LIFE RAMBLE

November 2017 Round-Up

Remember, remember November, November.  There is no way I am ever forgetting this month anytime soon!  Arguably the most exciting, dramatic, fun and fast-paced month of the entirety of 2017 – November has been chock-filled with mouth-watering edibles extenuating my hips, live music, my birthday, heaps of giggles and BOOZE GALORE.

Food, glorious food

I’m a sucker for a meal out.  Whether it is early morning breakfast, a spot of brunch spent gossiping with a mimosa in hand, a quick sandwich and a coffee, a super-late lunch, a romantic candlelit dinner – there is never enough time in the day to go out for food.  This month I have been out to grab a bite to eat at seven different food joints.  I do not know whether that is good or bad by my standard, it’s almost two meals out per week?

I have a trio of meals which have stuck out in my memory from November.  One of which is Ziya, an Asian Grill on Manchester’s infamous Curry Mile, my birthday meal at the gorgeous Grand Pacific, an upmarket eatery with a passion for pineapples and a good ol’ Sunday scran at The Northern Quarter.  You will never guess where the latter is situated in Manchester.

My waistline has definitely bulged this month and my bank account has been rinsed, but you know what – I feel bloody damn good in myself and relish in the fact I have been shovelling loads of fantastic goods down my gob.
(A Plate of gnocchi, Fress, Oldham Street, MCR) 

(An assortment of curries, Ziya, Curry Mile, MCR)
(Tempura Sea Bass, Grand Pacific, MCR) 

Not working 9-5

If you have read some of my previous posts, you would have known I used to work as a bartender/waitress in NQ.  Used to is the most important part of this sentence.  Since quitting my job the world of opportunity has literally cocked its leg and beckoned me inside.  In the past couple years I have depended on a social life, alcohol-fuelled rampages and money greed to rule my life, pushing productivity to the near brink of extinction.

But over the past couple weeks, I have seen a total difference in myself.  I want to sit down at my laptop and dance across the keyboard and post my creativity online.  I’ve started taking my Assistant Editor role at Gigslutz so much more seriously, aiming to post news stories every day, Cigarette Sounds is back up and running and for once I’m not THAT far behind on university work.  Obviously, I am missing the money but right now, I am the top priority.

“Where are you going Hermionie?” “To the library.”

Speaking of university, I have finally succumbed to the power of the quiet-zone in the library.  There is something about The University of Salford’s larger-than-life white desks, the litter of macs, the random deckchairs, and there not being anything to distract me from pouring over my work (I mean the kettle and the fridge and chatter) that I adore.  I definitely reckon falling in love with the library – alongside listening to Harry Potter audiobooks for motivation– has boosted my productivity levels.

Anything that makes me leave the house after lying in bed for days on end is a yes from me, even if it can be a bit of a faff finding a free computer sometimes.

Thank You For The Music

Manchester swells to a considerably larger size than it already is when anybody admits it is the city of song.  In the entirety of November, I only managed to pencil three gig nights into my diary – one of which being Betsy at Gorilla on the penultimate day of the month, Off The Record Festival on the 10 and the big one – the Bicep presents Feel My Bicep at Warehouse Project.

The WHP season is not something I have really ever looked forward too.  I went to a Ram Jam night last year, got too drunk to speak; hated every minute that David Rodigan pranced around on stage and vowed I would never attend a night in the dingy warehouse again, for as long as I lived.

This obviously did not last very long, did it? When the Bicep boys, a lucky guestlist space and spending the night two-stepping with one of your favourite gals is dangled in front of you-you cannot say no, can you?  I did try to review my night at WHP, but I lost my keys, my ID and all of my money in the space of 10 minutes, which just shows what kind of state I was in.

You can read my review of Welsh songstress Betsy via Gigslutz here, accompanied by some shots from Lucy Fletcher.

You can read mine & Gigslutz editor Mel Svenson’s take on Off The Record festival 2017, accompanied by some shots from the ridiculously talented Jon Mo, here.

Oh Christmas markets, oh Christmas markets

And oh, how could we forget the Manchester Christmas Markets.  They bring the Christmas spirit far to early, and force you to drink mulled cider and drown yourself with hot chocolate at the time where your purse clasps should be clamped shut.  They have not even been open a month yet and I have already trampled over to the markets situated in Albert Square more times than I can count.  I imagine December shall be a lot of the same… Once I pick up my ID from WHP that is!

Gonna’ party like it’s yo’ birthday, baby girl

Hiya world, Ella Scott is twenty-one.  No, I am never going to stop banging on about it.  The beginning of the end (dun, dun, dun) of the month heralded a visit from my best friend Jemma, in the spirit of an early birthday.  As well as having my main gal in Manchester, I dined out considerably and ended up sprawled out on the floor of Canal Street attempting to do the worm.

I’m now currently spending the weekend at home, sipping on guess what (you already know) prosecco and getting carbonara cooked for me by my wonderful mother.  God, am I a real-life princess?  Coming back home to north Newcastle is one of my most favourite things.  Just the sight of my cat and dog send me into a fit of excitement, and my little brother too I guess.  It has been a swell birthday and the 21st year of birth is going to be one to remember.  I can feel it.

 

November has been as cool as a cucumber.  I have had the best month, and now I am so excited to officially start drinking and eating my way into a coma this Christmas.

Ells x

LIFE RAMBLE

Portraying your feelings on the internet

If you are a long-time prowler of my musings then you will already know that I tend to document the troublesome times of my life on the internet.  If you are also a serial online stalker (like me…) then you may also have realised that these woeful posts have vanished from my bright little corner of the internet.  Why?  Let me explain.

It has come to my attention that generally a lot more people than I realised read this blog. “Cigarette Sounds har har” is thrown at me a lot by the most haphazard persons, and I am still shocked that people give a little bit of a Michael about what I put on my Instagram stories and what comes out of my mind in hazy patches and fluorescent blobs.  It’s nice, really nice.

However, due to this current influx of people jumping on the bandwagon, I am beginning to see my content changing, my flare and passion developing and losing the idea that sharing my deepest, darkest feelings on the internet for all and more to see maybe is not my greatest achievement to date.   Slowly (a lie, I just mass deleted) I’m taking away my evidence of my episodes, my dips and my troughs away from prying eyes.  Why?  Because they are mine.

There are two sides to this coin.  Me, posting my inner-feelings onto the internet, naked, bare, laid out on the table, ready to be poked and prodded by readers and critics galore offers a sense of vulnerability and genuine realness.  Nobody’s life is plastered with Valencia or the sepia tones of Slumber now, are they? (RIP the classic Instagram filters of our past.) Me lying in bed hungover on a Wednesday morning would be so much more appealing personally if Insta’ filters were real.

So, when I do let my emotions billow out of me, I am both proud of myself for admitting my faults and happy that others can perhaps relish in the ideology that they are not alone in this struggle.  It also makes me feel a HELL of a lot better for getting some ludicrously daunting thoughts off of my chest.

On the flipside, an hour after this empowerment I have gained from spilling all da beans, I just feel stupid; utterly ridiculous.  Why could I have not just kept it to myself?  Why did I have to tell everybody on Twitter that I cried because I dropped a Greggs cheese and onion pasty on a tram track, on the way to a twelve-hour shift?  Did I really think that people could empathise with that?  Is this really how I want to present myself on the internet?  Am I going to be headhunted for a brand-new job opportunity, or perhaps partnered with a brand if I am always moaning about how S A D I am?

Probably not.

Do I honestly care?

Er, DUH.

How you present yourself on the internet is becoming an integral part of your personality.  Do you really doubt that one day, your future employer will not find that misogynistic tweet you typed out on your Blackberry seven years ago?  What you say and what you do on the internet did not really have an impact on your immediate image when you were eleven but now it undeniably carries a heavier amount of weight.  Your past opinions and your present, carefully constructed beliefs, neatly packaged into 140-character tweets speak categorical, resounding volumes.

I stopped sharing so much on the internet when I stopped watching certain Youtube channels, decided I would no longer be influenced by the ‘bare-all’ approach to the internet that some bloggers took and also became more aware of what was going on around me.

If I wanna eat coco-pops with Alpro rubarb yoghurt with chocolate sprinkles on at 5am, do I NEED to tell the world of Cigarette Sounds that that’s what I am doing?  No.

Do I NEED to live up to the expectation that from 7 am – 12 am I am sat, handcuffed to my laptop with my eyes tirelessly feeling up Microsoft Word? NO.

Basically, what I am trying to establish is that the girl is still the same. The girl is still Ella Scott, who gets wine drunk and face plants puddles in the middle of Northern Quarter, who’s heart is fully-invested in Music Documentaries (that George Michael one still has my heart, LORDY), is totally not over the avocado hype and will still undoubtedly pour her HEART AND SOUL onto the internet… She’s just going to write down in her journal that she spilt coffee all over her crotch in a University lecture and had to burst out the door, run to the loo’s and strip off her tights before sulking back and bursting into tears. Because you do not need to know that.

Yep, my journal is about to get a W H O L E lot juicier!

Remind me to keep those words under lock and key!

Ells x

LIFE RAMBLE

Why to make art when you are sad

(Tracy Emin, 2010)

Unfortunately, I am about as good with a paintbrush as I am at remembering whether I brushed my teeth last night.  Honestly, it is grim how many times a week I genuinely forget to splodge some toothpaste around my mouth.  So, making stereotypical art – such as painting, drawing and sculpting – might not exactly be my forte, however, I am not too bad at expelling some anger from the dark clouds which swarm above my head through the medium of words.

It is quite sadistic that sometimes I relish in feeling a little bit more than deflated because I know my creativity flourishes in a fluorescent light. Usually, I find the thoughts that leave my mind and blossom into fully-blown, functioning ideas through my dancing fingertips will be a smidge more intense.  More intense does not exactly mean ‘better’, but it does mean they have more depth, and it does mean they are deeply personal.

The personality of my writing when I have a bee buzzing around constantly in my bonnet takes on a different character.  The girl ebbs away and this out-of-body-being takes over.  I peruse back over my words and smugly smirk, thinking “wow Ella, did you really write that?”  Can I blow my own trumpet anymore here?  Go on, dare me.

Personally, I find it easy to create art when I am heartbroken, or just plain sad.  There does not even really need to be a reason for my limbs gushing invisible blue goo, I just need to see those little air bubbles popping with my sighs and I am ready to rumble.  Making art when I am sad helps so much.

It is therapeutic.  It works wonders on my mind when I can simply prattle on and a stream of words leaves my fingers.  I find that poetry is the quickest, easiest and most simplistic way of getting my emotions out into the open.  I have reams of poetry and notebooks piled high brimming with snippets of my feelings since 2013.  I, pouring my heart into something, to create another something, is really something special.

I make my best art when I am sad.   It is just a shame that I have to be this sad to create my strongest works.  The tide changes quickly and time is just the lapping wave, rinsing the sand of clues of your past.  The footprints are physically gone and the stinging memory in your mind is numbed with the constant time flow.  I know it is okay to be sad, I just have to use it to my advantage.

ELS x

LIFE RAMBLE

17:17

The thoughts that etch themselves on my eyes,
And the sensations which burn my limbs,
Caress and nestle themselves deep below the surface,
So that reality is once again be regained.

There is not a breath where I do not loath,
And there is not a taste that I do not enjoy,
By polar opposites, the tide rewrites the stars and the story,
Which I desperately attempt to swallow.

Rewrite, remake, rejuvenate, repeat,
Take away this haunting image,
No longer can I breathe, as I am wallowing in deep water.

 

LIFE RAMBLE

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew

I am a sucker for working hard.  I am also a sucker at slacking.  I like to brand myself as a professional lazy-perfectionist.  Sometimes I will wake up at the crack of dawn (by that I mean 8:30 am at the earliest), shove my laptop open, down a cuppa’ sugary coffee and find my fingertips dancing across the keyboard.  Other days, I will lie with my face up at the ceiling contemplating whether it is too early to go to Sainsbury’s and buy a bottle of wine.  It is always one or the other, unfortunately never both.

Because of my fluctuating capability to manage my productivity, I usually find myself eventually drowning under the weight of my self-made promises – because I have once again bit off more than I can really afford to chew.  Get that news piece done in the last ten minutes of my hospitality job break?

Expectations: “sure thang’ I will pop it over now.”  Reality: racing around the bar, making cocktails, typing up the odd word on my phone screen, flinging “I am so bloody sorry” emails left right and centre.

 

Is there a cure for this?  A remedy perhaps?  Yeah, the answer is “say no”.

I have always struggled with saying no.  I hate the sinking feeling in your stomach when you let somebody down who was all starry-eyed about you, and they metaphorically push you from the pedestal they had you perched upon.  Because of this bitter hatred of mine, I try to do too much in too little time and eventually, not wanting to upset anybody is my own unmaking.  What a cruel, cruel world this is.  Just gimmie’ some more spins of the clock, Father Time.

Another reason I always seem to end up with piles of work fluttering around my ears is because I cannot find the work/life balance.  Seriously, if you have found the code to keep you on a gold streak HAND IT OVER TO MY LIL’ MITTS.  So by my work/life balance I mean:

  • Full-time hospitality employment
  • Full-time university education
  • Blogging
  • Music Journalist for a variety of music websites
  • Having a boyfriend
  • Keeping fit & healthy (IE. Remembering to eat food)
  • Social life (IE. Actually replying to my friends’ messages)
  • Treat yo’ self (IE. Wash my hair and change my bedsheets)

I mean do not get me wrong, I know that there are thousands of people in the industry that multi-task way more than I could ever dream of, but I am trying my hardest to get that balance correct.  At this moment in time, the only thing that is really lax is the remembering to eat part of my life.  But, who needs to eat when you can buy Topshop boots… Right?

So, biting off more than I can chew is a serious pet hate of mine which I do every damn day of my life.  It is like when I have an assignment that I have had seven weeks to complete, and I still leave it ‘till the last day even though I ruddy hate myself every single time I do it.  Will I ever learn?

Have you any tips for managing your workload/time?  Help a gal out.

ELS x

LIFE RAMBLE · Manchester

Life Update and General Housekeeping

Oh, did you see that Ells is back blabbing on the internet again?  Yeah, she must have stopped pouring pints down her warbler for long enough to string a sentence together.

Dear Diary, ‘Iya did you miss me?

It has been an excruciatingly extended period of time since I put fingertips to keyboard.  Since my last post, which can be read here, I have gotten pregnant, swapped style secrets with Courtney Love, replaced my toes with glasses of wine and have become a compulsive liar.  No, all things serious, things are really coming up Millhouse at the moment.  Yey for meee.

So let’s start with the basics.

Manchester

My home-sweet-home away from home-home-sweet-home.  Manchester, my first love and my last, it has been so ruddy brilliant to be back inside you again.  Since the offset it has been all guns blazing; from catching-up with golden-oldie pals, buzzing around in a full-time job, downing tequila shots at a rate which would put the cast of Geordie Shore to shame and moving flats (more on this soon) there seriously has not been a dull segment of time since I returned to this rainy paradise.

I have had my body taken into captivity by food poisoning the last few days which resulted in me dropping my newly-cracked phone (Saturday night antics you always get the best of me) into a nice bowl of sick.  The said phone works and now I am determined to either erase the existence of my barely-there meat intake or insist on cooking everything to a well-done standard.  Chewy beef on a Sunday dinner platter at Ella’s, if anyone’s up for it?

Since I have returned to the city of – my – dreams, I have mastered the art of creating the most spectacular banana pancakes (seriously, it is all about the coconut oil to egg ratio), rekindled my love for Harry Potter via the delightfully alluring voice of Stephen Fry, lost shed loads of weight, got drunk more times than I have had hot meals, visited the Warrington IKEA purely for a fresh scoopful of Lingonberry sauce and celebrated my boyfriend’s 21st birthday in true style.

It is sweet to be back, MCR.

Moving Flat

If you follow me on any social media or know me away from my words, you will already know that I have moved into a beautifully airy flat with my best friend, brunching partner and platonic boyfriend, Andrew.  I haven’t travelled very far, I still live in the same apartment complex but now I have a balcony, red sofas and a Monstera deliciosa, so now I am a smug little kitten.  My record player is finally getting the love and attention it deserves, my Velvet Underground ‘Heroin’ poster is the pride of place in my living room and somehow I am managing to actually survive without a chest of draws… For now.  These are serious first world problems but they are my problems, okay.

I have Kilner jars coming out of my ears, big plans for expensive Persian rugs and enough incense to really put meaning behind that threat David Byrne made in 1983.  I am completely in awe of the possibilities this flat has to develop into my favourite place in Manchester (third to Federal Café and The Oast House) and excited to see the length my bank account can stretch to.  Really, I needed those three Diptyque candles that all smell the same… Honestly Halifax, I promise I won’t do it again until next month!

General Housekeeping

The word ‘housekeeping’ always reminds me of that time I and my old friends went on a weird-yet-strangely wonderful trip to M(Sh)agaluf. We had one official housekeeper, however one of my pals would do all the days dishes when she came home after she’d drank a river of Sex on the Beach and then I would continue to cause havoc by tidying up the balcony by disposing of unnecessary furniture and any plates which had not made it into Caitlin’s grasp. So, what was the point of our housekeeper?  Duh, to brush a straight line from the door of the room to the balcony and back.  That strip in the hotel room was more attractive than the Maga strip ever will be. Thanks, housekeeper, you really kept the hotel standards as high as ours were in Maga.

Anyways, housekeeping.  I begin university again next week.  Yes, I am finally making it into the second year of a university course.  Refrain from applauding, please.  I have essentially just had two gap yah’s where not a great deal of travelling commenced, but this is the year I get serious.  I say this every year of my education but this year I MEAN IT.  I am getting serious this year.

I’ve been made News Editor of my baby, Gigslutz.co.uk, which is an absolute honour.  So, since today marks the first day of the internet in the new flat and the re-birth of myself into the real world, keep your eyes peeled on their news section as me and the team are about to fill it with wonderful, glorious and tasty titbits helping you to sink your teeth into your new favourite band.

The This Feeling Alive 2017 tour kicks off on October 1.  I’ll be heading down to the Manchester show, featuring the boys Proletariat alongside The Shimmer Band, Bang Bang Romeo and Blackwaters.   The tour itself is promoting the ideologies that the NME Awards Tour used to hold close to its heart, yet on a grittier scale with an intense showcase of much more graft.  For more information regarding the tour, please see here.

Basically, to tidy this long-winded ramble up – the blog is back and I hope you missed it because I know I did!

Ciao for now,

ELS x

LIFE RAMBLE

Home For The Summer

Is this a less-flamboyant parody of Demi Levato’s banging odyssey of sexual discovery ‘Cool For The Summer?’ Not quite.

As I am writing this, the time on the clock chimes 6 pm.  Today has been overflowing with productivity, a staggering number of sugary mugs of tea and a good talking to by my boyfriend.  I am upset about my weight (again) but that is a different story and I bought a ticket to see The Cribs in December earlier, so, all in all, I am pretty darn okay.

As you might be able to tell from the title of this blog post, I have been home, home for the past four weeks.  Home is my beautiful lil’ flat in Castlefield, Manchester, however home, home is basically my bed in rural Northumberland.  I needed a serious break from Manchester and I was so fortunate enough to be allowed it from work, so home, home is where I am at right now.

Sometimes, I allow things to get on top of me.  Piled up so high, the weight of the world crushes my bones and I find it difficult to breathe untainted sighs of relief.  The final straw of this year in Manchester – leading to me trekking up to the real north – came from the aftermath of a night out, when I looked at myself in the mirror and questioned who I even was anymore.  I had no idea what had come over me but I had relapsed into somebody I once was.  I had put everything (and I mean everything) on the line for something which lasted a short spell of time and caused a lot more bad than it ever will good.  Spur-of-the-moment bad decisions that I do not regret, but just wish had not have happened under the circumstances.  Unfortunately, I will always have the wound, but my momma’s Sunday roast has definitely has cured the pain.

I have done enough tarot card readings to know that the six of swords frequently tells me “do not run away from your problems” however, running away has possibly been the best thing I have bloody done all year.  I have regained myself, rekindled my passion for productivity and put on a few extra pounds with all the food I have been eating.  I am extremely happy and beyond content, gaining a little bit of weight around my middle is not a huge price to pay is it?

Like everything, I totally take where I live for granted.  Seriously, the view outside of my bedroom window is insane.  If you follow me on Instagram (@ellalascott) you would have seen it more times than none over the past few weeks.  There is nothing better than waking up on a Tuesday morning, bright and breezy to hear and see sheep being driven down my road by quad bikes and collie dogs. The bleats and the stamping of hooves remind me that I am not in Kansas (Manchester) anymore.

People talk about going on holiday to the countryside for “fresh air” and I honestly never got my head around the idea.  Duh, there is air everywhere, what makes the countryside’s so fresh and so great wah wah wah?  Yeah so basically long story short I am now one of those people who tell e v e r y o n e how great the air is up here!! Does this mean I am old? (say it is not so!)

Since being home, I have been spending a copious amount of time in the hills with my big woofer as well as writing constantly.  I have also been on a night out in the town of Alnwick (if you are thinking about it, don’t), been for food at the most a-m-a-z-i-n-g restaurant in Newcastle Upon-Tyne – The Earl of Pitt Street – spent some quality time with my mom and am 100% ready to get stuck into round 3 of Manchester.

Everything is finally coming up, Millhouse

ELS X