Isn’t It Ironic…Don’t You Think: A Response. 

Dear Sarah Knapton, Science Editor of The Telegraph,

Commendable though it is, your diligence to reporting on M.E, so persistent that you report two completely conflicting arguments in the space of 8 months for the existence or non-existence of the condition, I really must protest. Character is defined by the resilience we demonstrate when standing by our own convictions. 

As a journalist, I do understand that sometimes we have to put personal bias aside and simply report the facts. This much is true. However only remains true until one uses a headline which directly insights deliberate sensationalism and public outcry.

I, of course, am speaking about your recent article in which you boldly prostrate a watered down extract of a study of ME from The University of Oxford as a breakthrough in curing the condition as a whole. The study itself doesn’t actually conclude that exercise and positive thinking is the be-all-and-end-all for those suffering from CFS. It was actually a follow up with less than 75% of returning subjects of which a certain amount found that Exercise and CBT played a significant role in improving circumstances for those suffering with ME to the point of near recovery. 

I’m not one to- wait, yes I am. I love to split hairs. The simple fact of the matter is that what you demonstrate in your article is poor journalism. It rests in a sort of alternative universe…or you, possibly, have suffered some sort of prefrontal lobotomy some time between February and October where you no longer believe that changes in the immune system provide robust evidence of people’s unwavering suffering from the illness. You now come from the perspective that we are all a bunch of lazy, manic depressives that just need a pedal bike and a 12 week course in mindfulness. 

I’ve had both (my bike was blue…with a bell!) and that didn’t stop me from developing my first flare. And it doesn’t stop the flares now. Interestingly enough you do mention this as a sort of neat little full stop at the end. As if that writes of your blatant u-turn of an opinion. 

No one likes a two-faced bitch, Ms Knapton. As a journalist, you already have the ready-made bad reputation, that comes part-and-parcel with the profession, to overcome…why deliberately make things worse for yourself by in-sighting the anger of approximately 250,000 readily pissed off and infuriated sufferers of a near medical mystery, with limited hope of cure or recovery, with a blunt and disrespectful subhead which clearly lies about the intent of an influential study:

Oxford University has found ME is not actually a chronic illness.

Bollocks to that; And bollocks to you.

The study clearly states that there is no evidence that those attending CBT or GET would worsen which doesn’t mean they would not, it just means that the evidence was not obtained. There were no significant differences in the deterioration of a level of wellness between those who had CBT and GET, in comparison to those who sought alternative medical care. That does, in fact, show that both avenues of achievement obtain results by not worsening symptoms. There were no significant differences in the level of wellness obtained only that some whom had received CBT and GET suffered less flares in the long term…over a two year period. And any ME sufferer will permit you the secret of the CFS inner sanctum…two years is but a drop in the bucket when you can spend as long riding a physical and mental high before finding yourself back at the bottom of the pit for three years following some viral infection or other. It sounds bleak, yes.  But thankfully, and contrary to this facet of your multiple personality, the University of Oxford has been working hard to lift our spirits.

The study, in fact, is a means of exploring effective methods of controlling symptoms of ME and improving the lives of those whom suffer from it; not, as your subheading suggests, finding some miracle cure in fresh air, pumping iron and installing a ray of sunshine in my rear end. 

Next time you want to fly in the face of your own opinion, I would suggest putting your editorial skills to good use and choosing a less defamatory headline…and probably using a pseudonym so as not to come across as a sanctimonious twat. 

Kindly, 

PLEASE FIND SOURCES FOR THIS WORK AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES

 UoP study

 Feb News Report

Oct News Report

Put On Your Thinking Cap. 

So! I’m back! My sincerest apologies but sometimes my body and my mind refuse to play ball. I’ve had a lot of time to rest, reflect, reap the benefits of hair dye and wretch at my own stench. Now this may have taken me 3 hours to achieve but I have managed to make myself look and feel a little more human (mostly because I no longer smell like a wild animal that has rolled in something dead). 

This has been an outfit in the works since summer. I’ve been trying to find a way to take this oversized shirt dress into autumn/winter. I am super proud because I think pulling of thigh high boots when you’re under 5ft 6 is a talent…I think I did it quite well! 
 

 
 
The shirt is several sizes too big from Primark for £11. I think my other half was concerned that I was expecting some serious weight gain and not because he is a fattist, its because I am definitely not wanting any baby pandas! 
 

 
The boots were a steal at £15 from eBay and last winter season from Matalan! 

A star necklace gave a bit of interest to the whole thing and the grey really played off the silver. 
 

 
I topped it off with a hat I got from Select for £9 and my black cane for added Jack The Ripper flair! Okay, no; for balance as I have the serious T-Swizzles! 
 

 
I am loving this cape that I also nabbed from eBay because it gives me some ventilation when I have my hourly hot flash and sweat shower! Plus the tied waist really makes me feel good about my body (a novelty when it seems to be on a never ending quest to make me feel uncomfortable at every waking moment).

  

I did a simple pink shimmer eye with some winged liner and a spot of lippy with gloss and that was it!
  

Oh! And did you notice the other big difference? Yeah. I’m standing up. That wasn’t it? Oh, right! my hair is red. Again. Not that you would know when it was red previously! But it’s back. 

That wasn’t really specific to the outfit of the day but it certainly makes me feel warm and toasty inside for the Autumn! 
My CFS permitted me a nice stint in the library, always easier when one doesn’t smell like the arse end of an incontinent donkey! And I even had the energy and a little less nausea to have a pleasant lunch THEN a movie round the girls house! I was struggling to breathe abut by the end of the night but here I am, just slamming this up to say ‘hello’! And ‘please forgive me for leaving you. I know, I know you needed money to buy her nappies…Well it’s not my fault she ranaway…with the Mexican knee-pit model? I thought he was an Avon rep….well, yes, I suppose it is the better of the two…no, it didn’t start with the tattoo…no, no, it was all those midnight quesadilla you let her eat…can’t we just agree that I had more important things to do, you can check my Facebook, I’ll accuse you of cheating and argue that the kids aren’t mine and we’ll resolve it in a week on Jeremy Kyle?’
…. I tried to ease you back into my mind, there. This is what my weeks have been made up of. Day time tv, easy to cook meals and make up tutorials!
Shall see you anon,

Think With A Plum In Your Mouth! 

Okay chaps. I am a drugstore whore. I’m pretty sure that this is how I got addicted to make up. What you do is you develop a taste for the good stuff: Estée Lauder, Mac, Urban Decay. But it all starts with that cheap gateway drug: good ol’ Miss Sporty. Those were the days when you could achieve a raccoon eye with a quick £1.99 kohl pencil and your finger tip. No more expensive than a Mr. Whips ice-cream and JUST as satisfying! 

Needless to say that was the limit of my make up skills until I was 22; I was a non-committed, soft-core (otherwise known as ‘a wannabe’) Goth and pretty much pressed near-white powder and eyeliner was all I needed! Now I have an IKEA Billy bookcase dedicated to my make up stash (which is still growing)! 

And like all good things in life sometimes the taste is just too rich and you have to scrimp on something bottom shelf, run-of-the-mill and every day. I do it shamelessly. It’s a cheap score and usually a good one! 

This weeks handover consisted of an old favourite introduced to me by my mother (this is the moment where I reiterate that I am talking about make-up and not heroin; my mother was a punk who chain-smoked but track marks were not her style)! 

I don’t think there has ever been a time where I haven’t attempted to steal from my mothers make-up stash and not found a Bourjois product in there. In fact between that and her ability to help me with my French homework and the number of pictures from her high school trips to France I was almost mistaken in thinking that she was French at some point in her life. It’s fair to say that, in the past, my mother has abused bronzer much like an alcoholic abuses White Lightening. I would like to think yours truly has rubbed off on her. She has deviated to high-end products and muted the war paint but before then it was heavy Bourjois contour all the way. I kid myself when I think I have influenced her at all. Her consistency and dedication to a defined contour has, in turn, put her up there with the Kardashians, front runners of make-up trendsetting. You know what they say; stick with something long enough and it will come into fashion. And that puts me to shame as I was the one that brow beat her for too much bronzer. More fool me. Momma knows best! 

I have acted upon her knowing best and I own several Bourjois trio pallets of different colour schemes and, in the past, a passing lipgloss. But I have never had a lipstick. 
LA Splash cosmetics recently released a set of cream lipsticks with a matte finish… And they are wildly expensive in the UK and I refuse to pay £14 to £18 for something which only costs $8. That’s a 50% markup on street value; do I look like I haven’t done this before?! 
 

Aurora – LASplash Cosmetics.

 

The Disney princess collection was the one that got my interest and Aurora in particular; my god. I have dreams about that colour. Somewhere between mauve, pink and purple is Aurora but I couldn’t get my bloody hands on it because I am a cheap ass ho! 
But then, out of the dark like an exotic (thought slightly shady) Colombian entrepreneur, Bourjois brought me Rouge Edition Velvet in Plum Plum Girl.  
 

Plum Plum Girl – Bourjois

 

It may not be named after a Disney princess but man does this product pack a Plum-punch! 

It is definitely matte, highly pigmented and has some staying power… once dry. Which brings me to issue one; this bitch takes ages to dry. Seriously and we’re talking like five minutes for a lipstick. So that is probably because it’s trying desperately to deliver on it’s claim that near 80% insist that they can’t feel the lipstick when it’s on. It’s hardly the heaviest or drying of the products I ever tried but I’m certainly very aware that I’m wearing lipstick. For one my lips when I pucker them do stick together! 

But that colour though; girl if I could I would eat my lips off my face! It is a very close dupe to Aurora and this is coming from advice from other folk! It’s pretty much a slamdunk for autumn/fall make-up trends! 
  

I am yet to test the longevity of the colour to the max but I will say that even after drying to the point where it didn’t transfer on the skin it still transferred onto my coffee cup so I will be a little bit dubious to the 24 hour claim until proven otherwise. To be honest, though, how often am I going to be sitting kissing my Costa takeaway coffee cup! And would I mind reapplying throughout the day in public? Hell to the no! The colour is seriously sexy and it slides on it like a dream with that narrow tipped sponge brush!
  

And did I mention it’s super buildable! You can pat on with one finger and it takes on this kind of just bitten look; a bonus of that super extended drying time!
  

 Or you can properly vamp it up and do two applications to get proper colour payoff! 
  

All in all, if it lives up to its 24 hour claim then it’s a winner in my eyes. In fact, if it lives up to even a 7 hour, self-imposed claim, it’s a winner. I mean, you should never trust an addict, unless she’s in the market…then she’ll tell you where to get the good stuff. 

Shall see you anon,

P. 

Every Little Think She Does Is Magic! Part 1. 

If you have been following my Instagram you will have seen a running theme for this week which has been Harry Potter make up looks!

And not your conventional Harry Potter make up looks because I wanted to deviate from the houses or from the characters because they’ve been done to death and I’m a little bit more nerdy than that!

I decided that my point of call would be spells and potions and potion ingredients and I probably did this because I knew I would be able to use so much glitter. I’ve told you about her much I love that you’re right? No? Okay just in case: I love glitter! I look forward to every holiday not because of presents and not because of cards and not because people walk around looking like they’re on crack. I love holidays because of glitter. 

And Harry Potter potions and spells have not let me down! I have had a sparkles on my face like some whacked out Christmas fairy for the last three days and it has been wonderful. 

I’m getting my skin some much needed rest today so I thought I would give you all a very big update on the make up looks I’ve been doing!

So let’s start with Sunday!

Avada Kedavra! Not dead? No? You shouldn’t be. This is reality but this make up look was certainly a little out there. Starting with my usual base of lime crimes eyeshadow primer, I slicked on NYX jumbo eye pencil in Cottage cheese ensuring I concentrated it on the inner corner. Then I packed on the matte limegreen from my sleek palette: acid making sure to stick to the main lid. I then created to cut crease using a mix of the green shimmers from the Makeup Revolution pallet: Give Them Nightmares. I then depend this with Bourjois pressed shadow in Emerald noir. One cut crease didn’t look like enough for a bright green flash of death…so I created another between the lash line and the cut crease using the same colours and an angled liner brush! I blended Barry Ms bright green dazzle dust atop the cut-crease to brighten it up a little and make it look super glowey! After dabbing some generic white shimmer into my inner corner, I tight lined both waterlines with a basic black kohl pencil which I smudged on the lower waterline with Emerald Noir at the outer corner and the Barry M green dazzle dust towards the middle and inner corner then the white shimmer right at the lower inner corner. 
  

I lined the lid and first cut crease with Collection 2000s 24h felt tip liner in Jade (I do not recommend this liner…it stains!…your skin, your clothes, your carpet, your life!) I made a base for my face with my Estée Lauder double wear and set that with my BRAND NEW Smashbox powder. I used the darkest colour in my sleek contour pallet in Light to create a harsh cheek contour but I ALSO used it to square the area around my mouth a little too! Here’s where it gets halloweeny!

Instead of blusher, I used Anis high on the cheekbones, nose, forehead, Cupid’s bow and chin. I lined the lips with a lime green, used a Barry M black lipstick on the inside the lips and blended it out to the edges with a lip brush.
  

Then along came the glitter!! I used a stargazer liner in green glitter and put it on my brows and lips then I created sparks from the lid which I enhanced with the jade felt tip liner too! 
Finally I sprinkled my face with holographic glitter. It was only a little, I love glitter but I also love being able to see my carpet for the shininess! The last thing I did was put on some luscious lashes! These were 120’s from eylure (whom I go to for all my lashes needs!

 

 
Et voilà! One killing curse embodied in dark make up and glitter! 
To be continued! 
P.

The Thinks We Do For Love…And Cake.

(Disclaimer: 1.These are my own opinions and I state them as fact purely for dramatic dialogue…and because I’m a loud mouthed Scottish Pixie who likes to speak in metaphors incredibly loudly and with disregard for others perspectives on matters of the heart…bringing me to point 2. If you are currently enduring heartbreak, my commiserations to you. It is tough and gruelling and the most hateful of experiences and I warn you to proceed with caution.)

I considered this blog following cake at The Tenth Hole with some very beautiful and very special ladies in my life (there you go…you’ve been mentioned). Side note: The Tenth Hole, Portsmouth, has servings of cake that could sink a ship and has never failed to impress us, especially Riley who, I am pretty sure, would probably turn vigilante if the world supply of cake was withheld from her. I would recommend the Carrot Cake, the Strawberry & Clotted Cream Sponge AND the Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Bacon….and a side of potato wedges (which are massive).

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Where was I? Oh yes!

Love changes people; if you’re thinking of an argument to that then I deduce that you have never truly been in love. Or you do not have full comprehension of the term “love”. I should have prefaced this by stressing that not all love is the relationship with whom you share the bed/sweaty-naughty times. I am talking about true, deep and unwavering love which exists in many forms between people and is a necessary consequence of the human condition.

Yes; love changes people. It is an invisible force which makes a poet of a mute, a warrior of a coward and an angel of a demon. And although it is, by and large, unseen; it is, by no uncertain measures, felt with the force of a double decker bus to the chest, or a flutter in the belly, or barbed wire in the throat.

Seriously, it has the impact of putting an ancient, fraying recliner chair in front of an artistic masterpiece in the National Gallery. Only it isn’t the National Gallery, it’s your heart. It isn’t a recliner chair, it’s another human being. And it isn’t a Monet painting, it’s your own sense of self. Confused yet? Let me explain. You make space for each person you love. You build rooms in your heart for them and you build rooms on top of them and around them and, slowly, love becomes so much a part of your heart that it is a part of you. So when someone shifts out of your heart (a.k.a. that mouldy recliner ejects itself through the ceiling), it can be similar to someone removing a main joist from your roof. By and large, the roof starts caving in and you’re pretty damn sure that if you don’t keep it together, you’re going to fall apart completely. It hurts…remarkably similar to being flattened by a house…or so I would imagine. This isn’t Oz after all.

But it sounds pretty serious, doesn’t it? And hearts are super fragile real-estate so let’s be glad that they aren’t insurable or mortgaged! It would be a pretty expensive business, insuring against heartbreak.

However, as when most precious things break, the dust will settle…and we can survey the damage. I can assure you of one thing, your heart is still standing. It probably has a leaky roof, broken windows and dilapidated walls. But it rests on a strong design ethos that was there before love got there. Yep, it’s the kitsch tiffany lamp that you really can’t stand the sight of, that you’re not even sure you like and you’re just as unsure if anyone else likes; You just can’t get rid of it! You invested so much in it in the first place.

Aug16_Dragonfly_Lamp

It’s you. You’re the kitsch Tiffany Lamp. You’re timeless, tried and tested, built on years of intuitive and revolutionary design experience, covetable and or exceptionable quality. And when you’re in the ruin of heartbreak…you’re certainly the most beautiful thing in the room. You probably forgot that your lampshade dipped like that from the time your brother told you that you were stupid, or that you’ve got a wee chip here from when the poop-head in primary school pulled your hair, or that you’re fuse needs replacing from the first argument you had with your mother and you thought that she’d never love you ever again. Your glass is dusty, your bulbs blown but…like your beat-up husk of a heart…you’re still in pretty good nick! Just one trip to the hardware store at a time…and soon, you’ll be a functioning Tiffany lamp, again. Still little chipped, still a little crooked…but beautiful and working.

Switched on, you light up the room and slowly you can see where things went wrong. You kick yourself for putting that love there because it blocked your view of the ocean. You’ll be frustrated at the time you shoved that love in a corner because it was in the way of the wardrobe extension. You’ll laugh at the time that love flooded the bathroom floor because it disagreed with the amount of make-up wipes you used on Halloween. Thing is…you see this from the perspective of being the last thing standing. You’re still a Tiffany Lamp. No matter where you’re put or how much you forget your worth to your heart; you are still the Tiffany Lamp. If you weren’t there, people would look around wondering where the Tiffany Lamp has gone because things would be a damn sight gloomier and less colourful. You make the heart what it is.
Looking on the more positive side; love, as destructive or ill-fitting as it can be…can also be the accent to our hearts. When we’ve recovered the vestiges of the plasterboard and glued the sodding table leg back on (albeit with a slight wobble so you are always worried about your meatballs rolling off your plate) we can see places that could do with a something extra or we notice things we didn’t see before.

Real talk now; it could be a new friend, a new hobby, a new sodding lipstick (that you buy several of in case they discontinue it), an old book you forgot you had, a type of music you never thought you would like (Eminem; seriously…how could have missed your genius? Possibly because I had my head buried up Marilyn Manson’s ass with alongside my new rocks and blind love for anything but my own perspective). But whatever it is, it’s illuminated and enhanced by you; the beautiful Tiffany Lamp.

You get me?

I shall see you anon.

P.

The Best Thinks Come In Small Packages.

Children are exhausting; I don’t think anyone, whether they confess to loving or loathing children, would profess that spending an hour with a child, from birth to toddler to walking-talking hormone, is the most relaxing and serene encounter they have ever had. In fact I can guarantee that they would go into a blow by blow of every event that they did that day with a subtle sigh of exhaustion. The difference, however, is the knowing glint in the eye of someone whom adores children and the hiss of the sigh coming from between the teeth of someone who, by and large, couldn’t think of anything more horrifying than spending more than 5 minutes in the company of a child. 

I, thankfully, am the former. And I mean no disrespect to those who either popped out their sprog and now can’t deal with another scream about a skipping frozen DvD. I similarly do not scoff at those who hold a baby like it is on fire. But I am pretty thankful that I enjoy the company of children, sometimes more than the company of adults. And this is probably why I spent most of my weekend in the company of/behaving like a child. 

This began on Thursday afternoon with the arrival of my nephew and niece who were very excited to meet the new cat. 

I still haven’t introduced you to the cat but she isn’t really an exhibitionist so I doubt she is hurt by my lack of attention to her in the blog. In fact, she shuns the limelight and is quite particular about whom strokes her and when…she I’ll leave her where she is at the moment.

As I was saying; the nephew and niece came round and had dinner…never had chocolate got onto so many surfaces in this house (and I had a pretty wild Birthday/Christmas party last year). And not just chocolate either. Cheese sauce, spaghetti and even a little splash of urine. There were dressing up clothes all over The Den (my dressing up clothes I might add) and balls of fimo trod into the carpet along with suspicious stains which might, also, have been chocolate…but I didn’t dare lick to check.

  

How does this sound so far? Like a OCD’s worst nightmare? Probably…but for myself it is a little slice of heaven. The cherry on top being a very lengthy and exuberant conversation with my nephew about bow’s and arrow’s and Panter Pee! I mean- sorry- Peter Pan! We talked about being friends and being brave and thinking of happy thoughts! The kid was pretending to fly all around my kitchen with such height to his jumps I swear he had inbuilt trampolines in his bare feet. And then, with the widest eyes he pointed enthusiastically outside the window:

Look, Pip-pip, Look! I can see him, you know! 

In the clouds?

Yeah, I can see him there!

I wish I could see him!

You can see him, Pip-Pip! Look!

Oh! Oh! I can! He’s there! 

Panter-Pee is there! 

Proceding this, I turned him into a number of animals and I, myself, was turned into a number of animals also… and we ran the length of the house several times too, I think!
  
Yes, by the time they left Mr Panda and I were on tip toe around the house scared that we would stand in something sticky but I wouldn’t change it!

I spent Friday with Sister Spoon (who technically isn’t a Spoon anymore) and Lil’ Aardvark who is now a bubbly 7 months old plus more! Boy, does he have cheeks for days. If you’re really not into babies or children (and have decided to, for whatever reason, consider this an exercise of your personal endurance) prepare yourself or give in now because I’m about to spend a short paragraph dispensing every English derivative for the word cute…no? Fair enough. You have been warned. 

Lil’ Aardvark is cute. And I don’t mean adorable in the bambi eyed hamster sort of way. I mean ‘kitten in the pocket of a doe eyed kangaroo sleeping on a cloud while a smiling cartoon moon watches’ delightful. From his darling cheeks to his lovable little smile to his charming excitableness and sweet hand held toddling- honestly couldn’t get enough!

Okay, kid-haters, you still with us? Well, if the sick bucket is full please pour it down the toilet and not the sink.
  
I’ll segue into what we did but please bare in mind that the afternoon was punctuated with lots of baby talk and cooing and much in the way of singing as Lil’ Aardvark has discovered clapping which provided many opportunities for renditions of “If you’re happy and you know it” which never got past the first verse!
  

We partook in tea, apple juice and booby (for baby, not myself or Sister Spoon) in a specialist tea shop which also did cake but today wasn’t a cake day. And once Lil’ Aardvark had done several laps of the shop, discovered a spaniel and raised his voice to the ceiling in boredom, we took a little wander to Victoria Park. There, we fed the guinea-pigs and saw the peacocks and ducks. Lil’ Aardvark, although partaking a little in guinea-piggery, seemed far more interested in being social and spend the first part of the walk simply beaming at the other children, particularly ladies! Who flirted back with lots of smiling and giggles! But eventually smiles turned to the guinea-pigs…and the floor-carrot which would have become Aardvark-Carrot had Sister Spoon not done her true blue mummy duty and confiscated the floor-carrot! Did you know these things were right in the centre of Portsmouth? You should! It’s a nice we wander! Not to mention it was a beautiful day! 

   
 

We had a bite to eat and a conversation about smacking that was considerably mutual…great minds, after all, we do have ‘em. This isn’t a political forum, however, and if anyone decides to begin a fully-fledged debate on the rights, wrongs or wherefores of spanking a sproglette in the comment section…good god I will slap you silly with a wet trout and you see if I don’t! 
   
 

That night I received an email from Genie who was worried about the connection between her partner and her partner’s niece. I learnt 2 things; 1. Ask questions first lest you wander too far down a path already trodden and 2. People ask me things when they’ve reached a bit of a dead end. It felt nice to be consulted about people and their experiences with children.
  
Sunday was a day I truly surprised myself. I decided to do a bit of weeding in the front garden. No, the fact that I engaged in some form of manual labour is NOT the surprise. The surprise came WHILE I was weeding. I was coming up to the half hour mark and beginning to get tired as I had spent most of the early afternoon doing make up (…more on that tomorrow) and was pretty low on spoons already. And, as if to put a natural stopper into my activities, I happened upon a critter. A frog- in fact. It was about the size of a medium hamster but, you know, a frog! It was chilling in the dandelions as cool as you like.
   

   
Now, I’m not one for liking critters; I’m as opposed to them as you are to children, person who has come thus far through the waves of cute and grime! Moths, cockroaches, rats and I have a completely irrational fear of woodlice. So I spent the first 2 minutes of happening upon said frog deliberating my next movement. I could either: A) Scream loudly in a cloud of predictability and female stereotyped hysteria, B) Ignore it while warily eyeing it up over there positive it was planning its angle of attack , or C) Pick the little bugger up like my grubby, tomboyish inner child wanted to do so damn badly!

Guess which one I did?
    
And I called him Archimedes; not after the philosopher as some smelly adult would, no. I names him after the owl in The Sword In The Stone. I then proceeded to knock on the front window and ring the doorbell with my elbow to get the attention of Mr Panda and show him how clever I had been to catch such a wonderful little gift!

Mr Panda…acting his age on this particular Sunday…was an unimpressed 26 year old. As though we see frog’s everyday willy-nilly! 

The point of this monologue is that I have spent the first few weeks of university attempting to remain inspired in Early Childhood Studies when my CFS/ ME is forcing me to consider how on earth I am going to use this degree. My approach to practice with children has changed so much, I can’t move like I used to, I can’t lift children or concentrate on them like I used to! And it makes for such limited interaction that I am afraid that I won’t be able to form the bonds with children like I used to so as to help their development.

But this weekend has reminded me of something; That I know a thing or two about children and that, even on my worst days, I love to spend time with them and talk to them and listen to them. But most of all I love to just watch them discover and play and learn and just be in their presence and then tell others all about it until they want to sew my mouth shut!

If there is a way to make a living out of that then please point me in that direction!

To be continued,
P.

Make Somethink Up

I make no secret of this…I have WAY too much make up for someone who doesn’t actually do make-up for a living. I’ve seen the make up bags of friends and it’s pretty much a two lipstick, one pallet, one eyeliner, foundation, powder and mascara kind of deal. And I don’t judge…okay I do judge when the don’t have even just ONE make up brush of any shape or form. But I completely understand that one average sized make up bag is enough for one person.

What I’m trying to say is that: I am Pippa Cooper and I am addicted to make-up. Remorselessly and with no pending plans for recovery. So when I was offered a ticket to the Estée Lauder Staff Shop…I would have unapologetically cut a bitch to spend only 5 minutes in that place. Needless to say that it takes more than 5 minutes to fully engage in prayer here, my house of worship. It takes approximately an hour to achieve enlightenment. 

The staff shop is invitation (or, of course, staff only) and you can purchase products for up to 30% off RRP. Combine this with some of the purchases being a gift… It makes for, what I deem to be, my first blog haul! 

The decent thing about a staff shop, I found, was that there was less faffing with customer service. It’s there if you need it, and exemplary at that, but I felt far more relaxed browsing there than in any department store. Possibly because if you are there then you are more than likely be a bit versed in what you’re shopping rather than someone who doesn’t have to consider a 12 step program to curb their foundation habit!

One of the draw backs is that you’re not going to get the most well known products of any brand. So don’t expect to wander in and pick up Velvet Teddy or Ruby Woo. Foundation in your colour might be difficult too as the selection of colours in each brand is limited too. 

Those minor issues aside…wow. Just…wow! The selection of brands and the range of products available across the shop is amazing! I could have stretched my hour or so into two or three more. Easily! 
Onto the purchasing! 

First: I’ve been after a new perfume for a while and was drawn to the bottle of My Ny by DKNY. It’s sweet but tart and rich without being overwhelming which is a middle ground between my summer and winter fragrances. The bottle looks like it was painted by Picasso; very cubist… So, yoink!
  

  
Second, I snapped up this Bobby Brown Shimmer Brick as an illuminator. It’s got a pretty pink tone but has some lighter ones so I could use it as a blusher and a strobing product! AND it came with a brush! 😀 
  

Next! A black mascara from the MAC: Toledo collection in Vinyl to replace my many drug store ones that are running out! 

  
  

I nabbed a goodie bag which had 4 Mineralize lipglass’ in it! 3 nudey/transparents (names IN the photo) and one interesting green sheen… Dunno what to do with that one! There was also a Cremesheen Lipglass (name under the photo too!) in a beautiful autumnal purple-y colour! 

  
  

One of my favourites that I nabbed was this sweet purple tone holo glitter by MAC! Eep! It’s perfect for Halloween (I am going as Jem!!) or for any wintery looks I might wanna add a bit of glitz too! Because everything, even the British winter weather, is better if it sparkles…apart from your time of the month…wait…no, that would definitely be far better with glitter! 

COLOUR: 3D Lavender

I love lashes but most of the time I don’t have a steady enough hand to put them on. So on a less-shakey day I like to pop on eyeliner AND lashes! I was due a new liquid liner so I got a MAC Liquidlast liner in an off black….last it does!!! And I picked up some #41 lashes from MAC too! NOT PICTURED was a suggestion from my friend/ticket inside which was the MAC Eyebrows Pencil in Spiked! 

LINER COLOUR: Wet Road

Finally, from the staff shop, was the Smashbox Photoset Finishing Powder which I’ve seen so many YouTubers and Drag Queens use that I HAD to pick up! And I can’t wait to use it and replace my Rimmel one which is almost completely empty! 

  

As a last little snippet (which should surely prove my level of addiction) two days before going to the staff shop, I nabbed some duo-chrome eyeshadows from Topshop! Buildable and blendable, I LOVE them! 

 

LEFT TO RIGHT: Holograph, Shuffle the Cards

  
 

So, yes! That’s the haul and, in all seriousness, I’m so grateful for today and everything I got today and how I’ve spent my morning and who I’ve spent it with! It sort of reminds me of things I’m good at and how people know these things about me. And of course I share these skills for free. I can’t wait to pamper my friends for gradball next year… Should I get there! 

Shall see you anon!

P.
P.s. If you want to win a tshirt with a rose gold tinkerbell on it (and who doesn’t) go to my Instagram and comment your happy thought on this “WIN THIS TSHIRT” pic! Be one of 3 to nab it! 
  

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