Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Early Bird Catches The Worm..

...But the night owl writes blogs at 1am, and gets the last bit of brownie.

I have never been a morning person, there is absolutely no fight in me in the morning to get up and go, I just love sleep too much. Every night I calculate exactly how much sleep I am going to get,  anything less than 7 and I'm furious with the morning already. I am lucky that it takes me a matter of seconds to fall asleep, and that I have to ability to sleep anywhere (only topped by Kate who can even fall asleep at dinner).  Car, train, tube, the fashion cupboard, the stock shelves at my old's a blessing and a curse.

Annie and I  used to have to catch the bus at 7:15am to get to school, because we conveniently went to a school 15 miles away.  Every morning Annie (the good child) would be downstairs, dressed, looking smart and polished at 6:50am. Breakfast, Hang Time and 10 minutes of pacing up and down the kitchen in a panic that I would make her miss the bus would ensue. I thought that was a complete waste of time so I would stumble down the stairs half dressed looking pretty bleary eyed desperately seeking my shoes I had so carlessly kicked off the night before. I would be greeted with a: 'For god's sake Billie we are going to miss the bus!' a pieces of toast thrust into my hand and pushed into the car. We would always make the bus (because Geeta was a bad ass) and I would wearily make my way to the back and fall straight back to sleep. 10 minutes before we arrived at school I would get a thump to the arm - signalling I needed to tame my fro before I was to be seen coming off the bus with my clearly WAY cooler sister. Come 4pm I was in my element, full of beans and bouncing but not a minute before.

Sometimes I envy those morning people. The ones taking fresh-faced selfies at the gym at 6am and instagramming pics of their poached eggs and avacado for breakfast whilst I struggle to get my legs to work at 9am.  Hitting them slightly manically as I walk up the hill to the tubepleading with the buggers to please wake up and work.  (It's really just a 200m very gentle incline but 'hill' sounded more effective).

How I feel about mornings...

Geeta - a morning person. Baz, Annie (post 16), Billie and Ashwin - night olws. I get super excited to go back to Leicester mainly I can wind Annie up all weekend by making Chester follow me around the house instead of her, and declaring that I am his favourite. But forget having a lie in.

8:30am you awakened by the sound of the dishwasher being (deliberately) unloaded extra loud, plates clattering across the kitchen and the cries of Chester sat at the bottom of the stairs waiting for someone to come and play with him, because he really is the most spoilt animal in the world.

9:00am and it's the bellow of 'Annie, Billie, Ashwin....time to get up!' At which point Geeta is completely ignored. We all rollover (Baz included, he's the worst) and try to dismiss the cupboard banging coming from the kitchen.

9:30am and Geeta goes to the one thing guaranteed to stir some movement from us all 'BREEEAAAKKKKFFFAAASSSSTTTT!' Done, we're down. Essentially food...the only way to get the Bhatias into action.

To me morning people are the matcha tea drinking, organic-raw-vegan-superfood eating, do-trialathons-for-shits-and-gigs kind of people. I have basically just described half of the ELLE team. The people whose instagram is a beautifully curated page of vegetables and juices and pictures of their #SundayFunday 284739k run. I hugely admire and despise these people in equal measure.

The world has gone superfood mad and it's you early birds I blame for it all. What happened to just eating fruit? Why does it have to be pulverised to be good for you now? What if I want to drink water that is not at room temperature infused with cucumber and lemon? What if I just want ice cold water? Or what if I eat a salad that is not sprinkled in bee pollen? Or snack on a plain old carrot for Sainsbury's - not a £4 raw, organic, superfood, common cold curing Whole Foods carrot. A carrot is still a carrot you perky morning people. Now pass the hummus.

The kind of shiz morning people make time to do:

I am a night owl through and through. My hours of genius fall between 4pm - midnight. I am much more suited to a European lifestyle - someone tell BBB I need to be relocated to Lake Como asap. I bet they don't put fucking bee pollen on their pasta. Night owls are more fun than their early birdy counterparts: we can watch more Netflix episodes, stay awake late enough to warrant midnight snacks and are always ready for a night out. Plus who wants to catch a worm when they can have the last piece of brownie because everyone else is asleep?

So whilst all you morning pigeons have called it quits for the day, us owlies are doing this:

Realistically though this is what we are doing...

I thought living with early birds might help me in the transition to having more productive mornings, but not so surprisingly it hasn't. Kate and Juliet used to leave the house before I even woke up, and whilst I totally love belting out Whitney in the shower with no one to disturb me I wondered what life would be like as an early bird. So when Cat my new housemate and fellow ELLE cadet joined the Richmond Retreat I decided to give early birding a go. For 2 whole weeks we got into work an hour early, made lunches and had it not been fashion month there would have been more than a 1% chance of us leaving on time. I enjoyed it but the novelty of being the first in to pick my desk is wearing off. I pick sleep, late nights, and midnight writing snacks (I'm lying to you, I'm not writing I'm watching Netflix).

Either way I have decided I don't want the worm, I'm happy with the brownie or more likely in our house: mini cheddar.  The only person I will change my nighttime stripes for is Gosling and since he's lost my number. I will not be insta-bullied into a life of early bird organic raw veg, and when I live in Como with George you will all be wishing you were more owl.

Until then...another episode of House awaits.

Fatty BB xxx

Monday, 13 July 2015

The Glastonbury Guide

In case you missed it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Air Mail...I went to Glastonbury AND survived. As like everything else in my life this post is late. I can't help it, no really I can't. I am late to everything. But now thanks to Glastonbury I have a valid reason for this - wait for it.

Lesson number one: Glastonbury is BIG

So when I told BBB I was going to Glasto he totally lolled in my face. More than lolled, he howled - a slap the table, eye watering kind of laugh. I will admit it, I am a 5* all-luxuries-included kind of gal, but when the going get's tough....pack enough Crème de la Mer miniatures and pretend you're at The Ritz right?

My first experience of camping came when I went on a road trip across America, and we decided that we would camp in Arizona. When conversation turned to 'just pitch up a tent on the side of the highway' I thought best to intervene and explain that if I was going to camp I had to be eased into the process - that meant running water and flushing toilets AT LEAST. Funnily enough half an hour later we stumbled upon a camp site with all of the above, plus electricity, a swimming pool, hot tub and a whole gang of winnebago families offering us bacon sandwiches. It was like I had planned it or something...

When we were discussing Glasto plans I immediately suggested Camp Kerla which was the Jo Malone of glamping but (devastatingly) weighing in it £10,000 for 5 days, the Hermes dream was still winning. Instead we went with Worthy View where your tent is already set up (which we aptly named 'Drunk In Love') and that was about all we knew about Worthy View. That was until I got an email a couple of weeks before the festival started that read a little like this...

Worthy View Campsite Location:

Worthy View Campsite is at the South of Glastonbury Festival site, situated above the Stone Circle Field. It is approx. 250m up the (steep) hill from Pennard Hill Gate and we recommend it is not suitable for wheelchairs or children’s pushchairs. Please come prepared for the fact the gradient of the foot path is STEEP.

Two mentions of the word 'steep' and one capitalised. Fucking capitalised. I feared that the Glasto climb was going to be way, way worse than Moraira Mountain. I envisaged riding on a sledge down to the Stone Circle and painfully crying with my ski poles as I navigated my way back up. I called Geeta and almost vommed at the thought. 

As the time came closer to Glasto I started to have a minor melt down: What to wear? What to pack? How to pack? How was I going to survive 5 days without a shower? Can I fit an airbed in the tent? Will I make it into Kanye's posse? How am I going to get up the mother fucking hill?! I dragged Geeta to the supermarket and bought all the necessities I could think of: 3 litres of vodka, 6 packets of baby wipes and really gave myself a pat on the back for remembering a torch.

The night before we kicked off to Glasto the packing commenced. Of course everyone else had done their packing miles in advance and I was the idiot trying to cram four pairs of wellies into my backpack at 2am. Despite googling packing hacks to ensure that I could squeeze in all 5 floral headbands without crushing them, I decided the only solution was to sack off one pair of wellies and substitute them for my Timberlands (to complete my gangster outfit in anticipation of Kanye). Finally after half an hour of agonising over which red lipstick to take I decided to get a fucking grip, tip them all into my bag and try and get some sleep.

5am came far too quickly and as predicted I was the last one to have my shit together and stumble into the car. 3 hours (napping) later we arrived at Worthy View. Not a single shred of traffic in sight - 1st Glasto win. Unloaded the car and and traipsed all of 5 minutes to our campsite  - 2nd Glasto win. There were even people equipped with wheelbarrows to help you carry your booze to your tent - 3rd Glasto win. And finally our 'Drunk In Love' (which was actually 'Drunken Love' aka the Slut Tent' looked like this...

Drunken Love. 

And so the adventure began. I managed it up and down the hill sans ski poles and with only one near tumble, a couple of close heart attacks, three strops and a few tears.  I wore almost all the wellies I had packed, I walked for actual miles - basically came back with legs like Gisele. I didn't get tangled in all my fringing, I made it through Kanye without being thrown to the floor, I nailed my 14 year old dance routine to Mary J Blige and I managed to stomach Malibu for breakfast every day.

Things to note for next year:

  • Worthy view has actual proper portaloos - this is worth the climb every day.
  • Worthy view has showers, again - I will gladly pound that mountain for a quick douche.
  • 6 packs of wet wipes and 3 packs of make up wipes is excessive.
  • Wear more colour. Black is good for hiding my dribbled rum and coke but doesn't quite have the festival fashion nod.
  • Cheesy chips, as good as they might be, are a real hinderance when trying to dance like Beyoncé right after consuming. 
  • Any kind of food is a legitimate breakfast food. 
  • Don't be afraid of the mud, in fact jump in a puddle every now and then to really look like you have immersed yourself in the experience. 
  • Do not wear flannel shirts in intense heat. 
  • Similarly do not wear flannel shirt in intense rain with no coat - the wringing out process is laborious. 
  • WATER. Drink water. Interspersed with Malibu, obvs.
  • Do not do laughing yoga on a full bladder
  • Do not get your palms read for fear they will tell you that your spirit animal is a tortoise and NOT an elephant as previously presumed for 25 years. Such palm-reader might also tell you you are slow at life, you are a chocoholic and that you are a keen gardener. There was no mention of Gosling, my prince charming and a happily ever after - he didn't get me at all. 

Laterz G-Bury. 

Glasto 2016, I'm ready for ya.

Fatty BB xxx

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The Big Reveal...

...I'm moving to New York to live the Sex And The City Dream. Joke.

...I found Fitz from Scandal and it was mutual love at first Presidential sight. Joke. 

...I make dolllaaarrrr. Joke. 

...I'm totally into raw, vegan, Matcha tea kinda food now. Major joke. 

I'm stopping the fake reveal now because it's depressing me. The big reveal is that I have written a piece for July issue of ELLE. 

It doesn't sound so great now that I have thrown Fitz into the mix. It's also probably not a big reveal for many of you as I have hyperventilated this news to you over the phone and made you promise you will buy a copy. If only there was a self-promote emoji, me and Nick Grimshaw would own that. When this article writing information is entered into the grand scheme of world-defining-moments it is probably pretty insignificant. In fact as I was told last weekend my job is in fact completely obsolete. That boy was NOT allowed to share my tequila. He can go back to saving the world (he is a marine so I will give him that) and I can go back to making 'Romantic Gothic' themed mood boards, and trying to explain how much I want to be a Chloé girl this season and a Givenchy girl next season to Kate and Juliet. 

So it transpired that our Deputy Editor read my blog and thought I was pretty lols, so she asked me to write a piece for the magazine. Seeing as I can really only write about myself (because it's all about me, right?) that was the basis for the piece. 2000 words, a couple of edits, some VERY probing questions and a hideously awkward photo shoot later it is ready for the world to see. 

I had always dreamt of being published, but I also dreamt of being a professional squash player and that dream tanked. So I wasn't holding this one up on a pedestal. And when I mean I dreamt of being published, I mean I convinced Baz I was going to be the next J K Rowling. But when I realised all my ideas were essentially her ideas that dream tanked too. So when this opportunity came around I couldn't quite believe it. No, really I couldn't. I kept asking 'Are you sure?' 'Yeah but are you sure sure?' Clearly wanted to show off my eloquent grammar. 

As the news spread questions like 'Are you a writer?' were asked.  Cue pug face and totally mature response like: 'whhhaaattttt. I'm not even a grown up, don't ask such silly questions.' Just for visual reference... 

Bitch, please. 
I genuinely believed my writing career peaked in Year 8 when I won the Literature Award for the book I didn't even read. Smashed it. Who actually read those books about the girl that had a moth that followed her around and had NOTHING to do with Northern Lights? Or maybe my literary peak was my very first piece of published work, when I was 6 and I won a poetry competition (I didn't have many friends) for my poem entitled 'Conkers'. 

The literary career certainly took a nose dive in GCSEs when I was too busy trying out all of MAC's brightest eyeshadows to read Silas Marner. And even if I did make up for it in the final exam I was essentially doomed for any kind of Nobel Literary Prize when I was predicted a B for my A-Levels. If you have met Baz you know a B is as good as a F. In fact my English teacher had so much faith in my ability that when it came to A-Level results day and I told him that I had superseded his prediction and miraculously got full marks, he told me there must have been some mistake at the examining board. I checked, there wasn't. 

Having had my dream of studing English at University dashed thanks to that tarnished B prediction (and thinking Latin was a good backup plan) I took matters into my own hands. I would charge my housemates dinners in exchange for me proof reading/rewriting their essays. Waitrose dinners got extra attention and semi colons. I mean I also translated Latin into English and had to comment on texts that were in a dead language that no one speaks/understands/knows anything other than Caecilius est in horto, but that's as good as an English degree right? 

So here we are 58 blog posts and a 4 page spread later. I still don't think that makes me a writer. I think that makes me lucky...and hugely self indulgent. Either way the 6 year old 'Conkers' writer is ridiculoulsy excited and the B predictee is shitting it. 

So please all do me a favour: buy the July issue of ELLE (out Thursday), quickly whip over the page of my bulging thighs and (hopefully) enjoy. 

(Holding my breath until Thursday) Fatty BB xxx

Monday, 6 April 2015


I have become that person that has dedicated their life to a box set. I count down the hours at work not because I am bored or because I don't want to be there, but because it is eating in my time that could be spent watching Scandal: agonising over the aching love story between Olivia and Fitz, lusting over her array of Prada bags and most importantly taking note on how to become the next Directory of CIA, President's Chief of Staff or a crisis fixer. My lack of Green Card is the only hinderance I can think of for any of these positions.

I blame Annie for all the above. This is her revenge for Gossip Girl, I'm convinced...or I could be so sucked into Scandal I am now coming up with my own conspiracy theories. I have even started talking like Olivia, I command people to do things in a fast paced kind of way and then end it with either 'handle it' or 'it's handled'. And right this very minute I have just been added to this whatsapp group...(honestly this was not planned)

The Scandal struggle is real. 

But I have decided, having watched 2 season in under 2 weeks, I need to step away from Congress and the Constitution of the United States, maybe focus on a real life election or even better, make this Bank Holiday slightly productive by writing this.

Aside from the obvious addiction the reason I have not written in so long is that once again the fashion world has taken over my life. I'm sensing that this take over doesn't ever really end. It was Fashion week - which is actually 4 weeks, in 4 different cities. Each one needs organising and each one there is a different set of people that needs organising and because fashion is a cruel mistress they very kindly leave 12 hours in between each city.

I become a monster during this time. I wake up in cold sweats in the middle of the night thinking 'shit, shit shit did I organise that meeting? Did I book that car? Did I request that ticket?' I am that wanker on the tube in the morning that despite how full it is and that someone's nose might very well be  touching mine, I will still be talking on the phone. I walk into people down Carnnaby Street because I can't peel my eyes away from my emails. I live off Popcorn, Popchips and anything else pretending to be low carb but when you consume entire boxes, which I inevitably do, it just becomes mass carbs. There is no time to think about what to wear so every day is a funeral procession of all black (also good for hiding the stains of the porridge I have dribbled down myself when trying to eat my breakfast on the move).

But this time it wasn't only London Fashion Week that was on the brain, it was also the ELLE Style Awards. The closing party to London Fashion Week and also the night before half the team were due to fly to Milan for the next leg of shows. No pressure. The question on everyone's lips during fashion week wasn't 'What shows are you seeing?' 'Did you get a Burberry ticket?' 'Have you spotted Anna yet?' No. It was 'What are you wearing to the Style Awards?' As previously discussed when it comes to dressing for awards ceremonies I do not do well. I didn't have the head space to think about what I was wearing until the night before the party. So whilst everyone else had called in a killer dress, I was once again left with the dilemma of which ASOS dress has not seen the light of day in a while.

The day of the Style Awards came and it was a military operation of hair, make up, nails, outfit change for all of the team as we all had a job to do -  mine was chief instagrammer. So to my absolute delight I was to be positioned on the red carpet to snap the night away - the dream. What was even more dreamy was when I found out who was coming - Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Jennifer Saunders, Sam Smith the list went on. So instead of focussing on shows my mind shifted to solving the more imminent problem of how was I going to make them all have selfies with me?

And Rebel was at the top of the list. Ever since Fat Amy burst onto my screen and Pitch Perfect and became a staple Friday night viewing I wanted to meet her. But if I ever did what would I say? What would I do? Play it cool and pretend like it wasn't a big deal? Or completely fan girl out -  hyperventilate and profess my undying love for mermaid dancing and horizontal running.

My moment came. I could hear the paparazzi next to me shouting her name and my colleague Emma who was interviewing her was mouthing 'breathe' to me before I 100% lost my shit. She came over and I froze, I couldn't move,  I couldn't say anything I was completely star struck. Then Emma - the wonder woman that she is - seeing that I might pass out, turned to Rebel and said 'Would you like to meet Billie she's a big fan'. My muted bubble was burst and I introduced myself, we exchanged compliments on our dresses and then she asked me...'Do you want to get a photo?'

I was bounding off the walls so much so I didn't even notice the brownies everyone was handing around (I made up for that later). I was jut shoving my phone in anyone's face that would look. My night was made even better when I was told that (after some hardcore grovelling) I was allowed to go on set for the cover shoot with Rebel the next day. If you haven't seen the should pay more attention to my instagram game.

I arrived just in time for lunch (obvs) and when I opened the door Rebel was stood on the other side of the studio and she waved at me. SHE WAVED AT ME. SHE REMEMBERED ME. I didn't get too involved on the shoot, I was too busy eyeing up the pavlova. I strategically sat myself down where the only obvious place for Rebel to sit was next to me. We talked over lunch like gal pals. We chatted about her house that she's building, what she has been doing in London and most importantly about how after meeting Jennifer Saunders at the Style Awards they are going to do a film together, and in the end we both agreed I would be part of this venture too.

When I finally read the cover interview in this month's mag (total plug, go buy it now) my love for Rebel was cemented. She is brilliant. Clever, witty, funny and her siblings are called Riot, Liberty and Annarchi - enough said. What I did learn from her is this: her size is not a hinderance to her, nor is it even an issue, because right now she is the best at her game and the way she looks has absolutely nothing to do with it. She has inspired me to #BeMoreRebel, to maybe step away from the box sets for a while and basically...crush it. I won't become the President by sitting on my arse.

Here's to you, Rebel.

Fatty BB xxx