Things About Me That Bother Other People

Let’s face it, no one’s perfect, right? Fact is, you’re never gonna please everyone. You can be the nicest person, the best at your job, be a style icon and make the best cakes in the world, but there’s always going to be one person who doesn’t agree with something that you do.

Its ok to have different opinions – they’re opinions for a reason – and chances are you’re not gonna lose friends over liking or disliking something small, but you might be met with a few ‘what?!’s and ‘I can’t believe it’s. I’m no stranger to these reactions to certain things, and these are the ones I get the most ‘backlash’ from:

I don’t drink tea or coffee

Simply because I don’t actually like them. Coffee is something that most people don’t really seem to care about, but being British and not liking tea seems to be some kind of treason for some..

I haven’t seen that movie

There are a whole lot of movies I’ve never seen. I mean, no one’s seen every movie to have ever existed, but often when it comes to films that most consider to be ‘classics’, I haven’t the foggiest. To name a few, there’s Pulp Fiction, Slumdog Millionaire, any of the Bourne or Rocky movies and most films based on Nicholas Sparks novels..

I can’t do anything above lemon and herb at Nandos

I have such a low tolerance for spicy food and for some reason this really ticks people off. I’m a straight up lemon and herb or mango and lime, and when it comes to curry I won’t stray from a tikka masala or a korma, and even then I’ll probably drink a bucket of water.

I’m not really a drinker

I’m not tee-total, but I hardly drink anymore. When I do, I’m a total lightweight and I’m not even kidding when I say I feel the effects of one Koppaberg quite quickly, and to be honest that’s part of the reason that I do say no to that first drink. I’m totally ok with not drinking, but when I’m out with others there always seems to be at least one person that isn’t happy about it.

I can’t stand reality TV

With the exception of this year’s Love Island, I can’t cope with reality shows. Big Brother, I’m a Celebrity, even X-Factor, they all just drive me insane and the rest of the world’s evenings seem to revolve around them.

I’m not big on Halloween

While I like to carve a pumpkin, that’s pretty much the only thing about Halloween that I enjoy. I’m not a huge fan of Halloween films, I don’t much like spooky stuff and I definitely am not the sort of person who wishes away summer waiting for it.

I like the TV volume on 17

I do not feel the pressure of the whole ‘tv volume ending with a 0 or 5’ thing. On our tv at home, 17 is the perfect volume for daytime telly watching, or if its something that needs a little bit more then its 23-24. Soz.

Do any of these bother you at all?

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Things To Do When You Hit A Block

I know I cannot be alone in suffering from regular bouts of the dreaded ‘block’. Whether it be writer’s, artist’s or just a general creative block, its the worst feeling when there’s just nothing going on in your head, or at least nothing that will translate into anything you’re happy with.

Know the feeling? Next time, why not try a few of these..

Take a step back and clear your head

A watched pot never boils and a blank page doesn’t fill itself.

Don’t force anything

There’s nothing worse than trying to force results. I look back at blog posts and I can spot the ones that I bashed out just because I felt I had to write something, and I’m not entirely proud of them.

Do something silly

Just for a moment, stop taking it all so seriously. Write a funny limerick or doodle something stupid, create something crazy just for the sake of it (but like I said, don’t force it) – just doing something can start getting those cogs turning again.

Take a proper break

If you can, totally walk away from what you’re supposed to be doing; take an hour, a day, a week even. You won’t find the cure instantly, but not being so in the zone for even a little bit of time can do wonders.

Remind yourself why you love what you do

Just take a few moments to list some of the things that make you love doing whatever it is that you do, look back at some of your favourite pieces of work or read nice feedback you’ve been given by others – take a minute to actually feel proud of yourself!

Know that this will pass

At the end of the day, remember that this is just a block. Whether any of these steps help you or not, they eventually go away anyway and you’ll come back fighting, so don’t fret!

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A Bloody Shame

Normally I would start a post like this apologising for the content. I’m not going to do that today because this is something that I don’t think I should be sorry for talking about. PS I will apologise for the awful pun of a title.

Two hours into my shift on Saturday, I realised that despite being fully prepared given the situation, I had bled through my pants and my trousers. I realised this while I was stood at the desk of one of my team leaders asking for advice on a situation with a customer, and I was mortified. I quickly adjusted how I was stood, rushed the conversation and dashed to the toilets, where I promptly burst into tears in a cubicle.

Two minutes of hormone and embarrassment fuelled sobbing later, I pulled myself together enough to attempt to think clearly. Despite all the team leaders in being women, which is a wonderfully rare occurrence, I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone what had happened. I wanted to go home, but there was no way I was going to admit the reason for needing to leave, so instead I cleaned myself up as best I could, and thanked my lucky stars that I was wearing loose trousers with a fairly jazzy pattern so the patch of red on my crotch wasn’t visible unless someone was paying close attention to it. I wrapped my big cardigan around myself and went on with the rest of my day.

As the day went on, and with every time I had to leave my desk for whatever reason, only to be very careful of how my cardigan was hanging and if I was walking quick enough that no one would be able to focus on me long enough to potentially spot my red spot, I couldn’t help feeling ashamed on more than one level.

Why could I not just admit to someone at work what was going on? I could have gone home, changed and been back within 15 minutes, but the fear of having someone that I work with know about my little ‘accident’ meant I sat and spent my day on edge. But on the other side I couldn’t stop thinking: why should I be ashamed?

Periods are a natural and normal part of life for women, yet for as long as I can remember, I’ve been made to feel embarrassed by them. It was embarrassing learning about them at school, and embarrassing when you had to miss swimming because of them, or when you had to ask around to see if anyone had a spare pad or tampon when you got caught out.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not really ever embarrassed to be on my period. I’ll tell my friends if I’m having really bad cramps, and have no issue asking for supplies from people in the office these days, but that’s not what this is about. Its not to do with how we see our own periods, but how other people do. While no one at work seemed to notice my stain today, I would have almost liked to see how different people reacted. Would I be met with pity and support, or would there be whispers when I walk away? I shouldn’t have to question this. I was too ashamed to share my problem with someone else, and that’s not ok.

No its not ideal having a patch of blood on your trousers but also why should it be a problem if you do? Its not your fault if Mother Nature calls early, or you’ve sat awkwardly and therefore a leak has occurred. Its not by choice, its just life and I’m so done with people being judgemental about it.

Let’s end this stigma.

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An Open Letter to Anyone

Dear stranger,

Hey, how’s your day going? I’m asking you this in case no one else does. If it’s been great then I’m so happy for you, you’re incredible. If it’s not been such a good day, I’m here if you ever want to talk.
I may not know anything about you and your life, but I bet you’re a good person regardless. I’ll always believe the best in you. I know it’s not always easy to see the best in yourself.

I want you to know that you are always good enough. Your hair looks great and that outfit looks amazing on you, and if anyone doesn’t think that then they’re just being ridiculous. You can look and wear and do and say whatever you want. Never apologise for being you.

I also want to remind you that it’s ok to not feel ok all the time. Whether your glass is half empty or half full, you can always top it up. Please never feel alone.

Whenever you can, recycle, turn off anything electrical that’s not in use and don’t litter. These might seem like insignificant things but in doing so you’re saving our planet and providing future generations with a life. One person can make a difference and you can be that person.

You will always be unique. Try not to compare yourself or your life to another person – they are just as unique as you are. Life is unpredictable, and that’s ok.

Tomorrow is always a fresh start.

I wish you all the best, always.

A stranger

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Would anyone miss me?

I’ve always been a firm believer that numbers aren’t everything when it comes to blogging. I write because I want to write, and only write about what I want to write about, and that’s how it always has been and always will be.

The last year has been incredible for my blog. I’ve seen such massive growth since I started almost 4 years ago, and the start of this year brought even more; more content, more quality, more readers. I was riding high and smashing record after record, growing not just in terms of my blog stats but also in my confidence. Then June happened.

As my life outside of blogging changed, I was struggling to keep up. I felt under pressure to produce new posts, and I felt myself slipping into a less prepared and more haphazard version of myself. I was banging out posts the night before, or even on the day, and reusing photos because I hadn’t had the time to take new ones. If I’m honest, I wasn’t proud. I decided to step away from my blog and take a break, but with that came the inevitable guilt; the feeling of failure.

I pushed myself back into blogging after just a week away from the keyboard. In all fairness, I felt at the time that I’d given myself enough of a break, and threw myself back into 5-6 posts a week, but while I went back in on a high, this last week has seen another low.

Despite feeling more on top of my life and having fresh new content that I was proud of, and was working ahead on my schedule, the numbers just weren’t racking up like they used to. I feel crushed. While I write because it’s what I love to do, I feel like a chef who’s cooked a beautiful meal but everyone’s already full. It feels wasted. It’s not that I don’t feel appreciated, it’s just that I feel that I’m not entertaining anyone anymore, and ultimately that’s what I want my blog to be doing; making people happy, inspiring people, or just giving them something to read on the train home from work.

I don’t know if I could ever bring myself to give up this blog – I’ve worked long and hard to make it what it is, and I am still seeing some small progression, but I can’t help but think: would anyone notice if I wasn’t here?

I hate being a negative ninny, especially on here, but I just needed to vent. If you have any thoughts or have ever felt similar, I’d love to hear from you.

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12 Things I’ve Learnt from Working 12 Hour Shifts

So two weeks ago I binned off the 7.5 hours, 5 days a week working routine, and traded normality for a 3-day week rota. Now I’ve not cut down my hours, so it doesn’t take a genius to work out that to be able to fit the same number of hours in, I’ll now be working 12 hour shifts. It also says that in the title of this post, so I kinda gave that one away.

At first, I thought I was mad for even considering the change, but two weeks down the line I’m settling into this routine pretty nicely, and I’ve already discovered a few things, and noticed a few changes..

I achieve nothing with my evenings anyway

It turns out that it doesn’t matter whether I finish work at 5pm or 8pm, I still get the same amount of stuff done when I get home from work. Spoiler alert, I do pretty much naff all.

I never have to worry about what shift I’m on

Its pretty impossible to forget 8am-8pm..

I never get asked to stay on an hour or two anymore

When you work from open to close, the plea for people to stay on for a little bit of overtime doesn’t get sent my way anymore!

I’ll still always get asked if I’m doing overtime

Whenever someone finishes before me, I can guarantee I’ll get asked ‘aww, how much overtime are you doing today?’. Nope, just my regular shift, thanks..

Snacks are essential

My desk drawer is stocked with Belvita, nuts, hot chocolate powder and a bunch of spare spoons for when I inevitably forget to bring one in for my morning yogurt. Gotta keep those energy levels up!

And I make myself much more comfortable

I’m talking shoes off under the desk, dressing a little bit more casual, and I’ve recently acquired a fleece blanket which I wrap myself up in on colder days and evenings. Snug as a bug in an office.

Anything to break up the day is welcomed

Team meetings, extra training sessions, one to ones, pretty much anything that takes a little bit of time from my regular work is an absolute blessing!

Suddenly regular length shifts seem easy peasy

On the weeks were I also do weekend shifts, which are only ever 6-7 hours long, those days seem to absolutely fly by.

I’m actually a lot more patient with customers

I don’t know if I’m just resigned to the fact that I’m stuck at work til 8pm anyway, but I’ve become a lot more patient with customers and a lot more relaxed about the parts of my job that I used to find a bit stressful.

I have way more stamina than I thought

When I first agreed to switch to these new shifts, I honestly thought it would kill me within a few days, but I actually took to them like a duck to water, and even my manager said she’s impressed with how little I’ve moaned during the transition.

Its not as tiring as I thought either

Sure, its an office job where I’m sat in a chair so it was never gonna wear me out too much anyway, but I still expected to feel a lot more worn out than I do, so yay!

The extra days off are so worth it

Ultimately the reason I took the change was because it means most weeks I have 4 days off a week, so I can dedicate more time to my blog and my small businesses. It also means if I do want to work overtime I don’t have to work 7 days a week to do it!

Sure, I am only 2 weeks in and adjusting to the change, but I’m already so happy with how this is working out for me, and it should mean much more content here, so watch this space!

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Things I Don’t Understand on Twitter

Back in the day, Facebook was my staple social media site. No matter what I was doing, I’d always have a tab open so that I could keep up with everything that was going on with the people in my life. Now I can’t stand the thing, and Twitter has replaced it.

Considering how long its been around, I’ve only been on Twitter for about two and a half years, and while it was an absolute maze to me at first, its second nature now and I’m totally proficient in retweeting, hashtagging and chatting away until my little heart’s content – even though most of the time I’m probably just silently scrolling/stalking.

That said, however, there are a number of things I see cropping up across Twitter on a near-daily basis, and they’re a total mystery to me..

Rant accounts

Yes, I know everyone uses their Twitter as a way to vent feelings, or express unhappiness at certain companies/brands, but that’s not what I’m referring to. What I mean are those accounts that have clearly been set up with the sole purpose of talking smack about a particular company or issue. I once had to block someone (who didn’t even follow me) because every time I tweeted something about Redbubble (and I only have nice things to say about Redbubble), he would reply by trying to attack the brand. Upon clicking on his profile, I soon realised that this is all he does on Twitter, and his entire feed consisted of replying to people tweeting about Redbubble. Whatever your beef is, get over it mate.

The constant begging for an edit button

I know the pain of a typo or auto-correct malfunction, but I cannot stress enough how bad an edit button would be on Twitter. Let me put it this way:

Imagine you see a funny tweet. You innocently retweet it, as does a whole bunch of other people. The tweet has now gone viral, and the original writer now decides to use their famous moment to get a point across. They hit that edit button, and change the hilarious tweet you just had to share into something offensive. Now you, and all those other innocent retweeters have just shared something potentially awful, and you might not even notice..

Sure, the majority of people might just want to go back and correct a minor mistake, but it does have some serious repercussions if abused.

Copying viral tweets

You know when one of those tweets appears in that ‘things you missed’ or ‘things you might like’ section of your feed, just cos its got about 11K likes and retweets. You laugh, maybe you also RT, but then you forget all about it. Next thing you know, about 6 people on your feed have either written their own version of it, or print-screened the original to try and claim some fame of their own. Everyone sees what you’ve done, boo.

The classic follow/unfollow game

Now I don’t always remember to check my notifications to see who my new followers are, but I’ll normally have a little look to see if its someone I might want to follow back. Sure, sometimes the reason I don’t follow back is because I’ve forgotten, or skimmed over the notification, but it could also be because I’m not that interested. The thing with Twitter is that it doesn’t have to be a two-way street, and I’ve written about this before, but if I haven’t followed you back after your third attempt at following me, not only does it mean I’m not interested but it also means I’m not playing your game. Chances are you’ll unfollow me again anyway, so I’m not gonna make an effort to try and support you if you don’t actually care about supporting me.

Am I alone in my feelings?

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