Wintery Weekending in London Town.

Monday, 15 December 2014

As of late, life for me has been frustratingly uninteresting. I can imagine that living in a picture-perfect countryside village in rural Hampshire would be tremendous if you're positively middle-aged, with ten horses and a few million in the bank, but not so great if you're a fun-loving nineteen year old who has lots of 'cool' friends doing their equally 'cool' degrees in faraway cities. Upon the discovery that moaning on my blog about it will not help, (although it will get the local gossips talking about me - hoorah! *Facepalms*) I decided to book a weekend off to have some time to get in the festive spirit away from home.  

It went something like this...


Attempts to cultivate the perfect soft-boiled egg and soldiers. 

Realises egg has cracked during the boiling process and consequently gives up on the idea of breakfast. Decides that breakfast is stupid anyway, unless you have it in bed and someone else has made it for you. 

Showers in the cold bathroom in the right wing of the house. Regrets not turning the heating on beforehand. However, more-so regrets more the lack of towel in said bathroom after ice-shower experience is over. Runs around in search of towel whilst dodging potential early-risers for several minutes. All is traumatic in the world of Stancer, this morning. 

Gets sidetracked whilst downloading Christmas music for the coach journey. Ends up watching Kim Kardashian in an interview on Youtube regarding her hideously vulgar Paper Magazine cover. I have recently started enjoying all things Kardashian which is most bizarre. I imagine it's something to do with a deep-rooted coveting of their access to prestigious fashion designers and their acute wealth. How joyful that would all be. 

Hugo texts informing me that he's missed his coach from Taunton. 

Still staring, bewildered, at cracked Iphone screen in despair. What a %$^?@! idiot.

Dad drops me at the coach station. Coach promptly arrives. National Express coaches have leather seats and heaps of leg room which trumps bog-class on a poncy train any day of the week. Whilst thinking about trains and how shite they generally are, Hugo texts saying that he's on one. Oh good. I shan't be alone the entire day then. 

Realises self is wearing no makeup. Looks around aghast at fellow coach-trippers. Nope, nobody noticed. Thank heavens - could have caused an existential crisis. Applies small quantity of makeup discreetly. I have a cold. Not much point in any of it anyway. 

Arrives at Victoria Coach Station in desperate need of a wee. Hurriedly bumbles to Caffe Nero, where, naturally, their toilet out of order. Orders double espresso and sits outside in the freezing cold with a rollie. Cross-legged. 

Hugo arrives in London, yet has gone to the wrong sodding Nero to meet me. How many Caffe Neros are there in the area? Two. Well that explains it then. 

Hallelujah! He has finally arrived! On the tube to Hyde Park corner and into Winter Wonderland...

Pug and I trawl through the endless Christmas market for trinkets and food. The sun is well and truly out, yet the air is still frosty. Everywhere smells like mulled wine and smoke. We agree to come here every year from now on. 

"This would all be so much better if all of these idiots disappeared." - Hugo Hall on the subject of crowds consisting of airy fairy parents who have no control over their sprogs. In this moment, I am reminded of why we are together.

We grab a hot chocolate so that we can warm up a bit, and decide to sit by the side of The Serpentine Lake with a cigarette, nervously watching young children feed the swans. I've never really trusted swans.  I always expect them to become aggressive. I don't have the best track record with any sort of animal, though.  (I.e. Mimi Willmott and I being stampeded by a herd of nutty cows during our Chindit Camp in the Third Form.) It all looked pretty beautiful in the sunshine, nevertheless.


I spot a couple of terrifying rides, which I stupidly point out to Hugo, who instantaneously wants us to go on all of them. Refusing to endure the peril of being thrown upside-down/left, right and centre multiple times at the risk of chundering all over my favourite black  fur coat, I settle for the tamer, more easygoing ones, as can be seen below. (I am lame, and so I was reminded frequently all afternoon by my boyfriend.)

(But first, let me take a selfie.)

We spent ages queueing to get onto a really colourful roller-coaster which looked fairly tame when standing beneath it on the ground. Apparently not. It didn't feel overly safe as it was rickety the entire way. The photograph at the end of this ride- which we didn't buy as it was truly awful - was hilarious. We both looked terrified. (Hugo also had multiple chuckle-inducing chins.)

Pug's penchant for driving like a total maniac came to life on the bumper cars. Forget that the majority of the other riders were little children with their older siblings or parents, it was like being in an F1 car with Lewis Hamilton on crack. I felt as though every one of my ribs had broken. 

We grabbed a hotdog for lunch which resulted in a face-full of ketchup after being bashed about by the endless sea of passers-by and Hugo tried (and hated) candy floss. 

By this time, we'd walked all the way from Hyde Park to Heddon Street, where we'd booked our session at Icebar for later in the afternoon. We wanted to kill time, but refused to walk anywhere else having already had our fill of walking around a very busy London. I spotted Piccolino's. It looked expensive and was bustling with well-dressed people. So in we went, obviously. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love nothing more than an overpriced cocktail and a swanky bar. The waiter clearly did, as he directed us downstairs to the bar immediately upon our arrival. Good chap.

Half-smiles awkwardly for the absolutely ecstatic bartender, who offered to take a picture of us, thinking we were on a date. An unusual phenomenon. One and a half years too late for all that malarkey, my friend. 

Different bar, same story and just enough time for a large Scotch before our booking. 

That moment when you stand up and realise you're actually shitfaced happened. 

Waiting outside Icebar to be let in. It's already nippy outside. The thought of entering a room that is minus five degrees cold made us shiver. 

We were given thermals and hefty skiing gloves. Following this, we were escorted into the refrigerated room with an intimate group of strangers. I've always loved a gimmick. This was no let-down. There were these huge ice sculptures and carved-out ice seats everywhere.  It was all shimmery and bluey-green under the artificial lights. Hugo and I had a little dance moment to ourselves along to the music, whilst onlookers appeared confused at our un-British enthusiasm. 

Complementary cocktail? Out of a glass made from ice? Yes please! (Not that complementary when entrance cost a staggering £16 each.) 

Got onto the coach back to mine with Hugo, both falling asleep resulting in being shaken vigorously by a foreign man, fortunately, at our exact stop at 9pm. 

Slept all day. 
What else is there to do on a Sunday? 

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014. (A.K.A: National bitch fest on Twitter day.)

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

As much as I have a longing desire to one day frolic on top of the glossy globe that is the modern day fashion industry, pen in hand, I am at my capacity with the endless moronic chit chat on Twitter regarding the 'alien-like' beauty of the V.S. models. (There is such a thing as TOO MUCH.) Despite the fact that I probably should do, I look at the photo feeds without feeling a single drop of envy towards their wishbone bodies and their beautiful glossy skin, because I am fully aware that being an 'angel' requires not only a vast level of natural beauty, but also an enormous amount of self motivation and a willingness to make one's entire life about one's physical appearance. More so than other models, I believe. I do not share their impressive motivation. That is my choice. (Instead, I choose Marlboro, roast potatoes and red wine. Sorry boyfriend.)
Victoria's Secret modelling isn't just a job, it's a lifestyle, so it seems senseless for the regular gal (the average dress size in the UK being a size 12,) to compare herself to a seven foot tall woman who spends her entire life working on toning her body, particularly when the comparison involves critique. (E.g. 'She's anorexic.' 'She's too thin.' 'She looks ridiculous.' Etc.) We should be celebrating other women and their achievements, as opposed to writing jealous and malicious things all over the internet-sphere. We need to stand together and empower one another. Do girls everywhere really NEED to turn into such bitches every year at the time of the V.S. show? No. 


(If you're one of the ridiculously transparent people who think that these women wake up looking like this, then please do yourself the favour of watching the featured videos, below. These might help you with whatever issues you're currently experiencing.)

Until next year, bitches.

Personal Statement.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Having already trooped through the UCAS procedure last year, it was with much antagonisation that I recently had to repeat the process again, particularly given that I was applying for an entirely different course. Selling yourself in 4000 characters sounds 'oh so easy,' but in reality it isn't. It's tedious. Therefore, doing it twice nearly finished me off.

As an aspiring Fashion Journalist, naturally, the majority of my past work experience lies within the various fields of fashion, fashion features writing and the arts. Tying these achievements to an English personal statement was less than simple, and so I was forced to leave out some rather nifty bits, which cheesed me off to say the least. (Such as my day at  the Jimmy Choo Head Office in London, where I got to speak to Sandra Choi and exhibiting my photography at Hestercombe House in Somerset.)

I have decided to apply to various English/English and Journalism courses at the following universities:

- University College London - 

- King's College London -

- Cardiff University -

- Falmouth University -

- Bristol University -

*Note: These are in no particular order.*

All of the above are fantastic universities and, Oxbridge aside, looked to me like some of the best, that I'd enjoy attending the most. I'd absolutely love to go to any of them! I thought it would be a good idea to share what I wrote in my personal statement for you all to read, particularly given that some of you may be currently going through the process. I found it really helpful to read other peoples' statements as a means of realising a structure and what sorts of things to include. As for the rest of you, you can have a read anyway. Who doesn't love being nosy sometimes?

1 When I was ten years old, I could never have known that a trip to France in the winter of 2005
2     would ignite an explosion of experiences which continue to excite me today. One thing I did
3     know, was that I would attend a performance of Mozart's, 'The Magic Flute' at L'Opera
4     Nationale de Lorraine, in Nancy, as well as a circus which just so happened to be in town.
5     These experiences fuelled my imagination to write and read more widely, particularly as I
6     needed to research the Opera storyline, in order to translate from French into English. That
7     early experience at L'Opera Nationale inspired me to write to the Director five years later,
8     when I returned to spend a week's work experience as an assistant to the Stage Manager during
9     the production of Vivaldi's 'Orlando.'
11     My developing enjoyment of 'English' as an academic subject, has allowed me to foster my love
12     of reading and the riches this brings. An in depth study of James Joyce's, 'Dubliners,' for
13     example, drew me into a world which shone a light on the human condition. This particular
14     collection of short stories held up a mirror, which reflected the challenge that real life can
15     bring. Engaging with the various themes developed my ability to analyse, synthesise, compare
16     and contrast, whilst at the same time, drew on existing thought which I could critique in
17     order to develop my own views and opinions. I continue to develop similar skills, as I have a
18     job working with a team of archivists, researching and photographing buildings as part of a
19     local history project: St Mary Bourne Goes To War.
21     My most recent favourite read, 'Address Unknown' by Kressmann Taylor is the perfect
22     illustration of how the power of the written word can bring down oppressors and expose the
23     truth. As an aspiring journalist, I find this concept up-lifting. Reading and study aside, my
24     own experience of practically using English has been varied and enriching. I have created a
25     Blog for writing about my personal endeavours and the occasional fashion and lifestyle
26     feature, as well as establishing a Tumblr account for posting photography analyses in
27     appreciation of others' work. My experiences at L'Opera Nationale, for example, provided great
28     material for my blog.
30     When my Tumblr and blog began to flourish and my following grew, I began to write commissioned
31     articles as a member of the 'Talented Talkers' Team - for companies such as Harrods, Alexander
32     McQueen and George at ASDA - whilst maintaining a four month position in the Shopcade Curating
33     Team in the Spring of 2014. I have been happy to oblige in working with many writers and
34     bloggers, learning another great fact; that our own stories and experiences are interwoven and
35     networked with those of others. As a means of broadening my writing experience further, I have
36     voluntarily submitted short articles to Yuppee Magazine and Fashion North. In pursuit of
37     opportunities 'to write', I have visited Somerset House and written about the 'Master of
38     Couture' Exhibition, interviewed the up and coming Indie band 'Manners' and was delighted when
39     Lydia Corbett agreed to be interviewed: formerly known as Sylvette David, Lydia was one of
40     Pablo Picasso's models in the 1950s.
42     In addition to my voracious appetite for reading, it is with great anticipation that I look
43     forward to developing my love of English through a rigorous course of study at university. The
44     excited, ten year old who was bombarded with experience all those years ago is still alive and
45     well today.

The Big Move.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Moving house to St Mary Bourne has possibly been the biggest pain in the arse of my entire life and is, of course, the reason that I haven't been posting. My parents apparently overlooked the sorting of the internet in the list of priorities, consequently forcing me now to go to my local to access the ominous 'Cloud.' (Goodbye UCAS application. Goodbye communication with friends. Goodbye soul.) Adding to my stress, Hugo's younger brother decided to write off his car by smashing a Telegraph pole in half, the night before the removal men arrived, so the following day was painfully exhausting, having spent what felt like hours and hours in A&E. I have sworn to both my entire family and myself, that if I ever see one of those awful brown boxes again: I will top myself.  Snails know their shit, trust me.

In spite of the terrible build up to the move, the sorting through hoards of old junk and the cleaning process, it's perfectly pleasant here. A thatch-roofed, 'Chocolate-box' jobby, half an hour away from the bustle of London. The location is idyllic, the lack of central heating for the first five days, however, was less so. Other than initially dysfunctional home features, our new house is lovely, the nicest house I have ever lived in. The man who lived here before us was actually the brother of an interior designer, so the colour schemes have all been carefully considered, all duck-egg blues and olive greens. (When you read that in black and white wording it sounds hideous, but it genuinely does work rather well.) I'll probably either add photographs to this post once we've finished unpacking, or do a separate one showing you around the place… 

Aside from the actual move, I've miraculously already found myself a job, at a pub. (Makes a lot of sense.) It's thanks to Hugo, who embarrassingly told the lady who runs it that I didn't know anyone whilst I was inside using the wifi on my phone, and he was outside having a cigarette. It's called 'The George Inn,' which can be found in rural Hampshire. 

Despite being in the full knowledge that putting my specific place of work into the internet-sphere could have potentially dangerous side effects, I'm beyond caring. (If you're a serial killer, piss off. I've already dropped out of one university and been moved to a freezing cold house in the middle of nowhere. Quite frankly, I don't need any more shit.) Much like Briget Jones, who my other half compared me to the other night - *sobs* -- I've come to the realisation that: If you're going to be so arrogant as to write an account of your mundane life for all to see, you may as well include the equally mundane details, so there you go. I spill dregs of 'Badger' all over my favourite Zara Chelsea boots on a frequent basis and spend my dull, lonely winter's evenings picking lumps of Spotted Dick out of my hair. 

Bar the foody/drinky additions to my attire, there are perks to my job. I.e I actually get to meet some interesting people who will willingly chat to me. One of the locals is called 'Luvvie,' (John) and was born in the village. He's 82 now. He drinks Guinness (something to do with blood sugar levels and nurses) and has had an eventful life, which he talks about freely.  There are also a couple of celebrity types about too: James Blunt's parents, David Bowie's ex P.A. and the founder of Vodaphone are just a few examples of cool people who live a stone's throw away from me. Dad also told me that a man in the next village has an original Francis Bacon in his house.  I need to find a reason to go round...

Being around new people day in, day out, reminds me of why it is that I've always wanted to be a journalist. People are just bloody brilliant.  Here in St Mary Bourne, my locals are the sort of 'Effy and Jeffy' hybrids that can pull off throwing words such as 'Groovy' into the average conversation, whilst still sounding old-school. (As opposed to totally middle Earth/lost/deranged.) I know that they're going to provide a lot of brilliant content for my little blog, with many of them being talented artists and hilarious creatives. 

 I can already tell that I'm going to like it here... 

Pink Party.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Earlier this week, my Dad undertook the treacherous car journey from Taunton to Sunderland. He left at 5am, at which time I was still off my face in my flat from my leaving party the night before, trying my upmost to get an unhinged student whom I'd never previously met to bugger off. I'm not mean, he was genuinely insane. As in, he told the entire party his uncle was a secret member of MI6 and rambled on about his violent allergy to eggs. That kind of mad. Next time I drop out of university and host a crazy leaving 'do,' I should probably be more stringent on the old invite policy, so, actually having one. (Mum, if you're reading I am joking.) 

My party was touching to say the least. Fifty people from my halls came and everyone was lovely. As childish as it may have seemed to half the people there, the theme was PINK.  (My party, my rules.) A couple of guys who I'd only met a handful of times went out and bought pink T-Shirts for it, which exceeded my expectations, along with my flatmate Jenny baking a cake, with pink icing. The manager of our local cocktail bar even brought along the ingredients to make Bubblegum Daiquiris to fit the theme. It was the perfect send off and I stayed up all night chat chat chatting away and learning about people. Those who stayed into the early hours of the morning got snapped on my polaroid. (See Clark and Sam, below, wearing my clothes...) 

Clark and Sam

Dad arrived at midday and together, along with the help of my friends at Panns Bank, we managed to box the car up to the hilt fairly quickly. I left my room much cleaner than I originally anticipated being possible, given how little time I'd left myself to sort it out, thanks to Danielle and Jake, who hoovered and picked up old clothing labels and sweet wrappers off the floor. With a wardrobe door hanging off  it's hinges and my flat key safely with Jenny, I said my goodbyes and left. 

I learned alot about myself during my time at Sunderland University and I met some of the funniest, most outrageous, kind-hearted people. I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever. A truly special experience. Thanks everyone. 

Leaving Sunderland.

Monday, 13 October 2014

I'm currently in a dorm room at Bath Spa University, where my friend, Holly Wilson, studies Drama. She's in a late lecture and has rehearsals afterwards until 9pm, which gives me a couple of hours to ponder, provided security remain blissfully unaware of my presence. (I gather they are rather anal about visitors here, for lack of a better word.) I have spent the past twenty minutes drinking the final dregs of Moet out of yesterday's bottle, whilst avidly researching train times for tomorrow. Tomorrow, I'm heading back up North to inform my university that I'm leaving. I feel horridly nervous, in limbo. Utterly useless to the world. The rain isn't particularly helping, either. I want to get these next few hideous days over with. I already know they're going to be hard, telling my flatmates what's going on. Etc etc.

Cock-ups are  inevitable, no matter who you are. And it's fair to say that I cocked up in deciding to commit myself to such a niche, secular degree course. I have always been a passionate writer and an open fashion enthusiast, so it was absolutely devastating to discover that the Fashion Journalism course at Sunderland University wasn't for me. I based my A Level choices on doing Fashion Journalism, which - in the jammy bastard we commonly refer to as hindsight - was also a bit daft. However, it certainly isn't a matter of 'fault.' All university courses seem shiny on the website and glossy at the open days, but the reality can sometimes be something entirely different to what you expected, which in my case, it certainly was.

I can't really share my thoughts on my course as openly as I'd like to on here, as I think some readers might be offended by what would only come across as academic/geographical snobbery. As unlike myself as it is to hold back on what I think, I am going to for the time being, all in the time of sensitivity and politeness, Perhaps I'm the only person on the course who found both it and Sunderland  - as a city -unenjoyable... Making 'Visual Posters' about 'La Belle Epoque' and writing one 400 word news story in a month didn't seem adequate for the thousands of pounds worth of tuition I would've eventually become indebted with. As impractical and financially frustrating it will be to leave now, all for the sake of yet another 'life experience,' I can't say I'm overwhelmingly bemused at myself. I feel incredibly lucky that this has happened now, as opposed to a year into my course, when I would be that much older and I'd have wasted a significantly greater amount of both money and time. In the grand scheme of L.I.F.E this is a minor B.L.I.P. My plans? I will be moving house from Nether Stowey in Somerset to  Marybourne in Hampshire with my parents in a matter of weeks, so that'll be the first hurdle, after-which will come UCAS: Round 2. (Ding ding.) I'm going to look at English courses at Russell Groups: UCL, Bristol, Exeter. Places like that. I'll whizz my applications in, with crossed fingers and then work for the rest of the year. I have my As already so there's none of that 'Will I? Won't I?' when it comes to getting the grades.

Let's just hope they'll want me...

George at ASDA's A/W 2014 Home Collection. My bedroom picks.

Friday, 10 October 2014

I do like altering the aesthetic of my bedroom from time to time, but being a poor student, I have to be savvy when it comes to spending. (I am horrendous at this and come Chrismas, I shall probably be living off baked beans.) I was recently contacted about having a nosey at George at ASDA's A/W 2014 Home Collection, so I thought it the perfect opportunity to take a look at what they have on offer in their current 'Bedroom' section, without breaking the bank. Despite offering a 'Lookbook' for 'Room Inspiration,' I decided to select five of my own A/W favourites, as it's always fun to be original! 

1.) George Home Highland Check Brushed Duvet Set 
'With a red and orange checked design, this duvet set is the perfect way to bring some colour to your bedroom. Looking great in any setting, this traditional set is crafted from pure brushed cotton for a great night's sleep.'

(Includes a king duvet cover and two pillow cases.)
The plaid trend is huge again this season in the Fashion World, so I find it unsurprising that George's Home range is brimming with it.  Plaid’s strong presence on the A/W 2014 runways has us celebrating the return of the traditional print. Though plaid dates back hundreds of years, it's anything but old fashioned. 

2.) George Home Goose Feather & Down 10.5 Tog Duvet - Double - £45.00

'Enjoy the ultimate in luxury with this 'goose feather 10.5 tog double duvet from our range of bedding
 essentials. This duvet is filled with incredibly soft goose feather fillings for superior support and comfort, with 230 thread count Egyptian cotton coverings. Machine washable and tumble dry safe for easy cleaning.' 
As dull and obvious as it may be, a sufficiently warm duvet is essential for these colder months. This particular one comes in every size and would be perfectly paired with the plaid duvet set, above. It'd be super practical for anyone who is at university, as it can be thrown into the washing machine and the tumble dryer, too. 

3.) Jones Tartan Clock - 25 cm £10.00

'Tartan up your home with this decorative clock. It has a decorative Arabic dial on composite wood with
 spade hands.'

There's a bit of a theme going on here... This 'Tartan Clock' is both afforadable and trendy. It's always good to have a couple of matching bits and bobs to create balance and coordiation in any room. At the price of £10, it's a really cheap and efficent way of subtly decorating without going overboard. (You'll keep your time well too - always a plus.) 

4.) Weathered Pine Tall Lamp Table £95.00

'The Weathered Pine collection features a re-claimed, re-purposed finish which gives this furniture a
 stylish rustic look. In a traditional style inspired by 19th century designs, this elegant tall side table features beautiful carved details and solid wood turned feet. Perfect for displaying a lamp or houseplant, or holding treasured pictures and ornaments.

Take a look at the rest of our range for matching items to complete your perfect living or dining room.'

This lamp table would look gorgeous anywhere in the home, but I think it'd really make for a rustic, cosy aesthetic in the bedroom. Weathered pine furniture looks lovely against fairy lights, particuarly in the Christmas period. 

5.) George Home White Traditional Brass Lamp £17.00

'This traditional brass table lamp makes the perfect complement to any space. A perfect blend of soft diffused light and traditional stylings, this table lamp has a polished brass stand and base and an ivory white fabric lampshade.

Complete the look and mix and match from our fantastic range of home accessories.'

Here is a light I found that I think would look lovely standing on the Weathered Pine Tall Lamp Table. I think the metallic bronze would look great against more rugged appearence of the table. I have an unusual penchant for purchasing lamps at this time every year, as my bedroom at my parents' house was always very dark, especially when the evenings were growing darker. 

Lord Hughes. The Black Label Collection.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

'The attire a man chooses reflects him, refines him and in the end, defines him.' -Lewis Hughes. 

Lord Hughes is a newly launched brand, born out of the belief that the old fashioned British identity was dwindling from existence. It's founder, Lewis Hughes, in the early days of April this year, believed it was possible to refine the British identity, values and heritage into a new and exciting project. The brand stands for much more than it's name; the values, traditions and it's very nature  encompasses what it is to be British. Lewis Hughes has taken the classic, timeless and subtle dress code of  the contemporary gentleman and has fashioned a polo range that is both easy to wear and stylish. The lion crest of Lord Hughes is an emblem that silently guards the the timeless values and heritage from the chest of all Lord Hughes polo shirt wearers in the Black Label Collection. 

Lord Hughes is committed to next generation ideas, which birthed the 'Tomorrow, Today' campaign, which demonstrates a commitment to working with high quality, environmentally conscious suppliers as well as actively being involved in creating a brighter future. Lord Hughes believes in backing and pledging to projects around the World. Evidence of this can be seen on their website under the section, 'Tomorrow, Today,' which was voiced over by John Mundy. In the future, Lord Hughes aim to continue to pledge back to projects around the world, expand their collection and be stocked to major retailers as well as launching their first store. 

Below, my boyfriend, Hugo Hall wears the Navy Blue polo in a size M. There are twelve colours to choose from in this collection, featuring three different blues, blue being at the focus of the range, being a highly popular and universally suited shade, the inspiration behind the tag 'Hues of Blue.' Having received the delivery myself, I can confirm that the price of the product (£50) is well reflected in its good quality. Lord Hughes, despite being a UK based company, do ship abroad, as to bridge the gaps between lifestyle and distance. 

Worn by itself or under a jumper (see final image - the red jumper is not affiliated with Lord Hughes) the polos are excellent for everyday casual wear and sportswear.

Freshers, Fenwick, and French Martinis.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

It's been a fairly long while since I last posted anything on here or on my Tumblr. I've been having a bit of a break from everything over the summer holidays before university, but now I've arrived and settled in, it's time to get back to normality.

 A week ago last Friday was the day that I actually moved into my shared flat in Panns Bank, the Halls of Residence I'm going to be living in for the rest of this year. There are six of us in total: Danielle, Jenny, Emma, Liam, Jake and I. We're all very fortunate in the sense that we get along like a house on fire and that we are all doing courses that are based at the St Peter's Campus just over the bridge - which is both dangerous and terrifying - from where we live. At some stage I may well do a post on my flat, for those potential readers who are looking to study at The University of Sunderland, wanting a bit of an insight into how a typical Panns Bank flat looks. For now - however - I'll just include a few of my Instagram (SOPHIAALEXANDRASTANCER) snaps of my bedroom. (Below.) 

The desk/shelf space opposite my single bed.

For me, personally, Freshers Week has been marvellous. I haven't attended all of the scheduled events - such as the 'Paint Party' - as it didn't seem my cup of tea, but I've been to the majority, the Zoo Party quite possibly being one of my best nights out. My flatmate Jenny and I are both a bit older than most of the Freshers here, and so, have already experienced the freedoms that come with living away from home already, which has been rather lovely when the others have all wanted to stay out until six in the morning. We simply get a cab home together, make food and collapse into bed, whilst Danielle and Emma have vast amounts of alcohol-induced excitement energy and a higher tolerance when it comes to uncomfortable shoes. (I'm not boring, just incapable of getting up in the mornings, which has been a necessity this week, especially on Wednesday when all of us Journalism students were given a talk. Claire Burgess, who has recently finished an internship at Vogue was among the other speakers on the panel.)

There have been a couple of highlights in my first week, chiefly the day I spent in Newcastle on Thursday with the Fashion Journalism girls.  Our Course leader, Julie Bradford, organised a talk with Holly Ritchie, Fenwick's Ladies Wear Buyer, who had just been to NYFW, on the top floor of the department store. Holly gave a twenty minute presentation outlining her role as a buyer for the store and offered us all a brief history of Fenwick, which was really very interesting. She told us facts about her store specifically, such as: Vivienne Westwood is the most popular designer brand in the North East. Despite being a Fashion Journalism student and not a Business/Buying and Merchandising student, I found the whole experience valuable nevertheless and took four pages of A4 notes. Irritated at myself for being dumbstruck and unable to think of any questions at the end, I took down her email address, which may come in useful at some stage in the future. 

After we left the lecture, we were set a task of choosing any item from the Ladieswear floor, to write a very short recommendation on for the readers of Fashion North. I selected Mulberry's Classic Bayswater in this season's new bright red colour as my must-have A/W accessory, writing a brief 112 words and attaching a couple of careful images taken on my iPhone5s. (Below.) Our group feature should be available to read online now.

Aside from class and scheduled fixtures, my flatmates were persuaded to come out for cocktails on Tuesday night. Due to the fact that I am from the other end of the country, I was blissfully unaware of the fact that it was Sunderland's Gay Night, which transpired to be the most hilarious experience, men in fishnet tights with better legs than all of the girls handing us flyers, roaming the streets of Sunderland, club to club. Emma took us to Legacy, which I've got a feeling is going to be my favourite bar up here, where on Tuesdays they do ridiculous drinks deals, £3 for one shot of either Sambuca or tequila, a cocktail and a spirit mixer. 

We are going back next Tuesday. 

French Martini 


My 'Growth and Evolution' exhibition at Hestercombe House, Somerset.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

My Summer holidays this year have been fairly eventful so far. I've sat in St. George's Chapel in Windsor, sat amongst The Sovereign and the rest of the Royal bunch at The Most Noble Order of the Royal Garter service (whilst sporting a hat with a mind of its own,) and drunk myself to a red wine-induced oblivion at my boyfriend's pub in Combe Florey. It's been unpredictable and wonderful to say the very least. 

However, one of my more planned events has been a significant highlight. The week before Glastonbury, I was dropped off by a frantic, late-for-work Hugo (in a Mercedes with frighteningly screaming brakes) at my childhood happy place - Hestercombe House. My A2 end-of-year Photography exhibition was held there as a result of having a super-organised Photography teacher who was really keen to have our work showcased and our progress acknowledged. Unfortunately, upon arrival,  I was actually over an hour early for the opening, so I found myself a secluded area near the car park, behind some trees, where I sat chain-smoking for about forty minutes until my friends Matt, Mey and Belle arrived. 

Despite being the first there, we only headed inside once the other guests started piling in. There were several catering staff members handing out glasses of wine and we all felt slightly uneasy and awkward, not really understanding where we were meant to go. It was a seriously humid day, my one glass of red wine apparently going straight to my head. Once we'd ascertained what was happening, the four of us took our time to appreciate each and every piece, I've never before seen Matthew Haines looking quite so pensive. My series of six photographs were placed on the first board on the left, in the initial exhibition room. I was shocked and surprised to notice that there wasn't an abundance of monochrome images. I was secretly chuffed, as it was only at exhibition that I truly realised I'd made some good decisions regarding my editing and framing. 

My parents and my model, Hannah, showed up shortly after we'd all given the showing a good and proper run for it's money, and so, we waited outside in the rose garden for them, deciding that we would definitely return at some stage over the Summer, the girls both agreeing to model a photo-shoot in the gardens. Infact, my penchant for photographing beautiful flowers kickstarted that day at Hestercombe and looks set to continue going by the current state of my Instagram... 

Hestercombe House
The rose garden

The rose garden

My series of six images, relating t the theme: Growth and Evolution.