Leave a Light On

In black and white, we saw the world

around us in flames, lives going out

like candles in a sandstorm,

Death racing

across acrid deserts with claws outstretched –

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Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

There is just something about this glorious Autumn weather that makes me want to don a Fair Isle sweater and go stomping off into the forest, all on my own. I want to crunch and kick my way through mountains of scarlet leaves and tilt my face to the golden sun as it trickles down through the canopy of oaks and beeches. I want to smell wood smoke on the wind, and let it take me down sweet winding paths of nostalgia, the echos of my childhood self laughing ahead of me as we go.

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The Scattered Heart of the Expat

It is a strange sweetness, feeling that you are anchored to different parts of the world. Those ghosts of your younger self ever walking the streets of your memories, their footsteps echoing deep inside your heart.

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A Most Wicked Bird

On the morning of my eighteenth birthday, my father presented me with a magnificent bird, whose plumage would shame a sapphire. He knew that I had always adored birds, and had yearned for one of my very own. Enraptured, I opened the door to his golden cage and gently took him out. His sharp little…

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The Secret to Writing the Perfect Maid of Honour Speech

So how can you be charming, unique, memorable and moving? How can you get your beloved bride weeping happily and laughing into her monogrammed napkin, while the guests roar with approval and the groom faints with bliss? How can you write the perfect Maid of Honour speech? It’s not an easy task, but don’t worry; I have the answer.

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a girl with slim legs lies in a bath filled with wild flowers and ripped music sheets the water is blue the flowers are yellow pink and red with green leaves ophelia

“No better way is there to learn to love Nature than to understand Art. It dignifies every flower of the field. And, the boy who sees the thing of beauty which a bird on the wing becomes when transferred to wood or canvas will probably not throw the customary stone.”

– Oscar Wilde

You Never Knew This About The Titanic…

The short story is believed by many to portend the sinking of the Titanic nearly thirty years later, and it is easy to see why. Written to highlight the dangers of a ship with insufficient lifeboats, there are a number of parallels to the real disaster.

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The History of Halloween Costumes

The first recorded occurrences of guising, or Trick or Treating in today’s terms, took place in Scotland in the 16th century, later spreading to the rest of Britain. In true Scottish fashion, if food and treats were refused the costumed youths who roamed door to door, with poetry on their lips and mischief on their minds, they would run the risk of a serious pranking. The iconic image of the carved pumpkin can also be traced back to Scotland in the 19th century, where revellers in fancy dress carried hollowed out turnips, and recited riddles and songs for nuts and fruit.

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French Actresses To Fall In Love With

I have always absolutely adored French actresses. The way they slink like beautiful cats on screen, a ferocity and sensuality in their glance. Delicious. Perhaps because they posses a slender grace and an elegance that are so far removed from my own rosy cheeked milkmaid aesthetic. 

Here are some of my all time favourite French Starlets, and the films where I first fell in love with them.

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How To Survive In A New City

It takes a certain type of personality to not only enjoy, but to cope with so many new places, and often without initially speaking the language. You need to be adventurous, yes, but you also need to have a thick skin and an innate ability to adapt. Plonking yourself down somewhere brand new takes an awful lot of effort, and there are many things to be tackled. New job, new house, new friends, new language, new local bar, new arthouse cinema, and lots and lots of paperwork. It can be tough, but if you put the effort in, it can also be one of the most rewarding and exciting ways to live. 

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The No.1 Handbag Essential

This year, there is one small item that I have started bringing with me everywhere I go, and that now I can’t live without. In fact, it has made such a difference to my life that I have a set for every handbag that I own, so that I never get caught out. Listen, a girl needs a selection. And the best part? They only cost me €1.

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Is Your Friendship Toxic?

Female friendship, to me, is one of the most beautiful things in the world. The women that I love lie snuggled warm and cosy in my heart, jostling shoulder to shoulder with my husband and family, like a jolly pile of kittens. In some ways, friendship is the purest form of love. It is not motivated by sex, or blood tie obligation. You never need to be friends with someone. They are the people that you choose, and that choose you back.

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5 Ways I’ve Failed to Quit Smoking

‘This time I really mean it,’ I said, stubbing out my final cigarette defiantly at two in the morning. ‘I just can’t understand why you don’t believe me when I tell you, that this is absolutely my last one. I. Am. Done.’ Oh, that poor husband of mine. I believe that he has heard this…

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A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. -Roald Dahl

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Books That I Wanted To Gobble Up

Sometimes you come across a book that is so delicious, so immediately enjoyable, that you just want to shove it whole into your mouth and never let it out. You know the ones, where after reading just the first few lines you know instinctively that you and this book are going to fall in love,…

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Knicker Wettingly Funny

Holy smokes, I have just discovered the most hilarious podcast! I heard about it this morning on The High Low (Dolly Alderton always has fantastic recommendations), and I have already steamed through the first four episodes. Julia Davis and Vicki Pepperdine are long time collaborators, most notably in the brilliant Nighty Night and the lesser…

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All the world’s a stage – but has the play begun?

Do you ever feel as though your real life hasn’t started yet? As though you are building and building towards a perfect apex, when suddenly everything will click into place and the grey tones of inertia will bloom into vibrant whorls of colour? Many of us, at some point or another, can feel this way. Like life is passing you by, while those around you are already treading the boards and basking in the applause.

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