life, politics, questions, thoughts

Oh America….

This is my formal request for a refund for 2016. It has been a complete shit show and I would like a do-over.  

Reading the reaction of the black, Latina, LGBT, scared Americans to the election of the world’s first orange President, a man who has threatened to deport innocent citizens for the ‘crime’ of being immigrants, Muslim, Other. His running mate, Mike Pence believes that electric shock therapy can cure being gay, who thinks women who suffer miscarriages should be imprisoned. These are frightening times. 

Several people have drawn a connection through history, from the rise of fascism in the 1930s and what I am calling the new hate of 2016. From Brexit to this week’s election, fear mongering is up and being different is marking people out. 

But there is still hope, there is still love. Now is the time to speak up, to stand up and be counted. To show solidarity and support for those who find themselves victims of this new groundswell of hate and bigotry. I am reminded of the following poem. I for one will be speaking out because we cannot let anything like this happen ever again. 

fun stuff, questions, tag posts

Four in a row tag

Spotted this on a blog and thought, these tag posts are quite fun, so why not. 

🍍Four places I’ve lived 

– Harrow Weald, Middlesex

– Stanmore, Middlesex

– Roehampton, Surrey

– Edgware, Middlesex 

(Pretty much spent my whole life in North London) 

🍍Four places I’ve worked 

– In a posh shoe shop fitting kids’ school shoes

– In an indoor play centre aka Hell

– In a charity’s office (several times)

– In a holiday playscheme (best job ever) 

🍍Four songs I’m listening to at the moment

– Chandelier – Sia 

– Painkillers – Brian Fallon 

– Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers

– Change my Needs – Scars on 45 

What can I say, I have eclectic tastes. 

🍍Four Places I’ve travelled to 

– Moscow, Russia 

– Southern California, America 

– Venice, Italy 

– Beziers, France (where my sister was born)

🍍Four dishes I like 

– Creme Brulee 

– Crab cakes 

– Halloumi salad with watermelon

– Roast chicken 

🍍Four drinks I like 

– Diet Coke 

– Fruit infused water (especially limes)

– Peppermint tea

– San Pelligrino Limonata 

So that’s it, short and sweet, unlike me. 

Feel free to join in.  

beauty, fun stuff, make up, questions

The Beauty Knowledge Tag

I’ve seen this popping up on lots of different blogs and Twitter feeds. The answers are often pretty hilarious. 

For this tag you need a partner or friend who doesn’t use make up or know much about it. I am using the Mr as my guinea pig. He doesn’t get my interest in make up at all. Let’s see what knowledge he has absorbed. 
💋What are these different beauty products and techniques? 

💋Bronzer – giving a tanned appearance 

💋Blusher – making your cheeks pink like a doll

💋Mascara – making eyelashes black and curly 

💋Eyeliner – making your eyes look more Egyptian 

💋Strobing – something to do with disco

💋Eyeshadow – colouring your eyes in 

💋Powder – do you put that on your face? Is it like manual photoshop?

💋Foundation – like a base coat 

💋Concealer – covers spots and blemishes

💋Setting Spray – like varnish or hairspray for your face?

💋Contouring – using your make up to give your face different shapes?

💋Primer – another base coat

💋Lip liner – makes lips look happy 

💋Brow pencil – drawing on your eyebrows after you stupidly shaved them off. 

💋Serum – watering down make up to apply an even coat

💋Cleanser – taking your make up off

💋Micellar Water – no idea, is it for cleaning your face?

💋Toner- matching your make up to your skin tone

💋Was this test hard? Not really, I think I knew a lot. 

💋Why? You didn’t ask for an essay and I had no idea about some of them. Did I win something? Is there a prize? 

I then had to explain what everything was, he still doesn’t get the point of most of these products. He still wants a prize. Bless him. 

If you want to do this tag, go for it. Let me know in the comments, I’d love to see if your partners and friends do any better. 

charity, ethics, questions

Should you re-sell a charity item?

Every year for Comic Relief (a huge charitable initiative) various different people pitch in to ‘Do Something Funny for Money’.

So we’ve had celebrities baking cakes on Comic Relief Bake Off, members of the public showing off their foxtrot for Comic Relief does Strictly and that’s all before you get to the telethon (known as Red Nose Day, google it, you’ll see why) itself.

You can also donate by buying a whole range of Comic Relief goods (mostly through Sainsbury’s supermarkets but I’ve seen red noses in WH Smiths, comedy specs in my opticians and posters in plenty of high street shop windows.

Most of it is aimed at children, especially the famous red noses and lots of schools get in on the act with sponsored events, bake sales and mufti days.

Designers have got involved over the last few years with limited edition t-shirts in TK Maxx and Lulu Guinness shoppers in the supermarket.

Two years ago I got a Lulu Guinness shopper, it wasn’t the one I wanted, they had sold out, and this year I got another one.

I have been after a Lulu Guinness bag for ages, I think they’re fun and quirky, so every now and then I search ebay to see if anyone has one for sale at a not too insane price. Imagine my shock to see dozens of the Comic Relief bags for sale.

Personally I think it’s pretty distasteful to be selling anything that raises money for charity and making a profit. Yes, you made your donation when you originally bought it, but then to flog it online and make money is rather nasty.

The bags cost £5, which isn’t a lot considering and the money helps people in need in the UK and overseas.


I might even buy another bag, they’re good quality and strong. I’ve also bought the Crafternoon magazine and the GBBO book, mostly because the money helps people in need.

But I won’t be selling them on, that just lacks class in my opinion. What do you think?


ethics, lifestyle, lush, questions

Lush and the problem of ethical beauty


On a facebook group recently a member asked whether anyone could recommend a beauty brand like Lush but not Lush as she was a member of Countryside Alliance and Lush support hunt saboteurs.

Now, fox hunting is illegal in the UK, even though our current (vile) PM is a member of a hunt, and fox hunting has been repeatedly proven to be not only inhumane but costly and pointless as a means of keeping numbers of foxes low.

It is in fact much cheaper and more practical to shoot foxes or poison them if they are causing a nuisance, eating your chickens or spooking your sheep.

The cost of raising hounds, horses, the outfits and damage done to farmland far outways the benefits of chasing one animal to the point of exhaustion and then ordering dogs to tear it apart.

I’m not saying that hunt saboteurs are a good thing either – in fact they are known to cause harm to animals as well. Spooking a horse, causing it to fall, maybe break a leg and have to be shot does not mean you took a stand for animal rights.

Foxes are a nuisance, and not just in the countryside. More and more of them are living in urban areas, raiding bins, attacking pets (and apparently babies, despite being very wary of humans) and having all night mating sessions involving screaming in people’s gardens.

I use Lush because I admire their ethical policy (not testing on animals – meaning until last year they didn’t add SPFs because they were predominantly tested on animals and they needed to find one that wasn’t) and the lack of chemicals in their products means that my sensitive skin doesn’t react to them.

Testing cosmetics on animals was banned in the EU last year (but check where your products are manufactured, as outside the EU no such restrictions are guaranteed by law). So theoretically all products are cruelty free. Lush led the charge and is very happy with this change in legislation.

Fox hunting is a touchy subject even in my extended family, my Yorkshire rellies own farmland and came to London a few years ago for a CA march. I held my tongue, I don’t agree with their ethics (or lack thereof) although they are family and I care about them.

Where do you stand on the question of beauty and cruelty? Do you check the provenance and ethics of your products or is it something you choose not to worry about when buying your cosmetics?


Images from Lush Ltd’s facebook page