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Thursday, 29 March 2012

California Dreamin'

So this week I made a series of fortunate or unfortunate decisions which resulted in a total overhaul in my plans for the summer. I am, however, more excited than ever for the season of hotpants and ice cream, and I am hoping that my summer may end up looking a little something like this:

Those of you out there who are from the US, I would like some vague indication of the realisticness of my perception of what my stateside summer is actually going to be like. That said, if I do not attend a least one beach party and have at least one encounter involving a yacht, I will be disappointed. I am beginning to think that the America I want to visit this summer actually ceased to exist in around the year 1960, but a girl can dream hey?

In other news, I do now have the perfect hat for attending all these events:
I bought it yesterday at Camden market before proceeding to wear it for the rest of the day. From now on, this is going to be my signature hat. I don't know about you guys, but I never feel fully or adequately dressed unless my head is adorned with some sort of decorative item. Be it a headscarf, flower, headband or hat, it really finishes off an outfit. Given that 99.9% of things that I attend are very informal, I feel that a little quirky head adornment goes a long way in the style stakes. 

I also fell in love simultaneously with a dress, a shop and a way of life. Which resulted in me buying this dress:
It is from the most scrumptious vintage stall in Camden market and I really couldn't not buy it. I could have purchased multiple items, but that would have been an unwise economic decision, given that it would result in me a) never being abe to afford to go anywhere again, and therefore b) having no occasion to wear any of my new things, and c) not being able to afford to go on the aforementioned trip to 1960s USA (I hear time travel is pretty expensive these days).

So there we have it. What is everyone else looking forward to about the summer? And have you found your must-have items for the summer yet?

Monday, 19 March 2012

Florence, Clare and the Embarrassing Effects of Impossibly Cheap Vodka.

So my weekend was pretty fun, I went to the People's Republic of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne to have fun and make merriment, but most of all to see the awe-inspiring Florence + the Machine, and awe-inspiring she was. That woman is just the epitome of effortless cool. She appeared onstage in a billowing black cape with gold embellishment and one can't help but notice that it takes a certain type of character to be able to pull off such an extravagant item so effortlessly. It was like she was saying to the world 'yeah I'm wearing a cape, and yeah I look amazing, and what?' and that is what we love about Florence. She just is naturally cool. Other artists run themselves ragged trying to appear as cool as Florence just is.

After the gig my partner in crime and I decided to go to a popular Newcastle watering hole, in which, in true Newcastle style, one can purchase a treble spirit and mixer for the handsome sum of £2. Now this may be a good idea in theory, but in practice we all know this is never going to end well. So trebles we drank, and fools we (I) made of (my)ourselves. This moves me nicely onto my next item, which is my first street style snap. Now I've been meaning to start doing street style photos for a while, but always end up bottling out because I feel I'm not cool/well-dressed/quirky/interesting/attractive/photographically skilled enough to be able to pull off the pretentiousness that is required to acquire good street style photos. But give the girl a load of suspiciously paint-stripper-tasting vodka and these inhibitions are swiftly lost. In the corner of the aforementioned watering hole, I spied this very well dressed lady:

Cue me making a fool of myself. This is Jennifer Fleck and I just love her paisley-with-a-twist jumpsuit which she told me her friend had hooked her up with. Now Jennifer, if you're out there, I can only apologise for my shameful conduct on friday night and please let me assure you that I'm not usually that much of an idiot. The impossibly cheap vodka made me do it. So thank you for being a good sport and not alerting security that you were being harassed by a crazy person. And I do really like your style. 

Laying in bed on Saturday morning discussing the previous night's events with the C-Dawg, we came to the agreement that it would probably be best all round if, from now on, she would kindly intervene any time that she feels I am about to make a fool of myself. I think this would be best all round, and save a lot of horrific flashbacks and awkward next-day conversations if she just tackled these issues at source. So, I hereby announce to the world that from now on I will no longer do ANYTHING embarrassing. Like ever. What a relief eh? 

So that's a round-up of my weekend. Florence, jumpsuits, vodka and my trusty and faithful C-Dawg (heyy), what about you guys? do you tend to (like me) just attract embarrassing situations just going about normal life? And how was everyone's weekend? Share all below. 


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

My Fictional Friends- The Best TV Friendships of All Time

Most of the time, most of our lives are pretty average; we have our ups and downs and we may often find ourselves questioning if this is it, is this the best that life has to offer? This is where this beautiful form of escapism comes in that is commonly known as television. One can watch anything from an expose of the working conditions in factories on the Indian subcontinent to a show about vampires getting it on with each other, and everything in between.

Personally, I find myself pretty much exclusively watching American comedy-dramas, where the lifestyles are about a kajillion times more glamorous and sexy than my own life, and all the cast members possess a beauty which is positively other worldly. I guess it's because TV like this is such a great way to escape from my own really very average life and immerse myself in a world that I'll probably (and sadly) only ever experience in an observatory capacity. But there is always one thing that I can relate to, and that's the friendships. In these shows, romantic relationships come and go, but the way to captivate me is through the friendships. I may fail on every level at engaging in any kind of romantic encounters (this is a fact that I have come to terms with) but I'd like to think of myself as pretty good at attracting top-notch friend-types. For this reason, I really enjoy seeing good, genuine and heartwarming friendships on TV, and here I shall highlight some of the best.

5) Lorelai and Rory
I know that technically these guys aren't just friends, but there's no denying that they've got what it takes. 2am ice cream binges, backpacking around Europe, talking about boys and the future, and a flawless comedic routine really makes a winning combination. I'm not usually a fan of really sentimental mother-daughter stuff because life isn't usually like that, but if you didn't shed a tear at Rory's graduation, or in the last episode when Rory leaves, then you're definitely dead inside. 

4) Monica and Rachel
Now you could argue that their friendship isn't the central relationship in the show, and they're all really just biding their time until they find the right person to marry, but underneath it all, these girls represent a kind of friendship that everyone strives for. Unlike the others on this list, these guys don't have those poignant 'omg I love you so much you're the best ever' moments, but they have such a genuine, no-nonsense, loyal relationship that that isn't necessary. Plus, Monica didn't even get angry when Rachel upstaged her wedding day by announcing that she's pregnant. Now that's friendship.  

3) Carrie and Miranda

We all remember that moment when Carrie has had a terrible date and you see her all teary on the phone to who we assume is Big, and she says 'meet me at our place?' and when she arrives at 'our place,' there's Miranda, patiently waiting to pick up the pieces of Carrie's latest drama. These two are fiercely loyal to each other, and will frankly tackle any problems in the non-judgement, no-nonsense way that only Carrie and Miranda know how. The moment when Miranda looks up from her blackberry on Carrie's wedding day with such an adoring look is enough to warm even the coldest of hearts. 

2) Blair and Serena

'Right now, I'm with exactly who I want to be with- my best friend. After everything, we learned through it together. We raised each other. You're my sister.'
Yes, Serena did sleep with Blair's boyfriend, and yes, Blair is currently pursuing the love of Serena's life, but I'm not going to get bogged down in the details. These gals have got each other's backs. After a day of living their impossibly lavish lives and the trials and tribulations that come with such a life, Serena and Blair are always safe in the knowledge that when they return to their fifth avenue penthouse, their best friend will be there to help with the takedown of whoever is the enemy of the week. They're on the same wavelength, and anyone who comes between these girls with regret it deeply. 

1) Meredith and Cristina
Meredith: 'What's the plan? are you plotting a murder? a nuclear attack? It's fine, I'll get on board, I'm sure you have a good reason, but, just let me know.' These are the words of  loyal friend. If you look up the word 'friendship' in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of these two. Meredith once said to Cristina 'Derek may be the love of my life, but you are my soulmate.' This is the kind of friendship I'm talking about. These guys' husbands know better than to try and understand or come between the bond that Meredith and Cristina share. Just watching them makes you feel less alone in the world, and having someone as fiercely dedicated to you as these guys are to each other is all you need in life. Fans of the show will remember the time that Meredith 'died' and Cristina went fully crazy, unable to cope with the concept of a world without Meredith. Cristina doesn't care about people, unless that 'person' is Meredith Grey. Together, these two can conquer anything, and good luck to anyone who gets in their way.  

Do you guys agree? Is there anyone you would like to see on the list? Or anyone on the list that you don't think deserves to be there? Let me know your thoughts!



Thursday, 8 March 2012

Peace, Love and Fighting Kony

So in the last few days there has been a total explosion all over the internet of the 'KONY 2012' video, with everyone from Stephen Fry to Rihanna to people I went to school with plugging it on facebook and twitter and urging people to watch it. Anyone who hasn't watched this video I urge you to do so- it's part of a campaign to raise awareness and ultimately bring justice to the Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony who, for the past two decades, has been kidnapping and and killing children and making them into soldiers. So as I'm sure you can all see, it's a pretty legitimate reason for people to be concerned and want to take action. One of the reasons that it has had such a massive impact in the world of social media is because the video is accessible and entertaining. No one wants to see yet another of those daytime TV-style heartstring-pulling guilt trip fests that we've all become desensitised to. This video has a charismatic guy, a cute kid and a Momford and Sons soundtrack, along with some pretty eye-opening revelations and ends in a way which makes you want to get up immediately and go to Uganda and take this guy out yourself. So all in all, pretty effective I'd say.

So what's my issue? Negativity. As wonderful, inspiring, supportive and inclusive as social media is, a counter-product of this is that there are the people who are skeptical about just about anything. Within hours of the video going mega-viral there were blogs popping up everywhere criticising the approach, content, message and cause for which this campaign stands, but not offering an alternative. This is fine, people are entitled to their opinion and many of the articles were well-researched and written by people who know what they're talking about. But this then lead to a wave of people instantly dismissing the original campaign, based on reading the backlash alone. I'm all for an opinion, or even a conscientious objection, but something doesn't sit quite right with me when something such as this is dismissed so easily without even watching it. An opinion is only respectable when it is based on knowledge, not laziness.

But now I'll stop being less negative, because these trollers are definitely in the minority and what was really overwhelming about the whole thing is the sense of unity felt by such a diverse selection of people. Never before had anything on the internet had such a profound effect on so many people. Occasionally something will 'go viral' and will be passed about a bit, but it usually involves either a cat, or someone (possibly a small child) who is unexpectedly good at singing. Nothing like this. Nothing that actually matters. This was different, and it restores the faith that many may be lacking in this age where it's considered acceptable to laugh at those who are overly posh, overly tanned, or gypsies, on TV. It makes one realise that people still do care, and the vast majority are compassionate, humanitarian, thoroughly good people who respond positively to an interesting video made by a guy who wants to make a difference.