THE SUNDAY PAPERS

large (23)

Sunday is here and I plan to enact all the cliches. A walk. A roast. A bobble hat. Join me, won’t you?

Here are my favourite reads from the last 7 days…

Keep Loving

Tampon Talk

Get Lost

Nothing Is Real

STI

Sleep Texting

For Men

Take a Walk

Welcome to Sexual Harassment

I heart Bussey

Relationship Faux Pas

Truth

One From The Archives

Have a great week.

SMALL VICTORIES – OCTOBER

large (4)

Am I on fast forward? Is the earth spinning faster? I’m starting to get worried. How have thirty days passed since my last Small Victories post? And how the hell is Halloween just around the corner?

Starbucks have released Autumnal paper cups, I’ve been wearing scarves to work and shops are selling Christmas goodies – apparently September just ceased to exist – but did I achieve what I set out to over the last four weeks?

Yes.

And no.

I worked my butt off, inside and outside of the confines of my 9-5, but I could have done – and want to do – better.

So, this month, I will be staying on the road to job-fulfilment bliss, but with a couple of added extras thrown in for good measure. So here goes.

1. Keep at it.

By ‘it’, I mean blogging. Writing. Hustling. It will all pay off, I know it.

2. Stretch.

I could probably count on one hand – or even finger – how many times I have taken to the mat this month. And I can feel it in my mind and in my muscles. Yoga is my valium. Yoga is my therapy. And I am in desperate need of both.

3. Explore.

This one is harking back to August when I promised to enjoy everything that London has to offer, but ‘never got round to it’. Although the weather might not allow for outdoor expeditions as such, a scarf and a hat are more than enough to get me to a gallery. No excuses.

4. Spend time with friends.

Trying to balance a new job, a boy, a blog and my friends over the last month has proved challenging. I have had no time for anything but sleeping and eating, so as October rolls in I’m hoping I’ll be able to stop for a moment and spend time with the most important people in my life…

And there we have it. My small victories that I am reaching for this month, which I will probably fail to achieve because LIFE IS MOVING SO GODDAMN QUICKLY post-25.

But anyway, aside from pinning down a ticket to Glastonbury and nailing the perfect Halloween costume, what would you like to achieve this October?

Whatever it is, make it constructive, doable and inspired. Good luck!

The Thanksgiving

friends-picture-monica-turkey.0.0.0x0.429x286

Being suitably British, but having feasted on Gossip Girl and The OC for the course of my younger years, I’ve been mildly obsessed with our friends across the pond for a long while now. A recent trip to the Big Apple did nothing to curb this unrelenting desire to be a citizen of the United States but instead made me fall a little out of love with London – something I never thought possible – and even more infatuated with the American Dream.

This, along with the fact that I’m feeling a little downbeat with the state of things at present, I’ve decided to make like the yanks and cheer myself up by recounting all of the things that I am grateful for this Thanksgiving Thursday.

First up are my friends. I am 99% sure that I know a bunch of the best women to ever have existed and sometimes I wonder whether they are even human at all. Always on hand to give me a cuddle when I need it and a kick up the arse when I don’t realise I do, they are a collection of the funniest, most intelligent and, I’m going to say it, inspirational girls I’ve ever known. Not only that but they have an extraordinary (albeit taking a while to get there) taste in men. I couldn’t ask for better bearded additions to our little group, so thanks to you for being the perfect gentlemen and taking care of my little ladies.

I am thankful for the hairiest but most wonderful man to have entered my life. Pretty much a best friend that I happen to kiss a lot, he knows to never order me a crème brûlée, has an impeccable taste in footwear and has been an absolute stick of Brighton rock in what has been a bit of a mental year.

I am thankful for my family, both immediate and extended. You are all kind of odd, kind of interesting and kind of great. I am thankful that my brother and his girlfriend, currently making their way around South America, haven’t lost a limb; lost each other or even lost their minds; all of which are quite possible. Speaking of which, I’m thankful that they’ve even had the opportunity to do something so epic as to see a slice of the world (I say thankful, I mean jealous). 

To those who have stopped panicking about stocking up on tinned goods or border control and have instead donated their time to the Ebola Crisis Appeal: thank you. Be it through downloading the 400th Band Aid single, texting in or even heading out there – it all helps and (selfishly) restores my faith in humanity.

I am thankful for my education, a basic human right that women are not entitled to elsewhere in the world. My education has led me to the understanding that with a little patience and hard work, you can achieve a great deal and it has opened me up to, quite literally, a world of opportunity.

On a perhaps more materialistic note, I am thankful to Lena Dunham, David Nicholls and Don Tillman for quenching my literary thirst this year and I am appreciative for the Toffee Nut Lattes that provide me with a reason to retreat from the cold and reunite with one of my oldest friends at this time of year; these red-cupped delights provide caffeine and comfort like no other.

I am thankful that we have seasons in this city; for bobble hats and woolly jumpers, the countryside that is but an hour away from me and for still being allowed to purchase a young person’s railcard because, well, it makes me feel young. 

And finally, but perhaps most importantly to me, I would like to say thanks to all of you for reading my blog, sharing it amongst friends and most of all, enjoying it.

Happy Thanksgiving.

The Chub

large (4)Although being almost eight months into a relationship is quite the achievement for me, what isn’t an achievement, is gaining half a stone.

Girls, you know what I’m talking about: nights out dancing with your mates are replaced with romantic meals out, salads at lunch time are quashed by brunch at our favourite places which means too many cappuccinos and a silly amount of avocado. And sadly, from inside this cloud of candy floss, it is very easy to forget that cake equates to calories.

So a friend, who has been with her boy for over a year now, text me to comfort me and let me know about the vicious cycle: they feed you because they love you; they still think you look great. They keep feeding you; you diet; they ask you where your tits have gone-you start eating again.

My boyfriend’s housemate and his dancer girlfriend have avoided this weight gain by working out together (outside the bedroom you ‘orrible, crude lot). It’s a great idea in theory but a duvet day, particularly as the Autumn weather kicks in, is far more appealing.

This isn’t the first time that love chub has hit either. It seems that every time somebody loves me, they want to feed me up good and proper – I guess men really do prefer something to hold onto. And lads, if you don’t, you’re going about things the wrong way: stop feeding me or muffin top you shall receive. I practically rolled through the summer of 2012, found it tricky to fit into my car along with my uni stuff after my first year and felt bloated for the entirety of my seventeenth year on planet earth.

But I’d rather be fat with love than skinny and alone, right?

Coming from an Irish background, food, to me, defines love. Any rejection of food is, as a result, a rejection of that love. I’ve been told the same goes for Italian families: a mozzarella ball is practically a giant hug.

If you’re not of Celtic or Roman descent and are still not convinced that the two go hand in hand? Think about one of the greatest gestures of love: when a mother feeds her baby. Think of tea with friends, family dinners, baking for besties and food in the bedroom: these are all signs that, like it or not, love comes with calories. And I think I’m fine with that.

My beloved Kate Moss however, would disagree. She once said that, ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’. Well little miss, you know what I’d say to that? You haven’t actually been in love.

Someone pass me a scone.

The Fall

Over the past few days I have heard nothing but complaints about the seasonal changes that are fast approaching the capital. And I have to say, I’ve heard enough. I’ve got a lot of love for autumn and all its golden glory. In fact, I would go as far as saying it’s my favourite time of year, and always has been.

Here are the reasons why I love to celebrate this underappreciated season:

Firstly, the cityscape is far more idyllic and so much more romantic than in any other season. St James’ Park is dusted with crispy leaves and people’s padded clasps look all the more cosy in soft leather gloves. And talking of gloves; Autumnal wardrobes are the best. Bejewelled cardigans and eclectic jackets for ladies and huge collared coats and brogues for men. Less unmanicured toes and too short-shorts and more muted tones and red nails. It’s without a doubt, the classiest time of year for fashion. Something which also compliments this is the complexion of our skin beyond September. For those post-holiday; a warm glow still remains but for those who aren’t, the windswept blush will suffice. The look is somewhat post-coital but without the sweat. No need for blusher.

Not only do we look better, but in my opinion social activities are far more satisfying wrapped up in a woollen bow. For instance, it’s the perfect time to go city-surfing. The romantic setting will be pre-packed for you by the falling leaves and darker evenings so no need for champagne and strawberries. All you have to do is find someone to explore with and snog as you’re encompassed in an auburn hue. Let’s be honest, a photo in front of The Eiffel Tower would not be complete without a beret. And you can’t wear one of those in the summer can you eh? Aside from city-hopping, our bad behaviour becomes more and more appropriate too; i.e. eating lots. September is an excuse to gorge on that chocolate cake after behaving for the duration of the summer months and not worry about it as you know that your oversized boyfriend jumper will cover it up whilst making you look utterly adorable to unsuspecting eyes.

And if you Londoners are still not convinced; autumn brings a smooth running TFL. As we all know, transport in London is pretty much non-existent in the winter due to the snow and is pretty much un-usable in the summer because it’s so hot that you feint, thus falling into the arms of a sweaty builder in a beater. In the autumn it’s cosy enough and regular enough to truly enjoy it.

“But the rain!” I hear you cry…

Yes, I will admit that the rain is somewhat irritating when you’re heading to a party or when your new French Soles are soaked right through, but as always, there’s a light at the end of the puddle (sorry). It’s an excuse to share your brolly with that fittie at the bus stop, or run into Starbucks in a bid to talk to the gorgeous girl behind the counter. Plus, the much sought after Toffee-Nut Latte will be re-introduced sooner than you can say ‘Christmas’.

I hope you now agree (at the very least) that autumn isn’t so bad after all.