Working 9 to 5

Working 9 to 5

Working 9 to 5

Working 9 to 5

Working 9 to 5

After Glastonbury it’s customary to spend the next week with your head on ice, immersing your mind, body and soul in health, watching a lot of Disney films, keeping activity to a bare minimum and essentially keeping your brain cocooned in a kind of fuzzy straight-jacket making sure life is as stress-free as possible. What you don’t do is take a day to recover, then dive face-first into preparation for a 2nd interview for your Dream Job whilst battling an extreme case of festival-induced narcolepsy and gargling ginger tea to (please-God-please) desperately try and get your voice back so you can actually enunciate words rather than inaudibly croak. No. Only someone completely barmy would do that. To then ricochet from one festival to another via said interview well, you’d have to be quite out of your mind to agree to do that now wouldn’t you?! Ahem.

Well, the good news is that I got the job! However my brain literally fell out of my face when I came back from two weekends of back-to-back festivalling – which were an absolute scream, had SO MUCH FUN – and I took about a week to feel myself once again, but regardless, I GOT THE JOB !!! On Monday this week I joined Beyond Retro as their Head of Press and Marketing and I’m beyond delighted to be an official member of the 9 to 5′ers once more. Suffice to say that I spent last weekend preparing, and by that I mean I bought myself a new notebook (I plumped for a printed Rifle Paper Co. lined journal from one of my favourite shops, Search and Rescue and in Stoke Newington), prepared my pencil case and planned all of my outfits for the week ahead. Really Important Stuff. On Sunday I actually took one of my outfits for a trial spin, quite literally, as this spaghetti-strap dress from ASOS has an enormous billowy skirt, making it ideal for spinning around like a crazy thing until you fall over – a move I opted not to bust out when I wore it in the office today, I’m saving that for another time! It’s also ideal for this hot-and-sticky weather we’re having right now and even better, it’s only £18 in the sale – quick click hurry hurry!

Working 9 to 5

Working 9 to 5

Working 9 to 5

Working 9 to 5

Working 9 to 5

Truth be told it does feel a teensy bit strange being back in an office environment after spending the past almost-two years working pretty much on my own, I keep getting distracted whenever I hear another voice for example! I’m really enjoying it though and so excited about beginning this new chapter. Invariably I’m also blaming it all on Dolly Parton; hearing her sing “9 to 5″ at Glastonbury must have ignited something deep within me! Altogether now, “Tumble outta bed and I stumble to the kitchen. Pour myself a cup of ambition….!”

ASOS dressTopshop sandals – Vintage sunglasses – Vintage bag – River Island bracelet - Vintage Rings

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What To Pack For A Festival

This year marks 16 years that I’ve been going to Glastonbury festival (which is in fact half my life – showing my age here!) and being from the West Country, it’s somewhat of an annual pilgrimage for us Somerset-folk. Since my very first visit aged 16 I’ve gone to all but three and having clocked up a fair few visits to Worthy Farm – along with an assortment of other festivals as well – I’ve become pretty adept at knowing just what to pack to make the experience as hassle-free and comfortable as possible. With Glastonbury but a mere few hours away, I thought I’d share some of these tips with you, because if you’re anything like me you may well have left it to the very last minute! This is by no means an exhaustive list of what to pack, think of it more as a list of things that you may not have considered before along with some handy tips, tricks and hacks that I think make for a more enjoyable festival experience! Oh and if you are off to the festival then have a peek at this guide from First Great Western with train times, a site map and all manner of useful tidbits – enjoy!

My Five Top Festival Packing Tips

1) Pack in outfits in bags. Don’t try to cram as much of your wardrobe into your rucksack as possible. Instead pack per day and then pop each outfit into a plastic bag; that way you can easily locate what you want to wear when you’re out of your brain on festival-strength cider turning your tent upside down and inside out in the dark. (I speak from experience) You can then use plastic bags for rubbish – always Leave No Trace - or as a ‘laundry bag’ for your dirty washing. Pretty handy as waterproof socks when you have leaky welly boots too. Oh and if it rains then you have something to sit on too. Plastic bags are evil but when it comes to festivals they’re extremely useful

2) Only take with you what you can afford to lose. I’ve ruined countless favourite items of clothing from accidental red wine spillages, mud that JUST WILL NOT COME OUT and a whole manner of assorted unmentionable feral activities. If you love it, leave it

3) Don’t scrimp on your skin. As my skin instantly stages a dirty protest if I don’t take my makeup off, one thing I never sacrifice is my cleansing routine (my dignity and sanity I leave at home!) so I always take moisturising face wipes (my favourites are by Klorane as they contain soothing cornflower ), miniatures of all my favourite beauty products, a refreshing toning water spray (Lush’s Breath Of Fresh Air is divine!) along with earbuds, an orange stick (to clean the mud out from under my nails!) and a hairband to tie my hair back when I have a wash. This may seem over-the-top but believe me feeling clean can make all the difference

4) Hangover Cures. If you’re not a Bloody Mary fan then ignore this bit but if you are then this is for you … The night before you leave make a Bloody Mary mix – essentially everything that goes into a Bloody Mary bar the vodka – in a 2 litre water bottle and whack it in the freezer. The next morning wrap the frozen-solid Bloody Mary Mix in a towel and it will stay cool for a fair few days. Just add vodka and there you go – instant hangover cure!

5) Leave the picket fence at home! One year I was thrilled to find a white picket fence in the 98p shop in Dalston and, despite the fact that it was yet another cumbersome thing to carry, I decided that I absolutely MUST HAVE IT for the tent. That year was one of the muddiest I’d been to and the picket fence stayed in the bag and I then had to carry it home. Moral of the story. If it’s not useful then leave it at home.

What To Pack For A Festival

What To Pack For A Festival

What to Pack

  • Wellies. Always. Even when the forecast is “glorious sunshine all weekend”
  • Blanket. When night falls it can get extremely chilly at festivals; a blanket will keep you warm in your tent when you’re calling it a night, but if you’re someone that likes to stay up until sunrise then a blanket draped around your shoulders is another much-needed layer of warmth.
  • Waterproof. When it comes to staying dry then you really do get what you pay for. Invest in a decent waterproof and you’ll keep it forever. Mine is a Karrimor jacket from Sports Direct
  • Flipflops. When it’s muddy you don’t want to be putting your welly boots on every time you need to leave your tent to go to the toilet or pop round to your friend’s tent for an impromptu tent-party for that matter
  • Leggings. Great to sleep in and perfect to pop under a pair of shorts or as an extra layer under jeans
  • Bikini top. Every morning I try and have what I like to call ‘a bird bath’– basically a wash in one of the sinks – it instantly revives me no matter how heavy a night/day/night I’ve had and wearing a bikini top means that I can have a proper wash and my clothes don’t get soaked in the process
  • Scarf. Come day three my hair usually looks like it’s inhabiting a family of small fieldmice. A scarf is a quick and easy way to get it up whilst (trying to) look presentable
  • Festival phone – As much as I’m an Instagram addict I’m also a total pro at losing my belongings! To avoid any mishaps I use a Festival Phone, this is basically a phone so old it has an aerial and a wind-up battery. I jest but you get the gist
  • Camera. But leave the DSLR at home. One with a strap is also preferable as prevents you (me) losing it
  • Spare pair of sunglasses – As well as being Top-Of-The-Class when it comes to losing things I’m also an ace at breaking them too. I’ve now learnt to bring a spare pair in case (read – when) this happens
  • Bumbag. An across-the-shoulder bag keeps you hands-free yes, however it still ends up giving me shoulder ache after FIVE DAYS of lugging it around. Bumbags mean you really are hands-free and it’s also the best deterrent to pick-pockets
  • Packs of pocket-tissues. Taking a whole toilet roll is a pain in the bum (no pun intended) to carry and invariably it will only get wet, shredded and/or used as a pillow. Go for the easier-to-carry option instead
  • Hand towel. To use when having my birdbath but also on the one occasion I wash my hair. It will dry within a day hung up inside your tent (bring a wire clothes hanger to do this on – also perfect for any wet clothes you need to dry out) or, if it’s sunny, on the roof of your tent
  • Dry Shampoo. My hair is baby-fine and the next day has about as much volume as a deflated blow-up mattress. Batiste adds that much-needed bit of oomph. I love the stuff
  • Perfume. Covers a wide range of sins. Invaluable
  • Tangle Teezer hairbrush. I’m a recent convert to Tangle Teezer and I just know this is going to come into it’s own at Glastonbury. No matter how mud-soaked, cider-marinated or bramble-infested my barnet gets this will glide through those tangles like a dream
  • Suncream. Even when the rain is thundering down in biblical proportions I’ve managed to ‘catch the sun’! Suncream is a must
  • Plastic glasses. For making cocktail hour drinks and to double up as a beaker for cleaning your teeth with so that you can then swerve the huge queue for the taps
  • Lucozade tablets, diaoralite and Berocca. These are the Holy Trinity of hangover cures. Failing that a Bloody Mary does the trick nicely. More on this later ….
  • Painkillers. See above
  • Handwipes & Hand Sanitiser. Keep these in your bumbag for mucky-pup moments
  • Handsoap. Dispense some of this into a squirty bottle (Boots do one) and you won’t be cursing that there’s no soap left at the taps
  • Latex gloves. This is a weird one I know but have you ever tried to remove a mud-caked welly boot when your ankles have swollen up to the size of golf balls? You get absolutely covered in mud. Wear these and avoid filthy paws. A little Princess-like I know!
  • Earplugs. Call me an old lady but getting at least a few hours kip every night has now become essential. These ensure I block out the sounds of overenthusiastic (read – eyeball-bleddingly infuriating) festivalgoers shouting “Alan!” “Steve!” “Alan … Steve!” over and over and over and over again
  • Glitter. Absolutely loads of it! However it’s no fun getting it off the next day. My saviour is Lush’s Ultrabland, it’s a creamy beeswax-based cleanser that removes even the hardiest of ‘Festival Face’

What To Pack For A Festival

I’m now going to go ‘off grid’ and spend the next five days in one of my favourite places in the world, Glastonbury Festival. I can’t wait to spend the weekend rolling around in the fields with my friends covered in glitter. See you on the other side!

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Pink Lady

June 20, 2014 · 3 comments

in What Plum Wore

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At last! I’ve finally managed to step back from the whirlwind that’s been my life, pull my finger out and write a very long overdue blogpost. Hoo-fricking-ra and claps on the back to me! Despite confessing a few posts back as to how much time and effort I dedicate to each blogpost I’ve really missed blogging but finding – or rather, making – the time has been a bit of a struggle lately and before I knew it – boom! – it’s June and three months has gone by. Cue the violins.

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Anyways it feels good to be back and I knew when the lovely Kristabel took these photos of me larking around behind The British Museum that I wanted this to be my first post after my little blog-holibobbles. You’ll notice that I look slightly different as I’ve recently had my hair chopped off and pinked (yes I’ve decided that getting pink hair is now a verb) by the majorly talented Sam at Blue Tit and a few weeks on I’m still pretending that I’m Frenchie in Grease.

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Despite the weather being a typical shade of miserable-London-grey I decided to dress in a monochrome get-up of tropicalia and pretend I was on holiday somewhere extremely hot and sunny, however my lack of suntan belies the fact that I’m actually stood on a street with a rainstorm threatening at any moment! The Hawaiian-print shirt I’m wearing is from River Island as are the white Birkenstock sandals that have fast-become my favourite summer purchase. First time round I never really ‘got’ Birkenstocks but after admiring them on the tootsies of many a gal I finally succumbed and am now a fully paid up member of what I like to call #theuglyshoecrew (check it out on Intsagram as Style East and I are trying to make it A Thing). I swear to God at the end of the summer you’re going to literally have to prise these babies off of my feet!

Vintage leather jacket – River Island shirt (similar here) – Topshop jeansRiver Island BirkenstocksAnother 8 backpack – Zara pearl bracelet

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Back To Nikon School

Back To Nikon School

Back To Nikon School

Back To Nikon School

I adore taking photos but like my writing, I often find it a bit of a struggle. Due to a lack of technical know-how it usually goes a little something like this; overthink composition of shot, eventually take shot, wonder why the hell what I see on screen isn’t what I saw through the viewfinder, stamp feet, stick bottom lip out, angrily and ignorantly jab at the settings, turn a few dials, twiddle a few knobs and take shot again; revisiting this process until eventually I just might have something I’m begrudgingly OKay with. I have a little gear (a Canon 1100D with a 50mm f/1.8 lens) but pretty much no idea and have wanted to improve my photography skills for a while now, so last week when Nikon invited me to attend the Nikon School to learn the basics of DSLR photography I squealed, jumped several feet in the air and scared the bejeezus out of the cat!

Along with three other bloggers – Sophie from Super Amazing Mum, Pippa from Pippa Says and Graham from Global Grasshopper – we were taught the formula to a great photograph and given the opportunity to road-test Nikon’s nifty new camera the Nikon D5300 (with built-in WiFi it provides endless possibilities for bloggers!) Mister Ruffles has often tried to teach me the basics (he was a photographer in a previous life) but I usually end up saying “uh-huh. Yep uh-huh. No! Sorry. No I just don’t get it at all! OH I DON’T UNDERSTAND”. Basically it’s never gone very well but at Nikon School, for the first time ever, everything actually made sense!

Back To Nikon School

Back To Nikon School

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Back To Nikon School

On the day we were set of a series of challenges – to capture three images representing Colour, People and London – with the challenge winner being put forward to represent England and take part in a European-wide competition in celebration of World Storytelling Day on March 20th. Seeing as the last time I won something was a flying pig on MotorMouth in 1992 I was gobsmacked when Nikon phoned me to say that I’d won! That means that this Thursday March 20th along with Pippa From Pippa Says I’ll be roaming the streets of London to hopefully tell a visual story about my city through my photos. I genuinely don’t think I stand a hope in hell of winning but I actually can’t wait to dedicate a few hours to something that I’ve a newly found love for. Wish me luck!

I attended the Nikon School in London as a guest and part of a blogger event. The one-day training course I attended was Getting Started With DSLR Photography and you can book a place here, it costs £129 and is perfect for anyone with a love of photography but a lack of technical knowledge!

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Plumdiddlyumcious Instaloves

Plumdiddlyumcious Instaloves

A few days ago Carrie from WishWishWish wrote a fantastic post explaining how she edits her gorgeous photos (if you’re not following her on Instagram then do it now) and listed who her favourite Instagrammers are. She signed off asking for recommendations on folk she should follow and it was whilst writing my extremely lengthy reply in the comments section that I realised I have a bit of an addiction! To prove my point let me share my morning routine with you; wake up, reach for phone (sometimes with eyes still closed), check Twitter (sometimes with only one eye open), browse Pinterest, get lost in Instagram, look at the news headlines and then a good twenty minutes later than I need to, finally roll out of bed. It’s sad but true, I’m utterly addicted to my social media vices and Twitter, Facebook et al are usually the very first and very last things I connect with each day bar my pillow. The two that I love and cherish the most are Pinterest and Instagram – as a total image junkie they’re my crack-cocaine and I simply can’t get enough.

Plumdiddlyumcious Instaloves

Rattling off my long list of Instagrammers for Carrie to follow got me thinking and the result of that little brainstorm is this post, so *drum roll please* let me introduce Instaloves, a regular monthly feature where I’ll share my favourite Instagrammers that I follow including cute dogs (there’s a fair few!), fashion folk, lifestyle and travel.  As a self-confessed eating obsessive it seemed only natural though that my first Instaloves would have a definite foodie flavour! This is a list of some of my favourite foodie Instagrmmers, however it’s by no means exhaustive as I plan on sharing more over the coming months. Just a final word of warning, you may not want to look at the following Instagram feeds before you’ve actually had a real feed first – bon appetit!

mondomulia

@mondomulia

London-based Italian Giulia takes vivid and colourful photos of her foodie visits and #dailycortado (she’s somewhat of a coffee aficionado!) and also writes a brilliant blog, Mondomulia, containing a mixture of her restaurant recommendations and baking recipes, all accompanied by her fantastic photography.

canellevanillie

@canellevanille

I think Canelle et Vanille is quite possibly one of the very first food blogs I started following and years later, I’m still a huge fan. US-based Aran’s food styling and photography is exquisite; bright, white and pastel-hued and I always feel inspired after browsing her photos.

clerkenwellboyec1

@clerkenwellboyec1

Whether he’s taking photos of custard-oozing donuts at Borough Market, collating collages from Hawker House or from the top table at London’s latest must-visit restaurant opening, Clerkenwell Boy’s photos always insight huge foodie FOMO in me!

theboywhobakes

@theboywhobakes

As you’d expect from MasterChef 2010 Winner and baking whizz Edd Kimber, also known as The Boy Who Bakes, his Instagram feed is choc-full of buttery pastries and cream-filled choux buns, all artfully and dribble-inducingly captured. A guilt-free way to get your sugar fix!

mrsandwiches

@mrsandwiches

Calling Sam Richards of Sam Cooks Food a home cook feels like an injustice as his cooking is utterly superb, but that’s exactly what he is. Instagram is where Sam chronicles his eating adventures along with gorgeous shots of all the recipes he creates and cooks in his tiny Stoke Newington kitchen.

careynotccarrie

@careynotcarrie

So passionate about local produce that she renamed her blog to reflect that (go have a read, it’s called Reclaiming Provincial), US-based Carey’s photos feature plenty of brightly-coloured locally sourced ingredients that usually make me want to visit my farmers market pronto.

sundaysuppers

@sundaysuppers

Sunday Suppers is an amazing concept – a communal cooking centre in Williamsburg, Brooklyn focussing on local ingredients and created by Karen Mordechai, the photos that accompany it are clearly taken by someone with a deep love of, and passion for, food.

nathanmichael

@nathanmichael

Self-proclaimed street taco activist, photographer and designer Nathan Michael takes photos of everything he eats and does in and around where he lives in Texas, USA. After avidly poring (and drooling) over his images Texas is now pretty damned high on my must-visit hit list.

sarkababicka

@sarkababicka

Sarka Babicka is a London-based photographer who takes vibrant photos of the food that she cooks, bakes and eats and shares on Instagram to tummy-rumbling effect! Sarka is also a travel photographer and writes a beautiful blog called Cook Your Dream which I highly recommend.

davidlebovitz

@davidlebovitz

If you love food then invariably you follow Paris-based food blogger David Lebovitz! Whether he’s baking Madeleines, shopping the brocantes or slicing into a slab of gooey Roquefort, he manages to capture the essence of Paris in every single photo. J’adore.

 

If I’ve missed out a foodie Instagrammer that you think I’d like then please do let me know, I love following new accounts!

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