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Meet and Greet – Danielle Hugh – Author

November 13, 2013

I am very excited to tell you that not only I have been given the opportunity to read and review the Confessions of a Hostie and More Confessions of a Hostie but also to interview the author, Danielle Hugh. I am always looking for interesting creative people to interview for my Meet and Greet feature and this seemed like a perfect way of branching out from my circle of friends and acquaintances, for a change. If you watched the TV show Pan Am and enjoyed what you saw, read on.

You see, I have a penchant for autobiographical books (I seem to collect them these days, biographies, diaries, you name it) and this was a perfect fit in the genre.  The books are very straightforward, organized in short chapters, each telling a story or episode but each will also be connected to the next one, so there is a good sense of continuity. The books have been a light and pleasant read, sometimes very cheeky, with happy and sad moments, just like real life. 

If you ever wondered what the life of a flight attendant is like, look no further, this is it. Behind the (somewhat intimidating) look of glamour and efficiency some flight attendants have, there are stories and anecdotes as with anyone else. For starters, forget about the glamour – having to clean up vomit and other unpleasantries that are bound to happen in the course of a flight, despite the crisp uniforms and the make up, it is anything but glamorous. And the rude people? I have to say that in all my travels I try to not bother the flight attendants unless I really must so it is baffling to read what some people actually do – and frequently!! Where did they learn their manners? Were they raised by wolves? Yikes!

With Danielle’s books you will discover the other side of the story, the side you don’t see when the galley curtains are shut or the time in between flights. The adventures, the tiredness, the amazing shopping, the terrible co-workers, the 5 star hotels, the  lack of sleep, it’s all there, the good and the bad in equal measure. Mind you that for privacy reasons names in the book have been changed and some characters and situations have been embellished for the purpose of making them unrecognizable – Danielle wants to keep her job! However, the personal tone with which it is written is very engaging.

I shot Danielle a few questions about the books and her career, that I hope you all enjoy.

How did you get to be an air hostess, was it always your dream career?

At the age of eleven I took my first ever plane trip. I thought the ‘hostie’ were so glamorous. I always wanted to be an air hostess and on consequent flights I observed how they acted and what they did. I must say, looking back, I may have been a tad over-romantic in my appraisal of the job, but I often fantasized about the lifestyle. As a young adult I actually went down the university/study/professional career path, but a few years later when I had the opportunity to apply to be a flight attendant, I said “What the hell…”

What motivated you to write the Hostie books?

I love my job and it is unique. I had so many stories to tell and as time went by, I took an interest in writing; especially while away on trips. I don’t think I am particularly good at it, but I am passionate, so hopefully that comes through in the writing.

What can your readers expect to find in your books?

A humorous insight into some of the unique situations we deal with; and how we hosties cope with the lifestyle. It is not all glamour.

The second book of the series has just come out. Are you planning on adding more volumes to the collection?

Yes. I’ve already started writing a series of smaller books on fun subjects like shopping, travel tips, etc. Hopefully the first (about tips for shopping in America) will be available shortly.

What was the hardest thing about writing these books?

Editing. I love the writing process. Fixing mistakes (and I make a lot) is boring.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

Home. It sounds cliche, but as much as I love travel, opening my own front door is the best feeling. P.S. I love New York.

The public wants to know! What are your best pro tips for jetlag?

After 20 years of international travel I am none-the-wiser. I joke in the book that two glasses of wine help, and yet they don’t really help at all.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

I think you’ve been really thorough. Some friends have asked me how long do I think I’ll keep flying for? I tell them ‘For as long as I keep enjoying it – and they (being my airline) will have me’. I’ve a way to go yet.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

I am so humbled the book(s) are being received so well. I hope to keep writing and hopefully my (lovely) publisher will keep publishing. I also have a Facebook page, where I post the occasional funny story, photo, or cartoon, etc, – I’m always keen to hear from other hosties or travellers with some of their hilarious stories.

Thank you Danielle!

PS: I was sent the books for review purposes, no payment was received and the opinions expressed on the review are mine.



Bad taste

April 12, 2013

Do you know John Waters? If you know his films you will know he’s totally nuts (but in a good way). His most famous films are Hairspray, Cry Baby and his most infamous film is probably Pink Flamingos, starring the fabulous Divine. I’ve been after his films for a few years now and I’ve seen quite a few. Trust me, some of them are not for the faint hearted. But I love them, regardless.

This brings me to the purpose of this post: I’ve been reading the book “Shock Value – A Tasteful Book about Bad Taste”. Perfect title, right? I read this every morning on my commute to work and it really makes me chuckle (in public!). The book is autobiographical and outrageously funny. He describes what he and his friends used to do for fun, which included parading around in drag, shocking ‘regular people’, making crazy low budget films, shoplifting… And lots of drugs.

Anyhoo,he was raised a catholic and some of my favourite tirades in the book focus on how his catholic upbringing influenced him in wanting to rebel and be different – he would always try to do the exact opposite the nuns in his school told him to. I can very much relate to that as I was raised in a fairly strict catholic all girls school, complete with uniform in a country where wearing a uniform to school is not the norm (unlike England). Not that I would cause much trouble, but my interests and tastes have always been a bit out of left field, sometimes just for the sake of not buying into what I didn’t agree with or believed in. Maybe that’s why even today I have trouble conforming to what’s appropriate or the norm (boring!).

“Being Catholic always makes you more theatrical”, he says on page 65. I agree and to prove it, here’s something I wore to the office.

Thanks again to Frankie for taking the photos with my phone on the parking lot at work.

Details: Fur collar – ASOS (on sale), Bag – Victoria Couture for Hello Kitty, Jacket – Miu Miu, Skirt – ASOS (all three via Ebay), Shoes – Zara, many years ago. I don’t remember what I wore under the jacket anymore. Boo!


Week in photos

March 31, 2013

Happy Easter everyone! I’m now talking to you from my bed as I am completely and utterly destroyed after all the walking around in Manchester yesterday. It was totally worth it though, I’ll post about it tomorrow! For now, here’s a sneak peak into the past week as seen on my Instagram feed. Don’t forget to follow me @hellothemushroom if you haven’t done so yet.

Last weekend I started this DIY project. I hope to finish it today or tomorrow and wear it this week.

It’s been horrendously cold and snows every now and then. Apparently the temperatures are going to stay low throughout the month of April. This leads me to conclude that my Summer clothes will not leave the crates in the garage this year. (Topshop jacket, Mod Dolly dress, flowered boots from Ebay)

These are some resilient flowers. Go Spring!

This week I took my lunch box to work. I’m kind of thinking I should be using it for something else as it’ll eventually get manky and I like it too much to see it ruined!

I’m absolutely in love with Iris Apfel and her sense of style. I got the book Rare Bird of Fashion and took to sharing some of my favourite ensembles on Instagram. I won’t bore you with all of them.

I love these bracelets. I am totally going to DIY the hell out of them. I’ll show them when I do 🙂

This red dress totally looks like the red dress I wore here. I will wear a similar combination just for fun as I also have Harlequin flats!

I want a red stole! Now!

This one has been my favouritest of all I think. I love the shape of the little jacket, the colour and the piling up of jewelry. Although it is something I don’t do myself as it doesn’t feel ‘me’, I love seeing it on other people!

 I found these tabi style boots from Irregular Choice on Ebay for a song. They are from one of the first collections Irregular Choice ever made (beginning of the noughties, maybe?) and I wanted to have them in my IC collection since forever. They’ve never been worn but they weren’t properly stored so they’re a bit stained (The Instagram filters softened the stains but trust me, they’re there). I am planning on painting them a soft Spring inspired shade of light yellow so I can wear them without looking bad! I’ll keep you posted on that one too.

 Finally got my hands on a copy of Advanced Style. If you don’t know the blog all I can say is “where have you been all this time?” (and to click on the link too). Lovely Judith from Style Crone is in it!

I also finally own some of the Aranzi Aronzo books. They are some of the craziest silliest kawaii stuff I’ve ever seen (plus they make me laugh). I remember lusting over them on my visits to the Fnac store in Lisbon but as everything else in that place, they were overpriced. It’s the kind of stuff that never fails to put a smile on my face.

Fairy clothes. It was a bit too much for the office. Skirt from Ebay, booties from Primark!

Some lovely landscapes on the way to Manchester yesterday. I wish these little photos could convey how beautiful it was. Snowy hills and sheep and their babies along the way, some rustic farm buildings… a lot of beauty to take in.

Some bits reminded me of the Alps. I miss skiing 🙁

Yesterday’s lunch at the Manchester Art Gallery. Hake fillets with sweet and sour peppers. Nom!

Monkey King! Detail of a fabulous tableau by Raqib Shaw, who I have to say was a surprise. More on this in tomorrow’s post!


I want these books.

Finally at the end of the day, the main objective of the trip up North – Morrissey and The Smiths exhibition, photos by Kevin Cummins.

They were some lovely photos indeed. If I had some spare money (a lot of it) lying around I’d buy a couple of prints but at £900 a pop, I’ll have to content myself with the exhibition poster…

After a full day of travelling and walking around in Manchester, Filipa and I had a well deserved hot drink at the train station. Chai latte <3

 Hope you are having a lovely chocolate filled Easter!