Sunday, 6 August 2017

Money

Money

“Money don't get everything it's true. What it don't get I can't use, now give me money - that’s what I want” - ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’ by The Beatles

Like a lot of twenty-somethings, I am currently army crawling my way to payday through broken glass and used paper cups that once contained lattes from chain coffee shops. Behind me is a trail of receipts from slogan tee’s bought on impulse and DVD’s I’ll watch once and only once. Sidebar: am I the only one who misses the ritual that was a trip to Blockbuster on a Friday night? There was no commitment to own a film you aren’t sure you’ll enjoy and no praying to the Netflix gods for them to add the niche film you’re in the mood to watch. And no, I don’t illegally download films because it’s morally wrong and I don’t know how. I digress. 

I think about money all the time currently. It consumes almost all of my thoughts. How will I save enough of it? Will I earn lots of it one day? I’m worried I’ve spent too much on shiny things I didn’t need! It’s tiring and I wish I didn’t care. Correction, I wish I had enough of it to not have to care. Up until my late teens, I had been of the assumption that the older I got, the more money I will automatically earn because as you grow in age, so does your wage, right? Obviously an incorrect and incredibly ignorant thought that stemmed from being raised without money woes. My fortunate childhood was due to my dad working his proverbial ass off all over the world 360 days of the year to ensure myself and my Sister were lucky enough to experience the carefree childhood he didn’t get. The knowledge of how hard my Dad worked was something I overlooked in my younger years, I was probably distracted by our pets or my BabyG watch, it’s hard to tell at this point. Money wasn’t something that I even had to think about as a child, holidays were frequent and being a ‘good girl’ all week and getting all of my chores completed usually resulted in a little gift like a new beanie baby. There were bonus points for if me and my sister didn’t physically fight one another but we almost always failed at that, we watched too much WWF wrestling and were easily influenced by The Hardy Boyz. It wasn’t until a few years after my parents split that money began to concern me and it became an even harsher reality when I was out in the big wide world earning my own. I was faced with the cruel fact that money does not last forever and hard work does not mean you automatically get you’re own money tree planted in your garden (I mean, I live in London and as if I can afford a garden but I thought it may come in the form of a money cactus from Ikea?).

I’ve always been quite good at saving for things I want, holidays I desire or just general ‘rainy days’ but I think this is more to do with how stubborn I am as opposed to me being frivolous. I am currently saving for 7 separate and expensive occasions that are all due to take place within the next 4 months, I’m not sure if it’s bad karma I acquired from all those years of leading on older creepy men on chat rooms to make my friends laugh but it’s resulted in me standing in a sassy hand-on-hip pose and saying the word ‘Typical!’ whenever a new event pops up in my diary (I have officially turned in to my mother) and it has made me more anxious about my earnings than ever. So much so, I have the following fantasy at least 6 times a day. I have set this fantasy out in the style of a script as I hope to sell it to FOX one day, those folks LOVE white people that whine. Here’s looking at you, Murdoch, you little monster.

My Money Fantasy
Entitled: ’The Genie & I’ (name TBC)
Written by Dame Faye A. Harris

Int: Faye stands alone in her dark and gloomy bedroom, she is surrounded by unpaid bills, notifications via post of her outstanding student loan and she is grasping on to a calendar with all of the expensive pending events circled in a dramatically large red pen. She shoots a look to the ceiling of her rented room and cries out ‘If only there was someone who could help me!!!’

Just as these whiney words fall off her poor person tongue, a puff of smoke appears as if from nowhere and an aladdin style rip-off genie is floating before her, his entire being stemming from that teapot Faye bought years ago and was convinced she’d use all the time so justified it by saying ‘it’s okay that it costs more than my monthly phone bill!’ but in reality, she doesn’t actually like tea that much and rarely drinks it, let alone in large quantities like from a giant china pot.

Genie: 
You rang? I’m just dicking around, I heard you crying and I-

Faye: 
-I wasn’t crying.

Genie: 
Apologies Miss, I think one of your roommates is crying. Anywho, you know the deal. You have 3 wishes, yada yada yada, what’ll it b-

Faye: 
MONEY, EVERY BIT OF MONEY YOU CAN MUSTER. I JUST WANT SO MUCH MONEY THAT I CHANGE AS A PERSON ALMOST IMMEDIATELY. IT’S STRANGE TO ME THAT YOU HAVEN’T MAGIC’D ANY MONEY YET. 

Genie: 
*in a passive tone* Past recipients of my services have spent some time mulling it over and feigned interest in the idea of helping others first, usually saving their 3rd wish for material objects they desire. Fuck, man. Who raised you?

Faye: 
*whilst taking selfies with her phone* So will you be providing it in notes or straight to my bank? How does this work? OMG look at this new snapchat filter, look, I’m a panda with cult-leader glasses! ha! *notices the Genie riffling through her clothes* OI! Get out of my wardrobe you cretin!!

Genie: 
You have a lot of things in here with tags still on. Maybe if you spent a little less money on ‘weight goal’ clothing that doesn’t fit and burritos that are the main cause of that, maybe then you wouldn't be imagining up a scenario where a genie gives you cash.

Faye: 
Hey Casper the unhelpful ghost, I wish you’d go fuck yourself.

*long pause*

Faye:
*in a shocked/disgusted whisper* Will I get my money after you finish? Why do genie’s even have genitals? I beg you to look away, this has backfired catastrophically.

Genie:
*wipes mouth* You’ve got 2 wishes left, bitch. 

And scene. That escalated and I’m sorry but you get the jist, I have money on my mind (and Disney. Always Disney. And occasionally the Spice Girls.) But in all seriousness, I am of the belief that money actually CAN buy happiness for a lot of people. Like most others who aren’t lucky enough to have a 90-something rich and generous boy toy, I get such a rush from buying something I have longed for, treating a loved one to a gift ‘just because’, booking a holiday I have been dreaming of and checking my bank balance without a mini panic attach…a life where those things aren’t a rarity but the norm, what could be better? Happiness Shmappiness, pfft, that’s for dreamers and honey, I am NO dreamer. I know money isn’t going to solve all of my issues and I know it won’t ‘fix’ me as a person but on those sad days when life gets a little too much, the option of not having to work and spending my day walking along the thames whilst listening to Tom Jones albums on repeat would be a real relief, am I right ladies?

I’d like to end this blog post with a poem I wrote all about…well…money, obviously. It’d be weird if it were about anything else. Enjoy:

The thought of money makes me lose sleep
If I had enough, I’d buy a pool so deep
I’d fill it with coins like Scrooge McDuck
I’d spend all my days not giving a fuck.

No worries of bills and student loan debts
I’d be so rich and have too many pets
With all that cash, my woes would be silent
And my anxiety attacks would be less violent.

I wasn’t born in to wealth but I’m willing to earn it
Even if it means spending free time as a hermit
I like the idea of hard work for the pay
But I prefer the notion of sleeping all day.

Why can’t it be even where we all get a sum
After all, it’s just paper that makes us act dumb
It’s numbers on a screen ruling our lives
And whoever has more automatically thrives.

I want a life where my days are all mine
I’d spend my days writing line after line
It would be bliss to not answer to ‘the man’
And travel the world just because I can.

I dream of a world where money’s obsolete 
No banks, no charges, life would be sweet
Work wouldn’t matter and we’d all be free
And no more hopes of growing a ‘Money Tree’.

Love Faye x
*goes back to staring at bank balance and google searching ‘how to play the stocks’*

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Average.

You can’t throw a Fidget Spinner in the air these days without hitting some pastel colored calligraphy inspirational quote like ‘Don’t call it a dream, call it a plan!’ or ‘Be a Flamingo in a flock of Pigeons!’ or, my personal favorite one ‘You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce!'. For a long time, I was someone who would spend hours reading motivational quotes like these, get an adrenaline rush from the expectations of tomorrow and how quickly I would now succeed with these words implanted in the back of my mind, but the reality is that they're just words, not magic dust. The next day would come around, the words still fresh in my head but I was still me, a girl who struggles with low self esteem, horrible body image and occasional mental health woes. Words couldn’t fix my worries and inspire me to live a better life, who knew? (Everyone, Faye. Everybody knew this). So many of us have grown reliant on pictures of beautiful views with bold words thrown across them to motivate us to ‘live our best lives’ and thanks to this, living an average life for a lot of us has become the fear and is at times seen as a "waste" of all these metaphorical possibilities we should be fighting for. Be a blogger who travels the world for free, be a singer songwriter who plays giant festivals in quirky outfits, be a reality TV star who makes an incredible amount of money daily from peddling some laxative tea to their millions of followers, be a make up artist who posts videos online to teach young girls how to contour their beautiful youthful faces so they can look twice their age before they’ve gotten their first period. Be any of these things but don’t you dare be average. It's so difficult to not occasionally feel the threat of comparison - it truly is the thief of all joy but I feel surrounded by it. A quick flick through Instagram leaves me often feeling a bit worthless and it can take a while to shake off the self doubt - "Pity, party of one? Your tables ready. We sat you in the back because you look sad and it's off-putting to all the perfect people."

My parents grew up without the internet, 100,000+ television channels, the ability to see their friends out at fun parties with the click of a button and 190 different air-brushed magazines being published daily and I can’t help but think this is why they grew up with what would now be considered to be ‘humble dreams’ (or...ACTUALLY achievable goals) for their futures. My Dad grew up dreaming of being in the Navy and being able to afford Fish & Chips for dinner once a week. My Mum grew up dreaming of being a vet (sidebar: she unfortunately couldn’t because she got too emotionally attached to every animal she met which also explains why a quick trip to any pet shop would lead to us getting a new furbade to overwhelm with love.) I got my first mobile phone at 12, had the slowest dial-up internet installed in my home at 11 and was exposed to over 999 television channels at the tender age of 8 and I grew up dreaming of being famous for no reason like Paris Hilton. Notice a theme here? I count myself lucky every day that I grew up before things like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter existed. All I had to contend with was a couple of wasted years on MySpace where the main source of stress came from which of your pals/favourite emo bands made it in to your coveted Top 8 slots. My era was also prime time for MSN instant messages that were simply a breeding ground to plan my friends and I’s next venture to the under 18’s disco ‘Snaps’ and also a simpler time of having no easy means to upload photos of myself on to the internet - seriously, to upload a selfie to our dial-up internet, I had to take 260 pictures on my dads giant digital camera with the self timer, manually upload them all to a computer with a wire and then wait 3 hours for them to transfer - if nudes were this difficult to share now, none of us would know what Jennifer Lawrence looks like naked - which I think we can all agree would be a big shame. My big Sister and I had internet curfews, had to split time on the family computer which lived in the downstairs office and when we went to our bedrooms, we had no way to access the world wide web. For this I am grateful, I can’t imagine the pressures that come along with being a pre-teen surrounded by the internet 24/7 now but I can’t help but be envious of my parents growing up with none of it. Their dreams were based on actual interests and passions and not what everyone else was doing or what was deemed to be cool. They also avoided a little thing called 'FOMO' and for this I will be eternally green with envy. 

We are now all living in the #Goals era. Whether it be body, make up, relationship or lifestyle, everything is now a goal you can lust over at all times and all of them are bullshit. It’s so incredibly easy to paint a perfect life online and leave out all of the bad parts, it’s so incredibly easy to look as though you are always busy doing exciting things and it’s so incredibly easy to look like the happiest person and like you couldn’t be further from living the ‘doomed’ average/boring life. I have often accomplished this in the past with a simple click of the upload button on my chosen social media with a beautifully filtered smiley picture. Even sadder than that, I used to be of the mindset that I needed to document every little thing I did that was vaguely interesting otherwise people would assume I had done nothing with my day. Newsflash, no one gives a shit whether I spent my whole day in bed watching Will & Grace DVD’s or if I went out to a 5 star restaurant in Mayfair and got high with Oprah Winfrey. I’ve experienced so many occasions of staying out socializing longer than I wanted to (and past the point of it being fun) because I felt like I SHOULD want to be out at 1am on a Thursday night, I’ve dated several men I have had no connection with because I felt I SHOULD be out dating while I’m young and single, I’ve been to so many ‘trendy’ crowded and grim places because I felt like it’s where I SHOULD want to go! Call it a quarter life crisis or a real ‘uh-huh’ moment but I’m bored of caring. If I want to go home alone and eat a burrito in bed whilst watching a Judd Apatow film instead of going out for drinks with other twenty-somethings because I don’t want to seem boring, I need to be okay with making that decision and not worrying about what others think. 

If I’m being completely candid, my entire existence currently is very average for a city based twenty-something. I live in a shared flat with other twenty-somethings as none of us have the income to be able to live alone in London, I work in an average job where I make enough money to get by reasonably comfortably but can’t afford to go on monthly boojee trips or boozy nights out more than a couple of times a week and I have an average social life that consists of a lot of gin in overpriced bars. Why is an average existence something to be feared now? Because it’s not aspirational? It’s a selfish mentality some of us have, life has become a competition of who appears to be happiest, richest, luckiest and the most inspirational. The cray-cray-craziest part of this whole competition concept is that we all have different ideas of success, happiness and greatness, it just seems to be the few people in the limelight splashing cash on clear ocean holidays have the biggest online followings, so those babes are almost impossible to ignore and therefore become the ones to be inspired by. How great would it be if we admired Nurses as loudly as we praised the bikini-clad instagram models from ‘Love Island’? (Allow me to step down from this soap box before I go on a full ‘Kanye’ rant about under appreciated heroes).

I grew up wanting to be famous and to be admired by all of my peers but as I've become a grown-ass woman, I've realized I couldn’t imagine a more bleak existence. I am an introvert who enjoys leaving the house without make up and a bra on regularly so I can pop to the shops for wine and snacks (and to meet friendly neighborhood cats on my journey to Sainsburys). I enjoy socializing in small spurts but then I enjoy being alone for as long as possible. I enjoy nights in and will always opt for a date at my student-looking little flat as it is where I feel most comfortable currently. I enjoy turning my phone off for hours at a time and being unreachable. I enjoy long walks with my iPod that has no wifi connection and no apps but dozens of great audiobooks by some of my favorite minds. I enjoy travelling alone and being in a city filled with strangers for days on end. Most importantly, I think I am starting to enjoy being an average human being…its a hell of a lot less pressure to just live sometimes.

As I sit here watching Bo Burnham’s ‘Make Happy’ comedy special for a record 286th time and drink gallons of Coke Zero in an attempt to stop myself from army crawling to my kitchen to devour Nutella by the spoonful like ice cream, I can’t help but hope I can convince myself to enjoy the ease of an average existence. Besides, who wants a life where everyone knows you and therefore you can’t flash your nips at pals in a drunken rage for fear that you’ll be photographed by one of your millions of admirers? I’ve drunkenly vommited too many times in public to desire that lifestyle.

Faye.

x

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

'Girls' ended & I hate change...

"I think that I may be the voice of my generation. Or at least a voice. Of a generation." - Hannah Horvath, 'Girls'

'Girls' is one of those television shows that divide audiences, some love it and find the brutally realistic (and at times vile) millennial characters endearing while others find the continual narcissism unbearable - I for one found it thoroughly captivating at all times and had a minor internal breakdown last weekend  whilst I binge watched the 6th and final season.

It feels extremely trivial to say a TV show changed me but 'Girls' did. I started watching it around 3 years ago when one of my favorite bloggers (LucyJaneWood) mentioned her admiration for it on her Instagram account. While mooching around HMV on a lunch break at my temporary and incredibly-low paying job at the time, I saw the seasons 1-3 boxset of 'Girls' for the bargain price of everything I had left in my overdraft, bought it to cheer myself up and then had my life consumed for 2 full days. The show spoke to me more than any other I'd watched before, validated my fears of feeling like I didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up whilst in the horrible position of being considered 'a grown up' already and normalized my weird and rocky female friendships. The character Hannah spoke loudest to me and I mirrored her desires to write professionally (along with her general laziness and hopes that it would just be handed to her at some point with minimal effort) and felt uplifted with seeing someone posses a similar body shape to my own but adored the fact that it wasn't a part of her narrative. Her body image wasn't an issue for her, she was still sexy, desired, wore whatever she felt like and seemed shocked whenever it was somewhat of an 'issue' or noticed by others. That alone boosted my confidence in ways I can't explain and at times I channeled a real 'WWHHD?' (what would Hannah Horvath do?) mentality. Don't get me wrong, her character was incredibly flawed and at times she was very unlikable but as a character she meant a lot to me and strangely helped me. The show pushed me to make the move to a city, inspired me to 'find the story' in all of life's ups & downs and provoked me to care less about my narcissistic tendencies that I had continual guilt for.


Fast forward to the shows end and the bleak but necessary closing act of 'Girls'. As I sat crossed legged on my bed, hugging a giant pillow and slowly sipping a large gin & orange juice through a stolen Starbucks straw, I felt such a crushing blow when the credits rolled and that was it, my favorite show had finished forever. They'd be no more new episodes, no more funny Shosh quotes, no more counting down the days until the new season would start and no more Adam Driver being Adam. It was a crushing reminder of how much I hate change. I've always been hesitant for big life changes and closing life chapters as I get so emotionally attached to things, places and people. Anything from a vacation ending to moving out of my childhood home, it all affects me the same way, I just fucking hate it. Like now for instance, I have been keen on the idea of moving out of my current flat for a while in the hopes of falling in love with a new part of London and spicing life up a bit but I fear having to meet new roommates, make myself at home in a new bedroom and getting used to a new area. I'm a creature of habit and enjoy nothing more than settling in to something or somewhere. Even breaking up with terrible boyfriends leaves me with a horrible gut feeling I can't shake for months as I have to get used to not seeing them despite the fact that by that point I actually hate them and wish they'd lose every possession they've ever loved in a horrible but controlled fire (oop, my 'crazy' is showing. Allow me to shove that back under the proverbial rug).


A couple of weeks ago, I was offered a new job which is beyond exciting and full of great prospects and for once isn't filling me with the dreaded 'first day at school feeling' because not only is it at my current place of work but it is also on the same floor, in the same room and around 4 banks of desks away from my previous team. The biggest bonus of all? It's permanent! So after 2 and a bit years of living in London and hopping from contracted job to contracted job, having to get used to new people, new commutes and new offices, I finally have a role I can settle in to and get all kinds of comfy. It couldn't be more ideal for a change-hater such as myself.


Despite being slightly on the wrong side of 'nuts' for being so affected by an American TV show, I think a lot of people can relate to the fear of change and the unknown of the future. 'Girls' will eternally live on in my DVD collection and will forever be thought of to me as a truly revolutionary program. Of course life will go on and I will find new things that inspire me so that I can narcissistically become attached and consumed by them and tell the world that it reminds me of me because...TWHHWD (that's what Hannah Horvath would do).


"You know what the weirdest part about having a job is? You have to be there everyday, even on the days you don't feel like it." - Jessa Johansson, 'Girls'

Faye x

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Living With Roommates

As someone who didn't have the full university experience and opted to stay at home with my family and treasured pets, the idea of flatsharing always seemed so foreign to me. I grew up watching television shows like ‘Friends’ and ‘Will & Grace’ but only ever envied the characters wardrobes and hairdos - NOT their living situations…enter, London. When I decided to make the big move to the city of dreams and overpriced cocktails, I was faced with the harsh reality that in order to live in my desired new home I would have to bunk with strangers. There is a list as long as my chubby arm of things I wouldn’t do with strangers but for some irrational reason, I thought it’d be okay to share a home with some. In the 2 years I’ve lived in my lovely little flat, I have had five different women occupy the other two bedrooms down the hall from me and it has without a doubt been a continual learning curve. Despite being painfully aware of my own idiosyncrasies and knowing how much of an introvert I am most of the time, I was not aware of how my roommates habits would grow to drive me exaggeratedly insane. Don’t get me wrong, I like the people I live with but as time goes on, it becomes abundantly apparent that I am not easygoing enough to live with strangers, I am an uptight nana and all the gin in the world isn't going to change that. I get easily irritated by stupidly small things which is exactly how I felt towards the end of living at home with my family, the difference is…family is family. If they make you irate, you can say it their face and call them a prick whilst knowing in the back of your head that your minor outrage will be long forgotten by tomorrow so living with people you don't have pre-determined relationships with is harder. You have to bite your tongue, you have to be a lot more rational, you have to forgive and forget immediately to avoid foreseeable awkwardness and at times you have to say a bold lie such as “No, that’s fine to use my milk from the fridge without asking! You weren't to know, you must have thought you purchased it, silly!” or “Oh my god, don’t be sorry. I didn't even hear you come in at 4am…with all your loud drunk pals. I slept through it!”

Thanks to the smorgasbord of 20-somethings that I’ve shared a home with, I feel like its helped me to grow up a bit and at times has forced me to genuinely get my shit together. My cohabiters have ranged from the most passive aggressive woman I’ve ever met, an incredibly sexually liberated office dwelling hippy, a Mancunian whom I adore and who loved nothing more than a binge of 90’s music…and an actual hedgehog. He may have been my favourite of the whole bunch despite his vile odour. And what did these women think of living with me? To be completely honest, I have no clue but I can only assume it would be something along the lines of the following:
‘Faye is an okay flatmate despite the fact that she walks around in just her pants a lot, listens to Taylor Swift obnoxiously loud when she showers, makes too many ‘fingering’ jokes, annoyingly sets herself 8 different alarms to wake up in the morning and you can occasionally hear her theatrically faking orgasms through the wall to please whoever she is dating…apart from that, she's fine I guess’. I will be the first to admit that maybe doing a flat or house share was out of character for me. I am a person who loves their own company, thrives off of personal space, detests invasions of privacy and depending on stress levels at the time, can accumulate various germaphobic tendencies. Alas, despite having some very memorable and great moments with my flatmates, this living situation has taught me many, many lessons. Here are a selection of the most prominent:

1. Remember privacy? No? Me neither.
Privacy truly is a privilege and this is more apparent to me than ever now I live in close quarters with humans I met on spareroom.com. I love my solo time and am a reasonably private person but I have learned to accept that if I have a private phone call, have friends over or seriously give singing a go, people may hear. Luckily for me, I live with British people so I rely heavily on the English mentality of being too polite to publicly acknowledge anything embarrassing you’ve heard. It's what the Queen would want.

2. ‘Hook-Up’ strategies need to be in place (& give yourself plenty of time to plan)
Unless you are some sort of exhibitionist or really in to bragging about sexual encounters, having a sexy sleepover when flatsharing is awkward at best. A good ‘hook up’ strategy being in place is highly recommended - give your flatmates notice, warn them that you’ll purposely make them feel awkward for the entirety of your date because you’ll probably be drunk and subtly suggest that it might be a good night for them to go back to their parents house…it’s in all of our best interest. 

3. It’s like living in a Uni house (except we all have jobs and pension plans)
My flat has been lovingly described as looking like ‘student accommodations' on multiple occasions, for this I blame the fact that we don't own it so we can’t decorate it how we want to, we don't care that much about it so we treat it like its our frenemy and it is filled to the brim with random things we have all accumulated when drunk like stolen pint glasses and pub coasters. 

4. Shared chores bring occasional resentment…
I’m lucky enough to currently live with tidy human beings so the rare occasions that things are messy for long periods of time, I do tend to grow resentful of it like a bitter ex-lover. I remedy this by just cleaning it myself after a little while. Why? Because it feels great to be able to say ‘I’m the only one that does the dishes!’ despite knowing this was a one-time issue and you often leave your own dishes longer than you should… Mmmm, sweet irony.

5. …shared groceries bring further resentment.
Bin bags, loo roll, cleaning products; all things I couldn't have cared less about 25 months ago but now I will internally lose my shit if I have to buy these things twice in a row. ‘Why don’t you ask your roomies to buy these things when you run out?’ I hear you cry. Firstly, stop being so nosey. Secondly, because they often buy these things multiple times in a row without complaint so…there.

6. The guilt of staying in…a lot. 
I’m a homebody and at times I have lived with social butterflies. The judge Judy looks on their faces when I’m staying in and wearing PJ’s from 6pm onwards for the 4th night in a row...those looks cut me deep.

7. Can I borrow this?
I’ve lost count of how many times various roommates have been in my bedroom chatting, spotted a book/dvd and muttered the dreaded words ‘Can I…’. As a rule I don’t lend out things very often because 99% of the time I don’t get it back and I don’t have the patience to continually ‘politely’ ask for my belongings to be returned, bitch I am not your live-in Blockbuster. As I write this I am confronted with the realisation that I am just selfish and a worse realisation is that I’m completely okay with that. 

8. The secret codes of “I fancy a chat”.
Sometimes you really fancy a chat with your roommates but don’t want to be a desperate Debbie who knocks on their bedroom door so you can shoot the shit. To show your roomies that you fancy a chat, leave your bedroom door open, spend longer than you normally would in the shared rooms of the house (kitchen, living room) and stare at them until they pay attention to you.

9. The secret codes of “I don’t fancy a chat”.
Sometimes you really don't fancy a chat with your roommates but don’t want to be a anti-social bore. To show your roomies that you don't fancy a chat, seal your bedroom door shut, spend almost no time in the shared rooms of the house (kitchen, living room) and if they look you in the eyes, scream ‘I’VE GOT A SERIOUS CASE OF THE MONDAYS’ then hide in your room.

10. Embrace one anothers smells… (shared bathroom woes)
We all cook various scented meals, we all produce various scented…scents and we all need to be okay with it. There’s no time to be self conscious or not cook that curry you’ve been craving all week because you’re worried about pissing off your housechums, you do you boo. And then Febreeze like nobody is watching. 

11. Hallway chats are a wonderful thing.
Sharing multiple rooms with various people means you will literally cross paths a lot and will often stop along the way to chat ’til your hearts content and until you’ve forgotten that you were actually on your way to the bathroom to pee. Hallway chats have become some of the deepest chats to happen in this flat and I think there’s a metaphor in there somewhere (much like the beloved ‘Choose your own adventure’ book, please feel free to ‘Choose your own metaphor’).

12. Shrapnel in the form of hair, crumbs & spills.
A shared flat can occasionally resemble a giant field the morning after a festival has finished. A single human being accumulating a little hair loss and creating crumbs when feeding themselves is easy to ignore but when you multiply that by 3, your home can easily become the set to ‘Trainspotting’. There is no pain like walking around your flat barefoot, stepping on something sharp and realising it is in fact your worst nightmare…you’ve just stepped on someones toenail clipping. On the bright side of domestic bliss, floor wipes have saved my sanity and allowed me to only hoover once a year. Blessed.

13. Noise control needs to be established (in all situations)
I for one love nothing more than blasting music in my bedroom and dancing like a has-been stripper (male), this doesn't bode well when you live with others because apparently it’s ‘rude’. Most people I know are reasonably respectful to one another when it comes to noise control but add alcohol in to the mix and were all assholes. All respect and volume control goes out the window and it’s something I’ve learned to live with. I’ve learned to live with it because I know I am incredibly guilty of this at times…I can creep in to my flat wasted like a pro but occasionally, if I’m over excited or McDonalds have given me the wrong order, things happen and things get loud. Don’t fuck with my McNuggets.

14. Being home alone is literally the greatest.
The feeling you get when all of your roommates leave town for the weekend and you have the flat all to yourself is euphoric. It so rarely happens that when the occasion arises, I will often cancel any social plans, buy enough prosecco to drown a ‘basic bitch’ and throw all of my clothes on the floor in a celebration of nudity and alone time. You don’t know true freedom until you have spent an entire day wandering around your home naked with zero shame. I assume this is what George Michaels song ‘Freedom’ was about. 

meanwhile, behind the blogpost - 
Location: My bedroom based desk so I can delay the need to crawl in to bed at 4pm.
Currently Watching/Listening To: Binge watching ‘The People Vs. OJ’ my newest obsession…Ross Gellar got hot, am I right?
Currently Eating/Drinking: A large glass of Cava with orange juice because I am without a doubt a genuine garbage person.
Currently Wearing: A floor length black silk night gown with lace trimming on the sleeves. I couldn't feel more like a mix between Miss Hannigan from ‘Annie’ and a Madame of a brothel right now.

Faye x

Sunday, 5 March 2017

2 Years in London

On March 7th 2017 it will be my 2 year anniversary of living in London. Oh, how time has flown and patience has diminished but 2 years on from my big move to the city, I still feel embarrassingly happy that I get to live here and get ‘payday’ levels of excitement every time I casually wander past a giant tourist hot spot on my way to the shops or while en-route to my 9-5 office job. The novelty has yet to disintegrate and I hope I forever remain in the honeymoon period with London. I first set my heart on moving here at the end of 2014 when, quite frankly, I was stuck in a rut and incredibly depressed. Life was stale and I craved excitement, I needed bigger opportunities and I lusted over a life worth living. At the time I was a devoted reader of various fashion and beauty blogs that featured various women in their early-mid twenties swanning around London in fabulous clothes and spending their evenings toasting to their fantastic lives with multicoloured cocktails - I wanted in. During this period of my life I was working full time for an Estate Agency in Reading and it was, for lack of a better word, hell. Spending 10 hours a day commuting and working in a job I hated for arrogant money-hungry mortgage brokers whilst getting paid the salary of a sweatshop worker really makes a girl question why she bothered getting a degree. I would waste countless hours at my horrible job thinking about my ‘dream life’ somewhere exciting like London, I wrote endless bucket lists for things I would do when I got there and continually binge watched episodes of ‘Made In Chelsea’ for inspiration (turns out they are all rich and therefore their lives are unattainable, who knew?!). The only issue was…I had no money and London is expensive but what did I have to lose? I was a woman on a mission! From November 2014, I saved every penny possible for my big move. It was a little easier for me than some 24 year olds because I had very few friends, no boyfriend and really enjoyed wasting my days in bed with reality shows therefore the lack of socialising helped keep funds safely tucked away in my savings account (not a lot has changed to be honest except for having more friends now and watching my reality shows from the comfort of a desk chair like a grown ass woman should). 

Finding my London job.
With a tiny bit of money in the bank for a flat deposit, the next challenge was to find a decent paying job role. After endless online applications spread over a few weeks and a great recommendation from a family friend, Network Rail lassoed me in. Did I know anything about the rail industry? No. Did I care about the rail industry? No. Did they offer me a great role with a lovely team and a pension plan? Yes and after a few months of polite begging, I had my role as a Team Organiser right next to the Olympic park in Stratford. The final step was to find a humble (aka cheap) place to live. Now, as a self confessed introvert, the idea of living with strangers in close quarters and paying hundreds of pounds a month for the privilege did not quite match up to my ‘dream life’ I was pursuing but rent is pricey and I was desperate so communal living it was! I assumed it would be like a super chic cult but less matching outfits and our cult leader/landlord wouldn't use us to murder people. I digress...

Finding my London home.
When it came to looking for a home, I didn't even know where to begin! As a person who dreamed so much about living in London, I’d actually not spent a lot of time there. My dad used to treat me, my sister and my mum to a fancy weekend in the city every so often whilst I was growing up but that was about it! Whilst knee deep in my regular Youtube binge from the comfort of my bathtub, I was watching some LLYMLRS videos (my favourite blogger at the time who happened to live in London), she mentioned in one of her vlogs that she lived in an area called Balham so I immediately googled it - if a woman the same age as me with the same interests lives there, maybe that’s the place for me? I did a lot of research and spent many an hour on spareroom.com whilst pretending to do my actual day job and finally settled on Clapham. It was within my limited budget, it was reasonably safe and had plenty of places to have boozy brunches with the metaphorical gal pals I hadn’t made yet, it was perfect! Whilst scrolling through spareroom.com at work, I stumbled across a 3 bedroom flat in Clapham which 2 girls my age currently resided in - at this point I’d only viewed 2 places, both in East London (as my job was based in Stratford) and both were a pale comparison to the pictures posted online - I couldn't get too mad about it because I do the same with my selfies on instagram, only great angles and good lighting. Needless to say, my expectations were low but after sending a little message to the girls to ask about the room, they asked if I could come and view it that night. Without hesitation, I replied yes and then immediately faked an illness from my boss so I could leave early. One lie, two hours and a £32 return train ticket later, I met with the girls. We laughed, we bonded, we talked about our mutual love for Beyonce and the room was mine. As if I didn't already have enough to thank Beyonce for.

My favourite things about London Life.
When I first moved to London, I was the biggest and most embarrassing tourist you ever did see. I was that moron who took frequent selfies alone in public whilst in front of tourist gathering spots like The Shard, various museums and whatever was hanging in the centre of Carnaby Street at the time. Myself and my lack of shame spent all of my free time exploring my new home and would wander aimlessly for hours. Allow me to share a few things that spring to mind when frequently professing my love for 'the big smoke':

- The incredible transport. My entire life has been spent living in beautiful towns that are picturesque and quiet but have little to no reliable transport so the ease of being able to get anywhere I want, stress-free and at anytime here in London is without a doubt my favourite thing. I even love the tube! (despite the fact that I've been sat one once, sneezed on twice and fallen asleep on three times...)
- There's always something fun & free to do. If I have a day with zero plans, all it takes is a little peak on twitter and I'll be able to find something free to spend my day doing. Museums, galleries, beautiful walks, live music and all whilst having more money to spend on food. I love nothing more then getting up early and heading in to central to wander with a coffee before the rush of humans arrive. It's all so much prettier/instagramable when it's not filled with obnoxious tourists and angry commuters.
- Shopping. This feels like a really obvious one but I bloody love how much shopping there is here. The iconic shops like Liberty and Harrods being minutes away on the train is great for humble brags and I practically live in Westfields during my free time. I'll often go just to have a gander at pretty things I can't afford while walking laps like a Grandma in an American Mall. I assure you it's more fun than it sounds.
- The 'Buzz'. The hustle and bustle of a busy city is off-putting to some people but I get a real buzz from it. I love the feeling that there is constant movement around me, exciting things happening, festivals, marches, celebrations. Occasionally if I'm having an 'off' day, all it takes is a trip to somewhere busy and beautiful like Green Park or Brick Lane and I feel rejuvenated. 
- People watching. With a big city comes big nutcases and for the most part, I enjoy them greatly. As a certified nosey person, I bloody love a people watch and there's no better place to do it than the crowded streets of London. Grab a coffee and enjoy the terrifying show.
- Everythings open late. Again, I reflect on my previous hometowns where everything shut at roughly 6pm and you'd be lucky to find a bar open past 11pm. I love that this is the city that sleeps but just stays up late. I don't want to stop drinking with pals at 11pm, stop shopping at 7pm and hurry to finish my meal by 9pm! And as a sidenote: if you haven't gone for evening drinks and then been on an impromptu drunk shopping spree then what are you even doing? Stop reading this and go do that right now. 
- Food, food and food...oh my. There are so many incredible restaurants here, my favourite being Flat Iron in Carnaby Street, and there's too many options most of the time but for someone like me who gets bored easily and only enjoys socialising if the element of food is involved, it's bloody great. I love the variety of independent places to dine and the constant stream of new places to try. Even within 10 minutes walk of my flat are endless dining options so my constant woes of not being able to cook are a distant memory. Here's looking at you, Tortilla. 

After 2 years of London living, I am still very much in love with city life and despite knowing I will never be able to buy a property here (I’ll never be E.L James levels of wealthy and I have grown to accept this) I truly can’t see myself leaving for calmer ventures anytime soon. It isn't perfect by any means but moving here remains to be the greatest decision I have ever made and I have truly done more in the last 2 years then in the 24 previous. Will I be 40, single and still renting a room in a shabby flat? Maybe, yeah…but Bridget Jones has pretty much become Britain’s version of Carrie Bradshaw so that life wouldn’t be all that bad, right?

Faye x

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Sunday.

Sunday’s have slowly become my favourite day of the week. This seems like a controversial choice with the more obvious universally loved days being Friday and Saturday (unless you work in retail to which you deserve a medal, I’ve lived those days and look back at them as my Vietnam). I love the lack of pressure that comes with Sundays, the acceptability to stay in bed all day with no judgement, the guilt-free all day binge eating and the lack of bra wearing - sidebar: ladies, treat your tits to at least one day a week where they don’t have to go to boob jail. It’s only fair. I call these coveted days my ‘Sloth Sundays’ and it has become almost like therapy to me, a relaxing end to a usually busy and stressful week and a chance to chill before another week begins.

My current favourite way to spend my ‘day of rest’ is on my bed (not in my bed because I actually don’t enjoy laying in bed when I’m not sleeping. I find it boring. I know right, what a weirdo) and I choose a TV show to binge watch all day. This is usually a low rated reality show filled to the brim with garbage people - the following examples are shows I have recently binge watched during my Sloth Sundays; Laguna Beach, Flavor of Love, Who Wants to Marry Harry, Geordie Shore and the classiest of the bunch, Rock of Love. I recommend you don’t google any of these as you WILL think less of me and my pride simply can’t deal with that, especially on a Sunday you sadist. To accompany my terrible habit of watching horny American’s fight for love in front of a camera crew, I like to fill up my Cafetiere with some fresh coffee grounds and get my caffeine buzz on whilst in my ‘uniform’ of choice which is always an oversized T-shirt (usually with a witty slogan or Betty White/Mick Foley’s face on it), no make up, hair reminiscent of a homeless hipster and some form of Disney character themed slippers.

To really make use of your time during Sloth Sundays, here are some bed-based activities you can do so this day is equal parts productive and lazy:
  • Do Some Writing. This blog post comes to you straight from the comfort of my Next bed sheets.
  • Read a Book. I know on the surface, this doesn't sound that productive but don’t you dare for one second pretend you don’t feel smug as fuck when you finish reading a book (bonus points for books with no pictures/illustrations).
  • Utilise the Internet. The internet is a wonderful thing filled with hours of endless (and free!) enjoyment! Watch documentaries on Youtube, plan your dream holiday, google image ‘smiling kittens’ or shop online for dope things like groceries or DVD’s from Amazon.
  • Masturbate. I’ll be real, for me this is too much effort for a Sloth Sunday but it seemed like an obvious (AND SEXY) recommendation. Get some candles lit, some Luther Vandross on and love yo’self. In the words of Ru Paul “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?! Can I get an amen!”
  • Bed-Based Yoga. Carefully place a yoga mat down on your duvet and Voila! Positions are hard to achieve on a springy mattress so it’s mostly made up of a position I have named ‘sleep’ which is just lying down but if you can manage more than that, you’re an overachiever and I’d rather you didn’t read my blog.
  • Phone Admin. Reply to all those texts you’d forgotten about, delete the 25 rejected selfie attempts from your camera roll, ring your mum/dad for the overdue catch up, tweet that company that messed up your online order…all from the comfort of your sheets.
Happy Sunday to all and to all a good nap.

Sunday Girl x

Sunday, 12 February 2017

My Hair Nightmare: A Short Story.

It’s 9.30pm on a Wednesday night and I've just gotten home from the worst hair salon experience of my life. Now, I understand that previous sentence is almost exactly the definition of a First World Problem but bare with me. It is bad. To paint a word picture, I now look like a pissed off bleach-blonde scarecrow and right now, I cant see the light at the end of this unevenly cut tunnel. In the famous words of Hilary Duff, let’s go back…back to the beginning…

I began using this particular salon (who I will not name because I am too lazy to find a new salon and will probably go back there for my next trim. I hate me.) around 18 months ago when my lovely ex-flatmate Sophie recommended it to me. She gave it a great review by informing me that its nearby, reasonably priced for London and they ply you with free booze while you get pampered, she had me at free booze but I pretended to be pumped for the location and price. Needless to say, I have been a loyal customer for the better part of 2 years now and have always left happy and tipsy. That didn't happen today though, they really fucked me this time. Not even a free chilled Pinot Grigio could heal this ugly wound.

So I arrived at the salon for my appointment full of vigour and after a quick flick through Hello magazine, I was greeted by my stylist who never actually told me her name (convinient…) but she had the thickest French accent which made general communication quite difficult. Not ideal when this person is meant to be hacking at your head based purely on your verbal requests but hindsight is a real bitch, isn’t it?! We began our appointment with her assessment of my current hair situation - she just continually said the word ‘dry’ while touching my hair with as much enthusiasm as a person picking up dog shit, the disgust in her eyes when she had the task of touching my barnet with her bare hands was palpable. I told her that I hadn't washed it for a while and it had a lot of dry shampoo in it but she was having none of it and spent 10 minutes trying to sell me every overpriced conditioning product they stock. I just kept nodding and saying ‘Yeah, I already own that. I bloody love it’ in between mouthfuls of white wine. She was like a sexy French dog with a bone. After what felt like a lifetime of her giving me the hard sell, I explained to her that I wanted a long bob with a slightly shorter fringe that could be swept to the side. She immediately argued my choice in an aggressive tone and kept telling me to have my hair longer and flat out said no to my fringe idea, I just awkwardly laughed and said ‘yeah…I still want it though’ until she painfully agreed. I reiterate, I did not receive that desired hairdo and now look like Angelina Jolie in ‘Girl Interrupted’.

She took me over to the sink so she could wash my hair, it all seemed pretty standard at first but then she began to give me a head massage and things went south. After a couple of minutes of scalp foreplay, I became paranoid that this procedure was going on far too long and it became practically pornographic (well, as pornographic as a head massage can be), my ears were continually lovingly touched and she petted my head intensely like I was her fuck buddy. When I say it went on too long, I’m talking 10 or so minutes of silent head caressing. After I came, we headed back to my designated salon seat so she could ruin my life. I decided to explain again exactly what I wanted but I assume I was just a human fog horn to her by this point, my request might as well have been a fart in the wind. She smiled and nodded while she secretly planned my demise and then went to town on my mop. She brushed my hair out, furiously towel dried it to within an inch of its life and then asked me to stand up. ‘Okay?’, I thought it was so she could get a good view of my hair before she began but no, I was very wrong! She proceeded to cut my hair in the middle of this busy salon while I stood in front of her. I can’t explain in words how uncomfortable I was. No one else was receiving a stand-up-snip and we were legitimately in peoples way (I know this because she paused her massacre roughly 20 times so she could move out of peoples walk way), people stared, I looked like the most awkward human alive and it felt like it went on for 9 hours. My inner monologue mocked me, my unwillingness to ask what the fuck was happening and the obvious uncertainty for what I should do with my arms…hold them at my side? do a sassy hand on the hip motion to tell the room I was okay with what was happening? The embarrassment finally ended, she pointed at my chair so I could sit and then gestured a lot while giggling and saying ‘so much hair on your back now’…yeah, you nutcase! Because you cut my hair standing up! The only response I could conjure at the time was ‘Yeah, weird, right?! HAHAHA’. Her final act of aggression was focused on my poor fringe. She cut it a lot shorter than agreed which was evident by the fact that gravity took over and the hair was sticking up like in the film ‘There’s Something About Mary’.  This proved my earlier assumption that she zoned out while I passionately explained (with the added use of pics from google) my dream hairdo. As the cut was coming to an end, I drank the last of my glass of wine and my hairstylist supreme let out a huge obnoxious laugh. I smiled at her, acting as if I was in on the joke and she said 'you drink so much!', I couldn't believe it. I'd had one glass of wine and this broad is acting like I'm Amy Winehouse! I just politely smirked and said 'Yeah, it's been a long day, needed to take the edge off' which met a plain vapid response of 'K.', to her I was a walking bottle of booze so I let it go and just said mean shit about her in my head. Satisfying. 

She spun me around enthusiastically in my chair for the final result to be revealed. My face dropped. I couldn’t hide my hatred but thanks to my inherent fear of complaining and that glass of wine, I word vomitted ‘Thanks!! It’s great!’. Clocking my actual feelings via my facial expression, she had a slight panic and hurriedly attempted to restyle the fringe. It was a game she wasn’t going to win, the deed was done and there wasn’t enough hairspray in the world to stop me from looking like overly-gelled 12 year old boy at a school disco. I got up and said ‘Thanks again!’ and then gave this establishment money for what can only be explained as a hate crime against my head. Due to hating how flat my hair is after salon visits, I had the bright idea to pack a beanie hat in my bag for my journey home and holy fuck it was a blessing. As I waited for my printed receipt (you know so I can be reminded not only on bank statements but also in my wallet that I paid for this new look), I grabbed my beanie out of my bag. The lady behind the counter stared at me like I’d just taken a dump on the till, ‘It’s so cold out and I’m walking home’ as the words flew out of my mouth, it dawned on me that she hadn’t actually asked why I had put a hat on and she was most likely looking at me funny because I was covered in my own clippings from my stand up cut. I raced home on the Northern line and barely took my coat off before I had shoved my head under the shower, I wet this disastrous do and hoped for the best. Spoiler alert: water cured nothing and I still look nuts.

So back to the present and here I am, looking like someone who is in the midst of a mental breakdown and decided to cut their own hair. I know it will grow back. I know I will wake up at 4am tomorrow to allow at least 3 hours to style it before I have to go outside and see other humans. I know that my lovely work pals, roommates and friends will say nice things about my gross hair because they are good people. I know there are bigger problems in the world and this has been a nice little distraction from my actual issues that can’t as easily be solved by simply waiting for time to pass/getting a dope wig. Believe me, I know all of this but for tonight I will wallow in self pity and listen to episodes of my favourite podcast ‘The Guilty Feminist’ so I can be reminded that I shouldn't care about my looks while crying about my looks. Swings & Roundabouts.


Faye x