I try too hard

Me wearing a pineapple top hairstyle.

A cool thing about my new job is that I get to write things. I like writing. Writing is really cool and gives my introverted self a chance to go – OH HEY! LOOK AT THIS! AREN’T I SUBTLY HILARIOUS!

That’s what you’re all thinking, right? That I’m hilarious? I’m going to assume yes because, and here’s the best thing of it all, I’m the writer and you’re the reader. Silly reader, you can’t reach into the screen and write a miss massive ‘NO, FUCK OFF’ into the middle of this. Not yet anyway.

*Gives a nervous side eye to Windows 10*

However, part of writing for a living is that you also get edited for a living. Which means wiser people come in and point out what could be done better. No surprise, my grammar usually comes up. My grammar is, by my own admission, pretty shit and most of my professional life involves me trying to hide this. But hey, it’s not my fault that up until college my teachers taught me that you only use a comma when you take a breath*.

*Note, this is not grammar, this is breathing.

Another useful thing about editors is that they tell you when you’re trying TOO DAMN HARD. Again, I’ll hold my hand up and admit to this. I’m often guilty of struggling how to convey my love of something, so therefore compensate by writing utter fangirl nonsense. Such as – Oh it’s the best, the best thing ever. Can you tell I like it CAUSE I JUST KEEP BLABBING ON ABOUT IT!

My editor recently told me that nothing makes people want to dislike something more than someone telling them to like it. People are bratty like that. We all like to make our own minds up and for that we need to REASON not just hear gushing praise.

At one point in my internet career, I tried to create a book reviewing blog. I think I managed two posts before I gave up – why? Because everything I was writing sounded so fake. Like I was being paid to get people to like it – and that I also sucked at this job. I couldn’t understand why my writing sounded so atrocious  but now I do. It’s cause I was trying too hard. I spent too much time saying that I liked it, rather than trying to pin point what about the book made me like it.

I think science calls this ‘cause and effect’. Or is that affect? Jesus, grammar is hard.

Anyway, I now believe that if you really love something it will show. Also, that editors are great. All hail those who check for comma errors!

Goodbye London Zoo!

ZSL London Zoo

ZSL London Zoo

For the last two years I’ve been working at ZSL London Zoo. The time has come for me to say goodbye to the place, as I move into the real world where I won’t be seeing penguins everyday – I know, such hard problems in my life.

During my time at the zoo, I’ve been lucky enough to act as photographer. I can’t share all my photos of my time there (one because my contract means I don’t own the copyright, and two because there are literally HUNDREDS) but I thought it would be nice to mark my day of leaving with some few snap shots.

If you fancy seeing a few more of my pictures, you can see a full array on the Zoo’s tumblr page.

I’m not one for mushy goodbyes, so to you zoo I say: stay cool, it’s been real. And cute. It’s very cute.

ZSL London ZooZSL London Zoo

ZSL London ZooZSL London Zoo

Woof Hall, Brockwell park

Dog dressed as a tudor.

Dalmatian having a cuddle

Cute puppy wins

Holiday blues are inevitable. They sneak up on you once you step off your EasyJet flight and make your beloved England seem like a grey misery hole (sorry England but Greece was just SO SUNNY!). To help combat my expected blues, I went to the only event that’s better than a week away on holiday – a dog show based around puns!

Now I don’t know much about dog shows or how they’re organised but I can only assume that this entire event was based around one person going: ‘Wolf Hall… WO-LF Hall… Woof! Let’s call it WOOF HALL!’

Featured categories of the day were: handsomest dog, prettiest bitch, golden oldie, cutest puppy, most talented and… A FANCY DRESS ROUND!

While watching Fly, the oldest dog in the show at 18, win Golden Oldie was emotional (the owner nearly cried and Fly was late due to weak back legs – my ovaries were tearing up!) nothing could ever beat seeing a load of dogs in fancy dress.

Woof Hall, Brockwell Park

Woof Hall, Brockwell Park

Other highlights of the event include watching a dog show off its talent of being able to sit while its owner did cart wheels around him. That act won second place in the talent show. A real show of athleticism.

I also managed to get in a few cheeky strokes of dogs passing by, which is nothing to be sniffed at. And I also enjoyed one non-show dog walking into the area to scoff some forgotten treats. Dogs are truly my spirit animal.

Woof Hall, Brockwell Park

Woof Hall, Brockwell Park

 

Zakynthos, Greece

Zakynthos, Greece Zakynthos, Greece Zakynthos, Greece Here is a bit of backstory to my holiday with my boyfriend. We were originally supposed to be heading to Tunisia, however, less than a week before our flight went out the infamous beach shooting took place. All flights to Tunisia were cancelled and I was tasked to booking a new holiday three days before we had to leave. In a panic, I found one of the few destinations Teletext (yes they’re still at thing and no, you shouldn’t use them because…) had left on offer in Zakynthos AKA Zante. Zante has a notoriously bad reputation. It’s famous for being the destination of every UK lad and ladette who at the age of 18 are looking to get pissed and party harty (I’m so down with the kid lingo). The hotel I picked, however, had reviews on the page from Tripadvisor that said our hotel was tucked away from the noise and party times, that it was quiet and had hardly any British people staying there. Hurray! The day before we set off to our lovely hotel, I checked up on those Tripadvisor reviews to see if anyone had recommended some fun things to do in the area. Now on the teletext website, they pulled through the reviews directly onto their site. When I found the hotel on the actual Tripadvisor website, I discovered that the reviews Teletext had been using were for a completely different hotel that was in Majorca. Our actual hotel was reviewed as a loud party central, perfect for anyone on a lad adventure. My boyfriend and I had accidentally become lads on tour. Zakynthos, Greece DSC00441 Sea bream at Komis Fish tavern DSC00346 Thankfully, as you can probably see from these photos, Zante has for more to it than just cheap booze and clubs. Nearly all the lad horror is located in the Laganas area, where our hotel was situated at the end of. By simply renting a car, joining a boat tour, or hopping onto a bus, we were able to wander freely and see what the real Zakynthos is like. During the days, we visited hidden away beaches, found were sea turtles lay their eggs, ate the best sea food of our lives, joined a boat trip and came face to face with actual sea turtles! We climbed a mountain to visit a Venetian castle, discovered a church built out of bricks from the 16th Century, ate more delicious food, found the friendliest dogs on earth and formed at unlikely friendship with our beloved green car who I called ‘Sprout’. The hotel wasn’t as bad as I feared it would be. We were all inclusive and the food they offered was a great alternative for when we wanted to save some money and just tuck into a simple greek salad and chips. Some nights I did struggle to sleep due to louder guests, the craziest thing being that the worst lads there weren’t even from the UK. Congratulations the Czech Republic – you’ve beaten England! Of course, teletext continued to out do itself for bad service by not telling the hotel that we were arriving, which meant we almost had no where to stay. The shuttle that they also provided first dropped us off at the wrong hotel when we arrive and then failed to show up on the way home. But I consider this a vital lesson that I now have to do proper (slightly more expensive) grown-up holidays that don’t just involve getting a good quote off a man over the phone. DSC00380 DSC00396 DSC00406 I think I’ll definitely return to this wonderful island again in my lifetime. The local people were just so lovely and everyone seemed genuinely thrilled when they learnt that we wanted to see more of the island than just its bars. If you fancy checking Zakynthos out, learn from my mistake and head to this part of the island instead. Zakynthos, Greece DSC00448 DSC00464

How to beat the heat

British weather too hot

So here we are England. We’ve always wished for that Greek sunshine that we love so much on holiday and now its here. Pouring into our homes and offices, melting us like the chocolate digestives that we are. What a fucking treat.

It has been claimed that the ideal heat for a Brit is 21C and that anything other 28C is TOO BLOODY HOT! So you can imagine the sheer panic of our little island as we’ve been forced to endure highs of up to THIRTY FIVE! We’ve been like sweaty ants floundering under God’s magnifying glass.

Just in case we’re forced to endure more of this sweltering hell, I’ve got some top tips to help:

1. Ice Tea

It goes without saying that British people love tea, more than children*. So it makes sense that tea should work in our favour during these tortuous days. America’s have a thing ‘iced tea’, I don’t know how to make this but the concept seems simple enough. For every sip of tea, suck on a cube of ice and repeat until tea is finished.

2. Be Naked

Like all the time. Less clothes, less sweat.

3. Dr. Who-icle

Another thing British people love – Doctor Who**. I don’t know why but our island just can’t get enough but everyone seems to be having a wet dream over Matt Smith’s weird brow. So I propose that we move all screenings of Dr. Who into large freezers. People would be into that, they can pretend they’re in the tardis when the heating breaks in space.

4. Become a Zombie

Seriously, rewatch The Walking Dead. Those guys never seem to be too hot. Or too cold. Maybe the dead have really mastered the whole body temperature thing.

5. Complain

There must be a reason why we like to talk about the weather. Maybe it’s some kind of basic animal instinct that will pay off… somehow. Either that or I’ve been writing this whole post for nothing.

 

 

*I don’t like tea.
** I don’t like Dr.Who. Am I even British?