Blogger Problems

From the outside, it can look like bloggers lead a charmed life. A life that is a whirlwind of events, free products and Instagram. Alright, sometimes it is like that, but usually it’s actually pretty unglamorous. At an event last week, I caught myself with a couple of bloggers talking about the really silly parts of blogger issues. So, with tongue firmly in cheek, here’s the worst blogger problems out there.

Blogger Problems

  • It is surprisingly challenging to eat a canape at the same time as photograph it. Those more networking style events are a minefield if you’re trying to get content from them. You need one hand to hold your drink, another to hold a canape, another to hold your camera to photograph that canape, a hand for your phone so you can tweet and instagram about your swank life and yet another hand for shaking the hand of the PR someone is trying to introduce you too. Add in trying to hold your bag or your coat (sometimes your laptop if you came straight from work) and you need to be some kind of octopus blogger.
  • You can’t remember the last time you ate food in a restaurant (or often your own cooking at home) that was the intended temperature. By the time you’ve rearranged the table, shifted the plate around to find some non-orange light (WHY IS EVERYWHERE LIT SO ORANGE!!), upset your dining companion by asking them to please get their bloody arm out of your shot, and finally got  a photo of your meal that you’re happy with, it’s gone cold.
  • People have started refusing to come for dinner with you. Either their dinner is cold after all the rearranging, you’ve scolded them or stabbed them with a fork for trying to eat before you’ve finished taking pictures, or you’ve shamed them by standing up, standing on your chair, or generally whipping out a giant camera and flash gun, to take the very best picture. You find yourself saying things like, “Photos before forks!”. So now you have to eat alone…
  • You’ve bought a new product, maybe a coveted eye shadow palette or something like that, and you’re desperate to try it out. Trouble is, you need to photograph it first before you ruin how pretty it looks, and the idea of setting up the shot seems like a lot of hassle just to put on some eyeshadow.
  • You’re so used to making flatlays for Instagram, you keep arranging everything you own into attractive flatlays. The food shopping, your makeup, your outfit choice. The cat. Your housemate.
  • A huge part of your day is involved in looking for suitably cool looking walls to take your outfit photos in front of.
  • Events are a minefield. You’ve come straight from work and arrive an underdressed, sweaty mess. You’ve smeared canape down your coat. Someone important from a magazine fell over your work bag after you tried to subtly put it down so you had enough hands for cameras and drinks and hand shaking. You’ve forgotten that blogger’s actual name and can only remember their Twitter handle. Somebody asked where you were from and you cheerfully answered, “Worcester!” before realising they meant, what blog are you from. So much cringe ahead.
  • Photography can be the best fun, but also a bloody nightmare. You get set up and the sun goes in. You bought a beautiful camera, but it won’t fit in your bag, and it’s so heavy it nearly pulls your shoulder off. You feel like the world’s biggest knob making your friend take ‘candid’ photos of you for outfit posts. It’s just all very awkward.

What’s the silliest blogger problem you’ve experiences?

UK Games Expo 2017

Last weekend, Dave and I headed to the NEC to investigate UK Games Expo. UK Games Expo covers card, board, role-playing, miniature and family games, with tournaments, new games to investigate, plenty to buy, demonstration games and trade seminars.

UK Games Expo

RPG

I will admit to not being much of a table-top gamer (I play Firefly Fluxx and Cards Against Humanity and that’s about it). Dave, however, really is, so he was in his element. The hall was jam packed with stalls, a stark contract to the half empty Collectormania24 which was happening in the opposite hall. There was plenty to look at, even for me, with large displays of incredibly detailed dioramas and miniatures.

There was an enormous array of stalls on display, covering everything from foam padded bags to keep your game pieces safe in, to a table-top drinking game. The hall was full of people trying out new games, picking up some new game pieces and building a giant shopping list of games to buy in the future.

UK Games Expo 2017

Dave was impressed by the prices on offer too. He was braced for prices to have been cranked up for the show, but we were pleased to find the opposite was true, with most of the developers offering lower prices than you usually see. This of course meant more X-Wing ships came home with us…

Table-top Gaming

I left it to Dave to pick out the show highlights. He recommends you test out a few different games. Star Trek Ascendancy from Gale Force 9 is a board game of exploration, expansion and conflict between the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire, and the Romulan Star Empire. The infinite combination planets and interstellar phenomena  means the game you play is never quite the same twice, which means you can keep playing without getting bored. We were both impressed by Monolith’s Batman board game, which is about to hit Kickstarter. The games pieces are beautifully detailed, and we’re excited to hear more about this game as the crowd funding gets underway. Fantasy Flight Games were of course showing off their range of Star Wars games. Dave adores X-Wing, so we definitely suggest giving that a go (if you have patience; it’s a long game). You can also pick up Armada, Rebellion and Imperial Assault. Big Potato were showing off their usual array of slightly mad party games, including Bucket of Doom and Obama Llama.

Tempworker Assassins

Photo taken by Temp Worker Assassins’ Adam Bolton

We of course caught up with our friends at Temp Worker Assassins. Their artist, Adam, is based in Birmingham and is a friend of mine, so it was great to finally see the game in person after hearing all about. Temp Worker Assassins is a high-speed deck building game based in a weird office world, where the game is to overthrow the full-time employees. It looks truly bonkers in the best way. You can grab your copy here, from Amazon. Let me know what you think!

I’d definitely recommend UK Games Expo for table-top fans. There was SO much to see, and you’d be hard pressed not to come home with overflowing shopping bags, as even as I was tempted by some of the games being shown off.

We attended UK Games Expo 2017 as members of the press, with press passes. All opinions are honest and my own (or Dave’s). 

Get Out the Vote

It sometimes feels like expressing any kind of opinion at all on the internet makes you controversial. If that opinion happens to be political, this seems to be even more true and you soon have people battering down your virtual door to tell you how terribly wrong and evil you are. I’ve been debating whether to say anything at all about the General Election, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t ignore it. If you don’t want to read my thoughts on it all, I recommend hitting the back button now and come back tomorrow when I’ll have returned to my regular programming of outfits and food reviews.

Vote

Yesterday, I went to Jeremy Corbyn’s Get Out the Vote Rally here in Birmingham, with speakers including Steve Coogan, Saffiyah Khan and Corbyn himself, obviously. Excuse the crap photo quality, I only had my phone with me. A double rainbow came out as Corbyn spoke. Coogan and Corbyn both spoke about how incredibly important it is, more so than ever, that young people go out and vote tomorrow. Historically, young people have a low voter turn out, so if we actually all go out and vote, we’re going to massively shift the results. Other the last couple of months, a staggering amount of people have registered to vote for the first time. According to research by The Stream, almost half of under 35s surveyed intended to vote Labour. Our vote matters. It could be the difference between another Tory government or keeping them out.

Labour’s manifesto has a lot that appeals to younger voters. They plan to scrap tuition fees, end zero hour contracts, restore arts funding, boost wages of those earning less than the living wage, deliver universal superfast broadband, ban unpaid internships, bring back maintenance grants for students, ban letting agents fees for tenants, build more affordable homes and guarantee help to buy funding to name just a few. You can see the whole manifesto here.

Earlier this year, Laura Jane Williams started the #bloggerswhovote campaign, where bloggers, vloggers and social influences encouraged their following to register to vote. The bloggers who did this were torn down in the media, with one journalist declaring ‘democracy was dead’. But with young women aged between 18 and 24 being the least likely to vote, I think it’s incredibly important that those of us lucky enough to have a platform use it. It’s not about speaking down to the young voter, it’s about education.

Mainstream media doesn’t really speak to the under 35s that well. Our concerns are not often addressed (see, any article about millennials, where mainstream papers seem unable to understand why we don’t buy diamonds, for example…). With bloggers, those concerns can be addressed. Bloggers can speak to first time and young voters in a way that matters, we can provide information on where to educate yourself on why your vote matters and who you should vote for.

Tomorrow, please make your voice heard. It does matter, and your vote can have an impact. If enough young and first time voters go to the polls, we can prevent Theresa May and her Death Eaters Tories remaining in power. If you’ve registered to vote, but you’re not sure where to go, you can find your local polling station here. You don’t need to take anything with you. All you need to give them is your name and address. Voting takes just a few minutes. Please vote. Vote wisely.

I’ll be voting Labour. For the many, not the few.