It’s lent, and despite being a non-practicing catholic, my inner seven-year-old self (she’s always there) still kind of feels some moral obligation from my catholic education to give something up for Lent, just incase there really is a Heaven when we die. If you don’t know what lent actually entails, it’s a whole forty days and forty nights of going without something, to represent Jesus trekking through the desert without food and water for the same length of time.

Now, while I admire anyone who could survive even seven days without water*, there are some things that I just don’t think I can go without for forty days and forty nights, despite knowing that I really should. So instead, I will give up something that will be a challenge for me, but not too much of a challenge, because why really exert myself? So while I’ve been mulling it over, I’ve compiled a list of some bad habits that I really should give up, but probably won’t because life is hard enough for a someone as lackadaisical as myself.


1. Purchasing over priced mediocre coffee from Costa before each shift at work. 

Firstly, I would save a bloody fortune. And secondly, the coffee they serve there isn’t even that good. In fact, the coffee from my little Dolce Gusto coffee maker is actually just as good, if not actually better – despite coming in powdered form and coming in at a fraction of the price. When I actually think about it, I think that the real reason I actually buy a coffee before work each day, is that it prolongs the stroll to the briefing room, and thus, minimises the time that I subsequently need to spend there.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, briefing room, it ‘s basically a room at work, filled with co-workers, and is some kind of torturous hell on earth where we are briefed by a senior about the forthcoming day ahead, and so sipping on a flat white is my sole escape whilst I block out the patronising voices that surround me, and as I sit there sipping on that coffee, I am wishing it was actually a G&T.

So basically, I just don’t think that I can survive the next forty days and nights sans crap caffeine, because it’s some kind of life line.

2. My avocado-a-day habit.

About five years ago, I probably didn’t even know what an avocado was… Fast forward to today, and my avocado addiction is really getting quite out of control, and despite the price of avocados being ridiculous the world over, I am pretty sure that they’re most expensive in Dubai. In fact, certain drugs habits would probably be cheaper to maintain than an avo-a-day habit in the sandpit.

On top of having to re-mortgage your flat to fund a Dubai avo habit, avocados are really high in fats, (albeit healthy fats, but a fat nonetheless), which isn’t really ideal when you live in perpetual summer – aka eternal bikini body season. So, it would probably benefit me both financially and weight wise to cut back on avocados for the next forty days and forty nights. However, my main concern here is that I could potentially become a shadow of my former self due to starvation. No-one would recognise me; I’d have no energy to leave the house, let alone go to work for my shoddy coffee! There’s not one meal that I cannot incorporate an avocado into (except maybe macaroni cheese…) and therefore, I just refuse to even attempt to give up avocados for lent.

3. Going for a “wee look” in Zara any time I set foot in a mall.

FYI, whilst shopping with women, there is no such thing as a “wee” look. The only “wee” thing involved in shopping with a woman, is the size her remaining bank balance after aforementioned, “wee look”, and so, any time I enter a mall and utter those words to whoever I’m with, I am not only lying to them but I am also lying to myself. I don’t think I’ve ever accomplished a “wee look” in Zara in all my life. Nor in Topshop, COS, H&M, Urban Outfitters etc etc…  I’d say the minimum time scale for a wee look is nothing shy of twenty minutes, and almost always definitely results in a purchase.

For example, last week I went shopping for a birthday present. I gave myself two hours to find something that I wasn’t entirely sure I was looking for. Fast forward seven hours later, I had purchased one jacket, one pair of jeans, one hair band, one pair of smart trousers, one book, two coffees and of course a birthday present. And each of those purchases was the result of “just going in for a wee look”. If I avoided malls at all costs, I’d avoid temptation! But I am a weak soul, and Zara beckons…

4. Social Media

“Imagine how much extra time we’d have each day if we just didn’t go on social media, Pam. Maybe we should go all out Ed Sheeran and give up social media for lent! ” My friend said over dinner. Less than five minutes later, she was showing me her latest girl crush, (a vegan yoga bunny with a wardrobe to die for – obviously) and we then spent a further ten minutes endlessly scrolling marvelling at her wardrobe and questioning, “How does she manage to get her legs like that!?”. Yes, that is fifteen minutes of my life that I am never getting back, but I am sure I’ll sleep so much better tonight knowing where Girl Crush buys her leggings from.

And anyway, social media is a great tool for distraction, and obviously I will need that distraction when I finally choose what it is I am going to give up for Lent this year.

5. Buying crap that I do not need.

(Me, having a wee look in H&M home – see above for definition of “wee look”):

“What about this bottle stopper for our Prosecco? Look, it’s a little white rabbit, and we do actually need one. I don’t think an upside down teaspoon in the bottle is really cutting it…”

Bunny lay in the basket until we actually checked the price and reasoned that we do not in fact need a £10 bottle stopper for our Prosecco and that we will actually just make do with the upside-down teaspoon trick, because the avocado fund is actually running quite low and it is still ten more days ’til payday, plus, who are we actually kidding – an opened bottle of Prosecco doesn’t lie in our fridge for long enough to require a bottle stopper!

6. Buying endless supplies of things that I don’t urgently need for fear of running out, (or worse, a zombie apocalypse) because they are hard to come by in Dubai.

These purchases include but are not restricted to,

  • Batiste dry shampoo for those sweatpants days when I just cannot be bothered to wash my hair.
  • Garnier Summer Body tinted moisturiser because, well, Scottish skin.
  • Multipacks of avocados which inevitably end up over ripe and go in the bin but ah well, they only cost £2 as opposed to Dubai £6.
  • Candles upon candles from IKEA & Bath & Body Works. My flat is like a shrine and a potential fire hazard, especially because Gustavo likes to walk through them like some sort of invincible circus cat, of which he is most definitely not.
  • Contact lenses because God forbid anyone knows I wear glasses IRL. It’s a well-kept secret and I intend to keep it that way!
  • Coffee capsules, because a life without them just isn’t worth living.
  • Laundry detergent capsules, purely because I refuse to pay £8 for 20 in Dubai.
  • Square Sausage. I have two unopened packs in the freezer waiting for an opportunity such as a gin induce hangover that is worthy of their de-frosting.
  • Onken yoghurt, and more specifically fat-free Vanilla.

I would like to point out that I am probably over exaggerating some of the costs but seriously, it costs a fiver for a puny little box of raspberries here. RIDICULOUS.

7. Wasting my time and money on women’s magazines.

All they do is make girls in general, feel inadequate and pressured into adopting certain behaviours to fit in with their peers. Making women feel lesser if they don’t adopt what editors collectively deem current and “on trend”. The pages upon pages of glossy adverts showing flawless skinny models flaunting aspirational products that the majority of women cannot afford without selling a kidney; the pages about what you should and shouldn’t be eating; the pages about what to do to make him fall in love with you; the pages on how to get over him; the pages about what exercises you should be doing right now to get the body like her. GOD NO. Why do I continue to waste my money and time reading this? Erm… I don’t know but it’s kind of addictive so I will continue anyway. Flicks through another feature in Cosmo.

8. Believing in superstitions.

I am still not over the fact that when I first arrived in Dubai, not only did I manage to smash one mirror on day three, but by day seven, I’d managed to smash two! I convinced myself that I’d cursed my future with fourteen years of bad luck, and subsequently, everything that’s gone Pete Tong in my life ever since, I subconsciously relate it back to that fateful week.

I also freak out if someone dares open an umbrella indoors, and don’t even mention to my mum my obsession with magpies and the little poem that accompanies it. (One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy blah blah blah…). It still drives her demented that I continue to ask people to break my sorrow despite being twenty-nine. I really should wear blinkers in the car so I don’t see them.

For someone so impatient, I was uncharacteristically patient when it came to avoiding walking underneath the ladders in the stock room of my old job. Regardless of how busy the shop was, or how awkward a manoeuvre it’d take to avoid said ladders, under no circumstance, would I ever walk underneath those ladders because of all the bad luck that would surely befall me. (Let’s gloss over the fact that it was a trainer shop, so naturally shoes on the table was a natural ever day occurrence!)

Deep down, I know (okay, I am 99% sure) that superstitions are a bit far fetched, but what if there’s that once percent chance that there actually is logic behind them!? So, I’d rather just stick to my superstitions and not give them up for Lent – just incase…


After looking at the various bad habits of mine that I could give up, there’s only one bad habit left that I think I could just about manage to give up for forty days, and that bad habit is my other one-a-day addiction; Coke Zero. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than an ice-cold can of Coke Zero with a straw, and the thought of not having one for forty days fills me with despair, but it’s one of the only habits that I am confident enough I can quash until easter. This is mainly because there are plenty other refreshing drinks still to be had, like sparkling water with ice and lemon, Prosecco, G&T and of course, the epitome of summer, the refreshing Aperol Spritz.

And so, that is decided, in order to get into Heaven, I will forego Coke Zero (and other associated fizzy drinks) for forty days and forty nights, because it’s not healthy. Plus no-one thinks I can do it and also because Dubai added tax onto all it’s fizzy drinks making it a more expensive habit but mainly because I read in Cosmo it gives you cellulite.

See you in Hell Heaven, yeah?



*Pretty sure anyone else would die.

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