Anglesey- A beautiful Welsh gem

 

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Last weekend I went to Anglesey, which is an island in the North of Wales. I went for three days, and it was lovely. I always had it in my head that Anglesey was a much smaller place than it actually is. I don’t think a lot of people realise that it’s kinda big. Rich’s family own a cottage in Treaddur Bay, right near the beach, and it’s so beautiful. The above picture is a sunset taken on the beach there. We drove down from Manchester on Thursday night after work. We were expecting it to take around two and a half hours, but it actually only took about one and a half, which was pretty good going.

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On our first day, we went up to Chemlyn bay which is on the north of the island. It’s absolutely breathtaking. There’s pebbled beaches, blue sea, and it feels like there’s nothing for miles around. We spent hours just wandering on the beach, taking pictures of the views, and just enjoying being somewhere so relaxing.

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On the second day, we went to Beaumaris, which on the east of the island, right near the Menai bridge. It was such a lovely little town. We spent a few hours going round the little independent shops. Rich bought me a gorgeous handbag for Christmas (I know it’s a while off but you can never start too early), and we also visited lots of galleries, a Chilli shop, and shops full of trinkets. After a few hours of shopping, we went to an amazing fish and chip shop and had a walk down the pier, and walked along the sea front which had views of the Snowdonia national park.

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On the last day we were there, we went to Newborough which is on the south of the island. If you’ve ever been to Formby Beach in Merseyside, it’s quite similar to that. There’s a massive pine forest which borders the beach, and there’s also an island called Llanddwyn Island which is stunning. It has a little lighthouse, a ruined church and lots of little coves. I wish it had been slightly sunnier on the day we went as it would have been perfect for a picnic. It’s quite a walk so you need to take your walking shoes, but it’s definitely worth it.

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It was a fabulous weekend, and I can’t wait to visit again. If you need somewhere relaxing to charge your batteries, then definitely check out Anglesey, as it’s full of hidden gems! How many of you have been to Anglesey before?

 

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Why appearance isn’t everything

I think in today’s society we’re far too worried about what we look like. We fuss at ourselves in the mirror trying to achieve perfection. We feel self conscious if we don’t look our absolute best. We judge people based on their clothes, whether they have any makeup on, whether they’ve got their roots showing, or whether they’re covered in dirt. We often don’t know that person’s story. For all  we know, they might not be wearing any makeup because they’ve ran out and haven’t had chance to pick up anymore, they might be covered in dirt because they’ve been running around after their children in a park, and they might not have got their roots done because they’ve just paid for their son’s new school uniform.

I’m guilty of worrying about my appearance all the time. My job at Next often requires me to go to work in my scruffy clothes when I’m working in the stock room, and as soon as I get on the tram in my ripped jeans and oversized tops, I feel as if all eyes are on me, as if to say, why are you wearing that? When I’m on the shop floor, I have to wear smart clothes, and it’s only then that I feel like I blend in, and that’s not right.

I’m the type of woman who feels like they can’t leave the house without their lipstick, that their shoes have to be perfectly polished, that their hair has to be perfectly tamed. The thought of leaving the house in old clothes fills me with dread.I want to take pride in my appearance but then sometimes I think that I’m over worrying. As long as I’m happy and comfortable… does it really matter?

I think the real issue is that we’re too busy worrying about what everyone else thinks. Often they’re people that we don’t even know and probably will never see again. Even worse, sometimes it’s people we know, people who love us, and we’re worrying about what they’ll be thinking. The truth is, if they love us, then they’ll love us regardless of what we look like.

We’re also too busy worrying about what everyone is doing. If that woman on the bus looks tired and weary, and looks as if she’s forgot to brush her hair, and her makeup’s smudged, then leave her alone. Maybe there’s a reason that she looks like that. And if there’s not, then good for her. She probably doesn’t care about your appearance that much, so why should you be worrying about her’s?

It’s time we stopped mindlessly judging. We’re all adults here. Let’s behave like we are.

What do you think?

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Natural hair, no makeup, who cares?

Any job is a real job: Social Media Servicing Advisor

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As many of you know, I recently decided I wanted to start a bit of a blogging series with the phrase ‘Any job is a real job’ in mind. I wanted to raise awareness of the different industries out there, and I asked for all of my readers help. I feel really lucky that some of you responded.If you missed my previous articles about this, then click here.

 First up is Cameron, from over at Cameron D Hamilton. He writes a great blog with an emphasis on poetry and self reflection, and I really love his work, so I was very pleased when he contacted me to tell me about his job as a Senior Social Media Servicing Advisor:

So, let’s begin with a few basic facts.  My name is Cameron, I’m 29 and I work in corporate Social Media for a major UK bank.  I’ve been in my current position for over a year.

Explain your job role (title, daily duties etc)

At this time I hold the title of Senior Social Media Servicing Advisor.  The job itself consists of moderating several social media and website channels for the bank.  My department moderates four Twitter handles, two Facebook accounts, the website ‘live webchat’ service and two customer enquiry email services.  I came into the department to handle Social Media so I tend to focus my attention on the Twitter and Facebook content.  It’s more a preference for me, it actually works out well with our team dynamic as some of my colleagues prefer the more formal nature of the email channels.

On a normal day I’ll spend my time responding to enquiries received and also post attention grabbing content, over the Twitter channel specifically, in order to grow the brand and attract attention.  As a team we’re also tasked with monitoring public relations through Social Media, logging and reporting positive and negative reports of the bank.  As a department we have little power to effect change the way the bank presents itself, essentially we’re information gathering.  It can get a bit frustrating when the same criticisms come up and nothing is done but I’m sure there must be a good reason, or at least I hope.  The vast majority of the time is spent moderating the channels making sure that all messages received are responded to, make sure we can avoid potential PR issues and make sure customers are protected.

(A funny story on making sure our customers as kept safe over social media.  I once had to deal with a customer of the bank who was a financial dominatrix and was posting her bank details over Twitter in order to get tributes from her admirers.  Her profile was certainly NSFW.  I got in touch with our information security team and they got a Fraud officer to get in touch.  We got told she was warned the following day but clearly didn’t listen as a few weeks later she done the exact same thing.  You can’t help everyone!)

More than any other department we liaise with several different areas of the business on a daily basis, sometimes it can be simply feeding back praise, looking for more in depth info or a certain subject (mortgages, urgh) or getting complaints handled.  This is quite common as you can imagine, everyone love to moan over Twitter and we try to help.  Often it’s really easy people are being lazy wont visit the bank or call in, ‘help us to help you’ doesn’t enter into their minds.  Sometimes it take a little more to handle but it’s our job monitoring Social Media to make sure that voice gets heard and helped.

As a senior advisor I also research and create reports for the leadership team of the bank.  The most frequent is a weekly feedback presentation that is made for the weekly leadership meeting.  Takes about three to four hours and I usually do it if I’m working on a Sunday, it’s monotonous but I quite like it.

Also due to the main office site being a contact centre the team has been lumbered with some irritating telephone lines.  These are low call volume, maybe four calls over a shift max.  In addition to this in order to keep product knowledge fresh there are weeks where I will take general customer service phone calls or work the Internet Banking Helpdesk while another member of the team assumes moderation duties on Social Media.  It’s you’re standard shift rotation deal.

How  did you got into your job? (e.g qualifications, experience etc)

I’m a Media graduate, I spent five years studying through various college courses and university.  I went from wanting to work in film production, with an eye to direct, but found that I enjoyed writing more.  I put a lot of that down to my social anxiety, being able to create a barrier means I can work more effectively.  Its why I like working in Social Media.

The academics didn’t get me exactly where I wanted to go and I drifted through mostly Customer Service positions while trying to write.  Before I took my current position I was working as a general Customer Service Rep in the same bank at the same centre.  Due to my qualifications, my vast experience from working in the bank for so long and my eccentric passion the job was mine.

At the time I applied I was leaving the company, I had reached my glass ceiling and had been applying for writing and Social Media vacancies so when one came up from my current employer it just made sense.  The company thought so too.

What do you like about your job?

I like the ability to write and be creative.  That’s what sold me on the job, to try and engage with customers differently than I had been over phone calls.

Using my experiences as a writer to give some personality to the Social Media accounts, show we care, we want to help but that we’re real.

I really like the people in my team, it’s a great group of personalities and you need that in Social Media.  Of course I win the award for most eccentric but I set a very high bar.

Honestly it’s an easy job.  With the knowledge I gained working telephone customer service the job of moderating is ridiculously easy.  That lack of stress makes my life a lot easier with all the other stresses I have

The Social Media team itself is very young, its only in its second year.  I love being able to shape the voice and make a mark on the landscape.  Not to denigrate my colleagues but you can tell the difference in language and passion when I’ve sent a message compared to someone else.  It’s a great feeling to see that your voice is the one that people like.

What do you hate about your job?

The pay (hahahaha!!!) Serious though, its horrific.

The politics of the office are very annoying, as a contact centre the focus is on phone calls so my team gets treated horribly as if it’s our fault that calls are queuing because we’re not on the phone.  My employer doesn’t know how to handle digital operations and doesn’t understand the job we do.  This means arguments with management figures trying to assert authority when they have none and acting like children when they don’t get their way.

I don’t drive so the commute is pretty bad at times.  I take three buses and as much as it gives me time to listen to my favourite podcasts it does give me a little less free time.

Due to working in the banking industry, it’s a secure paperless environment which is murder or a writer who likes to have a note pad if they’re inspired by something…or maybe just wants to colour in on a slow day.

To be honest the job is great.  It’s the office I hate.  If I could do the same job somewhere else I’d be a lot happier.  I think if there’s any lesson I could impart it’s don’t give up on something you want to do because the people you work for are idiots.

Where do you want to be in five years time?

There’s two answers to this.

Answer one is writing professionally, taking what I do on WordPress and making money off my words.  I want to write like a lot of people here so If I can I’d like to get published and make my living from literature

Answer two is Social Media Project Management.  I’m not keen on actually managing staff, its just not interesting, I want to create and run projects.  Move out of the moderation and more into  the marketing the brand growth.  I do a little of this right now but I really want to advance into building content to get people talking and make the best use of Social Media.  It won’t be with my current employer, I have way too many issues with them and their ineptitude in the digital world.  I find this hard to answer because I’ve never been one for planning ahead.  Probably why I’m so far behind.

I want to say a big thank you to Cameron for this, as I found it really interesting. I’m looking to go into a similar career myself, so it was great to get an in depth view of what to expect. Does anyone else work in this industry? What do you think? Or do any of you want to go into this industry too?

 

How to guide: Moving in with your partner

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I’ve had a couple of requests for a blog about this subject and I’ve finally gotten round to doing it. Moving in with your partner is one of those things that can either fill someone with joy, or fill someone with dread. I moved in with Rich when I was eighteen and we’d been dating for around six months. For some people, this would have been far too soon, and at the time I had a lot of people around me tell me this. But over a year later and we’re still happily living together, so I’m glad that I went with my initial gut instinct. A lot of people have asked me how we manage to cope with living with each other. They’ve asked, do we fight a lot? Do we ever feel like we have no space? Do we ever wish that we hadn’t moved in together? Well the thing is, no not really. Okay, we might have the occasional bicker over who washed the dishes last, and sometimes I really need to take myself off for a bath with my book for some peace and quiet, but honestly I’m glad I live with Rich, and there’s no one else I’d rather live with. It’s nice to come home and see him, as he cheers me up even when I’m sad, and not only is he my boyfriend, but he’s my best friend too. And this leads me to my first point….

1: Before moving in with your partner, make sure that it’s what’s best for both of you. 

You hear a lot of things about couples who move in together before either of them is ready. You need to make sure that you’re on the same page, that you know where the relationship is going, and that you’re both emotionally mature enough to deal with it. You need to find out what the other person thinks about having friends over, what they think about decorating, what they think about parents visiting etc. If you discuss these things before the big move even happens, then you’ll find that it avoids conflict later on.

2: Know where you’re at financially

If you’re moving into a new place together, then it’s important that you choose somewhere that you can both afford. However, this could be different if, for example, one of you earns more than the other and is willing to contribute more to rent/bills. If you’re moving into the other person’s place, then you need to make sure that you’re okay with what your partner expects you to contribute to the rent/bills. Furthermore, it’s important to discuss things such as, do we need to buy furniture? How are we going to split the food bills? Do we need to pay for a Sky TV package? You get my drift!

3: Make sure it’s a home for both of you

It’s really important that it’s your home together and that it looks like both of your homes, not just one of yours. For example, in our flat, we made sure to pick out the decorations and bits together. We made sure that we both contributed to buying bits so that we felt that everything was equally ours.

4: Make time for yourself once you’re living together 

Just because you’ve moved in with someone, it doesn’t mean that you’re automatically joined at the hip. I spend the majority of my free time with Rich because that’s just the way I like it, but I always make sure that I have my own life too. For example, I still meet up with my friends, I still meet up with my family, I still go to uni, I still have a part time job etc. Even when we’re both in the flat, we still take time to have our own time too. Take Monday night for example, the football was on, and I can’t stand it, so I went off into the other room to write up some blog posts, watch a bit of Beverly Hills 90210 and to have a bit of peace and quiet.

5: Don’t nag about household chores

When you’re living together, it can be really easy to keep nagging about doing chores around the house. In an ideal world, you’d split them evenly, but often that it isn’t possible. In our house, because I only work part time and Rich works full time, I tend to do about three quarters of the housework in the week, but then on a weekend, we tend to split them a bit more evenly. At the end of the day, it’s both of yours home, so it’s best to just crack on and get things done when you can, as no one likes living in a dirty home…. at least I don’t anyway!

Do you have any tips for moving in with someone? Share them below!

A New Idea

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As many of you know, I recently wrote a blog post called ‘Any job is a real job’ which you can read here. It was a post about the status of employment in the UK, and also about dealing with other people’s opinions about what your job is, particularly if you were working in a sector such as the retail or hospitality industry where employees do not gain the recognition that they deserve for their hard work. I was really pleased with how many people I’ve had message me about their thoughts on the subject, and it was then that I had an idea.

I would love to do a blog series on people’s jobs. I want to know what industry you work in, what you enjoy about your job, what people’s opinions of your job are etc, and I want to publish an interview on it. I want to try and raise a bit more awareness of the ins and outs of the working world in ALL sectors, whether you’re working in an office or a fast food restaurant. I’m not asking you guys to tell me exactly where you work, but just more of a general idea of what your job is.

As a student, I feel it could also be beneficial to other students to see how you got into that job industry, what qualifications you have, and what your future plans are.

If you’re interested in being interviewed then please leave me a message in the comments below, or if you feel more comfortable emailing me your thoughts, then my email address is BethJ143@hotmail.co.uk.

I’m really excited to hear your thoughts on this idea, and also looking forward to learning more about my readers.

Once again, thank you all for reading! 🙂

Love,

Beth x

I’m feeling at peace

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For the first time in months, I finally feel at peace. I think that’s because the last six months or so have been a blur of coursework, exams, train journeys, job interviews and a tonne of stress. However this week, I’m finally feeling a bit more settled with my life and where things are going. It seems to help that I’m filling my life with as much positivity as possible whether that’s in terms of work, in terms of family, and in terms of my social life.  Me and Rich also renewed the tenancy on our flat for another year last month, so it’s nice to know that that’s all sorted out too.

I’ve settled into my new job and am finding myself enjoying the routine of it all. I’ve been training in the stock room and on the sales floor which has meant having to learn lots of new things, and also has had me pushing myself out of my comfort zone as I’ve been meeting lots of new people and getting used to a new environment. I was pretty worried about how often I would be working etc, but I’ve been lucky in that my contract means  I don’t have to work weekends, something which is really important to me, as Rich works full time in the week, and the weekend tends to be the time where we spend some time together whether that’s visiting a new place, visiting family, or just relaxing at home.

I’ve also had great news as I’ve passed my second year of uni! I don’t know what my overall grade for the year is yet, but I know I’ve managed to achieve a 1:1 in my Publishing module, and 2:1’s in my Poetry and Work Based Learning modules which I’m really proud of. Uni has had me feeling quite unsettled this year, as at the end of my first year I didn’t do as well as I hoped and even considered giving it up. Now I’ve reached the end of this year, I’m so glad that I didn’t. Commuting to uni has really helped me to focus on what’s important in terms of my studies and I’m grateful for that as I want to give myself the best start in life possible.

A couple of weeks ago you guys might have read my post on driving lessons. That post was written at a time when I was feeling really down about my lessons and was even considering giving them up altogether. After a lot of consideration, I decided that I needed to make a change, and in my case, that change was switching driving instructors… for the third time. Okay, so I know it seems ridiculous, but I just wasn’t gelling with my second instructor. I was feeling stressed and angry after every lesson as I felt that I wasn’t really making any progress, and it struck me as strange that as a learner with over forty hours of driving experience under my belt, I was still driving around quiet side streets. Therefore, I switched for the third (and hopefully final) time. This time I think I’ve struck lucky, as after only three hours of tuition with my new instructor, he’s advised me to book my driving test, which I have! It turns out I’m not a terrible driver after all. We’ve been working on roundabouts, driving on country roads, hill starts and manoeuvres, so hopefully by the end of this year I’ll finally have my own car…. hopefully.

So there you go. That’s why I’m finally starting to feel a bit more at peace with everything. How are you finding your peace?

Dear Future Self…

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Dear Future Beth,

Remember that you don’t need to be so shy. You don’t need to go red just because you feel like everyone’s eyes are on you. You don’t need to look at the floor when you’re talking or to mumble out all your words because you’re worried that your ideas aren’t good enough. Remember how confident you are with you friends and family and channel that. Crack a smile, maybe try out a joke, throw your hair back, and remember that you look fabulous. We both know you wouldn’t have left the house looking like a scruff.

On the other hand, remember that you don’t need to worry about what you look like. It’s okay to occasionally throw on a pair of leggings and a baggy t shirt, or to tie your hair up because you didn’t have time to do it properly. No one really cares that much anyway. Remember when you were really paranoid because you found holes in the front of all your tops? You were so paranoid for ages that they were caused by the washing machine, when really they were caused by that cheap belt that you bought from Primark three years ago.

Stop putting so much pressure on yourself too. You’ll get there when you get there. It doesn’t matter if it takes you a few months or a few years, so stop fretting about it so much. Run a hot bath, pour in some of that coconut scented bubble bath that you love so much and read your book. There’s nothing you can do but your best.

Lastly, don’t let anything hold you back. If you want to travel round the world then do it. If you want to be a career girl then do it. You only have one life, so why waste it? You’ll only regret what you didn’t do in the past.

Have you got all that? Good.

Love from,

Present Day Beth

xxx