moving out, MyStorys

A Goodbye Letter To My Home Town

I’ve lived in Liverpool my whole life. 20 years of memories, mistakes and lessons learnt. I fell in love for the first time here, had my heartbroken for the first time here. I’ve grown up here, matured here. It’s my home – it was my home.

I am not ashamed of being from Liverpool. A lot of people see Liverpool as a bad place. But, for me at least, Liverpool was never a bad place. In fact Liverpool is a place full of personality and history. It’s simply the terrible memories and bad people I can no longer ignore. I will always remember my days out with my dad – he would take me everywhere. He was proud of Liverpool. I remember the friends I have made here, the ones I have lost and the ones whom are still in my life today. I remember the people who changed my life. The ones that shaped who I am today. The ones who got me here today.

Regardless of the good memories I have in this place, it is forever tinted with the bad stench of the many sad and painful things that have happened to me here. Sadness is an emotion I am more then familiar with. Pain is a feeling I have felt most of my life.

I have tried to ‘turn over a new leaf’ here in Liverpool many times. It took me a long time to realise that I wasn’t failing at that task because I was failure but because it is impossible to start over in a place that pain follows you around. I take a bus somewhere and I pass places I once smiled in, places I once cried in. These places make my stomach turn and my eyes water. They bring me actual pain. A place and a memory is causing me pain. Like a sinking in my heart. I have had enough of that feeling.

My mental illness is something I have been coming to terms with for a few years now. I have good days and bad days. But, I am here. That has to count for something. I took the medication. I went to the therapy and yet my pain hasn’t gone. ‘It takes time’ they tell me. ‘You’ll get better soon’ they said. ‘You’ll get back on your feet one day’ they promised. When those things didn’t happen within the months and years of hearing the words, I started to wonder why nothing was changing for me. Why wasn’t I getting better? Was this it for me? Forever the girl who is known for her depressive episodes and dark thoughts. I started to realise that part of my depression was demolished whenever I stepped outside of Liverpool. Leaving Liverpool was like a massive wake up call for me, every time I left. It was like the air was different, clean of the misery I felt back home. It was like the concrete had been lifted from my body and I could breathe and move again. I was happier, I was me. I was free. I felt so free. It was around this time I made the decision that moving was the best thing for me. For my health and for my sanity.

I close my eyes and I see my life in flashes. The smiling, the joking, the laughing, the crying and the screaming. I see the people I care about leave, being hurt or dying. I see myself hurting, wanting to leave, wanting to die. I see my friends and my family confused and worried for my well being. I think about my future in Liverpool and I see nothing – I literally see nothing. A massive black hole. I see nothing, I hear nothing. The thought of not being able to see a future here ate me alive. For the first time in a long time, I wanted to see a future for self and I couldn’t. It almost broke me.

When I met Ben and we started making plans that went past a life in Liverpool, I started seeing a future. A light came through the darkness in that black hole of nothingness. I realised that I could be someone, I realised that I didn’t need to live my life out in a black hole. I could leave and get better. I could smile and laugh again and have it be a real smile and real laughter. We made plans and I felt like I was going to make it out of this.

I love Liverpool. My accent will always be with me. I will always be proud of my home town and its history. Most people in the UK know about Liverpool, its history and most importantly our accent! And, I am proud of that. I love my mum will all my heart and she brought me up here, I went to school here. I have too many memories here to just forget them. Liverpool will always be the place I was born, the place I grew up, it will always be the place I come from. And, I hope my accent and fast talking stays with me because I don’t want to loose what this place gave me. It’s just time to move on. Start fresh. Begin again. It’s time to enter my 20s somewhere new and end this part of my life here.

Goodbye Liverpool.

Shannon x

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moving out, MyStorys

Moving Month!!

So, today is the first of May, which marks the beginning of a big change for me. For the past 5 months, a move has been in the works for me and my boyfriend. I have spent the past few months looking at properties and beginning to pack for our move. We had a lot of different places set in mind for the move and a lot of criteria to met, so it hasn’t been an easy search.

We have never lived without our parents before. I am 19 and my boyfriend is 23 so this is all new to us. Where we moved too was important for both of us, so we looked for places that were quite, but not to secluded as we still needed to close to a town centre. We needed to be within walking distance from a train station and ideally no further than 30 minutes by train to work for Ben. We capped our limit for monthly rent at £450, as this is a first apartment and we aren’t willing to spend more than that on our first places as we will have other expenses, like electric and water bills, broadband bills, and food/household items to buy.

We found a property we liked on Rightmove and we booked a viewing. The property was small, but we was still willing to put a deposit down as it was super close to the station and was in a lovely area, right by the canal. However, due to issues with the property being best suited for a single person and other people interested, we didn’t end up filling in an application form. We instead moved on to other properties. The very next weekend we viewed another property. The property was a little further from the station, but still close enough to walk each day. It was in a lovely little area, right by a big park as well. The actual flat had one bedroom and a massive living room. Oh, and the kitchen was so nice! ( this is important for me!) The flat had recently been redecorated and was decorated in a neutral colour all over. I was very happy with this property and we decided to put in an application form for the property.

It is now Wednesday and we are now half way through the application process. One thing I have to say is that it’s the most stressful thing I have ever had to deal with in my life. I am looking forward to the day that this process is done. I have my fingers crossed and I’m just doing as the letting agents are directing me to do each day of the process.

I currently have boxes in every available inch of my house. My mum’s cupboards are piled high with boxes and bags, all packed and ready to go. Under my bed are boxes full of kitchen essentials like my knife set, pots and frying pans, dinner set, cups, mugs, and my food processor. Each corner of my room is also filled with boxes, filled with books, DVDs and bathroom essentials! I’m not going to lie, I am getting slightly fed up with looking at boxes 24/7.

I am currently in a stressful state. But I do get moments of excitement and nervousness run through me as well. Of course, I am excited for this new adventure. A step up in adulthood. The next step for me. I am looking forward to this, but at the same time, I am a little nervous. I know that’s normal. I’ve always had a safety net under me while living with my mum. I didn’t have to worry about falling as much as I knew that net was there to catch me. Now it won’t be. I am also quite sad. I’m going to miss my mum a lot, she’s been my rock for so many years and now I won’t see her everyday, that makes me tear up thinking about to be honest. I’ll also miss my dogs. Our family dogs are really important to me and I know I’ll struggle saying goodbye to them. That being said, I know that our new home is only a 25-minute train ride away or a half an hour car ride away. If I do get homesick (which I probably will) I can always jump a train to see my mum and dogs. This move is necessary for me. Its what I need. I know these feelings are normal, I just have to let them be and I will get used to not being in my family home once I make a new home for me and Ben in our new flat.

Right now, its all a waiting game. We are crossing our fingers and hoping for our applications to be accepted.

Shannon x

TV Shows and Movies

Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw are leaving Grey’s Anatomy.

Anyone who hasn’t seen or heard of Grey’s Anatomy will probably be very confused about this blog post. I have done blog posts about TV shows before, and today I wanted to talk about Shonda Rhime’s decision to get rid of two of her most beloved characters, April and Arizona.

A month or so ago, it was announced that Sarah Drew (April Kepner) and Jessica Chapshaw (Arizona Robbins) wouldn’t be returning for season 15 of the medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy. Fans of the pair weren’t happy to hear this news, including myself. A lot of them speculated as to why these two were let go by the company owned by Shonda Rhimes called ‘Shondaland’. Some thought maybe they were being fired because they could no longer afford to keep them on. That caused people to take it out on Ellen Pompeo, claiming that the reason they can’t afford to keep the pair on was because Ellen (Meredith Grey) was getting a massive pay rise. Ellen Pompeo went on the record to clean up the rumours on twitter, tweeting “I’m a big girl @DEADLINE can take shots at me if they want but to the fans please don’t fall into that trap. This is above my pay grade,” and “Its unfortunate that @DEADLINE chooses to try to pit women against each other on #InternationalWomensDay #ShameOnYouNotMe,”.

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I do believe Ellen, I do believe that this is WAY above her pay grade. I cannot imagine her going to her producers and telling them she wanted a pay rise. Even if she did, it’s her boss’s job to say ‘we cannot do that’. I highly doubt that Ellen knew or had anything to do with Jessica and Sarah’s exit from the show. I do think it is the fault of the producers and writers though. An inside source stated “Ellen Pompeo was given a pay raise to recognize her incredible contributions to the success of the show. She more than earned the producing role, and frankly, it was long overdue. There was this incredible mad dash to try and find Ellen a male co-star after Patrick Dempsey left. What the network quickly learned, was that Ellen didn’t need another McDreamy.”  That same source stated “Sarah and Jessica’s story lines had just run their course, and the decision was made to not renew their contracts,” That is of course something I do not understand. They can keep finding stories for Owen Hunt – the man that married two women who don’t want children and then cheated on them because he isn’t getting his own way? Let’s get rid of him, Amelia can do better and Christina deserved better.  But, they can’t find more stories for the only gay character left on the show and the only devout Christian character on the show? Ya, right. I don’t know the full ins and outs of the logic behind the departure for these girls leaving, I just believe they have made a MASSIVE mistake in firing these women.

April has been on the show for 9 seasons, Arizona for 10 seasons. They represented people that are hardly represented on TV. Arizona being a gay woman and April a devout Christian. April has had some amazing storylines. She has lost her son, Samuel, gone to a war zone and battled with the disbelief of her religion. Like April, Arizona has also has some great storylines. Being in a plane crash, losing her leg, the crumble of her marriage and dealing with being a co-parent. She has lost many people. The only thing I never agreed on was when she cheated on Callie. Both women have become close friends in recent years, having had both gone through a divorce and having to co-parent their children.

I don’t know how they’re going to ‘get rid of’ these characters. It could go either way, Grey’s Anatomy aren’t strangers to giving people dramatic ‘send offs’. Killing George O’Malley – via bus, when T.R Knight wanted to leave the show. Killing Derek Shepard – via truck, when Patrick Dempsey wanted to leave the show. Killing Lexie Grey – via plane crash, and Mark Sloan – via aftermath of plane crash. Izzie, Preston, Christina, Callie, Steph, and Nathan weren’t killed off (shockingly). Their characters left to start new lives in new places. Christina went on to run her own hospital, Callie moved away with her new girlfriend, Steph didn’t want to spend any longer in hospital after the fire, and Izzie left after having survived cancer, leaving behind divorce papers for husband Alex Karev. The actor who played Preston Burke was sent away because his character was rumoured to have said homophobic comments targeted at T.R Knight (whom is gay).

I have some ideas on how they will send off these characters. I have a suspicion they will kill off April. Like a lot of people have stated, April would never leave her daughter, which leads me to believe they kill her off. There are two options to April’s departure in my opinion. Either, they’ll kill her off or they will do what they did with Callie, send her off to a new place and she will co-parent her daughter with Jackson like Arizona and Callie have done for years now. Somehow, I don’t believe they’ll do the same thing twice though, I hope they do though, as there would be hope for a return in the future for April. As for Arizona, I don’t think they’ll kill her off. I believe they’ll send her and Sofia to wherever Callie is living now. Having watched last weeks episode of Grey’s, it is apparent Sofia is probably sad because she misses Callie. Arizona will probably leave for another hospital so Sofia can be close to both parents. But, we will find out in a few weeks as we are currently in the last leg of the season 14 of Grey’s Anatomy. 

I am very upset that we are losing these two women, I am. But, there is nothing we can do now. The decision was made, the episodes have been filmed and now we just have to wait and see the exit that has been planned for these women. I just hope that they give these girls a good send off. I will continue watching the show, because I do love Meredith, Bailey, Alex, Jackson and Jo. I just don’t see this show lasting much longer. It has been renewed through season 16, however I don’t know how their ratings are going to go come season 15, so it could go either way. It could remain the same, or decline. We will see I guess.

What are you views on Sarah and Jessica’s departure from the show? 

Shannon x

MyStorys, Uncategorized

My Unpopular Opinions

I have a lot of opinions. Most people who read my blog are probably thinking ‘you could say that’. The reason I started my blog in the first place was to openly talk about my opinions. I enjoy doing just that. My opinions aren’t always ones a lot of people agree with. In fact, some of my own friends completely disagree with my opinions on some things. I have spoke about my opinions on social issues just recently and today felt like talking about some of my unpopular opinions that are more mine than a universal opinion. I do know some people who agree with opinions on this list, but I know some who don’t as well. Either way, these are just my opinions and I would love to hear some of your unpopular opinions down below.

Starbucks is overrated

I think I would lose track if I was to go on Youtube and try count all the times YouTubers have gone on and on about how much they love Starbucks. I’ve been to Starbucks, I’ve ordered some fancy sounding drink, I’ve handed over my money, and I’ve drank that drink. What did I learn? That I was buying the logo on the cup, more than what was actually in the cup. Yes, they’re drinks are good, better than McDonalds or any other chain that doesn’t specialize in just drinks. But, are they as good as other competitors like Costa? The answer from me is no. In my opinion, I could have gotten the same quality drink from Costa for cheaper. Starbucks is overrated. Personally, people think they’re all trendy by buying a drink from there, and that’s where the problem lies.

Coffee tastes like crap.

I love Gilmore Girls, but Rory and Lorelei’s love for coffee has always gone over my head. Rory’s love for books? I’m the same. Lorelei’s witt? I’m all there. But, their daily coffee fixes will never make sense to me. I’m with Alexis Bledel on this one, no coffee for me.

Beyonce isn’t all that special

Is she a strong, black woman in media? Yes. Is she a good singer? That’s a personal opinion. But is she so special that she deserves the title of ‘queen’?! I mean, personally I’d go around calling Sophia Bush queen, because in my opinion, she is. But that’s a matter of opinion. Some people take the opinion of Beyonce being a queen to whole new levels. Insisting she is infact a “queen”. I never saw the hype with Beyonce, but then again, the only hype I have towards modern artists is for Ed Sheeran. But, going back to what I was saying, Beyonce doesn’t warrant the title Queen. She too is overrated. Yes, she’s a strong, black female in the medias eyes, she’s someone for people to look at, and say ‘she’s like me’. It’s amazing to see people of different races and genders out there taken the world by storm but I personally think there are more powerful women of colour out there that we should be calling a queen.

I don’t believe in the practices of religion

Quite a controversial subject, but my opinions normally are just that. I don’t believe in any faith. I grew up in a religion free home and I am so glad I did. Don’t get me wrong, I respect peoples views. I just think that in this day and age, the words of the Bible and other forms of it, are outdated and need to hit the bin. We grow, we age, we learn. So, why haven’t some religions decided it time to modernise the bible. The Bible (and other forms of it) where written by men, in a time when we let a small group of people decide what was right and what was wrong. It’s controlling behaviour, telling people how to, and how not to live their lives (especially women). Making people live by their idea of what a perfect family was, their idea of what a “right” marriage consists of, their idea of the “correct” way in which a woman should handle herself. It’s bullshit to say the least. Update your “rules” and maybe I won’t be as angry about how this book treats anyone who isn’t a straight, white person with no flaws. People are all different. We believe in different things, we like different things. We are different races and sizes. We are sexually attracted to different people, we choose to identify as someone we want to be. We wear different clothes and we talk in different languages but we are all human. No one deserves to be made to feel bad about what they do with their life (unless they’re hurting someone). No one should be judged for what they wear, or what lifestyle they lead. No one is going to hell for who they are, and an outdated book and old fashioned people of faith should open their eyes, and see that they aren’t perfect. In fact, they need to step off their high horse and realise that by judging, bullying and preaching their nonsense, they’re the worst kind of people. Not the people who have sex before marriage, or get divorced, or are sexually attracted to the same sex.

I believe the Death Penalty should be legal again in the UK

Yes, I’ve heard the stories. Yes, I do realise some innocent people were killed. No, I do not think that every criminal should receive this level of punishment. I do however believe this kind of punishment is the ONLY way we can bring peace of mind to victims of brutal attacks and the family of those victims whom lost their lives because someone took it from them. Manslaughter, accidents, drug charges, and other charges like such shouldn’t be considered a case for the death penalty. But, serial killers, spree killers, pedophiles, and rapists should get capital punishment. They do deserve to die. I don’t care about their “rights”. Did they care about the rights of that young girl they raped? No, they took her rights away. Did they care about the rights of the children they shot dead in their classroom? No, they took their rights away. Did they care about the life they took away when they murdered that boy in cold blood? No, they took his rights away. These kind of criminals don’t deserve rights. A correctional facility isn’t going to cure a rapist or a killer. They’re just going to wash away the governments money (our money) to keep then in a building, where they are fed, where they can earn money, where they get clothes and can take classes. These kind of criminals can’t be cured, they’re wired wrong. They think having sex with a child is okay, it turns them on. They think going into a school with a gun and shooting children is okay, they deserved it, they’ll say. These criminals deserve death. Save prisons for criminals we can actually try and rehabilitate. Give them the classes and their work ethic back. Don’t waste resources on those that will get out and strike again. Don’t allow them that.

Do you have any questions for me? Write them below.

Shann x

MyStorys, Q&AS, Women; It's safe here.

My Opinions on Social Issues.

Everyone has a voice. Everyone’s voice matters. Over the last century we have worked so hard to give people the right to control their own mind and body. And, because a rich, white man who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth and old world views is now president, all of the control we have gained in our lives could be gone very soon. I think it’s important we speak up, tell people your opinions. Just because you’re young, or a women or seen as a minority (or just simply not a middle aged white male), you have the right to your opinion. Don’t let anyone tear you down or make you feel like you’re not smart enough, old enough or educated enough to have those views. So, copy and paste these questions, use this Q and A as a template and fill in your answers on your blog, on your twitter, on your Facebook. Let people know you have a voice and that your opinions matter as well. Don’t be silenced by society. Tell them your opinions.

Here are the questions and here are my answers. I plan on doing many more of these for different issues in our current world.

Should terminally ill patients be allowed to end their lives via assisted suicide?

Yes, but only after a psychological examination to show that they fully understand their choice.

What is your stance on abortion?

Pro-Choice. I believe life starts at birth and that a woman should be able to do what she wants with her body.

Do you support the legalization of same sex marriage?

Yes!! Of course. Someone’s sexual preference shouldn’t matter when it comes to marriage. As long as it is two consenting adults, it doesn’t matter whether they are sexually attracted to women or men.

Should health insurance providers be required to offer free birth control?

Yes, health insurance providers give out Viagra for free, they should be giving out birth control as the only use for Viagra is for men to get an erection. Whereas the pill offers women piece of mind when having sex, as well help with period pains and some illnesses. There is no justiciable reason as to why birth control isn’t free, but Viagra is.

Do you support the death penalty?

Yes, but only for cases that are horrific and have undeniable evidence attached. Like, rape, and murder.

Should a business be able to deny service to a customer if the request conflicts with the owner’s religious beliefs?

No, someone’s religion shouldn’t prevent them from getting the same service as someone else would get.

Should businesses be required to have women on their board of directors?

Yes. I think it is only equal to have both women and men on their board of directors. Just like a jury has 6 women and 6 men.

Should the government continue to fund Planned Parenthood?

Yes. Planned Parenthood is a much needed charity, it has helped millions of people since it opened. Planned Parenthood not only offers Abortions – like most pro lifers will have you believe. They also offer free contraceptives, breast cancer screenings, STD testing and treatments, LGBT services, men’s health services, pregnancy testing, vaccines, and more. Planned Parenthood has been advocating and educating for over a 100 years. Only 3% of Planned Parenthoods services carried out are abortions.

Should the military allow women to serve in combat roles?

Yes. Women have been proving that they’re just as strong as men for many years now. There is no reason why women cannot serve in combat roles.

Should “gender identity” be added to anti-discrimination laws?

Yes. Whether a person decides to identity as a man, woman, or other, they deserve the same rights as someone who identifies as the gender in which they were born with. They shouldn’t be treated any differently. So, to protect them we should add these laws to the anti-discrimination laws.

Should marital rape be classified and punished as severely as non-marital rape?

Yes. It doesn’t matter if someone is married, the penalty for rape should be classified as the same kind as non-marital rape. Marriage doesn’t give someone a free pass to rape someone, they aren’t someone’s property just because they’re married.

Should gay couples have the same adoption rights as straight couples?

Yes. Gay couples can make amazing parents, just like straight couples can. There is no reason they should discriminated against.

Do you have any other social issue questions to ask? Comment below and ill answer.

Shannon x

Cooking With Shan, MyStorys

Why I’m NOT Vegan

Over the last few years more and more people have been opting for a plant based diet – known as being ‘vegan’. Now, I understand that a lot of people choose this kind of lifestyle because it is a meat free and dairy free diet. If you’re allergic to dairy, it’s an amazing diet to be on. Going vegan does have a lot of benefits, including lowering your blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and increasing your antioxidant levels. However being vegan does also have its disadvantages, like the loss of essential vitamins and minerals, the potential interference with existing medical conditions, and unrealistic expectations.

A lot of people believe that by going vegan, they are somehow choosing a healthier lifestyle because they’re cutting out meat products and dairy products. That isn’t always the case however, because when most people go vegan they aren’t doing it the right way and end up becoming ill because they aren’t getting the correct amount of essential nutrients that dairy products will supply them. I completely support going veggie, as you can still get all of the nutrients you need from other items except meat. For instance; protein from eggs.

I think what puts me off vegans is that SOME, not all, but some can be quite patronising. I respect that people choose to be vegan for health reasons. As long as they know what they’re doing in terms of making sure they intake enough protein, there isn’t anything bad about that. I respect that some people will want to be vegan because they believe it is beneficial to animals. That’s what I don’t get. Yes animals produce eggs and milk, but I DO NOT think it harms the animals to consume their produce. Those chickens are still going to lay those eggs, whether we choose to eat them or not, same goes with milk. In this day and age, wasting eggs and milk because you believe it hurts the animal is a massive reason why we waste so much.

I am personally NOT vegan because I do not believe that we are harming animals by consuming their produce. I think there are too many health benefits from eating animal produce to cut them out completely. I have cut my intake of dairy down since last year however, only consuming either 30g cheese each day or 250ml of semi skinned milk – to cut down on fat intake. I eat a lot of eggs and beans however, to keep up my protein levels as I do have a Vitamin B12 deficiency. I know a couple vegan people and most of them don’t constantly try and make me feel bad, and like I am a bad person for eating what an animal produces. I do however know a few who think they’re right for being vegan. What I have to say to those people is ‘good for you, what you put in your body is up to you but don’t try and preach that your lifestyle is better than the one I choose to live’. I believe that people at least need dairy products – especially if they aren’t getting any nutrients because they don’t eat meat.

Becoming a vegetarian is something I may consider in the future, as I do believe we don’t need meat to gather all the nutrients we need each day. And, I do like meat supplements, like Quern.

All in all, I have nothing bad to say about people who choose to be vegan, but, just like religion – I don’t need it shoved in my face. I will choose what goes into my body and I choose to NOT be vegan.

Shannon x

Uncategorized

Healthy Fish & Bacon Pie

So, today I decided I wanted to make something with fish for my tea, I’m not the biggest fan of fish, but it has a lot of good properties in so I make myself eat it at least once a week. I decided on a fish pie with bacon. Now, looking at recipes online, I found that most fish pies have a lot of fats, milk, cheese and, or cream. I’m on slimming world so I thought about all the syns in those recipes and decided to create my own version. This version has the least amount of milk and cheese possible.

This fish and bacon pie recipe serves 4 small portions or 2 larger portions. 1/4 of this pie would be your A choice and 1/2 an syn and 1/2 of this pie would be 6.5 syns total. I served mine with green beans. So, here is the recipe for my fish and bacon pie

Ingredients

– 1 tablespoon plain flour

– 1 tablespoon light butter

– 5 medium potatoes or 3 large potatoes

– 2 large pieces of cod ( I used frozen fish, it’s cheaper and has a longer use by date)

– 2 tablespoons lemon juice

– 1 teaspoon garlic powder

– Salt and pepper

– 1 onion

– 4 pieces of bacon (all fat cut off)

– 3 spring onions

– 1 carrot

– 5 tablespoons of sweetcorn

– 60g cheese

– 140g semi-skimmed milk

– 1 egg

– Parsley

– Fry light

Method

Start by peeling your potatoes and placing them in salted water, bring to a boil and leave for 20 minutes.

While your potatoes are boiling, place your frozen cod fillets onto a baking tray and season with salt, pepper and half the lemon juice. Place them in the oven on medium heat for 10 minutes.

Cut the onion, spring onion and carrots into fine chunks. In a frying pan, use frylight and spray the whole pan, add all the vegetables and leave to cook til tender. Place back in bowl and leave for later.

Cut the bacon into small pieces, re spray the pan with fry light and add the bacon to the pan, cook until the bacon is cooked through and starting to go crispy. Turn off the heat and leave to one side.

In another pan, you want to make the sauce. Add the butter, melt and then add the flour, mix to form a dough and then add the milk, whisk until everything is combined. Add the other half of the lemon juice, the garlic and parsley to the mixture. Mix well and after the mix has thickened slightly, add most of the cheese ( leaving a small amount behind for the topping). Add the vegetables and bacon to the sauce.

Your fish has probably been taken out of the oven by now, unless you managed to get all that done above in 10 minutes. Break the fish up and mix into the sauce, spoon the fish sauce mixture into a dish and put to one side.

Drain your potatoes, mash them and add one beaten egg to the mash. Mix the egg in quickly with a spatula. The egg will cook because the mash is hot. Place the mash through a sieve ( bit of arm work, but well worth it) to get smooth, lump-free, silky mash. Add the mash on top of the fish sauce, use a spatula to spread it around, add some more parsley and the remaining cheese on top and place in the oven. Cook for 20-30 minutes until piping hot and the top has gone crispy and brown.

Serve the fish pie up on to plates with vegetables or to the table for people to serve themselves. Enjoy!

You can freeze this pie. Just take out the freezer, place back the the oven for 30-45 minutes with tinfoil on the top to prevent burning the top, and enjoy!

Do you want more recipes like this? Let me know in the comments or DM on twitter – lifeasshanx

Shannon x

TV Shows and Movies, Uncategorized

Fictional Characters EVERYBODY should admire

Like most of my generation, I grew up watching TV. There are probably hundreds of studies that tell you watching too much TV is bad for you, they’re most likely right. However, I learned a LOT about life and myself through fictional characters and storylines. Some of the actresses behind these fictional characters have even become some of my favourite idols, and they do deserve the title “idol” because they are doing some amazing work in the activist world, and I am so happy with the fact that I get to admire the actress as well as the character. Whether I related to the character or they made me feel like I could face my own demons, I want to thank these women for making these characters so relatable and playing them so well!

Brooke Davis – Played by Sophia Bush
I admire the woman behind this character so damn much! But, before I knew who Sophia Bush was, I started watching One Tree Hill. I think most people will say that Brooke wasn’t their favourite at first, and I never thought I would warm to her. However, over the seasons, I grew to love her. The character development from spoilt, bitchy rich teenager to a successful, strong, caring and loving woman was truly amazing to me. Brooke went through A LOT and I have always admired how she always fought for herself and the ones she loved. Her battles during high school, being cheated on and losing her best friend to her unbearable mother, being attacked, losing her business, and almost dying in a trapped car are all a lot for one person to take in during their lives. Somehow Brooke always managed to get back on her feet, say something kick-ass and smile. She was an amazing character to grow up watching, learning how to deal with my own demons from a character likes hers really helped me. Although One Tree Hill is long over, I can always look back at Brooke and re-watch her strength and power through the seasons, and remember that I can get through the crap in my life.

Olivia Benson – Played by Mariska Hargitay
I started watching this wonderful woman on Law & Order SVU when I was in high school. Her soft and understanding nature with victims, and her amazingly ruthless attitude towards abusers made me love her. I went through an abusive relationship when I was in high school and for a long time I felt ashamed and at fault for what happened to me, but this show changed those views. The show has opened my mind massively and I think it’s a show that is needed so much in this day and age. I am always amazed when I watch an episode of Law & Order SVU and see they have yet another educational episode for me ( and everyone else) to watch. In a recent episode, Olivia stated she had been doing this for 19 years and it hit me that this show has been going for so long, educating us on sex crimes. I will always have so much respect for Mariska’s character and her too. She is doing great work and helping us open our eyes in the real world to the reality of sexual crimes. She recently stared in I Am Evidence and what she is doing to end the rape kit backlog is truly inspiring.

Callie Jacobs – Played by Maia Mitchell
Out of all these characters, Maia Mitchells character on The Fosters is the closest in age to me and her past is very relatable to me. Callie was my favourite character on the show from the very start. Coming across as this young girl who didn’t care about anything and had given up on being happy, fitted with my current situation at the time I started to watch the show. Callie was able to finally open up and begin to be happy when she got to the Fosters home. The whole storyline with Liam hit me hard, going through something very similar years earlier. Callie was strong and tough from the start and her kind heart and caring nature made her an amazing character to admire. She cared about everyone, always fighting for what was right even if it meant her own freedom was taken away. She taught me that just because something gets hard doesn’t mean you give up, you fight harder, you don’t give up on what you believe in and that your opinions matter.

Jo Wilson – Played by Camilla Luddington
Jo is a new woman to make this list. Some people didn’t like her character from the beginning, but there was always something about her I really liked. What I admire about this character is her bravery. She did what so many women in an abusive relationship can’t do (out of fear), she left. She ran away, she still became a surgeon, she made a life for herself. She never let him win and that is so damn admirable and definitely someone you should look up too.

Gabriela Dawson – Played by Monica Raymund
If I had to describe Dawson in three words they would be; strong, fighter, and supportive. Lets be honest, from the start of Chicago Fire, Dawson has always been someone who doesn’t let anyone walk all over her. She’s strong, she’s opinionated and she fights for what is right—much like Callie Jacobs and Olivia Benson. I love Dawson for her attitude. She’s a strong role in the show. Being one of few females in the firehouse, she makes sure the men know she isn’t any pushover. She stands her ground and follows up on what she does, I respect that.

Temperance Brennan – Played by Emily Deschanel
In many ways Brennan isn’t very similar to other women on this list, but she is admirable to me because she is strong, smart and successful. One thing I love about her character is how much she doesn’t care about what people think of her. She knows she’s smart—she doesn’t need validation. She knows she’s pretty—she doesn’t need anyone’s approval. Those are very rare qualities these days and I think it makes her an amazing woman. Women are often told by society that it matters what people think, like we need their approval for how we decide to live, it’s refreshing to see a character not give a crap about social norms. I love that.

There are so many other women on TV that I admire, both on and off screen, but these are just my top six. Maybe I’ll have some more favourites to write about soon.

Shannon x

MyStorys, Uncategorized

An open letter to my former best friend.

A few years ago I made a blog post titled ‘an open letter to my abusive ex boyfriend’ and today I wanted to make another open letter blog post, but for a different person who was once a massive part of my life.

Dear ‘A’

I don’t think I can count the amount of times I’ve wrote to you. I’ve wrote a few letters over the years and I recently found some of them when I was cleaning for my move, and as I read through them, I was transported back to the time in which I wrote them. I could tell by the way I was writing how I felt about you, I didn’t need to read between the lines with my own writing, I may have tried to hide my sadness or bitterness but it was plainly there on the pages I wrote in the many letters over the years. One of the first letters I spoke about how much you hurt me, how confused and sad I was, I just didn’t understand why my best friend would hurt me like he did. As I kept reading through the letters, the words on the paper turned from confusion and loss to sadness and pain to anger and betrayal. I think I must have went through every emotion throughout the many letters I wrote. I sat and thought about the letters for a while, about our past, about what you did and said back then, and then I ripped the letters up and throw them in the bin. I had no use for them anymore. You see, I wrote those letters when I always expected you to walk back into my life, a time when I wanted you to because I missed you or I wanted answers from you, after a while I learned that the new ‘A’ wasn’t going to be the same person anymore and I needed to expect I’ll never get the ending I wanted.

I put so much effort into you, into our friendship. I often ask myself ‘why?’, now because let’s me honest, you’re not worth the sacrifice of my dignity and pride. I guess the reason why I thought you was worth it was because the old you was worth it, he was a generally good person. I often tell my friend Megan that lads will hurt you but that doesn’t define you, you let your emotions out and you move on. No lad is ever worth the pain I went through with you, you’re not special enough to have me shed another tear over you.

I remember when we was younger, you told me you wanted to leave Liverpool. You said you wanted to join the army and get as far away from Liverpool as possible, I guess leaving Liverpool isn’t even a thought that crosses you’re mind anymore does it? I honestly cannot imagine what goes through you’re mind these days, but those thoughts probably aren’t about plans of a bright future, which is a shame, you could have had a good future, a generally happy one. You cannot tell me that the meaningless ‘pocket change’ jobs you have these days are what you wanted for your career path. You cannot tell me that doing drugs every weekend and not being able to stay loyal to one girl is giving you a ‘fulfilled life’ feeling.

What happened A? What happened to the friend who I went out with every night after school, what happened to the friend who was always there for me, always supported me and cared about me? Where has he gone A? He faded a long time again, but has he completely disappeared? I hope for your own humanity and the ones who still care about you, that he hasn’t completely disappeared.

I could say I will always care about you, but honestly, you don’t deserve my affection or care. I tried my best and I suppose I’ll be the one leaving Liverpool and having a fulfilling life. Funny how things work out.

Love you loads (haha, not really)

Shannon.

Advice♥, MyStorys, Uncategorized

New Chapter – I’m Moving Out!

It’s been hard to write lately, I don’t really know why. It isn’t that I haven’t wanted to write about what is going on in the world at the minute, but between planning and prepping for my move and having major writers block, I just haven’t posted anything.

I am currently budgeting, planning and organising for my move in a few months. Right now I am excited about the move, but I think nearer to the move I am going to start getting nervous and a little sad. Don’t get me wrong I can’t wait to get out of Liverpool, I won’t look back at this place, however, I do have some people that mean a lot to me here and it’s going to be ridiculously hard to say goodbye to my mum. I have lived with my mum my whole life – minus a year I lived with my dad when I was 9. She has been my rock all these years, through all the shitty times, she was on my side, looking out for me.

I know most people have a hard time leaving home, home is their comfort zone, it’s all they’ve ever known and moving out for the first time is a massive step into adulthood. This home isn’t really my comfort zone however, yes my mum is here and I have made my room my safe place, my ‘safety net’ as someone once called it but this house, my stepdad, they’re not home. I need the freedom to do what I want, to roam my home without fear of repercussions. Not only do I not get on with my own stepdad, I feel like a prisoner in my own home, it’s not like I am trapped in the house with bars on the windows and a deadbolt on the door, but with my anxiety around this place, I don’t feel safe or confident around here. It’s part of the reason I am leaving Liverpool to start with.

Liverpool has been my home my whole life, I have lived in this area of Liverpool since I was 9 and before that I lived in another part of the city. It’s never felt like my home however. I feel as if I don’t fit in here, I always felt different. I never liked parties, getting dressed up on a Friday night and going into town and getting drunk, it wasn’t my idea as fun when I was younger and it still isn’t.  I am not the girly girl type, I do get spray tans, in fact the only time I apply tan is for some important event like a wedding. I do my own nails and most of the time, I don’t even bother with that. If I can get away with not wearing make-up I won’t wear it and I would so much prefer to wear a pair of jeans, hiking boots and a t-shirt with a leather jacket then skirts and dresses. I feel like there is this expectation to be like everyone else around here, like if you stand out, that is weird. Everyone around here listens to the same music, wears the same shoes and all have the same hairstyle. Where is the originality? It frustrates me that I feel as if I can’t be myself here.

I’ve spent my whole life unhappy, uncomfortable and unsettled, I want that to change, I need that to change. This move is about my health more than anything, I guess that doesn’t make complete sense, how could a move possibly solve all my problems but it’s the last thing I can do to try and get my life back on track. For a long time I didn’t even want to be alive, I would wake up in the morning and be upset that I was still here, I used to go to bed and hope I wouldn’t wake up. I am still depressed but I want to want to live. I want to smile and laugh and it be real. This move is the first thing in a long time that has given me some hope for my future. It has given me something to hope for, as sad as that may sound to some.

 

Shannon x