Crime scene behind a cocktail bar in East London, April 2014.

Crime scene behind a cocktail bar in East London, April 2014.



Spring in Zermatt, Switzerland. April 2014.

Spring in Zermatt, Switzerland. April 2014.



  • I went back to Zermatt and it was fun. Switzerland, April 2014.



  • The Pursuit of Happiness

    You can see the future – what do you do? I would use my super-power once for evil (to win at Wall Street, obviously) and then only for harmless purposes, promise.  Just imagine– no more food envy, no more Christmas-shopping stress, no more uncertainty-related angst of any description. Unfortunately though, most of us do not possess super-psychic powers and have to rely on our normal human brains for this and every task. How very vanilla.

    ‘Affective forecasting’ is what psychologists call it when we try to predict how a future event will impact our emotional well-being. For example, if I passed this exam, how happy would I be? If my boyfriend broke up with me, how unhappy would I become? How long would this unhappiness last?

    The funny thing is, we’re really really bad at it.

    Research has already illustrated and quantified this effect many times over: we know, for example, that people prospectively overestimate their unhappiness 2 months after a breakup, college professors overestimate how unhappy they would be 5 years after being denied tenure, college students overestimate both how happy/unhappy they would be after being assigned dorms, football fans massively overestimate the duration of their happiness when their team wins, etc.

    So what does this tell us? Well, we clearly can’t trust ourselves to value the things that will maximise our happiness – maybe we should all just go home. Having said that, it strikes me that, while the phenomenon itself points to rubbish and irrational humans, the individual pieces that cause it make perfect sense. Rather like most other psychological or perceptual illusions, biases and errors I can think of.

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    You’re in London now. Baker Street tube station, London. April 2014.

    You’re in London now. Baker Street tube station, London. April 2014.



  • Mini daytime pub-crawl in Brussels. March 2014.



  • ‘“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.”’
    Elvis Presley


  • Look, spring is coming! London, February 2014.



  • ‘“Every single person you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.’”

     

    Ian Maclaren (original: “Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle.”) 



  • My day off. London, February 2014.

     

    I got a day in lieu and, for once, didn’t have anything in particular to use it for. I spend so many weekends running for trains and then spending hours on them that I typically use any time off for taking the stress out of travelling. But this time, I had nothing to do and it was glorious. I had a much-needed lie in, then spent the morning doing laundry, taking the world’s longest shower, painting my nails, doing face masks - all that good stuff.

    Then I walked. 

    I walked through Green Park, past Buckingham Palace, and through St James’ Park where I encountered the sound of THE most excitable tiny person I’ve ever seen, he was waddling in a straight line with his arms wide open and his eyes possessed screaming “DUCKIIIIIES!!” Priceless. Then I walked through to the Horse Guards Parade, and stopped to peer at Downing Street when I realised that’s where I was. I ended up chatting to the policeman behind the gate for half an hour. He was lovely. Then I carried on, past the treasury, round the corner to find Westminster Abbey and Big Ben - which I passed through as fast as possible because it was packed to a stand-still. I walked along the embankment until I realised I was absolutely famished and had to go find some food.

    It was a great day. Followed by a great weekend.



  • Birthday weekend. Loch Lomond, Scotland. January 2014.

     

    The most unbelievable present from my beautiful boyfriend. Loch Lomond is one of my favourite places but I’ve never spent any time up there in winter. It was perfect - even more rugged and Scottish!

    As well as the spa day and our stunning suite overlooking the loch, I was treated to Martin Wishart’s Michelin starred tasting menu. Sure. I was trying to behave but couldn’t help myself from winding the waiters up a little bit. They were awesome. One of them brought us a whole course worth of our favourite amuse-bouche because we wouldn’t stop going on about how good it was. Ledge. 



  • Winter wonderland in Hyde Park, London. November 2013.

    Winter wonderland in Hyde Park, London. November 2013.



    FOMO, it’s science.

    Fear of missing out is one thing that every single one of us will openly admit to with a very distinct ‘I’m laughing but I’m not joking’ feel. Despite the FOMO label confusing the crap out of my parents (and most adult humans I attempt to communicate with to be honest), rejection is something which hurts everyone. Bad.

    I came across something the other day which I absolutely love. Studies have shown that rejection is processed by our brain the same way that physical pain is – they both activate the same neural pathways and cascades. How awesome is that? OK, not that fun when you didn’t get the invite – but as a finding, how very telling.

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    Drinks at Doodle bar, Battersea. November 2013. 

    Drinks at Doodle bar, Battersea. November 2013. 



    Science Museum, London. November 2013. 

    Science Museum, London. November 2013. 



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