Sunday, 22 February 2015

Outfit Post #1

Dress: Charity Shop.  Cardigan: (Actually a bodycon zip-up dress, but I was feeling inventive)

Excuse the awkwardness of my posing. I've never felt comfortable in front of a camera, it took about a million tries with Julian holding the camera to get a decent-ish photo. Gotta work on that, because I have some amazing stuff I want to document.

Please ignore my terrible horrible mess.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Photos from the Game of Thrones Exhibition

So last Sunday I got to go to the Game of Thrones exhibition at the O2 in London. I got the tickets for free for being a Sky customer :) It was great seeing all of the props and costumes, but I wish there had been more on display, it felt like we went all the way through the exhibition pretty quickly. I was having a nerdgasm over all the detail on the props and things, though. There were also some activities to queue up for, like getting blasted by dragon fire and getting turned into a white walker. The best bit was the Oculus Rift, where you go up the Wall with a virtual reality helmet on. It was pretty jarring, surprisingly realistic. All in all, one of my better recent Sundays. I wish I had taken photos on my camera instead of my phone, the quality isn't too good in a lot of them, but what can you do.

Review: The Casual Vacancy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 

It took me a long time to finish this book, I started it in Australia last summer and only went back to it the other day. Even though I'd forgotten about it, I finished it in one sitting. It really gripped me when I picked it up for the second time, near the end of the book. 

It's a real slow burner which can make it a little difficult to get into, but it's character-driven, which I always love. Rowling is good at making the actions of her characters, even those that are seemingly foul, understandable and believable. They're all real people, and you can really care about them for this reason.

 I watched the first episode of the new miniseries based on this book the other day, it seems good so far. Will definitely be keeping up with the series. 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Review: Urban Decay Pocket Rocket Lip Glosses

Yesterday was Valentine's Day, as I'm sure you may have noticed with all of the sickeningly saccharine or otherwise aggrieved posts all over every nook and cranny of the internet. People seem to fall into one of two camps; they're either gooey and excited, over-sharing their plans on Facebook and overusing the ♥s, or they're the complete opposite. I don't actually find the holier-than-thou-hateful types any less irritating than the first kind of person, as it seems equally important to them that the world is able to see their attitude towards the day, and they seem to play up their hatred of it. Look how nonconformist I am, I reject your petty Hallmark holidays. I am too deep for Valentine's day, I am above it! In fact, when scrolling down my Newsfeed, this type makes me groan much more often and more loudly than the harmless and sweet happiness of the other type.

In keeping with the romance in the air, I thought I'd review an unfortunately discontinued little lovely from Urban Decay, the Pocket Rocket lip glosses. I don't know how much they cost before they were discontinued because I bought mine over Ebay or Amazon (it was a couple of years ago, could be either). There seem to be quite a few shades floating about on those sites still, the cheapest I've seen is £4.99. They're nicely pigmented and very juicy. You have to watch how much you put on as this is the type of lip gloss that loves to get hair stuck in it, but the smell alone makes it worth it. They have this delicious burnt caramel or fudge type smell, I can't quite put my finger on it but it's beautiful and sticks around for ages.

And finally, my favourite aspect of the products - they're delightfully gimmicky! Each shade is named after the sexy models on the lids. There's a front and back view and they're holographic; you tilt the gloss, and their clothes come off. Gonna have to use that ♥ thing as it's the only thing that applies here, I'm afraid. Another gimmick that I don't think as much of is the pheromone thing as you can hopefully see in the image above. Apparently rubbing the plastic on the back of the tube releases pheromones. Come on, I'm saying bullshit to that. Other than that annoying little pseudo-scientific blip, these are fun and fantastic products, and they'd make a good belated Valentine's gift! I only wish I could get my hands on more of the shades on Ebay, but some are hard to find. The ones I have seem to be among the only ones floating about, unfortunately.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Most Precious Boots

These were a birthday present from the girls a couple of years ago now, when we all lived together in Upton Park. They're from ASOS but they're no longer available, and even though I've had them for ages they remain my absolute favourites. They go with absolutely everything and they've stayed in great shape considering I've had them for so long, although I do save them for special occasions as they're precious to me and I don't want to scuff them up like I do with every other pair... I usually wear them with a dress and tights or a high waisted skirt. Need to get around to posting some outfit posts!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Review: Too Faced Absolutely Invisible Candlelight Powder

Here's a quick review of a really nice highlighter I've had for a few years now. Apart from having a ridiculously long name, it's a great product. It's not too glittery, you just dab a bit wherever you want to highlight and it gives a nice and subtle glowing sheen. It's excellent for hangovers, I've used it to create the illusion that I'm not inches from collapse many a time, and have even received compliments about my apparent healthy visage. Definitely one to pack for all-nghters. It's not cheap, at £25 from Boots, I reckon I must have used my student loan or a gift card when I bought it a few years ago, but for the quality I'd say it's worth it.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Gift Ideas for Taxi Drivers

So on Friday (the 13th, oh my) it's mine and my dads birthday. It's kind of weird that we share a birthday, I must have ruined his day big time when I came along twenty four years ago during a blizzard, and from then on it was all about me, being slightly more of a kid than him. Sorry Dad. Although I'm pretty sure my mum induced labour using some bizarre old wives' trick involving castor oil as she was sick of being pregnant by that point, so it's not really my fault. Could have picked a different day, Mum. It's actually fine sharing a birthday, as I've never liked making a big deal out of it anyway. Usually our birthday induces a fit of bleak and crushing ennui in me, so it's good to have someone else's feelings at stake lest I decide to wallow in a pit of gloom all day.

Thermos: here
Keep Calm Card: here
Cap: here
Bumper Sticker: here
Anyway, it's always absolutely impossible for me to figure out what to get for my dad as the things he likes, he tends to like thoroughly. Any book on London lore or anything to do with the music he likes, and you can bet he already has it. And those generic mens gift sets from Boots just feel really crappy and thoughtless. So this year I'm going to think about it properly instead of having to resort to Boots at the last minute again. He's a black cabbie so I've done a bit of Googling to find something good. Above are some novelty possibilities, but what I really have my eye on is this book from Amazon. Well, we shall see.

Black Cab Wisdom: here

Might end up getting him a few bits and bobs, some of this stuff seems cheap enough that I can order more than one thing. And then I'm all sorted out until the next day, that just so happens to be Valentine's, which seems to exist just to annoy me. At least I have the Game of Thrones exhibition to look forward to the day after that. It'll be a good weekend.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Dental Dramas and Fantastic Films

My wisdom teeth have really been bothering me lately. It seems like as soon as I'm over an infection it's only a matter of days until they start killing me again. A couple of them haven't fully come out from under the gums and don't have the space to, so it's likely that I'll have to get them removed as they're impossible to clean properly and I'm risking antibiotic resistance with all of these repeated infections. I'm dreading it, I've heard some horror stories about wisdom tooth removals and I don't really feel like going around with a swollen face for weeks, but that's life I suppose. On top of this I found out that I'm a tooth-grinder. I had no idea that I do this, but the dentist told me that some of my molars are actually chipped from all the nightly grinding. I have to go in on Monday to pick up a mouth guard to wear at night, brilliant.

So here are some movies I've been enjoying while I've been feeling rough. Firstly, The Theory of Everything. I saw it in the cinema with Julian, it was beautiful. Stephen Hawking is one of my absolute heroes, and the film was a real tearjerker (Julian was snivelling away next to me). It's based on the novel by his ex wife Jane Wilde Hawking, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, so it focusses a lot on their marriage and its strains as Jane has to care for a man whose impressive success increases in tandem with his need for her care. Would watch again, and soon.

Next is The Canal. An Irish horror film released in 2014, it was utterly terrifying for all the right reasons. I am always disappointed by horror films; I only find them scary before the real horror is known, when it remains possible that it could be something real. The usual supernatural reveal is always a let-down for me, and the rest of the movie loses its scare value. This one, however, teases a terror that could be supernatural or psychological, and is shot with such an atmospheric and arty style that it remains gripping until the satisfying conclusion.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Review: The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The affliction of shallow people everywhere - wanting a person only until it occurs to you that you have succeeded in obtaining them. This book is a great study of this character flaw, presenting it from the perspective of somebody who is, for the purpose of successful introspection, a little overeducated and thus blind to his own failings. Nathaniel spends a great deal of time trying to puzzle out what it is precisely that without fail suddenly puts him off of these fantastic women that he previously felt great tenderness towards, and he never acknowledges how obviously formulaic it is: Nathaniel loves and admires somebody, then he notices how cosy and wonderful everything is, becomes huffy and petulant, and then loses all respect for the woman in question when she becomes hurt and confused at his behaviour. This, in his mind, becomes her problem; that she is too eager to please him, that her happiness is too dependent on a man's treatment of her.

Nathaniel, being an educated man, likes to paint a picture of his thoughts being influenced by his progressive feminism and fails to recognise the self-loathing that is apparent in his behaviour - he can only respect a woman that isn't dumb enough to love him. This is made clear by his frequent mooning over exes, if and only if they seem not to care too much about him anymore. It is his idea of himself as a nice and progressive man that causes him to toy with these women, pulling back and forth, gaining and losing respect for them according to how much he causes them to care for him and then suddenly withdrawing.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, because I love writing that puts forward the complexity of human interactions in a way that is understandable. Not many people treat others badly for the sake of it, these failings are always justified to the person committing them, usually through lack of insight into their own motivations as in the case of Nathaniel. Would definitely recommend.