Christmas is coming SOON and it’s time for me to scour the internet for the things I’d ask Santa for, if I was a massive spoilt cow.

It’s so fun making these…not so fun when I add up the total though. Oh well, girl can dream.

You can look at last year’s list here. It hasn’t changed much. Old habits die hard. I also did one for the man in yo’ life here.

Happy Christmas!

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Items L-R:

OPI in Breakfast at Tiffany’s – approx £8.50
The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k – £12.99
Real Techniques Artistry – £79.99
MOTO Black Jamie jeans – £40.00
Sleek MakeUP Highlighter Palette Precious Metals – £9.99
Black Platform over-the-knee boots – £75.00
Gin and Tonic lip balm – £6.00
Calvin Klein Euphoria for Her – £37.00
Barbour Flyweight Calvary Quilted Jacket – £129.00

Total: £398.47

w2zlpsd6Ah, Tinder. The temporary solution to your singleton woes. I had never used Tinder until I became single (obvs), passing it off as a lighter version of Adult Friend Finder (grim). However, like for many other mid-twenties navigating life, my time for Tinder arrived. It was BRILLIANT! It’s honestly so much fun. Fun the point you have to check yourself and realise there are actually other people on the other side on the screen and you can’t fuck about TOO much. You can fuck about a little bit though, chill.

I’ve had Tinder on and off for about five months now, and in that time I’ve found and spoken to a wide range of…interesting people.

If you’re a newbs to the T, and you want the D (SORRY), here’s who you’re going to find on your voyage through the dating app sea.

1. The Bathroom Selfie Muscle Man with No Face
He’s ripped as a bodybuilder, but chances are he’s ripped off someone else’s pictures too because they’ve all got no heads. If you match, he’ll send you winky and sticky-out tongue faces. He’ll kick off with a ‘Hi bbz’ and then continue to call you ‘hun’ every other sentence. Watch out, he’s gonna want to sext you and send you pictures of his peen. He doesn’t think there should be any preamble, and he certainly won’t be taking you out for a drink (he ain’t got a job). He’ll ask you within ten minutes what you’re ‘looking’ for on Tinder – just hoping you’ll say ‘a hook up’. He cnt seem 2 typ usin full words nd if u cn handle dis hun thn gr8 bt count me d fk out.

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2. The Group Picture Boy
In a game of 21st Century Where’s Wally?, this guy has got a plethora of group photos, usually involving the same lads. It’s quite difficult to pick out who he is. I’m really sorry to say it, but it’s the ugliest one. Just prepare yourself for it and you won’t be disappointed, right?

3. The World Travelling Action Man
This guy has done it all. All of it. Don’t even bother trying to talk about your life experiences, because he did it better. In Peru. On the side of a mountain. Whilst drinking goat piss. And freestyle bouldering (what the FUCK is bouldering, guys?). In actual reality, this guy has probably been on a handful of holidays since 2008 and has a bunch of photos to show for it, including the baggy travelling pants one, in which he’s wearing a sweat-stained bandanna. Please don’t feel like you’re not good enough for him if you haven’t been anywhere further than a Greek island – he’s definitely not that interesting in real life (trust me on this one, I know).

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4. Dave the Laugh
He has a sarcastic bio about how stupid bios are and it definitely says ‘if you have any questions just ask 😉 ;)’. He started the chat with a shit chat up line and he’s kind of sweet but keeps coming out with loads of shit to make you understand how random and super casual he is. You’ll end up going for a drink in a kooky venue of his choice, in which he ‘randomly’ bumps into all his mates, which was actually a ploy to have you see what a super cool, popular guy he is and for his mates to think he’s a ladies’ man. This guy does this on repeat with different girls weekly. Avoid.

5. The Bit on the Side
He’s married or otherwise attached. You can tell by that awfully cropped picture of him in a suit (hint, it’s his wedding suit and he’s cropped his wife out). He goes quiet during key times of the attached man’s day, i.e. school pick up around 3/4pm – he’ll usually appear with a ‘hi sweetheart’ about 10pm when the kids and wife are in bed.

6. The Ghost
This guy likes you. I mean, he really, really likes you. He texts you in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, sends you a good night text, GIRL that guy is sending you messages when he wakes up at night to pee. Until he stops. For no reason. Don’t blame yourself, he probably met someone else or deleted the app. Trick is to not go to hard and heavy with the messages in the first place, take a step back and you’ll be able to tell who these ghosty little bastards are.

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7. The Oldie
His name is probably Alan or Keith and he’s definitely not 30. Worse still, he’s probably paid for Tinder so that he appears in any girls feed. I just couldn’t stop thinking about my old school physics teachers when I saw them, it was way too gross. But I mean, you go for it girl, it’s your (HIS?) funeral.

8. The Boring One
Oh god, this one could be so perfect…if it wasn’t so mind-numbingly boring. Similar age, similar values, even similar interests – but good lord where’s that banter? You go to all the right places together (if you even manage to get that far), but where’s the wit and why is everything so god damn sensible? Go for it if you can stand staying on the safe side for the rest of your life.

9. The Sensitive Soul
This guy is super sensitive; you know? His bio includes a quote or a poem and he’s almost definitely a vegetarian, signified by the plant emoji. He’ll tell you he thinks you’ve got a ‘connection’ and that you’re ‘incredibly, arrestingly beautiful’ very early on, which you completely disregard because of course, he clearly says that to all matches. He doesn’t ‘usually’ go out in Central London because it’s so mainstream and wants to take you to a weird exhibition but it never happens – he’s flakey as fuck and all you will see or hear from him again is random Instagram posts…all of him, out in Central London.

10. The Normal One?
You matched and he didn’t say anything cringe, you talked and he didn’t try to impress you with shit ‘finding himself’ stories. You swapped numbers and he didn’t send you a picture of his dick. You went out for a date somewhere normal and he made you laugh a lot, clearly wasn’t married and didn’t ghost you because he asked to see you again. Unless he’s got some serious skeletons in his closet, this is like the Holy Grail of Tinder – very rare and hard to come by. Least you can do is try and see if he’s got any friends for your mates, selfish bitch.

Who’ve you found on your dating travels? Have you met these guys above, found The One, or the Worst Person Ever™? Let me know.

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Before I finally put my very expensive degree to work and got my job in PR, I had to pay the bills. I was a very good barmaid and waitress for five years. Five. Long ass. Years. It sucked, the money was bad, I worked shitty hours, people are crazy, your colleagues are even worse. But to be honest, I learned a lot during my time in the hospitality industry – about myself, about other people, and the way the world works. I got by and I dont regret it for a second. Here’s the ten things I learned whilst doing my sentence:

It won’t prepare you for real life, but it will prepare you for shitty people
I got paid to make a customer’s day better and that sometimes includes talking to their kids. One such time, a little girl liked me so much she told her mother she wanted to be just like me when she grew up. Without missing a beat, and not even giving one shit that I was wiping down the booth RIGHT next to her, she exclaimed: “No darling, you want to have a better job than just a waitress“.

No bullshit. Man, that hurt. Especially since I was working two jobs and studying for my exams at the same time. That was a shitty thing of her to do, but I knew she was wrong.

The customer is not always right. Like, they are hardly EVER right
Just get over it. You will always be ‘wrong’ in the long run if they try to escalate. People are fucking dumb. They’ll tell you you’re wrong even if what they asked for is put down in front of them five minute later. ESPECIALLY if they’re drunk. Just whatever dude. Smile. Take the tip. Punch a wall. Chill. It’s not forever.

You can eat whatever the hell you like
Always. Burgers. Ribs. Fat off the grill. I promise you won’t gain weight. You’re running around 14 hours solid. You need it!

You will always smell like food
It’s not nice. I’d go round stinking of this gross ribs/fat hybrid grossness. It’s gonna happen. Wash your uniform. Wash yourself.

Your boss is (probably) a prick
Oh yeah. Someone I encountered was literally the most jumped up, sarcastic, power-tripping man I have EVER met – I’ve actually never met someone so abhorrent since. You can be a boss and be a leader, but when you’re making people feel like actual shit for no reason because you’re ‘in charge’, you have an issue. I cried in the staff toilets so many times due to his nastiness and rudeness, and I know I wasn’t the only one. Anyway, I satisfy myself now in knowing I’m doing better than he ever will.

Bitches actually be cray
I once sent a lovely salmon caesar salad to a table only for it to be sent back and be shouted at as it was ‘fishy’. Also, be prepared for someone to ask you for a strawberry milkshake and then slam it down on the table as they CLEARLY asked for a chocolate one. Perfect that evil smile. The gritted teeth. Of course, madam…

Not only that, but people will fuck with you if they think it’ll get them money off their meal. I served a table of 25 perfectly, for some kid’s birthday. This one auntie went mental when I tried to clear her plate after like an hour and a half and then again when I told her it was NOT kids eat free as it was Thursday and not Sunday. She then went cray at my manager saying I had been an awful waitress to try and recoup the money from her little ‘deal’ she had going. Luckily my manger saw through it and was like no…

People think you’re an octopus and get mad when you’re actually not
I have two arms and they are fairly normal sized. I’ve mastered carrying three dishes at a time, four if it’s a little one on my little finger. I once had a guy stand up and scream that I’d “totally fucked everything up” as I brought out three of his selected eight dishes. Man. They’re right there, give me two seconds and I’ll get them. I couldn’t even. Sorry dude let me CRACK OUT MY EIGHT OCTOPUS ARMS AND LAY DOWN YOUR DISHES IN AN OCTOPUS MANNER.

I literally said “I’ve got two arms, I can’t bring everything at once”, but unfortunately, that was too much for his little brain to compute. Meal ruined. Oh my actual god.

You will have to clear up bodily fluids
Nah, no joke. As a waitress, I had to clear up kids puke, spit and grimy plates. But in a BAR? Man. Think of a bodily fluid. I’d cleaned them all. Puke from too many shots on a curry dinner, menstrual blood, and even…spunk off the wall. Yep. That wasn’t the best day. Prepare yo’ self.

Waiters and waitresses are all actors
Everyone has a “persona.” You use this sing-song voice, start saying ‘folks’ and ‘guys’ and you get this upbeat attitude that Disney employees would be jealous of. It’s just like that scene in Waiting where Naomi goes from shouting F-bombs all over the kitchen to being all smiley and shiny at her table.

It’s not all bad
This all sounds bloody awful but it’s really not all bad. You get to and HAVE to speak to different people every day and it prepares you for your personal and professional development. You learn to grow a thick skin and not be so sensitive – people are arseholes. Don’t be one yourself though!

I think everyone should have to work in the hospitality industry for a week, just to understand what it’s like. The difference between the people who have never worked in food service, and the people who have, is always clearly visible. And a lot of time it has to do with the basic degree of respect they give to the people who are serving them.

What do you think?

commuterOh my god, I hate commuting. I got away with it for so long, living and working in Kingston-upon-Thames for nearly four years. How I’d relish the secret thrill of thinking ‘haaaaaasucka’, when my poor colleagues got stuck waiting for delayed trains or told me their wake-up times, like 6am what even is that bro.

Alas, it could not continue. I knew that eventually I’d have to get a grip and get out of my Surrey bubble. I mean, I wouldn’t actually move out of Surrey for god’s sake, who do you think I am – but the time had come to stop pissing about and join the masses.

When I joined my new agency, based in Euston, I got to Twickers station bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, no big deal right? Oh nah. I felt like the whole of bloody Twickenham wanted to get on that train and I ended up under a man’s armpit and up against a lady’s derriere – it was verging on perverted (I could feel the cheeks).

Over the next few weeks I nearly fainted twice, dropped a bunch of stuff like hair clips, pens and other things never to be retrieved, cursed and tutted my friggin’ brain out and arrived at the office looking less slick than I wanted.

It’s alright, it’s not forever – ONLY 40 YEARS TO GO. No but seriously, people do this every day for years – I don’t even have it that bad. I come in twice or three times a week max and work from home the rest of the time (nothing like slamming a journalist with a hard-hitting pitch when you’re sat in your PJs eating Rich Tea biscuits for breakfast – I mean WHAT, who’d even do that?)

I thought I’d put together a few tips of how I make it through the ghastly London rat-race of a morning.

It’s really hot, don’t even bother wearing a coat ever
Unless you want the disgusting feeling of a trickle of sweat running gently down your back, lay off the layers. Take one with you if you must. Winter, if anything, is worse. I remember one disgusting journey when a guy was sweating so badly inside his full suit and puffa jacket that sweat was dripping of his head in a stream, onto his phone, into his coffee, on the floor, almost on to us. Embarrassing mate, can you not.

Don’t you DARE bring a massive backpack
Don’t be bloody selfish to the handbag/briefcase people getting peak trains to get into the office between 8-9. I mean, how very dare. Take your ridiculously over-sized luggage and get an off-peak train when we’re all ensconced in our offices, having not been assaulted by your life in a bag. Or walk. You’re CLEARLY going on a hike, Bag-Man.

Literally no one wants to hear your phone conversation
Nothing worse than hearing half a conversation, especially as I am so nosy. Everyone’s listening, don’t be so narcissistic.

Prepare to be judo-flipped, pole hogger
You know who you are. Leaning nonchalantly against the middle pole like it ain’t no thing, when we’re all flying across the carriage because we’d rather do that than either ask you to move or actually *shudder* touch you. It’s a British thing.

Reading material = god send
All the better to ignore you with, my dear.

Club together, tut as a mass
Might be mob mentality, but once commuters have something to be pissed off about, we get pissed off TOGETHER. AS A UNIT. Muted ‘for Christ’s sakes’, shared shakes of heads, tapping feet and fingers, unite.

If you even think about standing on the left side of the escalator, I swear to GOD
Just be fucking sensible alright?

Good luck, fellow commuters. I’m sure we’ll all be ignoring each other together shortly.

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 10.10.42Hi,

God, you really think you’re the shit, don’t you? You’re not, by the way. You’ll look back in a few years and cringe. Hard. The way you type is REALLY bad as well, putting spaces between punctuation , like , this , really isn’t cool ! You’ve also got a shit hair cut.

I know you don’t really think you’re the shit, though. You’re a emotional ball of anxiety, constantly on the verge of tears, hidden by a choppy bleached blonde cut and a short skirt. I’m really sorry to tell you, I know you think that that feeling will go away when you go to uni and start your ‘real’ life, but it doesn’t. You’re still going to feel that way at 25. It’s just you’ll have better ways to hide it. The trick is to pretend not to give a shit – and if you do it enough you can kind of kid yourself that you don’t.

Your self-confidence is at an all time low, I know. I remember your lowest ebb and what you thought of doing and unfortunately, it still brings me to tears thinking about it at 25. The people who made you feel that way will slip into obscurity, I promise you. You will feel better. It does get better. It’s not perfect, but it’ll do. You learn to cope.

Stop worrying about the boys at school. They are fucking lame.

Stop worrying about the girls at school. You will never speak to most of them again once you get out of Stratford-upon-Avon. You know, you never felt like you really fitted in, anyway.

You pass your exams well, and yes, you’re going to Kingston.

Unfortunately, it’s not together forever for you and L. But it’s okay! It ends amicably and you will meet someone else. And you will want to, even though you say you don’t.

Be nice to your mother please. You don’t move back home and this is the last few months you’ll spend together properly before you start adulting. She misses you and loves you more than you know – you’re not looking properly yet. Let her be happy in her own way, too. Stop telling her she is ‘lame’, she ain’t. You’d do well to be a mother like her (no, it hasn’t happened yet, much to her chagrin).

Your brother is bloody awesome, and you can’t see that yet either. Don’t pester, let him grow. It all comes right.

Stop worrying about Daisy. She’s got plenty of time left and she won’t hate you for leaving. You even get to take her to the beach, like you always wanted!

I guess what I’m trying to say is, stop worrying so much. I mean, yeah you’re always going to worry, but stop taking yourself so seriously!

It’s supposed to be fun! The best is yet to come.

Ella x