By Aislinn De'Ath

By Aislinn De'Ath
Click on my face to link to my vlog!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Body business...

The thing is Reader, I am feeling quite large at the moment. And there is a reason for that. The reason is that I AM quite large at the moment. I didn't realise it till I didn't fit into a size 10 earlier today because my boobs almost broke the zip. Thing is, I've been dating this guy who loves food. I already love food, so being with him is like a dream-a ticket to feast, because he'll always eat more than me. The thing is, he is built of pure muscle and does lots of exercise and I am...well...I'm not really built, I'm more sort of casually moulded into a variety of curves.

The issue I have with this is that I do not like my body over a certain weight and that makes me sad. I don't want to not like my body. My body does really lovely things for me, like help me act, do yoga, dance and hopefully one day give birth to a small clan of children. My body is a nice thing. And I haven't always treated my body very nicely in the past; I smoked for four years, then another year. When I drink, I drink heavily. I don't exercise enough, or drink enough water. My poor body doesn't like wheat or dairy and I choose to ignore that fact and eat pizza and cheesy pasta on a regular basis. But my body still troops on. It has lived through asthma attacks, chest infections, ski collisions, being burnt by hot oil on a badly supervised Girl Guide's camping trip and even a scary two weeks where a doctor told me to deal with the fact that I might not be able to have children. Reader, I swore at my body a lot that week. I cried everywhere- bus stops, supermarket toilets, cafes, an ultrasound wing of a hospital and on the train to an audition (the audition didn't go terribly well). I didn't really tell anyone because it seemed like A Very Big Thing. And my heart didn't feel ready to face the reality of discussing A Very Big Thing. I lay in bed next to my partner every night and stared at the ceiling, cursing my body and making deals with greater powers. If my body could have children I'd treat it nicer. I'd go to the dentist more and do volunteer work. I'd buy more copies of the big issue and be nicer to my little brother. And after two weeks of worrying, I was told that there was no sign of cancer, twisted Fallopian tubes or any of the things that had been rattling round my brain since my first appointment. They still don't really know what's wrong with me, but at least I know I have a chance of getting pregnant. I feel terrible for those couple of weeks where I directed such vittrol and spite at my poor womb.

And the thing is, when something like that happens, when you think that your body has failed you in such a drastic way, you suddenly realise how bloody ridiculous getting cross with a few extra pounds is.

Which is why I don't want to be sad that I'm a little heavier than usual. In my lifetime, some amazing people have passed, some of them upsettingly young. Time spent looking in the mirror begrudging your shape is time utterly wasted.

Also, thinking you can't have kids makes you realise how much you want them (or for some people, how little they do-amazing clarity comes from the results of a medical test at times) and how you'd raise them. I never want my child to hear me say 'I'm too fat' or give the impression that being a different shape to the shapes in the magazines is an issue. I don't want him or her to see me frowning in the mirror as I clutch at my rounded hips and generous, Irish thighs, wishing I looked like a different woman entirely. I never want my child to think 'Mummy thinks she's ugly and I look like Mummy-so I must be ugly too'. My body has a history-the hips come from farmer's wives in Ireland carrying kids and baby animals, my strong thighs come from horse riders who travelled across the lands and my soft belly comes from a legacy of women who make incredible mothers, professionals and lovers. Who am I to scorn all that?

So although, yes, I will be eating a little less over the next few weeks and moving quite a bit more, I will not be doing it because I hate my body. I will be doing it because it's a lovely body. And it deserves some tlc.

Reader, give your body a hug today. And remember not to be too mean to it.


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Country life...(or how everyone in Salisbury thinks I'm a hooker)....

Well Reader, we're not in Kansas anymore. I'm in the wilds of Salisbury for the week, filming for short Lost Boy/ Lost Girl, in which I play a porn star called Leanne, who's sort of lost grip on her life a bit. I was determined only to bring my small carry-on suitcase for the week, but forgot that part of my costume is an enormous fake fur coat that makes me look a bit like Pat Butcher, so I wore it instead, and now I think the woman who runs my B&B thinks I'm a hooker. This isn't helped by a number of things:

  1. I am actually playing a porn star, so tomorrow I'm leaving wearing a fur coat, mini skirt, false eyelashes and lots of boob on show
  2. I am the only girl in the B&B (which despite being all chintzy and covered in fake flowers and Laura Ashley prints from the 80's, seems to be entirely populated by burly, slightly stinky truckers who grunt as they pass each other on the stairs) 
  3. I've left the B&B at about 10.30 pm every evening so far (to go and have dinner with the crew, who finish pretty late.) I never have a chance to explain where I'm going, so she just sees me leaving late at night in fake fur, getting in a car full of young men, and coming back at about midnight
  4. Last night, the other actor (a lovely young chap who's just about to do a national tour of 'Our Country's Good') finished shooting too late to collect his room key, so I let him crash in with me-meaning last night she will have heard us coming in past 12 (after another very late dinner), me telling him to shush and then letting him into my room. We're actors, so we're used to having to bunk in together when stuff like this happens, spending the evening going over scripts and correcting lines, but she can't have known that.
Oh dear. I'm being really careful to be very polite to her and dropping things like 'on set' and 'filming with the students' into the conversation, but I have noticed she's gone a little hyperactive around me. Bugger. 

Salisbury is pretty interesting. Until today, I'd only seen a couple of bits of it, but met with my lovely friend Dave from many years ago, who is now a director at the theatre here, and he gave me the guided tour. It's actually a very pretty place, but still decidedly odd. There's a campus here for Bournemouth Uni students, but none of them seem to go out. They don't have a student union here and the streets are empty by 9pm on a weeknight. I went to uni in Canterbury, and every night you'd find at least a few gangs of students in the pubs having a jolly old time, but not so here! Plus the conversations you overhear are very strange. Last night, I watched in fascination as a group of very young, intimidatingly pretty and done up girls tried to chat up two old, ugly, rude squaddies. The Squaddies were practically beating them off with sticks! I couldn't quite tell why the young ladies were interested to be honest, the men looked a bit like they lived under a bridge and ate goats who lost their riddles and their personalities seemed rather pants. Add to that the fact that they were roaringly drunk and you had an enigma in your midst-what were the girls so attracted to that they kept throwing themselves at these blokes? The service industry here is incredible, I've had taxi drivers who gave me history lessons as we drove to set, shop people complimenting my hair and look and just now, when I clumsily knocked over my bottle of diet coke in the cafe I'm stealing the wifi of, the charming young barista not only mopped it all up, but brought me a new one and winked at me!  Of course, there are a few downsides. There are NO free cashpoints, you have to walk for ages to find one. My B&B, although cosy, has no WiFi, so I'm getting behind on work and emailing and having to catch up today (next week will also be very busy now as I'll be working extra evening shifts to cover the loss of wages). People see me in my teddybear fur coat and look at me like an escapee of a local mental hospital, wheras at home I would just be seen as a bit eccentric. Plus, the area I'm staying in isn't within walking distance to ANYTHING. No sweet shops, pubs, Tesco Extras. So once I'm in the B&B, that's sort of it, a day of reading my pile of books and nothing else. Not having internet is driving me slightly mad, every hour that passes without me popping on Linked In to do a bit of work makes me think of the noise of money tinkling down the drain. Being able to sit and blog in this cafe is HEAVEN. I've even checked my facebook and applied for a few bits on casting call pro! 

Makes me realise just how much of a city girl I really am. I'm already dreaming of sushi and hot yoga and being able to hop on a bus and find a jazz bar or a snazzy theatre cafe to work in. It's a nice change of scene though, and dear lord, it's worth it to work on the camera that the crew is using. Everything looks beautiful and I'm already hopelessly excited to see the film. It helps that the actor I'm working with is really easy to bounce off of as well, fingers crossed it'll come out beautifully! 

Plus I got to see Dave. Which was like lots of birthday presents and Christmas presents all in one go!

Hope you're having a lovely week Reader, wherever you're based!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

10 reasons why being Irish is grand, so.

Hey Reader! It's St. Paddy's Day on Monday and I SO nearly forgot! Which would be a crying shame, because every year on St. Patrick's Day I phone my gran and we natter about awesome Irish stuff. This year (since I discovered that my local Asda has an Irish section) I will be rediscovering my love for Kimberly biscuits, cheese and onion Taytos (to me, the other flavours just don't exist) and red lemonade. And going to a pub quiz. I will probably drink quite a bit too (but not Guinness or Irish Whiskey, because despite being from the land of the black stuff, I am not a fan). You know what Reader? I blooming LOVE being half Irish. I would even go so far as to say that I feel more Irish than English, despite living in London. And here's why....

(if you don't get this title, you need to spend more time with Irish folk)

1. Having an affinity with potatoes

Atkins? Get out this instant. Being Irish means an innate understanding that potatoes are the source of great joy, and to not have them with a meal is a disgrace. We have potato bread, potato cake (which is like a flat, heavy scone-amazing hot with lots of Kerry Gold butter) and a lot of the old pubs in Eire serve bowls of skin on boiled spuds with a knife and a pat of butter and some salt. Because what else do you need in life? There's a running joke in my group of friends that I'm going to have 10 kids and name them all after various ways of cooking potato. We've even come up with personalities for all of them (Dauphinoise is a bit of a snob and Mashed is really mellow. Roast likes cuddles and Chipped is hyper but really handsome). We know what it means to lose something you love (the potato famine is in my blood) so we embrace our love of the carby veg and never take it for granted.

2. When you go back to Ireland as a 2nd or 3rd generationer, it's a bit like being famous

You'll go into a shop you haven't been in since you were 6 and the shop keeper will go 'Oh Jesus, Mary and Joseph, is that Mary's girl?' (Mary is my grandmother, not my mother, but it doesn't matter how far away the connection is, you will always be 'Mary's girl'. Hell, my kids will be 'Mary's little ones!'). Then other people in the shop will come over and look at you. They'll start talking to the older person you're with about you as if you're not there 'Isn't she beautiful? She'll be having the boys all a flutter! I heard she was on the television? Mary must be so proud. Is she still living at home?' By the time you leave you'll feel like you've just been surrounded by fans speculating on your life and wanting to know all about you (the negative side of this is that they often know things about you that you barely knew yourself. Again, much like fans.) People will start dropping by the house because they heard you were 'over' as the phone chain begins, and you'll meet people who have literally never met you, but know every detail of your life. Sometimes this will also happen in London. There's always the moment when you say your grandparents/parents are from a tiny town that no one has ever heard of and the person you're talking to will say 'Oh! The O'Donnell's? From TinyGreenVillagey? How are they?' I remember being about 15 and discovering that my grandparents knew my scary Irish geography teacher from their weekly dance. Crazy stuff. You will learn that The Irish Centre in Tottenham is where all Irish People of a certain age have been at one stage or another (and you probably spent a lot of your youth drinking red lemonade in the bar there, or going to engagement parties in the big hall).

3. The Weddings

There will be some crazy ass dancing. There will be some INTENSE drinking. There will be a fight or two. There will be a number of people wandering around at 8am holding a half empty pint and wondering what happened to their shoes. There won't be a buffet (who are you bloody kidding?) there will be a sit down meal with proper food to line your stomach. The wedding service (if you are Catholic) will take so long that most people will have napped during it, or used the time to write the card and wrap the present. Not only is there a bouquet toss (in which your older relations get VICIOUS), but the groom will toss the bride's garter and whichever man catches it will have to remove it from the thigh of the woman who caught the flowers. With his teeth. (Warning: Don't try and catch the flowers, the man will inevitably be your slightly weird cousin with the scary smile). The older generation will try and match you up with someone, but you'll be too busy dancing to 'Shoe The Donkey' (my favourite song in the dance halls when I was a kid) with your distant cousins.

4. Penneys

Oh, you think Primark is good? Primark is Penneys. Penneys came first. When you go over, you bring an empty fucking suitcase, because Penneys is cheaper, better, and has more variety. I'm actually kind of pissed off Primark came to the UK because before that I'd vanish off to Ireland and come back with a new wardrobe that no one in England had, that I'd only spent half of my allowance on. Now more people have the stuff, but screw it, Penneys is still better. You go in and do a dance, because there are so many options and the Tralee one is really big and full of bargains. And because Irish people have had it forever, they are inevitably empty.

5. Puck Fair

How do I explain Puck Fair? Erm...Ok. So it's essentially a really big celebration in Kerry, where they choose the best goat and put it on a big tower/stand thing in Killorglin town centre. He is named 'King Puck' and is treated like a total don and fed really nice food and stuff to make up for being on a big stand (he is a mountain goat, so he's generally alright with heights). Pubs are open till 3am and there are way more lock ins than usual, the local gypsies have loads of stands selling beautiful home made things that break your heart when they fall apart five minutes after you buy them and there's a fun fair. Essentially the town is drunk for about a week. The reason for all this is that many years ago, a goat saved the town from Oliver Cromwell and his army. Although the story changes depending on who you ask-I remember one old chap telling me that the goat was wearing a crown and was actually a fairy king who had disguised himself, another person told me the goat was what the town ate after they survived Cromwell. At the end of the day, it's an excuse for a big party. And being Irish means you love a big ass party.

6. Pub Culture

If you're not Irish, then you probably won't understand why Irish Pubs are such a big deal world wide. In Ireland (and in England, where so many of the Irish have settled), Irish pubs are not just a place for having a natter and a pint, or watching the football in. EVERYTHING happens there. When my nan was younger, no one owned a phone, so if she was trying to reach my Granddad, she'd find a payphone and call the local pub. If he wasn't there, then there would be someone there who knew where he was. Locals would leave messages there, because everyone was bound to drop in at some stage. When I was little, my Granddad would take me to pubs while my nan had her hair done and because I was quite cute and freckly, the old men would sing a Gaelic song and get me to pretend to Irish dance on the bar like a cockney Shirley Temple in exchange for some chocolate (I still get recognised in some Tottenham and Kerry pubs...). During the war, the pubs had a roaring black market trade, in Killarney (the closest town to where my family is based in Kerry) you can still get advice on where to get the cheapest bacon or the best locally brewed (ever so slightly Illegal) Poitín. Pubs are where all the gossip is, where you see people you haven't seen for 20 years, where you can get the best Irish breakfast and if you get talking to the right people, you can hear all the local lore. Plus, you never know who you'll run into. One of the pubs that I spent most of my childhood in with my Granddad in Killarney is owned by Michael Fassbender's dad. My great uncle has had some wild nights with the man himself apparently

7. The Rose of Tralee

When I was little and visited my Irish rellies, you could place money on the fact that at least once, entering me into 'The Rose of Tralee' would come into conversation. As I got older, it moved from being a joke, to a threat. 'Ye're old enough now Aislinn, next time you're home, ye'll be going up for the Rose!' So, essentially, The Rose is a yearly beauty pageant in Tralee that anyone with Irish heritage can enter. It's only aired in Ireland and America (I think) but it's a HUGE deal over there. We try to go over when it's on so we can curl up on the sofa and take the mick out of it (some of the 'talents' are less than skilled...). For a month, every car in Ireland is covered in bumper stickers saying 'We <3 the London Rose!' or 'Texas Rose 2014!' and the area is flooded with US tourists and Pageant fans. I think my Grandmother would explode with pride if me or my little cousins got on the tour. The problem is, we're all a bit too sarcastic and would take the piss far too much! My parents and I always joke that my talent would be a cookery lesson on various forms of potato based dishes (in fact, the last time we were all over for The Rose, me and my dad began a game called 'Potato Fairy' where you hide potatoes in the other person's belongings. I only found the last one in my shoe a year after we'd started the game, by which point it had begun to grow other, baby spuds).

8. People who aren't Irish think we're romantic and magical

I have red hair (admittedly, it's dyed) and freckles. Recently, I was chatting to one of my guy friends and he told me that I'm the sort of girl that boys develop strange infatuations for because 'You look a bit like some kind of elfin princess from an Irish story' but that they get scared to ask me out because 'You're sort of too pure and glowy and magic'. Which has to be the STRANGEST compliment I've ever received.  a) Because I am not elfin, I am actually quite tall and stompy and clumsy b) I am not princess like, and anyone who has ever been round me when I'm either drunk, eating or hyperactive can attest to that and c) TOO pure, glowy and magical? Are they afraid that I'm secretly a fairy who might cast a spell on them and not release them from my fairy lair for 40 years? OBVIOUSLY I only do that if I really like someone. Duh. But seriously, people are very attracted to the Celtic thing. An American director I worked with last year asked me if I was Irish, and when I said yes, just looked me up and down and said 'That's hot'. I mean...what? If you've grown up in Ireland you don't really see it, because we know the truth-that most Irish people are like people anywhere else and use knickers to tie up their hair when their last hairband breaks and have days where they go to the supermarket in PJs and eat crisps in front of the telly. But it works with men too. Dylan Moran for example. Hopelessly sexy, despite acting like a right alcoholic weirdo. I blame the accent. Everyone hears his voice and goes 'oh he's a right Irish cheeky devil!' (I very rarely get this. Domnhall Gleeson  is one of the few men that I get Irish goggles over-but then he is completely adorable, so I think that's fair)

 (Look at him. BLOODY BEAUTIFUL. I would do TERRIBLE THINGS to that man.)

9. We can use it as an excuse for almost anything

Why are you eating that entire server of mashed potatoes? Because I'm Irish! Why are you drinking that entire pitcher of green cocktail? Because I'm Irish! How comes you get the last green dress in our size? Because I'm Irish! Why do you think you can pull off red hair? Because I'm Irish! Why are you so devilishly adorable? Because I'm IRISH.

BOOM. Now pass the 'Kiss Me I'm Irish' tee-shirt

10. Our history is like something out of Game of Thrones

There's a mountain range behind my house which is where a Giant lay down to have a nap and turned to stone. We had a crap ton of kings and queens, and most of their stories have the words 'and then they met a faery' in there somewhere (in fact, my name: Aislinn, comes from an ancient queen's name meaning a dream or vision). There are leprechauns, there are Banshees, there are motherfudging Silkies. We take our myths and legends pretty damn seriously. I know more about the stories and fairy tales of Ireland than I do about the real history-and I think that's how the Irish older generation like to keep it. When I was growing up, was I told about the English invasion? NO! I was told about the man on Ross Bay who fell in love with the Silkie and hid her seal skin so she had to stay on land and bear children with him, and about how when she found her skin and escaped, all their children followed her and drowned.

Frankly, being Irish ROCKS.

Have a marvelous St. Patrick day Reader!

Sunday, 9 March 2014


Reader, there are moments in life, where you have to stop, raise a cynical eyebrow and say 'For SERIOUS?' These moments always leave you a little speechless afterwards, like you can't believe how bloody ridiculous people/life can be. A fair amount of these have happened to me fairly recently. I feel like my eyebrow is perpetually raised, like a funny facial impression frozen by the wind changing direction.

  • When a total stranger gives you the sleaziest, weirdest chat up line. 

This week I have had two. One man, wearing far too many layers for the spring warmth and smelling like spoiled milk hissed 'I'd wear you like a sock'. So many issues with this. First grossness levels-off the charts. Secondly-a sock? On your foot? That's really bloody weird mate. It would take a very specific type of gal to respond to that. It was so odd that I had the same inquiring smile that I'd had on when he'd leaned over to me frozen on my face for 10 minutes after. The second one was 'That bitch is f****n' unreal mate!' First off-calling me a bitch unless I know you and you're being hilarious-not going to evoke the best reaction. Secondly-given that you spoke up and pointed at me as you said it, I'm assuming you wanted me to hear. What did you expect was going to happen? That I would stop and say 'Why, so is that bastard! Good for you sir! You are as f****ng unreal as a unicorn!' I mean....what?

  • When you pay a bill just to have another, even bigger one turn up. 

HOW ARE THERE SO MANY BILLS?! What, pray tell, are they going to start charging me for next? Air? Dancing in my kitchen without a licence?

  • When a friend tells you their view on something and it is RIDICULOUS. 

Sorry-you're staying with the boyfriend that just cheated on you and hasn't said he loves you after two years? Because he could change? You think that foreigners should be sent back to their countries? But that it shouldn't count for you because you're 'second generation'? You are £4000 in debt but just bought a designer handbag? Oh yeah. You are all kinds of confused.

  • Messages out of the blue from people who didn't want to date you before but now suddenly want a booty call. 

When I liked you, you couldn't be bothered with me. But now I'm no longer interested, the texts, emails and messages at 2am start streaming in. No. Bog off. You don't hold my attention any more because clearly I wasn't interesting enough to you when I was available. I am worth more than that thanks very much, but cheers for the late night offer!

  • When you tell someone what you do for a living and they ask what you're really going to do as a job. 

Excuse you...I don't judge your incredibly dull but well earning office job, please do not judge my incredibly fulfilling dream job which pays just enough for me to pay my rent. 

  • People who try and tempt you into having a cigarette. 

This is the second time I've managed to beat the addiction. There is literally NOTHING good about smoking and as an asthmatic who can't afford to buy fags, you should be delighted that I've managed to give up. Waving one under my nose going 'oh go on....just the one' will get you either a punch in the back of the head or soggy fags mixed in with your next meal. Please, you decide.

  • When men you don't know call you 'babe' or 'sweetheart' in the workplace or when they're trying to sell something. 

Would you call a bloke that? No. Calling me things like this makes me feel like you're about to ask me if the man of the house is in. My friends, family and partners are allowed to use terms of endearments-the only strangers that can get away with that are elderly people who are being very lovely or anyone I allow to do my hair, make up or nails (the bond between beauty professionals and women knows no bounds)
What gives you the 'For SERIOUS?' face Reader? List answers below!


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Ten reasons it's great to be closer to 30 than 20....

Reader, I am officially now in the 2nd half of my twenties. The day before my birthday, I got I.D'd (and despite my protests that I am happy to be the age I am now, the thought that I still look younger made me very happy) and I've had chocolate for breakfast twice this week, but I am quite zen at the prospect of getting closer to the big three-oh. And here's why:


  1. Going clubbing is no longer something you are expected to do

So very much of my youth was spent enthusiastically donning teeny weenie dresses and checking I had cab fare and planning what to do when the friend who vomits and cries whenever you get drunk does the inevitable. Hell, I was even the Social Secretary of my Drama Society for a year. And I'd always be eyeing up my bed, thinking 'If only I could stay in and eat Thai food whilst watching episodes of Buffy instead'. But I'd shove my thoughts to the back of my head, because I WAS YOUNG. And young people must go and live and dance and get drunk and do all of the silly things! Now don't get me wrong-I loved going out with my friends. I still do! But clubbing is something I rarely feel the need to indulge in. You can't hear your friends, a sweaty dude in a bad suit grinds up against you and by the end of the night you've spent more than you would have on this month's council tax bill. And because you're a bit older, hangovers are SO MUCH WORSE. Now that you're closer to 30, you can leave all that nonsense to the young uns and go sit in a pub or in a nice cocktail lounge. You can dance at the inevitable million weddings you'll be invited to and no one will judge you for not knowing the moves to the latest X-factor winner's song. Or you can stay at home and not wear any make up at all whilst you watch Saturday Night Live and eat Boursin out of the foil.

2.    You don't have to follow anyone else's rules

You know when you're 20? And you're living with your parents and they say 'Wash up your dishes before you've eaten' and you say 'But then my food will get cold!' and they tell you that you are living in their house so must abide by their rules? Or when you get a 'wake up call' from your mum at 8am on a Saturday? Or when you don't do something because you think people wouldn't approve and you worry what they'd think of you? When you get a bit older, you just think 'Sod it' and do whatever you want to do. Like staying in bed till 3 on a weekend watching American true crime shows or wearing a boob-tastic dress. (Living away from your parents helps a great deal with this). You just sort of stop giving a damn. 

3.    You get taken more seriously

You know what's really strange? When I was 21 and had just come out of University, people would ask me what I wanted to do as a career. I'd say 'Act' and they'd laugh at me. Now, people ask me what I do, and I say 'Act' and they get all impressed and ask lots of questions. And they listen to what I have to say like I'm actually an expert on the subject. Younger people ask you for advice. Elderly people don't think you're a threat to society. It's all rather nice.

4.    You have way more confidence

At 18 I was a size 8 with E cup boobs and hair halfway down my back. And I have never been so lacking in confidence. I was convinced that I was King Kong ugly and had an abnormal body compared to everyone else. And I did not know how to talk to boys in any way that wasn't jokingly insulting them or stammering a great deal. Now, I don't even care. I am fatter. I have more wrinkles. I have cellulite and some seriously cray bags under my eyes. But if I fancy someone I can flirt my bum off. And when I feel good, I STRUT. Because it is only going to get worse from here on out. Also, I increasingly realise that beauty and sexiness isn't about being tiny and perfect, it's about loving yourself and allowing others to love you. Fo sho. Sure I still have ugly days, where I try and avoid anyone seeing me but my wonderful housemate (who would love me even if I shaved my head and tattooed my face with the lyrics to The Ketchup Song) but most of the time I just don't care. It's more fun to like yourself and assume others do too and work it. Baybeee. (on a side note, if you need to feel sexy, pretend you're on set and someone is filming you for an underwear advert and yelling out 'work it! Move that thang! Shake what ya mama gave ya!' It may not make you feel like Kate Moss, but it is much fun.)

5. You understand that food is freakin' good, and most of your social events now revolve around it

'Shall we go for drinks?' 'NO let's go for cake!' You realise that you're attracted to men based on how much you can eat in front of them without them judging you. I realised how much I liked the guy I'm  dating when he was IMPRESSED when I ordered two kinds of carbs to go with my pulled pork. A number of my friends are currently on bridal diets and this means that I am often the only one at the table with food that is not green and leafy. I care not for this. When people come to my flat, they know that they will be fed. Sometimes they even leave with packed lunches. When people don't offer me snacks when I visit, I tend to be shocked and appalled (although, let's face it, this could be down to the Irish heritage and our obsession with food based hospitality)

6.  You can still do something wild and not have it be attributed to a midlife crisis or young person hi-jinks

Want to go work in another country for a year? Do it. New tattoo? Fab. Making out with someone entirely inappropriate? You go, you wild thang. Re-building a car? Go Greased Lightning.

7.  You can spend your money how you want to

I spend mine on cheese. And 50's dresses. And 2nd hand books. BECAUSE I CAN. 

8.   You know how to get crap done

You know what I did this year that I'm really proud of? I changed the light pull in my bathroom because the old one was grubby. You know what I would have done when I was younger? Let that thing rot off its string. I wash out my kitchen bin every fortnight and I empty my hoover when it stops working as well. I renew my Spotlight membership ahead of time and I've even planned what my next tattoo is. Procrastination? SUCK IT. I do stuff now that I didn't even know had to be done when I was younger. Like council tax. And making a file for my household forms. BOOM. Which means there are less nasty surprises. And when you're an actor/writer and earn very little, that makes life a lot easier!

9. You don't have to follow fashion anymore

Let's be honest-I've never really been a fashionista. I know what suits me, and that's well structured dresses and vintage prints. Jeans don't look wonderful on me, tulip skirts are my idea of hell and you can keep anything neon or acid coloured far from my eyeline. When I was younger I would try my hardest to do the whole fashion thing, but now I just buy things I actually like. Which means I have bypassed the whole pink coat thing that was so big this year (reminds me of my nan) and laugh gaily as I pass dungerees on the rack at H&M (I had a pair when I was 15 which I wore to V fest with a red bikini and Doc Martins. Never again.) Saying that, apparently frumpy, comfy clothes are coming back in fashion. In this case I may well become an avid follower of the catwalk. Pass me the slanket and my knee high socks. I am ON IT. 

10.  Dating is really great. No, but seriously.

I love dating. Dating when I was younger meant either awkwardly going to the cinema and avoiding eye contact (age 17) or going over to their house to make out under the pretense of watching films (age 18-22). The second one still happens, but dating when you're closer to thirty seems to be way more-for want of a better word-datey. I've been taken to swanky cocktail bars, to hip eateries, to concerts and recently bowling and on a ghost tour of London (SO AWESOME). You actually go on proper dates! And if you choose to go home with your date, or invite them back, no one judges you! Recently a 27 year old friend called me and told me about her amazement when she went on a date with a 23 year old and he not only hadn't planned anything for the date but then also said she couldn't stay over because 'it would be awkward with his housemates in the morning.' Erm...what?  The nice thing about dating later in your 20's is that not only are the dates more fun, because you both have slightly more money and can therefore afford to do exciting things, but you are also more honest. None of this pretending you're just mates till you have a snog nonsense. Also, you still get to talk to your mates about it afterwards and giggle like teenagers. Only this time, you do it over mimosas in a swanky bar. AWESOME. 

So yeah. Don't worry about getting older Reader. It's pretty darn groovy.