Adventures At Wigtown

Living in Stirling for four years made me miss city life.  Is Stirling not a city, I hear you say.  Well, yes it is but the fact that it does not have a 24 hour supermarket makes me dismiss its city status.  Where I am from I am used to 24 hour supermarkets, taxi’s at any time and being able to get Chinese food at 3am.
I am comfortable in the luxuries of city life but when you step outside the bubble of city life you may find a whole other level of comfortable living.
For the next ten days I am going to be one of two journalism intern’s at the Wigtown Book festival.  
 Yesterday I arrived in Wigtown at 10.30am after travelling from 6.20am – I find this rather impressive considering I am not a morning person.  From then onwards myself and everyone else (the wonderful events interns who have been here a week more so than me) have been working to get the festival set up for beginning tomorrow. Right now Wigtown feels a bit like the calm before the storm.  I have been embracing the quietness of country life but I know this will change come tomorrow
First impressions of the town are that it is quaint and has a certain charm that a lot of places do not have nowadays.  It is Scotland’s National Book Town and as expected such a title the streets are lined with equally as charming book shops.

Tomorrow the festival officially begins and there is plenty on the agenda.  Every time I flip through the festival program I find something new and fascinating that’s on – you too?
The first event I am going to is Jen Campbell talking about her book Weird Thing’s Customers Say in Bookshops at 4pm.  I read the book yesterday and found it utterly hilarious. An example from the book is – a customer asking if they stock the book ‘Lionel Richie and The Wardrobe’.  I will be chatting Jen beforehand too about the book and challenges bookshops face in the economic downturn; so I will report back on this tomorrow night.
Tonight I am going to launch of Wigtown The Festival which is a book festival for young people by young people specifically for ages 14 – 25 and a growing part of The Wigtown Book Festival.  You can find the schedule for all events on the groups Facebook page. 


The Evolution of Inanimate Objects: The Life and Collected Works of Thomas Darwin

I received a free copy of this book as it won or was nominated for a prize and the publisher was asking on Twitter if anyone wanted a copy to review. As I want to review more books for my blog (good thing I am at a book festival) I was like yeah, I’d like a copy please.

Plus is has a wonderfully pretty cover.

The book is by Harry Karlinsky who is Canadian psychiatrist and new novelist.  It is clear in the book that the author has great knowledge of psychology and has used his research skills greatly to try understand the person that is Thomas Darwin (the son of Charles Darwin).

The easiest way to describe this book would be to say that is is a little strange but it is based on actual findings so this makes it equally as interesting. The story revolves around Thomas growing up in the Darwin household where his interest in intimate objects (mainly cutlery) began and his progression to Oxford where his interest evolved to be an obsession.  There are parallels to research Thomas carried out on the cutlery with his Dad’s research into evolution but most interesting is the psychology behind Thomas’s erratic behaviour. 

It is not a terribly big book and therefore does not take long to read so I would say if you fancy reading something a little out of the ordinary you should grab yourself a copy of this and try it out.

NOTD – Time Will Teal

Nail posts are something I haven’t done in a while and I made my nails pretty for my friends birthday night out and this is the first time my nails have looked not too bad in a while. I cut them all last week because they were tearing and now although shorter they look so much better. Does anyone know anything good for nails that tear and peal?

Here I used Teal by Accessorize which is a great thick polish. I highly recommend trying out their polishes; they have some unusual colours also £4.00 each. On top of the teal I used Models Own Hed Kandi Ibiza Mix which I have previously reviewed here:

I love the combination of these two polishes.  The colours in the glitter work well with the green tones in the teal polish but what I did notice is the top coat of the glitter changed the teal colour slightly more green than usual. It was still nice though.  What colours have you used with Ibiza Mix? I have noticed it has been making the rounds on the blogsphere. I am sad that I have discovered this great combo at the end of summer but next summer this will definitely be my staple nails.

Lush Tooth Tabs – SPARKLE

These are something I have been intrigued by for a long time and on my last visit to Lush after a restless week I decided I’d treat myself and see what they were like. This statement will no doubt make people think I smell and I assure you that I do brush my teeth but I hate toothpaste. The taste of it makes me feel sick in the morning – does anyone else get this? Mouth wash on the other hand I can’t get enough off (especially Dentyl) and with this being a tab I thought it might have met me half way on my clean teeth battle.

I picked up Sparkle since I am a big fan of vanilla –

“Sparkle Toothy Tab is a dose of sweet vanilla flavour and makes for a very effective palate cleanser. The black pepper gives a radiating warmth after you’ve finished brushing”.

This little drawing is on the inside of the box and I think it so super cute and funny to have a vampire related drawing on a tooth product called Sparkle. I think more companies should employ this as marketing. It would certainly make me buy the product. P:S I’m more Interview With The Vampire than Twilight – in case anyone was wondering.
I wish I were are thrilled by the product though. As you can see from the above photo the tablet resembles a mint but it does not taste anything like a mint. To use the tab you simply crush it with your teeth and them brush to create a foam.  It does leave your teeth feeling clean but it tastes really weird.  It is not what I would call an unpleasant but it isn’t pleasant either. I made my manfriend try one and he was utterly disgusted. I wish I had recorded him trying it. I wish I could describe the taste more but it is just strange. A bit like what I would imagine Bicarbonate soda to taste like back the day when it was used for teeth cleaning. 
I have heard that the ‘Dirty’ tooth tabs are really good though so I would like to try them in the future. The tabs do add a great novelty to brushing your teeth and the clean feeling is lovely.  I am going to have a give away soon so I will probably throw in the rest of this packet so someone else can try them since I am not likely to use the rest. 

A Night in Bed With A Prostitute. The Craze of Books About Prostitution.

Prostitution is such an ugly word, well in my opinion it is but I don’t like the harshness of hooker either, however I do like floozy. So I am going to refer to prostitutes as floozy’s – sounds almost like an exotic flower, eh?  They are certainly exotic…well some of them.  Books about prostitutes seem to have almost overtook the craze of reading about abused children in the last five year or so but why?  Well, just like child abuse it’s taboo. It is not something the normal person speaks of and prostitution is easier to read about than a child being sat on an oven (yes I read it).  I also appear to have fallen into the craze of reading about prostitution but I would like to make clear I only ever read A Child Called It once and I can’t say I enjoyed it nearly as much as books about prostitutes…sorry floozy’s. I don’t know what that say’s about my personality but I’d also like to say that is it the psychology behind being a floozy that intrigues me.  I am in no way a prude but I know I do not have the personality to be in that line of work.  Simply getting changed at the gym is enough to make me blush never mind getting paid to take my clothing off for a purpose. It intrigues me to see what makes these people different from me in that aspect.

I realised a couple of weeks ago that I have an array of different books that tell different stories about floozism and I felt it would be interesting to explore and review.  Considering how much I read I do not write nearly enough book reviews.

1. Belle De Jour – The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl.

It’s a best seller so chances are you have already read this one but if not here is the low down on my favourite book about a floozy.  As the title tells you the book is set in London which brings the story home (literally for me) and gives it an essence of realness.  The book is in fact based on the life of Dr Brooke Magnanti; however the important thing is that it feels real.  Just because someone has wrote a book and claims it is real does not mean to say that it feels real to the reader but with this it does.  It has been highly criticised for glamorising prostitution and giving an unfair review of the job but there are people out there that work at the high end side being an escort rather than a street prostitute and in my opinion being an escort is so  much safer.  Well as safe as it can be. It gives a good insight into the etiquette involved in being an escort. I had no idea there were so many guidelines in place – very interesting. The book is very graphic at times but also tantalising and it did shock me in parts; so those of you who are a little prudish might want to stay back from this one.  The reason I love it is the shock factor though but it is not all sex; the book also deals with real life problems and shows that at times the life of a prostitute is not all that different.


2.  Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. John Cleland.

The fact that this book is wrote by a man makes me question it a little but the information in the book does seem to be fairly accurate which leads to the question: how did he know that? It is a penguin popular classic and it is certainly enjoyable.  It gives a good insight into how old school brothers functioned and how poverty often lead girls into this career through lack of being able to do much else for money in some situations. It was the first English prose pornography and the first pornography taking the form of a novel – therefore it is also one of the most prosecuted books in history.  Compared to the modern day equivalent such as 50 Shades of repetitive nonsense (I haven’t actually read it but the reviews gave me a laugh) it is a greatly written book and I am proud to have it on my book shelf. Plus isn’t the cover gorgeous?


3.  Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl – Tracy Quan

Compared with Belle I found this an utter bore.  It is a bit like the diluted version if I am being honest and I did not find the story as believable but maybe that is because it is American and New York is the city of dreams after all.  If you want a story rather than the gory then you might enjoy this but for me personally I kept waiting for something to happen that never did.  The main theme running through the book is relationships and deceit but I did not find it terribly interesting in any way. If you enjoyed 50 Shades of Grey you might enjoy this more than I did. 
4. Eleven Minutes – Paulo Coelho

The name Paulo Coelho might be ringing a bell – he’s the Brazilian author of the world famous The Alchemist – so a credible writer to say the least.  When I started reading this book I had no idea it was about prostitution. I picked it up a library sale and I haven’t ever read anything by Coelho so I dived in without reading the blurb.  In saying that though the essence of the book is not prostitution.  The story does deal with prostitution and how a naive girl can find herself having to take this path but the essence of the book is finding yourself and exploring what life throws at you.  It is an inspirational book about adventure and I highly recommend it; especially if you have a tendency to find yourself a little lost.


Anti Ba(T)ctarial Hand Gel

It is just under a month to Halloween and this makes me super excited. I adore Halloween because I am a bit fan of all things Supernatural and scary. I love a good scare and I love dressing up. This Halloween I am going to see Shinedown and going out for some spooky goings ons in Edinburgh.  Expect a lot of Halloween themed posts in the coming month.  I have been looking for one of these anti-bacterial hand gels on Ebay from Bath and Body Works (American brand) but I found a Scottish seller with lots of these little beauties but I thought the Vampire Blood one looked the most fun. I will no doubt go back and buy more though. Your hands can never be too clean!

As you can see it comes in an almost coffin shaped bottle and has the ghoulish font saying Vampire Blood and naturally its red to mimic blood muhahaha.  

The gel reminds a bit of frog spawn with the little black bits in it (which I do not know what they are) they disappear when you rub the gel into your hands. The gel smells beautiful though. This one is plum scented and it lingers for a long time afterwards.  It is a lot nicer than your typical hand gels.

It makes me happy putting it on my hands!

Is anyone else excited for Halloween? What’s your plans?



Lovely Liz Earle

The hot cloth cleanse and polish has been my favourite skin care product for a couple of years now and I have been yearning to try the toner and the moisturiser that complete the Liz Earle skin care regime.  I decided I would chance my luck and e-mail Liz Earle customer service and ask if they had any samples that I could review and boy was I in luck.

The lovely packaging that the toner and moisturiser came wrapped in with an added guide to using the toner and a little handwritten note from customer services saying that I hope I like them and with thanks.  It should be me thanking them really but such great customer service. Once I have a job I will be going on a Liz Earle spending spree.
I was asked what my skin type was so that they could send me a moisturiser that is suitable for my skin and I was sent the normal/combination skin repair moisturiser.  Anyone who has been reading my blog regularly will know that my need is in dire need of repair at the moment.  They also asked if I would like the toner in the form of a spritzer or in a normal bottle. I opted for the spritzer so then you have the option of spritzing it on your face or on to some cotton wool.
I am glad I opted for the spritzer because it is so refreshing and soothing on the skin. I love using it after the gym or first thing in the morning to wake me up a little. You can also use it over make-up which I did not know until I read the little guide. I haven’t tried this yet but I imagine it would be amazing if on holiday somewhere warm. It has been raining nearly all summer in the UK so my face has been naturally wet.
The toners official name is Instant Boost: Skin Tonic. Some of the ingredients are:
“Organic aloe vera to revitalise and soften and calendula, chamomile, cucumber and natural source vitamin E to soothe and refresh the skin.”

It is one of the best toners I have ever used and I have noticed a little change in my skin due to it. Maybe Liz Earle is the answer to my skin problems rather than medication.
The moisturiser is equally as amazing but very strongly scented. I have seen a few people on here saying that they did not like it because of it but I really like the smell but I can see why it would be overpowering for some.  The cream is rich and thick but you hardly need to use any to cover your face and it absorbs quickly. It goes well with make-up over the top and it makes skin look more radiant.  Again it is another winner from Liz Earle.  Overall teamed with the cleanse and polish cleanser this is an amazing skin care regime and I urge anyone that can afford it give it a try. It was my Dad’s girlfriend that got me into using it and I certainly do not regret it.  The simply blue packaging is so elegant in its simplicity and I always feel rather sophisticated using it when I compare it to my face wash from Superdrug in its bold orange packaging.
Much love to the Liz Earle Customer Service Team