Is there anyone you’ve ever given up on?

The sad truth of it is, there’s going to be people in your life who let you down or let you go. And the trick isn’t to avoid those people or those who remind you of them, but to recognise why it happened and whether it’s likely to happen again. Being hurt is part of life, but being hurt repeatedly from not learning from the mistake isn’t.

Let me put in context for you: I had two very close friends. We’ll call them February and January.

January’s mum and mine had met at mother/toddler group. We’d fight like sisters, screaming and shouting, but we’d play for hours. We love each other. We’re still friends. Because regardless of all the times we’ve made each other cry, or said the wrong thing or hurt each other’s feelings, we’ve got ten times the amount of moments of joy and happiness we’ve shared. She’s family.

February and I met at school. To begin with, she was the closest friend I had. We were both nervous about being at secondary and we found comfort in our awkward dorkiness. We’d argue too, scream, shout, berate each other. Promise we’d never speak again and then make up two minutes later. But February made friends with other people too, and she listened to the things they said about me. She sided with them, refused to hear my side of arguments and spread rumours about me.

It took me a long time to see the difference between February and January, but it was clearer to me, the older I got and the nastier February was. I had to let that friendship go because it wasn’t good for me. It hurt my self-esteem having my ‘friend’ spread nasty rumours about me, call me names and encourage people to mock me. Especially because we’d been so close for so long.

But now, when I meet people who remind me of her I keep them at arm’s length until they show more ‘January’ about themselves. That loyalty and kindness. That friendship that shows familial compassion.

Because you learn – unfortunately, a little too late – that friends from school are your friends because you see them every day. The friends that last are cut from a different cloth. Diamonds in the rough. And like diamonds, those bonds can’t be broken by anything. Time. Distance.

January lives abroad now – but she calls. She writes. I was the bridesmaid at her wedding. I don’t even know where February lives, or if her number is the same. I don’t really care. I wish the best for her, and hope the feeling is mutual. But I doubt it.

 

What is your favourite smell?

Good morning!

I think we can all agree, of the five main senses, smell is the most underrated. It can tie us back to nostalgic memories. Hold onto those heart strings. Remind us of good positive things. Which is nothing to be sniffed at! (Spoiler alert, not sorry. I love a pun and I’ve got a couple more lined up below).

So here’s my compilation of favourite smells!

My first perfume: 

  • DNKY ‘Green Apple’ Be Delicious: £74 (Boots)

A girls first perfume is important. It’s the scent you’re going to have tied to every ‘first kiss’ or ‘puppy love’. All of those formative, pubescent years.

That’s what Green Apple was for me. Before I got my first proper perfume, it was all about ‘So…?’ and ‘Charlie’ body spray. Being given a first perfume was a milestone. Especially as this was a favourite amongst my favourite boys, who described the fact I always smelt nice as a ‘super power’. Nothing super about it, tucked in this orb of deliciousness was the secret. I’ve still got some, for those moments when I want to remember night walks, camping in a broken tent, drinking at the coastal park, kissing in treehouses.

 

My ‘Dress to Impress’ Perfume:

Burberry Touch for Women: £64 (Debenhams)

This perfume was on the other end of the spectrum. Also a gift, a much more subtle smell. I imagined I’d wear it in the vast office of a marketing company, high heels and blazer. Instead, I wore it as a teacher, wearing jeans and a long top so my boss wouldn’t see. Stretching over a whiteboard because I’m only 5’5 and I can’t reach the corners.

I don’t go on a lot of dates, but there’s something about the bottle and the smell that makes me feel – when I wear it – that I’ve got my life together. Even if my socks don’t match and my writing feels stunted.

Smells like my mum:

Most of my favourite smells are linked to my mum. She’s got a fantastic perfume collection, but she always relies on the same two. Paul Smith ‘Rose’ and ‘Dolce’ by Dolce and Gabbana.

For a long time, she wore nothing except Kenzo flower, or Poppy as I called it as a little girl. It’s the smell that, whenever I catch it in the air it makes me think of her. Which is good. I should call her more.

  • Kenzo Flower (Poppy): £64 (Boots) – the original
  • Dolce & Gabbana ‘Dolce’: £49 (Perfume Shop) – what she wears now
  • Paul Smith Rose: £30 (Boots)
  • Jean Paul Gaultier ‘Classique’ for Women: £86 (Boots)

My 2018 Favourites:

  • My Expensive: Prada Candy Florale: £81 (Boots)

Christmas had come and gone, but my birthday was still weeks away. My mum and I were wandering through a department store, wafting all the perfumes on those little sticks and I kept coming back to Prada Candy. My mum saw me pining, and pointed at a gift box that had both the perfume and the body lotion. Reduced to £54.

She made me promise not to open it before my birthday, but didn’t hold me to it.

  • My Cheap: Avon’s Little Black Dress: £7.50 (Avon)

Same year, same birthday, I was given a box of Avon goodies that I was too much an entitled, spoilt brat too appreciate. Inside was Avon’s perfume, little black dress. I refused to wear it. Admittedly, I refused to wear anything that wasn’t Prada Candy at the time. But when I went on holiday, it was the only bottle of perfume small enough to take on a plane. Now the smell is intrinsically tied to adventure for me, and it’s a really soft sweet smell. Which’ll teach me not to be such a scent-snob in future.

Not Perfumes:

Tarte palette In Bloom (Tarte – £41) is Blooming Lovely! (There it is!) Every time I open this palette it has me salivating. Chocolately smells and gorgeous colours. Delicious.

MMMelting Marshmallow Moment B – Bath Melt and Oils. £2.50 (Lush) – If, like me, you’re obsessed with Lush products but are restricted by not owning a bath, then here’s a little life hack for you. The bath melts can go in anything and make it smell incredible. I leave them in my make up case, memory boxes, underwear drawers. So I’m greeted with that sweet sugary smell every time I open them.

I’m not ashamed to admit there’s a strong theme of ‘sugar’ in my favourite smells. I’ve got a sweet tooth, it’s who I am.

But I’d love to know what your favourite smells are! Comment below and let me know if they match any on my list.