Friday, 11 January 2019

Ways I'm Making London Bearable


The end of 2018 was a pretty big change for me. I changed jobs and moved to London. For someone who had worked and lived in small(ish) towns and cities, this was a huge change for me personally and professionally. I was terrified - and still am to some degree- but I'm trying to navigate through the craziness, whilst still holding onto a few of the things that I am used to.

One that doesn't apply to everyone is that I still have my car. In the short amount of time I had to find a place, I opted for a higher number zone. There are pros and cons to this which I would love to do another post on, but having my car makes me feel a little more connected to my family, plus the ability to drive to the nearest Lidl is a lovely feeling.

I have a few little habits and rituals that I have taken from each living situation I've lived in. From a student to being in a house share, batch cooking has been a sense of comfort and security. I currently have 5 portions of sweet potato curry in the freezer ready for this week. Yes, I end up eating the same thing, but having some sort of order makes my little amount of time I have in the evening stretch a little further.

As it was the first week of January, I had some things I needed to tick off my to do list. This included signing up for the GP and changing some addresses which makes the move seem a little more permanent. I also joined the library, which, whilst wandering around the quiet hall, made me forget about the hustle and bustle of London life and have a little bit of peace. Plus, I now have some great books for my commute.

I'm also trying to meet up with my friends. I never had my university friends in such easy access, and although work schedules are hard to match up, it's great to reconnect with some people, and spend more time with those who lived far away. I have always been a homebody, but my first month here, I met up with friends once or twice a week. Getting home any time after 9pm used to make me quite anxiety filled. But now, time isn't something that scares me.

It wasn't until I went home for Christmas that I realised that my worries and anxieties about living and working in London including money issues, feeling like an impostor at my new job amongst other things were things that almost all of my friends have experienced or are currently experiencing. It made me feel a lot less alone and more something that we have to get through. 

So here's to a new year, and trying to navigate the craziness of living and working in London. 


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Saturday, 10 November 2018

Things I've Learnt Living In A House Share




1. You'll question humanity multiple times, especially around dinner time when you want to use the nice pan but someone hasn't washed it up since last weekend.

2. You'll cave eventually and do everyone's washing up but grumble constantly and send a passive aggressive whatsapp message about it.

3. Talking is often the best way to get anything solved, but surely you shouldn't have to tell someone to clean out the sink of rice, right?

4. You can actually make some friends and in all seriousness, it's a great way to meet people when you move somewhere new.

5. You'll actually be sad when someone leaves. How dare they have any other people to hang out with and move in with their boyfriend?

6. I've learnt to sleep through quite a lot of noise, except the noisy gamer housemate who 'forgets that you're in the house' when he's shouting at his World Of Warcraft game at 3am.

7. You'll silently judge each person who comes around to view an empty room. They had better be house trained.

8. You'll come to the realisation that the house is, and always will be a little bit shitty, but the idea of scouring Spareroom and having to move again is a bit too much effort.

9. There'll always be some sort of weird substance in the sink / some weird smell in the fridge / some strange food cooking.

10. Don't expect anyone to do any cleaning up..ever


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Saturday, 28 April 2018

Shit Happens... let's play a game about it


I love moaning about adult life, and when I'm not moaning about adult life, I do love a night in with a few drinks playing a board game. Now, I do enjoy a good game of Cards Against Humanity, especially with a few drinks involved with my house mates, or even my family, so when I was asked to try this new game, Shit Happens, I was instantly intrigued.

The game has 200 cards, or Shitty Situation Cards which each has an event that could happen. They rank from something minor like stepping on lego or your mum complaining about her sex life, to more problematic scenarios like learning your partner is your first cousin and being buried alive.

They are apparently ranked by a panel of 'qualified grown ups'. I can't say I agree with all of the rankings, personally I think losing my laptop or a partner screaming an ex's name during sex would be disastrous, but that's kind of the fun of it too.


To start the game, you pick three cards randomly to start off your 'Lane Of Pain' in numerical order. One player picks up a card, reads the shitty situation and the player to your right has to guess where the card will go in their lane of pain lineup. Guess it right you win the card, guess it wrong and it goes to the next person and so on. If you win a card, you add it to your line up and the game ends when someone gets 10 cards in their lineup.

It actually took us a while for anyone to win any cards as some cards were surprising with their scoring, but maybe I am not a totally qualified adult like the ones who picked the ratings! The game got a lot harder with the more cards you win, as trying to predict where they would come up in your lineup was difficult when some ratings were so close together. We did actually have quite a giggle with some of the scenarios which were totally bonkers.

This is a fun idea for a game, and a great starter to a pre drinks (or a night in like us!) in a house share or university halls. If you're looking for a new card game to add to your growing stash, this is a good one to try, and you can realise, or reaffirm, how shitty adult life is at the same time.

Thank you Cheatwell games for providing me with the game to play and try out - you can buy the game here.


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Monday, 9 April 2018

The Graduate Diaries | Two Years On...


Maybe I should start calling The Graduate Diaries, The Adulting Diaries because I still feel like I am trying to navigate life after university.

This stage of life is very strange, and no one really prepares you for it at all. There are some friends who are moving in with their boyfriends / girlfriends, some married, some pregnant, some still in university, some in amazing jobs and some who are still struggling two years on to find something permanent.

I need to remember that everyone has different timelines and everyone wants different things. There is no one size fits all for life after university. Not only are you adjusting to moving back home, or moving somewhere completely new, you're losing the safety university life. For me, adapting to the working world, was a massive step, and is much harder than it imagined.

The last seven months in my second job have been an eye opening experience. I've had to grow up, take risks and speak up more than I have ever had to do before. I'm given real responsibility and have to bear the consequences if things go wrong. I have to balance working professional relationships, personal relationships whilst trying to eat healthily, fit in some form of exercise (because that's what adults seem to be able to do) and resist the urge to buy homeware I definitely don't need. So things could be a lot worse, I don't have a family or people who are dependant on me to have to think about, but even then, the thing with different time lines is that I see other people achieving different things.

I also think that social media in your post-university timeline is really interesting. During university, posting selfies, pre-drink poses and club photos was seen as the done thing, to show everyone what an amazing time you are having. You don't post about all the times you were in the library, stressing over an essay or dissertation. I feel that with a lot of my friends, and even my self, you have to show yourself in working life that you can have it all - a relationship, friendships, eat healthily and have a job. Bonus points if your job is something really exciting. It's like we're all trying to prove that we can do it and function. It isn't until you see those people in real life where you realise that things aren't all as they seem. They're having problems living at home, they hate their job or they just broke up with someone and not taking it well.

I don't really know where I'm going with this, but talking to a lot of my friends who are graduating this summer and friends who I haven't seen for a long time, that there is no one way to navigate life after university. It's hard, you'll feel lonely, you'll feel like you're falling behind whilst simultaneously feeling ahead.  You'll sometimes crumble under the pressure of adult life and adult responsibilities, but you'll also thrive and grow more as a person. Start focusing on yourself - self care is so important in whichever way you find best, surround yourself with supportive people, but come out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Everyone's still learning. We can do it.







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Saturday, 10 February 2018

F.R.I.E.N.D.S Gave Me Unrealistic Expectations Of Adult Life


So no one told you life was gonna be this way.

I am starting to feel pretty lonely. I've always been a homebody, when I am very rarely out, I desperately want to make my excuses to get back home. But then when I'm home I want to be around people again.

This isn't always the case. I love being by myself, doing things for me, and not having to deal with other people, but sometimes, I wish I had my support network with me. In my post about the life lessons my friends taught me, it made me realise how much I value, cherish and love my friends. But living miles away from them is pretty tough.

And that's where Friends comes into all of this. Watching it as a 13/14 year old who definitely didn't understand a lot of the jokes, I couldn't wait for adult life. Living out your twenties with a group of friends who hung around in coffee shops, had dinner together, who went out on new dates every week and gossiping about it afterwards was what I always wanted.

I'm at a point now where I have come to terms with life definitely not being like that. And sometimes, actually most of the time, I'm okay with it, but sometimes I'm not.

Whilst I have great and lovely housemates, we rarely spend a weekend together. We value each other's alone time, and many of them have partners or work colleagues they see. I don't have those other people outside the house to hang out with. That's the problem with moving somewhere new, or even moving home after university.

And how do you even make friends as an adult anyway? I tried going into the staff room at work today in the hope to meet some new people. It was a total fail. There wasn't many people coming in or out, and if they did, we sat, in silence on our phones. I'm desperately looking for an activity to get involved with, hopefully things will get easier when it stops being so dark after work.

Yes, my life's a joke, I'm broke, and my love life's DOA, but I'm finding adult life to be a little lonely.

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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Life Lessons From My Friends



 I may no longer live with or near some of my best friends, but I like to think that we are still as close as ever. If anything, it makes me love them even more.

Most of my closest friends I met at University, all from different circles, but each have taught me and encouraged me to do things differently and become a better person. I am so grateful to have met each and every one of the them and so glad I have a solid support group, even though we still don't see each other every day.

1. A Problem Shared Is A Problem Halved
Never underestimate the power of sharing your problems. A true friend will listen, and make sure they help. I can't tell the amount of times that we would often have a little cry about life, and know that it is totally okay. They have made me a more caring person with dealing with other people's problems too. Friendship is a two way street.

2. Build Each other Up, Not Down
There is nothing more uplifting than a simple compliment from one of your pals. From 'your skin looks great', to a group chat dedicated to someone's night out outfit. Even though we are in different parts of the country, we still give each other so much encouragement and I know that if I'm feeling low, they will always pick me up.

3. Be Creative
My friends are amazingly creative. Two of my friends are amazing at photography, another is a great cook and is always making something out of the box. Another is an amazing singer songwriter and draws brilliantly. They inspire me to do something different and creative. 

4. A Small Token Goes A  Long Way
From making someone a cup of tea, sharing a portion of your dinner, or receiving a letter out of the blue, you realise it's the little things that really put a smile on your face. 


5. There Really Is Nothing Better Than Sticking On Relaxing Music And Drinking Tea
My friends made me realise something can be so simple as to putting on relaxing music can make you feel relaxed. My favourite evenings used to be us sitting in a room with some candles, doing each others nails or studying. Even doing the same activities by myself make me think of those times and I feel instantly relaxed.








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Sunday, 28 January 2018

Hamilton Review


I am still shook. 

Having bought tickets a year ago last January, and having the date moved as the show started previews later than expected, I finally got to see Hamilton last Thursday afternoon, and my goodness, was it worth the wait.

I went with my best friend from uni who was obsessed with Hamilton and we used to try and nail the Schuyler Sisters harmonies, as well as my favourite work friend from my previous job. It was the most perfect day, seeing old friends and watching a show that we all loved.

What got me the most about going to see Hamilton was the buzz and excitement from the audience even before the show. Knowing that everyone in the auditorium was there because they had bought tickets a year in advance and was a genuine fan felt incredible.

How amazing must that be for the cast members, knowing that everyone there is behind you 100%. 

We clapped when the first few notes were played and we cheered when the line "Immigrants, we get the job done" was said. It was like seeing a show with hundreds of your Hamilton obsessed best friends, all seeing the soundtrack that you've listened to come to life for the first time. Without too many spoilers, you could hear the sniffles and watch almost all members of the audience wipe their eyes during "It's Quiet Uptown" and "Who Lives Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story". It really was something magical.

Jamael Westman as Alexander Hamilton, a recent RADA graduate, had big shoes to fill, following in the footsteps of Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda, absolutely killed it, rapping seamlessly and filling the whole stage. Michael Jibson as King George has the best job in the world, only being in the show for the few odd scenes, got a laugh and a cheer every time. The Schuyler Sisters, Rachel John (Angelica), Rachelle Ann Go (Eliza) and Christine Allado (Peggy, and also incredible as Maria Reynolds) were perfect, and a shout out to Jason Pennycooke as Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson.

What I also loved about Hamilton was the ensemble. No scene felt flat, as the choreography and the ensemble cast didn't look out of place with some incredible contemporary dance moves. The bows at the end were also something special. There was no playing around with the audience, ending with a big song and dance with each character getting a cheer. The cast simply stood at the front and bowed together as one. It was incredible moving and a special moment.

I'm sure if you're reading this, you don't need any encouragement to try and get tickets, but listen to the soundtrack if you haven't already. You'll be obsessed.
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