Fourteen Pieces of Advice I Found Somewhere in 2014

Thursday, 18 December 2014

1. Don't do little cries. 
Feelings demand to be felt so give them the justice they deserve.
Pick a day, probably a Sunday because they're already depressing, grab a bottle of wine
and cry.
Full on cry. 
Cry until there's snot on your chin and more mascara on your knuckles than eyelashes.
Then call a friend and cry at them so you don't get the urge to post a pathetic tweet like
'I love crying NOT lol'.

2. Write love letters, but don't send them.
You are NOT Jane Austen.
Crack out your best penmanship on that flecked handmade
Peruvian paper you once bought hungover in Shoreditch and tell
someone you're madly in love with them and that they're great.
Just don't send it.
Adolescent men, (adolescence in guys tends to span until they're around thirty-fucking-years-old) already have enough on their plate; like being annoying and suddenly deciding they're not ready for a relationship.
So don't give them more fodder by kissing the back of an envelope and stalkerishly remembering their address from that drunken UBER one time. Trust me.

3. Don't opt for glass noodles in Itsu.
They're impossible to eat without it looking like you're vomiting small white worms back into your miso soup.
Udon noodles, are your friend.
You can put sincere trust in them and their nice thick.. girth?

4. Invest in a blanket scarf.
A really big Lenny Kravitz style bad boy.
One day, you might miss your last train and need to nap in the toilet cubicle of Paddington Station.
The blanket scarf will double as a pillow and duvet and you can later cocoon it around your face as you leave so no one knows who just fell asleep sat on the toilet.

5. Gay clubs are really, really great.
Never pay £25 entrance for a snobby, overpriced, white wash Mayfair club ever again.
Getting off with a girl will be less embarrassing and shameful than leaving with that prick Foxton's Estate Agent that you will undoubtedly end up fluttering your eyelashes at for a drink because you spent all of your money at the door getting in.
Or worse still, on the cloakroom. 

6. Write really shit poetry.
Rhyme 'I thought it was undying love' with 'until you shat on me like an un-peaceful dove'.
Taylor Swift started somewhere, you might actually remaster these one day.
Also, just really funny.

7. Don't pay attention to the time. 
You're 19 now, you can shove two fingers up at a bed time.
You're a woman.
Baths at 4am and cereal at 11pm are small but wonderful things.

8. Don't do shots of rum.
You see that idiot gracefully spluttering his entire stomach content into the gutter as his friends are getting in a cab home?
He did shots of rum.
Don't for any reason, shot rum.

9. Talk to strangers.
Not ones that look like Fagen from Oliver Twist or ones that might have a big empty van waiting for you, but the old lady on the tube or the haggard banker,
They know things you don't.

10. Scrap number 2.
Just don't actually even think about writing love letters.

11. You don't have to apologise for anything you don't think is worth apologising for. 
You'll look like a bit of a dick, but a dick that actually means what their actions suggest.
And that's alright, I think.

12. Unfollow inspiring Instagrams. 
They're not inspiring.
They're just a collection of nice sounding vowels captioning an alright photo of a wood or something.
Inspire yourself by knowing you don't need someone to remind you to know,
'If it's not okay, it's not the end.'
You've got this.

13. Have sex in a really unconventional place.
You can still blame the stupidity of youth now and also there are few things better than playing 'never have I ever' and being able to beat fifteen people because you once got laid under the sound desk of a radio studio.
During a show.

14. Don't get poo anxiety. 
Everyone has to poo.
That's why everyone has a toilet in their house.
Just wait for their hot brother to make a cup of tea and go and enjoy yourself.

Señor Ceviche, Kingly Court - My Favourite Date Spot

Thursday, 4 December 2014

All of my friends mock me for being a 'serial dater'.
They've all exhausted the joke, pondering upon my lack of keeping a night in the week free where I'm not out for dinner or drinks with someone new.
I let them laugh and sit in brief bemusement because what they think is a serious comittment issue is actually a more serious love of finding new places to stuff my face and get a bit drunk.
Señor Ceviche in Kingly Court has newly become my new favourite date night spot and as part of my bid to take Jack on 'a holiday at home', I thought I'd let him come and see what all the fuss was about.
Cassava croquettes with anji panca sour cream
Based on the bohemian district of Lima, Barranco, the 25 year old owner (jesus christ I better get to work) Harry Edmeades has crafted a sanctuary of Peruvian flavours and planted them right in the middle of Soho. 
It's as charming as it is electric, fluorescent posters and neon accents on the furnishings sewn together with a sway of island music that pushes your whittled central city mindset into a place far from here.
We ordered as much food as we could fit on the table, sharing unwillingly between us as we fought for the last mouthful of each dish.
Tempura baby squid, prawns and market fish with jalepeno tiger milk
The tempura baby squid, prawns and market fish with jalepeno tiger milk was incredible, so much so we ordered another plate. 
If it wasn't for the Tamarind BBQ Chicken Anticuchos (tender chicken skewers covered in what we both agreed on was the best bbq-style sauce we'd ever licked off of a plate) we'd probably have ordered it again between each cocktail.
Equally, Señor Ceviche's signature dish was divine.
For the last two weeks I've delved haphazardly into the world of attempting a vegan lifestyle but obviously (...OBVIOUSLY!!!) I had to give it a miss when we arrived here.
However I did try and do my fill of greens and ordered the Chimbote and Cusco Quinoa, that whilst weren't as good as their meat and fishy counterparts were still pretty exquisite as sides.
Fries covered in spicy peruvian cheese sauce and tomato fondue
As the meal came to an end and I'd had enough Ayahuasca cocktails to try and pronounce everything proudly on the menu, I let out a little weep.
Mostly, because the chocolate brownie and coconut ice-cream dessert was so good.

I don't think I've ever seasoned a restaurant write-up so kindly, but this place really is all it's cracked up to be.

Good job Harry, I'll definitely see you in there for a drink sometime soon. 

A real life actual first youtube video

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Guess who did a thing?
I did a thing!
Imagine my pointy fingers averting your eyes down to the comment/subscribe/validate me button. 


A Holiday At Home - W Hotel Leicester Square

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Working and playing in London and not living in it means I rely on my friend Jack to tuck me in on his sofa more often than I should.
He's fried me enough hangover cures, he's paid for enough Ubers and he has looked after me enough times for me to know that buying the first round of drinks next Tuesday night isn't nearly a worthy thank you.

Both having been through a relatively tumultuous and emotional November, I was ready for a break and I knew he more than anyone deserved a night of ludicrous opulence and a cuddle in a towelling dressing gown. 
So I returned the favour, taking him on a holiday in his own city, instead of tucking him onto my own couch I found the best bed I could in London.

The W Hotel in Leicester Square quickly became our own little Utopia. 
Checking in under the twinkly disco balls, we quick stepped into what felt like a Sophie Ellis-Bexter music video set and made ourselves comfortable. 
As we assessed the surroundings, (Jack had to ply me with Prosecco so I'd stop squealing at how beautiful everything was...), we stumbled upon possibly the best tonic we didn't even know we needed.
Lady of DJ dreams Annie Mac has carefully curated 200 albums on vinyl for you to pick from and order to your room.

 Forget the mini bottles of Hendricks and Belvedere in the fridge... THEY HAD PEZ DISPENSERS.
PEZ... DISPENSERS...!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 We chatted into the early morning in a uniform of white slippers and bathrobes and put our lives in place. I've met some truly incredible people this year by complete fluke and Jack very quickly became my most treasured. He's helped me realise how important being unapologetically yourself truly is and that wanting to have fun isn't a vice to be shunned. It's incredible how in a matter of months a stranger can become so important. Don't waste and flit introductions, there are unbelievable people out there waiting for you to find. 
 In the morning we took a short walk downstairs to the Spice Market for breakfast which is usually the home of some of the loveliest South Eastern cuisine around dinner time and tucked into a much more continental looking breakfast instead.
 Yes... with all on offer... Jack genuinely did order himself a bacon sandwich and a bowl of Coco Pops...
We may or may not have also filmed a video or two for you whilst we were there...
A big thank you to the W Hotel for washing us of our miserable zombie shadows and transforming us back into the excitable people we once were.
If you're looking for somewhere to stay the next time you're over in our neck of the woods, or even if like me you just needed to be reminded of how beautiful London can be, I can't recommend this place enough.

What I'm Wearing

Friday, 28 November 2014

Dress - Zara // Shoes - Ralph Lauren // Rings - Topshop
[Photographs - Pauline Bossdorf]

Spicy Parsnip Soup & Sweet Potato Salad

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

It's been four days since I last touched a chicken nugget. Four days since I last uttered 'Can we get some more bread please?'. Four days since I shoved on my trainers to do the chocolate run to the corner shop.

It's actually easier than you think to eat clean. Food that's good for you can taste spectacular if you don't just bite into a raw carrot and expect it to curb your carb cravings. 
This spicy parsnip soup with a sweet potato salad is filled with things that are brilliant for you and it tastes pretty damn good too.
Preheat your oven to 180C and then chop your parsnips and cover them in olive oil and chilli and bake them for around 45 minutes
At the same time on a separate baking tray, place chopped sweet potato and drizzle them with some olive oil and a pinch of sea salt for 45 minutes
Let the parsnips and sweet potato cool and then chuck all of the soup ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth! 
Whilst you heat up your soup in a pan, throw all of the salad ingredients together and give a big squeeze of lime over the top!

Let me know if you try it out :-)

Dispelling Racism - The Choice Is Yours

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

    Growing up in Central London up until the age of eleven, I went to a school with children from over 75 different nationalities. 
I was wholly fortunate to be brought up within a family and community where race was introduced to me no differently to being told that some people have blue eyes and others have green, I studied Martin Luther King's speech aged seven and wrote extensive school projects about Mary Seacole, part of my 11+ entrance exam was to plan a campaign to abolish racism within young football clubs.
Nearly 50 years into laws against public racial discrimination within the UK being put into practice, this should be a natural and obvious common place, in the same way I was given extensive knowledge on white political leaders and white iconic figures through history.

Moving out of London in my early teens left me faced with an absurd amount of discovery into how ignorant and futile other people of my age were towards those who differed in colour and heritage to them. 
It seemed as utterly ludicrous to me then as it does now and whilst some might ignorantly claim the innocent naivety of youth upon those I encountered, you most certainly can't do that with what we're facing now.

Earlier today the news in Ferguson broke out that the white police offer that shot a young innocent black male dead was not to be charged.
Whilst I, like everyone else bar the two people involved, have no real understanding of what actually occurred, it's the lack of knowledge surrounding the case that is both insulting to the loss of a life and the misrepresentation of racial violence. 
Michael Brown's death is not a social anomaly and doesn't out lie statistically. 

It's received an incredible call for justice, citizens of war torn countries and international protestors took a moment out of their own issues to send messages of support and solidarity across all forms of press and social media. 
Where as for the most part, white people have been noticeably more reluctant to make a statement. 
This is obviously hugely generalised, I am by no means suggesting that whites have been silent, but it only took me a few moments to scan my Twitter and Facebook feeds to notice that over 85% of the posts put out weren't by my white counterparts. 
I truly believe this is because a large majority are scared.

I tend to write most of my blog posts in twenty minutes and press publish as soon as I've thrown my eyes over it half heartedly for spelling mistakes, but this one has had me push for extreme care and concern over all of my vocabulary and phrasing in fear of saying something remotely offensive even though I know in its genuine core and indeed my own, I'm not capable of doing so because my intentions are by no means to do so nor would I really know how to.
But the thought has still left my fingertips wavering over each key a little terrified.

This is the issue. 
A lot of people are worried they might offend others with their phrasing, they struggle to see the opening for meaningful conversation upon the issue because they themselves have not been directly involved with racial offence. 
Nor do they see an opportunity to speak out and for it to make a positive impact or any impact whatsoever. 
The majority probably also struggle to see their role in the fight of racism because they themselves aren't racist, they worry that addressing race in the first place might even make the situation worse and more uncomfortable. 
These fears are real and I understand them, but by accepting and not pushing through them, essentially results in the justification of white silence and inaction making the oppression and death of black people a serious real world issue. 

We need to start taking an active role as white people to fight and dispel racism as it's something that is destroying our communities and our brothers and sisters. 
Whilst it wasn't you or I who personally created it, we have a huge part in undoing racism because our heritage did and a large portion of our people support and maintain a serially racist system that benefits white people to the extreme detriment of those of colour. 

We should be using words that speak the truth about the disempowerment, oppression, disinvestment and racism that are rampant in our communities. 
Janee Woods recently wrote - 

'Black people are dying and it’s not your personal fault that black people are dying because you’re  white but if you don’t make a purposeful choice to become a white ally and actively work to dismantle the racist system running America for the benefit of white people then it becomes your shame because you are white and black lives matter. And if you live your whole life and then die without making a purposeful choice to become a white ally then American racism becomes your legacy.   
The choice is yours.' 

Lost and Found

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

It's not a new concept that this world is an odd one to find yourself in, I'm well aware.
But for the last few months I've struggled to come to terms with why.
Ever infuriated by what I don't know and don't understand, consumed with a fear of being consumed (?!) I couldn't stand it anymore.
I felt this heavy pelting force in my chest most mornings, missing meetings bleary eyed smelling of immitation smirnoff and regret but with a grin so wide on my face that it was almost hard to believe I was battling a half hearted identity crisis and the mother of all hangovers.
I'd had the best night previous with the most glorious breakfast of Sour Creme and Onion Pringles on the tube home having curled up laughing and content in someones bed who washed me of insecurities.
All fine here, right?

In truth, I was slowly dancing myself into a wrap of creative procrastination, writing heart wrenchingly cringe poems on the back of train tickets and waiters notepads about things I probably only felt devestated by because I was exhausted and a bit confused as to where I should be heading next.
Ignorantly flipping my middle finger like a pubescent teenager at growing up I relished in my new found inner care free.
It just so turned out that care actually was worth a lot more than I was insuring it for.
As well as being a general giant teenage cliche, I was putting all of these strained adult pressures on myself that not even my twenties would be able to battle through and I became temporarily paralysed in a fear of letting myself and people around me down.
It's truly wonderful having successful friends but it's also incredibly terrifying particularly when there are so many of them doing such brilliantly impressive things.
Equally, when their lives look so fantastic you just want to punch anyone that says 'just be happy! just take control!' because 'THAT'S BLOODY EASY FOR YOU TO SAY!!!!!!'
What if I'm not doing enough for the world? What if that dress in Topshop sells out? What if I don't become as successful as everyone else? What if that Snickers bar is the final straw between a size 12 and a size 14?
Relatively, it's all menial and quite laughable when put down on paper. Don't worry, I can see it now.
But for the last two months instead of facing real issues I sort of succumbed to these tiny insignificant intangible ones that I knew I couldn't win or change or answer because bizarrely that's a lot easier.
We're part of a generation where we feel as though we all have to run so hard and fast towards something and a good majority of us have no idea what it is.
We're left hanging from this empty rafter of insecurity and worry that splinters into a horrible dull sensation of being a bit helpless.

Drowning a plate of bacon and pancakes in thick sticky maple syrup over breakfast the other day I caught sight of a real emotion that hadn't been masked and inebriated.
I was lost.
I did this sad god awful little cry that just thinking about makes me want to punch myself for but I genuinely had no idea who I was.
I made a few weepy phone calls, I ate some more overpriced breakfast and I gave myself two weeks to work it out.
Who am I to me and who am I to other people?
What the hell am I doing with my life?
Had I just been listening to too much Taylor Swift?
Gross. Probably.

I agreed to take a step back from some people and a step closer to the ones I'd pushed away, it's incredibly difficult admitting you're wrong or even behaving recklessly but it gave me a strength and a relief that pride was never going to attain.
I've also written myself a managable list of things I want to achieve in the next two weeks and surprisingly I'm already half way through five days in.
Imagine if we did that EVERY fortnight?
Hello, my name's Charly Cox and I've made a lot of mistakes in the last eight weeks.
Hello, my name's Charly Cox and I've also done a lot of really fantastic things that I often let myself forget.

It's okay to be lost and it's okay to flit and wander through paths that sometimes aren't of best fit or of best interest, as long as you know that sooner rather than later you have to allow yourself to find sight of you again.

This Months Cosmetics Picks

Monday, 3 November 2014

 I am all manners of rubbish at looking after myself.
I scrape last nights make up off with cheap wet wipes and throw my poor afro hair under enough heat that chemically straightening it probably sounds as though it would be a kinder treat.
I stepped up my game, threw down my horrible habits and have called to the cosmetic gods to see if they could cuddle my appearance and make me feel and look a little less haggard.
These are the ones that came out on top.
 Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturiser 
It smells like an orgy of oranges having a great time in a pot.
It's surprisingly done absolute wonders for my Rosacea and paints a massive smile over my now smooth face every morning.

 Topshop Face Glitter and Glue
You always used to know if I was having a crisis because I'd wear red lipstick to distract myself.
Now, I paint big messy glittery splodges along the sides of my eyes.
Like a Sugar Plum Fairy, but dosed up on Sertraline.

 Oribe god Lust Nourishing Hair Oil
Harry Styles' hair stylist swears by it.
If it's good enough for him, it's sure as hell probably too good for me, but it smells divine and has given a new lease of life to my dyed and unloved hair.
 Mane 'n Tail Shampoo and Conditioner
It was originally developed for Horses.
It's now made for humans.
Thank Jesus Christ and the well groomed Donkey that carried him, they smell a bit like carpet cleaner but get all the gross residue of London out of your hair.
 L'Oreal Lumi Magique Highlighter in Shade 2
My YSL Touche Eclait brushed its last stroke the other day and I panic bought this.
A really great high street highlighter, does exactly what it says on the tin.
Aesop Parsley Seed Face Mask
Erases all of my make up wipe sins, all of the weird ugly alcohol induced blemishes and wind torn flakey face skin.
I was a bit apprehensive of spending so much money on what looks like such a small tube, but you only need a tiny teeny bit to do a bit of a Beyonce glow.
It smells like a really good salad dressing, don't be tempted.

I kissed a girl and I liked it...and then felt really awful.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Having spun myself into a new (yet again) all male friend group, my Tuesday nights have been changed forever.
Usually I'd be tucked up behind my laptop, crossing and curling my legs over the duvet as I desperately search for the illegal download of some new American series, being spritely and somewhat alive on a Wednesday has been a priority for all too long. It is, with reason, a school night after all. 
But no longer. 

Life as a freelance internet someone, throwing yourself between the halves and in-betweens of impoverished bank statements and squandered cash on all day travel cards and expensive new pop-up restaurants gets a bit bloody boring. 
Don't get me wrong, I realise how many of you will want to smack me for complaining, I'd love no other working lifestyle and I'm in no way complacent- but the stress of managing five active email accounts, three shoot days, two demanding clients and a neglected blog all in a short week whilst trying to make a vague attempt at a failing love life means whilst one half of your brain is screaming for sleep, all the other half wants is wine. 
And gin.
And Jagerbombs. 
And a laugh.

Welcome G-A-Y Late. 
The floors are sticky, the music is awful, the queue to get in suggests they're handing out cheques at the door, but you can buy a round for £8 and no one bats an eyelid if you launch yourself across the floor to do a well earned Dirty Dancing lift with a stranger. Which in my books, makes it ironically, heaven. 
Last Tuesday was no exception, scrambling from a party in Leicester Square with my fill of free wine I met the boys inside ready to sing away my spreadsheet woes to some one-hit-wonder from some good looking 90's boy band. 
Flailing my limbs around like a ten year old playing musical bumps, I spotted one of my friends failing to chat up a girl in the corner. 
Off I popped to give him a hand and innocently sprinkle my wing-woman charm and then instead of keeping tight lipped over his unsuccessful efforts my lips ended up on hers.

In true British fashion, I didn't want to seem rude or ungrateful to her advances and just sort of went along with it.
Much to the applaud of the group of guys I was with, I stood and kissed this girl in the fluoro lights of a central London gay club and actually really enjoyed it. 
It was liberating and completely unlike me, sense and conscience left at the cloakroom.
It didn't matter whether or not it was a declaration of me exploring my sexuality or if it were me just misted by the last four mystery shots I'd had at the bar, it was deemed as a perfectly accepted act on a Tuesday night out. 
I am a straight female, I have no confusion there, vaginas terrify me too much to think otherwise, so what the hell was I doing with a girls tongue in my mouth?

Instead of waking up the next day with the promised taste of cherry chapstick, I felt a bit sick with questions. 
Was what I'd done insulting?  In a generation where 'faux-lesbianism' is actually a thing, this idea where it's just as fashionable to eat kale as it is to eat er...the same sex, in the vague and vain hope of inciting straight men whilst (allegedly) showing solidarity for Lesbian women alike. 
Was I just an advocate for the ignorance so many of us are adopting for the sake of finding a win-win promise land of being sexy AND humanitarian?
To be fair, I'd not put that much thought into it. I was literally just kissing someone in a club, the same way I might drunkenly and regrettably get off with a guy who buys me a drink. 
I'm by no means promising him my true devotion or feeling, it's just a physical act taking place on a Tuesday night where we're all trying to forget about someone or something. 
But because I was kissing a girl, I lay ridden with a guilty conscience. 

I don't stand alone in my Tuesday fumble, 35-40% of women report same sex encounters or arousal, up from only 2% in 1992. Is this because society is ticking it off as more acceptable to be gay and as a generation we're more intelligent towards sexuality or simply because famed women like Miley Cyrus and Cara Delevingne are advocating sapphism style?

After I'd told myself repeatedly over half a kilo of mango slices on the kitchen floor of my friend the day after that what I'd done was absolutely fine, I then almost felt sympathetic for him. 
Society wouldn't let him do what I did. 
As a straight male, the ridicule and disgust that would be shun upon him if he were to kiss another male in a club would be catastrophic as opposed to erotic. 
He'd never live it down where as I got nothing short of a round of applause.
I, as a straight female can kiss whoever the hell I like without having to give an explanation. 
Which seems completely and utterly bizarre and ironic when that almost suggests a glimmer of equality whilst trashing the other.

I did what I did because I was under the influence of a ridiculous notion that I was trying to escape something. Which by no means is excusable, nor does it need to be excusable. 
But when you do it just for a giggle, to heighten their attractiveness to the opposite sex, is it just feeding into the horrific and perpetual notion that being gay is or can be just a phase?


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