Thursday, 20 November 2014

Being In My Thirties - Drinking On A School Night

I've been lacking in time and inspiration for my blog recently, however slowly but surely the inspiration is coming back. After reading a post about what someone had learnt since being in their twenties I thought I'd write something similar about my thirties.

The first thing we need to talk about is alcohol. More specifically drinking on a school night.
There was a time when I first started work when I was out Thursday, Friday and Saturday night with the odd Sunday thrown in. Friday's at work would pass in a haze of Coke, coffee and Pro-Plus. I'd be full up to my ears in caffeine but I'd be productive. The boss didn't care as long as I got the work done.

Fast forward 15 years or so and drinking on a school night is simply no longer an option. Especially now I get the train to work, I'm pretty sure that trains and hangovers do not mix.  Prior to getting the train to work I was a 20 minute walk away from the office. That doesn't sound so bad does it? Let me tell you about the last time I drank on a school night.....

My best friend was coming round to dinner.

"Do you fancy going out for dinner? I can't be arsed to cook"

And so the scene was set.

It was only Nandos, nothing fancy but we had a bottle of wine with dinner.

With still much gossiping to do we adjourned to a nearby pub where we had another bottle of wine.

There was still talking to be done after that so another bottle of wine was purchased.

And then the pub closed.

"Shall we go home?"

"I don't know, it feels a bit early"

It was midnight. On a Wednesday. We both had work the next day.

So we went a few doors down to another drinking establishment which had the added bonus of a late licence and a dance floor.

Another bottle of wine was purchased and it cost £5. This was not quality wine.

Memories from this point forward are hazy. I remember moving on to vodka, I remember dancing and that's it.

The next thing I hear is the door slam.

My front door. 

It's 8 in the morning and my friend has just left for work. I'm eyes open wide awake. No particularly strong headache, no significant urge to vom, not bad!

On reflection I may have still been a little bit drunk.

I wander round the flat aimlessly for a bit, not really knowing what to do with myself and trying to remember the journey home.

Then I spot a bag. A BP carrier bag. I cling to a very vague memory of being in front of the chocolate display at the local BP garage trying to look sober.
I open the bag and this is what I find:
1 × kingsize Snickers
1 × kingsize Twix
1 × kingsize Mars
2 × Wispa
2 × Walkers ready salted crisps
2 × can of Coke
20 B & H Silver

I burst out laughing (definitely still pissed), that is proper random drunk buying but there was clearly still a part of my head that knew I would need Coke and crisps from breakfast. Oh and some chocolate.

Also in the bag one receipt adding up to nearly £20 time stamped at 2.32am. Well that answers the question of what time did we got home at.

Eventually after a lot of faffing about I finally get into work. And this is where being in my thirties takes its toll.

I might not have much of a headache but I feel like I haven't slept and no amount of caffeine makes any difference. In fact it just makes me feel sick. I'm there in physical form but I've got the mental capacity of a stapler. Productivity is zero.

All I can think is - how did I used to do this on a regular basis?

I practically crawled out of the office at 4pm (Thank god for flexi time) apologising to my boss and promising to work extra hard the next day. I don't mind admitting that I went straight home and straight to bed.

This was a couple of years ago and I haven't done it since. My school night limit is now 3 glasses of wine (not bottles) and that's a rare occasion.

No more getting hammered on a school night. Those days are over.

Unless I've got the next day off......I think that might be a whole other post!

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The 11th Hour of The 11th Day of The 11th Month

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."

Last two photos courtesy of Ian @cambscobbler

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

I Wrote A Guest Post!

The lovely Louise at Lou Loves Beauty has been on at me to do a guest post for her since I first started blogging. I've been a bit stuck for ideas recently and didn't want to force it. Then I had a few days off and got sucked into watching some of This Morning. Twenty Five minutes after shouting "Are you kidding me?" at the TV, the guest post was written.

You can read my post about how much the term "Real Women" irritates me here. I'd love to know what you think.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Photo Post

It's been a while since I did a photo post - here's a snap shot of the last few weeks.

Starting with a drunken selfie

And ending with the Ice Bucket Challenge

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Driving Related Rants

I've had the joy of driving to work a few times in the last couple of weeks. I'm not at my best in the mornings, I'm fairly grumpy and shit driving just makes me worse.

Lets jump straight in shall we?

Middle Lane Wankers

I make no apologies for the language. 

Part 264 of the Highway Code states: 

"You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear. If you are overtaking a number of slower-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past. Slow-moving or speed-restricted vehicles should always remain in the left-hand lane of the carriageway unless overtaking."

Why is it such a difficult concept for people to understand? It's pure selfish ignorance and it pisses me off. Oh and don't give me that "I don't like driving in between lorries" excuse either. Scared of lorries? Get off the motorway or better still hand your licence back to the DVLA and give up driving. 

One Speed No Matter What

Imagine the scene, you're happily driving a long at 60mph as that's the speed limit and you come across another driver doing 40. Yes it's annoying and you might have a little moan about it but they're within the speed limit, they're not breaking any rules. 

Until the limit changes to 30.

Do you think our new friend slows down? Nope. They just sail on through at 40. Nevermind that it's probably 30 for a reason (built up area, a school, an accident black spot etc.). Our new friend is so oblivious to what is going on around them that they can only do 40mph no matter where they are.

Tossers. Ignorant tossers.

Texting and Driving

I know you think you're being all discreet because you've got your phone on your lap where no one except lorry drivers can see it but when you weave all over your lane and/or into the next lane it's really bloody obvious. As is watching you do your nodding dog impression as you constantly keep looking down to your phone.

Image from

Research has shown that texting and driving can impair your driving by 35%. Do you really want to take that risk? It's literally a killer - stop doing it!!

Thanks for reading

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Today I'm Feeling Old

Went out last night with one of my oldest friends. There was beer, wine, vodka, sambuca, dancing and chips at the end of the night.

I remember being aware of quite a lot of people being a lot younger than me. It didn't matter though to be honest. We had a great night.

I woke up this morning on the sofa this morning. This is not unusual after I've had a drink, the walk from the sofa to the bed at the end of the night is always the hardest. All my make up still on, including the lipstick (Revlon colour stay ultimate suede since you asked), contact lenses still in. So far no change from usual.

Then I got up.

Owww! Good lord my back is fucked!

I've definitely pulled something and it fricking hurts!

I'm walking like a little old lady - it's not a good look.

This afternoon I'm going to watch my friend's daughter in the village carnival when all I actually want to do is have a kip on the sofa.

This is why today, I'm feeling old.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Don't Contact Me If... Part 2

Last month I posted this and it ended up being one of my most popular posts - Thanks for that. It's also one of the posts that I've spoken about with the few of my friends that know I blog. I've talked about it so much and been given so many ideas, I've added to the list!

So here goes.

Don't contact me if:

- You're homophobic.
- You have manky teeth.
- You're a fan of meaningless tribal tattoos.
- You have a barb wire tattoo that does not go all the way round your arm.
- Your first message only consists of the word "Hi" and your second message 2 seconds later is a dick pic.
- You've contacted me before I've given you the brush off. If you don't accept no as answer now it does not bode well for the future.
- You're a big fan of The Only Way Is Essex, Made In Chelsea, Geordie Shaw or anything else of that ilk.
- The same goes for anything Kardashian related.
- You're offended by women swearing.
- You won't cope with me having friends who I will be spending time with, sometimes without you. Chicks before Dicks.
- Your profile picture is you and your ex. I will assume that it is unfinished business.
- You are offended by everything because you have no sense of humour.
- When paying for something at the shop/kiosk/bar etc you throw your money on the counter instead of handing it to the person serving you.
- You have ever uttered the words "I pay your wages" to a public servant.
- You are Dave.
- You are Dave 2.

To the people who helped contribute, thanks very much. If you have got any others for the list comment below or contact me at the twitters @rantingsoflard

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Happy List

I recently read this post by Lauren at Keep Calm It's Only A Blog and having had that exact same feeling in the not so distant past of being stressed out about everything, I thought I'd have a go at making a happy list too.

1) Cocktails in the park. Or in this case, the garden. For the last few years, 3 friends and I have got together in the summer to make and drink cocktails in the park. Usually it's a park in South London, this year it was the garden and it was fab.

2) The beach. I live a good 2 hours from the coast so any trip to the beach always makes me happy. I'm pretty sure I was in fact meant to live by the sea.

3) Shamelessly watching multiple episodes of boxsets on a Sunday afternoon. My recent viewings are Suits, Mad Men and Scandal. All of which are highly recommended. Thanks to Sky On Demand (one of my favourite things in the world) there are definitely more stories to be discovered.

4) Leaving work early on a Friday. I don't get to do it very often but getting home at 4.30 makes me very happy!

5) Amazing medical/science stories like this. They made ears out of his ribs.
Again, ears out of ribs. Amazing.

So there's my happy list for now. What would you add? Comment below or you can find me on the twitters @rantingsoflard. You can also follow me on Bloglovin.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Photo Post

As promised, here's the 2nd part of this July's photo post. We'll ignore the fact that it's now August....

You can find the first part here.

The obligatory scenery shot

Another night away from and this time I got a proper bed!

Mini burgers from Coast to Coast in Birmingham

After a manic few weeks at work I got the ferry to go to Ireland. More about that soon.

Here are the links to the previous photo posts:

You can also find me on the twitters @rantingsoflard

And on Bloglovin

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Don't Contact Me If.....

I came across this post the other day via @ThePoke and it made me think. There are a whole lot of awful profiles on dating websites and I thought I'm sure I could make a similar list although maybe not 100 of them.

So without further ado and in no particular order:

Don't contact me if...

- You are a racist.
- You have ever voted UKIP.
- You read the Daily Mail.
- Your message only consists of the word "Hi".
- Your message only consists of the words "You look nice we meet yes?".
- You're shorter than me. My profile specifies that I like tall men. It also specifies my height. I am not tall.
- You just want to have a go at me for not dating someone shorter than me.
- You don't fancy fat girls. I get I'm not everybody's cup of tea. Neither are you, otherwise we wouldn't be on a dating site.
- You use text speak.
- You don't know the difference between there, their and they're.
- You don't know the difference between your and you're.
- Your profile picture is you in a mirror with a mobile phone.
- Your profile has photos of your kids.
- You live in a different country, that's way too long distance for me.
- You're a massive jazz fan (the music, not the mags).
- You do not have basic manners.
- You think the world owes you a living.
- Your profile says "we'll tell people we met in a pub".
- Your Facebook profile of full of inspirational quotes.

What would you add to this list? Comment below or find me on the twitters @rantingsoflard

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Photo Post

It's been a busy few weeks so this month's photo post is in 2 parts. Here's part 1.

Lou from Lou Loves Beauty practiced a waterfall plait on me, she did well!

Combining my desire to go the beach in the recent lovely weather and my need to study

More beach photos

A little walk round the local park

St Albans cathedral

Chocolate wine is a bit odd but I can't recommend the Smirnoff Sorbet enough. It's like slush puppies for grown ups!

I'll post some more photos soon, in the meantime here are the links to the previous photo posts:

You can also find me on the twitters @rantingsoflard
And on Bloglovin

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

You're Not Alone

I've struggled a bit for blog ideas just recently so I had a chat with my mate Google and one of the ideas was when was the last time you cried?

This is not going to be my most cheerful post.

It was last week after watching Murdered By My Boyfriend which I recorded recently from BBC3. I'd seen it advertised but not read much about it, only that it was based on a true story.

I was going to tell you the plot but it's snapily summed up here. I'm not afraid to say that by the end of the programme I was crying my eyes out.

I've never personally been the victim of domestic abuser but I know enough people that have. That fact alone pisses me off because I shouldn't know a list of people who have been victims, it should not be so prevalent but it is.

I'm sure most of you have heard the statistic that on average 2 women a week are killed as a result of domestic violence. 

2 women a WEEK.

It's easy to say, "I'd never stay with someone like that" or "I'd be out the door the minute they laid a hand on me". It's easy to say that when you've not been in those shoes, it's easy to say when your self esteem has not been ground to nothing.

It's not just about physical violence, domestic abuse can be physical, mental and emotional. One minute, you're having a tiff about how drunk you were on a night out but over a period of time it soon escalates.

You're questioned about every drink - 
"How much did you drink? "
"Who bought you a drink"

Every night out -
"Where did you go?"
"Who did you go with?"
"Who did you talk to?"

Every item of clothing
"Why are you wearing that?"
"You look like a slut."
"You're to ugly to wear that."
"You're too fat"

Soon enough it's easier to stay in and to not see your friends, it's not worth the hassle of the Spanish inquisition when you get home, not worth the accusations that because you've been out of their sight for a couple of hours that you've been out shagging all and sundry, that you can't be trusted.
I've seen how easily someone's self esteem can be completely destroyed, seen how they didn't see it as domestic abuse because their partner didn't hit them.

Nobody should have to live like that, being in a loving relationship is not about being controlled by someone.

You're not alone.
There is help out there:

Thanks for reading

Sunday, 22 June 2014

It's Time You Actually Went On A Date


This was the cry from my friends after being so disillusioned by Dave and Dave 2 that I couldn't even be bothered to trawl through the Internet to see what was on offer. So being the cracking friends they are, they started looking for me.

"Look at this one, he seems normal and he's the same age"

Hmmm, I'm not massively convinced, my inner bullshitometer is starting to make a noise.

"Go on, what's the worst that can happen?"

We'll call this man.....
(I know, you were expecting Dave weren't you?)

We do the hello how are you thing and almost straight away he asks if I would like to go for coffee this Saturday. I agree and a place to meet is arranged for 2pm Saturday afternoon. I'm still not hugely convinced but it's only coffee. Before he signs off, we have a bit more chat and he asks what I do for a living, I tell him I'm a Civil Servant and ask what he does.

"I work part time at a church, I'll tell you all about it on Saturday"

Oh bloody hell.
Now it should be noted at this point that I'm not a big fan of religion but for those that have a faith, if that's what gets you through the day then good luck to you. Just don't expect me to agree.

Saturday comes and I'm getting ready for the date thinking I best put the effort in - nice clothes, make up and heels - when he texts to say that he's just getting the bus into town.

Bus? I know it's shallow, but I do like a man with a car. I'm becoming less convinced by this date by the minute but as much as I can be a bitch, I'm not so much of a bitch that I would stand someone up so off I go into town.

I went to the prearranged meeting place and he was easy to spot because he was the man there who I would least like to go on a date with. Not a good start. I walk over and say hi, he gets up and says hello back and while he does a quick appraisal of me, I return the favour.

Blondey brown hair, not Brad Pitt looks wise but no where near the ugliest bloke in town either. Black and yellow polyester cheap nasty looking tracksuit top which definitely came from the 90s and underneath a t-shirt that was once black but after 20000 washes is now grey. Black cargo pants and filthy looking trainers. I won't judge you on the make of your trainers but I will judge you if they look like you've walked through a bog to get here. So while I've made an effort, he clearly has not and that annoyed me. He picked up his ruck sack (?) and smiled after we agreed to top go to the nearest Weatherspoons. Dear me, he had some manky teeth, mostly yellow apart from the brown bits which gave away his roll up habit. 

So off we go to Weatherspoons and he does not stop talking, he talked about how he'd been up since 4am and he'd done this and he'd done that and played some games on his laptop and then packed everything away in his ruck sack and come to meet me.

While we're standing at the bar waiting to be served he explains that the reason he has the laptop is because he's in emergency accommodation and doesn't want it to get nicked.

My mind starts saying - must not judge, must not judge.

"I'm waiting to be housed by the council"

Must not judge.

"They have offered me a place but I don't like it. I know how to play the system, I know they can offer me 3 places before they take me off the list"

I know how to play the system are not words that I like to hear. Must not judge, must not judge.

"Cos I'm on long term sick benefit, I'm getting every penny I can out of the government, it's my right."

OK. Now I'm judging.

I haven't said much at this point a) because I can't get a word in edgeways and b) I'm a little bit struck dumb. We got to the pub garden with our drinks and he proceeds to give me his life story from age 16 onwards. Highlights include leaving home to live with his Dad who was an alcoholic, his Dad dying, moving in with his girlfriend and becoming guardian to her 3 kids when he was 18 because she was an alcoholic (my bullshitometer went into overdrive at that, I was surprised he couldn't hear it), splitting up with her and finding a new girlfriend - also an alcoholic, as were her parents. Just as I start to think - I bet you're an alcoholic, he preempts me by telling me he's not alcoholic.

Because he doesn't drink during the day. Apart from the other day when he his mate came round at 1pm with a crate of Stella. "But I do have a drink every night, you know, just to relax".


He also mentioned that his ex used to smoke a lot and he didn't really like it (pot meet kettle), I was still a smoker at this point in time so I made conscious effort to smoke more while he carried on talking.

He asks me about how much I drink and I tell him that generally my drinking is done at weekends as I can't really work when I'm hungover.

"I don't have to work so it's not really a problem for me ha ha!"

Yes, so why don't you work?

He then told me about having an accident and breaking his ankle "but it's OK now", having his spleen taken out after another accident and having Epilepsy. He then proceeded to tell me that that the main reason he was unable to work was because of his Epilepsy.

Now I don't know much about breaking an ankle or having your spleen out but Epilepsy is something I can relate to. I asked a couple of questions, nothing to difficult, when were you diagnosed, are you on any meds, when was your last seizure.

"Well I've only had 2, the last one was a couple of years ago"

OK you're taking the piss now. I decided to leave it there and thought well in for a penny in for a pound.

"You said you work at the church, which one is it?"

Another long diatribe about how he is a part-time priest for local Mormon Church which Involves being available on the phone a couple of days a week in a sort of samaritan type role and helping take the service on Sundays.

"Are you religious?"



That killed the conversation fairly sharply.

At this point I'm done. Not only is he massively not my type, I've a sneaking suspicion that he's a bit of a Billy Bullshitter and those teeth are really starting to offend me.

So I make my excuses and he says he'll walk out with me, we get close to the bus station and he says

"It was really nice to meet you............. Sorry what was your name again?"

Are you kidding me? I've listened to you drone on about yourself for an hour and you couldn't even be bothered to remember my name?


Needless to say, I didn't see John again.

The search continues.

Thanks for reading

A word about the picture at the top, I found it at Womens Health. Then I read the article and it's brilliant - I highly recommend it.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Photo Post

Welcome to this months photo post, previous photo posts are herehere and here.

Anyone else thinking of emergency exits right now? :-)

Here's some snapshots from the last few weeks.

Just a random photo when I came home from work and the sun was just in the right place


A night away for work, made all the better by finding a lonely single bed in my room! Not the best shot ever, funnily enough, not the best hotel either!

More random photos from Mum's garden

And this would explain my post Eurovision hangover.....

My mum's cat - Mr Bojangles

Bank holiday Pimms in the park - don't mind if I do!

Thanks for reading

Friday, 30 May 2014

The Five Face Challenge Part 2

So, you'll know if you've read Part 1 that I've been tagged in The Five Face Challenge by Lou from Lou Loves Beauty. I had it all planned until I had a small accident with some vodka and a styling wand....

Being the trooper I am, I've changed my products here's the final result.

The rules for The Five Face Challenge are as follows:
1. Use five and only five products to create a complete makeup look.
2. Each product counts as 1 product (multi-purpose products count as 1 product such as Benetint, Bombshell the One Stick, Nars Multiple Stick).
3. No pallettes are allowed. No trios, quads or multi-shade pallettes.
4. Tag five others to complete the Five Face Challenge.
5. Have fun!

Product 1

Surprisingly enough I started with concealer. My concealer is from the B. range at Superdrug, I've been using this for a while and I find it does the job when I've had too many late nights. It's also very reasonably priced which always a bonus.

Product 2

Then onto foundation. I don't use foundation very much, my skin is a bit sensitive and too much product upsets it but when I do need more coverage I use Instant Light Complexion Perfector from Clarins. I stumbled across this thanks to a very good sales lady at my local Debenhams. It's not the cheapest in the world but it's the best I've ever used.

Product 3

Time for the eyes and my go to for normal everyday makeup is always my trusty brown eyeliner. As you can see, mine is a bit battered! I've repurchased this a few times from Rimmel, I love the colour on me and I use it as eyeliner on my top lid and occasionally if I'm feeling brave I'll use to it to define my eyebrows.

Product 4

I'm a sucker for a mascara but Maybelline Big Eyes is by far my favourite at the moment. I've got stumpy eyelashes and this mascara is brilliant for length, being waterproof it also means that it stays on the eyelashes rather than under them. It also has a separate applicator for upper and lower lashes which quite frankly is a revelation!

And the result: 

Product 5


Last and by no means least, I'm back Maybelline for my lips. I've been using their Superstay 24 hour lip colour for a few months and I'm a bit partial to the Forever Heather colour. It does have good staying power, no idea if it lasts 24 hours but it'll last me a working day. 

And the finished look is:

And yes there were many photos taken before this one.

Including this one:

I may have got a little bored....

Now to the nominations...
2. Simone from Thirty Something OAP
3. Kim from Whimsical Mrs W
4. Petra from Pieternella
5. Kristen from Every Beauty Talks

If you do accept the challenge tweet me your posts to @rantingsoflard so I can see them!

So there you have it, my first makeup post and it wasn't that bad afterall. 

Thanks for reading