I Have Moved! 

Over the past few weeks I have been redesigning and revamping the look of my blog! I have a whole new fancy site where you can keep up to date with all my goings on. It’s called What’s Wrong with Saffron Rain but don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. I’m still discussing similar topics to those that exist here and I am still extremely passionate about the big issues that I deem to be important however, there is a bit more space for it to be something more personal! I think my new space is much more representative of me and I hope you all enjoy it!

You can visit the brand new variation on Storm in a Teacup here:

http://www.whatswrongwithsaffronrain.wordpress.com

Saffron x

One Month Smoke Free: Day Five.

Okay, so I’ve skipped a few days, I didn’t think every small detail of my struggle was worth documenting, or at least not worth documenting for anyone’s enjoyment, it would have just been a long list of complaints.

I’ll try and sum the past few days up. Day three was Friday and that was pretty bad but not because of my nicotine withdrawal which was good but simultaneously pretty awful. I’ve been getting these stabbing pains in my torso and me and my fella spent a portion of Thursday night awake with me in horrendous pain so this pretty much dominated day three. I positioned myself on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket like a tube and decided not to move much. This decision and not really wanting to due to pain definitely contributed to a lack of cravings. In addition I watched films and drew my valentine’s card which was nice. I watched Under the Skin which was shit and I would not recommend. I wouldn’t recommend the book either. After that attrocity I watched Pretty in Pink which is always guaranteed to make you feel better and no one really smokes. This is my next list venture; films in which there is not much smoking.

After day three apparently it’s meant to get easier; the first three days are the hardest, or so I’ve heard. Saturday I was in work and I’m a barmaid which therefore makes the no smoking this pretty horrendous. I tend to go for breaks because I smoke and I’m constantly surrounded by smokers. This I found pretty difficult, especially finishing after what turned out to be quite a busy shift and not enjoying a cigarette at the bus stop before I got home. Weird. But, I got through it and I’m still going strong, I’m so bloody proud of myself, honestly.

I’m not going to lie and say I’ve been an angel about it though. I’m pretty sure that Saturday morning would have seen me smash a few glasses if there had been some to hand and I went to work with a million things going through my head knowing that a cigarette would make everything better and having to settle for sodding softmints (they’re not really doing it for me anymore, I ate nearly a whole pack in Hobbycraft today, it’s becoming unhealthy). However, my valentine’s night was lovely and my boyfriend is extremely helpful and supportive with his regular ‘positive reinforcement’- I am very lucky.

We were chatting today about him quitting and reasons for stopping etc. and I thought I’d share the reasons why I’m doing it. Obviously, I’m trying to raise money for an amazing charity and I’m still on £85 so if you want to donate get going (!) but I’m also obviously partly doing it for myself. One, I literally cannot afford to keep up a habit like this, it is ridiculously expensive and I would never ever advise anyone to start! But also, I want to break the habit of not being completely in control of my own existence. I don’t want parts of my day to be dictated by the fact that I need to go outside and have a cigarette. I don’t want to start feeling irritated halfway through an exam or a film due to nicotine withdrawal. I basically don’t want to be reliant on something to get me through my day in a sane manner; I am perfectly capable of managing that myself.10410210_10152522682912953_8526828325193556163_n (1)

One Month Cigarette Free: Day Two

If yesterday was anger, today was grief. I assume these stages apply.. I can’t wait for acceptance, week two maybe?

Yes, today it would most definitely be easier to list the places where I didn’t cry/nearly cry/ well up than those where I did. Superdrug in Sheffield train station would not have made that list, neither would the 14:14 Northern Service to Manchester Piccadilly and neither would the 83 bus. It’s been a day of resounding success.

I’ve smoked for a long time and I think part of the problem with this whole quitting thing is that smoking had become part of the person I was, however pathetic that may sound. Therefore, for day two I have compiled a list of people who I think are really cool and don’t smoke.

1. Morrissey

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See, a cigarette would probably compliment this photograph but Morrissey has decided he isn’t going to poison himself on a regular basis and still manages to be pretty, bloody cool. Except now, ignore him now. He’s far from cool and quite frankly just irritates people on a regular basis, perhaps making them want to smoke. Who knows?

 

 

 

2. Patti Smith

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Patti Smith didn’t smoke, she didn’t even do drugs, although everyone around her did and she has arguably one of the most interesting lives in Rock. Plus she’s still living and performing way into her sixties, whereas a lot of her peers are dead.

 

 

 

 

3. Debbie Harry

I have ndownload (3)ever seen a photograph of Debbie Harry with a cigarette in her hand, which kind of makes me think she musn’t smoke. And let’s face it, you don’t get much cooler than this.

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all I can come up with for now. I’m reading The Good Soldier at the moment and just thinking that everyone who wrote in the 20s, Fitzgerald, Hemingway etc, everyone who hung out in Paris was just having a great time and they were all smoking and having fun and weren’t crying in random places. Day two has been a write off, I’ve done nothing.

However, donations have come to £85 already and I am utterly thrilled, this is what’s keeping me motivated. Thank you so much!

https://www.justgiving.com/Saffron-Rain/

One Month Cigarette Free: Day One

From Wednesday the 11th of February to Wednesday the 11th of March I will be smoke and nicotine free (so no patches, gum or E-cigarettes!). I know a lot of people who have done dry January but I can easily take or leave a drink, whereas a cigarette, that’s very different!

I am raising money for the Wellspring in Stockport, a charity I believe offers an invaluable service. It costs £350 to run the centre for a day and if I could raise this it would be unbelievable. Alternatively £100 a day feeds 150 people a day and if I could provide even one day of food that would be fantastic.

I think a lot of people take for granted the small things in life, including myself. I spend about £144 a month on smoking which, when put into perspective, is a day and a half’s worth of food. It could provide 225 people with a meal. This is why I am going to commit to this month and why I have picked this particular charity.

**

Today was awful. Absolutely shit. Nothing good has come of today. But, I am smoke-free (apart from when I stand near my house-mate and gratefully breathe in the air) and my last cigarette was twenty-two hours ago.

I thought getting up and not having one would be the hardest thing, but that was surprisingly easier than I’d imagined, probably as I’ve spent the last week having my morning fag but telling myself I was going to vomit and today, not having one felt really good. However, the day started properly and everything went to shit.

Here’s a list of things that have tested my patience today/eventually got the better of me:

  • My bus, the number 70, is quite frankly the biggest waste of space to ever grace this planet, as I stood at the bus stop for half an hour. It still didn’t show up I just got the 121 instead. I was late for my doctors appointment and this was very annoying.
  • My lecture this morning was preceded with ‘What does the Fox Say?’ which made me want to throw large objects at people near me.
  • The signal on my phone is bloody awful which today ended with me throwing it across the room whilst screaming in some kind of hysterical and unattractive manner. Thankfully, phone did not break. (Although it may as well have done, the piece of crap.)
  • I got an expected awful mark in one of my assessments although this seemed justified with a comment I did not agree with and therefore I cried for a good two hours. Normally would respond much more rationally, I put it down to lack of nicotine.
  • I spoke to my boyfriend and my mum to which I then continued on said crying spree as I then just wished I was at home and not at uni where I didn’t do very well anyway and everything had gone to shit.
  • Also I have eaten a cheese and onion roll, a mozzarella, tomato, pesto and salami baguette, an entire packet of those crisps that are like onion rings and had a litre of coke and am about to eat a pizza. This is not positive and I feel that this decision is going to be the end of my somewhat okay figure.

But hey, tomorrow is another day and I don’t think it can get much worse than that. First day must be the hardest, or so I assume, I could be completely wrong.

Also when I lose the will I need to remember I gave myself this challenge in a moment of strength and therefore that strength must be in there somewhere, just at times, it may take a while to find.

If you would like to sponsor my pain and contribute to the Wellspring Stockport, a fantastic charity which does some excellent work please visit my Just Giving page:

https://www.justgiving.com/Saffron-Rain/

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Dear Scott,

Dear Scott,

It has come to my attention that some things I post on Facebook displease you, or are rather, ‘plainly offensive’. (I’m okay to quote, I assume? Well, who cares I’ll just join the brigade of women who, you believe, are feminist man haters.)

For all those new to this debate, I’ll provide some context. This morning, whilst enjoying a coffee in Costa before my eye test (apparently I need glasses – the joy) I read an article in the Guardian, my paper of choice. This article was entitled ‘Why We Hate Selfies So Much’ and was placed in the ‘comment’ section of the paper, which if you have even the slightest presence of brain cells indicates something to you. If you don’t acquire these cells, then I’ll elaborate. Comment generally means it’s going to swing very heavily in one direction. It will be articulated strongly and precisely as it is based on someone’s own personal opinion and, what have we learned? People take that very seriously.Now, in brief, the article basically argues that the selfie is actually a form of self-portrait that should be considered art but isn’t due to the fact it serves a mass audience and, here’s the controversial bit, is usually exploited by women.

(Full article here: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/05/selfies-sexism-women)

So this is apparently, ‘just another feminist article written by some man hater’ which is a ‘tiresome waste of time’ and the author ‘needs to get a serious grip.’ This is where the problems begin.

I’ve studied Feminism for quite a while, not just because as a woman it’s important to me but also because I studied sociology, so I’m not just spewing utter nonsense when I retaliate. My definition of a Feminist is someone who believes that the sexes should be equal. Equal in terms of domestic labour, equal in terms of childcare, equal in terms of job opportunities and equal in terms of pay etc. But, in case there’s any confusion we’ll consult the trusty Oxford English Dictionary:

Feminism

Definition of feminism in English:

NOUN

THE ADVOCACY OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS ON THE GROUND OF THE EQUALITY OF THE SEXES.

Oh, no man hating involved there. Just to make sure the OED isn’t spinning us all a yarn, I’ll double-check with somewhere else:

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies that share a common stated aim: to define, establish, and defend equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.

Now I know we’re all concerned, so I have emailed Wikipedia just to make sure they were right when they didn’t include the term ‘man hating’ and for now, we’ll just have to sit back and wait on that one.

At this point, you’re going to have to excuse me, because I’ve struggled with your grammar slightly. You’ve quoted the article, fair play, I can’t deny that you’ve approached this argument properly. As to it being ‘barmy’ and ‘trying to tar blokes’ I think you’ve missed the point. Feminist’s aren’t targeting men, I don’t sit around claiming all men are bastards on a regular basis because you know, most of you are better than alright. The argument in the article addresses a set of societal values that have existed for a very, very long time (even before the 1930s) and it is about addressing this outlook held by many, not just men, and changing it.

I’m going to skip the next bit because honestly, I think you’re being sarcastic but I couldn’t be sure.

‘The idiot who wrote this article has gone from arguing selfies are an art form to slagging men off.’ You’ve definitely made this up. Please, provide evidence of men being slagged off. Oh, and calling someone an ‘idiot’- not intelligent, just offensive and again, incorrect. Considering the article and where it’s published clearly proves author is not an idiot, rather probably extremely well-educated.

And yes, your profile picture is a selfie and no, you’re not an oppressed woman. And do you know what? Neither am I. I have lots of opportunities, I’m at a good university and have several platforms to voice my opinion, this being one of them. However, there are still many concerns about the treatment of women in society – Rape culture, maternity leave, everyday sexism, just to name a few, and that is exactly why articles like this must exist. Even if you don’t agree with it, the fact it has been written is vastly important in attempting to change the position of women in a society that has, quite frankly taken more than a few steps backwards in recent years.

Feminists aren’t man haters, if anything we just wish we could be as worthy as society deems you.

(Oh and to avoid confusion, that was sarcasm by the way.)

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#SelfieForScott

 

Nous Sommes Charlie

I think, like many others, I find it difficult to put into words my reaction to the attack on Charlie Hebdo which took place this Wednesday. I think, like many others, I find the fact that this actually happened completely incomprehendable.

This, as many media outlets have reported, is an attack on the concept of freedom of speech that we in the West hold so dear to us, but I think the actual loss of human life is equally as important. It is not only an idea that has been damaged, but people’s lives and relations. For me, what made this so tragically chilling is the killers’ decision to ask for the paper’s editor by name. Stephane Charbonnier (or Charb) accounted for his identity and was instantly shot and killed. As well as an attack on liberty and freedom it was an attack on someone personally.

People are angry and they have the right to be, although I believe a reaction of simple sadness is more appropriate. They have not won. The freedom of the press will continue. Charlie Hedbo intend to partake in a one million print run, against its usual sixty-thousand, next week with donations being given from Google and The Guardian amongst other high-profile organisations. Martin Rowson, writing in the Guardian, called upon his fellow cartoonists to join him and donate free work to the paper in order that publishing next week may be a possibility. The day after the attack saw every front page newspaper in the UK and many across the world run the story as its main headline, with a particular emphasis on the press never being silenced; freedom of speech will always reign on.

Across Paris, France and the world on Wednesday night (which continued into Thursday) vigils were held for the cartoonists, maintenance worker and policemen killed in Wednesday’s attack, demonstrating that there is always solidarity in pain. These demonstrations showed a collective sadness at a loss of human life, human lives that had been with many French people for most of theirs. Jean Cabut, Georges Wolinski and Phillipe Honore were over seventy and this form of satire had dominated their careers and continually infultrated the French public; many probably felt that they had lost a friend.

Satire is a genre that has existed for a very, very long time. Through literature, drama, music, poetry and the media people have continually made people laugh at the expense of others. Charlie Hebdo was no different to other publications such as the British, Private Eye, anyone and everyone was up for ridicule, there was no exclusivity. Catholicism, Judaism, the British and more recently Islam were equally mocked and satarised. There is every chance within this area that people will become offended. But, so what? Be offended. Nothing becomes of it. Senseless violence is not a response. This and a disregard for human life is something that seems all too common nowadays and this is something everyone should be deeply troubled by. No one should die for producing a drawing or a publication, there is no scrap of an act of violence in this and I think that’s partly what makes it so sad; these people did the opposite and in fact regularly brought joy to others’ lives.

Freedom of speech did not die this Wednesday, freedom of speech became stronger. The pen will always, always, always be mightier than the sword.

#JeSuisCharlie

Je-suis-Charlie

An Open Letter (Poem) to Alex Turner.

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The face I hope he pulls when reading this.

 

Dear Alex,

 

I feel as if Alex is appropriate,

I’ve known you since thirteen,

In a one way kind of relationship,

And probably over keen.

 

Though if I’m honest it’s starting to disintegrate,

Which could be kinda frightening,

For the success of your record sales,

But y’see, you’ve got me Crying Lightning.

 

When we first started it was all,

I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor,

Whereas now I’m feeling a bit hard done by,

You need to Snap Out of It for sure.

 

Stop telling these Fake Tales of San Francisco,

And reconsider how you come across,

Whatever happened to Red Lights Indicating Doors are Secured?

You’re making me rather cross.

 

You’ve gone from The Ritz to the Rubble,

But let’s reverse the way it sounds,

And you’ve forgotten that precious rubble,

And waste millions of pounds.

 

Which brings me to my next point,

It seems you’ve done The Bad Thing,

Tax avoidance isn’t rock and roll,

And stop pretending to be ‘The King’.

 

I saw you when you returned,

Back to 505,

Just a bunch of Pretty Visitors,

Postponing playing live.

 

So here’s the thing Mr Turner,

If I may call you that,

You’ve had your chance, I’ve defended you,

But now I smell a rat.

 

Your public image morphs consistently,

And I was never one to question,

But now I feel you’ve let us down,

I hope you’ve learned a lesson.

 

Your music is still fabulous, your lyrics a simple triumph,

But your personality has morphed into something less desired,

Ask me about a year ago and I’d have worshipped the ground you walked on,

But now I’d rather kick my own face than go where you’ve come from.