Q&A Session: My Values

Yesterday I posted the first of three Q&A Sessions, and this is round two! It’s loosely themed on my beliefs, values and politics. You guys are so deep.

Which public figure do you admire most, living or dead?
Maybe CatMo. Maybe Beyonce. Farrah Fawcett. I used to have a burning admiration for suffragette Marion Wallace-Dunlop, the first woman to go on hunger strike for the vote.

Favourite book?
I read “Walking Naked” so many times growing up. I will read and treasure anything by Bill Bryson but if I had to pick one of his I’d say… Neither Here Nor There. How To Be A Woman, To Kill a Mockingbird, HP series, A Clockwork Orange, We Need To Talk About Kevin, There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom, White Teeth.

What’s more important, being English or being Northern?
I’m aware this is a joke, but genuinely, Northern. Being English is fab and all, but being Northern means proper gravy and walking past Roy Cropper in a train station and having an accent and hills and being able to call complete strangers “love” and “pet” and if you’re feeling daring “duck”. Being English is having Pimms and being quietly disgruntled and meeting the queen.

Who/what was your biggest political influence (writer, politician, event, book)?
Ooh. I read a lot of Charlie Brooker and David Mitchell when I was a teenager, so I absorbed a lot of “look how ridiculous everything is” from them. On a more personal level, my stepdad Steve Yates taught me a lot about politics, and my own common sense. I probably became most interested in it when the general election was on last, and thanks to the NUS/EMA protests. I don’t know anything about the ins and outs of politics, I kinda go with my gut feeling.

Yorkshire or Lancashire?
I know I’m Manchester born and bred, and it took me long time to get out of my Manc Mindset, but I think I’d have to say Yorkshire on this one. I love York, and home is where the heart is. In truth, I’d ideally like a mix of both. Traditional Tudor Rose, me.

How important is personal ambition to you? Though firstly how do you define it, and how much of it do you expect from the people you want to be around?
AAH serious one.
It’s very important. I’d define it as a future you see for yourself, and I think it’s really important for people to have a positive outlook on their futures. It’s nice to have serious things to work towards, and to know that what will be, will be. I’m not overly ambitious, money and power aren’t that important to me, and I wouldn’t want it to be the main priority for those around me either, it breeds negativity and sucks.

Could you live of £53 a week
For a single week, easy. £53 a week forever, I’d go crazy.
(Incidentally, I wrote a Yorker Comment piece about this)

Factorise 5ab + 10a??
Is this some kind of sick joke?

What has been the strongest affirmation of- and challenge to- your identity with feminism?
In terms of my strongest affirmation, I guess I’d say realising how much work my mum put in to bringing up me and Beth. Sounds a little cheesy, but I took her for granted growing up as a kid, and after a point I began to recognise single mumhood was significant, and she’d had to deal with a lot to give us opportunities. Looking at how she did it all with a smile and without ever doubting herself kinda gave me my first insight into what feminism looks like. Funny, because she never talked of herself as a feminist. That and reading How To Be a Woman- gave me a definition I identified with. Beforehand I thought if you hadn’t read Germaine Greer you didn’t count.

My biggest challenge has been EITHER coming to university and discovering that people think I’m the wrong kind of feminist, finding out that other women, especially ones close to me, fundamentally disagree with what I see as basic feminism, and accepting mistakes I’ve made in certain life choices that I saw as reducing my credibility as a “real” feminist.
Good question (Y).

What’s on your bucket list? 
I can’t really answer this because it’d basically be a list on countries. Travel, as much as I can, helping as many people as I can. Join a protest, buy a cool apartment, go to slam poetry events. There’s so much.

Coffee or TV?
Ooh. Coffee keeps me awake but Corrie keeps me Mancunian. That said, I only actively watch Coronation Street, nothing else, and I drink coffee daily to get me out of zombie mode. Tough call. I genuinely don’t know, this is causing a real identity crisis here.


Q&A session! Blogging + etc edition

On seeing some friends using ask.fm, I thought I’d do a little experimental Every Second Song post. I don’t really get much chance to interact with the people who read ESS, I don’t know what you want to know or what you think about me, really. It’s been pretty interesting! This is the first of three answer posts, loosely themed on my blog and a couple of relationship-y ones. The next two will be loosley themed on “values and beliefs” and “Past and Future”.

What are your guilty pleasures when browsing the internet?
I am a sucker for Youtubers. DailyGrace, Zoella, Sam Pepper, Jenna Marbles, It’s Kingsley Bitch, LLYMLRS, My Drunk Kitchen, Laci Green. I can’t help watching them.
Also “failbook” and “facebook fails” etc. And Buzzfeed.

Who have been your biggest supporters for your blog?
Emma Bennett used to proof read them for me, Jonathan Frost designed it for me, my mum gave me ideas for it. There’s a few other names who really gave me confidence in embarrassing myself online, be it giving me the idea in the first place, staying up late to talk about post ideas, forcing all their mates to read it and nominating me for awards. (That’s you; Laura Reynolds, Dan Williams, Sam Dumigan, Ian Lau) (P.S Thank you all)

Are you as confident as you come off on your blog?
Do I come off as confident? Oh my, I thought I came off as… confused. It depends. I can be shy and quiet and need to take my time around things, but for the most part I’m pretty confident. It’s a combination of being Northern, trying to be Beyonce, and practice in handling people. I’ll happily talk to strangers, make a complaint, tell jokes to the bus driver, follow my instinct, etc, but I don’t mind taking a back seat occasionally :)

If you had to pick one blog post as a personal favourite, which would it be and why?
My first rave; a review
I think this is my favourite blog post because it was such an incredible night. I am the LAST person you’d expect to find at a French rave in the forest, and the experience was so utterly new to me that all my incredulousness, my ridiculousness (who takes a book to a rave, for god’s sake?) and my excitement really comes across. It reminds me of a really fun night, and is probably by favourite travel post too.

Why is your blog named “every second song?”
“Are you watching them pair off, and thinking alone? Are you falling in love, are you falling in love, are you falling in love every second song?”- Elbow, Forget Myself.

You know that thing- “nothing says regret like the email you picked as a kid”- it’s a little bit like that. It’s my all time favourite song, and a beautiful lyric, but I can’t deny how Myspace-esque it is. I get a lot of traffic from people looking for music blogs. I did consider changing it to plain ol’ farrahkelly.com or something, but I’ve kind’ve fallen in love with ESS now :)

Your blog is really entertaining. Would you ever consider writing for a living?
N’aww thanks. My ideal job involves writing, and writing a lot. I’m looking for a career in communications, however that manifests itself. Maybe one day I can pack a bag and become the female Bill Bryson :)

What made you want to start a blog?
My friends got sick of me retelling the same anecdotes. I had too many opinions to bottle them up, and a pretty website was a good way to publish them. It got me involved with a community of bloggers I’d always read but never been an active part of. It’s a public outlet for writing about my feelings, helps me organise them in a way that others can find (hopefully find) funny and relatable. I wanted to talk to people.

I also had an essay due the week I set up ESS. So mostly to procrastinate, honestly.

Who is the best person?
Toss up between my mum and Norris Cole

If you had to go to an island and you could only take one thing with you, what would you take?
ONE thing? I guess a pen. A camera would eventually die, ditto laptop, paper is no use without something to write on, books would run out. Gah, but so would ink! A huge tin of paint. I’d write stuff onto rocks with my fingers, keep me entertained a good long time.

Where is your favourite place in the world?
That I’ve been to, Rodos Old Town, Rhodes. Or Hebden Bridge, UK. Or Szimpla Bar in Hungary. Or Fethiye Bay.
That I’ve not been to yet, anywhere in Croatia, Tallinn. They’re on the list after extensive researching.

Pirate or Ninja?
Pirates get all the girls, so…

why are you such a bender lol
Charming, lil sis.

Really enjoy your blogs, do you ever feel self-consious about putting yourself out there? and similar question: I really enjoy reading your blog. But do you ever feel uncertain about putting so much of your life onto a public internet site, and the way in which people, who you don’t know anything about, could know an awful lot about you? 
It is weird. But everyone gets talked about, and everyone has opinions on others. I’m well aware that there will be people who will look at ESS and think I’m being a show off, or whiny, or stupid, etc. That’s fine. It’s helped me develop thick skin.

In terms of people knowing a lot about me, that’s okay too. Everything I publish I’m happy with. I try to be honest, and I try to let my mood come across, because that’s what makes it interesting. What use would a personal blog be if it was only the positive stuff? Would you read a blog about how my student finance loan came in on time? It’s not as interesting, and I guess I’m okay with the idea of using my own life to entertain people.

I know where to draw the line with my posts. I’d never feature someone who I thought was unhappy with it- it wouldn’t be fair for me to take their choice away in whether people can find out more about their lives.

I’ve had to delete posts that I’ve reread and thought were too personal. While I’m happy for my friends, strangers, employers, anyone to read most things, I’d never make myself vulnerable. I want ESS to be a happy place for me, not somewhere I come to tell my bank details and how hormonal I am.

What is your perfect evening?
A great restaurant, good company, maybe some cocktails, holding hands, York river/Shambles,

Describe your perfect man


Do you have a boyfriend? 
See above picture.



For a little ESS experiment I’m answering anonymous questions on ask.fm


Please ask away, I’ll be reposting my answers in a blog tomorrow. I’ll be getting rid of the ask.fm afterwards, I don’t want to end up addicted (!) and it gives people a chance to find out more about me. Knock yourselves out!


Squeezing ESS in!

Hello hello hello, it’s been a good while. I’ve been pretty busy lately, so I thought I’d do a mega quick update so that ESS didn’t start feeling all lonesome and neglected. I’ll be back to proper blogging sooooon, right after I’ve finished codifying morphemes (ugh).

~I’m still in York, but not necessarily by choice. I’ve been hitting the library daily, and was really looking forward to heading back to Huddersfield for a few days of playing with the dog and having unlimited hot showers, but seeing as everyone in Upperthong (yes- genuine name of the village I live in) is well and truly snowed in, I’ve ended up back in the library for a few more days. Good because I’m getting more work done, bad because I have to contend with these guys…

~ I interviewed my spoken-poet hero Mark Grist- I’ve posted it in full here- and to see his show Rogue Teacher thanks to my beloved Yorker! It was pretty cool being able to casually phone up one of my favourite poets for a chat about his opinions on the EBacc and Scroobius Pip and his favourite poets. I got a bit carried away and ended up having a bit of a fangirl moment, but he seemed used to it so it’s all okay.

~ In other Yorker news, I reviewed the pretty bizarre “Self Service”- read it here- as part of the TakeOver Festival. It’s the first time I’ve ever been to the theatre by myself, and I secretly enjoyed it. I assumed I’d feel ridiculous sat on my own, but it was quite nice to be able to fully focus on the show and pretend I was a proper luvvie, rather than a student out for free tickets.

~I’m currently helping out the lovely little social enterprise GoodPeople.co.uk- snazzy website full of jobs, internships and volunteering opps. If anyone wants me to put them up as a volunteer, then just holla!

~ To celebrate my boyfriend getting a fancy new job, and me getting a fancy new coat, we went to Meltons Too for a cosy little meal. Such a nice wee restaurant, great atmosphere and good food. I keep meaning to do a “Top Five Restaurants in York”- and I’ve got a feeling Meltons Too will feature. We also went to Lucias for some cheap cocktails- I’ll definitely be taking Emma and Joanne there, what’s not to love about half priced cocktails and Usher on repeat?

~ When I’m not interviewing poetry heroes or swanning off to the theatre, I’m doing the usual. Reading fashion blogs, watching Coronation Street, and researching the structure of Polish sound systems (hello, lingusitics degree…). So all fun and games as usual! I’ll do a real blog soon!

(And just for luck/because it will piss him off, here’s a picture of Jonathan being his usual sexy self)