I want to be the kind of girl to always make lists

I want to be the kind of girl to always make lists. To leave lipstick stains. To wake early on Sundays and read the supplements from cover to cover. To wear her hair in a messy top knot and spend hours at her laptop with only green smoothies and soya chai lattes for sustenance.

To own a dog. I desperately miss my dog.

To wear a watch for the beauty, not for the time. To wear ankle boots in autumn and the shortest of shorts in the summer sun. To grow her hair long(er) and let it find its own waves and kinks.

To never be without painted nails.

To send notes when she’s thinking of someone. To not be afraid to tell someone she cares. To scream louder than anyone on rollercoasters and not be self-conscious when she feels someone reading her own words over her shoulder.

To dance without a care for the camera. To run through puddles and squeal when the splashes hit. To always carry a notebook. To never buy a cheap notebook. Her hesitant words deserve a beautiful home.

To take selfies in public without pretending she’s not. To not be ashamed of the number of selfies she takes. To humble-brag her way through the good times and admit when the times start to turn.

To never be without earrings.

To drink eight glasses of water per day. To pull off a hat with aplomb. To write crappy poetry that only her eyes will see.

To watch French films about life and love and let herself well up at the beauty of it all. To give her number to stangers with whom she makes eye contact on the tube. To take the tube more often.

To graciously accept her own flaws. To not despair when she posts an Instagram picture with a filter she later decides she hates. To sing in the shower, in the car and into the mic at karaoke.

To be able to apply eyeliner with precision.

To admit to her mistakes. To apologise when she’s been an arsehole. To remember that it’s all relative but to still have at least a modicum of perspective when it seems like her whole world’s crumbling.

To call her parents every week. To call her best friends just because. To write letters to her grandad. To put pen to paper.

To read every night. To rave every morning. To never stop being intense with her emotions and to never apologise when she is.

I want to be the kind of girl to always make lists.

A love letter to London (because such things will never get old)

Dear LDN,

For twelve months, I’ve been a resident of your fair city. Twelve gloriously sweet, whirlwind months.

You felt like home after twelve minutes.

I’m sometimes asked if I’ll ever leave you. And my mum loves to badger me about when I’m moving back up north. But as things stand right now, I’m not sure I ever will. In my hometown, 11pm’s the time you think about hitting the sack, not the club. Rap concerts don’t go down on random Tuesdays. No-one knows what ackee and saltfish are. And the view ain’t nothing like this:




People tend to mourn manners once they’re south of Watford Gap. Rude, inconsiderate, always in a rush and only thinking of themselves. That’s how your people are categorised, London. Outsiders think they’re all soulless drones who can’t hold a conversation and risk spontaneous combustion if smiled at. (And maybe that’s legit what it’s like in your central parts, but I rarely like to visit them. No offence.) However, my experience is so, so different. The people I’ve met since moving to your city a year ago? They’re some of the warmest, most creatively turned-on people I’ve ever known. I know real-life human beings who like to frequent dance classes, poetry readings and hip-hop karaoke nights as much and as often as I do. 10pm ice-cream dates have become a thing and I get invited to actual outdoor picnics in the East End (which are taken very, very seriously by some). Thank you for the introductions.

I could go on. About the way my tummy smiles when I consume your messy falafel wraps and cinnamon-topped chai lattes like the foodie-hipster-cliché I’ve become. About the way I catch myself almost dropping the word ‘sick’ into complimentary sentences. About the way the tube map no longer looks like a bewildering array of multicoloured spaghetti strands that – wait – you actually expect me to master?! About the way I can’t cross the river without goosebumps forming and my head attempting to defy the odds by spinning 360° atop my neck. About the way I’ve become so accustomed to seeing it that I breeze past Buckingham Palace without a second glance, preferring to marvel at the camera-clutching tourists with grins as wide as their heads who’ve circumnavigated the globe to get a taste of this place that I actually call home.


Cheers, London, for the love affair of my life. Let’s not call the whole thing off just yet (or – dare I say it – ever), OK?

Smitten in SW16