London Beauty Haul

Greeting my beautiful friends! I may have been back two whole weeks but I never really had the energy to actually put this post together for you. I’m sorry. I was feeling very depressed, and all I wrote were depressing posts or ones that were written ages ago and just proofread and published, and the heatwave (nicely named Lucifer, and I am not making this up!) in Malta didn’t help either.

But I’m back to being myself now, and cannot wait what beauty products I bought when I was in London…

Continue reading “London Beauty Haul”

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REVIEW: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child 5/5

I engaged in a lot of speculation in the days leading up to attending Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I purposely didn’t read the play (also because I’m still halfway through the third Harry Potter book) or any reviews before I saw the show. We both wanted to be completely immersed in the experience. So, for the months leading up to D-Day (the play was booked A YEAR PRIOR!), I was filled with questions: “Do you think there will be moving paintings?” “Will there be ghosts?” “What about Hagrid? Will he be in it?” My concern was for the details, the stuff that without them, the story will not feel as—dare I say it—magical.

Y’all, the details are present and then some. Since I am bound by #keepthesecrets button confidentiality (everyone was handed this on a button as we left the performance of Par One), I shall not reveal the whats and hows. Instead I will do the most “non-review” review possible and share my four main observations of the play.

The casting was spot-on

I lowkey cried four times during the play. The first was when we initially see Harry, Ron and Hermione together. The actor portraying Ron Weasley was phenomenal—funny, touching and so clearly captures Ron’s loyalty. I found myself enchanted by his interpretation of Weasley life.

Grown-up Harry Potter is a man whose emotions are still as much on the surface as they were when he was a boy, reinforcing that he will always be tortured by his past. The difficulties of growing up were present throughout the story, specifically the idea that being an adult doesn’t mean we are grown.

This was something that was lamented by the portrayal of Draco Malfoy focused on a man who not only had to live with the sins of his family, but who continues to struggle with his father’s doctrine. You could see the actor wrestling with Draco’s Death Eater-based socialization, particularly when it comes to raising his son while still having to interact with the rest of the wizarding world.

Lastly, Hermione Granger, was hands down my favorite. The actress had to balance many incarnations of Hermione: her bravery, brains and calm approach to the chaos of the wizard world. Hermione was played as the badass we all know her to be and did everything in heels for most of the play. Plus, there were many nods to the feminist household Ron and Hermione live in, from the hyphenated last name of their children to hints that Ron is part joke-shop-owner and part stay-at-home-parent.

The trio’s kids are going to be okay

The actress who plays Rose Granger-Weasley was both wonderful and tragic. Her performance was stunning, and Rose was presented as the perfect blend of her parents. Her energy level was through the roof and every time she was on stage you couldn’t take your eyes off her. The tragic part was that she was not given more to do; her character is sparse after the first half of the show, and clearly could have handled more.

One of the recurring themes of the show (and the HP canon in general) was the troubles of being an outcast. Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy are those people. If Rose fits in and excels at everything (like mother like daughter, basically), Albus and Scorpius fail. The portrayal of Albus, however, was what the play promised, a teenage boy whose famous father’s image is so daunting that he must either rebel against or surpass it. The presentation of Scorpius is not at all what one would expect from a Malfoy. He is goofy, book-smart, nerdy, awkward and totally weird (basically a blend of the iconic trio, in my opinion). Like many folks in the theater, I could relate.

How does one overcome stigma?

This theme was clearly one of the cruxes of the play and manifested in Draco. The portrayal of Draco, a man who has had almost every adult figure in his life fail him (and struggles with his place in the wizard world) blew me away. Draco was given a lot more layers in this story, as a parent, a husband and a man trying to exist in a society that does not trust him.

In the books, Draco always felt like a shadow figure, and in the films, I thought he was played up more as a boy whose jealousy and privilege where poisoning him. It was nice to see him as more than this. Layers manifested in the ways Draco was portrayed as a complicated man, someone who wants to help his son become more than a product of Death Eaters.

Boys can cry

All of the characters, and the actors portraying them, presented themselves as multi-dimensional people. Rose was not only smart, but she also a jock. Ginny writes for the sports section of The Daily Prophet and is a loving mother in an egalitarian household. (Harry does the cooking just fyi). Hermione runs the Ministry, Ron works part-time, and their children hold both their last names.

But what was most telling was the friendship between Albus and Scorpius. Both boys are allowed to share their deepest feelings with each other, without ridicule or judgement. They express their fears, hug a lot and demonstrate that boys can cry. We also see this with Harry and Albus. Harry allows his son to see him crying and devastated. Even Draco gets a few moments where we realize how close to the surface his emotions run, yet Draco is more aware of the restrictions masculinity places on expressing feelings.

Conclusion

In short, The Cursed Child lived up to my expectations and beyond. Please accept my apologies for the lack of details in this non-review review, but I do fear the wrath of Professor McGonagall if any secrets are revealed.

#KeeptheSecrets

Travelling to London

Travelling to London? Follow these tips!!

Comino Magazine - Influencers

As one of the most visited cities in the world, London is jam-packed with tourists. So how can you skip the crowds, save money and make the most out of your London experience? Find out with these tips!

1. Check the Weather and Pack Accordingly

The weather in London can be very temperamental so always check the forecast before you pack. When I was there this year, the weather was mostly cold and windy, and there was a massive heatwave just a few short weeks before. Typically, January is the coldest month, with an average of 7°C and July the hottest, at 19 °C.

2. Use a Visitor Oyster Card

Once you land at the airport, look for an Oyster top-up machine, add some credit and you are good to go. A week in Zones 1-3 costs less than £40!

3. Travel during Off Peak Times

Low season is usually January…

View original post 1,227 more words

#ClaireNotes… London Edition! – July 2017

London baby!

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My most anticipated holiday to date has to be this one. It had been planned and booked for over a year! One week in London, jam-packed with fantastic events and banter (knowing me) with my bestfriend of 12 years.

The downside? Being at the airport at 4 in the morning. Yeah, I am not a morning person. But there were some upsides!: seven days with my bestfriend in the whole world. And shopping. And musicals. And souvenirs!

BFF’s Birthday in London

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Why the Cursed Child poster, you may be wondering…? Well, because we booked to see both parts of the play on her birthday!

I cannot share any details on the play itself (#keepthesecrets), but let’s just say it was beautiful and the transitions from one scene to another were out of this world and… dare I say… MAGICAL!

Brighton

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The day before Cursed Child we went to Brighton. We attended an event called Pop Up Pug Café which you can assume what it was all about.

After the Café we caught the bus to the Royal Pavilion…

Me

… and then headed to the amazing Brighton Pier, which was a lifelong dream of mine to visit.

You can tell the weather wasn’t in our favour, but we still had the greatest time!


Would you like a post on my week in London? Let me know in the comments’ section below!

Things Only People Who Work in Clothes Shops Understand Too Well

After a two-year absence from the retail scene, I have returned to earn a little side cash for my Mustang (or, you know, something of that sort). I’ve done retail for three years in two different shops, and I have seen numerous shite happening while I was on duty.

These are just some of them…

 


Getting annoyed when your friends make weekend plans and you have to turn them down because you’re doing the closing at 8pm. Again.

"No, I can't get off early."

Being asked whether something is on sale when it obviously isn’t.

"Oh it doesn't say it's on sale? Well it's probably not on sale then."

“Oh it doesn’t say it’s on sale? Well it’s probably not on sale then.”

“Does it show a discounted price? No? Use your head, ma’am.”

When customers pick something up and don’t put it back in the same place.

How very CONSIDERATE of you.

How very CONSIDERATE of you for giving me something to do.

The importance of making sure every hanger is facing the same way.

And that every row of hangers is evenly spaced.

And that every row of hangers is evenly spaced.

The very specific pain you can only understand if you’ve been on your feet for more than 8 hours straight.

When you’re asked to explain the returns policy and you’re like, “SURE I’D LOVE TO READ YOUR RECEIPT TO YOU.”

Just don't buy things you don't want, OK?

Just don’t buy things you don’t want and we’ll both live.

The art of using a folding board correctly.

And then lining up every shirt perfectly.

And lining up every shirt perfectly, and in size order.

When a customer tells you to enjoy your weekend, even though you’re very obviously working instead of enjoying.

When a customer says, “You must be exhausted!” and you’re like, “YEAH, NO SHIT.”

When a customer comes out of a changing room and you have to tell them they look great even when they don’t.

Um, maybe if it were opposites day.

“That floral top with bright colours and studs all over is so in, ma’am!”

Being handed a shirt that someone has just tried on and left makeup all over.

Hating Christmas by Dec. 1 because you’ve been surrounded by decorations for MONTHS.

If you see one more set of flashing lights...

 

If you see one more set of flashing lights…

Not to mention never wanting to hear Christmas music ever again.

And then being asked to wrap all your family’s Christmas presents because, you know, you’re so good at it.

Damn you, gift wrap.

Of course, the only thing worse than Christmas is January sales.

When people take 1,000 items into a changing room and leave 999 of them scrunched up in a pile on the floor.

 Or they hand them to you thinking you have nothing better to do.

The moment you’re about to take a break and suddenly the shop is full again.

"JUST LET ME EAT."

 

“JUST LET ME EAT IN PEACE.”

When all you want to do is sleep but all you’re allowed to do is greet.

"Hey! Welcome! Have a great day!" Bleurghhhhhh.

 “Hey! Welcome! Have a great day!” Bleurghhhhhh.

The intense fury that builds up inside you as a customer pays exclusively in coins.

Especially if they put the coins on the table instead of in your outreached palm.

"I'm not diseased. You can touch my hand."

When an item doesn’t scan and the customer jokes that it must be free.

"What an original joke. I have certainly never heard that one before. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL."

“What an original joke. I have certainly never heard that one before. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.”

Finishing your shift at 6 p.m. and having to rest instead of drinking with your friends.

Feeling close to tears every time you’re asked to put together a window display.

People who are “just looking”.

People who are “just looking” two minutes before the shop closes.

"No, honestly. Take your time. It's not like your casual browsing is affecting my evening plans. OH YEAH IT IS."

“No, honestly. Take your time. It’s not like your casual browsing is affecting my evening plans. OH YEAH IT IS.”

When someone asks you to get your manager and you’re like, “Oh sure, I’d love to get my manager.”

"Because I'm obviously not capable of dealing with your very difficult problem myself."

“Because I’m obviously not capable of dealing with your very difficult problem myself.”

When a customer tries to use a discount voucher that expired three years ago.

"Can you READ?"

 

“Can you READ?”

Or worse, when a customer tries to return something that has very clearly been worn.

When you don’t know whether the card machine’s being glitchy or the customer just doesn’t have enough money.

"I'M SORRY, I DON'T ENJOY THIS ANY MORE THAN YOU DO."

FINALLY being given a weekend off, and being called at the last minute to cover someone else’s shift.

Like why. Why.

#ClaireNotes – July 2017

Back in Retail

sales-assistant

This was unexpected for me, but I’m back in retail… part-time. Well, just for now. I’m working in a popular clothes’ shop and I’ve been doing it since the beginning of July with hopes to earn a little extra on the side to get myself my first car.

I never thought I would be back working in sales and retail. I was done with that part-time job for almost two years, but here I am… and I love it!

School in Summer…?

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As if working in retail was not enough, I also have another part-time: a child supporter in one of the children centres for the next two months. I’d applied ages ago, but was only chosen (I was 62nd) Thursday 6th, and had to go sign a contract on my only day off that week: Friday.

This is my first time working in a summer school, and I hope I get to  grow more as an LSA.

Making up my Mind

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This month was very tough, as I’d found out I won’t be working in the same school again. The past two years were great and I fell in love with both the place and the workers there. What’s done is done now, and I need to move forward.

I applied for a few more jobs, some of which are not education-related, and I am still to decide what I want career-wise. I have put a lot of thinking these past few days since I got the bad news, but I don’t talk about it much with others. My mind is about to explode, and I speak very little about it.

But I’m doing okay… I’ve made my decision and am feeling much better now.

A Leap of Faith: Things are Changing…

“Clean” Eating

For some people, eating clean means being healthy and cutting down on junk food and add up the fruits and vegetables. Since I’m a junkie at heart and have probably had a total of five vegetables in my 23 years of life, I am taking a different approach to this whole clean eating thing: incorporating more and more vegetables in my diet until I can ultimately limit my junk food intake. SOunds easy? It’s not. Not for me, at least. But I’m trying, which counts.

Internship

After being contacted by Comino Magazine to be a regular collaborator, I had to accept the opportunity. “But what will happen to your blog?” It will still be here. “And you?” Yes, me too.

This is not only an opportunity to help a fellow blogger, but also myself to be a better writer and get my work out there, which is outside of my sassy, realistic and blunt blog.

New Job?

The question mark is so important in this case which is why I decided to underline it. With the driving exams (practical and theory) fast approaching, which means I need to save up for a car from now (or should I have started before?!?!), I decided to get a part-time job for the summer, as a Fashion Advisor (fancy) in a popular retail shop in a popular mall in Malta. I started this week, and so far, I love it!

… But wait! I might have a day job as a Support Worker for children during summer.

Shigh. So many things, so little time.

Vitamins

This was an unexpected thing, but I’ve started taking fish oil vitamins. They were recommended to me by my psychiatrist to help with my concentration and memory. I’m going on week three and I’ve seen a mental transformation in relation to memory and how I process thoughts. I’ve taken vitamins before but they made me more tired and physically sick, but these are really good so far! I am taking one capsule of Pharmepa RESTORE | 1000 mg pure EPA omega-3 fish oil a day.