I'm a Telegraph Blogger!



My first blog piece for The Telegraph looks at the impact of social media, for the younger electorate.

"In the University zoo, tweets and yaks are as embedded in communication as actual speech." 



The Telegraph

Giving means Receiving

Inspired by the lovely Elizabeth over at Rosalilium, here is my own Self-Care Sunday series for June!

Internal Care = External Care


I realise this statement is not without irony, given the certain lack of "selfness". However, if there is one invaluable lesson I've been reminded of lately, it is the importance of accepting care from others.

I am someone who struggles with this; nothing makes me happier than hunting for unique gifts and surprising others with nice gestures, whether it be a little book of riddles or a bunch of fresh flowers. Yet I often feel I am an exception and do not warrant the same.

Nonetheless, this is something that I recognise, in the long-run, isn't a healthy outlook, so I am actively trying to change it. The first Sunday of June saw the first evidence of this. As part of my mum and I's decision to do "different things" this summer, we went with my auntie to Harbourside Market in Bristol.

We stumbled upon the most wonderful selection of second-hand books - if I was to do the Harry Potter love potion "smell test", old book paper would definitely be vying for the top spot! I was quite enchanted, rifling through the pages with equal excitement at the bargain prices of the works on offer.

Market

Being ever-indecisive me, at one point I did have quite an impressive stack of books that I proceeded to rifle down to the three below. However, rummaging through my purse I realised that I didn't have the correct change on me to buy them, and they didn't accept card.

I proceeded to go about replacing the books, but my auntie quickly interceded and insisted on buying them for me! My protests began, but eventually I conceded and am now the proud owner of the three books below… If you have never read Emily Dickinson, I urge you to go and do so!

Vintage books

***

The following Sunday, my default care-avoidance was put to the challenge again! I am currently doing a bit of room-renovation, so am on a quest for new "pretty things" - I say quest, it's been ongoing for a good four years now, ever since I discovered the shop Vinegar Hill in Bath.

My mum, dad and I made obligatory town-trip to Anthropolgie, where I browsed longingly at their gorgeous selection of all things bold and beautiful. My dad wasn't enamoured, to say the least, despite my childlike enthusiasm as I bounded over to the real-deal bookends (click and you'll see what I'm talking about!) On this particular sunday, one item just screamed "all things Sophie". A flower pot in the shape of a bookin the saleWow. 

A couple of days earlier, I found out I passed my 2nd year with one mark off a first, and a first in two exams. However, being me I was doing little to acknowledge the achievement... Mum was determined to set this right! She insisted that this would be the perfect well-done gift, especially with the poetry reference. 

It now stands on my windowsill and puts a smile on my face when I wake up in the morning. I do have an ever-growing love for flowers, especially in pastel colours. I love watching them blossom and having something to care for myself.  

Flowers
Shop: Anthropologie Verse Vase


Putting the Self in Care 


As important as accepting the gestures of others is, you have to learn to accept it from yourself too. This particular quote I found on pinterest resonated with me:

photo credit: thecreativemomma.com
I really loved the metaphor, that idea of being your own cup - as a tea and coffee lover, nothing is better than that first sip when the cup is still full. Yet you can't rely on others to always fill your cup.

Looking back, I can see that in school I depended far too much on the endorsement of others, in shaping my own self-worth. Now, I try to recognise it for myself more, and that all starts with acts of self-care! After the success of my latest eBay auctions, and in the face of a very depleted makeup box, I decided to invest in some good quality makeup.

After much perusing and near-calamity at the Mac counter (I did mend their display before I scuttled away, tail between my legs…) Smashbox won. The colour is gorgeous and, despite slight palpitations when I saw the price, it will be a worthwhile investment. Topshop then eased the money-spending anxieties slightly with this £10 top, and The Khaleesi herself completes my June "educate myself on the magazine industry" plan… I bought a grand total of seven magazines, and have certainly learnt a lot! 

shopping
Topshop crochet high-neck top, £15                                           Smashbox eyeshadow trio, £22

***

Recently, self-care has also included taking a step from time pressures. I talked about this more in my last post - the pressure perspective - and have employed these strategies as recently as yesterday. After spending the last couple of weeks redesigning my blog, doubts and anxieties did rocket at times.

Each day that went by. without a new blog post going up, I became more and more panicked that I would lose potential readers. I was catastrophising hugely.  All last week I decided that Sunday would be the day i returned to blogging. Sunday came, sunday went, here I am writing on Monday. 

So signals my last little self-care Sunday act of June. Posting on Monday. Mondays can be the "Make-it-happen", but Sunday is self-care and that means doing more of this:


The Simple Things. Reading and puzzling... oh, and tea drinking.

countryside walks


Obviously (said in Severus Snape voice). There's always time for tea.

***

For more life lines to live by, follow my pinterest board!


The Pressure Perspective

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A week ago, something short of miraculous occurred. I woke up and didn't feel sick to my stomach. The context: Results day. Up until seven days ago, it has always been penned in my subconscious calendar as Doomsday, alongside trips to the dentist and the Game of Thrones series finale - what am I  supposed to do with my life now? (I'm being deadly serious, any TV suggestions would be much appreciated!)

As a lifelong perfectionist, all things exam-related leaves me fraught to say the least. I was the eleven-year-old panicking through past papers, right to the final percentages, all the while my sister was sitting GCSEs. Somehow I don't think memorising "uno, dos, tres" required quite the level of proficiency as her own Spanish oral, while at my age a bunsen burner pretty much could light itself. Still, I approached it as if my whole livelihood was at stake. 

        Source: tumblr.com
For as long as I can remember, I have heaped pressure on myself. Yet it reached a climax in the last three years of school; conveniently the period of public exams. During my GCSEs, I recall taking long walks simply to stop my legs and arms from jittering when I tried to sit down. 

After my A Level English exam I had what I now recognise as a panic attack, while standing in the middle of Starbucks.  Having barely lingered after the paper, for fear that hearing others talk would heighten my anxiety, I sobbed all the way down into town, utterly convinced I had messed up; that this one exam signalled the end of my University dream.


Turn away from Tunnel Vision


It all came back to Exeter - in that moment, it was the centre of my world. Whole in many ways this helped me, particularly in motivating my recovery, it did lead to a complete lack of perspective.

I have quite an inflexible personality, which stems back to perfectionism; the inability to do an Elsa… if only Frozen had been released many years ago, though on second thoughts they might not have invented Olaf, which would have been a travesty.

The world will always have more sandwiches - just ask Joey.
My early obsessions were often harmless, from the six-year old fossil hunter, to the six-going-on-sixteen (plus four and three quarters…) Harry Potter reader. Yet this single-mindedness can be more intense. Case in point being Exeter, and before that the "Oxbridge Dream" I have discussed in earlier posts. Having done everything I could to try and improve my chances, ultimately it did not even amount to an application. My health was too compromised; what I needed was to challenge this inherent drive, and channel it into recovery.


By and large, I did this. I changed tact, yet I did succumb to my default 'fixation strategy'. Along with the obvious reasons of family, my gorgeous new puppy and longer-term goals, Exeter topped the list of "things to recover for". As A Levels drew closer and I confirmed my offer, it became even more tangible - but not fixed. I  still placing one solitary egg in a fraying basket.


Seeing is Believing


Back to that English exam I felt so distraught over … I got full marks. To this day I am convinced there was a mistake, but it seems the only questionable part of my performance that day was judgement. I suppose I wasn't winning any prizes for calmness, either. Nevertheless, my response was my reality. I was utterly convinced I had messed up, and all summer could not for the life of me let it go. I couldn't change perspective.

source: mememaker.net

In that present moment, losing Exeter seemed as factual as the final grade declaring otherwise. In my mind, the cement surrounding the foundation stone of my recovery was melting fast… and it very well could have.  University joined the long list of unpredictability, from diabetes, university applications, to the seemingly inconsequential things. It is a reminder of how fleeting external things are, and thus no solid basis for true happiness; just as a painted smile cannot hold the same significance. 


Widening Horizons


The true irony was that, in the end,  the University pipe-dream itself became engulfed by pressure. It wasn't pressure on me though. It was pressure exerted by me, on this beautiful place, to be the pipe-dream I had pictured. University life has been, in many respects, wonderful, but the "time of your life" mantra can distort. However, it helped me to realise something important; not even the dream board is perfect. All that energy I threw into obtaining this goal, and for what? Exeter is amazing, but it is not some deity I needed to compromise my whole life for. Nor are exams. 
Shifting perspectives                                          Quoted by CS Lewis

Extra curricular involvement at University - Exeposé - has been integral to my change in perspective. Happiness can exist outside of academia too! Last term introduced the Exeposé Press Day, which though stressful was accompanied by an incredible sense of pride. I am currently focused on writing, from my little home here to the wider world web. On the day of results, Whittard retweeted my Iced Tea post. Confession: this almost excited me more than the Firsts for two papers… there's a first!

In the past two years I have gained the pressure perspective - experienced responsibilities and fulfilment outside of those percentages and letters. I have also ceased to place everything on a pedestal, with myself below. I did not get to Exeter solely on grades. That English paper was Year 7 Spanish, compared to the personal challenges I faced that year.

The Simple Things


After a hectic year with health, I was grateful to simply be sitting my exams last month. Moreover, though usually one to become so flustered right before, I walked into each one of three with this unfamiliar sense of calm. My strategy? As simple as a series of three small affirmations:
  • Writing: You are writing on a topic you feel passionately about. 
  • Exeter: are in a place you love. 
  • Literature: You are studying the subject you love.
  • Life: "you're not a sad story, you're alive" - had to get Chbosky in here somewhere! 
To quote the 'convenient' acronym and JK Rowling: all was well. Sitting in that exam hall, I didn't over-think it. Fittingly, the topic  I wrote on for Romanticism was Happiness.

This revelation is part of a new leaf. Having spent far too long buried under the pressure weight, I am trying to set the self-care pages free. From old stories (hi Matilda) and room rearranging, to coffee drinking and smelling the daisies (I've never understood the rose hype, plus Millie does love her daisy-chain crowns) it's a summer for the simple things


In any pressure situation, you can always find a perspective. Perspective is like my favourite "silver linings" analogy; it makes the air a bit less stifling. It allows you to step back and breathe, wear a daisy crown, build a snowman - it's entirely your call! After all, it is in the nature of happiness to be subjective. It cannot be reduced to a single letter on a page.


How do you cope under pressure? 

How do you rationalise bad feelings after exams?

What plans do you have to keep you distracted from results? 

The Simple Things

We were both young, when I first saw you… how else do you introduce a Love Story? If you have this song on iTunes, hitting play now would definitely be fitting for this review.


tea
I am indebted to Sarah for bringing my attention to the existence of The Simple Things. The blogging world is a bit like a Hansel and Gretel breadcrumb trail at times! If this magazine is the end point of the trail less travelled by, I am so very glad I took it.

At the risk of sounding like a fanatical Twihard, Belieber or Swiftie, within moments of opening this magazine it honestly felt like coming home; it is that first cup of tea in the morning, or snuggling up in a blanket on a cold winter's night.

The Simple Things is a publication about "taking the time to live well". It combines stunning photography, craft and home ideas, self-care and fashion too.

It takes the best parts of the glossy fashion magazines - the human elements. If Vogue is Fashion Bible, The Simple Things is top contender for Life Bible.

I am aware time is precious and my ramblings don't exactly adhere to this… So I have decided to write my review as seven simple reasons The Simple Things and I are a perfect pair.

Cardigan Contentment


It is a running joke in our family that mum and I are obsessed with cardigans. It began with Monsoon kids (6 going on 60) and a bright pink fleece number. This trendsetting continued into sixth form, my style described as "preppy chic"…

Safe to say, the cardigan is not a universal love. So imagine my reaction when I saw "why we love a cardi" emblazoned across the cover. Years of believing only Rachel Berry and Professor Lupin understood me, finally the love is shared. 

The feature describes it as "your real friend on chilly summer evenings", which is so true. Even on holiday, I always pop a lightweight cardigan in my bag. We British know better than most… never trust weather!

Back in Britain, the cardigan sees me through all four seasons. In winter, it's the chunky knits, but I arguably prefer summer offerings even more, from kimono to waterfall draping. Here are my latest candidates for the cardi cupboard: 
Urban Outfitters, £42                              ASOS Marketplace, £16.99                           Urban Outfitters, £39



Spotted: Two-Tone Brogues


I think Blair Waldorf would have approved of my last stylessential, but this one is still eluding my Wardrobe…  If this picture I spotted, from across from the cardigan article, was therefore not "meant to be", I will eat my kimono.

Back in January two-tone brogues topped my Wednesday Wishlist. Nonetheless, while I searched high and low my wardrobe remained without - it seemed both highstreet and 'world wide' web were not on the same wavelength. Yet here they were, six months later - the shoes of my dreams. I promptly googled the website - agnes and norman.

Okay, perhaps the "too good to be true" did come into play here, confession time. They were men's shoes...

Not to be deterred, however, I ventured into the woman's section I did find a pair of possibly even nicer brogues. A little pricy, though I do think this is an item worth investing for quality. I also know they would quickly become "compulsive wearing" - something I do have a knack for. I think the middle pair may push that limit, but they were too pretty not to share!   

       agnes and norman, £139                            ASOS Marketplace, £225                                  Alice Temperly, £120



Nature Narratives


"nature never did betray the heart that loved her" - William Wordsworth


















Nature poetry is my calling card in Literature, namely Edward Thomas and basically all the Romantic poets - Wordsworth and Shelley if we're going to be specific. In the past I have taken a notebook with me walking, sometimes Millie in tow, and stopped by the Bath Spa University lake to write.

Reading John Lewis' piece was so calming and really allowed me to escape for a time. The caption alone - "field of dreams" - was enough to get you outside! Even if 'outside' was, in this case, the garden…



Language Love


As I revealed in my recent post on blogging tips, I can't resist a good pun/wordplay. The Simple Things also adopts this philosophy with aplomb. The fact I am a self-confessed Berry addict makes the following even more wonderful… I will definitely be trying some of the berry recipes inside! 

Top of the list is homemade berry ice-cream, with little more than cream and berries. I quite like the idea of experimenting and trying greek yoghurt too; it has more of a tang than cream, and with banana/berries and honey is so much nicer than shop yoghurt.

I also need to try some cocktails, elaborating on my iced tea creations! The magazine has some wonderful ideas to "mix up a moonshine".


Caption Corner



One of the very first items we implemented, from my Features Editor manifesto, was "caption column"; students' satirical responses to a featured image. Seeing a strikingly similar feature - complete with alliterative title - in The Simple Things was quite surreal! I have to confess I am still working on a giraffe caption. So far I am having more gi-gaffes than golden puns. 


Teaspiration



My latest post was on how to make the perfect iced tea. My instagram is a virtual tea cupboard. One of my "post ideas" for the next month was exactly this - my day in different drinks, namely tea. From green tea to iced Rose tea - with the odd coffee in between. As CS Lewis says, "you can never have a cup (or article feature) large enough". 

Creature Comforts

A year ago I ticked off a bucket list item - a chair in my room. I love it for reading, and features in an upcoming blog post on my new room… 

Nonetheless, I came across this while flicking through The Simple Things and it is pretty much the chair I visualised when it was still on the dream board.

It has rabbits on it. Point made. I still have a giant peter rabbit music toy, who sits on the shelf above my current chair. 

I rarely consider entering these types of competitions because: a) I feel guilty (does anyone else get this?!) b) I never particularly want the  prize. This chair has changed things!

I feel I am running risk of turning "meant to be" into the new "fetch"… or worse, bae. For literal creature comforts, the Dogs in Blankets section of the Miscellaneous page was Millie-made.

   

I took out my first ever magazine subscription, a day after buying, which in itself was a form of self-care as I am terrible for spending money on myself! I've also ordered previous volumes from this year, to tie me over until July.

This magazine captures what I hope to achieve, through my little blogging home here; an escape from the ever-growing negativity in the media world, which exploits flaws and fears.

One of the reasons I love the blogging community, with Elizabeth's self-care sundays and five happy things on Little Winter, is the growing focus on mindfulness, another topic which is covered in this month's issue.

Self-care is definitely something I need to focus on more. From the nostalgia of tree decoration and ordering coffee non-skinny, to customising christmas with Etsy quote coasters; it is finding those things that make you truly happy.

On that note, I've made a good start already - The Simple Things is definitely on the list of "things that make me Smile".

Backing Ben: the Briton you should be sure of



Tomorrow the nominations for Labour Deputy Leader close. As it stands, only two candidates will be awarded a ballot box. Tom Watson, the former whip, leads the pack. The word pack is probably quite fitting, given his bulldog persona. Haven't we had enough of this in Westminster? 

Bradshaw, I believe, is one of the few decent politicians out there. The Alan Johnson type - the rare kind of people such as Charles Kennedy. Westminster needs these people, who don't just look for soundbites but have true substance. 

This Election, Ben Bradshaw trebled his majority in Exeter, standing resolutely red among a sea of blue. Given the public perception of Exeter University as a place of privilege - Exetah is a common moniker - this is no small feat. In Ben's constituency, people are not simply voting for party. They vote for person.



Sophie's Adventures in Tea Land

Alice has nothing on me, even if a tea party ft. talking animals is pretty high up on my list of "things that could never happen but a girl can still dream"…. 

I wish I had found one of those clay glasses to take back home, complete with lemongrass straw.

I developed a love for iced tea last summer, with iced lotus tea my Vietnam and Cambodia staple. It was the perfect refreshment after a day of temple touring or poolside sunbathing - with the speed of my reading to get through Gone Girl and The Silkworm, the latter was equally exhausting! 

I remember raving about it in one of my holiday posts, but since then my love for chilled tea leaves has only grown. Coffee lovers need not fear though, I still have my daily dose of iced latte goodness too! 

Today I'm going to share my iced tea method, with a little help from Alice's Roses and Granny's Garden… 


This particular morning my tea of choice was Granny's Garden, courtesy of the Tea House Emporium. It is one of those niche shops in town I simply love going into; you lift the  jar lids to smell the tea, which comes in an abundance of flavours. Definitely on my bucket list of 'things to do'  in Bath!  

My beautiful Tea Strainer is from Whittard 
Iced tea works just as well with tea bags, and I have had iced green tea often. I do like buying loose leaf tea now and again though, as the flavour choices are so much nicer! This particular one is a mixture of berries, including blackberry and elderberry. As a berry lover, I really struck gold. 

Once upon a time I never bought loose leaf tea, as it seemed such an effort to make, but I got over this silly excuse. Have yet to try Tralawny tea leaf reading though! 

Once the tea is in the strainer, fill the glass you are using with hot water, until it is about a quarter full.


Now onto the ice. This is the reason you shouldn't overfill the glass with hot water. Plenty of ice is needed to give it a refreshing taste! That being said, I may have gone slightly overboard...



When the ice hits the hot water, you should get all the water you need. The last step is optional, but I enjoy the hint of lemon and fizz! Top up with lemonade, and you're good to go.


Last but not least, a straw is needed. Don't judge - this was the only option available, but I think the Mad Hatter and Alice would approve…


On this particular day the weather was just gorgeous, so I went outside with a stack of magazines. This included my new favourite The Simple Things, which I will be doing a blog post on later this week!

I also recommend buying Glamour this month too - the perfect balance of feature and fashion pieces, plus it's half price and edited by Taylor Swift. What's not to love?





Adventures in Tea Land

Since I did my tea tutorial, I have to confess I have migrated away from Granny's berries, back to Alice's Roses. I was quite sceptical about Rose Tea, but Whittard have proved me wrong. If you are ever looking for a new tea to try, this one is fit for a princess and screams "Drink Me" every morning!



My next experiment is potentially putting real lemon in tea, or trying online recipes. Sophie Dahl's lavender iced tea is definitely top of the list. My mum is a huge Earl Grey fan, so I feel it could convert her to the iced tea life.

All I need now are these gorgeous Anthropologie umbrellas. With my Rose Tea, I'd basically be Mary Poppins in Wonderland... 



It's ironic that this most quintessential of British traditions originated for me in Asia, but I will never look back. For now though, it's definitely about time for an iced latte and Dance Moms… 

Connecting


What is your summer drink of choice?

Have you ever tried iced tea?

What's the most adventurous tea you've tried?

What magazines have you read this month?


From Books to Blog: Define yourself Online


A defining part of University experience is, undoubtedly, my involvement with Exeposé, which may or may not be apparent from name drops in previous posts… 

This post focuses on how my (now former) role Online Books Editor, positively influenced my blogging. Not only did I gain editorial experience, but I learnt so much regarding social media and content creation, not to mention the all-important issue of finding perfect gifs…


I hope this post can offer some words from wisdom, from social sharing strategies to content creation, or perhaps encourage others to get involved in student journalism themselves. Read on for all things playpuzz, pinterest, gifs and gaffs… we can't be perfect all the time!



Social Media Matters


As an Online editor, one of my jobs was to promote articles via social media - namely Twitter and Facebook. I always knew of their importance, in our ever-growing digital culture; being a blogger has also opened my eyes to that. Nonetheless, I definitely credit my Exeposé role for improving my tweeting proficiency! Key things I learnt were:

Stay Away from Spam


The wrong kind - aka blasting the Twitter World and his Facebook Wife with the same link incessantly. People will call you out on it - I have been!

The key is to personalise to audience. Tweeting an article that includes a Harry Potter reference? Mention this in your tweet to HP fan pages. Don't simply say "10 books that changed my life" - what is enticing them to read this? Sell the USP. 


Tweet Teases

It's not solely about who you tweet, but how. A couple of effective strategies I found were including photos in tweets. Field-left ones, such as bottom right, capture the reader's interest, as do utilising popular culture - TFIOS and HP I'm looking at you! Another useful punctuation tool is the "…", inviting people to read on.

Meanwhile, being a bit provocative can work. Any 50 Shades fans who are scrolling through the twitter hashtag might have something to say about it coming "under fire" in a Bad Books Bash... 



Content Creation


You can be the most social media savvy person out there; however, if the content isn't good, there's a limit to how successful you're going to be! Think of those contestants on Masterchef who have Michelin presentation skills - if the actual food tastes like dirt, they never wear the white shirt for long…

Literaturally Speaking

Books born and bred, I confess I may have gone a bit overboard with puns and alliteration at times. As our section was Books, our demographic would likely appreciate a bite more  cheese than the wider bland-as-bran crowd. 

Bare in mind too that online is even more of a competitive market, for culture writers, than print. Set yourself apart. 


Section Staples


If you look at the majority of publications, there will be a "regular features section". Humans are homebodies at heart. They like to feel grounded, and magazines are bought as a source of comfort/pleasure. When my co-editor and I took over Online Books, it already featured the regular "creative Fridays", which was a huge success. 

There is always a risk that a new venture will fall flat on its face. This did happen to us. However, one gamble did pay off. Enter Bad Books Bash and A Defence Of… which originated from the title of Percy Shelley's essay A Defence Of Poetry. 

The best moments were when a book crossed both sections, for example To Kill a Mockingbird; as one of my favourite books, putting this in Bad Books Bash definitely put the "impartial editor" role to the test!

In the words of Alan Sugar, you must also "smell what sells". A piece I did last June - "Exam Survival 101: The Literary Edition" - got great analytics, so I developed it into a series.


Gif Gaff

Inspired by the popularity of Buzzfeed, as the year went on we definitely became more proficient in using gifs and memes - something I have incorporated in this blog too! However, the importance with Gifs is to make sure they absolutely are relevant. As a Books section, I did at first run the risk of overusing Film Gifs, so learnt to use them more sparingly over time; I was at risk of forgetting my roots, which is never wise…



Winning with Pinning 

Pinterest. Oh pinterest. Our love affair began mere days into my tenure as Online Books Editor. I needed an image. A featured image; a medley of books and cosy coffee cups. Google images was like a dating website, guiding me to you. I've never looked back. 

Not only have the beautiful photos on Pinterest provided me with great photography for the Exeposé  site, but it also inspired me to get more creative with my own photos! It has given me new ideas, not just with images but content. I reckon more than half my images were sourced from Pinterest, or Tumblr. There's nothing more I love than the marriage of Coffee and Poetry. Pinterest gets that. 

One of the Pinterest images I used for the Books section

Pinterest. It's a beautiful, romantic love affair (To Paraphrase Tay Tay, who I can definitely pin as a Pinterest lover!) This brilliant blog post by Cat Crawford delves discusses the perfection of Pinterest in greater detail - definitely worth a read! 




Open The Window 

The world is your oyster, your mussel, your prawn - there is quite literally a sea of opportunity out there, make your blog/site a stranded island! You have to go out to it though, it won't always come to you. 

I saw the Exeter Poetry Festival was coming up, so I contacted the organisers and secured press passes. I also contacted several poets speaking at the event (via twitter of all places) beforehand and secured interviews! 


It not only gave us a wealth of content for October, but provided me with interview experience and content for the Print Books section too. Last but not least, I discovered the fabulous poetry of Carrie Etter, was able to hear her read and met her afterwards. Go and read her!

***

Those are just a few of the main things I learnt, many of which I have applied to writing this blog. I am a better tweeter, editor, pinterest-searcher and idea-finder. I have become more innovative, and even gained a whole new appreciation for books - something I never thought possible! 

The Books section no longer exists for Exepose, having merged with Arts to become Arts and Lit. Perhaps controversially, I was for the merge. I definitely strayed into Arts territory, with the Exeter Poetry and Arts On The Move Festivals featuring comedy, live poetry and theatre among other things. I think it will give the section a whole new lease of life; I am secretly quite wistful I am not part of it!

I do have my new role though - Print Features - which is more than enough to keep me busy! It still allows me to do what I love most though, just in a different form: discover stories worth telling. 

Books Love 
xxx

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