Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Why Do Babies Cry ?



This is the conclusion my friend and I came to when discussing evolution and babies and why babies cry. We are very proud of our ground breaking, scientific discovery. Prepare to have your mind blown. And yes, this is of course a totally normal conversation for two twenty-somethings to be having over pizza.

Babies cry so that the cave-people had to do something to shut them up!

Think about it. You live in a cave. It’s dark, it’s cold, you’re hungry. There is wild, dangerous beasts outside your door wanting to make a meal out of you. Every day is a really tough day. Then, out of the blue some day you and your cave-mates suddenly also have this tiny little squirmy thing appear from the insides of one of the cave-ladies. (The previous generation of parents have probably been long eaten by some beastie or another by this point, so the arrival of the little thing is somewhat of a surprise).

It can’t feed itself, it can’t clean itself up or provide shelter for itself. The cave-people have to do it. But when every day is a struggle as it is, why would take on this additional burden of looking after this strange, tiny creature?

Answer: because it cries. It makes such a bloody hell of a racket, which is majorly annoying, and the only way to stop it said racket is to feed it. Or wash it. Or shelter it. And hence the baby survives and passes on the crying gene to future babies.

Meanwhile, all the quiet babies are all forgotten about because its dark and you’re in a cave and they are small and there is no reason to give it some of your yummy food or cosy warmth. So the quiet baby gene dies out.

And there we have it. Evolution through persistent annoyance.

What do you think? What are your theories?

(We know,we are very smart).

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Good Gifts This Christmas



Merry Christmas everyone ! Are we all getting excited for Santa coming?

I know I certainly am. Ever the girl to leave everything to the last minute, I'm quite proud that as of this morning (and thanks to Amazon Prime) I now am officially done with my Christmas shopping. Everything is ticked off my list and I can relax. Christmas Eve will be dedicated to getting my wrapping done to some of my favourite seasonal films, instead of my usual day-before-christmas tradition. Panic buying anything remotely suitable five minutes before the shops shut.

For those of you like minded "I work best under pressure anyway..." types, check out Good Gifts. Even if you were done with your Christmas shopping before November even began, check it out. It's a two for one gift, perfect to add a little extra something special to give to your loved one, and you give a gift that is really needed to someone who will have very little this Christmas. Tis the season after all.

There are some great Little Good Gifts starting from just £5 and include the likes of blankets for the elderly, helping to feed abandoned cats and dogs, toiletries for African school girls and music seasons for children in hospital.

If you have the means to spread a lot of love this Christmas, there are also Gigantic Good Gifts. You can buy chunks of the Greenbelt to save it from development, sponsor a nurse in Africa through a three year training programme or buy a bull to replenish livestock.

When you buy a Good Gift, the money you spend will buy the actual gift you have chosen. You know exactly where your money is going. You can choose to send your gift via a gift card, a cracker pack or via e-card (phew - christmas is two days away!)

Whatever you choose, you really can't go wrong with a Good Gift.

Are you all organised for the big day? How have you gave back this year?

Friday, 6 November 2015

Friendships



Why is it harder to form close, deep friendships the older we get? When we are children, we met another kid at school, played for a couple of hours, went to their house for tea and hey presto, a best friend made.

These days, it’s harder than that. We can meet new people at work or at spin class or wherever, and don’t get me wrong, they are valued friendships, but the bonds seem to be more fragile, more on the surface. Or is it just me?

Disclaimer: This whole post may be unfair of me. I am lucky enough to have a very close friendship group back home, 20 years and going strong. I know that no matter what, they are always going to be in my life.  We have grown up together, been through break-ups, make-ups, parents divorces, coming-outs, deaths, marriages, births and everything in between. Half of us have moved hundreds of miles apart and we have stayed closed as ever. It’s hard to compete. (But I don’t think I’m comparing apples and oranges here. I do understand you can’t compare a 20-year friendship with a brand new bud you haven’t known for six months.)

Are we simply not spending enough time on our friendships anymore? At school, we spent 6 hours a day, 5 days a week with our best buds at school, and then some after. You knew all of your friends family members by name, all of their pets and can list the last 10 boys they’ve fancied. As a grown up, and in London especially, it’s usually a quick catch up over dinner and/or drinks once, maybe twice, a month, spent trying to remember what exactly is it their boyfriend does again? Maybe that is just the city. Everyone is busy with work and traveling and trying-to-make-the-most-of-life that friendships are lower down on the priority list.

I think now, it is also harder to let our guard down. There is pressure to have a perfect life, filled with Instagram worthy moments. I know that I certainly am guilty of comparing myself to my friends; they seem to all have a more active social life, or a better job or a bigger wardrobe. Those comparisons we make, that almost who-has-the-best-life competition, makes if harder to confide in our friends when we are having a low moment, or work troubles or about anything that isn’t perfect. This means we aren’t being completely honest with our friends. They don’t know the real, true proper us and we don’t know the real them. We are putting on an act, showing off our best bits and glossing over the rest, which leaves a gap. No wonder we are a lonely generation.

I think being in a relationship can hinder things as well. As a singleton, how many hours are spent gossiping about boys and bonding over de-crypting text messages and laughing over the latest sexcepades? Nothing is off limits; everything is shared and that brings closeness. When you are in a relationship certain things become private. I would never dream about gossiping about my boyfriend behind his back or sharing intimate details about our relationship. Even talking about my own personal worries or hopes with regards to our relationship feels like a sort of betrayal. I’m not at all suggesting that this is a bad thing, or that we should all go and dump our boyfriends in favor of a group of girls, but rather i’m pointing out that perhaps a part of growing up means that our relationships change. We spend our teen years confiding everything to friends and presenting to our parents the image of the good girl child they wish to see, but as we grow up and begin to look to form families of our own this kind of reverses.

What do you think? Am I being a negative nelly or is the change just a part of growing up?

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Annoying Things


  • Noisy eaters. Close your mouth, for the love of God !!
  • People who scrape their knives and forks / cut really hard into the plate. Nails on a chalk board. The aim is to cut the food, not the kitchenware 
  • Slow internet
  • Wooden spoons. Especially wet. I have a thing for weird textures. This also includes wooden lollypop sticks and the cardboard backs of notes pads. Urrggghhhh
  • Heavy handed / footed people first thing in the morning
  • Wrists. They are so veiny and delicate looking and veiny. If you cut them by accident, you could die
  • People who don't do their fairshare. There is only so much slack the rest of us can take
  • Getting a half full, or not full at all, sugar sachets 
  • No milk
  • People describing something as 'edgy'. Unless it does indeed have lots of edges of course.
  • Pretentiousness. Northerner living in London, what can I say ?
  • People who say i'm too happy. It's my face. Sorry. I'll try harder to look miserable
  • Matches that burn out as soon as they've been lit
  • Having to re-wash my hair because I felt asleep with my bobble in and now it looks crazy

What annoys you ?

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

What I'm Watching



As much as I love being busy, going out with friends and visiting new places; I need my downtime. For me that means chilling in bed or on the couch with a cup of tea and my shows. Here is what i’ve been watching of late.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer



An oldie but a goodie. One of my all time favourites and my go-to when i’m feeling down or drained and in need of some kick ass girl power. If you haven’t seen it, you should. Seriously. Here is why, explained so eloquently by Buzzfeed. Yes, the special effects in the first few seasons are not great to say the least, but it’s funny and smart and real (even if it is about vampires) and has some bloody brilliant story lines.

XFactor


Simon is back ! And yes. He cried. I haven’t watched the last few seasons but i’ve got back into it this year. There seems to be less sob stories and less really crap/weird people and more goodness. The six chair challenge is brutal but I love watching it. But there is still too many adverts. It means Christmas is on it’s way and Saturday nights snug in the warmth with a takeaway and glass of wine.

Gilmore Girls


News of the Netflix revival has my very very excited. I decided to celebrate by re-watching the show start to finish. I’m on season two already and have came to the conclusion that I am the third Gilmore Girl. 

The Newsroom


I watched half of the first season when this first came out and have recently re-discovered it. It is really smart and quick and I feel like I am getting cleverer (*more clever - see?!) as I watch it. I’m going fairly slow with this one though, you do need to pay attention. It’s not a background show !


Sunday, 18 October 2015

If I Lived Back Home


If I lived back home, opposed to in the big, bright capital that is London I could have a very different life.

I could have my own house. I'm almost 25 years old. That's pretty much middle aged in Northern years. All my home friends have bought their own place, or are close to doing so. I could swap my tiny shared flat for a proper home with a proper garden (or at least yard), two floors and a kitchen and living room that would be just mine, and exactly how I want them. So. Much. Space.

I would obviously fill said house with beautiful instagramble furnishings and knickknacks and an adorable kitten. Or puppy. Probably kitten; I would still like to come and go as I please and dogs need more looking after.

I would have a car. I could run to the shops or out to meet a mate for a coffee without having to faff around with hot sweaty tubes and buses. I could stick my bags in the boot and not have to lug them around all over the place. I could go to an actual supermarket instead of my local co-op / tesco express. Hell, I could drive to all the local markets and farm shops and buy the freshest food ever. Then, in my kitchen, I could whip up delectable feasts for my nearest and dearest.

Most importantly, my nearest and dearest would be on my doorstep. I could see them any time I want rather than once every three months. I would enjoy easy nights out in Newcastle (in London it feels like its so much more effort!) and pop into my parents for Sunday dinner and a walk down the prom. Followed of course, by tea and cake at grans with the aunts and uncles and cousins and their adorable little children.

Rather than crashing on the sofa when I need some chill time, I would enjoy the beautiful country side. I would go for long walks, saying hello to fellow wanders and breathing in the fresh air and stop for a break at quaint little coffee shops. Instead of feeling fat and lazy I would feel refreshed; skin tingling from the air.

Perhaps one day this will be my life. I hope so. I hope I get to go back home. Right now, though I sometimes dream of alternatives, I love my London life. I love pop-ups and west-end shows and kooky cocktail bars and restaurants. I love my daily walk past Tower Bridge and the buzz that is always in the atmosphere. I love that there is always something happening, a constant opportunity to try something new and make new friends. I love making the most of my 20s in one of the most exiting cities in the world.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Last Night in Montreal


Following on from my last read Station Eleven (you can find my review here), the next book on my list was Last Night in Montreal also written by Emily St James. This was an accidently pick; I purchased it from the Amazon Kindle bookstore whilst I was shopping for Station Eleven. That’s what happens when you shop from your greased up phone you can barely see on a sun lounger in Kos! I wish I was still in Kos.


Anyway, it was a very successful accidental buy. I actually enjoyed it more than the book I was meant to get. I ended up starting and finishing it during my train journeys to and from the north for the Bank Holiday weekend, so It was rather perfectly timed.

As per Station Eleven, the book flicks around in time, but I felt that it was much more natural in this story. Perhaps because there are only a few characters in this book; although the times change we follow the same characters.

Lilla is seven years old when she is abducted from her home in the dead of the night by her father whom she hasn’t seen in over a year. From this point on, she lives her life on the road, running from a past she has no memory of. She grows older, her dad stops running but she can’t. She doesn’t know how to stand still. She meets Eli, who studies dead languages, in New York. They fall for each other, she moves in, but she can’t stay. In his quest to find her, Eli ends up in Montreal, a city desperately trying to keep its language alive, and his story ends up intertwined with someone from Lisa’s past.

Overall, a good read that raises interesting questions and leaves you thinking. And the perfect length for a journey to and back from Newcastle !

Friday, 9 October 2015

Stepney Farm


As a native Northumbrian I love a bit of country life and have been lacking a fix lately. Hence, last week I decided to pay a visit to Stepney City Farm. 

Located in Tower Hamlets, the farm was originally founded in 1979 by local residents on a derelict site bombed in World War II. Today, it is ran as a charity mostly ran through donations and grants. Who would have thought? A farm in the middle of London !

It is completely free to visit and features many of your typical farm yard animals including sheep, pigs, goats, chickens, ducks, geese donkeys, rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs. As well as the odd wondering fat cat. Don't get too attached though, it is a farm and the shop sells fresh home grown meat...



There is also a lovely award winning cafe that serves a wide range of food featuring produce from the farm. I highly recommend the bacon sandwich though it all looked amazing. There are plenty of gluten free and vegan options, including the most delicious (not at all gluten free/vegan tasting!) cakes ever. 

The farm also hosts its own Rural Arts centre, feating a blacksmith, woodworker and potter on site offering amazing workshops to those wanting to get their creative on. 

For those of you feeling charitable, there are many many volunteering opportunities available. Everything from helping with rabbit thearpy for older people in the community, to cafe volunteers, to farmyard volunteers, to office volunteers. It takes an army !

A really enjoyable escape from city life and was hugely impressed with the range of their community work. I would massively recommend a visit ! 





Saturday, 3 October 2015

Scream - The TV Show



You can't do a slasher movie as a TV series’ - or can you ?

Just in time for halloween, new series Scream has hit Netflix. It has general links to the original movie. Jokes about the rules of horror, a main character with a mother who has a mysterious past that comes back to haunt them, and of course the mask (though a re-vamped version).

I’m only a couple of episodes in so i'm trying to reserve some judgement. I like it. It’s easy watching. I’m not in love with it. Not yet. The characters are ok… but i’m having trouble connecting with any of them. I think Emma (the Neve Campbell of the series) is bland. Beautiful, popular, too nice and annoyingly naive. The only interesting thing about her is her mothers past. I hope her character develops and become more bad ass as the show goes on. 

The first scene opens is clearly a mirror of Drew Barrymore's opening scene. Rich girl alone in her big house which looks very similar to the original, huge windows and everything. Except this rich girl is a bitch which gives you some idea of what to expect from the rest of the series. Scream with a lot of American High School bitchy drama, sex tapes and all. It's a mix of the original film, Pretty Little Liars and other generic teen shows, a lot of which get referenced in the show.

Fans of Walking Dead and American Horror stories looking for their next horror fix are likely to be disappointed, but if your just looking for some light entertainment to pass some time on a cold autumn night give this a go.

Have you seen it?

- Ko x

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up



Writer
Clearly, hence the blog. I enjoy a good write. I have always been a big reader of anything and everything. I have a love of online magazines and it would be great to be part of one. I have strong opinions and I like to share and discuss them.

A Spy
Think of all that super secret information I would have access to. You would have all the knowledge and brilliantly cool tech to go along with it. How bad ass would it be and how good would feel foiling the bad guys plot and saving all the people.

Working for a Tech Start Up
Think Google 10 years ago. Something new and fresh and something that I really believed in and was proud to be part of. Something my maths / coding geek self could get really excited about, something I could really dig my teeth into.

Doctor
Science. Science is cool. Professional problem solver. Professional life saver. Professionally awesome.

Doctor Pimple Popper
Same as the above but more specific. I admit it, I have a weird addition to watching spot popping videos. Popacholic over here! I can't keep my hands off my own zits and scabs do not stand a chance around me. Getting paid to do other peoples would be amazing.
(plus, remember that episode of Grey's Anatomy when they discover the Dermatology floor and its all massages and cakes and loveliness).


What do you want to be when you grow up?

- Ko x

Friday, 25 September 2015

Hello Autumn


It’s here ! Hello Autumn.

Whilst it feels like summer was over in a muggy flash (it was), I can’t say that i’m not looking forward to the change in seasons. Crunchy golden leaves, warm boots, fluffy jumpers, and steaming drinks.

It feels like a relief. The colder nights an excuse to stay in curled up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book. It feels like winding down, like hibernating, like I no longer feel the constant need to spend every night out ‘making the most of it’. 

But there is still so much to look forward to! Halloween; a brilliant excuse to get the girls around for lots of sweets whilst scaring ourselves silly. Plus, costume time. What are you going to dress up as this year? Then there is Guy Fawkes Night which just makes me feel like I am ten years old again. Sparklers gripped in my warm gloved hand with the smell of the bonfire in the air. The ooohing and ahhhing as all the colour explodes in the sky.. Magical. And of course Christmas is just around the corner.

What are you looking forward to most ?

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Rome

Go ! Eat pasta and pizza and gelato and see beautiful things and soak in the history.





Sunday, 13 September 2015

Night at the West End



Happy Sunday everybody ! What have you all been up to this week?

I had a lovely evening out at the West End this week, a friend and I got last minute tickets to go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Station Eleven Book Review


Station Eleven is a story of the collapse of civilisation. The book opens with the dramatic death of Arthur, one of the lead characters, during a performance of King Lear. Later on that same day, society as we know it is no more. An outbreak of the Georgian flu wipes out 99% of the world’s population and ends almost everything. No electricity, no transportation, no law. Only people trying to survive in a world that has changed entirely overnight.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Warkworth Bank Holiday Monday


Hope you all have had a wonderful bank holiday and aren’t too depressed being back at work today!

I spent my Bank Holiday Monday in Warkworth – a family go to favorite for a little trip out and a nice walk. It’s part of the Northumberland coast that has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and rightly so. It is a wonderfully quaint village, which has been brilliantly preserved and will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Kos Snaps






Thursday, 27 August 2015

Solo Travelling



So, pre-skiing I had to go to Paris for a few days for work (not a fun trip, literally hotel, office, hotel, 
office). I got back into London around 9pm on the Friday and my flight for Switzerland was like 7am the next day. Urgh.

I always get the Eurostar into Gare du Nord and from there get a taxi to the office. This time I had a bit of a disaster. Basically the taxi driver took me for a bit of a ride ! We were driving for ages and ages and I knew it should only take about 15 minutes. so I asked him how far away we were and that I thought we would have arrived by now. He replied saying 'oh yes, very close'. Then we went around a corner and the road was closed so he told me it would be quicker to walk, just go down that street. So I did and followed his directions but didn't recognise anywhere. I ended on some quiet backstreet and I had no clue where I was. After wandering for like 15 mins I gave someone the address of the office and asked where it was. They were like oh, it's the other side of Paris, you can't walk there. Great. So I had to track down another taxi which took ageeeees (I finally found a very nice security man outside a hotel to help me). Then I finally made it to the office. A journey which should have taken me about 15/20 minutes ending up taking about 2 hours. 

At no point did I feel particularly unsafe. Embarrassed, yes. Wet, yes (it was pouring). Annoyed, tired, frustrated, a bit panicked that I was now running so late. Yes. But it was the middle of the day and there were lots of people around so I was ok. 

But it made me think. The taxi driver saw a young, English girl who didn't speak a lot of the language and they took advantage. It could have been so much worse. That taxi driver could have taken me anywhere or done anything to me. 

For next time, what can I do differently? I can't change being a young women, or that I'm English, or that I don't speak the language of everywhere I travel to. What do you guys do when traveling alone to look after yourselves?

-Ko

Monday, 24 August 2015

Things That Keep Me Up At Night



It's 2am. I am 24 years old. I should be in a club somewhere dancing the night away. Or at least slightly tipsy and just home from the pub. How old is too old to go to a club? I don't have many years left. Why am I not making the most of it ?! 

Should I have moved back to Newcastle after university? Would I be out tonight if I was there instead?

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Night Owl



I am such a night time person. Through and through, without a doubt. It's when I get my inspiration, my motivation and my best ideas.

Unfortunately, being a Night Owl is just not conducive to a nine to five world. Every morning is a struggle and involves a  fierce battle with the alarm clock ('can I get away with one more snooze?'). I literally minute swap. If I wear my glasses instead of my contacts today that's two more minutes in bed. My hair doesn't really need a wash today, dry shampoo will do won't it? For an extra twenty minutes, yes it will do !

I'm lucky enough to be able to walk to my office, which does a lot to help wake me up in the morning. I can at least face talking to another human being by the time I arrive at my desk, and talking is a useful skill in the work place (!). I grab a coffee and scan the morning news. I catch up with my co-workers. I check emails, make my to-do list, check the morning news again, catch up with different co-workers. I grab another coffee. It is safe to say that I am not at my most productive during the first hour or two of the day.