Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as the saying goes but for me the beauty of nature can never be disputed. It is the purest, most elevating and important part of our universe. It breathes life into our lungs, provides solace from our man made structures of misery and is a place where communities can flourish. To walk through a field of ravishing poppies or to pick an apple from a tree in a public garden or play football with your child in the park are all experiences we wouldn't have if there were no open spaces left in our cities. Yet this is unfortunately something which is a distinct possibility.
Too often these spaces are sold to private developers, wanting to construct obtrusive and ugly homes or buildings, with no regard for local communities. Enough is enough. The most spectacular meadows in Liverpool are being sold to Redrow, an example of what is happening all over this country and around the world. These meadows are the most magnificent example of nature, upon entering them on an autumn day it truly feels magical, the light is spectacular. It is a retreat from the daily scrutinies of life, a beautiful haven that is vital for the overall ecological health of the ecosystem of our city. It shows complete ignorance from certain politicians who decide that these spaces are not so important. They are VITAL.
It is so important that communities join together and fight the systematic destruction of our open spaces. Do we want our future generation's lives to be without that priceless feeling of running free in a park and enjoying the simplest pleasure of life, just being in nature.
If you want to help the cause in Sefton Park, www.saveseftonparkmeadows.org is the place to go and offer support. There are always local community groups fighting to save green spaces and they need our help so please lets all join together in this fight!
There is a poem framed on my desk at home, one which I wrote more than a year ago now, that makes me pause every time it catches my eye. It takes me back to a moment which wouldn't seem special or out of the ordinary to anyone else but which imprinted itself into my memory for so many reasons.
Working in my old office, I would look out onto the road below during the day and would always see the same people roaming without purpose, drifting like sea plankton, not in any rush. Some were obviously lonely or had difficulties with life, their general unease etched in the folds on their faces. There were two men in particular who always caught my attention.
One was a bearded, striking looking man who would always wear a well worn pin stripe suit splattered in paint and no shirt underneath the blazer. He wasn't someone you could easily ignore yet he was someone people desperately wanted to as he obviously scared them. He would always be walking stridently, carrying a blank canvas that he had bought from the nearby 99p shop and I couldn't help but stare and be fascinated by him.So many times I wanted to run down onto the street and talk to him and ask about his life. I imagined he was an artist who had lived an extraordinary and exotic life but had somehow managed to end up in Liverpool riding the 79 bus with his canvas and paint splattered suit. He had the look of an aged film star, like Marlon Brando or Oliver Reed. He just didn't belong in such a mundane setting.
The other guy sat on the bench by the bus stop every day and people would stop and talk to him all the time like he was some sort of oracle. He seemed totally in his own world, oblivious to his surroundings and just looked up at the sky. His face was so unusual, like it had been drawn by charcoal. His eyes were dusty and dark and his nose was like a pig's snout.
One day, I saw them sitting together on the second man's bench. They were talking like old friends, sat back relaxed like they were sitting on a beach on the French Riviera. They seemed so in tune with one another, discussing life like they had all the answers. It was one of those moments that really struck me and made me think about the perception of people like this, who are a bit different to the norms we are used to. People would look at these men with judgement and often pity without knowing them or listening to their story but I admired them for being themselves and felt like we were the ones missing out on not knowing them. I hoped they were oblivious to judgment and that whatever their life was like, that it made them happy. At that moment I felt a real sense of humanity and camaraderie between the two men which as cheesy as it may sounds, really made me smile. I wish I had heard what they were talking about but as I didn't I can only imagine.
Smile and the world smiles with you goes the saying and from my own experience it really is true. Even if you feel like running out the fire exit and sprinting down the road away from the shackles of your 9-5, just turn it around and get those pearly whites on show. Positivity can be hard at times but it is infectious so if you flash someone a smile who may be having a similar Monday it can only help elevate everyone's mood. Plus, doesn't everyone just look so much more attractive when they smile, it may even get you a date and what better way is there to start a week than that!
Take a leaf out of Cameron Diaz's book (literally) and start the day by chugging a litre of water after you have brushed your teeth. This kick starts our digestion for the day and improves our emotional outlook. Water keeps all of our vital organs working and aids digestion so we do not feel sluggish. Monday morning equals me being very slug like so I try to drink as much water in the morning and throughout the day to keep me focused and positive. There are endless positives to keeping yourself hydrated and even though tea or coffee may be more of a comfort, try and swap these drinks for water. It will work a treat I promise.
3. DANCE ROUND TO SHERZINGER'S NEW TUNE
Nicole Sherzinger's new tune Your Love, is like happy pills condensed into a 3 minute musical treat. I guarantee you will be jiving around, trying to copy her tribal hip gyrations the minute you hear it. Wait for a moment when your workplace is empty or just find an empty room and let loose and dance around to this song, channelling the spirit of Fat Monica in Friends when she dances round with her doughnuts (google fat Monica dancing giff if you are not sure.) It will make you feel so joyous and alive plus it will be a much needed movement for your body if you are sedentary all day long, sitting at a desk like me. That is my excuse anyway!
4. PRETEND SHOP
If all else fails, this is when I enter day dream territory. I pretend I have won the lottery over the weekend and start filling my on-line shopping basket with over the top expensive clothes and shoes, pretending I need a new wardrobe for my upcoming trip to St. Barts. As sad and unproductive as this may seem, it is actually very fun. Just remember to snap out of it before you get to the check out, going overdrawn is not the way to make Monday more full of cheer!
I came across this spread on Alexa Chung for Lucky magazine today and fell in love with the pared back, minimal showcase of her beauty. The oaty, cool tones and unfussy styling present are so reminiscent of 90's minimalist fashion photography, definitely one of my favourite eras.
Name me a few brash colours and bright orange is likely to be up there on the list. It is not a colour I usually employ in day to day life but there is just something about the shade that is Hermes Orange that makes me feel giddy and decadent. It makes me want to throw a rivers worth of paint of this shade onto my walls and dip all of my accessories into a big cauldron of Hermes orange varnish. I see it as a neutral colour as it tunes in with pretty much any other shade. Paired with something indigo or cobalt, it conjures a Mediterranean holiday vibe. Teamed with black it results in a sophisticate style straight from the banks of the River Seine. It reeks of sophistication and style and I want it.
My crush on this colour was reignited when I saw the most recent Vogue Paris cover, with Sophie Marceau standing nonchalantly in a pair of black panties in front of an Hermes orange coloured background. She really suited that background, not to sound too clichéd but it really made the cover pop and was a cool contrast to the safe covers Vogue UK have been turning out recently.
For me, accents of this colour make the most impact. They look real classy as accessories, case in point being the actual Hermes bags in Hermes orange. Accents in the home look really beautiful. Lamps, phones, boxes or frames are great small snippets of a fun, illuminating colour and never look too try hard.
On the catwalks for SS14, you could see juicy splashes of Hermes orange at Tibi, Mulberry, John Galliano and Givenchy to name a few. The beauty stratosphere has also been in love with a bright, bold orange lip recently, making a nice change from the red and plum shade lips that were ever present over winter.
For me, it is a colour that encapsulates a fun but sophisticated mood and adds a dollop of deliciousness to any occasion. I am not quite at a level yet to purchase a Hermes bag but I will certainly be trying a bright orange lip.
After seeing The Grand Budapest Hotel, I have become a bit obsessed with Art Deco and had to take a photo of this amazing scene I came across in Liverpool by the Pier Head. I knew there was an Art Deco building around there but had never noticed the amazing turquoise booth and street lights before. Glorious.
I love this...