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Friday, 29 June 2012

childish delight.

Just excuse me while I hyperventilate a little...


Just... just look at it!  Is that not one of the most amazing things you have ever seen?  I mean, it comes with a Zombie Chef for goodness sake.  And a Monster Butler who mixes the Vampyres' drinks.


It's been released in September, and it will be ours.

Photo from Lego.com

Saturday, 23 June 2012

this week.

  1. Meeting my friend's baby girl - newborn babies are just adorable with their big eyes and tiny fingers and toes.  My friend's newborn daughter, who I shall call Baby G, is as cute as a button.  
  2. Feminist Frequency - have you ever had one of those moments where you discover someone online who you wish lived across the hall from you so you could order chinese, watch Joss Whedon marathons and discuss feminism until the early hours of the morning, perhaps over a nice glass of red?  Well I wish Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency lived across the hall.  As a fan of pop geek culture and feminist theory I find her video blog very relevant to my interests.  Definitely worth a view!
  3. BeCharmedDesigns on Etsy - I recently bought an amethyst bracelet from this wonderful shop and it's quickly become one of my favourite pieces.  It's so dainty and delicate.
  4. Die Hard - not quite sure why they're showing this in June as it's basically a Christmas flick (oddly enough, Love Actually is on another channel), but I'm not going to complain.  I truly believe it's one of the best action films ever made.
  5. Dunny Series 2012 - squee!  I need that new Tara McPherson Dunny in my life. 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

summer shadows.

I am notoriously bad at dressing myself in the summer.  I don't think I do too bad a job at looking presentable for the rest of the year, but as soon as it gets warm enough to qualify as 'hot', which doesn't take much in England, any fashion smarts I do have go out the window.  I have so many memories from last year which involve me sitting at my desk, torn between closing the window or continuing to let wasps into the office (a dilemma akin to Sophie's Choice), feeling hideously overheated and unattractive, only to remind myself that it's probably because I'm wearing thick black trousers and a knit top (three quarter sleeves do not make a garment summery).  I only had myself to blame.

And so, every year, usually around May when the sun makes a dazzling appearance before disappearing behind dull clouds for another few weeks, I made the same desperate plea to some nameless deity of summer wardrobes.  "Please!" I would beg, lying prostrate on the ground wearing a completely weather inappropriate outfit (jeans and a heavy cardigan are probably involved), "Show me the way!".  I longed to be a summer girl, as defined by Bernard Black, a bright and breezy lass who wears floral prints, pastels and chiffon, who never gets hot and bothered and who can wear flip flops for more than five minutes without nearly crippling herself.  Unfortunately my prayers went unanswered.

This year, however, while frantically trying to find a plain black dress for my recent choir concert (do you know how hard it is to find a plain black dress without lace and sparkles?) I stumbled across a real gem on the high street.  I'd heard of Mango before, but the fact that their poster current is currently Kate Moss made me think that their clothes would be too chic and trendy for me.  Turns out I was wrong to write them off.

Because the fantastic thing about Mango is that their summer collection includes a hell of a lot of black.  And, oh, how I love wearing black, so much so that some of my friends act like it's a major event when I wear something colourful.  It's just so easy - if you have a handful of really great black pieces in your wardrobe you can pretty much get dressed in the dark and look good.  Here are a few of my favourite pieces:



Now I can't quite put into words how unusual it is for me to dig dresses.  I'm not really a dress kind of girl.  Mango, however, has some great wardrobe staples - not too short, asymmetrical shapes and interesting mixes of fabrics.


 


I could've gone wild here and posted many more examples, but I restrained myself.  I think my favourite is the ethnic burnout t-shirt, the fabric falls really well (although modesty means I wear a camisole underneath!).

So, on the cusp of turning 26, I have finally discovered my perfect summer wardrobe.  Fine, I may look like a gloomy Gladys over the coming months when everyone else is looking floaty in pale maxi dresses, but I believe that you have to go with what works for you.

Photos from Mango.com.  

In the grand tradition of the British summer, over the two evenings that I've worked on this post it's gone from brilliant sunshine to torrential rain, so I'm not quite ready to break out the summer threads yet.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

#1 musical crush.

When I was around 17 I was very briefly in a band.  I was drafted in last minute after the previous singer walked out due to 'artistic differences'.  It was all a bit high pressured and frantic, but I managed to learn all the songs in time for the gig and had a half decent stab at fronting a rock band.  But the real legacy of the experience is that, after the band's founder likened me to a 'young Shirley Manson', I rushed home and did some research so I didn't appear hideously uncool.

And so began my love affair with Garbage.


One of my friends lent me her copy of Beautiful which I listened to on repeat, especially 'Cherry Lips' (much to my parents' delight), but it was when I bought Garbage and Version 2.0 that my mind was truly blown.  Growing up in the era of Avril and Britney, and being pretty straight-laced if I'm being honest with myself, finding a female vocalist with such a raw, powerful voice was something of an epiphany.  And she wasn't this tougher than tough punk chick with a lip ring and tattoos (don't get me wrong, I think Brody Dalle's stunning but it's not really my look), she was fun and colourful with hair reminiscent of Agent Scully.

It's nearly a decade later and I'm still a huge fan of their work.  In May I finally managed to fulfil a long standing dream by seeing them perform live, and the next day I bought myself a ticket to see them again  at the Brixton Academy in July.  Yes, I've grown and changed over the last ten years, and so have they, but this is one love affair that won't be ending soon.


Monday, 18 June 2012

i [heart] urban decay.

It's no secret that I am an Urban Decay addict through and through.  Since I bought my first UB eyeshadow when I was a student, no other make-up has cut it in (or on) my eyes.

They've recently redeveloped their eyeshadow formula and have brought out some killer new shades.  Here's the contents of my dream shadow palette:

Copper & Brown.

Smog   |   Cobra   |   Roach   |   Busted   |   Darkhorse


Purple & Fuchsia.
 
Rockstar   |   AC/DC   |   Psychedelic Sister   |   Last Call   |   Woodstock


Blue & Green.
Hijack   |   Evidence   |   Haight   |   Bender   |   Loaded


Colour swatches from Urban Decay

Sunday, 17 June 2012

this week.

  1. Old school X Files - the boy and I have grown a little tired of the constant re-runs that they seem to favour on evening TV these days, so we tend to cycle through our collection of DVD box sets.  We're one episode away from finishing off season two of The X Files which is one of my favourite series ever (I used to stay up late as a child and wait for my parents to go to bed, then sit really close to my tele in my room so I didn't have to turn the volume up - used to scare myself silly).
  2. Nikujaga - this is a Japanese recipe that the boy had picked up after seeing the dish referenced in a manga he's reading.  So good I had seconds!  I think it's going to be part our staple diet some winter.
  3. Glitter ballerinas from Mango - I can't quite believe I'm going nuts over a pair of silver glitter shoes with a bright orange trim, but I think I must have them!  I may have to get them for when summer finally arrives.
  4. Space Channel 5 - finally!  I've discovered a game I can play better than the boy!  Space Channel 5 was released in 2002 for the Sega Dreamcast and features a funky space reporter, Ulala, who must defeat a race of aliens by beating them in a dance off.  It even features Space Michael Jackson.  Amazing.
  5. My parents' holiday snaps - the parental units have been in Canada and Alaska for the past three weeks and now they're home they've started to load some of their photos onto Facebook.  There's some stunning stuff there, the Rocky Mountains are extremely photogenic.  

Thursday, 14 June 2012

duvet day.

I think that bedding is one of the easiest ways to stamp your personality onto a room.  Where else do you get to have such a large block of colour and pattern?  This is my current dream linen cupboard, care of John Lewis.

Mosiac by John Lewis.

Yoko by John Lewis.

Harlequin by Bali.

Charlottenburg by Designers Guild.

Dandelion Clocks by Sanderson.

fresh start.

Well, it's been a while...

It would appear that life has been conspiring against me for coming on fourth months and I've not had time to write any new posts.  In realilty I think it's much safer to assume that I got out of the habit for a while and then simply forgot to update.  But here we are, and I'm writing a new post and have some draft ones pretty much ready to go.  It's looking hopeful.

So what has happened since February?  Here's the basic run down...

Made a break from roller derby
As much as it pained me to make this decision, I feel a hell of a lot better for having made the break.  It looks like it's going to be September/October before I'm admitted for my second surgery, which will be followed by two physio appointments a week for five months.  That means I'm going to be out of rehabilitation by February 2013 at the earliest, a full two years since I actually injured myself.  I think getting back on a derby track would be foolish and irresponsible.  That and I loathe physiotherapy with the fire of as thousand suns, so I don't want to do anything that could result in me having to go back.  I'm going to keep the skates though for when the summer actually arrives and I can enjoy leisurely strolls in one of London's many parks.

AMAZING CHOIR THINGS
This is another reason that I have decided to leave roller derby behind - I love singing with LIPS so much that I'm not going to do anything that could possibly mean I had to leave.

Although I may have neglected this little corner of the internet, I've been hard at work building a blog our choir could be proud of. I had a strict deadline as, for the first time ever, we had concert tickets on sale on a proper venue website rather than a link that we forwarded furiously to friends and family.

This is because at the end of May we sang an amazing gig at the Union Chapel.  I can't quite put into words how fantastic it was, singing in a venue where real, proper, professional musicians have played.  And the reception was brilliant - we really do have the best fans.

We've also had the opportunity to sing backing vocals for an A-listers next album.  Very exciting!  I'll write more when we've heard whether the track has definitely made the album.

I went to Paris
I really need to sort out my photos from this trip, at the moment I've only edited my Eiffel Tower snaps.