Who is Atticus Finch?

This post has been a long time coming after reading Go Set a Watchman, after a lot of thinking; it's about time I told y'all about it.

Whether you've read the book To Kill a Mockingbird or not, you will know the name Atticus Finch. Especially after recent media focus on the character based on the release of Go Set a Watchman where it would appear he was not the man we 'knew'.

Since the first time I read To Kill a Mockingbird,  Atticus has been a hero of mine and was the reason I went through a stage of wanting to be a lawyer (before I realised I wasn't intelligent enough) and was the perfect representation of justice, compassion and love.

Go Set a Watchman continues the story we all know and love and it took over 50 years for it to appear. The world and the Internet is obviously full of critics, I can be one most of the time, and I'm not lying when I say I was downright pissed when reviews and leaks started coming out slagging off the greatest man in the world of fiction. I tried as hard as I could to avoid these but when your job is essentially the Internet I couldn't go a day during the week before the release date without seeing 'name and shame' headlines (I'm looking at you Buzzfeed) and fury on Twitter. Thanks guys.

After seeing these, I made the decision to not read a single article and to not dwell on the things I had seen and heard so that I would go into it with an open mind. Even a friend of mine said 'it sounds awful, don't read it' because she knows how much To Kill a Mockingbird means to me and to her. But I did it anyway.

As I was reading the book, I tried very hard to not let these cloud my judgement and it was so difficult. The idea of my human rights hero being a racist just kept whizzing around my head and I constantly dreaded the moment it would happen with each turn of the page. i mean, this is Atticus Finch! There is no way on Earth this man could be a racist.

But then it happened.

And I started crying.

Not your standard crying though, the kind of silent tears that you normally associate with heartbreak. It was right at this moment that my boyfriend decided to call me to ask me how the book was going and, with a broken voice, all I could say was 'I can't talk about it right now'. Hang up and cue hysterical sobbing. It felt like something had died. I started to think that maybe my friend had been right.

Being the stubborn book reader I am, I powered through and finished it that day. A LOT of thinking commenced and every time someone asked me what I thought of the book, my answer was always 'I don't know yet'.

I have now decided that the idea of Atticus being a racist could be down to either misinterpretation or a misunderstanding of the time period. We're talking about 1950s South America here and we know from history that it wasn't exactly the most tolerant place or time. I see Atticus as a figure of authority in Maycomb and unfortunately he has been put into a position where he has to side with the masses to prevent uproar, outrage and even dangerous hostility.

I know that some people may argue the point that he should have fought back and stood up for the same equality and human rights he fought for all those years ago in that courtroom with his children watching in the wings.

* Best version of the speech I could find*
I have based my opinion on the following quote:

"I'm only trying to make you see beyond men's acts to their motives. A man can appear to be a part of something not-so-good on it's face, but don't take it upon yourself to judge him unless you know his motives as well. A man can be boiling inside, but he knows a mild answer works better than showing his rage. A man can condemn his enemies, but he's wiser to know them... Have you considered that men, especially men, must conform to the demands of the community they live in simply so they can be of service to it?"

In this instance, Atticus and Hank have done what is expected of them whether it holds true to their personal beliefs or not. Following Scout’s (or 'Jean Louise' now) confrontation with Atticus over what she had witnessed and that horrible, harrowing speech Atticus had done nothing about, he argues that he did not want the man to speak in the first place.

He ends with "are you sure Scout?", he is exasperated, he is old and frail and he simply can’t fight anymore. That’s my thinking anyway.

no title
Some people have previously argued that To Kill a Mockingbird shows the idealised version of Atticus from his child’s eyes. I mean, who doesn’t think of their father as a hero when they’re young? The third person perspective of Go Set a Watchman smacks reality in the faces of a previously loving audience. This could be true but at the same time we have to think of all those things he said to Scout during the build up of the trial that she even mentions in Go Set a Watchman as things she had always remembered about her childhood and father. Things we have always remembered and things I always will.

I have come to the conclusion that Go Set a Watchman should be treated as  separate from To Kill a Mockingbird. I do not believe that it’s ‘the first draft’ despite being presented to publishers first, it’s an entirely different story. Obviously it’s not as good as To Kill a Mockingbird but then again, nothing ever will be.  To Kill a Mockingbird introduced those of us who were born ‘colour blind’, as Scout says,  to a world we will never understand but also a world were the first steps of justice through race and equality were taken in fiction. I’m not saying you shouldn’t avoid Go Set a Watchman, it’s definitely worth a read but do as I have and consider it as separate. If ever you feel your opinion of Atticus has been tarnished, always look back on the following quote and remember him for the man he truly is.

Scout: "You're not really a nigger lover, then, are you?"

Atticus: "I most certainly am. I do my best to love everybody... I'm hard put, sometimes - baby, it's never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is. It doesn't hurt you."

One dress from day to night with George at Asda

George at Asda

I am always feeling uninspired by my wardrobe and tend to avoid being creative with the things I have and always go for the same look and then start to get bored. To be honest, there's nothing worse because I then just end up spending money on more clothes that I'll inevitably do the same thing to. That is the vicious cycle of my wardrobe.

I was recently asked to take part in the #GeorgeousDresses challenge with George at Asda and it was the perfect opportunity to attempt being creative, learning the versatility of one item and potentially developing some kind of 'style'.

My aim was to take one dress from to day to night through something I have never been good at... Accessorising.

George at Asda
Dress* - £18
Duster Jacket* - £20
Tote Bag* - £16
Sunglasses* - £3.50
Snood*- £4
For my day look I put together something festival-y to help make me feel better about the fact I'm not going to one this year. I'm fortunate enough to work in a pretty casual office where I can pretty much get away with a band t-shirt and jeans, so this was perfect.

Wearing dresses with boots is my new favourite thing now and since the sun decided to pay us a brief visit I thought it was about time to bring out the denim jacket. Those glasses = <3

I jump at any opportunity to dress up so decided to create my 'night look' for a trip to the theatre with Charlie, Distracted so paired the paisley dress* and duster jacket* with some killer heels and a statement belt. I was originally wearing the belt underneath the jacket but my oh so very fashionable colleague told me it looked better over the top instead. I kinda agree. I was wearing the scarf* too but then I got to hot and it ended up in my bag*!

George at Asda
I loved this challenge because it gave me the opportunity to play around with my clothes more and I have already started to take this on board with more of my stuff. I loved the duster jacket so much I even opted for a more casual look with it earlier this week! #Learning

Which is your favourite look?

All items marked with a (*) were gifted to me by Asda but if I didn't like it, I wouldn't write about it. 

10 thoughts I have while eating a curry

chicken curry
Image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I love a good curry, while living with Charlie, Distracted it was a regular part of our diet and now I live with my boyfriend, nothing has changed. I love the smells as it cooks with the combination of garlic and all the spices in the world (well, slight exaggeration but you know what I mean) and curries are also beautiful. SO MANY COLOURS! I mean, who wouldn't want to try food that occasionally looks that shade of a sunset.

Unfortunately there is a downside so some of the most wonderful dishes in the world and that is the fact that I cannot handle spice and am a complete wuss, plus there's the joys of heartburn. I have suffered for years but am too damn stubborn to give up one of my favourite things. For a laugh, here are 10 thoughts I have while eating a curry.

  1. Oh my God this smells delicious. 
  2. This was such a good idea.
  3. Oh! It's not too bad actually, I think I can handle this one
  4. Holy Christ my mouth is on fire
  5. If I eat more rice first, maybe I can handle the spice
  6. Come on Ashleigh-Jayne, everyone will judge you if you don't finish this
  7. Great, they're laughing at me
  9. Screw that last spoonful, I am done and dying
  10. Euuuuurgh *curls up on sofa*
Sometimes I get lucky, sometimes I don't but one thing is for certian - I am a curry failure and sometimes my boyfriend has to finish it for me so we don't waste food.

This post was sponsored by Gaviscon but the fails at Curry eating are completely my own.

Go Set a Watchman book launch (spoiler free)

Go Set A Watchman Book Launch

When I was around 15 years old, my mum gave me a book and told me to read it. I didn't get into it and gave up a couple of chapters in. Seeing the book placed on my desk when we walked into our GCSE English class made me sigh. I regret that in a way. For the last 11 years since, I have read that book at least once a year.

When it was announced that the sequel, Go Set A Watchman, had been 'found', I felt split in two. One part excited and one part sceptical. I remember my mum telling me when she first gave me a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird that Harper Lee had said 'everyone is born with a novel inside them, and this was mine' (Turns out that this is actually a BlackAdder quote... go Mumma), with this on my mind I was obviously confused when this new manuscript made an appearance 55 years later.

Despite this, as a massive fan and knowing that this would be the biggest launch since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I automatically booked the day off work so I could just be left alone and read it in a day.

Go Set a Watchman Waterstones

It wasn't until the day of the launch that I decided to go to the midnight release. I had pre-ordered a copy elsewhere but after going to the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows several years before with Charlie, Distracted, I knew how it felt to essentially be a part of history and I wanted to have that feeling again.

Go Set a Watchman Waterstones

Slightly delayed after work, my boyfriend got there first and held a spot for me. For a fair few hours (no lie) we were essentially THE queue for this book. but as it got closer to midnight, more people appeared out of the woodwork and just before midnight the store manager told us there were over 500 people in the store. Yay! It wasn't just me!!

Go Set a Watchman Waterstones

After sitting there reading To Kill a Mockingbird again, seeing the books opened only a few feet from me and desperately wanting a double cheeseburger. The time came, the countdown commenced and I got the first copy in the store, my receipt proudly saying 00:01 in the bottom right hand corner.

In the past 24 hours, my Twitter notifications have gone mental, I've appeared on national news, I had to hang up on a radio station who wanted me to speak to them (they had someone on the line who had read the book and were discussing spoilers. DUDE! I HAVE JUST BOUGHT IT!) and I have finished the book. 

Despite some of the comments I have seen on news articles about those of us who waited for hours to get our hands on something that we have basically been waiting over 50 years for, I do not regret my decision to go and I am so glad I was there. Thank you Gary for saving my spot for me :-)

Epilepsy; An invisible disability

Epilepsy brainstorm

I wasn't going to write this post but it's been bothering me so I thought it would be best to get it out of my system.

When I was 24, I was diagnosed with Epilepsy and a lot of aspects of my life got quickly turned around. I don't accept half of them and I am stubborn as hell but changes had to be made, even if I don't do them all the time because I suck.

Recently I have been to two events, one blogging related and one personal, and have experienced two different people and responses in terms of my condition, one treated me as though as I was an inconvenience to her and the other was so amazingly helpful (read more about this lovely person at Secret Cinema here). It got me thinking about taboos and essentially people's understanding of it as a whole.

Image Source: Cagemountain on Deviant Art

Epilepsy isn't easy to understand so I do get some of the confusion. The minimalist poster above created by an artist called Cagedmountain on DeviantArt is a good example but maybe only for a certain type. Epilepsy isn't the same for everyone and a seizure doesn't necessarily have to be Tonic Clonic (AKA Grand Mal) like you see in the movies or, most recently, Eastenders.

I suffer from Tonic Clonic seizures but I also have Absence Seizures. Apparently over 500,000 people in the UK have epilepsy and 1 in 50 people will have at least one seizure in their lives. A lot of these can go misdiagnosed and I think that it's partly down to people not realising they've had a seizure, possibly because they were Absence Seizures.

As someone who has experienced them before, the best way to describe Absence Seizures would be like, having that feeling where your eyes are 'comfortable' and you're staring into space without really noticing. Kind of like going blank. Also, apparently not everyone gets that feeling as though they're falling so maybe that counts.

These seizures may seem like a nicer option but they're really not. Sometimes I can have a horrible headache and even blurred vision for hours after having one. Not fun.

Following my diagnosis I have experienced a lot of different responses, had a lot of questions, received a lot of statements/assumptions and during my research have come across comments about Epilepsy. Some are interesting and understanding but others are downright ridiculous. Here are a couple:

  • What does it feel like?
  • Are you OK (whenever I even just have a cold)
  • How did you get it?
  • You don't look disabled
  • You don't look like you have Epilepsy
  • Is it contagious? (Saw this one online, seriously?)

Thinking about some of these, I thought it would be a good idea to do a shout out on Twitter so I could answer any burning questions people have. Unfortunately not a lot of people recognise the condition and it isn't really talked about so it wouldn't be surprising if people had them. Here are a few I received with answers.

This is a really good question. Unfortunately I can only speak from my own experience and therefore I don't know enough about all the different types but you can go to the Epilepsy Action website for more info. 

Unlike some people I don't tend to have just one seizure, I will have a couple in a row in short bursts. My general rule is, if I have more than five then you need to call an ambulance. If I don't, just wait for me to come to and then I will just need a cup of tea then go home to sleep. 

During a Tonic Clonic seizure all you really need to do is:
  •  (If possible) catch them
  • Don't move them, instead clear the area of hazzards
  • Protect the head, put something underneath it like a coat or a pillow, if these aren't available rest on your lap
  • Do not restrain - you could hurt the person or they could hurt you
  • Do not put anything in their mouth. It's a myth that this will stop the person from biting/swallowing their tongue but in fact it's dangerous for them and you. What if you get bitten? It can be like lockjaw
  • Make a note of how many seizures and how long they last
  • Once the convulsions have finished, move into the recovery position
  • Some people take a while to regain consciousness and will be quite confused. So be reassuring and talk to them normally.
  • If their seizure has lasted for longer than five minutes, it's classed as a medical emergency so call and ambulance

I have looked into this and unfortunately I don't qualify because looking at the information online, you need to have at least 10 Tonic Clonic seizures per month with no changes to medication six months before you apply. Luckily, I don't have that many but a seizure alert dog would be awesome.

I guess a way to describe it would be, you know how dogs can sense storms? It's like that. The dog will be trained with you to learn your specific symptoms and activity. They can then alert you to get into a safe place. Kind of like having a big fluffy aura (sign) that you're going to have one. Being able to get into a safe place by yourself would be wonderful because not only do you know you wouldn't be seriously injured but also people who have many seizures feel like they have a bit more independence. There can even be panic buttons that the dog would press to call an ambulance if the person is alone at home.

Affecting my life personally? Dude, I just want a dog but I'm lucky enough to need a special one. 

Spoons no, but there was one time when I regained consciousness with a pencil in my mouth which isn't exactly safe! What if it broke in my mouth and I choked?

I have a wonderful boyfriend, fantastic friends and family and very supportive colleagues. One friend in particular has been there from the very beginning, attending neuro with me and making sure I eat enough. Gary is essentially a hero and he even researches things regularly to see if there are any updates in the Epilepsy world.

I do struggle to cope sometimes as a fair few things get 'ruined' for me like having a seizure at an Amanda Palmer gig plus that one at Secret Cinema last week. Now I'm kind of used to it though I just go by the process of 'If I don't laugh, I'll cry', therefore my seizures are called 'brain farts' instead. 

Well, during research-ness we found out that if you cover your dominant eye it takes longer for your brain to register it. I'm not sure if this is a scientific fact but from trying it myself I can say that it works, for me anyway. I made an eyepatch last year so I could go on the Smiler at Alton Towers (has strobes at the beginning) and have worn them to a couple of gigs and have come out the other end seizure free. #Win 

As a whole, Epilepsy is no longer a problem for me. There used to be days when all I wanted to do was cry because I refused to believe that my life could change so suddenly and that I would be taking daily medication ('like an old lady', I used to say), go for regular check ups, have scans and sticky things all over my head (a la Total Recall), cut down on drinking, not be allowed to drive etc etc. I was 24 for God's sake. I just want to go to the pub with my friends on a Friday night and only have to worry about the Saturday morning hangover, not waking up in the hospital with a cannula in my arm.

Now after two years of dealing with this invisible disability, I'm finally OK. As OK as you can be and hopefully people will start to understand soon and the stigma will go away.

Secret Cinema: The Empire Strikes Back

Everyone knows, or should do, that The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars film to date. If you think otherwise... well, your argument is invalid in my eyes.

Secret Cinema is the big thing in immersive experiences as it throws you straight into your favourite films rather than just sitting there and watching it. When The Empire Strikes Back was announced. I had to get tickets because I knew it would be an experience of a lifetime for any geek. There was a bit of an uproar over the price of tickets (75 Galactic Credits) which is not really surprising but luckily for me, as a Freedom Pass holder because of my epilepsy, I only had to pay for one ticket and Gary, as my carer, got to go for free. Got to enjoy the perks really.

As it's SECRET Cinema, I really can't go too much into it because I don't want to be that person who ruins the experience for other fans. I can tell you though that at one point I shed a little tear because I was just mesmerised and completely blown away.

A few things I can tell you:

Get into Character

I know it's not really everyone's cup of tea but it made the experience for me even better. As you can see from the pass above, I was a Galactic Explorer and had a crazy name I couldn't pronounce. Each character had a colour scheme so the actors and other attendees could recognize your 'rank' and get involved with discussions with you. Plus, if you're that one person who isn't dressed up (or at least wearing a scarf) you will stick out like a sore thumb.

I didn't realise this until pretty close to the day so Gary and I made a last minute dash to Primarni to get what we could. My colour scheme was sand and khaki which was relatively easy compared to Gary's Creative Council (AKA, Jedi) so managed to get most of my bits in one place. We were missing key pieces though like our scarves and Gary's cloak but, the clever boy that he is, Gary found out about the pop up shop just off Brick Lane (click link for more spoiler free tips!) where they had everything available and is actually cheaper than you think.

Even entering the shop is a step into the experience as you are greeted by a fellow rebel who fills you in on all the codes and terminology you'll need to remember when you're there and it's so much fun!

In terms of our outfits, we succeeded in the end and I'm pretty proud of how we turned out:

Star wars costume
Primarni Special

Secret Cinema Galactic Explorer
Galactic Explorer Rank Badge

Star Wars costume
Gary part 1!
Star Wars Costume
The Force is strong with this one

Don't we look good?!

Be prepared to queue

On the way in, there will be a big queue which is a given. It does move pretty quickly so try not to be too impatient.

Star Wars Secret Cinema

Take your Rebel passes

It's not like you won't get in if you don't have them but again it's part of the experience and you may even get 'arrested' if you don't! 

Star Wars Secret Cinema

Don't bother with cash

If you've been reading the emails Rebel X have been sending you, you'll notice that they say only contactless payments will be accepted, in other words, cards. Even if you only have a standard chip and pin it'll be fine. It's set in the 'future' after all!

Get in on the action

Seriously, throw yourself right in. Remember what the cast tell you and just do it. Get your money's worth and become a part of the story rather than just watching it.

Have the time of your life

This needs no explanation.

Also, as a side note, if you're epileptic like me, there will be strobe lights even during the film so be careful. I was lucky enough to last until 10 minutes before the end before I landed flat on my face but the first aid staff for incredible. Not only did they make sure I was OK and supplied me with all the water in the world, they also got me to meet the cast and came to check up on me later when I carried on throughout the rest of the evening. Thanks guys.

To Kill a Mockingbird at the Barbican Centre

To Kill a Mockingbird London
Photo source
To Kill a Mockingbird is not only the first books from school I actually enjoyed (Thank you Mrs Reilly!) but it's also one of my favourite books. I read it every year but can only handle it once a year because I will end up an emotional train wreck. It's just a given.

When To Kill a Mockingbird launched at the Regents Park Theatre, I was gutted when we couldn't get tickets. It was so popular though that a new run was in order at the Barbican Centre and not only did we get tickets, we got tickets in the second row! All the win.

I'm not sure what you already know about To Kill a Mockingbird (although everyone should know) but it's simply a story of black and white in South America told through the eyes of a child.

The play itself is spectacular, rather than a conventional retelling in sense, the characters not only act out the story but they read from various publications of the book, keeping it as accurate is possible with very little changes which tend to annoy me in other plays and adaptations. A small cast and minimalist set makes everything seem more intimate and as though you have really been thrown into the story, rather than just watching it.

Harper Lee's classic was immortalised in film in 1962 with Gregory Peck playing the role of Atticus Finch, a role which would finally get him an Oscar. Atticus Finch is the father of Scout, our protagonist, and has been given the case of defending a black man in a trial against the accusations of a white man. It's pretty much doomed to begin with.

In the stage version, Atticus is played by Robert Sean Leonard (This excited Charlie, Distracted as you may know him as Wilson from House) and he was amazing. There is no other word to describe it. He brought the elements of torment and compassion through so well it was as though he was meant to be Atticus, to me anyway.

Scout was the perfect portrayal of childhood innocence especially in regards to race. The whole cast were perfect really. It was a tad confusing when one of the narrators spoke in a heavy northern accent and I was initially dubious, but they managed to flit between themselves as story tellers to actors so fluidly I was taken by surprise and thought that made the whole show even better.

Whether or not you're as big a fan of To Kill a Mockingbird as I am or not, I strongly recommend you see this show while it's here. Even as a piece of literature it's a real eye opener to racial division in a time not so far away. You will cry like a baby, I let myself go far too soon and couldn't stop so you will need to take tissues.

What I've been reading; How to be a Woman

How to be a woman review

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran has been descibed by the Guardian as "A short, sharp, feminist manifesto" but it is so much more than that.

I have never really been one to read non-fiction of any variety, I like being lost in a world of fantasy to escape the whole adult world I'm still not used to. But after seeing Caitlin Moran's short performance at the most recent Amanda Palmer show at the Union Chapel, I laughed so hard I knew it was about time I read her book.

I am a feminist but I have found it difficult to find any form of feminist literature that I can relate to as a lot of the examples I have found have been from an angry perspective, although this may have just been me not looking hard enough. How to be a Woman is completely different and reflects pretty much all of my points of view, even those that are not percieved as 'feminist'. Even our first experiences of true sexism are pretty much the same although mine was at university wehreas Moran's was at work but still, pretty much the same.

It's not just the ideas she portrays in the the book that got me so hooked from the first chapter. It's dirty (in a good way, not 50 shades style) raw and down right hilarious. I think I confused the poor bloke next to me while I was reading a chapter on pubic hair... making me cackle to no shame.

In all honesty, How to be a Woman is a hilarious journey of life as a woman from puberty onwards which is why it's so easy to relate to. There are so many obstacles highlighted that half the time you don't realise existed until you look back and realise 'fuck! I've done that too!'. It's also a nice way of realising YOU ARE NORMAL! There are so many books and articles out there about self improvement. I've always thought 'what's the point' and it's wonderful to see such a woman have the same view and openly tell us from a position of 'authority' (again, in the good way, not the bosssy 'only I'm right' way).

I haven't even finished the book yet, according to my Kindle I am 88% through but I had to tell people about it and I have already just ordered How to Build a Girl because How to be a Woman was so spectacular. Buy it. Simple.

Have you read How to be a Woman? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

The Fawlty Towers Dining Experience

Fawlty Towers Dinig Experience

I don't remember the first time I watched Fawlty Towers but I was certainly introduced to it from a very young age because my family is beyond cool.

When I heard that the Fawlty Towers Dining Experience (Or Faulty Towers...) was actually a thing I knew that I had to go. It launched at the Edinburgh Fringe festival and has made it's way to London calling the Charing Cross Amba Hotel it's home. It was while there at another blogging event where we experienced it from afar with sneaky runs outside to see what was going on.

After raving about it and how much I wanted to go I was invited and it was just a given that my plus one would be Charlie, Distracted.

As we have a tendency to get way to in to things, we also decided to rock 1970s looks in keeping with the theme. I'm seriously lacking in the vintage clothes front but ended up combining my retro books (from the 1970s may I add) with a floral dress from Primark, hoping I was able to pull of the hippy vibe.

Floral Dress

When we arrived there was a hell of  lot of cackling from the start (hence why a lot of the pictures coming are blurry...) where after being told to seat the guests, Manuel toldstarted to make us all sit on floor, clearing the glasses meant taking all the glasses off guests' faces and me being promptly dragged out of the room. Ignore him, he's from Barcelona...

The food itself was intentionally awful, as though you were really staying at Fawlty Towers so if you do end up going I recommend you eat beforehand or have a plan B for afterwards.

fawlty towers dining experience

fawlty towers dining experience

The soup for starters had a hint of carrot but mostly water. I was prepared to say that there was a hair in it in the hope of a rendition of this scene:

I chickened out. I feel like a failure.

Without going too much into it as I think you need to go, whether you're a fan or not. Sitting on a table of complete strangers with your food arriving all haphazardly, being greeted with a disgusted look when you ask for more bread and the constant bellows from Basil Fawlty when poor Manuel gets something wrong.

Manuel Fawlty Towers
Manuel singing to us
Basil Fawlty
Basil's response to Manuel's singing. Look at the sheer fury!

The whole cast were spectacular, the lady who played Sybil Fawlty had everything down perfectly, including her legendary cackle and the fear she struck into Basil from just the word 'Basil!'.

Basil Fawlty

I ended up leaving with aching cheeks and aching ribs from all the laughter, an afternoon where the highlight was the show ending with the infamous German scene. Pants on head and all!

Basil fawlty Germans

After the scene the show ended in raucous applause while the hotel staff brought out our dessert, a delicious chocolate mousse that completely put the rest of the food to shame (obvs).

The Faulty Towers Experience is at the Amba Hotel in Charing Cross for dinner experiences on Fridays and Saturdays and a lunch time experience on Sundays. I thoroughly recommend you go here and book tickets because even if you aren't as obsessed with Fawlty Towers as Charlie and I are, you will still have an amazing time and it'll certainly be an experience you won't forget.

Have you ever been to the Faulty Towers Experience?

*I was invited to attend the experience for free but all views are obviously my own.

Things I am bad at: Blogging and non blogging related

There have been a lot of posts going around recently that have bugged me. Things like 'Blogging Tips' are making the rounds again as well as things like 'how to take the perfect outfit photos' and to me, maybe only to me, it seems like these things give bloggers an air of perfection that can occasionally be unrealistic. How only their way is the right way. Again, this could only be me reading too much into things, but it also seems as though bloggers must maintain this air of unachievable perfection to maintain their 'influencer' status in their strive to become the next Zoella.

I am not one of these people.

I work in social media but I blog for a hobby and after seeing things like this go around on a constant basis, I thought it would be fun to show the Internet that even though I am a blogger, I am far from perfect not matter what. As is my life despite all the glam and perks that come with being a blogger

Even though I tend to write about the exciting things I get up to, I am far from perfect and there's absolutely no shame about it and no need to hide behind a computer and pretend it's all coming up daisies everyday, especially since I am not telling you about how I tend to have two hour afternoon naps and eat three ice lollies in one go in my onesie, I'M A BLOGGER GOD DAMN IT AND WILL ONLY TALK ABOUT THE AMAZING THINGS.

In a nutshell, this post is pretty much an overview and showing you not only the things I am bad at but all of the ridiculous things that other people won't admit in their internet lives. Partly just for fun but also to demonstrate that there is also no harm in admitting flaws, no matter what they may be.

1. Blogging

Attempt at being organise with a blogging notebook. #Fail

Not in the sense of writing but actually doing it. A lot of these 'blogging tips' posts go on about how you have to blog twice a week because otherwise the world will explode and you don't really count as a dedicated blogger. This is a load of bull.

I struggle to find the time to write up all the drafts I have going on at any one time or actually do things with the photos I have taken but this certainly does not mean I am not dedicated nor am I a failure as a blogger. IT IS A HOBBY. When I have the time, I write and it goes down well. I always maintain regular visitors even if I haven't written for weeks and I get new followers every day. This makes me proud and shows that the world will not end in a fiery ball of death if you don't get those two posts written every week.

2. Photos

Not necessarily the taking of them, more like the being in them. Even as a child I was told I couldn't smile and I think that has kind of reflected in my general photo awkwardness so I only look half decent in pictures when I'm either dancing or drunk. Being a blogger it's difficult for me to want to talk about my outfits without comparing myself to fashion bloggers who manage to pull of the 'stare far into the distance' look whereas when I try it I just look constipated. It's reached the point now where I honestly don't give AF. If the outfit looks good then who cares? We're talking about clothes here and not my face.

Example of my twattish photo face.

3.  Buttons

Not blogging related at all but also not really life related. Seriously, who the hell can struggle over the concept of buttons? Oh, that would be me... I don't even know why

4. Maths

This one speaks for itself really and isn't exactly abnormal

5.  Getting up in the morning

I'm sure I never used to be as bad as this as I am now. Before I had to take daily medication I would wake up, albeit unwillingly, and get on with my day. Now however it's like that clip in Pans Labyrinth when she wakes up the monster although the waking up process usually involves my boyfriend throwing off the covers and opening the windows so I lie there like teenager trying to bat the sun away with my hands. I need to sort it out really

6. Saying no

This can be blogging related as well as general life. I've always struggled to say no and I've found that I have to say it more often than I like especially when PRs contact me. Every time I have to say no I feel guilty especially if it's to a PR because I am essentially one myself and I know how much it sucks.

Outside of the blogging world, saying no is equally as hard and I always end up either taking on more work or doing more things so I don't have time to sit. I do appreciate a good sit and I do need more sitting time.

But it's OK! You don't need to take every opportunity that comes your way if they aren't screaming your name or you don't have time. There will be others, I promise.

7. Paying attention

This is my boyfriend's pet peeve. I like to think I'm good at multi-tasking but that's a complete lie. If I'm trying to do more things than once I have a tendency to leave sentences unfinished or say 'what/pardon me' at least three times before I can grasp what the hell is going on around me.

8. Doing things in general... Procrastination, innit

Yeah... again, this is a common problem the world over but I seem to excel at it on an amazing scale. Whether it's little things having a shower before bed so I don't have to rush in the morning, rehearsing my music or even making dinner I more often than not end up on the black whole of the Internet that is Reddit or binge watch a TV programme on Netflix. It then means that 'OK, I'll do it in a minute' ends up taking hours. On a larger scale, I'm still in February of my Mood Blanket... pretty damn far behind.

9.  Doing the washing

As a blogger this is seriously the bane of my life. If there's an event coming up I try to plan my outfits but then realise that the thing I want to wear and is perfect for this occasional in particular is currently at the bottom of a washing pile. As a result I tend to just throw on a pair of jeans and a band t-shirt but again, it's OK. I'm comfortable god damn it and I will wash that dress when I get home so it's ready for the next time. But this could always lead back to number 8 if I'm not careful.

10.  Remembering... pretty much anything

My memory is awful, and my attempt at keeping my life in order (I.e, my diary) just doesn't seem to help. I now rely on Gary if people want to make plans because I never know what the hell is happening whereas he's really organised and knows more about my social life than I do.

So there we go, only a fraction of the many, many things I am bad at and linking back to my main point; it just goes to show that bloggers aren't perfect and it doesn't matter. You don't need to follow 'blogging tips' as though they're a recipe book... thinking about it, you don't always need to follow a recipe. If you want more cinnamon, have more cinnamon and don't let anyone tell you you're doing it wrong. Accept and embrace what you think may be a flaw and just roll with it. Blogging and LIFE is so much more interesting that-a-way.

Lush Oxford Street Store

Lush Oxford Street Store
Image source: www.lush.co.uk
The one problem with Lush is pretty much that I should not be able to go into a store, attended or unattended. I have used their website in the past to get my essentials such as Soak and Float and Ultrabland without a problem. Let me go in a store and I always leave with my purse crying despite how happy my soul may be. Damn you bright colours and glitter.

The new flagship store opened on Oxford Street a few weeks ago and a bunch of my friends have been going on about how amazing it is. It was no word of a lie...

Lush Oxford street store

ONE essential turned out being three bath bombs (one for Gary, may I add), bath oils, glitter and that essential Soak and Float. This is mainly because I'm a sucker for any variety of advertising and when they have 'shows' on the different bath bombs I get all levels of excited and buy them all.

From left onwards:
Soak and Float solid shampoo
Sunnyside - my favourite glittery bubble bar
Oxford Street Exclusive silver bath melt (can't remember the name)
Frozen bath bomb for singing 'Let It Go' loudly in the bath
The Oxford Street exclusive Experimenter bath bomb

Out of all of these things, the Experimenter is one of the most exciting bath products I have bought for a while. I don't even know how to describe it properly, it's made up of loads of different colours and scents plus it makes your bath look like tie die. Honestly, where's bad with this?

Frozen was equally as amazing. I mixed it with a bit of Sunnyside and it ended up looking like a sparkly blue lagoon. I obviously insisted on listening to the Frozen soundtrack while in the bath too. 

I felt like this:


Next came the bath melt. I have never used one of them before and was pretty much convinced to buy one when I picked it up and ended up with glitter all over my hands. As it strange as it sounds it made my bath so lovely and 'soft' (if that makes sense) and when I got out not only was my skin amazingly soft, I was also covered from head to toe in glitter that I rapidly started to shed all over the house. I really recommend them for fellow dry skin sufferers, plus they're just over £2. Bargain.

Gary is yet to use his Experimenter and unless he hurries up soon I'm going to have to take it as I already need to get another Lush fix soon.

What's your favourite Lush product?

Naughty Ghost Tour of London

Cross Bones Graveyard London

I love a good walking tour now, it's something I never would have thought I would enjoy but I have been on a couple now! Previously I have done the Jack the Ripper walking tour and the Sherlock walking tour and they were both all levels of amazing. Even with the exercise.

As I have mentioned and you're all now fully aware, I am a massive wuss but can't seem to stop myself from getting involved with 'scary things' and still insist on watching horror movies. Maybe it's like a whole self destructive thing, either way I can't stop myself so when I was invited to do the Naughty Ghost Tour of London, I automatically said 'yes'.

The tour was organised by Best LDN tours, who arranged the Sherlock one I went on a couple of months ago, so based on previous experience I knew it would be a good night. It was made even better when Charlie, Distracted and I (my go to blogger event buddy) met up with Little Miss Katy and Leanne from Broke in the Big Smoke... It was DEFINITELY going to be a good night, with an inevitable hangover the next day. (Go here for Little Miss Katy's wonderful words of wisdom on how to cure one)

We started off the tour at the Crossbones Graveyard for the Outcast Dead, final resting place for criminals and prostitutes (oh my). To this day people come to the graveyard to leave little memories for those who rest here and to remember those who they have lost.

Our tour guide went out of our way to try and connect us with the supernatural. Using dowsing rods to communicate with those at rest at the Crossbones as multiple sightings have happened over the years. I really didn't wan to use the dowsing rods and got really freaked out when they moved. We also offered the spirits some red wine (sneaky bottle in my bag) but it turns out the spirit we were communicating with preferred Rum... the hashtag #GhostsLikeRedWine (but prefer rum) was born.

Cross Bones Grave Yard London
Speaking to spirits with dowsing rods

Our tour took us down some of the main streets and some of the back streets of the London Bridge/Borough area. We learnt where one of the firsts surgical theatres stood, the history behind the Clink prison and were told stories of the girl who lost her love and her father, joined a nunnery (which then become Southwark Cathedral) and still 'haunts' the area after her death. We played with a Black Mirror to see Spirits (I obviously freaked out) and even learnt some naughty facts. Did you know that the reason there's a little street called Cardinal Cap Alley because a Cardinal spent a moment with a 'lady of the night' and left his cap behind!

Naughty, naughty Cardinal

We visited some of my favourite areas of south London, visited old film locations and even shared some of our most random London facts; They rebuilt the Globe in the wrong place, there's a theatre that predates the Globe, discovered during construction works in the 80s, and how some of the bollards along the river are actually old cannons. Who'da thunk it?

The Golden Hinde Boat
The Golden Hinde - one of my favourite places in London

Pubs on the thames
The Anchor Pub - one of the oldest in London
As can be expected following a meetup with the girls our evening concluded with more red wine and Sangria in a 'cheeky Nandos' where we proceeded to discuss our own 'encounters' and belief in the Spirit World. Whether or not this sounds like your kinda thing, don't be fooled and think it's only about ghosts, it shows a history into our beloved capital that you wouldn't even consider. I recommend it for all because not only is it interesting as hell, the tour guides are wonderful and make the whole thing a funny and enjoyable experience, as can be expected from Best LDN walks.

Have you ever been on a Ghost Tour?