Cars, cars and more cars – how many crappy ones can I go through before I get a decent one?

My goodness, I suck.  I mean, you know, not at everything, but definitely at choosing the wrong cars.  To date I have had eight cars.  I have been driving for twelve years.  Out of those eight cars, seven were ten years or older.  I have never been able to afford a relatively new car so I keep saving up and buying these absolute sheds that are fine when I get them, then, like the Jonah that I am, within a couple of months, things start to go horribly wrong with them, I end up plying thousands into them, probably enough to warrant getting a decent car, but you know how it is – you drop a couple hundred quid into a car and then you think it’d be a waste of money if you got a different one because you’d already put money into it, so you put more money into it to get more repairs done and it ends up being a viscous cycle that costs you a lot of money.

My most recent car is a cute little yellow Fiat 500.  They’re quite popular these days and I looked into literally hundreds of reviews about them – parts are budget, tax is cheap/free, insurance is really really, ridiculously low, fuel costs next to nothing, etc. etc.  Plus they don’t take up much space on your drive, so, bonus!

So, I took out a loan for £3750 and went to a garage that sold a little yellow sport edition Fiat 500 (2008) and I part ex’d my red Beetle (complete with huge golden Legend of Zelda Hyrule symbol decal across the bonnet) and I bought it.  I got £300 for my Beetle, which had multitude of problems and was a 2000 edition, so it was pretty darn old.

The garage fixed a few niggly things here and there for free (naturally) and for a fair few months (around eight) I was trouble free and I thought I’d finally found the car that would have little to no problems and not taunt me with its very existence.

I did have issues with its size, to be fair.  The car I had before my Beetle was a huge Honda HR-V that made me feel MASSIVE and really really safe.  So going to the Fiat started to make me feel a little uneasy after a while, especially on the motorway.

So far I have had new bulbs, four new tyres, a full new exhaust and brand spanking new brake discs and all the jazz that comes with your regular MOT fails.  I’ve spent a fair bit of money on repairs.  So imagine my absolute devastation when my car suddenly starts overheating when we’re stuck in traffic one day and what did it boil down to?  A coolant leak somewhere in the radiator which has now got so bad that I drive it to work (three miles) and by the time I get there, the coolant, which I filled to the max before I left, is empty.  It also has a multitude of electrical faults and I’m just really losing my patience with the stupid thing.

None of this was a problem really transport-wise, because I live so close to work and can get a lift in with my boyfriend, however, we found out recently that our depot is moving to the other end of the district, across a lot of country roads (and uphill) and I am now one hundred percent certain that my little crappy car will definitely not get me to work every day.  If I don’t have my car, I don’t have my job.  Simple.

I want to sell it and get a car that’s only a couple of years old, on finance.  Trouble is, I can’t sell it until I get the repairs done because obviously, I have to use the money I make from selling it, to instantly pay back the loan I took out to buy it.

So.  This brings me to my next, extremely forward topic.  They say up North, “shy bairns get nowt” so I’m just gonna put it out there and outright ask.  I have set up a donation button on my Twitch page and will be placing a donation ticker in my stream tomorrow if any kind Samaritans feel like helping a very unlucky girl out with some financial aid that will go towards fixing my stupid car so I can get rid of it once and for all before it ends up killing me, since it basically a bloody deathtrap.

Any help is massively appreciated and I will send hugs.  In fact, I’ll send hugs even if no one helps.  Just cos I love hugging people.

Kate’s Diary – 30th August – Time is a great healer

So I’ve kind of had a bit of a rocky time.  My grandad passed away on Monday morning this week and my mum took it really, really badly.  I’ve spent a while now looking after people and now I’m burnt out myself.  I kind of took a bit of a back seat these last couple days in the hope I could recharge my batteries and come back fighting, but it’s taking a while.  I also lost a friend, which still, even now, hurts like a bitch, but my grandad always said, “time is a great healer” so I will just take each day at a time and hopefully it will get easier.

I decided I would take my friend Andy’s advice (love you Andy!) and chill out and think about myself for a change so I’ve played a bit Sims, took myself out for a curry and a pint and now I’m sat cosy AF in bed (under two duvets – in August), kitty cosied up to my feet, with a lovely glass of wine, listening to the Fallout New Vegas soundtrack and writing this.

And my sister, bless her, is trying to cheer me up and just sent me the best Snapchat that just nearly made me choke on my wine.

Now we’re having Snapchat wars.  Haha, you know, I think I’d quite forgotten how to smile this week up until now.  And now my other friends are joining in.  I’m so lucky to have them.

Anyway, this was just a short post, I’m going to bed now.

Goodnight everyone!

Kate’s Diary – Saturday 25th August – I flat out refuse to die in a log cabin or a big forest

I feel fucking great today. I bought an outfit last week while I was on holiday that is very fifteen-year-old-me. And I realise that sounds a little bit creepy and also a little bit like I’m clinging onto the past (which is probably because I am) but I used to love the way I dressed back then and I felt really comfortable in myself. I feel like that today, even though this outfit is like “acceptable thirty year old dressing as fifteen year old”. So I can kind of get away with it.

Guess what? I bought a NEW Chromebook! I’m using it right.now.

Last weekend I was hungover after a late night, alcohol-fuelled mini golf session with my friends. Online obviously. I hate real life mini golf, although my skills seem to be equally as bad at real life mini golf and Golf With Your Friends. Meh, I suck at games. Anyway, I digress. SO. I was hungover last weekend (really bad, like I had sick down my face and stuff – please form an orderly queue guys) and I was talking to my friends on Discord on my Chromebook and I just thought to myself, “I really want a new Chromebook. One with a touchscreen and stuff”. And this of course was me trying to cheer myself up because I was hungover. So I went on my catalogue online and bought one. Then about twenty minutes later I realised what a terrible fucking expensive hangover decision it was and cancelled the order. I returned from holiday to find that it had been delivered anyway so I figured it’d be rude not to keep it. Although I do keep forgetting it has a touchscreen (the entire reason for buying it) and I keep using the mouse anyway. I’m such a moron.

My boyfriend had a new phone delivered today by the nicest DPD guy, he was really lovely. He was like a thirty year old guy who couldn’t let go of his fifteen year old skater self so I instantly decided he was getting a good customer service Tweet. We had quite a long conversation about how bad my passport photo was but how his was even worse (not that I got to see it) and when I gave my boyfriend his phone he said, “you made quite a friend with Craig from DPD didn’t you lol”. Good times. I feel like Craig probably has an N64 and drinks chocolate milkshake a lot and I’d like to keep him but that’s just weird right? I’m such a sucker for clinging onto the past.

So anyway, Scotland was kind of rainy all week. And I didn’t bring a coat. Like, I know it’s Scotland and all, but it’s August. It’s supposed to be sunny in August. But it rained a lot. And I ate a lot. And walked a lot. And worried a lot cos it was quite remote and I’ve seen too many horror movies where a group of people stay in a log cabin and it’s all fun and games til the guy in the hockey mask starts dismembering everybody.

We went for a hike in Duke’s Forest (I think that’s what it was called anyway, I CBA to Google it right now) and we were the only people I could see for miles and all I kept thinking was, “if we lose the trail, we’re gonna die in here because, inevitably, none of us will have any signal”. I asked the others and they didn’t have any signal so I checked my own phone and OH MY GOD, not only did I have full signal but I only had full fucking 4g as well. I was like, EE, you guys are missing out on a great Kevin Bacon advert here about a spoof horror movie where it’s in a dark forest and everyone is lost and no one else has signal except for Kevin Bacon and they think they’re gonna die, but they don’t cos he’s got full 4g and just uses Google Maps to get them all out. Also, if EE release that advert I want commission.

We stayed near a place called ‘Drymen’ and my boyfriend and my sister’s husband got a taxi there for a few pints in the local pub. Their taxi driver was called “Mad Dog” and apparently he ran over one of the guys in the pub (this guy was telling the boys) when he was angry. They were also told that everyone else called him Mad Dog, but he didn’t call himself that and got really angry if anyone called him it. I think my sister’s husband called him it anyway when he was drunk in the taxi on the ride home but they came back in one piece so Mad Dog mustn’t have heard him. Mad Dog also very adamantly kept correcting them that “Drymen” wasn’t pronounced “dry men”, but “drimmen”. So the rest of the week focused heavily on my sister and the boys yelling “DRIMMEN” everywhere they went.

Anyway I’ve rattled on enough now, I’m gonna go start my little car up to drop my boyfriend and my dad off on their drinking and football escapade so I can get back and cosy up and chill out.

Can’t wait.

Painting the Girl Cave (Not a Euphemism)

I’m terrible for changing my mind.  I used to do my dad’s head in by rearranging the entire downstairs of our house on a regular basis.  He would come home from work and go to put the TV on, only for it to have reappeared at the opposite side of the room.  Sometimes I could see a flicker of confusion when he walked through the front door, which was already unlocked, into a room which now had a completely different colour scheme and furniture, wondering if he’d walked into one of our neighbours houses by mistake.

Since he moved out two years ago, my boyfriend has been the latest victim of my indecisiveness.  I’ve had him completely revamp our kitchen, living room, dining room and bathroom – I mean painting the walls a totally different colour, buying new furniture and hanging new things on the walls.

When he first moved in,  my bedroom was where his man cave is now and I had the little box room as my office.  I then decided we’d move our bedroom to the master bedroom which my dad had just vacated and I would turn my old bedroom into my girl cave, giving him my little box room for his man cave.  I rearranged my girl cave a half dozen times and then six months later I changed my mind and wanted my little box room back.  So we swapped rooms again.  I had a lot of stuff to move.

I’ve not been happy with the little room since moving back into it, it was very cold and grey and not very welcoming at all.  I had also ordered a monster of a computer desk which shortly after being assembled and used, I decided I hated and desperately wanted my old, crappy, second hand wooden PC desk back from the depths of the dusty garage.  I didn’t have the heart to tell my boyfriend that, since he nearly lost a couple of fingers and mildly missed being decapitated while erecting the new monster desk.  The desk is also black and gets dusty really quickly, which used to drive my OCD insane.  I couldn’t wait to get rid of it.  And I could see the glint in my boyfriend’s eyes at getting the opportunity of a nice new computer desk, hand-me-down PC and getting set up to be a PC gamer (sort of).

I had decided from the off that I really wanted my new theme to be calming and relaxing as opposed to funky and techie.  We went to Homebase and I trawled the paint aisle, sending my best friend photo after photo of colours that I thought might be nice – pinks, purples, baby blues and pastel greens.  I decided on a calming purple (which was reduced to £7.50 because it was discontinued – bargain) and bought some wood coloured floating shelves to replace the current nasty black ones.

My old crappy PC desk was my next project.  Back when I had my girl cave, it had been a God-awful 70’s brown colour and my boyfriend had half-assed painted it white.  It still looked awful because he had only painted where he could see.  I took two tins of pastel blue spray paint to it and covered it, before applying a candy coloured backing plastic to the top.IMG_20180804_164210

I gave my boyfriend my old TV to use as his new monitor for his PC which cleared up some space on the top of my bookshelf and made the room less heavy feeling (IMO).  I put two happy plants and a blueberry crush scented candle on the bookshelf.IMG_20180804_164238

The rest of the additions included pastel pink voiles and an LED strip which I affixed to the underside of my computer desk and set it to rainbow mode to match my keyboard.  Top this all off with a lavender air freshener plug in and my entire room suddenly radiates calm.  I love being in it.  My cat also loves it because he’s spent the last two nights stroking my voiles.  He is absolutely enamoured with my curtains.  Bless him, he doesn’t get out much.

IMG_20180804_164223

When it comes to beauty scoring, I’m a solid 6

I came across an article today about a site which analyses a photo of you and tells you how pretty you are out of one hundred. The site has recently come under fire because not only does it score you out of one hundred, but it also lists every single imperfection you have, so you can see exactly why it thinks you’re fugly (or not, if you’re lucky enough to be that person). Apparently it’s bad for peoples’ self esteem and self confidence.

Naturally I was intrigued and having had self image issues for as long as I’ve lived, I was pretty hardened to anything it could throw at me. I’ve been likened to Spock (cos of my right elf ear), Harry Potter (from when I had short hair and glasses), my dad once said I looked like E.T in skinny fit jeans (I can always rely on you to tell it how it is Dad) and my boyfriend describes me as “over the hill”. So it’s all good. Hit me with everything you’ve got PrettyScale.com.

So here’s my results. Woohoo, 60%, so not a total write off. It also specifically says I’m “good looking” – but I’m unsure if it actually means “goodlooking” or if they’re using “good” synonymously with “okay”. Like I’m “okay” looking, nothing to write home to your mother about when you meet me. The postcard home would say something along the lines of:

Mum,

Travelling the world is really great, I’m having such a whale of a time. Met this sweet girl called Kate, she’s not much to look at but she’s got a heart of gold and good sized birthing hips.

Hope to see you and Dad soon,

Love From Your Son

I can deal with that, it’s all good. But what kind of made me feel a bit taken aback and slightly hurt (by a goddamn computer algorithm, not even a human being) was the list of imperfections that came with my score. They couldn’t just give people a score and be done with it, leaving people to wonder what they lost points on, could they?

So let’s tackle my imperfections:

  • Face too long – I mean, I’ve never exactly been called “horsey” but I guess now they mention it, my face is kind of long… I’d never noticed that before;
  • Forehead too big – again, this is something I’ve never thought because I’ve mostly always had a fringe/bangs so my forehead was always covered. I even uploaded a different picture and did it again because I thought maybe the angle knocked it off, but no. Apparently my forehead is too big. Like you could park a car on it;
  • Big inter-ocular distance I had to Google this because it’s a big word, although I had an idea that it was something to do with my eyes. Basically, my eyes are too far apart. Which is weird because I actually always thought that they were too close;
  • Wide Nose – yeah, I have to hand it to ya PrettyScale, my nose is the one part of me that I can’t stand. It’s faaaar too big. But great for holding spoons;
  • Bad Face Symmetry – so wonky face syndrome. This isn’t something I had noticed before, but then again, when you look at someone else’s face in a mirror it always looks wonky. So this one kinda hurt my feelings a bit.

On the plus side, I have a “normal mouth size” and “normal chin size”. They evidently don’t do compliments because it doesn’t say anywhere anything like “your little chin is adorable”.

60% is kind of neither here nor there, nothing to shout about but also nothing to cry solidly into my pillow at night about.

My boyfriend will be happy to know this score because he always said I was a “solid 6/10”.

Update:

I’ve decided this site is bullshit. I uploaded a different photo and got this result:

Here are the two photos I uploaded.

How social media and online friendship can aid mental health and positivity

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about the rough times that lots of people around me are having, myself included. This month seems to have been a particularly crappy month for everyone in general. It’s easy to forget that most people wear their “mask of happy” (please don’t buy yours from the Happy Mask Salesman from The Legend of Zelda – he’s a bit of a con merchant) on a regular basis, purely to hide the perfectly normal and understandable emotions that we all have to deal with as part of everyday life. These feelings, until very recently have been a bit of a societal taboo and are often not widely acceptable topics of discussion. They should be. We all have shit days. We all feel down from time to time. Even people who already own a Nintendo Switch and Breath of the Wild (I promise I’m not jealous).

Mental health has started to become more acceptable in modern day life, as social media makes it easier for us to Tweet, “I need a hug, having a rubbish day”. Thankfully, because social media makes it so easy for us to reach out, it also means that the people watching on the other end of their screens can keep our chins up and make us feel better. I have lots of online friends who rather frequently find themselves sending me virtual hugs because I’m down. I do the same for them.

I find I’m genuinely surprised at the amount of people who come across as happy-go-lucky and upbeat, only to discover that it’s a facade because they’re having lots of life issues and are trying their best to maintain an appearance of Teflon – that everything bounces off them. It kind of makes me sad because those people are my friends and they’re so lovely and I hate that the world can make them sad and I can’t physically be there to give them a hug or take them for ice cream and make them feel better. But from a personal perspective, I do find that social media helps when I’m down.

This month has been a particularly difficult one for me. My boyfriend’s dad is in ill health, my immediate family are going through some tough times and we had my beloved cat at the emergency vets last weekend, to the tune of £400 in vet’s fees. He was in such distress that we couldn’t sleep for days.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been getting by on roughly three hours sleep a night, hardly eating because my appetite is close to non-existent and to top it all off we are now totally skint until payday. To say I am almost defeated is a bit of an understatement. It’s times like this that I feel as though it is never going to get better and I will be on rock bottom forever.

The reality is that it is normal for me to get the entire year’s worth of bad luck all at the same time and then be spiffy for the rest of the year. Whilst this sounds ideal, it’s pretty rough when the bad times arrive.

I once read a series of books by Phillipa Gregory based on the Plantagenets. In the series, one of the characters is alleged to be a sorceress and talks about the “Wheel of Fortune”. She claims that everyone rides the Wheel of Fortune and eventually we all get to the bottom and have a run of bad luck, but eventually, at some point, we will ride it back around to the top. I live by this because it is entirely accurate in my life. We seem to be riding the wheel at the bottom pretty hard this month. It keeps me going to think that it’s not forever and will all go back to normal soon, but I’m still battling through each day and so I appreciate the messages I get from my friends, or the video calls I get where my friends are telling me jokes or singing at me, or the stupid games of golf that have me howling laughing so quickly.

You’ve probably been in the same position, where hope seems lost. Always remember that you should never judge a person’s story when you’ve only read one chapter and that despite the fact that people might be wearing their mask of happy, doesn’t mean that you can’t still be there for them and make them feel as though they can show their real emotions in front of you and you won’t run away, you’ll be supportive and try and cheer them up and pick them up as much as you can.

Let’s start spreading that love and making sure all our friends, online, in real life or otherwise, know that we have their backs and they can lean on us. Mental health matters as much as physical health and can be the cause of a lot of physical ailments so let’s get spreading that love!

Amazingly Gross (and totally real) Ice Cream Flavours from Around the World

So whilst trawling through Twitter in my free time I came across this Tweet. And yes, it was “gag-inducing”:

I’m all for trying new things but this just flat out looks vile. And I kid you not, it’s real, no joke. It actually inspired me (after I’d stopped feeling sick) to peruse the net and see if weird ice cream flavours are actually a thing. Turns out – they are.

I compiled a few of my favourites and most disgusting flavoured ice creams below. I actually rather like ninety percent of all the foods listed, just not in ice cream format. Because that’s gross. Here we go.

#10. Cheetos

I haven’t had many dealing with Cheetos since they’re about as rare as rocking horse shit in the UK but I have tasted them before and I quite liked them. They aren’t Brannigans Ham and Mustard crisps, but they’re nice. What I don’t want however is Cheetos in ice cream format. Yuk. The brave people at Insider gave it a go though. I think it looks suspiciously just like Mr Whippy ice cream with Cheetos powder sprinkled on top.

#9. Vegetable Ice Cream Salad

Image result for vegetable ice cream salad

I’m really not a salad person. You can probably guess that. I prefer pizzas. Again, what I really don’t need in my life when I’m sticking at being unhealthy is an unhealthy form of salad. Kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it? The people at Foodmento.com don’t think so. You can grab the recipe for making their vegetable ice cream salad on their website and try it for yourself.

#8. Hawaiian Pizza

Introducing the Hawaiian Pizza Ice Cream Sandwich, Complete With Hunks of Real Spam

I don’t believe pineapple has any place on a pizza. I know lots of people would disagree with me on this one. It’s a Marmite scenario, I know this. Ham is perfectly acceptable but a curse on the house of whomever thought to add pineapple to the equation. And then a double curse to the person who took it one step too far and decided that pineapple on a pizza wasn’t enough – pineapple flavoured ice cream with chunks of spam in it, in the form of an ice cream sandwich was the way forward. You sick, sick individual.

#7. Curry and Mint

Both great flavours which I enjoy on a regular basis. Mint ice cream is also the bomb. However, I like my curries to be hot not iced. And also without mint preferably.

#6. Bacon

I’ve tried bacon flavoured chocolate in the past. It’s fucking gross. I won’t venture into the world of bacon ice cream, lest I vomit profusely.

#5. Corn on the Cob

Again, soooooo lovely to have either in summer or winter (BBQ food or nice winter warmer) – so juicy and hearty. I love corn on the cob. Corn on the cob ice cream? I mean, corn on the cob is meant to be eaten hot. Why on earth would anyone be eating this?

#4. Lobster

I’ve actually never had lobster, although I’m told it’s divine. I’m not a great lover of seafood, which is strange since I live on the beach. I genuinely feel like lobster flavoured ice cream however is a definite way to barfville. Seafood should not be an ice cream flavour for the love of God.

#3. Mayo

From the picture posted right at the start I think it’s clear why this is just gross. I love mayo and I have it with nearly everything. Just not usually my desserts.

#2. Goats’ Cheese

Goats’ cheese is one of my all time favourite cheeses. I love it so much that if someone said to me, “you have to choose one or the other – wine or goats’ cheese”, I’d be as sober as a judge from that day forward. If they asked me the same question but with goats’ cheese ice cream and wine, I’d be getting plastered every single day of my life (like usual then), wallowing in the depths of despair that if I wanted my beloved goats’ cheese I had to have it in ice cream format.

#1. Raw Horse Flesh

Image result for raw horse flesh ice creamAnyone who knows me will know that I am a hardcore animal lover. I can’t see any creature in distress and frequently save the bees at work that trapped indoors. So the idea of raw horse flesh in any shape or form makes me feel nauseous. The fact that it’s supposed to be a fun flavour makes me feel even worse. I wish this were a joke but sadly, it isn’t. This is one of several weird and wacky ice cream flavours you can get at an indoor amusement park in Tokyo.