Sunday, 22 May 2016

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT CORFU . . .

I've been a big fan of the Greek Islands for years but over the last few years Corfu has became a firm favourite . . . So much so that I've just returned from a week holiday there for the third year in a row!

So this is where I'm going to tell you why I go to Corfu . . . And why YOU should consider going too!



1. Holidays are cheap
Compared to Spain or Spanish islands, booking a holiday to a Greek island tends to be far more reasonably priced  (at least it does from Glasgow!) and Corfu is consistently one of the cheapest. Please note though that a low price does not spell out bad quality when it comes to this beautiful island!


2. It's a short flight
Some of the Greek Islands  (Rhodes for example) are a five plus hour flight from the UK. As Corfu is actually situated slightly north west of Greece and actually more in line with Albania it is only a 3 and a half hour flight from Glasgow if you are (like myself) not a great flyer. Ideal!


3. Great weather

Beautiful weather - you can find the apartments here!

I've always went in May where admittedly the weather can be a bit changeable still at times... but I've never had less than five lovely days in a week and those days, although seeming to be in the late teens, low twenties according to the weather forecast, have a real feel of far higher temperatures. That being said, it's never felt overly humid... which is a great thing!


4. The food
Oh my God, the food itself is enough to make me immediately want to return. Baked feta is the absolute bomb (boyfriend bought two packs of feta in Tesco as soon as we got home so we could recreate that dish asap!); or how about sausage stuffed with feta and garlic? Sausage in a spicy tomato sauce? Moussaka? Kleftiko? Sofrito? Cheese pies? I could go on. (But I'll stop. And just refer you to a selection of some of the delicious meals I sampled this year in the below pic.)


If you're not into Greek food there are plenty of other cuisine options on offer and even the traditional Greek places tend to offer non-Greek options... but as far as I'm concerned the Greek options were by far the best! If you are in Sidari I would recommend The Three Little Pigs, El Greco or Ocean Taverna for delicious meals. You're welcome!


5. Friendly people
The people in Corfu are so friendly and will do their best to make you feel at home. You're warmly greeted when you enter a restaurant, they'll go out of their way to make conversation with you and often will even shake your hand when you leave! Occasionally you might even be provided with a little shot of kumquat liqueur with the bill (if you're really lucky!). You don't get that happening much back at home. Nor do you pop into a shop for wine for the apartment and find yourself having a twenty minute conversation with the shop owners about Brexit! And if you don't speak Greek don't worry - no one expects you to be able to. Phew! Yamas! (Feel free to learn more words if you want - unfortunately that's the only one I know - it's "cheers" by the way!)


6. Varied types of holiday available
Corfu has many different resorts so can cater to all. You have Kavos for the clubber type holidays  (well I'm assuming here as I've never been there but I have had the dubious pleasure of seeing a couple of episodes of "What Happens in Kavos"...), you have tiny quiet resorts if you want to get away from it all (if you do, I would highly recommend Kalami, which is teeny but stunning) . . . And Sidari, where I've stayed the past two years, has a lovely mix of quiet and busy, traditional and modern. You can stay in apartments that seem remote and set in countryside but the actual hustle and bustle of the main strip of Sidari is a mere ten minute walk away so you can literally have the best of both. Ideal!


7. Fantastic scenery

Posing at the Canal d'Amour
Pop up to the Canal d'Amour (or remains of it anyway) in Sidari, or get a more traditional vibe in Corfu town, taking in the culture and shops. There is plenty to see and do if you're not a beach person. When we stayed in Kalami two years ago we hired a boat and sailed up and down the coast a bit which is a great way of seeing more of Corfu. You also get some stunning sunsets over both Corfu and neighbouring Albania.

Corfu town

Sunset pic courtesy of the fella


8. The prices
All that wonderful food I mentioned? Ridiculously cheap. Once again, the quality does not suffer.  You'd never get these dishes at home for such reasonable prices! The alcohol is also very cheap both in restaurants/bars and if you're just looking to buy a bottle or two for your apartment/as a holiday gift.


So . . . what are you waiting for? Get that holiday booked, stat!

Oh, and take me with you? Please???


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

SIGNS YOU ARE STILL A "FRIENDS" ADDICT . . .

"How many blog posts can one girl write about a TV show that hasn't actually had a new episode for twelve years?" I hear you ask. A few, is my answer. Perhaps this will even be my last, but I wouldn't count on it.


So today I'm going to identify vital signs to show you are still a "Friends" addict. Fairly sure I'm more-than-qualified to write this!
  • You have watched every episode at least twenty times. Probably far more than that. To be fair,you lost count a long time ago.
  • You continue to watch it on Comedy Central every opportunity you can. Even though you own most, if not all, of it on DVD.
  • You can remember the last time you saw an episode for the first time and the one it was. (For me, the one where Emily was first introduced. In 2008 when my friend loaned me the series 4 boxset.)
  • And you can't understand how you possibly missed an episode of it for that long!
  • You frequently quote from it. (My personal favourite "It's a moo point. It's like a cow's opinion. It doesn't matter. It's moo." can surprisingly be inserted into a lot of conversations.)
  • You notice the inconsistencies. Like Ross having more than one birthday for example. And you judge the writers for failing to notice such an oversight.
  • You can actually find a Friends reference for pretty much anything that happens to you or someone else in real life.
  • You have a friend who says "I really wish I understood your Friends reference because it seems to mean so much to you . . . but I don't think I've seen that episode" and they clearly feel bad about it as they know how much it means to you.
  • When you meet someone who likes "Friends" as much as you it's like you have met your soulmate and you never want to let them go!
  • It doesn't matter how many other films and TV programmes you have watched the cast members in . . . they will always be Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe to you.
And last but not least?
  • You write a blog post outlining the signs of still being a "Friends" addict. Er . . . guilty?!?

Have I missed anything? Are you still a fan? Feel free to share!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

P'S TOP PICKS: FAVOURITE BLOGGERS . . .

Now I've mentioned before that, having had this wee blog for over 8 years, I've found that many of the blogs I read back in the day haven't had new content in a long time. Luckily, after doing a bit of research on Twitter, which mainly involved stalking the #lbloggers and #thegirlgang hashtags and clicking on any links that took my fancy, I have started to build up a new base of blogs I like to read along with some of my existing favourites who happily stuck around. So I thought now is the time to share my top picks!


Corinne from skinnedcartree.com posts every single day - I not only find this uber-impressive, but it also means I always have something new to read from her when I log into bloglovin. (Result!) Her content is always fresh and entertaining and she gives some great blogging advice. Definitely worth checking out!

Now I might seem a little biased about this one as I consider Dawn from The Thing About Chaos one of my besties . . . but trust me, her blog is fab and she is as hilarious as she is honest. And her food posts always make me really hungry. (Not sure if that is a good thing though. :-/)

I've brought this girl up before, but I'm going to mention her again - if you aren't already reading Vix Meldrew you need to stop what you're doing and click through right now. I always know I'm guaranteed an entertaining read when a new post from her pops up in my feed.

If you're looking for an entertaining blog about great things to see in Scotland (and who isn't? Scotland is the best place in the world after all!), I'd like to direct you to another good friend of mine, Kate, and her blog Love From Scotland.  You'll find tons of ideas for Scotland travel there and Kate's love of Scotland clearly shines through.

Mayor Gia is a blog I've been following for quite a few years now. She's funny and I love her illustrated posts and her interactions with her boyfriend. Enough said.

Scarlet Wonderland - great writing and great content. And I never know what to expect!

Jemma aka Dorkface probably has one of the cutest and most aesthetically-pleasing blogs of all of the blogs that I read. She also writes some great posts (it's not all about looks after all) and is the leader of #TheGirlGang which is a great wee community. (More info on that can be found here.)

And last but not least . . . because I love a good throwback and I hate the idea that anyone might have missed out on this fabulous blog, despite the fact there has not been a post in a long time from her . . . you should check out Hyperbole and a Half's archive. Some brilliant stuff there - great insight into depression and a hilarious story about how Kenny Loggins (of all people) ruined Christmas.

Who are your favourite bloggers?

Monday, 9 May 2016

BETTER CONNECTED . . .

Once upon a time, we lived in a world without the internet.

I know, I know. It was a cold lonely place and I try not to think about it too much, but we did. And we survived fine without it. Although it seems unthinkable now.


Growing up in the eighties and nineties, I didn't even have the internet in school. It was only when I moved to uni in '97 that I discovered the awesomeness that was the worldwide web. And back then businesses having their own websites were few and far between, whereas today it's the ones without internet that are far from the norm!

I became addicted to the internet very quickly and while others around me in the computer labs were frantically trying to produce essays to a deadline, I'd be on the chat rooms wasting away many hours with complete strangers. This was before social media was even a popular thing, back when Friends Reunited were still trying to charge you a fiver if you wanted to find out what anyone from your school was actually doing with their lives.

Wow, I feel like I'm typing in a foreign language since what we have now is so far removed from that.

Nowadays we have our smartphones and a world of information literally at our fingertips. No longer do you have to wonder how many kids Sally from school has. Or if you're watching a tv programme and you can't place the hot lead guy in it, you can actually just google him rather than wreck your head for the next few days trying to work out what TV programme he used to be the geeky kid in ten years ago. You can even cheat in a pub quiz. (Although you shouldn't, and if you do, I judge you pretty hard. Cheating is not cool, folks!)

But here's what annoys me. I don't know about other countries, but there are so many places in Scotland where you can't get any internet whatsoever. So you're driving about Scotland, taking awesome pictures, desperate to post them on Instagram . . . and you can't because there's no bloody 4G for miles around! You have some pithy observation you want to tweet but it just keeps flashing up saying "posting... posting... posting" and eventually just fails. Or lets you think it's failed and then it ends up posting twice, it's just you didn't know that cos of the shitty signal!

Last October I was in Fuerteventura, and one day we went over to one of my favourite places - a little uninhabited island called Lobos. I remember standing on the dock waiting for the boat back . . . and tweeting my shock that I had a better internet signal on an uninhabited island in the middle of the Atlantic than I did in most parts of Scotland!

I know people say you should switch off from the internet and social media for once in a while... but personally I find little more frustrating than not having the option to get on the internet if you want it. We stayed in a hotel at the weekend where my 4G was very weak and the hotel wi-fi was sporadic at best . . . and as I pointed out to the boyfriend, this is actually a worse situation than having either great wi-fi or no wi-fi whatsoever. If you have no wi-fi, you just don't even bother trying to access the internet. If you have decent wi-fi you'll actually go on less (in theory) because you know you have it at any time.

Half-assed wi-fi is the worst, because you spend more time trying to see if your tweet sent, your picture eventually posted on Insta, or (in this case, because the TV remote wasn't working) trying and failing to find out if there's anything on the telly you actually want to watch. And moaning about how rubbish the connection is.

(I'm looking back at the last few paragraphs and thinking "why do you keep saying 'wi-fi'? Stop it!")

So anyway . . . what's my point? Um . . . wait, I know!

Once upon a time I could survive without the internet. But now . . . I cannot. I need the internet to be there and accessible to me at all times whenever possible.

Please don't deny me my internet rights!!!

Can you survive without the internet?

Friday, 6 May 2016

HAVE I GOT MY SHIT TOGETHER YET???

So a couple of days before 2015 morphed into 2016, I made a few resolutions here on the blog.  I thought it might be time to check in on them several months on to see if I'd actually managed to stick to any of them.

Let's get going!


1) Cook more
I reckon I've done pretty well so far on this one. A look at my Instagram feed will back that up(feel free to check it out here - gotta love a bit of shameless self promotion, amIright?) - there's been copious amounts of chilli, curry, Italian food, Mexican inspired meals . . . I even made a delicious cashew butter fudge (yes, you heard. Cashew butter fudge!) in the early days of 2016 which I really need to make again just so I can share the recipe with you lovely folk. And also because it was really yummy and I really want to stuff my face with it again.

Verdict: Making Progress. Keep up the good work! (And STEP AWAY FROM THE FUDGE!)

2) Exercise more
This has just not been my year in terms of exercise. I had all the best of intentions, but it quickly fell by the wayside. It just seemed more fun after a long day of work to come home and sit on my arse and watch episodes of "Friends" and drink wine. I can't believe it's already May, I'm going on holiday in a week's time and actually feeling worse about my body than I was at the start of the year. That was not my intention at all!

Verdict: Major fail. Must do better. Must do something!

3) See even more of Scotland
The trips I mentioned in that previous post have been completed. Tarbert in February was lovely, and we finally hopped on board the Strathspey Railway last month and thoroughly enjoyed a night in Aviemore.  There was an overnight in Fort William, taking in the snow in Glen Coe. And many mini road trips. I have my list of places I want to visit, and I want to tick off a couple of those this year still. Fingers crossed!

Verdict: Doing well so far.

4) Blog more
Probably my greatest success so far. I have been blogging a couple of times a week for the most part and I'm more enthusiastic about the content I have been producing and ideas I've been coming up with for a long time. Getting more involved with the blogger side of twitter has definitely helped with this, and I'll be posting about this very soon as this has made such a massive difference to me. I'm starting to get more views again and more comments and I actually am so excited every time I come up with a new idea for a post. Blogging is fun again for me, and this is something I am so happy about.

Verdict: Two very enthusiastic thumbs up. Fine holiday fun. (Totally bonus points for you if you get that reference.)

5) Save more money
I have like 250 pounds in my savings now. I'm probably going to end up having to use loads of it as I'm pretty skint again and it's still a week until payday . . .

Verdict: Ah well, you can't win them all. And the old adage "saving for a rainy day" is a moot point in Glasgow...

All in all, I reckon I've actually done okay. Just need to get up off my arse a bit more and stop throwing my money away on wine and eating out. Hmmm... maybe those should have been my resolutions?

Who am I kidding?!? I wouldn't have lasted a week with those ones . . .

How are YOUR resolutions going for 2016???

Thursday, 5 May 2016

POLL POSITION . . .

So today is the Scottish elections and I got out bright and early this morning prior to work to put my votes in.

Voting is one of those things that makes me feel anxious. Here's why . . .



It makes me nervous
It's just such a serious process, because you know it means something (no matter how many people think it doesn't). It makes me feel like I'm under exam conditions and I always come out of the polling station wondering if I actually voted for who I intended to vote for. (Today I made extra sure I did so for once I actually know I definitely did. But I was still nervous.) One of the reasons I make sure I go in the morning, as early as I can, before work, is so I can make sure it's out of the way and I'm not thinking about it all day. (I don't really trust postal votes, so this isn't really an option for me).

Finding where you need to vote in the polling station
Even with lists of which table to go to or even someone directing me directly to the table, I am always worried that I am going to somehow end up at the wrong one, 

The fear that I am actually not registered to vote
Despite, y'know, holding the polling card in my hand. :-/

The gauntlet of canvassers outside
I know how I'm voting - I don't need an armful of leaflets from all the other parties when I'm actually headed into the polling station itself to make my actual vote (and I am too busy worrying about whether I'll get lost trying to find where I need to vote or whether I'm actually registered or not to feign politeness).

That I won't fold my ballot paper properly or something equally ridiculous
A lot of my anxieties about voting are pretty irrational and this is one of them. But it's still valid. For example, today one of the ballot papers was much bigger than the other one. I folded them both over once as normal and then when I got to the ballot boxes realised the big one was still too big to fit in the box and was standing next to it folding it up extra feeling the eyes of the staff on me, feeling like an idiot.

That who I voted for won't win
This is probably the biggest anxiety. But, let's face it, not everyone can win. And at least I've voted. Because everyone knows you are only allowed to complain about the result if you've actually made sure your voice was heard.

And that's why I force myself to vote despite my irrational worries!

Am I alone in this?