Weekly Quirk – Issue 06


Issue 06 : 08 May 2018


Welcome to my weekly digest, covering things I’ve been reading, and interesting fact, my favourite posts on Instagram and a few things I’ve spotted that are on my shopping list. 

I feel like I’ve walked out of a dark room after being trapped inside for about 6 months – finally, the sun is peeping through my window at about 6:30, and the city feels more…alive. It’s amazing how just a little taste of summer makes everyone that much nicer.

I’m really sad that the bank holiday weekend is over, as it has been absolute perfection. We’ve been spoiled by the blue skies and the unusually warm weather, and I’ve eaten ALL.THE.FOOD. On Sunday, I had two ice creams in one day.

This is the time of the year that I suddenly go from being miserable to briefly relaxed, as the sunshine is a novelty. I haven’t endured days of sticky tube journeys where Londoners are irritable and shouting profanities at each other for little more reason than the fact that it’s over 40 degrees and we all just want to go home. At the moment we’re unzipping our summer wardrobes and ambling around in awe of the weather, as though we can scarcely believe our luck. We’re planning trips to the beach. We’re laughing because the sun is in our eyes – isn’t that strange? The sun, in our eyes? Almost as if it’s summer! – and we’re not yet crying because we’re squinting hopelessly at our computer screens as the deadlines loom and the salty stench of summer is just sitting in the room, pressing down on our motivation and telling us to go put our face in the fridge.

For now, I’m enjoying this novel weather though. Perhaps I’ll plan a trip to the beach. Perhaps I’ll put my face in the fridge instead.

 


Susan Pinker/Brian Gallagher : ‘Why women choose differently at work’

Which came first, orange the fruit, or orange the colour? Apparently the word orange was originally used to describe the tree the fruit grew on – a fruit that actually doesn’t exist in the wild, it was a hybrid between two other fruits created in South-East Asia. Only as language evolved did it come to describe the fruit itself – which wasn’t actually orange! In fact, in many areas across South-East Asia, oranges are bright green on the outside. This is because oranges are sub-tropical, and in cooler climates they turn orange on the outside – in hotter countries, the chlorophyll is preserved in the skin and so they remain green.

The word orange was first used to describe the colour in English in 1542 – weirdly enough, the first recorded example of the word appears in a will!

More here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_(fruit)


I can’t say I’ve been pumping out the summer tunes this week, but here are three albums I listened to, in no particular order!

Dua Lipa – Dua Lipa

This self-titled album is a rare dip into post 2000s music for me. I heard the single New Rules a number of times, and I loved how catchy but confident it was. I looked up the album, and there are just so many strong and emotional tracks on here – apparently she leans into hip-hop, which I can hear, but I’d classify this as pretty pop. This has been my go-to “I had a difficult day and I need something to make me strong again” album recently. (You can check out the album here)

 

Rubber Soul (UK release) – The Beatles

On Sunday evening, as the hot sun rolled behind the houses opposite and the temperature dipped a bit and the sky began to get darker, I put some candles out, popped this album on my record player and sat on the balcony to write for a bit. It was great, until I had to get up halfway through to turn the record over (I really need to upgrade to a record player that automatically flips the LP over) but I have one of those cosy mermaid tail blankets and my legs were somewhat trapped in. Wriggling out of it every 20 minutes was a bit of a pain, but it’s okay, because this album is so fun and energetic and happy that I didn’t mind too much at all. This is such an upbeat and happy album – well, unless you start listening to the lyrics. Any song that refers to grown women as girls kind of infuriates me, and Nowhere Man makes me cry a bit if I start thinking about the lyrics too much. Anyone else…? (You can check out the album here)

 

Aja – Steely Dan

I love how peculiar yet immediately familiar this album is to me. Each track feels like it has been etched somewhere in my memory but my brain doesn’t quite recall where. This was released in 1977 and although it has really split opinion, it is an album that I keep coming back to when I need something peaceful, uplifting, but at the same time with enough urgency that I still get the little things done. (You can check out the album here)


Basically the entirety of Collectifs SS18 collection, if you wanted to know. I mean, have you seen it?! A cracking mix of pastels and tropical fruits. And one jacket that I NEED.

1. ‘Outlaw’ Holographic Biker Jacket (COLLECTIF)

 Collectif Holographic Biker Jacket image

Sadly for me and perhaps thankfully for my wallet, this is a little bit steep for an instant buy – I guess I’ll agonise over it for a while before making the plunge! What is there to dislike? Holographic rainbow 80s feels that I can mix and match with my pastel-inspired spring wardrobe? Hell yes. Postage with Collectif is £5.50 if you’re in the UK. I tend to save up for a few bits and buy them altogether, or look out for the free postage events that they have every month or so. I’m praying this beauty won’t have sold out before then. (£67.50)

> Available from Collectif’s website in sizes 6 to 22

2. ‘Camilla’ Candy Stripes Skirt (COLLECTIF)

image of camilla skirt from collectif

This skirt just screams neapolitan ice cream to me. I’m a big fan of stripes, but the navy and pastel combo here (yes, that is navy and not black!) is really unique. I can see her matched with ruffly white peasant tops, or a vest top for days where you’re going to don a pair of sunnies and make a dash to the shops. The 97% cotton and 3% spandex is also screaming neapolitan ice cream – maybe even second helpings. And the best thing about it? It’s machine washable too, for when I drop that second helping of ice cream all down myself.  (£52.50)

> This skirt is available in sizes 4 to 22 from Collectif, but is currently sold out in some sizes

3. ‘Joyce’ Plain Swing Dress (COLLECTIF)

Joyce plain swing dress collectif image

If I asked you to describe a dress that looked like summer, could it look any more like summer than this? As you might already know, I am a member of the squeaky “It has pockets!?!” club, and these pockets look roomy enough for your wallet and your phone. I’m almost going off the pockets that are sewn (or should I say hidden?) in the side seam as I’ve nearly washed my debit card too many times to count now. It’s nice to have pockets where you can see them. I feel like you can match this piece of sunshine with a pair of wedges and a floppy straw hat, and you are BEACH READY. Or park ready. Or shop ready. Or wherever the hell you want to go, it’s your choice, ready. (£65)

>You can get your hands on Joyce by heading here – available in sizes 6 to 22

4. Hawaiian Circle Skirt (VIVIEN OF HOLLOWAY)

image of vivien of holloway hawaiian skirt

I was just having a peek at the Vivien of Holloway spring sale when I saw this tropical darling pop up. It’s a shame she isn’t discounted and she is very similar to the birds of paradise pattern (which I believe IS on sale!) – but on this one the colours are more muted and the pattern larger. It feels like the more serious skirt – those dusky red flowers and the dark background really contrast against the leafy greens. It feels like the kind of skirt I’d either dress down with cork heels and a white halter neck, or I’d wear a a long-sleeved black wrap top and a pair of heels – and make her fabulous print the absolute centre of attention. (£59)

The Hawaiian skirt is currently available from waist size 24 to 38


The London Marathon was a few weekends ago, so here’s the oldest entrant in the race crossing the finish line. And some happiness from the Happy Newspaper, because it’s nice to remember that there is some good in the world.

 

Still a long way to go but it’s a start 🌎💓 #issue8thehappynews

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Thank you for making it all the way to the end! You, my friend, are very special to me. I hope you’re having the loveliest of weeks.

Let me know if any of these items are on your wish list too, and if not, what is? And what are you listening to at the moment? (I feel like people used to ask that all the time when I was a teenager!) I love discovering new artists and albums so please spam me with all your music recommendations! The only thing I’m afraid I really can’t listen to is heavy metal, but I’m all ears to anything else.

image of my signature

Weekly Newsletter – Issue 05


Issue 05 : 11 February 2018


Welcome to my weekly digest, covering things I’ve been reading, and interesting fact, my favourite posts on Instagram and a few things I’ve spotted that are on my shopping list. 

So January went quickly – or it went slowly, depending on who you ask. For me, it sauntered along at first, stumbled a little bit in the middle and tumbled unexpectedly right smack-bang into February.

I kind of feel sorry for Feb. It’s normally the month that brings yet another blanket of snow, and this time round we’re all a bit tired of it so it isn’t all excitement and sleds – instead, it’s trying to get to work only the trains are all broken and I fell over on the ice this morning and my bum hurts and my coffee went everywhere and can I please go back to bed now. Generally, it’s still cold and miserable enough for people to think that winter will never end. I’m actually trying to be optimistic – the shortest day of the year is behind us now and that means that it’s going to start getting lighter in the evenings. And every day that passes in February is a day closer to it being summer again.



 

You know Grandfather clocks? Those tall clocks that appear in plenty of period dramas, or perhaps stood in the corridor at your uncle’s house where it would deafen everyone on the hour with its obnoxious ringing? Those clocks? Well. It turns out that we’ve been calling them by the wrong name for all these years. They’re actually called long case clocks. (I know, I think that’s a much more boring name too.) Apparently they earned this adorable nickname thanks to a 1876 hit called ‘My Grandfather’s Clock‘ and the name just stuck.

 

More here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longcase_clock

 


 

1. Deaths-Head Hawkmoth Necklace (SUGAR AND VICE)

This amazing acrylic statement necklace is from the talented Sarah and Matt who run Sugar and Vice Designs. I’m in love with the detail on this, and I can’t wait to make her mine! (£25)

> Available from Sugar and Vice’s website

 

2. Kingfisher Necklace (TATTY DEVINE)

You probably know by now how much a love my novelty items, and my acrylic jewellery – making the list is this colourful kingfisher necklace from Tatty Devine, which is on the pricier side – but you can’t go wrong with the quality and craftsmanship and TD are pretty much my go-to for statement items. I love the little things, like the mirrored feathers and the little fish. Absolutely beautiful. (£125)

> Find it here, at Tatty Devine’s online store

 

3. Hipster Chic ‘Hepburn’ Dress (LADY VINTAGE LONDON)

Every time Lady Vintage release a new collection, I feel like they’ve outdone themselves – and yet they continue to bring out increasingly diverse and fabulous dresses! I love all their latest items – but especially this hipster-themed one, which is hilarious yet still glamorous. I live in my Hepburn dresses, and own at least 12 of them. What harm would one more do, I moustache you? (£50)

>Available in sizes 8-28 from the Lady V site

 

4. Harlequin 50s Dress (HELL BUNNY)

I don’t know about you but the second I saw this dress, I knew immediately that it had to be mine. I literally ordered it that very minute – the pink and black harlequin design is such a stunning combination, and with the rose detailing? Beautiful. And I am a complete sucker for a gathered waist, such a rare treat in the repro vintage world! I hope I am united with this, the love of my life, before Valentine’s Day arrives. Hurry up DPD, I can’t wait this long!! (£46.99)

> Hell Bunny Harlequin 50’s dress is available in sizes XS-4XL

 

5. Orange Puffins ‘Audrina’ Dress (LINDY BOP)

Lindy Bop always do the most amazing prints, and whilst I find the quality of their clothing to vary wildly, I have to say that their recent collection has made me want to buy EVERYTHING. I don’t know if you can see, but this dress has the loveliest puffin print, and on such a vibrant peach background, it has me aching for long summer evenings and iced tea. 

The Audrina dress is a shorter ‘above knee’ version of the Audrey dress, which is another one of my favourites. A shorter length would be ideal for summer…if I can wait that long to buy it and wear it, that is. (£38)

> The Audrina dress is available in sizes 8 to 26 from the Lindy Bop website

 

 


Weekly Newsletter – Issue 04


Issue 04 : 19 June 2017


Welcome to my weekly digest, covering things I’ve been reading, and interesting fact, my favourite posts on Instagram and a few things I’ve spotted that are on my shopping list. 

The weather here in the UK has suddenly become too hot – perfect temperature for me is about 20 degrees celsius, and today it has been 31. I’m literally melting and I don’t think I have sweated so much in my entire life. I am dreading the tube journey tomorrow.

It’s a little sad that every week I’ve been writing my newsletter, something terrible has dominated the news. Sadly again this week there was another shocking accident in London, when Grenfell Tower caught fire and many residents perished. Hundreds of others found themselves homeless. When I came into work the morning after, you could look across to where the fire services were still working hard to put out the flames, hours later. I spent the day in shock, imagining what it must have been like, how they felt. I cried reading stories of mothers throwing their children out of windows to try and save them. The fallout has been just as heartbreaking as it turns out that the cladding used in a £10m renovation last year was not even fire-proof. If only people’s lives were worth more than the money saved by using a cheaper, poorer product.

I don’t really want to talk too much about it as I still feel quite upset. London has responded amazingly though; donating money and clothing, and quite rightly asking why the government has failed to address buildings like Grenfall, where the fire risk has been continually raised by residents and ignored. I hope this means that the government and property developers can ensure that this kind of accident can be avoided in the future.

 



I was rudely awoken a number of times this week by the birds, sitting outside the window, having a morning sing-song. Which is great, if you like that sort of thing, but I very much like sleeping. And I don’t think 5am is a reasonable time to get up and have a happy chorus with your mates – and if all this wasn’t bad enough, my morning alarm is birdsong so that alone has been pretty confusing for me this week. “Alarm? Why you mysteriously go off at 5am?” “It wasn’t me!”

All this early morning tweeting and whistling, and the fact that they just WON’T SHUT UP, has been making me tired, grumpy and irritable. Why won’t they just go back to bed?! And that in turn got me thinking: I’ve never seen a bird asleep. Where do they go? Do they have little nests? Do ducks sleep in trees? Do they snuggle?

I can’t really get a decent answer on the last one, so let’s just assume that birds are super cuddly little dudes and you should definitely hug the next sparrow you see.

I did a little bit of research, and it turns out that…bird sleep is AWESOME. I warn you – there may be more than one fact this week because our chirpy little friends are actually super cool.

Some of us might have seen geese or ducks having a cheeky nap in the sun, but I’ll bet you haven’t seen a blackbird having a kip. It turns out, much like humans, birds like to sleep in places that protect them from being eaten in the middle of the night. (I guess in that case, the ducks you see having a snooze along the river are like intoxicated humans and will just sleep anywhere, regardless of the possible danger.)

Interesting fact one: Most birds don’t actually sleep in nests. It turns out that once they’ve laid eggs in there, and the hungry chicks have grown up and left home, it’s a pretty stinky place to be; covered with bird poo (no, they don’t always aim for Uncle Jeff’s car or your shirt on interview day; they do sometimes poo in their own home too) and sometimes infested with mites. Sounds pretty minging.

Instead, most birds find hedges and dense foliage, or bird houses, a cliff edge, or a small cave to sleep in. Generally they sleep off the ground, which is safer. Even wild turkeys roost in trees. (See this video!) So it isn’t really all that weird to imagine a partridge in a pear tree, really. Thanks Christmas. Thanks for not all being lies.

Second interesting fact: Wading birds, and those that live on the water, just float into the middle of the water for an evening kip. Any disturbances on the water immediately wake them up, meaning they get advanced warning of any approaching predators. Smart move, but what if the wind blows you to the water’s edge whilst you’re asleep, and you get gobbled up by a passing fox?

This is where a bird superpower known as unihemispheric slow-wave sleep comes in. Basically, this is a state where only half the brain is asleep, and one eye remains open and one half of the brain alert, meaning that they can respond very quickly to any immediate threat. They don’t always sleep like this; if a bird feels protected, it might drop into a deeper and more complete sleep. If it’s having a quick kip in the bush, it’s probably only half asleep.

USWS is probably most useful to migrating birds, who literally sleep whilst they’re flying. Very little has really been scientifically studied, but it looks like swifts and albatrosses use this to fly so far in one stint. Which solves another mystery of how birds can fly so far without needed to stop. I feel like I need a little USWS in my life.

Third interesting fact: The Spruce tells me that some birds sleep in flocks, for protection and warmth:

“Sleeping in flocks is another defensive strategy many birds use. By roosting communally – with some species creating nighttime roosts of thousands of individuals – there are more birds to notice predators as well as more targets should a predator attack, giving each individual bird a greater chance of survival. In winter, many birds, particularly small passerines such as chickadees, tits and bluebirds, roost together in confined spaces to share body heat and survive lower nighttime temperatures.”

These defensive strategies aren’t just used in sleeping. It also happens when flocking birds are awake, as seen in this viral video showing some turkeys circling a dead cat. Animal behaviourists have suggested that the turkeys perceive the cat to be a threat, and they are trying to intimidate with their numbers and prevent it from singling one out. It also has the added consequence of freaking out humans, which means the tactic works, right?

Last interesting fact: The last thing to mention is the physiological aspects of a birds body that helps it sleep. A bird’s talons, or feet, are constantly being worked, as their natural muscular position is to be tightly locked, meaning that the muscles are relaxed when gripping onto, say, a branch – meaning they don’t just fall off their perch when they fall asleep. It does instead mean that when they splay their toes out as they walk, they are actually contracting their muscles and it is much harder work for them. You can see why they prefer flying right? (I mean, other than flying being REALLY COOL.)

 


Forever.

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Dolly and Dotty is a relatively new brand on the pin-up scene, but they’ve got a fantastic range of items on the lower end of the scale, offering a range of prints in various styles. These styles often have cute names – this is the ‘Anna’ dress; I own a ‘Cindy’ and an ‘Annie’. Most of their dresses are lined, and of a nice quality, but sadly for me a little less than generous in the bosom department. That said, I’ve still got my eye on this navy/white striped ‘Anna’ – at £34.99 I’m not sure how long I can keep telling myself I just don’t need it. That striped skirt!!

This style often sells out, so if it isn’t available in your size, you can always sign up to find out when it’s back in stock. This dress comes in UK sizes 8-24.

> ‘Anna’ Adorable Striped 50s Swing Dress in Navy/White

 

 

Lady Vintage was the first company I bought from when I was making my first foray into 50s clothing, back in 2015. I love their tea dresses; cute shorter dresses with a v-back, and now – pockets!! I am so thrilled to see that pockets have been included in the newer styles, and I’m head-over-heels in love with the flamingo border print range from their SS17 line. This blue one has particularly taken my fancy, and I am gutted it is sold out in my size! Here’s hoping there is a restock soon… The flamingo border print tea dress is £55  and comes in UK sizes 8-22.

> Lady Vintage Flamingo Tea Dress in Blue

 

 

I love this chunky charm necklace from Sourpuss; a summery nautical design, but with a slightly gothy vibe! I love my acrylic jewellery, and for only £12 from Collectif Clothing, this is an absolute bargain.

Sourpuss ‘Anchors Aweigh’ charm necklace (via Collectif)

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t like the Wizard of Oz?! Even if you’re not a fan of the amazing West End performance, or the 1939 film, you MUST at least love the fact that it has introduced red glittery shoes into mainstream fashion?

Lulu Hun’s shoes are a little small in sizing for me, so I always size up – which is why I am so annoyed I didn’t buy these beauties when I first saw them on the Collectif site as they have now sold out of my size! These really are selling fast, and as of writing only UK sizes 3 to 5 are available via Collectif currently priced at a mere £41.75.

Lulu Hun ‘Dorothy’ Block Heels (via Collectif)

 

 

No, YOU are obsessed with dinosaurs.

I can’t get over just how incredible this bag is! Origami? Mint? Dinosaur? In one perfect bag?? I KNOW, I KNOW. It’s still available from Thunder Egg, for a slightly pricey (but totally worth it) £39.95. I just dino if I can hold myself back from buying it.

House of Disaster Origami Dinosaur Bag (via Thunder Egg)

 


Weekly Newsletter – issue 03


Issue 03 : 12 June 2017


Welcome to my weekly digest, covering things I’ve been reading, and interesting fact, my favourite posts on Instagram and a few things I’ve spotted that are on my shopping list. 

Oh my goodness, WHAT a week. I’m not sure I could do a weekly summary without mentioning the UK election. Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week (probably very happy and blissfully unaware of this strange new world that is unfolding around us) you’ll know that it was the UK general election on Thursday. And what a nail-biter it was too!

Election chat:

Short story: Imagine it’s a few months ago. Theresa May (UK Prime Minister) is ahead in the popularity polls, and unexpectedly – after denying that she’ll call a general election – calls a general election in a thinly-veiled attempt to try and gain a further majority to push through some horrendous legislation. She refuses to debate the leader of the opposition on television. Both manage to eat hot dogs and bacon sandwiches without being made into memes. The country is pleased that Jeremy Corbyn under Labour will offer free school meals and a fully-costed manifesto, although they are a bit worried about money matters (who isn’t?). They go to the polls on Thursday to cast their vote. The election coverage starts at 10pm, and it all seems to be normal; everyone is expecting a Tory majority.

When SUDDENLY – this mad-looking chap called John Curtice appears, and tells everyone that the exit poll predicts a hung parliament. There is plenty of “oh but the exit poll might be wrong” and “well, you never know with these polls” – and everyone is STILL shocked when Labour gain over thirty seats. THIRTY. And the Tory party lose seats. It’s a hung parliament, meaning there is no overall winner, and everyone is very British about it. Confused about what happens next (Tory and DUP coalition? But they want to remove abortion, and think Creationism should be taught as scientific fact, and don’t believe in climate change – what madness is this?) it looks like everyone has lost the election.

So here we are, in this weird place where our politicians are confused, we’re confused, and nobody knows what on earth is going on. ISN’T POLITICS FUN.

I, for one, screamed in joy at the exit poll and danced up the hallway. Because in a harsh world that continues to horrify me, these small things (like half the British people realising that the Tories might not be the good guys, and Comey’s frank testimony to congress over in the U.S.) fills me with hope. And as a bleeding-heart liberal, hope is about all I’ve got.

Trump chat:

I do recommend watching at least the highlights of Comey’s testimony. It’s very interesting to listen to – but he does also say some fantastically weird things, besides “I can’t answer that in an open setting” over and over again. One of my favourites was, “I worried it was like feeding seagulls at the beach.”. He also quotes Henry II: “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?”

It’s worth a watch. A fascinating insight into the Trump administration.

Other news:

Beyond biting my nails down to the quick thanks to one hell of a week in politics (students in 50 years time are going to have fun analysing 2015-2017 aren’t they?) I haven’t done an awful lot this week. I’ve been working on a podcast with someone, which is quite good fun, but I still haven’t quite nailed the whole being-in-front-of-a-microphone thing. Is there anyone out there who actually likes the sound of their own voice!?

I’ve also been watching the original Twilight Zone from the 50s. I’ve been putting off watching it for a while, but now I.AM.HOOKED. They are such lovely 25-minute shorts, all with a sci-fi theme to them. Considering they are 60 years old now (gulp) they are still very relatable, and thoroughly fascinating. Growing up with Hollywood of the 80s and 90s, I’ve been trained to expect the plot beats, Save The Cat style, but these always seem to surprise me. The pilot episode had me guessing all the way through, and I really didn’t see that end coming. Please someone, watch the Twilight Zone too, so I can excitedly talk about it with you!

> The Twilight Zone, Season One (1959)


Mark Devenport: ‘DUP deals and dialogue: where are we now?’

Anthony J. Williams : ‘making sense of white domestic terrorism’

The School Of Life: ‘How To Be Sad’ (video)

Sarah Schuster: ‘Texts To Send Someone With Depression’

Tobias Stone: ‘Trump has damaged America, not the environment’

Elizabeth Gilbert: ‘Fear is boring, and other tips for living a creative life’

Nathan Hill: ‘The Nix’ (book)


This week, the Madrid transport authorities tackled a problem that is quite close to my heart: manspreading. In case you’re linguistically curious, in Spanish, they translate that as ‘El Manspreading’. (I’m personally pretty disappointed that they didn’t just make up their own attractive-sounding word; ‘el hombre-extensión’ or, even better, ‘persona-untada’.)

They’ve not gone as far as to make it illegal, but they have put signs up all over the metro asking people to take up their fair share of seat. I only wish they’d bring the same signage over here, as it’s not really the height of summer yet and I’m already at my limit of sweaty strangers’ legs. I was surprised to learn this week that there doesn’t seem to be any similar signage anywhere else in the word, beyond a more generic “don’t be rude, dude” which has popped up on the NYC metro.

I did however discover that -whilst manspreading seems to be okay to do everywhere but Madrid – kissing on the train carries a penalty fine of £42 in Austria. They classify kissing as ‘discourteous behaviour’, which I think is a pretty weird definition of kissing. Eating smelly food? Fine. Putting your feet on the seats? Sure, be my guest. A polite peck on the lips at the end of a date night? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

It’s also outlawed in Eboli in Italy, where kissing in a moving vehicle can incur a fine of up to £415. No, I’m not sure how they reached that number either.

“Kissing must be stamped out!”
“But how much shall we fine those rude individuals who flaunt the rules?”
“How about £40?”
“What are you on, Roberto? I was thinking more…£345?”
“That seems a bit too random. How about £400?”
“Seems a bit…too rounded to me. And I don’t like zeros. Don’t ask me why – probably some childhood trauma.”
“Okay…um, £425?”
“Way too much!”
“£415?”
“Hm, okay. I guess that sounds okay. Of course, nobody will question a fine with such a random amount.”
“I guess it’s quite romantic to chance a £415 fine for the person you love.”
“You disgust me, Roberto.”


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in the beginning

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Support bras by @gemmacorrell #supportbras #gemmacorrell #illustration

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I have no idea where they’ve all come from, but I suddenly have A LOT of brooches. And is that a surprise when cute bonsai brooches like this exist?! I was quite excited when Lottie & Lu launched, selling Baccurelli, Erstwilder and Deer Arrow brooches to us poor sods in the UK whom might otherwise have to deal with expensive import fees – finally, somewhere I can go to get my weird and wonderful brooches! I’m in love with the Japanese collection from Erstwilder, in particular this sweet bonsai brooch, with a little red background. This striking beauty is available from the Lottie & Lu website for £22.

‘Breathtaking Bonsai’ from Erstwilder (via Lottie & Lu)

Oh my goodness – how amazing is this dress?! I am particularly in love with the red, but it turns out there are loads of other colours available on the UV website, including a lovely polka dot. I’m normally not a huge fan of halterneck dresses (as I, um, struggle without a bra, and I think bra straps ruin the look somewhat!) but I love the way this one crosses over at the front, which seems to be a bit more supportive. And I adore the shape, and the flare! Simple, but beautiful. It’s only $78 direct from Unique Vintage, but that might incur some customs fees, which can be quite steep for me in the UK. I found this red version available at Deadly Is The Female, which is a gorgeous store based in Frome, Somerset, which also has a speedy online counterpart. They deliver DPD too (I avoid Yodel like the plague) and their customer service is second to none, so I thoroughly recommend them!

> For UK buyers, ‘Rita’ is still available from Deadly Is The Female for £90 in sizes Medium to XL

caitlin-swing-dress

Anyone who knows me well will know that my wardrobe is pretty much 90% Collectif clothing. Which isn’t exactly surprising, when they keep releasing cute prints like this one! The blue is such a lovely mid-blue, and it’s covered in teeny anchors and helms. A subtle but summery nautical dress. I love their thicker belts too! Sadly, I can’t justify buying this blue dream (yet) as I splashed out on the Jade dress recently, as well as a Jasmine skirt. Here are fingers and toes crossed that this pops up in a sale sometime soon…

This is available in sizes 6 to 22 (the wide range of sizes is one thing I am especially fond of Collectif for!) and is £51. Collectif delivery is £5.50, but is IS DPD, which is one of the more reliable couriers.

> The ‘Caitlin’ Nautical Swing Dress is available direct from the Collectif website


 

Weekly newsletter – Issue 02


Issue 02 : 04 June 2017


Welcome to my weekly digest, covering things I’ve been reading, and interesting fact, my favourite posts on Instagram (including one this week that makes me so freaking happy) and a few things I’ve spotted that are on my shopping list. 

I woke up this morning to some horrific news about the attack around London Bridge, and a number of missed calls from friends worried about me. I was absolutely fine; I came back from a wonderful BBQ at about 8pm, and ended up having an early night – luckily I’m an old granny so Saturday nights for me are all about pyjamas, Dr Who, and 11-hours of sleep. It was definitely plausible that it could have been me sitting in one of those bars along Borough High Street though, so I appreciate every single worried message and phone call I had, even if I didn’t reply until I finally woke up at around 10am.

Once again, we’ve been targeted by individuals who feel entitled to the lives of other people. My heart goes out to all those affected – a few friends had near-misses in the area, and a number of my loved ones had stories of other friends who were trapped inside pubs as the police shouted “get down” to them, other who were told by taxi drivers to keep clear of the area, and others who ended up walking/running quite far to get a train home. This is terrifyingly close to home for me, but I am warmed by how much people seem to care about each other, and the way that we once again demonstrate that London’s spirit will not be broken.

Moving on to something a bit happier, I hope those of you who were lucky enough to experience a bank holiday last weekend had a lovely one. I spent two out of three days decorating my office, which was enormous fun. Having painted it all an expensive paint from Dulux (not to be confused with Durex) which cost me £53 a tin (yikes! It’s supposed to ‘disperse light’ or something, so I can only expect that the light reflecting fragments are made from pure gold) I decided to roll up my sleeves and do something potentially very destructive. I grabbed some random paint (and makeup) brushes, and some grey paint…and I started to daub some random blobs all over my wall. A part of me was panicking about how terrible this could have gone, but when I stood back (into the newly painted wall on the other side of the room, sigh) …actually, it looked dead good. Like, really good. I’ve been sharing some of my painting experience on Instagram this week, so I’m sorry for the DIY spam.

I’ve been trying to watch the pennies this month, so it’s no surprise that it’s May when I get accidentally overcharged for things, or that it just so happens that my 2-year domain name payments come out this month and I’d forgotten about them. Luckily, I had the foresight to eBay a few things last week, so I can just about cover everything. I hope.

 


Anthony J. Williams : ‘making sense of white domestic terrorism’

Miss Victory Violet : Working The Gym For YOU

Christopher Luu : ‘NASA Is Going To The Sun’

Cici Marie : ‘The best true red matte liquid lipsticks: a ten lipstick comparison’

Gemma Seagar: ‘When is a Crop Top Not a Crop Top?’

Hadley Freeman : ‘Forget age-appropriate clothes – you’re never too old for cats and flamingos’

Kehinde Andrews : ‘Oxford’s move to decolonise history degrees is a start. But there’s a long way to go’

 


Dummy Alert: A short time ago, I spent an agonising ten minutes with a friend trying to name the ‘seven seas’. I was sure that, during a pub quiz a few years ago, they’d asked us to name the seven seas. Perhaps what they may have asked was ‘name seven seas’, meaning, name only seven of the numerous seas. Foolishly I came away thinking that there were only seven seas, and this has caused some confusion over the years when I could count more than seven. Was it that some seas weren’t actually seas? I could name the North, the Bering, the Caspian, the Aegean, the Yellow, the Irish, the Mediterranean…wait, is that one? How about the Arabian Sea, or the Sulu?

Yeah, it turns out that I was completely wrong, and I’m an idiot. Obviously the above are all seas, and there are also no fewer than 70 different bodies of water called ‘seas’. So much for seven.

The source of my confusion comes from the word ‘sea’, which I understood to be different from ‘ocean’. It turns out I’m not a complete muppet, as The National Ocean Service agrees with me:

“Seas are smaller than oceans and are usually located where the land and ocean meet. Typically, seas are partially enclosed by land.”

Okay, so if seas and oceans are different, what’s so special about these seven seas? What’s wrong with the other sixty or so seas?

A quick internet search tells me that the ‘Seven Seas’ is actually a super old-fashioned phrase for the world’s oceans. The ‘Seven Seas’ are actually the:

  • Arctic Ocean
  • North Atlantic Ocean
  • South Atlantic Ocean
  • Indian Ocean
  • North Pacific Ocean
  • South Pacific Ocean
  • Southern (or Antarctic) Ocean

Bonus fact: the ‘world ocean’ (which comprises of all the interconnecting bodies of water in the hydrosphere, yes, hydrosphere) is colloquially referred to as ‘the sea’, which means that there is one sea, but also 70 smaller seas. Confused yet?

Let’s talk about the word ‘hydrosphere’.

“The hydrosphere (from Greek ὕδωρ hydōr, “water” and σφαῖρα sphaira, “sphere”) is the combined mass of water found on, under, and above the surface of a planet, minor planet or natural satellite.”

How cool is this word? So now we know what it means, we can ruin a nice day out to the beach with a discussion over the colour of the ‘hydrosphere’ and get that word back into use, mostly because it’s cool, but also so we can stop people referring to the ocean as ‘the sea’ and confusing people like me who think that there are only seven seas, but also only one big one. (I’m beginning to wonder whether Inception was inspired by the sea/ocean/hydrosphere.)

 


💔🇬🇧 #london

A post shared by The Happy News (@thehappynewspaper) on

 


I have this cut in the Laneway print, which is a gorgeous orange and blue, but I’ve been eyeing up the red and blue colours, as the thin stripe is PERFECT for summer! I’m feeling straw-hat and ice cream vibes with this dress. It retails at £39.99 (so cheap!) and at the moment Tiger Milly have it available in both colours, and new customers get 10% off, which is awesome! Sadly the sizes are limited to 8-16.

> The Banned Apparel ‘Front Row’ dress at Tiger Milly

 

Last week Lady Vintage released an epic PANDA print (I KNOW!!!) which frustratingly sold out in my size almost immediately, and THIS week they’ve launched Nancy (also sold out in my size, arghhh!) which is this gorgeous sleeveless dress, with built-in petticoat. And in a cat print!! It’s so adorable! ‘Nancy’ in ‘Fantastic Cats’ is available in sizes 8-22, and there are a few sizes still available on their website.

> ‘Nancy’ in ‘Fantastic Cats’ at Lady Vintage London