An idiot’s guide to Jordan

Jordan, Middle East – part two

The real challenge of our trip still lay ahead. Around 4pm and with a two-hour drive ahead of our tired bones, I stupidly took the wheel and pressed ahead – my travel buddies should have known better after my shameful speeding incident.

We drove on into the foggy, climbing mountains, leading us closer and closer to our final destination of Petra. The conditions grew more and more difficult to navigate, with cliffside roads weaving though enormous, death-defying valleys (to be enjoyed in daylight without the pesky fog). With my ‘nus permanently clenched, and my grubby fingers numb from gripping the wheel, we pressed on in some of the WORST driving conditions I have ever had the distinctly bad luck to encounter.

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The primary mode of transport

So stinkin’ scary and not something I recommend for qualified, capable drivers, let alone my sorry speeding-ticketed ass. I would say your best bet to avoid this super scary experience is to drive in the day light hours and give yourself as much time as possible to get through the mountains – your rental car brakes will give you a big, thankful slap on the butt for your consideration.

Arriving cold and greasy from our Dead Sea dip and totally exhausted after a number of hours holding in a big, nervous wee in, we had arrived in Petra – hallelujah!

We stayed at the Cleopatra hostel, a warm, comfortable stay with kind owners and a free breakfast. Dumping our bags, we took our disgracefully filth ridden bodies to the restaurant next door for a celebratory feast. The toast – “as if we let Rachel drive” was met with a chorus of “cheers!” and clinking glasses all around.

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The site scattered with many of those tomb doors, carved into seemingly every mountain there.

We devoured delicious vegetable tagines, a symphony of hummus, baba ghanoush (roasted eggplant dip to mother*ucking die for), moutabel (spicy eggplant dip), fresh tabouli, falafel and hot, minty teas sent from the gods above. Indicative of the general theme of our culinary experiences in Jordan – delicious, very rich but vegetarian friendly mostly, with the exception of a few pigeons on offer.

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The Siq and some smelly tourists. 

 

Waking up early for our full-day Petra extravaganza, we were some of the first at the gates and were able to pay and grab our tickets. Forget not to bring your passports, snacks and plenty of water – easier to find inexpensive, tasty food to bring in with you, than to locate within the great gates. Begin your impressive trek to the Treasury by making your way through the Siq, a narrow and mind-boggling walkway that eventually opens up to the most unbelieves site and sight.

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Our first peep at the treasury – bloody beautiful!

Quite a trek by the time you’ve reached the Treasury, you will find horse carriages at the beginning of the walk if you so desire a slothful trot into Petra. Once you’ve made it to the Treasury consider forking out for a hot mint tea, sinking your bones into one of the comfortable, cushioned café seats and soaking up the life-changing view. Also have a smooch with some of the uber friendly street cats – remarkably clean and sweet!

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Making friends and giving them fleas (sorry kitty, I’m not microchipped or desexed either). 

You’ll have a huge number of local Bedouin men approach you (western women being of particular interest to them) with generous offers to show you around – for a fee of course. We opted to run around ourselves and followed a few locals up a trek (to the right of the Treasury) to a spectacular viewing platform. We had plenty of local tour guides say we weren’t allowed up without paying them but politely, that’s utter bollocks. It’s a creative way to separate you with your hard-earnt so persist on your own and they will eventually let you be.

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One Bedouin wannabe (left) and one beige lovin’ Aussie (right) both keeping toasty in their traditional Jordanian jackets

This is one of two viewing platforms you can trek to, to grab yourself a different view. The other, is a much longer and higher path and gives an almost birds eye view of the Treasury. We preferred the shorter of the two and spent a good morning minute sitting our butts down and absorbing the impressive vista (judgement free zone for the 8am shisha pretty please).

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Pipe embarrassingly our own work – you won’t find these inside the gates of Petra. 

After this epic sight, we ventured on further walking freely in and out of caves, tombs and temples, enjoying the vastness of this incredible place. Upon recommendation, we decided to take a not-so-leisurely walk across the site and up to the Monastery.

The Monastery is arguably the second main attraction in Petra, with as impressive of a scale and carving as the Treasury and quite the uphill to get there. Choosing to bravely soldier on with a constantly grumbling inner dialogue, I managed to halt my travel companions on the hike to stop and marvel at the many merchants selling goods and even for a mint tea midway. Get my sluggish, under-exercised toosh up a big ol’ hill without stops, I challenge you.

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The seemingly never-ending trek up to the Monastery. 

We were plagued with a multitude of offers by tour guides offering pony and horse rides up the mountain. We opted out, seeing the poor treatment of many of the beautiful ponies with whipping too regular of an occurrence for our tastes. Keep in mind that while the offer of a free (not so much) ride up to the Monastery might tingle your temptations, you may be supporting an industry that fails to care for the animals they rely on so much.

Reaching the top was truly magnificent, a feast for the eyes and for my fatigued loins. Soak it in, grab a cuppa and take a bloody load of pictures to prove your pure athletic prowess.

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The Monastery in all of its glory

We spent the rest of the day slowly making our way back to the entrance, with the park closing its gates at 5pm. Exhausted, absolutely exhilarated but revived by our big day out, we ended our day with a cold one or three at the Cave Bar.

Just outside the entrance to Petra, the Cave Bar is a 2000-year-old cave dressed up to water the thirsty visitors of this wonderful pocket of the world. Wash away your worries with a tasty mojito and head home for the deepest slumber of your damn lives.

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A friend I met along the way. Taking goat cuddle stops is also a clever and highly effective tactic to temporarily halt challenging hikes. 

One thing we failed to fit time in for was an overnight stay in the Wadi Rum desert. Bringing new meaning to the word glamping, many of the Booking.com accommodation options in the desert were stunning, comfortable and super affordable. If possible, extend your stay and fit in a night in the desert drinking, eating and admiring the beauty of Jordan.

This incredible adventure surely was a memorable one with the rich tapestry of Petra and the stunning nature of the Jordanian country-side leaving a very lasting impression. Leaving more of an impression though, was the incredible delicacy and precision that many of the Bedouin men applied their eyeliner with.

 

An idiot’s guide to Jordan

Jordan, Middle East – part one 

As one of seven wonders of this glorious, gritty world, Petra in the distinctly unique country of Jordan is a sight for sore, jet-lagged eyes. A destination for adventurers, any keen history buffs or the typically curious traveller, Petra truly is earth-shatteringly magnificent.

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Star Wars eat your heart out.

As a well-educated, but seriously uncultured creature I hate to that admit I am, I simply assumed Petra was the striking cave carving I had seen on the pages of Google (don’t you just hate millennials?). Oh, how wrong I was! Petra is an entire archaeological site spanning hundreds of kilometres, with any number of tombs, caves and temples to explore and soak up. The most famous of which, being the Treasury – as seen below (and on Google, duh).

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The Treasury featuring Australia’s national treasure. 

While our adventures in Jordan were not confined to Petra, our largest draw card was laying our greedy eyes upon the rich red carvings. We opted to DIY it, hiring a sexy little 4WD at the airport, praying to Obama that our Jordanian sim cards would suffice with directional commands and hitting the road, Jack.

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Our hot and dangerous hot rod.

With a journey clocking in at just 3 and a half hours ahead of us, we took our sweet time. Stopping at roadside shops, buying stunning homemade rugs, traditional wooly jackets and a Mars Bar or two for the ride, the beauty of Jordan was not lost on us.

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Happy travellers revelling in Jordan’s magnificence, and our own stench. 

A pit stop at a serene, mysterious and bloody hot Ma’in Hot Springs is well worth the trouble. A holiday resort, visitors have access to a lovely warm spring for a small fee at the gate. Have a relaxing dip in the hot springs, test your tough with a walk through the piping hot waterfalls and let the warm water wash away your sins.

The romance of driving down the Kings Highway with Israel on one side and the striking Jordanian desert on the other, all but lured us in. While not the quickest route, it led us to a worthy pit stop at the Dead Sea. For any similarly minded, uncultured critters out there, the Dead Sea separates the conflicting nations of Jordan and Israel. A salt lake whose surface is nearly 450m below sea level.

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The Dead Sea, eventually predicted to run dry. 

We ended up channelling our inner Russell Coight and off-roaded to a secluded beach point along the highway. One of the more magical moments of our trip and certainly a memorable one. Stepping out of our already trashed rental car, stretching our cramping legs and soaking up the serene pebbled beach was pretty dang epic.

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Stinky Mcgee.

The water is said to mystically aid with skin conditions, acne, circulation and reducing inflammation. What is more mystical to my simple self is that you float in this water! The salt concentrate in this big, ol’ pond means you can’t deep dive or even stand easily in this water. Immerse yourself in the clear water and watch in delight as your legs are lifted from under you.

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Navigating self-timer more challenging than Jordanian roads.

Bloody terrific for any lazy, incapable swimmers such as myself. It has an incredible oily, salty appearance that will leave your towels and clothes sodden in grease and grime – beware! Also beware of speed limits! I had a wonderfully challenging chat to a few roadside cops who issued me with a $60 AUD speeding ticket for ignorantly assuming speed limits mattered not in the middle of the desert – what a dingus.

Stopping in civilisation and picking up a few local snacks was one of our better moves. Aside from enjoying the gastronomic delights of tomato flavoured potato chips and some scrummy pomegranate juices, our cravings even helped us make a few Facebook friends for life (fucking millennials).

As we wove down to the Dead Sea, we just so happened to stumble across two of Jordan’s finest sharing a shisha and a shit talk roadside. On a wonderful whim we pulled over and spent a memorable half hour exchanging our snacks for homemade olive oil, a puff of shisha and a linguistically challenged conversation overlooking a shimmering Dead Sea. Dreamy.

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Jordan’s friendliest man and by golly, does he make one hell of an olive oil.

An idiot’s guide to Egypt

Part three – Aswan

After a colourful four-hour train ride from Luxor spent hanging our heads out of the cabin, sharing a cigarette or three with some gracious locals, our journey to the picturesque town of Aswan was complete. 

Stepping off the bustling platform the change in scenery is immediate. With a much busier, lively feel to the mainland, Aswan radiates African culture. Close to the border of Sudan and one of the Southern-most cities in Egypt, Aswan is truly a one-of-a-kind gem.

We eventually opted to stay in a seriously affordable homestay on Elephantine Island we stumbled across on Booking.com. A ferry ride over the Nile from the big smoke, Elephantine offers rustic beauty and kind-hearted locals at every turn. 

A word of advice that you’d be utterly braindead not to listen to – plonk your weary toosh down in a comfortable, wicker seat at the island’s true attraction, the Nubian Dreams Restaurant. I kid not and lie never, so listen up and let me tell you why. 

The Nubian Dream is Egyptian oasis on every level of the word. With a beautiful, bohemian backdrop of hand-crafted cushioned seats, cane chairs and cold beers, the friendly faces of the staff, their buddies and every other happy chap visiting the mecca of good ass North African cuisine will have you sold. 

One of our only photos taken at the Dream with Mufasa (criminal of us!)

A strenuous six feet and six stairs from the ferry port, the Dream offers up the most incredible tagines one would possibly lust over. Any mention of the eggplant, zucchini or spicy fish tagine send bolts of electricity to my tastebuds and dare I admit it, other less kosher parts of my body. 

If you have the pleasure of stumbling across a delightful local man by the name of Mufasa at the Dream, buy him a tagine. He’ll sit with you, chat, dance, sing, bring you traditional desserts, take you on a three-hour felucca ride with his family, wake up at 4am to personally escort you to a taxi and leave the best, lasting impression on your Aswan experience and all just for shits and giggles. A true gent and truly fond of French women!

The man himself and our captain for the day!

Lavished with cool beverages and plates of hot food cooked on the premises by owner Ali’s talented mama, the soulful tunes of Bob Marley sank into our weary, travel-ravished bones, giving us the perfect backdrop to end our day in Aswan.

To start your day, I suggest strolling over to The Ibiza Hostel. A colourfully painted hostel offering up some delicious local fares. We stumbled across it by chance and were hospitably sat on the balcony overlooking the shimmering Nile and within a stone’s throw of Kitchener’s Island – Aswan’s answer to a Botanical Garden. 

Our hosts plonked down some piping hot, minty tea, some freshly squeezed juice and let us have our pick of some falafel, soft pita, thick syrupy honey and deliciously greasy eggplant – again with the electricity bolts. 

With the Movenpick hotel at one end of the island, offering their pool side beers and top-notch bartender banter to visitors of the island (at a fee, of course) and hotel goer’s, I recommend securing yourself a primo spot pool-side and setting up camp for a relaxing mental health day if that floats your traditional Egyptian sail boat. 

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Dipping my Rue Roosevelt adored hands into the cool banks of the Nile.

It’s not a day in Aswan without a boat ride so taking a felucca (traditional Egyptian sail boat, duh) ride from the Movenpick’s dock will show you some of the hottest spots the idyllic cluster of islands has to offer, the Old Cataract Hotel to name just one – Agatha Christie fans delight . If the wind, natural not man-made, falafel induced, is hiding away for the day, a motor boat (good lord, the satirical avenues are endless) will suffice.

One of the best experiences up for offer in Aswan is enjoying the mind-blowing sites by river. Dipping your stinky toes into the Nile as a felucca leads you to some serene, secluded spots along the river – some of which, you can even have a swim in. 

While I was encouraged by all to swim, my skimpy bikini might have caused more of a splash than my meanest cannonball, so I opted to wade (pee) in the shallows while my adventurous travel companions embarrassed Australian’s everywhere with a poorly executed race to a large rock mid-river. 

The singing, dancing Mufasa who just so happened to speak seven different languages. All self-taught from making friends with inferior tourists over the years – all hail the real pharaoh! 

For those of you worried about the conservative nature of Egypt and how that translates to swimwear and sartorial choices, I would not sweat it.  While you might get a few looks, Elephantine and its surrounding islands are tourist friendly and it’s not necessary to be covered head-to-toe at all times. I would however, recommend travelling with men (or in my case, two very hairy man-boys) if you can and keeping legs and shoulders covered on the mainland. 

A more than frequently asked question we encountered in Aswan was “Abu Simbel?”. For those amongst us not familiar with the temples, Abu Simbel are two massive rock temples originally carved out of a mountainside in 13thcentury BC but were relocated in 1968 (moving mountains, huh?) and now they sit a 4 hours’ drive of Aswan on the border of Sudan. 

A total sight for sore eyes, sore thanks to the 4am wake up time and subsequent four-hour van ride, we were slightly disillusioned by the 45-minute time limit we were given to look around once we were there. Don’t let my sour puss explanation dim your enthusiasm though, Abu Simbel is really, truly mind-boggling. My advice – make sure you are given enough time to look at everything you want to and take the second van ride of the day, the early start doesn’t help avoid the tourist explosion. 

The final verdict on Aswan? Just really, bloody good for the soul. The perfect place to end an Egyptian adventure with its rich cultural tapestry, unbelievable food and even better company, Aswan has my stone cold heart. Talk to as many locals as you can and achieve the eggplant tagine trifecta – breakfast, lunch and dinner.

An idiot’s guide to Egypt

Part two – Luxor

My dearly beloved Luxor is out of this world beautiful. A merry nine-hour train ride from Cairo, Luxor will knock your stinky, mismatched socks off. Just don’t forget to splash your cash and snag yourself a sleeper cabin. With a nifty bunk bed set up, power outlets and comfortable pillows, you’ll rest easy.

You can opt to stay on the East Bank of Luxor for a central, bustling feel, but in my not-so-humble opinion, West Bank is where it’s bloody at. With quaint, Nile-side café’s serving up hot Turkish coffee, cushy pita and drool-worthy falafel, West Bank gives you that relaxed, holiday vibe we all so regularly dream about.

Al Salam Camp, our choice of sleeping hole, is the most heavenly mud hut set up I’ve ever stumbled across. With all of the creature comforts you could need, hot showers, fans, beers and beds, Al Salam’s nightly campfires are so dang good for the soul.

Al Salam is run by the ultimate gentleman, Mr Ahmed. With a beautiful wife behind the killer cooking, a herd of gorgeous kittens, well-behaved children roaming about and an honest, easy-going nature, Ahmed is your go-to hombre of the West Bank.

We ambitiously opted to rent bikes, as organised by Ahmed, and ride over to Valley of the Kings. Usually a cruisy ride for those of us with some sense of directional intellect, we spent a few hours working on the glutes and crack sweat as we got pitifully lost – well, if you have to do it somewhere…

Paired with the joy of seeing my adult male travel companions riding children’s sized bikes with baskets and jazzy bells to boot, laying eyes on King Tut’s freshly refurbished tomb was a time to be had. Spooky, a little surreal and real damn pretty, Tut’s mask has the ultimate resting bitch face.

A handy tip – take your student ID to all of the attractions about Egypt and get half off your ticket price. As one of my counterparts shamefully found out, Aussie drivers licences don’t fool no man and will only get you a barrage of laughs and (king) tuts.

Temple Hatshepsut is an amazing assault on the eyes, worth a gander and a photo or four. The temple’s bazaar is full to the brim with tacky souvenirs (sign me up) and pushy salesmen – just beware of entering into a trance like state spurred on by some merchant’s powerful ability to sell tourists utter crap – they missed that one on Smart Traveller.

Karnak Temple should be on the top of your sites to see, with a full day’s exploration ahead of you. Get in early, avoid the crowds and make sure you take up some of those shifty tours guides up on their offers to show you some hidden spots – again, for a price, but so stinkin’ worth it.

We ended up sharing a mind-blowing spinach curry, pita and some billy-boiled tea under the gates of Karnak with its resident security guard sweetheart. Number one rule of Egyptian travel, always say yes to tea, you never know where you might end up.

If you’re staying on the West Bank make sure to take a felucca (traditional Egyptian sail boat) or motor boat back home. Your overworked cankles will thank you, or you know, motorboat you. If lunch on a yacht sailing the Nile floats your boat, Ahmed or any of the local boat babes will happily organise a luxurious, relaxin’ day on the river for you.

Our two-day stint in Luxor was nowhere near enough to scratch the surface on this divine corner of the world. I’d recommend living there forever, or a more reasonable four or so days.

Just remember my three cardinal Luxor rules, never stray too far from the closest falafel cart, pack for the cold nights and never trust boys with directions, ever.

An idiot’s guide to Egypt

Part one – Giza & Cairo

Since the tender age of eight, I have longed with all of my wistful might to visit the land of the pharaohs. Transfixed by the mysteries of the great, honking pyramids, the promise of exotic landscapes and uncovering the secret to Cleopatra’s winged eyeliner, I recently took the plunge and booked my sorry ass on the first flight to Cairo.

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Our first, mind blowing stop was the ever-glorious Giza.

I can’t recommend the soulful experience of waking up to a view of the pyramids highly enough. Chugging down sugary mint tea to a symphony of calls to prayer, the dusky beauty of a morning gaze at the pyramids gave me more of an am kick than caffeine ever could.

Street puppies of Giza

The no-nosed lady, Mrs Sphinx – a heck of a load smaller than I had imagined!

You’ll find a load of affordable spots to stay in Giza, all sporting wonderful staff who are more than eager to organise your entire trip for you, but we chose the Best View Pyramids Hotel. 

With comfortable rooms, a tasty price tag and even tastier stuffed pigeon (more appealing to some of us than others), this ripper hotel had the rooftop terrace of a lifetime.

One hell of a terrace view ✨

Treat yourself to a cold, local lager, have a puff at a shisha pipe and put your lazy feet up on the glorious rooftop. With a view you’ll never get sick of and a lentil soup to write home about, you’ll find all you ever needed right in front of you.

Ask for Saber, the hotels resident tour guide and bad ass, who’ll take you on an astounding camel ride through the Sahara Desert to explore the pyramids. Yep, pretty flipping amazing. The man even knows his way around your good side, working the angles for any and all photo shoots you may require – bona fide legend.

Zinger happy snap courtesy of Saber himself 👏🏻

You’ll need a few days to fully absorb the wonderment of the pyramids. Explore, climb and try not to get swindled into a $40 photo on a camel in front of the tombs – it’s a heap harder than you might think.

Take your walking shoes, some snacks and your own stash of that h2o goodness. Giza is where it’s at, so much so that I’d almost endorse you put at the end of your trip, nothing will ever quite live up to the splendour of le pyramids.

The magnificence of Uber means you’re a hop, skip and a sarcophagus away from the big smoke in Cairo. Make sure to grab a sim card at Cairo airport when you land and save a bunch on taxis, that is, unless you’re an adequate barterer and can fend for yourself.

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo and it’s startling Mummy Room are well worth a gander. None of the artifacts seem to have the usual explanatory plaques, so it’s a spiffy idea to take up one of the eager guides outside the museum on their offer to show you around – at a price, of course.

Tahrir Square lies just next to the Egyptian Museum, and was the base for the people’s revolution in 2011. Again, without the wonderful world wide web, you won’t find much information about the uprisings in the square itself. Do a little research, give yourself some context and soak it on up.

During your wanderings in the bustling streets of Cairo, don’t let the opportunity to sneak into any of the Koshary stores slip you by. Open windows displaying obnoxiously sized bowls of pasta, lentils, chickpeas and fried shallots dot the avenues. Make sure to venture inside and have yourself a carb loaded meal.

A traditional Egyptian meal, Koshary is a bowl of all of the above, paired with a delicious tomato sauce. You can add spice and vinegar to the delicious concoction and eat as the locals do. Vegetarian and the ultimate belly filler, I swear it resurrected me after a long hard slog at Khan el-Khalili.

Khan el-Khalili is one of Cairo’s largest souk’s and is a tourist hotspot. Potentially the only time I felt a little on edge security wise, in the depths of the market you’ll find an intricate maze of market stall after market stall. It was here I did my best work, dropping some cold hard on a jazzy artesian rug and a hoard of Egyptian gold jewellery. Just remember to put your hard ass hat on and only pay what you want to.

The final verdict on Cairo and Giza? Make Giza home base and enjoy the pyramids in all of their glory. Cairo’s big city vibes make for a brilliant day out, but can feel a little intense for the everyday traveller.

Talk to as many locals as you can and don’t let stern warnings from concerned friends back home, stop you from making a friend or two along the way.

Don’t be fooled into thinking the Pyramids are all Giza and Cairo really have to offer, with a mountain of wonderful day trips and adventures to be had – Memphis, Saqqara and the Sahara to mention a few – this little pocket of the world has your name scribbled all over it.

Passive aggressive email career

I’ve recently come to the major life conclusion that I don’t desire the corporate life, I’d once so convincingly imagined for myself. A life of lunch room sit-downs, the 9 to 5 grind but most importantly power dressing, is now sadly off the business cards.

The true Greek tragedy in all of this remains the collection of tailored pants, suave blazers and snotty emails I’ll never be able to unleash onto the world. Alas, wipe those invisible tears away people, there’s still a tiny ray of hope.

My passive aggressive email career might be shot, but my corporate dressing vocation is looking as hot as my shoulder pads (smoking, duh).

This Georgia Alice bad boy set is ticking all of the professional boxes I never will. Crisp, makes a good first impression and is a badass in the boardroom – you bloody ripper.

Wearing: Georgia Alice pant suit, Celine necklace, similar found here and Are You Am I crop, similar found here.

Bombshell

Bought about by my slow decline over the hill and my steady approach to an imminent quarter life crisis, I have been doing some serious searching of the soul lately. Journeying on as deep of a trail of self-discovery as my encumbered soul can muster, I have come to one important realisation.

My favourite colour is no longer yellow.

Having only just come to terms with this calibre of bombshell (measuring -1 on the bombshell metre, a bit like me), I am still finding it difficult to discuss openly. I am however, choosing to push through my fiery inner turmoil and break down the stigma, in the desperate hopes that my words help anyone else in a similar position.

I have spent the last 23 cushy years of my existence believing yellow, in all of its kind, warm hues was my numero uno – oh how wrong I was. I am now, after much internal assessment, announcing my allegiance with green and I encourage y’all to do the same.

If my laborious, overly-detailed and mildly-waffled explanation was not evidence enough, I bring before the court, my smoking gun – this Georgia Alice dress.

Ladies, gentlemen and our gender fluid friends, I rest my case.

Wearing: Georgia Alice dress found here, Celine necklace found here and jerky grin.

historically unstylish

They say all good things come in pairs –  boobs, twin-sized Mars bars, Hilary and Hailey Duff. Now, while these of these wonderful pairings ring true and blue, this deeply philosophical theory can also be applied to garms. Winter garms, summer garms, the whole nine yards – you name it! The not-so-wise, deeply vein and historically unstylish woman captured in the snooty images below says so, so it must be 100% tried and tested.

The far wiser and historically stylish duo behind Zimmermann certainly got the memo and are helping their adoring sisters out everywhere. This floral-lovers wet dream has me praising the lords up above with my now stylish mind, body and spirit.

Thank you, Zimmermann, thank you.

Wearing: Zimmermann Sunny Smocked top & skirt.

Sisterhood

These pants have magic powers and no, not the kind that bring America Ferrera and Blake Lively together after a long, difficult summer. No, these pants are the positive self-esteem heroes of our generation, in other words, not Blake Lively. They bring love handles and muffins tops together after long, over-indulgent summers and house them in one beautiful, corded flare pant – happy tears.

My college experience saw me gain the revered Freshmen 15lbs in six months after an onslaught of non-Mexican Mexican food and $1 screwdrivers and in the aftermath, these pants were my only salvation.

Let this be a lesson for you all, in times of need you must always, always turn to Gucci and teen movies highlighting the importance of female friendship and/or sisterhood.

Wearing: Gucci pants, Acne Studios tee and Balenciaga heels.