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…


  • 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!”


  • 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.


  • 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.



  • 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…


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.


#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…


#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!


#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)



#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 (what if I don’t actually want to DO anything?) and even recently, after my boss’s suggestion, (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.