PACKING FOR FUN IN A FIELD

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Spending four or five days in a field might sound like fun and games (which it most definitely is), but if you’re underprepared, then you will be miserable, resulting in drinking all your warm booze by the end of day one and having to spend the majority of your money on over-priced cider.

With this in mind, I thought I would devise a festival checklist for those of you joining me in Somerset over the next few days/heading to one of a number of UK festivals this summer season.

This list ranges from the very obvious, to the unthought of.

Here goes.

Practical Items

A Torch

Bin Bags

Dry, non-perishable foods

A Onesie

A small rucksack

A good raincoat

Wellies

Individual Packs of Tissues

A bum bag / Fanny pack

A Towel

A ‘Granny Trolley’ to carry heavy stuff (if you’re not driving)

A refillable water bottle

A Ground Sheet

Camping Chairs

A portable phone charger

A Tent

A Sleeping Bag

An Eye Mask

Toiletries

Baby Wipes / Make Up Wipes

All the dry shampoo

Toothbrush / Toothpaste

Mini shampoo / conditioner / body wash

Hair ties / clips /kirby-grips

Make Up (obvs)

Lots of deodorant

A Razor

Paracetamol / Ibuprofen

Dioralyte

Hay fever Tablets

Eye Drops

Tampons / Pads (just in case!)

First Aid Kit

Blister Plasters

Hand Sanitiser

A Mirror

Clothes

Too many pairs of socks

A couple of pairs of thick socks

Too many pairs of pants

Three bras

A swimsuit / A bikini

Five outfits for sunny weather

Two pairs of jeans

A couple of jumpers

A pair of sandals / A pair of non-wellies

A Hat

Sunglasses

The Fun Stuff

Lots of Glitter / Vaseline

Head scarves for greasy hair

Spirits decanted into plastic bottles

Squeezy bags to decant said spirits each day

Mixers

Some cans of alcohol

A box of wine

A hip flask

Plastic cups

And last but not least, your ticket! (And some ID, as some festivals require you to show this on entry and I was ID’d for booze at last year’s Glastonbury). I was 26.

Aside from that, pack well, have fun, look after each other and anything else you can think of to add to the list? Let me know and I’ll add it.

Every little helps!

THE SUNDAY PAPERS

mothers day coffee

Despite the chill, spring has certainly arrived in London.

Brighter mornings and longer evenings are edging ever closer and, my god, do I need them.

I have a new favourite spot in my living room where I like to read and do all my best blogging, so go and find your own sunny space and have a browse of my favourite reads from the last seven days to kick off your Sunday.

Articles

Stay Positive

‘Ands’, no ‘Buts’

Change Your Life

Money Talk

What does it mean to be a woman in 2016?

If You’re Squeamish, Don’t Look

Megalolz

Proper food for thought

Mum’s the Word

Free the Nipple

Junior Doctors: an opinion

Heart Strings

Sometimes, just be

Homelessness

Blog Love

Choose You

Happy Mondays

Coffee Break

And, because it’s 2016, here’s two to watch:

#FOF

#theimportanceofbeingalone

Have a wonderful week!

THE SUNDAY PAPERS

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As my month of love continues to grow, I thought I would stick to all things relationships and sex for this week’s Sunday Papers post. Here’s my round up of romance from the last 7 days.

Sex Myths Decoded

Single and Proud

Going the Distance

Dating at 30

Sober

For When Cupid Doesn’t Strike

A Love Story

Bag a Bargain

Addicted to Love

Ridin’ Solo

Couples Living With Couples

When Divorce is a Good Thing

Women Enjoy It Too

I can’t get no…

Have a great week.

THE SUNDAY ROUNDUP – 2015

large (20)I started The Sunday Papers a few months ago when I decided that I wanted to share my favourite articles of the week with you. The idea was to get people reading, generate discussions around important topical issues and discover some great online magazines along the way. However, when I sat down to write my final Sunday Papers post of the year, I decided that – instead of sharing my media highlights of the week with you – I would share my personal “life highlights” from the last 365 days.

I am a great believer in gratitude, optimism and glass half-fullness, so I’d like to share these moments with you in a bid to celebrate the goodness of 2015 rather than dwelling on the negative that sometimes seems to surround us.

So here goes.

Falling in Love with my Blog Again

Back in March, restless before my 26th birthday and impending nose-dive into my late twenties, I decided to invest in a new web layout. Although I will soon be able to do this myself, web design was out of my reach at the time and I chose to use Pipdig who were an absolute dream to work with. I was so happy with the design and ease of application and would recommend them to anyone looking for a change. The fact that I am still loving the layout after 9 months is testament to how pleased I am with the result. Best investment of the year.

One Room. All of my Favourites.

After a bit of a tumultuous few months, I decided to have a low maintenance birthday this year and invited all of my best ones to my boyfriend’s flat for drinks and a jaunt into Tooting. The best birthdays are the ones spent with food, drink and good people. Nailed it.

Watching Florence + The Machine at Glastonbury

By far my favourite moment of 2015. I’ve seen her perform before and since Glastonbury and I’ve never felt the way I did when watching her on the Pyramid Stage that night. Magical.

10 Year Reunion and the Realisation that Life is Good

My school reunion made me realise that things rarely change between good friends. After nervously teetering in stilettos, arm in arm with the same friends I’ve had since my school days, I had an epic evening catching up with the women of my past and celebrating our achievements. From engagements and travel to babies and career moves, we had all moved on but still shared the same (hilarious and sometimes shocking) memories that shaped us and even managed to find time to sing a rendition of Whitney Houston’s The Greatest Love of All – a song close to my year group’s hearts – one last time. Ten years on, we were all still a long way from where we had predicted we’d be in our year books, but it was still reassuring to know that everyone was doing okay after all these years.

An all-girls BBQ in Beckenham and the night of a thousand Old Fashions

On the hottest day of the year, a friend of mine threw a birthday party in her back garden, which just so happens to be the size of a football pitch, with her parents, who just so happen to be some of the best around. A few Hungarian shots, home grown food and potent wine later, we hung out in the evening breeze, arguing over whether to have Kisstory or Magic on the radio and trying to make sure Helen (the birthday girl) was still standing (she wasn’t). That day spent in her garden was the most carefree I had been in a while and, just to add to it (because Summer evenings have a knack for surprising you) a friend and I ended up crashing a boy’s night out in Brixton and discovered a secret bar where we drank Old Fashioneds and talked until the early hours. For some reason this ordinary day became one of my highlights of the year.

The 4th of September 2015

Just a very good day indeed.

An Engagement to Remember

Finally, and most importantly, one of my oldest friends got engaged just before Christmas. IN NEW YORK. I cried, I screamed, I did all of the things that I thought I would do if I were to get engaged. I had no idea that someone else’s joy could bring me so much happiness, but it turns out it can. When you’ve grown up beside someone and shared their boy history along the way, seeing them so happy with someone you adore as much as them? Priceless. And the perfect end to 2015.

So that’s it from me and my year. What were your highlights of the last 365 days? Be sure to write them down and be thankful for them. Who knows what the next twelve months might bring…

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THE SUNDAY PAPERS

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After finding a few hidden gems in my favourite four corners of the internet this week, I thought I’d share them with you. So kick back and enjoy with a hot chocolate and a bacon sarnie.

Falling in love with depression

Save Our Planet

The Day I Divorced My Mother

Not cool. Not cool at all.

Nothing wrong with being a rebound

Ghost stories for Halloween?

Dear Ex Boyfriend

You got monkey balls bro

What’s your number?

Change in the Middle East

Forgive and Forget?

Brooklyn Manipulation

So Important

Amazing

Have a good one.

X

THE GLAMOUR

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I wear jeans.

That’s it.

Jeans and boots. Jeans and sandals.

Winged eyeliner and scruffy hair.

Flat shoes and denim.

Whether it’s a Friday night or a Sunday afternoon, I dress the same. Long gone are the days of spending a couple of hours getting ready to go out on a Saturday night, toying with eyelash glue and worrying about whether or not I’ve shaved my legs; I now take no longer than thirty minutes to leave the house, regardless of where I’m going. Granted, frequenting the likes of Peckham, Deptford and Brixton doesn’t really allow for anything other than comfy shoes and a rucksack, but I’m happy with this way of life. You know, the easier way, the less need for two make up wipes and fifteen Blister plasters way.

But I must admit: I sometimes miss the glamour.

When I was younger, I would have killed to go out in flats every weekend. My friends were staunch advocates for heels and dresses and I always felt as though I had to brave sore feet for a bit of height, better legs and to aid in my teenage attempts to look a little less like a foetus when trying to get served in Wetherspoons. Younger me would be oh so envious of older me and my endless opportunities to wear comfy clothes and have a good time, but twenty six year old me is starting to feel a bit samey. A bit blokey. A bit bogstandard. After years of yearning for everyone to convert to wearing converse on a Saturday night, I’m starting to question whether or not I should’ve been careful what I wished for.

When I picture the women I party with, I see boots. Trainers. Duster jackets. I see a lot of black. A lot of high necks. No glitz. No frills. And don’t get me wrong, I think they look great. But where did the femininity go? One of my favourite things about being a woman is watching other women experimenting with fashion, make up and style. I love that I have boobs, hips and a bum. In fact, I think they’re cause for celebration. But somewhere on the road to emancipation, we seem to have lost the glamour. Which I get, because we’re making a point, but can’t we have both? A friend of mine wore a backless top the other week and you’d have thought she had walked into the party butt naked from the reaction she got. She looked hot. But not because she was showing some skin. She just looked feminine. And there’s nothing wrong with celebrating that. Even if it is for just one night a month.

My friends and I were discussing this lack of glamour over dinner the other evening and we subsequently decided to arrange a night out where we drink expensive drinks, wear stilettos and style our hair with tongs in order to relive our seemingly more glamorous youth. We spoke – at great length – about sipping from straws and tanning our legs. It’s two weeks later and we’re yet to book in a night like that, but have managed to find the time to buy tickets to gigs, have dinner at a pop up and book a trip to a literature festival. None of these require too high high heels and a night bus home. They just require friends. And, ironically, flat shoes.

But that’s the thing, isn’t it? The glamour hasn’t actually vacated my life, it has just shifted and looks a little different now, that’s all. As it happens, the glamour I used to know wasn’t actually so glamorous at all. In fact, I hated wearing heels and a dress and I was always really cold.

Although, from the outside, I might look increasingly like an extra from This is England and less like a pin up from the 1950s, the decadence of my late twenties is, in fact, immeasurable in comparison to my younger years. Being able to afford to drink drinks that I actually like and not worry about facing a night bus home due to the birth of the omnipotent Uber is the height of glamour in comparison to a sausage in batter on the N11 at 4am, I’m sure you’d agree.

Perhaps a glamorous lifestyle doesn’t have to look like a photoshopped still from Keeping up with the Kardashians? Perhaps I’m learning that the key to authentic glamour is finding out what suits you and then wearing it with a smile?

Marilyn suited low cut A line dresses, Gisele looks great in anything leggy and I suit jeans and a t shirt. Each to their own, I guess. So here’s to being glamorous, in whatever way that means to you.