On the first day of autumn, my wardrobe gave to me

On the first day of autumn

My wardrobe gave to me

Everything in black and dark green.

 

On the second day of autumn

My wardrobe gave to me

Two boyfriend coats

And everything in black or dark green.

 

On the third day of autumn

My wardrobe gave to me

Three black jeans

Two boyfriend coats

And everything in black or dark green.

 

On the fourth day of autumn

My wardrobe gave to me

Four pairs of tights

Three black jeans

Two boyfriend coats

And everything in black or dark green.

 

On the fifth day of autumn

My wardrobe gave to me

FIVE TURTLENECKS

Four pairs of tights

Three black jeans

Two boyfriend coats

And everything in black or dark green.

 

On the sixth day of autumn

My wardrobe gave to me

Six leather jackets

FIVE TURTLENECKS

Four pairs of tights

Three black jeans

Two boyfriend coats

And everything in black or dark green.

 

On the seventh day of autumn

My wardrobe gave to me

Seven pairs of black boots

Six leather jackets

FIVE TURTLENECKS

Four pairs of tights

Three black jeans

Two boyfriend coats

And everything in black or dark green.

 

On the eighth day of autumn

My wardrobe gave to me

Eight giant cardis

Seven pairs of black boots

Six leather jackets

FIVE TURTLENECKS

Four pairs of tights

Three black jeans

Two boyfriend coats

And everything in black or dark green.

 

On the ninth day of autumn

My wardrobe gave to me

Nine party outfits

Eight giant cardis

Seven pairs of black boots

Six leather jackets

FIVE TURTLENECKS

Four pairs of tights

Three black jeans

Two boyfriend coats

And everything in black or dark green.

 

On the tenth day of autumn

My wardrobe gave to me

Ten massive jumpers

Nine party outfits

Eight giant cardis

Seven pairs of black boots

Six leather jackets

FIVE TURTLENECKS

Four pairs of tights

Three black jeans

Two boyfriend coats

And everything in black or dark green.

 

On the eleventh day of autumn

My wardrobe gave to me

Eleven knitted dresses

Ten massive jumpers

Nine party outfits

Eight giant cardis

Seven pairs of black boots

Six leather jackets

FIVE TURTLENECKS

Four pairs of tights

Three black jeans

Two boyfriend coats

And everything in black or dark green.

 

On the twelfth day of autumn

My wardrobe gave to me

Twelve blanket scarves

Eleven knitted dresses

Ten massive jumpers

Nine party outfits

Eight giant cardis

Seven pairs of black boots

Six leather jackets

FIVE TURTLENECKS

Four pairs of tights

Three black jeans

Two boyfriend coats

And everything in black or dark green.

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A selection of things that people who work in startups do

Startups. Cool products, remote working, dogs in the office, ping pong tables, trainers and checked shirt combos, free breakfast and good coffee whilst surrounded by oodles of innovation and brilliant brains. It’s no wonder that they’re are all the rage right now.

From the outside, this work hard/play hard game wrapped up in quirky branding gives much to be desired. On the inside, there’s still all that workplace stuff that everyone hates. It’s just that it’s the startup version. So it’s ok, right? Wrong. Here’s a selection of things that people who work in startups do that if you don’t laugh at, you’ll cry.

1. Storm around the office like an important hurricane, carrying an open laptop in one hand and a KeepCup (full, courtesy of the latest organic coffee subscription service) in the other. Time is important, and it must be optimised. And people must know that your important time is being optimised. So stomp loudly because after all, he who stomps the hardest leaves the biggest footprint on the company, right?

2. Set their Slack status to a super cool and fun emoji that really does just sum up their whole personality. Dinosaur? Edgy. Elephant? Traveller. Cat? Psycho. Popcorn? Banter.

3. Send emails to the social team (cc’ing in their boss and their boss’s boss) about that super-hot-right-now influencer your wife saw on Instagram, putting forward a hugely detailed case study about how you think this would be a great opportunity for the brand if we could somehow collaborate with them. Cue an email from the boss’s boss saying, “great work, Finance Analyst. Social team, can we jump on this one as soon as?”

4. Be a vegan.

5. Laugh uproariously and fire off a departmental email when someone sends work in Microsoft Word. This the future, mate, we use Google Docs now. This company needs real work with real impact arriving in real time. This is collaboration. We’re all collaborators. Are you not collaborative?

6. Bring back some form of sticky snack from a recent exotic expedition to remind everyone of how cool, successful and brilliant of you it is that you and your fianceé just spent three weeks hiking, biking and kayaking in Peru. No one wants your cultured cashews Brian, we can go and buy our own in Tesco.

7. Write everything in lowercase. There is no TIME for punctuation when you’re disrupting the world of [INSERT ‘ALREADY-RUNNING-QUITE-SMOOTHLY THANKS’ INDUSTRY]. Plus, disrupting the grammar rules is cool and edgy too, is it not? All the young people on Twitter are doing it. And all the smoothie brands are.

8. Sport facial hair and/or a man bun.

9. Send emails to the marketing team about how [INSERT OTHER COOL STARTUP HERE] is ‘hacking growth’ right now, so you thought you’d share some of the top tips your PR friend Lucy heard at one of their events last night and Whatsapped you this morning. Cue an email from the boss’s boss saying “great work, People Manager. Marketing team, can we jump on this one as soon as?”

 

So, still fancy it?

I went out with a guy for 2 years and the best thing he taught me was this supernoodle hack

I once dated a boy who led a very sheltered culinary life. He was lovely, he was kind and he made me very happy for a very large portion of my university life. He made me laugh, he made me cry and he also made me some very questionable meals.

As is so often the case of many men who are brought up on their mother’s cooking and no one else’s, his culinary bandwidth was very small. He ate curry from a can, chilli from a tin and soup from a packet. He also ate supernoodles. Frequently.

This meant, naturally, that I did too. Our post-lecture Thursday evening dinner options would consist of the array of Bachelor’s finest flavours found in his kitchen cupboard – an MSG lover’s heaven – that you’d have to climb over several bin bags and teabag mountains to reach.

He’d make a big song and dance over the preparation, each time telling me that there was ‘a total knack to it, Em’ and ‘a secret special way’ to ‘maximise flavour’. This hack, is one of such culinary wizardry, that you’ll wonder whether this article is a confession that I dated one of the hosts of Sunday Brunch.

To this day, if ever I’m in the mood where you just want to eat something entirely unhealthy, uninspiring and guilt-full, I use his hack. And it goes a little something like this:

Supernoodles, student boyfriend style

  1. Select packet of supernoodles from the cupboard stash your mother bought you the last time she came to visit.
  2. Double check the supernoodle instructions, despite having religiously participated in this routine for the last 2 years.
  3. Take the noodles out of the pack, whilst frantically looking round to see if there’s a clean bowl available.
  4. Put the slab of noodles into the now-wet bowl you just rinsed 2-day-old spaghetti bolognese out of.
  5. Punch the noodles, so that they break into quarters.
  6. Boil the kettle, thinking that it would’ve been much better if you’d done this before step 6 in the recipe.
  7. Pour the boiling water over the noodles, wondering how high you can pour it in the bowl before it makes the noodles float.
  8. Mop up spilled water.
  9. Put bowl of noodles in the horrifically stained microwave, without thinking about the last time it was cleaned.
  10. Wait for 4 mins.
  11. Begin to drain water from the bowl, before realising the bowl is burning your hands.
  12. Return to bowl-draining, this time with the last scrap of kitchen role as your fingertip protector.
  13. Once bowl is empty, save for a tiny amount of water at the bottom, give it a stir with a slightly crusty fork.
  14. And here’s the hack. At this point, and ONLY at this point do you add the sachet of flavour powder. If you add it before, like the packet says, you’ll drain away the majority of the flavour in the water, which is just a waste of taste.

So there you have it. Add the sachet last. And as you sprinkle it on like salt bae, take a moment to thank and think of the boy who once drank brine from the tuna can.

15 things you’ll hear on a ski holiday

It’s ski season. It’s the holiday that boasts the antithesis of relaxation, that leaves you needing another holiday to recover from it when you arrive home. And yet, we love it. Fasten your seatbelts to your ears, because we’re about to take a trip down memory lane (or preparation, if you’re a ski holiday newbie) and visit 15 of the things you’ll hear on a ski holiday.

1. “Right everyone, we need to be up for the first lift.”

Let’s get one thing straight: this is not a holiday for relaxing. If the first lift opens at 8:45, then this means you need to be up and ready by 1am. Everyone sets an alarm. Everyone sets 5 alarms, actually. The designated leader of the group (let’s call her Martha) will set their alarm 5 mins before everyone else’s alarm, so that everyone definitely knows Martha’s in charge and running this snow show (shnow?). You’ll want to get a good night’s sleep, skiing’s exhausting, but make sure it’s accompanied by enough anxiety and tension about the possibilities of (god forbid) missing the first ski lift. Otherwise you’ll be in trouble with Martha.

2. “You’re making us late for the first lift.”

Ok yes, but the thing is with skiing is that you must cover yourself in the ludicrous layers of thermals, base-layers, mid-layers and fleeces before you can even think about putting on your coat. Also there’s snoods to think about – do you put that on before the fleece? Before the hat? After the jacket? Who the fuck knows. Also don’t forget about gloves – not the ski gloves (it’s not time for that yet), but the normal gloves that transport your hands to the bottom of the lift at a tepid temperature.

3. “Ok, tomorrow we’re getting the first lift.”

Well it was always going to happen wasn’t it? Getting everyone up, ready and out to catch an 8:45am lift on a holiday was an outrageously bold assumption to make. It’s hard enough making it to work by 8:45 most days. You’re on a later lift, with a few more people (you had to queue, ugh) and now it’s time to sort out the whole glove situation.

4. “Hang on, I need to just get my gloves on.”

You’ve worked up a sweat lugging your skis, poles or snowboard to the first lift and OH MY GOD THESE BOOTS ARE SO UNCOMFORTABLE WHY HAS NO ONE DESIGNED COMFIER ONES YET IT’S 2018 FOR GOD’S SAKE so you thought you’d take your gloves off. Hands get hot, you know? But now you’ve got to put them on again, at the same time performing the elite acrobatic act of trying not to drop your poles. You could put the gloves on when you get to the top, but that eats into valuable skiing time and Martha won’t like that. Best do it now.

5. “Cold, isn’t it?”

You’ve breezed/hurled/zoomed/inched your way down the first few slopes, and whilst you’re catching your breath back at the bottom, (it almost feels like exercise sometimes, doesn’t it?) someone’s observed that it’s cold. On a snow-capped mountain. Unbelievable. Martha can’t believe it. No one can believe it. And now because someone’s said it – you can’t believe it either. Part of you thinks that if you’d come up the slopes a little later and not aimed for the first lift, you’d have skied through a much warmer part of the day, which would’ve been nice. Best not say it out loud though, Martha might smack you with her pole.

6. “Is it time for coffee yet?”

It’s too cold now, and by 10:30am there’s a cry for coffee. You mutter that you came on a ski holiday to ski, not to sit around drinking coffee, but after a sharp leftwards nod from Steven, you realise that this might get you in trouble with Martha. Coffee it is then.

Once you get to overpriced slope-side shack, someone’s shouting “WHO WANTS TO MAKE THIS COFFEE IRISH?” at you, pulling out a hip flask of whiskey. You find yourself wondering whether you can really call it ‘making it Irish’ if it’s not Irish whiskey. And why’s that Irish anyway? If you poured whiskey on a dog does it become an Irish dog? Also, you’ve seen it spelled ‘whiskey’ and ‘whisky’ too, so which one is this one? Oh god, just drink it. You can Google it later.

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 19.09.31.png

 

7. “Wow, look at that mountain.”

Steven will point out mountains as if he’s addicted to it. He’ll point them out on lifts, at bars, just outside the chalet, on a different lift and midway down a slope, closely followed by a “WHAT?” from you, because it’s very hard to have a conversation whilst skiing down a mountain at 25 mph. Which you’d think Steven would know. And even as the week progresses, his mountain observations won’t lessen. The correct response here is, “Wow, yeah”. Then ski away.

8. “Is it time for a beer and/or mulled wine yet?”

As soon as 11:45am hits, you’ve moved into ‘acceptable full alcoholic beverage consumption’ territory – not just making things Irish. These words will be spoken, and will sometimes be followed by a bold, “Well it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, isn’t it?!”. Sometimes, they won’t be followed by that, and those are the times you have to hold onto. The good times. Again, now is not the time to mention to Martha that you came on a ski holiday to ski, and that there might be plenty of time for this sort of thing in the evenings, after ski slopes and lifts are closed.

9.”Shall we get the map out?” 

Ah yes, the mysteriously magical map of illegibility. One of the best things in life is watching a group of furrowed brows ponder over a map they clearly can’t read, making assertive statements to the rest of the group to prove that out of everyone, they know this resort like the back of their gloved hand. You’ve only done like, 3 slopes anyway – why do they want to get all adventurous and start edging to the farthest corners of the map, when you don’t even know what the slopes nearby have to offer? Again, this one’s not for you. Just squint, nod occasionally, say “hmm” and agree with whatever Martha says.

10. “Do you want some Vaseline?”

Be careful, for this is a trick question. Martha has her Vaseline out, and she wants you to have some. However, this means you’ll need to take your gloves off to apply it, because for some reason she’s gone and bought the tin one instead of the stick. And if you take your gloves off, it’ll eat into the ski time. Here, the correct answer is: “Ah, thank you! But I brought my own.” Magic. You’re welcome.

11. “Oh god, it’s so nice to sit down, isn’t it?”

It’s a wonder why anyone even bothers to go on a ski holiday at all. The sheer exhaustion after just one run, forces this phrase to arrive in your ears just as your bum is scooped up by the chairlift and plonked down onto a selection of either old, spongy cushion or new, alarming plastic. Every. Single. Time. And yes, it is nice to sit down Steven, but it’s even nicer to do it without your comfort commentary.

12. “What are our dinner plans?”

This one’s a hint. And it’s compulsory that you take it. This means the day of skiing is almost done, and you’re about to begin navigating your way back to the bottom of your resort. The group will throw around ideas of various restaurants they’ve walked past whilst perusing the village and Martha will immediately search each name on TripAdvisor, running a quick analysis of the credibility of the reviews. Ultimately, the restaurant will be chosen based on it’s selection of cheese-based meals. Steven wants a two-person fondue all to himself, and you’re in no position to tell him he can’t.

13. “Oh god, it’s SO good to get these boots off!”

The boots are off. Cue choruses of:

  • “Oh my god.”
  • “Aaaaaaaghhhh.”
  • “Yyyyyyeessssss.”
  • “Ohhhh my feet feel sooooooo good.”
  • “There really is a distinct ‘ski boot smell’, isn’t there?”
  • “Sweet releeeeease!”
  • “I can’t believe I’ve been in these all day!”
  • “These hiking boots feel like slippers in comparison!”

14. “I think I’ve eaten too much cheese.”

You know what Steven, I think you might be onto something there. Could it have been the two-person cheese fondue you just ate by yourself? Or maybe the tartiflette you had for lunch? It’s all a bit strange, isn’t it? Quick, someone call Scooby Doo and the gang – we’ve a mystery to solve.

15. “So where are we going next year?”

As you all trudge back to the chalet, with your heads ready to plummet into the pillow, Martha’s already searching AirBnb for good deals for next year. You’ll have to get in quick for the cheap prices, she says, so everyone needs to make a decision by the end of this week. It’s tough, because you do love skiing. But is a year really enough time to get over this week, before doing it all over again?

 

How to be out of office, and act like it too

You’ve finally done it. After what feels like eternity, you made it through the endless cycle of the meetings (an hour of people saying the words: objectives, KPIs and touch base), standups (meetings masquerading as something edgier and inclusive), and powwows ( still meetings but take place at your desk so you can’t escape) you thought would never end.

Your freshly pedicured toes step out of the office door, onto the pavement of hope and dreams as you breathe in the freshly polluted air of freedom: because you, are about to be out of office.
You’ve set yourself a slightly salty, ‘see ya later fuckers’ out of office message that is mainly to tell Dramatic Dave in Marketing that ‘no, I am not available to do a ‘super-quick-one-that-I-forgot-to-tell-you-about-but-is-actually-urgent-but-is-easy-I-promise-but-actually-takes-up-half-a-day’ creative brief because I’m off having the time of my life on a yacht (pedalo) on the Côte D’Azur (Brighton), far far, far away from you in a distant land called Out Of Office.

It’s the dream. You set the response from now until the day you get back, which is so far in the future that the possibilities of change are endless: you might have decided to get bangs again, you might have adopted another dog or you might have even changed your entire look and return dressed as an extra from Avril Lavigne’s Sk8r Boi music video. Who knows – not you, but you do know it’s a ‘see you l8r boi’ to Dramatic Dave.

Sadly, the dream is not to be had. Bangs look terrible on you, you can’t possible have another dog let alone one because your flat is too small and having a garden is an unknown enigma that only parents have and Avril Lavigne is the only person who truly understood punk – and you’ll never be her. And to top it all off: there’s no such thing as truly being out of office anymore.

What’s happened to us? We close our laptops and switch off our desktops only to get onto the train and open up our emails on our phones. Whether it’s with fingers or with thumbs, we always seem to be checking in on our email inbox like we’re checking in on that girl who bullied you in sixth form’s instagram feed, to see if you’re doing better now than she is.

And holidays are no different either, there’s that one day where you think ‘I’ll just have a look…’ and suddenly you’re stressing because your emails are piling up and Dramatic Dave really does need your help on this one because you’re the only one who can do it the way he wants it done and he knows you’re on holiday but if there’s any chance you do see this could you possibly do it? You’re thinking about the pile of stuff you’re going to have to get through when you get back and before you know it, you’re almost hitting send.

It’s no good. We’re doomed. How are we ever supposed to enjoy a true digital detox away from work when we’re now succumbed to a fast and furious work culture of ‘everything is urgent and nothing can wait and everything is on fire’.

But have no fear, Emily is here. Here are 5 things you can do to make sure you actually do stay out of office:

1. Delete your work’s email app from your phone

Just for the week. Just get it off there. Avoid temptation and just get it gone, like when you’ve spent too much money this month and you have to delete the ASOS app so you don’t order that really expensive Whistles jacket whilst drunk.

2. Have your work colleague change your email password so that you can’t get on it

In case you can’t be trusted to not re-install the email app, just like you couldn’t be trusted with the ASOS app and still ordered that damn Whistles jacket anyway because your fourth G&T gave you the confidence to do so.

3. Leave your phone at home

Perhaps unrealistic. What else would our hand shaped claws cling onto on the sunbed by the pool?

4. Throw your work phone off the pedalo into the grey Brighton sea

More realistic. Would be a real middle finger up to Dramatic Dave. That would show him.

5. Attach your phone to the courier box of a Deliveroo cyclist

In fact, attach yourself to the box, eat the deliciously overpriced contents and let yourself whirled away through the traffic from the never ending cycle of work that consumes us all.

You know what, let’s face it – even going on holiday isn’t enough of a reason to ever truly be out of the office, is it? Dramatic Dave, you win. Please find attached the request from your creative brief, along with my soul.