Burgundy be bringing me fame (maybe)

Aight, so, here’s the thing. I actually properly love burgundy as a clothing colour. I like it because it always goes with my skin tone and the colour of my hair, and not everything is matchy matchy when you are ginge, I tell you. It’s a strong colour, which always look way better on me than wishy-washy colours; I’m too pale for them (I think) and I just become a wishy-washy person, ya know? I don’t even just love it for Autumn either, I just generally love it as a colour and bust it out whenever I can, but without looking like I only own burgundy garms.

I’m trying to get back on the Insta hype, but I’m finding it hard, I’m not going to lie. Like, how do you become Insta-famous when you legit have nothing interesting to take pics of in your life? How???? Urgh. Anyway, one of my top girls suggested that I come up with some sort of theme for it, or at the very least, some form of plan. The word ‘theme’ and ‘plan’ made me audibly sigh as I consumed them via ear hole, and as much as I hate theming and planning, I have to admit that she is right. She is correct. Correctamundo. As much as it pains me to admit it.

that jumper tho

I couldn’t embrace the theme life – I chop and change too much and I have -38% chance of sticking with anything I decide upon, so I elected to colour-coordinate it. The whole thing isn’t going to be the same colour (don’t worry, that would end me), but every line of 3 tiles is going to have a colour theme. Which brings me back to the whole burgundy thing. This weeks’ set are all having a burgundy theme, whether you like it or not.

I’m hoping that having a colour theme is going to make it easier for me to post, whether that actually becomes a reality, is another matter. The last time I attempted to reach for Insta fame, I lasted for about 2 weeks before I crumbled, having gained about 1 follower. It’s too hard work, like, it’s really hard work and I don’t know how people do it. The second I post something, I’m staring at the screen like “WHY HASN’T ANYONE LIKED IT???? IT’S BEEN 2 SECONDS!!!!!!!!”. I find myself unbearable, and that really is saying something.

Rambling… bring it in Bonnie… Right, I’m going to aim for 3 or 4 posts a week (probably more like 3) because there is just no way I can post on a daily basis. Some people are out there posting like 3 times a day – whose life is that interesting? Because mine certainly isn’t! I don’t do enough cool stuff, eat enough cool stuff or wear enough cool stuff to post that damn regularly. I’m getting hot under the collar trying to choose a colour for next weeks’ tiles (check me out on the vernacular) because I’m just not sure that I have enough yellow items to keep me on the straight and narrow.

This post started out with me wanting to get you to follow my Insta, but the whole ‘pushing the content’ thing didn’t really happen – I just ended up having a bit of a rant about how hard it is to the Insta thing and basically moaned about not being cool enough. But, well, if you happen to come across my Insta, if you just happen to happen by it, give me a follow? And if you are feeling exceptionally friv, how about you like my 2 burgundy themed posts? Treat me, you know you want to.

Bonnie

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The false pocket infuriation

This weekend I went to Cambridgeshire to see one of my girls for her birthday. She was having a bit of a ‘gathering’ on the Saturday night with a bunch of her friends. I still feel uncomfortable about calling a group of people coming together of an evening and partaking in a few beverages, a ‘party’. There is something about the word ‘party’ which just makes the whole thing a little too serious and pressured. Like, if only 3 people turn up to your gathering, it doesn’t matter. There’s no judgement, it’s not a big deal – it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a gathering. But a party? A PARTY needs people. There is a requirement for attendance, so you don’t look like a complete looser. If only 3 people turn up to a party, your life is as good as over, is it not? Can you imagine? A party and only 3 people turn up. The ground would have to swallow me up there and then. It could not be lived down.

Anyway, I went there early so we could spend some QT and I’d help her set it all up on the Saturday. We went out for some drinks at the local Spoons on the Friday night. We thought it would be appropriate to share a bottle of prosecco, seeing as it was her birthday – and any excuse for prosecco right?

I’d decided that space buns were going to be a thing that day (mainly due to it being 32 degrees and me really not enjoying my hair being stuck to the back of my neck with sweat). I teamed those little bobbles of gloriousness with my new mustard yellow crop top with the pom-pom fringe, some big gold hoops and the dark blue maxi skirt everyone seems to love.

Everyone asks me where this is from, and I always tell them it is from River Island (which is not a lie), but I also have to explain to them that I bought this when I was an actual child of 15 and I’ve had it ever since (it’s been through various stages of tightness during that period). Because so many people have said they like it, I don’t want anyone to go mooching about the shops trying to locate this skirt that was in Spring/Summer Season 2009. As funny as that would be, I just can’t do that to my fellow ladies. I also just kind of don’t want them to wear the same clothes as me, because if they did – I would have to burn the skirt, which I don’t want to do, because as everyone says, it’s a nice skirt.

Where was I???? Oh prosecco! Well, it turns out I was very much wrong about the pro being a good idea. This prosecco was THE WORST prosecco I have ever consumed in my life. I can’t even explain what it tasted like; all I can say was it was legitimately one of the worst alcoholic beverages I have ever had the misfortune to consume. It almost tasted mouldy.

Oh, and to top the night off… You know how I said about wanting to burn my clothes if I ever saw anyone wearing the same thing? Well, I certainly wish I hadn’t said that out loud, because the universe clearly decided to punish me for it, by burning a huge great hole in my skirt when someone dropped their cigarette ash on me. URGH!!! Is this genuinely a punishment for being a bit of a brat about the clothes thing? Because it really does feel like it and I can now only assume that they whole world is entirely against me.

Whatever. Back to the gathering… I was finding it hard to decide what to wear for this, obvs there is no need to be super smart, but I wanted to look decent as well as minimise the sweat level as much as possible. Do you know what this calls for? This calls for the new wide leg, high waisted light blue trousers. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.

They tie up at the waist and nip you in just nicely and skim over everything else. I teamed them with a white tee with a blue and a red stripe on it, flatform sandals, chunky gold hoops and some tortoiseshell mirror sunglasses. I loved myself so much in this outfit, ngl. I felt fash AF.

The whole gathering thing started off a bit slowly, because no one really knew each other. But a bottle of vodka later and I was still sitting outside at ridiculous o’clock – putting the world to rights with my new mate Tim. We were discussing (in an alcohol fuelled state) the fact that we both felt as if we should achieve more and make a bigger difference with our brains, but were so far achieving precisely nothing of note, as a result of extensive procrastination and a generally lack of belief in oneself – and the classic ‘it’s easier to just not try’ thing, which so many of us suffer at the hand of. In addition, we discussed how incredibly unfair it is that women’s trousers never have sufficient pockets, and that the false pocket is possibly the most infuriating invention in the entire world, and he is certainly not wrong.

Bonnie

Another day, another slice o’ pie

23rd June

Heading back to Moresby island today in preparation for our boat expedition the following day. We had to go back through Queen Charlotte to get there, meaning we HAD to stop at Queen B’s café, we really didn’t have a choice. First, however, we went for a little mooch around the town. We treated ourselves to another totem pole viewing and saw a truck load of bald eagles circling around above us and chilling on the beach.

Couple of baldies

As well as a row of ravens sitting next to the kid’s park. I think they wanted to have a go on the slide but thought we’d judge them if they hopped on (I would have FYI).

I had an enchilada at Queen B’s, which was scrummy and topped it off with a slice of pumpkin and pecan pie, which beat that enchilada hands down, even though it was a pretty good enchilada. But ain’t no enchilada as good as no pie. U get me?

We got to our hotel on Moresby Island, which was The Sandspit Inn. My door didn’t really shut, but that was easily overcome by using my total bodyweight to yank it shut after me. If you think about it, it’s pretty much an additional safety feature – no one is going to waltz in and steal my things if the door is too big for the frame and they can’t open it, are they? No, they aren’t. After battling with that for a while, I laid on the bed and vegetated for a while/the rest of the evening.

The evening was turning into night and I was looking forward to bedding down and getting in a good night’s sleep before we started exploring via boat the next day. No sooner than my head rested upon the pillow, did the hotel bar turn into some sort of club and start pumping out all of the bass. I don’t mind a bit of loud music, but it really is a surprise when your hotel turns out to be an absolute slave to the sesh and not the least bit interested in their guests getting a decent amount of shut eye. I can only imagine how loud the music would have been if my door wasn’t quite so snug in the door frame. Silver linings and all that.

Bonnie

BFTs: Big Fuckin’ Trees

22nd June

We headed to a place called Port Clements today, there’s not much there and to be honest it wasn’t really worth the drive, but we did stop for another slice of pie on the way there (see, told you I’d opened the floodgate). The pie was at a place called Angela’s place, which happened to be another gas station-cum-diner, or a ‘social café and fuel station’ as per the sign.

I’d say that this pie had a better filling than the previous nights, but the pastry wasn’t as nice… So, I can’t say which one was better… I’d possibly lean towards the first one as the whole experience was just a little better.

We stopped to see the Golden Spruce on our way back, which was a GIANT let down. Basically, it used to be this big gold coloured spruce tree, until some proper nut job cut it down in a protest. I’m all for a protest and that, but cutting down a super old one-of-a-kind tree? Nah. You can have a little read about that sitch here, if you’re interested. Anyway, so we went there to look at this stump, which was exactly that – a stump. I’ll give you £1 if you can even see a hint of golden in this pic… thought not.

In this park, there were some huge trees, like, properly massive trees. Well over the wingspan of one girl. Some of them, it probably would have taken about 8 or 9 of you holding hands to go all the way around the tree.

I feel like most of what I talk about revolves around food, but I’m actually fine about that, so here’s some more about food… Because dinner was SO good last night, we went to Sherri’s Gas Bar & Grill again to eat. We had a summer salad, which was mad tasty – I’ve never had raspberries, blackberries, mandarin and nuts in a salad before, but I WILL be having it again, Mouth-watering doesn’t even begin to do this justice.

Following on from yesterday’s crab cakes, I couldn’t help but opt for another crab-containing meal. I had a crab patty burger, which was NEXT LEVEL. It was just… I can’t even describe it, it was so yummy. Moist, perfectly seasoned, beyond fresh. I could wax lyrical about this crab burger for the rest of the day if no one stopped me. Is anyone going to stop me? I tell you what would stop me though; stuffing my face with another crab burger.

Obviously, there was room for pie. Apple pie and lemon meringue pie (promise I didn’t eat both slices on my own). Apple pie was distinctly better than the lemon meringue – nicely spiced, pastry was fierce and the whole thing was just on ittttt.

Yummo. See, pie is becoming a serious problem for me. Like, it may even be an addiction. I’ve had 3 different kinds of pie in 1 day. HELP!

Bonnie

A sweaty selfie looks less than healthy

21st June

The day started off well with a breakfast of pancakes, streaky bacon and maple syrup. I feel like I haven’t really eaten that much maple since I’ve been in Canada, which is sad, because it is the land of maple syrup. I’d always thought that every single Canadian drank maple syrup like water… maybe I’m wrong… but if I lived in Canada where the maple be good and the maple be cheap, I would not be having the good stuff on a rare occasion.

We headed to Tow Hill (which I naively had thought was ‘Toe’ hill), I don’t know why, but toe on your foot just made more sense to me than towing your car, ya know? Anyway, we headed down there. Down there? Up there? Who knows, but we headed there. We were expressly told not to drive our hire car down any gravel roads, so, naturally, we headed off down a gravel road to this toe place. Once you get there, you have a bit of a hike up the trail to get to Toe Hill. At points, this gets pretty steep, but it’s all on a board walk, so there is no risk of falling to death or anything like that.

We headed to the beach first to have a look at the hill from there, and there is also a ‘blowhole’ on the beach too – but you can only see this do its thing when the tide is midway in, there’s a fair swell, Jupiter is in rising and the North star has combusted.

I decide that merely viewing the blowhole from afar is simply not good enough, one must in fact, climb atop the blowhole to truly experience it. So, I did.

The rock formations here are pretty cool, ngl. It was good to have a mooch around and have a look in the rock pools and scramble around very un-elegantly on various bits of rock I came across.

Next on the list was to hike up the actual hill. Now, this was the steep bit. To say I got a bit of a sweat on would be a gross understatement of the facts. I tried to take a selfie where I didn’t look too hideously warm, but I’m not quite decided on whether that panned out or not – I’ll let you decide on that one.

Once you get up to the top of the hill, it’s a pretty decent view. You can see out across the beach, and see people catching crabs, fishing and digging for clams.

We popped back down the hill (which was distinctly easier than the heart attack inducing haul up) and headed to Agate beach, aptly named, because there’s a tonne of agate to be found on there.

I can’t really say whether this was agate or not, but it looks kinda like it, so we will say it is, just so I can feel pleased with myself.

Dinner was swiftly becoming a priority, so we headed back down the gravel road we shouldn’t have been driving down, hit up the B&B for a change of clothes and bounced out again. We went for dinner at a place one of the women we had met at the top of Toe Hill had suggested. She said you have to look past what you see on the outside, because it essentially looks like a rough old petrol station – which turned out to be the entire truth.

Anyway, it was called Sherri’s Gas Bar & Grill, and it genuinely does look like a run-down old gas station from the outside, but I promise you it is worth going in there – the food there is one of the best meals we had on this trip, if not THE best. I had crab cakes for dinner and the crab was fresh caught that day, and it was DELISH. I can’t even rave about it enough; this crab cake was the best crab cake I’ve ever eaten in my life.

Swiftly followed by a slice of rhubarb and strawberry pie, which had been made by one of the local ladies, which was again, DELISH.

That first slice of pie seemed to open up the floodgates, and much pie was consumed after that point. Much to the detriment of my waistline upon my return home (the scales groaned under the additional weight, I’ll tell you that now).

Bonnie

Pickle spears and little deers

19th June

The next couple of days involved travelling back to Whitehorse, the only notable happening was the consumption of some pickle sticks at the Airport Chalet in Whitehorse. I’ve never had a pickle stick in all my life – in essence, they are sticks of pickle (or gherkin if you are from da UK) which are bread-crumbed and then fried, resulting in the most glorious tasting things I have ever had the fortune to eat in my life.

We experienced a rather wonderful sunset as we were flying back to Vancouver – quite vibrant in colour, and I love the lil moon peeking through.

20th June

The following day saw us travelling to Haida Gwaii. Haida Gwaii is what used to be known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, in and around that area there are loads of cool first nation island ruins, where you can see the houses that existed on the islands, old house frontal poles and mortuary poles. First, however, we are heading to Masset where we have a few nights stay at the Eagles Feast House, which is a guesthouse right on the water.

When we land, we have about an hour and a half drive to where we are staying. The island is so peaceful, like, I’ve never been anywhere to tranquil in my entire life. It just has this aura of relaxation about it. The islands are being overrun with deer, and they are everywhere! We saw a little one on our drive toward Queen Charlotte, such a little bambi!

When we were in Queen Charlotte we stopped at this great little café called Queen B’s.

They have daily specials and everything is home-made and delicious. I had hummus, pita, salad and soup, accompanied by a cranberry sparkler.

We took in some totem poles, before arriving at our B&B in Masset, where I had a nice room overlooking the water.

I was looking forward to some downtime in Masset, we hadn’t anything planned, and it would be nice to have a break and just not really do anything. All the travelling we’ve been doing has resulted in a haze of tiredness. So, I settled down that evening for a date with Jake Peralta, of Brooklyn 99 (taking advantage of the free WiFi of course).

Bonnie

Did you hear the one about the bear?

18th June

On the agenda today: making it back to Dawson City. We drive pretty much the entire way, without seeing a single thing; clearly our luck is never going to change, and we are never going to see a single interesting animal at any point during this entire month-long holiday.  Are there even animals in Canada? Does a single mammal exist, larger than a squirrel? Well, it turns out, they do exist.

We’re not far away from Dawson City when we see a grizzly bear at the side of the road. I think we nearly all died in our seats – we genuinely couldn’t believe what we were seeing. All this time without seeing a bear, listening to everyone else we’d met telling us about all these amazing bear sighting, and we hadn’t even caught a glimpse of one. And here one was, literally a metre away from us, and with a 1-year-old cub!!

They were scared of passing traffic (particularly the little one) and each time a vehicle came past, the little one shot up onto the bank and into the trees, out of harm’s way.

We probably sat there for about half an hour, just watching them go about their business, munching on the grass and mooching about together. Bears are just glorious, are they not? If you think they’re not – then I am not interested to hear it, quite frankly.

High on bear spice, we carry on along down the road, only to see a MOOSE!! It wasn’t a daddy moose – so there were no giant antlers, but it was a moose all the same. The lady moose ran across the road, then made her way across a pretty deep stream (unsure at what point it becomes a river) and popped back out the other side. Our luck is truly changing!

We get to Dawson City and check into the Westmark Hotel. Now, this is by far the nicest hotel we stayed in on this holiday – but it is also the worst, and I’ll tell you for why. No WiFi, that’s why. There’s WiFi in the communal areas, but you can’t get WiFi in you room and I am SO not about that life. Why would you do that to people? WHY??? It’s like they are tantalising you with the possibility of good connectivity, and then just whipping it away at the last moment. I would rather stay in a much less nice hotel, with a normal WiFi policy.

That evening, we went to Diamond Tooth Gerties. Diamond Tooth Gerties is a gambling hall, where they do shows each evening; a ‘Vaudeville’ show (according to Wikipedia). Diamond Tooth Gerties is also Canada’s oldest casino – this knowledge is also courtesy of Wikipedia. For not that many Canadian dollars, you can spend an evening in Diamond Tooth Gerties – not only can you spend a night there, but your ticket is valid for the rest of the month, so you can spend the whole month there if you want to… or was it the rest of the year? I can’t remember now. Either way, it was a long time.

You can have your fill of dancing girls doing the can-can and flashing their bloomers. Many a quick change is done, and Diamond Tooth Gertie herself has a good old sing-song. Okay, it’s not the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life, but it’s a definite laugh.

The splits are done many times (as was much wincing on my part) and legs were more often above heads than not. They even get up a few guys from the audience to have a go – which is more than amusing.

Ooh, something I completely forgot to mention! In Dawson City, it can legit be 15 degrees Celsius, and EVERYONE is out in their flip-flops and shorts, and I mean EVERYONE. I’m sorry, but +15 is not warm enough to take your jacket off outside, let alone wear minimal clothing. These people are complete nutters, I swear.

Bonnie

Today, ft. more driving ‘n’ wind.

17th June

When is there not driving to be done? There is always driving to be done. In Canada, one does not simply, not drive. Here, people think 2 hours is a short drive… Like, HUN, 2 minutes is a short drive – 2 hours, and you will need to present a strong business case to gain my attendance.

Anyway, we were heading back to Eagle Plains, which means we were going back through the mountains where it had been snowing a mere day or two prior. Well, when we passed back through that area, it was literally like a different planet. Snow was not a thing, it was well above freezing and there was actual sun.

The only downside to this, was that it was obscenely windy. So windy, that getting a decent selfie was impossible. So windy, that in every single photo of me, you can see my forehead. My forehead is a thing few have seen. Even worse than that, it looks like I have a Rod Stewart mullet going on, which is less than ideal. People were starting to mistake me for dear Rod and began asking for off the cuff renditions of Maggie May (I was only too obliging).

I can’t even describe to you how knotty my hair was after braving the wind at the Arctic Circle sign. It was almost like it had been woven into a mat: that’s how tangled up it was.

Also, how cool is this hazy mountain vibe? It looks like it was born to be on a gallery wall. All the pinks and greys and blue are just everything to me.

We stopped for a bit by the river to have a rest and stretch our legs. I made the MASSIVE error of getting out of the car and going for a wander down the river banks – I experienced major regrets. I don’t usually get bitten by mosquitos, but this was most definitely an exception. If I’d been wearing trousers like a sensible person, then none of this would have happened, but I wasn’t, I was wearing tights. Obvs not just the tights, cos that would be weird, but a tights and dress combo, like a normal person.

I got savaged by these little winged assholes, so, I had some properly mangy looking legs for like a week. Hot or not? Most definitely not. But, on the plus side, I did find a pebble that looked like a heart – so silver linings and all that.

It almost makes the mauled legs worth it… apart from the fact that it really doesn’t.

Bonnie

Having your arm in the socket is overrated

15th June

Had another pretty chilled day today – the place we are staying at keeps huskies, and if you are short on things to do, you can take one out for a walk. So, this is exactly what I did. Let me tell you one thing right now: HUSKIES ARE MAD STRONG. I don’t know why this came as a surprise to me (seeing as they pull sleds for a living) but by the time this walk was over, my right shoulder was dramatically less in the socket than it was when it began.

I even took out one of the smaller ones who was only a year old, but she was still ridiculously strong. Like, it was more like being pulled along by a horse than it was a dog. As a result, I think they should measure things in husky power, rather than horse power.

Even though I’m a fully paid up member of the ‘don’t really like dogs’ club, even I have to admit, these pups were frickin’ cute. Even when they did stop to drink out of puddles which were more mud than water and pause to consume what I think was some sort of moss. Yick.

I even let one eat a piece of dog biscuit out of my flesh and bone hand. But between you and me, that was the 4th bit of biscuit I had provided, after wussing out and dropping the other ones each time the doggo’s face came at me. But don’t tell anyone, please.

After my arm had been stretched sufficiently (if only I could do that with my legs), resulting ruined ligaments and tendons for life, we popped out to find the local car wash. The trouble with the roads around here, is that your car gets properly dusty.

Then, the dust gets everywhere, and when you get out of the car, you end up with mud all over the back of your trousers. Not that that happened EVERY SINGLE time or anything… it’s almost like I never learn.

Bonnie

Chilly feets and gnarly eats

14th June

We’re up nice and early again today, and once I’ve consumed a bucket of coffee and snacked on some more of that granola, we’re on our way to Tuktoyaktuk. Tuktoyaktuk (or ‘Tuk’ if you don’t have all day) is a hamlet which is north of the Arctic Circle, on the shore of the Arctic Ocean. Until recently you couldn’t access Tuk unless by plane or ice road once the ocean had frozen. Just last year, they built a road, so you can drive all the way there from Inuvik. Because the road is pretty new, there is a low weight limit on it, meaning trucks still can’t get down there. But I am not driving a truck, so I can certainly get down there, and paddling in the Arctic Ocean is pretty tempting isn’t it? Especially when I don’t know a single person who has done that.

So, we head off; the journey takes about 3 hours in total, and let me tell you now, that journey is BORING. The scenery the entire way looks exactly the same, apart from a couple of pingos which appear out of the landscape along the way. A pingo is a mound of ice covered in earth, and this area is known as the ‘land of the pingos’. Yes, there are pingos, but I don’t think there are quite enough to legitimately name the area ‘land of the pingos’… ‘area containing some pingos’ would be much more appropriate I feel, but that is another argument for another day.

The first section of the drive is a little… well, a little uncomfortable, let’s just say that. There are some bitch-ass ruts on this road, and I felt like I was either going to smash my head into the roof of the car or hit myself in the face with my boobs – that’s how bumpy this was. This pic doesn’t do it one iota of justice, but I promise you a smooth ride, it was not.

As we were driving along, we came across a lonely little caribou in the road. I’m not sure if this little one was a girl or a boy, but it was pretty damned cute, so I am going to make her a her. Anyway, she was all on her own, which was kinda sad, because I feel like they aren’t really supposed to be in their own, so I am guessing she missed the rest of them when they made the migration or something… Or maybe she got left behind for some reason. Anyway, I managed to get some cute pics of the little lady, and she went for a bit of a jump around and trot along the road in front of us.

Once she’d sauntered off into the distance, we carried on, eventually arriving at the Tuktoyaktuk sign, for the obligatory pics.

As we drive in, we come to the realisation that the sea if still frozen – we were not expecting this! Usually by now it’s completely melted, but there is a definite amount for freezage going on here. We were booked onto a tour with an Inuvialuit lady, who is native to the area, and called Eileen. Once we have located Eileen, after borrowing a helpful Canadian lady’s phone, she comes and grabs us, and we head to her house. Now, I have to admit, I was dubious about the entire thing. When you arrive here, it really does appear if there is nothing here, not just limited amounts of things, but literally nothing, and in all honesty, it looks a bit of a state.

Eileen serves us up some traditional fare, some of which was edible and some of which was distinctly not, but I am proud to say I tried it all. There was caribou stew, which was surprisingly nice and dried whale meat, which was unsurprisingly un-nice; it just tasted so much like dead whale, I cannot even begin to tell you. We had some muktuk, which is the skin and blubber of a whale and this is genuinely rancid. Eileen was telling us that people cover it in brown sauce, and I can 100% understand why, because you do not actually want to taste that stuff when you are consuming it. Dried musk ox was the chewiest thing I have ever attempted to consume in my life, and I am sorry to say, that one had to come back out of my mouth as there was no chance that was going down the hatch without resulting in much retching. The smoked white fish was genuinely really tasty, and the piece de resistance was the bannock. Oh, the bannock [insert lovestruck emoji here]. If this bannock had DMs, I would be sliding right into those because this was the tastiest thing in the whole of Canada, hands down, no argument. No word of a lie, I am 97% sure I ate an entire loaf of it.

Eileen looking fierce in her mum’s dress parka – who knew there was such a thing as a dress parka?!

Her husband, Billy, took us out into his trappers’ tent and showed us some of the different animals he had trapped in his time. Whilst this was interesting, and really cool to see how they made a living, I’ve not got any pics, because dead cute ‘n’ fluffies actually breaks my heart. We headed back out and went to see the first Tuk sign, which was put there in the 70s, and is in relatively good condition, all things considered. Here we are looking like a few heavies outside da club.

After that, she took us to see her smokehouse which was on the beach, right next to the ocean.

I took this opportunity to remove my shoes and socks and have a paddle in the Arctic Ocean. Just to let you know – it’s cold AF. Like, next level cold, so cold that I have never experienced a chill like it. Icy doesn’t even do it justice!

It’s also really hard to get your shoes back on after you’ve gone for your paddle (as exhibited in the below photographic evidence).

Your feet are numb to the core and the pebbles are massive and the whole thing is a bit of a palaver; but it is SO worth it, just to say you did it. Even if I did get a higher than desired level of silt in my suede shoes.

Bonnie

A lazy day and school bus suppers

13th June

You may have noticed that I missed a day out, if you did – then thank you for religiously reading this – you and the one other person who isn’t my mum should probably get married or something. Anyway, the reason I missed a day out, is because on that day I did literally nothing. I didn’t wake up until about 1pm, and for a couple of reasons; firstly, because the sun is up here until about 1am, and secondly, because all the driving had knackered me.

When I did wake up, I sat in bed and read my book, replied to a bunch of messages and emails, progressed to watching re-runs of Friends, Will & Grace and 2 and a Half Men and then ate a fat bag of granola and drank about a gallon of coffee. All in all, a pretty productive day, wouldn’t you say? I needed a break in all honesty – holidays are tiring when you are on the move constantly, never sleeping in the same place for more than a couple of nights, driving and straining your eyes looking for the non-existent wildlife of British Columbia.

The next day I managed to rise from my coffin at a slightly more reasonable time, but in all honesty, achieved about as little. What I did achieve, however, was the consumption of food. There aren’t many places to eat in Inuvik, in fact, the only options you have are a couple of hotels and one family-run restaurant. If I were you, I wouldn’t bother with the hotels and I’d stick with the family-run, which is called Alestine’s, if you’re interested.

Alestine’s is only open from 5pm-8pm in the evenings, so make sure you get there on time. This place is a cute little shack on Franklin Road, where they do all their cooking out of the back of a bright yellow school bus.

The service is friendly, and you’re served by the wife of the family, who is rushed off her feet constantly because of the popularity of this place. They have about 5 main course options on the menu and one dessert, which are given to change as and when things are in and out of season, or when the chef fancies something different. We entered in and who else did we see sitting in there, but Susan and Michael! We promptly park ourselves down on their table and ask them what’s good on the menu. After taking that in, I order the fish tacos at the recommendation of Susan. I’ve never had fish tacos, but when in Rome and all that…

My fish tacos soon arrived, and boy did I enjoy them. They came with fries (as does everything in Canada) and they were filled with fried white fish, mango salsa and a light coleslaw. YUM!! I wolfed those down in about 8 seconds flat, got my hands covered in sauce and ended up with chutney all round my face – so it was a good meal for sure. It took all my mental strength to try and not wipe my hands on my trousers. I’ll leave you to decide for yourselves whether I managed that or not.

I’m so bad with wiping my hands on my trousers. I KNOW I shouldn’t be doing it, but I literally cannot help myself – the desire is too overwhelming. It’s clearly much more ladylike and polite to wipe ones’ hands upon a napkin of a serviette, but I just feel like my trousers really do the job better, and it’s obviously way better for the environment if I shun all serviettes and refuse to use them. That practically makes me an eco-warrior, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it??????

Bonnie

“You’re bringing the Arctic Circle into disrepute”

11th June

Overnight it continued snowing, and when I looked out the window in the morning there was still a smattering of snow. I’d been looking forward to being snowed in and having to dig the car out and put on the snow-chains to be honest – but no such luck. All I got was to slip about a foot on the metal grid out the front of the hotel #MichelleODrama. Because it’s all kindsa of mountainous between here and the next stop (Inuvik) we decided to set off with an American couple we’d met in the hotel, called Michael and Susan. Safety in numbers and all that!

Because I’m a born daredevil, I opt to drive first and lead the pack as such. No sooner do we get down the hill from the hotel, does all the snow disappear – muchos dissappointios! However, in the place of the snow, was a sludge you would be hard pressed to call a road. There were some spots which were black-ice-level slippery. Some impressive skids were done in the 4×4. I think I pretty much held my breath for the entire drive – that’s how hard I was concentrating.

We start climbing up towards the Arctic Circle, the snow has made a reappearance and the temperature is dropping big style. By the time we reach the Arctic Circle sign it’s -5 degrees Celsius, the wind-chill factor making it a cool MINUS 20!!!! Chilly does not even cover it. The sign appears out of the snow and we pull over to get some pics. Now, this was a dramatic 10 minutes, even for me. I stop the car and I get out… And only I get out… It turns out that in the cold and snow, the passenger door and the rear doors have frozen shut and we can’t get them open. No amount of tugging is opening those bad boys, so an amount of clambering had to be done to exit the vehicle.

I was desperate for a wee by now, so I headed to the loo. It’s so windy here, I was almost blown past the lav – but I made it in eventually, after a long battle with the door. I get in there, and the loo seat is covered in snow. This is something I have NEVER experienced in all of my loo visits. A good inch of snow stands between my bare arse and the toilet seat… Hovering seems a good idea at this point.

After a tricky few minutes I exit the loo, struggling to do my trousers up in the freezing conditions, only to hear Michael (the American guy) shouting though the wind at me “Bonnie, do your trousers up! You are bringing the Arctic Circle into disrepute!”. Needless to say, this did not help me with doing my trousers up – not only were my hands frozen, they were now jiggling around uncontrollably as a result of intense laughter. And I was trying to run.

It was way too cold to get any decent photos, so we accept that we will have to stop on the way back and get the pics. Seriously weak selfie game was exhibited.

Ooh, I forgot to mention! When I got out of the car here, I got a high 5 from Michael saying I was a great little driver. Never has anything made my life more than this did. He is my new fave person.

I carried on driving and I’m not going to lie, it got beyond terrifying. Obvs I loved how terrifying it was, but it really was scary. It started snowing heavily and visibility was non-existent. All I could see in front of me was white, and the occasional flash of the lights on the RV we’d come up behind. Driving down this road, the wind was whipping up the snow from beside the road, meaning I couldn’t see where the road was or where the other cars were.

There isn’t anywhere you can stop, and even if you did stop, you run the risk of getting hit by another car who just hasn’t seen you in the snow – so I press on. This was white knuckle – I’m not gonna lie. When I eventually got out of the car, my hands were screaming in pain from how hard I’d been gripping the steering wheel. Even though I thought I might vom from the fear, it was EPIC and I would drive through another snowstorm in a heartbeat.

After the treachery of the icy mountains, the rest of the drive was pretty mundane. We crossed over on a ferry, entered into Port McPherson and stopped for something to eat at the tourist centre. Again, there’s hardly anything here, but a break was definitely required, and the local food cooked at the tourist centre was really yummy, making it worth the stop. They had bannock, soup and fish, all done on the BBQ, and they had a tipi set up that you could have a look in. One of the guys explained about putting up the tipi and told us it was his first time – pretty good for a first attempt I think!

As we were coming into Inuvik (which was to be our home for the next couple of days), we paused to stretch our legs. There was a short hike, which I opted for, turning out to be the most non-event hike of my life.

A lot of climbing and a whole load of nothing to see, apart from hella bear poo. But a selfie at the top was required all the same. Selfie game much closer to being ok point.

We arrived in the evening at Arctic Chalet, Inuvik, which was where we were staying. We had clearly interrupted the woman who runs its dinner, and she did not seem best pleased.

Apologising profusely to Judy, we were handed some keys and pointed in the direction of some wooden cabins, where snow-covered loo seats haunted my dreams.

Bonnie

A rare moose sighting

10th June

Today’s the day we start the serious driving. Our aim on this trip is to reach the Arctic Ocean in Tuktoyaktuk in the North West Territories – it’s about as far as you can go without actually plopping into the ocean. The first leg of the journey is to travel from Dawson City to Eagle Plains and you’re driving on the Dempster Highway. Again, ‘highway’ is a fierce stretch for what is actually a gravel road. We’re hoping to see some wildlife along the way – it’s not a massively busy road, on account of the number of people wanting to drive in the wild wilderness being relatively slim, so we are thinking our chances are pretty good. We really should have learned by now, that we are not blessed with frequent and numerate animal sightings… but we started our travels with high hopes nonetheless.

There weren’t many places to stop on our previous journeys, maybe one or two gas stations and places to eat along the way. On the way to Eagle Plains, there really is nowhere to stop. There is nowhere to get a drink, there is nowhere to get something to eat and there is nowhere to get gas, so make sure you fill up before you go. It’s about 400km and it takes about 7 hours – less if you drive like your 18-year-old son, and more if you drive like your 81-year-old nan. The first place to stop off along the way is Tombstone Interpretive Centre, here you can learn about the wildlife in the area, stop for a rest and grab yourself a cup of Labrador tea from the stove. Labrador is a plant btw, not the dog.

There’s a few trails around this area, but because it was a bit miz on that day, we didn’t opt for anything strenuous. We followed the Beaver trail along to a beaver dam, in the hope that we would spot some of the toothy little fellows.

As I am sure you have already guessed, we did not. The most we saw was a sign of beaver habitation – a gnawed stump of tree.

The dry spell continues, as do the heart crushing feels. A chipmunk would do at this point… ANYTHING!! Whilst I was waiting patiently for a beaver to swim by (none did), I did see a squirrel (which I bet you can’t even see in this pic) and a bird. WOOHOO!! Not. No offense squirrel and bird, but we have you at home and you just aren’t what we made the journey for.

We continued along our way, keeping our eyes peeled for bears, moose and the like. We came across a creek; a red creek. This creek is red because it’s essentially rusty, which is pretty neat and it really stands out in comparison to the hundreds of very non-red creeks we had driven past that day.

So much of the scenery Is gawj, but as it was drizzling constantly there weren’t a lot of good photo ops.

After many, many hours of driving, we make it to Eagle Plains… just as it starts to snow. Now, we had heard that snow had been a possibility, but only on the high grounds, so we had thought we weren’t going to see any of those white flakes. Well, it turns out that Eagle Plains is pretty much atop a mountain, so snow shouldn’t really have been that unexpected.

It’s chilling right down now, and we’re glad to get inside the one and only hotel in Eagle Plains – the Eagle Plains Hotel (no one messed around with a creative name for that one, did they?). The most interesting thing about this place is that it was built in the 80s and not a single thing has been done to it since. There is a fairly large crack in one of the windows in the dining room which has probably been residing there since about 1984. Amusingly, in the dining room the tables come equipped with a miniature sled containing your sugar, coffee cups, pepper and salt (with an extraordinary amount of rice in it). When I say extraordinary – I mean the salt to rice ratio was pro rice.

This is the only place to get food, so you have to eat here, but they have a relatively decent menu considering they are in the arse end of nowhere, and they have daily specials too. In the bar you are greeted to what I would imagine is approximately a national parks-full of taxidermy mammals. On the plus side, we did finally see a moose… Positively devilish don’t you think?

Bonnie

No Sourdough Sourdough Joe’s

9th June

Last night we went for dinner at Klondike Kates restaurant in Whitehorse. We are told it’s the best restaurant in town, but I’m slightly disinclined to agree with that. The food was nice, and the service was friendly, but it was no better than anywhere else we ate. In fact, other places were more fun and enjoyable. I don’t know whether it was entirely down to the atmosphere inside, and in my opinion, some of the other restaurants are better.

After we’d eaten, we went for a walk that someone in the hotel had recommended. To get to the walk, you have to cross over the river on the ferry, oh, and it’s a really easy walk.

The ferry comes and goes as there are people to use it, so if you wait there, they’ll come and get you, which is neat. We crossed over as foot passengers on the ferry, which takes about 10 minutes once you set off. Also, here ferry guys though – we watched this ferry go across so many times and not once did they make a single mistake. I swear they actually must be Gods or something… because it was genuinely impressive!

Once you come off the ferry and walk up the road, to get to the walk you need to take the first left into the campground. Keep walking through the campground until you see a yellow gate (a 10 or 15 minutes’ walk). Head through the yellow gate and down towards the beach – on your left-hand side there will be a break in the trees and you can cross a stream over a little bridge and you’ll be walking next to the river.

Across the river, you can look at the hills and keep your eyes peeled for some wildlife! Obviously we saw a grand total of nothing, in-keeping with the rest of the holiday.

As you walk along, you’ll come to some steamboat wrecks on your left. These were left here at the end of the gold-rush when they were no longer needed (they were beached on the banks of the river and have been left there).

These are pretty cool to look at – there are a few of them there at different stages of dilapidation – the ones further back are in better condition. I went for a bit of an investigate and wandered round the back and climbed up on top of one of them to have a look.

The sunset is beaut here, coupled with the fact that it never really gets dark (it was 20 hours of sunshine when I was there), so you can still walk around happily at 10/11 o’clock at night.

The next morning we went across on the ferry again, but this time by car. We wanted to drive up the Top of the World Highway and take a photo of ourselves next to the sign… so we drive for a while and didn’t find the sign, and we drove for a while more and didn’t find the sign… turns out the sign is no longer there… so we drove a LONG while for literally no reason! But, we did find some snow, so that was a win, kinda.

I took the opportunity to stake my claim on the snow, with a classic year 8 ‘Bonnie was here’. Do not judge me…

And a couple of people threw some snowballs at me… Hmpf… bullies!

We popped to Sourdough Joe’s for dins – FYI no sourdough is served here, despite the name. The food was yummay here and IMO it’s the best restaurant in Dawson City. It’s got a chilled vibe and it’s a bit of fun, making for a very enjoyable dinner.

After that we headed back to the hotel and popped into the bar. They have a guy who plays some tunes at the piano each night from 7 until 9, and I have never seen a man enjoy playing the piano more than this guy does.

Some jaunty tunes, a couple of Yukon Gold’s later and some money in the tip jar, made for a great end to the evening.

Bonnie

It’s Mine Time

8th June

Breakfast was calling me, and Riverwest Bistro answered with a breakfast burrito. If you’re looking for places to eat in Dawson City, Riverwest Bistro has plenty of options. It’s a bit of a diner joint and it’s by no means upmarket, but the coffee was fresh, and the food was good, so you’ll have no complaints from me.

We went for a mooch about the town, stopping off in the Northwest Territories Visitor Centre. This place was really good, the lady working there (Dawn) was incredibly informative and hugely knowledgeable – it’s worth popping in there if you need some information about the drive up the Dempster Highway.

Whilst we were in there, we got to talking and she mentioned that there were some cyclists heading up the same way as us who needed a food package dropped off, as it was too heavy for them to carry with them. We offered to take their food package up with us, and feeling like exceedingly good citizens, we headed off with the food package (which turned out to be pretty damn heavy after you have been carrying it for 20 minutes). I can only imagine they were concealing bricks in their food package for some unknown reason.

To fill up our afternoon, we booked ourselves onto a goldmining tour. We had wanted to go on a trip with a native guy in a boat, but he was all booked up – so that was a no go. A shame, to be honest, because we’d been recommended this in the visitors centre and they seemed genuinely excited about it, so we were a bit disappointed, but you can’t have everything. We chose a tour with Goldbottom Mine Tours, departing at 1.30. I have to be honest, I wasn’t bowled over by this tour – I think it was lacking a little something. However, I do think you should go on a gold mining tour whilst you are here. Gold mining is the entire reason this town exists and it’s worth getting to know a bit about it, and the tour was still enjoyable, even if it wasn’t outstanding.

I’ll tell you a little bit about what goes down during the tour. You start off outside the tour office and head up the road to the Goldbottom Mine site (it’s a bit of a bumpy ride). Whilst you’re travelling, the guide talks about the mining history of the area before you stop off at the site and switch your shoes for wellies. The tour guide takes you for a look around the old house there, which is full of cool artefacts and has been done out to look like it would have back in the day.

You head up to a mining site which is in use at the moment and if you are lucky, you’ll get to talk to one of the guys who is mining there. We spoke to a guy named Dale, who told us about the machinery he was using and how much gold he was extracting on a daily basis – this was by far and away the best bit of the tour.

After that we headed back to the Goldbottom Mine site and he showed us how you separate the gold you have panned for from the black sand and other bits and pieces you end up with. This was interesting, and apart from the rude American woman basically rugby tackling me in a bid to get a photo, went off without a hitch. Once we were done with that, the tour guide showed us a huge nugget of gold which one of the people who owned the mine had found.

Here the rude American lady saga continues. We’re standing listening to the guy explaining about the nugget and she’s standing behind me, and I can feel her touching my hair. I pass it off as an accident and continue listening. Then she touches my hair again… Now I know this clearly is no accident, like, she’s kind of tugging on it – does she really think I can’t feel this? Hey, rude American lady – that’s actually attached to my head you know!!!!! CREEP. I end up having to move because I can’t actually address this out loud in front of all these people. The funny thing is, I’m pretty used to people touching my hair; people ALWAYS touch my hair. But, it’s usually accompanied by a verbalisation of the hair touching intentions, such as, ‘isn’t your hair long’, or, ‘isn’t your hair a pretty colour’. One does not simply touch another person’s hair in creepy silence. So, I placed myself out of reach of silent hair stroker and pretended it never happened.

Now it was time for panning for gold! This is where I came slightly unstuck, as I didn’t really know what I was doing and the man just kind of left you to it. I think they could do with working on this section of the tour, as I wasn’t the only one who found this frustrating. Eventually he came back and explained, but I was already miffed by this point, so I enjoyed it less than I wanted to. Also, Goldbottom Mine Tours, if you’re listening, a hot drink and a snack wouldn’t go amiss at some point in the tour. Whilst we are getting sorted with our wellies, it would be easy to sort out some tea and coffee and a biscuit, which I know would be appreciated by your tourists. Oh, and if you could weed out the hair strokers beforehand, that would be GREAT.

Bonnie

The Road to Dawson City (which is not a City)

7th June

Back to the Burnt Toast Café, Whitehorse for some breakfast before the next leg of the journey. The girl serving was rushed off her feet – they were busy yesterday at lunchtime, but this was something else – they definitely need to get someone else in to help! There was a bit of a wait for food and people just kept on coming in (clearly this is the place to be! Either that, or there’s not really anywhere else to go, or a combo of the two). Anyway, the wait was well worth it, because the food was delicious. I had the Breakfast Sandwich, which consisted of a bun, filled with an egg, bacon, tomato and spinach, accompanied by hash browns (fried potatoes). BEYOND SCRUMMY!! And just the right thing to stave off the hunger on a 7-hour trip to Dawson City.

We hit the road, heading in the direction of Dawson City. The drive from Whitehorse to Dawson City is a long old drive (about 530 kilometres) and it takes a while, especially when you aren’t used to the gravel road and you’re on the lookout for wildlife. We saw precisely nothing the whole way, despite someone having seen 10 bears the day before. There are campgrounds along the way, and they are always nicely located. We stopped at one on a lake, which was really pretty – and they are always a good comfort stop as well – there really aren’t that many places to stop for a wee!

Ooh, so there’s this place you HAVE to stop at if you are driving from Whitehorse to Dawson City, it’s called Braeburn Lodge (located on mile 55 o the Klondike Highway).

You have to stop here because they do these GIANT cinnamon buns. When I say GIANT, I am not over exaggerating – they are literally the size of your face and so frickin’ tasty as well. There is no way you can drive past this place without stopping. It’s so out of the way that you get Carnation Evaporated milk with your coffee!

If you go to the loo, you’ll see people have decorated the back of the toilet door with graffiti (obviously I can only speak for the ladies’ loos here – I can’t say for the men’s – and I’m certainly not brave enough to go in there and check for you). But anyway, people are telling you what their names are, when they came and where they are going from and to. The one which stood out to me most, however, was one which read ‘7/10 would poo here again 2017’. That speaks to me, in a serious way.

Stop off at the Five Finger Rapids Recreation Site – there’s a nice trail here which goes down a set of steps first, then travels upwards. You get a great view of the Yukon river here, where there’s a tiny island with some nesting birds atop it. To walk to the top of the trail and back would take less and an hour, I’d say about 45 minutes… I took it upon myself to run it, so it didn’t take me very long (all that pent-up energy again).

We get to Dawson City in the afternoon; it took us about 7 hours to get up here in total. 7 hours on the road and we didn’t see a SINGLE animal, not even one! This was all kinds of disappointing, especially considering we’d heard about a guy who had seen 10 bears the day before – I think we were almost expecting them to be lined up along the highway with a welcome banner. They were not.

Dawson City looks like a cowboy town. I don’t know what I was expecting from the name ‘Dawson City’, but this wasn’t it. I think this place has definitely been named in jest, because a City this is certainly not. All the facades are wooden clad and painted in bright colours, it’s right on the river and it looks super cute.

To be honest though, at that point I was so tired from all the driving that I hardly knew my arse from my elbow. We were staying at the Downtown Hotel in Whitehorse, as hotels in Whitehorse go, it was good. Good Wi-Fi, coffee machine and clean and comfy. Oh, and it has swinging saloon doors on the front, so if that doesn’t persuade you to stay here, nothing will. I elected to skip dinner (a bit of a first for me) and headed straight to bed. Needless to say, I woke up beyond hungry and wondering why on earth I had elected to miss a meal.

Bonnie

On the way to Whitehorse

Today is the day we go to Whitehorse! This is where the holiday bit of the holiday begins. As nice as it is, when you’re with family, it’s not the same as actually being on holiday. This is where we’re beginning our journey up through the Arctic circle and all the way to Tuk, so I can paddle in the Arctic ocean. Woohoo!!

Having got up at ridiculous o’clock (turns out you can still screech to a halt at red lights when there’s no traffic on the road) and arrived at the airport and made it through security, I was on the hunt for some breakfast. After having a wander round the available options, something caught my eye – something I thought too good to be true… FRUIT SALAD!! Never have I enjoyed a plastic cup full of fruit, in an airport, so much in my entire life. Honestly, I could feel the threat of scurvy leaving my body and I felt as if I could conquer the world. It really is amazing how much of a difference vitamin C makes to your existence.

We jumped on a prop plane and flew a couple of hours to Whitehorse. I was sat next to a guy who was backpacking… Well, I don’t actually know if he was a backpacker, but he certainly smelled like he was backpacking (unwashed clothes have such a distinctive smell). Safely arrived, we picked up our car from Go North Car & RV Rental. There aren’t many options when it comes to car rental in Whitehorse and the reason we used them was because they were the only rental company that would give us a full size spare tyre. Why is this important? Well, most of the roads we would be driving on are going to be ‘all weather roads’, which essentially means gravel and potholes. Services are few and far between, so if you get a flat, you aren’t going to get to the next spot with a donut tyre.

Once we get there, we check in at our hotel: Town and Mountain Hotel, Whitehorse. Again, there aren’t a tonne of options when it comes to places to stay in Whitehorse, but it was clean, so no complaints (and there was decent Wi-Fi)! Oh, quick thing – all hotels here look like they were built in the 70s and haven’t changed since, and that would be because they WERE built in the 70s and HAVEN’T changed since. All the artex and chintzy bedspreads you could wish for.

I’m properly rav by now, so we head out to find some lunch. We come by a place called the Burnt Toast Café and liking the look of it, head in. The walls are black and there’s rock music pumping out of the door, based on that, the food has got to be tasty, right? And I was right [insert drooly emoji here].

To continue staving off scurvy, I opted for a salad – but to be honest, the whole menu sounded DELICIOUS and based on everyone else’s food I saw coming out, it looked it too. I had the Gnarly Barley salad, which came with goats’ cheese and a maple and balsamic dressing; I can’t even begin to explain how yummy it was.

We went for a mooch around the town and had a look the gift shops… I’m still waiting for something to jump out at me to buy, I’ve not seen anything which speaks to me yet. We were looking for something to do for the rest of the afternoon; having read about the Takhini hot springs, we decided we’d give that a try. We got beyond lost trying to get there and ended up having to stop and ask someone. Let’s just say, that signage in Canada seems to be pretty much non-existent, rendering it nigh on impossible to locate anything if you don’t know where it is (much driving around was done).

Eventually we located it (FYI it’s further away than you think it is) and went for a dip. It cost $12 to get into the Tahkini Hot Springs and I think it’s worth it. There are two different hot pools at Takhini; one warm one and one hot one. It’s not glam here, but it’s relaxing and out in the open with a nice view. It would be amazing here in the ice and snow and they even have a ‘best frozen hair’ competition… I may be returning… To make it even more enjoyable there was a cute little chipmunk hanging around at the side of the pool having a snack. They are SO cute, AND it didn’t run away as I splashed over in its direction to stare at it (if only people were like that too).

After a hard day of lounging, it was time for dinner – turns out you can work up quite an appetite doing 100% of nothing. There was only one other place which stood out to eat: Klondike Rib and Salmon.

It’s hella popular and you can’t book – so there might be a bit of a wait, but that’s good – a wait means people love it! I had the special, which was 2 salmon skewers, a half rack of ribs, focaccia, garlic mash and roasted vegetables.

It was SO yummy, and SO much food; more food than a human should consume, I’m sure (of course, I ate it all). It’s fun in there, it’s a laugh and it’s bustling and busy, accompanied with great food – what’s not to like? If you’re looking for places to eat in Whitehorse, this is the one.

Bonnie

Watching Whales in Vancouver

5th June

I have literally no idea what I did on the 5th June. All I have in my camera roll is a photo of maple syrup biscuits… Which, by the way, are hella tasty, so you should definitely get some if you happen to be in a supermarket in Canada. All this photo tells me, is that I must have been in a Walmart. That can’t have been ALL I did for an entire day, can it? I’ll have to have a think about it, I’m sure I’ll remember.

All I do know is, that getting up at 4.30 am to go to the airport to catch a flight to Whitehorse is looming. Oh wait, we went whale watching! That explains why I don’t have any photos on my iPhone – they are all on the camera camera, because there isn’t much of a chance of you getting a good photo of a whale in the ocean on your iPhone, no matter how good a photographer you are.

It was about an hour and a half’s drive from Vancouver to Steveston. Which is where we managed to catch a whale watching tour with Vancouver Whale Watch. We didn’t book, and we were fortunate to get the last 3 spaces on the boat which was just about to go out – close call! There are a few companies you can book with if you are interested in whale watching in Vancouver – they are all pretty similar and follow the same whales. It was a little bit of a grey day, but I was hoping that the lack of sunshine wasn’t going to stop the whales from coming out to play.

On our way out to sea we saw a few California seals chilling on some rocks; as much as I would like to like California seals, they are really not a pretty sight. I’m all for any kind of animal, but they aren’t about to win any beauty contests – cute they are not.

However, they do look pretty regal and commanding up on those rocks, even if they do STINK of fish… you can certainly smell them before you see them.

We picked up the pace, heading out to sea at a fair clip, looking for some orca, or killer whales. Now, these are my absolute fave marine animals – they are so unbelievably clever, and they have some serious emotions going on – I’ve no idea how you couldn’t love these guys. They all hunt in different ways, for different prey, depending on what is abundant in the area in which they exist. It’s so cool how they live together in their pod as a tight knit family unit, communicating all the time with one another. It’s so cool to listen to as well and we know so little about what they are saying to one another; it’s pretty majestic.

There were a couple of pods in the area and these are whales which live in the area. We found the pod we were looking for, made up of about 5 orcas and they had some little ones in tow.

It’s wonderful watching them surface; they are SO beautiful and it’s especially wonderful seeing the little one with its mummy. We also got to see the little one breach, picking up some pace and flinging himself out of the water and re-entering with a big splash! Unfortunately, I missed the photo opportunity – better luck next time!

We spent a long time with that pod, sitting and watching them in all their glory. Rolling around in the water and having what seemed like some good fun. After a while, we needed to start heading back, so we turned around and started making our way, stopping to see some harbour seals sunning themselves on some logs.

These guys are so much cuter than California seals, they are so chubby and roly-poly with massive eyes and they are just how you want a seal to look.

As we were heading back, we caught up with another pod of orca and these ones were much more active! Tails were coming out of the water and slapping back down, and they were a lot closer to our boat as well.

The little ones in this pod seemed to be having a whale of a time (pun very much intended).

Seeing this makes it all very much worth it. You never know what you are going to get with whales. They could be really active, or they could be calm and relaxed, but either way, it’s always a good experience and something well worth doing.

I LOVE WHALES!!

Bonnie

R.I.P Dungarees: Squamish and Horseshoe Bay

4th June

Today we headed up to Squamish and Horseshoe Bay; a couple of hours outside of Vancouver. It’s a pretty drive once you get out of Vancouver and get past all the red lights and stop signs available to screech to a halt at. I do so love coming to a smooth stop – I’m really starting to miss it… Anyway, we stopped off at Shannon Falls on our way up. You can walk up the trail here and you come to a pretty waterfall. There are a few steps to go up, but it’s not too tricky. It took us about 30 minutes to walk up, take a few photos and come back down. There are two levels on the Shannon Falls trail – the first gives you a view of the whole waterfall from the front, the second (a bit further up) gives you a more side on view, so you can see the torrent of water coming down.

I had some pent-up energy (on account of having done precisely no exercise since the last week) so I took a little jog up the steps… That certainly relieved me of all that pent-up energy.

We carried on our journey to Squamish. There isn’t a tonne of stuff in Squamish; it’s more about the journey to be honest, but there are some nice gift shops with some native art in them and some places to grab a coffee and a bit to eat. We stopped for lunch at a little place called Green Olive Market and Café, run by a husband and wife. I opted for a Greek salad for the following reasons A) Who doesn’t love a Greek salad? And B) I was starting to worry I was getting scurvy because they don’t seem to eat vegetables in Canada.

On our way to Horseshoe Bay from Squamish, we pulled in at Porteau Cove. As the name suggests, it’s a cove (who’d have guessed it). It’s got loads of drift wood which is well worth a climb over – I managed to get pretty far without having to touch the ground and without falling off. I hear balance is key here.

It’s really pretty here, with the water in the foreground and the mountains in the background and it’s so peaceful as well. It’s also got a campground there (Porteau Cove Provincial Park Campground), and if you were camping it would be a great place to stay I think.

I had a bit of an incident on the beach here at Porteau Cove. We’d walked down to the water to see how cold it was (pretty cold) and whilst we were down there, my mum asked me if I would show her how to do a squat – she’s thinking about working on her fitness and strength, you see. Now, I don’t profess to be a professional squatter or anything, but I definitely do them and I have done them in the gym as well, so that’s as close as you can get to professional in my eyes. So, I give her a quick demo on how to squat.

To show off my best squatting form, I prepare, get my feet in the right position and lower myself into a properly deep squat – I’m talking more than 90 degrees here. I regret this, and I’ll tell you for why. When I lowered myself in to the deepest of all squats, a thing happened. The thing that happened, was that I split my dungarees… My FAVOURITE dungarees [insert anguished emoji here]. As a cool breeze caressed my right buttock, I can only describe myself as entirely forlorn. I’m trying to look over my shoulder to see said split. I can’t see it, but I know it’s there – I heard it go and I can feel a certain chill overcoming my arse. Fortunately, I’m wearing a jacket which covers the split, which is a small mercy. Dejected, I head back to the car and I even sit in the front (a major risk to life), which I think shows the true extent of my pain. R.I.P dungarees – R.I.P… Rip… You get it? See, I’m funny even when I’m broken hearted.

We arrive at Horseshoe Bay, which again, is really pretty. We take a look round a souvenir shop and have a bit of a wander, trying to work up an appetite for dinner. We sit on the pier for a bit and watch some Amish people larking around in a group. They are all young – I’d say 25 and under. Whilst I am questioning the combination of ankle length, pink, floral dress and walking boots, one of the men wanders by, carrying a rather fetching replica Gucci handbag. I’m assuming it was his partners handbag, but I think it would be rather more fun if it was his, don’t you?

We went to Trolls for dinner. People seem to rave about it, so we thought we would give it a go. They are famous for their battered salmon, so I was after giving that a try, but they were fresh out of it, so that was a no go. I opted for cod, as the only other fish option was halibut and I wasn’t feeling that.

I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t amazing. It wasn’t bad by any means, it was tasty for sure, but I’m not sure it’s deserving of the reputation it has. I’m not sure what the moral of this story is, but I’d imagine it’s something along the lines of not believing everything you hear.

Bonnie

Getting lost on the way to Granville Island

3rd June

An interesting night’s sleep is the only way I can explain it. I was on a sofa bed, and I’ll have to say that ‘sofa bed’ is a bit of a stretch here – it’s really just like sleeping on the floor, but with a bit of foam underneath you. Now, my issue here isn’t comfort (it’s actually surprisingly comfy to sleep on), more the proximity to the floor. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of dogs, in particular the smaller varieties. My mum’s cousin has two rescue dogs, and unfortunately, they’re of the small variety and they sleep in the front room, not too far away from the sofa bed. Now you see my issue with the proximity to the floor?

I could hear them breathing, I could hear them rustling, I could hear them looking at me. I laid as still I could just in case my movement stirred one of them (if anyone even thinks of moving during the night, the bark alarms go off). I even slept with my trainers in the bed next to me on that night, for fear of them being sniffed by an unwanted snoz. Eventually I got over my crippling fear of tiny dogs and managed to get to sleep – but only after I’d taken the battery out of the clock which was insisting on incessantly ticking right next to my head. For some reason I woke up about 4am; I’ve no idea, but I couldn’t get back to sleep so I sat up and read my book for a bit (the lines now distinctly less blurry) until it was time for some breakfast.

We headed out to Granville Island after breakfast. We got majorly lost on the way there, not helped by the fact that my mums cousin seems to shun all technology, so there was no sat nav to follow and no Google maps to consult. After a while of driving around aimlessly, hoping that the right road materialised in front of us, we stopped off at a gas station to ask for some directions and got on our way to Granville Island (now heading in the right direction). It was a bit of a miserable day in all honesty and Granville Island is cute, but there’s not a tonne of stuff there – certainly not enough to keep you there for the whole day. There’s a market where you can buy crafts, fresh fruit and veg and all sorts of different foods. There’s also a few gift shops, galleries and boutique shops which are nice for a mooch around.

Granville-Island Market

There are also some cool silos there which have been painted by a couple of Brazilian street artists who are brothers, from Sao Paolo. These silos are at the Ocean Concrete factory and are a bright and colourful injection.

After we were done there, we had a little drive through Stanley Park. It would be a great place to hire a bike and cycle round (we saw a load of people doing this), but the drizzle was turning to rain now, so a cruise round in a Jeep would have to suffice. But here’s what it looks like when it’s not raining.

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After that, we popped up Burnaby Mountain to have a look at some of the totem poles. It was still pretty overcast, which was a shame, but that didn’t stop me taking a totem pole pic.

Totem poles, Burnaby Mountain

Oh, I’d almost forgotten – on that day, we’d also gone up to walk over the Capilano suspension bridge. We got there, and we were gobsmacked at the price; the tickets were just shy of $47… Having been over it before when I was a kid, we bypassed it based on the price. Extortionate! If I hadn’t been over it before, I’d have probably forked out for it, but bearing in mind that this is ONLY for entry to a national park and a walk over a suspension bridge, legalised robbery sprang to mind.

Bonnie

The Holiday Begins: Canada

I’ve actually been in Canada for 2 weeks now… scratchy wifi and equally scratchy motivation have led to my lack of posts about my holiday. But, currently staying in a chalet in the middle of nowhere, has motivated me to start writing about it. Whether that’s because I want to tell you about my holiday, or it’s a result of pure boredom, we’ll never know.

 2nd June

I’m boarding a 10-hour flight to Vancouver, Canada, after an evening celebrating my best friend finishing her Uni work for the year. We celebrated with beer, wine and prosecco. These celebrations resulted in a terrifying hangover and a tour of the toilets in Heathrow Terminal 2. Much retching was done during the tour. After sleeping off said hangover with a couple of hours sleep on the plane, I managed to amuse myself with a few films on the plane (not that I can remember what any of them were now). I’m not a big film watcher, but the binge watch was necessitated by the fact that I couldn’t read, on account of all the lines being wobbly in my book – must have been some problem with the printing.

I haven’t been to Canada since I was a kid – I was maybe 10 or 11 when I was last here. So, I’m quite excited to come back! I’m not going to any of the places I went as a kid, but I remember it being a beautiful and relaxed country, so I’m hoping it is something like I remember.

Anyway, we get to Vancouver and it’s about lunchtime. We had to queue for years ‘n’ years to get through passport control, then queue for a bit longer to get out of the door. A lot of queuing, a lot of queuing. We get outside, and we’re waiting for my mums’ cousin to come and get us. To cut a long story short, we waited for a while (yes, more waiting) and after some reuniting hugs, we set out on our way to Coquitlam. My mums’ cousin has an interesting driving technique, let’s just say that. Not once did we slow to a stop, it seems that screeching to a halt at stop signs and red lights and blasting through amber lights are the only options – hair raising doesn’t even cover it.

We topped the night of with a surprisingly nice burger from White Spot. They do this really amusing thing here, where even if they blatantly have a restaurant full of tables available to seat you at, they make you wait 5 mins and then call your name (like there are tonnes of other people waiting) and tell you they are ready to seat you – what is with all of that? So, we eventually get our table in the super busy restaurant (super busy it was not) and sit down for this burger. Now, I don’t know if it was hella tasty due to the fact that I hadn’t eaten much since the night before, or whether it was just a genuinely good burger – but I can tell you now, I’ve never enjoyed a burger more. Good meat to sauce to accompaniment ratio; minimal bottom bun slip; nice ‘n’ juicy (they say it’s not a good burger unless it’s messy). I was so hungry, I didn’t even manage to take a photo of said burger. Hope you don’t mind a photo-less blog post…

Bonnie

Let me talk to you about chorizo.

Nothing aggravates me more than people saying chorizo with the Spanish lisp. Each time I hear it, rage boils up inside me. It boils up inside me so much, so much, that I actually get red in the face when I hear it said. So red, that I resemble chorizo. But chorizo without the lisp, on account of me hating the false Spanish lisp. Do not mock my chorizo sausage self with your pretend lisp. Do not.

I am as fired up about this as the spicy chorizo sausage itself. I am the flaming spice of anger. Just, why do it? We all know you are not Spanish – we all know, it is clear to us. Never has a thing been clearer, really, has it? You are not Spanish, and you do not have a lisp, therefore, I conclude you are not entitled to say chorizo in such a manner.

You just sound poncey (there, I said it). You sound like you are trying to be something you are not, which is exactly what you are trying to do – you are trying to be a Spaniard. Just say it like every other British person has said it since the dawn of time. Say it how it is, say it like you have no culture and have never heard it said another way. Just say it how it looks, please, with a “z”, not an “th”. I beg of you.

Never has someone sounded more of a loon, than when they try to pronounce something in a language they do not speak. You have never sounded more of a nob than when you do this. But, sure, if you want to sound like a complete and utter nob, then carry on. Carry on lisping over your chorizo. Like the second people mention the use of a haricot bean, they all of a sudden become a Parisian and it becomes an “aricot” bean. Christ.

Why do you have to put on the accent? It’s like the entire sentence starts off in your rough East London accent, and then all of a sudden you become some sort of Spanish prince mid-sentence, only return to your quite blatantly not Spanish prince accent directly after. Who are you kidding? Who do you genuinely think you are kidding? Precisely no one, that’s who.

No one believes you know your stuff. No one is suddenly under the impression that you are world class chef. No one is thinking you are some kind of well-travelled, cosmopolitan individual. They all know the only reason you are even talking about chorizo is because you’ve seen it on Masterchef. It’s not like you wandered past the artisan sausage stall and saw it hanging on a hook, was it? All that happened, was that you saw it was in the reduced section in Tesco and thought “ooh, I’ll give that a go, I saw it on the telly last week, John Torode mentioned it”.

I reckon it was Jamie Oliver who started it. He seems like the kinda guy to start this kinda  thing. He’s the sort to say chorizo with a “th”. Now I’m writing this, I do seem to recall that Jamie Oliver had a lisp. I say “had”, because now I’m thinking about it, the lisp does actually seem to have disappeared somewhat. I won’t dwell on this, however, as I feel I am treading on thin ice with the Jamie Oliver lovers of the world and one doesn’t wish to be accused of being horrid about him.

Anyway, you chorizo people are not who you report to be. You are a lie. You are lying to us, and you are lying to yourself. You are no more Spanish than I am, and to be quite frank you sound like a monstrous arse when you say is. ChoriZo!!

Bonnie

Thanks mum, I owe you one

Mother’s Day. You have to do something for Mother’s Day, don’t you? You have to, to show you care to display your love. It’s not that you love your mum any more on Mother’s Day, or that you love them less on other days, it’s just a way to show it, a day to encourage you to say thank you to your mum.

So, I’m going to say thank you, and I’m going to say it here because I know you’ll read this. And sometimes, a public thank you is better than a private thank you. It proves that you want everyone else to know that you’re saying thank you. It might sound a bit backward from the start, and it might not sound like your usual Mother’s Day thank you (I can guarantee that, in fact). In fact, you might even think it doesn’t sound like a ‘thank you’ at all, but it will, by the end. I promise – so stay with me.

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I still have that towel… and you still have those glasses…

My mum doesn’t really cook (in fact, she burns a lot of things), and she doesn’t really clean, she never has done, much. She was never a stay at home mum; she went back to work relatively quickly. I didn’t grow up in what I’ll call a ‘traditional’ household. It wasn’t mummy at home and daddy at work household. It wasn’t old fashioned at all, in that sense. You might be thinking this makes her a bad mum, you might be thinking it wasn’t the ‘right’ way to do it. And, yeah, sometimes I found it a bit difficult, sometimes I wondered why my mummy didn’t do the laundry like other mummies did, or why my mummy often burnt dinner and no one else’s did. Maybe it was a bit different, a bit odd. Sometimes I felt like things weren’t done right. And maybe they weren’t, maybe they were – I’ve no idea.

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Anyone else think we look super related?

But what this did do, and what she did do, was teach me how to do things for myself and a lot of valuable lessons. She taught me that a woman wasn’t defined by cooking and cleaning, and she taught me that a man wasn’t defined by going to work and providing for the family. She taught me that jobs should be split. Household chores should be fair, everyone can do something, everyone can do everything. Work should be fair; everyone can go to work. Women aren’t limited to the home and men aren’t limited to the workplace. The family should be equal. An equal and fair place, where there weren’t ‘blue and pink’ jobs, where if you hated hoovering or cleaning the lime scale in the bathroom, that didn’t make you any less of a woman.

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Good job mum! 

We had fun, so much fun when I was a kid. Hosting tea parties, making tents out of blankets in the front room, having picnics on the floor inside. You don’t forget things like that. Ever. Those memories stay with you forever and ever. My mum taught me it was alright to be silly and just a little bit weird. She taught me it was alright to be myself, that it was good to be myself. That I was good, just right, just the way I am. Even though I worried a lot as a kid, and I still do now, that’s alright. It was always alright. How I was, was how I should be, and I learned that from her.

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And, when you think about it, these are good lessons to have learned, even if you didn’t realise you were learning them at the time. So, thanks mum, I owe you one. You’re the best. Oh, and happy Mother’s Day.

Bonnie

Babies in bikinis: bore off!

Why? Why??? WHY??? Why would you put your child in a bikini? Perhaps I’m missing something, but I really don’t understand it. Last time I checked, 4-year-olds didn’t have cleavage to show off or a tan to get, so what’s up wid dis? Please, someone explain it to me. I’m flippin’ the bird to baby bikinis. I’m giving the finger to feckless swimwear attitudes. And, to add to that, I hate anyone who puts their baby in one, y’all are not ma people.

It annoys me, I’m not going to lie. In fact, I find it very annoying. V annoyeaux. To the point where I get a rage on at the pool and ruins my swim. This probably makes me sound like I foam at the mouth in the pool and mutter obscenities under my breath (which I basically do), and I’ll explain why.

They look ridiculous, actually, properly ridiculous. Tiny children wearing grown up clothes, looks ridiculous. Miniature adults – no one needs that in their life. It’s just like when people put makeup on their kids or put them in heels and a skimpy dress; it actually makes me gag, its horrifying. Why does anyone want a 5-year-old to look like a 35-year-old? It’s beyond me, it honestly is.

Why are bikinis for year 3’s even being made? Whoever is making them should be removed from the swimwear industry forthwith. Not only do they look ridic, they are entirely impractical, and you know it. They are impractical for adults, let alone children. Tiny children have nothing to anchor a bikini down and hell inevitably ensues.

They jump I the pool and their tops come off – I couldn’t count how many kids I’ve seen with a bikini top round their neck because its ridden up when they’ve jumped in the pool. They dive in, and their bottoms come off, and parents are spending all their time pulling up bikini bottoms and stopping their kids from being throttled by their own swimwear. Why put children in clothes that come off as soon as they are in contact with the water? Why cause yourself this hassle? If they were in a swimsuit, none of this would have happened. There would be no strangulation and no accidental bare bums and you could all actually enjoy your swimming. Imagine that!

I don’t feel like the process of having to yank your swimwear around is enjoyable for a child. We know it isn’t enjoyable for adults, so it’s going to be less enjoyable for children, surely? I reckon kids wanna have fun in the pool, without having to worry about their bikini coming of when they are trying to wriggle into a rubber ring, don’t you?

Please, do me a favour, and just go for the swimsuit next time. A one-piece, a simple one-piece. Poolside doesn’t need to look like the swimsuit round of Miniature Miss World. Ease my pain and enable me to have a stress-free swim on a Monday and Friday aft. Stop forcing me into blind rage over kiddie swimwear. You don’t know the trouble you cause me, do you? Well, I guess you do now…

Bonnie

 

Oh snow, how I love you so

Snow today! Snow, snow, snow snow! Not gonna lie, I was praying for a snow storm all day I could go home, and I bet you were too, weren’t you? I know you were, so that question is mighty irrelevant.

I know people love to moan about the snow, but it’s really not that hard to deal with. If you can go out in it, go out in it, and if you can’t, you can’t – so stop stressin’ people. In fact, let it snow so much that the whole country comes to a grinding halt and we can just stay at home and have snowball fights in the street. And I don’t mean the kind of ‘grinding halt’ where a few trains are cancelled and delayed and we all feel like we are living in the war… I mean COMPLETE GRINDING HALT. How wonderful would that be? It would be wonderfully wonderful unless you are one of those people who hates having a free day off (weirdos).

Before I went to work I took a shameless selfie of me in the garden wearing my teddy bear hat – you can’t pass up a snow selfie, it’s not like it snows every day is it?!

I made it to work with limited trouble this morning, apart from a slightly dramatic slide over a hidden mini roundabout, which I found terribly fun despite the clear risk to life on the completely empty street. I did have a real life near death experience when I got to the car park however. I got out of the car in all the snow related regalia (teddy hat and mittens), threw my rucksack over my shoulder and started heading towards the stairs. I walked over painted white line, sneakily concealed by the snow. As my boot made contact with the hidden line, my right foot shot out in front of me. I had no control. All control was lost. I was now in some sort of lunging situation in the car park, which was embarrassing in itself, as I am certainly no seasoned lunger. I could feel the strain on my right leg. The muscles in my right thigh were screaming, and I could feel intense pressure on my knee.

Mitz

If someone came now, it would possibly be too mortifying for words, and I probably wouldn’t be able to make it through the door to work and show my face. It wouldn’t be long before someone else comes into the car park and sees me in this horrifying display of lunge. No one shall see this! No one! With Herculean effort, I managed to get my right leg back under the power of my being. I willed it back from the point of no return, to the point of safety under my body. How I did this, I will never know. It was touch and go for a while there. I saved myself from the full fall – a slip is more than enough to shit you up.

Bonnie

Sorry, and some other things

URGH!! I’m sorry I’ve posted a grand total of nothing in the last few months. I’m sorry, but it simply has not been possible, I’ve had loads on. On the other hand, I’ve also has like minus 10 motivation. So, there it is, I’ve been honest with you and I am sorry, but such is life. Some days one has the motivation, some days one doesn’t. Some days, one refers to oneself as “one”.

Anyway, I’ve had loads on at work and I’m in the process of trying to own an abode. Which is a distinctly long and dreary process. It’s also stressful, because you have no idea what any of the words mean that people are saying to you, and because you don’t want to sound like a complete idiot, you nod along knowingly when estate agents are talking to you about square footage and the like, whilst secretly having precisely no idea what any of this means. What does a square foot look like? I have no idea. Each time I try and envisage said square foot, all I end up doing is picturing a particularly square foot. Why does my brain do this to me? Sigh.

What I am trying to say here, in a roundabout way, is that I have been very busy with other things and my mind has been very busy with other things. This has resulted in me not really having time for other things, or space for other things in my brain, for that matter. But I’m back now and that’s all we really need to worry about, isn’t it? You’ll have missed me, of course you will, but I’m here now and you don’t need to worry any longer. Your mind may rest. It may rest assured, that for at least another few months I will be here. And if I am not here, you will at least know I am trying my best to be here, even if I am failing to achieve that. That will be a comfort to you, I’m sure.

Also, I’m writing a book! I’m not 100% sure what it is about yet, or where it is going or if I will finish it, or if I will really start it in all honesty. But I have some words on a page and I can now say I am writing a book, which makes me sound a lot more impressive than I actually am. AND it gives me something else to talk about, other than the usual nonsensical rubbish I usually talk about, so we can all be glad about that, can’t we?

Bonnie

Christmas Recipes: Gluten Free Mince Pies

Gluten free is becoming more and more popular. Some people are going GF as a dietary choice or to have something to hashtag on Insta, and some people are actually real gluten free-ers. I’ve a mate who is a real gluten free-er, and she was saying she hadn’t appreciated mince pies enough before she had had to stop eating anything with gluten in it, so that got me thinking. Surely gluten free pastry can’t be that difficult to make, can it?! Plus, I’ve just made more than enough mincemeat to feed an army, so I need to do something with it. You can find my recipe for homemade mincemeat here on my blog, it’s so yummy and it will beat any shop bought version hands down, and it’s simple to make too.

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So, I got Googling and I found a few recipes for gluten free shortcrust pastry. They were all much of a muchness, with xanthan gum cropping up in all the recipes I read through. I got some gluten free flour, which, by the way, is the weirdest thing to touch ever; it feels like cornflour when you touch it and it made my insides feel uncomfortable when I was rubbing it into the butter.

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In the end, I decided to follow the gluten free shortcrust pastry recipe from the Tesco website, and you can view the original here. The reason I chose this one was because it got 5 stars, whereas others had got 4.2’s and the like. Moi being moi, I changed the recipe a little bit, as you know, I find it impossible to follow a recipe to a letter. I added some lemon zest to the pastry because no Christmas recipe is complete without some sort of zest.

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I like a mini mince pie, and for multiple reasons; they look super cute, people will be really impressed at their miniatureness and you can have more than one and not even feel remotely guilty about it.

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Ingredients:

  • 225g gluten free white flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 110g cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 egg

 

Method:

  1. Weigh the flour into a large bowl and add the salt, xanthan gum and sugar.
  2. Tip in the butter and, using your fingers, rub the butter and flour mixture together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the egg and combine until you have a smooth ball of pastry. If the mixture is dry and crumbly, add a teaspoon of water at a time until your pastry forms a smooth ball.
  4. Wrap your pastry in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to 170°
  6. Flour your surface (making sure you use your gluten free flour) and roll out the pastry until it’s about the thickness of a £1 coin. As I was making mini ones, I rolled it out even thinner than this, but for a normal sized pie, the thickness of a £1 coin will be about right.
  7. Grease the pie tin you are going to be using, and cut out rounds of pastry and press them evenly into the tins.
  8. Place a spoonful of mincemeat into the pastry. For my mini ones, I used a teaspoonful of mincemeat. For larger ones, it will be about a dessertspoonful.
  9. Cut out the stars to top your mince pies, and place them on top, pressing them down slightly to secure them.
  10. Brush the tops of the mince pies with a splash of milk to give them a bit of a sheen and place them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  11. Leave them to cool for a bit in the tin and then remove them to a rack to cool completely. Dust them with some icing sugar before you serve them, and I promise, everyone will have more than one!

 

I found it was a little difficult to handle the gluten free pastry in the beginning; it was cracking when I was trying to put it in the tin. After I’d kneaded it a bit more and re-rolled, I found it much easier to handle – so, I would suggest giving it a little bit more of a knead than you would your usual pastry, before you start rolling it out. I shaped the pastry slightly before I pushed it into the moulds, to try an combat a bit of the cracking – which worked quite well.

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You could put proper tops on the top of your pies if you wanted, but I prefer the stars. This is mainly because I can never manage to keep the mincemeat inside the pies when they have a lid on, and it always seems to sort of explode everywhere and look like a complete brown car crash on the plate (yuck). The stars resolve that issue, and they look nice and festive as well.

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If you make them, I’d love to hear how they go!

 

Bonnie

Christmas Recipes: Mincemeat

We love this mincemeat at home – it beats any mincemeat in a jar, absolutely hands down. It’s beyond tasty, and the nice big chunks of fruit and almonds in the mix make it even better. Plus, there is no suet in this mincemeat recipe, so its suitable for vegetarians and you don’t have to eat chunks of actual animal fat – winner! This is also the only recipe I have seen with cranberries in, and I can tell you; they make all the difference.

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I’ve found dried cranberries to sometimes be tricky to get a hold of. You should be fine over the Christmas period, but they aren’t standard stock in some of the smaller shops, so you are best going to something like a Tesco Extra (other stores are available, teehee). Oh, and make sure you have some jars to store your mincemeat in. We always have tonnes of empty jam jars hanging around in the cupboard, but this recipe will fill 4 jam jars, so make sure you have enough!

it’s so simple to make, all you do is add all the ingredients to the pan and cook it for 10 minutes once the butter has melted – it is genuinely that simple. I made the fatal error of not selecting a late enough pan, so I had to tip the mixture into a bigger pan. I wonder if this ever happens to Mary Berry? I doubt it, she is too good to make such rookie errors.

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Overflowing pan 

I doubled up this recipe because we make lots of mince pies in the run up to Christmas and we keep making them after Christmas as well! Plus, we had so much dried fruit in the house, it wasn’t all fitting in the tin, so I used this as an excuse to get rid of a fair few bags of the stuff. This recipe is from Mary Berry (gotta love Maz), and the original recipe is here if you want to take a look at it. It’s pretty close to Maz’s original, but I can never leave a recipe untouched, so there are some small changes.

 

Ingredients:

  • 175g currants
  • 175g raisins
  • 175g sultanas
  • 175g dried cranberries
  • 100g chopped mixed peel
  • 1 small cooking apple
  • 125g butter, cubed
  • 50g whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 200ml brandy

 

Method:

  1. Peel and core the apple, then chop into small chunks – about the same size as the sultanas.
  2. Measure all the ingredients (apart from the brandy) into a large pan and heat gently, until all the butter has melted.
  3. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, then leave to cool.
  4. Once the mixture is cool, stir in the brandy.
  5. Spoon your mincemeat into sterilised jars and you are good to go!

 

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Glistening and gleaming 

When you stir in the brandy, you’ll probably think it looks like a lot – but trust me, it’s just the right amount. If you don’t have any brandy, you can use either sherry or rum, they work just as well, but will give a different flavour.

This mincemeat keeps forever; we still have some in the cupboard from last year. The combination of the butter and booze allows it to keep well. You can make it well in advance if you are one of those people who is very organised and prepared (I am not, as you may be aware).

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The finished articles 

Bonnie

Make your own Christmas wreath – I did!

Each year I make my own Christmas wreath to hang on our front door. There are tonnes of beautiful wreaths out there to buy, but I always find they are a bit expensive and they are never quite how you want them to be. Plus, I enjoy making my own one and I get a lot of pleasure out of making a gorgeous wreath for everyone to see when they come to the door. You might have found the thought of making your own Christmas wreath a bit daunting, but I promise, if I can do it, anyone can! The main point here, is that you have fun with it, and I’m a fan of anything which looks rustic at Christmas anyway.

I have been doing this for a while now, so I have all the bits I need, but there are a couple of things you will need to buy before you get started:

  • Wreath ring; the one I have is 20 inches across, but it will depend how big your door is as to what size you will need. Take a look at the one I have from Amazon, here.
  • Binding wire; this is the wire florists use to make their arrangements. I tend to go for wire like this, it’s dark so you can’t see it.
  • Wreath hook; trying to hang thig on the front of your door with a piece of string will be a complete nightmare (I promise, I tried) so a wreath hook like this is what it’s all about.

It’s important to have an idea of the kind of look you want to achieve before-hand. You need to think about the kind of foliage you are going to use and how you are going to decorate it. I tend to keep mine pretty simple, but you can add as much to it as you like.

Here are a few photos of ideas I have seen online that I think are super cute:

I mostly use ivy in my wreath, and there are a couple of reasons for this. One being that our garden is full of it, so I don’t have to go trekking high and low to find it. I also really like the different colours in the ivy and the different sizes of leaves – this helps it hang nicely on your wreath ring. It’s also very easy to work with as it’s so bendy and flexible.

I decorated it with a red bow made out of a length of red ribbon and some pinecones. I used to use holly when I first started doing this, but we have a door knocker instead of a bell and I got a few complaints about people being speared in the hand when they tried to knock on the door (all part of the fun I say).

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you can see the holly issue 

Once you have sourced all your bits and bobs to decorate your wreath with, head out into the cold and cut yourself some foliage. If you want to use bits of Christmas tree; head to your local seller and ask if they have any bits you can use that have been cut off or have fallen off. If you notice a holly tree in someone’s garden, knock on the door and ask if you can cut a sprig or two off the bottom – most people have been more than happy for me to do this in my experience. And you can always rummage around in the garden of friends and family for bits of tree.

The first time you do this, you will have no idea how much you need. But, to give you an idea, I used about 20 lengths of ivy which were about 1 foot or a foot and a half long. I headed out to the garden in my sexy plastic gardening clogs and dressing gown, and released a tree from the clutches of a load of ivy, and headed back inside.

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I cut off some lengths of binding wire, between 2 and 3 inches in length. I make sure I have these ready, as by the time you are grappling with branches and wreath rings, you don’t want to be snipping up bits of wire.

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I start off with some thicker bits of ivy to give myself a bit of a base and some coverage. Plus, it’s easier to wind your wire round these big bits when there is nothing else on your wreath ring. I hold the ivy up to the wreath ring, then bend a length of wire around the ivy and twist the wire together at the back to hold it in place.

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I keep going round and round in circles until my wreath ring is completely covered, and I don’t have any bare patches. At this point I then go and put it on the door. This gives you the opportunity to take a step back and make sure you are happy with your wreath. I often see parts that need a bit more added or a bit taking away. If one bit has too many leaves, you can snip off any you don’t want.

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Once I’m happy, I add my decorations. This year I only wanted to add a couple of pine cones at the bottom and a big bow, but you can add holly, baubles, ribbons, or even some battery-operated lights! The opportunities are endless with your wreath! Last year I used holly, some extra red berries and a little robin (who I couldn’t find this year). I wanted it to look a bit wild and unkempt this year, and I think I achieved that. Next year I am sure it will look completely different and I will be coming at you with something that doesn’t even look remotely similar. If you want to make your own wreath and you do have a go at it, please let me know how it goes!

Bonnie

The 2 Day Hangover

The work Christmas party was on Wednesday. Ohhhhhhhh the work Christmas party was on Wednesday. That was days ago and I am still not okay. Who even knows what happened that night? Not I! I thought I didn’t drink that much… Turns out that was a lie! Christ.

drunk camera man it seems…

I woke up the next morning feeling a bit tired, but that was about all. But, as time went on, I started feeling a bit retchy and my tummy a bit churny. No bother – I’ll just have some water and that will sort me right out. It didn’t. Just a little bit more water, that won’t make me feel sick at all. It did. I’ll just sit here for a moment, next to the loo and I’ll rest my eyes for a bit – I won’t be sick. I was. Hell. HELL. Urgh, but at least I wasn’t sick ON anyone this time, so I’ll take that as a win. I shoved all my stuff into my bag and met the girls downstairs for a spot of breakfast. I kept retching at the breakfast table which was less than glamorous, and I could barely manage half a slice of toast on account of each bite resurfacing in a less than lovely manner.

da outfit – looking pretty Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat 

Dress is from Zara (but I bought it like 6 days ago and obvs it’s already gone from the site) and boots are from ASOS. I do love a boot at a party, because you can wear socks and socks are comfy and I love them. Plus, no one likes chilly toes. But, I digress.

There was a coach taking us back to the office in the morning. I made it down the stairs with a bit of retching along the way and managed to deposit myself on the coach without too much mishap. The coach seemed to go over every bump possible and round every corner as fast as possible. It was like the driver was trying to make me vom as fast as possible. It’s any wonder I didn’t vom all over the girl in the seat in front of me, I would have done as well if she’d carried on shouting over my head. It got so bad that I had to stop talking because I feared that opening my mouth may result in sick coming out of it, and I NEVER stop talking, ever. So, it was bad.

I made it to work without being sick in the coach, but I didn’t last much longer. I stumbled off the coach in a daze, by this time, it was now tipping it down with rain. I grabbed my sodden bag and dragged myself up the steps and into the office. I ditched my crap, threw of my coat and legged it to the loo just in the nick of time. Charging to my favourite cubicle (far right-hand side), I threw myself through the door, locked it behind me and made connection with the cool white ceramic. Ah heaven. As I retched up the half a litre of water I had drunk on the coach I wondered what it was like to feel well. When was the last time I had felt well? Was it when myself and one of the girls had pushed the button for the lift, got in and pushed the button to go one floor up, travelled up, got out of the lift, only to realise we’d stayed on exactly the same floor and we had stumbled out on to the same floor we were just on. However, I don’t think anyone noticed. All they noticed, was us bent double, laughing so much we could barely walk straight. But I’m sure they were all none the wiser as to what had happened.

Anyway, where were we? Oh, that’s right, I was clinging onto the loo. Sicking done, and mouth wash swilled, I headed back out into the office and switched on my laptop. It was then that another wave of nausea hit me and I had to make it swiftish back to the loo. Clinging to the loo again, trying to remember the last time I felt well. Was it when myself and my team were headed to the photo booth? It might have been. We went in there and had a few photos; we all had turkey hats on in one of them (we fondly call that the triple turkey). On the way out, I leant on the wall of the photo booth, only to quickly find out it was an inflatable photo booth which wasn’t at all ready to hold my weight. At that point Ben came running out for a photo, absolutely smashed. We raised this point, at which point he informed us he wasn’t at all drunk, and proved that point by throwing his whole glass of wine over his shoulder.

Photo Booth 1 

Anywhere, where way we? So, I was vomming in the loo, then I went out for a bit of fresh air. I had a bit of a retch out there and I was worried I was going to be sick in the top pocket of my dungarees. At this point, the decision was made by my manager that I should take the rest of the day off. I can tell you now, it was a sorry Uber ride home. I got straight into bed, after drinking about 3 points of water, and slept until 6 pm. I don’t know where all that water went, but it didn’t even generate a wee!! How dehydrated was I?! I struggled downstairs to heat myself some chicken soup (which took me about 3 years to eat) and I was back in bed again. I had more water, but I think had turned into some kind of sponge, because I was still absorbing it.

Photo Booth 2 

I made it to work and planted myself at the desk. Ready for a fruitful days’ work. And then it hit; The Hangover 2. I could barely finish half my breakfast and the retching was happening again. I was slumped down on my desk when it started snowing – I could barely muster half a level of excitement at the arrival of snow. The retching happened again. I managed to force down a sausage roll at lunch time and dragged myself out for a walk with Ellie and Ben. It was freezing. Freezing I tell you. The rest of the day passed in a blur. I’m not sure what happened. Did I do any work? I couldn’t say. I got my emails down from 125 to 70, but I can’t tell you whether that was because I replied to them or because I just kept opening them, reading them and never responding to them. Either way, I’ll take it as a win as I have less emails than when I started.

Photo Booth 3 

Finally, the retching has stopped. But I keep having horrifying flashbacks. Like, flashback to the time when I told this guy that “his name made him sound better looking than he was”. Genuinely horrified at myself. Genuinely horrified. But, at least that is one less person I have to be nice to, because he will just ignore me forever now. And that’s a small win, right? Not really, but I need to put a good spin on this. Sorry bro.

Bonnie

DIY: ripped jeans

I wanted some ripped jeans, but A) I can never seem to find any I like, B) if I manage to find some I like, they never fit, and C) I feel like paying for jeans with holes in, is a rip off (literally). The other day I bought some new black jeans as my other ones were a bit on the faded side, so I decided I would make my old black jeans into ripped jeans. If you want to learn how to make your own ripped jeans, then I will warn you – this is no comprehensive guide. In fact, this probably more of a description of how not to do it.

But, I was pretty sure this was a good idea, because it’s thrifty, I could have them exactly how I wanted them and they would be one of a kind, and I really like wearing and having things that no one else has. Making my own ripped jeans – what could go wrong?

I had no idea how to go about this, so instead of looking it up or watching a helpful Youtube video on the matter, I decided to go straight in with it and “use the force”. I thought about using scissors to do it, but I decided a Stanley knife would probably be easier and work better. My thinking on this was that I would end up with strange angled, and very straight slices on my jeans, and I wanted more of a “rough” look.

Original jeans

I got up a photo of some ripped jeans I liked the look of and used that as a reference, and I just started attacking my legs with a Stanley knife (clearly safety was not a concern for me). I started off with the rip on my right knee. I pinched the fabric so I didn’t slice my kneecap off, and punctured the fabric with the Stanley knife. I widened the rip so it was nearly reaching the seams, but not quite. I wanted the hole to be quite big and to have a fair bit of knee on show (oioi), so I made another puncture a couple of cm down and extended that until it met up with the sides of the previous rip. I kept doing this until the hole was big enough and basically my entire right knee was out.

Next, I did the rip on my left thigh; making sure it was in the right place, I pinched the fabric and made the incision. At this point, I got a little bit more nervous about actually hacking into my flesh and puncturing a vital blood vessel, but that still didn’t stop me. I informed a few mates that I was doing risky things with knives (just in case the worst case to the worst, they would at least know what happened and would be able to tell my parents it wasn’t intentional) and I felt a bit better. I kept widening the rip until I had achieved the desired size, and I moved on to the next rip.

The next one was the top of my right thigh, and I repeated the process. I then decided I wanted to be pure gansta and make a rip where the front pocket on my left thigh was, so I could be super cool and have the pocket lining poking out the hole. This needed a much bigger hole than I had ever thought (turns out there is quite a lot of pocket). I took it a little bit too far, and now I need to be a bit careful about which pants I wear – because if I wear my Bridget Jones knickers you will be able to see them through the pocket hole… But no matter, I shall wear uncomfortable pants, because I am told fashion hurts. And I am a fashionista to the core (I’m not).

I decided I needed a bit of hole action in the shin area, because it was all looking a bit smart below the knee, so I poked some holes (very haphazardly) in the shin area. I had to take off my jeans to do this, because there was no way I could poke holes with a knife without poking holes in myself. I expanded the holes a bit and made sure they looked nice and rough. Perfect!

I made some more small holes on the back of my right calf, because I always think ripped jeans look insane when they are perfectly preserved at the back. It looks like whatever caused the rips at the front just didn’t bother to scuff up the back. Like, you got mauled by a bear and at no point did it come into contact with the back of your jeans? I think not. Anyway, I did another rip on the back of my right leg in the thigh area, about half way between my knee and my butt.

I thought I would go all out and make these super saucy jeans (no ketchup, just sauce), and make a rip pretty close to my right butt crease. It’s not high enough up so you can actually see right butt crease, but it’s closer than not close at all.

I’m not going to lie, I am pretty damn pleased with how these turned out. I had visions of accidentally ripping too much, and ending up with a strange pair of shorts. Or one normal leg and one really short leg. Yeah, I probably should have done a bit of research before I started, but I was confident in just going for it. This was probably down to these jeans being super old, and the fact that they would have ended up in the bin anyway, so if it went horribly wrong, it didn’t really matter. I almost think that if I had thought about it too much, it probably would have been a whole lot worse, and I took it slowly, so it was fine.

My top tips for making your own ripped jeans:

  • Have a photo you can copy
  • Make small rips at first – you can always make them bigger but you can’t make them smaller
  • Add some rips to the back so they look a bit more original

I am looking forward to wearing these – I think I am going to team them with my new burgundy fishnet tights. So, I will probably look like a very festive prostitute (ho ho ho), but equally I don’t care, because I have my very own ripped jeans, and you do not. Please, refer to me as the new Alexander Mcqueen from now on, as I am pure fashion and sooooooo extra (not).

Alex

The holiday countdown begins: 19 days until South Africa 

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. 

I CANNOT WAIT 

Bonnie 

Never go to Grantham

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.

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this is the castle I didn’t get to see 

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.

Clubbing.

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?

Getting my 1960s on

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. 

Vom

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.

Bonnie

I crawled to Cambridgeshire this weekend

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.

This was needed

Bonnie

Review: The French Table, Surbiton

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.

The classic awkward “at table” pic

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.

The set menu

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.

Bonnie

 

Lunch @ The Estate Grill, Great Fosters

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!!

Bonnie

It’s ma birthday… Well, it was

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.

Deskeration

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.

The cat bag in its natural habitat

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.

Bonnie

If I don’t remember it, it didn’t happen

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?

GLITTERATI

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.

#nofilter

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.

There are no words

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?

Apparently this is all I had for dinner

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.

Bonnie

Justin Bieber, is it too late now to say sorry?

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.

Bonnie

 

I never realised how much time I spent on my knees until…

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.

Who needs knees when you have these?

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.

Bonnie

 

 

A note on selfies

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.

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The classic ‘peep through the fringe’ look 
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Throw back to when I used to wear Hollister garms and employ mysterious lighting tricks 
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When I was from the hood and all my pics were in a hood 
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Bathroom pout: still going strong in 2K17
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The only word I have for this is MORTIFICADO. What am I doing??!! 
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With Canon, you can. I’m not going to lie, I actually still love this pic. No Shame. 

Bonnie

When I was a princess for the day

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.

Just before I got sprayed in the face with a water cannon and drank half the Thames

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.

Tiaraing

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.

The finished article

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!

Bonnie

Then before and after

My top 3 first date ideas

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).

Bonnie

First date outfits 

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! 

Bonnie 

First Date Makeup Tips

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.

The more product, the more panic

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:

  1. Wash face to remove general day grime
  2. Exfoliate to reveal fresh layer of smooth skin (I use St Ives face scrub)
  3. Apply moisturiser so face doesn’t look scaly (I use Simple rich moisturiser)
  4. Take the sheen off face with pressed powder
  5. Do a ‘minimalist’ brow with just powder (I find if I use the brow wax as well they look too ‘done’ for this)
  6. Apply a sweep of mascara to top and bottom lashes
  7. 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.

Bonnie 

First date look ft. Sultry pout

Followed by normal face…

Madrid: Day 3, uncorked 

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.


Bonnie  

Madrid: Day Two

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.

#sauce
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.
The offending ‘churros’

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.

My Spanish stallions
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).
Couple of swingers
Bonnie

Madrid: Day Juan

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).

Because no one has ever seen the wing of a plane before

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.

Apprehensive ‘no hands’

Oh, and we saw a unicorn on a Segway.

 

Bonnie 

Post-itgate 

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*. 

Bonnie 

Review: Pink Floyd – THEIR MORTAL REMAINS exhibition 

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. 

Bonnie 

Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Concert 


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. 
Bee. 

Reason 1 on why not to run 

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. 

Bee. 

Review: Beauty and the Beast 

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) 

Bee. 

Say no to avocado 

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