizzes and only decided that maybe it was bed time when her Dad got up to go to work.

– New Year’s Eve when I slept at Becca’s and she introduced me to Buzzfeed Unsolved. We played games with her family, watched a couple more episodes then got into bed. Then I was immediately creeped out by that witch episode.

I’m sure there are tons more but I can’t think of them off the top of my head at the moment! Unfortunately we don’t have as many sleepovers anymore because our shifts are all different and it’s just harder to commit to that. But I love it when we do eventually meet up to have a sleepover and I love all our sleepover memories!

Unfriended Dark Web Review

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Heads up, this review does contain spoilers so please don’t read if you’re not interested in that!

I’m pretty sure I didn’t know that ‘Unfriended’ was getting a sequel until I got a trailer in front of a YouTube video I was watching to advertise this movie. It caught my attention so instead of skipping it like I do with most YouTube ads I watched it and was immediately intrigued. I liked that this time they weren’t going for the supernatural element but for the whole hacker dark web thing instead. I’d say it was more realistic but I’m not sure that’s the right word – it just wasn’t supernatural like the first one.

I’m not really sure what I thought of the first one, I like the idea of it and how it’s done but I think the overall storyline could’ve been a bit better. I watched it at home with Becca once and she hated every character and only really liked Val (the mean one, typical Becca) which made me realise that actually none of the characters were particularly likeable. I think that was part of the point by the end but it was just also a bit pointless.

This wasn’t really the case with ‘Unfriended Dark Web’. I actually liked the characters, especially Serena and Nari. The only character I wasn’t sure about was Matias which was a bit annoying as he was the main character. All he seemed to do was make stupid decisions and I’m just not sure I liked him that much.

I’m getting ahead of myself – for those who haven’t seen the trailer, ‘Unfriended Dark Web’ is about a young man, Matias, who takes a laptop after he notices it’s been sitting in lost and found in his local web café for a few weeks. He manages to log into the laptop and begins skyping his friends but notices the system keeps crashing so his friend advises him the laptop might be full. Matias investigates and finds a series of sinister videos and messages which creeps him and his friends out. Before long the group notices they’re being watched by the original owner of the laptop who warns them that if they disconnect or contact the authorities they will die.

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Some aspects of the film were a little unrealistic. Matias tries to convince the group that the scary videos and messages were part of a game he was developing in the hopes their lives will be spared but the group are sent a video of one of their friends being pushed off the top of a building. Matias finally finds a way to warn the group that the whole thing is real and the group return to their game night in the hopes of convincing the hackers that they’re unaware of the truth. None of them seem too panicked that their friend is now dead at this point.

Also, I liked the ending and I like the idea but it also seems a bit… Coincidental? How did they know he would take the laptop and go home and skype a group of friends? Sure I skype my friends occasionally but only really when we’re planning something and none of us like doing face cam so we only have the mics on. What if a lonely pensioner had taken the laptop instead of Matias, would they just have stolen it back immediately? It was really very dependent on Matias taking it and I just don’t know how they could’ve predicted that he would. This paragraph probably only makes sense if you’ve watched the film but I didn’t want to spoil the ending.

Equally, Matias was given the opportunity to return the laptop but didn’t because he found a message that intrigued him and that’s how he discovered the videos in the first place. What if the message hadn’t caught his attention though and he’d just shut it down and taken it back? Would the events still have happened or not?

While we’re at it I think logic went a bit out the window at some points. The owner’s email address and password is saved for most websites but Matias deletes this and logs into his own Facebook account – yet he gets pop up Facebook messages for the owners account even though he’s not logged in? Everyone has logged into their own Facebook on a friends computer before and that just doesn’t happen. I suppose it could be argued that the hackers did this to trick Matias in the first place but he didn’t even seem surprised that he was getting notifications for an account he wasn’t logged into.

I’m going off on a tangent here. Regardless of the logic and coincidental unfolding of events I did actually enjoy the movie. It made a lot more sense than the first Unfriended and I’m actually glad they made the sequel this way instead of going for another supernatural movie. This one seemed more like a thriller film than a horror and it worked so much better.

My piece of trivia for this horror review is that in the original plotline the movie was set to follow on from the events of the first movie and revolve around Laura Barns targeting college freshman for their role in her suicide. I’m very glad they didn’t go down that route and instead went with this.

Overall, I did like the movie and I would definitely go and see it again. I recommend it for any horror fan and you don’t need to have seen the original to get this one. In fact, don’t watch the original ‘cos that one pretty much sucked anyway. But go and see this one!

24K in Paris Concert Review

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When 24K announced they were returning to Europe I was over the moon – until I realised that they weren’t coming to England this time. I was desperate to see them again but with my trip to Asia coming up this year I did wonder about giving it a miss. Or… Going to one of the shows and sleeping at the airport to do it on the cheap. Luckily I received quite a good tax return this year meaning I could turn all that into spending money for Asia and book my flights, hotel and ticket for the concert guilt free.

I debated about which show to go to but in the end settled on Paris because wherever I went I wouldn’t have much time to sightsee and I’ve already been to Paris and am going again in October. Plus it was the closest country to England so it seemed like a good idea. I got a bit excited and booked my flights and hotel before the tickets were even released.

Buying the tickets was a bit of a nightmare – they went on sale at 5PM UK time and I was debating staying at work to book them but luckily decided to leave work early to buy them at home. Just as well because the website went extremely slowly causing quite a bit of stress. I was going out with my friends that night and had to be showered and ready to go to Hirst’s for 7:30PM. Becca came to mine at about 7:10PM and as she stressed about her make-up I was still stressing about the tickets – with five minutes to spare before we were meant to leave I managed to secure a gold ticket and headed out to have a good time safe in the knowledge that everything was now sorted.

I decided to fly to Paris the day before the concert so I could get rested and that was good ‘cos it meant I could take three days off work instead of two. I’d asked my friends Becca and Jess if they wanted to come but neither of them had the holiday or the money so I had to set off on my own. On a plane. And I’m an extremely nervous flyer.

I had already flown to Poland by myself earlier on this year but I was still terrified at the thought of another flight alone and didn’t help myself by showing up at the airport way too early. I’d gone through security and had lunch with another two hours left to spare before my flight. I managed to distract myself by watching Friends episodes on my phone until finally it was time! Luckily I was sat next to one of the nicest women I’ve met in my life who told me she was a nervous flyer but actually spent most of her time comforting me on the way over! She kept calling me her little sister and tried to teach me some French but I was a bit useless and don’t remember most of it.

Arriving at Charles de Gaulle was just as stressful because the airport was massive and I found it difficult to navigate and then I had the travel ticket stress. The machine wanted me to pay 50 euros for a three day ticket but I wasn’t sure if it was the right type anyway. In the end I found a lady who sold me a week pass for 25 euros but told me I’d need to stick a little photo of myself on the travel card. She seemed genuinely surprised to find out I don’t carry a little photo of myself around with me and told me I’d need to get one. I didn’t bother; I didn’t really use the metro that much anyway.

I’d been worried I’d find the trains a bit difficult on my own but I’d had experience on the French metro with my friends and it was relatively easy to navigate so I got to my hotel quite quickly. It was a nice hotel, it was clean and I felt safe but unfortunately the room was stifling hot so I didn’t get the best night’s sleep. But I was still up bright and early the next day to get to the venue for the first check-in!

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I got there at 11:20 and there were already quite a few fans there and I knew I had to get a number but I wasn’t sure who to ask and I felt a bit intimidated so I just sat on my own and waited to see what happened. About five or ten minutes later 24K themselves walked down the steps I’d just been down and headed into the venue. I tweeted about it but shout out to the French 24U who were obviously excited about seeing the boys but kept their distance and didn’t scream at them as they came down. A few people tried to take pictures but put their phones/cameras away when the manager asked them not to.

I eventually saw a family going up to get their numbers so I plucked up the courage to go and get mine and a really nice staff member explained to me in English about the fan projects, when things were happening etc. She was actually amazing, she’d come down the queue every so often and give updates or instructions in French, look at me and remember I spoke English and translated it for me. I didn’t get her name but she had dip-dyed blue hair and she was fab!

At 11:30 we all queued up for ‘check-in’ which took a while and then we waited for the selfie tickets to go on sale at 12. I somehow got adopted by the family who had gotten their numbers just before me – they didn’t speak any English but when they saw I was alone they offered to stay with me and we got by with our limited understanding of each other’s languages and gestures. The Mom even bought me a bottle of water and nothing for her kids – you know like in Harry Potter when Ron’s Mom treats Harry like the favourite child? It was like that. They were with a little kid and 24K gave her a lot of attention, she was really sweet and absolutely deserved it.

My plan had been to grab my selfie tickets at 12 then do a little sightseeing before having to come back for the 2:30 check-in. This was super optimistic as the tickets didn’t go on sale until about 1PM and then it took another hour to actually buy them. I went for Cory, Jeonguk and Hongseob as I couldn’t afford every members. I’m really glad selfie tickets were an option this year but queuing for them was not fun as we had to queue outside and it was boiling hot.

I was so tired and hungry after that that I got some food at the burger stand opposite the venue and was soon joined by the French family who had some food too. The fan sign was supposed to be starting at 3 so I went to rejoin the queue but unfortunately this was delayed too and due to the size of the room that the fan sign was in we had to queue outside again, right by the river with no shade. I wouldn’t have minded too much but I was alone again at this point so I had no one to hold my space while I got myself some water. In the end I had to take the chance and ran over to buy myself two bottles because I was dying. By the time I got back the boys were in the room and we were being sat inside in about groups of 6 – 10.

Luckily I made friends with the three girls next to me in the queue who were all super nice. Their first language was French but they also spoke English so they mainly spoke to each other in French as that was their comfortable language then translated the important parts for me and if there were any announcements they kept me updated.

I was nervous about the fan sign because I was low-key (high-key) hoping the boys would remember me from the London fan meet (which I wrote about here). The night had meant so much to me that I was kind of hoping they’d remember. But unfortunately I realised they didn’t when I handed my album with my name on it to Cory and he asked me if he was pronouncing my name correctly.

I’ll be honest and say I was a little disappointed at the time but I’m kind of over it now ‘cos like to me it meant a lot but to them I guess they were just doing their job. Like when I worked at Blists Hill and people had their weddings and stuff… I don’t remember any of the brides names even though it was their special day or anything? It would’ve been nice to be remembered but they meet a lot of people so I’m not upset that they didn’t. I was in the moment a little bit but not anymore.

Cory signed my album, held my hand and said he hoped I had a good time so I thanked him and moved on to the next member which was Jeonguk. He attempted pronouncing my name, held my hand and then… The person next to me was still talking to Changsun so I couldn’t move over. So Jeonguk just looked at me without saying anything and I got so nervous that I started laughing. He gave me a weird look so I laughed harder ‘cos it was so awkward and I managed to say “It’s nice to meet you… Again” and finally the person next to me had moved on so he smiled at me and pushed my album down to Changsun.

He was really sweet, he made sure he was pronouncing my name correct and then held my hand before pushing it down to Jinhong. Jinhong had intimidated the fuck out of me last time but my interaction with him this year was nicer. I was wearing a t-shirt with two cats sat on a banana and it said ‘banana’ at the bottom so him and Changsun, who was free, both started saying ‘ban-AN-a’ and I didn’t really know what to say so I just laughed. I held his hand too and then he pushed the album down to Kiyong.

Kiyong’s the new member and I’m quite proud of 24U for being so welcoming of him – I love Red Velvet and the fandom but there are still people who bitch about the fact Yeri was added to the group whereas when Kiyong was announced everybody loved him before we even had any photos or information about him. He’s so cute, he checked the pronunciation of my name too (a common theme) and held my hand. It was nice to meet him for the first time and he’s honestly so sweet.

He pushed my album down to Hongseob and it was mostly the same, checking the pronunciation of my name, hand-holding and then he made the ‘ban-AN-a’ comment as I was walking off so I laughed. Then we had to head back outside to queue up again for the hi-touch and group photo.

Although it was torture standing outside in the heat to queue up for things I don’t blame Skey Ace for it. At the last minute there was a venue change and I think they did their best in the circumstances they were given – it was a strange venue but I’d have been fucked if they’d arranged it for a different date or something so I’m glad they got a different venue and made it work. It just sucked going back outside because by the time I got back in my face was tomato red and it just wasn’t an attractive look.

It was nice making friends with the three girls as they offered to go and get two of us some water while we watched their spaces so it made the queue a lot better especially since we were all freaking out about the fan sign. It felt like we waited a bit less this time and we were soon heading in for the hi-touch. I ended up being second in the line which I wasn’t a fan of and nearly ended up going first because I thought the girl in front of me wasn’t going to.

Maybe it was because of the delays or number of things going on but things felt a bit more rushed this year than at the London Fan Meet and this time at the hi-touch the boys just went for hi-fives instead of holding hands. Which like is fine, it was still good! The girl in front of me ended up apologising to Jinhong so I had to stand awkwardly behind her for a while which was weird.

Then we went around for the group photo and two people could stand at the ends and one girl ran in front of us to stand by Cory and I’m so awkward that I just kneeled anywhere on the floor ‘cos I didn’t wanna be a nuisance. The photos won’t be released until after the tour but I probably look a right mess and I have no idea who I was in front of – I have a feeling it was Jeonguk but I won’t know until they’re released.

After the group photo we queued up outside again to wait for the selfie event. One of the girls I was with told me that at the other venues the selfie event had been held in private rooms so it was just you, the member and some of the staff obviously. She asked one of the staff if this was the case here and we were told no all the members would be in the same room.

It was a bit weird to be honest, the members were just dotted around the room and you handed in your selfie ticket at the desk, they shouted out who you had a selfie with and this woman held onto my arm for a moment and then kind of just left me without doing anything. There were obviously other fans in the room but Cory had just finished up a selfie so I went over and handed him my phone and he was like “Hey! Let’s do this!” I like the selfie but as it was my first one I’m at my most red and I don’t like my face in it.

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It was awkward to navigate the room because it wasn’t very big and you were kind of just left to find the members by yourself. Jeonguk was next to Cory so I headed over to him and he was drinking some water and I felt bad ‘cos the moment I approached him he tried to quickly finish up. I think I liked this selfie the best and I set it as my phone background.

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Then I headed over to Hongseob who was just finishing up with somebody else and that selfie came out good too. I thanked him and turned around and bumped into Kiyong and I feel awful because he smiled and was like “Hi!” To be honest I’m not sure the staff would’ve known whether I’d had a ticket for him or not so I could’ve just gone for it but that would’ve been rude and unfair so I awkwardly smiled back and headed out of the room because that was all my selfies that I’d paid for.

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Luckily after that we didn’t have to go back outside we could head downstairs into the venue and we had to sit down whilst waiting for them which was a bit awkward but also a blessing as we got downstairs at about 6:45 and the concert didn’t start until 8. Most of the safety announcements were in French but I was still nearby one of the girls from the queue so she very kindly translated everything for me. She was fab but I didn’t get anybody’s names so if the girl in the yellow top who hung around with the awkward British girl is reading this, you were fab and thank you for being so nice! Unfortunately we had to move so we got split up a bit and I ended up by a group of girls who said something to me and when I replied they were like “Oh My God, you’re British too!” and I ended up chilling with them most of the night. It turned out we’d been to the exact same 24K concerts last year – both London shows and the Amsterdam one!

Eventually the boys came out and were full of energy as per usual. I can’t remember the entire set-list but I’m pretty sure they opened with ‘Superfly’. They performed a few songs then went off stage to change while a video played. We were told that in order for all fans to see we had to sit down while the videos were playing which you can imagine was a bit awkward but the videos were worth it. Kisu had prepared a video of him singing ‘To for You’ as a surprise as he couldn’t attend the concert himself.

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After the video 24K came back and performed a couple of songs before starting the Q&A. At first Jinhong read the questions out in English and the members would reply in Korean or some English and this was then translated to French by one of the staff. Cory told us he was losing his voice so he didn’t take as much part in the Q&A as he usually would do. Hongseob was hilarious and kept saying “Next Question! Fast Q&A!” Then Jinhong gave the piece of paper with the questions to the translator so at this point I didn’t understand much as the questions were in French and their Korean answers were translated to French. Me and the other Brits I was with tried to understand the questions but it was a bit hopeless, however the cheers from the French 24U’s suggested that the answers were good.

There were more songs and units – vocal unit, dance unit, hip-hop unit. I remember Jeonguk dancing to Black Pink’s ‘DDU-DU DDU-DU’ which was lit as fuck. They sang my favourites ‘Hey You’ and ‘Only You’. During ‘Blue’ we all put a yellow post-it note over our phone torches and waved them in the air then when they came out for the encore and performed the Bonnie n Clyde remix we all had banners to wave. I love fan projects like that.

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I was sad when the concert ended but was also low-key relieved ‘cos I could grab some water and I was eager to get back to my hotel and put my pyjamas on. I swear my legs were just pure sweat and denim at this point, it had been such a hot day. I literally sat in front of the hotel rooms’ air con drinking water for like half-an-hour when I got back, it was such a relief.

Also I managed to completely destroy my handbag. I’d popped some chocolate bars into the bottom of the bag in case I got hungry during the day but unfortunately my bag was so full of stuff that I couldn’t reach them. I do remember giving one a feel in the queue and they were very squishy so I decided to deal with them when I got back. They had melted so badly out of the packet that they were all over my stuff. Luckily my book had been at the bottom and that took the most damage because I had slipped my signed Bonnie n Clyde album in there but as it was at the top it didn’t get any chocolate on it. I managed to save everything except for the charger for my battery pack and the bag itself. It was brand new and when I got back to the UK I had to go back to Primark to buy one of the exact same kind. I was honestly gutted.

I’m so glad I went, it was definitely worth the money and I’m already counting down the days until their next Europe tour so I can see them again. Should hopefully be after me and my friends go to Asia and assuming I’m still in employment I should be able to travel again if necessary. Here’s hoping that’s not necessary and they come to the UK next time but I’ll still travel if they don’t!

What I loved the most about this tour the most was probably the fans – when I went to the London Fan Meet I found that nobody really spoke to me in the queue or inside and I felt pretty lonely even though I’d obviously loved the actual Fan Meet itself. But this time tons of people went out of their way to stop me from feeling lonely, even if they didn’t speak my language. It was worth it just for that I think.

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Growing up Fat

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Those of you who regularly read this blog must know that I am by no means a skinny person. I’ve been overweight pretty much as long as I can remember and although I’ve made many attempts to reduce my weight I have given up at pretty much every one of them. Part of me thinks I’ll be happier if I’m skinny whereas the other part of me wonders if I’d actually care that much if society wasn’t putting as much pressure on me to care. I’d probably be healthier but I’m not sure about happier.

I wouldn’t really say I was bullied at any point for being overweight, I’ve had people say mean things about me as pretty much everyone has but I was never specifically targeted for my size. Obviously some people have been mean enough to bring it up – I still remember the group of year nines walking behind me and my friend when we were in year eight and one of them whispering loudly enough for me to hear (definitely on purpose) “God she’s fat, isn’t she?” But as far as I can remember I was never harassed about it. But I did hate it.

Other than the occasional mean comments I also had to worry about/be insecure about certain things that skinner children/teenagers probably wouldn’t have thought twice about.

My main one was whenever food was mentioned at secondary school – especially in food technology which caused a bit of a problem. One year we were doing desserts and pastries which was probably the best topic ever and at the end of one lesson we were encouraged to talk about foods we liked. Most people in the class were giving answers which was always met with a chorus of ‘oh my god yes’ and ‘mmm yummy’ – but not from me. I was so worried someone would laugh at me or say something about my size that I did my best to keep my face remaining neutral and didn’t say anything at all. I’d sit there and long for the talk about food to end so that I didn’t have to worry anymore.

One of the people who brought me down the most because of my weight is actually the person I love most in the world – my Mom. I love her and I know she loves me but that woman said and continues to say things to me that really knock my confidence. Then when I tell her I feel insecure I’m met with comments about how I’m ‘beautiful’ and I only believe the negative and not the positive.

The one that sticks out was when she came into my room and spotted a photo of me and my friends which had been taken on my 20th birthday when my friends surprised me with a trip to the Harry Potter Studios. We’d been sat ‘in a carriage’ on the Hogwarts Express and were looking at the camera with a scared expression because there was a dementor looking through the window. We were all sat sideways to the camera and my Mom looked at it and said “Just a tip, to help you look skinnier in photos you should turn yourself so you’re facing forwards.”

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I suppose to her it was a throwaway comment but it made me want to cry and I still feel a bit negative about myself whenever I look at that photo. It was inappropriate to look at a photo that I associated with a happy memory and basically imply that I looked fat and should’ve sat a different way. It was also inappropriate when I was about fifteen and she looked me up and down in ASDA and blurted out “You look pregnant!”

Something that any overweight person can probably relate to is changing rooms at stores. There is nothing worse than having a breakdown in the changing rooms because nothing in the entire store fits you. As I’ve grown older I’ve learnt the kind of stores that just won’t fit my body type and now try to avoid them like the plague.

However my friends are all quite a bit skinnier than me so sometimes I end up in these shops anyway and honestly looking at clothes sized ’14-16’ being labelled as ‘XXL’ makes me want to go home and vomit. I’ve tweeted about this regularly but I hate finding a cute clothing garment online and realising their largest size is a 12. I might be big but I still want to wear cute clothes! We exist, make your clothes bigger!

One thing that annoyed me growing up were the amount of skinny people who would claim they were fat – I don’t doubt that they genuinely believed they were but I had one friend who was literally less than half the size of me who would moan she was fat then say to my face “You’re not fat, I’m really fat though.” It didn’t even make me feel better, I just thought it was stupid that someone who was clearly a lot smaller than me was claiming they were bigger.

Even now I have friends who regularly claim they’re fat and want to lose weight when I would kill someone to be their size. And every time they mention how much weight they want to lose it makes me feel awful about myself – I know that’s definitely not their intention and they definitely care more about their own weight than mine but it does make me wonder ‘what do you think of me if you think you need to lose weight?’

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Whenever I hear someone skinnier than me talking about their latest diet or whatever they’re doing to lose weight my stomach drops a little because I wonder why I’m not working harder to lose weight. My manager at work recently confessed she wanted to lose weight before her latest holiday and she’s literally the skinniest person in the office. I get so insecure snacking at work because everyone’s always on some kind of diet and doing their best to eat healthier and I’m worried everybody’s judging me.

When I was about twelve a friend confided in me that she liked being my friend because she didn’t have to feel embarrassed about eating in front of me like she did with other friends who were skinnier than her – I didn’t take offence at the time and it definitely wasn’t meant in a nasty way. I didn’t feel uncomfortable eating in front of her (if I felt uncomfortable eating in front of people skinnier than me I would never bloody eat) and I was happy that she felt comfortable. But it makes me quite sad that she felt that way considering we all need to eat to live – she wasn’t disgusting or fat just for having a basic human need to eat.

A recent thing that knocked my confidence was when Jess suggested that we all went clubbing together. Her, me, Becca and Jess. By that point I wasn’t against drinking alcohol anymore and the idea did sound quite fun but one thing was putting me off. People comparing me to them.

Okay it sounds stupid but it was a genuine concern. I’m bigger than the three of them and although I know it’s ridiculous I do look at photos of the four of us and wonder if I’m on par with them or if I’m significantly uglier. So when Jess suggested clubbing I was worried that people would hit on them and talk to them and basically ignore me all night. I guess films like ‘The Duff’ kind of fucked me up a little. Ultimately I knew it wouldn’t go down like that and that my friends would not ditch me or let anyone talk shit about me but I was still concerned.

It turned out I had nothing to worry about, people talked to me just as much as they did to my friends and I actually had a really good night. But I think the niggle of worry will still be there in the future even though I know it’s such a silly and petty thing to worry about. To be fair I did find I suddenly stopped caring about my size and whether people were judging once I’d had a couple of cocktails but I shouldn’t need to be tipsy to not be insecure!

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Something that’s worrying me for the future is that me and my friends are going to Asia in September/October… And I’m very worried about being fat shamed. I don’t really worry in Europe or America but like Asian sizes are always a lot smaller than European and I don’t know, I’m just worried someone will say something. It’s not stopping me being excited for the holiday because I am excited as I’ve always wanted to go. But I do worry that the insecurity will ruin my good time a little bit.

I feel like that as a K-Pop fan – I touched on this a little in my 24K Fanmeet London Experience post but due to Asian beauty standards I was a bit worried about meeting them the first couple of times. It feels horrible to say because they were so lovely but I was a bit worried one of them would look at me or say something that would make me feel awful. It’s the same with any K-Pop related thing to be honest. I fantasise about meeting my faves but I do worry that they would shame me for my size. Again, absolutely ridiculous but the insecurity is there!

I feel a bit more secure in my skin as I’ve gotten older and I feel like I am less obsessed about my weight but I do have days where I look in the mirror and wish I could just tear the fat away. But I just feel like even if I was skinnier I would still have insecurities. I would still think I was ugly 80% of the time, I would still be unhappy with many aspects of my life and the only thing that would really change is that I could buy more clothes from mainstream stores. Nothing ground-breaking would happen. My parents would probably still make comments about my weight, I would still be bigger than my friends and I would still be insecure.

The media doesn’t help either. I feel like I shouldn’t really comment on this movie because I didn’t see it but I hated the trailer for ‘I Feel Pretty’ starring Amy Schumer. It’s not like Amy is ugly by any standards and she’s not even fat, it just seemed a bit… Pointless? Obviously I didn’t see the movie so I won’t delve too deep but other media tries to make us think badly of fat people too. Young Monica in Friends was a laughing stock until she lost weight and suddenly she was desirable. That’s not okay! I’m not even gonna talk about Netflix’s new show ‘Insatiable’, a show I definitely won’t be watching.

I’m not really sure what the point of this post is because it’s not like it’s made me feel any better to write it… I guess I just want other people in my situation to realise that they’re not alone and there’s absolutely no shame in being overweight. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it doesn’t make you an ugly person. One of my favourite posts on the internet said ‘you can be the pretty friend AND the fat friend’ and although I don’t think that applies to my friendship group it was still super uplifting to read.

Feel free to leave a comment with any of your own experiences whether they’re recent or while you were growing up. It would make me feel a little less alone and we could make each feel better!

10 Favourite Supernatural Characters

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When I was in college I was all about Supernatural, there was nothing I loved more than that show. I’ve written about my love for it in other posts, about how I would binge watch the show for like 10 hours at a time and my heart ache when I finally caught up and had to wait for new episodes like everybody else. Recently I’ve fallen behind and I would love to catch back up and get back into it. To help motivate me to do that I thought I’d write a list of my ten favourite characters in no particular order!

Please excuse me if anything I say about a character isn’t in line with the show’s current point, I think I made it to the Season 10 finale (I might be wrong) so I might be a bit behind on character’s current situations!

Castiel

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I’ve gone with Castiel first because he was my favourite character when I was a fan of the show. I don’t think I liked him at first but like the majority of the fandom I quickly began to love him and soon I was basically Castiel’s bitch. I had so much Castiel related merch – I wasn’t hard to buy gifts for because you just needed to buy me something Castiel related and I would love it.

My love for Castiel made me love Misha Collins too which meant that like most fans I ended up taking part in a crazy event called GISHWHES which stands for Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. It’s a week-long event and I participated two years in a row and boy did I do some stuff. There is genuinely a picture of me wearing toast underwear in some far corner of the internet. But I did it because I loved Misha and Supernatural.

I was fortunate enough to meet Misha several times, my favourite was when I was called into the photo op and for some reason although there was a queue in the corridor the actual room itself was practically empty and Misha smiled at me and was quietly like “Hi, how are you?” It was only a small exchange but there was something really sweet about it that I loved. I met him a few more times over the next couple of years but nothing will beat that one.

I’m going off on a tangent here. Basically, I loved Castiel when I was an active fan. He was definitely my favourite regardless of the mistakes he made and I just love him so much.

Garth

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Come on, who didn’t love Garth and Mr Fizzles to be fair? I absolutely loved him and was always happy whenever he reoccurred. I’m not sure I liked the werewolf storyline (neither did DJ) because it just didn’t feel right somehow. It didn’t really feel like Garth. I love the story though that the producers rang up DJ, pitched the idea and he was so drunk that he was like “Yeah, sounds great!” even though when he’d sobered up he hated it!

I was also lucky enough to meet DJ Qualls, I won’t post the photo op ‘cos it looks horrendous but his coffee lounge and panel talk were the funniest of the weekend. That story of him getting so high that he thought he was Mary Pickford reincarnated still cracks me up every so often, I think it’s hilarious.

Crowley

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I’m so far behind on the show that I dunno if Crowley is still the King of Hell or if he’s even still alive but like he’s fabulous, I don’t care what anybody says. For the King of Hell I’d say he’s a pretty decent guy, full of sass and just generally amazing. “Hello Darling” how iconic. We love an iconic King of Hell.

I’ve also met Mark Sheppard a couple of times (I feel like this is turning into a brag post about how I’ve met the actors, it wasn’t meant to be this way!) and to be honest I was a bit nervous about meeting him but he was always lovely. The first time I asked him for a hi-five and he trolled me by doing the ‘down low, too slow’ thing and then laughed at me. The second time I was worried because he’d wanted to leave but the staff insisted he had to stay and he was going “I’m not happy!” to the staff so when I gave him my thing to sign I was like ‘omg he’s gonna get mad’ but he was just like “I’m sorry about that, how are you?” I like him, what a decent guy.

Bobby

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We all make fun of Hirst because me, Becca and Jess became fans of Supernatural whereas she wasn’t particularly interested. When she overheard yet another conversation between the three of us she piped up and asked “Is Bobby cute?” which we all found absolutely hilarious at the time. We then had a running joke that Bobby was her favourite and that the two of them were perfect for each other.

For real though I loved Bobby. What an amazing father figure for the boys like he didn’t have to go as hard as he did but he did anyway. He was also damn amazing at his job and the episode where he stands up to his own Father is absolutely amazing and gives you more of an insight to what Bobby was really going through. But he was so strong regardless and was genuinely just a massive hero. Let’s be real, without Bobby the brothers would’ve died ages ago. Well, you know, permanently died.

I did meet Jim Beaver but to be honest I can’t really remember much, I loved his panels though. Especially the man who told him the story of how his wife had agoraphobia but really wanted to see him so she came to the convention anyway. He looked so genuinely touched and he just seems like a lovely guy.

Meg

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I didn’t really like original blonde Meg because like she was a demon and was just generally a bit annoying but I dunno, when Meg 2.0 came back I ended up really liking her. I’m not even really sure what it is but I just loved her and was super disappointed when she was killed off because I just feel like it was a bit unnecessary. To be fair it may have been because Rachel Miner was going through some difficulties but I’m still upset about it.

Rachel Minor is another one who’s just so lovely, when we joined the photo op queue we were told to try not to talk to her too much because she’s so nice and tries to make as much time as possible for every single fan but unfortunately the staff have deadlines to get people in and out so no one misses out on what they’ve paid for. She is honestly so lovely though.

Dean

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Obvious one but who didn’t love Dean? It’s funny watching the first season and thinking ‘Jeez his voice is deep’ because now that’s his baby voice! It’s so much deeper now, I can’t believe it! I love pretty much everything about Dean – his sarcasm, how protective he is of his family, his love for pie. He’s just a great character even if he has made some mistakes.

I remember at these conventions I used to attend we all believed that Jensen Ackles would never come back so we were all shocked one year when he was finally announced. I knew I had to get a photo with him so I sent in my pre-order as soon as it opened and was lucky enough to get one in the first batch. I was so nervous when the day came but as predicted Jensen was absolutely lovely and was happy to oblige when I asked if I could have a hug. He was lovely and I’m so glad I got to meet him.

Claire

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Okay I didn’t think much of Claire when she was first introduced to the series but she was a bit of a badass even in that one episode. She was willing to let Castiel possess her so that her Dad wouldn’t have to and like that is love right there. When it was announced she was returning I was ecstatic, especially when I found out she was going to be played by Kathryn Newton. I’d loved her in Paranormal Activity 4 and I knew she’d be amazing as Claire. I was right, she was fantastic and I loved everything about her character. It sucks that her life was pretty much torn apart by Castiel but she’s stayed strong throughout and I love her.

Sorry to keep bringing up my experience of meeting the actors but I was lucky enough to meet Kathryn Newton at one of the Asylum’s and she is so pretty in real life like I was honestly shook by how pretty she is. My photo op with her is one of my favourites, she was so lovely and seems to genuinely care about every fan. She’s just amazing.

Gabriel

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You’re lying if you say you didn’t love Gabriel. Even when he was introduced as just a trickster he was still amazing. Pretty much any episode with Gabriel is a good episode let’s be real, my favourite though definitely has to be ‘Changing Channels’ that episode was honestly amazing. He was hilarious and I just loved everything about his character. Again I’m not caught up so I don’t know if Gabriel comes back or anything, I really need to catch up with the seasons I haven’t watched.

Richard Speight is another person who’s hilarious in person, I’ve been lucky enough to see Richard and Matt host karaoke twice now and it was super fun both times. He’s also really nice in person, he asked my name so I told him ‘Hozzie’ and he responded “So O-Z-Z-Y?” I had to correct him and he laughed and went “Well none of that was right, was it?” He was really nice and I’m glad I got to meet him.

Benny

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I dunno why but I just really loved Benny. To be honest it’s been so long since I saw his episodes that I can’t remember what happened that well. I know they all went to Purgatory but I can’t really remember much more than that. But Benny was sweet and I really liked him.

One of my favourite convention moments was when Ty Olson asked everyone to prank Mark Sheppard by only asking him Benny related questions at his panel and seeing Mark react to this was truly hilarious. I thought Ty was really nice when I met him and seemed like a decent guy.

Sam

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I mentioned that when I was an active fan my favourite character was Castiel but now it’s probably Sam. I shared a room with a girl at one of the Asylum conventions who loved Jared Padalecki and I feel like she brought out the Sam fangirl in me. I just love him and how he tries to do the right thing even if he doesn’t always get it right (like that time he accidentally started the apocalypse but like easy mistake to make). I just love everything about Sam AND I REALLY NEED TO CATCH UP WITH THE SERIES, I SWEAR TO GOD.

I was also lucky enough to meet Jared a couple of times, I had a solo photo op with him and then one with him, Jensen and Misha as a group. Jared’s really nice and his panels were some of my favourites, especially the story about how he stopped all the trains in Europe. I also loved the convention where Genevieve came and she went on stage with him, the way he looks at her you can just tell how in love they are and it’s so beautiful.

There we go, those are my top ten favourite Supernatural characters – feel free to let me know your favourite characters and leave me some motivation to catch up with the episodes I’ve missed!