Harry the Hot Hat Thieving Hippy

Following the best date ever, I realised that as much fun as I had, I probably shouldn’t settle down with a really hot gay guy, you know? Sexual orientation really isn’t something you can or should overlook. (Dating guru advice tip #1)

After my last date, I gave up on dating apps as the guys I met kept turning out to be oddballs plus the likelihood was, I wasn’t going to meet the man of my dreams on there. (turns out the world works in funny ways but that comes later in the story).

Anywhooooo, after giving up on the dating apps (for about the third time in 2 years) and hearing everyone talk about how meeting some “organically” was the way forward (who knew I should be approaching men like my vegetable shopping hey?), I wasn’t overly surprised when one of my friends suggested setting me up on a “half” blind date.

Now, by half, I mean, I had kind of already met my mystery date at a party. Turned out, at the party, I  had decided that it was more important to drink a bottle of prosecco, roll up my t-shirt into some make shift crop top and pretend I was sporty spice. (standard) I was clearly too busy high kicking my way round the bar to notice the ruggedly good looking guy who was there.

sporty spice.gif

 #truestory

So, my friend had set us up on a “half” blind date.

Turns out the half blind date was called Harry and from what I could vaguely remember, he was kind of cute. We had messaged a little back and forth but between holidays and festivals on both our sides, we hadn’t really managed to build up any rapport ahead of our date, so when the day finally came round, I was feeling slightly nervous (which wasn’t like me).

We had agreed to meet at a local bar in East London which wasn’t far from where I lived at the time. As I walking down to the bar, I messaged Harry to check in.

“All good and on my way” he responded.

After a short ten minute walk, I arrived at the busy bar. I squeezed my way through the crowds and looked round for Harry. I was pretty sure I hadn’t been drunk enough at the party to totally forget what he looked like. I shuffled my way to the bar and ordered a drink, followed by a quick message to Harry.

“Hey. Just arrived and at the bar. Can’t seem to see you”

There was no response.

As I waited for my drink to arrive, I looked down at the phone. 20 minutes late? Now, for anyone that knows me, I love a to do list and being organised, so, as the minutes went by, I started to feel a tiny weeny bit antsy. Finally, the door to the busy bar opened and a face I recognised walked in.

antsy.gif

Jokes (but nearly)

Lucikly, Harry was super cute, so I overlooked the lateness.

As he waked towards me and I realised how hot he was I mentally scolded myself for prioritising a spice girls rendition over making acquaintances with him that evening (wait, who am I kidding? I totally didn’t) and stood up to say hi.

Although Harry was hot, he wasn’t your “typical” type. Rather than the straight laced city boys I had dated recently, before even having spoken with him, I could tell he sat on totally the opposite end of the spectrum. I mean, don’t get me wrong, he was gorgeous but with his long hair accompanied with a hippy necklace (that from memory was a tooth or sand or something along those lines), Harry for sure sat more on the side of hippy than hedge fund.

“Hey” he said and kissed my cheek “You look a lot different than I remember”

I had a sudden flash back of my sweaty self, energetically high kicking round the party..

sport spice 2.gif

I shook it off…

Harry and I sat down and started to chat. As we got further and further into conversation, it became quickly apparent that he really was a “free spirit”. The conversation flitted from Glastonbury, to him buying a poncho, to cycling, to Artic Monkeys… I literally couldn’t keep up. After finishing our drinks, Harry then pulled me up to dance, being slightly drunk (and slightly surprised at the sudden change up from chat to cha cha) I just went along with it. After dancing, we were then moving again, this time to the beer garden where Harry did something that couldn’t be a bigger turn off to me…

He lit up a cigarette…

Gross.gif

Eww.

I mean up to now, it was quite apparent we weren’t that similar (I mean I’m all for energy and good vibes but I’m not wandering around Glasto with no bra and a poncho just yet) but, the night had been fun. It’s just for me, smoking, kind of a no no.

As the bar quietened and the evening came to a close, I said good night to Harry and headed home. I had a nice evening but could tell we were for sure different people, the thought of being so laid back actually made me feel anxious (lol) and Harry was so laid back he was basically horizontal. I mean, I probably could have seen out another date with him but was heading to a festival the next day, so would probably just let this one dwindle out…

Festival.gif

One festival later…

Now, I don’t know about anyone else feels, but after a full weekend festival, I was travelling back on the train feeling like

festival blues.gif

It was safe to say the weekend had been fairly heavy and when I arrived back to my apartment and sat down on the sofa.

cat wall

I wasn’t feeling all that human.

As I stared into space contemplating life, my phone buzzed. It was Harry.

“Hey, just wanted to say I had an ace time with you” (Only three days later) “Would be good to hang out again some time”.

Now, judge if you will, but that day, I was in a place where a hot man and pizza was basically my alternative to staring at a wall feeling rather emotional.

call harry.gif

…and although I had established he and I were very different, I called Harry and that evening, we had our second date chilling on the sofa with pizza. (dream).

Throughout the evening, It was still apparent Harry and I had very little in common, but he was super good fun to be around and perhaps his laid back energy rubbed off on me a little.

Turns out, it rubbed off so much, Harry ended up staying round the night.

my bad.gif

Turned out, for two people that had not so much to talk about, we didn’t really need to.

smirk gif.gif 

So after that evening, Harry and I continued to date.

Dating Harry was not really like anything I have ever experienced before, we had very little in common but when we saw one another, just had a really great time.

There was however a very slight problem. For me, personally, someone who likes to plan in advance and know what I’m doing and when I’m doing it, the nature of Harry’s free spirit-ness sometimes (well all of the time) didn’t really gel. For example (and I don’t know about you other ladies out there), usually, when I am going on a date, I like to have maybe a couple of days’ notice (minimum a couple of hours), but that apparently was not something  Harry had in his remit. I remember one time, we were talking generally over message, he then mid conversation stopped talking (normal), I didn’t hear anything for two days (not normal), then randomly received a message midday on a Sunday afternoon saying he was round the corner and wanted to invite me to a food market, well you can imagine…

wtf.gif

And things continued this way.

The dates we went on always seemed to reflect Harry’s sporadic personality; we once arranged a date to watch a movie, we ended up gardening (yes, me). Another time we went out for a quiet pub drink, somehow ended up on an hour long hike in the pouring down rain.

I dunno .gif

Then there was the time I was sat in a pub waiting for Harry to arrive (in a dress with a glass of prosecco) and he turned up in leathers with a spare helmet and we ended up out on the country roads of a motorbike in the middle of the night. That is about as wild as it gets for me…

Crazy gif.gif

(P.s. Sorry Mum)

Harry’s free spit was rather fun and if I am totally honest probably taught me to relax a little and go with the flow.

There is however a limit to my free spirited nature (turns out it’s not a high limit) and while I enjoyed/developed slight anxiety around Harry and I’s last minute dates, random messages, lack of planning and lack of direction, his nature eventually started to annoy me. I realised that as much as I sometimes would like to be, I was never going to be that “boho”, last minute, free spirit kind of girl, turns out, I like to do lists and working out and spending hours getting ready.

shrug gif.gif

I’m not even sorry.

Anywhooo, Harry and I’s messages tailed off naturally, however, it wouldn’t quite be dating diaries style without something odd happening to send off our whirlwind romance.

Anyway, after about a week of Harry and I not chatting, I was getting ready for my Tuesday run (see I love a plan). After changing into my work out gear, I looked around for my cap that I wore constantly to work out. I was kind of frustrated as it was a great mask for my humid hair, it had been missing for a week and I just had no idea where I had misplaced it. Feeling frustrated, I shook it off and head out for my run.

Once I had run the full length of the park, I lay down on the grass to relax and started to scroll through my Instagram to pass the time. After a few seconds of swiping through my feed, a picture of Harry came up and I couldn’t believe my eyes…

There he was..

Amidst a group of friends

At a festival…

 WEARING MY BLOODY HAT!

Oh hell no gif.gif

Now ladies, if this had been a sister or house mate, world war two would have erupted. However, I knew I probably couldn’t passive aggressively steal an item of Harry’s clothing back and as such, resorted to a text asking if he had my hat.

“Oh yeah, B, I totally forgot, I borrowed it and was going to let you know”

Ohhhhhh okay, at least now had an alibi for when I robbed a bank.

eye roll gifff.gif

On a serious note, I don’t care who you are, free-spirited or otherwise.

You don’t take my hat.

After a fairly curt response to Harry, he agreed to give me back my “stolen” hat. I went round to collect it and was surprised to find my hat accompanied with a little love letter, that expressed how much he had enjoyed hanging out with me and he was sorry about the hat.

wait what .gif

I still have no words to this day.

On a more serious note, Harry was genuinely a lovely guy and his free spirited, laid back nature was something I definitely required needed a dose of, in some ways, it did me good…

But you know what they say about too much of a good thing 😉

too much .gif

Lol!

Thanks again for reading.

B

x

Advertisements

Prince the Perfect Date

So, following Henry and I’s brief fling, it was back to the singles market. 

Now, I’m not sure about how other ladies feel, but about a year and a half into dating, I started to lose interest/hope. Conversations and small talk felt repetitive, the same dull bars, filled with the same dull people …. urgh, I was so over it, yet, I kind of didn’t want to give up hope that there were some normal people out there.

pray lol.gif

For me personally, it wasn’t just the dullness, it was the sheer amount of weirdo’s I seemed across, from one lunatic to the next. I mean, I wasn’t looking for the man I was going to marry, but surely there was just one normal person out there that could give me some hope? Or even just a great date?

After Henry and I had got back on level terms, I had decided to get back on the dating apps.

 fight .gif

After the standard few conversations that didn’t lead anywhere, or even worse, conversations in which I realised that I would never be able to date a man that couldn’t spell. I started to chat to a guy called Prince.

prince yes

Yes, ladies, actual name. 

After chatting to Prince for a couple of days, he seemed so much fun, his jokes on message cracked me up to the point I would be crying at my work desk (always working hard), he lived in Chelsea (lucky thing), was a creative (big tick) and when he threw a Rupaul drag race line at me mid message, I was sold. Date it was. 

We agreed to meet at a pub South Ken way, which is usually waaaaay out of my willingness to travel to a date, but Prince seemed so fun, I made the exception. Even the date location sounded fun, we were meeting at a pub with old school board games which was also known for 90’s music, I mean, even if Prince turned out to be the dullest man on the planet, as long as there was a bit of “I’m a dreamer” rocking out in the background, I would enjoy it. 

As I walked into the pub, I noticed Prince straight away. I mean how couldn’t I, he was so hot…

But not just hot, Prince was immaculate hot. He looked like a catalogue model. 

cata model.gif

Jeez, I felt underdressed and undergroomed and that says a lot.

I made my way over to the table and as the male model stood up, the next thing that, well, I wasn’t quite expecting….

“Oh my god, B, babes you look totally amazing” he exclaimed. (Hands in the air)

He then followed this greeting by pulling up the corner of my coat up and announcing ..

“And Reiss, this season, wow, you got this gurl” 

titus shock

Oh good god, he knew this was a Reiss coat, he was immaculately hot and dressed better than me, surely this could only mean one thing. 

jump off cliffe.gif

But I’m not one to be jump to conclusions or anything. 

Anywhooo, after greeting one another (air kiss on both cheeks noted) Prince and I settled down to our date. He was amazing and we had so much in common. We chatted about everything, from blogging, to design, to travelling, to the Kardashians, to Rupaul drag race… (okay in retrospect I’m judging me too). 

After chatting for an hour and honestly not realising where the time had gone, we pulled out “Guess who”

guess who

(See, I told you, best. date. ever)

Now a bottle of prosecco down (noted), we were being overly critical of the faces staring back at us from the cards. After starting with the standard Guess Who questions; “Are they wearing glasses?”, “Do they have hair”, “Are they male of female”, things were taking a sinister turn;

“Do they look like they would hang around a kids playground?” 

“Would you have sex with them?” 

A few of the great and drunken Guess who questions we threw out there. All of a sudden, Prince hit me with another unexpected line…

“Put down any bitch that is looking less than basic” 

okay reiss

Okay, camp slap number five, noted.

I mean, truth be told, I actually loved this man, for all the wrong reasons, but none the less, loved him. 

As the prosecco continued to flow, the date just got better and better, we moved from judging our cards to judging pub goers and making ridiculous stories about them. 

As we judged people walking in and out of the bar. A pretty beautiful man strutted through the door. 

checking out .gif

I looked at Prince. He realised. I realised.

We were both checking out the same man. 

I had to hold in giggling, but Prince looked a little uncomfortable I had just caught his stare (bless him), so stopped myself.

The rest of the night was perfect and so much fun. It ended with us energetically dancing round the pub to 90’s classic “Finally”. 

best date ever.gif

I honestly had the best date, not for the right reasons of course, but was so sad it was over. (Sadder than most of the men I have dated to be honest – LOL).

As the evening came to a close, Prince and I headed outside where I ordered an Uber, he insisted on paying (such a sweet guy) but I politely declined. 

We both stood there awkwardly. Usually a great date ended with a great kiss, but it was so obvious that neither of us wanted that. As we went in for the awkwardest hug in the world…

awkward hug .gif

It was so obvious that Prince had seen me, seeing him (makes sense) checking out the hot pub guy and I think it was a little mutual understanding. 

“Thanks for a great date B and for letting me be totally myself” he said. 

Honestly, my little heart has never quite melted like it did that night. He was the nicest guy ever and it was so nice that he had managed to feel himself for an evening.

It was safe to say, I didn’t hear from Prince again. It seemed it wasn’t just me looking for my Prince charming in our pairing and I genuinely hope that he is somewhere right being totally himself with some hot pub guy in tow.

Following the great date, that I was so in need of, as much as I enjoyed myself, I really was looking for a none gay date that I could enjoy.

Turns out the next date, definitely wasn’t gay….

Thanks for reading again. 

B x

The Work Wife: Taking a Sabbatical

Hey guys, thanks for checking back in to hear more about the work wife. In this post we meet (the first) little ending in Henry and I’s “friendship”. In this post, I learned as a first point, why boys sometimes don’t make very good friends and, well, why some boys…. welllll, they never quite grow up. Enjoy! 

After a couple of gins at the bar and being ignored for the majority of the evening, I did what any woman worth her salt would do and walked over to Henry to ask (and when I say ask, for anyone that knows me, I mean demand) why my friend had spent the majority of the evening ignoring me.

Henry was pretty drunk by this point and if I am honest, the excitement of meeting drunk Henry had depleted massively that night. I had decided that I really didn’t like drunk Henry, where was my mate that I chatted to about anything and everything? It certainly wasn’t this annoying guy. After calling Henry out on being off with me, I was further surprised at his response…

“You don’t like it do you?” he asked (evidently more than a couple of drinks down) “You’re not used to not getting attention” 

what on e.gif

Eh?

Okay, now I was confused. had Henry spent the night ignoring me to get attention…

wait.gif

Whut?

I mean, I suppose it had worked, for totally the wrong reasons and all, but still, a badge for trying. I tried to understand Henry’s logic, I mean, he knew he totally wasn’t my type (and being honest more than likely I wasn’t his). Was it kind of cute that he was trying to get my attention? Or was it kind of weird? Turns out, drunk B didn’t make the right decision and leaned more towards the side of endearment – wellll, it was kind of sweet in a weird kind of way (don’t judge me).

Luckily, that evening, drunk B didn’t make any life choices that would be deemed poor or detrimental. Even drunk B understood that sleeping with someone who sits next to you all day everyday probably wasn’t a good idea…

applause.gif

Really? A good life choice? Well done drunk B!

Anywhoo, a cheeky kiss was all that happened that night and I have for sure seen worse things to happen on a works night out, in fact, some of the Christmas parties that I have been witness to, a kiss is pretty damn tame.

The next day in work was a little awkward, not so much for me, but I was actually pretty worried about Henry, he was practically melting in the corner.

As slightly awkward as the first day back was, after a couple of days chatting and going for our breakfasts, things quickly got back to normal.

And, honestly, that’s where I thought H and I would probably tail off. However, it turned out Henry had other ideas, despite my disinterest in anything other than friendship (at that point).

As a couple more months went by, Henry and I continued to hang out and as time went by, our friendship went back to the way it was, if not better. I would talk to him about pretty much everything and (I think) vice versa.

H’s actions still continued to be sweet, he would send me links to blogs, asked for advice on friends. tell me about his family and would never let me put myself down (which is what good friends do). All the while, H was being sweet, he would still hint around taking me out, it was pretty endearing but I was always pretty blunt in my response; that I was dating other people, he wasn’t my type and that work relationships weren’t a good idea. It still never seemed to phase him asking again. 

Anywhoooo, one of the weeks in that couple of months, Henry went away on holiday and as Monday and Tuesday passed by, I had this weird feeling, did I kind of miss him?

denial.gif

Surely not, it was H, I shrugged it off. But as the following Monday crept round… I couldn’t admit it to myself, but I was kind of looking forward to him being back in the office…

When he arrived back, I was actually excited to talk to him about his week off and throughout the morning kept peeping over wanting to go for breakfast…

meerkat.gif

Looking back I actually giggle. Who was I kidding, I, for sure, had a crush!

Finaaaaaally, we went for breakfast and grabbed a coffee. As we chatted away, H pulled out his phone and there were a few bumble notifications. Me…

jealous.gif

Okay, maybe I was a little jealous.

And that basically confirmed it for me (as if it didn’t already), I officially liked Henry.

eye roll baby.gif

Life choices, depleting at a rapid rate of knots.

Anywhoo, me being me, wanted to be pretty up front about my change of heart and one day on the tube journey in, H jumped on at Oxford Circus and I decided to let him know that I would be up for a date. H…

taken aback.gif

I mean, for all the times he had joked and asked me, I don’t think he expected that one morning I would actually agree to go on a date with him.

Anyways, following the “big reveal”, H and I started to spend more time with one another outside of work and I really enjoyed it. It was just like hanging out with my friend except we kissed and held hands and weird stuff (which was never actually weird). We would text constantly and now instead of thinking it was annoying, I actually liked his stupid late night messages and calls.

After a great few dates, H really surprised me one weekend when he asked me round to a house party at his place.

“I really want you to meet my house mates” he chatted to me over the phone. “It will be fun and you can stay over” I hadn’t officially stayed over at that point.

Anywhoo, the weekend of the party came round and after packing my bag, I dropped H a message to let him know I was leaving when I received the weirdest response.

“Hey B. So kind of an awkward one, there is a girl here that I dated for a little while”

I shrugged it off, meh, people date, people stop dating, sweet that he was thinking about me though.

“No worries” I replied “No big deal, I don’t mind :)”

There was a pause in the reply

“Yeah, you see, I kind of ghosted her and didn’t really give her an explanation, so it could be kind of awkward, maybe you and I should just head out to a bar”

Okay, so I was a little pissed. Firstly, if there was a girl there he didn’t want me to meet, I was a bit confused as to why he had invited me in the first place and also, I really disliked the fact he had ghosted another girl in general, it was pretty immature and you know the leopard spots saying ladies.

Anyway, I responded that I was pretty pissed and within an half an hour, we ironed it out and I headed to his place. When I finally arrived at the party, I then realised why Henry was being annoying. Drunk Henry was around….

annoying ri.gif

I hadn’t seen drunk Henry since the work night out and after him playing games and basically making an all round muppet of himself that evening, I can’t say I was particularly excited about the night that lay ahead.

When I arrived, we headed out to a bar and I realised H was even further gone than I had initially thought. I was feeling pretty agitated by this point. Why was he such a boy of a weekend? And why such a show off in front of his mates? It was such a contrast to the person I knew. We got to a bar and grabbed a bottle of wine. Chatting with H was pretty difficult by this point, he kept making silly comments and if I’m honest, wasn’t making much sense. As he slurred conversation at me, I think he could tell I was a bit miffed.

“B” he said sincerely, finally an apology…

“I’m never going to be that guy that panders to you. You’re used to having people wrapped round your little finger and I’m not that guy” (This was accompanied by him drunkenly whirling his little finger in the air).

seriously.gif

Seriously?

At that point, I got a bit mad and I think even H realised he was being a bit of a muppet. (Or maybe he didn’t, your guess is as good as mine).

We headed back to the party and luckily H’s ghost victim had left. We spent the rest of the night with his housemates (who I actually ended up having more fun with). H got less amusing as the night went on, after witnessing him flash his best mates girlfriend, down multiple drinks, run round in a Hawaiian shirt and then to end up in some grim night club in central Clapham, it was safe to say the night was an anti-climax (in every sense). It was official, I was dating an over grown toddler…

toddler.gif

The next day on the way into work was an awkward one. I wasn’t feeling particularly fond of H and he didn’t seem like he was going to be buying me flowers and apologising any time soon (he just wasn’t that guy).

As we got the tube in, Henry was super quiet and I knew something was off. This feeling continued over the next couple of days; we didn’t go for breakfast and we messaged less and less. Luckily, I was heading off to Dubai and was fairly distracted from the awkwardness, but still felt like something was totally off. After asking H multiple times “What was up?” and receiving the same “Nothing” response, you can imagine my reaction when I received the below message 20 minutes before boarding my flight…

“B, I have been thinking about stuff and I have decided I’m going to take a sabbatical from work and go do a ski season. The weekend made me realise I am just too selfish and you deserve better”

seriously gr.gif

Give H his due, it was a fairly tactical move on his part. Tactical in that, I couldn’t get off a flight and kill him for his stupidity around whole situation.

When considering this sabbatical, hadn’t he stopped to think about  the fact we worked together? Or taken our friendship into consideration before behaving like such a boy and jumping into bed with me. Evidently not….

idiot

Anywhoooo, turns out you can’t stay upset for long when you are sat in Dubai sipping cocktails on a beach. I was grateful to get on the flight and not think about how awful the office was going to be the next week.

After arriving back from my holiday, seeing H in the office was super awkward and reiterates our advice on why work relationships aren’t always a good idea (check out our podcast on this very subject). It took a while for me to stop being mad at H and for anyone that knows me, I’m a fairly heart on my sleeve type person, so it was no secret in the office I disliked him…

Looking back, it was actually quite amusing. Henry would come in the office and and say “Good Morning”. Me…

f off

Henry would make a great suggestion in meeting. Me…

kick.gif

I joke, but you feel me.

Anywhoo, it took a good few months for H and I to rekindle some form of friendship but eventually we somehow managed to and I was pleased for him when he booked his ski season.

Unfortunately, no matter how much I wanted to believe it, there is a saying “boys will be boys” and as you will find out in posts further down the line, before jetting off to live as Peter Pan, H manages to turn our “sabbatical” friendship into an outright sacking…

peter pan wend.gif

Honestly, I have no idea how Wendy coped with all those lost boys!

Thanks for reading again!

B

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Friendships: The Grown Up Mean Girls

When I was in High School, it is safe to say, I didn’t have the best time with girl friends (friends being a loose term). The whole experience of girly gossip, burn books, who was who’s best friend etc. quite frankly was pretty awful and school seemed like the Mean Girls movie on repeat.

u cant.gif

Exceeeeeept no one had convertibles, no one danced round in santa’s outfits and no one wear cute tartan skirts… Dreams. Crushed. 

loser.gif

When I left high school, I breathed a sigh of relief, no more “clicks”, no more bitchiness. Now I was a grown up, that would all stop right? Simple answer…

no mean.gif

Moving to the city and starting my life from scratch has meant a few things; I had to start a new job, find a new home, new hobbies and as well as all that start to make new friends, which when you get into your late twenties, isn’t easy.

Personally, I have found that making new friends, was actually a lot like dating (minus one small difference) and over the last three years have been on a bit of a journey understanding what friendship means to me and finding “my people”.

Feeling friendless or struggling to make friends can be a pretty challenging and upsetting experience, as can defining your worth when it comes to what value people add to your life, so, as always, I wanted to share my experiences on building my circle of people, how I define what a friendship should be and how to value your self as an individual when it comes to making and maintaining friends. 

As always, enjoy!

Remember, you already have a home team 

hom team.gif

When I first relocated, the the first couple of months were a bit of a struggle, I found myself either sat home alone or awkwardly tagging on to a works night out. It is easy to start to feel isolated and like you have NO FRIENDS (dramatic much). However, you always need to  remind yourself that you have a “home team”. Everyone does.

These are likely your family, uni/school friends or sisters and even though they may not be physically close, they will always be there. So if you’re feeling super lonely, pick up the phone to your nearest and dearest – they’ve always got your back and remind you what true friendship is. 

Don’t be afraid to ask!

Now this personally has never really been a struggle for me, although I am aware perhaps would be for more introverted characters. I’m also not sure whether it’s a British thing, but since when did it become weird to want to hang out with new people and ask to do so? 

taco bell.gif

Whether it’s work colleagues, a friend of a friend, a gym buddy – get to know the people around you and ask to hang out. What is the worst they can say? No. If that’s the case you probably wouldn’t hang out with them anyway. 

I appreciate not everyone has the confidence to be so forward usually, but if you have relocated, remember you’ve already been brave and done the hard bit, you might as well keep going. 

Understand Party People

When I first moved to London, I made a lot of friends who were there for a good time, not a long time. These people are usually the life and soul of the party and love nothing more than to hit a club or bar, which on a Friday and Saturday night is grand. What isn’t so grand is when you have a killer hangover the next day and Party Person isn’t really the type to chill with a face mask and a pizza or hit the gym. They are probably already off to hit up another club and you have the hangover blues, which never ends well …

blues.gif

See… told ya…

The Good Times and the Bad Times

Once you have differentiated the party people from the real people, you quickly start to understand and notice friends who have your genuine interests at heart. These people are the one’s who are truly present, support you through not just the good times but the bad and above tell you the truth (even if it isn’t what you want to hear sometimes ….. trust them no -he isn’t any good for you!) 

If you are in a friendship where the person is super present for your highs and not so present in the times when you need to cry like a baby for a day (or a few weeks…who’s counting?), that to me, isn’t the definition of a true friendship.

In addition to that, if you find yourself in a friendship where you find you can’t be honest and transparent, it probably isn’t a great friendship to pursue. 

Some Women will always be about their Men

men.gif

Don’t take it personally, some girls can’t function without a boy. Me personally? I don’t understand it, never have, never will. Some of you ladies out there (and hats off to you) can maintain friendships with people who prioritise men (sometimes blindly) above friendships, while I appreciate that a relationship with your significant other is special (mine certainly is), I don’t value that relationship over the ones with my girls. Bottom line he is never going to know some of the things they do and vice versa the things he and I share. 

Friend zone! (Sometimes boys don’t make the best of friends) 

And while we are on the topic of boys (and this isn’t a generalisation by any means); sometimes the whole boy/girl friendship thing hasn’t really worked out for me. Turns out the lines of a friendship can be blurred and no matter how much a guy insists they are happy being “friend zoned”, they aren’t and it comes back to bite you. 

Turns out not kissing, not having sex or ever eluding to the fact you would be interested in a man is, in fact, leading them on….

not right.gif

Remind me to not breathe in front of my guy friends moving forward.

Male ego!

High School Girls – no excuses!

One thing that I really wanted to share off the back of my own experiences is how other people can behave towards you. I have to admit I found this part particularly tough but, it’s true, some girls still believe it is okay to act like they are in high school.

boo.gif

I have had friends gossip, make bitchy comments, isolate others and honestly it’s just totally not cool. Is it just me? But I personally think women have enough to contend with in the world without dragging one another down.

As much as I am now lucky to have a close knit circle of friends around me, I have certainly been guilty of having people in my life who didn’t really deserve to be there. 

Anywhoo, don’t give yourself too much of a hard time if you have previously or are currently tolerating people who you shouldn’t but do try and distance yourself. Remember you don’t owe anyone your happiness and if something or someone isn’t bringing you joy or the energy that reflects yours, remove it from your life. (If you struggle to learn how to remove negative influences in your life, check out my Self love post). 

One of my “Home Teamers” once told me a quote that I will never forget…

“People are in your life for a reason, a season or forever” 

beaut.gif

Once I learned to understand that people won’t always treat you as you will treat them, that only the right people stay and learned to let go of the negative influences, life became easier, more positive and the “long termers” kind of gravitated and well, they stayed 🙂

I hope for anyone experiencing friendship turbulence or is having to build a new circle, my experience and advice helps… Trust me, it works. 

Again, thanks for reading 

x

The Work Wife

So ladies and gents, I was a bit unsure of where to start with the little saga of the work wife and I, so I decided to go right from the start. There are many a learning I took from my “friendship” with my work my wife, the overarching being that work involvements nine out of ten times are a bad idea and why some boys, well, l they’ll never grow up … 

I felt grateful getting off the central line at 8am, I had realised that the hour commute in was the equivalent of what I imagine running a marathon would feel like; hot, sweaty, uncomfortable and uncalled for. I looked up at the sky and it was as grey as the apartment blocks and offices along the walk to the office. Life had been pretty boring recently, training was samey, I wasn’t dating and as it was winter nights came in quicker, London definitely wasn’t as fun.

As I sat down at the desk in the near empty office, I realised I was pretty bored by most things at the moment. After being in London for a year and half, the night life had become pretty boring and I found myself asking myself if London and my job was what I wanted to do long term. I am pretty sure that most of us hit that point approaching 30 (but a post to come on that soon) where we feel a little unsatisfied and unsettled, but I brushed it off at the time.

As I sat down at my desk and the office started to fill up, my manager reminded me we had a new starter in the office that day, meh. Like life recently, that one had been a little bit of an anti-climax. A colleague had teased the girls (me included) in the office that a new guy, a bearded tattooed beaut (to be specific) was joining our team. Well, you can imagine…

excited girls.gif

So you can imagine the girls (and my) disappointment when I tweed blazer laden, curly haired, quiet guy came in for interview.

anti climax.gif

The guy starting in the office was called Henry when I had interviewed him, I had found myself being more interested in what was happening in the Starbucks than what was being said. I mean, don’t get me wrong, he was kind of cute, not really my type (FYI, not a requirement in an interview) but just seemed a little quiet and well… a bit boring.

Any whoo, Henry starting in the office wasn’t interesting or distracting. I gazed round the desk and my eye was caught by my friend Hannah who was chatting to a cute guy from finance at the end of the table. Hmmm, I suppose that was slightly more interesting. I was a little worried about my friend Hannah, she had had a particularly rubbish time dating and Sam (the finance bod) sat at her desk every day, I could see, probably wasn’t going to help with that. I generally got bad vibes about him as he seemed to be accompanying one girl after another around the office, like a chinoed pimp. I mean, give the guy credit, he was pretty dreamy, if you like that whole preppy Clapham look (I don’t). I would chat to her about that another time.

As the afternoon came round, I had managed to get through all my emails and was a little bored. Luckily, it seemed the rest of the team had got a similar vibe. I had a really great team at my old work and when things quietened down, the banter was always fab. That afternoon was no different. Jokes flew around the table (usually me being wound up by the boys – you know who you are) and I noticed quiet Henry in the corner not saying a word, jeez, I knew it was his first day and all but crack a smile hey? At the  time, I can’t even remember what I said, but I definitely picked on Henry a bit and I’ve never quite seen anything like it, but…

sweaty.gif

I felt pretty bad, I didn’t mean to make him perspire at the rate of Niagra Falls. I backed off and let the poor guy get on with his work…

Anyway, the days and weeks passed work continued to be boring, as did my new colleague Henry. I had gone past the point of feeling bad about teasing him after a couple of days and carried. He eventually had come out of his shell more and actually cracked the odd joke. As I was saying, it was a pretty average morning again, when my Skype for business popped up….

Henry: Fancy Breakfast?

Meh, sure, why not? I headed down for breakfast with Henry and we chatted about the weekend. I was surprised when he told me he had a really heavy one, he didn’t strike me as the type whatsoever… 

He asked me what I had been up to and I told him I had spent most of the weekend blogging and training, he asked for the link and I sent it to him over email. From then on Henry and I started having breakfasts most mornings, he was actually a pretty sweet guy and over the next couple of months, I actually started to class him as a friend. We talked about work, family, the weekends (his and I’s were rather different) and I still couldn’t quite grasp the reserved super cool guy I chatted to every day being this wild party animal. 

Anyway, I told Henry about my disaster dates, he told me about his heavy weekends and I always thought it was sweet when he would sent me links to blogs I would like.

And we definitely flirted .. A lot.

flirt.gif

I mean, come on, when the office is boring, a bit of harmless flirting doesn’t go a miss.

It was weird, as Henry definitely wasn’t my type, in fact, with the partying, far from it, but what’s that thing… where you start to fall for your captor? Stockholm syndrome? (lol, I joke) but you get me.

Anyway, after a few months off dating, I had begrudgingly re-downloaded the apps and been on a couple of non-dates, you know the one’s I mean…

paint

You wish you’d stayed home instead.

One morning the night after I decided to stay in and write, instead of wasting my time with non-dates, I got a message through on Facebook at 8am.

HENRY: “HR Specialist”

What was he talking about?

Eeekk, it then twigged, he had seen me on a dating app. Always a little awkward with colleagues, then again, it was Henry, oh well.

“Hey!” I replied “Bumble? And why are you awake so early? Pondering life again?” (something Henry did on the reg).

Henry replied explaining he had been on an “absolute bender” (lad) and had blown £200.

confused britney.gif

The dots still weren’t quite connecting here for me. He just didn’t seem like the type. We continued to chat and he moaned about having to go out and party all day again.

“You don’t have to go out again if you don’t want to” I stated quite matter of factly.

“Yeah, I do, I’m that guy” he responded.

viloin.gif

I sent the emoji violin, no sympathy, you are made of your own choices. 

“I prefer sober Henry if I’m honest” I replied.

“You know it!” he responded.

I went offline. Still. didn’t. get it.

The next weekend, Henry interrupted my morning with a new dilemma. Drunk Henry had been a bit of a fool and tried it on with his housemate. Okay, so I had to laugh, drunk Henry was turning out to be a bit of a wide boy. Luckily, the next week, a works night out was on the cards and I was pretty sure drunk Henry would make an appearance.

Sure enough, the Thursday came round and the team were out for drinks. As always, work drinks on a Thursday got out of hand and before 9pm coffee patrons and tequila’s were out. I chatted with the girls and after a couple of drinks, went to try and find the boys.

Through the evening, I had chatted with the boys briefly but hadn’t managed to catch drunk Henry (although had caught him looking over my way a few times). Finally, I managed to wave down the boys and went over (to know doubt be teased buttt it was fun – like having grown up annoying brothers) and catch up. Henry was there and given how much we spoke out of work, I chatted excitedly to him. It was then, Henry behaved in the strangest way…

blank.gif

He totally blanked me. 

Surely that was a mistake? We had all had a few drinks, we chatted all the time. He had no reason to ignore me. Anyway, as the night went on, I realised, it wasn’t a mistake at all.

giphy-downsized-large (2).gif

Every time I tried to chat with Henry, I would be met with a blank. For anyone that truly knows me, being ignored is the worst for me! I am too open and honest to understand stubborn people.

By the end of what should have been a fun night, I wanted pizza and had a face like this…

grumpy.gif

I had no idea why my friend was being so rude and finally, after being ignored for the 10000 (not dramatic) time that evening, I went over to confront Henry.

And the moment I confronted Henry, ladies and gents, is where the work wife and I started on our bit of a saga.

Looking back, that night, I was being played like the violin emoji I had joked around with earlier and turns out, it wasn’t just drunk Henry that was a bit of a fool, sober Henry actually came in a close second… 

Thanks for reading and enjoy the next post! 

x

Cal the Criminal

Hi guys,

Thanks for coming back again and sorry for the slight delay, LA has been too fun! Enjoy my next disaster date, this was one of my faves…

Following a slightly painful start back on the dating scene, my faith certainly hadn’t been restored in the world of love. I was now a year and half down the line of being single and as I am sure you can well imagine, had become fairly skeptical as to if there truly were any good guys out there. I had deleted any form of dating app in my phone,I think most people tend to have a bit of a love hate relationship with them anyway (check out our podcast on apps) and was extremely cautious as to who I was willing to go on a date with. After spending a night with a TV presenter that basically made me never want to watch TV again, I had made the decision, that unless there was one hundred million percent something there, I would not be going on a date. As such, I hadn’t seen a date in while. 

So, I am sure you can imagine my delight when on a night out in Liverpool Street, the tallest darkest most  handsome man came over to the bar. All of the girls (me included) swooned as he walked by and for the first time since my last disaster date, I have to admit, I was pretty giddy when the tall dark handsome suited stranger bought me a drink and asked me out on a date. 

Turns out my dreamy drink buyer was called Cal and as we chatted over drinks, Cal became more and more of a catch. He was out celebrating his last day working as a commodities trader in one office as he had been headhunted to a larger organisation to take over a bigger portfolio. He lived in Notting Hill, but was staying in a hotel in central due to moving to his new place in West. Now, I know we shouldn’t have tick list ladies, but so far…

tick list.gif

As the next weekend came round, I was looking forward to meeting Cal again, he had actually been pretty charming and seemed (dare I say it) normal to talk to. I met him at a bar in central and as I shuffled my way through the busy entrance, I caught a glimpse of him, already with a table, looking all chiseled and hot and stuff, with my glass of processo already on hand (what a dream boat!). 

dream boat.gif

I cozied up on the sofa next to Cal and felt relaxed as our conversation was great. He was so easy to talk to. We caught up on our weeks plans and was excited to hear more about his new job. 

“So” I asked “Tell me more about the new job” 

“Ah” he said, sipping his processo “Well, technically, I haven’t actually got a new job yet. I have a restrictive clause in my contract so have to wait until that runs up, but I just know  the bigger competitor want me”

I eyed him, I work in HR and know that a restrictive clause doesn’t stop you getting a new job. Not quite as he had initially explained, but hey, maybe it was drunk talk when we had initially met, although we had been speaking over whats app most of the week and that hadn’t been mentioned.

I shook it off and picked up the bottle of prosecco to pour myself another glass, I was slightly surprised when a trickle of bubbles dripped into the remainder of my glass. The bottle was empty. Had Cal nailed a bottle of bubbly before I had got there?! I had heard of first date nerves and all, but if I had done a bottle of prosecco before a date, I wouldn’t just be relaxed, I would be asleep, no doubt nursing a pizza box. Cal must have seen my look of surprise on my face (as I do not have a poker face) and ordered another bottle to the table. 

As the date and conversation continued, I was now quite aware of how quickly Cal could put away a prosecco. After another bottle was turned upside down in the cooler (in this time I had managed half a glass), I decided to slow my sips as I watched Cal start on another bottle. 

As quickly as the prosecco was going down, Cal was also knocking out some revelations that he had failed to mention over the course of the week. I asked him what he was doing the following weekend… 

“Ah, I will probably just be looking after my son” (second fail to mention). Now I have nothing against people having children but was fairly surprised as Cal continued. “Yeah” he sligthly slurred “He’s a great kid, I can’t believe he is starting high school next year.” Ladies Cal was 25 at the time, his kid was nearly 11. You do the math. 

math.gif

As the conversation continued, more revelations followed. After establishing that Cal was unemployed, had a child he had failed to mention and had evidently been a little promiscuous in his early years, we then moved onto the subject of hobbies… 

“Well, I have a fairly interesting hobby and I’ve actually made money from it for a while”. Ooo, now that did sound interesting; who doesn’t love an entrepreneur? I am all about doing what you love and what a bonus if you can make a profit from it! Turned out (just like Cal) it wasn’t quite what I was expecting… 

“I play Poker, semi professionally” Okay, so some people may think that is cool, but honestly, it just did nothing for me, I don’t even know how to play and with a face like a story book, I can’t imagine that I would be much good either. I tried to sound interested… 

“Wow, that is different” polite but not false response. “How did you get into that? I asked. 

Cal continued… “Well I actually couldn’t drive for a little while and struggled to get a job” 

skept.gif

I saw where this was heading… 

“Oh” I responded, perturbed. “And why was that?” Need I even ask? I knew what was coming… 

“Ah, I was actually banned from driving” I took a big gulp of prosecco. 

drink.gif

“Oh” I said, trying to sound relaxed (totally not relaxed). “Drink driving?” 

Cal looked offended at my question. “Good god no!” he responded as he nailed down another prosecco. “It was speeding, I was doing 90” 

Ah, not as bad as I thought…

“In a 20 zone” he finished. 

There we go, 90 in a school zone..

help me.gif

Well, at least Cal’s drunk revelations had yet again confirmed that dating in London was basically a trip to the circus where I could have my pick of who’s who from the freak show. I sipped my prosecco and wondered if other girls had this kind of luck dating, Carl continued to jabber on about his speeding and how it was difficult not to speed in Audi RS4 (chav). I was done being polite… 

“You do know you could have killed someone and lucky you didn’t go to prison!” I snapped. 

He leaned back and as smoothly as he had talked in the bar when we initially met dropped the line.. 

“Yeah babe and I certainly don’t want to be going back there” 

carrie.gif

And that ladies and gents was the end of that date. 

After a year and a half of dating, it was official, I was done with it. Following Cal, I actually spent a good few months to myself and was genuinely a lot happier alone than I was dating (we’ve all been there). It is actually rather amusing when you are single, that your married/long term relationship friends treat you like a pity case “You will meet some one when you least it expect it” or “Don’t worry, you have time” 

poor thing .gif

I remember one day in the office, a colleauge came out with a great line. “Why don’t you try falling for your best friend? Or go for someone outside of your usual type?” 

eye roll.gif

At the time, I though my friend was being beyond dumb. Surely, if I had any guy friends where we had thought there was potential, both parties would have noticed by now? And why would I fancy someone who wasn’t my type? Turns out, that was exactly what happened next. 

The next couple of posts (and another to follow later down the line) are all about my Work Wife and the little saga that will always ensure I give the recommendation not to date some one from the office….

As always, thanks for reading 

x

A Man’s Best Friend…

So, for anyone who knows me truly, you will be well aware of my love for doggies. So you can imagine my excitement when the next guy I dated owned a real life squishy puppy! In this post, I tell you about the date with a man (and his best friend), about being true to yourself, not letting the little things slide and the one time I can hand on heart say that me (B) did not want a dog in the room … enjoy!…

After the disaster date with the TV presenter, it was safe to say that my faith had not been officially restored in the world of dating. To couple this, at the time I wasn’t sure if it was me but it felt like like everyone that I knew had decided that at that exact moment they would get engaged, married and/or have a baby. I started to feel like I was the only person in the world that was single. I would open my what’s app group to another hen party celebration or wedding group or baby shower…

snow white.gif

We’ve all felt that at some stage ladies… 

You’ll be glad to know, that eventually that feeling of being left on your own, it passes and you realise the importance of your own journey. I got to that stage, however, at the time sentences such as “Haven’t you thought about kids?” and a sympathetic “At least you have your career” executed by “you’re a pretty girl, surely you have a boyfriend” were sticking a little more than they probably should have.

Anywhoooo, as with any usual weekend for me (at the time) I had plans with friends and a Friday night date in the diary.

yes.gif

The date lined up was with a guy called James and the initial reason I had been attracted to him (don’t judge me) was as well as being bearded, tattooed and handsome in every one one of his pictures he sported the cutest and chubbiest French bull dog accessory there ever was 

happy dog.gif

For anyone that knows me well, this was a game changer.

James and I had initially started to chat over a dating app and had joked about him bringing along his dog (who I established was named PJ) to our date on the Friday, never once actually believing that this would happen, so, you can imagine my excitement when as I walked through the door of the pub when sat there alongside my date was the cutest fattest sausage roll looking French bull dog I have ever seen 

happy yay.gif

I was so excited, I failed to notice the really hot man sat next to him. Following the obligatory “throw myself on the floor and shower dog with an inappropriate amount of affection” move of mine, I finally turned to James and said hi. James was very cute and I noticed immediately also very cool. 

Now, I wouldn’t say I am an “un-cool” person (I mean, I can’t say cool has a definition but you get what I mean). I dress well (you can’t go wrong with monochrome black and white, zebras always seem to look dapper right?) and wouldn’t say I’m untrendy (is that even a word) but next to James, I felt it. 

The man genuinely looked like East London, Burning Man and a tech start up had chewed him up and spat him out. Rolled up slightly loose Levi’s, no socks, unbranded trainers, an oversized mac (that still looked like it was meant to fit that way), a ring on every finger, tattoos, beard and a clutch bag French bull dog – kind of put my skinny jeans white T and Nikes to shame. 

As we sat down and ordered drinks, I was more than overjoyed when PJ decided that my lap was his location for the date.

sat knee.gif

Once my attention had been firmly averted from PJ, James and I managed to get in some well needed conversation and getting to know one another.

Turns out James was a bit of a catch, he was head of marketing for a well known sports company, lived in a great part of town and must be a fairly responsible human given he was in charge of a dog (Becky logic at its finest).

As we talked it seemed James and I had some things in common and had really similar senses of humour. We talked about work, dogs (obvs), back home (as we were both from outside of London) and it was refreshing to speak to an actual normal and sane human being. As the conversation continued, we flipped onto the topic of fashion. 

“So, what’s your preferred label?” James asked. 

Truth be told, I didn’t have a favourite brand, black Joni Topshop skinny jeans fit me perfectly and anything else I just wore as it felt good. Must be cooler than that, my brain scrambled for the least high street brand I could think of. 

“Cos” I blurted out (totally not high street and super cool execution on my part.) “But intend to be in my gym gear most of the time.” (that part was honest) “How about you?” I asked, diverting the conversation away from my lack of fashion knowledge.

James replied with an obscure probably uber cool brand that I had never of. I nodded in agreement of how great the obscure French brand was (fraud). He continued..

“So are you actually into the gym or are you one of these girls that wear active wear?” he asked. Before I could answer, he continued “Don’t you feel that everyone now wears gym gear, so it’s kind of a guessing game as to what type of person they are? A bit like the kind of world we will in now, ironic no?”

Wow. Deep bro. I literally had no idea what he was talking about, I worked out a lot so needed gym gear plus my bum looked fabulous, it was an all round win win, I wasn’t really looking for the meaning of life in my Nike leggings. 

Anywhooo, the date continued in a similar manner. James was great, but there were a few moments where he would mention some super cool unheard of DJ or clothes brand and I would be thrown off but would continue to agree like some insane nodding dog. James seemed great and I was just so in need of time with a normal human, I overlooked the little differences 

dog nod].gif

As the date came to a close, James and PJ walked me home and at my door, we had the standard first date kiss. The kiss was a little like the date, nice but something was missing. I shook it off, while the world seemed to be marrying itself off, I seemed to be encountering cave gremlins, I wasn’t letting a couple of little differences stop me going on another date with a nice guy. That totally wasn’t me settling…..

awkward.gif

…A few dates down the line and I was sat in a local East London bar with PJ and James. I had consciously dressed for the occasion, but still felt out-cooled by PJ (let alone James). The dates with James and I had continued to be nice and I just loved cuddling PJ but after us spending more time together the differences in our interests and life were becoming more apparent. After listening to a live band (that I had never heard of) James and I headed back to his place. 

When we arrived back and after more cuddles with PJ, we went through to the kitchen to cook dinner. As James cooked dinner, my mind wandered. James was always so sweet, he cooked breakfast and dinner for me, he was in a great job, made me laugh, but there was a niggle I could feel that we were different people and as much as I tried to ignore it, it kept cropping up (gut as always ladies). I distracted myself by washing my hands, I was surprised by how good the lavender soap smelled. 

“Hey James” I chirped “this smells amazing” 

James continued to tell me that the soap was a unique “animal cruelty free” brand (that I had never heard of). 

“I’m surprised you’re not more conscious of the products you use B, considering how much you love animals.” Hmm, a little condescending on James’ part. I chose to ignore the comment (I had been doing a lot of that recently) and not mention the fact he had leather Dr martens sat at the front door (ironic much on the front of animal products). I looked down to pick up the towel when my eyes were suddenly taken by James socks. 

ganga.gif

His socks were covered in Ganga leaves.

hmm whut.gif

Hmmm, not sure how I felt about this one. I am not the biggest fan of smoking Mary Jane (see totally cool) and as I broached the subject of James’ socks, I kind of hoped that it was one of his “ironic” things again. Turned out, it wasn’t.

James decided that he would let me into his “creative” secret and that secret was that smoking weed at 32 years of age every day was what “got him into the creative zone” and “chilled him”. I continued to nodding dog, whilst feeling slightly horrified inside. How could I break to James that the only thing that got me into a “zone” was a to do list and I was never going to be that boho cool smoky weed girl (see, I’m just not cool). 

As we headed to bed, it was now clearer in my mind than ever that James and I weren’t meant to be and as I lay down, I was actually preparing for my reasons to not “sleepover” that night. Luckily, PJ jumped in bed between us…

“See” I said “We can’t, PJ’s here” 

“Sure we can” James replied. 

cat shock.gif

No. We. Could. Not.

Doing it in front of a dog. A dog is the equivalent of a new born baby/small angel, it was basically abuse. (lol). I would not be a part of it. 

Soon after this, James and I petered out. 

homer simpson byw.gif

The differences between us became too apparent and if I am completely honest, I look back and realise that I for sure wasn’t comfortable or secure enough in myself to act on that sooner and we’ve all been in that place at some stage, it’s a learning curve.

I can still firmly say that James (and PJ) were great guys to hang out with, I guess our definitions of cool were a little different and now I’m totally down with the fact I’m definitely not the coolest person and I LOVE being in my active wear 😉 

It’s safe to say the next guy I dated was not so cool (or even normal for that matter) so look out for Phil the Felon (and laugh at how I ended up on a date with a criminal – only me eh?). Phil the Felon also inevitably pushed me into the arms of someone who was definitely not my type and that is were the saga of the Work Wife starts (and you honestly won’t believe where that story ends up)…

gulp.gif

As always – thanks for reading. 

B x