stevenavery

12 reasons January has been the worst

Thank god it’s over. Tomorrow we can wake up & the worst month of the year will be a distant memory. Hurrah!

Here’s a little Sunday Summary for you. A Sunday round up of why January has been the absolute pits!

1. You’ve been ever so skint. Since, like, December 28th.
Cos you got paid crazy early and society tells you that you have to spend everything you own on other people in the space of 5 days. Hey overdraft! Long time, no speak.

help me i'm poor

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2. And when you did get paid on Friday, you might has well have not have been.
Because well, it just went on the credit card. To pay for all those other peoples joy!

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3. It’s pretty much been dark for 31 bloody days.
Wake up. Dark. Go to work. Dark. 3pm. Oh hey you big sky turner offer you.

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4.  Which means all you’ve wanted to do is seek some sun.
So you’ve spent 5 long weeks looking at holidays. That are super cheap in the sale and would cheer you up no end. But then you realise, oh wait, yep. Still skint.

5. You’ve been painfully sober.
By the way, who ever invented Dry January needs a slap. Like, please stop making me realise that I’m a problem drinker. For the love of God!

6. Which in turn made you realise that you only like your mates when you’re all a bit pissed.
Which is sad because you also realise what age you’re turning this year and it’s too old to make new friends. Gutted.

dont like you

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7. You were painfully sober until Friday that is. When you drank..EVERYTHING.
End of Dry January. Payday. Let’s. Go. Mental. And round shit January off with a world ending hangover. Cheers guys. Cheers.

drunk karen

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8. You’ve been starving for a month.
a) because you decided you needed to go on a dust only diet in the New Year. b) you can’t afford proper food because, well, it’s January Goddamit.

9. You’re pretty sure you’ve lost some knee cartilage.
Because you’ve done nothing but run for a month because a) once again the dust diet only allows for 45 minutes of excruciating exercise a night and b) you can’t afford proper entertainment because, well, it’s January Goddamit.

10. You’ve developed cataracts.
Because you are in a really sordid affair with any box set you can lay your hands on.

box set binge

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11. You’ve also become the most sceptical person to ever walk this fine land.
Because you’ve only been at home watching Making a Murderer or listening to Serial or one 2016’s other hot series. And you’re are now convinced that everything is a conspiracy theory. Like, everything. Honestly, I’ve got a friend that has had such a box set heavy month, she’s adamant that her own Aunt is a spy. True story.

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& finally

12. You’ve cried quite heavily.

Because David Bowie died, and then Snape died and then today Terry ‘Hero’ Wogan died.  But mainly you cried at the arrival of your gas bill. Because that was literally the worst day of your 2016.

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The Beautiful Beast of Brixton 

So last week I ventured somewhere new. Not new for Brixton. But new for me.

A birthday tipple or two (read 6)for a lovely mate of mine, mid week, back in my hometown.

I open my text based instructions on where to be and when and head on my way back home. Half way down Acre Lane and I’m stumped. The map says I overshot it and everyone says “if you hit Grand Union you’ve gone too far”. I’m at Grand Union and I’m stumped. How can this mysterious Beast of Brixton place that seems so god damn popular be so hard to find?!

Alas, I was looking for a neon shiny light and a high road prominence. Incorrect. When looking for the new favourite place of the moment, head down a side road, look for a place that looks like a house and buzz the door to be allowed in.


Up a residential staircase with an air of walking into an old mates house, I was met with two of the chirpiest of chaps. I was the first of the party (and of the night) but I took a seat like, well, like I was at home.

The more it filled, the more familiar it felt. It’s decor was cool but not poncey.


It was snug but didn’t make you feel like it was so exclusive that you shouldn’t be there. And well accommodating doesn’t come close.

They serve food on site, which by the way they are relaunching shortly rumour has it (watch this space) and I’ve heard rave reviews. However we turned up mob handed this night and their fabulous but small kitchen couldn’t handle the numbers. So what did they let us do? Order in our own pizzas. Love. Them.

Anyway the important stuff –

 They sell Red Stripe by the can (thank you Lord) and they have a swishy machine that makes frozen margharitas that are insane. Also they do this Hot Buttered Rum, which is just that – hot rum with butter in it, and it’s just, well, world ending.
Drinks from £3.50 -£8.50 and yeah watch this space about the new menu.

I’d advise booking. Cos well, when it’s taken you that long to find you’re not going to want to stand up!

See you down there.

Beast of Brixton
LL X

getting old

17 times when you realised you’re not 21 anymore

 Ever get them moments. When suddenly it hits you.

Like a train.

That you’re not 21 anymore.

And it sucks quite a big lot.

Times like.

  1. When you opened Facebook and out of nowhere everyone had a baby. And not like a ‘shit, I’m 17 and that was silly’ baby, but like a proper ‘we’re really in love and are nearly 30 so it’s a good thing’ baby.
  2. When, the same day, you had to go out and buy 3 ‘New Baby’ cards because them people on Facebook ARE YOUR ACTUAL FRIENDS.
  3. When you opened your purse and realised you actually already had stamps to send them off. Cos that’s just who you are these days. The person that buys stamps ‘just incase’.
  4. When you didn’t go to the pub after work because you needed to put a wash on. Cos sadly you don’t hide your Mum in  a cupboard in your rented flat and you have to wash your own pants. Sucks. To. Be. You.
  5. When you did go to the pub after work that time, stayed for 3 (5) like you used to and woke up and felt like someone had run you over with a bus. Cos apparently, now you feel like shit after only half a lager. Sad times.
  6. Or that time you couldn’t go out on the razz on a Saturday night because your gas bill came in. And you had to pay it. Cos once again, your Mum isn’t in the cupboard with her debit card. Gutter.
  7. When you actually spent a good half an hour of your lunch break looking into getting an ISA. I mean, half an hour was all it was, when you realised you needed more than a fiver to open one, you sacked it off and went back onto ASOS.
  8. When you left said pub cos they were playing music too loud and you wanted a chat.
    Hi, I’m Jo and I’m 85.
  9. When, for the first year ever, you aren’t looking forward to your birthday. Because you’re going to be nearer 30 than you are 20 and that is literally the shittest.
  10. When you start dating again and realised you don’t actually just want a fumble in the back of a Ford Escort. But someone that’s going to be around for a while. Cos, well, it’s kinda getting to that stage now when you’re thinking it might not be a bad thing to be around someone semi permanently.
  11. When they talk to you about getting a pension at work, and you actually read the leaflet rather than hiding it under the microwave (my place of choice for ‘post to avoid’)
  12. When you stop sorting holidays from ‘Price Lowest-Highest’ but start sorting them on ‘Star Rating’. Cos you actually have some money these days. And don’t want to stay in a hotel that has mice. Fair.
  13. The day your savings account had more in it than your current account. Cos you’d finally made some headway into not being a reckless joke. (it’s worth noting that someone else told me that this sometimes happens. I for one, still don’t understand the concept of a savings account)
  14. That time you asked for a wine list in the pub. Because you don’t drink the equivalent to brake fluid anymore just to get pissed. You actually would rather just have 2 glasses and really enjoy it.
  15. When you and your best mate start to see more of each other in the gym, than anywhere else. Cos you both can’t eat takeaways like you used to. And one of you is saving for a house. And the other one is saving for a car. So this has to become your version of entertainment now.
  16. The first day you could no longer use your Young Person’s Rail Card. Cos guess what. You are no longer a young person. Killed. It.
  17. When you and your mate once went out for dinner on a Saturday night, and rather than going dancing afterwards like you once did, you went home, watched some shit on TV and ate a load of Twirl bites.

    Because. Wait for it. It was a bit cold out. *gun to head*

LLx

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9 stages of the infamous first date

Oh come on, we’ve all been there. When you’re back on the delightful hamster wheel that is dating in the 21st century and you realise that yet again you are following the footsteps you were 6 months previous.

The same stages that make up the thing we all know, we all dread but we all secretly get a real kick out of.

The First Date Cycle.

The WhatsApp Stage

still not replying

Those early first days, when you’re still getting a little kick out of your phone going ding and the mild air of excitement that surrounds the little italic ‘typing’ words of joy. Are they a speedy replier? Am I going to be waiting a week for a response? Who knows yet.

Profile picture stalk – tick

Several near accidental calls when clicking to stalk their profile pic – tick

Trying to get across your sense of humour without the use of too many emojis – double blue tick.

The First Phone Call Stage

If you’re the one making the call, you know that feeling when you get through to voicemail and that means the ball’s in their court.

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But if they do pick up

Try to sound bright and breezy – tick

No doubt say something that you think is hilarious but actually makes you sound like a noob – tick.

Wishing you’d just sent a voicenote on WhatsApp to numb the pain – double blue tick.

The Arrangement Stage.

The dreaded question – ‘so what do you fancy doing?’

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AHHHH.

I don’t bloody know. I don’t want to go hell for leather and ask you for a windy country walk that’s come straight out of a Jane Austen novel. But I’m also not going to drop the Nando’s bomb because you know…start low, end low.

You banter back and forth with ideas of wild & crazy dates to prove that you do have an imagination. And in the end you settle on a couple of drinks locally. Because that way you can dart off home if it’s a car crash. And you know you’ve always got the back up of dutch courage to sort you out.

The Dry Mouth Stage

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It’s date day. And there you are. Walking down from the station feeling fine, looking good and positive about the night ahead.

Then bam.

Out of nowhere someone chucks a hella load of sawdust on your tongue. And all of a sudden your nerves arrive in the form of dry mouth and you panic that by the time you arrive you’re teeth will be stuck to your lip. Sassy.

The Give Yourself A Talking To Stage.

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Pull yourself together, get some water and sort your shit out. Worst way, you’ll be home in time for Eastenders. Best way, you might get a snog at a bus stop.

Now. Don’t fall over the step on the way into the pub. Remember to smile and be interesting and whatever you do.

Don’t. Get. Too. Pissed.

The Waiting Stage

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You know, when you’re the first one there and for a good 3 and a half minutes you’re convinced that you are going to be so massively stood up.

The Hello Stage.

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Do we kiss on the cheek? Is it a hug?

Ah we’ve gone for different options and he’s just head butted me and I’ve just got make up on his shirt. CRINGE.

Get me to the bar.

The First Drink Stage.

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Which is always a large. Because

a) one of you wants to impress the other.

b) you both know you need it.

Sit down, get talking, realise you’ve both thrown back that first one like it was some kind of shot. It’s gone right to your head and before you know it the second ones on the table and you’re having a ball (or thinking up an excuse to jog on)

&  last but not least, my favourite stage.

The Toilet Stage

Go to the loo..

Blokes – send one message to one mate ‘Yeah, she’s alright you know’

Girls – call everyone they’ve ever met.

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Go to wash your hands and remind yourself of the chat you gave yourself earlier on.

Be smiley, be chatty.

& whatever you do.

Don’t. Get. Too. Pissed.

Look in the mirror & realise.

Am. A. Bit. Pissed.

LL x

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20 things you only know if you went to Tiger Tiger Croydon.

So today came the news that the infamous Tiger Tiger Croydon is to close its doors this weekend. Gone are the days of student nights and illicit bumping and grinding with a boy you met in the cloakroom queue. I thought it only right to pay homage to the end of an era.

Here are the things you only know if you ever went to Tiger Tiger Croydon. If you know, you know.

1. Thursday’s were your bag.

Erm who needs to go out on a weekend like a human when you can neck £1.50 vodka redbulls the night before your A-Levels? Student nights/ the beginnings of teenage binge drinking.

  

2. It wasn’t a fair weather decision.

If you went to Tiger Tiger, you went hard. Every Thursday. Every Friday. And most Saturday’s from the ages of 17-22. And what?

3. You developed asthma 

From the crazy amount of dry ice they used to pump in your nose weekly.

4. You knew about The White Room

It was like Croydon’s very own Bora Bora babes. Ibiza’s come to George St.

  
5. You didn’t mind paying extra to get in to see Luck & Neat.

Cos it meant you got to spend all night doing the the two finger garage dance. 

If you know, you know.

  

6. You were a JagerBomb champion

Like, knocking 8 back on a night out was standard. And applauded.

7. You were “spiked” at least once

Cos you throwing up against a tree and getting turned away from every cab in CR0 had nothing to do with the JagerBombs, did it.?

8. You knew the words to every Sean Paul song.

And that foot stomping dance EVERYONE did to Temperature.

  

If you know, you know 

9. You’ve snogged at least 3 people in there who’s names don’t immediately come to you.

But they are still on your Facebook. Cos that was the 2008 chirpse.

10. Talking of chirpsing

Grinding up against the arse of a girl you’d never met was standard mating ritual behaviour. Ayt babes.

11. You didn’t need to eat

Cos you’d just fill up on lollipops from the toilet guys. And you’d have all the banter with them all night.

They hated you by the way.

12. You, at least once, saw someone having sex in the toilets 

 And almost certainly took a photo of it on your first ever photo taking Nokia 7650. Pow. Imma gonna MultiMedia Message you that.

  

13. You’ve got in there plenty of times with someone else’s ID. 

14. You hired out a “booth” for your 20th birthday 

And made the boys wear shoes.

Cos you were too grown up for a Walkabout foam party. Shazam.

15. You’d go for a fag and come back 3 hours later.

You’d either pulled, seen someone from school or had a ruc and got so delayed your mates presumed you’d been thrown out.

  

16. You were always there when the the lights came on at 3am 

A sweaty mess and normally in the grips of passion with a girl that went to Westwood or a boy that went to St Jospehs. #sassy 

17. You’d always end up in the cheese room

Because 8 Sean Paul songs back to back even got too much for diehard fans

  

18. You felt like a cheat if you ever dared go to Lloyds.

Nope. Never 

19. You were frightened for your life when people used to still smoke inside 

Because of the pure amount of hairspray and Lynx Africa going on 

20. You’ve left at least 2 coats in there.

Cos the queue for the cloakroom was basically a pile a of vommiting girls and gurning lads & your £9.99 Primark number just weren’t worth the grief 

LL x

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The boxsets that are guaranteed to get you through Janaury

It’s January! Everyone is skint beyond human recognition and we’re all attempting to stop drinking, smoking, eating, smiling….so there’s only one thing for it. Pyjamas. Clippers Hot Chocolate (erm hiya!) and all of the box sets we can lay our hands on. If I’m good at one thing, it’s binge watching TV, so here’s my recommendations to get you through this miserable bloody month.

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Scandal

Olivia Pope are her gang of Gladiators are back with Season 5. Following Kerry Washington’s impeccable Pope’s illicit affair with the President of the United States by night and her exquisite ability to ‘fix’ absolutely anybody’s problems by day. If you haven’t seen it from the start, get out of your cupboard of doom and settle down for a month of on-your-edge viewing. All seasons (including the most recent 5) are now available on Now TV. Go. GO NOW.

Whitechapel

Whitechapel

An oldie but a goodie. First aired in 2009, this detective drama sees Rupert Penry-Jones (centre) and his fellow sleuths solve murders that replicate historic crimes. It’s near genius and throws in a history lesson with each and every episode. And to be honest, Penry-Jones is a bit of a sort which makes viewing slightly more binge  worthy. ITV classic available on Now TV, and on ITV Player. Great for this dark miserable nights. Just be warned that you’ll get the real heebie jeebies if watching this alone.

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The Affair.

Fair, this one takes two episodes to get into the swing of. Each episode tells the same story but from two different points of view (Noah’s Story & Alison’s Story) and depicts a love affair over one summer in sleepy Montauk, NY. Two episodes in and you’re gripped. For once, two British actors (you’ll know Noah from that Fred West ITV drama and Alison is none other than Alice from Luther…legend!) actually make you believe you are in the States and the way it’s filmed is super clever. Be warned, there’s a hellava lot of sex in it. Like, literally, everyone is at it. Now TV.

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Mistresses

Keeping on the adultery theme (ahem)….this one really is for the girls. Sorry lads. Twists, turns and more illicit behaviour than you can shake an engagement ring at. 4 best friends, about 17,000 secrets, and all the American drama that makes us love this kind of stuff. I’m not even ashamed to say that I whacked this out in about 6 days. You thought Desperate Housewives was bad. This is Ad.Dic.Tive.

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The Killing

Following the solution of various murderous crimes in Seattle, Washington, The Killing is actually based on a Danish series that stormed the Nordics a few years back. Defy anyone not to get gripped by Sarah Linden’s back story and not really fall for her rogue detective partner, Holden. It’s dark, really pretty dark in places, but it’s one of them ones where you realise it’s 2am on a Tuesday night and you’re still clicking ‘next episode’.

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The Take

4 part drama based on the Martina Cole novel of the same name. It does what it says on the tin, but does it brilliantly. Think of every crime you could think of, chuck a delectable Tom Hardy into the mix & a hellava lot of swearing and you’ve got yourself a hit. Following a family of small time crooks trying to make the big time in the 80’s with dramatic twists and turns every time Tom Hardy waves a gun. I’ve watched this more times than I care to admit. They’ve got the costumes spot on, the storyline nailed and you’re jumping out of your chair at every break let alone the end of every episode. Just checked and it’s still on Now TV. Quick!

catastrophe

Catastrophe

Now, this is funny. Really bloody funny. Following the story of a one-week stand that ends up in a not so expected pregnancy, this Channel 4 series is a gem. The one liners are on point but it well and truly tugs at your heart strings in places. Little half hour episodes so perfect binge watching. To be honest, you could probably see the whole lot off on that one rainy Saturday the week before payday. On 4oD now… I got your back!

LLx