A celebration of love past, present and future

On Sunday, the husband and I were invited to a renewal of vows ceremony. Some friends have been married for 20 years, and they wanted to celebrate and cement their commitment to each other. They’ve been together for 25 years and have two children.

I think this is such a lovely idea. 20 years is a long time to be with a person, especially from a relatively young age. People change and grow and develop – sometimes in different directions. Marriage isn’t just about a fancy wedding day and a honeymoon. And it isn’t always easy, either. A good strong marriage faces challenges head on. A husband and wife must work together to build and keep a strong marriage; especially when pesky kids are involved!

So many people seem to bail out these days; divorces are commonplace within 5 years or even less. I think it’s partially to do with the “want it all” society we live in. If something isn’t meeting expectations then it’s easy to get rid of it and try something else.

It was an absolute joy to see Chris and Charlotte commit to each other all over again; to see the love in their eyes and hear the emotion in their voices as they spoke of what they mean to each other.

I might have had a little cry!

Here are some pics.

Lovely, right? I love love!

Thanks, as always, for reading, x

Oh David Gandy…no, no, NO!

There’s no denying that David Gandy is a very attractive man. Personally, I find him less attractive than I used to, by virtue of my tastes changing over the years (kind of like how I now love salmon when I didn’t used to). But he’s got good genes, that can’t be denied.

He’s now the face of Wellman Vitabiotics, which apparently he’s been taking for years (yeah, course you have David, love).

The video looks pretty cool – lots of naked skin, sweat, muscles, cool cars, swanky clothes (swanky, ha, how old am I?!), sunglasses, moody glances to camera. Aspirational stuff that would make any man want to take Vitabiotics tablets and look like Mr G (because obviously that’s how it works, no?)

Have a look for yourself (you’re welcome)

So why, why, why, OH WHY has he allowed the team behind Wellman to style him like a dated used car salesman in the billboard adverts?

David Gandy Wellman vitabiotics

My eyes!

The tan leather jacket.

The nondescript blue shirt.

The navy blue tie.

The three things together.

If that’s what happens to you when you start taking these tablets, I’ll keep the husband firmly away from them.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

Well done to the Team GB Olympians!

So the Olympics is over and Team GB are back on home soil.

Team GB arrive back in UK

What a fantastic games for all of them – medal winners or not. To have such discipline, strength of character and determination to reach a level where you represent your country over and above anyone else in the same sport is mind blowing.

Of course the fact that we came second in the medals table is pretty special; not least when you compare the number of people living in Britain compared to the US who stormed ahead. With a smaller pot to pick from, we did really well for an ickle old island.

I don’t like sport, mainly because I’m no good at it. I have no natural aptitude. I don’t believe that it’s the taking part that counts, and I don’t believe that practise makes perfect – not in my case. In my primary school years (up to age 11) I always got involved, but that was things like the skipping race (which I always won easily…can we just take a moment to appreciate that?) When I hit senior school sports day was made up of real events, like hurdles and shotput. I excitedly put myself forward for the discus, as I did pretty ok in PE lessons. On the day I threw it a paltry 8 or 9 metres, and was severely trounced by the other competitors from other classes. That was my last foray into sport. I used to get my Mom to write me a note so I didn’t have to go to the lessons where sports day teams were being chosen; rendering myself unpickable by way of my absence.

But of course success comes not just from talent. It comes from the commitment to honing that talent, and making the life changes necessary for it to shine. Strict diets, strict training and strict routines are all important. Sacrifices have to be made. It takes a special kind of person to stick it out in order to become world class.

I didn’t watch huge amounts of Olympic coverage, but some of the highlights, for me:

  • The Egyptian women’s volleyball team, playing in body covering clothes since a rule change that enables them to participate without shaming their religion
  • The British 10 metre synchronised diving gold medal for Jack Laugher and Chris Mears
  • The men’s and women’s relay team acknowledging the difference that Lottery funding makes to them
  • That Usain Bolt photo

Usain Bolt olympic photo

  • The fact that if super cycling couple Laura Trott and Jason Kenny had been their own independent country, they would have been 13th in the medal table. That’s out of 207 countries participating!
  • Russian Ilya Zakharov’s absolute shambles of a dive in the male 10 metre diving final, and his doggy style entry into the pool (yes I know I’m a mean person, but it was hilarious!)

Ilya Zakharov diving fail

And some lowlights:

  • The shameful sexism in the press around female presenters outfits and the input of winning female athletes male partners
  • The appalling attitudes of some Twitter users in negatively judging athletes’ bodies
  • Poor press coverage of the Tom Daly and Dan Goodfellow bronze medal synchronised diving win – one UK newspaper only showed a picture of Tom Daly, while the another referred to the winners as “Tom Daly and his synchronised diving partner”
  • Greg Rutherford’s girlfriend receiving shocking sexual violence threats via social media because he “only” won a bronze in the long jump
  • Ryan Lochte thinking he could get away with false robbery accusations to cover up his own inexcusable behaviour.

Nice touch by British Airways painting a gold nose on the aircraft that flew the team home! However, on Absolute Radio yesterday they said that the ratio of glasses of champagne to team members on the plane was only just over one to one. Miserable sods! After 4 years of training I’d at least expect to get sizzled on the way home!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

When the going gets tough…

…the tough go shopping.

Or so the saying goes.

I think the actual saying is “the tough get going” (or at least that’s what Billy Ocean sang – if that makes no sense to you then ask an older person. One that isn’t me). My personal fave is “the tough have a drink”. But that’s just my own mantra and not immortalised anywhere. It also works for when the going is easy, or the going is neutral.

That’s besides the point.

I haven’t actually been shopping, I couldn’t think of anything worse at the moment, but I have been slightly cheered by a parcel I ordered last week, before life fell apart all over again. In fact it’s been sitting unopened since before the weekend, and I’d actually forgotten what was in it.

Cue some smiley happy shoes.

I love shoes. They always fit, they never make you look fat, and they have the power to transform an outfit from just ok to “wow”. Bags I don’t really get. But shoes? Oh yes!

These are two bargain beauties from H&M.

Multicoloured lace up roman sandals – £9.99 (reduced from £24.99)

Buying sandals at this juncture in summer may seem an odd move, but I get a lot of wear out of sandals and this style is right up my alley (in fact it’s pretty much the only style I’ve bought this year). I love the multi colours, and the versatility and I know I won’t tire of them so they’ll be great to wear into next year as well.

Yellow suedette heels – £12.49 (reduced from £24.99)

These are less versatile and I will get less wear out of them, but fuck it! They’re a lovely bright colour and, despite looking like they might have the same effect on your toes as cheesewire, they’re surprisingly comfortable, because the toe strap is soft and padded and the slight platform offsets the heel (which is already lower than many of the pairs I own). The buckle sits slightly awkwardly on my ankle bone, but I can handle it, I’m hardcore😉 I’m going to pair them with all shades of denim, dressed up or down, and maybe with a dress too if the occasion arises.

Are you a shoe monster? Hit me up!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

Five things I love about Instagram, on World Photo Day

I’m always late to the party with social media. I remember declaring that I didn’t “get” Facebook or see the point of it, long after many of my friends already had accounts.

Similarly, I only got an instagram account just over a year ago.

Little did I expect to love it so much!

Here are five things that make it one of my fave social media platforms.

  • It’s so pretty! Such vibrant colours; sometimes it’s like looking into a world of make believe.

Images: sprinklesandwiches and catoinamsterdam

  • It gives me wanderlust. All these places in the world that I might not even have considered before.

the_naughtyfortydiaries

Image: The_naughtyfortydiaries

  • Food porn. If I can’t be eating great food then the next best thing is looking at it.

TheBodyCoach

Image: thebodycoach

  • It satisfies my nosy streak. Like taking an illicit peak through the curtains into someone’s everyday life, except without the fear of police action or a restraining order.

archertj

Image: archer.t.j

  • It’s my very own photo timeline that I can look back on and remember things, memories or experiences, but not in a traditional way

My instagram

Image: moi!

What are your favourite things about instagram?

Oh, and leave me your links so I can follow you.

(and feel free to follow me – thisandtatt

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

 

 

 

If cancer had a voice…

…it would sound like Vincent Price in the Michael Jackson Thriller song. Creepy and eerie and taunting.

If cancer had a face it would be twisted and ugly and distorted.

If cancer had a conscience it wouldn’t take over innocent people’s bodies and minds. It wouldn’t cause pain and fear.

Cancer

(image from Medical News Today)

But it doesn’t. Instead it’s stealth like in it’s progression; silently attacking, spreading, taking over.

Last time I posted about my Dad’s illness I was full of admiration for how he’d continued to live a full life; travelling and socialising and eating out.

Since then his condition has deteriorated fairly rapidly. And now we’re faced with the finality of his last few weeks, as confirmed by a palliative care consultant.

Now talk of hospice admission, sticks for support and a wheelchair is our horrifying reality. Life changing days ahead where things will never be the same again.

I’m full of sadness. Fear. Hatred. Upset. Anger. So many destructive emotions as we try to come to terms with a life without him in it. We’ve known the time would come. It’s played on our minds, silently taunting, for over 2 years now. But all of a sudden it’s really real. There in front of you. Palpable loss. It hurts so much.

Hold your family tight, people. Spend fun filled days and joyous evenings together. Hug each other. Don’t keep secrets. Say things that need to be said. Show you care.

You don’t know how long you have left.

Thanks, as always, for reading.x

 

Sign up to Magic Freebies…get free stuff!

I’m not sure how I came across the Magic Freebies website, but I did and…err..that’s kind of it really!

Magic Freebies

They feature all kinds of freebie offers – some are instant, some are prize draw entries, some require you to answer questions about stuff like your energy usage and where you shop but they all have one thing in common – you get stuff for nowt, nada, zilch.

Which is something we all like, no?

There are lots of companies and products featured – beauty, food, homewares – and you get an email linking you to 8 offers each day.

So far I’ve received mascara samples from MAC and Chanel, which I’ll be reviewing at some point, got a code for a free Body Shop nail varnish and a voucher for a free sample of Body Shop Drops of Youth face serum, and entered prize draws to review (and keep) a new Dyson hairdresser and win a Rimmel goodybag worth £150.

With nothing to lose it’s probably worth popping on over there and signing up! What are you waiting for? Toodle-pip! You can thank me later…

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

FREE nail varnish from The Body Shop

Do you want a completely free nail varnish, worth £5, from The Body Shop?

Of course you do!

Unless you’re not in the UK, or near a Body Shop, or have bitten all your nails off in a fit of rage and have nothing left to paint.

Apologies to all of the above!

But if you’re not one of those people and you do want a free nail varnish, just pop on over to Vouchercodes.co.uk, follow the link to the Vouchercodes app (or go to the app store direct, if you’re feeling a little bit crazy), download it, and search for Body Shop offers. It will look a little something like this:

Free Body Shop nail varnish Vouchercodes

You’ll generate a unique code, which you then just show to the kind people in store, and they will present you with a veritable feast of colours to choose from. Assuming they haven’t been overwhelmed with demand from other bargain hunters and run out already, that is.

The good news is that this isn’t just for new app users; you can still get your free code if you’re already a Vouchercodes user. Hurrah!

I snaffled my freebie yesterday; a rather gothic plum called “Berry Gorgeous”.

Drop me a note in the comments if you get involved, I’d love to know what colour you go for (I was a rather pithering indecisive mess during the decision process, tbh, I don’t deal well with too much choice).

Want to know how to find out about more freebies like this? Stay tuned tomorrow and I’ll tell you about my latest discovery…

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

DISCOUNT: 33% off tickets for Thriller Live at the Lyric Theatre

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember that I went to London earlier this year to see Thriller Live.

The people at the Lyric Theatre in London’s West End have since contacted me and asked me to share with you a link to a 33% discount on performances between September and March.

Good to know my blog is so hard hitting and immediate, eh?

Just kidding!

Anyways, here’s the link, if you’re interested.

And you can read my review of the show here.

It’s really well put together and choreographed , and a must if you’re a fan of Michael Jackson’s early music. It starts off with the early Jackson 5 70s stuff, right through into Jacko’s 80s heyday, before he got all weird and preachy and a bit middle of the road musically.

Now, far be it from me to mention the “C” word at this ridiculously early point in the year, but this could be a good chance to pick up a (very) early bargain Jesus’ birthday present for your friends or family – making you look like a really generous gift hero whilst saving yourself some cash.

Just a thought!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Channel 4’s Naked Attraction

Last night I watched an episode of Naked Attraction; the new dating show on Channel 4 where people choose a date purely on physical attributes.

For anyone outside of the UK, or if you haven’t seen it, a chooser stands in the studio faced with 6 coloured boxes, each containing a completely naked person. The shutter on the box lifts up in stages, revealing first the person’s bottom half, then mid section, then head. At each stage, the chooser must eliminate one naked person and give their reasons.

Naked Attraction Channel 4

Let me start by saying I’m not a prude in anyway. I don’t find nakedness offensive or embarrassing, I don’t turn over the TV when a sex scene is on and I’ve sunbathed on a nudist beach (tip, it’s not fun when things start to burn). But I just find this programme completely unnecessary and gratuitous.

Sure, it’s delivered in a “this is a social experiment and aren’t we all great for pushing the boundaries and being cool with nakedness” manner. They throw in scientific facts, like what it might mean if someone has a toe fetish (bleugh). But, in truth, it’s just a headline grabbing cheap titivation show. And I can’t imagine for one minute why anyone would choose to go on it!

As I said, nakedness is fine. It’s how we all come into the world. But in the days of catch up TV, and the internet, why would the average Joe want their bits immortalised forever more? Think it’s bad when prospective employers search Facebook profiles and Google? Imagine knowing your new boss has probably seen your short and curlies before they’ve even interviewed you?

I just don’t like how purely appearance based this show is. I mean, we’re all guilty of judging people on looks. You fancy someone or you don’t. But this is going one step further. This is looking at men and rejecting them because of a hint of ginger pubic hair. This is eliminating women because their boobs aren’t quite big enough.

A guy on yesterday’s programme was looking at the women’s bits closely and making comments about their neatness. “That one’s all very tightly packed” was one observation. I had a pang of “mine doesn’t look like that!” And if I’m thinking that, then how many other (younger and more impressionable) people are doubting themselves too?

The female chooser, an attractive women with two children (whhhhhyyyy do that to your kids?) stated “it’s like Christmas – all these men in boxes. I’ve never been faced with 6 penises before”. I’m sorry but peens just aren’t attractive. They’re not pretty. It’s what they stand for (oo-er) that’s the good bit. But when they’re just there, well, they’re just there!

Most of the contestants, both men and women had no pubic hair. I know that’s a preference of many people, but I don’t think the percentage on the show is representative of real life. One woman with a Brazilian was judged as trying to show her maturity by still having some hair. Realllly? Who knew?! (heavy doses of sarcasm). My point there, is this bringing unrealistic expectations to young people growing up? After all, this show is the kind of voyeuristic crap kids will be watching and then switching over the minute their parents walk in. Is it teaching people that what’s underneath your clothes is more important than what’s in your head or heart?

Negative comments on floppy foreskins, big nipples and hairy chests – all of which are completely natural – don’t exactly promote body confidence in someone who might have one (or all!) of these attributes!

Maybe I’m being too deep (ahem). Maybe it’s good that nudity is being normalised? I just think there are better ways of doing it than inviting strangers to ogle each other.

The one redeeming feature is presenter Anna Richardson, who I’ve always loved on TV. She’s smart, she’s spunky, she’s attractive and funny. And, as she rightly pointed out, as someone who’s swung both ways who better to stand in a room full of naked johnsons (a willy word I hadn’t heard before!) and vaginas!

You can’t really argue with that!

Have you seen it? What do you think? Am I being a boring old maid??!!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x