December = microblogging AKA Bel is lazy

| Posted by Bel | The time is 11.40am here in Wellington NZ |

It sounds like Lou might have a bit of time on her hands over the next month, living in the lap of... redundancy, but I'm going to be caught up in that hideous feverish end-of-year time warp.

Remember that work project I was berating myself about when caught up in the ultimate self-absorbed procastination of 30 Days of Me?? It's still dragging out. We're due to go live next week, but Monday has already been bumped to Wednesday and with the buttload of tasks I have to complete before that is even possible, I'm still here, preambling my ramble.


My decision is that I shall have the indulgence of blogging this month. But in teeny tiny doses. See you (a little bit) soon!


Here is a very old photo of me on my front lawn with a teeny-tiny horse and teeny-tiny house.


| Posted by Lou | The time is 8.45pm here in London UK |

Back in the early days Bel became a crocodile redundee, so I've decided I get to be a redundasaurus.

This is actually a creature called a redondasaurus, apparently.
I am not sure whether or not it was gainfully employed in the Jurassic Economy.

I'm not a Victim of the Recession, but rather someone who has been made redundant after getting caught in the political cross-fire of the UK media.

I secretly find this quite flattering - I got a compromise agreement and a real proper Solicitor and was able to negotiate (a tiny bit) and in general it was like Making It in the corporate world to be more than just a Cost Cut.

And as I like to look at it, I'm being paid to leave a job I didn't particularly like and certainly wasn't happy in.

So I'm going to have lots of time on my hands. I'll be able to do my upcoming 12 Days of Christmas feature properly with researched and thought-out activities and posts; I'll be able to finally learn to play that effing ukulele; I'll be able to finish that short-film script; I'll be able to see those films I've missed.

And - most importantly - I'll be able to fuck off to the Southern Hemisphere for several weeks :D

So, really, overall, I'm quite happy about it all, if not a little miffed at the way my boss and I have been treated. But thems the breaks and I knew it could happen.

Harry Potter 7 Part 2: Lou's review

| Posted by Lou | The time is 4.30pm here in London UK |

Let me get the most important thing out of the way upfront:

OhmygodHermione'sreddressarghgetmeoneimmediately! SeriouslywherecanIgetoneIwanttoweariteveryday!

Okay, please assume that I agree with Bel that their acting had improved, the tardis handbag was AWESOME, and that I appreciate that the films have grown with the audience.


I just didn't dig it.

I thought the director made some really odd choices - like Ron's vision of Harry and Hermione that looked like it was inspired by an interweb search of scary fan art from the erotic realm.

I wasn't quite game to google "erotic harry potter fan art" at work

Or the dance sequence - sorry but I just found it weird and uncomfortable in the context of the film, the characters, and the audience. (Even Ruth, who loved the movie, was nervously giggling like "is this meant to be funny, or moving, or...?")

Or the deathly hallows sequence which, while beautiful, didn't seem like it belonged in a Harry Potter film. I guess these complaints add up to a general dissatisfaction with the lack of a really cohesive and distinctive style to this film - Lord of the Rings it is not.

Most of all though, I didn't feel a sense of urgency or suspense, even within the individual action sequences. I know it is extremely difficult to make a film that is essentially just foreplay... but foreplay should be better than this.

I thought the action passed by too quickly without having been woven for full clarity and effect (which made me think they had run out of time in post-production). And - crucially - I didn't get a sense of the looming menace of Voldemort.

But I'm still really excited about the last film...

Harry Potter 7 Part I: Bel's review

| Posted by Bel | The time is 12.33pm here in Wellington NZ |

First up, has anyone else been saying "Deadly" Hallows this whole time, or was it just me? How embarrassment.

Second up, preemptive SPOILER ALERT. If you haven't finishing reading all of the last book yet, then what are you doing wasting your time here??

Me and three other adults excitedly went along with our token 10 year old to Wellington's best cinema (yes, The Embassy) on a sunny Saturday afternoon to see Harry Potter and the Deadly Deathly Hallows.

The films have definitely gotten bigger and better as they've gone along. Just as the storylines have darkened and the characters grown older, the films have managed to balance keeping pace with the fact that their audience is predominantly children who need to be able to actually view the content. However I do think this film was a bit much for the 7 year old sitting next to me, who was more interested in distracting herself by swinging her feet during the scary bits than being careful about not kicking the nice lady in the chair right by her.

The biggest joy is that the lead trio seem to actually be able to act this time round. Hermione was so painful in those early films, and Ron only enjoyable because you assume he is supposed to be a complete ham. But the kids have all grown up and so has their talent. The dialogue of the script lets them down frequently, but the chemistry is natural and perhaps what we're seeing is their real friendships shining through.

Freed from the confines of Hogwarts, this installment is much more action-packed. The chapters which dragged in the book, where our intrepid heroes do some camping, some bickering, some more camping and then a bit more annoying teenaged bickering, are dealt with in a decidedly better way in the film. I.e. Nick Cave dance sequence.

Though it does suffer from a touch of the LOTRs (jewellery that gives you the grumps? ummm deja vu, anyone?), it's the wonderful magic tricks that makes us love the Harry Potter franchise that makes up for it. People disapperate at a rapid rate, everything and anything is accio-ed, potions are flung over wounds for instant healing. Oh and my favourite, the TARDIS-like tent. I could actually get into camping if that thing was real.

My big disappointment was in not seeing enough of the characters that we've grown to love thanks to the film adaptations. Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood has been gold, and we barely got a glimpse of her and her perfectly on-trend jumpsuit, while the stunt casting of Rhys Ifans as her father seemed to be on the screen for hours. (Does anyone else recall the book stating that Xenophilius Lovegood was known for being weirdly over tanned? No? Me neither. Harrrumphf.)

The biggest scandal even than Neville Longbottom turning out pretty hot in real life or Emma Watson's post-shoot cropping of her previously contractually protected locks has been the ripping off of an Alexander McQueen design for the wedding scene.

Perhaps Fleur Delacour (or rather, costume designer Jany Temime) couldn't magic up herself any originality?

And scandalous also was the deviation from the sacred tome itself, which states that Hermione wore lilac to Fleur and Bill's wedding. Instead in the film she shows up in this number:

Shocking hot red colour? Gorgeous detailing? A-line skirt? Flattering length? Sexy neckline? Sensible shoulder straps? Yep, Lou and I will have one each, thanks. Plus that nifty clutch purse with the Undectable Extension Charm wouldn't go amiss either. Hand it over and all is forgiven for not following the book letter and line!!

How to throw a really awesome Beatles themed 30th Birthday Party

| Posted by Lou | The time is 12.05pm here in London UK |

My 30th Birthday Party turned out to be the best party I've ever had, so thought I'd share some of the best tips!

Generally I find hosting a party to be extremely stressful so had done a lot of googling for ideas, but in the end it came down to mac'n'cheese, Abbey Road, and good ol' punch.

1. Macaroni Cheese Canapés

Surprisingly this was the hit of the night. I had whipped up a massive batch earlier in the day which was sitting in the oven. At the mad-hungas time of the party (10? 10.30?) I cooked it (making sure someone more responsible than myself was standing chatting in the kitchen and found themself on timing duty) then wrangled myself a helper whose job was to hold an old vinyl record. I bunged big spoonfuls into muffin cases (double them up as it'll be hot), stuck in a plastic fork, and sent her into the room... She was back in about 10 seconds shouting "more! more! faster!" as the room made an audible shift towards the kitchen.

This is totally not what mine looked like at all, it just looks yummy.
Hopefully someone has a photo of mine I can insert here later...

My macaroni cheese is based on a recipe that exists only in my head - I believe it comes from the Edmonds Cookbook white sauce with lots of medium chedder cheese put in. Normally I would put a crunchy topping on of teensy bits of toast (like not quite a crumb but much smaller than croutons) mixed with grated cheese, which creates a nice crunchy texture - but for the party I couldn't be fucked and nobody noticed! Best part? Clean up is minimal, and it took about 15 mins to prepare earlier in the day and about 10 mins to serve during the party.

2. Abbey Road

I had organised very few decorations for the Beatles theme, leaving me somewhat reliant on costumes. I made my bedroom (which opens onto the living room with double doors) reminiscent of the "bed in for peace" and plastered the doors with these Yoko Ono "War is Over" posters. Other than that was the occasional Beatles decoration that I already owned, and the use of Thomas the Tank Engine paper cups for my instant pudding/ angel delight canapés.

So luckily for me two wonderful guests turned up with suits and Beatles wigs and brought along the Abbey Road crossing. It was the best thing possible for emphasising the theme and giving a focus point for the costumes and photos. Luckily they were quite early to arrive too so probably everyone else thought I'd come up with it...

Louise in the Sky with Diamonds and Ringo
Please note alcohol stains all down my dress...

3. Magical Mystery Punch

Ah, punch - the lowest of the low, easiest of the easy. But such a classic...

I was trying to be somewhat more sophisticated than the 21st birthday party version of punch (cheap vodka, juice, lemonade) and at least bought proper vodka and variety of juices. I believe it started out as vodka, orange juice, lemonade, fiery ginger beer, and cranberry & raspberry cordial. It became more potent and mixed as the night progressed, with the requirement for speedy refreshment of the bowl's supply leading me at one point to throw in half a bottle of bubbly, some gin...

But it did the trick, it actually seemed to keep somewhat of a modicum of sobriety at the party (I guess even if it seems strong it isn't as strong as drinking bubbly for 6 hours non-stop (and by "sobriety" I mean "not quite rollicking drunkenness")), and was an easy space-saver due to the limited ingredients; without seeming like total cheap student piss.

Err... mine was more pyrex-baking-bowl-with-plastic-tumblers

On the day of my party I was stressed and thinking "I'm never hosting a party again!!", but focussing on the simple touches I think I just might possibly... next time I have an excuse... (my 40th?)

Well that's that then.

| Posted by Lou | The time is 3.10pm here in London UK |

If someone had told me I'd start my 30s by being right, proper fucked I wouldn't have been so against the idea - unfortunately though this one wasn't of the carnal kind.

Before I even had a chance to put my best intentions and proactive self-pep-talks into action I found out that in my absence last week wider workplace situations came to a head and my boss "quit"*.

I did not find this out through him giving me the courtesy of telling me, but rather from innocently coming across an email from the HR Director drafting the announcement.

After more than 2 years of going above and beyond the call of duty, and of displaying super-human loyalty towards him, I've been totally and utterly fucked.

In this situation all I can do is try my best to turn the situation into a positive, so watch this space.

(First of all though I'm going to watch depressing movies and cry, then try and get more than a jet-lagged 4 hours sleep in a night.)

*in our company's speak "quit" does not refer to a necessarily voluntary act

1 Day Till 30

| Posted by Lou | The time is 4.50pm here in London UK |

Well, here I am in the extra 12 hours of my 20s given to me by Greenwich Meantime, and I have to confess that the 30 Days of 30 didn't exactly go as planned... I didn't really think through the fact that I was going to Vegas for 5 days of it, and that the busiest period of the working year falls in late-October.

A couple of my primary topics remain unarticulated as I just never had the time or mental space to put my thoughts down. An attack on the inability of culture to accept singlehood as a legitimate lifestyle choice for many women is the main one - but that can wait.

Though in a way I think this is personally very good - it emphasises totally that tomorrow is just another birthday. I'm not waiting for the Y2K bug to hit at midnight as something drastic happens to underscore moving into a new numeral bracket.

Having said that, I did have a bit of time to think in Vegas and came up with a few things that I realised I really want to do.

One is finding a pastry course where I can learn to make more aesthetically appealing baked delights and learn more about ingredients and method. Not for any other reason than that I want to.

Another is to use the call function of my phone more instead of just texting or emailing. I can't think of the number of times I've had a protracted text conversation that could have been sorted by phone in 20 seconds. Plus London life means sometimes going weeks without speaking to people.

Also the work situation became crystal clear [last week's big moment was a fizzle due to getting a middling answer - the next day I very strongly expressed that the answer wasn't good enough, then went on holiday after checking that he would come back to me on Monday with a more concrete plan], and I now feel like I've reduced it to a clearer and thus much more easily resolvable scenario. (This will most likely lead to me quitting once and for all.)

Oh, and I realised I'm not a complete sell-out (yet) - the dazzling array of consumer products and money holes contained in the Vegas Strip provided no pangs of temptation. (Well, excpet for that red vinyl handbag in the Bettie Page shop... but I resisted!) So I guess the pull of greater fulfilment will snag me again soon...

Anyway, that's that. Farewell 20s.

Lock me in the attic, it's a new Jane Eyre!

| Posted by Bel | The time is 10.22am here in Wellington NZ |

This looks meeeeean!

I am a fan of Jane Eyre, the book by Charlotte Bronte, and Jane Eyre, the character, having Lou compell me to read it. I'd read Wuthering Heights (written by Emily Bronte, Charlotte's sister) and filed it under "L" for lame and assumed Jane Eyre was more of the same. This was around the same time I made failed attempts to get into Austen, causing a near unrecoverable rift in our friendship.

The book is written in the first person and Jane becomes a friend that you rally alongside, even as you are aware of the fate that lies ahead. (Because SPOILER: a lot of this book's plot is already out there in popular culture and in people's blog headlines and so on.) It's a great story of being caught deciding between the nice guy and the bad boy and about kicking your way up from the bottom, even when no one is expecting that of you.

The film has a great team behind it (Sin Nombre meets Tamara Drewe? Um, yes please!) and, from the trailer, appears to be going with the angle that Jane is a smart wee upstart, rather than a swooning love interest.

So now we just have to wait til MARCH 2011 to see it! Man, and you thought that week until Harry Potter 7 was out was going to be bad!

3 Days Till 30: What makes you notice someone?

Posted by Lou The time is 9.00am here in London UK

Another of the prompts:

What makes you notice someone?

Well, assuming they mean in terms of men, I am as predictable as the Big Ben in that I have one very specific physical type that I will always - ALWAYS - notice:

curly brown hair

(preferably a little bit too long, scraggly, and with no hair product)


Despite the recent years, Joaquin remains my ultimate model for scraggly haired goodness

4 Days Till 30: Riches

Posted by Lou The time is 9.00am here in London UK

I am actually in Vegas, of course, having set these to post before leaving. So part of me is hoping that by the time you read this I have made my millions on the pokey machines and tables...

Which led to another piece of Advice For Life:

Never pick lotto numbers. Always do lucky dip. (Or nothing.)

Once you have selected numbers you'll spend the rest of your life buying lotto tickets because you'll be too scared they'll come up on the very week you stop.

(Thankfully this one is not based on personal experience!)

5 Days Till 30: 10 years ago today...

Posted by Lou The time is 9.00am here in London UK

Where were you and what were you doing ten years ago?

Coincidentally I started to write this post to go live on 7th November 2010, and then realised that this is actually ten years to the day from probably my most infamous drinking event ever.

I was living in Hamilton and it was the end of my second year of uni. We had just moved into our third flat of the year (one got foreclosed, the next was a short-term lease, then this one lasted us a year), and Cara and I had finished our exams.

We drank vodka and sodastream (I suspect the other flatmate who had moved in was still mid-exams so we were doing this on the sly), and got completely waaaaaasted.

And so - as you do - we decided to go onto campus with Cara's giant poster of Pat Rafter. Dressed in our pyjamas. And matching blue hoodies. As you do. And took photos of us with it, all over campus.

Did I mention that it was the night of the US Election, Gore vs Bush? It was. And this filtered into my alcohol addled mind, and I became determined to find the hidden campus US Election voting booth and cast the deciding vote for Gore.

Then we took photos of ourselves doing brown-eyes in the IT department toilets. Then took a photo outside our soon-to-be flatmate's bedroom. Then lost the film. Then went home.

And that was what I was doing 10 years ago today.

Ask Aunty Bel: Say something nasty or turn the other cheek?

| Posted by Bel | The time is 8.42pm here in Wellington NZ |

The first in our  previously non-existent series "Ask Aunty Bel [or Lou, whomever is not in Las Vegas at the time]".

A reader says that they are currently brewing with bilious nastiness to be directed at a particular person, and don't know whether it's best to be up front or drown it all in the chardonnay sea.

I once had someone say something really nasty to me. This person had thought about at length and discussed it with other people, mutual friends even. They thought they understood the situation and that they were very much in the right. Objectively and subjectively, they felt justified. Not only did they need to say what they were saying, but I actually needed to hear it for my own benefit, too.

Of course what this person was actually doing was incredibly judgemental, vindictive, and hurtful for the sake of being hurtful. I don't think they will ever fully realise this - for them it will always be a moment that they look back on as when they said what was on their heart so that I could be set straight. "Real talk" I believe the kids are calling it these days.

I wish I was referring to my first year of high school, but this happened only a few years ago. I had nightmares about afterwards. I'm not AT ALL suggesting that you are like this person (these people, The Forgotten, as I like to refer to them as) - because oh sweet Jesus you are so not - but I just want to set the scene for why I am wary of getting on a soap box and letting rip on personal matters.

There are actually some times when you ARE right to do it. And when you will actually get personal benefit from the experience of it. The verbal equivalent of Monday's 5.15pm BoxFit.

But personally, I am an advocate of the "silent but deadly" (see also: Farts, Effective) in that I will just cut you out and will not even miss you. You will realise you haven't heard from me in a very long time and eventually your son will tell you that actually your granddaughter is throwing all of the mail from you unread straight into the rubbish because she doesn't want any more opportunities in her life for you to hurt her, or maybe he won't, you know, because he's never been able to stand up to them and protect his own child from their hurtfulness because he's still too desperate for their affection, at any cost WAIT TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

I think this all comes down to pain. And the most important thing, really, is what is going to cause you the least pain? In the long term, as well as the short.

I've seen situations where empassioned outbursts of angry emotions have lead to, well, pretty much just shitstorms. It doesn't necessarily make it any easier on you and that thing you had to get off your chest in the first place can become an even heavier weight on your shoulders.

Now give us a cuddle and try one of my passionfruit yo-yos with blue icing!

Aunty Bel

6 Days Till 30: Sleep

Posted by Lou The time is 9.00am here in London UK

Another suggested prompt is:

What do you do to make yourself fall asleep at night?

Sleep is such a can of worms for me. I love sleeping - really, really love sleeping - but find it extremely difficult to get a good night's sleep.

At the moment my tactics are to either go to bed so late I'm already half falling asleep, or to read until my eyes start to close (or it gets so late I realise that I'm barely going to get any sleep if I don't stop).

On a good night it'll take probably an hour from trying to get to sleep and being asleep, and on a bad night that'll be more like 3 hours. And on a really tired night I'll fall to sleep straight away, and then wake up an hour later and remain awake for a couple of hours.

(Then while I'm sleeping I'll wake up repeatedly, and by the time my alarm goes off feel like I need another night's sleep to recover. Whinge whinge whinge.)

I also suffer intense jealousy at people who sleep easily and freely, anytime anywhere

I've tried counting sheep (properly doing it on my own pseudo-science idea that it require distracting both layers of thought, so you have to both count AND specifically picture the sheep); tried the manifold suggestions contained in a rather good BBC doc about the difficultly with sleeping; googled... But am yet to find a foolproof method.

I think that of all the practical elements of life, this is the one I would most like to change. It makes me loathe to sleep elsewhere than my bed (as it's the only place I have any chance of getting an adequate night's sleep); it makes me always want to get the last train home (as a late night will never be made up for); and it means Saturday mornings are a write-off as they're generally the only time I get to sleep deeply.

Is anyone a recovered Difficult Sleeper who can provide the key??

7 Days Till 30: musings

Posted by Lou The time is 4.00pm here in London UK

I've been thinking a lot lately about how when I was younger I perceived that Real Adults always sort of smiled patronisingly/ knowingly at the ideals of youth, and about how we all know that the hippie generation sold out, but none of us thought we would too.

Generally speaking I think I am a principled person who has managed to get to 30 with a strengthening of ideals and beliefs rather than a weakening... in some areas.

I have remained committed to my belief in equality, particularly in terms of gender, race and sexuality. And I am outspoken and active about acting on those beliefs, whether it be through refusing to accept sexism/ racism/ homophobia from friends or colleages, or though adding my voice to the masses in relation to corporations and government.

But fuck, I can't help but think I've totally sold out on a much higher and fundamental level by becoming the one thing I never wanted to be: a Consumer (the real C-word!).

Seven years ago when I left uni and joined the adult word, shunning the ease of using my highlly regarded degree to get a cushy corporate career position, I would have said I never want to be someone who does a dissatisfying job so that they can buy stuff when if they cut down their consumption they could take more risks to follow their dreams.

Yet here I am... yet I can't motivate or energise myself to do anything else, despite knowing people who have successfully thrown caution to the wind to follow their heart's desires [yes, Sonal - one of them is you!].

I tell myself that it's okay to go for money - particularly in my age group when you do want to pay off your student debts and improve your standard of life - but I can't help thinking that maybe I am just a sell-out?

I kind of feel like I do want to follow my dreams, but only if they pay good money...

Maybe in 20 years I will be the person who looks at their life and says "whoa, this is not what I was meant to be"?

But we all worry about this, right?

8 Days Till 30: Water

| Posted by Lou | The time is 12.35pm here in London UK |

After yesterday's atrocious effort, Bel sent me a list of actually very good prompts for blog posting.

One of them is:

What's one thing you can't start your day without?

Which is a great prompt for my lecture on The Importance Of Drinking Water.

Probably the healthiest thing I do and the one thing I feel most righteously good about is my excellent water drinking habit.

Every single morning I drink a full glass of water as I'm getting out of bed, and this is followed by about 2 litres during the course of the day (in addition to coffee, tea and alcoholic beverages).

Water is great! You really, really should drink it! Lots of it! Seriously!

You all know the stuff they say - it'll improve your skin and mental performance, etc etc... but really, it does! I am frequently and surprisingly (as I'd never noticed) told I have excellent skin (perhaps this is why I sometimes still get ID'd buying alcohol?), rarely ever get headaches, and for someone who drinks a lot of alcohol and hates working out I am generally energetic and switched-on.

Not necessarily scientific fact, but I can honestly say that becoming a devoted drinker of water did revolutionise my sense of good health.

Generally speaking if you are well hydrated your pee will be clear, and I have heard rumours that you will need to pee about once per hour if gaining optimum refreshment.

[A friend recently mentioned how her colleagues that sit on her path to the toilet must think she has a problem due to the number of times she goes a day - I had never considered this until she said that, and now am uber-paranoid that I am creating the same impression. Oh well.]

Give it a go!

I quit French and je ne regrette rien

| Posted by Bel | The time is 11.14am here in Wellington NZ |

Remember how, like, a fortnight ago I wrote this rant (and tips) about learning French and then that other blog about how going to France was, like, my greatest passion in life?

Yeah, well. WHATEVS.

Or 'hein...bof', as the French would say, whilst waving their gauloise nonchalantly.

This term was the start of Intermediate 2. Before we started, I caught up with a friend who is a native French speaker so I would be up to scratch. I nervously revised with her the points that I had stumbled over the months before, wanting to make sure I had a clear understanding of what we'd been taught.

She was somewhat bemused. "Oh most French people don't know half this stuff properly," she said, in that naturally condescending way that the French have down pat, "I would never use any of these complex grammatical terms in conversation. All this is very structured. You just wouldn't need it day to day. I'm sure someone would be impressed if you spoke this formally, but... you know... [hein... bof]".

As you know, I have no immediate plans or funds to go travelling. I was struck by a sudden terrifying thought. I was going to spend another term, year, years, studying here in this small town, on this small island, on the edge of this big ocean, becoming the world's most grammatically perfect and learned student of the French language, and one day in the far distant future, finally make it to the fantastical land of France, only to open my mouth and sound like an utter twat.

Okay. Maybe it wouldn't be that bad.

But my French is pretty good now, after two years, which means that the classes are actually getting kinda hard. I'm really enjoying it, but it was actually quite a bit of work to get real value from it, and not having an immediate goal of a holiday or something meant that it was hard to stay motivated. (Not to mention the cost of nearly $300 per term. Sacre bleu!!)

I'm sure that it will be more rewarding once I am in a more focussed position and will pick it up again then. In the meantime, I am stepping up my visits to locally French-run bakeries and viewings of subtitled hottie-starring films, as this now counts as the extent of my cultural immersion and thus très importante.

Here's something to inspire us all:

9 Days Till 30: Memory Problems

| Posted by Lou | The time is 8.02pm here in London UK |

I feel like I'm becoming more and more forgetful... such as continually forgetting to post here!

I have had a slight improvement in knowing what I'm up to in my social life via placing my awesome Nancy Drew diary [from Bel] right by where I do my hair etc in morning. And I have a (mostly) foolproof work system.

But for the inbetween stuff - ie not work but not fun either, like ringing the power company or emailing the landlord - I just never remember to do anything.

I was about to ask if it's a sign of ageing, but I guess it's actually a sign of subconsciously not wanting to do it, so just... not.

(Yes, this is totally a nothing post because I forgot to post and can't think of anything to do from home!)

10 Days Till 30: An Update

| Posted by Lou | The time is 11.09pm here in London UK |

An update! aka "Oh shit it's 11.09pm and I haven't posted yet today"

  1. I have been on time to work! Lots! Not all the time, but definitely several times!
  2. Today I went to work with my hair did (okay just in a pony-tail with side-sweep clip embellishment) and left it like that all day! With only a little bit of fiddling!
  3. I have been taking both omega 3 supplements and using Trilogy cleanser and moisturiser, and my skin is already back to normal! Though it has been milder weather the last week or so, so I'm not sure whether it's the supplements and/or skincare products and/or weather doing it...
  4. I took the shopping oaths to an insane extreme - I saw a "Betty" dress I loved and didn't try it on because I wondered where I would wear it, then tried on a different dress and liked it but didn't buy it. I was subsequently haunted by it and had to make a trip back to Oxford St (blurgh!) to try on the Betty dress (which in the end didn't fit right), and to buy the other dress (which turned out to be a top...). So correct to not buy things that aren't right, but wrong to not try things on and not buy things that are right.
  5. My Diana+ camera is newly loaded (in a daaaark room), taped, and ready to roll with new-found confidence :D
  6. Still haven't touched the ukulele. But my basics book arrives tomorrow!
  7. I've been feeling more into pilates lately - not in terms of time commitment, but when I do do it I feel like I'm doing it better and getting more out of it. Which in turn should lead to doing it more often... maybe...
  8. Tomorrow I'm going to pro-actively "suggest" to my boss that he give me a definitive outcome on my job issues (ie tell me whether or not I am getting a salary increase) before I go on hols at the end of the week. If they're not going to solve the problem I'm going to quit! Then and there! On the spot! Because if you're going to stand up for yourself, you need to be prepared and ready to take it to the very end.

Glitter nails: yay or nay?

| Posted by Bel | The time is 9.37am here in Wellington NZ |

Knowing I'm a fan of OPI nail polish, Lou flicked me through a link to their latest Limited Edition offering. But this time I'm a little unsure.

Glitter nail polish. Are we ready to go back there?

OPI's Burlesque range

I'm pretty sure my mum's bathroom cupboard is still crammed with crusted-up half full bottles left over from my 90s childhood whence I sauntered about with fingernails looking like tacky mismatched discoballs.

There's been a few recommendations lately for Butter London nail polish, and their Fall 2010 range of polishes not only includes shades with holographic sparkles, but are also named in tribute to fashion designer Alexander McQueen. (This alone would probably be enough to sway me, let's be honest.)

Butter London's All Hail McQueen a "holographic taupe"

Sparkling and shimmering nails have been spotted on the catwalks too. Vogue UK states that glitter is officially a spring/summer 2011 beauty trend, with a fashion journalist breathlessly reporting that "the tips of the nails were dipped in multi-coloured glitter and layered with rhinestones". Apparently something referred to as 3D sculpture is also a rising trend in the world of avant-garde manicure but I think we plebs can safely ignore that.

PS Lou, did you know that your sports heroine Serena Williams is a qualified nail technician??

Assuming you don't have a weird foot thing, you can watch her giving Oprah a pedicure and gossiping about rich black women stuff in a video here!

11 Days Till 30: I have a hobby!

| Posted by Lou | The time is 5.15pm here in London UK |

I walked into a shop and said "I'd like a really cheap, really small ukulele".

And voila!:

Their cheapest was baby pink, so this is a sort of "cheap but not horribly cheap" ukulele.

Right, now I just need to learn how to play it...

The initial idea was to have a Beatles tune learnt (okay, the chorus of Yesterday) by my birthday party but I'm pretty sure that is Not Going To Happen.