A celebration of Oscar Wilde

Every one has heard of Oscar Wilde, he has become a synonymous part of British Literature but as with some of the greats, he does go unappreciated. He will never be taught in schools (well, I don't know of him ever being so) and many people only know him because of his life choices and the controversy over his sexuality.



I have been brought up with Oscar Wilde and still have the massive, large print, hardback copy of his short stories that I was bought as a child. I have numerous copies of The Picture of Dorian Gray because a couple are falling apart and I refuse to throw them away. I have taken many of his quotes as a mantra throughout my life and that's a true testament to his brilliance, how he can affect someones life even over 100 years since his death.

I was going to share my top ten quotes with you but I got a little excited. So here's my top 13 in no particular order:

Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary

You don't love someone because of their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car but because they sing a song only you can hear

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all

One can never be overdressed or overeducated

Life is far too important a thing to talk seriously about

The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars

The truth is rarely pure and never simple

If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all

Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way in moonlight. and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world

With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?


Obviously there are many more but I did have to stop somewhere.

Along with The Chronicles of Narnia, Oscar Wilde's collection of short stories has stayed with me since childhood and one of the first things I remember loving, so much so I had my favourite one, The Nightingale and the Rose inked on me for life a couple of years ago. Not just because it's a pretty image but because it's a constant reminder of the beauty and tragedy of love and the trials we go through. Just by looking at it, you can tell it was worth the seven hours of pain!



Oscar Wilde's genius has spanned beyond the written word with his own play The Importance of Being Earnest still being performed world wide, numerous film adaptations of The Picture of Dorian Gray, his own biopic where he was played by Stephen Fry and this short featured in one of my favourite films, Paris Je t'aime, directed by the one and only Wes Craven



I'm pretty sure that y love for Oscar Wilde will never die and I'm just waiting for the day where I can go to Paris and kiss his tomb stone in the most fantastic shade of red lipstick.

Thank you Oscar.

Wednesday Wishlist: Time to wrap up!

That's it, summer's gone. The nights days are getting colder, nights are appearing before we even know it and the ground's covered with fallen leaves. That's my favourite part!

It's been a while since I have done one of these but every year, I refuse to admit that summer's gone and still insist on wearing skirts and dresses. I have somehow got it into my head that if I wear tights with a mini skirt, I'll still be warm. It's totally not the case. I'm always freezing.

As it would appear I have learned my lesson after all these years, it's probably about time I updated my winter wardrobe. Obviously I mean start a winter wardrobe...

Boots

First on the list is a nice pair of boots. I always seem to buy a cheap pair that never last me more than a year. It's about time I forked out and invested in a nice pair that will last.

I love melissa shoes, I have several pairs and my favourite pair of brogues lasted 5 years before they gave up on life so I really wouldn't mind spending more than £100 for these. The only problem is, I can't choose between the plum or black ones!

Melissa Soldier Boots - £130

I don't know which I prefer!!

Jumpers

I don't have enough jumpers and now I don't live with Charlie anymore, I can't borrow any at the last minute! There have been loads of jumpers I have spotted recently while window shopping and I'm currently in love with the new Lu Lu Guinness range at Uniqlo. I saw Charlie wearing this one the other day but my favourite out of the collection is this.

Lu Lu Guinness for Uniqlo - £19.90

It's also available in black with red lips but I think this colour scheme is more me and I have a lot of outfits it would go wonderfully with. Plus at £19.99 it's totally affordable.


Ted Baker Wispy Meadow jumper - £119

A little further up the price scale is this from Ted Baker. I have the t-shirt version that I ended up getting really cheap in House of Fraser and I wish I could wear it everyday but as it's getting older I wish I had this. The pattern's amazing and I've been admiring it in the shops for a while and it's so soft!

Blazers and Jackets

My office is always cold because people still insist on putting the air on on (IT'S OCTOBER PEOPLE!) so I'm looking for blazers that I can wear to stay warm and still look smart. I bought a blazer several years ago from Topshop and foolishly put it in the washing machine so I'm really need a new one.

There are two so far that I really like, again at different ends of my budget! First is this one from Topshop. It's simple and sleek and, as an additional bonus for me, it comes in tiny people sizes thanks to their wonderful petite section.

Georgina Blazer £49


This one from Ted Baker I probably couldn't afford but I can dream. I love emerald shades but am always convinced I'm too pale for them but this is something I couldn't say no to. Here's hoping it goes into some variety of sale!

Ted Baker Nariana Blazer - £249



Yet another coat...

I have no idea how many coats I have now but I jut cant stop buying them! I'm always cold and seem to buy a new coat every year. It's a bit of a problem. I normally go for the 'little red riding hood' look so it's about time I went for something different.

This one from Joy is a little different and I love the contrast with the pattern and fabrics. Plus it looks so warm and comfy.

Miss Real Contrast Sleeve Coat - £75


What's on your wish list for A/W 2014?

Dates with Charlie: I got to see KYLIE!

Oh yes, I know you're all seething with jealousy... I know I would be. Oh wait, I WAS THERE.

It's not every day you get a phone call saying someone has got their hands on last minute tickets to Kylie for that night. I got so excited I did a little squeal at the office and had to remember I was at work and people probably didn't appreciate it.

Not only did I get a ticket, I got a VIP ticket. I've been to the O2 many times for gigs and I'm always either squished right at the barrier or right in the heavens looking down and convinced I'm going to fall. This time we got a booth! There were only four rows of seats in our booth so we could always see, the seats were so much more comfortable than usual and there was a bar directly behind us just for us. A barman could even take orders at our seats which makes a nice change to having to force your way through a crowd just to get to the bar and by the time you get back you've missed three songs!

The view from our box, look at that crowd!
This show was the first pop gig I had been to since Take That reformed in 2006 and before that I went to Steps when I was very very tiny (7?) so I had no idea what to expect. It was pretty much as spectacular as you'd expect and slightly erotic in parts. Kylie clearly knows how to play for her demographic!

Throughout the show there was a massive screen behind the stage that was pretty much Kylie's face and body parts throughout and occasional shots of dancers with sexual paraphernalia around their necks. The dancers flitted between wearing latex body suits (slightly gimpy) or next to nothing!

Then there was Kylie herself, at the start of the show she appeared through the floor on a giant set of red lips, performed dance routines and went through an impressive eight costume changes throughout the two hours she performed to her screaming fans. She was absolutely perfect and I now wish I was her and Charlie has decided if she could be anything in life she would definitely be a gay icon.

AND IT BEGINS!



The only down side for me was that the performance was pretty much a light show and I'm epileptic. I'm proud of the fact that I've been able to survive many Nine Inch Nails gigs since my diagnosis just over two years ago (I think...) but this made Nine Inch Nails light shows look tame and they are already pretty mental. As a preventive measure against any brain farts Charlie gave me her Miu Miu sunglasses to wear for the rest of the show. I was that idiot wearing sunglasses indoors but it was worth it a I got through the show seizure free. I did have a massive headache for the whole of the next day though...


Preventing seizures in some amazing glasses!
Seeing Kylie in concert is definitely a massive tick off my list and cosidering VIP tickets were only £56 through yplan I'll be keeping an eye out for Beyonce tickets next time especially since I have spent around the same price for standing tickets before!

Did you get to see Kylie too? What's your next concert?
(all photos are courtesy of Charlie)

Geeking out in Primark

I completely lost it when my friend sent me a Snapchat of the coolest collection of pyjamas I have ever seen. My automatic reaction was to get my arse over to the Tottenham Court Road branch (Marble Arch is hell on Earth) and spend ALL the money. Slight exaggeration but may as well be true.

One of my favourite things in the whole world is Harry Potter. I'm completely obsessed and am working hard to get my boyfriend into the same boat - it's not really happening right now...

Obviously, I only went in with the intention of buying a single pair of pyjamas but when I saw all the geeky things. It really didn't happen.Their current range includes but is not limited to Harry Potter t-shirts and jumpers (BY HOUSE!!!), Game of Thrones t-shirts and even Hunger Games stuff. I was seriously in my element.

Annoyingly, being the tiny person I am and knowing there are seemingly endless Harry Potter fans out there, they didn't have my size in the pyjama top in stock no matter how much I hunted with the last remaining size 6 trousers clutched tightly to my chest.

Luckily, I remembered seeing Hogwarts t-shirts on the ground floor so I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me. Success!

Totally ended up watching Harry Potter in my Harry Potter pyjamas...
 It didn't stop there though, I insisted on going back upstairs just to have 'another look' and all of a sudden these bad boys jumped into my basket... I mean, who could resist minion pyjamas?? Obviously, these are not the exact matching pair but I decided to mix and match because I couldn't choose between the two!

Banana...
I ended up forcing myself away because it was just getting silly when I also ended up picking up Bugs Bunny slippers but that didn't stop me from going back a couple of days later and coming home with this because they actually had it in my size. I insist on wearing it to the office all the time. It's totally office wear.



Well done Primark, you have made me one very happy geek.


Off to the Theatre: Seeing Les Mis at Last!

I have been wanting to see Les Mis for so long but because of various reasons (including falling out with my music teacher at school) I haven't been able to go. Until last week the closest I've been to appreciating its joy is the soundtrack, playing the music in orchestras and, of course, the movie.

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year now. I'm not one to do anniversaries or anything, I'm pretty laid back about the whole thing, but he really does so on Wednesday morning I got woken up and told that I had a ticket to see it that evening. It was all very exciting.

We started off our celebrations at Wahaca. It's not the fanciest place in the world but I love all the food and their passionfruit margarita is to die for!

Excited face #1

All day I couldn't stop thinking or talking about it and when we arrived my excitment exploded ten fold. As I'm sure you understand.



It turns out Gary hadn't just got me tickets to see Les Mis, he'd got me tickets in the second row! We treated ourself to the typically expensive beers and took our seats, just waiting for that curtain to rise.

Excited face #2


Isn't this theatre absolutely beautiful?

When the curtain opened I could barely contain my excitement, I know all the words (obviously) and what quietly singing along, hopefully I didn't bother the person sitting next to me too much! The cast was absolutely incredible. Javert is my favourite character because he is such a badass and 'Stars' is possibly by favourite song in the whole thing. Michael Gant who was Javert that night played the role spectacularly.

As some of you may guess if you've only seen the film, Les Mis is emotionally draining. I can't remember what point I started crying but after 'A Little Fall of Rain' I lost all ability to be emotionally stable and had my face buried into Gary's shoulder for a while sobbing like someone with an actual broken heart. I was even listening to it in the shower this morning and had a mini breakdown!

I cried so much, just look at the state of my face... yuck

I was so exhausted after all the crying I ended up having a little nap on the tube home. A little bit tragic.

Once home, Gary was lovely (as always) and decided the best way to make me feel better was with a cup of Assam tea in my new 'One Day More' mug that's about the size of my face and I couldn't have been happier.


Thank you Gary.

What's your favourite West End show?

That's an offal lot of food - cooking with Jenius Social

Excuse the TERRIBLE pun... it's was too good an opportunity to miss :-p Yup, I suck...

ANYWAY, thanks to my wonderful friend Charlie, I was invited to attend another blogger cooking class with Jenius Social. They have so many classes and events available, I'm pretty sure it won't be my last visit.

I got really excited by all the random food I had never heard of
I think this apron might be too big for me...
As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm quite picky with food, especially meat on the bone, so cooking with offal is never something I would have considered but if I had turned down this opportunity, I'm sure I would have regretted it. Plus, it's not very often you can say 'yeah, I did that thing'.

I had no idea what all this stuff was...
ALL the spices!

When we arrived, we found out that there was more than one class happening that evening, being asked if you were here for the cheese tasting made me really jealous because I obviously wanted to do that and eat all the cheese. However, I did know that our class was going to be more fun so was quickly presented with one of those never ending glasses of wine and an apron that made me look even smaller than I already am!


Our lovely chef and teacher
When we were in the kitchen, everything had been all set out for us and we had some time to take a gander and try to work out what everything was! Only the pigs ears were the most obvious to me!

URGH!
After initially being grossed out by all the things, it was time for a demonstration on how it should all be cooked. Obviously, ours were not going to turn out the same way!

Making tortillas! 
Now this looks yummy
I'll give you three guesses what these are - not chicken breasts!
Cooking the above



There was always no way our would look this good

The difference between the class with Jenius Social compared to the other one was that there was a much smaller group of us, and even though there was only one chef rather than 3, it felt a lot more intimate and he made sure to come around and help everyone out, even if you were asking the simplest of things.

We also got to actually cook! Last time, we were mainly doing the prep and even though it was really helpful to learn how to skin and bone fish, I much prefer the actual cooking part, seeing the end result and knowing you did that.

It was finally time to get stuck into it, and I once again had to deal with that thing where I can't handle meat on the bone... shredding Trotters was my first job...

Can't believe I'm actually smiling here!

Some of the other girls had a lot more fun with their pigs ears and tongues!






However, Charlie and I had so much fun slicing and preparing TESTICLES! That's right, testicles. It was like something from I'm a celebrity and there was always a moment where fellow bloggers were squeezing between us to take photos, some of which were sent to boyfriends out of sheer hilarity...






Judging by the pictures above, I don't think we did a bad job!

Standing on a chair is the perfect vantage point!

The testicles look like chicken nuggets!


When it was finally time to eat I made sure I gave everything a go and ended up eating oxtail, tongue, trotters and ears! Something I never thought I would do. Some of it was surprisingly delicious but I don't think I'll be cooking any of it at home...

There are so many different classes available, I already have my eye on the bread making class as it's something I have always wanted to master, if you want to take a look for yourself, all their classes and events are listed here.

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend this class free of charge, prices for all other classes vary.