Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Nicholas Sparks Ruined My Life

You know who Nicholas Sparks is even if you don't know who Nicholas Sparks is. He is the man that has imagined the unthinkable, he has construed the impossible and dreamt up the dream. Still have no idea who I am talking about? Nicholas Sparks created the dream man. He is the author behind The Notebook, Dear John, A Walk To Remember, The Last Song, The Best of Me, The Lucky One the list of books to blockbuster-sobbing hits goes on. The life lesson to be learnt post multiple break downs? Nicholas Sparks ruins lives.

2002: My First Nicholas Instalment: A Walk To Remember

It was all going to plan: the understatedly pretty but super awkward preacher's daughter is forced to befriend the school bad boy. She warns him not to fall in love with her, he laughs at her audacity. Approximately 32 minutes and one sultry transfer tattoo scene later, the bad boy falls in love with good girl.

Super sexy butterfly tat babe.

Why couldn't you have just left it there Nick? A further 15 minutes into what you think is teenage bliss we find out she has incurable cancer. Why, Nick, why? The reformed bad boy marries the (now) girl of his dream because its her dying wish and 5 minutes after they run off into the sunset... she dies. I am left howling and bereft on my bedroom floor. Of course what the 12 year old me took from this film wasn't that a life without love isn't a life at all. It was that the super chubby slightly awkward girl could go up to the bad boy and tell him not to fall in love with her and then one swift bibitty-bobbity-boo later I would be the girl of his dreams. This absolutely did not happen. I told boys not to fall in love with me and they replied saying, 'OK'. Cheers Nick, that one worked a treat.

Love me? 

2004: The Biggie: The Notebook 

This is when Nick hit the big time and bore a million Ryan Gosling memes, for who could not fall in love with the perfection that was Noah Calhoun? I mean for fucks sake they broke up and he still built her the house of her dreams with a fucking wrap around porch and blue sodding shutters. How is anyone supposed to live up to that?

This is all I am asking for. 

Instead of dreamy Noah I have Tom on Happn, who seems nice (and by nice I mean kind of normal), he asks me how my day was and what kind of music I like...but he didn't jump on a ferris wheel to go on a date with me though did he? Likewise with Ian the Bumble floater, indulges me in the occasional bants (I let him because he is much better looking that me) and sometimes make me lol. But he is hardly rowing the two of us into a lake surrounded by swans declaring his undying love for me, is he?

FYI this isn't me and Bumble Ian. 

All I am asking for is for someone to stand on a jetty and tell me that they wrote me, they wrote me 365 letters, they wrote me every day for a year and that it wasn't still isn't over. Is that too goddamn much?! Evidently so and we all know who is to blame...Nick.

I'll legit just take one letter. 

2010: The Really Stupid Ending: Dear John 

I was expecting this to be a continuation of the Step Up Channing dream. Basically a banging bod broody bad boy in ballet tights. As predicted Nick had other plans for me. It started off so well, there were a great theme tune, Channing's hot bod was on point, he got deployed to the army and looked great in his uniform. Amanda Seyfriend was likeable and charming you wanted them to be together.

It took me two weeks to find my Oyster card once. 

There was family dramatics but that was bearable because the two main characters were safe, you rooted for them, you rooted for yourself thar cross-continental love was possible. And then what happens? She falls in love with a dying man and John is left alone. THIS IS WAS NOT THE SUNDAY NIGHT HAPPY ENDING I WAS WAITING FOR NICK. YOU HAVE SOME EXPLAINING TO DO. So obviously in trying to rewrite my own happy ending I went on the hunt for my own army man. 10 tequilas later, I found one. He was not Channing Tatum and our cross continental love would have been difficult seeing as his texts culminated in, 'woz gr8 to meet you babe x'. RIP us.

Me after everyone one of these stupid films calling my friends at 3am for life advice. 

2011: My Miley Moment: The Last Song 

Post Hannah Montanna but pre buzz-cut Miley starred opposite now husband (well tbc) in a lesser known Sparks classic. Bad girls meets seemingly nice but actually kinda bad boy. She vows to never date said jocky boy because she's all Doc Martens and attitude. He melts her emo heart by saving turtles (obvs), there is a super long montage feature multiple beach snogs and tree carving situations, she sings Maroon 5 to him in his pick up truck and he falls in love with her super mad skillz.

Is it because I wear Adidas? 

Case closed, the film ends on a mildly positive note? No, don't be silly. Nick hasn't ruined anyone's life yet. Then the dad - a kind of foxy -Greg Kinnear-  who she loves to hate dies and it's sob-city once again. Let there be a light, Nick!

2016: The Nail In The Fucking Coffin: The Best Of Me 

I don't even know where to start with this one. It's told in retrospect which just makes the whole thing worse because you get heart broken in the past and present. The classic recipe good boy from the bad family meets super rich girl with a free spirit. She thinks he's pretty sexy in his wife beater and oil smudged face, so they spend a summer lolling around in a rose field, writing poetry to one another because nothing screams soul mates more than slow dancing in a wild garden.

The montage signs were all there. 

Where the hell is my bad boy writing poetry? At this point I would settle for a pissing Haiku. Inevtiably it all goes tits up because even though the boy escaped his troubled family, they come back to bite him in the ass, and by bite him in the ass I mean shoot the beautiful James Marsden just as he is about to win back his lady. Classic Nick building me up and then TEARING ME DOWN.

Yeah it's been a long time...since there has been a happy bloody ending!

Enough is enough, I cant take any more of these Nicholas Sparks creations of the perfect man that can't live up to real life. Repeat: The Notebook is not real life. The Notebook is not real life. All Nicholas Sparks has given me is heartbreak, puffy eyes and an inability to commit to anyone less than perfect. Well the clock is a ticking I am about to be 27 which is throwing me deep into the Bridget Jones realm of dramatic over reactions and unavoidable spinsterdom.

So sod you Sparks, I am off to find well...anyone that will take me.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 Life Lessons

We can all agree that 2016 has been an absolute shitter and to top it all off I have just bought the wrong sodding Camembert for tonight's cheeseboard.

But as I sit and reflect on a truly heinous year there are a few lessons I have learnt from the happenings of 2016.

Unless you are a legitimate presidential candidate/ running a secret organisation that is consequently running the world/ named Jake Ballard I am not interested in you now or ever. Further to the unobtainable boyfriend goals, Scandal has shattered any sense of normality in relationships. 5 seasons later I don't want a boring kind of love where you Netflix and Chill, go out for mediocre dinners and regale each other with the dull proceedings of your day, no no no. I was a desperate, destructive, aching kind of love that you try and overcome but you just can't because the love of your life is the ruler of the free world. They adore your sass (because there is a shit tonne of it), they indulge you in a rainbow spectrum of Prada bags and you argue in such a way that you both leave feeling empowered. So basically...I'm ruined.

When it gets to 8pm on a Sunday evening and all you have done over the course of the weekend is lie in a hungover pit of McDonalds (at a push gone for brunch), there is no more welcoming sound than the dulcet tones of fair David Attenborough. Who knew birds cleared their own bedrooms to impress their mates, that penguins lived such perilous lives and that new-born lizards could escapes those pesky little snakes. Apparently there's a real world out there, beyond avocados, Gucci bags and Instagrammable holidays. Since the airing of Planet Earth II I have hunted the length and breadth of Richmond Park (well just the side that's closest to the bakery) but alas the magical Attenborough is yet to be found. If anyone knows where he is, PLEASE keep him safe.

...If every case was against Baz. In general though, no, I would have made a terrible lawyer I can't remember a single piece of law I learnt and the only person I can easily manipulate is dear old dad. When pitted against him it's like something triggers inside of me and I spew fire like a dragon/ Donna from Suits. Words I never knew were in my repertoire suddenly erupt like a volcano of vocabulary closing in the ultimate put down of: 'Baz, I am right and you are wrong so do as I say.' The apple doesn't fall far from the bossy tree.

I had been stocking up my brownie points all Christmas break: there was not a chore I resisted, nor a cup of tea I didn't offer to make (badly, under the pretence they wouldn't ask again), a dish that wasn't washed and a table lacking in Bhatia bouj. Undergoing a Bhatia Christmas is much like the Herculean tasks  - it's strenuous, exhausting and relentless. But I did it, one because Geeta is my ultimate babe, but mostly so that Baz would buy my Gucci bag of dreams. And so with brownie points in tow we blazed down the M40 to Bicester Village only to realise I don't really need another handbag, or another pair of over-priced trainers. Instead I indulged in a room diffuser...that was in the sale. That is when it dawned on me: I am an adult. I bought something I needed rather than wanted. I need my room to smell like The White Company store, obvs because that's adult goals.

When I first went backstage at the show I felt like the most inadequate woman in the world. The models are next level babes and my greatest achievement is hitting a 7 on a really, really good day (with filter). But I didn't let these negative thoughts plague me for long because these girls get paid real life dollar bills to look that good. It's their job to be goddesses among mere mortal, much like it's my job write about  menial things and find funny memes on the internet. And if we swapped well, the Instagram world would loose a fervent regrammer.

It's like a knee jerk reaction. As soon as I see someone cry, I cry. Adverts, films, X Factor auditions, people on the tube, random strangers who I have no emotional connection to - it's a problem. I have tried to overcome this curse, but having seen Baz blub at everything I do I feel the problem isn't deep rooted familial issues but just a genetic default.

I'm a plodder, or as Baz likes to call us 'observers', we slowly amble through life taking in the particulars and specifics because we rush for no one and nothing. So when I posed the following question: 'What is the fastest I have ever run the 100m?' for the annual Christmas quiz I expected a comical response. But 1 minute and 15 seconds takes the fucking piss. When I finally digressed that I hauled my ass over the 100m line in 17.8 seconds, the champagne flutes came crashing down. Yes, that's right Usain Bolt is technically only twice as fast as me.

They are merely highlights of a low life. Do not be fooled by the constant bravado of boujis breakfasts, Chester behaving like a normal dog and perfect eyebrows. Sometimes it's pesto pasta out of the pan, crying into my pillow after watching endless American Idol auditions and being so hungover I lay flat on the kitchen floor until someone comes home to look after me.

So there it is, 2016 for all it's faults, failings and Trump related disasters has taught me a lot about myself. Who knows what life lessons I could learn in 2017 - that I can actually run a mile? That I can wake up at 6am and live an organised life? That Chester obeys my every command? The possibilities are not endless but indeed open.

Happy New Year!

Fatty BB xx

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Please Don't Let There Be An Apocalypse

If the world ended and it was reborn as Divergent/ The Hunger Games I would be royally screwed.

When you rupture a muscle in your back and have pneumonia induced coughing fits (which genuinely make you think you might possibly have abs) there is very little to do with your time. Read books, write blogs or watch everything going on Netflix. As an educated woman trying to better myself... obviously voted for just a Netflix existence. 

I took a minor interlude from the self pity and the Scandal reruns (and pining for a destructive, obsessive, totally unhealthy love like Olivia and Fitz), as Baz and Geeta brought Chester to London to cheer me up. Much to my delight I managed to walk around Richmond Park without my inhaler, fucking wild.

Once Geeta had ploughed us curry (the real reason for the trip) we settled on Netflix once more for some family time. Luckily for me, Baz and I have exactly the same taste in movies: rom coms, action or sports. Soz, Geeta. 

We settled on Divergent. You probably haven't seen it because I think it was marketed for a 14 year old girl, pretty perfect for Baz and I. And it terrified the shit out of me.

The premise of the film is as follows: there was an a war, let's call it an apocalypse (much more dramatic for the basis of my thesis) and following the war, to contain society, they split the population into five factions dependent on what virtues you possess: 

The Selfless 
The Brave 
The Intelligent 
The Peaceful 
The Honest 

And that point in the plot I realised I was fucked. I know the chances of me living in a post apocalyptic world are slim but seeing as 2016 was the year of Brexit and President Elect Trump I refuse to hold predications for the future anymore. 

So I ignored the plot (except for the hot guy) and tried to fit myself into a post-apocalyptic faction. 

The Selfless
This one isn't for me. If Cat wants to get the tube to work, I want to get the train. If Cat wants stir fry for dinner I want pasta bake. Not because I actually want pasta bake over stir fry I just like to annoy her, because I'm incredibly selfish. I want it my way and I am not willing to bend (too far) for someone's way. So let's scratch selfless. Plus in the film the selfless Abnegation aren't allowed to look in the mirror, make up is banned , grey is the only colour they can wear and their hair must be tied in a bun at all times. I cannot and will not live a life without a black roll neck. I just can't.

The Brave 
As much as I persist to be Gryffindor I fear this may not be so. In Divergent the brave are these mental people called 'Dauntless' who run everywhere, jump on an off trains, throw themselves down pits and fight against each other for fun. I walk at the pace of a sloth, never run for the train even when I know I am going to be late and the the only way I would throw myself down a pit is if Ryan Reynolds was at the bottom of it. However I am totally on board with the all black outfits and the hot Dauntless leader guy.

The Intelligent
Since I didn't realise the intelligent faction 'Erudite' actually means, 'having or showing great knowledge or learning' (thank you Google) does that immediately eradicate my entitlement to it? 
I can safely say my intelligence peaked in year 8 when I won the literature prize for the book I didn't read. And what.

The Peaceful 
Also known as 'Amnity' another one I had to Google, again I feel is not screaming 'me'. I like peaceful for about an hour and then I get bored. Today, for example, I have had the entire day to myself and it has been TORTURE. No one to lol with, no one to ask me what we should eat. No one for me to be needy around. I like a loud, noisy abrasive kind of life - that is all we Bhatias know.

 The Honest 
'Candour' finally one I didn't have to Google. Candour hold honesty above any other kind of virtue, even when being candour is not being kind. If I had to join one of the factions, it would probably be this one because you could totally get away with being a total bitch and blame it on your personality type. You wouldn't have to lie to your best friend when she asks you whether her eyebrows are even, you could be really frank about your love for Escape to the Country and not have to deny your occasional indulgence in daytime TV. When dining at someone's house you wouldn't have to fake vegetarianism, you could just tell them they're a terrible cook and you don't trust their meat choices. And they couldn't hate you because hey that's candour. But then I just don't know if I can say out loud, 'is your chicken from Waitrose and/or M&S? Because if it isn't I wont eat it.' (But for reference you should know that is exactly what I am thinking.)

So what's a girl to do? 

We haven't even touched on The Hunger Games. The outfits and the sass- yes. The natural born survival instincts - no.


I always rejected the idea of survival techniques when I was younger, the Duke of Edinburgh awards seemed liked a ridiculous notion. When would I ever need to read a compass or a map, or learn to light a fire. We have Sat Nav and Bhatias don't camp. But what if school was trying to prepare me what was to come in the future? What if The Hunger Games and Divergent could be an actual thing that happens, and the only faction I fit into is 'Tequila Drinking Friend Stealer', I don't know how far that will get me. 

I'm not ruling out anything any more. I am going to get a compass, I am going to start running / walking at a more reasonable pace and I am going to work on being an all round factioner. First stage: accepting non Waitrose meats. 

Oh god no, I just can't. Let the comet hit me. I'll be the martyr, it suits me better. 

Fatty BB xxx

Sunday, 11 September 2016


It’s no hidden truth: the Bhatia’s are not your typical family. One part Kardashian, one part Osbourne, one part country-superstar-wannabes. That's right. Baz and I not to secretly wish to be red-necking, Nashville-loving cowboys...singing on stage. 

When I was eight I bought my first album. It wasn’t Britney like everyone else did – I just couldn’t relate to that slutty schoolgirl life. My skirt was firmly below my knees for everyone else’s sake as well as my own. No, my first album was Celine Dion ‘Colour of My Love’. Whilst this wasn’t new to musical world, Celine was new to me... and she was everything. The power ballads, the unnecessary talking during all of her concerts, how easy it was to learn the Titanic theme tune on the recorder. She was all my dreams rolled into one.

And Baz couldn’t have been prouder: fat, frizzy and fond of ballad. His parental duties were complete.

I was sold. But I wanted more, belting out Think Twice’s ‘no, no, no, nooooo’ wasn’t enough. So I moved on to ‘Falling Into You’ – another Celine classic. As Baz’s heart grew, Geeta’s fear for what kind of monster Baz was creating became more prominent. The tell-tales signs were there, I didn't know how to say, 'I would like a baguette please,' in French but I knew every word to 'Pour Que Tu M'Aimes Encore'. 

Car journeys became unbearable for the rest of the family as Baz and I would belt out ‘The Power of Love’ whilst they attempted to nap, LeAnne Rimes, 'How Do I Live' became a firm favourite when they asked us to turn the music down and heaven forbid we should land on Mary Chapin-Carpenter's, 'He Thinks He'll Keep Her.' There would be tears – and they would be coming from us.

Can I get an encore?

But again I strove for more – more divas, more ballads, and more reasons to sing out of tune. That’s when Baz took me on a road trip and the number one CD in his car was entitled, ‘Women In Country’. This coming from the man whose favourite film is a toss up between The Notebook, The Wedding Date and The Proposal – what a lad. I was spellbound, the songs, the women, the achey-breaky hearts and most importantly...the boots. It was then that I realised my only goal in life was to be a plus-size Indian country singer. Niche, I know.

I could be skinny and blonde with actual musical talent.

But then life happened and I had been blinded on my journey into world of fashion that I had to put my dream of being the 4th Dixie Chicks on the back burner. (I mean not entirely on the back burner I did have a cowboy belt that I wore almost every day and a pair of cowboy boots that were my actual going out shoes - just a subtle nod.) But it wasn’t until one glorious day that I stumbled across Nashville on a late night Netflix browse that the country dream came screeching back. 

The sequined mini dresses, the massive blow-outs, the red patent cowboy boots, the ripped oiled up torsos and slow drawl of the cowboys – it was all just SO me. After watching episode after episode, learning the lyrics to Telescope and wondering why the on earth Rayna was not with Deacon; I noticed something was missing and it was staring me straight in the face: a 26 year old Indian girl from Leicester, currently a couple of pounds over the basic cowgirl starter kit.

I was a Nashville addict. I couldn’t get enough, not only watching three episodes a night (soz not soz if I bailed on our plans during this addictive period) and then listening to the whole soundtrack on repeat every day at work. My longing to be part of the country world had hit hysteria and it didn’t go unnoticed, the lack of hair washing for one more episode might have given it away; or my perusing cowboy belts on eBay. But it was my wanting to write about Nashville/ country music / The Dixie Chicks/ Celine Dion (I know not technically country but that Celine candle will never burn out) at every given moment at work that was the tipping point of country sanity. 

ELLE TEAM: ‘So what news does everyone have for today?’
BILLIE: ‘Well I think Texas is kind of a big story right now….you know BeyoncĂ© is from Texas. I should write a story about how Texas is having a moment.’
ELLE TEAM: ‘….what?’

ELLE TEAM: ‘So what news does everyone have for today?’
BILLIE: ‘I think cowboy boots are totally a thing right now. I mean it’s logically the next step from the Vetements boots, right?’
ELLE TEAM: ‘….what?’

ELLE TEAM: ‘So what news does everyone have for today?’
BILLIE: ‘I have been watching Nashville, has anyone seen it?! Maybe I should do a round up on the best Netflix series and why you should watch them. But mostly why you should just watch Nashville.’
ELLE TEAM: ‘….what?’

ELLE TEAM: ‘So what news does everyone have for today?’
BILLIE: ‘The Dixie Chicks are touring – I could do a how to guide to get tickets?’
ELLE TEAM: ‘….what?’

ELLE TEAM: ‘So what news does everyone have for today?’
ELLE TEAM: ‘FFS, sure.’

Perseverance is key my friend, and that’s why laugh as you will about my Nashville dream, you wont be laughing when me and Dolly are on stage with the Dixie Chicks in red fucking patent cowboy boots, Celine Dion is helping me pick out my tour outfits and Garth Brooks and Ryan Adams are singing at my wedding.

Because as soon as I learn how to actually hold a note and not sound like a breathy 11 year old asthma sufferer I am coming for you Nashville.

Fatty BB xxx

Monday, 18 July 2016


You know that friend that says, 'I'll be there in half an hour.' But actually it takes 45 minutes to get that location on a good day and you are currently sat in a towel telling yourself you're going to get in the shower, but actually your're 20 minutes deep into an insta-stalk and you can't break out. Two hours later and some rushed tube make up you're friend pretends not to hate you, but they really really hate you. Well, that's me with this blog. I promise myself I am going to write more regularly and then Love Island happens and it's game over.

But now that Love Island has finished and Cara and Nathan are #couplegoals we can go back to the mundane life and infiltrate the inner workings crazy ass family for shits and gigs (insta likes).

As predicted the diva-like-strop-filled behaviour did not end with the journey to Dubai, it obviously continued throughout. It is more than likely a behavioural issue for life.

We are still on day one and the drama has not ended, not even close. Furious that so much tanning time (in hindsight two hours)  has been comprised, and more importantly that I have missed breakfast, I declare that I am going to the pool and all that wish may join. Baz raises one eyebrow and sulks back into his armchair, still fuming we made him switch back rooms, and flashes his lurid green kindle in my face to say, 'piss off Billie.' Someone has accidentally sent a cake to our room saying 'Happy Birthday Ramesh'. Fuck Ramesh, I'm eating the cake. I vow to not tell Baz the real reason I wanted to change rooms...

Annie and I attempt to out run (medium paced walk) each other to the pool because we both know it's going to be a battle as to who gets the chair entirely drenched in sun whilst the other poor sod has to bathe in the winner's shadow. I pip her to the post and steal the prime spot of ultimate sun worshipper. Casting a broad shadow over an already pissed off Annie I refrain from asking if I can use her fancy Dior sun care.

Tanning gate opens. But in 38 degrees trying to sit out in the direct heat is one sweaty feat. Seven minutes is all can manage, it's time to submerge. I am like a whale to the water. Elegant, graceful, slow. Except I forget to take out my contact lenses and my smooth entry into the pool, very quickly turns into pathetic gasping and spluttering as my eyes burn like the depths of hell.

Back to the 38 degrees, and this time totally blind. Holiday going really fucking well so far.

By 5pm I've had all that I can take for one day, I just need bed and Harry Potter. But Geeta has got other plans, they want to go into the non air conditioned part of Doobs and do some Indian shopping. Goals, right there. We go, we trapse, Annie and I almost shed tears, Baz barters harder than any Indian ever has before. Not over the clothes, no no. Over the cashew nuts, priorities.

It's 10pm - I'm tired, I'm hungry, It's muggy, I want to go back to the hotel and go to bed. Wake up and enjoy paradise. Baz has other plans, he wants to try out the new Indian restaurant in the hotel, obvs. By the time we get back to the hotel and freshen up we are looking at a 11pm dinner and I have now been awake for nearly 48 hours. Believe it or not by this point I'm not even hungry so inevitably Billie the brat comes out (for the 400th time in 3 days) and I threaten to throw his cashew nuts out the window if he makes us to go to dinner at 11pm. Baz not backing down from his grilled platter dreams goes toe to toe. It's battle of the Bhatias and I have this sinking feeling that the real lawyer is going to take this one.

Skip past the silent taxi journey back to the hotel, the furious application of mascara (no fucks given that more of it is on my eyelids than my eyelashes) and I stomp down to the restaurant throw myself in the chair and order all the food I know Baz hates...veggie. One small win of the day. I mutter to Annie that it is actually delicious but NO WAY is Baz going to find out that I enjoyed dinner. The strop must be upheld at all times.

Day one, done.

Let the games commence.

Us Bhatias we like routine, and it all starts with the food. Wake up, get dressed and head down to browse the never ending breakfast counters. There is everything you can imagine, and as you might have guessed we take full advantage.

I start with good intentions - some fruit and a mango smoothie. Then the hashbrowns and the Willy Wonka looking pastry counter start to creep into my periphery. Game over, I am darting towards the pistachio pastries before you can say, 'complex carbohydrates.' And the rest of the clan follow suit. Baz has more of an egg themed breakfast, six to be precise. Annie goes full English, because all breakfast foods should include ketchup. In fact scratch that, according to the world of Annie Bhatia all meals should include ketchup. Of course in comes Geeta with her blueberry bircher museli to make us all feel really shit about ourselves. But it doesn't stop us from repeating the entire process every morning of the holiday. Cue 7lbs weight gain.

The rest of the holiday can be broken down to this:

Tan Wars: the fight for the best chairs continues. But now other guests are so fearful of our mafia like appearances that no one dare sit in the waterfall seats with our ass imprints on.

Beggy Billie: Do you want to play catch? Do you want to have swimming races? Do you want to go to pool bar? Do you want to go to beach? Do you want to duck waves? Do you want to see how far out we can swim out? Do you want to play bat and ball? Do you want alcohol? The answer to all the above is, NO. My family are a bunch of boring basic bitch farts.

Classic Annie One-Liners: It all started in 2005 our first trip to Dubai when Annie and I were sat on the beach and all of a sudden she pelts over with nothing but pure fear on her face, 'Oh my god Billie I think my Tiffany bracelet is melting on my wrist.' Because sure silver melts regularly at 35 degrees. 11 years on and not much has changed:

On Stella McCartney:
AB: I really want a Stella McCartney Fallabella bag.
BB: I just don't know how you can justify spending that much money on a bag that's not even leather.
AB: What do you mean?
BB: It's a vegan leather.
AB: So like vegetarian cows?
BB: Sure....

On her silkier than silky hair:
AB: Oh my god the water here is making my hair so soft and silky, my curlers aren't even working and they normally hold so well. My hair is just so soft. *flicks hair repeatedly*
BB: That's strange
AB: Like I have been trying to curl my hair for the last 30 minutes I don't understand
BB: (Still entertaining this ridiculous conversation) Weird. Are you sure they're turned on?
AB: .....turns plug on.

On the coffee machine:
AB: I'm going to make a coffee
BB: Cool, maybe have a peak at the instructions it looks a bit complex.
AB: I'm not stupid, Billie, I think I know what I'm doing. [Shoves milk capsule where the coffee should go, snaps the lid off and watches the coffee machine go up in smokes].
BB: Good work, babes.

On losing weight:
BB: Eurgh I need to lose weight after this holiday.
AB: Why don't you try just like....not being yourself for 6 months? That's got to do something.

On churros at the Mexican restaurant that Baz threw the biggest badest strop that ever was.
AB: I just love churros, let's have churros. Do you want churros? I'm ordering churros.
[Churros finally arrive.]
AB: These churros taste like India. I don't think I like churros.

Big Bad Baz and the rising humidity:
In 2003 we went on holiday to a beautiful Spanish villa that  sadly didn't have air conditioning in every single room, Baz as such spent all of the holiday sat in the air conditioned hire car listening to Cat Stevens and plotting our escape. Fast forward to 2016 and unless he is sat in a room with sub 15 degrees air conditioning avoid Baz at all costs. Let the below be a lesson to you all.

  1. One evening we went to the neighbouring hotel for a walk around, this required a non air conditioned buggy ride to said hotel. Strike one. 
  2. A 6 minute walk in the evening Arabian heat across a bridge, upon finding out that information Baz demanded we take the 20 minute boat ride instead. Strike 2. 
  3. We (the girls) decided to eat in a non-asian inspired restaurant. Strike 3. Cue the strop. Menus were thrown, stink eyes were given, loud aggressive breathing was heard. 24 hour silent protest ensued. Baz is the biggest diva (read: dictator) of them all. 
And so the week continued much as it did before, with hideous behaviour from all but Geeta, who is far too sensible for such hysterical nonsense. The dream, no? 

The Bhatias are accepting all 2017 family holiday offers. We apologise in advance for our outrageous behaviour. But not that much.

See ya next year Doobs,

Fatty BB xxx

Thursday, 26 May 2016


If I could shed a stone for every time someone said to me, ‘I would love to be a fly on the wall for a Bhatia family holiday’, I would finally achieve my goal of being a bog standardly normal shape.  

Because of course the shipping off of the fat Kardashians of Leicester for the annual Dubai jaunt conjures images in equal measure hilarity and hysteria. And you are not wrong my friend.

It all starts about a month before the blessed occasion whereby Annie increases her daily whatsapps telling me all the lotions and potions that are totally necessary for the trip: Dior this, Guerlain this, Lancaster that,  La Prairie this - all the essentials for that elusive golden glow.  And inevitably once the ridiculousness dies down we divulge that we have not been as healthy as we should have been considering the clock is ticking until we bare all on the beach. A salad we say. The dressing we convenient leave out. Along with the bread roll we had with the salad… and half a doughnut that was sent into the office. Ok fine, I ate the whole doughnut.

Then comes the holiday wardrobe. It’s surprisingly colourful, despite my daily black parade. My holiday alter ego is one part travelling gypsy, one part Navajo Native American and one part Indian princess, obvs. A plethora of kaftans, ankle bracelets and floating chiffon – Chloe girl on carbs I like to call her. By this point I am like...

The day before the family holiday there is always, always an argument, which culminates in, ‘Fine, I’m not even going to come on this holiday!’ We kind of take it in turns as to who gets the dramatic final line, and depending on who it, the ending goes a little something like this... A slamming of the front door as they fumble for the car keys to drive off Fast & Furious style (but really you go to the Waitrose carpark and sulk), a kicking of the suitcase as they silently endure a stubbed toe, a slightly primal scream and a call for Chester to reassure themselves that someone still loves them. Sometimes I go for the grand trifecta - The Holy Grail of tantrums. 

Of course we all end up going on the holiday, no one is sacrificing the tan and the comfort of Jumeirah Beach pillows for the sake of pride, that’s certainly not the Bhatia way.

And so comes the holiday day – it’s all shouting and hustling to use the bathroom for the last minute leg wax and deep hair conditioning, a scramble for the good suitcases (heaven forbid you get left with gaudy Ralph Lauren suitcases, whilst Baz nabs the Mulberry).  Ever the over prepared Annie is showered, packed and has applied the most glamorous face of make up an hour before we need to leave. I on the other hand have at this point realised I’ve left all my sandals in London packed the wrong swimming costume and looking for my all important anklet, am essentially wearing pyjamas and I’ve missed a patch of wax on my legs.

Finally all suitcases are lined up ready to go: Baz’s might as well have just brought hand luggage. His suitcases comprises simply of a capsule Ralph Lauren collection and all the apple gadgets – that includes four pods, one of which is purely dedicated to Bruce Springstein. Poor Geeta gets lumbered with all the sun care (and there’s a lot of it), the first aid kit (this is mainly for my accident prone ways), a very sensible collection of classy clothes and cooler cossies than mine. Then comes Kimmy K Annie. Her suitcase is actually busting with every make up item you can ever imagine, 8 pairs of shoes (for a 7 day holiday) and 4 blazers – obvs essentials only. For the very first time I came in under weight, simple packing maths really - more floaty dresses than one person should own and 20 pairs of pants, just in case.

The taxi arrives and Baz fumes at the weight of Annie’s case – which she very generously pretends is mine and so I have to endure to wrath of sweaty Baz complaining that I can never pack light. Bullet one, taken. Baz is in a strop because he’s already hot (we are still in 14 degree Leicester at this point), Annie’s in a strop because Baz shouted, I’m in a strop because for once I packed light and no one patted me on the back for it, and Geeta’s in a strop because she’s realised she has to spend a week with these idiots. A silent car journey to the airport ensues.

Now for a wise (ish) man, BBB is a TERRIBLE traveler. He has no idea about anything. It’s all a barrage of questions, annoyed sighs and angry quips at how far we have to walk (I wonder where I get it from?) I lead the pack with the check-in because Baz doesn’t understand that we have already checked in online – he ums and ahs over upgrading himself and leaving the rest of us in cattle. But I assure him that if he doesn’t take me with him in Business our alliance on this holiday is over. Before Baz blows the best part of a Rolex watch Geeta gives him the eye of, ‘You guys have got to be fucking kidding me’ and we all pipe down back to the reality that we are total brats.

Time to get on the plane and THANK GOD it’s basically empty. I dart for the window seat, Annie the toilet seat, Baz his own row entirely and Geeta as far away from the madness as possible. 7 hours of alone time, bliss.

Touch down in Dubai and it’s already 35 degrees…at 7am. For once we manage to get through passport control (without fear of Annie being deported for being a sasspot), get our luggage and find our driver with considerable ease. Spirits high for the sunshine and deliciously cool water that awaits.

But of course it wouldn’t be a Bhatia holiday unless a drama very quickly unfolded. We arrive at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, my fave spot in Dubai. The food, the pool, the beach, the rooms, the views, THE PILLOWS – it’s what dreams are made of. Annie and I swipe our room cards and dash up to not waste any tanning time, begin to unpack when there is a knock at the door, ‘Excuse me madam you have been moved to another room.’ Annie and I look at each other with silent knowing, ‘Baz’. Dear Darling Dad has been up to his old upgrading tricks – despite me giving him a talking to saying please don’t make us move rooms precisely 24 hours before.

We reluctantly pack our bags and are shipped up to another room. And there he is, Baz, wit  a big grin on his face, ‘Look what my friend sorted for us’. At which point Diva Billie, having not slept for 24 hours, was unleashed. The room, as lovely as it was, was exactly the same as the one with had previously been usurped from – except the shower was smaller and the views weren’t as incredible. I know, I know, I am a bad person. At which point mum and Annie (feeling the same way but more gentle in their approach) went back to see if we could have original rooms. Strop like I sat in the room whilst the fire went off the hotel was evacuated. Is this what parental nightmares are made of? That your children might turn out like me? I apologies in advance if they do. Just put it down to be strong minded (read: stubborn asshole).

Third move of the day and we were all back to our original rooms, Baz is throwing the mother of all strops and the rest of us bolted to the water to avoid a telling off.

Sun, sea, pool, cocktails and no split contact lenses things could only get better, right?!

Stay tuned...

Fatty BB xxx

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Ready For Rehab

For those of you who think that fashion weeks are one long LOL, you are heavily mistaken. It's like running a marathon when you are the furthest thing from a natural athlete...

Fashion Month Morning Routine: 
Tears roll down my cheeks as I hit the snooze button for the fourth time, drag my tired ass out of bed, shower, brush teeth whilst checking emails and subsequently filling myself with fear, wash face.

Find black jeans amidst the floordrobe, pull out dirty socks from the foot holes, search for black roll neck that has least number of stains on it, douse in perfume for good measure. Flatten down the frizz in my hair, put Justin Beiber on to remind me of happier times, apply three layers of foundation so I appear slightly human, shout down to Cat that I will be 5 minutes when I definitely know I will be 15. Take 3 minutes to decide whether to apply mascara now or on the train, take 5 minutes to find matching socks, take 4 minutes to pick what colour lipstick to wear with my all black outfit so everyone in the office doesn't think I'm a complete hobo. Run down the stairs (this is mainly for a hurried effect) and proceed to take a further 6 minutes to decide what trainers to wear, round up all my shit for the day, deliberate over an umbrella and do the classic girl panic of 'where is my phone?!' And, ready.

Fashion Month Commute: 
Try and keep pace with Cat and she storms up the hill to the train station as I follow behind, shouting, 'Wait for me! My legs don't work! Can we get a Starbucks?!' Make it to the station whereby another host of decisions must be made - Cat wants to get the fast train because rightly so she wants to be at work on time. But the fast train means no seat, no bar to hold on to and a likelihood of me falling into a much smarter looking man. Obviously I want to go on the slow train: you get a seat, you can have a snooze, I can try and wipe at least 30 emails from my inbox or scroll Instagram until my thumbs start to twitch and roll into work 2 minutes before start time. Winner.

It's a coin toss - either I endure the severe lack of personal space, or I throw a strop and make Cat get on the slow train with me. The latter is much more likely.

Fashion Month AM Work Routine:
The pace of the morning continues with the same 'I'm about to lose my mind' vibes. It's a blur of spreadsheets, emails, call-ins, hiding in the cupboard to avoid our Production Editor. My fingers typing so fast to blast through the storm of emails that the £30 manicure I just paid for is chipped. The first deep breath of the day...

Fashion Month PM Work Routine:
Before I know it it's 3pm and I have not even looked out the window let alone allowed fresh air into my lungs since I have got into the office. I step outside and call Geeta, inevitably the following conversation ensues:

Billie: 'Mum, I'm hungry.'
Geeta: 'Why haven't you made any lunch? Aren't you prepping your meals? I thought you were doing Lean in 15? I bet Cat has made her lunch. Go and get something healthy.'
Billie: 'I WANT CARBS! Say it's ok! I'm tired, I don't like fashion weeks, I have no life, I need to go to Waitrose and buy chicken but it's at least a 7 minute walk. Can you come and visit me? Can you come and cook for me? Can you buy me some chicken? Can you buy me a present? I've been thinking about my birthday, have you seen those Burberry backpacks?... Is dad there?!'

It's safe to say delirium has hit. After a 10 minute conversation of promising Geeta I will get my life in order after fashion weeks have been and gone, I don't have the capacity to think about what to have for lunch and head back to the office for my 6th packet of popchips for the day, because it's basically air, right?!

The next 6 hours are a combination of the following: organising show tickets, organising cars, building an online gallery, scheduling in my social media posts, researching an online article, the second hefty scroll of Instagram for the day, staring at a screen trying to think of ideas for my June copy, panicking that I have nothing to wear for London fashion week and more importantly the ELLE Style Awards, deciding what I want for dinner, debating whether to hit up the cupcake stash that someone has sent in, chasing tickets for fashion weeks and answering a million questions that I definitely don't know the answer to. This is about how successfully I do all of the above...

Fashion Month Home Time: 
By 9pm Kirsty and I call it quits, I call Baz to tell him what a hideous day I have had and I know he will tell me to get an uber home, that's all the go ahead I need....and request. Cheese on toast beckons and then to bed. An episode of Suits reminds me that I could have been a lawyer and what am I doing in this crazy fashion world. I dwell over life as a wannabe Rachel Zayne, ignoring the fact I was horrible at law and Rachel Zayne's waist is the same size as my arm. Deep sigh. Look at my alarm and have small weep that it's been weeks since I've had my full (and very necessary for optimum functioning) eight hours:

And so this routine continues for 6 weeks. Do you know how many missed episodes of Suits that is? How many hours of Netflix have been brutally ripped away from me? How many bunches of coriander I have seen wilt in my fridge? And how many avocados I have sacrificed to the smush gods? Too many to count.

BUT we did it, we made it through. We created the most colour coordinated schedule that was occasionally followed. All editors were returned safe, sound and mildly sane to London, no one missed Chanel, I made it to nearly all my London shows, I got far too drunk every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I interviewed Alber Elbaz at the ELLE Style Awards and took the best selfie of my life, got hideously drunk, ended up in Raffles, entered McDonalds into my uber destination and felt zero regrets. But most of all I got to wear Giles and felt like a mother fucking princess.

But now, time for Netflix, sleep and back to regularly washing my hair.

Until next season I will cherish my sanity.

Fatty BB xx