Calling out bullshit: problems with the media

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Yet again, we have another appalling piece of so-called journalism rearing its head in the name of clickbait and scandal today. The Northern Irish edition of the Sunday Times published an article by Kevin Myers entitled: ‘Sorry ladies — equal pay has to be earned’. It’s a disgustingly sexist and anti-Semitic article that should not have been published (in my editorial opinion). And by midday on Sunday, it seems the editor came round to that opinion too: he released a statement apologising for causing ‘considerable distress and upset’ and the article was taken down.

The uproar on social media was predictable, people were rightly outraged by the Holocaust-denying author’s outdated and discriminatory view on society. Yet, as repulsive and abhorrent this article was, I know it is only a mere matter of time before another equally revolting and hatred-inducing article will appear. And the outrage will pour out over social media. And nothing will be done. And time will pass. And another horrid article will be published. And on and on it goes. It makes me feel very sick.

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A weekend in Kent

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This weekend, myself and my friends went to Kent for the weekend and it was simply lovely.

We went on a bit of a tour around the county to get out of London (I know I’ve only just got back!), get into to the countryside, and see the sea. It was brilliant, even if the weather wasn’t.

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Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

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Myself and my friend Gill went to visit Kew Gardens the other day and it was bloomin’ marvellous. (Warning: There may be a large amount of horticultural puns in this post!)

It was a glorious day and as the sun shone over London we made our way along the Thames to Kew. The area around Kew Gardens is beautiful and oh so typically English – we passed the cricket green on the way – it was delightful.

Once you arrive at Kew you are faced with 121 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses. It is a gardener’s paradise! But what I found most amazing at Kew, is that whatever your expertise on plants, it is so accessible to everyone. If you don’t want to read the plaques and information you can just wander around the stunning gardens. If you want to learn all about a particular type of plant, the chances are it will be at Kew as the Botanic Gardens plays host to the largest collection of living plants in the world. In the WORLD. It is simply staggering.

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One of my favourite parts of Kew was the Princess of Wales Conservatory which recreated ten different climate zones. The cactii were brilliant but the iguana which was roaming free frightened the life out of me!

Another highlight was the bar… There was a huge display of herbs and plants which are used in bitters and tonics – often found in cocktails (a particularly passionate hobby of mine…!)

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Kew costs £16.50 for an adult (with a £1.50 donation) but a membership is only £72 per year. If you live nearby I’d get a membership and go whenever the sun pokes his head of out a cloud!

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Kew Palace is also situated within the grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens. It was the home of George III in his youth and has been a resides of the royals for many years. Now, however, it is open to wander around.

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I think these pictures prove just how beautiful Kew is. I absolutely fell in love with the place. It feels like you’re out of London, in your own perfect paradise. As a Northerner stranded in the South I often find I miss greenery, countryside and, you know, space – but Kew has it all. It was wonderfully tranquil and reminded me of home. I can’t recommend it enough.

Have you been to Kew? What did you think of it? Leave links and comments below!

Rx

Highgate Cemetery

My housemates and I visited Highgate Cemetery recently.

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Highgate Cemetery has some of the finest funerary architecture in the country. It is a place of peace and contemplation where a romantic profusion of trees, memorials and wildlife flourish

When I told my parents I’d been to visit a cemetery their reaction was ‘What?! Why would you want to visit a cemetery’ They couldn’t understand. And I’m guessing a lot of people will feel the same, especially because I know no-one (personally) who is interred there. There are however, many famous and well regarded individuals in Highgate Cemetery and its truly lovely to be able to pay your respects to figures you admire.

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Karl Marx is perhaps the most famous resident of Highgate. All around him were fellow communists and political thinkers. It was interesting to see how some people wanted to be close to their heroes in death, even if they weren’t in life.

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My housemates

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The cemetery itself is wild. Overgrown trees and ivy fill every crevice of the grounds. Some of the graves have been disrupted because of this which is a shame. But on a glorious day like I visited on, it’s absolutely beautiful.

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Wandering around graves makes you think about the futility of life and how fragile us humans are. It makes you think about death and how you’d like to be remembered. It was an incredibly peaceful place which gave me a lot to think about afterwards. It’s a place that stays with you.

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Learn more about Highgate Cemetery on their website.

Rx

Make-up for work

I don’t know about you but I am terrible at getting up in the mornings. I mean TERRIBLE! I am most definitely a night owl. Those larks can bugger off in the early hours!

As it takes me three alarms to get up in the mornings I am often pressed for time when getting ready for work. I’m not one of these girls who can manage my make-up on the tube to work, I seriously admire all those that can! So for me I have to be ready as I run out the door and here is my look – it’s quick, simple and looks like I’ve spent at least 3x as long on it as I actually have.

So this is my general face attire for work:

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And here are the products I use:

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Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel foundation – Beautiful foundation which lasts all day. I use this as an everyday foundation when I don’t want a glowy finish which I get from the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation
Rimmel Stay Matte powder – The BEST powder ever. Fact. Very battered and well loved.
Wake Me Up concealer – Super high coverage. Makes me look awake!
NARS Laguna Bronzer and Deep Throat Blush duo – My favourite item of my make up collection by a mile. Adds a touch of colour and makes me look healthy and ready to face the day. The duo was a limited edition but you can buy both colours on their own.
Urban Decay Primer Potion – I use this everyday, without fail. Makes my eyeshadow stay put all day.
Mac eyeshadows in Patina, Mystery and Omega – Patina over the lid, Mystery along the lash line. Omega through the eyebrows.
Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara – My favourite mascara ever. Ever. Makes your lashes look massive with one fell swoop.
Revlon Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya – Moisturising, sheer and a beautiful colour, I love it.

What’s amazing is you can slap these products on in a flash, they’re easy to work with and are quite lenient if you aren’t quite awake when applying them!

What do you wear for work everyday? Are you as hopeless as I am at getting up in the morning?? Leave links and comments below!

Rx

Hint Hunt

You’re locked in a room. A murder has happened. You have one hour before the police arrive. There are clues everywhere and you and your team have to escape. Now.

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Intruiged?! It’s time to put your detective cap on and solve a mystery in one of the best London events I’ve ever been to.

Hint Hunt is a live escape game and your team (between 3-5) have to thinking laterally, logically, mathematically and inventively to get yourself out. I went last night with some friends and it was so much fun. One of the best hours I’ve spent in London thus far.

Time Out describe Hint Hunt as a cross between the Crystal Maze and LA Confidential. I see it more as Murder, She Wrote versus CSI myself but whatever way you see it, Hint Hunt is a brilliant night out. Its something different, challenges your brain, you work in a team and with the timer on a big screen

I can’t tell you much more (other than it is brilliant!) because I just don’t want to give away the game. But please trust me, this is a gem of a night out.

Located in Euston its really easy to get to. Prices vary depending on the number of people in each room but its about £17-20 per person. Well worth it!

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London Southbank

I thought I’d share with you my favourite place in London. If you hadn’t guessed already, it’s the Southbank!

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The Southbank stretches from the London Eye down the river towards the OXO Tower. Within it there is the Southbank centre, the National Theatre, the BFI Institute as well as the Jubilee gardens and some of the most beautiful views London has to offer.

I particularly love that there is a huge mix of people on the Southbank. Local Londoners mix with tourists from all corners of the world and all ages mingle together as they meander along the river. Yet despite its busyness The Southbank is filled with quite places to reflect; Jubilee gardens, the benches along the river, the ‘beach’ when the tide is out. I find the Southbank incredibly peaceful and I often go there if I need to get away from things for an hour or two, or even just to read for a bit.

But when I don’t want peacefulness, the Southbank offers so much to do. It is buzzing with life, variety and vivaciousness. The Southbank centre offers everything from cabaret, art exhibitions, debates and talks to gigs and comedy. There is something for everyone!
The National Theatre has a wide range of productions on show throughout the year and is currently showing Othello which is INCREDIBLE!

There’s every type of food available and bars all around. I simply love this place. Whether to just pop in for lunch, a long walk down the river or a whole day occupying yourself with everything that’s going on, this place is brilliant!

What do you think of the Southbank? Have you ever been? If not, I urge you to visit! Leave links and comments below!

Rx

Emirates Air Line

The Emirates Air Line is losing money, rapidly. And I can understand why. The Air Line links North Greenwich, which is home to the o2 and Royal Victoria Docks, which is home to virtually nothing. There is hardly anything at Royal Victoria, just some houses and remnants of the London’s dock yards – which are quite nice to see but not worth a day trip to. But regardless, me and a friend had a spare day so thought we’d go ride the Air Line to see what its all about.

We boarded at North Greenwich, went over the river to Royal Victoria, stayed in our cable car and went back to North Greenwich. It was a beautiful day and the views were stunning – you can see all of Canary Wharf, Greenwich, the Olympic Park, the Thames Gateway, it’s pretty spectacular.

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All in all, the views are amazing but I’m not entirely sure why they built the Air Line. It doesn’t connect useful points – I mean as good as the o2 is, you only go when you’re going to a concert… It’s not got great tourist appeal as it is all the way out in Greenwich; there are much more interesting things to do in central. Unfortunately I don’t see the Air Line making money any time soon as most of the cable cars were empty (and we weren’t charged for our trip!) I’m just not sure what they can do to improve traffic… I had a lovely time though, seeing great views in the sunshine, so if you’re out that way and you’ve got a spare half an hour, give it a go!

Have you been on the Air Line? What did you think? Would you go all the way out to Greenwich to go on it? Leave links and comments below!

Rx

Handbag essentials

So I don’t really live near my work. And I don’t really go out near where I live either. (I know, I need to move) This massive geographical error on my part means that when I go out after work, I have to go straight from work. I blame London, its just too big for getting around anywhere in a hurry! So yes I’ve hit pubs, bars and clubs straight from work on one or two Friday nights…
*cough* EVERY Friday night *cough*
Who said that?

Anyway, to help myself look and smell presentable after a long day at work I have a handy little bag of tricks in my handbag and I thought I’d share it with you:

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The bag itself is from MUJI and has a handy metal bar running along side the zip which, when closed, forces the bag into a more compact shape – perfect for squeezing in my handbag!

Now to the contents of the bag:

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser – This stuff is brilliant and the thing I use the most frequently in the bag. After work in an air conditioned office, my skin can sometimes get quite dry; so this is perfect for giving my skin a little drink!

Dove Invisible Dry Roll-on Deodorant – pretty self explanatory; it makes me smell nice and the roll-on is great as it is small and helps the planet too!

Vaseline Cocoa Butter – I use this throughout the day as a lip balm to keep my lips kissably soft 😉

Carex Moisture Plus Hand Gel – This is a really brilliant hand gel as it doesn’t dry my skin out like some others can do. I have eczema so I really want to not dry my skin out! This stuff is great.

Hask Argan Oil – I got this from Primark, for like a pound at the till. I was quite dubious at first but it makes my hair glossy and smooth, ready to hit the town.

Collection Blush and Highlight Duo – THIS STUFF IS AMAZING! I implore you to get something like this to have in your travel make up bag. The cream blush is brilliant, very pigmented and easy to apply with your fingertips. The colour lasts really well and the highlighter adds the perfect glowwy-ness for a night out. I love this stuff!

Maybelline Fit Me Powder – Once I’ve moisturised and blushed etc I powder my face to prevent unwanted shine and set and touch up my make up. This little compact also has a mirror in it. Win.

Loreal Superliner Perfect Slim – If I need to touch up my eyes I use this, its like a felt-tip pen so dead easy to apply. Winged out eyeliner in a matter of seconds? Done.

Revlon Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie – If I want a dramatic lip I always have this on standby, especially if I’m hitting a club and I feel a little under-dressed. Have a look at it on my face here.

Finally I have my Flo travel perfume dispenser thing. It’s full of Christian Dior’s Miss Dior which is just fabulous. The handy travel perfume is great for making me smell nice!

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I also have other essentials like tissues, gum, tampons, pens, paper etc knocking around in my handbag but the above items are my make-up and beauty essentials!

What are your handbag essentials? Leave links and comments below as I love having a read and, frankly, a nosey!

Rx