I have always found the word transformation enchanting – it sounds so magical. The idea of becoming something else or rather, someone else, is so wonderful – I guess that’s why I spent so long hanging around theatres while growing up.
Last weekend I was lucky enough to witness the most stunning and breathtaking transformation I have ever seen and it took place in such delightfully simple way.
We had spent the afternoon chaperoning my darling flatmate Manila Rice at the yearly drag run held by the London Gay Men’s Chorus (by chaperoning I, of course, mean we were Manila’s photographers, cup holders, mirrors, and slaves). Thirty beautifully sparking and outrageously stunning ladies and gentlemen lined the streets of Soho. Cooing at the passing taxis and serenading tourists with renditions of Happy birthday. These wonderful people spread so much light and glitter to all who passed by. The prosecco was flowing and when that ran out the vodka emerged in neatly concealed hipflasks (not sure I want to know where they were concealed…).
Five hours later we were sunburnt, makeup was smudged and we had glitter in places we did not even know existed – I’m still finding it now. We found ourselves wobbling on beery legs to a nearby Karaoke bar – Manila was going to sing and it was our duty to escort her!
Once Manila had won the crowd’s hearts with her dazzling performance and made me sob with admiration for her and everything she is we were stumbling back onto the dirty Soho pavements.
Here, amongst the empty plastic cups, cigaret butts and grime Manila squatted on the pavement opposite the bar, half in her “boy clothes” and half in her bejeweled finery, her wig tossed on the ground next to her and the twinkling lights of her headdress gently illuminating her face. As I scooped up her shoes and dusted off her wig I watched her pluck off her eyelashes and flick them thoughtfully into the road. The transformation was coming to an end. Together we scrubbed her face clean, leaving a little trail of beige makeup wipes behind us.
Within 5 minutes Manila had been hidden once again inside a small plastic bag and before me stood my beloved (slightly swaying and rather hiccupy) housemate once more.
In my naivety about all things drag, I was fascinated… and probably quite drunk.
You can check out the beautiful Manila Rice on Instagram or just come hang out at my house.
Day Two: Rage against the (possible) Plagiarism
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING AND IF YOU HAVE ANY TIPS, COMMENTS OR STORIES ABOUT BADGERS THEN PLEASE DO GET IN TOUCH INSTAGRAM @ACCIDENTALVOYAGER OR FACEBOOK
MAY ALL YOUR JOURNEYS BE ACCIDENTAL!
Bho Alba gu Èirinn (from Scotland to Ireland):
When I spot those chic women in the airport with their stiletto heels and over sized sunglasses wheeling their delicate suit cases ahead of them I always feel a slight pang of jealousy as I heave my (now holey & decidedly grubby) rucksack onto my shoulder and fumble with my (equally bulging and grungy) carry on backpack.
Moments like this make me wish that I was a smooth packer and so now I bring you all I have learnt about how to make packing as streamlined and dreamy as possible.
Step 1: Choose you bag
This is crucial! Too small and you have to deal will the overspill of plastic bags. Too big and you have to spend all your money on more clothes or gifts for everyone – With such an empty bag it only figures that you don’t have enough dresses!
I opt for a wonderful £20 karrimore backpack as a carry on (overspill) and a ten year old rucksack – chosen at a time when I thought bright pink and off grey was the height of sophistication (I still think this!!)
When choosing a backpack be sure you listen to you mum and go for the one with a metal frame… yes it has lasted well but no I do not appreciate the extra weight and rigidity (I could fit in so much more shopping if it wasn’t for the frame!)
*I love you mummy….
A backpack in action.
Step 2: Make a list
List making – possibly the most important thing to do before you travel. Assess your destination carefully and then plan your outfits accordingly. This minimises the unwanted load – think high heels on a camping trip (not that I’ve done this before….). You won’t use them and you never use them in normal life so don’t bring them!
Step 3: Do the Safety pack.
This activity has saved me many a panic. It reassures you that your bag has not shrunk during its retirement on top of the wardrobe.
Follow your list carefully to ensure no extra weight is carried.
A good safety pack also helps you realise you should travel more as clouds of dust billow out of your bag when you uncover it…. either this or you should dust your room more often……?
**Top tip: if you suddenly run out of time (forget to pack) you can use your safety pack as an actual pack…! #nifty
Step 4: Reconsider
plans can change at the drop of a hat…. maybe I should take those heel on my hiking trip….. just in case!
Step 5: Final pack
This is the one where you unpack your safety pack to ensure that you have enough woolly jumpers of Croatia and enough short shorts for Iceland. Take this time to revisit the sacred list and feel free to add in a few extra bits you forgot before – makeup, electronics, wires & extra socks.
Whilst doing this pack I would advise organising your bag so you have easy access to everything you might need. Pop your wallet and passport into an accessible pocket on your day bag as well as a spare pair of socks (you will never wear them but my Britishness makes me worry about chilly toes)
Step 6: Panic
For the full “pro packer” experience I would advise unpacking everything the hour before leaving – just to be sure. Once repacked, grab everything else you may possibly need – including the kitchen sink if possible – and make sure you are covered for every eventuality.
Step 7: Savlon
Sprint back to your room and grab that trusty tube of savlon! Your friends will mock you but then they will thank you.
How do I get all that in there???
I do hope this list has helped those of you looking for tips on how to pack like a pro! Although these steps will ensure you arrive at the airport sweaty and twitchy you can be safe in the knowledge that you have everything you need.
Remember, as wonderful as the chic lady looks I bet she forgot her Savlon!
Smug faces for those who packed Savlon!
Thank you so much for reading and if you have any tips, comments or stories about badgers then please do get in touch instagram @accidentalvoyager or Facebook
May all your journeys be accidental!
As a socialite, influencer and all around amazing human being I feel it is my job to share those insider tips on how to make the most of your London weekend.
With so many things to do in the city that has everything, it is easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to planning a cracking weekend. This is why I bring you three easy to follow weekend suggesting to suit every mood…
For the office womble:
If you’re like me and spend your weekdays sitting in an office staring at a computer screen and periodically being shouted at then I assume you’re going to want to start your day with the usual crying. Personally, I like to dedicate in 10 – 15 mins to this activity before starting my day (If you’re in a hurry I suggest a quick 5 min cry while showering?). Shake off the crying with a brisk walk and coffee time. Head to town to sample some wonderful coffee delights. I would suggest The Roasting in Pimlico or if your feeling fancy, take a stroll down the river to the National Theatre and pick up a coffee from their cafe.
*The office Womble is a sleepy creature so follow each activity with a nap or Netflix in bed.
The Zen bunny:
For those who are at one with themselves – and everything else – I would suggest starting your day with a quick Yoga session held under the arches of Clapham train station. Follow this with a quick brunch at Cote to catch up with your chums. Then spend the rest of the afternoon sipping Matcha Lattes while nibbling vegan cheesecakes and jotting dates in your diary at Unico in Portabello.
The Social Badger:
Wake up to a cracking hangover and try to piece together your night before heading out to a bottomless brunch. I recommend The Piano Works or Aster in Victoria for a slap-up brunch experience. Spend a few hours in the afternoon snoozing with friends and trying to fend off the second hangover. By 7pm the hangover is in full swing, head back out to a different bar to curb the pain you’re feeling – Percy & Founders or 68 and Boston offer wonderful arrays of delicious cocktails.
I do hope these options help you all to rock your weekends in the city. Just remember, you’re still cool if you choose to spend your weekend sitting in bed eating doughnuts and pretending to be a journalist…. not that I would do that…………..
I hope you’ve enjoyed these ramblings and I would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions for how to spend your weekends in London.
Feel free to check me out on Instagram (@accidentalvoyager) or stalk me on Facebook (I’m not that interesting)
For those of you who know me or have read this blog before ( unlikely I know but I like to think of myself as an established influencer) you will probably be aware of the horrific luck I have when it comes to taking the train trains. This has inspired me to share with you my ten step guide to train wise traveling during a snow day.
Step one: Planning
get super excited and prep your journey. Book your ticket weeks in advance. Request your holiday day and ensure all your friends know you’re out of town for any plans they may require you for on that day (again… I’m an influential person…)
Step two: The night before traveling
Begin to wonder if this so called “beast from the east” will impact your journey. Stick head outside to assess weather conditions… conclude it’s pretty chilly but merrily ignore all emails from train companies.
Step three: The morning before leaving
Frantic packing mixed with urgent web searches to find out if any trains are running.. decide it’s probably fine.
*Top tip: prebook a train that is now cancelled – this allows for the fun activity of trying to work out alternative routes (yay!)
Step four – leave
You’re all packed and ready to go! Saunter to the underground underground…. dashing not advised as pavement is super icy and covered with London gunk ….
Step five – false start
Turns out you weren’t as cool as you thought! Go one stop on the tube then realise you have forgotten your purse. Leap off train at Victoria and penguin march back home in blisteringly cold gale.
Step five: try again
After finding your purse in the bottom of a different bag and changing out of the dress you were wearing into the thickest jeans you own you’re free to set off again.
Step six: lost
Wander in circles at st Pancras station trying to find a platform – any platform ( seriously its like a shopping centre?!? Why so many cafes?!!!?). Finally buy your ticket
Step seven: Wait for platform
Step eight: They announce platform.
wait on platform with cheeky hot choc in hand ( now I see why so many cafes). Try to ignore threatening tannoy announcements warning me to go home now and never go outside again.
Step nine: Victory
after forty minutes the train arrives. Get on train feeling smug – finally the adventure continues.
Step ten: Surprise!
Train terminated without warning due to the weather conditions. One stop away from your destination take a moment to stand, shivering and call your mummy for suggestions. After twenty minutes in the freezing cold abandon your mission and catch, what seems to be,the last ever train back to London. Return to bed with your dressing gown on and one slipper sock (I seem to have lost the second).
Sad adventure face!!!
And there you have it… the perfect way to travel Accidental style or as others would call it… a waste of a holiday day! I do hope you’ve found this useful 😊