The London List



Ah, London. The best and worst thing about London is that you can never do everything. I've been in (outer) London for nearly eight years now and there is still so much I need to get around to seeing. Now that we're seriously contemplating moving away, a sense of urgency is creeping up on me. So, here's the list of London-y things that I still really, really, really want to do:



Do a 'Hidden London' tour of an abandoned tube station. I love the London Underground and I really want to have this experience. Actually, putting this on the list is a little bit of a cheat, because in June last year I spent three hours in a virtual queue, and in March we'll be touring the Clapham South deep level shelter. Fingers crossed it'll be worth the wait!


Have a cream tea at the Fan Museum in Greenwich. I've heard it's a great cream tea, and who doesn't love perusing 'the first museum dedicated to fans'?! OK, maybe we'll just have the cream tea. It's no secret that I'm partial to a cream tea.



Have my photo taken on Platform 9 3/4. And visit the shop, obviously. 

While I'm there, I could (haha) get a Eurostar to Paris. This is the most far-fetched item on the list, but as I love trains, it has to at least go on the list.

Swim outdoors, either in the Serpentine or a lido. This is obviously weather-dependent; I'm not completely nuts (when it comes to outdoor swimming anyway).

Visit the Science Museum. I went once, before I even lived in London, and didn't make it any further than the ground floor. Museum fail.



Visit the British Library. This definitely comes under the category of, 'Seriously Liz, why have you not done this yet?' 

Do a tour of Highgate Cemetery.

Visit the National Gallery. Actually, I don't know if it's any good, but it feels like something I should actually do!


This list has basically just turned into an expose of weird stuff I like: trains, graveyards, cake and books. I'm at peace with that. Hit me up with your London must-dos, I'm sure there'll be stuff I haven't put on the list...

Overwhelmed by Ideas

You know the story: January 1st rolls around and suddenly your feed is full of everyone else's resolutions (except they're called goals now). Honestly, it all leaves me a bit overwhelmed and left behind. It's not that I don't have any ideas about what my own resolutions goals should be, it's more that I have about 54637 ideas and I'm not convinced any of them are any good.



I often feel this way. Creatively, I feel like I don't really push myself very much; I don't make much effort to develop my blog, I've never managed more than 3000 words of a novel, I have more unfinished sewing projects than...someone with a lot of unfinished sewing projects. I've written before about how I want to take action, to live by my politics, and sometimes I do, but often I find excuses not to. 

Too often, fear gets in the way. I'll have an idea, play around with it in my head, get excited, start thinking about how it could fail, convince myself it will fail, move onto another idea, play around with it in my head....rinse, lather, repeat. Round and round the vicious circle I go.

I want 2017 to be the year that I actually try. The year that I chose some of the better ideas, focus on them and (most importantly) actually DO them. Which, neatly, leads me onto my word for 2017:

action


This year I want to try and bring a couple of ideas to fruition. They might fail, I might fail, but failing is way better than being to scared to try in the first place (or so I'll be trying to tell myself this year). At least then I can move onto something different, until I find something that works. Screw you, fear.



Yep, I totally lured you into reading another '2017 goals' post, I'm an awful person.


2016: It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.

2016 was awesome, and it was utter dog shit. It's been a year where I did incredible things, and had once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It's also been a year where two of my closest friends have experienced serious health problems and where I've become increasingly convinced that we're now sliding down the slippery slope towards nuclear armageddon.

My year in a nutshell: me, on my dream honeymoon, in Malaysia, waking up at 3am, getting excited about the day ahead, scrolling through my phone, coming across a HuffPo article about what Putin could do in Europe, spending the next four hours pinioned to the bed in panic attack/doom spiral mode. Pete talked me round and we had a lovely day. Holiday of a lifetime, with added #TrumpPanic. That was so 2016.

I figured that there's enough doom on the internet so here, selfishly, personally, are the good, no, amazing things that happened to me in 2016:





I got married. Thanks to the generosity of our guests we raised a shit ton for the Maytree Suicide Respite Centre in the process.



I had a super relaxing hotel stay (once we'd found the damn car keys). I WILL NEVER CALL IT A MINI-MOON.




I went to my first and (given the difficulties of procuring a ticket) possibly last Glastonbury.


I saw Elton John in Leicester (and met Janet the next day)!



I went to the Isles of Scilly with Pete and Tom.


I did a lot of work I'm really proud of.

I came off all my medication and finished therapy and I'm still here.


I ran a 10k, 7.5k, 26.2 miles in a month, walked the Circle Line and...



... jumped out of a plane!



I went to Malaysia and, once I'd managed to stop thinking about Trump for more than 5 minutes, I genuinely relaxed for the first time in months and months.



Finally, if you're craving some good news (who isn't?) that's not just me rabbiting on about my life, I wholeheartedly recommend this TED Talk (stick with it).

See you on the flip side (or 'next year').

Yes, It's a Blog Post About Blogging.

I’ve been thinking about blogging recently. Specifically about what I want to do with this blog. In my head I went through a brief phase of thinking I should find a niche (Mental health? Books? Travel? Food? London? TV?) and get serious, turn this into something that could start bringing opportunity, something that could bring me a bit of part-time freelance moo-lah in the future. I had the ideas, the start of the vision, but…. My heart wasn’t in it.

Basically, I’m someone who values downtime (as in, actual brain-dead downtime, not ‘hobby blogging’ for three hours every evening after work) and the thought of putting in that much time just doesn’t really appeal to me. I like being able to blog intermittently, about what I like, with poor quality photos and swear-y, ellipsis-filled chat.

I think these days it’s really tempting to fall into a trap of thinking that a blog needs to be a certain thing. Especially now that IRL people understand (sort of) what a blog is. It’s easy to fall into a trap, thinking that you haven’t got a real blog if you don’t get paid/receive free stuff/have perfect photos/know what your DA score is. I should know, I actually contemplated getting some wallpaper samples to use as photo backgrounds (it’s ok, I pulled myself back from the brink).

I guess the thing is to create something that you’re proud of. And really only you can be the judge of that. Me? I’m proud of ranting, talking about my mental health, documenting the little things and making lovely, like-minded Internet Friends. And you? If you’re proud of the same stuff, that’s awesome, let’s be Internet Friends. And if you’re proud of make up reviews and wishlists, then that is genuinely great. I might not read it, but that’s fine because we’re on The Internet and The Internet is bloody massive.


I appear to have written a whole post about how nothing’s going to change around here. C’est la vie. 

My Body Positive Instagram Heroes #MyBoPoChallenge



As promised last week, here are some of my BoPo Instagram heroes. I really do believe that seeing more images of diverse, beautiful bodies is such a great first step towards feeling more body positive. And it's super easy to do! Winning. This is definitely, definitely not an exhaustive list, but it might be a good starting point. So, my absolute favourites:


Megan's one of my absolute favourite people that I follow on Instagram. She's recovered from anorexia and her journey and self-love is hugely inspirational.


A photo posted by 👙EFF YOUR BEAUTY STANDARDS™ðŸ‘ŠðŸ¼ (@effyourbeautystandards) on


Eff Your Beauty Standards is a great re-post account that shares body positive images. It's really good for seeing diverse images and for finding new BoPo heroes!




Jes is one of the big deals of the BoPo movement, and that's a totally well-earned compliment. Her blog is awesome, and you should definitely check out her body positive resources page if you're in need of further information/inspiration.


A photo posted by Valerie Sagun (@biggalyoga) on


Valerie aka Big Gal Yoga is so inspirational, I love seeing her posts and being reminded that exercise, moving your body and flexibility are not just reserved for thin people.


A photo posted by Mama Cāx (@caxmee) on

Mama Cax's pictures are absolutely stunning and I think disabled bodies are such an important part of the body positive movement that seem to often get overlooked, so her account is super-refreshing.

And some other mentions (basically, I got fed up of embedding Instagram images):
I've been a fan of Brittany for a long time and her TED Talk is all kinds of awesome.
Melissa looks totally awesome all the time, and I'm pretty sure it was her that started the brilliant #donthatetheshake hashtag.
Bethany is queen of the selfie, and her outfit posts are waaaaaay more kick ass than anything I could ever achieve (but I can dream, right?)
Britt shares real images and outfits that I want to steal. She also a fellow mental health warrior!

So, what do you think? Let me know if I've missed anyone awesome, am always up for finding more BoPo heroes. Right, I'm off to look up synonyms for 'awesome' and 'inspiration'. BRB.

P.S. If you're joining me in #MyBoPoChallenge, please use the hashtag so I can see the fun commence!


The BoPo Diaries: 10 Ideas For Getting Body Positive #MyBoPoChallenge

Following Monday's Body Positivity rant/post, I've decided to set myself a challenge. I think the best way to tackle these things is normally with small steps. But what small steps? You want me to write a list? OK, if you insist. 



I'll take any excuse to write a list. Here's my ideas for stuff that I (well, we, if you're up for it) could start doing now:

Make a list of all the stuff your body can do, either on paper (or on internet) or in your head. Remind yourself of these things and thank your body. Yes, really.

Wear stuff that you love, and wear it unapologetically. 

Read some Body Positive books. I'm going to start with The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, but there's a great list of other BoPo books here (Jes Baker's Things No-One Will Tell Fat Girls is also on my ever-growing 'to read' list).

Exercise or move because of how it makes you feel, not how it might make you look.

Follow some BoPo heroes on Instagram. Regularly seeing photos of women looking amazing at all sizes will start to do wonders for your own self-confidence. I've got a post about this planned for next week if you need some ideas for people to start following....

On that note: Post photos of yourself on social media. Not with apologetic 'ignore the belly rolls but....' captions, but just photos of you looking awesome. Flaunt the fat/cellulite/scars/wrinkles/stretch marks. I think half the problem is that we rarely see pictures of unfiltered bodies that we can identify with.

Don't bitch about other people's bodies. Ever. We've probably all done it (I have, when I really hate someone) and it just exacerbates a problem that ends up hurting all of us. On that note - challenge other people's comments.

If you don't identify as fat - be a good thin ally

Talk to people. Share how you feel. Often body shaming feels worse when you keep it inside.

This one might be a bit extreme, but reclaim your body. Get an awesome tattoo in a place you used to hate.


Who wants to join me? It's just a case of picking some thing that you think will help make you feel more positively about your body, and doing it. That's it. Take photos, blog, tweet, post on Insta... If you want to use the #MyBoPoChallenge hashtag too that would be awesome. that way I can find things and share them. Feel free to use the image above too if you blog about it.

LET'S DO THIS. Let's inspire each other. Let's enable each other to start loving ourselves and then start getting other shit done. Because there is a lot of shit to get done, and telling myself horrible things about my body isn't on my to do list anymore.


P.S. Please tell me what I've missed off my list!