LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11:  Commuters wait to board a tube train in Clapham Common station on one of the few London Underground services operating through the RMT Union's tube strike on June 11, 2009 in London, England. A 48 hour strike began at 7pm on Tuesday after discussions over pay and working conditions between London Underground bosses and the RMT Union failed to reach a conclusion.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

The 10 Unwritten Rules Of Surviving London Transport During Rush Hour

The sweaty commute to and from work is probably the worst thing about living/working in London and if it’s not the shitty service that will make you want to shove your head in a blender, it’s your fellow passengers thrusting their mucky free newspapers in your face and giving their tired bags a seat whilst you fight for hand space on a grubby rail.

old woman boxing

1 – One of the first things they teach you in boxing is keep your stance strong, your head down and your guard up, apply these same rules when approaching any form of London public transport and you can’t go far wrong.

2 – Leave your manners on the platform. Once that tube door opens run like a mother trucker and you might just bag prime standing space by the door where you can feel the delightfully grotty stale air whipping your ears. Rush hour really isn’t the time to be playing Billy Nice Guy and letting everyone else on before you, nuh uh honey.

3 – If you’re sitting in one of the seats at the end of a row there’s a 99.9% chance a pregnant woman will get on at the next stop and you’ll need to give your seat up. Everyone around you will pretend she doesn’t exist so don’t be a dickhead, let her sit down. Also, offer your seat to women in dangerously high heels, trust me, they need it more than you.

4 – Don’t be a backpack wanker. If you have a bag, take it off and put it between your legs. Personal space is already limited and wearing it on your back is the equivalent of sneezing during the Black Plague.

5 – It’s OK to hate tourists who don’t know to use their Oyster cards when you’re in a hurry and need to top up and there’s a million of them huddled around the machines trying to tap into Narnia, TFL should NEVER have got rid of the ticket offices.

6 – Don’t wait for the barriers to close before beeping your Oyster on the reader. Keep it moving people, orange means go go go!

7 – People who hog an entire with their backs are an enemy to us all and deserve to be poked and prodded as you fight for something to hold on to to avoid surfing all over the Northern Line.

8 – Everyone hates pushchairs and massive suitcases at the best of times but those fold-up seats were made for them so if you’re sitting there, move.

9 – There’s always that one person who tries to be all 007 and jump through the doors just before they’re about to close resulting in them getting their bag caught. It’s OK to laugh at them but give them a hand at yanking their bag free as you do so.

10 – Conversations with strangers are limited to after 9pm and only if one or both of you are drunk. You can share the odd tut or eye roll if there’s a delay or you’re suck in a tunnel but other than that, be British and keep yourself to yourself.

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Aside

30 Awesome Things To Do Before You’re 30

I turn 28 in July and can’t seem to shake off that feeling that as unmarried woman with no kids I’m going to slowly start growing patches of mould like old bread and start thinking farts are disgusting and not funny because that’s what thirty year old woman do, right? Bruh, farts will always be funny. I don’t want to live in a world where farts aren’t funny.

shit's getting real

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who had been going through a bad time and his sister had put together a list of 30 things to check off and it really made me think about my own life goals as 30 feels like such a huge milestone, especially as a woman. I live alone, I can cook a meal from scratch that tastes so good you’d want to slap your mother and I’ve travelled all over the world as well as knowing London like the back of my hand and regularly indulging in the quirky culture of my beautiful city. Being all kinds of open minded and adventurous I’ve done quite a lot of awesome things but before I develop a taste for soya milk and ditch my Danger Mouse pants there’s still a tonne of cool shit I still need to do.

1 – Climb Ben Nevis. I’m planning to climb Ben Nevis before the summer is out! It’s been up there on my list of things to do for a good few years but I’ve just never got around to it as Scotland is so bloody far!

church of bones prague2 – Visit the The Church of Bones (Sedlac Ossuary) in Prague. I have visited Prague many times for work and in August two of my lovely friends who live there are getting married so I’m going to sneak away for the afternoon and visit the Church of Bones. It looks so beautiful, if a little fucked up but I guess that’s the kinda stuff I like.

3 – Do mushrooms in Amsterdam. I’ve been to Amsterdam many times, I even had a Christmas work do there which was awesome and whilst I’ve indulged in a few of the ‘local delicacies’ *ahem* I’ve never done anything as hardcore as mushrooms and whilst I’m hesitant about not being fully in control of my body I want to meet a few leprechauns and mushrooms are natural. Kinda.

fat girl running4 – Run a half marathon. It’s more of the discipline of training to run a marathon that appeals to me rather than the actual running itself. Running is pretty shit and I hate it but if I have something to aim for I get tunnel vision and don’t stop until I’ve reached that goal. Luckily, one of my good friends is keen to help me and we’re going for our first run tomorrow!

5 – Skydive abroad. I’ve already done a tandem skydive and whilst it was an awesome experience, I did it over some British countryside which didn’t provide the best view plus it was a bit cloudy. I want to do another skydive where I have an awesome view and am drenched in sunshine.

6 – Do more volunteering/charity work. I’ve been involved with a homeless shelter and more recently I was a volunteer counsellor at a well known prison and I absolutely loved the experience of selflessly helping other people who really need it.

beyonce mona lisa7 – See the Mona Lisa and Catacombs in Paris. I’ve wanted to go to Paris for the longest time but it’s never quite happened and I’m absolutely dying to see the Mona Lisa and eat the macaroons they sell in McDonald’s! There really is no excuse what with the Eurostar making Paris so cheap and accessible…

8 – Sleep under the Northern Lights in a glass igloo. I love to watch the stars, I have a skylight right above my bed and I gaze at them every night before I drift off to sleep. The Northern Lights are visible on roughly 200 nights a year in Lapland, I could ever see Santa whilst I’m there and tell him not to believe everything he hears. LOL.

9 – Visit Thailand and train in a Thai boxing camp for a fortnight. I trained in Muay Thai for around 2 years and really enjoyed it. I was fit, healthy and felt confident in able to protect myself should any bitches not bow down but most importantly I was so focused it made me improve other areas of my life. I trained in a shady backstreet gym in Peckham and whilst I feel I was taught well I can only imagine the knowledge I could gain from the fighters in Thailand.

ducati monster

10 – Pass my Direct Access motorbike test. I’ve been into bikes pretty much my whole life, my dad has had a bike from as long as I can remember and I was always on the back! I had a little dirt bike at the tender age of 6 which fuelled my passion for 2 wheels leading to me having two 125’s when I was 23. Unfortunately I moved house and life got in the way but I would love to get my full bike license, I have my heart set on a KTM Duke or a Ducati Monster. There’s no words to describe the feeling of being on a fast bike on a hot day, it’s almost addictive. Also, I met so many awesome people through biking the first time round and I really fucking miss them.

computer nerd11 – Study to gain a new skill. I’m very keen to study social care and it’s definitely something I shall be doing in the very near future. My local college has a variety of night classes or I could do an Open University course but I have a good feeling I wouldn’t actually do anything and just piss around all day if I was left to my own devices. Hmmm.

12 – Fire a powerful gun on a shooting range. A few friends have just come back from Vegas and they went to a shooting range and it looked all kinds of awesome! Plus, I’m going to need basic skills for the zombie apocalypse…

music festival

13 – Go to a music festival. Mud, portaloo’s and drug ravaged dicks everywhere lessen the appeal of music festivals for me but on the flip side I can’t think of anything better than getting off my tits with my friends seeing some of my favourite bands play live in the sunshine. I would like to do Rock Werchter or Download but I think 2 days would be enough… Any longer than that in a tent and I’d turn into a demon. Hungover Karleigh needs approaching with caution and a comfortable bed!

14 – Go on a cruise. Not so keen on being surrounded by all that water (I’m not a strong swimmer, I look like a goat stuck in a flood) but I love the idea of waking up every day in another country. They’re pretty cheap these days too and not full of old people like I once thought. Oh and the food. THE FOOD.

beyoncen15 – See Beyoncé in concert. Mate, I’m probably Beyoncé’s biggest fan but she only plays huge, packed-out venues which have me feeling a bit twitchy as just the thought of being there. I suffer slightly from anxiety in enclosed spaces with tonnes of people and I’m not sure how I would handle the volume of bodies but I would love to show Beyonce my one legged twerk. I bet she’d fucking love it.

16 – Fall In love with someone almost as awesome as me. Many things in life can be shitty, love shouldn’t be one of them.

17 – Be an extra in a movie. I’ve worked on a zombie film as a make up artists and I’ve also a part of World Zombie Day (I was a Resident Evil nurse!) but I’ve never been in a film and I think I’d make a pretty bad ass zombie.

honey booboo18 – Go to a wrestling match. I’ve loved wrestling since I was a kid having been close to my male cousins and I had tickets for WWE Raw in 2012 but unfortunately I was too sick to go, boo!

19 – See a show on Broadway. I LOVE the theatre, I’m lucky enough to live a stone’s throw from central London and I’m good at finding dirt cheap seats so I do go fairly often but like everything in New York I imagine it’s bigger, better and even more awesome than anything I’ve seen before.

20 – Feel comfortable with my body and who I am. Possibly one of the most tricky things on my list that needs ticking off and I’m not sure if it will ever be fully achievable but I’m a hell of a lot more body confident now than when I was in my early 20’s.

freddie mercury21 – Learn to walk in high heels. My mum says I look like Dick Emery in stiletto’s.

22 – Switch off from technology for the week and go camping/hiking/fishing etc. Usually not my bag as I love my home comforts but if the weather’s nice I imagine this would be pretty awesome. I’d be all Bear Grylls and only eat what I catch too, I’d probably starve but think of the weight loss!

23 – Buy a house. FFS. Yeah, this probably won’t happen.

abandoned mental asylum24 – Stay the night in an abandoned and rumoured to be haunted building. I’m terrified of the dark and anything remotely scary, since living on my own I can’t even watch horror films or even that wanky horror picture Twitter feed because I know I’d be up all night. I recently had a diva moment at the Warwick Castle dungeon, the weird jester dude had it in for me from the word go and as we stood in this dark room full of monks I shouted at them to open the door and full on freaked out. Everyone laughed at me and I gave zero fucks I just wanted out of there.

crazy cat lady25 – Adopt a rescue cat. A lot of things needs to be in place for this to happen as I’m currently renting but I would love to adopt a rescue cat. Maybe an older one that just wants to chill and eat tuna with me and see out their last days in peace.

26 – Play poker in Vegas. I learnt to play poker on a bizarre first date with a male stripper in a dingy Fleet Street pub whilst drinking gin with cucumber like true classy bastards. He was a professional poker player (as well as professional dick shower) and we played until last orders, using Starbursts as chips until last orders. I think he still follows me on Twitter. ‘sup.

27 – Take a road trip across Europe, even if it’s just to somewhere local-ish like Belgium. Cherry beer and chocolate everythang, mmmmm. Ideally I would like to do this on a bike but I would settle for a car because a numb bum is no joke and with a boney butt like mine it gets sore just going from London to Brighton #pancake

backpacking28 – Travel solo and go back packing, staying in shitty hostels and making friends with crazy awesome people along the way. I’ve always travelling with friends but quite like the idea of doing exactly what I want and being forced to meet new people. I’m fairly sociable but if I’m good at reading people from the word go… Some people call it judgemental, I call it my gut instinct.

29 – Conquer a fear. I’m terrified of moths, once the summer hits I become a moth ninja, checking every door, ceiling, light and corner of every room to make sure no flying dust filled flying pricks are in there waiting to attack me. I hate the sound of their wings flapping against the wall, I hate the way they always fly in your damn face and some of them are huge! I’ve slept on the sofa many times when a moth has been in my bedroom, it’s that deep.

hawaii30 – Drink a Sex On The Beach on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. I fell in love with the idea of visiting Hawaii after reading Lindsay Kelk’s About a Girl (a FABULOUS read and Lindsay is fucking awesome). The unspoilt scenery looks breathtaking and I would love to see dolphins up close and a volcano!

 

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Aside

Belgian chocolate buttholes and 9 other weird Valentine’s Day gifts

Valentine’s Day is so much more than flowers and a fancy dinner which have been done to death and require zero imagination. Spoil your loved one with one of these romantic, albeit, unusual gifts and leave the roses to the suckers.

1 – Belgian chocolate edible anus.  Because nothing says eat my ass like groceries like a chocolate butthole.

£23.95 for 5 boxes from Edible Anus

chocolate anus

2 – Salami Bouquet. Flowers wilt and die but meat is forever… Kinda. Also, this is a sure fire way of letting her know you want her to chow down on some meat.

$50 for 3 stems from Olympic Provisions (or you could make your own for a couple of quid with some Peperami and a bit of tissue paper. Boom.)

salami bouquet

3 – Heart shaped BBQ branding iron. Feel like being a smug bastard and staying home to cook instead of joining the British underclass in their set menu and house wine evening out this Valentine’s Day? Make your partner a steak and seal it with love. This would also come in very handy for Steak & BJ Day.

$24.95 from Texas Irons.

heart shaped

4 – Kanye card. Because who loves Kanye more than Kanye?

I don’t know where this card is from but you can buy a buttload of similar ones from Etsy.

kanye cad5 – Erox body spray. The Sex Panther for women, men will fall at your feet with this on and you won’t have to spend another Valentine’s Day cuddled up with your cats.

$59.95 for 40ml from Erox.

erox

6 – Giant selfie head. If you’re in a long-distance relationship these creepy giant head photos are the next best thing to having you there in person.

$19.99 for a 2 foot giant head from Build a Head.

build a head

7 – Wine handbag. For the classy lady in your life.

£29.99 from Firebox.

wine handbag

8 – Shit bitch bear. Well, you can’t say it’s not original.

£17.99 from Firebox.

shit bitch bear

9 – 3D Big Butt book. The ultimate gift for guys who like big butts and cannot lie.

£24.99 from Firebox.

big butt book

10 – Let’s make out cushion. Give your house a touch of ‘I’m a poncey young trendy type’ by throwing this cushion on your old banger of a sofa and cut to the chase this Valentine’s Day.

$97 from Alexandra Ferguson.

lets make out pillow

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5 of the best cheap restaurants in London

My new year’s resolution is to tighten the purse strings and become a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to things I don’t really need and whilst I’m finding the switch from shop-bought lunches to sandwiches from home and buying ‘basics’ baked beans etc. pretty easy the one thing I really enjoy is eating out and it’s something I’m not willing to cut out! Little things like ordering tap water instead of a pricey cocktail or bottle of wine and skipping a starter are little ways to reduce your bill (some people feel a bit tight ordering tap water, I don’t care, I’ll even ask for a slice of lemon in it lol) at your favourite restaurants but due to my intensive detective work I’ve found a few eateries that are delicious, cheap AND you can bring your own bottle of alcohol to!

In no particular order, here’s a few restaurants that you can visit the week before payday:

1 – Kao Sarn, Clapham Junction (also a branch in Brixon I haven’t been to because although Brixton is fast becoming hipster and yummy mummy central I still think it’s a bit scummy)

kao sarn

My FAVOURITE restaurant in Clapham Junction has to be Kao Sarn, I absolutely adore Thai food and their Tom Yum Goong soup is almost as good as the uber pricey Patara offering which is absolutely DIVINE but reserved for special occasions as it’s rare to come out with a bill that’s under £100!

Everything is deliciously homemade with generous portions and best of all you can bring your own bottle with no corkage fee! I’ve had a blast every time I’ve come, they even have an authentic Thai lady boy serving you (who is awesome, just don’t piss her off). There’s also a Sainsbury’s across the road as an added bonus (their £5 cava is pretty good) but phone up and book if you’re looking to head there from Thursday-Sat as it gets very busy.

2 – Cornish Tiger, Battersea

Ohhhhhhhhh lordy I was SO impressed with this place! I found it online through OpenTable and for the price, £9.99 for 2 courses before 7pm me and my good friend Kerri really weren’t expecting anything fancy but we were completely blown away by the delicious choices on offer. Seasonal and simple the menu is British food at it’s best and everything from the decor to the quality of the food is enough to fool you into thinking you’re in a Michelin-starred establishment.

cornish tiger battersea

The portions are perfect and beautifully presented it’s hard to believe such a swish place comes with such a small price tag. The decor is basic but comfortable, with subtle lighting and the friendliest staff you could ever encounter. It was my friends birthday and when I booked I asked for them to do something special with her dessert, low and behold they came out singing happy birthday with a candle in her ice cream. She cringed, but it was a lovely touch! The food is deliciously fresh and I love restaurants that use locally-sourced, seasonal stock, it really does taste better. Ideal for a catch up or date night, Cornish Tiger is well worth a visit!

3 – Ben’s Canteen, Earlsfield & Clapham Junction

Ben’s Canteen is one of though achingly cool places that yummy mummy’s flock to in their droves after Bikram yoga with their little dogs and young, trendy play date pals after a hard day shopping and making vegan frittata. Equally, you get the hungover crowd too brunching and downing spicy bloody mary’s of a weekend morning all muddled together like a Superdry-clad mojito.

bens canteenWith classics such as juicy burgers and chicken parmesan schnitzel to their incredible mac and cheese scotch egg and of course the breakfast and brunches the extensive canteen menu caters for everyone in a laid-back shabby chic setting. Enjoy cocktails in jam jars and other hipster-esque touches whilst reading the morning papers or take advantage of one of their current offers, my favourite being the 2 courses for £15 with a drink before 7pm for great value on really great food.

4 – Bistro 1, Soho & Covent Garden

I always visit Bistro 1 if I happen to be in town for a show as the service is quick, the food is good and at £14.90 for 2 courses it’s one of the cheapest places in bustling Covent Garden that you can sit and eat before heading on to the theatre. Of course there are cheaper places to grab something on the go but I hate eating in public and Bistro 1 has a great atmosphere but is quiet enough to chat and relax before the madness of the night begins.

bistro-1Friendly staff who don’t judge you for ordering tap water, mouth-watering Mediterranean food with something for everyone and purse friendly prices give this unique chain the thumbs up for me, I’ve visited several times and I’m always impressed with the quality of the food. The mixed mezze starter is big enough for two and me and my partner always share a starter and dessert to take full advantage of the 2 course offer. The chicken shish kebab is served with the most delicious Turkish rice and the banoffee pie is one of the best I’ve tasted! Home-made and mostly healthy, it’s definitely something to try the next time you’re in town.

5 – Khan’s, Battersea & Epsom

The freshest Indian food I have EVER eaten was at Khan’s and it works out dirt cheap with their fabulous 50% off offer! Me and my good friend Jack visited recently and had a huge banquet with various starters, mains and sides which came to well over £40 but take off 50% and it was just over a tenner each!

khan's batterseaThe menu is bursting with exotic dishes, I sometimes flirt with being a vegetarian (it doesn’t last long because, bacon) and I was truly spoilt for choice with their extensive meat-free selection and I opted for the pumpkin masala which is up there with the most delicious things I have ever put it my mouth. Khan’s market themselves heavily on their low-fat and colour free cooking which is popular with the thriving young professional community of Clapham Junction. From classics such as korma and bhuna to chef’s specials which include sweet and sour prawns and coriander and lemon chicken I’m already planning my next visit to Khan’s.

Book through opentable.co.uk for the 50% off food offer.

art of brick dinosaur
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Must see exhibition – Art Of The Brick by Nathan Sawaya

One of the things I love most about living in London in the amazing array of art, exhibitions, galleries and museums on my doorstep. There’s always something going on and when I heard about Nathan Sawaya’s Art Of The Brick exhibition I new instantly it was a must-see, as a kid I LOVED Lego and could spend hours with just my imagination and a box of bricks, which I think my mum still has stashed away somewhere.

art of brick john lennon

Hosted in the trendy Shoreditch (where else!) and appropriately named on Brick Lane’s Truman Brewery the exhibition is an amazing insight as to just what you can achieve with those little bricks and I was blown away by the detail and background stories of each piece, which Sawaya playfully injected his humour into giving it a more personal touch and much more fun to read for younger guests.

Ripped from the official website

‘Nathan Sawaya is a New York-based artist who creates awe-inspiring works of art out of some of the most unlikely things. His recent global touring exhibitions feature large-scale sculptures using only toy building blocks: LEGO bricks to be exact. His work is obsessively and painstakingly crafted and is both beautiful and playful.

Sawaya was the first artist to ever take LEGO into the art world, and is the author of two best selling books. His unique sculptures and touring exhibition, THE ART OF THE BRICK, is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on LEGO® as an art medium and has broken attendance records around the globe. The creations, constructed from countless individual LEGO® pieces, were built from standard bricks beginning as early as 2002.

Nathan Sawaya has earned a top position in the world of contemporary art and has created a new dimension by merging Pop Art and Surrealism in awe inspiring and ground breaking ways. His art consists of playing with the material, colour, movement, light and perspective.’

I’ve only featured about a third of what’s on show, the exhibition space is huge and there’s so much to see. You can get right up close and personal with the sculptures to see how they’re made and there’s lots of interactive features and videos to keep little ones entertained.

Art Of The Brick is running until the end of January and is definitely a must-see for art fans, tickets are from just £14.50 and admission is in half hour slots so as to not get too crowded.

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Aside

£10 and under crap Christmas gift guide for people you don’t really like

I hate Christmas shopping and never know what to buy people as when you’re an adult if you want something, you just go out and buy it and the only things people do genuinely want are way out of your price range (I’m not buying no bish an iPad). After stressing yourself out traipsing round the shops on a drizzly Saturday afternoon you end up with a few generic gift sets from Boots and a new coat, duvet set and perfume for yourself… Or is that just me? Anyway, it’s hard enough buying stuff for people you like, but what about those workplace Secret Santa losers that you would rather see choke on a mince pie than spend a whole fiver on or a family member you heavily dislike but will be seeing at a family do? Have no fear, I’ve put together a £10 and under crap gift guide so all you have to do is match the pleb to the present. Huzzuh.

Gentlemen’s Ballscratcher £8.99

gentlemens ball scratcher

Nothing says suck my balls like a ballscratcher ‘for the busy male executive’. Even comes in a poncey box. Pah.

Poo-Pourri Original Before-You-Go-Bathroom Spray £6.99

poo-pourri

This would be the best office Secret Santa gift to someone who stinks up the toilet. ‘More than your standard bathroom air freshener, Poo-Pourri can leave any toilet smelling better than when you found it. Poo-Pourri ensures that whoever follows you in has no idea what you’ve been up to.’ 

Official 2015 Cliff Richard calendar £6.29

Cliff-Richard-calender

Who doesn’t want Sir Cliff’s big, soppy, punchable face beaming at them every day? Previous years have seen him posing with dolphins, rocking out on a bass guitar and even playing basketball in a tight vest. What a douche dude.

Choc-u-lator £1

choculator

Imagine their little face light up as they rip it open and see a huge, delicious bar of chocolate… Then watch that smile turn into a snarl as they realise it’s a calculator. Pants.

Stinky candles £8.99

stinky candles

Everyone loves a scented candle, they’re relaxing, comforting and warming in the Winter months… But what if it smells like vomit, body odour, onion, urinal, petrol or fast food? BARF.

Evil Hot Gummi Bears £5.99

evil hot gummi bears

Don’t they look cute, delicious and innocent? Watch the recipient shovel them in by the handful (no-one eats gummi bears one at a time) and quickly realise you’re not their best friend. Flavoured with a Naga-infused kick these little fellas really pack a punch, but if you’re aiming for pain in the butthole you’re better off with these bad boys.

Period Panties £9.99

evil beaver period panties

Perfect for the office bitch who gives you hell for a few days every month, like clockwork. Chose your timing carefully with this one.

The Snot Sucker £8.99

snot sucker

A great gift for a new parent who doesn’t shut up about their kid and the workplace sicknote who is constantly snuffing, sneezing and gargling their germs, much to your delight. You can see all the snot gather in the syringe, yummy.

Maybe You Touched Your Genitals Hand Sanitizer £4.99

maybe you touched your genitals

We all know that one dude who constantly has his hands down his trousers and smells a bit penisy.

Colour Me Ginger £7.99

colour me good ginger

For the token ginge, we all have one.

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18 things I wish I could tell my 18 year old self.

37213_165806920098957_3048981_n (1)1 – Those DIY blonde highlights are really not a good look. Nor are those massive chavvy earrings that sit on your shoulders and make your neck hurt when you sleep with them in after a night on the WKD’s. The lashings of mascara to make your eyes look like spider legs doesn’t look as great as you think and that neon orange fake tan makes you look incredibly stupid, especially those massive tide marks along your jaw. Sort it out.

2 – Choose quality over quantity when it comes to clothes, especially staples like jeans and coats. Primark leggings are £3 a pair and there’s a reason for this, everyone can see your My Little Pony pants through them and it’s not a pretty sight. Make sure you have a set of well-fitting black trousers and a smart shirt for job interviews (and funerals) that are from anywhere but Matalan.

3 – Don’t be so honest, the truth rarely sets you free. Surviving the various minefields of life requires 75% honesty and 25% bullshit, be good at the latter and you’ll go far.

4 – Cherish your time with loves ones because as cliché as it sounds, they really won’t be around forever and when the time comes you’ll regret not doing all the things you said you would do.

business cat5 – Don’t fret over college and university. Only a few lucky ones know what they’re calling is at such a tender age and whilst a degree can take you places, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have one. Your drive, personality and ambition will see you through just fine and you’ll meet a lot of people who spent a shitload of money on a degree that has no relation to their career.

6 – A broken heart can be healed, although it does get worse every time and it’ll happen quite a few times and yes some men can be complete shit but there are really good men out there, try not to push them away out of spite.

7 –  Your mum is your best friend and she really does know best. You will have earth shattering arguments and refuse to listen to her but it’s true what they say and she really does have your best interests at heart and no one will ever love you as much as she does.

8 – Always listen to your gut instinct, especially when it comes to people. Right from the word go you’ll meet some people and something will just be off and you can’t quite put your finger on it, this is your gut instinct kicking in telling you they’re bad news. Listen to it, it’s never wrong.

kim k money

9 – START A SAVINGS ACCOUNT and make reasonable monthly deposits. The time will come when you’ll want to fly the nest and have your own slice of mortgage hell and houses are bloody expensive but if you start saving now you’ll have something to put down and get on the property ladder rather than throwing your money into a black hole by renting. Oh, and house shares suck a thousand fat ones.

10 – Don’t sweat what other people think of you. If someone doesn’t like you (and makes it obvious) don’t let their negative vibes rub off on you and just forget about them. Don’t bring yourself down to their level, be polite, be professional if the occasion calls for it but whatever you do don’t bring yourself down to their level. You’re so much more than that.

11 – Stand up for yourself and don’t let anyone take the piss. In school you detested bullying and always stood up for the quiet kid who couldn’t defend themselves but what about when you’re the one at the hands of a bully? You’ll encounter bullies in various forms, especially in the workplace and you’re perfectly within your rights to go above them and nip it in the bud and to not take any shit.

12 – Stop drinking so much alcohol. You’ll literally piss your pay packet up the wall and all it does is make you gain weight, lose a day or two, do stupid shit you’ll regret and skint you out. Know your limits, throwing up into a pint glass and rinsing your mouth out to then go back and drink more is not big or clever, it’s just a waste of money and pretty disgusting.

13 – Let it go. Don’t hold grudges, people aren’t perfect and neither are you. Being angry at the world is stressful and damaging and these emotions will eat you alive if you continue to feed them. Try not to hate, everyone is fighting their own battle you have no idea about.

14 – Never feel like you’re not good enough for anyone, or anything. Some you win, some you lose and that’s just how it goes.

beyonce cooking15 – Learn how to cook and educate yourself about nutrition and how your body works. Cooking is a life skill and the sooner you know what you’re doing the better you’ll be for when you fly the nest. You only have one body, look after it and stop filling it with crap.

16 – Travel the world and broaden your horizons whilst you’re young and financially carefree. Whilst you don’t have rent to pay travel as much as you can! The world truly is your oyster, work a season here, a season there and a season way over there. You’ll meet amazing people and things you never thought you were capable of. The real world can teach you things you’ll never learn in a classroom.

17 – LEARN TO DRIVE. Do it now whilst your young and have a disposable income, driving lessons (and time to do them) are bloody expensive and it’s another skill that will come in very handy.

18 – Stop doubting yourself and comparing yourself to others, you make mistakes like everyone else and you’re far from perfect but you really are fucking awesome.

jung-top

5 reasons why women with tattoos and piercings are awesome

Here’s a little something I wrote for Tattoo Love! 

After reading this complete piece of crap I couldn’t help but be compelled to pen a reply as a young tattooed and pierced woman who is neither slutty, boring, mentally ill, selfish or without foresight as mentioned in the article. I have my own opinions on the writers and readers of that dreadful site which is a whole new post entirely but as you can see from the guy who wrote it, he’s bald, bitter and not exactly a heart throb but let’s not dwell on that too much as I’m sure he’s a really nice guy *sarcastic face*. Whilst I know tattoos are not to everyone’s liking and some guys don’t find them particularly attractive on women and that’s that’s cool, whatever floats your boat but please don’t put us down or bash the guys who think we’re the best thing since heavy metal and Krispy Kreme.

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 1 – We’re creative and adventurous. Most tattoos have a hell of a lot of thought behind them (dolphins around the belly button and Rihannaesque stars maybe not so much…) and have a huge back story that means a lot to their wearer. Having highly visable tattoos can cause problems in the workplace if you have a white collar job so most heavily tattooed people work in creative industries such as graphic design, hairdressing, make up artistry etc. where it’s not such a problem and supports our artistic capabilities but don’t be fooled, surgeons, lawyers, teachers and even bankers have been known to have some impressive ink under those suits and ties. Our creative spark is not only just used in our professional lives, we’re also awesome in the kitchen and the bedroom… Ahem.

 kat-von-d-pinup2 – Tattoos are frikkin’ hot! Erm, have you not SEEN Kat Von D, Sabina Kelley and pretty much every Suicide Girl?! These girls are smokin’ hot with incredible ink and if you delve a little deeper you will see most of them have successful careers outside of modelling and are university educated and well travelled. There are many tattooed model networks out there in which you can pay to see full (tastefully) nude photo albums etc. and to date, one of the most famous websites for hot, tattooed women suicidegirls.com has a staggering 2,661 models with thousands of followers and fans across various social media platforms. That’s quite a lot of dudes who like looking at tattooed chicks not to mention the Twitter/Facebook/Instragram/Pintrest/ pages that are dedicated to women with tattoos that also have a plethora of fans.

 Tattooed-old-people3 – We pride ourselves on being different and standing out from the crowd. Personally speaking, I would HATE to look like everyone else and in a sea of grey I’m a burst of colourful energy and I love that my body is a canvas to some incredible artwork which I poured a lot of thought into. Whilst I asked a few male friends what they liked so much about tattooed chicks they all had roughly the same answer – they’re different and interesting to look at which makes them incredibly attractive. Of course, we don’t get tattoos so men find us more attractive, there are a number of reasons why women choose to get a tattoo and making the huge decision to permanently decorate your body is not one to be taken lightly. We understand it’s there for life (as we’re constantly reminded…) and yes when we’re old and wrinkly of course they won’t look as good but you’ll be just as wrinkly as us and won’t look any better.

 4 – We’re confident and outgoing. When you have a lot of tattoos, attention when out and about is inevitable and that’s something that comes with the territory when you chose to look different from the norm. Generally, most people who are heavily tattooed enjoy the attention their body art brings and tend to be friendly, outgoing and more open minded than most as they know the stigma that comes along with tattoos and piercings. We also seem to be missing that ‘princess’ gene that can make girls high–maintenance, demanding bastards. Tattooed chicks love going to raves, festivals, camping and all that good stuff and we’ll even poop in a Portaloo without throwing a fit. We also drink beer and eat pizza with the boys, none of that low-carb crap here, and we’ll even get a round in and play Pac-Man with you.

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 5 – We really don’t care what you think of us. In a world full of rules and regulations it’s a very refreshing and admirable trait, especially in women who are force fed propaganda from magazines and advertising on how we should look in order to be considered attractive. All throughout life we’re told how to act, think and present ourselves as to fit in, from our early years at nursery where we’re made to wear a drab uniform and not allowed to dye our hair or wear fabulous shoes that have a light up heel because it’s against the rules to the adult workplace where similar guidelines are in place. Having tattoos, piercings and looking different to everyone else is like sticking a middle finger up to the rules and society and it’s an incredibly liberating feeling.

Read more by Karleigh at TattooLove.org & The Karleigh Show

 

why-am-i-still-single-single-blog

10 tips for single ladies.

 

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You’re busy with work, you’re still butthurt over an ex, you haven’t got the time to meet people etc. yep, I’ve heard it all from women who badly want a relationship but will make every excuse under the sun as to why they’re cool with being single and why searching for a partner is too much hard work. No one seems to admit to wanting a partner, as a woman you’re made to feel desperate and clingy but being single can be awesome, I know this. I’ve lived this. But sometimes you reach a point where you want someone to go home to, you want someone to share shit with and it’s OK to admit that. You won’t suddenly burst into flames and a rampant midget won’t jump out of the ground and imprint ‘desperate’ on your forehead nor will your vagina suddenly spout a flag emblazoned with ‘I want a baby NOW!’ on it with an arrow pointing to your face. Everyone needs a little love and with the internet at your fingertips bursting at the seams with single men waiting to rip your heart and pants apart it’s easier than ever to find the Jay to your Bey and being drunk in love, instead of well, just drunk.

beyonce single ladies1 – Admit you’re open to meeting someone. Being defensive won’t do you any favours as people will be less hesitant to introduce you to other single friends they have at the risk of having their head bitten off. Plus it’s a dead give away you want a relationship when you get all shitty over happy couples and their PDA’s. You bitter wench.

2 – Go out with other single friends more. Not only does constant socialising with couples make you feel like a spare wheel there’s also less chance of you meeting someone than if you were out with a group of girls plus it will make feel a bit less shit when you hear they’re not getting any either. Oh and you can’t really have an unforgettable night out with a group of loaded, pissed up suits if Suzie and Mike have got to be back home for 10 to put little Timmy to bed. Just make sure your fellow wing women aren’t more attractive than you, or have bigger tits.

3 – Don’t be a stuck up arsehole when guys DO approach you in bars and other social gatherings. I’ve SEEN this happen right in front of me, a decent looking guy has struck up conversation with a (single) friend of mine and to make herself look big and mighty in front us she looked him up and down and rudely rejected his offer of a drink. What a bitch. These women are the reason why men don’t offer to buy women drinks any more and it’s a real shame a guy will stare at you in a bar until the cows come home but only talk to you when he’s stalked you on Facebook to send you a message. Urgh. If you’re genuinely not interested, just say sorry and immediately turn your attention elsewhere but I guess this can open up a whole can of worms regarding the catcalling business but I’m a firm believer in still being polite. One thing that rattles my cage with that video was the way she just ignored everyone that spoke to her, a quick ‘sorry I’m not interested’ would have saved her some drama IMHO but that’s a whole different post.

being single4 – Attend social events for things you really love to meet like-minded people and of course a possible love interest. Websites like Meetup are really good for meeting people you share common ground with and most members of each group are there because they’re single and/or new to the area so it’s a bit of an unwritten rule people are there to date as well as make new friends.

5 – Choose your online dating sites wisely. Sites like Tinder are famous for hook-ups and casual flings and if that’s what you’re after then cool but for something more serious it could be worth investing in a paid site that matches you to people you have things in common with rather than a site that is based purely on looks and how long it would take to jump on the night bus for a booty call. Nice.

6 – The easiest way to get over someone is to get under someone else. Oh yeah, that ol’ chestnut! But it’s true, if you’re hurting over a breakup and you’ll feel like you’ll never meet anyone it’s probably because you’re giving out negative energy and digging yourself further into a rut. Once you go on your first date as a newly single you’ll find meeting people a lot easier and wonder what you were so upset about.

7 – Make a bit of an effort with yourself when out and about because you really don’t know who you’re going to meet when you’re on your way to work, grabbing a sandwich at a poncey artisan coffee shop or going for the burn in the gym. It could be something simple like shaving your legs daily, investing in a gorgeous, well-fitting bra or wearing an item of clothing you usually only reserve for special occasions that makes you feel more confident.

8 – Try something different. Taking a class at the gym is a brilliant way of meeting new people and the ice will already be broken as you’ve probably muttered a few obscenities under your breath as your arms feel like jelly and your kettlebell is wetter than your mum at a Peter Andre concert. You’ll get fit and meet loads of fitties, win-win.

facebook-status-as-single9 – Refresh your social networking profiles to show your single status, a lot of people will check your marital status via an online social networking profile before approaching you, just to be sure you’re not married. Oh and talking of social networking, ladies, keep all those dumb slutty Marilyn Monroe quote pictures OFF of your feeds, if he can’t handle you at your worst you’re probably a cunt.

10 – Go on blind dates, what’s the worst that could happen? Unless your friends are complete wankers you could be missing out on meeting someone amazing, or at least having a funny story to tell at the end of it!

hamburg christmas market

Top 5 Christmas Markets in Europe

christmas markets

Trying to not sound like an X Factor contestant, Christmas hasn’t really been the same since my Dad left a couple of years ago and he seemed to take the magic with him as it just wasn’t the same any more and living in a house share that’s barely decorated it doesn’t even feel like Christmas in the December run up. Whilst we now celebrate with a crazy day at my aunt and uncles I still feel a bit bah humbug as everyone starts to get excited which is eased by the awesome Christmas markets that are held in London and small towns from the middle of November. I would LOVE to visit a Christmas market abroad, especially since falling in love with Berlin a couple of weeks ago but unfortunately my funds and ability to tolerate nob heads on budget airlines has seen me staying put for the time being but I’ve put this awesome list together for those who fancy a romantic weekend away, a shopping trip or a treat for their kids to really get in the Christmas spirit!

1 – London, England

winter wonderlandAs someone who mentally flies the Union Jack at every available opportunity (I’m proud to be British, don’t shoot me) and was born and bred on the mean streets of South London how could I not mention my beloved home town? Situated in the picturesque Hyde Park, just a short stroll from London’s famous shopping strip Oxford Street Winter Wonderland draws in thousands of excited visitors year after year with it’s vast Christmas market, array of bars, eateries and fun fair including a huge big wheel that gives spectacular views over the park lit up in all its glory. Visitors can book in to skate on the glittering ice rink or explore the Magical Ice Kingdom or simply enjoy the magic from a carousel bar that slowly turns (maybe not a good idea after too many mulled wines…) and for a real Christmas treat there’s the Zippos Christmas Circus which is performed in the biggest circus tent in London! It really is a magical place, I return year after year just to see the excitement on everyone’s face and shove my own in a bag of freshly fried churros dripping in chocolate fudge sauce. Yum. A word of warning though it’s quite expensive, expect to pay around £5-8 per ride and food/drinks are quite overpriced as you would imagine. The market itself is full of unique and quirky gifts and the usual London themed tat so if you have friends from overseas there’ll be plenty on offer to keep everyone happy. A great day/night out for all ages and in the heart of London to boot you’ll be mad not to pay a visit, even if you do have to take out a mortgage to buy a hot dog the Instagram likes will be well worth it.

2 – Hamburg, Germany

hamburg christmas marketThe place where it all began! I fell in love with Berlin a few weeks ago and was seriously debating on going back to explore a traditional Christmas market it all its glory but unfortunately funds won’t allow but if I was to go back, Hamburg would definitely be on my radar. Hamburg’s historic Christmas market is bursting at the seams with hand-crafted gifts and goodies from the Erzgebirge region and the bakers from Aachen will have your mouth watering over their delicious cookies and gingerbread creations. Hamburg town hall creates an enchanting, fairytale backdrop (especially in the snow) as old-fashioned carousels whirl with excited children and the occasional pissed adult still clutching a mug of GlühweinNot only does Hamburg have such an electric Christmas market there’s also the romantic Alster lake boat tour and for all you culture vultures there’s an array of Christmas exhibitions and of course the spectacular Christmas parade every Saturday during the run up to the big day. A must for little ones is the chance to see Santa doing his thing as he rallies his reindeer to fly above the market every day at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm telling the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. If you’re looking to tie in some last minute shopping with your trip Hamburg is home to elegant boutiques, department stores and shopping malls so take an extra suitcase and your credit card as everything is decorated like a Christmas wonderland and you won’t be able to stop yourself from buying that Swarovski encrusted angel… Germany of course is famous for its beer and bratwurst which are cheap, flavourful and available on every corner so don’t leave without sampling the local wares!

3 – Vienna, Austria

vienna christmas marketThe pretty squares of Vienna transform into a Christmas fairytale as the smells and sights from the beautiful bakeries create a wonderful, warming atmosphere that kids and adults alike will love. In the run up to Christmas the Rathausplatz becomes a shimmering wonderland as 150 or so stalls set up shop shop selling gifts, decorations and sweet treats that are festively decorated and bring the excitement of Christmas alive. Although I’ve never been I know that Austria is fairly expensive when it comes to basics like food and drink so Vienna is maybe not the best bet if you’re on a budget but the scenery is absolutely amazing and probably the largest market around. The trees in the surrounding City Hall pall are festively decorated to really bring the true spirit of Christmas to Vienna making it a top choice if you’re looking to explore somewhere a bit different. You also have the Christmas Village on Maria-Theresien-Platz which is conveniently situated between the Museum of Fine Arts and the Natural History Museum which are well worth checking out on your trip. The romantic Christmas Village is full of handmade gifts and crafts and is a popular spot for locals to watch Winter games such as ‘ice stock sport’, a game similar to curling. A popular choice for kids is the winter market on Riesenradplatz that stocks the usual plethora of gifts and decorations but also a funfair, children’s activities and musical live acts and shows to keep them entertained.

4 – Prague, Czech Republic

prague christmas marketsI’m lucky enough to have been to Prague many times as my company has an office out there and every time I go I fall a little more in love with it. Everywhere you look there is beauty, not just in the architecture and parks but in the people too, the Czech’s are absolutely stunning and all look like they’ve just stepped off a photo shoot (as a city known for its huge porn industry it’s probably quite likely a lot of the beautiful girls have just stepped off a photo shoot…) so there’s that. Although the Winter months can be bitterly cold the breathtaking views from the Charles Bridge are what Christmas cards are made of as snowflakes delicately whisper around the historical statues that line the famous structure and are just a stone’s throw from the 2 main squares where the all the Christmas market action is happening. The markets take on the traditional wooden hut theme and are packed to the rafters with glassware, jewellery, metalware, ceramics, scented candles and a vast array of Christmas decorations and food. The Christmas markets in Prague have so much more to offer than just gifts as you can see and smell Czech’s most traditional food and drink made and prepared right in front of you from spit-roasted pork to delicately sugared pastries which fill the air with the spirit of Christmas. To accompany all the wonderful food on offer you must sample the famous Czech beer Pilsner Urquell or a mug of spiced mulled wine to warm you up after a hard day of sightseeing and alcohol is pretty cheap with local beer coming in at around 60p a pint just outside of the main tourist spots. For children, the market in the Old Town Square also has an animal stable where kids can pet goats, donkeys and sheep as well as explore a large Bethlehem scene housed in a wooden stable. Wenceslas Square is home to the huge Christmas tree which is beautifully decorated and makes for stunning pictures with the gothic architecture of Prague city centre as a backdrop making the atmosphere simply magical.

5 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt eröffnetThe adult playground of Europe, Amsterdam is so much more than just soft drugs and prostitutes but of course they’re there in abundance if that’s your thing and I’ve explored the city many times and had a bloody good time! There’s a certain magic about Amsterdam that I can’t quite put my finger on, and no it’s not just after visiting one of their delightful coffee shops but as soon as you make your way out of the train station you just get this feeling that there’s a lot of fun to be had. I’ve visited Amsterdam during the Christmas period and the seedy underbelly of the red light district and coffee shops are pushed to one side as the huge Christmas tree in the city centre brings a real touch of magic to a city with a reputation for such debauchery. Leidsestraat is home to various Christmas markets and stalls throughout the Winter months and they also have an ice rink which is open until late January so if you can’t escape until after the festive period you’ll still be able to grab a slice of Christmas magic. A little further out is the Christmas at Castle Keukenhof event which is one of the largest Christmas market events in the Netherlands and is the perfect choice for families as kids will be spoilt for choice with all the various entertainment and shows going on. Amsterdam also has the bonus of being a very short flight from the UK so the perfect choice if flying with kids who get a bit restless whilst flying, flights with budget airlines tend to be pretty cheap too.