more ways I’m failing my twenties

#77: Not letting go

#76: Holding too many grudges. The barista who didn’t put enough whipped cream on my hot chocolate. The man who cut me up when three lanes merged. The guy who didn’t give up his seat quick enough on the tube for the pregnant lady. The cat that looked at me funny. The list goes on, and on, and on until hours have been wasted holding grudges.

#75: Wearing too much make up. This continues on a daily basis.

#74: Blue eyeshadow and red lipstick. WHAT.

more ways I’m failing my twenties

#78 Traveling too much or not enough

When I left university I was desperate to run away. My dad died in the last couple weeks of my degree and all I wanted to do was run away. I didn’t really tell anyone I just upped and left with a friend and a facebook post of a departures board.

I ran away all the way to Asia and then for the next year or so I consistently ran away from everything. To Asia, three times, away from boyfriends and friends and work and responsibilities.

And then I was overcome by this paranoia that I was wasting my life, that all my friends had moved on and started their careers and jobs and lives and I was still spending half my time sunning myself on a beach and the other half of my time scrubbing toilets for pennies.

So I came back to London to work. Not just work, I poured my heart and soul into a career. Not the right career but still a career. But it itches. That little travel bug. And now I’m thinking that that girl who had so easily given in to a life 60 hour work weeks, out of hours calls and working through weekends because she believed the appearance of having her shit together was more important than actually having my shit together may not have actually HAD HER SHIT TOGETHER.

So we’ll see.

But anyway. There’s no such thing as traveling too much, or wasting time when you’re exploring. Whilst wandering off to another country is not a matter to be taken lightly, or maybe it is. Do it for the right reasons, or the wrong reasons or for no reasons at all. But if you want to, you should, and don’t stop.

London Girl’s guide to surviving London this Christmas.

For the past few weeks a simple phrase has come to mind every time I brace myself before opening the door in the morning.. “I just can’t even.” The inner basic girl in me has come marching out and she wants “fall and PSLs” back. I dream about the crunch of leaves beneath my Ugg boots and the autumnal glow of rosy cheeks (as opposed to the wind swept, wet dog look I’ve been rocking lately).

Each year is the same. Come March I’ve completely forgotten the woes of wearing leggings under jeans for five months or that I’ve moaned about being cold EVERY DAY since October. I think about how great London is in the sun and so soon are thoughts of being trampled on the tube by damp commuters a thing of the past. But these few months of winter struggle feel like my Everest and each year, around December 12th, I begin to contemplate moving countries.

But the truth is still that I’m here, albeit wrapped up in my duvet at 4PM on a Friday wondering if my boyfriend will bring date night to my bed… And I don’t mean in a Full Monty sort of way. I need soup and Netflix. I have some time to mull over how to survive another festive season in London…

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  • Dress appropriately. If you wear black you might blend into the greyness of the Big Smoke and the daily trudge of life… Try to brighten your wardrobe with a signature neon jumper that says “don’t trample me down banal routine of life, I’m here!”

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  • Be culturally aware. Not everyone understands all the different cultural complexities of this festive period. One day you’ll buy your boyfriend’s flatmate an advent calendar and one day early in December you’ll walk into his apartment and see him sprawled on the sofa, advent calendar ripped to shreds and the guilt of a school boy just caught with a slingshot.

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  • Indulging in alcohol. One mulled wine good. Two mulled wines better. A couple of glasses of Prosecco and a Savvy B later and you’ve tripped over your own feet and sprained your ankle just in time for busy season at work. Lesson one: don’t mix your drinks. Lesson two: don’t wear shoes too big for you because they looked cool and didn’t have your size.
  • Matching outfits. The only way to get your boyfriend to wear matching Christmas jumpers is through trickery, bribery and guilt trips. You’ll never get any photographic proof but the warm fuzzy feeling of finally breaking his will is enough evidence to keep you satisfied until Halloween rolls around.
  • Santa. There’s only one man in a suit I want to bring me presents. Unfortunately I used up all his money feeding myself mince pies and ordering extra lives on Candy Crush, but we can always hope right…
  • Talking about Santa, let’s talk presents. As an expert of retail land (watch out for another post on surviving retail at Christmas) I have the best insider knowledge on how to get the most out of your Christmas shopping sprees. Where to go, what secret hipster shop has a sample sale on the run up to Christmas, what days and times to avoid and to raid Oxford Street… My best advice? Go online.
  • Find yourself alone at an awkward Christmas party? I like to indulge in a bottle of wine in the corner by myself when I first arrive. Then lie about my life completely and reel off some elaborate story about being once engaged to a Russian oligarch, getting trapped by a bear after snooping around our castle and running away two years ago… And that’s what brought me to the party. Or you could trust your own personality tell the truth I dunno, whatever.
  • What to get your other half. It’s always a dilemma, especially when sharing your first Christmas together. Should you go big, or should you go home (and google present ideas)… Do you attempt to think of something sentimental and then realise you spend all your time together talking about yourself, that time you ate a lizard by mistake or internet cats and you decide to go big and just eat package noodles for January and hope he doesn’t leave you.
  • Public transport/Christmas markets after December 15th/main roads/anywhere with people. Avoid. After December 15th the Christmas furore gets all too much for me. I only travel in the depths of night or early in the morning and only by side streets wearing a cape.

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  • Embrace all forms of the festive season. Maybe you’re too broke to buy a Christmas tree. Or maybe you just didn’t want to carry anything heavier than a small puppy from a shop to your apartment. You don’t need to be TRADITIONAL like some sort of schmuck. Innovate… You’re the children of the future for Santa’s sake. Embrace change and challenge conformity. Get a bamboo Christmas tree and start loving life.

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Merry Christmas (nearly) !

Failing my twenties continues…

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I think it’s apt that #90 will be working too hard since this list has sprawled over months instead of weeks as I had first envisioned. My day usually goes like this… 5AM wake up… workworkworkworkworkwork stuff a sandwich in my face at my desk workworkworkwork drinkabottleofwine faceplantintomybed repeat.

And I suppose #89 would have to be not working hard enough. Because before this work thug life I was a carefree (struggling) freelancer and it is only in recent years I have flung myself into the world of a 60 hour a week baws lady. THERE ARE NO HALF MEASURES.  Oh god I wish there was a half measure.

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#88: doing make up while drunk resulting in white glitter all over my eyes one too many times. (unfortunately all evidence of this has now been removed from the internet and will remain under lock and key for many years until I can bear the pain)

#87 – too many Green Monsters – Sweet Cider, Lager and Blue Curacao making a potent start to the night out when we lived in Manchester. When attempting basic arithmetic at work I realise my brain has possibly melted.

#86 – Watching too many episodes of Friends on repeat. 

#85 – not reading enough of the right thing. I used to be such a book worm but in my twenties it’s been so easy to stare glossy eyed at the free Metro and Stylist, or the discarded “Take a Break” on the tube ride home etc. But sometimes I really wish I’d spent all those hours of commuting reading something to stimulate my soul rather than the depth of Kim Kardashian’s soul or whether Sandy from Luton really went to the toilet and then gave birth without knowing it. *face plant*

#84 – Wearing too much black. I constantly look like I’m going to a funeral. My wardrobe is organised by colour and it’s greyscale.

#83 – hair removal – spending way too much money on finding the perfect means of hair removal and then being obsessed with constantly removing it.

#82 – Giving them a second chance. A big chunk of your life, and heart, will be removed when you give someone (who doesn’t deserve it) a second chance. Invariably they do not deserve it if they got to a point where you had to give them a second chance. I can only dream if I didn’t give some people a second, or third, or fourth, chance I would be slightly less mentally unstable than I am now. And I’m not just talking about lovers, friends, family and animals too.

#81 – exercise. oh god it aches when I walk up the fire escape stairwell at work. I fear it will be too late for me to redeem my health. It’s never too late! I hear you cry. Oh no, I’ve put the telly on…

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#80 – Trainers. I have recently purchased a pair of Air Max Thea. Why oh why did I waste 26 years of my life not wearing trainers… Well at least the last 8 years since I left school (where I feigned interest in sports for the two hours a week necessary) My feet have never been happier, I’m walking on air! And I look bloody cool too. I realise #81 and #80 are at odds with each other. Why own trainers if you won’t do exercise? Well the same reason I own a ball gown but don’t go to balls. FASHION! Delusion.

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#79 – Saving money… Where did my bonus go…? Oh wait it’s hanging in my closet and rolling around in my stomach… I can save for a house/holiday/life next month right??? BYEMATURITY I’ll be hanging out at Queen of Hoxton until Spring.

Tune in next time and until then, embrace the failure!

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#101 ways I’m failing my twenties – #91

Because of all the time I probably spent in my early twenties thinking about this… #91 gets its own blog post…

#91: worrying about the number of men I slept with or why it mattered…

Don’t ask me why but the other day I tried to name all the men I slept with. At uni it was a game my bestie and I played, more to compare what was good about sex rather than any sort of competition or shaming tool.

It has been a couple of years since I have attempted to name ex lovers and what it all means to me, or whether it matters at all. I came to the same total I’m pretty sure I had at age 23 so it seems all those boys I had pined over, or loved, or stalked, or just slept with because I felt like it, didn’t matter so much because, when you’re sitting in on a Monday night with nothing else to do but count your ex-lovers, you never remember them all anyway. (Or at least I didn’t). My mistake I suppose was thinking that it even mattered to remember them. For all my sexual experiences (or lack thereof) I wouldn’t say I’m an expert. I’m sexually liberated but I wouldn’t say that my count of sexual partners is the reason. At the end of the day, any time spent worrying whether my number was too high, or low, is time wasted (well it’s not rocket science but it took awhile to get there). I wish I had spent more time worrying about having a good time myself than wondering what another notch on my bed post meant.

Tommi’s at Dirty Bones

It’s been a long while since I got my teeth into a really great burger. Oh, it’s not like I haven’t been looking… I even whipped one up myself with ground steak, peanut butter and Emmental cheese (if anyone needs a guest chef, I’m there.) But nothing ever had me dreaming like last Sunday got me dreaming. Days later I’m still drooling at the mere thought of their burgers and it’s all thanks to Dirty Tommi’s menu at Dirty Bones, Kensington. Every Sunday Ross Clarke of Dirty Bones and Siggi Gunnlaugsson of Tommi’s form the excellent Dirty Tommi’s. And you won’t live to regret a visit. Four words: Mac N Cheese Burger. Enough said. And if you needed something smooth to wash it down, try the Mutt’s Nuts cocktail. We had the Sloppi Dirty Fries which were fries smothered in mince and kimchi, a Mac N Cheese burger, a fried chicken burger and a mac and cheese on the side too because we double carb like kings. This love affair only started a couple weeks ago and today(!) Dirty Bones were just voted one of the coolest diners ever by Shortlist so get yourself down to High Street Kensington and gorge yourselves silly. Thanks guys! We’ll be back soon.

Find them here and on twitter here.

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And if you needed further convincing, here’s a pretty devastatingly handsome photo in high res (thanks to: The Gaztronome)

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