Autumn wish list…

Apparently today is the first official day of autumn. I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but this really is my favourite season. I love all the rich colours, cosy fabrics & layers. Since the weather has definitely turned it seemed the right time to investigate what delights the A/W high st collections have in store.

As much as I love the crisp, chilly autumn weather, as often as not, in Glasgow it’s just cold & wet. Hence, I want cosy knits & warm fabrics. Given how dreary the weather is, I also need vivid colours. Yellow, orange & red tones appear to be catching my eye most.


Asos Curve, Forever 21, Asos Curve, Alice & You.


Asos Curve, Forever 21, Monki.

I’m liking the idea of my old favourite the skater in soft denims & flannels. Jumpers that don’t make me frumpy, layering t shirt dresses or over sized shirt dresses with cardis, leggings & boots. Basically I want easy to wear, but still funky af. 

Asos Curve, Monki, Asos Curve, M&S


M&S, Monki, Asos Curve.


M&S, Asos Curve, Boohoo.

Last, but not least I want velvet (I always want velvet) for that fancy winter look. Dramatic hemlines & a bit of lace are on the tick list, along with pretty duster coats to keep me from freezing. In a nut shell I want to look hot, but feel like I’m wearing jammies. I’ve a coined a phrase for this; comfort luxe.

Club L, Asos Curve, Elvi.


Asos Curve, Monki, Asos Curve.

There you have it. All the autumn/winter pieces that my heart desires. Now, it’s time for me to start researching outfits of s spookier nature. 

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Bright as yellow…

I may well be the worst fashion blogger in existence. I keep planning & executing the funkiest outfits, which is great. Then I forget to actually photograph them. 

This time I did remember, but only at the last minute. By that point both my outfit & my photographer were a little bit worse for wear. That aside I really like this dress. It’s one that has been lurking unworn in my wardrobe because I always forget about it. 


Dress – New Look

Shoes – Primark

Belt – Asos Curve

I dusted it off for the Musicians Against Homelessness event at Drygate. It was a fun night for a good cause & I discovered a new band that I really like. Feet of Clay had a charlatans x somber beach boys type vibe that I could definitely get into. 


So, cute dress, cool venue & a great cause added up to not a bad Saturday night. Even if the toy boy & his brother did turn up in matching outfits.

We watched the sun coming up easy…

Last week I embarked on a wee mini break with the toy boy. I didn’t realise quite how much I needed some R&R until we checked into our lovely hotel. Although not an entirely restful trip, it was pretty perfect.


Lodge on Loch Lomond is a 4 star hotel right on the banks of the Loch in the beautiful village of Luss. The combination of rustic Scottish charm & luxury touches are bliss. The small spa at the hotel & huge shareable baths really took our stay  up a notch. However, the jewel in the crown is the view. Waking up to the stunning Loch & surrounding landscape is a dream. The calm is an enormous bonus, the only sounds we could hear from our room were the water lapping against the shore & the ducks quacking.


I’ve been visiting Luss since I was a tiny child. It is the setting of so many cherished memories; it’s basically my happy place. It was lovely to share it with the toyboy even if we did spend a lot of time in the graveyard.

When we weren’t creeping around viking graves we took a tour of the Loch. Sweeney’s Cruises do fabulous tour of the islands between balloch & luss. The toy boy really wanted to catch a glimpse of the infamous Scottish wallabies, but we had no such luck. 


The rest of our break was cosy dinners, midnight walks on the beach & soaking up that amazing view. It was all the romance & precisely what I needed.

I am ready now to fall…

Dear Baby,

I still write baby even though you’d be almost grown now. You’d be pretty much a man, which is very scary. I bet you’d be amazing, though. I picture you as tall & sensitive & just a tiny bit reckless. I know we’d have butted heads, but I’d love your fire. 

 I’m feeling pretty raw this year. You have another sibling who didn’t make it to life. I have another reason to cry. I have reasons to smile too. I’m doing ok. 

I’d be better if I was buying cake & wrapping presents, but life had other plans for us. I had to learn to be strong & you were destined for somewhere more beautiful than this world. 

I’m ready now. Love, loss, life, I can take it all in my stride. I am ready to to mother a child I can hold in my arms as well as my heart. I have wonderful new little people to cherish, I have hope & I will always carry you with me. That’s enough for now.

Love always,

Mum.

Xxx

Fringe benefits…

Last weekend I was in Edinburgh for the closing days of the festival. I had such a good time, but as is the spoonie way, it took me days to recover. I also had some exciting going ons keeping me busy this week, so it’s taken me a while to put a post together. Obviously the fringe is over, but you can catch my recommendations performing around the country all year.

I have been a Neil Holborn fan for a while, but this was my first opportunity to see him perform. He did not disappoint. His poetry is stunning; words have so much power when manipulated correctly. Much of his work packs a punch, but he can apply a light comedic touch too. Neil has been receiving some well deserved acclaim recently & I hope his star continues to ascend. 

The next two shows were the toyboy’s choices. I’m going to give him credit for content, but a big fat zero for the venues being so far apart. Lost Voice Guy tackles inspiration porn, tory welfare cuts & his own experience of disability all whilst being highly amusing. Chris Coltrane continued the political stand up with his Make Love and Smash Facism show. If like me, you’re a left wing, bleeding heart liberal who likes a lot of swearing, this is the show for you. If like me you also have a very dodgy knee & often faint in hot rooms, The Banshee may not be the venue for you. Edinburgh is possibly the least accessible city in existence, so when I say I had a good time, you know the shows were good. 


After drinks & dinner & more drinks we hit a late night comedy show at The Mash House (another contender for hottest spot outside hell). Two girls one cup of comedy was a show that guaranteed at least two female stand ups every night. We caught the very last show which, to my delight, was an all women line up. The stand out for me was definitely Samantha Baines. Her compèreing combined quality puns, hilarious audience interaction & a tiny bit of man mocking. Turns out I’ve been under a rock & Baines is already rather well known & loved. I am glad to have joined the party, even if I am very late. 

*

We saw some other bits & pieces and visited a few non fringe reheated spots, but these are my picks. I recommend you rush to them should they visit your vicinity. 

The end of festival fireworks were really beautiful too. 


*Photi credit, top right – Stephen Black.

Try to comprehend that which you’ll never comprehend…

In the midst of a wonderful weekend at the Edinburgh Fringe I had two really inspiring experiences. Both of which fuelled in me a desire to share some writing that hasn’t seen the light in quite some time. On Sunday I saw Neil Holborn perform his stunning poetry. He is very open about his struggles with mental illness & includes his own experiences in much of his work. The power of his honesty & the emotional response he received to some of his pieces really struck me. He reminded me of the power of sharing the dark reality of mental illness. Later that day I was introduced to a friend of my boyfriend who also talked openly about his past mental health struggles. This led to a discussion of how helpful it is to talk about these issues; how more often than not other people will then share their own experiences of mental illness. We talked a little about how that realisation that mental illness is actually really common relieved so much shame. It reminded me how important it is to talk frankly about my experiences, so that those in the depths of illness can see that they are not alone. Equally important is to reach those who have never been touched by mental health problems. Letting people see that this can happen to anyone, that the pain is intense, debilitating & uncontrollable lifts stigma. I really believe that the way to fight ignorance is information. Not just statistics, but brutal insights into conditions often misunderstood. It is so much harder to dismiss mental illness when you have been confronted with it’s reality. 

With this in mind I decided to review work I produced in my darker days. For those unaware I have battled with PTSD, depression & self harm for most of my adult life. Although my mental health is much improved from the time of this piece, it remains a daily struggle. One is never cured. The best I can do is learn to live with what I cannot change & fight for what makes my life beautiful. I am profoundly grateful to no longer be actively self harming. I am also aware that urges still exist. It takes work to maintain my current life. I make a daily decision to keep fighting & I am far from alone. 

I know these words may be disturbing to some, but I ask you to read them anyway. I share this because I passionately believe that a deeper understanding defeats stigma & grows compassion. 

i had another little crisis

despite a transfusion in late december,

my haemoglobin had again dropped to 6.6

causing doctor’s to get jumpy

&

prompting talk of another transfusion.

this fuelled  a panic in me

i do not like having blood transfusions

i feel incredible guilt.

other people are more deserving of this blood

someone selflessly gave of themselves.

i will waste it

i know it will feel horrendous inside me

i do not want it.

i don’t really have the option of

saying

no

they will call in a psych consult

which could lead down a road

i can’t

even

think about

my first stupid reaction

is

i must cut

whilst the dr’s decide

i will blood let

i know it doesn’t make sense

to most

but

there is method in the madness

my hb is already low

i may as well be hung for sheep as a lamb

i will hate myself less for shedding my own blood

if i lose enough blood

do enough damage

i may feel sated for a while

with this in mind i set to work

after two disappointing nights

of

slicing

&

producing inadequate wounds

i got angry.

on the third day,

the gp called to say they had decided to go with an iron infusion the following week.

i considered myself free

to

paint the town RED

i felt it couldn’t be that bad

if i didn’t need a transfusion

i had still better fit in as much damage

before treatment

&

truthfully

after two pitiful nights

i needed it

so,

feeling enraged with myself

i set to work

i chose a spot on my slightly less scarred right forearm

i cut vertically

downwards

towards my wrist

everytime i reached a depth i could live with

i elongated the cut

&

started to work down into it again

i got into the most dangerous mindset

where

i just can’t resist

a little

bit

more

i ploughed through the layers of my flesh

fascinated

with what lay beneath

i watched three distinct fountains of blood

flow into one

sticky

hot

pool

i pulled the wound apart to make the blood spurt higher

i sawed through

some

tough,unknown inner material

and

thrilled

as the spray soared out

and hit my face

when i was finished

i watched

for

i don’t know how long

long enough to become dazed

i had created a gaping trench

the entire length of my foream

that continuosly filled with blood

and

spilled over, flooding the floor.

i could not stop the blood

nor, could i think straight

i wrapped a towel around my arm

put a huge jumper on top

and

took the bus.

yes,

the bus

to a&e

i trailed blood into reception

& collapsed in the triage room

i was so ashamed

dreaded trying to explain myself

lay in a cubicle

crying

i had done this many times before

but somehow

i couldn’t control my fear or self loathing.

i received 21 stitches

a transfusion

and

was hospitlised again for three days the following week with chest pains & breathing difficulty 

requiring

another

two units

&

suffering from severe pain

i spent those 3 days in & out of a morphine

induced altered reality

Junior dr’s were too scared to take blood from my arms

apparently experience is required

to find a vein in this network of scar tissue

the consultant was overly kind

fellow patients

stared & whispered

i lay there in

shame

pain

fear

all of which added up to

another attempt

to stop.

11 days

and counting……

20/03/2012

Treat me right…

I had a few hours to kill on Tuesday. Well, I was actually putting off going home & doing the housework. In any case I ended up with an accidental mini haul.  

I have had a bit of scent anxiety of late as I was down to my last bottle of Issey. I am a very loyal when it comes to perfume. I’ve been wearing Issey Miyake since I was a teenager. It is my smell & I love it. So, when I saw this summer edition of Issey on sale I couldn’t resist. It is my familiar floral scent with a hint of rose. The pink bottle is pretty too.

I saw this unicorn bag & had to have it. Not only is it very cute, but I needed it for all my purchases. The next of which was these very cool little lenses for my phone camera. I have only had a wee play with them so far, but I’m really liking the results. This set includes a fish eye, macro & wide angle lens. They come with a handy clip, so it’s incredibly easy to whip them on & off of my phone. Look out for improved pictures. The toy boy was at a festival last weekend & brought me home those amazing wooden beads. He is so good at picking little treats for me, I love them. 


I wanted to return the favour with a wee surprise for him. I searched for ages before finding this dancing baby Groot. We both love Guardians of the Galaxy & who can resist a wee Groot. In the same shop I spotted this amazing cup that allows you to make your own slushies. I am so excited about this because now I can make frozen Coke! Long time readers will know that I fell in love with frozen Coke in Australia & have been pining for it ever since. I can now be reunited with my one true love. 


My final stop was Superdrug to pick up some skincare treats. I really love these 7th Heaven face masks. The are completely vegan & cruelty free with the bonus of leaving my skin feeling great. Obviously I aim to be beautiful top to toe so these foot mask booties are ideal. Everyone  loves soft tootsies, right? They are of course also cruelty free. 


Black seaweed mask was both effective & very enjoyable.