It’s Rockin’ Beautiful: Peveril Castle

During exam season and especially when the weather is sunny outside, we cannot waste the day away indoors revising. Yes, revision is important but we are allowed to have days off right? We should be taking breaks to do what we love most, whether that is reading a book, going out for lunch with friends, or my favourite, going out for a hike somewhere.

Rocking Beautiful

This weekend, I was able to go upto Sheffield for the day. As you may or may not know, Sheffield is home to the best views in the North (everything seems to be so close to each other). It is full of greenery, beautiful old buildings but is also great for anyone who loves the city life.

Ofcourse back home in Manchester we have equally breathtaking views including places like Dovestones (in Oldham) but exploring out to different places just gives you that oomph of appreciation and content for the natural world (well it does for me anyway).

Recommendations:

* Take hiking boots (not just trainers unless they have magic grip powers.

* Take plenty of water with you (keeps you going especially in the sun).

*Carry a light weight bag – people think this is completely obvious but taking lots of tiny useless things actually makes it heavier which then makes it harder to walk up a steep hill.

*DO NOT forget your sunglasses (if sunny, you don’t want to be wearing sunglasses in the rain).

I went down to Castleton for the day, from the photographs, though they are edited, you can easily tell that it was just incredible. Castleton is in the heart of Derbyshire’s Peak District. It’s quite big but I managed to make my way to the top of Peveril Castle. The castle is one of England’s earliest Norman fortresses and was built in 1176.

Once you get to the top of the castle, you’re standing looking towards Hope Valley and Cave Dale. Peveril Castle was named after William Peveril the Younger in 1156.

(View of Hope Valley and Cave Dale)

Although it is a bit of a hike to get to, it is definitely worth it. The stairs to the castle almost killed me off because of how steep they are, the amount of rocks in the way and without a water bottle I would have never have got up there (especially in the sun).

Peveril Castle is worth a hike up to, it is a popular tourist site and it only costs £5.90 for an adult ticket whilst a child ticket is £3.50. I am certain that I will be returning to get some more shots worth taking.

Hope you’ve had a good read, let me know of any places you have been to that have blown you away!

Shafia

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A little update (after months)

Hello strangers!

It has been a while has it not? Well actually it has been too long since my last blog post. I got in the midst of uni work, life and other things that I did not take the time to blog as often as I would have liked to.

In the past few months, I have been lucky enough to visit so many beautiful places and have had the opportunity to meet incredible people doing incredible things with their lives. I’ve been to Denmark and have travelled across the UK seeing views we all can only imagine.

I hope to start blogging once again, get myself going and to actually not give up this time & have it through the summer. Does anyone have any tips to help me continue blogging and not give up or find time to blog and find things to talk about?

I have my exams coming up which are absolutely driving me into the wall. In actual fact, I am writing this blog post when I’m supposed to be revising, this seems so much more interesting than what I’m supposed to be doing.

I will update my blog and give you an insight on a beautiful place I went to this weekend.

Hope you all have a good read & stay up to date with my next post!

Shafia 🌟🌟🌟

Why I’m Fuelling Off Positivity

It’s been a couple months now where I’ve had my positive and negative moments. Although I am aware, everyone on planet earth has this phase, I managed to convince myself that I am in a cycle of doom. This, however, is not the case, I am untangling myself from the cycle of doom.

In my recent adventures, I have found myself in local areas but have experienced the best memories and moments. Only a train away, Liverpool and Buxton have made me realise that this life is not for looking at the negative and gloom but looking at the happiness that surrounds you. Oh you’re probably thinking ‘look at this corny behaviour, she’s just saying that’ but no, I’m telling you, we need to fuel off positivity, surround ourselves with likeminded humans and be an optimist. We can’t achieve our goals with a negative mindset and negative people around us. We need to fuel off positivity.

I then managed to book a flight to Copenhagen, a random short trip that I will make many more memories off. This will also be my first experience on a plane (oh wow big achievement????) but it is to me.

2018 is my year, this time I mean it. Though it is nearly February and I am ready to gear up now, I am more geared up now than I have ever been. I am ready to begin a new journey, to learn more about myself and to learn more about the world.

My goal this year is to put myself in the deep end, in whatever possible, I want to find myself in positions where I feel uncomfortable but I will figure out what to do and to find solutions to any problems I face.

No more feeling sorry for myself and feeling gloomy when there’s little reason to, no more of this half arsed attitude to the world and the people around me.

I feel positive about now and about the future and I hope to take you all with me on my journey. Here is to a new start, not a new year but a new month and a chance to develop who I am.

I am no longer a victim to you.


“Abuse is like being in a war film, where people are imprisoned because they don’t know anything beyond it”
Nazma Khatun says
“I am no longer a victim to him, I went through a tough time, but it’s only made my relationships with people better. It’s made my life better” Nazma Khatun, a counsellor and psychotherapist from Manchester tells me.
Nazma Khatun, a single mum of two children, changed her life for the better when she divorced the man who left her homeless with their six-month old daughter.
She now works with women who may be going through similar experiences as she did and aims to challenge and change the limited beliefs they may have about themselves.
In 2017, she opened her own practice, working from home in Levenshulme. She did this after working in the field of psychotherapy and counselling for ten years but this all came following many years of abuse and hardship.
Soon after she left sixth form, Nazma was taken to Bangladesh and was introduced and married to a relative there.
She said: “I got married to someone I didn’t know, I hadn’t seen. When I got back, I knew that there was no compatibility and there was just nothing there. I ended up getting divorced at 19”.
When she accepted a new job in a small office a few months later, Nazma received a proposal off a man she was working with but had not dated.
Nazma accepted the proposal thinking it would be a new beginning and that he was going to be the man of her dreams.
She explained: “There was so much pressure at home, being the eldest and getting told that nobody would ever marry me again, that I had brought shame onto the family, so I did it. I thought I bagged myself a handsome, charismatic guy”.
Now, as a psychotherapist and counsellor, she realises that the warning signs were there but just didn’t think of him as abusive when she married him.
“I had a similar abuse pattern in my home life, you know, getting shouted at when I lost my keys or when I left the window open. You just think it’s only small things, I thought it was normal. I just thought he was a little hot headed like my dad was, but I was naive.
“When I was growing up my dad was strict, boys weren’t in my radar, I didn’t really speak to my brothers and my first encounter with a boy was my marriage” she said.
From the moment the abuse all began, Nazma knew that her marriage was going to be challenging and managed to file the divorce after 10 years.
She said: “I told him so much about my past, how hard the first divorce was, and I put him on a pedelstal from the moment I met him, so he used it all against me. Anytime something would go wrong, he would say ‘I will tell your family’ or ‘I will divorce you’.
“At that time, he knew that getting divorced was my biggest fear, I really didn’t want to go through that again” she added.
Nazma described her marriage to be like a “rollercoaster, a really fast one where you have little relief as it comes down, but the cycle continues, and you drop again”.
She continued: “I ended up in hospital numerous times, I was homeless with my six-month-old daughter at one point because he’d kicked me out and taken everything, it was just too much and there was this big ordeal throughout our entire marriage”.
After getting divorced, Nazma followed through with her passion within the field of psychology and qualified as a psychotherapist using her experiences to help others.
“It’s really interesting how we think that nobody will believe us when something like this is happening. That is what abuse does to you, they tell you you’re emotionally unstable and you believe it. It’s reverse psychology because as soon as you’re ready to stand up for yourself, you’re in defence mode”.
She views abuse almost like a war film, where people don’t want to leave because of the lack of skills they have, they stay imprisoned because they don’t know what it’s like beyond it.
“That is the power of being in an abusive relationship. You tell yourself it is going to get better because you’re so afraid of what might happen if you leave” she said.
Nazma took up counselling two years into her marriage and found herself telling people what was happening when she lost her keys or forgot to close the window at home.
“There is a lack of people talking about domestic abuse and taboo around the subject. We need to stop victim shaming, the idea that you have done something wrong, so a person can hit you? No, there is nothing, nothing on earth that you can do to make it okay for someone to hit you or abuse you for” she said.
She believes that the idea of victim shaming within culture and religion is ludicrous and found going to Imam’s (Muslim leader) difficult whilst married.
“My religion is everything to me, I could not have gone through this without it but some of these people I went to speak to said ‘have sabr’ (patience) but that is not what sabr is. Sabr is not staying in a marriage getting beaten up, it is perseverance and fighting depression.”
Nazma speaks her faith as something that kept her going and believes that people who are in abusive relationships are in dangerous grounds with whatever faith they have.
“You wake up in the morning, you think about whether he’s pleased with you, whether you’re dressed right, whether you’re doing enough, all to make sure that you are okay. I think the divorce is just a small part, the real issue is what abuse does to your faith and mindset” she said.
Nazma encourages women to take action, whether it is big or small, to read, to learn and to expose themselves and to break the cycle of abuse.
“There are so many services out there to help you, many are free, some available in the middle of the night that don’t come up on your phone bill. I used services such as Women’s Aid who really helped.
“Do this for you because investing something like this is so important and it could change your entire life” she said.
Nazma has set up a YouTube page to share seminars which is over at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8gm032LPp44H3NU_m-vgvA/featured

Are Social Media Platforms Driving Us Mad?

Social media has become something we are always using and interacting with wherever we go and has become a large part of our daily routines. We are always being bombarded with tweets, Facebook notifications and Instagram posts every minute and every hour. Most of us probably can’t live a week without updating people on our lives through social media but is social media driving us all loopy and into madness?

In 2015, research carried out by Statista highlighted that there were 1.5 billion active users of Facebook users and 400 million users of Instagram alone. Then in 2016, they found that there were approximately 320 million users of Twitter; this is set to rise in upcoming years with more and more people joining social media sites.

According to Social Media Today, the average person spends nearly two hours on social media each day which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months over a life time.
The site estimates that the number of worldwide users of social media is expected to reach 2.95 billion by 2020 and 650 million of these users are expected to be from China alone.

Blogger and Politics Student Charlotte says that she is guilty of “being on her phone a bit too much” and spends her evenings roaming and reading through content posted on social media. However, though she is constantly updating herself with news and blogger content, she never spends too long on it at a time. Charlotte thinks that social media can impact someone’s way of viewing themselves and has admitted feeling the same.

“I look at a lot of successful bloggers than myself who are travelling and working with every brand under the sun and sometimes I do feel a little insecure, however, I understand that it does take time and it makes me super happy to see so many people be a success and do what they love.” she said.

Also according to Statista in 2017 the number of users of social media worldwide is estimated to be around 2.46 which is estimated to increase every year following up  to. 2020 with it being 2.9 billion users then.

“Social media is great sometimes, especially for bloggers and journalists. It’s changed our world view and it’s keeping us updated constantly with all the celebrity gossip but also important things such as hard core news” a Student Journalist from Sheffield said.

Student Lizzy from London says that she deleted her social media accounts when she was studying for her A Levels but started to use them again as it is a great way to talk to friends and see other people going through the same struggles she was going through.

In May, The Royal Society for Public Health found that Instagram was the worst social media platform on the impact it has on young people’s mental health. The report also identified that about 90% of young people use social media (more than any other age group) making them more vulnerable to its effects, though there is no evidence for this.

“A blogger or journalist is no longer confined to only posting their content on a blog or newspaper, but they are able to post their work on social media sites such as Instagram and even Snapchat”. a student from Manchester described.

When asked if social media ever makes them loopy (to a point where they feel they over use platforms) seven out of the ten people asked said that they sometimes do need to take short term breaks. Some said that they felt that the pressures especially from Instagram posts sometimes do make them think they need to be a particular way. However, they all said that they never let it affect them too much and feel that they can control their use of social media platforms.

I carried out my own twitter poll to see how many hours people spent on social media platforms a day and here are the results:

References –
Social Media Today: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/how-much-time-do-people-spend-social-media-infographic
Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/

Blogger/Student Charlotte’s blog & details:
Blog – http://www.simplylottie.co.uk
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/simplylottie
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/simplylottie

Let’s Talk About Confidence and Self Love

So I’ve been meaning to write up this blog post for a while, I just didn’t know where to begin or how to go about it or just whether it should be written at all. I usually don’t post anything that is personal to me nor do I want to make myself look like I’m preaching something when I’m not completely aware of everything within the subject area. However, with this, I think I know myself well enough and here it goes.

For a few months I’ve been quite conscious of myself and how I present myself to others around me (though it only really started coming up-to the end of my first year at university). I was feeling very low about myself, looking at models and people within the media who are so much more ‘prettier’ or ‘skinnier’ than me. Though I don’t put on much makeup, I was going through a phase where I believed that without any makeup on whatsoever, people around me would judge me or think I’m just not pretty and all the rest of it that comes with a human’s insecurities. I’ve been at the gym quite regularly recently, waking up at 6, 7am in the morning to get there and get myself at a position where I feel that I’m no longer ‘ugly’ or ‘fat’. This week it finally caught up with me and I told myself I was going to get over this phase and push myself to believe what I used to believe and was very passionate about. I never believed in the ‘perfect woman’ or the ‘perfect shape’ so why did this come about anyway? We ALL come in different shapes and sizes and if we’re healthy and happy at where we are, then does anything else really matter.

So the journey continues, I’ve made myself understand that as long as I’m happy, I’m able to continue going to the gym but still believe that I’m going because I want to go and become a healthier version of myself, not a ‘less uglier’ version of myself. I don’t think it’s been very healthy thinking the way I have been, I’ve always thought that the pressures from the media would never get to me, as I’m a firm believer in self love and being confident in your own skin. I’ve always preached this idea of being confident in yourself but I’ve suddenly been caught up within the crowd believing these stupid ideologies of ‘perfection’.

There isn’t anything better than realising that you are so much better than you credit yourself for (wow, I’ve reach a new level of corny-ness). We shouldn’t ever feel like comparing ourselves to others around us, especially friends (guilty of doing that too!). Being confident in your own skin doesn’t make you egotistical or full of yourself, it’s something good and you should continue loving yourself, (though that sounds uber cringe). We all come in different blobs and that is perfectly fine. I’ll spare you any further cornishness or cringe, hope you’ve enjoyed, comment your thoughts and views about this, have you ever felt the same?

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NEW BAND EMBANKMENT RELEASE MUSIC

Embankment, a newly formed indie-rock band from Essex, have released their first single “Beautiful Losers”. The song was released on Friday after three months of waiting to release it.

Alex Blackman, Joe Bodfield and Harry Boon decided to come together in November to form the band after learning to play the instruments. Alex, who wrote the song in Easter 2017, said that the idea to form a band came two years ago before they could even play the instruments.

Front man Alex said that Beautiful Losers came about after he played the keyboard and loved the sound of the harp. The song is about going through rough patches of your life and how you can manage and push through it all. Alex said that he “felt the song had to be written and it’s just one of of them”.

Embankment aspire to be a band of the 20’s and hope that their album in the future is iconic and one which people talk about. They plan to release their album in 2021 but say it’s not yet been confirmed.

Since the song has been released, the band have received incredible feedback already. Audiences have complimented the band for ‘using their own style’ and being ‘different’. The band wish to release an EP in September but have not yet confirmed it.

Beautiful Losers is available on Spotify, Youtube and iTunes.