From Coronation Street to Japan: Sunday Suggestions 22-01-2017

 

From Coronation Street to Japan: Sunday Suggestions 22-01-2017: a round up of things to read, watch, listen to and do || raeritchie.com

Last week I featured the blog that I knew from my academic days and today I thought I’d showcase another.  This time, it’s the writings of Dr Charlotte Mathieson, a lecturer in English at the University of Surrey.  In particular, I wanted to flag up her recent fascinating reflections on Victorian attitudes to suntans.  Seems funny when there isn’t a scrap of sun in the skies above me but we can live in hope for a good summer ahead!

If I’ve known Charlotte’s work for a long time then my next recommendation is at the opposite end of the scale.  One of my newest friends is an amazing woman called Mary, who is a vet in the US.  She’s recently been involved in an amazing project to help save hundreds of cats in Brooklyn.  The project, and a quotation from her, featured in the New York Times.  It is such a fascinating story!

My sister-in-law alerted me to this great article on the BBC website which highlights a public health campaign in which a charity used an image of damaged lemons to demonstrate the signs of breast cancer.  So clever, so effect.

I’ve also been alerted to two very different blog posts about Japanese food over the last week.  Having spent three weeks travelling the country last year, this is a subject that I am extremely interested in!  The first is a beautifully design infographic from ‘I Love Coffee’ about how to eat sushi.  I’m wondering if seeing this had a subconscious impact as I had sushi for lunch *and* dinner on Tuesday!

The second post, from the Roads and Kingdoms site, is a long read about ‘The Second Most Famous Thing to Happen to Hiroshima‘ and it focuses on the regional speciality of okonomiyaki.  Blood delicious albeit perhaps not the most photogenic food, as my snaps (above) from our trip suggest!

One of my goals for 2017 is to become a minor expert in the soap opera EastEnders. Yes, really.  I’ve watched most of the UK soaps on and off over the years, often depending on the viewing habits of my housemates.  After researching the genre during my MA, I developed a new found respect for the way they work, particularly their willingness to blur the boundary between the fictional world on the screen and the ‘real’ world of the actors outside of it.  A particular poignant example of this happened this week as Coronation Street actor Kym Marsh depicted emotional and distressing scenes of having a still birth baby – a situation that she had experienced in her own life some years ago.  The Huffington Post published a thoughtful reflection on this.

And finally, this week’s viral video feels like a much welcome celebration of immigration and diversity in a world that seems increasingly divided.  It is actually an advertisement for Australian lamb but you’d never really notice that!  It perhaps sweeps rather optimistically about the country’s colonial past but still it’s a heartwarming message as we move into dark days the world over.  Ironically you have to go through another ad to get to the ad, which you can view here.

#FiveThingsSaturday Visit Liberty

The heart of Liberty || #FiveThingsSaturday Visit Liberty || raeritchie.com
The heart of the store

For Emma

For a while I’ve been contemplating introducing another feature to my blog as I seem to have a whole bunch of ideas and recommendations that I can’t fit in anywhere else.  All these feel like the kind of suggestions that would make for a pleasant Saturday afternoon, so I’ve decided that’s what I’ll go with: at the start of each weekend, I’ll post five things that you could do later that day (or on any Saturday in the future!).

Sometimes they’ll be themed, as they are today; other times they’ll be more of a mix.  Let me know if you try out any of these ideas or if you have suggestions of your own – contact me directly or use the hashtag #FiveThingsSaturday.  Would love to see your responses!

An episode of The Apprentice 2016 was filmed in Liberty || #FiveThingsSaturday Visit Liberty || raeritchie.com
Don’t blink or you’ll miss me! The back of my head featuring in The Apprentice 2016

If you follow my Instagram account, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Liberty, the London department store (the back of my head even briefly appeared in a recent episode of the BBC’s The Apprentice that was filmed in the ladies’ accessories hall).

Department stores have a special place in my history geek heart, being a new form of public space that emerged in the nineteenth century and one of the few urban places where women were not only welcome but were in fact central to their culture.  There were even moral panics about the heady effects that these palaces of dreams had on women’s nervous systems!

Not all of the original stores retain this magical aura but it is still palpable in Liberty.  Whether you’ve never visited or you’re a regular through its doors, the 1875 Arts and Crafts store is joyful place to spend a few hours on a leisurely afternoon.

Here are my top five things to do there:

Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart Florist @ Liberty || #FiveThingsSaturday Visit Liberty || raeritchie.com
How could you not take a picture?

 

(1) Enter the shop via the front central doors on Great Marlborough Street where you can marvel at the always stunning floral concession, Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart Florist.  There’s often some jostling to get a decent snap of the lush, flower filled stands as it’s the kind of display that could define ‘Instagrammable’.

Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart Florist

(2) Absorb the craftsmanship and architecture.  From the front facade to the back staircase, it is beautiful.  Like gasp worthy beautiful.  Take the stairs on the right and let your hands run over the wooden banister and its carvings.  Head up to the top floor and just absorb the view looking down the central atrium to the floors below (see picture at the top of the post).  It’ll give you an insight into why department stores were the source of sensory overload back in the nineteenth century.

In the haberdashery room @ Liberty || #FiveThingsSaturday Visit Liberty || raeritchie.com
In a corner of the haberdashery room

(3) Visit the haberdashery section.  Wander around the outer edge and take in bolt after bolt of patterned fabric to which the store gave its name.  Even if you’ve never cared to pick up a needle in your life, it’s like a colourful sweetshop rammed with delicious choices. And if you do feel inspired to take up a new project, don’t worry about asking the staff for advice – they are super knowledgeable and helpful.

 

 

 

(4) Get a piercing!  The renowned New York jeweller Maria Tash has a corner of the ground floor where you can buy a range of gorgeous little glittery things that they’ll insert for you wherever you choose.  Anytime of the day you’ll find small groups of women of varying ages gathered around the glass counters giggling and cooing over the array of choices.

I got three new piercings in my right ear back in November and it was a far more fun experience than getting the original pair done in a hairdressers upstairs in Nuneaton bus station.

Maria Tash Piercing at Liberty (booking recommended)

After a Skin Laundry facial @ Liberty || #FiveThingsSaturday Visit Liberty || raeritchie.com
After the laser-and-light facial

(5) Have a facial: Californian skincare brand Skin Laundry has opened its first UK concession in the Liberty beauty hall.  They offer fifteen minute laser-and-light facials as well as a skincare line to support this treatment.  They are so convinced that you’ll love the effects that they offer every customer their first facial free!

I tested the treatment out last week.  I can report that my face looked brighter and felt tauter afterwards although I’m not sure I’d pay £50 to have it done again, especially as it was quite painful – the laser felt like a series of small electric shocks.  That said, it’s definitely worth trying out if you feel your skin could do with a boost!

Skin Laundry (again booking recommend)

 

Interview with Helen Russell, author of Leap Year’ & ‘The Year of Living Danishly’, on decisions, change & resilience

Rae Ritchie interviews Helen Russell, author of Leap Year and The Year of Living Danishly || 19th January 2017 || raeritchie.com
Helen (L) and me (R)

On Tuesday, I had the privilege to interview the writer Helen Russell while she was in London to promote her latest book, Leap Year, a guide to making big decisions, becoming more resilient and making changes in your life.  I’d previously read her first title, The Year of Living Danishly, and loved her willingness to take on the challenge of try to live one’s best life while retaining a self-deprecating and not-too-earnest British perspective on the world.  Although I was nervous as this is the first interview I’ve conducted, chatting to her about the book and her adventures in facing change and developing resilience was a lot of fun as well as being insightful.  Come, pull up a chair next to us at breakfast in a busy hotel dining room and share our conversation…

Dropbox: Rae Ritchie interviews Helen Russell

Soundcloud: Rae Ritchie interviews Helen Russell

Next week I’ll return with another interview, this time with Courtney Carver of bemorewithless.com.  

If you enjoyed this post, I’d really appreciate it if you could share it on social media using the buttons below.  And if you find yourself regularly coming back here, how about signing up to my mailing list?  You get a monthly letter from that comes complete with links to all my writing (blog posts, Sunday Suggestions and articles elsewhere) as well as a creativity prompt for you to try.  

Tuesday Reviews Day 17-01-2017: My January Cure

My January Cure: Clinique Crayola Chubby Lip Crayons || Tuesday Reviews Day 17-01-2017 || raeritchie.com
My January Cure: Clinique Crayola Chubby Lip Crayons

As Monday 16th January is widely labelled ‘Blue Monday’, aka the most depressing day of the year, I decided to bump my Tuesday Reviews Day post up by twenty-four hours as I think it offers a fun way to dispel some of the day’s misery.

At the start of the month, I agreed with some friends to commit to The January Cure and report daily on progress.  The January Cure is an annual email series run by the brilliant interior design and home website, Apartment Therapy.  It’s designed to help you declutter and clean your home simply and easily during a month when probably nobody feels like doing so.

The January Cure is great to participate in.  Although this year I’ve fallen woefully behind schedule, dipping in and out rather than diligently following each day’s instructions, I’ve been thinking about it a lot (thinking about the emails we receive rather than acting upon: sound familiar anyone?!).  In particular, I’ve been thinking about what my January cure is.

The answer came pretty quickly: bright lipstick.  If you follow me on social media then you probably already know that I’m a big fan of the bold lip.  My then three year old niece was genuinely shocked when she learnt that my lips were actually pink like everyone else; ‘But Auntie Rae, your lips are red!’ she exclaimed in bewilderment.

While bright lipstick is a favourite of mine all year round, it particularly comes into its own at this time of year because frankly very little else is bright in the northern hemisphere.  The world can seem drained of colour in January.  It can also seem pretty grim, with bad weather and interminable long nights (I write this at 16.30 with *all* the lights on).

Added to this, January is often the month when we feel most brassic.  I’m not sure if it’s ironic but it’s certainly annoying that the time of year when we most need cheering up is the one when we have least funds available to do so.

This is where bright lipstick can help.  For less than a fiver or as much as £25, and similarly in dollars, you can treat yourself to a tube of brightly coloured wax.

It doesn’t have to be red.  Fuchsia, purple, orange, terracotta, mauve, rose…there are many varieties of bright, and there is a shade out there for everyone, whatever their colouring.

If you’re uncertain about how to choose, here are my top tips:

  1. Buy a cheap one to try out. You can always replace it with a better quality one in a similar shade if you prefer but if doesn’t work then you haven’t lost a huge outlay.
  2. If you see someone wearing a colour you like, ask where they go it from. You get a recommendation and they will be thrilled for the rest of the day.
  3. Ask to try out the tester yourself. Make-up assistants in shops can be great but if you’re nervous about using colour then you might find their application techniques too dense.  Applying it yourself as you would at home will give you a more realistic picture of how it looks.
  4. Go outside and see what the tester looks like. The artificial lighting in shops can be distorting.
The Clinique Crayola Chubby Lip Crayon Box || My January Cure - Tuesday Reviews Day 17-01-2017 || raeritchie.com
The Clinique Crayola Chubby Lip Crayon Box

I’ve talked in #tuesdayreviewsday before about my favourite lip colours but there’s a new kid on the block that I can’t get enough of at the minute: the Clinique Crayola Chubby Lip collaboration.  Seeing as my dream job would be naming the Crayola colours, it’s two of my favourite things in the world come together!

This limited edition range takes a popular Clinique product, the chubby lip crayon, and gives it a well-timed mid-winter boost with a spectrum of felt tip shades from a classic red through pinks to a plummy violet.  They actually caused a sharp intake of breath when I first saw them and they haven’t disappointed.  They are less matte than many similar pencil lip colours so they aren’t as drying – but they still stay put for ages (the violet brick on the right of the box even survived a stack of buttermilk pancakes with nutella and banana.  The things I do in order to report back to you!).

Mauvelous & Pink Sherbet Clinique Crayola || Tuesday Reviews Day 17-01-2017 || raeritchie.com
Lovely shades but not so Crayola…

One caveat: I was less of a fan of the two most pink shades (third and fourth from the right on the box).  Pink Sherbet and Mauvelous (pictured) both deliver a lovely natural shade but they don’t provide the same pop of colour as the other colours.  Furthermore, they don’t seem as ‘Crayola’ as the others.  Particularly Pink Sherbet I expected to be rather more fuschia rather than the ballerina pink that it delivers.

They cost £17.50 each or for £35.00 you can buy a box containing all ten in a mini-size (this is the size featured in my photographs).  The range is currently available via Selfridges.com but goes nationwide on Clinique counters (and their website) from 2nd February – my cure for this month and next.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d really appreciate it if you could share it on social media using the buttons below.  And if you find yourself regularly coming back here, how about signing up to my mailing list?  You get a monthly letter from that comes complete with links to all my writing (blog posts, Sunday Suggestions and articles elsewhere) as well as a creativity prompt for you to try.  

 

Sunday Suggestions 15-01-2017

Sunday Suggestions 17-01-2017: a round up of things to read, watch, listen to and do || raeritchie.comHello!  An especially warm welcome to those of you who may be new to Sunday Suggestions.  This weekly column is where I share a round-up of what’s caught my eye during the previous week, from articles to viral videos.  I try to ensure that it’s a mix of insightful, intelligent and amusing links that available to all.  Enjoy!

  • If, like me, you’re looking forward to the forthcoming release of ‘Jackie’ at the pictures, then check out this review of the film by scholar Oline Eaton: ‘Jackie’ and the post-truth biopic.  It’s a great read with an in-depth critique from an expert on Jackie O, going beyond the usual film review territory.  I know Oline from my academic days and love her insights into the world of celebrity and gossip.  Whether you’re planning on seeing or not, if you want a perceptive view on popular culture then follow her blog, finding jackie.

 

  • Another famous figure from US history surrounded by layers of myth and imaginings is Henry David Thoreau – yes, the man who ventured out to Walden Pond to see what he could learn about life from living in nature but omitted to mention that he still got his washing done by his mother and sister!  Despite his oversight in crediting unpaid female domestic labour, I am fascinated by Thoreau and his adventures.  One of the happiest afternoons of my life was when two friends and I ventured to his hometown of Concord, MA, then visited Walden Pond.
Walden Pond & scientific discovery || Sunday Suggestions 17-01-2017 || raeritchie.com
My friend Mel & me at Walden Pond, March 2014

Earlier this week, one of those friends forwarded me this article from the New York Times about the scientific research going on at the lake.  It’s a fascinating read about geology and time and the impact of humans on the environment.  It also touches on the intriguing subject of unconscious human emissions when wild swimming (just to warn you).  If you’d like to know more about Thoreau then check out this essay from The Thoreau Society.

 

  • Back to the present day, specifically 15th January 2017.  It’s the third Sunday of the new year.  How are your resolutions going?  Statistically the chances are that your resolve has ebbed away by now.  Maybe you didn’t make any at all.  I prefer to concentrate on plans and having a one word theme for the year, but I do set some goals too.  One for 2017 is to read a book for thirty minutes everyday.  It’s going pretty well so far.  I’ve polished off three interesting titles and have a pile more to keep me going (I’m recording my progress on a Pinterest board if you fancy taking a look or getting some bibliographical inspiration).

Because of this goal, I was pleased to discover that the master of, well, self-mastery, Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness ProjectHappier and Home and Better Than Before) had produced a handy download with tips on how to read more.  On the same page, she has other useful worksheets on topics such as working, eating and exercising.  You can freely access them all on this page.

  • As regular readers know, I’m a big fashion fan.  Today I want to offer up several different sartorial reads that have caught my eye in the last seven days.

Firstly, last Sunday night saw the start of the awards season with the Golden Globes.  Rachel Evan Wood found herself the centre of much discussion for her decision to walk the red carpet in a tuxedo rather than the standard couture gown.  As always, the Pool presented a measured assessment of the debate.  Incidentally, Wood’s look was my favourite of the night; she along with my other choices feature on another Pinterest board, Looks of 2017, where I’ll be pinning any other winning styles that I see in the public arena this year.

Secondly, I am becoming increasingly absorbed in the topic of sustainable and ethical fashion.  As is so often the case when you develop a new obsession, you find references to it all over the place.  This week, Refinery 29 featured ‘Six Ways To Make Your Wardrobe More Sustainable‘.  This offers some good suggestions although it does read like a barely disguised promotion for the ethically minded online retailer Rêve En Vert.  Coincidentally, this week I met with another e-retailer who concentrates on sustainable fashion: check out Sheer for more.  You can also read about some ethical clothing companies that I love in a previous Sunday Suggestions post.

These brands are all small enterprises but the big guns are getting on the mindful fashion bandwagon too.  For three months Selfridges are promoting ‘Mindful Materials’, a showcase for eight brands that they stock with a focus on their environmental kudos in terms of the fabrics that they use.  It’s easy to be cynical about such initiatives but they can raise awareness of important issues.  Did you know that our demand for cashmere has led to the overgrazing of land and maltreatment of some animals?  No, neither did I until I read the Selfridges’ article.

A different approach to the topic comes from my friend Catherine over at Midlands Minimalist.  She’s written a guest post for Joshua Becker’s Becoming Minimalist site about undertaking a wardrobe edit, a move which as a by-product can help us develop a more sustainable stance on what we wear.  Happy to get a little shout-out in the post too!

  • Finally, I like to finish on a funny or heartwarming video.  Today it’s the turn of ‘Our Dancing Town’.  On Wednesday I stayed up far later than usual and stumbled across a gem of a TV programme on the BBC.  Entitled ‘Our Dancing Town’, it’s about a choreographer visiting a rather down-at-the-heel working-class Yorkshire town called Barnsley.

His job is to get locals involved in performing a kind of mass flash mob on the streets of this former mining community.  It’s a tough challenge that you can see him undertaking in this clip of him spreading the word.  But I don’t think I’m giving away an spoilers to say that it all comes together amazingly in the end with a fun music and dance spectacular that could rival the theatrics of ‘La La Land’.  You can watch the foot tapping scene here.  It’ll put a spring in your step and smile on your face for the whole day. Watch and share!

If you find yourself regularly coming back here, how about signing up to my mailing list?  You get a monthly letter from that comes complete with links to all my writing (blog posts, Sunday Suggestions and articles elsewhere) as well as a creativity prompt for you to try.  

There’s more to a Saturday afternoon than a pub lunch: the lesson I took a decade to learn

Eat cake instead - 'There's more to a Saturday afternoon than a pub lunch: the lesson it took me a decade to learn' || raeritchie.com
Oh so good…the delicious flapjack I ate last time Emily & I did cake-&-books on a Saturday afternoon

This Saturday I’m meeting up with my friend Emily to eat cake and visit a second hand bookstore.  We did the same back in November and had such a good time that we decided to try out other local venues that offer this dual opportunity.

Nothing particularly remarkable about this, but as a wagonista (my personal choice of moniker for teetotal, taken from the phrase ‘to be on the wagon’), I particularly treasure the times that I get to see my friends when alcohol isn’t involved.  I’m not against other people drinking and I don’t avoid nights out.  I’ve simply become more alert to alternative socialising options since I quit the bottle myself.

I’ve always found that it’s easy for ‘nights out’ visiting pubs and bars to dominate our notions of ‘seeing friends’ and ‘having a social life’.  This may not be the case for you.  I sometimes wonder if it was my proclivity to drink that meant I rarely strayed from this tried-and-tested formula; as far back as 2004, I was impressed by a friend’s ability (and desire) to think of activities to do together on a Saturday afternoon other than get a pub lunch.  I should have spotted that was a sign then – oh wait, I did.  I just tried to ignore it for another decade.

If you’re trying Dry January or attempting to cut back on alcohol a bit in the new year then chances are you may also be hyper-conscious of the role that licenced premises can play in socialising.  While you definitely don’t have to avoid such places, it can just make things a bit easier for yourself to minimise visits, at least until you feel more secure in your new drinking status.

Of course with the rise of home drinking in recent decades, this won’t necessarily help in your mission but it can make a difference.  Wherever you normally partake, it’s useful to think of some other activities to occupy your leisure time.

If alcohol isn’t your driving force in life, it’s amazing what’s out there to do on evenings and weekends!

My friend who had the ideas that extended beyond food-and-booze suggested a trip to an art gallery.  We also visited a nearby medieval home and garden.  So simple, so much enjoyment, even if we did have issues with the carpark machine in the latter.

There’s everything from ten pin bowling, ice skating and the cinema to walking, playing squash and starting a five-a-side team.  You could go shopping, visit someplace new, take in an exhibition or a fair.  There are also thousands of festivals out there, and not all are about beer!

How about going for coffee and a cake this Saturday afternoon like Emily and me?

The following Saturday, I’ve a group of friends coming round for a beauty night: a visit from a beautician combined with a lot of gossiping.  Some will probably have a drink, but it’s not the central pillar of the night.  Like my old friend knew, not everything has to revolve around alcohol.  After thirteen years, two of them sober, this is a lesson I’m finally learning.

If you enjoyed this post, I’d really appreciate it if you could share it on social media using the buttons below.  And if you find yourself regularly coming back here, how about signing up to my mailing list?  You get a monthly letter from that comes complete with links to all my writing (blog posts, Sunday Suggestions and articles elsewhere) as well as a creativity prompt for you to try.  

Tuesday Reviews Day 10-01-2017: Alcohol Alternatives

Alcohol Alternatives || Tuesday Reviews Day 10-01-2017
I’ve had many a good night out on Old Jamaica Ginger Beer – here’s me & my partner with two cans toasting our decision to get married. Seriously. Ginger beer. It’s that good.

With Tuesday Reviews Day, I bring you a round-up of recommendations of some form or another: one week it might be lipsticks, the next, books on a particular theme.  Today, I’ve turned my attention to alternatives to alcohol.

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I thought that throughout January, I’d draw on my experience of two years’ sobriety to (hopefully) help others who are doing Dry January, looking to cut back on the booze a bit or even thinking about quitting altogether.

Today weekly recommendations focus on alternatives to alcohol.  I know this is a massive stumbling block for many people, myself included.  Even if you like Diet Coke, there’s only so much of it that you want to drink.  But what else is there?  Considering your options before you get to the bar can help in your resolve as you’re less likely to blurt out ‘Dry white wine and soda’ (or whatever your particular tipple) in a state of panic (why can ordering a drink feel so stressful?!  You. Have. To. Choose. Quickly).

I’m assuming here that you’re in a bar but obviously you can drink these choices at home too.  I’ve found that having something AF (alcohol free) and lovely in the fridge on a Friday night is a great morale boost and again helps with any temptation you might be experiencing.

I’m not a fan of AF alcoholic drinks, i.e. zero or low percent proof beers and wines.  For some people they are a good option but I believe that if you’re trying actually quit drinking, they fan the feeling that you’re missing out – a state of mind that makes long term abstinence pretty difficult.

One final word before I get on to the suggestions: I’ve resisted naming specific brands or varieties here because of availability issues.  I’ve found that selections can be quite niche (six suggestions that are only available in three bars in the Midlands aren’t much use) but most places have something good on offer.

Here are five ideas:

  • Ask the bar staff

Okay, so this isn’t a specific recommendation at all but simply advice.  Particularly if it’s your first non-drinking visit to a bar, ask those stood behind the counter what non-alcoholic options they have available as they may not all be listed on the menu.  In some venues you will just have the stuff they use for mixers and cordials available but increasingly places are stocking more eclectic choices too, with the craft beer phenomena spawning a craft soda trend as well.  This tactic also makes staff more aware that there are customers searching for a decent AF choice so could end up in some positive changes being made if they haven’t already been more inventive with their inventory.

  • Bitter lemon

This has echoes of the 1970s for many older drinkers but this is now often my default choice when I’m on a ‘proper’ night out.  Usually served in a low ball glass neat over ice, it’s particularly on point when those around you are drinking shorts or if you feel a bit self-conscious about being booze free.  A nice digestif too.

  • Mocktails

If a place serves cocktails then they can whip you up an AF alternative.  Challenge them to craft something unique or check out their menu as there’ nearly always a few listed anyway.

  • Ginger

I’ve yet to ask for a ginger-based soft drink in a bar and not been served one, ginger tonic if not ginger beer.  A bit of zing for your palate!

  • Hot drinks

In continental Europe you see patrons ordering an espresso at a bar and think nothing of it but somehow asking for a brew in a British pub feels different.  Why is that?  However so many bars, pubs and clubs now serve hot drinks that it shouldn’t feel weird.  Annoyingly, some staff seem resistant to serving them, turning the machines off or saying ‘Sorry we don’t have any milk’ (I actually was told that one recently.  I take my coffee black.  Hah!  That felt like a victory for the wagonistas!).  You can always ask them to put the machine back.

  • Water

A strange mindset that still seems to surround not drinking is that if you’re not having alcohol then somehow you don’t warrant getting an actually decent drink (hence so many just going for badly mixed syrupy soda from the tap).  Down with this attitude!  Serving a pint of beer or making a cocktail is a skill and you deserve that same level of effort so don’t feel that if you want water then it has to be ‘just tap water’.  Of course it can be, or it can be bottled or sparkling.  Whichever, you don’t have to settle for a half or pint glass.  Ask for a high ball tumbler, ice and a slice as well, perhaps a straw.  You don’t have to feel like a second class citizen because you’re not boozing!

Tell me readers what are your favourite AF choices?  What do you like?

If you enjoyed this post, I’d really appreciate it if you could share it on social media using the buttons below.  And if you find yourself regularly coming back here, how about signing up to my mailing list?  You get a monthly letter from that comes complete with links to all my writing (blog posts, Sunday Suggestions and articles elsewhere) as well as a creativity prompt for you to try.