E Awards 2017

As most of you know, I disappeared in November to work on my event with a beautiful bunch of people from Edinburgh Napier University, that event was the Harry Potter Horcrux Hunt and you can read more about it here.

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It was a cool event to put on but I never thought anything more of it until our group received an email from our lecturer in January. Obviously, when a lecturer from your previous semester emails you, you’re naturally going to panic and assume you’ve failed – or maybe that’s just me and my crippling self-doubt. The email from our lecturer told us that she loved our event and had put us forward for the Student Event/Festival Excellence award at the Excellence in Events “E” Awards 2017.

That was in January and there are literally hundreds of student event groups in Scotland so again, we never thought much of it, until 3 weeks ago…

We received an email from our lecturer telling us we had been nominated for our event, it was nice to be nominated for an award and know your work is being appreciated. Also, I hadn’t been nominated for an award in a good few years since I knocked the music career on the head. It meant a lot for me personally, as someone who sees their career in PR and studying it. To even be nominated for something that reflects your future career, it does make you feel good knowing you’re on the right track in life.

We even found out that 2 of our competition were also from Edinburgh, including one from our very own Napier, which was quite nice knowing I made the right choice to come to this university/city. It goes to show, how important it is to choose the right university and city that will be best for your own career, rather than the most accessible. I can’t help but wonder that if I stayed in Glasgow, would this still have happened? I doubt it…

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The big day arrived and of course, anyone who has lived in Britain knows how bad the traffic is between 4pm-7pm. Now, imagine being on a motorway between the 2 biggest cities in Scotland – I lowkey think we would have been quicker walking. We arrived fashionably late and found our seats, just in time for the winner for our category to be announced…

WE LOST.

Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. There were free glasses of wine being passed about, so, every cloud and all that, eh?

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We did our obligatory post-event mingling session, a few pats on the back from individuals, shaken a few hands, congratulated winners and drank a lot of some wine. Considering we hadn’t eaten all day, we treated ourselves to a Nando’s for getting at least nominated – Everyone eats when they’re sad, don’t judge us!

We left soon after and it gave me time to think on the journey back to Edinburgh. I have more belief in my ability and although we never won, we did not bad, in my opinion. That is all the inspiration I need to push on and go and do even better next time. It’s amazing how such a little thing, such as confidence can make a huge difference to your own perception of things. It doesn’t need to be an award nomination, even just a nod or even a simple “well done” can make all the difference. Just a simple acknowledgement that you’re on the right track, it can put you in a good place mentally. If you’re reading this, and you know a colleague, classmate or just anyone in general who is doing good, tell them, let them know that they are. It could make the world of difference to them.

Before I go, I just want to say congratulations to the Robert Gordon University students for their Aberdeen Student Festival and also a huge mention to my partners in crime, Jeanie, Misbah and Rachael who were great to work with. Here’s to next year!

 

Jay Carrington

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

My Online Hiatus Is Over (Part 2)

December

HERE WE GO! WOOO! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!

WRONG.

My first 10 days of this festive month was full of report deadlines, presentations, results, stress, tears and too many mental breakdowns to count.

However, I did it! I had (just about) survived 3 and a half months at university, I was indestructible and I felt I could conquer the world! On the 15th, my dad came to my flat in Edinburgh to drive me back home to Glasgow for Christmas and New Year and I went back home and lived happily ever after my dad crashed the car.

We were on the motorway heading towards Glasgow and the lane we were in was coned off and was diverting traffic into the other 2 lanes, my dad thought he could cut in late… He couldn’t. He then preceded to knock down a minimum of 15 cones while there were cars racing up behind us, beside us, everywhere. Cars were swerving all over the M8 to avoid the trail of cone destruction we left behind us. However, plans for a quick getaway were foiled by the 5-10 cones stuck underneath the car stopping the car from moving.

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We then temporarily blocked off the other lane to turn a 3-lane motorway into a 1-lane before being escorted by security into a cordoned off area while we waited for the police.

Usually, people get embarrassed by their parent’s dancing or clothing, I wish my dad kept it on a low-key scale like that.

An hour passed before the police showed up for less than 1 minute before we were on our way again, it actually got to the stage where I was hoping the police would take us to the station, give a fine, lock us up, just something to at least justify us being unable to move for a full hour.

Urgh, frustrating. However, fast forward to my birthday weekend…

Friday, 16th

Boys night! The first night we’ve spent together since Ryan went into the XFactor house, I moved to university in Edinburgh and Daniel, well he’s still there. So the 3 of us got a few beers, snacks and then headed back to Daniel’s for some boy time – no girls, no phones, no drama.

Saturday, 17th

After a chilled day,  I was soon only hours away from my 24th birthday. I was having a quiet night at my friend, Daniel’s flat playing some Fifa and having a few beers, until our dear friend Ryan calls us up and wants to join. Well, I’m not saying he’s a bad influence but our night went from a “quiet one” to this…

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I also had the pleasure of joining Tommy from the Glasgow reality-show, Glow. Reality “stars” often come across as cocky, douchey but again you have a select few who are genuinely nice, down to earth and a good laugh, Tommy definitely fits the latter category. A truly nice lad who invited us to join him and his friends at their table, it was such a nice way to see in my birthday with my closest friends and a group of people who know how to have a good time. I was glad to be home, I LOVE GLASGOW!

Sunday, 18th

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!!

I get woken up to the inevitable hangover but also a full English and a cup of tea courtesy of my dear mother. A few days prior to my birthday, Ryan broke the news to me that Emily had got him tickets to see The 1975 on the Monday, a band me and him both love – and we had seen in March that year. INCREDIBLE! However, for my birthday they both got me a ticket to Clyde 1 Live, so I could literally see The 1975 on my birthday along with Tom Odell and Blossoms at the SSE Hydro. FAR. TOO. HYPED.

I met Ryan and Emily at the venue and we went and got seated at the back of the middle tier, I was third-wheelin’ but when The 1975 are on-stage I could be 33rd wheelin’ and I still not care. Blossoms followed The 1975 and then Kaiser Chiefs performed before a 20-minute interval. In that time, Ryan and Emily got noticed, I went to the toilet, came back and there was a full-blown queue so people could get pictures with them. Fair play to them for smiling for each picture while I sat next to them like a right gooseberry. I was lowkey tempted to tell the queue that they were ruining my birthday. However, shout out to Molly and Emily who invited me to go and sit with them while the queue should no signs of slowing down. Unsurprisingly, Ryan and Emily left pretty much soon after, I stayed for Tom Odell with my new friends before going home. It’s been a long one but finally, my birthday was over, but the party wasn’t.

Monday,19th

I am one day older than my very dear and beautiful friend, Carly Starrs so to celebrate her birthday we attended the Atlantic bar and Brasserie in the city centre of Glasgow. The food and customer service was spot on and I recommend it to anyone looking for a place to go in Glasgow.

The highlight of this night was being surrounded by all my friends and especially seeing my best friend have a smile on her face on her big day. The girl is a true friend and I was glad I was able to see in her birthday with her. 7v6v7o5y

That weekend took its toll on me and left me needing a few days of recuperation but if I was feeling fragile, that was just the beginning of my family’s health problems. In the following days, my great Aunt Neta went into hospital after blanking out, her sister, my gran went into hospital due to having problems breathing but she was luckily let out on Christmas eve. Two days after Christmas and my gran then gets taken back into hospital and gets diagnosed with pneumonia, all of this while knowing my mum has to go for an operation on the 30th to get gallstones removed.

The 30th December is the day where people get prepared for New Year’s Eve, they’re buying alcohol, they’re laying out their outfit for the following evening and looking forward to welcoming in a new year. I, however, had my great aunt in a hospital in Glasgow and I had my mum AND my gran in another hospital on the same day. I remember coming back to my house after leaving my mum in hospital to an empty house and it’s a weird feeling sitting in an empty house and having neither your mum there or being able to go to you visit your gran.It was probably the only time where I had ever felt truly alone.

I completed my errands for my mum and Gran and managed to visit my gran and also my mum post-op who was clearly still a bit dazed from the anaesthetic. My mum, got out the following day but sadly my Gran had to stay in for at least another week.

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You may be wondering what happened between the 19th and the 30th, I’m not going to lie, it was purely family and friend time but here’s a breakdown:

  • I consumed my weight in turkey and pigs & blankets.
  • The world also lost musical icon, George Michael on Christmas Day and we paid tribute to him with this beautiful video
  • I managed to spend Christmas day with my family – and Boxing day with my second family – The Lawrie’s lfwcrqb3

 

but the highlight of December was definitely taking this beautiful woman to the Glasgow Christmas Market. All the partying, all the studying and everything in between means nothing without this woman. The light of my life and my inspiration to become a better person and how she handles any sort of problem that encounters her path with such grace and dignity. The best mother I could ask for.

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Jay Carrington

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

My Online Hiatus Is Over (Part 1)

Well… I should start this by saying HAPPY OLD YEAR and MERRY BELATED CHRISTMAS.We are officially into the second month of 2017 and I am yet to post, in fact, I haven’t posted in 4 months… FOUR MONTHS! My activity on social media has nose-dived more spectacularly than Arsenal’s title challenge this season

… There’s always next season, eh lads? Lads?!

I have been offline for a few months, rarely popping online to be nosey and occasionally Retweet stuff I was either obligated to or generally anti-Trump/pro-equality – both are pretty much the same thing. Although I have been keeping a low profile online, I have been busy with my personal life. As any student knows or even if you have friends who have students, December is deadline month and November is the month you spend being stressed about December, hence why I was inactive online over those 2 months… but still remained active in real life.

November

On the 12th November, I was honoured to be asked to attend the Rainbow Valley Charity Ball at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow. You can read more about them here at their website and what the charity are doing and the story about why they are doing it. Working with Angela MacVicar and Lindsay MacCallum on a campaign in 2016 was definitely one of my highlights and all for an amazing cause.

I attended the ball with my best friend of many years, Clare Armstrong (she wanted a mention). Due to me moving away from Glasgow, her studying and working a lot, we haven’t seen as much of each other as we would have liked. Since I was going to be back home in Glasgow the event, it felt fitting that I kill 2 birds with one stone (I have just realised that is an incredibly grim analogy.) I felt this was the perfect chance to have a catch-up like old times so we got dolled up and headed to the ball.

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Halfway through the night, the alcohol – and the central heating – kicked in so of course, the jacket had to come off for a pose

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While all this was going on, the full night was incredible and full of fun and entertainment coming from cheerleading group, The Scottish Rockettes, Govan School Pipes and Drums and also real-life Sherlock Holmes (without all the murder and detective-y stuff), Colin Cloud.collage

The night was a hugely enjoyable and was also a huge success with a lot of money being raised for a great cause – tickets are already on sale for the 2017 ball, to purchase tickets click here.

The Rainbow Valley Charity Ball was my last public event I attended as a guest, however for one of my university modules I had to host an event with some people I had never met before. We bandied together and created a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt in the city of Harry Potter, Edinburgh. The event was called  Harry Potter Horcrux Hunt.

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The event was a huge success with the event selling out and gaining quite a large waiting list. For my first proper event, this was definitely a great start and I have just found out that the event is being put forward for an award so, we’re definitely excited. Considering the amount of work and stress that went into this, we could not have been more pleased with the outcome – and nor could the winning group, The Blast Ended Skrewts who won a £50 bar tab and a cup for their achievements.

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The event was incredible to put together and was made even better working with my group who were just the coolest guys to work especially on such an event. As a huge Harry Potter fan, I was so glad I managed to do this especially with so many notorious Harry Potter landmarks around this beautiful city.

We had to get a post-event picture so our faces are something of that of relief, exhaustion and 10 weeks of stress coming to and end. Don’t be fooled by the picture, we were incredibly happy!

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me, Jeanie, Rachael and Misbah (MJR Events)

 

November, was a funny ol’ month, but I was looking forward to December so I could go back home and see my friends and put all my studying and stress behind me…

 

Jay Carrington

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

 

 

My Night at the Chinese State Circus

As a young adult, the circus hasn’t really appealed to me since the age of 5. My faintest memories of the circus often involve big clowns on small bikes and even a clown riding an elephant. To a child, bright lights, and funny noises was entertaining but now as an adult, it is concerning especially due from an animal cruelty perspective so I was obviously a little bit apprehensive when I received an invite to attend the Chinese State Circus in Edinburgh.

However, with me being assured there were no animals involved with the circus, I decided to attend my first ever circus show in about 18 years  filled with a sense of intrigue, curiosity and excitement.

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As soon as I got out the car my excitement continued to grow, friends, families, lovers, old, young, so many different groups of people of all different backgrounds were arriving and clearly excited for the show which seemingly rubbed off on me. I mean I’ve been in a lot of tents but never a tent this colourful or this size!

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When I got inside the tent, I realised I was super early and there was a pop-up bar hosted by local gin brand (Minus) -33 dishing out the drinks. I mean, I’m a good guy, I do like to promote my local brands so it would be rude not to have a G&T with Elderflower… or 5!

I received a goodie bag with a Chinese State Circus book inside, a bag of popcorn and my pass for the evening. Since I hadn’t eaten all day, my hunger got the better of me and the popcorn was finished before anyone could take a picture. However, now with a belly full of popcorn, I managed to relax and read my new book…

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and make some new friends…

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After partaking in some pre-show shenanigans, I went off to take my seat still unsure about what to expect – but the G&T’s definitely loosened me up! But it wasn’t long before I was captivated by what was going on in front of my eyes.

There was a girl juggling parasols using her feet, a team of people juggling hats and doing tricks all in perfect synchronicity, Shaolin Warriors that terrify and entertain in equal measure, men somersaulting through small hoops at a ridiculous height and so much more.

By this point, I was hooked but sadly an interval was called so I made the most of my break and treated myself to some traditional circus food – Candy floss! I even topped up my glass of G&T whilst mingling with the other guests. Everyone I spoke to was on the same wavelength as me – unsure to begin with but completely sold on the show and the performance.

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It wasn’t long until I was being ushered back to my seat and prepare myself for Part 2 of the show. The show got even better in the second half where a female team was foot juggling with drums and a Bicycle act that featured a lot of girls and a lot of bikes that completely blew me away, the way they interchanged bikes and positions and on such a  small stage, performed with so much elegance. Truly amazing!

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Then came the headline act, at this part I started to wonder  “how else could this get better?” I mean what more could they physically do? The final act went above and beyond. Two people in a big, rotating, metal cylinder would entertain me enough. However, when they started to climb on to the outside, start skipping and doing flips it very nearly gave me a panic attack, It was definitely one of the most incredible things I have ever witnessed!IMG_0597.JPG

WHAT A NIGHT! A circus, something I had viewed negatively for many a year has given me an incredible night and has truly changed my perception on circuses. The circus is currently still performing dates around the UK, with tickets still available here. I fully recommend that you at least try and get along to a show and you will definitely not be disappointed. In case my words aren’t enough, check out the trailer for the Dynasty Tour yourself.

After a wonderful night, I want to thank Phil MacHugh at Skapa PR for the invite and for being a great host and also my friend & Foe-tographer Sophie Grosvenor for the pictures – where you can catch some of her other pictures here.

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Jay Carrington

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

My XFactor Weekend

XFactor isn’t usually a TV show that I watch, but when your friends are on it, you tend to make a special exception. So when I got a call last week from my buddy Ryan asking me if I wanted a ticket to watch him perform in the first week of the live shows so obviously, I had to sort out my travel that night.

On Friday night, I packed a bag and travelled from Edinburgh to London with my friend Hollie and arrived at London Victoria at 9am – She was incredibly excited, I don’t know if you can tell.

After a solid nap, a meaty Domino’s pizza and a bottle of wine, I still felt something was missing to make me feel my usual 100% self. In Scotland, we use a certain orange-coloured liquid called Irn-Bru. A beverage that has it’s own unique flavour packed full of sugar that gives you that kick that cures hangovers and gives you energy for the rest of the day.

Sadly, I have never spotted any of the ginger stuff on my travels to England. However, while I was waiting to get picked up I decided to pop into a little shop at Golder’s Green for some chewing gum. I glanced at the fridge and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A can of Barr’s products. Cherryade, Limeade, Coca-Cola, and even the classic Irn-Bru!

After I consumed my can of diabetes and Ryan’s brother and uncle picked us up in the car we headed to venue armed with these sexy T-shirts

 

and wristbands!

The boys (Hollie included) found our seats and the audience was told from this point on we weren’t allowed to have our phones or any other sort of recording device during the show so basically, they’re no images. However, you did miss a hilarious viewing of a bunch of Glasgow lads, trying to speak to an English upper-class family aka Honey G’s family. They did not understand a single word any of us said. It took about 10 times of rephrasing “We’re fae Glesga in Scoatland” to “We are from Glasgow in Scotland” at half the speed it originally got said. You genuinely had to be there. Just like you had to be there for Ryan’s amazing performance…

and Emily’s amazing performance…

 

Two incredible performances by my favourite couple, it made me so proud to be sitting there watching them perform on one of the biggest platforms being judged by Simon Cowell & co. Apart from Ryan and Emily, the one person who blew me away with their performance was Matt Terry. His falsetto in Grace’s You Don’t Own Me was incredible!

After The X factor, the stage turned into the setting for Xtra Factor and Matt & Rylan weirdly impressed me as a double act. Wasn’t really a fan of Matt Edmondson and not really a fan of Rylan but the 2 of them together was actually quite enjoyable. If The X Factor gets another season , I should expect to see those 2 back again on Xtra Factor duties.

Family & friends got escorted through into a big hall so they could meet with everyone. We only got about 1 hour to hang out. Imagine the situation of 6 people meeting 1 close friend/family who they haven’t seen for a few weeks, in a room with Honey G, a bar and only one hour to spare and ask all the questions they want to ask. There is genuinely not enough hours in the day.

We chatted, we laughed, we drank and we took some pictures…

 

I mean those pictures are fine and dandy. However, I had met Ryan & Emily before. I had spent many a time in their presence… I had never met Honey G before. I couldn’t ask for a picture, could I? Nah, I mean what am I? A super fan? I mean it would take someone with literally no shame to walk right up to Honey G, give her a high 5 and ask if they could grab a picture together…

… Woops…

Sunday arrived and the nerves were kicking in, firstly there was an issue with leaving our luggage at Victoria also I found out my ticket from London to Edinburgh was at 10.30pm. I would have to run right after XFactor at 9pm from Wembley to Victoria and also pick up my bags as well. The worst thing was knowing I couldn’t wait about and say hi to Ryan and Emily again after the show.

After a cheeky Chiquitos and a beer at Leicester Square we headed to Wembley, we got seated right behind Saara Aalto’s family and girlfriend and again us Glaswegians try and make friends wherever we go but trying to speak to Finnish people in a broad Glaswegian accent is incredibly difficult but that did not deter us from creating new friendships and by the end of the show we were BBFL’s.

The show started all fun and games with the contestants cover of Fleur East’s “Sax” and James Arthur performing his new single “Say You Won’t Let Go” and all was well until Dermot announce that the votes were in.

To make it this stage is incredible, each contestant has battled their way to the stage seeing out tens of thousands of people along the way BUT that all apparently becomes irrelevant if you’re the first person out in the live shows. In these shows, no one knows how things are going to turn out, who’s voted, how many have voted etc and my worst fear was either Ryan or Emily going out in the first week which is on a par with career suicide. When you reach the live shows of XFactor you become a reality TV star, rather than an actual artist

When you reach the live shows of XFactor your label becomes “Reality TV star”  rather than “musician” and to go out in week 1 you’ve not become popular enough to carve a career out of being a TV personality and any sort of hope for a music career is pretty much lessened with the title of “XFactor flop”. That is a title that is near enough impossible to shake.

The amount of fear you feel while waiting on the votes coming through watching it on your tv is unreal;y. However, actually being there live in the studio the fear is intensified by 100. Hearing the names being read out and seeing the list shorten down while your friends still stand there waiting is unreal. The tension is in the air around the family & friends section. Then when you hear Dermot say “RYAN!” all the boys stood up and cheered as if it  was a football match. Emily got announced and again we’re all up cheering and by then we could all finally relax.  Bratavio and Saara Aalto ended up in the bottom 2 and at that point, all us Scots teamed up with our new Finnish buddies and cheered for Saara. It was a beautiful moment.

9pm came, Xfactor had finished and Bratavio had been kicked out but I had to run to the tube. However, security wouldn’t let me leave until the judges had left. On Xtra Factor, Rylan & Matt take live calls from the public for the judges and I couldn’t leave till that had happened and the judges had left. Stress levels were through the roof. However, security realised I was in a rush and managed to get someone to escort me out and I ran and got 2 tubes, an Uber – and a stitch.

However, I made it to Victoria with 5 minutes remaining and made it home several hours later and that was my XFactor journey! If you are a fan of Ryan and Emily, make sure you vote using these details! 

Jay Carrington

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

September: The Month Of Independence & Homesickness

One full month has passed since I broke out on my own to become the ultimate student and by that, I don’t mean getting my head down and studying all the time. The ultimate student is your stereotypical student, the sort of guy who can go for a night out with £5 in his bank account and come back with £10, a pint glass and a traffic cone.

The first 2 weeks of living by myself in Scotland’s beautiful capital were amazing, I met so many new faces,  went on a pub crawl, started my course, went flat shopping AND HAD THE BEST TIME OF MY LIFE! – I am falling even more in love with this beautiful city.

Even though I am such a mummy’s boy, my mum did literally everything for me besides washing me it seems. At home, I paid no rent, I always had food on a plate for me – and in large quantities as well, dishes cleaned themselves and so forth. However, there is nothing quite like having your own freedom. If you want to go a run at 2am on a Sunday morning, you don’t need to explain to your mum that she doesn’t need to worry. If you want a friend to come over for a couple of drinks and raid the cupboards, you don’t need to worry about your mum coming over in her dressing gown and having your mates giving you a nudge and a wink.

When did I become an adult, doing adulty things?!

3 weeks in and this holiday-feeling was still going strong… That was until I received negative feedback from my lecturer about a group activity and it felt like a massive kick in the stones. Usually, I can shake off things like that and learn from it. However, I got back to my flat and the realisation that I’m living here, in a different city, by myself, for the next year. Sob.

Homesickness is such a sucky feeling and unexpected. One minute you can be on a massive high and the next you can feel super lonely and isolated. I’ve met some lovely people here but it’s not the same as being with people you’ve spent years bonding with.

To anyone who is in a similar position, all I can recommend is not necessarily calling your family – that made me want to see my mum more, but speak to your new friends around you, especially if you live in Student Accommodation because they too are experiencing the same things and emotions as you. My homesickness only lasted a night and I felt so much better after a good night’s sleep and some junk food.

So if you experience homesickness do these 3 things:

1) Talk to people nearby – in your class, flat, block, work (people who are in the same situation or recently were)

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2) Food – put down that salad, throw away that bottle of water. Go and get yourself a great meal. Curries, pizzas and burgers are generally a good shout washed down with a fatty milkshake.

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3) Sleep – a 1-hour nap is not going to cut it, this time, you need at least a solid 5 hours under your belt. For me personally, I always feel so much better after a great sleep.

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*If you have followed the steps correctly then eating a lot of food (2) will make you really sleepy anyway (3) which means when you wake up, you can reheat your food and eat some more (2) *

Moving swiftly on, for one of my university modules I need to put on an event. For my event, I shall be putting on a Harry Potter scavenger hunt in the city of Harry Potter, Edinburgh in the middle of November (TBA). So if you like the idea of walking around a beautiful city, being a Harry Potter nerd for a few hours and also drinking then stay tuned on my social media as the event will be fully announced in the next week or so.

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Jay Carrington

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

My Summer Story

Well… I’m back!!!

I have noticed a few of you on social media have been aware of my absence on here over the past few months and it was, well needed. Studying and blogging is all fine and dandy until assessments are required to be handed in and grades are needed to be met. To cut a long story short, I took a break to focus on my studies as I needed a B to go to university – Your boy got an A!

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Also, for one of my units we had to work in groups to create a PR & Advertising campaign for a charity called Rainbow Valley and well, this happened…

 

Our college project has now snowballed into so much more than we ever thought and we are currently in the process of working with the Rainbow Valley and Wire Media to take our campaign idea and turn them into a reality which our group is excited about.

Winning this meant that I got an internship at McFrank PR Agency which was without a doubt one of the most incredible and educational few weeks of my life. Seeing campaigns come to fruition, being involved with projects in the morning and seeing it in the newspapers that same evening was magical. It has only further confirmed that this is exactly the path that I want to go down for my career.

In April, I got invited by Renfrewshire Council to attend the Paisley Food Festival and you don’t need to ask me twice whether I want to attend a food festival. I swear I went home that night easily 2 stone heavier than I left the house that morning! A day where, the legendary chef, Nick Nairn cooks you beef stew and you’re sipping a rum & coke on beach chairs while listening to live music, is definitely a good day!

In June, my best friend Ryan Lawrie taken part in a competition to be Vodafone’s Summer Breaker with Capital FM and he won! His prize was performing at Capital’s Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000 and I honestly couldn’t have been prouder. So obviously I had to go and show my support and I travelled down with his girlfriend…

and his girlfriend’s mum…

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and we all conducted ourselves in a mature and professional manner…

but we’re super proud of him and his performance and now they’re both doing XFactor, while I eat 15p Asda-priced noodles – who’s the real winner here, eh?

Since then, I have spent some much-needed downtime with my nearest and dearest. My mum has been sorting herself out, seeing the physio, lost nearly 3 stone in a few months and she is looking so much more like her old self. The confidence is back, her pain is getting treated, exercising more and the weight is falling off her! As her baby boy, I could not be more proud of her.

As for my brother, Adam. He only decided to pack in his job and use his journalistic nous to write a novel. Write a novel in Scotland? No chance. Write a novel in the UK? Nah mate. Write a novel in Holland? Hmm yeah sure. How would a regular person travel from Glasgow to Holland? Fly? Train? Boat? Nah, not my brother. He cycled! 2 weeks on his bike, pitching a tent and camping out at each location. But hey, he survived the journey only to get glandular fever in his second week.

I have packed up my life into a couple of suitcases and started preparing for life at university. Who knew moving out for the first time would be so stressful?! So check back in a bit and I shall leave a survival guide for moving out. It might be a few weeks or if I don’t post it then clearly my findings are incorrect and I haven’t survived. In that case, DO THE OPPOSITE!!!

Anyway, for now, I have left Glasgow behind to make a new life for myself in Edinburgh as a student/blogger/party animal/Pokemon master. It’s the first ever time I’m living away from home without any supervision and I don’t know who should be more worried, me, my mum or everyone I’m living with.

Oh well, here’s to this new chapter of my life and I could not be more excited to see what life has in store for me.

It feels good to be back!

Special Mention: Jen McEwan – I worked so closely with this girl over the past year and a bit and it has been an absolute pleasure. Together we got an A for our HND and we also won our Advertising & PR campaign for Rainbow Valley together. Her animation and graphic designs are incredible and were probably the reason we did so well. Her Harvey Milk animation also won 2 awards at the Equality & Diversity Awards in Glasgow in May.

 

Jay Carrington

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