Weekly Photo Challenge: Chaos

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This week’s photo challenge is Chaos. I captured this ordered chaos in Lake District last year – let me know what you think.

On another note, I hope you are all well, and thank you for continuing to visit my blog! This autumn I started my final year in university, so the pressure is on. I have got some experiences and stories that I’m hoping to share with you soon though, so keep checking back!

Until next time,
Sohini

Thoughts on Stardom and Snakes

Last month, I walked to the bus stop listening to Taylor Swift telling me to shake it off. And, mildly surprised, I found myself feeling guilty about it.

Recently, the name Taylor Swift has brought to mind much more than boyfriends and teardrops on guitars. If you’re not up-to-date on the ongoing drama between her and Kanye West, just a quick Google search will put enough articles at your disposal, articles looking at different points of view, evaluating issues from race supremacy to the exact number of fallings out Swift has experienced (and the outfits she was wearing when she did). Some writers seem to have taken a relish in providing a timeline of events for  the Swift-West feud, whilst others gleefully demand whose side you’re on.

Taylor or Kanye, right or… not right, people certainly have divided over this. Sometimes it’s over the core problem (e.g. Taylor Swift allegedly lying, or Kanye West recording their phone call). Other times, people derive further issues (e.g. both Swift’s and West’s personas, or whether Swift is easily forgiven because of her skin colour). It’s not exactly surprising that details of their affairs would reach the general public and be discussed in detail. Even less surprising is that people would be quick to proclaim their own opinions on the matter. Even in my mostly indifferent state, I have an opinion.

giphy-2Everyone on the internet after a celebrity messes up (© Disney | via Giphy)

But what some people seem to forget is that their debates concern actual people, not just famous names. Imagine meeting someone in the workplace that you don’t quite get along with. You rarely interact with them, but keep up with their progress at work. At their first mistake, would you jump up and shoot them down with a barrage of insults? That seems to be – more or less – the norm these days.

Out of idle curiosity, I scrolled through a few articles about the growing Swift-West feud. The end of the articles inevitably led to the start of the comment sections, and some of the comments I saw were horrifying. On one hand, people criticising Kanye West and his songwriting. On the other, calling Taylor Swift a snake and insulting everything from her voice to her dancing. On both sides, spewing insults and judgements like they weren’t dealing with real people with real feelings.

giphy-3.gifThey have feelings… and so do snakes! (© Disney | via Giphy)

Sure, Taylor Swift and Kanye West are probably not scrolling through these comments with tears in their eyes. But just because they might never see the hate doesn’t make it okay. Since when did people’s fame give others an excuse to follow, judge and pry into their every move?

This post isn’t meant to be defending any particular side. This is just something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and thought I’d put down on paper (or screen) to get it off my mind. I’m aware that Taylor Swift and Kanye West both have different reputations, based on a number of factors. I also realise that both have made mistakes. I’m not very familiar with Kanye West to begin with, but this whole issue has put some of Swift’s actions in a different light. I was listening to her song Innocent a while ago, and a condescension and pity I hadn’t noticed before hit me hard.

“It’s okay, life is a tough crowd,” Swift sings in the song written about none other than Kanye West. “Who you are is not what you’ve been.”

And yet, after similarly writing songs about people in her life, Swift herself asks to be excluded from a narrative she never wanted to be a part of. So apparently, she’s a hypocrite, a liar, a scammer, a fake.

Or maybe she’s a human who’s made some mistakes. Just like Kanye West.

Yesterday morning, Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off came on again. And this time, I sung along.

Shelve Your Bookshelf Problems

What a terribly un-funny title (sorry). It does the job though, which is to tell you that today I’m coming to you with some bookshelf tips! If you have more books than you could possibly store in an organised, Instagram-ready fashion, this post is for you, because I feel your pain.

1. Get some shelves

Wait, don’t stop reading! This isn’t some horribly obvious tip, I promise. When I say ‘shelves’, I don’t necessarily mean furniture that was specifically intended for book storage. If you don’t have much space or can’t put anything on your walls, why not consider some shelving units that you can lay or stack on the ground?

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This was probably meant to be a wall-hung unit but it ended up on my floor.

2. Mix some decor in

If you have to have books lying around, make them a part of your decor. Pop a plant on top of one stack, or lean a photo frame against another; they don’t have to be in the way if you deliberately place them that way. If you have the time, you could even colour co-ordinate!

3. Improvise yourself some bookends

If you have some books that just won’t stay, why spend anything on bookends when you can use that money to buy more books (or food)? Try using something weighty like a paperweight, and put a larger, heavier book at the end of the line to make things easier.

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You can’t see it, but the glimmer of red on the left is a perfume bottle. On the other side is an alarm clock.

4. Divide and conquer

This tactic is a little more desperate. If you don’t have the means to store all your books in one place, split them up. Stack a few across the back of your desk, or maybe on top of your wardrobe. Just don’t forget where you put what!

5. I’m sorry, but… donate some?

I know books are sometimes very hard to get rid of. My dad recently prepared a whole box to give away, and I took half of them (I’m not exaggerating). But organisations like the British Heart Foundation take donations for a good cause. Moreover, the books you buy there (some for A POUND) can be donated back!

If you’re unwilling to donate, at least consider lending some to a friend who reads really slowly. By the time they’re done, maybe you’ll have the means to store some more books.

Thanks for reading, and let me know if any of these tips was helpful to you. Until next time!

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