Monday, 23 November 2015

My Experience Volunteering in a Charity Bookshop


As some of you may know, I volunteer at an Oxfam bookshop every Saturday afternoon. I started about a year and 4 months ago and never thought that I would still be here, volunteering every week. I feel like it's had a massive effect on my confidence and turned me into the sort of person that doesn't freak out when she has to talk to a stranger. Despite it being a pretty regular part of my life, I've never really talked about it on here so I thought I'd write a post about my experience working in a charity shop!

It's a strange thing to go from only really having conversations with people who are fixed in your life, like friends, family and teachers, to having to engage with lots and lots of new people in a relatively short space of time. I started working on the till fairly early and I had to quickly learn how to speak to customers, helping them find a book or just ringing up their purchases. By watching other volunteers I managed to figure out how the whole customer service thing worked and developed my smiley, enthusiastic persona that I could switch on for Saturday afternoons. Don't get me wrong I am a cheerful sort of person anyway, you've probably seen that on this blog, but it's not so easy to do this in front of strangers  Even in the first few weeks when I was terrified of messing up on the till, I would pretend to be this confident version of myself and that seemed to work out pretty well. 

 After a while this persona started to leak into other parts of my life, I would be more confident to speak to shop assistants and I was a lot less socially awkward in other areas too. Then as I begun to get quicker on the till and get used to the regular customers, I realised that I wasn't scared of messing up anymore and that the confidence I was showing was genuine. Never in my life had I felt like I could actually do something that was useful in the real world and I've even been teaching the newer volunteers how to do things in the shop.

Actually working in the shop is pretty cool. So many interesting people come in, with friends and families. The fact that it's a charity shop means that we have all sorts of unusual and rare books that people with unique interests can fall in love with. It's awesome to see people get so excited about books or records and when it's all for charity it just feels a lot better. I love seeing those people who come in every Saturday without fail and noticing different things about customers like the way they act around their children or head to the same section every single week. It's the small little things that make me smile, like hearing a dad read to his children from one of our books, doing the different voices to make them laugh, engaging in conversation with one of the older customers or seeing someone find the perfect gift for a loved one. 

It's made me appreciate people a whole lot more. Despite all that's rubbish in this world (and nowadays it seems like a lot) there are still lovely people who empty their change purses into our appeal box and strike up a conversation with another customer who has read the same book. Sure you get some oddballs and grouchy people who can't seem to understand that it is completely acceptable to charge 5p for a bag! However, the majority are all so nice and make me believe that this human race of ours is actually flipping awesome! 

If you're the sort of person that smiles back at a total stranger, I love and appreciate you. 

Obviously only do this if you feel comfortable, you are not obligated to do anything, especially when it's a creepy man on the street who tells you to smile. If you're having a good day, smile at a waiter at a restaurant, a cashier at a supermarket or a bus driver, it might just make their day a little happier!

Working in a charity shop is so rewarding and it's an amazing way to give back if you have the time spare. I'd highly recommend looking into it or even just visiting your own local charity shops now and again, you'll be surprised at what you can find in there!

What are your favourite charity shops? Have you ever volunteered before? Let me know in the comments!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Sunday, 15 November 2015

♥ 14 Thoughts You Have While Revising ♥


I hope you're having a good afternoon! A lot of you have probably sat many exams in your time, GCSE's, A Levels, uni finals etc. Unless you can magically come up with all the answers on the spot without looking through your notes (if so please teach me your ways), you will most certainly have gone through the stress of revision. I'm currently revising for my GCSE mocks because I am just a little Year 11 and have yet to even decide what A Levels I want to do, let alone how I am going to spend my existence on this planet... Okay, let's rewind back to the revision part... I've been revising quite a bit recently and I've noticed several things that always pop into my head when I'm trying to concentrate so I thought I'd share those with you with the hope that I'm not the only one!

"Before I start, I'd better make sure that every single pencil is sharpened and every single pen works, I've been meaning to get rid of all these rubbish biro pens anyway..."

"I can't work without a cup of tea, I'll just pop down and make one, maybe grab a biscuit or five to keep me going ..."

"I need to make a revision playlist, it's not as if I can work in silence right?"

"Okay proper work, right ... Where on earth did that pen go? I was literally just holding it! Ugh ..."

"I could start this in my pretty new notebook ... but I don't want to ruin it with my messy notes ... I'll just do it in my boring plain one ..."

"These revision notes will be my neatest ever, let's go ..."

"Why don't I own any decent highlighters? This would be so much more fun if I had highlighters ..."

"I'll just keep Twitter open on my laptop while I work, just in case anything important pops up. Ooh Buzzfeed just tweeted an article called "24 Times Dogs Were Too Good For Us", I need that sort of content in my life. What if I forget to revisit it later? Oh I'd better quickly scroll through it ...

"When did we learn this? Was I ill? I'll have to completely relearn this, ugh ..."

"Oooh "23 Times Being A Twentysomething Was Perfectly Summed Up By Crap Taxidermy", I have to click that, even though I am not a twentysomething and have never ventured into the taxidermy world before, I'm sure it will be awesome. *20 minutes later* That was SO worth it ... the internet is a magical place ... I should probably get back to my work now ..."

"I know this topic! I'll do some practice questions on it ... *10 minutes later* okay so I probably know 25% of it ..."

"Is it time for another cup of tea? I think so ..."

"Wow this handwriting has rapidly deteriorated..."

"I'll just take a quick break, maybe scroll through a few blog posts *an hour later* Round Two, let's go!"

I hope you could relate to some of these thoughts!

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Lunchtime Lists | The Last One


We made it! (kind of) I managed 5 posts in 7 days and I'm pretty happy with that! Daily blogging is actually really fun and it felt great to have so many posts up around the same time but I couldn't do it all the time! I have so much respect for those who do manage to write awesome posts everyday. So to round things up this Lunchtime Lists post contains not only one but four lists of some current favourites of mine!

West End Shows
Kinky Boots
Les Miserables

Things to Look Forward to
Christmas! (despite the mocks revision)
Made in the AM by One Direction coming out
A long awesome summer once GCSE's are over
I'm a Celebrity starting again (hopefully with good celebrities, please ITV?)
All the things that haven't even been planned yet!

Jemma @ Dorkface (whose Friday Fives series inspired this list series of mine!)
Kayleigh @ Very Berry Cosmo
Vicky @Vix Meldrew

Chris Pratt
Amy Poehler
Paul Rudd
Meryl Streep
Emma Stone

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

Saturday, 7 November 2015

3 Awesome Books For Autumn 2015


My fourth post in this Lunchtime List series is all about my book recommendations for the colder months ahead! There's nothing like curling up with a book on a chilly day.

Carry On - Rainbow Rowell. I absolutely adored this book, it gave me all the feels! If you've read Fangirl, it's basically the Simon Snow book that Rainbow always wanted to write, not Cath's or Gemma T Leslie's though. It's so awesome and shippers of Simon and Baz will not be disappointed!

I am Malala - Malala Yousafzai. I haven't actually finished this book yet but so far I am loving it! It's shocking, inspiring and just incredible. I would highly recommend it!

Dangerous Lies - Becca Fitzpatrick. This book was so exciting and dramatic, the twists and turns had me hooked and I couldn't put it down! It's not actually out yet but I was sent it by the Guardian Book Club to review so keep an eye out for it arriving on shelves soon!

What books have you been loving recently? Let me know in the comments!

Have a wonderful day!
Hattie xo

Thursday, 5 November 2015

9 Types of People You See on Twitter


I am on Twitter a lot, I'm not always tweeting but I'm usually scrolling through my feed. So in my experience I've noticed that there are quite a few recognisable types of people...

That person whose tweets make absolutely no sense at all but nobody ever calls them out on it. 

That person who is so effortlessly cool and aware that you can spend hours scrolling through their tweets hoping some of it will rub off on you. You can't decide whether you want to be them or be their best friend but a fave from them would mean the world.

That person who brings a smile to your face due to their colourful profile picture and awesome use of emojis

That person who tweets things that seriously offend others and fiercely defend it as "just their opinion!" You have a right to an opinion but it doesn't mean you should publish it knowing that it will deeply hurt someone else. To be honest, a lot of these "opinions" involve not treating others with the basic human decency that they deserve so we can safely say these people are getting unfollowed.

The person whose tweets are so damn #relatable you have to physically restrain yourself from retweeting more than 5 a day. 

That person who is Twitter best friends with just about everyone due their incredibly lovely nature.

That person who you know so much about from their tweets but you've never even spoken.

The person who tweets lyrics all the time. Are they going through these dramas in real life? Or do they just love Kelly Clarkson that much?

The person who retweets all your tweets and often sends you sarcastic comments and cat videos on dm ... Oh wait that's just my mum ... ;)

Have I missed any out? Leave your twitter in the comments so I can follow you!

Have a wonderful day!
Hattie xo

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

11 Reasons Why I Am A Feminist


My second post in my Lunchtime List series is all about why I am a feminist! Obviously there are so many reasons and these are just a selection of the ones I think are really important.

Because opportunities are still limited to women all across the globe, especially non-white women.

Because trans women are real women (no matter what you say Germaine Greer) and so many don't even understand the concept of gender, causing gender queer individuals to be constantly alienated and not treated with respect.

Because there is still a pay gap between men and women that is just unnecessary, it doesn't make sense so why is it still a thing? Also, when people talk about it they tend to forget that the gap is even bigger for women of colour.

Because many don't want important decisions regarding her own health and body to be in the hands of the woman herself but in the hands of male strangers.

Because we should be teaching people not to sexualise young girls by sending them home because what they are wearing is "distracting boys from learning", showing that boys' education is prioritised over girls'.

Because in some countries girls like Malala Yousafzai are shot for simply going to school.

Because both men and women are held to ridiculous gender roles. Why live by outdated rules that men should be the wage earner and women's primary focus should be to find a husband and have children? There are so many other things that are unnecessarily gendered like colours, clothing and sports. Bacon rolls not gender roles people!

Because women shouldn't have to feel afraid when they walk down their own street at night.

Because consent is not taught to young people and rape culture is very real.

Because it takes effort to get rid of the internalised misogyny that society has built into me. I will get there but some don't even notice it. Please read this blog post about it!

Because I hope to raise children in a more equal and safe society.

Have a wonderful day!
Hattie xo

Monday, 2 November 2015

My Top 7 Things To Watch On Netflix | Lunchtime Lists


It's been pretty hard to be properly looking after my blog in the past few months as I'm now in Year 11 and my mocks are getting closer. I'd love to be putting up posts regularly and actually using Twitter effectively. I've been doing my best to get a post up roughly weekly but I'd love to be able to do more. I'm writing this while on holiday to sunny Rhodes in Greece so I decided to use this time to push the amount of content on my blog by writing a week's worth of posts. 5 daily posts, all lists, published at 1:00. I'm going to call it "Lunchtime Lists" - original I know... So let's get into the first list!

Suits. As I've mentioned before, my current love has been Suits. It filled the law drama shape hole in my soul that the Good Wife left but it's somehow even better. It's sharp, exciting and the central characters are distinct and memorable. It's a really good watch, not too heavy but still seeping with tension. 

Pretty Little Liars. The first series is a little cliched but once a few bombshells have dropped it gets really good! I would highly recommend avoiding spoilers while you watch it but don't just watch it to find out who A is, the actresses who play the Liars are so talented and deserve a lot more praise than they get for their acting not just their looks.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Kimmy is a woman who has been rescued from an underground bunker and let out into the world with no knowledge past elementary school or about the modern world she now finds herself in. She has to maneuver her way through 2015 New York to find what she wants to be in her new life. This show is absolutely hilarious, the writing, the actors, everything! Tina Fey is incredible and all her work has so much energy. I love it for its wackiness and topical nature. 

Wet Hot American Summer. This parody of summer camp films basically reads like a who's who of American comedy. So many actors got their break here,Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks etc. The revival series came out a few months ago and is even funnier! You can tell that everyone on the set had a ball filming it!

Blackfish. This is a documentary all about SeaWorld and the treatment of their killer whales (spoiler alert, it's not good!) I found out about this from my best friend Evie who is doing her English coursework on the subject and it's so eye opening. It does a great job of telling you about the horrors of what these creatures are capable of and the awful deaths they have caused without painting them as the enemy.

They Came Together. Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler are amazing in this parody of basically every single romantic comedy ever to exist. Everything is so hilariously over the top as they cover every single cliche with exceptional comic timing. It's a really funny watch!

Clueless. A teenage classic, Cher's style is iconic and the actual story is really fun. It lets you travel back to the 90's for a few hours!

What are your favourite things to watch? Do we share any of the same ones?

Have a wonderful day!

Hattie xo