Dear Diary · Uncategorized

Why we need to keep hope alive

The mood in Britain is rightly quite sombre at the moment. In the last 3 months we’ve endured 4 terror attacks, a snap election resulting in a hung parliament and a horrific inferno that claimed the lives of dozens of people.

To me, it’s starting to feel like the opening chapter of The Half-Blood Prince. To those of you who have never read it, (if so, get yourselves down to Waterstones THIS INSTANT) the Muggle Prime Minister is experiencing catastrophic event followed by catastrophic event due to Voldemort wanting to spread terror amongst the wizards. I have never been more convinced that Harry Potter is real than during the last few months.

We have watched with mounting horror and anger as it seems that Britain is vulnerable in a way that we have not experienced in our lifetimes. Those of us with loved ones in the police and security services are trying to hide how scared we are when they go to work. And you know what, I have had ENOUGH.

Yes, get angry with the government for failing to protect people in poverty. Yes, feel sickened by the kind of people who can hurt children at a pop concert. Yes, condemn a man who thinks that it is right to drive a van into a peaceful group of people leaving a mosque.

But at the same time, celebrate what this country actually is. The people who ran selflessly into danger at every attack. The outpouring of help and support at every disaster. The very fact that after each atrocity, people quelled their tears, pulled their shoulders back and carried on their lives as normal.

Do you know what I did on Friday night? I went home, had a glass of wine, closed the blinds and danced round my living room like a lunatic. (Huge apologies to the neighbours who probably thought a tone deaf orchestra had moved in.) I’ve also made a list of things that make me happy, and I’ll try to do it all over the coming days and weeks.

Things like lying on my best friends sofa watching bad TV, playing on a trampoline with my beautiful goddaughters, having a cold beer on a hot day, having a catch up and pizza mid-week, listening to my musical Spotify playlist full blast, rereading my favourite books in the sun, painting my nails and booking spontaneous trips away.

So my advice to you all, hug your babies a little tighter, make a list of your own, and celebrate the fantastic people we have right under our noses. To quote a man much wiser than me: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

girl problems · summer

Problems every girl has with summer

I’m baaaaack! Soz about the frankly inexcusable absence, work has been insane over the past couple of months. Plus, it has got to that time of year when everyone wants to be out and about, rather than slumped under a duvet, binge watching trash TV. The bastards.

Now that the weather has improved slightly, I started thinking about the issues it brings with it.

The sheer amount of stuff we need to carry with us.

The sun being out seems to mean that I end up going out a lot more. My admittedly huge bag has got even heavier lately. Like a deranged Boy Scout, I need to be prepared for anything. Deodorant, extra make up, a spare change of clothes, a book, magazines, an umbrella in case it suddenly pours down, the list is bloody endless. Mary Poppins would be impressed with my bag, I swear.

Side note – does anyone else struggle with umbrella etiquette? For example, when walking down the street with a brolly and you come across another person with a brolly, the two won’t fit on the same pavement. What happens, who moves to the side? Or should I lift mine so it’s higher than his? Why has this never been covered in school? WHERE IS THE UMBRELLA HIGHWAY CODE?!

Make Up

You know the story. You get a bit of a tan, (or in my case, a shitload more freckles) and all of a sudden your foundation doesn’t match. Feeling smug, you get yourself down to Boots and get a new shade. Cut to getting ready, and yes, your foundation is beautiful. However, what you didn’t realise is that all of your lipsticks are more suited to snow than sun. You panic, and decide to fall back on the old faithful, the smokey eye. Would have worked perfectly, if a bit dramatic for your mate’s BBQ starting at 2pm, except it’s 30 degrees and before you know it, you’re rocking the full KISS look. Save yourself the bother, get a coral for daytime and hot pink for evening. Trust me, it’s easier.

The amount of prep needed

When it’s tights weather, you can get away with skipping shaving your legs for a day when you’re being lazy in the morning. Come the glorious weather, my routine has about doubled. Between shaving, exfoliating, moisturising, trying to wrestle my hair into a summer appropriate style, I’m exhausted before I’ve even left the house. I’ve also had to start planning my outfits. For a girl who loves a lie in, it’s bloody traumatic having to think about what underwear I need 3 days in advance.

For all my moans, I adore the sun. I love how it makes everyone a bit happier, a bit sassier. I love spending evenings with my lovely friends, sitting on the grass with a pint. I love how everything looks just a bit prettier. If only I had an assistant to help with all the extra admin, I’d be even happier.

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My favourite shows to binge on Netflix

Come on, who doesn’t love Netflix? Home of cheesy films, documentaries and box sets, I love being under a blanket while watching something. Preferably whilst shoving a lot of junk food into my gob. I thought I would round up a few of my favourite shows to binge watch over a rainy weekend.

iZombie

Now I tried to explain this one to my friends a couple of weeks back and I agree, the premise sounds insane. Basically a Doctor is turned into a zombie and to feed her need for brains, takes a job in a morgue. She then ends up accidentally solving a murder, and the show goes from there. It is bloody amazing though, it’s witty, it has a stellar cast, and each week there is a story that either makes you laugh or breaks your heart. I actually think it’s a good replacement for Buffy, it has the same sort of Scooby Gang feel and each season has the same build up to the Big Bad. Give it a go, you’ll thank me later.

Stranger Things

If this is the first you’re hearing of Stranger Things, you’ve either been living under a rock or you’ve been in prison. Now, I freely admit that I’m a huge wimp when it comes to scary films and I had to be persuaded into watching this. I am so glad that I did. I gobbled up every episode and the finale left me breathless. The fact that there’s a second season makes me ridiculously excited. Even if I do end up sleeping with the lamp on and flinching every time the light flickers.

Reign

Now this is as cheesy as a fondue. It’s loosely based on the early life of Mary, Queen of Scots. There’s also some kind of nefarious plotting going on, and I very quickly lost count of how many people have been murdered, lost, tortured or imprisoned. It’s also ridiculously addictive and you end up really rooting for some of the characters. The costumes are absolutely gorgeous and some of the shots end up looking like paintings.

Brooklyn Nine Nine

My go to if it’s been a long day at work and I just need cheering up. It follows a group of detectives based in a small precinct in Brooklyn. There’s not one character that I dislike, the in jokes do actually make me laugh and it just feels like sitting watching a group of friends pissing about. It ended on a cliffhanger last season before breaking for 3 months, I’ve basically been impatiently jiggling my foot ever since.

Sherlock

When I first watched Sherlock, I was so annoyed at myself that I’d never watched it before. Each episode lasts an hour and half and it could last a lot longer and I’d be happy. I love the flashes of humour, the beautifully staged shots and the stories that leave you guessing until the very end. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the latest series, I’ll quite happily sit and watch the first 3 series without a break.

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Buffy turns 20

Buffy celebrated turning 20 on Friday. That’s right, 20. Now, like many things, I was late to the party and only watched Buffy in the entirety about 3 years ago. I adored it from the start. I love the snarkiness, the in jokes, the Scooby gang, I love it all.

Buffy was different from the start in that it’s a young girl running at the monsters, not being chased. There was never the impression that a girl can’t do what a boy can, in fact it’s the opposite. (Sorry Xander).

On a different note, the males in the series were, to be frank, absolutely bloody beautiful. Angel covered the whole dark and brooding angle, Xander pulled off the geeky look, Riley had the whole fresh faced vibe and then there’s my boy Spike. Cheeky, gobby with a keen sense of style (Billy Idol copied him yano). There’s a fight scene in one episode where Spike goes tumbling into a big gravestone. He picks himself up, all indignant and ruffled feathers. ‘HEY. These are WET!’ Brandishing his beautifully painted nails. I laugh every time.

When Buffy wanted to be, it was genuinely hilarious. I watch Pangs, Tabula Rasa and Something Blue when I need to giggle. Every episode there was either a funny moment, a funny line or even a funny monster.

On another note, when it was focusing on serious issues, it could break your heart. There is a moment in The Body that sums up grief in a way that hasn’t really been replicated. Anya, the thousand year old demon turned human is struggling to understand death.

‘I don’t understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she’s- There’s just a body, and I don’t understand why she just can’t get back in it and not be dead anymore. It’s stupid. It’s mortal and stupid. And-and Xander’s crying and not talking, and-and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch ever, and she’ll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why.’

Buffy also covered addiction, coming out, the burdens of growing up and many more. And it did it with style. Buffy was at heart an outsider, and from reading testimonials this weekend, that helped a lot of people feel less alone growing up.

Buffy is a cult hero, and a bloody legend. The show was all about building your own family, and how friends can be more important than blood relatives. It’s about facing your fears and doing it anyway. She saved the world. A lot.

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How to be a Gentleman

This post is based at you, you lucky fellas.

Now Country Life published a list on how to be a modern gentleman. Now, some are pretty boss like knowing how to unhook a bra one handed, breaking up with a girl face to face and never kissing and telling. Others on the other hand are beyond shite. Sings lustily in church? Can sail a boat and ride a horse? Tips staff in a private house and a gamekeeper? Get to fuck. I thought I’d give you lads out there some actual useful tips on how to be a gentleman.

  1. Before a night out, your girl will want to get her tan sorted. Seeing as we are not double jointed, you will need to do her back for her. Man up, do it and stop complaining about getting St Tropez on your hands.
  2. The next day, even if you are as fresh as a daisy, volunteer to go to Maccies for the hangover food. She’ll think of you as her saviour. Easy.
  3. You know those really comfy trackie bottoms that you love? They don’t belong to you anymore. We feel teeny tiny in them, so now they’re ours. Give in with good grace.
  4. Her best mate is an absolute fitty. You know nothing will ever happen but it’s still nice to look am I right? Wrong, dickhead. When she’s showing off the photos from Saturday night, she’ll be watching you like a hawk to see your reaction. Mention something like, “Sorry babe, didn’t realise she was in the photo, I was too busy looking at you.”
  5. If in doubt for a formal event, wear a navy suit. Amazing what it’ll do for you.
  6. It’s 3am, you’ve had a hard week and actually stayed in for once rather than gone out with the lads. Your lady rings, pissed and wanting an hour chat. Do not have a strop on the next day. Instead as she’s cringing, tell her how nice it was to hear her voice. You’ll be rewarded.
  7. If she sends nudes, tell her how amazing she looks. If she doesn’t want to, don’t pester. Nothing turns us off quicker.
  8. Do not talk about your ex. We already know her name, what she does and what her best mate looks like. Talking about what she was like in bed, how she never got moody and how she always laughed at your jokes is a pretty easy way to find yourself on the couch if you’re lucky, back at your Mum’s if you’re not.
  9. When she says she wants you to meet her friends, do not turn up in trainers and with your lads in tow. Make an effort, buy them drinks, listen to their men drama, tell them that your mates aren’t good enough for them. Do you WANT to be bitched about from now until eternity? Our mates are our families.
  10. If she’s got that angry face on, you’ve been snapped at twice in 10 minutes and you’re not quite sure what you’ve done? It’s all your fault you knob. Get down to the shops sharpish and bring back a present.

We can be a tricky breed, we know exactly what we want, we can turn from an angel to the devil within 2.3 seconds and we expect a lot from our blokes. Follow these rules and if in doubt just agree with her. After all, if we’re princesses then we need our blokes to be princes.

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My new love affair with lipstick

Good grief, that title makes me sound like I’ve been sneaking around. Which I guess I have. I’ve always been an eyeliner girl. I’ve worn it every day since I was 15. If I don’t wear it, people tend to ask if I’m feeling ok. I’ve got my routine down, I can do my eyeliner in about 12 seconds flat.

Up until recently, I only ever wore lipstick as part of fancy dress. I always tended to drunkenly like it, but it has never been part of my day to day make-up. Oh so glamorously, my conversion was a result of conjunctivitis. Sexy, right? I was hosting a baby shower for my lovely friend and was stumped. I could either wear eyeliner on one eye, and look like a deranged pirate or I could wear no make-up. I wasn’t a fan of either of those plans. Then an idea pinged into my head. I could wear bright lipstick and look like I’d made an effort rather than diseased. Off I toddled to Boots, and my love for lipstick began.

When I wear lipstick, I notice a bit more of a spring in my step. I’m cheekier and much more likely to say what I think, whether I should or not. Lads love it, I look a tad bit more grown up (a big consideration seeing as I’m 26 and still get ID’d), and it hides a multiple of sins. Such as the day I had 3 hours sleep and had a full day of work. Like magpies, people get distracted by shiny things.

The only downside I can think of with lipstick is that I’m a clumsy cow. The other day I had an interview, and as such had a white blouse on and pink lipstick. I’ve got no bloody idea how I got lipstick on the back of my blouse, but I had to sit in the interview and pray they didn’t notice. Add to that the fact I’m awful for not taking my make-up off at the end of a night out, and I end up with Ruby Woo across my pillow. Delicious.

Like a lot of things, I came to the lipstick party late but now I’m here, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be swanning round in my 70’s, leaving smudges everywhere and reapplying it every couple of hours. Can’t wait.

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How to have the perfect Sunday

 

Now I work a lot of weekends, therefore when I have a Sunday off, I’m happier than a pig wallowing in muck. Over the past few years, I have developed a perfect system for the perfect Sunday. (Even if my perfect Sunday’s end up being on a Tuesday). It also works whether you’re dying of a hangover and mentally cringing at your drunken actions the night before, or if you’re smugly fresh as a daisy and considering posting a status on Facebook. Good, right?

8.00am – Now, I know, you’ll be looking at your phone in disbelief, wondering what kind of monster recommends getting up for 8am on a Sunday? Bear with me, it’ll become clear. Propel yourself out of bed, and crack on with that list you need to do. Throw a wash on, do some ironing, apply for that job you want, hoover up. There’s something that makes you feel like you’re winning at life when you get up and actually get something done on a Sunday morning.

9.30am – You’ve finished your list; now make yourself a huge breakfast. Doesn’t matter if it’s last night’s pizza, a Full English, croissants, toast and Nutella, whatever you want. It’s Sunday, calories don’t count on Sundays. I think Jesus said so.

10.00am – Now, flop back into bed, put the TV on, get under the blankets and doze off. Naps are practically obligatory on a Sunday, and you’ve already earned it due to your early start.

12.30pm – Wake up again. Check your phone, flick through social media, read the paper, generally act like someone in an advert. End up posting it on Instagram. Hashtag Sunday morning goals. Now, get up, strip your bed and put new bed sheets on. Add a few throw pillows. You’ll thank me later.

13.30pm – Potter round, get something easy on the go for lunch whilst catching up with the group chat. Snort at the memes, get all the gossip and collectively judge everyone else you went to school with.

14.00pm – Go have a bath. Throw in some Lush bath bombs, get some Yankee candles on the go, some Soap and Glory body washes. Maybe a face mask as well. There’s nothing more decadent than an afternoon soak in the bath. Watch some Netflix, have a Bud, eat some sausage rolls, do whatever makes you feel happy and squeaky clean.

15.00pm – Get yourself in your favourite pjs. Shorts and T-shirt, a nightie, fleecy pjs from Primark, whatever makes you the comfiest. Go to your living room, armed with a blanket, some snacks, a boxset, fluffy socks. Build yourself a little nest. Put your feet up, watch whatever you want accompanied with whatever you want to eat. Again, no calories on a Sunday. Turn your phone off, and just be entertained.

18.00pm – Now, if you are still hungover now’s the time to order Dominoes or Just Eat. If you’re not hungover, who cares? As I clearly believe, no calories on a Sunday. Now’s about the time that Sunday night fear kicks in, so the best way to get rid of that bastard is with a treat. If you really don’t want takeaway, whip up something easy and full of cheese, like pasta.

19.00pm – Get back into your nest with your takeaway/pasta/cheese. Read a book, watch some Sunday night TV, check Facebook, whatever keeps you feeling happy and relaxed. I love watching Grey’s Anatomy on a Sunday. It’s as cheesy as my pasta, but it’s SO easy to watch and before you know it, you’re sucked into the storylines and muttering lines such as ‘He clearly needs a bypass! HONESTLY!’ Because clearly, binge watching a season and half makes me a surgical resident.

22.00 – Go to bed, the nice clean one from earlier. Drift off into a sleepy food coma. You’ve done some work, so you can feel smug; you’ve also just relaxed and recharged the mental batteries. You’re ready for the week ahead. You’ve nailed this Sunday thing. Well done.