Vlog Time #13 – Barges & Book Trailers

Still getting to grips with the new camera, am thinking I need to designate a place in the house specifically for filming with very little in the background and hopefully that will solve the focus issues, it was a little better this time and only went out of focus a little when my screen mate moved.  Also the barge pictures were taken without a flash so again something I need to practise more with the camera but I still quite liked the results.



Glossybox Monthly Review – October 2014

Okay you guys saw me open this box and may wonder why it has taken so long for the review but all shall be revealed…


So on we go…


Ciaté London Paint Pot

I really liked this there was only one problem so did my daughter, I did get to try it out before she ran away with it and found it lasted well without chipping or flaking,


At £9 for this full size 13.5ml it is good value for money and had I not already had a couple of blue nail varnishes I liked I might have put up more of a fight but my daughter did argue that as she got the red in this make from me previously that had set a precedent.

Next up…


Rimmel London BB Cream Matte

I got the shade fair and as a feared in the video it is possibly a little darker than my skin tone, however once I got it on and blended it was not too bad.  I had never used a BB cream before and even had to Google to find out the difference between this and foundation, which basically turned out to be coverage.  I possibly picked the worst time to try it out as I have a face demon living on my chin at the minute but other than that it gave a reasonable coverage.  I think I would be more likely to use this on summer days than in winter or for going out.  I would buy this for the summer and at £6.99 for 30ml it is a couple of quid cheaper than my foundation and I can imagine it feeling quite light to wear on sunny days.


So Susan Cosmetics Flutter Mascara

You will recall I got rather excited over this product, well I came back down to earth with a huge bump and this is also the reason for the delay.  I stripped off the packaging and opened my lovely shiny mascara and…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANOTHING!!! I found a lovely clean brush untouched by any make up!

A trip to the Glossybox FB page revealed I was not alone many people had issues with their So Susan products some like mine were empty, others broken and others filled with thick clumpy unusable make up.  This of course was not Glossyboxes fault and I can forgive the fact they were a little slow dealing with my issue because of the sheer volume of complaints they had to deal with.  However a couple of emails and replacement product was in the post, which turned out to be…


Rimmel London Scandal Eyes Retro Glam Mascara

At £6.99 this is a lot cheaper than the £14.95 So Susan product however I do understand given all the issues why they would not want to risk sending the same product out again.  I do like this mascara but I do not like the brush/applicator, it is huge and unwieldy and I have to confess that So Susan tube is no longer quite so clean and shint as I used the brush from that to apply this.  It is waterproof and does require a proper eye make up remover to get it off, not sure I would buy this again but would still like to try the other once they get their manufacturing issues sorted.

Glossybox did also throw in an extra product I think partly as a thank you for my patience while they dealt with everything and partly as a way of making up the price difference in products…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is a really nice dusky rose pink but obviously being their own brand and probably produced for a special box it does mean there is no way I can find to replace it if I get to really like it but as long as I use sparingly that won’t be an issue for a while.

Next up…


Yves Rocher France Quelques Notes D’Amour

Not much to say about this really other than I was disappointed, as I feared the scent was not strong enough to provide lasting effect.  It smelt lovely if a little weak when first applied but within an hour or so it could hardly be smelled at all.  £33 for 30ml is not an outrageous price for a perfume but I fear the bottle would not last long with the need to reapply frequently, shame really as I love Damascus roses which were one of the main fragrances.

Next we have…


NUXE Crème Fraîche® de Beauté Mask

I have not tried putting this in the fridge yet as it suggests for extra refreshment but it did leave my face feeling nice and soft after using it.  This was the box with all the writing inside…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbut it turned out they were determined not to miss a single language in translation and had to move onto the inside of the box with directions for use.  At £19.50 for this full size 50ml tube is a little pricey but a little goes a long way and only using it once or twice a week as instructed will last quite a while making it actually quite good value for money, I am going to pop mine in the fridge now while I remember so I can try it chilled in a day or two.

And finally…

être belle Cosmetics Liplift Peel

I had to borrow the image from the page as I realised I had forgotten to take a photo of it individually but never mind.  I really liked this, after using my lips were softer and I believe they looked a little plumper the cracks in them less noticeable.   At £12.95 for this 15m tube it will last for ages and be well worth the money if it continues to give the same results, I did find it helped to rub it just over the edge of the lips to minimise those little lines that show bleeding with some lipsticks and so far it seems to be helping.

So that is it for last month’s and as this months has just arrived I am going to play…


Vlog Time #11 – New Camera Issues

A short Vlog this time as I battle with a few issues that come along with new technology, if you can get through this then thank you but if not I promise not to hold it against you and will get the hang of it by next week xx


What Does My Book Shelf Say About Me?

Have you ever wondered what someone who didn’t know you would think if they investigated the titles on your book cases?

Now of course I am not suggesting I am up to anything dodgy other than injuries I may inflict on characters I create, but I have just been catching up on some true crime programmes I had recorded and it did make me stop and think, well that and the dog.  The dog probably started it to be fair as once more it had managed to tangle its tail in the brambles at the bottom of the garden chasing fairies (must be fairies because I can’t see what it finds so fascinating down there) of course the first thing all self respecting dogs do when they have a bleeding tip of their tail, yup they come in and give it a really good wag.  There were several rather interesting spray patterns across the lower part of the wall and I did joke with the other half that if I was to disappear at that very moment it would take forensics a long time to eliminate every canine blood splatter.  With this amusing thought in mind I settled down to watch some TV, something I tend to do in binges rather than regularly these days, and after watching a programme on Broadmoor and one on Fred and Rose West I started thinking about something one of the officers in Broadmoor said about being able to tell by seven which children would end up there.

Now I am not going to start in depth nature vs nurture debates here or discuss biological and chemical factors that can lead to the types of crimes and illnesses they were discussing in the shows so don’t worry but what did raise my eye brow was the idea that interests can be indicators of predispositions to certain behaviours.

Then I looked at my book cases…

Then I cringed…

Then I realised if ever social services looked to closely I would have to pray they believed I was a writer and it was all research material.


The truth is my book shelves are probably not that different to anyone one else’s but I thought it would be interesting to consider what is actually one them.  Okay we start of with the Classics, not much wrong there really of course there is lots of murder, child labour, prostitution and crime and that is just Dicken’s but nothing too graphic.

Next up we start getting more disturbing, yes it’s the kids books, now if you have not read them for a while I suggest you start revisiting the original Grimm’s tales etc! I remember my daughter reading the actual Children’s Classic of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, Disney has a lot to answer for at this point as I never considered this as a book I need to check before she read, well let me tell you she had nightmares after reading the section where the blue fairy hangs Pinocchio from a tree and sets fire to him!

Then we start with the grey area’s all the Sci-Fi and Fantasy I have on my bookshelves, mainly the later, full of violence, some sex, magic, witchcraft and some rather unsavoury characters.  Also in my case you can throw in a Spell book or two which can be taken either way as they are not black magic just things like spells for health and happiness, thankfully no voodoo or satanic content though there may be some who would argue if I was to say the spells backwards lol.

The area it looks really bad is the growing section of real life crime, and misery memoirs, and lets face it some of those can be very gruesome.  There is something naturally fascinating about evil, it is something that few of us ever come into direct contact with knowingly but is always only a few degrees of separation away.  Terrible tragic things happen on a daily basis and at first it is easy to dismiss them as just another news story but for literally hundreds of people it can be life changing, and I believe that is where our fascination lies.  Yes, we wonder what makes people do horrible things, and we are interested in the crimes but I think it is the people that surround the crimes that hold more interest in many ways.  The number of times we ask how neighbours did not know something was happening, how they covered things up, how no one picked up on clues which in hindsight always seem so obvious.  The next door neighbours of serial killers nearly always describe them as quiet, and polite, obviously annoying the neighbours would not be a good mood if you have dead bodies under the bed but it is also the fact they look so normal.  If you were to stop and think about it even if you have never personally come into contact with these sorts of tragedies the chances are you know some one that has a degree of connection with one.  Everyone knows someone who worked for the same company as someone who knew a killer or victim, or went to the same school or drank in the same pub.  I know people who know someone who survived been attacked by the Yorkshire Ripper, now of course in reality that means nothing but what it does do is make it more real.  It brings it from the pages of a book or newspaper and makes it something normal and everyday but instead of normalising it, it actually makes it more intriguing.  As writers we possibly concentrate more on the murders on the how’s and whys than the average reader but the fascination is there for all.  The number of Crime Channels on TV and crime programmes be the fact, fiction or a mixture of both continues to grow and likewise the number of books published.

I am pretty sure my book shelves are pretty much like anyone else’s and that if I ever did anything wrong someone could read more into the titles than they really represent but I might just move the books on anatomy away from the real life crime section just in case…

So what do you think your books say about you, generally mine say I am a fantasist with a fascination for the pain and suffering of others but as I say I think that sums up most writers.

Lest We Forget


Today at 11am I shall like thousands of others fall silent in remembrance of those who gave their lives during the two World Wars, I wear my poppy with pride but this year there have been many issues which have caused me to think about what this means to others.

Firstly the threats made to young poppy sellers in various locations that physical violence would be done to them for selling this symbol of respect for fallen soldiers, my initial response it to be outraged by this and of course the threat of violence by anyone is totally reprehensible but does it also damned questions be asked?

When One Direction wore poppies during their X-factor performances at the weekend their followers flooded Twitter completely unaware of what the ‘red flowers’ symbolised.  It leaves the question are these our own children who are ignorant of what the Poppy stands for or are the people asking the question simply from other countries and unaware of our custom?  But another news story then grabbed my attention, that of footballer James McClean who refused to wear a poppy and has received abuse despite an open letter explaining his reasons.  His reason for his refusal is simple that while he fully supports the original purpose of the poppy to show respect and support for those who fought and fell in the two world wars that he cannot support it’s attachment now to all who have fallen in conflict.

While for the majority of us that new distinction does not really matter for many others it does, James McClean grew up in Northern Ireland through the worst of the troubles for him Bloody Sunday was more than a U2 song, many recent conflicts have been controversial as far as many people are concerned but again I reiterate none of that justifies threats.  What it does justify is the right of people not to wear a poppy, infact my Great Grandad died in a field in a foreign country to ensure you have the freedom to choose whether you wear a poppy or not. poppyboxa

Some people are taking a different tack and promoting White poppies to remember the victims of war and those non combatants who died and again I have no problem with this but once again it has to be stated that tragically lives had to be lost to ensure they have the freedom to reflect on the loss of innocent lives.

I am not sure if there needs to be different colour poppies to distinguish whether you respect the fallen or the innocent or just the fallen in certain wars, surely the most important lesson we should have learnt from all those who have lost their lives in conflict regardless of when, where or how is to respect the living, to agree to disagree without resorting to threats of violence.

Personally my only regret this year is that I cannot make it to the Tower of London to see the ceramic poppy field they have created to mark the centenary of the First World War sadly it will be taken down in a few days time, I think it should stand in remembrance and honour until the centenary of the end of the war but hey who asked for my opinion lol.


I choose to wear my poppy with pride I refuse to allow it to be hijacked by political groups and to allow them to change what it stands for to me, and at the end of the day we can only be responsible for ourselves, we cannot know another’s heart and should never judge another unless the are directly doing us harm.  If you choose not to wear one I do not judge you for I do not know your story but I expect you not to judge me for my choice to do so, and I ask also that you remember how we retained to freedom to have our differing opinions.  But if you want to know my story this is why I wear my poppy…Memorial

My New Camera Arrived

First apologies if you saw the title and expected a Vlog, basically it was delivered just before I left for work yesterday, then this morning I have been running round after a small child who decided to throw up every where during the night so the chances of filming anything went straight out of the window.  However I hope to film something to put up on Sunday but instead today I thought I would share my initial thoughts on the camera.

sony-cyber-shot-dsc-h300-advance-point-and-shoot-400x400-imadpzjmczsn6tegFirst thing I noticed was the ‘wet look’, the mottled black finish looks a little strange to me and the actual camera feels a little cold when touching the body rather than the grip, and I have to say it is heavier than my old Olympus.  This is the H300 model rather than the newer HX300 simply because with Christmas coming up I decided I didn’t want to spare the extra cash at the minute especially on a make I have not owned before (not counting a Walkman).

It does have some features I really like already such as the fact I can zoom while filming and it auto focuses as it tracks plus the pop up flash which is easier to press the button than physically have to flip it up as I did previously.

sony-digital-camera-dsc-h300-black-Simple well spaced buttons on both the back and the top should make it easy to use, I was looking at a different camera but they had the on off right next to the button to film video so it would be awkward in a rush and I could have accidentally hit the wrong one.

Technology has moved on a lot since I bought the Olympus and it has served me well in the four years I had it, it has filmed hours of video footage and taken thousands of photos and I certainly consider I got my money’s worth but because of not wanting to splash out big money this side of Christmas I found I had no choice but to try another make.  So far the only real negative I could complain about it that the zoom is quite noisy  and that it does take a few seconds to focus if you are zooming to the limit of it’s capabilities.

Anyway we shall see what he filming quality is like over the weekend.