Wednesday, 30 September 2015

College Update!!!

College (UK) isn't as scary as I first thought!! I'm really enjoying it, everyone is so lovely and learning is super interesting!!
Okey dokey, so, I've spoken to a few more people now, and some of the guys are starting to smile if they walk past me in the corridors, so I don't feel as though they hate me any more, which is good. However, there is one girl, who hung out with me on the very first day, and I was so lovely, I asked her about herself and wasn't rude or bitchy, and now she sort of seems to look down her nose at me... I don't even know what I've done wrong... But never mind, there are loads of other lovely people. 

I feel like one of my teachers, Pete, kind of thinks I'm rude, because I was waiting for some content to download on Logic, so I was texting my friend, and he sort of looked at me and went "Dottie!" and started talking to me about work... Also I sort of look around the room when people talk to me... Oops... 

The only downside to college is the hour on a bus, but it's totally worth it because I love college so much! I feel that I'm already becoming more confident, I don't mind having conversations as much, and I'm starting to feel less self-conscious now. I actually talked to a guy who does a media course and gets the same bus as me, for the whole journey home, and I learnt a lot about him! We're actually really similar, and he's really nice :) (He understands my love of baggy clothing!! Why do I relate more to guys than girls though???) 

Yesterday I also signed up to play in the Christmas concert/show thing, so that happened. I don't know why I did it... Maybe because at first I said no and the guy getting names said jokingly "Aww, are you scared?" and me being me was like "hah, no" and I put my name down... Well done, Dottie. In a way though, I am looking forward to it, because it's going to do wonders for my confidence, and I need to do a performance early next year, so I thought I'd better get some practice in!! 

I really love college now, it's totally worth it, and I'm really enjoying everything I've been learning. Already I'm starting to see opportunities where I can work with bands or volunteer at music venues to get first-hand experience of stuff. 

Sorry this has been a short post, I don't really know what to write, other than everything is exciting! I just thought I'd update you on life :) 

Enjoy the rest of your week!
- Dottie. 

Friday, 25 September 2015

15 Things I CAN Do

I saw this blog post here and it inspired me to write this post. If you have a blog, I want you to write a post similar to this. If not, write 15 things you CAN do in the comments below. Let's spread some positivity!! :D 

  1. I CAN make awesome cupcakes and sponge cake. Light and fluffy!! Want to know how I do it?? Read how to make vanilla cupcakes here
  2. I CAN play guitar pretty well, and I'm mostly self-taught. While I'm not amazing, I know I'll get there one day, and I'm proud of myself. 
  3. I CAN get good grades. I know this seems like I'm bragging, but I am genuinely proud of the fact that I can get high grades. I like being intelligent. (I wish to point out that a private school guy didn't believe I could get a higher grade than him in any subject... I totally beat him in Chemistry!!) 
  4. I CAN do anything I put my mind to; I did well in school, and already I feel as though I'm doing well on my music tech course. 
  5. I CAN smile at and be kind to strangers. I always try and smile at people who sit near me on the bus, or anyone I walk past in college. Being polite is free. 
  6. CAN write some pretty cool blog posts. For example, I spent some time on my last post, and I'm really proud of that. 
  7. CAN look in the mirror and feel happy with who I am. 
  8. CAN help my lovely friends with almost anything. If I can't help them, I know I can be there for them. They mean the world to me. ♥
  9. CAN settle in to a new situation, and become quite happy with change. (I am adaptable). 
  10. CAN survive going to three gigs and sitting eight exams in one week. 
  11. CAN pick out some pretty good birthday and Christmas presents for my friends... Hopefully!
  12. CAN pick out some lovely outfits when I want to, and I buy some pretty nice shoes!!
  13. CAN talk to new people. I've made a couple of new friends in college, and feel comfortable talking to a fair few people in the class. Yay! Go me!!
  14. CAN change a song to sound different to how it did before. I did this in college today, to the Phantom of the Opera; I made it sound more electronic and I'm rather proud of it. AND I enjoyed it!! I wish there was some way I could put it on this post, however, I don't own a Mac or any of the software they have at college. 
  15. Finally, number 15. CAN think of 15 positive things about myself, and prove to anyone who thought I couldn't do stuff that I can. 
We can all do anything we put our minds to. Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve your dreams. Remember, nothing is impossible; even the word says "I'm possible". 

Achieve your dreams!!
- Dottie. 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Anatomy of a Crowd

Got tickets for a standing gig and never been to a gig before? Worried about the crowd and where to stand? I will help!! (Disclaimer: this probably won't help...) 

So, this post is going to be a break down of the crowd at a gig, starting from the back, to help you to find the perfect place to stand. 

The balcony hangers usually hate crowds and are really pompous about the great view they get there. If you want to actually see the band, rather than be in the pit and maybe get a bit sweaty, hang out here. I've heard the view is pretty good. 

Drinkers usually hang out by the bar, if it's in the same room as the stage. If not, they usually find a good place in the crowd and keep pushing through to get to the bar and back. Just tell 'em to do one (politely). If this is you, please respect people who aren't there to drink and let them have a good time. 
This was my view when I saw Pierce the Veil in March
(Yes, I was back row, it was a small venue). 

The back row is usually people who don't want to be at the gig. It's either parents taking their kids, or people who were dragged along. In the back row you will also find people who got there late, people who really hate crowds, and people who just think it's stupid to fight your way to the front barrier. (Luckily I haven't reached that stage yet!) 
If you don't mind your view being obstructed and getting annoyed by the constant iPhones in the air, then chill here for your gig. It's less sweaty and an alright view.

Then there's the mosh pit!! This usually depends on what type of gig you go to. Heavier bands = more pits. If you're in the back row, be prepared to pick people up, and be used as the 'walls' of the pit. 
In the pit, there are usually bigger people, mostly male, who are quite muscled and quite frankly scary. I've never been in a pit myself, but they can be pretty dangerous. If you like to get into the music and move at the same time, go in the pit. But please don't be an ass. 
Sidenote: pits are usually more central in the crowd, so if you don't want to be right at the back, just stand to the left or right. You'll get pushed about a bit, but will be perfectly safe. 

If there is no mosh pit, then you will get everyone else. These are the people who get there on time, but weren't right at the front of the queue. It's a pretty good place to stand, and if you like just chilling out in the middle of a crowd, then stand in the middle of the crowd. (Makes sense, right?!) The view from here is pretty average, not amazing, but good enough. 
In the photo to the left, I was around five rows back, and it was pretty good. I did feel really enclosed though, so maybe not good if you have anxiety or claustrophobia. 

The people between the pit and the people at the barrier are the cool, average people. They got their a little early, and don't mind being shoved around and getting sweaty. The view from here is excellent, unless you're stood behind a human giraffe or are stood really far to either side. It doesn't get too hot here, and at bigger venues, you get water passed to you, so you don't have to go to the bar and get water. (Dude, free drinks are cool). 
Depending on the crowd you're in, you will get shoved around quite a lot, but just go with it, and enjoy it. I was told by a cute dude (called Charlie) when I was at a gig that if you push backwards when you get shoved forwards, instead of going with the crowd, it's good. Means you don't get hurt. 

A drum stick from Alien Ant Farm and GoTK's pick
Then you get the barrier. Everyone seems to think that your enjoyment at a gig is validated by how close to the front you are. These people will get to gigs hours early (some as early as 6AM!!!!) I have been at the barrier a couple of times (when I saw Enter Shikari and Yellowcard, to name a few), and personally I find it very awkward. Being face-to-face with a band is just uncomfortable and you don't get to move around as much, and you don't enjoy it as much. That's personal opinion, though. The only good thing about being barrier is you get stuff like picks and drum sticks. 

I've never been to a gig in a huge stadium, and I've never sat down at a gig. I can only assume that people who sit down at gigs either got their tickets after the stalls (standing) had sold out, or don't want to queue for hours to get a good place in the stalls. 

So enjoy going to gigs guys, and remember to stay hydrated!!
- Dottie. 

Friday, 18 September 2015

That's The Spirit! - Album Review.

It's here. Finally. (Well it arrived last week, but I'm not a professional so I don't get any previews and I have college to go to...). The long-anticipated That's The Spirit from British metal-punks, Bring Me the Horizon. 

I bought my copy last Friday (the actual release day) after college, on a whim, because I was early for my bus. I also purchased a copy of their 7" single, Happy Song. I'm not going to do a track-by-track review, because those bug me, so I'll try to comment on a few songs, and the album as a whole. Here goes...

The album's opening track, Doomed seems to be a rather subdued song, with a depressing feeling to it. Makes sense, though, as that's what Bring Me are all about. Nevertheless, it's a pretty good song, and shows off singer Oli Sykes' pretty cool vocal range. 

The first single from this album is Happy Song, and I have to admit, I slightly adore it! I love the whole concept of having a song that will cheer you up, and that a band such as Bring Me recognise their fans' need for a band to look up to and help them through tough times. For that, I commend you, Bring Me!! But anyway, the riffs in this song are impressive, and the lyrics catchy. 

The sound on That's The Spirit is different to previous albums, and they've come a long way from the days when they were angry, bitter youths hyped up on cocktails of drugs and alcohol (true story, but not mine to tell. They've changed for the better now, I'm proud of them). But anyway, I feel as though their sound is becoming more mainstream, and less metal. It's definitely not their old sound. It's different even to 2013's album Sempiternal, but I like the new sound. Bands need to evolve and change to keep things fresh and reach a new audience. 

But, I do have some issues with this album. The first is in the form of a grammatical mistake in the song True Friends. It bugs me more than it should, and I just pull a face every time I hear it. The second issue I have is with the song What You Need. Well it's not so much the song as the lyrics. I feel as though lyrics such as "I'll kill myself for the **** fun" should not be included in this album as it may be sold to vulnerable, impressionable people, and it may cause some serious issues. I understand that knowing other people that you look up to feel the way you do helps in some way, but, in my opinion, it's a bit too obvious how dark and deep this album really is. 

Other than those few minor issues that are more just my personal opinion, I think that That's The Spirit really is a great album, musically especially. The sound is massive, I can see why they headline huge arenas. (Although their Reading performance was really disappointing). 
If you were to buy any songs from this album, I would recommend Happy Song, True Friends or Oh No

Let me know if there's any albums you'd like me to review, they can be older or new albums!! Bye guys!
- Dottie. 

Saturday, 12 September 2015

How To Survive Being Ill...

I'm ill. I have a cold. Just in time for college. Its not fun... So I thought I'd write about how to survive it... Because it's such an original topic and all... 

  • Stay hydrated. I feel like I say this a lot, especially recently, but it is really important. Don't drink sugary drinks like Coke or energy drinks, because they're actually really bad for you. Try and drink water, or water-based drinks like tea. I'm currently drinking a cup of strawberry and raspberry tea sweetened with honey.. It's not the nicest, but it helps. 
  • Get enough sleep. Its recommended that you get at least 8 hours' sleep every night, and its really important that you get enough sleep when you're ill, so that your body can repair itself. It also means you don't have to be awake to deal with feeling terrible, so its win-win really! 
  • Make sure you eat enough. Seriously. I know when you're ill you might not feel like eating, but its really important that you do. Just try and eat little snacks throughout the day. 
  • If you feel really terrible, have a day off. Call in sick, or stay home from school. Have a movie day and curl up under a blanket and just relax. It really does help you to feel better if you take a day out and don't stress out. I'm hoping I can survive until Wednesday, which actually is my day off! 
  • If you really feel terrible, take some medication, like cough syrup or something. It does help. 
So that's it really. Basically just get enough sleep, and drink lots of water. 

I apologise for the poor quality of this post, and the lack of regular posts, but college is really wearing me out... I'll try and sort a regular schedule soon. 

Feel better soon, 
- Dottie. 

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

College is Scary!!

Hey guys!! I started college on Monday.. Before I start this post, I'd just like to say this is UK college, so I'm still 16.. Okay, on with the post!

College is scary. Really, really scary. Most people are bigger than me, older than me, and know a lot more than me. The building is huge!! There are so many staircases and rooms and I have to take the bus to get there. 

Getting the bus is a really big deal for me, especially as I'm on my own. Yesterday there was an awful lot of college students on there, and I was freaking out, as I'm not used to buses or large crowds of people in small spaces.. Other than that, the bus ride is okay, although it is a little lonely. 

I'm doing music technology at college, and the course is so interesting. I'm so excited to learn everything!! The only difficult bit is using the Apple Mac computers, as I'm used to Windows, but I will work it out eventually. Most people in my class are really nice, I've got two people who I hang out with, and they're both really nice.. (Although they're not my friends from school.. I miss those people...) They're also my age, which is good, because I think we're the youngest in the class. There is a large group of boys who I think are around 17 or 18, and they scare me. They just seem to be really judgemental and I feel really uncomfortable and insignificant around them. The other girls in the class are nice, too. 

As much as I love what I'm doing, I still worry a little when I think of college. (I have a day off today, luckily!) I think it is because I'm not used to it, and it's such a huge change; at school I was one of the smartest (I'm not bragging, but it's really difficult for me now, because I don't understand anything), and one of the oldest, so I felt a little more confident. Now I'm surrounded by older people, who I feel are waaaay more attractive than me, so I feel really insecure about how I look and act.. (Yeah, I've been a bit sad about how I look since starting at college...)

I think change can be a very unsettling thing, and most teenagers in the UK around my age are feeling insecure and worried, and maybe even a little alone. However, I think it's a good thing. As I said in my post about positivity, leaving school and doing something completely different with completely different people will help us grow as people, and we will learn how to manage stress and make new friends and learn to relate to new people. 

So if you're like me and are feeling down about starting college or sixth form, just know that it won't last forever, and it will get better. If not, there are always other options. Don't let the people pull you under, you have a right to be doing what you're doing.

I hope everything is okay for you guys!
Until next time,

- Dottie. 

Friday, 4 September 2015

How to Survive a Day at a Festival

Festival season is pretty much over now (*sobs*). Over here in the UK, the last big festival is Reading and Leeds, and I was lucky enough to go to Reading festival on Metallica's headline day. Despite festival season ending (unless you're in Australia, you have Soundwave festival in the new year..), I thought I would help you to prepare for your day festivals, such as Reading or Leeds, or Warped Tour. 

My first tip would be to plan ahead. You want to have a good idea of what you're doing and when, otherwise you'll be pretty overwhelmed and unsure of where to go. You might want to schedule in breaks, so that you can get food or brave the toilets. Don't plan a full day of activity, because you will want to go to sleep at around 6pm, and miss the headline band! 

Stay hydrated. 

This is the most important thing on this page, so make sure you do it. Most festivals will give out free water, or have drinking water taps. Make sure you use them!! Don't drink fizzy drinks as they dehydrate you, and the sugar will cause you to have a sugar crash. Instead, snack on biscuits or chocolate regularly throughout the day, to give you an energy boost. Also, make sure you eat breakfast before you leave the house (or the tent, I guess, if you're camping..), and eat regular meals throughout the day. The most important thing is that you look after yourself. 

Go see bands you've not heard of before. The whole point of having stages with smaller bands on is so that you can discover a new band. I've found one of my favourite bands as a support act, so you'd be surprised who you'll find at a festival. If there are any cabaret stages or alternative stages, you should check those out, too, as there are sometimes comedians there, and we all need a good laugh. Plus, you get to sit down!! 

Talk to people. I want you to say hi, or compliment someone while you're there. You could make their day. While I was at Reading, I saw some guys from a really small band there, just walking around, and I was wearing their merch, so I went and said hey... I'm pretty sure they thought I was a crazy stalker, though...

Take breaks. You won't want to see every band on the line-up, so why not get a pizza and sit at the back of the crowd, and just listen? It's a really good way to recharge your batteries, especially if you had to get up early to travel to your festival. 

What to bring: 

  • Water bottle
  • Suitable clothing, e.g. extra jumpers if it'll be cold, suncream if it's hot, etc. 
  • Food, like snacks and stuff. 
  • Phone, iPod, whatever, to take photos. 
  • Money for merch maybe?? 
  • A bin bag, in case you're in a field and want to sit down. 
  • Any beauty items, etc. you may need. 
  • Toilet paper or tissues. 
  • Notebook and pen for band members to sign maybe???
Chuck it all in a rucksack and you're good to go. Make sure you keep an eye on your valuables, and wear comfy clothes and a good pair of shoes, like Converse if it won't be muddy, or Doctor Martens or wellies if it will be. 

So now you're all prepared for festival season next year!!! Have fun!! 

- Dottie. 

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


This post is for Emma, who told me to change my thoughts from negative ones into positive ones :) 

I was planning on writing a bitchy, negative post about people at festivals (because since when did Metallica become the band that represents under-age teenage girls in tiny denim shorts and flower crowns?), but now I'm going to be positive. 

Okay, so festivals... A place to discover new bands, right? And old favourites. Popular bands that you've never seen live. A place to mosh, dance, open up a pit. A place to meet new people. And that's why they're so great. They're diverse, both in the sense of music, and people there. You can go see new bands, and speak to new people. It's brilliant. (I'm thinking of writing a review of my day at Reading at the end of the week). 

I do have one complaint though - an obscene amount of litter was thrown on the floor. Why?? What is the point? 

The next thing is, I went to enrol at college yesterday, and it turns out I can't do music tech at the college that is like five minutes away from me, due to low numbers choosing that course at my college. So, instead of doing something that I don't want to do, I'm still doing music tech (because music is my life, man), just at a college that's over an hour away. And yeah, I was upset about this, but this morning I see it more as an opportunity. Buses scare me. So, by going on one twice a day, four days a week, it will help me get over that. It will help me to feel more confident around people, maybe even help me talk to people. 

I'm still excited about college, it's even more of an adventure for me now. I get to go to a new place, with even more new people. Also, I will get to exercise everyday, since I will walk from the bus station to college and back everyday, until I get a skateboard... 

So I guess that most negative situations have a positive side, depending on your outlook. I want you all to do one thing for me this week - try changing your outlook on things, and try being more positive. For example, don't like school? Great, that narrows down your choices for after school. See, it's not a bad thing. 

Have a great week, guys!!

- Dottie.