Lupus – a Little Red Riding Hood adaptation

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0
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Lino print by Basingstoke artist Cynthia Dummett

The moon shone brightly through the gap in the trees, as the little girl wearing red walked through the forest. She wasn’t meant to be walking that way to her grandma’s house, but she was late and it really was a much quicker route. She could feel the dry leaves and twigs snapping beneath her feet as she walked. The little girl in red wasn’t scared because she had walked it many times before & it wasn’t far.

The little girl in red was wrong to feel safe, she was not safe, she was being watched. Lurking in those woods was a beast. Not a fairy tale beast but a beast of a person. He watched patiently as the little girl made her way along the path. He stepped out from the undergrowth, and made the girl jump with fear.

“You gave me a fright!” she exclaimed.

“I’m sorry, that was not my intention,” he replied, “I was concerned, why are you walking alone?”

“I’m walking to my Grandma’s house but I’m late so I took a shorter route” she said.

“I’ll walk you there,” he declared helpfully.

Half a mile down the road stood a small cottage entwined with Wisteria. Inside the small cottage was an old woman, the woman was anxiously pacing, and frequently checking the time. As the seconds ticked by she felt her anxiety weighing upon her.

The little girl in red was nearly an hour late and it was dark outside. Just as she could bare it no longer there was a loud rap at the door. She felt a sudden wave of relief wash over her but as quickly as she felt that, the panic rushed over her. She knew the little girl wouldn’t have knocked, she had a key. As she unlocked the door her fears were realised. On the door step stood two men in uniform. The larger of the two officers was holding a clear plastic bag containing a red duffle coat. The woman broke down with inconsolable grief.

The beast had left the red coat laid over the girl’s lifeless body, and slunk back into the undergrowth where he waits patiently.

Halloween Accessories

posted in: Fashion and Beauty | 0

As you may have noticed, with our logo mysteriously changing into a pumpkin and our recent Pumpkin Soup Post, it is nearly Halloween! Yup you were probably as surprised by that fact as someone shouting Boo in your face from beneath a table cloth, I am certain of it…

Anyway, I have been scouring the world of Halloween accessories and brought you some of my spookiest favourite finds. All stockist and prices listed below the image.

halloween accessories, halloween, accessories, fashion, pumpkin

  1. Silicone Pumpkins Mould Orange – Sainsbury’s – £6.00
  2. Skull Braclets 3Pk – Wilkinson – £1.50
  3. Enamel And Swarovski Crystal Skull And Rose Necklace – What’s About Town? – £13.95
  4. Gisela Graham Happy Halloween sign – TCH.net – £7.50
  5. Rhinestone Flower Alice Band – Diva at Miss Selfridge – £12.00
  6. Gisela Graham lacey masks – Nearest stockist: 020 708 6396 – £16.99
  7. SEVENTEEN Off the Wall Graffiti Nail Polish – Boots – £3.99
  8. Spider Bun Kit – Accessorize – £10.00
  9. Gisela Graham ceramic hanging pumpkin night light – TCH.net – £24
  10. Scaredy Cats – M&S – £1.00
  11. Blood Jewels – Accessorize – £3.00
  12. LOLA Matte Lipstick in Vamp – M&S – £12.00

Black Cat Power: Save the Cats

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0

#blackcatlove

bonecrusher, #blackcatlove, rspca, halloween
The Vintage Darling‘s beautiful black cat called Bonecrusher

So it’s Halloween *insert scary Halloween ghostly noise here* and as well as teeth rotting sweets, girls in barely there skirts and a point blank refusals to attend scary movie nights; Black Cats feature right up there in the Halloween symbolism stakes for me. I know it doesn’t really make sense. My black cat Felix is black all year round, and he is definitely a cat all year round, despite refusing to meow. Ever. But effectively a black cat on a broomstick, something none of the cats I have ever owned have mastered, is a thing. Think Meg and Mog, Sabrina the Teenage Witch or KiKi’s Delivery Service.

Paddington
Paddington

However this Blog Post isn’t going to delve into the most famous cartoon cats… as awesome as that idea is (parking that for next year). This Blog Post was sparked by reading headlines back at the end of July and learning that black cats are not only the least popular cats, but also the most likely to become abandoned.

THIS IS SAD NEWS.

“I’ll often find that if when I arrive at a job the cats/kittens concerned are ‘pretty colours’ that they have found homes with neighbours/finders/feeders and the black ones are the ones left behind.”

Hayley Plows – RSPCA Welfare Officer

How is that okay? I’ve always had black cats and upon reading that little piece of information I was forced to have a silent inside cry (because obviously I was at work, skiving off and looking up cats). However what makes this story utterly ridiculous is that in some instances they are being blamed for not being photogenic enough. I’m sorry but could someone please tell me that Felix doesn’t know how to pose for the camera? You got it, that was a rhetorical question, look at the poise of his arm 😉

black cat, black kitten, lazy cat, meow

Not only this, but people are still worried about the superstitions around black cats. To all those people, I hope someone forces you to walk under a line of propped up ladders. That would just be something called Karma.

cute kitten, black cat, rspca, litter

One thing that did encourage me about the coverage in the News is that comment trolls were mostly friendly and sympathetic to the #blackcatlove cause. Although this encouragement has been short lived, as after getting in touch with the RSPCA nothing has particularly changed. They even implied that all cat’s were facing issues.

Here Calie Rydings from the RSPCA responds to the recent media coverage.

“Sadly despite a rise in calls to the RSPCA regarding the rehoming of black cats following this publicity, the RSPCA and other animal welfare charities continue to be inundated with rising numbers of cats – in fact the RSPCA have taken in 14 per cent more abandoned, neglected or sick cats compared with the same time last year.

This year so far we have already rescued 3,306 abandoned cats which is 14 per cent more than last year. We also helped 7,914 sick or injured cats up from 6,389 last year.”

Nigrita and Miu Miu
Nigrita and Miu Miu

All cats are wonderful. No matter their tail length, colour or inability to meow. As the RSPCA say “never judge a cat by its colour,” or anything else for that matter.

Want to help out? Well one simple solution would be to adopt a cat – a thought that is probably sending all crazy cat ladies into a frenzy right now, not naming names, ahem Eve. But I do understand for some people that this is so not the most practical solution, so why not help the RSPCA and black cats out by taking snaps of them and sharing them online? The #blackcatlove tag is one that they have been using, however another popular one is #blackcatselfie . Take your pick.

To help celebrate the love of cats we asked our Reader’s to send in some of their photos! Have a look at these purrrfect pets (sorry we had to include one cat pun).

Or if you want to send your own cat photo in? Great! Pop it in the comments or share it on our social media!

Eddie
Eddie
cat, halloween
Fifa
cat, halloween
Mitsy

Thanks to The Vintage Darling, Anita Simpson and Joana Teigas for your photos!

Pumpkin, butternut squash & smoked paprika soup

posted in: Foodies | 2

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So with Halloween approaching quickly you know there are going to be pumpkins! But what can you do with all the left overs? It would be a shame to waste it all.

Soup is super simple to make you don’t need to be precise with ingredients or measurements just throw it all in.

 You will need:

A mediumish pumpkin

A butternut squash or not, you could also use sweet potato

An onion or two

Vegetable stock

Olive oil

A couple of teaspoons (more or less) of smoked paprika

What to do:

1. Pre heat your oven to 200c. Chop your pumpkin & butternut squash/sweet potato in to chunks, they can be quite large, and place them onto a baking tray skin side up and roast for 30 minutes.

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2. While these are roasting you can roughly chop up the onions & fry them in olive oil for around 3-5 minutes, in the bottom of a large pan.

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3. When the squash & pumpkin are done on the oven you can remove the skin and cut into chunks.

4. Add 750ml of vegetable stock to your pan of onions and bring to the boil.

5. Add your chopped veg and simmer for 20mins

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6. Using a hand blender smoosh up your mixture and the smoked paprika to taste.

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And there you go easy peasy soup, serve with fresh crusty bread. This can also be frozen so you’ll be sick of the sight of pumpkin soup before long!

Banking On Burlesque Review

Victoria Sadler tells it like it is

banking on bulesque, victoria sadler

Banking on Burlesque is a first hand account of the struggles Victoria faces in a sexist world of Banking; that in turn leads to her escapism into the beautiful world of burlesque.

Have you ever considered doing something out of the ordinary or unintentionally detrimental to your own personal status quo? Have you taken up a Hobby that makes you damn happy and is all for yourself? Or have you been too scared to take that leap? This book is for you. Join Victoria as she explores a world that is poles apart from her day job and offers her the ultimate escapism.

Who this book isn’t for? Well idiotic (and that’s putting it nicely) city boys would be a good start, unless they are looking for a reality check? Then please, be my guest, I hope this story gets through your thick skull.

But if you came across this book looking for a burlesque tale or a city heroine; you won’t be disappointed. For me it captured my inner (or outer as my parents would correct me) dreamer. I enjoyed the journey Victoria took to reach happiness, which sounds so much more twee than in my head. Don’t get me wrong, the predictable work issue happens. But because of the honest account given throughout, I felt just as angry and upset as her. Don’t worry you will be rewarded by the ending.

But to the story line. It gives an interesting insight into an usually secretive world of glitter, and pasties, and gross changing rooms. Personally I am just beginning my folly into burlesque but to read such an honest account was as exciting as it was interesting. (The book does admit that some instances have been exaggerated for comedic effect but I like to ignore that!) In the burlesque lessons I attend I have realised that yes there is a lot more to burlesque than being a tease; but wow, painting rainbows, sewing and routine driven Saturdays sounds like a commitment I might not be ready for… yet! 😉

However this book isn’t just an account of burlesque but wider issues faced by women. The glass ceiling was firmly in place within Victoria’s world of Banking. Whenever I read ‘the Bank’ I could hear a Boo and Hiss in my head. The book was released in 2013 so it almost distressing how little time has passed from when the book was set, making the book an uncomfortable read at times. I am not a career woman but I have faced many sexually unjust advances, jokes and ridicule over the years. I previously treated this as normal. Sometimes you have to see something in black and white before you realise it is wrong. The book puts emphasis on the injustice of it all, and for me put it in the forefront of my mind. It is the way Banking on Burlesque made me think and question that makes it such a great read. But be prepared to feel shocked and outraged as Victoria, a very likeable, hardworking wonder woman becomes in many ways victimised for her own passions.

Current Reads: Banking on Burlesque, A Force to be Reckoned With: A History of the Women's Institute, Breakfast at Tiffany's and How To Be A Woman
Current Reads: Banking on Burlesque, A Force to be Reckoned With: A History of the Women’s Institute, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and How To Be A Woman

Anything wrong with this story? Nothing with the story, although some images wouldn’t have gone amiss – but that is probably just because I am so nosey! I am sure you have established that I enjoyed reading this book, it made me think about feminism and what I would sacrifice to fulfill my dreams. However one bug bare was the FONT SIZE! It was pretty small, and that was pretty annoying. The handy handbag size of the book was great but I tend to read in the evenings so that advantage was lost on me. So please… Could your next read have bigger font? And whether you take heed to that little plea or not; I hope you are enjoying a life of glitter, ruby shoes and mirror frames with light bulbs.