November wrap-up

November. It’s not my favorite month. But let’s try an focus on the good bits.

Two tracks I loved

This version of Northlane’s Solar:

The brand new Boxer Rebellion track, Love Yourself:

I do also want to mention the reworked version of Deaf Havana’s Ashes, ashes, it’s absolutely scrumptious; the Bear’s Den track Auld Wives, far from tired of; Dayseeker’s cover of Thrice’s Hurricane; and the Xcerts Hold on to you heart—all of which I’ve mentioned in posts recently, and which I’m still very much loving.

Watched

Architects @ Maida Vale.

Was confused as to why anyone would choose to cover Nirvana, because I mean, Hole?? (I’m obvs talking about the other track from this session, Territorial Pissings, clearly assuming everyone knows about it.) Just imagine how brilliant that would have been, a Hole cover. There are too few Hole covers in this world.

Love it or list it. Been looking like mad for the UK version; and it was available on Viafree all along! Where I also found Ensam mamma söker. Which is a guilty pleasure of mine.

Finds

Dayseeker. I’m a sucker for some good old post-hardcore. And Thrice covers.

Soap & Glory One heck of a blot primer.

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Brilliant budget primer! Does all I want a primer to do: keeps oils in check, reduces appearance of pores. Why you no in Sweden shops, whyy?

MUA’s Eye Define Nourish & Care mascara.

final1511685962074Where have you been all my life?? It does not smudge, does not transfer, doesn’t crumble, doesn’t irritate my eyes, and is proper black, gives my lower lashes some nice definition, could easily go with one layer, but getting a second layer on is easy. About the nourishing claim. All things considered, I don’t bloody care if it is or not. I was going to get a bunch of mascaras to try when in the UK; instead I just got a backup of this one. Because obvs I like to make life difficult and find a fave mascara than you can’t buy where I live. Although it should be noted that Superdrug now ships to Sweden and I am v. v. happy about it!

And also, these three:

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Superdrug’s Hair therapy oil with argan. So good I want to buy all products in this line. ALL OF THEM. The good news is that it is very much a budget range. Proper cheap. Must remember not to try the Maria Nila argan oil ever, because it’ll be even better for sure, and it’s wa-ay more pricey.

B. bronzer in light. I’ve never been a bronzer user. I’ve always felt it was a product for people interested in a healthy look, i.e. not me. However. As it turns out. Because I recently realized bronzer can be applied quicker and with less precision than contour, and restores some life into your face when you’ve put on foundation, it’s become a definite favorite.

Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer. Life would be infinitely easier if expensive products just just weren’t great. Damn you Urban Decay!

Miscellaneous

Visited Brighton, went to see Deaf Havana. If they’re ever playing around your parts, do go! Trust me. You will not regret it.

Was as excited as this person about the final song:

Also, you’d think you wouldn’t want to go to the UK in November. I’d say it’s not a bad time to go at all, now that I’m apparently in the habit of going in November. It wasn’t rainier than usual, it’s not cold and less people-dense, which is kinda nice. May is possibly a slightly better month, but not by much.

Following my Brighton visit, was tagged by one of the restaurants I visited on Insta. With a reference to my post including picture. Oh dear. Does this mean I’m going to have to make an effort when I take pictures of food? In my mind, I have like one reader, you know? And it’s not Purezza in Brighton. Because, how do you even find my blog unless it’s in your feed right here on WordPress??

Dyed hair purple. Again. Mixed in some red this time to make it, well, a more red purple. I dunno. On the one hand I love hair this dark, even if it’s only for a while, on the other, feels like purple hair makes my skin appear yellow. Also, it quickly washes out to a red-ish color, probably because previously dying said hair red. If only my hair could just go completely gray already, that’d be nice.

Stopped washing my hair in hard water. OK. So. I’m going through lengths to not wash my hair in hard water, i.e. at home. What caused this: washed my hair pre-dye, turned my scalp into all dry flakes. You know that weird girl in The Breakfast Club making it snow over a drawing? It was like that. It was horrible. And I only wash my hair twice a week. And I don’t use a lot of shampoo. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME??

Enter washing hair at gym. Sometimes at my parent’s, to be fair. Cannot wait to move because soft water, SOFT WATER. (One of the main reasons I even decided to move? Erm, is it bad if it is?)

I sometimes wonder if I’m just crazy. Most people wash their hair in hard water. I’ve literally never come across anyone complaining about it. Until the other day (it was a Monday, couple of weeks ago), Lily Melrose mentioned the hard water in Brighton wrecks havoc with her hair. AHA! I take that as confirmation; it’s not just me. And she’s got a better starting point than me (i.e. thick hair, as opposed to my typically Scandinavian hair), sooo. I’m not being unreasonable?

Upped my gym game. Because I wash my hair at the gym I now go to classes I don’t love. So that I can wash my hair. Not sure how long I can keep this up though. Oh. And also, I’ve worked it so that I can go to a body pump class on Saturdays. Because current mood: lift heavy things. If you’ve never been to body pump, the main appeal of this class is that you can tell the difference in no time. One class a week, and already after two weeks you can add weight to your bar. So satisfying. 

 

Monthly menstrual report

PMS was bad and I developed a distaste for all music I generally like. The only thing I could stand was a Yann Tiersen record I hadn’t listened to before, love this track:

Anyway. Great info from Clue in my insights e-mail:

Problems with sleep are most common during the premenstrual phase. Fight fatigue by going to bed at the similar times, reducing napping times and keeping the room temperature nice and cool. 

And one and all used to troubled sleeping are now fuming. Going to bed similar times?? No napping?? Keep room cool?? Do you think I’m stupid??? If either of these things solve your “sleeping problems”; good. for. you. You haven’t the faintest what sleeping problems really involve.

In other news. Most recent period was not its usual evil self; I got my period just in time to be off my period for my trip to the UK. Unheard of! Who are you and what have you done with my period??

So.

Bring on December?

PS. If you made it this far, WELL DONE! Truly, I’m impressed.

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post. Past topics for this challenge can be found here.

Two days in Brighton

You might have noticed I like to go to the UK to see bands. It’s pretty much the only thing that will make me travel.

Not that I’d go to see any old band, it has to be worthwhile.

Deaf Havana, in case you didn’t know, so worth it.

When Deaf Havana plays Concorde 2 in Brighton, you pack your bags and you go; doesn’t matter that you live nowhere near Brighton or even the UK. You make sure to get your ass there.

So Thursday morning I woke up in at the YHA in Brighton.

Let’s talk about YHA for a minute. According to TripAdvisor, this isn’t a bad place to stay. I would say, the only reason to stay at the YHA is if you’re on a budget/don’t really care where you stay long as it’s central, or want an easy walking distance to Concorde 2. It’s not terrible, but I’d hesitate to book it again.

They serve breakfast at the YHA, but I opted for a three minute walk to the Breakfast Club, where I had rye toast with avocado and cannellini beans and a cup of Earl Grey.

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I really liked this breakfast:

  1. They’d seasoned it with just the right amount of garlic, it was delish!
  2. They really didn’t skimp on the rye, nor the avocado, or the beans.
  3. Kept me full way past lunch time, which was super convenient.

Next up: shopping. I have literally no sense; I love shopping at typical UK chain stores. Superdrug. Boots. New Look. North Laines? Pah! Mebbe tomorrow, if I feel up to it.

Actually, first stop was Deichmann, found myself some cheapass slippers, super pleased!

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Next stop, Marks & Spencer. I’d noted that Pixi is about £ 10 cheaper in the UK than in Sweden. That has to count as a bargain?? Got myself these two that I’ve been lusting for:

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Superdrug was sort of a let down. They didn’t have even half the stuff I was planning on getting, but hey, good for my finances, so I’m not complaining!

At Boots, I found a bunch of stuff. Including more mask tools; another brush and some sponges? Don’t mind if I do!

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I’d actually gotten a few bits the day before too, including this amazing primer which I was trying out, may well be a new favorite (which is probably not good at all because I think Soap & Glory is no longer cruelty free?):

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Oh yes, girl from the Benefit counter asked if she could draw some eyebrows on me. I surprised myself buy saying OK, but can we just agree that the current brow trend it just doesn’t work on me. I mean look:

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There is not a product on this earth that will make my brows look anything but patchy. There just isn’t. And I’m not into that look.

My eyeshadow tho (well, it’s blush, but you know what I mean), was apparently not bad at all. I got compliments on it. From strangers. Although I so wonder if they really weren’t thinking that just looks mad. Not that it matters. I like it, and I’ve bought more.

I also love going to Holland & Barrett to get lots and lots of raw bars. Also found the Vego bar which was exactly as amazing as people say:

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Had a late lunch at Wai Kika Moo Kau; not bad at all, would go back. Even if the conversation with the waitress was quite confusing. I asked for a burger with no bun (as stated on the goddamn menu) and she responded with a confused “No bun? You mean bread?” (English was not her native tongue either, but you’d think maybe she knew what the meny said..?) Yes well, the sweet potato + bean burger was very much approved.

Since I still had time to spend before the gig, I went down to the beach and walked and walked.

Picked up an excellent dinner consisting of a fruit cup and a bottle of fabulous orange/peach water (whyyy don’t we have still flavored water in Sweden?) on my way back to the hotel:final1510336784032

Which meant I still had enough time to slap on a wee mask before getting ready:

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Despite its price, not crap, not at all.

More pricey, and unfortunately also not crap, the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer. So far, it seems to be as good as people say. Dammit! If only all expensive things were crap in nice wrapping. That’d make life slightly easier.

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Slapped on makeup in my usual fashion, purple shadow this time, put on a flannel shirt and looked pretty much the way I always do:

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Excellent choice of attire on my part; flannel shirt and shorts is exactly what you want at a sold out Concorde 2 in November. Just saying. Important to be comfortable when you’re going to be standing in a crowd for a few hours. As that in itself is trying enough.

Although lord know why I bothered with makeup. Putting on makeup to stand around in a dark room with a bunch of strangers? Yes. Makes perfect sense. (???)

Absolutely loved the show. It does not seem unreasonable at all to go from Sweden to the UK to see Deaf Havana, zero percent.

Let’s take a moment to admire the singer’s lovely new haircut:

another one from the very talented @thomaslislebrooker

A post shared by James Veck-Gilodi (@jamesveckgilodi) on

Apparently, being blond is a struggle. He told us all about it during the gig. Not sure at all what the context was. But ehm. If he’s not concerned with context, I guess that’s fine?

Other things I wonder: if you are trying to be less conspicuous, should you be wearing a yellow hoodie? Like the singer in that band starting with an A that I like did. At said gig. Or did he think it was cold and that was why he wore the hoodie up?

Moving on…

Friday!

On Friday I used my phone to navigate me to the Green Kitchen where I had pancakes and the best cup of Earl Grey Cream I have had in my life. Do I regret not going back to Bluebird Tea to get a package? So much. Praying Kahl’s version of it is as good. Not that I need more tea, but still.

On my way to the North Laines, I stepped into another Superdrug, and ended up getting this lovely Makeup Revolution palette (because clearly I need more pink shades):

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As for North Laines…it just stresses me out. I ended up going back to the beach; I’ve a zillion pictures of the ocean. As if. I’ve never seen a large body of water before.

Also, found my new favorite plant:

final1510430399459No idea what this is, but there was lots of it, and it’s creepy looking and I love it.

Another late lunch, no veggies but a large glass of rosé at Food for Friends:final1510430131536

Actually. I don’t understand why this pasta dish does not come with KALE. Yes. Two days is all it takes for me to start missing plates piled high with veggies.

On the topic of food, I also want to mention Purezza. I got to Brighton on Wednesday and headed directly to Purezza for one of their vegan pizzas.

I don’t generally eat pizzas. It’s not a vegan thing, they just didn’t appeal to me much beyond the age of about 15. But this, if this was a standard pizza, I’d be converted instantly:

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Beets. Rocket. There was some vegan cheese there too (some is key here), it was absolutely lovely. I need to go back and try their desserts.

I was back in Sweden by Saturday evening. While I was quite happy to be back home, have I already tried to talk sis into booking another trip to the UK in 2018? Yes I have. Not that Brighton isn’t great, but I do want to go back to Glasgow next time. Provided someone worthwhile is playing. It’s not looking good.

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post. Past topics for this challenge can be found here.

I have a lot of questions #5

Why do I keep mixing up Don Broco and Biffy Clyro? I am aware it makes no sense. But my brain refuses to catch up.

What band books ONE date in Sweden and has it be Grönalund!? (Is there such a thing as a venue phobia? There has to be. I clearly have it.) Why do the bands keep booking such unreasonable venues in Sweden???

How much heat protection should you be using?? Is it reasonable to use two different types at once?

Should I give up on the semi-permanent dye and start using permanent already?

Where can I get a hold of One Hundred Days: The Story of Architects’ Almost World Tour? It used to be on YouTube, now there’s only one with Russian voice over and, for obvious reasons, that cannot be watched. I’m more than happy to pay, but I can’t find it.

Do I. Have to. Work? Really? I feel unfit.

Where can I get more high top flatform sneakers/boots with laces?

Why do I keep thinking going to the UK in November is a stellar idea?

What the hell does one do with mandarin infused olive oil??

Can I trust Lush in Brighton to stock the Sleepy lotion in November, or should I order it? Swedish Lush seems to think that’s not a product we need; they have no idea just how wrong they are.

Can you be goth and not wear makeup? Seems like a contradiction to me.

Have actors ever seen a person perform a song in their lives? Most recent watch that made me wonder:

I mean what the hell is this and couldn’t anyone have given the poor dear some direction??

Isitfallyet!?!!?? I want to go back to the gym asap. Bored out of my mind with the walking and the home workouts.

On my wish list

I just got tickets to see Architects in June, so this year is saved, but it’d be kinda neat if the following could be arsed to come around these parts:

Northlane. Saw them last year when they opened for Amity Affliction. Needless to say, they were brilliant. And they just released a new album this morning, so it shouldn’t be completely impossible??

Casey. Again. Saw last year, was quite impressed. Because they’re quite active on social media they’re always on my mind. This social media thing, it truly is brilliant PR, they don’t even have to talk about their music, just make sure we keep thinking about them. Maybe Brighton this time?

Russell Brand. Yea, yea, he’s not a musician, but he is touring. Been before and it was lots of fun. But it was also Glasgow. No type gig sucks in Glasgow. Exception confirming the rule: Proclaimers.

Glasvegas. But to be fair, I’d settle for a record release date. Or you know, some news? Anything?

Editors. I have no excuse and am probably sick in the head. Just not a festival.

HIM. I love HIM but never been to see HIM, that’s just wrong. They’ll be touring this year and from the looks of it they’re going just about everywhere except here. And to Glasgow in December. That is where I draw the line. One cannot be going to Glasgow in December. Also it’s sold out so that’s one thing I don’t even have to consider…

Nine Inch Nails. I hear they’ve booked a couple of dates in the US. Is it too much to ask they also swing by Europe? I could expand “these parts” to include Berlin. For NIN anyway. Actually…Berlin’s current gig selection is looking pretty good already. So maybe Berlin regardless?

Was thinking that I’d just not go anywhere at all this year, to save money for wallpaper and such. But I am so easily distracted. Who needs wallpaper when I could go to Oslo to see Architects? I mean twice in a year, that’s…also not enough?

Greed. Such greed.

Better late than never; Weekly summary

Needless to say, the soundtrack of last week was mainly Architects, with a bit of Amity Affliction and Bring Me the Horizon thrown in for good measure. In fact, my brain was so into listening to Architects it down-prioritized sleep. Slowly starting to accept that sleep is not at the top of my to-do list. Not last week, not this week, unlikely to be any time in the near future.

We’re all loving Gone with the wind an extra lot. How unpredictable.

First workout class of the semester. And I worry. I worry that I’m over Friskis. I was so thoroughly bored I nearly left. And they’re still not playing Throne. How is no workout class ever playing Throne? That is just wrong.

Spent my last couple of days of summer vacay in the UK. 24 hours in London, followed by a couple of days in Brighton. Lots of walking and lots of shopping.

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Oh HELLO it’s you again

Saw Thrice play at the Forum. It was all sorts of good. Just a shame about the complete lack of oxygen at the venue. I was about one song from unconscious by the time we left. Also: opening act Milk Teeth. How I wish it was my cup of tea.

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Pic stolen from Upset Magazine

Discovered my new fave look: orange eye! It must be good because complete strangers have complimented me on it (??).

Had lots fab vegan food. Seriously, Food for Friends and Rootcandi; basically reasons to visit Brighton.

Got some good wear out of my platform sandals. The fact that I didn’t break anything while teetering around London, carrying all of my luggage, and all over Brighton, including the pebbled beach is nothing short of a miracle. I feel as if I’ve got mad skills. Had to order me a more season appropriate pair, a pair of Roobin’s.

All and all: good week. Should have prepared me for the hell that’s first week of the semester. It obviously did not.

xo,

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Brighton

Brighton pier

I always thought that if I ever went to Brighton, it would be because my Dirty Weekend obsession had finally peaked. That I just had to see where Bella’s story ends in real life, i.e., here:

Brighton pier

That’s not what happened.

What happened was one band (Architects obvs.) cleverly decided to book two dates and hold off announcing a tour, and I’m an impatient sort of person. I can’t wait more than ca 2 seconds before panicking thinking I’ll miss it all. Again. Because the second date booked did work for me  + I needed a break from work so bad I figured I could venture somewhere other than Glasgow for once – turns out this was not a bad idea at all.

Although I am still a Glasgow kind of girl, I would be quite happy to go back to Brighton again.

I don’t ask a lot of my holidays, I don’t think. Given how little I ask for, I should love all desintations. Give me decent weather, a few good meals, something pretty to look at, a hotel sans some sort of water damage, and walking distance to all things – I’m quite happy.

We took the bus from Heathrow to Brighton, absolutely beautiful weather when we arrived, short walk to the hotel – no problems finding it. Had time for some shopping at Superdrug before dinner at Food for Friends. Every bit as good as the reviews suggest. Best gnocchi I ever had. Belly full of gnocchi and a delicious Sauvignon blanc we went for a stroll and decided to check where the band was playing the following night.

Of course, they were playing that night as well, and apparently you could not only hear but also see the band from the outside, and we got there just in time for the last song. I was quite pleased with that. Excellent first day.

Day 2 started with a strong cup of tea at breakfast.

tea

I can’t get over the fact that
a. There is tea
b. There is good tea
c. It is assumed you want tea

It just doesn’t get old. When you are a tea drinker living in a country where tea is an exception to a rule. Where the fact that you prefer tea to coffee always comes as a shock suprprise. Apparently.

Breakfast done, it was time for the shopping. I always go to the UK with a long shopping list; I need to stock up on all the things we don’t have in Sweden. My Superdrug and Boots-shopping clearly got out of hand.

3Li 100%

Also managed to catch heavy downfall on the way back to the hotel. You might not be surprised, but Glasgow hasn’t done that to me since I lived there. I had it coming tho, going to the UK without an umbrella? That if anything is asking for it.

We waited out the rain at the hotel. View from hotel window:

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Am I the only one who enjoys views like these? I love seeing rooftops.

Because we didnt’t have a lot of time until the show once it stopped raining, we opted for a salad for dinner + some more Sauvignon (I know what I like). Lovely and sunny when we got back out again. Loved the venue (Concorde 2). Fryshuset could learn a thing or two from them.

Main event of the trip:

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Pic from punktastic.com

It was just everything you’d want it to be. I could easily have paid to hear the record so loud you could feel it. The fact that this was live, brilliant selection of songs, I could actually see the band (which I don’t always, damn being short), and the audience was not Swedish (we just have to be the worst audience ever, surely?) – it was just a bonus. Still marvelling at the fact that we were gifted the record too. It’s like being paid to see a show. Insane.

Day 3 we started by going down to the sea.

Sparkle 100%

I was very suspicious of the gravel beach I have to say. But it won me over quickly enough, I mean, being on the beach and not leaving with enough sand for a sandbox – I like it! Finally managed to tear ourselves away from the beach and walked into town and ended up having lunch at Terre a Terre – tricked into having dessert which was easily the best part of the meal. Loved their sorbets.

Lesson of the day: wearing makeup – it’s not that bad. If you’re not in the habit of using sunscreen. Meant I was only slightly burned where I’d been sloppy with my application. I’m remembering to put on sunscreen for the rest of the summer, trust me.

Ended the day with a picnic on the beach with my favorite things: fruit salad and ice tea. Not sure if it’s good or bad there aren’t nearly as many nor as tasty icea teas in Sweden. This Snapple one may just be a new favorite.

Sparkle 100%

I’ll definitely look for an excuse to go back.

As for Glasgow and Architects: booked and booked. I’ve a one track mind.

Lots of love,

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What’s in my bag; hand luggage edition

hand luggage

I wish this was going to be one of those “How to pack”-type entries. It is not.

Unfortunately for me, I am a complete mess when it comes to packing. And my packing skills, they are not improving with age. Doesn’t matter how many how-to-pack videos I watch.

I got back from a long weekend in Brighton on Monday, and my hand luggage is heavier than my suitcase. Which is. Great.

I am well aware of my lack of skills when it comes to packing, so I prepared for this by getting a bigger bag. It could be argued that this is a mistake; if you tend to pack a lot of things, you’ll just pack even more things if you have a bigger bag. Knowing this, a backpack is a requirement. Because that is an aspect in life where I’m actually practical. Best way to carry a heavy bag is on your back. (Hello miss stating the obvious.)

Let’s look at the most important things first:

hand luggage

Bluetooth speaker, headphones and iPad. Because you need to be listening to the new Architects record and watch Vikings. If only that was all I packed.

hand luggage

This is where it gets out of hand. I have no sense at all when it comes to packing makeup. Literally none. I’ve brought pretty much every one of my brushes, piles of eye shadows, highlighters, powder, eyebrow products..and more than one primer, mascara, and eyeliner. I need. Help. Or holy grails? Probably both.

Usually, I put an extra outfit in my hand luggage. Except for that time I went to Berlin when they lost my luggage. Learned my lesson then. But as this is unpacking when I got back, all clothes are in my suitcase. Might be two exceptions. For example, I do like to bring a scarf, since I’m always cold (that’s that black thing there. I’m pretending I only brought the one scarf).

hand luggage

Oh. And there’s more makeup. Also, two copies of the latest Architects record. I have no idea why they’re in my hand luggage. A) Got them for free. I went to the album release show (this is obvious, right? why else would I be going to Brighton?) and you basically got a record with your ticket. It’s like getting paid to go to a show. I almost feel bad about it. Oh, and I have two copies because the person I went with didn’t want his. Clearly he’s not right in the head. Point is, they were free; I could get another if they got lost/broken. B) I don’t even have any device to play them on. Not set up anyway. My CD-player lives in my wardrobe. Definitely didn’t bring a device to play CDs on. Bottom line: I make sense.

The sunglasses are in my hand luggage because I figured they might break in my suitcase. I didn’t bring four pairs; I bought three pairs in Brighton, out of which two are for me. So I guess that means I’m planning on being out in the sun?

Despite the fact that I should not be using heat on my hair I did bring a straightener. My excuse was I was only going to use it on my fringe. I did not use it on my fringe only. I used it on all the hair. Because the UK and my hair don’t get along well.

I feel like excuses is something I’m quite good at.

hand luggage

And there is more. It’s as if it never ends. Some of these things are actually necessary. Obviously the passport, wallet, cardigan…earplugs are literally only useful for concerts. I’ve tried to use them to shut out the snoring of the person I share the hotel room with. Does not. Work. At all. Ever. There is basically just one thing that works: good earbuds + heavy music. Architects is perfect. Just a wall of sound; it’s brilliant. And then you’ll fall asleep dreaming that you can’t talk and you can’t hear anyone in your dreams. Not sure if it’s scary or fun.

Should I point out there is a second pair of headphones here? There’s a second pair of headphones. I have literally no excuse. I guess I just like having choices. But not making choices.

I want to talk about the book. I bring my iPad because it does many things; I’ve got books on it if I feel like reading. And that’s a big if, I haven’t finished a single book all year.

Now. If you are traveling with a person who can’t pack like a sensible person to save her life, don’t bring her a book at the airport. Just don’t. In fact, don’t bring a book to anyone on a trip unless you’ve checked with the person first. I feel like a bitch for complaining about being given something. But a book is the last thing I need. Especially when traveling. Especially since I have plenty to read already. As I’ve gotten nowhere with my reading all year.

To sum up: I fail at making choices, which leads to nonsensical packing.

It is also possible I don’t feel too bad about it. I like all my things. Minimalism is not in my future.

xo,

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