Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Anti-Trump Coalition!

So it's not major news that Trump is a bit of a wild card and has made a few enemies with his statements and opinions. However, what I've found shocking is that for some reason, people keep on voting for him and he keeps on winning delegates, thus putting him in good stead to claim the Republican nomination this summer. I mean, he won all 5 of Tuesday's nominating contests!

This is slightly worrying... and obviously I'm not the only one to think so because Cruz and Kasich, two other Republican nominees, have decided to join forces in order to provide a stronger opposition to Trump. Essentially they have created an anti-Trump coalition.

My latest article for Affairs Today provides a brief overview of the situation.

Whilst I would love for Trump to be stopped, I think he's too far ahead now for this to cause him any real damage. Unfortunately...

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Bombing in Kabul - the Talibans' Operation Omari

Unfortunately the Taliban are active again and have launched their 'Operation Omari' - basically their annual spring offensive, during which they instigate larger scale attacks to target Afghanistan's western-backed government. 

 My latest article for Affairs Today is on the recent bombing in Kabul, during which 64 lives were lost.

Because of this, the Afghani government have stopped their efforts to restart peace talks with the terrorist group.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Are privacy injunctions still relevant?

For anyone not in the UK, there's been a story released into the press about a famous married man with kids who's been involved in an extra-marital threesome. Because of the privacy injunction placed on the press by the courts, the name or details of the story can't be released to the public. But... the injunction doesn't apply to anyone not in the UK so the story can be released on any non-UK hosted website, making the injunction kind of pointless. 

A lot of people have criticised privacy injunctions for not being relevant anymore, so that's what my article is about!

Let me know what you think!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Belated Affairs Today post! Resignation of Iceland PM over Panama Papers

This is really late! This one was published on the 14th April, I just never got around to posting it on here... I've had another 2 published since then so I'm going to have a few consecutive Affairs Today posts in the next few days. Sorry!

As most of you will probably know, cause it's been all over the news, the Panama Papers have been leaked. These are a large number of documents that have been leaked from the world's fourth biggest offshore law firm situated in, obviously, Panama. 

A number of world leaders are getting a lot of flack for having offshore dealings and the Icelandic PM is one of them. In fact, due to all the public protests against him, he's been forced to resign. Read my article on it if you want to find out more!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

An Open Letter About Depression

It's Depression Awareness Week! Started on the 18th [my birthday!] and finishes on the 24th.
I should have done this post the day it started but I didn't want to taint my birthday... Not that this is such a taboo topic that I didn't want to 'contaminate' my birthday by talking about it, but because I knew I was going to write an emotional post and I didn't want to end up crying on my birthday!

  Depression is such a hard thing to come to grips with. It can take people ages for them to get the help they need either because they don't know enough about depression to know there's something wrong with them, they feel ashamed or embarrassed, or they just want to ignore the situation in the hopes that it will go away. It took me the entire first year of university to go to a doctor and to talk to my family about it. That's why weeks like this week are so important! It can give someone an insight into the illness so they recognise it in themselves, or it can be the push they need to finally talk to someone about the problems they've been having. 

Although this post is partly about spreading awareness for Depression Awareness Week, it is also a way for me to open up about my depression story as I've never really done that. Hopefully someone can read it and relate to the way I felt and seek the help they need, or can be proud of the fact that they used to feel like I did but have managed to recover from that period of time in their lives.

When I first started seeing my psychiatrist, the first thing she told me to do was to write a letter to the guy that started off my troubles. It always seems so cliche that my depression was triggered by a guy, but everyone with depression needs some sort of trigger to start the main part of their illness and mine just happened to be a culmination of leaving home for university and boy troubles. 
Another part of my problem is that I can't open up. It's not just that I won't open up, I physically can't. Like when I want to talk about my feelings or anything like that, the words physically won't come out of me. I don't know why and I know it's really annoying for other people, especially my family, but that's just the way I am. Although I am better at it now. Because of that, I kept everything bottled up inside of me and the thoughts just kept swirling around in my head, pulling me more and more into myself and just making the negative thoughts pile on top of each other. To try and alleviate that, my psychiatrist told me to write a letter saying how I felt, because I'm fine with expressing myself in writing. Not so that I could send it or anything, just so that I had a vehicle to express how I felt and because it was aimed at this particular person, I could tell him exactly what I wanted to.

The only person who's ever seen this was my psychiatrist. But I thought I'd share it on here to open up about my feelings at that time. Bear in mind that this is from a few years back so the words don't apply anymore. I.e. when I say 'love' I definitely don't feel that way anymore, that's just how I felt at the time.

I hate how you don’t love me. I hate thinking that you probably never did. I hate how much you made me love you. I hate that I wasn’t good enough for you. I hate that you didn’t want to show me off to all of your friends and you never talked to me in front of anyone and I hate that I let you do that because things were so amazing when we were alone together. I hate how I never got a proper goodbye. I hate how you went out the night before you left and said you’d be back early so you could spend time with me but you didn’t come back until 4 in the morning and I had to wait up for you and we didn’t even talk or cuddle when you came back, you just fell straight asleep. And in the morning you gave me a two-minute goodbye with the promise that we would see each other in 4 months and it wasn’t that long and we would be fine. I hate you for how you make me feel. Every time I think about you I feel so shit. I hate how you had the picture of you and your ex on your wall for months and I had to look at it every time I was in your room. I hate how you didn’t make the effort to talk to me over summer even though you knew what I was going through and you saw how miserable I was the last few months of uni. I hate how when I said I needed you because I was in a bad mood you made me feel like I was bothering you and you just stopped replying. I hate how you made me feel ashamed of loving you. I loved you so much and I would have done anything for you. You became my world and I didn’t know how to survive when that was taken away from me. I hate that you made me feel so bad that I thought about dying. I hate how pathetic you made me feel. I hate how any time I asked you to show me some sort of affection outside of your room you said that that wasn’t the kind of guy you were and made it seem like I was clingy or annoying for asking for it. I hated how I cried myself to sleep every night that entire summer because of you. I hated seeing that you were in a relationship after saying for the entire year that we were together that you didn’t want to be in a relationship. I hate that you made me think about everything that was wrong with me and made me rack my brains, trying to find out all the reasons why you didn’t want to be with me because you were immediately with someone else. I hate that you probably made fun about me to her. I hate how bad you made me feel and how inadequate and dispensable I felt around you. Mostly I hate how you made me feel ashamed for loving you and I never understood it because you said you loved me too.

There we have it. I've moved on a lot since then and I've managed to get over a lot of those feelings. Obviously some of them still go through my head occasionally, but I'm generally a lot better. And that's because I talked to a doctor and my family and they helped me get through it by seeking help.

It just goes to show, you can go from feeling like I did to getting help and sorting your brain out. If anyone thinks they might be suffering from depression, talk to someone! There's no need to feel ashamed. As the pictures shows, this is a real illness with real physical effects. Just like any other illness, you need help to get through it - you can't expect to do it alone or that it will go away by itself.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

I'm feeling 22! Alston Bar & Beef and The Howlin' Wolf [Glasgow]

It was my birthday yesterday!  #i'mfeeling22

It started off with me getting some really nice presents from my flatmate/bestie in the morning :)

A cute travel railcard ticket poster, a really pretty jewelery box  and a Mary Berry cook book! They were the perfect presents :)

It's exam time soon so I had to revise for a lot of the day but I met my sister at 6:30 and she took me out for dinner at Alston Bar & Beef under Glasgow Central. It is so nice there and oh my goodness, the food is amazing. 

I had the cauliflower soup to begin with and it was so creamy and garlicy and amazing and came with a really nice brioche roll.

And then I had steak frites for my main and oh. my. goodness. I haven't had steak in ages and I'd been craving it for a while and it was amazing. 

It was covered with garlic butter and it was just the best thing ever. Alston's known not only for their gin cocktails, but also for their carefully sourced Scottish steak so you know it's gotta be good.  

If anyone wants a place to go to in Glasgow for a special dinner, I would definitely recommend Alston's. Because it's all underground, it has a really 'secret' and 'elite' vibe to it with really nice mood lighting. Not to mention that, but like I said, the food is amazing.

After dinner I met up with some friends at The Howlin' Wolf on Bath St. I went there for the first time a few weeks ago and it was so much fun. And last night was just the same! It's a really cool bar that does live blues music every night [hence the name Howlin' Wolf i.e. the famous Chicago blues singer]. It does food as well if you want a quick bite with your drinks. The band that was playing last night, The Easy Winners, were so good. I loved the guys voice who was singing. Combining that with a bunch of friends and drinks, it was such a good night :) As you can probably tell from the following picture...

If anyone else had a birthday yesterday, happy birthday!

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo Pasta!

Found a great new pasta dish! Best thing is, it's all made in one pot so it limits on the washing up you have to do afterwards.

It really is just a question of cooking some chicken, sausage and garlic and then throwing everything else in the pot [including the yummy cajun spice mix] and letting it simmer for 18 minutes.

It may seem like a lot of liquid but the pasta really soaks it up as it cooks...

And then you add all the yummy cheese!

And it melts in nicely :) 

Sorry for the blurry picture... I was too excited to eat to take a decent photo. This recipe makes a load of pasta by the way. Like, a lot! So either cut down on the ingredients by like 4 times the amount or invite a load of friends over!

Hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think!

Friday, 15 April 2016

Rant of the Week!

I'm not normally negative on this blog but I have a few things that have been really annoying me lately so I thought, where else am I going to rant about it than here?

1) Zayn Malik 

I love Pillowtalk as much as the next person but Zayn Malik really annoys me. I hate how he left One Direction because he wanted time out of the spotlight and wanted to focus on himself and live a normal life and then immediately released solo music. I'm fine with him leaving, he can do what he wants, but don't lie about it. Especially when you know you're going to immediately going to go on a create your own individual career. And all of his interviews post-One Direction have been slagging the band off saying he didn't like their style of music and wanted to go his own way but his new stuff sounds like One Direction stuff anyway! But my main problem with him is his relationship with Gigi Hadid. I mean, how disrespectful do you have to be to get with another girl as soon as you break up with your fiance and publicly flaunt the new relationship way more than you did your old one, despite saying you wanted time out of the spotlight. They even did a couples photo shoot together in Vogue!

I just think that that is so rude and hurtful of him. Imagine being his ex and having to see your ex fiance and his new girlfriend everywhere. It would be horrible and make you feel so bad about yourself and he would surely know that but he doesn't seem to care enough about her feelings, even though he was in love with her enough at some point to want to marry her, to try and be subtle about his new relationship. Uhh! Men!

2) University application processes

University application processes. Oh my goodness. You think they'd make these stressful times easier for you but apparently not. After finally getting your application in, they make you wait for ages to hear back from them! This is the worst, especially for international students because we [although I'm not classified as an international student, my family still live abroad] have flights abroad to book which get more and more expensive the longer you leave them, but you can't book them until you hear back from the uni's you've applied to! And it's not like you can just ask them to hurry up because they won't do that. They don't care about individual people and they'll just do it when the deadline is, it doesn't matter to them that different people have different circumstances. Sure, you can email them and complain but realistically that won't change anything. They're not going to get an email from one person and be like 'oh this is inconvenient for this person, better speed up our process that we've had in place for years!'. I'm still waiting to hear back from one uni and its been months now. Another uni [I won't say which one in case they somehow find this and hate me] had me on a reschedule list for an interview because I couldn't make the first one [I had an honours class that day and my lecturer wouldn't let me miss the class], and then a few days ago I got an email from UCAS saying my offer from them had been withdrawn! Good thing I emailed them because they said 'oh there's an interview on Friday btw, if you're successful with that we can update your UCAS status'. One, that's not what a withdrawal of an offer means and two, if I hadn't have emailed the woman, I don't think I would have been informed of the interview because it was a day and a half before the interview day!.

3) Music elitist's 

This hasn't really been bothering me this week in particular but it is one of my pet peeves and I was just talking to someone about it so I thought I'd put it on here. I hate with a passion when people think they are better than other people because of the music they listen to. They look down on other music tastes or other artists that people like as if they are 'worse' than them. Like, you're not special just because of the music you listen to! Who cares what other people like? People are allowed to like and connect with different types of music and that's their choice! Just because you like an 'unknown' artist or someone that was from before your time does not mean you are unique or deserve praise or recognition for your tastes. You just have different preferences to other people. Get over it!

Okay, rant over! Anyone agree with me? Disagree with me? What are you ranting about this week?

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Revision Top Tips!

For a lot of us, including myself, it is getting dangerously close to exam time. 

That means that our lives are all about revision at the moment, which can get really draining and really boring.

My latest article for Affairs Today is on revision top tips, which hopefully will inspire you to change or adjust your studying habits in order to get more our of your revision time!

Also my bio is finally out! So I have a little description and picture to go along with all my articles now!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

New hair! The Lunatic Fringe [Glasgow]

I got my dip dye back!

It's a lot more subtle than the last time! The last time I got it done it was like platinum blonde. I loved it then but it was pretty shocking. Especially for my parents! But this colour is so much more natural.

I got it done at The Lunatic Fringe on Bank Street. It's a small salon but its really nice and the women that work there are so friendly and so good at their jobs! Gemma did my hair and she was no nice. She had a quick consultation with me before the appointment started so she could make sure exactly what I wanted done, what colour I wanted my hair and what it was like last time. She couldn't believe how blonde my hair was the time before!

Ashleigh and I went together and we both got the ends of our hair died [I got dip-dye, she got ombre]. And we both got pictures put on their Facebook page!

Anyone in the Glasgow West-End area looking to get their hair done, you should definitely check out The Lunatic Fringe!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

New Favourite Salad!

I've found my new favourite salad guys!

It's a really easy one to make as well. Baby gem lettuce, red onions, new potatoes [boiled for just a while so they're still quite hard - I don't like it when they're too soft and mushy in a salad], tuna and Newman's Own Italian Dressing. However much or as little of each of the ingredients that you want!

See! So easy to make and yet it is so yummy. Here's a trick for you: If you're not a fan of how strong red onions can be, soak them in ice water for a little while and their strength will majorly decrease. I love them as they are, however, so I leave them strong!

Consequences of the UK's National Living Wage boost

Another new post for Affairs Today!

This one is another news piece, this time on the consequences of the UK raising the National Living Wage to £7.20 an hour for those over the age of 25.

I used to be of the opinion that when things like this happened, I would just automatically assume it was a good thing. Like, 'oh they're raising the living wage, that's great! How can that be bad?' but now, because of studying law where I have to analyis things, and through writing these articles for Affairs Today where I have to do research on the topics, I've come to discover that it's not always as simple as that. On the face of it, things can look great but when you start looking deeper into the proposed solutions you realise that it may not be as good a suggestion as you originally thought it was...

Monday, 4 April 2016

Falling oil prices: implications on the future of oil production

Latest article for Affairs Today!

This one is on the falling oil prices. My dad works for an oil company so I got all the information from him. Did a little mock interview to get what I needed to know. To be perfectly honest, all the work was on him. I just typed up pretty much word-for-what what he said... Can't even take credit for thinking up the topic as this was suggested by the news editor!

Hope you like it!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Chicken Stew!

Here's a recipe for some humble chicken stew!

If you have any leftover chicken breast or roast chicken hanging about in the fridge, this is definitely the recipe for you. It's one of those recipes where you can just chuck in anything you fancy and it all works. This recipes calls for mushrooms but as I have probably stated many times before, I am really not a fan of mushrooms. I put extra potatoes in and some frozen peas and when I still found it too watery, I added in some leftover risotto rice that I had in the back of the cupboard which really thickened up the sauce and made it more filling and added more texture.

This is such a heart-warming meal and great when you want a bowl of something warm and filling. It says it feeds 4 but this pot was never ending! I had it for like 3 nights in a row and there was still so much left over so I put it in the freezer. 

If you're on a tight budget, looking to feed a big family with lots of leftover bits and pieces in the fridge/cupboard, this is the perfect meal for you to make something filling and comforting!