You brought so much joy into our lives in the 2 3/4 years that we knew you.
From the timid, unsure cat who hid under the sofa when we first got you – forcing us to feed you through that tiny gap – you blossomed quickly into the third and equal member of our family, often yelling at us in your silent way when you considered it was time for more food.
Walking through the front door will never, ever be the same again without you waiting just inches inside for dinner – or just for company from your humans.
Even when Frazer was already home, you almost always walked up the hallway to greet me when I came home from work and seeing you was so often the highlight of my day.
I’ll miss you every time we eat pizza, knowing that our Pizza Cat is no longer there. I’ll think of you when we get Byron delivered, remembering the time when we left the rubbish on the table and you mauled it, licked the containers clean and took the rubbish all the way to the bedroom to your bed (which you hardly ever slept in, of course, preferring to lie on our jumpers and in some really random places). I’ll always remember how you ate an entire bread roll one night, you fought through cling film to eat Frazer’s mum’s homemade fruit cake, and you got very sniffy and interested whenever Frazer had Sainsbury’s brownie bites. Continue reading →
I’ve been vegetarian for around 12-13 years, since I bought a Goldfinger album which contained some brutal information about slaughterhouses in the sleeve, and heard their songs with animal rights messages like Open Your Eyes and Behind The Mask. I declared to my parents as I returned home from that same shopping trip, having read the album booklet on the way back, that I was now vegetarian. (They were fine with it, except my dad was understandably mildly irritated that he had just been to Sainsbury’s and now had to go back out so I had food to eat!)
For years I’ve been a very happy and content vegetarian. I haven’t missed meat at all; in fact, I barely liked it anyway (I practically only ate chicken) and so it was an unusually easy transition for me. Throughout my vegetarian years I’ve found it easy to be quite strict, eschewing fish, gelatine and non-vegetarian parmesan. But I always held off from taking the next step to veganism, thinking about how much I love cheese and chocolate snacks like Minstrels and Maltesers.
Suddenly, though, practically out of nowhere, I’ve been filled with a new resolve. It partially came from watching Cowspiracy and What The Health last week, the former helping to remind me of the environmental impacts of dairy as part of the wider animal agriculture industry. I felt that not eating meat or dairy is the simplest thing I could do to help the environment. Plus I’ve always been aware in the back of my mind that dairy farming is just as cruel and often inhumane as farming for meat, but now I feel less inclined to ignore it. Continue reading →
January is traditionally the time for self improvement, new life goals or big changes, with New Year’s resolutions and trends like Dry January and Veganuary. But it’s also the deepest darkest month, the glum period after Christmas, and the time when it’s acceptable to stay in all weekend and be cosy on the sofa.
So I gradually begun making some small changes at the end of the month and start of February instead, largely in an attempt to stop myself falling indefinitely into indifference and laziness outside work hours.
These are things I began doing, or continued doing with increased purpose, which I believe are good for both mental and physical health. Continue reading →
I’m a journalist in my mid 20s who lives in London. Not a combination which traditionally implies lots of disposable income!
Yet everyone needs a holiday sometimes, so my boyfriend Frazer and I whizzed away to Brussels for three nights at the end of September.
We got (I think) fairly good prices for our travel and accommodation, and spent less than €150 when we were out there, which could easily have been reduced further if we’d not brought back gifts for our catsitters or sampled plenty of beer.
In fact, we loved Brussels even more than Paris, which for many UK travellers seems to be the pinnacle of European city breaks.
Here are a few tips on how to enjoy Brussels without spending half your savings.
The most hyped up show in London’s West End at the moment is undoubtedly Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre.
Tickets have been booked up more than a year in advance. There’s a script book for Potter fans so those who can’t make it into London can get stuck into the story too. There’s a #keepthesecrets campaign to stop spoilers spreading uncontained across the internet.
But does the play actually live up to expectations?
I went to see it on Sunday October 15, 2017 after booking tickets in August 2016 and I have quite mixed feelings. Here they are, represented mostly in gif form.
I live in London and I’m going on a city break to Brussels this month.
I got thinking about this after two police officers outside Buckingham Palace in London were injured by a man with a large knife on the same night (August 25) that soldiers on patrol in Brussels were attacked, also by a knifeman.
Both incidents are being treated as suspected acts of terrorism.
These events follow horrific incidents in recent months and years throughout Europe, in places that feel very close to home. London, Brussels, Manchester, Barcelona, Paris, Nice, Stockholm and Berlin have all been targeted.
But we can’t let the terrorists change our way of lives; that’s what they want. We must keep doing what we want to do in our home cities and go on holidays, supporting our fellow Europeans and their cultures and economies.
I’m a huge fan of McFly but Tom Fletcher, singer and guitarist, has annoyed me today.
It’s all because of this story about a disabled student who’s been told he would not be able to pass a Scottish journalism qualification as he is unable to do shorthand.
I get the uproar about this. I think that Kyle should be able to get a qualification – just perhaps with the caveat on it that it does not include shorthand, since employers will otherwise assume that his certificate will encompass that too.
He’s a teenager with cerebal palsy and journalism desperately needs more diversity, not less, so give him a chance to cut his reporting chops and get a slightly altered qualification. We don’t want to keep a good journalist out of the field just because of shorthand.
But that’s not what’s spurred me on to write this blog. Tom Fletcher chipped in with this:
This is terrible. Of course he should be awarded his qualification. I can't even remember the last time I saw a journalist use shorthand. https://t.co/isKYZa95E5
Kate Nash’s debut album, Made of Bricks, was definitely one of the big albums of my formative years, having been released when I was the tender yet crucial age of 15.
Almost three years later, her second album, My Best Friend is You, was released just a few months after I passed my driving test and I remember driving round listening to Paris and Do-Wah-Doo in the sun.
But of course it’s Foundations, and the more twee Mouthwash and Birds, that captivated me first. We Get On was great teenage crush fodder, and every single song on that album had something to connect to.
So when Kate announced a 10th anniversary tour for Made of Bricks this summer, playing the whole album, I just had to go – even though I’d seen her during a more shouty phase in York in 2013 and hadn’t been quite so enamoured. (I still thought she was awesome and girl power-y though).