Belfast Zoo

Some nice views from Belfast Zoo today. Thought I should share them.






Stop trying to make me skinny!!


God I hate you, yes you with the diet plans and happy healthy snack pack. I really hate you. Not because you are working out or because of your figure I’m glad you’re happy with your body.

But the thing is I am happy with mine too. I don’t need to hit the gym or cut the calories to be happy with how I look, I get the same satisfaction you get from looking in the mirror the second I catch a guy staring at my chest or my ass.


What I hate you for is that you truly believe that your way of living is now the only way. I’ve seen it so many times.. When those people become addicted to the gym or their healthy eating plans and try and ram it down your throat, not literally of course, think of the damn calories!!!


Here’s a fact for you, and whoever that moron is that created that picture above ^^* there is no such thing as a perfect or even an average body type. Yours isn’t a perfect body type if it was you wouldn’t still be hitting the gym everyday striving for perfection. My body type is my natural body type. Sure some women look great with a six pack. Me? I’d look like a heavyweight boxer about to hit the ring. So don’t tell me that I should be at the gym every day just because it works for you. Or that I should watch what I eat or that the way I am isn’t good enough.


I could look like you but I like cake, and pizza!! Lots and lots of pizza! I also like my muscle after a summer of playing football and how it softens in the winter when the leagues over. I like that I’m healthy but not fanatical about it. That I’m physically fit but don’t have to slog to the gym everyday. I like that regardless of your defined biceps I could beat your ass any day and I like that I can accept other people for how good they look.

You go to the gym and love your diet? Good for you I’m glad you enjoy it, you look awesome. I like sitting on the sofa and eating cookies….

I love my body too.

Signs you grew up in a happy dysfunctional family


Meal times were otherwise known as the war zone.

There’s always that one kid who eats nothing but chicken nuggets and chips. Any sight of vegetables on their plate will usually spark a tantrum leading to said child not eating anything at all. Meanwhile across the table another child constantly threatens to stab their brother if he doesn’t stop smacking his food and keeping his mouth open while eating, the wee tramp!

You managed to convince one of your siblings that they were, beyond all reasonable doubt, adopted.

You told your younger brother or sister that they were adopted then continued to prove it by telling them how they looked so much different from the rest of the family, to the point where they totally believed you. This usually leads to a family meeting where your parents had to reassure said child that they were not, in fact, adopted.

Your parents dressed you the same.

Regardless of gender if there were more than two of you you were all dressed the same. Apparently it was just easier. Bit awkward if you were the only girl though.

You had ten million hobbies as a child…

And never perfected any of them. Be it gymnastics, Irish dancing or boxing you couldn’t wait to join and then you couldn’t wait to quit. Usually after getting all the gear and making your parents pay for all the equipment with the promise that you’ll keep it up this time.

One kid got picked on more than others…

Usually because they were more annoying than the others and deserved it. Probably still does.

One of you ran away at least once a week.

Whether it was to the end of the garden, up the road to your granny’s house or under a pile of linen in a cupboard for an hour, you were determined you were running away. Usually after packing some of your favourite toys into a bag and screaming in a fit of anger, ‘I hate everyone, I wish I was never born.’

Monopoly was the devil.

Usually ending in the board being tipped over in a fit of rage because you’ve been playing for the past four hours and the bankers just been caught cheating.

The elusive bedtime.

Bedtime really meant.. I’ll meet ya on the landing in ten minutes for the Pokemon battle to end all Pokemon battles.

You kicked lumps out of each other. Usually in the most creative ways.

Between kicking each other under the table and Chinese burns to mini nips and yellow car no hit backs. There were so many inventive ways to beat the crap out of each other.

‘Stop copying me’…. ‘Stop copying me. ‘

Anyone with brothers or sisters knows this copy cat routine. Usually ending in a good ‘how much wood would a wood chuck chuck…?’ In order to get the other one to shut the hell up!!

You can insult each other, but no one else can.

As a family you are able to insult each other on a daily basis and you can all laugh about. But the minute someone from outside the family insults one of you, shits about to go down.

Mental Illness: why my parents wouldn’t understand.

These are my own personal reflections on why it’s easier to tell other people that you are struggling with mental illness than it is to tell your nearest and dearest.

From a very young age I’ve struggled with the confines of society and what we know as social practice. Things like talking about the traffic or the next public holiday (hairdresser talk) is usually met with a ‘yeah’, some form of grunt or a blank stare. But where it gets really bad is when the anxiety has a detrimental effect on everyday life. Things like driving lessons and tests, interviews, meetings, telephone calls. That’s when things start to get tricky.

Trying to reach out and ask for help is difficult, asking for anything in general can be pretty difficult. But for me trying to ask my parents for help is out of the question. When ‘it’ll be fine’, ‘stop worrying’, or ‘your grand there’s nothing wrong with you’, are frequently uttered in general conversation I genuinely don’t think they would understand.

People often ask ‘is she always this quiet’, and my parents would usually reply with a ‘yeah she’s just shy.’ While I stand there blandly and pretend I’m a tree.

Don’t get me wrong they love me very much I have an amazing family. However there is so much awareness now surrounding mental illness and the importance of mental health that wasn’t around when they were growing up and it’s no surprise that people become stuck in their ways. To them depression isn’t a disease it’s just sadness and what would a twenty-something year old have to be sad about. Anxiety is just worry and worrying is silly.

The stigma surrounding mental illness is so off the mark that by telling my parents that I’m not coping I think they will think less of me. Like I’m some kind of damaged individual and it somehow reflects on them.

It seems the younger generation have grown up with a knowledge of the importance of mental health. I feel more comfortable telling my friends that I have social anxiety before I would tell my parents or my grandmother, because although I know they love me I don’t think they truly grasp how much it effects my life.

The worst thing to say to someone with anxiety is ‘don’t worry’, it’s the equivalent of telling someone having an asthma attack to ‘just breath.’ It’s just not that easy.

10 challenges every amateur Ladies Football team face every season.


1. ‘Can we get a pretty kit?’

Between fixing our hair on the field or wearing leggings because our tan isn’t right. How we look even when we are all sweaty and covered in mud is of the upmost importance.
It’s no surprise that women have a completely different colour chart in comparison to men. This creates a range of challenges when attempting to coordinate a new kit and tracksuit!

2. The squealer’s.

There is always that one overly girly girl who squeals every time they get the ball… Or give away the ball… Or get tackled… Or dirty…or taken off.. Or, well, it’s pretty endless.

3. Wardrobe malfunctions can be detrimental.

There’s always that one busty girl who tends to forget the essential sports bra. She usually spends the majority of the match fixing her bra straps or trying to hold her boobs to stop them from hitting her up the face while she runs for the ball.

4. Drama, oh the drama!!

There is no such thing as playing your best team because if wee Betty doesn’t get on before that other bitch that never goes to training then, fuck, are you in for an earful.

5. No one wants to manage you.

And you can’t possibly imagine why? We are all a great bunch girls. Really dedicated. We had 6 at training last week after all!!

6. Travel time is essential.

That extra 15 minutes travel time is a necessity in women’s football because meet at the club at 6:30 sharp in reality means meet at the club at quarter to seven… We’ll have a chat… We need to scrape a team together… Start ringing people.. She looks slightly sporty, she’s wearing trainers, ask her if she fancies a game… We need to go to the shop… Oh fuck we forgot the kit… Ok we’re ready to leave… What do you mean we’re late?

7. The keeper is the most important player.

Why? Because if your regular keeper can’t make it then there will be all out war when you name the person you are throwing into nets. Tears and tantrums are inevitable, but we still can’t imagine why nobody wanted to coach us this year?!

8. We have a pretty small fan base.

Usually a collection of dads and boyfriends who have wandered up just to get out of the house. Although they do give the best encouragement.
‘No that own goal wasn’t your fault.’
‘You’s are definitely getting better.’
‘That team were just bigger than you’s, they were like men.’
Best Supporters Ever!!

9. The excuses for not training are original.

‘I can’t make training I have to do my tan for tomorrow night. ‘
‘I’m not going he didn’t put me on last week. ‘
‘I’ve a date, can’t make it. ‘
‘I just don’t feel like it tonight.’
‘I’m not going if *insert the name of the person you hate* is going.’

10. The men’s team ruin everything.

For some strange reason the men’s senior squad who play in division one and have over 40 guys at trainings seem to take precedence over the ladies division three squad who train once a week (sometimes). There is clearly no explicable reason for this besides sexism you bunch of prejudice bastards.

10 things you learn working in a cafe.


. 1. Everyone thinks you are stupid.

It wouldn’t matter if you had a degree in biochemical engineering, if you’ve messed up that old ladies order, to her, you have the same mental capacity of a teaspoon…. Which, coincidentally, is what she asked you for!

2. Table choice is a matter of life and death.

There could be twenty free tables that all look the same, but none of them (NONE OF THEM!!) are more inviting than that really dirty one over there. Beware; the customer will continue to stand beside it tut’ing and acting like their tray has the equivalent weight of ten breeze blocks until you clean it for them.

3. Coffee is supposed to be hot.

Who knew right? Well apparently you didn’t because that gentleman in the white there has told you 50 times that he wants a medium cappuccino and can you make sure it’s hot?!?

4. Penny pinching is an art form.

There is no bigger achievement for an elderly couple than reducing the price of their food and coffees from £20 to a whopping 45p. Vouchers, offers, gift cards and discounts are the most exciting thing in their lives. Please Note: they will proceed to give you the said 45p in 2p’s and pennies and will lose count several times….Then ask you to count it.

5. Everything costs too much.

There is nothing more disturbing than the sour features of a middle aged lady as she repeatedly checks her receipt and tuts at you like you have personally stolen the food out of her children’s mouths.

6. It’s all your fault.

It wouldn’t matter if the whole of the local primary school and their grannies had just filtered through the door. If there is so much as a sniff of a queue then you aren’t working hard enough.

7. Tea is a gift sent from God himself.

There is nothing better than someone asking for tea. Why? Teapot, teabag, water, done!!

8. Expect stupid questions.

It doesn’t matter how many times a week wee Noreen comes in. She’s still gonna ask you where you get the milk and sugar.
‘Just over there pet’
*same place you got it Yesterday*

9. People suddenly lose the power in their legs.

*sets down food*
‘Uh oh, I forgot to lift the cutlery’
It’s ok I’ll get it!
‘Aww will Ya that’s awful kind of you, will you get us some ketchup, oh and some salt too. ‘
Aye I know your game!!

10. There are very few people in this world that know the difference between a cappuccino and a latte.

‘Which ones the cappuccino?’
‘Whys it got chocolate on top?’
‘That’s the caramel latte?’

Oh dear!

Living with social anxiety.

Social Anxiety is one of those issues that is very difficult to define. Yes, there are plenty of medical terms and theories and discussions covering the topic but it never reaches as far as how social anxiety can make you feel.

Suffocating, that’s one way to describe it. It’s when you want to go out but you wait for your friends to text and ask you because if you text them first they might feel compelled to bring you rather than say no and you don’t want to put them in that position.

Someone with social anxiety knows that’s completely irrational, your friends have continuously proved that they enjoy your company but you still can’t bring yourself to text them because you are afraid of bothering them.

It’s also very frustrating, you feel like no one really knows you because in your room on your own or with those few special people you are the most bubbly outgoing person in the world; but when you leave your little hideaway you turn into someone else. Someone who’s afraid to approach people. Someone who has loads of goals but can’t find the courage to go out and grab them. You are afraid of annoying people so you sit quietly and then curse yourself later for not taking more chances.

Interviews, presentations, and public speaking are your idea of pure and utter hell. Actually hell is probably a lot more pleasant. There is nothing worse than having all the answers/notes/information in your head and then it all gets lost as it makes its way from your brain to your mouth. You start shaking uncontrollably and turn red in front the whole room.

Reactions are difficult, when people go to touch you, give you a hug, a pat on the back and all you can do is look at them awkwardly.

Embarrassment is 100% worse for you than for someone who doesn’t have social anxiety. Fear of embarrassment can leave you sitting in your house for weeks. Or if you’ve done something silly you analyse it to death when others around you have probably already forgotten about it. That sinking feeling is all too familiar.

Conversation can be difficult. General conversation is hard for someone with social anxiety. Things like talking about the weather will usually be responded to with a few words but if someone gets you talking about a topic of interest or engage you in a deep discussion you are more than happy to make the effort to talk.

Telephone calls are evil!! You would much rather opt for text messaging and social media, it gives you some time to think of a reply and what you want to say. Or even a heads up someone might ring is better than a call out of nowhere. They should be prepared to leave a voicemail.

People of authority can fill you with dread. Might be some of the nicest people in the world but knowing what to say to them is completely beyond you.

Social anxiety doesn’t define you.

You have your own quirks, passions, opinions, you like to let your hair down, once you’ve managed to venture out the door that is.