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Celebrate Feb 14th with PARROT London, Dolly Alderton & Penguin UK!

February 8, 2021 | PARROT Talks

If you don’t know Dolly Alderton, then allow me to welcome you to life outside of the rock under which you have been living for the last few years. The podcast host (RIP The High Low), author and columnist has become something of an idol to many millennial women, myself included. She is relatable, witty and self-deprecating, yet so hugely successful at what she does that her talent is the thing we ultimately all know her for.

Personally, I have always been a fan of any excuse to celebrate and will cheers my glass of wine to anyone, for any reason, no matter how small. But this year, with all of the longing and emotion that covid-life has brought, I will gladly be toasting everyone who I love on the 14th February. I am dying to hug my grandparents, squeeze my nephew & niece, catch up in person with my parents and sisters, and enjoy as many bottles of rosé with my girls as we can – engagements, pregnancies, new jobs and new homes are all in need of a long-overdue celebration.

I am just buzzing to be holding another giveaway with Dolly Alderton and Penguin UK to celebrate the 14th February this year. We have 6 copies of Ghosts to give away, along with 6 £50 PARROT London vouchers! All you need to do is comment on the giveaway tagging your best friend and the pair of you could win a copy of Ghosts and a voucher each.

Dolly’s debut novel is a fantastic, page turning, relatable and delicious book which you will devour in a heart beat, nothing is a more appropriate lockdown read in my opinion. It’s genuinely laugh-out-loud funny at times, and so blooming realistic that you will be nodding along the whole way through. PARROT has been so lucky to work with Dolly Alderton & Penguin UK on this partnership, and they have kindly provided an excerpt of Ghosts to PARROT Talks for anyone yet to be convinced that they absolutely must read the book.

Read on and enter the giveaway @parrotlondon on Instagram (live from 8.30pm 08/02/21 until 14.02.21).

If there’s one visible warning sign that a friendship has become faulty, it’s the point when you realize you only ever want to go to the cinema with them. And not dinner and the cinema – I mean meeting outside the Leicester Square Odeon ten minutes before a specifically late showing of a film, then having a ‘quick catch-up’ during the trailers and an excuse to leave as soon as it’s over because all the pubs are about to close. It is the platonic version of no longer wanting to have sex with your long-term boyfriend. It is the lingering, looming sense that something is no longer working, pervaded by a reluctance to fix it. I had started, for the first time in over twenty years of friendship, longing to only meet Katherine at the cinema ten minutes before a late film began. But I couldn’t, because Katherine had a toddler and I’d found that trying to get her out of the house was always more of an effort than sitting on the Northern Line for an hour to get to her place near Tooting Broadway. And neutral ground seemed to have become an intimidating place for her – she used every environment as a way of justifying and defending her life to me, when I had never asked for justification nor defence. When she came to my flat, she’d make comments on how she couldn’t own half the things I owned because Olive would break them, as if a set of mismatched whisky tumblers off eBay made my dingy flat a boutique hotel. When we went out for dinner, she’d talk about how she never got to go out for dinner any more and emphasize what a treat it was for her, no longer making it feel like a treat for me. And when we met up for a drink, she’d talk about her ‘former life’ of ‘drinking’ that felt like a ‘distant memory’ as if she were a recovering addict giving an educational talk in schools, rather than a woman who worked in recruitment and enjoyed two-for – one Mojito night at her local.


I walked to the Cotswold green-grey door and rang the bell. Katherine answered, and the smell of used coffee machine pods and an expensive woody candle smell I could instantly and depressingly identify as ‘fig leaf’ wafted out. ‘Thank you so much for coming, my darling!’ she said into my hair as we hugged. ‘This must be so much earlier than you normally wake up on a Saturday. Really appreciate you coming all this way at the crack of dawn.’ ‘It’s ten a.m., mate,’ I said, taking off my denim jacket and hanging it up on a hallway hook.

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