9 Ways to Fall in Love in London

Thanks Google Images, for reminding me that Yes I would swipe right purely for this picture of a dog and not for the person’s who’s face I’ve already forgotten.

London’s a very busy place and although it’s full of people – it’s hard to meet the right one who you want to spend lots of time with and you know, do stuff with. That’s why I have created these 9 wonderful tips to help you find love in the nation’s capital. Whether you’re looking for a long term romance or a cheeky snog on Tower Bridge (pls don’t do this), there is someone special out there in the capital for you!

1. Meet friends of friends of friends. So you’ve met the friends of your new friends, but now it’s time to meet your friends, friends, friends, geddit? Expanding your friendship group with nice like minded people will more often that not lead to you finding someone you have something in common with and gradually spending more time with meaning you’ve got new friends and a potential new lover.

2. Go speed dating. Srsly. Drag your friends along, even if they’ve got spouses, they can make up a person they want to be that night and just be there for moral support. Speed dater is a great site that gives you lists of nights and prices for that all special singles night.

3. Tinder. Tinder is a bit of a last resort in my opinion. I’ve had friends that have had bad experiences with the ‘it’s like real life, but better’ app but I’ve also got friends who found blossoming relationships out of it too. Not everyone on there is DTF? Promise.

4. Reconnect with old school/college/uni mates. Remember Josh/Holly/Patrick from school that you always kind of had a semi crush on but you couldn’t bring yourself to talk to them/be seen around them/confront them about their monobrow? Well, are you hotter now than you were in school? Chances are they might be too. It could be worth revisiting…

5. Going to every club night of your favourite genre of music every week without fail. You might also develop an an alcohol/drug addiction along with going out all the time, so your idea of ‘the right one’ might be askew, but hey, people meet and fall in love in clubs all the time. Right?

6. Do your hobby. Who knew you both enjoyed and were good at wine archery? And is that guy Tom kind of cute, he sure pull a bow string back well. Maybe you should ask Tom if he wants to go for a drink somewhere in Hampstead where you can drink an earthy shiraz and talk about how leafy the park is this time of year.

7. On public transport. Contrary to popular belief, people do actually speak on public transport in London. Okay, not at rush hour or like…completely randomly. But maybe next time you spot someone cute on the tube, I dunno, you could actually speak to them…or just gaze at them (gaze not stare) until they approach you.

8. OR you could just Rush Hour Crush it in The Metro. I mean ‘cute giggly brunette with amazing ti -eyes’ why wouldn’t you want to go out with ‘shy guy who stared at you on the 8.17am from Walthamstowe Central’?

9. And finally…stop looking for it and it’ll find you. London is a pretty romantic city but it’s not like cupid is around every corner, and you can’t force someone to like you or vice versa (I think the Met might file that under harassment and rape) if you just focus on living your life in London, doing the things you want to do, chances are you’ll probably meet someone who’s doing the exact same thing as you too.

If you want to follow me on instagram and see what I get up to @ecarg_h

I tweet stuff and say stupid sh*t @g_hetherington

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3 Great (and affordable) Escapes from London

I stole this picture from The Telegraph (creditz to them) because I feel like it represents how the modern day residents of Blackpool see themselves when they’re pissed at 2pm on a sunny Saturday on the prom

Right that’s it, I’m going to stop pretending that London is the best place to be ever all the time and come out with the fact that sometimes LONDON SUCKS!

Are you waiting for a lazy summer holiday in the next few weeks or you’re saving up for a winter extravaganza, but you’re still finding yourself wistfully looking out the window? Longing for your summertime sadness to be over? ME TOO. London is hot, stuffy and suffocating in the summer months. There’s only so many ‘ciders in the sunny park’ days I can take before I explode (literally from all the cider) and somehow walking through a crowded Brixton town centre seems less exotic and more…well walking through a crowded Brixton town centre; often elbowing the influx of rah that have come for ‘pimms in Brocky park!’

I’m the idiot without a summer holiday planned – in fact, i’m actually classing my bosses being away for 3 weeks as a semi holiday I’m so desperate for one. And then I remembered my University days, of hopping over to Morecambe for an afternoon of sandy debauchery on the crumbling shores. Though we had to wear shoes at all times to avoid needles and my chips got stolen by a seagull the size of a small dog, I’m looking back on the seaside times as those of joy and freedom, rather than White Strike cider and washed up jonnies on the beach.

Sooo rambling on; it got me thinking about my top 3 fave places to escape to from London, and how affordable leaving the city actually can be, even if just for the day, and here are the diamonds I came up with.

1. Brighton

Hop on a train from Farringdon or Victoria and whisk yourself off to a land full of old people, candy floss and a lot of rainbows. From London to Brighton by train it’ll cost you roughly around £20 with a railcard, and the journey is just over an hour. Bring spades etc for playtime on the beach, or rent an Air BnB for as little as £50 per night; that way you can go out and get sloshed with the local crowds and throw up off the pier at 3am. Beautiful.

2. North Wales

For £75 you can get a train to Portmadog in Wales and relive your childhood of ice creams on the beach and rock pooling in nearby Criccieth. You can get a room in a local B&B for less than £40 per night, and although you might think there’s not much to do; get yourself down to a local pub for a spot of welsh karaoke and luckily the seagulls are only the size of small cats here so they won’t be able to pinch your chips when you’re suffering from a delicate hangover the next morning.

3. Aberdeen

Forget fancy Edinburgh or Go to Glasgow (sorry), and hit up Aberdeen. Flights are around £80 return and you can get a wee little place to stay for as little £22.50 a night if you opt for a hostel. Aberdeen has a range of things to do as well from the Art Gallery, the ruins of Slains Castle and the sandy plains of Balmedie Beach to the breathtaking views atop the Bullers of Buchan and the fun to be had at Union Square cinema and shopping complex.

Booking for late August or early September will make sure you don’t feel left out when people are talking about last minute holidays to the Maldives and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that not going to the Maldives means 1) you won’t get as sunburnt, 2) you saved yourself £600 you don’t have anyway and 3) you can drown yourself in British Mr Whippy and that slight smell of rotten fish on every British seaside…or is it sick, who knows?

For pictures of stuff I want but can’t afford follow me on instagram @ecarg_h

For my weekly ‘Monday Sucks’ tweet follow me @g_hetherington

For short videos of my gay best friend Julio follow me on Snapchat @yolonaise

11 Things That Happen Whilst Commuting

After the fun of today and the fun to come of getting home this evening, I thought I’d share with everyone, 11 thoughts that happen whilst commuting in London…

Image is borrowed from Adrian Brooks/Imagewise and depicts me looking cool as a cucumber on the Central Line (unheard of!)

1. Yay I secretly love getting the tube, I know everyone says the novelty wears off but it’s still a little bit fun right? It’s a train that goes underground, still impresses me.

2. Ok, I’m not originally from London and even I’ve always known that you stand on the god damn right mate ok!

3. I am just so savvy with all these tunnels and sneaky ways to get to the platform before everyone else – oh wait have I gone Northbound instead of Southbound?

4. I can’t see the list of places this train is going to – what if I’m going the wrong way? Oh well, too far to turn back now…I’ll just wing it to the next station.

5. Jesus Christ when will I ever get on one of these things that isn’t crowded as fuck, I can hardly move on here.

6. Oh no, the amount of people in this carriage…it’s the perfect amount of busy for an unexpected terror attack.

7. Oh god please let me get to the next station in one piece….ok good. *Doors Closing* please god let me get to the next station in one piece (repeat as necessary).

8. Ok phew I’m off, didn’t die of heat overload or terrorism, but am being crushed to death in escalator feud to the top.

9. Yes, I made it, and my oyster card let me through the barrier without saying *Seek Assistance* like I’m some sort of criminal.

10. Ok, let’s just wait for this bus…taking ages…ah great, no seats, I get to be flung around for 10 minutes now whilst a buggy jabs into my leg and a homeless person (who can pay for the bus?!) is asking people for change.

11. I think I’ll walk tomorrow. Who am I kidding, it’s 40 minutes…no I won’t.

To follow my instaflammable life @e_cargh

To listen to my Twise words @g_hetherington

How to Find Somewhere (Good) to Live in London: The Newbie Edition

This image is courtesy of google images and depicts people cramped in a sardine tin because that’s how it feels to live in London, how funny

Moving to any new city can be a scary and daunting experience. Moving to London for any graduate is both exciting and nerve wracking; and perhaps even more daunting than other UK cities. The prospect of forking out masses of pounds a month for a cruddy room in Walthamstow and discovering you have type X mould on your windowsill or you’re living next door to a 24 hour party house of students is all too common, so here are some tips and tricks on HOW TO FIND SOMEWHERE (GOOD) TO LIVE IN LONDON: THE NEWBIE EDITION.

  1. COMMUTE: PICK YOUR ROUTE

When I first moved to London, I was living in Kings Cross and working on Edgware Road in Marylebone; and for the first month, I took a higgely piggely route across London because I just didn’t assess my options. Do you work on the Victoria Line? Why don’t you live on the Victoria line or even an interchange line so you can live further out (cheaper) but still get to work? Aim to move as near to your place of work as possible – and if you can’t do that at least make your transport links bearable – you will be doing it there and back every day and the tube novelty wears off after the third time you take it.

  1. SHOP AROUND: SEE MORE THAN LESS

Don’t settle on the first room you see, shop around before you make the commitment. That room in Hammersmith with 4 cool housemates might be such a massive room for £800 a month but are you going to want to do the 25 minute walk to the station twice a day? In winter? Nope, thought not. Are you sure you can live with your parents friend for £400 a month and not go crazy when their child is jumping on your bed at 7am on a saturday? No, thought as much. Don’t do it.

  1. ASK AWAY: ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE

When you go to see a room, it’s as much about how you feel in the presence of your potential flatmates, and they do in yours. Yeah, it’s an interview to see if you’ll fit into the dynamic of the house, but you have to ask questions too. Do they wake early and work late? Do they like to party? Are you likely to be woken at 4am in the morning and sharing your bathroom/living room with strangers for the weekend? It’s best to check and get the low down up front before you get woken up by your housemate throwing up in the toilet 3 times a week after a hard night of drinking (true story).

  1. MONEY MONEY MONEY: IT’S A RICH MAN’S WORLD

It really is a rich man’s world. Make sure you’ve thought about how much and how often something is going to cost you. Sometimes moving into a room can cost you the same amount in up front costs as getting a whole flat with your friend. And if you are looking on sites like Spare Room and Right Move then don’t be afraid to barter to an extent, sometimes people are simply subletting and they’re trying to get as much money out of you up front, so don’t be taken for a mug.

  1. KEEP IT CLEAN: BE MEAN

Be mean with your stuff. Do a sort and clear out of your things before you move. Start with a clean slate and try to keep possessions to a minimum as much as you can, chances are  you’ll be moving your stuff across London at some point, and the smaller your load, the easier. Trust me, moving house in an Uber is not a fun experience, moving it in suitcases on tubes and buses like a homeless person is literally hell and no one will help you.

For all my moans follow me on Twitter @g_hetherington

For all my nashville filtered photos follow me on Instagram @ecarg_h