Netflix; The Swift Despise of my Already Lagging Social Existence

The twenties are suppose to be the time for excitement. Wild Friday nights, followed by the emergence of two day hangovers, travelling and adventures. My guess is if you’re a twenty-something exploring this said world of excitement, you’ve won the lottery…or don’t live in London.

I have had remarks such as “Wow, London! How exciting!” and such similar enthusiastic phrasing, but it is an unspoken fact that if you live in London, you rarely ‘discover’ London. And why?

We’re too busy trying to save pennies every single month for our extortionate rent, forever increasing travel cards and our once-a-week treat of a carvery at the local to think of such FROLICKING. For example, I’m currently in my local Gorringe Park, Tooting. Yes, it is a lovely pub, great in fact, however I have just ordered a roast dinner for nearly £15. Do you think this twenty-something can afford to exploring the capital, let alone the world, when she is paying such prices for a slab of beef and some parsnips? Nope.

Although do take a look. It was delicious.

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Now, in terms of Netflix, I do admit, I am a TV nut. I do prefer evenings watching re-runs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer whilst cramming as much Terry’s Chocolate Orange in my trap as possible and I don’t care. I would much rather spend an entire evening get progressively drunk in a musky old man pub playing Cards Against Humanity than five minutes in a dark club with loud (awful) music and the odd grope (I’m no Eva Mendes, some guys simply have no standards). So sue me.

Now Netflix. Netflix is the DREAM. Such delicious films, documentaries and sitcoms in one place.

The Mighty Boosh, the entirety of Buffy, Patrick Stewart’s turn in Star Trek and the most underrated comedy in recent years, Community. I have discovered Arrested Development, begun the mind-trip of American Horror Story and followed Louis Theroux and those bat-shit crazy cults around America. I have no time for friends and fresh air.

The 9 most powerful women in business

The word “feminist” and the act of feminism has long been associated with “bra burners”, “men haters” and various other negative connotations. To summarise, loudmouth women whose dream revolves around ridding the world of men entirely, to reproduce exactly when they want through their local friendly sperm bank and to control all of the top companies in the world. In reality, a feminist is a believer in equality. A person (whether a man, woman or child) striving for equal rights that will benefit everyone, not just the individuals who happen to be born sans one particular body part. After all, everyone begins life as a woman

Actress Emma Watson has highlighted many of these connotations in the #HeForShe campaign, comedian Aziz Ansari went into a hilarious rant on David Letterman pronouncing he is a feminist, Hilary Clinton may run for presidency this year and the likes of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler ridiculed aging male actors and directors that dominate the film industry (there’s not one female director or writer nominated at this year’s Oscars). Feminism has finally become cool, a cause to shout about, and it was a long time coming.

However, women still must strive to be heard in the workplace. The pay gap is still too wide, women must consider quitting their careers entirely if they decide to have children whilst the male can have both, a large percentage have been sexually harassed whilst an even bigger percentage have felt discriminated in some way because of their gender.

Whilst women still face an uphill battle in terms of equality in life, least of all the workplace, these Forbes’ women in particular are making pioneering strides to be noticed for all the right reasons:

Indra Nooyi

The CEO and chair of PepsiCo is no stranger to business; she has been on the Forbe’s Most Powerful Women list for eight years running. In the 50 best-selling food and beverage products, PepsiCo could name a whopping nine. Having returned $5.6 billion to shareholders, along with a revenue growth of 14% to $66 billion, Indra Nooyi is a business superstar and role model for both genders.

Sheryl Sandberg

Having spent four years as Facebook COO, Sheryl was named to the board of directors in June last year. An impressive CV to say the least, computers are well and truly the future. If you need some advice and tutoring in computing, not to mention the mathematics and strategic skills of some of these inspirational women, you can learn.

Mary Barra

Cars are just for men, right? Of course not, and you certainly wouldn’t be reading this if you thought as much. Mary became the auto industry’s first ever CEO in January last year at General Motors. One of her first tasks involved GM’s largest vehicle recall from a faulty ignition switch that has been linked to at least 13 deaths.

Diane Von Furstenberg 

The fashion giant and creator of the wrap dress (the ultimate sexy/sensible clothing perfect for your business-minded self), Diane began designing in 1970 with $30,000. She is now the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the trade association of the country’s top 350 designers and helped launch Fordham Law’s Fashion Law Institute.

Sue Naegle

The woman behind some of your favourite TV dramas including Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and The Newsroom, Sue Naegle is the president of HBO Entertainment. A financial whizz, Naegle carefully balances a $100 million dollar budget.

Arianna Huffington

Co-founder of one of the biggest news websites in the world, The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington is looking to expand into Europe having won the Pulitzer Prize last year.

Virginia Rometty

In 2011, Ginni became the CEO of technology giant IBM, the first woman to ever be named in such a position within the technology sector. With over 30 years in the tech business, Virginia has generated over $100 billion in revenues.

Marissa Mayer

Have you noticed Yahoo’s growing presence online? It certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed in the digital marketing sector. Leveraging on Yahoo’s strongest assets (not only their email but entertainment, sports and finance news), Marissa Mayer was named CEO of Yahoo in July 2014 having recently worked for Google.

Angela Ahrendts

Angela Ahrendts is the CEO of British fashion institution Burberry and the lady behind $2.9 billion revenue profit. Considering the brand suffered such a devastating identity crisis in recent years (especially in the UK), Angela’s work is nothing sort of astonishing. Burberry is now the largest apparel, accessories and luxury goods company in the UK.

These remarkable business women are walking proof that it is possible to manage large corporate businesses, and to manage them extremely well indeed. You’re never too old or too underqualified to take the plunge into the business world. Every year brings us a little closer to equality. Let makes 2015 the most successful year yet, for everyone.

Homeslice – best pizza in London

Homeslice’s menu is a seasonal array of trendy ingredients mixed with classic favourites like margarita. With flavours such as caramelised onion, anchovy and black olives, you’re not exactly going to opt for the conventional.

At £4 a (generous) slice or £20 for a 20 inch pizza, it is cheap and the most delicious pizza I’ve ever tasted.

The mushroom, pumpkin seed and ricota is a must but here are other amazing flavours:

– salami and rocket

– chorizo and sweetcorn

The Wytches and Burgers // 03.12.14

One of the great things about being a complete music nerd in the heart of London is the abundance of gigs.

Every single night of the week you can explore the darkest corners in search of some delicious sounds to tantalising your musical desires. I’m making this all sound a bit raunchy, and it is. Music is a passion that takes over your entire being. Any other passion out there does exactly the same.

A couple of years ago, a struggling freelance writer on £50 per week with a fulltime job in retail contributing to most of my monthly salary, I needed to fuel my love for music and have a life too. I was working at least six days a week and gig tickets and albums were already draining what little income I had, yet like any addiction, I needed more.

I decided to do something about it, combine two passions and try my hand at music reviewing. An extremely competitive market, but why not eh?

The first role was Drunken Werewolf for approximately two years. The site has since come along leaps and bounds, but I could have missed this initial opportunity as the response from DW Editor went into my spam folder…

I know you should never look in your spam folder, but I do enjoy some of the messages; gastric band surgery offered to a size 10/12 (know your audience, guys), “Amanda from the Congo” wants to be my friend, hmmm shall I test that dubious new medicine? I don’t think so. It makes me chuckle.

Now News Editor and Reviewer for exciting online publication Middle Boop, I’ve had the opportunity to see the wonderful Benjamin Clementine, write about one of my favourite bands Fleetwood Mac and broaden my musical horizons even further.

Last night was the turn of The Wytches; grungy dirty rock goodness. It was a sold out gig and brilliant fun. Review to be put onto Middle Boop in the next few days so I won’t say anymore but here’s a tasty photo:

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Also check out my Instagram for a couple of videos: http://instagram.com/sarponsford

However, the main focus of this latest blog post is another obsession of mine; BURGERS.

Having reviewed all the burgers I’ve had the pleasure of trying since moving just over one year ago, last night was the turn of Honest Burger; a popular chain, I do tend to stick with the independent business being one of those infuriating hipsters.

One thing I immediately like about Honest Burger Kings Cross is the relaxed vibe and Somerset cider (even though Sheppys doesn’t exactly TASTE like Somerset cider). It’s friendly, and the food smells goooooood.

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After seating I decide to opt for the Tribute (Tenicious D would be proud) whilst my friend went for the Cheese. This is the third great thing about Honest Burger; it offers fries WITH THE MEAL! What is it with places and ordering a “side portion” of fries. No, you tight bastards, give me the fries.

On arrival, the burger doesn’t actually look THAT good. There is plastic cheese (although I am a fan of this, in a burger you’ve just spent a tenner on, hmmm maybe not) and two small crinkly pieces of bacon. However, the rosemary seasoned fries are delicious ESPECIALLY when dipped into bacon ketchup. Yep, you heard right; BACON KETCHUP.

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As I cut open the burger, it is cooked to perfection. So pink inside, it is moist and kind of makes up for the sad bacon. The pickled cucumber are delicious as well as the American style burger sauce.

It’s still no Dip and Flip, but it was darn tasty.

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Next stop, the Scala and its £5 Strongbows…scandalous

Exploring London; the Ultimate A to Z

It’s Monday 7th October 2013 and we can’t fit one more thing in the Skoda. Moving from my hometown of Bristol to the Big Capital to begin my career in writing and start a new chapter of my life.

Two weeks before, I had to find a place in 48 hours. In London for just two days for a bit of training, I had nowhere to live through a very annoying housemate of a friend we call “Mard Arse”. A free room in my friend’s house at the exact time I’m moving to London. Perfect right? Mard Arse had other ideas and I was left finding a home at short notice. Despite the extorniate rent due the trendy neighbourhood of Brixton, it happened and I made two fantastic friends in my housemates.

Just over one year and I’ve moved from Brixton to Tooting and have had so many adventures in-between.

Tube surfing, gigs, fantastic food and great experiences; social media is a great documentation of a time well-spent, but it does lack that personal touch.

Going back to the chock-a-blocked Skoda (complete with Border Terrier, Archie) we’ve unpacked and it’s time for the parents to vacate. My parting gift was this:

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My Dad has had this in his car for as long as I can remember. Dotted and streaked in highlighter are routes he has taken over the years and this gave me an idea to populate and personalise with memories of my time here.

The thing about the London A to Z is the black and white pages are so impersonal, yet its purpose is to get you to your desired location where memories are made. Within those pages are fantastic meals, new friendships and great experiences. A closer look and those lines are streets where you’ve lived, wandered down and even partied. The parks are areas you picniced, tube stations were you waited for a night-out and the squares are pubs you spent rainy weekends.  It needs a bit of colour!

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From amazing exhibition and talks (from the likes of Malala Yousafzai and David Bowie Is) to the foam claw and lobster bun at Bob’s Lobster, it’s my aim to fill this up!

And there’s so much more to add…