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Showing posts from May, 2015

Review: Aussie Shower Gel Smoothie Bodywash

So far this year I haven't had to buy a single bottle of shower gel - I've managed to win them all instead! This week I switched to the latest bottle, Aussie Shower Gel Smoothie Bodywash 250ml , which I won from . I love Aussie hair products, especially the shampoo, so I was really looking forward to trying the shower gel out. Retails for around £2.99 a bottle. It lived up to expectations. The gel is nice and thick, and lathers up well. But the best thing about it is the smell! It smells just like Anglo Bubbly bubble gum . Yum. :)

Trade-In Trials

You really have three options when it comes to media you have already consumed: you throw it away, give it away, or try to sell it. The first just seems all wrong to me (I mean, putting a book in the bin? A book!?), so traditionally I've always gone for option two. But, inspired by all the TV ads on the subject, lately I've been using online trade-in sites instead. Rather than go with the usual tried and tested option (Ziffit), I decided I'd shop around a bit more with this lot to see if I could get a better deal. They all pay within around seven working days of receiving your package, so I was more interested in how much they offered and how easy the process was when rating - as I prefer using Royal Mail to Collect+ that was also a factor. Plenty of stuff to trade in...   Trade-in Limit: £15 Shipping: Label is emailed to you, with the option of using Royal Mail or taking the package to your local Collect+ point . Comments: This came out wo

Empathy: Nature or Nurture?

" I don't know who the **** Katie Hopkins is... So why do I care what she says about my body? " So   tweeted one of my fave models, Tess Holliday, in response to Katie Hopkins latest round of fat shaming . Because being fat is 100% worse than being a vicious bully. Obviously. Tess Holliday. It's a question I asked myself a few weeks back when I heard of Hopkins for the first time. I figured she must have come from some reality show like Big Brother, and I wasn't too far off the mark - it was actually The Apprentice, and since then she's done her best to perpetuate her status as 'famous for being famous'. She writes for the Sun, and is basically a female version of Richard Littlejohn . Katie Hopkins. When I encounter people like this I always wonder about how they treat their children. I mean, when their kids come home upset because another child has said something horrid to them do they just turn around and say, "well, you are

Community Councils Online

I was reading the Oggy Bloggy Ogwr blog earlier, and they had an interesting post on how the Bridgend area's town and community councils are complying with the Local Democracy Act 2013 . In their words: " It means town and community councils are obligated to publish things such as members' interests, meeting minutes and other assorted information on a "regularly updated" website. " There will be time yet to implement this, but it made me wonder how close Torfaen's town and community councils are to compliance. The popular view of first tier councils. In fact there are more than 10,000 community, town and parish councils in England and Wales, comprising more than 100,000 councillors - the 8,000 or so in Wales are paid £100 a year for their services. Unlike the 20 in Bridgend, Torfaen only has 6 town and community councils - making my task somewhat easier! (For more on what they actually are , check out the One Voice Wales website HERE .) I've

Holding On

After Marianna was born the doctors were a bit worried about her muscle tone, so she has to see a physiotherapist every three months to check on her progress. At her last appointment they wanted to see her reaching out for things more, so we've been working on her grip a lot at home. At first she was only interested if she could see some immediate benefit - i.e. she would hold her bottle - but she quickly progressed on to reaching out and grabbing other things. The first toy she really showed any interest in holding was the Nuby Safari Chime Hypo , pictured at the top of this post and now known as 'jangly hippo'. Now she's into absolutely everything, though her other favourites are her plastic teething keys and 'crinkly book'. Though, like everything, 'crinkly book' has its faults...

C-section Recovery: My Story

Recently I gave in, after much nagging, and made a doctor's appointment about the lingering C-section pain. Today the appointment rolled around and I was relieved to hear that the decision to do aerobics too soon after hadn't done me any lasting damage. Up until that poor life choice, it had been healing really well. The NHS website says that the general stay in hospital is two to four days, though you can be out in 24 hours if you and baby are healthy. Marianna was born just before 10:30 am and then the only thing I was out of for those first 24 hours was reality (thank you Oramorph !), and then my mind - with worry. Marianna was on NICU and I was stuck on the post-op maternity ward. The nurse came and told me around 6 am the following morning that Marianna had had a fit, but nothing beyond that. (I would say more about care on the ward, but I'd sooner forget it.) Having no idea that it was actually fairly common for babies born via C-section, I spent most of the sec

Magazine Monday: Tucker's Luck, 1984

Today's scans are actually from an annual (another thing I'm a fairly avid collector of), specifically the 1984 Tucker's Luck annual. Tucker's Luck was a short lived spin-off from BBC kids' drama Grange Hill , following the exploits of Tucker, Alan and Tommy now they've left school with one English O-Level between them. With that kind of backing it's not too surprising that they became part of the quarter of under 25's who were out of work in mid 1980s Britain. "If you're stuck in a dole queue for hours - or anywhere else for that matter - here's a few ideas to keep the minutes ticking away... some silly, some sane!" Click HERE for full size. Much like the NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training) of today, they were at the mercy of government schemes and low skilled, monotonous jobs. As Tucker exasperatedly told the job advisor at their local dole office:   Have you ever worked in any of these jobs? 'Cause they o

The Hitler Youth

For my German A-level oral exam you had to research and write a piece on a topic of your choice to discuss. There were only two of us in the class, and my counterpart had the good sense to write about skiing. I was particularly interested in WWII history at the time so I decided to write about the Hitler Youth movement, even though it was a pain to research as the school internet filter had a blackout ban on the word 'Nazi'... Anyway, here's the English translation of that report, followed by my school level German. Officer of Tomorrow The Hitler Youth The History of the Hitler Youth The history of the Hitler Youth begins in Munich in 1919, with the founding of the German Workers' Party . Adolf Hitler had to investigate the party for the authorities, but the ideology so well suited him that in this same year he became a DAP member. By the summer of 1921 Hitler was the leader of the party, now known as the National Socialist German Worker's Party


I love Eurovision. The cheese, the sequins, the awkward hosting. There were some nice slower songs this year, like Giannis Karagiannis' One Thing I Should Have Done for Cyprus,  I Am Yours by The Makemakes for Austria, and Adio by Knez for Montenegro. Azerbaijan too with Hour of the Wolves by Elnur Huseynov. But really, Eurovision is all about the upbeat pop. Guy Sebastian's Tonight Again for Australia, Golden Boy by Nadav Guedj for Israel, and even Britain's entry Still in Love With You by Electro Velvet was surprisingly decent. The staging for it was brilliant! Electro Velvet I also really liked Black Smoke by Ann Sophie for Germany, De la capat by Voltaj for Romania, and Serbia's entry, Bojana Stamenov with ' Beauty Never Lies '. The public comments that scroll across the bottom showed Britain was at its usual trash talking best tonight though, with stuff like 'this is what Ursula from The Little Mermaid did next'. (Why would anyone j

Betty Boop

Betty Boop Betty Boop started life, quite literally, as a dog - a poodle to be precise . A makeover followed, influenced by songstress  Helen Kane  (otherwise known as 'The Boop-Oop-A-Doop Girl') and 'It' girl Clara Bow , and the character quickly graduated from bit player to the star of her own show in 1932. She had her share of trials, from being the subject of a lawsuit from Helen Kane (Kane lost after it was determined she had nicked her own style from Baby Esther ), to attracting the ire of the National League of Decency. Following the 1934 Production Code her neckline rose while her hemline dropped, and her flirty antics gave way to juvenile wholesomeness. Audiences began to tire of the new Betty, and the show ended in 1939. A less 'sexy' looking Betty in 1936. We watched the best of Betty Boop today and Marianna seemed absolutely fascinated by her first experience of black and white! The Boop cartoons, like most early cartoons, are full of

It's All About Community!

The last few days have been fairly busy. Tuesday was the AGM of Torfaen County Borough Council (webcast HERE ), and the handover of the mayoral chains from Cllr Mandy Owen to Cllr Giles Davies. Giles has really championed community engagement over the last couple of years, and I'm sure will make a really good mayor! The deputy mayor for the coming year is Cllr Veronica Crick. Unfortunately I was too busy being sick to make the meeting (bleh!) but I caught up on it all afterwards. I did get to see more of this little face though, so it wasn't all bad. Wednesday was the AGM of Cwmbran Community Council , with the election of the new Chairman Cllr Mike Johnston. There were light refreshments after so, as the council AGMs are generally short meetings and we'd have time afterwards, we took Marianna to meet everyone. She really enjoyed all the fuss! Community councils are the 'first tier' of government, and Cwmbran's is one of the largest in Wales. They

When an ism isn't an ism...

When I finished my undergrad degree I was faced with the age old question: what next? I had nothing lined up and the world was my oyster, so long as whatever it offered was exceptionally cheap. One option I considered was going on to do a masters in gender or LGBT studies - it being a particular interest of mine - but I eventually concluded it was a) beyond my means (I'd have to cough up for tuition, accommodation, and living expenses as South Wales lacked a course) and b) unlikely to help me get a full time job. Anyway, the point of this story is that Goldsmiths was one of the universities I looked into. I'm glad that's as far as I got. Goldsmiths Student Union is in the midst of a scandal at the moment after their diversity officer, Bahar Mustafa, used the official SU account to tweet #killallwhitemen and label other students 'white trash'. She says it was an in-joke and I'm sure it was, though it obviously speaks of problems within the SU of cliquey, un