Sunday, 2 July 2017

The summer of Love (Island)

This summer a new crew of tanned, toned wannabes descended on a luxury villa in the Balearic Isles for ITV2's Love Island. As with previous years, I was hooked from the first episode. I'm not the only person to feel this way. Love Island has captured the nation's attention in an extraordinary way, social media is awash with commentary and national newspapers are providing daily coverage. Celebrities like Liam Gallagher and Adele have even confessed to watching the show.

There are, of course, the naysayers. Those who think that watching reality TV is the same as eating junk food: unhealthy and ultimately dangerous consumption. It riles me that some people snobbishly profess that educated and intelligent people shouldn't enjoy so-called 'trash-tv' so here are 5 reasons why I love Love Island, and why you should too:

1. While I don't have much in common with the contestants in terms of protein consumption and hours spent at the sunbeds, there have been many moments of real, raw emotion this season that I can relate to. The Camilla/Jonny/Tyla love triangle played out like a biopic based on my teenage years while Olivia's drunk alter-ego is a girl we all know too well. The relationships these people are forming are sincere and honest and are a pleasure to watch.

2. Softly-spoken and shy Camilla is the stand-out star of this year's Love Island. A rumoured former flame of Prince Harry, a humanitarian and a total babe to boot, Camilla has been kind and caring and completely true to herself. When the aforementioned Jonny (King of the snakes) rolled his eyes and asked Camilla if she was a feminist, she proudly proclaimed "Shouldn't we all be?". Truer words were never spoken.

3. I am not a person who is down with the kids and it wasn't too long ago that I had to Google the word 'bae' after seeing it pop up in countless places and having absolutely no idea what it meant. Love Island has allowed me a glimpse into the everyday vocabulary of the youth of today and I will now seamlessly use words like 'melt' and 'muggy' in all communications.

4. The unfeasibly buff bodies of the men and women of Love Island serve as a very harsh reminder that I should put down the cheese and crackers and pick up some sort of dumbbell. The girls' ability to be perfectly preened, wearing a full face of make-up in the blistering heat has discouraged me from going to Sainsbury's in my pyjamas on more than one occasion.

5. In a world that is full of darkness, where almost every day we are confronted with sadness and tragedy, Love Island is pure escapism. It knows it's not deep or symbolic but its entertaining editing and acerbic voice over make it a wonderful way to unwind after a long day.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Bring on the Spring.

Like many people I vowed to start the new year on the right note. I'd eat better, drink less and exercise more. I promised myself I'd try to leave work on time in order cultivate the perfect work/life balance and to save my sanity. However, since the Christmas break I have felt permanently on the back foot, struggling to juggle an increasingly stressful job with a social life and failing to find any time for personal admin.

We are fat and skint and jaded in January, suffering from a physical and emotional festive hangover. The Sunday night dread feels more dreadful than ever and we scour job adverts for something new, something better. Then, before you know it the light mornings are tentatively tip-toeing in and it's halfway through February already. The list of friends I've not caught up with is as long as the cruel Scottish winter, and an unforgivable amount of unanswered texts lay heavy on my heart.

The beginning of the year is a bit like a Monday: it can feel long and relentless yet fraught and frantic all at once. It is often tinged with guilt about resolutions broken and chances not taken. But, it is the start of something. A year full of fun and friends and possibility. As the sun shines through my window today I am temporarily able to abolish my anxieties and look forward to the future. Bring on the Spring.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Girl Talk - things that can be infuriating about being female.

I endeavour to write more in 2017 but in the meantime here's a list of some trivial things that sometimes annoy me about being a woman (although normally it's pretty damn great). 

1. Emotion fuelled indecisiveness. 
Have you laid on your bed wearing your jacket and shoes and cried at your boyfriend this week about not knowing what you want for dinner? I know have. 

2. False eyelashes. 
They are impossible to put on but if your friends/colleagues/lovers are successfully wearing them next to you in a Facebook photo you will look at least 50% uglier than them. 

3. The constant period fear. 
Was that a particular sweaty spin class or have I just started the world's heaviest period? Should I just stay on this stationary bike forever?

4. Bras. 
Yes, they are necessary (especially if you have big boobs like me) but man can they be uncomfortable. There is no greater feeling than whipping that instrument of torture off after a long, hard day. Am I right ladies?

5. Kirby grips. 
You'll buy them in their millions throughout your life and have probably littered strangers homes with them at times but when you decide to do a fancy up-do for your cousin's wedding they will be nowhere to be found. 

6. Wine hangovers. 
I love knocking back the vino with reckless abandon with my gal pals on any given night. Sadly the result is often projectile vomiting and a headache that leaves me feeling like I've got a brain injury.