Thursday, 15 August 2013
While you probably think this post is a rant and ramble about London, please remember I left Sheffield at 6am and don't look set to return back in good old Yorkshire until 10pm. All this happened while wearing an agonising - yet cheap - pair of stupid heels. To put the cherry on top of the big fat cake, it is 8pm and I am still being tortured by the sheer delights of the Megabus.
I suppose the point of this blog post is to tell you wholeheartedly - don't get the Megabus! Ok - I lie - it started out being a London review but my tiredness and hunger selfishly took over this article.
Truth is the Megabus was £6 one way for which I have absolutely no right to complain. You probably shouldn't get me started on train ticket prices in this monster evening grump of mine. Although, I do at times wonder how much of my life I actually spend on the rails, let alone the bank loan I have to take out to use them regularly! Maybe I should get my own bed on board for being one dedicated customer. Actually, while were on the topic my cozy bedside lamp would blend in perfectly too.
I forget the point of this article other than to say you get what you pay for with the Megabuses. As I am indeed a poor peasant, I can't knock them. However, to all the crisp crunchers, loud phone talkers and the impolite guy sat next to me eating salted peanuts - when I for one am starving (how selfish) - please feel free to stop torturing me!
It's a good job the cool Cockney coach driver gave me a little giggle. I thoroughly enjoyed his little rampage, 'OI, you who's just skipped the front of the coach queue! Get to the back! We have a Great British tradition of not liking you queue cutters here in London!' He's on the same wave length of grumpy as me. I like him. Thumbs up to the driver!
(P.S I love London really, look at the pretty pictures I took!)
Wednesday, 31 July 2013
So this summer I will be splashing my way through mud and dirt in order to get to the front of mainstage at Creamfields. For one reason or another I am a festival first-timer! I am slightly nervous about stomping through puddles in my Hunter wellies, sleeping on the rock hard floor and having to use diabolical portaloo's. This is obviously overshadowed by my unbelievable excitement at seeing some of the worlds most spectacular dance acts. I am itching with excitement to get caught up in the atmosphere that swirls in the air and falls on you like glitter. Avicii is my obvious checklist choice, however, I will be rocking up for Duke Dumont, Sebastian Ingrosso and Annie Mac. So while pushing through endless crowds of people may be a daunting thought, I am sure I will love every moment of the electric atmosphere.
So watch this space where I will blog about my very first festival experience, which may or may not end in muddy hair, a horrific hangover and a severe case of smelling like a wet bedraggled spaniel.
Sunday, 7 July 2013
What's happened to the days where kids played on bikes, scooters and skateboards? Staring at the same mundane view out of my window for the past 10 years has changed quite significantly. Of course you got a few scraped elbows and knees, but there was nothing more exciting - and terrifying - than skidding at what felt like 100mph down a rather steep hill on my roller-blades Gone are the days where I used to kick my neon orange football in next doors perfectly planted garden every ten minutes. In are the days where kids have consoles firmly super-glued into their hands with eyeballs that resemble that off a 90's cartoon - giant swirls.
You would think that the Olympics would have driven a surge of energy throughout the younger generation – getting them up on their feet and embracing sport. Wimbledon has already started and – compared to the past – I have seen nobody outside running around with tennis rackets in their hands. Instead their fingers reach for shoot ‘em ups. You think that the amount of hour’s kid’s clock up playing on football games would spur something in them to actually look at real life football. No sir-ee I have seen none of that either!
Granted, there may be several other reasons as to why children don’t play outside – including safety. However, there aren't many kids that I see nowadays that don’t sit completely absorbed in a giant bubble of Ipods, games and Facebook, completely oblivious to the outside world. A bubble I would happily volunteer to pop. Ask them a question and you’ll get grunt of agreement that secretly implies ‘CANT YOU SEE I’M DOING SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT.’ That more important being editing their profile snaps on Instagram and asking for ‘likes’ on photographs.
I for one am guilty of using Instagram and social networking sites. Maybe it’s because I'm 22 years old and slightly more mature – something I try to convince myself in my head – but the thought of actually playing these computer sports games in a real life scenario fills them with fear. In reality, children are more likely to tweet whilst kicking a football around and afterwards upload an image of it to Facebook.
Getting off the bus from school, children no longer say, ‘Shall I meet you in half hour at the park?’ and more likely ‘Shall I meet you in half hour online?’ It’s astounding how friendships have evolved into a virtual relationship.
At the risk of sounding ancient and set in my ways writing this article, I should explain that I love technology. However, when the suns shining beautifully – like today – why not go out in the crisp fresh air and open space? When you’re watching your favourite football team, why not get your kit on and do a few kick-ups?
Oh look Andy Murrays won – I feel slightly inspired to... play a virtual game of tennis.
Sunday, 7 April 2013
YOU'VE just eaten your Christmas dinner, make a few snowmen and wrapped yourself up in layers of warm clothing... then BAM! Oh, it’s April! How did that happen? You’re now sick of stomping through slippery snow and being unable to feel your face every time you leave the house. Summer is around the corner and you wholeheartedly encourage the sun to put its hat on. So crack out the sunnies, stock up on the brochures and get saving those pennies!
If you haven’t already, now is the time to look into saying goodbye to the cloudy UK skies and say hello to the red hot sky abroad. If you are looking for a holiday, then it’s important that you don’t get ripped off paying ridiculous company fees that the major travel companies charge. There are plenty of online websites that allow you to put together dream packages well-within your budget. www.travelrepublic.co.uk and www.icelolly.com are handy little sites that enable you to choose your hotel, flight and extras separately. Pick your flight, look into your fabulous hotels facilities and CLICK... you’ll be drinking cosmopolitans on a lounger before you know it! If you are a technology fossil and prefer bobbing into the local travel agents, then the smaller organisations are the best. Less well-known companies don’t have big third party fees and so you are likely to slash a whole bucket of pennies off your bill. Just ensure that your company is reputable and ATOL protected - not some dodgy backstreet firm in a dark alleyway.
Now, I am definitely one of those people who dig out the Ray-Bans at any given opportunity. Personally, I see it as encouraging the sun to put its trilby on. Speaking of outfits, the summer approaching is definitely a good excuse for a new wardrobe. Chances are the sun will only be out for 3 days during the UK summer-time but this will not stop British from wearing next to nothing - hey, 18 degrees is good enough for us to strip down, dust the BBQ and slap on the sunscreen. Make sure you stock up on plenty of wellies for the festival season and prepare yourself for the inevitable monsoon that will most likely hit us. Denim shorts are a must for us girls (tip: customize them with lots of studs from a sewing shop and pay no more than 99p for a £20 pair of shorts), as well as plenty of sandals from Primark and oversized cardigans to cover those goose bumps when the nights turn chilly. Guys, a trilby hat can look pretty cool in the warm weather and you can’t go wrong snapping up a good pair of Ray-Bans. Plain tees and cropped chinos are perfect for a casual laid-back summer vibe. Anyway, we already have a Gok Wan, you don’t need another one...
Glastonbury, Leeds, Creamfields – there are many to choose from. Take your pick, pitch that tent and get ready to have an amazing/muddy weekend. Whether you want to see David Guetta, Arctic Monkeys or even Eminem, there is a festival peachy for you. Take plenty of wet wipes, bottled water and waterproofs. Creamfields was cancelled last year due to flooding from the monsoon that we call summer, so just ensure you have plenty of warm clothes and a sturdy tent. Avoid packing valuables or any clothing you don’t want wrecking by the gallons of mud heading your way.
BBQ’s are always a stressful experience but they don’t have to be – namely because men suddenly get a caveman ego and demand they are the lead-chef. If you can bypass this, then the sunshine, burgers and beer will create a cool summer vibe in the comfort of your own back garden. You can purchase disposable BBQ’s for as cheap as £3. You could also make a large bowl of fruit punch – alcohol optional – and get guests to bring one food item each. Now, turn up some summer smashes on the radio because today’s going to be a scorcher.
List of summer annoyances to avoid:
· Bright red lobster skin - we are British and so being sheet white is our downfall. Factor 50 is cool – because I said so. WEAR IT.
· Shirtless boys – I can hear you all screaming ‘EH?’ but bear with me. Those guys who walk down the local high-street for a pint of milk with their chest out enrage me. Unless you’re on a beach or in your back garden catching some rays, then NO. Just no.
· Cavemen BBQ chefs – I have previously touched on this but, again, what is it with men and grilling burgers on the BBQ? Any other time, they are happy to watch you cook and wash up after. However, the sunshine suddenly turns them into Gordon Ramsey – but worse.
· Creatures that fly – I want to sit and relax with a book not chase an angry wasp around the kitchen with an electronic bat. Nor, do I want a fly in my chips thanks.
Sunday, 10 March 2013
Sometimes, we forget the power of silence. Not sad silence. The silence that leaves you feeling calm and content. Content that you could just shut the door on the world for a few hours. The mad hustle and bustle of life makes you really appreciate these pure moments. Allows you to take a wider perspective of everything. The soft blue sky contrasting against the brick houses, lime-green grass wisps around the air as the water sparkles - blinded by the sun.
The point of this is that the smallest things can make you happy. Content. Sometimes life seems to whip by so fast, you feel under pressure to keep up with the pace. Be the best. Get a head start. And while I want all of those things, sometimes taking a few moments to establish peace and quiet to clear your head is all you need. Creates room for inspiration, meaning and happiness. Which - in effect - can help you get to right where you want to be.
So from now on I'm making it my ambition to read books, write, get outside, see the world and make sure one thing inspires me each and everyday.
Thursday, 17 January 2013
Rush hour on the London Underground at night and there is a young looking businessman sat engaged in his new novel that he's just downloaded to his Kindle. So is the woman at the side of you, and the woman at the other the side of you. You don't know what they are reading but that single piece of technology is enough to keep owners fully enthralled in the tales of their story. What's my point in telling you this? Well I am sat here reading a paperback book, full of crisp pages that I can flick through so wonderfully with my fingers and colourful illustrations that make me want to pull that book out of my - equally as wonderful - Ted Baker bag.
I love books - and by that I mean real paper/hardback books. They align my empty shelves wonderfully, full of truth, secrets and fantasy that I secretly wish my life was like. The point is, I don't get that same feeling with Kindles. Now, don't misunderstand me - Kindles are a fantastic development in technology that allows us to have the option to carry many books around without the weight in our bags. They also allow access to thousands of new releases within seconds - just click download and there it is at your fingertips. They really do have their perks that make peoples lives - like the businessman on the train - just that little bit easier. But maybe that is the problem; nowadays people want things now and convenience is our number one priority. There is no reason we shouldn't have that choice of ease, however, there is just something so spectacular and special about nipping into a quaint little book shop and spending time being taken in by the quirky book covers and the smell of old books that have been passed through generations. Even visiting W H Smiths, I find interesting. I tend to set up camp in there for at least half an hour, sit on the floor and flick away through the new books placed on the shelf (you don't have to sit on the floor though!).
Without books we wouldn't have libraries. Granted, they have audio, DVD and Internet sections now but it would not be a library without the paper element. My favourite book can't 'break' - unless I drop it in the bath or something - whereas kindles can. Technology can. Laid in bed at night, do families want to read stories to their children from a kindle or do they want them to interact with colours, words and imagery. If you wish to unwind at evening without the television, then Kindles will restrict your mind from switching off because it's technology based. We work with technology everyday and so, maybe, we need that bit of normality that your paperback book can provide. Laid at the side of the pool on holiday, while your sipping on your umbrella cocktail, it's beautiful to just to unwind with a book - not the Kindle that will end up lurking towards the lower depths of the swimming pool deep end.
I am not at all saying Kindles aren't fantastic for convenience, for instant access to thousands of novels. If you had the option to download a book within seconds or trek into town in the pouring rain for the latest release, you know what option you are probably going to choose. They also are so simple and sleek that you can pop them in your bag, quickly race to that seat on the Tube and pull out your Kindle.
I just don't want to see the same thing happen to our book shops, as recent failing retail businesses such as HMV and Blockbuster.
The most important thing to realise is that we live in the technology age. It is not going to change, in reality technology is going to grow, expand and revolutionise our world. So the best thing we can do is accept the changes and use it to our advantage. What I am trying to say is, though I may not feel the same connection to Kindles, you have to utilize them in terms of efficiency and ease. You can create a special connection with books and really get lost in the story at your fingertips. If that effect can be created with Kindles, then combined, they definitely have the ability to be something wonderful. Until then - I'm going to sit on the Tube with my paperback novel and feel smug that I am having a much more wonderful reading experience than the businessman sat next to me.
Inspiring quote of the day, couldn't agree more! ->
Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Two people have died - including the pilot - after a plane plunged into a newly-built tower in central London this morning.
It is thought that low visibility conditions caused the plane to crash before plunging into the rush hour traffic below.
Witnesses reported low cloud at the time of the accident, suggesting the pilot may not have seen the crane in the bad weather conditions.
The plane crashed only 20 yards from a Vauxhall station, where eye-witnesses said people were frantically screaming as firefighters attended the scene.
One witness said the helicopter was 'rocking and shaking from side to side' before plunging to the ground.
Monday, 7 January 2013
WHAT if your fork could tell you when to put the remainder of that chocolate cake down? No, I'm not talking crazy - there is actually a new technological device that now allows this to happen. Introducing the new £60 smart fork.
Now, without the risk of sounding like a cheesy advert, the new gadget that goes on sale in April flashes and vibrates if you are eating too fast. Funded by Kickstarter, the HAPIfork is designed to help you lose weight and - in some cases - reduce digestive problems and acid reflux.
The new technology sends a wireless message to the users phone app that allows them to track their nutritional information after each meal.
Andrew Carton, HAPIIabs' US President said: "Eating too fast, and not chewing long enough leads to poor digestion and poor weight control.
"Most people eat faster than they should and do not realise that eating too fast isn't a healthy behaviour, negatively affecting things like digestion and weight control."
So what do you think? If it helps kick those sugary habits then this could vastly improve peoples health. The question is, are you prepared to pay £60 for a single piece of cutlery.