Tuesday, 31 October 2017

on sexual frustration and loneliness

(well this is going to make me sound like a saddo, but here goes lol)

On Sexual Frustration and Loneliness

I'm gonna do something I've never done on here, and talk about sex.

I'm not going to write an essay because I've forgotten how to do those which is ironic as the next couple years of my life will literally be dedicated to them, but I'll just mention it briefly, and keep it comical, (hense cartoons), because let's be honest: the topic can be kinda jokes. 
Idk, I've just been thinking about the pressure - whether in a relationship or not - to be sexually active? And to be having all of these experiences? First of all, where? and second, when? Who knows? Not me. 

Although the idea of "virginity" is still very much stigmatised, and slut-shaming is alive and well, sometimes I feel like the tables shift from time to time, and it's almost becoming strange or a cause of concern/interest/mockery if you've not had any sexual experience yet, or not currently having it, or don't plan to. This is probably because I'm well into to the age when my friends and I are 'acceptable' sexual beings: we're adults and are aware and mature, thus making sexual relationships reasonable things to be on the table right now. But that's not to say that all of us are meeting the people to pursue this, (relationship or fling), or are ready for it,  or even want it. But I'm definitely feeling the "girl you're missing out!" kind of pressure and it's both hilarious and annoying. My reactions are usually a mix between:

And sexual frustration, although normal, is gross and cringy lol - because it's a mix of FOMO, hormones and a bunch of other individual things. It seems really personal and weird to admit and I have no idea why I'm writing a blog post about it, but I'm all about normalising the discourse and being open and casual about it tbh.

As a woman I am a victim of a society that qualifies sex with worth and status, horrendously commodifies my body and shuns it at the same time. It's sometimes hard not to have a weird relationship with the idea of sex, especially because of the internalised misogyny that I realise I adopt from time to time and have to check myself for. Sexual activity is also known to be a stress reliever, so starting university and being on my ones has amplified new types of stress, and the window is always open for thinking about ways to relieve that! Where is the lie?

But yeah! That's about it really. Loneliness has also been a big part of life at the moment, what-with moving to university after basically sharing a life with a twin, a group of friends, home and familiarity. It's hard not to be engulfed by an uncomfortable kind of solitude when you're thrown into this weird deep-end of 'life' and pre-mature adulthood. But I guess the silver lining exists through the acceptance and comfort within solitude - loving yourself and being comfortable with being alone! It can be a really beautiful thing.

Right, enough of all that. I've recently started banging out Eryka Badu's But You Caint Use My Phone mixtape, which came out in 2015. I am so obsessed, particularly with U Don't Have To Call, What's Yo Phone Number / Telephone and I'll Call U Back. - They are all such tunes! Listen to the full mixtape on youtube here. 

So, I hope this gave you food for thought! It was kind of just a mini-rant to be honest. 
Oh yeah, and Happy Halloween, kids! What are everyone's plans? Whatever they are, I hope y'all have a spooky ass time.

~peace out~ and see you in the next post!!! Zoe xo

Wednesday, 18 October 2017


Hello! I haven't posted in a while! Things have been ... strange, new, exciting, scary, frustrating, long, fast, expensive, cringy, slow, weird. That's pretty much university life summed up for you. Gladly, I think the good outweighs the bad! (only cried twice yuno.) I've made some great friends and I'm really enjoying my course at the moment. (I've been reading a book a week. I whole-heartedly have not done that since 2012.) Here's a tiny mood-board showcasing my previous and present feelings. 
(All photos found on tumblr.com)

Anyways, a dear blog that I absolutely LOVED has not been active for ages, but I realised I had a poem saved in my drafts that she had recommended in one of her posts, and it is gorgeous. It is called 'Boketto' by Susan Rich, and it makes me feel something. Read here

"Boketto - to stare out windows without purpose.
Don't laugh; it's been too long since we leaned
into the morning: bird friendly coffee and blueberry toast."

"I try to exist in the somehow, the might still be - 
gaze upward to constellations of inbetween."

*     *     *

So, life is fun, life is weird.
Just trying to get through it with positive vibes, being open to everything. 

things i've been feeling at the moment:

1. The Spice Girls. These women are and have been my fashion inspiration for time. But recently I've been pretty obsessed, probably due to the fact that I re-watched the Spice World movie a few weeks ago AND Aminé just came out with a new song called 'Spice Girl' (Mel B, aka Scary Spice, is in the video so I was sold.) Their looks were just so iconic. From mini dresses paired with large chunky platforms to full body camo combinations. Baby spice and Scary spice are the ones. 

2. Jane the Virgin. Enough said? I'm two years late, but damn this show is good. It's so stressful and dramatic and funny and I remember being on chapter sixteen now netflix is saying chapter thirty-two? Weird. And even though she sometimes makes annoying af decisions I'm in love with Jane because how can you not be tbh.

3. Little lies by Fleetwood mac. It's kinda the song for me and my flatmates. Whenever it comes on everyone just grins and says for the hundreth time how much of a tune it is. It's ritual now, lol. Listen here! And the album cover art is so pretty and atmospheric. Fleetwood mac are g's.

That's about it to be honest. My eyes are feeling kinda droopy. I'm off for an entire week next week so I'll be able to breathe more.

As you all know, I have a zine called 'sweet-thang' which features and celebrates work by black women and femmes around the world! Issue two is finished and will be available to buy on the 1st of November!!! But if you're in London on the 29th of October, come see me in person at Black Girl Festival - the UK's first arts and cultural day fest celebrating Black British women and girls!!! It will be absolutely legendary and I am so incredibly honoured and excited to be part of it! Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this random post, and that wherever you are and whatever you're doing, things are smooth, breezy and in control.

~peace out~ and see you in the next post!!! Zoe xo

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

tangerines & tomorrows

It's exactly ten days before I leave for uni. How exciting! Not. I haven't packed yet, and yesterday a book I need for my degree, the Norton's Anthology of Theory and Criticism, arrived - bought for £35 on Amazon (shout out to HSBC doing bits with the free £60 gift voucher) and filled with 2700 pages of terrifying and minuscule fine print. Brilliant.

Nah really, although daunting, I am ready to embrace the fresh start! After a summer of late nights and early mornings, I'm (kinda) looking forward to settling down and...studying??? This summer has been so weird. I've met loads of new people, been out a lot, and done so much yet so little!

It began with a trip to Budapest with my cousin and my sister a couple days after exams finished. It was the first time I'd been on holiday without parents or other adults and thus freedom in its purest form. On our first evening/night we went out to one of Budapest's famous "Ruin Bars" called Instant, and I literally had the best night of my life. The DJ was awesome, we met some cool dudes, one of whom bought us drinks (but then wouldn't leave us alone but lmao that's another story), and just being in a different environment was so exciting! We didn't get to see much of it as we were only there for a short time, but I would recommend going to Budapest, especially for the Ruin Bar night life! 

I didn't go anywhere outside of London after this. The rest of the holiday was spent partying, chilling, and coming home in the mornings a little too much for my liking to be honest. July was sunshine and consecutive days out. August was messy and tiring but fun - (and will also be known for my worst drunk experience ever.) Results were good as well!!!

Aside from leaving the house, this summer has been successful in terms of writing. I've enjoyed finding my voice through poetry and, although I haven't read nearly as much as I anticipated, the words I have consumed have been inspiring and beautiful. Speaking of, here's a poem I wrote sometime last month, which I actually prefer read as spoken word.

"no tangerines 4 you (i'm not sad)" (written by me)

I thought you liked tangerines;
They were my offering to you.
Small, zesty orange circles of delight,
They were picked especially for your tasting. 
But it turns out they were unripe for your intensity, and me, embarrassed by my own fertility, I, who had borne this fruit from the plush soil of my soul, (a dense depth of darkness where the light would still let it grow) I, who had not shown the potency of this creation, me, who presented this fruit in its false simplicity, and I, not caring about the implications of this miscommunication, because me, I thought they were your favourite!
I cried for what was lost,
I cried for what was gained.
(the motives of these cries displace each other you see.) 
I sighed a sigh so heavy the anchor in my stomach fell too far down, 
But this allowed space for all of the tangerines I just swallowed in order to spare your feelings. 
My way of offering was obviously flawed.
Perhaps we could share a couple of segments,
That way the message is even, we both taste its sweetness.
Now understand that this does not upset me, and I will not weep for this loss,
Instead I will continue growing and harvesting the fruits of my heart and soul,
Ready for the summer time,
Ready for a new hand to take,
A new mouth to taste,
And thus more time to waste. 

I still have a long way before I write "the perfect piece of writing", but I've found the key is just to continue! Sometimes I look back on writing I've put on this blog and actually cringe. 

*    *   *

Anyways, like an angel in the summer time, new music has also made its way to me. A significant artist would be Charlotte Dos Santos, and her EP released this year called "Cleo." She is so gorgeous and so is her voice! It kind of reminds me of Amy Winehouse, in particular songs. My favourite songs off the EP are definitely Good SignMove OnCleoRed Clay It's Over, Bobby. Give her a listen on Spotify! If you're into chill, classic soul vibes you won't be disappointed. Maybe you'll find a new sound to indulge in!

I also really like this artist known as IAMDDB! I love her voice so much. (if i could rap i would want to sound like her tbh.) The three songs I have been feeling at the moment are Leaned Out, Pause and Shade! Listen to them and watch the videos!

I deleted Instagram a week or two ago, for many reasons. First of all, I was kind of bored of it. I started to realise that all I did was stalk people, compare myself to others, try to take selfies, fail, feel ill. Lol. I didn't use it for a particular, artistic purpose either. The day after, I went to bed feeling so regretful, and I couldn't stop thinking about what I was missing out on, who I wouldn't be able to speak to now we weren't "connected." Then I remembered that I am a physical, tangible entity. Not a digital being. If someone wants to find me, they will, because there's nothing realer than the physical form. I don't go on my phone as much as I used to and it feels good to be less wired and hunched over. Consumed by the digital. It reminds me of this quote by Princess Nokia: 

It's not for everyone. But I do recommend taking breaks from time to time. Go be free in the world!!!
On that note, I hope everyone has had a magnificent summer! I hope A-Level results were great for all of us out there too. Enjoy the rest of the break, start getting ready for whatever is to come, whether it is work, university or a beautiful gap year. Look at my musing for the month! 

~peace out~ and see you in the next post!!! Zoe xo 

Friday, 28 July 2017

read with the soul

I wrote this short poem the other day, heavily inspired by Virginia Woolf's The Waves. I am currently in the middle of it, and it is gorgeous. Almost too gorgeous. It's extremely poetic. I actually have to read it out loud to myself sometimes because it's kind of intense reading prose like it in your head. I would recommend it though - the imagery she creates and the observations and thoughts of all of the characters are so beautiful. The first sentence of the poem is taken from the book! (i wish i had written it myself tbh)

untitled (written by me)

I saw a star riding through the clouds one night, and I said to the star, 'Consume me.'
Fold me over your tongue
as if I am sugary, evanescent, and smooth as honey.
Enclose me in your mouth as I dream,
waiting for the first bird to break open day
with their song and their beak-shaped laughter.
But wait, what is this?
No birds surround the frame of my being.
I hear a chirp in my left ear, and nothing in my right.
This distorts my perception.
They should be alighting, evenly elevating,
yet I am unsure if I should wake now,
without a bird to pierce open day.

* * *

I feel like I almost wrote some of this in my sleep - well sort of the limbo stage between being asleep and awake. It came to mind because the last couple of mornings I had been woken up immediately by the sounds of bird's singing, quite early. But this time I couldn't hear a thing when I woke up, and it almost felt wrong - I wanted to sleep until I was prompted by the familiar sound of a bird's song. It was uncomfortable, but I also felt like I was floating. It was a strange feeling. I feel like this poem can also be read aloud like spoken word? The pictures underneath are ones I felt went with the aura of the poem.

(All found on Tumblr.com)

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

one of my favourite places is closing down :// + other stuff

(drama queen much) because it isn't actually closing down - just relocating. But yeah, you read right. The East End Thrift Store that I've often banged on about on this blog is moving from its original store in Whitechapel to some other place. (I don't even know where yet but I know it is not worthy of this beautiful warehouse down a much beloved cobble street alley-way.)

It was the first time I had been in a while - the last few sales I didn't find much to thrift and it deterred me from going to their other ones what with exam stress and the general business of life. Nevertheless, sifting through piles of old clothes while listening to tunes, trying on dungarees five sizes too big and trying to kid yourself that you don't have enough over-sized shirts is always a fun experience. Again, I didn't find bags and bags of clothes, but I did pick up some khaki trousers and the  most amaZING LONG FUR/SUEDE COAT. (see much failed/kind of amazing animated picture below.)

i made this amazingly shit on purpose :) COMIC SANS for life
I have always known the East End Thrift Store to be famous for their collection of beautiful fur, leather or suede coats that are usually too big to the extent that I pretty much get lost in there. But by chance I tried this baby on, not expecting much, and ya know what, it actually looked alright! The store was closing down so I thought why not. When am I next going to find a timeless, glamorous coat like this for (drum roll) £5??? Good times. Sad times too. I've loved coming to this thrift store! May there be many more in the future at their new one! To commemorate, here are the times the EETS has made it onto this blog: 1 + 2 <33

IN OTHER NEWS, I went to my first ever zine fair on the 8th of July! As you know I have recently created an arts + literary zine that celebrates work by black women and GRRRL ZINE FAIR got in touch with me about having a table at their zine fair at the Village Green Festival!!! Of - frikin - course I said yes, and I  had the best time of my life. I met so many other amazing self-publishers and bands and the whole entire event was MAGICAL!

A highlight for me was a band called 'BIG JOANIE' - a Black feminist punk band creating a continuum of black punk by representing strong black womanhood in all its forms. Watching them perform was such a delight, especially hearing their BANGING cover of 'No Scrubs' by TLC which had me shaking my shoulders and laughing-out-loud at how fucking amazing it was. And real talk it was beautiful and empowering seeing a black feminist punk band in its rarity and importance. Big up Big Joanie, man.

It was zine heaven. Here are two zines that I bought!!!

'Banshee' is a magazine centred around the "women's internal self", striving to empower and inspire young girls by offering a perspective of feminism that isn't easily accessible in mainstream media and culture. It's full of beautiful artwork, articles and interviews about/of young women around the world and it is GORGEOUS.

'FLAPS' is a zine that focuses on the complexity, intelligence and creativity of girls. Their first issue is full of straight-talk about the feelings and experiences of young women with an honest representation of them too! I had to scan in this page - the A TO Z OF SHIT SEX. It literally had me laughing-out-loud. It was clever, hilarious and unapologetic. This is the kind of content that I admire tbh. Def def def buy their first issue! Support us self-publishers!!!

That's about it really. I'm just sailing through life at the moment. Just taking things in my stride! Exciting things are happening so yeh! It's been good! In a post I made a while ago about turning 18, I gave myself a list of advice to take during my 18th year, and I guess I've been following a few of them? Defo "Talk less, do more." Speaking of being 18, here are a couple photos from my birthday party + the aftermath. Disposables are a always a risk, and loads didn't come out which is annoying, but some cuties came out!!! Soz for the shitty quality. 

hope you enjoyed this post! ~ peace out ~ and see ya in the next one! Zoe xo