May 2015 NET Worth


Cash – £42.38
Santander 123 C/A – £62.16
Halifax C/A – £2,020.19
PayPal – £22.68
Credit total – £2,147.41

Capital One C/C – £445.69
MBNA C/C – £3,687.40
Santander C/C – £3,040.68
Virgin Atlantic C/C – £652.62
Debt total – (£7,826.39)

Net worth
£2,147.41 – £7,826.39 = –£5,678.98

The Ultimate London Adventure with London RIB Voyages

I didn’t start this blog to get freebies and (so far) I’ve never actively asked for any of the perks that I’ve received they’ve always been gifted to me. My favourite thing is actually attending blogger events where I get to meet so many awesome fellow bloggers but to be honest there are so many they can start to feel a bit run of the mill which is why I only accept invitations to things that I think fit this blog and will be interesting for you guys to read about too.

Recently Joes Bloggers held a #JBTalks twitter chat all about blogger events and I happened to mention in passing that I would love more experience based events like visits to the Shard or a speedboat ride down the Thames. I didn’t @ mention any companies in particular but the following day London RIB Voyages got in touch and said they thought it was a great idea. A couple of e-mails later I had myself and a friend booked in to experience their Ultimate London Adventure package as well as having provided the PR with a list of other bloggers interested in checking them out too! Win/Win as they say.


We were still on a high from having escaped our Escape Hunt challenge and were in good spirits when we arrived at our boarding point by the London Eye (another experience that I really need to try) and joined a family of four who would also be going on this adventure with us. As our boat arrived and docked we were given a short safety briefing and strapped in to our life jackets. It was a beautifully sunny day so we declined the offer of waterproof jackets although I later regretted this as the air currents created by speeding across water make it pretty chilly indeed.

Safely on board our tour guide Little Mike welcomed us and explained what would happen. The first part of the trip would be taken at a reasonable pace until we got passed the speed limit restriction and then we would really go for it all the way to Canary Wharf and back again to Tower Bridge. After that we would continue our journey at a much more relaxed pace and he would give us a little information about the landmarks we were passing.


Raring to go, Steve our driver set off and we were soon going pretty fast. If this was a controlled speed what would it be like once we passed the speed restrictions! Fricking awesome that’s what!! It was incredibly exhilarating and I was super impressed with Steve’s ability to whip us along the river without causing us to get wet other than a light spray of sea water. It was one of the best experiences of my life – waving like a maniac as we whipped past the suckers on the boring CityCruises sightseeing tours. There was even a wonderful medley soundtrack to enhance our journey as it blasted any and all songs that mentioned/relate to boats, water or London. I was sat at the edge of the boat and lost my stomach a couple of times like on a rollercoaster. Absolutely brilliant!

All too soon we were back at Tower Bridge and it was time for the “boring bit” which wasn’t boring at all. Little Mike knows his stuff and throws in a couple of little known facts about the area too. He held all of our attention even the little uns and had us all giggling away to boot. He really was an excellent guide. At £42 per adult and £22.95 per child this isn’t a cheap experience but it’s definitely worth it for a special occasion especially those who are a bit of an adrenaline junkie!

BitBS Rating – ££££

*Disclaimer: Myself and a friend participated for free in exchange
for blogging about our experience.
The above opinions are still my own
and not influenced by this in any way.

Murder in the Artist’s Bedroom – Escape Hunt

You may remember this post from forever ago (or it certainly seems like it was forever ago) where a couple of friends and I took on our first ever locked room mystery game. I’ve been wanting to do another ever since and my birthday seemed just as good an excuse as any! This time I booked one of the many rooms at Escape Hunt who are one of the pioneers in the locked room game field and currently have three different scenarios and ten rooms in total for you to play. Our mystery of choice was “Murder in the Artist’s Bedroom”.

The first thing I’ll say is that this was a far more impressive operation than EscapeLand. OK so we weren’t convinced by the office building door tucked in the corner of a square in the middle of the city but once you were down in the depths of the building it was a whole other world. We were greeted by a games master dressed Sherlock Holmes style and asked to wait on some super comfy leather sofas until our room was ready. There were a few other groups there and the place was bustling with happy, excited people.


After being advised of a couple of rules it was our turn to enter and I have to say on first glance I was bit disappointed… the room was pretty sparse, where were all of the clues?! But that’s where this locked room differs massively from the previous one I’d done. Here you HAVE to solve one puzzle before you can move on to the next and to be honest the initial puzzle had us all bloody stumped! We got there eventually and soon made some progress.

I’m not sure which method I like better to be honest, having lots of things to solve meant that you couldn’t see everything in the initial game but it was incredibly frustrating being stuck on a clue and not being able to progress. I think in a couple of instances it was a case of too many cooks! Regardless it was incredibly good fun and we made it out with just three minutes to spare I think.

For those who were able to solve the crime there was a photobooth to celebrate your achievement. One of our number (not naming any names, Jen :P ) may have had a little bit of an issue realising that she’d activated the photobooth by mistake resulting in this beautiful shot as I walked past completely oblivious drinking my frappuccino. Hello double chin! The other pictures were just as beautiful :’) See if you can find us on their Facebook Page.


I really recommend these guys and I’m a teeny bit competitive so I would love to return with a couple of teams and race against each other too. Regardless I’ll definitely be checking out the other games they have on offer at some point.

BitBS Rating – £££

Afternoon Tea Time: The Tower Hotel, Tower Bridge

My birthday was on Tuesday but everyone knows that birthdays that fall on weekdays are pretty boring so I decided to dedicate a whole week to celebrating instead. If you don’t know by now that I’m an absolute fiend for afternoon tea then you obviously haven’t been reading my blog closely enough ;) so naturally this was included as part of the celebrations. In fact it kicked them off in style as myself and some friends headed to The Tower Hotel on Saturday afternoon.

I took this from a speedboat the following day!

I took this from a speedboat the following day!

To be honest this was not my first choice for afternoon tea but I left it quite last-minute due to not knowing exactly how many people were going to be there until quite late (in fact the number fluctuated both up and down three times from booking to actually turning up) but The Tower were incredibly accommodating and also incredibly reasonable with their pricing. £19.95 each or £24.95 including unlimited prosecco – obviously I was sold! What I wasn’t quite prepared for given this price point was the absolutely stunning location and surroundings! The sun was shining and everyone was in a happy mood because of it which always makes things better.


Unfortunately due to a mishap with her hotel one of my friends wasn’t going to make it but the restaurant were more than fine with this which was lovely. They seated us at our table and waited for us all to arrive before they started service. This was great because the unlimited prosecco is only unlimited for the first 90 minutes and it meant that we all had the equal opportunity to drink as much as each other lol. They were also OK with one of our number NOT taking the prosecco option which was nice too as I know quite often they like tables to all order the same thing.


The first decision we has to make was which tea we were going to have and I totally fell in love with these beautiful little pyramid tea bags! Normally I’m quite a stickler for loose leaf at an afternoon tea but if it’s as cute as this I don’t mind so much. We were each given our own pot of hot water too so we could have as much or as little as we liked. Although to be honest, with unlimited prosecco on offer I only had one pot.


The food arrived on these cute little stands full of goodies for your to share between two which worked out well as there were six of us. Luckily there was a plate of sandwiches each so no need to fight over who gets what and I am pleased to say that the bread was soft and light and the fillings were equally lovely. There wasn’t a single one I disliked!


I was sharing a tea with my friend Simonne (see if you can spot her in that pic up there ^ ;) )and I had to laugh when she said “now I know you don’t like raisin scones so I’ll have that one”. She obviously reads my blog (hiii Simonne) and it’s so lovely when people remember little details about you like that. The scone was OK not amazing but not bad either and they came with good portions of jam and cream so that was good.


Then it was time for the desserts and we had a dilemma on our hands as there was only one of everything which is a bugbear of mine when it comes to afternoon tea.

That said they were big enough to split so we could taste all of them so that’s exactly what we did. There was a mini chocolate eclair, passionfruit mousse, chocolate cake, fruit tart, mini lemon meringue tart and another berry flavoured mousse too.


Everything was nice although I struggled to figure out what order to eat them in. The chocolate cake is very rich and heavy in comparison to rest especially the mousses which were incredibly light and flavourful. Surprisingly the lemon meringue tart was my favourite with a perfectly crunchy meringue top and a zingy lemony filling.


We chatted and giggled away for far longer than we should have. I was pleasantly surprised that the waitresses kept our glasses topped up without us ever having to ask for refills which I was not expecting and they came to top up our glasses one last time just before our time was up too.

I honestly cannot recommend this afternoon tea enough. From the setting to the menu, the price to the attentiveness of the staff it was a really wonderful experience! I’m not really one for returning somewhere more than once but I would make an exception for The Tower’s lovely afternoon tea

BitBS Rating – ££

30 by 30: An Update

 It’s my birthday! Which means that it’s time for another 30 by 30 update. I turned 29 today which means I have exactly one year to get my ass in gear and get a wriggle on.

3. Get out of (and stay out of!) debt

Sadly this is looking less and less achievable due to the fact that I plan on replacing the windows in my rental flat in Aberdeen and I can’t add any more money to my mortgage in order to pay for it.

4. Visit 3 countries in Europe

I added another to the tally when I visited Norway for the first time when I took a trip to Oslo with my friend Tony back in February and I have another three city breaks planned for June!

5. Read 50 books

I’m up to 24 at the moment which means I need to read 26 in the next 12 months. Just over two a month which is definitely do-able. Feeling more positive about this one.

8. Plan/host a get together for convention friends

I had some friends come to stay to celebrate the late, great Leonard Nimoy with a Spockathon and it was so much fun!

10. Write/finish writing a book

Interestingly when I attended Literary speed dating I spoke about the book series I have in my head and I’ve been writing a couple of hundred words here and there. I’d really like to spend more time on this so I can have a first draft completed I just need to make it a priority

14. Go back to dance classes

I don’t really know if Zumba counts but I’ve signed up for another ten classes and also a diva dance taster session at the beginning of July which sounds right up my street!

20. Experience a sunrise/sunset in the same day

Thanks to jetlag I got to tick of this in one of the greatest cities in the world New York!

22. Try Dating

My In Defence of Being Single post went a little bit crazy with over 200 views in less than 48 hours when it went live but as per this mornings post I also enjoyed a fab night play dating with DateinaDash which I would thoroughly recommend!

23. Unplug for a weekend

I kind of did this over the last bank holiday weekend but I was still on social media a little so don’t really feel it counts. My London bestie Jen is planning a spa weekend for her birthday in August and I’m planning on completely cutting myself off and just enjoying it!

Play Dating with DateinaDash

Last week I tried out another speed dating event but this one had a twist! After casting my vote on Thursday I headed to Cafe 1001 in Shoreditch for the inaugural Play Dating event with DateinaDash. What the hell is that I hear you cry. Well if you’ve ever gone speed dating before you’ll know that some of those dates can seem a heck of a lot longer than others and you just wish you had something to distract you to make it that little bit easier. Play Dating does exactly that by giving you and your date board games to play!


Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big kid so this definitely appealed to me (MUCH more than the blindfold dating that was also suggested – how on earth do I know where my wine glass is if I’m blindfolded?!) There was everything from dominoes to play-doh to twister to Jenga and even some games I’d never even heard of. Now in traditional speed dating the ladies stay seated and the men make their way around the room but obviously this would mean one poor lady would be stuck playing Twister for the whole night so the men and women simply moved in opposite directions and as there was an odd number of each theoretically we would meet everyone by the end.


I say theoretically because unfortunately there were a number of drop-outs which meant the numbers were uneven and it didn’t quite work out so this is something that the team will need to work on in future but I have to say for a first run I think they did pretty well. I went on “dates” with seven of the nine guys who were there, got to play some games while drinking cocktails and had a really fun time while doing so.

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You fill out your sheet at the venue and hand it in so that the DateinaDash team can input your selections on their website which is good because then people can’t forget to input their choices like the last event I attended. I even ticked yes for a couple of guys, one of whom I spent a couple of hours drinking and chatting with after the event had officially finished, but sadly only received a friend match from the other one.

I’m not sure speed dating is for me to be honest but this is definitely a great way to liven it up. DateinaDash have loads of cool things like this and also hold singles pub crawls, bowling parties and even yoga dating! Definitely something for everyone.

*Disclaimer: I attended this event for free in exchange for blogging about it.
The above opinions are still my own and not influenced by this in any way.

Review: Park Plaza, Victoria

My fourth and final staycation thanks to the £29.99 sale took place last week when I stayed at the Park Plaza Victoria on the Friday night. The location of this hotel is top-notch just a 5 minute walk from Victoria station and of course the magnificent Wicked at the Victoria Apollo. It’s not the most impressive building from the outside but the lobby has some very interesting works of art!

Check in process was quick and easy and I was on my way up to the third floor to check out my room within about ten minutes. I’m always so excited to see the room for the first time but I have to say I was very underwhelmed.

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The room was a large size with a big bed but all the other furniture in the room was a tad old-fashioned. There was a writing desk with different kinds of power sockets which I thought was a nice touch. The kettle was stowed away in a cupboard under the TV unit like it was at the Riverbank Park Plaza too.


Unlike the Riverbank however the bathroom was extremely disappointing. It was very small and tired looking with no separate shower like we had enjoyed at the previous Plaza. The toilet didn’t flush properly and to be honest it was more in line with what I would expect from a budget hotel like a Travelodge than a four star hotel that costs upwards of £100 per night.

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After a long week I was pretty wiped so I showered, put on my pjs and settled in for a couple of hours blogging before Matt got there. I had the television on watching The Big Bang Theory as background noise while I worked yet I could still here the man in the room next door having a conversation on the phone. The walls were completely paper-thin!

Matt called and said he would grab some food on his way rather than us going out when he got there late around 9pm so I decided to treat myself to room service once again and ordered the butter chicken and a glass of bubbles. It arrived really quickly which I was impressed with. At this point I decided to give Periscope a try (if you haven’t heard about Periscope yet it’s a new app that allows you to live stream using your phone’s camera and is pretty darn cool!) and gave my whole two viewers a little tour of the room.

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I finished my dinner and grabbed a mini bottle of wine from the mini bar (what they were only £4 each – bargain!) and I was quite impressed with the automated mini fridge. Somehow it knows what you’ve taken and automatically charges it to your room – pretty nifty. Matt finally arrived and we had a natter to catchup before I promptly fell asleep with the knowledge that I didn’t have an alarm set until 1oam the following morning. Bliss!

Naturally my body woke me up at stupid o’clock but I did manage to get back to sleep only to be woken up again by housekeeping trying to come in to clean the room! This happened a second time before it was even 10am (on a Saturday morning nonetheless) and I found it really frustrating. This has happened in three of the four hotels I’ve stayed in over the last month (the Threadneedles was the only one that I didn’t have this issue with) and I just don’t understand it. The hotel has a record of which rooms are occupied and when people check out so how can they not figure out which rooms have been vacated for cleaning is beyond me. It can’t be that hard. I can understand if these were multiple night stays but they weren’t so really there’s no excuse.

As you can tell I wasn’t very impressed with this hotel and I wouldn’t recommend it as there are far superior hotels in its price range. Also given the potential security issues we encountered at their Riverbank hotel I can’t say I would recommend the Park Plaza as a brand either and I definitely wouldn’t seek to stay with them again over other brands.

Rooms: 3/5
Service: 4/5
Value: 2/5

Overall: 3/5

Dalston Street Feast

Another recent competition win was two tickets to the special TimeOut London launch night of this year’s Dalston Street Feast! I’ve been wanting to go to one of these for a very long time so I was very pleased indeed. I invited fellow blogger Charlotte along as we’d been meaning to meet up after our Monopoly shenanigans so this was the perfect opportunity.


Charlotte was far more prepared than I was wearing a nice loose-fitting dress versus my rather tight as they’d just been washed skinny jeans – oops! We met at Dalston Junction station at 7pm and wandered round the corner to the yard. We got a little bit lost but got their eventually! After having our tickets checked and getting a stamp we were given a little card that would give us a free bottle of beer and a tequila slush each. Now I don’t drink beer and Charlotte isn’t a fan of tequila so we swapped and had two of what we liked rather than one of each. Perfect!

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What was also great was that we seemed to have the same taste in food so after we did a quick sweep of the vendors on offer we had an idea of what we wanted to try and had already made a conscious decision to save room for doughnuts for dessert!

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We started with Shambol Shiok which suckered us in with promises of chicken satay sliders and ordered one each. These were absolutely amazing if a little bit messy to eat. The brioche bun held its own against the delicious satay sauce and the chicken was cooked to perfection. Definitely my favourite of the night and something I’d happily eat over and over again.

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Next up was Rola Wala who were serving up mini naan breads with different toppings. They had a special offer where you could have all three of them for just £10 so we went for that and just split all of them. There was chicken tikka, pork roast and paneer dal. They were all really nice and I liked how the naan was crispy rather than soft like I’m used but my favourite was definitely the chicken. It had mango chutney on it which really kicked it up a notch.

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I’d heard plenty good things about Le Bun so I was excited to try them and we sampled both their Le Duck Frites; pulled confit duck in a bun with champagne slaw and the Truffles n Waffles; buttermilk fried chicken in a waffle with maple syrup. There was a LOT of buttermilk fried chicken on offer between all the stalls and I’m really tempted to go back to have a buttermilk-off to see which is the best because I love it so much.

Anyway both of these were really good with the waffle having that great mix of savoury and sweet that works so well at time but I did prefer the duck as it simply melted in your mouth as you ate it.


We took a bathroom break, grabbed another drink and debated whether to try anything else. We had just settled on splitting a lobster bun from B.O.B. when we saw that they were a whopping £14 each. Instead I grabbed a bata fish taco from Breddos Tacos as I have always heard good things about the. Charlotte decided to give it a miss and she was probably right to do so as this was my least favourite of all the dishes I had tried throughout the night. It was very disappointing and just a bit bland.


The end of the night was however saved by the magnificent You Doughnut who I’ve thought about pretty consistently over the past week. Mini doughnut balls with your choice of sugar (cinnamon or vanilla), sauce (salted caramel or strawberry lime), topping (chopped hazelnuts, mini marshmallows, sprinkles or pistachios) and an optional side of ice cream. Given that we have similar tastes we made very similar choices and blooming amazing choices they were. The salted caramel sauce is quite possibly the best thing I have ever tasted and everything combined was just heaven in a paper cup. The perfect end to a perfect evening!

It can get quite pricey if you want to try loads of stuff but if you can take along some friends and split the cost it’s very affordable. Street Feast will be in Dalston Yard every Friday and Saturday between now and 26th September and I thoroughly recommend you check it out. I plan on heading back at least once more or possibly to the sister event Model Market in Lewisham as there are so many other traders (and buttermilk fried chicken strips) to try out!

BitBS Rating – £ (I’ve marked this as cheap as you can spend as much or as little as you want really)

P.S. You can check out Charlotte’s post of the night here.

Coco Bamboo, Belsize Park

When I won a twitter competition for a two course dinner for two at Coco Bamboo and then never heard anything back about it for several weeks I wasn’t too impressed but finally I was able to make a booking for last week and boy was it worth the wait!


My friend Michael lives in NW London so I invited him to join me. Our reservation was for 6:30pm and we were a few minutes late so I was surprised to see that the restaurant was completely empty, it did mean that we had our pick of seats in the restaurant.

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The super friendly waitress gave us menus and advised that despite the prize only stating food was included our first drinks would be complimentary too – including the cocktails! Score. Their cocktail menu is extensive so it took a while but I finally settled on a passionfruit mojito while Michael went for a traditional Brazilian rum punch.


Keen to try out something a bit different I went for the Ackee and Saltfish – Jamaica’s national dish. Salt cod is sautéed with the ackee fruit, onions, peppers and spices to make a delightful dish with delicate flavours. I found the fish to be very small flaked pieces rather than big chunks but the flavour of the fish still makes it through. This can also be served as a main with rice which I think would be even more delicious and a great light option for those watching what they’re eating.


Michael on the otherhand went for the jerked chicken wings. I didn’t try any myself but given that he polished them all off you can assume that they were pretty darn tasty!


For main I stuck with the fish theme and decided to pay an extra supplement to have the seafood platter. In their own words “a feast of scallops, fresh prawns, tilapia and sea bream fillets served with fried cassava and mango salsa”. And what a feast it was! Everything was extremely fresh with the scallops being cooked to absolute perfection. I wasn’t a fan on the salsa finding it a bit on the sweet side but that’s my personal taste.


Michael went for the mixed barbecue “A ‘grilliant’ array of meats: Picanha, chicken, pork ribs and Brazilian pork sausage served with peppercorn sauce, salad and chunky chips” (which we shared) also at a supplement. This platter was simply huge with well-cooked cuts of meat and the chips were fabulous and we also grabbed another couple of cocktails.

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You’d think after this spread we’d have no more room but we both decided we wanted the pudding. I wanted the lighter option of passion fruit mousse but sadly they didn’t have any available so we both had thick slabs of CocoBamboo chocolate cake.


It was a bit heavy for me but really, really good. Positively stuffed we requested the bill only to be absolutely astounded to discover they had taken off both the cost of the desserts AND the supplements for our chosen mains; the only think we had to pay for were the second round of drinks we had which were included in their happy hour deal (two for £9 if I remember correctly) so we ended up paying about £12 including tip for a three course meal with two drinks each! Incredibly generous of them.

It was a different waitress who took our payment and she was a little confused by the bill but when I explained she lit up with excitement. It turned out that she and her husband (the chef) were the owners and they are clearly very passionate about their little venture. She invited us to take a look at the bar area which can be separated from the rest of the restaurant for private events and told us more about the history of the company as well as making recommendations for things to try on a return visit. (I’m gonna be brave and go for the goat curry!) I even gave her my blog card so hopefully she sees this post! (Sorry I can’t remember your name I am terrible with those.)

The service was attentive, the food was delicious, the atmosphere was really nice and the cocktails were absolutely fabulous – what more do you need? If you live or work in the area and fancy trying something a bit different I really recommend that you visit. Michael is even considering seeing if his company are interested in having their Christmas party there.

BitBS Rating – ££

One By One, Tristan Bates Theatre


You are cordially invited to test a brand-new data security programme.  It promises absolute cyber freedom and the right to assert and control your online identity – but once the test begins, it becomes rapidly apparent that the system has already been corrupted.  A ‘you’ already exists. Suspend disbelief and join a dystopian future: audience members have been hacked, and must embark on a hunt around central London to track down the doppelgängers and reclaim their identity before it’s too late. ‘One By One’ is an interactive hour-long promenade journey, exploring the disconnect between online and offline identities and inspired by the right to be forgotten.

I usually try to post about stuff in the order that it happened but I’m throwing this post in now because what I’m about to tell you is time sensitive. Y’all should know by now that I’m a huge fan of immersive theatre and it seems like news is getting around the internet! Last week I received an e-mail asking me if I would like a complimentary ticket to see a brand new immersive show where I would be the only audience member – of course I immediately jumped at the chance and so last night headed to the Tristan Bates Theatre for an entirely new experience.

While I love immersive theatre I’m also a bit of a scaredy cat and don’t particularly enjoy the thought of having to play a part in the show. I’ve always shied away from one-to-one’s in Punchdrunk productions and being singled out as part of audience participation but somehow the fact that this would take place in the actual streets of London made me a whole lot more comfortable with the idea. So how did I find it?

Without giving anything away (although I’m sure that each persons experience will differ depending on the personal decisions made throughout) I found the experience very fast-paced and exhilarating. I chose to pretty much play along and give them as much true data as I was comfortable with (they will erase all data they’ve gathered about you immediately after you’ve finished) rather than try to play it more secretively – I have no idea how much this affects the remainder of the show. The plot is a tad confusing, I won’t lie but the premise is great and as you progress through the story it does all start to make a bit more sense. I have to say though the abrupt ending felt a bit unsatisfactory to me. The acting was top-notch though and very believable given the unbelievable plot. Special mention to The Boss for being epically creepy!

The main thing about the show is how it highlights just how much information people can find out about you with just a few key facts like your name, e-mail address and twitter account. I gave them my personal twitter which is locked down rather than my blog one and yet they were still able to find out a LOT of details about me within just 45 minutes. It’s very eye-opening and thought-provoking.

One by One is only running until Saturday the 9th May and there are currently time slots available for all remaining evenings so if this sounds like something you’d be interested in grab a ticket while you can!

BitBS Rating – £

*Disclaimer: I attended this play for free in exchange for blogging about the show.
The above opinions are still my own and not influenced by this in any way.