Tips for Travelling When You Are Scared Of Flying

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As someone who is basically petrified of flying, it surprises me that I haven’t wrote a blog post about this sooner. Not that I will ever let it stop me going anywhere. Fortunately I’ve still managed to calm my tits enough to travel to many places in Europe as well as the Philippines and Thailand. One thing I’ve learned in this process, is there is not one thing that works. I’ve managed to keep my fear of flying in control quite a bit recently, and this is by using a number of different techniques I have learned from different sources.

Before you go

Preparation is always key, and having a fear of flying is no exception. There are a few bits you can do to ensure that you minimise your anxiety before you go.

Track your flight for a couple of weeks

This is a brilliant technique I learned from the book ‘Soar’ and reading this blog isn’t going to completely rid you of your fear of flying, so I couldn’t recommend buying this book and reading the whole thing more highly enough. If you don’t get round to it, one of the things that helped me massively was to track my flight for a couple of weeks before I left.

The idea is, that you see days and days of data, which include your flight getting smoothly from A to B with no issues. I know what you are thinking – what if something does go wrong? You’ll be terrified to get on a flight ever again. Well can I let you into a little secret? I’ve done this at least the last ten times I have flown, and it has never happened. Try it and weigh up how it helps. There are loads of websites like Flightradar that will not only let you track your flight, but see how many planes there literally are in the airspace at any given second. Last time I went to the Philippines, I couldn’t begin to tell you how happy it made me to see that little green line every two weeks before I went.

Play seat raffle

If, like me, you basically have quite a high functioning fear of flying where you still go, you will probably have quite a good idea of where you need to sit to keep stress levels to a minimum. If your seat isn’t available when you book – don’t give up. Keep an eye on the seats, because someone could easily move or decide not to fly, who is in the seat you want. Check online every couple of days to see if you can get a better seat.

Book a lounge

It still shocks me that so many people don’t know about airport lounges. Most of them range from £20 – £30 pounds per person, and as well as unlimited free food, drink and magazines, you get a much quieter environment than that of the terminal. Most of them also have private toilets, and the Skyteam lounge at Heathrow even has a Clarins spa. I don’t know about anyone else, but one of the things that makes me anxious is the fact that I need to wrestle 37 other people to try and find a seat in the terminal and pay a months wages for a mediocre meal in Wetherspoons with prosecco so cheap it tastes like it’s been filtered through an Italians shoe. The lounge not only offers all of the amenities one could want in an airport for free, but it also a certain amount of peace and quiet.

On board

Pack hand luggage well

There’s nothing worse than being on a flight bored and with nothing to do. Long haul – fabulous! Unlimited alcohol and as many films as you could ask for. Short haul, not so much. If you are scared of flying, the chances are you will seriously need to distract yourself while you are on the flight. Most streaming services will now give you the opportunity to download things to watch online, so immerse yourself into a Netflix series to kill the time.

Try and stay awake

This probably sounds so counter-productive right? If you are asleep, you won’t even know you are on a plan and life will be fabulous! Amen to knocking yourself out with the Diazepam the Doctor gives out for fear of flying like sweets and a couple of Gins. All well and good for that specific occasions, but what you need to remember is, if you are unconscious for every single flight you take, you will probably need to do it all the time. You won’t experience all of the thoughts and feelings of flying, and essentially, you won’t ever get over your fear. If you need to take something to relax, completely understandable, but remember if the worst does happen you’ll be navigating an emergency situation off your tits. Try more natural remedies like meditation.

Let people know of your situation

There’s not really any reason for you to be kicking about in a massive badge that says ‘I’m scared of flying’, but telling some of the staff what situation you are in, especially if you are travelling alone, can really help. I’ve been on a flight a couple of times, with Etihad and Qatar, completely on my ones to the Philippines, and as soon as I have told the staff on board I am scared of flying they make a point to check on you. It’s also worth telling the person next to you, so they don’t wonder why you are smashing the alcohol on board at 5am.

Fly upper class

You may also want to give some thought to flying upper class if you can afford it. Then you can have a flat bed and go to sleep whenever you want, comfortably. It may sound expensive, but companies like Virgin have some great deals you can check out. 

After the flight

After the flight, you need to fully remind yourself how well it went, and how much the anticipation was worse than the flight itself, so that you can remember that for the next one.

 

Coral King, Coral Bay, Paphos

 

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It’s not unusual for me to work on holiday – unfortunately I get fidgety in every way. What is unusual though, is for me to find a place so fabulous, I want to write about it separately from my standard travel blog. The Coral King restaurant has proved to be the exception.

As you would expect from a holiday resort, Coral Bay has a strip full of bars and restaurants, a woman selling balloons, and loads of groups of ‘lads lads lads’ who are on their way to Banterbury. It isn’t the place you would expect to find fine dining by a long shot. But nestled among the happy hour cocktails and the 3 euro fry ups like a diamond in the rough, is the Coral King.

When you arrive, the decor is unapologetically Greek, which is a nice change from all of the other places on the strip that rely on gimmicks to become crude caricatures of themselves. Although they cater to all tastes, they still do authentic Greek food, like traditional meze and moussaka.

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It’s hard not to go overboard on the starters here, especially seeing as they do little Cyprus delights like grilled halloumi. If you have the appetite for it, then I suggest you go for it, however bear in mind how reasonable the portions are of the mains. If you order a pork kebab, it will come deliciously cooked with enough sides to keep you going for a week. The moussaka comes in an individual pot, which is probably large enough for two give the sides. The spaghetti Bolognese is just right, and the sauce was much more tangy than the standard jar situations you can get in the supermarkets, which leads me to believe they make it fresh like everything else. For flavour, you couldn’t fault any of the dishes at Coral King, but if you are looking for a bit of extra flair, order one of the highly instagrammable desserts that come complete with sparkler.

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As far as drinks go, they have the pick of the cocktails that their rivals do, without being inclined to rip you off with dodgy local spirits. They also have a very agreeable house red wine which is the first house red I’ve had all holiday that I didn’t confuse with the vinegar for my salad. You will find Coral King at the bottom of the strip, on the end, the beach end, opposite Blazing Saddles.

It is central in every sense of the word, and very easily accessible if you are in Coral Bay, so if you do stay here and you don’t visit, then you are definitely missing out.

Coral King is around 30 euro per head including starters and drinks.

Taboola Party – City Summer house Brick Lane (Awesome Events)

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One of the amazing things about now working in London, is the fact that the social scene is so good. Never one to shy away from being a social butterfly, as well as enjoying my actual job, I feel like I have truly found my place – somewhere that let’s you network while drinking alcohol. When Taboola invited us to their party at City Summer House in Brick Lane, I couldn’t help a cheeky Twitter stalk to find out what it was like (OK, that’s underplaying it a bit. Twitter, Instagram, their website, a Google image search and trying to find as many pics on Facebook as I could).

What first impressed me, was giant Jenga. I mean how can you not want to play giant Jenga? They also had giant Connect Four, which actually ended up being a lot more complicated to play than giant Jenga, which was a surprise that was not welcome after attempting to give it a go after a gin Mojito and a generous serving of Pimms.

The premise of the City Summer House, is that it is run and organised by Awesome Events. For a certain period in each year, they get it all set up, and people wanting to host a seriously British summer party can hire it out with food and drinks included.
The venue, spectaularly immersed in the middle of the thriving loins of Brick Lane, makes up for being smaller sized than you would imagine with it’s incredibly jaunty, hipster decor. You may be forgiven, aside from the deckchairs, for thinking you have accidently strolled into a warehouse, mid-industrial revuloution when you first walk in, but a wander to the back bar will take you through one of the best fake grass set up’s you’ll probably ever see. There’s a lot to be said for fake grass. It’s doesn’t need mowing, and when it does get a bit shabby, you can do what my friend does and hoover it.
Two bars, dressed up slightly tackily like tiki huts form the central piece of the seasonal installation.

Upon arrival, we were greeted with a Pimms, only for the bartender to come back out with a Gin Mojito he insisted we tried. This was probably the first thing that swayed me towards a positive review. After all, I have been trying to cut down on my drunk mess-ness, but if someone is going to basically force feed me Gin, it would be incredibly non – British and rude to refuse.

Pottering out into the garden area, the first thing we noticed was that most of it was under cover. Well played Awesome Events, as it was actually spitting that day. Unfortunately I kept finding myself on the area of the table, the only 4 or 5 centimetres in the entire venue, that actually still had rain pouring onto it, so I still got wet, but the blame for that doesn’t lie on the City Summer House, it lays on me for being a drip – in more ways than one.

The giant Jenga and Connect four were located towards the back, still covered, so you could make the most of a game even if the weather wasn’t being your friend at that point in time. As much as I loved the venue, the only thing that slightly disappointed me was the fact that the giant Jenga was not as giant as I imaged. Alas, it is not the first time I have been disappointed by over calculating expected size, but it still doesn’t make the experience any less bitter.

As an unobservant person, I rarely notice the smaller details. If I work with you and I see you every day, and you come in one day with your head shaved, I’ll still greet you in exactly the same way I do every morning, without batting an eyelid, perhaps not even noticing until the afternoon when I’m on my second coconut flat white from Pret. This would explain why, it took me a little while to notice the steel drummers. Not a long time, like not enough time for someone to watch Titanic in, but probably not as quickly as everyone had clocked that they were there playing live. I think the steel drums are absolutely wonderful. In fact, they always bring back memories of my carnival going days, before I got too old to drink through the crippling anxiety crowds give me without feeling like death for three days after.

My declaration when I did notice was that “I would of got a DJ”, which is part because I do DJ and part because all of my partying experienced is based on the very Essexy ‘LADS LADS LADS’ nights out you have in Bas Vegas. But thinking about it, steel drums were perfect. People could still listen to music, and people could still chat. Good balance.
As the giant hog roast at the back of the garden would indicate – there was going to be food.

As a 29 year old woman, I am still trying to work out what part of food it is I enjoy the most. Is it the anticipation? The pure excitement of knowing food is coming and having no idea if it is the best meal you could ever eat in your life? Is it the eating? Am I actually hungry and filling a gap, or do I just enjoy the flavours? (my waistline would indicate that this is the first one, and for some reason I appear to have gone from a fussy child who would eat next to nothing to a fat adult who will nothing nothing of eating some cheese that I have dropped on the kitchen floor). Either way, seeing the staff do the wonderful dance staff at these types of things do with hot trays, plates, salad bowls and various other food paraphernalia made me expect and look forward to some good food.
A common known fact is, it’s the law that every third person in marketing has to be Vegan, they had a selection that catered for pretty much everyone. I was off carbs in prep for my holiday, I just opted for some meat and salad. The pulled pork and chicken were amazing, and I haven’t had a sausage that good for a long time (euphemisms included).
If you are going to a party at the City Summer House this year, definitely don’t long it off to sit in your pyjamas eating Ben and Jerry’s watching 13 Reasons Why. If you are a company, and you still haven’t decided where to have your bash, book it, and book it soon.

 

9 Things Someone Coming Off Of Antidepressants Wants You To Know

At first, like many people, I found talking about my mental health problems seriously intimidating. The thought of literally writing posts about it on my blog literally terrified me. Then one day, I was scouring the internet for some advice, and I realised that I could use my position as a blogger to help other people in the same boat as me. For the last two weeks, I have been coming off of my antidepressants after slowly reducing them over a few weeks. I found a LOT of blogs for myself, but I couldn’t find anything to let the people I love know how to support me through the journey, so I wrote one.

We will be INCREDIBLY aggy

Please don’t take it personally if we are a little bit more irate than usual. Imagine what it’s like for your brain, who has had all of this lovely serotonin made for it, to just be sort of left out there on its own struggling to make sense of why it now has to do it naturally. Coupled with some of the other side effects, it can leave you with a short fuse. Already in two weeks of being off of Citalopram I’ve managed to row with a friend I NEVER row with and call a woman an idiot. (If you are reading this though woman at Fenchurch st station who made me get hit b a door –  you were an idiot). We don’t mean it, and we will feel SERIOUSLY guilty after, and although there is no excuse for being rude to people, a little bit of leeway would be appreciated while we are going through this time.

We told you for a reason

If we have singled you out to have the conversation about coming off of our antidepressants, you should feel incredibly flattered. This means we love you so much, that we want you to know the reason for our changes in behaviour. There are many people in our lives that will probably notice the changes to our behaviour while we are completing this mammoth task, but it will only be people we feel close to that we are going to tell. It may seem like a pretty big deal to you, but we really don’t expect anything from you, apart from being there.

We will probably be super tired for a bit

Just to make antidepressants that little bit more fun for us all, you will spend the first few weeks on them tired as fuck and the first few weeks off of them tired as fuck. Splendid news! So if we have to bail out on things and you live with us and we are tucked up in bed by 9pm on a Friday. Not only is it a side effect, but having all of thought anxious and negative thoughts start to seep back through, and trying to deal with them is exhausting.

We’ll get physical side effects as well

Just to add to the unpleasantness, there are some physical side effects as well, some of which might leave us out of action for a bit and not able to live up to our full potential of being funners. Dizziness is one of the most common ones, so if we look like we are stumbling about a bit, we haven’t just done a morning Tequila. We will also feel a bit sick and sweat our tits off.

We may not make it the first time

Coming off of antidepressants is seriously hard work. No matter how much we might feel like we are ready for it, we may not be just there yet. If we can’t do it first time, there’s not doubt that we will want to give it another go at some point. The best you can do if you love someone who is going through withdrawals and may need to start taking their medication again is to let them know you are there for them.

We are being really brave

We don’t want a medal, or a paper hat, we just want to live our life normally without needing to be on medication for the rest of it. That said, stopping medication is seriously hard work. To support us through this time, it’s nice to know that you realise how brave we are being. Coming off of antidepressants can sometimes make your depression worse than it was in the first place, so we are taking a huge risk.

We’ll eat less

One of the least productive side effects of being on antidepressants is having the appetite or a large horse. Because throwing in getting fat as well is a massive help if you suffer from depression, obviously. Our appetite will be massively up and down for a couple of weeks, so if we can’t eat something delicious you have cooked us don’t be offended, we are just adjusting.

We will still need to know our tablets are there

There’s no quick fix or cure to mental health problems. The likelihood is even if you start to feel better, you will suffer from another episode of depression at some point. Try not to think it’s super weird if we still stockpile some tablets for a bit. Knowing they are there if we need them is a massive comfort. It may be something that we keep in our cupboard forever, but never use, and that can seriously help us in getting better.

We’ll cry a LOT

Don’t be surprised if you find us in the kitchen having a breakdown over a potato. Being tearful is one of the most common side effects of coming off of antidepressants, and sometimes, a good cry sorts you right out. It doesn’t even have to be something remotely sad, and even the most cold hearted of people will shed a few tears. I’ve spent the last two weeks crying at Made In Chelsea. Yep.

Giraffe, Chelmsford

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As was pointed out to me by some people at work, it is always worth being a bit weary about restaurants that offer lots of different foods from different places around the world. Obviously, one of the main reasons restaurants tend to stick to one theme, is because the ingredients are similar and the chef’s are specifically trained in that type of food. I’d been to Giraffe years ago, but it was the one in Lakeside, and they didn’t have such a varied menu then. I probably don’t have the best recollection of it because I’d no doubt dragged my ex around shopping all day and by that point we’d probably had a row over a potato or something.

However, I genuinely like Chelmsford. I’m not much for the clubbing there ( seriously, if you think Unit 7 in Basildon is chavvy take a night out in Chelmsford), but I like the shopping and the restaurants. We had to do a bit of shopping first, so we arrived at Giraffe around 5.30 for an early dinner, or late lunch depending on how you fancy looking at it.

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The decor in Giraffe is quite bold, with a bit of a South American feel. It’s in a nice location near the canal, and they have tables outside that you can use for that 4 hours of Summer we get in the UK a year.

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My first big surprise when I went into Giraffe, was how much they had updated the menu. Not only was the wine list a lot more up to date than when I went years ago, but also the food. I’m not a massive wine snob, and I probably couldn’t tell my Lanson from my Londis, but it’s nice to have a choice. Last time we went, I remember the menu being a bit simple. I think there was some pretty good burgers, but I don’t remember much else.

This time around, there was loads more on offer. The manager explained to me that they update the menu every six months, but I would wonder how they could better this one. The starters were hard to chose from for a start. The trouble is with starters, you usually fill yourself up and can’t eat the dinner (oh HELLO free salad bar at Harvester). I wanted something tasty, but light, so I opted for the Steamed Duck Gua Bao Buns.

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Usually, when I eat anything remotely bready (like bread),for starters, I get too full to even consider my main meal. These little treats were perfect though. The steamed buns were light and fluffy, and the duck and the crunch of the vegetables complimented that perfectly.

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My Mum went the whole hog, which is hilarious because she’s just like this tiny little woman that can eat for England. She had the Nachos, and thankfully Giraffe were super helpful when it came to her mega fussy requests.

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For the mains, I really had a hard choice. There was so much on the menu I could’ve devoured, but my interest was well and truly piqued by the cheeky little addition of pomegranate in the Lamb Tagine, which wasn’t something I had come across before. If I’m being honest, a full pomegranite does quite freak me out. I don’t know why, I just think they are quite an aggressive fruit. Luckily, it wasn’t a full one, and the Lamb Tagine was beautifully seasoned with these, pistachios and almonds. One thing I like about dishes that incorporate things like this, isn’t just the balance of flavours, but also the balance of textures too. The Lamb Tagine was actually better than the Moroccan food I had in actual Morocco.

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My Mum opted for the Chicken Milanese, which has always been a firm family favourite, although it was served with new potatoes rather than pasta. The sauce was bang on, I always find restaurants are very quick to over complicate the sauce with this dish by adding random items like a whole Lemon or a Fish or something, but this was simple and elegant. The new potatoes were also cooked in a really tasty garlic butter, which I obviously tried, and I’d highly recommend both dishes.

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When it came to dessert time, I was glad I had my trusted dessert tester on hand. I don’t actually eat sweet food, and I can’t have too much dairy, so I had an Espresso Martini while my Mum went for the White Chocolate and Passionfruit Cheesecake.

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As a sensible professional restaurant reviewer, it would of been rude not to try, and it was amazing. It could of made me feel a bit sad if I wasn’t a dessert person, if I didn’t have an amazing Espresso Martini in front of me. I’m a bit of a coffee lover, so not only did I like the taste, but it solved me one massive problem. You see when I drink, it’s safe to say, I get a tad sleepy. In fact, I have fallen asleep in some of Essex’s finest nightclubs and bars, a few in Thailand, several in Greece, a couple in London and on nearly every single flight I’ve been on. If only I had of known about these little miracles, I could’ve remained conscious for so much more of my social life!

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Giraffe Chelmsford is on Springfield Road, and will cost you around £30 – £40 a head with drinks. You can find more information on their website.

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Things to do for free in London This Summer

Picnic on Primrose Hill

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You can never truly appreciate the magic of Primrose Hill unless you have been there. When I first started working in the city, all everyone kept banging on about going up to Primrose Hill in the nice weather. All I kept thinking was ‘alright mate, I’ve been to loads of hills, what’s so special about this one?’. The special thing about Primrose Hill is the view. Once you get to the top you have a panoramic view or near enough the whole of London. Pack a picnic basket and some prosecco, and bask in the sunshine. You can also do a cheeky bit of celebrity spotting. The only thing missing from such a glorious place is a waiter bringing around alcohol.

Notting Hill Carnival

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People always have such mixed reactions when I tell them I go to carnival every year. Yes, there is a little bit of trouble, but it is honestly so well policed, it has never affected me and I’ve been loads of times. You don’t have to spend money to actually attend the carnival, and a lot of the time they will open the gates up at Notting Hill Gate station because of the sheer amount of people. You really won’t find an event as vibrant as carnival in London this summer. The performers are spectacular, and super friendly. When my Nan was alive, she always said she would love to go, but it would’ve been far too much for her. So, while a bit tipsy I decided to gatecrash the procession, and instead of telling me I was a tit, three wonderful ladies from Guyana made a video message for my Nan, and gave me a flag that was about 7ft tall that she kept on her shed for the rest of her life. Although you don’t need to spend money to go, it will be hard resisting the glorious jerk chicken, so pack some pennies if you plan on spending a full day there rather than just popping along.

Notting Hill Carnival takes place on August Bank Holiday Weekend.

Visit the Southbank Centre Market

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If you are like me, and you do not remotely resemble a ‘proper girl’ and would prefer to go wandering around looking at unique things and nice food rather than clothes, then head on over to the Southbank Centre this summer and waste some time at the market. The Southbank Centre food market is open every weekend in July and August, and even if you don’t go to eat you can stroll along the river in the sunshine taking in the intoxicating smells.

Hackney City Farm

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I know Hackney sounds like a bit of a weird and wonderful place to have a farm, but nestled among the hustle and bustle, there is actually a farm in Hackney. Also don’t go thinking just because it is free it is rubbish. The rotate animals with a farm in Kent, and there is loads to see and do. The ginger pigs are probably the star attraction, not only because of their beautiful colour but also because they are named Pepper and Pearl. Animals with human names are my absolute favourite.

The Sky Garden

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You would think that anything as remotely posh as the Sky Garden would charge for entry, but they actually don’t. You don’t need to go up there and necessarily buy food and drinks, so if you just want to potter up there to take in the breathtaking view you can. Make sure you get an Insta pic and a Snapchat while you are up there though, it really is a great photo opportunity.

10 Things People Do But Never Admit To

Let’s be honest, most humans are weirdo’s. Even the ones that are not specifically weirdo’s, still do have a bit of weirdo in them in the form of habits. Some of us have really weird individual habits (mine is putting BBQ sauce on cheese and crackers. Sorry not sorry). But for the most part, there are some things that absolutely EVERYONE does and doesn’t admit to.

Has a clothes chair in their room.

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Yes, THE CHAIR. Somehow, Sunday evening your bedroom is a lovely, tidy, fresh bedded Oasis with the lovely candles you bought on the weekend trip to Ikea burning. By Thursday, it looks like a landfill site. One of the main culprits is the chair. Yes THAT chair. The chair that is there for the once or twice a month you’ll actually sit at your desk to do your makeup instead of on the floor with the good light in front of the big mirror. At first, you start by hanging your coat on it, in the misguided belief that it won’t make it messy as you are going to use that  coat in the morning. The next thing you know, every item of clothing is on there, half a pack of Doritos and a single shoe, because you can’t find the other one.

Facebook stalks.

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People attribute crazy exes the crown of Facebook stalkers, but I think this is genuinely a misrepresentation of the facts. The truth is, EVERYONE Facebook stalks at every opportunity. That bitch who used to work in your office? Facebook stalk. Someone interviewing for a job at your place today? Facebook stalk. The hot barman you met Friday night? Yep,  Facebook stalk. In fact, I used to work with two women who were so good at it, I dubbed them the ‘FBI’ (Facebook Investigations Team).

Has a word with themselves while they are drunk in the toilet.

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Ahhhh the nightclub toilets. What fabulous places they are. Not only do you meet several girls that you promise to be friends for life with, go on holiday with and move to a flat in the city with, but it is also the place that you take a solitary moment to give yourself a pep talk when you’ve had a few too many. I like to give myself a SERIOUS inspirational chat when I’m in the toilet on a night out. This usually involves me telling myself being sick is a waste of alcohol and asking myself to promise myself not to offend anyone (which rarely works).

Pretends to have read books you’ve never heard of.

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This also goes for seeing films. Because sometimes, it’s just easier to nod along rather than explain that you have 3 kids, a pet and a husband that you could swear blind is stuck to the sofa with velcro, and simply haven’t had time to read Gravity’s Rainbow. It can get a little bit hairy when people say what was your favourite bit, but you can usually plod along by saying ‘the end, I really wasn’t expecting it’.

Eats absolutely filthy fast food.

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No matter how good you are, there is always that one occasion when you might eat fast food.  Even the healthiest person in the world can be lured with a dirty burger after a few drinks. You can’t possibly eat clean all of the time, and the trouble is with this day and age is even stuff that is meant to be healthy usually isn’t. We’ve all met someone who seriously loves the gym but will still eat 60 chicken nuggets ‘for the protein’.

Snapchats random people.

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You’re not a malicious person, but darn it sometimes there are things you just need to snapchat. If a lady on the tube looks like she could be Mick Hucknalls Mum, then unfortunately instinct takes over before you know what you are doing and you have shared the joy with your closest friends. I dread to think how many of these I have been subjected to, especially while drunk and being a nightmare.

Skip’s pages when they read the kids a story.

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Let’s face it guys, none of us give a fuck about the Gruffalo do they? Between 2 and around 6 is that magical age where the kids are just happy you are tucked up with them reading in the first place, and won’t notice if you miss a page or 7. If you do have a child who picks up on this from a young age, immediately hire them a private tutor and start saving for Oxford or Cambridge, because they are clearly a genius.

7 Of the Best Inspirational Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following

With summer round the corner (well, potentially, it is England after all), Girls everywhere will search for that elusive ‘summer body’. I think mine has possibly been lost in the post for a number of years now, but that still doesn’t stop me wanting to give it a bloody good go at the beginning pf summer every year. Although there are some bad things about social media (drunk tweets anyone?), there is also some good out there, in the form of loads of Instagrammers that are willing to help you on your journey.

1. @kayla_itsines

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Kayla is a massive deal, and quite rightly so. Not only is her body absolute fitness goals, and inspirational in itself to look at, she has created a fitness program that others can follow who aspire to look like her. The BBG program not only incorporates exercise, but also teaches about healthy meals and what to eat alongside it to maximize your weight loss.

2. @emilyskyefit

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Another inspirational lady who is absolute fitness goals, Emily Skye also has her own exercise and diet program. Her Instagram is a mixture of fitness tutorials and what she is getting up to, and her website shows users of the program meal plans and fitness routines. She also handily has vegan recipes on there.

3. @plankingforpizza

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This is a personal fave. Jessica advocates body confidence as a whole, rather than basically killing yourself and being miserable trying to get skinny. Her Instagram is one of the best examples of strong not skinny that I have ever seen. She still exercises like a bad ass, but she doesn’t believe you should deny yourself treats along the way.

4. @karliekloss

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Ok, so following a model on Instagram may seem counterproductive, but trust me, she smashes it. Karlie actually does so many different exercises that are a bit weird and wonderful. If the idea of the gym is boring to you, give her a follow.

5. @mistyonpointe

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Even if dancing isn’t a bit of you (like myself, who, after weeks of my drama teacher trying to teach me to dance as I was the lead in Little Shop of Horrors, had to give up and stand at the back), this lady will blow your mind. She is a ballet dancer, so expect loads of twirly twirly, and amazing videos of dance moves.

6. @chelseykorus

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If you like Yoga, you’ll love this account. Not only does Chelsey share Yoga poses and updates on daily life, but she also shares positive mantra’s that can get you through the day. For as long as I can remember my mantra has been ‘try not to offend anyone today’, which never works, so I think I’ll try hers

7. @mindbodygreen

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This account really does roll everything into one. Healthy meals, yoga poses, inspirational quotes and there are also a few cute animals chucked in for good measure. Seriously, how could you not?

La Tasca

La Tasca, Leadenhall Market

La Tasca

I’m always a bit skeptical about chain restaurants. Ok, the food isn’t usually bad, but after frequenting places like Strada, Ask and Prezzo in my youthfull, inexperienced food days, I have become disillusioned with the whole process. It’s not one particular thing that annoys me about them, it’s just that the food is always mediocre, the atmosphere is non-existent and the decor is exactly the same no matter what branch you visit.

I’d already visited the Las Tasca in Victoria, so when I was invited to the one in Leandenhall Market, I basically expected it to be very similar. The Leadenhall La Tasca for a start is a lot smaller and more intimate. You’ll find it up the top of some stairs in the centre of the market, and the decor is completely different to the Victoria one. The managers at this branch have managed to give it a warm, homely feel that will remind you of a small taverna you have come across on some far away travels.

We were seated at a window seat, which had lovely views of Leadenhall market, which, despite more or less passing it every day,I had never been to. As you would expect from a Spanish restaurant, the wine list is selected well. It’s not big enough to be intimidating, but just big enough to have a great choice. I always go for a Tempranillo or a Pinot Noir. I basically know nothing about wine apart from the fact you can easily ruin Coq Au Vin with a cheap Pinot Noir and Tempranillo is quite strong and stops me from going overboard because it takes a while to drink. I had a large glass of the El Pugal Tempranillo, which was a fabulous accompaniment to my meal.

Actually choosing the food, I thought would be easy, because I’d been before, but another thing that was different about this La Tasca was the menu. One thing I did remember about my last trip, was how gutted I was that my Mum got a Paella and I didn’t, because it was incredibly tasty. This time around, I went for the Paella De Carne, which was Chicken and Chorizo. Now you may think this dish is quite straightforward, and easy to do, but trust me there’s a lot that can go wrong. I’ve had many a dish like this that have been overcooked and under flavoured, leaving you chewing a piece of chicken that is dry as a Nun’s chuff for hours. La Tasca hit it spot on. The chicken and the chorizo were cooked perfectly, in the way that they ‘pop’ in your mouth when you eat them. Paella rice is a bit of a challenge as well, but both times I have been, they have got it perfect. There’s just a hint of the smoky, paprika flavour that mediterranean dishes do so well, but not so much that it overwhelms the natural flavours of the dish.

I didn’t get a dessert, mainly because I was full to the brim, but the menu is varied in this respect as well.

La Tasca, Leadenhall Market is located directly inside the market. A meal for two with drinks will cost you around £50 – £60 depending on what you drink. Tables can be booked ahead on their website.