Sunday, 30 May 2010

It's in Chelsea don't you know........

So, D got to work at Chelsea Flower Show this year - I've never been, but have wanted to.  I didn't actually realise what a big deal it was until I saw the crowds and just how much coverage there was over two channels of British TV.........I am sure you are aware that without freeview of sky the UK only has a pathetic 5 channels so 2 being used for this flower show kind of hints a little at how rated it is.  D took some lovely photos - way too many to upload here but hopefully you will enjoy this small selection.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Would you also jump off a cliff if they told you too?

Advertising! It's a funny old thing. So much money spent on it and it's everywhere for everything. Thing is I keep hearing about how people are sucked in by an advert, I even heard my own younger brother once ask my Mom what brand of washing up powder she used as the TV had said that good mom's use *insert random brand* now that's quite harsh advertising - it wasn't aimed at the mothers after all it was aimed at the small children....apparently. I know the media has a massive control over the world but do these adverts really make a difference. I've never really thought so but maybe I am just a bit more of an independent thinker than the average Jo.

I've always felt the best way to sell a product is to give money off, or better still to send out a sample. Personally I think it's next to useless telling me something smells of oranges and peaches with a hint of vanilla, I need to smell it and smell it on me!

I looked at some adverts and felt they didn't actually make me want to buy the product at all, at times I didn't even know what the advert was for.

This lovely little pink advert for Miss Dior perfume makes me think of sunny days and that pink flowers are pretty and maybe I should buy some to put on my desk. Not once do I think about purchasing perfume.

Now this lovely Gucci advert just makes me long for the clothes in the picture - I don't even really notice the watch.

And this one - sorry who is it for again - all I am thinking about is red lipstick and how it's been a while since I wore it, something I used to wear nearly every day.

More perfume to buy? All I thought about was wanting to go on holiday.

Yeah you got it - I just see the cat ears and think about when I was a child and always dressed up as a cat for Halloween parties and then I start wondering if there are any photographs of such parties.

I still have no clue what this is an advert for - all I know is that I want spiral stairs that look like piano keys - but only if I can manage to ever buy my own home.

So, what is the point? Why are the media so powerful? Am I just invincible to this? Or did I just hit on this being the biggest waste of money? It can't be can it for the millions to still be spent on advertising. Seriously though would anyone buy perfume just based on an advert? Maybe it's just me that likes to find things and stumble across things - it also just makes me think of the movie Josie and The Pussycats....and how none of us should become a part of the brainless masses.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Plastic Fantastic

Well, I actually mean quite the opposite. I don't think plastic is fantastic, on so many levels. Environmentally I think it's becoming a nightmare but I am talking about the plastic creatures that are walking this earth more often than not fobbing themselves off as don't I sound harsh. Or actors getting so much work done their faces just look weird and surely making it harder for them to get work?

Now, I am all for making the most of yourself and not walking around like a total scrotter but I also believe in liking who you are and trying to be comfortable in your own skin. This is also an important message for all the young, vulnerable and easily led children around us. As adults it's almost our responsibility to set a good example. OK, that sentence in itself sounds like I am opening up a never ending argument about how we could be doing more to set an example for our youth. Right now I just want to focus on the subject of image.

If someone has had to have their breasts removed due to breast cancer, I understand the desire for implants to be put in. If someone has been disfigured due to an accident, I understand the need for surgery. I just don't like it when you see people (quite often women....hello beauty myth time) but you see these women walking along and quite often they look in pain. Features don't fit their face or everything seems so pumped up it's going to burst. I personally don't think that is a good look and quite often botox makes someone look older after a few times of having it injected, and please lets not forget that this is actually a poison to us and we don't actually know the effects of long term use of such a product - but I am guessing it's not going to be pretty. More often than not I see plastic surgeons that have had no work or little work done to themselves, should this not be setting off alarm bells? People that are so fragile, and when you dig just under the surface they appear to have suffered from some form of horrible abuse. Therefore do they not really need a psychiatrists coach and not a plastic surgeon? Does Joan Rivers really look young? No, she looks weird, bless her.

Laughter lines are a sign of a happy person not something to hide in my opinion, and again it is just that, my opinion. And it's not because I feel like I am beyond perfecting - I have huge issues with self esteem but I know that it's me that has to work on that and no amount of surgery is going to change that - in fact it could even make me feel more insecure.

I will keep the friend I had the following conversation with nameless and I hope that if she reads this that she realises I am not making a dig just highlighting something that concerns me. Said friend has had a nose job. At quite a young age. Before she had grown into her face and before her face had stopped growing and changing. Once she had, had this done, was she happy? Well not for long it would appear as she then started to think her lips looked too thin and now has fillers put in a few times a year. It looks sore and painful when she's first had them done, and looks like an allergic reaction - that sort of things worries me. Anyway - she's still not happy and is now thinking her eyes look wrong. You can see the pattern, and that saddens me as I know my friend to be a pretty girl. Without all this work. Now this is nothing compared to some but I can see that cycle starting. She feels that the perfect woman is the plastic woman, even going as far as to say that Heidi Montag is now pretty....universally her work is being hailed as a bit of a freak show, especially on someone so young, she herself admits to being in constant pain. And all for what, to look like a human Barbie doll? Who incidentally - if Barbie was scaled up to human size she would be about 5 stone and of such extreme proportions she might not live. Not a healthy model really ay!?!

I felt that a lot of men I knew or had heard comment on women, actually preferred their girlfriend the most when they were in their pj's having just woken up all scruffy and totally them. Not when they are so dressed up all the time that they are scared to touch them for fear of putting a hair out of place or smudging their lipstick. Lads might comment on the trophy girlfriend when they are with their friends but 9/10 would not want that in reality.

Children as young as 5 are suffering from anorexia. That can't be good. The Beauty Myth has been there to keep women worrying about something and never feeling good enough but surely this has gone too far? Look at poor old Lola Ferrari - so much surgery that she couldn't lie down otherwise she's suffocate, this lady had issues but bigger still was the schmuck who kept operating on her just for the dollar. Lola died many years ago, sad but true. Marilyn Monroe was a pretty lady - before all the surgery - yes surgery - she had way more than I even knew was around at that time, and that kind of makes me feel sad. Even Marilyn Monroe was told she wasn't good enough and believed it.

I wish people would relax and just have fun, laugh heartedly and not worry about whether it's showing wrinkles round their eyes. We'll grow up a nation of more secure people that are ageing gracefully and not walking around rigid with botox and pain.

Be yourself and be happy. If you need some help with that - see a psychiatrist and not a surgeon....please.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Got any change sir?

Well I didn't - my diary did - somehow whilst I was off work a calendar of quotes appeared on my desk - sometimes it's funny, sometimes plain stupid and sometimes it really does make sense.

Today's says: The most damaging phrase in language is 'It's always been done that way'.

It was just another flippant comment to read and then I thought about how it holds so many people back. Human nature seems to be a creature of habit but at the same time we were given feet - if we weren't meant to keep moving we wouldn't have them. The world evolves and changes little by little every day but we, as humans, seem to be against this or rebel against it or just get plain old scared about it. But we too change little by little every day. We don't always notice it. Sometimes we look in the mirror seeing the same old face, then one day, suddenly (alhtough not really at all) we suddenly look 20 years older.

Many people deny change or kick out hard against it and if we only put the same effort into embracing it, just think what we could achieve.

There is so much we do in a day that we do just because.....some we can't help but even little things like varying your route to work - it keeps you that little bit more alive sometimes. Yesterday I did just that - I got off the bus early to walk and bumped into my friend and her baby boy, and a big smile from him was a way better way to start the day than just having stayed on that bus.

I guess that is part of the reason again to start my other blog ( now I have to keep looking and searching so that I can find an interesting or different 'photo a day'.

Never stay still - it doesn't matter how long you stand in the same spot your foot will never set roots, so make the most of that and keep yourself free.

To Yochi or not?

I say to!!! The jewellery in general looks lovely but the purple marble ring is something that I think you just have to have.

I don't know if Yochi is available in the UK yet but it's just another reason I have to want to go to the states (road trip in an old school caddy if you please :o)

Most items are around the $40 - $50 mark which is maybe not cheap cheap but it's also not bank breaking (my favorite thing....not breaking the bank that is although I seem rather good a stretching my account to bursting point).

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

When I look back through the pages of my life what will I see?

I heard someone today commenting on how tired they are just from doing the bare necessities of their life – and wondering what it is all about. I hear that one loud and clear.

You go to work to get the money you need to live the life you want oh but scratch that you are basically living the life your boss things you should have as they decide your wages so in some ways deciding how you live your life. Of course you then decide what you do with that money, but with the ever increasing lack of bonuses and pay rises and the ever increases utility bill costs, cost of transport, accommodation and basic food well we are worse and worse off with each seeming year. Some quite drastically so.

That leads to the things we can do for ourselves out of work getting to be less and less like the dream we had as younger adults first taking a look inside the adult world.

We get up – we work to someone else’s timetable – we get home – we cook – we clean and we fall asleep exhausted wondering where the evening went. A friend calls inviting us out and the passion isn’t there – no offence to the friend but our feet feel like we have lead round them.

That’s how I know that something went wrong. Somehow we over complicated life. I wish I could pretend I don’t need anything and all is tra la la I do what I do I go my own way and all that.

But it’s not true is it. I basically have about 3 hours a day that are totally my own and are not to do with chores, work or that human need to eat and sleep. So I try to make sure I use that time as wisely as I can. Less and less am I wanting to spend that time getting totally hammered as I then waste more time recovering. I want creative interesting things in my life and I hope I achieve that. I am hoping it won’t cost the earth, and that I can find a happy balance. And I guess that is what it all seems to be about these days, finding that happy balance. Building your own little corner of the world that is as nice and pretty and weed free as you can make it.

So I guess it’s all about time management, keeping smiling and doing your best. Sounds so simple in theory doesn’t it.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Look into my eyes...

I'm about to set up a new blog - just for photos. The idea is to post a photo every day as a way of making me really look at my surroundings and never just go from A to B.

It is currently under construction but if you care to take a look there will be something to look at soon - promise ☺

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Cup of tea and a slice of cake

I love tea cups and teapots. I don't know why. It could be a British thing. But there's something very lovely about making tea properly.

I've spent the weekend with my best friend - big buckets of hot chocolate, buying teacups......and can't really beat it. The only drawback is the train and tube ride there and back - I would be so happy if someone could invent a new mode of transport....the long blink! Blink and you're back where you need to be. Anyway....I am going to start a new project (or famous last words, not sure yet) - a photo a day to see how the year progresses, I also bought a new camera and feel the need to play. I also seem to have somehow volunteered myself to be the photographer at a friends wedding....cripes! Anyhow, I wish everyone would do this project as I think it would stop us all being in such a hurry - stop us all from just getting from A to B and we'd actually make the journey part of the experience - which is kindof how we should live our lives is it not!?

I've also invested in my first old school camera - I've never really bothered with anything much more than a point and shoot before and have also wished for my own dark room so I could develop my own photos - then the age of digital happened and all those things became quite obsolete. Until now it would seem. Years ago I got into the whole Holga and Lomography cameras - and now even proper fashion photographers are starting to use them - trying to get some new edge on photography I guess. Suddenly photography is becoming accessible to everyone in many different formats and I for one am very pleased with people being able to be creative more easily. and somewhere I plan to visit soon Lomography Gallery Store in London. They are plastic cameras and sometimes let the light leak in, but in a way that doesn't ruin a photo but adds a dimension to it. I've never wanted to undertake a photography course as I want to do it my way, mistakes and all as sometimes that is how you find a new angle for a photograph.

I also stumbled across and article about BCBG Max Azria.
That the designs will finally be available in the UK. Finally? never really heard much about him before......he does some nice dresses BUT the ultimate find was Miss Bibi. How utterly gorgeous!!!!

Miss Bibi then reminds me of a fantastic book I read the other day - From A to Biba by Barbara Hulanicki. If you like fashion you should read it. The woman was an inspiration - she created a whole cult lifestyle with her Biba stores. My mom remembers everyone wanting to be a Biba girl, ok most of the men didn't but you know what I mean. I would love to sit down and have tea with Barbara.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Tell me!

If there were dreams to sell, what would you buy?

Monday, 10 May 2010

Random Thought Patterns

So......we have a hung parliament in England.....I kindof know what this means but not what it really 'means' to this country - other than of course it means that none of the 3 leading parties were deemed good enough by the UK folk and those parties should frankly feel a little bit ashamed of themselves.

A volcano erupting, earthquakes, tsunami's, oil spills etc etc...Mother Nature seems right royally pissed off to me!

I had a reply from Tesco re: the Palm Oil and it was much of a muchness. Policies in place, but no real changed until 2015 or they hope at least. I feel a bit disheartened. BUT I have heard that Lush Cosmetics have taken over a year working on something they can put in soap instead of Palm Oil and now, apparently, non of their soap contains Palm Oil at all. Three cheers for Lush Cosmetics.

On another cruelty for no reason type of subject - Scientists are wasting, sorry, spending time working out the different expressions of pain that mice show by mutilating them in surgical ways and by injecting chilli type substances into their feet. Really? In this day and age? Come on I can tell you without any money being spent that it's going to hurt and they will show this with a severe head twitch and a scream OK! And what do you know - my guess is not far from their findings.

On a happier note I have been acing my course and with a bit of luck will find a bit more time to Blog properly soon.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

In the palm of your hand

So...Palm Oil is something that really pees me off - I hate the fact that this oil is so commonly used (not always in an obvious way which screams to me that 'they' know it's wrong to use it) anyway, it is in nearly everything we consume or use. That is quite staggering in itself. The worst thing is that damage that it does to the rainforest and to the homes of the Orangutan (which are almost extinct now due to this trade).

Now I don't hate the farmers of this oil - they are desperate for money - I really don't like the people behind the development of such valuable land (quite often illegally) for such a trade.

What I really really can't understand and can't forgive is that Palm Oil could be produced in a sustainable way. Now I know some people are really dumb and really selfish and don't understand the need for all of natures creations but we all need the rainforests to survive. Does that make it personal enough?

Anyway - to show I don't just rant I decided to write to all the main UK supermarkets to express my concern in them hiding the use of Palm Oil, using Unsustainable oil and also not giving the consumer enough choice about whether they use it or not. I also told them to not just send a generic response to me as I thought this issue deserved more than that. I wanted them to give the consumer alternatives. For example to use sustainable Palm Oil to produce a chocolate bar would cost about 1 pence more - who would not be happy to pay that - but we have to be given the chance to make that choice as I can understand that 'going without' isn't a very good option or alternative.

I wrote to Sainsburys, Asda, Waitrose, Morissons, Tesco, Marks & Spencers and the Co-op. Sainsburys wrote back almost straight away. A very long letter. Thanking me and passing on information of a bunch of websites for me to visit to see what they are doing and how they are pioneering to make the use of Palm Oil in their stores sustainable by that's a long way off still but at least it's quite a big deal - ALL palm oil in ALL Sainsburys to be sustainable. Now I like the sound of that. Morissons wrote back a few days later. They were making plans and they thanked me for my letter. Then I read how they were hoping to make big changes in 2009.....I stopped reading - seeing as we are quite a way into 2010 - thanks for the generic letter guys! That same day I also got a reply from Waitrose. The shortist letter of all and no thank you's. They kept talking to me about a policy they were working on. They have a policy to do something about it but I failed to full grasp what they were actually doing rather.........the others have yet to reply.

So, for now - Sainsbury's win.

Panorama did an interesting article:

Sunday, 2 May 2010


Darren and I had the week off work - it had gotten to the point that I didn't care that we hadn't got around to booking an actual holiday anywhere - I realised I just needed a bit of time out - I hadn't had a break from work since June 2009 (I don't really count Christmas as I was still recovering from my operation).

We've had a lovely time of making like tourists in the city we live in - it's really captured our hearts again with the architecture and the history of the city and we found some places we have never seen before. One thing I did note whilst in the actual 'City' of London was how all the people in suits were rushing around, mobile phone glued to their ears, a frown on and smoking like you wouldn't believe......suddenly I realised that job satisfaction really is worth more than a massive pay cheque - sure, you need to be able to survive - but were the luxuries (more often that not material items) really worth the stress that these people had leaking out of every pore? No siree not for me.