Tag Archives: Arts

Tattoo For Two

A woman showing images tattooed or painted on ...

A woman showing images tattooed or painted on her upper body, 1907. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

What do you think about tattoo‘s? I’m going to have my second one done tomorrow with my Sister who is treating me for my birthday. The first one I had done was a band-aid tattoo, being terribly naïve I thought that if I had my then husbands name inked on my body it would save our flailing relationship and all would be well, 8 years later I am still baring his name on my wrist and we’re very definitely divorced! Luckily I have a collection of lovely watches that cover my faux pas until I can get around to having it lasered off. Is this a common theme in the world of ink, how many people have had tattoo’s that they regret? Mine cost £20 and took a whole 5 minutes to complete, 12 months to laser off and a lifetime to regret! I’m really looking forward to my new tattoo as it’s been ages since my last one and I’m safe in the knowledge that I really do want this one for the right reasons. It will also be enough to put me off having another for some time, I say this because while having your wrist tattooed isn’t painful, I did find it uncomfortable. When I was younger I always wanted to have tiny footprints inked around my stomach and back to signify that I travelled so much as a kid, thank god I gave that idea a wide berth (see what I did there) imagine those poor wrinkled battered footsteps now after two pregnancies stretched my poor stomach to within an inch of its life. Tattoo’s seems to split opinions with people, my Dad is dead against them and thinks I’m mental, but both my brother and sister have them too. Most of my friends have ink and some of their designs are huge and incredibly intricate compared to my pathetic two-inch scrawl! We’re agreed to have our designs done in an emerald-green kind of colour which we know will fade quicker than black but hey its a nice change, just really hoping it comes out well and my Dad doesn’t have a fit…..I did mention I’m almost 30 right?

 

 

 

NaBloPoMo

 

 

 

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When I Grow Up

It’s Sunday again, officially the start of the week, to me it represents the end of the weekend, kids go back to school, Geordie goes back to work and I go back to well….writing the blog! I’m definitely ready to go back to work now and my baby is ready to join nursery. I’ve been very lucky and managed to have 16 months off work from just before my youngest was born, although surviving on one wage has been a real challenge.

When I was 5 my primary teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I know this because I still have my work book from Mrs Gallagher’s class of ’88 and look at it now and then to critique my hand writing. I answered the question and drew accompanying illustrations of my career aspirations; a hairdresser, a nurse or a waitress. When I ask my little one the same question now her answers are teacher, shop keeper or hairdresser, what is it about lopping off other people’s hair that we find so attractive? Weird.

I’m asking myself that same question again now (for those trying to do the maths that 25 years later) I have had a lot of jobs over the last 13 years. I started my journey into the world of paid employment aged 17 for the local police authority, within four months I was greedy for the money and went from 2 hours a day after college to 40 hours a week and spending my wages within minutes of them hitting my bank account. I’ve just made a quick list and to date I have fulfilled the following roles;

Cleaner, catering assistant, telephonist, receptionist, sales assistant, project manager, administrator, office manager, estate manager, PA and Mum. I can honestly say that working as a hospital ward cleaner was easily the worst to bear. My favourite role so far was working for Puma, however that was purely down to working with an amazing retail manager and a fab bunch of people who made every shift comical.

If I was starting all over again and about to embark on my first foray into the world of work (providing I could find a job in the current economic climate) what would I want to do? Well ideally I’d like to be a published writer sitting day after day in my studio typing my next best-seller, although I think I would really miss having company. Maybe publishing? I could while away the hours reading manuscripts and losing myself plots and characters until 5pm on weekdays very easily, now that sounds like the job for me. Another variation on the books/reading theme would be a librarian but I think with a mouth as big as mine and with such a love of talking I would be getting my p45 quicker than I anticipated! I know I’ll have to grow up properly at some point and most likely stick to a job that I don’t really like but pays the bills and means we can go on holiday, however I’m hoping to knock out a best-seller before I succumb to that fate.

Have you ever known anyone who moans about not having to go to work? I know its absurd isn’t it? Well I will make you this promise, when I go back to work in the New Year I will not dare to moan even once about how long the hours are or how the daily commute is hell or how that woman in HR has definitely got it in for me. Nope not once. Promise.

NaBloPoMo

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Goodbye

It’s been a really strange few days, I’m not sure that strange is the right word but I am struggling to find an alternative.

Out of desperation for some adult company I emailed a local group called Salvage and Stitch a couple of weeks ago. Since I’ve moved to the countryside I’ve found it quite difficult to find groups that both me and my baby daughter can attend together. Well ones that don’t involve play dough, sing-a-long time and cookies and milk.

I’m into pattern cutting and garment construction and I’ve neglected my sewing machine for far too long so I thought I could kick my boredom into touch by brushing up on some new skills and meeting the other 7-8 members of the group for a natter. One of the two women who run the group, Katie, kindly replied to my email, my baby and me were welcome to join and she would add me to the mailing list for details of the next session which was due to begin mid September. Within a couple of days I received two emails and learned enough about the group to get excited.

Friday evening I received an email from a member of the group to say that Katie was in intensive care at the hospital.

On Sunday she died.

I read the email and felt a sudden sense of loss, I couldn’t help but shed a tear for a lady that I don’t even know. I have three emails of words from her, I’ve never spoken to her, she could be 21 or 71 for all I know. Yet I woke up this morning feeling sad and down.

Can you grieve for someone you don’t know?

Last night I asked my sister the same question, she said yes. When someone famous dies sometimes there are public displays of mourning, I’m picturing the scenes when Princess Diana died, people lining the streets with flowers as her motorcade passed by. When Michael Jackson died there were specialist phone lines set up for fans to speak to counsellors about their feelings. My sister mentioned that a massive online community grew from mourning the loss of Heath Ledger, so young and so absurdly talented. The thing is, I don’t know anything about Katie, was she super talented, young or old, does she have a family of her own?

I felt that it was fitting for me to write a tribute to Katie and to thank her for being so kind to me when I really needed company and a distraction from what I consider to be a boring life. Thank you for reminding me how precious it is.

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What’s That Coming Over The Hill

I am a massive scaredy cat, I am frightened of everything. This admission follows me catching the opening 3 minutes of The Walking Dead on Channel 5 last night as Geordie lounged on the sofa stating ‘Hey that bloke out of Love Actually is in this, you’ll like it’. Needless to say even the delectable Andrew Lincoln wasn’t enough to make me sit through more than a few minutes of this particularly gruesome episode and I was sufficiently horrified to ask Geordie to turn it off even though I wasn’t in the room. Excessive you might think, yeah I’m that scared.

1959 Series Logo

1959 Series Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My ridiculous fear of well, most things started as a teenager when I used to watch X-Files and The Twilight Zone alone in my room, with the lights off and everything! I can still distinctly remember an episode of The X-Files where a guy got into people’s homes through teeny air conditioning vents, another man who chewed newspaper and made an underground den out of it, and one where a guy (see a theme appearing here, and women are said to be ‘weird’) locked his victims in an underground bunker and scared the living day lights out of them just staring at them through a small hatch. Pretty sure my friend Emma will know the finer details of each of those episodes, she’s a huge X-files fan still. I wonder why I didn’t find it so frightening back then, yet now when I walk my dog I rate everyone I see on how likely they are to abduct me?

Crime thrillers are my favourite type of fiction and I’ve read avidly since my late teens, I don’t suppose this has helped my poor nerves. I have read the books of many televised series but can’t watch it on tv. Wire In the Blood, Inspector Banks and Rebus have all held me captive during most of my pregnancy last year, but only in paper form. I think I trust my mind more than tv producers to conjure up less petrifying images that won’t have me sleeping with the light on, or making Geordie come to the toilet with me because I’m convinced there’s an alien/serial killer in our airing cupboard.

Cover of

Cover of Shaun of the Dead

The scariest film I have seen is Sleepy Hollow, go on….laugh. Christopher Walken is an absolutely amazing actor and I just about managed to get through that film by imagining him dancing like a loon in that Fat Boy Slim video. The best related story I can come up with is one my little sister has really enjoyed telling potential boyfriends in the past and involves a film that is billed as a comedy, not a horror. A few years ago we rented Shaun of the Dead on dvd, bought some Galaxy Minstrels to munch on and settled down to watch said ‘comedy’ Spoiler Alert!!! There is a brief part in the film where the main characters are in the pub trying to turn the lights back on at the fuse board, when the lights come back on there is an outline of ‘A LOT’ of zombies trying to get in against a glass panel door. This few moments of cinematography was enough to make me jump, much to the sheer delight of my sister who started wailing laughing on the sofa and pointing at my pyjama bottoms. At some point during the evening I had managed to miss my stupid big mouth with the Galaxy Minstrels which had then ended up down the cushion and ultimately melted against the heat of my bum on the sofa. So in short, it looked like I had crapped myself. I wasn’t THAT scared and it definitely was melted chocolate.

I’ve totally missed the boat on Dr Who, Twilight and dare I say it Harry Potter. It only took one look at the dementer’s and that was me channel hopping to find an episode of The Hairy Bikers cookery programme. Ah the safety of cake, everyone likes cake.

 

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The Early Shift

Its 7:26am and I’ve been sat at my desk for a little over an hour greedily pouring over my favourite websites to get my fashion/celebrity/ news hit before my little sleeping beauty wakes and demands instant feeding. I’m off work on maternity leave and whilst there is no doubt in my mind that my beautiful 6 month old baby is the most important thing in the world to me, I’m not ashamed to admit that Condenast comes a very close second!

If I try really hard I think I can still remember a time when such online activity was saved for lunch breaks at work, or early evenings with The One Show blurring away in the back ground. But sadly the time that was once free to ponder new season heel styles, the one-earring trend and latest H&M collaboration, seems to have vanished in a haze of Johnsons Baby shampoo!

I have an elder daughter who like most ‘first-born’ children, really taught me the ropes on this multitasking lark. I managed to continue to collect my beloved British Vogue, although if I’m completely honest with you, I still haven’t read all of them cover to cover, which I know, is sacrilege. It made me wonder where my priorities lie, and why it was so important to me to make sure I kept abreast of the latest developments on the world of fashion? I came to the conclusion that its something to do with wanting to stay firmly in my mid-twenties despite having two children, a husband and a mortgage. Somehow I’ve tapped into the notion that if I’m rocking a tribal print shell top and laser cut denim shorts I will be forever young, it doesn’t matter that I’m only going out to do the school run, surely? One of said daughters is named after the infamous genius that is Elie Saab, because when she was born I had the latest Hello! Ready to Wear Fashion Special on my bedside cabinet, and let me tell you, this particular Saab collection was knock out! Definitely a worthy reason to choose a fashion based name for my little one.

Now that I’m read this over again, I wonder if my dedication to fashion is a bit redundant, and that I make such efforts in vain? But wait…I’m only 30 this year, in my prime, the decade where its okay to still buy from the kids section at H&M (if you can get away with it) and the only people who’ll have an opinion are the school mums. Yeah well, I’m too cool for school. I think?

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The New Who’s Who

I have been an avid collector of British Vogue for 12 years now, never missed a single copy. My most prised possession in life is my 1982 November edition which is my birth related copy; it is framed and sits on my bedside table with the pride and devotion it deserves. I also have a Vogue bookcase in my living room, which a-la Karl Largerfeld, stores my entire catalogue beautifully, and is not to be touched by family, friends or visitors!

Whilst I adore my paper copy collection, I have warmed more recently to online branches of the Vogue Empire and in particular to daily updated articles such as Street Chic and SPY. This type of article pounces on random, fashionable members of the public with a stop, snap and interview reporting style.

A lot of publications are granting more and more column space to both star-studded and local events aiding this new fascination with Who’s Wearing What? From Hello! covering various weddings and red carpet events to the free Metro paper snapping Jo Public on her morning commute to work, we’re all so interested in what everyone is wearing.

What fascinates me are the smaller local articles featuring shoppers, workers and tourists alike who are totally unfamiliar with being stopped in the street and asked to pose for a picture. I love the attitude towards individualism and standing out from the crowd at least that seems to be the idea. Where so many young Kate Moss wannabe’s appear to be going wrong is with the interview. When your photo clearly shows you wearing an outfit straight from the Topshop store window, don’t answer like this;

Q. Who influences your style?

A. No one really, I like to stand out from the crowd and wear unusual items from vintage shops.

I know Topshop has been trading for a long time, but it’s not classed as Vintage just yet. And as for styling your own look, then at least mix it up with different accessories than what the merchandiser selected to put in the store window! You have to laugh at the naivety.

I don’t know if it’s a regional thing, but most of the young women who appear in my local paper all give the same answers and are all wearing the same AW10 trends. On the other hand, I do think it’s quite amusing to give Jo Public a soap box to tell the world how much of an individual she is compared to tomorrow’s individual in the same outfit.

If you are one of the lucky fashionista’s who gets snapped in the street, try to say something original, or at least something that doesn’t completely contradict your chosen outfit.  I’m just nipping out to get the paper…..

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Vivienne Westwood Hits out at Clones

Dame Vivienne Westwood, how could you hit out at us, your faithful, fashionable subjects? The only thing in my entire life I have ever saved up for was a pair of your buckled pirate boots, and yet you brand me with such harsh names.

‘People have never looked so ugly as they do today regarding their dress.’

I think ‘ugly’ is a bit harsh, yet the argument of the fashion-conscious general public looking like a one-style army, has definitely got legs. I have spent some time this morning reading articles about the so-called throw-away culture we have spiralled into , and even subjected myself to the Loose Women and their opinions on the matter and I’ve got to say that although I was shocked my the initial headline, I think Dame Westwood has half a point.

Dame Westwood is quoted as saying: ‘I don’t notice anybody unless they look great, and every now and again they do, and they are usually 70.’

Now I spend a large portion of my time on trains as I commute 150 miles twice a week and it’s got to be said, the platforms of Britain are bursting with exciting exhibitions of colour, pattern and styling. In particular Preston station always has an array of students boasting bold outfits which are a strong mix of current trends and old school classics. The older passengers I observe seem equally comfortable in their all weather parkers and walking shoes (my train stops in the Lake District, lot of hill walkers) I’m yet to come across a 70 year old worth a sneaky camera phone pic, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled. I’m guessing Dame Vivienne doesn’t spend much time on the West Coast Mainline??

There is no denying that with the emergence of more affordable clothing it’s never been easier to buy and discard an entire outfit only to go out and buy something new the following day. You can’t help but notice people on the high street sporting the same look, even the same ensemble in some younger cases, but surely that’s what fashion is all about, enjoying being part of something ever changing until you find what works for you? I believe in safety in numbers, and can identify with youngsters who follow a trend and take a serious interest in fashion in order to remain part of a crowd, I did it myself until I was old enough and more importantly confident enough to stand out.

I think the comment was unsympathetic to the society we live in, if EVERYTHING wasn’t so strained these days no doubt we’d all be swanning around in Westwood creations……oh dear do I sound like a 70 year old?

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