Thursday 31 October 2013

Permanent Ink

Getting a tattoo is something I have pondered about on and off over the years and it was brought to my mind along with tattoos in general this week by two things.

First was sitting opposite an wonderfully elegant older woman on the train.Think the Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith!
 Oh she looked amazing and had that aura about her, you know? I was trying not to stare in an obvious manner, when I spotted a tattoo on her hand, it was a thick black vine around her wrist with bright orange leaves coming down onto her hand and quite frankly it threw me.
Mostly I think because sadly it wasn't a great tattoo, but a wobbly crudely executed design that just looked ugly and so out of place on such an elegant woman, and yes I know that sounds judgmental but it really was bad.

Second was a very interesting article in a magazine about the rise in people getting tattoos and public opinion of them in general. The person who wrote it does not have any tattoos, nor plans to get any done but was neither pro or anti. They did however make a couple of points that absolutely rang true with me and my own views and experiences.

Firstly that for every stunning piece of inked artwork you see, there are at least 10 'Lopsided badly drawn Bart Simpsons'. This is so true, see above as a casing point and secondly, statistically almost half the people with tattoos regret the design they have. Now this also rang true.

A lot of my friends have tattoos and many of them have come to hate them, not necessarily the actually having of a tattoo on their person but mostly the design they chose.
In some cases because it was poorly executed, or in a couple because it represents a person they are no longer romantically involved with and therefore can no longer physically stand, mostly though it's because it no longer represents them as a person.

My lovely sister has many tattoos and she covers all three of these bases bless her!

She had a cutsey cartoon dragon done on her shoulder when she was 17 which she came to hate with a passionate loathing. She had a very 90's tribal motif on her midriff that was designed for her by an ex-boyfriend, and finally what was meant to be a unicorn but was so badly done it actually looked  like a demented goat on her ankle!  
I say 'had' because as of this year she has finally had all three covered with different designs. It has been painful, going over old ink is more painful than a new tattoo, and it has been very expensive. Happily she loves her new artwork but sadly not everyone can afford to cover over or even have removed their tattooed mistakes. 

When I was 17 I also was gunning to get a tattoo. I designed it myself and even painted it on the arm of my leather biker jacket in the spot where I wanted it to be on my personage. I'm very grateful now I was too young and too scared of pain to have it done!
 A huge bat flying across a full moon in a cloudy night sky is not really me, and as I have actually never really been into vampires I'm not sure now what the design was even about, but clearly at the time......

Anyway since then fads have come and gone, design ideas have come and gone, and I have still not got one done. No age excuse anymore but the low pain threshold is still there and is the thing that has held me back. 
The one picture I have flirted with for 10 years or more is a little bushy tailed cat, I want it in purple with a black outline and on my ankle, but in all honesty the fear of making a fool of myself in the tattooists chair because I don't do pain has stopped me every time.

Also I would need to find the right artist. I have seen some stunning, stunning work but my god I have seen some shit too and the last thing I want is to finally psych myself up for it and then end up with a demented goat!

Thursday 24 October 2013

All You Need is Love and Beer.

Yesterday Himself and I headed to London for the last night of 'The Farewell Tour' by Bowling for Soup.

As I'm sure most of you know (due to the fact I have wittered on about it here numerous times before!) they are my favourite band, and this was their last full tour of the U.K. *sobs*

Due to this we decided to book a hotel so we wouldn't have to dash off for the last train. The show was at the Hammersmith Apollo, which I just can not call the Hammersmith Apollo. To me it will always be the 'Hammy O', short for the Hammersmith Odeon, as it was called in the 80's and early 90's when I used to go to many, many gigs there.

I was trying but failed, to remember what the last show was that I saw there. The best was was definitely Guns and Roses supported by Faster Pussycat and The Quireboys.
Oh what a night that was!

Anyway I digress. We arrived at lunchtime and goodness me Hammersmith has changed beyond all recognition!
We found our hotel, checked in and had a gentle amble to the nearest Wetherspoons. Look at this amazing pub we passed on the way, I just love the purple tiles.

On my way to the toilets in Wetherspoons I got accosted by a drunk old man who bellowed "Nice Boots!" and then rambled on about various things but kept going back to my boots whilst I tried to edge past towards the ladies!
Soon enough it was time to head round the corner to the site of many a good night in years gone by
I won't go on too much and dissect the show to pieces.I have mixed feelings about it, I've seen the band play a lot better, their hearts didn't seem to be in it.
The place was packed though, mostly because they did that thing I hate, letting people with tickets for the seating upstairs into the standing area below so it was way too full to be comfortable.

I also had some muppet standing next to me with a rucksack on. I mean FFS who wears a fricking rucksack to a gig?? He was determined to be the life and soul of his group of friends, who of course were all standing behind us, and kept spinning round to entertain them, walloping me with his rucksack every bloody time he did!&%*?!

Now it's been over 2 years since I left the library, but once you perfect the 'Librarian Stare'TM and the 'Librarian Voice'TM you never loose them. I unleashed the Librarian Voice Level 2 and I'm pleased to say it did the trick. 

All in all a bittersweet night.
We went back to Wetherspoons for a nightcap before we headed to bed. Oh and look I found some Elephants along the way.

Next morning we got woken up by the housekeeping team letting themselves into the room at 9.20am (Grrr) So once we were dressed and packed we took a leisurely amble back to the station and headed home. It was a gorgeous day today after all the rain and storms so I took the chance to get out into the garden and do a bit of tidying before the next wave of weather hits.

Before I go I want to talk to you about nail polish, more precisely Nails Inc nail polish. I spotted a cracking offer on the Martin's Money Tips site of a special price of £18 for a 7 bottle lucky dip. Now when you keep in mind prices start at £12 for a single bottle this was one hell of a deal!

I decided to take a punt on it, even though I was pretty sure it was going to be made up of all the crap colours they couldn't shift, I mean why else would they drop the price so much?

Well I was absolutely thrilled to find I was completely wrong on that score.

(the second one from the right is actually purple I have no idea why it looks brown in this picture!)

I tried the glittery ones straight away.

 Of course I need more nail polish like a hole in the head.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Paris, Murder and a Purple Dress.

It's been a crazy busy couple of weeks and sadly most of it has been for work. The last two weekends have also been taken up with work and I'd be lying if I said I didn't resent it.

Last weekend I was in Paris for less than 12 hours, how mental is that? No chance to sight see or visit any shops Grr.All work and no play makes this Jill a frustrated girl!
The plus points were traveling business, very comfortable and including a light lunch. Mind when it arrived you could see why it was described as 'light'
That little inch by inch and a half square was my salmon!
 Another was I was traveling with my colleague Paull again so I knew we would have a good laugh.

 We arrived with just enough time to set up our stand have a quick pee then it was noses to the grindstone, well I say that, in all honesty we spent a great deal of time twiddling our thumbs and chatting. Paris is NOT a good location for us. Thankfully we had managed to persuade work to let us stay the night rather than head straight home. That meant when the fair was over we could check in, get changed and head out for some delicious French cuisine.
We pounded the pavements in search of food and finally chose this Bistro.
It was packed and I'm not surprised, the food was amazing. Our waiter was hilarious and kept talking to us in a weird mix of English and French, dancing, singing and breaking glasses in an alarming manner.
My hotel room had a leopard print carpet which I loved
but it was also at the front of the hotel and right opposite 'The Best Nightclub in Paris'
so I had a crap night's sleep, if I'd had more sense I'd have gone across and joined in. Breakfast was amazing so that helped bolster me up for the journey home.

On to this Saturday when I was working again *sigh* Another early start at the weekend which I hate. This time it was London, and as always with London it was insanely busy. By 6pm I had a sore throat, a croaky voice and my feet were killing me.
I was meant to be going out to see a band play, but by the time I got home all I wanted was a huge glass of wine and bed!
What the hell happened to the party animal I used to be?

 At least this is my last fair for a little while, they wanted me to do Zurich on Tuesday as well!?!  Thankfully I already have other plans.

Himself and I did manage to get one date night in. We headed out to the New Theatre to see The Mousetrap. I really enjoyed it, though having seen it before meant that the suspense of 'who did it' was gone.
We had dinner beforehand and I wore my lovely purple Pearl Lowe dress.

  Talking of purple dresses, I picked up this little purple beauty on Ebay for a fiver, just right for winter don't you think?

I also couldn't resist this pair of sneakers, glittery snakeskin what's not to like?

Finally my parents popped in today and Mum brought me a couple of goodies from her latest White Elephant stall for Age Concern.
An enamel brooch of a sprig of lilac, an unusual vintage glass necklace

and finally
some white elephants!

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Now That's What I Call a Bad Hair Day.

So what have I been up to since I last saw you?

Busy finishing the painting of the garden furniture where I got a lot of hammerite on my personage  and superglue on my nose, I kid you not. Nope I still don't know how I did that either.

I have been taken by surprise by mould. After 7 years in a damp house I thought I had all the places it loves to grow figured out, but no it surprised me yet again on Saturday. I'm actually beginning to like the smell of bleach which is a bit worrying.

I had a lovely night out with Soo and Melissa eating and drinking far more than was good for me.

I've been manic and stressed at work and forgotten more things than I care to mention, it's quite distressing how crap my memory is these days especially when I forget to bid on a bloody gorgeous frock on Ebay a mere half an hour after I had thought 'Must bid on that dress in half an hour' *sigh*

I managed to split the soles of my star boots  :(

They were only cheap but I loved them and it always makes me very sad when boots die.

I have been enjoying wet walnuts that are falling in abundance from the tree at the end of the road.
Oh and I lost most of my hair on Monday.

My hair has always been a bit delicate as I have blogged about in the past. My terrible abuse of it in the 80's has never been forgiven.
Over the summer it has been remarkably happy and healthy, I should have known it was too good to last.
The last month or so I have really been struggling to do anything at all with it. As you can see from this picture of my trip to Birmingham that I have blatantly stolen from Curtise, it has been straggly and thin at the ends. I knew I was due a haircut but just hadn't got round to booking one.

Well I woke up one morning last week and it was like the fairies had stolen my fringe in the night, either that or Himself is doing some kind of reverse Samson and Delilah on me.

Seriously I looked like fricking Dave Hill in his Slade 70's heyday, it was just horrifying.
I can't bear not having a fringe so it was pretty upsetting and baffling as well. I just couldn't figure out what had happened.
A frantic call was made to my Hairdresser/Sister in Law Caron and she squeezed me in on Monday night. Turns out my hair has been breaking, not falling out, but just snapping off. My fringe had clearly been breaking over a period of time until there was just none left.

It's a mystery as I don't bleach or straighten or over heat my hair. Caron offered a few possible causes including early menopause!?!
 So I have a doctors appointment booked for next Tuesday to get checked out and in the meantime what was left of my hair had to go.
The sides had broken so badly it had to be cut shorter than initially planned.
From this
to this in a matter of weeks.......

If you're thinking what is she on about she has a fringe believe me it is a careful comb over!

Don't get me wrong I don't hate it I'm just a bit shell shocked and obviously a bit worried about the cause. I'm also terrified it will keep happening.
Today I bought some intensive brittle hair treatments and a hair and nail supplement to help my poor mop, fingers crossed they work.

Oh and on a lighter note you can see my fab new Halloween ghost jumper over my shoulder in the picture above.
I saw it, I squeed, I had to buy it.

Himself said 'but you can only wear it once a year' and then saw my face and said ' what am I thinking you're just going to wear it all winter aren't you?'

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Birmingham or Bust.

It's not like me to be late to the party but my purchases were in the wash and I had garden furniture to paint so no excited blog from me until today I'm afraid.
Here it is my take on the fab day out that was Saturday in Birmingham.

Like Curtise for some reason I thought it would be a very good idea to go out drinking on Friday night, and Thursday too night come to that.(very naughty)

It was a great night out, catching up with friends I haven't seen for far too long, but a Stone the Crows and a few Village Idiots later and it was long past my 'I'll just have a quick drink and head off home as I have to get up early in the morning' plan.

That alarm clock was a painful noise I can tell you, but it was a beautiful day dawning as I headed to the station.

I had a bit of a wait at Oxford station where for some reason best known to themselves they had left the waiting room doors wedged open! That combined with my nerves and the fierce air con on the train to Birmingham meant I was freezing by the time I arrived.
I know it sounds a terrible cliche but as soon as I spotted Vix and she turned and smiled I knew it was going to be fine and my nerves disappeared.

We meet Liz and Curtise at the station before grabbing a very welcome cup of tea until Fiona arrived.

Then it was time to shop!

First stop the Rag Market, I was walking round open mouthed. I haven't seen an indoor market like that in years and certainly not one of that size, it was great.

Next stop 91 Allison Street. What a bloody amazing shop!

Vix said I would be amazed at the prices and she wasn't wrong.
There was a lovely long purple evening frock but I knew I wouldn't get the wear out of it so I left it behind. I did buy a dress, a blouse, a bag and 2 scarves for £18, that's right EIGHTEEN QUID amazing.

It seems I was have a polka dot kind of day.

Next came lunch at Hennessey's where the very lovely Pippi joined us.

The chips like the company were fantastic.

Re-fueled it was on to Cow where I had frightening flashbacks to my clubbing days amongst all the 80's and 90's clothing. Mind it could just have been the fact some of the rails are suspended from the ceilling and moved just enough and in such a way it made you think the floor was coming and going....ok I think that was just me. *leaves feeling seasick*

Next was the amazing Urban Village at The Custard Factory I tried on 5 dresses including another glorious purple one, but it was not my day for buying a purple frock and I left them all behind for various reasons, too tight, too big, too small, too pink, you know the usual.

Oh what a shop! I found not one, but two, gorgeous but not quite right frocks.
It seems I am doomed to find stunning green evening dresses priced at exactly £58 that for various reasons I can't justify buying,


 can't stop thinking about. *sigh*

Time for a well earned pub break and a nostalgia trip into the 70's thanks to the random music on the jukebox.
All to soon it was time to head back to the station.
I was the last to leave and bless her Vix stayed with me for company which meant she didn't get home for ages due to cancelled trains.

As we waited I thought I'd pulled a drunken football fan, but it turned out he only wanted me to watch his beer whilst he went for a pee!
Once back from that he decided Vix was too brightly dressed and that he was very glad I wasn't his wife as I had too much shopping. Happily I was very glad not to be his wife too so we parted on good terms.
Yes there had been football on my train was packed and when I say packed, I mean PACKED with football fans. On top of that the toilet in our carriage was the only working one on the train, it made for a lively but very long journey home.

I had such a great day and I know Curtise said it in her blog, but being out with Vix really is like being out with a rather lovely celebrity.
People starred, but in a good way, they smiled, they took pictures and they recognised her from her blog. It was magic.