Monday, 11 September 2017

Life: 30 Years And What I've "Learned"

It's my birthday month and while I cannot stand Organised Fun or events that feel like the may turn out to be a Bit Of A Disappointment, I'm trying to be a more positive person. This month is not only an excuse to drink copious amounts of gin but also to reflect a little before starting my fourth (!) decade.

Birthday Cake With A Candle at The Standard, NYC - for when it's not your birthday but you want cake anyway.
So here are some thoughts to take away from 30 years of existence (I planned to do 30 things for 30 years but...that's a lot). The last 2-3 years might have really been the steepest learning curve in terms of all that I now "know". Something about a one-way flight to the other side of the world will do that and, besides, I've already forgotten my 12 times table and still struggle to use a knife and fork properly...

1. Checking the dates and times of flights again and again and again saves a lot of upset and applies at age 29 as much as it did at 19.

2. Editing the words "just" and "sorry" out of my speech and emails is an essential but...ongoing process. I'm not actually sorry about anything.

3. Putting my phone into airplane mode after two G&Ts makes drinking much, much more enjoyable.

4. Celebrating the successes and life milestones of others is fun, there's room for all and "my turn" will come (although not knowing when is all part of the fun...).

6. Hair grows back - although I've cut and dyed mine to the point that I'm now just grateful to be able to wear the same style as I did at aged 8.

7. There will always be nice things to convince me to part with my money. None of them will make me any happier.

8. Notable exception to the rule: Louboutin Simple Pumps in black patent leather.

9. There are always exceptions to rules.

10. And rules are made to be broken anyway.

11. Spending a small fortune (don't actually work it out - its depressing) on coffee and Diet Coke each year is fine by me. See point 7.

12. Learning to graciously accept compliments is hard but worth it. So worth it.

13. I'll never stop learning about "who" I am - it turns out that I actually don't like "alone time" as much as I thought I did.

14. Things I don't regret: spending too much money on holidays, filling a suitcase with Korean skincare, getting a tattoo, staying up all night, my "drinking straight vodka to look cool" phase.

15. Things I do regret: excessive worrying about the future, about what people think of me, about whether I'm "good enough", trying to be "cool", spending moments I won't get back looking for an available wifi network.

16. Truly believing that there's still so much fun to be had and so much to look forward to is as sweet as the above-pictured cake, as is typing these words and actually meaning them.


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

London: A Bouncy Blow-Dry at Rush, Shepherd's Bush

A good hair day fixes everything. Although in London, the weather is guaranteed to do its worst on a day that my hair gets the professional treatment. Case in point - hail in August.

I popped into the new Rush salon located by the West 12 centre in Shepherd's Bush - just opposite Westfield and on the way to the Shepherd's Bush Empire where I had an evening date with Conor Oberst. Convenient.

Having arrived in London at 8am after a (three hour delayed) overnight flight and almost OD-ing on Starbucks and Pret coffee, an hour's pampering definitely made me feel a little bit more alive and having a swishy head of bouncy curls made me feel less uncool opting to sit down at the gig (and having to grudgingly admit that I needed to put my glasses on to see the stage).

My stylist Eak took his time to get to "know" my hair (fine, lots and lots of it) and suggested a curled style which would provide the volume I need and not fall flat in the face of the British "summer". After a heavenly head massage my hair was speedily blow-dried and curled with straighteners (something I will never be able to master if I want to still possess fingers) before being pinned in place.

I flicked through a pile of magazines and maybe ate some Lindor chocolates (for "energy") before the curls were unraveled, gently brushed out and teased into a look that perfectly complemented my vintage-esque floral dress.

Thank you to Rush for my blow-dry, and to the British weather for managing not to rain once I'd left the salon...


Friday, 1 September 2017

Life: August Round-Up

August is over and that means that I'm turning 30 (or twenty-ten as I am now calling it) this month. August has been a good month in many ways - partly because I discovered that I can order iced coffee from 1762 via WhatsApp and partly because I'm no longer even a little bit bothered about saying goodbye to my twenties. The last month of them has been good, very good, but aside from the ability to look (and feel) slightly perkier on zero sleep I wouldn't go back to the self-doubt of being 23, or even 28, if you paid me my weight in Louboutins (and that's not a hint for what I want for my birthday).

1. I started the month with the oddest craving for yellow American mustard in a squeezy bottle so the solution was to go to Shake Shack. Their veggie burger is okay. Their chips are excellent.

2. Venturing onto my balcony before 6am. It's getting a little bit cooler here everyday - I thought I was crying joyful tears when I felt a slight breeze a few mornings ago before I realised that it was sand being blown into my eyes.

3. I cannot disclose how many avocados were eaten in the attempt to make this avocado rose.

4. I love all things celestial (I have a tattoo of a planet) so had to buy this horoscope constellations plate from West Elm when I went in there to purchase cutlery (which was not purchased).

5. Post sunrise yoga at Zoga - an obvious addiction to iced coffee forms when its been 45 degrees for the past three months.

6. Poke at Circle Cafe because its the prettiest lunch and yes, that matters.

7. A quick trip back to London which made me appreciate fluffy clouds and the ability to (somewhat) function on very little sleep.

8. Seeing Conor Oberst at the Shepherd's Bush Empire was more wonderful than I can even describe. I'm sure it would make him feel awkward but I would love to thank him for providing the soundtrack to my life for the past twelve years.

9. Just checking that London's still looking good - I might not be back again for a whole twelve months and that's okay because London is never not going to be there for me.
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