Witches have had to suffer with being represented as something evil for so long, ask people what they think of when you say "witch" you'll probably get words like "hooked nose", "child eating", "warts" offered up. This representation was of course used as a way in order to demonise those who practice (and specifically demonise women). While modern day witches are taking back that image of a hooked nose, warty crone and using it for themselves, the rise of witchcraft in popular culture is resulting in witches being written that don't necessarily fall into that mould. Witches are now starting to be represented as sympathetic, caring and humane characters (in simpler terms they are being represented for what they actually are) so today I'm sharing with you my favourite fictional witches. 

The Aunts- Practical Magic

While I love Sally and Gillian, the Aunts hold a special place in my heart. They take in Sally and Gillian when they are orphaned which I think is a great representation on how protective and caring witches are, particularly of their own. They are comfortable and sure in their own skin and accept that they are outsiders. Both have such great personalities and style that you wish they were your aunts. 


Magrat, Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax- The Witches Books (Discworld series), Terry Pratchett

Thank goodness for Terry Pratchett, not only did he create the Discworld, some of the best fantasy books of all time, but from his head we also got these three witches. The Maid, the Mother and the Other One (no one dares call Granny Weatherwax a crone). Magrat is just starting out as a witch and is completely uncomfortable in her own skin. She's very unsure of herself both as a person and as a witch. She feels she has to wear certain clothes and accessories in order to let people know she's a witch. Magrat is the most relatable as she's not quite found her place in the world yet but still tries her hardest. 

Nanny Ogg is my personal favourite of the three and the one I hope to turn into one day. She's completely at home in herself, is a man-eater, drinks, smokes a pipe, sings inappropriate songs and is all in all someone who you would love to go on a night out with. But she's also a very caring individual and often takes Magrat under her wing.

Granny Weatherwax is a force of nature, if Nanny Ogg is comfortable in her own skin, Granny Weatherwax is so sure and steadfast that she may as well be made of concrete. She takes absolutely zero nonsense from anyone, no matter who they are. She sugarcoats nothing and will call out people on their nonsense. While she may be hard, cold and brutal, it comes from a good place. 

Galadriel- The Lord of the Rings

She's an elf-witch so it counts. Galadriel is one of the oldest and most powerful characters in LOTR and she was always one of my favourites. On one hand her sheer power makes her terrifying and on the other her gentle, caring nature makes her beloved. She's also played by Cate Blanchett in the films who I adore. 

Kiki's Delivery Service

Kiki is a witch who must leave home for one year and make it all by herself. She sets up a flying delivery service and deals with loneliness, anxiety and trying to figure herself out. She's someone I think most people will relate to whether they consider themselves witches or not. 


Witches have a lot of misrepresentation in the media but characters like this show that the tide is starting to turn. Witch characters are started to be written with more complexity and humanity and it's about time. 


Do you like any of these witches? Who are your favourite witches? 
"The rose is a flower of love. The world has acclaimed it for centuries. Pink roses are for love hopeful and expectant. White roses are for love dead or forsaken, but the red roses, ah the red roses are for love triumphant." 


Let's face it, roses are amazing, not only are they stunning additions to a garden but any witch will tell you that they have uncountable benefits. I am lucky enough to be able to grow roses in my garden and therefore I make great use of them. One way I love to use roses is in natural rose water, it's so good for my skin which is prone to breakouts. It keeps the redness at bay, plus there is something just really glamorous about having rose water to spray all over you at a moments notice. 


So today I'll be sharing with you how I make my own rose water. 


You Will Need 



Petals of 2 Red Roses (make sure you use ones that haven't been sprayed with anything.) If you can't get your hands on fresh rose petals use a handful of dried rose petals, you can find these in loads of places online. 

200 ml of Spring Water, you need to use spring water as it hasn't been treated with any chemicals. 

A Spray Bottle 

A Saucepan 

A Measuring Jug 

A Sieve 


Method 

Make sure all of your equipment is washed and sterilised. 

Measure out 200ml of Spring Water into your saucepan and bring to the boil. My bottle can hold 100ml so I add double what I need to account for the water that will be lost when it's boiling. Adjust measurements to the size of your spray bottle. 

Once the water is boiling put in your rose petals and turn the water to a simmer. 

Cover your saucepan and let it simmer until the rose petals have lost their colour. 


Turn the heat off and wait until the water has completely cooled down.

Carefully sieve the water into the measuring jug, repeat until any stray bits have completely been removed from the water. If you want to be extra sure of this you could use muslin instead of/ as well as a sieve. 

Pour your rose water into your spray bottle, use a funnel if you are worried about spillage. 

Don't worry that your rose water isn't a clear or pink colour, homemade rose water doesn't come out like that and it's more likely to look like the colour of tea. 

Place in your refrigerator as this will make the rose water last longer, you can keep it out of the fridge but it will only last a week, plus the sensation of rose water that's been in the fridge is amazing. 

Use whenever you want to and enjoy! 

Tip: You can make lavender water the exact same way just substitute the rose petals for lavender flowers.


So there is my way of making rose water, it's so simple and the end product is beautiful. 



I hope you enjoyed this post, do you make your own rose water? How do you make yours? 

Hey all, sorry you if you've been trying to get on this blog but it wasn't working. I've finally got it up and running again and it's back to normal.  

Yes, this post is a little overdue but hey. So after years of wanting one, at the end of March I got my first tattoo! I've always loved tattoos, been fascinated by them, so I knew that eventually, one day, I would get one. I thought I would share a little bit about the process, the pain, the aftercare and why I chose this particular image to be tattooed on my body for the rest of my life. 

The Process 
It's a dreary, last day of March and it looks like it's about to rain any minute but I booked this tattoo a month ago and I wasn't about to miss it because of some bad weather. So at 1 in the afternoon I head into the tattoo parlour for my appointment. My heart is beating so loud I half expect the fairly packed shop to hear it. My palms are sweating so much that I'm surprised I was able to hold the iPad I was handed (which had my forms that needed filling out before my tattoo on it). I am terrified. I know this is what I want and I've researched and prepared for it but still the fear has a strong hold over me. But Dan's presence makes the fear manageable.

I meet my tattoo artist and he goes through the procedure (is that the right word?) he asks me if this is my first tattoo (I guess I wasn't hiding my fear as well as I thought). He places the transfer on my arm, lowers it with my guidance to where exactly I want it. Then away he goes. 

As my tattoo is small and fairly simple I knew I wouldn't be sitting there for hours, Dan is sitting just outside of the room (I think there may be a rule where a person with you can't be too close) but as I am so scared I don't think to ask. But being able to see Dan is a great source of comfort, he alternates between looking at my tattoo being done and looking at my face to see if I am OK. 

After around 40 minutes (time seemed to stop having any meaning and I have to ask Dan how long it took) my tattoo is finished! My tattoo artist cleans my tattoo, wraps it in cling film, goes through the aftercare process, all the dos and don'ts and I try my hardest to listen and stop my brain from yelling I HAVE A TATTOO!! 

Tattoo when it was first done!


The Pain
This is the topic that seems to interest people the most when they talk about tattoos and indeed the question I got from everyone is "did it hurt?" The answer? Yes of course it did, it's needles going into your skin BUT it did not hurt as much as I expected. The best description of the pain I can give is that it feels like a hot cat scratch, of course I appreciate that my tattoo is small and  therefore probably hurt less in comparison to a tattoo that has more detail and took longer. The outline of the mask only really hurt when it was near the bottom, closer to the inside of my elbow. The most painful bits were the parts that needed filling in like the eyes, mouth and so on. I have definitely had worse pains and I was easily able to manage the tattoo pain.  

The Aftercare 
By the time I leave the tattoo shop I am buzzing and it's pouring with rain. I head home and wait two hours before taking the cling film off and giving it a wash with lukewarm water and anti- bacterial soap, a bit of blood and excess ink comes off. For the next five days I wrap my tattoo in cling film when I go to bed but I leave it unwrapped throughout the day. For the next two weeks using antibacterial soap I clean the tattoo and after it's clean and dry I use E45 cream to keep it moisturised. Throughout the first week when cleaning my tattoo bits of scab and excess ink come off but this seems to stop soon enough. I keep my arm out of the bath for 6 weeks to stop it getting saturated which is very annoying but oh well. Now that it's fully healed I keep it moisturised using Lush's Dream Cream and make sure that I put sun cream on it when it's sunny out, especially in this heatwave the UK is going through. 

Dream Cream is great for tattoos once they've fully healed!


People's Reactions 
Tattoos are things that divide people and can bring out strong opinions, luckily I've not had a mob come after me because of mine, yet. My parents did not want me to get a tattoo but they appreciated that I am 25 and can make my own decisions with my own body. Still my Dad was not impressed with it and hardly mentioned it, my mum said "it was alright for a tattoo". My friends said they liked it and Dan loves it. Co-workers ask me what it is and what it means and give polite smiles, clearly not understanding but bless them for trying. The kids I work with have told me all kinds of new information never known to me before like "they last forever you know" and "it'll look different when you're old". But as with anything to do with my own body, no one else's opinion matters but my own and I love my tattoo.

Why This Tattoo?
If you've been in my presence for longer than 30 seconds then you'll know I love Studio Ghibli, in particular the films of Hayao Miyazaki. My tattoo is the mask of the character No Face from Spirited Away. No Face is a character who I relate to very strongly. To me he is someone who wants to belong and have connections with people yet finds it hard to know how to act when he is placed in situations with people, this resonates with me and my social anxiety. No Face is also a character who doesn't quite know his identity yet, he isn't fully sure of himself, or who he is and where his place is in the world is. These are feelings that I deal with on a daily basis and this tattoo is a reminder to not dwell on those feelings, to just accept them and work towards becoming the best version of myself I can be. On a less deep level the tattoo also represents my love for Studio Ghibli and Japan and my admiration for Hayao Miyazaki. I owe so much to Miyazaki's films as they have got me through some of my worst times and have been there at some of my best. 

Tattoo all healed!



I love my tattoo so much and know I'll be getting a few more in the future. I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that it was helpful if you're considering getting a tattoo. Do you have any tattoos? What was your first tattoo experience like? 

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Music is such an important part of my life. I know this is the case for a lot of people but for me music is such a blessing that I honestly don't know what I'd do without. There's just something so empowering about putting on a song of your choice and connecting with it. I've put these songs into a Spotify playlist so you can check them out and hopefully find something you'll fall in love with.

1. And She Was- Talking Heads 
2. Whole Of The Moon- The Waterboys 
3. This Is What Makes Us Girls- Lana Del Rey 
4. Let's Dance- David Bowie
5. Exit Wounds- Placebo

6. Waking The Witch- Kate Bush
I am really interested in the subject matter of this song as the witch hunts is something that both angers me beyond believe yet still fascinates me. The song follows a woman being hunted as a witch and are going to drown her to see if she'll sink or float. 

7. Leave A Trace- CHVRCHES
8. It's The End Of The World As We Know It- R.E.M.
9. Blood Makes Noise- Suzanne Vega
10. Cam Ye O'er Frae France- Steelye Span 
11. Ring Ding Dong- SHINee
12. Which Witch- Florence and the Machine
13. Silk- Wolf Alice 
14. Growing Up- Peter Gabriel 

15. Dakara Hitorijiyanai- Little Glee Monster
This is the ending song for the series of My Hero Academia, this song has such a special place in my heart as it was playing everywhere when Dan and I were in Tokyo. It wasn't until we came home and watched the series of My Hero Academia that we figured out what it was. So now it always reminds me of walking around Shibuya and Harajuku every time I hear it.

16. Signed, Sealed, Delivered- Stevie Wonder     
17. Rhiannon- Fleetwood Mac
18. The Tide- Pale Waves
19. Stranger Than Earth- Purity Ring
20. Big Yellow Taxi- Joni Mitchell
21. The Widow- The Poozies 

22. I Grieve- Peter Gabriel
This is one of Peter Gabriel's most emotional songs. It's all about the feeling of grieve and pain after losing someone and the fact that after loss life does carry on even if you don't want it to. 

23. Love Is Music- Nick Harper
24. Somebody Else- The 1975
25. One Little Victory- Rush
26. Follow You, Follow Me- Geneis
27. Songs From The Wood- Jethro Tull 
28. Survivor- 2WEI
29. Fool For Love- Lord Huron
30. More Than This- Roxy Music
31. Labyrinth- Mondo Grosso
32. I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face- My Fair Lady Soundtrack
33. National Anthem- Lana Del Rey
34. Heaven and Hell- Black Sabbath 
35. Piece Of My Heart- Janis Joplin 
36. Autumn In New York- Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
37. The Feeling Begins- Peter Gabriel 
38. Oh, What A Circus- Evita Soundtrack
39. Prisoner- The Weekend ft Lana Del Rey

40. Shinzo wo Sasageyo!- Linked Horizon
Why yes, I have included the opening song to the third series of Attack On Titan. It's just such a motivating song even if I can only understand about a quarter of it.

41. Colours- Halsey
42. The New Life- The Waterboys
43. This Picture- Placebo
44. Gates Of Babylon- Rainbow
45. The Bewlay Brothers- David Bowie

46. Helena- My Chemical Romance 
I'm not ashamed to say that I still listen to My Chemical Romance. I was a bit obsessed with them as a teenager, maybe a little too much, as in creepily too much. But they did make some good music that people seem to forget because they were slapped with a label that they didn't ever really want. 

47. To Love Somebody- Nina Simone
48. Golden Years- David Bowie
49. Mother- Pink Floyd
50. Joga- Bjork





So there are 50 songs that I love I hope you find something new to listen to and that you enjoyed this post! Do you like any of these songs? What are some songs you love?