Isle of Arran

I can’t express how much I love it. As a get away to relax and not be hindered by life, modern or otherwise, it’s perfect.

It is, like most of Scotland, incredibly beautiful. Mountains, peaceful shorelines, covered in thousands of shells – nature and wild life thriving without constant human hassle. I’m quite certain there are more sheep than people… then theres the birds, red squirrels, more sheep, buzzy things, seals, dolphins, otters, deer – it really is magical.

Needless to say phone reception is poor, so you can imagine the cellular internet is near enough nonexistent – and yet, rather liberating. How often do we get to go phone-free in modern life, for half an hour, half a day, let alone half a week. It’s only when I’m here, cut off from the world, unable to be bothered, unlikely to see another soul, I start to reevaluate everyday life. The rushing and the hassle and the needless stress and remember to appreciate nature, calm and curiosity.

And yet on the ferry back I realised something. Well I actually noticed something. The two-year-old in front of me, returning from the island with her parents was stood on her seat. I watched her have an Ipad pushed into her hands and was told to sit. Now I’m a happy, still curious 26-year-old and I love being on that ferry. It’s as close to excited as I get – I’d go as far as to say it’s better than being on a plane. It’s huge, numerous decks, indoor, outdoor, windows, a beautiful view, a curious environment, a cafe, restaurant, masses to explore. If I wasn’t so tall, I’d have likely been stood on my seat.

Every child I saw, from the age of 2+ was adjoined to an iPad – much like most adults. It’s rotten. If parents or children want to sit still they could make use of toys, books, pens. I get the convenience of an Ipad – its multi functional. But it is also without requirement for imagination and emits radiation. Too things that really concern me in the development of children. If a child is not encouraged to entertain their imagination and curiosity what hope do they have as adults.

Social interaction, conversation, I spy, exploring their environment (with their parents of course) are so crucial in building a child’s understanding of the world. It really can’t be postponed or shushed with an Ipad.

For the love of peanut butter, play I spy.


Well not entirely… I’m talking more in terms of managing our use of plastic and considering the toxic implications of keeping it so close. Anti-plastic (recycling) then.

I caught a video of a chap this week chipping plastic with the intent of making a new product. Fair, he’s creative, proactive and he is recycling.

But it is plastic. That’s the instant downside. No matter how desirable the product – it is still made from plastic.

It’s knowingly toxic. I’m not sure why people choose to over look this. Chipping it, remoulding it. Interacting with it, living with it in their homes.

It should never have been made in the first place.

I’ve seen suggestions recently of it been used to surface roads, build houses, make furniture and clothing. When the ultimate response is we are keeping it too close. We are finding a use for something that is more harmful than useful.

Plastic is not that durable. Even when it is deemed ‘safe’ it isn’t, its degenerating. We put it on the roads – particles end up in the soil. They end up in the food we produce, we end up eating at dinner. We collect hordes of plastic waste from the sea, only to have it chipped, worn down and washed back in to our water. We wear it next to our skin, we sit on it as work and it leaches into our bodies. It might sound dramatic, unnoticeable and easy to over look but it is slowly poisoning us.

Everyday plastics like plastic bottles, are linked to specifically to heart disease and diabetes. But the list of diseases and ailments connected to plastics are endless. Everything from birth defects, impaired immunity, hormonal imbalances, infertility – honestly, endless.

The best we can do is irradiate as much plastic from our lives as possible – both packaging and product.

But, we are still here locked on our planet with the disgusting plastic mess we have created.

I read a book a while back on potential styles of apocalyptic disaster that would end humanity; I’m starting to think it will be our own ignorance to our slow weakening because of our plastic bathing.

I am thankful for the step up in plastic awareness 2018 has brought. But the plastic already created, for our lazy convenience, will forever remain, don’t go giving it more time and use than it is ever worth.

The best we can do is be more conscious and prepared. Take cups and bags with us. Carry cutlery. Refuse to buy a broccoli wrapped in plastic. a shirt because the packaging is so excessive. Choose a non-plastic toys (this is shamefully near enough impossible unless you provide your offspring with card board boxes and sticks) and ofcourse, refuse plastic bags, straws and cups.

I’m still trying to think up where we should put our plastic waste, but our homes are not the answer.


He asked if I was okay (I think he thought I had fallen over) I said I was fine, and proceeded to scoop of bee out of the road.

‘For real?!’ he said


Twice in two weeks I have came across bees on the ground. Listless, sleepy, barely moving. Help them out. Give them some fruit, some sugar and water and take them somewhere safe and sunny.

The little guy I found was in the middle of the road. Much to the dismay of the drivers bombing about the place. Regardless of the rush you’re in, if you run him over that’s another bee less and I’m of the belief if the bees aren’t here, we won’t be.

And I named him Rolly 🐝

The Blueberries

Vanished. Vanquished perhaps. But sadly, and I think we both knew – as Mother was still clutching the bin bag.

My mother, whom I love dearly, has for the majority of my existence, had a notorious ‘binning’ habit.

After locating the innocent berries she had chose to dispose of, I may have exchanged some impassioned words. Regrettably towards my mother, expressing my distain for an all too human habit.

The blueberries in question, removed from the fridge, were more than edible. The raspberries on the other hand, left to see another day, were throughly on the turn, squishy and dabbled with mould. Why did this travesty occur? I pray you’ve guessed.

Best before dates.

It is the 30th and the blueberry date read the 14th, yet there was not a wrinkle or imperfection on them – quite the contrary to the raspberries.

When did we loose our abilities, our inert human instincts that allowed us to forrage and assess our own food?

When did we give up our ability and hand responsibility to a manufacturing line?

Aside from my disgust that our consumables enter our homes dressed in plastic robes adorned with robotic judgments, we surely still possess the ability to assess the suitability of our fruit.

This is where I find so much of my distain for humanity.

1. People are going hungry

2. While we play the big mans game, we are not made of money ourselves

3. Do not waste what you have collected/purchased/ earnt

4. We are not robots/ machines – we possess our own unique judgment – requiring our senses and specific to situation

5. The tampering of our food will allow it to last longer

We have been gifted with perfectly useful senses – eyes and hands and noses and knowledgable ideas of what is safe to consume. I’d thoroughly recommend E.M Forster’s The Machine Stops, let the berries live another day.

Blade Runner 2049

I can’t begin to express the magic and perfection of this absolute masterpiece

I loved the first; we studied it at school and it opened my eyes. The darkness, the misery, and a futuristic yet tangible sense of existence stuck with me.

After reading Tipping Point and The Machine Stops in the summer and beginning A Brave New World a few weeks ago; my mind has been pondering ideas of future life and human effect on the planet for some time.

The film is beautiful – start to finish. The visuals, the flow, the story are  flawlessly captivating and take you over. So much so, I was able to detach from my current worldly worries, as if the planet we were viewing was not that of our own.

The realisation of this did cause me some concern, as the film has potential in promoting environmental issues. But, and as I thought I would, after digesting all I had seen I began to draw comparisons between the onscreen world and our current. It made me wonder how close we are to that breaking point – where organic ecosystems fail because of human accountability. What/ when will be the tipping point?

All I can hear in my head is Mariette saying:

‘I’ve never seen a tree. It’s pretty.’

And K answering souly, ‘It’s dead’.

To imagine people existing without the trees blows my mind. A child growing up without ever seeing a tree – climbing and exploring forests – how harrowing a world that would be. That is without consideration for where our oxygen would come from and the overwhelming pollution that caused it to happen and that would continue to ensue. That’s terrifying.

While Blade runner 2049 is consistent in sound and visuals with Blade Runner; the progression between first and second is clear. Naturally, technology’s progression has allowed for easier expression. This along with the lack of ‘gimmicks’ present in the first, made for an easier viewing. Whether you’d seen the first or you were new to the experience, you didn’t have as hard to work to grasp the narrative.

Ridley Scott, and this can be confirmed with the last of his alien works, has really perfected his storytelling art – these are the visuals, this is the plot – which makes for huge assistance when environments and lifestyle are well, particularly alien.

That’s not to say I didn’t love the gimmicks and artsy traits of the first, if I’m honest they made it the film I love; but there was a lot going on and a lot to take in, and it almost felt counterproductive to the plot but wonderful for the mind to ponder.

Now you’ll be pleased to know if you had any unanswered niggles from the first movie *cough* origami, you’ll have things answered to you in 2049.

Now I’ve mentioned Alien I must say there was a part in which I fell apart. I heard it the first time, and wondered why such a bizarre sound was so familiar. It wasn’t till the second time of hearing it I had to giggle. (See the film, this will all make sense) You’ll also be pleased to know the 80’s style synths are still going strong.

I’d recommend this film to anyone and everyone, view it as a magnificent piece of artistry with the potential for healthy debate.

I shall also be adding Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick to the reading list as this was the basis for the first film, and it would seem to fit with my apocalyptic light reading habits.

While I do find a weird sense of beauty in the dystopian lands created, I like the trees.


Gluten free pies (updated)

Pies, take 5 🎬

And lastly (as I think I’m all pied out.. for now) Asda’s Free From. Pleasant little box there, coordinating with their festive free from range.

Straight into the pies. Delicate little fellows, almost an boxed-mini apple pie crust if that means anything to anyone. Moderately tart filling, should not be eating this as 9 minutes past midnight but hey ho ho ho 🤦🏽‍♀️

I’ll give these delicate little devils a 6/10

Now that I’ve overcame the missing pastry situation, I picked up these ‘The Foods Athenry’ star-pies at the Rheged centre last night.

It was a pleasant surprise to see another pie opportunity, and after the last box, I knew the bar was not set phenomenally high.

The box speaks all the right language, so on returning home (at 11) I promptly broke into my fourth box of pies.

Well, I don’t know how they managed to make it home in one piece. On attempting first bite, there was pie everywhere. Crumbly you say?! Lack of structure and substance would be closer to the truth. Never have I had such a messy but disappointing food related experience. I couldn’t even focus on the filling as the exterior was all over the kitchen, dusty and looking like I’d antiqued myself. Not cool.

Sadly no, thank you. 3/10

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Third contender we have the M&S gluten free sweet mince fellow. Different wave of green festivity here, I approve, classic endeavour and by far the sweetest looking.

I was doubtful I could ever accept this pie as I could see I had missed out on potential pastry lid – but I was big enough to look beyond the missing pastry. And I am so very glad I did.

The pastry is crisp but soft and incredibly buttery and the filling is near enough perfect – unmistakable Christmas right there.

The hunt could be over, bow down to this pie 9/10*

*went smashingly with a strong cocoa, sadly not a whiff of alcohol. Sensing I may need to spike my own pies here 🤔- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Sainsbury’s, over to you. Festive red box, complete with robin – seems a little excessive for November, but you’ve set your own bar, I’m feeling festive.

Terrified that the expiration date is 1/1/18 – what kind of chemical hocus pocus has been cast on these pies?! I only need to try one, if a single pie kills me, that’ll be a fair story.

They’re sturdy little fellows, no broken lids. Shortbread crust, well played. Excellent crunch.

Filling, definitely fruity – a little too much orange for my liking, but more than edible. Excellent little pies, absolute pleasure. 7/10*

*Experiance could have been assisted by the symphonic metal entertaining my ears.- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

So at a recent meeting my health adviser, she noticing I was sensitive (not intolerant) to wheat. I don’t know how she knew this as I’d not mentioned it, there were no blood tests involved, she had just assessed me. So I agreed to go gluten free for a few weeks and report back.

Now, in my world, despite it only being October; I do work in a supermarket, and I know pretty sharpish when the seasonal foods are in. This would make it pie season for myself – sweet mince pie season. And not wanting to miss out on the festive lovelies, I’ll be sampling ‘free froms’.

Home store is up first. I hopes for good things, the box was promising – there was mention of a shortcrust pastry.

The verdict – edible, but slightly bland. The crust while thick enough wasn’t crisp, but dusty and lacking in flavour. The filling was slightly more engaging, rich and fruity as you’d expect. Disappointing lack of alcohol – as a non drinker this is were I get most of my festive beverage – but I do understand it’s a free from range. Overall 4.5/10


Yesterday was honestly like Christmas for me. Nearing the end of my favourite month and adding to the festivities, I get to see my favourite band. This is about as close as I get to excitement.

I’ve waited near enough ten years to see them, my parents deemed me too young when I started listening and refused any involvement in entertaining my love of metal. So, 10 years later I’m sat somewhere in the ceiling of the SSE Hydro eagerly awaiting their wonderful noise. 

It was wonderful. My cheeks hurt.

I don’t have much feeling for their new album sadly which was a good half of the concert. However, everything came alive with their older songs. I didn’t think it was possible for people to sing along to instrumentals and guitar solos, but it made me giggle. Think Metallica will always have my heart 🖤 

Home again

The almost fluke of things working out when you’re traveling, making connecting flights/trains/carpets is a sickening science. I somehow managed to commune to work from Venice today – that’s a achievement I’d like acknowledged – fluke or otherwise.

Venice on reflection, while not hurtling about, having my face in a map or being asked if I need fed, was an amazing experience. It’s a curious place, entirely surreal to be stood amongst. It’s a lot more worn than I had imagined, and entirely unchanged. The streets seem to weave everywhere and people can appear to vanish as they go down alleyways. Seeing it through the day is an obvious, but it’s fascinating at night. It’s so dark and mysterious, and far more romantic. 

It does have that dreamy Romantic quality of somewhere you’d love to visit on the arm of someone you throughly adore, so you can end up chokingly smitten by the person and the place.

It really is a magical place and I’d throughly recommend the experience of a visit.

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Pick the best looking eateries you can and be brave and daring in you selections. 

Explore. By god explore. Wander the street and shops and if someone has a trade and they’re passionate, talk to them – that made my holiday.

Giorno quattro

You know your trappy charm is making a good impression when even the beggars don’t beg from you.

Today we met a mask-maker eager to share his trade and the history of his craft – much to our appreciation.

We were given the heads up for a lovely book shop and it didn’t disappoint. There was a gondola full of books, book boats, books to the ceiling – like Carlisle’s lovely little Bookcase with a Venetian twist. There were very few English books sadly, but worth the adventure for the atmosphere alone.

Wandered into a perculiar modern art exhibition. The upstairs of the building seemed to float together like a beautiful dream, golden streamer curtains, a pink/ green bathroom suite and lovely dream-like projections.

Saw my first water ambulance tonight.

For me, Venice really comes alive at night. It’s dark mysterious nature is allowed to creep into your imagination as you wind through unlit streets and navigate past the open water. Can’t imagine how anyone from home would get back alive after a night out..