Favourite Memories with my Friends

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Here’s another post celebrating 10 years of friendship with my favourite nerds. I thought in this post I’d mention some of our favourite memories. I doubt I’ll manage to fit them all in because already the list is really long and there are tons that I can’t remember so prepare for a long post.

Rhyl

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Our first ever holiday! It’s strange now but it seemed so difficult to pull off at the time. We wanted to do something before me and Jess went to university in London because we were under the impression it’d be ages before we saw each other again (whoops) so we decided to go on a small holiday to the beach. We looked at most seaside towns but settled on Rhyl, I can’t really remember why but we decided to go.

Jess hadn’t long passed her driving test and I can’t remember if Hirst had her licence by then or not, she wasn’t long off either way so Jess and Hirst sat in the front because they could both drive and me and Becca sat in the back having a great time. I’d made a CD before we left that mostly contained songs from the ‘Into The Woods’ soundtrack but also had some cheesy Disney music on it too which we listened to and sang along with the entire way there.

We stayed in a house and it was a bit of an old person’s house to be honest but it was nice to have our own space. If we wanted to go to the beach front we had to drive but it didn’t matter too much because the house had been relatively cheap so we didn’t care.

We did some fun things while we were there – did shots on the first night in the house, went to an aquarium, went to the circus, went to a fairground that nearly ended all of our lives and watched the sunset on the beach on the last day. It was quite a simple holiday but we all enjoyed it and we still look back at it with fond memories.

It’s weird to think we found it so difficult to plan at the time considering we’ve been abroad five times now but yeah at the time we had no clue what we were doing but I think we did quite well for our first holiday together.

Paris

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Our first trip abroad, something I thought we’d never manage to pull off. Basically we went to Paris to go to K-Con (except for Hirst) and we had about maybe two months’ notice at the most. Tickets went on sale about a month before the concert so we had to rush to book everything and get our spending money sorted in time. But we did pull it off and it was amazing.

Due to time and money we didn’t have much choice and had to book a coach to take us to Paris instead of a plane because it was a hell of a lot cheaper. It wasn’t too bad on the way there because it was an overnight coach (although Becca did down eight sleeping pills which stressed the rest of us out) but the way home was torture. We got on the coach with nothing but a box of maltesers and three mars bars and within two hours we’d completely eaten our supplies. Luckily the driver had the sense to stop at a service station when we got back to England. That sausage roll and chocolate milk was one of the best meals ever.

I loved our first trip abroad even though it was far from perfect. The hotel we stayed in was a bit naff, I got scammed out of ten euros at the Eiffel Tower (Jess only got scammed out of five while Becca and Hirst got away) and me and Hirst got told off by a lady on the metro but honestly it’s one of my favourite trips we’ve been.

We did all the typical tourist stuff, I’m pretty sure we didn’t even meet up to talk about it that much because we knew what we wanted to do. We saw the Eiffel Tower, went to Disneyland, went to Notre Dame, saw the Mona Lisa painting, went down into the catacombs. And best of all we went to K-Con and saw BTS, Block B, f(x), FT Island, IOI and SHINee live.

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I was exhausted by the time we eventually got back to England (it took us about 18 hours) but it was worth it. We vlogged this trip and it was the first time we’d ever attempted to vlog a trip but it’s still one of my favourite vlogs to occasionally rewatch. If you’d like to watch it then click here [x]

Harry Potter Studios

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For my 20th birthday I was told that Jess would be staying with her Auntie and that Becca couldn’t get the day off work so I thought me and Hirst were doing something together. Turns out it was all an elaborate trick and the three of them were taking me on a surprise trip on my birthday. I was thrilled that it had been a trick because I had cried a little when I thought everyone was busy on my birthday except for Hirst, because I’m dramatic like that.

They took me to the train station and we changed at Birmingham New Street with me still having no idea where we were headed. They’d hidden letters within my presents and cards and I was told I had to use these letters to figure out where I was going, which I was going to do on the connecting train. This was a plan that quickly failed when I went to WHSmith with Jess to look at food and she turned to me and asked “Do they even allow food in the Harry Potter Studios?”

There was a moment of silence before Jess tried desperately to change the subject upon realising what she’d done but I couldn’t pretend I hadn’t heard it. The others were mad but I couldn’t wait. I’d been to Harry Potter Studios with Jess the year previously but I hadn’t read the books at the time and I was excited at all four of us going even though Hirst hadn’t seen a Harry Potter film at that point.

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I had the best day ever, it was so nice of them to surprise me like that and I had an awesome time. I even got to push open the doors to the Great Hall because it was my birthday. We got a ton of cool photos and it was probably the best birthday I’ve had so far. Thanks guys!

24K

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I’ve talked a lot about the time I saw 24K by myself but the first time I went to see them was with Becca and Jess and we went to London together. We had an awesome time even before the concert started, the train journey there was hilarious and Jess downed an iced coffee when we got to the hotel and went a bit hysterical. We spent all afternoon trying to find something to do and hours later we ended up at Big Ben for some reason? Then we headed to the concert and waited outside in the rain until we were allowed in.

We were stood towards the back but 229 is quite a small venue so it didn’t really matter where you stood because there was still a good view. At the time I didn’t even know many songs and I was a casual fan but oh my god they were so good that I had to stan. 24K are one of those groups where their songs are good but you don’t sit back and think ‘wow that’s amazing’ but once you’ve seen them live it all changes. They’re one of the most energetic groups I’ve ever seen and seem to genuinely care about their fans.

We had such a good time that me and Becca saw them again in Amsterdam and met them that time. We talked about it for ages afterwards and there’s an eight minute long video of us freaking out about it once we got outside, it’s one of my favourite things to watch. I’m really hoping 24K come back to Europe this year so we can see them again because it’s been a while since I saw them with Becca and I wanna freak out with her again.

Driving Around

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For some reason in August 2015 just before me and Jess went to university the four of us would meet up and just drive around in someone’s car. A lot of times we just drove around because we weren’t sure what to do so we ended up in the Aldi car park a lot of the time just chilling. We don’t really do that anymore because we’re all too busy which sucks.

One of my favourite times was when we drove around in Hirst’s car and for whatever reason Jess rolled the window down then tried to roll it back up and Hirst’s car was quite old so it kept rolling itself back down and I remember sitting in the back seat crying with laughter. We went to ASDA to buy some snacks and two girls decided it’d be fun to follow us around and take the piss out of me so obviously my friends had my back and as we were driving out of the car park we spotted them walking along so Jess rolled down her window and yelled at them. They yelled at her to kill herself and Jess started doing some manic laughing then tried to roll the window back up but obviously it was Hirst’s dodgy car so they kept rolling themselves back down.

I can’t remember if it was the same night but we decided to walk up a hill and it was quite late at this point so we were driving down some country lanes in the pitch black and me and Becca were in the back worrying that a werewolf was going to pop out the bushes or something. We never found the hill we just managed to creep ourselves out.

Innuendo Bingo

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I remember playing this when we were maybe sixteen or seventeen and at the time it was the funniest thing ever. Unfortunately we played it when we were a bit older and we didn’t find it as funny anymore but the first time we played it was hilarious. I was pretty good at the game, Jess came a close second but Becca was definitely the worst.

For those who haven’t played Innuendo Bingo and don’t know what it is, you fill your mouth with water and listen to some clips of innuendos. The idea is you hear the innuendo and try not to laugh or in some cases massively fail and spit the water everywhere. As I said, Becca wasn’t great at the game and she was stood directly opposite Jess and every time she managed to spit her water the length of the garden and land it right on Jess’ shoes. Becca was way funnier than the actual innuendos a lot of the time.

It’s a shame we don’t find it as funny anymore but it’ll still be a good memory.

Bean Bamboozle Challenge

I don’t have any photos of this one unfortunately or any videos but God, what a day. Jess had been on about playing this game for a while and eventually bought the beans and brought them into college. The four of us only had one lunch break a week altogether and that was on a Friday so that’s when we sat down to play it. Out of me, Jess, Becca, Lucy and Hirst only me, Jess and Hirst decided to play.

If you haven’t heard of this challenge basically you buy a box of jelly beans which will be colour coded on the back. There are several of each colour but there’s a difference in the taste. For example a brown one could either be chocolate flavoured or dog food flavoured. It’s pretty much impossible to tell which is a good one and which is a bad one and the challenge is that if you get a bad one can you finish eating it?

What an absolute joke that game was, Jess got all eight good flavours whilst me and Hirst got seven bad ones and one good one each. We ate all our bad flavours except for rotten egg and vomit. The ones I definitely remember eating were smelly socks, dog food, baby wipes and snot. Dog food was particularly hard and I remember Lucy and Becca saying “That smells so bad that I feel sick.” Yeah, it must’ve been so difficult for them.

It’s funnier now but at the time I did want to vom a little bit, they tasted absolutely horrific. I’m convinced that Jess can’t taste if she has a bad flavour but we have yet to test that theory.

Tully’s Farm

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Becca had mentioned this a couple of times over the years and that she wanted to go but it was one of those things we talked about but never got round to planning until eventually she put her foot down in 2017 and insisted that we go. Hirst decided to sit this one out because she’s not really a fan of people dressed in costumes, especially if they’re jumping out and deliberately trying to scare her. To be honest I was very worried too but ended up absolutely loving it.

I wrote a long post about it here [x] but basically it was really funny, I made Becca and Jess hold my hands the entire way round and Becca was making me laugh so hard from how much she freaked out. It was a brilliant night and we’d like to go again this year but it might not be possible with everything going on around that time.

Amsterdam

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I already mentioned we went to Amsterdam to meet 24K. It was the first holiday where we went on a plane together and I was honestly terrified. My Mom very kindly drove us to the airport and then suddenly we had to navigate our way through the airport. In the past I’d just relied on my Mom to sort everything and I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit nerve racking being there without a parent. But we were fine and we got to Amsterdam in one piece!

We were very lucky with that holiday because the weather in Amsterdam was gorgeous so it made the city look even more beautiful. It’s definitely somewhere I’d love to visit again because there were a couple of things we didn’t manage to see, for example Anne Frank’s House was sold out because we hadn’t planned it until the last minute. But we saw some amazing things like the palace, Vondel Park, went on a canal boat tour, the red light district and the ice bar. Truthfully my only regret is that I didn’t do a weed brownie with my friends on the last night but ultimately that’s my fault.

Given the opportunity I would definitely go back because it’s truly a beautiful place and I had some good times with my friends there. Even if we did stay in the dirtiest Airbnb apartment I’ve ever seen in my life.

Hirst’s Birthday Party

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I will be 100% honest with you now that the party has passed, I wasn’t looking forward to this. Not in a nasty way but at the time I wasn’t really into parties, I didn’t drink and I just didn’t really like them. But obviously as Hirst is my best friend I knew I would have to go and I would have to find a way to enjoy it. You only turn 21 once and I was not about to ruin my best friends party by having a bad attitude.

Anyone who knew me knew that I hated alcohol, refused to touch the stuff most of the time but I realised that to have a good time I might need to get a little drunk. The trouble was that I knew I could put on a happy face but they know me too well and I knew that if someone mocked me and said they knew I wasn’t having a good time then I’d turn sour very quickly. But I couldn’t let that happen so I quickly figured out the best way – down a bunch of shots and get a bit drunk.

Hirst was a bit surprised when I said I wanted to but Becca agreed she’d do it too and that was the plan. I was nervous before we went but I knew I just had to get on with it. I’m painting a picture of me proper dreading and hating this party, I honestly was looking forward to it and I did get into it when I bought my costume, I was just a bit apprehensive at the time!

I actually had the best time ever. Me and Becca had like three shots each every half-an-hour and eventually got just a little bit drunk. I say a little bit. Becca cried outside the venue and I lost count of the amount of times I fell over. We were both a little bit of a mess but hey we were happy (except for when Becca cried) and I have nothing but good memories of the night. I’m really glad that whenever we talk about it it’s nothing but positive. And now I’m looking forward to any other parties I may get invited to in the future!

Lithuania

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Mine, Jess and Becca’s birthdays are very close together so for our 21st Jess and Hirst decided to team up to book a holiday for me and Becca. Their original plan was to go to Blackpool but somehow they ended up booking flights to Lithuania and that’s where we ended up going.

I’d never really heard of Lithuania before and for the first 24 hours or so I had a really difficult time remembering the name of the country – there’s a video of me on the plane trying my best to pronounce it, I really don’t know why I kept forgetting. So I didn’t know much about it but ended up absolutely loving it, it’s probably one of my favourite places I’ve ever been.

I think what I liked is that it was quieter than most cities so you could actually see and do more, for example we made a wish on the lucky brick (mine didn’t come true but whatever) and it was one of those things that if you were in Paris or somewhere more popular you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere near it.

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It’s a shame that Jess got sick on the Sunday but other than that it was an amazing trip and I’d definitely go back in a heartbeat because I really liked it there.

Slender Man

The four of us became proper best friends when we were about sixteen and around that time we started playing ‘Slender Man’ quite a lot when we hung out. Over time the game kind of loses its appeal because all you do is walk around these woods looking for pieces of paper and it only really gets interesting if you find one or see Slender Man himself, 90% of it is just walking round in circles though.
I remember when we first started I absolutely loved it but I was also too scared to look at the screen so the first time I sat on a different sofa and just watched the others play it for the first few rounds. We went in pairs so that someone controlled the mouse and someone controlled the keyboard. The worst combo had to be Becca and Hirst, Hirst kept panicking and Becca kept telling her off. For example saying “Oh great, the ground, just what I wanted to look at!” The best combo probably would’ve been Becca and Jess because they’re probably the bravest. When I eventually played I kept looking away from the screen ‘cos I’d get creeped out and was probably a bit useless but it was a fun game at the time!

Looking Around the School

The secondary school the four of us went to was quite an old building and when we joined the school we were told that they were going to be building another one and by year eleven we would move into this magical new school. That didn’t happen because the planning permission didn’t go through or something but our school did eventually merge with another one and they built a new one, we’d just already left by that point.

Someone on Facebook had posted some photos they’d taken of our school now completely abandoned so we decided to have a look around it for old times’ sake before it was completely knocked down. A lot of other people in town clearly had the same idea because when we walked down the gate was unlocked and we could just walk inside.

We were quite lucky with the night we picked because when we went into the old science labs there were a ton of shot glasses, condoms etc. so there had clearly been a party going on at some point and the next night a few groups went into the school for a look around. The only people we saw that night were a group of lads on bikes who thankfully left us alone and let us carry on looking around.

It was strange to see the school we’d gone to for five years was suddenly abandoned but it was cool to be able to enter rooms that had once been forbidden to us, for example the staff room, the kitchens, the basement etc. It was creepy because we went at night but it was definitely worth it. It wasn’t exactly the safest building anymore but none of us were injured.

Some of the highlights include me and Jess smashing plates just because we could, Jess trying to break a TV with a fire hydrant but the TV was the sturdiest thing ever and wouldn’t break, me collecting any keys I found and ending up with about 500, Becca and Hirst ripping framed paintings off the wall to keep and Hirst taking all the chalk. I’m making us sound like complete vandals, all the stuff left behind was definitely not wanted anymore so we weren’t just being assholes! It was a good night, I’m sad the school’s been knocked down now.


Greece

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Greece was our most recent trip and we had an amazing time. It was a ‘surprise’ for Hirst’s birthday that I managed to completely ruin. Basically, we gave her cards with little hints about the trip inside and gave her 50 euros each so she’d know we were going away but the plan was not to tell her. I’d been worried that I’d get a bit drunk at her party the night before and tell her but luckily didn’t, only to end up accidentally telling her when I was completely sober the next day.

Other than that the trip was a complete success. We rented a car, something which I’d been a bit nervous about, and drove round the island and just driving through Greece listening to absolute bangers was amazing. The highlight was definitely the lake, I would go back there in a heartbeat. We had so many laughs on that trip and the weather was amazing. I’d love to go back to a different part one day.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Me and Becca went to see this show, it felt like so much waiting around but the day eventually arrived. It was worth the wait, it was absolutely amazing and it was so good that we’ve booked to go back next year but with more expensive tickets this time. The only thing that had sucked about last time was that our view wasn’t brilliant. I wrote a longer post about it here but yeah, it was amazing.

London

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This was our first sight-seeing holiday and I guess it brought out the tourists in us. I’m pretty sure we went because Five Seconds of Summer were performing in London on Hirst’s birthday and the day after – she didn’t want to be away for her actual birthday but as a sort of birthday trip we went to see them the next day.

We obviously did some over sightseeing while we were over there – Camden Market, Trafalgar Square, Platform 9 and ¾, the Globe Theatre, Oxford Street. We also went to see a show, it took a lot of debating on what we should see but we eventually settled on wonder.land which was sort of based on Alice in Wonderland but was about an internet app or something… By the time we got to the theatre we were all so exhausted I’m surprised none of us fell asleep during the show. It was a good show but I remember us all sitting there before it began, none of us speaking and just looking absolutely dead inside.

It seemed like the weekend was over way too quickly but we had an amazing time and I’m glad we all went.

I’m sure there are tons and tons of other amazing memories that I’ll kick myself for not including on this list but it’s already quite long so I’ll end it here. I hope you enjoyed reading this and here’s to ten more years with my favourite nerds!

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Favourite K-Pop Covers

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Occasionally K-Pop artists do covers of other artists songs, both K-Pop and western ones. I haven’t listened to tons but I did want to write a list of my top ten favourite covers performed by K-Pop artists. Enjoy!

10. TWICE/G-Friend – Gee

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It was awesome to see TWICE and G-Friend covering each other’s songs and interesting too considering they have different sounds. TWICE covered ‘Me Gustas Tu’ and G-Friend covered ‘Like Ooh-Ahh’. Then certain members of both groups came together to cover Girls’ Generation’s ‘Gee’, arguably one of the most iconic girl group songs. It was great to see the two groups collab as there are so many fan wars these days and it was a fun performance for their fans.

9. BESTie – Mamacita

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‘Mamacita’ is arguably my favourite Super Junior song so to hear BESTie had covered it was pretty cool. BESTie have amazing vocals and their cover of the song was really good and showcased their talent well. I definitely think they should do more covers in the future.

8. Girls’ Generation/f(x) – Sorry, Sorry

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Another girl group collab! Interactions within companies are always lovely to see so to watch Girls’ Generation and f(x) performing a Super Junior song was awesome. They absolutely rocked it, I just wish they’d done the entire thing. The outfits were good and the whole thing was just on point. I’d love to see another collab stage like this.

7. Hyoyeon (Girls’ Generation) – Please Don’t Stop The Music

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I grew up listening to Rihanna so was excited to hear Hyoyeon had covered this song. It suited her voice so well and I love it when she gets solo songs because it proves the haters wrong – Hyoyeon CAN sing and I’m sick of people saying she can’t. A song like ‘Please Don’t Stop The Music’ was perfect for Girls’ Generation’s dancing queen and I’d love to hear more Hyoyeon covers in the future – although her own solo songs are amazing too!

6. 24K – Talk Dirty to Me

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24K usually do a few covers at their shows, at their most recent one Jeonguk danced to Black Pink’s ‘DDU-DU DDU-DU’. Back when I first saw them they performed this along with a few other covers including Big Bang’s ‘Bang Bang Bang’. ‘Talk Dirty to Me’ was one of my favourite covers of the night, I remember getting so lit with Becca watching this at the Amsterdam concert even though I hate watching back the video I took because all you can hear is me yell “TORK DIRTEE TO MEH” and then a lot of screaming. But honestly, it was lit!

5. Dreamcatcher – Really Really

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To be 100% honest with you I didn’t like this song until Dreamcatcher covered it. I didn’t really give Winner a chance but when Dreamcatcher dropped their cover I loved it. I think I still low-key prefer Dreamcatcher’s version and I wish they’d performed it in full at their concert, they sang a little bit of it but not all of it. It was a good cover, they do quite a lot of covers so I’ll definitely keep checking them out!

4. Jessica Jung – Gravity

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I included this song in my ’10 Slow Songs I actually Like’ list and that felt like a bit of an achievement for me. When it starts it doesn’t sound like a song I’d be interested in but Jessica’s vocals really suck me in and I just love everything about it. It’s an amazing cover and really showcases Jessica’s amazing voice. I need to listen to more of her solo stuff.

3. Sooyoung (Girls’ Generation) – Sway

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This isn’t necessarily a song I would’ve picked for Sooyoung to cover but I’m so glad they did because the whole performance was amazing from Sooyoung’s dancing to the vocals to her outfit, the whole thing was just perfect. Sooyoung is an amazing singer and it’s a shame she doesn’t get as much of an opportunity in Girls’ Generation to showcase that. Hopefully we’ll get more solo stuff in the future!

2. Mamamoo – Delilah

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The vocals in this absolutely blow my mind. Solar, Wheein and Hwasa absolutely go for those high notes and it kills me every time. And Moonbyul’s rapping definitely brings a bit of individuality to the song and they owned the entire thing. I just love the entire thing, it gives me goosebumps pretty much every time I listen to it and I love it.

1. Sunny (Girls’ Generation) – 3

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I’m not really sure why this is my favourite but I’ve listened to it a ton of times. Sunny is my absolute Girls’ Generation bias and it really annoys me when people claim she doesn’t get many lines because she’s not a good singer. Yes, she is and this song proves that. It was the perfect song for Sunny to sing and I love the entire performance. I wish I’d been able to see it live but there’s no chance of that now. I just have the cover on my iPod to listen to over and over again.

Well there we go, there’s my ten favourite K-Pop covers – feel free to leave me a comment with some recommendations and your own favourites!

Review: Slender Man

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I feel like this movie was released a little too late. Sure, there was a lot of Slender Man hype when I was maybe fifteen or sixteen but since then I personally feel like the hype died downed a bit. Maybe I just wasn’t looking in the right places but he was definitely super popular when I was a teenager. I played the game myself a few times with my friends and although really the game play is arguably a bit boring it used to scare the crap out of me.

For those who never played the game the premise is that you are in a woods being haunted by this figure called ‘Slender Man’. To escape the forest you need to find eight pieces of paper. 90% of the game is walking aimlessly around a forest, going back on yourself and only really gets interesting if you find a piece of paper or bump into Slender Man. Still, me and my friends were teenagers and the game was popular so we played it quite a few times and enjoyed it. There’s probably some old videos lurking around somewhere of us playing it.

I didn’t have high hopes when the film trailer was released. A film about Slender Man released this late is probably not going to be good. The film didn’t really follow the game as the premise of the movie was that four girls summon Slender Man and think nothing of it until their friend Katie goes missing. Soon the other three girls experience a supernatural presence stalking them and need to figure out how to stop it before it’s too late.

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First of all, the characters. None of them were particularly likeable. My least favourite had to be Hallie who just seemed so fucking moody all the time and for what? She was rude to her sister Lizzie all the time over the most innocent things and just seemed like a pretty lame person to be around. She was also quick to brush away Wren’s concerns even though she’d been experiencing creepy things herself. She was honestly just super annoying throughout the entire thing.

I think maybe the worst part though is that it just… Wasn’t scary? Slender Man himself didn’t look scary and I think they showed him too much. It would’ve been better if it was a ‘The Blair Witch Project’ style movie where we see creepy things happening but we don’t see much of what’s causing them. Hints of Slender Man would’ve looked better than outright showing him because it just wasn’t scary in the slightest.

Also, it felt like the film kept randomly jumping and leaving things out? For example Hallie had a crush on this boy called Tom and it’s implied that by the end he was experiencing Slender Man related supernatural occurrences too but this wasn’t explored or resolved. There was also a sort of plot twist towards the end but this was just… Left. It’s difficult to explain without giving the plot away but it’s like we were just starting to get somewhere but then we didn’t.

And I’m sorry but the way they ‘summoned’ him was stupid. Spoilers ahead so beware – they summon him by clicking a video link and watching it. That’s literally all they did. I mean I’m no movie maker but I feel like it could’ve been something a bit more creative than that. It just felt really lazy and also stupid because who posted the video on the internet… Slender Man? Slender Man’s choosing his victims by uploading videos to the internet now? Okay then?

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Maybe it could’ve been saved with a decent ending but nothing happened? I was watching and waiting for something to happen to actually explain the ridiculous events I’d just seen but I didn’t get anything. It just kind of ended with no conclusion whatsoever. The entire movie felt pointless because like really in the grand scheme of things nothing happened.

Overall, this film is pretty much every awful horror cliché rolled into a film and honestly it just sucks. When I went to see the film the cinema was packed and I watched several groups of people leave midway through and honestly I don’t blame them. I didn’t leave because I was hoping it would all piece together at the end but it did not. It was just a mess.

Time for a fun fact about the movie because we know how much I love them – the father of the girl whose life was nearly claimed by the ‘Slender Man stabbings’ spoke out against the movie saying it was a disgrace that Hollywood was making a film about events that led to a tragedy.

My final words for this movie are this – don’t go and watch it. Save your money and go watch a decent film instead.

Good vs. Bad Teachers

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To celebrate the fact that schools go back this week I figured I’d write a list of my good teachers vs my bad ones. I was quite lucky to get mostly decent ones but some weren’t great and I can’t understand why they chose to be teachers in the first place. Anyway, I won’t be mentioning any teachers by name – just describing the classes they taught and why they were good or bad!

Good: My English Language teacher in my first year of college. She was probably one of the best teachers I had which is why I got my highest grade in this subject. She was one of those teachers who was really strict but not in a nasty way, she was still fair. A lot of people moaned about her because she got mad when they didn’t do homework – which like is fair enough? If it’s set and we don’t do it, we’re gonna get in trouble, we should all know that.

My favourite thing about her was the way she encouraged me with my writing. I handed in the start of a novel for her to grade and I spent the entire Easter holidays worrying she’d tell me it was weird or inappropriate. When she gave it me back she praised me and said “This is good enough for publication.” I always remember that moment whenever I doubt my writing abilities. From then on she referred to me and the girls I sat with as the ‘writing corner’ which always made my day.

She was also absolutely hilarious and found the time to joke about with us whilst making sure we learnt and worked hard. She’s definitely in the right job role because she was a fantastic teacher.

Bad: This teacher mostly taught Technology but he taught us English a couple of times. I’m not really sure what his official ‘teaching job’ was if you know what I mean but he was not a good teacher. We often made jokes that the only reason he became a teacher was so he could brag about the amount of money he had. I swear he never taught a lesson without mentioning one of his many ‘Apple’ products or making a reference to his huge house.

He was also someone who was just unnecessarily strict and patronising. I remember he found a crumpled piece of paper on a desk and made my friend stay behind because he found out it was her piece of paper. In the end he got arrested for dating a student so like… Yeah.

School 3

Good: My Film Studies teacher at college. When I gave her a ‘thank you’ card at the end of my two years at college I wrote something along the lines of ‘you made even boring lessons fun’ and she’d laughed and said “That’s a bit backhanded, isn’t it?” But what I meant was that several times I went into class and she’d describe what we were doing for that lesson and I’d think ‘ugh, sounds like a bore’ but it honestly never was. She never gave a bad lesson.

I wouldn’t really describe her as strict because she wasn’t, she was someone who was definitely down for a laugh as long as it was related to the work we were doing. I remember me and Becca were meant to be talking about a specific theme in ‘Watchmen’ and when she called on us to ask what we’d discussed Becca admitted “To be honest we mostly just talked about how The Comedian’s a dick.” and she didn’t tell us off, she found a way for us to think and talk about it academically.

My favourite thing about her was that she always remembered our tastes in movies. She’d always talk to me about the latest horror releases coming out, added horror to one of our units because I’d requested it and even bought a movie poster for the film ‘Orphan’ to hang in her classroom because she knew it was my favourite. She made an effort to ask us what our tastes were and actually remembered them even though she only taught us for two years. She was brill, I’ll never forget how good she was.

Bad: This teacher started off as my science teacher in Year 7 and by Year 10 she was my ICT teacher and I really didn’t like her. I don’t remember having much of an issue with her in Year 7, she was okay for the few months she taught us while our usual teacher was on maternity leave but when she taught us ICT she was awful. I went up to her and asked her to check one part of my work and suddenly she was flicking through my entire folder and ranting and raving at me about how most of it was wrong. After that I didn’t want to ask her to clarify anything anymore and tried to get on with my work by myself.

One year my Mom came in for parents evening and had a meeting with her. When she left she turned to me and asked “Was she drunk!?” I’m not sure if she was or not but she was a bit odd.

By the end of year 11 pretty much every student was failing ICT. To be fair it hadn’t been organised in the best way, at the end of year 10 we were told to print off every piece of work we’d ever done instead of doing it as we went along and then in year 11 lots of bits were missing so pretty much everyone had a lot of catching up to do. She dropped out and went on ‘stress leave’ and the school had to bring in a substitute to pick up the mess she’d left. She just wasn’t good.

School

Good: My English teacher in my second year of college. I did quite well with college teachers to be honest. He was someone I felt I could speak to if I needed to and was very fair to all of his students. On my first lesson we were discussing nicknames and he said to me “I call you Hol, do you like that?” and when I told him I hated it he insisted on calling it me for the rest of the year. With most people I would’ve been annoyed but it was funny with him because he gave everyone nicknames. He called Janie ‘Janine’ for the whole year.

My favourite thing was that once I finished college and was getting ready for university I received a card from him in the post with his email address written inside. When I went to uni and started struggling with the adjustment I sent him an email to update him. Now every couple of months I send him an update on what I’m up to and ask for regular advice and it’s just so awesome to have a teacher that cared that much that even though I’m not his student anymore he still keeps in touch and offers me advice. He keeps in touch with most of his ex-students and I just think he was fab. He’s retired now which is a shame as he was such a good teacher but I’m glad I ended up in his class.

Bad: My Media Studies teacher from college. I did get one bad teacher in college. I was disappointed because originally my Film Studies teacher was also my Media Studies teacher which obviously was fab but for some reason they moved the classes around and I got a new teacher who made me despise the entire course.

He was one of those teachers who didn’t know how to control a class and pretty much all of his lessons were filled with disinterested, disruptive people that he couldn’t deal with. I complained to my film teacher a couple of times and she sat in on a few of his lessons but irritatingly when she was there the class behaved themselves so she never really saw what they were like.

He was also completely unfair – I was once late for college because I’d missed the train. I had tried to find another way in but I had no change for the bus and didn’t have enough money in my account to take any out so I had to accept I was late. I came in and apologised for being late, said I’d missed the train and he told me off. Which I thought was fair enough ‘cos I was late. But then literally two days later another girl walked in, apologised for being late and said she’d missed the train and he replied “Okay fine.” How is that fair? I wasn’t even a bad student – well to be fair I did skive occasionally but when I was in, I did the work and I was actually well-behaved unlike 80% of his class.

He completely ruined my passion for the subject, my film teacher tried to talk me into taking it during my second year (‘cos we were advised to drop one A-Level in second year) but he made me hate it so I took Philosophy of Religion and Ethics instead, a subject I wasn’t keen on but much preferred to being taught by him.

T-Live

Good: My Year 10 + 11 English teacher. She was a fab lady who was extremely patient and I think she’s the reason I managed to get an A in English.

We were in top set and I think in Year 11 most of us already had our GCSE in English, we just needed to retake to see if we could get a better level so she was relatively chill when teaching us. One day she assigned us an essay and I guess I wasn’t in the mood because I spent the lesson drawing a stick-man circus at the top of my page. After marking everyone’s work she gave it me back and said “Don’t do that in the exam” so I said “I won’t” and that was the end of that. Any other teacher would probably have given me detention and I’d have probably deserved it but she was chill like that.

She also didn’t mind when I moved desks. It was around the time I was making friends with Jess, Hirst and Becca and I really wanted to sit with them so I would grab a chair and put it at the end of their desk which a normal teacher wouldn’t allow but this English teacher didn’t care and let me sit there if I wanted to. She was one of those teachers who was chill but I still managed to learn a lot in her class.

Bad: My reception teacher in primary school. As a little four/five year old walking into a new school you probably want a nice teacher who’s not going to be too strict because hey we’re only tiny dots and this all new to us. My reception teacher wasn’t like that. She was honestly quite scary and I remember getting into trouble over the most ridiculous things. We were making little cardboard ducks for Easter and I asked one of the other kids the next steps and they told me to make the face. Not understanding, I drew the face on in pencil when I was supposed to wait and stick on some felt or something for the beak. My reception teacher almost imploded even though it was a mistake and it was in pencil? I could just rub it out?

I also went to open a door for my friend and my teacher asked what I was doing so in a panic I told her I needed the loo and she told me to go find the other toilets. When I got back to class she’d asked me if I’d been to them and I’d lied and said yes. She then told me off really badly, it was a whole mess, I didn’t even wanna use the loo! She told me off tons of times over the most pointless things.

She wasn’t entirely bad, I remember she told us we could all play and me and my friend decided to play ‘teachers’ so we did some handwriting sheets and we did that instead of ‘playing’ and when she told everyone to stop playing she tapped us on the head and said “Except you two.” At the time we were both over the moon because we could carry on ‘playing’ but upon reflection she was just letting us carry on working.

School 7

Good: My Maths teacher at the end of year 7 and possibly in year 8. I was a bit of a nerd in school and me and my friend were so close to this teacher that we practically had inside jokes and we just got on really well with him for some reason. My friend showed him a stone she’d made to look like our Geography teacher and he got upset we hadn’t made one of him so my friend made another one to look like him and we gave him both the stones. I don’t think he worked at the school long but he was an awesome teacher, I swear.

Bad: There were a few music teachers at our school and during my triple lessons we had a separate teacher for each hour. We had one for musical theory, one for music production and one for the singing/instrument playing. We only had singing/instrument playing once every two weeks and it was taught by one of my least favourite people ever.

The annoying thing was that she was never outright a bitch, she was just sneaky. She’d make sly remarks and I just genuinely didn’t like her. She was really rude and honestly just got on my nerves at every opportunity. She clearly didn’t like me either and wasn’t subtle about who she did like or dislike. She also got drunk on our choir trip to Spain and sent my friend off to buy her something and the more I think about it, was she even allowed to get drunk when in charge of over 100 people? Obviously she wasn’t on her own but like? That’s a bit unprofessional? I really didn’t like her and I know I’m definitely not the only one that didn’t.

Good: My Spanish teacher. Spanish wasn’t an option until the end of year 9 when we could either pick that or French for our GCSE subject. My logic was that I’d struggled with French since I was about eight years old so I might as well start from scratch with Spanish and try to pick it up within two years. It worked in my favour I guess ‘cos I scraped a C.

I really liked my Spanish teacher but apparently she was a lot nicer to our class than she was to other classes. I came in with a sore throat once and she made me a hot chocolate to make me feel better. My two friends told her they were tired and wouldn’t be able to concentrate without a cup of tea so she went and made them one each. Hot chocolate and cups of tea were quite a regular thing in her class. She was one of those teachers who you got on well with as long as you did your homework regularly and actually tried. She was good, she definitely helped me pass.

Bad: I wasn’t the biggest fan of PE growing up but my teacher from years 7 – 9 was pretty decent. Then I’m pretty sure that by year 10 she’d left and we were sort of left with a random teacher and by year 11 all we ever did was play bench or dodge ball. So me and my friends started skipping and just sitting in the library messing about instead – we said we were studying but we really weren’t.

One of the teachers was horrible, I’m pretty sure I confessed that I wasn’t a fan of exercise and she asked me what exercise I was going to do when I left school. As a joke I said long romantic walks to the fridge and she suddenly got really worked up and repeated the question so I said I didn’t know then she went “Well the school have failed you so TELL ME what exercise are you going to do when you leave school?” So I replied “Okay, I’m gonna walk away now then.” And did just that.

I understand it’s her job to give us an enthusiasm for exercise but it did the exact opposite and made me feel a bit rubbish as well. Maybe when I confessed I didn’t like exercise she could’ve given me suggestions or talked to me about why exactly I didn’t like exercise instead of shaming me and getting worked up about it.

School 4

Good: My History teacher in certain years. She was one of the strictest teachers at school but she was also fair and an amazing teacher. She was one of those teachers where everyone is always silent in her class without being asked because she just has that power. She was also someone that didn’t let her pupils tune out of what she was saying – every so often she’d randomly raise her voice and if I was feeling sleepy it would always make me jump.

Unfortunately in Year 10 I was moved into a different class from my friends and although I loved that History teacher because he was hilarious, he generally spent a bit more time talking about his own History than the actual History we were supposed to be learning about. I’m pretty sure I failed a test and they panicked because I was predicted to have good grades so they put me back in the other History teachers class. My grades came back up because failure was not an option in her class and she was a really good teacher.

I had way more teachers to write about than I thought! I’m sure being a teacher is a difficult job and you either have the knack for it or you don’t. I feel like I was quite lucky with my overall school experience because most of the teachers I didn’t include on this list were also decent and made my overall time in school a lot easier. Feel free to comment with your best and worst teachers!

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!

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!