Beach Summer Style - Bonprix

The north Norfolk coastline definitely has it's fair share of hidden gems, including beautiful sandy beaches, perfect for a scenic stroll beside the sea on a warm summers day. I have always loved the fact that I only live 30 minutes away from a walk on the beach and like many other people, dream of one day owning a little beach house overlooking the sea. Other than an incredibly strong wind making your eyes water and ruining your hair, the grassy sand dunes and blue(ish) waters provided the perfect backdrop to showcase a simple summer beach wear look. 

Choosing summer outfits that both look stylish and suit me personally is something that I have been really trying to improve on, especially considering that I fall into the habit of wearing the same clothing combinations far too often. It can be all too tempting to avoid wearing anything too extravagant when those hotter than expected summer months suddenly come around and you're pushed into shorts and tshirts to potentially avoid melting, before you've had a chance to burn off those winter fat reserves (essential for keeping warm obviously). I was excited to be challenged by Bonprix to create an August style outfit and thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to show that it's possible to put together a simple yet effectively stylish summer beach wear look.

Considering that pretty much 90% of my wardrobe happens to be some form of blue, it's probably definitely safe to say that it is by far my favourite colour to wear. Combined with tartan and checker style patterns, the blue shorts really provide a focal point of the outfit, helping the lower half to contrast and stand out when sandwiched between neutral whites. I find that it's always such a satisfying feeling when you stumble upon a pair of shorts that are perfect for both the practicality of swimming while also stylish enough to combine with a range of different outfits rather than just having to settle for one or the other. It's also SO useful to have shorts with deep enough pockets that you can actually put things in, something that so many swim shorts annoyingly seem to lack! Now that we are finally going through a consistent period of gorgeous warm weather, something that can sometimes be hard to come by in this usually unpredictable country, these shorts have quickly become one of my wardrobe essentials for the remaining, and sadly ever dwindling, summer months.

Blue Tartan pattern shorts - Bonprix
Blue Checked pattern shorts - Bonprix
White shoes - Nike
White tshirt - Topman

Disclaimer: Some items in this post were gifted to me, all opinions are my own. Photographs by Sean Bickle.

8 Types of Pokemon Go Player

Pokemon Go has literally taken the world by storm, causing huge numbers of people to take to the streets in order to catch their favourite little creatures in virtual reality. It was everyone's dream to become a Pokemon master at a younger age and now this game allows your inner child to be released and that forgotten dream to finally come true. Not only is this game encouraging more people to venture into the realms of outdoors but it is giving people a greater appreciation for the landmarks, landscapes and random benches in the middle of nowhere within their cities and towns. I am already completely addicted and have discovered so many places that I never even knew existed, just because I was looking for somewhere new to catch different Pokemon or looking for another Pokestop to stock up. I tend to enjoy people watching (a lot) and have noticed that there are many many different types of people walking around on their journey to catch 'em all, so I thought that I would do a little round up of my favourite ones amongst them:

The 90s Kid
Ahh the 90s kid, the type of person who will never let you forget that they were the original Pokemon players and that this game was literally their childhood when growing up. Nothing will ever be as good as collecting Pokemon cards and new adaptions just ruin the uniqueness of the original games. 90s kids usually don't respond well to new generations of people jumping on the bandwagon of their interests, usually flocking to Twitter in order to rant about this.

The groupie
Usually found travelling in packs, these are often small to medium sized squads of 12 year old kids who can be found hanging around Pokestops and gyms (or in normal world terms, outside shops and on street corners), intimidating and fending off other Pokemon trainers that dare to enter the area. As they are normally all part of the same team, they tend to have the primary goal of taking over gyms and spamming them full of high level Pokemon. 

The Noob
These tend to be the people who have never really played Pokemon before but couldn't help but join in the hype to feel like part of the social circle. You will often spot them getting excited over catching a Pidgey, completely mispronouncing the names of most Pokemon, or instead painfully referring to them as 'the yellow mouse' or 'that snake looking one'.

The Bullsh!tter
Pokemon go? Completed it. Mew? Caught it. Much like Jay from The Inbetweeners, this type of person will often over exaggerate their Pokemon catching abilities to a ridiculous level, claiming to have caught all the rares, own all of the gyms and have completed their Pokedex before anybody else.

The Merchandiser
The more hardcore of Pokemon trainers amongst us tend to be identifiable by the distinct accessories that they can be spotted wearing. This can be in the form of Pokemon merchandise such as an Ash Ketchum hat, Pikachu shirt or even a Pokeball utility belt (yes I have actually seen somebody wearing one of these in real life).

The Nomad
These are also some pretty hardcore people. As the game works on a distance travelled basis, these are often the people with the highest level and greatest diversity of Pokemon within their collection. The nomad can usually travel for many miles on the hunt for different types of Pokemon before becoming weary or bored. Pokemon Go drains your phone battery like a mofo so these types of Pokemon Go trainers will often come equipped with external battery packs in order to keep that Pokemon catching dream alive for a little longer.

The 'I'm too adult for this game'
There's always a select few people who feel like they have to needlessly hate on a trend because they are 'too adult' or 'totally above' it. These people will often be brimming with negativity, moaning about how their is more to real life that playing Pokemon Go and the word 'outraged' will make up around 90% of their vocabulary.

The commuter
These are people who actually have busy lives at work and school and may only get the odd chance to play Pokemon go on the commute in the morning and on the way home in the evening. One of the great things about Pokemon Go is that it encourages people to walk short journeys rather than needlessly take the car, cutting traffic and increasing exercise activity. Buses are also usually slow enough to count as walking for the more lazy Pokemon trainers among you and best of all they often stop right near gyms and Pokestops.

Whatever type of Pokemon trainer you happen to be, most people of all ages and backgrounds seem to be enjoying this revolutionary way to play an infamous game adored by many from our childhood. Yes Pokemon Go is not real life, but I feel like it is the closest thing we are going to get to real life for a long time. Like any new game, there is going to be setbacks and negative points but it is beyond doubt that it is bringing people together with a common interest and encouraging more people to get up and explore the world around them outdoors rather than playing video games sitting at home. 

Bubble of Perception

Perception is not only how we consciously experience the world around us through senses such as taste, smell, sight, hearing and touch, but also how we interpret, understand and use this information within life. I like to imagine perception to be like this little bubble that you are surrounded by, a bubble that slowly increases in size as you get older and become more knowledgeable of the world outside of it's imaginary boundaries.

When you are very young, your bubble of perception is only limited to a very small area as you have pretty much no prior experience of the big wide world outside of your house or garden. I found that this was the stage in my life where my imagination was the highest and most profound because most of my knowledge and understanding was coming from children's TV and books where pretty much anything you could think up was possible. I would spend hours making fortresses out of old boxes and blankets, creating dens in the dense garden foliage and dreaming up what I thought to be amazing fictitious story plots, filled with drama and action to act out with teddy bears. All of this was possible without knowing that politics, religion or even other countries even existed firmly outside of your bubble of perception. This is a kind of solace period within life, before having to worry about real situations of distress, responsibility or sadness, where the biggest dilemma that you could possibly have on a daily basis was finding a 2 bit brick within your mountain of LEGO.

By around the age of 10, your little bubble of perception has probably expanded to around the size of your village or city. Despite this, I don't think that perception is just linked to geographical area, it's also all to do with experiences you've had and the knowledge gained from them. Experiences are something that you have plenty of at this age. Starting school means that some of the perception you gain of the world will come from social learning of subjects such as science, history and geography and sharing information with other like minded people. You begin to realise that there is actually a world out there bigger than yourself just waiting to be explored. 

The teenage years are where your bubble of perception will start to grow most, the years where the world is quite literally your oyster. Like I previously stated, experiences have a huge effect on how we perceive things and as a teen you experience a lot for the first time. Relationships, religion, higher education, travel, politics, all of which can completely change the way that you think and view the world. Many teens start to travel, venturing to the foreign realms of other countries and immersing themselves in other cultures and religions to become a lot more clued up on the world as a whole. One of the great things about travel is that you meet people from all walks of life with all kinds of fascinating stories to tell and information to share. Advances in science and technology mean that it has become a lot easier to educate ourselves on the world around us without actually having to leave the comfort of our own homes. I always find it really interesting as a biology student learning about things that happen to people and in the environment around them on a daily basis without the majority even acknowledging that it is happening. How does your body fight off infections? How is it possible to breath without thinking? How do different breeds of dogs all come from the same ancestor? How does deforestation in the Amazon rain forest affect Bob from London? This is the reason that I think it's great to continue learning as you get older, regardless of whether or not you're in education to further expand your knowledge and therefore your bubble of perception.

As an adult, you would think that the rate of expansion of this bubble of perception would begin to slow as it started to approach the maximum level. After all, haven't you already experienced everything? The simple answer is no. I believe that we don't ever stop bettering ourselves or expanding our knowledge of the human race and the earth as a whole. Social media and the internet make it easier to perceive an experience that you haven't had or place that you've never been to through shared photos and videos. New things are discovered, invented and created every day by minds much more brilliant than mine but then shared with others in order to increase our bubble of perception as a whole species. The big question is, will our bubble of perception ever extend beyond our earth, our solar system, our universe? Yes we can learn things from down here on earth but we still don't have the technology to fully experience it, instead calculating an educated guess or taking somebody else's word for it. I can imagine Neil Armstrong taking his first step on the moon and even watch a video of the moment itself, but I will never be able to truly experience and perceive what it is like myself. Where does our bubble of perception end? We are just a small pebble in a vast ocean of unknown space only being able to see so far into the observable universe and therefore anything beyond is merely guess work.

Inside your little bubble of perception within your back garden anything was possible, so why can't the same be true for our relatively small collective bubble of perception as a human race within a vast universe.

Between The Lines

COLOURING. Every school child's favourite past time has finally entered the socially acceptable realms of adulthood, with adult tailored colouring books becoming an ever more common hobby for people of all ages. Having just finished a super chaotic and time consuming second year of university, I have suddenly found myself with a huge abundance of free time, much more than I really know what to do with. On those rather annoying muggy and thundery rainy days that we seem to have all too often during the summer months, it can be all too tempting to spend the entire day in the comfort of your own home glued to a screen watching Netflix or endlessly browsing the internet. Other than learning French, which is a whole other blog post by itself, I have tried to persuade myself to crack out the colouring pencils and get scribbling away to keep preoccupied instead.

Colouring is one of those things that doesn't involve a whole lot of concentration (unless you're actually really terrible at staying between the lines like myself), making it the perfect thing to carry out while watching Youtube videos. Plus, considering all the equipment you need is the book and a pack of colouring pencils, it's easy to carry around for a boring commute. It may just be me, but sometimes when you're watching TV you have this urge to be doing something productive like colouring while you're watching rather than just sitting there. Colouring is also a great stress relief, which is perfect considering that I have found that watching euro 2016 usually becomes a little (a lot) stressful, especially when you're supporting England and they continue to dominate games without scoring and thus dropping points and losing the group to Wales *sigh*.

I feel like I am probably jumping onto the bandwagon a little late but I can't help but like the way that there are literally no rules when it comes to colouring, except of course the unspoken rule of staying between the lines at all costs. If you wan't to create a rainbow donkey, then you bloomin' well create a rainbow donkey, it doesn't have to agree with the laws of logic or physics. I find that it teaches patience when you have to fill in each little individual shape, of which there are soooo many, with any colour of your choice to create an overall precise pattern that you are happy with. As a self proclaimed perfectionist I seem to be very particular with the way that I colour. Every colour that I use has to be within a particular theme, there can't be too many blocks of the same colour and every bit of pencil has to be within the lines. Nothing sends me into cringe mode more than seeing a colouring picture where somebody has deliberately coloured outside the lines.. arghhh. Colouring is also a really good creative outlet for somebody with the creative potential of a potato and who struggles to even draw something as simple as a stick man. After all, what can be considered as 'art' is a matter of perception, so technically I can pretend that I'm actually an artist for around 30 minutes until I inevitably do something wrong. Although some of the better quality colouring books can cost a little more, colouring is a past time that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to undertake and is simple enough that anybody with arms (and potentially those without) can do!

Matalan Selvedge Jeans

I have been escaping to the nearby forest a lot recently when feeling stressed or in need of some serenity, so I decided that it would be the perfect backdrop for a spot of blog photography. There happens to be a beautiful lake where the wildlife is always so abundant at this time of year (we were constantly followed around by many a curious little squirrel) and being an outdoors person, sometimes spontaneous adventures accompanied by the immersion of sounds and scenery within nature can be the most peaceful escape from the real world.

I am the first person to put my hands up and admit admit that I really need to expand and experiment more with my wardrobe as a whole. I have become far too comfortable in the same old clothes and it is usually an extremely rare occasion that I opt to wear anything but black skinny jeans, mostly just because you can throw them on with any outfit for ease and versatility (black literally seems to go with everything).

I have read a lot about selvedge jeans, and how they are supposed to be far superior in terms of quality than regular jeans, so I was super excited to try these selvedge denim jeans from Matalan. After such a long period since the last time I actually ventured into the realm of denim, it was a rather unusual feeling slipping into a much more robust pair of trousers, at first feeling rather stiff and odd. The edges of the fabric in selvedge jeans are bound much more tightly than regular jeans, which is supposed to prevent fraying and also makes for a much more durable finish and feel. You can really tell a quality pair of jeans when you literally have to break them in before you can actually regain full movement in your legs and begin to walk around in them regularly, so after a few laps of my bedroom, lunging into weird positions (and probably completely embarrassing myself in front of the neighbours), they actually became a lot more comfortable. Although I usually go for the skinny style, I found that the slim actually fit surprisingly well and didn't look nearly as baggy as I thought they would.

In my opinion simplicity is key when it comes to the aesthetics of jeans, there is no need for millions of pockets that you're never going to use, or accessories that add nothing but unnecessary faff and clutter. These jeans pull off simplicity pretty well, comprising of the standard 5 pockets and a slightly lighter turn up at the bottom, allowing for an aspect of versatility and freedom in terms of styling. I have also found myself going through a bit of a jumper wearing phase at the moment, which I find are perfect for both the hot and cold weather during the unpredictable spring temperatures we seem to be having recently, so chose to compliment the darker bottom half with a contrasting ‘oatmeal’ coloured striped jumper to complete the perfect casual look.

High Tops - Topman

Disclaimer: Some items in this post were kindly gifted to me by Matalan, all opinions are my own.


Spring is finally on the horizon. It just so happens to be one of my favourite seasons (I'm still yet to make up my mind on which season takes the title of favourite) and I find it becomes so much easier to be happy and positive around this time of year. Everything just seems to suddenly become so much more invigorated and alive after a long, desolate winter period. Trees start to bud, flowers start to bloom, birds begin to build nests and the first hints of warmish sunny weather for a long ol' time start to creep beyond the clouds. Despite this, it does seem to be that awkward period of the year where one moment it's warm enough for tshirt weather and the next you're stuck in the middle of nowhere mid way through a tropical thunder storm with no coat. Thank god those longer, lighter evenings signal the ever closer arrival of summer.

Easter is probably most people's favourite bank holiday of the year, consisting of a long weekend away from work and school, a perfect excuse to indulge in far too much chocolate, and this weekend usually has more sun than the entirety of summer for some bizarre reason (thanks British weather).
Why, when I was younger, I believed in a giant, magical white bunny who creeps into your house at night to hide chocolate eggs inside every cupboard and behind every piece of furniture I will never know. It seems kinda odd to think about it as an adult, but I guess that's one of those things that you miss about being a kid, having such a vivid imagination of what the world is like, without the restrictions of logic or the laws of physics! I have really fond memories of Easter egg hunts around the garden with my family, desperately trying to figure out the hand-written note with riddles and clues as to where chocolately loot was hidden, running around frantically with a little wicker basket in my hand collecting everything remotely resembling chocolate. I'm not going to lie, I was quite the Easter egg discoverer (and never so good at modesty) so obviously finding the most eggs will forever feel like some kind of momentous triumph (of course I always shared them out with my siblings..ahem).. but mum always seemed to have a good relationship with the Easter bunny, so he tended to come twice within one day, leading to two epic hunts and leaving me and my siblings with enough sugar to sink several battleships.

I don't usually tend to eat a whole lot of chocolate, but when I do I'm definitely a dark chocolate kinda guy. This year we opted to create some Easter themed nest cakes, mostly an ideal recipe because they don't involve any baking, something that isn't really the strongest trait within my skill set, accompanied my annual intake of creme egg brownies. Brownies seem to be one of the hardest thing to get right in terms of baking, so anything that turns out even remotely aesthetically pleasing or edible looking is a triumph for me. I salute anyone who can make the perfect recipe every time, but one of my favourite things about baking is the imperfect nature of it, getting my hands dirty, the home-made look and that 'I made this myself' satisfaction when you finally finish the process, despite the quality of the final result! Some of my fondest memories are of baking with my nan when I was younger (or as I like to call her, the biscuit magician), getting more cake mixture on myself and up the walls than in the actual cake itself and ending up with a gloopy mess which probably tasted awful, but I was proud of it.

Happy Easter!

I go to seek a great perhaps

I have always wondered what it would be like to have an epiphany, a sudden intuitive perception or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by a simple occurrence or experience, that was until today when I seemed to have what I can only describe as a sudden realisation about how short life actually is. Morbid I know, but bear with me. Sometimes we can all be found guilty of getting so caught up in wishing away time until the next weekend, next pay day or even just the end of Monday, that we forget that time is our most valuable commodity. Time can be the most precious and sought after resource of our lives, but also has the power to limit that same existence. A lot of people seem to wander through life, doing just enough to survive as one day effortlessly merges into the next, but putting in little effort to actually make the most out of it. I don't want to be one of those people who realise how much they took time for granted only after it's too late to do anything about it. I don't want to grow up to an old age just to look back and regret all of the missed opportunities that I didn't take and experiences that I put off doing for fear of change and leaving my comfort zone, or being too scared to undertake something that has been deemed as not socially acceptable.

For far too long I have found myself taking so much for granted and wasting so much time that could be better spent bettering myself and enjoying life, instead finding myself putting things off like I have plenty of time to do them in the future. This is the reason that I love those little experiences that you have every so often in life, something that you see, hear or feel that has such a profound effect on the way that you think and changes your entire outlook and perspective on life.. The only way I can describe it is the sudden bombardment of an overwhelming feeling of 'I need to go out and make the most of every moment before it's too late'.

These experiences can come in so many different forms and can occur at the most unexpected of times, like a brick wall of realisation striking you in right in the mind and especially in the feels until it literally is all that you can think about. I read a book yesterday, a book that most of you will probably be familiar with called Looking For Alaska, a book which I actually managed to finish within one single day because I was so engrossed in the storyline, characters and style of writing. Within this book was a quote that really struck me:

'I go to seek a great perhaps'

We all have a great perhaps, something that we want to achieve or a life goal to conquer. A great perhaps doesn't just have to be the search for thrills, adventure and experiences, but it can also be the search for a more content state of mind and self, a sense of being complete or whole. It seems to be the point that pretty much everyone wants to achieve, when life feels exactly how it was meant to feel, where you can look back on your mistakes and decisions without wondering what perhaps could have been but instead realising that they made you who you are today. It can be that turning point in life where you realise that you things that you find yourself worrying about constantly, stopping you from living your life to the full, really aren't that important or relevant any more. It can be the moment in life where you finally discover yourself and an understanding of where we fit into this vast wide world of ours. 

The harsh reality is that not everything is going to go your way all of the time. You may not have the best start in life, or find yourself in the most ideal of situations but that doesn't mean that you can't make the most out of everything that you do have, including all of those little things in life that most people take for granted. Do something with your life that makes a significant difference, not just to you but others around you. Put all of your energy, heart, mind and soul into getting the most that you possibly can out of each day, experience new things, visit new places, laugh uncontrollably, tell the girl that you have a crush on that she's pretty, start each day with a positive outlook on life and an open mind. Maybe were not supposed to live our lives in a state of anticipation of a great perhaps, but rather live for each and every moment as it happens. 

Wealth vs Worth

The idea of wealth seems to be an ever growing factor contributing to how an ever increasing number of people in this world seem to determine their self worth, happiness or social status within society. It has almost become a way of life to spend all of the money you have on luxury items such as cars, clothing and technology simply for external validation, to impress others and increase social status rather than for your own enjoyment or happiness.

When you're starting out working life in your teens and into your early 20s, you begin to start thinking about which pathway that you are going to follow in life and the career that will ultimately determine how much money that you go on to earn as a result. As you gain more and more responsibilities, bills and contracts, the amount of money that you have in contrast to others begins to take a hold of your life. Friends, colleagues or even celebrities may earn more money than you, able to afford flash cars, twice yearly holidays and designer clothes while you're just dreading the struggle to scrape together enough pennies for that next pesky rent payment. I think it's important to remember, it's not about how much money you make, but the life that you choose to lead with the money that you do have. As much as some may disagree, I am pretty much certain that money does not guarantee happiness. Life is therefore all about the experiences and what you make of them, after all some of the best moments come at no cost at all. Money is not required to possess traits such as passion, creativity, positivity, perseverance, or to endlessly express emotions such as love, true friendship and laughter.

There is so much more to life than money. I am a person who tends to value personal experiences and achievements much more than material items. Some of the fondest memories I have are my first time experiences like riding a bike and learning to drive, little travels along the beach and through the countryside and fun/adventures with all of the people that I have met along the journey, not the presents that I received for birthdays and Christmas each year or how much pocket money received compared to my friends.

The harsh truth is that not everyone is born equal. I grew up alongside people who were considered a whole lot more wealthy than I was, which there is absolutely nothing wrong with. Being completely honest I would be exactly the same as a parent, I want to treasure and spoil my future kids, give them everything that they dream of, but at the same time I wan't them to know what it feels like to earn something that you want and to learn that money and material items are not the be all and end all of life. That feeling of satisfaction when you finally save up enough money to buy that one special thing that you have wanted for ages means just as much as the ecstatic joy when you receive a good grade in school for a test that you revised so hard for. Being able to proudly say 'I achieved this all by myself' despite the obstacles that I had to overcome. I'm not going to lie, in hindsight I did spend a lot of my childhood feeling jealous of how lucky I considered my friends to be, but as I have grown older I have begun to realise that I had everything in abundance that I needed at my disposal for the best start in life. It is not your starting point that defines who you are as a person, it is what you do with your life and a measure of how far you have come as a person along the way that truly matters.

I think what I'm trying to say is that the only thing holding back your happiness in life is your frame of mind and how you choose to live your life with what you have, not how many zeros are before the decimal point on your bank balance. I am a firm believer that the key to happiness is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day, whatever situation you find yourself in, or however little money that you have. You only get one chance at this existence, so you may as well spend it doing things that make you happy.

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