UK Staycations

Recently I’ve been spending my weekdays praying for sunshine and whole-heartedly hoping that the rain stays away. This week is following exactly the same pattern. Not just because I wish the British weather would remember that it is actually supposed to be summer but because I’m packing up the car and heading out to spend a few nights under canvas this bank holiday weekend. (Yes, I know tents aren’t made of canvas anymore but it sounds much nicer than nylon or whatever that material is.)

Tom has just returned from a week away with his friends in Devon and part of me is a little jealous. I’ve always wanted to explore the south coast but being from Liverpool meant that it was a bit too far to travel on holiday. It was often quicker to travel somewhere abroad than drive the 300 miles to visit Devon or Cornwall. Also, I was spoilt as a child. I still am.

Image from Visit Devon

We did have a few staycations though, they were just in Abersoch instead. I was convinced it was miles from home (it’s only in North Wales) and I felt terribly grown up being able to go down to the beach with my friends and, more importantly, without the adults. I even met my first ever boyfriend there.

Image from Cornwall Life

Anyway, staycations in the south-west are a fairly regular topic of conversation between my mum and I. It’s somewhere we’re both dying to visit but just have never got round to. How sad is that? Also, the cream teas, right? The gorgeous people at Parkdean sent me a Cornwall themed cream tea hamper last week when my mum was visiting me and we feasted on all of the incredible yummies inside. Although, we definitely prefer our scones the Devon way. Cream then jam just works better in my head! Controversial.

I’m not sure I’ll fit in a trip down there this summer now but I’m definitely going to try to plan one for next year. I’m excited already.

You can try to win you and your family a holiday with Parkdean now by testing your knowledge on this brilliant Cornwall or Devon quiz.

Are you a staycationer? Where should I visit?



Didn’t get the A Level results you wanted? It’s not the end of the world

It seems a bit silly writing about this allllllllll these years later. Yes, I know it’s been a long time since I had to go and collect my A Level results but I can still remember the day clearly, although I can’t actually tell you what my grades were!

Today may seem like the most important day of your life if you’re getting your results today and congratulations if you got the results you wanted and/or needed. However, if you didn’t, don’t worry it’s not the end of the world. I promise.

A Level Results Day

 The morning I was due to go and pick my A Level results up, my mum came into my room to wake me up and it was all I could do to pull the covers over my head and roll over. I was totally adamant that I wasn’t going to school to collect my results. I knew in my heart of hearts I hadn’t done the work I could have for my exams. Now, the day had come for my head of year (who I really didn’t like) to smile smugly at me and pretend that she cared I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped to get into my first choice university and I just couldn’t face it. Let her put them in the post and I’ll deal with it all another day was my plan.

Then the post arrived and the welcome pack for the University or Central Lancashire was sat on the doorstep. Despite not reaching the grades they’d asked for I got a place on my first choice course. It was then I decided to go into school and see how my friends had done. I was right when I said the evil Head Of Year would be smug but now I had the ammunition to wipe it off her face and that was my favourite moment.

Anyway, my point is don’t fret if you didn’t get the results you wanted and/or needed, it honestly isn’t the end of the world. There are loads of options open to you and who even says you need to go to uni? I know people who never went and still achieved their dreams.

I know your results seem like the most important thing in the world right now but it’s just one small brick in the path of your life. Take some time to digest what has happened and then decide what works best for you. Think about where you want to get to in your life, the things you want to achieve and alternative routes to reach it. University isn’t the best plan for many people, is it for you? Did you apply because you didn’t know what else to do? Did you apply because it was what you were expected to do? Look at things objectively and consider all of the other options.

Above all remember, what you are supposed to do will appear to you and only you can decide what will truly make you happy. Stop listening to your head and other people (definitely stop listening to other people) and listen to your heart. I promise it knows what is best for you in this difficult moment.



Interview: Phil Hunt BBC’s Hair 2015 Champion

Back in February I was filmed for an episode of BBC 2’s new series of Hair and last week the final episode aired and Phil Hunt was officially crowned Britain’s Best Amateur Hair Stylist 2015. What a worthy winner he was too.

Phil is originally from East Yorkshire, and now lives in London whilst studying women’s hairdressing at Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College and working towards his trade test at the Oolong Hair salon, Shad Thames, London. He gave up a successful career in retail fashion early last year in order to retrain at EHWLC and realise his dream career as a hair designer and stylist.

Phil Hockey, Executive Director at Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College said: ‘On behalf of everyone at the College I would like to congratulate Phil on his well-deserved victory in the competition. We are very proud of him and he sets a shining example to adult students embarking on career change of what is possible through vision, talent and hard work.’


I was lucky enough to get a chance to chat to Phil last week in the aftermath of the show and find out his thoughts on the whole experience.

Congratulations, on winning. How did it feel when it was announced?

It was rather a bizarre feeling, when the three of us stood in a line at the end waiting for the announcement. I truly did not think I’d win. In my head throughout the whole day I thought the other two were definitely going to win, and I was happy with that.

Have you had trouble keeping it a secret until the programme aired?

Keeping it a secret has been a nightmare for me, I decided not to tell any of my family in Yorkshire, as I really wanted them to watch the show and enjoy the experience without knowing that I had won it.

What’s the plan now? 

At the moment I’m working towards my hairdressers trade test once that is finished I will be able to work as a hairdresser in a salon, and in September I will go back to college and carry on studying. I also want to start getting experience in film and television, theatre and editorial work. I love the idea of being able to diversify, so I am also completely open to any opportunities that may come along too and if by chance Paloma Faith is seeking a new hair stylist, I’d definitely be interested.

What made you decide to enter in the first place?

During the summer of last year, I was working in retail and wasn’t very happy with the career that was mapped out for me. I decided I wanted to do something that I hadn’t been able to do years ago, I wanted to do something that was not only rewarding but creative, and watching series 1 of Hair last year really inspired me to have a go myself. In September 2014, I signed up to a college course, and in October last year I got a job as a salon Junior, and I worked hard. It was then in January 2015, my lecturer at college received an email from the BBC saying they were looking for applicants for Hair 2015. I jumped at the chance.

Did you always think you could win or was there just a certain point you wanted to get to in the competition?

I was grateful to get an audition, and once I received the phone call to say I’d actually been chosen for the show I was elated. Every episode from there on, I was grateful to be in there, and to get to the final was so surreal. I didn’t think I would win it, I still don’t!

You did some pretty amazing creations, where did you get your inspiration?

I take a lot of inspiration from the person who sits in front of me, their culture, their face shape, their hair colour. I get excited about nature, and all the different shapes and styles of nature, the colours and the shine. For me inspiration comes daily, and I often grab my phone and take photos of shapes, designs, colours I like at the time.

Which was your favourite challenge? 

I loved all the challenges, however my favourites were the freestyle challenges where I could be super creative. I always have a clear vision and I really wanted to show my artistic merit. My favourite creation was Miss Havisham in the ‘Fantasy’ round.

Did you hate any of the challenges?

I loved every single one of them, they were all amazing

Did you disagree with anything the judges had to say?

I didn’t disagree with the judges at all, their experience and knowledge for me is liquid gold.

Have you kept in touch with any of the other contestants?

I have created great friendships through the show especially with Sarah and Rebecca. I think they are both super talented.

What a lovely guy! I’m still astonished by some of the amazing creations he brought to life on the show and if he’s ever looking for willing volunteers to try more crazy things out on, I’m here!