Dear Amazon

Please excuse my writing. I can’t stop my hands from shaking, ’cause I’m cold and alone tonight.

Nah, I jest.

Let me start by saying, I love you, Amazon. I really do. Deep down, I know you’re evil, but I have no qualms about kicking the little guys to the kerb if it means I can get stuff just a little bit cheaper, a little bit quicker, and without having to leave my house. And the last bookshop in my town closed two years ago so that they could open a second Nandos and an all-you-can-eat restaurant, so if I want to buy books I don’t actually have that many options.

I preordered a book in July. It’s all over Instagram, which means it’s super-cool, which means it’s OK to say it was ‘Yes Please’ by Amy Poehler. It was released in the UK on November 6th, which I know off the top of my head because I was so excited. And then on the morning of November 6th, instead of getting an insanely over-packaged (the earth hates you, Amazon) but otherwise innocuous parcel, I got the below email.

Ways to make an allegedly grown woman cry.

‘Yes Please’ wasn’t going to be available to ship until after Christmas. Which is so funny, Amazon, because you were selling it that same day for next day delivery. You’re also selling it now and it’s still available for next day delivery. It’s almost like you have enough copies to go around to everybody who ordered them. The email said I could cancel my order, which I immediately did because to hell with that, and when it asked why I was cancelling, there was no option for ‘I’m being screwed over and I give up’. I ordered the Kindle version in 3 seconds flat – because I’m angry, Amazon, but like any trust-abusing relationship I will keep coming back for more – and I looked forward to reading it and hating you at the same time.

I wouldn’t even mind (That’s a lie) but the order I made before this one was also a pre-order. ‘Not That Girl’ by Lena Dunham, if you must know. I’m so zeitgeisty. This time there were no emails. There was nothing at all. Instead I just sat there, refreshing my order status, looking at the black letters that said ‘not yet dispatched’. For at least three days after the book’s release, it was ‘not yet dispatched’. Not until I wrote to you, Amazon, to suggest that you pull your thumb out of your arse, did anybody think to pop a book in an envelope and just slip it in the post. It’s not like my order was somehow shocking to you. You knew about it for a fortnight before the book came out. You probably had the books in the warehouse a couple of days before they were released, too. Anyone might think you’d pack up the pre-orders in advance of (‘pre’, if you will) the date of release. Apparently not. Maybe I’m too optimistic. I like to see the best in all massive, heartless corporations. I know deep down you love me.

I don’t want to contact you directly, Amazon, because you can be certain that the person on the receiving end of my vitriol is not the person who should be and, having had to professionally take complaints about other people that I shouldn’t have had to take, I know that’s not fair. It’s also futile.

It was short. It was sweet. We tried.

(I swear I’m done now.)

Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with a website?

Saving The Best ‘Til Last

When I was little I refused to mix up any of the foods on my plate. Now that I’m 25, I still refuse to mix up any of the foods on my plate. I mean, I’ll allow them to be mixed up, but you can be damn sure I’m going to pick out all of the bits I don’t like and eat those first, and then work my way through until I’ve saved the best bits until last. I only just realised that that’s what I do with pretty much everything else in life, as well.

As I write this, I am drinking a pina colada. I am sitting in my pyjamas, with no makeup on and my hair pulled back, drinking an actual pina colada. Which, to be honest, is disgusting because I put so much rum in it that even I, with my tendencies towards being an old soak, can’t drink more than a tiny sip at a time. Anyway, I digress. My pina colada came from a ready-made mix. It’s basically a pouch of pineapple juice with some coconut. I got this pouch in a goody bag from an event. So far, so good. Now, that event was in July. I haven’t made my pina colada in the last four months because I was saving it. I don’t even know what for. Maybe until I had the right kind of glass and a tiny cocktail umbrella. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf (the natural habitat of the pre-made pina colada mix) for all that time, like the visual embodiment of a promise of a perfect day to come. I also have varied beauty products, a giant bar of Galaxy, and countless empty notebooks. All waiting for everything to be perfect.

It’s only very recently that I’ve realised that saving everything is a terrible trait to have. I’ve always looked at it as a way of ‘savouring’ the moment. Maybe I would’ve enjoyed that Pina Colada on a summer’s day, sitting in my garden, flipping through a magazine and waiting for my nails to dry. But that moment I wanted to savour is never going to come because I don’t like sitting still for that long anyway, and now it’s nearly winter.

If it was just the odd freebie or stationery item, it maybe wouldn’t be a big problem, but it’s everything. I never get to wear my favourite clothes because I want to “save” them. I never get round to seeing the films or watching the TV shows that everyone else in the world talks about because I want to “save” them. I never get round to acting on the 100,000 really good ideas I have for my other blog because I’m waiting for the time to be right. I’m not sure what the right time even looks like for that.

I don’t lack drive or creativity, what I lack is the freelance lifestyle, the perfect wardrobe, and the minimalist, white, shabby-chic office of my dreams. The time is never right.

So this is me committing to no longer caring. The time will never be right, and that’s OK. I’m going to drink my pina colada, I’m going to treat writing like a job that I have to get done regardless of surroundings, and I am going to wear every single one of my hair mask samples while I eat my Galaxy bar. All of it. At once.

Well, I never said this was going to be pretty.

If you like pina coladas...
If you like pina coladas…

Does anyone else have this problem? What are you all waiting for? I mean that in a literal, interested way, and not as a rhetorical question…

Nobody Cares What You Think

I realise that by the mere fact of me writing about my opinion on this we’re all likely to be swept into a black hole of hypocrisy and (the bad kind of) irony, but it’s probably worth it because we all just seem to be lying down and taking this ugly new development of the past year or so.

People keep feeling compelled to tell me what they think. But they don’t just tell me – they tell everyone. And it’s not in the context of any kind of conversation relating to the subject they’re suddenly holding forth on, but rather through the inescapable medium of the internet (I know that some people just stop looking online when they get annoyed or bored. I, however, would genuinely prefer to shove a hand in someone’s face and wordlessly walk away mid-conversation than close down Twitter of an evening, so I am not one of them.).

We live in a troubled world, and we seem to be stuck in a particularly troubled period in the troubled history of this troubled world. People have so much they feel compelled to discuss. Every time there’s another rocket attack somewhere, or someone famous dies, or there’s a riot, society immediately sits down as one in their pyjamas and publishes their own official statements on the matter. They lay out their suggestions for solutions, they pompously discuss their disappointment like it’s going to make a difference, and they invite debate with other, equally self-important nobodies.

It needs to stop.

I’m all for the sharing of news – it’s one of the most useful things about social media, and occasionally invaluable. I can’t remember the last time I got new information from a physical, real-life newspaper. That’s how efficient it is. But that’s where it should end. I barely care about the opinions of important people whose thoughts actually matter. Just imagine how tiny the shit I give about my ex-colleague’s sister’s action plan for the Middle East is going to be.

So next time you find your Facebook status straying into the realm of current events, stop. Remember how insignificant you are, keep your opinions to yourself, and post a picture of an adorable puppy or a funny cafe sign instead.

Aaah... That's better.
Aaah… That’s better.

It’s Getting Hot(el) in Here

Sometimes you find yourself in the situation where you just know you’re a fish out of water. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but at the same time you just know you don’t belong where you are and at any second you could be found out and promptly thrown out. This happened to me last weekend when I went away to a fancy hotel, only to realise it was a really fancy hotel, with the kind of fancy people I don’t know how to behave around. With that experience in mind I thought it was a good idea to set out my tips for how to behave when you’re out of your depth in a posh hotel. Because one day we’ll all be there.

Posh building full of posh people. Huge potential for awkwardness.
Posh building full of posh people. Huge potential for awkwardness.

Tip #1: The second you open the door to your room, begin charging from one side to the other (since it’s a nice hotel with large rooms, this may take you a while) and exclaim really loudly about all of the things. “Ooh, look at the size of the bed!”, “Look at the size of the TV!”, “Look at the size of the shower!”. It’s what all the other guests will definitely have done, because rich people don’t have giant widescreen TVs and king-size beds either.

Lots of space for running around and yelling inappropriately because you just can't be cool.
Lots of space for running around and yelling inappropriately because you just can’t be cool.

Tip #2: When, after five minutes of being there, you realise you’ve forgotten your hairbrush, don’t panic. Do spend the next fifteen minutes frantically trying to comb it with your fingers, putting it up and trying to convince it to stay there, and inventing new scarf-or-hat-based hair coverings so that nobody sees the really obvious sign that you don’t have your shit together.

Tip #3: Similarly, when you realise you’ve forgotten to bring your razor, you should know that it’s such a nice place they’ll probably be able to supply you with one, but choose not to phone the desk, because you don’t want to admit you’re a mess. Trousers it is, then, for the entire break. Here’s hoping you don’t spill your dinner with your usual frequency.

Chillin' on a bridge. Purely because it was there.
Chillin’ on a bridge. Purely because it was there.

Tip #4: Use all the facilities. No, you don’t usually go to the gym, but do it just this once. Even though you’re probably just going to bounce up and down on an exercise ball in the corner and eyeball the men lifting weights. It’s included in the price of the room, therefore you must spend time there. Also make use of the sauna. And if you happen to end up in a man-sandwich with an elderly Italian and a camp man in tiny trunks then so be it. Style it out like you know what you’re doing. And where you should look. And how long you’re supposed to cook yourself.

Tip #5: Suddenly get into reading the papers. All of the papers. Because they’ll provide them for free and just think of all that litter tray lining you’ll be able to do when you get back!

But this is all just my two cents. What would you do to make sure a fancy place didn’t find out that you’re really a peasant? I’m always looking to up my game…

Happy Friday!

 

Between Meme and You

Yay internet! People continue to churn out nonsense and claim that it’s an ‘inspirational quote’, and therefore, I still have something to keep me happy. It’s the circle of life.


 

 See the light in others and treat them as if that is all you see.

So make sure you wear a hat, sunglasses, and sun cream, and try not to scream too loudly as your retinas burn.

Never regret something that once made you smile.

Even if is is the eleventh cocktail you drank on a night out, and you woke up with a strange person in your bed and couldn’t look directly at them because you were treating them as if light was all you could see and it hurt your head. And you can’t remember their name.

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

Because really, it’s just way more practical than not doing that and hemorrhaging in the departure lounge.

 If your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough.

False. What if my dream is to have a bunny farm? That is not in the least bit terrifying because it is adorable. And who are you to judge my dreams. I can dream what I like. Right now I’m dreaming of french fries.

Take time to do what makes your soul happy.

Sure thing. I mean, souls don’t exist, but if they did I think mine would probably be happiest watching TV and eating cake.


 

What nonsense have you seen on the internet this week?

Happy hump day!

 

My First Maternity Clothes

I bought maternity leggings the other day. They were in the sale in Topshop and they were in my size. Whenever I go to Topshop and find anything in the sale that even remotely fits me, I am immediately compelled to buy it because it’s such a rare occurrence. You see, I’m not hugely obese or anything, but I’m the weird kind of girl that likes to have my arse covered, and most of their clothes do not fulfill my one criteria. But these did, and I got excited.

*Choir of angels singing*
*Choir of angels singing*

I would be lying if I said the episode of Friends with Joey’s thanksgiving pants didn’t cross my mind. When I saw the ‘maternity’ label, it was like all of my Christmasses had come at once. And I got very excited about this year’s Christmas where I could eat myself at least slightly closer towards my grave and not be held back by the usual waistband issues. Hello thirds of dessert!

It was all very exciting. But I learnt an important lesson that day.

If you happen to speak to your family and excitedly announce that you bought maternity clothes, the immediate reaction will not be pride at the amount you’ll be able to put away at your next all you can eat buffet. It will involve a snap of the head in your direction, a laser glare, and a suspicious ‘why?‘.

Don’t make my mistakes, kids. Keep your misconstrue-able purchases on the DL.

Have you ever bought clothes that you needed to keep secret from everyone?

Happy Monday!

 

WTF Weddings

I’m supposed to be planning a wedding next year. That wedding is my own. I’m not really naturally interested in wedding-y stuff, despite all of my best efforts to the contrary. I mean, I’m on Pinterest, I look in the windows when I walk past wedding dress shops, and I’ll read the occasional wedding blog post. That should be enough, surely? But it seems like maybe it isn’t. My main idea for my own wedding is to have it not be shit, which is possibly too general. There are so many different parts of the wedding planning process that I can’t get my head around, so I’ve decided to break it down one-by-one and see if that helps me to get to grips with the really confusing parts. Today, I’m putting Chair Covers under the microscope. Presumably you know the things I’m talking about? They’re generally white, and often have a ribbon tied around to correspond with the colour theme.

I seriously do not see the point of the chair cover except that it gives venues an opportunity to whack the price of a wedding package up a couple of hundred more pounds.  They hide the fact that the chairs are chairs, except that they don’t, because people are still sitting on chair-shaped objects that can only really be one thing. But now all of their chair-esque features have been masked by a big, white,  chair-shaped envelope. Often complete with bow. They are very stressful for the Average Joe Food-Dropper, because they add yet another spotless, white surface to a dinner situation where good behaviour is already expected. Who needs the stress?

As a bride-to-be, the ‘crazy’ switch in my brain is supposed to have flicked by now, to make me think that hiding chairs is worth the money. However, there’s been a glitch. The way I see it, there are three possible reasons for people to be choosing to use them.

Disgusting arse shelves.
Disgusting arse shelves.

1. Snobbishness. Chairs are disgusting. They have been touched by arses. The arses of people. The arses of the general public. Not even familiar arses. Stranger arses. Of course they must be covered up because otherwise you know everyone’s going to get gastroenteritis from just looking at all of the chairs in that room. Just hundreds and hundreds of filthy arse-ledges. What bride wants to be reminded of the existence of arses on her wedding day. Cover the evidence!

Holders of commoners.
Holders of commoners.

2. Snobbishness. People want to pretend on their wedding day that they and their family are so special on this most special of all days, that they do not even need a chair to hold them up. They can eat their prawn-cocktail-followed-by-the-beef while levitating both majestically and effortlessly, on nothing but a cloud of pride and relief. Just, uh, don’t look at the white thing underneath them that’s shaped like a chair, because it’s not a chair, they’re too special for chairs, how dare you insinuate that they would need such objects to on this most auspicious of days. The mother-in-law is holier-than-thou because see how she hovers upon that delicate, white – um – cloud.

Flaunting their nudity. Pairing off. What are we, in a sex club?
Flaunting their nudity. Pairing off. What are we, in a sex club?

 3. Snobbishness. A return to Victorian values. The covering of piano legs was all the rage when the covering of female legs was too. And when a woman suddenly wears white again like it means something (no criticism here because I am totally doing the same thing), maybe we’re not supposed to want to see all of those naked chair legs. Disgusting. What is this, the Chip ‘n’ Dales? I mean, they are Chippendale, but still. Such a rich brown, and so curvy, and so hard and- I’m sorry I lost my train of thought.

Sadly. as far as I’m concerned, chair covers remain weird and pointless. I cannot for the life of me figure them out. Why, as a bride, am I supposed to be ashamed of sitting in a bog-standard chair? Answers on a post card please. I’ll just be in the corner waiting. Sitting on a chair. Feelin’ grubby.

Between Meme and You

Hello there! Yet again, it is Wednesday and people are still being idiots online. I’ve taken some of the best (read: worst) ‘inspirational quotes from around Pinterest in order to put the world to rights.

Eye rolls at the ready.

#1:

“If you see someone with a smile, give them one of yours!”

– You should just have time to slip it in before they punch you in the face…

#2:

“I have so much of you in my heart.”

– Seriously, butter. So much.

#3:

“I think the world would be a nicer place if we stopped pretending we knew everything about every one.”

– Ah, yes. But, total stranger, you only think that because you like to make sweeping statements and stick your nose in where you’re not wanted and stir things up for no reason.

#4:

“A bad attitude can literally block love, blessings, and destiny from finding you. Don’t be the reason you don’t succeed.”

– You really don’t need another reason you won’t succeed, considering you already leave everything up to ‘blessings and destiny’…

#5:

“When she walks, her footsteps sing a reckless serenade.”

– This is an Arctic Monkeys lyric that people seem to find inspiration from. I personally only find the obvious fact that this poor girl has a case of fart shoes and everyone keeps singing about it.

What nonsensical quotes have you come across this week?

Happy Humpday!

Dim Sum: A Sum-mary

With their shared seating, communal food, and insistence that tea should be served in an eggcup from an iron thing that weighs about as much as a kettle bell, the dim sum restaurant is a social minefield. Fortunately, I am here to clear that minefield, guiding you to safe passage and stress-free, steamy dumplings. Which, let’s face it, are the only kind of dumplings worth hearing about.

 

Not gonna lie, I got through nearly my whole meal before I thought 'I should be a good blogger and take a photo'. These are my last ones. I am not a natural food blogger.
Not gonna lie, I got through nearly my whole meal before I thought ‘I should be a good blogger and take a photo’. These are my last ones. I am not a natural food blogger.

#1: Sit with your companions for at least forty minutes at the start of the meal while you all awkwardly try to bring up the fact that you don’t want to share. Fail miserably. End up sharing and secretly despising each other.

#2: Pretend to read the menu even though you know you’re getting the same thing you get every time.

#3: Join in enthusiastically with a conversation about how great all the steamed options are, even though you know you’re getting the fried stuff.

#4: Talk to the people you came with for 10 minutes and then spend the next three hours ignoring them in favour of eavesdropping on all of the other people at your table. That’s what shared tables are for. It’s to save the restaurant having to provide entertainment.

What? It's modern art...
What? It’s modern art…

#5: Make such a mess of the order sheet that even you don’t know what you asked for. When the waiters try to help decipher it, nod along with whatever they say. And then enjoy your prawns. You hate prawns.

Skillz.
Skillz.

#6: If you drop food down yourself because you’re bad at using chopsticks it is perfectly acceptable to have a subtle feel around in your lap. When you find a big, sticky lump, sneak it into your mouth when people aren’t looking. Then hope to god that it is, indeed, food.

#7: Snatch the order sheet away from the waiter as they offer to take it away because your food’s arrived. You know you’ll want seconds. And by ‘seconds’, I mean ‘fourths’.

#8: Try not too talk too much about how badly you’d like to have a nap inside a char sui bun one day.

That's mine on the right. And only my seconds. Food = love.
That’s mine on the right. And only my seconds. Food = love.

#9: Hold your head up high when your individual stack of baskets is three times taller than that of the family of four sitting on the next table. That is just because you are cultured, and a culinary adventurer.

#10: Steal the tiny pencils they give you to mark off your order. Because if it weren’t for dim sum restaurants and Argos, nobody would ever own stationery.

So now you know. I hope that you can go forth and dim sum with ‘sum’ more confidence. How many times can I talk about steamy dumplings before it becomes inappropriate?

Happy Friday!

Green Juice is “Awesome”!

Mmm... Green...

Green juice is amazing1. It’s become a trend over the past year2, and with good reason3. The sheer variety of vegetables4 you can sneak in there is staggering5. There’s a whole load of different recipes out there6, and ferocious7 debate about what the best method is to get the good stuff in you – shop bought8? Blender9? Cold-press juicer10?

Once that decision is made, you’re well on the way to enjoying11 all of the benefits that come from downing12 glasses of the good stuff. These include anti-ageing effects13, increased energy14, and clearer skin15. It’s a fantastic way to start your day right16!

And not only does it do all of that, it helps you live longer17!


 

 

1 It is amazing how one container can hold so much digustingness.
2 Because people need something on Instagram that balances out all of the cakes and coffee.
3 Everyone is a show-off.
4 As long as they are green and only green.
5 Staggering in how ineffective it actually is to try and hide any vegetables behind, like, a squeeze of lime and a prayer.
6 Each one grosser than the last.
7 Or as ferocious as people can possible get when they’re running on watered-down snot.
8 If you’re made of money.
9 If you’re made of money.
10 If you’re made of money.
11 This is physically impossible, so don’t feel too bad.
12 If you can down this, you must have a non-existent gag reflex and, not to cast aspersions, be very popular.
13 The facial exercise you get from pulling involuntary disgusted faces is invaluable in toning the muscles.
14 It’s amazing how fast you can suddenly run when someone offers you a grassy beverage.
15 You’re basically drinking a face mask, after all, and it tastes like every bit of it.
16 SO is this:

A pile of delicious bacon.
A pile of delicious bacon.

17 I, for one, choose early death.