Wednesday, 31 August 2011

a girl always need a martini and wedding chat!

So last night, despite falling down the stairs, I hobbled. Oh very much hobbled my pink self off to Dirty Martini for a tweet up organised by the lovely Janet of Janet Mohapi Banks Cakes. (Serious noms!).

I haven't been to Covent Garden in a long time. It's been a while since Bean and I used to party at the Gardening Club c2000 (which I've just seen closed in 2009). I say party - get drunk and dance muchly is a better description. We have never been cool enough to use party as a verb.

Anyhoo, I carefully made my way down the stairs into the underground fun of the tweet-up and managed to say a very swift hello and chinwag with the lady of the hour! Well after the squeal/scream of "it's anna." I'm hoping the squealing was just because I made it after saying I probably wasn't. Otherwise I fear there may be some seriously disappointed ladies! (As in they actually met the real me and not my seriously awesome twitter persona!)

I got to see some lovely "old" friends Amma and Andri. Of course. They be the social mavens who know all and see all! Oh and Dasha with fabulous photographer. Her work is so beautiful.

I got to meet some lovely new people for the first time, well in person. (Seriously how did we cope without twitter?) This is a long list and in no particular order! Apologies if I miss you out. Please do let me know!

Ana Ospina Make-Up - flawless - if your face is your portfolio. Wowzers!
Cake by Sugar - noms!
Fiona Kelly - thank you for saving me at the bar and for taking amazing pictures!
Love Illustrated - oh my. 1. They had the best wedding and 2. They do the best stationery. Wow!!
Cranberry Blue - an oh so stylist wedding planner.
Tempting Cake - double noms!
Victoria Mary Vintage - I have been dying to meet her since I first saw her pretty pearl creations!
Linen & Silk Weddings - sweet lovely fellow blogger Elisabetta.
Kate Edmondson Couture - such prettiness!
Charlotte Bridal - wow dresses.
Wonderful Wedding Hair - a squealer!!
Laura Babb - a photographer to watch!
Bijoux Bride - another fellow blogger!
Shabby Chic Bride - and just one more!
Photo Hitched - I love Neda's work. Another one to watch!
Cutture - oh my, seriously how could you not love their work. Amazing.
Juliet McKee - oh so lovely pictures.
RingsnVeils - more amazing pictures!

and people I missed again!

Ivy Ellen - always in love with their vintage flower stationery range.
and I'm sure a few others. Ack!*

I've got to admit I am a little worried about the photographs that the lovely Yvonne took. I fear the pained grins and crazed faces. (We have established I am not a looker.)

There was much gossip, obviously things I was sworn to secrecy about and hopefully a few fledgling relationships made. Huzzah. Not bad for a Tuesday night.

Twas a fun night. (Although I would not recommend the Passion Royale and their interpretation of martini is intriguing!) However, not bad for Covent Garden. Their happy hour is wonderful!

I hope to see you all soon. Seriously, email me and let's do lunch!

Thank you Janet - such a great idea. 

Hmmm, it makes me want to organise something myself. Would anyone be interested?

*I'm so sorry if I did. Completely unintentional and I blame the Predator! Do drop me a line so I can add you!

Monday, 29 August 2011

that was the bank holiday weekend that was aka tpiuwsp*

*If you could help with a little quandary at the end that would be great.

This weekend was a weekend remarkably bereft of photographs.

I took the camera places but it never quite managed to make its way out of my bag.

The week was meant to be a week of adventures. This did not quite happen as I may have fallen over. I be an idiot. Most people can walk down stairs, alas steps appear to be my nemesis. Oww. I even have a bruise.

However by Thursday I could walk with intention to be intrigued.

So walk we did - to the car. (It was raining but we had a hankering for adventure**).

The car took us to Whitstable. A place I am sure is better in the sunshine. 

I wore my favourite (well only) wellies. (Sorry another wedding picture - but one I love.) The weather was bad but it did not snow.


The highlight was seeing (and being far too cool to talk to) Dick Strawbridge the man with the best moustache in the UK.

We bought cupcakes to eat much later. We looked in every charity shop - and almost bought many Richard Clayderman LPs. Seriously he knew how to make a classy album sleeve and again almost bought more Trivial Pursuit questions. A 1993 flavour instead of our usual 1984. If you ever play with us and you don't know the answer I'll give you a clue. It's either the USSR or cribbage.

We searched for the Fish and Chips. Why else would you to the seaside? We failed. So we wandered around looking for somewhere and we stumbled upon JoJo's. We were lucky to get a seat (and had to sit at the pass) on a Thursday lunchtime - we took that as a good sign. Shame we didn't bring our own booze for lunch as it's BYO. We gorged upon venison, beer battered haddock and tsatziki. Oh my. Meze meets (my belly) or perhaps the best of British fare.

I then ate far too much rock. I should not have eaten it all. We only bought one stick. It was still too much. So my belly grumbled whilst Bean strolled into Marylebone to sample the cocktail delights of PURL. I was very much looking forward to drink the absinthe creation. I imagine that would have been enough. Although it becomes clear I was only invited to help with a certain gentleman's feeling of shortness. He is above average in height but has mostly befriended the taller man, including Bean. I am merely an addition (or perhaps a subtraction) to the average height of his posse. He makes me smile. Cuban heels for his birthday, me thinks?

Sunday, was a morning of disappointment. I was meant to be trying to be an assistant to the wonderful Penny of Tigerlily Weddings at a photoshoot. Stupid trains. I am angers. Perhaps another time. 

So Bean and I had an unexpected day together. So we made exciting prawns (a substitute for not going to France to eat the big prawns), tsatziki with much garlic and blackberry crumble. Mmm crumble. Ohh and a little brainstorming.

It's crumblicious!

Today was meant to be Bletchley Park but the Bean was feeling a little off colour so we stayed at home. We watched Murder, She Wrote. Bean and I are very excited to go to Bletchley. It is such special place. It makes me very proud to be British. (Although if I think about how we treated Mr Turing after the war I may start to cry. It makes me feel sick. To know that anyone was treated in such a horrific way, leave alone one of the shining lights of country. That is indecent.)

And yes we missed the Notting Hill Carnival again. One day we will finally go together.

However we did giggle at Bean's attempt to grow a beard. Please also giggle too. Yes he is wearing a t-shirt with the slogan Kittens! (I am a good wife).

Gosh I take the best picture with Bean's phone.

I also suffered from my first twitter related dream/nightmare. It was rather strange. It involved someone accusing me of ignoring them whilst engaging in somewhat carnal activiy. They said they had proof. People on twitter got angry and I decided I was too freaked out and decided to "retire" from online life. I had the post written. It was a weird awakening to realise I did not need to stop. An odd dream. Do we think it means what it would appear? I should just quit whilst I'm ahead? 

What do you think? Does the world need another wedding blog?

*this post is useless without some pictures.
**I will concede that Whitstable does not necessarily equal adventure.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

30 rock(s) - hopefully

Yikes, this is a long one!

Inspired by two lovely ladies and many more in the past (and far too numerous to mention here save the clever one cat per person) I have decided to write my 30 before 30 list. I am not usually one for setting aims for myself because of the fear of failure. However the is something so intrinsically delicious about a to do list.  The stark page just waiting to be filled with hope and dreams. The filled page waiting patiently for perhaps the most satisfying moment where one can strike out a wonderfully completed task. Yes, lists are good.

So 30 things. There are so many things I need or want to do. So to choose the profound or mundane. 

Just promise not to be disappointed when I fail miserably! (I am probably talking to myself here).

Now 30 for me is in about 6 months. Not scared by the 30ness more about the lack of time there is to accomplish said things. Well I should say that I never used to be scared of the 30ness. 30 seemed deliciously grown up and with grown-up-ness came stability and money and joy. Yes money to me equals happiness. What an awful thing to admit. 

Hmm perhaps it is time I stop associating money with joy. Sadly this association has been something drummed into me by my mother. She grew up with little (financially) but a loving hard working family. She then came to London and became a yuppie. She worked hard. In some ways she really did not want children. She really dislikes children. She married late for her age (for 1979), she married a younger man and they married alone with only 2 witnesses. The families did not approve on either side. I am always confused by their marriage and the subsequent me and brother. Why did they have children - because they wanted babies, because of social pressure, thinking they needed children to be happy. I just don't know. It always seemed to me like an odd choice on their part. (Perhaps linked to other issues I may have?)

This sounds terrible but my childhood was all about money (or more accurately) lack there of and the sacrifices my parents underwent to give us a good start in life. The 80s were hard for them. I guess it was a difficult change of pace for them. Something I always hear in the back of mind when thinking about about children. 

So perhaps my most important point on the list is this one.

1. Learn that money does not equal happiness. 
I have my Bean. I am lucky. I find myself in a joyous bubble of love whenever I am with him. Come on girl, learn this.

2. Write my (hopefully thrilling and entertaining) wedding story.
Whilst I do harbour dreams that you will find this enthralling and life changing I really want to write it for myself. I've started. It's just harder than I thought it would be.

3. Learn to drive.
Admitting that I can't drive is bad enough. I really need to do this before my capacity to learn is completely decimated by age. I am petrified at the thought of being behind the wheel. The power and the fear. I think this may have something to do with a school friend killing herself when driving late at night shortly after qualifying.

4. Reply to emails in a timely fashion.
I get some seriously awesome emails from people. I owe you an email. I am sure of that.

5. Declutter.
I need to get rid of stuff. It is painfully apparent that my life is painfully overly full of stuff. I need to get rid. With this in mind there may be a future post of wedding stuff I wish to offload. Would you like some cool wedding shit? Let me know.

6. Start a fricking awesome new website.
Seriously, I think I have a really something you are going to love. 

7. Find myself a job.
Whilst there is a little voice in my head saying I really should return to medicine. That cannot happen until August next year (at the earliest) and I need me to get me out of the house. It may be as a volunteer or paid. Either way I need something.

8. Find a little place for Bean and me.
We need our own place. Whilst I am grateful and lucky to be offered space in my parent's home. It's not my home any more. Got a lead? Know of somewhere cute and cheap?

9. Get fit.
Yeah, let's run a 5k and maybe 10k in the nearish future. Being fit is far more important to me than losing weight but hopefully a happy by product? Also I don't want to have to get fit. I want to want to. I want it be part of my daily routine.

10. Finally go to New York.
My god, why has this not happened before. (P.S. Does anyone have a place Bean and I could perhaps maybe crash whilst in NY - perhaps sometime in November for maybe 3 nights?)

11. Become a cocktail genius. 
Perhaps create a signature drink for myself. It will probably include elderflower.

12. Ride a horse and try to scuba
I never liked the horsey girls at school, save my friend Woody. However Bean would love to go pony trekking in Patagonia so I should probably at least see if I could stay upright on a horse before then. Clumsy anna would probably say no. As part two of operation honeymoon I would like to go somewhere and look at the pretty coral and fishes.

13. Encourage at least 10 people to donate blood.
This is one of the things you can help me with. I can't give blood for a year because of the evil jaundice. So can I find 10 new donors (or perhaps a lapsed donor?)? If you are Londonish, I would be happy to come with you and then perhaps buy you a virginal drink? What do you say, I promise, it is not bad.

14. Learn photography
Oh yes such an easily attainable goal. I think I need to find a good evening course. I hate how bad a photographer I am.

15. Make my hair look shit hot.
I have no idea what that means. I have been watching old SATC episodes and want the non ombre (aka roots) hair Carrie often rocks.

16. Make Christmas awesome.
This year we are going to Bean's house. A house full of love and food. His mother usually does everything. However this year we are going to contribute. We may get them a cat amongst other things. There will be onesies, stockings and nog. 

17. Finally finish our wedding album.
And then perhaps actually buy it with money from new job!

18. Send letters.
I love to write letters. I want to write pretty letters on pretty papers. Would you be my penfriend?

19. Learn my ancient history.
It frustrates me not knowing the name of the Greek god of rabbits or the mother of said god of rabbits and what not. This will inform my crossword skills. Oh yes super cryptic crosswords I'm coming for you.

20. Improve my French skills.
Well if the parents are going to live in France and where they will live is really not Little England. I'm going to need to ask for more wine and prawns.

21. Love more.
Love my husband. Love my friends. Love you. I want to give more of myself to people. I want to see more people and nurture these relationships. I'm pretty sure I am not a bad person. So let's have some fun?

22. Be more positive.
Baby steps anna. This is a good first step. How can I prove I will be more positive is more difficult. We shall see. Part of this includes cherishing the people who are part of my life and not begrudging those who choose not to be part. Their loss, not mine.

23. Eat my 5 a day.
Part of no. 9 but I am not good at getting my 5 fruits and vegetables.

24. Drink something other than Sauvignon Blanc.
I do love my fruity whites. However, it is time I found different wine to enjoy. I would rather like to learn more about wine too. (Also I do mean drink other wine. I do not drink wine exclusively).

25. Take a tentative step towards writing comedy.
Perhaps submit a joke to a radio 4 show? I talk about this a lot. However never actually try. I don't mind if I get shot down, I just need to try.

26. Learn how to "do" make-up.
Sadly my mother is the one with lipstick on her teeth. I did not sit at her knee and learn the techniques. I need to learn. Can you teach me? 

27. Put the iphone down.
I need to actually use my own sweet little alarm clock and banish my phone from my bedroom. I think there have been two occasions I have acted upon information received in the middle of the night. It's just not worth the broken sleep to be continually checking my phone.

28. Learn a new signature dish.
If you come over for dinner and Bean isn't cooking I will most likely cook you seafood risotto. It is yummy but I think it's time to mix up my culinary repertoire. Included in this is learning to chop like a mother fucker.

29. Visit my grandmamma more.
She deserves a nicer granddaughter. She is a wonderful lady.

30. Foster kittens.
This is dependent on having our own home. But a potent motivator, indeed.

Hmm, this seems workable. Although it may change as I realise it is not! Sorry if it all seems rather mundane but sometimes I think mundane is good.

So do you have a list? Would love to hear about it.

(Note edited already -23/8/11 because I realised some things are more important.)

Friday, 19 August 2011

a month in the life

I don't know about you but I love to know about the people I read about. So I think I'm going to pretend that you might want to hear about my goings-on.

However, one could say it was slim pickings on the anna and fun front. But then there have been some good moments. Enjoy, I very much did!

So to begin with perhaps the best photograph of all time (of me that is!). 

I completely understand that this photo is lovely because you see very little of me!

Bean blames his eyes on the angle and insists he wasn't drunk at church.

Look into my eyes. (And no, I'm not sure I will ever stop talking about this photo).
I promise I am wearing something underneath the cardigan.

And so the booze and dancing begins.
Pretty eucalyptus ensnaring the barn.

The wedding was amazing and the first dance was epic. The fabulous actual Tom Baxter came and sang his song for the first dance. Not a dry eye in the room. I'm tearing up right now, listening to the song and thinking back. It was magical. Oh Groomie - you could not have done anything more for your radiant bride. She was beyond flabbergasted. It was perfection. She is a "slight" Baxter lover. (And by slight I obviously mean obsessed.) She got Tom Baxter from her boy and I got an axe from mine on my wedding day? Hmmm.

We danced and danced some more. I danced with my girlfriends. Oh the cheese was heavenly. And by cheese I mean music. We haven't been dancing together in so very long. I was wondrous. 

There was also Bean dancing. I very much like to dance with Bean. We are so incompatible dance wise we generally end up fighting for breath due to hysteria but it is totally worth the trip getting to said hysteria.

A few more drinks for Bean and outside time.

I'm pretty sure I wasn't drunk but my hair had escaped. What is it with my fivehead?
Yes, the fivehead is what I should be worried about in this picture!
So what was I doing?

I have no recollection and neither does Bean. Yet it is quite the usual "us" photograph. One of us looking vaguely normal and the other, well, looking a little alien.

And to bed we went, staying with lovely friends and drinking rather fine whisky.

The next step was a weekend of hen.
Luckily there are no pictures of me at the "fateful" hen.
Oh the shame. 

So let's fast forward 2 weeks to the wedding of the fateful hen.

Also please don't judge. I double dipped with my outfit. (What can I say, I'm poor and I thought it looked nice-ish)

Not entirely sure why Bean was taking a photo from this angle. Singing away to another really obscure hymn. Why do people choose seriously odd hymns if they actually want people to sing? And that's the point surely? Singing. Where was the Jerusalem? Oh I feel sorry for the non English who cannot sing Jerusalem. Just have a quick listen, god save the Queen! The best bit is the exciting violin crescendo for "arrows of desire" at around 2.04. Well, it generally makes me swell with pride.

Sneaky Nikon carrying Voltaire. I am perpetually scared by his camera. 

Yes we like this nail colour. My colour.

Thank you, Voltaire. We have approximately 500 similar shots of Bean's boys doing the same pose from our wedding and I completely missed out on all the finger pointing fun. It was only fair that I got the chance to do the same at the next Bean boy wedding! There are many more Bean boy weddings to come (hopefully!).


I bloody love this hat. Yes I do. Must do a hat post. (Remind me!) Could you invite me to your wedding so I can wear it again?

Bean very much enjoyed this wedding. There was a whole pig - I believe he got an ear and some cheeks? He was very happy about that. It was a restful wedding, with very little dancing (tiny dancefloor) and thus there was secret curled up drinking in a nook. Said nook was filled with some of Bean's favourite boys. Luckily said boys (and their women) are increasingly some of my favorite people too. 10 of us are off a cottaging (yes this sounds very wrong) in October and I am very much looking forward to it now. Hunter spoke of the all the special gin he shall be bringing. There will be many special drinks that weekend. It will be good.

And so we move on to the past week where we have been a baby-sitting this gorgeous monster for two very special people who just got married and not only am I super sad I couldn't make it (Bean's boy got there first) but the girl person in question was the gorgeous Tarah and her photographs were being taken by two very special people. Super sad face for anna. Not for Tarah, obviously! Speaking to her mother yesterday it sounds like it was delicious! Double super sad face.


LiBot - the tiger.


He is often pensive.


with cute shoes - well I guess they are feet.


but always longing for the outside. 

and finally, in case you missed the post yesterday.

The joy of vajazzling!


and now let me introduce you into the most hideous picture of themself that anyone has ever let be put on a blog. I just couldn't not. It is hilarious! Bean couldn't stop laughing.


Why does my head look so misshapen?
I look like a baby after a forceps delivery.

What is wrong with my face?
Bean is most confused by my hair - he says "make it stop" and luckily it has.

Tomorrow I get to finally see Cy Twombly's work in the flesh. I am beyond excited. He is (and I think always will be) my most favourite artist. I'm sure I don't understand his work but I surely love it.

Actually when I think about it. Life isn't that bad.

It could be much better but things are ok.

Also I have news which I am not allowed to talk about but nonetheless I am exceptionally excited about. I just want to say, yay! (Is that mysterious enough for you?)
(Await the redacted version of this - I was sworn to secrecy!)

So have you enjoyed this mini jaunt? Up for another soon?

What have you been up to? I fear with my recent bitch of a cold I have missed out and I really do want to know.

Yay New York

I'm a little behind on this post but better late than never.

You may have read my little happy piece about New York State (finally) legalising gay marriage. I still get a little misty eyed even thinking about the joyous pictures of those who wed on that special day.

Anyhoo, you've heard about Yay New York, right?

There are going to be two fabulous weddings during the day next Thursday (please be getting the excited butterflies!)

Then there will be a joyous* mass reception to celebrate wedding equality brought to you with love by A Practical Wedding and Lowe House Events.

So just buy a ticket already and if you can't make it maybe buy a deliciously fabulous tote, like me?

All the proceeds are going towards Lamba Legal, who for want of a better phrase, are all about the civil rights of LGBT lovelies.

Yes love and marriage is a universal right. This is such a important day. 

Yay for love! 
(as I've said I think once or twice before!)

Would love to hear from you if you are going. I am crazy jealous!

*It will be joyous, no matter how uncool that sounds.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Vajazzle Me This!

Here comes a sponsored post. 

I thought I would start with something a little "interesting."

I'm not going to lie. When I received my little package with it's Vajazzling contents I was a little confused. Vajazzling? I don't watch The Only Way Is Essex so I was concerned that I would be testing some very intimate body jewels and having to broadcast the results. Luckily for you I was wrong.  


First of all I thought it would be best to play artist with Bean. The alcohol swab is delighfully medical grade. Indeed I have used hundreds in my recent past and can I just say that they are tip top! 

I wasn't that enthralled by the starburst design, not very me. However, with the addition of of a pair of tweezers and a little imagination - ta da!

Bean ♥ Anna (and very terrible photography)

The crystals are little Swarovskis and can last up to 5 days if applied correctly. Indeed they will last over night  and greet your Ocado deliveryman if you forget to remove them. (Oops!)

Perfect for those men who want to display their love for their woman in a more bling fashion?

Hmm, also I might suggest a little patch test for those with more sensitive skin. The Bean did turn a little bobbly (although that could just be because he has dermatographism but I do too and have had no trouble)

I am never going to say that this is the next big thing in wedding couture* but it was actually quite fun to play with. Indeed perhaps as an amusing addition to your hen party (maybe a forfeit?!). There are the cutest blue crystals to play with too. Your evening's something blue?

Starting at £4.95 - all this could be yours! Find more Vajazzle.me fun on their website. Although my top tip would be not to google Vajazzle photos at work!

Here's what Bean designed for me. He is so very talented.

Forgive the lack of makeup, giant fivehead and general anna bleurgh! Oh wrinkly forehead why are you so mobile?

What do you think, would you Vajazzle? 

*If I do - just come round and tell me off.

again! again!

Huzzah. Life is love. Congratulations. If thats in your vintage caddy! ooo yes please ma'am.


Yes to go back lungs - stay cool. Stay cool! Yikes thats a while! 


It's working with TNG. Although ether would be un ill brain. Ack, having my hot tea! PS I miss you.


No crown, I may cry. I'd like that! Also those and Only Connect. Huzzah.


I should thank you for beach and Facebook. Shame I want to say you are toast! Can I miss you.


Our love you have? I want to be asleep later! i know, Its just basically, fuck off.


That can be my next tweet.


Thank you Woolgathering & Miscellany.


Thank you a thousands times. Say goodbye to your Thursday.


This is vying for top place with this.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

times are tough

There have been a few tears here at anna and the ring today.

I think I have upset my mother.

She is despondent that I am not working and that I have no future. All sadly true.

(I have also been trying to come up with a satisfactory response the the comments of this post. And failing mainly because I think we actually mean the same thing. Would love to talk to you properly anon - my email is annaandtheringlondon {at} gmail.com)

Anyhoo, back to money. Ouch, I do not enjoy being a kept woman. From having my own cash to spend on what I enjoy. (Yes I realise that was mostly shoes but I also loved being able to spring little presents upon people). 

So in a way of looking after the pennies (and I imagine it will be pennies) and regain a teensy bit of independence I thought I would see what adsense was all about. We shall see. I still don't really understand.

Also there will be a few sponsored post in the very near future (perhaps today!). By sponsored I either mean I have been paid to write about a certain brand or item or I have been gifted said item to write about. Either way I can promise you my views will still be my own. Anna is the name you can trust! I mean what's the point of talking about this stuff if I don't tell the truth?!

Is that ok? What are your thoughts about blog advertising?

Although things are not all bad. Bean and I are cat sitting this delicious fellow. (More to come on him later too - assuming his Mummy says it's ok!)

He is silly. and lovely.


I love that he looks scary here. He is the least scary cat in the world. I think I just caught him mid mew (he doesn't miaow). You look fierce LiBot.

A more typical pose.


The most delicious green eyes.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Because penis envy is so last season? Perhaps NSFW?

Perhaps you have seen this before? However it was only brought to my attention this morning and felt it was too good to not post.

The world does feel just a little to phallic right now, no?

So shall we embrace our lady bits and display them to one and all?

Thank you Regretsy

Perhaps the artist would offer custom creations - a more personal touch (one could say?) or perhaps in this celebrity obsessed world your favourite famous? 

"So my lovely husband do you think I look beautiful" 
"Oh darling, you look just like Paris Hilton." 
"I knew you would find it touching"

"Oh my wife, I love you so very much"


What do you think? Is this Glasgow School of Art Student your new hero? 

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

London

Please be aware there will be strong views in this post. Those of a nervous disposition should look away now. I'm afraid today is not about the delicious world that is weddings. Also I am am completely happy for you to disagree with me. I want discussion.

As I sit in my ivory tower I can hardly believe how my beautiful home city has been raped and pillaged by mindless thugs. I am finding it particularly difficult to put my thoughts into meaningful words.

I understand those on Saturday afternoon wanting answers. Yes that was a silent and civil protest. People are not shot our our streets by the Police every day. Yet if I assume that not all the information released by the Police is not misinformation - the chap who was sadly killed was still a drug dealer. That does not mean he deserved to die but I'm afraid my sympathies do not stretch too far for him save his immediate family who may have known a different person. However, I think it is important to step back and realise (and be thankful) that we do not live in a police state and that the use of deadly force is not common nor is it recurrent event. Yes things do go wrong and mistakes are made but Operation Trident is doing a very good job in a very broken society. A society which thinks it is okay to wield guns and terrorise because this is what this is - Terrorism. I do not use that word lightly. It has gone further than simple looting. Looting which no business can completely insure themselves against. These are not the rich, as the stupid children on television seem to believe.  The businesses you a pillaging are local businesses with no money. People who want to work and make something of themselves. These are not people who are happy to be a third generation dole seeker. (P.S. Despite being eligible, I do not receive any money from the Government - I do not believe I deserve any extra money because of my situation. If that means working longer before retiring then so be it.)

Yes, I have grown up with privilege. Privilege for me was a constant roof over my head (for the most part - living in awful rented homes was never good), both parents (although not always in the same country) and, most importantly, love but even in my relatively sheltered community there were children who came to school unwashed, hungry and for want of a better word, close to broken. However did these children give up? No because their families wanted them to succeed, and by extension they also wanted to achieve. However there is a flip side to this encouragement and for me the root cause of our problems.

As a child now, you are constantly bombarded with people's "easy" success. Sing a few notes and you will get a record deal and be "famous." To be famous is all many children want. (The idea always seemed horrifying to me!) Having a brother teach in a relatively poor area he would only agree that they expect so much from so very little. It's not fair if they don't get help with their work and by help I mean the teacher doing their work for them. Case in point, a girl at my school, an only child (perhaps relevant) was/is a completely awful singer. I wish I could link to her site but that would be incredibly cruel. She actually is not that bad a song writing but her voice is abysmal. However, I know that her parents thought her to be perfection personified. They praised her at every turn. Sent her to music school, drama school and any other art school they could find. Now what does she do? She works at a shop, once a week. Why raise her expectations? She only wants to be a singer now. For me it is the most unkind. No wonder children feel disrespected and undervalued. Some have been taught from a very early age that they can get whatever they want, whenever they want. It becomes very clear that they expect to earn £40k straight from university and be able to walk into a job. (Oh how I know that is not true!) You may disagree but I am afraid they expect everything handed to them on a plate. Jobs, exam results and ultimately money. It is quite obvious we are the ones to blame.

Or perhaps I should talk about those parents who have no interest in their children. You know who I am talking about. The mothers who seemingly need to talk to everyone and anyone on their mobile phone except their own children. What do they need to talk about? Whilst you are wheeling your child around the world, show them the sights and smells which can invigorate and inspire. My parents worked, and they were often away (my father up to a year at a time - at one point he was taken hostage - but another story for another time) but they were always there to read with me and impart knowledge. They cared enough to want to spend time with me. Sure you may not like your children all of the time but you must love them. The love engenders security and with security can follow self actualization. If you have children they are your responsibility alone. Yes schooling is important but teachers are not glorified childminders. It is up to you to help your child grew up to respect you and their community. If you don't care - who do you expect should? I know that you think it should be the State.

Perhaps we should move away from communities encouraging 14 or 15 year olds to have children. Why do you think you have the right to procreate if you have no means of supporting your child? I grew up with both parents working and all my grandparents working. I was born into a family who could afford a child. Money was always tight but my parents chose to make sacrifices for both me and my brother. Sacrifices for which I am very grateful. I would agree that perhaps the way my parents dealt with me by saying I would never succeed is also not the right way to mold a young child's mind. It has caused me a few issues. (However reverse psychology has made me achieve higher than most - but please don't use it. It breaks your brain!)

People talk about the cuts, they they are the root of all this evil. Unfortunately because we have an aging population and some bad fat cats lost some of our money. WE HAVE NO MONEY. The Government can't make it appear. I'm not saying it isn't their fault but the situation in which we find ourselves in is untenable. There is no money left. Yes you can cry that your pension is the only reason you do your job but do you really think the government can support you for 40 years in your retirement. These calculations for retirement at 50 were made many years ago when people were meant to die before they reached 80. Can you not see the problem. I agree you have been deceived but if there is no money, there is no money. Indeed with my cynical hat on do we honestly think that all the kids involved recently would be the ones attending school or popping into youth clubs?

So I started off by thinking I would just get very right wing and say that the youth are broken and it is all their own fault. However, I guess I've realised that our own society is to blame. It's not about race, it's not about poverty, it's not about the lack of Police on the street.* It's about the lack of responsibility by families. It starts from day one and continues indefinitely. I was going to question why the youths felt the need to cover their faces if they felt they were doing no wrong and what punishment befits their crime?

Bean and I had a heated debate whilst listening to people say nothing on Newsnight about how to deal with the situation. It is thought for the most part the criminals have no jobs. So to make them work sounds like a good idea. Yet it takes away from those who have been honest and true. The same for signing them up for national service. Do not belittle the work that is done by dedicated servicemen across the globe by diluting their numbers. I have other ideas but I fear they are a little too, Demolition Man to really work.

I see no obvious solution. I imagine because there is no obvious solution otherwise the problems that occurred over the past few days. I just hope that things settle down soon. I hope there are no more losses of life. Please can we show the world that we are not just thugs but that we do deep down, care. I fear that the minority may very much overshadow the wonderful majority.

Finally, I'm hoping you don't, but if you do know of anyone (or even suspect anyone) check out the Met Police's Flickr page and get them punished. They do deserve it. They have ruined people's lives. They need to be shown they are part of a community and in this community we do not tolerate such behaviour. Respect is earnt not doled out when you reach the age of majority (or even before that).

*Please don't blame the Police. They do a bloody horrible job. Yes, no-one makes them do that job but many see it as a vocation. At least they try. They want to be on the street helping people. So don't be appalled by the lack of arrests (although I still think 500 and counting is impressive) because to arrest and then process at the custody suite take hours. Hours that could be used to protect. Good choice chaps. I think you are fabulous. 

Friday, 5 August 2011

The Love My Dress Summer Soiree

Of course I love Annabel.

On Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of attending the Love My dress Summer Soiree at the wonderful Baltic in Gateshead. An event for brides and industry lovelies alike! Now that I am back in a world with internet I thought I should fill you in!


I had spent the past week "playing" with my nephews and one of my brother in laws in Durham (so I could avoid a 6.15am train ride up to Newcastle.) Two boys, a two year old and a four year old are the best contraceptive ever. Shockingly loud with so much stuff. Playing with my cousin's 11 month old however - super broodiness. Oh Lovelace*, you are just adorable.

Anyhoo, back to the task in hand. On Wednesday evening a found myself in Newcastle looking to cross the river. Across the engineering wonder that is the Winking Eye Bridge. Tis rather thrilling to watch the bridge pivot on its axis to allow boats pass. Huzzah for clever engineers.

All I knew was that I needed to follow these glamorous ladies across the bridge into the joy that was across the water. I am entirely sure that Newcastle nor Gateshead have never seen such deliciously dressed people. The silks, the chiffons, the feathers, the sequins, the eyeliner, the red lipsticks and of course decadent head wear.  I think by now you know I adore all things hat.  All I needed to do was take a delightfully chic step across the river to find myself submerged in a fabulous vintage world of joy, laughter and cocktails.

I am lucky enough to show you a taster of the prettiness here on anna and the ring but to see the full set of the glamorous images you must pop over to Love My Dress! The prettiness was captured by Helen Russell and Katy Lunsford. Prepare to swoon!


The venue was effectively a blank space but Annabel worked with the amazing Kim Groves and had floral deliciousness created by the amazing bels flowers and the fabulous By Appointment Only Design. Swoon. There were chaise longues for the most beautiful ladies to lounge upon and look decidedly art deco. Deliciously pretty typewriters upon which to compose elegant prose. Bird cages hanging and swaying with the general hubbub of the evening. Glorious roses and subtle mounds of hydrangeas.

Dress of the night? Sorry Annabel you looked delicious but I couldn't take my eyes of the Dresses at No. 9's creation for the photographer Cat Hepple. Simply incredible. Something I would long to wear but never could. Swoon. The sleeves. The exquisite beading. The pleats. Oh me, oh my. I fear I could talk about her dress for pages and pages. All you need to do is look at the picture and cry!


Just look at it. Perfection. Would it not be such a wonderful gown for a fabulously chic bride?

I know that etiquette dictates I should now reel off a list of the wonderful people I had the pleasure of meeting but I have a certain knack for forgetting the most exciting people! I promise I wasn't tipsy but there were just so very many people and moments.  So can I leave you to pop over to the wonderful Love My Dress so you can investigate for yourself. (Yes I know I am a bad - nay appalling networker - I must write a list as I go along in future and if you see me you must demand to be added to said list! - deal?)

However, I must say thank you to the wonderful, chic, delicious, gorgeous, talented and fabulous Annabel. I hope you are incredibly proud of yourself. I am so proud of you. Thank you so much for letting me join you and your fabulous friends. Shall we do the same again next year (and preferably sooner!)? Many many kisses.


Obviously you must now pop over to the Love My Dress blog to check out all the beautiful images. Perhaps pop back and leave me a comment. Especially if I was lucky enough to meet you.

*Cunning pseudonym alert.

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