It’s okay to be a total flake: reassurance from a total flake

Mental Health

Recently, it feels like there’s always someone who needs a bit of my time. There are emails to be answered, appointments to be made, catch-ups and study-sessions and coffee dates to be scheduled… I’m starting to understand why my lecturer’s always seem to have their ‘Out of Office’ automated emails switched on.

It isn’t a bad thing when this happens. I feel very loved and grateful that there are so many people that want thirty minutes of my time, but there aren’t really enough hours in the day for me to do everything I want to do as well as everything I need to. So, if you’re one of the people who feels like I’ve been ghosting you or being one of those friends that forever says, “We need to catch up, it’s been too long!” but is never actually available: I’m sorry. I’ll get round to you, I promise. In the meantime, I need a little time.

Anyone that regularly reads this blog will know that I’m currently trying to juggle a Master’s degree, a part-time job in my local bookstore, and getting manuscript edits sent to my agent so that we can try to sort the novel for publication soon. There are always things on top of this happening as well: meetings with lecturers and authors and doctors that I really can’t postpone. So, yeah, I’ve been terrible at replying to messages, and equally bad about re-arranging our catch-ups to later in the month when I’m convinced I’ll have a little more free time. It even took my mother a few days to get a call back from me. It’s not just you.

But the point of this post wasn’t for me to rant and bitch about how much work I have to do and how annoying it is that I have so many friends – trust me. The point of this post is to call out all of the flakes and ghosters and say hey, it’s cool. We need time for ourselves, time to recuperate, time to think and reflect and pretty much just get our acts together.

It’s really easy for me to catch myself in a web of guilt when it comes to my friends, family, and other commitments – and I’m sure I can’t be alone. Sometimes I’ll spend an evening writing, Netflix on in the background, wondering how I’ve managed to turn down so many plans with people when this is all I’ve ended up doing. I feel like I’m prioritising the wrong things, neglecting friends to stay at home, trading in human contact for the company of my laptop screen… But I have to remind myself: some people work nine to five in their careers, and this is mine. I don’t have your average working hours, but as a writer I have to find time to commit to my writing. It’s so important.

I have to remind myself that when friends message at six or seven in the evening and want to go out for drinks or just come round for a coffee, that’s kind of the middle of my workday. And alongside my career of writing, I’m also having to support myself by working part-time and also do, that, uh, university thing we’ve talked about. I can’t let myself continue to feel guilty because I’m working doing the thing I love most.

“But, Beth,” I hear you cry. “You need time to socialise – to have a life!”

I do, I promise you. I tend to schedule my phone calls and quick catch-ups in my lunch breaks at work or on the occasional evening, but if I haven’t found time for you, please don’t be offended! Please understand my lack of time and total disorganisation! I know I always end up neglecting my friends that live far away, but that’s only because I’d have to commit more than an hour to come see you (and, in some cases, a fair bit of cash that I don’t have either). I’m so grateful for the friends that understand I’m useless at keeping in touch; the friends that are fully aware of my busy life and accept the fact that I care about them, I’m just a big ol’ Cadbury’s flake most of the time.

And I’m grateful to my mum, for coming to terms with the fact that I’m probably alive and well regardless of whether I answer her phone calls or not. Probably.

So here’s a message to all of my fellow flakes: you’re not alone. We all do it, even those of us who seem like they’ve nothing better to do with their time than spend it with you. Every so often, everyone needs time to just go MIA. Ignore your phones, turn on your ‘Out of Office’ emails, and try not to feel too guilty about it. Your time is valuable and it’s always, always, up to you how you spend it.

Stay flaky,


Sweater weather: why autumn is my favourite time of year


There are six days until the beginning of October. We’ve all started to feel it; that chill in the air, Costa preparing to bring out their seasonal drinks, students already planning their Halloween nights out… it’s coming. Autumn. And I’m. So. Ready.

Autumn brings a certain kind of magic with it that just doesn’t exist the rest of the year round. There are just so many vibes that can’t be replicated, no matter how many times you try to force them by re-watching Nightmare Before Christmas in April. Only when September creeps in do we all truly realise how much we’ve missed this time of year; this is why we have to truly bask in the beauty of those autumn leaves.

  1. Cosy clothes

Will you see me wear any outfit that doesn’t involve a woolly jumper in varying shades of orange or brown? Absolutely not. Autumn is my excuse to pile on layers of oversized jumpers, thick scarves, and embarrassing bobble-hats. I don’t care. I’m going to be warm, I’m going to be cosy – and everyone else can deal with it.

2. Seasonal products

Come at me, halloween-y Yankee candles. Do your best, Costa toffee apple hot chocolate. I want all of the autumn products, and I want them now. Nothing sounds better than curling up in bed in a room that smells like gingerbread and cinnamon and watching the cold weather wreak havok outside my window.

3. Nature

I’m 21, but heck, if I want to go and hunt for conkers in the woods, I bloody well will. I’m going to jump in piles of golden leaves and crunch through frosty grass and take my flask of coffee on autumnal walks with me whenever possible. Nothing looks more beautiful than it does in early October.

4. Spooky vibes

I want to watch Halloween films and do Ouija boards (blog post to come!) and freak myself out to the point of waking my housemates up so we can sit and watch Friends together until I’m not scared any more.

5. Autumn aesthetic

Fight me on this if you will, but for me, there’s really no better aesthetic than autumn. When I’m alone, I can curl up with a book and a cup of tea while the weather worsens outside, and when I’m with friends there’s halloween and bonfire night; fireworks and hot chocolates and all things autumn.

How could you possibly not enjoy this time of the year?

Let me know your favourite (or least favourite) things about autumn. (Which seasonal drink are you most excited for?!)