Wronged at the water cooler

I was HANGING at work the other day, not going to lie. I’d been out with some of the work lot the night before and drunk A LOT. Like, really a lot. I didn’t get into work until 9 that morning, and considering I am supposed to start at 7.30, turns out I was a little late. But no matter, we will press on with the day. I was fine, sitting at my desk quite happily, until we got to about 11. This is when everything started to go a bit downhill. I started getting a bit of a shake on and my eyes weren’t focusing on the emails I was pretending I was reading. I needed a break, a few minutes away from my desk – that will sort me right out. Did it fuck.

I went to the kitchen area to get some water from the water cooler, and low and behold there was precisely no water left. I could see there was no water left, but I had to press the button down just in case there happened to be a secret store of water that would mean I didn’t have to change the bottle. But I had no such luck. Not even a drip was relinquished by the water cooler. Urgh.

You aren’t supposed to change the bottle on the water cooler yourself, because it’s heavy and whatever, and you are supposed to call one of the maintenance guys to come and do that. But nobody got time for dat. When you are experiencing the unquenchable thirst, the pain of having to wait for a heavily tattooed Polish man to come and assist you is a no go. Water simply must be had.

So, I did it myself. Normally I’m fine and I switch it over no problem, but today was a different story. I took the empty bottle off the top with minimal trouble, and after a bit of wrestling, I managed to peel the sticker off the bottom of the new water bottle. Here’s where it started going a bit awry. I grabbed hold of the handle of the water bottle and gave it a bit of a lift (testing the water if you will). It was no heavier than usual, so I engaged in the lift and hefted the new bottle off the rack and in the direction of the cooler. It was at this point, that I lost it. All of a sudden, my arms failed me and I seemed incapable of lifting the bottle any higher than my waist. Crap. I really had to engage the core to heft that water bottle into the right position. Clearly, I need to work on my clean and jerk, because this was not happening, and I had visions of me dropping the bottle with an almighty bang and me having to chase a rolling bottle down the corridor.

 

Anyway, somehow I managed to get the bottle into the cooler, and I stood waiting for the water to filter through the system. This can take a bit of time, so I assumed a leaning stance against the counter top, much like a cowboy leans against the bar in a Western, but probably much less cooly. Elaine the cleaner sauntered around the corner and I geared up for our daily chat which consists of one of the following three options.

Option number 1: Elaine proclaiming “Aint it hot in here?!”, when it really isn’t, but obviously I just agree because I am polite and British. I strongly suspect this has something to do with her being “that age” rather than it actually being warm in the office, but we won’t mention that.

Option number 2: Elaine asking if “I’ve much planned for the weekend”. This one usually first rears its ugly head on a Tuesday, when I obviously have nothing planned, and surfaces on a pretty much daily basis until I come up with an answer which satisfies her. I’m not sure I ever satisfy Elaine with my weekend plans, as they usually consist of “nothing much really”.

Option 3: she says something which I have no idea how to respond to. Well, I do know how I would like to respond to it, but I often can’t say what I want to out loud.

Option three is what we came up against on this day. I was standing near the water cooler, having just replenished it with a fresh bottle. Elaine saw me do this, as she reminded me I shouldn’t do this and I should get one of the maintenance blokes to do it. I glossed over this comment, as Elaine and I have discussed this many a time before, and she is well aware of my feelings with regard to waiting for people to do things for me.

As I stood there with my bottle in hand, waiting for the water to filter through so I could fill my bottle with the cool refreshing liquid I had just hailed up there, Elaine did a thing. She did a thing that would change my feelings towards this woman forever. She took a plastic cup from the dispenser. This may seem like a small thing, but the act of removing that plastic cup from the dispenser carries big meaning. But, not only did she take one plastic cups… She took two.

I stood there with a look of fire in my eyes. I knew where this was going. I could tell what was about to happen without her even opening her mouth to utter those words. I was steeling myself for the question; I was staying as calm as possible so as not to flip my lid. Just as I had thought the moment was going to pass, the words came. The dreaded words, “do you mind if I go first?”. The torrent of abusive phrases that swam through my head at that point don’t even bear thinking about. Somehow, I managed to keep my mouth shut, how I did that I will never know.

Through gritted teeth and the most clenched jaw you have ever seen in your life, I uttered the words “sure, not a problem!”. Not a problem? Of course it’s a bloody problem Elaine. Who on Gods earth do you think you are woman? You have quite literally stood there and watched me struggle to begin the process of quenching my thirst. You have unhelpfully reminded me that I shouldn’t be taking action to quench my thirst – which is precisely no help to a thirsty person, and now, NOW, you are going to actually ask me if you can have first go at the water?

You know what Elaine? You know what? Have it. Have all the water. Just go straight ahead. Don’t mind me or anything, you just take what you came for and leave. Don’t worry about the fact that I have gone to a serious amount of effort to get us to this point. Don’t you even bat an eyelid. There are words for people like you in this life. I didn’t want to say it Elaine, and I didn’t want it to come to this. I am ashamed to say that as she pottered back to wherever she came from (hell most likely), that under my breath I uttered the words “liquid larcener” at her back.

Water cooler

The Fast Arm Slow Feet Hypotheses

I was jazzed today. I went into work feeling GREAT and I was sure I was going to get as much done as humanly possible. As you can imagine, it didn’t really work out like that, as usual. There was a ridiculous amount of traffic on the way this morning, and a journey which usually takes me 10 minutes, ended up taking me 40 minutes. I was not happy about this. There were temporary lights (which I am pretty sure should be in Room 101 – no justification required please Frank Skinner) and I crawled all the way there. In fact, crawling would have been quicker, I’m sure of it.

Eventually I got to work, and I remembered that we had a 2 hour long gathering of the whole company, so watch presentations about all the new stuff that is going to be happening and how good or badly we had done over the last few months. Now, I am super sad, and I love watching these things – all my mates think I am a complete loser. But I like hearing about what other departments are doing, and I like watching people speaking. Also, there are always videos to watch, and I LOVE a video.

Turns out, 2 hours is a long time to concentrate, and I did have to glance at some graphs on a screen, which is quite a distressing thing for me to have to do, and by the end of the 2 hours I was slumped in my chair and staring blurry eyed at the ceiling. Even the complimentary breakfast was doing nothing to keep me from losing concentration. That took us up to 11, and then it’s pretty much lunch time, so there was no point in really starting anything.

It was katsu chicken curry on the menu today as well, and one never gets much work done in anticipation of katsu. No one. It didn’t even bother me in the slightest that I had to queue for 15 whole minutes to get my lunch. In fact, all it does it prove that katsu is THE BEST and it simply cannot be beaten, ever. I ate it all and I felt sick, but it was worth it. I’m still not sure it’s gone down.

Ellie and I went out for a walk at lunch and discussed the finer points of whether it is easier to walk with fast feet and slow arms, or slow feet and fast arms. It was quite a conundrum, and a puzzle worth solving I feel, so we gave it some thought.

Our reckoning is, that it is easier to walk with fast feet and slow arms, because you can almost waltz it, but if you are fast-arming it, your feet have no choice but to engage in the fastness, and you can’t stop yourself from zooming along like a complete cretin. By the way, to get to this lofty point of knowledge, we had to test our hypothesis, and unsurprisingly, walking like this down the road gets you a lot of looks from the people driving past… A lot of looks. Especially when you are walking past a hospital. I’m not sorry about it though, despite the fact that we must have looked like we were clinically insane escapees, we have done some ground-breaking work on the matter. And that, friends, makes us pretty much scientists.

After all that walking, and at various speeds, I was rather tired, so there was next to no chance of any achievement happening after lunch. Plus, there is only so much you can achieve in one day, and no one likes an overachiever do they?

 

Bonnie

The one with the slippery nipple

I was back at work today. My God, I did not want to go. I even had a tiny cry last night because I didn’t want to go to work – just like a kid not wanting to go back to school after the summer holidays. How sad is that? No need to answer, I know it is sad, and I know it is crazy, you really don’t need to tell me.

I got to work and I took the greatest pleasure in deleting all of the emails I got whilst I was away. I couldn’t remember how to do anything at all, and it took me about 10 minutes to figure out where I needed to save this document, after not having to save it for a month. I wasted a lot of the day on staring blankly at me screen, not being able to recall what I was supposed to do with something, after I had got it.

I also wasted a good amount of time perusing the Macmillan coffee morning charity bake sale. I had completely forgotten about this, so I didn’t have any change, so I had to hit up my contacts and I managed to source myself £1 to get a gluten and dairy free brownie, which was actually surprisingly nice.

Finally, after many hours of waiting, it was time to go home. Well, not quite, it was actually time to go swimming. Seeing as I haven’t done any exercise whatsoever in a month, this was a fairly daunting prospect. I told my friends that if I didn’t make it in tomorrow because I had drowned, that it had been nice knowing them.

I got to the pool, got changed, and quickly realised that I had forgotten to bring a hair band. After scouring the surfaces, the hairdryer area and the showers, I could not locate a hairband. I even went out to reception to see if there was a spare one, but to no avail. Nuts. Trying to swim without my hair tied back isn’t really an option. I have a lot of hair, and if I leave it down, it’s like trying to swim with a bucket of cement on the back of my head. Which is hard, as you can imagine.

I couldn’t see an option. There didn’t appear to be a way around this. Until I looked down at my swimsuit. Now, this isn’t the usual swimsuit I wear, normally I wear a sporty one that flattens everything out and makes you more streamlined, whilst simultaneously squeezing all your back fat out of the back of your costume in horrifying lumps. But today, I had a more fashionable swimsuit on, because I couldn’t find the ghastly sporty, back fat enhancing number.

This swimsuit had a lace up bit at the front. It is like a v neck one, but with some loops and a bit of string that you can use to make cleavage by tightening it up, I guess. I’m sure you already know what I am thinking here. I’m thinking, that I will untie the string bit, take it out of the loops, and use it to tie my hair up. It’s a brilliant idea! What could possibly go wrong? Don’t even start, I know I’m an idiot. I know. I KNOW.

So, I action my plan, and after a bit of fussing I have my hair tied back, and what is now a swimsuit with a VERY deep v neck. I plop into the water, and let’s just say, there were a certain degree of movement, which wasn’t present when the string was instated in its rightful place. I’m not sure I can swim like this; the nips are barely covered. I’m convinced that if I push off from the wall that my swimsuit it going to slip and I will basically be boobs out in the swimming pool. Lifeguards will be looking on horrified and small children will be heard crying in the background.

But, I’m here now, so I might as well make the most of it and try and swim. I tentatively push away from the wall, and everything is going swimmingly (pun intended) so far. Everything is remaining in place, all is where it should be and life is good. I swim for a bit, I do a few lengths, everything seems fine.

I push off from the wall a bit harder, and all of a sudden everything is distinctly less fine. Very much, distinctly less fine. There was a certain coolness against the skin where there wasn’t before. Chillier in places than one is perhaps used to. And when I say that, I mean that nips weren’t in, they were bordering on the out. I didn’t want them to be out. I very much wanted them to be in and a woman was heading towards me, and she was wearing goggles, and she was most definitely going to see, and I was most definitely going to die of embarrassment.

I stopped in the middle of the lane, pulled my swimsuit up violently (and in the process, gave myself a minor wedgie) and scrambled back to the wall. I think I had managed to preserve my dignity, somewhat. Christ Bonnie.

 

Bonnie

South Africa Day 14: I Think I’m Getting Scurvy

Again, we attempted to find something to do in Port Elizabeth, and again we failed. We ended up stopping at a beach for a bit, where it seemed like everyone who had nothing to do hung out. It was overcast and really windy, so we didn’t end up staying for that long.

 

Interesting light at the beach (only interesting thing, mind you)

We went for a wander down the beach, and there was loads of coral washed up on the pebbles. I hadn’t seen any coral washed up on any of the beaches before, so this was interesting to me. There were all different types, and it was everywhere you looked. I would like to know why it was washing up on that beach in particular, but I can’t come up with an answer… It must be something to do with the positioning. Maybe I’ll never know!

 

Said coral

I noticed one of the signs on the beach saying “zero tolerance” and then a list of things that weren’t tolerated, I couldn’t quite see what wasn’t tolerated, so I wandered a bit closer to take a look. On the list of things that were not tolerated, were dogs, lighting fires, alcohol and guns. Now, are guns and dogs really at the same level of public nuisance? Last time I checked, guns and dogs were definitely not in the same category. If you take your dog for a walk on the beach, do you go to prison for the same length of time as if you take your gun for a walk on the beach?! I think not.

Anyway, there is still nothing to do in this place, so we went back to the hotel and I read my book for a bit. I’m reading The Good Immigrant, which is a book written by 21 black, Asian and ethnic minority writers in Britain today. I’m only a couple of chapters in so far, but it’s been a good read. It’s interesting and it goes into different people’s experiences that they have had in their lives, and I like stuff that is real life.

I had a strawberry and banana smoothie and some sushi for lunch at one of the cafes on the bay, and went and chilled back at the hotel for a bit. I feel like I haven’t eaten enough fruit and veg on this holiday and I think I am on the verge of getting scurvy. I had better watch out for that.

We went for dinner at the same place we went to last night, which was Something Good. Seeing as it was so nice, we thought we might as well go back there and have what we knew would be a decent meal. There was live music on when we got there, which I love love love. It was just one guy doing covers of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan songs and that kind of stuff, but live music is good and it cheered me up being able to sit and chill, listening to the music. I opted for a tipsy lemonade, which is a homemade lemonade with a double vodka in it. Yummy!

I am on my way up to Kruger National Park tomorrow, starting off in a tented camp for a few nights. Who knows if there will be wifi? Not I! So, if you don’t hear from me for a few days it’s because there is no wifi, or I’ve been eaten by a lion.

Bonnie

South Africa Day 13: Onion Rings and Diamond Rings 

We went out in Port Elizabeth determined to find something to see and something to do. Turns out, it wasn’t that easy. We were supposed to be visiting friends whilst we were in Port Elizabeth, and we had planned to spend time with them, but as everything worked out, they ended up being in the UK whilst we were here in South Africa. If we’d known this earlier, we wouldn’t have stayed here so as long and probably would have been here for just one night instead of three.

I looked like a decent day, so I donned a summer dress and lace shirt, seeing as it was nice and sunny out. This was a big mistake. Over the course of the day it got windier and windier, and my skirt kept blowing up. It was impossible to hold down properly, and I dread to think how many people got a view of my butt. Sorry everyone!

We stopped for a drink at a café called Angelos which was on the beach. This tiny section of Port Elizabeth seems to be the liveliest part (but we didn’t know this at the time). I had a pineapple and apple juice, which looked pretty and tasted very much like pineapple and apple juice together. So, we are winning so far.

We head to Richmond Hill which is billed as being an up and coming area of Port Elizabeth with bars and restaurants. We arrived, and it was completely dead. There were no people there and no one was sat in any of the bars or restaurants. I appreciate it is the off season at the moment, but the lack of people made it very uncomfortable. We stuck out like sore thumbs and everyone was staring at us. So, it didn’t take us long to head back to the car and drive away. So far, Port Elizabeth is the only place where I have felt a bit threatened. It feels like everyone is staring at me all the time. People beep at me from their cars and shout things out the window. It’s super uncomfortable feeling like someone’s eyes are leering at you all the time.

That being said, I did have a man contact me on Instagram and ask me out on a date. He lives in the area and wanted to take me out. I said that I didn’t think there was much point, nice though he was, as I was leaving the next day to carry on my holiday. He invited me out for a drink in the evening, but, alas, I declined. I didn’t think his idea of a first date would be spending the evening sat at the dinner table with my parents. Maybe he was going to offer me his hand in marriage? Who know?!

We had dinner at a place called Something Good. A few people had mentioned it as being a decent place to eat, so we cut our losses and headed for it. I had a rock shandy to drink, the alcoholic content in it was zero to none, but it tasted like ginger beer and it was good. Gail had a tipsy lemonade, which was a homemade lemonade with vodka in it, which was really tasty.

For dinner, I had The Hangover burger, which came with a fried egg, cheese, caramelised onions, tomato, bacon and a jalapeño popper. I also treated myself to a side of tempura onion rings, which turned out to be an excellent shout. Oh, and the waitress said she loved my top, and I do so love an outfit compliment. It was all really tasty (especially the onion rings). The only downside was that my jalapeño popper gave me unbearable hiccups, and I thought they were going to tear out of my chest. I have never experience internal fire like it. But this is the fault of the consumer, rather than the fault of the jalapeño.

Bonnie

South Africa Day 12: Board Shorts and Busy Ports

Oh, I forgot to tell you about dinner last night! It was soooooooo yummy. We went to this Italian restaurant called Mauro’s Restaurant in St Francis Bay. It is right in the harbour and serves some really tasty stuff and has a few speciality dishes.

The waitress there was great, and she took loads of time explaining the menu, their specialities and the specials they had on offer that day. I went for two of their speciality dishes, one which was a prawn soup (it was like a bisque with a mild curry flavour) and a scampi linguine, which came with tomatoes and a pesto sauce.



Both were beyond delicious, and I couldn’t fault either of them. They were both so flavourful and you could tell that some real time and effort had gone into making the dishes special and well balanced. If I ever come back to St Francis Bay, I will definitely be going there again. It doesn’t look hugely appealing from the outside, but I would advise you to look past this and go on in anyway. The owner of the restaurant (Mauro, funnily enough), came over and introduced himself to us at the end of the evening, and we had a good chat. He was half Austrian and half Italian, and had lived in South Africa since he was young, going back to Italy to train as a chef.

The next morning, I said goodbye to my room, which was about as close to the beach as you could get without being in a beach hut, and headed up to breakfast. I went for scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and tomatoes. I don’t think I have eaten this many eggs in my life, and I am probably on the verge of turning into a chicken any moment now (I think I can feel a beak forming).

We headed off towards Port Elizabeth after breakfast and noticed a sign for Jeffrey’s Bay on the way. We followed the signs for Jeffrey’s Bay because we had heard it was a good surfing spot, and we quite fancied watching a few surfers catching the waves. We got there, and it definitely has the surfer vibe. There are loads of guys around with sun bleached hair, in board shorts and bare feet (just what you want from a surfer, I think). We made our way to the beach, and there were about 30 kids all splashing about in the water. It looked like they were a class from a school as there were some teacher looking types on the beach with them (what a great school trip).

The beach at Jeffrey’s Bay is beautiful. It’s perfectly sandy and stretches on as far as the eye can see. We spotted some surfers up the way, so we ditched the shoes and the socks and made our way over to them.

There was a mix of guys and girls out there catching the waves. We stood there watching them for a while, riding the waves and falling in and doing tricks on their boards. There was one guy who was way better than the others, and he was doing some really cool tricks and running from one end of the board with another. I wish I was that athletic, and in my dreams this is how adept I will be at surfing when I have a go. In reality, however, I doubt I will even be able to stand up on the board for even a millisecond and will probably crash headfirst into the waves, if I can get anywhere near them.


Once we were done watching and I had had a paddle in the sea, which wasn’t anywhere near as cold as I had expected, we had a quick drink at a café and headed on our way to Port Elizabeth.


As we drove into Port Elizabeth, there didn’t seem to be a load of stuff here, and it was looking pretty industrial, which I guess is to be expected at a port! But it looked really busy, again, as I imagine a port should be. We found out hotel, which turned out to be pretty easy to locate, and we were shown to our rooms. I lucked out with a twin room, which was way bigger and much nicer than the double Gail and Les are in (heh, heh). It’s nice and noisy here and it sounds like a city. There is lots of beeping or car horns and shouting, which is making a nice change from the silence everywhere else.

It was dark by the time we got out for dinner and in the end, we settled for a Greek place called La Kouzina in Port Elizabeth, which turned out to be really nice. We shared starters of dolmades (vines leaves stuffed with rice), falafel and tzatziki and pita bread. The vine leaves were warmed through and they are a billion times better like that than they are cold. I ordered a mango daquiri, which was also really good. Often, I find daquiris can be a bit hit and miss, as a lot of the time they don’t get the ice smooth enough and it is way too lumpy, but this one was on point.

I had a main was good too; I had a wrap thing with chicken and hummus in it, which was tasty. I had another mango daquiri and I ended up finishing Gail’s second caipirinha cocktail (in which many lemons were harmed in the making of), and I was beyond full by the time I had sunk that. But I did it, not wanting to let a good citrusy cocktail go to waste. Because waste not, want not, right? I’m full of good deeds.

 

Bonnie

South Africa Day 8: Almonds and Upgrades

We were moving on from Wilderness today to a place near Plettenberg Bay, called Hog Hollow Country Lodge, which is in The Crags. For breakfast, I went all out and had eggs benedict accompanied by chakalaka. I never usually have breakfast, so eating a full meal in the morning time is very rare for me, but I didn’t fancy any of the buffet options and I feel kind of weird not having anything, so I went for the eggs. It tasted very much like eggs benedict and it reminded me why I don’t have this kind of stuff in the morning; it’s just too rich and sickly. But it was still yummy.

We popped down the road to Knysna and stopped in a cute little coffee shop there, and low and behold, they had almond milk. I haven’t seen any option for soya milk or almond milk whilst I have been out here, so I have been drinking black coffee, which is fine, but I do so love almond milk. I was a very happy bunny, so much so that I even took a photograph of my almond milk latte.

We drove up to The Heads in Knysna, which had a view of the bay and you could see out to sea from there. We saw a tonne of different birds whilst we were walking around up there and we even saw a cute lil’ mousey thing.

 

After that we stopped off at Plettenberg Bay, where there really isn’t much to look at. So, we did what we usually do, and stopped for a coffee and a cake. In this coffee shop out waiter took quite a shine to me (for some unknown reason) and kept looking at me when he as attending to our table. He seemed really shy and he didn’t speak to me, but he kept looking up at me from under his eyelashes and then looking away embarrassed. If I am ever looking for a husband in South Africa I will make it my mission to find him.

We headed back to the car, and after a brief altercation with the parking attendant in very broken English and a torrent of Afrikaans, we were on our way. We haven’t had any trouble with any of the guys up until now. You give them a couple of Rand for looking after your car and seeing out of your parking space and you are on your way. But this guy clearly wasn’t happy with his payment and decided that he needed to shout at me and stick his head in through the car window. I don’t mind giving these guys a bit of change, but to complain that you haven’t received enough money for doing precisely nothing is a bit cheeky in my opinion. They wave you out of a space in which you could easily back an artic lorry out of.

 

We made it to Hogs Hollow Country Lodge, The Crags and we sat on the veranda and awaited our rooms having been provided with a glass of champagne each (don’t mind if I do). Whilst we were sitting there some Vervet monkeys came down and were running around us and chasing one another along the railings and over the canopy above us. As I had my champagne I hand, I didn’t manage to get any photos, but I will be rectifying this as soon as I can.

When it came to our room, it turned out we had been upgraded. This meant we were staying in The Villa. Now, The Villa is more like a mansion, it’s MASSIVE. It has its own pool, the kitchen is bigger than ours at home, the baths are pretty much swimming pools and it even has a pool table and a table tennis table. Pure madness. I’ll show you it on a nice day, rather than it on an overcast day; so here are some pics from the site. It is every bit as incredible as it looks.




The service here is amazing too. When we came back from dinner, someone had been in and turned down my bed, put a hot water bottle between the sheets and placed a bedtime story on my pillow. I thought I was going to pass out because it was so cute and thoughtful.

 

Bonnie

South Africa Day 7: Chilled Vibes and Pizzas of a Serious Size

It turns out there isn’t that much to do in the area around Wilderness, but to be honest, I was quite pleased as I really wanted a chilled day. After breakfast overlooking the bay, we went for a walk along the beach. I probably didn’t choose the best outfit to go wandering along the beach in; a burgundy corduroy skirt, a shirt, tights and trainers.

It was also kind of overcast today, which was a shame, but you can’t be blessed with perfect weather the whole time you are on holiday! We walked down the steps to the beach and as we were nearing the bottom of the steps, I realised the steps were broken. When I say broken, I mean the bottom flight of stairs weren’t there. They just stopped and there was a drop of about a couple of metres. There was no way I was walking all the way back up to go down another set of steps, so I decided to jump off. This could have gone very badly on account of how clumsy I can be, but fortunately I managed this without too much trouble.

We set about walking along the beach, and I was looking for a good pebble to pick up. I normally look for a heart shaped pebble when I am at the beach, but these were all way too smooth and round. But I did find a pebble that is pretty much a perfect circle, so that is now safely stowed in my rucksack.

We got down to the end of the beach and climbed up a set of steps which were much better maintained, and ended up in what appeared to be someone’s garden. We walked along the road a bit hoping to see a town or somewhere to get a drink, but there wasn’t one, so we decided to head back down to the beach to walk back.


We were on top of a massive sand dune, which I ran down, ending up with about a kilo of sand in my trainers. Sigh. We walked all the way back and selected a set of steps which came all the way down to the beach and walked back up towards the hotel.

After I had emptied all the sand out of my trainers, we thought we would drive to Mossel Bay as the guide book had stated it was an up and coming area. We got there and up and coming it certainly was not. If this was up and coming, I dread to think of what it was like before. There was quite literally nothing there. We sat and had a coffee and whilst we were drinking our drinks we read a leaflet about things to do in Mossel Bay. It turns out there is an iron museum in Mossel Bay. As in ironing, as in laundry. What?! In the leaflet it said that is contained over 900 different irons, some of which are rare. There is even an exhibition displaying different washing machines and mangles. TO be quite frank, I would rather roll myself through a mangle than go and see that. A little disappointed, we made our way back to the hotel.

Seeing as it was only the afternoon, we thought we would head down to the spa. So, I donned a bikini. Shortly after, I remembered why I never wear a bikini. It’s actually not comfortable wearing an underwired bra posing as a swimsuit when you are trying to relax, and I always end up so conscious of tummy rolls the entire time I am wearing one. I know I’m not supposed to worry about it, but I definitely still do. Maybe every roll’s a goal? Maybe not. Probably not. Anyway, I wanted to go in the steam room and sauna but they were both closed. Grrrrr. Fortunately, the lady working in the spa turned on the steam room so we could go in there and we sat in the jacuzzi and bubbled around for a bit whilst we waited for it to heat up. After sweating out what I am pretty sure was all the water I had in my body, I exited said steam room and went to get ready for dinner.

We struck out for dinner and ended up in a little place in Wilderness Village, a place called Cocomo Restaurant. We went in there because it looked busy and it was absolutely rammed. It does live music every night and it does these amazing looking pizzas. These pizzas are basically the size of the moon. I have never seen pizzas this big in my entire life. They cook them in their own wood-fired pizza oven and they have a serious amount of topping on them, scrimp on topping they do not. I am not ashamed to say I ate the whole thing, not ashamed at all.

I shouldn’t have eaten it all, because it took me about an hour to get to sleep because I was so incredibly full. But I feel like it was worth it.

Bonnie

South Africa Day 6: Tall Tales and Beached Whales

Today we were travelling from Hermanus to a place called Wilderness. With no stopping, it would be about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from one to the other. We left the B&B at about 10am and headed towards Cape Agulhas, which is where the Indian and the Pacific oceans meet. It is the southernmost point of the continent of Africa, so it’s a pretty special place. We parked up and we decided to walk the rest of the way, which was just over a kilometre.

But first I needed a wee, so I made for the loo. As I walked into the cubicle, I realised someone had left their phone in there. So, I grabbed it and made my way back to the sinks to see if it belonged to anyone. Fortunately, the woman was still there and she was very thankful and thanked me for being such a kind stranger (yay for praise!), but then proceeded to ask me if I would put it in her bag and zip it up as her hands were still wet. I feel like this was a bit of a liberty to take, but obviously, I obliged because I am British and I couldn’t possibly refuse and run the risk of being seen as rude.

 

We started walking down the boardwalk to the most southern pointy bit of Africa. Some of the rock formations here were really cool and they were completely different colours. There were some light grey rocks and some dark brown rocks and some of them had orange bits in them. The views here were breath-taking, but it was also super windy here, so the weather didn’t lend itself to a selfie unfortunately (“how will we live without a selfie. Bonnie?!” I hear you cry).

When we got to the place, there was a prime photo taking spot where there was a sign which stated that this was the most southern point and where the two oceans met. We had to wait for a bit until it was our turn and I ended up having to take a few photos of people. I always end up being asked to take photos of people, I’ve been told it’s because I have an open face, but I actually think it is because they look at me and know that if I made a run for it with their camera, they would be able to catch me.

We took a few photos here and I clambered up onto the top of the rock the plaque was fixed to. It was pretty high and I really had to jump to push myself up on top of it. I got a little bit stuck and I looked like a beached whale rolling around on the top of this thing. But no matter, all in a bid to get a good pic (I’m not sure it was).


Then wandered up a bit and I clambered around on some of the rocks; because I can’t stop myself from doing childish things like that. Then, we turned back and headed towards the lighthouse.

After all that walking, we had worked up quite an appetite, and headed back towards the town to a little roadside restaurant we had spied on the way in. This place was basically a little shack on the side of the road, but it cooked your fish and chips to order. It was so yummy, the batter they put on the fish was super light, and the chips were just the best things. Needless to say, I ate the whole thing, to the point where I felt fit to burst.

All too soon we were back on the road and heading towards Wilderness. We drove for wat seemed like forever, through endless countryside and farmland and even through a township where all the kids waved at us as we drove though (so sweet). I got to the point where I was super tired from driving and I needed to pull over for a break. We stopped off in this tiny town where we couldn’t even find somewhere to get a coffee. Eventually we stopped to ask this guy who was standing by the side of the road and he very kindly invited us into his kitchen/museum/antique shop place.

 

I wish I could tell you the name of the place so you could all go and visit there. Not because the coffee was incredible or anything, but this guy was seriously good value. The amount of pure bullshit that he was spouting was absolutely incredible! I had to turn away and look at the wall to stop myself laughing out loud. The number of things this bloke had done in his life and the number of different jobs he had done, he would have had to have been about 150 years old to achieve all of this. He was telling us that he was training to be a pianist when he was scouted for his talent for opera. He supposedly trained as an opera singer and then lived in Milan for 7 years. My suspicions began to arise when he told us that he was fluent in Italian but could now barely even say hello in the language.

 

Next, he was telling us that he trained to be a chef in Italy, and then re-training in traditional South African cuisine when he got back to the country. He then went about telling us that he had a doctorate in speech therapy and he worked with the same group of eleven children from when they were two to sixteen. He gleefully told us that they had all finally learned the gift of speech around the time they were sixteen and he left them as they no longer needed him. I feel like he can’t have been very good at his job if it took him all that time to get them to speak. But then, I don’t have a doctorate in speech therapy, do I?

 

By far my favourite bit of this yarn he was spinning, was the bit at the end, where he was telling us that he was due to travelling to Milan to perform in an opera. In this opera, he would be accompanied by Andrei Rieu. I must have misheard, surely? Surely, he meant he would be accompanying Andrei Rieu? No, he didn’t. He is genuinely telling us that THE Andrei Rieu, was going to be accompanying him in an opera. Unbelievable. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard in my life as I did when I got back to the car. I had been holding it all in for so long and I couldn’t stop it any longer. I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed. And then I laughed some more.

 

Eventually we made it to our hotel in Wilderness, which is really beautiful, and I found myself a chair suspended from the ceiling to sit in. I tried to fight the urge to swing in it, but I couldn’t, and soon I was swinging wildly about the place in my spherical seat. Les enjoyed giving me a bit of a push, and the highlight of the evening was when he went to put his phone in the inside pocket of his jacket and it fell all the way through. More laughter ensued (and much snorting) and I seriously got the giggles.  I think I had got a bit hysterical at this point.

Bonnie

South Africa Day 3: Cape Point, penguins and pics 

Today we were travelling down to Cape Point by car, and for that, we needed to hire a car. Last night we had asked the lady at the front desks to arrange us a hire car, but when we came down the next morning it seems she had forgotten, so we had no hire car. Great. We thought it might be a good idea but o see if we could pick up our hire car for the next leg of our journey a day early.
Turns out, this was not a good idea. It took the woman at reception FOREVER to sort this out with the car hire company, and then we got told we couldn’t have the car until 2 pm, which the woman said yes to without asking us. Clearly 2pm would have been way to late, considering at this point it was 8.30 in the morning. We asked her to cancel that (which she looked less than pleased about) and set about arranging a separate car for us to hire for the day. There were no cars left with the same company, and she had clearly had enough of our unreasonable demands at this point, so she put us in a taxi and sent us on our way to hire a car from Thrifty.

When we got to the place, it was closed. I like to think that she knew it was shut and the place had moved units and she just sent us there to mess with us, but we will never know the answer to that. The note on the door pointed us towards another unit, but having no idea where that was, we were a bit stuck. Fortunately we managed to wave at our taxi driver before he made it round the corner and he came back and picked us up and very kindly dropped us where the car hire place were operating from for free. What an amazing bloke, whoever you are, I salute you and I am forever in your debt.

By the time we got to the car hire place it was about 10 o’clock and all of the hire cars had gone. Winner! (that was sarcasm by the way) and we were stuck with a pretty pricey Mercedes hatchback. We couldn’t work how to out the blasted thing in drive, so we had to call the guy back out to show us, which he looked terribly amused about. Eventually we were away and driving. It took us a little bit of time to figure out where we were on the map, not helped by the fact that the scaling in the map was way off and you were looking for a road that you had actually gone past 2 minutes ago. We managed to get out, and soon enough we we’re heading down the road to Cape Point after only a tiny family argument in the car.

We drove back towards Hout Bay, where we had been the day before and decided to stop for some breakfast. Just before Hout Bay we spied this busy looking little cafe called Ta-Da, so we went in there. It was full of people and had an amazing vibe and an even more amazing breakfast menu. This place was basically like a shack on the side of the road, with wooden benches out front. I settled on a French toast combo, with fried banana, bacon and syrup – which was all kinds of yummy.

All kinds of yum in my tum

We sat there and watched some kids climbing around in the trees, in what was a beautiful Sunday morning and after a while we went on our way, but not without a trip to the loo first.


Cape Town is experiencing a major drought at the moment, hence the sign, but it made me laugh and I do love having something torrid on the back of the toilet door. We carried on driving down (or up? Not sure) the coastal road, stopping at view points along the way to take in the scenery and get some pics.

View looking back to Hout Bay


After a couple of hours we made it to The Boulders where they have a colony of penguins you can view. Now, I love me a penguin, they are so cute the way they waddle and they look like little old men. The viewing platform was chocca with tourists, but I still managed to get some decent pics and a selfie, of course. We spotted another viewing platform, so we made our way back the way we had come and around to the other platform.

Many mini penguins
Many mini penguins avec moi

On the way we saw some penguins chilling in the bushes with their babies. Amusingly one of the penguins tried to bite Gail when she was crouched down trying to take a photo of it.



We stood and watched the penguins on the beach for a bit, the best bit is when they try to walk up the beach after coming out of the water and a wave creeps up behind then and knocks them over, so cute!


After we’d had out fill of penguins, we carried on towards Cape Point. Along the way there warnings about baboons on the side of the road, so by the time we got to Cape Point I was dying to see one, and I wasn’t disappointed! We saw some adult ones jumping from car to car, and I saw a little one messing around with a car arial, who posed for a nice photo for me, before he started scratching his ear.

Baby baboon

We started walking up the hill to Cape Point, I quickly dismissed the funicular railway because I like to think I am a hardy, athletic type [insert laughing, crying emoji here] and I started ploughing my way up the hill, leaving Gail and Les in my wake and narrowly avoiding some baboons who came pelting towards me.


After clambering up what felt like a million steps, we made it to the to of Cape Point, whilst catching our breath and mopping our brows, we looked out over the water and took the opportunity to take some photos. Then we started heading back down the steps, which I personally find worse than walking up, as it’s pretty hard on the knees.

Getting hotter and hotter



I’m kind of getting to the point where I’ve had enough now. It’s about 4 o’clock in the afternoon and we’ve been out looking at stuff all day. On our way back, we stop off at Simons Bay for some food. The palace we had been recommended was closed, so we settled for Bertha’s on the harbour of Simons Bay. I opened for a seafood platter for one, which came with calamari, butterfly prawns, mussels and the catch of the day, the catch of the day was angel fish, which I kind of felt bad about eating because they are so pretty, but less bad once I tasted how delicious it was.


We drive back through the towns, rather than along the coastal road, which was interesting to see, if not quite as beautiful and ended up back in Cape Town as night fell. It was pretty difficult to get a bearing on where we were in the dark, and we had to do a few circles until we recognised where we were. That being said and all things considered, I think we managed to get back to our apartment without too much trouble. My map reading skills are shocking and I always start to panic when I can’t see where I am on the map, so it could have gone a lot worse. I have to say all the roads aloud as we go past and I think people think it is to help the driver, but it really isn’t – it’s purely so I can tick it off in my head as we go past. I’m that incapable.

Bonnie

South Africa: day 1 – drizzle and dinner 

Our flight was at 9 pm Thursday night and we landed in Cape Town on Friday at about 2.30 pm. It was an eleven hour flight to Johannesburg, a 2 hour wait at the airport there and then a 2 hour flight from Jo’burg to Cape Town. It’s weird, because we did so much flying and we are only one hour ahead in South Africa which is a bit of a mind fuck.

I watched Deadpool before I went to sleep and I actually laughed out loud at it (which is rare for me). It’s just the kind of humor I like and I love Ryan Reynolds, not even because he’s pretty, but because he is a genuinely hilarious man. I was stuck with the crappy plane headphones so I didn’t hear 100% of what was being said, so I think I will watch it again when I am back and get the full experience.

I know I slept for quite a while on the plane to SA, but I feel like I hardly slept a wink! There was a spare seat next to me, so I manged to lay down and put my feet on Gail so get comfy. Which was all well and good until she leaped up in the middle of the night with cramp in her leg and chucked me off. I managed to doze off again with my hoody on backwards and the hood up over my face, but soon the lights were up and it was time to awaken for breakfast.

Spare seat – winning at life

After breakfast I started watching Lego Batman, which I know is super sad, but I was actually really enjoying it. But then we were landing, so I had to turn it off. Fingers crossed I’ll manage to finish that off when I am flying back.


We landed in Jo’burg, and got off the plane and went through customs. This was probably the quickest I have got through passport control in my entire life and all the staff were really happy and chatty – a complete contrast to the government employees in the UK who look like they would rather be hanging off the edge of a cliff by their finger tips with a spike shoved up their arse. Oh, and, I GOT A STAMP IN MY PASSPORT!!!! I was so excited about this, because I’ve only travelled to Europe recently and my passport is so naked. All my visas and stamps are in my passport from before, and I feel like I haven’t been anywhere cool in ages.


When we got to Cape Town, it was raining (of course it was), but we didn’t let this dampen our spirits (LOL) and we made the most of the evening we had left, and went out in the pouring rain to get some dinner.

Should not be having to wear a jumper on hols

I had butternut soup to start which was all kinds of yummy and snoek (which is a type of fish) for my main. We trudged back to our apartment in the rain, but not before asking the somelier in the restaurant for the best wine tasting places to go to. We have a name of a guy and he is going to give us a private tour, so lord knows how that will go! So we shall see how that turns out.

Snack of snoek

Anyway, I’m shattered and I can barely see straight, and it took me way longer than it should have done to type this out. So I am going to hit the hay, or the unknown bed in the unknown apartment that will definitely be uncomfortable.

Bonnie

Room 317 and a couple of Asian guys

This weekend was ridiculously busy. On Friday afternoon I came home from work and baked two cheesecakes for a friend. That took a couple of hours and then I needed to pack for the weekend. I was leaving at 7pm to travel to the ExCel Centre in London for a rowing competition where I was looking after some kids for the weekend. I packed all of my stuff up and started on my travels to get to the ExCel centre.

Chocolate cheesecake
New York cheesecake

We got there, signed all the kids in and got them settled down for the night in what is essentially an aircraft hangar – I do not envy them sleeping in that. They were all shouting and screaming and generally making a nuisance of themselves, so we left them to it and made for a bar. We went to one of the hotels nearby and got a couple of drinks. Two drinks cost £19.25 – I was aghast! £19.25?! You must be having a laugh!!! Thank God I wasn’t paying because I probably would have had a heart palpitation at the bar.

Still reeling after the price of the drinks, we headed outside to grab a seat. I spied a table where there which looked like it was taken, but no one was sitting there, so I sat down there, because I am just like that. I like to see what happens when people come together unexpectedly and this is a great way to force an interaction. So, we sit there for a couple of minutes and these two guys head towards the table we are sitting at. They come up to the table and start taking their stuff of the table, at which point I say “OMG is this your table? I am so sorry, please, let us move!”, like I didn’t already know. The guys actually asked if they could sit with us instead and of course I said yes.

Packing light

Meet Mandeep and Suraj. Mandeep and Suraj are a little bit on the merry side and they have just returned from the bar with a glass of Japanese whisky each. We get to talking and it turns out they are good mates who haven’t seen each other in a couple of years and they are here to catch up on old times. They insist on incessantly pointing out that they are Asian, but not at all religious which I find terribly amusing, and point out on a number of occasions that “God doesn’t go here” – whatever that means. We chat about any old thing for a couple of hours, me coming out absolutely side-splittingly hilarious quips and them falling about laughing over my sarcastic tone and dead pan delivery (that’s how I remember it anyway).

Somehow it comes up in conversation that Suraj is here and staying at the hotel because he’s upset his wife. He won’t go into any great detail over exactly what he did (even though I tried my best to force it out of him), but I naturally assume it is something sordid – because a tiff just wouldn’t be interesting. He then starts saying about how he could be out sleeping with other women and getting up to mischief, but instead he is here with one of his mates, having a chilled night at the hotel. This makes me even more sure it has to be something like an affair, because why would you even mention it otherwise? After this, he starts getting a bit cuddly and putting his arm around me, and then the other guy makes his way round to my side of the table and sits next to me. So, I’m the filling to a manwich at the moment, and a manwich that is getting decidedly drunker by the second.

Morning glory?

His mate starts getting a bit on edge and gets up to go, he’d been looking at his phone on and off for a few minutes, so I assume he must have got a better offer. Once him and his mate have had a bit of a spat about him leaving, I ask Suraj what he would be doing this evening if he hadn’t met us, and the following dialogue opened up:

S: snorting cocaine and watching porn in my hotel room.

B: what sort of porn?

S: anything.

B: that’s a bit broad isn’t it?

S: maybe I’m into some freaky stuff, you don’t know I’m not.

B: maybe you are, but I seriously doubt it.

S: I could fuck you until the cows come home, you know that right? I could absolutely fuck you until the cows come home.

B: A charming sentiment indeed, but I don’t eat beef.

At this point my eyes were watering because I was laughing so hard internally. This guy was being deadly serious and it was taking all of my power not to laugh in his face. Myself and my mate (whose name is Nick by the way, I just realised I forgot to mention that) gave one another the eye and we stood to leave. I wasn’t overly keen on being fucked until the “cows came home” by Suraj and neither was Nick I don’t think.

We said our goodbyes and Suraj seemed very keen on coming to watch the rowing comp the next day (as if he actually was) and he wanted to know where he could come and watch (as if he actually did), and promised he would be there the next day (as if he actually would). We said goodbye and hugged it out and Suraj said rather loudly in my ear “my room number is 317, if you want a comfy bed for the night”.

The bed I actually slept in – 317 might have been a shout

Bonnie

Dates Not Mates: the one with the regrettable boots

After having been in a very long relationship for a very long time, it would be safe to say that my dating experience was limited. And when I say limited, I actually mean non-existent. Until recently, I had never, ever been on a date. How mad is that – I had made it to 22 without ever having been on a date. Needless to say, I have certainly rectified that now, but it meant that I had absolutely zero idea what to expect when it came to the dating game.

After the breakup, I got myself on Tinder and started merrily swiping away. This guy was one of the very first people that messaged me on there actually, and the very first person that I went on a date with. Having no idea how to do any of this at all, I agreed to travel to Fulham to meet this guy and get a drink. Obviously, because I had never been on a date before, I had no idea what to wear and I thought that looking sexy was key. So I donned a pair of black skinny jeans, a top showing a bit of cleavage, a full face of makeup and to top the whole look off; black, high heeled, over the knee boots. Looking back, I clearly looked like a complete and utter tart, and for any of you that know a single thing about me, you will know that this look is very un-me.

I totter up to Fulham in my ridiculously high heels, thinking I am the most glamorous girl going. I get to Fulham and get a message saying he is running a bit late and asking me to walk towards him. So, I start teetering towards him in my inappropriate attire, stumbling on the odd occasion and working up quite a sweat from the exertion. I spot the guy and head towards him. Having no idea how to greet a bloke you are meeting for the first time, I blindly go in for a hug and kind of get smooshed into his armpit – winner!

After our awkward first encounter, we head to a bar for a couple of drinks. We sit outside at a table, mainly because I was so hot from all the walking in my stilts, and we get chatting. When I look back on it, this conversation was probably THE dullest conversation I have ever had. But, because I was so nervous on account of it being my first date, I don’t think I realised this guy wasn’t wowing me conversationally. The night went on and it was time for another drink. Out of pure politeness, I offered to get the next drink in, never expecting in a million years that he was going to take me up on it. But, by Christ, he practically twisted my arm off for this drink, so I begrudgingly obliged.

I then spent the rest of the night feeling very hard done by, that I had somehow manged to select a man who wasn’t willing to run with the “guy pays for the first date” thing, and I spent the rest of the evening turning this over in my head. Fortunately he managed to redeem himself somewhat by walking me back to the station. On the walk back to the station, obviously I turn my ankle in my utterly ridiculous shoes and he has to catch me before I face plant into the front of a Tesco metro. I am absolutely mortified and my face goes entirely red. And obviously I get that awful sweat on, that you get when you have had a near death experience, like when you slip on a patch of ice.

We finally make it to the station in one piece and we sit and wait for my train to come along. He keeps touching my knee and I come to the realisation that this bloke is expecting a kiss. I somehow manage to avoid having to kiss him for the whole time we are waiting for my train, but, when my train arrives, utter horror ensues. I get onto the train and turn around to say goodbye, at which point he gets all up in my face with his face. He pulls me towards him for a kiss, all the while people are herding onto the train around me. I’m getting pushed and shoved as people edge round me to get to their seats, whilst I’m latched onto this blokes face. Fortunately the doors start to close and the whole ordeal is over.

It will amuse you to know, that I went on another few dates with this guy. It wasn’t until much later, that I realised that I actually really didn’t enjoy the dates or like this guy in the slightest. It just goes to show how crazy we can be when we get a bit of male attention, especially when you haven’t really experienced male attention before. I look back on this now, and I am genuinely mortified that I went on these dates and thought that’s how they should go. Thank goodness I am more date savvy now and I’m not stupid enough to offer to buy a drink on the first date. As for the boots, I don’t think I’ve worn them since.

 

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.

belvoir2
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

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

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

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 

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 

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.