So, 40 is on the horizon…

I haven’t blogged in ages as I have been learning a new job and also working on Merryn, which has kept me busy.

Since I last blogged, I have turned 39 and I can’t say I’m happy. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to still be here, I appreciate that not everyone makes it to 39, I have lost people who were way younger than me, but 39 is just so, well, close to *whispers* 40. Ugh.

I currently weigh 15st 13lbs as I changed jobs and I am more sedentary than I was in my old role (I hadn’t realised how much running around I did in my old role!). I’m aiming to lose 3st 13lbs by my 40th, as my goal weight is 12st. As well as losing weight, the next calendar year holds a lot of fun things for me, including seeing both Niall Horan and Harry Styles live in concert (separately, not together). There are also things I cannot talk about at this moment, but no – I’m not pregnant!

I’m excited for the next 12 months, but dreading turning 40. It’s just so grown up! Especially as I still get ID’ed for alcohol!

I’m going to get together a list of “40 before 40”; 40 things I want to achieve before my next birthday. I’m just finalising the list and I will share it with you, once it’s been finalised!

It’s now less than 6 weeks to Christmas, so I’m going to focus on that. I hope you have a lovely day! 😊

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October 2017 film releases that I want to see

I’ve been checking out up and coming films, and there are quite a few that I fancy watching 🙂

The Glass Castle
UK release date: 6th October 2017

Synopsis: A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who’s an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children’s imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty. (via IMDb)
Stars: Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts

Double Date
UK release date: 13th October 2017
Synopsis: Meet innocent Jim, terrified of girls, and on a reluctant quest to prove his manhood the night before he turns 30. He and his cocky friend Alex think they’ve hit the jackpot when they meet the beautiful siblings Kitty and Lulu, who seem up for anything on a wild party-fuelled night. But little do they know that the femmes fatales want to make Jim lose much more than just his virginity – Getting laid has never been so bloody difficult. (via IMDb)
Stars: Danny Morgan, Georgia Groome, Michael Socha, Kelly Wenham

Access All Areas
UK release date: 20th October 2017

Synopsis: An unlikely gang of teens go on the run to an island music festival, leaving behind their dysfunctional parents and the rules of the real world. (via IMDb)
Stars: Ella Purnell, Georgie Henley, Phil Daniels, Jordan Stephens

Dina
UK release date: 20th October 2017

Synopsis: An eccentric suburban woman and a Walmart door greeter navigate their evolving relationship in this unconventional love story. (via IMDb)
Stars: Dina Buno, Scott Levin

My Christmas Gift Guide is out now!

I was really disappointed when ill-health forced me last year to abandon my Merryn magazines. As I was feeling better, I decided in August this year to put together a Christmas gift guide featuring some of my favourite independent UK and Ireland retailers. They certainly didn’t let me down!

You can find the gift guide here:
https://issuu.com/home/statistics/publications/gift_guide

After all, it is only 12 weeks until Christmas tomorrow!

How hard is it to sell The Big Issue?

I spotted the below video when the Big Issue Foundation tweeted about it. I have bought the Big Issue magazine before when I have come across vendors and I knew that the vendors bought the magazines to sell on, but how many people think the vendors get them for free? As Eddie, one of the vendors in the video says, “a lot of people get the misconception that we get these for free, whereas we buy them.”

I found the below infographic on the Big Issue website which I found really interesting; there are approximately 2,000 vendors, with 500 of them in London.

The Big Issue is a great magazine and a fantastic way for people who need support to get that support while helping themselves. As the Big Issue say on their Our Objectives webpage, “we seek to ensure that our vendors have the following:”

* somewhere meaningful to call home
* access to a doctor and equality of access to health care opportunities
* the essential support that is needed to overcome addictions
* direct help with business skills to maximize independent earnings
* the crucial personal identification that opens so many doors
* access to additional financial support and secure saving opportunities
* the opportunity to re-connect with family members and loved ones

You can read about the difference the Big Issue has made to vendors by reading their stories here. The Big Issue is such an amazing idea, so if you’ve never bought one before, grab a copy the next time you see a vendor. It’s more than a magazine, you are helping someone to invest in themselves.

Betsy vs Marjorie

Yes, this is yet another post where I claim I’m going to lose weight, be happy, etc, rinse and repeat.

The thing is, my depression has been so debilitating recently that even brushing my hair was too much, going in the shower sounded like an ordeal and just getting through the day was way too much to ask of me, quite frankly.

It is now less than 18 months until I hit 40, and I’m not getting any younger, literally. The thought of getting older paralyses me with anxiety and not a day goes by where I don’t suddenly remember that a) I’m going to die one day, b) I don’t know how and c) I don’t know when. These three facts then cause me to have a panic and I find it hard to focus on what I’m doing at the time.

Now, for someone so angsty about dying, you think I’d be some world expert in being healthy and staying alive as long as possible. You’d be wrong. One of the ‘lovely’ things about having depression is the total apathy you actually get about real things like “I should do more exercise so I’ll stay healthy, but… I can’t be bothered moving from my desk chair for five hours straight”. So I fluctuate between panicking that I’m not healthy enough and should do something to prolong my life, and then across to “meh, who cares?” It’s like having two warring personalities, each fighting for dominance.

Right now, the personality who wants to live as long as possible (we’ll call her Betsy – literally the first name that came to mind that I don’t know) is in control. I was eating pizza earlier and I thought to myself, “I don’t want to be fat anymore.” And that was that; the decision had been made. The depressed personality, lets call her Marjorie, is totally dormant right now.

I really hope I get to stay “Betsy” for as long as possible; she’s the fun part of me, the one who wants to live and enjoy things. Let’s see how long she lasts.

BIG NEWS: I have now interviewed 50 unsigned UK and Ireland artists!

Over on Merryn Music, I interview unsigned UK and Ireland artists as there are so many talented people out there who deserved to be signed. I just hit a big milestone – 50 interviews! Merryn Music only started as a fun hobby, but now it’s grown so much! I’m excited to see who I get to interview for the next 50 interviews 🙂

25 years since the release of ‘Take That & Party’

Here’s a blog post I wrote today for one of my other blogs, Merryn Music.

Merryn Music

Today, 17th August, marks the 25th anniversary since Take That released their first ever album ‘Take That & Party’ back in 1992. I remember it well, I had been following Take That since their first single ‘Do What U Like’ dropped in July 1991, with its saucy video including jelly covered bodies (which was intriguing to my 12 year old self!).

So, fast forward to August 1992 and ‘Take That & Party’ was released including top 40 hits ‘I Found Heaven’ (UK #15), Tavares cover ‘It Only Takes a Minute’ (UK #7), ‘A Million Love Songs’ (UK #7), ‘Promises’ (UK #38), ‘Why Can’t I Wake Up with You’ (UK #2) and Barry Manilow cover ‘Could It Be Magic’ (UK #3).

To celebrate this 25th anniversary, we have created a #ThrowbackThursday playlist featuring 50 boybands from The Monkees in the 1960s through to Lawson from last year. Enjoy!

– Jenny

 

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May 2017 film releases that I want to see

I’ve been checking out up and coming films for May, and even though it is a quiet month for films I fancy watching, here are my favourites 🙂

The Levelling
UK release date: 12th May 2017

Synopsis: Somerset, October 2014. When Clover Catto (Ellie Kendrick) receives a call telling her that her younger brother Charlie (Joe Blakemore) is dead, she must return to her family farm and face the man she hasn’t spoken to in years: her father Aubrey (David Troughton). (via IMDb)
Stars: Ellie Kendrick, David Troughton, Jack Holden

Away
UK release date: 12th May 2017

Synopsis: A story set in the north English seaside town of Blackpool and centered on two kindred spirits who form an unlikely friendship. (via IMDb)
Stars: Juno Temple, Timothy Spall, Matt Ryan

Colossal
UK release date: 19th May 2017

Synopsis: Gloria is an out-of-work party girl forced to leave her life in NY and move back home. When reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, she gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this phenomenon. (via IMDb)
Stars: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell

Monday Motivation – 24th April 2017

I saw this quote online earlier and it really resonated with me. The past few years have been really hard for me, for lots of different reasons, and one thing people tend to say to me is that I always seem to find a positive out of negative situations. I guess I’ve always been like this.

When I worked in a shop when I was 19, a surly man I worked with hated my positive attitude and once snapped, “I bet you’d find something positive to say about a pile of shit!” I said, “You could put it on roses?” and he walked away. He didn’t challenge my positive attitude after that, he simply avoided talking to me if at all possible. I guess he was just happy being a negative person, and so he found it difficult to talk to me.

I think there are times when you can sink or swim; I think I’m one of life’s swimmers. I know that when life is hard, it’s so easy to just give in and let the despair wash over you like the tide on a beach. I wish I had some magic formula to give you in times of hardship, but I don’t. I guess you have to find whatever works for you 🙂

Poem for 19th April – Poetry And The Creative Mind Day

On 19th April, it was Poetry And The Creative Mind Day (I know, I’m late!). I had all intentions of posting on the day, but I was ill and didn’t get the chance. A tiny poem came to me as I was thinking about putting together a post a couple of weeks ago, so here it is!

Time marches on.
You can march on alongside it or you can get left behind.
It won’t wait.
Stop or move, it’s down to you.

Now, I have no idea if it’s technically a poem, but I wanted to share it nonetheless!