Dear Sexism | Feminism Up

Dear Sexism,

I was working an evening shift not too long ago when I came face-to-face─well, stomach-to-hand─with you. While you’re sometimes quiet and sneaky, that night you were loud and arrogant.

The evening was unassuming; a retiring Monday that promised an early night. Then a sexist walks into a restaurant and takes a seat. Little did I know, the doors would be locked at nine p.m. but your self-proclaimed punch line lingered loudly all the way through the week. Sexism, you joked and I laughed politely. I served you and you did utter gratification. As you cackled at yet another witticism of yours, your greedy hand met my midsection. “Hello,” it sniggered as I struggled to protest. I have chastised my dismissal ever since but, as my brows knitted together with shock, I simply didn’t say anything. Your force left me feeling off balance. Your actions left me with no words other than, “Enjoy your meal.”

In the name of feminism I take back my silence. I’ve been told countless stories of friends’ nights out that include young men touching them without their permission. No means no isn’t acknowledged; consent isn’t even asked for. We are so frequently robbed of our right to say no; our right to have a choice. So, Sexism, I challenge your choice to touch with no request. If─when─we meet again, I’ll battle the confusion lodged in my throat and I’ll teach you a lesson you, to this day, haven’t learnt.

I encourage everyone to speak out if they can; to correct you, Sexism. To tell you we won’t let you get away with it. Yet, with the yellow glow up above my head helping me see the very face of your beliefs, I didn’t practice what I preach. Your beliefs overpowered mine but next time I’ll tell you to shut the feminism up. Sexism, I am a woman and a waitress. The “look and do touch” attitude towards women and waitresses and anyone is supposed to be in the history books. I’m a human being and I won’t shyly ask for your respect; I will demand it.

Regards,

A Waitress Who Didn’t Give You Permission to Touch


This is my first article in issue #5 of Feminism Up (released earlier this month). Feminism Up is my passion project that aims to encourage conversation about inequality and sexism, in turn encouraging the term “feminist.” After experiencing something in my place of work last month I felt the need to write about it. If you’d like to read the rest of the issue, feel free to subscribe HERE! If you yourself would like to write an article, please drop me a message! ❤

~ Kat ~

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How to Actually Write a Book

Ever since I was nine years old Microsoft Word has been my best friend. I have been writing “the next best seller” for over twelve years, each fresh attempt at becoming an author bringing a story to the world that was my “best yet.” After a few weeks of being so in love with my new world, characters and words, I would hit a wall. The famous writer’s block strikes again. And a couple of hundred pages too soon, THE END was written; another idea unfinished and forgotten within a week. So many of us throw around the well-intended promise, “I’m going to write a book!” as we smugly smile. We say this, ignoring the fact that simply saying this doesn’t equate to getting the job done. Here’s how I’m approaching my next attempt book-writing adventure.

meThe To-Do List: I’ve started my very own new chapter and am holding myself accountable this time. I have a date set for when I must reach the finish line; I have a minimum amount of words I must write a day. So as not to tempt fate I won’t share The End Date (dum dum duuuum) with you but, I’ll share with you my Write Every Day World Limit. Five days a week will see me writing at least one hundred words. At least. I have an approximate end date for each quarter of the book and,n as organisation is my best friend, I’m feeling pretty pumped about it.

The Addition of Hygge: Lit candles, my favourite blanket and a cup of tea. I am hygge-ing up my writing process and I couldn’t recommend it more. Comfort is your biggest cheerleader when you’re writing what feels like the most illogical sentence ever written or finding the worst plot holes known to man. Hygge may just save the day when I inevitably experience the “I am so done with this” moment every writer writes for themselves. The End Day (dum dum duuuum) will only grant a big tick next to the task “write a book” if you enjoy the experience. Other ever-so-Hygge writing additions include:

  • Disney instrumental soundtrack
  • Fairy lights
  • Chocolate digestives
  • Cosy jumper
  • Pyjamas

Just Keep Writing, Writing, Writing: I have recently been given the advice to not go back and edit. This may just be the piece of advice that lands me my writer’s happily ever after. I have returned to the book idea I had and gave up on a few months ago. Looking back, I think I began feeling infuriated with this very idea because I was obsessed with checking over it. Editing the first chapter over and over again. This led to me feeling uninspired by the time I got to writing chapter two. I wrote chapter two and it sucked. End of story. I’ve turned a new page and have decided not to be such a perfectionist. While I will, once a month, have a cheeky edit, the main edit will be a task for after The End Day (dum dum duuuum).

What are your writing tips?

~ Kat ~

Five Things I Love About Autumn

October has officially rolled its very own autumnal red carpet, made from orange leaves that crunch beneath our boots. Our collection of jumpers wave at us every morning when we are getting ready before we sometimes leave our homes with a raincoat hugged to our chests. From the window, however, some days are overlooked by a blue sky and fluffy white clouds; we breathe in the crisper-than-it-used-to-be air but don’t feel resentment towards it. Autumn is at our doors and I’m excited to welcome it. Here are five things I love about autumn.

autumn 2ONE: The Cosy Vibe: Autumn is when I remember about hot chocolate, bath bombs and blankets. Candles should be lit as evening approaches and a new book is then to be opened. Working in hospitality means evenings off aren’t as frequent as they used to be but I plan to schedule in a completely free evening very soon. After a bath with my new Lush bath bomb, into my pyjamas I will slip before I make a hot chocolate and read a book by candlelight as a blanket protects me from the cold.

TWO: The Colours: Autumn litters the streets with the most lovely colours. Reds, oranges and browns create the filter we live in and I love it. I like the grey days and the blue days that I wake up to throughout September, October and November. The colours make for the best runs, the most chilled out walks and therefore, the most beautiful Instagram theme.

THREE: The Fashion: I’m very much a high-waisted shorts kind of girl, but I’m very excited about jeans, jumpers and coats this autumn. I’ve recently become the biggest fan of loud shirts and I plan on rocking these (or rock them as much as you can rock such lame shirts) all throughout autumn.

autumn oneFOUR: Pumpkin-Carving: After years of not caring at all about Halloween, I became pumpkin-obsessed last year. Aaron and I carved our very own pumpkins and it was FAR too much fun. As soon as possible we are going to go and pick our own pumpkins and have another carving competition. Autumn provided me with a new festivity to fall in love with last year and I just can’t wait for all things Halloween.

FIVE: Great South Run: I consider myself somewhat of a Great South regular. The last two years I have run the South Coast’s ten mile run in late October. And I adore the run. Autumn is the season that accompanies the Great South and it’s, for me, the main event of autumn. Both of my experiences at the Great South Run have seen the sun in the sky, providing what feels like a summer’s day run after a few miles in. Larvely. Less than two weeks to go!

I am looking forward to experiencing all four seasons without the stress of lecture notes, essays and exams. Of course I shouldn’t have let these things rain on my seasons but I definitely did sometimes. I am hoping without the weight of student worries I’ll feel more welcoming to the relentless pitter patter of UK weather. Bring on the pumpkins!

What do you love about Autumn?

~ Kat ~

The Wanderluster’s Collectable

As of today I am coining the word “wanderluster.” I shall define a “wanderluster” with the definition, “a person who is fuelled by wanderlust and, importantly, always dreaming of the next place they must visit.” Hidden definition: probably follows far too many travel accounts on Instagram. I am a wanderluster. After my brother gifted me with the Rome 2017 Lonely Planet guidebook earlier this year, I became a little obsessed. So obsessed that I purchased the 2017 Paris Lonely Planet guidebook after I visited in March because I want to collect every Lonely Planet guidebook for every place I visit. Let me explain why. *Stares at mini collection lovingly.*

IMG_4571.JPGWhy would you buy a book you no longer have use for, you ask. I have a daydream I can’t let go of. I often fantasise about my future home, furnished with a coffee table that shows off all of the spines of my Lonely Planet books underneath my Anthropologie coffee coasters. I am so overexcited about the idea that I’m also hutnting down the 2016 Dublin Lonely Planet guidebook as I mostly want to focus this silly collectable obsession on the city breaks I’ve been on. As I’ve excitedly explained my plan to friends and family, some have rolled their eyes. Kath’s going on again. Some have clapped (no one has clapped) at my efforts. Haters gonna hate but my future coffee table is going to look sick.

Why do I love Lonely Planet so much?

  • These books offer a diverse range of activities for tourists to do; whether you want to be a traditional backpack, cap and camera round the neck tourist or more of a “I’m pretending to be a local” tourist.
  • Every page is jam-packed with recommendations, tips and facts about the titular place.
  • The pictures inside alone will get you beyond excited to hop on the place and to your next destination.
  • These Lonely Planet books, specific to the year of travel, also set out what’s going on in that destination in each month- SO HELPFUL.

These Lonely Planet delights make planning a trip so easy and super exciting. My friend and I are currently planning for our trip to New York and my 2017 New York guidebook has provided us with plenty ideas. From vegetarian restaurant recommendations (my friend is veggie!), to iconic New York cocktails, to tricks and tips about the big city, we are sorted. I am obsessed with my silly little idea because not only do the books help me plan and save my life when I’m in a city (pop it in your backpack and you can never go too wrong!) but they act much like a theatre programme. Once home, I have a play-by-play of the destination I’ve visited and I can nostalgically stroke the cover and dream of my lovely memories made. *Hears how weird I sound and shrugs.* What can I say? I’m a wanderluster.

What do you collect?

~ Kat ~

Goodbye Christopher Robin

When I am a fan of something, I am the number one fan of that something. Whether that be McFly, Hamilton, Topshop crop tops or the city of Dublin, I go next level of fangirl. I was thinking about this yesterday when suddenly it clicked. Maybe the start of this fangirl pattern was my childhood love for Winnie-the-Pooh (which never wavered as I grew older). I loved Winnie-the-Pooh so much that my favourite colour was yellow (and still is) because Winnie-the-Pooh is yellow. I would argue with anyone who told me I was “too old” for the honey-loving bear and re-watched The Tigger Movie just the other day. Maybe my love of crop tops even boils down to Pooh bear. Long intro short, I went to see Goodbye Christopher Robin on Sunday and it was fantastic. WARNING: Contains spoilers.

IMG_4544.JPGI really didn’t know what to expect going into watch Goodbye Christopher Robin but I certainly didn’t expect to cry so much (much to my boyfriend’s amusement). The film is shot through what can only be described as an Instgram filter; the brown and yellow-y feel throwing us back to the early 20th Century and A. A. Milne’s life. We see how Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends were birthed from A. A. Milne’s son, Christopher Robin’s own imagination and cuddly toys. Although based on real life, the film doesn’t entirely follow stick to A. A. Milne’s real life story, but it delivers a poignant story that leaves the audience exploring different themes way after the credits have rolled.

Goodbye Christopher Robin tackles PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder); we learn how it affects two characters in the film as they return home, traumatised from the experiences of war. At one point in the film, A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard are discussing ways in which the war has tainted post-war life. E. H. Shepard says something along the lines of the two of them needing to “sort out up here.” Up here being their minds. I found this part of the film to be wonderfully sharp; fleeting but its importance not so fleeting. Mental health is never far from being in the spotlight of Goodbye Christopher Robin and I was so happy to see such an important topic being brought to centre stage.

The cast were fantastic. I fell in love, naturally, with Olive’s (Kelly Macdonald) and Billy Moon’s (Will Tilston’s) relationship. Domnhall Gleeson played A. A. Milne, a deeply troubled writer unbelievably well. Margot Robbie, while we don’t like her character Daphne, was, too, superb. Interestingly the film addresses an issue that has recently been a point of discussion in the UK. Daphne experiences a traumatic childbirth; she was labelled as “unprepared” or something similar. While there were complications, it brings up the issue of women feeling as though they aren’t ready for labour beforehand; afterwards knowing they were unprepared. It sparks an interesting discussion about whether women should be properly informed about the facts of childbirth.

I remember being maybe seven years old and ill around the time of the Christmas holidays. I watched The Tigger Movie and filled in the Winnie-the-Pooh annual I received from Santa for Christmas. This memory fills me with the kind of nostalgia that really takes me back to the exact sofa I was sat on. Probably because it’s the exact sofa I’m sat on writing this blog post. I have owned Winnie The Pooh The Complete Collection of Stories and Poems since… well, for ever. I have since received a newer version of it and I cherish both with their lovely poems (one I learnt off by heart for school once) and gorgeous illustrations- illustrations I adored seeing come to life in the film. I have been pretty attached to these books over the last couple of days, reading the story of Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends with a smile on my face.

Goodbye Christopher Robin is nostalgic. It’s sweet. It’s sad. I ached for the characters and felt sorrow for the loss many of them felt in many different ways. Goodbye Christopher Robin is my favourite movie of 2017 so far. Have you seen Goodbye Christopher Robin? Let me know your thoughts below if you have!

~ Kat ~

Feminism Up: Issue #5

Feminism Up, as of today at 8:30pm, will be five months old. Eek! Feminism Up is my monthly online newsletter that aims to encourage everyone to discuss sexism, inequality and thereby promote the term “feminist.” It includes two pieces by me and should, every month, include four guest writers. This month only includes three guest writers but they are brilliant ones with wonderful words. While issue #5 will be released at 8:30pm, if you’d like to subscribe to also receive issue #4 (and to do so you must subscribe before 8:30pm today), you can do so through THIS link. So, what’s issue #5 about?

Feminism Up Issue 5This month’s issue includes pieces by Joshua, my mum (Tina) and Eirlys. Joshua challenges the stereotypical image of a “feminist” and writes about what might put men off the term “feminist” and also “feminism.” It’s a fantastic piece that importantly sheds light on men’s issues. My mum then writes about bookmarks that named particular authors as “male lit” and particular authors as “chick lit;” “male lit” only included male authors and “chick lit” only included female authors. My mum, however, was confused as she had read (and loved!) as many of the male authors as the female. I love this piece. Eirlys then tackles mental health, body image and how the two are intimately linked with feminism. It’s a poignant piece that will hopefully encourage readers to rethink particular thoughts and social assumptions. It certainly got me thinking.

My first piece is an open letter to sexism. I’m a bit nervous about this piece as it’s a bit on the creative side (which is what I love writing the most and yet what I share the least). It does, however, expand on something quite important. While working recently a male customer touched my belly. It was bizarre and invasive and I regret not saying anything to him. My final piece shares three books I believe should be on any feminist’s reading list. I find reading about feminism where I learn the most. I’ll learn different points about feminism; different thoughts. Books encourage me to make my own mind up and these three are some of my favourites.

Let me know if you do check it out; I’d appreciate the feedback! In November’s issue I want to focus a lot on men’s issues. November 19th is International Men’s Day and I used to chastise the presence of such a day. I’ve realised my ignorance and it’s important to me that issue #6 has a strong focus on men’s issues. If anyone would like to write a piece for it, please drop me a message over on Feminism Up’s Twitter or Instagram, if not in the comments below!

~ Kat~

The Monthly Scrapbook | September | BEDIS

September has been the month where I’ve properly adjusted to no longer being a student and, instead, being someone who works a handful of jobs and can do so without complaining unnecessarily. It took me a while but I think I’m there. However, because of how much I’m working, when I socialise and get up to fun things I’m no longer selfie-obsessed and actually just enjoy a good catch up without feeling like I need to Instagram it to let everybody know. Wow, I really am a grown up now. I began these “monthly scrapbook” posts after feeling inspired by Anna’s “Five Highlights From The Month Of…” posts (for example: August). As I don’t have any photos to share that I haven’t already on the blog, I’m going to Anna up this post and talk about five highlights from September.

IMG_4245.JPGA trip to the theatre – Going to see Flashdance at the beginning of the month was a well-needed night off with my mum. Merely spending time with my mum in the way we spend time best (eating food and going to the theatre) was fantastic. As a graduate, though, it was nice to be able to do this. I’ve been so used to feeling tense about money in the last few years but I felt pretty proud that all of the hard work at uni and hard work with my handful of jobs is paying off. Being able to buy my mum tickets to one of her favourite stories was definitely a highlight of September. As was the prosecco we drunk.

A staycation-esque day off – Aaron and I had a mutual day off at the beginning of month where I decided to plan a day off full of fun. I wrote up little rhymes that sat in envelopes that told him what we were doing: from badminton to baking to cooking dinner together, I released my inner Keats and created a silly but lovely day with the help of some terrible brilliant poetry. I bought him a disposable camera and told him to document the whole day. It sounds unnecessary but, with all of the working, it was a really fun day that we can now really remember with the help of these photos.

London – Although I’ve spoken about it a fair bit already on the blog (three times to be precise: HERE, HERE and HERE!), London has to feature as a highlight of this month. From drinking gin to eating the same steak as the Queen to spending a few hours with one of my best friends who has recently moved to London, my weekend in London with Aaron last weekend was far too notable to not fangirl about again. It was fabulous.

1 Second Everyday – 1SE is an app that helps you document your whole year just like a diary would. Instead, though, you video a second of each of your days and by the end of the year you’ll have a compilation of your year. I totally recommend this app. Not only do I love taking a funky video from my time off, but it hands me a slice of humble pie. Even on days where I’m working a split shift or until midnight, 1SE will show me I’ve had time to stroke Aaron’s dog, go for a walk or see a friend in the morning (there have been a couple of foodie dates with Honor that have made my day of work more fun!).

Blog every day in September – This final highlight and paragraph of BEDIS marks the end of my silly idea to blog every day this month. Although I sometimes wanted to shut past Kat’s mouth when I expressed I would blog every day in September, I was surprised at how organised I was. *Gives self pat on the back.* While I did write up a blog post at just before midnight on the night I returned from London, I enjoyed updating Binging on Beetroot every day this month. I do love my little slice of the internet.

*Sighs happily with a hint of nostalgia as the final post of BEDIS is completed.*

~ Kat ~

The “I Went to Italy” Gnocchi | BEDIS

Since visiting Rome in the summer, pasta has constantly been on my brain. The food was just as you’d expect it to be, and while I can’t replicate the sights that accompanied my dinners, I can definitely try and pretend how to make Italian dinners. I have been making this chilli chorizo gnocchi for a few months now but since working in an Italian restaurant, I can confirm it’s not very Italian at all. This dish, however, is delicious so here is mine and Aaron’s gnocchi recipe- that takes no longer than 10 minutes!

IMG_4420.JPG


Ingredients | For two with hungry bellies 

  • 90g gnocchi
  • 125g chorizo, finely chopped
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150g chilli cheese, in small chunks
  • 1 pepper, chopped finely
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • A few dashes of olive oil
  • Something to garnish creamy-ness (we use spinach!)

Method

  1.  Prep all ingredients before heating a big pan with oil on a medium-high heat
  2. Cook the chorizo for three-four minutes (stir occasionally) or until it looks browner
  3. Add all of the veg to the pan, stirring often
  4. While the kettle boils the water for the gnocchi, add the cream to the pan, turning the heat down so the cream doesn’t burn
  5. Add the gnocchi and the water in a small pan and cook for two-four minutes or until it has floated to the top
  6. Chuck the cheese into the cream and stir often
  7. Do a taste test of the sauce, adding more cheese if needed and a pinch of salt if you fancy
  8. As soon as the gnocchi is cooked, drain and serve the pasta, add the sauce, topping and garnish with, for example, spinach

Naturally this dish should be eaten in moderation, but it’s easy to up the health with lots of veg like broccoli and asparagus. I think it’s the yummiest and quickest form of comfort food. Gnocchi is up there with my favourite Italian food- what’s yours?

~ Kat ~

P.S. I’ve been blogging every single day in September and you can read yesterday’s post HERE! ❤

Feminism Up: How to Stay Organised | BEDIS

As I may have mentioned a million times on the blog before, I compile a monthly online newsletter called Feminism Up. It includes two pieces by me and four pieces by four guest writers (more in this later!) and is all about sexism, inequality and therefore the need for feminism. Issue #5 will pop up in readers’ inboxes on October 1st and after five issues which have previously included writing my article on the day of release or taking photos for it the day before, I’ve learnt a little about the organisation that is involved with releasing a newsletter.

IMG_4290Release date: A newsletter revolves around release dates. Staying organised, therefore, must focus on these dates. My release date, as I wrote before, is the first of every month. Before the release of the previous newsletter I would have tried to rally together almost every guestwriter (if not all!) for the next newsletter. This way, as soon as the current issue is released, I can let them begin thinking about their articles before I start compiling the next issue. I then try to get the photos for the newsletter as early as possible in the month, write my own two articles as a priority and chat to guest writers a little before they send me their article.

Components: Like I said, my newsletter includes two pieces by me and four pieces by four different guest writers. However, for reasons I totally understand (they’re doing me a favour after all!), two guest writers this month were unable to write their piece for me. Luckily I had one back-up ready but not another! This month, for this reason, will have only three guest writers! Now I need to focus on having a few back-up articles so this doesn’t happen again. However your newsletter is compiled, ensure you have articles and ideas to fall back on.

Visibility: If you’re writing a newsletter, you want people to read it. A crucial part of staying organised is speaking about your newsletter. If you’ve spent the lead up to releasing your newsletter only focusing on just that, then you might be left without an audience. Ensure you’re updating relevant social media every day or so to remind followers of your newsletter and related topics.

As I’ve messed up with Feminism Up organisation many times before, I feel like I have loads more to say. I don’t like becoming upset with Feminism Up and organisation must then be my best pal. With only a few days until the release of issue #5, I’ll be editing guestwriters’ pieces one final time today and updating my social media to hopefully get some more readers!

~ Kat ~

P.S. I’ve been blogging every day this month and you can read yesterday’s post HERE! ❤

London in Pictures | BEDIS

Over the last couple of days on the blog I’ve been writing about my weekend in London; the gin making experience we went to and the hotel we stayed in. After eating breakfast at 41 Hotel we wanted to make sure we headed out into London as soon as possible. We checked out of our room with sad faces but felt excited for whole day wondering around London like locals. We’ve both been to London plenty of times before so we had no specific plans other than to visit a gin bar our tutor from the gin making experience recommended. Instead of boring you a detailed description of everything we did, I thought I’d simply share with you the pictures I took with a little itinerary below them.

IMG_4399IMG_4386IMG_439211:00: We took a leisurely stroll fuelled by no plans through London, navigating our way through happy crowds. We walked through St James’s Park which was bright green and pale blue below the late summer’s sky.

IMG_4396IMG_440112:00: We headed to the shops. I wanted to visit my all-time favourite shop Brandy Melville and I discovered I have gained some kind of self-restraint I didn’t have before. While I wanted every other item of clothing I saw in the shop, I later settled with popping back in only to buy a pair of earrings. My debit card exclaimed joyously from my purse.

IMG_4403IMG_440813:00: One of my best pals has recently moved to London and it happened to be his birthday on Sunday. We met him at lunch time in Covent Garden where we then walked to the Thames. We went to the Underbelly Festival where we had a couple of pints as he opened his gifts from us in the surprisingly warm September sun (we had our coats off and everything!).

16:00: We then headed to 214 Bermondsey, the tiny gin bar we couldn’t wait to test out. Callum stayed with us and got to experience Aaron become very excited at the sight of all of the gins. We bought our first round of £5 gin and tonics and the rest was history.

IMG_4410IMG_4412IMG_441119:00: As sunset fell upon London, we headed past Buckingham Palace to pick up our bags from our hotel, fill up a paper bag each with sweets from the reception and headed to The Stoke House for dinner. We both had roast chicken (it was so delicious) before hopping on the train back home.

As I finish writing this third and final entry to the most magical weekend, I feel happily nostalgic. It was so much fun and I now can’t wait for my next trip to my capital city.

~ Kat ~