Friday, 15 September 2017

This week I’ve been…



Planning:
This time next week I’ll be in San Francisco, two days into our California-Vegas road trip! Somehow, I’ve felt like this trip isn’t actually happening and so I haven’t made any plans at all – like I literally hadn’t even sorted my visa out, so this week has been a bit of a mad rush to do all that and get a nail appointment and all those important things. But around that I’ve been…




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Friday, 1 September 2017

This week I’ve been…

Ill. But let’s skip over that, shall we? Onto lighter things…

Watching –

Well, the Game of Thrones final, OBVIOUSLY. You can read my thoughts on that particular intrigue over here, if your heart so desires.



Also, the Great British Bake Off. Ohhh I can’t help it – I so wanted to be loyal to Mary Berry and Mel & Sue, I so wanted to start watching and think ‘eh, this is rubbish now,’ and go on Twitter to complain about it – but then the credits rolled and there was the tent and those pretty pictures of cakes and, well… it’s all just… pretty much exactly the same, isn’t it? There’s an old lady fussing and Noel cracking puns and it’s still the cosy old bake off, and I’M SORRY I STILL LOVE IT.

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Things I don’t get about the Game of Thrones Season 7 Finale

This blogpost contains spoilers

So for background: I picked up Game of Thrones when it was around its second season. Once I’d back-watched it, I read all the books and I’ve watched ever since. And I’m one of those annoying fans who thinks the show has gone downhill since the show passed the end of the books. I don’t know – it just seems so safe nowadays; you never really feel concerned for the wellbeing of the good or ‘popular’ characters. I’m also quite troubled by the fact that the makers of the show are apparently about to wrap everything up in a neat little bow in one more season, because George RR Martin’s books are sprawling and untidy and it just doesn’t feel like we’re even approaching the end yet. I wonder if the books will be different, or maybe never even be written now, which will be sad.



Anyway, ignoring all my misgivings, I’ve been able to enjoy season 7, despite a few plot holes and the weirdly fast pace. But this week’s finale left me speechless for all the wrong reasons and I just had to write about it because I have questions, so without further ado, here are all the things I just don’t understand about season 7 of Game of Thrones.


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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Made in Chelsea, slut-shaming, and the problem with ‘girl code’


First of all, I know, I know – many people would think me ludicrous to base any deep discussion on the goings-on of Made in Chelsea: Ibiza. But while past story arcs have appeared somewhat dubious to say the least, the latest love triangle – which has spilled out into the Twittersphere – seems very real, and has opened up some really interesting debates. Not least, in my opinion, in its constant referring to the unwritten rules that female friends should live their lives by – the ostensible ‘girl code.’


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Friday, 25 August 2017

This week I’ve been…

Watching:

Storyville: Silk Road – I recommend almost all of the Storyville documentaries on the BBC – they are generally well thought out and researched with a lot of thought put into the interviews that lead the narration (as there is no external narrator to guide the plot). This is no exception – the story of ‘Dread Pirate Roberts,’ or how and why a person came to set up an online marketplace for the trafficking of illegal substances. Fascinating, shocking in places and well worth a watch.

Vuelta Espana 2017 – I’ve only ever watched the Tour de France before but I’ve been really enjoying the Spanish race this year, and I want to encourage everyone who is interested in cycling to watch it. It’s really only by getting more spectators involved in sport that we can elevate it – the more we watch, the more sponsors will spend on getting good riders involved, and the better it will become. Plus the itv4 commentary is just as amusing as it is on the Tour de France, so well worth watching the highlights.

That GoT episode – I mean, I kind of agree with the Guardian article that came out earlier this week on how silly this show is becoming. It’s so fast-paced that I think I’m about to have a heart attack every other scene. But still… the dragon. That’s all I’m saying.

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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Summer v.s. Autumn

A question:

Why is everyone so excited for Autumn? I could understand if everyone was sad about how it keeps raining in summer, but no – all I keep seeing are tweets wishing Autumn would ‘hurry up and arrive.’ So…why?
 
Autumn in your mind

I could completely understand if Autumn was like it is in American movies – crisp but sunshiney days, a carpet of red and orange leaves on the ground, girls wearing cosy sweaters and scarves but no coats – a bit like a perpetual version of Hocus Pocus, only without the witches. The vision of Autumn these people conjure up is utterly beautiful, pumpkin pie cooling on a windowsill, candles burning, hot chocolate in mugs with cream on top, rosy cheeks and fresh air. Having never been to, say, Massachusetts, I can’t tell you if Autumn (or ‘Fall’) there is actually like that. But what I can guarantee you is that Autumn here is not like that at all.

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Friday, 18 August 2017

This week I’ve been…

Reading: The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks. My Kindle is broken (RIP) and so wherever I go I just buy cheap paperbacks (plus I keep ordering them for 28p second hand on Amazon), but I ran out in the Lake District and my husband bought this for me in a little touristy shop that mostly sold fudge and flavoured jam. Anyway, I’m only about a quarter of the way through but I adore it. I just got back from the Lake District, which helps, but this gives a completely different, totally unromantic and yet somehow still beautiful perspective. I want to crawl into the pages and live in this earthy, real world where the air is clean and life is simple and pure. I know this actually got a bit of a cult following but it still somehow passed me by, so if it passed you by too, buy it, read it, trust me.

Listening to: The High Low podcast – Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes basically rattle through the news of the week, both trivial and serious, focusing in on certain pop culture aspects of it (they spend time this week, for example, discussing a tweet Lordes wrote following the Charlottesville rally) in a way that manages to be both thought-provoking, entertaining and completely absorbing. It helps that both girls are acerbically funny, and that they manage to be self-deprecating without being embarrassed or ashamed to have their own thoughts on big problems. I sort of felt that feeling you get when you’re two glasses of wine in round a table with good friends and you decide to put the world to rights; like suddenly you have all sorts of views and opinions and want somewhere to put them – and then I looked up and my tube journey was over. 100% worth a listen.
 
Instagram: @catscruse
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Thursday, 17 August 2017

IAAF World Championships

How amazing, shocking and fascinating was this year's world championships?! 


I've got to be honest, when it started I wasn't really sure how involved I was going to get. I absolutely love the Olympics and practically mourn it when it's over because it's just so amazing to watch, but it's partly the variety I like - how you can flick from gymnastics to boxing to horse riding and so on. I wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy just watching pure athletics, but as we had tickets to the Sunday night I decided to watch it from the beginning and so quickly I was totally addicted. 

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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Cornwall Family Time

I don’t know why it’s taken me over a month to write this post. I feel like part of the problem is this year is that I’ve just done so much, it’s almost impossible to keep up with myself. We have just gone from one trip/holiday/birthday/event to the next and I feel like I’ve barely had time to sit down and look at the photographs, let alone edit them and write a blogpost about it…



Which is actually why Cornwall was such a relief.

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Thursday, 13 July 2017

How I cured the eczema on my face and eyes

REALLY OBVIOUS DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor. If you didn’t know. I’m not qualified to deal with eczema, dermatitis, or skincare in any which way, except that I used to have really severe facial eczema, and now I don’t. As you will see, I did – and absolutely recommend that you do – seek medical advice with this condition first and foremost, so please don’t blame me if you, I don’t know, put coconut oil on your face and spontaneously combust, okay?

Second disclaimer: this is going to be quite a long, informative post – I want it to be that way, because this is what I would have wanted to read last year when I was going through hell and back with my eczema – but if you just want a quick round up of the products I recommend, with links, I’ll put that at the bottom so you can just scroll straight down. I hope that helps!

Third and final disclaimer: I don't have any photos at the moment because although I took some 'before' shots, annoyingly I can't find them. If and when I find them I'll add them here. 

Okay, so: here we go!

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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Canary Wharf Weekends

When I first moved to Canary Wharf (nearly four years ago now! Where does the time go?!) a lot of people would kind of give me a weird look when I told them where I lived. It’s the same response we still get now… ‘but isn’t it really dead at the weekends?’


Not only has it NEVER been dead at the weekends (but it is usually quiet enough that you can get a table! Good for those who have always been a bit old at heart – like yours truly!) the introduction of the cross rail and the new shops and restaurants that have come alongside that means there is literally SO much to do in Canary Wharf that you could never get bored of living there (to the disappointment of my mum who wants me to move back to my hometown today!) Recently we spent a whole sunny Saturday and I thought I’d run you through what we did…

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Monday, 10 July 2017

Glastonbury 2017 – Worthy View

Around this time last year I wrote this post and in it I asked how people do Glastonbury, at least when they’re not 21 anymore and they can’t spend a weekend sleeping drunk in a puddle without spending an entire month in a spa to recover. And this year, HOORAY, I actually figured it out!



Last year’s Glasto was such a hard slog. I enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong, but I came home exhausted and covered in mud and just genuinely wondering if I was going to do it again. When my friends started the yearly group chat around who was going to get up early for tickets, I honestly considered saying I was out, and when we managed to get them (thanks to my extremely hungover husband, who then immediately slammed the laptop shut and went back to sleep for 3 hours!) I couldn’t tell if I was pleased or nervous. And THEN, one of my friends admitted he was kind of feeling the same way, and we came up with a secret plan to convince the others (who still think sleeping in the puddle is fun and ‘authentic’) that camping at Worthy View was a good idea.

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Monday, 5 June 2017

Camden Rocks Festival

On Saturday, my friends and I headed to Camden for Camden Rocks festival. I’d been to the Camden Crawl a couple of years back and LOVED it, so I had high hopes…and they were not in vain! Not only was the weather amazing (so sunny after getting caught in a complete downpour the night before) but the music was excellent and we had such a nice day drinking (too much) and wandering from venue to venue. I think it’s such a good idea, and definitely something to try if you’re not keen on the traditional spend-the-day-outdoors-in-a-field type festival. Basically you just buy a wristband, and that gives you entry to multiple venues across Camden, where you can see a variety of rock/indie/metal bands playing throughout the day.



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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Summer in the city

I’ve got so much to write about at the moment that it’s somewhat overwhelming, because when the weather cheers up the way it did last week, there’s literally nothing you can do to keep me in the house! After a weekend celebrating birthdays I thought I might have a quiet one, but I accidentally… didn’t. But honestly – HOW nice has it been, just to walk down the street in a skirt and sandals and not feel even a little bit cold?


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Monday, 22 May 2017

30 things on my 30th birthday

I don’t know how, but this week I turned 30. I KNOW. I’m not okay with it either. Luckily, I was super spoilt and it was genuinely one of the best weeks of my life (update on that soon) so I’m kind of okay with it, but I STILL don’t know where my twenties have gone.  



Somehow, both slowly and quickly, the years since I was a teenager have flicked past and now I’m getting to the point where people are going to start giving me those ‘over the hill’ joke birthday cards,  and there’s nothing much I can do about it. And although I don’t particularly dread getting older (it is, as Maurice Chevalier once said, better than the alternative) it does make me think about the last time I changed decades (in my second year of university – I made my friends wear pink for the day and I wore a tiara – yes, really) and what I’ve learnt since then. So here are a few select nuggets of advice that I would tell my former self. 30 things I’ve learnt in 30 years.
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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

So Eco Brushes Review

Since watching a number of horrible TV programmes that focus on animal cruelty (Vegucated, I’m looking at you) I have been doing whatever I can to try and alleviate the suffering of animals in this world. I’ve been eating primarily vegetarian food in the week, minimising dairy and also looking to use natural products wherever possible.



Enter the So Eco brushes range! Isn’t it nice to know that the brushes you use on your face every day are completely natural? So Eco’s brushes are 100% ethically sourced – including their packaging and transit. The brush handles are made from bamboo and recycled aluminium. In short, they’re made from plants!
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Friday, 10 March 2017

Friday Favourites

It’s been a good week! Let’s ignore the part where I’m so hungover that I’m drip-feeding myself a whole box of watermelon, shall we? Good! Onto the favourites!

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Thursday, 9 March 2017

The Lake District – Buttermere Lake

I woke up on Sunday, if I’m being honest, with a slightly sore head. Too many glasses of wine in the Jacuzzi I guess…


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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The Lake District – Ullswater Lake

I like going on mini breaks in the UK. Over the years, I’ve covered pretty much everywhere, from York to the Cotswolds, to Cornwall and Kent, and I’ve got to be honest – although I love it, I really didn’t think England could surprise me anymore.



Recently we really needed a break, but my husband has just started a new job and couldn’t get a lot of time off so we decided to stay in the UK. The Lake District just stuck out to me as a place that, weirdly, I’d never been, so as we had four days, we booked a little cottage with a hot tub in Pooley Bridge, and last Friday made the long road trip (made longer by me drinking a large Costa caramel latte and needing to stop for the loo roughly six times) down to Ullswater Lake.



And honestly – I was amazed by how stunning it was. I have honestly never seen scenery like it in real life. We dropped our bags in the little cottage and walked out onto our little veranda and just stared at the view. Even in the rain, with the sheep huddling under the trees for shelter, it was so gorgeous.





I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen snow-topped mountains in real life and it just felt like every direction we looked, it got more beautiful. We spent the first evening in the cottage, eating dinner and trying out the hot tub, which – despite it being freezing cold and raining outside, was really enjoyable!




It had rained solidly for 24 hours on the Friday and so we were happily surprised to wake up on Saturday to beautiful sunshine. We made the most of the morning by completing Keswick park run – I’ve written about my love for park runs here, and this one, which took you through a winding wood, past waterfalls and over bridges, might be the most fun one I’ve ever done. Not my fastest time by any means, but so worth it!


After recovering via eggs and avocado, we headed to the Ullswater Lake where we spent our first day. The second largest lake in the Lake District, and often considered the most beautiful, Ullswater Lake is home to the Ullswater steamers – boats which take you across the lake from Pooley Bridge to Glenridding.



We followed a typical walkers route, getting the steamer across to Glenridding – where we had a little wander and warmed up with a cup of tea – and then back to Howtown, before we walked the 6 miles back to Pooley Bridge.









I love a good countryside walk. In London, everyone is always rushing everywhere, and it’s so nice to just wander along in the sunshine. 








Just the act of putting one foot in front of the other and not really think about anything. The views were insane and we also took a little detour to see the Cockpit stone circle, a prehistoric site which – like Stonehenge – is something of a mystery.




It’s a bit smaller than Stonehenge, though!






We arrived back at our cottage, tired but happy, and celebrated with drinks in the Jacuzzi! It's a great length walk - about two and a half hours with lots of different terrain and views so you don't get bored. Fully recommend it. 



Afterwards we headed into Pooley Bridge for a well-deserved pub dinner at the Pooley Bridge Inn.




We chose our location in Pooley Bridge completely at random, based on the accommodation available. Since then, a lot of people we’ve spoken to who know the Lake District well have said we were lucky to pick Ullswater rather than some of the better-known tourist destinations (like Windemere/Ambleside). Having not been to the latter, I can’t make a comparison, but I will say that Ullswater Lake was so beautiful we are already making plans to return, and that our cottage was the perfect base!


Have you ever been to the Lake District - what did you think? 
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Monday, 27 February 2017

Swingers Golf Bar, London

Despite the fact that when I uploaded my Instagram photo I was immediately followed by an account called ‘Cuckold Escorts’ (err, no ta), Swingers, which you can find in the city of London behind the Gherkin building, has nothing to do with keys in bowls and everything to do with crazy golf. I had heard of it, looked it up and seen it was sold out, and promptly forgotten all about it until this weekend when my sister-in-law and her husband came to stay and he wanted to go.

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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

This week I’ve been…

Reading – this post on Scarphelia’s blog about why she’s no longer going to be posting on her blog. She touches on the very troubling reality of living life on the Internet, and her section on happiness is genuinely one of the most beautifully real things I’ve read in a long time. I’ve written before on why I no longer aim to be a fulltime blogger, and while being creative and having a hobby is something I truly enjoy, there’s a truth in Katie’s post that I think a lot of us need to hold onto. Since reading it, a lot of blog posts/Youtube videos that I’ve previously enjoyed seem to ring a little hollow, and I’ve found myself putting my phone away a lot more – and I’m grateful to this piece for that. 



Listening to – My Dad Wrote A Porno, series 2. With my husband in my pyjamas, late on Sunday morning, whilst eating homemade banana pancakes and maple syrup and laughing till I cried. I don’t know why this concept is so hilarious and how it continues to make me cry laugh, but I love it.

Watching – House of Cards, which I think strikes the perfect balance between the ludicrously overdramatic Scandal and the slightly-too-serious-sometimes West Wing. We are on about episode 12 of series one and I love it, although I do think all the characters conduct themselves a little bit strangely and not necessarily in a way that real life people would act, but still, bearing in mind Donald Trump is currently President, maybe this is just how people in the White House behave. Anyway, excellent show.

Buying – a Gucci belt. I know, I know I shouldn’t have, but I did. When I’m eating toast three meals a day at the end of this month, please refer me back to this post, okay?

Eating – We went to Café Rouge with Ian’s parents on Saturday night and I just had the absolute best meal – poached egg starter, duck and dauphinoise potatoes with sweet cherry sauce main, and the most excellent dry white wine. But for dessert I didn’t fancy anything big so I just ordered some salted caramel truffles and oh. My. God. Honestly, if you go, GET THEM, and you should go just for that reason alone, I swear. I never wanted them to end. Happiness.

Lusting over – the new Hades jumper range. I want every single one of them, but this completely gorgeous pink ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ one is my favourite. (FYI, I looked up what tristesee means and it means sadness, which I think is a bit melancholy but that’s the whole point of the collection after all). If anyone has a spare £160, let me know.  


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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

10 things that happen to every girl on Valentine’s Day


Because love really is all around, everyone.


1. You will talk cynically about how Valentine’s Day is stupid and not even a real holiday, you should show love every single day of the year, and it’s all just a big farce created by Hallmark to get you to buy more pieces of folded card for £4.99. You are too cool for Valentine’s Day, obviously. It's just another day, right?

2. And then you’ll throw a mega tantrum when your other half tells you actually, he’s going to spend the 14th at work drinks because it's just another day, right? He just doesn’t get it.


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