Filed under Miscellaneous

I will always love you, Whitney

whitney

 

Turns out I’m not the only one with a fascination with Whitney Houston. Well, clearly. Kevin Macdonald’s new film ‘Whitney’ is showing and it didn’t take a new film about her being made to make me think of her. I have Whitney in most of my Youtube playlists. When I’m out with the girls if we hear ‘I wanna dance with somebody’ we give each other a knowing look, toss our drinks to the side and clamber for the dancefloor. It’s such a club banger, guaranteed to lift any mood. Hell, when I was at uni and the neighbours were annoying me with bad tunes, I said to my roommate ‘I’m gonna bust out some Whitney to sort this.’  If in doubt – always Whitney.

When I watch her music videos and her interviews I still get emotional. In the Diane Sawyer interview, where she famously claimed ‘crack is whack’ she seemed defiant but also with a clear sign of the demons – I would venture she was on something before that interview. She even said ‘the devil is in me’ in response to questions about addiction. What makes all of her issues seem even more layered are the sensational claims that she was abused by her cousin; Dee Dee Warwick. To be honest when I heard this, I thought it all made perfect sense. I am no psychologist, but the evidence suggests that a lot of the time, those who are abused  tend to self medicate. Well, who wouldn’t? I am guessing all you want to do is dull out those horrible memories and the ghastly feelings they stir up. And to make matters worse? It was a member of her own family for F sake.

It still irks me a little bit that I discovered of her passing in an ex boyfriend’s tweet. My brother, living in America at the time, had texted me to say I was in for a ‘big shock.’ He had sent it whilst I was asleep (time difference) and I had got up to pee. I went on the internet and typed in ‘news’ but weirdly that didn’t come up. And whilst scrolling twitter saw the tweet. I was gutted. Honestly heartbroken. I had grown up with Whitney. I watched The Bodyguard with my friends at my first ‘big girl party’ and fell in love… with both of them. Any critic who didn’t enjoy the film, clearly didn’t understand it. I saw a ridiculous review that said they didn’t ‘see these two together, and they were working hard to seem like a pair’ to me that just says this person was trying to hide their thinly veiled racism about an interracial couple (this was a big deal at the time, 1992 unbelievably.)  The chemistry between Houston and Costner sizzles – and the movie went on to make over $400 million at the box office, with the soundtrack becoming the best selling soundtrack of all time, selling more than 45 million copies worldwide.Make of that what you will.

Six years later after she’s gone, I still can’t seem to get enough of her songs, her beautiful face, and that bejewelled voice. I honestly think she has the best voice I have ever heard. Her control and range is insane. Truly. Try and listen to anyone else attempt her songs. None of these X factor wannabes  who copy her every year, come anywhere close to her talent. She is so gorgeous as well. Her stunning light cocoa skin, dark doe eyes and broad smile. She is one of the few stars that has that je nais se quois– where you can’t take your eyes off her – you want to know what she is going to do next, such is her magnetism.

Someone like Taylor Swift, I find dull as dishwater.  I couldn’t get obsessed with her because she is so boring (to me anyway – not trying to hate, opinions and all that.)  But I would say I am definitely obsessed with Whitney Houston in some way. I can’t scroll any of her songs even though I have heard them a thousand times. I can’t not watch her music videos, just because I have to drink in her talent and beauty.  In fact, as I write this, I’m listening to a Whitney playlist on Youtube.

It’s interesting that she didn’t have much confidence when filming The Bodyguard. I guess her expertise was the music and not necessarily acting, but still, I would have imagined her to feel untouchable when it came to something else in the entertainment field. Kevin Costner, a brilliant actor and a person who is extremely reticent, actually spoke at her funeral. He said she doubted herself; wondered if people would like her performance. He said ‘they didn’t like you Whitney, they loved you.’ She also admitted in her interview with Oprah, that ‘every day I wanted to quit. I didn’t think I could do it.’ This surprises me in some ways, in other ways it makes sense because of everything else going on. When watching he Oprah interview, my first thought was how fragile she was ; her raspy voice, her thin frame; still beautiful of course.

I know we can’t play this game, but I always wonder where these people’s loved ones/ friends/ people who give a shit were when things like this happen? There’s footage of Whitney, clearly intoxicated, barging into an interview with her manager Clive Davis and Brandy, swaying and kissing everyone, even passing a note to a very confused Brandy, in the 24 hrs before she passed away. I even saw an interview with one of her entourage who admittedly mumbled  ‘we weren’t supposed to let her have baths because of this reason.’ Well then, what the hell. Back in uni, I got very drunk, and ended up being sick on myself (it’s actually a hilarious story I promise) anyway – I decided I wanted a shower so I went in the bathroom , locked the door and started running a shower but the pressure was crap, and even as off my tits as I was, I wanted a proper rinse so I ran a bath. My friend was downstairs getting a snack. It was about 3am in the morning. The next thing I know. My friend has burst the door open and I wake up – having just fallen asleep in the bath. She was really angry. ‘What the hell are you doing? You could drown.’ She dragged me naked out of the bath and put me to bed. I probably would have drowned in all honesty. But someone was looking out for me. And that was just tequilas. Everyone around Whitney, they knew she was on coke. They knew she was struggling, vulnerable, emotionally ravaged. Instead of leeching off her, it would have been nice if someone could have actually cared about the person, not just living in the orbit of the ‘star.’   I Just find it really irresponsible/ careless and it really bothers me.

I also hadn’t realised she had had a few miscarriages, one famously whilst shooting The Bodyguard. How sad for her. It’s even more tragic that her daughter Bobbi Kristina followed the same suit.

I haven’t seen the film yet, but I plan to. Any excuse to hear that voice and absorb the magic, that only Whitney Houston has. I use the present tense, because her music goes on, in more ways than one <3

‘Whitney’ is showing at selected cinemas now.

‘The Bodyguard’ is showing on Amazon Prime.

Interviews with Diane Sawyer and Oprah, on Youtube.

 

 

 

 

I’ll be there for you (or not)

JEN PIC

So, it’s all over the news. Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux have split up. And once again, what irritates me is the criticism she has received. I’m not trying to jump on the band wagon here. And I’m not a fan girl, I can’t tell you what her dogs are called, or her favourite ice cream. Yes I adored Friends, but this observation is more about being a fellow human and woman. Considering the current climate, men everywhere are probably worried we are going to start burning our bras again. The platform is shifting, and so it should, but it’s a collective consciousness that we should be striving for, and sadly women still troll other women.

Even the language in these vacuous pop up videos, ‘JEN didn’t want to move from LA, JEN didn’t like it in NY, JEN is a Cali girl.’ Yep, probably all true but I think there’s probably more to it than that. And why isn’t it, ‘JUSTIN couldn’t stand LA?’ These tacky entertainment vids are subtly trying to make us think that she is at fault. Relationships are a two way street, and that’s a tough street sometimes.

I thought Justin seemed pleasant enough, but what I noticed was that he never seemed that fussed you know? Always a forced smile. In interviews talking about her he looked uncomfortable. This isn’t to diminish their love. He’s obviously not that demonstrative. But maybe Jen needs someone who is. Actually, scrap that, she definitely needs someone who is.

After the hardship with her mother, and in interviews where she revealed she felt like she wasn’t good enough, she needs someone to be like ‘OMG, I’m, I’M with Rachel’ ya know? Because it doesn’t matter if you are the most famous person on the planet, if people everywhere think you are gorgeous (and they do) nothing will matter when you have grown up with your own parent telling you that you’re ugly. Jen has described her low self esteem from her mother repeatedly telling her that she was ‘unbeautiful.’ Reading about her mother’s comments, she was just downright cruel, and it was totally unnecessary. Jennifer has said that her mother was ‘gorgeous, stunning, and I’m not and I’m fine with that.’ That statement is a little bit sad; Jen was trolled by her own mother, and worst of all, she believed it. The irony is, I would wager, that it was the opposite of what she thought – her mother was probably jealous of her daughter, and saw the potential in her to go further than she ever would.

There are also the trolls on the web – something Jen knows all too well and probably why she steers well clear of social media because it would just be one long bummer. But to the people saying she can’t hold a man – how ridiculous is that? I didn’t realise that all of the responsibility fell to her. We could say he can’t hold a woman, but we don’t. The scrutiny is always on the woman. Even when brad Pitt left her, there were still people saying ‘it must be something she did… She didn’t give him children’ well actually it’s highly likely he was already being unfaithful, and that’s not Jennifer’s fault, that was his choice. He didn’t have a gun against his head (or maybe he did, Angelina is known to be into weird stuff) and actually we have no idea why they didn’t have children but who cares. It’s their business. Apart from her eloquent essay in the Huffington post, http://bit.ly/2Bd75az  Jennifer has remained extremely reticent about all the irritating people banging on about her having children. People are obsessed and it’s kinda weird. To these people, you do realise if Jennifer has a baby it won’t affect your life? Your marriage won’t get better? Your relationships won’t be better. Hashtag your obsession is weird, let it go.

If the tabloids are to be believed (and they aren’t) the problem was their differing lifestyles – her a Cali girl, him a hipster in New York. There was also talk of Jen not feeling comfortable with him hanging out with a 25 year old grungy girl photographer (insert her name here. I’m not giving her fame.)  Erm, I’m with Jen. I don’t think any woman would be comfortable with this, or see his need to hang out with her. Sure, in a group, you have friends and stuff in common and of course men and women can be friends (can they?)  But if he felt the need to regularly see her privately, damn straight this is an issue. I’m trying really hard not to come across as man judging (I love men) but it does sound like he was being, dare I say it, selfish. My grandmother once told me; ‘2 things to know about men- they don’t want to hear your problems and they will always be selfish.’ This wasn’t even said in malice – it was just her observation.

At the end of the day, it’s just a shame. I think after all the shit she’s been through she deserves happiness. On the plus side she has such a fierce network of strong women around her – Ellen, Courtenay, Chelsea to name but a few – that I think she’ll be okay. She’s a girl’s girl, and she can do better.

As for brad Pitt? I have seen people literally exploding on twitter (okay not literally, gross) at the thought of them back together and are hoping for a reunion but somehow I don’t think that would be the healthiest thing for her. Or that she would even be that fussed – he has his own issues. One of them being that he has to deal with an icy ex and that he has about 45 kids to attend to. And that he won’t be the same person. Having said that!  Healthy schmealthy – if it makes her feel better I say go for it – they are both single after all.

This isn’t her first rodeo. But let’s not punish Jennifer for her relationship history or for eating a burger or for essentially being a human. We all are, funnily enough.

Fortune Favours the Bold

NEW YORK SKYLINE

So, it’s been a criminally long time since I last blogged. Why you ask (or not) well I’ll answer it anyway. Life, work, distraction, motivations. Here’s the truth and the sad thing about modern life and society; I want to write every day. I just feel so damn guilty because it’s not something that is bringing in money (sadly I’m not one of those blogs that is monetized – probably because I don’t bloody blog enough.) In today’s age we are conditioned to think that if it’s not gonna make us rich, it’s a complete waste of time. (Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to be rich, but is that our only motivation?) Often we don’t pursue our passions because it’s not seen as something that will lead anywhere. Yes, there are the JK Rowlings of this world but that kind of success is rare, as we are often told (bludgeoned over the head with.) And there is that sense of judgement and derision which is such a sticky residue that it’s hard to get off. I admire the teflons of the world – Stallone was told numerous times that it was a big fat no re Rocky. ‘You’re too ugly, too unknown, it will never sell.’ How he didn’t punch himself in the face and torch the script right there is beyond me, but he didn’t, and it’s what made him. He pursued. He had faith. Man, I’m jealous – how do I get that?

FORTUNE

 

It took me 5 years after graduation to apply to a summer drama program in New York, even though I knew I wanted to go a further 3 years before that, for fear of what people (mainly the elders of the family) would think. Dad always thought actors were drug addicts or porn stars. In some cases, yeh he was right but I tried to reassure him that if I had wanted to be either of those things, I WOULD be already. He didn’t see the humour. I remember at Uni getting the prospectus for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, I was SO excited. As I leafed through the pages, a grin on my face, my housemate said – is that where you are going yeh? ‘Maybe’ I replied. She looked disappointed for me, probably realizing I was foiling myself. ‘You should go, you will be great.’ Her enthusiasm and support was lovely, but I was much more used to listening to the doubters. Besides, she was going to be a doctor so what did she know? She was going into a ‘real’ profession.  It used to be much more of a taboo to say you wanted to be an actor or a writer. People would look at you as if you just said you wanted to transform into an underwater mermaid – interesting idea, never gonna happen. I’d get a look of pity, as if I had just declared I wanted to climb Everest naked – an idea doomed to failure. Oddly I got a more positive response if I said I wanted to do something benign like work in customer service (does anyone actually aspire to that?)

The negative voices pervaded; ‘You should be earning, saving, doing ANYTHING.’

‘At your age I had a mortgage and 3 kids to support, get your head out of the clouds.’

I’m sad to say I definitely let it affect me. I’ve done so many shit jobs I can’t even count, stuff I’ve absolutely hated. With people I’ve hated! All for the ‘greater good.’ But what is that exactly? I’ve been miserable. Completely creatively unsatisfied. Another thing a shitty 9-5 does is drain your energy and then the last thing you want is to switch a computer on again after staring at one for 9 hours. I admire the people that do have the discipline, but I hear that voice in my ear ‘it’s never gonna happen, it’s a waste of time -give in to the void of the humdrum.’ Except I don’t want to give in to the void.

When I applied to AADA, I was at a low. Uni was well in the rear view mirror and I was doing a succession of crap jobs thinking is this it? Is life never gonna be fun or satisfying or stimulating again?

After my audition, and 4 long weeks going by, I got the letter on my doorstep. I remember I was shaking, which showed me just how much I wanted it.

When I saw that I was accepted, I was ecstatic.

When Jennifer Aniston said Vince Vaughn was her defibrillator, I kinda knew what she meant, because NY was definitely mine. I was very lucky because my experience was wonderful. I had an amazing, funny, supportive class, an inspiring teacher and great housemates to boot. It was as if the stars had aligned. That is so cheesy, but you have to understand the stars don’t usually align for me – this was something really special. It made me have an epiphany – life could be great, I could be creatively satisfied, mentally stimulated and excited about things once again. It just took courage for me to pursue a passion.

Now I know this isn’t always an option. In fact 95% of the time it’s not. This isn’t an after school special. Life a lot of the time sucks, and it gets in the way. And it’s frustrating.

But it starts by overcoming the fear. The anxiety. By ignoring the people who are too keen to piss on your parade. Those success stories you hear about are because people said ‘great story, but Imma do it my way haters.’ I wish I had that resolve sometimes. I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty scared about uprooting and moving to New York without knowing anyone. But it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. Fortune indeed, favours the bold.

It’s the ten year anniversary of my trip to NY and I think of it often. I’m still friends with those I met there and I know I’m so lucky to be. Nothing I do now will discount that experience. I just need to somehow harness the magic of that trip, and apply it to my life. So I’m starting by writing again, I’m starting by blogging again. And any suggestions you have, I’m all ears.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Spin yourself Thin

SPIN BIKE

 

So in an effort to drop the pounds (new year, new me! Hashtag, emoji etc!) I have taken a few measures, one of which is joining the bandwagon of doing spinning. Spinning used to be something frequented by over 40 mums who needed an outlet and a place to spin out their frustrations – and let’s be fair – they were ripped.

Now millions of us do it and it’s proving to be quite the fun class to do, whilst also burning a shed load of calories – no mean feat. At first, I was afraid (I was petrified) thinking I could never survive, spinning on my hide, but survive I did. And it definitely gets easier. My first class was agony for my bum. (Cue sniggering for the dirty minded out there,) the seat is basically a slender slab of METAL, and you spend your time pummelling your cheeks against it as you spin enough to take off. This made me enjoy the time that my arse was off the seat and I was cycling whilst supporting my body weight in the air. Some find this very difficult. I actually do not. This is because I have a lot of strength in my legs. I grew up on a farm lifting hay bales, mostly using the thighs. I can’t lift for shit with my arms though – I don’t have much upper body strength. Maybe this is why this works for me.

Having had 3 different teachers in as many classes, I have found out that there are many different ways to teach this class (and experience it). Not all of which are that pleasant, but effective no less. I will say that as a woman, I do not enjoy the battering my groin takes. Women will concur, men will wonder what we are on about. Apparently you get used to this, but to get round it I just spend as much time as possible, out of the seat.

One teacher we had was utterly bonkers; she kept inviting passing customers to join in (there is a ceiling to floor window wall)  and then at certain intervals she would actually dismount her bike and walk around the room to check whether you were working hard enough, and bear down on you if you weren’t. Wasn’t a massive fan of this to be honest, neither was the rest of the class if the feedback I heard was anything to go by. The rest of her class was tough, with her telling you to yam up the resistance, but  a good workout no less. Another teacher spent the whole time telling us about the pasta and chips she had before the class (what were  you thinking woman??) and how she might puke, NICE. She also kept saying ‘I know that this next bit will REALLY hurt’ – which isn’t motivating at all. Her music was also shit. Amazing how much difference music makes to a work out. It can really push you when you have that rising crescendo and you feel yourself being geared up until the chorus -when you go NUTS spinning for your life.  The third woman told us we were fat, and that’s why we were in her class. I can see what she was *trying* to do, offensive no less. I didn’t like her class as it concentrated on alternating between on the seat, off the seat with too much emphasis on leaning forward which put a great deal of strain on the knee – not good.

The good news is that it DOES get easier. The more you go the more you can cope – even if you have to push though that first 15 minutes where your body is in shock going this again? Really??

And at 45 minutes it’s not *too* unbearable an amount of time.

More good news? I’ve shifted 11 pounds since Christmas. So let’s all torture ourselves together, and come to Spin class! Wahoo. Just don’t tell Spinning that I sometimes cheat on it with Circuits. Hey, variety is the spice of life.

Making the Jump.

Leap-of-Faith-Quote-by-Margaret-Shepard

Someone once said that ‘success is right outside your comfort zone’ and I reckon they are probably right. The problem is doing those things that take balls. I find it hard to do things that scare me as I came from such a sheltered upbringing. I wasn’t allowed near water till I was older (my mum was terrified about us drowning) and consequently I was terrified of pools and didn’t learn to swim till I was 16. This did not help me, obviously. It only hindered me.

If we suggested back packing our father warned of ‘murderers abroad’  and I wasn’t even allowed to go to my school overnight party at 13 in case the teachers ‘weren’t responsible.’ It all added up to me feeling anxious and on edge a lot of the time.

So is it any wonder, these neuroses?

 

The battle ever since has been doing things that are scary, but could be amazing. And for the most part, I have tried to take a leap, but it’s definitely not always easy.

There are so many things to consider, so many scenarios,  balls to juggle,  people’s expectations to manage.

And then recently (but not soon enough) I realised that I only had to manage my own expectations. That as much as I feel like I’m being selfish (because we grew up with a truck load of guilt poured on us, about EVERYTHING) that life is short. You may be wondering how this has only just occurred to me. Well, of course I have always known life is short. But we spend a lot of time thinking about how stuff *might* turn out, and how other people *might* be affected. We play things out in our heads a million different ways. But guess what? You can’t make everyone happy, in fact you won’t no matter what you do.  And however much you picture things in your head, if you don’t do them, you’ll never know.

I am guessing we all spend way too much time hypothesizing about the ifs and buts. But I really don’t want to be thinking about that when I’m 80 and wondering ‘what if’ instead of ‘wow that was good. So glad I wasn’t chicken shit and just did it.’

So this is the year I have decided to get scary! I mean we all know I’m a bit scary but I mean I am going to try and do stuff that I normally wouldn’t. No I don’t mean drugs, (that would probably result in a mild case of death knowing me.) No I mean just taking a leap of faith now and then.

I’ve actually applied for some competitions, instead of having the mind-set ‘I’ll never win’ and I actually have won some as a consequence – one of which was to appear on 4music – which I have done a few times now, on video crush. This mostly serves as a bit of exposure, some fun and the chance to do something a bit different and I’ve really enjoyed doing it.

It sounds so cliché but the saying you have to be in it to win It’ is kinda true. What did Michael Jordan say? ‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.’

My friend recently told me that I needed to change my outlook, and that I was being too negative. Even though I went mad at him at the time, he has a point. I need to stop being afraid.

So I have decided that 2015 is going to be fucking awesome. And I’m going to be brave.

A Life Less Ordinary

BIRDS 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I look out the window longing and dreaming.

Imagining a life less dust and more ‘gleaming.’

This life isn’t bad, this desk is not coarse.

But this day is mediocre and I’m feeling so lost

And this becomes the next, drinking all my time

I wish I could tell you I was feeling just fine.

The birds migrate, they have somewhere to go.

But I’m still here and I’m feeling so low.

I watch them pulse in a crowd, and get so small

As they eclipse the horizon; I can’t see them at all.

A plane in the clouds, this comforts me so.

I want to go lasso it, and see where it goes.

This life isn’t bad, this tea isn’t cold

But I want to do something, before I get old.

I watch the skyline, golden with trees

Each finger of turquoise piercing the breeze.

I think of the magic, I try every day

A new door closes; a new hope frays.

I’ll plant some fresh seeds, drown out the doubt

Wait for the buds, or wait for the drought.

I look out the window and wonder what will be.

But this life isn’t bad

It just isn’t for me.

 

The Perils Of Social Media

 

 TWEETING BIRDS ON WIRE BLOG

 

It’s true what they say. You really are what you tweet.

 

Literally once you put something out there, you are fair game for ridicule, agreement, praise, embarrassment, encouragement, a meeting of minds.. the list goes on.

We are definitely a generation of tweeters. Companies tweet to promote their goods,  customer service is increasingly dealt with on social media.  I get all my news fixes in 140 characters – condensed and without the doomsday presenters – the way I like it. We tweet because we love the sound of our own voices, but also we hope that someone in the ether is listening.

It’s no secret that I love tweeting.

 

I met a previous love interest on twitter. It broke my heart at times.

YOUR HEART IS OVER CAPACITY IMAGE TWITTER

 

It started with a tweet commenting on something he did. He started following me. I followed back (almost immediately, I have never been good at playing it cool.) We started chatting, we met, we got on, and the rest is history as they say. And we are still close now, (ish) so it’s all good.

DATING CHRIS TWITTER IMAGE

 

This is an example of when social media can be magical. The whole thing was thrilling. Will he tweet me, won’t he? Listening out for that glorious sparkling xylophone jingle pinging out of your phone to signal the fact you have a new social media message.

 

But there are times when it is not so glorious.

If you tweet about someone, they can literally find you, at least on cyber space.

I read an article, in the Daily mail no less, about a ch4 show documenting the life of ‘an overweight woman, on benefits’  (I know, I’m trying not to judge – and failing miserably ) who made her boyfriend ‘take a lie detector test every time he left the house’  because she was jealous and paranoid. I commented on twitter that it was ridiculous (which it is) and that she was obviously insecure and maybe focusing on doing something for herself would maybe distract her.

Now, even though I didn’t use this woman’s full name, or hashtag her, or the article -  somehow she found my tweet. Which is just even sadder because she was obviously having a little troll and combing the internet for any comments about her.  I didn’t even tweet during the program – I saw an advert briefly whizz by on the TV.

She started this barrage about what a bitch I was and how I shouldn’t comment about people  I didn’t know and what a terrible person I was etc.

Hadn’t this just come full circle? Weren’t her comments just as (if not more) offensive? I didn’t actually tweet it with the intention of her seeing it, or being hurt by it. But somehow her vitriol towards me – she deemed it justified.

My gran hates Facebook with a passion. ‘Why are people airing their dirty laundry in public? It’s so crass.’ She has a point. How many times do we see the ‘oh my life sucks, and my boyfriend left me and then took my car and stole my pet dog’ statuses – those people are almost like a culture of their own. They are prime attention seekers and they are boring. When my mum was in hospital last year I didn’t post it anywhere because it was private, and I was worried.

Married couples who argue on social media make me cringe – argue in person you weirdos – stop making everyone else live through it. It’s the online equivalent of being subjected to your parents arguing when you can’t leave the house.

Recently someone I saw on Facebook revealed themselves to be an absolute loony.

FACEBOOK EYE IMAGE BLOG

They were complaining about the NHS and how the hospital had ‘TRIED TO KILL ME!’ (one of her choice statuses), meanwhile the posts were accompanied with selfies of her in the hospital in her robe looking doe eyed into the camera. It was very bizarre. People tried to gently venture that maybe she was over-reacting – to which she blocked every single one. Anyone who even slightly disagreed with her was greeted by a torrent of abuse  – ‘HOW CAN YOU SAY THIS. I’M BLOCKING YOU NOW.’ Then she wrote ‘DAVE HAS BEEN BLOCKED.’

I’m guessing she didn’t like what they had to say. It has made her extremely unpopular and pretty sure it’s  halved her Facebook ‘friends’ count.

Social media *can* be amazing – look at the ALS bucket challenge – it spread like wildfire amongst the public (and celebrities)  and raised a shedload of cash for a good cause. Lots of charities have gained attention and sponsorship through this method.

Social media also allows for keeping in touch with people abroad without it feeling forced (such as an e-mail might.) I certainly use it to keep in touch with all my American friends. When I see their parties, haircuts, boyfriends etc  I feel like I’m sort of experiencing it with them. I miss them so when I see them online, it reminds me of the times we partied together, and I feel like I’m not so far away.

me n girls in vegas (2)

(me with my US beauties.)

But with great social media –  comes great responsibility.  It has to be used wisely.

A recent case in point. One of my friends is chums with Steve Jones (I KNOW) and I had kept asking her to set me up – she never did. According to her ‘I can’t take the broken heart – and I’m not talking about yours.’  Liar.

Anyway, a picture recently popped up in my newsfeed of Steve holding my friend’s baby. He looked gorgeous and swarthy as per usual. I wrote underneath.

‘Any chance this time?’

My friend wrote back.

‘Sorry he’s taken babe.’

Pffssh. She’s useless I thought. I decided to go on Google to see who he was with, wine glass in one hand, and curiosity in the other. Sure enough a cocoa skinned goddess popped up holding his hand in the pics. ‘American’ and ‘model’ were the two words that kept jumping out of the page.

I decided to write back. (What a poor decision.)

‘Yeh, just seen, ‘some’ American chic. SIGH!’

A Few moments later a notification popped up.

I read the comment. I didn’t recognise the name or the woman… at first.

‘Yes, I’M that American woman. He’s with me.’

EEK!

FOOT. IN. MOUTH.

To say that I was mortified is probably an understatement. Thank GOD I didn’t say anything else. Can you imagine? ‘yeh she looks like a real ugger’ or ‘she’s punching above her weight.’ Thankfully, I didn’t.

But that certainly taught me folks. If you put it out there – it’s probably going to come back like a boomerang and bite you in the ass.

So tweet responsibly guys, and like driving, definitely best to avoid alcohol!

Beauty treatments are in the eye of the beholder

carrie wax

 

So this weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Ruby Salon in Carswell in Oxfordshire. It got me thinking about beauty treatments and what we consider our essential go-to treatments.

I have been getting my feet done more and more regularly at this salon as what you receive is so good.

 

I used to be a very infrequent visitor. I used to just get my feet done now and again – getting a pedicure isn’t really a priority for me. When it comes to beauty treatments my top two essentials and self-allowed luxuries are getting my eyebrows threaded and having my bikini waxed. I get waxed religiously every month – sorry if that’s TMI but it’s the truth. It is amazing what you will prioritize. I know people that only do this on special occasions, and even then it’s reluctant. I do it for myself. I like feeling clean and smooth.

 

When I lived in New York, I lived above a really kooky nail salon. A sign on the door said ‘manicure 15 dollars.’ Considering the pound was extremely strong at the time, this would have made the treatment under a tenner. Dirt cheap. My friends got theirs done there and were extremely pleased. Every morning I would leave my apartment building and as I passed it, I would think ‘ I must get go there and get that done.’ By the time I got to the subway the idea had wafted out of my mind and got carried away with the humid Manhattan breeze. The amount of times I eventually managed to visit that salon in my 3 months living in New York? ZERO. I guess it just wasn’t on my radar.

 

The mani-pedi may not have been at the top of my list,  however,  I made sure I visited a waxing salon. I had originally Googled a place that was Portuguese run and it was on my way here that I stumbled across another one – run by a very formidable Chinese lady.

 

I was just having a look in the window and she ushered me in. ‘What you want girlie?’ she asked, determinedly. ‘Er.. well I was thinking of getting a Brazilian.. I was just looking really..’

‘Ok, great. come with me.’ She was very authoritative for a woman under 5 ft.  I slowly followed her thinking what have I got myself into? EEK.

 

I lay down on the bed and she commanded I take my knickers off. The last time I heard those words it was on some stairs.. and he had at least bought me lunch beforehand.

 

Almost terrified I froze and went very bumbly and English ‘er, I don’t usually take my erm well my lady normally lets me keep them on.. I erm ‘

‘OH we have a shy one here hum’ she said in a very drawn out Chinese accent. ’Come on, i’m like a DOCTOR.’

I reluctantly peeled them off. I guess I did want the wax.

 

‘Wait’ I said, as if I suddenly remembered something.  ’how long have you been doing this for?’

To which she leaned close to me and said ’25 years, longer than you been BORN!;

Yikes.

 

So she proceeded to wax –  zip, zip, rip rip. Like lightning.

 

In all honesty, despite the terror, it’s the best wax I’ve had to this day. The precision, the smoothness,the lack of pain. It was amazing really. It set me back $75 (ouch) but definitely worth it and it lasted a long time.

These days, as I’m living in the slightly less glamorous Oxfordshire – not so much big apple as tiny pip – I like to visit my trusty salon in Didcot that has been doing my waxes since I was 18.

 

I guess having my feet done has become my third luxury. The appointment is an hour. You get a foot soak, dry skin taken off, foot scrub, another soak, moisturiser and then glorious foot massage. After that you get a full and proper pedicure  with nail cutting, cuticle clipping, cuticle oil, and nail polish of 4 coats added. You also get a cuppa and magazines and that’s all just for £20. Bloody bargainous if you ask me.

 

If you want a great pedi with foot massage visit Ruby salon carswell –  http://www.rubyhairandbeauty.co.uk/

For a great brazilian visit premier beauty http://www.premierbeauty.co.uk/

Happy preening ladies. (Or men – if that’s your thing)

 

 

The Hacker in the Rye

So, Jennifer Lawrence et all have been hacked.

And it’s the naked pics.

What else? Of all the things to hack? Why couldn’t it have been what really went on at Area 51, or the whereabouts of Lord Byron, or what REALLY happened to Amelia Earhart (sabotage??! – this has fascinated me for years). THINK of the potential. This probably took the hacker a good while of planning too. Think of what could have been revealed… but no. It’s something so base.

 

It happens to be nude selfies, that ‘celebs’ have taken in the privacy of their own homes, for either themselves, or a romantic interest. Way to go hacker, great job.

It kinda makes me want to find the hacker, take a picture of his tiny penis (let’s be honest, this WILL be a bloke, and a sad one at that) and put *that* on the internet, so we can all have a look at that. And he can shrivel up inside, like I’m sure these women have, upon being exposed in such a way.

It’s much more interesting when someone hacks things that have meaning, that we have all been wondering about – and why the whole Wikileaks thing was so potent. I’m not condoning hacking of course (some of us have jobs) But at least *that* had a message. What’s the message here? Some celebs have taken naked pics of themselves, gasp, and now you can all see them. Hmm.

What makes this all worse for the women hacked, has been the vitriol thrown their way. So much so, that even Emma Watson has felt compelled to address it. What’s the motivation behind mud slinging them? What exactly is their crime? This is just adding insult to injury. These people need to shut up. I’m sorry, but he who hath not ever taken nude pics of yourself, cast the first stone please..

 

We even have Ricky Gervais weighing in with the tweet basically saying that if you have a nude picture of yourself on your computer, you have asked for it.

Of course Gevais doesn’t take pictures of himself naked – he’s kinda gross. He would make himself sick, let alone anyone else. Also even if he DID. No-one, but no-one, wants to see that.

 

Unlike Jennifer Lawrence who is sculpted perfection. Really JLaw, I wish I could have a chat with you and tell you that you have NOTHING to worry about – that you are glorious and that while this IS a shitty thing, and certainly a violation of your privacy, at least you can hold your head up high and go – you know what? I look banging. No unflattering pics there.

 

Now, people like Gervais need to just hush up. Why shouldn’t people in the public eye be naked in their own homes?  Why not? are celebs not human? Do they not bleed? Who hasn’t done this in a relationship? You’ll be lying if you said no.. Are we we meant to think of those in the public arena as not occupying the same space as us? Should they be saintly because they have been afforded a rather pleasant and luxuriant lifestyle? They are people.

 

Hell, even if you do it for yourself, to appreciate yourself. That’s your choice. I never use the cloud. I always thought it was bollocks and now I think that even more so. This hacker, undoubtedly has issues, and while he may think what he did has taken skill, it actually just proves that the cloud is not secure. If Jlaw and MEW and the Upton chick had taken those pics on a Kodak and given the pictures to a friend or lover, the only way to get those photos would be to get it from said lover – it wouldn’t be out there in the ether. It would be her negatives, and the hard copies. The hacker’s ‘prowess’ would be useless in that situation.

 

So yes, you are going to look, it has popped up everywhere – and I’ve looked myself. But it just made me appreciate what a goddess she is,  I mean really beautiful… and how I seriously need to just eat celery, and do more push ups. From now until.. ooh 2015? That or save up for lipo.

 

JLaw, I salute you.

 

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