Sunday, 31 August 2008

The Golden Ticket

Today I am going on a last-minute trip one night/two days trip to Windsor. We have got tickets to Legoland and Windsor Castle; part of me is excited about Legoland because I loved it so much when I was younger, and part of me is also excited about Windsor Castle because I did love Buckingham Palace very much when I went last week, and they have to be sort of similar. I am also excited about using the gym and swimming pool at the hotel. All of this excitement illustrates the magic behind a ticket.

Tickets are often very ugly, plain and uninteresting (although the Buckingham Palace Summer Opening of The State Rooms ones are creatively adorned with a crown watermark...) but they always seem to provoke so much excitement. A few days ago I bought a ticket to a festival, which I will not receive for almost a year. Purchasing this ticket did not thrill me in the slightless; I was left uncertain and cold, because I'm not even sure if I'm going to go, or if I will sell said ticket. Maybe this is because I do not have a physical ticket to hold?

In my previous post I mentioned a couple of times a recent purchase I have made. It was a ticket! One of my greatest passions has always been the theatre; I could ramble for hours about the magic and the beauty of a theatre performance, which may even exceed the magic of a ticket. So you can imagine the magic that occurs when I get a ticket to the theatre, to see a thing of very great beauty.

I'm going to see Rain Man at the Apollo Theatre, and although I am sure it will be a very good play (Adam Godley is Olivier nominated you know) I have to say that the prospect of some theatre magic is not the only source of my excitement.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

my, what lovely lips you have

A few days ago, my friends and I headed off to the hell that is Oxford Circus solely for the purpose of buying my birthday present; some lip cream from the beautiful beauty shop that is B never too busy to be beautiful, (is that a record for the number of mentions on 'beauty' in one post? i must be getting back on track...) formerly located on Carnaby St. We got there however, and it was gone! Shut down, for sale! I was devestated.

On the beautiful sunny day that is today, my fortunes took a turn for a better. I was with one of the previously mentioned friends and we found ourselves near Covent Garden (more on WHY later!!!!), and I had a vague notion that BNTBTBB is partnered with Lush and I knew there was a Lush there, so we made a deal that if she could sunbath in the park for an hour, we could go to Covent Garden.

And lo, we found the shop! We went downstairs and entered the most beautiful Aladdin's cave of cosmetics.

You see, I don't just love this shop for the top-quality, long lasting, stunningly coloured and moisturising lip cream. I love it for the decadent decor, the fantastic shop assistants (they're all so friendly) and most of all the charming, charming packaging.

My lovely gift resting on the Southbank.

The lip cream lasts forever so my lips are still prettily pink from the sample therefore I haven't yet opened it. But I know that when I do, I shall be faced with this delight (that's gold leaf, and yes my box is that colour!):It's the Pretty B Lip Cream, what an apt name! And the latest reviewer is also a fair-skinned redhead so I can rest safely assured that it will flatter my skin-tone. How happy can some lip-cream and a certain other purchase (not clothes related) make a person.

I promise, I wasn't paid to write this post. Although it would have helped after my recent little expenditure.

Friday, 29 August 2008


NOTE: I've noticed that lately this blog has become a lot more general... I'm not sure if I like that or not and it hasn't been purposeful but I might purposefully try to move it more onto a material path. But it's always much more fun feeling like you're a little more profound than the regular person ;)

I'm keeping this post up because I'd still like reflections on the note, but I've taken the rest down because I've decided that I was in a contemplative mood and wrote some completely meaningless and badly expressed 'pretty ponderings'. It wasn't good quality writing, don't worry you haven't missed anything exciting!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Introduction to Austen

I have only read three out of Jane Austen's six completed novels; Emma, Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility so maybe I'm not really one to talk but anyway...

I have recently introduced my younger sister to the world of Austen through the 1995 P&P miniseries. Upon discovering that Wickham had become engaged to Miss Mary King, who had recently inherited £10,000, my sister exclaimed:

'But I thought Wickham was a respectable guy?'

Introduction to Austen, introduction to life = same thing?

No Place Like Home Part I

There are many well-known phrases to do with home. 'There's no place like home', the line immortalised by Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz; 'Home is where the heart is' or alternatively 'haart is where your home is' (haart is a UK estate agent); according to Ikea, 'Home is the most important place in the world'.

There were two things I wanted to explore when thinking about the home, so I decided to split them up into part I and part II. I have lived in the same city environment my whole life and I wanted to think about what my home is, is it my environment (city, countryside or seaside...), the country I am in, the people around me, or the actual physical house I am living in? This thought brought out so many ideas that I found it impossible to put them into one coherent post (I have always had this problem, I've never been stuck for an idea but often been stuck with how to articulate it, and then I have to leave out a lot of what I have to say...couldn't this be a whole new post in itself? Possibly). So in part II I'm going to write about all that. Now I'm going to focus on the one place which I am sure is 'home' and one of the main things I miss when I leave 'home'. My bedroom. The original idea for the docorating of this room was actually my mother's mine I've had a great time adapting it to fit the room's colour scheme and my own tastes. One wall is a dark red, the other three cream.

(a couple of these photos have already been posted on this blog)

clockwise, from top left: old photo of my bin and one of the three drawers under my desk crammed with STUFF. My wardrobe; I love it more than the clothes inside, it was an ebay bargain. Photo which has already appeared on here of my radio and a wasp, although the wasp is dead and the radio isn't plugged in because it's so fiddly I still keep it on my windowsill (the radio not the wasp). My cork noticeboard which is completely full. What you see here is my calendar which I NEVER use because it always falls off but I think it's quite pretty; it's posters from completely obscure films noir. A corner of a huge wall-hanging from India which takes up one wall. My beloved bed which is wrought-iron and painted white alongside my ballerina pillow, which indicates my secret and lifelong desire to be a ballerina. Floor-level shot of the world under my bed, full of shoes and slippers and ladders; you can also see the little wheels on my bed.

I am still a little surprised by the amount of reds, oranges and browns in my bedroom when they are least favourite colours to wear. But I suppose a grey, navy and black room wouldn't be very welcoming to sleep in. I see these warm colours as comforting. The other side (not literally) of my room is full of softer colours such as pink and purple, and plenty of crystals windchimes and candles as opposed to retro calenders and radios.
Again, clockwise from top left: my bedroom door, accessorised with a wooden hanger and a beautiful top which unfortunately looks terrible off the hanger and therefore is used for decorative purposes. The little alcove, which houses these cushions and also a huge pile of clothes etc which were cleared away for this photo, is that cheating? Photo I didn't post from a set I took of the dead wasp (RIP) hanging on a crystal which hangs from my window; I love the way it catches the light. A random chain of colourful birds which I think I got ages ago on holiday, because I loved the materials. A painting (is it a painting?) which although a little bit silly has a lot of sentimental value, hanging above my uncontrollably messy bookcase. a dreamcatcher/windchime from the days when the incense stalls at Camden Market were my favourite hang-out, and I had bad dreams which needed catching.

Maybe this is home?

PS I have to again ask you to please excuse the terrible quality of the photos; after temporarily upgrading from the awful point-and-click, I am now left with 3.2 megapixel camera phone. Life..

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

My Little Friends

I can't remember how long ago it was when I first started to accumulate my collection of 'little friends'; it must be well over 7 years ago because I remember having quite a sizeable collection on the bedside table of my old house. I have neglected these friends quite a lot recently, left them sitting there on their pretty pink mat with no new friends to play with. This is probably a result of me getting older and not really receiving or delighting in receiving miniature creatures any more; in fact I can remember one of the last ones I received (it's one of the sitting ducks, I'm not sure which). It was christmas several years ago, we were on holiday and my parents had decided we wouldn't have any presents . My sister and I were gutted. On the way back from the airport however, my parents dropped some hints about presents under the tree; I was so excited. We got home, looked under the tree and there was the duck, they'd bought him at the airport. Ungrateful as I realise this sounds now I was even more gutted. Through time, the blue hedgehog appeared but it was a while before he joined the rest of my friends and I have no idea where he came from. But recently by friend came back from holiday and gave me a little turtle, which I delighted in. If you look carefully you can see her at the forefront of the photo.

If you'd have asked me a few years ago, I could have told you the name of every single animal you see in this photo. Now, I can't remember any of them but I can remember quite a lot about where they all come from. The teddy you see at the back, poking his head over the standing duck in an attempt to be seen by the camera was my first acquisition. Unfortunately, he has a broken arm. The snowcouple standing in the right upper corner smiling in a creepy sort of way used to have their own house, made out of a cardboard box, with plastic see-through windows and everything. I painted them myself. The locust (front right) is from the British Museum and was always destined to be worn on a necklace. Etc etc.

There's not much point to this post, but when I added Rica (as the new turtle is called) to the collection, I thought they were really cute but then started wondering if they were actually really creepy, like some perverted remembrance of a lonely childhood, or something. But I decided to post anyway.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008


Sorry for the delay in posting - I have six or seven big ideas for posts and keep on being left with no time to write them. I might be able to get one up this evening... I suppose it's nice that I'm busy (I like being busy) enough not to have a spare moment, or maybe just surrounded in so many people doing nothing that I don't have a spare moment.

Whatever the reason, I miss writing and hope to have a ton of posts up soon xxx

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Sporting Beauties + TimesOnline Redux

Last time I wrote about reading newspapers I probably came off as far more cultured. Nevertheless, last time I wrote about sporting beauties I probably came off as far less cultured. This time I just have to share this eye-opening and rather hilarious article, entitled Sex and the Olympic City:

Read it!

Speaking of article titles, I was pretty impressed with this one but I am even more so by the actual SATC's titles. They're all very punny, relevent, and actually fit every single storyline in one way or another. For example the episode No Ifs, Ands or Butts is not only about Carrie giving up smoking for a man, but about the dealbreakers in the other characters' relationships. I wish I could be that clever; the titles I'm most proud of are 'judging a book by its cover', (10 points for originality there!) 'it's a feminist issue' (although the actual post turned into a great big mess) and 'not just a pretty face' (again, the content left a little to be desired).

Maybe I should just imitate the cool blogs such as gnarlitude aka sleep deprivation and stories of my bullshit youth (how COOL can a blog get???) and just use song lyrics my posts. Hang on, I dont know enough songs...

Pathetic Fallacy?

I know that 'pathetic fallacy' is not the literally correct term to describe what I am about to relate, but I've been running short on good post titles lately (more on that tomorrow, if I again leave writing so late that I can't take the photos I want to). What I'm getting at is a cycle I've noticed happening in my wardrobe. Generally I do stick to a quite neutral palette, with injections of colour in the form of pink, blue or loud accessories but this spring/summer, I've found that I've become more and more attracted to florals. Ever the style schizophrenic I have ignored the voices in my mind saying 'you have nothing which works with this!' 'nothing I tell you!' 'it's all a huge mistake!' and gone forth and purchased yellow dresses, bright pink skirts (both posted I think) and plenty of florals. In fact, at the beginning of August I actually started writing a post about the sudden arrival of flora within my wardrobe these past couple of months before realising I actually had several other flowered pieces which I had simply forgotten about, from previous summers. Plus, summer was basically over by the time I got round to it.

And then, as soon as the sun fades and I have to add a colourful cardigan over the colourful florals, I feel the need to pile up a million and one grey scarves, woolly jumpers, thick ribbed tights and a nice warm skirt. Hence buying a pair of grey cords in August. Soon I realise that 99% of my wardrobe consists of different shades of grey and I start craving red lipstick (to disguise the blueness), boots and coats. Flowers have never been farther from my mind.

So to try and recapture that summer spirit, even if it has to be via a sort of warped pathetic fallacy, I'm going to post my favourite summer photo from my holidays, which already feel like a distant memory.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

i-Love i-Pod

Up until relatively recently, I was completely unaware of music, other than the piano piece I was currently learning. Don't mistake me; I was not a grade 8 virtuoso then nor am I now in fact going to claim to be a music guru but I do occasionally recognise songs I hear when I turn on the radio (a rare occurrence in itself) or in shops, even if I can't remember their names...

All this is a far cry from the girl who knew the lyrics to approximately 0.1% of one of her friends' repertoire.

Just over a year ago I got an i-Pod. To start with, all of my music was from my father's iTunes (although shamefully pre-this-millenium music still features heavily on my underaged iPod) but then a couple of CDs from friends started to sneak in and *gasp* one or maybe two of my own CDs, gifts of course. To this day I have never bought a single CD, although I did by myself a few tapes a long time ago. Then my DJ cousin lent me a ton of music and all of a sudden I was beginning to realise... I love music! Music is great! How had I lived with nothing more than musical soundtracks for my whole life! Music is beautiful!

I have come to love my i-Pod very dearly. The screen was scratched and the wheelie button stained within days of getting it but that hasn't decreased its usage one bit. I will readily admit that I do not solely use my i-Pod for music, with only about half of the 8Gb filled. I love listening to Agatha Christie on there, practising my French (who knew that 'shuffle' was 'mix de morceaux'?) and playing the 'jeux'. Today, whilst listening to They Do It With Mirrors after a particularly tiring shopping sesh - I think I'm getting old, shopping has become so tiring recently - I won Solitaire for the very first time.

(It's hard to make out, but that's a photo of the screen when you win Solitaire - gagne!)

PS since this post has turned out as basically an ode to i-Pods, which although nice wasn't particularly on my list of things to write about, I might as well include a couple of pictures from my sight-seeing adventures at the Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker St. Not exactly conventional tourist pics. I hope you can make the writing out on my shit camera phone, if not I can transcribe...

Friday, 22 August 2008

Hello @ 23:02

When I first started writing these 'off to bed posts' as they are so aptly tagged, I assumed that they would become a regular Sunday feature; a distinctive part of this blog. I soon realised that this would not be the case when I started to forget that it was Sunday, then think it was Saturday, then go on holiday and throw the whole post-a-day routine out of the window. So I thought today when getting home at 11 o'clock, having been out of the house for over 12 hours sight-seeing (yes, sight-seeing) and remembering that I was trying to write everyday, what the heck, I might as well bash out an off to bed post.

-Unfortunately I don't feel very sleepy. Today I read an article in US Elle about this and how many people believe that they suffer from insomnia when really they're just not preparing for sleep right; irregular sleeping patterns, screen time before bedtime, coffee and caffiene throughout the day, nightcaps etc etc are all common in peoples lifestyles and the sort of things which you'd never allow a child who couldn't sleep to do. I don't suffer from not being able to sleep AT ALL but it nevertheless made me think that maybe I should cut down on my borderline obsessive tea drinking. It's a recent revelation for me and can't be good for my teeth. In fact today I was feeling proud of myself for not having had a cup of tea, before remembering the samples I had tried in Whittards. That doesn't count does it?

-Speaking of today's exploits, one of my friends had a tourist staying with her so I agreed to come on a day of sight-seeing. At first I was reluctant, primarily because touristy stuff costs so much but also because it seems sort of odd to go sight-seeing in the city you've lived in all of your life. However I ended up having a great time and was planning on writing all about it but it's a little late for a 'pictures post' i.e. a fully-fledged, properly written WITH pictures piece of writing. I'm a perfectionist, what can I say??

-In the summer I always read more books than usual. Because of this, they often blend into one big blur of books, some which I remember that I enjoyed and others that I didn't. One book that I have read this summer had a quote which absolutely stuck in my mind for ages after and I think resonates even more because currently everybody is making so many plans for NEXT summer and frankly it's dizzyingly... dizzying? I know that the weather makes it not feel like summer but it's crazy how much pressure there is to have the best time possible.

“Sometimes … I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there’s no room for the present at all.”

Thursday, 21 August 2008

The Blogosphere

Today I thought a little about the blogosphere. I realised I hadn't been reading much of the big guns recently, so I decided to pay a visit to Go Fug Yourself, The Sartorialist and Bag Snob. On the first website, I found this:

I immediately e-mailed the link to Winona of Daddy Likey since it instantly reminded me of her (another example of the blogosphere) Chocha features.

When I visited the other two websites, I found myself surprised on two separate occasions by exactly how big they really are. These people have gone from bloggers to blogger-celebrities! On the Sartorialist's site, it was reading about how a Hollywood star (who admittedly I'd never heard of) loved his blog and promptly seeing a photo of this guy who I'd definitely heard of. A couple of posts down was a photo of the Sart in a GAP Ad: Scot Schuman, photographer/blogger. On the Bag Snob I read this. It's a little bit mind-boggling to think that those who jumped onto the blogosphere a couple of years early and stayed committed could get to this level of success, although I suppose it's the same with all things - it's about getting in early.

Anyway, to complete this story/musing/pondering/whatever we need to go full circle; back to my e-mail to Daddy Likey. To do this I had to check into my blog's email, which I occasionally do. Normally the only mail I get is requests from upstarting fashion websites or businesses running along a similar vein requesting some sort of sponsered/non-sponsered review. Unless it's obviously spam (which gmail mostly filters) I reply politely telling them thank-you and I'll check out the website in a couple of days... shamefully I hardly ever get round to it. I've never taken these e-mails as a sign of recognition; I assume they just did a quick google search for blogs which contain relevant keywords, or go through a bigger blog's link list. But when today I got this e-mail:

Miss angelina

show details 1:37 PM (6 hours ago)

My dear, I am miss Angelina from Asmara, Eritrea, single and 19 years old girl. After going through your information i copied out only your email address and i made up my mind to contact you for long term relationship and for you to be my financial and investment manager because you are my choice of trust.
After you reply this letter and agree for long term relationship and to be my financial and investment manager, I will email you all information concerning me and all the reason why i have chosen you to be my investment and financial manager. Reply me through my private email address: Only
I am waiting for your reply,
Miss Angelina

That's when I knew that I was beginning to follow the same path as Scott, Tina and Kelly.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Picture Perfect

The first few days of my holiday, my head was bursting with ideas to write down; of stories and of course blog posts (eventually I stopped thinking completely... well that's what holidays are about isn't it? And now it's actually an effort to write again but anyway) but unfortunately I forgot to bring along my newly acquired Moleskine notebook. As well as my cream trousers, but that's not really relevant. Anyway, fortunately I was not in charge of remembering my camera and so was able to document in pictures most of what I wanted to remember.

Last time I went to Turkey, it was winter and although not as cold as an English summer, it was definitely not bikini weather so it was a far more cultural visit, which I definitely hope to write about at some point. I was hoping for this visit to be in a similar vein, but the heat managed to render the majority of activities impossible, excepting eating, drinking, reading and sitting in the shade trying to get a sort of tan.

Even so, I still managed to find clothes that delighted me amongst the old stock of my aunt's boutique (and which I have nowhere to wear... more on that another time). It was of course great to experience such alien cultures to my one (very different from cultural naturally), ranging from the tacky exclusivity of the over-priced world of surf clubs to small Muslim cafes and stalls selling fruit off the motorway. One thing that really stuck out though, which I immediately wanted to capture and share was the beauty of the colours of the buildings everywhere I went in Turkey. A few years ago, they were uniformly greyish brownish as with many other countries around the world, but then the government started to actively encourage people to paint their houses. The result is something which I've only really seen before in Tim Burton or similarly styled movies.

Now I'm back in dreary England away from the colourful houses and it's time to get writing again.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Normal Service Shall Resume Shortly

Hello, I'm back! Quite a civilised hour actually, far better than I imagined but still too late to write out the returning post I was hoping to. So I'm just checking in to say hello...

Thanks to those of you who commented whilst I was away, it was fun to read on my return. I suppose the deflated number of comments is due to ME not commenting - I better get reading!


Saturday, 16 August 2008

Beauteous Mystery

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I have a real thing for mysteries. I know they're not particularly mentally challenging, high-brow etc, but more than anything else on TV I enjoy a good episode of CSI or House. I can devour Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie and well-written modern mysteries such as The Oxford Murders in the matter of a day. Long travel journeys always require an Agatha Christie murder mystery on my i-Pod and I delight in the beautiful costumes in old-school murder mysteries such as the star-cast adaptation of Death on the Nile or Gosford Park. I don't know exactly what it is which appeals to me so much; it must be the cocktail of secret and mystery, beautiful people and clothes (you know it's so much more tragic when a beautiful young girl dies in a beautiful dress), the eerie low-light settings and haunting stories which rarely fail to surprise.

However there's always a little regret after finishing a great mystery; of course you can rewatch/read/listen again (which I normally do) to pick up on the clues you originally missed but there will never be that unknown answer for which you race through the mystery to discover and that final surprise. That's why when I discovered the 'powerful drama series' Cape Wrath (known as Meadowlands in America) in the 4oD archives and found myself engrossed through the 78 minutes which make up the first episode, I was delighted and eager to start watcching the second episode, but I didn't. Instead I have been restricting myself to one episode a day and am both dreading and looking forward to finding out the ending of the 7th episode.

It's a fantastic mystery; the acting is superb and it has all of the other elements I mentioned which I think create a 'beauteous mystery'. And like all good mysteries, it raises questions which probably won't be answered, and does get the watcher thinking. For instance, there is a character called Jezebel:

On the Channel4 Cape Wrath microsite (which is where all these images are from), the above picture is labelled 'Beauty Incarnate'. Jezebel is seen in Meadowlands as the most beautiful resident, but her mother says that she is only beautiful as long as people say she is. In this alternate world, Jezebel is seen as the epitome of beauty and that in itself is an interesting thought, of how society creates our perceptions of beauty.

It's just a shame there isn't a second series.

Thursday, 14 August 2008


There are many people who believe that if they acknowledge a fault, a flaw in their character, then it's all OK. I'm one of them. I have in the past confessed to my hypocrisies and even claimed that they are unavoidable...

1. One contradiction that I have recently noticed is in my beliefs about tanning. Having naturally very pale skin, and hating the sun, I have always been in the 'pale and interesting' camp. Self-tan? Tanning booth? Tights or leggings to protect people from the 'blinding whiteness of my legs'? No way! It's stupid, can lead to skin cancer and in my opinion a tan doesn't look that great anyway.

But it truly, truly bugs me when people comment on it: 'you're so white!' or 'you've just come back from holiday and you're just as pale as before!' or, even worse, that incessant fussing which teachers are so prone to, ensuring that I'm wearing sun-block to prevent burning. So when I realised how I had a very pronounced tan line from where I was wearing my watch, I felt disproportionately happy. I'd proved all those doubters wrong! I can tan without burning, I just choose not to!*

2. Perhaps less ridiculous are my confused ideas about animals; I know I'm not the only one who is neither a staunch PETA supporting vegan nor a Tory country girl who enjoys hunting and has rosy red cheeks. Recently I have become a vegetarian (pescetarian to be precise; another hypocrisy, I know...) but I still enjoy wearing the plenty of leather garments I own and continue to buy. And I've had a serious fixation on the perfect fur coat to last a lifetime, but somehow I feel wrong about real fur (see?? Contradiction!) so I'm hoping to find the perfect faux fur. How fantastic do these women look in their fur adornments? (from top: Greta Garbo, Anna Friel in Me Without You, Gwyneth Paltrow in The Royal Tenenbaums, Kate Moss and Bosworth at random sleb events)

And I don't particularly love animals either; some dogs and ginger cats are cute, but you'll never find me stroking a cow. So the only way I can justify myself is that I don't mind killing or wearing them, it's just eating dead things I have a problem with. Anyway, isn't it pretty?

*you don't know how tempted I was to put up a picture of my tan line, before realising just how ridiculous the idea was.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Bargain Hunter

I may not mind spending a little more for something I love, but never let it be said that I don't try to get something at the lowest price. Maybe it's the middle-eastern blood in me but I'm always bargaining when I buy something at a market. So I was absolutely delighted to find The Laden Showroom on Brick Lane, which I'd visited a long time ago but couldn't remember its location.
I wouldn't call them cheap; I managed to spend £45 on one beautiful yellow dress, but they're definitely bargainous. As a showroom, they sell lots of different concessions and (shopping obsessive that I am) I recognised loads of the clothes that Topshop sell in their Oxford Circus branch on the bottom floor. A trench-coat which will cost you £85 at Topshop was selling for just over £50. I recognised a whole bunch of Orion cardigans (like this one on ebay) which I once got in the Topshop sale for £20 but which now retail at £50 - at The Laden Showroom they're £30, not in sale.

The best bit? As soon as I bought my dress and went into the boutique opposite, there it was (in a different colourway) selling for £10 more!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Judging a book by its cover

A while ago, I was in a book shop and I saw a row of the most beautiful Agatha Christie novels. Now, I do dearly love Ms Christie, and her ingenious plots never fail to delight me. However in average her stories take me no more than a day to read, and with the surprise at the end being the key ingredient of a Christie novel, I rarely reread them. Even so, these book covers were so beautiful, and complemented each other so perfectly, that for one second, I was tempted to buy them anyway.

Such is the power of a good book cover. Whilst a bad cover will very rarely put me off a book I want to read (except when the cover is an image of a female body part; it's screamed to me 'unoriginal chiclit' ever since reading this article), a book with a beautiful cover is powerfully alluring, often irrestistable. A hardback book may seem like a waste of money, even cumbersome when you want to carry your book around but it adds a specialness to it, especially when it was a gift. For my birthday, I received this stunning anthology of poems; anthologies are the perfect candidates for special book covers because you're not likely to want to read a couple of poems on the tube.

In fact, browsing the page on the Penguin website for inspirational gifts, I want to immediately buy every single over-priced box set - NOW!

Thursday, 7 August 2008


Note: if this scheduling business is going to work I'm going to have to improve, I accidentally made the post date and time for this 07/07/08, thus banishing it to blog history and then amended the date, only then it came up so I had to delete it and copy and paste the text onto a new post...

Although I don't look it, with my pale eyes, skin and red hair, practically the whole of my maternal family tree is from Turkey, which is where I'm headed off to today (there was a little clue about that in my anklet here - which subsequently broke). Anyway, I'll probably write plenty about Turkey when I get back; contrary to some Western notions about the Middle-East being a bunch of philistines there is a wealth of great art and fashion, which I often indulge in and return with practically a whole new wardrobe.

I have already said that I have scheduled a handful of posts to pop up whilst I am away for a couple of weeks but it has been quite difficult to write posts which are not immediately relevant, and I have not had much time for lots and lots of writing (although in fact this post itself is scheduled!) so right now I don't have enough for one every day. Of course I am sure no readers would mind since there are so many wonderful websites to read every day but being the freak that I am, I hate disturbing the symmetry of the posting. Sadly this has already happened because of the posting irregularities; writing at all hours, 4 posts some days, none other days and my blog archive count certainly isn't even.

Oh well! I just thought I'd make a notification of my commenting absence and ask you to continue making contributions to my posts so that I can read them when I get back, or even if have a couple of bored minutes whilst I'm away. xxx

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Beauty Transcends Language?

Ever since I was little, I've always been obsessed with language, reading everything from Roald Dahl to cereal boxes; I cannot resist reading food packaging.

And when I get a magazine, I spend the majority of my time reading the articles, the information about the clothes, the editor's introduction. Pictures are pretty, but language is far more engaging for me.

However one of my lovely friends got me a copy of this this month's Italian Vogue, 'ago'. Italian Vogue is said to be one of the best Vogues, more ground-breaking as its recent sell-out all-black issue shows, and more fiercely stylish.

So I shall do my best to enjoy this thoughtful gift and allow beauty to transcend language. Besides, I have noticed that foign magazines contain a lot of English headings in comparison to English foreign content...

PS apologies for recent spurt of short posting; I have been caught up in last minute holiday preparation frenzies and reasoned that short posts is better than none at all, especially since for the next couple of weeks posts will be less frequent (scheduled for every couple of days)

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Movie Magic in 30 seconds

Sometimes I do wonder if I spend too much time watching films (and then try to rationalise it by saying that at least they're good films). Today I thought maybe I should write about two good films I have enjoyed recently, or maybe consider why I enjoy them so much.

Instead, I am going to introduce you to 30-second Bunnies Theatre, where you can guiltlessly watch all the old classics, in approximately 30 seconds each (some are a little longer).

Try to stick to the films you've seen, otherwise they might just be ruined for you. And if you've seen them, I'd strongly recommend The Big Chill and Brokeback Mountain - bunny version (although the real versions are great too)

Monday, 4 August 2008


I do love seeing before and afters. Clothes, before and after altering. Celebrities, before and after airbrushing. Regular people, before and after a whole lot of plastic surgery. I love those little makeover montages in films and Andy's makover totally makes The Devil Wears Prada for me. No, I don't have some weird obsession with altering my own physical appearance which manifests in before and afters, I simply love marvelling at how you can take the most mundane, even ugly, and bring out its 'beauty' (or, in some cases, completely ruin it! But that's part of the fun, the fact that makeovers are such a delicate process).

Anyway, when I started this webpage a couple of months ago I wanted a really neutral and simple design; the colour scheme is co-ordinated, the layout obsessively neat and there is a clinical lack of adornment which I so detest (glittery myspace page anyone?). I was trying to go for a sophisticated look, but also I lack any talent in graphic design and also suffer from chronic perfectionistism. So choosing a name was torture and now I've come to realise that prettyfaceshelpinraces is a little rubbish, but I knew I'd hate whichever name I choose and decided that it was vaguely relevant. But there was no way I could choose a suitable picture for the blog's header that would perfectly encapsulate its essence. So it's remained bare. And now I hand it to you.

I reckon any person who can turn on a computer and definitely everyone of my lovely readers could come up with a better blog design than I could. It would probably be easier for them if they had a blogger account so could see the colour schemes etc, but blogger isn't exactly rocket science. So I'm asking you for help! if y have any ideas for a more interesting yet unglittery colour scheme (although I'm not ruling out any glitz!), a nice font to tie in... hyperlink colour, a pretty header, so on and so forth... leave me a comment or e-mail me at and I'd be absolutely delighted! If I love your suggestion and decide to use it, after a month or so of tortuous indecisiveness I will totally implement it. Look, I've even made a pretty (?!?) little badge with my great graphics design skills for you which you can put up on your blog if you have one, as a sign of your fabulousness.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

The Secret of Happiness

I spend a lot of my ‘thinking’ time pondering the nature of happiness. In my opinion, happiness is the single best thing any of us could wish for and it comes above anything else. However I think many people would agree with that statement and when I think about happiness, my questions go much further.

I think it’s nigh on impossible to define exactly how to acquire happiness, if only because it would be so difficult for each of us, at least on a material level. If I were to receive these beautiful Giuseppe Zanotti mirror embellished ankle boots:

from a kind benefactor, I would be very happy indeed, whilst I can think of at least one person who would be much happier with some sort of spangly music converter storage iMac thingamajig. As you can probably tell, I wouldn’t know what to do with the thing. But I believe that both of us would be equally delighted that there’s someone out there who is thinking about how they could make us happy.

In some ways, it may be easier to define what makes us unhappy. Sometimes, thinking about how for many people the answer would be that love is what fulfils their happiness, I start to feel down; woe is me, nobody loves me and all those thoughts which I logically know to be completely untrue, but still manage to occasionally plague me. Secrets and lies too (no, not the film which absolutely makes me very happy) are things which I have grown to detest over the unfortunate events when I have had to deal with them. To me, one of the secrets of happiness is to have no secrets; they are unhealthy and thinking over them never fails to bring me down. But of course, I too have private details which I do not share, and I understand that it can sometimes be the truth which creates the most unhappiness. I don’t fail to recognise the hypocrisy.

It’s not just happiness in which I can find so many contradictions in what I believe; in one of my ‘rants’ which I wrote on my birthday (I seem to be writing quite a few of these and I do find it immensely therapeutic) I wrote about how I struggle to accept the concept of the laws of beauty yet still I abide by them. The central struggle I have with happiness, and unhappiness is understanding the point of them all. They are such simple emotions; other emotions can be so difficult to define as positive or negative, but happiness is simply positive and so unhappiness negative. Therefore happiness is good, it is the ‘single best thing any of us could wish for’ so why not just never be unhappy? When feeling a little blue, why not just realise that it's not going to help being in a sulk, put on a smile, because smiling releases endorphins, dontcha know, and… be happy? Well, I like to think that I am in such great control of my emotions, but part of me knows that I can’t be. So I can argue with myself that there is no point in unhappiness, that any reason I have to be unhappy is perfectly invalid and that really I have every reason to be happy. But I’m still aware that there is pain, there is shit, there is unhappiness. Maybe the best we can do is look for those small things which help us to be a little happier (for me it’s shopping, tea, films, writing it all down – for others it’s spangly music converter storage iMac thingamajigs) and enjoy them.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

I definitely need a new notebook.

When trying to think of something to write, I remembered the post where I shared a poem from a 'collection of musings' I'd started; started being the operative word. When I got the idea, the bits of material I'd already written were all written down in different places, some on the computer, a couple on the back pages of an old notebook etc. So I got an old 'rough book' (books we were given in school to do rough work, which are created so cheaply that the paper is so thin that you can't write with any ink thicker than a biro), bashed out an introduction and began to copy down some of the stuff I'd written.

I soon gave up; there's nothing more monotonous than copying out what you've already spent time writing. This was almost a month ago and the rough book hasn't been touched. So maybe a Smythson notebook would be a good investment? Although on a lower budget, I've always fancied a simple Moleskine, 'the legendary notebook used for the past two centuries by great artists and thinkers, including Van Gogh, Picasso, Hemingway and Chatwin'. Sounds like me...

Anyway, I highly doubt that my 'collection of musings' is going to get very much further, at least for now (plus I've already started my next 'project'; God, it's scary that this blog has actually lasted a good couple of months) so I suppose I could share another one, which is sort of related in that it muses on mirrors, those essential pieces of equipment which we use to decide on our own levels of beauty. Like the other one, it's completely unpolished but it's so much easier to write a half -completed poem on mirrors than spend a good half hour constructing an 'essay' on mirrors. And there are plenty of question marks, so that we can talk about it for a nice long time.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Accessories with Humour

When I started adding tags to this blog, I didn't think to add a jewelry/jewellery tag because I don't think about my jewelry very much; it takes too much effort (which I have now added). But recently I've noticed that sometimes I do love an accessory and that's when it has that one quality that every woman wants in a man: a GSOH. I like my jewelry to have a good sense of humour.

My most recent accessories acquisition was a little bit of costume jewelry, which I got with some birthday gift vouchers.

It's plastic, it's bright and in-your-face and look! it's even laughing!

However some people might say that funny jewelry should only be costume jewelry, and it should only ever be inexpensive because after a while, the joke gets old. I disagree; take for example Wendy Brandes' (writer of blog with GSOH) Onyx Skull Ring. Normally I take Holly Golightly's advice that 'it would be tacky to wear diamonds before I’m 40'. But the morbid humour of a luxurious skull ring means I love, love, love it and with the subtle detail I don't think I'd throw it away.

Plus, the one accessory I wear almost day in, day out (other than my lovely oversized watch) is my joker necklace. An eagle-eyed reader may have noticed it featuring in one or two of my posts, so you can't deny it's not versatile. The features of his face are so delicate that my rubbish camera couldn't pick them up; the impish grin, flower in the cocked hat and sticky out ears, which may be why he works with absolutely any outfit. But my joker's a lot less dull than the anchor or heart I could have chosen and he's got a great sense of humour.