• Rachpal •

Well I’m just slightly behind on these 🙈 please forgive me!

Today, Day 6.

McCarth.

I don’t think I really need to tell you how important you are to me because, well I think you know, but I will because I can.

I fucking love you.

I might not have used my degree but the fact I got to meet you – well that is worth the Student Loan debt 😂

I’m so glad I get to do life knowing you.

I sometimes forget how much we’ve changed since we first met. I mean… jeez louise.

I still remember the first time we met.

Stood in that lecture hall to listen to Ursula harp on about Erasmus – we both wanted something more out of uni, hunting for an adventure.

“My brother’s girlfriend did it and said it was just one big party” – direct quote from you.

HELLO VALENCIA.

Theeee best 4 months.

We worked, we played, we laughed, we walked out of university lectures and placements (oops) because we’d rather be at home in one of our apartments having a cup of tea and listening to emo music.

There are far too many memories and private jokes for me to list here but a couple of my favourites are (and these won’t make sense to anyone but us)

“Yeah, yeah, yeah”

“YOU STAGGER”

“DONT LET THEM GET THE BIKES”

“Sea bass (sea bass), Scallops (scallops)”

We have the same sense of humour and I knew we were friends for life when we would lay in bed laughing for hours through the night, knowing that we’d regret it in the morning because we actually had to be adults and teach classes of impressionable Spanish children – imagine they will be about 16 now?! Might be older actually… 18? Sweet lord.

You are thoughtful, generous, kind, make a killer cup of tea. You always have an ear for anyone and you never make people feel like they’re a burden. You’ve been there for me through some of theeee worst times and through all of my mistakes (there’s been a few). Even though I’m sure there were times you wanted to shake me and tell me to buck up.

You also are the most incredible mother to those two incredible boys – they are a credit to you. If I ever have children (that little girl you were talking about the other day) I can only hope to be half the mum you are and I’d be chuffed with that. I love them more than life. I hope you know that.

You deserve all the happiness in the world.

Truly.

One in a million.

Love you, pal.

Xoxox M

• Momma Sophs •

Letter number 5 (which is a day late) is for my American Mom.

Momma Sophs,

I don’t know if there are even any words to say what I want to you.

I aim to surround myself with fierce females who I look up to, aspire to be like and you are definitely one of them… what a woman!!!

You are one of the most generous people I have ever met, period. You’re generous with everything but your time and your love

are the ones I love most! You wear your heart on your sleeve and there is quite literally nothing that you won’t do for someone you love. How lucky am I that I get to count myself as one of those people!?

I probably don’t say it enough but I love

you too. So much.

I remember talking to you on the phone when I was still at Uni with Jade and you invited me to stay with you in LA – obviously I was thrilled because, you know me, any excuse to get on a plane. The 2 week invitation slowly became a 3 month invitation and the Summer of 2013 you welcomed me with open arms and through the years you made Rincon Ave. a safe place for me. When I have a panic attack I often find myself thinking of your home because it really is such a safe space for me. It calms me down.

Thank you for that.

I also have some more thanks come to think of it.

Thank you for knowing me a bit better than I know myself.

Thank you for noticing changes in me, in my mental health before I’ve even noticed them and thank you for not being to scared to say something to me about your concerns. Not a lot of people do/would.

Thank you for reminding me it’s ok to change me my mind about everything from what pants I’m wearing to whether or not I want to move across the world on my own.

Thank you for never judging me and giving me a safe space to completely be myself.

Thank you for making the best lasagne in the world and for always freezing some so I can take some home with me.

Thank you for always trying to remember that I hate people talking to me for the first 10 minutes after I wake up 😂 You rarely remember until I grunt a response at you but to do try haha.

Thank you for being part of some of my favourite moments in my life – every time I hear ‘Happy’ by Pharrell I think about us in the apartment in Naples ♥️

Thank you for always insisting that we see each other at least once a year.

“I really like it”.

Love you!

Can’t wait to see you in May

♥️♥️♥️ Your Michaela baby!!

• Mark •

Hey, pal.

Day 4. Here’s your letter.

I was going to be a little bitch and make you wait for ages for it but then I was feeling sentimental and changed my mind.

Aaaah, where to start?

Mr Derry Dude.

The Will to my Grace, the Ant to my Dec, the Clive to my Dolores.

Congratulations on making it to ‘friend’ status after being an acquaintance for the last 9 years. Clap for the heavyweight champ 👏🏼

God bless Kingston university and the Big Brother house on Grove Crescent for bringing us together. I miss living with you so bad, we had such fun. I mean… at the age of 21 we were still building forts and sliding down the stairs on mattresses. The house was a shit hole anyway really so it didn’t really matter if we messed it up more. Shit digs. Fucking brilliant memories.

When I think of some of the stuff we have got up to over the years together… I hate myself for not filming it… quality viewing. Although thinking about it, I’m not sure anyone but us would find it amusing. How many times have we been sat there cracking up at stuff and everyone else was looking at us like we’re high?!

Our adventures have taken us to many places. (The adventures of Dolores and Clive).

LA (more times than I can count now), strutting up 5th avenue in NYC, meeting prisoners in Alcatraz, dance parties at the Cape, booty popping to Queen B 🐝 in Dublin, visiting my boys in Liverpool…and then some.

I remember when I bought you your ticket to LA back in 2014 (?). You were so used to flying shitty planes to Europe and to and from London that you were convinced those seats weren’t for us 😂 Like Jack Dawson going to dinner in first class in Titanic. You peasant.

Some of the best memories though are of us just navigating our way around life in London fresh out of Uni. Paddy’s day 2012 in Derry was up there too. Me with Ginger hair (remember that phase in my life?), Irish flag wrapped around me, dancing alone in a club. Such a treat.

I can say, hand on heart, that no one in this world (except my Mum, maybe) makes me laugh as much or as hard as you do. Most of the time it’s at you doing impressions of me, or you taking the hand out of something I said but I still laugh none the less. In fact, being friends with you has taught me to laugh at myself if nothing else!

It hasn’t all been plain sailing though… we’ve seen each other through everything. Even across the ocean that separates your little island from mine. New jobs, new men, old jobs, old men, heartbreaks and 808s, death and depression (well this just took a turn 😂)…

Now you’re a week and a bit away from flying across the world to start a new adventure without me. In case I don’t say it when I see you. I’m so proud of you. I hope that you find everything you want in Canada. You deserve everything good it has to offer. It makes me sad that you’ll be so far away but I’m so excited for this next chapter of yours. Return of Saturn, baby!

I’ve never told you before but growing up I always wished I had a brother; as you know, my brother was stillborn and growing up I always wished it was different and he was here because I always wanted a brother. I always wondered what it would be like. I feel like I wished it into existence because 20 years later the universe gave me you. Now you’re stuck with me for life. SUCKER.

Well this has gone on long enough and if I don’t stop now I think I might have to turn this into a book so I’m going to stop now.

Acquaintance of the year? Nah, man. Acquaintance of my life.

See you in less than 48 hours for the last hurrah (until LA in June, obvs)

your pal

xo

• Diane Alice Lorraine •

Day 3. Letter 3.

Diane Alice (Lorraine) Dalby.

Well, this is an odd one to write because although I know you know how much you mean to me, I don’t think I’ve actually ever told you. What a dick.

If you’d have asked 17 year old me if my first ever manager would become one of the most important people in my life I’d have probably told you to fuck off but somehow it happened.

To think I hated you when we first met properly.

I remember leaving the interview at Mothercare and saying to my mum on the phone “I really hope I get that job” and then you called me 3 days later to offer me the job. Little did I know that I was signing up for 12 years of fun (there was a lot shit too but I choose to only remember the fun).

Then you fucked off to another store for a few months, came back and I hated you.

I remember being sat in the staff room on those god awful brown chairs opposite the white board and you asked me about my shifts… I thought “who’s this? She’s never here and she’s asking ME about MY shifts” Bit big for my boots really. The team always blame you for turning me into a monster but I think it was always there, you just bought it to the surface.

Slowly though, I realised you’re actually alright, a bit mad, but alright. This one’s a keeper. You took a chance on me and gave me my career. One that I actually love (we all know you have to love retail to work in it long term).

I don’t remember when you moved from boss to friend, it just feels like it’s always been that way now. It’s been nearly 13 years. I’m still waiting for my medal for putting up with you, Duncan did promise me one?!

Little known fact about you: you are pretty much the reason I’m alive now. I know that sounds dramatic but you’ve seen me through 3 depressive episodes and, unknown to some, the last one I was suicidal. You talked me down from that train platform, from afar. Without you on the end of the phone when I was stood on that platform I definitely wouldn’t be here. I literally owe you my life. I’m so glad you did that because I actually love my life and I wasn’t ready to die. I was just so ill I couldn’t remember that. You made me remember.

So cheers for that. Nice one.

Life coach. Therapist. Advice giver. Belly laugh inducer. You literally tick all the boxes of what it means to be a bloody brilliant friend. You’ve never tried to change me, ever. You just accepted me for the weirdo I am and honestly you probably know me better than anyone else in my life so that’s saying something.

You have played such an important part in my finding my voice and navigating this weird world and helping me realise that no one ever has it all figured out. I even like that you don’t always agree with me (you always point out when I’m wrong, not that it happens much, obvs 😉)

I don’t think there will ever be enough thank you’s really.

I’m so glad you’re off having your adventures with Dunc now, even if it means I don’t know when I’ll see you next. Though I do know that I can’t wait for the stories because there are bound to be some fucking brilliant ones 😂

I’m not sure anything will ever top the story of Andrea on the roof though!

Adventure is out there.

Love you, Dalby.

Mickey D’s xoxox

• Amy Jayne TayTay •

TayTay, you big slut.

Letter number 2.

Remember you told me last weekend I’m never nice to you unless I’m drunk? Well buckle up, sista. Here comes a whole lot of nice. And I’m sober. And publishing it. On a public platform. For the whole world to see. wait, maybe I am drunk?! (I’m definitely not)

First of all, let’s clear something up.

I think you are bloody fantastic. Ok, there, I said it. To be fair, I wouldn’t have kept you around this long if I didn’t think you were. I know I seem to pick up a whole manner of people (seriously, what is with that?) but only the best ones are allowed to stay. It’s been 10 years, you’re a lifer now.

You know I am completely backwards in that if you’re worth a dime to me I’ll call you all the names to your face and cut a bitch that talks down on you behind your back. I’m just backwards, ok?

I don’t even really know what else to say to be fair.

Like, I just think you’re great.

One of the most genuine and supportive people in my life. You always have a kind word to say about me (even if it’s followed by calling me a wench) and have been one of my biggest cheerleaders for about as long as I’ve known you. I really miss those car journeys to school placement – tell me you don’t miss my CD mixes! I’ve such great taste in music. Eclectic, but great (a couple of people from my past may disagree but whatayagonnadoaboutit?)

I feel very lucky (no I’m not lucky, I’m blessed YES – Nicki Minaj) to count you as one of my best pals – I think it was the wise Ellen Degenres that once said “it’s wonderful to be loved but it’s profound to be understood” and you understand me and all my weird ways. You just ‘get’ me.

One of the things I love most about you (other than your dog, God bless Fudge!), is that you are so unashamedly you. You don’t ask anyone to like you, you just are you and that’s something I have long admired and a trait I so wish I possessed!

You are loyal, you are so kind, compassionate and empathetic, passionate, protective… when you become a Mama they will be one lucky chicken – just remember James promised to name it after me if it’s a girl. 💃🏼

Speaking of James… what a guy. My favourite farmer who’s not really a farmer, ever! I love how happy he makes you. To be asked to write something to be read at your wedding was a privilege in itself but then when you asked me to read it… brave move – after all you did warn your friends about me before I met them 😂🙈. Not sure where I got this reputation from to be fair, I’m a proper treat!

Seriously though, I was completely honoured and I’m so pleased you trusted me enough to do it. I’m also so pleased to have been able to choose 2 of your wedding songs. I might not believe in love but I know a good love song when I hear it.

I’m going to wrap this up now because I think I’m just rambling a bit but yea, you’re pretty great. Don’t goooo changing.

See ya in Croatia.

Love you for life.

xoxo M

P.S my favourite, favourite thing is that you get jealous when you’re friends talk to me / ask me to hang out and you’re not involved

“but Kala is MY friend” 😂😂

i like to think i’m ok.

i’d like to apologise in advance if this post comes across as me fishing for compliments or me feeling sorry for myself but, like the girl in mean girls ‘i just have a lot of feelings’ and i wanted to share a bit. it’s been taking up a lot of my thoughts recently and i just need to get it off my chest.

i like to think i’m ok. i’m not the prettiest person nor do i have the perfect body. i’m not the nicest person. i’m moody. i get tired. i swear too much. i am not perfect but i like to think i am ok. i try to do my best at everything. i try my hardest to be a good friend, boss, family member. i try my hardest to be there for my everyone because i know what it’s like to feel completely alone. i’m more sensitive and emotional than a lot of people realise. i’m passionate. i have a lot of opinions. i try to educate myself on things before i give these opinions. i can be negative but i try to stay more positive than not. i’m shy and awkward. i like to think i am not judgemental but actually quite open to most people.

i like to think i am ok.

i endeavour to not make someone feel like shit because of who they are. recently i have been on the receiving end of behaviour like this and it has made me question if i have the right people in my life and if i have the respect for myself that i thought i had.

i’ve been thinking a lot about the people i surround myself with and how these people make me feel about myself. there is a great quote attributed to someone on the internet about ensuring that before you diagnose yourself with low self esteem and depression that you are not surrounded by assholes first.

the people we surround ourselves with are a reflection on how we see ourselves, why if i thought i was ok, would i surround myself with people who make comments about me, to me, that make me feel unloveable? that make me feel like i am too much hard work? that i am not worth the effort? i thought, with the end of university, i had rid myself of the ‘friends’ that only saw me as the less attractive, fatter, funny friend and only wanted me there to be an accessory to make them look better. i thought i’d rid myself of those people who weren’t my biggest cheerleaders – not that all my friends have to cheer me all the time, but part of being friends is being each others biggest cheerleaders, in whatever way you feel comfortable expressing it.

at 28 and a bit, i really thought all this shit would be dealt with but i guess, as Bowling For Soup so eloquently sang, ‘high school never ends’.

one thing all these thoughts and time wasted over thinking and being upset recently has made me realise though is that i need to make some changes. there really is a lesson in everything apparently.

why do life lessons always have to cause us so much shit?

answers to that one on a postcard, please

xoxo M

Vogue 73

hiya friends,

recently i have been a bit obsessed with the series on vogues website ’73 questions’ whereby they ask various people in the public eye 73 questions (funny that).

because i love this kind of shite i have taken the time to answer them for you – i can tell you’re all thrilled at the idea, who wouldn’t want to know more about me?! YOU’RE WELCOME.

1. What’s your favorite movie? West Side Story leaves me starry eyed everytime.
2. Favorite movie in the past five years? Suffragette or The Greatest Showman – I’m a sucker for a musical
3. Favorite Hitchcock film? The Birds
4. A book you plan on reading? A history of Britain in 21 Women by Jenni Murray
5. A book that you read that positively shaped you? ‘The Elegant Art of Falling Apart’ by Jessica Jones
6. Favorite TV show that’s currently on? Will and Grace
7. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now? solid 5
8. iPhone or Android? iphone
9. Twitter or Instagram? instagram, i actually deleted my twitter a while back because it felt too much like hard work and was full of weirdos. 
10. Who should EVERYONE be following right now? 3 people i want to be my friends that i am following on instagram 1. @hotpatooties 2. @mother_of_daughters and her other half @father_of_daughters (they count as 1) 3. @kirstenanniebell 
11. What’s your favorite food? nachos or really anything Mexican 
12. Least favorite food? if there is a beetroot liver combination it would be that
13. What do you love on your pizza? my favourite pizza is Hawaiian.
14. Favorite drink? alcoholic it would be something with amaretto or tequila in, non alcoholic would be water or tea.
15. Favorite dessert? i will probably change my mind in a minute but right now Eton Mess
16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? milk, always
17. Coffee or tea? tea
18. What’s the best part about being an aunt? I can give them back
19. What’s your favorite band? the beatles – duh
20. Favorite solo artist? at the moment I’m really enjoying Rachel Platten but I also adore Passenger
21. Favorite song? oooh this is hard, because I have few – the pursuit of happiness by Kid Cudi
22. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be? Taylor Swift (don’t hate me)
23. If you could master one instrument, what would it be? violin 
24. What is your next tattoo going to be? I’ve been thinking about getting something for #teddystribe
25. To be or not to be? not to be 
26. Dogs or cats? dogs
27. Bird-watching or whale-watching? whale watching
28. Best gift you’ve ever received? so many… maybe tickets to the ‘LOVE’ show in Vegas.
29. Best gift you’ve ever given? I can’t tell you yet as I’m yet to send it
30. Last gift you gave a friend? I gave Amy her Xmas present and birthday present 2 months late last weekend…oops. sorry friend.
31. What’s your favorite board game? monopoly
32. What’s your favorite country to visit? I have 3. America and Ireland because of my friends there and Spain. The Spanish make everything better. 
33. What’s the last country you visited? America
34. What country do you wish to visit? Peru and Japan
35. What’s your favorite color? Yellow 
36. Least favorite color? I don’t think I have one
37. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
38. Heels or flats? Flats
39. Pilates or yoga? I have never done pilates so yoga
40. Life lesson you’ve learnt the hard way? asking for help doesn’t make you weak AND no one else has a fucking clue what they’re doing either!
41. Best way to de-stress? singing or running
42. If you had one superpower, what would it be? to be able to speak and understand every language in the world. or to fly.
43. Favourite curse word? the C word. 🤷🏼‍♀️
44. What’s your favorite flower? i love wildflowers likes daisies
45. When was the last time you cried? yesterday night
46. Do you like your handwriting? i prefer my print to my cursive, but yes it’s ok
47. Do you bake? not for years
48. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? my indecisiveness
49. What is your most favorite thing about yourself? my sarcasm
50. Who do you miss most? my grandad
51. What are you listening to right now? Michelle Williams- Tightrope
52. Favorite smell? it would be either the smell after its been raining, freshly cut grass, or the smell of a match after it’s been blown out
53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Michelle
54. Who was the last person you sent a text to? Mark
55. A sport you wish you could play? I really wish I was gymnast
56. Hair color? dirty blonde
57. Eye color? hazel
58. Scary film or happy endings? happy endings, always
59. Favorite season? spring 
60. Three famous people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with? John Lennon, Carrie Fisher, Reggie Kray
61. Hugs or kisses? hugs
62. Rolling Stones or the Beatles? the Beatles
63. Where were you born? Crawley hospital
64. What is the farthest you have been from home? the US 
65. Sweet or savory? sweet
66. Lipstick or lip gloss? lipstick
67. What book have you read again and again? the Harry Potter series
68. Favorite bedtime story? Harry Potter
69. What would be the title of your autobiography? I’m making this up as I go along
70. Favorite sound? any of my three nephews laughing
71. Favorite animal? penguin
72. If you were to start your career again what would your job be? I am a big geek so would love to be a curator at a museum – more history than art – or maybe a criminal psychologist, or a book editor. 
73. Last photograph you took?

see below

love mesel.

so there you have it, you’re all going to bed knowing a bit more about me than you probably care to.

Later on, laddies

xoxo M