Month: September 2015

When is a pub not just a pub…?

…When it’s the Prince of Wales in Moseley!

Prince of Wales Moseley

When it has a moose head on the wall in the bar

Prince of Wales moosehead

When the bar is as traditional as this, and serves an ever changing selection of craft beers, ales, wines and spirits

Prince of Wales bar

When it has a cosy snug which has real log fires in winter

Prince of Wales snug

When it has traditional Victorian details like this tiled mirror and walls

Prince of Wales mirror

Prince of Wales tiles

Prince of Wales details

When it has a massive beer garden that’s half covered and heated so you can use it all year

Prince of Wales garden

Prince of Wales garden 2

Prince of Wales outside

When it has a purpose built cigar hut – La Choza – selling Cuban cigars

Prince of Wales cigar hut

When it has a tiki cocktail bar serving traditional cocktails and house specials

Prince of Wales motiki bar 3

Prince of Wales garden 3

Prince of Wales motiki bar 2

When it has a “Shed du Vin” selling bottles of wine and snacks

Prince of Wales Shed du Vin

When it has it’s very own street food vendor onsite – Chillidogdogs (more on that in my next post).

Prince of Wales Chillidogdogs

When it’s the most creative, cool and unusual pub you’ve ever been to!

The Prince of Wales dates back to 1861. The current landlord and landlady have been there since 2007, and transformed it from an old man’s boozer into the unique, charming, fun place it is today.They have recently been named UK Licensees of the Year, beating 50,000 others across the country.

There’s a plot of land next to the pub which has been earmarked for development into apartments. If that happens there’s a good chance the new residents would complain about noise and the Prince would get closed down.

That would be a travesty. It was ‘ere first.

I never understand people who move in near to a place they know will generate noise and then complain. It’s already happened to a couple of places in Birmingham City Centre.

Let’s hope common sense prevails.

All hail The Prince!

I’ve been nominated for a Liebster award!

How exciting!

Liebster award

This is my very first award nomination, and I’d like to thanks my parents, my husband, every restaurant I’ve ever been to, H&M, my home delivery courier and the post office…

Oops, got carried away there!

In all seriousness, thanks to the lovely Holly at Closing Winter for including me in her list. Sometimes it feels a little bit like I’m in no-mans-land with this blog (can you hear that tiny violin?!) so it’s nice to have some interaction. Thanks Holly!

Check out Holly’s blog for make up finds and general loveliness.

The Liebster award helps to promote the smaller blogs with 200 followers or less and the rules are as follows:

  • After being nominated, make a post thanking and linking the nominator.
  • In that post include the Liebster Award logo.
  • Nominate up to 10 other new bloggers with 200 or less followers.
  • Answer the 10 questions posed to you by your nominator.
  • Make 10 questions of your own to be answered by your nominees.
1. Why/how did you choose your blog name?

I knew that I would be talking about all sorts of thing, hence “this, that and the other” and I switched that to tatt due to my tattoos.

2. What was your favourite birthday?

I’m not really a birthday person, because it’s so close to Christmas (20th December) so I always feel a bit cheeky asking people to do stuff, although everyone always makes an effort. Most memorable is probably about 3 years ago when we had massive amounts of snow and our friend’s band couldn’t get their gear to the pub we were all going to and it seemed like it would be a washout but people walked miles to get there and our friend cobbled together some kit and did an impromptu solo gig instead with all the pub locals singing along.

3. Do you have a favourite beauty product you can’t do without?
I’m very partial to Collection’s Extreme liner – it’s my go to eyeliner and very easy to use. Also have much love for Nivea Fruity Shine lip salves which were only released this year but have done wonders for the state of my mouth!

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I couldn’t leave my family behind, so I probably couldn’t live in another country permanently. But I’d like to spend a year, or maybe a summer, in Los Angeles. I’ve been there 4 times and it’s so chilled and laid back, with the best climate.

5. If you were given £1,000 (or $1,000) to spend, where would you spend it?
On a travel website. I’m always thinking about where I want to go next and what I want to see.

6. Do you have any animals?
No. I couldn’t deal with the stinky cleaning up!

7. If you could create your own range of beauty products, which company would you like to work with?
Probably one of the ranges I grew up with – Seventeen or Rimmel. I like accessible products that you can experiment with. I’m not into high end beauty.

8. What’s your favourite TV show/s at the moment?
I just recently got into Homeland (I know, late to the party), so I’d probably say that

9. What food do you absolutely hate?
Baked beans! It’s more than hatred. It’s a phobia. I can’t look at them. They make me shudder and heave. Bleugh!

10. What’s your favourite season and why?
Summer, 100% without a doubt. Lighter nights, less clothes, beer gardens, freckles and eating outside. I flourish in summer and hibernate in winter!

My nominations are:

http://www.sophiecliff.com/ 

http://charlotteactually.me/ 

http://msmistryblogs.com/ 

http://brunette-lady.blogspot.co.uk/

I wanted to nominate a couple of other people too, but they have too many followers to qualify, the lucky ladies!

And here are my questions for my nominees! (and anyone else who’d like to join in)

1. If you could only shop at one clothes store for a year, which one would it be?

2. When and where was your last holiday?

3. What’s your favourite band or genre of music?

4. What’s your worst bad habit?

5. Who’s your celebrity crush?

6. Would you ever consider plastic surgery?

7. What’s your favourite cuisine?

8. Have you ever fallen over in public?

9. What was the last book you read?

10. Do you have any tattoos or piercings?

Thanks again to Holly, and I look forward to reading other people’s responses – don’t forget to let me know in the comments that you’ve done it!

Gig review – The Amorettes and Danko Jones at the Key Club in Leeds

We’re quite a fan of road trips to see bands we like and would generally rather travel to a weekend gig than do a mid week gig closer to home.

Which is how we found ourselves in Leeds on Saturday to see Danko Jones.

I was first introduced to the band by the husband (no surprise there!), about 5 or 6 years ago. They’re punky, funky, loud and in your face with great riffs and brash singalong lyrics but we’d never yet seen them live. So when they announced a UK tour, we were all over it.

Common sense would have been to go to the Wolverhampton date, but that was on a school night, and where’s the fun in that?

The Key Club was a great venue – small, intimate, dark, with great sound and a cheap bar! Seriously though, the sound quality and volume was very very good.

Support band The Amorettes are an all girl group that I wasn’t familiar with. They were pretty good – musically tight and full of attitude. For me it was spoilt by the fact that the lead singer delivered all her segues between songs in an OTT fake American accent. Why? You’re from Scotland! I hate fakery, and I hate it when bands feel they have to sound American to fit in. It completely undermines and spoils the rest of the performance for me.

And, in truth (which isn’t their fault) I was only really interested in the main band. Who did not disappoint!

One word.

Wow.

They literally blew me away. Right from the first chord the energy was incredible. Vocally, lead singer Danko is strong, raw and full of passion. Musically, for just three people, they make a hell of a lot of noise! It was like listening to the CD. Stand outs for me were “Legs” and “Do You Wanna Rock” (there aren’t many rock songs with cowbells in!)

Danko Jones Key Club Leeds

Disappointed to not hear “I Think Bad Thoughts” which was the original song that got me into them (and is probably my favourite) but that’s a very weak complaint in what was an incredible set, performance and night.

I already can’t wait to see them again – come back soon!

And, because I missed it, here is “I Think Bad Thoughts”

.

In betweeny dressing

One of the things I don’t like about the change of season (be that summer to autumn, or winter to spring) is what a pain it is to get dressed for work in the morning.

Change of season

I mean, mornings are difficult enough, right? And what works at 8am when you leave home could be completely inappropriate by 3pm in the afternoon, what with changes in temperature, morning dew giving way to afternoon sun, and the constant air conditioning battle.

I’m lucky in my new job that the dress code is casual. Which means I can wear jeans. I have this mental block around wearing thick black tights before November, or at least mid October – it’s just a thing – so when I worked in a corporate office I sometimes had to revert to nude tights. URGH. Is there an uglier item of clothing on the planet? They wrinkle and bunch and make whatever undies you’re wearing look horrible. Much vom. I don’t miss them in the slightest.

But it does mean that I fall into a bit of a denim rut. And I’m not purporting to have an answer to that. It’s one of life’s unexplainable dilemmas, like blackholes, or why people laugh at Michael McIntyre.

Because, in truth, it’s not really proper autumn yet, is it? And that’s annoying too. If summer’s going to be over, just get on and be done with it, so we all know where we are and can approach it accordingly.

Also not helped by the fact that I think I have some weird internal temperature gauge. I seem to experience extremes of temperature when everyone else is fairly constant. It’s one of the reasons I don’t have a fringe (naturally wavy hair + sweaty forehead = frizzy uncontrollable mess right where everyone can see it).

For the last couple of weeks I seem to have adopted an unofficial uniform of jeans, tee, scarf, lightweight leather jacket and hi-tops. Yawnsville. I start off my day at the office wrapped up, and gradually de-robe as the day goes on (only as far as the jeans and tee, it’s not that kind of place).

Outside of work I’m still just about getting away with skirts and bare legs with ankle boots, but that’s because I don’t leave home while it’s still single digit temperatures, and there isn’t an office air conditioning fiend in my flat at home.

Flares are mixing up my denim look from the usual skinnies, but then footwear can become a bit of a problem.

Same with maxi skirts. It’s not really cold enough for boots but not warm enough for sandals, and ballet flats just don’t work on me.

Maxi skirt 2

Maxi skirt 3

Maxi skirt

I know, there’s no pleasing me.

Maybe inbetweeny footwear is the real problem! And that’s a whole other post!

That was all a bit pointless, wasn’t it? Let’s give this post some purpose! I’d love to hear what you guys wear on in-betweeny days?

Denim Flares – it’s a 70s thing

If you check out my Pinterest “Clothes Maketh the Wo(man)” board, you’ll notice quite a few outfits featuring denim flares.

Flared jeans

I’ve already got some denim skinny flares; I blogged about them in one of my first ever posts. They’re from Dorothy Perkins and a couple of years old; they were classed as bootcut on the website, but I think that’s because “flares” weren’t on trend back then (the fickleness of fashion).

Anyways, I bought these jeans in the sale from New Look a few weeks back; they were reduced to just £13.

New Look indigo flares

These new ones are really 70s – they’re high waisted and have front patch pockets and they’re lightweight fabric with a bit of stretch and they’re lovely!

Then, a couple of weeks back, I saw some pale blue ones on the H&M website. I’ve always wanted some pale blue ones but never seen any that were quite the right blue, or right shape or texture. These again have patch pockets for that real 70s vibe, are very soft and they’re high enough waisted to tuck in all of my greedy tummy!

H&M light blue flares 2

H&M light blue flares

These were £19.99, and have a smaller window of opportunity than the dark ones (I don’t think you can wear light blue jeans in winter, but that’s just one of my own rules for myself)

Here are some more of the gorgeous Pinterest inspiration pictures I’ve been drooling over featuring denim flares.

Flares 3
Flares 4
Flares 5
Flares 6
  Flares 8
Flares 9
 
Flares 7
 
Flares
What are you digging on Pinterest?

Banksy – Dismaland Bemusement Park

When I saw that Banksy was launching a Dismaland exhibition in Weston Super Mare, my first thought was “how has he managed to keep that secret?”

Closely followed by “I deffo want to go”.

As luck would have it, the dates fit in nicely with our weekend in Looe, meaning we’d practically be passing Weston on the way home.

What I was less prepared for (although should have anticipated) was that tickets would be hard to come by. Priced at just £3 plus £2 booking fee in advance, they were a veritable bargain. And also highly in demand. Unable to buy any online, I resorted to ebay listings and See Tickets message boards to source some.

I eventually managed to bag a couple for £15 each. Which isn’t too bad, but it’s still 3 times the face value. Which is annoying, but not worth missing out for the sake of an extra tenner each.

What did amuse me was that the some of the people who were selling at silly prices were emailing me the day before offering them for much cheaper. Meaning that, for once, touts haven’t made a mint. It also means I could have got some cheaper if I’d have waited, but it wasn’t worth the risk.

When we arrived I recalled immediately that I’d read the staff have attitude – it’s all part of the “experience”. The trigger was how rude the girl was on the door, followed by the ticket checker. One of the fake security guards in the foyer told me to take my hat off “you’re not Michael Jackson”. Without fail everyone who worked there was bad mannered, disinterested or disengaged. It was all part of the fun.

Without further ado, here are some pictures! As you’d expect there are a lot of political statements, a heavy dose of irony, and the inimitable Banksy don’t give a fuck attitude.

Dismaland and Ariel

Banksy Dismaland castle

Banksy Dismaland police van

References to the horsemeat scandal. The carousel was particularly clever – it looked at odds with the rest of the park at first – being all shiny and colourful – but one of the horses was hanging and cut open and an operative with a cleaver was sitting on boxes marked lasagne

Dismaland horsemeat

Dismaland hotdog

There were lots of battered old kids rides around the park

Dismaland old ride

The burnt out ice cream van bore a sign that said customer service, closed 24 hours

Dismaland ice cream van customer service

This was my favourite piece of artwork; half of the letters that spell Disneyland have fallen off, leaving Dead

Dismaland Disneyland Dead artwork

Mickey Mouse with a serpent tail

Dismaland mickey mouse snake

Mini “Gulf”, set on a course made of oil cans, old pipes and petrol pumps

Dismaland Mini Gulf

Dismaland mini golf

This was rather close to home – I guess that was the point. Based on the remote control boats you play at theme parks, these were filled with tightly packed in migrants. Some were floating face down in the water

Dismaland remote control migrants

 And, of course, some political and anti-capitalist statements

Dismaland anticapitalist

Dismaland church sexuality

There was an outdoor cinema which showed some rather weird films – we caught the end of one with a teddy bear being cut open to show real human organs

Dismaland cinema

And a rather jovial big sandcastle!

Dismaland giant sand castle

Was it worth it? Absolutely. Even with paying so much over the odds for tickets. Because it’s only a temporary exhibition there’s that feeling of being part of something special – it’s conceptually brilliant and very well delivered; so sardonic and scathing.

Loved it!

Are you a fan of Banksy’s work?

 

A weekend in Cornwall – Looe Music Festival

The husband came across Looe Music Festival a couple of years ago and we went for the first time last year.

We loved it so much that we said we would 100% definitely go again. And so we did.

As is usual with me I was watching the weather forecast on an hourly basis; hoping for sunshine but not counting on it. But we woke up to clear blue skies, packed the car, and off we went!

Driving to Cornwall

Looe is such a pretty place. I hadn’t been to Cornwall prior to our first visit last year, and was immediately struck by it’s beauty. A pretty harbour town, it’s split into East and West Looe by the River Looe – the two sides connected by a town bridge. It’s a myriad of small streets and fishing boats, leading down to a wide clean beach.

Out and about in Looe

Houses in the hills Looe

Looe harbour and houses

Looe harbour

It has a lot of history – check out the plaque on the Smugglers Cott pub! Built in 1430!

Smugglers Cott

During the music festival the whole place comes alive, with multiple stages around the town and bands playing in pubs, restaurants and out on the street.

It’s an absolute bargain at around £80 for a 3 day ticket, and there really is something for everyone. This year’s headliners were The Proclaimers, Jules Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, and Johnny Marr.

We stayed in a Parkdean caravan about a mile away from the centre which was comfy, cosy and in a great location.

The organisation is second to none. Well laid out with plenty of well priced bars, lots of clean toilet facilities and friendly helpful stewards, as well as lots of different streetfood stalls. Shuttle buses run every 10 minutes or so at peak times, stopping off at all the main holiday parks and campsites and dropping people off in the middle of Looe for just a pound each way.

The main stage is on the beach.

Looe Music Festival stage  Looe Music Festival beach

Looe Music Festival main stage

The whole area is so pretty…

Looking inland from Looe bridge

…and sparkles with lights as dusk approaches.

Looe

Looe evening

We ate noodles, paella, and Cornish pasties from various street food vendors.

Lamb, mint and potato pie with mash and gravy from Grumpies of Cornwall deserves a special mention. I could have eaten everything on their menu!

Grumpies of Cornwall lamb pie

Grumpies of Cornwall

Ate cake and drank wine at the harbourside after dark.

Cake and wine

And ordered handmade cocktails from the Beetle Juice van!

Beetle Juice cocktail van

The stage and beach light up for the headliners.

Looe Music Festival at night

Jools Holland at Looe Music Festival

Personal highlights included The Dodge Brothers – an Americana skiffle band. Mark Kermode – of film critic fame – plays the double bass; my favourite instrument in the world.

Looe Music Festival The Dodge Brothers

Wille and the Bandits played the BBC Introducing stage. We’ve found out they’re playing at a venue near us in a couple of weeks, which is great news!

Wille and the Bandits

And an afternoon in the Bullers Arms pub watching Steve Flanders play a great set which had the whole pub singing along.

Steve Flanders

The weather was fantastic all weekend – I had my legs out enjoying the last of the summer sun! (obligatory festival hats were worn too)

Looe Music Festival

Me at Looe Music Festival

I don’t like to be a creature of habit, because I want to see and do as many things in life as possible, but I already know there’s a very good chance we’ll be back for the third time in a row next year. That’s how special it is.

**Some photo credits to the husband on this post, including the ones with me in them, obvs!

 

Things, they are a changing…

Just a quick post to let you know that I’ve invested in my very own domain name…altogether now….”Ooooooh!”

New web address

In future you’ll be able to find me at www.thistattandtheother.com

I understand it takes around 48 hours to swap over, so please bear with me/it while the cogs in the background whir and work and do all the clever stuff to get things up and running in the new world.

Thanks for following and reading and being generally great, and I hope to see you on the other side!

Get to Know Me

I saw this post on T is for Tina’s blog (check it out, it’s a lot of fun!), and being as I love talking about myself (just kidding…or am I?) I thought I’d have a go! After all, Tina invited anyone to get involved, and I’m doing the same to anyone who’s reading.

Get to know me

1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight?
It used to be straight when I was a kid, then I started having it permed (damn you early 90s) and since then it’s grown back curly. But it doesn’t dry well, it takes so long because it’s thick that it just ends up as frizz. When I’m on holiday and it dries quickly I often have it curly (except not any more because I cut it all off, doh).

2. Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon?
Anyone who’s read my blog in the past will know I’d rather stick forks in my eyes than go to the hairdresser. Plus I think it’s too expensive. Home-jobby all the way. (I did have it highlighted at a salon once and got yellow stripes, further strengthening my hairdresser fear)

3. Do you wear the same style everyday, or do you change it?
This year has been very transitional for me as I changed jobs and went from a corporate office to a very laid back smaller company with a casual dress code. So sometimes it’s jeans and a t-shirt, sometimes a shift dress and hi-tops (sport luxe darlings). In winter there’ll be lots of dresses with tights and boots. Outside of work I wear a lot hats. One at a time, obvs.

4. Do you do your own mani/pedi or go to a salon?
I’m very tight with spending money on other people doing stuff for me (I’d rather buy clothes) so I do it myself. Although it’s less of a mani/pedi and more slap some nail varnish on while I’m waiting for a taxi.

5. How often do you change your nail polish?
This is one of my bad beauty habits. I pick and chip it off or paint over it. It’s rare I properly remove polish. And then I just go bare nailed for a while. So there’s no set routine.

6. Do you polish your toes in the winter or just the summer?
Always have painted toenails. Always. They’re usually red. Currently orange. I do like to match them to my fingernails (I know that’s quite old school) but only if they’re on show, so mainly summertime.

7. How long does it take for you to put on makeup?
My morning routine is mega quick – maybe 5 minutes? I spend a bit longer if I’m going out, as I’ll apply darker eye shadow and more liner. Then the extra time is spent wiping the smudges and cursing.

8. What do you do first? Face or eyes?
Face. It just seems the natural order of things?

9. Do you collect makeup or just buy what you need when you need it?
I buy what I need when I need it but also what I want when I want it and then I won’t always use it immediately which is why I have about 20 unused nail varnishes, oops! And I’ve always got multiple lipsticks on the go.

10. How often do you wear false eyelashes?
Never. I’d like to. But I find them so fiddly. I recently (well, about 4 months ago) bought an applicator thingy so I should really try again. If I do I’ll blog about it.

11. Do you do a full face of makeup everyday?
I never really have what I call a full face of make up. Like I don’t use powder and contour and highlighter and all that stuff. My routine is easy – BB cream base, pencil my eyebrows, shadow, liner and mascara and a bit of cream blush.

12. Do you wear makeup when you’re home alone or with family?
If I’m at home at weekends with no plans I go completely bare faced.

13. Will you leave the house without makeup?
Yes. I’ll go out with no make up; not “out” as in an occasion but I’ll go to the shops.

14. How many high-end products do you have?
None, I don’t see the point. I’m not a make up lover (I mean I love it, but I don’t love it love it) I’d rather spend my money on other stuff.

15. Do you plan your OOTD every night or decide when you’re getting dressed?
I’m not a planner. Which makes me late.

16. How often do you change your handbag?
Depends on my outfit and what colour shoes I’m wearing. Oh, and the season. I have some bags that I only use outside of work.

17. What time do you wake up and go to sleep?
I’ve never been a morning person and at weekends I used to sleep in late, but that seems to have changed recently. In the week I get up between 7.20 and 7.30 (closer to 7.30, or sometimes 7.40!) and go to bed about 11-ish. At weekends it depends on my plans and whereabouts (and, if I’m honest, amount of wine drunk).

18. How often or when do you workout?
No routine – I go through phases where I’m all like “yeah, this is it, I’m going to get fit and be in the best shape of my life” then other times I think stuff it. I’ve just rejoined the gym to try and lose weight for my holiday. Which is why I was at home eating pizza on Tuesday night!

19. Left handed or right handed?
Right handed.

20. How tall are you?
5.6. Up to 5.11 in heels! (benefits of having a tall husband, it was a pre-requisite!)

21. Do you speak any foreign languages?
Nope. I did well at languages at school, but never progressed past GCSE. I’d love to speak Spanish.

22. How many pets do you have?
None! Never have (unless you count the pre-requisite childhood goldfish). I’m not responsible enough.

23. How often are you on WordPress?
Most days, slightly less so at weekends.

24. Do you read comments posted on blogs?
On my blog? Of course! (and reply). On other blogs? Sometimes. If I’m being nosy and the topic is of interest to me.

25. Do you keep a list of products to try as you see other posts?
Yes. And I’ve found some nice bits and pieces that way too.

26. How did you come up with your blog name?
I knew that there was no way I could just blog about one thing, so it was always going to be a bit of this, that and the other, and I twisted “that” to “tatt” because I have tattoos.

27. What kind of camera do you use for your photographs?
Just my phone (Samsung Galaxy A5). I don’t have the patience for anything more than point and click.

28. How often do you clean your house?
Not enough (depending on your definition of enough). There’s nicer things to do in life.

29. What’s your favorite colour?
I don’t have one. I find it a strange concept. It depends what it’s for. I mean, I quite like burgundy, but if my vegetables were that colour I’d be upset, y’know?

30. Do you swear?
Do I fu…
Yes.

31. What are you doing with the rest of your day?
What I’m paid for! (as in my actual job, I’m not positioning myself out there for offers)

If you do complete this nosy survey then be sure to let me know in the comments with a link, so I can check out your answers!