Nov 26

Confused.com Adverts Can Go Die In A Fire

You know what I really hate? I mean, what I utterly detest? What I hate more than people who don’t indicate and even more fat girls who wear leggings? I’ll tell you: I hate, with a fiery tenacity only surpassed by my very will to live, the television adverts for confused.com. There’s something very specific in these adverts that make me want to garrotte the degenerate whose feverish mind spawned it, the creative team that, I expect, clambered round making flow charts about how much of a great idea it was, the management team that even authorised it, the animation team that lowered themselves to draw it, the consumer groups that didn’t say the ad was utter crap and, in fact, even myself for having had to suffer through it.

Why the hell, no in fact, why the fucking fuck have these cartoon women got tits? Not just immobile tits either, why do they have flobbery, jigging, braless tits? Why, when this was being animated, did someone say “no, we’ve got all this eye-gouging jollity and singing and fucking grinning but you know what this needs more of…y’know what’ll sell CAR INSURANCE to man, woman and fucking child…cartoon jiggly tits!”.

I hate confused.com tits boobs bouncy jiggly pricks idiots

I hate confused.com tits boobs bouncy jiggly pricks idiots

I wanted to find you evidence of the confused.com depraved cartoon jiggle tit but even finding these mere scraps infuriated me. Just watch the ads on youtube and heave your half-digested lunch all over yourself.

 I hate confused.com tits boobs bouncy jiggly pricks idiots

 Remember when the confused.com mascot was this? That little doodle might not even be female let alone need a more supportive bra. “New improved” confused.com girl is lying there with ten strands of hair for god’s sake, why give her expertly curved norks? I mean when you’ve gone to the effort of not only giving a glorified stick person bountiful tits but also animating them with every childish burst of movement, I can only assume that the fact she’s only got ten strands of hair means she’s got alopecia. She doesn’t even have a friggin’ nose! Get your priorities right you dick brained perverts.

I just think it’s twatty and unnecessary. I mean, what do they think: the only people that buy car insurance are the readers of Nuts magazine? I do not need my already shit television life intruded by primary coloured mammory glands as bouncy as space hoppers trying to sell me a product I only need once a year. Just fuck off for fuck’s sake.

Nov 25

DIY: Things To Make out of Old T-Shirts (P.S. Stop Wearing Them)

When I went to Sweden to visit my mum, I took some old t-shirts with me. They were t-shirts I loved but that I had decided as a 26 year old, I could no longer wear. There’s a fact I think a great swathe of womankind is missing by the way and it’s that you can’t dress like a student your whole life. Cutesie New Look logo tees don’t look cutesy when your face says “I’ve worked in Recruitment for six years” and trainers are for jogging. End of.

So what did I decide to do with these t-shirts I could no longer wear? There was no point keeping them in my wardrobe. My mum, as I’ve probably already said, is what can only be described as a fabric ninja and I took it upon myself to assume that my Mumsie dearest would help me turn my t-shirts in to cushions. She loves that kind of thing.

Mummy had visions of finally teaching me to sew but when it finally got down to it, she conceded that it was just asking from trouble and did the cushion-making portion of the task herself. Mummy gets an A* for perfect workmanship, as usual.

 

DIY Cushion Craft Make Your Own from t-shirt old clothes pillowDIY Cushion Craft Make Your Own from t-shirt old clothes pillow

I was in charge of customisation. I used this lovely blog post to make a few fabric flowers. With my immense lack of basic skill, I probably made them wrong because they took me friggin’ ages. I think they look alright though.

I then sewed about a million buttons on each cushion.

 

DIY Cushion Craft Make Your Own from t-shirt old clothes pillowDIY Cushion Craft Make Your Own from t-shirt old clothes pillow

DIY Cushion Craft Make Your Own from t-shirt old clothes pillowDIY Cushion Craft Make Your Own from t-shirt old clothes pillow

Once I’d got home from Sweden, I bought some dirt cheap cushions from Ikea and callously tore them open, stole their innards and discarded them. I probably overfilled my cushions but I wanted them to last a really long time.

 

DIY Cushion Craft Make Your Own from t-shirt old clothes pillow

DIY Cushion Craft Make Your Own from t-shirt old clothes pillow

And here’s what they looked like when they were finished. I think they look pretty good – better than I ever looked wearing them.

 

DIY Cushion Craft Make Your Own from t-shirt old clothes pillow

Nov 19

What’s My Age Again?

Today as I huffed my way to work in an office-appropriate knee length dress and ratty old trainers, holding the strap of my backpack that’d decided to give up the ghost half way through my journey across my body, I saw a girl. She was a few years younger than me – three years younger at the most. She was wearing a bum-skimming baroque print body-con dress with a cropped leather jacket that had a fringe running across the back and down each arm. She’d teamed these bold items with pale tights and weather appropriate boots. From her hand swung a cream bowler bag. She wasn’t overly made up and her hair was in a messy bun. She was caught up in chatting to her friend as they strolled out of their flat and on to the high street. Not a care in the world and, judging by the student-infested streets I was walking through, off to uni for a day of learning.

Struggling along with my broken bag, my still-wet hair and raincoat flailing about in the wind, it occurred to me that I’d never worn a dress like that. Not only had I never worn one, I’d never even tried one on. I imagined myself in a hot, sweaty mess, looking with dejection at the reflection of my flabby, pale thighs in a River Island changing room. I saw myself navigating the broken paving slabs in sky-high platforms at a snail’s pace on a night out, cold and miserable as I tug at the hemline. Standing at the bar, my arm would be glued across my body to hide my bulging tummy. I’d stand stock still, unnatural and awkward, not wanting to dance lest the dress’ cling unflatter. In my head I’d be keeping count of all the girls I’d seen that looked better than me.

All this, I thought, and yet here this girl swans along first thing on a Monday morning wearing it. It’s probably not even a big deal for her to be wearing a dress that, for me, is flat out-right wholly unattainable. She probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid at the fact it’s 8.45am and she’s leaving for the day rather than returning from a night out in it. It won’t occur to her until she’s too old to wear them and she’ll reminisce about her carefree days: oblivious and wearing entirely inappropriate outfits to university.

I’m 26, I thought, and I’ve never worn a dress like that. My youth is passing me by.

Oct 08

Men! Why What You Think About Women’s Clothes Is Wrong (Mostly)

There was some silly article in the Daily Mail a little while ago about the way men wanted their wives to dress.  It showed pictures of women looking relatively normal but a bit scruffy (or, at the very least, normal if you shop in Asda) with their husbands scowling behind them and then showed pictures of the wives smiling with radiance in the clothes their husbands picked.

What men think of women's clothes Daily Mail is stupid Fashion

“This sounds fine, Katie, what’s your problem?”  You’re probably saying.  My problem is that the clothes men picked out where invariably too cold or too flimsy or too restrictive to actually do anything in.  Yes, you might want your missus to dress like Jessica Rabbit but how’s she going to pick Daisy up from pre-school without her knockers falling out?  Those platform stilettos are never going to stand up to traipsing round IKEA for a whole Saturday afternoon.  Is she even going to be able to sit down in those skinny jeans?

 

I get that you don’t want your lady wife dressing like a Russian peasant, I really do.  All I’m saying is that you need to reassess your priorities. Don’t worry, it’s not all one way: your wife needs to do some assessing of her own.  Right now though, you need to decide whether you’d like to see your wife miserable as sin in a floaty summer dress and strappy sandals, shivering her arse off and whinging that her feet hurt or whether it’d be better if she stuck a cardigan and some flats on and you got on with visiting Homebase.  You’re only setting yourself up for a world of pain if your wife dressed the way you thought was ideal.  Be a bit more realistic.  She’s a person not a photograph and you two have lives you have to get on with.  Besides which, she probably hates everything you’re wearing now anyway.  Stop pretending you have a clue about fashion anyway.  What’s that I spy in your wardrobe?  Grotty trainers, sunnies that weren’t even fashionable when you bought them and a moth eaten cagoule that smells like dog…thought so.

 

What men think of women's clothes Daily Mail is stupid Fashion

 

Next, dear wives: listen up.  You’re not going to like this but I agree with the husbands. You do need to stop dressing like Russian peasants.  All these saggy, long cardigans and baggy tunics have to go.  However, the reason for this purge has nothing to do with men.  Nothing at all.  You should be doing it for yourself because no one with an ounce of self dignity should be wearing a poncho, leggings and ugg boots.  You deserve not to dress like a slob.  Plus it’s not just your husband that hates you dressing like that, we all do.  That’s the hard part over with.  The rest is just making an effort.  I’m not saying give up and go to Asda dressed like a Spice Girl, I just mean stop wearing things that are shapeless.  We all have to keep warm in these colder months, that’s a given but you don’t have to wear a triple XL hoodie to do that.  Just layer pretty cardigans with dresses and tops.  Wear lace-trimmed vests.  Use scarves.  Invest in tights.  Live and die in knee high boots that some how look bad ass but that you’re only wearing because you can have warm, comfy socks underneath with no one seeing.  It’s not rocket science.

 

What men think of women's clothes Daily Mail is stupid Fashion

This one kind of has a point to be honest.

 

Now, with that world wrong righted, I’m off to kick some more ass.

Oct 04

How to get over Writer’s Block

I was watching a youtube video the other day of a talk a lady did about doing a challenge where you blog every day for thirty days.  She was talking about how you maintain the momentum to blog every day.  (Don’t worry, I’m not going to start doing that.)  She had some interesting ideas about writer’s block. 

She said that there are two types of block: one where you don’t have any ideas and one where you don’t want to write about the topic you’ve chosen for yourself.  I think I have a problem distinguishing between the two.  I’ve found myself saying “I have nothing to write about!” when actually I have a list of things I could write about. 

What causes this lack of distinction is the fact that I am motivated to write heavily by inspiration.  I will see something or hear something and my mind immediately starts a loud internal monologue that I just have to transcribe (and edit.  A bit. A lot.).  I will see an advert for self-tan, for example, and my mind will start a haughty diatribe about how the advert is wrong or misleading, outline the actual pitfalls of fake tan and then list how they be avoided.  Yes, my brain is that self-righteous and annoying.  Other things will stick out to me as topics about which I could write but unless my brain starts talking to me, I just don’t have the impetus to put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard?).  I guess that makes me think that I have nothing to write.

What the grown up part of me suspects but doesn’t actually want to acknowledge is that I just need to put the effort in.  Some things are going to be easier to write about than others, that’s a given.  Explaining why I don’t like Claudia Winkleman’s lipstick, for example, comes more easily than discussing why Amelia Earhart is an inspiration to modern women.  That’s why you can’t study Primark for your degree.  Tough sh*t buddy, suck it up. 

Why you’d come to me for advice on this, I don’t know but what are my tips for writing something you’re finding difficult?  They are:

¤ Brain storm (or whatever it’s called now).  Try and get to the bottom of what you want to say.  If you can’t get that far, just write down the points that come to mind immediately.  Then try and think about the points that annoy you or confuse you or that you don’t know much about and write these too. 

¤ Start an account on www.750words.com.  The idea of this site is that you sit down, log on to the site, look at a blank screen and write 750 words every day.  It’s a free space and it doesn’t matter what you write about.  It’s just to get ideas churning and get you in the habit of writing regularly.  You might not end up writing the thing you found hard to write but you might end up with ideas for something completely different!

¤ Go online but don’t procrastinate.  Try googling the points you wrote down earlier that annoyed or confused you.  See what other people say about it.  You don’t have to have a barny about it but hearing other people’s ideas and points of view will help you with your own.  Find out the bits you didn’t know earlier as well.    

¤ Try and turn your brain storm in to bullet points.  Hopefully by this point you should have some vague idea of where your post is going to go.  If you still don’t know what you’re trying to say by this point, you’re going to have to do some serious thinking!

¤ Start writing.  You don’t have to finish it all in one go but make a start at least.  My blog post about Twitter sat in my draft folder in my e-mails for months before I finished it and posted it.  If what you’re having trouble writing is an essay that’s due in tomorrow, well, you’re a silly f*cking sausage, aren’t you?  If you have a bit of time though, just come back to it another day.  You can leave gaping holes if need be.  By making a start though, you’ll take some of the pressure off yourself.  You might re-read it tomorrow and go “oh yeah, totally know what the hell I’m saying now…boom!”.

¤ Talk it through with a friend.  You don’t even have to tell them about what you’re writing.  Just angle it in to what you’re discussing.  Even the simple act of saying a few sentences to your friend will help (yes, you have to be able to form sentences) because you’ll begin to notice how your topic breaks down in to little chunks.  Also, conversations sometimes start the mouthy know it all in my brain, so for me it’s a god send.  My most notable experience of this happened with a blog post I have yet to publish concerning pubic hair with my mum in Starbucks.  Yeah.  That.

Right, now go and sort your shit out.

 

Oct 02

Just a little update

So this blog post is going to be about me.  Me, me, me.

Only joking, I just wanted to let you know what I was up to and why my posts might be a bit sporadic at the moment.

I’m in the process of moving.  Because of work, holidays, our general ineptitude and an island, the process of moving is going to take about three weeks.  We’re trying to get innernetz at the new place as soon as possible but we don’t have it yet.  Any blog posts with decent pictures therefore, will simply have to wait!

I very well might take up residence in a nearby pub with free wifi but the floors are sticky and it smells like working class despondency there.

Now, this holiday lark – I’m going over to Sweden to visit my mum for my birthday.  This is smack bang in the middle of our moving.  To be fair, we didn’t know when we booked it that we’d be forced to move, not just when we did but at all.

I’m really excited because it’s my birthday on 10 October.  So I get to see my mum, frolic in the Swedish nature and get presents!  Woo!

Thankfully, my mum has decent internet (when there’s not a power cut, which there often is), so I should be able to blog all about my Swedish adventures while I’m there.

I’ll try and keep the blog content coming at a steady pace, so bear with me.  Oh and send me birthday presents.

Just kidding!  Kind of?

Anyway, talk soon.

Kate xoxo

Sep 26

How Does Virginia Woolf’s Work Apply Today? What Would She Think Of Us?

How Does Virginia Woolf's Work apply today modern times feminism

Let me preface this by saying that the only facts that make me think I can write something like this are that I can read and that I have a brain.  I didn’t go to university (my degree was by distance learning), I’m not some massive literature buff and I’m not even that well read.  These are just things that I have thought.

 

I’d like to read a book about how Virginia Woolf’s writing applies today. I think what she said at the time was entirely right but I’m not sure if it is still applicable as a whole. She says that a woman’s writing is distinctly female in style and that you could not mistake a book written by a man for that written by a woman1.  Women, of course, will always have their sex to contend with, that’s a given. Women will always have breasts, bear children and (on the whole) be attracted to men. If we are writing about our lives then a feminine slant is inescapable. We can’t act like we have penises but beyond that, I don’t see that sex is an issue. We have access to the same education as men and the same jobs. Gender discrimination, largely, isn’t an issue in our society any more.

 

Woolf says that women write novels because they aren’t as involved as poetry or plays.  She says that their writing can be picked up and put down as and when the writer has time.  She uses the example of Charlotte Bronte peeling potatoes in between spurts of writing2.  Given the breadth and balance of our education these days and the levelling out of the playfield class-wise, I would say that women are now just as capable as men at creating any type of written medium.  Surely now as well, due to our hectic and constantly distracted lifestyles, her comment regarding being interrupted is applicable to both sexes and to all genres?  Unless you have the leisure of being a full time writer, we all find ourselves writing on the back of receipts in pubs waiting for our friends to arrive, tapping notes to ourselves in to our phones, e-mailing ourselves paragraphs of text or inspiration before work.

 

Woolf also argued that women’s fiction is limited in its subject matter because women mainly stayed in their homes3. They didn’t fight wars or travel on ships and so they couldn’t write about these things. I don’t think that’s right in our modern times. I wouldn’t say I’m very worldly but then I know scores of people, men and women, who are just as inexperienced as me. I have access to as many experiences as men my age do. Granted, I might not choose to sit in a pub and watch rugby on a Sunday but I could if I wanted. The same way a chap could while a way an afternoon in Primark or New Look.  The only experiences we lack are those unique to the other sex.  I will never, thank the lord, suffer from having a sweaty ball sack.  Men will never discover their period has started in the middle of a double chemistry lesson.

 

J K Rowling though is a spanking example of how you don’t necessarily need to have experienced bad ass shit to write about it. Did she go to Hogwarts? Did she see a hippogriff? Did she fuck, she was sat in a cafe in Scotland with a sleeping baby next to her. And, of course, Jo Rowling used her French and Classics degree from the University of Exeter as inspiration in her novels (Sirius, Bellatrix, hippogriff, centaurs need I go on?).  I like to think Mrs Woolf would be proud of that.

 

I’m not saying Virginia Woolf was wrong. She was dead on the money when she wrote and what she wrote was intelligent, persuasive and brilliant. All I’m saying is, the times they have a-changed and hopefully for the better.

 

The one time I feel Woolf’s comments are still almost entirely applicable is with these flimsy, paltry mummy porn books like Fifty Shades of Grey.  To me, that whole book smacks of the mother who puts her child to bed, dreams up another sleazy scenario and picks up her laptop to dash off a few more lines of smut.  The typical pick up, put down.

 

How Does Virginia Woolf's Work apply today modern times feminismWoolf writes about how women in her day (and before, of course) could not write about their bodies4 and had to censor what they wrote to pacify men5.  We, mercifully, may not have to worry what we say any more but, true to everything else Woolf said, that whole book reeks of the gender of the author.  It’s tacky and it’s cheap and it’s lazy.

 

Presumably that book had to be written in at least a partially feminine style to appeal to its target audience.  I’d even go so far as to say James possibly thought it necessary because of the laziness of her readers.  Perhaps that’s giving her too much credit.  I can’t help but think though that it’s proving men right – not even today’s men but those small-minded, patronising men that lived over a hundred years ago.  I know E. L. James wasn’t ever trying to win the Nobel Prize for Literature with what she wrote and I know that a lot of people enjoy what she has written but PLEASE, come on, we’re better than that.  E. L. James, YOU’RE better than that.

 

It’s not a genre in to which I’ve ever delved but I’d wager that there are plenty of solidly written, gripping and complex books of that ilk you can read instead of Fifty Shades of Grey.  I’d wager further that they are not feeble or sexist or one dimensional.  Heck, some of them might even be written by men.

 

I guess it just goes to show that while we spend years and years breaking down the barriers that Woolf saw all around her, not everyone feels obliged to go beyond them.  We’re getting there though Virginia and I hope that you’d be proud of the progress that’s been made.

 

1. ”Women Novelists” appeared in “The Times Literary Supplement”, 17 October 1918

2. ”Women and Fiction”, essay appeared in “The Forum”, March 1929

3. ”Women and Fiction”, essay appeared in “The Forum”, March 1929

4. “Professions for Women” published in “The Death of a Moth”

5. “Women Novelists” appeared in “The Times Literary Supplement”, 17 October 1918

Sep 21

Girls: Stop Hating, Stop Bitching, Stop Caring What Guys Think.

Us girls are a sensitive lot.  We waste no time saying “You were looking at that girl’s arse, weren’t you?” or “Why do you keep looking at my neck – have I got a spot or something?” and are able to turn any reply to questions of that ilk into personal insults against us.  I, for example, am the girl who said “By saying that girl has skinny legs when her legs are clearly normal size, you’re saying you think fatter is normal and that means if you think I’m normal then I’m fat” and began crying.  All because I said I thought the girl walking past had nice legs and the guy I was with disagreed.

I guess that’s a perfect example of how critical we can be towards ourselves but we can be just as bad with each other.  My office hires university students every year and so often the answer to the question “What’s the new student like?” gets answered (and not just by me) with “Oh, I haven’t given her much work but have you seen what she’s been wearing?”.  It’s sad that we can be that judgment straight off the bat.  It has a lot to do with how competitive our society makes girls, I think.  My working environment, with its own special breed of intense competition only makes things worse.

We need to stop laying in to each other.  That’s a given.  As long as that new student isn’t breaking the office dress code, what’s the big deal?  After the first few weeks, she’ll be judged on the quality of her work and that’s what she’s there to do.  Those short skirts won’t land her a job at the end of her stay, you can rely on that.  So quit the bitching and get back to work.

In day to day life though, this criticism thing is two-fold.  Firstly, we all need to stop finding fault with each other.  Feel like hating on that girl walking past for being skinny?  How about saying “well done you for going to spinning classes regularly or living off celery or having good genes or whatever the hell you do to look like that.”.  She might do nothing at all to look the way she does and that’s a bitter pill to swallow when you feel like a fat goose in comparison but it’s no reason to instantly dislike her, is it? (As an aside, I saw some dude on twitter the other day say “Crying gets you sympathy.  Sweat gets your results.”.  I thought that was pretty clever and vaguely relevant here although I’d precede that with “Bitching gets you nothing”.)

What about people who just wear hideous stuff that offends your eyesight?  Meh, it’s a sticky subject.  On the one hand, yes it is annoying and sometimes it’s enjoyable to give them makeovers in your head but on the other, you’re not actually going to go up to them and tell them why what they’re wearing is so hideous, are you?  Let’s just keep it helpful, in good humour and not rag on people too much, eh?

The main point about this innate ability to find fault in other girls that we must bear in mind is that we’re not in competition with them.  There will always be someone smarter or prettier or richer or funnier than you and that’s fine.  Just learn to accept it.  Life’s purpose isn’t to be the queen of friggin’ everything.  They don’t exist just to annoy you and they’ve probably worked hard to do what they’re doing.  They’re people too, y’know!  We’re all just trying to get on with life.

Once you accept the fact that you don’t need to be the best at everything, the second part of this criticism thing gets easier: stop ragging on yourself.  You feel the need to compete, you find yourself bitching about other girls and then you look in the mirror and apply that shit to yourself.  It’s a vicious circle and we all need to get out of it.  Just be yourself!  You like make up.  You like putting make up on.  That’s fine, that’s cool, wear as much goddamn slap as you like.  If you don’t like make up though, don’t feel like you have to plaster yourself in it every day just to complete with the likes of Amy Childs or Snooki.  Guess what?  You don’t.  Give snaps to others for their efforts and don’t hate yourself. 

It’s about sixteen billion times harder to put this in to practice than it is to sit here like a  smart-arse and type it out.  I accept that.  Seriously though, you’re the only person who sees the bazillion things you think you have wrong with your appearance. 

Yes, your fellow women, who like you inherently compete, may come up with “she has awful cuticles” or “her belt ruins her silhouette”.  They might pick holes.  That’s fine and haters gonna hate.  Suck it up and carry on.  It’s no worse than you could do to yourself.  Where do men stand though?  These creatures that are so often the source of our anxieties and inhibitions?   Well, where women could knock out twenty flaws at the drop of a hat, I’ve so often heard a man’s view as something like “her dress looked like a giant carrot” or “she had a forehead like an alien”.  Their comments are normally one or two sentences at most, there’s usually an analogy and normally it refers to inanimate objects or wizards.  Basically, they don’t give a shit.  Don’t let it bother you and certainly don’t get worked up over it.  If you want to know how a man views you, I’d recommend borrowing glasses from a friend who’s short sighted and standing about ten foot away from a mirror.  Now, do you look like a wizard/farmer/giraffe/knight?  Well, there’s your answer.  They don’t care about your pores or your nail beds or your spanx.  If anything, they probably just wish you (okay, we!) wouldn’t be so super sensitive and self critical (e.g. me getting hysterical about a girl having skinny legs and then start crying).  Overall: don’t sweat it.

So there.  Boom.  There’s your pep talk for the day.  Now go out and be nice to your fellow girls and to yourself.  Once you take yourself out of the girl-bitch-spiral, you’ll be ten hundred percent awesome.  As Roald Dahl wrote in The Twits:

 

“If you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

 

Sep 19

Kate Middleton’s Jonathan Saunders Dress gets the Vegan Date Treatment

 

So you remember that time Kate Middleton got off a plane and kept her clothes on? Yeah, me too.  She looked effing gorgeous as she arrived in the Soloman Islands earlier in the week, wearing a Jonathan Saunders dress and sporting a Jane Taylor hat.  It was so Jackie O, so golden age of aviation that I just squealed like a school girl.

Here’s how our darling Duchess looked:

Kate Middleton Duchess Cambridge John Saunders Dress Jane Taylor HatKate Middleton Duchess Cambridge John Saunders Dress Jane Taylor Hat

 

She’s so elegant.  That hat is so friggin’ adorable, it makes me want to spaff all over the place.  It’s total perfection.

 

The shoes, however, the shoes are just dull.  Kate, our darling future Queen, I know you love your L.K Bennett nude Sledge shoes and I know you’re on your super important Royal tour but my dear, us level two girl crushers are so bored of seeing them.  They have an air of head mistress on parents’ evening.  Even more so when you wear tights.  I couldn’t go a day in them without stumbling around on some dirty pavement somewhere barefoot demanding men give me piggybacks though, so I won’t knock Kate too much.  She does a sterling job.

 

Thinking about what shoes I’d wear with Kate’s dress, I had a go at styling this dress myself.  Rinsing Kate’s designer-and-high-street philosophy completely, of course.  Granted what I’ve come up with isn’t suitable for a Duchess on Royal tour (even one who gets her tits out)….but here’s how I’d wear the “Evelyn” dress (available here at a brick-shitting £840).

 

Kate Middleton Jonathan Saunders Dress Soloman Islands how to wear style

Dress, Jonathan Saunders, £840

Grey Pointed Lace Up Heels, New Look, £24.99

Grey Feather Chain Earrings, Dorothy Perkins, £10.00

Black Cameo Print Scarf, Dorothy Perkins, £12.00

Limited Collection Snakeskin Print Satchel Bag (faux skin!), Marks and Spencer, £25.00

Kate Middleton Jonathan Saunders Dress Soloman Islands how to wear style

Dress, Jonathan Saunders, £840

Grey Pointed Lace Up Heels, New Look, £24.99

Tan and Black Panel Bowler, Dorothy Perkins, £29.50

Tonal Filigree Drop Earrings, Dorothy Perkins, £7.50

Gunmetal Stretch Ring, Dorothy Perkins, £8.50

Kate Middleton Jonathan Saunders Dress Soloman Islands how to wear style

Dress, Jonathan Saunders, £840

Tan Low Cut Brogues, New Look, £9.99

Beige Knee High Cable Knit Socks, New Look, £2.99

Kit Heath Coil Cluster Drop Earrings, John Lewis, £60.00

Teal Wide Catseye Ring, Dorothy Perkins, £7.50

Lilac Dome Ring, Dorothy Perkins, £6.50

Grey Zig Zag Saddle Bag, Dorothy Perkins, £65.00

(That bag is a fucking rip off, hear my thoughts about that here)

So now I know what I want to wear, you’re welcome to go and buy me her dress.  Thanks!

 

 

Sep 17

ParaNorman: A Review (AKA How to scare children shitless)

ParaNorman Kids film childrens movies zombie zombies

I went to see ParaNorman at the weekend.  I’ll precede this by saying that it’s a good film.  I don’t generally like kids films (okay, I hate them) but this one was engaging – enjoyable even.  Was it actually suitable for children though?  No fucking idea.  I very rarely come in to contact with those peculiar and diminutive members of society.  It definitely touched on some more challenging topics to discuss with children and I, for one, am glad that I don’t have to do any of the explaining.  Let me tell you why:

 

(First off, this post is going to be a bit spoiler-y.  Let me tell you that now.  I am going to mention things that happen in the film.  I don’t think this is too big a deal because, hey, it’s not the new Batman movie; it’s only a kids film.  Don’t get your knickers in a twist.)

ParaNorman Kids film childrens movies zombie zombies

This is what the next series of the Royale Family will be like.

So, Norman is an eleven year old boy.  He can see and talk to dead people, Sixth Sense style.  The ghost of his grandma watches horror films with him and he even plays fetch with a dead dog.  Once the scene is set, Norman is told that he must retrieve a book from the clutches of a recently deceased relative.  For me, as an eleven year old, I would have cried and/or shat myself at the prospect of doing this.  (Think how much of a big deal it was in Stand By Me.  Awesome film, by the way.)  Norman however performs the task with dubious aplomb and energy.  This culminates in a very silly sequence where Norman drags and yanks the body around the room almost like a wrestling match.   He bangs his Uncle’s head against furniture until finally his tongue flops out of his mouth and on to Norman’s face.  (The whole cinema collectively “Urgh!”ed at this point.)

 

ParaNorman Kids film childrens movies zombie zombies

Happier times, I think.

I’m guessing the film makers chose to play the scene with absolutely no grief in relation to the passing.  In fact, no emotion or mention of the fact the guy’s just died at all while the kid was in the room with him.  Maybe they thought that was the best way to play a death in a kids film.  I just thought the humour was very badly placed.  Just as an aside, why didn’t Norman phone someone to tell them his Uncle passed away?

 

The idea of respect for the dead and their bodies is touched on again later in the film with zombies.  The zombies were the living dead raised from the time of witch trials.  This scenario pushes the idea of respect for the dead in their physical form to the extreme.  The guy holding the book had been gone mere hours but the zombies had been dead centuries.  How much respect should their remains garner?  As far as I see it, all human remains deserve reverential treatment but it’s hard when these remains are animated in living dead form.  As artefacts, recently excavated, I could imagine them being dealt with tersely and I guess that is reasonable.   In the film though, as with all incidents of the risen undead, shot guns were grabbed and pitchforks were raised.  People in zombie movies very rarely spare a thought for the the monsters’ former human selves when they’re guttering “brraaainnss!”.  As it turns out in ParaNorman, the zombies only wanted to apologise for their past mistakes, resolve the situation and overall not eat people.  This twist totally humanised the zombies and neatly demonstrated that they were people once, rather than being one dimensional flesh eating demons.  I don’t know how much of this film was meant to make you think about things like legacy and the human condition (as I was plagued) but this was definitely there to do that.  It was a nice touch in my opinion. 

ParaNorman Kids film childrens movies zombie zombies

Thriller rejects?

 

Another part of the film that raised an eyebrow for me was when Norman had to visit the unmarked grave of a little girl who was murdered for being a witch.  Now, the film does a reasonably good job of handling this.  It doesn’t mention the word “murder”, for example.  The little girl is merely referred to as “killed” and you don’t see this happen.  She goes from crying in a court room to being a floaty, scary ghost.  As soon as they mentioned that she was buried in an unmarked grave, however, I was immediately in mind of Ian Brady and the like and this felt pretty uncomfortable for me.  The zombies were those responsible for the little girl’s death and they did apologise.  As much as you can in a kids film.  It was all just very weird.

 

I’m not being a gigantic fanny here either.  I’m all for getting kids in to zombies and spooky stuff.  I just wonder if it raises a lot of weird questions or ideas.  I mean, even looking at a skull freaks me out.  Not in a cry-baby way – just in a “grim reminder of your own mortality” way.  I can’t remember who said it (I want to say Sartre or Descartes or Freud or someone!) but some smart dude once said “the greatest denial of mankind is that of his own death”.  I’m pretty sure if you told a child they were going to die, they’d start crying.  Perhaps they don’t make the link between a skeleton and the former person those bones used to occupy.  I shouldn’t be the one to inform them of that.  I remember, quite clearly, the rapid realisation I had that I would die.  I was in my early twenties.  Yes, it took THAT LONG.

 

 

So there you have it.  I’m sure to little kids it’s just a fun, scary movie about ghosts the olden days.  Basically though, I’m glad I don’t have to explain ParaNorman to a child because I’d probably confuse them and probably make them cry.

 

 

Sep 14

Taylor Swift: Style Crush, Girl Crush (Level 2)

 

 

You know who I have a second degree girl crush on*? Taylor Swift. This photo confirmed it.

Taylor Swift at the Canadian Country Music Awards

Taylor Swift at the Canadian Country Music Awards

Let’s call it a style crush. Taylor Swift is everyone’s favourite faux-nerd celebrity giraffe. She is a pale waif with coltishly long limbs. She is delicate of bone and facial feature. She has perfectly blonde hair. When Ms Swift first rocked up to the world of celebutards, there were a lot of corkscrew ringlets going on. I wasn’t feeling that. It made her seem even more giraffe like, somehow.

She’s found a style groove now though and I personally covet love it. For a start, straight off the bat, Miss Swift has the enviable and rare combination of being able to rock a bright red lip and then having the guts to do it. Swiftie seems like the kind of girl who just accidentally stumbled upon this glorious fact too instead of having a cooing make-up artist cajoule her in to doing so. Either that or she’s fooling us all, Ziggy Stardust style.

Taylor Swift Beauty Fashion Lip Stick Red Lipstick

Red Lips

Her ponytails are just perfection. I don’t know how she does it but she can make an otherwise plain on pony, on someone else at least, look girly, cute and gorgeous.  I think her this is some how linked her enormous fringe.  What I’m glad about though is that this fringe isn’t the Zooey Deschanel so-twee-I-want-to-punch-you type.  Just take a look at her latest music video to see it’s magnificence:

 

Taylor Swift We Are Never Getting Back Together Video Fashion Lipstick Hair

Red lips and ponytail rocked in the We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together video

Now, unlikely the make-up, some savvy hairdresser definitely had their hand in this, I reckon:

Taylor Swift Hairstyles Hair Ponytail

You can also do this with a ponytail.

Her new music video also glimpses the main reason I love me a Swiftie: her dresses. Taylor Swift is the fifties high school sweetheart we all wish we could be. She is so often nailing these types of dresses. What I love is that they just go to show, you can look stunning and not have to show your whole ass-cheeks or some disgusting side boob. You can have class! You can look elegant and sophisticated but also look girlie and fun at the same time! I think her giraffe like proportions help here. A shorter girl, for example, might look dumpy or twee in these (okay, when I say “shorter girl”, I mean me).

My tipping point in the envy stakes, however, comes with the fact that her skinny legs allow her to wear flats with dresses too. You’ve heard about my ill-fated love affair with brogues: they make me look matronly. On Swiftie, however, those adorable dresses with flats make her look so carefree, feminine and lovely that I think my head might just explode.

Taylor Swift Style Fashion Dresses Ladylike

 

Anyway, I’ve gushed enough. Basically, she’s friggin’ blessed. In summary, however, to obtain the Tay-Tay triumvirate of awesome (that is, when you remove her unattainably perfect giraffe genes), one must find the following:

1. The perfect ponytail
2. Just the right shade of red lip
3. Gorgeous fifties dresses

 

Go forth and frolic.   Just don’t wear this…I hated this on her:

Taylor Swift at the MTV VMAs

At the MTV VMAs. Do not want!

 

* For those of you who don’t know about the levels of girl crushes, please see the below by a level one girl crush, Jenna Marbles (also one of my favourite videos on the internet ever):

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 12

Has Twitter Effed Up Your Life? My Thoughts on Twitter Overshare and Twit-Dooceing.

Shut up twitter stop tweeting

“Just stop tweeting!”

 

You know that saying “Better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt” (which may or may not be said by Abraham Lincoln)…does that apply to Twitter? You’d think on the face of it when considering that quote, there’s three types of twitter account: the good, the bad and the silent. The silent, far from being given any kind of intellectual benefit of the doubt, are simply ignored. Shame on you egg avatar! Have a “good” twitter account and you’re smart, funny, influential (or you’re Kim Kardashian and spend all day tweeting about salads you never eat because you’re getting paid to do it). Have a “bad” twitter account and at best you look a bit thick. At worst, you lose your job and/or the whole world thinks you’re a terrorist.

Now, obviously there’s a common sense level of twitter-savvy. For example, if you one day post a picture of you outside Microsoft saying “My office lololol” and the next day you say “OMG BILL GATES SUCKS!!11! ROFL!!” – well, you’re asking to get fired really, aren’t you? That basic level of carefulness covered however, what’s overshare? Is there such a thing?

I guess you have to ask what is the actual purpose of Twitter. It seems that shouting your message from the rooftops is inviting to everyone. We get to see Kelly Osbourne twitting pictures of herself looking rough in her pyjamas (presumably because she thinks she looks thin), Marks and Spencer inform us of meal deals we can’t buy because they’re not vegan and Kim Kardashian eats another sponsored salad. I’ve probably seen more pictures of Peaches Geldof’s baby that grandpa Bob has. Beneath the celebu-spawn and glittering lol-telligensia, there are thousands and thousands of clever and witty individuals and an extra zillion average Joe Bloggs sending their little snippets on every topic imaginable in to the ether.

I’ve been on twitter for over three years and spouted over 30,000 self-important tweets. I’ve had to put my account on to private because I just tweet without thinking. In normal life, I’m the kind of person that immediately changes the moment they know they’re being watched. When the big cheese at my work strolls down the corridor, I instinctively sit bolt upright in my chair and frantically scrabble to remember what I’m SUPPOSED to be doing. I can’t talk to people’s parents because I mumble and pause and the awkwardness kills me. There are so few people in my life that I actually feel comfortable talking with that to the other people I know, I probably seem really aloof or painfully socially inept. All I can say is, yo, I probably am.

So enter twitter. Everyone and nobody all at once. Obnoxious little comment lol 140 char, SEND. Wow, that was fun. Oh wait, I’ve thought of something EVEN MORE obnoxious and stupid to say…type, type, type, SEND. Oooh now that person said that girl looked fat, lol out loud, RETWEET. Hey, who cares, no one knows me on here right? There’s something so inexplicably pleasant about submitting your thought in to the universe. I think it’s a three-fold thing. Firstly, sticking it in an electronic envelope and mailing it to cyber space gets it out of your head, next it’s like texting your bff without you even having to have one. Wow, social interaction without sociability or intereaction! Truly a 21st century invention. Lastly, there’s a tiny subconscious part of you that thinks “herrr someone might find this funny”. Or maybe that last part doesn’t ever come.

My problem is in the spur of the moment, when I’m tweeting this non-existent bff the stuff that is actually in my head, I forget that it’s being broadcast to the whole world (or my few hundred followers at least as my profile’s on private). The catharticism, untrue anonymity and blissful brevity of twitter means my usual unintentional falseness, the falseness that comes with the face to face interaction, is gone. That kind of scares me when I dwell on it. Real people reading my twitter? Dear God, please no.

I learnt an interesting and relevant word the other day: “Dooce”. It’s the name of a blogger but now it’s also a verb (e.g. “Have you ever been Dooced?”) and it means to get in trouble for something that you’ve blogged about. I’ve never been dooced about something on my blog, hell I’ve only been here a few months, but have I ever got in trouble for something I’ve tweeted? Abso-frickin-lutely.

So I’ve been twitter dooced by my ex-boyfriend. Many times. It was actual a real problem in our relationship. Things I didn’t even notice I’d said and certainly didn’t think he’d even read would make him furious. The less said there the better really. All I’ll say is: there’s a reason you go and bitch to your real life bff about your boyfriend.

I’ve also been the twit-doocer. My step-sister is a naïve and carefree teen. She’s meek and polite in person but on twitter she’s a belligerent potty mouth. Firstly, she’s foolish enough to use her actual full name on twitter and her account is public. I mean, seriously? School boy error, love. See basic level of twit-savvy above. Secondly, she’s written very mean things about my dad on there, she’s published her phone number, said she’s done drugs…wtf? I remember one time we went to a restaurant and someone asked her “Do you smoke?” and she’s like “Ohhh no, of course not”. Mere months later, she is posting pictures of the hundreds and hundreds of cigarettes she bought in an airport in Africa. So she’s either lying to us real-lifers about not smoking or lying to the innernets about the fact she does smoke. Why? Why would you do that?

Once, I had a car that I was selling and my dad told me she was interested in buying it. I told her the price and left it at that. Later, I went on to twitter and she had tweeted that she had bought my car and that it was “shit”. Well, that’s fair enough. If it’s your car, you’re entitled to call it shit but it’s not really your car until you pay me, sweetie. So weeks go by and I’m patiently waiting to be paid. Then I get fed up and text my dad asking when I’m going to get my money. He replied “Oh, I don’t think she ever wanted it.”. Well, twitter seems to disagree! I just think that’s such a silly thing to lie about. She’s also done things that really niggle me like posting a picture of my cat saying it’s hers. Why lie? Seriously, what’s the point? I know you’re a teenager and teenagers do stupid things but really? You’re lying about a cat?!

I have to cut her some slack, obviously, because she’s a teen. I lied about drinking and boys and god knows what else when I was that age too. We didn’t have twitter then. Facebook hadn’t even been invented. That’s really for the best, I think. I say stupid stuff on twitter now, that’s definitely true. I wouldn’t straight-out lie though. What’s the point? I don’t know the internets. I’m not trying to impress anyone.

So I guess you’re sat there thinking “well just watch your mouth and leave people to say what they want”, aren’t

Stop tweeting shut up twitter

Or put this guy as your wallpaper.

you? Watching your mouth is easier said than done. Given my inability to act like a normal person in real life and given that twitter is effectively broadcasting yourself to the whole world, if I were to only tweet what I’d be happy for the whole world to hear, (you know: my nan, the Queen, my boss, Harrison Ford, my mum), I don’t think I’d ever tweet at all.

So maybe the old “Better to remain silent…” adage is right if you’re able to give up twitter – there’s no point in being silent and staying. If you can’t give it up completely however, like all things, it’s about learning the fine art of moderation. Like any normal human being. You probably didn’t even need to read this to know that. I, however, had to write this to discover it.

Man, I hate being a grown up.

 

 

Sep 10

Autumn/Winter ’12 Handbags: my pick!

There’s a lot of new products in the shops at the moment.  It’s almost as if the high street is chivvying us out of summer and on with our lives.  Coats are prominent, as are cardigans.  I feel like they’re saying: “Remember tights?  You might want to think about buying some more.  Did you get fat this past year?  Buy a new coat.  Boots.  Oh, you’ll definitely needs boots, dear.”

There’s a definite kind of back to school, muted or rich tones, structured-luxe feel to autumn/winter’s accessories.  As if to get us in the mood for bundling up and strolling among the fallen leaves.  I’m all for structured luxe when it comes to accessories.  There’s nothing I like better than rocking a foxy bag that makes me feel like I’m in Mad Men.  I’m down with that.  I get casual and I get slouchy but I just can’t pull that off.  It’s not what I find appealing and it’s not how I want to come across.

I try to keep to small bags, myself.  Mainly because if I have a bag of any actual size, I will fill it completely.  I’ll have half used packs of paracetamol in it, rocks with willies drawn on them, a thousand tampons and my filofax that hasn’t been used in six months.  They give me back ache and I look like a scruffy bag lady.  Plus, I think big bags make my frame look bulky.  Dainty, little petite girls look cute with over-sized totes but I just look like a heifer who might have half a roast chicken in her bag.

I try to use clutches if I’m going out.  Not out-out but just to see a friend or to go to the movies.  If you’re a girl, I’m sure you’ll sympathise with the almost SAS levels of minimalism this requires, especially when you consider my earlier admissions.  Just getting the damn things closed are a feat only achievable by jedis and wizards.  My mobile is the Samsung Galaxy Note (read: brick sized giganto phone) and I’ll be honest: it never fits inside.

Clutches are cute though.  They immediately make whatever you’re doing feel fancier and they give you something to do with your hands if you’re feel awkward (read: ALL THE FREAKING TIME).  They also, and bear with me here because I know this probably makes no sense, make me feel more feminine and weirdly sophisticated as they’re kind of old fashioned.  For a start, Kate Middleton always carries one and she’s a frickin’ princess (shut up pedants).  Plus, I remember reading this thing ages ago about fashion in the fifties and sixties and the article said that back then, bags didn’t have shoulder straps.  They weren’t fashionable or they hadn’t been invented or something.  All bags had either little handles (a la Christina Hendricks) or they didn’t have any at all.  So by using a clutch, however tenuously, I feel all ladylike and sixties.  Basically, girls, it’s awesome.  Try it.  Heave-out the hobos, toss out the totes!

So I’m partial to buying the occassional bag, basically.  That said, as a vegan, I’ve got a gripe.  I’ll make it quick because I’m sure you’d rather look at the pretty pictures than hear a vegan moan.  Picture this: I walk in to Accessorize and I see a ton of gorgeous, lady-like bags in earthy hues.  Right up my street, guys.  I pick one of them up.  The price tag says £55.00.  Holy shit, I think, this must be leather.  I’m a bit gutted because 1. I can’t afford it and 2. It’s leather, so I wouldn’t buy it anyway.  Being an annoying nosy sod, I look for the label inside.  When I find it, I’m irked to discover the bag isn’t leather.  Well, that’s great because I can buy it now but, my dears, why on God’s green Earth does a bag that isn’t leather cost £55.00??  Why are you doing this?  Seriously, you’re a high street shop.  I can go in to New Look and buy a similar bag for £15.00.  Why hike your prices up?  I’m not saying go and justify your prices buy killing a load of cows, I’m pleased as punch your bags aren’t leather.  All I’m saying is, I don’t think your bag is of sufficient quality to warrant such a high price tag.  That’s all.

And with that, my friends, here’s my pick of autumn/winters goodies.  I know I said I’m in to clutches but I know practically they’re not always possible (as in, when ever you need to carry more than a credit card and a car key).  So here’s a shit ton of awesome (all vegan, natch):

Autumn winter handbag handbags purse purses structured luxe
3. Square Tote Bag, Next, £26.00 (this looks plain in picture but gorgeous in real life, I’m 80% sure I’ll buy it come pay day!)

Sep 08

Why you shouldn’t wear Lynx deodorant (AKA the smell of revulsion)

Lynx Deodorant Do not wear fucking hideous

Fifty shades of hideous

It amazes me that guys still do this.

 

Guys, let me tell you: girls hate Lynx.  Don’t wear it.*

 

We’ve always hated it.  Our hatred of it starts at about 11, when we first start secondary school.  At this point, Lynx is used by boys the same way a Breitling watch might be to us as grown ups.  According to the male species, its use at this age demonstrates that the user is one sophisticated motherfucker.  It states that he is mature, self aware and appealing to the ladies.  It shows that he gets pocket money.

 

This isn’t the message that’s actually conveyed however.  What us 11 year old girls took from witnessing the ridiculous exhibition of a boy spraying half a can of Lynx about their person, is that said boy wanted us to die torturous deaths by asphyxiation.  That’s where it all started.

 

This process led us to ritualistically despise every new Lynx fragrance as they were launched.  Teenage boys, I can only assume, follow the herd when it comes to making their cosmetic choices and so at any one time, the overpowering hum of Lynx Africa, Lynx Inca or Lynx whatever’s-just-come-out-now would follow you about your lessons and seep from behind the boys’ changing room door.

 

As our teens progress, Lynx became less a status symbol and more woefully, misguidedly practical.  Thinking back to those long afternoons in sweltering maths classes after a exuberant games of football or rounders or rugby, I can’t help but feel endlessly sorry for our teachers.  We must have smelt utterly repugnant.  Nowadays, I can’t even imagine chucking my clothes back on after physical exertion and joining 30 people doing the same to get down to the serious business of trigonometry…and that’s without the teen’s ill-found beliefs regarding the properties of Lynx.  It’s just gross.  It doesn’t bear thinking about.  We must have been sweaty, smelly, hormonal messes.  But that’s what we did.  With great numbers of us erroneously believing that dousing ourselves in these ten-a-penny, tacky scents would somehow completely mask our own stinking bodies.  To my horror, in later life, I discovered that this practise is known as (possibly racistly?) taking a “Portuguese bath”.  I can’t believe people would name it, let alone actually think it’s an acceptable custom.

 

Lynx Deodorant Do not wear fucking hideous

Joke’s on you, motherfuckers (ha, you wish you did).

And this leads me on to another (real life, relevant now) point: Lynx won’t stop you sweating and therefore won’t stop you smelling.  It’s a deodorant.  That’s all.  De-odor-ant.  As stupid as this sounds, a deodorant isn’t what you want from a deodorant.  What you actually want is an anti-perspirant deodorant.  That stops you sweating AND masks any funk you may have.  Deodorants, as their names suggest, just tries to get rid of your funk, which, of course, there’ll be a ton of because nothing is stopping you sweating.  Lynx, almost making fun of themselves by this point I think, actually introduced a range of anti-perspirant deodorants a little while ago call “Lynx Dry”.  You know what that means?  Everything else is (and always has been through woman’s ill suffering lives) Lynx Wet as far as I’m concerned.

 

And this is all without so much as mentioning their utterly ridiculous adverts.

 

So, as much as I didn’t think it needed saying, guys: stop wearing Lynx.  If you’re over the age of 12, stop wearing it.  It doesn’t do what you think it does, it doesn’t smell good and any women you’re trying to impress will think of sweaty, socially backwards teenage boys in school ties.

 

Just buy Sure roll-on for god’s sake, it’s not that hard.

 

 

* I understand that Lynx is called Axe in the U.S..  So for the next ten minutes, yanks, just call Axe “Lynx”, okay?

Sep 06

GQ Awards: Our Olympians Win Gold In the Sartorial Stakes

If you asked me what I knew about GQ magazine, I’d probably say the following: “men’s magazine, not hideously chauvinistic, usually has bad-ass covers”.  The only time I’ve ever seen the inside was when, as an impressionable teen, I bought it simply because Dita Von Teese looked fearsome on the front cover.

Michael Fassbender GQ Covers Best GQ Covers Hot GQ CoversJoseph Gordon-Levitt GQ Covers Best GQ Covers Hot GQ CoversDaniel Craig GQ Covers Best GQ Covers Hot GQ Covers

I can’t say that I know any men who buy it though and, if it’s anything like Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar, its content is probably only readily attainable to about 0.5% of the male population anyway.  I know women like looking at pictures of gorgeous women (see Dita Von Teese comment above and also this) but do men pour over pictures of foxy dudes in awesome suits? I’m guessing they must do.  In a way, I think we’re dupes for buying these kinds of magazines but I guess it’s escapism.

 

Anyway, my brief brushes with GQ magazine lead me to think they’re pretty damn classy.  I’m thinking Christian Bale in American Psycho classy.  I spent the best part of a lunch hour on twitter, for example, extoling the virtues of waistcoats after seeing Mr Gordon-Lovett’s cover. For those of you that are interested, my philosophy on waistcoats (formed while drunk), goes something like this: If they’re wearing a waistcoat, they’re alright.  If Michael Bublé does it, it must be alright.

 

Given the sophisticated rep GQ garners (by mere A4 glossy pages alone), I was therefore simply thrilled to see Team GB’s Olympic athletes done up to nines at the GQ awards last night.  Our Olympians, probably having much better understanding of what’s between GQ’s covers than me, certainly kicked it up a notch in the style stakes.  Should have known really, they’re a competitive bunch.

 

GQ gave Team GB their best team award.  I’d have said, if this was a women’s magazine, that they’d made that award up just for the Olympics but it’s conceivable that men normally give such awards to United Manchester City Albion United FC or whatever they’re called.  So I’ll let them off.

 

If I was giving out awards to those in attendance, Bradley Wiggins would have got the “Bro, You Look Awesome” award for his pale check double breasted suit with red accents.  I don’t care what you say about his outfit’s wearability by anyway else, Bradley and his sideburns rock that look hard.  In fact, his sideburns and general mod demeanour make him untouchable in my book.  Dude’s an icon.


Bradley Wiggins Victoria Pendleton Olympians GQ Awards

He looks like he’s cycled straight out of the sixties and in to our hearts.  Boom! 

Victoria Pendleton was transformed from bare-faced, lycra-wearing, medal-winning national sweetheart to sleek, chic uber-fox.  For the first time in my life, I’m considering competitive cycling because damn, VP is looking fiii-iine.  The cut of her dress, ironically by Stella McCartney (designer of the verging on superhero Olympic get up), perfectly displays her Übermensch athlete body without being hoochy in the slightest. For once, there’s not an ounce of jealousy in me either because unlike lithe, thankless teenagers in their ubiquitous hotpants who think it’s their god given right to be hot (ahem, Miley), VP has worked flaming hard for her banging body.   So snaps to you, VP.  Plus, your complexion is beautiful and I love your eye make up.  Double plus, you look better than Katherine Jenkins in the same dress.  

Victoria Pendleton Olympians GQ Awards

Bradley Wiggins Victoria Pendleton Olympians GQ Awards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will say that I’m not keen on the shoes but each to their own.  I have a long standing dislike for super pointy shoes dating back to my school prom.  Let’s leave it there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, I have to mention Jessie J and Claudia Winkleman.  For the avoidance of doubt, these two are obviously not Olympic athletes.  Jessie J has undergone a gloriously speedy metamorphosis from brothel creeper and baroque print wearing human equivalent of a punch up in a bubble gum factory to actual real life female.  All I can say is that I’m endlessly grateful.  As you will see from what she wore to the GQ awards (What the heck, let’s all wear caretakers’ jackets that have slits up to our armpits), Jessie J is blessed with the most fabulous legs.  These legs look all the more fabulous due to her choice of footwear (her stylist’s more like).  The cut of these shoes dip under the ankle, elongating her already magnificently long and slender limbs.  Totally flattering.  Now that’s something us mere mortals can apply to our own sartorial choices.  Plus, I bet as far as dangerously high heels go, they’d be pretty comfy.

Jessie J GQ Awards

In days gone by

Jessie J GQ Awards

That’s better

Jessie J GQ Awards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Claudia Winkleman GQ Awards

Dafuq?

 

 

Now Claudia.  Claudia, Claudia, Claudia.  Why do you eternally look like a mischievous toddler who’s been caught with her hand in mummy’s make up bag?  Seriously.  If you’re going to dress like a kid, I’m going to treat you like one: Get that fringe out of your eyes and stop smirking from beneath it.  It’s not even cute on precocious teenagers so you, madam, are certainly too far down the road for it.  Reinforcing this coquettish, mawkish toddler image is that god awful lipstick.  Who told you that looked good?  Did you look in a mirror before you left the house?  Did you actually smear it on like a three year old?  I’m not a fan of the peter pan collar (it just adds to the kiddie look), the low-rise trousers aren’t great and pedants would point out you’re cutting it fine with the white shoes/labour day situation (I personally don’t follow that rule).  Plus they’re so clumpy.  They remind me of storm troopers.  You do seem to be wearing a cool ring though.  I like your ring.

                                                            

* Just as an aside, I know that must have been a long time ago because now I detest Dita Von Teese and think her face is shaped like a potato.  Dita, I know you want to look retro and that means red lipstick but if wearing red lipstick makes your mouth look so small that you end up with a chin like Bruce Willis, don’t do it dear.

 

Sep 04

Total Recall 2012: A Non-Review Review

I would like to tell you three things about the new Total Recall film.  I’m not going to review it for you.  There’s a hundred and one film review websites out there with people who are infinitely more movie smartypants than me and questionably more verbose.  I’d tear it a new one anyway because there wasn’t much I liked about it and who wants to read that?  Besides, I’ve not even seen the first Total Recall film.  Would you trust me to review this one for you?  I didn’t even have a note book in the cinema or anything.

 

Here are the three things I’d like to tell you about this film.

 

  1. There was a scene where Colin Farrell is dashing through what looks like immigration in a futuristic
    Total Recall Review Style Colin Farrell Kate Beckinsale

    He looked a lot cooler than this.

    equivalent to an airport.  He’s wearing a translucent full length raincoat.  I like to call them “hero coats” because people like the Doctor and Jack Harkness in Doctor Who would always wear them when they were racing about defeating aliens and saving Rose Tyler.   So Colin Farrell was in a see-through hero coat bombing it away from cops and robots and stuff while his coat flared out behind him, that bit was damned cool.  It’s just a shame he took it off immediately after and so it only lasted for about ten seconds.

  2. Visually, it looked like Blade Runner.  This excited me because I thought Blade Runner looked awesome, mainly because it had Harrison Ford in it.  I think Blade Runner is the peak of Harrison Ford hotness.  Even hotter than Han Solo and whoa-oa-oa you know shit’s getting real when I say that.  He’s my dream dude.  Anyway – tangent there – visually, it looked like Blade Runner.  It’s murky, the streets are bustling, everything’s pseudo-Asian.  It’s pretty cool looking.  I liked it.  They also employ a little “used universe” v “imperial might” to show that the poor people live in crud, technology is awesome and the bad guys are bad ass.Total Recall Review Style Colin Farrell Kate BeckinsaleTotal Recall Review Style Colin Farrell Kate Beckinsale
  3. Kate flaming Beckinsale ruined this movie.  I’m not even joking.  The ending was ridiculous, the foreshadowing was lame but Kate Beckinsale….she was the suck factor that ruined the whole thing.  A stagehand jigging a coat rack back and forth would have been better in this movie than Kate Beckinsale.
Total Recall Review Style Colin Farrell Kate Beckinsale

Dafuq’s up with this smokey eye sex face? Slut.

What really irked me, and this is something I think could have only happened in a boy oriented film, was what they’d slapped on Ms Beckinsale’s face though.  Bearing in mind she’s supposed to be an ass-kicking, brawling, sharp-shooter cop type lady, why in God’s name is she smeared in black smokey eye like some brazen hooker at 10am?  Why has she got a head of tousled curls like a Kardashian sister?  And so she stomped around in her inconceivably high (for impromptu martial arts) heels like some spurned desperate housewife.  I mean, seriously, why are you being that transparent?  Do you need to spell everything out to us?  You might as well have called her Bad Robo Sex Lady and got a robot to play her with massive pointy coner boobs.  It was just ridiculous.  As was her acting.

Total Recall Review Style Colin Farrell Kate Beckinsale

This is what men want, apparently.

And can I just ask, please, why the hell was her hair not even the slightest out of place when she’s in the middle of a massive explosion?  Note that I’m not asking “why the hell wasn’t the hair burnt off her effing scalp, as it would be in real life?”.  All I want is just a glimmer of believability…maybe just a tad windswept.  No? No, film makers?  Fine.

 Then, along comes Miss Jessica Biel.  Miss love interest.  Miss look at my girlish pony tail and non-threatening nearly nude make-up.  Miss let me chase after you, Colin Farrell, in my non-threatening flat shoes.  It’s obvious what Total Recall wants from a woman, that’s all I’m saying.  It’s obvious and it’s pathetic and it’s cliché.  Boom.

If you pay to see movies, don’t waste your money for ten seconds of awesome coat and a lifetime of Beckinsdale hate.  You know what, actually, it’s not her fault.  It’s not her fault she’s hot.  For that, I say, good on you Kate.  You probably work really hard on your stairmaster and you probably never eat chocolate.  So snaps for the effort.  I guess I should actually turn my hate to the dumbasses who make films like this with their ridiculously flimsy female characters.  I mean guys, why you no make good female characters??

Total Recall Review Style Colin Farrell Kate Beckinsale

This is my beef with the Total Recall film neatly summed up in one picture.

 


 

Pretty much completely on topic but too messy to put in that actual blog post.  In trying to find a picture of Colin Farrell in THE translucent raincoat, I discovered this picture of Zhora from Blade Runner…doing what?  Running about in a translucent raincoat, of course!  Just goes to show either this whole film was just based on Blade Runner or I’m amazing or we’ll all wear translucent raincoats in the future or Philip K Dick is a prophet or whatever.

Total Recall Review Style Colin Farrell Kate Beckinsale

I’m reading Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said at the moment…FYI.

Sep 03

Vegan Chocolate – It Exists, Idiots (AKA super fun happy learn about vegan chocolate here)

It never fails to surprise me when people think that I go without chocolate because I’m vegan.

Hello?! Are you kidding me?  I’m a fucking girl, of course I eat chocolate!

Here’s the phrase that I parrot out to all the all people I meet that have this ridiculous idea that vegans waste away on salad and lentils:  “With the exceptions of meringue and clotted cream,  whatever food item you think of, there is a vegan equivalent.  They’re the only two things of which I haven’t found a vegan version.  I don’t go without.  Whatever you think of, they’ve made a vegan version.”

(By the way, if anyone can point me in the direction of vegan meringue or vegan clotted cream, I’d be most grateful.)

So with that said, my dears, let me take you by the hand, be reeeeally patronising and introduce you to the world of vegan chocolate as I know it.

I don’t really go in to all the fancy-pants dark chocolate.  There are mountains of excellent dark chocolate out there and if you’re interested in it, I suggest you talk a stroll around your local Hotel Chocolat (the shop assistants are really helpful there, they’ll cream themselves at the thought of helping you pick something) or get your mitts on some Green and Black.

Vegan chocolate dairy free chocolate allergy lactose intolerantWith that out of the way, my favourite chocolate, without a doubt, are Fry’s Creams.  There are three versions: chocolate cream, peppermint cream and orange cream.  I don’t think I could pick a favourite out of the three.  Maybe peppermint…I’m not sure.  They’re dark chocolate with gooey, sugary nomminess inside.  They’re awesome basically.  Fry’s Creams aren’t readily available but they’re not too hard to find.  They tend not to be in Tescos or Co-ops but you are likely to find them in smaller corner shops and sweet shops.  Actually, big Tescos sell chocolate creams in four packs (read: eat four in one go).  The corner shop about three minutes from my work sells chocolate creams, so I regularly stuff my face with them.  It is magnificent.
Vegan chocolate dairy free chocolate allergy lactose intolerantMy next favourite chocolate, for the simple fact it’s so easily available, is Asda’s Free From Chocolate Orange chocolate.  This comes in button and bar form.  Plus the bars are a little smaller than normal chocolate bars, so it makes you feel like you’re not being TOO fat if you eat one.  The chocolate isn’t the best.  It’s a dairy free milk chocolate, rather than being dark chocolate.  That means it’s a bit sugary for my tastes BUT for you people going “wah I couldn’t be vegan because I hate dark chocolate”, well, it might be just up your street.  So quit your whining.  Plus it’s chocolate orange!  Everyone loves chocolate orange!

Next up, Kinnerton Luxury Dark Chocolate.  I also get this from my local Asda.  They don’t always have it.  It says it’s dark chocolate but I don’t actually find it that dark.  It tastes more milk chocolatey to me.  When I went vegan all those years ago, I made the change around Easter time.  I remember my head nearly exploding when I saw that Asda were selling a Kinnerton vegan chocolate easter egg!  Needless to say, I bought it and consumed a lot of it right there and then (I was ignorant to the ways of vegan chocolate then too, y’see).  I seem to remember having a Kinnerton chocolate bunny once.  Anyway, I really like this chocolate.  It’s  good quality and not too sweet.

Vegan chocolate dairy free chocolate allergy lactose intolerant

Vegan chocolate dairy free chocolate allergy lactose intolerant

Buccaneer, Twilight, Jokerz and Mahalo bars are things of beauty.  They are pretty darn difficult to find.  The only places I’ve seen these in the flesh are the Secret Society of Vegan’s shops, VX, in London and at vegan fayres.  They’re available online all over the place.  If and when you see them, dears, friggin’ buy as many as you can afford.  Each of these four bars is the vegan equivalent of a mainstream chocolate bar.  So there’s a Mars bar, a Milky Way, a Bounty and a Snickers bar.  Whenever I see these, they are horrendously over priced but by jingo, they taste awesome!

 Lastly, Moo Free Chocolate is the big daddy for those of you that want a decent dairy free milk chocolate.  The only place I know that sells it, other than online, is Holland and Barrett, so it’s harder to get hold of than most of the chocolates listed here (except the Mars knock offs) but it’s not impossible to find.  You might want to stock up on it when you can.  Moo Free is an excellent dairy free milk chocolate.  I’d say it’s the best on the market.  I remember the first time I tried it at the Brighton (or was it Bristol?) vegan fayre a few years ago…I was so surprised by the quality that I bought a ton of it then and there.  I remember sitting there with my boyfriend of the time, shoveling their chocolate drops in to our faces and grinning like idiots.  We were easily amused, I guess.

Vegan chocolate dairy free chocolate allergy lactose intolerant

So there you go.  It’s by no means conclusive (you could build a veritable chocolately palace from all the vegan chocolate on the market) but there’s my list of my favourite vegan chocolate, to prove to the blissfully ignorant among you that: yes, vegans can (and do) eat chocolate.

Guess what?  Vegans can get fat too.

*coughs* Don’t eat to much vegan chocolate. *coughs*

Aug 31

Harry Potter is a Jedi (hear me out)

“A long time ago in  galaxy far, far away…”

 

That alone says it all, bro.  Star Wars happened in the past.*

 

We’re introduced to the universe at the height of civilisation.  Society and technology is bad-ass.  Jedi are abundant.  You know the story as well as I do, shit gets real, Anakin goes fucking mental and the Empire ensues.  Cue Luke and Han in their “used universe”.  The day gets saved, people get redeemed, the ewoks sing a song.  Woo-hoo!

 

Now, the reason I mentioned the used universe…when A New Hope was introduced in 1977, audiences didn’t have the back story to Vader’s rise.  They didn’t know how shiny Padme’s ship used to be or how Coruscant was friggin’ epic.  The way Lucas told them that the world they were now seeing, and that their heros inhabited, was a bit cruddy and oppressive was by showing them that their stuff and their homes were manky and dirty.  Personally, I love the look but that’s besides the point.  What I want to say is that time passes and things deteriorate.  In Vader’s short time in power, the whole universe went right down the swanny.  (Let’s ignore the fact that the most practical reason for this actually happening is because Lucas made that film like thirty years before the others and we have wicked cool computers now that do fancy CGI shit.)

 

It’s also worth noting at this point that in the last three films, Luke’s not the greatest jedi ever.  He’s powerful, of course, don’t get me wrong.  Anakin’s his dad, of course he’s powerful but if you compare Luke’s lightsaber fights with the fights in the first three films…he’s not great.  I’m not criticising him, he only had a fraction of the training a padwan would have.  I just want to make the point because I’ll be coming back to it later.

 

Now, imagine a shit ton of time passes after Luke and Han party on down with the ewoks on Endor.  I’m thinking “the dark ages after the renaissance” length of time.  If Luke and Leia are the only jedis in existence at this point (and calling Leia a jedi is a total stretch in itself), I’m guessing it’d be pretty bloody hard to keep up a decent lineage here.  Jedis might die out.

 

The thing is, however, you’ll always have people who are strong in the ways of the force.  What if, in a world where all traces of the civilisation Luke and Leia fought so hard to save are lost, people start realising they can move stuff or that they can influence people’s thoughts.  Maybe (because they’re in the dark ages) they attribute these powers to nature and trees and twigs and shit.  Maybe for some reason, they think they can only do these things when they’re holding a stick or branch.  Voila, your bog standard wand is invented.  Kerpow.  You see where I’m going with this?  Folklore and tradition rise up around these first few and before you know it, there’s Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic and potions and sorting hats.  People believe they need spells and wands because that’s the way their society is rooted and that’s what they’ve been taught.  That’s how things are.  They don’t realise they’re actually jedi**!  Here’s where Luke not being the best jedi ever comes in.  Luke’s proof that being taught the force in different ways gives you different abilities.  He doesn’t do bad ass saber fighting because he wasn’t taught that.  These guys learnt about the force themselves (presumably without actually knowing what it was) and that’s why their powers are different.

 

All I’m saying is, get me Harry Potter’s midichlorian count and we’ll see who’s talking rubbish. Saying he’s a jedi is provocative, I’ll give you that. That was as exaggeration. However, I’d be willing to put money on the fact his midichlorian count is through the flipping roof.  At the very least, he’s strong in the ways of the force.  End of.

 

 

image

This doesn’t sit well with me.

 

 

 

 

* As much as I love the movies, I haven’t really followed the books and so I’d be ever so grateful if you would excuse my ignorance in relation to post-film Star Wars universe canon for the entirity of this post.

 

** I can’t explain animagus either.  That’s the flaw in my plan.

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