Monday, 5 October 2015


I've ventured into the world of vlogging. About 6 years late but here I am - WITH CAKE.

I'm planning on centring my channel around food; making videos of baking, cooking and eating out. It might expand though, who knows. It's all up for grabs.

Make yourself a cup of tea and have a watch of my first video...

Monday, 28 September 2015


I didn't do a summer bucket list this year, something I do every year to encourage myself to you know... have experiences. But I barely ever tick more than 20% off the list, which I'm choosing to put down to the fact that I don't like summer, nor often the activities it provides. The leaves are falling off the trees though now and the air is getting colder so I'm happy and my nose is pink...


- guarantee at least 15 instagram likes by taking a photo of my leather boot-clad feet in a pile of leaves

- drink a chai latte approximately once every three days 

- throw dinner parties and be the type of person that leaves a lit candle in the bathroom so that every activity is of optimum pleasure (weird)

- never spend a Sunday night without tea, pyjamas and Downton

- explore my new section of London and BLOG ABOUT IT

- take at least one photo every day

- start a book club

- clean out my wardrobe so that it actually becomes a wardrobe, rather than just a cupboard in which I throw my clothes when guests come round

- go home to my parents house and sit in front of the fire with a book and their new puppy on my lap

- spend Friday night movie nights with my lady friends and get classy-drunk on red wine

- start vlogging (more on this later)

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Far too much excitement for one Claire (and pictures of my new house).

If I could go back in time and tell my 17-year-old anxiety-riddled self that in just 6 short years I'd be about to start a new job as Publicity Manager at an independent London based publishing house and be living in a small but perfectly proportioned one-bed flat in Maida Vale, I think she'd be reasonably surprised. 

There were times when I thought I might be living with my parents till I was 40 and barren, so this is pretty satisfactory. 

I'm currently drinking a cloudy apple juice in The Elgin, an officially-cool pub with bare stone walls and bearded bar staff, reflecting on the last few weeks. Three things of particular note have happened:

1. I moved into my new house.

2. I got a new job.

3. I was invited to Ellie Goulding's album listening party and met the lady herself, in all her bronzed glory. 

The first is going fabulously. Tim and I have combined our books, crockery and wall art and the finished effect feels a lot like home. Nowhere I've lived since I left my parent's house has felt like home, so this move has sneakily become a bigger deal than I'd maybe anticipated. In a good way, a very good way, but definitely big. I guess I'm growing up. I sometimes even put leftovers in tupperware.

The second is very exciting and a little daunting. I'm leaving SPCK, where I've been their publicist for the last 18 months, and moving to Icon Books to manage their publicity department. It's a huge step, a very different list, and what seems like a wonderful team.

Finally, and arguably the most important point of all, I met Ellie Goulding. As many of you will know, I've loved and admired Ellie for the past 6 years, ever since her first single Under The Sheets debuted at number 53. For reasons I won't go into too much because you'll all just think I'm weird, she/her manager invited me to her album listening party at The Langham hotel this week. It was fun and surreal, I felt a little too old, but more than anything it felt like a cheeky and poignant nod to a stage of my life that seems quite distant now. 

Here's some pictures of my flat. I apologise for the quality - I lost my camera battery because I'm actually not very good at being an organised grownup. 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Moving on.

I'm writing from the broken bed I've endured and enjoyed this past year, taking particular pleasure in the sound of the church bells outside while I sip my tea and contemplate packing.

The crazy man who patrols the street with his dog, bellowing at ungodly hours, is out in full force this morning. I think he knows I'll miss him, regardless of how very unsettling I find him.

I say goodbye to South London this weekend as I get ready to move to a delightfully small flat in Maida Vale with my favourite gentleman, Tim, and I am terribly excited.

I like change, I crave it I think. But I also like to sit and reflect when change is imminent.

In this case, my reflections are simple and brief: I love London; I don't like living with people/strangers, although the bunch I've lived with this year have been extremely easy compared to other housemate examples I've heard rumours of; I'm terrible at managing my finances and must improve if I want to live anywhere warmer and dryer than under an old footbridge; I'm far more introverted than I realised; I need A LOT of bookshelf space.

Aside from the fact that I don't have to live with strangers anymore and I can walk around in my underwear whenever I please, I'm going to be living a 20 MINUTE WALK from Notting Hill. My favourite square mile of THE ENTIRE WORLD. The only thing better than that would be living a 10 minute walk away... or, you know, on Portobello Road.

I also get a dishwasher, huge sash windows and an abundance of quiet coffee shops and pubs within, pretty much, arms reach.

This is what I lusted after when I watched Hugh Grant in Notting Hill and decided I simply had to live and work in London. So here begins the next chapter and the sixth home in my life. May it be filled with good food, cheap wine and plenty of larks.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Wandering and wondering.

For me, the comfort and familiarity of home, my bed, my friends and family, has always overridden the desire to see more. I’ve never really had the urge to travel the world, as so many of my peers do from the moment they finish university to, well… indefinitely, and I’ve always preferred structure and a plan. However much I like to idea of “finding myself” in Bali. Having said all that, and while I still won’t be booking a round-the-world trip on a tandem bicycle any time soon, I can genuinely appreciate that there’s something really special about drinking a cup of coffee overlooking Lake Geneva.

Last month Tim and I went to Switzerland. After a flight in which I was too drugged up on Valium to remember much of, we arrived in Geneva, picked up our hire car from a man outside (i.e. a very dubious company rep. who, on our departure, told us to "just leave the keys on the seat and the car outside the airport”) and drove to Bern. It was about 10.30pm and we hadn’t eaten anything since our overpriced smoked salmon bagels at Gatwick Airport 8 hours previously. We were ravenous and I was still a bit dazed from ALL THE DRUGS. After dropping our bags at our hotel we found a café that was still serving food, ordered two glasses of wine, a huge Caesar salad and plate of chips to share and settled in for an hour or so to watch the city go by.

I fell in love with Bern very quickly. The next day we woke up early, found breakfast at another café with good people-watching opportunities, and then did some sightseeing. We visited Einstein’s house, the bears of Bern (that weren’t actually there), and strolled along the River Aare, stopping now and again for a glass of wine or to dip our feet in the freezing water.

Bidding farewell to Bern, one of the most beautiful, quietly content cities I’ve ever visited, we drove to my parents’ chalet, up in the mountains near Sion, and commenced our week of reading, eating and drinking.

I read three books, we watched the entire season 4 of Game of Thrones, and we ate steak, cheese, salads, crusty bread, fresh pasta and so many tomatoes. I feel like I actually stopped. I felt lighter, as if anxiety I didn’t even know was there had fizzled away. I felt excited, too. The world is gigantic, scary and ripe with potential: I wanted to soak it all up and take some of it home with me.

We finished our Swiss trip with a visit to Montreux and Lake Geneva. While meandering along the lakeside pathways towards Chateau de Chillon, stopping for coffee and pastries at a little patisserie, and manically waving at passing boats (who manically waved right back), we started plotting our next adventures. We want to take a road trip across America, cycle around Lake Geneva, drive down the Italian Riviera and all the while drink a lot of wine and eat a lot of cheese. We drove to the airport, I popped some more Valium and we arrived back in London; sad our trip was over but rejuvenated and full of anticipation. Besides, London’s pretty cool too. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015


I just read this, by Michelle Thomas – the girl who went on a Tinder date, had a “Pleasant Evening” and then was told in exquisite detail why she was too fat to be sexually attractive.

Boy, it hit me right between the eyes; a big ball of hot anger and steely indignation. I really, really, really want to high five her for such a ferocious but dignified response. What I love most about Michelle’s story is that her self-loving attitude wasn’t what came first. First, came some tears and some self-doubt and then came the fire, because even the most ardent feminists/campaigners/women-with-a-little-self-esteem get sad and have to put a bit of effort into loving themselves.

I, personally, am in the midst of a turbulent battle between my sassy self-loving side and my “only baggy jumpers please” self-loathing side. I scroll through Instagram noting all the flat stomachs, tea-detoxes and calorie counting watches (I don’t even know), and think WHY GOD WHY can’t I prefer running to pizza?

The answer to that, children, is that pizza is awesome and running sucks.

And also, it’s because I’m having a LOVELY life; eating that bowl of chips with my glass (bottle) of white wine and spending my evenings binge-watching Game of Thrones instead of going to the gym. I get it… okay, I should maybe do more exercise and only eat burgers on special occasions. But only because that’s what’s best for ME. Me, me, me. It’s up to me. I will reap the benefits or hide my misdemeanours - because they’re mine.

I think this is one situation when it really is okay to be horribly narcissistic, and I love it when I read blogs and articles written by other women who are struggling and sassy and learning ALL FOR THEMSELVES. I’m trying to find a balance between having a lovely time and building the best version of myself that I can be. I’m trying to find peace with looking different to other women. I’m trying to love myself whatever my body looks like. I'm just really flawed and trying.

And there is no one that is going to tell me, or any other one of you GODDESSES, that we are not good enough or not “sexually attractive” enough, because firstly, it says more about them than it does about us, and secondly, they don’t matter... one little bit.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Ambition, success, failure and why I need to stop thinking about whether or not I'm a bit fat.

I was going to write a post about the fact that I’m currently the fattest I’ve ever been. But then I started writing, bored myself senseless and realised it’s not worth the time and effort I’ve been spending agonising over it.

So I’m not going to devote this piece of writing to whether or not it will make me happier, healthier and more desirable in work, life and love if I just lose those 15lbs – I’m going to talk about something far more important. Ambition.

I went to the Bookseller Marketing and Publicity Conference this week and it made me feel and think a whole load of things. I’m so pleased I’m in publishing, and I’m even more pleased I’m in publicity in publishing. It is dynamic, exciting, ever-evolving and I would encourage anyone considering it as a possible career venture to make the jump. Having said that, its excitement, evolving nature and dynamism can sometimes make one feel a little overwhelmed and underachieving.

Basically, everyone is doing so many incredible things it can be difficult to keep up.

I would regard myself as a fairly ambitious person. Actually, very ambitious – as well a heady mixture of a control-freak-cum-perfectionist – but with ambition comes success and/or failure. I learned a lot about that from some of the conference speakers this week.

It can be difficult when everyone around you seems to be succeeding, and you’re left behind wallowing in a sea of small triumphs and seemingly huge failures. But what I’m learning is that while our own failures seem infinite, everyone else’s are invisible, shrouded in a cloak of our own self-doubt. And not only that, but failure is absolutely necessary. How else will we learn, grow and succeed? If you don’t try, you don’t fail. And not trying is really not an option.

I’m in a strange head-space at the moment – I feel dissatisfied, frustrated and inspired all at the same time. There’s a lot I want to change in many areas of my life and work but I’m feeling okay about that. This is when things get exciting. There's a lot I want to do in the next 5 years, a lot of ambitions pulsing through my veins, most of which I will not write down here for fear that they will not come true (I’m rubbish at taking my own advice), and I’m quietly confident that I’m going to go and do some pretty cool things.

(And whether or not I lose 15lbs is going to make absolutely no difference to whether or not I’m a good publicist).

Just have faith in yourself, or no one else will.