#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.


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



101 ways I’m failing at my twenties.

Whether you’re waking up with a twenty-pound note stuck to your face and some lump of an investment wanker between your legs, working hard selling your soul to the man, or rolling around on a Thai beach finding yourself… There’s going to be someone, somewhere thinking you’re failing your twenties. I guess when I got over that fact I didn’t mind all those Sundays spent curled up in the foetal position with my head in the toilet, or spending so many hours fussing over the shape of my eyebrows. But come on… When my Facebook Newsfeed spews out an alarming number of smug married couples, people with amazing jobs and just so much fucking silver lining happiness, and I’m sitting on my bed in my pants having cooked ham and a gin and tonic in a can for dinner, I really do wonder about all the ways I have been failing my twenties.

So what did I do? What any twenty-something with a blog would do about it, I wrote a fucking list. Let us begin…

#101: Spending too long waiting for him to text you back… How many times I’ve made up ten different hypothetical situations where that loser of a Shoreditch boy with a side parting I met in Cargo was my soul mate. The innate ability for me to misinterpret “Sup?” with “I love you and let’s have babies.” is a skill envied by none. I can’t believe how many dinners with my girlfriends I wasted moaning about the latest dead beat boy that was in my life. And it is always so obvious but I never mastered the ability to put. down. the. phone. I had to always beat that dead horse until there wasn’t even a “Sup?” between us.

#100: Cutting my own hair. Just don’t. I know when you have and you know that I did that one time when I was 21 and my fringe looked great for my birthday night out at Pout in Manchester but then after that you always looked at me cock-eyed because… What the hell did she do to her hair. Like coffee and comfortable shoes, there are a few things worth spending money on them. Let your hair be one of them.

#99: I’ve got 99 problems and 80 of them are situations I’ve made up in my head about things that will never happen.

#98: Wearing tops as dresses for a good 3 years…

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#97: Plucking my eyebrows too thin.

#96: Not plucking my eyebrows (monobrow).

#95: Being too embarrassed to get what I want… One day I woke up and said fuck it! I can’t deal with all these complex dating rules and I decided to be honest when it came to guys. Probably too honest… but I had this idea that if I was honest and keen when I felt keen, and up front when I didn’t feel keen, I knew one day I would meet someone that would be OK with my keen. In fact, they would be more than OK with my keen. I would like to say it was immediately successful but it took a lot of broken hearts to have it work. Perhaps I should have played in more cool or waiting three days for a text… Or even one day to add him on Facebook… But hey, ain’t nobody got time for that. And anyway, I added him on Facebook after about 3 hours and now he’s my boyfriend. (But he won’t let me live that one down).

#94: Skipping breakfast too much. Or spending too much on Pret porridge.

#93: Not learning how to budget. I live to what I earn. Which in recent years got me accustomed to impromptu champagne Tuesdays with my pals, and then desperately eating package noodles at the end of the month. I do try to save… But every time I sip my Pumpkin Spice Latte I think to myself, and only for a second, well there goes £3 towards a holiday/coat/manicure. But then I think to myself, wow this Pumpkin Spice Latte is really nice, I might get a muffin too.

On payday… (31st)


After I pay my rent… (2nd)


Thanks, whatshouldwecallme.tumblr.com.

#92: Going as a cat to every. single. Halloween. Meow?



 (spoiler. I’m not failing my twenties and nor are you but I’ll keep counting down #101 ways I’m failing my twenties, feel free to contribute!)

the one

“If you have someone that you think is the one … take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And … when you land at JFK and you’re still in love with that person, get married.” – Bill Murray



The days were thick and heavy and August ran through our hearts like a bull in a china shop. The heat always did something to us, kept us hopeful enough with its long days and exciting promises, but at the same time, filled us with a depression at the thought that our adventures would soon evaporate and we would go back to reciting a dismal elegy about everyday life. Summer has always held the promise of adventure and a time to create such exploits that would burn in our minds forever. And yet more often than not, come September, I would find myself filled with a new sense of loathing that my summer adventures were never quite as golden as they had once seemed to be.
This year a dense haze had settled over London and our lives and we filled our days with the vacuous and banal activities of the youth of London; drinking, fucking and going to pop-up restaurants and I wondered to myself whether these were supposed to be the golden years, and if so, whether I had rotted them away with such clichéd escapades.

Five years ago I had fallen in love with a man whose skin was soft to the touch and who wore an intoxicating scent of marjoram in the summer that reminded me of Mexico and days spent in Valencia. We had enjoyed a whirlwind romance that gripped our souls like a fatal ague; toxicity entered our bodies and clutched onto us and would not let us go. We were absolutely desperate to disconnect ourselves from reality, to disengage and disappear and fall into each other’s selves. Such is the fatality of young love.

Over the years as we tore each other apart, I began to live for the respite of slumber, for in those precious few moments before I collapsed into a deep state of unconsciousness, I got to be with him again. My lucid state would lull me into his arms and an effortless smile would supplant itself upon my lips as I curled up into him; tracing my fingertips along the far too familiar curve of his back to his shoulders and arms that gripped me tight throughout the night until morning came once again. And with it the cold and grim reality, it was all but a dream.

It was a Thursday when we found our way to the South Bank, sat underneath the watchful gaze of the London Eye and basked in each other’s glow and decided to say goodbye. And like no time had passed, five years had come and gone and we were here in the same place we had been all those years ago, dreaming up the same stories we had before. The thing is, we kept dreaming and dreaming of this life together. Then one day we woke up and had dreamt our whole lives away. We had grown up and grown apart and even the thick stench of love in the air couldn’t bring us back together.

going backwards

I thought about going backwards for a long time but I really really don’t believe it’s the way forward (hoho). But it’s summer in London and sometimes I find it gets boring if I’m doing the whole wine is my boyfriend thing and not dating another string of awkward 20 somethings like myself… Because the sun makes everything better in my experience. I thought about Tinder (twats), about DoingSomething.co.uk (what if I don’t actually want to DO anything?) and even recently, after my boss’s suggestion, Match.com (after the initial awkward shame that my boss thinks I need to join a dating site). But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. No matter how difficult actual real life human interaction can be in this day and age, I was determined to find love, or even just lust, by my own accord, without the help of social media.

However, I soon realised this business was a lot harder than first anticipated. And I stumbled upon the past again. So there I was, ready to go backwards. I scanned my little black book for an unsuspecting victim. Once I ruled out those who had broken my heart, and vice versa, those who are seriously unstable (but semi unstable was not ruled out), and anyone who had taken drugs in the past week. Well, I was left with a small pool of two. So I chose the one who worked closest to me because, well, that’s how you should make all of your dating decisions.

I always thought that going backwards is pretty dangerous territory because there’s usually a reason why they are in the past. Perhaps he was really really cool, but told a cryptic racist joke that one time. Or perhaps he had that weird fetish in bed and tried to poke it in your ear. Maybe he had a girlfriend (usually quite a big obstacle in your love story), or perhaps you just HATED HIS JACKET SO MUCH YOU COULDN’T BEAR TO GO ON A SECOND DATE (not that that has ever happened to me).

Anyway, the reason this one was in the past was that last time around he really thought that I wanted him to be my boyfriend and was SO against the idea (clearly I thought that choosing a guy who didn’t want me as a girlfriend the first time around was going to be a successful decision…) I mean the guy’s a catch but you know, so am I… Not that it’s a competition or anything, but nobody puts baby in the corner. You know the age-old saying, treat em mean keep em keen? I have always believed in, treat me keen, ok bye. So, when I realised that was the situation, that was the end of that … Fast forward three years and I find myself being told (reminded) that JEWISH BOYS JUST CAN’T MARRY NON-JEWISH GIRLS, SO THERE’S NO POINT TRYING. I mean, I love marriage talk as much as the next unstable twenty something but I did feel a slight twinge when I was told that my heritage was standing in the way of what was clearly turning out to be THE ROMANCE OF THE CENTURY.

I arrived to our (second) first date forty minutes late and about ten minutes before he was about to leave thinking he had been stood up. I would love to say it was because I was trying to test his intentions but it was really because I had had a nap, dreamt about Ryan Gosling and had totally overslept. I had to admit that when he turned round and now had slicked back Shoreditch/Essex boy hair and a pink shirt my heart quivered and I realized my “type” had taken a turn for the worse ever since that night in Shoreditch where I made eyes across the dance-floor with an Essex boy.  And then when I saw that he was reading the same Russian novel as me I did think in my head that we were meant to be and surely not being Jewish is just a small hurdle (by the way, it really isn’t). But if he’s reading this I promise I’m kidding… Maybe he had a point in the first place after all…

And that’s the problem with me going backwards. I forget that there’s always a reason it didn’t work the first time around. One, I am not Jewish. Two, I am still crazy. Play it cool? My self control won’t allow it.

ludovico may inspire you but coke will make you fly…


Back in a rut of bad boyfriends and bad choices, I wrote things that are better than anything that rolls off my tongue nowadays…

Originally posted on Girl v. London:

I saw Ludovico Einaudi play at the Lowry a couple of weeks ago. I was excited because I knew hearing him play would set me free once again… Ignite the fire within me and set my creativity alight. I’ve not been all there lately, the past few years are catching up with me and that spark that fuelled me has disappeared. The reason people fell in love with me and the reason I got up in the morning. Gone. Zilch. Nothing. Nada.
Einaudi was like watching poetry played out in front of me. Each note spun upwards, danced in the air which was thick with awe… each crescendo performed an intricate soliloquy… each diminuendo was a dance. Notes intertwined like lovers. Each bar was an ounce of ecstasy and I spent a little over an hour entranced, enveloped and enthralled by this one man. I felt so consumed with inspiration…

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Love in a social media world, or, rules of Tinder

Living a love life through text messages and instagram hash-tags can often lead to confusion and miscommunication. My new pal found this out recently… Self confessed, he told me: “At 28 I was married and had bought a house in the suburbs and now I’m 32, alone, and I live in a bedsit in Turnpike Lane going out on Tinder dates. I haven’t been on a date in 10 years, what the fuck happened?” He recalled the first couple Tinder dates to me, and his tales made me feel slightly less like the awkward turtle I’ve felt on my last few dates. Dating can be tough in any normal world but in an environment resembling the Okavango (London) it’s enough to make anyone go crazy.

The space in between sending a message and those little three bubbles popping up on the screen, or the “last seen: 9.30AM today” changing to “online” is enough time to think about at least 3 different scenarios where you go on a second date, get papped with Bey and Jay in Shoreditch, fall in love at the Big Chill Bar and end the night making sweet love by candlelight… Until they reply with “I’m pretty busy this month, work’s just so crazy, but let me get back to you…” Just a note, no one is busy at work in June and July.

My new dear friend, totally new to this Okavango savannah, was regaling me with tales of his first new Tinder dates… and what a “helpful hand” technology has been playing in this love affair. From drunken texting at least 5 times consecutively without a reply to misinterpreting a text that to a normal person said, I’m not interested but to him sounded like, let’s have a second date and get married. Times really are a changin’. (sorry, Bob)

I’ve written about my thoughts about Tinder before… But when you’re coming up to the fourth year of being single you start questioning whether you should try alternative options to what you’ve been doing so far (because clearly breaking windows of strangers’ bathrooms and dating stock brokers has been going SO well for me)…

Now, I’m not about to download Tinder, but if I was, I would have to compile a rulebook before I touched any online dating and Tinder:

  1. Apparently this “waiting three days to text” is still a thing… Must remember not to rush to my phone to eagerly await a text message, or even worse, a whatsapp (the devil of over thinkers like myself). APPARENTLY the length of time to reply is not correlated to the eagerness of your new beau (I still hold the same views I did when I was 16 years old when we waited the same amount of time they took to text us back, wait, that was just me… great.) Playing it cool never was my forte.
  1. Cat emojis. I’ve said enough. (guilty) CATS CATS CATS (I just removed the photo of me and my cat from my whatsapp profile because I realised my crazy cat lady persona is TOO REAL.) 130bcc7aba1489b63aa983d03fd33633
  1. Don’t lead with a dick pic. NO SERIOUSLY. On and off Tinder. Never send photos of your junk… Because… There doesn’t need to be a reason.
  2. Don’t be a twat. I know that in this day and age of multiple museums, abundance of libraries and the greatest access to information than ever before, it is difficult to find a hobby that isn’t drinking Grey Goose from the bottle and posting a picture of Tinder. But for the love of god please stop doing this. I don’t want to date, nor sleep with anyone whose mouth has anywhere near Mahiki in the last three years… (At first I wanted to say Movida, but after a quick Google search I realized it had closed and really felt my age.)

tinderwanker5. Don’t drink and Tinder. THERE ARE NO UNDOS ON TINDER. 

  1. Just one thing I (and my new friend) just can’t master… Don’t come on too strong. What? This person I hooked up with at Concrete ISN’T the love of my life??? HOW DO YOU KNOW?? We slow grinded to Destiny’s Child. THAT’S LOVE!!!! Errrrr…. Let me just text him another three times because he might not have got my first five. dateme
  1. Know your audience. Perhaps you are a right fucking Romeo in real life. Perhaps I want to take my clothes off right now and sleep with you because you are just so charming. But I can vouch that no matter how much you resemble Josh Hartnett or how Mr. Grey you are, you won’t translate well in texts. No one translates well in texts… I know from my own experience, my own brand of crazy just does not convert well in text speak. Keep mobile contact to a minimum, you will seem mysterious but it’s mainly to curb the crazy.




  1. Don’t expect love. You know they say that love happens when you least expect it? Well if you’re constantly hoping/expecting that guy who said he was “swipe right if you want to date Cleo’s Most Eligible Bachelor no. 28” will be the one, then let me just give you a spoiler, it’s really not going to happen, and definitely not on Tinder, you’ve got some odds working in your favour on Match but I mean, we’re not there yet, are we?



Fuck you, Emma Watson, have you ever been to Shoreditch on a Friday.

girl v. coming home

I was given a little time off after being antibiotic-sick for the third time this year, a sickly manager is a liability when you start launching FW14 and planning the SS15 dress collection. So I skipped along to Berkshire to help mum with implementing some new designs in her house (finally, Pinterest comes in useful). I spent the week pottering around the greenhouse, going out for coffee mornings, taking trips to Laura Ashley interiors, drinking decent wine, walking the puppy in wellington boots and eating my weight in carbs… I could almost get used to this life…

But then again, there’s something about coming home. That feeling. It reminds me of being in love.

A comforting, warm embrace that feels so natural, like you never really left. It’s that feeling that quenches your thirst on a hot day; that you’re in a place that you belong. That’s what it’s really all about, that fit.  We go around trying out Tinder, diving into dating, chasing the one that got away, when all we really want is to come home.

Some days nowhere in particular feels like home.  Sitting in my Brixton flat with cracked windows and peeling lino in the bathroom, or working hard for little reward and not a glimpse of greenery or natural light in days. On days like those I try my best to come back to the countryside, where I litter little parts of myself around as reminders of my presence, that I’m a someone somewhere at least.


strong carb game

If you go out to eat at one place in the next three weeks, get yourself to When Mac Met Cheese. The little pop up is only open at its current location in Royal Oak (43 Porchester Road) for another 20 days… (not that I’m counting..) And I’m completely and utterly in love.

With specials like lobster mac and cheese, sides like deep fried mac and cheese balls with truffles and mushrooms and desserts like DEEP. FRIED. OREOS. your stomach will thank you. Oh, and their double gin and tonics are divine. I’d hark on more but I know I don’t need to. This place has got strong carb game and definitely not one to miss.

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