Wednesday, 23 December 2009

"They're more like sparring partners."

Today I went on an outing to complete the dreaded Christmas present purchases with my lovely ex-boyfriend and his even more lovely mother.  (Yes, I am aware this sounds odd.  So what.)  We got in the car,  me in the front and his mom in the back (she sees the front seat as the death seat, I am not really rude) and persisted to bicker about everything.  As always.  It's all in jest but we can't help ourselves.  It goes a bit like this:

C (him): "Oh look.  There's a bird of prey."
L (me): "What kind of bird of prey?"
C: "I don't know."
L: "Why not?"
C: "Because then I'd be some kind of loser bird enthusiast and you wouldn't be my friend."
L: "I'd be your friend if you were a bird loser."
C: "No you wouldn't."
L: "Why not."
C: "Because you wouldn't."
E (his mom): "Do you know where your going?"
C: "Yes."
L: "Sure?"
C: "Yes."
L: "It's cold."
C: "No it's not."
...later on...
E: "You two are like an old married couple."
L: No we're not.  Are we? (Worried!)
C: Nah, course not.
L: That's alright then.

The only problem with this is I think his mom is right.  Later, when meeting one of his aunts for the first time, the question was raised: "Is this Chris' girlfriend?"  His mother's response could not have been more brilliant.  "No, they argue too much for her to be his girlfriend, they're more like sparring partners."  Whilst essentially correct I always though the fact our argumental sides could keep up with each other was a good thing...not one to be the reason we weren't together.  Oh well.  Never mind.  Bring on the sparring.

“Board games bring out the worst in me."

Every Christmas in my family the board games get dusted off and we indulge in really long games such as Monopoly.  Today, in attempt to get all my friends together in the daytime…rather than huddled together at the pub on a night when it’s freezing cold and we all have to walk home moaning…I hosted what I called ‘Christmas Game Day’.

This consisted of six friends eating junk food, drinking tea and ploughing through a various board games.  We started with Pop-up Pirate, moved to Mouse Trap, then Scattergories and finally…the big one…Monopoly.

The first few were fine, kids games after all, but then it got serious.  After Scattergories we actually had to break for lunch to, in my friends words, “calm down a bit before Monopoly”.  I guess she needed it because after a full on sulk and a period of continuously shouting at her boyfriend because he was “cheating” she announced “board games bring out the worst in me…I hate Monopoly.”  She quite promptly lost all of her money and properties and was out…though not before me, by the time I’d made it once round the board everybody else had lapped me at least twice and brought all the properties.  I really stood no chance.

It was funny, however, that when I logged onto Facebook afterwards I read a status that said: “Lauren finds it funny that a game of Payday with her sisters can turn into a war.”  Not just us then…so why on Earth do we all turn to board games at Christmas when they are never used any other time of the year? 

I suppose it’s because it’s cold and nobody can be bothered to go out, the television is rubbish and there is something so uniting and rustic about sitting down with your friends and family and just spending time together.  No need for alcohol (though it always makes game day funnier), no need for a treacherous icy walk home in the pitch black and no need for electricity really.  If you ignore the fact we had the radio on and by 3pm the lights were required to see the games…stupid clocks going back!

Since we finished every one of my guests has text to say thank you for a wonderful time.  Don’t think I’ve ever had that when I’ve hosted a party…looks like I’ve found a niche with which to entertain people in their early twenties.  Some feat really.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

I love feathers...I don't care what you say!

Last night I held an entire conversation about feathers.  Not so surprisingly, boys seem very anti-feathers.  They also don't seem to understand the concept of dressing to please yourself and not them.  When I raised the concept of wearing a feather skirt (I have seen one in Topshop...and I think I'm in love) in an attempt to stop me (unbeknownst to him they're all sold out...hence the lack of a link, sorry guys!) he raised a multitude of anti-feather statements:

1. They won't look good.  They'll just stick out at all angles.
2. You'll look like a bird.  Birds are not attractive.  Take big bird for example...
3. They won't even be real.
4. Oh, ok, they will be real but then they'll burn.  You'll only need to sit next to a radiator.

Proposterous reasons everyone of them.  They look sublime.  And I have proof...thanks to Grazia Online.  Topshop please stock up...or Oasis (they used to sell a beautiful dress with a feathered skirt that was to die for!) and make sure you have plenty in a size 10...or just one...on reserve for me?

Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry looking lovely in feathers

Monday, 21 December 2009

The Blazer: Just because Vogue says it's "out..."

If you know me at all you'll probably know my style doesn't really change with the season, more just with the weather.  That's why, when catching up with the last few months of Vogue, I read this in the December issue:

Miss V: "Christian Louboutin, in a chic navy blazer (I want one for myself - any advice?), talked about driving tests."
Fashion Editor's response: "Note, blazers: fine on Christian, otherwise over."

I laughed at the bluntness, and also the slight obnoxious tone.  If Miss V wants to wear a blazer, bloody let her wear one! I love fashion, I really do, but sometimes the fickleness annoys me.I'm pretty sure Vogues Fashion Editor was probably wearing a blazer only a month ago...And I'm positive the celebs still are. 

It's almost as bad as those that say they don't follow the trends, putting clothing out of sight until nobody else is wearing them....because let's be honest, you wouldn't have had them in the first place if brand buyers hadn't handpicked them because they were in fashion.

Check out these pictures from Grazia Daily, all taken at various events over the last month.  I won't be giving mine up, in fact I went out in it just last weekend.  When I get bored then it'll go to the back of the closet.  Take a tip from the celebs and get your blazers back out.  They are, after all, the perfect shoulder coverage for winter.

Miranda Kerr, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman and Agyness Deyn looking splendid in their blazers

Snow and/or a White Christmas

This year my sister, who is 11, wrote an extensive Christmas list.  It started "Dear Dad..." instead of being written to Santa, and ended "Yours Sincerely, Megan Booth."  Complete with signature.  Amongst other things she asked for a laptop, an iPod (Apple was specified, no other MP3 player need apply), snow, and a white Christmas.  (Yes I know snow and a white Christmas are kind of the same thing but these were specified as two different items, like either/or would be fine.)

I remember when I was a child I would be lucky to get the new Barbie.  In fact, one year I got the new Barbie, it was a gymnastics one that supposedly swang between the bars.  It didn't.  It also broke on Christmas Day and was immediately put back in the box and returned on December 27th never to be seen again.  Megan already has the laptop wrapped from my mom and my dad is contemplating the iPod (a nano/touch, of course a shuffle isn't good enough).

Well...I don't mean to sound like a really old person...but surely this isn't right.  Surely this goes against all that Christmas is supposed to be.  Surely I should be getting £400 worth of presents as well.  Apparently not.  I should have seen this coming when Megan's first nativity started with astronauts going so fast around the Earth they went back in time and participated in the traditional nativity events. 

Bring back Mary literally having a tea cloth on her head, £20 gifts, ratty old tinsel on green trees rather than black and Christmas pudding that is just Christmas pudding not "Marks and Spencers Christmas Pudding".  A traditional Christmas, in the style of 1992, would be lovely.  Thank you.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

I may have found a tiny bit of Christmas spirit

I'm not excited about Christmas....the presents, turkey and stuffing, snow and Santa just don't do it for me...but I was excited about breaking up from work for two weeks of relaxation.  The build up has at least made me appreciate Christmas, as that's why I was getting the time off for work in the first place.

So, as my boss wrapped her presents, booked her ski stuff and headed off for colder climates I found myself humming Christmas songs.  Yes, finally something has replaced the Jurassic Park theme tune that has been going round my head for months, don't ask me why.  And what managed it?...Mariah Carey of course.  Oh, and a bit of Wham.  The classics, you know what they are, are now being belted out by me in the shower.  If you've ever heard me sing you will know this is not the most fun for my family, who have to live with me!

I looked out the window at the frost this morning and didn't mind it because today I can stay in the warmth.  Marvellous.  Let's just ignore the Christmas shopping shall we...surely it will do itself if I wait long enough?

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

It's just been one of those days...

...I fell over.  Then I may/may not have trod in dog poo.  In my favourite boots.  What an absolute bugger.  Then I come home and find a Facebook event Mom is shaving allll of her hair off, every last speck, to raise money for Cauldwell Children's charity.  They use every penny to help local children, with all admin costs covered by the charity's founder.  Marvellous.

Anyway, I donated today (of course!) and I would love it if you could donate even a little bit to helping her.  She's being very brave and just wants to help people.  This thought brightened my day.

JustGiving "shared" the below post for me...but here is the link to her JustGiving page if any of you feel compelled: Maxine Francis

I'd love you forever.

Maxine Francis is fundraising for Caudwell Children - JustGiving

Maxine Francis is fundraising for Caudwell Children - JustGiving

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Sunday, 6 December 2009

Jacqueline Bissett: The heart of fashion illustration

Illustration Ltd's website was always a fantastic source of inspiration for me whilst at university, there was one illustrator in particular that always got my 'right click' to store her imagery on my laptop...Jacqueline Bissett.  Every time I saw an image it reminded me of something time and time again.

Finally Illustration Ltd's blog enlightened me.  The Sunday Times' Style magazine is full of Bissett's work but sadly she has ended her four years of work for them.  This further intensifies the fact that I apparently pay little attention to names as long as I like the work.  This isn't really a problem until I get to an interview and get bombared witth questions about this designer and that illustrator.  Woops.

Not the only place I've seen Bisset's work though, there has been a time when I have recognised her work.  In a meeting with the Browns and Browns Focus head buyers I noticed some lovely ) hand drawn illustrations hung in Browns' offices.  If I wasn't assured by my own recognition Jacqueline Bisset's signature definitely highlighted that I was right!  It's not unheard of for Browns to have good taste though is it?  Looks like she's turning up everywhere...I am just so behing on the times.

I'm sure she'll be sadly missed at The Sunday Times' offices.  Check out some of Bisset's work yourself...she has her own dedicated area on Illustration Ltd!

Kattaca: Artistic Inspiration

Kattaca's styling intrigues me because with every image you can see clearly the inspiration. every image I am reminded of something, whether it is as obvious as photographical reconstructions of Klimt artwork and an homage to Tim Burton or fairytale, supernatural and sci-fi elements hidden within styling and beauty elements.  I was reminded of everything from The Matrix to Little Red Riding Hood.

For instance, Kattaca's 'Flowers in December' portfolio section rather reminds me of 'The Grinch' with flicking green hair and over the top style.  There may have been a more sophisticated aspect behind the photographs but that's what comes to my mind...perfect for Christmas really!

From 'The Grinch' to Klimt, 'The Matrix' and Renaissance inspirations


Kattaca's entire portfolio is pretty amazing, quite a variety I'm sure you'll agree but always bold, thoughtful and high successful.  I love it.