06. 10. 2015


I imagine when you move to London there must come a time in your life when you stop referring to the squiggly multi coloured lines of the underground by their colours and actually know the names. A sort of epiphany moment that you are now a local. Ah jubilee line, northern line, central line … Pfft easy. But for those who tackle the tubes on a quick visit, who huddle around the large maps tracing their fingers in the direction they want to go and clutch their paper maps like a comfort blanket this ease of travel seems unbelievable. I’ve said before how clueless I am when it comes to making my way through the capital city – I feel like I’m on some determined mission to get from point A to point B without losing my sh*t. Not easy my friends, not easy.

So, to help other struggling tube goers like myself I’ve created my top tips for riding the rails like a local (kinda).



Be prepared – Practice those girl guide skills by having a bottle of water on you (even on a not so sunny day it can feel like an oven down there) and make sure you’ve been to the loo. Not every station has toilets and there’s nothing worse than busting for a pee and nowhere to go amiright? If you’re travelling with a pushchair or wheelchair then you will need to check out which stations have disabled access.

Leave yourself enough time – The pro’s swan in and out like naturals, their feet instinctively knowing which winding tunnel to take. But for everyone else, a lot of your time will be spent doubting yourself, double checking names of tube stops and wandering around to find the right exit wishing you’d just got a cab. If you’re in London sightseeing then this is all part of the fun but if you’ve got somewhere to be like a flight to catch or show tickets to use then that fun instantly disappears.

Plan your route – Pick up a free printed map from any tube station and keep it in your purse, check out the TfL website or download an app like City Mapper onto your phone so you can prepare your route in advance giving you some sort of idea of which way to go. These online journey maps are super helpful, as if you jot down your day and time of travel they let you know of any planned engineering works or delays meaning you can search for an alternative route.

Right is right – On any underground escalator make sure you follow the cardinal rule of standing on the right. You can spot a tourist a mile off as they bumble and fumble on the left before being loudly tutted at for their faux pas.

Be invisible – This would be amazing if it was actually true but in real life (sans invisible cape) you can survive a nightmare tube journey by letting others stride ahead of you, try to give room to busy commuters and keep out of other peoples way rather than blocking anyone’s path as you scratch your head and want to cry.

Don’t be flash – London, like any capital city is a prime spot for thieves to target especially pick pocketers. Be streetwise, keep your bags with you at all times and don’t show off all the latest technological gadgets and gizmo’s as they might not be yours for much longer.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help – They say the key to being a true Londoner is to have your head down, eyes glued to your phone screen and never ever talk to those around you. So, it warms my cockles when I see harassed looking tourists close to tears when a helpful local guides them in the right direction.  Tube staff are also there to help you so track them down.

Wear comfortable shoes – The glam women you see strutting around London most probably have a spare pair of trainers tucked in their handbags; heels and tubes do not mix. You’ll be dashing about, you’ll have steps to climb and you may not get a seat so pack so comfy flats and your feet will thank you later.

Sometimes take the lift – Once I arrived in Covent Garden late for an event, seeing the queues of people waiting to get the lift I rolled my eyes at how lazy they all were and took the stairs. Never ever again. 193 winding steep steps (the equivalent of climbing to the top of a 15-storey building) and a mini heart attack later I realized that people get the lift because they were clued up rather than couch potatoes.

Are you a Londoner with any helpful hints on how to survive a tube journey? Let me know!

{Please vote for NotWedorDead as Best Travel Blog in the #cosmoblogawards! Simply click here, go to the travel category (no.9) and cast your vote :) }


01. 10. 2015


Travel doesn’t just mean grabbing your passport, jetting off to some exotic far flung destination, there are so many gems right on our doorstep waiting to be explored. Closer to home I have a list of sites and cities that definitely have my name on. If you’ve visited any of these places I’d love to hear your top tips!

Richmond Park – I have to be honest this has jumped right up there after reading lovely Sorcha’s blog post about her visit. Just check out all those deers! So autumnal, so on trend and so random to have natural wildlife just casually roaming around in London.

Sky Garden – Another new entry into the top ten (I should so be a naff DJ) this is flying high in the sky, after reading Tink Jayne’s blog post. The shining glass, vertigo inducing level and not to mention the views all over London make this a place I really want to hang out in – plus it’s free! They even have yoga sessions throughout the year, imagine doing a downward facing dog 525ft up over the city?

Stonehenge – This prehistoric monument, now looked after by the English Heritage, has been on my list of places to visit for ages. It is one of the most famous sites in the world but I’ve never managed to get myself there. One day, one day.

Buckingham Palace – Ok, so I’ve been on school trips here but I’ve never timed a visit to see the changing of the guard. It is so English, so quaint and everyone in France expects us to know all about it, I feel like a fraud when I tell them I’ve never seen it happen.

Cornwall – With stunning sandy beaches, (ahem) tasty surfers and cornish pasties (oh how I love thee) I have to get my ass down south and hangout here one summer.


Downton Abbey – Ah, is there anything more soothing than watching an episode of Downton? The music, the whimsical costumes and the romantic storylines make for perfect chilled out telly time. A trip to Highclere Castle to be able to waltz around like Lady Mary or hurry across the sweeping lawns like Mr Carson is a must for any fan.


Harry Potter Studio Tour – I’m a very late joiner to Team Hogwarts, I only read all the books of the world’s most famous wizard last year. Shameful I know. Even though I may not be a superfan like some, and I still have a long way to go with my Potter Knowledge, I’d still love to dive into this mysterious magical world. Muggles unite!

Wales – Ok, so yeah a country is kinda a big one to add to this list but I really want to explore more of this part of the world. I’ve visited certain towns but never managed to get to party in Cardiff or embrace my love for Gavin and Stacey on Barry Island, not to mention the lush welsh countryside that is beckoning to be explore.

What would you add to your UK travel wishlist?

29. 09. 2015

terrified travel

When was the last time you felt the fear and did it anyway?

Travel can be one of the scariest, nerve wracking and anxiety causing things you can do. Pre-trip nerves and jitters, doubts and what if moments filling your mind, home sickness and frustration at being miles away from your life back home can all give you the heebie jeebies. Hey, don’t put your passport back in the cupboard to collect dust as these feelings are totally normal.

When travelling, and in life in general, it’s healthy and actually important to feel the fear, and do it anyway. When I skydived over the sea in France, hiked alone with a male trek guide through the Himalayas and mountaineered up an active volcano in Chile …  yeah I was scared. It’s natural when you put yourself in what could be potential danger for your flight or fight senses to kick in. Weighing up the pros and cons of your decisions then rationalising at how ruddy amazing you’re going to feel when it is over just brings out the warrior in you.

I can do this.

It is perfectly normal to feel apprehensive before you board that plane, jetting off around the world without fully knowing how you will cope when you land. The thing is though, you will cope. You will learn to find your voice, put your foot down and push yourself to the limit.

It won’t be easy. Changing your routine, leaving the comfortable existence of your family and friends to arrive in a country where you don’t speak the language, don’t understand all their customs and traditions and not know a single soul over there; is always going to be an adventure.

But that is exactly what travelling is. An adventure! Exhilarating, exciting, awe inspiring and incredible. Yes, it’s not easy, but who wants easy? You booked this trip, packed that backpack because you wanted the exact opposite of what you know back home. That comfort blanket needs to be shed. You are brave, you are confident and you’ve got this. Totally got this.

Having the mind-set that there will be times when it feels too hard, knowing that you will get frustrated when you can’t do the simplest of tasks because of language barriers and preparing yourself for the worst case scenario is the best way to be as a traveller (and a brownie/boy scout). Because, when things do go to plan, when you have epiphany moments laughing at how ridiculous you stressed over nothing, when you realise that not everyone is out to hurt you or scam you is what travel is all about. And when you return, well, you’ll be a man my son.

26. 09. 2015


What’s this … a Saturday blog post?! I know, I know. But I wanted to share with you my first ever French bloggers event! Living in France there isn’t as much opportunity for meet ups as there is in say, London (hmph everything happens there!) so when I was invited to test out a unique event taking place at La Halle Chaussures et Maroquinerie in Harfleur, France, I couldn’t resist.

Qu’est ce que c’est, un article un samedi matin? Je sais je sais, mais je voulais partager avec vous mon premier événement en tant que blogeuse Française! en France il y a moins d’occasion pour bloger par rapport a l’Angleterre, alors quand l’occasion s’est présenté à La Halle Chaussures et Maroquinerie je n’ai pas hesité une seconde et je me suis investi dans ce beau projet.





Nearly every woman has a soft spot for shoes and bags so when I got access to the shop, before the doors opened to the public, I was in Carrie Bradshaw heaven! After a hearty French breakfast of croissants, pain au chocolat and coffee it was time to get crafty.

Presque toutes les femmes adorent les chaussures et les sacs à main, quand je me suis retrouvé seule dans ce beau magasin spacieux, je me suis pris pour Carrie Bradshaw. Après un petit dejeuner francais (croissants, pains au chocolat etc …) et un café, j’étais en pleine forme pour customiser.



P1060112 (2)

La Halle Chaussures & Maroquinerie had created a customisation zone where customers could decorate, bling up or accessorise their shoes, bags, mobile phones, purses … the list went on and on. I chose a sweet floral pair of espadrilles and had a go at perfecting my henna skills with glitter paint, fabric markers and jewels. I wanted to bring a taste of India to France!

La Halle Chaussures et Maroquinerie a créé un emplacement specifique pour la customisation oú l’on peut décorer ses chaussures, sac a main, trousse, portable etc … j’ai choisis une paire d’espadrille et je l’ai décoré avec du henné et de la peinture pailletée, j’ai voulu apporter une touche Indienne à la France!


It was so much fun sitting round, laughing and chatting (all in French – go me!) as we stuck and styled our shoes, big and little kids alike. I was pretty chuffed with my finished result, I reckon I’ve got a career in customisation ahead of me. Ahem.

C’était marrant de s’assoir autour d’une table et de rire et parler (tout en francais) coller et customiser comme des enfants. J’étais très contente de mon résultat final, je pense qu’une carriere de blogeuse diy s’offre à moi, hum!




To be able to make your shoes stand out from the rest, to stamp your mark on your stilettos or bling up your bag so it’s unique to you, is such a great idea. Who wants to be the same as everyone else?

Réaliser une chaussure unique et différente des autres ainsi qu’un sac à main est une bonne idée, qui veut se différencer des autres?


A huge thanks to the wonderful team at La Halle Chausseurs et Maroquinerie Harfleur for making me feel so welcome, speaking slowly so I could understand and inviting me to this fun event. Right, I’m off to customise my whole wardrobe, there’s no stopping me now. Glue gun and glitter at the ready!

Un grand merci à l’equipe La Halle Chaussures et Maroquinerie d’Harfleur qui est fantastique, pour leur acceuil et pour avoir accepter de parler lentement Français avec moi afin que je puisse comprendre et aussi pour l’invitation à ce superbe moment!

25. 09. 2015


I’ve got a secret. Something I need to own up and admit to you all…. Ok … *takes a deep breath* … I like running. There I said it, feel free to throw things at your screen.

It’s true. My name’s Katy and I actually like running. Hi Katy.

I’m now on day 25 of my #100runs100days challenge. That’s a quarter of the way through. And I’m still doing it!



Waking up early is still a challenge, I groggily heave myself out of bed cursing myself for this bloody idea until five minutes later when I’m out in the crisp morning air pounding the pavements and feeling those endorphins kick into action. I come back after around thirty minutes, sweaty and thirsty but feeling ever so virtuous that I’ve notched another day’s run and it really wasn’t that painful.

I’m actually amazed at my progress in just under a month. I’ve stopped walking on our route, can now slow jog for over 25 minutes non-stop and have noticed a difference in the shape and tone of my body. Whoop whoop!



I’ve found myself wanting to eat healthier, which has also had a very positive effect on both my weight and my motivation. I’ve cut out snacks, been alcohol free (mainly as an experiment to see how long I can last and so far it’s been 26 days, ahem apart from this one where I did have a glass of champers, I had to really didn’t I!)

My skin has improved, my nails have never been as long or as strong before and even my teeth seem a little whiter probably because I’ve stopped coating them in red wine and tea and coffee stains.

I have so much more energy, no mid-afternoon slumps, although I can’t see as much difference in the quality of my sleep usually because I need to nip to the loo after all the water I’ve been drinking. TMI?



So, with this new found energy I’ve been doing pilates twice a week in the evening and tried to fit in a trip to the local swimming pool once a week too. Managing to swim 40 lengths before wobbling unglamorously on my tired legs back to the changing rooms, trying not to collapse in front of an aqua aerobics class going on.

The main motivation in this challenge is having my aunty do it with me. Knowing she is up and waiting for me, usually with cute puppy Cooper, means I can’t snooze my alarm, roll over in my squishy duvet and let them down. Having someone to jork around our route, encouraging the other and adding an element of competitiveness has been such an incredible boost. I seriously don’t think I would have got this far without her.





Although I’m super chuffed with how I’ve stuck at it, I think this is going to be the easy part of the challenge. The mornings are still sunny (can we take a moment to just look at how stunning the skies have been as the sun rises to slowly wake up the town #nofilter) and not too cold. We’ve been lucky with the weather so far, and only experienced one really wet run – that wasn’t a barrel of laughs I tell you. Give us another few weeks as we head from Autumn to Winter, and I doubt I’ll be saying the same thing!

But for now, I’m recognising the mini milestone, the little achievements and am pumped to continue. We’ve come this far now gotta carry on (plus I can’t even bear to think about restarting all over again if I miss a day!)

If you’re doing a 100 day challenge I’d love to know how you’re getting on! You can tweet me, comment below or send me a message on Facebook.

{PS. Trying to run and take photos…turns out it ain’t that easy}

{P.P.S  You have just 4 days left to cast your votes in the #Cosmoblogawards. Please make my weekend a little brighter and vote for NotWedorDead! Simply click HERE and add your email address, copy and paste my URL http://www.notwedordead.com and chose Best in Travel category. Thanks, love ya!}

%d bloggers like this: