Sunday, 31 July 2011


some photos by me, some by Gareth 

I spent my weekend in sunny Brighton with a man named Gareth.

I hadn't been down for almost a month and I was missing it dearly - I really needed this weekend. It was time for much relaxing, eating and laughing. We all know a trip to Brighton the day after payday is recipe for disaster, but what a beautifully decadent disaster it was.

I've been feeling super tired and generally swamped with anxieties that I can't fully recognise. I'm so over being home. Getting away - to somewhere that you love like you would a dear friend, lying in bed for hours eating takeaway pizza and drinking lattes in sunny cafes is a mind-healing remedy like no other. I didn't want to leave. I never want to leave.

Of course we had our token argument and experienced a stray drunk boy wandering into our bedroom at 1.30am on Friday night/Saturday morning ('of course' doesn't refer to the latter, of course), but apart from that it was pretty idyllic.

Monday morning can bugger off.

Friday, 29 July 2011

New music - Tyrannosaurus Dead

A quick side note: try to spell Tyrannosaurus without googling. Me neither.

I posted about music earlier in the week and people seemed to like it. So why not do it again. I thought it would be cool to do a bit of promoting other blogs/bands/businesses that I like, but might be small at the minute. I figured it would make me look like a nicer, cooler person. I jest.

Tyrannosaurus Dead (or T-dead as I prefer to call them purely for spelling reasons) are a five piece band based in Brighton/London. The bassist is Gareth's flatmate, Tom, and the singer/guitarist is Gareth's friend, Billy. They've been playing together for about a year (correct me if I'm wrong?) and have just released their first EP. Woo. I've seen them play live and they're great, if a little odd on the eyes (not in a bad way, I like that) (and I don't mean individually) (taxi for Maxwell).

Their EP is below, seriously take a listen. It's ace - or your money back. I like 1992 best, and not just because that is the year of my birth.

I'm not going to try and describe their sound because I'd probably say something stupid and that would be awkward, so I'll just leave it to you to listen.

They're playing in Brighton next weekend, why not come along.

Tyrannosaurus Dead by tyrannosaurusdead

Wednesday, 27 July 2011



So, I don't know if you remember but I went to Switzerland a couple of months ago and I totally forgot to post all my crappy pictures. There's no time like the present!

As you can see; there was scenery, food and card games.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

I'm listening to...

I listen to music a lot. Lonely car journey's with the radio on are some of my favourite times. Except when the presenters get a bit chat happy *coughchrismoyles*. The issue I have is my incessant need to milk the same couple of albums. I probably shouldn't admit this, but what the hell; in the last year and a half the only albums I have listened to from start to finish are Diana Vickers, Jessie J and of course Ellie Goulding (both Lights and Bright Lights), and boy have I listened to them. I really like female singer songwriters (pah, Vickers, who are we kidding? You don't write music).

It's time to listen to a new album or two.

I have picked Charlie Simpson, Young Pilgrim and Robyn, Body Talk.

Charlie is a primary school crush, he had me at Dawson's Geek, and his latest folk/pop/acoustic solo album is MUSIC TO MY EARS. Stupidest thing I've ever said. It's great, take a listen below.

And as for Robyn, I suppose my love of her first few singles really paved the way to my love for Ellie Goulding. And for that we are eternally greatful ('we' being Ellie and I). I think she writes some incredible melodies and her lyrics are beautifully superficial yet meaningful. How she manages that I have no idea, but it is to her eternal credit. Her latest single Call Your Girlfriend is seriously super. And look how cute she is.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Not a happy post

This is my fourth attempt.

Fourth time lucky as they say. They don't.

My throat feels like it is being used as storage for sharp knives. This may or may not have something to do with the dismal mood I find myself in. Either that or life is shit and we should all just give up and watch Jeremy Kyle all day wearing nothing but a slanket. Either way, I feel really unhappy right now.

Life sure isn't always about what makes you happy - sometimes practicalities get in the way, and that is a fact barely to have crossed my mind previously. I figured in a years time I could move to Brighton without a backward glance. I needn't worry about money or a job or my friends and family back home. Suddenly though, like a dead bird crashing down to earth, I'm worried. About it all. I want/need to go now. Whether that be to stop the worry building and eroding my mind or just to be where I want to be, doing what I want to do. However much I wish it though, it's never going to be that easy.

I'm a romantic, I'm emotional and I let my feelings overwhelm me sometimes. Nay, all the time. Just ask poor Gareth. I read somewhere that we should begin doing what we want to do now because we are not living in eternity. I thought to myself 'yes!' That sounds like an excellent plan, a plan after my own heart. But wait a minute, what? There isn't a magazine/newspaper looking for a 19 year old writer with no qualifications bar a half-arsed attempt at English Lit. A Level? AND HANG ON, there isn't a small but beautifully decorated one-bed apartment in Brighton available for little or no deposit. Shit. I didn't see that one coming.

So here is my predicament; I want to seize, but I don't know how to. I'm doing all I can to seize what I can and I suppose that really is all you can do. Maybe that's enough. But sometimes it doesn't feel like it. Sometimes I just want to be able to see my boyfriend whenever I want to see my boyfriend. And not have to schedule the time weeks in advance. I don't think that's unreasonable. But that's life, and we don't get that luxury.

"Take too many pictures. Laugh too much and love like you've never been hurt. Because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back."

Sunday, 24 July 2011

This is my favourite thing I've ever read on the internet. Read it too.

So very poorly

This weekend has been spent in bed/on the sofa/in general but major distress. (Hence lack of blogging). I didn't even manage the entirety of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets last night before having to retire, once again, coughing my guts up, to the confines of my sick bed. Woe is officially me. I haven't felt this ill since I had hepatitis, which totally freaks me out, and for once in my life the prospect of spending the day in bed doesn't fill me with a sense of complete ecstasy. No, I think I'm growing up.

And as if being poorly wasn't enough *shakes fist*, I have completely lost my appetite and sense of taste. Not cool. The book I am reading at the moment is far from inspiring and feels almost a chore to pick up. I haven't read a book that I have utterly lost myself in for quite a while and I'm feeling it's absence. A situation like this can really only be rectified by once again reading the Harry Potter series from start to finish. It's the only way to fall in love again.

I do hate to stop reading a book halfway through though. There's something intrinsically wrong about it. So I suppose today I'll attempt to finish that bloody book, with Harry once again in my sights.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Waiting on

a new camera
a better blog
the book that will change my life
marriage and babies
the job that pays me to write
Breaking Dawn
a flat of my own
not living a million miles from him
Ellie Goulding's new album
no more panic attacks
a cat
a breakfast table

photo sources: one, two, three and four

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

When Rick Stein came to town.

There is far more to working in a bookshop than your assumptions would have you believe. Within the first few months of being at the Chorleywood Bookshop I have met numerous people working in publishing. I've met an author, a journalist and a hot shot editor. I've also met Rick Stein and tasted his food. My contact list is growing and I am very thankful for the opportunities that have arisen.

Today, though, I will tell you about Rick Stein.

On Monday night the bookshop held a cooking demonstration and book signing for the lucky 250 who managed to get tickets. (Plus us staff). We put on many events throughout the year and in the autumn hold a literary festival spanning about a week.

You should know, this post will be laden with shameless plugging.

I was extremely excited to watch Rick cook, but even more so, excited to see a 3D celebrity. I love seeing celebrities. He arrived in the car park at the same time as I did (consider him sufficiently upstaged). He looked just like he does on the telly. The cooking demonstration was brilliant, he was funny and personable and super messy. You know when you're watching a cookery programme and just yearning for someone to hurry up and invent smell-o-vision; that was it, in a nutshell. He cooked and chatted in front of us and all the while we were subject to waft upon waft of delicious smells. It was kind of surreal.

After, the hoards of people queued to have Rick sign their copy of his new book. We, the staff, served and anxiously awaited finding out whether we were going to have enough books. We did, just. By the time everyone had left it was late, the food was cold, but we still got to eat it. It was yummy. Even if it was cold.

Thank you Rick Stein, you were great.

Monday, 18 July 2011


skinny jeans

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Ellie Goulding - number 3

pictures by Gareth

If you follow me on Twitter you'll know what I did last night. If you don't I'll fill you in.

I only went and saw Ellie bloody Goulding.

Similarly if you have been a follower of this blog for any period of time you'll know the big deal my viewing of Ellie is. As most of the time (every day) I only get to do it on youtube. See here, here and here for more info.

For my birthday, Father bought me tickets to Ellie's one off gig at Somerset House. A lifetime of neglect suitably made up for. (JOKING). I'd also never been to Somerset House before but always wanted to go - a double whammy of awesomeness. I met Gareth at Temple and we wandered over to the venue in a state of giggy excitement. Yes, we. Somerset House is stunning, my only grievance being that we didn't bring a picnic. They even served Pimms. It doesn't get much more Claire Maxwell than that.

I hardly need to tell you that she was brilliant because it goes without saying. But I will anyway, just for good measure. She was brilliant. She is the most wonderful performer, person, song writer, singer. Think of anything and she's the best at it. Anything. I love her. Did you know that? She had a costume change and everything and her second sparkly number was the nuts.

There were two MASSIVE men standing in front of me, drinking beer, blocking my view and irritating me beyond rationality. There were also a group of drunkards behind us making really loud whooping noises while Ellie was talking. So loud we couldn't hear her. Perhaps I take it all a bit too seriously (I don't), but I was kind of pissed off. They tainted the experience slightly.

As I mentioned on Twitter earlier in the day, it really would have been grand had it just been me and her.

But hey ho.

It was totally ace and I left smiling and dizzy with contentment. I can't wait till my next Ellie Goulding visit.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Bikini body

I'd really like a bikini body.

(The first person to tell me I have a bikini body gets a smack in the crotch.)

I'm talking Jessica Alba. Here's one for the lads.

I figure it takes exercise. 

Here is a low down of my daily exercise routine: 

Wake, shower, turn stereo on, dry self through medium of dance, namely Jessie J tunes (best track to dry quickly to: Nobody's Perfect), throughout day when compulsion to wash hands arises (often); wash in upstairs bathroom and tackle stairs in brisk jog. When walking to car on way to work in morning, walk as if have somewhere very important to be. 

I'm well on my way to above picture, correct?

No, but seriously, how do people have the time to exercise? Or the compulsion? Surely anything more strenuous than the walk from Topshop to Urban Outfitters could only be described as torturous. Tell me how you do it please. I would really appreciate it. 

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Last night was ace

Please ignore my scary eyes. Becca's trousers are from Amazon if you're interested.

Last night was pretty much perfection. Becca, Dani, Emily, Mark (who we passed in the car and decided to tag along the loser) and I went for drinks and to the cinema. I drove, it was the most amount of people my little Fiesta had ever had to transport and she did me proud. We got the entire way and back with the petrol light on. That is commitment to a cause. 

Everyone drank exciting cocktails with exotic names while I treated myself to an orange and passionfruit J2O. We left them a tip of 2 euros. 

And then we watched Bridesmaids. And every single person in the cinema peed a little bit. 

I don't have much to say about it, I couldn't do it justice. You know when someone says to you 'this hilarious thing happened to me today', and then they tell you about it and it's not funny. It would be like that. Awkward. It was the best film I have ever seen and I am already planning my next few trips to see it in the next few weeks. The main actress in it is genius, utter genius. The drunk scene in the aeroplane is... well... hahahahahahahahahaha, the end. I won't ruin it for you. 

Amazing. Watch it. 

Please, if there is one thing you do in this world make that thing watching this film.

You won't regret it. 

I'm still laughing.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Be nice, this is honesty.

This is going to be one of the most honest posts that I have ever written. One I will certainly regret in the next hour or so. Enjoy.

I don't know how to do relationships. I don't know how I'm supposed to act or what I'm supposed to say. Whether I'm supposed to admit everything that's going on in my head or just a fraction of it. I don't know how to do love. What the fuck even is love? An emotion formed by Hollywood movies and Chick-Lit, or more than that? Something incomprehensible. Something even the most talented of wordsmiths could not legibly put on a page. I don't know. I know I'm in love. And I suppose that's all I need to know for now.

Between the ages of 15 and 16 I managed to get myself into a never ending cycle of distrust and hurt. I was much too young to know, even slightly, how to deal with it. I look back on it and feel physically ill. I hate myself for being so ignorant and naive, but not nearly as much as I hate him.

The relationship ended at the beginning of my illness, and so for a year or so following, my contact with the opposite sex was minimal. Once I got to the age of 18 I was more mature, in multiple ways, than many of my peers. Just not in love. I exude confident in everything I do, so naturally you would assume I'd know what I was doing. I assumed similarly to an extent also.

I was cheated on many times by a boy I didn't even like that much but was too scared to leave. I realise many of you will have gone through similar things. Perhaps you are more resilient than me. He wasn't a very nice person and he wasn't attractive. Yet I wasn't good enough for him. He needed other girls. Many, many other girls. The message I've taken with me, as my parting gift, is that I'm not enough. I'm not pretty enough, or slim enough or funny enough. Why else would he need all those other girls whilst he was supposed to be with me?

I am now in a relationship with a boy I love more than anything in the world. He is kind and funny and pretty hot too. He has never done anything to make me doubt him but my own insecurities make me nervous. He's too good for me. Surely.

And so this brings us in a full circle. I don't know how to do relationships. It's not fair of me to be insecure and irritating when he's pretty much perfect. And yet I can't help it. I can't help but dread the day when someone better comes along. Someone prettier and funnier than me. Who doesn't have OCD.

When I woke up this morning to Gareth's tweets about a girl trying to get him to cheat on me I just cried. I hate that girl. I hate her for trying to take my happiness away from me. It's not a reflection on him, it's a reflection of my unavoidable fear. I don't want to share him.

I'm totally going to regret writing this.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

My Guardian attempt.

I just sent this (below) to the Guardian in an attempt to win one of only 4 reader slots on an upcoming article. This: 

You may as well read it here as it is fairly unlikely that you will be reading my name in the print in the near future. 

On first sight of the Melanie-Stark-no-makeup debacle I confess, I was far from dismayed. Harrods, in it's essence, is a place of pleasing aesthetics; why would they not expect their staff to dress accordingly? There can be no denying the growing spread of superficiality in the world, but for a business to reach the clientele it is aiming to attract, who are we to argue with their means? Perhaps I am too accepting of our unfortunate fate. As a female of the 21st century, living in the UK, I admit I do not feel comfortable leaving the house without a layer of mascara and a smear of eyeliner. It doesn't matter how late I am for work, my makeup must be attended to. I don't feel burdened, in fact I feel slightly smug that we have one up on the men, who have no choice (with some exceptions) but to leave the house exactly at they left their bed that morning. With PMT and child birth, makeup is surely our consolation prize. It is, of course, another matter entirely should a woman not wish to wear makeup. In their own time they should be able to look and feel exactly as they please, without fear of comment or judgement. But in an employment situation, is being asked to wear makeup for the sake of the business any different to being asked to wear smart shoes? 

I tried to go for the I'm-a-bit-of-a-bitch-face-angle. 

Did it work?

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Tales from the M23

I'll tell you what's annoying.

Let me set the scene for you a minute.

I was driving down the M23 earlier tonight, minding my own business, possibly belting out a bit of Adele, when I decided to overtake the car in front of me. It was going about 60, I wanted to go a little faster, so I pulled out into the right hand lane and did my business (not a euphemism). Nothing wrong with that. In fact the precision with which it was executed really should be worthy of some kind of award. But we shan't dwell on that. The car I overtook, however, was filled with boys literally hanging from the windows. Why I thought it a good idea to draw their attention to me and my little blue Fiesta I have no idea. They decided to initiate a game. I mean, why wouldn't they? I am young and do not have a penis. It went something like this; I overtake them, then they overtake me, hanging further still from the windows, grinning and waving at me, signalling me to continue with our new little car-dance.

I did not oblige. I merely shook my head as if to say; 'oh, you are simply impossible' and sped up past them.

I am often on the receiving end of excitable boyishness. It's pretty annoying.

The traffic the rest of the way was rubbish. But there was the most beautiful sunset and a big bag of salt and vinegar crisps to keep me occupied. Happy Sunday.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Scenes from our day

Pizzas, beers, iced coffee, cake, reading on the beach, sunburn, and being pretentious f'king w**kers.