It’s not long now and I’m starting to get excited for my trip to South Africa!! In just under 3 weeks time I will be boarding a plane and flying across the world. I feel like I haven’t had a holiday in FOREVER even though it wasn’t actually that long ago. But still, it was ages ago and I’m getting withdrawal symptoms. I need a holiday!
So I’m having one, and it’s a long one, and I can’t wait. I’m so psyched for all the incredible things I’m going to do and see. But most of all, I’m so excited for a proper break. I can’t wait to not have to go to work and sit in front of a screen all day and look at work stuff.
Does anyone else have a place where they go to chill? Or go for inspiration? Or just one of those special places that you go to think?
I have a few of them and one of them happens to be my windowsill (don’t worry, I promise I won’t fall off). It’s good to have somewhere where people don’t bother you and where you feel completely chill.
Yeah, I get a few weird looks from passersby in the street and a few people in cars have stopped to stare at me, but I like it up there. It gets the sun and it’s leafy and green nearby, and I like being up higher than everyone else and seeing them when they can’t see me.
Saturday was the day we were going for brunch at Jackson Rye in Richmond (we being myself and Claire). We’ve had this in the calendar for what seems like months and I was getting so excited to see my best friend and spend some QT with the girl.
Lets start with the most important thing; the outfit. Who even knows what to wear out for a day where you have no idea how long you will be out, and no idea what you are doing? You wear jeans of course. I donned the trust M&S mum jeans which are about 2 sizes too big these days and turned those suckers up (I am a FAN of an ankle). I whacked out a blue Primark shirt from last year which has hearts all over it and buttoned that up to the top. Next followed the “gold” (obvs gold coloured) collar clips, white frilly socks and grey suede trainer things. Obviously I do nothing with my hair because I am lazy… Outfit: COMPLETED.
Claire’s boyf v. kindly drives us to Richmond in his gangta BMW and we arrive at Jackson Rye at precisely 1.30 pm. Which is good for me because it turns out, that I am rarely on time. We order a bottle of prosecco and a Farmers breakfast each and eagerly await its arrival. The prosecco arrives and you would have thought we’d ordered a bottle of Bolly the way the bloke was treating it. Everything was done with a flourish and a mouthful of the good stuff was provided for us to taste. Obviously it is tasty AF and we give the guy the “okay” to fill those glasses up.
Breakfast arrives and our beans are in tiny saucepans (I frickin’ love anything that is miniature) and we set about devouring what I thought was a relatively reasonably priced plate of food. Considering it is in Richmond and it’s by the river, I didn’t thing £8.95 was too steep. After this we toddled off down the river towards Slug and Lettuce in the search for a cocktail (or two… or three). We start off the proceedings with an apple mojito and delighted in some “banter” when the barman smashed one of the glasses. “You just don’t know your own strength do you!?”, I exclaimed, in the typical sarcastic tone of Bonnie. Both a compliment and an insult at the same time – my speciality.
We swiftly followed the apple mojito with a raspberry version and it was at this point that we noticed the pineapple vodka behind the bar. There was nothing strictly pineapple on the cocktail menu, so with a bit of cajoling and sweet talking, we managed to persuade one of the guys to make us a pineapple cocktail. Mint, lime, crushed ice, pineapple vodka and pineapple juice, topped up with soda. THE DREAM. He still wasn’t convinced though. But I am fairly certain we have created a new drink and I won’t be surprised if we see it on the menu next week. At this point we decided we needed a Cinnamon Social Slice from Ole and Steen which is perhaps the tastiest thing in the world. I can’t even describe it, you literally just have to try it.
We ambled back to the riverside, locating a kitty to stroke on the way, and sat on the edge to admire the view. Obviously by this time we had worked up quite a thirst, so back to Slug and Lettuce we went for another pineapple masterpiece. It was during the 5th cocktail that we decided we simply must get the boat down the river to Kingston. So, we mooched along the bank and jumped straight on the boat. Arriving in Kingston, obviously we had worked up quite a thirst, so we headed to The Ram and treated ourselves to a bottle of wine (because there is nothing quite like mixing drinks) and sat in the garden, discussing work and deciding that we could do a better job than any CEO out there because we know what we are doing better than anyone.
We decided we were hungry and we made our way round to Las Iguanas for some tapas. Obviously we had worked up quite a thirst, so we ordered 3 plates of tapas and 4 cocktails (sorry not sorry), which judging by the photos, definitely had pineapple in them. If I cannot stick to one form of alcohol I will at least stick to one form of fruit juice, because that’s the kind of girl I am. We’d finished the drinks and we decided we needed a change of scenery. So, we tottered round to the Spoon’s. Obviously we’d worked up quite a thirst, so we made haste to the bar and ordered 2 Desperados.
We spotted a lad that we knew so we invaded his personal place and plonked ourselves down at his table. Some of his mates turned up and proceeded to ignore us completely whilst they served the freshest of banter (not) and talked about cars. We couldn’t even tempt them into buying us another drink, so we made our way to the dance floor. We had a cheeky dance here before we went over the road to Pryzm, because is it even a night out if you don’t make it to Pryzm? We dance, we drink, we dance, we drink. I’m not sure how much more we drank, but at some point we left and got an Uber. My phone had run out of battery at this point so I spent the Uber ride home eating chicken nuggets and chips and probably gettting mayo over the car seats (maybe that explains the 4 star rating). I stumble inside and up to my room about 1.30 am.
A great day out. A great night out. Nothing like the day sesh eh? The day sesh which turns into the evening sesh, which turns into the sesh. It’s funny really, when you think about it, because we thought we would be back about 6pm. We probably should be dead in the gutter.
Jazz, jazz, jazz. I like jazz, not all the time, but a lot of the time. So I was jazzed for it when I was asked if I wanted to go to Ronnie Scott’s to see Mingus Big Band play. Having never been to a jazz club, I was pretty excited, and I had visions of a dimly lit space, frequented by jazz lovers; reclining on seats covered in red velvet.
I had to get the train straight after work, meaning I had to interview a potential candidate at the speed of light to make sure I got out in time. Fortunately we rattled through my set of interview questions pretty quickly, although, I made sure I saved time for my fave question “what would you say is your biggest failure?”… awful, aren’t I?!
As soon as we were done, I legged it out of the interview room, grabbed my rucksack and raced to the car. I drove as fast as was allowable and parked up near the station. Because I’m tight, I refuse to pay for parking, so I parked away from station, meaning a walk up the dreaded hill. I was running a little late by now, so I picked up the pace and started on up the hill. I was really running late now, so my fast walk turned into a bit of a trot and I imagine I looked like a ginger Shetland pony making its way to an evening of jazz.
I arrived at the station, grabbed my ticket and raced down the stairs in time to meet the train as it was arriving at the platform. Seated on the train, I thought it wise to make myself look somewhat presentable by putting some makeup on. Due to some recent late nights, I was sporting a bit of a panda look. I got as far as putting on a lick of mascara, before a man in an interesting fleece sat down in front of me, and proceeded to stare intently at me whilst I was coating the lashes of my left eye. That put paid to the application of makeup, so I stared out of the window instead, trying not to catch fleece mans eye.
I get off the train at Tottenham Court Road and begin to wind my way through Soho. Obviously I get lost, because if you don’t get lost in Soho, did you even go to Soho?
Eventually, after walking around in a bit of a circle, I meet Gail, Les & Co. outside Ronnie Scott’s. We go in, and it is EXACTLY how I imagined it. The lighting is low, everything is intimate, with dimly lit corners and the seats are upholstered in red velvet. It’s the best when things are exactly how you imagined them to be.
We take our seats on the lower level, right in front of the stage. I quickly nab the seat facing the stage as close to the middle as I can get (sorry, not sorry). We order some food and drinks, and at this point I must mention that the prices are a tad on the high side. I had a cocktail called a Watermelon Man, which, surprise, surprise, had watermelon in. This cost £11 (ouch) and I had the cheapest thing on the menu what wasn’t a burger, which was tofu, at £17.50 (double ouch). I know you need to expect these things to be expensive, but still, £11 for a cocktail is a killer.
Anyway, minor moan over – lets get to the music. It was SO GOOD!! I knew it was going to be good, I had never doubted it was going to be good, and yet I was still surprised at how incredible Mingus Big Band were. And to make a great night even better, the guy on alto sax was pretty easy on the eye. Oh, and he had the BEST facial expressions – I spent more time than I should have done, watching his sarcastically raised eyebrows.
I’m always in awe of anyone that can play a musical instrument (as you may know, I certainly cannot) and I love watching people do something that they so clearly enjoy. I love live music in general, and I will listen to pretty much anything, but listening to these guys (and girl) do their thing, was absolutely incredible. I enjoyed it so, so much and I will definitely be going again as soon as I can.
Take a look at what is coming up here – I might see if I can get tickets to go and see the Blues Explosion! Can’t wait!!
Having finally made it to Wisbech after it taking about twice as long as it should have done, we had some cake, opened birthday presents and engaged in some good convo (obvs, cos I was there).
We decided that tomorrow we would go to Belvoir castle in the morning, as apparently the tour is really interesting and it looks like a fairytale castle. I’m immediately interested and I’m having visions of me being the princess that I am and swooshing around the castle. So I go to bed, happy in the knowledge that I will get to be a princess the next day. Oh, and obvs we stay up until the small hours exchanging Tinder stories (as girls do).
We set off around 11 to the castle. I am driving and the sat nav says it is going to take about an hour and a half. I drive all the way there, navigating some fairly small and ridiculously fast country lanes on the way there. All goes well until the last moment, where I take a wrong turning and end up driving right up to the door of the castle like I was the Queen or something – oops! But no matter, I swing the car around, narrowly avoiding a 4×4 and making Gail flinch (haha) and head off past the castle again and down to the car park.
It was when we got to the car park that things started to go downhill. As we pulled in, it looked suspiciously empty, like, there were maybe 7 cars in there. We went to the kiosk to by tickets for the castle tour and we were told it was closed. CLOSED?! Closed on a frickin’ Saturday?! Are you actually kidding me? Oh my life, I was so annoyed. I drove an hour and a half for precisely nothing. A tantrum ensued and I went and locked myself in the toilet for 5 minutes to display my distaste for the situation.
My mum suggested we first go for lunch, before we made a decision on where to go next. We drove back towards a sign for a pub we had seen on the way here. We got to the sign, but we couldn’t see the pub. We drove round in circles for a good 5 minutes trying to locate what was clearly a fictitious pub, before I completely ran out of patience and drove away at speed. Now in a seriously bad mood, I carried on driving until a pub leaped out at me from between the trees and I violently swerved the car into the car park. All the while, everyone was apolgising for the fact that I had driven for an hour and a half for no reason.
We get inside the pub, and take a seat. Me with my diet coke, everyone else with a shandy. I lose, again. And I sit down at the table and continue to pout. I continue to pout until our food arrives (which seems to take an excessively long time to me, but hey ho). Fortunately lunch saved everyone from the torrent of abuse which was on the verge from escaping through my lips. I had a club sandwich – this is always a good choice because there are 3 slices of bread and all kinds of filling. When it comes to choosing a sandwich, stupid I am not.
After we had eaten, we decided to go to Grantham to have a look around – apparently this is where Margaret Thatcher was from, so I was expecting everyone to be dressed in a skirt suit (it won’t surprise you to know that they weren’t). This decision was made after it was suggested that we travel to another stately home for a look around. This idea was promptly rejected by Gail (thank you), because I certainly didn’t want to traipse around learning about the “well off” after the morning’s trials.
So, we get to Grantham and it doesn’t actually look that bad. A bit industrial on the outskirts, but it looked kinda cute and quaint as we got further in. We parked up (I made no attempt to reach for my purse to make payment) and we headed towards and antique shop we had seen on the way in. Georgia and I headed for the vintage clothing section in the basement for a look around. Hilariously there were some pieces made of polyester that had been made in China, that were billed as “vintage”, and there were also some very retro looking pieces in there from New Look (seriously?!).
Nonetheless, I have a laugh and don a glorious synthetic hat covered in blue flowers and team it with a fabulous blue dress and jacket combo. Stylish or what?
Eventually we make it out of the shop after seeing some weird and wonderful things, including coat pegs made out of deer hooves mounted on wood… No, I’m not kidding.
And we wandered through the town in search of a coffee shop. By this point, it is about 4pm, not an unreasonable time to be searching in the hope of finding a cup of caffeine. And search we did. We must have walked around for a good 20 or 30 minutes trying to find a coffee shop that was open. Every single place we walked past was either shut, or boarded up. Absolute nightmare. Eventually we found a place that was extortionate and dirty, and they started shutting up around us.
The long and the short of it is, don’t go to Grantham. Oh, and if anyone ever suggests you visit a castle – check the website first to see if someone is inconsiderately having a wedding that day.
I drove to Cambridgeshire this weekend, Wisbech to be more precise. I was going to see one of my friends for her birthday and Gail was in tow. The journey started off well. We made it all the way to the M25 (about 15 minutes drive) without any mishap. The second we got on to the motorway – TRAFFIC.
From this point, we literally drove at 40 miles an hour the whole way down the motorway. Where are all these people going at 2pm on a Friday afternoon?! That’s what I want to know. Can’t be anywhere interesting, can it? Wherever they are going, I’m not going to be there, so how can it be interesting? Anyway…
We get a bit of speed up as we get off the M25 and onto whatever the next motorway is. Everything is going well, roads are clear, we are laughing at all of the holiday makers with broken down cars and then BAM. Traffic. Shit. The second we enter Cambridgeshire we slow to a crawl. There is so much traffic, it is unbelievable. I don’t think we got above 30 the whole way through Cambridgeshire.
At this point I started losing my patience. I had been driving for hours and I was tired, and starting to lose my temper. If any of you have seen Ice Age (the first one), you might remember that bit where Manny the mammoth is walking against the flow of traffic and that funny animal loudly says to him “Hey! Do the world a favour. Move your issues off the road!!”. That’s what I kept saying over and over again in my head – in the voice too.
I’m not being funny, but where are all these people going? I simply refuse to believe that I am sitting in a queue of cars in Cambridgeshire due to “volume of traffic”. There aren’t even enough people in this place for each town to have a train station, let alone create this much of a traffic jam. Are they all coming here for a holiday? If they are, then I’m sorry guys, but someone sold you down the river on this one. There is literally NOTHING HERE. Unless all you want to do is reside in a field and be pestered by the local yokel, I promise you there is jack all here.
There was no accident, there was no livestock on the road… Nothing. There was nothing to see that made sitting in the traffic even remotely bearable. How can there be no reason for this?! Anyway, I was supposed to be telling you about my weekend in Wisbech, but I’ve got myself all hot under the collar now and it will have to wait until I have calmed down I think.
We went to The French Table in Surbiton for my birthday; my mum, my dad, Claire and me. It’s turned into a bit of a yearly pilgrimage, and this place is my Mecca. My mum had told them it was my birthday and when we were shown to our table, there were menus printed with “Happy 23rd Birthday Bonnie” at the top [insert grinning emoji here].
The lady who showed us to our table was very attentive and made us feel very welcome and she took the time to find out whose birthday it was and wish me a happy birthday. Before going, I had pretty much decided I wanted to sample the tasting menu with wine matching. I hadn’t looked online at a sample menu as I didn’t want to ruin it, but I’d never experienced wine matching and I wanted to see if it was all it cracked up to be.
And boy oh boy it was. The food was incredible (as always) and having the wine matched with the food made such a huge difference. I’m not always the biggest fan of wine, but all of these were spot on and I enjoyed each of them. They taste of them also wasn’t majorly altered by the food – I seem to find that food just makes wine taste YUCKY, but not these ones! So kudos to whichever aficionado selected those. There was even a wine from Kent, which was super tasty and I will definitely be seeing if I can buy some in the shops.
Each course was absolutely insane, but if I had to choose one, I’d say the cod was my favourite. The cod was accompanied by brandade, peas, romanesco, caviar and a lobster and miso sauce – and it was on point. I couldn’t get enough of it. And when our dessert came out my plate was decorated with “Happy 23rd Birthday Bonnie” and candles. Yay!!
They really know how to look after you here; the service is excellent and the food is incredible. I can’t wait to go back! I’ve heard that lunch is amazing too, so maybe I’ll give that a try next.
So, we all went for lunch at The Estate Grill at Great Fosters for my birthday. When I say “we”, I mean the work lot, and when I say “for my birthday”, I actually mean for a new starters welcome lunch. But I kind of upstaged him – sorry Ross!
We wanted to go to Great Fosters for a bit of a change. We always go to the same places when we lunch with work and we fancied something a bit more up market than the local Italian and I can tell you now, it didn’t disappoint.
The building itself is so beautiful and the fact that you get to go through a tiny little door on your way in, completely floated my boat. It basically felt like stepping through to Narnia, but with exemplary service and impeccably seasoned food. I got sat down at the head of the table because it was my birthday (again, sorry Ross) and a napkin was placed in my lap. I love it when they do the napkin for you, it makes you feel like literal royalty.
Seeing as it was lunch and I was driving and I had to go back to work, I settled for a Diet Coke to drink (boo). We were brought some bread for the table and it was literally the tastiest bread I have ever eaten in my life. There was some amazing bread with rosemary that was absolutely delish, and I am not ashamed to admit that I had both pieces before anyone else could get a look in.
We had pre-ordered from the set lunch menu, so I eagerly waited in anticipation for my fish. When my plaice was set down in front of me OMG it looked incredible. It was accompanied by new potatoes with caviar, samphire, cucumber and brown butter. I mean… WOW. This plate of food was to die for – it was absolutely delicious. I love samphire so much and I never seem to manage to cook it for myself, so whenever I have it is such a treat, the same with plaice as it goes. There is nothing worse than eating a plate of food that you could have cooked at home yourself. That was not the case here and the whole thing was delectable.
For pudding I had Ivore mousse which was equally delicious. I don’t normally go for a pudding as I tend to prefer savoury; but everyone else was having one so I bent to their will. The mousse itself was seriously luxurious and it melted in my mouth. It was surrounded by shards of bitter chocolate and was accompanied by kumquat and orange. It looked so beautiful on the plate and I wish there was double portions!
Then they bought me out a little birthday cake with a candle in it and “Happy Birthday” written on the plate. Obviously I absolutely loved all the fuss and lapped it up, completely upstaging the new guy again (sorry Ross).
After that I took a it of a tour round the gardens which are so beautiful. There is a amazing little wooden bridge over the water in the main gardens, covered in wisteria which smells glorious and the rose garden is equally as beautiful. You can have afternoon tea here as well (and I LOVE an afternoon tea), so I will be taking my mum here as a treat for sure.
All the staff there are great and so well mannered and welcoming and it was genuinely a great experience. Considering the quality of the food here, 2 courses from the set menu for £19.50 seems all kinds of reasonable to me. To top it all off, on my way out I spied that The Tudor Room is now Michelin starred – I absolutely will be trying this (if the bank balance allows). I can’t wait to go back!!
It was my birthday last weekend. I love my birthday! I love all of the attention, all of the fuss and all of the presents. I know it’s not fashionable to say that, and I should be all like “it’s the thought that counts”. But in real life, it’s more like “PAY ATTENTION TO ME AND GIVE ME COOL STUFF”. I’m just telling it how it is right?
I was excited as usual for my birthday, but this year I was feeling a bit funny about it. A lot of stuff has changed in my 22nd year of life and I wasn’t feeling like I was ready to leave it behind quite yet. Saying “I am 23” seems so much older and different to saying “I am 22”. I can’t really put my finger on quite what it is, but I was definitely feeling weird about it. Also, it was on a Thursday so I didn’t take the day off, because you don’t just waste a days holiday midweek.
I had to get up extra early on my birthday to go and get snacks for the office (I should have done it the night before but I’m lazy AF and I didn’t), so I didn’t even get to see my parents in the morning and open presents. WAH. But I did get some seriously good snacks, and I treated myself to my fave granola squares from Tesco – I know they sound healthy, but FYI – they really aren’t.
I get to work and my team have decorated my desk [insert grinning emoji here], so there are banners, balloons and table confetti everywhere. There are so many tiny metallic stars over my desk I think I am going to pass out from the joy. OHMIGOD!! So after basically hyperventilating because my desk looks so pretty, I spy presents. Yesssssssss!!! One of the girls got me new goggles for swimming and some super cute cat earrings. I love the earrings SO MUCH. I even went as far as to struggle around with the earrings I had in so I could change them straight away. These earrings are the bane of my life; I love them because they never fall out when you are drying your hair or whatever, but when I actually want to get them out its nigh on impossible. Before I have been so angry with them, I have been tempted to rip them out of my ears with pliers. And I would have done, if I knew where we kept the pliers.
Cat earrings are now in, and I am BUZZING. I literally bounce around the office for whole morning with a grin plastered all over my face each time someone says “happy birthday”. We go out for lunch with the work lot (I’ll tell you all about that soon) and then all of a sudden it’s time to go home. The afternoon seems to completely run away with me after that – I’m not sure where it ran to. The presents seem to follow the cat theme and I got a cat wallet (which I will be using on nights out) and a cat rucksack. I nearly passed away when I opened by cat rucksack (thank you Claire). It has a cat face and fluffy ears. ITS SO FLUFFY.
After that we went for dinner (that deserves its own post too) and much wine was consumed. It was such a good day, I had so much fun and I forgot all about my strop about turning 23. Truth be told, I do still feel a little bit funny about it, but this is definitely one of those times where it isn’t worth worrying about it because you definitely can’t change it. Unless I’m a witch or something. Am I witch? It’s a possibility… One for another day I think.
If I don’t remember it, it didn’t happen right? I feel like that’s absolutely the way to live life. Because if you don’t know what happened yourself, how can anyone else be clear on the situation? Well, they can’t can they. Can they? Crap. So I’ll tell you all about it and we’ll see what you think.
The best stories start with a work party, and this one does just that. After a day of team building and talks from various important people, we were let loose in a theme park. There is a cute little beach at Thorpe Park and my company had decked out the beach with a DJ, festival face paints, beanbags and flip flops (the literal dream). Straight away I went and got my face painted with festival glitter – because what self respecting 22 year old would let that opportunity slide?
After that we went on the rides the park had opened just for us. They had the main roller coasters open, and there is a rather glorious photo of me on Nemesis Inferno with my fringe blown back. All I’ll say is it proves why I have a fringe okay? I screamed a lot (obviously) and rendered myself rather red in the face. My mate next to me thought this was majorly hilarious and he laughed at me the whole way round on every ride. Hmmmpf.
After this, it was back to the beach for some soju spiked cocktails. The trouble with these bad boys, is that they went down hella easy. There were passion fruit ones and raspberry ones and it was basically just like drinking juice. YUMMO! After making sure we loaded our bags with free flip flops and towels, we made our way to the party in the tent. So, at this point, I’m obviously a few bevvies in, but I’m feeling fine. I drop my bag at the cloakroom and put my ticket in the back of my phone case. I’m a bit parched by now, so I make straight for the free bar. I order 2 drinks for me (voddy, lime and soda) and 2 gin and lemonades for one of the girls. I make my way back to my pals and drink a voddy on the way. I felt a bit hard done by that one of my drinks had already gone, so I kept a gin and lemonade for myself, because she would be none the wiser.
Right about now I start to dance. Like I’m properly hyper and jumping about all over the show (this is very normal by the way). I’ve leaped about to much that I’ve got a bit of a neck sweat on and I solve this by procuring a hair band from the wrist of my manager. Obviously as a result of all the leaping, I’ve worked up a thirst, so wine is required. I consume the required wine and it doesn’t quite hit the spot. Obviously another wine is required – spot hit. Now, around this point, things start to get a little blurry. I remember doing a Jaeger Bomb (I don’t like Red Bull or Jaegermeister). I remember dancing to Westlife (I don’t like Westlife). I remember making friends with a man (I don’t like making friends). I am starting to suspect I have consumed a little too much alcohol. I’m dancing with a woman from work. When I say dancing… I mean DANCING. I fear there may have been a vag touch. But onward and upwards. Or not?
BLACKOUT. I don’t remember anything from this point on. Nothing. Nil. Nada. I am told I careered outside into the garden area and lay face down in the shrubbery vomiting up the nights excess. I am told I tried to make it back inside and was found surrounded by security with someone else’s bag. I am told I was sick all over my friends legs who had come to assist me. I am told I vommed all down someones back (more fool them for carrying me I say). I am told I wasn’t allowed in the taxi – why this was I am not sure. I am told I was located laying in the middle of the road having a nap. I was also informed that my father was called. And some say I was posted into the back of the Chelsea tractor with harsh warnings not to vom over the leather upholstery.
I believe none of it of course. I don’t remember it, therefore it didn’t happen.
Never have I seen one man, loved by so many, give so little in return.
I was excited to go and see Justin Bieber at BST in Hyde Park – I was really excited actually. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and Despacito was playing on the radio. So we turned up at Hyde Park in the afternoon to collect the tickets from the box office. We collect the tickets and it turns out these tickets grant us access to the guest bar and get us closer to the stage: winner!! So, majorly excited we made our way to the guest bar and had ourselves a couple of cocktails (because it would be rude not to right).
We’d got there just in time to see Martin Garrix, so we popped on over to the stage to see him in action. I have to say, I’m not sure Martin Garrix was quite the right vibe for the Bieber crowd. Justin has a very young following, so there are a lot of kids there with their parents. So, the rib cage shattering bass lines probably left a little to be desired in these circles on a Sunday afternoon. But I enjoyed it, so WHO CARES.
The Bieb was billed to be on stage for 8.15pm, so we settled in for a bit of a wait, as he is notoriously late to appear. So when he popped up on stage at 8pm (which is EARLY), we were all rather surprised. It seemed to go downhill for him from the off. He obviously had a cold and looked a little worse for wear. He didn’t engage with the crowd at all, and he was saying things that people were not wanting to hear.
A lot of the songs he didn’t sing a long to, and a lot of those he didn’t bother miming to. He looked like he would rather be anywhere else in the world, instead of here. He blew his nose on an item of clothing he took from one of his fans and didn’t even give it back. He kept repeating how ‘happy’ he was to be here, in the flattest voice and a sour look on his face. How little insight could one guy have?
At one point, nearing the end of the show he went and sat down on the stage, and had what I could only describe as a meltdown. I honestly thought he as going to lose it and burst into tears. And then it ended. That was it. No encore, no final song. Finito – and no Despacito.
I could have been angry with him about his attitude and I could have raged about it all the way home. But I actually just felt really sorry for the kid. He is clearly a terribly unhappy young man. We are the same age, and I cant imagine having lived such a portion of my life in the limelight as he has. It must be incredibly difficult to be him. I know you will say he is blessed to have a gift and have all the money in the world. But he probably thinks you are blessed to live a normal life.
So I’d like to say: I’m sorry Justin. I’m sorry for the pressure we put on you as fans. We forget how young you are. We don’t think about how hard we are on you. We don’t realise how difficult it must be to live your life in the limelight the way that you do. We have forgotten that we never really gave you a chance to grow up; we expected you to go from a child to a man with no in between. If you don’t want to do it anymore, just stop.
If you do happen to read this, which I know you wont, but if you do… Don’t feel guilty about having a break if you need it. We will be okay without you, and we will be here when you come back.
Here’s the story about how I came to realise how much time I spend on my knees.
At the weekend I was helping out at a kayaking regatta (because I do that sort of thing at the weekend). Clearly I enjoy getting up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning and zooming around the Thames on a boat, in my trackies, with no makeup on. Anyway, the course needs laying and the signs need floating in a dinghy and anchoring at either end of the course.
Anchoring is hard work. Never have I engaged so much core, as when I am heaving an anchor on and off a boat and then lowering it in to the Thames. Once I have anchored these dinghy’s, I set about laying the course. All this involves is putting weighted buoys in the water in a straight line. This is easier said than done. An hour of leaning over the side of a boat and heaving what felt like 1000 buoys into the water and getting completely soaked, they were finally out and the course was laid.
Next came the kayakers. They needed to be transported to the start of the course, with their kayaks and their paddles. Have you ever tried fitting 4 kayakers, 4 kayaks, 4 paddles a helmsman and me in a boat? Of course you haven’t, and my advice is not to try it. The only way of making this work, was to get the 4 racers to sit in the cabin of the boat out of the way. Shove two of the kayaks up against the cabin (so you can no longer see the people) and me stand there in front of the kayaks holding them up. Next you put two more kayaks in front of me to hold, and you have the guy steering the boat. But, because of all the kayaks in the way, there is no way he can control the speed of the boat. So I am forced to awkwardly squat down whilst holding on to all kayaks and do the throttle control. HA. We had one slightly hairy moment where we almost crashed into a stationary boat because I had thought the guy steering the boat had told me to speed up when he had asked me to slow down. But all told, I think one near miss isn’t too bad considering the circumstances.
When we got to the start of the course, we had to swing one kayak out over the side of the boat and into the water, hold it there so the kayaker could get in and repeat until all kayakers were in the water. Now, this sounds easier than it is. Me trying to steady a kayak for a burly teenager, who is certainly not light on his feet, is hard work. I spent the whole day half laying on the floor with my legs pressed up against the side of the boat, so I could get enough purchase to hold the kayak steady. It was more like having tiny elephants jumping into kayaks, I swear.
By the end of the day my shins are shot to shit and my knees have been officially crushed. I quite literally cannot walk and I’m staggering around the place like a drunk. There is no way I can bend my knees and I am lurching to the car stiff legged like a maniac. At this point I realise I am going to have to bend my legs if I want to drive home, so letting out a throaty screech I throw myself in to the car and assume the seated position.
Its when I get home that everything really starts to go pear shaped. I have to practically roll out of the car because my legs are stuck in that position and I can’t move them. Then I have to drag myself up the stairs using a fair amount of upper body strength (I looked like one of the un-dead at this point), with much grunting and groaning – I imagine I sounded like a warthog in mating season. I finally make it to my room and kneel on my bed. Why I did that I still cannot explain. I have never experienced pain like it. I screamed so loudly that my dad came rushing in thinking something terrible had happened, only to find out that I had knelt with too much gusto (yes, my dad is aware I am 100% nuts). My shins were so sore that even the duvet pressing against them was too painful and I ended up sleeping in the cold all night because that was better than the hell that ensued each time I tried to snuggle up.
There is more kneeling involved in my average day than one might think. It turns out, I kneel a lot. I kneel to reach for things, I kneel to carry out activities, I kneel on my chair, I kneel on my bed, I rest my knee against pretty much everything all of the time. I pretty much kneel or rest my knees against something 100% of the time, and 100% of the time, is a lot of the time. In fact, it is all of the time. I actually swore in the office when I bashed my knee against the printer. I received a good deal of disparaging stares as I hopped about the print room like a demented flamingo, swearing under my breath.
I never realised how much time I spend on my knees until… I’d helped out at a kayaking regatta. My advice? Don’t.
Its international selfie day today apparently, who even knew that was a thing? Not me, that’s for sure. Anyway, it got me thinking about the advent of the selfie. Having grown up with technology, my generation has been in a unique position. I have grown up as technology grew up. I don’t remember life without the internet. Although I am just old enough to remember going to the library to use the computer and connecting to the internet using the dreaded dial-up connection.
When the selfie first came to town, we were turning around our digital cameras and blindly taking photos of ourselves, hoping for the best. Tres amusant. I used to hide away in my room for what seemed like hours, trying to get a good photo of myself, where I A) wasn’t blinking, and B) you could actually see my face in it and it wasn’t just a pic of the ceiling. How hard life used to be.
The advent of front cams on phones was a massive gamechanger. The Lord quite literally had mercy on our souls when he gave this to us – because it was genuinely life changing. Gone were the days of having to turn your phone round and blindly stab at the shutter button hundreds of times, hoping that your new makeup look was being captured. Only to find that you hadn’t taken a single photo of your face and had in fact, only managed to delete half of your apps #firstworldproblems. But in all seriousness, it was all kinds of frustrating, coupled with the fact that the camera wasn’t that good anyway, so any photo you did get was bound to be blurry.
But sometimes front cam hates us and it wants to hurt us. You open up your phone, click on the camera, and get a full screen of unexpected double chin. Vom. And this is guaranteed to make you feel hideous for the rest of the day. Who knew I looked like such a potato from below? These are the times when I am glad that I am short and no one ever really sees me from that angle.
I know lots of people have their complaints with the advancements of technology and our increased use of social media. But I just think that these people have forgotten how hard it was to get a good outfit pic back in the day.
I’ve gone back through the archives and here are a couple of ‘classics’ I think you will enjoy. There are some serious TREATS here.
Every year we have a raft race as part of our village fair. Each year there is a theme and this year it was princesses and pirates. Not one to say no to an opportunity to release my inner princess ad dress up for the day I got a team together and we put our names down, Now, this is where I have to mention that the only people I could get to do it with me were 3 kids and they all wanted to be pirates, But whatever… They aren’t going to stop me from being the true princess that I am.
So once we had filled in the form I started looking online for princess outfits. I don’t know if you have ever tried to find a princess outfit for an adult but it is nigh on impossible (this I hadn’t anticipated), The only options you have are trying to squeeze yourself into an age 13-14 Elsa dress or purchasing a less tan appropriate slutty princess outfit. There is no way I was going to be able to squeeze my boobs and butt into a kids costume and there was even less of a chance of me wearing stockings and suspenders to the family fair, So the only option I had left was to make it myself.
Needless to say I didn’t give it much more thought than that. I had an idea in my head and there was no way I was wavering from that. I looked online for material which is a ridiculous thing to do, because how can you tell what material is like on a screen? So I came to the conclusion that I was actually going to have to go out and look in a shop for said material. I had a look in a local fabric show and there wasn’t anything that took my fancy, I wasn’t sure what colour I wanted and I was just sort of hoping I’d know it was ‘the one’ when I saw it. Anyway, I couldn’t find anything I liked the look of in this fabric shop, so I decided that the only other option for me was to find something like a set of curtains or bed linen that tickled my fancy.
So I went in to places like Marks and Spencers and Next, where I came to the conclusion that all their bed linen is madly expensive and I couldn’t possibly justify spending £65 on a fancy dress outfit. One of the last places I went to was Matalan, and low and behold there was a lilac double duvet cover that was just what I was looking for (for the mere price of £12 no less)! As soon as I got home I set to work straight away – again I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and I was just winging it.
I cut out a massive circle from the plain bit of the duvet cover for the skirt part, making sure it was big enough to fall from my waist to my shin with extra for hemming. Then I hemmed it all the way around the bottom which took FOREVER as I was doing it by hand. Once I had done the full mile of hemming I cut a hole in the middle of the circle so it would go around my waist and then hemmed that bit. It was at the point that I had hemmed that part that I suddenly realised there was no way of me getting it over my head, so I cut a small slit in the wait and added a popper so I could do it back up. Perfecto…Not! But it will do.
Now for the top – I used the quilted bit of the duvet cover for this because I thought the contrast in materials would be nice, and it was also a thicker material. Essentially all I did here was make a tube out out of the material so I could simply slip it over my head and tuck it into the skirt. Obviously this looked hugely messy and I wasn’t happy, So I decided that I would need to make a belt to cover up the join. I did this using more of the quilted material and added some poppers so I could fasten it. After a cheeky press on the ironing board it was time to try it on. My god I am excited. EXCITEDDD!!!
So I struggle into the skirt (despite the split and popper fix, I still have to dislocate my shoulder to get it over my head), and wriggle the top on over my head. After much wriggling I have broken a bit of a sweat and I have to have a rest before continuing. I put the belt round my waist and popper up. Its a tad tight, but no matter, I will just not breathe when I am wearing it. I don the tiara and the white gloves I bought on Amazon. And OHMYGODILOOKLIKEAFREAKINGPRINCESS!!!!! I am beyond pleased with the outcome of my incredibly haphazard and risky attempt of dressmaking.
I am genuinely so pleased with how well this turned out and I really did feel like a princess for the whole day and I really didn’t want to take it off. If I hadn’t have got soaked with lovely green Thames river water I probably would have slept in it.
So here’s to giving it a go and not being afraid to princess it up now and again!
My absolute least fave thing to do on a first date is to go for dinner. I think it puts way too much pressure on when you are meeting someone for the first time. Think about it… In what normal situation would you be forced to sit in front of someone you don’t know and eat a plate of food? There are way too many variables – what if you spill food down yourself? What if you panic when you are ordering and the waiter can’t understand and you have to repeat yourself? What if you hate the guy and there is literally no way of making an exit? Too much to worry about! Which is why I propose the following 3 things as my top first date ideas. You are going to tell me that they are boring and so conventional, but they are traditional and established for a reason, I promise you. So here they are:
Just meet for a drink. Now as classic as it may be, its got to be the top one right? And here’s why: its easy and its simple and you both know where you stand. You meet at a local pub or bar and we all know where the boundaries lie. You can have some dutch courage to make you feel a little bit more confident and take the edge off (not too much mind), and its easy to get up and leave if you have to. Because lets be honest, sometimes you meet people and you just don’t get on with them – no shame in it! But equally it can go on as long as you want if you are having a good time. The best dates I have had have been having a couple of drinks in a nice pub by the river and just talking. Chatting about rubbish and not talking about work and all that dull old lark.
Just grab a coffee. This is the equivalent to number one, but minus the alcohol. So if you are a massive lightweight and one JD and coke is going to tip you over the edge, this is the one to go for, equally if for some strange reason you don’t drink. Again, we all know where we stand with a coffee and again you can get up and leave if you have to. Its good if you are going on your date in the morning or the middle of the day and its a bit early to start on the alcohol. Plus if they take you to Starbucks you then immediately know you can’t go on a second date with them because they clearly don’t like coffee.
Go for a walk. Now this is a bit of a different one but I like it for a few reasons. Firstly, if you are really nervous about meeting this person and you think your nervous ticks are going to give you away, actually doing something during the date is really good at hiding this. If you are walking, you legs can’t nervously jump up and down and there is no way you can knock a drink flying off the table. If you struggle with things like making eye contact this is great because you don’t actually have to look one another in the eye. Also, if you tend to find it difficult to think of things to talk about, going for a walk is a great idea as it generates things for you to discuss as you go along. If you find the typical ‘first date’ scenario a bit daunting and intense then this is the one for you.
So like I said, they are typical and established classics for a reason. They keep the stress to a minimum and you can save the expense of a nice meal or tickets to go zorbing for when you know the person you are dating a bit better. You have enough to worry about without having to worry about taking part in a new activity and whether your gym leggings are going to show your cellulite. Just keep it simple (I’m bored of hearing myself say that now).
First date outfits: I’ve tried sexy, I’ve tried stylish and I’ve tried everything in between. But as with my post about first date makeup – I kept coming back to ‘simple’. Wearing heels just means I have to worry about tripping and making a fool of myself (like the time when I was wearing 6 inch platform over the knee boots and I tripped up a curb when slightly drunk on a date in London). Wearing anything low cut just means I spend the whole night pulling my top up and spending far too much time thinking about whether you can see my bra, rather than listening to what they are saying. And wearing anything too restrictive or difficult to get in and out of just means that it takes me forever to go for a wee and they just think I’m a complete weirdo for being in the bathroom for too long.
Most dates I go on tend to be in the day and in a pretty relaxed setting, which I much prefer. This negates the need to wear anything particularly seductive as we aren’t enjoying a candle-lit dinner and a bottle of wine in a fancy restaurant. Dates in pubs by the river and coffee shops in the high street are much easier outfit-wise in my opinion. When I select an outfit for one of these day dates, I make sure they are A) comfortable, B) flattering and C) ‘me’. I think one of the worst things you can do is ‘dress to impress’ as it were, and end up displaying an image of yourself that isn’t true to you. When I say this, I don’t mean that you shouldn’t look nice and make an effort, what I mean is, that if you don’t wear tops normally that display a load of cleavage, now is not the time to start. You will only feel uncomfortable and you are essentially making yourself into something you are not so as to impress someone, which is never a good thing right?
So I normally go for something like the following; shirts/tshirts and denim tend to be my go to’s – be it jeans and a top or a skirt and a shirt. Plus frilly socks are a must for me; I cannot leave the house without them on!
I end up having to wear a belt with everything as my ass is distinctly expansive inncomparison to my waist and having your trousers fall down mid date is not attractive.
Let me know what your ‘go to’ outfits for first dates are or what you think of mine!
Having nightmares about first date makeup? Don’t we all! We’ve all been there. We all know how difficult it can be to decide on an outfit and makeup when you are meeting someone for the first time. So I’m going to tell you exactly what I do makeup-wise just in case it helps you. It might not help you, but if it does then yay!! We are on for a winner.
So having been on a fair few first dates in recent times I have honed my first date makeup ‘look’ and I now refuse to stray from this. Having made the decision on what you are going to do with your face before-hand takes a tonne of stress away from what is a classically worrisome situation and a bit of an ordeal. When I first started going on dates I always wore a full face of makeup and made sure I was done up. But after one particular date where my right false eyelash released itself from my lash-line, fluttered momentarily in the breeze and then unceremoniously dropped into my vodka, lime and soda, I thought ‘no more’. You can’t explain that away.
So now I keep it really simple and I only put 4 makeup products onto my face for a date. I know that sounds minimal (because it is) but trust me on this one. The chosen products are as follows:
Benefit ‘They’re Real’ mascara
The Body Shop ‘All-in-one face base’ (pressed powder)
‘Rosy Lips’ tinted Vaseline
Sleek brow kit
I know, you think I’m mad don’t you? But I promise I’m not and you should trust me on this one, and here’s why…
When I’m on a date I don’t want to spend the entire time worrying about my face. I don’t want to have to go to the bathroom to check my makeup and I certainly do not want to re-apply at any point. I don’t want to concern myself with my concealer cracking. I don’t want to fret about foundation. I don’t want to lose sleep over lipstick. All I want to do is spend my time getting to know this new person with as little worry as possible.
I’ll describe my routine to you:
Wash face to remove general day grime
Exfoliate to reveal fresh layer of smooth skin (I use St Ives face scrub)
Apply moisturiser so face doesn’t look scaly (I use Simple rich moisturiser)
Take the sheen off face with pressed powder
Do a ‘minimalist’ brow with just powder (I find if I use the brow wax as well they look too ‘done’ for this)
Apply a sweep of mascara to top and bottom lashes
Achieve pouty, kissable lips by smearing tinted Vaseline upon them
That’s it. That is all. Finito.
I don’t know about you, but if I wear a full face of foundation I find it really highlights any imperfections in my skin and draws attention to any breakouts or problem areas. I also find that if I wear too much mascara it starts to smudge under my eyes and I start to look more panda than pretty, and if I wear a colourful lipstick, I somehow always manage to end up with some of it not on my lips (like on my chin or something). So why do it to yourself? Why cause yourself additional stress?
Another reason I go for such a minimalist look is because I think your date should be able to see what you look like. They aren’t going to ask you out on a date if they aren’t attracted to you, so why worry about it when you know they already think you are nice to look at? We all know that most guys don’t understand makeup anyway and when asked in these polls and questionnaires they are always saying they prefer a girl that wears less makeup. So ditch the slap and show off your beautiful faces I say. If you take one thing from this, let it be to keep it simple. Don’t worry, don’t obsess. I don’t have perfect skin (far from it in fact) and I have exactly the same worries as everyone else has on a first date. So just rid yourself of the makeup worries so you have time for the real worries, like whether you should admit your addiction to Peep Show on the first date or not.
Of course, if your date has only ever seen photos of you with a Snapchat filter applied you are completely fucked and you will need to fashion yourself a pair of furry ears and transplant a blemish free face onto your own. Or just make sure your date is somewhere dark, like in a cave, which is where you should be anyway in my opinion if you use the dog Snapchat filter.
Our last full day in Madrid left nothing to be desired – it was exactly as we wanted it to be (which happens less than you may think on holidays). I think the reason behind this was becasue we had no time pressures, we weren’t going to see anything,we had nothing planned and we had no set timings. We also had no preconceived ideas of what the day was going to be like or how we wanted it to go.
We woke up around 11 am, so we had a good lay in (which to be honest I hardly ever get a chance to do when I’m away because my days tend to be packed full of things to do). Once we were up and about we wandered back to a shop we had found the day before which sold empanadas, where we bought not one, not two, but four different empanadas to share. We also picked up a bottle of wine, some lemonade and some crisps in a little super market. Now laden with picnic items, we began to meander our way to the Buen Retiro Park.
We got there and there were these really odd trees, the had been shaped so they looked like strange little puffs of green stuck on the end of the branches – so that obviously meant 10 minutes of iPhone photography to try and nail the good lighting through the tree that made us look all glowy (you tell me whether we succeeded or not – I suspect not). With the photo shoot completed we walked on toward the ‘lake’. Now ‘lake’ is a very loose term here, as what it really is, is a giant swimming pool with some fish and a few terrapins in it, but it has boats on it, so a lake we shall call it.
We found a nice sunny spot next to the lake with a bit of shade from some trees so I could hide my pale skin from the inevitable burn when the sun got too hot. We laid out the picnic blanket with a flourish and parked our buttocks firmly on the (slightly damp) grass. The menu was as follows:
Empanada 1: spicy tuna – yummo
Empanada 2: chicken – not sure where the chicken was
Empanada 3: cheese and ham – tasted like a cat food filled doughnut
Empanada 4: chorizo [insert Spanish lisp here] – yummo
White wine: nice and tasty, but harder to consume than planned, which I will explain.
We made the classic idiot English mistake of buying a bottle of wine with a corkscrew in it and not a screw top. And not being seasoned alcoholics, neither of us had a corkscrew in out bags. I know, I can practically hear you sighing at me over this. It is THE classic mistake to make when getting wine for a picnic and you look so typically touristy googling ‘How to uncork wine without a corkscrew’. So stupidly, the first thing we tried to do was push the cork inside the bottle. Now I think about it this is clearly a terrible idea as obviously you can’t push it inside the bottle because of the pressure, but I’m going to say we had had to much sun at this point and it had affected our intelligence. We then read online that you can get the cork out but firmly hitting the bottom of the bottle against a tree or similar, but we were too scared to do this for fear of the bottle smashing and wasting wine or resulting in serious injury.
So forlorn and seriously sober, I began to search through my bag for an implement that may assist us in our quest for alcoholic grape juice. And low, the holy grail was found – a pair of tweezers. I promptly set about gouging out the cork (which was halfway down the neck of the bottle after the previously ill fated attempt at removal) which took distinctly longer than I had anticipated. One pair of ruined tweezers later we were finally able to consume our wine, and thank God it was decent to drink – otherwise I think I would have lost my shit after all that effort.
Wine consumed, we decided it would be a great idea to take out one of the bathtubs they were calling a rowing boat on the lake. We hired a ‘boat’ for 45 minutes for the mere price of €6, which we thought was rather reasonable. We plonked ourselves down in the boat and headed out on to the lake. To say it was utter carnage out there would be an understatement. Boats were lurching around in all directions, the oarsmen bearing no regard to the other vessels. We managed to make it out to a clear spot, on the way to which we saw a dead fish (cod rest his sole) and a terrapin, or a floaty tortoise (which I think is a much better name). Here is where Claire spied a ledge that she thought would be the perfect place to precariously rest her Polaroid camera so we could use the remaining 2 photos doing ‘action’ shots of us rowing.
We rowed into place, rested the camera precariously on the ledge and set the timer and with the 3 seconds we had, pushed off hard from the side and quickly posed for the camera, then rowed hastily back to the side so a gust of wind didn’t blow our polaroid away. We did this twice in all, and it is safe to say we must have looked like utter nutters to any passers by, of which there must have been many. But I don’t care, because the photos were great and the proof is here for all to see.
We were going to go to the park today but when we woke up it was properly overcast and I had a strong intuitous omen of rain coming (my intuition helpfully provided by the weather app on my iPhone). So we changed our plans and headed for the Chocolateria San Gines which is supposedly THE place to go for churros in Madrid. The churros typically come with this really thick and luxurious hot chocolate for you to dip them in. They looked incredible in the photos and the place gets some really great reviews online, so we thought ‘why not’?
I’ll start off by saying the experience wasn’t great from the off. We arrived and there were tables and chairs outside like your usual café type place, so we naturally assumed we could take a seat and someone would come and take our order. OH NO. We tried to sit down and promptly received an ear bashing in Spanish from a lady clearing one of the tables. Now, I have very limited knowledge of Spanish but I am 90% sure I heard the word ‘caca’ in the torrent of aggression that poured forth from her mouth, but I couldn’t be sure. Eventually a man in a chefs hat appeared next to us and lead us toward a counter where we were to place our order. It turns out you have to order first, get your receipt and a ‘ticket’, find a seat and then someone collects your ticket and brings your order to you. Self explanatory it was not.
We ordered 6 churros and hot chocolate and 2 ‘porras’ which are basically churros but the size of a babies arm. They turned up at our table really quickly, accompanied by what looked to be the worlds tastiest hot chocolate – such anticipation – we were practically foaming at the mouth. What ensued was not the delectable assault on the senses we had been anticipating. I’m not over exaggerating when I tell you that they were genuinely disgusting. They weren’t light and crispy as we had imagined; they were dense, doughy and chewy. They tasted of overused cooking oil and essentially how I imagine a part cooked doughnut to taste. The hot chocolate wasn’t much better, it was oddly tasteless and bitter and didn’t do anything to enhance the greasy batter sticks we were attempting to enjoy. We were disappointed to say the least. When you read reviews that say things like ‘the place to go for churros’ and ‘best churros ever’ you expect at least half decent product. I have made churros in my own kitchen that were 10 times better than these horrors.
Just to top off the event, the woman that had shouted at us earlier was lurking nearby desperate to be rid of us so she could clear the table so the next lot of tourists could consume the disappointing fare. My arse had barely left the chair before she swooped in and cleared away the remnants of our ‘churros’ (they are not worthy of the name). The only redeeming factor for the whole affair were the rather gorgeous guitar-playing buskers who were in my eye line the entire time. I even gave Enrique and Jorge (assumed names) €2 for their troubles, and possibly also so I could hide my blushing face in my bag under the pretence of ‘searching for money’ when they came round with a collection box.
Somewhat deflated but equally inflated, we went back to the places we Segway’d to yesterday for some pics with less chins in them in front of varying ‘places of interest’, where we were mobbed by groups of British tourists asking us to take photos of them. My mum says its because I look ‘approachable’, but we all know they look me up and down and are so sure that they could catch me and beat me in a fight if I ran off with their phone, that they are quite happy to take the risk and place their £700 worth of tech in my hand. But whatever, my face is just so approachable. We nailed the awkward arm poses in our very own photo shoot and even swung about a lamppost like we were in the cast of Singin’ in the Rain – it was a glorious feeling (damn right I did). Bonnie
It started the evening before when I couldn’t check in on the BA app. As soon as the check in failed I KNEW that the flight was overbooked and we were going to have troubles. But being the good pal I am, I didn’t voice my concern over the matter to Claire, because what is the point in both of us worrying about it?
So we get up at 4.45 in the morning and Les (my dad – the good lad that he is) drops us off at Heathrow after making a string of wrong turnings in the car which I will put down to lack of sleep and not senility. We try to check in on one of the machines in T5 and unsurprisingly it doesn’t work, because we can’t check in, because there are no damned seats left. So, we head over and join the queue that you join to be told that you can’t get on your flight. As I am sure you can imagine there is not a single queue in the British history of queuing that moves slower than this one does, a ‘snails pace’ does not even begin to describe the rate of progression. Everyone in the queue is angrily tapping their passport against their hand and is looking for the argument that we all love to have with the innocent employee of the massive company whose fault it is certainly not.
Approximately a millennia later we get to the front of the queue and low and behold; our flight has been over booked and we cant get on (the audience gasps in surprise, not). We get told we have to wait until the gate closes and come back, and at that point we will find out whether we get on our flight. We are issued with a £5 voucher to spend on food and drink (for our inconvenience) and head to the nearest cafe. No sooner have I picked up an extortionately priced bottle of OJ does the lady from the desk come hurtling over to us and tells us to ‘HAUL ASS because you got a flight to catch bitchez’. Obviously she doesn’t say that but I like to think that’s what she’d say if this were a film. So we run. We run all the way through T5 to the gate. No word of a lie, I am pouring with sweat by the time we plonk ourselves down in our seats. The man next next to us looks at me aghast like I’m some kind of freak show (which I guess I kind of was at this point) and goes back to watching Narcos on his iPad with a distinct look of distaste on his face. Whatever mate. Get with the programme, Narcos is sooooooo last season (all puns intended).
We make it to Madrid and get the Metro from the airport to the hotel, because we like to think we are cool well travelled types, and then climb up a hill which I don’t lightly say was definitely more of a climb than Mt Snowdon and more than likely resulted in altitude sickness. Into the lobby of the hotel we go and I shit you not, it had duvets as a lighting feature. Duvets??? Whatever next?!
We had a quick shower and bounced straight out for our Segway tour; which I was a tad apprehensive about, seeing as I have the innate ability to make a fool of myself stood still, let alone on a set of wheels that rely on balance (of which I have limited reserves of). I got on fine with the Segway after emitting a few small sqwarks of terror initially and off we rolled to see the sights with our guide Angel – no joke.
Now, I would be lying if I said I understood what the bloke was saying and if I remember rightly he was half Venezuelan and half Spanish, which meant he was rather difficult to understand. But we nodded along and pretended we understood every word he was saying because we are polite and British. Plus, he did take some terrible double chin shots of us in front of a palace, so I can’t really moan. He also recommended an incredible place for dinner which we went to in the evening and ate all of the empanadas and paella, and drank all of the wine. Yummo. Nothing like kind of local knowledge to get you a good place to eat eh? I’ll be hitting him up for a good place to eat if I ever venture to Venezuela.
Scandalous. Absolute downright, dirty, rotten scandal. Who the hell does that to post-it notes?! A line was crossed today in the office and there is absolutely no way we can return to a situation where the line is in full view again.
Let me explain the goings on. A person (who shall remain nameless) came to my desk earlier. They wanted to use a post-it note. Now I know this person quite well, so I didn’t feel too uncomfortable about passing over my pad of post-its for use. Now my trust in this person at this point becomes relevant, because I had a post-it note ‘on the go’ stuck to the top of the stack. I had assumed that she (or he… it’s a she), would peel off the top post-it, use the one underneath and leave the post-it that was in use stuck to my desk or similar.
The horror that ensued, I can barely bring myself to speak of. But I will speak of it, for you, in a bid to stop similar heinous acts being committed in the future. I urge you to steel yourself for what happens next. Instead of peeling off the top post-it note, she yanked off a whole wad of the blighters. When I say a whole wad, this is minimum 8 post-it notes, absolute minimum. I stared on aghast as this poor, sorry collection of tacky papers were disconnected from their family and thrown with complete disregard to the other side of my desk.
I nearly blew my top. I’ve no idea how I kept my cool and didn’t immediately storm round to HR and call for her dismissal. Worse and more destructive thoughts ran through my mind at this point, but I shan’t speak of them. She who shall not be named leaves my desk with her prize of a post-it note levered from mid stack. Honestly, what cretin does something like that? It breaks just about every unwritten rule there is regarding stationery etiquette. Every damn rule.
I fruitlessly tried to stick the stack back together, knowing full well that it was never going to line up properly and that I’d always be able to see the fault line style break that had been administered to my post-its in a terrifying reminder of the horrors of this life. Jesus. They are going to have to go in the bin. There is absolutely no way I can continue to live in this fresh hell.
I’ll tell you this one for free: no one puts me through an ordeal such as this and gets away with it lightly. No one commits an atrocity of such a level and walks away scot free. You will not go unpunished. Next time I go to the coffee area to grab myself a cup, do not even think for a moment you will be offered one. That’s right, feel the sting of that burn. I will absolutely be sticking something over her mouse sensor so it doesn’t work in the morning *laughs evily*.
So this was incredible. Far and away the best exhibition I have ever been to and I would thoroughly recommend you go. It’s at the V&A museum (get off at Knightbridge tube station and walk for a couple of mins) and it’s pretty busy so I’d suggest you book online beforehand and pick a slot. I went for the 11:30 slot and I was a bit late, but fortunately they give a 15 minute window for each time slot to give everyone a chance to queue up and get a headset.
‘Oh god, a headset!!’ I hear you cry. But don’t worry, it’s not THAT kind of exhibition, it’s not one of those ones where you have to type in the number of the display you are looking at to hear an electronic voice drone on in your ear about a particular 16th century piece changing the face or modernism or something. Everything is automatic; I’m assuming it’s done on sensors or something and when you walk past a display or a screen you hear what there is to be said about it. Coupled with the fact, that there is Pink Floyd in your ear hole pretty much all the way round.
So let me give you a quick walk through the exhibition. There are crazy painted telephone boxes throughout with all bits of memorabilia in them, there are photos, album covers, videos and props from their shows. The exhibition walks you through the age of Pink Floyd, starting at the first concert and ending with the last. It talks you through the changes in the group and all of the incredible artistry that went into producing their great works.
In the final room you take your headphones off and you can sit and watch their last creation on big screens with a psychedelic light show. Everyone lays on the floor and looks up at the screens and just enjoys the moment. As it says on the website, it’s an ‘unparalleled audio-visual journey’ and I couldn’t agree more.
I had a bad day today. Something happened before lunchtime and I ended up spending my lunch hour at home sobbing into my pillow with my kitty cat and my jim jams on – sad huh? Not really, just normal I think. It wasn’t really that bad, but it had just come out of the blue and got to me ya know? Taken me by surprise and the unexpectedness of it had brought on the tears, no one wants to the girl that cries at work either, so slid on out to the car and snuck off home for a bit.
I think I just needed a few minutes to be upset about it and then some time to talk about it. It was at this point without everyone else’s opinions blurring my vision that I realised it wasn’t exactly as I thought it was. The awful thing that had happened wasn’t as awful as I thought it was and it was actually probably quite a nice thing in disguise. But someone had told me it was awful and I automatically assumed that they were right about it.
It goes to show how easily innfluenced I can be, and we as a general human race. Someone says something and we just assume that what they are saying is right without any further thought. So here’s a thought, that person that tells you things are bad or good and offers opinions and advice all the time – they might be wrong. Because at the end of the day you know you better than anyone else does. You know how you feel about things and you know the situations you are in and they don’t, not really.
So next time someone tells you something is wrong or right, bad or good, think for a moment and consider whether that is the way YOU feel about it. Because what is important is how you feel about things, not how others feel about things. Please don’t pretend to feel one way about something purely because it’s the way you are ‘meant’ to feel, feel what you feel. Because feelings aren’t right or wrong, they are just that, feelings. So do me a favour – make sure you are feeling how you are feeling, not how anyone else is feeling.
Last Thursday I got my nerd on. I went to see Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in concert at the Royal Albert Hall. The film was accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, who were of course, absolute perfection.
For the first 10 minutes I could not take my eyes off the orchestra and completely ignored the film! I always struggle to stop watching the orchestra and pay attention to what I’m supposed to be watching, I’m constantly astounded by their skill and how goddamn easy they make it look. I am forever jealous of anyone that can play an instrument, unfortunately it is not something I excel at.
I spent a good few years attempting to learn the piano. About 2 years into the lessons my piano teacher clocked on that I couldn’t read the music and it all went downhill from there. I used to drive old Dorothy absolutely potty – she used to ask me where I was on the page and I never could tell the poor old love. She thought I was making mistakes when I hit the wrong notes, what was actually happening, was that I was sounding out the notes until it sounded right to me. I think she deemed me unteachable and my lessons ceased not so long after.
Anyway, I digress. After I’d got used to the orchestra being there I finally managed to concentrate on the film. I’d forgotten how tiny Harry, Ron and Hermione were! They were so unbelievably little and I have to be honest, their acting certainly improved over the years. But nonetheless it was really enjoyable to see a film that I hadn’t seen in years and relive my childhood accompanied by an incredible orchestra. Definitely a evening well spent and I would recommend it to anyone if there is a film showing they enjoy.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never managed to find a sports bra that, well, works. God knows I’ve tried, I’ve tried different brands, different sizes and none of them seem to do what they are supposed to. All I want is a sports bra that holds everything in place so I don’t feel like my boobs are going to rip off the second I stumble into a light trot on the treadmill.
The reason I’m rambling on about this today, is because recently I purchased an ‘ultra high impact’ sports bra. Now, when I saw this in the shop I thought I’d inadvertently come across the Holy Grail. I thought to myself ‘this is it, finally. No more bouncing boulders’. Life made. So I bought it, obviously it was extortionately priced, but who am I to put a price on comfort?
So I go to the gym earlier, eager to try out the sports bra to beat all sports bras. I’m struggling into it in the changing room (its one of those that zips up at the front you see) and I’m not going to lie, saying it was easy to get into would be a complete untruth. But I endeavour, and I finally get zipped in, having broken a sweat before even getting into the gym.
It’s at this point I notice it’s a tad, well let’s just say a tad on the restrictive side. Sort of rib crushingly tight and kind of already making my right shoulder go numb, but it will pass I’m sure. I can’t breathe, but breathing a whole lungful of air is overrated in my opinion anyway.
So we are at the treadmill. I step on gingerly. No jiggling experienced when stepping up – this is a good sign. So I start off with a steady trot and all is well… surely this is too good to be true? I up the speed until I’m settled into a strong canter. It’s at this point I realise that it is too good to be true, and in fact, I feel like my tits are being ripped off to be used as a sacrifice to the Gods.
OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH MUST STOP MUST STOP MUST STOP. My eyes are watering so much I can’t see to lower the speed, so I’m frantically flailing my arms around in the hope that I hit the emergency stop button. WHACK. Thank Christ. Finally it stops. I can’t breathe. Both my shoulders have gone numb now. It’s all I can do to manage to wobble my way to the changing room and rip the damn thing off after clawing at the zip what felt like 6 years.
I’m not sure what happened after that but I somehow made it home. It’s all a bit hazy. I can see it lounging on my bedroom floor as we speak. The sight of it fills me with rage. I’d throw it in the bin in an aggressive manner if I’d managed to get my breath back. I’m almost pretty sure I’ve punctured a lung.
So I went to see Beauty and the Beast at the cinema the other day. Yes I know it’s been out for months and months, yes I know I should have been to see it sooner – you don’t need to tell me, I know how rubbish I am without you reminding me thank you very much.
Anyway, so I went to see it having absolutely no idea what it would be like, having not seen any of the Disney classics with the real life humans in them before (yes I know, and I’m sorry). I’m going to admit it straight away, because the first step is to admit you have a problem right? I cried, A LOT. There I’ve said it. I’m not ashamed, there was a girl at the front dressed in a Belle outfit that felt similarly, she was 6 but whatever.
In essence, I loved it. The fact that Emma Watson was in it helped I think, because she is perhaps one of the most wonderful people on the planet and I could listen to that beautiful voice of hers forever. She is a modern day Goddess without a shadow of a doubt. I’d forgotten how down right hilarious Lumiere was and I also had no idea Ewan McGregor would make such a convincing French candelabra.
As with all Disney films, they make you think and they have a theme that runs throughout that makes you start questioning whether you are a good person or not. The theme of selfless acts is prevalent throughout Beauty and the Beast and it’s made me think, that to experience a selfless act is such a rarity in this day and age. I should definitely work on my selflessness, but that’s a job for next week I think, maybe.
I LOVE YOU EMMA WATSON YOU ARE MY QUEEN (such a fangirl)
Say NO to avocado. I don’t like them. I simply do not like them. I’m sorry, I know I’m supposed to, I know I am supposed to enjoy the green flesh of the fruit that represents all things healthy and ‘current’, but I don’t. I’d rather enjoy the green flesh of the fruit that represents all things ‘currant’, AKA the grape (I hope you see what I did there).
I’m sure I should be getting excited about my crushed avocado on sourdough for brunch that I am going to Insta later, but I can’t, I just can’t. It’s not even that I hate them, I just feel nothing towards them. The taste does nothing to evoke emotion, the texture does nothing to the palette, and not to mention the fact that visually the green smoosh is vom inducing. I keep trying to make myself like it, but it isn’t working – each time I attempt to consume some avocado I make the same face a baby makes just prior to spitting out it’s puréed roast dinner from a jar.
I tried to pick one up in the supermarket a few days ago and I couldn’t even manage that. The thought of all the yoga pant clad individuals that had picked it up before me and fondled it to judge ripeness was enough to make me place it gently back on the shelf (so as not to bruise the poor love) and send me racing to the biscuit aisle.
I know I can’t be the only one out there that feels nothing towards the avocado. I alone hope to pave the way for fellow avocado un-enthusiasts to come forward and speak out. Rise up warriors and #saynotoavocado