24 May 2016

It's Thursday; I'm in love


It's Thursday; I'm in love

So we went to Sainsbury’s cos G had something like 9000 nectar card points; which equalled about £50 worth of free food shopping so yaaaaay big food shop time.

Date night.

Quite frankly, it could have turned into a big grumpy mess because it was a Thursday evening and I’d been stuck in an unbearably hot meeting room all day and was in an all tired and PLEASE HOLD ME kinda mood by the time I got back to the flat.

But then we went and HI HUMONGOUS CHEESE SELECTION. In a haze of pure happiness, I picked out a goat’s cheese log and circle of proper smoked cheese, both of which are my fave cheeses and neither of which are sold at our local Tesco express which has been the biggest downer of moving to St Albans. Anyway, I’ve already eaten them both and I’m not even sorry. Gonna have to get back to Sainsbury’s asap cos cheese forever <3 <3 <3

I unpacked the shopping super quick (we did actually buy food that wasn’t cheese as well) whilst G parked the car and then headed out for some food cos, ya know, date night. We’d been recommended L’Italiana but they were fully booked until after 9 which is obvs a very good sign but not so great when you’ve spontaneously popped in and you’re verging on the side of hangry.

We ended up in Bill’s which is slowly becoming our default place to eat. Bill’s is all shabby-chic, with tastytasty food and shelves full of chutneys. We want to buy them all. You can never have too many chutneys I tell ya.

We shared falafel for starters and discussed how you make falafel and I was soon declaring that I shall be making it myself, a sure sign my grumpiness was fading. I demolished a burger for main, satisfying a long-standing burger craving and essentially losing all dignity as the burger juice ran down my hand/face/into my crotch. But, hey, we live together now. I no longer particularly care if G sees me looking a mess. Lucky him eh?

I declared we were going to be ‘good’ and not have pudding... but only because I knew there were salted caramel cookies sat on the kitchen counter at home which we snaffled on the sofa before going to bed.

This appears to be a love story about me and food (lol, what’s new?) but that’s mainly cos I’m not going to write a entire page about how marvellous G is because I’d probably have to stop and throw up half way through. I don’t do gushy. Cept when I’m talking about cheese.

 I love cheese.

And G.

22 May 2016

24 hours in Canterbury

24 hours in Canterbury

You don’t need to go to the other side of the world to experience that ‘getting away’ feeling that’s so good for the soul.

It always amazes me how incredible this little island that we call the UK is. It’s so easy to be dismissive of the country you are born in, tossing it aside for the other wonders of the world, not really considering that you’re living right on top of a wonder. We all need to start paying attention. Who needs to pay all the money and use up tons of annual leave when there’s so much of the UK to be explored, all within a weekend?

This trip emerged out of one of those nights where you get so comfy in a pub, that it looks like you’re probs gonna move in and never stop drinking that glass of wine. You know the sort. Where you put the world to rights, get progressively drunker and finish off with the hideous realisation that you have somehow got to get yourself home with that unnerving feeling that you may have forgotten how to use your legs. Our trip to Canterbury was one of those ideas that emerged as you start inhaling wine from the bottle; one of those ideas where you’re so convinced it’s going to happen, you dramatically declare that you’re putting it in your diary, only to have forgotten about it by morning.

Cept this time, we didn’t forget about it. We booked it. Look at us adulting.

This was one of those weekends I didn’t realise I so desperately needed until I was actually there. Sometimes, you don’t realise you need to step out of real life for a bit. I was with people who haven’t actually been in my life very long at all yet I’m already sharing my deepest darkest secrets with. The time you buried the body under the patio; that kinda thing. These guys are the real deal.

So, yes, we went for a mini-weekend in Canterbury. 24 hours to be exact. The weather was so glooooorious and we had a faaaaab time.

A few pics!

24 hours in Canterbury

Picnicking by the river because summer has finally showed her pretty face.

24 hours in Canterbury

We stayed in the cutest little guest house with creaky wooden floors and really sweet, homely touches. For £35 for the night, it was a proper bargain (I think; I'm so adjusted to London prices, I'm never sure any more).

24 hours in Canterbury
24 hours in Canterbury
24 hours in Canterbury

We climbed Dane John Mound, a former Roman cemetery, in search of a good view.

24 hours in Canterbury
24 hours in Canterbury

Canterbury cathedral is an impressive sight, although it costs £12 per person to go in which we learnt the hard way! Though we also learned on the inside that it costs £13 per minute to maintain!

24 hours in Canterbury
24 hours in Canterbury
24 hours in Canterbury
24 hours in Canterbury
24 hours in Canterbury
24 hours in Canterbury

Canterbury seemed to have something pretty on every corner, including a pub garden which we stopped off in for a cheeky drink in the sun (have you noticed everything is cheeky these days?). 

24 hours in Canterbury
24 hours in Canterbury
24 hours in Canterbury
24 hours in Canterbury

First ice cream of the summer!

24 hours in Canterbury

We sampled a bit of Canterbury's night life in the evening and I went clubbing for the first time in a year because, with the right people, dancing until your feet swell is just the best (not for your feet obvs).

24 hours in Canterbury

The morning after the night before!

24 hours in Canterbury

These blueberry, banana and almond buckweat pancakes from Kitch Cafe were a life-saver for the hangover on Sunday morning!

24 hours in Canterbury
24 hours in Canterbury
24 hours in Canterbury

Thanks for being such a great host Canterbury!

24 hours in Canterbury
24 hours in Canterbury

14 May 2016

Clubbing for the first time in a year; my internal monologue

Clubbing for the first time in a year; my internal monologue

1) Good lord, that kid is 12. Should I alert someone that he's here? His mother must surely be worrying. 

2) Is that what 18 year olds look like now? 

3) Oh sweet jesus; I've become one of those 'old people' I used to give dirty looks to for being in student clubs. What am I doing here?

4) Are they actually playing 'Stacy's Mom'?!

5) Mmmmm Malibu. 

6) STACY'S MOM HAS GOT IT GOING ON. SHE’S ALL I WANT AND I’VE WAITED FOR SO LOOOOOONG. 

7) Fart. Shit. Lemon. Ah the sweet concoction of smells in club toilets.

8) I appear to have just downed an apple sours shot. Da fuq am I doing? 

9) Ah time to bring back the old hand-on-hip-to-casually-elbow-creeps-away trick. Hello old friend.

10) They are playing the fucking Friends theme tune. Hells fucking yeah. 

11) I'm going to look like an awkward frog on the dance floor. When was the last time I danced in a club?!

12) Nah mate, I got the moooooves. 

13) No, no, no that does not mean you should get up on the platform. 

14) You got up on the platform.

15) My hair feels wet. Oh that would be my sweat. Good. 

16) Aircon, aiiiiircon, AIRCON. 

17) Omg my friends are the fucking best. Literally so much love for them; I may cry with the emotion. 

18) I’m not even epileptic and I’m dangerously close to a fit; STOP FLASHING THOSE DAMN LIGHTS.

19) Uh oh, brace yourselves, ready, here it comes.... COMING OUT OF MY CAGE, DOING JUST FINE .

20) OPEN UP MY EAAAAAAAAGER EYYYYYYYYES.

21) 3am and choosing to drink water over a j├Ągerbomb. This is adulting. 

22) I'd forgotten how much you flirt with death on a night out. Why am I casually strolling through a creepy car park in the middle of the night again? 

23) Bed. Sweet, sweet sleep. 

24) Best. Bloody. Night. 

25) Those birds need to shut the fuck up. 

11 May 2016

The Next Chapter

The Next Chapter

Things have been quiet over at this little corner of the internet for the past couple of months. Which is basically because my world exploded a little bit. That’s a metaphor for everything going a bit mad by the way; my house didn’t tragically blow up. Although there was an incident with a gas leak... but that’s a story for another day.

So where to start?

Well, I suppose we could start way back in September 2013 when I moved away from my beautiful city of Bath and back into my childhood bedroom. For a year max. That’s what I said (lol).

Or at the beginning of 2015 in mid-January, a dark, wet and cold night; I went and met a guy I worked with for a drink. And he’s still here (in my life, not the pub). I don’t think he’s leaving. 

Or at some time towards the end of last year when I decided I needed to find a new job. Mainly because my wage packet wasn’t correlating with my life plans.

Yeah, let’s start there.

Because that’s how I ended up sat on the sofa on a Monday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, drowning in snotty tissues because HI COLD and feeling a little like some kind of crazed teenage girl waiting for her crush to text. I’d had an interview the week before and they’d said I’d probably hear back on Friday afternoon, but at the latest Monday.

It was 4pm on Monday so, by that point, I wasn’t exactly filled with hope.  Although that wasn’t stopping me refreshing my emails literally every two seconds, to the point where it was probably a bit weird.

And then my phone rang.

I freaked. Partly because I was like THIS IS IT and mainly, if I’m honest, because I’d put it on extra loud and it scared the actual crap out of me.

I grabbed it, dropped it (an achievement given it was just next to me on the sofa) and grabbed it again before answering in my best professional voice (don’t laugh; I have one).

“Congratulations, you have been selected to win an iPod!”


.....


.....


......


......


Well.

You can fuck right off.

The Next Chapter

Yeah so I didn’t get it.

That was the second interview I’d had in a month, which I was kinda proud of (despite not actually getting the jobs) because the effort I had been putting into job hunting was minimal to say the least. Working full time and job hunting; what is that about?! No thanks pal. 

That first interview; I was told I had it literally moments after I’d decided to take a break from job hunting. Oh the irony.

Deciding to take a break from the old job search came about whilst I was lying in bed in a heap one evening in February, looking at my bank account like um, where is my dolla?

Oh right, I have no dolla. Pretty much a daily occurrence in my life. 

And then, I just had this moment. This moment where I literally felt sick SICK of worrying about money. Like achingly, right down to my core FED UP of stressing about the pennies.

Because, seriously, it is boooooring. But what are we to do? We all do it because it is something that stresses you out even if you can take a moment out of yourself and be like, babes, I know London is eating your money but, seriously, change the record.
You know, someone once told me that if you earn around the average graduate wage, you’re richer than 80% of the people in the world. Okay, so I don’t actually remember the exact number - do not quote me on that - but it was something along those lines. Enough to sober you right up eh?

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, deciding to take a break from job hunting. I was sat there, looking at my bank account and wondering if it was something that would change any time soon and then feeling totally fed up of always stressing about money blahdeblah and suddenly told that certain guy from the pub that we should start looking for flats.

Now, FYI, that guy from the pub became my boyfriend and we’d been discussing moving in together for months; I didn’t ring up a random fella and be like HEY BABES IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY.

That would be weird.

So yeah, we knew we wanted to live together but the vague plan had always been that we’d wait until I’d found another job because I thought I needed more money. Which I really did because we’d agreed to move to St Albans which, ahem, is one of the most expensive places in the country. Told you my wage packet wasn’t correlating with my life plans. Girl got five-star taste, and a two-star income.

But then in that moment, I decided; fuck it. I was searching for a job but I didn’t even know what I was looking for. I didn’t even know if I wanted to leave my current job so soon. And why should we have to wait around? Life is short. I decided I should put the job search on hold and we should just move anyway, regardless of how much I earn. Which I suddenly announced to my somewhat surprised boyfriend. Via text.

Not gonna lie, about half an hour later I was back to dreaming about flights to New York and hating my bank account for not allowing me to live the dream. But the ball was now rolling.

And that was when everything went momentarily mad.

The Next Chapter

Naturally, the moment I made a decision to put my half-arsed attempt at job hunting on hold, I get a call inviting me to an interview. And then, soon after, I was invited for another one. Cos I is so in demand. Cept, ya know, didn’t get either of them. Although, I did get down to the final two candidates so not failing at life too much. I worked hard for both interviews but, after some reflection, I do wonder whether either of the jobs were really right for me. Like I said, not entirely sure what I’m looking for. I envy you people who are tbh. I’m pretty chilled about the whole experience, apart from the fact that I have to eat about eight cinnamon buns to get through the whole stressful interview process. I still have absolutely no idea what I want or what I’m doing job-wise but I now actually look like a cinnamon bun. FML.

Anyway, in the mean time, on trains to and from a family wedding just after I made my ‘fuck it, let’s do it’ announcement in Feb, G and I settled on a new (lowered) budget and my new mission in life became flat-hunting around St Albans. In between turning myself into a cinnamon bun obvs.

Flat-hunting, I learned, basically consists of standing amongst someone else’s possessions; feeling rather like you have just broken into their flat, nosing at their pictures and deciding if you want to uproot your entire life and go live there. All within the space of 15 minutes, whilst an estate agent stands there and tries to tell you why it’s actually a good thing that the kitchen is so small you won’t be able to cook in it.

It was an all-round surreal experience.

Until, almost like magic, we stumbled upon a little gem of a flat, tucked behind the cathedral and a mass of trees. Then it became totally real because this little flat; inconspicuous at the top of a rickety spiral staircase with its central location, views of the countryside and cathedral neighbour, was IT. It was the fantasy I’d always envisioned, when I'd pretended that I'd one day live in St Albans. And, get this, it was in our budget. Sure, at the top end, but still.

So we took it. Obvs. Even the prospect of trying to get a corner sofa up a spiral staircase didn’t put us off.

The Next Chapter

Moving was weirdly emotional, which I did not see coming. I spent all of Easter weekend home alone, whilst the rest of the WORLD went on holiday. Or so it felt. I had to pack up everything I own whilst sorting through a lifetime’s worth of crap. I was clearly two bags of rubbish away from being a hoarder. I unearthed a lot of memories. I would list them all but we'd be here all day and nobody got time for that. I will mention the various diaries I’d written over the years, some of which were filled with that shitty text language we all insisted on writing in as pre-teens. I can only assume the reason I was down with such abominations was because it was still technically playing around with words, and I am all about the words.

That and wanting to b kool 4evs.

There was also the emotion that comes with the realisation that I was leaving home; properly, actually leaving home forever. For good this time. Not like when I claimed I was only coming home temporarily after graduation and then, oops, stayed three years. That hit me harder than I ever thought it would. Like proper emotion.

This level of emotion, added to the stress that is always going to come with moving house and the sheer exhaustion I felt after the weekend of the move, left me in a weird haze. 

Everyone expects you to be happy and glowing and oh my isn't everything wonderful when you move in together for the first time. I thought that's how I'd feel as well. But I just felt like the rug had been pulled from under my feet.

So add disappointment to the stress and exhaustion, and unexpected nostalgia and emotion at leaving home. It's a hefty list of feels.

The Next Chapter

It was an emotional rollercoaster but I was naive to not expect it to be. Leaving home was emotional but that’s a good thing. It shows how fond I am of my childhood memories, of my family, how, at the age of 24, I’ll still miss living with them. I never had the feeling of wanting to ‘get out’. What a good job those rents did eh; how lucky am I?

And I don’t know why everyone kept asking me how wonderful it was in that first week. It doesn’t matter how much you love him; no one ever felt glowingly happy when they’re tired enough to hibernate for all of winter and muscles they didn’t know they even had are hurting. Plus living in a land of cardboard boxes is not only bleak, it also makes your hands dryer than the Sahara desert. Assuming I’d be dancing amongst the clouds was unrealistic.

It all passed. And exhaustion does allow you to get away with doing kinda ridiculous things. Like the moment I went out to buy wicker drawers for the bathroom and came back with a waffle maker. Oops. 

The Next Chapter

So here we are.

We have lived in our little flat for 40 days in total. There are two boxes behind the sofa that we probably should open, but other than that, we’re unpacked. Some of the pictures are even on the wall. The cathedral bells never. shut. up. Like, ever. They’re comforting and highly irritating, eccentric and very British; all at the same time. The trees outside have all bloomed like nobody’s business and my mood mirrors them. 

It’s feeling like home.

St Albans reminds me of being on holiday all the time; it’s just creates that feeling. It’s busy and beautiful, and the market is insanely good. My favourite times though, are when it all goes very quiet. That’s when I love it the most. It creates this moment of peace that one so rarely gets with London being such a big part of your life.

I still feel like we’ve only touched the surface of this new city. Not scratched; just touched. And I’m so excited to scratch that surface and then dive right in.

So here’s to things not going to plan and feeling a bit confused and unsure, yet okay, about it all, to creating a new haven with your favourite person, and to a whole new chapter of life.

The Next Chapter



6 May 2016

Rolo Blondies

Rolo Blondies

My mum has just raised the topic of Rolos. I've already forgotten how or why.

Do they still make Rolos? Used to be Kate's favourite when she was 3. 

Oh so that explains the addiction. I blame the person who was feeding them to me when I was 3.

Sorry. I'd banned such things by the time your sister was born but you and I bonded over chocolate buttons. 

You see, this is why my sister is vegan and I can't stop eating puddings.

I thought it was okay as long as you were happy... you liked cake... 

And Rolos...

Broccoli made you cry... 

Still does.

Remember I said I couldn't stop eating Rolos? Yeah, well, now we know who is to blame.

Anyway, this happened.

Rolo Blondies
For Rolo blondies, you will need (makes 9 squares):

1 egg
115g butter
130g plain flour
130g light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
100g milk chocolate chips
3 tubes of Rolos
Pinch of salt


Pre-heat the oven to 180c. Melt the butter in the microwave and then add the egg, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.

Rolo Blondies

Add the flour and salt.

Rolo Blondies

Stir until just combined and then stir in the chocolate chips.

Rolo Blondies

Spoon out just over half the mixture into a square tin and smooth out.

Rolo Blondies

Crack open them Rolos!

Rolo Blondies

Make 5 rows of 6 Rolos each, lying them on their flat base.

Rolo Blondies

Spoon out the rest of the mixture in heaps and smooth out. There won't be complete coverage but the mixture will expand when baking.

Rolo Blondies

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin completely before cutting into 9 squares and serving.

Rolo Blondies

Enjoy your buttery, chocolatey, caramel goodness.

Rolo Blondies


Rolo Blondies