Thursday, 29 August 2013

Take me back to uni!

I think I'm slowly starting to lose my mind with how much free time I have at the moment. I'm approaching my third and final year so I already know the deal, go to uni for 8 months, 4 months off, that doesn't make it any easier to conjure up new ways of spending my time though. I'm so desperate to go back! I need some structure in my days, and not to sound like a complete nerd but... I miss learning. Unfortunately my trusty card reader has died on me and I keep forgetting to get a replacement, so I can't share all my new photo's with you! what I can do is steal other peoples photos (Like Rosa's, thanks girl!) and tell you about what I've been up to. First of all, here are a few photos I forgot to include in my Heaven and Roadhouse blog.

Me and Julia at Heaven nightclub, they were giving out free glow sticks to a select few of the guests. I felt special to be one of them (just kidding)

The amazing BBQ chicken and bacon melt that Rosa had when we went for dinner at Roadhouse, that red blur in the background is me frantically shaking the ketchup bottle, if you can't tell.

and the other blurry pics from Roadhouse, after the third cocktail things got a little hazy but I remember having a great time, and dancing until my feet practically fell off. I left 'early' because I was tired, and we'd been there for almost 8 hours! Probably should have taken a disco nap.

Right now I'm reading lots, drawing, spending some much needed time with the family - who I haven't seen in so long - and trying to see as many friends as possible before I head back to North London to start university again. I just finished reading 'The fault in our stars' by John Green, if you haven't read it I whole heartedly recommend! it's fantastic if you love touching, realistic, and slightly tragic love stories. I usually gag at love stories but this one is very well written. Also 'The fault in our stars' is being made into a film as we speak and I am so so excited for that. I'm trying to avoid the t.v. because frankly, it is the most evil and time wasting thing ever invented, and whenever it's on and I'm in the room I never achieve anything. I still haven't planned anything for my birthday, I am the WORST at planning birthdays, or planning anything actually. Organisation is not my thing, but I never mind what I do as long as I manage to see both my friends and my family and there's cake involved.

Hope to be blogging more exciting things soon guys xoxo

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Heaven and Roadhouse.

I ventured to two very different clubs over the past two days, 'Roadhouse' in Covent Garden is a lovely hidden away spot where you can drink cocktails and dine on American style food, which is just what I did with my dinner date Rosa. Now, I have actually been to Roadhouse before, but I was - how do I put this - too intoxicated to fully appreciate it? haha. Like all good stories, this one starts with wine.

White wine to be specific, it wasn't good and I definitely wouldn't recommend it, however for £9.50 a bottle it wasn't half bad. After our drinks it was time to order food, I went for a beautiful looking beast of a burger called 'The works' which as the title suggests, has a little of everything. The amazingly tender beef burger was topped with tomato, gherkin, smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, caramelised onions and sautéed mushrooms.

They'll ask you how you want your burger, I suggest you say medium for the results below. Rosa had the BBQ chicken, bacon and cheese melt which she said is "Fucking succulent chicken' in other words, its seriously good.

After dinner our friends arrived and we decided to optimize the last of happy hour and order some cocktails, and yes, there is indeed a motorcycle sitting in the centre of the bar.

The flair of the barmen and women is pretty amazing, and they aren't just skilled at throwing a bottle or two in the air, luckily for us they also make a pretty great cocktail. The spotlights at Roadhouse made for some pretty dramatic lighting in these pics.

 Strawberry Daiquiri 

 Raspberrylicious cocktail

Screaming orgasm (yes please ;)

Julia ordered these pretty amazing nachos too, the cheese sauce in the centre was the best. After finding a place to sit (or stand until they brought us some more chairs!) I had a little wonder around to take in the awesome décor.

There are neon signs everywhere you look, road signs, projections of strange shapes and pin up girls, and even a 1924 Harley Davison motorcycle hanging from the ceiling. After a few drinks and meeting some random but pleasant new people, the live band came on. The band were called 'The Electric Mayhem' and they did mostly indie covers, the stand out songs for me were 'All these things that I've done' by The Killers, 'Yellow' by Coldplay and 'Don't stop me now' by Queen.

 The guys voice was pretty great, and he chose mostly upbeat, dance-y songs so of course we danced throughout the whole set.

Heaven nightclub is the other place we went, on Mondays they have a student night where if you have valid student id, you can get free entry and drink deals. I didn't take many photos here because it's just a typical looking night club (almost), and also the music was so good that I just wanted to spend most of my time dancing.

 Rosa and Julia looking all cute.

Here's why I said 'almost' typical looking, in one of the many rooms at Heaven night club there is this giant bed surrounded by fairy lights, I couldn't decide if it looked ethereal or sleazy, might have to go with the second one considering the kind of guys that we encountered there.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Miles Aldridge retrospective - I only want you to love me

Miles Aldridge is probably my favourite fashion photographer. I chose him as one of my artists to study back when I did photography A Level, I saw just one of his photographs and instantly fell in love. One of my favourite things about his work is the colour schemes, they always work for each particular concept he is going for. His work is vibrant, exaggerated and sexy high fashion, with just a hint of sinister - check out his website to see what I'm taking about.

So when I found out there would be a retrospective of his work for the release of his book 'I only want you to love me' I had to go. 

Somerset house, the location of this exhibit, is a very stunning location in itself. Originally completed in 1551 for the Duke of Somerset, the poor Duke did not get to enjoy the palace much because he was executed  for treason. The grand building is host to a variety of arts and entertainment, in the picture below there is a large screen which turns into an outdoor cinema in the evenings, tickets are expensive but if you're feeling rich you can buy them here.

I got a bit lost and had to ask several people where I was going but eventually I found the exhibit in the east wing (in my defence, this place is huge!)

This is one of my favourite photographs from the retrospective, all the women in Aldridge's photos appear in some kind of despair, whether that be obvious (above picture) or more subtle (below picture) I wanted to take more pictures for you but the security woman was giving us that 'you shouldn't really take pictures' look and she looked scary to be honest. As well as the large scale prints, there is also his hand drawn storyboards, magazines full of his work and polaroids. It really helped me to better understand his creative process.

I got my ticket here for just £3 - it's only £3 on a Monday - which is pretty damn cheap. I also met a lovely photographer on the way to the exhibit who said his work was very influenced by Miles Aldridge but I can't remember his name unfortunately. I'm so glad I went, I feel very inspired.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013


Fakery (pronounced fake-ery) is a term I heard on that tragic but addictive t.v. programme 'Snog, marry avoid'. By my understanding the term means someone who has a lot of 'fake' things about their appearance, like acrylic nails, hair extensions, fake tan, lots of make-up, false eyelashes or lash extensions, and cosmetic surgery. There are other shows that stand as prime examples too, such as reality show 'The only way is Essex' in which the girls always travel in heels, yes, even to walk the dog. They also have a lot of make-up on. One of the girls in the show admitted to wearing 5 pairs of false lashes to her friend while they were just sitting in front of her t.v. All very strange if you ask me. I've been thinking a lot about fakery lately, and how ingrained it is in the average woman, and a lot of men too.

I found this today, pretty interesting how our perception of beauty has changed, and scary how it is reflected here in this young girls toy.

I remember when I was in secondary school and was reading through the revised school rules, one of them stated that 'minimal make-up is allowed to make the student look presentable'. At the time, I didn't think anything of it. What the fuck do they mean 'presentable'? I find that offensive to be honest. Are the young girls at my school not presentable without make-up? or are only some of them deemed hideous enough to need the face paint. So what do we say to the world by putting all of this stuff on? hello, this isn't how I actually look, but it's how I'd like to look? in the simplest terms, yes. Have you ever wondered why it makes us feel better, prettier, sexier, more confident? Let's have a look at a brilliant example. The picture below shows the reality star Heidi Montag before and after cosmetic surgery.

I find it funny that she doesn't look as happy in the second photo.

Here is a list of all the procedures she has had done:

Brow lift
Nose job (again)
Botox in forehead and in-between brows
Neck liposuction
Ears pinned back
Fat injections in cheeks, nasolabial folds and lips
Liposuction on waist, hips and inner and outer thigh 
Chin reduction
Buttock Augmentation
Breast Augmentation (again) (She's now DDD)

I just don't understand why she felt the need to have all this surgery. She was a naturally beautiful girl before and now, frankly, she looks a little scary. Like an expressionless barbie doll. Then again maybe that was the look she was going for. This kind of extreme body modification makes me wonder why so many people feel like they aren't good enough. I'd like to blame it all on the media and say that staring at images of perfectly presented people in magazines, on billboards, in music videos etc, makes women feel inadequate. Although this is true, it's not like we are idiots  we know that almost all these images have been tampered with because even celebrities aren't perfect. Nobody can realistically look perfect all of the time but this is what we feel is expected of us more and more. 

Other than drag queens, pornstars have the most dramatic difference between before and after getting ready.

This is a self inflicted pressure too, we see someone we admire who looks fabulous and we want to look like them. I'm trying to understand why that is. Maybe it's because we feel that if we look like these people who are so successful, then we can have a similar life and be happier. Maybe its purely a trend thing, so and so is wearing this and has this hairstyle so I will too. Some believe that if you don't put enough effort into your physical appearance you won't get a job or a boyfriend/girlfriend which is fucking ridiculous

Child pageants are another one of those dangerous and cruel things we have in the world that are just unnecessary  Below is the child pageant star Eden before and after photoshop.

As if all that heavy make-up, overly plucked eyebrows and hours in the hair chair wasn't enough, they had to photo shop her into looking like a doll. I hate pageants in general, but child pageants shouldn't exist. It's just teaching young girls to judge others by appearance, not just a bit of fun. It also shows how terrible parents can be (remember the mother who gave her child botox? what is almost worse is when asked about it the 8 year old said that although it hurt but she was used to the pain...)

The people who only have a few fake things about their appearance feel the right to judge those who are more obvious about their fakery. It's funny really, and quiet hypocritical. Fake is fake, no matter the quantity. it's also a culture thing as much as anything else, if you're friends look a certain way you're likely to look that way too. Not always, but in most cases its true, you can't help but be influenced by people you like ie: friends and celebrities.

Out of all of my sisters (3) I am the one who wears the most make-up and wear it more often. I put this down to wanting to be a make-up artist when I was younger and also being into art in general but perhaps there are underlying reasons? this is me before and after make-up.

I'm not suggesting we go back to the days where you pinch your cheeks to achieve that peachy looking flush, but for goodness sake some of you need to tone it down, a lot. In terms of make-up and styling, it can be fun to experiment and creative too, but when you feel the need to look a certain level of good just for going to the shops, there's obviously a problem. Most of the time I don't even think about the negative effects all this fakery can have, because everyone does it. It's gotten to the point where if I meet a girl around my age or even younger who doesn't wear make-up - I am genuinely shocked, that's how normalised it has become. Hopefully not forever though.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Photo diary, my 2013 so far.

I'm pretty bored right now what with no part time job on the horizon and uni 2 months away. I haven't been up to much as my funds are quiet non-existent, exciting I know. So I thought it would cheer myself up to look at the fun times I've had this year so far.

I spent some quality sister time in China Town.

The food there is so good, we were also looking for something to get my mother for her birthday.

I spent some time in the park with friends, soaking up the little sunshine that we get in this country!

We played some drinking games before heading out to Camden.

Super delicious hangover food American style, courtesy of 'The Diner' in Camden.

Spent the day on Regent Street with Julia and Rosa sipping cocktails, eating dessert and enjoying the sunshine.

I spent some much needed catch up time with my friends back home.

Had an amazing time clubbing for Rosa's birthday at Picadilly Institute which I blogged about here.

Went out in kingston for Vickies birthday, just before this shot was taken some guy spilt his drink down my dress, I politely acted as if I didn't care.

My older sister Amy made this cool collage for mothers day, we celebrated by sitting at home eating junk food and watching films, why break tradition eh?

Went out in Angel to a bar called 'Ladybug' shoutout to the bartender who gave me a free shot!

Got a little too drunk at Emma's birthday at Tiger Tiger night club, London.

I saw the 'Swiss Lips' concert in Shoreditch.

I've done a lot of other things like painting, more clubbing, photography, and such, but this was starting to become a very picture heavy post so I held back a little! I can't wait to start my final year of university in September, also I turn 22 around the time I go back so it's double the reason to celebrate. I haven't got anything planned yet so I'd better get a move on! Currently I've spent the past two days in the gym that I just joined, yesterday was my first step class which was horrific! I've never done constant high energy exercise for 45 minutes before so it was a real test of my endurance (or lack there of) but I'm glad I pushed myself, the teacher is a lovely pint sized lady who smiled the whole way through which kind of helped me to not give up. Tonight me and my flat mates have a Fast Abbs class which is only 15 minutes long but is apparently 'excruciating' so obviously I'm terrified, but I'm sure I'll survive.

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