Monday, 29 February 2016

SOCIAL MEDIA MYTHS . . . AND ME!!!

Social media, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever other platform you wish to use, is a great way to project the image you want the world to see of you. Whether you mean to do this or not, whether it's particularly true to reality or not. It happens to me too, sometimes by choice, sometimes by accident, just in the things I post on Facebook or Twitter, or the pictures I post on Instagram.

So allow me to debunk some social media myths about me . . .



SOCIAL MEDIA MYTH #1: I'M REALLY OUTDOORSY AND ACTIVE

I'm really not. We go for a lot of drives around Scotland, yes. But many of my beautiful landscape pictures are taken when I've braced myself and jumped out of the car for twenty seconds. On the other occasions I've probably been out of puff and whining as I climb a slight hill or panic about falling off the side of a cliff. Oh, and I'm never appropriately dressed for a walk. Cut to me, walking along the side of aforementioned cliff wearing faux fur and UGG boots... :-/


SOCIAL MEDIA MYTH #2: I'M ALWAYS GOING ON HOLIDAY

I get this a lot. Yes, we do go away quite regularly, but more often than not it's just a night at a time in wherever we can get a cheap overnight stay or it's some sort of voucher deal I've got the fella as a present or vice versa. A lot of the other times people think we're on holiday we've literally just driven somewhere for a half day and taken some pictures. I kind of resent people assuming I'm always on holiday. I'm not made of money for a start.



SOCIAL MEDIA MYTH #3: I'M YOUNG

You can actually think this all you want - maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, but I do feel I come across as far younger on social media than I actually am. Okay, I'm only 36 . . . but people in real life are always surprised that I'm not younger, so I would imagine that it would happen a lot on social media too. Perhaps just because I occasionally come across as ridiculously immature... ;-)


SOCIAL MEDIA MYTH #4: I'M A SOCIAL BUTTERFLY

You might think from my frequent check-ins that I'm always out but more often than not I prefer to just stay in with my laptop, a good book, and (often) a bottle of wine. I need to recharge my batteries after a few nights out in a row, and regularly just want to hibernate. I also hate being around a lot of people at once, I find it exhausting trying to pretend to be the life and soul of the party when I'm really struggling to appear interesting but finding even small talk a chore.



SOCIAL MEDIA MYTH #5: I EAT REALLY HEALTHY NEARLY ALL OF THE TIME

Most of the food I put on my Instagram is healthy and home-made, but let's say I probably only am eating that way 4 out of about 7 days of every week. I may put up the odd picture of a greasy pizza or (best of all!) a tub of chips and cheese . . . but I probably eat far more of this delicious junk than you would think from my pictures. Simple carbs just aren't as aesthetically pleasing as fruit  and vegetables and rainbow colours . . . however they taste far far better than they photograph. ;-)


What is misleading about your social media?





Thursday, 25 February 2016

TV PROGRAMMES YOU SHOULD CATCH UP WITH ON NETFLIX . . .

I think as a nation we are all about Netflix these days. I constantly hear people talking about Orange Is The New Black and Making a Murderer, and I've been trying and failing to catch up with Pretty Little Liars on there too. (I'm still only on season 2 ). 

Anyhoo, I wanted to tell you about some of my favourite little gems on Netflix . . . you may have missed them first time around when they were on regular TV or you might just not have considered them. Or maybe you've just forgotten they existed and need a reminder.


Buffy The Vampire Slayer

DA-DADA-DUM!!! If you've never watched Buffy you're missing out. Sarah Michelle Gellar is awesome as high school student Buffy Summers, who is the latest in a long line of "slayers". A great cast of characters, great fight scenes, snappy dialogue and the necessary dose of high school angst gives great TV show.


The Office

I never managed to get into the US version but I absolutely LOVE the original tv show. If you've ever worked in an office you can identify with it - we've all met a David Brent (surely Ricky Gervais' best character ever), been part of or witnessed a Dawn-and-Tim romance, or wanted to smack a Gareth.


Charmed

This has to be one of my favourite shows ever (I watch it on E4 every morning when I'm getting ready for work, even though I've seen every episode already numerous times). This is the story of three girls who discover they are witches and, as a result, have to juggle their every day lives with fighting demons.


Arrested Development

Quirky wee show, featuring the eccentric Bluth family (and Jason Bateman before he hit the big time) - many laugh out loud moments and at times utter surrealness. (Is that a word? Does it matter? Just watch it.)


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Okay this is relatively new. And I wouldn't have found it had it not been for Netflix in the first place. But it's brilliant and if you haven't already watched it, you must!


How I Met Your Mother

Once "Friends" ended I needed a replacement - and HIMYM eventually came along and did the best they could to fill that hole. It dealt with a lot of similar themes, but usually put a refreshing little twist on things. Great cast of characters, great dialogue and storylines... and nine whole seasons to catch up on? Yes please!


Fawlty Towers

It's hard to believe that only a dozen episodes of this classic sitcom were ever made. But that's indeed the case. It may be dated but this sitcom set in a Torquay hotel starring John Cleese amuses me far more than the majority of British sitcoms these days will ever do.


Dead Like Me

And last but not least, you may not even have heard of this one . . . but "Dead Like Me" is brilliant. A directionless 18 year old is killed by a toilet seat falling from space and becomes a reaper who removes the souls of people just before they die. It sounds really depressing, I know . . . but it actually isn't. Just watch it . . . you'll see!


Anything I'm missing on Netflix?

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

MESS AND STRESS . . .

Just a drop in the bucket . . .
I’m a messy little pup.

Most people know this about me. I seem to create a little mess around me wherever I go. One of the boyfriend’s couches is completely covered in my stuff. (He has offered to give me wardrobe/drawer space but because we often stay at mine too the couch seems like an easier place to store my crap.)  In my own flat there is a suitcase on the living room floor with the clothes I didn’t wear from my last holiday . . . in October last year.

Yes. I’m a nightmare.

Sometimes I think I would love to be one of those people who are mildly obsessed with keeping everything neat and clean. But sadly I am not.

So, if you are anything like me, here are some struggles you might understand . . .



THE DIRTY DISH DILEMMA: 

Washing dishes is a nightmare. But you need to eat. So you either have to try and use as few dishes as possible, in many inventive ways such as using the inside of the lid of the tub you’re putting your lunch in as a substitute chopping board, or get someone else to do them for you. Even worse than the dirty dish dilemma is the “week's worth of dirty dishes you’ve been putting off doing” dilemma. Which is a whole other nightmare and may involve you just throwing out some of the dishes rather than actually washing them all. (Yes. I have done this before. I’m not proud.)


THE ENDLESS CYCLE (pun intended) OF WASHING CLOTHES:

Clothes go in the washing machine. They then need to be hung up to dry. By the time you’re doing this you already have more clothes that need washed. There’s just no end!!!


CLEANING IS CONSTANT:

Anything you clean is pretty much instantly dirty again. The oven, the bathroom . . . it kind of makes you wonder what the point is.


CHANGING THE BEDDING:
Gosh, is there anything nicer than getting into a bed with newly clean sheets? Probably not . .. but trying to actually change the sheets and put a new cover on the quilt is so exhausting it could actually double as your exercise for that day.


VACUUMING IS EXHAUSTING:
I don't think I need to say more than this, except one time in my old flat I was trying to vacuum in the flat hallway and Henry the Hoover nearly gave me a heart attack when I turned around and his smiley red face was following me. I don't know where I thought he would be...


TAKING THE RUBBISH OUT:
It was bad enough when I lived in a first floor flat – now I live on the third floor it’s even more of a chore. Especially if it’s been left for a couple of days weeks. And unless it’s timed with the day the rubbish has been uplifted it can be a struggle to even find space for it in the bins.


I think I need a maid. . .

Sunday, 21 February 2016

SCOTLAND THE BEAUTIFUL . . . TARBERT!


So this weekend me and the fella popped over for a wee overnight stay in Tarbert. I've only been there once before, passing through it on the way back from Campbeltown last year... but I remembered it being very pretty, so had got the fella a hotel deal as part of his Christmas deal. I was glad my memory hadn't deceived me, as it is a lovely wee place.





 Around about two hours drive from Glasgow, you can reach the little harbour village of Tarbert by road (drive up the side of Loch Lomond, take a left at Tarbet (no relation), and then it's a dramatic drive past the Arrochar Alps and along the Rest and Be Thankful (A83) road (my second favourite road, btw).

Alternatively you can go to Portavadie on the Cowal peninsula (if you're new to this blog, you'll soon find out we like to explore peninsulas!) and get a ferry over.



After checking into the hotel we went for a little wander, snapping pics of the village, and then heading up to Tarbert Castle, on a hill above it. The views from atop the hill were ace! We knew the weather was going to turn soon, and unfortunately it did, while we were up exposed on the hill. As we hurried back down, I slid and ended up on my arse on the spongy muddy ground in amongst sheep droppings. I was not impressed!!! So, if you do head up that way and it's been wet, watch your footing!
 


As you can probably guess, I was really not impressed with the whole falling over in mud situation . . . it was straight back to the hotel after that to shower and change clothes before being bought a medicinal wine or two in the pub next door to the hotel. That instantly helped - despite me being jacket-less since mine was covered in shit and I didn't anticipate having to have a spare one of those with me.

As for the hotel itself, that was lovely - the Anchor Hotel had comfy, well-equipped rooms, we had a lovely view of the water, the staff were friendly . . . and the Seabed restaurant which was part of the hotel was fantastic. I had goats cheese and hazelnut croquettes followed by pork belly and it was absolutely delicious. Thoroughly recommend!

 
If you are ever in the area, you should definitely head to Tarbert for a visit. In fact, why not check out Campbeltown and the rest of the Kintyre peninsula while you're at it? (You can see my post here about the rest of the area.)
 
For more information about Tarbert, you can go here.


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

6 THINGS *GUARANTEED* TO HAPPEN AS SOON AS YOU START A HEALTH KICK . . .

The struggle is real, people.

1) You will get that text. You know the text I mean. The one from Domino's offering you pizza for half of the usual extortionate price. Trying to lure you in like an evil cheese-topped greasy temptress. Despite you constantly opting out of receiving any texts or emails from them for that precise reason, they somehow always turn up on your phone the second you've resolved to only let protein and complex carbs pass your lips.

2) The gym will close. This has genuinely happened to me on more than one occasion. I finally make my return to the gym, start to get into a modicum of routine . . . and then I get a text from the gym to tell me it's closing for a few days to get done up or get new machines put in or something ridiculous like that. Then I am so pissed off with it that I'll boycott it...

3) The weather will be shit. I don't know about you, but bad weather is guaranteed to make me crave comfort food and curling up under a duvet on the couch with wine and chocolate. Oh, and that cheap pizza that Domino's has just text me about . . .

4) You'll suddenly receive more invites than Paris Hilton did when she was a "thing". Suddenly all the old friends come out of the woodwork wanting to meet out and hang out; your phone is full of texts inviting you out for dinner and drinks. (One time, not a word of a lie, I got like five or six invites for the same day the day after starting a new diet. And they were all for a WEDNESDAY) You can't turn them down surely, you have to say yes. It would literally be rude not to.

5) Speaking of going out, you'll suddenly remember that the groupon deal you bought three months ago is about to expire and you need to use it before the end of the week. And it will never be a health or fitness related deal . . .

6) People will bring cakes to the office. And they will be your favourite. Resistance is futile.


Any more?

Monday, 15 February 2016

MORNING STRUGGLES . . . FOR THOSE WHO ARE *NOT* MORNING PEOPLE!

I've never really been a morning person. I'm one of those people who only properly seems to wake up at about seven pm in the evening and find it almost impossible to wind back down. I'm quite definitely a night owl . . .  and if, like me, you are not a morning person, you might identify with some of these issues . . .

Mmmmm.... bed!!!!

The snooze button. Oh that tempting minx, giving us the promise of that extra five minutes or so of sleep . . . and we can hit it as many times as we like. But does the snooze button really help? Do you actually feel more rested after you've pressed that snooze button ten times and finally crawled out of bed an hour and a half later than planned? Probably not...

Meetings arranged before 9.30am. Why? Just . . . why?

Small talk before 9.30am. And not because you're in a meeting. (I have been known to take an alternative route to work if walking just to avoid running into anyone I know and having to start making conversation too early.)

External noise while you are still trying to sleep. Birds who think it's okay to start chirping the second a chink of daylight appears. Overly sensitive car alarms that go off the second a tiny breeze wafts past. Absolute arseholes who randomly press the buzzer to your flat, usually just as they walk up your street. Noises that probably have kicked in just as you've finally managed to fall into a half-decent sleep.

No caffeine. Don't even dare JOKE about this! There had better be caffeine. Caffeine is the only answer.

No breakfast. No long, leisurely breakfast for you - you have calculated exactly how long you need to the minute between finally getting out of bed and having to leave the house without being late. The only way you're getting a breakfast is if you were clever enough to make something up the night before, or you're planning to be really bad and swing by Mickey Ds for a hash brown or twenty. See also: no lunches. Same reason as above.

Transport woes. Whether you're walking, driving or taking public transport, there will be people put in your way seemingly just to try you. Learner driver pulling out slowly in front of you when you're already late for that 9.30 meeting, someone having a loud conversation on their phone (AND IN YOUR EAR) on the train, groups of people taking up the whole pavement and walking slowly so you can't overtake without risking your life walking on the road . . . they all seem to come out of the woodwork in the morning.

Weekends can be a write-off. You're so busy recovering from your "early starts" during the week and need to catch up on your sleep . . . so it's difficult to actually get out of bed and enjoy the weekend. THEN you're tired for the rest of the week due to oversleeping.  Talk about a Catch-22 situation...

Any other issues that only people who are NOT morning people might understand?

Sunday, 14 February 2016

IT WAS ACCEPTABLE IN THE NINETIES . . .

Being born in 1979 (oh man, I feel old even typing that), I lived my teenage years completely in the 1990s. Here's my memories of it:

Me in 1995 . . .

1) Jackie magazine becoming Shout magazine. It was never quite the same after that, and I kept my old stash of Jackie magazines for YEARS. (I'm not at all bitter that I had an unsuccessful interview at Shout several years later.)

2) Getting a CD player but not really having enough pocket money to buy CDs for it and continuing to just keep recording all of my music off the Top 40 on a Sunday night.

3) "Happy Nation" by Ace of Base remains to this day a classic album. (It was the first CD I ultimately bought).

4) Going over to play the Amiga at my friend's house and being gutted that her brother had commandeered it so we couldn't play "Paper Boy" or "California Games" as planned. GUTTED.

5) Instead going through the phone book to see if we could find the numbers of the guys we fancied . . . and then phoning them on the other's behalf to announce "We know someone who fancies you" and then hanging up. (This may be where I got my hatred of phone calls from, in retrospect.)

6) Making a "top 5 best bums" list for the guys in school. I don't think we shared it with them.

7) Wearing one of those tiny black lycra skirts to school because I wanted to show off my legs - then spending the whole day trying to pull it down just a tad because I didn't actually want to get into trouble off the teachers.

8) Going to my first "empty" at 16 without any alcohol and drinking everyone else's dregs. And still managing to get drunk!

9) Having my first kiss at that same party . . . and then the mortification as I remembered on Monday morning that the guy I'd kissed was in my registration class and he was going to be the first person I saw!

10) Spending every night plotting my route between the various buildings in school to ensure I ran into the guy I (and everyone else) fancied as many times as possible. And usually finding my plans foiled my friends, teachers or other unforeseen circumstances the following day when I actually tried to put them into action.

11) Documenting every sighting of the guy I fancied in my diary. Once I seem to recall there was actually an illustration to show where I was on the stairs and where he was when our eyes met for approximately one second. Probably because I was gazing at him like a loon and he was terrified . . . (Good thing he never saw the diary!)

12) Doing that silly "maths" game where you worked out how many % you were compatible with a hot guy based on how many letters in your name you had in common. (Or something REALLY scientific like that . . .)

13) The mortification when a guy I didn't fancy asked a friend to ask me to "get off" (kiss) him. Saying no is easy enough, facing them afterwards in class (or, occasionally, mass!) was always a bit awkward . . .

14) That time our drama teacher gave us all Christmas cards and accidentally signed her first name on one of the guy's cards. That still makes me giggle . . .

15) Wrangler "Roxanne" jeans. Combined with a cropped marl jumper from M&S over a baggy white shirt. I think that might actually be cool again . . .

16) Sun-In . . . I probably wouldn't be blonde today, 20 plus years on, if it hadn't been for me having a bit of a dabble with this. Okay . . . it completely messed up my hair . . . but from the age of 15/16 I discovered I actually did have more fun as a blonde!


Anyone else have any 90s memories? Or even just teenage memories?

Friday, 12 February 2016

"THE FEAR" : A GUIDE . . .

Who hasn't experienced "The Fear"??? I guess the output of The Fear is mostly limited to those who actually consume alcohol so perhaps you haven't experienced it. But, if you are nodding your head to my first sentence and possibly cringing at the vague recollection of something silly you did on a night out - or even the vague recollection of a feeling that you might have done something silly on a night out . . . then maybe you don't need this guide!




WHAT IS "THE FEAR"?

According to Urban Dictionary, The Fear is defined as  "the sense that you have done yourself some lasting damage after a night of drinking".

The damage obviously includes a hangover and its horrendous symptoms, but also the emotional and psychological damage as you try to piece your memories of the previous night together . . . and what you might have done!


THE JOURNEY TOWARDS THE FEAR . . .

  • Ordering a bottle of wine upon arrival at the first bar might help get you on the road to The Fear more quickly than you might normally. Especially if it's just for you. (If you're anything like me though, you'll ask for two glasses just so no one suspects it is just for you.)
  • Deciding that "eating is cheating" is also going to get you headed towards Fearsville. Particularly if you have been recently dieting and/or eating clean and/or not touching a lot of alcohol.
  • Shots. Sambucca makes sense. Or tequila. Or how about a jagerbomb? Or how about a mix of all three  . . .plus some others?
  • Mixing drinks (on top of the wine and shots) - so you think "oh god, I can't drink any more wine. I'll go onto vodka and lemonade" . . .
  • Going to a night out when you have a lot of pent-up frustration about a situation or a person is a very good way of fuelling The Fear . . . especially if the situation is brought up or the person is there.
  • Starting drinking early, being pissed by six pm . . . and still drinking post-midnight is going to give you drunken time to do or say silly things.
THINGS THAT *MAY* HAVE HAPPENED WHEN YOU HAVE THE FEAR . . .

  • You might have tried to kiss someone . . . and been rejected.
  • You might have got into a massive argument with someone who has been annoying you for a while. Or a complete stranger.
  • You might have fallen over on the dancefloor and been unable to get back up without the aid of several strangers.
  • You might have tried to sit down on a chair and missed, fallen on the floor (again) and ended up with a massively bruised arse.
  • You might have started crying over an ex and been a bit of a Debbie Downer but otherwise pretty harmless.
  • You might have actually done nothing wrong or embarrassing at all . . . it's just that you can't properly remember so there's always that possibility that you have something to feel mortified about.
IN CONCLUSION:

Having The Fear sucks . . . it really does. There are no hard and fast rules for how to end up with The Fear and you can never guarantee the actual outcome . . .

However, over the years I have had a few occasions where I've had a bout of The Fear the next day so I consider myself a wee bit of an expert on this subject. Sooooo . . .  if you go on a night out and follow ALL of the hints and tips in that one night . . . then there's a fairly good chance you'll have a very unhealthy dose of The Fear the next day.

And honestly? I wouldn't recommend it.


Have you ever had a particularly bad dose of The Fear?


Thursday, 11 February 2016

ONE-PAN CHICKEN, VEGETABLE AND COCONUT CURRY . . .

Ah . . . once upon a time a recipe blog post from me was once in a blue moon. These days they are far more frequent . . . maybe once every six months? ;-)

Anyway, last night I had my pole fitness class and the fella had 5-a-sides pretty much straight afterwards and THEN we still had to go buy some food, so by the time we got back to my flat it was nine-ish. We didn't want to wait too long to eat so I threw together as quick a curry as I could. It was absolutely delicious though, which is why I felt I had to share it.

It's healthy, simple, doesn't dirty too many dishes (always an important point), and the most calorific ingredient is the sachet of coconut. You can leave that out if you want but I think that creamy coconut just tops this curry off perfectly. You can also throw in whatever veg you wish, or substitute the chicken for turkey, or maybe even quorn if you don't eat meat. Basically just take the basics and do what you want with it.

Normally if I am making a meat curry I'll cook the meat separately, then fry up the veg and spice with the tomatoes etc and blend with a stick blender before adding coconut THEN add the meat back in. . . that was going to be waayyyy too much hassle last night. You can do all of this in one pan and, so the fiddliest thing you have to do is the food-chopping, Ideal!

The ingredients below gave two of us a generous portion when served with half a packet of microwaveable rice each - you could possibly eat the whole amount yourself if you're going carb free though so just vary the quantity of the ingredients bearing this in mind.


EASY ONE-PAN CHICKEN, VEGETABLE AND COCONUT CURRY


Easy, delicious curry ready to eat . . . how can you resist???

Ingredients:
  • Frylight or olive oil (depending on what diet or how saintly you're being)
  • 250 g diced chicken
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 5/6 mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped up finely
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 400 g carton of pasata (use one containing herbs/chilli/pepper/garlic if you wish)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • Equal amounts of hot chilli powder, medium curry powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander and paprika (I used roughly 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of each)
  • Herbs (optional - I used a sprinkling of basil, oregano and parsley)
  • 50g of creamed coconut (Patak's do 50 g sachets)

Method:

Dice the chicken, if you haven't bought ready diced. (I actually had, but I broke it up into smaller pieces with my spatula as I fried it) and fling into the pan with frylight or olive oil. Fry until the chicken is cooked.

Add the vegetables in to the pan with the chicken and get them heated up too. I gave these about five minutes, just making sure I was moving the chicken around a lot so there was no risk of it getting burnt.

Throw in the passata. Watch out for splashes! I then added a tiny bit of water to the empty carton of passata, and tossed that in too, followed by the vegetable stock cube (ain't nobody got time for mixing a stock cube and water together - I reserve that sort of respect solely for risotto) . . . and then it's time for the spices and (optional) herbs. Mix all of these in and leave it to simmer for a bit, another five minutes or so. (By this point I was getting very impatient and hungry and really wanting my dinner.)

Open the sachet of coconut, if possible break it up into pieces before you add it to the pan (makes it a bit easier to melt). Now you're basically just waiting until the coconut has melted in. To be honest, as I served up the meal to the fella, I said to him "there may be a bit of unmelted coconut in this. But is that really a bad thing???"

Once you're sure the coconut has all melted - or you just can't wait any longer to eat - serve it up with a microwaveable packet of rice (we went for Uncle Ben's pilau rice, which went beautifully with it) and stuff it in your gob.


It's ace. Pinky swear.

If you liked this recipe, you might fancy trying out one of my others. How about chilli con carne, thai red salmon curry, kidney bean curry, chilli con Tuna OR, if you're in the mood for something a little bit LESS healthy, how about trying out my pizza recipe?

Please let me know if you do try this recipe or any of the others? I'd love to know how you get on!

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

ON LIKING SPOILERS . . .

I must be one of the few people in the world who actually WANTS to find out spoilers.

Who actively seeks them out, even!!!

It's a bit weird of me, I know. It's weird. I mean I love a neat little twist as much as the next person. But all of my life I have always tried to hunt out the spoiler. The minute someone says "oh, you won't believe what happens in season 3 of -inserttvprogrammehere-" I suddenly find myself fighting the urge to go and look it up online... and quickly give in to said urge.

Did you ever read the Nancy Drew Files books? They used to have a little blurb on them suggesting who the ultimate villain of the piece might be, giving you three options before you even dove into the book. This wasn't enough for me. Within a couple of chapters I'd be flipping to the end because I couldn't wait to find out who the perpetrator actually was. Once I knew I'd actually be far happier reading the book, and I would actually feel somehow less itchy-skinned reading the book now I knew exactly what I was dealing with.

When "The Sixth Sense" came out in the cinema, everyone was raving about it . . . and the amazing twist which no one wanted to tell me. I can't remember if I had to force someone to tell me eventually or look it up . . . but I knew the twist long LOOOONNNNGGGG before I eventually saw the film. But I feel like I enjoyed it more for knowing how it was going to play out.

There's about 500 hundred shows I've started watching and am yet to finish yet I know exactly how they are going to end because I couldn't resist googling it. That doesn't mean I'm not going to eventually get around to finishing those 500 shows. It just means I don't need to stress out about watching them anytime soon because I know how they're going to end. I can take my time and get to them when I eventually feel ready.

Oh, and occasionally if I'm watching the quiz show "The Chase" on ITV+1 I'll even end up checking the hashtag on Twitter to see whether the Chaser or the contestants win. Since more often than not it seems to be The Chaser who is victorious, much to my disappointment, it helps me accept that fact earlier on.

BUT . . . and this is important . . . I will NOT tell you the spoiler. I am not and have never been a "spoiler-teller", no siree! The spoiler is safe with me. 

ANYWAY, yes,  I have a problem clearly. In a way though, I think this desire to know how a story ends reflects ME and the sort of person I am . . . I would always like to know how my stories end and obviously life is not like that at all. Like if someone had told me years ago that I would be happy and settled in however many years time, maybe I wouldn't have had as many little downward spirals where I wondered if I would ever feel properly happy. Or, for example, back in 2001/2002 when I experienced a few stretches of unemployment, if someone had told me where the light at the end of the tunnel would be, I could have relaxed and actually enjoyed not having a job for a wee while. And the problem is that life isn't like that.

We don't have access to spoilers for our own lives.

Wow. That was fairly profound. But I think that may be why I enjoy a spoiler as much as I do in other areas of life!

Okay, that's me off my soapbox for now. Speaking of soaps . . . I might go and google some spoilers for "Hollyoaks" now, try and find out who that Gloved Hand Killer is going to bump off next before it actually happens . . . ;-)

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

CHEER-ME-UP TUESDAY: THE 2016 EDITION . . .

Let's face it - my Cheer Me Up Tuesday posts are so few and far between these days that the title of this post is probably quite apt  . . . this probably will be my only CMUT (oh dear - those initials!) post this year.

(Maybe this is not a bad thing. Maybe it means my bad Tuesdays are fewer and far between than they used to be. Yet Tuesday continues to be mainly the worst day of the week. Oh well...)

Anyway, here are some things that have cheered me up this week and will continue to do so today in particular . . .

(Disclaimer: it is fairly Buzzfeed heavy. I make no apologies for this).

  • I love Whole Foods but it is ridiculously expensive. Therefore this compilation of some of the funniest tweets about the store really hit home. . .
  • "27 Worst Things About Going to Stock Photo University" was one of the best things that happened to my week. I giggled my way through it, immediately shared it to Facebook, then made the fella read it too before he even had a chance to stalk me on Facebook and find it for himself.
  • Ever wondered how companies come up with nail polish names? This tongue-in-cheek article about what nail polish colours were called if they were named honestly probably won't enlighten the genuinely curious . . . but it gave me a laugh!
  • I have recently been trying to find some new blogs to read as so many of the ones on my blogroll no longer post anything . . . and the best I've found recently is Vix Meldrew. LOADS of her posts are hilarious but this recent one about things that give her trust issues was one of the funniest - and true! -  posts I've read this weekend.
  • Links done for now! Other things to cheer me up offline? Pancakes today. Those were good. Oh, and I'm on a three day week this week so today is effectively my Thursday night and I have a four day weekend coming up. Plans include burgers at Chequers, hopefully a couple of hours pretending to be a pool shark . . . might even try and bag some charity shop bargains! Oh and sleep. Lots of sleep. Likewise with wine . . .
Anything else to cheer up my Tuesday? Feel free to share!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

DATE IDEAS . . .

Dates are fun, eh?

Well, actually, I have never been too good at the whole dating thing . . . or I wasn't when I was single anyway. I hated eating in front of guys and my ideal date was just going to the pub and drinking enough wine so I could feel comfortable and not remotely awkward.

But anyway . . . these days I enjoy a good wee date. But it's fun to mix it up a bit. I've never been a massive cinema fan (the last time I went to see a film was May 2014) and I've never really understood it as a date setting . . . BECAUSE YOU CAN'T SPEAK!!! Well, unless you want to be that annoying couple who ruin everyone else's cinema experience by talking all the way through it.  But here are some other ideas for you which I thoroughly approve of!


 Dinner date - Yeah yeah, I know it's an obvious one. But there are so many decent deals out there these days, through booking sites and voucher sites like groupon, 5pm.co.uk or itison. And you can mix it up - it doesn't necessarily have to be a straightforward meal. How about an afternoon tea, cheeseboard or . . . if you could find somewhere that does fondue, whether that is of the cheese or chocolate variety . . . wouldn't that be fun? That is the ultimate sharing meal!

Bowling - I love ten-pin bowling. Nothing like a wee bit of healthy competition. Oh, and you can accompany it with booze if wanted. (Wee tip: if you register online with your local ten pin alley, you might get emailed offers/money off - I know bowling isn't the cheapest option when it comes to dating!)


Pub crawl - A pub crawl can be a great laugh. If you can be bothered moving pubs. It's a good way to do to take in a good wee variety of different bars in a certain area rather than just sticking to your usual haunts.  If you are, like me, in the Glasgow area, see my post here for some inspiration of where you could go for a pub crawl. Otherwise, you're on your own . . . but I have faith in you, reader, I'm sure you can work it out!

Pool - See the bowling suggestion re: healthy competition. The fella has now got membership at a snooker/pool club at the centre of Glasgow which means we can book a pool table for however long we want and just play - while once again having a couple of drinks if we wish. Okay . . . so I tend to lose . . . but it's still fun in the meantime!

Walk - go for a big walk somewhere. There are so many pretty walks, waterfalls, peninsulas, places to be explored. Go do it together. And if you are in Scotland or nearby, my Scotland the Beautiful series will give you LOADS of suggestions. AND . . . if you do go a big walk . . . you're totally justified to eat and drink your body weight in junk afterwards if you want!

Movie night - I know, I know . . . I said that the cinema wasn't ideal date fodder. But how about you have a movie night in, you each choose a movie you want the other to watch (so "Die Hard" would once have been his choice and "Clueless" would have been mine, for example), get in the junk food and wine, and curl up on the sofa to enjoy . . . and the best bit is if you want to chat (or pee!) mid-film you have the power to pause the film!

Barbeque for two - best saved for the warmer months (I know it's rare in Scotland, mind) but a wee barbeque in the garden accompanied by a wee bit of music and sunshine is pretty damn good.


Random trip - Last of all . . .  how about a wee trip to a castle (see the Scotland the Beautiful series again) or the zoo, an amusement arcade, theme park or, if you are in the vicinity, me and the fella went for a lovely trip to the Scottish Owl Centre (he got me it as a present) . . . When you think about it actually the possibilities are endless!

Any other ideas?

Friday, 5 February 2016

PETITE GIRL PROBLEMS . . .

Small girl, bigger problems . . .

  • Gigs.  There's no point trying to get up in the front. I'll get crushed and I hate THAT many people being too close to me. So instead I have to stand back a bit... and it's only a matter of time before the tallest person in the place stands right in front of me and completely blocks my view. To be fair though, even a person of average height directly in front of me is going to completely block my view...

  • Reaching things that are high up. To be honest, this is okay most of the time. I can usually just about reach the top shelf in the supermarket... as long as whatever I'm reaching for is at the front of the shelf. If it's at the back of the shelf then I'm a goner. But as long as the wine I like is easily reachable then I can make my peace with this one I suppose...

  • Trousers being too long for me. Or short. I seem to be the perfect in between height between an average trouser leg length and a petite one. Thank goodness for dresses and skirts!

  • Not being good in heels. High heels are of course the ideal way to add height. But I struggle to walk in most of them, and they HURT! So I reserve them mainly for special occasions. And then pretty much everyone is wearing high heels anyway . . . so it's not like I'm actually gaining an advantage!

  • Trying to get up (or down) from high stools. Like climbing frames. For adults. And the opposite of fun.

  • Being height-shamed. So I tell people I'm 5'3" and I think I might be rounding up a tad to make myself feel a tiny bit taller than I actually am. People calling me on that little (pun intended) white lie makes me feel very stabby. Do it at your peril.

  • Feeling like a giant. Feeling small compared to others 85% of the time should make me happy when I'm around people smaller than me, right? I should enjoy being taller - but weirdly I suddenly feel like I'm towering over the person I'm with. The grass is always greener I suppose . . .

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

MY BRAIN ON A PLANE . . .



As I type, the fella is on a flight back to Glasgow from London . . . which I guess has prompted this post. I view flying as a necessary evil - I dislike the whole process intensely but I want to get places quickly so I need to do it.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I give to you .. . . pretty much my entire thought process from start to finish when I'm flying anywhere . . .



1) Where's check-in? Oh, it's the desk with the longest line in the world. OF COURSE. Why would I have expected anything else?

2) Of course I packed my bag myself! I can't afford a servant.

3) God, I hope my suitcase isn't over the weight limit. Will I have to queue all over again if it is?

4) Security now. Great.

5) Must not say anything inappropriate to the workers at security. Again. This will not be a repeat of the time I told the girl patting me down that it was the most action I'd had in ages.

6) Do I have too much change in my purse? After that time they searched my bag because there was too much change in my purse, I'm going to be paranoid about this forever.

7) Please don't search my bag. I know where everything is right now. If you take it all out and put it back in, I won't know where anything is anymore. :-(

8) Am I working? Yes. Crap, no pre-drink vino for me.

9) Am I on holiday? Yes. Excellent, let's set up camp in the first pub we can find!!!

10) It says "go to gate". Shite. I'll have to down my wine.

11) Bugger. Now I need the loo.

12) I've been to the loo. But I still need the loo. Argh!

13) There is no space to sit or stand at the gate. Might as well go to the loo again.

14) Why do I still need the loo?

15) Oooh, time to queue. Since I'm in window seat, what are the bets the person in the aisle seat is in front of me in the queue? Fairly high, based on previous experience...

16) *climbing over person in aisle seat* For fuck's sake.

17) Oh god, we're taking off. Please let it be a safe flight.

18) When do they start the bar service?

19) What if they've ran out of wine before they get to me????

20) I'd better get a couple of bottles just in case.



21) I still need the loo!! I'll have to hold it in.

22) No, it's too much... I'm going to have to give in and just go to the...

23) *seatbelt lights go on* Oh well, guess I'm in here for the long haul... hahaha, long haul. I REALLY NEED THE LOO!!!

24) Please land already.

25) Must get off this plane as quickly as possible!!!

26) WHERE IS THE LOO??? Oh wait, that'll be the door with the massive queue of women outside it. Of course .. . .

27) Ah, and now baggage reclaim. How I love the game of luggage roulette . . .


Yep, that's pretty much me anytime I fly. Have I missed anything out???


Monday, 1 February 2016

I WAS A FACEBOOK DRAMA QUEEN . . .

I like that little Facebook Memories function on Facebook. I always get a little giggle at the daily trip down memory lane, seeing what I was up to on that day however many years before. Years of in jokes, friendships and silly pictures at the click of a button . . . it's pretty cool.


However, it can also be a TAD cringeworthy. Because it seems that I used to be an absolute drama queen and use Facebook as a way to showcase this. Even better (or worse) . . . looking back on these updates from the past, I often have no idea now what I was even referring to back then.

Some examples of things I used to do on Facebook which really annoy current me include but are not limited to:

  • The phase I went through where I would share pretty much everything on Facebook - to the point where someone actually messaged me asking if I shared every thought I had on there. I probably did. If I was in a bad/sad mood, you would know all about it. Trust me.

  • Attention seeking status updates - I'd say things like "Paula . . .needs a hug :-(" clearly wanting people to ask me what was wrong. To which I'd probably give a cryptic answer designed to keep people guessing. I probably didn't even realise I was doing it at the time. Well, I probably had an idea, but not full awareness...When I see anyone doing things like that these days it makes me stabby... and this includes seeing past-me's self-pitying updates.

  • And speaking of the cryptic responses if I was particularly annoyed at something someone on facebook had said, either on there or in real life, I'd put an immediately cryptic, passive aggressive status like "Paula is wondering what THAT was supposed to accomplish!" Things like this are SO cryptic and passive aggressive that my memory actually fails me as to what I was so annoyed about.

Even yesterday, I came across one from five years ago where I'd wrote "Well, that's it over then :-(" . . . when I clicked on the comments it turned out I'd actually been sad because Andy Murray had been beaten in the Australian Open. But I had to make it sound like it was something I had been personally affected by until someone actually asked me if I was okay. What an utter fudbucket I was.

Seeing these updates regularly in the memories feature, in amongst much happier times, make me really glad I've got a bit more selective about what I actually share on Facebook in terms of thoughts and feelings.

I don't need to do this on Facebook anymore.

Maybe I've grown as a person?

Or perhaps it's just because I've got twitter and this blog to do it on instead . . .;-)