Runawaykiwi in Florence

By the time you read this I will be 28. I am quite looking forward to being 28, it seems like it is going to be a good year. After being told that “your school years are the best of your life” and “you early twenties are the best years of your life” I have discovered that getting older rocks. I am more sure of myself, more confident in my own resilience and I simultaneously give less fucks and better quality fucks. I have high expectations for 28.

It’s odd though, that at the time where I am feeling like I might have my shit together the world seems to be falling apart. In the country that I call home the economy is tanking, racism is palpable and culottes are back in fashion. I feel totally lost in this political climate, where no strong leaders seem to be popping up to take control. It’s like we are all in a dystopian movie about the fall of man – but it is terribly written and the author never got round to writing the hero. At this stage I would happily forget the knight in shining armour and settle for someone that is only a little evil. Instead we get to play the worst game of Duck Duck Goose with the next Prime Minister; Cruella de Ville, Lizard, Cunt.

Further afield things don’t seem to be going much better. That we have to have a #blacklivesmatter movement is horrific in itself, and lets not even mention that Tr*mp is a possibility. Since when did we all leave thought and kindness behind, and instead reach for instant judgement and clickbait? In a way I blame my own beloved social media, the lazy retweet makes it so much easier for poisonous voices to appear mainstream. And when politicians who grew up before the internet see ’20,000 retweets’ they panic, mistake it for actual agreement and make poor choices. Whereas my generation that grew up with the internet and was with it through the awkward MySpace years, know that a cat getting scared by a cucumber can get that many retweets in an hour. Retweets do not equal political accent, public opinion or even popularity.

To make right now even shittier public figures are dying faster than we can replenish them with reality TV shows, my generation will not never own property and it turns out that otters are little assholes (seriously, google it…otters are dicks).

My god I am glad that I am 28.

I am glad that I can switch off the feeds and not get sucked into a spiral of worry and fear. I am glad that I have seen enough awesome things in the world (read: peanut butter Oreos and a cat’s paw that looked like a tiny bear) to know that the good outweighs the bad. And I am glad that my weird combination of degrees (Politics, Psychology and Accounting) are finally paying off; I know that no matter how shitty the world looks like now in the UK it will work itself out. I don’t know how, but it will.

Dragon street art in Florence

What we need to remember is to take care of each other. To put it very VERY bluntly, I am white and middle class – whatever happens in the UK in the next few years I will probably be fine. It’s time to check our privilege and help those for whom the political, economic and fucking racist climate will hurt in the next few years. What feels like an inconvenience for you, could be life and death for someone else.

Wow this is a random birthday post. But I guess right now it doesn’t feel like you can separate the individual from the country; until we get some certainty it is just a big bowl of gumbo. I’ve never had gumbo, is it good? Tweet me about gumbo.

So shall I tell you some good things? Like how for my birthday my parents got me a kid’s book and memory card game for ages 4 and up. Yes my parents are awesome and mad. I spent my birthday in Florence with them; teaching my dad how to take selfies, ditching tours groups like naughty school kids and of course eating all the pasta I could get my hands on. I really loved Florence, far more than I thought I would. Which is good news for you kids, I have a few blog posts planned all about my adventures.

Once I head back to London I have four more days causing trouble with my whanau before they head home. Then I get a couple of weeks chilling out and enjoying whatever summer London decides to throw at us, before my work travel ramps up again.

28 aye. I hope that it is full of friends. I hope that I tell people to fuck of frequently and with grace. I hope that I figure out how to control my hair, or at least enter in to peace talks with it. I hope that I get a flat by myself. I hope that I will be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK – that is as long as the UK still exists. I hope that in a years’ time I will be writing a blog post about how excited I am to be turning 29.

Ok my plane is about to board so this rambling blog post will come to a close. What to end with…

If you are in your teens, it does get better.

If you are in your twenties, it does get better.

If you are in London, the sun will shine at some point.

xx

Adore and Endure

Ok lovelies it’s time for my favourite things post. I was going to write my favourite things about Christmas in London, but its November so screw that I’M NOT JOHN LEWIS. Instead I thought I would write about something unbelievable close to my heart; my favourite things, the weirdos I surround myself with.

A lot is expected of girls these days. We have to be mothers and career driven, effortlessly sexy and comfortingly conservative, we have to have chosen both the red and blue pill in life and smile calmly while swallowing it all. But you know what? Despite it all? The girls are alright.

These beautiful freakish snowflakes that I am honoured to call my friends are being brave every day. They are struggling with made for TV movie type issues, stuff that none of us were prepped to handle. We don’t quite know how to adult yet. We fall apart, in the most explosive and sometimes entertaining ways but always find a way to put ourselves together again. The girls are gracious and humble but can swear like sailor to prove a point or just because saying fuck is fun. They are defensive and challenging and the most thoughtful friends a Runawaykiwi could have.

The girls are emotional but not weak, appreciative but not dependent and by god the girls are funny.

These favourite things of mine are always there, always ready to offer tea/gin/hugs as needed. And if that’s not enough? These girls will create an elaborate murder plot just to make you smile, and the best part is never being quite sure if they would follow through with it or not.

These girls have taken brave steps in their careers, not always the ones you would expect but the ones that are right for them. The girls value happy as much as they do drive and determination.

Friends like these are everything, they are not always right but will stand by your side as you are as wrong as wrong can be. You for sure don’t agree with everything, that would be far too boring. But the differences pail into comparison with the endless support, kindness, strength, friendly bullying, creative spark, love and laughter that are on offer.

I know when I moved to London the thought of making friends seemed like an abstract concept, after all how the hell do you make friends as an adult anyway? Well turns out you start blogging and join twitter, you find girls whose own little bit of madness fits into yours and you send them cat pictures.

Four years ago I was staying in London for my then favourite things; the food, art, culture, grey days and coffee. But now, my god my favourite things are just so much more everything, and most of the time they don’t even charge me to hang out with them.

Love you weirdos, you mean more to me than gin.

And for anyone out there thinking this level of meaningful awesome friendship is unobtainable? That new close friends just aren’t for you? Put yourself out there, find your weirdos…it will change and it will mean everything to you.


Blog Addicts Anonymous

I’m Rebecca, and I’m a blog addict.

I’m guilty of stalking cool kids off the internet and bribing them with coffee, gin or blackmail until they agree to be my friend.

I’m guilty of holding the phrase ‘I’m a blogger’ close to my heart, because it makes me so happy and tingle with pride.

I’m guilty of ordering something I don’t feel like at brunch just because it will look better on Instagram,

I’m guilty of feeling guilty when I don’t post regularly.

I’m guilty of using my blog as a therapy session; screaming at the internet sure does help to process emotions.

I’m guilty of threatening to murder people when they are mean to my blogging friends (or non-blogging friends to be honest).

I’m guilty of using gin to overcome the tyranny of the blank page.

I’m guilty of going to countless SEO talks and still not have a fucking clue about it.

I’m guilty of crying over the beautiful comments people leave.

I’m guilty of saying no to going out just because I have posts to write.

I’m guilty of loving this damn hobby way too much.


Pinterest tips for bloggers

Ok so my last post was a little facetious*. Seriously it is insane to have this many Pinterest followers, and makes me all of a sudden fell a little like I shouldn’t pin quite so many cats. Eh who am I kidding cats are awesome PIN ALL THE CATS. Today I thought I would give you my best tips for getting re-pins and click throughs on Pinterest – no matter how many followers you have.

The most important thing to remember is that Pinterest is all about the search. I mean yes when you first pin something you might get a little spike in re-pins and clicks from it showing up in your follower’s feeds, but the vast majority will come from people searching for it. Which is brilliant, because it means that you can succeed with Pinterest if you have 20 followers or 20,000.

Paris on Pinterest

Which brings me to my next point: Pinterest does not know what is in your picture. People finding your pin is dependent on you putting a lot into your descriptions so Pinterest can accurately show it in searches. As an example when I started I would just put ‘Paris’ in the description box, which pretty much means that all those pins would get buried in the huge number of pins relating to Paris. Now days this is a more typical description:

“I thought long and hard before going to Euro Disney also known as Disneyland Paris. I had been to the Disney in LA and was really concerned that Paris wouldn’t live up to the hype, particularly when it looked so expensive. But I managed a short day trip over the weekend I was in Paris and while not budget was certainly affordable. Oh and for that Disney magic totally worth it!”

Disneyland Paris on Pinterest

Using the more detailed description means that it will show up when people search for ‘Disney budget’ ‘Disney weekend’ ‘Disney Paris’ ‘Disney affordable’. Realistically if you were on Pinterest and thinking about visiting Disneyland Paris for the weekend, you would never just search for ‘Disney’, you would add other words to narrow down the search. So as a Pinner you just need to make sure your description has all those other searchable words in it – think about the end user.

The next thing it to make it clickable. When I put up posts like this I get re-pins but no click through.

Motivational Quote Wall

All the information you need is in the Pin, there is no need to click. Same goes for the normal photos that you pin straight from your blog, why would someone click through to read the story when they don’t know its there? In comparison, this pin gets epic amounts of click throughs and almost no re-pins…I wonder why:

Accidental Proposal in Paris

And my last tip is the two apps I use to make my blog photos Pinterest ready. I first use Pic Tap Go to resize the image to a long portrait (I go with 3:4, 5:7, 2:3, 9:16) because long portraits suit Pinterest better than landscape. I also use Pic Tap Go to make any colour adjustments or add filters to make the images stand out more.

Then I hit up Word Swag. I import the image I have just edited in Pic Tap Go, click ‘don’t crop’ (otherwise it will make it square). Then you need to write something clickable to go on the image, make it relevant to the blog post and if possible something you yourself would pin. You can then select text style, reposition etc. Then just go into the Pinterest app and upload your new image, write a kick ass description and link it to your blog post.

I know, way more laborious then just pinning straight from your blog…but you wouldn’t just take chunks of your text and put it on twitter so why do the same for Pinterest?

Any who, any questions just shout!

xx

*Massive understatement.