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Belfast With The Bestie

We’re back from Belfast and had a great time! Those that know me, know that I hate history. I’m sorry to say it but I have hated the subject ever since high school with Mrs Burke ranting on about Gandhi. It’s just a no from me huns to be honest.

However, I am now a changed woman. Yes, like what the fuck. I actually enjoyed a political history tour with Stevie from Belfast Cab Tours. It was amazing to listen to someone who had lived through the troubles, from someone who went to sleep one night in the Catholic part of town to then be awoken in the morning to a giant wall separating him from his friends in the Protestant community. I’d never heard of this, only from Derry Girls but it was so interesting and heartbreaking at the same time. Although Ireland is now at peace, they still live with the wall between the communities and the gates still close every night at 6pm. It is CRAZY! If you’re interested, give it a google.

Whilst we were in Belfast we visited;

  • Ulster Museum – This is free and contains, art, history and culture
  • Botanic Gardens – This is free to walk around, lovely picture opportunities
  • St. Georges Market – A free market with small shops, the best part is the food. Yes to Parmesan Potatoes!
  • City Bus Tour – Cheap but one every hour which isn’t ideal
  • The Titanic Museum – To be honest this was shite, it SANK what more can ya learn?
  • Crumlin Road Gaol – The prison was interesting but I was expecting much more. I didn’t particularly like the fact it glorifies criminals. They have a video of the names of executions and although I don’t believe in capital punishment, I also don’t believe that we should praise criminals??? Weird.
  • Political Mural Tour – BEST PART OF THE TRIP. Like I said above, I was obsessed.

We ate at fabulous restaurants, a particular fave was Granny Annies! A must visit. It is a restaurant themed to look like a Granny’s house and the furniture is all on the ceiling. You can legit sit in Annies wardrobe to eat! Great quality food too!

Check out our pics below;

For those wanting to visit Belfast, I’d recommend no more than two nights as it is small with not much to do, but it’s worth a visit.

As always, I have laughed my absolute socks off with Mr McGregor – even if it was at the bus stops waiting for the bloody tour bus. You make my life so much brighter.

All the best for now folks,

DDQ XO

Opinions: When Do They Cross The Line?

Buckle up huns and grab yourself a good old cuppa char, because this is gonna be a heavily opinionated post and you all know I like to ruffle some feathers every now and then. As you will know, I am a really emotional writer and can only write good content when there is a purpose behind my words. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good birthday post but they’re just short and for fun where as you can tell the ones that mean the most to me by the length and passion behind it.

To be honest, I had no idea what to write for this week’s post as I have so many unfinished drafts, however they’re not up to standard so I figured I’d potentially leave them for another year, LOL. Yes, I have posts written from last year. Anyway, little miss waffle is going on a tangent. Bring your attention back.

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and I am entitled to them, just as you are.

I don’t know about you and I can only speak for myself but I remember being told by a parent (you can guess which) not to discuss politics, religion or sex with others. Maybe this was because they were brought up that way, maybe because they wanted me to avoid conflict or maybe because it is generally just the rule of thumb that so many people follow and agree with. However, you guessed it, I don’t. Fuck society rules. If I want to discuss something, then I’ll do it. Of course, I’d take into consideration whether people would feel uncomfortable etc. I judge the audience.

I find topics that have passion behind them much more interesting to talk about than if someone broke a nail. For example; Politics. Now, I know this is controversial but why not open the discussion? It honestly helps you filter who is good for you and who is not. That sounds mean, but trust me, later on you will thank yourself and I will tell you why later in the post.

With Politics you know I am a strong labour voter. Strong with a capital S. I love Corbyn and what the party stand for. Starmer? A little bit of a different opinion with him but I vote for the manifesto not the leader as many of you should. Do I hate the Tories? Absolutely. Do I hate all Tories? Not necessarily (maybe) – what I try to do is question why people vote for certain parties and it is their right to vote for who they want. If they respond with that they agree with the manifesto, then that is absolutely ok. If people respond with “My parents vote for them, so I do.” That isn’t a valid answer and a massive cop out. If you’re old enough to vote, you’re old enough to do your own research.

A lot of the time Conservatives are elitist. They’re selfish and don’t have much compassion for those that are less privileged than you and I. Now as I said before, it is everyone’s individual right to who they vote for but what I cannot stand is people who I know and admired voting for a party that gives members of their family less rights…so this is where the title comes into play. When are opinions crossing the line? For example; if your opinion is to bring Section 28* in (Fuck off Maggie) and you vote for the conservatives for this reason then I do not want to know you. Of course, that is an example as thank god Section 28 was reappealed. If your opinion is to vote for a party because they are allowing the tradition of fox hunting to go ahead, then again I don’t want to know you. If your opinion is saying no to immigrants and refugees (Hello, Britain First readers…get off my page) then I do not want to know you. When your ‘opinion’ can affect somebodies life then it no longer becomes an opinion.

See, this is why when I told you above you can filter out those who belong in your life and those who don’t. By asking them their opinions, you can normally grasp what type of person they are, what type of morals they have etc and that is incredibly important to me. Ask Craig. We often have hard hitting discussions and more often than not agree because we have the same morals although he does like to play Devils advocate and get my brain working. I’m grateful for this as sometimes discussions can change opinions. Even me of all people, who is stubborn as hell, can change my opinion if it is brought to my attention during a discussion. Being who I am, I wouldn’t be able to love, or create a family with someone who had little compassion.

Is it right to filter friends out because of their opinions? Sometimes. If their opinion is about a certain style or something that is general then of course not but when it is something you’re passionate about then yes. I know life would be boring if everyone was the same and don’t get me wrong, I love a debate however I also love a stress free life and love vibing with people who are on the same wave length as me. A modest (LOL), decent human being.

I’m not entirely sure if this post has made sense to any of you but it does to me and I’m getting my feelings out whilst they’re flowing.

Would you cut people out for not agreeing with you? Do you like the debates and arguments? Let me know what you think?

Best wishes to you all, apart from those who have zero compassion.

DDQ XO

Birthday Boy ft. Party Playlist

It’s finally here!! Craigy is 26! He is basically 30 but lets just say he’s 26 so he doesn’t have a heart attack. He already said he feels old – haha, wait til we have kids. Then he’ll feel ancient!

Another fabulous birthday has arrived and I couldn’t be happier, by the looks of his face with his presents, he couldn’t either.

This post is for you my darling, to wish you the happiest of birthdays. You are the most supportive, caring and loving boyfriend a girl could ask for. You make me unbelievably proud with your morals, I’m proud of the way you support the LGBTQ+ community with me. You listen to me (as best as you can without zoning out), you are there for me when I’m in a grump and you’re always there to cheer anyone up with your weird impressions and jokes. Everyone who meets you loves you, you have such an infectious personality. We make such an amazing team! I’m beyond grateful and lucky to have you.

So Bestie, enjoy this playlist of songs that reminds me of us including the first song we belted in the car (Sweet Escape) and our favourite Bond song (Nobody Does It Better). You really are the best.

We have a very eclectic music taste haha.

Love ya bubs,

DDQ XO

The Strength of Vulnerability

Over sharer and over thinker are words that are often used to describe me. If you have ever read this blog, you’d agreed with that and realise I always wear my heart on my sleeve. Apart from the fact that I was wired this way emotionally from birth, I do it to help others. Opening up emotionally can be both helpful to others and at detriment to myself, this is because vulnerability is seen as a weakness but in fact, it’s a strength. If you think about it, it takes a lot of strength to pour your heart out to strangers and in return it can help them through their issues or problems, always remember you never know what people are going through behind closed doors.

I’ve wanted to create a discussion on this for a while because often the vulnerability can be used against ones self. I make choices all the time, some serious and some everyday, ‘easy’ choices just like everyone else. When I decided to post A Serious Reality Check, I knew there would be questions and a bit of shock from most, especially my family. I made a decision to post it because I am emotionally driven when I write and I just had to get it out there as I knew it would help me and others. However, with putting yourself out there comes the down side. The downside of using your vulnerability against you.

Have you ever been in this situation? I wrote a post about the debt I was in to hold myself accountable and sort of make it seem real if that make sense. It was now out in the world for everyone to see, I guess it was a way to shame me into stop with the credit card and pay it all off. I’m now on my way to paying it off, albeit it will take a while on my current salary but I’m on my way and that’s all that matters.

When the post went live, after the inital discussions with friends and family, I noticed that my vulnerability was used against me. In ways like “You shouldn’t discuss money publicly” or “You can’t be shopping or posting on social media things you’ve bought after you have just moaned about being in debt” – now I do understand the frustration in the latter. However, this is MY debt and although I’ve chosen to share the information with you all, I did it for me. This blog is mine and mine only. Every decision is up to me. Behind the scenes I am working hard to pay this debt off, you don’t see it. My partner and I (my financial adviser lol) have discussed a plan for me to pay monthly and I will have it sorted sooner rather than later. So if I want to buy a handbag and post it, I will. I have my plan and I will stick to my plan. Being on this blog is sort of a catch 22 situation.

Let’s all take the opportunity to praise those who have allowed themselves to be vulnerable. It isn’t easy to some, although it is for me. Remember – there is strength in vulnerability and you’re braver than you will ever know.

I’d love to start a discussion on this – what are you thoughts? Let me know in the comments or head on over to @delusionaldramaqueen on instagram for a chat!

All my love,

DDQ XO

The non – existent ‘Time line’

I’ve wanted to talk about this topic for a long time, it’s something that since I’ve gotten older (Yes I know I’m not old but I still have feelings ok Susan?!), has become more prominent to me and it becomes a problem when thinking about the future. In fact, as a natural born worrier, I do stress about the future, my goals, what my life will be like and why don’t I have a plan?…these are things I think about daily all because of this invisible timeline I put myself on. Does anyone else do this?

For a long time I’ve put this pressure on myself, forgetting I’m only twenty one and that things will eventually fall into place. We all have different timelines and its the comparison to one another that simply ruins your own thoughts about your own. This is a big thing for me, I will see someone thriving, people buying houses, creating families and travelling and fill myself with worry thinking should I be at that stage now? Do I need to save for a house? Should I think about travelling? But, I realise that the answer is no. I do not need to do any of those things in order to be happy or have a good life, I have to do what I want.

A huge factor of me putting the timeline on myself is of course seeing other people thrive but I’ve also known people who have passed away young. I couldn’t help but think that could be me or a family member, you really don’t know what is around the corner. I feel as though I have to do things straight away, even if it’s silly little things like acting on impulse. “Buy the shoes Abbie…you might not be around to enjoy them next week. Who knows? You don’t know.” Now that was a silly example for sure, and material things shouldn’t matter but the moral is, I am taking every opportunity whilst I can.

The timeline is actually non existent and more a frame of mind, it’s the pressure we all put on ourselves. I always feel rushed to do things, especially dating! I think “Oh god, that girl I know is buying a house with her fella, and they’re gonna have a family” so I literally feel as though I have to find someone quickly forgetting I have so much more time to do that. Those things cannot be rushed, especially if you’re looking for love.

Recently, I’ve seen an image doing the rounds on facebook and it really resignated with me and spurred me on to finish this long awaited post. (I started writing this in August Oops, writers block.)

I loved this message and it explained to me that I don’t have to constantly compare myself to others, I know it will be hard but I know I’m doing whats right for me. For example; I take self care and my mental health really seriously because it’s something I struggle with as you readers will know (Read an open letter to myself). So, when I do take time for myself and simply do ‘nothing’ all day but relax and maybe throw on a face mask I feel as though I am being lazy. I’m not, I’m doing whats best for me and it’s about time I started thinking this way all of the time.

I know that I’m not alone with this bull shit time line, I’ve spoken to people about it and ultimately, it gets people down and affects their self worth. They’re beginning to question have I done enough? We all need to stop the self doubt. Making your own decisions shows a strong person and it will lead you onto a life you’re happy with. Not all decisions will be correct but they sure will be learning curves.

The purpose of this post was to change the way I think and hopefully it can get you guys thinking about your life and whether or not you adhere to this ridiculous, pressured time line like I do. Here are some things to take from it;

  • Live each day as if it’s your last, but also plan a future if that suits you.
  • Don’t be fearful of judgement. Your descisions, your life.
  • Fuck the time line and society pressures. You do you.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. You are on your own path to happiness.
  • Jealousy is an illness, get well soon hun

Thanks to every single one of you who read my posts. They may seem unimportant to you or you may not relate but luckily there are people out there it will resonate with. It takes just that one person to see it, who needs it the most. I love that and I’m loving this new way to get my feelings out. Stay tuned for more, I promise they won’t all be deep and miserable.

*Please note:- This post was written 2 years ago! Before I met Craig, before I started a new career and before I moved house! Sometimes the time line does creep back on me when my life is a little stagnant but life can’t always be moving fast can it? I’m happy to report that I take better care of myself these days, mentally I take days for self care, I am eating better thanks to Mr Chef McGregor and I am now the proud owner of a Bannatynes Gym Membership. Personally, I think big Dunc should give us a free membership but we move.

Thanks for reading!

All my love,

DDQ

XO

I’m in a YouTube Advert!

Yes! You read that right! I’m in a YouTube Advert!

I am beyond proud to be featured within the Transfriend.ly YouTube campaign as part of their Trans Friendly and Non Binary friendly business scheme. As many of you know, I am a huge advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and equality, and I would say I consider myself a good ally. Yes, I know – I’m so modest. So when this opportunity at work came about I was thrilled to be involved.

My manager at the immigration solicitors I work at, signed Ashwood up to the Transfriend.ly business directory which allows the LGBTQ+ community to choose a friendly business where they will feel comfortable. Businesses on the directory take a pledge to show that they will treat everyone with dignity and respect, and train all staff to do the same. Ashwood Solicitors have good values anyway so it was a great fit for the firm.

Transfriend.ly contacted us and asked for a video, of course my camera loving self had to be involved and after all it is something I am passionate about.

Check out the video below and see if you can spot me!

This means so much to me! What a way to celebrate Pride Month!

So Happy Pride Month my lovelies – why not revisit my post on ‘How to Be a Good Ally’

All my love.

DDQ XO

Our 70’s Road Trip

Alexa, play ‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac.

Yep, that’s right. We’ve been camping in Cornwall whilst bopping to Fleetwood Mac, in our original Sunset Camper Hire VW van. We have definitely been living our 70’s dreams.

We travelled to Newquay, Penzance, Fistral Beach, St Ives, Saint Michaels Mount, Marazion and Lizard. With only a three night stay we decided to stay in Trencreek Holiday Park for the first and third night and the second night at Henry’s Campsite in Lizard. Henry’s was so cool with a hippy vibe and even a live jazz band playing every night.

Now I know I’m not the type of girl to go camping and I’m still not sure I am but I was absolutely buzzing when Craig showed me the camper. I felt like buying flares and curling my hair like Farrah as soon as the trip was booked.

Although, the gas guzzler of a van was expensive, I’d recommend it to anyone. It was a once in a life time experience and one I’ll never forget. Adventures with Craig are my favourite – the amount of laughs we had was unreal.

Thanks to Simon at Sunset Camper Hire for renting us this beauty.

A vlog is on the way – I just need to edit it which is proving rather difficult with Windows as I’m used to a Mac. Yes I know, what a basic bitch.

Have this gallery for now and I’ll update you all with the vlog when it is on YouTube.

Thanks for another great adventure Craig. In the words of Carly Simon, Baby you’re the beeeeessssssttttt.

DDQ XO

A Day in The Life of A Digital Marketing Apprentice

Woohoo, she’s back! This time its to share good news with you all – I have a new job and it’s something I’m 100% interested in. When I started working for Thomas Cook at 18, I was still pretty naive and didn’t know what I wanted from a job or even life. Now that I’m more in control of the things that I want, I’ve decided my love for Social Media (No matter how toxic it can be) is something I want to do long term.

I’ve been interested in Marketing for a long time and in fact, I’m the perfect customer for those who work within the marketing sector because I will buy things purely for their look or packaging. Yes I hate Kettle Chips but will I buy them in my meal deal because they look more sophisticated? Yes.

During the pandemic, I lost my job within events due to being made redundant and needed something to focus on. I initially took the plunge and dove straight into The Open University and studied Business Management which included marketing. I thought this would be a great way to gain my qualification but soon realised it wasn’t for me as I wasn’t necessarily guaranteed a job after completion. Plus the course would be finished in three years. Three years was a long time to gain a qualification and I was still looking for a job so when the Estio team contacted me about about an apprenticeship opportunity I was thrilled to accept. The whole course could be completed within 15 months and at the end I will have gained a qualification in digital marketing and I will have had job experience. This was exactly what I needed.

I currently work at Ashwood Solicitors in Manchester, it’s just off of the famous ‘Curry Mile’ – I’ve only been working here for a month or so but I am loving it. It’s a very different role to what I’ve had before as I don’t deal with customers apart from on social media. My job and team allow me to have creative freedom whilst creating content and I’ve never had that before – I am really appreciated where I am and I think it shows in my new outlook towards life.

Without further a do, let me take you through a quick day at work with me.

Follow @ashwoodlaw on TikTok to see more of me!

Every Monday I start the day by planning the week ahead social media content. This allows me to be fully planned in advance, but don’t get me wrong I still juggle some content around when needs be. It is a very flexible plan. I use an app called Monday and this allows me to colour co-ordinate and lay out the weeks social media before then adding it to Publer which allows me to schedule the content. I tend to create content in batches so that I don’t have to spend hours every day thinking of new ideas.

Close-up Photography of Smartphone Icons

We also work with charities at work and often create collaborations for their social media – right now I am working with Women Matta, Life Share and Mustard Tree. It’s really great I have a chance to work with charities and give back in a way.

I then check my emails and write my to-do list. My Manager likes to keep me busy! But I am grateful for that as it keeps my anxiety demons away. I also take charge of the YouTube & Tiktok channels, so I create thumbnails and upload the content to there before taking a lunch break.

After lunch I get on with whatever needs doing be it Estio Apprentice work, Newsletter making, training, attending webinars or just general admin. I always like to keep myself busy but have a laugh along the way and that’s what it is like at Ashwood. As soon as I came to the office I was welcomed as one of team, a valuable one at that. It is so nice to be within a company that appreciates your work.

If you got this far, thank you for reading. I appreciate it.

There will be more from me soon – don’t forget to follow Ashwood Solicitors on social media, where you will see all of my fabulous content.

See you soon,

DDQ XO