Thursday, 28 April 2011

Easter Sunday of the Dead

So I went to Leeds 4th annual Zombie Film fest at the lovely Cottage Road Cinema on Easter Sunday, which seems like a rubbish way to spend 12 hours in the sunshine, but I burn easily and hate wasps! Don't get me wrong I mean I love the nice weather as much as the same Brit who is used to something more grey but I reckon over the next few weeks there is going to be quite a lot of it about, and zombie fest comes but once a year!

I think the 2 guys that host it (Marlon and Paddy from Emmerdale in case you were wondering) did make an inappropriate comment about zombies movies being similar to the concept of easter, dead rising etc etc but I shalln't go into that here. The event began at 12pm with buying tickets and raffle tickets and so on and so forth. And then the movies began, each one was introduced by the hosts and last between 1 hour and 1,5 hours or so. There was:-

Those are the 6 films that were on, though not in that order. I was absolutely gutted to miss Fido which is a comedy about a domesticated zombie (played by an unrecognisable Billy Connelly) as I was on call for volunteering, although I needed the rest 3 movies in! They were all fab films in their own way. Land of the Dead is my fave zombie movie anyway as I think it is really clever and shows the world years after the zombie apocalypse began. The Evil Dead is clearly pants but a classic nonetheless. City of the Living Dead is an Italian zombie film in English that I had never heard of but it had the audience howling in laughter, though it was meant to be quite serious. The Horde is a French film which was an excellent story and very fast paced but only suitable for those who enjoy extreme violence and gore. The Siege of the Dead was my favourite by far though. It is a German zombie film, only an hour long but again incredibly fast paced and engaging. I would recommend this to anybody, even the subtitles didn't bother me which they usually do.
All in all this was a great day and I am definitely going again next year, although I will make sure i am not on call next time as I have started to plan my fancy dress costume already!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Another wonderful day out

So yesterday saw me and Dave spend another lovely day together doing lots of fun things. And once again I really really enjoyed myself! We started the day with some cheek pancakes at McDs and then hit the road. I got to wear my lovely Poppy King bright lipstick too which was a bonus.

First we took a detour to a little place called Spofforth where there are some old castle ruins so we took a few photos there.

Then we drone on to the beautiful Knaresborough where I had never been before but will definitely be revisiting as it is beautiful, it has a castle, gorgeous river and the largest viaduct  I think I have even seen. We hired row boats as it had been so much fun last time around, and again I was not disappointed.

the viaduct

Dave rowing hard
Then we drank slushies as it was soooooo hot, moseyed around the town and the castle and then in a second hand shop window we found the game Mastermind, which I used to love as a child so we bought that and sat outside having a few games. Then we drove to a pub in North Rigton and had a beautiful lunch, whilst playing a few more games of Mastermind.
It was a glorious sunny day out in North Yorkshire and when we got hom we sat and watched the sunset out the front of our house drinking Southern Comfort with ginger beer and listening to Bob Dylan. We pretty much stayed outside til in began to rain and then we came in and went to bed. 
Today the weather is nowhere near as lovely, which is a good thing in my own selfish opinion as we are going to a 12 hour zombie film festival hosted by Marlon and Paddy off Emmerdale. I cannot wait as I bloody love a good zombie movie (or 6 back to back).

Friday, 22 April 2011

Claire will be gardening this summer!

So as we have a concrete garden, and prior to this I lived in a flat with no garden, I have never done any gardening of any sort. I don't think I would be particularly good at it as I even managed to kill the small Ikea plant I had at work by accidentally feeding it orange juice but nonetheless I am optimistic about this new venture (mainly because my boss has convinced me that it is fool proof). 
At work we always have the people from the book club leaving things for us to buy and last week they left a hanging chili planter. It looks like a hanging basket basically and you fill it with soil then shove plants in the holes on the sides and they grow through. 

Now not to get too carried away with myself but I hope to create something like this (pic courtesy of google though I cant remember where exactly, sorry). 
And then in addition to that I got an email which had been sent to the entire office saying that the offenders doing community service had been growing tomatoes, cauliflowers and other things down at the allotments and there were some baby plants we could buy to put in our garden! Of course I had to have some. So I got 6 and need to plant them in a trough. I am so excited to go to a garden centre tomorrow!!!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Super Date Sunday

Dave and me have been at my parents in Coventry since last night and we have had rather a wonderful time so far. We both booked a random few days off work so that we could do all the lovely kinds of things we dont usually get time to do. We are taking my 3 younger cousins to Alton Towers tomorrow which will be interesting! But today we have had a lovely day out, it was like a proper romantic date and the sun was shining for us which was lovely.

We started out at Warwick Castle as we had some 2 4 1 vouchers out of the paper and it was lovely walking around in the sunshine and taking photos. The best part for me though was the beautiful peacock garden. The birds are just walking around loose and you can get really close up to them which is lovely. This is a photo I took on my Instagram so I could tweet it and check in on FB.

Then we drove to Stratford-upon-Avon and hired a little rowing boat and went up and down the river for a couple of hours. We got on so well and saw some lovely sights. There was a rather unfortunate incident when I was rowing and was being chased by a manic looking goose, got distracted by this and ended up crashing into a boat full of teenage boys, who told us politely that we were on the wrong side of the river, I then proceeded to tell them of the evil goose whilst hitting one boy in the ribs with my oar and falling off my bench so I was lying on the floor with my legs in the air!!! This is a photo of Dave rowing the boat, which as much as I hate to admit it, was a lot more successful!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Postcrossing crazy

Ooo so I mentioned a few weeks ago I had signed up to Postcrossing but over the last 2 days my first postcards that I sent have arrived at their destinations, I am very exited about it. The strange thing is I didn't even realise that I loved postcards so so much but I have just spent the last hour (possibly more) trawling through images looking at all the designs. Now I cannot wait to get my first one! It should be soon as I have sent out 7 now.

I will definitely upload it when it comes. I think postcrossing is such a lovely idea though - I can't stop pondering on what my postcard will look like or where in the world it will come from? So many questions. . . . . . . 

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Beauty product reviews #1

I have read a lot of beauty review blogs out there and whilst I am not claiming to be a cosmetics expert, I have found a lot of the reviews I have read helpful when making purchases. I have bought a lot of make-up lately after the shocking discovery a few weeks ago where I realised I had none really. I am not going to try to review everything I have bought all at once for 2 reasons: 1. It would be a long and boring read and 2. I haven't tried it all out yet so have nothing to say. I am however going to try to review the items as I use them. This is part one.

This is a lipstick I have wanted for a while. I go to a lot of burlesque nights and absolutely adore the cute 50s hair and make-up looks so I decided, on a bit of a whim really that I had to buy a good quality red lipstick, just proper fire engine red. I ordered this one during a late night Boots online splurge, it is the limited edition Poppy King one from No. 7 in shade ???. When I tested a swatch on my hand I was a bit disappointed as it was a more pink red than I wanted but on my face it looks fab (lips, not face, obviously I don't just throw it all over me!). It lasts for ages and barely fades, even when drinking. I have never bought a No. 7 lipstick before but I am impressed with this one and will be getting ore from there no doubt. My only real criticism of this product would be that as you can see in the photo above, the box is a cute polka dot pattern but the packaging for the actual lippy is a bit dull. For the price (around £10) and with it being ltd ed I would have expected and enjoyed some cute packaging!

Next up is this Barry M nail effects in black. I think I love it a little bit! I bought it in Superdrug on a whim really after seeing a girl at work wearing it and I am just in love! I am not a great artist so for me nail art of any kind is usually totally out of the question but you just apply one coat of this over any colour nail varnish you like (I choose purple) and it leaves this cracked, patchy effect. I have taken a photo below but you cant see the effect that well.

As I was applying it as drying really fast so I think my concern is that the bottle wont last that long (although I plan to be using it very very quickly indeed!). Also my other half said it looked a bit like I had a fungal nail infection as the layers of base coat, purple, this stuff and top coat made my nails look a lot thicker than normal! But I love it, it has a kind of industrial resident evil feel to it.

I am not usually a fan of the glitter eyeliner, or liquid in fact but I bought these in Boots as they were such a bargain (the Accessorize one was on sale at £1.50 and the MUA one was £1 anyway). I must admit I am still not great at applying them but I definitely prefer the MUA one. There is a lot more colour to it and it lasts on the lids a lot longer than the Accessorize one. The brushes on both were nice and soft so it was easy to apply either. I am not sure I will buy another Accessorize one at £3 when the MUA ones are so much cheaper and better.

Despite not being a cosmetics expert, false eyelashes are very much my thing. I have worn all sorts over the last few years but I can't help coming back to these ones, winners every time. The eyelure lashes in general are the only lashes I have ever bought where I can get 3 or 4 wears out of a pair and they don't end up with thick globs of glue on them. The Girl's Aloud ones are nice because they are all quite different. I haven't worn the Cheryl Cole festival lashes yet as I just picked them up on sale but I have worn the normal Nicola ones many times and they remain a party favourite. If you are new to falsies then I can't recommend Eyelure strongly enough and you can usually find them 2 for around £8 in Superdrug or Boots.

The last item I am going to review today is this Asda lipstick which i mentioned in a previous post. I am over the moon about this little bargain. It goes on beautifully and looks really shimmery in the light. I wore it out on Firday and 2 applications all night lasted me really well. In fact I think it goes on better than some of my more expensive ones. Again a top product at an excellent price! 

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Let us compare mythologies

So I went to another gig last night which was a real treat as I have seen no live music for ages and now 2 gigs in 4 days - lucky me. This one probably wont appeal to a very wide range as it was a "Songs of Leonard Cohen" evening by the lovely singer Keith James at a small piano lounge in a wine bar in Otley. But I shall carry on regardless.
Firstly, my lovely outfit which I got in Dorothy Perkins sale a while ago and just haven't had chance to break out until now. It can be seen slightly in the below photo (although if I am going to start doing outfit posts I will have  to use my boyfriends SLR).

Bit sad about this photo as you can't see my lovely lipstick (which I am deffo going to review in a later post!). I got it from Asda and it was a bargainous £1.75. It is a peachy orange colour and very shiny indeed. Plus it has better staying power than some of my more expensive lipsticks so I will defo be stocking up on other shades. Plus I crimped my hair loads, made a bit of a frizzball, loved it! My crimpers are my favourite purchase of the last 12 months for sure! Anyway this top from DP is very autumnal looking so I have the seasons all back to front, but who cares when the sleeves look like this:-

And they feel gorgeous. But anyways, onto the gig. When we walked in I have to admit I was scared. There were about 9 people in the room and we were the youngest by about 35 years or so. I knew that was almost guaranteed when we booked the tickets but I thought it would be less obvious if the room was full. I felt really sorry for the bloke actually as he is a very talented musician and does LC justice throughout. He has also set some LC poems such as Twilight from the 1956 book Let Us Compare Mythologies to his own music. Anyway the whole gig was fab, highlights for me included the "So Long Marianne" sing-a-long, with percussion played by the audience and the last song which he sang with his partner Louise, he came and sat just inches from the first row and did Hallelujah with no microphone or anything. It was moving. Anyway I couldn't take a photo of the gig as it would have seemed rude somehow, but I did get a cool photo on my iphone of the piano lounge before he started.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Police practice at marches / protests / riots

So this week I have been following the live blog of Guardian write Paul Lewis at the inquest regarding Paul Tomlinson who tragically died at the G20 protests in April 2009 after being struck by a policeman. I was also chatting to Nick over on my lomo account about police practice in general at such events and I have been thinking about this sort of thing a lot this week as a result. 
The Ian Tomlinson situation is making me angry for 2 reasons really. The first of these being the attitude of PC Harwood at the inquest who seems to think he is invincible now that criminal proceedings are not being pursued for manslaughter. He literally lied loads of times when being questioned, it was a total disgrace. I mean it is bad enough that it happened at all but to then lie about it in front of that poor mans family and friends is the final mark of disrespect. I am also angry that this inquest is using a jury of regular Joes to decide how this man died. If 2 coroners (ignoring the first one who seemingly plucked a cause of death out of thin air) have said he died of internal bleeding caused by a blow, then why is it even being looked at? Why has this policeman not been sacked and charged with manslaughter?
Anyway it got me onto thinking about how police should behave at marches / protests / demos as the worse this ConDem government gets then the more violence I predict at public demos. I don't know what the answer is and nobody seems to be able to see both sides of the argument. I was at the G20 on that day in 2009. I wanted to leave but I accepted being kettled as I understood it was for public protection. What I couldn't cope with however was that upon going to ask the police for help and advice, they were just plain rude. I ended up getting shoved by the crowd toward a police line, where I was punched, trodden on (loosing a shoe!) and covered in tear gas. I had only gone to ask a question and unfortunately the rough crowd behind me had surged forwards at that exact moment. And even though I was crying and telling this one officer I didn't want to push him, he just said it was tough and fought back against me. 
But then I know that the police do an excellent job most of the time, and that in such situations I think their training must be severely lacking. They seem to find it so hard to get a grip on the escalation of violence without resorting to it themselves. They get so mad at the protestors on the whole, violent or otherwise and just lump us all together, which in turn makes even the most mild mannered protestor angry and upset. So what is the answer? Well I don't know (or I would be the Chief of the Metropolitan police by now) but what I do know is that if a group of 100 or so "protestors" turn up at a march dressed all in black, with scarves etc covering their faces, then they ought to be removed immediately. They are ALWAYS the ones causing trouble, they chant the same ridiculous thing at every protest demonstrating their total lack of understanding and allegiance to the cause and are likely to cause damage, injury and police hostility towards the whole event. I think if you go to a peaceful protest with your face covered, you should be removed (not arrested) and only released once it is all over. They do this at football matches with risky people, and it can work. Why wait til the damage is done before acting? That is the equivalent of revising after an exam - a stupid waste of resources.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Five different bottles of shampoo (King Blues review)

So Tuesday night was the King Blues gig which we had been looking forward to since October as it was rescheduled. I wasn't really that excited about it on the day as I had had a terrible day and I wasn't sure how much I actually liked the band. I got all dressed up after work, this is a photo of my face, though I should have done an outfit one really as my bargain sale top from DP looked ace. I like my complexion in this photo (I am wearing Max Factor Lasting Performance foundation in natural beige, Elf shimmering facial whip, 17 instant glow bronzing pearls in medium, Elf lipstick in classy, Urban decay eyeliner in zero and Urban Decay deluxe eyeshadow in adore)

Then we went out around 7pm so it was all a bit of rush. We went out for tea first at La Cafetiere on Hyde Park Corner, and it was as super as ever. Everything there is fairly healthy so we totally pigged out! Then it was off to the gig. The problem with the Met SU is that everyone there wa about 12 so I felt absolutely ancient in comparison! And very overdressed which is not like me at all! The gig itself was brilliant and I knew a lot more songs that I thought I did and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The best bit was the ukulele playing as can be seen here.

I am really impressed with the band, the energy and the different styles they incorporate. Plus they are quite political, which I enjoy very much. During the encore, the lead singer Itch read out a poem from their new album and I got really really into it, I think because it appealed to my inner feminist (although Dave loved it too!) I have found this lovely video, hope you enjoy!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Another Claire, Another Monday (photo heavy)

Today I decided to take some photos of an average Monday in my little life. Obviously a lot of these are the same on lots of days and others not so much.

First of all is a photo of my lovely new denim pumps which I got from Asda in both black and denim (and am considering the grey pair as they are so cute and very very me). Then is the dress I wore today even though it was far too windy and I ended up doing a bit of a Marylin Monroe. I had to cut my head off as at that point I had no make-up on and my hair wasn't dry. Then these are my postcards (one of which I even wrote in French!) that I need to send off for postcrossing which I have just joined. Then I got Zed out and fed him breakfast, obviously he thinks left is his good side as I couldn't get a photo at any other angle, and I had mine in the garden as it was 10am and the sun was trying to get out.

Then I put my headphones on, and took the bus to work. As you can see from the bus stop photo, it was a bit of a grey day in Claire world but I ploughed on without a coat nonetheless. Then the third photo below shows my desk at work.

I had 2 lovely surprises this morning when I got to work. My daffodils had opened up beautifully and my boss, even though she wasn't working today had left home made cupcakes on my desk!! I am not usually a big flower person but the daffs look great in just an old glass jug on my desk. They definitely took some of the pain out of my ever growing to-do list!!

Then I got picked up from work by my lovely other half, in a filthy white car. And those out gates are one of the most lovely things I have seen all day!!! It feels a bit oppressive working somewhere where there are gates and fob access doors everywhere, so leaving at the end of the day feels like newly gained freedom!

And finally this is the view of my bedroom, the last thing I see before I go to sleep. Night everyone.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Freebie for one of my first ten followers

Although I decided that I wasn't really bothered about how many followers I ultimately end up with in the long term, I still think it would be lovely to hit double figures. So I have decided that when I hit ten followers of this blog, I shall give out a freebie from the ridiculously large stationery collection of yours truly which I mentioned in a previous entry. I have far far too many of the lovely Paperchase A5 linen covered notebooks, which have never ever been used so for my first ten lovely followers, I shall ask my boyfriend to choose a number at random and send you one from my collection (an example of which can be seen below). You will have a chance to tell me what your favourite colour is and then I shall try to select one based upon that.

I suppose deep down I am not really bothered how many people choose to read and follow my blog as I have kept a journal for 12 years and no-one else gets to read that even if they wanted to and I don't mind if I end up not sending a notebook to anyone for the next 6 months. I just think that is a nice environment to get little comments and gives me motivation to write when I know people may be stopping by to read about my life. Plus I think it is good in life to have goals and I feel a proper little sense of achievement when I sign in here and see a comment or a follower!
So good luck to the next 6 people who click follow, and to my little 4 that I already have!