Monday, 31 October 2016

Self Shooting: Autumn Reflecting


Although I'm a true girl of summer, I am fond of Autumn and the beauty it brings to nature. I've turned into one of those people that picks up leaves and takes them home if they are particularly pretty. More often than not I find myself looking up, which makes a nice change from my usual habit of stooping my head to avoid eye contact or staring down at my phone. 

The combination of oranges, plum tones, yellow ocres and greens really ignite creativity in me, and I feel like I constantly want to be out taking pictures or filming. To me this season holds the most potential for fabulous imagery, because of natures spectrum of colours, but also because of the stunning dappled light and early morning mists. 


Sadly the best phase of Autumn is nearly behind us with many of the most impressive trees starting to showcse sparse branches. Frustratingly until Thursday I hadn't been able to get out and film any Autumnal content. Si is back on tour (let's be honest, when isn't he?) so he's not arond the help me get the video of footage of me in my outfits that I usually insert alongside the footage I shoot of the location. I had been speaking to some videographers about helping me with filming, but it wasn't working out due to differing schedules.


I hate missing opportunities. So on Thursday I decided I may as well attempt to film my own outfit of the day video while the coloured leaves are still rich and glowing. After-all if it was a complete disaster I just wouldn't upload it, and then I would at least know for future reference that it wasn't worth the effort.


 Because this was a rather spontaneous decision I hadn't really got an outfit on mind, so just returned to my vibrant blue TK Maxx coat that I remember popped nicely against the orange hues, and layered over my recent Primark purchases. I figured my recent hair trasnformation would add a thematic colour into the mix too. 


So let's talk about the difficulties of filming your own lookbook. When Si does film or take pictures he'll tell me when I'm looking awkward, if I look constipated, or if my smile looks creepy. He's not great at noticing stuff like twisted straps, logos being covered, vpl (you know the stuff stylists notice) but he knows when I'm not looking the best I could look, usually due to being embarrassed or being unconfident in public. So if you film on your own, you only know when you check the clips back whether you've nailed the pose and been able to mask your awkwardness sufficiently.


My camera tends to go in and out of focus very easily, the screen needs to be pressed while recording to ensure it stays in focus throughout. This is obviously impossible to when you're the subject of the footage. I use my phone and the wi-fi to control the camera, it allows me to start and stop filming and see what its capturing, so if my back is to camera and I can hide my phone behind my body then it's fine. On the most part though I just have to hope for the best. There ended up being a lot of completely unuseable footage because it hadn't focued one me, so you have to allow for a lot of retakes, which isn't ideal in public settings. 


Talking of public...This is the main issue of filming on your own. If you are doing a shot that means you are a distance away from your camera/tripod, you are of course putting yourself at risk of theft. At any moment someone could come buy and run off with it, and there's not much you could do about it if you're posing metres away. Therefore, I would not reccommend self shooting in a busy place, like a street, town, city. At least at my location in the country it was just the odd family out for a walk, so I didn't feel too worried about this aspect. 


Another aspect of self- shooting in a public place is of course the odd looks you will receive. Of course some faces are actually just expressions of curiosity but because you're already feeling embarrassed about it, you translate them as judgemental looks. At least if you have someone with you while you shoot you feel less like a weirdo. Somehow it looks more proper and official, I always worry they think I'm some deluded person trying to shoot amateur portfolio shots. When I'm on my own I feel like I want to explain what I'm doing to passers by so they don't think I'm just the vainest person on the planet.


Another limitation is that of course the camera is stationary, you can't do any pans or moving shots of any kind. Moving footage can add a really nice element to a video but unless you can afford dolly's and very high tech robotic equipment this isn't possible when being filming as a billy no mates blogger. 


The video went live yesterday and I was so relieved and chuffed with the lovely comments it's had so far - thanks to anyone who took the time. It's made me realise that rather than be grumpy about my limitations regarding my youtube videos, I should just do my best with what I got. Now I know I can achieve something uploadable I will try and do a few more of these outfit videos again. I have always been fiercly independant and hate to rely on others, so it's a lovely realisation that I can make me these videos on my own, even if it does take a million times as long to film. Hopefully the satisfaction of doing it will make all the effort, awkwardness and difficulty, worthwhile.



One day hopefully I'll have the budget to hire some awesome videographers who will be able to make the images in my head come to life, but in the meantime I hope you'll enjoy my DIY attempts. 




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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

MAX FACTOR FALSE LASH EPIC MASCARA: FIRST IMPRESSIONS


Rather than spending money on new make up or replenishing my beauty staples (I'm trying to save money and also be a bit more conscious about waste at the moment) I'm attempting to get through all of my samples, the ones that are partly responsible for the unbearable clutter in my house. My all time favourite mascaras had run out a while ago, so I was using some samples that I'd be sent which were far from being my favourtites - hence why they had been neglected in my beauty sample graveyard located at the bottom on my chest of drawers.

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Halloween Make up: Glitter Tears


I had a rather angry allergy/acne break out last week, but luckily I've managed to recover it at a pretty good rate, so I don't want to put it at any risk of a relapse. 
This means, that you won't be getting any full on Halloween looks, because face paints are a bit heavy duty for my reactive skin. 
It doesn't mean that I don't have anything of the edgy or dark variety to offer you this spooky month though. 
I just uploaded this look to my channel it's a basic grunge look with a bit of a twist. The twist being the addition of glitter tears. 
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Friday, 21 October 2016

Interview with Milk Teeth


I've been spreading out my Reading Festival interviews because this year I only managed to get three (compared to last years 18). Unfortunately after my equipment got stolen, I cancelled the rest of them so I could hunt round the site and try and track down my equipment before the festival came to a close. I'm only repeating my sorry tale to explain why I may seem a bit off in this interview, as I was in the midst of the stolen camera turmoil when I got a text saying it was time for the interview, and my schedule also had said it was the next day. So not only was I completely unprepared (I like to do research before I sit down with a band), I was feeling very grumpy. As I edited it yesterday,  I realised I looked a bit distracted, which I don't want to ever seem when a band is kind enough to spare a few minutes to chat to little old me. Granted that was partially because I was aware than people were constantly on the cusp of walking in front of the camera, as you can see 3 people (including one of The Neighburhood) actually did. 

Milk Teeth are a fab UK band so it's a shame I wasn't on my A-game, because they are truly a band I'd like to showcase to my readers/watchers and encourage them to check them out. Luckily they were great to talk to, thoroughly down to earth, so they made my job a lot easier. 

This is a band I believe are destined for big things (I think supporting the likes of Thrice is pretty big already to be honest) and they're also a group I find myelf urging friends and loved ones to listen to. I remember playing them to Si in the car and saying you have to check these guys out. It wasn't long before he was bobbing his hea and agreeing that they had a 'cool vibe.'

So, hopefully you'll get to know a bit more about them from out chat on the sweaty leather sofa, but please make sure you check out their album Vile Child too.



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AM I A STUNT GIRLFRIEND?


Today a photo popped up on my Facebook feed. It was the face of someone I no longer know. Someone who it would be a stretch to call an acquaintance. I found myself thinking about him, and all the fun times we used to have together -  going to the pub, nights in watching movies and giving each other advice about our love lives, in person, or over very lengthy text conversations.

At one point this guy was probably one of my best friends, and the person I saw more than anyone else, family members excluded. So what went wrong I hear you ask? Did we have a massive fall out? Did he move away?

Well yes, this particular guy no longer lives 10 minutes away from my home, but we stopped being friends way before the change of location. It wasn’t the gradual sort of drift that I have come to expect from friendships as you grow up, it was abrupt and without acknowledgement. In fact it felt very much like what we now refer to as Ghosting, and much like the victims of that cruel and cowardly move, I suffered a broken heart. Don’t be confused, I wasn’t masking a deeper romantic love, I didn’t have dreams that one day the friendship would turn to coupledom, but I was grieving the loss of friendship, one that I thought would be life-long.

We had that sort of friendship where we discussed living together or at the least across the corridor from one another a la F.r.i.e.n.d.s. When discussing our eventual marriages (to other people) we pondered that perhaps I could be the best man at the wedding despite lacking some of the vital body parts. We said that when we have kids we we could be god parents to each-others offspring. This is a guy that I’d happily have a sleepover with after a night out, even share a bed, without any fear of wondering or lecherous hands. He even saw me vomiting into his toilet (and in the taxi) when I had too much Martini and even held my hair and heard the embarrassing effects of an alcohol/IBS combo.

Thanks in part to my advice, my help choreographing his dates, or constructing his texts, he got the girl he wanted. Suddenly everything I’d become accustomed to stopped. It didn’t just dwindle or become less frequent, everything about our friendship routine completely evaporated. It wasn't just that he wasn't getting in touch, he even ignored my messages and calls.

I started to wonder whether this wonderful and important friendship has been a figment of my imagination, it certainly felt like it meant considerably more to me.

His relationship came to an end, he was single again, and the old style of calls and text started again. And I had missed him (and us) greatly so I was happy to pick up where we left off, despite the niggle in my head about the fact I had been discarded as if I no longer served a use or function.

Of course I laced a few sentences with digs indicating I wasn’t happy with how I had been dropped so quickly, but on the whole carried on as if nothing had happened. I guess I thought that maybe he’d  realised on his own that our friendship was something worth maintaining...whatever his relationship status.

We’d be each-other’s plus ones for work do’s, and other events we’d been invited to (like weddings), and create lots more wonderful memories that I foolishly thought we would be able to look back on fondly in the autumn/winter of our friendship.

He of course got another girlfriend, and history repeated itself.

Now I’m not so naive to think friendships don’t change or (evolve into something different) when one or both of you gain a partner. Your priorities shift and of course the partner, where possible, becomes your plus one to events, and more than likely become the person you put first in many situations.

I also realise that a new partner may be threatened by the closeness of the friendship, so to make things work it may be necessary to step back a bit. Out of respect I would never sleep over at their house anymore, nor behave in a way that could be seen as disrespectful to the girlfriend.

I know many of you reading will think that perhaps the new girlfriends are behind the distancing, and in many cases I’m sure this is true. I’ve had male friends tell me that their wives or girlfriends don’t like them being mates with (insert name of flirty or attractive friend) and to keep the peace they choose not to speak to them anymore. But in this case, that wasn’t it, we actually got on very well, she knew the type of person I was, and that I was of no threat whatsoever.

I spoke to a girlfriend of mine at the time and she said, ‘Oh that’s just what he does….he did it to me too.’

Unfortunately this scenario repeated itself, not with this guy (because I eventually put a stop to the bi-yearly to friendship to and fro), but with about 5 more guys. My mum thought I was just going through boyfriends (like some sort of hussy), because she’d see (and get to know) these chaps who would come by so regularly for movie nights, or to pick me up to go out, and then suddenly she wouldn’t see them again. She thought I being secretive and hiding my love-life from her in true Scorpio fashion, my gruff reaction to whenever she brought up their names taken as confirmation.

Unfortunately, being a tom-boy, but one that still has very feminine qualities, it meant that I always got on very well with boys, but that I also served as a satisfactory stand-in, in the absence of an actual girlfriend.

We could bond over football and music, l’d laugh at their rude jokes, and I wouldn’t mind getting a bit dirty if the occasion called for it (get your head out of the gutter people!), but at the same time they could turn to me for those personal conversation, or to be their personal stylist on clothes shopping trips (much like a gf would).

In hindsight the thing that unites all of the guys that have done this to me is that, even though they have been rats and rogues at times, underneath it all they are all romantics, and if you look at their love history they are very obviously serial monogamists. They don’t feel complete unless that have a partner, so in the gaps in-between they need to fill that GF void. Me being the filler.

In a sense they put the attention and effort they so long to be able put into a romantic relationship into our friendship, which is probably why the friendship feels so wonderful to me I guess. But this means that when they get an actual girlfriend they don’t feel that void anymore, I am not longer needed, and all their effort and attention is dedicated to the GF.

So that’s where I came up with the term Stunt Girlfriend. I’m not ‘the one’ for these guys, but I'm there in absence of the real deal. I could have gone for the term stand-in girlfriend but the truth is that there is a lot of risk involved in providing this service (whether you are aware of your role or not). Chances are you will end up feeling extremely hurt and used, so there is always an element of risk and danger whenever you strike up a friendship with this type of person.

Today, the thoughts that arose when I saw that picture of FB lead me to consider my current friendships with males, to see if perhaps I was unknowingly guilty of the same. I’m in a difficult situation because Si has been away for about 80% of this year, so I of course end up inviting my friends as my plus 1s to events and gigs, things he may well have accompanied me to if he was here. When he comes back I obviously have (and want) to invest a lot of time and effort to our relationship, because that precious time is all we have to enjoy together. Inevitably in the few weeks he is around, I am probably a bit off the radar and less inclined to message or invite someone else as my plus one, as I’d like to enjoy making as many memories with him as possible…. before he leaves AGAIN.

Is this a normal part of growing up and settling down, or am I being as thoughtless to people’s feelings as all those guys were to me? This question stressed me out profusely because I;m an inherent people pleaser and hate for anyone to think bad of me. I’d never want anyone to feel used or like I only want to be their friend when it suits me, but it’s just a terribly hard balance to strike. If I don’t put my relationship first when the boy is home, I feel like it would be impossible to make it work. What would we have left if he’s away for the majority of the year and then I choose not to spend time with him when he’s back?

I really hope my male friends (and all friends) understand my situation and don’t feel like that, as that would break my heart, Please be assured I love and care for you all year round, but in an attempt at a certain aspect of adulating I will sometimes have to put the BF first and put my little amount of energy I have into making that relationship work.
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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

PREMIERE GRWM - Products


I was lucky enough to attend the premiere of The Accountant on Monday - a crime drama (with a frequent injection of dark humour) starring Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick.
 Getting ready for any red carpet event is a pretty daunting challenge, but with a new hair colour that I'm not yet used to, I felt even more clueless than usual. 
Apart from brief periods where I've dabbled with pink or denim hair, I've always been a blondie and apart from the odd day when I felt like being wacky or experimental I feel like I had my routine down. 

I put out some tweets and googled 'makeup for redheads' to discover the do's and don'ts then decided to just go for it, I mean if it all goes tits up thats what make up wipes are for right?

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Benefit's Gimme Brow: Review


'Hi girls, come pick a card.' We (Poppy and I) responded with a quick glance and eachother and a while sporting slight frowns. If you've walked down Carnaby Street, or anywhere in London for that matter, you will know about the frequency in which you are stopped - by people doing surveys or asking for charity donations. 

Don't get me wrong, I think these people are doing a wonderful thing, but when you're in a hurry and your the sort of person that hates to be appear dismissive or rude, you find yourself in lengthy conversations, promising to regularly donate money you don't have, and missing you appointment you were hurrying for.

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My Hair Makeover with Headmasters


So the results of my transofrmation have been out there for a few days now, and I've been overwhelmed by the 100% positive reaction - all the lovely comments have blown my tiny anxious mind. 

So, as you can see, I'm no longer a blonde. For me the old adage that blondes have more fun hadn't been ringing true for a long while, so I decided to go for a drastic change. 

Whenever you go through something stressful or traumatic you often feel an impulse to do something dramatic to your outer shell. I'm not sure whether it's to signal a change, and hopefully the start of a happier new chapter. Perhaps it's a way of shedding the trauma, as if the old you still had DNA from that period of your life, and that you would feel the effects of it untill you did something to rid yourself of it.

In my case, stress is an relentlessly on-going factor of my life, so I think I was looking for a change in my hair to effect my mindset in some way. Perhaps I'd feel different as a redhead and it would cause a shift in my being that would lead to positive results. Perhaps people would look at me differently, and therefore the opportunities that came my way could be more rewarding or plenty.


 The words fiery are often associated with redheads too, and that's a quality I wanted a bit more of. Most of the time I feel I have the word 'Mug' tattooed on my forehead. I feel like as a blonde people saw me as this wishy washy person that would forgive them of anything, however awful. Just before I decided to take the plunge I'd been let down on three jobs at the very last minute, which hugely inconvenienced me and meant that I had no money coming in this whole month. I didn't get a sorry or real acknowledgement that they realised how hassle that may have caused. Unfortunately this is something that happens....all the time. 

It sounds silly I know, but I do wonder whether they'll see a bit more ferocity in my eyes with this new do.


The colour I had in mind was a Shirley Manson style red. Not only is she a fab example of the type of woman I aspire to be, she has such a vibrant and punchy shade that gives any outfit the wow factor.  It.s that sort of ginger that is as bright as it can go with it still being accepted as a natural shade.

I sought advice from Adam Reed - of Percy and Reed - who, with the help of L'Oreal Professional did my wonderful denim transformation earlier in the year. I wanted his honest opinion on whether it was possible and more importantly whether it would suit me. Having put me at such ease when I went blue I was hoping we could work together on this makeover, but he's such an in demand hair genius I was unable to arrange before Monday's film premiere, where I was hoping to showcase my new look.


My friends at Bleach London were also fully booked so I decided to take a risk and go to a local salon in the village of Oatlands, that I haven't gone to for more than a decade (and never for a colour job). 

I called up and told them what I was after, and I've got to say I was slightly taken aback at the price. It was going to be be between £100-150. People how regularly get their hair coloured won't be shocked by this price, but due to my lack of funds I only do my hair when I have the luxury of mates rates or by doing reviews of salons. 

But I had a bee in my bonnet, and was determined to get it down that day. I went on to rationalise my decision by reminding myself that the boost it will give me will make it an extremely worthwhile investment.


Being excitable and eager I arrived there early, or so I thought. The reception tells me I'm half an hour late, and she's not sure they're going to be able to complete the whole job anymore. I felt my chin start to wobble and my eyes start to sting. I clearly had invested a lot more of just a visual change in this appointment in Headmasters. 

Luckily the walk in client that I had taken my spot was requesting something that wasn't possible, so I was able to take my slot back and start my consultation with my colourist Beth. 


I showed Beth my gallery of Instagram and Google image redhead inspo shots and she told me the ways in which we could achieve this, which used the words 'permanent.' Panic sets in. After my chat with Adam, and becase of my past experience, I had thought I could go ginger by applying a rinse over my existing colour. I thought I was going to get my usual highlights redone, to get ride of my roots, then a ginger shade put over the top which would leave me with streaks of different intensities of the red. The beauty of this being that it woulde fade fairly quickly, and I could decide to top up if I wanted or wait untill it returned to my normal blonde.


Beth informed me that using their rinses would mean the shade would last a very short amount of time and we would not be able to achieve the colour I was desiring. To get that punchy red I would have to strip my hair to one even colour, the colour of my roots, then put a permanent colour on top. She then showed me her colour book and the selections of gingers they do.


I have NEVER gone for a permanent colour on my hair (one that's different from my natural shade) so I ummed and ahh'd for a while, coming up with different and less scary suggestions for Beth to consider. I must have seemed like the nightmare customer at that point, poor girl. Having suffered a huge disaster in the hands on a chain hairdressers before I think I've become over cautious about things. 

Beth came up with another solution which would create a drastic change, but not have the same level commitment, and that was the use of a gloss. I really appreciated her patience and willingness to take on board my worries with her process, and I felt confident her route was the correct one for me.


So first up to get rid of the blonde in my hair to leave me with an even brown base for the red colour to go on to. It was crazy seeing the blonde disappear from my head within a matter of minutes. The time went even faster because I was engrossed in reading an interview with Zayn Malik in Elle Magazine. 


This was actually a very useful part of the process, because once dried I could see what I would like as a standard brunette. One of my exes had always wanted me to be a brunette but I refused out of principle - 'you'll have me as I come. god dammit!". I always associate brunettes with being sexy, sophisticated, exotic and glossy but I looked so drab and boring, it just didn't suit me at all, so I know I will never go for that look. I envy all you brunettes who look so fabulous!


So next it was time to paint on the gloss. It's always quite diconcerting when the colour is first painted on because it doesn't look anything like the final colour your aiming for. But after a while you see it starting to change, and the inner exciteable squeeling happens. I could see my roots starting to flame up with colour, and I was already feeling invigorated.


So after some more drooling over Zayn, who is frankly young enough to be my stepchild, it was time to rinse off the gloss. I was treated to a glorious head massage, while being massaged by the chair. It was almost too much pleasure to deal with if I'm honest. Luckily I was brought right back down to earth when it came to brushing my hair. Apparently my sort of hair is the worst for tangles because each strand is thin, but I have a hell of a lot of strands that like to get involved with eachother.


So now for drying, which is when you actually see the real result of the colour change. I couldn''t believe how glossy it looked, us blondes aren't used to having such shiny locks! I knew at that moment I was pleased with the results. However, I will admit I was slightly shocked at how dark it was because I had come to the salon envisioning a punchy ginger and this was more of a maroon winey shade - but I actually think this suited me better. When I brought up with Beth that it was darker than I had wanted she told me that it would likely lighten with washes, and that you only get that brightness with the permanent colours. So if I wanted to be braver and go lighter I could come  and go for that next time.


We went outside with the mirror so I could see what it looked like in day light and adored how it caught the light and looked alive and vibrant. Living with it for a few days I love how different it can look in different enivironments. When I film it looks like the fiery ginger I originally wanted, in photos it looked like the colour of Merlot, then in dim light it looks like a rich and warm mahogany.


When sitting in the chair, while Beth kindly trimmed my bitty ends, I couldn't stop gorping at myself, mainly because I didn't recognise the person looking back at me. When other people in the salon came over and said how much better it looked, I felt comforted and even more excited about this new me. Despite my relief at the results, I still felt a sense of unease as I wondered what my unnervingly honest parents would say...and the rather direct and to the point YouTube commenters...


So when I walked in to the house there was definitely a look of shock on both of my parent's faces, but as I walked into the light and swished my hair around a bit they seemed to warm to it fairly quickly. When they said they liked it, they seemed genuine, but they did say it would take a bit of time to get used to...you and me both. One day mum did say I wasn't her little sweetheart anymore, which hurt a little bit to be honest, but when I thought about it I realised that was probably a good thing. 

I now feel like I look like a woman, not a girl. I don't think this is just about the colour change, I think it's to do with the way I'm dressing because of it, and the way I'm carrying myself. I feel rejuvenated and I think I've used this visual change to shift myself into a new era, one that I hope will lead to a happier and more successful version of myself.


Thanks to Beth from Headmasters Weybridge for the tranformation, and not just for your handy work when it comes to my hair, but for your support and patience during the process. 

Also, I must tell you guys that because of the change of plan, and because they signed me up to their club, my new do ended up costing way under £100! A bargain...

Now guys, I just need your advice. Shall I stick with this colour, or get the brighter orange next time I go back to Headmasters?  Let me know in the comments!

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Sunday, 16 October 2016

Outfit Post: Femme Grunge


It feels like yonkers since I've taken some outfit pictures, probably because it has been. I've given the illusion that I am making fashion type content and being a very productive blogger, by posting old holiday snaps or outfit post shots from previous shoots - you know the shots that weren't the chosen one to be the first instagram of that look. 
It's going to be hard for me to get away with that behaviour now that I'm a red head and look alarmingly different to my former blonde self.

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Thursday, 13 October 2016

My Birthday Wishlist




I've never done one of these type of posts before pre or post birthday because, I don't know, it kind of feels a bit vulgar. But I do actually like reading other people's posts, because it's just another way of finding out about desirable items that are out there, but also seeing what's floating that particular bloggers boat at that particular time. in my case it's also useful for sending over to my boyfriend who is always away on tour during my birthday and bugging me to give him pressie ideas, preferably stuff he can buy via his phone or laptop when chilling in a dingy dressing room somewhere in the world. 

If you know me, you'll know how much I hate my own birthday. I do my best to ignore it each year and I'm very stubborn when it comes to celebrating it. Most years I have been forced out by friends, but I only agree to leave the house if it is understated and intimate. The thought of being the centre of attention and requesting people travel miles and take time out of the week to celebrate, what to me, is just another day, is not appealing in any way. I just don't need the pressure of being the fun birthday girl and I don't want to deal with the many possible awkward scenarios that can arise at such events. 
This year my close girlies have suggested we go play Bingo, which is probably quite fitting for someone of my advancing years. Si is also looking into whether I can come out and visit him out on tour on my birthday, but there's a lot of logistics involved in that, so I'm unsure whether that's really feasible. Plus I'm completely broke and struggling to afford a train ticket to London right now!

I know it's just another day, but at the same time it does make you consider the year you've had and if I'm honest it's even harder to feel celebratory when you feel like you've gone backwards in every area of your life. I'm earning far less money than this time last year. My mental health is worse. The standard of my YouTube has deteriorated (after my equipment got stolen). Before this turns into yet another rather negative post let me try and muster up some things that have improved....

My skin is ok, and generally better because of my laser treatment at the London Cosmetics Clinic. 
I reached 10,000 on YouTube, so that does mean I surpassed what I believed to be by capabilities. 
I went back to Greece, a place I love. 
I got to visit one of my bucket list destinations, New York.  
I started doing some presenting work about Art. 

And I'm still here.  


Anyhoo, let's get to the point of this post...

So if I could just have one thing it would be an amazing camera which could mean that I could do all the YouTube and Presenting work I'd love to do and to the standard I yearn for. I keep having to turn down work because I don't have the quipment and can't afford to hire a crew, so it would be great to have a camera like the Canon 5D Mark 3, which I could use for interviews, lookbooks, blog posts, beauty tutorials, as well as my talk to camera chatty vids.  I do understand this is something that no one looking to buy me a present would ever be able to afford to gift me, I've not completely lost my grip on reality, but money towards it would be fabulous...unless some bored billionnaire happens to be reading this (wink wink). I thought it would be a pretty dull post if I only featured one tech item, so I had huge online window shop last night (whats the online equivelent? Websites don't have windows obvs) and found some bits and bobs that I thought were pretty and cool. Notice that many of them are classic pieces. I very much want to become someone that chooses to invest in items that will last and look great for years, rather than too much throwaway fashion.

Vans Old School Classic Trainers £52.00
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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The value of sharing and support: Breast Cancer Care


You may have noticed a pink theme emerge on my Instagram in the last few days. This isn’t the normal blogger decision based on aesthetic, but to signal my partnership with the charity Breast Cancer Care during the month of October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month).

Breast cancer is still the most common cancer in the UK, the lifetime risk of a women developing breast cancer currently being 1 in 8. Of course many of us will be aware from personal experience how real and scary a statistic that is. It’s hard not to feel helpless in the situations where we find ourselves effected by Cancer, however something we can all do is contribute to amplifying the importance of Breast Cancer awareness.

Of course goals like this should be strived for continuously, but with busy and stressful lives, and with so many worthy issues needing awareness, it’s helpful to have scheduled events and initiatives to nudge us into action. That’s why Breast Cancer Awareness month and movements like The Big Pink (a pink themed fundraising event) are so important.

A bit more about the charity...

Breast Cancer Care understand the emotions, challenges and decisions faced by those affected by Cancer. They’re on hand to support via their nurses, who can help to ensure people are getting the best treatment and care possible. There’s downloadable specialist information that you can access and refer to whenever its needed. There are also volunteers who you can connect with, who truly know from personal experience, what you may be dealing with on a day to day basis.

 Be pink and fabulous with your friends on 14 October (or any other day in October) and hold a Big Pink for Breast Cancer Care. Sign up for your free fundraising kit, bursting at the seams with lots of Big Pink goodies just for you!
When I was out with some of my girl friends last weekend, we ended up in the corner of the bar, in a dark nook away from the males who were busy getting shots and being generally rowdy.
I was with a good gal friend as well as a couple of her friends - ladies I’ve only met in passing prior to this night. My close friend was being vocally relaxed (code for tipsy) having enjoyed a couple of Porn Star Martinis in honour our mutual friend’ birthday. She was saying to the other girls how important our friendship was, mainly because we have no censor in terms of what we discuss. She was telling them how we often talk our bodily functions and features. How we’ll often exchange WhatsApp messages asking ‘does this happen to you too?” ‘Is this a normal amount?’ ‘Is that a normal colour’ etc. If there’s something/anything worrying us about our body, health, (or life in general) we don’t hesitate to get in touch..whatever time of day. We will either get it resolved after a to and fro on WhatsApp, a distressed and whispery late night phone call, or we’ll schedule a meet up to mull it over and sort it out together as a team. 


As we told them the nature and depth of stuff we discuss, and the so called ‘embarrassing’ or personal things we are willing to share and confide in each other, the other girls were clearly surprised, and even seemed tad envious. They explained that they didn't have those sort of friends in their lives - the ones they felt comfortable opening up to (to that extent atleast), nor did they feel they had those people they could go to if they weren’t coping with something terribly well. (Whether they genuinely don't have those people in their lives, or whether they just haven't allowed themselves to embark on that sort of frank and open relationship was unclear). 

In that moment me and my good pal made it very clear that from that point onwards that they would now be part of this, and that nothing they could say would ever shock us. This was an open forum of trust, one absent of judgement. To encourage their participation myself and my confident comrade decided to tell them about the most taboo thing we've ever discussed, in a way to prove that really nothing is out of bounds. Within a few seconds these practical stranger were shouting ‘me too’ and ‘ I thought I was the only one’ in turn revealing very intimates aspects of their life/body/health.

 This lovely moment in a noisy bar on a Friday night got me thinking about some many important issues.

We’ve been conditioned to believe that some things are unbecoming to say or talk about (particularly as a female). Past generations have also taught us that some things are and should be kept private. Some people have the belief that should just get on with things. Be independent and deal with it on your own, they’ll say. And while I agree a great amount of strength can come from being independent and individually proactive, a hell of a lot of strength and power can be gained from being vulnerable, and admitting you need or want some help too. This goes for all of us, none of what's featured in this post is meant to be focused on just females.



If you’ve been effected by Breast Cancer - whether you’ve been diagnosed yourself, know or love someone with the disease, know someone who knows someone affected, or perhaps worrying about a change you’ve noticed in your body -  being able to seek comfort, solace and support from others, is so very important.

Now, I’m not suggesting you rely on friends to give you medical advice ( Your Dr's and sites like Breast Cancer Care and their nurses would be better suited), but they can be an incredible support and help your build or maintain the courage to seek the professional help you may need. 

These friends may even show support by being able to serve as very welcome distractions. I've found that those friends that you allow in to all aspects of your unique inner world, become very adept at knowing when you need to talk and confront important life moments/decisions/feelings, and when you need to temporarily escape from them. 


 Over the years, with my various physical and mental health problems, I’ve tried various approaches to dealing and coping with them. I’ve gone down the route of denial, which I don’t have to tell you, is completely unhelpful and potentially harmful. Other times I’ve accepted there’s a problem but attempted to be stoic, not wanting to share my issue with others for fear or being judged, or becoming a burden or bore. But more recently I’ve found that sharing and openly talking about my health has made existing with, or treating the illnesses, far far easier. In fact I've found a surprising level of fulfilment and enrichment from doing so too. And strangely I find that in the social circumstances where dark or difficult matters are discussed in a group, laughter and hilarity often ensues - somehow when we get together we manage to muster some much needed light.


I truly believe that sharing leads to support, and that both of these together leads to a boost in awaremess and understanding.... which will eventually lead to positive results in terms of people's ability to live and cope in the presence of cancer. 

From talking openly about my health issues on my blog and YouTube, existing friends felt newly capable or opening up - very superficial friendships changed, they were now reaching out to me on a level we had never shared before. Openess and the sharing of one's story appeared to lead to progress in terms of existing with the affects of that given issue. So in the process of sharing my story, I gained a greater connection withing existing realtionships, and gained new relationships with those that had felt comfortable to seek me out, because they had their own stories to share. Suddenly we had this shared and extremely supportive network.

People shouldn't feel scared to open to seek out answers about the health, nor be scared to talk about the repurcussions of those answers. We can't let the positive repetitions of empowering statements about independance and strength confuse into thinking that expressing a struggle or difficulty is a sign of weakness. By seeking help/advice/comfort through friendships, charities and professionals we become a powerhouse force to be reckoned with. My talking openly about personal issues, or by spreading important (and even generic) messages and information on social media we are making these topics regular conversations and thoughts. 

I'm not suggesting you you have to share your story publicly on social media, not at all. Not everyone will feel comfortable doing so. But you can be receptive to those who do, and you can seek a similar relief and bolster through a relationship, or via a charity that allows you to vent about the intricacies of your particular situation.


 So aside from the obvious benefits of holding you own The Big Pink event (raising money for this wonderful charity) you also have the opportunity to be part of an honest and open discussion amongst friends - existing and new. Of course you should use this get together to run, laugh, eat, drink and pamper (goodness knows we need it) but you could also use it as a wonderful bonding experience, a real occasion to share your worries, triumphs and fears. For some it may be a fairly intimidating prospect, I understand, but I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to speak so frankly in a group that will have your back. Not only have your back, they’ll want to prop it up and make it as upright as possible. In my experience sharing and opening is like a muscle. The more you use it the easier it becomes…. and the stronger you get. 

There's no limits or rules to this. Do it in the community, at work, at home, or outside (if the British weather allows). It doesn't matter whether there's a gaggle of you or just a couple of you, you are all contributing to the changes we all want to see. Pink isn't about just women either, in fact my fella rock pinks better than anyone I know. Plus we all know that Cancer doesn't descriminate.


 If you have any questions or struggling for event inspirarion that get in touch with The Big Pink Team at thebigpink@breastcancercare.org.uk  or call 0300 100 4442.
But the information you need can all be found here https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/the-big-pink



 I will be doing a follow up blog post soon, with just a few ideas of what sort of events you could put on this October.
 

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