Let your hair down this festival season! (Or shave it off, whatever, no one cares)

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It has been in magazines since probably FEBRUARY.

“Get ready for festival season! This boho dress will have you partying until the early hours. Ted Baker, £250.”

For three months have I endured reading heartbreaking stuff about festival fashion. Festival beauty looks. Top tips for festivals. It makes me feel all weird, like laughing at something cause you thing it’s a joke, then receiving serious looks from french-brainded, bindi-stuck, chiffon-clad girls.

Such propaganda! It’s like these brands are trying to sell yet more shit to us on our (just above) minimum wages, with this promise that you’ll look like Kate Moss or Kendall Jenner (who was recently heralded as a ‘bad girl’ as she stuck her middle finger to a camera during Tyler the Creator at COACHELLA!) Rock n roll!

What’s weird about this pseudo-advertising is that, luckily, it’s not like this at all. Not at British festivals anyway.  

In fact, some of the most stylish things I’ve seen at a festival include a mother dressed as Princess Leia holding her baby dressed as Yoda, a man in his pants and thigh high white leather boots listening to Bon Iver, of all things, and a man with his arms straight up in the air at the Stone Circle for like two WHOLE days, as he thought he was a milk bottle and didn’t want to toppled over (okay, I only heard about that one but still – if that’s not style, I don’t know what is.)

So here it is! I’ve milled over these ‘tips’ for the last three minutes and have deemed them worthy enough to be included in this (not so) extensive list.

1) Don’t wear white  

This is more of a tip for general life. I don’t even think I will be able to wear white on my wedding day, since I hear there is usually cake, and a lot of wine.  In an unintentional slip last week, I bought a gorgeous white knitted dress (think Stevie Nicks) intended for Glastonbury, and then proceeded spill Diet Coke on it as I took it out the bag to look at it. Just don’t wear white.

2) Wear white

Or better, do, and wear your stains with pride.  My favourite ever Belle and Sebastian top has cider, wine, and beer stains down it, and I proudly wear it – telling disinterested people the Stories Behind the Stains, like they’re tattoos I got whilst travelling around the world or whatever. Be true to who you are. Without you, stains would know no life.

3) Break up with make up

Now I can’t reallly comment on this as I don’t really have a make up routine, bag, etc – but surely it’s a ballache putting make up on in a field right? Surely it is putting it on every day, right? (Stay with me.)

My usual argument to this is – there are no mirrors at these places – because if there were, people would find a way to do coke off them. You’re not even gonna see yourself all weekend – which makes the first mirror look at home even funnier! (Usual scream at the sunburnt, muddy-faced stranger looking back at you, with tiny eyes and huge pupils.)

Here’s something you could try out for the weekend. Come get us, boys! (NB: You won’t be able to get this off for weeks, so prepare yourself for shifty looks at work, as you swivel around on your chair scrolling through Facebook photos, deep into the comedown.)

Tara’s Beauty Look for Festival Season:

You will need:

1)Moisturiser with SPF (​You can usually get this from your Mum’s drawer)

2) Glitter (​A quid from Poundland. Or someone else will have it. Do it on budget and ask at the next tent. What? That’s like a quarter of a pint!)

1.Mix whole bottle of glitter with tub of moisturiser.

2.Apply twice daily.

Et voila!

Mucky-faced with the dirtiest nails under them acrilix
Mucky-faced with the dirtiest nails under them acrilix

4) Snap happy

Not wearing make up is a suggestion that is often met with the response of people saying – but photos! I need to look good in the photos! Which is true, you have to look great in the photos.

Ways to looks great in the photos:

1)Do a Kendall Jenner and flip em one, girls. That way people will think you don’t care about your sweat patches, mascara-face and cider stains. It’s like we’re at Coachella!

2)Pull the most hideous faces possible, so you can be like “Haha! God, I guess I don’t look great when I pull such ugly faces! (as opposed to) “Haha! God, I must have been reeaaallly drunk in that one!” Make them ALL look bad. BE BAD.

3)Alternatively do just get so drunk you think the flash of the camera is a lightning bolt, and you’re the resurrection of Ziggy Stardust, who is a fictional character anyway, so maybe you’re just a recycled idea, and [continue this way of thinking, ideally with joint in hand – much more functional than a clutch bag, or whatever shit they’re trying to sell us in magazines]

There are solutions to all the problems if you sit and think about them guys. The best one’s will always be the candid ones, anyway – that one of you putting your welly on or pissing in a bottle. Or doing both. Ah, 15 days.

4) Factor 5,000,000

Now, here’s where I’m gonna assume the role of ‘Mum’, but sun cream is so important at places like this – it’s well worth preventing sunburn/stroke (much easier to prevent than trenchfoot, which we’ll come to later.) As glorious at that whole day of sunshine might seem, being all crispy, drunk AND sunburnt is total hell and makes you convert to drinking water over cider, and will make you say terrible things like “How about we all just chill here for a while and watch Ben Howard?”

Your friends will be literally horrified by this severely out-of-character behaviour and will consequently rush to the FRANK water stand to get your free water bottle filled up.

Then you, all sunstroked and floaty: “Is this vodka? I need vodka.”

Passing out from sunstroke is like failing your driving test for parking up on yellow lines – there are way cooler ways to do it.

5) Soak up the D. The vitamin D

Because after all, if we get sunshine, heaven is on Earth – and you’re already in.

6) Stuck in the mud

You’re going to get trenchfoot. Don’t Google it, but you will get it. With 15 days to go, it is worth booking an appointment with your GP now for when you get home.

Welcome to the silly season! Go forth and PLAY.
Welcome to the silly season, baby! Now ignore all my tips and just go PLAY. 

“Under the iron bridge we kissed/and although I ended up with sore lips…” – a weekend spent in Manchester

I’m writing this as my computer slowly dies, as it downloads a virus or something. Forever finding something less productive to do, I began scrolling through Instagram on my phone realising the reason I’d fired up this old machine was to write, so I really had no excuses.(I am on WordPad! There’s no spell check here. Forgive my errors but no-one should have to do this much work on a Sunday.) 

  

I went to Manchester a week or so ago to visit my boyfriend who’s recently moved there. His flat lies right near the Northern Quarter, so I got to see LOTS of hipsters all the time and ended up feeling really-not-at-all hip (I had brought doc Martens but mainly walked around in neon blue Nikes because blisters.) (I think Nike is deemed quite cool these days but I got mine from a bargain bucket at Sports Direct, and from the eyes I get from passers-by, there is just something that tells me they’re not fashion-approved.) I never really got what made trainers cool and I don’t think it will ever click. Trainers used to solely mean P.E lessons and now mean being able to walk around a city without stopping at every bench just for some relief, you know? Who cares if they stop traffic in the worst way possible?

It’s hard to say if the city was what I expected it to be like, as it always is – remembering your initial preconceptions after you visit a place. It was flashier than I thought, but then again my previous images of the place were just that everywhere looked like Coronation Street. Cobbled streets and Rovers Return, but hopefully no melodramatic, multiple-life-taking tram crashes. Anyway.

I was expecting all the industrial architecture, thanks to Morrissey’s depictions of the town in his Autobiography, and I was pleasantly surprised with how gorgeous those buildings looked against the Gothic cathedral and medieval library. 

  

 Jack was working during the first two days of my visit, so after locating where the nearest takeaway was, just in case (downstairs! Korean! Delicious seafood soup!) I set off on my own – in my Nikes – to see what the place could offer me.

I do this horrendously pretentious thing when exploring a city solo, where at every sign which points one way (towards the shopping centre, towards the cathedral) I go the other way. Usually, this winds me up in a multi-storey car park and unusually, it did this time too – I ended up walking alongside a motorway that led me into Salford. I was like, OMG! Salford Lads Club! (I’m painfully Smiths-conscious. I later found out ‘The Symths’ played in Peterborough during this weekend and I would have given up a weekend in Manchester to see them – nothing like the authenticity of a really, really decent tribute band. Faux-authenticity, it’s the next big thing) 

My life-threatening walk down this very dangerous road could now be classed as an altruistic pilgrimage. Who knows what I could discover? What indie pop gems lay ahead? What I did discover was that my blisters were worse than I thought, Google Maps wasn’t entirely sure where this place was, and like always – my truest daily struggle – I was hungry.

Therefore, as I caved into the fact I might spend the whole day turning my GPS on and off, I decided to take the plunge and go to the ‘People’s History Museum’ across the road and ask them where to find it. Upon entering, I became very shy and embarassed to ask (ironically ‘If there’s something you’d like to try/ Ask me I won’t say no/How could I?’ didn’t apply to this situation) so I stayed put and walked around this wonderfully executed and well laid out museum. 

 The People’s History Museum is essentially about society post-1819 in the city (and nationwide), the importance of the Labour Party after the war (welfare etc) and the value of the vote. There was a great section about the suffragettes which I permenantly smiled at, although with my irrational fear of mannequins the entire event became a bit of an ordeal. Usually I am alright in museums if there is someone with me to look around corners first, or if there are lots of people around. The place was unusually quiet, so I quickly paced around it, taking a few pictures, and finally breathed when I got back to the shop at the end. The fear is long-lived and TOTALLY justifiable OK. All of my worst nightmares take place in Madame Tussauds. Literally never take me there. Ever. Please. 

  

     

The People’s History Museum was a great place to visit in the run-up to the election. As I’ve said, it was well curated and actually mannequin-free (excepting a part-whimsical part-terrifying puppet of Harold Wilson that needs to just GO.)

Next, I walked along the Salford Quays and noted in my head that, in the cities I’ve visited recently, the first step of regeneration in a big city is at the docks. They (London, Dublin, Manchester) all seem to have these huge office spaces with top floor gyms, Zizzi’s and Pret’s aplenty. I like to imagine what the docklands might have been like 150 years ago and think I may have preferred it.

I stumbled on the John Ryland’s library – which I thought was the functional central library – but the reality actually made me gasp and say ‘Oh my!’ in true Dorothy style. It was beautiful (I didn’t pick up any historical or factual info to bore you with but it was well pretty with WINDOWS.)  

   

   

Then, I found the real library which was a gorgeous dome building based on the Pantheon in Rome! I know! Italian! This place was great with BFI film archive booths and tonnes and tonnes of useful things and so so busy which was great to see. 

  

The Manchester Art Gallery was well worth my visit, with a National Trust botanic display upon entrance that was lovely in a city of concrete. There was a display of dresses commissioned by the Manchester-based Cotton Board of purely French-designers, using Manchester-made cotton and designed by, uh, French designers. Pierre Cardin, Carven – and all so West Side Story-worthy. 

  

 This painting by Andrew MacCallum is called ‘Oak Trees in Sherwood Forest’ and shows oak trees in Sherwood Forest.

  

 His mission was to educate working people and said:

“Show people the best pictures you can get of beautiful common things,

make them notice the beauty of form…of colour…

and when they next see the thing which the picture represented,

they will see in it beauty,

which, but for the picture, they would not see.”

I don’t know much about art, but I think that’s quite lovely for its simplicity.

I also found a Grayson Perry vase, made in 2009 called ‘Jane Austen in E17.’ 

  

He links past and present in the work, saying: “I think of Jane Austen as the touchstone of a polite, middle-class culture in Britain. These ladies in Georgian dress represent that comfortable, bourgeois mindset – conservative – yet heavily laced with an arch humour.”

With this, there are cut-outs from gossip magazines as well as photos he took around his studio in Walthamstow (London, E17.) They are supposedly ‘symbols of how far and yet how near East London now is from Hampsire two centuries ago.’

I then moved on to see the Royal Exchange Theatre which was totally beautiful and I hope to see a play there when I go down again this weekend. Photographic evidence: 

  

 There was the obligatory visit to the Hard Rock Café, of course: 2 pints of Budweiser, 2 hamburgers, extra bacon on one. 

   

 

We went to an indie night at The Deaf Institute – achingly trendly place – called ‘I am the Resurrection’, on Easter Sunday! Oh, the pun. I insisted we went for the pun. Also drank at the ‘smallest pub in Europe’ (I’m certain every touristy city has one of these) – but George Best drank there AND a Manchester-born-and-bred woman from the ‘scum of the city’ (her words not mine) said ‘Fuck you, cunt!’ to Jack when he said he didn’t really like football. I love Manchester! 

Totally heartbroken that he’s moved up there, but very excited to visit every fortnight or so. I lost my phone and card in a club, realised two drinks later in a different bar, and went back to find it STILL THERE! Let’s just say this sort of stuff wouldn’t happen in London.

  

“I want just to sit with him”

Cate le Bon’s Mug Museum is the first album I have ever downloaded. I know it’s odd because it’s 2014, but I just treated myself to a shiny new iPod touch with a lovely discount from work and wanted to ‘download’ something, in its entirety (rather than just a couple of songs of Pop Party 2, which is basically what iTunes is for.)

It sounds really ambitious, but I hope that with the addition of my new gadget, I will write more. I’ve got into the idea of writing again in quite a big way, since being chewed up and spat out by showbusiness 7 times over. It’s okay, I’m still going to work on that, but I don’t wanna lose this neither.

Firstly can we talk about the artwork?

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7109S59BLgL._SL1200_Oh no, on Googling it- I have seen the tracklisting and now I realise why I’ve refrained from downloading, cause you don’t get the whole package dude!

Anyway, I downloaded this album on my best friend’s bed, at about half past 3 on a Monday afternoon, totally wasted on rosé- and I really don’t regret it (perhaps the only recent drunken doing I feel OKish about.)

To be honest, I was not really at all familiar with le Bon’s work before this album, aside from hearing some of her work on 6Music – (and how the title came from her friend describing her room as a Mug Museum, as there were so many empty mugs lying around. Which I can relate to on the highest level possible.)

I don’t really want to write a detailed track-by-track listing, as I haven’t listened to it enough yet to do it justice. It’s just very good music to have on when your writing, or writing a blog post or texting a boy you’ve liked for ever. 

Track 5, is the standout, obviously- I mean have you HEARD THIS?!

So, so swoony.

In other news: Wolf Pupy wrote for Rookie, which is super cool teen girl representation if I ever did see it.

 

Christopher Kane threw the best outfit EVER WORN BY A BLONDE down the catwalk at LFW:

Christopher Kane: Runway - London Fashion Week AW14

 

I mean, everyone seriously step aside.

Hope you’re all doing good. I’m very write-y today, so maybe even pop back later.

Enjoy your days.

Tara X

 

~ How I adore you *camera Obscura* I’ll turn you up to eleven ~

TAGLINE: ~A really really half-hearted unworthy post about Camera Obscura’s wonderful new release, ‘Desire Lines’~

camera-obscura1I haven’t post for a week or whatever, because I’ve been busy trying to perfect my puttanesca sauce, learning lines for this ol’ play I’m in, and listening to Camera Obscura’s new album Desire Lines.

Since pasta is carb-y therefore not particularly stylish, Shakespeare is old therefore not so rad, I guess Camera Obscura are hip enough to write about (by hip I mean really fucking good, as in- I can’t listen to anything else until I’ve learnt at least all of the lyrics to the first side.)

OKAY: I can’t remember where I first heard Obscura, but I presume it was as a recommendation I read when scouring Belle & Sebastian fan pages for days and days when I was 15 (I pretend I’m no longer like that, but I sort of am)

With most pieces about bands, it’s nice to read what the first album the writer heard was because usually it’s kind of accessible and a good place for the ever faithful reader to begin

‘Let’s Get out of this Country’, released in 2006 is perfection, every song is wonderful, AND REALLY EASY TO PLAY ON GUITAR, but I’m tired and it’s Sunday and my brain is coping with two hangovers so just shut up and listen:

‘Dory Previn’

‘Razzle Dazzle Rose’

‘voir tout en rose’

But of more importance, let’s talk about Desire Lines- because I’ve overplayed it to such an extent that I can’t properly write anything of value about their former stuff.

Let’s talk about ‘New Years Resolution’

New Year’s Resoultion to write something of value

A new year’s resolution to write something would be fine

&

You offer a friendship I cannot reciprocate

So don’t beg me in a garden for it not to end this way

&

I’ve been cool with you

I’ve been cool with you

I’ve been cool with you

Which is so wonderful and perfect, ‘I’ve been cool with you’

It seems older and her vocals stronger than aforementioned ‘Lets get out of this Country’ and it has come and SUCH a relevant time in my life, (which I can’t really talk about on here being the internet and really not private etc.) All for which makes a really bad, bad, post.

Still I love you all. And I’ll keep coming back to WordPress, I promise. For now though, please go and buy it. Walk to a shop and buy it. It’s really worth your wages.

*drum roll*

 

WP_20130601_011Hey everyone! I’ve been too busy spending time staring at my nails pleading for them to grow and drinking regrettable concoctions of vodka and other substances (that sounds like the name of a debut album or something) to write anything long and boring, but I did make something scrappy/ziney yesterday!

It was gorgeous really, it was SO hot, and I was sprawled out all day on the grass like a cat (albeit a very focused productive self-publishing cat)

It was really easy to make, so I could cut and stick pretty much as soon as I’d begun, which is great as I suck at remaining interested in things for more than one second. I’ve always liked to be scrappy, I wrote about it once I think. I decided to theme it around it, ‘Lists’, as the pages were really tiny to be able to write anything ‘proper’ but it was still super fun. I’m going to post it seperately- enjoy!