Thursday, August 29, 2013

My thoughts on tattoos...

Hello, toasters!
As an art student (or, in fact, any student), the decision to modify yourself is ever at the fore-front of your mind.
Now please don't think of me as vain- we art students also need to spend time filling our heads with whimsical things revolving around the topics of nature, whether or not hippy trousers are really a good idea due to their lack of pockets and the meaning of life in general.
Oh, and spaghetti hoops. They cross my mind surprisingly often.
But one thing everyone seems to talk about at art school (besides how we can't afford anything) is body art.
Now I'm classing body art as anything from piercings to dyed hair to tattoos.
I am definitely not classing Lady Gaga-style face and shoulder implants under body 'art'.
That just seems like the combination of a lot of vodka and her insatiable need to be in the public eye.

Now while there is a reasonably high chance I'll ask why on earth did you get that engraved upon your body?, on the whole, I like tattoos.
Let me re-phrase that....
I like tattoos. On other people.
I guess I like tribal-style patterns best.
What I don't like so much is the bullshit reasoning surrounding the tattoo. The way that to a heck of a lot of people, it has to be meaningful.
Meaningful? How, exactly, can a glorified doodle etched into your skin be meaningful?
Yes, you can write the names of your children over your heart, but does nobody ever think of this from the child's point of view? I know I'd find it weird if I were permanently written on my parents flesh.
And what if, 20 years after 'Amelia-Grace' has been proudly tattooed onto her Dad's forearm, Amelia-Grace has a sex change and insists on being called Andrew?
What happens then?!?
I think that most people like a design, then feel pressured to come up with some deep and all-powerful meaning to justify it.
It's your body! Own it!
If you have a floral motif on your ankle, don't come up with something vague to do with how it 'represents' nature or something equally as 'meaningful'.
Don't be that guy.
You know what would be refreshing?
If someone just went 'Yeah, I like flowers and I got it because I just really wanted this particular design on my ankle/ insert body part here'. No random arty-farty mumbo jumbo.
I would respect that guy.

That said, I don't think that a tattoo should be a snap decision.
Although laser removal means that tattoos don't have to be as permanent nowadays, you want it to be something that you wont cringe at every time you look in the mirror.
You know, something that will look good when the wrinkles set in.
We all have that friend who desperately wants a tattoo, yet is like a kid in a sweet shop when it comes to picking a design.
They usually have a folder on their PC with about 50+ different ideas that they cant decide between, and there seems to be a new favourite every week.
These are the people, in my humble opinion, who should not get a tattoo.
Well, at least not yet.
While I don't think that a tattoo needs to be some life-changing, epiphany-inducing work of art, I think that the basic rule of thumb is that you need to have your heart set on one design, and know exactly what you want, for at least 6 months before taking the plunge.
No-one is going to love you if you have YOLO emblazoned across your forehead in six months from now.
In fact, not even right now.
Like Crocs, YOLO has had its time.
Move on, bro.

Something that I think should be avoided at all costs is getting a tattoo of someone's face.
Why would you want that?
For starters, they almost all look wonky/ have a lazy eye/ the person looks like they haven't quite sobered up from the night before.
Secondly, (and most importantly) YOU HAVE ANOTHER FACE ON YOUR BODY.
Whether it be on your arm, your back, whatever- you still have another person staring out from your flesh.
You've basically turned yourself into a two headed monster.
Does nobody else find this creepy?!

I realise that this rather long post seems very anti-ink. The truth is that I really like tattoos, and although I wouldn't really get one myself (I'm a wimp when it comes to needles) I can appreciate some awesome design work when I see it.
I am an art student after all.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

How to give someone a proper taste of London

Hello, toasters!
It's been a busy few weeks for me, as I have been working at a summer camp.

At work on Mexican Day, in our moustaches
 and flattering yellow tee shirts
No one can ever fully prepare you for working with 150 children by simply giving you a few sessions of 'training'.
I use the term training loosely as I don't really think that a few lectures discussing the importance of play can really prep you for building forts, playing dodgeball and diffusing a heated argument over silly string.

On one of my days off, I went to London with my boyfriend Dan, and the countless lost-looking tourists wandering around gave me the idea to write this.
Let me begin by saying that I am no Messiah of London, I do not know everything awesome there is to do, so this will just be my suggestions from my own experiences.
That said, I am the Messiah of the London Underground. We understand each other, no questions asked.

Let's begin with travel. Definitely get the train, it's so much better than traffic, paying the conjestion charge, more traffic and then an intense fight for what seems like the only parking spot in the whole city.
If you don't like the person you're showing around, get the train at rush hour. You'll be crowded in like a tin of sardines, so the person whom you dislike will definitely not want you to be their tour guide ever again. Perfect.

If you have a Merlin pass, I'd recommend going straight to the London Eye. The longest I've ever had to queue is about half an hour, and even on a rainy day the views are still pretty sweet.
However, I'd definitely avoid the field in front of the London Eye, unless snap-happy pouting Chinese schoolgirl tourists are your thing.
And if they are your thing, I'm not sure whether you should be out in public unsupervised.

Then take the Northern line up to Camden Lock. Even if you're not a cyberpunk/ emo/ goth/ scene kid coated in metal and eyeliner, it has something for everyone.

An old photo of me riding Aslan, the Camden Lock Lion
The coolest thing about eating lunch in Camden is that you get to feel like a total badass sitting on the motorbike seats.
But be warned, if you start acting like an asshole Son of Anarchy, or start humming Born in the USA, you will get punched in the spleen.

Because we are British, a large part of our national identity revolves around the art of tea drinking.
So it goes without saying that you need to go to at least one café during your day to unwind and have a moan about how tourists are everywhere.
I'd recommend the Haagen Dazs café in Leister square. It's a little on the expensive side, but the hot chocolate is incredible.
Once I went over the top and ordered a large chocolate brownie, covered in chocolate sauce and chocolate balls, accompanied by two scoops of chocolate cookie ice cream and rich hot chocolate.
Now I love  chocolate. But this dish was so indulgent, I never wanted to even lay eyes upon chocolate ever again.
But although I ended up feeling like an over-inflated chocolate smeared balloon, it was awesome.

Next stop: M&M world!
I never knew there could be so much merchandise inspired from a packet of chocolate, but it was a definite eye opener.
Not only are you bought face to face with the epitome of consumerist culture, you don't even care because they pump the air full of chocolate!
I don't even like M&Ms, but I genuinely left with a packet of them after spending just 20 minutes in the store.

Now maybe it's because I'm a theatre freak, but I find that a day to London is incomplete without a trip to the West End.
While there a lots of shows out there, my favourite has got to be Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.
I mean.... drag queens, a tour bus and a dress made exclusively from flip flops... what could be better?

Finish off by going to the late showing at The Comedy Store. It's where loads of great comedians started out, and frequently has awesome comedians like Paul Merton and Josie Lawrence performing.

So, there we have it- my ingredients for an awesome day out in the Capital.
What floats your boat when you're in London?
Let me know!

See you soon,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Five top places to procrastinate on the Internet

Hello, toasters!
As some of you may know, I am the Queen of Procrastination.
(I have even been known to buy new underwear just to put off doing the laundry for an extra day or two- something I am definitely not proud of)
So today I have compiled a list of my favourite places to go on the Internet when I feel like putting off that assignment that really should be getting some attention.
As it happens, I do have a summer project that I need to start, but this list has provided me with a necessary distraction/ excuse/ I'm just lazy.
So without further ado, here are my top five places to procrastinate on the Internet.

Forget memebase. Seriously, this site is the best.
The reason it works so well as a meme site is because there's a proper sense of community, making all the other sites seem dull and emotionless.
Another great thing is the fact that you don't even have to sign up to get to feel like a member of this bizarre, yet tightly knit online world.

Click here to go to

2.Points in Case- the fine print of college life

This site has a whole range of guest bloggers who write columns. Originally they were all at college, having very real college experiences. Nowadays, there's more of a diversity of writers, mainly because some of the most loved writers have finished schooling, but have been begged to stay by the readers.
One thing is the same as ever though- how hilarious the content is. Mostly sarcastic, this site is best for those of you who enjoy observational comedy and blogging.

3. Danisnotonfire's YouTube Channel

If, like me, you used to avidly watch Charlieissocoollike, and are now a teeny bit disappointed because he's become so serious, I suggest Danisnotonfire.
I'm not sure if its because of his epic tee-shirts, or the fact he seems to be a complete hermit, but he is a YouTube sensation for a reason.
I'd personally recommend the 'Men vs. Women', 'Ironic Appreciation', and 'List of reasons why I'm an awful human being' videos.


I'm not sure if this website counts as racism, but it's damned funny.
Essentially, people submit pictures of signs/ menus/ products or anything they find with a funny spelling mistake or altered meaning as they go about their travels in the world.
Not quite as addictive as sites like Tickld, but definitely good for spending 5 or 10 minutes on.
Click here to visit

5. Play the Slender Man Game

So while this game may lack the incredible graphics of modern PS3 and Xbox games, it's still genuinely creepy.
Perhaps not when you're playing it, but especially at night when you're walking around a cold, darkened house.
The object of the game? Find all of the pages scattered around the woods. Simple.
The catch? This creepy motherfucker.
Look at him too long and he'll get you.
Don't run when he's close and he'll get you while your screen turns to static.
I recently played this at a house party one night, and maybe it was the alcohol, but I think I am mentally scarred for life.
(I am a chicken. But it's still creepy)

To download this game, google search 'download slender' and choose one that suits your operating system. But to all the cowards out there, don't say I didn't warn you!

So there we have it- some of my favourite ways to waste time on the internet instead of doing actual things.
If you can think of other interesting places in this digital world we call home, let me know in the comments!

My next post should be up in 2 or 3 days, but to get a direct notification, subscribe to Sammie on Toast using one of the options in the right-hand sidebar!

Happy Camping,

Sunday, August 11, 2013

10 things you should never say to a pregnant woman...

Hello, toasters!
It seems babies are everywhere lately, especially with the arrival of the Royal baby and the news that Simon Cowell is soon to be a father.

Aside from the classic asking 'when's it due?' to a non-pregnant woman, negotiating a conversation with an actually pregnant lady can be a nightmare.
I don't know whether this is just me, or if other people are as socially awkward as I am, but if you are the kind of person that accidentally (and mortifyingly) calls a teacher either 'mum' or 'dad', then listen up.
Here are 10 things that if said to a pregnant woman, will definitely result in you having to pack up and move to Timbuktu out of humiliation.

  1. Have you watched Kill Bill recently?
  2. What will you do if it's black? (Most effective-if that is the right word- on a white couple)
  3. Are you sure there's not 2 or 3 in there? You are fat with a capital PH.
  4. It's a shame Shane is the father, especially with those genetics.
  5. Didn't Jessica Simpson lose 25lb of her pregnancy weight in just 5 weeks?
  6. Apparently the hormones are meant to change you, but I've honestly always found you this disagreeable.
  7. I had the best nights sleep last night.
  8. I think I speak for everyone when I say that the ultrasound scan picture that's set as your profile picture is not your most flattering look.
  9. Did you know that there are now over 2 million single parent families in Britain alone?
  10. I think your pregnancy glow just makes you look reeeally sweaty.
I genuinely said number 10 to a family friend while she was expecting a few years ago, and I have been buying her the best Christmas presents ever since, out of guilt.

My next post will be up on Tuesday evening, so watch this space!
To make things simple, just subscribe by email or Google+ (if you're not shy enough to admit you actually have a Google+ account!) to get notifications when a new post is up.
You can do all this is the right-hand sidebar

Until next time!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How to rid yourself of holiday 'friends'

Hello, toasters!

Most people take holiday pictures in front of big, flash cars, and I couldn't resist this jazzy number the city of Mahon had to offer

No one knows who decided it would be a good idea to socialise whilst abroad, but everyone knows it's a bad move.
I almost called this post 'How to rid yourself of unwanted holiday friends'.
I then realised that the term 'holiday friends' already implies they're annoying, not very funny and difficult to understand due to a thick Northern accent.
Just a general pain when you're trying to enjoy the sun, sea, and the handsome Spanish waiter who slips you your cheque oh-so-provocatively.
Of course, there are a few good things about befriending random families on holiday...
If you forgot to reserve a seat for the nights' entertainment, they're usually the type of people who have been camped out for 3 hours to get the very best table, and always seem to have room to spare.

(By the way, if you don't relate to having the issue of a bunch of people you don't know tagging around with you on holiday, you may be one of the people I'm talking about.)

I've just come back from Son Bou, Menorca.
We survived the first half of the holiday without a group following us about, making us feel like tour guides.
On the fourth day, we encountered Ebony in the  swimming pool.
On the plus side, she was a lovely girl who liked to laugh, and got on really well with my younger sister Gina.
In fact, it was perfect, as Ebony was constantly in the pool, so it prevented the constant flow of 'are you coming in yet?' nagging from Gina.
What was not so perfect was Ebony's family.
Physically, they were so huge and overpowering, that toddlers passing by wet themselves out of fear.
They swore like troopers, were overly touchy-feely, and complained about everything.
(They made my sarcasm look like nothing I tell you)
They also seemed to be constantly there, by the pool, in the lounge, even in the lift.
And wherever you were, they'd insist you'd come and sit, and have a long old conversation about how bad the state of the walkway was, or whatever latest thing they'd found to pick holes in.
So quickly popping up to the room to get your flip flops would take about half an hour as you'd be sure to bump into them at least twice.
When it came to their thick Liverpudlian accent, I did the very British thing by just nodding to everything I didn't catch, to prevent my side of the conversation being 50% 'I beg your pardon?'

So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, here is a list of simple things that you can do to rid yourselves of these bizarre people...

  1. Begin by stabbing a nearby squirrel with a toothpick.
  2. Just kidding, but do try to do something subtly outlandish to make them rethink why they're allowing their family to be around you. By 'subtly outlandish', I do not mean making kebabs out of poor woodland creatures.
  3. Run everywhere. Maybe if you can run away from them for long enough, they'll latch onto someone else.
  4. Become a used car salesman and try to sell them PPI Insurance.
  5. Put mildly controversial ideas into the children's heads. For example, if the father is an avid Manchester United fan, plant seeds in the kids heads that Chelsea is way cooler to support.
  6. Insist they come along with you on a reeeeeally long hike.
  7. Talk about nothing but how likeable the Go Compare singer is.
  8. If all of the above fail, it's time to bring out the big guns.... open a tin of Pringles, share them out amongst your family but don't offer any to them. Watch them eye the tube pleadingly, and feel very guilty about it, but know that its all for the greater good.
I hope you can take these lessons and put them into practice next time a particularly lecherous family of four decide to be your new best friends.

Good luck!

Monday, August 5, 2013


Hello, toasters!
Sorry for the relative silence on the blogging front for the past few weeks, but I've been on two family holidays (lucky me!)
We went to Centreparcs first, then Menorca second, which I have just arrived back from today.
They were both brilliant, and I now have a lovely tan!
I don't quite pass as looking more 'European' than 'British' yet, but I think if I keep it up, I could find myself slipping across the channel.
My next full post will be up tomorrow evening, but I just wanted to let you know where I've been! (Because of course, you've been wondering... why wouldn't you have? xD )
So, I'll see you all tomorrow!