Monday, 21 November 2011

A 'LUSH' view of things...

I think it's healthy every so often to take a step out of the usual  and refresh one's life with a little diversity. Luckily, two weeks off of work has allowed me to do so. For the first week I failed to make mushroom soup and took a short break to Oxford to visit a friend. It was supposed to allow me time to get over the stress of whatever dilemma I'd invented to get myself bogged down in. With a lack of sleep, healthy food or hope I was feeling stressed, strained and under the weather. As a sunny break was beyond my reach, I settled for a mattress on the floor of my friends rented toom.

The break consisted of watching American reality television, Irish coffe and Iceland bought pigs-in-blankets- classy! But it was nice to just forget that I existed for anything more substantial than sleep and America's Next Top Model. As well as learning to 'Smeyes!' (for those of you unfortunate souls who aren't familiar with the terminology used by Tyra Banks; that means smiling with your eyes!), I also learned to relax and not feel guilty for it.

Unfortunately, such a decadent life style showed its affects. A diet of lethargy and tropical Sourz resulted in my skin looking like a worn out snake skin handbag. Although compensating for sleep deprivation with a caffiene overdose had it's effects as well. So I ventured to Oxford Town Centre in need of aid. I decided to snub the BodyShop as their olive oil soup had helped my skin achieve it's leather/tarmac texture. Instead I ventured into a new camp, the overwhelmingly perfumed 'LUSH' shop. It enticed me and almost suffocated me with it's brightly coloured soup and the even more brightly coloured hair of the sales reps.

Help came in the Divine form of a Sales Rep whose name I don't think I learned. She has curly red hair and she's amazing for anyone who might visit the Oxford Centre branch of LUSH...

But cutting to the chase (not really), she recommended me three products for a daily cleanse, tone and moisturise regime.

Cleanser- Ultra Bland
The most thorough of all cleansers.
(oooh- I hear you say!)

Toner- Tea Tree Water
Popular Toner

Moisturiser- Enzymion
Fruity moisturiser to liven up oily skin.

Now I've only just commited myself to this, I've been using these products for about four days. It's probably going to be another couple of weeks before I start seeing any results. This, along with restricting alcohol to the weekends (no calming glass of wine in the evenings), drinking more water (not appletiser) and eating more fruit (that doesn't come on a cheesecake) will hopefully produce some better results.

Equally I've started using an additional hair product.

Along with my

Triple Gro: Anti Breakage Cream Gro

I will be using

Sta-Soft-Fro: Hair Spray, Oil Sheen and Comb Out Conditioner.

Hopefully soon both skin and hair will be glowing healthily.

Also am making an attempt to begin considering the possibility of entertaining the idea of visiting the gym...maybe.

Well I hope the next blog entry will see snake skin turn to silk.



Monday, 24 October 2011


I graduated on Monday and despite the celebrations and the congratulations, I couldn't help but feel that the day had a tinge of sadness. Shaking hands with my professor and waving goodbye to faces I'll never see again really set in concrete that it's time to step out on my own and get what I want out of this thing called life. When life gives you lemons, have tequila!

There are times I felt I have missed opportunities for happiness. I buried my head in the sand and rested so long on my laurels that there's an imprint of my cowardly behind. I could pretend that tomorrow everything's going to change and I will wake up invigorated and enamored with life, ready to fight a new battle.

But I'm going to try harder. I intend to succeed. No, I will succeed at whatever it is I put my mind to. It's just a matter of putting my mind to it. This is the first entry that resembles a diary for some time. This says something about the reflective mood I'm in. Listening to Avril Lavigne, PuffyAmiYumi and Sara Barielles can do that to you, and I hope out of respect I spelled all of that right.

In any case, the plan for tomorrow is to apply for job, finish reading Banana Yoshimoto's 'Amrita' and write a bit of that weird story I've been dabbling with for the last three years.

G'bye for now!!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

A Little Eastern Inspiration

I have been paying a lot more attention to the way I look recently. No, please don’t laugh I’m being honest...

You see, I have a dear friend of mine, Erika, who recently visited Japan for a year. In fact it’s only been a couple of months since she’s been back. Japanese pop culture has always peaked my interest a little. I like the music, the comics, some of the fashions etc. Unfortunately I have never had enough passion to find out about it’s history or learn it’s language, but the colourful teeny-bopper like elements of what washed over onto these shores was bizarrely cute. I liked it.

So when Erika was generous enough to bring over some of the fashion magazines she’d purchased in Osaka while living there, I got a little excited. I was treated to one copy of ‘Fruits’ magazine which takes pictures of various Fashionista((s) is that a plural) on the streets of Tokyo, and another magazine called ‘Kera’ which was a bit of a Punk come Neo-Rave come Gothic Lolita madness. It had bright colours clashing, strange hairstyles and weird cuts and patterns thrown together in a way both maddening and genius.  Looking at these images filled me with a type of invigoration that I don’t experience when staring at fashion magazines very often.

When I was looking at the girls in ‘Fruits’, beautiful and highly fashionable as they were, I was looking from page to page getting more and more excited. You see, I found myself thinking, I can do this. And better still, I can do this without buying anything. This magazine managed to do things that I never would have thought of with items that I already had and was on the verge of replacing with something more current. At work, it was true I had to be current. But on those free days when I can completely have me to myself there was no reason for me to be boring anymore.

It’s curious how easily I was swayed away from my normal safe ‘looks’. A few of my friends say I should embrace my quirks while I’m still young and I can feel my neck stiffening with age all too soon. So I’m going to try a bit harder everyday to try wearing things that are a little different, maybe clashing. Taking two patterns that are sworn enemies and forcing them to cooperate with one another. At the end of the day if it goes right, their clothes so looking great makes you feel great. And on the other hand if you make what you, yourself perceive to be a faux-pas than who cares, their only clothes! Take note, laugh it off and try again tomorrow.

Looking at how Japanese fashion magazines inspired me has made me think about how much money I have invested in trying to make myself feel better by looking better. The thing is clothes, shoes and accessories do make me feel more confident when I feel like I look good. But just because I buy something new doesn’t mean I enjoy wearing it. I’m going to make more of an effort to work with what I have. I’ll try and experiment, making the most of all the hand me downs I’ve accumulated from my older sister and mother, as well as the things I stocked up on in previous years.

It’s more economic, more environmentally healthy and it’s a lot more fun as well. I won’t say I’ll go cold turkey on buying new things. But I will try a little harder to recycle. If I get stuck for inspiration I’ll flip through ‘Fruits’ and ‘Kera’ to give my imagination a boost.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Group Interviews!

I cannot stand group interviews . They are free-for-alls in which cruel and ill mannered people whore themselves for six pounds an hour and scraps of material pieced by fingers of a poor six year old boy in a sweat shop in Southern Narnia. Yes it's a character building process, mainly due to the fact that after the evil Overlord (manager/ or is she/he us busy assistant manager) is done with you, you are forced to gather up the fragments of your character and sobbing, piece them back together. See, building? Hooray for me. Nevertheless, your only construction tools are p.v.a and broken dreams, weak adhesives- so everyone can see the cracks. You always leave off with a weaker resolution than you came with.

I have had two horrendous experiences in group interviews. Both in fashion retail. The first I was thrown under a bus or some other form of public transport. Basically Selfridges was opening a River Island shoe department. I took any opportunity to work and River Island was cool so I wanted to go for it. When I did, however I got a nasty shock. In a sense I laid down and allowed the bus to rollover me. There were all these fabulous people, with fabulous hairstyles and fabulous people. And there I was in my dinky little dress and heels and straightened hair feeling like a cow in McDonalds. I knew then I was about to be slaughtered.

Nevertheless I pasted on my favourite interview smile and readied myself. The interviewer was Satan in skinny jeans. I, to this day, have never met a more odious haggard old bint. One of those very thin, very 'in' women with red hair that isn't hers and a smile that looks like a grimace and a voice like tin violins being fed the wrong way up a cat. I tried though, I did try. I wouldn't say my attempt was valiant. But every time I opened my mouth someone would steal my words, badly rephrase them and pass them off as their own.
They were the kind of people that would prey on erratic and squishy creatures like me.

Please don't get me wrong. I like fashion, that is to say, wearing things that suit my mood and make me feel funky or sexy and cool or whatever simplistic adjective takes my fancy. But formulaic indoctrination of the masses, at the hands of creepy thin people with purple hair who wear sunglasses inside, frightens me. I try to follow fashion sometimes in a high street sort of way. I even look trends up online to see what's going on in that world. I bought a Cosmopolitan magazine once too and everything. But if I don't like something I can't work with it. If you hit me in the face with a shovel, you can't convince me that its the new 'vogue' way of goodbye kissing.

Some of the fashion that the bird lady manager was bringing up, I hated. I am a very bad liar. So the interview didn't go well. And all the people made me feel like a fashion novice, because I was. And I felt too old, too young, too fat and too stupid all at the same time.

I'm someone who can present themselves well as an individual and work part of a team. I'm not a person who would disembowel every guest at a garden party with a spork for the last portion of coleslaw. And therefore perhaps I'll give group interviews a miss for a while, just until I gain a little more confidence or lose my ability to feel.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

London Riots Aftermath

To all the rioters that were out last night. Poor disaffected youth's so angry with the police that you decided to break into wine bars and ransack them for alcohol and cash. Power to the people?You felt obligated to destroy five generations of a family's history by burning down Reeves in Croydon and leaving parts of London in ruin. You put the lives of people in your own communities at risk, destroyed homes and businesses in your own back yard.

What have you done?

It cannot be denied that there is a very strained relationship between youth and the police force, particularly black youths. And anyone who would completely dismiss these riots as mere criminality and deny any connection between the dire economic situation and the events that unfolded last night would be naive. Young black males are more likely to be stopped and searched by the police. I remember even as a girl in secondary school being paranoid about the public image of young people. I used to go out of my way to act against the stereotype stamped on urban youths.

Inevitably there is anger rising in those suffering as a result of government cuts. Jobs are scarce, taxes are rising and even those with relatively good degrees find themselves unemployed. We get it. The social, political and economic situation is a breeding ground for things like this to happen.

But as for the actions of those involved in the riots last night, no matter what your motivations were, the things you have done are unforgivable. Last night you attacked and destroyed peoples homes and livelihoods indiscriminately. You behaved like animals pillaging retail parks for commercial items like Trainers and iPhones.

You cannot pretend that attacking police officers with fireworks and metal poles is way forward. These people have children, they have families. The police force is an institution, but it is made up of normal individuals with just as many rights and grievances as you.

Even if the police were your primary target, you didn't primarily attack the police. You attacked anything and anyone you came across, like mindless thugs. It wasn't enough for you to just rob those businesses, you had to burn them as well. You felt the need to ensure that nothing could be salvaged, that everything was completely destroyed. How monstrous of you all.

You claim this to be your way of showing the government that you can't take it anymore. Don't lie. Don't try to turn this into a political protest. Looting Curry's and your local Chinese restaurant isn't protesting. Saying to your friends 'Let's get some watches, blood', shows just what you were out there for- everything you could get.

There are pictures springing up all over Facebook, Twitter and BBM showing criminals posing with their  spoils; a girl with tights over her head and a crate of Supermalt under her arm, a young boy on a bike with a basket of snacks stolen from a local supermarket, a grown man slipping a monitor under his hoodie in broad daylight. And it isn't just fearless youths either, not just angry blacks. There are mothers and children, grown men, whites, blacks, Asians.

I'm watching a girl shouting at a BBC news camera about respect and rights. What about all those people whose homes you destroyed, whose businesses you burned to the ground? Don't we as citizens of this city deserve the right to live without fear? What about our right to our own property, to keep our jobs, to keep our homes and families safe?

Don't speak about the police's lack of respect for you, when you blatantly have no respect for the ordinary people going through the same economic and social struggles as you are. If you wanted to win the respect of society or the trust of your community, you have failed. All you have done is ensure widen the chasm between young people and the rest of society.

Violence begets violence. Respect begets respect.

Friday, 15 July 2011

"You're hot for a black girl."

This sounds like a joke, or the punchline to one at least, but this has been said to me. It has been said to me by cretins without the mental capability for wit. The phrase is said with absolute, albeit drunken, seriousness, The instance that this sticks out to me the most was on my way home from a gig. Our guitarist, let's call him Dave for is own sake, was inebriated as per usual by the time we'd even started playing. So when we stumbled into the night and onto a 321 towards his house, it was only fair to say he was wrecked. He actually forgot to sit down like Peter Griffin from Family Guy, and collided with the floor with such force I can't help but recall it with a smile.

Nevertheless he found his seat, next to me. He turned to me whispered sweet nothings in my ear. What I really mean is he screamed poorly formed sentences into the side of my face. One of those being 'Tasha, you're bare peng, for a black chick."

Peng is the worst word for attractive that has ever been invented, ever. It originated under a rock of crack and spread like a disease through some parts of  South East London. Anyway, was I supposed to be grateful? There were many feelings there I'll admit, none of which were actually gratitude. It didn't bother me that he admitted that he didn't find black women overall. It only bothered me that he felt the need to attach a compliment to this issue. Praise the lord that the almighty Dave should think me 'peng' especially since I am but a lowly black chick. Really?

Thursday, 14 July 2011

A Fruitful Beginning


This is an experimental post. Let's call this me testing the water.Up to now I am not entirely sure what this blog is going to about. I suppose it's going to be about a little bit of everything until I find my niche. All I know is I want to start writing, putting ideas out there even though many of them may be trivial or generic. It's my hope that at some point, I'll start interesting people, making people laugh. If I'm really lucky I might make people think. That concludes whatever it was this was supposed to be.