Giants of Rock | Minehead

Giants of Rock – sounds great already, right? – is an annual adults-only rock festival hosted by the one and only Butlins. I promise, this is not a joke post. Butlins really does host a rock weekend.

You think of Butlins and, like me, you probably think of the seaside, family holidays, cheesy music and a place as far away as humanly possible from several thousand rockers. You’d be right, because Butlins is an awesome place for a family holiday, but did you know they also regularly hold live music weekends just for us grown-ups? And they’re incredible.

At the end of January, Matthew and I, alongside Mark and Kat – also known as Matt’s brother & brother’s girlfriend, good friends, best man & maid of honour, which ever tickles your fancy – jumped into the car for a 5 hour car-ride down to Minehead. We booked this weekend away so long ago, on a bit of a whim really, after visiting Matt’s mum and her foster children during on of their family holidays at Butlins. All four of us are child-free and loving it, so whilst Butlins (and the prospects of music, drinks and swimming) is forever enticing, the idea of spending a long weekend around many, many children is not. All they had to do was throw in “adults-only” and “rock music” and we were sold.

The music was, obviously, the highlight of the entire weekend. Surprisingly, though, the surrounding area came a very, very close second and that’s what I want to share with you today.

Minehead Butlins Beach Sunset

The Butlins resort we stayed in was in Minehead – almost 300 miles from our home city. It’s down in Somerset (which is also kind of near Wales), so even the car ride was a thing of beauty. I’m a bit dramatic when it comes to nature, I guess you’d say. I can’t quite control my excitement with how overwhelmingly and sincerely beautiful I find everything. It still baffles me how people can pass rolling hills and not look at them in awe, but that’s a story for another day. So, when we rocked up at the resort and head down to the nearby beach, I was blown away.

The beach seemed to start right at the base of a huge cliff, before winding all the way over mounds of huge rocks, around the bright green fields of a nearby golf course and into rolling hills in the distance. It went on forever.

Minehead Butlins Beach SunsetMinehead Butlins Beach Sunset

We went for two walks on the beach. One walk was full of fog and an orange sun that made the whole place look warm (even though it wasn’t). Even in the fog, it was incredible. During the second walk, we caught the sunset before almost being caught in the high tide. You bet we practically ran back to safety.  I could have walked up and down that beach for days… but only minutes away was the Butlins resort calling us back with an itinerary full of rock music and how could we turn that down?

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Have you ever been to Minehead or Somerset? I wish we could have explored a little more but, this time, we paid for the music and not for the nature!

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

101 Things in 1001 Days | Update

Good afternoon, lovely blog person, or “prevening” if we’re being more specific!

It’s been a while since I caught you up with my 101 Things in 1001 Days shenanigans, and I guess you’ve missed out on quite a few bits of awesomeness. I apologise. My last update was in October, when I tried to conquer my fear of heights (and horrifically failed) by going on a Ferris Wheel at the fair!

Hull Fair

My God, that was a huge mistake…Matt had to flag down the fair workers and get them to stop the wheel so I could get off… Never again.

Harry Potte Screaming Never

Since my last post, I’ve checked off lots of new things on my 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge. Some goods ones, too.

So, what’s new?

Films:

Me and Matt have been getting our film boots back on, after an embarrassingly long time away from our film friends. We ticked off a few movies for the “watch a film I’ve never seen before starting with each letter of the alphabet” task, including Deadpool (awesome film), and all of Daniel Craig’s Bond movies (so great). We also finally watched Avengers: Age of Ultron, but it was definitely worth the wait because it was a bloody fantastic film.

The Theatre:

In December and January, we were writing paid reviews for plays, so luckily I got to tick off my “watch a play” task! I saw Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Miss Nightingale (an amazing play about sex, scandal and lies in 1940’s wartorn London).

Our Fort:

Now for the one that I’m most excited about… we built a blanket fort in the living room, and had a night full of sweets, beer, TV shows and games in our little Valentines blanket heaven. To be completely honest, blanket fort is a bit of a fib. It was more of a bed-sheet-held-up-with-string-and-nails fort. We also had to use my desk chair, a wooden table and a clothes horse to hold the thing up and support it throughout the night.

The fort was a fantastic way to spend Valentine’s Day (eve) though and it was definitely worth the hassle in the end.

Build a Blanket FortBuild a Blanket Fort

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You can find my 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge here if you fancy checking out what I’ve got left to accomplish before May 11th 2018.

If you’re not already, I also highly recommend setting yourself a challenge like this. It has been a fantastic way to kind of force myself into doing different, new and exciting things. And, I get to share all of the new things I do with you. Win-win.

Share you challenges below if you have set yourself one!

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Bird Watching

On Valentine’s Day, me and Matthew (unexpectedly) went to Beverley for the day. Originally, we planned to go Bridlington for a walk on the beach, chips, amusements and what not, but on the bus I took a funny turn and couldn’t stay seated in the giant metal death cage much longer – yes, I might be over-exaggerating but I was having a bad morning! Instead, we got off at the nearest town which happened to be Beverley. This was a fantastic happy accident in the end and it even ended up snowing. Context: I love snow. Not only would the beach have been the worst place to be during winter showers, but the streets of Beverley looked stunning in the snow.

As soon as (and I’m not over exaggerating, literal seconds after) we got off the bus, I saw a tiny little bird. A robin, I think. Instantly, I thought the bird was a robin, but after having a look on Google images, I’m not so sure. My bird is a lot shaggier than the smooth feathered robins on Google. Maybe my robin was having a bad day, who knows?

Urban Robin Nature Animal Photography

Here’s the little red-breasted fellow.

I heaved my new telephoto lens out of my handbag, and attached it to my camera as quickly and as quietly as I could. The little bugger was in the middle of the bus station road too, so I was not only fighting against the bird’s natural instinct to fly away but also a bus zooming around the corner and spooking it.

I was so excited. I bought my new lens specifically for nature and animal photography, and on it’s first test drive I spotted a little urban robin. How perfect! With him being so urban-adapted, he wasn’t even scared. He hopped around whilst I snapped away, with some old ladies stood behind me cooing about how sweet the little thing was.

I took dozens of snaps of my little robin friend, but you only need the one to see how lovely he is.

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-Morgan

20 Things That Make Me Happy During Winter

Tonight is the night!

Christmas Lights

It’s the official Christmas lights switch on in my city tonight, and as I was walking home from work the Christmas songs were booming, the Christmas lights were twinkling and the crowds were bustling – it’s safe to say, I’m completely soaking up the Christmas atmosphere this evening. Although they’re a little bit late this year, me and Matt are putting up our Christmas decorations tonight too.

As much as I love Autumn (and I mean, I really do love Autumn), it passes by so quickly and soon the beautifully coloured leaves are brown and crumbling, the colours fade, and nature goes to sleep. Then Winter arrives, and yes it’s less beautiful, and yes it’s colder, but there are endless reasons to smile.

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To celebrate, here are 20 things that make me happy during the Winter months:

  1. Christmas songs (I love them all)
  2. Fairy lights everywhere
  3. Poinsettia
  4. Big, hot meals
  5. Snow
  6. Buying new Christmas pyjamas for Christmas morning
  7. Scented candles
  8. The lovely mood people are in around Christmas time
  9. Christmas movies
  10. Early nights and spending so much more time snug as a bug
  11. “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here”
  12. Lots of layered clothing and big coats to keep us warm
  13. Christmas snacks in bowls around the living room (is that just my family?)
  14. Wrapping and buying Christmas gifts
  15. Photographing Christmas lights, winter scenes and winter memories
  16. Not feeling guilty when you want to stay in, because it’s cold outside
  17. Fluffy socks every day
  18. Getting advent calenders for the cats
  19. Late night shopping (the atmosphere always puts me in a Christmas mood)
  20. My beautiful, warm, cosy flat where I can come home every evening to my gorgeous Matthew, and little fur babies ❤

I’m so excited! The Christmas atmosphere continues to build for me up until the big day, unlike most people who say that if they start to get excited this early, it’s less exciting for them when Christmas eventually arrives.

This turned out to be quite a soppy post… but Winter is lovely – I’m glad it’s starting to arrive.


What are you favourite things about the Winter months? Do you enjoy the Christmas atmosphere?

-Morgan

The Difference Between Sleepy and Tired

I’m not sure about you, but I believe there is a huge difference between being ‘sleepy’ and ‘tired’.

When I’m tired, I’m moody and snappy. I’m easily irritated and the littlest of things can send me spiralling into sadness, or raging into anger. I can’t enjoy anything. I want to sleep, simply to rid myself of the crap mood I’m in. Monday mornings, for example.

When I’m sleepy, I feel cosy and cute. My eyes are droopy, but my body is okay and could withstand a reasonably eventful night. I don’t want to go to bed, I just want to rest somewhere comfortable with blankets. I want cuddles and food and candles and music. I’m happy.

Sleepy

Sleepy Tuesday

Tonight, I’m super sleepy – I had a really good day at work, but on the bus home I could barely keep my eyes open. When I got home, I decided to  abandon all plans of painting my nails and reading, instead choosing to get straight into bed. Interestingly, I’ve found I always do super random things when I’m sleepy, unlike the very predictable moodily-sat-doing-nothing that goes down when I’m tired.

Generally, I waste time. I know I could be doing something more productive with my sleepy eyes, but they don’t care and they just keep on procrastinating. Tonight’s efforts of being cute and sleepy led to watching all of Bindi Irwin’s ‘Dancing With The Stars’ dances. I don’t know her (apart from that she’s Steve Irwin’s daughter, of course), I don’t know the show. All I can tell you is I clearly was having ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ withdrawal symptoms… and one thing led to another…

She’s very, very good. See! These random sleepy tangents can sometimes lead somewhere fulfilling – I appear to have found a little love for ‘Dancing With The Stars’.

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Yawn… Have you ever noticed a difference between being sleepy and being tired? Do you have any sleepy quirks?

-Morgan

21 Things I Accomplished Before I Turned 21

I know… I’ve mentioned this an embarrassing amount of times, but I’m excited so you’re going to have to forgive me – it’s my birthday tomorrow! I have a brilliant day and night planned with Matt and my family, but I opened some of my presents earlier tonight to help control my excitement. I’m a very lucky girl, and Matt and my parents put a lot of thought into it for me!

So, to celebrate my birthday I’m going to share 21 things I’m happy to have accomplished in my short life whilst sipping an ice cold gin and lemonade in my birthday tiara!

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1. University:

This is probably my most obvious accomplishment, but going to university was the best thing I’ve done with my life. It allowed me to pursue something I’m passionate about, gave me the freedom to move into my own home with Matt and is providing me with a huge number of graduate opportunities that I just wouldn’t have had without a degree. Each to their own, but the thought of going straight into a job-for-life with little or no prospects is daunting, and I couldn’t imagine having to live like that. I’m simply glad I’ll have options when I graduate!

2. Falling in love:

I could waffle on forever about how happy I am I found Matt so young, but I’ll keep it short and sweet. I’m so sick of people moaning about how much it sucks to settle down and marry so young, as if we’re losing our freedom and ability to have fun. Finding love young simply means you’ve found the person you want to be free and have fun with, and I hit the absolute jackpot with Matt.

3. Learnt to cook:

Good food, good health, amazing planning opportunities, endless experiments and lists, lists, lists! Life is so much easier when you can cook a good meal.

4. Money management:

My mum was always lead money manager in my parent’s home – it was her domain. That trait was definitely passed down onto me. Because I’m super organised anyway, this accomplishment was an easy one but an important one.

5. Learnt my alcohol limit:

I’m sure everyone goes through a phase of teenage excessive drinking… Yeah? No? Just me? Either way, my almost 21-year-old body can no longer take hangovers so learning my limits was a huge accomplishment.

6. Do more things that scare me:

Especially recently, I’ve started saying ‘yes’ more. I went on a raft in a lake (still can’t believe how terrifying that was), I faced my fear of heights on the big wheel (bad move, that was scary) and my anti-social little self has to talk to lots of people at work every day (against my will)!

Welton Waters Water Sports

7. Never broke a bone:

I’m a legend. A careful legend.

8. Photograph everything:

Obsessive, yes. Useful, more yes. Looking back in 20, 30 or 40 years on all of my beautiful memories will be such an experience, and I’ll be forever grateful of my past self.

Me Bridlington

9. Put endless effort into my education:

University was a step in the right direction, obviously, but throughout my entire life I’ve always obsessed over being clever. I wanted encyclopaedias for my birthday, I read for fun when everyone else was playing out, I completed courses and lessons over the summer holidays, I cried over 99% module scores because I wanted 100%. I have and will further my brilliant education.

10. Glandular fever and getting better:

When I was 7 I had glandular fever, and I got really poorly. Really, really poorly. I missed a lot of school, about a year. After that, I only went to school in the mornings for 9 months. Now look at me, little smarty pants! I actually only remember the presents I got – the teddies, and this red and yellow plastic thing that I think was a stationary holder from my grandma. Memories are weird.

Glandular Fever

11. Never wore excessive make-up. Never wore foundation:

My mum never wore excessive make-up, and because I didn’t grow up watching her apply it, I guess it never appealed to me. Thank heavens for that – I may sometimes leave the house with an uncovered, very occasional spot (because I don’t cake my face in make-up) but at least I’m comfortable in my own skin!

12. Overcoming obstacles during my GCSEs:

In the midst of my GCSE’s, my mum woke up in ridiculous pain. My dad was at work. I was ready to leave for school, but she really needed to go to hospital. She drove. I then spent my full day in silence, worried, with her bed-ridden on the emergency ward, unable to call my dad, missing school, with an almost unconscious (because of the pain killers) mother, allowing tests from the doctors that I didn’t even know what they meant. She doesn’t remember a thing from that day and she’s still not completely better 6 years later. Point of the story, I didn’t let anything get in the way of me and my education. Nerd.

13. Wyke College Awards:

Wow, another education-based accomplishment. You wouldn’t guess my focus in life was, would you? I was so proud when I was nominated for and won my subject awards in college. I was also awarded with the Kingston Communication’s Digital Media Award, which sounds super cool and was awarded for my combined accomplishments in IT and Photography. Yey!

Morgan Mills 2


2012

Morgan Mills Kingston Award 2

2012

14. Getting rid of those shorts:

The number of times my parents have retold this story is insane. After 3 years of owning a hugely hated pair of shorts, I fell into a little fresh water stream. When we got back to the car, I stripped off the wet shorts (don’t worry, I was only a kiddie) and sat in the car in my pants! My mum pinned the shorts outside of the car windows, held on by rolling up the window completely. As we drove home… I am accused of… rolling down the window and letting those shorts fly off into the distance! Bye bye!

15. Quit my crappy job:

I had an awful job, solely to save money for a deposit. It was important, intense and the bastards treat us all like slaves as they sat around drinking cups of tea. When we had been living together for a few months, I was ready to quit. I wasn’t allowed. They wouldn’t let me. So I turned my phone off, ignored all calls from big boss man and never went back.

16. Treat yo’ self:

Since moving out, having jobs, university and what not, I’ve had disposable income! Granted, it’s not a lot… but it’s more than I’ve ever had before which means me and Matt have had the chance to splurge on ourselves and our come. I think it’s nice to treat yourself every now and then!

17. Accepted my sense of style:

I always tried to wear what was fashionable, and that’s boring. I enjoy vintage, I enjoy monochrome, I enjoy polka-dots, long skirts, red lipstick and I hate mainstream fashion. Weirdly, it’s kind of fashionable to be unfashionable at the moment. Life is complicated, and I’m done with people laughing or looking down on me because I don’t want my boobs out or bum out or wearing the same 3 items of clothing as every other fashionable female.

18. Built a 7ft cardboard and papier-mâché sculpture of an avatar (from the film Avatar):

One of my proudest moments. It was so cool. I braided hundreds of individual wool plaits for her hair. I put so much effort into her… and then she was done, and she was too big to take home!

Avatar
Avatar
Avatar
Avatar

19.Climbed 2,356ft up to Red Tarn:

Red Tarn is a lake of Helvellyn, Lake District. Did you reach that? 2,356ft. We wanted to continue up to the top of Helvellyn but some of our group was too tired and majority won. This was a huge accomplishment, and one of those achievements I’ll remember forever!

20. Embraced my varied hobbies:

I am passionate about so many things – programming, photography, cats, books, design, art, movies, TV, crafts, nature. I used to think you could only chose one or two. Fuck that, I want them all and I have them all!

21. Started my blog: 

My blog is my accomplishment of the year! I absolutely love the freedom of writing, and the community is amazing. My readers are amazing. Your blogs are amazing. I’m so grateful!


Tick tock goes the clock – one hour to go until I’m 21!

Have you accomplished something you’re super proud of? Accepting your achievements instead of focusing on your flaws is so important!

-Morgan

“Art Therapy”… Not Really

There has been a huge craze around adult colouring books recently, regularly labelled as “art therapy” or a way of stress relief. I’m really creative, in pretty much every single aspect of my life, so I couldn’t let this pass by without giving it a try. I bought a pretty book, some coloured pens, a fancy set of colouring pencils in their own little carry case and settled into what I hoped would be a new life-long hobby. Art is and always has been a huge part of my life, and it’s safe to say I had really high hopes…

Art Therapy Colouring Book
Art Therapy Colouring Book
Instead, I found that this was one of the least stress relieving and most stressful past times I’ve tried in a long time. Sat there in my pyjamas and glasses, all settled for the evening, colouring between the very detailed and intricate, tiny patterns, my heart races with concentration. And God forbid I leave a drawing uncoloured – it drives me insane.

Leonardo Dicaprio Shutter Island Gif
I know exactly why though. I’m a huge perfectionist, so the lacklustre act of sitting back and not particularly bothering with the importance of the colouring is foreign to me. I take everything a bit too seriously. That’s not saying I don’t still enjoy the challenge of colouring in all of the pretty patterns, but it definitely isn’t therapy for me!


Have you tried one of these colouring books yet? How did you find it?

-Morgan