Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Old Places & New Faces

Today I went back to my old college, Peter Symonds College, and although I have only been an ex-student of theirs for a year it made me realise how much my life has changed since I last walked through those gates. On the eve of me starting my second year of university I thought I should reflect on these changes...

So, I left Symonds with a large group of friends, none of which were going to university any where near me. I was petrified to leave them, if I'm honest, because it had taken me so long to find them - I have slight trust issues about friends for some reason. Luckily these amazing people, from school and college, have still remained close to me and we meet up regularly when we're all home. This summer was extra special because all the girlies had been away at either university or away travelling the world so we had many a gathering, usually involving a trip to Bedford Place and many vodkas.

But then September came...

I had to wave goodbye to them and was suddenly all by myself. Sure there were a couple of people going to University of Liverpool from Peter Symonds (two of them ended up living next door to me!) but none of them were my close friends. When the parents left me that afternoon I had zero friends around me. I think it was in the walk from the car park to Lady Mountford C Block that I was forced to grow up and learn to stand on my own two feet. I don't know what I would I have done if I hadn't forced myself to wipe the tears from my eyes and carry my things into the kitchen, where I luckily met Rosie and Anna for the first time. It seemed from that day onwards that we were destined to be friends (hello cliche!), and although I would never say they replaced my 'home friends' they, along with my darling Pikey, they certainly provided me with the group I needed. I might never have cried with homesickness but I definitely suffered the illness that struck everyone, and they helped me so much. I cannot stress to people moving away - whether it be to university or just for any reason - how important it is to establish true friendships!

And don't forget folks: you can meet friends in the strangest of places! Such as the alcohol aisle of Morrison's...
I like this photo...I like it a lot! Be prepared to see it a fair few times!

Friends aren't the only thing that have changed in my life over the last year. Myself as a person has changed, I like to think. Walking up the hill to the college I remembered my life as it was a little over a year ago and realised how different I felt today. I felt, there's only one way to put it, grown up. I now rent and keep a house, I live in a completely different area of the country to my parents, and I can pretty much stand on my own two feet as an individual. I think it's my confidence in myself that has grown the most and aided me the greatest. I was always quite shy as a person but now I can talk to complete strangers and not be worried that they will think I'm a complete nutter. I can only thank those around me for this change, and it was one I definitely needed to make.

To those Freshers leaving home in the next few weeks I have these final words to say to you:

Flying the nest was the most terrifying but most brilliant thing I've ever done. Good luck and have fun!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Miss L Fire A/W '11

I feel I write a lot of posts about clothes and shoes I would like but I could never afford...

Well here's another! The brilliant Miss L Fire have released photos for their Autumn/Winter 2011 collection - available 1st September! - and I want...hmm...quite a few pairs! I think I'll have to wait until the sale though as their shoes are notoriously expensive, even though these prices haven't been revealed yet! At least their classic yet eclectic pieces will never go out of fashion with me! What I love about their shoes though is they do a great selection for those ladies of a bigger foot size and they do a range of heel sizes from flats, to middy heels to skyscrapers.

'Ivy' in black and red

Pocahontas (I won't lie, the name sold these to me!)

'Clara' in ruby

 'Edith' in black

'Goddess' in nude - I like the idea of having a nude goddess on my tootsies

'Lauren' in tan - although this pair is, apparently, too much like the pair in this blog

I think I'll be asking Santa for a pair of these (well I have to get my list to him early!) this Christmas time, but what pair shall I go for?

(All photography belongs to Miss L Fire)

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

An Archaeological Disclaimer.

I would be lying if I said I was counting down the days to the field school I had to attend for my degree with Liverpool University. Dreading it would almost sum it up. I think the fact I only knew a couple of people in my group and that it would mean a hefty journey back up north that made me resent the fact I had to go. But alas, I must eat my words and admit that I absolutely loved it! It seems that archaeologists are not those boring sods everyone thinks they are!

I needn't have worried about the only knowing a couple of people there because it appears that the alcohol aisle is the best place to meet new friends! Twelfty bottles of Henry Weston's cider (8.2% and at only £1.89 a pop we couldn't resist) and the last cherished bottle of Sailor Jerry rum later the soon-to-be "Fire Crew" was formed. I understand this makes us sound like a bunch of drunkards but it gave us something to bond over and well...we are students!

The 'Fire Crew'
L-R: Moi, Heather, Hasan, Jhodi, Dave, Tom

The dig itself was on the Iron Age hillfort on Eddisbury Hill in Cheshire and was a hive of excitement - for us archaeologists it was anyway! We were the last team of a two year project on the site and so had the great responsibility of finishing the work off. The site had already been dug a whopping nine times so the layers of archaeology had really built up and some how I had ended up with a very complicated section in Area One which bamboozled even the best archaeologists on site as it changed from a simple afternoon job to one that lasted the rest of the week! I believe now it has all been figured out but it definitely caused a lot of head scratching. One amazing find (other than all the awesome Iron Age things we found like the post holes that could form a round house) was the pit cut into Area Three that contained a collection of World War Two trash such as empty tins, medicine bottles and other throw away items; it turns out the hill was used a camping spot by Italian POWs in the area and they seemly left their rubbish behind them.

Me in 'that' section looking OH so glamourous!

We were working eight hour a day but then we were also playing eight hours a night. The Fire Crew gained their notourity on the first day as Dave 'The Fireman' lit our first campfire and the name just stuck throughout the trip as we lit a fire most days. The fires were the perfect place to relax and drink more Henry Westons after a hard day crouched in a hole, and a great place to get to know the people we were working with who included fellow students, lecturers and people from further afield like America, Scandinavia and Bulgaria.

Two evenings were highly eventful as Beeston Outdoor Centre played host to two parties: A Derelict party where we all had to make outfits out of rubbish a la Zoolander, and a Skull & Crossdress party where the boys dressed as pirate wenches (ooh err missus!) and the ladies donned twizzly moustaches and eyepatches. I will admit that far too much alcohol was consumed (Jen, I'm blaming your punch!) on both these nights and so the memories are a little hazy but the pictures have, unfortunately, reminded me of my antics - don't worry readers, I won't inflict these on you! For the Derelict party I fashioned a vest top out of a co-op carrier bag, a skirt from a black bin bag and a vintage inspired hair piece from a toilet roll tube, so I consider myself almost stylish for this event. For the Skull & Crossdress party I cannot say the same. Wearing my Freddie's rolled to the max, blue stripey vest top and black boots I was almost a rockabilly pirate, but then I added the mascara beard and chest hair (which, according to Harvey, looked like a lady garden) and a pencil moustache which wasn't the most flattering look I've ever sported. The men though must be congratulated for their efforts! I've never seen such...interesting looking ladies!

Pinky & Pikey in action at the Derelict Party

Jhodi, Tom & Dave were there in spirit through our sign

Don't we all look dashing?

A Freddie Mercury moment if there ever was!

It couldn't have been done without all these lovely people!

Human slaves in an insect nation!...ARGH ARGH ARRRRGH!!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Hot Rod Hayride! A Rockabilly's Paradise!

I got home on Sunday evening and felt all deflated. I realised I had very little to look forward to now the big event of my summer (who am I kidding? It's the highlight of my year!), the Hot Rod Hayride, was over. It flashed past in the blink of an eye and yet so much went on I'm still remembering some of it - or maybe that was the copious amounts of Bulmers I got through?

We (my parents, their friends, and I) arrived at about half ten on Friday morning and still weren't the first ones in. The first field was half full already and our's was filling up quickly too. My new tent got it's first airing and our little camp was soon set up, and the bud's were cracked open before lunchtime. I had also already seen my perfect man by this point - first sighted on the gate, in fact, with a blue Triumph - but soon found out he was attached (damn!) not that it stopped me looking haha! The rest of Friday was spent looking through the stalls (Freddies of Pinewood was naturally my favourite), looking at beautiful cars and motorbikes, eating lots and lots of barbecued meat and drinking a lot of beer. We did have one run in with good ol' health and safety on the Friday; we were told to move our cars either to the show ground (for pre 1966 vehicles) or to the public car park because they were a fire hazard. We all thought this was completely ridiculous as some of the cars, like my dad's 1967 Dodge Coronet and his friend's 1953 Cadillac coupe DeVille, is a prized possession and to be separated from it can cause a bit of tension. Most of the people at the Hayride have been going to shows for years and no one we know of has ever had a problem with having their vehicle near their tent/caravan, so, in my opinion, this was health and safety madness!

We cracked open our bottles of Italian pin up lemonade on Friday

Saturday was the main event day for the weekender and involved, yup you've guessed it, more cars, shopping, eating and drinking. My main purchase of the weekend was bought just before we went to the drag strip; you can read about my lovely new bicycle (called Agatha) here. After a horrendous journey through Guildford to the Top Gear test track - to be on this 'hallowed ground' excited me, as just the thought of being somewhere where Jenson Button has been is just amazing - we discovered we were too late for most the racing and only caught the finale. It was supposed to go on until 3pm but was all over just before 2pm. Maybe if we hadn't been led through a city with a one way system on a Saturday we'd have been there sooner, but oh well! At least we didn't end up in a housing estate like my uncles who mistakenly followed the wrong biker! On another note, a first was had on the Saturday! The first ever wedding took place at the Hayride which I think is brilliant! What a great place for a wedding no one will forget! Congrats to the couple!

Agatha and I

The second, and last, night of the Hayride was just amazing! The music was brilliant, the spontaneous clog dancing from the Dutch bunch was entertaining, the Freak Show was...freaky (who knew a man could do that up a pole?!), and Anna Fur Laxis' burlesque was seductively sexy (This is also a call for anyone who knows where the half of her unique, handmade bra is. Anna can't do this act without it so if anyone knows any information please, please, please get in contact with her!). One personal highlight of mine was the £50 note practical joke our lot played on unsuspecting victims from the pavilion's veranda. Mum had got a pack of quite convincing napkins that resembled £50 notes and so we planted them on the ground as if they'd fallen from our pocket and then watched as people pick them up and realise it was a fake. Sneaky, sneaky! We had the whole side of the veranda going!

Fake £50 gag in action

Pole Dancing Freak Show style ;)

Anna Fur Laxis - Mr Perfect was stood next to me at this point =D

Sunday was over far too quickly for my liking! It started with more shopping at the bootfair sale which offered clothes, art and vehicle pieces (I skip those - it's all gobbledegook to me!) and ended with the famous Hot Rod Hayride Soapbox Derby. The event seemed shorter than last year, but I put that down to the track being a lot shorter - it missed the speed bump which I can only put down to health and safety demons again. We were packed up by 2pm, and soon enough I waved goodbye to paradise for another year...

I won't even bother to give you a verdict because I think my opinion is clear: the weekend is my idea of heaven! Looking past the health and safety dramas (unnecessary if you ask me) and the Guildford disaster I cannot fault it. I look forward to the weekend all year and this certainly hasn't changed! The only thing I'd like more (apart from the obvious Mr Perfect part) is more people to go with, so anyone interested in next year please get in touch because I would love to meet more people in the scene and get my own crowd going!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Pretty In Pink

I've had a wonderfully pink weekend whilst at the Hotrod Hayride (diary to come soon!)...

I have, once more, dyed front sections of my hair pink - or cerise as the pot tells me - like I did last summer. Yet again I love the results, and although the picture is after a hair wash the colour is still vibrant. I put the dye on hair that hadn't been freshly dyed blonde so the colour won't remain bright for more than a week before it needs doing again, but oh well! A pot lasts a long time! I wonder what work will think...

The other pink themed thing was the adoption of my new vintage bicycle, whom I shall name Agatha! I bought her at the Hotrod Hayride for a measly £20 because she needs a bit of love and care. She needs new tires (white rims, naturally) and a lick of paint - I'm thinking cream with either dark red or British racing green pin striping? But I love her! I'm going to get a basket and everything =D

So yes, stay tuned for my little report back from the Hotrod Hayride, ie: my paradise, as I shall be writing that up forthwith!