26 Jun 2016

The day half of the UK voted to leave the EU

Spoiler: I wasn't happy with the referendum result. This is pretty much how my day went.

Wake up to text from G. 

Trains are running okay, after last night. 

Bugger, am gonna have to go to work. 

P.S. Don’t read the news; you’re really not gonna like it.  

Uh oh... 


Need a wee. 

Oh good lord, the world has gone mad. Half my friends are f-ing and blinding, some are crying, my mum is apologising because her generation have ‘royally fucked up’ and the news is moving so fast I CANNOT KEEP UP. 

Pound has completely crashed. Well isn’t that just dandy. 

Ah shit, I’m going on holiday twice this month and haven’t ordered my currency. I DID NOT THINK THIS THROUGH. 

More important things right now than your holidays Kate jeez. 


Hmmm what should I have for breakfast? Or am I too stressed to eat?

Oh great, now I'm off food. Now you've really pissed me off Brexit. 

May need to lie down. Surely I’m not expected to go to work today? 

Lol, was supposed to leave the house now. Still in my pjs.  

Farage has already said his NHS claim was a lie... Um... didn't you, like, write it in huge letters across a fucking bus? 

75% of my generation voted to remain. Aw you guys. 

Cheers for that over-50s; you lil babes. 

Suppose I should get ready for work. 

At least my facebook feed seems to agree with me. 

Did I remember to brush my hair before leaving the house? 

Cameron: oops fucked up there guys. Soz and all. Um, I’m off now? Bye. 

I’m wishing Cameron wasn’t leaving. Sweet jesus; I don't know which way is up anymore. 

Missed my train. 

Commuters still look like grumpy sods then. Not everything has changed. 

Everyone in the office looks like someone died. 

Never felt such a solidarity with Londoners. 

3 hour meeting. Yawn. 

Three hour meeting that’s running over. Do I look like I’m in the mood for this today?

Right, what have I missed? Country still standing? 


Friend: Am I having a nightmare? 
No darling, I’m afraid not. On the plus side, the internet memes are hilarious

Boris for PM and Trump for President.... Gonna have to actually move to the moon. 

Or Greece. Not that they’re better off than us but at least there’s great weather and nice beaches. I can cry on a beach whilst eating baklava no probs. 

Oh as if I’m gonna get work done today. Why am I even bothering? 

Under no circumstances should I check ANY social media for the rest of today. Don’t do it. DO NOT DO IT. 

No, Kate, stop reaching for your phone...

Oh god, here we go. You have only yourself to blame. 

The country has spoken. 

Well, um, no actually. Half of us want one thing and half want the other, and 30% of people didn’t even bother to vote. Lazy shits. 

So all we’ve really done is run round in circles disagreeing with each other. 


Proud to be British. The nation of tea-drinkers has taken back control. 


Why is everyone moaning? What’s done is done. 

Oh shut up you cretin. If you have no opinion to offer then just pipe down and let me vent my anger. 

I may be, possibly, getting a tad irritable.... Maybe. 

This is our independence day


Kate, you need to get off social media NOW. 

Fuck it, I’m leaving the office. 


I momentarily forgot about it for a second there... What a beautiful moment that was. 

Ah shit. 

*deletes all borderline/outright racists from all social media feeds*

Probably isn’t appropriate to rant about the country on the phone to my mum... on public transport. Don’t poke the angry snake Kate. 

Text my Dad: Will arrive at 5:45. Will need a drink. 

Dad starts sarcastically singing Rule Britannia the moment I get in the car. 

Dad: did you know that Nigel Farage once said that his name is pronounced like ‘garage’? Why do people insist on calling him Faraaaaaarge?

Scotland calling for a second Scottish referendum so they can pull apart from us dimwits and be part of the EU. 

I could live in Scotland... 

On the radio: ‘Now that we’re leaving, we’ll be able to trade with other countries again.’

I give up. 

On the radio: ‘I only voted leave as a protest; I didn’t think we’d actually leave. Can I change my mind?’

Brb, just gonna go bang my head against the wall. 

Mmmm wine. 

Just gonna hug a cat for a bit; that’ll help. 

I officially can no longer watch the news. 

On the plus side, I’d forgotten to feel blue that I wasn’t at Glastonbury. 

Although finding out about Brexit at Glasto would have probably been a lot more bearable. 

More wine. 

I think I’ll just go to bed and hope it was all a bad dream. 

Brexit happened on the same day that Voldemort returned. Now what does that tell you hmmm?

This article helps me fall asleep with some comfort.

'If you are young... If you're pissed off, you are right to be. Don't let that feeling dissipate; mobilise, strategise, and above all hope. Take heart in the fact that you're more likely part of this optimistic, open-minded gang... By all means feel bitter, and miserable, and worried about what is going to happen next, but after that, please take heart: you are the 75%, and what you voted for was noble, and one day will be again.'

21 Jun 2016

This is basically how I headed off for a long weekend in Devon, and ended up in a stranger's bed in Winchester

Travel gone wrong

My first post after I got back from a long weekend in Dartmouth, Devon (check out my Instagram for a sneak preview) was supposed to be something Dartmouth-related.  I’ve been so many times now that I thought, after this visit, I could probably offer you my expert opinion on things to do/eat if you fancied moseying on down to that sexy little town on the Devonshire coast. Which you totally should cos it’s such a little gem. Whilst that post is definitely still coming your way, there’s another issue I need to tackle first.

The journey. 

Which, as the title of this post suggests, could not have gone more wrong if I’d tried. So strap in and get yourself a drink. This will be, I’m sure, a lengthy blog post but I am getting this sorry tale out of my system.

I was feeling pretty on it. Like, damn girl you got this life thing sussed on it. My achievements of the day included overcoming the dodgy tummy that I'd woken up with, going to my first trustee meeting (yes I'm a trustee, let's deal with that one on another day), successfully parallel parking for the first time since I passed my driving test (a skill I did need after all), packing and getting to the station for my long weekend on time. I even had enough spare minutes to buy myself a cheeky slice of pecan pie from The Pudding Stop mobile to accompany my already packed pasta pesto for the evening's train journey.

Aw yeah.

Train into London, tube to Paddington and bam, arrived with 20 minutes until my train. Perfect amount of time for grabbing a banana milkshake from maccy D's and finding my seat on the train. I had plans of catching up on The Graham Norton Show and doing a spot of studying during the 3 hour journey.

Tube doors open, pop up the escalator, through the ticket barrier and...

Um why is half of London standing in my way?

Oh that would be because a train has derailed just outside of Paddington and brought the overhead wires, a few clouds and my hopes&dreams down with it.

All trains in and out of Paddington station are cancelled, there are three fire engines and passengers are losing their shit.


I battle my way to the front of the Glastonbury-style crowd and try and communicate with the guy stood at the barriers they've put in place to stop people heading into the main part of the station. He refuses to make eye contact and continuously shouts that we should all head to Ealing Broadway. Like, everyone. All of us. Just pop on a train to Ealing Broadway guys; that'll make all your troubles fly away.

I whip out my phone (lol, try fumbling around and dropping my bags everywhere) to try and look up whether I should actually wander on down to Ealing Broadway whilst wondering where the F Ealing Broadway actually is. Only the Internet ain't playing ball.

FFS 3G, now is not the time for one of your spoiled tantrums.

I ring G, who is already on a train to Devon. After some back and forth, G finds out that you can get trains to Reading from Ealing Broadway, and I can change at Reading to get on a train to Devon. Fine.

So me and the gang (aka the majority of the London population) head to Ealing Broadway.

Hashtag adventure.

It all gets kinda exciting; I read a tube map for the first time in my life (ya see TFL, I don't need your journey planner) and I make friends with a weary middle-aged couple on the platform. I say make friends; I end up standing behind them and the woman suddenly decides that I, apparently, am more trustworthy than her husband which, let’s face it, is kinda awks. She doesn't seem to believe that the best route to Ealing Broadway is to change at Notting Hill until I have repeated it.

Really, this should have been my first alarm bell that things we're not going to work out okay. The barriers had broken down; Londoners were talking to one another. Very bad sign. 

The journey to the promised land of Ealing Broadway was kinda sweaty so we'll move on from that one quickly.

Once I arrived, there were two signs that this was not going to be the place that would allow us to escape from what was rapidly becoming the journey from hell.

Sign number 1: There were dangerous amounts of people on the platform and they didn't seem to be going anywhere. Certainly not to Reading.

Sign number 2: There was a guy threatening to bite another guys nose off. For real.

But the main indication came from a woman pushing her way through the crowds, in the opposite direction back towards the tube, shouting 'if you're looking for a train to Reading, I wouldn't fucking bother.'

Oh lovely.

Rumours began circulating amongst the crowd as we all stood on a platform unmoving, wondering if this was our life now.

Apparently there are no trains to Reading from here. 

The station staff don't understand why we've all been sent here. 

I heard that Richmond is the place to go. 

Richmond it is then.

Based on a conversation I overheard in the crowd, and no actual genuine advice from rail staff, I decide I'm off to Richmond. I no longer trust rail staff; they were the ones that told us all to go to Ealing Broadway... Where there were approximately 0 trains. It's every gal for herself now.

I consult with G, and then squeeze on to another tube to Richmond during which I spend 24 minutes making friends with a Welsh family trying to get back to Cardiff. One assumes they never made it.

I also spend those 24 minutes contemplating three thoughts:

1) G is half way to Devon.
2) I have the key to the flat we're staying in.
3) There is a very real possibility that I am now going to miss the last train from Reading.

It was a cheery, Welsh accent-filled journey.

The Richmond rumours were true cos the other half of London's population have decided to join us there. Cor this is turning into one hell of a party.

You know, if parties involved rumours that the tube is now also down so you can't even try and turn round and go home, and physical and verbal fights breaking out between passengers and station staff, and the sheer panic on staff member's faces when they realise that they cannot control the amount of people on the platform.

Oh they were also telling us that trains to Reading were too packed and there wasn't a hope in hell we'd get on them.

Sorry, did I say party?

I meant the apocalypse. This is turning into the apocalypse.

So I do the two things we should all do in a crisis. I call my mum and I make some friends. Although not with the guy who awkwardly asked me if I wanted to share a cab to Reading, but not any of the other people we were stood in a crowd with.

Um, I'm alright thanks matey.

I call my mum first, mainly just to ask if there is a spare key to the flat with a neighbour or something, for G (there isn't), but naturally she becomes embroiled in my current crisis and, two seconds later, so does my step-dad.

What the hell are you doing in bloody Richmond?!

Good question folks.

Luckily for me, my step-dad is one of the most think-on-your-feet people I know and within seconds he is throwing options at me like no body's business. As I seem to have lost the inability to make a decision, I follow his instructions to get to the opposite platform and get to Waterloo - where I may be able to get on one of the Reading-bound trains before they fill up. It is here, after pushing my way through approximately 8 million people and getting to the empty platform opposite, that I make my new friend. He’s rail staff, has a south London accent and immediately starts calling me 'babes'. I could tell that we were gonna bond.

'Babes,' he says 'don't go to Reading. They're now saying that ALL trains out of Reading are cancelled.'

This just gets better and better.

He also starts telling his colleague my sorry story... My girl here is trying to get to Devon!

I am not entirely sure how I've become 'his' girl in the space of two minutes but I decide to roll with it.

It is around this point that I remember that my sister lives half an hour from Reading, so maybe if I can just get that far, I can continue the rest of my journey in the morning. My pal thinks I should just go home (how, exactly?) but it is now nearly 3 and a half hours since I left the house; I am fucking getting somewhere.

So I get on that train to Waterloo and tell my step-dad my new plan. He takes it in his stride.

Get off at Clapham Junction; you can get a direct train to Winchester from there.

So I do. I stand at Clapham Junction for half an hour during which my rents find and book G a last minute hotel, I direct G to said hotel (you had to check in by half 10, he got there at 27 minutes past) and I call my sister to inform her that I am going to show up at her house at 11 at night.

Then I sit on a train heading towards Southampton, eating my pasta pesto and wondering what the fuck happened.

Until the ticket guy shows up.

Bugger. In all the madness, I hadn't even considered I’d need a ticket to Winchester. 

Do I go for a conveniently-timed loo trip or try and explain the past few hours to him, possibly with a few tears?

I opt for the loo. We can save weepy girl as a back-up if he comes back for round two.

It is as I sit on my suitcase, staring down the toilet, swaying back and forth and breathing in the smell of piss that I seriously re-consider my life choices.

I am 24 years old and hiding in a fucking train toilet. I can't believe I thought I had life sussed just a few short hours ago.


Anyway, I made it to Winchester without receiving a fine or having some kind of breakdown.

My phone dies just as I arrive so I am forced to wander the dark streets of Winchester and try and remember where my sister's house is but, quite frankly, I am totally un-phased by this point. I'll just start screaming her name if I have to (note; I didn't actually sink this low).

I eventually see her standing on her doorstep looking out for me. She takes me up to her housemate’s room (who is away) to put my stuff in and then takes me to the bathroom cos she needs to show me the 'Danger' sign. This was a shit load of tape on the floor marking the area you shouldn't step on cos the wood is rotten and you'll probs fall through the floor and meet a tragic end. Obvs; dunno what else you thought it would be.

She then tucks me into her housemate's bed and gives me the wifi password like the little babe she is. Just before she leaves the room she says;

'Oh, if you hear something on the roof; don't worry, it's just the cat. He might come in through the window.'

'Didn't know you had a cat?'

'We don't'.


14 Jun 2016

London Eats | Cocktails, Cupcakes & Cute Delis

London Eats

So these are some cute little places you should go check out in London if you fancy a treat. Go on babes, you work hard.

London Eats

This is a cute lil bar that feels like a coffee shop with squashy sofas and high chairs&benches. It’s cosy and dark but in a mysterious way, rather than a probs-gonna-get-murdered kinda way. And there’s a great big disco-skull hanging from the ceiling. I mean, hi now.

London Eats

London Eats

London Eats

But the best bit?

They serve cocktails in a teacup. IN A TEACUP. You and your pals can get a pitcher-worth of your cocktail of choice, in a teapot to share, and then you each get a teacup and saucer to drink from.

Bet you didn’t even know you needed this in your life. But you do doll, you really do.

London Eats

London Eats

London Eats

Um, so totally behind on the times I know, but this was actually my first visit to the cupcake shop of dreams. I wanted a slice of that rainbow cake so bad, it looked so dreamy and...instagramable?

Hashtag loser.

But I only went in for a cupcake or two cos it was G’s birthday and I just wanted a lil summin for the evening. 

Staff were a bit grumpy, not gonna lie, but gazing at the drool-worthy selection of cakes more than made up for it.

London Eats

Came out with 4 cupcakes.


So, yeah, we basically had a hummingbird bakery cupcake tasting session.

Living the dream.

London Eats

London Eats

London Eats

We sampled the Carrot, Red Velvet, Cookies&Cream and the Black Bottom cupcakes. I’m assuming the Carrot and Red Velvet speak for themselves but (in case you were wondering) the Cookies&Cream sponge is filled with cookie chunks and the vanilla frosting with Oreos, and then the Black Bottom cupcake is a chocolate sponge baked with a cheesecake centre and cream cheese frosting.

Surprisingly, the carrot was my favourite cos it was just so damn moist, it basically melted on the tongue.

Fair to say we felt kinda sick afterwards but who really cares?

London Eats

London Eats

London Eats

London Eats

London Eats

This is the kind of foodie treat that doesn’t leave you feeling like some kind of beached whale at the end of it. You know, where your stomach kinda loves and hates on you in equal measure and you’re not entirely sure when you’ll be able to move again. Sexy thing you.

The Mae Deli doesn’t do that cos it’s Deliciously Ella’s deli (in case you have been living under an actual rock, this is Deliciously Ella – she’s basically everyone’s healthy eating crush) and all her food is super tasty and 100% good for you. Handy eh?

London Eats

London Eats

London Eats

The deli is beautifully decorated across two floors, full of light wood and soft blues and greens. It's fresh, yet cosy.

It does get crazy busy, which is a downside. We arrived before lunch rush hour and still had to wait 20 minutes for a table. The food, however, is totally worth the wait.

It’s a pretty simple premise; you can have a bowl full of four different dishes, hot or cold or both. I was, however, slightly overwhelmed by the choice so definitely just picked at random, under the belief that everything was probably gonna taste dandy. Which it did.

London Eats

London Eats

London Eats

I think I had sweet potato falafel, a vegetable Thai green curry, charred kale and broccoli and some kind of dreamy rice full of a whole host of tasty things. For pudding, I had a tropical berry smoothie and a peanut fudge slice (there is something strangely satisfying about eating dessert and knowing it’s good for you).

It was all incredible. It’s really worth going to the Mae Deli just to understand what Ella is going on about; the food all tastes amazing and leaves you feeling pretty marvellous, full of energy and a satisfying level of full.

The only other downside is the price; sadly not the same as cheap and dirty fast food. But, unfortunately, we still haven’t reached the point where we won’t be charged a small fortune for wanting to eat proper healthy. We can live in hope.

Anyway, this is a post about treats so stopping thinking of the cost babes; it's against the rules.

London Eats

London Eats

London Eats

Enjoy lovely peeps x

11 Jun 2016

A New York Love Affair

New York

I was 16 the one and only time I went to New York, although my love for it probably started many years before that. Quite what prompted it I don't know (although I suspect it had something to do with Friends) but I can’t remember not having that small flame of desire to get there, be there. I finally made it when my mum, bless her heart, took it upon herself to find a holiday that would appeal to a somewhat-grumpy 16 year old and a 12 year old.

I can remember mooching around Central Park surrounded by autumn colours (and doing the ‘Phoebe run’ with my sister when no one else was around). I remember standing in the middle of Times Square and trying to process the amount of things I could see and hear and smell. I remember sheltering from the cold in Bloomingdales and buying a ‘brown bag’. I remember looking down at a rainbow over the city, from the top of the Empire State building. I remember eating take-out pizza on an enormous bed. I remember gazing at that dreamy skyline on a ferry heading towards Liberty Island and thinking this was a magical place.

But most of all, I remember just walking down a normal New York street early one morning on the hunt for pancakes. I can vividly remember the smell, the cold air on my face and a feeling of something that I just can’t put into words. But it comes back to me now so vividly, it’s almost painful.

This shit getting dramatic.

Basically, I was in love big time.

New York

I wanted to go back from the moment I was on the plane flying home and, for the eight years since, I've talked about doing just that with varying levels of intensity.

I adore a good city break as much as the next person, but if I’m going to actually live in a city, it will be cities like Bath or St Albans which are not the kind of cities people are referring to when they talk of city living (I’m looking at you irritating omg-London-is-the-best-and-only-place-on-earth people).

And, whilst in the past couple of years, London has finally managed to carve a little place in my heart; New York captured me in a way London or any other city city has never quite managed.

With New York, I got it. I had that 'city' thing people go one about. The buzz, the sparkle; that city of dreams feeling.

It’s time I went back.

I want to experience it again but more; live, breathe and taste it, and this time around with G.

New York

Last week, I went off on one of my I-heart-New York rambles which seem to have occurred more and more recently and G, oh-so-matter-of-factly, says that we should do it, before it becomes one of those things that we say we’re going to do but never get round to. The next morning, he’s calling out potential flight prices to me before I’ve even got out of bed. Ain’t he a babe?

One of the many great things about G is that he’s a do-er. Whereas I am known to hesitate, to um and ah because I’m overwhelmed by choice, to suddenly go oh god, can I actually afford this?! at the last second (usually the answer is no but I somehow justify doing it anyway cos at least I stopped and asked for a moment...); G just gets on with it. Which basically sums up the past week in our household; me bombarding G with potential flights and hotels and just generally showing him New York related things and being like AHHHHHHHHHHH. Even him being asleep didn’t stop me, I just sent him emails after he’d nodded off. But G was the one to actually get on with it. To actually be like ‘sod it, let’s book this.’

Which he did this morning.

My bank account is definitely going to crack under the fresh load of abuse I am about to inflict on it and we have to wait 9 months before we finally go and the excitement may actually kill me before then butbutbut...

There is a flight. To New York. Booked in my name. And right now that is everything. 

New York my love, I am coming back to you. It’s been a long time coming.

New York

6 Jun 2016

Little Gems: 20

Little Gems
How beautiful is the park in our new city?

There is no rhyme or reason as to when these Little Gems posts decide to show up but what’s life without a little mystery eh? 

1) Some babin’ sunshine showed up this weekend; hey sunburnt shoulders, how ya doin? Little suspicious as to whether the sun is gonna stick around because I was using a hot water bottle last week but here’s hoping... 

2) Tesco’s cinnamon tear and share bun. Oh sweet heaven; get in my mouth. 

3) Yoga. I tried it like yeah, yeah, whatever; turns out I blady loved it. Who knew. 

4) This film and this film are out this month. Just sayin. 

5) Getting back into swimming. Okay I’ve been once but that water baby feeling is back. Defs should have been a mermaid. 

6) Sunday morning group skype with my uni babes created all sorts of happy feels. 

7) Rekorderlig strawberry and lime cider. The sweet, sweet taste of summer. 

8) You know that scene in the new X-men film where Quicksilver is saving everyone with Sweet Dreams rocking in the background? Yeah. That. 

9) Gig at the O2 arena. 20,000 people singing Teenage Dirtbag. I’ll say no more. 

10) Planning dream trips to New York, maybe, possibly, pleaseohpleasely...

3 Jun 2016

Simple Chilli, Chorizo & Tomato Pasta

Chilli, Chorizo & Tomato Pasta

I seem to mostly be writing you recipes involving cake or pasta... And I don't know why I made that sound like a bad thing.

I was gonna describe this recipe as a great one for sitting out on the terrace in the evening sun with a large glass of wine, but I'm currently typing this wrapped in a blanket, wearing a hoodie and with a hot water bottle snugly resting against my belly because ffs June, what's with the wintry chill? 

It's supposed to heat up this weekend so my dream of sun on the terrace may still come true but in the mean time, you can make this lil babe of a recipe, allow the chilli to heat you up and dream of a sun-soaked country.

For simple chilli, chorizo and tomato pasta, you will need (serves 2):
200g bowtie pasta (or any pasta of your choice)
200g plum tomatoes
100g chorizo
1 generous teaspoon chilli flakes (or less if you're not a fan of the heat)
1 garlic clove
Olive oil

Chop your chorizo into chunks and your tomatoes into quarters

Chilli, Chorizo & Tomato Pasta

Cook your pasta in boiling water, according to packet instructions.

Chilli, Chorizo & Tomato Pasta

Meanwhile, in a heavy-based pan, or a wok, fry the chorizo until just crisp. Put in a bowl and set aside.

Chilli, Chorizo & Tomato Pasta

In the same pan, heat a teaspoon of olive oil, and add the garlic clove (crushed), tomatoes and chilli flakes. Fry for five minutes.

Chilli, Chorizo & Tomato Pasta

When the pasta is cooked, remove both pans from the heat. Add the pasta and a little of the pasta water to the tomato pan, as well as the chorizo. Mix it all together and you're done!

Chilli, Chorizo & Tomato Pasta

Serve with a dash of grated cheese if you so wish.

Chilli, Chorizo & Tomato Pasta