We’re going to need a montage

There are certain films I have earmarked for whenever I feel I need to be inspired – something to essentially give me a kick up the backside and help me decide what to focus on. Yes, they’re usually rom-coms. What they have in common is that wake-up call moment, where the character has a silent epiphany to knock them out of whatever problem they’re having; then comes the montage of them taking action, piecing themselves back together, taking control. From Carrie getting her assistant and redesigning her apartment, to Meg Ryan in The Women putting her relationships aside and creating a mood board of her own fashion label (my personal favourite), to Alice in How To Be Single deciding to quit the dick-sand and train to hike the Grand Canyon and Bridget getting on a spin bike and finding a new job; all of them are of women having a moment of clarity that helps them find out who they want to be next. As the viewer, I love it (who doesn’t love a montage? Bonus points if there’s dancing) and am practically cheering them on from the sofa.

Well. I have watched those films many times (and others like them). I’ve read countless books with similar situations spread across the pages. And I’m still waiting for my montage.

It comes back to why I chose this title for the blog; I don’t know how to know what I want in a way that helps me make a plan. And the more I watch these films – in the hope the characters’ epiphanies will help to spark my own – the less I feel I’ll ever know. How do people (not the ones the scriptwriters create, I mean real people now) make huge life decisions and plan out their next moves with such certainty?

2017 has been a weird one for me, not for any particular reason but because I feel a little lost. I mean, I’m not in a different position to what I was 6 months or even a year ago, but I have no definite direction. I don’t know quite where I’m going. I’m not convinced I am going anywhere, in fact, which when everyone around you is moving, up, up and often further and further away, is worrying. They all seem to look forward and make plans for what’s next, effortlessly; instead, I seem to look back, wishing things were better but unsure of what that would look like.

I suppose real life is no different from the movie montages in that from where I’m watching, it looks simple – whereas if you were to watch it unfold step by step, decision by decision, it would seem far less impressive (though that would be far more helpful for people like me who are hoping to pick up a few life transformation tips). As a friend said to me last week, ’No one has their shit together, not really – we’re all just winging it’.

Perhaps, then, I just need to work out how to wing it a bit better, but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that my montage is around the corner. And I really hope there’s dancing.


2016: Turning 30 and why for me, the year wasn’t so bad (sorry)


OK, so 2016 was pretty awful. Some of the greatest actors and entertainers we’ve ever known are dead. Half the country hates the other half. Half the country got us into a massive mess that we apparently won’t be getting out of even though the whole country is pretty much agreed that it’s a bad idea (understatement). An orange man who hates anyone who isn’t a rich white man, who goes through life with what looks like a bleached ferret on his head despite being rich enough, surely, to see a decent hairdresser, is in charge of America despite not actually having the majority of votes. No one likes Johnny Depp anymore. Brangelina have split. And then there’s the TV. The X Factor has gone beyond so-bad-it’s-good territory and is now just embarrassing. EastEnders’ biggest storyline up until New Year’s Eve seemed to be about the bins. We’re still waiting for the next season of Homeland. The John Lewis Christmas ad was so shit that it didn’t make you laugh OR cry*. Everything, frankly, is fucked.

HOWEVER. 2016 was also the year that I turned 30. And while I had a feeling it was going to be a huge, momentous year, the above wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Screw you 2016.

Nonetheless, *whispers* a few good things did happen in the year of my very big THREE OH, and just in case the world imploding gets in the way of me remembering that, I thought I’d write a few of them down.

Don’t hate me. I had an awful 2015 and really needed 2016 to be nice. And it was, because…

– I only went and went to NYC, didn’t I

OH YES I DID. I have wanted to go to New York since I sat in front of our little telly as a kid and watched all the films. Film after film after film; I never did and still never do get bored of films, bonus points if they’re set in NYC. I went with one of the greatest people I know for an entire week, and from the second I got into one of those yellow taxis I felt like I was starring in my own little movie. It was everything I dreamed it would be and more, and I can’t wait to go back one day. Just thinking about it makes my knees weak with love.

– I only met THE Carrie Bradshaw, didn’t I

OH YES I DID. Not in New York, funnily enough, but right here in London. My job has given me many wonderful things (hyaluronic acid, my favourite mascara and an award no less) but meeting THE Sarah Jessica Parker is by far and away the greatest gift of all. I stood next to, shook hands with and spoke to this utterly beautiful, kind and gracious woman at the launch of her infectious new unisex fragrance, Stash. She was everything and more. I love her. I think she thinks I’m weird (not that she’ll remember who I am) but that’s ok because I MET HER AND IT WAS EPIC.

– I only went and wrote an ebook, didn’t I

Yes, yes I did. Yes, it was while at work as it was part of my day job (it’s kind of hard to not do something when it’s like, your job) but I wrote my first ever ebook, a Beginner’s Guide to Sensitive Skin. It’ll never be top of the Amazon bestsellers list (it’s not on Amazon, you fools) but I’m still damn proud that it exists and can’t quite believe people have bought something I wrote. And none of them were even bought by my mum, because technology.

– I only went and got myself a date, didn’t I

Ok that’s getting annoying now isn’t it. But yes. A tricky summer and various ‘life is too short’ moments made me take the leap into dating again and I just so happened to find a normal one. It even went well for a while, until it didn’t. But for a few short months it was fun (and anxiety-inducing, obviously) to like someone again and sort of think that maybe they might like me back.

– I (ok, my parents) only went and got a bloody kitten

Which I named! Rocky is the friendliest, cuddliest, most affectionate cat I think I have ever met, and he earned his name on the first day they brought him home when he looked like he was trying to box with his little paws when I dangled some string over his head. He is adorable. He has brought so much happiness into my parents’ home in such a short amount of time, I just wish we’d found him sooner.

While everyone else couldn’t wait to turn their backs on 2016, I was sad to see it end – I was lucky enough to have a pretty good year, with things going well in my little life, and a new year just brings new fears of what’s to come. But now it’s 2017 (already. How did that happen? I’m 31 in 3 days. Oh god). Who knows what’s around the corner? EastEnders might find their scriptwriters. Trump might accidentally board a spaceship to the moon. Homeland will most definitely be back. Whatever happens, I just hope it’s a happy and healthy one. And I wouldn’t mind meeting SJP again either, in case the gods are reading…


*I just have to explain this. We needed you, John Lewis. We needed the little hare and bear back. We needed a cute penguin. We needed an adorable child who wasn’t a materialistic little bastard like those ones you see demanding toys from their exhausted mums on the high street. We needed the advert equivalent of little fluffy puppies playing with little fluffy kittens while a log fire roars, Mary Berry makes us cakes, David Attenborough reads us a bedtime story and Buble sings us a lullaby. We needed a giant cuddle of an ad. And what do you give us? You give us nothing. NOTHING. This year’s ad was so devoid of emotion that it just leaves you cold, confused, and angry at what the world has become; that even John Lewis can’t bring us joy anymore. YOU HAD ONE JOB, John Lewis. You fucking failed.

For a start, the dog isn’t very cute. The dog needed to be cuter. No offence, dog, you’re lovely, but you’re not Christmas-cute. The song is a terrible choice; it’s depressing. Saving grace, almost: the wild animals are sweet. But then comes the finale, and the dog, and you almost want to laugh, but the family aren’t laughing, they look horrified, and it’s as if the dog has ruined the girl’s Christmas, only you can’t understand why because surely, SURELY, if you loved your pet (as one should), seeing it jump on a trampoline for the first time with such gusto would surely make you laugh your head off. Or at least reach for your iPhone to capture the moment and share it on Instagram for #lolz. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT FAMILY?

Jurassic World was a bit sexist. But it wasn’t because of the heels

Jurassic World

Source: jurassicworldmovie.com

At the weekend, in which I really did have nothing planned, a spontaneous night out turned into a sleepover, which turned into a duvet day, which turned into a quick evening with friends at the cinema to see Jurassic World. See how not having plans can help sometimes? TAKE THAT, PLANNERS.

Anyway, back to the film. It has been the longest time coming (is it really 22 years since the original? I don’t see how that’s possible) and oh my, was it worth the wait. So much so that it’s prompted a quick post from me, the Worst Blogger In The World. In fact, don’t even call me a blogger. I haven’t earned it. But anyway, I digress…

It wasn’t only Chris Pratt that made it brilliant (pause for the delicious memories). I loved that, much like that iconic door handle moment in the first, the excitement lay in the premise that dinosaurs are pretty intelligent. Aside from a few dodgy bits of script (‘Now she’s killing for sport’ – bit much to deduce from a few dead dinos, no?) it had it all and didn’t disappoint in the way that we were all scared it could have. The nods to the original, too, made it – who could forget those cars, that fallen banner – and it was great to see B.D Wong return as Dr Henry Wu, the man who technically started it all (aside from Hammond, of course).

The sexist thing? Yes, I get why it caused such a storm. Aside from getting very annoyed at her running in high heels (that just is not sensible – I would have loved it more if she’d thrown them into the waterfall, because BE PRACTICAL your life is at stake here), I disliked the way she was portrayed as a total bitch just because she wasn’t taking the day off from her pretty important, successful job in order to show her nephews around the park.

Did her sister honestly expect her to just be free and at their beck and call to show them around? Is she a cow because she cares about her job and her responsibility of working there? She of course becomes maternal in the end (still in her heels) promising never to leave them (though I loved how she swiftly walked off with her hot man the minute the sister arrived), while her assistant, another glam and non-child-friendly woman got eaten by not one but two dinosaurs at once. Harsh.

Despite that, it’s definitely one for the ladies, perhaps more so than the previous instalments, and of course that’s down to Chris Pratt. Who is this man? Where has he come from? Here he is in all his gorgeous splendour and I’ve only just learned his name. Yes, unlike the previous films we have some male eye candy (the idiot in the third doesn’t count) while the men, of course, have the gorgeous redhead in heels to look at. Win-win.

Oh yeah, and the dinosaurs are awesome too. Check this feature on the Telegraph out for a great interview with the man who originally made them happen.