Over the last few years, it has dawned on me more than ever that eating well (and by “well”, I mean not giving into my desire to ingest every trans fat within a five-mile radius) is both costly and time-consuming. When I first started university, I had no issue trawling the aisles of Tesco and tossing a single-serving lasagne into my basket because:

  1. That shit was cheap
  2. 30 minutes in the oven while I frantically finish that essay that is due tomorrow morning? Yes. Also, amen

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Part I can be found here.

Obviously, this is late as hell but the latter part of 2014 was occupied with things of greater importance than posting holiday snaps on my blog. In fact, I had forgotten all about this until I had to get in my car and drive back to London after spending Christmas with my family Up North. Despite sporting a temperature that caused an involuntarily tightening of the sphincter, the town where my parents reside remained mercifully snow-free this Christmas and given how smooth and fast the 280+ mile drive took on the way up, I stupidly thought that I could expect more of the same on the way back.

However, 2014, as always, did its best not to make things easy. On Boxing Day, parts of the country got hit with several feet of snow and it being a Bank Holiday meant that the ploughs and the salt spreaders were somewhere tucking into turkey leftovers and us poor saps on the road were on our own. The motorways for a huge chunk of the journey had not been cleared of snow which resulted in:

  1. Three near death-experiences where I swerved, screamed and felt my bowels loosening dangerously
  2. My need to buy a gallon of screen wash to ensure that I could actually see through my windscreen
  3. 30+ mile tailbacks on the roads
  4. A five-hour journey taking nearly eight and me arriving home with frayed nerves and mild PTSD

Since then, although it has been sunny and bright, it has also been colder than a polar bear’s undercarriage and I AM TIRED OF IT.

So here are some more photos of my trip last October-November, which have me scheming on when next I can leave the country.

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This was the first photo I took after landing in Ft. Myers Beach. I look at it often to remind me that somewhere on earth, the sun is still shining.

There are more important things to write about. I know this. But to write about Mike Brown or Ferguson or Tamir Rice would be to rip out my heart and smear it all over this here blog and I just don’t have it in me to do that right now. So, because I can’t write about that, I’m going to post some pretty pictures and save my emotions for offline discussions. Maintaining my sanity is important.

I used to be scared of travelling alone. You hear horror stories about the things that befall lone travellers. But minds change and sinking my toes into hot white sand knowing that a soft pillow and a good book await me have changed my mind. Besides which, it never feels like travelling alone when you have friends wherever you seem to go.

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Friendship, New, Relationship

Glue

“Alright,” you say and because it bears repeating, you say it again, lean into it a little like it isn’t the detonator of potential heartache. “Alright.”

~

Fingertips on the back of your neck. Familiar ones that have been there before, rested against your skin and skimmed the tiniest curls of your hairline. Back then, they meant something different, were not gloved with what feels a lot like expectation. For a second you freeze and the fear blooms in your throat. Ahead of you, the pitfalls make themselves known, mock you with their numbers and their capacity for devastation. Then a thumb grazes the nape of your neck and you exhale, your relief fills the space between the two of you and in a moment, you close it completely.

~

At work, your knee bounces rhythmically against your desk. Two seats away, your boss raises an eyebrow and you press your palm against your leg to keep it still. Your mind, the one responsible for a portfolio of successful projects, the one that houses a neat row of plans for tenancy changes and house improvements and international excursions, turns itself in circles to avoid dwelling. You are not a girl who dwells. Not like this. Still, when your phone buzzes, your stomach turns a cartwheel and your knee slams the desk again. Calm down he texts and you smile in spite of yourself. You smile.

~

Because you do not know what you are doing, you subconsciously practice sabotage. Calls go unanswered, messages unread. You are sullen in his company. He knows what you are doing and deftly distracts you with conversations about far flung destinations and the things that the two of you hate. He clicks on X Factor and when you groan, he laughs and threads his fingers through yours. You feel his pulse against your wrist. It makes you blush.

~

You set up rules because since this is something you cannot plan, the least you can do is guard your stone of a heart from being completely shattered. To his credit, he makes no effort to side step them. You surprise yourself by being disappointed.

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