Friday, 29 August 2014

Notting Hill Carnival Monday | Dancing in the Rain

I write this post (on the 26th of august) with a sore throat (I must have been doing a lot of screaming), Sore hips, thighs, shoulders and feet that are refusing any sort of weight on them.

And that, my friends, is how I know that Carnival was AMAZING this year.

Even my tights told me I had a good time. Look at the state of them. (Just so you know, they're not supposed to have holes in them.)

Don't worry, I'm not going to upload a picture of what I look like right now. I don't want you to fall off your chair/bed, choke on what your eating or give you nightmares. I will, however, give you the likes of these...

It poured. Oh my goodness did it pour. Carnival Monday saw buckets and buckets of rain fall down on us and those brave enough to turn up. Did it dampen spirits? Of course not. If anything, it added fuel to our figurative flames of excitement and passion.

It's like my Dad said, "Rain on carnival separates the average partier from a true raver." Yes, he said "raver". And he couldn't be more right, because, in telling me that the best carnival he went to when he was younger was one where it poured, I snapped him on that. I could relate. This was an amazing carnival.

I was soaked to the bone by the end of it. My corset was drenched, my hair was soaking, but funny enough my make up hadn't budged. Honestly though, dancing in the rain for seven hours probably isn't the smartest thing to do, (I was shivering like crazy when I got home, even after I came out of steaming, hot shower), but boy was it fun.

So, to those dark clouds swelled with rain I say... bring it on. You can't stop us from partying through the streets.

Where were you on Carnival Monday? 

Notting Hill Carnival Sunday | Elimu Welcomes TFL

Sunday (traditionally known as Children's day) at the Notting hill Carnival consisted of Sunshine, music and dancing.

On Carnival Sunday the adults in our band don't wear the costumes. Instead they parade around in their T-shirts representing the theme and getting merry. However, this year we had two t-shirts, and Sunday, unlike Monday (which was Blue and representing our theme), was all about the colour Red. Red? Why yes.

This year we were partnered with TFL (Transport for London), and not only were we celebrating carnival, but 60 years since the launch of the Routemaster bus.

Mum dons a white wig, of which she happily wears all the way home.

Tired, but ready for Monday

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Regenerations | Changes are Cool

I never used to be one for lipstick, but now... well... I should probably let the following photo's do the talking...

Subtle eyes with striking lips. I love it, and it's probably because I've regenerated.

Tenth Doctor's (David Tennant) regeneration

In homage to my favourite show, whose new series starts tonight (in 2hrs & 50mins to be precise. So EXCITED), I thought I'd talk about regenerations. 

"Regenerations? What the hell are you on about, Kartonia?"

Bear with me. 

"Please. For the love of all unicorns running free in woodlands, please, Kartonia. Please don't get all Science-Fictiony on me."

*Raises hands in surrender* I appreciate you may not be interested in the world of Doctor Who, (each to their own and all that), but this isn't about the show... not exactly. 

"We all change, when you think about it. We're all different people all through our lives, and that's okay. That's good. You've got to keep moving so long as you remember all the people that you used to be."  

If you watch Doctor Who, you'll probably recognise this beautiful, heart wrenching speech, written by Steven Moffat and brought to life so effectively by the Doctor, played by Matt Smith.  If you don't watch the show or know what I'm talking about, then, to sum this up, this quote is taken from a scene where the Doctor, the protagonist of this story, is about to regenerate. A process in which his entire body and his personality (likes, loves, hates, tastes, you name it) changes. It's kind of like a death... but it isn't one. I suppose that can be confusing if you don't watch the show, but let me just tell you, I cried watching this scene. Seriously, I had Goosebumps, my throat had a massive lump in it and I cried like a baby. 

Some of you may be rolling your eyes, and to you I say.................. *sniffles* Leave me and Doctor Who alone. Seriously, it was really sad. Like really sad. I don't know if it was as sad as Tennant's "I don't want to go", but it was really sad.

But getting back to the point, beyond the fantasy of Doctor Who, those words in the Eleventh Doctor's speech (noted above), really resonated with me. I mean, we all change, don't we?

I certainly have. I mean the girl who used to cry when seeing her mum's face at every Primary school assembly (infants, not juniors), is not the same girl who tried to lie about her name and address when she was caught by TFL ticket inspectors with no money on her Oyster card as she stepped off a train on the way to secondary school, nor is she the same girl who spent the last year working with Autistic children, where the average day saw her get punched, kicked, spat on and scratched, and that girl is certainly not same person who has found the confidence to start this blog or upload a sketch of hers to Youtube (still can't believe I did that one, actually).

I've changed, several times. My tastes have changed, my views, my eyebrows, my makeup, hair colour and style. I've learnt and gone through things that have changed me. And I'm sure I'll go through more things that'll change me even more. One of my oldest friends has just shaved her head, clean bald, picked up her rucksack and has gone travelling, currently having stopped in Israel. She has changed, she's morphed into this fearless, free spirit, wandering off and exploring, not afraid of anything. And that's cool, like the Doctor said "You've got to keep moving." 

Changing is cool, but let's not get it twisted. Not every change will result in us being a better being than that of before, nor will it mean that we are guaranteed to be more content. You'll often here people crave some of those attributes of their former selves. "I wish I had the guts like I did back then". And, if for a second we could focus on the vanity side of these changes, I'll be the first to put my hands up and say I wish I had the unblemished, flawless skin I had from ages 0-10. I mean come on. I've got to wax and everything now, not to mention the fact that at this very moment I have a dollop of toothpaste on a spot that's decided to appear on my chin overnight. 

I like to think, that unlike the Doctor, and with our persona, along with the vast amount of changes that happen without our say, we also get to choose when we change. If we don't like our hair, we get to choose whether or not we do something about it. If we don't like how a certain person treats us, we get to choose, if we want to walk away. We get to choose a new sense of style, or to jump into something that scares the hell out of us. We get to choose. We regenerate, and on top of that, we, get, to, choose. 

What about you, have you regenerated recently? 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Notting Hill Carnival | The ghosts of costumes past and the skeletons of present

Notting Hill Carnival, a flamboyant splash of colour with costumes of all sizes and people from the world over, will be gracing the streets of London in Europe's biggest street festival in ten days.

My gorgeous mummy. Queen of Elimu Paddington Arts Mass band

And whilst the rush to complete these portable works of art takes hold, I thought I'd give you a little peak behind the scenes to some of our (Elimu's) creations both from the past and the present...

Mum and Sister

'On tour, Shanghai loved this costume so much it made it onto the front of one of their National Newspapers. Yay Mummy!

Mum preparing for exhibition at Ally Pally (Alexandra Palace) 2011

Nolan. King of Elimu Paddington arts Mass band. 

 This year, as with most years prior, time is not on our side. 

With ten days to go, the bare bones of the Queen's costume are all that stands.  (Note: there are still more bones to add. Shh. Don't tell anybody)

Will we make it in time? ... Of course we will. Nothing beats a ticking clock, an impending deadline and a bit of pressure to get the ol' juices flowing. Mind you, looking at it in this state is quite scary. However, we've been here before. 

Last minute panicking, late night/early morning sewing, welding, sanding and or sawing is no new thing for us. In fact, it's pretty much customary. Many have gone without sleep to get the costumes out in time, and I'm sure this year will be no different. 

Plus, In the nineteen years my mum's played the role of Queen she's never not had a costume completed nor has any other big costume in the band, so... we'll be fine. 
But I've probably just gone and jinxed us all now though, right?  I'm touching wood. Don't worry, I'm touching wood. 

Notting Hill carnival takes place on Sunday the 24th & Bank holiday Monday the 25th of August. Will you be popping by?

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Friendships | Growing Apart

The demise of intimate relationships are often spoken, written, sung and conveyed in a whole manner of ways(and to great lengths too), but the demise of friendships… not so much. 

It’s weird because friendships are as powerful and as important a bond in our lives as finding any Prince Charming or… (Dammit. I can’t think of the female equivalent). Princess Delightful?(Ooh, that was bad. I'm never saying that again.)  So when it comes to the end of a friendship, it can be seriously confusing and painful.

The root of the word friend means 'to love', and in these relationships we do. We share things, whether it be big or small, irrelevant or nonsensical. We grow with them, heck, we regenerate with them, with distance, time and a lack of contact having, in many cases, no negative effects on the well-being of our friendships at all. 

But just as there is a Yin, there's a Yang, and whilst some bonds can withstand any and everything, others, unfortunately, can turn cold.

My year eleven photo., and the faces of old friends. 

Recently I noticed that a best friend of mine had turned cold. And with those incessant questions like What's the matter with so and so? and Did I do something? swimming around my head, I walked around for a bit (and by bit I mean a long time) feeling really down. In an attempt to discuss things, and after a lot of dancing around the subject matter, the core part of the issue came to the forefront, and what I learnt in the process is that the most important, yet completely, overwhelmingly scary and hard thing to do in a situation like this was the part that seemed easiest of all. Talking. 

Getting those words out, mind, when you've got them sat in front of you or on the other end of the line, can be daunting. If you're in that situation, you might want to start with something like, I've been feeling kind of distant from you lately.
I'm not going to lie, it can feel weird doing this, and unless you're in that situation, you may not understand how difficult it can be expressing these emotions to someone who you would usually talk to about any and everything. But the key here is to try and be as honest as possible. Your feelings deserve to be heard and respected. 

The Don'ts. Whichever way you do go about expressing your feelings, don't jump the gun and send an angry text. In fact try not to discuss the issue through texts at all. Texts, or any form of written message, can be easily misread or misunderstood, and messages meant to come across in one way can easily come across in another. On top of that, as tempting as it may be, try not to mimic their behaviour so they can get a taste of their own medicine. E.g. not calling them because they're not calling you, or spending all night talking and laughing with Lucy because Claire had done something similar a few nights before.  

Don't sit there and let it brew. Don't allow yourself to be hurt. Talk to them. 

Sometimes talking it through doesn't help in the way we'd hoped. Sometimes you find that regardless of your attempts,  they're still being cold or that they don't seem that interested in you or maintaining your friendship. In those cases, you may need, (and I feel bad writing this, because I find it really sad,) but you may need to re-evaluate your friendship, you may need to let go somewhat.

Sometimes friends grow apart, and although it's not a comforting thought, it happens. It happens to us all. The love can still be there but you've both just changed or headed off on a different path.  

Friendships, no matter how old or intense or the amount of love you have for them, should not make you feel sad or subordinate. it shouldn't be a struggle.

What do you think? Have you experienced the dwindling or loss of important friendships before, and if so how did you cope?

Friday, 1 August 2014

Liebster Award

Hello, hello, hello.

So the lovely Jessica at Perfectfixations (you should DEFINITELY check her out) has nominated me for the Liebster award, which is great because I get to share a bit more about myself with you gorgeous people.

Alrighty then, before we begin, let's get to grip with the rules.

The Rules
1. Thank the blog that nominated you and link them
2. Post eleven facts about yourself.
3. Answer the eleven questions provided by the person who nominated you and then create an eleven-question set for the next group of nominees.
4. Choose eleven people to nominate and link them in the post.
5. Let your nominees know they've been tagged - and no tag-backs!
6. Nominate blogs under 200 followers.

Let's begin, shall we?

11 facts about yours truly

  1. I'm the first born child for my mum, and second born for my dad. And if we were to exclude my brother and sister on my dad's side (just for a second) then I'd be the eldest of four. But we won't do that 'cause that's mean and I love them.  
  2. I was born in the same hospital as Prince William, Harry, and little George.
  3. I am a MASSIVE Doctor Who fan. Seriously, that is my show. I love that show. 
  4. I love the smell of washing powder. I think it's the best scent in the whole world.
  5. I'm a Psychology and Health studies graduate. 
  6. Macaroni cheese is my all time favourite meal, but I don't like how everybody makes it.
  7. I paint, and when I do, I prefer using my fingers to paintbrushes.
  8. I love writing.
  9. As a child I used to be terrified of dogs. (I'm over that now though, don't worry.) 
  10. I listen to a lot of Orchestral (trailer type) music.
  11. I can't ride a bike. (Oi, you can stop laughing, thank you.)

Right, so with those eleven random facts out the way, we go on to the eleven questions asked by Jessica.

1. What is your favourite Disney film?
Ooh, tough one, there's so many to choose. But I really, really love Beauty and the Beast.  
2.  What country do you dream of visiting?
I don't really dream about one particular place, there are too many interesting places for that, but I have always said I wanted to go to Dubai and I haven't yet, so... Dubai
3.  Who is your favourite actor?
Sophie Okonedo
4. Favourite flavour of ice cream?
Mint chocolate chip
5. Do you have a secret crush?
Not at the moment, but I do love having them. 
6.  Most underrated makeup brand?
7.  Ever skived off school?
Hasn't everyone?
8. Do you have any secret talents?
Hmm... I don't think I have any secret ones. 
9.   Who is your favourite James Bond?
It's a toss up between Roger Moore and Pierce Bronsnan. I'll say Pierce Brosnan. (He was the face of Bond when I was little, so)
10.  Favourite historical figure from history?
11. What is your favourite brand of makeup brushes?
I don't often use make up brushes when it comes to applying my make up. As with my paintings,I prefer to use my fingers, and the makeup brushes I do use tend to be from different brands, So I don't really have a favourite. Who knows though, the day may come.

So there you go, eleven random facts and eleven answered questions. 
Now, for my next trick, I will nominate the following...
Here's what I want you to answer my lovelies...
  1. If you could live in any book (or film) which one would it be?
  2. What's the one thing (excluding family and friends) that you couldn't live without?
  3. Tea or coffee?
  4. If you were invited onboard the Tardis for one trip, where would you chose to go?
  5. What would your be superpower?
  6. How would you classify your style?
    1. How long does it take you to get ready in the mornings?
    1. How long does it take you to get ready for a night out?
    2. Liptick or Lip Gloss?
    3. Peep toe heels or closed?
    4. What song can you not stop listening to right now?


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