‘Drinking water doesn’t prevent a hangover’ says Dutch researcher

The Dutch have one again, in my eyes, won the award for pointing out the obvious. A study recently from the University of Utrecht have conducted a study into the aftereffects of drinking and how to cure/avoid the hangover; their ultimate advice – simply drink less alcohol. This is my little rant in response to their study.

hangovers_o_1698933Firstly, they claim that drinking water does not cure a hangover. Well to start with; a hangover is not an illness to be ‘cured’, its your body reacting to the alcohol that has an adverse effect on your organs which is self-inflicted, nobody forced you to take those shots! Secondly a big part of any hangover is dry mouth and a headache, both of which are symptoms of dehydration. Alcohol causes the body to suppress its production of the antidiuretic hormone (the hormone required by the body to absorb water) hence the need to pee is often more frequent or the process quickened up. Ever had the ‘break the seal’ discussion?! The more we pee the more water we loose, the more we drink the more we need to pee. If we throw in the chance of vomiting thats made up of water too. And so the cycle continues and dehydration kicks in. Guess what cures the dehydration which causes the hangover …WATER!

They study itself is flawed in so many ways too.  A varied number of participants (789 Canadians) suggests they will have a varied opinion of their own ‘tolerances’ to alcohol, the perception of hangovers severity can differ considerably from person to person – on a scale of 1-10, one persons rating of a 3 could be another persons 6. What was drunk can have varied affects too, for example red wine instantly gives me a headache whereas white wine I’m good with, shots of vodka compared with a long drink with tonic can also have varying results. There are just too many variables. Funniest_Memes_when-you-get-wine-hangover_14176

The fun bit comes in their conclusion:

“It’s therefore very important to answer simple questions like, ‘How do you avoid a hangover?’

“Whilst further research is needed, this new research tells us that the answer is simple – drink less.” – BBC

So low and behold after all of that the advice is simple – avoid a hangover by drinking less. They haven’t really discovered anything at all have they. Water does help, it may not ‘cure’ but it does help. If it weren’t for the hangovers we wouldn’t be prompted to reenacting the script of “I’m never drinking again!” or the stomach turning moment you log on to Facebook the morning after to see what you’ve been tagged in – I’d say that was punishment enough!MjAxMi03OGZhNTA5ZDlmNTI2NDAy

Here are my tips for avoiding or at least easing that shit-like state you can find yourself in after drinking:

  1. Drink water alongside the alcohol, make the cold stuff every other one or sip water alongside. Yes you may need to pee a little more but its clean and its pure so drink it. Plus us ladies have our best chats whilst using the facilities.
  2. Have alcohol when eating. If you drink alongside a meal you’re body processes everything at once, as your body digests the food it releases its water content into the body.
  3. Have a relatively large glass of water before going to sleep. It take a least a pint. If you down it like a fresher you may see that and the continues of your evening make a reappearance in the bowl of the toilet so drink constantly but slowly.
  4. Stay drunk! (jk obvs!)

Wordless Wednesday – Sunrise


Not so ‘Wordless Wednesday’:  its The first time I’ve posted under this idea and already failed. Look Words!!

I was up super early this morning to welcome in the new day and see the sunrise. There is something so magical about a new day dawning that I just had to share this picture.

Dutch Vogue and Other Magazines

I don’t get the chance to see many Dutch magazines. It’s a luxury for me to come across one. The last one I read was an inflight Transavia magazine which I took from an airoplane last year (naughty me!).

Now we all know my Dutch isn’t the best, the fact that i haven’t spoken to another person in dutch since March suggests that my Dutch now is probably worse than ever before however the rules of the language have not failed me and with perseverance, logic and blagging I can understand the rough idea of written text. Thankfully the magazines I’ve got are rather kind in the language they use.



I don’t think anyone ‘reads’ vogue on the first flick through. I most certainly don’t. Vogue to me is a triple read magazine. First pass: Pictures. Second pass: Major beauty/shopping related articles. Third pass: standard, recurrent articles and columns. It’s the magazine that keeps on giving, and also feeding my ‘If I won the Lottery’ shopping list. I’ve got the Spring/Summer edition or the ‘Groot Mode Nummer’. It seems that the twin set is making a come back, well with how old this magazine is its probably come back and gone again, and patterns are in, the bigger, the bolder and as many all at once.

There is a cracking review won Napels too, a destination I’ve never really given much thought to before now. I just love the scrapbook pages of layered photos that overtime you look at you see something else. As more of a high street than high end fan I like Vogue for initiating my inspiration. (Side tip: I’ve discovered Ale:Hop or something like that here in spain, its ALL about the accessories!). Vogue has even got a full on nipple slip from Wende Sniggers! Not sure you’d get that in British Vogue!

When in then Netherlands the fashion is noticeable more european  than in the UK the trends aren’t the same and the street style is very different. That isn’t apparent in Vogue. I suppose the argument there is that style is style at any age or indeed in any country. Denim is back in and designers have their own style regardless to the audience of the publishing country!


I have never seen this one before but I’d say its similar to the English ‘Take a Break’ magazine minus the stories of molested children and husbands that run off with the best man rather than the groom. The language in this one is much more at my level. With the headline ‘Wat maakt je gelukkig?’ I knew at least one story I would be able to follow rather coherently. It is more local and more Dutch, as silly as that sounds. Photo on 02-09-2015 at 09.17 (1)Again Demin is in (I honestly never realised it had gone out!), working from home is the new done thing aswell due to more personalised work spaces and better lunches and I particularly liked the ‘Praat me’ letters section.

Its this sort of magazine I would LOVE to write for, only problem being that my Dutch just isn’t good enough. Its easy to read, the stories are topical and the page designs and layouts are super cute! Its you’re typical woman mag which  even a Dutch Dunce such as myself can understand and enjoy!

Creative Therapy: The Adult Colouring Book

I’m not adverse to therapy, far from. For many people it works wonders. I came across this Art Therapy Blog which talks about all of the benefits of art therapy for all people, not just those with ‘disorders’. But I’ll be honest, my post isn’t about discussing the pros and cons of therapy or which types of therapy I rate more than others, this post is about crayons, felt-tips and colouring in.

I was always a fan of the humble colouring book as a child, with very little actual artistic flare I was much more a words than pictures kinda gal, I  would happily pass away many a hour creating masterpieces of houses and flowers in flimsy little cheap books on of white ‘recycled’ style paper. Imagine my delight when shopping one day and I came across ‘Adult Colouring Books’. Now at first thought I thought my mind took me down the root of suggestive/naughty pictures, perhaps that says something about me more than it does the title but when realizing that these books were in the supermarket I quickly assumed they were above board.

After discussing my amazement at this revival of such a childhood flash back over the dinner table one night I was so excited to get home from work a few days later to be gifted one.

Purchased for just £4(!) the ‘Creative Therapy – Anti-Stress Colouring Book’ is such an amazing buy. Which is why I am starting the crusade to get us grownups colouring again! There must be 100+ pages of high quality paper, literally I think you could use permanent markers and there would be no bleed through. As a self confessed stationary hoarder too I did not need too much encouragement to dig out the Crayola twistables and a pack of pencils!


The simplicity of coluring and doodling means you don’t have to worry about making any mistakes, because there is no right or wrong technique…you can start anywhere you want so pick up a pen or pencils and get creating.

What coloring teaches us

I think as an adult we get carried away in sourcing the end result of everything and we forget to acknowledge or enjoy the process of getting there. Colouring in is a process, it teaches us that no matter how we get there, there was a process we followed and a pattern we created or adapted.

The pictures in the book are so intricate and detailed that one starts with a method in mind but soon learns that you have to change and adapt to meet your end goal and whats more, in the end it looks incredible. Setting little challenges to complete in a set time or following a particular pattern we are able to set ourselves a goal which only we are answerable to and that we can modify to suit our change of direction of new idea.

We can take these lessons into life with us. At university the craze was, and still probably is all about ‘transferable skills’. The skills, and I use that word loosely, required for colouring are essential in life, patients, completion of one task before starting another, assessing your initial choice and understanding the variations of depths and texture. It’s all very much linked and very very calming.

IIMG_8267 coloured in a gorgeous headshot of a Lion on a recent short haul flight. 2 hours of non-stop creativity. It makes you mindful of the task in hand therefore worries fizzle to the back of your consciousness, you feel more in control as you hold the colour choices and methodically make each choice.

So what may sound childish and like a throwback past time is important for us to continue to grow, who doesn’t like a bit of escapism every now and again? I’m not saying its for everyone and trust me I know many who will laugh at the thought of my sat there for two hours with a pencil case full of crayons but I don’t care, it works for me and the sense of achievement upon completing a page is fantastic!

Check out my 'Delft Blauw' windmollen!

Check out my ‘Delft Blauw’ windmollen!

The Flying Dutch Man: Holidaying Hollanders

I like to pride in myself on the idea that I can spot the Dutch from at least 100 paces. I’ve always had a flare for it after really looking at them. You can spot English people; we stick out like a sore thumb. Whilst on holiday my family and I have taken on a new game of guessing the nationality of the person walking towards us or that we find ourselves driving by. I must acknowledge the fact that my Mom is getting very good at spotting the Nederlanders!

The English are normally pale in skin colour or red from burning, you generally find the men wearing sock AND sandals, or even worse, crocks. The memo about that clearing isn’t circulating the UK as one would have hoped. The men tend to have really faded striped shirts open too as if that’s some sort of fashion statement showing of their leather look tummys. And the women tend to be in ridiculously patterned ‘obviously last years style’ dresses and similarly to the elder Spanish women, they seem to forget to wear a bra. I think us Brits use the excuse of ‘being on holiday’ to not wear a bra out in public. Perhaps that’s just the holiday makers in Moraira (although I think not!)

The Dutch are always that nice golden colour, generally fairer haired than the Spanish and not as dirty brown when tanned as the Germans. Being tall is a major give away and their love for Orange tshirts on men and coloured jeans on women seem to be trending this summer. There’s no need to go so gel heavy on holiday either, a mixture of sea water and sweat seems to be having the same effect as wet look gel (on my hair anyway! Just a tip!).

destaque-cabelos-com-frizzThe airport is the most fun because you can spot them by their luggage. The Dutch tend to have leather holdalls. They carry off  this effortless traveller look rather well. We stood behind a Dutch family at the car rental booth. A, in my opinion, typical Dutch family. There was Papa, wearing smart navy trousers and a navy and white striped shirt with brogues obviously, Mama had blue jeans on with a denim jacket and a thin scarf around her neck, her hair was a little messy to which extent I’m blaming the humidity, I’m rocking a Monica Geller hairdo as we speak!The daughter of the family wore a pair of mint green jeans, a white lace type of roll neck with a deep neckline and a cream cardigan, again her hair was a little ‘un-done’ and the son wore denim jeans, and orange polo shirt and half a pot of hair gel. I knew they were Dutch and hard to with all my might stop myself from joining in conversation, or at least attempting to.

The Dutch, like everyone, turn holidays into a chance to let their hair down and tan up. If you cant beat them, join them! I’m writing this wearing a very old crazy patterned summer dress and no bra. Practice what you preach Maria!


Day 29//Day 30: A Confession and the future of my blog…

Well I think the most obvious confession I can make is that blogging every day for 30 days has been bloody hard! I have posted something for every day but not to the planned schedule. Never mind! We have reached the end of the challenge now thank goodness.

I am currently on holiday in a very densely Dutch populated area of Spain, staying in a Dutch-owned villa. Erm Hello Inspiration! Keep your eyes peeled folks we are talking supermarket shopping, my dads attempt at watching dutch TV, spotting the Dutch on a beach (in series to The Flying Dutch Man – Sport the Dutch in a crowded English Airport), oh and theres Dutch vogue. But talking longer term I hope to and plan to continue blogging as long as you continue reading.

Tot ziens!

Day 28: My most embarrassing moment

This is one for the girls to relate to rather than the boys I’m afraid. Rather than have a list of embracing moments I only really have one to mind. I like to think that I am pretty hard to embarrass if I’m being honest.

My most hilariously embarrassing moment happened in Jersey. An island off France owned by the UK. Its a perfect mix of feeling foreign aka the street names are in french but English is that every is and speaks english and you pay using the English pound.

So I’m there on Easter break about 4 years ago now in they quaint little B&B. I return from a busy day of shopping and sitting on the beach wall over looking the sea and all things quintessential for a Brit abroad when I enter the list with this most beautifulest French man I have EVER clapped eyes on. Like seriously gorgeous. So I’m trying to look cool, tousling my hair, breathing in so that I look thinner and my boobs a little bigger when I go into my handbag for my room key.

This would have been less embarrasing from the Daily Mail

This would have been less embarrasing from the Daily Mail

This is where I start to feel like I am on candid camera or part of some TV advert. Out I pulled the room key with such sophistication as I threw a tampon at Mr France. It hit the floor with a mighty thud and rolled along the vinyl to his sandal. Now either in that split second I turned into the new face of Tampax or there is some tv show laughing at my expense or what. I was mortified but at the same time I burst out laughing, he laughed, I turned the same shade of red as my lipstick and he got out of the lift. Was it his floor? I don’t know. Perhaps he was just too embarrassed to be in such a small box with a woman throwing sanitary towels at strange handsome men.

Tip: Keep you sanitary products in a wallet or zipped pocket away from keys!

Hilarious TV gold!

Day 27: Whats in my closet (or Tips for packing your hand luggage for a short haul flight!)

IMG_8218Whats in my closet nobody is bothered about whats in my closet, I’m not even bothered about whats in it so in homage to my impending holiday I am going to share with you all my necessities for a short haul european flight and a few tips for successful inflight entertainment.

Firstly, and most importantly, PASSPORT and MONEY. I am fully of the belief that if you have those two you can buy anything else.
My top tips for a short haul flight.

  • Have everything easy to get to. There are pockets inside your bag for a reason. Use them! Not necessarily for their intended purpose either so be creative. For example; ‘mobile phone sleeve’ aka lipstick and hand cream pocket. ‘zip pocket’ aka sweetie holder and passport protector you’ll need access to this on a few occasions, I hate being stuck behind someone who ‘cant find it’.
  • Take what you plan to use. Be realistic. If you’ve got a 1hr
    flight don’t pack 3 epic novels, your iPod and magazine and a cross stitch. Chances are you won’t look at anything bar one. Keep the magazine for the sun lounger and be mindful when choosing which book to pack and which one to carry.
  • Take your most valuable items on board. I’ve never been unfortunate enough to have my luggage go missing (famous last words) but the last thing you want is for you jewellary or your macbook to go to a different airport. How do you blog about your epic travel disaster if yor laptop is in Cyprus and you are in Germany?!
  • Know the details of your flight. If you are flying KLM there will be a drink and snack given to you on board therefore theres no need to
    do that mad dash into Boots for a meal deal ahead of the flight for anything more than a bottle of water (note: the best deal for water in airports always comes in the ‘buy two’ formation, not lone traveller friendly!). If you need to buy food on board make sure your purse is accessible. Nobody likes behind held up my some plonker repacking their entire hand luggage trying to find some cash, plus it will save you from the heart attack that someone has stolen it.
  • Make sure everything is charged! Best tip if taking electronics, don’t forget your chargers and make sure you always fly full of juice. If you plan to doze of midflight to the dulcet tones of Adelle and your iPod dies midway through Hometown Glory, you will be gutted!

If you’re jetting off anywhere to enjoy the last few weeks before the hard work towards the ‘Man-in-a-big-red suit’ or ‘he who shall not be named until the end of November’ have a wonderful holiday and I hope these little tips help make your onward journey run a little smoother.

Day 26: Hidden Talent

So I’m on the downward spiral of my 30 days of blogging now and I’m a few posts behind. I am endeavouring to catch up but this one has got me stumped.

My hidden talent…I don’t know as to if i have one or not. Erm…can I come back to this?!

Day 25: My biggest regret…

I don’t feel old enough to sit here and talk like “oh back when I was child…” yada yada yada, but what I can say is there are moment where I regret not moving away for university. I can’t say that I feel like that all of the time but when I think about my hopes of some day moving to The Netherlands I can’t help but think about what an incredible opportunity it would have been to done it as a student.

Why then and not now? I hear you ask. Student life abroad is anything from 1 to 3 years. There is a protection of student life that comes in the form of having a purpose, accommodation and the support of being a ‘learning foreigner’. I didn’t take this leap as back in 2010 when I was making my education choices I didn’t know what I wanted with my life, I didn’t have the love for the Netherlands that I do now and I didn’t have the confidence I do now. I think that all comes with age and that is most definitely something that has strengthened in me over time. 5 years on I now have responsibilities, a job and savings for my own home. So not only did I missed the first and possibly the best opportunity, I’m not at the stage of my life when I can’t afford to take the risk.

I loved my degree and my university, I genuinely didn’t want to go anywhere else other than The University of Birmingham but I can’t help but wonder what It would have been like to have studied in The Netherlands.