What feminism means to me…

Hello everyone, I’m back. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure where I went, but it was nice either way. I just needed a little break so part of me was not shackled to the blogging calendar. Plus, it was making me feel a bit nervous! Anyway today, I bring you something different. ūüôā

Welcome to my stop on The Guilty Feminist Blog Tour, hosted by Virago Books!

So, what is The Guilty Feminist? I hear you ask. Well, it’s a great book by Deborah Frances-White (Podcast host and legend) about Feminism, women’s imperfections and everything else about being a woman!

As part of the tour, I was asked to choose between two topics (both feminism related) and my choice was ‘what feminism means to me’.

Firstly, I’d like to start with how feminism is defined:

The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

how do I define feminism and what does it mean to me?

Let’s start with a brief history of my childhood. I came from a single parent family and my mum and I lived with my nan and granddad until I was 15 years old. At the time, I wasn’t aware, but now looking back it was clear that I had two strong women in my life, my mum and my nan. My mum essentially made me realise that you don’t need a man (or anyone) to help you live your life or most importantly, be happy. I can imagine being a single parent is naturally an unhappy time because you’d want to share your child and being a first time parent with someone you love – again, whether they are male or female.

My mum and my nan were both heavily involved in political groups and workers unions and people listened to them and were glad of their support. They achieved news worthy things and that’s because they were strong, not necessarily because they were women. They’ve never been afraid to go for what they want and even if they didn’t succeed they were happy they did something, rather than doing nothing.

Now, the strong females in my family don’t stop there. In a (small) family of 8, 6 of us are female. I can honestly say there isn’t a quiet one out of the lot – actually, I lie, I’m probably the quietest, but that’s fine! We support each other and see each other regularly, with times which are always filled with love and laughter.

Family life and being a strong female is what helped me, my work life is a different scenario.

During my career, I’ve never really had a massive problem, or any problem, with my gender. I’ve usually had a great time and enjoyed the company. However, there have been a few situations where my gender has affected how I do my job.

In one place I worked, I remember that when I used to recommend something they’d go ‘no, that doesn’t work’ or ‘we’ll think about it’ and nothing happened. Then a male colleague would suggest the same thing and he’d get it approved. Now, they are just as much to blame for being a sneak, but if a male said something to management it was gospel and if a female said something they would get ignored. To be honest, it could have been they were questioning our knowledge but it seemed to happen more with female colleagues.

And another time, a lady who I used to work with wouldn’t let me lift and move a box because a male colleague should be doing it for me. I kept asking why. The box was not heavy, I was carrying it in the right way (health and safety) and if I didn’t feel like I couldn’t do it believe me, I wouldn’t do it (I’m stubborn). Why did she feel the need to turn a normal day-to-day task into an issue? Plus, why didn’t see ask a female colleague? they could have been stronger than me!

In conclusion, I don’t see myself as a feminist, but more as a strong and confident person that knows what they want. I wouldn’t let anyone (male or female) push me around and I certainly wouldn’t want to be treated differently just for being a woman – I’d remove myself from the situation. The thing is, I would say that this rule should apply to men too. It really shouldn’t have anything to do with gender.

So, there we have it. Just be who you want and enjoy life!


A Book and Tea’s (belated) 2018 goals

Notepad on Desk

Well, aren’t I late on the whole ‘New Year, New Me’ posting? It’s now 11th January and I’m only just posting my goals for 2018. It’s better late than never, I suppose!

Reflecting on 2017…

Let’s just say that 2017 started off absolutely terrible. It’s no secret that I had to take anti-depressants and go to counselling. But, do you know what? It helped me immensely and I feel stronger for having reached rock bottom. The second-half was a different story, though. I married my best friend (cue your sick buckets), got fitter (ran a 10k) and ditched the bad things in my life (new job, etc).

Now, I honestly feel better placed to jump into 2018 and grab it by the metaphorical balls. Admittedly, I still have bad days, but don’t we all? If you ever need to talk to someone, I’m always here. Pop over an email and we can have a chat if you need it! ūüôā

My goals for 2018 seem incredibly easy to achieve and that’s just what I wanted. There’s no unnecessary pressure on myself and I can continue to enjoy my favourite hobby, reading and lots of it.

Goals for 2018

1. Read 50 books
Last year, I read 40 books in the 2017 reading challenge. Naturally, I was a little disappointed with this, yet the 40 books I did read were bloody amazing, so I’m certainly not going to complain. My favourite books were (click image for review):

East of Hounslow Book Cover Sweetpea Book Cover The Breakdown Book Cover

I’ve provisionally suggested a goal of 50 books to read this year.¬†How many have you set for yourself?

2. Devour my TBR
Let’s be honest here, we’re all a slave to the TBR list, aren’t we? Usually, we don’t even get to look at it and it just secretly grows in our spare bedrooms.

At the moment, I very rarely read books that I’ve purchased myself or been given as gifts and I’d like to change this. I am so grateful to authors and publishers for sending me review copies, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed¬†by it all and just want to read things that I fancy. So, that’s what I’m going to do! There’s not even going to be a process behind it, I’m gonna twirl near my bookcases and randomly choose from my selection.

3. Blog more often
Who is the worst book blogger, ever? *Raises hand*. Ok, so maybe ‘worst’ and ‘ever’ are a bit harsh. However, I definitely need to post more often and more importantly, different things! I’m a Digital Marketer by day, so I should know better. I love writing book reviews, but I also love writing new pieces of content that strikes the attention of people. I’ve got a two week trip to America, so I’ll use this time to become friends with a notebook, a pen and a mind full of ideas. Watch this space!

4. Cook more
If you follow me on Twitter, you may notice that I often post tweets about food. I do usually cook most meals from scratch with fresh ingredients, but I definitely need to cook more. I’ve decided to try one new recipe a week to keep things fresh. Expect to see lots of pictures on Twitter.

What goals have you given yourself for 2018?

The sun has got his hat on…

You may have noticed that I have (once again) been a little absent this past week or so, but that’s because I was away in Spain for Tom’s 30th birthday. We traveled to Murcia, about an hour away from Alicante and it was beautiful.

Beach View

Pictures of Spain

We spent the majority of our time sat by the pool and relaxing and during that time I read 2 books and started another on the flight home. I finished¬†The Museum of You by Carys Bray¬†and¬†¬†Asking For It by Louise O’Neill¬†(Wow, how powerful?). I’m currently reading¬†The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz¬†and loving it, I’m a bit fan of Victorian literature.

I also have a little book announcement: 

I am re-opening my Review Requests!

For me it’s definitely the right time to open them up again. If you are considering emailing me about a request, please read my¬†review policy.

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Clare: a little update…

As you may have already noticed, I haven’t posted an entry for a little while. I do have many reviews I need to post, but having no computer (whilst in London) made¬†things ¬†difficult! I thought I’d write a little post all about the things that I’ve been up to recently.

London Adventures
Last week, I’ve been on a mini-adventure (can 5 days be classed as mini?) to London, on my own! I’ve been on a Photoshop course (with a company called¬†Certitec)¬†for the week with work, so I’ve had to explore London by myself! It was surprisingly less daunting than you think. Granted, I have felt a little lonely, but I did meet up with some friends, so that broke the week up. I suspected that I’d just say in the hotel room, but I actually ventured out and saw lots of great things, the London Eye, Big Ben, Covent Garden, Foyles; just to name a few.

The London EyePhotoshop Training Book

Book Buying
This word never leaves my vocab’, does it? I’ve bought a few lovely books recently, and not just on my London trip. I was on a semi-book-buying-ban, but that didn’t last long! I have many a shelf covered in books that I should probably read before going out and spending more money elsewhere, but you only live once right?

Here is a selection of the books I’ve purchased and received:

  • Penguin Little Classics
  • Asking For It by Louise O’Neil
  • The Revolving Door of Life by Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Beast Within by

The Beauty Within Book CoverThe Revolving Door Book Cover

Exploring the countryside
I live in a little village in Wales and there’s miles and miles of countryside I can go¬†to¬†and explore. Tom and I visited Llangollen¬†at the weekend and walked along the canal with our dog Mac. In total, it was just under¬†10 miles, which was actually quite enjoyable. It’s amazing the type of things that are available on your doorstep.

Mac the Dog

What have you been up to recently? Anything good you want to shout about? Let me know in the comments below!

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Relight my fire…

Nope, I don’t mean the Take That song where Lulu made an appearance, I mean the fire within me and the passion for book blogging!

When I first started blogging I felt like this:

Friends, Happy Dance!

But now, I’m starting to feel like this:

Sad Face

Sad, isn’t it?

The thing is, when I first started I had lots of spare time and a job that didn’t require travelling and also, that it had different hours, and now? I don’t seem to have ANY spare time and it’s stressing me out a little bit. I love reading and do read quite often, so that’s good, but now, I feel like the reviewing bit and blogging about books things is taking a back seat.

When I get home from work I don’t fancy getting my Laptop out and blogging, but more that I fancy a brew and a good book to read in bed.

So, I’m going to try a few things to help me make sure I don’t start hating blogging!

Close my review requests
I feel sad about doing this, but I am not currently accepting any new review requests. At the moment, I seem to be focusing my time on reading request books and not reading the books I’ve purchased myself. ¬†I will be sure to open requests soon, though – keep your eyes on my review policy page!

Pick a day to blog and actually use it
As it says above, I need to pick a day (or evening) to blog and actually use it. I tend to blog on my phone and the visual takes a back seat, I need to start using Photoshop again! If I actually sit down at my Laptop and blog, I know my blog will definitely have posts ready!

Take a hiatus now and again
I think it’s healthy to take a little break and I’ve decided that I might take a blogging break here and there, just so I can keep on-top of things.

I know the above are quite easy things to do and only little, but ¬†I’m sure they’ll make a huge difference to me!

Have you ever felt like you just wanted to give in? Let me know in the comments below!

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