All posts by Llamasymphony

I like to write, read, take photos, draw, watch TV, go on adventures, travel, lie in bed all day, eat new things, laugh with my friends, love my boyfriend, visit my family, play on my PS4, drive, make cocktails, buy things, get excited over little things and get tattoos.

Bohemian Rhapsody

“Fearless lives forever.”

★★★★★

For those of you that have seen Bohemian Rhapsody on the big screen you’ll get it when I say it’s incredible and that it’s an honorable tribute to one of the world’s most recognisable and loved rock stars.

While it was a lot longer than I expected – clocking in at around 2hrs 30mins – it didn’t matter, because sitting there in the dark room staring up at the big screen I found myself not wanting it to end, I wanted it to keep going even though, as we all know, Mercury’s story doesn’t have the happy ending the silver screen usually promises us.

Even though the story was approved by the surviving members of Queen, the biopic has received some criticism for changing events just to add drama, and for some historical inaccuracies. But in my opinion, this doesn’t alter the feeling of being there, the feeling of watching it all begin, the feeling of goosebumps as we listen to the crowd at live aid interact with Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie.

I found the insights into Mercy’s home life and the beginning of his career enlightening, there were things I didn’t know about him. For instance, I didn’t know that he was born with four extra incisors and I didn’t know how experimental Queen were in the recording studio at the beginning. From eccentric outfits and hairstyles to that signature moustache we know so well. It was incredible to watch their careers unfold before my eyes, from their humble beginnings to playing in front of and to billions of people around the world at Live Aid.

I just can’t believe I waited so long before going to see it, and if you haven’t already I’d highly recommend it.

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(Featured and footer Image, credit to owner)

Awake But Not Aware

I remember the first time it happened, it was like it was yesterday, since then… it’s been irregular and continuously terrifying. 

The first time it happened, I was away from home with my family in Gran Canaria. It was me, my younger brother and my mum, we’d just settled down for the night, my brother and I were in the twin bedroom and my mum on the sofa just 4 meters away. I’m not sure what time it was or what we did that day, but I do know that it was felt just as real as anything I’ve ever experienced my life awake. It was like I was asleep in my head, but my conscious was partially awake living in the real world, it was like purgatory. It was then that I saw it – to this day I’m not 100% what exactly it was but it looked like a spider. I’m sure you’re thinking a spider, that’s nothing but it was there and it was the size of the wall. It was there – in my head – this 3m x 4m spider. So I screamed… I screamed louder than I ever had before, which at some point had woken up my brother who instinctively started screaming along with me – he didn’t know what was going on, maybe he thought there was danger. I jumped out of bed and ran to the door where my mum was standing, (I mean it’s no surprise that two screaming teenagers had woken her). I said ‘I need to get out of here’ and I could hear the desperation in my own voice… the fear. As she stepped out of the way I moved quickly over to the sofa and sat down, looking around the room as my brain caught up with my conscious realising it hadn’t happened, there was nothing to be afraid of. Even with that realisation, I still slept on the sofa that night.
The next morning, I could barely remember what had happened, it started to come back to me when my family asked me about it, when they told me what had happened.

That was only the beginning.

To this day – 6 or so years later I don’t know what it is, I don’t know what triggers it, I don’t know how to stop it and I don’t know when it will happen again. I’m writing this today because it happened again, only last night – but I’ll get to that soon.

If I’m remembering correctly, the next time it happened it was early morning before college and my alarm was due to go off – I know this because as soon as it did I screamed and ran out of my room towards my mums bedroom. She was awake but hadn’t yet gotten up, I sat on her bed and as my brain caught up I asked ‘Why am I here’, I couldn’t remember getting there. In the moments that follow these… let’s call them episodes, I can’t remember it. It takes a few hours, or for someone to remind me before it all comes back. Now, I can’t forget it.

From here the timeline gets a bit messy, so I’ll just mention a few episodes that have stuck with me.
Screaming aside, I went through a phase of something that resembles sleepwalking – only I was awake, but not consciously there.

The only person who ever witnessed this was my twin brother, he used to stay up passed everyone else and watch TV in the living room until early hours of the morning. I’d go to bed, and suddenly I’d be downstairs, eyes open, sitting on the sofa opposite my brother. I’d stare blankly at the TV, feeling his presence but barely interacting with him. Then I’d go back upstairs and back to sleep – the times that this happened my brother told me about it the morning after. After it happened a few times, I’d become subconsciously aware that it happened, but not conscious enough to stop it. So one night I’d ended up downstairs watching TV again, then my brother looked at me, and I subconsciously said ‘I know I’m here you know…’ and went back upstairs.

I didn’t know I was there… I didn’t remember any of it.

When I moved away from home for university I moved into student accommodation. A few times I’d wake up thinking there were spiders on my bed, I’d jump up and run for the door, only then would I pull myself back to reality when trying to open door and then there was once that the weekly fire alarm test went off and I screamed.

Then fast forward a few year I met my current partner, and I’d failed to mention any of it, I just hadn’t happened for so long that I thought it was over, I thought I was free from whatever was holding me back.

So the story goes, we were visiting my family, and staying in my brothers room – he was in my mums room and she was downstairs on the sofa. We were asleep and somehow I caught a glimpse of the eagle painting my brother had put painted onto the majority of his bedroom wall and I lost it. I screamed and ran; waking up my brothers, my partner and my mum. I came back to reality when I was at the top of the stairs, my mum standing at the bottom looking up at me, my brothers and my partner standing in the doorways of the bedrooms. All eyes on me…

If my memory serves me right, there hasn’t been another big episode since that one… until last night.

It was a pretty standard night, we’d went food shopping and watched the latest episode of The Walking Dead, and while my partner went to bed I played a few games of Call Of Duty before heading to bed and watching two episodes of One Tree Hill on my iPad before going to sleep.
Then about 4 AM I came back to semi-consciousness already in the middle of an episode, kicking violently and screaming I felt trapped, stuck to the bed. As soon as I managed to get free I ran to the spare bedroom and just stood there, waiting for whatever was happening to stop. When I returned to the bedroom my partner was sitting up, waiting, and the duvet was all on the floor. I remember him saying ‘That hasn’t happened for a while’ – In the end I found out that it was him, keeping me down, restraining me in a sense, scared that I would end up at the top of the stairs – or at the bottom of them.

So as another episode passed totalling 6 years since the first one I still have no idea what triggers it, what it is, if it will ever stop and what caused it in the first place. So instead I live in fear, fear that one day it will happen again and there’s absolutely nothing I can do to stop it.

One More Light – Linkin Park

An incredible and haunting album from one of the worlds most influential bands, and a lasting tribute to the legacy of the late Chester Bennington.

★★★★★

At one point in their life i’m pretty sure most people have heard a Linkin Park song and it was more than likely ‘Numb’ or ‘What I’ve Done’ – both incredible songs. It’s safe to say that they were the voice of a generation and they were and are one of the most influential bands in their genre.

In May 2017 they released what would become their last album as a complete band, the albums is titled ‘One More Light’. I first listened to it in June 2017 and I loved almost every second of it – the only song I don’t like to much is ‘Good Goodbye (feat. Pusha T & Stormzy)’.

The sound overall is a lot different to their past music and it attracted some negative criticism upon first release and it seemed that some reviewers thought that the band had ‘sold out’, but I didn’t understand where the negativity came from, I still don’t… it’s an album I can put on shuffle and listen to all day, over and over again – for me, that kind of thing is rare.

Every song has its merits, and each song has something I love about it, whether its rhythm, the lyrics or Chester’s incredible voice sending me into a blissful haze, it’s one of my favourite albums and it contains one of my favourite songs of all time

The song I cannot fault is the title track for the album, One More Light.
A song that has become even more relevant and haunting since Chester Bennington’s death. The lyrics are touching and although the song was wrote about the death of friend of the band, they can so elegantly be reflective on the death of the bands frontman.

I get chills when listening to the lyrics, his voice was unique and it was passionate, it certainly was a loss for the music industry, but I believe this song and this album will carry his legacy on long after the rest of us have been forgotten.

“If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do”

‘Who cares if one more light does out? Well, we do’

(Feature image credit to the photographer or owner)

 

Kat Von D – Lock It Foundation

The dispenser is faultless and the bottle design gorgeous. I unpacked it and tried it as soon as I got home.

★★★★★

Last week, I finally invested in some decent foundation – previously I’d used MUA Super Stay Matte foundation and before that I did a degree in Make up and Special Effects so I had a lot of MAC products left over, unfortunately the foundation ran out pretty quick and I just never invested in more.

In the past couple of months I’ve spent a lot of money on other Kat Von D (KVD) Beauty products and they’d all exceeded my expectations – the Brow Pomade and the Tattoo Liner are two of my favourites. So I figured it would be worth the £27 for the foundation.

I went into Debenhams, after a good 30 minutes trying different brands and shades on my face in Superdrug, I went straight to KVD and within 5 minutes the sales assistant came over, asked me if I needed anything, colour matched me and took me to the till.

I used a standard foundation brush to apply it and MAC 187 to blend and while the coverage was full it did make me look like a ghost at first – however as soon as I applied my eyebrows, eyeliner and highlighter it all came together, at first I thought she’d given me the wrong shade, but I was wrong.

It wasn’t at all heavy on my face and after setting it with KVD setting powder it stayed put all day, from 8am – 11pm (when I took it off). Even with the heat of summer and the unavoidable sweating it, lasted and accomplished things I could only dream of with my previous foundations.

Santa Clarita Diet

It’s a cannibal comedy that’s a breath of fresh air for TV.
(May contain spoilers!)

★★★★★

After a lot of delaying, with no reasoning at all – other than the fact I was watching Friends, Weeds and The Office US over and over and over again – I finally committed and ended up watching the whole of season 2 of The Santa Clarita Diet on Monday and I was not disappointed.

Watching on Netflix I was thankful for the few minutes they allowed at the beginning to review season 1, because while I remembered the main storyline, a lot of the details had escaped my mind since I last watched it.

Just in case you didn’t know, the story follows the Hammond family; Sheila, Joel and their daughter Abby as they try to figure out how Shelia became ‘undead’ – following a vomiting that would put even Regan from The Exorcist to shame – all the while trying to help her control her new found cannibalistic urges.

It has something for everyone: it has comedy, it has gore, it has an interesting storyline and a cast to die for. During the course of season one I was pulled in by the intriguing story of trying to find out the origins of the vomit spree and the red ball that Shelia threw up long ago in the very first episode (now known as Mr Ball-Legs).

Just like the first season, there is plenty of humor and plenty of blood, except this time she’s found her crown jewel, a group of Nazi’s to chow down on.

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Playstation VR

It may be my favourite purchase so far.

Recently, I impulsively bought a Playstation VR (PSVR) to go with my PS4 after wanting one for so long. After using it for a while it started to feel like what I imagine the technology in Ready Player One felt like when it was first developed, while I know the technology gap between our world and the OASIS is still quite a big one, it’s definitely on its way, and I’ll be interested to see what things are developed over the next decade or so – hopefully some haptic gloves.

I can honestly say that I love everything about virtual reality and I am looking forward to more games becoming available. Currently I have two full games: one being Skyrim and the other Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. Skyrim, while it is amazing game in itself there are some visual aspects of it that could do with some fine-tuning for VR users. Although, I can’t deny the fact that having several frost spiders run at me in VR is a little bit terrifying and looking up to the Aurora Borealis while wandering the mountains is peaceful and insightful. It’s definitely heading in the right direction, and I’m looking forward to fighting dragons while fully emerged. Rush of Blood however, I knew this going in to it, it’s not for those with a fear of clowns. While I myself am not really scared of clowns that much this game has made me a little more fearful, just like American Horror Story: Cult did. But you know, if you’re a fan of having psycho clowns lunge at you in the dark while you’re on a flimsy wooden roller coaster then this is the game for you. The roller coaster bit is a fun experience alone and makes you feel like you’re on one, the stomach flipping alone can convince you of that.

Along with the games I also have some VR experiences to enter in to.
There is something about emerging yourself into other worlds that I find relaxing and in a way, eye-opening. I recently ventured into Chernobyl  through the VR Project and wandered around Pripyat and it’s ruins with my virtual guide, it was incredible – seeing the long since abandoned theme park in real life is one of my dreams and this gave my a glimpse into it. The view across the city was nothing short of amazing, it makes you wonder what it was once like to live in or what it would have been like if the disaster could have been avoided.

To enhance my experience I have also bought the Playstation Move controllers – playing Rush of Blood with move is a lot better than using the Dualshock 4. When using DS4, you have 2 guns, each controlled by half of the controller, whereas when you us the move controllers you have more freedom, each gun is separated, allowing you to flail your arms around violently trying to ward off killer clowns.

I’m sure in time I will have more to share about the VR as it continues to grow, but for now, this is it.

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Drink, Drugs and Depression

I’m just going to keep the title plain and straight to the point.
It started pretty light, I moved away from home for university, met a load of new people, started smoking and then it escalated*.

I’d never really done anything more than underage drinking when I was younger, sure I’d tried a few cigarettes here and there when I was in school, had to keep up with the cool kids, but that soon fizzled out as it wasn’t something that interested me and I decided I’d rather spend my £3 a day dinner money on food rather than paying the extortionate 50p or £1 per cig that kids charged.
Following that, when I hit 16 and left school I entered into what ended up being an abusive relationship with my first boyfriend who I met through some friends. We all used to go out drinking – sometimes just on a nearby field with a bottle of vodka and some WKD, telling our parents we were staying at each others houses – and if I could do it all again, I wouldn’t. Thankfully that ended when I was 17, after 1 year and 2 months.
Then when I turned 18, I did what every 18-year-old did after finally hitting the legal drinking age, I went out with my friends, I experienced clubs and pubs and I went to house parties – proudly flashing my ID to show I was old enough to be there. It was there that I started smoking socially and only when drinking.

Fast Forward a year, I got into university, which meant that I was moving away from home, and I did so in 2012. I moved into a student accommodation, a small single room with an en suite bathroom – let’s face it, I was never going to share a bathroom with anyone. I bonded with my flatmates on the first night and we gradually grew our friendship group with others in the building and soon we were this huge group of people from all walks of life, all bonding and experiencing these new things together. There was drama, there were laughs and tears, there was love and hate… and soon drugs and more drugs – and one time we put a flashbang in a box of Cheerios.

When it began, I remember the night quite clearly, I’d went into one of my friends rooms where others were already gathered listening to music and just chatting. There was a joint being passed around and when it got to me I took it and the rest is history. I’m not sure why I remember the night so clearly, as I usually have a pretty terrible memory. From then I just smoked weed with my friends on a night after classes, we used to get together in someone’s room skin up, play games and watch TV – It doesn’t sound like much, but in the rooms on those nights we all bonded with each other.

I’m not sure what came next in my timeline, but I’m pretty sure it was a couple of legal highs. The one I distinctly remember was called ‘Dust Til Dawn’ it was a cocaine substitute, a fine white powder that you snorted. There was a small group of us that took it, it was totally different experience, it didn’t feel like much at the time, but it was. We were sat in the dark with a lava lamp on, playing two specific games on PS3, one was ‘Flower’ and the other ‘The Unfinished Swan.’ Everything was slow, visuals and colours were enhanced and we didn’t really say much, it was calming in a sense. No one is 100% sure how long we were in the room for, but overall myself and one of my friends didn’t sleep for 72 hours and didn’t eat for 36 hours. That was the only time we did it.

Then without much thought behind it we switched to real cocaine, it didn’t have to be a special occasion, just whenever we felt like it. It could be for a night out, or just a quiet night in. Not going to lie, I liked it (When I’d got together with my then boyfriend we once got 2g in, gathered a load of blankets and pillows in the living room and just had a night in). It was different for me, it wasn’t a drug I’d go out on, it didn’t have the energetic effect on my that it seemed to have on everyone else – although, I did once, go out with some, and do some lines in the toilets of a club with my best friend.

My favourite however had to be MDMA
Which was the only one I was cautious about before I took it, it was the only one I looked up online before taking it, this was primarily because I’d heard some horror stories when I was younger about it. The one I remember was during a drug safety talk at school, it was a video of a house party, they’d all taken it in pill form and a girl got so dehydrated from it she drank and drank and drank and drank water until she eventually drowned herself. In the end I decided to give it a go.
After taking it, it was simply a waiting game, it took about 30 minutes for it to take effect and when it did it was non stop movement, I was zooming around the house, I was talking really fast, interacting with everyone I came across, I was seeing lights brighter than before, I was feeling happy and energetic, I was blissful.
The comedown on the other hand wasn’t nice, it was a slow transition to sleepy and worn out – which is understandable considering all of the energy I probably used.

Another experience I had was acid (LCD). It was something that friend has acquired off the dark web, why not, I’d tried everything else. I’m not sure if it was legitimate acid or not, because it didn’t produce any of the same effects pop culture describes, it was weird. There were hallucinations but I can’t remember much more than that – I remember we’d all agreed prior to dropping, that we wouldn’t go outside… obviously I ended up outside, sitting on the step of the house I’d moved into with 5 of my friends, every car that approached no matter what size or what speed I saw blue and red flashing lights, it wasn’t until it’d actually passed me that I realised it wasn’t a police car. I remember seeing people in dark hallways, screaming and running, only to find that they were in the room I’d run to and not lingering in the hallway. I remember the comedown quite well, I was in my bed, I’d woken up after a couple of hours sleep, I remembered thinking ‘That’s it, it’s over’ then I looked to my Breaking Bad poster and it was moving – it wasn’t over. This happened a few times, and I thought it was never going to end, it was always going to be like that, but eventually the posters stopped moving and everything went back to normal.

When my then boyfriend and I broke up, I sunk into a pretty deep depression, and I turned to drugs to help me. I had a gram of coke left over and half a bottle of tequila – that was me for the following 48 hours, I did some shots, I did some lines and I smoked some weed. It eventually got to a point where my friends were seriously worried about me, they’d told me later down the line that it’d got so bad that they had to make sure someone was with me most of the time, just in case. It was awful to hear that, because in my eyes it had never gotten that bad, but it had.

That was the last time I’d done anything harder than smoke weed – which I also quit eventually and I am now, as of 2018, 1 year drug sober and I have never been happier. There are still times when I feel down and times when I just want to be by myself, but no matter what corner I turn or what dump I fall into my knight in shining armor is always there to rescue me and to him I say thank you.

(*I’m not condoning or promoting drug use, this is simply a review of my experiences.)

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