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No, my blog is not one hundred years old. I have, however, published one hundred posts since it all began back in December 2010. And that, I believe, is cause for celebration.

As I sat in my tiny – and very chilly – bedroom in Exeter in my third year at university, I wrote my first few posts. I think they were about tea, or lipstick, or chips; a little insight into what I thought was important at 21. As I threw words out there, somewhat naively, into the internet, I didn’t picture my blog lasting past the Christmas holidays, but here I am, four and a bit years later, writing my 100th post.

I started The London Ladybird as a way to write something other than chapters of my dissertation – which was centred around Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and therefore not wholly uninteresting – as well as to hopefully try and persuade people in the working world that I could string a couple of sentences together and that they should pay me to do so. But not even just that; I hoped that I could make people laugh, or feel a little more understood than they did already.

The feedback I get from people is why this site is still up and running. Those who have provided guest posts to me over the years always say how nerve-wracking they found the whole experience and a lot of people say they would never submit anything to me for fear of being ridiculed. I won’t lie, I still feel a little anxious each time I publish a post – not because I don’t want people to critique my work, in fact, I welcome constructive criticism – but I fear that people won’t enjoy the next as much as the last. However, the conversations that my posts inspire amongst friends and the comments I receive from strangers (be them agreeing with what I have to say or not) make it all worthwhile.

I’ve decided to celebrate all of this by choosing my top three posts since it all began, so here they are:

The Freckle – because it was my first ever.

The Fart – because I can’t believe I wrote about something so grim.

The Betrayal – because it was hard to write and even harder to post.

So, for as long as you are (hopefully) still enjoying this little space of mine on the internet, I’ll continue to write about everything from relationships to embarrassing bodily functions, because, why not? And if you’re contemplating starting one of your own, my advice to you would be to go for it; you really don’t have much to lose.

My one piece of advice? Always remember that:

‘The internet’s not written in pencil, Mark, it’s written in ink’

The Social Network. 

Only post what you really mean. Be honest, be smart, be open to other’s opinions.

Thank you for all of your support over the years. Here’s to the next one hundred posts!

The Thanksgiving

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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.