Saturday, 28 December 2013

3 Ways to Survive the Festive Season.

So it's that time of year again: lots of presents that you have yet to put away, since your house was pretty full anyway; lots of food still in the cupboards that you know should be eaten but already your waistband is feeling a bit tight; and lots of relatives still to see before you get back to reality after the New Year (if you're lucky enough to still be off work/ university, that is...).

Sunday, 24 November 2013

I've Learnt How to be a Woman.

Every time I've turned my laptop on over the past few weeks, I've noticed that my blog has been looking at me very sternly.

"We haven't spoken in almost two months, Eilidh."

"I know... I've been busy..."

"Don't you love me anymore?"

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A Beginner's Guide to the Library. From a 3rd Year English Degree Student.

It's appalling, I know. It's not like it's a recent development either, it's been building up over the past few years. I didn't mean for it to get like this. It just happened, you know? Please don't think any less of me.

My name is Eilidh Stewart. I am studying English at university. And today I checked a book out of my university's library for the first time.

You can sarcastically slow applaud if you want, it's completely warranted.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

3 Reasons You Didn't Want to be Employed Anyway.

It's pretty much common knowledge among students that it isn't easy to find a job right now. The state of the economy and them darn politicians are usually to blame and when you send your CV in to get rejected over and over again, it can get very disheartening. You begin to wonder if there's something wrong with you. Did you fill out your covering letter with a few too many, and just unrealistic white lies? Did you forget to wear deodorant to your interview? Did you at any point in the application process use Comic Sans font? 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Bright Side.

I've found in my experience that what I write is intrinsically linked to how I feel. If I'm in a good mood then I'm raring to go, I have a lot to say and generally feel more inspired. Equally, when I get angry I have a lot to say. I like to vent how I feel and try to find people who feel the same way. Even if you don't write, I think this is common just to humans on the whole.

But when I'm sad, I generally don't write. I've never been any use at poetry or songwriting, so I can't spout any heart breaking lyrics that explain everything and make me feel any better. When I'm sad, I can't even write about other things and work on other projects. Hence, I come to the crux of this blog post, which is a bit more difficult to write than the all the others I've done put together. 

Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Mob.

I started a new job last week, which was pretty fantastic. But for the first time in a long time, it's meant that I've had to travel through Glasgow at rush hour. This is how I've become acquainted with the Mob.

You look confused. The Mob? What is this Mob? Everyone has met the Mob. It's the woman with the oversized handbag who slings it over her shoulder and hits you with it. It's the man in the business suit too busy talking on his phone to notice that you're trying to walk past him. It's the person who slinks onto the subway after you and nabs the seat you were heading towards right before you sit down.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

For the Love of Dogs

Anyone who knows me well, probably knows by now that I'm a huge dog lover. Our family have always had dogs, and I'm used to having them in the house. There isn't enough space or time down in Glasgow to have a dog running around, so it's nice when I come home to my mum's house and get to see our lovely mutt. 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Just Try It, You'll Love It

I know the way that this normally works: "Honestly, you should read it, that book literally - like, literally - changed my life." Any sane person normally nods politely and takes a mental note to never pick up that book. Ever. So instead of telling everyone what to read and risk everyone never reading books I consider to be amazing, I thought I would just share some books that I've read and have really, really enjoyed and don't worry, I don't do spoilers.

Read them. Or don't. It's up to you.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Hitting the Wall

For those of you who have read some of my posts before, you might remember that on (or around, I'm bad for being late) the 14th of the past couple of months, I've put up a post to keep myself motivated while I get through my latest writing project. I started it at New Year's, as part of my resolution, and for the first couple of months it went great - I powered through my chapters, and passed my word counts with ease.

But then it started happening.

As the 14th approached every month, I began realising that I still had three chapters to write, and no inspiration to write them with. I was uninspired and felt miserable, since it felt that it was going nowhere and was just going to end up as a complete disaster. Still, I chugged along, determined that I was just getting lazy, and what mattered was to keep going. 

But on Friday, I finally hit the wall.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Artist

It's occurred to me, after offering to write this post, that I have incredibly talented friends. I've already written about my friend, Alasdair Cooper, who is an insanely talented musician (you can find him in the sidebar to the right) and now it's the turn of my friend, Rebecca Sydenham.

She moved down to Glasgow recently and, if I'm honest, I haven't been so happy in a long, long time. It was the first time in the best part of five years that we had lived in the same place, after I moved away half way through high school. We've known each other for around nine years and know each other inside out.

Also, her brother mooned at me the first time I went round to her house when I was only 11. If that doesn't cement a friendship, then nothing will.

There is a chance she may never speak to me again after posting
this picture, so I hope you appreciate my dedication here!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Beautiful People?

This is a post I've wanted to do for a while, but it's taken a while for me to find a way to say it that I'm comfortable with. The other day, I found this article about Abercrombie and Fitch. You know them, you know you do. You know the shops that are really dark, really stuffy, and full of ridiculously skinny, beautiful people?

Of course you do.

Friday, 3 May 2013

How to be a London Tourist.

I was one of the luckiest people ever this weekend just past. I was taken to see Pink at the O2 in London.

I'll give you a minute just to let that sink in.


At the O2.


I'll treat you to some photos before I get to my point:

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

It's Like the Morning After.

So it occurred to me today that I made a promise a while back that I would keep you up to date on my writing endeavours and I completely haven't. In my "Game of Words" post, I told you that my next deadline for my novel-writing was the 14th of April, and that I was supposed to have my first three chapters written. Well good news!



But now I'm experiencing somewhat of a problem. Have you ever been on a really great night out? The banter has been fantastic, the drinks were flowing, the music playing wherever you are is brilliant, and all you keep saying is "We have to do this again, we have to do this again!". Well, do you remember the morning after this stupendous evening?

That is what this feels like.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

The Not-So Mature Student

I need to tell you a secret. I should really be revising right now.

I have exams quickly approaching, and have been cramming the past few days to try and prepare for them. Eventually though, Sense and Sensibility just got too much. I got up from my desk chair wandered through to my room and flumped on my bed. Just lay there, enjoying the quiet and the cool duvet. But then I realised that it wasn't actually made.

One thing that would be useful to know here, is that I love to have a perfectly made bed before I go to sleep, but rarely do it when I get up.

So it got me thinking - growing up absolutely stinks.

Gone are the days when your mum would come through to your room and wake you up, get your clothes ready and make your bed once you went downstairs.

Gone are the days when you'd come home to cupboards full of food and you'd be shouted through to the kitchen to find dinner ready made on the table. 

Now I have to do all this on my own, and I don't like it.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

How to Live with Guys: PART TWO

I haven't posted for a while for two reasons, the first being funnier than the second. Reason number one: I managed to spill half a cup of tea all over my laptop's keyboard. Yes, it was tragic. Yes, I wanted to cry a little. And yes, I did get the mick taken out of me. Not that I learned from it, I'm drinking tea as we speak. Here I must say a big thank you to Kieran for helping me fulfil my computer needs.

The second reason is that I got to go home for two weeks, which was so great I can't even begin to explain. I got chocolate eggs up to my ears and got to spend over an hour in a car with a puppy. I can't ask for more than that.

It was while I was home that I got my first request for a blog post: "I really liked the How to Live with Guys post. Do another." So I thought - what the hell? I enjoyed writing it, and I definitely have enough material to write another!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Land of the Free and Stuff

In a glorious email on my phone screen, I found out yesterday that I have been accepted into Williamette University in Salem, Oregon for a semester next year. Or, once I work out the credit system for the classes at least.

And you know, everything else like accomodation, costs and sorting out how my lovely roommates will ever cope without me...

The more I think about it though, the more I've realised I don't really know all that much about America. So I have decided to try, at least, to find out a bit about Oregon.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Djentleman at Work

Djent: A heavy metal movement. Onomatopoeia for the distinctive high-gain, distorted palm-muted guitar.

I have a few comments to add to this. Generally, it's all pretty heavy. It can get pretty funky. And it usually consists of some really weird song names. "Inside What's Within Behind" for example. That just doesn't make any sense.

Luckily, I live with a man capable of explaining all of this to me. Alasdair Cooper (cue looking at the bar to the right to see the links I've put up already...) is, to put it bluntly, an INSANE GUITARIST.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A Game of Words

So it turns out that Game of Thrones is kind of awesome. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm pretty late to jump on the bandwagon. I haven't even finished the first season yet, but I'm completely hooked. It's exciting, well performed, and I can't deny that I'm happy that George R. R. Martin is both a writer and an executive producer on the show...

What really impresses me is the depth and believability of it all. Fantasy can be tricky to get right. You want to write something original without it sounding stupid, but that's more difficult than it sounds. Between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, you can feel like everything's been done already.

That's the problem I'm now facing.

For some unfathomable reason (and I have a funny feeling I said this in my New Year post), I've decided to write a novel. Again. I couldn't tell you how many pieces of paper full of pointless scribblings I have in my flat. All them covered in good intentions but none of them really coming to anything. Sometimes I feel like tearing my hair out waiting for mystical inspiration to arrive.

But this week, something momentous happened. I began setting deadlines. I have deadlines that I'm really hoping will improve my productivity. I think what will make them still more effective is the fact that beside each date is a column headed: REWARDS. It almost glitters next to everything else. I've filled it with things like a new DVD, a girlie night in and even a bottle of bubbly when it's all finished. So far I've been doing well - nearly six thousand words over the past two days. It's the first time I've ever written so much, so quickly, which bodes well for the months ahead. 

However, I know that I'm very good at procrastinating. So to try and prevent this, I'm going to tell you my first deadline:

By the 14th of April, I'm aiming to have written the first three chapters. Not edited, just written.

There it is in big letters. I can't take it back now. So I'm hoping that this will prove to be the kick in the pants I need to get me through the next few weeks. 

I'll let you know how the plot thickens...

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Run Diaries #2

My friend Becca and I have been friends for a very long time. And when you're friends with someone for a long time, you realise just what makes them tick. You also know when it is the best time to duck for cover and pray to God that make it out alive.

Yesterday was one of those days.

I'm pretty certain that if I hadn't made it round to her house for our pre-jog cup of tea she would have torn her lovely boyfriend to shreds. Just before the final blow was struck, I pushed her out the door and made her jog round Glasgow Green with me. We ranted for a bit. She felt better. I still had the use of all my limbs and internal organs. 

So far, I've been sponsored £50, which is really, really great. It really makes a difference. I got my Race for Life pack in the post this morning and on one of the leaflets it explains just what all these sponsors are helping to achieve:

£10 will pay for scientists to examine 300 tumour samples under a microscope.

£50 will pay for 22 thermometers, which are really important for conducting certain experiments.

£94 pays for a woman to go through a clinical trial to improve the survival of breast cancer.

And £120 pays for training a nurse to help support patients over the phone, to give them someone to talk to.

I didn't know any of that before today, and that made me even happier at the £50 you guys have sponsored me so far!

So, here's the link to the JustGiving site, where you can donate online:

Or if that's too much of a faff, then just send me a message or leave a comment, as I have a sponsor sheet now! I'm excited.

Please dig deep, if you can. If every person who had a look at my last post donated just £1, it would double what I've already raised, so it really does help!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Run Diaries #1

In preparation for the Race for Life, my friend Becca and I have devised a training routine. We've been jogging 4km round Glasgow Green three times a week, and in an attempt to persuade you to sponsor me, I've decided to document how silly I look and the torture we are putting ourselves through.

I say torture, but we have a ball. We gossip and admire all the dogs walking their people.

But today, it snowed.

This picture alone should prove how desperate I am to be sponsored. I do not look good in trackies. It appears that I have a double chin. On top of that, I look like a chav. 

But we went about our usual routine, despite the snow in our faces and my cold calves. It wasn't until we got to the end of our route that the hailstones started, and let me tell you that brainfreeze is not what you want after a 4km jog. 

In a last bid to gain your sponsorship, I'm going for the sympathy vote. I'm now sitting in my nice warm, cosy flat, with a sore throat from all the cold air, jelly legs and a face like a beetroot. All of this is for Cancer Research UK, and if you're feeling generous here's the link to my online sponsor site:


I've reached 10% of my target £200 so far, so please keep the donations coming in!

Friday, 8 March 2013

3-2-1... Go!

Today marks a momentous occasion. Today, I signed up for the Race for Life 2013. In case you don't know, it's a 5km race that is held every year to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. It's a cause very close to my heart, and I'm ecstatic that my exams don't clash, and I'm able to take part.

I did the Race for Life a couple of years back, and took part in the Inverness event. This year, I'm taking on Glasgow. I've been good, too. I've been sticking to a jogging routine with my friend Becca, and we haven't missed a day since we started last Sunday. I always feel very metropolitan jogging round the Green, surrounded by the dog walkers. It's like the movies.

Only I'm pretty sure no one in the movies finishes their run with a face like a beetroot and legs that feel like sacks of potatoes...

But even when I'm puffing and spluttering, it makes me feel so good to know that ultimately it will all make a difference.  Six years ago I lost my Granny to cancer. It was a truly horrible experience, and one of the best ways, I think, to get past all the hurt is to get your trainers on, top it off with a pair of fairy wings, and get together with a huge crowd of people who want to make as much of a difference as you do.

Since I get a crazy amount of views on this blog, I've decided to use it to try and raise more money. Here's the link to my fundraising page:


But also, something a bit more enticing: I want to hear from you, anyone who reads this, to get ideas as to how to raise as much as possible. My thoughts were to try and document my training shenanigans, possibly some silly get togethers, and hopefully a lot of fun.

It's difficult to express how much this would mean, and it only takes a couple of minutes of your day.

So dig deep and get brainstorming!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

How To Live with Guys.

Over the past week or so, it's come to my attention that LIVING WITH GUYS IS HARD!

I'm currently living in a flat with my boyfriend and best friend, and don't get me wrong, it can be pretty epic. We have a great laugh, get on superbly and have learnt how to share the Xbox.

But there are some things that they just do not understand, despite me trying again and again.

So I've devised a little guide with a few points on what you should know before deciding to live with the Menfolk. Things that may not be immediately obvious when you just hang out with guy friends occasionally.

It's going to get weird.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sisterly Love

As part of my Creative Writing course at uni, we have been tasked to write a memoir. So I've been trawling through my memory to try and find something worthy of writing about.

The more I thought about it, the more difficult it got to think of anything that didn't involve my little sister in some way, and I've realised just how big a part of my life she is.

So I've decided to indulge my soft and gooey side and tell you a little bit about our shenanigans. I promise you that you'll laugh at least a little bit. And if you don't believe me, just take a little look at this...

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Where Did the Good People Go?

I'm a Scottish Highlander, born and bred. So I'm more used to rolling hills, and vast lochs than busy motorways and any kind of building that has more than four floors.

When my family heard that I was moving down to Glasgow to go off to university, I got a lot of "Oh, you'll need to be careful down there..." But I was going to be a sophisticated student, I didn't really need to worry. Nothing bad was possibly going to happen to me. 

Given that I was raised by two police officers, that was probably a stupid way to think.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Thing About Karma...

It's January, with all the usual post-Christmas blues and unwanted food babies. Well, you can't just leave all the chocolate that you got in your selection boxes, and the sooner you eat it, the sooner you can start the big healthy eating kick. Right?


Thursday, 10 January 2013

The 3 Reasons You Don't Want to "Fine Dine".

Like most people, there's always a deep, dark part of myself that wishes I was rich. It's the same part of me that wishes I didn't have to do chores or think too hard. You probably know what I mean - the little evil voice in your head that says you don't really need to go into work today or that the dirty dishes can wait until tomorrow...

When I begin wishing that I was rich, I begin thinking about what I would do with more money than anyone really needs and I came to the conclusion that I would like to go to fancy restaurants and eat fancy foods.

So you can imagine my excitement when, this week, I was given the opportunity to go to a fancy restaurant and see what all the fuss was about to write a review. I'd set my sights high - five star dining, exotic cocktails, and well-connected clientele that would spot me, quiz me about my writing and immediately send me to one of their publisher friends.

But like all deep, dark wishes, what you get isn't normally what you'd hoped. So I've made a list of reasons to avoid overly fancy restaurants to try and prevent anyone else experiencing the disappointment I did. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Is the Magic Really Gone?

Yesterday, as part of my boyfriend's birthday celebrations, me and a few of my friends all went to the cinema. We were especially excited because we went for the new DBOX seats for a second viewing of "The Hobbit".

These are seats that move with the film, like a simulator at a theme park. 

Awesome, I know.

The film was great, and the seats didn't even make me want to hurl like rollercoasters so often do. What really bothered me though, was the company of the public sitting around me.

Here I was, sitting with my bottle of Dr. Pepper and bag of Werther's Originals (if I buy chewy sweets or chocolate, they don't last through the trailers), hunkering down to enjoy Bilbo's adventures when the couple behind me starting having a conversation. A loud conversation. As if they were standing in the middle of Buchanan Street.

So I went with it for a little while because, you know, it was the very beginning of the movie and sometimes it takes a while to get into the swing of the cinema.

But then it carried on. And on. And on.

In the parts of the film where there's thoughtful silences or long panning shots of New Zealand's lovely landscape, they sat laughing and sniggering to themselves. When something remotely cool happened that could never occur in real life, the man would be all "What the $*%&! was that!".

Dead gangster.

I tried to follow the unspoken cinema-goers etiquette. You ignore it for a little while. Then you get mad. Then you tell the person you're sitting next to that you're really mad. Then you give the absolute turd sitting behind you a dirty look over your shoulder.

It was after this dirty look that I saw how much bigger than me the man actually was, so my reign of fury ended there.

To make things even worse than all that, a woman sitting down in front of us, who had also paid the extra bit of money for the DBOX seats WAS SITTING ON HER PHONE FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE MOVIE!


It took a great deal to contain my rage at that one. Sorry but I don't want to be kept up to date on your Facebook status or Twitter followers when I have paid good money to come and see a movie! 

So it got me thinking. What happened to the thrill of cinema? Going to the cinema for me was always a treat, as we lived in quite a rural area and couldn't get there all the time. It involved an hour drive, so getting to see a movie was a big deal for me. I don't know if people living in cities felt the same awe at the big screen, but for the sake of my argument, let's say that they did.

You go to the cinema for the magic of the cinema. There's something exciting about having your popcorn on your lap, your fizzy drink in the cup holder in your chair and the lights going down around you so you can watch the trailers, which only get you excited for coming to the cinema again.

But now that I'm older, I'm getting the feeling that most people have just stopped caring about the cinema experience. Maybe tickets are cheaper now than they used to be, so going to the cinema isn't so much of a day out anymore? Or maybe because so many movies are coming out every week, a new movie is no big deal because the next blockbuster hit is out tomorrow?

No matter what the general consensus is, I still love cinema. Maybe if everyone reading this would join me in a NO TOLERANCE policy on movie-wreckers, we might save the magic?

I do believe in cinema, I do, I do!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The New Year.

I love New Year. Like every cliche you've ever heard about New Year, I love the chance we all get to start again and try to make our lives a little better than the year before.

This year, my Hogmanay was relatively quiet. I was at home, with my boyfriend Kieran and some friends and we drank, played board games and watched TV. Hardly the rock and roll night that is expected of students in Glasgow. Instead of hitting the party circuit, we brought in the bells with Jools and his Hootenanny and I loved it.

What's most significant for me on this New Year though, is my resolution. And yes, I am one of those people that makes a resolution and never keeps it but continues to make resolutions anyway. Believe me when I say that it's taken a long time for me to get to a point where I can admit I never stick with my resolutions.

My resolution this year is to take my writing more seriously. To stop putting everything off and actually get pen to paper. Writing is what I love to do, and if I want to do it I'd better get my act together...

So here is my informal, one-sided contract with you. Don't panic, you don't need to sign. 

By the end of 2013, I want to have a novel completely ready to send off to publishers, if I want to.

It's pretty ambitious, I know, but I've got to start somewhere I guess?

And I'm thinking that if I actually tell people of my plans, I will feel more obliged to stick to them...

Hopefully this New Year will get me closer to where I want to be and will be more beneficial than a fad diet or self-help book. 

I hope that your New Year was as good as mine, wherever you are and if you have a resolution, then we can set out on 2013 together. I guarantee you'll probably be more productive than me!