Roll of Thunder, Here I Ramble...

After following Poppy Dinsey on Twitter for over a year and enjoying her refreshing sense of humour and fashion blog where she posted a picture of her daily outfit in a bid to make more of an effort with her wardrobe, I was thrilled to see she has now built an empire. What I Wore Today is a website where anyone can create an account and post pictures of their outfit each day. You can tag the clothes with their brand name, give other outfits gold stars, get fashion inspiration and generally put your style out there.

I’m no fashionista and actually loathe clothes shopping, unless it goes well. I thought that creating my account on WIWT would be the perfect opportunity to take a leaf out of Poppy’s book and make an effort to wear different outfits each day and branch out & try different styles. Some may say that it’s just another social networking website that feeds off our obscene vanity and need to validated by gold stars and complimentary comments but why the hell not? You wear your clothes to be seen by others, otherwise you’d be wear a freakin ball gown on pyjama/hangover Sundays wouldn’t you?

I say sign up and start uploading your little works of art :)

Gazing At Love

I have had the pleasure recently of being given a box of letters, written by my maternal grand father to my grand mother during the Second World War. My mother gave them to me for inspiration. For the last six months I’ve been dealing with the most painful heartbreak I’ve ever experienced and my mother, who believes that my life mimics the pattern of her own, handed me this precious box and said ‘Read these. When you meet a man who expresses these sentiments with the same intensity and emotion as you will find in these letters, you have found the right man. Until then, do not settle for anything less.’. I believed her easily as I know she had used this same inspiration when she gave up looking for ‘The One’ in her early thirties. She then found him in the early eighties, married him within 6 months and I was born a few years later…

As I began reading pages of agonised, passionate and immeasurably tender love, I began to wonder whether this sort of adoration has a place in this cynical and romance-free society. Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s some romance out there somewhere, but it has merely mutated into an email over a letter, a text over a telegram and Facebook friendship over chaperoned courtship. I long for those days, where lovers were genuinely separated for months, maybe even years at a time and had to rely on the strength of their commitment to each other and the regularity of love letters to sustain them. Divided by war, by distance or by social backgrounds, those lovers made it to the other side, in love, strengthened by hardship- not bored and governed by the coldhearted ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ policy. This was the time that birthed the expression “Absence makes the heart grow fonder’.

I found myself crying big tears of disappointment as the more I read the more I became convinced that the chances of meeting a man as emotionally connected, expressive and sincere were slim. I kick myself for feeling that way because it reflects a criticism of modern men which is not my intention. I just thought that perhaps by reading these letters, my expectations had been raised to an unapproachable level and my hopes for finding happiness in a relationship before I turn my toes up to the sky…

Anyhow, this is a hugely negative take on these precious and beautiful letters that not only depict great love but also uncover more about my mother’s side of the family that I was fairly in the dark about, which has been wonderful. Dates, times, places, meals, ailments, friends, acquaintances and books have all been mentioned and described in wordy ways and I look forward to continuing with my reading, and of course sharing what I learn…

To be continued…

fortheloothoney:

Ava Gardner

This is the kind of effortless grace and class that this century could never mimic… Sigh…

fortheloothoney:

Ava Gardner

This is the kind of effortless grace and class that this century could never mimic… Sigh…

WHERE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO VISIT ON YOUR PLANET?

This question is impossible! My answer would undoubtedly change every day :) Right now, I would say a very quiet beach on a Jamaican coast. Or in a beautiful old villa in Cuba, having a barbecue, drinking wine and talking with artists, writers and revolutionaries! :)

For all you food lovers- My Moroccan Chicken with Lentils Recipe :)

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 skinless boneless chickenthighs
  • garlic cloves , crushed
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 large onion , finely sliced
  • 50g split red lentils
  • 400g can chopped tomato
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 700ml chicken stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 200g whole dried apricots
  • handful mint leaves, to serve (optional)

How to make it

  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Rub 1 tbsp olive oil into the chicken thighs. Mix the garlic, cumin, coriander and paprika together, then rub all over the chicken thighs on both sides.
  2. Heat a large flameproof casserole, add the chicken thighs and cook over a medium heat for 5 mins until golden on both sides. You might need to do this in 2 batches, depending on the size of the casserole. Set the chicken aside. Turn down the heat, add the remaining oil and fry the onion for 5 mins until softened.
  3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, apart from the mint and bring to the boil. Place the chicken thighs on top and pour in any juices. Cover and cook for 1½ hrs, until the meat is tender and the sauce thickened. Can be cooled and frozen at this stage for up to 1 month. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge, then gently warm through. Scatter with fresh mint leaves and serve with couscous or rice.

BOOM. 

On either side the river lieLong fields of barley and of rye,That clothe the wold and meet the sky;And through the field the road runs by    To many-tower’d Camelot;And up and down the people go,Gazing where the lilies blowRound an island there below,    The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,Little breezes dusk and shiverThrough the wave that runs for everBy the island in the river    Flowing down to Camelot. Four grey walls, and four grey towers,Overlook a space of flowers,And the silent isle embowers    The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow-veil’d,Slide the heavy barges trail’dBy slow horses; and unhailedThe shallop flitteth, silken-sail’d    Skimming down to CamelotYet who hath seen her wave her hand?Or at the casement seen her stand?Or is she know in all the land,    The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early,In among the beared barleyHear a song that echoes cheerlyFrom the river winding clearly,    Down to towered Camelot:And by the moon the reaper weary,Piling sheaves in uplands airy,Listening, whispers, ” ‘Tis the fairy    Lady of Shalott.”
                    II
There she weaves by night and day A magic web with colours gay.She has heard a whisper say,A curse is on her if she stay    To look down to Camelot.She knows not what the curse may be,And so she weaveth steadily,And little other care hath she,    The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clearThat hangs before her all the year,Shadows of the world appear.There she sees the highway near    Winding down to Camelot;There the river eddy whirls,And there the surly village churls,And the red cloaks of market girls    Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,An abbot on an ambling pad,Sometimes a curly shepherd lad,Or long-hair’d page in crimson clad,    Goes by to tower’d Camelot;And sometimes through the mirror blueThe knights come riding two and two:She hath no loyal knight and true,     The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delightsTo weave the mirror’s magic sights,For often through the silent nightsA funeral, with plumes and lights    And music, went to Camelot:Or when the Moon was overhead,Came two young lovers lately wed;"I am half sick of shadows," said    The Lady of Shalott.
              III

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,He rode between the barley sheaves,The sun came dazzling thro’ the leaves,And flamed upon the brazen greaves    Of bold Sir Lancelot.A red-cross knight for ever kneeled To a lady in his shield,That sparkled on the yellow field,    Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glitter’d free,Like to some branch of stars we seeHung in the golden Galaxy.The bridle bells rang merrily    As he rode down to Camelot:And from his blazon’d baldric slungA mighty silver bugle hung,And as he rode his armor rung    Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weatherThick-jewell’d shone the saddle-leather,The helmet and the helmet-featherBurn’d like one burning flame together,    As he rode down to Camelot.As often thro’ the purple night,Below the starry clusters bright,Some bearded meteor, trailing light,    Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow’d;On burnish’d hooves his war-horse trode;From underneath his helmet flow’dHis coal-black curls as on he rode,    As he rode down to Camelot.From the bank and from the riverHe flashed into the crystal mirror,"Tirra lirra," by the river    Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,She made three paces through the room,She saw the water-lily bloom,She saw the helmet and the plume,    She look’d down to Camelot.Out flew the web and floated wide;The mirror crack’d from side to side;"The curse is come upon me," cried    The Lady of Shalott.
                IV
In the stormy east-wind straining,The pale yellow woods were waning,The broad stream in his banks complaining.Heavily the low sky raining    Over tower’d Camelot;Down she came and found a boatBeneath a willow left afloat,And around about the prow she wrote    The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river’s dim expanseLike some bold seer in a trance,Seeing all his own mischance —With a glassy countenance    Did she look to Camelot.And at the closing of the dayShe loosed the chain, and down she lay;The broad stream bore her far away,    The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy whiteThat loosely flew to left and right —The leaves upon her falling light —Thro’ the noises of the night,    She floated down to Camelot:And as the boat-head wound alongThe willowy hills and fields among,They heard her singing her last song,    The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,Till her blood was frozen slowly,And her eyes were darkened wholly,    Turn’d to tower’d Camelot.For ere she reach’d upon the tideThe first house by the water-side,Singing in her song she died,    The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,By garden-wall and gallery,A gleaming shape she floated by,Dead-pale between the houses high,    Silent into Camelot.Out upon the wharfs they came,Knight and burgher, lord and dame,And around the prow they read her name,    The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? And what is here?And in the lighted palace nearDied the sound of royal cheer;And they crossed themselves for fear,     All the Knights at Camelot;But Lancelot mused a little spaceHe said, “She has a lovely face;God in his mercy lend her grace,     The Lady of Shalott.”

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road runs by
    To many-tower’d Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
    The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
    Flowing down to Camelot. 
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle embowers
    The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow-veil’d,
Slide the heavy barges trail’d
By slow horses; and unhailed
The shallop flitteth, silken-sail’d
    Skimming down to Camelot
Yet who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she know in all the land,
    The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early,
In among the beared barley
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
    Down to towered Camelot:
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers, ” ‘Tis the fairy
    Lady of Shalott.”

                    II

There she weaves by night and day 
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
    To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
    The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
    Winding down to Camelot;
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls
    Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd lad,
Or long-hair’d page in crimson clad,
    Goes by to tower’d Camelot;
And sometimes through the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true, 
    The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror’s magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
    And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the Moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
"I am half sick of shadows," said
    The Lady of Shalott.

              III

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro’ the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
    Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneeled 
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
    Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glitter’d free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
    As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazon’d baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armor rung
    Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewell’d shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burn’d like one burning flame together,
    As he rode down to Camelot.
As often thro’ the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
    Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow’d;
On burnish’d hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow’d
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
    As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
"Tirra lirra," by the river
    Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
    She look’d down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack’d from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
    The Lady of Shalott.

                IV

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining.
Heavily the low sky raining
    Over tower’d Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And around about the prow she wrote
    The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river’s dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance —
With a glassy countenance
    Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
    The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right —
The leaves upon her falling light —
Thro’ the noises of the night,
    She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
    The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
    Turn’d to tower’d Camelot.
For ere she reach’d upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
    The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
    Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
And around the prow they read her name,
    The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? And what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
     All the Knights at Camelot;
But Lancelot mused a little space
He said, “She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
     The Lady of Shalott.”





*drool*

*drool*

No sight is more comforting to me than that of old books. Having grown up in a house full of these tremendously delicious smelling things, I find the mere sight of a dusty old copy of Tennyson’s poems (*speaking of which I think he’ll be up next) to make me feel right at home and simultaneously miss my mother. Alive and well as she is, nostalgia is a powerful thing. x

No sight is more comforting to me than that of old books. Having grown up in a house full of these tremendously delicious smelling things, I find the mere sight of a dusty old copy of Tennyson’s poems (*speaking of which I think he’ll be up next) to make me feel right at home and simultaneously miss my mother. Alive and well as she is, nostalgia is a powerful thing. x

I love Mae West like she was my cousin. After seeing her light up the screen in so many of my favourite 30s flicks, I greatly respect the weight of her influence in the world of burlesque, cabaret, vaudeville theatre and film. Her witty and controversial one-liners, brimming self-love, her sexually aggressive manner, voluptuous figure as well as her masculine voice and intonation, remain iconic in the eyes of film, theatre and burlesque lovers everywhere. A good old fashioned broad! I salute you, Ms West.

I love Mae West like she was my cousin. After seeing her light up the screen in so many of my favourite 30s flicks, I greatly respect the weight of her influence in the world of burlesque, cabaret, vaudeville theatre and film. Her witty and controversial one-liners, brimming self-love, her sexually aggressive manner, voluptuous figure as well as her masculine voice and intonation, remain iconic in the eyes of film, theatre and burlesque lovers everywhere. A good old fashioned broad! I salute you, Ms West.

I love this picture because I have known and loved this girl for more than ten years. She is breathtakingly beautiful from the inside out, and she has known so much pain in her life and I find that in every picture taken of her, she gives a little bit of that pain to the lens. Pain and beauty juxtaposed is always a fascinating subject to me, and this girl projects both in abundance. xxxx

I love this picture because I have known and loved this girl for more than ten years. She is breathtakingly beautiful from the inside out, and she has known so much pain in her life and I find that in every picture taken of her, she gives a little bit of that pain to the lens. Pain and beauty juxtaposed is always a fascinating subject to me, and this girl projects both in abundance. xxxx