Monday, 27 June 2016

BEING FOLLOWED (AKA SOCIAL MEDIA GOALS) . . .

I was doing pretty well on blog so far this year I reckoned. I'd been posting fairly regularly, coming up with some good ideas, producing (in my view) some decent content . . .

And then I went on holiday.

I knew I wouldn't be blogging in Corfu and I was okay with that. But I was thinking of ideas the whole time, so inspired and motivated to get back home and make these ideas into blog posts. But then I got home and just felt a bit "meh" about everything, and as a result, I haven't really been posting very much.

So I want to get inspired again. I still have a list of ideas of things I want to post - I just need to make the ideas into actual posts. And I've been thinking for a while about setting some social media goals, just to try and give myself a bit of a proverbial kick up the arse. The numbers are set out below, and I'm going to give myself until the end of August to see if I can hit them or, even better, surpass them. So . . . let's do this!!!



BLOGLOVIN . . .
So back in the days of Google Reader, I was actually pretty popular - but ever since it was removed and Bloglovin became the new way everyone got their blog fix, I have struggled to build up my followers. At the moment I'm at 62 which I know isn't awful, but it would be nice to get a bit more popular on there. So I'm going to aim to get up to 100 followers. Wish me luck . . . and follow me on bloglovin too, for the love of God! ;-)


FACEBOOK . . .
I actually only set up my blog's Facebook page a couple of months ago - I hesitated over doing it because it meant promoting myself a wee bit to my Facebook friends to build up likes and although I don't mind people in real life knowing about my blog, I still don't really advertise it. But I figured it was a good way to drive some people over to my blog (I'm still waiting to be proved right on that!). I have managed to get 71 likes on that page (mostly actual Facebook friends) so let's be highly original and go for 100 likes there too. (You can find my Facebook page here, hint hint!)


TWITTER . . .
I probably currently get the most traffic to my blog from Twitter, so it's important for me to get engagement on there! I also think I'm pretty funny on it, but it has taken me a long time to build up the following I have - as I type I'm at 1621 followers but by the time I hit publish on this post I may have lost or gained a few! Most likely lost. I tend to lose several followers every time I gain a few so it's a very much "one step forward, two steps back" kind of situation. Anyhoo . . . let's try and drive this up to 1700, shall we? And if you're not following me already on there, then why not? I'm pollypoptart. Get following. :-)


INSTAGRAM . . .
Last but by no means least, we have Instagram. Now, I currently am not really advertising my blog on there and I'm no good at flatlays and I literally just post whatever pops into my head (which is a bit like the way I am in real life  - there is a reason why someone once told me I should think before I speak and then not speak at all!) but I post some nice food pics and some not-quite-as-nice selfies (I'm not good friends with the forward facing camera). I currently have 621 followers on there (exactly 1000 less than on twitter, how weird!) so how about I try for 700? And since my main theme so far on this post has been one of shamelsss self-promotion, this section would not be complete surely without a link to my aforementioned Instagram account . . . so here it is!


So in order to try and get to my goals, I'll be trying once again to blog more regularly, promote myself on the various social media channels, joining in more twitter chats and generally just selling myself.

And if you have any other advice you can give me, please feel free to share!

Saturday, 25 June 2016

HAIRY ISSUES . . .

I often feel like I'm having a full-time bad hair day.

Is it just me?

I look around at other people with their beautiful hair and I wonder if they go through as much shit with their hair as I do. I seriously can't cope sometimes. Let me break down some of my issues with my so-called crowning glory . . .



My parting - or lack thereof . . .
My hair just won't part properly. I don't know what it is. It seems to naturally fall into some random zig-zag of a part, and when I try to fix this, it just looks ridiculous. I walked into a parking barrier (I know, what an idiot, right?) when I was seven or eight and I needed stitches in my head, and ever since I've never been able to do a proper centre parting. I'm not saying it's related but I think it is! But then every other parting looks ridiculous too, so maybe it really is just my hair!

Bedhead . . .
There is literally no point in me washing and drying my hair at night and expecting it to look nice the next day. Regardless of the temperature, regardless of if I'm tossing and turning all night, I will wake up with completely unrecognisable hair to that of the day before's.  If I've blow-dried and straightened it, it will be wavy. If I've let it dry naturally in waves which looked okay the night before, it will be frizzy. It will definitely be tangled to fuck. I'm no fairytale princess, that's for sure.

Hair grows . . .
Does it? Mine doesn't.  I don't even feel like there would be a point in getting extensions as my real hair would still be there, looking shit. (I've done the clip-in extensions before - was always a laugh when I got caught in the rain and my natural curls would kick in while the extensions would stay straight.)

Curly or straight . . .
It seems the quickest way for my hair to go curly is to straighten it, and vice versa. Plus, even though my hair is naturally wavy, it does not naturally look good that way. To make it look good wavy, I have to either blow dry it straight/leave it to dry naturally and then tong it. And as for "creating beachy waves with straighteners"? That seems to be the quickest way for me to end up with straight hair. Oh, the irony . . .

Tying hair back . . .
So most people, when they're having a bad hair day, have a simple solution . . . they just tie their hair back in a ponytail or some other sort of updo et voila, they're good to go! I usually struggle to get my hair looking decent pulled back and after ten minutes of trying I have to go out with my hair loose, 50 times greasier than it was when I started, with my bad hair day right there on top of my head for the whole fecking world to see!

Hair tutorials . . .
I love pretty hairstyles and watching hair tutorials and I'd love to be able to make them work like they actually do in tutorials on my actual hair. Unfortunately around 90% of the time, it does not work everytime. Or any time for that matter. (I do have a few with you though, that I will share with you one day. Maybe.) I can't even follow a simple "bouncy big blow-dry"tutorial. Maybe one day . . .


Is it just me who has these sort of hair issues? Please tell me I'm not the only one who has a virtually permanent bad hair day? Or share your own hair issues? Please!!!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

(MAYBE DON'T) WALK THIS WAY . . .

Things are rarely what they seem, especially on the internet.

I know this from personal experience. Look at this post, for example, from a few months ago, where I talk about the sometimes false impressions various social media platforms may have given about me in the past (and present, and future) and you'll see what I mean.

I wanted to revisit one of the points I made back in that post - the one about me possibly sometimes giving the impression that I'm really outdoorsy and active when in actuality I am often just hopping out of the car for a moment or two to take a picture while whining about it being too cold and windy. One time, actually, on the Isle of Skye, it was so windy my phone actually blew out of my hand! But I digress.

My point here is . . . I do actually walk sometimes. And, like I said back in that post, I'm usually not too happy about it.



I start off happy. I'm always enthusiastic about the idea of walking up a hill or the side of a waterfall. Initially. I actually do like walking. It's just I generally prefer my walking on the flat. Unfortunately, most pretty things made in nature are not on the flat. So it's a necessary evil.

Very evil.

On one recent walk, the fella threatened to start a Tumblr about the things I come out with when I'm on one of these very trying walks. I'm pretty sure they are normal things for people to say though. You want some examples??? I have a few . . .

  • "Why is it so steep?"
  • "Why are you walking so fast? Do you not want to be seen with me?"
  • "Why aren't we there yet?"
  • "My feet are wet!"
  • "I'm SINKING!"
  • "I thought you said this was only going to be five minutes? That's been five minutes. Since the last time you said five minutes!"
  • "WHERE DID THIS NEW BIT OF HILL APPEAR FROM? I THOUGHT WE WERE NEARLY THERE! YOU CAN'T SEE THIS FROM THE ROAD!"
  • "You mean this isn't the top????"
  • "My calves hurt sooooo much."

Let me give you a wee bit of background of what I was whining about behind some of these pictures which may or may not have appeared on social media . . .



Kilpatrick Hills, the other week . . . "Why did you tell me that those five year olds were catching up on me? You know I don't like being chased!!!"

Conic Hill, last month . . . "What do you mean 'we need to move; it's going to rain'? I only walked up here so I could sunbathe at the top!!!"


Queen's View, the day after Conic Hill (I must be a sucker for punishment) . . .  "well we're going to have to go back to yours before we go bowling now because MY FEET ARE COVERED IN MUD!"


In Glenashdale Forest on the Isle of Arran . . . "I'm just going to hide behind this tree until you agree we can give up and go back to the car."

Okay . . . that one was a bit of a joke. But by the time I'd tried to walk from the Glenashdale Falls to the Giant's Graves, which I believed would be less than five minutes walk apart, I was NOT a happy P. :-(

See? Chief Grumpus is reigning supreme in this little pic!

So I guess there are a couple of morals to this little story . . .

1) I am an unfit, belligerent git but I still like to look at pretty views
2) If you have been reading my Scotland the Beautiful posts and I describe something as being an easy walk, it really is easy!

Oh and the final lesson?

I keep thinking I want to climb a Munro.

Based on all of the above, I'm probably not ready.

Ever.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

5 REASONS WHY FAKE TAN MAKES ME SAD . . .

I hate fake tan.

Not on other people. On other people it looks amazing. And I'm sure it's worth the time they spend doing it.

Not so much on me.

I rarely use fake tan. I will use it if I am getting my pins out for a night out, but usually on my legs only. The rest of the time, I'll rely on a suntan from holidays/the rare sunny day in Glasgow and if I go paler over winter then so be it! Because I really am not a fan.

It's loathsome. And here's why . . .


1) More often than not, it's an absolute BUGGER to put on.
What a fecking palaver it is. You actually have to set aside a large window of time to deal with fake tanning, and some of that involves trying not to touch anything for hours so that you don't accidentally smear it and end up with white bits. Or end up fake-tanning bits of furniture or clothing by accident. Plus, it's really difficult to reach some bits by yourself - your back for example. Nightmare! You end up wishing you were a contortionist just so you can ensure you have an even tan.

2) The biscuit smell.
I like biscuits, but I don't have any particular desire to SMELL of them! And even fake tans that smell lovely upon application still result in you ultimately smelling like a stale tea biscuit. And who wants that? Not me!

3) The hand dilemma
I always end up with a ridiculous hand tan situation . . . I always end up with bright orange hands even though I've tried to wash the shit off me as soon as I've finished applying. But also, when I'm trying to remove the lotion from the palms of my hands unsuccessfully, it usually is a lot more successful on the back of my hand and I end up with horrid streaky bits around my fingers. I know a lot of people use gloves but I don't really understand how that would work either - I'd probably end up with a white line around my wrist that I managed to miss.

4) When it starts to come off
It never comes off evenly. I remember applying fake tan to my legs for a night out once - it was meant to last for a week maximum and it did what it said on the bottle. Apart from my feet. I go to pole fitness once a week which we do in bare feet and for at least three weeks after that fake tan application I had horrendously brown ankles in that class. Mortifying!

5) I'm scared of it
If you use a new one, you just don't know what the results will be. I'm old school and tend to use the ones that are invisible on application, so there's always that unpredictability of whether it will be streaky or not. I know some people use fake tan that they have to wash off after a certain amount of time to reveal the proper tan underneath... that also terrifies me! Oh, and there's also the terror that I'll mess it up if I put it on my face . . . am I meant to put it EVERYWHERE? What if I mess it up? Will foundation hide it?

In conclusion?

It's a necessary evil, yes - unfortunately living in Scotland I can't avoid using it a lot of the time due to the Scottish weather. And with all of the warnings about sun exposure causing premature ageing and skin cancer, it's definitely the better option. But I'm sure others can identify with my issues with the stuff. And please, if you do have any tips on how to avoid the above problems . . . then please feel free to share these with me!!!

Friday, 10 June 2016

P'S WATER CHALLENGE . . .

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession to make.

*insert deep breath here*

I hate water.

Okay . . . I exaggerate a bit. I don't hate it as such - that would be slightly churlish given that it is all over the bloody place!!! And I love swimming in it, and baths, and we can't forget all the beautiful lochs I love to gaze at.

It's the drinking it I have a problem with.



I've never really understood people who say things like "I love water, I can't get enough of it."

That sort of sentence I would pretty much reserve solely for wine. Water doesn't even come close. Even Jesus knew that.

But at the same time, I know that water is far far better for me than wine. Which is a sad, but true, fact and one I have struggled to accept.

Anyway . . .

I feel like my dislike of drinking water holds me back a bit. Well, except in the peeing department because I probably take far less loo breaks than most. So I cut down on loo time, but I don't think that's really a benefit, except maybe for my employers!

So I've set myself a couple of wee challenges this week and one of them is to drink at least two litres of water a day.  My plan was pretty simple:

1) Buy a two litre bottle of water
2) Take to work with me
3) Pour into a drinking cup with an inbuilt straw, refill drinking cup as required, empty full bottle

Why this is a good plan?

1) I drink water far easier through a straw - don't ask me why!
2) If I have the water at my desk and don't have to go to the water machine to refill, I am more likely to drink it. This is because it's not really acceptable to go to the water machine without having to ask everyone else if they want a drink too, and I'm not good at carrying multiple open receptacles, and walking and negotiating fob-access doors at the same time. So I'll tend to put off going to fill my cup, or opt for a can of juice instead because it's easy to carry multiple cans!

I've now completed the second day of my challenge, and have actually managed to finish two litres of water within four hours both times. I now need to either start spreading the drinking of it out over a longer period of time a day . . . or possibly drink more water each day?

Nah. Let's not get carried away here! ;-)

How do you feel about drinking water? And do you have any tips for making the whole process easier?

Sunday, 5 June 2016

LOUNGER WARS . . .

When you're on a holiday there is always the fear that you'll fall foul of the dreaded sunlounger stand-off . . . well, if you're on a sunshine holiday anyway, obviously if you've headed to the Arctic or on a city break you might not necessarily face such a problem! But if you're somewhere with a pool and sunloungers, there's always a chance that you will experience all of the downsides of people who can't play nice in the pool area.

Now, I've usually been pretty lucky in this respect. There has been the odd holiday I've been on where it's been impossible to get a lounger because they are all bagged, don't get me wrong - but largely I can get a lounger in the sunshine which I can move around if necessary . . . and my recent holiday to Corfu was no exception.


All of the loungers could be in the sunshine all day, which was good. Usually you have a little pocket of the pool where the loungers are the best in terms of sunshine, but I don't think that was really the case with this pool.

You still got the odd person coming out and bagging a lounger and then fucking off for several hours, it seems to be inevitable! But because we were in a half full apartment complex probably due to it being a) very early in the season and b) a Friday 13th flight it didn't really affect us.

But there were these two woman who really started to piss us off with the loungers. To the point where we started to think they were doing it on purpose.

Whatever loungers we appropriated on any given day, we would come out the following day to find they were in that spot.

Now, I'm not saying we owned the loungers, far from it. They got them fair and square.

But we kept having to move to a completely different set of loungers each day because of them . . . only to find them in those loungers the next day. It was like they saw the loungers we were in, thought they looked good . . . and would choose them the next day. Then be jealous of our alternative loungers so choose them the next day . . . . forcing us to move again.

Even more galling, the third time this happened, one of the woman moved her lounger so that it was actually practically in the pool, forcing us to have to have to walk really carefully around her to get to the bar so we didn't fall in the pool! I was very tempted to pour some wine on her "by accident" . . . but I would have hated to downsize on my vino blanco fix because of her.

It genuinely did feel like they were purposely trying to wind us up.

After we were on to them, we decided to defeat them by going out earlier than them. So we went out and re-appropriated the loungers they'd beat us to the following day. Ha!!! They were forced to go and sit elsewhere for the day. Or so we thought...

That day it was really hot so we decided to pop over for a drink inside the bar, and had a couple of games of pool while we were over there. I glanced over and the women appeared to have gone . . . but when we got back to our loungers I discovered it was because they'd decided to move their loungers to right behind us! There was no reason for it, the sun was still hitting every single spot around the pool. Why do it if not to just be pains in the arse?

Okay, okay . . . I know I'm being a total drama queen about this, but we were on holiday and the whole set-up was very relaxed, so maybe I just needed a wee bit of drama in my life so I invented it! That being said, the boyfriend completely agrees with me on this, and he's pretty sensible, so maybe I'm completely justified in being annoyed about this. :-)

I have to admit to a TEENY bit of satisfaction on our last day when there was only a tiny bit of sunshine in the morning before it went dull and rainy, and they missed that hour window. Seeing them sitting in the pool bar with their faces tripping them cheered me up a tiny bit. Oh god, I'm such a mean person!

Anyhoo, when it comes to sunloungers on holiday, I have a couple of rules to live by.

1) I have no problem with you bagging a lounger in advance. But PLEASE make sure you're actually planning to use it shortly after bagging it. I have a MASSIVE problem with you if you stick your towels over the best loungers at 8am and then go back to bed until midday.
2) It's okay to leave your lounger and go for a wee bite to eat in the pool bar, or nip back to your room for ten minutes to cool down. But, once again, if you've decided you're actually going to go for a big lunch elsewhere or a boat trip or to lie on the beach for a bit instead cos you're bored . . . take the bloody towel with you and free up the lounger for someone else.

So I guess my basic rule is only leave your towel on the lounger if you're planning to be on said lounger for most of the day.

And I guess my other rule is don't piss me off. Unfortunately I can't 100% advise you on how to do this, because people continue to come up with new and inventive ways to piss me off. But follow the other rules above and you'll be a lot safer from my wrath! ;-)

Oh, and please feel free to share any sunlounger-based drama you have experienced. I do love a bit of drama (in case that wasn't obvious!). . .