Thursday, 20 November 2014


Okay, so I'm totally paraphrasing the title from a Friends quote . . . you know the one? Where Monica and Chandler are on honeymoon but keep getting usurped for all the perks of BEING on honeymoon by the same couple just in front of them all the time?

I feel like that a lot. Not in terms of a coupley way. Just that someone always seems to get to something right before I get there. Like basically the second I show an interest in something, someone else spots that interest and tries to jump right in there first.

Nothing interesting, nothing scandalous. I'm talking the banal stuff in life here, but that's what probably makes it all the more annoying!

For example, say I need a cash machine. I can see that one empty cash machine in the vicinity, winking away at me like a mirage in the middle of a dessert as I walk towards it. No one in front of it, no queue . . . until I'm approximately 5 paces away when some absolute BASTARD just materialises in front of it. And more than likely still has to pull their purse/wallet from the depths of their bag, before they proceed to pull out all five of their cards to check their balance on each and every one. When my transaction would have taken me a mere thirty seconds . . . suddenly a five minute wait is tacked on to the start of it.

The queue in Partick station . . . where they inexplicably only ever open one window for train tickets and don't have a machine you can use as an alternative. You can guarantee if you are in a rush for the train, the one person who materialises in front of you will be the person who is trying to buy the all-around-the-UK ticket and trying to pay for it in one and two pence coins. While wearing mittens.

The empty bar that suddenly becomes busy the second you reach it when you're gagging for a drink. The only other person in the shop who beats you to the only shelf in Superdrug where you could find relief for your dodgy stomach. Then proceeds to just stand there while you writhe in agony behind them, cursing them for life.

Worst of all, the person who walked into the chip shop two paces in front of you... who then gets the last available chips so you have to wait extra time for the next lot to be cooked. (Although the one advantage there is at least you get the freshly made ones, I suppose.)

This can't be just the story of MY life surely???

Tuesday, 4 November 2014


A couple of weeks ago, me and the boyf headed up to Aberdeen to celebrate our one year anniversary together (I know, can you believe it??? Me having a one year anniversary!!!). One of the places we decided to go was Balmedie Beach, which is a couple of miles north of the city. I'd been recommended to go there by a couple of different people, and it was unseasonably warm for Scotland in mid/late October, so while we were hardly going to be sunbathing, it was still not too cold to have a wander about.

And it was really lovely!

For further information visit here.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Mackerel with "faux potato" cauliflower salad, and individual crustless quiches...
I don't know about anyone else, but I have a real problem when it comes to finding easy and healthy ideas for lunch in work. It's fairly straight forward if you just want to buy your lunch every day and waste money, or you have a microwave in work . . . but what if you don't have the funds to splurge every day, or want to know exactly what is in your meal, or - this definitely applies in my case - there are only three microwaves in your work and trying to heat up a healthy meal involves random guesswork of when there will be a queue on any one day? What do you do then?

Well, I'm going to try and help you out here with some ideas in case you are in the same boat...

  • A Mugshot. This is one of the easiest "convenience foods" you can get. All you need is a packet, a mug and a kettle. Or in my case, I usually replace the mug with a plastic container and just get a cup of hot water out of the drinks machine. (like I said, I'm lazy.) Most Mugshots have less than 300 calories or, if you're doing Slimming World, some of them are considered "syn-free". Results all around! And they're cheap too. I recommend the Tomato and Herb or the Roast Chicken varieties.
  • If you have issues with waiting for the microwave like myself, you could invest in a thermos and make yourself some soup in the morning. I got a flask for the low price of £3.50 in Asda, and after heating up the soup before work, it is still warm at lunchtime. I will have this with a wholemeal pita bread in order to fill me up completely. This has been a revelation for me as I can have soup five days a week and just varying the flavour I choose makes it different. Now I just need to start MAKING the soup myself and I'm golden... (update: I HAVE now started making my own soup and turns out I'm pretty good at it!)
  • Chicken and ham roll-ups with Laughing Cow or Philadelphia as a filling. Low carb and delicious. I usually will have this with some pickled onions (I am currently obsessed with pickled onions) and a chopped up hard boiled egg.
  • Pate/soft cheese and melba toast. I LOVE melba toast and it's pretty low calorie.
  • Tuna fishcakes. Easy to make and delicious, and you can eat them cold no problem.
  • Sweet potato hash/veg cakes - Grate up sweet potato and courgette (I use a julienne peeler) along with whatever other veg you want, fry it up, then add an egg and form into patties and fry these). I ate these cold along with a home-made yogurt and coriander dip.
  • Salad. I know, I know... salads are boring. But they don't have to be. I usually grab a packet of spicy chicken from M&S (the sweet and smoky chicken or Mexican chicken is amazing) and mix it up with chopped up cherry tomatoes, avocado, peppers and some fromage frais. You could make up a bean salad (I like butter beans and tuna mixed up with onions) or my very favourite (and very simple) is low fat mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and basil. Yum!
  • Cold curry sauce with chicken. You wouldn't think this would be nice cold but it honestly is. I use the Harcombe Diet butternut squash curry recipe for the sauce.
  • Mackerel with cauliflower "faux" potato salad. ASDA do an amaaazzzing chilli and garlic smoked mackerel which can do me a couple of days lunch. I've included the faux potato salad recipe below.
  • Crustless quiche. So easy to make...  Recipe also below! (Don't say I'm not good to you...)
"Faux potato" salad
One small cauliflower
Fat Free Fromage Frais
Extra Light Mayo
Spring Onions
Red Onion
Chop up cauliflower into small chunks, microwave for five minutes and let cool. Take half of the cauliflower and blend with two tablespoons of fromage frais and one tablespoon of mayo. Add blended mixture back in with the rest of the cauliflower and mix, adding chopped red onion and spring onions. Refrigerate until required.

Crustless quiches, step by step...
2 eggs
Low fat cottage cheese
Ham (not compulsory but delicious)
Whatever vegetables you fancy (I tend to use mushrooms, onions, peppers, kale)
Low fat grated cheese
Put ham on the bottom of six silicone cupcake cases, mix eggs together with two tablespoonfuls of cottage cheese, add veg, pour mixture on top of ham. Sprinkle with a little grated cheese, then cook in the office for about 30 mins at 200 degrees.

Chicken, mozzarella and tomato salad, ham, and pickled onions, with a side of fruit...

I hope these suggestions help someone, and if you have any other ideas for good packed lunches, please feel free to comment - you might give me or someone else further inspiration! :-)

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


I've always considered myself a good friend. A very good friend in fact. I am always there for the people I care about when they need me. I'm not a "phone person" but if I think they need a call, I'll do so. I'll make time for them. I'll listen to them, support them when they require it, and sometimes when they don't even REALISE they require it.

And it's hard for me to let a friend go. But there has to be a point where you just think "fuck it, there's no point in continuing with this friendship."

Thing is, it wasn't me  who decided so in this most recent case. I had always been there for this friend. But apparently it wasn't good enough anymore. Despite the fact that I had tried to maintain the friendship, tried to meet up with them, tried to engage with them when they popped up on social media more often than they could be bother keeping their real life friendships going . . . somehow I ended up being the one being punished.

Since the only difference between now and a year ago is I'm now in a relationship, I can only assume that she assumed I was no longer interested in a friendship now I had a boyfriend. The thing is . . . that was not and has never been the case. Okay, I have a little less free time than I did previously when I was single . . . but I was always there. And I think the fact that I still have all the other friends before the relationship started and still see them proves that point. All my other friends still wanted to hang out. All my other friends were also interested in my relationship. Not a glimmer of interest was shown in MY life while I tried to still be involved in hers. I think that says a hell of a lot.

Yet, the day I realised she had unfriended me on facebook, on top of already having unfollowed me on twitter with no reason why, on top of seeing what I assume was unnecessary bitching about me to other people on twitter . . . well it had all just piled up on me, especially after that missed call which, when I text asking if everything was okay, I got a standard brief and downright cold response which told me everything I needed to know in that one text.  Perfectly timed too, on the day of me and the boyfriend's one year anniversary. Yep, crying in the pub over this was not my finest hour. But . . . I sent the text I should have done ages ago, acknowledging the end of the friendship. Which she never bothered to do to me.

If anything now, I actually feel a bit free. Feeling like shite for a couple of months and wondering if I was imagining this ill-feeling was getting me down a lot, wondering what I'd done wrong, what I could have done differently... I realise now that I couldn't have. It was obviously just something that had came to an end, albeit naturally or not. Am I sad about it? Yes, of course. I have so many shared memories with her, so many GOOD shared memories... But the fact that she didn't even fight for the friendship says a lot to me.  Or the fact that she couldn't speak to me about why she unfollowed me or unfriended me, or ignored me.

Sometimes a friendship is meant to be finite, I guess. Or maybe it just wasn't ever meant to be in the first place.

Regardless, I know who my real friends are. The ones that stuck around.

Thanks guys. You know who you are. <3 p="">

Thursday, 16 October 2014


I think I've already mentioned me and the boyfriend's love of waterfalls . . . pretty much every Scottish trip we go on we try to find one! The Falls of Dochart is a particular nice one  - it's not a high dramatic fall like some we have visited . . . but it's very long and pretty and you can kind of climb about in it to some extent, like a playground full of rocks and cascading water! (Disclaimer: it's not really a playground and if you DO choose to climb around in it, be careful!)

These first pictures were taken in around March, where it was still very cold...

 These next two were taken on a more recent trip, about a month or so ago, where it was a tad warmer . . . as in, I wasn't quite wrapped up as much!!!

The Falls of Dochart run through the pretty little village of Killin and I would definitely recommend as visit if you are a fan of water/nature/waterfalls/all of the above. Visit for more information... and let me know if you've been before or are planning on going anytime soon!!!

What's YOUR favourite waterfall???

Sunday, 14 September 2014


Scotland is awesome and it's time to show you more of it! The other week I showed you Puck's Glen, near Dunoon - next up is the place I visited the very next day . . . Loch Skeen.

Now, getting to the loch wasn't the easiest as it basically is in the middle of a bunch of hills . . . we had to walk up the side of a waterfall to get to it. And it wasn't the easiest of walks, especially because the path was narrow, and steep at times, and also there were a couple of times when the drop was pretty sheer . . . and I'm not the best with heights. But it was worth the view when we got up there finally!

Loch Skeen feeds into a waterfall called Gray Mare's Tail, which is situated near Moffat in Dumfrieshire. We had visited Gray Mare's Tail once before but the weather had been shite and we had taken the other path, which was cut off to the public after a certain point as it was dangerous. We had determined to come back to do the other path the next time we had enough time to do so and the weather was okay.

When we finally rounded a corner and the loch opened up in front of us, it was breathtaking. If a little boggy. Which I learned after I stepped right in a particularly boggy bit and nearly lost a shoe!

 We met some sheep on the way back down, although they kept their distance...
 Me, with Gray Mare's Tail in the background . . .
 This sheep actually stopped and posed for a picture!
View from up high.... terrifying!!!

I would definitely recommend this walk - it is definitely worth it for the view. You can find out more information here:

Thursday, 11 September 2014


You may or may not know that a week today we're having a little vote in Scotland... well, actually it's a pretty big vote on whether we vote yes or not for an independent Scotland or not. I'm not going to assume any other country necessarily cares though - that would be arrogant of me to do so. The nation has been pretty divided on the whole thing though. Personally, I'm planning to vote yes, but I don't believe in forcing my beliefs down other people's throats. It's up to everyone to make their own decision.

But I digress. Something which was a major talking point a couple of weeks back was the patronising, condescending, chauvinistic "No" advert that Better Together brought out. "The woman who made up her mind." Did you see it, or hear of it? It had people on both sides a bit appalled.  It was so awful that it spurned an entire hashtag on Twitter devoted to the "Patronising BT Lady" as she was so dubbed. Watch it here if you want.

Anyway, various piss-takes and spoofs have been flying about in among the backlash. This was my favourite:

And the other night, I decided on a whim (a bit of a tipsy whim, admittedly) to make up my own piss-take, using my own favourite subject - wine!!! Hope you enjoy...

Did you see the Better Together advert featuring the patronising BT lady? What did you think about it?

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


"So Katie Hopkins has put on three Stone just to prove how easy it is to lose it again? What a fucking idiot. At least she won't need to turn to laxatives... so much shite comes out her mouth she'll probably lose all the weight in a week!" - me, last night

So Katie Hopkins is at it again.

And this time, the professional rent-a-gob is having a go at overweight people.

Fantastic, right? In her latest project, she has DELIBERATELY put on over three stone just so she can prove 1) how easy it is to lose weight and 2) claim that people who can't lose weight are just making excuses.

What a saint this woman is, right? How very good of her to teach us how to lose weight! Let's forget about those people who actually do  have conditions which make it hard for them to lose weight. Let's shame everyone struggling to lose weight just so she can get another fifteen minutes of fame on top of the half hour or so she already didn't deserve.

The quote at the top of this post was my status update on Facebook last night. In 24 hours, 48 people have liked this status update. Much as I'd like to think otherwise, I think all these likes were less to do with my rapier-like wit, and more to do with a mutual hatred of Katie Hopkins.

Why do we keep giving this woman a platform to spew her bile? Is it because we all really need someone to focus our hatred on? Why else do people keep inviting her on shows to say something destined to rile at least half the nation? Why am I maliciously hoping she fails spectacularly in her plan to lose all of this weight again in the same amount of time she put it on, so she has to eat her holier-than-thou words (thank goodness words are calorie-free, right?)? What shite is she going to come out with next?

And why am I even wasting this rant on her???

What do you think of Katie Hopkins, and this latest project???

PS I'm over on Dawniepopsies blog today talking all about one of my favourite subjects... food. And maybe wine too. Go check it out here.

Thursday, 28 August 2014


I've been getting out and about in Scotland a bit recently. I've always been a city girl, by way of a big town, but being in the country, in the middle of hills and glens and surrounded by snow-topped mountains has become something I'm increasingly loving. Because Scotland is so damn beautiful, it really is.

And so I think it's about time I showed you some of it!

First up, let's head to a place I visited last Saturday - this is Puck's Glen, which is near Dunoon. We got the car ferry over (it's not an island, you can drive there but it just takes a bit longer - we drove back), and drove the few miles to Puck's Glen.

 It was a tiny bit magical, like being in an enchanted forest or something like that.

I immediately fell in love. It was so peaceful apart from the noise of the falls. And the occasional other person, of course. (Because you can NEVER escape people in my world.)

The path we chose to take took us past various small waterfalls and through pretty woodland.

And there were some steeper bits too, of course! Although mostly very safe. :-) (When I get to my Loch Skeen post you'll see what I mean!)

After walking past the waterfalls we ended up on higher ground, still surrounded by trees though. Part of me just wanted to head back the way we'd came though, it was just so pretty down there.

If you like waterfalls and pretty scenery, I would definitely recommend a trip to Puck's Glen... Further information can be found here:

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


As you all probably know about me, I am a bit of an enthusiastic "dieter". Well, sort of.

Here is the constant cycle I go through. I'm sure some of you can identify . . .

Diet means healthy (disclaimer: I know it does not necessarily mean this). Healthy means good. Good means acquiring the abs of Britney Spears when she's not mainlining junk food and the bum cheeks of Kylie Minogue in the "Spinning Around" era. Yes. I am going to do this. I am I am I am.

This is the bit I love the most. I love the internet, I love googling the different types of diet going, what the best way to exercise and lose the most weight is this week . . . I love looking at Instagram for inspiration. I like reading diet and fitness magazines. I especially like to do all of the planning while enjoying a bottle of wine and some pizza. And maybe some chocolate too while I'm at it. Because I'm OBVIOUSLY not going to be allowed any of these once I hit Dietsville.

This follows on logically from step 2. The bad stuff has got to go before I start the diet. It's got to go . . . in my stomach. Of course.

4. DAY 1
It all starts so well . . .I'm totally prepared and eager to get started. My breakfast has been made the night before, I chop up salad ingredients for lunch in the morning, I've allowed myself extra time to get the food prepared, if I'm REALLY organised I've even updated the calorie intake for breakfast and lunch into My Fitness Pal before I actually EAT anything. I'm good to go for the day.

Of course, my first day of a diet will almost always coincide with a colleague bringing in some sort of amazing home-made treat, or my favourite type of sweet in the world ever (I swear it's a conspiracy). It will also usually coincide with me having either an a) incredibly stressful day or b) an incredibly boring day both of which will make me want to eat junk. It also usually coincides with the unexpected arrival of my period. If I resist this treat, it's a miracle. If I give in, it's an early exit straight back to stage one to start planning (and eating junk) all over again in preparation of the next attempt. On the first day of my diet though, I'm generally pretty good. I'm feeling motivated. I'm thinking "this time I'm going to make it work", that I'm going to make my gym bunny sister jealous of MY stomach muscles instead of the other way around . . . I can beat the temptation. Go me. I AM STRONG!!!

Off I go home, all ready to make a healthy meal. Two hours later I have dirtied pretty much every dish in my kitchen, and am actually so tired I can barely be bothered to EAT whatever healthy "mush" I have spent my leisure time creating. And why is my newly-emptied bin already full? Why does healthy eating involve so many dishes and so much RUBBISH???

I must have a treat before I go to bed. Even if I've managed to stay good all day, I always need something at night, it's like rewarding myself for being good all day! (You KNOW it makes sense.) I try and force myself not to overdo it though. I congratulate myself for being good and go to bed. Where I can't sleep properly because my stomach won't stop growling at me.

I step on the scale and realise I've lost no weight yet. (This is usually day 4 maximum and, yes, I know I have massively unrealistic expectations). Also realise I have no clean dishes or Tupperware left and therefore I should have chips and cheese for lunch followed by whatever treat is in work that day, followed by a pizza for dinner and a bottle of sauvignon blanc. Or two. Weigh myself the next day with trepidation only to discover I've actually lost two pounds since the day before. Decide dieting is silly and I should just stick to everything in moderation. Which obviously means eat EVERYTHING ALWAYS. Put weight back on, feel depressed and decide "Oooh, I know, I should go on a diet! What diet should I go on? What exercise should I do? Oooh, let's get planning.... where's that cava???"


Ah, fuck it. There's wine in the fridge. . . ;-)

Saturday, 19 July 2014


I rarely complain about bad service. Even when it is REALLY bad. I'm not the confrontational type. I don't like to cause a scene.

But this time, I can't hold my peace, because what I was subjected to last night was ludicrous.

I've been a fan of the pub McPhabbs for years. We used to nip up for lunch on a Friday regularly years back, and I would occasionally be there for a night out and I always loved it. But I don't think I've been there for a good couple of years. Anyway, it was me and the boyfriend's 9 month anniversary last night, and we decided to go for dinner there after a couple of drinks at a work leaving night.

I was really looking forward to it. The menu had changed since I'd been last and I already had planned what I was going to have for my starter and main by the time my boyfriend booked it through a restaurant booking website. Mushrooms to start, and then the mac and cheese and chips. I was even talking about how much I was looking forward to the meal as we walked up there just before seven. Anyways . . .

I'd also had a pretty shitty and stressful week, working eight plus hour days from Tuesday to Thursday, and had been in work in 8am on Friday, so this gave me an extra big reason to look forward to dinner. It was booked for 7pm and I only came out of a last-minute meeting at 4.15ish so we headed up to the leaving night in Rockus and were there for about quarter to five.

Three drinks later, it was about quarter to seven, so we left Rockus to head for dinner. Now, some of you readers know me in real life and you know this: three drinks does not make me drunk. Three drinks in and I'm pretty much the same I am sober. This is not a boast. If anything, it is a little frustrating that I am not a cheap date. So when I left Rockus, I was in the same state that I had arrived in. Remember this for later.

So we got to McPhabbs, and were lead to the reserved table. A different dude came up to serve us. We had a free drink with our two course dinner deal, but the boyfriend had asked if we could possibly upgrade this to a bottle and pay for the extra. This was swiftly (and not politely) rebuffed. That would have been fair enough though. I think both of us would have understood that.

What happened next is actually one of the most appalling and humiliating acts of bad customer service I have ever been party to.

This guy then starts interrogating me as to how many drinks I have had. At this point, I think the only thing I've probably said is what colour of wine I want. I said three, wondering immediately why I'm being treated like it's midnight and I'm in the queue at the Garage trying to get my story straight. He informs me I am SLURRING MY WORDS and that I can have my drink as part of the deal but that's it. As far as he's concerned, that's it. He then stalks off self-righteously.

I already felt humiliated and spoken-down to. I am 34 years old and have NEVER been spoken to like that in a place where I am (or would have been) a paying customer. I think the fact that I was quite patently NOT drunk added to the humiliation - had I been drunk I would have probably just have meekly accepted the fact that I was drunk and taken that last drink and ate dinner. However, I felt really upset and embarrassed that I was being picked on for no reason . . . so when the boyfriend suggested we left, I agreed. So we left. I got about ten steps away and then my anger kicked in. I decided to go back but my boyfriend had the same anger creeping in so he went instead. Which makes sense. I am so bad at confrontation and I was so angry and upset that I was shaking and on the verge of tears... I would not have been able to provide a coherent argument.

So the boyfriend went back and spoke to the guy... but to no avail. I obviously was not party to the conversation... but it seems like my boyfriend was speaking to a rude brick wall. He came back even more annoyed, we decided to go elsewhere and booked a table at Roastit Bubbly Jocks in Dumbarton Road instead. Lovely food, and I was permitted wine without any arsy-ness. Result!

I still remain angry though... let me re-iterate the points.

I had THREE drinks beforehand. I wasn't drunk. I was there for DINNER. I actually didn't even mind that much about the alcohol, but I resent being spoken to like I'm either an alcoholic or a child. The man's customer service was appalling. You do not speak to customers like that. I was not making any sort of scene either. And someone pointed out to me on twitter today, some people have conditions which mean they DO slur their words. So to humiliate me on THAT basis (if anything this now makes me paranoid I have a speech impediment I was not previously aware of) is actually borderline discrimination.

McPhabbs was a place I really liked, which I had fond memories of. However, it has now been tainted for me. There are plenty of amazing places in Glasgow, with amazing food and amazing customer service, and the service we were shown for that five minutes we were in there last night was completely below par. I won't be back there.

I've been compiling a post about good places to go for food in Glasgow which should be up in the next few days. This will NOT be making the cut. Well done!

UPDATE. After I posted this, a fellow blogger re-tweeted my link to it, copying in McPhabbs. They contacted me directly to ask for further information but, a month on, I still haven't heard anything further.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014


Earlier last month I was on the Greek island of Corfu, in the beautiful peaceful little resort of Kalami. It was absolutely beautiful and I would thoroughly recommend a visit if you ever get the chance.

Here's a couple of fun facts about Corfu:

  • Despite its beauty, it tends to be one of the cheapest options when it comes to booking a holiday, at least from the UK. (Greek islands often are)
  • As it's closer to Albania than Greece, it's actually a ridiculously short flight from the UK, if you aren't a big fan of long flights like myself. It ended up being just over 3 hours which compared to nearer to five hours to the other Greek Islands I've been to, or to the Canary Islands, is pretty damn short.
  • The flight times are relatively normal compared to the other Greek islands I've been to. We had an early morning flight out and a lunchtime flight back. The last Greek island I visited was Zante back in 2010 and our late flighttimes drove me nuts . . . having to leave at six am on a Monday morning after having to check out of our room at midday the previous day was exhausting!
Anyway, whether you like it or not, here are some pictures from my trip. :-)


Don't worry, if you're experiencing holiday envy with my pictures from Paris and now Corfu, there's no need to panic... this weekend I am visiting the far more exotic climes of BLACKPOOL, so the pictures may not be quite so pretty. You never know though... my phone camera IS pretty good. ;-)

Have you ever been to Corfu?