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Turning Seventeen…

By May 19, 2017 General

It’s tradition on my blog to do a little celebratory post when the number in all of my social media bios changes so here we are again; another year! This time around I’m turning seventeen, making me a whole six years older than I was when I started writing. I wanted to shoot a more creative set of photos in honour of my birthday (I quite like them, if I do say so myself) and catch-up with you all…

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography


WHAT I WORE: Dress (Jumble Sale) // Tattoos (DIY) // Rings (Unknown & Gemporia*) // Glitter (Claire’s)*


Being my age is rather odd, I’ve realised. I think growing up with older siblings confused my young mind because what I saw in them at my age, isn’t what I see in myself. My family will probably read this and be shouting ‘obviously’ at the screen because I’m my own individual but I suppose what I mean is, I don’t feel how seventeen seemed to me then. I used to think being in your late teens made you a super mature young adult who worked hard and played hard but upon turning seventeen myself, I’ve realised that perhaps comes down to how little I could do, being so much younger.

Being seventeen means you can do an awful lot but it also means you can do an awful little. Or maybe that’s just me. I’m pretty sure I’m actually seventeen going on seventy in my head. I like eating cheese and honey on its own and drinking cups of tea at all times of the day and I have a jacket that reminds everyone of my grandma. I’m excited by the idea of getting older. I think I was listening to a podcast recently that really struck a chord with me and has made me relax over how much I’ve achieved. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the exact source of this inspiration but it roughly went through the idea of peaking at a later age. And I suppose; I don’t want to peak now! I want to peak when I’m older so that I’m not sat around thinking; now what?

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography

For someone growing up online and being filled with different ideas and ways to compare myself, this realisation has definitely helped me. As much as achieving a lot while you’re young is an outstanding, I don’t think any young people should be pressurised into feeling like they have to.

It’s helped me more specifically with my future career aspirations too; I went through a phase of feeling really bogged down and worthless. I’ve cried over not feeling like I’m doing enough for my age but now I know that I want to continue learning before really going for it. Which I suppose, is exactly what my blog is for! I am achieving some great things – in fact, that’s part of the reason I’ve been quiet online recently – but I’m also gearing up for when I can achieve even more at a later stage. That’s what it’s like to be seventeen… it’s gearing up for everything.

turning seventeen - tolly dolly posh - fashion photography


OOTD My Style Outfit Seventies Bohemian ASOS Dress 1B99 Dr MartensBIRTHDAY PLAYLIST:
Would You Be So Kind? Live (Dodie)  
Hard Times (Paramore)
Shut Up Kiss Me (Angel Olsen)
Total Entertainment Forever (Father John Misty) 
Five Years (David Bowie) 


For my seventeenth birthday, I’ll be wondering around Florence in Italy and dining at a Greek restaurant for dinner. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share some of the exciting things I’m currently gearing up to, but for now, thank you so much for celebrating with me and for following along for as long as you have been. I think eleven-year-old Tolly would be quite proud of what this place has become!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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I Experienced an Earthquake

By August 28, 2016 General

(Definitely not a fashion related post, but an important one nonetheless.) I don’t mean to be dramatic as I write this. I don’t mean to worry anyone or make my experience seem worse than others, because I know it wasn’t, in fact, I’ve never felt luckier.

italian earthquake terremoto 2016 amatrice


My experience of the earthquake was minor compared to others.
Please donate to Croce Rossa Italiana to help those in need.


You may have seen on Twitter or Facebook or wherever else I post, but if not, then you won’t know that on Wednesday 24th August at 3.36am, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit the region of Italy where I am currently staying. Again, I am safe and even after not knowing where she was for four hours of the morning after, even our travelling cat Paloma was found without a scratch.

But, I have never and I hope that I will never again experience something so terrifying. I know that earthquakes happen all over the world fairly frequently, whether that be big or small, and I know that there are even more scarring experiences to go through, but even the sound of a car driving down our road is now enough to make me feel like crying again.

I’ve learnt about earthquakes before. I’ve researched them, my family even planned out the sort of thing we would do if one hit before we started travelling through Italy, so it’s not like we knew it could never happen… it’s just you never really think it will. And when it does, there’s no warning. There’s no gradual build up. In a matter of seconds it can feel like your whole world is about to shatter, and unfortunately for some, this time – it did.

For me the worst part is exactly that; how sudden it was. I go to bed fairly late. I fell asleep at about half past 1 in the morning, after watching an ASMR video because sometimes I find them relaxing to watch before I drift off. I put my laptop down, turned off my side light and closed my eyes. I hadn’t said goodnight to my parents or brother, and I hadn’t given my cat a cuddle; I’d just simply fallen asleep, as you do, normally, definitely not thinking about what would happen in 2 hours’ time.

italian earthquake terremoto 2016 amatrice

I feel rather stupid now, because when I go over the events (which let me tell you, isn’t pleasant to do – I’m crying as I type this) I remember sitting bolt upright in my bed when I first heard the rumbles and felt the shakes (more on this in a moment) and thinking – ‘What’s that?’. It only really clicked in my mind when I heard my mum call out, “Get under a table!”, a phrase we’d discussed when researching what to do if it ever happened.

My first conscious action was to scream.

I then attempted to get under my bed, because I’m fairly slim and I’ve done it before in order to get a box out from underneath it, but in the pitch black, with your heart racing and nothing making sense, climbing under a small space is near impossible. So I crawled as quickly as I could to the desk at one side of the room, crossed my arms over my knees and closed my eyes.

Last night (as in, the night before I wrote this – 27th August), we went to a restaurant by the sea (where nothing was effected by the earthquake) to try and calm ourselves. We were by a railway line and a train came past. My dad put his hand on my arm and said “It’s just a train.”, and I was a bit confused, but as soon as it passed, I froze, because I knew exactly why he’d said it. For a split second I thought I would be fine, but all of a sudden the tears came spilling out and I had to try my hardest not to close my eyes so I didn’t think back to the night.

italian earthquake terremoto 2016 amatrice

The train was nothing in comparison to what I felt and heard, but anything can set me off now. It’s so hard to explain.

In my opinion, it’s like the earth roared. It was so dark and so sudden that I couldn’t even allow myself to see what was actually happening as the building shook. I can’t explain it. You don’t know what an earthquake feels like until you feel one – and I hope none of you reading this ever will, or ever have, because trust me, you really don’t want to.

I believe the main quake lasted about 20 seconds. In that time, I got under my desk, my mum found a space under a table outside of the bedrooms, my brother stayed put upstairs where he sleeps, and my dad attempted to get to my room. Also in that time, I finally managed to open my eyes as the shaking and roaring faded. Things were scattered across the floor, ornaments were broken and the cupboard doors had opened to let things fly out.

I was crying through all of it, but the tears and hyperventilating didn’t come until there was light from somewhere (I still honestly have no idea where from – one of my parents’ torches? The main lights?) and I looked up at the wall above the bed.

There’s now a diagonal crack from the bottom corner to the top corner, with brick exposed and plaster completely gone. I looked to the floor and I could see dust and paint and as I finally got to my feet, I had to try my best to tip toe around broken glass. The scary thought I have is that I had no idea any of this was happening at the time. The only thing you worry about in terms of destruction, is how to avoid it – not what’s actually being destroyed.

italian earthquake terremoto 2016 amatrice

My brother came in my room at one point, and tried to join me under the table… once the shaking had stopped, my dad dashed downstairs as safely as he could to get bottles of water, and once he was back, we huddled in the hallway under tables and turned up sofas and decided what to do next.

This is why I’m grateful for my surroundings – we were able to safely get out of the house and sit on sunbeds in the open garden where nothing could fall on top of us in the event of an aftershock. None of us had injuries – our main concern of wellbeing was our cat, who like I said, we didn’t find until four hours later when the sun had come up. She was upstairs where the least damage had occurred, hiding behind some drawers and a sofa. I’ve never been so happy to see a cat in my life.

I’ve also never been so happy for WiFi. The connection where we are isn’t the greatest, in fact it drives me mad most of the time, especially when it comes to blogging, but somehow it was still going strong for us to use. My brother had his iPad and was Googling what we should do next – what we should check, where we should go, and whether anything was going to happen again.

The internet couldn’t give us exact answers, but it made us feel like we weren’t so alone as we sat under the stars (and what seemed to be a meteor shower – a detail of this story I keep forgetting to mention to people) and tried to compose ourselves, which is what I’m still doing four days later, and what I expect I’ll still be doing in four weeks’ time at this rate.

italian earthquake terremoto 2016 amatrice

What I’ve written really hasn’t explained the pure terror of that morning. My brain was trying to figure so much out all at one time. I didn’t have my life flash before my eyes, but I’m certain at one point I gulped and realised I still hadn’t met my newborn nephew who’s just turned a month old. I was shaking outside from the shock rather than the cold and I didn’t want my dad to let go of me.

The aftershocks started soon after. The biggest one we’ve experienced so far was about an hour after the main hit, rumbling for a good few seconds and knocking whatever we heard in the distance to the ground (we believe it may have been an abandoned farm building nearby). Aftershocks are still happening, and they’re what is keeping me from going inside to write this.

There are two very different sensations – an aftershock outside and an aftershock inside.
Outside, it’s mainly under your feet. You feel it and you hear it, and it unsettles you, but if you’re in an area where nothing can fall, you know you’re safe. Inside however, it’s all around you; the building shakes and almost sways, like it’s about to push up from the ground, and even if it lasts two seconds, you’re already looking for the nearest table.

Apparently it is extremely rare for a strong aftershock to hit again, but it’s not impossible. What should happen from now on, is tiny rumbles until they fade away completely. It might take a week, it might take two… we still might feel something in a month’s time. That’s the thing with earthquakes – you can’t ever know.

So we’re still sleeping outside. Our cat stays in a locked room during the day, before joining us in the tent during the night. We could go back in, because we’ve had a builder take a look at the damage in all of the rooms, and we’ve had the gas tank checked for leaks (“It’s the Season 4 of my life!”, I joked to a friend recently – you can make me feel better by understanding that reference) but it’s just the thought of experiencing it again, in the same place, barely a week after, that is terrifying (me, mainly).

italian earthquake terremoto 2016 amatrice


My experience of the earthquake was minor compared to others.
Please donate to Croce Rossa Italiana to help those in need.


I really wish I could turn back time. If I could ask for anything right now, it would be to go back to the day before when I was getting on with my work and life and being productive and feeling safe. I’d really like a nice sleep in my bed without having to look up at the ceiling which has cracks in it.

But that’s why I started this post by saying ‘I don’t want to be dramatic’.
I know it could be worse.

I could have no bed to go back into at all. The cracks on my phone could be because it got smashed under rubble, rather than the fact I dropped it a few months ago. The tent we’re sleeping in could be because we have no house to return to, rather than just because we’re afraid. We could have been an hour and a half away, in a town we had a coffee in last winter, watching everything we know and love fade away.

My heart breaks every time I think about the fact that other families who experienced the same thing at the same time as us, are no longer whole. I hate that I know a girl younger than me had to survive 24 hours under the rubble of her house, and that babies have lost their very short lives. And I hate how there was nothing anyone could do to prevent any of it.

italian earthquake terremoto 2016 amatrice

But I feel so grateful that we’re in a country where there are resources to help those in worse conditions, and that it took me all of two minutes to donate to the Italian Red Cross to help in a small way, and that a friend of mine is helping in the preparation for food to be delivered to effected villages… and that with every day it’s going to get easier and that I’m safe.

This trauma isn’t going to be easy to get over. Driving up and down the unpaved road nearby feels rather similar to how my bed shook and moved, and I’m going to be reminded by it every day with all the damage, until the redecorators finally leave at some point. But I’m okay. I obviously might not be blogging as much until I feel comfortable at my desk again, but I’m okay.

I experienced an earthquake and I guess it’s just another story to add to the list. A list that will hopefully make me stronger, and a list that I can hopefully pass on to help others.

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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