The 11 stages of a hangover

So, as a 27 year old,  I’ve probably spent at least 15% of the last 14 years of my life hungover. And each hangover seems to be getting progressively worse, so that’s nice. Gin…why do you hate me so?!

I’ve now just began to accept the magical 11 stages of a hangover,  which I’ve listed below…….

1. Confusion

You unpeel your sticky, groggy little eye lids one at a time and slowly…very slowly… try to take in your surroundings.

Where am I? What day is it? Why am I still in last nights clothes, wearing cat ears and covered in glitter?

Why does my mouth feel drier than a really really dry thing??

So many questions. You know the answer must be hidden inside you, if you just search hard enough. It’s just within your grasp but alas! every time you feel it’s on your fingertips, it vanishes, just beyond reach.

2. Realisation

Oh, f*%k.

 I’m hungover. Again.

3. Hope

It’s ok, I’m just a bit dehydrated. I’ll go and down a pint of water, sleep it off and it will be fine. 


4. Cockiness

You fall back asleep for an hour, wake up and miraculously, you feel ok.

Ha! No hangover for me!

You scroll mindlessly through Facebook and Instagram for half an hour and drop a message in your group whatsapp chat.

Hi hons. What a funny funny night. I don’t know how, but I’m fresh as a daisy! No hangover for me *sassy emoji x 10* 

You fall back asleep with a smug half smile on your face, you sassy little hangover avoider you!

Not even 3 tequila shots can get me. Watch and learn amateurs.

5. Regret

You wake back up an hour later and you feel AWFUL! Like…horrendous.

You realise you were in fact still drunk when you first work up😷

You spend the next half hour googling “can you die of a hangover”.

6. Self loathing

Flash backs. Cringe conversations. 10,000 card receipts in your bag. Awful dancing. Talking about your ex boyfriend for 45 minutes straight to anyone who would listen. Requesting Club Tropicana 5 times. Crying when they wouldn’t play it.

Those. Text. Messages.

As Celine Dion said, it’s all coming back to me now.



7. Optimism

This is ok. I’ll get up and have a shower and go for a walk. This can’t last all day. I’m over the worst of it surely. All I need is some coffee , a shower and a positive mental attitude. It’s going to be fine.


8. Acceptance

After sitting and crying on the shower floor for 20 minutes, you crawl out and admit defeat. You are in it for the long haul, so you’d better just strap on in.

9. Hangover limbo

You’re too weak and lacking in energy to do absolutely anything but you are also THE most bored you’ve ever been.  In your life. And you once sat through the whole of Seabiscuit.


You count down the hours until you can legitimately order a Dominos because it surely cannot only by 10am?!

10. Repentance

I promise I’ll never drink again. Ever! 

11. Recovery

After a day of slothing around and feeling like a zombie, you finally feel ok. Thank God.

Shame it’s 11:30pm and you have work in the morning.

The 11 stages of a hangover

Musings: the 45th American President 

On the 8th November 2016, I went to bed anxious but hopeful that I would wake up in the morning to hear the news that the 45th American president was a woman. That it would be a monumental moment in our history that we would tell our future children about with a sense of enthusiasm and pride.
That said, I can’t say that I was at all shocked when I turned on the BBC at 6am to see that Trump was sweeping a majority and when I listened to Chris Evans announce as I sat in gridlock traffic on the A470 that it was official. That business man Donald Trump had landed arguably the most important and powerful job on this planet.
Because 2016 has been the year where rhetoric promoting extreme nationalism has captured the minds and the votes of a majority, not a huge majority, but a majority none the less, of citizens living in 2 of the most influential countries in the world .
The year where the right to cast a ‘protest vote’ is more of a priority for many than defending the human rights of racial minorities, of our women; daughters, mothers, mothers of our children, of homosexuals, of those fleeing persecution, of our fellow human beings.
Where do we begin?
Do we begin with the fact that the message for our next generation will be that anyone can hold the most important job in the world? Even if you’re unqualified, dangerous, racist, homophobic and misogynistic ? Oh but not if you’re a woman, even if you’re more experienced and more qualified and more competent to undertake the job. You’ll have to work 10 times harder and that still may not pay off.
Or the fact that for Britain, it may feel like we are watching a violent car crash from afar, but if that rogue car veers over to our side of the road and threatens to collide directly into us, we are on our own for this one.
Do we draw on the parallels throughout history, of rises to power by leaders promising to make countries ‘great again’ through alienation of ‘enemies’, by leaders who thrive on fear and hatred and persecution? Will this see itself through to similar horrific conclusions? Will we be complicit?
Do we take a look at ourselves as nations, and ask why and how this has happened, question where it all went wrong and instead of passing blame, listen up and take note and rebuild trust and make positive change?

Do we go back to bed and hibernate for the next few years hoping that when we wake up this has all just been a bizarre dream?

So this morning, I walked to get my morning coffee with a sense of impending doom wash over me. Feeling like our children will be reading about Brexit, and the term of the 45th American president in a preface of an A level history text book, except with a gut wrenching sense of uselessness and fear, because we don’t yet know what happens in the next chapter.

Musings: the 45th American President 

About Cardiff: Society Standard

So….basically I’ve discovered the perfect place for your Friday night cocktail  and dinner needs.

Ok, ok…so discovered may be a bit of a strong word given that the place has been open since July and also given that it wasn’t even my idea to go there…but lets not get too bogged down in the detail.

Society Standard is the place in question.

This cool bar and kitchen is located on Whitchurch Road and is next door neighbour to the kings of pop-up-turned-restaurant Got Beef.

Myself, Hannah and Sarah arrived at around 8pm on Friday night and the it was was packed.

We of course headed  right to the bar to check out the cocktail menu; I chose the Espresso Martini (because 1 Starbucks, 1 Bondlon Coffee and 3 instant coffees just clearly wasn’t enough of a caffeine fix that day…..) whilst the girls both went for the High Society Sour. They looked beautiful and they definitely hit the spot after a long day of dreaming about our first alcoholic drink!

Society Standard
do not take reservations and so we perched by the bar and soaked up the atmosphere (whilst trying to keep an eagle eye on anyone potentially leaving soon so that we could be ready to pounce on their table. So yeah, always playing it cool).

The decor inside is industrial-cool; think exposed brick walls, metal beams, contemporary art pieces and neon-lights. There are a number of smaller tables on the bar side of the  restaurant, with space for bigger parties on the other side, in front of an open kitchen.

It didn’t take long before we managed to secure a table on the bar side, by which point we were Marvin and dived head first in to the varied menu.

 Society Standard has a menu to see you through from breakfast to dinner.

On offer are burgers, steaks, classics such as mac n cheese and fish pie, mussels and fries, along with more exotic dishes and a variety of mouth watering (and hilariously named) sandwiches (Mactorious P.I.G looked divine). Also on the menu are lighter options and sharers (I’m still thinking about the Sea Food and Eat it platter now…one for next time definitely).

Check out the menu on their site:

Both Sarah and I went for the Blackend Chicken and Gumbo and Hannah went for the Flat Iron Steak.

Al I am saying is the food was that good the 3 of us didn’t speak for 15 minutes whilst we wolfed it down.

We stayed a good while afterwards chatting, sampling some more cocktails and enjoying the laid back vibes.

Whilst at the bar I noticed the barman expertly making his own shots which he described as a mixture of a baby Guinness and espresso martini. Had I not already hit my caffeine limit I would have definitely treated myself to one. (How much coffee is too much coffee? Asking for a friend….)

It says something when you just have to return to a place the next day to try out the brunch menu!

Post yoga, myself and the 2 Hannah’s debriefed on our Friday night antics and planned for our week ahead over eggs and avo on sour dough bread- perfect.

Essentially, what I’m saying is that I think this little gem will be a new Friday favourite, especially when we fancy a chilled night ‘out but not out out’.

Tasty food, classy cocktails, laid back vibe. Lush.

I’ll have to go back and try the lunch menu, just for you guys.

You’re welcome.

About Cardiff: Society Standard

About London: Flat Iron

So, last week, my quest to finally try out Flat Iron came to a conclusion.

A beautiful, juicy, meaty conclusion.

“There’s this place that does the best steak you’ve ever tasted in the middle of London for a tenner” Raechel said to me a few months ago. She’s been dying to take me for a while but for one reason or another we’ve not found our way there.

But last weekend we finally set off to Covent Garden for one of our Lady Dates (they are amazing….more on this in a later blog!) with this destination firmly in mind.

Flat Iron originated as a pop up in Shoreditch with an aim to provide amazing steak at an affordable price.

3 restaurants later and you can still buy a top steak for £10. Wow.

The restaurant doesn’t take reservations and so we joined a fast moving queue of hungry steak fans. 10 minutes later , we made it to the door where we spoke to an extremely lush member of staff who took our number and told us he would call us in 40 minutes when a table became available.

So of course we had to pop across the road to a pub for a cheeky (bottle of) prosecco whilst we waited. It’s a hard life!

Less than 40 minutes later (maybe a bottle was a bad idea…) we were escorted downstairs to our table, past the butcher who was busy, well, butchering the cuts of meat behind a gallery, which was a nice touch.

The menu is pretty much different cuts of steak , amazing sides, a choice of sauces and some specials which included an extremely tempting burger. However, I thought it would be rude not to try the famous £10 flat iron cut on my first visit.

Recommended by Raechel, we also had the beef dripping chips, creamed spinach and aubergine with parmesan to share.


It. Was. LUSH.

Basically steak heaven.

I’ll let the picture do the talking…..


To top it off, you take your receipt upstairs to an ice cream counter and get treated to a mouthwatering cone of salted caramel ice cream dipped in chocolate for your walk home (or in our case, walk to the next cocktail, because Friday).

The only thing that would stop me giving this place  10/10 was the wine glasses. I just cannot get behind a wine glass without a stem.

Sorry not sorry.


If you’re looking for the best steak in Covent Garden, I’m told this is the one.

And I believe it!

Flat Iron

17 Beak St, Soho, W1F 9RW
9 Denmark St, Soho, WC2H 8LS
17/18 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, WC2E 8QH
77 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3BS

About London: Flat Iron

10 things I’ve learned about dating

I used to be kind of curiously jealous of my single friends.

Their single life seemed so invigorating….so empowering….so intriguing.
They were young, gorgeous and free, and the world was their oyster. They could go wherever they wanted with whomever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Who knew who they might meet next and where their adventures may take them?

So when I was faced with the prospect of dating again when my long term relationship ended, I have to admit I found it strangely exciting.

Ok, ok….maybe after the whole constantly crying for a few weeks solid until my eyes were so swollen they looked like the puffiest puffer fish in puffer fish land (or indeed….puffer fish sea). Oh and the being completely unable to sleep due to being unable to shift that immense feeling of self doubt and the OH MY GOD HAVE I DONE THE RIGHT THING ?!?!?! thing.

But once that super fun and cheery period passed over I was like…hey you know what? This is going to be fine; I’m young, I’m sassy, I’ve comfort bought £200 worth of Benefit makeup and I have cheek bones for the first time in 5 years due to living off a heart break diet consisting only of my own salty tears. I’m so ready to be taken on dates and getting back out there.

I’m not going to lie, I pictured myself as Cardiff’s answer to Carrie Bradshaw, sitting in cool bars, being approached left right and centre and having to pencil potential suitors in to my busy social diary.

Fast forward four years and what I’ve learned is, well….the dating scene is a minefield. And I’ll tell you for why….. (in list format….because obviously).

  1. Getting asked on a date isn’t as common as Sex and the City would have us believe

Sarah Jessica Parker, I hold you personally responsible for misrepresentation of the dating scene.

No man has ever approached me in a bar and asked to take me out.

No beautiful stranger has ever handed me his number in a coffee shop.

I’ve never crashed into someone’s trolley in Asda and looked straight in to the eyes of a slightly geeky but incredibly handsome young man who simply has to make it up to me by “taking me out for a drink sometime.”

It’s all a massive lie girls…don’t be fooled!

I’ve got 615 tinder matches and I think I’ve been on about 3 dates in 4 years.


And while we are on the subject…..

2. Men on tinder usually only want one thing….

….even if their profile says they enjoy long romantic walks on the beach. Actually, ESPECIALLY if they say they enjoy long romantic walks on the beach!

3. Dating is terrifying….

So you’ve managed to score yourself an actual date after 10 tinder conversations that have ended with agreeing to go on a date and then hearing ABSOLUTELY nothing since (right?!)

The run up to the date is terrifying. Like I literally feel like I’m going to break out in hives and vom everywhere an hour before I leave the house. Sexy.

From trying to decide what to wear, to fretting about what you’re going to actually talk about to wondering how much of your personality you should give away in one go…’s stressful.

Like, will they find the skinning of the sausages story hilarious, endearing or horrifying?!

What are they going to think when I turn up and they realise I look nothing like my extremely filtered Instagram pictures? What then?!

4. Men: getting the nice vs aloofness balance is really hard

Compliment me too much; …..urgh you melt! I’m going to walk all over you and this will be no fun for anyone.

Don’t compliment me enough; who do you think you are?! You’ve only told me my hair looks nice 8 times. GIVE ME ATTENTION NOW!!!

5. Getting the balance of sober vs drunk is also hard

If you’re like me, you’ll need a cheeky gin to take the edge off.

If you’re also like me, it only takes one drink for me to flip from nice, social, life and soul Ashleigh to an Ashleigh that no one needs to meet until date 5 by which point I’ve tricked you in to liking me and you’re too invested for it to be a game changer. LOL.

Equally, I’ve also been on a sober date and that was Not Ok Hon. The right level of slightly drunk is essential to help through the tedious first date chat….

6. First Date chat is the definition of boring

Do you REALLY care that much about what my brother does for a living and the name of my first pet?

Let’s keep those questions where they belong- i.e. Barclaycard security log in.

You just want to know how long I’ve been single and therefore what’s wrong with me. Just come out with it.

7. It’s harder than you might think to decide if you like someone on a first date

Sex and the City, Disney and basically every 90s romcom starring Jennifer Anniston has basically taught us that when you meet someone you like, fireworks burst in the sky, a choir of birds serenade you, you do the leg pop thingy when you first kiss and float off on a pink cloud of love i.e.there is a spark.

So you spend every date wondering why you haven’t been completely blown away by someone you’ve only just met- is there a spark ? Do I fancy him? Does he fancy me? He may be growing on me as the night goes on but is that because I like him or because I’m 4 gins down? And do I actually care?
8. Post -Date Anxiety is nearly as bad as Pre-Date Anxiety

You’ve both had a lovely old tolerable and mediocre time together and are wondering whether you should go another date to see if you can up this indifference to something verging on attraction.

But what now?

Do I text? Do I wait for them to text you? What if I come across as too keen? Or not keen enough? Am I overthinking this? Did I say something I shouldn’t have? Did I talk about my friends too much? Or not enough? I didn’t even really fancy him that much but WHY DOESN’T HE FANCY ME?!

I know…I’ll send the details to my what’sapp group chat to ensure we all give this the level of extreme over-analysis it deserves.

9. Ghosting is a thing

You’ve been on 3 dates. You’ve hit it off like a house on fire. You’ve been texting each other all day errrr day. You go out one weekend and text Monday to find out how his weekend has been….nothing.

Strange….. he must be tired/dead. You’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

One week later and your deleted off Facebook and snappy.

You’ve been ghosted my friend.

Ghosting, as urban dictionary explains, is “the act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating but no longer wishes to date.”

Because being polite and kindly explaining you’re not in to it is so uncool obviously.

(No YOU’RE a bitter single 27 year old )

10. Dating does give you good stories…

I’ve had some wonderful dates and some truly AWFUL dating disasters (watch this space) but whether good or bad, putting yourself out there and trying new experiences with new people if nothing else gives you some hilarious stories to share on wine Wednesday with the girls.
So there you have it…dating is hard.

I think possibly in the not for me box next to Michael Ball and Star Trek. There’s gotta be a better way of getting to know someone, right?!

Don’t bombard me with dates requests all at one now hons…..girl be busy.

10 things I’ve learned about dating

10 things that happen during every airport visit 

Ahhhhh holidays!
The excitement and anticipation of jetting off somewhere new and exotic is hard to beat. And the holiday begins at the airport, right?

Ummmm, personally I’m not quite convinced by that one given that I predictably get a degree of airport anxiety. However, as I always say, you can’t please everyone all of the time.

Love it or hate it, there are a number of things that happen during every airport visit and here are my top 10; good, bad or indifferent!

1. Compulsively checking your passport is still there at least 9764 times 

To try and lessen this particular passport related anxiety, I’ve bought myself a bright turquoise and gold travel wallet with tassels which is so brash, there is no way that it could inadvertently hide in my bag thereby giving me a borderline heart attack whenever I check for it. However, even this hasn’t done the trick.
Like, even though I’ve checked it 5 times on the way up in the car and another twice before baggage drop, what if my passport has evaporated into thin air? 

I’d better check it another 30 times before passport control and panic every time my hand misses the wallet on first go, just in case. 

2. Forgetting the security rules 

Can I take electricals in my hand luggage? What are the rules about liquids again? Do I need to take my shoes off? Do I need to take my earrings out?

And WHY do I forget this rigmoural every single time I travel?

Yes, I hate me too.


3. Feeling REALLY guilty walking through security for no apparent reason…

What if I am actually carrying a weapon and I just, like, forgot?!

DID I pack my bag myself?!

DID I leave my bag unattended?

Am I the head of an international drugs cartel? 

Look natural…act natural….WHY AM I SWEATING UNCONTROLLABLY?! 

Real smooth AOC. Well done.


4. Getting tipsy before your flight, no matter what the time 

After the stress of the above/ relief that you were in fact innocent of the criminal scenarios you made up in your head and didn’t need to be felt up by a stranger and exiled, it is always essential to start off the festivities with a stiff drink (to take the edge off), even if you’re flight is at 6am.
5. Getting judged for being tipsy at 6am

Listen Janice, I’m on me ‘oliday. Leave the disapproving look out hon.
6. Walking around shops looking at things that you definitely can’t afford

I know what I need to purchase last minute before my holiday…a cheeky lil 8 grand Cartier watch. Treat myself!

Like, airports no longer exist solely for the use of elite bankers and Russian oligarchs….where is River Island when you need it?!
7. Queue rushers
We all have allocated seats on this plane Marlene. Rushing and pushing is not nessecary so let’s all just put our boarding passes away and chill for 5.

8. Ladz on tour

Literally wearing the Ibiza starter pack i.e. permed hair, Nike airs, short shorts, abs, an insufferable level of energy , excitement and youthful optimism.

More often than not they will be sat next to me.


9. Carousel hoggers 

It’s not like we ALL need to get our bags. …..

10. Slow walkers/ fast walkers

I don’t know what’s worse really….those who just stand still on the moving walk ways (it’s not like I have a flight to rush for or anything….) or those who run across it full pelt like they are racing up the Gladiator travellator to beat Storm’s personal best time.
So as you can see I’m an absolute joy to be around at the airport…don’t all rush to take me on holidays all at once now!

10 things that happen during every airport visit 

Musings: You are not your snapchat filter! 

Ok, so I understand that this post isn’t going to make me popular.

However being unpopular is not a new concept for me. Someone once brought a knife to school and when someone asked who it was for….guess who?!

Oh, if you’re worried I didn’t actually get stabbed.

Just threatened with the prospect of being stabbed.

Aaaahhhh school, best days of our lives.


Anyway, I digress. On to the topic…

Can we just discuss the pandemic that is extreme snap chat filter overuse? 

Ok, I know this may appear rich coming  from me, the self obsessed selfie queen.

Ok VERY rich. I can almost hear your eyes rolling. Just bear with me a second….

I love a filter. All day eeeeer day.
I mean I’ve used the “fit filter” so much that I am shocked and indeed upset when I catch my *actual* face in the mirror and it’s not perfectly contoured, and where are my sparkly eyes, and my highlighted cheeks and WHY AM I NOT MY SNAPCHAT FILTER?

It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with it Hons. A long time.

I am not my snapchat filter.

Spot the difference.

However, just when you thought if you saw one more licky puppy filter on your newsfeed you would throw your iPhone 6 under a 44 minutes late Arriva train, along came the butterfly crown.

That butterfly crown.

All over my FB.

It’s a step too far.

Coming from me.

I don’t know what about it has pushed this snappy addict over the edge?!

I think it’s because, let’s face it, Call Me Dave Cameron could use it and look like Megan Fox.

I think it’s because it’s the ultimate catfish filter.


Say it with me Hons ….
“I am not my snapchat filter”

“I am not my snapchat filter”

Be careful, if you say it in to the mirror three times Nev, Max and the whole MTV production team arrive at your door…

All I’m saying is, we need to understand that we are never going to be as fit as those filters. We need to maybe keep them where they belong, on the self serving , narsacistic platform that is Snappy? Where we can all watch each others narcissism in 10 second intervals?

But hey what do I know, I once skinned a sausage because I thought the skin was packaging. Don’t ever listen to anything I say.


*No butterflies were harmed in the making of this blog*

Musings: You are not your snapchat filter!