Life During Lockdown
A few months ago everything seemed to change for almost everyone. Our regular lifestyle, schedules and lives in general were changed as we went into lockdown. Although the changes have been made for safety reasons there are still things that we really miss that we wish we could still experience. Pooja, a fellow blogger and I were talking about this and decided to write a post about what we miss most and what we are excited to experience after this lockdown/pandemic is over. The first four are mine and the last four are hers. We hope you enjoy reading the post as much as we did writing it!
Underrated but I miss cheap and cheerful pub dates where you meet up with friends and get a pint (overpriced if you’re in London, of course) and talk and anything and everything. Bonus point if there’s a pub garden because who doesn’t love a bit of Sun and Sangria. Pub culture is just easy, laid back and chilled which is needed after a long stint of lockdown
There’s a strong chance my eyebrow lady will not recognise me the next time I see her. Or she’ll be speechless when she realises that lockdown pressure culminated in me trying to do my own eyebrows which resulted in a slight disaster. Suffice to say, give me the works (after it is safe, of course). A Mani, Pedi and a facial. Stat.
Food, Glorious, Food
My eyes are definitely going to be bigger than my stomach when all the restaurants open up again. Lockdown has reminded me that I need to be expanding my culinary bucket list and there is are variety of feasts that any foodie can appreciate.
International travel is going to be difficult in the foreseeable future as borders will likely stay closed until it is safe to travel. I definitely want to explore more of the UK and see gems like Cornwall and even partake in a road trip to Scotland.
I am not someone who is super into hugging or really showing a lot of affection in general but as they say- you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. I can’t wait to hug my friends and family and just be around them without worrying about wearing a mask, washing my hands or anything like that.
I am really looking forward to travelling a lot more as soon as all this is over and it is safe to travel to other countries again. I even have an entire list of all the places I want to see ready!
I cannot wait to be able to go out to just relax. Whether it’s to a restaurant, movie, coffee shop or just walking around downtown. I know that I can do that right now but I can’t wait till I can do that without having to put on a mask and avoid other people and keep a distance. Just being able to relax is something I am definitely looking forward to.
Taking the bus
I know a lot of people have a problem with taking the bus or don’t particularly enjoy the experience of taking the bus. I always did though- I thought it was peaceful and I particularly enjoyed longer bus rides because they gave me time to think and reflect. I haven’t taken the bus since the pandemic and honestly I kind of miss it.
What are you looking forward to once normal life resumes?
I collaborated with Pooja G on this post. She is an awesome, helpful blogger and it was lovely to collaborate with her! Check out her blog and her Instagram and Twitter
Tati WestbrookIn May 2019, Tati Westbrook uploaded a video on her YouTube titled “Bye Sister”. This video ‘spilled the tea’ on her friendship with James Charles and why she was ending it. For context Tati Westbrook is a make up artist, posting beauty reviews and tutorials on YouTube. In this video, she pinpoints the main reason she ended her friendship with James was because he promoted SugarBearHair which is a brand in competition with Tati’s brand Halo Beauty. She also accused him of sexually harassing straight men. Tati announced that she was severing ties with James after his behaviour and failure to appreciate her. After that video dropped, James lost millions of subscribers and celebrities such as Zara Larsson came forward and states James repeatedly pursued her boyfriend which seemed to confirm Tati’s views. Mutual friend Jeffree Star also tweeted this: People questioned why Tati had decided to come out with these allegations now. It reeked of relevancy and seemed she was more concerned with dragging James down because she felt undervalued by him rather than actually wanting to out him as a predator. The plot thickens as James first responded with an apology video and then a video seemingly pulling out the receipts and refuting Tati’s claims. James alleged that he had tried to get in contact with Tati on multiple occasions to discuss the fact that he had promoted SugarBearHair. However, she refused to take his calls and reply to his messages which led to him posting his apology on Instagram. He pulled out receipts of him promoting her hair products, meaning her claim of being underappreciated wasn’t true. As for the claims of James being a predator, James made a statement in his video “I am a 19-year-old virgin. I have never and will never use my fame, money, or my power to manipulate or get any sexual actions from a guy. That is disgusting. That is not me. The fact that Tati brought this up blows my mind”. Tati brought up a specific situation where James manipulated a straight man called Sam. James shared further screenshots with his conversation with Sam showing that Sam stated he was bisexual and after saying he was nervous, James reassured him that he didn’t have to do anything sexual. There are lots more receipts James pulled out in response to Jeffree Star, Zara Larsson etc so check the video out! After this video surfaced, Tati received backlash and negative comments. She put out a video titled “Why I did It” pleading with the public to stop sending her abusive language, memes and urging her audience to stop picking sides. The verdict: Trying to cancel an 19 year old because you ultimately felt he was disloyal was never going to end well. Also, accusing someone of being a predator comes with serious consequences and it seemed that Tati did not put out the whole story. James pulling out the receipts painted Tati as untrustworthy. There are some rumours floating around that James could have been lying and edited those screenshots but regardless, Tati should have spoken to James first rather than trying to blacklist him on YouTube. Next up…
Jeffree StarAmerican entrepreneur Jeffree Star owns make up brand Jeffree Brand Cosmetics. He is also a former musician. Star has come under fire for derogatory racist remarks. He called make up artist Jackie Aina a “gorilla” and has repeatedly used the N-word. He also said he would throw battery acid on a Black women to lighten her skin. He has also, on many occasions, been misogynistic towards women, yelling the N-word at women in the street, calling Tila Tequila a whore and criticising her for being overt in her sexuality. It’s interesting that Jeffree Star is a well known racist
Shane DawsonThe most recent scandal that’s erupted from Beauty YouTube Inc. (not a thing) is Shane Dawson. An YouTuber, Musician, Actor, Comedian, Make up Artist, Shane has garnered a massive following including over 22 million subscribers. His YouTube consists of comedy sketches, popular conspiracy theories documentaries, Why is he problematic? He has used ‘blackface’ in past videos as well as using the N word in a previous video. Paedophilic comments have also come up in an old video of Shane calling a 5 year old ‘sexy; and making references to googling child porn. A disturbing clip of him pretending to masturbate to a poster of Willow Smith when was she 11 has also come to light. Tati Westbrook uploaded a video where she suggested that Star and Dawson manipulated her into denouncing James Charles, but that’s a whole other story… The verdict: Paedophilia is absolutely unforgivable and it sickens me that Shane made these comments. The Smiths came forward and also expressed their horror at Shane sexualising Willow at such a young age. It’s Karmageddon that YouTube have demonetised Shane and Morphe have pulled all Shane’s make up from their product range. Content creators need to stop being so damn problematic and face up to the consequences. Even more annoying, Shane put out a statement saying he was done with the beauty industry after Tati accused him and Jeffree of manipulating her (Tati, take some accountability for your actions please) to put out her video about James Charles. Hunny, the beauty industry is done with you/ He also went on to call beauty gurus “attention seeking, vengeful, narcisstic” etc in a now deleted tweet. The verdict overall? EVERYBODY STAN JACKIE AINA
It’s been three months of anxiety, overexcitement, boredom and fatigue. You’re looking for a wholesome way of entertaining yourself during this period of overkill. Here are my top picks for entertainment:
- Money Heist: If you haven’t seen this amazing 4 part series on Netflix then what are you waiting for?! Guided by The Professor, fugitives take part in a heist to rob The Royal Mint in Madrid. Captivating and bold, this show has prompted me to think of my own criminal alias, taking inspiration from capital cities like the characters from the show. Delhi sorta has a ring to it, no?
- Peep Show: I recently started this show and it’s been curing my anxiety. It’s a British sitcom about two flatmates who try to navigate society while trying not to fuck up. A must if you want to see some OTT comedy and feel better about your life
- RuPaul’s Drag Race: The perfect escape from ordinary life, you get to see beautiful drag queens compete for the crown. Lip synching, glamour and hilarious acting challenges, you really get sucked in to the competition.
- Too Hot to Handle: This show definitely falls into the category of “Trash TV You Can’t Miss While Scrolling On Your Phone”. Think of it as Love Island on Steroids. A group of single Lads and Ladies are put on an Island with one simple rule: No sexual contact. If they break the rules, money from the prize fund is detracted. The aim of the reality show is to help the contestants form meaningful relationships and genuine connections.
- The Sims: I’d downloaded the game last year but never got round to playing it so this was the perfect time. Slightly addicted to making my family a chaotic, backstabbing mess but it’s ok. Spending thousands of pounds on a red gothic bedroom and then barely having a penny left has become the bane of my life but it’s ok, we live vicariously
- Pokémon Go: I had a long ass hiatus but I’m back. Going out on walks and tryng to catch Pokémon has become an act of self-care and is really wholesome and motivating
- The Last of Us Part 1+2: If you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the next instalment of TLOU series like me then you’ll be overjoyed to discover it is the perfect lockdown fix. Zombies and a captivating storyline make this a cathartic release for the soul and if you’re anything like me, lockdown will make you want to take out your frustrations on some fictiona characters. I would definitely recommend buying the first game if you haven’t played it.
- Animal Crossing: So I haven’t purchased this game yet but I had to include it because it’s garnered such a mass following in a short space of time. I’ve heard that its such a calming, soothing game which lets you build your own village and take part in activites like fishing and bug catching as well as meeting other ‘villagers’. I’m gonna put buying this game at the top of my self-care list.
Hope you enjoyed my picks for entertaining yourself during lockdown! Let me know if there’s anything you’d add x
- Your Sleeping pattern will cease to exist
4 AM is the new 11 PM. Sleeping before midnight is now an urban myth. You will get haunted by the Insomnia ghost and suddenly you have the urge to watch a movie, do a home manicure, go over your regrets from 2010 -2020 and watch videos of funny cats on YouTube.
2. On the other hand, you can’s stop sleeping. Waking up and every day turning out the same is getting boring real quick. Might as well lucid dream to get away from this shit.
3. “Don’t be a COVIDIODIOT” – Aka, stay indoors, stop having parties/gatherings, this is not the time to be social. So if Tyler wants to drop by the off license with 20 of his friends to pick up a multipack of Strongbow dark fruits to drink in the park together – SAY NO
4. It’s okay to feel burntout and lost right now and just wanting to crawl in your bed and play Animal Crossing and The Sims all day long. Don’t let those people who are pressuring you to upskill/apply to jobs/redecorate your house dictate your lockdown experience. Read that book you never got time to read. Play the video games gathering dust. Watch the movie.
5. I don’t know what it is but all of a sudden people are turning into Mary Berry and using this time to make all the crumbles/pies/pastries you can think of. It’s like a game of cat and mouse though everytime you go to the supermarket since flour is always missing. And toilet rolls. Which brings me to my next point.
6. Toilet paper nearly went extinct at one point. Some stupid people thought it was an apocalypse and not a pandemic and bought masses of toilet paper. You greedy fuckers there are lots of people who are struggling to find toilet paper because of you. I hope you all step on logo xoxox P.s. well done to those people who aren’t hogging toilet paper, this meme is for you!
7. Lockdown is weird. Without a purpose everyday begins to feel like Groundhog day. I can’t remember what the date is half the time. You just know this pandemic is going to be mentioned in future GCSE history exams.
One thing I have been grateful for during Lockdown has definitely been the memes and the overall humour of the situation. If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry.
What’s been the best meme you’ve seen during lockdown? Let me know x
Mental Health Awareness Week has approached again and this year’s theme is kindness.
The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability in some social groups and the difficulties they may be facing. The elderly and people who have compromised immune systems and certain health conditions have been advised to stay indoors for 12 weeks.
But what does kindness mean in a time like this? A lot of people that have been advised to stay at home aren’t able to physically make their way to supermarkets to buy groceries and essentials. Being unable to go outside and see people, spend time in nature and go for walks can have a detrimental effect on people’s mental health. It’s important at this time to show kindness to people that are struggling if you are able to. Offer to drop off groceries, speak to them on the phone/FaceTime etc. A little kindness goes a long way.
It’s pivotal to also show kindness to your self as well as other people. A lot of people have been let off work temporarily and are furloughed which means they will be paid 80% of their wages. This means being stuck at home for an indeterminate amount of time and this can trigger poor mental health in some people. Patience with yourself is key. A lot of people feel pressured to spend this time upskilling, looking for remote/other work and building on businesses. This can keep people motivated with a routine which encourages learning and expanding on skills and career goals. But at the same time, it’s important to use this time to pause and take a step back to work on self-care if you are struggling. Be kind to yourself and give yourself warmth and rest if you are struggling. Read that book that you never had time to read before. Pick up that Netflix show you never quite finished. Use this time to unwind, sit in your garden and take in those smells and sights you overlook. For people suffering from burnout, this is the perfect time to take a step back from the fatigue of everyday life and lighten the load. If you want to know more about the importance of self-care, check out my post here.
I’ve seen a post circulating around social media criticising those that don’t reach out to people who are suffering and belittling those that don’t check up on people who may struggling. I feel that this point of view is one sided as it doesn’t let people take care of themselves. By all means, check in on your friends and FaceTime those that are not coping. However, you must also nurture your own mental health and take time out for yourself if you are not in the right state of mind to be in contact with people. A balance between looking after yourself and others is crucial.
Hope my post was useful! Let me know what you think. Also, to anyone struggling, please message me ❤
P.s. Awareness is all good and well, but when are you gonna put some money in the NHS mental health funding Boris hmmm?
In the summer of 2018, I travelled to India for the first time with my family. As a British born Indian girl I was excited to discover my roots and explore my heritage. I wrote an article about my experiences on Gal-Dem so give it a read!
But what did I learn about the specifics of the Indian way of life which is a contrast to the British Indian way of life? Visiting my family in India really solidified this. I decided to write a blog post about it!
- It’s common for people to eat on the floor at mealtimes. Sitting cross legged with a plate of bateta shaak ( potato curry) on my plate, eye level with my family I found myself eating more mindfully, really taking in the taste and visual imagery of the food. As I was balancing food on my lap, I couldn’t really eat and scroll brainlessly through my phone at the same time
- Even though I’m Indian, I found there was a stark contrast to the way I was viewed by Indian natives. It was obvious I was a tourist from everything to the way I dressed to the way I spoke (more on that in the next post). Relatives would often ask me if I spoke Gujarati (my mother tongue) and I would hear workers talk about me thinking I couldn’t understand them.
- The blunt inequality was made blindly obvious to the amount of adult and child beggars on the streets. It forced me to appreciate the fact that I had a roof over my head and food and I that I was travelling India as a tourist, able to visit restaurants and stay in hotels.
- Family and culture share different vibes to the UK. The relationship between caste and marriage is a significant value in Indian culture whereas in the UK, it is more overlooked.
- The driving in India is WHACK. Constant speeding, hanging on for dear life and cows in the way! There are no rules.
- In parts of India, it is the norm to dress modestly, no miniskirts and keep shoulders covered. People will stare.
- Navigating the markets is a strength. Big contrast to Camden. People’s persuasion will be dialed up to a 100 and you will have to put your bargaining skills to the test.
- If you think Indian food in the UK is good you’ve underestimated how unbelievably Peng and beautiful the food is in India. I developed a serious addiction to Aloo Parathas at breakfast with Indian tea and don’t get me started on the Paneer.
If you enjoyed my post, read my article on Gal-Dem for a deeper discussion on how I reclaimed my roots: https://gal-dem.com/wanderthirst-reclaiming-my-roots-in-india/
Let me know what you think in the comments x
An artificial lake which is perfect for boating trips and taking in the mesmerising scenery across Udaipur, Lake Pichola is well worth a visit. Lake Pichola also contains palaces, museums, temples and restaurants if you tire of checking out the stunning waters, (which you won’t obvs). The boating trip starts from Rameshwar Ghat and takes visitors to island Jagmandir where tourists can explore and feel like royalty. Check those quarters out!
Checking out Jagmandir made me feel like I was a queen checking into my luxury retreat without a care in the world. Butlins, take note. The attraction has been converted into a small hotel with just seven hotel rooms but also a restaurant, bar and spa which is pefect if you’re craving a luxury holiday away from the perils of society in your own little island.
Another magnificent palace? India is truly spoiling us. City Palace is also the largest palace in Rajesthan. The palace exhibits a blend of Rajasthani, Mughal, Chinese and European culture. Take a look at the beautifully designed women’s quarters Zenana Mahal which has been converted to a museum, perfect for curious people like me who want to gawp at what would have been my home if I’d been a rich Rajesthani Princess.
Jagdish Temple was a beautiful mandir situated outside the royal palace. I loved seeing the beautiful temples in India which were a world away from the ones in my hometown. The temple is mainly devoted to Lord Vishnu, the Hindu God who is the preserver of the Universe.
My next stop after Jaipur was of course, Jodhpur, likened to the being the ‘blue’ city in contrast to Jaipur’s pink paradise. Full of beautiful scenery, more magnificent architecture and colours, I was excited to see it.
The main stop on my Jodhpur Jaunt was architectural beauty, Mehrangr Fort. The fort is 410 feet above the city and boasts terrific views. It also contains a road leading to the city which is great if you want to do your exploring on foot.The fort divides up several palaces which are a must-see such as Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Zenana Dude, Takht Vilas, Jhanki Mahal.There are also two temples. From paintings to palanquins, Mehrangr Fort is showcases the wonderful scenery of Northwestern India as well as a majestic palace. The fort and museum also contains pieces of heritage art includng costumes, carvings and decoarations.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see as much in Jodhpur due to time constraints, but on my next visit I will journey to sights such as Bal Samand Lake, Mandore Garden, Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park and Kaylana Lake.
I must apologise for the backlog of India posts that I haven’t uploaded but quarantine has given me the chance to finally update these and post it!
Known historically as ‘The Pink City’, Jaipur exceeds expectations to become a terracotta paradise. But why is it called ‘The Pink City?’. The Maharaja of Jaipur sought to impress Prince Albert during his trip to India in 1876. This included building lavish buildings and gardens as well as repainting the city pink in order to create an atmosphere of hospitality. To this day, the pink colour scheme remains.
My exploration started with arriving at the Pearl Palace guesthouse which blew my mind. A heritage hotel, it combines traditional indian architecture and art for a truly authentic experience.
My first stop was the Amer Fort. Mughal architecture, lavish marble walls and an opulent courtyard, I couldn’t wait to get a slice of Rajesthan history. It also contains Sheesh Mahal, an ornate display of mirrors. I was in awe of how beautiful the fort was and the courtyard gardens were nothing to sneeze at either. The stunning backdrop was a pretty picture of Indian countryside.
Usually, when I want to build something beautiful I stick to decorating my Christmas tree but it looks like palaces have always been in style as India is full of them! Mosaic patterned walls, sculptured mirrors, no wonder so many people flock to see this important piece of Jaipur’s history. The palace is divided into four different levels with different attractions such as the Diwan-i-aam (Hall of Public Audience), the Diwan-i-kaas (Hall of Private Audience), Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) and the Sukh Niwas where winds blow over waterfalls to create a cool climate.
There is also two light shows every evening. One is in Hindi which starts at 8 and the English one is at 7.30. There are also puppet shows and a classical dance program which can be located in Sukh Mahal.
If you want to go shopping for gifts/specialty items and traditional wear then look no further than Bapu Bazaar. Famed for being the place to sharpen tourists’ bargaining skills, Bapu Bazar is a delight with a plethora of items which appeals to all sorts of people. I picked up some colourful trousers which unfortunately reminds me of this meme*:
*Substitute for India.
But I didn’t care because they were pretty and cheap! I also took the time to stock up on Lehengas as it had been way too long since I’d bought new ones. Colourful Bangarees and jewellery were also selling fast and I took this opportunity to pick up some.
Authentic Rajasthani culture? Cultural performances? Great food? The Chocki Dhani village enticed us because it was a chance to see a glimpse of the ‘real’ India and satisfy my urge to delve into my roots. Chocki Dhani is an ethnic resort and model village attracts both tourists and locals, not only for their promising attractions but also the culinary experience with an extravagant open air buffet restaurant.
Walking inside after paying the entrance fee, I was lost on what to check out first. I opted for a puppet show where a man was using a wooden control bar and string to move a few cute doll figurines who were decked out in traditional Indian wear including little minature cloth saris.
In the village there were different performances going on. We stopped to check out two Indian girls in gagra cholis (traditional skirt and top with intricate designs and colours) who were dancing energetically. A man was providing the background music by using a tabla (classical drums). There was so much spirit and passion I stopped to watch.
There were other dance performances going on. One in particular was enjoyable because one of the girls tried to coax audience members into showing off their moves too! Eventually, one woman did come up and dance proving that positive energy is contagious.
Another performance which I coudn’t tear my eyes from showed a young woman dancing on glass!
There was lots to do and see at Chocki Dhani. From the unconventional art of palm reading to a merry-go-round to games for kids. After seeing the many attractions, we settled down to eat at the candlelit buffet dinner. There was so much to choose from. You could have Rajasthani cuisine or more Western cuisine as there was a pasta bar. My favourite was the pani puri which came served with different chutneys and dips that I had about 13. No regrets!
Overall, my experience visiting Chocki Dhani was amazing and I loved that so much Indian culture was showcased here.
For the ultimate cinematic experience, I strongly recommend a visit to the grand Raj Mandir, a luxurious cinema in Jaipur. With two staircases and a magnificent foyer. Odeon, take some notes. It is worth noting the cinema exclusively shows movies in Hindi without subtitles. I am not fluent in Hindi but can understand it to an extent, (before anyone calls me a coconut, my mother tongue is Gujarati) so I was looking forward to testing my language skills.
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