Saturday, 28 February 2015

So....I'm now a published author!

It's announcement time! My first completed novel From London To St Ives has been turned into an e-book by the wonderful people at Thought Catalog and is now ready to download! I'm really excited about this, as it now means that one of my writing dreams has come true - it's really great finally seeing my work in a format that other people can access, and not just as a word document on my computer!

So without further ado, here's the book's summary:

Olivia Johnson needs to get a life. She hates her job, hasn't seen her friends in ages, hasn't had a date since university and has no idea what her purpose should be. After a particularly bad day at work she decides to quit her job and take an impromptu holiday to Cornwall. Once there, she finds she doesn't want to she makes the spontaneous decision to up sticks, despite the fact that she doesn't know anyone in St. Ives and is now unemployed. Did she make the right decision or will she come to regret leaving London?

And here's what the book looks like:

If you want to download a copy for your kindle then click here, if you have a different kind of e-reader click here and if you're based in the United States, then click here. I'd recommend my book for anyone looking for a quick, summery beach read or for people who are at a crossroads in their life. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

I'm in the mood for dancing...

I haven't been writing about books much lately, but don't worry, this isn't because I've gone off books - I don't think I'll ever stop being a bibliophile. On the contrary, reading books is still often the best part of my day and I'm reading a cracking one at the moment, but I'm currently a bit stuck for new ideas for book posts on here [I think they're brewing away in my subconscious though], so I've been writing a lot about travel and living in London - two subjects which I love exploring.

I went to a fantastic club last week, and had the best time [in fact I'm going again tonight, which is unusual for me] and that got me thinking about my favourite London nightspots. These places won't suit everyone [they mainly play R'n'B and pop] but I think they're very good at what they do:

1. Babble, Mayfair

This is the affordable way to experience Mayfair's nightlife. Whilst other Mayfair clubs are outrageously priced and so snooty they won't even let you in unless you're super wealthy [cough, Mahiki, cough], Babble is actually free to get in to if you get there before 10pm and has a happy hour, which runs from 5pm to 8pm every day! It may be small, but it wasn't too crowded when I went and it's aesthetically pleasing and it feels grown-up.  The music is spot on - you won't be able to stay in your seat, you will find that you absolutely can't resist the urge to dance when you come here.

2. Metra, Leceister Square

It's 6 years since I went to Metra, so it might be absolutely awful now, [apologies if it is] but when I last went, it was my idea of clubbing heaven. The DJ and I seemed to be kindred spirits, because every song he played, I loved. I didn't hear one dud song that night. Metra may be expensive to get in [I'd advise booking in advance] but once you're in, it isn't pretentious [at least it wasn't] and there's ample room to move around in [which is a must for I can be a very flamboyant dancer]. Metra was so good I stayed until 5am!

3. Be at One, Soho

Me and my friends like this bar so much that we all went there a bit too much, and now we're taking a little break from it. This is such a welcoming place, really lively and fun. If anyone thinks Londoners are just a bunch of cold fish, they should come here - we'll show you just how warm and inviting we can be! The staff like to dance and get involved too, no surly faces here!

4. The Ice Wharf, Camden

Camden might be a trek to get to [unless you live there], but it does have an atmosphere that's all its own. I always tell people they can't see London without visiting Camden - it's usually my first port of call when showing friends around. The Ice Wharf has the kind of feel of a really great hostel - its international, its bustling and its cheap. Been to numerous great parties here - it's so good, I'd advise staying here, you really don't need to move onto another venue, even though technically it's more of a bar than a club...but that's just semantics, as you can dance until your feet fall off if you so chose here.

Loving the Electric blue of the Ice Wharf - with my friends. Apologies for the blurriness.

5. Vodka Revolutions, Clapham Junction/ Clapham Common

I love both of these Revolution bars - I love the different flavoured vodka, I love how they have a sizable dancefloor, I love that there are loads of great pubs and bars near both, making it easy to get pre-drinks in without having to schlep for miles. And once again, I love the music - there's such a party feel in both Revolutions, and the best birthday I ever had was my 26th, which I had at the Clapham Common one. It was a happy, happy night [Pharrell was playing a lot that evening...]

   Me and my friend Elaine getting in a party mood at Revolutions!

Sunday, 8 February 2015


My Book of Birthdays, says that February 19th is the birthday of wanderlust, and people born on this day love to travel and have new experiences. This is certainly true of me. However much I love living in London, there's always a part of me wanting to go off and visit somewhere I've never been, and so I thought I'd share my top ten places I'd really love to visit [in no particular order]:

1. Finland

I love Northern climes, perhaps because I'm always physically a couple of degrees warmer than most people seem to be - in Summer, I often feel too hot and uncomfortable, so I'm attracted to places that most people associate with Winter. I also want to go to Finland, because it makes me think of one of my favourite fairytales, The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.

2. Greece

Greece appeals to me, because I suffer a little from islomania, which means that I love islands. The idea of hopping from island to island, finding new treasures on each one sounds like the perfect holiday [although it might be too hot for the likes of me!]

3. Tokyo

I want to go here because I think it's the closest I can get to visiting another planet - I just think it would be so different to what I'm used to. I think it would be a fascinating treat for my mind - incredibly stimulating.

4. Singapore

I primarily want to go here for the food - I love trying new foods [although no insects please] and Singapore is famous for having a huge variety of different types of cuisine. Yum!

5. Estonia

One of the reasons I love Europe so much is that there are numerous magical looking cities just waiting to be explored. Eastern Europe in particular has an edgy energy that Western Europe lacks [although I like both] and given how much I enjoyed visiting Riga and Krakow, I think I would also enjoy visiting their sister city Talinn, which has beautiful architecture.

6.  Sweden

When I think of Sweden, I think of running through meadows picking flowers [is that just me?]. I think this Alpine wonderland would be a breath of fresh air [literally] after months in my lovely but polluted city.

7. Bruges

Since I live in a great big behemoth of a city, I like cities that are easy to walk across and Bruges is tiny so it fits the bill. Plus it's absolutely stunning, and I can get the Eurostar there [if I change at Brussels] so it's very accessible as well.

8. Luxembourg

I want to go here primarily because it's novel. Despite being a lovely little country, Luxembuorg isn't on many people's travel lists - which is precisely why it's on mine - even though it's easy for me to get to, it's feels like its somehow off the beaten's not a must -see destination for most people, but I think it looks charming!

9. Bali

Yes, this is a result of watching [and reading] Eat, Pray, Love. It seems like such a free-spirited and bohemian place that I feel drawn to it like a magnet.

10. Alaska

I loved the rugged countryside of canada's national parks and I think the wilderness of Alaska would be even more wild. I think there's something innate in all of us that makes us stand still in the face of natural beauty, and I think Alaska would leave me breathless.

I can't wait to go travelling again - but luckily for me I'm jetting off to Switzerland soon! Happy travels everyone...