Eating Out

“Come on, let’s go out for a meal to celebrate!!”

“It’s your birthday, where do you want to go and eat?”

“I haven’t got much time to cook tonight, let’s eat out instead”

These phrases used to instill so much fear and horror in me. Why would I want to eat out, when I could easily make something at home. I could stay at home and be comfortable and eat something safe and known-calories.

But let me tell you something, eating out creates so many memories! Birthdays, dates, celebrations, parties… and we don’t want to be missing out on anymore, right? So here are some tips to help you eating out and how to cope.

  • Rationalise

Ok let’s be real. One meal out isn’t going to make you fat overnight. Just like one salad isn’t going to make you thin overnight. Eating out (usually) isn’t any unhealthier than eating at home! So calm down, rationalise those thoughts and realise that this is a normal part of life and that everyone does it. Your parents do it, your friends do it, your teachers do it, your siblings do it. Have they died? No. Have they exploded? No. It. Will. Not. Hurt. You.

  • Familiarise yourself with the menu first

Now I know that this goes against everything that we’re told about eating out (you know, that it should be spontaneous and unknown and free from counting), but sometimes that’s just not realistic. Sometimes looking at the menu beforehand can just make the experience so much easier and stress-free (just make sure that you have a back-up order as you don’t want to be surprised with it being out of stock). This way, it’s still unknown calories, but you go in there knowing what to expect and what you’re going to order. It used to take me about 45 mins to choose what to have, and doing this before just saves time. Then, when you’re ready, stop looking at the menus and just take it as it comes. Baby steps.

  • Order the same as someone else

This definitely helped me when I first started going out to eat again. It helped me realise that if I had the same pizza as my sister and she didn’t balloon over night, then neither will I. I also found that this way I was picking things that I would never chose for myself and this really pushed me in my recovery. So yeah, this was super helpful for me.

  • Go with people you trust

Going with my family or my best friends really helped me feel relaxed and most comfortable. They were people that I knew I could rely on for support and that would help me through this thing that I struggled with. This helped immensely as I knew that as soon as I felt wobbly, they would be right behind my back and help me through it.

  • Make it a regular thing

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. You need to keep eating out and facing that fear until you can do it without stressing. It does get it easier, I promise you. Tonight I’m going to this independent restaurant and I don’t think they even have the menu online and it hasn’t phased me. It does get easier and more enjoyable.

  • Finally, enjoy yourself

This is the most important step. I could sit here and write about all the panic attacks I’ve had in restaurants, and the amount of times I’ve refused to go, or that one time when I threw my dinner at the waiter because it was different to how I expected it to be… But I could also sit here and tell you all about when my boyfriend and I ate pizza in a restaurant in London¬†on a pier over the River Thames at night-time, or the meal that my mum and I had in Paris listening to the buskers outside the cafe, or my final meal with my best friend before she went off travelling for 18 months. These memories and moments are worth so much more to me, and I hate that some earlier memories are tainted by the fear of the food I was served, and the dread of not having prepare it myself.

Don’t let your eating disorder ruin any more memories and moments for you. It’s taken enough away from you already, don’t give it anymore. Live your live and embrace all the fears and challenges you can – you’re only young once, don’t give it all to an eating disorder that is NOT worth it.

I hope this helped, please leave a comment if you liked it or if you have any requests for other posts you’d like me to make ūüôā

happy.again.han xxxx

What recovery has brought me

I thought I’d do something slightly different with this blog post today. I know how hard it can be to think of any positives in recovery when all that your head is telling you is bad things about it …

So here are a list of things that recovery has brought me and why I’d never go back to my eating disorder.

  • A job in Canary Wharf

As some of you may know, I started working for a major accountancy firm in Canary Wharf, London, last October and this is an AMAZING experience. I commute to and from work everyday, and I love it. I buy my own lunch everyday from the canteen, go out for team lunches to Nandos, Wagamama, Pizza Express etc, and honestly I cannot tell you the amount of freedom that I feel just ordering whatever I want.¬†(Now, I know that this is hard and I will be writing a post soon on tips for eating out if you guys want it!!) I am getting trusted with more and more responsibility in my role and doing tasks beyond what is expected of someone of my level. If I was still deep in my eating disorder, there’s no way that I could focus for that length of time or even sit at my desk for over half an hour. Thanks to recovery, I am able to do these things and live a normal, working life!

  • I got a boyfriend!!

Wow ok I never saw this coming either. But OMG it happened and it’s brilliant. Without recovery, I would never have had the confidence to go to that party where I met him, let alone talk to him! Not going to lie to you, I still find the fact that he loves me and wants to be with me very hard to understand as I’m still not that confident in myself, but slowly I’m getting used to the fact that he does and it’s an amazing feeling. I’m getting less self-conscious about my body, I’m getting more vocal in my opinions as he actually takes the time to listen to what I have to say, and I’m eating like a normal teenager (eg him and I shared a bag of doritos and a tub of ben and jerry’s for dinner one day haha!). Eating meals at his house with his family is no longer a big deal, I’ll eat whatever they give me (and dessert of course hehe). So yeah, I’m just thankful that recovery brought this incredible boy into my life and I will not let anorexia take him away from me.

  • Going on holiday ALONE

This summer, I’m going on two holidays without my parents as they finally trust me enough to look after myself whilst I’m away. I’m going to Centre Parcs for a week with my boyfriend and to a music festival in Spain with my work friends. I remember asking my parents a couple of years ago if I could go on holiday with friends and they straight up refused. They were not comfortable with me going anywhere without them as they didn’t know if I would eat or put myself in danger. But overtime I have shown them that I can take care of myself and that they can trust me to eat, so I am soooo looking forward to this and proving to them that I’m better now!!

  • Making new friends

As I just mentioned, I’m going on holiday to Spain with my work friends. I met these people in October and I’m already so close to them and love them so much. I’ve been to milkshake parties, dodgy Indian restaurants, ordered SO much pizza and garlic bread (my fave) and I literally haven’t even given it a second thought. These people are my absolute number 1 people in the whole world and I can’t wait to go on holiday with them! Anorexia would have made me miss out on all these experiences, but I’m glad that I didn’t. I’m not wasting anymore of my teenage years on this illness.

  • Intuitive eating

Now this is something that I’d never thought I’d be able to do. But gradually I’ve introduced intuitive eating into my lifestyle and it’s fab!! I don’t really count calories anymore and I just let my body eats when it wants food and I eat until I’m satisfied! This is such a freeing thing to be able to do, but you have to make sure that you’re mentally ready for it. I know that I’ve tried it in the past and my eating disorder has used it as a way to restrict and avoid certain foods. However, after sticking to my meal plan for about a year and restoring my weight, I thought that I’d incorporate intuitive eating in my life again. I can write a post about how I did this if you guys would like to read it!!

  • Better relationships with family

I don’t know about you, but my eating disorder made me into a right bitch and I was horrible to my parents. I called them every name under the sun, told them I hated them and I ran away from home multiple times. But since choosing recovery and sorting out my mental health, I have 100% fixed my relationship with them. My dad told me the other day that he actually enjoys spending time with me again, and that made me so happy to hear! I spend more time with them now as I’m not in my room secretly exercising or avoiding being at home because that’s where the food is. We have dinner¬†all together every evening at the table and it’s my favourite part of the day. I get to sit, eat yummy food and chat to my favourite people in the world. I have recovery to thank for making me into the happy and cheerful girl that I was before anorexia.

 

Anyway, I hope that this post shows you that live after your eating disorder is GOOD, and nothing like it tells you it will be. I used to secretly hope that I’d never recover as I didn’t want to ever let go of that part of me, but I can now honestly say that I’ve never been happier than I am now.

So guys, please recover!! Do it for you, your families, your future, your friends, your LIFE!! I’m here for you every step of the way too ‚̧

 

PS, this is me in no way bragging about my life etc, just me proving to you all that there is life after an eating disorder and it’s FAB!

Getting the most from therapy

Knowing what to say and how much to open up can be the hardest thing when you are receiving therapy for an eating disorder.

But from my own therapy experiences, I can honestly say that the more I told him, the more he was able to help me and the quicker I recovered. So I have written a short list of tips to help you get the most form your therapy sessions.

  • Talk.

This seems simple, but it is the hardest thing. I literally sat in silence for the first 5 (?) sessions with my therapist. I hated this nosy guy digging around in my secrets and asking me difficult questions. I hated that I’d given in and accepted help and didn’t want to acknowledge that I was ill and needed help (I’m sure some of you can relate to this). But the minute that I let him help me and opened up with what I needed help with, the quicker I started to recover and change my mindset.

  • Write a list.

I definitely found this SO helpful. I struggle with getting words out of my mouth, especially if it’s a sensitive subject, or something that I’ve kept secret for ages (so like most of my eating disorder stuff). But writing a list of the difficult topics and then giving it to my therapist at the beginning of our session was really useful. It meant that he could ask me questions about it, rather than me bringing¬†it up. I don’t know if that makes much sense, but this totally helped me.

  • The more you put in, the more you get out.

This is something that my dad told me as we were driving to the hospital one day ready for another session. He told me that the more I put in to it, the more I’ll get out of it. So I need to be honest with my therapist and let him help me. After all, it’s his job to help me and get me better. My therapist wants to see my happy and healthy and flourishing. He wants to help my heal and mind my body and mind. And I need to allow him to.

  • Be open to suggestions.

There were so many times when my therapist would suggest to me a way of doing something, or a new food to try etc…and I would just shut him down straight away and refuse. I didn’t want to do it that way, and no one was going to tell me otherwise. But, as soon as I went in with an open mind and accepted that maybe this eating disorder doctor knew a thing or two about eating disorders, I started to change my way of thinking and my approach to new things. And it turns out that the things he was suggesting were actually right and helpful and aided my recovery greatly.

  • Keep a journal.

This is very similar to the ‘write a list’ tip, but it is also very useful. Everyday (and about 6 times a day whenever I ate), I’d write down how I was feeling and how my day was going. This literally took 3 mins (so if I did that 6 times a day, that’s only 18 minutes) and it was so helpful for my therapist to read and for us to reflect on together. “So Hannah, I noticed that when you had your afternoon snack on Thursday you were feeling really positive, but then by the time you had you night snack you were feeling rubbish. Can we talk about why that might be and what happened between that time?” This helped me to come up with coping mechanisms based on real-life events for lots of different scenarios that caused my mood to crash or triggered me. SO helpful.

  • Constructive criticism.

Don’t be afraid to tell your therapist if you don’t like the way that they address certain topics or the way they ask you questions etc, after all they want to help you, and they can only do this is you’re receptive and engaged in their methods. The day that I found the strength to tell my therapist HOW I wanted him to help me, was the day that I really clicked with recovery and blossomed from there. I told him what I wanted from him and what would be the most useful way for him to help me. And luckily he quickly adopted that method and the sessions were much more rewarding.

I know that therapy can be SO hard and SO exhausting, but honestly, just let them in and you’ll be amazed at how much they can help and motivate you.

I hope that this was in some way useful. There are obviously more tips, but these were the ones that helped me the most. Please comment below any tips that you can think of, and we can all help each other!!

Lots of love to all of you ¬†– @happy.again.han ‚̧ xxxx

Exercise and Recovery

Exercising in recovery is one of the most controversial topics to discuss when it comes to recovery. Is it a good thing, or does it hinder you?

In my personal experience, exercise did NOT help my recovery. I struggled for years with over-exercise and put my body through so much stress and strain, so exercising in recovery was not a good idea for me.

And for most people who have/had this similar addiction, it may be best to avoid any excessive exercise whilst repairing your body and gaining weight. Not only can it slow down your mental recovery (because you’re giving into your ED thoughts and over-exercising), but it can be really detrimental to your physical recovery too (you’re not letting your body rest and burning unnecessary calories that your body needs to heal itself).

Let yourself rest.jpgHowever, I know how hard it is to cut down your activity levels and I definitely struggled with this. From running 7 miles everyday, to stopping this completely, I began to find new ways to over-compensate. I was counting my steps and I had to reach xxx steps per day. I was terrified to cut down on my steps for the fear of weight gain, but I knew I needed to because my poor little body was struggling along and really starting to suffer.

But I’ll tell you what I did. I deleted that god awful pedometer app, started getting the bus to school and allowed myself to be still and heal. And guess what happened. I didn’t suddenly balloon. I didn’t suddenly go up three clothes sizes. I didn’t become an obese monster.

Instead, I had more energy to focus on school work and conversations with my family. I noticed that my muscles weren’t achy and sore all day erry day. Time spent walking up and down stairs was now spent with my best friends watching films and making memories. Time spent mindlessly running around my village was now spent revising and preparing for my exams. Much better uses of my time, let’s be real.

After about a year of gaining weight and NO exercise (not even light workouts – I mean I Note to self - relax.jpgwas literally sedentary), I reached a weight where my therapist was happy if I started exercise again, as long as I was sensible and careful. I made sure that if I burnt 200 calories, I ate 200 calories on top of my meal plan. And if I was feeling tired or sore one day, I wouldn’t push myself. So I started running once a week for about 20 minutes, and OMG I fell in love with it again.

Exercise when you don’t force yourself to overdo it is so much enjoyable. I now run 2-3 times a week and am training for a 10 mile run! I’ve also started to incorporate in light weight exercises to my routine in an attempt to repair my muscles that wasted away thanks to anorexia. But this is all because I am enjoying it and fueling myself appropriately and responsibly. It gives me a way to de-stress my brain, get some happy hormones flowing around my body and clear my lungs of London dust.

I’ve always been an active person, but there’s absolutely no pressure to exercise if you don’t enjoy it! I feel like the instagram recovery community just forces people to exercise even if they don’t enjoy it. Don’t feel you have to!!!! Do it if you want to, not because you ‘want to fit in’.

Anyway, this was just a post to say that I personally don’t think that exercise helps in ED recovery – but it definitely worth trying once your body and mind are better.

Remember, you are healing and mending. Don’t harm your precious body any more by making it work overtime on limited calories. It’s not worth any long-term damage, you don’t want to be living with the physical consequences of anorexia forever. Stop before it’s too late and let your body relaxxxxxx.

So much love to all of you. Don’t forget to follow my instagram @happy.again.han and fell free to message me ‚̧

 

 

Bad Body Image

We all have those days where we feel bad about ourselves. Where we feel gross and undeserving and like a failure. And before I dive into the tips, I would just like to remind you that you’re not any of those things.

Whether you ate an extra Oreo biscuit or didn’t do x number of steps does not make you a bad person. Try to remember that.

1. Avoid mirrors.

My first tip would be to avoid looking at yourself and body checking because we all know how that ends. With you feeling even worse about yourself and that’s not what we want. Instead, take your mirror off the wall, hang a blanket over it or just turn your back to it. This way you won’t have to see yourself, so you can’t trigger yourself.

2. Wear loose, comfy clothing.

There’s nothing worse than putting your skinny jeans on when you’re having a bad body image day. So on these tough days I like to keep my pjs on or wear my mom jeans and a hoody. Yes I look like a hobo, but I’m comfy.

3. Eat what you would normally eat.

I know how tempting it is on a bad body day to try and skimp and restrict, however this will get you nowhere. Further undernourishing your body will not solve anything, I promise you. So stick to your meal plan, ask family for support, arrange an appointment with your therapist and things will get better. Yesterday’s meal plan didn’t hurt you, so today’s won’t either.

4. Positive conditioning.

I don’t actually know if that’s a phrase or not, but I’m writing this post on the train at like 10:30 pm and I’m tired and it sounded cool. So just roll with it please haha!

Anyway, what I basically by this is to make a list of all the brilliant things about you – physical and not physical. Did you hold the door open for someone today? Did you have a good hair day? Did you tell a joke and make everyone laugh? Are you wearing cute socks? Did you send a loving text to your best friend? (My best friend and I sometime randomly do this – like “omg babe you’re looking really hot today” even though I can’t see her haha brightens our days!!). All of these things are things to focus on. Don’t look at yourself in a negative way. Switch your thought process and think good things about yourself. Even tiny things. You’ll feel better instantly.

5. SMILE!

Just by simply performing the muscle movement of smiling, your body releases happy hormones and this immediately boosts your mood. Whilst it might be a fake smile, this temporary shot of endorphins will help you feel better.

Plus, you look really cute when you smile.

6. Distract yourself.

Don’t use all your brain energy criticising yourself – it’s not worth it. Do some colouring, watch a movie, go on a short walk (and I’m stressing SHORT here, don’t over do it. But fresh air and a change of scenery does help. 15 mins max please lads), chat with your family, read a book, write a story, do some karaoke, bake a cake, practice your musical instrument, play with your pet… there are so many more productive things you can do with your time and efforts than listen to your eating disorder’s lies. And that’s all the thoughts are – big ass lies.

7. Rationalise

Yes you are gaining weight. Yes your body is going to change. It’s going to get bigger, squishier, softer… but that’s what it should be like!! Our bodies were built to protect us and our internal organs, and to keep us healthy. You might be gaining weight, but you’re not getting fat. You’re gaining back the weight that you should never have lost. You’re gaining memories and experiences and laughter and LIFE.

And as a weight restored person, the weight gain can still happen. I’ve gained like half a stone since I reached my BMI 20+. And I’ve just got to rationalise. If my body isn’t happy with its weight yet, then I’ve just got to trust it. My friends and family won’t judge me, disown me, hate me, or even notice!! They won’t see the weight gain, but they will see me getting healthier and happier in myself. Surely that’s worth more???

8. Remember that you are beautiful.

Your parents, siblings, friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, teachers, colleagues all love you for you! They love you because you are kind and thoughtful and helpful and considerate and just generally amazing.

9. Self care.

We sometimes forget to look after ourselves. We forget to wash and moisturise and cleanse ourselves. Take an afternoon and have a shower, wash your hair, paint your nails, exfoliate. Change your bed sheets, put on new pyjamas. Be kind to yourself, remember that what your head says IS NOT AND WILL NEVER be true. Treat yourself gently, you’re going through a lot and have got to look after yourself.

10. Accept yourself.

There are things about your body that you cannot ever change due to genetics. For me this is my bigger thighs. They’ve always been bigger than my friend’s, but that’s simply the way I was made. My mum has bigger thighs and she is still beautiful with a good job, loving husband, nice house, awesome kids (haha that’s me).

I’m working on accepting these things about me because I can torment myself as much as I want, they’re not going away. You only get one body, so love it, nurture it, treat it gently and let it help you achieve great things.

This list is a

 

bit longer than I had anticipated, but I hope that you find one or two of these useful!

Feel free to message me on instagram (@happy.again.han) or leave a comment on here if there’s anything you’d like me to write about! I’d be more than happy to.

Thank you for reading x

Eating Disorders and School

We all know how much having an eating disorder sucks. And we all know how much school sucks. So imagine trying to cope with school WHILST dealing with an eating disorder. Near enough impossible.

But there are a few things that you can do to make it a bit more bearable.

1. Tell your friends

Ok so I know how daunting and scary this idea sounds, trust me I’ve been there. You don’t want them to judge you or anything, but they won’t, I 100% promise. And if they do, they certainly don’t deserve to have you as a friend. Telling your school friends just means you’ve got that extra support during that day from people that you trust. They’ll want to help you and be there for you.
Tell them when you’re struggling so they can be there then, but also tell them when you’re feeling good so you can celebrate together!

2. Tell the teachers.

This is the tip that I struggled with the most. I went to a high performing, all girls grammar school, and admitting defeat and that I wasn’t coping well was not going to happen. But eventually I told my exams officer (well, my therapist wrote her a letter and I put it in the post box haha). I was doing my GCSEs and my A Levels and because of my ED, I qualified for extra time for exams – this might be worth looking into if you think you could be allowed it too. I definitely helped me so much.
I also told my form tutor and, although we never spoke about it, I knew she was there if I needed her.
Having a more authoritative person at school know (like the exams officer) is very useful in case you get taken out of school or miss parts for appointments etc.

3. Find a quiet room to eat.

Ugh, can’t your friends sometimes be the most triggering out of all the people you know?! I know some of mine were. “Oh Hannah is FINALLY eating”, “are you on a diet or something?”. Not at all helpful.
What I did find helpful, however, was to go take myself away at the beginning of break time or lunch time to an empty classroom and have 15/20/30 minutes to eat my food and then go back in and socialise. And once I’d told my best friend, she was more than happy to come and sit with me and distract me.
This just avoided your friends making any rude comments and allows you to listen to music or YouTube videos or whatever you find distracting without anyone questioning you. And if someone asks where you were, say you were let out of class late, or needed to speak to a teacher, or went to the loo, or had some homework for next lesson to do. They’ll believe you.

4. Have a cute lunchbox.

This may seem like a stupid idea, but having pretty Tupperware boxes or bags makes you feel so much more positive when it comes to eat your lunch or snacks. (My faves are ones by Paperchase or Happy Jackson). The cute patterns or quirky phrases lifted my mood just before I ate, so the whole process was much easier. Plus it’ll make all your friends jealous haha!

5. Take denser food.

Denser food is always my answer to “how can I make eating easier”. Think about it, if you need to have, for example, 600 calories at lunch, would it be easier to have six 100 calorie items, or three 200 calorie items? The latter, right? This is halving the amount of food that you need to eat and also won’t make you feel as full. Swap your pom bears for mini cheddars, and your sandwhich thin for proper bread, and your water to juice and it’ll make it so much easier.
I know that sounds patronising and stereotypical (I’m guilty of eating those foods too), but making those swaps honestly helped me so much.

6. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

Never underestimate how much brain energy battling an ED takes up. If you get home from school and you’re absolutely exhausted, don’t worry about it. You’ve spent the whole day fighting your demons AND trying to write an essay about volcanoes and solve quadratic equations. Your brain needs and deserves a rest. Give it an hour rest when you get home and then crack on with work. You’ll perform so much better and won’t get as stressed.
And if your grades start slipping, just rationalise with yourself that you’re not a failure, you’ve just got other stuff going on. Your mental health always ALWAYS takes priority over school.
Just inform your teachers so they can put things in place (like extra exam time, some lunch time lessons if you’re struggling or missed school, homework extensions etc).
I hope some these tips helped you, these are just some of the things that I did whilst at school to make things easier and more manageable.

Just remember:
– Your grades do not define you.
– You are stronger than your ED.
– Don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself.
– Your friends don’t mean to be triggering, they just might not understand what you’re going through.
– Allow yourself time to rest and relax. Revising 24/7 is not healthy and will eventually make you perform worse because you’re overworked.
– You are you, and you are perfect.

Leave me a comment if there are any other topics you want me to talk about, and feel free to follow my instagram @happy.again.han

Lots and lots of love xxx

The Honest Truth

Ok so…here goes…

I have an eating disorder. There I said it. I have Anorexia Nervosa.

I am not ashamed of it. God no. In fact, I am very proud to say it because of how far I’ve come in beating it.

But I’m always scared how people will react when I tell them. Will they look at me differently? Will they judge me? Will they think of me as a crazy person? ¬†Will I ever be the same to them in their eyes?

However, of course, the people that mean the most to me and that I trust with my secret will never judge me, will never look at me differently. They will want to help and support me in which ever way they can.

Which is why I am writing this blog post. I want this blog to take a different route, I want it to be a place where I can share my experiences with others and hear your stories too. I want to help and inspire you all to beat your illnesses too, because trust me, a life free from an ED, is a very good life indeed.

So, please feel free to leave me a comment below with any topics you want me to cover. It can be anything from how to deal with school, managing on holiday, opening up to family and friends, getting the most out of therapy… you name it, I’ll write it.

Also, I have a recovery instagram that I post on (@happy.again.han) so give that a cheeky follow for cute food pics and recovery motivation!!

Thank you for reading ūüôā

 

V Festival

So firstly let me apologise for being a bit MIA these last few weeks. I went to V Festival in Chelmsford (I’m sure all of you that are English have heard of it. And if not, it’s like Coachella, just minus the celebs and cool outfits).

As I’m now suffering from Post-Concert Blues, I thought I’d write a post about how to survive festivals. And trust me, it’s a skill.

  • Stick with your friends the entire time.

Ok, so this sounds obvious and easy to do, but it’s a lot harder than you expect. The large crowds and people bashing you about makes it very hard to stay together. And being stranded alone in a mosh pit during Example is not a good way to spend your Sunday morning. One tip I have would be to move in chains. All 6 of us held hands and moved as one long train through the crowds (much to their annoyance as our train never ended). And arrange meeting points if you need to split up. We always meet under the Bastille picture, mainly because Dan Smith is beautiful.

  • Take wipes. Lots of wipes.

There will be beer (or possibly wee) thrown at you, so be prepared. Also, port-a-loos are gross. Just take wipes. Your friends, and random strangers you’ve never met, will thank you.

  • Plan your day in advance.

Knowing who you want to see in advance and what stage they’re on makes the day a lot more enjoyable as you’re not rushing around aimlessly¬†during the day. You don’t need to draw up a schedule or agenda or anything, just have a rough idea of who’s on when and where. Using a Clashfinder timetable is usually the best way to go.

  • Take a waterproof.

Whilst watching Rihanna in the rain was quite fun, it was rather cold.I took a poncho from Poundland with me, and it’s waterproof ability was questionable. So a proper quality rain mac will be very useful (even if it’s just for sitting on during the day).

  • Don’t underestimate the Comedy Tent.

Sunday morning’s line up wasn’t as good as¬†we’d hoped, so we spent the morning in the comedy tent. And it was actually very good! Plus it wasn’t very busy so we could sit down¬†in some shade¬†haha! It was better than I had hoped.

  • Prepare yourself for all the litter.

Never in my life have I seen so much litter. Old ponchos, bottles, balloons (??), flower crowns, maps, food packaging, squished chips, one converse… We tried to find a bin,¬†but failed miserably. So on the floor went out rubbish. I felt quite bad littering, but there was literally no alternative.

  • Don’t take loads of stuff.

Taking three coats, seven bags, an umbrella and five pairs of wellies is overkill. And, there’s no room in the crowds to hold it all. I took one bag (that I could wear across my body) and tied my poncho around my waist. This was enough and still took up quite a bit of room haha!!

  • Enjoy yourself.

I know it’s pretty obvious, but when trying to plan and organise things like this with friends can sometimes get very stressful, so it’s important to remember just to have fun with your friends. At the end of the day, it’s just¬†a laugh with your friends and good music.

I would 100% recommend going to a festival, because I had such a good time (despite the Biebs being a bit of a let down). And though tickets can be expensive, they are so worth it. I would definitely go next year and the year after and after and after…

Thank you for reading,

Han x

 

 

 

 

Why Working in a Caf√© Went So Wrong

2 and a half years ago, I started work in a little local caf√©. And let me tell you…washing the dishes for 4 hours every Saturday morning is harder than you think.

As well as doing the pot wash, I also helped run food out and take orders. But heavy trays and plates piled high and full coffee cups are never a good idea for someone as accident prone as me. Whoops.

One of the most embarrassing things I can remember happening is carrying a jar of brown sauce over to a table (and only one jar of sauce may I add, so not heavy at all) and dropping it so that the bottom of the jar breaks and sprays this lady’s clean, white trousers with brown sauce. Humiliated is an understatement.

Oh, here’s another story… One time I went to take someone’s order and I didn’t quite hear what they said.¬†So they repeated it, and I didn’t hear them again… but it was beginning to get very awkward with them keeping on repeating themselves and me asking them to repeat it. In the end I just started to make¬†them what I think they had ordered, and in the process burnt my hand on boiling hot water whilst making their tea. To this day I have no idea what they wanted! They got their tea though, so that’s all that matters lol.

Being a very clumsy person and working with hot drinks and fragile plates was just an accident waiting to happen. On a summer’s day (when the caf√© was the most busy), I was taking a tray of sandwiches up to the picnic benches which are about 3 million miles away from the actual caf√©-y bit, and on the way there,¬†crisps and bread and cucumber were falling off the trays and blowing in the wind down the field. So by the time I get up to this family on the benches after my trek up there, there’s just like half¬†a pathetic sandwich and about 2 crisps on this plate, meaning I had to walk alllll the way back to kitchen and get another sandwhich and more crisps. The family were not impressed.

Ok, final story is I was helping out in the kitchen with some of the cooking and an order for jacket potatoes came through. For a person with a normal amount of hand eye coordination, getting a jacket potato out of the oven, cutting it in half, putting the filling in, putting it on a plate and then serving it up should be easy. But no, for me this turned into a mammoth task involving hot baking trays, sharp knives and carrying plates. After I’d burnt myself getting the oven door open, I managed to carefully transfer the potato from the baking tray to the chopping board where I then got ready to cut it open. Dropping the knife in the process, cutting it open actually then¬†happened rather successfully! But getting the filling on was not as successful. There was a trail of grated cheese from the fridge to the work surface. Butter portions splattered the chopping board which then needed to be washed. Chili con carne dripped out of the bowl onto the floor. It may have taken me a while, but let me tell you, these jacket potatoes looked really tasty (especially after¬†I’d mopped the baked bean juice off of the side of the plate).

So just a word to all of you out there that are looking to get a job – if you are as clumsy as me, maybe don’t work in a caf√©… maybe a construction site where it doesn’t matter¬†if things get broken…

Thanks for reading!

Han x

 

 

Paris 2016

At the beginning of July, my mum took me to Paris for 4 days as an 18th birthday/end of exams present and we had such a fabulous time – I thought I’d share.

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Not sure how you got to this bench, but ok

We arrived on Monday 4th July after taking the Eurostar, which is so impressive, from London. Mum knew that out hotel was only a short walk away from Gard du Nord, but despite our best efforts, we got very lost. So after asking some very nice Frenchman we finally found our hotel and oh my gosh it was beautiful! There were free cakes and coffee and cookies all day (like my 3 favourite things), so that was a great bonus haha! The hotel was really quirky with funky decorations and cute furniture.

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Pyramide du Louvre

We had quite a lot of time left after we’d checked in, so we went for a walk and somehow ended up in the Louvre and Place de la Concorde! We even saw the Eiffle Tower (it was a long way away though!! If you go to Paris, you have to be careful of pickpocketing and the men selling souvenirs. They don’t stop selling you them until you literally walk away (rude, but it has to be done). Mum and I found it best to just avoid eye-contact when they came over…

 

On Tuesday 5th, we planned to go on a open-top bus tour of the city to make sure we saw all the sites before we left!! We stopped off at the Notre Dame first and it was so stunning, inside and out! The gorgeous carvings all around the outside and the beautiful stained glass windows inside. Amazing!

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Notre Dame ft tourists…

We also climbed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe where we had the most amazing view of the Eiffle Tower! We were told that in Paris nothing is allowed to be taller than the Eiffle Tower as to not obscure the view of it. Thought that was a cool fact… Anyway…

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Eiffle Tower ft me…

 

On Wednesday, we got the Metro from the station by our hotel to Trocedero and climbed the Eiffle Tower (well, we got the lift lol) and the views are amazing. Because there is no high-rise skyscrapers, the city looks so peaceful and serene.

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View from the Eiffle Tower

After successfully navigating the queues to exit the Tower, we made it to the Lourve and saw the Mona Lisa (which ngl is so tiny, and maybe I just don’t have an appreciation for art, but it wasn’t worth the hype). But we saw my absolute favourite photo..the French nipple painting. Do you know how embarrassing it is to ask, in very limited French where this is… VERY embarrassing…

“Um excuse, where is the NIPPLE PAINTING?”. All the museum staff thought we were crazy. Oh dear.

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Not entirely sure what this painting is actually called..

 

Our final day was Thursday. We spent the morning walking around the Louvre and just relaxing and taking in the amazing views and generally enjoying our time. It was such a beautiful city and I would 100% recommend.

If anyone has any questions about Paris (like places to eat, things to do), just hit me up!

Keep smiling,

Han