The Beauty of Music

I’m sat in Cafe Nero in Falmouth listening to Ludovico Einaudi – Giorni on Youtube. I got my usual fruit booster (orange and raspberry) and placed myself on a stool by the window. It’s a beautiful sunny day and I have decided to sit inside a coffee shop and write. I recently watched Begin Again. It’s not my favourite film but there is one part that keeps reappearing in my head. In the film a drunk music executive (Mark Ruffalo) meets a young songwriter (Kiera Knightley) after her friend invites her onstage at an open mic night to perform. The film goes on and he helps her produce an album with no studio and no money, all the songs are recorded with musicians they have found, willing to help them out for free and recorded on the streets or on rooftops and various other places around Manhattan. In one scene (my favourite part of the film) they walk through the city listening to music together through a headphone splitter, just how Dan (music executive) did on his first date with his wife. They go and sit and this quote is said:

“Dan: That’s what I love about music.
Gretta: What?
Dan: One of the most banal scenes is suddenly invested… with so much meaning. All these banalities. They’re suddenly turned into these… these beautiful, effervescent pearls. From music.”

This is how I am feeling sat in a coffee shop staring out the window listening to music. Watching the world go by. Watching people walk along. Every one of them different in one way or another. Different lives, different hair, body shapes, thoughts and feelings, the list could go on. And I add music to this scene and suddenly it becomes beautiful. A scene I could spend all day watching. The elderly couple holding hands as they walk slowly down the road, the woman with the pink trainers running first one way then the other shortly after, the guys sat outside the window drinking their coffee in their denim jackets, the girl in the red bandana, the man with the guitar on his back and the kids in their school uniforms. All living their lives all oblivious to the fact that they are living to my music, oblivious to the fact that they are part of my show, my effervescent pearls.

Music has so much power. It can alter your mood and stick in your head for days. Everyone has certain songs they can’t listen to because they are reminded of something they would prefer not to think about too often and their favourite song they would listen to all the time if they could. Music is used amazingly in films to build tension, show romance, loss and danger. Gladiator is just one example of this. Peoples ability to write breathtaking music is something I am so envious of. I studied music in secondary school but could never write anything good and was too lacking in confidence to perform. If i could give any advise to myself at that age it would be to forget what people think of you, chances are their opinions will be better than you imagine so just go for it and sing like you do in the shower!

Livs

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Chair update.

After a long time searching, pondering and worrying about money I finally did it! I bought a chair. The chair i had been dreaming about but better. It is from Made.com and is so beautiful and so me. I am in love.

So here it is:

its called the KUBRICK and is a wing back chair.

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I got it in Anthracite grey but it does come in other colours. It fits perfectly in the corner of my new room and goes with my brightly coloured cushions and throws. i wanted a big chair because i like sitting crossed legged in chairs and i have quite long legs so this is sometimes a problem in smaller chairs.

I was incredibly close to buying a different chair but this one was suddenly put into one of mades 24 hour sales and I just knew it was right. Even in the sale it was expensive for my student budget but i have ended up getting it partly as early 21st birthday presents from my parents and my nan.

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(excuse the shabby picture. My parents are borrowing my camera for their holiday)

The chair is super comfortable and really good quality material has been used to upholster it. I am so happy i chose to get a chair from made.com and am constantly searching their website for more furniture that i really cannot afford, but hey, a girl can dream right?

Livs x

New place.

I have moved.

I now live on my own in a beautiful studio apartment and the best part is I now live only a few doors away from my two best friends! I chose to live alone in 3rd year because I wanted to focus on my work and be able to do my own thing in my own place. I have a kitchen and bathroom to myself, which is luxury.

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As you can see the walls are all white and clean so décor wise I have stuck to monochrome but added small bursts of colour here and there. I brought along my Ikea EXPEDIT bookshelf, which so many people appear to have, and of course my new Made.com chair… YES! I bought my new chair.

I lived here for a few months now and I’m really liking it but it is strange living on my own after living with 5 other people last year and Jonah all summer. Obviously I still see people but its weird not seeing anyone in the kitchen and having chats and dinners together. I am on the ground floor of the block so i get a little porch area that leads onto grass where we have sat as a group a few times drinking coffee. There is also a common room on the top floor with tv’s sofas tables and an amazing view over the docks, the sea and falmouth.

Livs x

Chairs

When I was little my Grandad had a special chair that moved up and down to help him get in and out of it. I was only 5 when he died so I’m not completely sure that I remember it, or just know it because of photos I have seen with it in. But either way, when I think of my childhood and my Grandad it is something I always think about.

In the film UP, chairs are used to symbolise Carl and Ellie. When Ellie dies Carl keeps her chair, he has an emotional attachment to it as it is where she sat, so no doubt reminds him of her. As the film goes on the chair is featured repeatedly until eventually he has to leave both his and Ellie’s chairs behind to decrease the weight of the house. I love that he leaves both chairs behind in the position in which they were always in, as a way of not leaving Ellie on her own.

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And also in the film Juno the chair they have sex in is shown at the beginning, and the new chair for the babies nursery is shown at the end of the film to signify that her time with her baby is over, and also all throughout the film the first chair is shown repeatedly.

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Chairs are important. They hold memories and they are personal, everyone searches for the perfect chair when buying one. That is exactly what I am doing. In September I am moving in to a studio apartment on my own for my final year of University. It has a kitchen, bathroom, bed, desk and wardrobe that come with the room, which is great. All i need now is somewhere to sit! Somewhere comfortable where I can curl up and read or write or just sit and watch things on my laptop. I have a few specifications when looking, for instance: I want a reasonably high backed chair, arms and it has to be a nice colour, preferably a dark grey colour or something similar. But hey, who knows I might fall in love with a bright red low backed chair with no arms. I have been looking all over the place: online, in charity shops and vintage shops. I don’t have a massive budget but I am set on finding THE chair!

I thought I would share with you a few of my favourites so far, incase you are looking for a chair too or just fall in love with one of them and just have to buy it!

If you have read my post- An intro to me ~ Livs you may have seen my link to this chair already but I will show you again because I love it!

QUENTIN CHAIR

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This chair in Urban Grey is my dream chair! It is the perfect size, the perfect colour and so beautiful. Made.com is great because everything is made to order. No one will have exactly the same chair as me! it may look the same but it won’t have been made in bulk which is a feature that I love. It is currently £299 which is expensive for a student but the way I see it, is that it will last. It won’t just be for one year, it could last you a lifetime. And think of the memories you’ll have with it.

KOLTON CHAIR

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As you can see these chairs do not have arms but I still really like them. They are also from Made.com and are a little more expensive at £449. I like this chair because I can just imagine myself sitting in it all cosy with a blanket and my laptop watching something on BBC iPlayer (Casualty) oh and they also look super comfy.

The whole getting a nice new chair dream seems like it will only ever be a dream at the moment as I have no money, but hey, a girl can dream.

If I do ever get a chair I will more than likely write a new post about it.

Livs

Money Problems.

I am rubbish with money. There it is. I’ve admitted it. I am rubbish. I started this semester with a plan. I sat for a good few hours and wrote out a budget, I worked out how many weeks I had to live through until my next student loan came in, worked out how much my phone contract, rent and various other things would cost all together and even decided how much per week i would allow myself to spend. I was prepared. the most prepared and determined I have been for a long time.

I don’t know what happened?!

Actually I do and i’m ashamed of my self. slightly embarrased actually. After boasting about how organised I had been and how I was going to be able to go through the whole of the last term of uni and the whole of summer, for once, without working (which let me tell you, is incredibly needed) to my parents and various other people, I messed up. I spent too much money and now I am freaking out slightly and frantically hunting for jobs. Which is not an easy thing in Cornwall when you don’t drive and can’t afford to learn (poor student problems).

Let me tell you people, being a student is not easy. Yes we get given money to live off and no we don’t have to work a 9-5 job to get said money, but it disappears quite easily. After the important weekly shops, rent and for me art supplies, you have slightly less important things like needing new clothes and going out to socialise so you don’t look like a complete looser, or memberships to places like gyms or swimming pools to keep fit. But then you get temptation! And I honestly put my hands up and tell you all that I am THE worst for temptation. I like to buy new clothes even when I don’t need them (especially from little vintage shops,) I love cosmetics and can always find a reason to “need” something new. Jonah and I are also keen on eating out or ordering take away every now and then. Falmouth is full of restaurants, pretty amazing ones at that and when they put on deals and we don’t want to cook/can’t be bothered to cook, they seem like the perfect thing. Everything mounts up though and before you know it, you’ve bought new clothes a new lipstick to go with the new clothes and are going out for dinner and your money is gone.

I hate having a little card with all my money on it. It makes it so easy to just buy things. You never actually see the money and I don’t know about you, but I just sort of forget that I’m spending. it’s just so easy to pass over your card and type the 4 digit code. I know I’m just using this as an excuse and I could quite easily take out the money for the week on a Monday and leave my card at home, but for some unknown reason I don’t.

My biggest inspiration for saving money is my best friend. She can just do it. So I will soon be seeking her advise and my new-university-years resolution is to save money. So expect a good few more posts on money and how I’m getting on with it and the job hunt.

Livs.

Stories in physical forms

I think the reason I love charity shops, car boots and vintage shops is because I’ve always hated the idea of buying something that is the same as almost everything else. For instance, whilst I think some people look great in ripped jeans, I always hated the idea of taking a pair of ripped jeans from a shop rail and seeing an identically ripped pair of jeans behind them – the story of those ripped jeans is a calculation in a factory, and every single story is the same, it lacks originality. I love stories, that’s why I do an English with Creative Writing degree, I love reading, hearing, experiencing and telling stories. I want my clothes to be another means to tell a story, whether or not I know that story doesn’t matter, the idea that I can look at my patched-up vintage Levi’s jacket and try and imagine the stories that caused the wear and patches just make it interesting, it gives it personality, and as Samuel L. Jackson says in Pulp Fiction ‘Personality goes a long way’. Personality can make something horrible into something perfect – for me anyway. I want to know that things I own have either travelled – possibly moreso than me – or maybe they’ve somehow managed to spend twenty years in the same place, being trusty to one person, or maybe whole families have owned or perhaps worn that one item, whatever the story, it is interesting, and it is personal to that item of clothing, and now it is personal to me.

I have a favourite red shirt, it’s worn out, I bought it in Norway about six years ago from a farming shop, it has about five different holes and rips in it, the collar is slightly worn out and I love it. It represents and holds many stories from the past few years of my life. I don’t ever wear it formally any more, but whenever I put it on, I am comfortable, I am myself. I am a sentimental person, and because of this, I don’t know if I will ever get rid of that shirt. Clothes that can make people be themselves and be genuine are the most valuable items in a person’s wardrobe; the best thing that someone can be is genuine – the worst thing that someone can be is ‘phony’ (as Salinger has his character Holden Caulfield rattle on about in The Catcher in the Rye). If you want to join into a subculture through fashion – do it right, be genuine about it, get your own rips, get somebody else’s rips – not some factory machine’s rips. Be genuine – in yourself and in the way you dress.

I have an old Musima classical guitar which I found back in 2009 being thrown out of an old abandoned house that had been home to squatters and junkies for as long as I could remember, it was covered in cigarette burns and was worn near to death, I slowly nursed it back to health with different oils and sanding, and whilst it is not the best quality guitar I still love it from my shared experience with it, and the interesting story that must have gone with it. Musima are a make of guitar from when Germany was still divided into East and West, they were based in the Soviet Eastern Germany half: the guitar has history. I also  figure that it having survived time in the old abandoned house must mean it was around for some pretty interesting things. Meanwhile, one of my best friends had been given a similar Musima classical guitar (from a slightly later date) by his step-grandmother who had taught in a school in Argentina, where they had this guitar but never used it, and so they gave it to her to give to him (knowing that he played guitar) – for this guitar to have travelled from East Germany to Argentina and then to London must have been an interesting story of sorts, and then for both my friend and I to each have come into these guitars in our own interesting and unique ways, just adds even more to the story, and now they live in nearby houses in London, semi-reunited guitar relatives – and who knows what they will do in the future, and who will know the story of me finding the guitar and wonder about the weird marks on it? I collect many weird things, I think I collect them for their stories more than anything else – Livs hates some of them, but still I get them to inspire my mind whenever I happen to rest my eyes upon them. Plus, it always feels good to find a good bargain, especially when you’re supporting charities and the local economy, right?

Jonah.

Cornwall’s alright really

Throughout my 12 years of living in Cornwall I have, admittedly, spent an awful lot of time slating it for its lack of anything I enjoyed. I have always longed for the day I could escape the little bubble and move to a city or anywhere that I could easily get to decent shops. In my second year of college I had to start thinking about which University I wanted to attend and which course I wanted to study. I saw this as my chance. My escape route out of Cornwall. I started looking at illustration courses and travelled to Portsmouth to attend an open day. I loved the buzz, the tall buildings and the amount of people there were. My only problem was the course. It didn’t jump out at me like I expected it to. At this point in my education I wasn’t 100% sure what it was I wanted to do, but illustration seemed the closest thing to perfect that I could find. I was then told by a tutor that Falmouth University offered a degree in purely Drawing. I remember thinking this would be perfect if only the location were different. I decided to attend an open day anyway, seeing as it was close to home and easily accessible. I walked out of the course talk with a massive smile on my face and straight away texted my parents to tell them how perfect it was. How everything that was said sounded exactly right.

Drawing. Drawing all the time. For three years.

But Cornwall still.

I ended up applying for illustration in Portsmouth, Norwich and Plymouth and Drawing in Falmouth. I was secretly hoping I would get turned down by everywhere but Falmouth and would just have to go there but guess what? No such luck. I got conditional offers everywhere so had to make the choice.

Life doesn’t just work itself out for you, it’s not always helpful like that. Sometimes you have to substitute one good thing for another. so that’s what I did. I substituted moving out of Cornwall, for the perfect course that I knew I would enjoy the most and get the most out of.  And you know what? I’m so glad I did. I ended up meeting wonderful people and experiencing more of Cornwall and learning to love parts of it, even if I don’t like to admit it too often. I found that exploring cornwall with friends who had never done so was great fun. They wanted to go and explore the cliffs and beaches and the little hidden gems.

Sometimes sacrifices pay off.

Cornwall is a beautiful, beautiful place and I am lucky to live here. The mixture of beaches, countryside and quaint towns and villages makes it a really unique place to live in. Even if I do end up in a city eventually, Cornwall will always have a place in my heart full of memories and the amazing sites that I have seen. After all, I am only 20, hopefully I still have lot of life to live.

Livs.