Friday, 14 December 2012

"Sometimes it's hard to walk in a single girl's shoes, that's why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun" - Carrie Bradshaw

Within the Broadcast Journalism course that I do at University, we have something called a Newsday. It basically gives us the chance to run round like headless chickens in our newsroom for one day a week providing radio news bulletins on the hour every hour. It can be incredibly demanding and stressful but also rewarding and I can safely say they are the best part of my week.

I worked 3 jobs over the summer holidays and spent most of my wages on smart dresses, trousers, tops, skirts and shoes to wear for these Newsday’s. We are encouraged to perform in a way that we would in a real newsroom, so being relatively smartly dressed is something that they ask.

Now, as I bought some pretty beautiful shoes with my hard earned wages, I feel they all deserve regular outings, and totter out of my flat in a selected pair in the assorted range of 4 inch heels every week – and always live to regret it. By the end of the day, I am not thinking about my feedback, the diaries I need to log when I get home or the food that I desperately need to eat. No. I am thinking about my poor, painful feet.

You see, these heels may make me feel pretty ‘Carrie Bradshaw – here to save the world one outfit and article at a time’, but by around lunchtime, all I want to do is slip my tootsy’s into a fluffy pair of slippers or ballerina flats.

Do I ever learn?

Men may carelessly say that we should “Take them off for a bit!” but any stiletto wearing woman out there knows that putting them back on again is just more painful than before! It’s best to suffer the original pain than endure sore soles and excruciating agony to put them back on again – that’s real stamina guys!

I can see from my disfigured feet that flat’s, well; they would be the more sensible option. Comfortable, less of a tripping hazard, time saving and sturdy (if you ever need to run after an interviewee down the road), but to me they just don’t have the same appeal. You don’t ever hear someone say “Ooh look at her plain black ballerina flat shoes, aren’t they gorgeous?”

On an everyday basis, I don’t like anything more than slipping my feet into a nice sweet pair of flats, but why order a Steak and Chips and then pass on the onion rings?

If you’re going to do something, do it properly. Don’t be half-arsed about it.

I will get to my point eventually.

What started this was when I started thinking about that point after breaking up with someone when you decide whether you can give it another go, or you’re just going to be friends. Whether you should just end the car crash relationship right there or see if there’s still something to hold onto.

Making this decision is like deciding whether to wear heels or flats.

Yes, the flats will be better for you in the long run. You won’t be in pain and it also means you can do so many more things than if you were balanced on 4 inch spikes. However, they just won’t feel as good as a pair of heels; that feeling of sheer happiness, confidence and fabulousness when you slip on a pair of heels. And even though you know it is going to hurt eventually, you still wear them over and over again.

I know from experience. The rush to say “live for the moment” can lead to us getting hurt again and again just because of the short-term aspects. Wearing your heels again and again within short period of time just leads to the heels no longer being bearable at all, yet we do it to ourselves anyway.

It’s the same in life as well, we may decide to play it safe, stay comfortable and protect ourselves from getting hurt or go all out for the sense of sheer happiness without thinking of the inevitable fall from grace. Wearing the flats just isn’t as appealing – is it better to have incredible happiness for moment than never at all?

So, what do you choose?

From this day forward, I will no longer choose heels but will not settle for flats either. I choose to go barefoot.

We can sometime be so busy running around in our heels or flats to really know where we are and what we are doing. We don’t see what we are walking all over never mind feel it. We lose all sensitivity to the world under our feet by disengaging ourselves with pointless things.

Does anybody else love the feel of sand under your feet on the beach when you slip off your shoes for the first time? That’s what I’m going for here. For us all to be a little more grounded, stripped back without the unnecessary. To not worry about the things we can’t control and savour the things that we can.

For there is no better accessory to an outfit than yourself, free of straps that hold you down and pain that you believe is inevitable by letting someone see the real you. You are yourself, and there is no one else quite as brilliant as you.

And no one will ever get you in a 50% off sale.

Live. Laugh. Love

(P.S I won't actually be walking around barefoot, and neither should you... It's cold outside!)

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


I read something on Twitter the other day that made me re-evaluate my whole dating history. Granted, a lot of my dating history… okay ALL of my dating history has been a complete comedy show and shambles, but for once I realised that I was probably making making more of a meal of things than completely necessary. Now I consider myself to be a pretty together kind of person, albeit kind of an emotional mess for the past six months (crying at the six o'clock news and such like). But this statement genuinely shocked me – “It takes half the amount of time you dated someone to get over them”.

If this statement is indeed true, it just makes me wonder what the hell I have been playing around at for the past two years. My longest relationship for the most part is two months. That only gave me a month at the most to cry into my ice cream and watch “He’s Just Not That Into You” over and over and over again. Not that I’ve ever done that. Ever.

I must admit that I find the whole concept of 'getting over someone' slightly strange anyway. The whole term ‘getting over’ is slightly misleading. I mean you ‘get over’ a fence. You don’t need to climb over your ex-boyfriend. Or maybe you do, if they are refusing to let you leave because “WE CAN WORK THIS OUT!”. No. No we can’t Actor Boy. You cheated on me twice and your need to constantly take your shirt off in public is slightly weird.

Boys and girls react very differently to break-ups. In my experience it’s the girls that become the messes to begin with. We cry, lash out and tend to eat our feelings at the start, but then we generally tend to see sense a few weeks later when we realise how much money we will be saving to spend on ourselves. That’s not to say we don’t drink to much and end up accidentally spilling our feelings out and regretting it the next day or thinking it’s a brilliant idea to text them at 3am with something that can’t even be understood. But, Girls we do it well. We have our friends around us to remind us just how ugly he was, shopping trips to make us feel better and ice cream to numb the pain. A few months down the line it’s “Australia Boy who?”.

Whereas boys, they are complicated creatures. They tend to go all out and enjoy the newfound ‘freedom’ and display how much of a good time they are having without you being there to reassure them that “You know, your nose isn’t that weird. It probably won't stop you getting a job in advertising”. However, it seems to hit them a lot later than it does us girls. Six months down the line they seem to think it is okay to ring you on a withheld number to tell you that they miss you whilst crying down the phone, when all you want to do is finish watching TOWIE.
A year on they think its okay to drag you away from your friends to tell you that all they want is to be back with you and that girl they got with two days after you broke up was just because they were angry because it couldn’t work out between you two because he was moving to Australia. It has nothing to do with the fact she is a glamour model and absolutely stunning does it? Alright mate, pull the other one.

Girls, we accept that it is a lengthy process of belting out Adele songs, breaking down in inappropriate places and re-tweeting meaningful quotes. Guys: they just don’t know how to deal with it until they see you with someone fitter, nicer and funnier and realise we are so much happier without them.  So, who cares if it takes you three months to get over a two month relationship? It’s just proof of what is the main difference between boys and girls and that is that we finish a job properly.

So, today I sat here and worked out, by looking through old diary’s, all the dates that I should have been over past exes. Then I got to the most recent ex, and I realised that it was today. Today is the day where I should have deleted the messages, put away all the things that remind me of him, deleted all the photos, given back his things, accepted the memories for what they are – and most of all – realised he is not worthy of my time, effort or tears.

Today’s the day Twitter says that I am over him. And for once I couldn’t agree more.

Live. Laugh. Love.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

When did we become Mean Girls?

We have a lot to thank social networking for; bringing us together, keeping us in touch and teaching us things about the world, other cultures and societies we may not have known about without it. Mainly though, I think the thing we need to appreciate most is the fact it has given every single one of us a platform in which to express ourselves and it has made it so much easier to let important issues be aired and shared with the world.

Of course, good and bad comes out of everything, and social media to me seems to be losing its sparkle and descending into quite a gloomy place none of us ticked a box for when we signed up for our Facebook accounts. It’s the platform element that is what has burst that once fun water balloon and it has left us all pretty annoyed and soggy. It would be easy to plainly comment on the so called “trolling” phenomenon that has swept social networking sights, but even as horrific as it is and despite it being the main reason that social networking is losing its appeal, I want to talk about the people who aren’t anonymous.

I was scrolling down my newsfeed on Facebook today when I saw a girl that I went to school with informing us all on yet another of her social opinions. I suppose I am a hypocrite when I say I find her unbelievably annoying, because if anyone else complained about someone on their newsfeed I would tell them point blank to delete them. To me if you don’t like someone’s opinion on Facebook, don’t cause a petty argument, simply remove him or her from your friends list and get on with your life. But what stopped me from deleting her when I detoxed my Facebook friends list last month, deleting two hundred people that I had never even considered friends, was actually in fact these outrageous opinions that she broadcasts to her one thousand plus friends every few hours. No exaggeration. They are frankly fascinating and I really wonder how on earth she reaches these conclusions.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, beliefs, moral codes and views. But that’s just what it is, their own. I’m all for free speech and sticking up for what you believe in, just don’t go sticking it down my throat.  Even if you do decide to air your views to a mass of public because you want their ‘likes’ as reassurance, make sure what you write isn’t completely na├»ve, misinformed, small minded and deluded. Maybe its because I am doing a Journalism degree that constantly informs us of this, but if you have something to say, make sure you can back it up.

Probably the reason I am finally writing this is because waking up to this particular status update made me want to hit her round the head with 80 years of feminism. We are our own worst nightmare at times, girls. It’s true, we would rule the world if we could all get on.

So maybe you want to know what she said that actually got me this riled up? What could possibly get me so angry that I would finally fire up my Word processor for the first time since finishing University for the summer? Well, it was “Bum shorts”.

For anyone in the dark about what “Bum shorts” are, they are a relatively new item of fashion that I simply don’t have the legs for. “Bum shorts” bring a new meaning to the song “I like short shorts”. Basically, they are shorts that mean a little bit of your bum is out. You know that little bit where your leg joins – the bit that you either have or you don’t. Well, to be honest, whilst I will never wear them - as the UV glow from white legs would blind people - I think they’re really cool. As my Mum says “If you’ve got it, flaunt it”. One of my friends looks really good in them and like any item of clothing, if you’ve got the confidence to wear it, I think you should go for it. It’s how YOU feel in them that is the main thing.

The girl annoyed me by saying that any girl who wore “Bum shorts” should expect to be called a “Slag”. Taking this totally out of context here, but is this being extended to everyone? Even Ann Widdecombe? Would it be justified to say that she slept around just because she decided to choose an item of clothing that showed off what great legs she could have hiding under her trouser suits? Firstly, whose business is it whoever someone decides to sleep with (cheating is a whole different ball game, don’t throw that one in there) and also, last time I checked we weren’t in the 1920s anymore. Woman now have freedoms as much as men do to dress as they like, without being outcast from society for it – or labelled because of their choice of skin exposure.

On a more serious note, neither does any woman deserve to be assumed to be “up for it” just because of what she chooses to wear. The fact that anyone could justify a sexual assault because of how a woman chose to dress, actually sickens me and should disgust anyone. Of course, if you choose to flaunt what your mamma gave you, looks from men are to be expected and we all like the appreciative double-take once in a while, don’t we girls? But that’s where it stops. Men in night clubs seem to assume that putting their hand up a girls skirt that they don’t know is perfectly acceptable, why is that? At the end of the day, it’s sexual assault.

My Mum once went on a night out, and ended up in a nightclub with a load of her friends, talking to some men that she didn’t know – she is great at banter. My Mum is married, so she wasn’t looking for any man to grow old with. However, a disgusting middle-aged man decided he needed somewhere to rest his hand. This place turned out to be my Mothers bum. Like-mother like-daughter, straight away she asked him what the hell he thought he was doing. To which he replied “You’re a bit touchy, love!”… And my babe of a Mother came out with “I think you’re the one whose a bit touchy, mate!”. I can vouch for the fact my Mum looked unbelievably stunning that night, but no matter how she looked and what she was wearing, why did that jerk think that was an okay thing to do?

I am not going off on a completely irrelevant tangent here. I need to ask you girls something; Don’t you think our off-the-cuff derogatory comments about the members of the same sex, play a little bit of a part in the fact men think this is okay? How do we expect men to treat us with respect, if we simply don’t offer that respect to the girls around us?

Why should we expect to be assumed a “slag” because of the way we dress or dance in a nightclub? Surely it’s sisterhood. We all know what its like to get ready for a night out when we don’t feel particularly good about ourselves then have comments made about your dress, as you walk past, made by girls who think they're whispering in the toilets or just because you are hilariously acting out a Nicki Minaj song in the middle of a dance floor with one of your guy best mates, to be labelled a “slut”. If we all know what it’s like, why do we keep on doing it?

What I think we all need to do is get along like we used to in middle school... I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy…. Okay, sorry, this is not Mean Girls.

I don’t think we all realise that this is not going to get any better if we don’t finally figure out that we are in this together. This assault course called life. We still live in a male dominated world. Not only that, but most of the time they are pitting us girls up against each other. Decades after equality laws were passed, women in this country are still being paid less than men for the same work. It may not be obvious discrimination – it has become so much more clever now – but it is wrong all the same, and we need to stand up for ourselves. I’m not wanting people to think I am a bitter feminist who wants everyone to burn they’re bras. I am the first to admit that I have used my cleavage a few times to get what I want in restaurants and there is nothing wrong with having a bit of “Get back in the kitchen” banter. I’m also not here to judge your life choices. You can have your husband’s dinner on the table for him when he walks through the door every night, that’s your business – that’s no longer what feminism is about. What I am talking about is being treated equally, and for it to not be expected that a derogatory comment get thrown at you just because you’re wearing “Bum shorts”.

I am also not saying that you should become a feminist, I am not here to brainwash you. Social networking has made peoples opinions and lives into a business. However a persons Facebook profile doesn’t enable us to see someone’s thoughts, feelings and demons. I believe that no one has the right to judge anyone, as you have no idea fully of what has happened to them in their life, how they feel and their thought process – only they know that. So spare yourself a wasted status that makes someone feel self-conscious, embarrassed or lowers their self-esteem. What are you doing it for anyway?

We are all trying to get to the other side of this life without too many cuts and bruises, so maybe us girls could help each other out. Who’s with me?

Live. Laugh. Love.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Break-Up Behaviour

So you’ve just broken up with that boy you thought was ‘different’. That boy that didn’t make you sick in your mouth when he asked you to go on holiday with him. That boy that you could see more than two months with. That boy that you wouldn’t laugh at for a whole hour because he fell down the steps in a shopping centre (when that happened with Actor Boy, he fell out with me for a whole day). That boy that you actually deemed good enough to give the final cream egg to out of the 6 pack.

Yeah, it really sucks doesn’t it. I’ve only had one of these kinds of break-ups but I’ve also had plenty that have hurt pretty damn bad. Whether I’ve been cheated on, been lied too, or they are simply moving to another country (twice this has happened) I have a set of things I know that I will end up doing: things that have become pretty acceptable under the heading “Break-up Behaviour”. So, I’m here to offer you a lifetime of knowledge. I'm going to shed some light on the living conditions of a broken hearted girl; what you are allowed to do, what you should do, what you really shouldn’t do but probably will, and what will get you arrested.

One of my immediate reactions to a break-up is to eat; similar to many other reactions I have in life. I know there are some people who don’t eat because they are upset but this couldn’t be more different for me. I am a firm believer in the fact that if you are upset you need to surround yourself with the things you like most in life. But being the skint student that I am, that no longer means a new dress or bag, rather a half box of left over cookies or a jar of Nutella and a spoon. You are allowed to indulge yourself in anyway you see fit because its one of those times in life you don’t have to feel guilty about it. You have been well and truly screwed over and your Mum buying you Grazia Magazine, an Easter egg and a scratch card for your broken hearted journey on the train is a perfect cure.

You are also allowed to cry. You may be one of those people who think this shows vulnerability or lack of strength, but there is only so much hitting of walls you can do before you need to find a less dangerous and arthritis inducing way of getting your emotions out. If you feel a lump in the back of your throat, yet don’t seem to be able to cry, you should definitely invest in The Notebook (everyone who has ever seen that film will be nodding right now).

Sitting around on my bum for the first few days is something I allow myself (I will let you have a week depending on if you got broken up with by post-it or not) because that entire tin of Quality Streets that you scoff during that time doesn’t matter in the next stage of the Break-up phase – getting physical. At this point you will just feel down right angry so there really is no better time than now to start exercising; particularly a punching and kicking focused exercise class. Rather than actually assaulting your ex or his new ‘full-time model’ girlfriend (according to Facebook), imagining their faces when doing roundhouse kicks and right hand hooks feels incredible. Plus we all know about the Endorphins that are released due to exercise, which means you are definitely going to feel better afterwards. However maybe not the next day when you can’t bend your legs enough to walk down the stairs.

Another thing you should do is put the stuff that reminds you of him into a box and into the back of your wardrobe. I for one have quite a large box of stuff filled with necklaces I didn’t like, photos, letters, theatre tickets, a glass from a pub, and other things that weren’t accidentally stolen. It’s incredibly therapeutic. Firstly it gets the things out of the way whilst you are angry and don’t want to think about him and secondly, when you are ready to look through the box you can remember the good things for what they then are; memories.

One more thing – and perhaps the most important that we all know we should do, which is deleting his number!

That brings me very nicely onto the section “What you shouldn’t do but probably will” and that is texting him or ringing him or thanks to Mark Zuckerburg; Facebooking him when intoxicated. If I was on the board of Dragons Den and an entrepreneur came in with his idea of creating a product that detected when you were about to send a drunk text along the lines of “L smiss yooo”, I would definitely be the first to invest. Even though in your inebriated state it may seem the most genius idea you’ve ever had to leave him a voicemail at 3am about how much you are happy for him and his new girlfriend whilst sobbing, it is not something that will be a nice surprise to see on your call history in the morning.

You may feel weak admitting it, but it’s tough getting used to them not being around in the way they used to be, and it’s weird not associating them with that feeling of butterflies in your stomach anymore.  Knowing that they remain as a few funny photos, a selection of cinema ticket stubs and pair of socks they left at your flat can be really hard and no one should underestimate how crappy it makes you feel. These things I’ve mentioned are what we all know but don't feel ready for. This is because on most occasions all we want is to go back to sitting across from him in Costa Coffee with him telling you he has never felt for anyone the way he feels about you.

Time for some tough love. Those times aren’t coming back. As much as the films we watch and literature we read make us believe they can, most of the time they never will. If someone wants to be with you, they will be and they will do whatever they can –within the law, hopefully - to make that possible. Cheaters, liars and downright jerks don’t deserve you, and you shouldn’t let them be in your life if they cause you to be anything less than happy.

You may lose your faith in humanity and you may be hatin’ on men for while, but it doesn’t feel that way forever. Don’t dwell on it, and don’t spend hours going over what went wrong over and over again in your head. What’s done is done. Life goes on. There are so many things to be happy about in life – things that don’t involve a boy who doesn’t appreciate how amazing you actually are.

My last break-up, Chef Boy, was the hardest. It was for reasons out of our control that we broke up, not because he was a jerk, lied to me or cheated on me. Life happened and we couldn’t keep up with it. So unfortunately he won’t be subject to any man bashing.

So girls, and boys because I know that us girls can be jerks too, I am going to give you the best advice I can and that is to remind yourself how lucky you are every single day for the things you may not even notice. It’s incredible how much better it makes you feel.

Live. Laugh. Love.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Three definitely isn't a lucky number

It has been a long time since I have been on a first date. To be completely frank, they scare the bejesus out of me. The last one I actually went on was with Australia Boy and I nearly killed us both in my car, got stuck in the toilet cubicle and for some reason got trapped between my seat and the table. You’d call that less than a successful date before I even include my terrible conversational skills.

I honestly don’t know what happens to me; I am someone who is able to talk for a whole hour with a stranger on a train and find out someone’s whole life story whilst stood in a toilet queue. However, when faced with someone that I have by some kind of miracle been asked out by, my brain turns to mush.

With all my strength I try to avoid date situations in general. My fear for them has got so bad that two months ago I turned down a date with a really gorgeous rugby player just because he wanted to take me to the cinema. Now you might think the cinema is a safer place for someone with my track record but you’re wrong. You see the movie theatre environment leaves me wide open for many embarrassing and downright awkward situations to arise. I can remember when I went on a date with Actor Boy to see Fast & Furious 4, and because I couldn’t hear what he had said I just laughed. He told me about a month later that he had actually asked me to be his girlfriend. I did wonder why his face dropped and he took his hand from mine.

There is also the possibility of going to the toilet mid-film (when I am nervous I tend to drink a lot of water) and sitting down next to the wrong boy. Yes, this has also happened to me. When I eventually got back to my actual seat and he said that he wondered where I had got to, instead of telling him the truth I decided to tell him that I had been to an Indian Restaurant for lunch. I hadn’t.

Luckily, I am a catastrophic flirt. I mean Ross from Friends is considered better than me. So I didn’t really have to worry about first date humiliation, as I was never getting there in the first place. Well, that’s what I thought.

Something has happened, I have no idea what, but somehow I have managed to get myself, not one, not two, but THREE dates. Three first dates. Please excuse me whilst I go down a whole bottle of Vodka.

All three have also asked me what I would like to do on the date. To be truly honest, if it was acceptable I would like to eat Tiramisu and watch ‘New Girl’. However, I have come to realise that is something I should do on my own because at least once or twice in the show I find myself either spitting out the pudding with laughter or crying. Even by my standards these are a first date killer.

But New Year, new outlook (Happy New Year you beautiful people), and I’m determined not to cancel on any of them just because of my irrational fear. It is on my list of New Year’s Resolutions, so I can’t break it less than 5 days in. So I’m going to suck it up and pretend that I am Gisele Bundchen (she seems like she would be good on first dates).

I am not trying or indeed am being a player; I don’t have time for that and a degree. Also can you just imagine having to remember three boys names? I used to struggle remembering Australia Boy’s name, and it was the same as my brothers. I just thought I would leave my options open, as I have never had options before.

So I have set myself some rules that have been expertly acquired from reliable sources such as Google, that I will apply to each date.

1. Don’t run away.

2. At no point think “Oh this would make a good blog”.

3. Don’t mention ‘Poo’ at any moment even if it would be funny.

4. Carry a compact mirror in my handbag so that when I meet them I don’t have mascara spread across my face.

5. Wear pants that don’t give me wedgies every two minutes.

6. Calm down my facial expressions.

7. Don’t wear high heels (Way too many possibilities of making a fool out of myself).

8. Don’t talk about my blog. At all.

9. Don't mention that in my spare time I like to watch people falling over on Youtube.

In all honesty after the whole mess with Australia Boy I lost all faith in boys. It really does say something when the people going for lie detector results on Jeremy Kyle have better relationships than you do.

I have decided it’s time now though. I never do things by halves and I do wonder how I get myself into these situations. But my twisted logic tells me that least one out of the three dates should be successful, shouldn’t it?

I will be back soon to let you know how they went… or didn’t. I never promised you I could pull it off!