13 November 2018

WRITE A LETTER TO YOURSELF

I've built a community on this blog through the written word. On here, it's always me typing away but now I'm hoping we can reverse the roles a bit.
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6 November 2018

3 Sentences To Keep People Out Your Business

In last week's post How My Life Has Changed in One Year, I detailed how over the last 365 days, I've transformed into someone I'm really proud of. I stand by this version of myself. I bolster her on the bad days and encourage her to jump off the highest spring boards of success on the better days. I've grown a lot. I'm a far-cry from the version of myself that I was in March or April this year, but I've already spoken about that so I won't go on.

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30 October 2018

How My Life Has Changed in One Year

It's usually a person's completion of another cycle around the sun that initiates self-reflection, whilst for others it's the anniversary of an event- maybe the last day they took a swig of alcohol, the first time they left the house in many years or the first time they tipped out of their comfort zone. Different days stand out for different reasons. The day that recently caused me to turn within and judge how far I've come over the last year was the last Sunday in October, or more specifically, the day we fall backwards by one hour in the UK because of daylight saving time.
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25 October 2018

Blogger's Guide to London Bridge*


I've been a Londoner for a little over a year now which makes me qualified to give you a Londoner's guide to the city I now call home, right? Obviously being the good journalism student that I am, I did my research of 'the top places to visit in London Bridge' and then proceeded to do everything in my power to stay away from every place or experience mentioned in those lists.
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23 October 2018

LIFE UPDATE: Tinder, University and Drinking

My twin brother and I on 20th birthday. Picture: Social Spying
I'm sitting in my university's library, particularly in my favourite spot next to the recreational reading section. I'm surrounded by books I've previously read, authors I've never heard of and some titles I wish I'd created and yet the words for this blog post are not flowing as I would ideally like them to be. I'm hoping that's something Stephen Fry went through when writing The Fry Chronicles, which is the book on my immediate right.
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29 August 2018

Revealing 3 Secrets About My Blog

There are a lot of things on this blog that I take for granted. As the pen behind the pages, I know the ins and outs of this blog. I've seen it go from inception to infancy and to whatever it is now. Saying that, I thought I'd share some little known facts about Social Spying, the blog, with you today. 
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21 August 2018

My Self-Love Manifesto for University

My first year of university took a lot from me. But it gave me a lot too. Particularly towards the end of the year, I found myself needing to defend the parts that made me, well, me. I'd lost sync with 'the  old Steph', pre-2018, which wouldn't have been a problem had I liked this new version of me better.

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14 August 2018

Personal & Emotional Life Update

No matter the length of time that I stay away from blogging, I know that when my heart needs to release something through words I will return and that my blog- and some people on the other end of it- will be there to receive me with open arms. That is this time. Now. 
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13 July 2018

5 Things on My Summer 'To-Do-List'

 Summer, in its weather sense, has been upon us for a while over in London, but I only just feel like summer in its 'lazy-about-in-the-sun' sense is upon me. I think that's entirely up to the fact that I'm officially in Greece, where I'll be until September.
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26 June 2018

My First-Year Student Hall's Experience

I know that I usually write my reflective posts with the swish swash of the washing machine, like I did in this massive life update and the end of my series on heartbreak, but now, I'm writing to you protected by a fortress of boxes. Wherever I turn to I see brown cardboard stacked on top of one another. This one room is filled with every item I depend on to live- as well as my sister's and brother's things. For many reasons which I won't bore you with, I've been left to move their belongings into our new house. Our. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? It's time for a life update.

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19 June 2018

The First Time I Lied About My Virginity



 "Steph, can I ask you a personal question?"
"Sure, I responded."

I knew exactly what my friend was about to ask me. Earlier that night, whilst dancing in the same club that I met Henry, the first boy I met offline from Tinder, just on another night, several men had tried to make a move on me. They'd try get 'handsy' on the dance floor or lean in but I'd swoosh them away very, very quickly.
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12 June 2018

I Met Someone From Tinder Offline For The First Time (Part Three)

 
Henry had only met me about 10 minutes before, but he was very willing to ditch the friend that he'd come with to find me. 
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7 June 2018

I Met Someone From Tinder Offline For The First Time (Part Two)

 After a week passed with no response, I'd moved on, mostly. Now and again I'd log back into Tinder to check if Henry had messaged me but when there was no new notification I just exited the app and went on with my life or continued swiping with disinterest. I'd become unattached to the outcome with Henry, although let me not kid myself, if I was still logging on hoping to find a message I was still partly invested, maybe just not as much as before.
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5 June 2018

I Met Someone From Tinder Offline For The First Time (Part One)

Tinder is definitely not a foreign topic on my blog. I've rattled off my online escapades involving the app many times- and this post won't be any different.
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29 May 2018

How One University Party Changed My Life (Part 2)

When I walked into that Halloween party all those months ago, which honestly feels like it could have been last week, I'm in awe. I had to stop and ask myself if knowing everything I know now about what I've been through over the last few months, with those 'nurses'- or just the one in particular- would I still have gone to that party?
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24 May 2018

How One University Party Changed My Life (Part 1)

At the start of the University year, in September last year, a student halls nearby to where I live threw a party and word spread which eventually meant that every University student in what felt like a 1000 mile radius- and their uncle- pitched up to the party. An innumerable crowd arrived at the halls which realistically could only comfortably manage about 50 people. Hence, it's no surprise that security shut the party down but not before rubbish dumpster jousting. Yes, that is exactly what it sounds like.

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22 May 2018

4 Quotes That I Live By

As you may know, recently, I've had to re-align myself with my values. I'd been dealing with matters of the heart which left me rather battered and bruised. I'm proud to say that although my heart is still broken, I've managed to put many pieces together which gives me hope that I'm on the way to feeling less tattered and eventually make a 'full recovery'.

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15 May 2018

When Death Knocked At My Door

I'm searching my memory banks for all the times I've had to tell someone that a loved one has died. I'm 19-years-old and grateful that death hasn't ever knocked on my door. I've seen death bang on the doors of distant family members, one time relentlessly when three members died within months of each other. But never so close to me. Never on my door. That changed today.
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10 May 2018

The END: My Story of Teenage Heartbreak

It's funny how things come full circle. I'm back in the washing room where I wrote this personal life update back in November. Like that cold evening at the end of the year, I'm surrounded by the swish-swash of my two-week's worth of laundry swirling and twirling around amongst soap suds. I've also put a playlist from Youtube on. It's called 'Escape Everything'. I'm not sure what that says about my mental state right now, but it's relaxing accompanied by the swish-swish of the washing machine infront of me. So, it seems apt to end this series in the washing room.
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4 May 2018

We 'Break-Up' in the End (Part 3)

From previous parties at Julian's house, I knew where his room was. As I walked in, the first thing that hit me was the smell of cologne. Julian had sprayed some form of deodorant or put on after-shave or something of the sort and I could smell it. Luckily, it didn't smell bad, just very boyish. I found Julian all flustered. He'd changed into something more comfortable but he was sweating.
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26 April 2018

We 'Break-Up' in the End (Part 2)

As I walked into the above-ground level of the house, looking for another friend, I saw Julian. It's funny how when you're not looking for things they tend to appear.
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24 April 2018

We 'Break-Up' in the End (Part 1)

This isn't how I thought I was ending this series. This isn't the end, but it's definitely the beginning of the end. I want to begin with an apology. Firstly to you, as the reader, but mostly to myself. 
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10 April 2018

My Personal Story of Teenage Heartbreak || Part 4

So, we carried on talking. In the span between when I last saw him which was at around 3.00 and going to bed at 4.30, he'd already sent me three texts. He was upping his game. I could tell. But, by this stage, I knew better than to take actions at face value. I've caught onto his tactics by now. His actions match his words at the start, but then shrivel out soon after. But, he was back in my good books.
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27 March 2018

My Personal Story of Teenage Heartbreak || Part 3

I'll pick up right where I'd left off in the last post. I fell into a trap.
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22 March 2018

My Personal Story of Teenage Heartbreak || Part 2

Two days later, which happened to be last Friday, at around 10am, a message popped up on my rather scruffy and banged up Samsung cellphone.
"Are you coming to the house party tonight?" it said.
It was from Aidan, Julian's best friend.  After seeing Julian leave a pub with his "Bed Buddy" (for preference of a less-kind word), I'd told Julian that we were done- done seeing each other and done talking. So, in retrospect, it made sense that his best friend was texting me (I'll explain the significance later but at the moment I thought his best friend was just being a friend to me and inviting me out to catch up). Writing this now, almost one week on, I'm surprised I didn't see the trap!
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20 March 2018

My Personal Story of Teenage Heartbreak || Part 1

I ended my last post with: "'What happens now?' you may ask. Great question! I have no idea how much of last night he remembers. But, I'm hoping it's enough."
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6 March 2018

My First Kiss (Follow-Up) + Heartbreak

I'll be honest. This isn't the follow-up piece that I was expecting to write on the post 'My First Kiss on Valentine's Day at 19-Years-Old'. I expected to describe in more detail the sternness of Julian's body pressed against mine, his gentle caressing of my lower back and his oddly skew but quirky smile. This most definitely won't be that post.
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23 February 2018

3 Tips to Seize the Day as a Student

I've noticed many differences (and similarities) between South Africa, where I lived for the first 18 years of my life and the UK (where I've lived for almost 6 months now). For starters, I remember catching a quintessentially British red double-decker bus for the first time last February to go to the town where I currently attend university, and at 9AM, the streets were still dead. 
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20 February 2018

8 Tips to Being Social at Uni Without Drinking Alcohol

 The first three things that came to my mind when I thought about the UK before I ended up moving here were the following: 'doom and gloom' cloud-covered skies, Her Royal Highness the Queen and drinking. A whole lot of drinking. Cumulonimbus just so happens to be my favourite type of cloud, so we're all covered there. I doubt that my day-to-day life experiences would have me crossing paths with Her Majesty, so that was never really a concern for me, however, the drinking culture of the UK which I had heard about frightened me, because I don't drink.
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15 February 2018

My First Kiss on Valentine's Day at 19-Years-Old

 It happened. After 19-years-worth of rom-coms and watching people make out in movies and pack on the PDA in real life, it happened to me. Little old Steph. If you think I'm going to tell you that it was wonderful, you're wrong. But, I'll tell you more about that later.
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8 February 2018

6 Top Blogger's Valentine's Day Horror Stories

The closest I've ever come to having a Valentine is probably in ninth grade when Russel, the school's self-confessed 'genius' (which should already tell you something about the kind of guy he was) sent me a red, rectangular card scribbled with three sentences of grey pencil in the most illegible ninth-grade-boy-like-handwriting you could imagine. After staring at the one-sided, card presented to me with a heart-shaped chocolate wrapped in red glossy foil for a few minutes, I could just about make out what Russel's attempt at wooing me was: He'd half-scribbled whatever Shakespearean quote on love he could find (I mean... good on him for going to William on matters of the heart) but for some reason which still baffles me to this day, in the age of Google, he couldn't finish the quote and instead jumped straight to "Will you be my Valentine." A part of 19-year-old me wishes boys were this blunt, and frank when it comes to love now- but surely Valentine's day calls for a bit more peppering of adjectives?

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5 February 2018

4 Small Changes to Start off New Month

Most people's signal of change comes from the ending of the year. It's almost as if we're computers that get switched on, on January 1 and only get to restart once a year, 365 days later when December 31 rolls around. I don't know about you, but I've already restarted my computer twice today- and it isn't even 1pm.
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1 February 2018

3 Best Spots to Blog At Uni (Other Than the Library)


The fact that I'm typing this blog post under an angled attic-like window that's the size of me (if I were decapitated) which offers me an exclusive view of the city and a gentle first-day-of-February breeze, should tell you where this post is going. I'm seated at a roundtable, in a well-lit corner, besides about 100 books, which are only the ones in eyesight. You could say that I'm in a bookworm's paradise- and you'd be right!
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30 January 2018

Taking My Blog In A New Direction

I usually know exactly how to start a blog post; The words just flow out. I know that there's a problem when they don't come out. Like now. 
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10 January 2018

Why I Have 'Rainy-Day' Blog Posts (and So Should You)

I promote honesty here. After all, this is probably the place where I'm the most honest about everything- from personal aspects of my life like being 19 and never been kissed, matters of the heart (whether that be in the online world or offline) and other more light-hearted content. Each post I write has an imaginary 'stamp of integrity' attached to it, or I wouldn't post it.

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8 January 2018

5 Things Blogging Hasn't Taught Me

Blogging has taught me many things- and for the things that it hasn't taught me, there's probably a blog out there that could teach me what I need to know. Anyways, before I go scouring the web for what I don't know, here's a list of things that blogging hasn't taught me.
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4 January 2018

5 Easy Tips to Being Blogging Fit


There are many words that I use to describe myself: sister, friend, smiley, compassionate and then some less-kind ones, like stubborn if you consider that to be mean- although I'd argue that stubbornness can be a great trait, too, that may just be my stubbornness talking. Anyways, in a former life, I would have described myself as a swimmer, too.
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2 January 2018

12 Roles of A Blogger (Other Than A Writer)

Without thinking too much of it, on 30 December, I jotted down this thought on Twitter and shared it with the world, and by the world I mean my 600 followers, my world. Two days later and it has been widely received from all non-existent corners of the world,
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