THE SUNDAY PAPERS

Longer days and brighter evenings have made everything just that little bit better this week. Open your window wide, make some fresh coffee and hop back into bed for a bit to enjoy my favourite pieces from the last 7 days…

Relevant

Inner Critic

So bang on

Debate

One Night Stands

Birth control for men

Nostalgia

Netflix is important

Oh, Maria

Abuse

Sapiosexual

Funniest piece I’ve read all year

YES

Have a wonderful week.

THE SUNDAY PAPERS

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It’s Mother’s Day! But it’s also a Sunday. And Sundays are best spent in bed with coffee and some good reads. So here goes.

The Importance of Home

Make the Internet Safer

Read It

Pick N Mix

One for the Mothers

Freeze It

Climate Change

Positive Anxiety?

Episode 2

Female Desire

Rehab

Proposal

Sharing is Caring

90s Reflections

Have a wonderful week!

THE LOVE

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I was going to end my celebration of love on a list of things I currently adore: from the new season of Girls and fish pie to fat coke and spring sunshine.

But how could I celebrate the most powerful of all the emotions for four weeks running without even mentioning the big fat love of my own life, instead opting for a list of vacuous things I sort of like at the moment? You might find the following post gushing or boastful, but I just think it’s fitting. Because, although I find it cathartic to reminisce, and you probably find it more entertaining reading about my tragic mishaps and bad choices of the past, I think it’s important to also be grateful (and honest) about what really ticks my tock (snacks aside) in the here and now.

So here goes.

I currently share a bed with a man whom I – in equal parts – love dearly but also wish to strangle at almost every hour of the day. He is horrendous at making plans, one of the worst communicators and spends far too much time on Buzzfeed and/or BBC News, whilst I grapple for a comforting spoon or a much needed boob grope. Vegetables are exempt from his diet. He eats a little too loudly when it’s just the two of us. If it’s yellow, he let’s it mellow. He has a terrible – and really quite bizarre – phobia of pregnant women falling over. And we disagree on pretty much every political opinion a person can have.

But he is also kind. Loving. And overwhelmingly gentle for a man of his stature. He loves my freckles. He runs me baths. And he surprises me every single day. He is the sort of guy who springs a (very romantic) Valentine’s surprise on you and accepts that you choose (the not so romantic) Meat Mission as your dinner selection at the end of it. He sleeps in a single bed with you and bares the stiff neck the next day. He understands the importance of a perfectly-timed poached egg. He showers as much as you and knows a good coffee when he tastes one. He is the sort of guy who buys you a powder blue bike (basket included) for your first birthday together (2 months in). He is the type of person you meet in New York a month later while he’s away for business, just because. And he’s the sort of guy who surprises you with a trip to Norway for Christmas, so that you can pretend to be Anna from Frozen for a few days in the snow. He puts up with your singing, adoration (obsession) with Jemima Kirke and your complete inability to deal with a hangover. In fact, he puts up with you. Full stop.

So, right now, for as long as it takes you to read this post, I would like to celebrate the love I have with him. And then, I promise, I’ll get right back to humour, sarcasm and laughing in the face of anyone who takes life (and themselves) a little bit too seriously.

Love can appear out of the most unexpected of scenarios or places. In my case, it was via an app. In your case, it might be through work, via a friend of a friend, or at a very messy house party. But I’m happy to have discovered – after a month of people sharing their experiences of the heart – that, in whichever way love falls into our arms, we are all pretty damn grateful for it. Be it the good times that we can cherish, the heart break that has taught us a valuable lesson or the decisions that we have been forced to consider that only make us stronger. And that’s exactly the way it should be.

So, even if you have to pick pieces of chewed up food out of his bushy beard, share your hair bands with him or suffer from being spooned to the point of suffocation, just let love in. Because the real thing – when you eventually find it – probably (definitely) won’t look the way you think it should. And it will absolutely be better than you ever could have imagined.

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Thank you for reading and celebrating with me this month. And thanks to all those who bore their souls to me and allowed me to share their experiences with my readers.

Keep cuddling, keep smiling and keep being honest with those who have nabbed a piece of your heart, because one day it might be a little too late to let them know just how much they mean to you.

THE SUNDAY PAPERS

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It’s the last Sunday before Christmas, so you’re no doubt doing the rounds with family, barging your way through the crowds on Oxford Street or stocking up on booze for the festive season. However, if you’re anything like me and constantly overdo it when it comes to Christmas parties, you’re probably in bed nursing a three day hangover with a large quarter pounder meal. And if you’re that person, then kick back with me and my favourite reads from the last seven days.

Be Chill This Year

Sexy Art

Let’s Talk Loans

Depression

Tinder at Christmas

Nigella

Office Party Decorum

Help

Family Feuds in December

New Year, New Job

Friends are for life, not just for Christmas

Christmas Wisdom

FEMINISM

Have a great week of food, festivities and fun.

THE SUNDAY PAPERS

It’s December. There are 19 days until Christmas. You probably have more pressing matters of gift buying, recipe hunting or volunteering to attend to than sitting in bed and reading this week’s news. But, amidst the madness, make sure you take some time out for yourself. Grab a hot chocolate (with squirty cream and whole milk no less) and tuck into these reads from the last 7 days.

Cancel Your Plans

Don’t Give Presents This Year

Syria

Elizabeth Taylor

Swedish Behaviour

Polygamy Might Be For you

Fat Shaming

Photography

Would This Video Stop You From Doing Coke?

The Porn Industry

Bookspiration

Feminism: Still A Dirty Word?

Don’t Want to Believe It

Have a great week.

SMALL VICTORIES – NOVEMBER

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I have probably chosen the worst time to write my November ‘Small Victories’ post as I’m tucked up, ill, in bed. However, it is one of the few spare moments I’ve had recently to actually just pause and reflect for a while.

Last month’s aims were reached, really. I downward dogged a little more often, I made sure to write lots, kept on top of my blogging schedule and I explored the city a little more… okay, that one’s a lie, but I would like to. I really would. This city has a deep-rooted place in my heart and I need to get to know it more. Will try to find the time to do just that.

These are the things I hope to achieve by the time December comes around…

1. Get bookish

As a child, I was rarely seen without a book under my arm. I was a bit like Matilda and I promise you, just as annoying. Since the whole internet thing happened, however, I find it so easy to browse the same websites day after day as opposed to delving into a good story. So I want to change that. I’ve already set off on my mission to read more and have just started The Two of Us by Andy Jones and I love it. At just 99p a download, it has reminded me to really think about the books I buy and has encouraged me to search beyond the bestseller lists for hidden treasures… book review to follow.

2. Get it checked

I need to take my health more seriously. Cystitis, an ear infection, back pain, lumps, bumps and everything in between… whatever it is, get it looked at. Doctors become doctors because they want to help you, so go and see them when you need to. That is what they are there for. And they are amazing. Just the other night I needed antibiotics after the surgery had closed. My GP called me and issued them over the phone. I popped my first pill at 7 o’clock that evening.

All hail the NHS.

3. Wear less on my face

I am so BORED of spending so much time getting ready each morning. I love my sleep and would much rather shower, dress and go. Instead, I put on primer, highlighter, foundation, bronzer, blusher, eyeliner, mascara, lipliner and lipstick. The only place I’m heading for five days a week is work, so why bother with a full face of Nars makeup which costs a fortune in the first place? I want to wear less on my face and have more time (and spend less money on face wipes).

4. Prepare for Christmas

No, it’s not too early.

If you’re an Aries, like me, you’ll know that to be as organised as everybody else is, you have to be quite anal about it, otherwise it won’t happen. Truth is, if I don’t prepare presents now, the party season will arrive sooner than I can say “Rudolph” and I’ll be lost to a haze of mulled wine and hearty food with the gifts that I was intending to buy for my family and friends left on the shelves of stores around London, never to be bought. Once party season hits, around the second week of January, I am lost to the glitter and the mistletoe, so November is my only chance to avoid writing I.O.U notes to loved ones and investing in those naff, last minute panic buys.

And that’s it. That’s what I’d like to accomplish.

Let me know what you’d like to achieve over the next few weeks, but remember, remember, this November, to make your goals constructive, achievable and inspired!

THE INFECTION

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I like to think I’m pretty knowledgable when it comes to matters of the vagina. I read lots of magazines, I google NHS symptoms more often than I probably should and I actually sat up and listened during my Sex Ed lessons at school. I know the difference between a diaphragm and an IUD, I know that Herpes is for life, that Chlamydia is curable and – after entering into a somewhat unfortunate conversation during this year’s Halloween celebrations – I now know what a ‘dental dam’ is. (You should absolutely google it by the way, you won’t know contraception until you know this.)

But it seems this weekend was a weekend full of adult sex education, because – after 26 years – I was introduced to Cystitis for the first time.

Yes, Cystitis. Something that many of you have probably suffered from several times over, but I am new to and am therefore going to want to talk about.

It happened after an action packed weekend of cycling and hanging out with my man friend. I woke up on Monday morning to an overwhelming urge to pee. So I peed. Then I felt like I needed to pee some more. But I couldn’t pee. And it hurt when I did. A lot. And there it was. The very moment this god-awful infection walked – or rather slithered – into my life. Brilliant, I thought. Another triumphant loss for womankind. But I then discovered that men can suffer from it too and I put my pity party hat away.

And that’s basically all I have to say. That it really hurts and it’s really annoying. And I hate it.

You’re probably wondering what the purpose of this post is. Truth is, I just needed to voice how difficult this little infection has made my life over the last couple of days and to let you know that no matter how much it seems as if there’s no light at the end of the urinary tract infection tunnel when you’re inside it, there is a way out. Just stick to the home remedies and hot water bottle and you’ll get there. Trust me.

After sixteen cartons of cranberry juice, fourteen gallons of H20 and 48hrs worth of Sodium Citrate sachets later, it’s sort of gone. And MY GOD, I’m loving being able to pee again. Just like when you get over a week-long cold and you swear that you’ll never take your healthy nostrils for granted ever again, well, the same goes for my urethra. I love her and her ability to let me wee with success and I will worship her and take care of her until the day I die.

So here’s to cystitis, one of the very few things to put me off ever having sex again.

Welcome to my life you awful, awful thing you.