I Just Confiscated A Fidget Spinner From A Two Year Old

If that isn’t a Daily Mail style click bait headline, I don’t know what is. But fear not, I am not like that majestic publication where an article entitled ‘Mother of 6 Beats Children’ is merely about a competitive mum winning at a family game of Monopoly. Let me set the scene.

I had just started my last lesson before lunchtime, at this point I’m usually delirious with hunger and praying that it isn’t ‘mysterious fish day’. I’m on my 3rd round of Incy Wincy Spider when I see something black poking out of the corner of a little girl’s back pocket. Her name is Knanna and for the first 6 weeks that she was in my class I thought she was a boy. As I was bald until the grand old age of 2 (my mother spent those dark years sticking large pink bows on my forehead and manically shouting ‘SHES A GIRL’), I understand the struggles of being a girl with no hair but this is a reasonably accurate depiction of what Knanna looks like. Imagine that face on a 2 year old body.



So Knanna is doing her usual impression of a sea lion, trying to join in the complex dance moves of the Hokey Pokey but ultimately looking like she’s wrestling an invisible ghost. I retrieve the object from her back pocket whilst she’s trying to remember which foot is which and discover it to be a metal fidget spinner. I was baffled and impressed, getting contraband like personal toys onto the school premises is a bit like smuggling a gram of cocaine into mainland China. We can all learn something from Knanna, if you look clueless but still manage to clap along in life, you can pretty much get away with anything.


The Hong Kong Sevens: Where The World Comes to Booze

So after 7 days of intense intoxication, 2 bouts of food poisoning and sleeping rough in a horrid Thai hostel, it would have made sense to have a detox and reminded my body what water tastes like. But no, the biggest weekend in the Hong Kong social calendar arrived so, as I say to my 5 year olds when they lose in a class game like the weaklings they are, ‘stop being a massive baby’. We had to accept that Sevens fever had begun. My family also came to visit, meaning I would have to find the time to be a local tour guide as well as ingest enough beer to sedate a race horse.

Friday: The first day was a good warm up to the weekend. We discovered that you need a passport or HKID to get into the South Stand which meant several trips back to Kowloon. It wasn’t that busy and we got to see our friends Tash, Izzy and Nathalie who all had the misfortune of forgetting their passports too. We celebrated Charlotte’s 20th birthday that night after drinking non stop all afternoon and not eating anything. Day drinking is an art form that I am yet to perfect as it usually results in me falling asleep or crying about something that happened 10 years ago. The biggest mistake we made during sevens weekend was not eating enough food which is a problem I rarely face in my day to day life. I have always been baffled by people who forget to eat meals as my entire day is motivated by the consumption of snacks and meals. But when you’re choosing between a cheeseburger and another litre of beer, it seems more practical to choose the latter.


Charlotte on Day 1 full of hope and completely unprepared for the events that would come

Saturday: I woke up at 6:30 after about 6 hours of sleep to prepare for the carnage that awaited. I was surprised to not hear Libby pottering about sorting her make up but I let her sleep, she surely would have an alarm set. She had stumbled in with my sister at 4am, doing exactly what everyone says not to do by getting spangled on the first night and potentially ruining yourself for the big day. When we decided to get tickets, we were told one piece of worldly advice ‘to get into the South Stand, you need to be there before 9am at the very latest’. Once the South Stand is full, it is a one in one out process, so time was of the essence. There was a zero percent chance I was spending the day with people who had gone to the event to actually watch the rugby. The Saturday also coincided with my sister Charlotte’s birthday.

Side note about my sister (who is pictured above for your reference): for most of her late teen years Charlotte refused to consume any alcoholic beverages with me or our family as she considered it wasted calories. Her body is a well looked after temple whilst mine resembles a monkey conquered shit heap. Luckily for me, Charlotte has entered the debilitating experience that is university and her diet of salads and dust has evolved into cheese, chocolate and shame. With this dietary change, a new Charlotte has risen from the ashes. This Charlotte was the person who suggested the first pint at 8:25am on the Saturday. I’ve never been so proud.

We arrived at the stadium and the South Stand luckily wasn’t full so we walked straight in, realising we wouldn’t be leaving all day if we wanted to get back in. Sitting down in our seats and comprehending there was nothing else to do but get pissed was quite a harsh reality before 9am. Dress up is one of the key aspects of the 7’s and Libs and I decided to go as 60’s groovy chicks. I think I probably got more compliments on our fancy dress outfits than I will get on my wedding day. The only issue was if we lifted our arms above our heads, the people behind us could read the label on my thong.


This picture gives off the false impression that we were truly engaged with the sporting abilities of the players as opposed to their overall physical attractiveness. 

My only criticism of the event was the toilet system. As a member of the fairer sex, I really struggle with the fact that I will spend a large proportion of my life queuing to go to the toilet. I could probably be fluent in Italian, be able to recite 100 numbers of Pi and read the entire literary works of William Shakespeare in the time I have spent queuing for the toilet. It is extremely stressful, especially when you’re boozing, to know that you will have to wait for 45-60 minutes to relieve yourself. The queue wrapped round the entirety of the South Stand. The line for Stealth at Thorpe Park was shorter. The look of horror in every girl’s eyes when they realised this was their solution to pissing can only be matched by someone whose been told their family are relocating to North Korea. It’s amazing how chummy you get with your female companions in these situations, but also how quickly mob mentality sets in. A girl dressed as a bowl of spaghetti tried to cut in and the entire queue started charting “CUTTER CUTTER CUTTER”. Another girl cried ‘wait your turn spag bol we’ve been here for hours’. Queue friends are a bit like speed dating partners, you have 2-3 minutes to find out weird and wonderful information before you go your separate ways, probably never to be seen again.

My mother texted us from her seat in the other stand just after when we should have eaten lunch. My original plan was to bring my parents into the South Stand but I was immediately overcome with images of my mother having a pint of piss thrown over her head and decided this would result in me being written out of her will. As parental figures come, mine are reasonably cool. One of my mother’s greatest qualities is her ability to celebrate absolutely everything. For example: when I came home for Christmas after 8 weeks in HK she not only got Libs and I balloons but they were personalised with our name on in glitter. So as you can imagine she’s a pretty low key person. This is the picture she texted me.


As I said, she doesn’t normally make a fuss. We somehow managed to miss this spectacle mostly because we were facing the wrong way and also because Charlotte was in this state at 1pm.


Then at 4pm after she long armed an entire pint over her face and attained a wig similar to little orphan Annie.


Then again at 7pm in a lovely local Chinese restaurant approximately 20 minutes before I stuck her in a cab.


Meanwhile I’d discovered that I should definitely go blonde no matter what the haters on my Instagram poll (that I have no recollection of posting) say.


As you can imagine, we didn’t make it to the Sunday due to me curling up and dying like an unwatered house plant. It was definitely worth it. I may have lost the full capacity of my liver but life’s too short to not drink extensively just because you know you’ll spend the following 5 days in an alcohol based depression, contemplating drinking a bottle of paint in the arts and crafts cupboard.



Full Frontal Lunatics

Continuing the tale of our Thai adventure, the bus trip was reasonably uneventful. Big Libs managed to sleep on every leg of the 18.5 hour journey and arrived in Koh Phangan like a bear reemerging from hibernation.

Jack and Hayley had booked into the hostel next door to us called ‘Nomads’ which was basically an abandoned hotel taken over by drunk travellers looking to party and fornicate. It should be renamed ‘Nobody should fucking stay here’. If you have ever wondered what ‘Lord of the Flies’ would actually be like, Nomads is perfect for you.

Our hostel was called Lazy House Shenanigans. Another party hostel promising foam parties, beer pong and a pretty loose time. We were taken to our room, excited to get in the pool and try and get some essence of a tan before the evening. Each room was ‘themed’ with famous rockstar faces printed on the wall. The pictures on Hostel World made it look reasonably nice which is what you would expect for 20 quid a night. What we walked into was a very air conditioned bomb bunker. The ‘rockstar mural’ on the wall resembled a government propaganda poster to prevent meth addiction. There was no window which meant whatever time you woke up felt like you were getting up for a 3am flight to Malia. I was placed next to the air conditioning vent which basically meant I was sleeping in an arctic tundra. I didn’t realise I’d signed up for Bear Gryll’s newest series of The Island aka the North Pole.


Full Moon involved the consumption of many buckets of Thai vodka. If you are ever offered this satanic substance as a Smirnoff substitute, run as far away as physically possible like your life depends upon it. We also did the stereotypical body paint that looks fantastic when it glows but in normal light, the moon on my face looked like a squashed banana found at the bottom of a child’s lunchbox.


Waking up the afternoon after Full Moon in our pitch black bunker room was a pretty horrific experience, it could’ve been June for all I knew. In the space of 6 hours, I had contracted some sort of virus or been poisoned by the slightly questionable chicken pad thai I had for dinner. I can already see you guys nodding your heads sarcastically and saying ‘sure you weren’t just really hungover?’. Well, judgemental internet users, I’m about to clarify just how unwell I was. During this spell of sickness, I had to make the Sophie’s choice of bodily functions. You know it’s going to be a bad day when you have no other option but to throw up in your hands. On the plus side, I was one step closer to becoming a malnourished Chinese Olympian.

After Full Moon, Koh Phangan resembled a pillaged village, with confused hungover hooligans searching for any signs of life or a cheap bacon sandwich.  We should’ve upped and left then but we’d already paid an extortionate amount of money for our communal igloo so decided to stay. Jack and Hayley did the smart thing, after their hostel forgot their booking, and got the fuck out of there.

You might’ve noticed we aren’t particularly good at travelling. We spend too much money, we get horrifically sunburnt and one of us always ends up being sick. Big Libs and I also have zero concept of appropriate levels of nudity in a hostel dorm. By our 3rd night at Lazy House, we were 2 of 5 people left in our fridge dorm. We traumatised our fellow dorm mates, three 18 year old boys with hopes and dreams and no clue what a dissertation or student debt feels like, by walking round our dorm butt naked. As mentioned previously, I “forgot” a towel which made showering an absolute delight. Luckily one of our new infant friends reassured us that we didn’t need to worry as he saw his girlfriend naked all the time. Thanks babes let me know how your A level results come out and whether that relationship makes it through freshers.

As expected, we managed to mess up our return journey. Unable to get a ferry in time to catch our Hong Kong flight home, we had to go to Koh Samui a day early. To be honest, I was just excited to get the feeling back in my toes again and not have to engage in small talk with our pre pubescent cell mates. We spent the rest of our baht on a fancy dinner at a family resort that reinforced our plan to return to Thailand after the death/divorce of our wealthy significant others.

So Thailand, was it the best holiday of our lives? No. Would I go back in a hurry? No. Did I live my 18 year old dreams covered in paint and sand for one wild night? Definitely.


Bangkok: Holla City of Squala

Body content: 20% thai green curry, 50% Tiger Beer, 30% shame

A week since our return from Thailand and I am finally capable of writing something remotely cohesive and semi humorous. I know many of you will be deeply disappointed to hear that I did not end up like my literary idol, Bridget Jones, in a Thai jail teaching the locals the legendary anthem ‘Like a Virgin’ but I think we can all agree I’m really not tough enough to be initiated into a gang. I cried at a gum advert last week.

Narrator: and an orange jumpsuit would do nothing for your skin tone.

We arrived in the city of sin Wednesday night, after partaking in the horrible British ritual of drinking beer and eating Burger King french fries at the airport. My expectations of Bangkok were pretty high, I watched the Hangover 2 as preparation and was fully ready to force a spangled Big Libs into getting a face tattoo.

Knowing that our trip would be short and sweet, we wanted to make the most of our time there and consume as much culture/food/alcohol as physically possible. We booked in at Slumber Party Hostel, the first line of my booking conformation email read as,

‘Put on your party pants (or take them off, either way:) and let’s knock back some beers!’ 

We arrived at midnight expecting to be thrown into a full frontal rave, only to be met by one lonely child sized bartender and a dog with a gammy leg. We were also greeted by the news that our hostel was in the centre of a grid of red light districts. Heading straight out to Soi Cowboy to see what our local scene was like, we immediately discovered a grave error had been made with the location. Soi Cowboy was as disgusting and appalling as I had expected and was where the majority of the Hangover 2 was filmed. The only plus was we were in no danger of being catcalled at as there were girls wearing nothing but nipple tassels and an eyepatch. I will keep this post lighthearted because I am a performing monkey with a keyboard, but my big travel tip for anyone with a moral conscience would be to avoid this area of Bangkok like the plague. Some of the bars wouldn’t even serve us as we weren’t within their key demographic aka rich, drunk and male. Who knew it would be so difficult to get an alcoholic beverage in the Bangkok red light district?


Soi Cowboy during the daytime was somehow worse than its night alter ego

If you ever fancy feeling suicidal for a few hours, go out in the midday Bangkok heat after a night of no sleep and 50+ beverages. Not wanting to waste any time, we dragged ourselves out of bed and went to try and engage with some culture to block out the fuzzy memory of dancing on a club podium like a stripper whose rent is due the next day. It was up there as one of the sweatiest and darkest experiences of my life and I did my Gold Dofe on the wettest weekend Wales has had in 400 years. Arriving at the Reclining Buddha, we swiftly realised we had not brought culturally appropriate clothing to enter a place of worship. My white dress had gone see through with sweat and I resembled a soggy, used napkin. Yes it was just as sexy as you are all imagining it to be and yes I am single. Luckily we were able to purchase garms that didn’t look like beach wear even though they did make us look like every 18 year old from Surrey trying to ‘make sense’ of their upper middle class lives on their gap year.  My temple skirt also doubled as my towel for the rest of the trip.


Narrator: So that’s two holidays you’ve completed without a towel you filthy animal.

To be frank, Bangkok just didn’t do it for me. It was the combination of the heat (with no access to a pool or a puddle), the traffic and the fact that the main boozing area shut at 2am. I plan to return after the mysterious accidental death of my very rich husband and stay in a 5 star resort and I’m sure it’ll be a much more pleasant experience.

On our second day, our travel companions Jack and Hayley joined us. This was also Jack’s expression when he had to carry a trollied Hayley to the toilet a few hours later.


Big Libs had not been feeling her usually funky fresh self and had even turned down an alcoholic beverage, an act that has never been seen before or recorded since birth. About 5 minutes later, she projectile vomited into a bush. Reminiscent of The Great Geysir of Iceland, Big Libs proceeded to expel liquid and shame all over my brand new Birkenstocks. A real testament of our undying love for one another. Big Libs would like it to be noted that the above behaviour was from food poisoning, not tequila so her mother Caroline doesn’t question our very sensible life choices.

The next day we would be travelling south to Koh Phangan and due to budgetary cuts we were taking the bus. After our transport experience in the Philippines that can only be described as similar to a really bad acid trip, we were fully expecting to be shoved in a van like cans of beans. We were pleasantly surprised when a very large double decker bus picked us up to take us on to our next adventure. What wasn’t so pleasant was the family of ants that decided to set up camp on my chair. Only 15 hours to go.


Tune in next time for more vomit 

These Shoes Weren’t Made For Flooding

I’m going to make this post short and sweet, similiar to the bowl of boiled rice I just inhaled as my sad excuse of a lunch. It’s the last day of school before Easter break, meaning I signed off mentally last Thursday from my duties as an educator. After exiting one of my first morning classes (where a boy named Garfield shit himself and tried to blame it on another child with excrement running down his leg), I was greeted by an alarming amount of water seeping its way across the reception area. One of the pipes had burst and I’m not sure why but when something goes wrong or breaks, it’s quite exciting watching the reactions of my fellow colleagues. Every teacher had a broom/mop/towel/school tracksuit and was attempting to stop the foyer of the school resembling the second deck of the Titanic. Their efforts were about as effective as giving a gunshot wound victim a single piece of toilet paper and the water was spreading quickly. A broom was thrusted in my direction and I realised I would have to contribute to the group effort of keeping our ship afloat. The appropriate reaction to this situation would be the following:

‘This is a hazard for the children make sure none of them fall over’

‘Let’s make sure we have enough wet floor signs’

‘Can I help?’

The dialogue that went through my head was slightly different

‘Do you think they’d notice if I hid in the cupboard with the toilet rolls?’

‘My shoes are 100% not durable enough for this shit show and if my socks get wet, they’ll be wet all day meaning my ability to teach/tolerate children will diminish into a puddle on the ground’

‘For the love of God, I hope this means that the school has to be closed’

Jesus I could really do with an Easter miracle even though we haven’t spoken in many years and I didn’t go to church on Christmas because I was drinking mimosas in my pyjamas’

As the water levels dropped, so did my hopes of school being cancelled. The only water still circulating the building is located in my Reebok Classics.






Fruit and Feet for Thought

Number of hours spent doing admin to hopefully secure a career where I don’t have to take the temperature of 200 children daily: 15-20

Number of hours spent watching Grey’s Anatomy at desk terrified that head mistress will pop her head in and see me sobbing into a Kinder Bueno: 3

Number of hours spent doing work related activities: 45 minutes

Number of Ferrero Rochers stolen from the kitchen: 4

For those of you who missed out on my titillating explanation of what a school ‘Birthday Party’ is, this should clarify things for you. Yesterday I was informed that today was going to be another birthday celebration and I only produced a high pitched scream for sub 5 seconds. The glorious feeling waking up on a Friday knowing you won’t have to interact with children in an academic sense all day can only be matched by that first bite of a Krispy Kreme donut.

As you may remember, I lost two dear friends in the Philippines. My Birkenstocks were cruelly snatched away from me.

Narrator: Or they were washed away whilst you were skinny dipping in the sea at 3am pissed out of your mind.

If they were kidnapped, I’ll admit to being an irresponsible parent for leaving them without a babysitter. The more alarming fact is that I didn’t notice until 2 days later but we’ll blame that on my total assimilation into island life. I purchased a new pair which was harder than I expected. It felt like I was cheating on my old Birks but I just couldn’t commit to a long distance monogamous sandal relationship. It needed to be done even if the woman in the shop was alarmed at the size of my feet (I’m a 6.5 but remember we’re in China).

So I decided today the Birks were making their school debut, I needed to wear them in anyway. I didn’t see a problem with them, they’re not particularly revealing and my good friend Tallulah would classify them as an excellent form of birth control. As you can guess, I was wrong. I have never seen so many people puzzled by ten toes in my life and have decided that they must all have little hooves inside their trainers. I also forgot about the tattoo on the side of my foot that was suddenly very visible, choosing to cover it with a plaster drawing even more attention to my feet. My head mistress has banned my Birks from the school premises.

My only job today was to organise a ‘fruit related game’. Have you ever had to think of a game that a 2 year old and a 6 year old have a mutual interest in playing? No? That’s because they don’t exist.

After banging out an X Factor worthy version of ‘Happy Birthday’ (the best bit is when I pretend like I don’t want to/can’t sing when I already have a firm grip on the hand held mike and have decided what key I will be performing in) it was my turn to explain my game. I had envisioned a fruit relay race using pieces of plastic fruit. I thought that wouldn’t be too difficult to understand.


My game went down like a Nazi joke at Oktoberfest. Cut to 3 minutes later Jason has managed to lodge the entire plastic apple in his mouth and can’t get it out. The children haven’t quite grasped the concept of the relay race and proceed to run backwards and forwards like a flock of goblins completing the bleep test. The other teachers are looking very disappointed with my inability to contribute. Or maybe they were just looking at my feet.

Sunburn, Sex and Suspicious Insect Bites

Following a brief hiatus due to overwhelming and unnecessary alcohol consumption, we have returned from the Philippines with almost everything intact (my Birkenstocks/HKID/dignity remain somewhere in El Nido if anyone finds them please do let me know)

Side note: whilst writing this post, I have spelt ‘Philippines’ wrong approximately 300 times.

Our friend Tallulah joined us for our trip as she has just started her travels around Asia before selling her soul to the corporate devil. All I can say is both of our parents owe Tallulah eternal thanks for ensuring that Big Libs and I didn’t die or end up in prison. That said, Tallulah is also an idiot otherwise we wouldn’t have invited her. This is T and this was her facial expression for 75% of our holiday.


Anyone who has me on social media will have seen how breath taking and mind boggling the views were so I’ll keep the bragging short.


Mad Monkey Hostel, Nacpan Beach where dreams come true/dignity is lost


‘I don’t want any bikini pictures on the holiday’ Tallulah Stobart 2018


On to the much more important section, how did we ruin our lives/disgrace the Great British name abroad:

It would be fair to say we let our hair down. It would also be fair to say we probably should’ve tied it back up again sooner than we did. A beer cost 40 pesos allowing us to believe it was appropriate to drink between 8-12 beers a night. I’ve compiled our best and worse moments into a cohesive list. Many more exciting things happened on this trip but we can’t give away all our secrets/I don’t fancy President Duerte hunting me down.


  • Our weekend spent on the boat was probably the best two days of our entire lives, enhanced by watching two shot Tallulah down five shots of rum in under 15 minutes. The only thing that would have made it better is if I hadn’t looked like I’d been cooked at 270 degrees in an oven.
  • Getting a free ride on an inflatable in the sea with some nice locals who proceeded to lie across all three of us as they needed to ‘balance the boat’. We laughed so hard that my abs got a work out for the first time in 12 days, underneath the thick layer of pizza and San Miguels. Once on the rubber ring, we decided this would be the most inventive and creative way to kidnap tourists.
  • Travelling to Snake Island. Whilst floating in the water, Libby heard a buzzing sound, looked up and legged it through the water running away from what she thought was a swarm of bees. It turned out to be a drone so someone somewhere has footage of a very pale British girl screaming like a banshee.
  • Watching Libby have to carry her suitcase like a briefcase everywhere we went and referring to her as ‘suitcase wanker’.
  • Watching 50 shades of Grey during the day we spent at the mall due to the typhoon, during a particularly raunchy scene the woman next to us belched extremely loudly.
  • Every single pizza.



  • Getting 3rd degree sunstroke and 2nd degree burns from a mere 7 hours in the sun on the first day, which needed medical attention and a trip to A&E. Met several other people on our travels who either didn’t recognise me from our first hostel/referred to me as ‘the burnt girl’. Our new nurse friend stated ‘I’ve seen people who have been set on fire that had less damage’.


Pre 50 shades of Grey, loaded up with anti inflammatory cream after our traumatic trip to the hospital. Ft Lib’s exotic scarf purchased to protect against further sunburn.

  • Booking a hostel on the wrong island and having to sleep in a non air conditioned shed that may have hidden the bodies of several missing children. There was also a very large gecko.
  • Big Libs having to spend excessive amounts of money trying to complete 2 job interviews in very underdeveloped areas. This was also a small high as watching Libby put on an interview worthy outfit in a sandy hostel was very entertaining.
  • Running out of money on multiple occasions and having to use our sugar momma Tallulah to bail us out and save us from prostitution.
  • Sand everywhere. We’ve come to accept it will forever make up part of our anatomy.
  • Libs ordering a bowl of noodles that cost 99 pesos (£1.36) and it is still the only thing she has ever refused to eat in her entire life. Two words: cat vomit.
  • Tallulah fell in a hole.
  • Libby accidentally poured a shot of rum in her eye and went temporarily blind.
  • Losing the most important piece of identification I own besides my passport and having heart palpitations for 24 hours before arriving at immigration in Hong Kong. Really didn’t fancy starring in the next episode of Banged Up Abroad although would allow more people to see how great my tan looks.


Most Valuable Player: Tallulah as she saved us from having to eat sand for the last 4 days of our holiday and brought enough painkillers that if my hand had been bitten off by a shark I probably wouldn’t have felt it.

Most Screams Per Day: Libby as she is afraid of everything including the sea, insects, rats, drones, people, hostel beds, the sun.


Big Libs also won ‘Best Tan’ as this was the colour she remained for the entire trip

Most Skin Lost: Georgia as I unknowingly got a natural chemical peel and at one point looked like Michael Jackson half way through his skin whitening process.

Overall it was a fantastic experience, we met some delightful humans and we all made it home in one, much chubbier piece.

This post is dedicated to my Birkenstocks. Wherever you are, I hope you’re living a fulfilled and happy life potentially on the feet of a small Filipino street child. You will be sorely missed.