Thursday, 30 June 2016

Glastonbury 2016

How do people DO Glastonbury?

I’m serious – if you’re reading this, and you went to Glastonbury this year, and you don’t feel like you need to lock yourself up in a spa and sleep for a week, how did you do it? Because the only way I manage is by trying to ‘pace myself’, and that means fear of missing out, and basically it’s all just a complete nightmare and am I too old? Do I need to just book a nice cottage in Devon for a week and be done with it?


Wednesday, 29 June 2016

United we stand

You’re probably fed up of reading about the EU referendum. I am. I came back from Glastonbury on Monday and sat in front of the TV, with mud-splattered legs and tired eyes and a sad heart, and I feel as though there’s only so much more I can take. I want to turn it off, watch Gogglesprogs and numb my mind.  But this moment is history in the making. Thirty years from now students will sit GCSEs on last weekend, write essays on how and why the world changed on an otherwise unremarkable Thursday night. I cannot let it pass without comment.


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Brexit - Vote Remain

I am not educated enough to form a proper opinion on whether or not we should leave the EU.

Nor are you.

I’m sorry, but you’re not, and I don’t really think anybody is. Not Boris Johnson, trumpeting around like an overexcited head boy, not David Cameron, squeaking on about the economy with sweaty palms and a crap suit, not Nigel Farrage doctoring posters of refugees like a rubbish Frankenstein. None of them know. In a way, I think that’s why instead of sensibly voting on it in Parliament, they’ve turned it over to us – helplessly raising their palms, like, ‘We’ll ask you, and if you can’t decide, we’ll just flip a coin.’

So if I don’t know, why am I writing about it? Because you should vote to remain in the EU.


Monday, 20 June 2016

15 things everyone going to Glastonbury is thinking right now

1. It's JUNE, why is it literally like Mordor outside? I don't want to go to a festival in this weather - I want to stay in bed. I'm going to Coachella next year to wear denim cut offs and stand near minor celebrities and sleep in a hotel with a swimming pool.


Friday, 17 June 2016

Little life loves this week

This week has been last week’s antidote. From going out pretty much every single night and eating and drinking far too much, I’ve spent this week getting ready for Glastonbury by staying in, eating wholesome healthy food and getting early nights! Which might sound boring but in all honesty it was exactly what I needed and it’s made me so happy! Here are the little things that have made this week extra nice…


Thursday, 16 June 2016

We’re buying a flat!!! – And homeware dream haul

SO, last week I mentioned that my husband and I were having exciting conversations but I didn’t want to explain because I didn’t want to jinx it. But now, our offer has been accepted, we’re getting a solicitor and we’re actually buying my dream flat!

I’ve been renting in London for five years now and living in our current block for four – we knew we wanted to buy here but flats rarely come up and we’ve been disappointed before, so we are so excited and happy that we’ve finally managed to secure one. Naturally, I’m leaving my husband to get on with all the complicated financial stuff (what even is a broker?) while I spend my time staring at Pinterest and home décor blogs. It’s so amazing to finally have our own place to decorate! I thought I’d put together a little list of the things I’ve been lusting over (and some which I may have already bought – looking at you copper wine glasses - OOPS) so if any of you are in a similar position, you can dream away too!


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

10 ways to have a good day today

It's somehow still only Tuesday, it's biblically raining in London despite being the middle of June, half your friends and everyone you follow on Instagram is drinking cocktails on a Greek island, you're pretty sure your boss is mad at you about something although you don't know what, and you just checked your bank account and realised you'll be eating food from the freezer until July. I know, I'm there with you - so here are ten ways to make today a good one!

1. Stop whatever you're doing right now, and go and make a cup of tea. There is really nothing on earth that isn't made at least slightly better by a warm, comforting cup of builder's tea. Hangover, rainy day, angry boss, horrible boyfriend - cup of tea. Go and put the kettle on. Make me one while you're there.

2. Don't beat yourself up about your weight today. You aren't as fat as you think you are. And even if you are, it doesn't matter. Your weight does not define you. You are intelligent and funny and loving and sarcastic and a hundred other things not determined by a number on a set of scales. Stop looking at photographs of half naked girls in workout clothes on Instagram and reevaluate what is important to you - being happy and healthy, leading a good and warm and friendly life, not only ever drinking green juices and never having a glass of wine. You look fine, you are good enough. Make today the day you let it go. 

3. Go into a book shop and buy a book (or download one onto your Kindle). Spend a while browsing, thinking about your choice. Pick something you can't wait to read. Then get lost in it. I recommend 'When Breath Becomes Air' by Paul Kalanithi if you want something really life affirming - but it doesn't matter if it's a thriller or chick lit or a biography or whatever. Find what interests you and indulge it. 

4. Eat something healthy for lunch. No, your weight doesn't define you, but feeling like you've eaten something good for your body is so good for your well being. I don't mean rabbit food or diet food, I mean something wholesome and hearty and nourishing, like a big bowl of soup and some bread, or a huge salad or pasta. You won't die if you eat pasta. Take your time over it, appreciate it, enjoy it. 

5. Call your mum and dad. Or your gran, or your sister or best friend, or someone you haven't spoken to in a while, someone real who connects you to the truest version of yourself, the one you are when nobody is looking and you don't have to pretend to be cool or clever. Let them bring you back to yourself.

6. Have a long bath with all the extras - pour half a bottle of bubble bath into it, shave your legs, exfoliate, moisturise, face mask, everything! See 'cup of tea' for 'things that always make you feel a bit better no matter what.' 

7. Watch a good TV show or read your book for an hour, but most importantly - put your phone in the other room. You know what will happen on social media while you're away? Literally nothing of interest.

8. Tidy your bedroom. Tidy house, tidy mind. When your personal space is out of control, it feels like your life is. Even if it's just surface tidy - clear the bed and the floor around it, light a candle and pick out your clothes for the next day so it won't be a mad rush in the morning. 

9. Write a To Do list of all those irritating tasks that you know you need to get done, like calling the phone company because they charged you £91 last month for no reason, booking accommodation for your sister's hen do, sending off your postal vote forms - whatever. Then do two of them immediately. 

10. Get an early night - even if it means ignoring half the things on this list! Nobody ever feels as bad when they've had a good solid dinner and nine hours sleep! 

I hope this helps - and if all else fails - last minute holiday to Greece, anyone?!


Monday, 13 June 2016

Live like you were dying

There's a pretty cheesy song by Tim McGraw, who you'll only know if you like a bit of ol' country music, called 'Live Like You Were Dying.' I remember hearing it when I was about 18 and it struck a chord with me, in an embarrassing way, a bit like when a One Direction song makes you feel teary-eyed or when you get choked up watching an advert about a lonely kitten (anyone else?!) I just thought there was something powerful in that thought - that if you knew your time was limited, you'd make better use of it.

I get that feeling occasionally, when something's happened to me- like when you recover from one of those flus that feel like they might never end, or when you think you've found a lump only to realise your boyfriend has them too and they're called mosquito bites. Those days when the sun seems a little brighter and you go downstairs barefoot and drink a glass of orange juice and really taste it, and you smile at everyone you pass on the way to work, even the man who bashes you with his briefcase and doesn't say sorry. And you think of your life spread out ahead of you like a road map, filled with potential lovers and babies and holidays to far flung locations and promotions and achievements and hopes and dreams, and just the thought of it gives you bubbles of excitement in your stomach, and you can't imagine how you ever cried over a two pound gain on the scales or got cross because your Domino's delivery showed up late and they forgot your garlic bread. That feeling, for me at least, doesn't last. It probably doesn't last for you either. 

But it should. 

Recently, I came across a Facebookpost relating to a girl I went to university with.  Emmy is beautiful and it is clear from the support on her posts that she has lots of friends and family and a gorgeous fiance. Just last year, she ran the London Marathon. Which is amazing. Especially when you consider that she had undiagnosed thyroid cancer. 

When diagnosed, she’d just reunited with her childhood sweetheart. Just after getting engaged, they were told her cancer had spread so far that it was now considered incurable. In that moment, I think I know how I would react. I think I know how everyone would react, to be honest. But what about the next moment? I’m not so sure.

I think I might lock myself in a dark room, wrap myself in cotton wool. Rile against the cruelty of the world, cry about how unfair it was, yell at people who’d done nothing wrong, scream in empty fields, eat pizza and watch daytime TV listlessly in my pyjamas. Emmy has done none of those things. Instead she has raised over £50,000 for the RoyalMarsden hospital, where she is being treated, by deciding to tandem her way across Europe with her new fiancé in order to raise awareness for thyroid cancer and it's rarer symptoms. She updates regularly, brightly, posts full of humour and light, she talks about her illness honestly but without self pity; she is gracious and she is optimistic but never naïve. I read her posts spellbound because every single one delivers a message and the message is that you can’t choose how you die, but you can choose how you live.

Her Just Giving page is here - I won't tell her story. I don't know her (although I wish I did) and she does it plenty of justice on her own. But what I will say is that when I read it, I was overwhelmed by the extraordinary strength in it and the intense desire I felt to be the sort of person who would react in exactly that way the moment after I received that sort of news. And all I kept thinking was, maybe I need to start being that person now. Maybe we all do.

Because we are all dying, or as Chuck puts it in Fight Club, ‘on a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.’  We don't know how fast, we don't know when or why, but the end will come, overtaking and unstoppable like sleep as you lie in bed at night. Every day that you wake up bleary-eyed to the buzzing alarm on your iPhone, you're rolling a dice and you never know when your number could come up. One of the strangest things about being a human is that we're all going to die but we all live as though we think the end will never come. Maybe your chance of dying today is infinitely small, but it's there, ever present, and rather than pushing that knowledge under the carpet you should remember it and live like you know every single day could be your last.

Read Emmy's story and see if at the end you still want to moan about how you're turning 30 this year or wish you were 2 stone lighter or had a different job or were a famous blogger or  whatever. Change it, embrace it, take every opportunity, every chance you get. Swim in cold oceans, climb hills, kiss the boy and dye your hair pink, go to the party, get on the plane and paint the walls and buy the shoes. Life is not always wonderful but it is always all you've got. It is the most precious resource you will ever own. Remember that, be inspired by it, hold onto it, and even though it’s a cliché – live like you were dying.

You can donate to Emmy’s amazing cause here. Thank you Emmy for changing my mindset – I wish you all the luck and love in the world.


Friday, 10 June 2016

Little life loves this week

It’s been a good one this week, if a crazy one – I’ve only spent one night in all week and I feel slightly exhausted, but in that nice, living-life-to-the-fullest way. There’s no way around it – I definitely need a long lazy Saturday filled with face masks and hot baths and full breakfasts in fluffy dressing gowns…it's the only cure. In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been loving this week!


Thursday, 9 June 2016

The Breakfast Club Birthday Bottomless Brunch!

As I noted here, I was on holiday on my birthday this year. Now don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t have changed that for the world. There’s literally nowhere I wanted to spend my birthday more than by the pool in Santorini, cocktail in hand! But it did mean I missed out on having a little celebration with my friends. So when I returned, I decided to organise a little get together. I didn’t have a lot of time so I just looked up brunches in my local area and found that the Breakfast Club in Canary Wharf offered ‘Dr Kluger’s Bottomless Boozy Brunch.’ 

Sounded pretty perfect, so I booked a table and off we went!


Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Blues Kitchen Shoreditch – Campervan Private Party!

A couple of weeks ago my friend asked me if I had any ideas for a 30th birthday party for his girlfriend, one of my best friends. As I mentioned here, we spent her actual birthday on the beautiful island of Mykonos - but when you're 30, you need to party! He had about 15-20 people and wanted a venue in central London where we could have some privacy, but also have a big night out, without breaking the bank. Did I know anywhere?

As it happened, I did! The Blues Kitchen in Shoreditch has a camper van inside it which you can hire out as your own private ‘room’ within a club. For up to 25 people, you can attach your phone and play your own music, order drinks and food and the only catch is there’s a minimum spend of £400.


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Mykonos – Paradise Beach

Having explored Mykonos Town the day before and had a pretty big meal with quite a lot of Greek wine, we slept late on our last full day in Mykonos! I woke everyone up eventually with haloumi cheese, bacon and feta on crusty bread, at which point pool games inevitably ensued.


Monday, 6 June 2016

Mykonos Town

‘And you will go to Mykonos…’ 

Anyone who is a fan of Fleet Foxes has probably listened to that song, as I have, a thousand times over, and wondered what this place, so revered in their song, is like. Well, now that I've been I can understand...


Friday, 3 June 2016

Little life loves this week

A weekend with a bank holiday in it is always a strange one, isn’t it? It should feel shorter, and yet that whole ‘end of holiday blues’ feeling often leaves the week dragging on. The dreary, unseasonable weather this week really hasn’t helped my end of holiday blues, especially as I spent bank holiday Monday hungover on the sofa bed watching reruns of old TV shows and eating Chinese takeaway. So to cheer all of us up a little, here are a few things I’ve been loving this week…


Thursday, 2 June 2016

My Birthday in Santorini

I’ve been away for my birthday once before. I was 22 and spent it on a girls’ holiday in Tenerife – I ate the worst cooked breakfast of my life, spent the day tanning by the pool, then drank a bottle of fake champagne, went out and kissed a holiday rep. I figured my 29th would probably be a little different (except for the tanning by the pool bit!)

After a weekend drinking a LOT at a wedding, we woke up pretty late in our gorgeous hotel room. I got up first, and drank a Fanta out of the mini bar costing three euros fifty – but hey, it was my birthday! Padding across the room, I opened the light cream curtains and let the sunlight flood in. Honestly, I will never get over how beautiful this view was – our hotel was just stunning!

© Cat Cruse. All rights reserved.