Another year older…

Today is my 39th birthday. Man alive, do I feel a lot of things about that. It doesn’t feel like a particularly friendly number. I am imagine I’ll write more on than another time. For now, I’ll share the lovely bits.

Namely, being spoiled by my lovely people, having a good old carry on with some rascals and a very excellent dress. I had an early birthday yesterday with my sister, bff and their babies. It was delightful. I love watching them play together. I hope so much they will always be friends. They were having so much fun that pictures really weren’t on their list of priorities. Contrary to appearances here, they do actually love their Auntie ly.

Ly laughing with two struggling toddlers on her knee

My best girls showered me with super cute pressies (they’re sure to festive in upcoming ootds). It makes me feel very loved to open gifts and find things I absolutely adore. People knowing you well enough to always know what you’d like is very nice. Having amazing female support that you can always rely on is even nicer. I’ve had these two by my side for almost my entire life and I never want to be without them.

Three smiling women

Finally, there is that dress. I saw this ages ago, but couldn’t really justify buying it at the time. I didn’t need another maxi dress. When it popped into the sale my resolve weakened. Turns out I definitely do need this dress. It takes my yellow obsession into the new season and it looks banging. Plus I already had the perfect earrings to top it off.

ly h kerr snakeskin maxi dress

Dress – Pretty Little Thing

Monki snake earrings

Earrings – Monki

The dress is a bit more titty than I originally realised, but the girls are holding up ok. I’m not doing too badly for an old bird.

Snake nail art

If you’re going to have a theme you might as well go all out. So, my nails got snakey too.

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Love is real, real is love…

I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. I like Cary Grant movies & bittersweet love songs & Jane Austen novels. My heart forever swells for romance. It’s just that as I’ve gotten older my idea of true romance has changed.

I remember watching interviews of John Lennon talking about how he never wanted to be apart from Yoko & thinking I wanted to be in love like that. I thought the idea of wanting to spend every moment with someone was beautiful. Now it strikes me as frankly, unhealthy. The first time I saw Renee Zellweger translate ‘you complete me’ & moon over the signing couple, I melted. These days it’s more like boaking. It’s actually a bit weird that I ever internalised that version of love. I’ve never been someone who wanted to be around others all the time. My own company has always been valuable. My ‘hobbies’ are fairly solitary; reading, writing, swimming. I’m not really a joiner. I have lived alone for most of my adult life. When everyone else was still living with their parents or a bundle of flat mates I had already figured out that I quite liked closing my front door & knowing I am alone. I believe a part of me still thought when the right person come along that would change. Their breath would make my air sweeter, their presence would be essential. For a while there I actually thought that a soulmate might just make me whole. Now I look at the sentence & cringe. The right person is amazing, but a great love adds to one’s life. It’s an extra. My mug is full of me, a relationship is just the delicious cream & mallows on top. I can’t reach the peak potential of me if I spend every second of my life with someone else. By default I’d never put own needs first. I know now that love is not all encompassing; it’s vital to leave a little room for me.

In days gone by used to take note of dates. Anniversaries and so on. I knew the day I met exes, first kisses & I love yous. It mattered to me that we mark those days with flowers or dinner or whatever. I loved rom com’s & the big dreamy gestures. I thought I hankered for that kind of romance. I planned aspects of my theoretical future wedding. Thinking that the perfect music & public declarations would make it more concrete. Turns out none of it really matters. There isn’t a bouquet big enough to make you forget that someone didn’t come home for three nights. No public display of affection makes up for a routine lack of consideration. If a relationship doesn’t have a daily beating heart, the Hollywood bits won’t keep it alive. Which is not to say that some folk can’t have both. I know happy people who’s loving partners do big time classic romance & that’s fantastic. It just doesn’t seem that important to me anymore. The Toyboy & I don’t have an anniversary. Neither of us thought to take note of our first date & when it comes down to it, we don’t really care. We do all the things you might do in anniversary whenever we feel like it. What does it matter? Maybe we’ll get married someday & maybe we won’t. I’m not bothered as long as I’m happy. The gown & first dance & piece of paper won’t actually change what happens between him & I. On reflection the romantic cinematic moments that have really stuck with me aren’t the flashy ones anyway. They’re were quiet, intimate interactions. Like when Bill Murray whispers ‘ I’m not worried about you’ to a sleeping Scarlett Johansen in Lost in Translation. That sets off my butterflies. Likewise in my life, it’s the everyday romance that sets my heart a flutter. Rubbing tiger balm on my sore bits or drinking fizz in the bath with me. Co opting each other’s turn of phrase & bringing me vegan treats. Wrapping a gift creatively to please me. Knowing my sushi order & that I always want Diet Coke. Carrying my bag. Sitting by my hospital bed. Saying what you mean. And a million other real life indications that I matter, that I’m known, are what I need.

So, yes I love romance & I love that St Valentine’s Day reminds us to cherish & treat our one & only. I just don’t think it has to be wrapped up in hearts & shouted. The wee moments count. To get back to Lennon, it turns out love is real & real is love.

Power to the people…

If like me, you are firmly planted on the left of politics, you are probably despairing at the moment. Trump has been in power for 13 days & he’s already making terrifying changes. It’s easy to feel far away & powerless, especially when you have a disability. However, the truth is there is lots we can all do & it’s essential that everyone does what they can. 


The most obvious sign of dissent are protests. Taking to the streets & making your opposition clear can be very powerful. I know this can be difficult & sometimes down right impossible for those with disabilities. The most important thing is not to feel guilty about missing protests. You have to put your health first. You can still engage with the movement by sharing details and pictures of marches on social media. If you can manage for 10 or 20 mins, go for that time only. Every little bit counts. 


Another great way to combat Trump’s facist agenda when differently abled is to make strategic charitable donations. 

Southern Poverty Law Centre is an organisation that fights intolerance. The monitor & inform the public of hate groups, help the most vulnerable seek justice, educate communities to reduce prejudice & much more. Racists & extremists are emboldened in the current climate, funding a group like this pushes back. 

American Civil Liberties Union defends freedom of expression & equal rights for all. The first weeks of this new administration have already shown signs of hostility towards free press. Rumoured changes to laws protecting the LBGTQ community are very worrying. Now more than ever a group that can fight injustice through the courts is required. 
Planned Parenthood Aims to provide affordable health & reproductive care to all women (& others who need their services). Along with vital access to contraceptives and abortion PP also offer sex education, sti testing,smear tests & breast exams. With a president on record as believing that people who have an abortion should be punished, this safe access must be preserved. The entirety of PP’s services save & improve incalculable lives. It is an essential organisation.

There are of course many other charities worthy of your support. From refugee orgs to LBGTQ rights groups, there are no shortage of worthy non profits. Anything you can give will help. If eveyone gave even 50p it would make a massive difference. Having said that, I know not eveyone has any money to spare. Again, you can help by sharing groups on social media & getting their message to a wider audience. 

Try to engage with bigotry in your own friendship/family groups. Trust me I know how infuriating this can be. It hurts so much more to discover someone you care about holds these vile beliefs , but some folk can be saved from the dark side. Know your history & use it. There are so many similarities to be drawn between the period between the world wars & the period after the financial crisis. For example the conditions in Germany during the Weimer Republic helped to create an environment for Hitler to flourish in. Compare Trump’s strategies to that of Hitler’s, the parallels are frightening. Learn about American history, having an understanding of it’s story helps to illustrate what is so wrong about modern racism, xenophobia misogyny. Do remember it is also ok to withdraw. If someone stubbornly sticks with toxic views, you are entirely with your rights to ditch them

Share your message in as many forums as possible. Share articles & graphics on social media. Join local political groups, help distribute leaflets or raise funds if your health allows. Talk about your opinions on the ‘alt right’ on your blog or in your art. Make your voice heard in any way you can. Their is value in solidarity, it is massively comforting to know one is not alone. 

Last, but absolutely not least, do not forget about what’s happening at home. Post brexit Britain is no picnic; hate crimes have seen a 40% increase since the referendum. Our government is purposely defunding the NHS & cuts in benefits for the most vulnerable members of society are ongoing. There is work to be done  here too. Write  to your Mp about important votes & any issues you feel are critical. Apply all of the suggestions above when fighting on the home front. 

Finally, support local charities too. This month I’m turning my charitable attentions to Refuweegee. They are committed to ensuring refugees arriving in Glasgow receive a warm Glaswegian welcome. You can donate money or goods & even write a nice letter for our new arrivals. 

Go forth & fight the good, inclusive fight! 

Daddy Cool….

It’s Father’s Day & what better way to celebrate my lovely Dad than to take a trip down memory lane. 

My dad worked shifts when I was a kid. He’d do a twelve hour night shift & arrive home just as we (I have three siblings) were getting up for school. Instead of retiring directly to his bed he would make us breakfast. Cereal with bananas hidden in it. Mountains of toast or boiled eggs made three different ways to suit out picky tastes. The really special thing about it was he always did it with pleasure. He didn’t rush us or shirk our requests. He kept making that toast until we were satisfied & he made sure every banana slice was hidden in those rice crispies. Making your kids breakfast is a simple everyday  occurance, but when I look back at my childhood these small acts of love really matter. 

  

My sister & I sometimes call our father Daddy Cool. I think it started on a holiday in Mallorca & it stuck. It sums up so many aspects of him. From his little air guitar dance when he hears a tune he likes (which are often by edgy new bands) to his random fancies for designer clothing. The now famous ‘ porno’ moustache he sported my entire childhood also played into the nickname. Wether he’s sporting some Armani or hitting some cool new restuarant he is totally our Daddy Cool. 

  

My childhood is bursting with good memories of Dad. He used to pick us up from primary school & let us walk home through the park. While we galloped along he would be cheerfully carrying all our super girly school bags & paraphanelia. He frequently took us walks in pollok country park, allowing us to carry on & explore. He introduced me to The Burrel Collection  & highland cattle, both life long loves. Dad always had time for us to check out the Rangers station, or the ancient tree or a million other things. 

  

In Glasgow there’s an old tradition of people singing at parties. Right into my teenage years I remember family & friends always calling for dad to sing. I loved it when he did, he usually choose rather meloncholy songs. He sang them so clearly & with real feeling. I fell in love with John Lennon & Janis Joplin after hearing dad’s renditions of Jealous Guy & Bobby McGhee. 

My dad did all the things that storybook father’s are supposed to do. He taught me to ride a bike & to swim. He checked my homework, helped me fill out UCAS forms & grounded me when a boy gave me a nookie. Besides those things he has given me so much more. He gifted me the wonders of 60’s & 70’s music. Whilst my classmates were loving techno I was discovering Joni & Bob. Dad also played a big part in developing my political views. From asking him questions about the night’s news to talking over what I’d been learning in history. I’ve always respected his socialist values. Dad has been unceasingly present throughout my life; encouraging & advising. He has also been tolerant if bemused by some of things I’ve gotten up to. 

  
  

Now that I’m grown & some of my siblings have had children I have the joy of watching my fantastic dad become a wonderful Granda. He will hide under tables, bite balloons & get down on his knees to become a horse who gives rides. He’s exactly the kind of Granda every child wants. 

  
   

  

In conclusion, I love you dad. Thanks for raising me right. 
Happy Father’s Day. 

This week I have been mostly…

recovering from surprise surgery. So, what do you listen to keep calm when the dr in a&e says ‘we’re going to operate right away’?

  
First stop was a little John Lennon introspection via The Beatles with Across the universe. This song has always held a calming magic for me. I completely identify with the notion of words ‘possessing & caressesing’ . In times of crisis I often turn to words, be it writing, reading or soothing lyrics. Naturally I got a bit scared when the dr’s started making rapid decisions & letting Lennon’s words drift over me really helped. 

You can always rely on Massive Attack for an epic chill out tune. My favourite take a deep breath song of theirs is Teardrop. I love the repetitive, grounding percussion that runs throughout. Repitition is mirrored in the lyrics which further offers a steadying hand. The rest of the musical arrangement feels like being emerged in a hot bath. 

Suzanne by Leonard Cohen was the next call up for operation no panic attack. Cohen’s steadfast vocals slowly unraveling a story captures my thoughts & prevents them from wandering into worry. The imagery of the river in the song also lulls me into a gentle place. Suzanne allows me let my breath ebb & flow like a peaceful stream. 

Hysteria averted & procedure complete I woke up feeling in need of a boost. Being stuck in a hospital bed, music once again came to my rescue. 

  
In search of a defiant sounds, I of course turned to Robyn. Dancing on my own  has long been my just do you jam. When confronted with yet another hospital room, you need a little mental boogie. The song isn’t actually particularly upbeat, but I like the concept of just saying ‘fuck it’ & rocking the dance floor all by myself. 

What better way to convince yourself that your emergency procedure was no big deal than singing along to Bobby mcferrin? Any reggae style tune has a sunny bounce, but come one, ‘don’t worry, be happy’ is right there in the lyrics. I have been telling myself everything was ok with the aid of this song since I was kid. It still works. 

  

This week I have been mostly…

Feeling jolly. Yup, I’ve been rocking the Christmas tunes. In my continued quest for a joyuex noel I’ve been playing all the xmassy songs that give me the good feels. 

Ok, let’s get cheesy. Mariah is so not my style, but who doesn’t love her festive offering? I have been singing along & thinking about someone dreamy since my school days. Some of those objects of my affection make me blush to remember. The song, however, remains untarnished. 

You know, I’m not even entirely sure that Mull of Kintyre is a Christmas song, but I always play it at this time of year. Now, maybe it’s because I’m Scottish or perhaps it’s my soft spot for Paul, but it swells my heart. It’s a song that makes me think of home & family & love. I suppose that’s what Christmas means for me.

John Lennon’s Christmas isn’t your standard merry track. It does, however  have that ‘make you think’ quality. I think this tune was probably easier to love in my youth when accomplishments stacked up with ease. These days when I think about what I’ve done in the preceding 12 months I often worry I’ve come up wanting. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be Xmas with John & sadly his message remains salient. 

I have saved the best for last. Not the most original choice, but one that is dear to my heart. The Pogues & Kirsty McColl’s bittersweet tale of love in the big apple hits my spot. That chorus fills me with seasonal warmth & those lyrics, oh the lyrics.

‘ you took my dreams from me

when I first found you.

I kept them with me babe

I put them with my own 

can’t make it all alone

I’ve built my dreams around you.’

They’re almost enough to make me consider kissing Shane McGowan. 

Another year over, a new one just begun….

This year we suspended Hogmanay to focus our full attention on my beautiful sister’s 30th. My baby sister said goodbye to her roaring twenties with a very extravagant gatsby esque celebration. From champagne towers to dancing on the bar, it was absolutely the party of the year.

I wanted a really decadent dress with a taste of the flapper style. When I saw this Lovedrobe sequinned affair on the New Look website I knew it was the one. It jumped straight onto my wish list & in a very short time span, my wardrobe. A girl has to treat herself when her youngest sibling turns 30, if only to mask the panic of how old you feel. Needless to say I had a fantastic time as did everyone else.
I hope you all had a wonderful new year & all the best for 2015!

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My eye make up & shoe game were top notch.

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Moustache game was also strong

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The stunning birthday girl. Fabulous doesn’t age.

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*Dress – Lovedrobe at New Look
Shoes – Irregular Choice
Footless tights – Evans

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