Saturday, 23 May 2015

distant friends

Once upon a time lived a loud, happy, fun girl who spent nearly every day with a group of other loud, fun girls. We were a group of non londoners in the big city and found each other through our love of coffee, cake and dirty jokes. We spent evenings drinking eating and laughing, and weekends exploring the city with more drinking, eating and laughing. We spent holidays together because our families were too far to go back to, they were like my surrogate sisters and kept my world turning and I was so grateful to have such an amazing group of friends.

They spent nights in diners with me when I didn't want to go home and helped me escape a horrific relationship and pulled together to keep me safe. They shared in the joy when I met someone new, and encouraged me to be happy. But then something terrible happened, I became really ill, I laid in my bed all day crying in agony until my boyfriend drove me to my parents and we spent weeks trying to get a diagnosis from my GP, I was in so much pain and so ill I couldn't eat, I could barely keep water down and my heart would race if I had to stand up.

Happier times before I was ill

One morning my parents were so worried about me that they called a paramedic and that gloomy January morning I was admitted to hospital. I laid in a hospital cubicle for hours whilst the doctors tried to work out what could be wrong and found me a bed on a ward. 8pm that evening my parents had to leave and I was all alone, the hospital staff weren't the friendliest and treated me like I had some infections disease and shut me in a room with no windows for a couple of hours whilst I waited to be taken to the ward. A nurse in A&E had flushed my vein too hard and I was in pain and couldn't move my arm or get it comfy, life had hit an all time low. About midnight I was taken in a wheelchair to a ward high up in the hospital block, it was dark and quiet and I laid in the bed and cried. I was alone, scared and hurting. I had never been in hospital before so this was a scary experience for me and I longed for a familiar face to be sitting beside me to say it was all going to be ok.



The next morning I just lay there in the early silence waiting for goodness knows what. I heard the rattle of what was to become the very familiar sound of the tea cart, manned by a very sweet lady who seemed to really care, she smiled kindly and asked if I would like anything until she spotted the nil by mouth notice above my bed. She said she would find out if I was allowed a drink and quickly returned smiling and nodding. She gave me a cup of tea, but as I put the cup to my lips the smell instantly put me off and I couldn't bear to drink it, so I just continued to lay.

Within an hour I was almost passing out in the shower, vomiting everywhere. That's what happened to me whenever I tried to stand up, my body would suffer severe exhaustion and I would be sick. I was so weak that I couldn't even sit up in bed, my body wasn't strong enough to hold me up. The next few days were full of pills, pills to help the problem and pills to counteract the issues other pills would cause, I would dread the nurses coming around with the drugs trolley as it meant it was time to take another plethora of pills all whilst trying to combat nausea.

The drugs trolley wasn't the one that filled me with the most dread though, that was reserved for the phlebotomist. I had been tuned into a human pin cushion, and had to have blood taken every day so they could monitor me, I have a phobia of needles and having to face my fear everyday was terrifying. At one point a trainee doctor was sent in to practise on me and me such a hash of it my whole arm turned black and blue. I looked like a horror story.

For anyone who has ever been in hospital for an extended period will know there are two things that keep you going and define your day, the sound of the tea/food trolley, and visiting hours. You wake up and count down the minutes until they bring your breakfast round, then you count down the minutes until the next tea break, then lunch, then visiting hours and hoping a familiar face comes to sit with you for a short while. There was more than one occasion where I cried like a baby when visiting hours were over and my boyfriend had to leave.

I felt so isolated and lonely, I had gone from the social girl so full of life to an empty shell spending my days on a hospital ward with women old enough to be my grandmother! I longed to see my friends, to laugh and hear all the gossip. But they didn't come.

My boyfriend and another friend apparently tried to arrange for them to come and visit me,  my boyfriend even offered to drive to a tube station just outside of London to get them so they didn't have the hassle of getting trains all the way. They came up with lots of excuses as to why they couldn't, one even said "oh its like 30 stops, but I'll send her some flowers instead" you're not allowed flowers in most NHS hospitals and anyhow I didn't want flowers, I wanted to see my friends! I felt so insignificant to them, and I was incredibly hurt. I wasn't important enough for them to come and visit me in my time of need and I became even more lonely.

One of the girls from the group came down that day and spent some time with me, we went down to the Costa Coffee in the waiting area and spent some time catching up, I was so grateful to her for coming and I don't think she will ever realise how much that meant to me. For the friends that did visit me I am forever thankful, for the ones that didn't,  you hurt me more than you'll ever know!

I spent two long weeks in hospital, but I quickly became ill again when I left. In May 2012 a friend got married and we travelled down to Kent to attend her wedding. I was excited and nervous to see all my friends and ready to let bygones be bygones. Standing in the hallway of the registry office I saw the group of friends walk in and eagerly said hello, rather than being excited to see me they instead looked horrified and awkward and barely said anything to me at all. When inside they all went and sat together on a row that left no space for me so we took a seat on the other side of the room. I felt embarrassed at how they were treating me, I didn't want my boyfriend to see me upset so I just shrugged it off.

Once outside for the photos, more of the same continued. They chatted amongst themselves and left me out. When it was time to head over to the reception venue we offered a lift to friends that needed it but no one wanted to come in the car with us apart from the one friend who visited me in hospital. I felt more and more isolated and awkward, and to make matters worse I started to feel unwell. We had been standing for a long time and I was growing tired and for me that meant one thing, I started to feel nauseous. The colour drained from my face, and I was finding it hard to stand. By the time we were shown to our tables I had to run off to the toilets and was sick, I was gone for quite some time yet none of my friends came to check on me considering my boyfriend could hardly stroll into the ladies to see if I was alright! It was as if I didn't matter at all to them, they couldn't care less if I was alright or had passed out in the bathroom.

I was pale and unwell, still trying to reach out to my friends


I made it back to my table and managed to get through the meal, by the time the evening disco started I was completely exhausted and all my friends were sitting around another table without my boyfriend and I, so we decided it was time to head home. He helped me back to the car and I burst into tears on the way home, I have never felt so hurt, isolated and insignificant to the people I cared so much about. The friends I'd shared so many memories with treated me as if I was a leper.

In the months that followed they barely spoke to me, they chatted through a new Facebook message thread that I wasn't in and they slowly forgot about me. They sent the obligatory invites to birthday events, but I didn't feel the need to attend another gathering where they would make me feel like an outsider, and I resentfully thought why should I travel all that way for their birthday when they considered it too far to travel to see me when  I needed them.

I was particularly hurt by one member of the group as we were quite close, she had turned to me on many occasion with troubles and I was there for her during hard times, travelling out to sit in a coffee shop one evening when she called distressed that her boyfriend had just dumped her for the world's most stupid reason. Staying up late texting her when she freaked out that her boyfriend had told her by text he loved her, among other personal issues. She turned to me and I listened and helped as much as I could. And yet in my time of need she was nowhere to be seen!

It's been 3 years since all of this, and it still hurts and I'll admit that I've cried whilst writing this because it made me re-live all the painful memories again and how betrayed I felt by them.

Moral of the story is, friends are supposed to be there for the good and the bad. Don't under estimate how much you mean to some one and how the smallest thing you could do could make their day. If you ever have a sick friend, just remember they are the same person, you don't need to treat them differently or feel awkward around them. They still just want to hear about how much you hate your boss, or how annoying your boyfriend is being at the moment and the awesome burger you ate at this new restaurant you found that you'll take them to when they are better. Don't abandon them because you don't know what to say, that's the worst thing you could ever do!

If you have a friend story, good or bad please post in the comments below. I would love to read your experiences. 

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Going to the drive in movies

Last Friday night I managed to fulfil a childhood dream of going to the drive in movies. I used to watch Grease as a kid and be so jealous of the drive in and wished we had them in the UK. Finally it's reality thanks to a great company called Roof Top Film club, they are changing the cinema experience and pushing boundaries with their awesome ideas of ways we should enjoy watching movies.

We drove up to Alexandra Palace and were directed into a parking spot in the carpark facing a huge screen, we then tuned in the radio to the right frequency for the sound, the movie was to start in about 15 minutes so we had plenty of time to go up the PopDogs retro food van for an awesome hotdog. I love the new wave of hotdog companies that are bringing us unique and interesting ways to enjoy the sausage (cheeky!). Like all good things, popdogs started in the amazing Camden as a little food stall and then upped their game by getting a food van to bring great dogs to a wider audience.

popdogs, hotdogs


They have 3 "dogs" on their menu:



Clinton's
Lovechild

An all-American classic dog with a 100% pork oak smoked sausage, infused with chorizo & seasoned with nutmeg, paprika & black pepper. Best served with caramelised onions, sauerkraut, ketchup & mustard. Would have Monica coming back for seconds.


Dirty
Dog

A fiendish chilli dog with a 100% beef steak mince sausage seasoned with garlic, paprika & black pepper, followed by a dollop of the best chilli in town. Add cheese if that's your thing. Absolute food porn.


The
Hairy Angel

An innocent, yet perverse vegetarian dog, offering an abundance of flavour. Handmade with Caerphilly cheese & leek, seasoned with parsley, thyme, garlic & black pepper. SuBo is deprived of meat once again.

I went for clinton's lovechild and added cheese sauce to the mix and loads of pickles! Then topped it off with lashings of ketchup and mustard, food heaven, even if it was literally the hardest thing to eat without getting in a giant mess! There was ketchup all around my face, on my nose, and dribbling down my fingers! We were very glad I packed a whole kitchen roll, anticipating things would get messy! 

popdogs, hotdog, drive in movie




After stuffing our faces with all that goodness the movie was about to start and the sun was finally setting plunging us into darkness, then if your heart desired sweets or popcorn all you had to do was whack on your hazards and a lovely lady on rollerskates would come up to your window and take your order and skate it on over to you! Awesome!! I was ridiculously excited by this.

I loved that I could really snuggle down in the car, put my feet up on the dash, fidgit to my hearts content and talk without disturbing anyone else and be shushed at furiously. It was an experience I will always remember and would love to do it again. Best of all the price doesn't break the bank, at just under £25 per car, so you could fill your car with friends and split the cost for a bargain night at the movies!

Roof Top Film Club show loads of films all across London until September, a few years ago I went to see "the devils rejects" on the roof top of The Queen of Hoxton which was also amazing. It's so worth doing, not only are you watching a great film but you will forever remember watching it in such an amazing way!



Drive In Film Club
Alexandra Palace
Pavilion Car Park
London
N22 7AY

@rooftopfilmclub

@popdogslondon

Sunday, 19 April 2015

L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Conditioner

I feel like I'm the only person out there who has tried this product and not liked it. Firstly I will say I only tried the conditioner, not the shampoo as it was sold out at the time. I'm not judging the product on its ability to volumise my hair as I feel I should have tried the shampoo and conditioner together for that. However I am judging the conditioner on its own ability, from the first time I used it I noticed how matted my hair was when I tried to get the comb through it.

L'Oreal elvive fibrology


I use L'Oreal conditioners all the time and have not had this problem with any of the others, but I noticed it straight away before even stepping out of the shower when I tried to run my fingers through my hair. My fingers would normally slide through my damp hair with ease and it was the complete opposite after using this conditioner.

The problem continues when my hair is dry as well, it felt drier than usual and knots really easily. With other products my hair feels soft and supple and combs through easily without tugging, pulling or snapping. I haven't noticed any extra volume either so in all honesty I'm not at all impressed with this product.

It may vary on different hair types, my hair is quite long, highlighted, naturally curly and quite dry so I need a good conditioner to help lock in moisture and this product seemed to do the opposite to everything my hair type needs. I unfortunately and not convinced in its abilities and won't be buying it again.

L'Oreal elvive fibrology

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Spring Picks

The weather has been doing some strange things the last couple of weeks, I went from walking to work only needing a cardigan, to having to wear a coat and scarf again! The weather switched back to more winter than spring, sad times.

But it doesn't stop me dreaming of warmer weather and looking online for beautiful summery clothes I want in my wardrobe. I found these gorgeous items that I may have to purchase:

http://www.next.co.uk/g242004s2#909071g24
Swiss Dot Cotton pull-on dress from Next £26
It saddens me that the picture of this cute little sun dress is so hard to see against a white background, but I think it's insanely adorable and would look amazing with tan coloured accessories, like my other obsession below:

Suede Fringe Sandals from Next £45


I am so in love with these fringe sandals, they look beautiful and would be perfect for summer. I need a new pair of sandals because I managed to kill my favourite ones last year on holiday, the sole split in half and I was so sad. I'm sure these ones would make my heart happy again though! Not to mention how good they would look with that cute little white dress.

Although this was supposed to be a spring picks post I'm pretty sure that a lot of this stuff is more summer than spring, but my heart got carried away and I dreamt about long summer days and lovely warm weather and what I would like to wear.

Continuing with the tan theme I also found this Belt Purse from River Island for £20 and couldn't believe how cute it is. This would look amazing with a pair of denim shorts to keep your hands free at festivals this summer.



Moving on from the tan theme, I also spotted this bag From New Look and I have to say I think my heart skipped a beat, I am in love, insanely in love. The colour is stunning and one of my favourite shades and the shape of the bag is so cute. My list is growing here and may well cost me a lot of money. Damn you highstreet for having so much nice stuff!

New Look Turquoise Mini winged tote £15.99

I am actually quite shocked at the price of this bag as well, it's so reasonable so won't feel too naughty to buy! Happy days.

I also really like this next dress which is from New Look as well, I can imagine teaming this with a little denim jacket for days spent in beer gardens or lazing in the park.

Black Tropical Print Layered Strappy Dress £17.99

I am so excited for the warmer weather, because as I'm writing this it's pouring outside with sidewards rain! Bah!

Are you looking forward to summer and lovely summer clothes?

P.S if you can't see a text link for the items you like then click on the photo to be taken to the website.


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Film Review: Fast and furious 7



I remember seeing the first Fast and furious movie years back, when the actors all looked very young and before anyone knew what a smash the films would become.

I have seen every single one and loved them all (bar Tokeyo drift, sorry but there was no Paul Walker or Van Diesel). Over the Easter weekend I went to see the latest movie, I wasn't sure what to expect considering Paul Walker sadly died during the filming of the movie and his brothers stepped in to help complete the flick.

The film is absolutely incredible, full of action, stunts and fantastic effects. I literally had my head in my hands all the way through because it was so gripping. Not only is it full of high octane adventure but like it's predecessors it really focuses on the relationship the guys all have and their ride or die attitude for each other.The films really capture the human connection between the team that other car films haven't done, it makes you buy into the characters and their bond.

To top it all off the ending is fabulous and totally heartfelt and had me crying my eyes out. This film is worth going to the cinema to see, it will be the last chance you have to see Paul Walker on the big screen, and that saddens me so much because for my generation he was an actor and icon we grew up watching and swooning over.
I hope he is looking down to see what an amazing success the latest movie in the franchise is and how he was so clearly loved and respected by his co stars.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Nests #EasterEdHunt

I meant for this post to go out last weekend, but I was struck down by the noro virus and was so poorly I didn't get out of bed for 2 days. The thought of food let alone anything sickly sweet was just not on my radar.

I am much better now though and normal chocolate eating habits have resumed, now I believe that Easter is just trying to make you fat, because everywhere you look there as chocolate eggs, and cakes and no end of nice sweet things to entice you. I have completely fallen victim to the heaven that is white chocolate and peanut butter, so decided to whip up some rice krispie nests using this dreamy combo.

white chocolate and peanut butter nests

Easy as pie to make, just melt white chocolate in the microwave or bain marie and stir in some peanut butter until combined. Mix in enough rice krispies until the mixture is all coated and not too wet, then spoon mixture into cupcake cases building up the sides a little to leave a recess in the centre that will be filled with eggs. Put them in the fridge to set for an hour, when they care cooled fill with little eggs of your choice. I had intended on using mini eggs but the supermarket had sold out of them.

White chocolate easter nests

I hope you enjoy making and eating some Easter treats & don't forget to join in with the #EasterEdHunt

Happy Weekend everyone!

Friday, 20 March 2015

High Street Spring collections

Spring/Summer 2015 collections are filling up the high streets rails at the moment, the bright colours and floaty fabrics have hit the shelves even if there is still a little chill in the air.

This past weekend I was invited along to the intu fashion show at Lakeside shopping centre to see what the big brands have in store for us this season. The show was really well put together and featured lots of amazing dancing.

I was really glad to see acid green featuring heavily in the Primark collection because I bought a beautiful acid green dress last year and was worried it would be out of fashion too quickly. So I'm very happy I can try and get a bit more wear out of it this year.

It seems this season is full of cobalt blue, acid green and lots of wedge sandals, all of which makes me quite happy because I love all three!

After days of searching for some of the items seen at the fashion show I managed to find this beautiful sheer skirt from BHS.

Cobalt Sarong Skirt

It's £18 and would great as you stroll down the beach on holiday!

I don't know about you, but I am looking forward to a spring full of bright colours and bold patterns, I found this little beauty from River Island and thought it was stuning. I think it would be lovely teamed with a simple white strapy top and perfect for some sunny weather.

Yellow floral print skirt


One of the best parts of the show was the dancing, the kids were great and danced really well. I especially enjoyed the segment for JD sports.



What are you guys most looking forward to about the warmer weather? Any trends you're excited to wear?
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