10 wedding ideas that everyone will love

1. Instead of spending days compiling the perfect seating plan, have your guests decide where to go with your own unique way point sign!

sign post

This went down really well with our guests and they loved choosing their own tables and who they wanted to sit with! (Just remember to reserve a table or two for you and your wedding party)

2. Have themed tables! We had Harry Potter:

harry potter table

Lord of the Rings:

lord of the rings table

General Disney:

Disney table


tangled table

Matilda the musical:

matilda table

Music theme

music table

and Switzerland theme

swiss train

Not only is it fun for you to come up with decorations, it’s easy too. Especially if you’re a nerd and you already have a bunch of stuff you could display! For example, we put books on every table and I already had everything for the Harry potter table so no need to buy expensive decs.

3. Snacks for your guests. There’s no telling what will happen on your wedding day so it’s always good to be prepared- especially with ample food. It’s a long day and you want your guests to be happy! This doesn’t have to be expensive though- we just went to the local supermarket and bought some sweets that went with the theme of each table!

chocolate violins

chocolate coins

4. Have things for your guests to do! Sometimes waiting around can get boring and your guests might have to wait for you, so if you can, get them something to do! As there are a lot of trains in Switzerland we bought a toy train set for them to play with on their table.

swiss train

Also on the music table we had a music box that guests could play. Awesome decorations they can look at will keep them occupied too!

5. Lighting… With a wedding, it’s easy to miss something like lighting for your hall. Don’t dispair though, this can be really simple and inexpensive! We just got cheap jars in bulk and electric candles to put in them for cute lanterns. I went and painted silhouettes on them to go with our tables themes, here are a few:




6. Make everything!! Honestly, this is what saved us. We had big ideas but we didn’t want to spend a lot as we have the Monica and Chandler approach of “we don’t have to have a big wedding, all we want is a successful marriage”. However, as I’m an artist, I was able to do a lot of the details and decorations by hand. I made this snuggly duckling sign for our tangled table with the help of my Dad:


I did the lanterns, drew the Disney castle for the Disney table, me and my husband made and decorated boxes for the Matilda table, I drew the invites and we used snapfish to print them out and we even made our own confetti out of cheap amazon books:


There are lots of things you can do- on your own or with help- to make your day special and personal!

7. Ask people to help. I mainly asked the people who helped us because I knew they were talented and we wanted our wedding to be very personal. However, if you are running out of money this can help in that area as well. We found the generosity of our friends astounding and working with people you already know is a lot easier. My old boss made our cake, (I’m sorry about the photo, this was the only one I have to hand)


one of my Mum’s friends did the flower arranging and made us this super cute ring pillow:

ring pillow

my bridesmaid and husbands Dad did musical items for our ceremony, a good long time friend did our catering, my Dad made the amazing sign which I started this post with (which I painted) and last but not least, without us even asking her to, my Mum’s friend made my wedding dress.

8. Have an interesting guest book. Who wants a plain old guest book? We didn’t!! One of the first things me and my husband did together was play giant jenga, so we had our guests play jenga. If they got a block out successfully, they wrote on one of them, if it fell down it was up to them to set it back up and try again. If you do have a “guest book” like this then remember to write instructions next to it as there won’t always be someone  around to instruct guests on what to do.

jenga guest book

9. This can be for the bride or the groom: add a personal touch to your wedding outfits. Our wedding colours were purple and green to represent our two favourite things at the time: Lord of the rings and Tangled. So, my Husband wore a purple tie and I had green on the stem of my bouquet. I also had flowers in my hair and a Harry Potter necklace that read “mischief managed”. But I think the coolest thing we did was decide that me and my made of honour were to have a home made bouquet. (I did have two mades of honour but sadly there were only enough flowers for one extra bouquet) These were  done out of books and sheet music as we both play an instrument and like to read.



10. Last but not least, enjoy yourselves!! This one actually gets missed a lot. Yes, you do need to make sure your guests have a great time but is it their wedding? No! It’s yours! So make it the way YOU both want it as well as pleasing your guests. Fight for little touches you know no-one will notice but will make you happy when you see them. Fight for a day plan that makes you satisfied, even if it’s a little strange. Make sure it’s your day! For example, my husband doesn’t dance and although I like to dance, dancing with everyone’s eyes on me makes me really anxious. So guess what? We didn’t have a first dance! Surprise surprise, you don’t have to follow social norms- do what makes you happy. I did end up dancing, but I found that better than having an announced dance that has to last a whole song.

So, there you go. Some simple things for you to have the best day ever! This was a long time coming, we’ve been married about 7 months now but I’ve always wanted to do this as I really enjoyed my wedding and I want as many people out there as possibleto enjoy theirs too 🙂


You will always be my Mother

A lot of people ask me what my favourite Disney movie is and then get really surprised when I tell them. See, they expect my favourite to be “Tangled”, “Princess and the frog” or “Brave” ect. I do love all of those but my favourite Disney movie is Tarzan.

It baffles me that I am still the only person that loves Tarzan more than all the other Disney’s that I’ve met. They’ll say ‘well it was a good movie but it wasn’t amazing…” Why?! Why can’t Tarzan be amazing? However, I’ve never always loved Tarzan, so here’s the main reasons why I absolutely adore this movie and hopefully I can convince some of you to watch it again and find a new love for it! (I can’t believe I have to say this but this post does have major spoilers in it so if for some strange reason you haven’t watched it GO WATCH IT NOW!!!)

First and foremost I’m a sucker for equality and Tarzan promotes equality really well. Teaching kids that two people that look completely different can be friends is in my opinion, possibly one of the most important things that a child can grow up knowing. Okay, so I know it’s about man and monkey living in harmony but kids can take things and apply them to different situations in a heartbeat. For me, the scene where Tarzan’s mother explains to him that it doesn’t matter what he looks like is the best scene to illustrate this. Tarzan is found rubbing mud all over his body in a desperate attempt to make himself look more like a gorilla. Kala (his mother) cleans him off and and shows him that they both have two eyes, five fingers, two ears and lastly, they both have a heart. I always get so touched by this gentle, simple explanation and it can be used to teach children about equality, animal cruelty, you name it.

Secondly, the music is absolutely out of this world and the lyrics are some of the most meaningful lyrics ever to be in a Disney movie.

“no words describe a Mothers tears, no words can heal a broken heart.”

“Take strength from those that need you.”

“In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn.”

Are some of the lyrics you’ll hear in Phil Collin’s songs. I often feel that when there are songs in movies they don’t contribute anything new to the story. They’re just there to fill out the movie and make it more “child friendly”. *cough* Frozen *cough cough* Well, you know what else is also child friendly? And Adult friendly? And just about all people everywhere friendly? A talented musician who knows how to move the story along with simple yet powerful songs.

Third but not last is how Disney didn’t market this movie for anyone. Yes, it might seem like it’s more geared towards boys on the surface but in reality it’s got plenty for boys, girls and everyone outside and in between. They didn’t think “well, we’re known for making movies for girls so we better do that” or “We should get more boys watching our movies let’s make a film for them” (I’m looking at you Cars.) For once, it seems that Disney had an idea and thought “What the hell, let’s just make a movie, who cares who watches it?” which is something I really appreciate. I love it when movie makers create just for the pure love of creating and not worrying about who their target audience is and how they can design the characters so factories can mass produce overly expensive plushies of them.

Forth, Tarzan. I mean, need I say more? He is a great role model for anyone of any age. He loves all animals apart from the ones that try and hurt him or the people he loves. When he sees Jane he doesn’t think “Aaaaah! Something I’ve never seen before!!” and runs away, he saves her life and recognises that she looks kind of similar to him, even though the best reflection of himself he’s seen is in rivers. His first reaction to any living creature is to find out more about it and befriend it if he can. Even when he (this really is major plot-ruining spoilers now) discovers a picture of his real parents he still sees his mother as the person who brought him up and taught him- a gorilla. Yet amazingly still, when given the opportunity to kill the man who tries to poach his pack and kill him, Tarzan recognises that he can be different and chooses to spare his life.

Fifth, Jane. I can’t not mention Jane, she’s one of the best heroines I’ve seen. Yes, sometimes she’s a bit ditzy but for once that’s not a trait she’s got just because she’s a girl, she actually inherits it from her father. She’s so accepting, brave and smart. And truly talented, I mean did you see the drawing she did of Tarzan just from a fleeting glimpse of him? The movie wasn’t afraid to make her funny either. Disney constantly falls into the trap of making women “proper” or in today’s Disney movies “empowered”. If I’m being honest, I’m getting a bit sick of all the girl power that’s going on right now. I just want a movie that shows a natural woman with an actual personality doing normal things. And boom. Jane fits right into the “hey, I’m just a normal woman” category. I feel like Disney needs more women like her, that are just regular women and not a character specifically designed to be a stance on Disney’s feelings towards what’s going on in the world.

I could go on for aaaages but I won’t bore you any longer. It just annoys me that a lot of people really over look Tarzan and don’t give the movie a proper chance. It’s not just about swinging on vines in the jungle and hanging around with monkeys. It’s about love, trust, loyalty and friendship. I hope you’ll give it another chance because when I did, I watched it three times in one day and never looked back.frozen movie prison

LDS Secrets revealed?! The truth behind Mormon churches!!

*cough* Now that I’ve got your attention… Hello! So, you want some dirt on the Mormon faith do you? I’ve seen a lot of people confused about this church and it’s beliefs. Well, here are 10 real facts about the LDS Church!

  1. The proper name for the Mormon Church is “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”
  2. Meaning that, yes! They are in fact Christians! Shock horror :O The word “Christian” actually only means ‘a person who believes Jesus is the saviour’ in other words “messiah”.
  3. Mormon’s actually have not one, not two but four books: The Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price and The Doctrine and Covenants. Members of the church read them ALL. And learn from them ALL. And treat them ALL the same.
  4. Mormons believe that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are all separate beings. A belief that separates them from a lot of Churches but is not unique to their Church.
  5. It may come as a surprise but Mormons don’t actually hate black people! Crazy! They respect, accept and teach literally ANYONE.
  6.  Leading on from this point, this includes people who are LGBT+. Some aspects of their beliefs towards the LGBT+ community are hard to wrap your head around. But if you give it time and actually bother to listen to what they believe in, it makes a lot of sense! It even takes actual Mormons a long time to understand the beliefs on this subject. The important thing to know is they respect and accept them! (And teach them if they want to be taught!)
  7. LDS members have a living prophet on the earth today. This Prophet gets inspiration and revelation from God. Meaning, their *core beliefs* do not (and will not) change but some aspects of the *Church* can, do (and probably will) change. Hence why they have “Latter Day” in their name and why they do need a prophet.
  8. They also believe in Joseph Smith. Technically, the actual organisation of the “Latter Day saint” church didn’t start until Joseph Smith organised it. He was a prophet of God and God asked him to organise the Mormon Church. Jesus was a Jew. Not a Mormon. Mormons believe all that he taught and said is true. The thing that now separates them from Jews is what they believe about Jesus. (See fact number 2)
  9. Among not drinking, smoking, wearing revealing clothing ect. Mormons also believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men. So it’s not all doom and gloom “don’t do this, don’t do that”. They believe in being active members of their communities, helping others in any way possible and following the laws of the land as well as their own laws!
  10. And lastly, the most important thing about the LDS faith is that every. Single. Person has the right and privilege to choose. Just look at the popular Mormon children’s song “Choose the right”. The title isn’t “Do the right” is it? It’s “Choose”. Their religion is a choice and everyone in and out of it can make a choice whether to accept or reject it. Multiple times. One time rejected does not mean you don’t have the ability to accept it later. All rules are actually guide lines. Mormons only follow them because they *want* and choose to. They want to get back and live with their Heavenly Father. They want to be like him. They want to be good and helpful people. And they believe that the only way of achieving ALL of these things together, is to follow the commandments that God has given them.

Now, the interesting thing is, I don’t have to be a Mormon to know these things and to respect and have an interest in the religion. All I have to do is go to a reliable source. A good one is their actual, legitimate website: www.lds.org Or, even simpler, just read their 13 very short, easy to understand “Articles of Faith”.  I don’t have to be a Mormon to know this. But the truth is, I know these things because I’ve been a baptised Mormon for 13 years and have been learning the gospel for over 21 years. Which is to say, I was born a Mormon.

But I didn’t have to stay. I didn’t have to write this blog post. I don’t have to believe in it. Both my brothers, who are incredible examples to me, aren’t active members of the church any more. The reason I wanted to say this at the end of the ten facts, even though it may have been obvious from my knowledge or the sarcastic nature of my language is that a lot of people like to learn from “x-mormons” who for whatever reason have negative feelings towards the church or from unreliable sources that share “dirt” and throw shade on our religion.

Surprisingly, these aren’t good sources for religious information. A lot of people don’t like us because they’ve been finding false things about us online or from angry people who actively go around giving inaccurate information. I’d like people to know us from the inside out. That’s the best way to learn about something like an organisation and/or religion- from the inside.

Why does it matter?

Recently I read “The Coming Revolution Inside of Mormonism” by Greg Trimble and it gave me a lot of thoughts about what matters and what doesn’t matter. Humans in general seem to have very strange ways of judging people. In Todd Rose’s “The end of average” an old study of averages is explained. The study was to contribute the dimensions necessary to make the perfect cockpit for US war planes. Scientists would take the measurements of all the pilots and find the average of all their sizes but in the late 1940s it became apparent that the pilots could not control their planes.

No-one could figure out what was wrong until they hired Lieutenant Gilbert S. Daniels, who’s job was to measure pilots’ limbs with a tape measure and finding out the average otherwise known as “typing”.

“For example, many physical anthropologists believed a short and heavy body was indicative of a merry and fun-loving personality, while receding hairlines and fleshy lips reflected a “criminal type”.”


However, Daniels had already done this kind of research before and did not care for it. Daniels’ undergraduate thesis consisted of the comparison of the shape of 250 male Harvard students’ hands.

“The students Daniels examined were from very similar ethnic and sociocultural backgrounds (namely, white and wealthy), but, unexpectedly, their hands were not similar at all. Even more surprising, when Daniels averaged all his data, the average hand did not resemble any individual’s measurements. There was no such thing as the average hand size.”

This same discovery was what lead Daniels to discovering the secret to making the perfect cockpit for all the militaries pilots.

“Using size data he had gathered from 4,063 pilots, Daniels calculated the average of the ten physical dimensions believed to be most relevant for design, including height, chest circumference, and sleeve length. These formed the dimensions of the “average pilot”… Before he crunched his numbers, the consensus among his fellow air force researchers was that the vast majority of pilots would be within the average range on most dimensions. After all, these pilots had already been preselected because they appeared to be average sized. … The scientists also expected that a sizeable number of pilots would be within the average range on all ten dimensions. But even Daniels was stunned when he tabulated the actual number. Zero. Out of 4,063 pilots, not a single airman fit within the average range on all ten dimensions.”

Daniels findings finally brought to light that “If you’ve designed a cockpit to fit the average pilot, you’ve actually designed it to fit no one.”

This story was really interesting to me as it illustrates how we judge people in todays society. We judge based on our imaginings of the “ideal human.”  I say imaginings because an ideal, average, normal human being doesn’t exist and it never will. No one can live up to the whole worlds expectations of “normal.”

In his blogpost, Greg Trimble states how he envisions Mormonism in the future. One of these things is “this revolution will produce a people who don’t make a checklist of things they can and cannot do on the sabbath… and then hold others to their own standard and checklist.” We are constantly comparing people to ourselves or others. Why didn’t Daniels’ discovery make us think differently about people?

“The end of Average” talks of another study, one who’s results turned into a new gruesome method of judgement which still exists today. This study was designed to find out the average size of a woman. A sculpture had been made by gynaecologist, Dr. Robert L. Dickinson  and Abram Belskie representing the size data collected from fifteen thousand young adult women which they named “Norma”. Norma brought about the same discovery as Daniels made about pilots; that no woman alive could match Norma’s “average” size. However, this didn’t mean that we thought about the individual rather than the masses, it meant that we thought something was wrong and began to pressure the masses to change themselves to look more like Norma, aka. the average woman.

This judgement falls upon us all. Men, Women, teenagers, even babies. A baby will constantly be compared to the average to make sure it’s development is “normal”. But of course, no-one can be normal because there is no normal. From the discoveries humanity has made over the years, the word “normal” shouldn’t even be in the dictionary any more as far as humans are concerned.

This phenomenon of averages can be found everywhere. But the place were I see it most is inside my church. An LDS church should be the last place to find judgements but sadly, it’s usually the first. At School and work, my differences -religiously or not- have usually been widely accepted. The only time they have not been accepted was at school because some of my peers knew that I was ashamed of some of my differences. However, when I learned to accept myself, I was accepted by others. Only in the church have I seen a difference.

We seem to be obsessed with “typing”, putting people into categories. The gay one, the one who didn’t serve a mission, the one who was ex-communicated, the one who used to smoke, the one who can’t get over her addiction to coffee. Why do these things matter? Trimble wishes us to be more accepting. ““Who are you now?!” is what we’ll ask. Not “who were you then?””. Past failures, be they five years ago, five months ago, five days ago or five minutes ago shouldn’t matter. We should see that person coming out to church every week and accept them for being who they are at. That. Moment.

They are trying. Just like we are trying. Just like our President or Bishop is trying. Just like our prophet, President Monson is trying. Why should we cast stones at them when they could just as easily cast stones at us? We only think they are different from us because we haven’t bothered to learn more about them. My church has accepted me despite my flaws but only because I was born and raised into that church. They knew me already and were comfortable with me. Why isn’t it the same for visitors, new members or for people who have gone and come back? Let us stop typing and start getting to know people for who they really are.


There are no strings on me

Imagine living in a big cage. In the cage, there are lots and lots of rings drawn on the ground, like a big target and you’re sitting in the middle one that’s only just bigger than the space you need to sit comfortably. You’re told that the only way you can be happy is if you stay in the circle. There is grass and sunlight outside of the cage, people laughing, eating, chasing butterflies and you can see that they are happy. Years go by, you do as you’re told and sit in the middle ring. Sure, you’re safe in the ring even if it’s a little boring. Yet, something is bothering you in the back of your mind as you watch everyone play outside…

“Where is their cage? They are happy but they’re not in a cage.”  

You begin to question the cage, the more you think about it, the more you’re uncomfortable, cold and lonely. The more you look at them, the more all of the rings that surround you are making you dizzy. At long last, you creep out into the ring just outside of the centre.

“Well, that was simpler than expected.” You think.

“No-one’s telling me off, the person that told me to stay in the middle is gone and I am closer to getting out and joining those people.” 

You tentatively move to the next ring, and the next one, slowly getting closer to the edge of the cage. You’re half way there now and you get so happy and excited that you run the  rest of the way there.

You pause at the cage door. You notice that there’s no lock and you reach for the handle, yet you hesitate. You’ve lived your whole life in the cage, what if the outside isn’t as good as you expected? You’re worried that you might get hurt as you watch a child fall, scrape his knee and burst into tears. You let go of the handle and tears fill up your own eyes as you take a step back from the edge of the cage. Then, the child’s parent takes him into her arms, puts a plaster on his knee and kisses it better. The child runs back to play.

With a joyful smile, you wrench open the cage door and step into the light. It’s bright at first and you squint – it takes a bit of getting used to. But soon you begin to make friends and learn new things. You’re free.

That’s how I see a lot of People with overprotective parents act when they can leave home and finally try new things. That’s how some people who have been brought up in religion  believe they feel in their childhood. They feel restricted and caged. It makes me really sad to see how parents (not of anyone I know) teach religion to their children. Like there’s no choice. This is how we do it and there’s no other way. Then it becomes confusing for the child when they see non-religious people being perfectly happy but they aren’t following anything that’s been taught to the religious child.

They’re so naive about the world around them and to the concept of not following a set way, that they feel like they have to escape and learn about it all. And of course they’re going to think that doing things without religion is better because now they’re not being controlled by their obsessive parents. And then the parent’s think “Where have I gone wrong?”

My parents didn’t teach religion in this way and I saw it differently. So did my brothers even though they’re not religious anymore. Here’s how I saw it:

Imagine you’re a young child and you’re in a park with your friends. There are three of you. You are blue, one is yellow and the other is green. You ask your parents if you can go exploring and they say

“Of course, stay safe and be back by two o’clock.”

Your friends both go and ask their parents as well. The yellow parents say

“No, come and sit on the bench with us like a good child.”

The green parents say

“Yes, go do whatever you want and be back whenever you want.”

Off you and green go, leaving poor yellow behind. Along the way, you see all kinds of amazing things, you play together and have a great time. After about half an hour, you see a cave and it’s dark and scary. Green says to you,

“Hey blue, this cave is pretty cool, we should explore it!”

You look into the cave, it has an interesting shape, and looks like a cool place to play games and explore but it also looks slippery and has jagged rocks on the sides and you can see it doesn’t look very safe.

“Hmmmm, it’s pretty cool, but I don’t know… It doesn’t look safe and I might not get back to my parents in time.” You say to green.

“Oh, sure you will” says green. “I heard that you have to be back by two, we’ll only be quick and I have a torch with me, we’ll be fine.”

You follow green into the cave and it looks pretty cool, you have fun playing games and looking at the rocks but along the way you fall and hurt your ankle. Also, whilst you were exploring the cave you were having so much fun that you forgot about the time! You realise you only have ten minuets to get back to your parents! Green helps you up and walks with you.

When you get back, green goes to their parents. You come back to your parents with your head hanging.

“what’s wrong?” ask your parents.

“I’m late, it’s 2:02 and I didn’t stay safe, I hurt my ankle when we were in a cave.”

Your parents laugh and you’re confused, if you disobeyed, why are they laughing?

“Did you have a nice time?” Says your Mum.

“Well yes, until I hurt my ankle.” You answer.

“So what if you were a little late, it probably took you a bit longer than expected to come back because you were hurt. We were worried, but we’re more worried about getting your ankle better” Your Dad says, kindly.

“What did you learn?” He asks.

“I learnt that the rules you teach me are to keep me safe and I should be careful when following my friends, even though they might want me to have fun and try to do what they think is best. Sometimes what they do is fun, but if I’m not careful I might get sidetracked and forget what you taught me.” You reply, proud of yourself.

“Perfect!” says your Mum “now, watch” She says, pointing to the two other children.

“What did you learn today?” Asks the green Mum

“Caves are cool! There’s lot’s of different rocks in them!” replies your friend.

“Wow, that’s great!” Says green Mum.

“What did you learn?” Asks the yellow Mum.

“I am safe here with you.” Says your other friend.

“That’s right.” Says Yellow Mum.

You look back at your parents and smile. Sometimes, their rules are boring, but there’s a point to them and you know that if you make a mistake, you can learn and try again.

A letter to schools

Dear teachers and students,

Some say that school can be the making and breaking of a person. For me it was about 10% making and 90% breaking. In fact, I just went back to my old school today because my music group has moved there and my mood wasn’t great just because I was in the building. Despite all of this, I love learning. I believe in educating myself and enjoy to improve my skills. The way the lesson is taught in *most* places is what I have a problem with.

So, to the students-

A lot of the reasons for my experiences here were pretty much out of any teachers control. I was very severely bullied and took away a lot of anxiety, along with awful trust issues when it comes to making and keeping friends. Let’s just put it this way, my year was the year that made the headmaster install a more secure door system… No student did anything to help until I made some amazing friends who got me through the later years. To their credit though, this was mostly because I was very quiet and didn’t like to bother anyone with my troubles. So, no one would notice if I was upset.

But if you do ever see anyone sitting on their own at lunch, looking the slightest bit down, or staying out of the way in a corner somewhere; go and sit with them, give them a smile, go talk to them. I know it’s scary, it might seem lame, or they might seem weird but let me tell you three of the most important things you’ll ever learn: 1) Every new experience is scary. 2) If you want to do it, don’t let fear of judgement tie you down. 3) Everyone on this planet is weird.

Be yourself. Don’t let anyone- ANYONE let you think you can’t be different. As soon as I learned that, a lot of the bullying stopped. Embrace your weirdness! Be confident! Don’t be afraid to do what’s right, even if you stand alone. Learn things you can do to help yourself out. I know of an incredible man, to me, he was one of the most amazing men I’d ever heard of apart from my Dad and he once said that to get him through each day, he stood in front of the mirror and said “everything is going to be okay”.

And, if none of this helps, it will all end eventually. School will become nothing but a memory and you’ll never have to go again if you don’t want to.

And to the teachers:

I went into high school as a tiny eleven year old thinking “I’m going to do better than I did at primary, I can get more organised, I’ll come to school on time and remember all my books.” In my first month I got a detention for forgetting my pencil. It probably fell out of my pencil case or someone could’ve taken it. It might seem like a very small thing to an adult and to me now, I can get over it. But to an eleven year old, it felt like my teacher got really close to my face and said “screw you”. In my first month at my new school I felt like I couldn’t accomplish my goal to try and get more organised. In short, they made me feel like a failure.

Although I said in the address to the students that most of my bad experiences were out of the teachers control, there’s still some things that you can do. In the example above, my teacher could have said “that’s okay, these things happen” and let me borrow a pencil. Some of our teachers were marvellous but that was only a select few. I’m very sorry to say that we weren’t treated very well by the majority of our teachers. They would make fun of us in front of fellow students, they would put us on the spot when they knew full well that we didn’t know the answer and they would stamp out any dream we had that was slightly abnormal.

Can I just say, that forcing a career onto someone will not make that career appear any more attractive to them. If someone has an achievable goal that is anything other than “normal” -whatever that is- then help them towards it with polite encouragement. If someone has an unachievable goal, then strive to make it achievable. If they have the passion to put in the work then that’s all that should really matter.

When I said to my teachers that I wanted to be an artist they didn’t support me at all. They said that it wasn’t a good or realistic choice and that it was too tough. Teachers: just because your student’s dream seems daunting to you, doesn’t mean you have to put your worries onto them. I knew of the risks, I knew that I probably wouldn’t make very much money but I didn’t need to hear it again, I needed to know what I could do to make my dream a reality.

I am now directly addressing the art department of any school. Art was, is and always will be my passion. But my school’s art department unknowingly did everything it could to stamp that passion out of me. If I could name the head of the art department at my school and talk freely about him, I’d probably get him fired. He had all the characteristics an art teacher absolutely should not have. He was unimaginative, closed minded, and just down right boring. He was blind to anything that wasn’t traditional art or Picasso. I would show him pieces that I had put great thought and care into, things that I saw as beautiful and he shot them down without even a second glance. It felt like getting a slap in the face each time.

We once did a project that was meant to be centred around yourself and I, once again, did my own thing thinking “Well, this project is meant to be about me, so I’ll make it about me.” apparently, I did it too much about me, he didn’t like it one bit.

What’s worse is that I’m hearing from lot’s of art students that art teachers are prohibiting the use of black paint as they see it as “cheating”. Let me tell you, as an artist, black paint is what I have most of and I guarantee that most other artists will say the same. The same goes for not letting students erase things. It’s silly and needs to be stopped.

To the Maths department: if a student get’s the right answer, you ask why and they say “because I know” please don’t tell them they’re wrong. They got the right answer. Teach them how to explain themselves. You’re a teacher. That’s what you’re there for. To teach.

To the History department: that one time we watched black adder in school taught me more than any other classes I took in history. Probably because we actually enjoyed it.

Teach with fun. Use your time as a teacher to develop the next generation of kids, not to put them into one end of a machine and have them come out as clones of the same person. I’m begging you, put joy back into teaching. Bring life into schools. And most importantly: let those children have an actual childhood.

Harry Potter and the cursed script

So, I’m going to be a proper internet blogger and post a review online… How exciting! I just read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and I had such strong conflicting reactions to it that I just had to write about it. This will not contain any spoilers at all. Also, these are MY views. If you think something else then I’ll welcome your opinion but that’s all there is here: my opinion. Not fact.

First of all, I’d like to say that if I was writing this review just after reading the first half, I’d have told you that I was elated, hooked, over the moon and couldn’t wait to devour the next half. And although I had a very hard time getting used to different people writing it, it met my high expectations and that’s all I had hoped for. I understood and sympathised with the characters and felt that I could be friends with them. I was also really impressed with the story and the underlining meaning behind it. I enjoyed getting to know the next generation and was pleased with how they turned out. It was unexpected, unknown and that made it exciting and a real page-turner. The only criticism I had with it so far was that it read a little like fan-fiction. But I put that down to the foreign writing style and dealt with it.

Now having read it all, I am confused and frustrated but most of all, disappointed. I felt like the people who wrote it both had read Harry Potter but completely ignored all of the finer details. As if they had read it but thought “but wouldn’t it be better if this would happen” and wrote The Cursed Child just so they could do that for themselves. These finer details that are explained in the Harry Potter books make some of the situations in The Cursed Child completely and utterly impossible. I actually said out loud whilst reading it at one point “well that’s just ridiculous”.

The reason why I loved Harry Potter was how believable it was, you know it’s not true but there’s that little bit in your brain that thinks “but it could be though”. The Cursed Child smooshed that into the ground simply by being a little too silly. And I know what you’re thinking, Harry Potter is full of witches and wizards and talking hats and giants but it all made sense. It all fit. However, The Cursed Child didn’t make sense to me. Maybe that’s just me being stupid and missing something but I know those books inside and out and so I thought I would at least have been able to understand it.

I also loved Potter because JK Rowling wrote them for herself. All the things she wrote were for her own reasons. She wrote to escape and she poured her heart and soul into those books and you can feel it when you read them. They’re painfully beautiful in that aspect. You escape with her and Harry. The Cursed Child felt like it was written by fans, for the fans. They make a lot of references that you wouldn’t get if you weren’t familiar with the Potter universe before hand. And a lot of the situations- even though they were new, felt recycled and stale. As I said before, it read like fan-fiction. I would’ve loved to have been able to read it completely separately from the legendary seven, as if it were the start of a new series but Cursed Child simply didn’t allow that. It didn’t let you move on. I didn’t enjoy the nostalgia, mainly because I found it very difficult to say goodbye to Harry and now it’s like being forced to do that again but with a strange, warped version of it. It felt… Desperate to me.

I did love one of the main things people are deliberating over at the moment though and that’s “who is the Cursed Child?”. Me? I think it’s everyone. I think the book is trying to say that everyone has flaws, everyone has their moments, everyone is cursed. I really like that they allow for you to come up with your own theory and any of them work. And I always appreciate a book that presents the whole world as equals and Cursed Child did do that very well. I also enjoyed the repetition and magic in it. I would love to see how they manage all of it on stage.

So to summarise, I think if they write another one that’s completely and utterly about Harry and co’s kids- the next generation- and about new plots, new adventures and new schemes, then it will do really well. Because that’s what Cursed Child should’ve been. It should’ve felt like coming home to find everything’s changed apart from the glow in your heart that tells you that you’re home. If JK Rowling was more involved, that should’ve been easy. Because the books are a part of her. The Cursed Child wasn’t. It was the distant relative at best. It set itself up in the first half so, so well and just when it was a lovely big balloon, it deflated. I’m so sorry I feel this way. I wish I could’ve enjoyed it and I wish I could be happy with it but I’m just not. But as I always say, that’s just me, feel free to comment with your feelings and whether you disagree or not. I will read it again and just make sure I’m not missing anything but right now, all I’m missing is a creation by JK Rowling.