April 10th, 2016

Olympus Pen F Camera: chat & unboxing video

Chat

The new love of my life isn’t a guy, it’s another bloody camera (of course).

Check out my Youtube video below to watch me chat through my obsession and see what it’s like to unbox this baby:

Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel as there will be a lot more content uploaded regularly.

Also don’t miss the relaunch of Madizine next week – finally becoming the blog I always wanted it to be!

March 5th, 2016

A public apology

Chat, Listography
 photo Sorry top.jpg

I am always, ALWAYS the person who says “sorry” even though it was you, mate, that bashed into me. Or you, love, who stepped on my toes. I say sorry when I know it was my fault, I say sorry when I think it was my fault, I say sorry when it most definitely wasn’t my fault. It’s just my default.

I’m okay with this tic if someone says it back. If I am met with a fellow sorry sayer then I get this little warm feeling inside – of happiness, of connection: we are both decent human beings, who are sorry. Let’s just forget about the asses who avoid the “s” word, give a snooty look and then walk on. Middle finger emoji.

But now – onto purposeful “sorry”s. Heartfelt apologies, perhaps reluctant, perhaps going against everything your stubborn personality fights for (my boyfriend is nodding at me with a knowing look). But true apologies all the same. Enter: “Apomogies” – saying sorry with a pom pom.

This is such a sweet idea and it seems to be a very popular idea too – the art project has really taken off.

Sometimes apologies can feel stifling, suffocating or heartbreaking – you should have said it, but it’s too late now… and so anonymity whilst getting it off your chest is, I imagine, a very attractive idea to a lot of people.

In spirit of the project I’ve decided to write down some of my own apologies in the most public form: on the internet…

 photo Sorry2.jpg

 photo Sorry.jpg

 photo Sorry1.jpg

 photo DSCF8470 copy.jpg

 photo Sorry 3.jpg

So let’s give some power to our apologies, rather than spurting them out automatically whilst getting shoved out the way by an angry accountant. Let’s say sorry and mean it. You can submit your own on the Apomogy website, where they will get added to a pom pom and shown to the world.

Have I said the word “sorry” too many times in this post?

I’ll just direct you to this video here.

Sorry not sorry.

January 6th, 2016

New year, new me bullshit

Chat

 photo ac8b662c-5573-4308-b224-c6cd055c842a.jpg

Ziggy Stardust lightening bolt painted across my face? That’s one life goal ticked off the list.

A lot of people think the “new year, new me” statuses that pop up at the beginning of each year is bullshit. I see people on my Facebook newsfeed share sarcastic memes about it, virtually rolling their eyes.

But why?

I am always a little shocked when someone tells me they don’t have any resolutions or goals for the year ahead. I’m a little saddened too – have they never felt that excited rush of feeling that this, THIS year could be their year? Sure, I’m naturally an optimist and a prolific “to-do” lister but I don’t understand how you can NOT want to give yourself a challenge! I’m a big believer in self-improvement, and even if it’s one thing to work on I honestly think it’s worth it.

So if someone is taking up a challenge in the new year and it only lasts a day, at least they’ve had one day where they have achieved! If they give up their gym membership by February, at least they’ve tried. And hey – there’s always next year.

I always have lots of new year’s resolutions, ready to become a better Madi. They don’t always last, but a lot actually do stick and each year I’ve definitely learned how to make a “better” new year’s resolution. You can’t have something abstract like “be confident”, for example. It’s too broad and also it’s wishful thinking you’re going to wake up on January 1st a COMPLETELY NEW PERSON just because you wrote it in a numbered list in sparkly pen in your diary. As soon as you fail at “being confident” that’s it… goal over, motivation gone, nothing learnt.

What I do instead is I write out the goal I want to achieve (a tangible goal) and then underneath I write the steps / mini goals I can do to achieve it / get closer to the goal. I find it’s best to get an A3 sheet of paper and draw a mind map with interconnecting arrows and HIGHLIGHTING because hey – a girl gotta decorate. The alternative is post-it notes – stick to your wall, with other post-it notes dropping down with the different steps to achievement. Perhaps you only have one goal – that’s brilliant as you can completely focus on that. I have 10 this year. I know, I know. Pretty much my whole wall was covered in post-its!

Because I had so many, I pulled them all off the wall and stuck them in my new diary. I wrote notes underneath each one, detailing how probable it is that I’m going to achieve certain aspects, what I can do instead etc. Because I have so many resolutions, I know I’m in danger of spreading myself too thin. So, my solution to this is that each week I’m going to focus on just one of those goals. Each week I’m going to throw myself into the particular goal, research as much as I can, and create mini-goals to achieve this on every day that week.

The key I think to achieving your goals is organisation. Use post-its, use lists, keep a diary. But most important I think is creating a daily to-do list, every day planned out on the Sunday or night before. This means you can set those achievable mini-goals and really see how you progress to your overall resolution by cutting it down into biteable chunks.

If you want extra inspiration on how to become a better version of yourself I still like ramming down people’s throats my personal life bibles: Feel the Fear and Do it anyway, and End the Struggle and Dance with Life; both by the wonderful Susan Jeffers.

And for an extra challenge (or three!) I’ve started reading and achieving these:

– Mika Francis’ 31 Day challenge for January
– The 52 small changes for the mind book
– The Fabulous app

All are wonderfully inspiring and changing my thought patterns and routines.

I hope everyone who reads this makes 2016 THEIR year.

New year, new me. No bullshit.

January 4th, 2016

The “shoulds” of blogging

Chat

 photo 1451944234174.jpg

My blogging has faltered over the past year. I guess it’s the 3 year itch. But what it really is, is that I started to confine myself. I started to become strict with my posts, following certain “rules” of blogging. This became uninspiring and felt like homework… so I stopped and started for a while.

After having a break and a think over Christmas, I decided I need to go back to basics. I need to find my passion for blogging again. I need to stop restricting myself, thinking about “well all the other bloggers do it this way…”

This is where I come to the “shoulds” of blogging. I “should” post every day. My outfit photos “should” look like a professional photographer has taken them. My writing “should” be in a certain style. I “should” mention this, or that or… ahhh it’s enough to make anyone crazy! I put so much pressure on every post, that I just completely avoided posting in the end. I love writing, photography and being creative… a blog is the perfect platform to share these interests! Or at least, it used to be.

I think Hannah Gale has hit the nail on the head with her predictions of 2016 in blogging. I still love and read blogs but they’re all becoming quite uniform… similar… bland. Hannah mentions that she still gets more likes on Instagram for an outfit shot she took in the mirror than a professional style one. I myself am likely to be more interested in blogs that show some personality – that don’t fit into the cookie cutter “blogger” shape. I hope Hannah’s predictions are right, to be honest – we’re all different, so why do a lot of blogs all feel the same?

Yes, there probably is a pattern of “shoulds” that the most popular blogs follow. But I certainly read a lot of blogs which break those moulds, and I love them all the more for it.

So what of Madizine?

I’ve been going through a transition stage over the past couple of years, trying to figure out who I am, what I want to do etc. I’m guessing a lot of people in their early twenties go through it (still holding on to that “early twenties” phrase whilst I still can – I turn 24 next week). I’m avoiding the term “Quarter Life Crisis” because I think that gets bandied around a lot, and really when you’re in your twenties a lot changes about your life. Really it’s just called “growing up”.

Madizine is a reflection of this transition period and growth. I’m still finding my feet in LIFE, let alone having a routine structure with BLOGGING. So I’m going to trial some things, maybe bring in some regular features that turn out not to be so regular. I’m just going to throw out my passions, my interests, bits of my life into cyberspace and see what works. See what drives me.

2016 it’s nice to meet you.

This is my blog.

November 11th, 2015

‘Dam girl! An Amsterdam Guide (without having actually been to Amsterdam…)

Travel

 photo Boots_1.jpg

Amsterdam is calling to me baby – this weekend me and the boyfriend are THERE!

I’ve decided to scour the web (okay, Bloglovin’ and Pinterest) for some tips and tricks when travelling to Amsterdam. Your welcome.

Pinterest:

– The cutest map ever!

8 things to do in Amsterdam

– An Amsterdam travel sketchbook – very detailed!

Words to live by in Amsterdam, or anywhere really…

– A guide to packing for Europe destinations…

Me and the boyfriend?!

I have created an Amsterdam inspiration board on my Pinterest here.

Bloggers:

– Carrie from WishWishWish has created a guide from her time in Amsterdam.

As has Liv from What Olivia Did.

Beautiful photos from A Clothes Horse.

7 things to do in Amsterdam from Amy Valentine.

– Dunya from Dearest Deer rocks some flares in ‘Dam.

– An interrailing experience from Helen Anderson.

– Some beautiful pics from french lady Lazy Kat.

– Raisin Heart has THREE posts about the amazing place (here, here & here).

– Some deep thoughts as well as pretty pics from Scarphelia.

 photo photobooth.jpg

My sister:

And, finally, some very wise words from my sister (yes, my actual sister) from her ‘Dam good trip there:

Yeah you only actually need one day off for Amsterdam, Me and the husband had plenty of time to do loads when we flew:

Sat morning first flight to Amsterdam
Monday 4pm flight home.

When you get to Amsterdam, the train station is in the airport – so you just need to buy a train ticket once you arrive and that’ll take you into main Amsterdam… and you can do this on return too :) it’s about 25mins.

Places I recommend:

– The Heineken factory!!!!! Such a cool experience
– Strolling through the shops – going in the cheese shops!
Red light district obvs!
Sex museum – £4 each! And not seedy – just funny!
– Drinks are expensive out there – local beer and wine is best bet. Bet you will like beer after the heinken factory.

We loved it there both times! :) it’s really pretty too! Prettier than you’d expect!!

You heard her.

*

Comment here:

Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

October 4th, 2015

Field Notes 4/10/15

Listography

 photo 20152.jpg

My week has been filled with magazines (always), Rugby (like, never) and lots and lots of cakes (sometimes)…

Wearing

 photo 1443991104960.jpg

 photo 1443991070021.jpg

 photo 1443990637007.jpg

Top – H&M / Skirt – vintage / Boots – Public Desire

Reading

NME – loving their revamp, and anything with Chris Moyles’ face on is fiiiine with me.

 photo 1443771036811.jpg

Read this if you want to take great photographs. I’m reading a page a day and then practising on my phone at lunch. You can see my daily photos on my Instagram

 photo 1443769219625.jpg

Silent Truths by Susan Lewis. I’m about a fifth of the way through, still trying to work out if the cheating husband killed his mistress or not (oo-er…).

Watching

– Great British Bake-Off. Tip whilst watching this programme: always be eating sumthin’.

Browsing:

– I kind of only like putting natural skin care products on my face, and LoveLula seems to be the dream website for finding some new products.

– Want to dribble over some new homeware? Holly’s House has you covered.

StumbleUpon has ruined ANY free time I have.

– After my flirtation with Manga back in my teens, it’s time to get back into graphic novels. Derk Backderf is first on my list.

– If you haven’t checked out the Urban Outfitters blog, I recommend it. It is hipster-dreamy (in a good way).

Alice Baxley I LOVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY.

Outgoing:

 photo 1443975451669.jpg

– Dog-sitting the above chihuahua

– Holding a BABY (scary, very scary)

– Watching the Rugby. Why did I bother… boo England!

– Cupcakes on a bus (post to follow soon).

 photo 201522.jpg

Comment here:

Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

September 29th, 2015

Me & Taylor Swift

Diary

 photo 11701140_10206321619375282_4569223283977241215_n.jpg

Picture the scene: myself, balanced on top of the wrought-iron fence surrounding Hyde Park.

On one side of the fence my friend Debra stands – still inside the park. On the other side my other friend, Dawn, inexplicably outside the park, free, even though she is by far the shortest out of all three of us.

“I don’t think I can do it girls”, I wobble, my legs straddling the pronged metal. “Just leave me here… get a fireman or something.” I then feel a steady hand on my back.

“Madi, you can do this,” Debra insists sternly whilst gently pushing me over.

This was the climax of the Taylor Swift concert in Hyde Park. And by god – the daredevil that I am – it was enough euphoric adrenaline to finish the whole experience very pleasingly.

 photo Taylor2.jpg

Yes, I’m a little late with this post (Taylor Swift performed for Bristish Summer Time festival back in July), but hey, I was on a blog break and Swifty is still something to brag about.

The performance: ah-maz-ing. Even though we were squished in the middle of a crowd of teeny boppers and – inextricably – really tall men. Annoying. We resisted kicking the 10 year-old girl in front of us who looked bored and would confidently turn around and give us the stink-eye (for, by the way, ENJOYING THE CONCERT); and slid our way through the crowd away from the men blocking our view. If I wanted to listen to Bad Blood whilst staring at a bald patch, I would ask my dad to listen to the 1989 album with me in the comfort of my own home. (Sorry dad). But, we didn’t care. Taylor not only blew our minds with her magic performance, she also came on to the stage 20 minutes earlier than scheduled. If there’s anything that’s sure to impress me it is someone with good time management.

 photo 11010956_10206321620735316_3254653157651818935_n.jpg

 photo Taylor4.jpg

It was a perfect performance, playing all the hits Taylor shimmied her way through every song with sass and style. Myself, Dawn and Debra bouncing up and down like little girls at a Taylor Swift concert… oh, wait.

“If you could see what I’m seeing right now…” Taylor said wistfully at one point. Debra nudged me and pointed behind us, at the huge crowd across Hyde Park and the dazzling pink and orange sunset shimmering around us. We saw it, Tays, we saw it.

And then it was time to jump over a fence.

 photo DSCF7961.jpg

Comment here:

Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

September 27th, 2015

Field Notes 27/9/15

Diary, Listography

 photo 2015.jpg

Welcome to my new weekly round-up of what’s been happening in my world… Notes, fashion, outgoings and links!

Wearing

 photo Outfit10002.jpg

 photo Outfit20001.jpg

Jean jacket – H&M / Tee – ASOS / Skirt – Urban Outfitters / Polkadot tights – Primark / Boots – H&M

Reading

Nylon (obvs)

– Clothes, Music, Boys by Viv Albertine (a wonderful, easy to read and inspirational book. It made me want to pick up a guitar and be a punk…)

 photo Collage.jpg

Watching

Archer … DUHHH

Inglourious Basterds

Legend (TOM HARDY YOU ARE ACTUALLY AMAZING)

This is England ’90 and the Vice interview with Shane Meadows.

Team America (EFF YEAH!)

God Help the Girl

Poor Becca :(

Helen went to Disneyland, and now I want to go so bad!

Browsing:

We-heart – my new go-to for new spots in London

– …as is Crummbs

– I am a Pinterest addict, but I think this app may take over…

– Somebody at work recommended I visit The Garrison Pub followed by The Woolpack. These are added to my to-do list!

– I love this lady’s style! And her photography in general…

Hannah Gale, the queen of the list!

– I want to go to a lot more gigs and then tell you lovely lot about them! So I’m going to swot up with this book.

– I have a new favourite artist and his name is Kristian Hammerstad.

Outgoing:

 photo Collage20002.jpg

Zigfrid Von Underbelly for prosecco & pizza

Smiths in Spitalfields for brunch (can’t get enough of those pancakes).

– Brick lane & Shoreditch vintage shopping

Rough Trade (perving up the new music, obligatory Photo Booth pic, flicking through Morissey’s new book).

Comment here:

Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

September 19th, 2015

A weekend in Brighton

Travel, Vintage

 photo DSCF8227.jpg

So apart from doing the bungee jump, what else did I get up to in Brighton?

I have to admit, with all the nerves of the bungee, I hadn’t really thought about the actual weekend away bit. But I am no newbie to Brighton – I have been there for my birthday three years in a row!

There’s just something about this little seaside town that I have fallen in love with. I love seaside towns in general – being a lover of vintage style I can’t help but be transported to simpler times when going to the seaside was classed as a proper holiday rather than a mini break.

 photo DSCF8225.jpg

But there’s something a little more special with Brighton. I love how eclectic it is. How it’s a proper seaside town but also the students there have made it their own, with cool bars and clubs on the beach and a treasure trove of vintage shops. If I’d ever gone to university I think Brighton would have been the town for me. I sometimes even daydream about retiring there… ahem.

Last weekend, after I’d completed one of the biggest challenges of my life, me and the boyfriend checked into our Travel Lodge to drop our stuff off. Not the most quirky hotel I’ve stayed in there (I recommend Pelirocco and Umi) but we were on a budget! To celebrate our bravery of jumping off a 160 ft crane, we walked along the beach and treated ourselves to two large portions of chips drizzled in vinegar and sprinkled with copious amounts of salt. We sat on the pebbled beach and munched happily, regaining a bit more energy. The sky was blue, sun was out, the bars behind us packed, the seagulls suitably menacing as they scoured the land for food. It was a perfect afternoon.

 photo DSCF8213.jpg

Once we’d had our fill of carbs we walked along the pier, standing on the boardwalk gazing at the views and spending way too much money on the arcade games. We didn’t win any prizes on the claw games (surprise surprise), and after a strong beginning from myself, the boyfriend still managed to completely smash me at air hockey. I brought it back with my skill at the basketball game (thank you years of netball) but alas, someone had nicked one of the basketballs so I had an unfair advantage.

We finished the fun and games by leaving the fistful of tickets we’d accumulated in the arcade for a lucky person to pick up and use to collect a prize. We found a bar back on the beach, settled into a comfy sofa and chatted the afternoon away with a drink or two.

 photo DSCF8205.jpg

Next: Legend. I absolutely loved this film, and I’m surprised it didn’t get a 5 star review. The film flowed effortlessly and was in parts both disturbing and hilarious. A heady combination that had us truly invested in both the characters and the story. At once finding the Krays lovable but their actions dispicable. And what of Tom Hardy? There just isn’t a word in the Dictionary for this man’s superb acting. If his portrayal of Bane didn’t get him in my favour, then this performance certainly did. A week later me and the boyfriend are still talking about it, and desparately seeking others who have seen it so we can discuss it at length. The boyf’s favourite phrase currently is from Ronnie in the wedding scene: “f##king sing.”

We walked out of the cinema around 10pm, forgetting we weren’t actually on holiday in Spain, but rather in Brighton where restaurants close at more conservative times. We did roam around for a while trying to find somewhere but the streets were packed with party animals moving on to the next club and finding the next drink. I get quite anxious when I’m around lots of clubbers on the streets because I always feel like there’s going to be some kind of trouble (ah, my wonderful overactive imagination). Instead, we popped into the local Tescos and brought a feast back to our room, picnic style.

The next morning it was down to the local Wetherspoons for a champion’s breakfast; ie a Full English. The boyfriend always shows me up with breakfasts – he’s not the biggest fan – so whilst I munched away on my hash browns he sat there eating a fruit salad. Thanks mate. We chatted with two friendly ladies for a bit who were also eating their brekkie there and had come down to Brighton to “get away from the husband and kids”. Hilare.

 photo DSCF8207.jpg

 photo DSCF8204.jpg

And, finally, the part I’d most been looking forward to: vintage shopping! I’d been recommended to go to Snooper’s paradise by a workmate and so we headed to the lanes. Forgetting it was a Sunday, and as I am an early bird, we didn’t realise until we got there that most of the troves wouldn’t open for another hour! I was disappointed but still managed to get a few snaps and mooch around some of the stores.

 photo DSCF8216.jpg

 photo DSCF8233 copy.jpg

Once we’d checked out of the hotel, we drove home. We listened to music and I napped. See you soon, Brighton. (And by soon, I literally mean next month…)

September 17th, 2015

What it’s really like to do a bungee jump

Chat, Travel

 photo 11181579_10206872290861725_6163129563945169076_n.jpg

Just over a week ago, I posted this on my blog. I was petrified, having worried about the bungee jump my boyfriend bought me for Christmas for over 9 months.

So, the question: did I end up doing it?

Answer: hell yes.

It wasn’t easy, and by gawd did it give me a head rush. Here’s how it felt to fall 160ft into the air…

– Firstly, we rock up to Brighton Marina, nervously smiling on a beautiful Saturday.

– Next, we see the bungee’s crane for the first time. It doesn’t look too bad. Not too high at all.

– We watch someone do the jump, it’s completely breath-taking: for a couple of long seconds when they first fall from the cage, it’s like they’re flying.

– Then gravity pulls the guy down and he lets out a yelp.

– We notice he is smiling when he is brought down to the ground.

– Walking into the little tent next to the barriers, both myself and the boyfriend sit down and sign some health and safety forms. We are weighed and then given lanyards with numbers on.

– We are lead past the barriers and are harnessed up.

– Taking a seat, foot harnesses are attached to our ankles.

– We watch two girls do a tandem jump before us. They let out bloodcurdling screams. I gulp loudly.

– Suddenly – “if you want to jump your way to the crane’s cage…”

– I try to waddle like a penguin but eventually jump into place. The bungee cord is attached and we are given more safety instructions. I don’t hear any of them. Shit just got real.

– The cage is closed.

– We are zoomed up into the air, higher and higher. The guy looking after us chatters away to my boyfriend. I stare silently ahead, clutching on for dear life.

– Boyfriend points out the view of the ocean, I momentarily look away from the cliffs and stare at the beauty. But I cannot appreciate it. My mind is heavily preoccupied.

– We both agree that now we’re up here, it is VERY high. We’re above the freaking cliffs now.

– A few more safety checks. A few more gulps of breath.

– “Now, forget what everyone has told you about bungee jumps,” the man who is about to make us jump off a crane says. “They’re smooth. Smoother than a rollercoaster. You just want to keep going.” I have never been on a rollercoaster. “Or, I could be really good at talking bollocks”. Heart hammers against chest.

– Gate is opened. We are instructed to walk back into the bungee guy’s arm, the only thing stopping us from falling out.

– “I love you,” I whimper to the boyfriend. We clutch each other tightly.

– I bury my head in the crook of the boyf’s neck, and close my eyes. I have decided then and there that the only way I can get through this is to close my eyes.

– I am sweating. My mouth is dry. My heart is battering my insides, pumping hysterically. Time is slowing down but all I want is for it to speed up. We are on the edge of the cage.

– “Right, I’m going on your countdown now. When you’re ready.”

– Sod this. Let’s do it.

– “3, 2, 1!” I cry.

– The guy lets go of the cage, and my boyfriend falls back. I am right there with him. He gasps.

Madi_Michael_s_Tandem_Bungee_Jump_UK_Bungee_Jump_Brighton

– Falling. Into emptiness. Stomach dropping, eyes clenched. I have never fallen into air for this long before. It’s smooth but brutal. My body and mind barely comprehending what is happening.

– Both of us are silent.

– Falling, falling, falling.

– Still silent.

output_FFTAaT

– And then the pull of the bungee. For the life of me, I cannot remember what being pulled up by the cord feels like. I imagine this is exactly what a pregnant woman feels like, after giving birth and trying to recall the exact pain she had just gone through. You remember what happened but can’t recall the exact feeling. The brain has protected you from the memory.

– As soon as we do our first bounce, it’s like our minds suddenly catch with our bodies and we speak. We yelp, we swear, we have a bit of a mini conversation on the second bounce. All casual like.

– We’d done it, the cord to its full length again. Dangling, swinging. No longer falling or bouncing.

– And then – and I swear to you this was the ONLY bad part about doing the bungee jump – the spinning.

– We weren’t spinning quickly, or for that long. But after the adrenaline and the drop and the nerves it was enough to make me feel dizzy for about half an hour afterwards.

– Three guys below us catch my boyfriend’s outstretched arms and pull us onto a crash mat. I lean away, head spinning. Back on the ground. I could not believe it.

– Laughing, kissing, being pulled up. Harnesses off. Ushered back into the tent, buying the photos and the video.

– I am tearing up, happy, proud.