193 Days Later

Lifestyle

I’m back! With a tale or two to tell, a lot of complaints to make and some more over sharing to do.

My last post was 193 days ago, when in Rome, which feels like an absolute lifetime ago. In that time I have been to Belgium and Mexico. A good couple of destinations for a financially horrifying year (London is draining me in more ways than one). Both trips were with my family. With us all being on different schedules, it was nice to spend some quality time with them. Belgium was beautiful. Mexico on the other hand was crazy. I think it may be my favourite holiday to date. We met the most amazing people and I can’t remember a second where I wasn’t laughing or without a cocktail.

London is still where I am currently calling home. About 6 months ago, I moved flat again, which yes, totals it to 3 different flats in one year – an achievement if you ask me. I now live in the most wonderful little studio flat in Camden. It’s expensive and comparable to a cardboard box but its all mine and I absolutely love it. A lot of people are a little bewildered by the fact that I choose to live on my own. But the hermit in me is happiest alone, surrounded by my own mess, with the kettle only an arm’s length away.

The one thing I was struggling with when I last wrote was loneliness. I knew it was going to take a little while to settle in but I was not at all prepared for how lonely it was going to be. You would think that being surrounded by so many people in such a huge city, feeling lonely couldn’t or shouldn’t be an option. It turns out, the more people there are, the more alone you feel. I also didn’t expect it to be so hard to make friends. Without beating around the bush, everyone in the real world is miserable and nobody cares for meeting new people. So be prepared kids, when you leave school/college/uni you’re on ya own…

However, within the past few months my boss blessed me with the most wonderful new runners at Kudos. I’m so unbelievably grateful to have two gorgeous gals to bug with my problems, share insatiable shopping habits and drink too much wine on a weekday with.

… Moving on from the amazing friends I have made, I have now indeed found myself the most wonderful man I could have ever imagined. After many a hopeless dates and lonely nights, I met Jack. He is my real life brown-haired, blue-eyed, 6 foot dream. If you’re reading this, you’re lame and I love you a lot x

In terms of TV, not that much has happened. I am still enjoying working for the incredible Kudos Film and TV, being part of the production of  recent shows such as Humans and Code 404. After being there for almost a year, my contract is due to end in November, so I now have to make the decision as to whether I want to stay in London or try to pursue a career in television whilst simultaneously living at home. As much as I love living in the city, it is hard work and I do feel like I need a break from the hustle. My parents are currently in the process of moving away from my hometown to the seaside, something I have dreamt of doing since I was a little girl, so that could be a pretty nice extended holiday for me whilst I’m deciding what on earth to do with myself.

So that sums up my past 193 days offline.

I have a lot to think about over the next couple of months which will inevitably lead to a very stressed Abs. But even so, I am super excited for what is to come and I can’t wait to share it with whoever may or may not be interested.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

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72 Hours in Rome

World

The best kind of friends are ones you can make spontaneous plans with. Tommy and I did exactly that when we nonchalantly suggested a trip to Rome together this weekend. We spent 72 hours in the beautiful capital, meandering round the streets of Italy and soaking up its ceaseless culture.

 

Day 1

 

After arriving in Italia, we went straight to our hotel, St Peter’s Bed, a quaint little B&B located just outside of the Vatican City. The hotel was all we could have asked for and more. On a city break, I tend to think the accommodation doesn’t really matter as you spend most of the time exploring however, if it wasn’t for the characterful surroundings and our welcoming host it wouldn’t have been as charming.

As we only had 3 days in the city, we didn’t want to waste any time. The Colosseum was our first stop. I spent most of the time in sheer disbelief that we had actually made it to this iconic attraction in Rome together considering my lack of ability to even make plans for dinner. We went into the Colosseum to have a good look around which was definitely worthwhile. Tommy acted as my tour guide which may or may not have been educational – quite honestly I wouldn’t know the difference.

It’s fair to say Tommy and I aren’t the most cultured people in the world, so some of the beautiful monuments were slightly wasted on us; we had no idea what they were. Nonetheless, they were lovely to look at.

By the time we got round to eating, we were absolutely starvo so we attempted to go to the nearest place we could find. Typically, the nearest place was Subway. Determined to find some Italian cuisine, we walked and walked to find a cute little restaurant. We were hoping for heaps of pasta but much to our dismay, we were given about 6 pieces of ravioli… Anyway, we couldn’t really complain considering we were sat in Rome drinking prosecco at 1 in the afternoon.

Afterwards, we went to the Trevi Fountain. This was probably one of my favourite places, it was absolutely beautiful. Unsurprisingly it was rammed with tourists meaning you could barely move but when we did get a good view, it was breathtaking. Just a quick tip to take your own Polaroid camera when you’re there – we got charged 10 euros for 2 pictures. I personally was thrilled with them but Tommy wasn’t so impressed.

In the evening, we were ridiculously lazy and just went to McDonald’s for dinner. I did get to experience Maccas pesto pasta though which was an experience in itself.

 

Day 2

 

When in Italy it would be rude not to start your day with gelato, so that is exactly what we did – despite the fact that it was pouring with rain.

Afterwards, we headed straight to the Vatican City which was about 10 minutes away from our hotel. The queue to go inside circled the whole way around St Peter’s Square and it took us about an hour until we finally made it to the front. But it was so worth it. There aren’t many ways to make me speechless, in fact it’s actually unheard of. But the Vatican managed it. Although I couldn’t particularly relate to a lot of the religious beliefs inside, I was mesmerised by every inch of the artwork.

Another quick tip though, please don’t do an Abbie Gaunt and wear a super short (but super cute) skirt when visiting one of the most holy places in the world, it won’t be appreciated and you will have to walk around with a jacket round your legs…

For the rest of the day, we wondered the pretty streets in the rain and stumbled across even more incredible architecture. That city is literally never-ending.

 

Day 3 

 

The majority of day 3 was spent recovering from the night before. It wouldn’t have been a Tommy and Abbie trip without us getting very drunk which we accidentally did whilst attempting a civilised evening. We found some cute bars and sat drinking our fair share of cocktails and Peroni. In an attempt to spend less money and get more drunk (classy, yes) we skipped dinner. That didn’t last long when we found an amazing restaurant with possibly the best pizza I have ever eaten in my entire life; Ristorante Pizzería Imperiale, you were a dream.

Afterwards, we tried to find the Ice Bar, because is it really a city break without visiting the Ice Bar? However, instead of that we found the Pantheon (which we had accidentally missed on our tour of famous landmarks…) and a fancy club called Shari Vari. The rest of the night was a kind of blur, all I know was that it was a good one.

In the morning, we begrudgingly got up and packed to check out. We ate more ice cream for breakfast in hopes of curing our hangovers and walked the streets a little more.

With the little money we had left, we browsed the shops and I refrained from buying anything from Sephora – I amaze myself.

All in all I had the most wonderful trip with a truly good friend. I am so glad I have finally seen a small part of Italy and I can’t wait to explore more.

Next stop, Belgium!

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

Follow me: Instagram

 

 

J’adore: Paris

World

I am currently suffering from severe post holiday blues from a trip I took to Paris 11 months ago so I thought I would reminisce by posting about my time there.

I’ve been to Paris twice in my life, once when I was about 10 and again in January. The first time I went with family and spent the entire time either in Disneyland or in a Disney shop. The second time, I went with my ex-boyfriend and spent most of the time alone. Despite my strange circumstances (that we don’t like to discuss because of obvious reasons… weird), Paris may be my favourite city in the world. Granted I have only been to a few, but I don’t think anything could beat the Parisian food, fashion, culture and architecture.

Instead of going at the weekend, I went midweek which I would actually really recommend if you’re able to. I managed to bag my hotel and flights for only £230 and the attractions were a lot quieter

Of course, I did all of the generic touristy things whilst I was there; the Eiffel tower, the Notre Dame, shopping down the Champs-Élysées, fancy dinner, excessive macaroon eating, etc. I also went to the Louvre which was super exciting. I just about saw the Mona Lisa in person after mostly looking at it through the screen on my camera (as a generation, I admit we suck). After spending what felt like a whole city break looking at the art – it’s so freaking big – I found a courtyard at the Louvre where I just sat and admired the area. There were only a few passers-by and it was dead silent apart from the light sound of violins playing nearby. As novel as this sounds, it was so peaceful and warming to find somewhere quiet in a big city.

 

 

My favourite thing I did by far was a nighttime boat tour of the River Seine. It may have been the coldest I have ever been in my life but it was totally worth it; I didn’t even take any pictures, I just enjoyed the moment. I got to see all of Paris’ most beautiful sights beautifully lit up; sounds totally cringeworthy but it was one of those moments where you stop, look around and appreciate just how lucky you are.

I also took it upon myself to dress as the Parisiennes do because when in Paris right? I absolutely love their effortlessly chic style so I tried to incorporate some of it into my own outfits. After doing plentiful amounts of research (Pinterest you are my hero) I found that they primarily wear tailored, minimal and neutral pieces. It was quite difficult channeling minimalism as it was January and bloody freezing – all I wanted was to wear my duvet, (strangely a look that seems to be acceptable now with all the puffer jackets? If only I’d of known) but obviously beauty is pain so I fought through the frost for the good photo ops. Here is me smiling through the pain of not being able to feel my fingers or toes.

 

 

I also went to Disneyland, yes, I did indeed go to Disneyland on my own and honestly, it was a truly… character building experience. Now, I’m not opposed to doing things alone, I will happily go for dinner and ask for a table for one or sit and have coffee whilst reading a book. But going to Disney on your own is a completely different ball game, in fact, it’s not even playing the same sport. Despite being alone, it was just as magical. I went on a few rides, met Minnie, watched the Frozen parade, drank hot chocolate and cried at the beauty of it all.

 

 

Now I am definitely off to plan my next trip!

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

Chapter 1: My Career in Television

Film & TV, Lifestyle

This post is supposed to be an explanation into how I got into television, both for future reference for myself and also to help anyone else out there that might be struggling to find their way into the industry. I didn’t really want it to be a ‘so the moral of the story’ post but it definitely will be so here we go…

If any of you guys read one of my first ever blog posts, you will know that in Spring this year I went to This Morning Live, an exhibition in Birmingham based on the daytime television show. Whilst I was there, I met the editor of This Morning, Martin Frizell. Me being the upfront person I am unashamedly went up to him, told him my life story and asked how on earth I was supposed to get into television – my dream career since I was about 10 years old. It turns out that my confidence paid off as 7 months later I have an actual job in actual television!

My first opportunity came about after Martin gave me his email address and told me to contact him with my CV. He was kind enough to help me get onto the ITV insight programme where I completed a 2 week work placement at the ITV studios on the Southbank in London working with the production team on This Morning. This was a dream come true considering I had never done anything in television before so my first experience was in a huge live TV programme where I got to see exactly how things work. I met some really awesome people whilst I was there, both celebrities and people that work on the show who were so welcoming and really tried to help me with my career path.

I happened to get talking to some of the girls in the fashion department and they asked if I would like to intern with them. This is the main reason I moved to London; I was going to be spending 5 weeks here anyway so I thought why the heck not just move for good? I wasn’t getting paid for the internship so I had to get a part time job in order to pay for my rent and well… to live. I got a job at Brandy Melville in the Oxford Street Topshop meaning I was working 12 hour days, 7 days a week. I can honestly say those 5 weeks nearly destroyed me. There were many breakdowns and numerous teary phone calls back home but I got through it. I completed my internship with the fashion department at This Morning and quit my horrendously painful job at Brandy in order to focus solely on a career in television.

My perseverance and also knowing I wouldn’t have anywhere to sleep if I didn’t get a job made me determined to work as hard as possible in order to find a production company that would take me on with my small amount of experience. I spent hours writing and sending emails to individual production companies knowing that there was only a slim chance of getting a reply let alone any actual work. After sending what must have been a hundred emails, I got a phone call from someone at a production company called Kudos.

Kudos are producers of TV drama such as Broadchurch, Grantchester, Humans, Life on Mars and MI High (any of my main CBBC watchers out there remember that?) They produce incredibly successful content for broadcasters as big as the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky Atlantic. After going into their head office for an interview, I got invited to do a 3 day trial with them for an office runner role. On my first day I immediately knew I had to get the job. The people were lovely, the job was so much fun and I was finally where I wanted to be.

…My first day was 4 weeks ago and I haven’t left since. Yesterday, I officially signed my contract to be an office runner/receptionist at Kudos Film and Television.

Looking back to this time last year, living in London with a job that could potentially lead to my dream job was a fantasy so wild I could barely even imagine it. Just over 12 months ago I was completely lost, I had dropped out of school and I was fighting a mental illness that very nearly got the better of me. I now get paid to be in an environment I love with people I admire.

So the moral of the story is that you can gain something from every experience in life, whether they are good or bad. If it wasn’t for the experiences I have been through, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Without leaving school due to mental health issues I  wouldn’t have worked at House of Fraser to earn money that is allowing me to live in London. Without working at House of Fraser I wouldn’t have got the time off to go to TM Live where I met Martin Frizell and without the thick skin that my past has given me, I wouldn’t have the determination I have today to pursue my dreams.

Whatever it is you want to achieve, you can do it.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

Moving Out

Lifestyle

So yet again I have abandoned this blog. I am so sorry to anyone who is actually interested in my life. But I am back! And just in time to show you Christmas in my new home – London.

For the past three months I have been settling into my new home in the big city. After spending 18 years living in Kenilworth, I spontaneously decided to uproot my entire life and move to Wimbledon. In a little under two weeks I had made the decision, found a flat, and packed up everything I own. The explanation for my move will essentially be a novel so I have decided to go into all the details on another post (will be posted shortly). But the main reason for moving is to follow my dream career path in television.

I’ve never lived on my own, so moving out has been a challenge to say the least. The initial move itself was quite the task – I didn’t realise just how many clothes I have. But the worst thing by far was saying goodbye to my little pup Dexter. Over the past 5 years he has been my pride and joy, my best friend and biggest comfort. Throughout everything he has always been there for a cuddle when I have needed it most and without him I thought I would feel completely lost. Obviously I miss my parents a lot too but I know they’re always just a phone call away when I need them whereas I can’t hug my little fluff down the phone (☹️). 

As for actually living on my own, I have done pretty well so far. As of yet, I haven’t destroyed my flat which is always a positive sign. I’m currently living with two couples – one Italian, one Spanish. Unfortunately they are quite a bit older than me and they speak very broken English so they aren’t likely to become close friends. It has proven to be quite difficult coming home every day and not having anyone to speak to so I am hoping to move into a new place in the new year with people more suited to me. In terms of looking after myself i’m doing surprisingly well. I successfully do my washing every week and i’m getting really good at making pasta with tomato sauce; it’s safe to say I am officially adulting.

I spend most of my days either at work, shopping or exploring cute cafes in Chelsea. I rarely spend time in my flat – primarily because I don’t have a television (which is probably a blessing). Tragically, my laptop doesn’t connect to wifi so I can’t go on Netflix either. Because of this, I have a lot to thank for my Parks and Recreation box set. Honestly, without it I think I would have gone out of my mind. I’m not lying when I say that it has been on a loop every night for the past 3 months.

Anyway, the rest of the process has been super exciting. I have had so much fun decorating my room and buying bits and pieces for my very own (shared) flat. It’s a literal dream to be able to stay in bed until whatever time I feel like and I can now have breakfast for dinner as much as I want. I do miss Sunday lunch, coffee with my Mum and home comforts but slowly but surely I can say that I feel at home here in London.

… To be continued

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

 

Update: I’m Alive

Lifestyle

Hello strangers! This is just a quick update as to where I am at in my life at the moment. I have been totally missing in action for the past month which I feel awful about as I happened to start a small following on my blog (I can’t believe you lovely lot are actually interested!) Although I am still beginning, I have felt so welcomed and already I have met some wonderful, interesting and inspiring people so I am determined to update you all on my antics at least twice a week from now on.

There isn’t a specific reason as to why I haven’t posted in a while – I guess i’m just lazy and parks and recreation/napping takes up most of my free time. ​But despite going off the grid for the past month, I have actually managed to drag myself out of the house (a miracle I know) to do some pretty cool things.

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Loose Women

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Borough Market

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The Golden Hinde

So I had an actual dream come true last month when I went down to London to see Loose Women filmed live. Loose Women is a magazine gossip show aimed primarily at adult women (not 17 year old girls) so if you know what this show is, please don’t judge me. It was such an amazing experience to be in the studio and to see what happens as the show is filmed live. It has made me even more determined to get my dream job in television and the added bonus was that the tickets are free! Whilst in London, we took a trip to Borough market where we had fresh bread, doughnuts and juice and looked round quaint flower shops. We also happened to walk past The Golden Hinde – Sir Francis Drake’s ship. Honestly I have no idea what it was, I was thouroughly confused as to why there was a huge boat in the street and quite honestly I’m only talking about it because my Mum took a cute candid of my outfit with it in the background and it makes me look kind of educated…

 

As if London wasn’t being ‘touristy’ enough, we also took a trip to Stratford upon Avon to see Shakespeare’s crib. Stratford is literally 20 minutes down the road from us so I’ve never seen it as a cool destination to explore, but our family from New Zealand thought it would be interesting to see so we thought we’d show them around. It turns out there’s actually some really good things to see there – who knew!

 

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Warwick Castle

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Lyme Regis

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Coombe Abbey

Due to the delightful weather we’ve been getting recently I managed to fight my vampire-like tendencies and actually get out into the sun for once without feeling like dying. My best friend Sam and I have taken some super cute trips to some super cute places.  Our first adventure was on a rowing boat on the River Avon in Warwick; despite always saying how much I dislike my town, the view of Warwick Castle by the water never fails to amaze me. Although, Sam’s ability to row a boat may have made the experience a little less relaxing than it could have been. Next, we decided to take a spontaneous trip to Devon for the night. It was about 3PM when we decided to take a 3 hour drive to the beach (crazy or cute? Hm) but even though we only had a short stay, I had the best time ever. We ate dinner on the beach and watched the sun set, played mini golf, ate cheesy chips and won a toy elephant on the amusements – it was basically your dream weekend. Lastly, I went to Coombe Abbey with my friends for a picnic. I honestly didn’t realise how many pretty places there are close to me; Coombe Abbey is a lakeside country house and park with the most amazing views. We sat drinking our copious amount of cider and our Lidl picnic (very classily may I add) for a good 4 hours before we realised that the nature was too much and we needed to get back to Netflix.

​After not seeing the majority of my friends for a good 6 months, I finally decided to make my debut by surprising one of my best friends at her 18th birthday party. Above is a super cute gif of us all being drunk, weird and very very happy.

Lastly, here is a gif of me petting my dearest friend and pup Dexter. He fell down the stairs this morning and has felt very sorry for himself since so I thought I would give him some lovin’ too.

So that’s it for the update. I promise to improve my time management so nobody will have to send out a search party for me for the forseable future. I already have multiple posts lined up and there is also quite a few exciting things happening in the next month which I can’t wait to share with all 29 of you!

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie

XO

Family Additions!

Lifestyle

So this weekend I met family that before a few months ago, I barely even knew about. Chris, Rachel, Lexi and Jonty have finally come to the UK after 17 years of my life spent not knowing them. They live in New Zealand so coming round for coffee and cake isn’t really an option but instead, they are spending six months travelling around Europe! They will spend most of their time at my Grandparents’ house in Leeds. However they will be going to Paris, Spain, Greece and to the Midlands to stay with us.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I first met them. Would we act like family? Or just acquaintances? They are actually only distant relations; Rachel and Chris are my second cousins and Jonty and Lexi are my third cousins. But nonetheless, they are family and that’s sure as hell how we acted. We all instantly became best friends and I can honestly say I have had the best weekend getting to know them whilst also feeling like they have always been a part of my life.

I’m a big kid at heart so playing with the children came easy – I absolutely loved it. I’ve spent the past couple of days colouring, playing Jenga, watching children’s TV and spying on our parents. They told me all about New Zealand and the things they do/don’t have there. I was absolutely horrified to find out that they had never been to Build a Bear Workshop – they had no idea what it is! As a child I was obsessed with the place so I took it upon myself to make sure we went and when we did, they loved it. Lexi went for a dog that looked like her dog back at home (that she had been crying about for the past couple of nights) and Jonty went for a Troll. I had so much fun showing them what to do and seeing how happy they were when they came out with their new friend. It actually all worked out perfectly because it’s Lexi’s 10th birthday tomorrow so it was an early present for her!

I never dreamed that meeting these guys would be as good as it has been. I’m so glad that I can say these wonderful people are a part of my family, from the moment we met I absolutely adored them and I really hope that even when they’re back home we can still be as close as we were this weekend.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie

XO

P.S. I am actually wearing my pyjama top in these photos – don’t judge me. And yes, I do have a birds nest on my head (naturally curly hair sucks).

I Love: London

World

So i’m not one for big days out. After being somewhere for approximately two hours I am exhausted and ready to get back to the comfort of my bed. But London is always an exception. I love the individual shops, the fashion, the fresh flowers and the general buzz.

Fancy Food: As a surprise for my Mum’s birthday, we booked to go to The Ivy for lunch. This was my first fine dining experience and it’s safe to say I could get used to it. The service was incredible and they made us feel so welcome – as if we didn’t look out of place. I had ‘Spaghettini’ – pasta with crab, chilli, wild garlic and bottarga. Stupidly I didn’t expect ‘Spaghettini’ to be spaghetti (I should have stayed in school). Despite managing to order the most ungraceful dish to eat in a fancy restaurant, I enjoyed it. I think it’s fair to say i’ll have to marry into money to be able to go to places like The Ivy regularly. Here’s hoping.

Theatre: In the evening we went to see Dreamgirls. We booked the tickets about 5 hours beforehand and managed to bag central seats five rows from the stage for £25 each (so if you’re going to see a show I recommend going to Leicester Square and booking from one of the agents on the day). I can honestly say it was one of the best musicals I have ever seen, the vocals were incredible and the costumes were a dream. We were also lucky enough to see Amber Riley from Glee in it who was absolutely phenominal.

Outfit: What I love about London is how fashion forward everything is – anything goes. There’s something about that city that makes everything seem so effortlessly chic. I layered a frilly high neck top with another floral frilly top. To make it look a little less girly I wore ripped straight leg jeans – my go to jeans at the moment because they’re so comfortable but still look cute. Tragically, I ended up walking round in fluffy sliders – not exactly the epitome of fashion – but I was in so much pain with the heels i’d been wearing I didn’t care. Anyway, in the end I kind of came to love them, it was like walking round London in slippers.

All in all I had a wonderful day. Even though I felt aggitated and anxious with all the people, I had my family around me, laughing and making memories. We spent quality time together which we rarely do. I love days like these.

 

First Impressions: Me

Uncategorized

If you have found your way to my first ever blog post, you’re probably lost, let’s be honest. Perhaps you’re looking for answers or hoping for some entertainment; I can’t promise that i’ll provide any of that. But I intend on being real and talking about real life things.

I’m not going to sugarcoat my life to seem perfect and fulfilled because it’s not. Why lie to myself and anyone else on the internet? Not that I really expect anyone to read any of this. Honestly, i’m using this page as a way to be pretty damn selfish – to talk about my interests, my wellbeing and trying to find myself.

Despite always saying and thinking I don’t care for anything or anyone (sounds dark, I know) i’m starting to realise maybe it’s the little things in life that count. See, I love to shop and styling is something I like to think i’m good at. I also enjoy reading or finding a good TV series to rant and rave about. My passion for flowers and afternoon tea is said to be unusual for a girl of my age but who cares? This is me. No filter. No fake smiles. No clinical depression to hide behind.

This blog will be a journey through my thoughts, feelings and interests. Hopefully i’ll find a way to start enjoying life along the way.

If anyone’s reading this, thankyou for taking the time to make my world a better place.

-AG