Last year’s resolutions- how did I do?

Last year, I wrote a pretty impassioned defence of New Year Resolutions. I was sick of people patronising resolutions, and in either a heartfealt attempt at self-improvement or a long moment of intense boredom, I wrote seven pages of resolutions.

So, money where my mouth is, let’s see how I did.

Resolution One: Career

“I want to be happy in a position that I can sustain myself in, with good prospects and opportunities. I want to learn more as a professional, and I want to be good at what I do”

Well, I’ve definitely made strides in this area. Even though when I wrote this, I didn’t forsee leaving GoodPeople, that’s precisely what I’ve done. I have a new job. I’m now working at a food and lifestyle marketing agency, Sauce, as an Account Exec. (Technically I’m a senior now, so let the LinkedIn congratulations messages roll on in.)

It was pretty tough leaving GoodPeople- I’d been there since I graduated, and the team there had become not only my only friends in London, but my sounding boards, the only people to find me as funny as I find myself, my shoulders to cry on and the people that paid for mdrinks. GoodPeople past and present all mean a lot to me, as was evident in the buckets (and buckets) of tears I cried at my leaving do. My new role is a lot more specific to marketing, and I’ve learnt so much already. As resolutions go, I think this one is a corking 8/10.


Resolution Two: Houselife

“Arrange standing orders, keep records of expenses, redecorate my room, make changes to communal areas, get rid of all the junk”

Okay- this one wasn’t as successful. I still haven’t sorted out my standing orders or kept records of it, but in my defence, I forgot I ever said I would do this. That basically doesn’t count.

I have started to make minor changes to the house set up- mostly in my room- and I’ve thrown tonnes of stuff out. To be honest, this is kind of a boring resolution, so even though I didn’t do most of it, I totally understand past-me’s bored attitude towards it, and am gonna give myself a 6/10 for trying.

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Resolution Three: Food

“Prepare food in advance- you know you’re in late, stop buying crappy soup on the way home. Find time and money to go to the restaurants you’ve been pining after. More dinner parties!”

I have definitely upped my foodie game this year. I’ve been to loads of restaurants. I’ve stopped buying stuff to cook from frozen (except those vegetarian cheesey sausages from Sainsburys- love yourself and buy some), and I have been cooking stuff I’ve never tried before. I’ve not once had food poisoning this year, so 10/10 for that, but I have realised that I am not a finisher. Not in terms of eating food, you understand. In terms of serving it. I’ll be slaving over a hot oven for an entire day, and in the final ten minutes, totally freak out- like dishing up is causing me deep and extreme stress- and throw in raw fenugreek seeds to a perfectly good curry, or become so weepy trying to carve a roast chicken that an unimpressed flatmate will have to step in. I’m working on it.


Resolution Four: Do shit!

“Read more, write more, go to more shows and talks and museums and on walks. Get smart.”

I think I’ve done pretty well here. I’ve attended talks that left me buzzing with inspiration, I’ve been to plays that made me cry, shows that made me cry laughing, been interested and outraged and impressed by the massive world of ‘writer/bloggers’ I discovered, got muddy through long walks and started writing fiction again. I definitely want to read more novels, and getting back into writing a blog properly, sooo I’ll give myself a modest 7/10.


Resolution FiveGo places.

“Take trips, do new things there, travel with different people”

2014 was the best year of my life for travel. I was lucky enough to go to northern Italy, where I  pottered around Venice in a bottle green maxi skirt that matched the colour of the gondolas. I chaperoned my northern ladsladslads to Lanzarote, where I drank my way through the island’s rose wine reserves. I got to go to Croatia with Jaime, where we sunned ourselves like ladies of leisure and stuffed ourselves like pigs. I zipped over and under the north-south divide, and I also got to explore London, which is, dare I say it, slowly becoming a very important part of my soul. This year, my resolution is to take it outside of Europe.


Resolution Five: Be happy.

Be happy, be willing, be positive.

It is very difficult as a natural pessimist to be positive. This resolution was almost certainly influenced by my hippy-friends who do yoga and meditate and all that. For me, this has happened disguised as self acceptance. I’ve never been particularly stressed about who I am, but I think everyone takes a long time to get into their groove and stop pretending.

I’ve very much come to accept that I will always be the loudest laughing at my own jokes, my voice is a little bit too deep, and if you offer me a single Haribo or crisp, I will inhale the thing, causing me to splutter and tear up. I don’t like at least half of my clothes, but I have about thirty pajama outfits I’d rather be wearing anyways. I suck at the Kim Kardashian game but I’m gonna play it anyway. I might be a smart-ass, but at least I get myself into enough stupid situations that I’m humble about it. I literally give no shits that my music taste consists of not knowing the words to any song, excluding Taylor Swift’s entire back-catalogue. And instead of being “okay” with all of this, I’ve come to love it.



Have an amazing 2015 xx


Tw*ts in churches.

There are a few things that bug me about travelling. Nothing too big, just the usual. Delayed flights, insect bites, being jealous of other people’s adventures. The same things that irritate anyone going away.

But there is one thing that I loathe. Utterly, utterly hate.

Twats in churches.

You know the ones. You’re in a touristy spot, you’ve just entered a church out of appreciation for it’s cultural significance, the architecture, the lavish embellishments and decorations, and maybe, if you’re that way inclined, for a spot of prayer/worship/religiousness. There is a sign at the entrance, written in several languages, welcoming all people indoors if they would be so kind as to observe dress rules and no take any photographs.

In you walk, ready for a spot of quiet observing. Then you see them. The Twats In Churches (TICs). Stomping around in short-shorts, strapless tops, making loud phone calls, farting as the flash of their camera blinds a passing vicar.

I wandered into a gorgeous church in Venice recently, and was silently apoplectic (that fabulous British mood) to witness some douchebag stood in front of the altar next to a sign asking people not to take photos. The service was about to begin- with people literally kneeling all around him- filming the organ music and people’s prayers with his fucking iPad.

Where do these people think they are? Are they lost?? Did they queue for an hour outside the Basilica thinking there would be a bloody theme park inside? Were they expecting showgirls?? Has this man totally lost his mind?

I have no problem with people capturing the inside of these buildings. None. I personally don’t do it that much, but I have done and I probably will do again. I have no beef with photos of ceremonies, recording the music, or with anyone that is even mildly interested in what the building is intended for. But these douchecanoes cross the line in two ways.

One: Respect what should be respected, dude. You might not believe in whatever deity the building you’re in was designed to worship, but the people around you, yeah those ones kneeling and praying, do. And let me tell you this, they’re not doing that to provide you with some top action shots, they’re doing it because they’re praying for their suffering or future or other stuff that does not need documenting by your dumbass iPad.

And, most of all, two: No TIC will literally ever watch or look at those badly-shot crap quality images of what is a supposed to be sacred place ever again. Anyone who is culturally buttheaded enough to record a private moment is not culturally interested enough to actually ever fucking look at it again. Which makes the whole selfie-with-praying-old-lady spectacle pointless.


Landlord revolution, or hot date?

Oh the joys of living in rented housing. The surprise scaffolding you find your house covered in one day, the hole in your ceiling that’s lived there longer than you have, the joyous feeling of flushing half your wage into some estate agents lap, never to be seen again.

I love it. I truly do. What other aspect of life is it okay to skew social norms, by, oh I don’t know, demanding that you pay £240 for new curtains that they’ve x-rayed for any minor sign of unwarranted dust, but dumbly drag their knuckles across the ground when you politely ask that maybe, if they have the time, could they please fix the boiler because we’ve not had heating for four months? When else in life are people allowed- expected and paid- to be giant bumbling hypocrites? Long live estate agent/landlord freedom, that’s what I say. What possible harm could this have on the future generation’s ability to house themselves?


Well never mind that now, there are important things to be getting on with. I have seventeen upcoming appointments with my new builder. They’ve been sent by our landlord to renovate our windows, or something. I’ve been documenting their progress.

Day One: Had to get my mum, who was visiting from Manchester, to stay at home while I went to work. The builders came, looked at all seven windows in our house, nodded sagely, and left.

Day Two: Had to arrange working from home. Builder man came back and cleaned the edges (not the middle) of two windows. He then left.

Day Three: Same builder returned to clean the other five window edges. I had to work from home again. He shouted at me for having personal possessions (in this case, some money and jewellery, kept in a box) on show. In my own house. In a bedroom.

Day Four: I took the morning off work. Same builder came round, looked at the windows again, wrote down four things and nodded sagely. Tells me there will have to be another round of window-sorting-outtery, and can I take some more time off work?

Day Five: Builder texts me to tell me he is coming round between 5-7pm tomorrow night. Am not sure if I’m expected to provide his dinner, or if this he thinks this is a date. Maybe he’s coming to look at the windows again.

I’m starting to think my landlord is simply sending the builders round once a week to make sure I don’t have the time to muster up some sort of anti-landlord revolution. Where Estate Agents spend ten minutes in the stocks for every £50 of bollocks administration fees they administer. Where you weren’t forced to keep couches that are so brow-beaten that they’re literally impossible to sit on, just because it’s on the inventory. Where broken radiators would be fixed before you were forced to decide whether it’d be warmer to make a cup of tea with that newly boiled kettle, or just to cut out the middle man and drink it straight from the spout. Where sending round builders to gawp at my window for thirty seconds a day does not mean I have to take time off work.

Maybe that’s it. Or maybe the builder actually does fancy me.


The seven sins of social media

I don’t want to potentially sabotage my career as something new-fangled and vaguely virtual, but I can’t hold this in any longer.

Social media is going too far. Going online is becoming more infuriating by the day. Facebook used to be a place for judging old classmates and Twitter used to be a place for posting your damning verdicts on old classmates. Everyone was happy. But now, big businesses have cottoned on and they’re ruining the fun.

Where the hell did this all come from? I feel like some spoilt CEO’s kid went ‘hey pops- I bet you don’t even know what a hashtag is, do ya?‘ and in a mid-life crisis CEO daddy went out and paid someone to tell him what Twitter was for, and he just got a bit carried away.

So here is my definitive list of seven things social media needs to stop doing, right now.

7. Listicles, listciles everywhere.

Never, in the thrilling history of lists, has any industry written so many. Go ahead and google any given number and the words ‘social media’. I’d bet my bottom dollar that the first, oh, I dunno, seven pages, are dedicated to “Nine social media essentials” or “Thirty brands with a great social media strategy”. There is a new list every day to detail the impact some real social media engagement could have on your customer’s brand awareness or client facing visibility. Never has so little been said so extensively.

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I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE THAT NUMBER, GOOGLE. (The big long one. I know how to pronounce ‘twelve’. Shut up.)

6. Badly used memes.

I lurk on reddit. I’m obsessed with Tumblr. I read the Onion, check Oatmeal, watch Vine. I’m no special snowflake, neither- millions of other people do too. Millions of people, excluding, specifically, the social media managers of big brands. It is baffling how a meme is created collaboratively by the creativity and consensus of an unnamed virtual collective, all finding that particular penguin especially socially awkward, but the humour and warmth/wit of these tiny creations TOTALLY BYPASSES THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE MARKETING MEMES.

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5. Weird newsjacking.

Newsjacking, for those of your who live outside of the buzzword world, is when you jump on a bandwagon created by some news. It can be sweet or funny if the link between news and company is in any way relevant (a la Mothercare being psyched about the Royal Baby). Unfortunately, many brands seem to think world disasters, deaths or any manner of tragedy is fair game. Bizarre really- who would have thought a devastating hurricane would be the perfect opportunity to sell overpriced lycra hotpants?

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Dear American Apparel. No one is bored during a natural disaster. They are worried for their homes, loved ones and lives, not how much they can save on spangly disco pants. You attempt to be edgy and relevant has only managed to piss everyone off. Is your mind literally made out of mud and spandex? Sincerely, everyone.

4. Inter-company bants

Every so often, one company will talk to another company. Like they’re a peoples. Like Tesco, Asda and Waitrose are in fact just a bunch of guys, hanging round, tweeting each other grocery jokes. Sometimes it’s kinda fun, but some attempts at brand banter are just a little bit too desperado. Brands talking to each other is usually a sign of them trying to get noticed by BuzzFeed, if they’re big, but it is also a sign of some poor community manager holding out for some attention.

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Hey you- friendly social media user who has already conveniently ‘liked’ or followed our brand page! We would like you-yes you- to not only be witness to a stream of corporate conciousness, but ALSO to be coerced into actively partaking in our social media bubble! Does that sound exactly like what you should be spending your valuable time on? It does?! Well come on down, because we have oodles of posts for you to pointlessly engage with. Hooray!


The worst bit about this Play.com post is that ‘liking’ the Facebook post has absolutely nothing to do with entering their competition. Nothing.

2. Virtual ‘Chugging’ (charity mugging)

Charities should use social media. It’s an important way to raise awareness, chat to volunteers, etc.  All agreed? Cool. Brands, however, should not use charity to garner social media attention. You know why? BECAUSE IT’S UNETHICAL, THAT’S WHY, but also because it’s a bit creepy.

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Durex are here implying that they help prevent AIDS, possibly the most infamous and horrible pandemic since the plague, if you- the unassuming audience- spread their name around for them. You know, the ol’ you scratch our back, we’ll fix AIDS. Which begs the question- if you knew you also had enough condoms spare/loads left over from your JLS over branding, why on earth should Jonny Blogs have to click a button before you actually do anything?

That aside, there is a whole world of pain attached to ‘clicktivism’. Surely this kind of irresponsible marketing campaign only adds to the feeling that by pressing a meaningless internet button you’re helping, instead of, you know, actually bloody helping. Anyway, I digress. Here is a relevant video.


 Nothing. Infuriates me more. Than pointless. Fucking. Hashtags.




Do you think someone is going to USE this hashtag? Or casually search for it? Do you understand that hashtags are supposed to be a way of people following discussions over time? Do you think that anyone in their right mind is going to tweet that they are going to #SwitchToLumia?? Or say they are on their way to #DiscoverDenim- as though they’d never discovered denim before??? Or that for any reason after battling with your so-called ‘gamechanging’ COFFEE MAKER to make a brew is going to joyously tweet about their #NESPRESSO???? Do you think we are all idiots? Blindly crunching out company hashtags like content creating consumer machines? IS THERE NO DIGNITY LEFT IN SOCIAL MEDIA???

*breathes deeply*. So there you have it. Things I hereby swear to never do on social media, and thigns that will cause me to instantly dislike your brand. I’m glad that’s settled. Now, I think I need a lie down. A lie down as far away from a wifi connection as I can physically manage.

(P.S. Relevant article here.)