Tuesday, 29 March 2016


Recently I had to start hunting for new blogs, as I realised that the majority of the bloggers I've followed regularly over my last eight years in the blogosphere (are we still calling it that? Were we ever calling it that or did I just imagine the whole thing?) have dropped away and I had a bloglovin list full of blogs that no longer have new posts or are even active!

Slowly but surely, I've built my list of blog reads up and there are some I will dip into every so often if a post posts up in BL that catches my eye . . . but there are some blogs that always excite me when I notice there is a new post up, whether I'm necessarily interested in the subject or not.

So what makes me feel that way about your blog? Let me fill you in . . .

Mix it up a bit!
When I see a blogger I like has a new post up, I like to be surprised. I like a mixture of posts - reviews, travel, opinion pieces, blogger tips.  I don't mind a blog with a niche, don't get me wrong, especially if it's done well . . . but I definitely prefer a bit of variety in my reading!

Draw me in with your looks
If your blog looks pretty I am going to be drawn to it like a moth to a beautiful flame. I am very envious of attractive looking websites as my knowledge of html is about as good as my knowledge of high school chemistry - which I failed.  (insert embarrassed face here) If you have a good camera and know how to use it I am going to be even more hooked.

Make me laugh
I tend to read blogs predominantly on weeknights after a long day at work, so if your blog has a history of cheering me up and making me laugh, I am going to keep on returning to it.

Commenting is easy
I love commenting on blogs, especially when I've really enjoyed a post - but it's not always easy to do so, especially if I've been passing away some time on my phone reading blog posts while waiting for something. I often type my comment and when I try to post it I get an error message or it just hangs there for ages and I've no idea if it's posted or not. If I want to comment and can't it just makes me frustrated so  if your comment process is easy I'll keep coming back . . . and commenting!

I want to be your friend
If you are relatable and seem like good fun and I read your blog (and other social media) and want to be your friend, I am always going to keep coming back to visit. And hopefully comment enough that you will eventually give in and be my friend. And that didn't sound creepy or stalkerish at all. . .

So if I regularly pop up on your blog, you can be assured that at least one, if not all, of the above apply to you. ;-) You're welcome!

What do you look for in a blog?

Monday, 28 March 2016


Oh Facebook . . . sometimes I love ya. Sometimes I do want to just delete my whole account and walk away forever. There are good points, yes, but there are quite a few behaviours on there that do my head in.

Before I start, I'd like to point out that 1) I may have been guilty of some of these things before in the past and 2) I'm not going to hate you forever if you do do any of these things. Please treat this post as a bit of a tongue in cheek one, although these particular Facebook sins may annoy me, they might also occasionally amuse me, and I won't necessarily dislike someone as a result of these.

Plus I'm sure that there are things I do that aren't on this list that piss others off. But this isn't about me. ;-)

That being cleared up, let's proceed with my list . . .

Hijacking Someone Else's Status Update
This is probably the Facebook sin that winds me up the most. If you're not sure what I mean . . . have you ever posted a status update, or witnessed someone else doing so, only for someone else to comment on it and make it all about them? It's one-upping at its finest, but annoying as fuck. Did you break your arm? Well they broke both their arms and a leg TWENTY YEARS AGO and are going to tell you all about it on YOUR status update about your broken arm! Or they've just actually got a paper cut but, trust me, it's MUCH more serious than what you're going through.

Multiple quiz posts
I don't actually mind the odd quiz post status update (and I have been known to partake myself on occasion) but if you do it all the time, it gets a bit tiresome. Do we really need to know what minion you would be if the opportunity arose, what Beatles song you would be AND what type of cheese you would be IN THE SPACE OF 12 HOURS??? Speaking of which, who the heck even MAKES UP these quizzes? They have a LOT to answer for . . .
PS. I am totally a Double Gloucester with chives. Just sayin'. ;-)

Deleting posts due to lack of attention
I see people deleting posts because they've put up status updates which are blatantly for attention and then either not had any likes/comments, or have not garnered the comments they were actually looking for so they've suddenly vanished. Now, don't get me wrong, I would guess the majority of Facebook updates are predominantly posted for attention (I'm not a hypocrite; I will fully admit I get a massive buzz from getting a lot of likes for an update) . . . but people need to accept they might not always get a lot of likes and/or positive comments, particularly if they are putting up something controversial. Have the courage of your convictions though.

Cryptic status updates
Please, if you're going to post an update, just actually make it clear what you're talking about, eh? Cryptic status updates are frustrating as fuck. They're the subtweets of Facebook.

Hypocrisy in photo-tagging
I know people who hate being tagged in photos on Facebook and, if they tell me this, I will completely respect that and check with them before posting and tagging. However, if you don't like being tagged in photos on Facebook without someone checking with you first, you should not be taking great delight in tagging your friends in pictures you know they won't like. I've witnessed this a few times. Thankfully it was not pictures of me, but then I'm a firm believer that my bad pictures just make my rare good pictures look better so this point just bothers me on behalf of other people.

Game invites
Just stop it.

Do you have any Facebook sins you want to share? I'd love to hear.

Sunday, 20 March 2016


I'm pretty sure that, for most of us, work is first and foremost a way to make money. And sometimes we have to put up with annoyances on a daily basis. But I find it can also be a bit of an anxiety minefield at times. Here are some of the things that make me feel a bit anxious and worried in work sometimes . . .

Printer Jams - In terms of jam, only the traffic and printer variety upset me. I hate when I go to print something out and the paper has somehow inexplicably got itself stuck somewhere in the bowels of the printer, leaving me left with nothing but a not-so-helpful little diagram to try and work out where the bloody bit of paper is located!!! Cue lots of opening of drawers and doors, and trying to work out which bits of the printer I can touch and which ones might actually lead me to being electrocuted. And usually all of this with an audience. It's just too much stress for me. My heart sinks any time I see the red light flashing on the printer. And it soars if I realise that the red light's reason is because the paper needs refilled rather than a jam. I can refill a printer fine. Well, as long as there's paper...

Conference calls -  I just never know when to speak - unless I'm addressed directly with a question. Without visual clues there's too much risk of trying to speak and someone else talking at the same time, and then it's all awkward . . . and the awkward silences are nearly as bad.

Spreadsheets - From forgetting the password to access a protected one, or always finding the spreadsheet you need to update locked for editing by someone else, or simply trying to fix a formula that's went awry, I find them pretty stressful. And this is coming from someone who has completed Excel1 and 2 training!

External phone calls - I don't answer my personal phone if I don't recognise the number, so when my work phone starts ringing and I don't recognise the number, I feel a bit anxious answering it. I just have no idea who might be on the other end!!! It's terrifying!

Meetings with a colleague I have never met - I don't know what they look like so how am I going to know I'm not joining a meeting with the wrong person? It's nearly happened a few times . . .

Collections - Last but not least . . . is it just me who gets stressed out the second someone passes me an envelope for a birthday collection or something of that ilk? It's not that I'm upset about signing the card or putting money in . . . it's just I get anxious about who I am meant to pass it to next if everyone around me has already signed it. I end up scrutinising the card trying to distinguish between signatures to see whether or not I can work out who hasn't yet had it. It's not easy. Once I get rid of that card it is a total weight off my shoulders!

I really need to chill out!

Have I missed anything?

Wednesday, 16 March 2016


I'm missing something, something important.

It's been lost for a while, perhaps even my whole life. Can anyone find it for me?

Yup. It's my willpower. And I have no idea where the hell it is.

Oscar Wilde once said "I can resist everything except temptation". I can definitely identify. I struggle to go on diets, health kicks, give up things that are bad for me, stick to exercise, keep things tidy . . . I am an actual nightmare of a person.

Mind that time I gave up wine for Lent and lasted two weeks? That was taunting me just the other week in my Facebook memories.

A couple of times I've actually avoided all booze for close to two weeks . . . and then reward myself with wine. Which is logical.

It's the diet/healthy eating that's the worst for me though. I get all gung-ho about it, meal-plan my arse off, imagining the better, healthier, more well-rounded person I'm going to become . . . It will be a whole new me. I'll probably end up into yoga, drinking home-made smoothies, get up hangover-free on Saturday and go for runs . . . nah, that last one especially was definitely my imagination running away with me, and I think pretty much anyone who knows me will agree. I can't even run for a bus while hangover-free.

But it quickly all falls by the wayside.

So on Monday I started my health kick again - this time I was determined that none of the pitfalls of starting a health kick I blogged about a few weeks ago were going to happen. I had made up soup that was going to last me for lunches for at least two days. Breakfast was to be yogurt and fruit. I was to be having a solo dinner, so I opted for a slimming world recipe which had been doing the rounds . . . creamy Cajun chicken pasta. I was being so good. And  I resisted the homemade cookies that one of my teammates had brought into work, despite my colleagues all raving about them. To be fair, I was surprised at that myself but I did it by completely ignoring the cookies - if I couldn't see them, they weren't there.

But nothing lasts forever . . . and although I was still going well on Tuesday, the second the fella suggested we go out for dinner, I was like "Hell yeah!" and proceeded to go out for dinner, have two courses which were definitely not salad (although do beer-battered mushrooms count as salad? Even sort of? No?) and the inevitable wine. (Now, surely wine counts as one of my five a day? Even sort of? No?)

And then I'm sort of like "well, I've fallen off the wagon now so let's just keep on going" - so I ended up going out with my sister tonight for dinner. And even though she's off booze for Lent, I still had a glass of sauv blah. On top of our monster sized shared garlic bread . . . and a burger. Although she did eat most of my fries.

I actually don't know how anyone can stick to a diet when there are so many temptations waving at us and calling "Coo-ee! Over here!" just in case you haven't noticed them waving. I have lost fairly large amounts of weight several times over the course of my adult life . . . and looking back I don't know how the fuck I actually ever managed it. Because these days my willpower is pretty much non-existent - and a couple of days seems to be my limit before the pizza, wine and chocolate makes a successful comeback.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to resist temptation and prove big Oscar wrong . . . then please hit me up.

Until then I'll be sitting here thinking about pizza .

Mmmm. Pizza . . .

Monday, 14 March 2016


I used to walk all the time. Everywhere. For close to ten years I did a nearly five mile round trip to work, on foot. As well as preferring to walk pretty much anywhere rather than taking public transport if I could.

But since getting into the relationship with the fella, my walking has slightly fallen by the wayside especially since he has a parking space this year so driving to work seems to just make sense. I barely walk to work anymore. I'm soooo unfit. Anyway, today was the seven millionth time I start my diet, and it just so happened to coincide with the fella having a work thing after work. So I suggested leaving the car at home, knowing I'd have to walk home anyway - I figured that way I could get a decent long walk and that would be my exercise for the day!

However, much as the exercise made me feel all good about myself, I'd forgotten about some of the bad points . . .

Other people getting in my way . . .  As you know, I hate people in general. So them getting in my way - seemingly walking towards me on purpose on many occasions - means I get angry and mutter curses not quite under my breath and one day I will probably definitely be beaten up by someone who actually hears me.

Falling-down tights . . . This is something I suffer from a lot. And it's quite difficult to attempt to hold your tights up as you walk. There's nowt like that sinking feeling as you feel the top of your tights start to roll down past your stomach and at that is pretty much the point of no return until you get somewhere private to remedy the situation. Trust me. It's no fun.

Chafing . . . this can be caused by the falling-down tights. Or your jeans rubbing together. In my case it's the falling down tights. And it's fucking-painful.

When you discover your boots ain't made for walking . . . Okay, so you've walked to the train, or the pub down the road in your nice new boots and they've felt lovely and comfortable. But treat them to a forty minute walk and you might discover they've could double as some sort of torture device. Tonight I have a hole in the toe of my tights, a blister, and shaky ankles. Not happy.

Twatty traffic lights . . . Constantly getting to the lights five seconds after they've changed from green to red. Then having to wait what appears to be seven hours for them to change back to green in your favour.

Drivers forgetting to indicate until the last minute . . . So you're crossing a road quite innocently and they suddenly start indicating into the road you're crossing two seconds before they are actually going to turn. Fuck you, man, I was here first. (Yeah, with that attitude I'm probably going to get knocked down one day, aren't I?)

If you see someone you know, you might have to, you know, actually engage with them . . . Actually, that was pretty nice today. I ran into two colleagues and stopped for a wee chat, and then ran into one of my lovely former teammates who I hadn't seen since November. So today that was a good thing. But if you get me in the morning before I've decided to be human for the day, or when I'm in a bad mood or maybe I'm just in a hurry, I'm possibly going to resent having to talk to you! If you're in a car, you don't need to do that!

Do You have any pedestrian woes? Feel free to share!

Friday, 11 March 2016


Now, if you have been reading my blog for a while, or even if you have just found me through Twitter or Instagram, you might have a glimmer of an idea that I love waterfalls. Anytime me and the fella head anywhere on our travels, we check out whether or not there is a nearby waterfall we can visit. The easier it is to reach from wherever we are, the better.

Falls of Foyers ticks a lot of boxes. You can go a long walk if you want but . . .  the waterfalls themselves are easily accessible. Okay, you have to walk down quite a few steps, which means - you guessed it - quite a few steps back up but . . . think of the workout! You'll definitely deserve a vino or two afterwards.

You can't take him anywhere...

The River Foyers feeds into Loch Ness, and the waterfalls are located not too far away from the city of Inverness itself. We first found it when we were staying nearby to it for the Loch Ness marathon in 2014, and we ended up returning last year. In terms of waterfalls, they're pretty bloody beautiful!

If you happen to end up in the area, I would recommend a little visit to the Falls of Foyers. It's definitely one of Scotland's wee gems.

More information on the falls can be found here and also here.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016


Holy crap, I HATE shopping. Some people love it, but I find it an absolute chore. I have to physically psych myself up to do it, and often end up giving up midway through.

Here's a small list of some of the things that annoy me and/or stress me out about shopping.

Other people

I hate other people. They get in my way. They shout in my ear. They stand right behind me when I'm trying to find something in my size or check the nutrition value of something and make me want to turn around and slap them. Shopping causes too much exposure to other people. Therefore it must be avoided as much as possible.


I hate small talk. And I've noticed that more and more staff in shops these days are trying to make small talk with you when you're buying something. I know they're just trying to be friendly but I'm not always in the mood. And one time I walked into a Lush and had eight individual members of staff say hello to me as I walked around. And I was only there for about 90 seconds because I was starting to get scared.

The changing room dilemma

I hate trying things on. It's all I can do to get dressed once in the morning and then into my PJs at night - actually going into a changing room and repeatedly changing my clothes (and ultimately being disappointed by whatever I'm trying on) is an absolute massive effort. But if you don't try them on and they don't fit, you're going to then have the "do I return it?" dilemma. Unsurprisingly I have a lot of unreturned clothes, since returning things necessitates technically going shopping again.

The queue conundrum

Even queuing to buy whatever you want is rarely straightforward. There's either a massive queue when all you want to do is buy one bloody pack of black tights (Primark, am I right?) or there's no queue and no one at the counter to serve you so you're standing there like a knob looking around for a member of staff to actually pay you some attention. Even worse if it's a department store and you don't actually know if the particular counter you've chosen is even open. And if I'm in a supermarket, I have a gift for always choosing the wrong queue - the one who has a problematic customer or a broken till. It's actually quite uncanny.

Packing Problems

This specifically happens to me in Lidl. Have you ever shopped in Lidl? They scan your products like lightning and you're out of puff just trying to keep up with packing your shit away. Talk about a calorie burner! Oh . . . and how often do you end up forgetting to bring a bag and have to shell out the extra money for the carrier bag charge? All the bloody time.

Nothing is ever where it's meant to be

Sometimes it's like a fecking treasure hunt just trying to find what you're looking for.  And then, when you finally think you've tracked it down, it turns out it's actually sold out and there's just an empty space on the shelf taunting you. (This regularly happens to me with avocados specifically.) All that hunting for nothing. Nightmare.

And this is why online shopping will always trump physical shopping in my book.

It also means I don't really have to move so it's win-win really . . .

Tuesday, 8 March 2016


I don't get guest posts on here very often . . . but today the fella himself  has kindly volunteered to post about something you know I don't have much experience about myself . . . running! Maybe some of you can identify with some of the perils of urban running? Without further ado, let's find out!

Whilst not wholly unique to running round a built up area, these challenges are all from personal experience in and around Glasgow.  And, on talking to any other runners, I am certainly not alone!  Please note ‘you should run on a treadmill to avoid such issues’ is not a welcome retort.  In your heart of hearts you know that is not real running, get outside, we aren’t housecats!  J

Pavement dance

Run is going great, yep.   Good tunes playing, yep.  Pace bang on, yep.  Damn, a row of shops.  Hug the pavement near the kerb.  Experience teaches you that not one single person ever comes out a shop and looks left or right!  All going to plan …..then….. direct pavement competition, speeding towards a head-on crash!  Move left, they move left.  Move right, they move right.  Stuff it, I’m not changing course (we both think). ‘Should I apply the highway code? Good idea, I’ll stick to the left.  What if they are European?  Or a shore leave sailor? What if I go right then and just hope for the best?’ Damn!!! They’ve mirrored me, do I look like a Portuguese sailor turned driving instructor visiting Glasgow for a run?

Dog dodgems

Dogs are awesome, fact.  Even better for the ever lessening amount of pavement presents they used to leave behind!  Here is a snapshot of recent interactions with dogs:

Plotting their next move . . . :-/

-          Running beside me, ahead of me and around me

-          Running across me, lead attached, creating a unique steeplechase  experience

-          Stopping in front of me wanting some loving attention

I do typically concede and pat any dog that does stop in front of me; I may however curse their owner for any over-extended leads that cover the width of the pavement!

World’s busiest junction

You get to know junctions, especially on your favourite routes.  The order of the lights known and with a quick glance to check the pedestrian button you are free to keep running unaffected by crossing traffic ……. or so you’d think!  No amount of knowledge, planning or adjustments to pace is ever enough.  Where did that pedestrian come from?  That car is going straight, great…no wait…they just aren’t indicating, idiot!  Light going red, brilliant.  Traffic free junction….nope.  Someone runs a red light.  Then best of all, our cycling friends.  Do you want to cycle on the road or the pavement?  Do you want to follow the rules of the road or not?  Ah!  It’s none of the above!!!  Yep.  Worse than cars.  So beware if one of these things starts to take shape, it is likely they’ll all come together at the same time so tread carefully J

Space jam

Sometimes a Santa convention may get in your way!

Much like the pavement dance, space jam!  Pavements carry people just getting on with their lives.  I just want to jog, not get in anyone’s way and get finished in a faster time that I’ve done before.  But.  BUT; double buggys, groups of friends, drunken hens and stags, cyclists (again), running groups , bins, pub boards, phone boxes, bus stops…..what attracts them all to the narrowest part of the pavement when I’m approaching?  :-/

Splash or dash

Traffic, rain, poor roads, puddles = risk of an impromptu outdoor shower.  Speed up or slow down?  Believe in the human condition and no-one will drench you?  DON’T!  You’ve got to dash every time, get the hell away from the overflowing gutter ASAP!

Hello, head nod, wave, smile, steely dead eye stare dead ahead…

Runner to runner most will acknowledge each other.  Don’t run past staring off into the distance.   But equally, don’t look like a stalking maniac waving and smiling excessively either!  A nod or small wave will suffice.  A little runners’ etiquette if you will.  Makes every run that bit easier J

Aaaahh! A closed off to traffic 10k :-)

You’d think I don’t enjoy running after all that, but I do.  It’s just what makes every run unique!  I do escape to trail runs every so often….sometime my Portuguese friend shows up there too.

If you're a runner, do you have any other perils to add?

Friday, 4 March 2016


*I've always thought it could be a lot of fun to be famous.

Hasn't everyone at some point? It would be awesome, right? You get to go to lots of parties. Get given lots of free stuff. Have lots of fans - well, most of the time. It would be GREAT to have tons of people telling me how absolutely and completely awesome I am. I mean, I KNOW I am anyway (joke!), but having it reinforced is just the best.

But with all the good points there must be some drawbacks.  Here's mine . . .

Celebrity Breakups

A normal break-up, with all of the heartache is entails, is bad enough. But having it broadcast all over the papers and magazines? Having people reading about your pain, and what "sources" have said about you? Having to watch your ex hook up with someone else right in the public eye (if he is famous too, obviously!)? That would be absolutely horrendous!  I don't think i could cope with that. In fact, I think I would have a big celebrity breakdown Ms Spears style and possibly take some sort of blunt object . .. . to my ex's head.

Weight Issues

I am feeling mega-horrid about my weight at the moment (pretty much living with a dude and a love of wine and Dominos two-for-Tuesday will obviously have the odd disadvantage) but at least I'm not having my various rolls of flab scrutinised in magazines! Although perhaps that would be motivation to lose weight, I suppose. It seems to have worked for a lot of celebrities in the past anyway . . .

Always Having To Look Good

There has been the odd occasion when I have left the flat sans make-up (apart from the remnants of the previous day's), accompanied with birds nest hair and probably the rumpled clothes I fell asleep in the night before ,just to stock up on hangover-curing chocolate and diet Irn Bru. I'm not proud of this and I have hoped to god I'm not going to run into anyone I know . . . but at least I know I'm not going to end up photographed and put in a "Celebs with Hangovers" column the next week.


Could you trust anyone anymore? Close friends and family, sure, but so many celebrities have been sold out by the aforementioned "sources" in the gossip columns . . . and you just know that a lot of these sources will actually be so-called friends who are either revealing secrets they shouldn't or just plain making things up. And I don't know which of those options is worse!

Letting Your Hair Down

I'm sure most of us who drink alcohol have had a dose of The Fear in the past (god knows I have), but losing control and doing a plethora of shots when you're famous is probably going to make The Fear look like a walk in the park. Because your version of The Fear could end up that the silly things you have done are going to be plastered all over the tabloids the next day. No chance of people forgetting that anytime soon!

Other than those drawbacks though, I think I could deal with being a celebrity. And I would have TONS of money . . . which mostly would come from my lawsuits against the magazines writing shit about me. Result!!!

If YOU were famous, what do you think the biggest drawback would be? Discuss.

(I realise that sounded sort of like an essay question in an exam. That was the intention.)

*Parts of this blog post were previously published as a guest-post by me here in 2009. It still holds true for me though.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016


Ah . . . false eyelashes . . .

 I love 'em.

Few beauty items make me feel more feminine and pretty, and without the need to spend half a day layering up the mascara. One day last week I had a night out after work so decided to buy my first pair in a good few months and I felt like my eye make-up just looked more polished and popped (not out of my head or anything, that would be weird!) - but they do have their downsides too.

Apologies . . . I didn't have a false eyelashes picture. But the fact I've taken a picture of my mascara wand instead ultimately sums up the whole post. You'll see. (It's sort of accidentally a metaphor . . .)


  • When you fuck them right up merely upon application . . .
So you've just blended your eyeshadow to perfection, like in a way you have never managed before. Seriously . . . you actually feel like you could be the long-lost (and chronologically impossible) lovechild of Michaelangelo and Bobbi Brown and you now have the Sistine Chapel Ceiling equivalent of eyelids. But one tiny slip of the finger or tweezers and you can completely ruin the effect while trying to glue those lashes on. It's like Eyelash Russian Roulette every bloody time.

  • When they make you look like you're falling asleep in meetings . . .
Is it just me who feels like false eyelashes weigh your eyes down? I was in a meeting last week and every time I blinked my eyelids felt heavier and heavier. I started to dread each and every blink as each time my eyelids shut it was like I had mini dumbbells providing resistance to opening them once again. It made it harder and harder to maintain eye contact when I felt like I looked like I was fighting sleep. I really really wasn't. My eyelids were just wrestling my falsies!

  • When you feel like one is starting to fall off . . .
Do you take it off altogether and attempt stick it back on, risking the aforementioned Sistine Chapel eyelids? Do you try and somehow glue the part falling off back onto your eyelid without sticking your eyes together? Do you just leave it and hope for the best, while trying not to blink too much? It's quite the conundrum! Seriously, what the hell do you do?

  • When you lose them . . .
You're meant to be able to re-use most false eyelashes. Which is great as they aren't bloody cheap, are they? However, in theory, you will lose one of the lashes immediately after taking them off. Or both of them. Or the glue (which literally holds the whole concept of false eyelashes together!) . . . oh yes, I tend to find that any lashes I buy rarely get an outing more than once.

  • When you find them again . . .
"Oh . . . wait . . . it's that false eyelash I misplaced a week ago."
Enough said.

  • When you take them off . . .
And have to go back to regular eyelashes with five thousand layers of mascara. And it's just not the same. Stupid regular eyelashes!!!!

Can anyone else identify? And am I missing any other downsides? Feel free to share!