Saturday, 28 June 2014

Why I've not been blogging

It's been a while, hasn't it?  I hope you've all been enjoying the summer.  I know I have.

There've been a number of rather exciting reasons as to why I haven't been blogging recently.

Firstly - We've got a cat!  It's been quite time consuming settling her in and adjusting our lives to accommodate her but we love her dearly already.  Her name is Pearl because she purrs a lot.  I wanted it to be Purrl but we flipped a coin and my boyfriend won.  She's a rescue cat from Battersea Dogs and Cats so it's nice to feel we're doing our bit. There will definitely be lots more further on her to follow.  In the meantime, if anyone has any advice on how to prevent her losing her collar, I'd really like to know.  She's lost two in less than a month.

Secondly...  I've had an idea for a TV show knocking around at the back of my mind for years which I've returned to from time to time. About six weeks ago, I took a course with the Raindance Organisation on how to sell your script.  It was very inspiring because it was so practical - keep it cheap to produce, network, learn how to pitch, etc.  I then got chatting to a mate at work who I later found runs a TV company on the side and to cut a long story short, he's agreed to act as my agent and sell my idea.  Terrifying and exciting all at the same time!!  I've actually signed a contract naming me as 'The Author'.  Me! I want to workshop my pilot script before I start putting it out to potential production companies and then fingers crossed... who knows?

Wish me luck, people!  *Scared face*

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Beauty review - Yes to Cucumbers facial wipes? Just say no

I can safely say that these wipes are easily the worst beauty product I've ever tried.  Ever.

Within a couple of minutes of using them, my face started to feel like it was burning.  My skin very quickly became red, inflamed and slightly swollen.  I'm not exaggerating when I say it felt like a mild chemical burn.  It took about a day to fully subside.  I'm not the only person who's had this problem - about 80% of reviewers on Makeup Alley reported something similar.

They're advertised as hypoallergenic soothing facial wipes for sensitive skin but they're nothing of the sort.  In fact, I'd go as far as to say that they're potentially dangerous for sensitive skin.  Boots were very good about refunding me when I returned the wipes, (thanks guys) and the pharmacist was so concerned he encouraged me to call the Boots customer service to give my feedback (which I've done).

Any good things about this product?

Well, the packing was all cutesy and hippyish.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

11 random facts about me - blog tag.

Thanks to the lovely Ms. Madge of Chinwags and Tittle-Tattles for the tag.  It's my first ever blog tag!  Apologies for the delay in posting - yet again I've had a crazy week at work.

Anyway without further ado...  Here are 11 random facts about me.

  1. When I was a teenager I used to win prizes for cattle judging at agriculture shows.  I grew up on a dairy farm and my dad was keen that my brothers and I knew as much about farm life as much as possible.
  2. As a kid I was a huge Abba fan.  Huge.  Yet years later when I had the chance to meet them at the first night party for Mama Mia in the West End, I chickened out.  To this day, I'm still not sure why.  I think it's because I'd built them up so much in my mind that the human reality could only disappoint.  
  3. I got the bug for theatre at the age of 11.   My first show was a school play of Brigadoon.  Thirty seven years later I'm still in the business.
  4. My favourite thing to do (besides sleeping) is travel.  I'm lucky enough to be able to travel for work so I've been fortunate to see a lot more of the world than I'd be able to afford under normal circumstances.  My favourite places, so far, have been Berlin, Lisbon and Oman.  I'm dying to go to the US.
  5. I read Valley of the Dolls, (yup, the one about drug taking, sexual exploitation and suicide) by Jacqueline Susann at the age of 12. My mother and grandmother were horrified when they found out. I was a precocious child.
  6. The smell of KP Dry Roasted Peanuts makes me gag.
  7. I could eat Lindt's Chilli Chocolate all day.
  8. The first perfume I bought was Chanel no. 19.  I had to save for ages to afford it.  I used it so sparingly that it went off.  Even now the merest whiff of it takes me back to those heady days when I was first starting out in the world.
  9. My great, great, great, great, great grandfather was expelled from the Royal Scottish Academy of Art for 'bringing the academy into dispute', (taking a day job).  He went on to become a renowned artist.
  10. I really don't like ice-skating.  I like the idea of it but the reality of wobbling around on a pair of blades is frankly terrifying.
  11. I love heavy metal and hard rock.  For some reason, people always find this surprising.

I tag Sharron of Style at every Age, Rosemary from NYC, Style and a little Cannoli and Disney Roller Girl

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Hero beauty product - Garnier Ultimate Regenerating Oil Anti-Age Skin Perfector

There's something rather comforting about using oils on the skin so I must admit I was rather excited to find this Garnier body oil in my local branch of Boots.  I've always used baby oil on my legs whilst they're still damp from the shower so I was looking forward to amping it up a bit with this.

Image via Tesco.com

It certainly didn't disappoint.

The first thing I noticed was the gorgeous smell - warm yet floral somehow.  The smell lingers on the skin all day too which is rather nice.  

It's easy to apply and a little goes a very long way.  All I needed was one spray on the shins and two on the thighs to cover the whole leg. As a consequence it lasted an awfully long time.  

It's a dry oil.  I wasn't sure what a dry oil was until someone explained it to me like this...
You know how if you get olive oil on your hands, no matter how much you rub it in, you still have to wipe your hands? That's because it's a wet oil.  Dry oils don't feel 'wet' to the touch and they rub in really easily.

So that was me told.

My skin did feel wonderfully moisturised and supple for ages, especially if I applied it after the shower but I did find that I couldn't use it every single day because it wasn't quite enough long lasting moisture for my uber dry legs.  It was a really good treat to use a couple of times a week or before a night out.
   

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Music Festivals

Music festivals are certainly popular.  Every thing I'm reading on the internet at the moment, whether it's fashion or music or getaways is breathlessly commentating on them.

The best festival fashion!  

Who's appearing at a festival near you?

See what your favourite celebs were wearing at Coachella!

There seems to be a cultural yearning for an idealised urban version of the countryside which combines the best bits of city living, (music, fashion, cool people) with the best bits of a rural life, (open air, space, trees).

So I may be a little controversial when I say this...
I absolutely loathe outdoor music festivals!  Proper hate them.  Really.

I think people assume they're going to be like this...


whereas I know from working on far too many festivals that they're actually like this...


In ten years of working on festivals, I can safely say that I remember one mud free festival.  One!  Usually they're just a grim struggle against the odds.  Just walking through the mud to catering requires herculean effort.  It's a struggle to keep the rain off your equipment. It's a struggle to keep clean.  Every simple task just becomes a monumental effort. 

There was the notable time where I got stuck in the mud and I quite literally couldn't move.  It was late at night and I'd finished work so I was on my own & the site was relatively deserted.  It'd been raining heavily the previous two days but on that particular day the rain had stopped so the mud was starting to dry out and had become extremely sticky.  It had been very hard work walking through this one field because it had been churned up by the heavy vehicles and the sheer amount of people moving through it.  I reached a point where I couldn't actually move my legs.  The mud was so deep and so sticky that every time I tried to move my legs, I fell forward onto my hands. Late at night, dark, no one around and I couldn't move - I don't mind telling you, I was scared.  Thank god I had my phone in my back pocket and after a number of tries I was able to get hold of my crew boss who came & found me and literally pulled me out of the mud by my arms.  

And that is one of the many reasons why I hate festivals.   

Monday, 21 April 2014

My favourite blogs

Since I started this blog, I've become a voracious blog reader.  I'm constantly amazed by the depth of talent and the breadth of vision out there so I thought I'd share with you my favourite blogs.

In no particular order they are;

Style at every age.
This is a fashion blog that's realistic.  Sharron realises that we don't all necessarily have huge budgets or perfect figures but can still love clothes and want to dress well.  Great for letting you know what discount codes are available too.  She's a lovely lady as well who takes the time to comment thoughtfully on other blogs.

Chinwags and Tittle-Tattles
Written by Ms. Madge.  It's stuff we can all relate to - restaurant reviews, thoughts on pop culture, personal stories, tales of her travels - written in her warm, relatable style.  She's a real sweetheart too who, again, takes time to comment on other blogs.

Coulda Shoulda Woulda
I love Naomi's quirky and often very funny view on things.  My favourite features are the magazine reviews.  Also excellent for interior design.

All I am -a redhead.com
A perfume blog written by Ines, a Croatian woman.  I love her passion for perfume.  She mixes perfume reviews with thoughts on pop culture and book reviews.

Sirenvoices
A blog written by a serving paramedic.  I am constantly awed by his ability to deal with situations which would send me into a tail spin.  It's people like him, in the emergency services, who keep the rest of us safe.  He has a beautiful evocative writing style

Mrs Trefusis takes a taxi
Written by Helen Brocklebank, who is, I believe, an important magazine person.  She lives a life we wish we could all lead - glamorous media parties, cocktails and lycee educated children.  It's written in a self deprecating style which makes you root for her.

My love of old Hollywood
I adore old Hollywood films.  She adores old Hollywood films.  It's a blogmatch made in heaven.

Pandora
Written by a French art history student, Louise who posts fashion pictures of herself inspired by classical artworks.  It's quite unique and rather special.  Seriously, read it.  Some of the text is only in French.


Friday, 18 April 2014

On relaxing

I've been working very, very hard recently.  Weeks and weeks of 6 thirteen hour days in a row then one day off.

As a freelancer it's incredibly tempting to accept every bit of work offered to you because there's always a little voice in your head saying, 'Take it whilst it's there.  Next month may be quiet'.  It's gotten to the point, however where I feel I'm close to burn out so I decided that I had to have some time off.  So I turned down work over Easter (eek!) and now I've got seven blissful days off.

I've been looking forward to it so much that I was surprised to find myself, pacing round the living room this morning going, 'What now? What should I do now?'  Yup, I've forgotten how to relax!  I'm so used to meeting deadlines, having to be somewhere, working like the clappers to deliver a show on time that I've actually forgotten how to take it easy.

So I intend, this week, to rediscover the slow life.

  • Sit and read a book with Radio 3 on in the background.
  • Go to a film on my own.  Probably the Yves Saint Laurent film.
  • Catch up with friends.  I have an old friend from high school who I haven't seen since we came over to London together more years ago than I care to remember.  We've been trying to arrange a meet-up for about six months now and I'm ashamed to say that it's always me who blows out because of work.  
  • Bake.  I love baking but it's time consuming so I haven't baked for ages.  I want to try and make a good & gooey chocolate cake.
  • Work my way through the box set of Breaking Bad.
How do you relax?  

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