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Shawshank Redemption @ Theatre Royal Glasgow

I am so enthusiastic about writing this post for my blog as it is something totally new and I’m still buzzing from last night’s production of the one and only: Shawshank Redemption at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect as I hadn’t been to the theatre in years (and I had never been to the Theatre Royal before) however it was otherworldly and I would definitely go again.

Firstly, the actual theatre in itself was extraordinary. It’s a much different experience from going to the cinema – that’s for sure. I felt really classy and sophisticated (to say that I felt as though I fit in though would be stretching the truth). The staff were helpful and made sure I went to the right place – it was such a huge building so it would be easy to get lost if you didn’t know where you were going! I would definitely go back to the Theatre Royal Glasgow. If you’re from Glasgow, like myself, and you haven’t been here: Definitely put it on your bucket list/to do list or whatever you have got going on because it was such a wonderful experience.

This production of Shawshank Redemption was adapted by Owen O’ Neill and Dave Johns. There was a lot of added humour to this particular show and I found it worked immensely well – I hadn’t been expecting it. The notorious scenes and lines from the film were included in this production but there were also little twists and changes which worked tremendously. I found myself sitting at the edge of my seat. I thought because I had seen the film so many times that I wouldn’t have been in for any surprises but boy, was I wrong?

The casting was absolutely spot on; the accents were great; the costume was true to the film – I was just so impressed!

I would go and see this performance of Shawkshank Redemption again in a heart beat. I’d love to have met the cast and chatted to them afterwards. They were all so talented. Hats off to each and every one of them. Credit where credit is due. I shall list them all below:

CASTING:
  • PAUL NICHOLLS as Andy Dufresne
  • JACK ELLIS as Warden Stammas
  • BEN ONWUKWE as Ellis ‘Red’ Redding
  • ANDREW BOYER as Brooksie
  • DANIEL STEWART as Hadley
  • OWEN OLDROYD as Entwistle
  • JEFF ALEXANDER as Bogs Diamond
  • SEAN CROKE as Rooster
  • ADAM HENDERSON SCOTT as Rico
  • SCOTT WRIGHT as Dawkins
  • NICHOLAS BANKS as Tommy Williams
  • SCOTT WESTWOOD as Kelly

I thoroughly enjoyed my evening last night and want to take this opportunity to thank the cast once again for putting on such an excellent performance of one of the most incredible films there is. Fabulous!

CHARLENE MCELHINNEY

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A Day in the mind of Charlene McElhinney #1

It’s just turned midday and I’ve been feeling down in the dumps since last night: I thought I would take to my blog (my own little space on the internet) to have a little bit of a rant and free my mind. The reason why I started blogging was because I wanted to take my journal online and share my thoughts, feelings and experiences with you guys and also because I wanted to open up about certain things in my life: I need to remind myself, from time to time, that this is why I started blogging and although I cover just about everything on my blog now – I should still be free to talk about things that are playing on my mind whenever I want. So here I am.

Last night I attended a ‘City Lines’ event for Book Week Scotland within my college. It was an opportunity for HNC professional writers on my course to read some of their work aloud to an audience and to listen to one another’s writing too. I, of course, didn’t volunteer to read. Why? Simple. I doubt myself constantly. I think my work is inferior to everyone elses. I think I’ll make a fool of myself or mess everything up. I don’t believe in myself enough. I sat at the back of the room, looking on at my peers at the microphone sharing their work, and I felt empty. I could have done that. I should have done that. Why didn’t I? I was also offered the opportunity to perform at the event too: To sing and play guitar, a gig, something I used to do regularly a few times a week. But I couldn’t do it. I said no. I turned it down. Like everything in my life at the moment: I rejected the opportunity. I don’t know why I knock back so many things in my life and hold myself back all of the bloody time; I only regret it and beat myself up for it afterwards. So yeah, I feel pretty unhappy. I feel like I’ve let myself down. And I feel as if I’m below everyone else. A day in the mind of Charlene McElhinney.

I try and get along with everyone. I am always the person who tries to make sure everyone is included and I always aim to make people laugh and feel comfortable. I’m that person. Often, it takes it out of me, drains and exhuasts me. As I suffer from Depression: I can have extremely bad days. And yet I get up, go out, and try and act normal and hide everything behind a big fake smile that everyone seems to be taken in by. I always aim to make sure everyone enjoys my company. Everyone. I want people to feel relaxed, comfortable and at ease around me. I always go above and beyond to make sure that is achieved. When someone throws that back in your face – it’s not a nice feeling. Not nice at all. But I’ll keep doing my thing. I’ll keep smiling, making people laugh and doing what I do best. But it eats away at me. Bit by bit. 

 

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Getting Motivated Again

Recently I have totally lost all of my motivation for going to the gym and working out: It’s affecting me not only physically – but mentally too. As you all know, I went to the gym consistently for over a year and used it as one of my main therapies for my Mental Health. It was liberating. If I was having a ‘down’ day, I would go to the gym and work up a sweat, and come home feeling like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Exercising really is a vital part of life, personally, I believe this is the case for everyone. Long walks, running, hitting the gym, going to an exercise class or maybe just doing something simple at home: It is so important that we make time for it. It’s really hit me like a ton of bricks lately just how crucial it is.

It’s a Friday morning and I thought to myself: What better way to start my day than writing a post to try and motivate myself AND others? So I’m going to share a list of positive things that can keep you motivated when working out or simply to keep you in the mind set of wanting to do so! So here we go:

  • TAKING PROGRESS PICTURES

    Personally, I find it fruitful to take pictures before/after workouts. It’s good to look back at yourself and notice the small changes. I once read a quote stating: “Once you begin to notice progress it becomes an addiction”. And that is how it was for me – for a while. I want to get back in to that again. Taking pictures and sharing them on social media sometimes helps too – people give you confidence boosts and encourage you and acknowledge your efforts which only makes you want to continue your hard work! Alternatively, take progress pictures, purely for yourself. Make a wee folder on your laptop, phone etc. and fill it with photos of yourself. I promise you it helps. Here’s one of me that I want to share to keep me motivated – this was from my holiday a few months ago!

motivatiob-pic

  • SETTING GOALS

    Set yourself small goals and build upon them. Don’t push yourself. At the moment, my goal is just to get my ass to the gym, whatever else I do when I’m there will simply be a bonus. Every time I go, I’ll try and push myself that little bit further, until I can get back in to it properly again. You can set yourself mental goals, you can write a list, keep a diary, get a programme at the gym or you can do what I’m doing and publish them on social media – to try and help you stick at it. Your goals are YOURS. Make them feasible and work your way through them at your own pace.

  • FIND A GYM BUDDY / WORKOUT PARTNER

 So you want to go out a walk/run, head to the gym, attend an exercise class or join a fitness club of some sort but you feel insecure and nervous: Find yourself a lovely fellow to take along with you! When I first started going to the gym, I took my counsellor/therapist with me because my Mental Health was really bad at the time, after a while I found a friend who would come along with me until I eventually built up the courage and confidence to go along myself. Sometimes having someone there with you makes all the difference and it feels more social rather than ‘a workout’. And I guess you just don’t feel so alone.

 

  • FIND INSPIRATION

    You can find inspiration in a number of ways: Jot down some quotes, find pictures of people you aspire to be like, watch videos of other people doing workouts that perhaps you would like to try, have a specific person in mind that has a great mind frame and workout plan – anything at all. Inspiration is all around you. As a writer, I am always aware of my surroundings, and often find myself taking notes down frequently (in my notebook, on my hand, on my phone – anywhere at all), I also ask questions a lot too and research things. Inspiration is everywhere; use it to your advantage lovelies!  

 

  • NEW CLOTHES

    Ok…This one might just be a personal thing but I always feel like when I have new clothes I want to wear them and show them off a little. Just me? If I go out and buy myself a new wee pair of gym leggings or a nice new workout top: I’m going to want to wear it. So I put it on. Suddenly I’m in the mind set of wanting to go and workout because I’m in my gym gear. Happy days.

  • LISTENING TO UPBEAT MUSIC

    Again, another personal thing. When I’m at the gym, I tend to put my earphones in, stick on something upbeat and motivating and it helps to keep me in the zone. I like to listen to songs with a right good bass to try and keep my spirits up when I’m exercising  (the only thing is, when I’m listening to loud music and working out, I always worry that I’m breathing too loud or making strange noises ha ha, please say it isn’t just me)?

 

To be honest: I could go on forever listing things to try and motivate myself – and other people – but I’m going to stop here. There is 6 things to keep you going for the foreseeable and perhaps if you guys like it then I will do another post a few weeks/months down the line and share some more propitious suggestions for you lovely lot. Let me know what you all think. Was this beneficial to you at all? Have you took something away from this post? Could you relate? I’d love to hear from you.

UNTIL NEXT TIME

Charlene McElhinney Xo

 

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Sunday Catch Up

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In my November goals post: I stated that I aim to post at least twice a week on my blog. Let’s just say I’ve failed that already. This week has been busy and stressful and I’ve just not managed to get things done that I wanted to.

Nevertheless, let’s talk about what I have been doing: I had college on Monday and Tuesday and it was super stressful as I had to pitch one of my comedy ideas to a panel of 3 people (I was so nervous about it, but I done well, and I’m so glad it’s over); On Wednesday, I spent the day with Lozza (my best friend – who is off to Thailand for a month this week coming). Her mum organised a surprise party on Wednesday night for her going away and all of her nearest and dearest were there and it was just such a wonderful night and a great way to say goodbye and good luck to her; On Thursday I met up with my lovely friend Gina for some lunch as she’s going through a bit of a tough time at the moment and afterwards I had a quiet evening in with my boyfriend; On Friday I had my auntie Fiona’s 50th birthday party (hence the picture of me at the beginning of the post). It was a great night and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Here’s a wee snapshot of my dad, mum, brother and I.

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I also landed myself a wee job in River Island for over the Christmas period. I’ve never worked in retail so I’m pretty nervous but I’m also really looking forward to it. I have my training this week and then that will be me!

I can’t believe how far I’ve come this year. I’ve got myself a wee part time job, I’m at college full time and I’m going out and about here, there and everywhere. My Depression and my Anxiety is still there – I still have my bad days – but I refuse to let it win. To those that degraded me and brought me down last year and made me feel worthless: Look at me now! I am immensely proud of myself.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in and let you all know what I’ve been up to, a sort of diary entry post. I hope you’ve all had a good week. Feel free to drop me a comment and let me know what your week has consisted of!

Lots of love

Charlene McElhinney

 

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Gourmet Burger Kitchen

gbkburger

 

I was fortunate enough to be invited along to the launch of The Gourmet Burger Kitchen in the Glasgow Fort this week. It officially opens tomorrow (the 7th of November, 2016) however I attended a little VIP night with some blogger buddies to try out some of the food and check out the venue!

Upon arrival, I was absolutely thrilled to be greeted by these lovely messages displayed in the style of scrabble game pieces (I am a huge fan of Scrabble – this totally had me right away). We were shown to our table, given a menu and made to feel welcome. I ordered an Oreo Milkshake, a classic beef burger with American cheese and some skinny fries (apparently GBK is notorious for their milkshakes so I definitely had to try one out).

food

When the drinks arrived: We had all ordered a Milkshake. Amazingly though, we had all ordered different flavours, so we passed our drinks around and each had a try at one another’s (classy, right?) and it’s safe to say they were all delicious! The Oreo Milkshake was the best though so I definitely made the right choice. When the food arrived, I was overwhelmed at how big the burger was, I don’t eat out much at restaurants and the only burgers I tend to eat are that from McDonald’s or a burger van so I wasn’t sure how to tackle this one: A few of the others cut theirs in to two pieces and ate it this way – I just squashed mine down a bit (and I’ve got a big mouth) so I managed it just fine. Personally though I found it really filling and couldn’t finish the whole thing. The skinny fries really were skinny: They were the thinnest chips I’d ever stumbled across but delicious all the same. GBK is not only notorious for it’s Milkshakes but also for its ‘baconaise’ which isn’t really my thing as I’m not a bacon fan (don’t judge me) but everyone else seemed to love it!

The venue itself was nice – no complaints from me (However one of the girls went to the loo and the lock was broken so hopefully that’s sorted out for the official launch). The staff were friendly, attentive and informative. The food was fresh and enjoyable. Overall, it was a very pleasant evening and it was great to catch up with some wonderful bloggers!

Thank you so much GBK for a fab evening and all the best with the launch tomorrow!

Have you ever been to the Gourmet Burger Kitchen? Are you a big fan of Milkshakes? Is this somewhere you would visit? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time

Charlene McElhinney

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November Goals

Happy 1st of November lovelies! 

I just wanted to take this opportunity to set myself some goals for the month ahead as I’ve been slacking quite a bit lately with my blog (and my social media platforms) – life has just been getting in the way. I believe if I set myself some goals then I will have something to strive for and I’ll want to cross them off my list (especially if it’s public). So here goes:

 

  • I’d like to post at least twice a week throughout the month of November. I previously used to post 3 times a week but since starting college and having a huge workload to get through I’ve had to reduce this a little. Twice a week is my aim this month.
  • I’d like to hit 1,950 twitter followers. (currently at 1,873)
  • I would like to hit 200 subscribers on my YouTube channel (currently at 178)
  • I would like to start approaching brands myself – and send out my media kit – instead of waiting for them to approach me. I need to start putting myself forward more and believing in myself.
  • This one is a bit optimistic but I’d like to hit 1,000 Instagram followers. (currently at 975).
  • I want to start promoting my blog more – and my social media platforms. Time to stop holding back.  
  • I’d like to get my #beechat community following to 1,750 and get some more lovely individuals involved in the snail mail project. I like to get new people involved regularly. (current following 1,690).
  • I want to feel as though I have achieved something by the end of November – and feel excited and pleased with my blog. I’ve been feeling a bit disheartened lately; especially since the move from Blogger > WordPress when I lost all of my comments. But not to worry! November is the month to build them back up again.

 

Have you set yourself any goals for the month of November? Do you think my goals are feasible to achieve? Will you be checking up with me at the end of November to hear how I got on? Drop me a comment/message. I’d love to hear from you…

Until next time

CHARLENE MCELHINNEY 

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