Belgium and the ‘latex brat’!

24 Nov

I completed NaNoWriMo!!! I decided to edit two books I’d already written rather than take on yet another book in a month with two tours in it, but I completed the 50,000 words of editing today and am chilling in bed with tea, diamante and lace (making something for a shoot) and 90s films.

See? Did it.

I arrived back from Belgium about 24 hours before the places I had just been visiting were put on lockdown. I’m sending all my love and best wishes to my friends back over there. Stay safe. <3

I was pleased to see a lovely display of openness, generosity and solidarity from Milton Keynes Muslims when I went to town at the weekend. A giant banner with #NotInMyName and people standing ready to chat about life, the universe and everything, even though it was freezing! When I was at school, I remember religious discussions were often led by people we knew (for example our Muslim computer technician who was a familiar face around school and someone we could ask as many questions as we wanted. This was before Islamophobia became rife as far as I know, as this memory is from when I was about eight years old!)
It was nice to share snacks, photos and life stories with open-minded friendly people before my bus arrived.

Here are a couple of my travelling pictures from this Belgium trip!
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Antwerp Central Station

The view from my shooting apartment in Brussels- the sunset made the buildings opposite look like opals!

I was staying with fellow model Riona Noire, her husband and menagerie of animals (with varying degrees of snuggliness). :D
If you do not know Riona then you should click the link above and look at her, as she is awesome, beautiful and has some top secret projects going on that she can’t talk about. The suspense is killing me! :P
Here she is on the left, with me and Sara Scarlet. Photo by Mew-Chiel

While I was in Antwerp, I shot for KinkyStyle again- yay! Photographer Patrick is always a lot of fun to work with- we rarely plan outfits in advance so both turn up with cases of latex to choose from and bounce ideas around. I really like getting the chance to play different characters and last time we worked together he brought a latex hoodie, a pink top with “BITCH” across it and some fingerless gloves. As I rarely do ‘cute’, I had to try the outfit on…
And it fit! :D

So let me present… THE LATEX BRAT!

Pigtails and heels are serious business…

Bitch? Moi? …

… don’t make me laugh!

So what have you bought me?bitchiebrat_17

No diamonds? In Antwerp???

Get out of my sight!

:P :P :P

I’m thinking about carrying a few packs of stick-on fake nails to any non-nude shoot- I’d have loved some really pointy pink ones with little bows on them for this set!

This time, we managed five different looks! As I make a lot of my own clothing I wanted to show my own style a little more, so wore a black latex bodysuit with New Rock boots, my holster bag from Jungle Tribe and my homemade Winter coat. No full length pictures yet, so have some selfies!
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As it’s past midnight here in England and I’m surrounded by glittery things, I’m going to put the kettle on and sign off! There’s a beautiful rainstorm tonight and I can hear it pounding on the roof. :)

Goodnight all,


p.s. Are you doing a longterm project that feels like an uphill battle? Spare a thought for this guy! He’d been trying for 6 YEARS to photograph a diving kingfisher… and he finally got it!
I’ve very jealous as there is a kingfisher at the marina and I watched him catch a fish the other day. I have a soft spot for them as I think they’re the closest thing to hummingbirds we have in England- weeny jewel coloured things that squeak. <3
Photo by Alan McFadyen


14 Nov

Leo Tolstoy said that all happy families are alike but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, and I think that’s bollocks. I travel all the time and every country I’ve visited (if you think of it as a family) has its own character, rules, quirks and individuality. I have friends and acquaintances all over the world including people from countries that have been affected by terrorism. Americans who saw the towers fall. A Norwegian who waited to hear if her daughter had been shot by Anders Breivik. I was in London with a friend on the day of the 7/7 bombings. Right now, I have friends from Paris who are suffering. (Not to mention all of the people NOT in or from Paris, waiting to hear if their loved ones are alive.)
You know what? The attacks may have been different but every single person I know affected by terrorism has been asking the same questions and suffering the same way: Why kill innocent people? Why use the cover of religion? What do people do? How can we fight in this age of technology? Why? Why? Why?
To quote Tolkien (or King Theoden): “What can we do against such reckless hate?”

I don’t know.

As I was working on this blog but didn’t want to ignore everything that has happened in the meantime, I changed my facebook profile to the French colours but merely doing this and saying you’ll pray is, in my opinon, not the best thing you can possibly do. “Raising awareness” is a social media construct that I’ll blog about another day. We are all aware right now. So I had a look online to find out of there was anything more than prayers and flags to share. If you’re posting on social media, here are things you can include:

– The Foreign Office helpline. (This is for those with family and friends they wish to check on.) 020 7008 1500
– Donate to the relief appeal through the French Red Cross or Medicins sans Frontieres (doctors without borders)
– If you are local to Paris, donate blood. (Obviously, a lot of people have gunshot wounds).
– Share #PorteOuverte (“open door”). Parisians are opening their homes to stranded people. Others are now using it around the world for people who are stranded due to these events.

I’m safe. My friends and family are safe. I cannot imagine what it is like to wait for news right now. I am not Paris. But I am horrified and frightened as I leave for Belgium in a few hours- by coach, through London, the Channel Tunnel and France. Well done, terrorists- you have terrified me. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going. That doesn’t mean you’ve won. While you watch the news and congratulate yourself on your bloodshed, look for the aid workers. Look for the good people. They’re right there onscreen and there are more of us than there are of you.

You are in my thoughts and prayers, Paris.


p.s. As this blog is a quote-y blog, here’s another:
“Whoever kills an innocent person it is as if he has killed all of humanity”
The Qu’ran


A Tale of Two Captions.

11 Nov

Isn’t it odd sometimes how something that had been personal to you becomes a subject of discussion overnight!?

I found out today that Essena O’Neill, a young “Instagram Model” with a huge social media following but who I had never heard of, has also quit the ‘numbers’ game and is drawing attention to the faker aspects of the ‘Instagram lifestyle’- a brave thing to do when “real” has been the buzzword of the past few years! (see rant here)
Essena had made a living from posting on Instagram to her million followers tagging a designer or company, while charging the company $100+ per photo. If you’re business-minded and have a lot (and I mean a LOT) of followers, you can make a living this way.) The problem is, it takes a hell of a lot of time and fakery to keep up the illusion that the photos are natural candid shots. No business involved- this is just your life.

As I realised back in September, judging the quality of your life on how many followers, likes and comments you have is no way to measure your happiness. And I don’t even make a living from my social media! I can only imagine what it must be like to spend fifty hours a week carefully constructing your facebook ‘persona’. Knowing that you are no longer being cast for your personality or talent, but for how many people have clicked ‘like’ on your page is soul destroying and it *is* happening.

So why the hell do we obsessively watch the numbers?
Perhaps it is harder to trust our memories these days- maybe we feel a hundred likes on a photo reminds us that we had a good time at that moment instead of merely remembering it, no photos taken. Has the joke “pictures or it didn’t happen” become the truth after all?
It’s easy to play the numbers game in the short term but in a few years I want to remember the things I’ve done, not the things I’ve done to get ten more followers. The adventures, the joy. Whether I can quantify it or not. Respect to Essena for learning that at eighteen- it took me a decade longer! ;) <3

So I have the perfect shoot to illustrate my philosophical rambling! Kitty Wood is an awesome photographer and there’s not much I wouldn’t do during a shoot with her. Including, it turns out, jump into an unheated outdoor swimming pool in October…

BUT… this is what I’d say if I was a “social media model” (this term is used throughout this post and is not meant in a derogatory manner):
Just chilling in the pool in a unique latex/lace bra and samba pants by Lady Allura.” (hashtag “ilovemylife”)
Now, if you don’t know already, I’m more road warrior than screen siren but one thing I love about modelling is still getting to play in the dressing up box as a grown-up! BUT… the caption implies that this is what I wear on my days off… and that the pool is warm! (and mine). The closest thing I have to a pool is the canal and I’m not going in there for a shoot. Not even for Kitty. :P
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Despite the inevitable discomfort, I loved this shoot. I always get into crazy adventures with Kitty and also got to work with Alivya Free– a model/designer whose work I have admired for a long time. We got on like a house on fire so I hope she’ll make an appearance on this blog again!

“Being Ophelias together with a beautiful model friend. I love the water…” (hashtag “waterbabies”)
We were clinging together for warmth while trying not to smudge our make-up. :P

“Nothing like a palm tree and a poolside photoshoot to get you in the mood for SUMMERRR! (hashtag “blessed”)
*cough* October *cough*
Seriously though, I love this behind-the-scenes shot.

We warmed up with hot chocolate and snacks, then as Alivya is a similar size to me and had brought two outfits from Kaori’s Latex Dreams, we did a latex set together! Then while Alivya switched outfits, I put on another Lady Allura bra and brought sexy back. ;)
I actually can’t think of a silly status to put here as what you see was what happened. With girl chat and gurning in between. :P
p.s. The red lips on Alivya’s dress are 3D rubber! Mwah!

I often work with Louise Ferdinand– designer of lingerie for curvy girls like me. This time, I’d been sent a set to photograph with a natural look.

“I guess I should get up but my bed is just soooo comfy!” (hashtag “nomakeupselfie”)
This is indeed a comfy bed but it isn’t mine. :) We also picked this room as the pretty jewel blue bedcovers would contrast nicely with my hair and the background was cool and minimal. I took my make-up down to a natural look so that the focus is on the lingerie not my honking great bazookas. Being curvy, I have to think ‘soft’ rather than ‘sexy’ on this kind of shoot, otherwise things can get a bit “lads mag” and we don’t want that here.

The headdress was designed and made by Alivya herself!

After all three of us had shot all we could shoot and were worn out, we plonked ourselves on the bed for gossip, jokes and general awesomeness before Alivya headed home and Kitty and I went pet-snuggling, pizza eating and disturbing documentary watching.

That’s a wrap, folks! Unless you want m ore? In which case, check out Kitty’s video of the shoot!

Obviously, I do not mean to imply that all of us active on social media (myself included) are faking everything about our lives- just that there is often a lot of work involved in even the most natural-looking and effortless of photos. I’ve seen a lot of bitchiness towards Essena for her lifestyle choices- remember she’s eighteen! Besides that, social media models don’t sit around all day taking a spontaneous selfie or three of their idyllic lives- there’s a hell of a lot of branding and time spent on what is, after all, a business. No matter what the caption suggests. :)

Now, I just hit 10,000 words on NaNoWriMo but I’m still behind so I’m going to slam into the writing for an hour, then it’s bedtime (6am call time tomorrow- eek!)


p.s. I’ll leave you with this…
Who watched America’s Next Top Model, where the girls had to be celebrity couples? This is Melrose Bickerstaff doing Donald AND Melania Trump. And here I am doing my impersonation. Maybe we can start a trend? :P

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Sacred Geometry

8 Nov

Greetings from the queen of coffee and procrastination. (Writing word count: 38 words…) As I’m hosting a lovely model friend tonight, that’s all for now but tomorrow is a designated writing day. *glares at computer*. Luckily, I have other things to show you! ;) I mentioned a few days ago that I couldn’t wait to post pictures from Belgium- well, as some of them have just been published in NIF magazine, I can now publish them right here.

As I haven’t done much true urbex (see my other blog) I’m still not used to “how these things go”… Often “how these things go” is seeing a location that looks impenetrable or slightly uninteresting, expending quite an effort (and risking skinned knees) to get inside and then being completely awestruck once you’ve clambered up/come out of the tunnel/caught your breath.
Over the weekend, we saw several amazing places but there was something truly striking about this one- in an unnerving way. It’s an old cooling tower with a (comparatively) small opening high above us and a deep dark well below. Our voices echoed no matter how softly we spoke, the floor was littered with pieces of birds in varying stages of decomposition, and as we were shooting, I heard the calling of birds of prey that rang around us, amplified by the structure. Two buzzards then soared directly above, just for a second before the walls of the tower blocked them from sight. I could suddenly see them hunting in here in my mind’s eye- which would explain the bird remains.
Everything around us was made of lines- straight and curved, and the troughs lining the areas between the walkways had been claimed by green ferns and moss. I loved seeing the natural world creating its own slightly disturbing oasis in such an imposing man-made place.

I wanted to give the same vibe I felt from the place- a beautiful but unsettling stillness.
… and channelling “The Ring” :P


And here are a couple of my own photos:
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(There were fish down there but I couldn’t photograph them in time!)

I’ll say right now that my maths skills are horrible but I understand that there are certain numbers and geometric forms that keep occuring in nature- some religious people see this as proof that the universe was made by intelligent design and the same measurements and patterns are often used in the design of religious buldings and in artwork (often unconsciously)
For example: nautilus shells and romanesco broccoli grow in logarithmic (equal) spirals. Bees construct hexagonal cells to hold honey and larvae. Young trees often look like miniature versions of their full-grown selves. (Look at pine saplings, for instance). The word “geometry” literally means “the measurements of the earth”. There’s an interesting article with pretty pictures right here. :)

On that note, here I am being both angular and curvy, in an old office building which is not religious and has about as normal a layout as you can find… except for this bizarre arty staircase.
The shot from the side is by Odin’s Raven photography, and the shape reminds me a little of M.C. Escher’s “Optimists and Pessimists”! If there’s anyone who used the mathematics of nature in his work, it was Escher. I always thought he was a mathematical genius but as I found out at an exhibition on him in Edinburgh, he wrote to the science and maths magazines to discuss shapes and form and was often frustrated by his own lack of understanding! If you get a chance to visit the exhibition yourself, go- it is mindblowing!!

Mog is snoozing away on my knee and I appear to have been burbling away for an hour now(!) So I’m going to bed. Night night, everyone!


Photos by Magpie Tommy, urbex and model photographer.

Samhain onboard

1 Nov

Happy Halloween to all and Blessed Be to fellow pagans.
For the first time in a few years, I am not working on Halloween weekend so have had the chance to chill out onboard my boat drinking spiced apple tea, reading spooky stories (there are some horrors in Neil Gaiman’s “Fragile Things”) and burning the green skull candle I’d been saving. I even found a “Day of the Dead” page in my colouring book. (Yes I have a colouring book. Actually, I have three- and they rock.)

I had loads of errands to run in town so braved the scariest thing of all- Saturday shopping in Milton Keynes. BUT, as I get phone reception there, it turned out to be a good thing I did- I accidentally visited the Gothic Manchester festival while on tour last weekend and entered a raffle in aid of S.O.P.H.I.E. to win a knitted Cthulhu. As I want my bathroom to be sea monster themed, I’ve wanted one for ages. Well, I got a phone call and… look!!! The white one is mine!!! <3
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Also, the reading rooms at Manchester’s library are amazing. There has to be a secret portal in here. Right?

Samhain (aka Halloween) is the pagan new year- marking the end of the ‘light’ half of the year. The Celts believed that days began at sunset and so the new year begins now, at the dark half of the year. It’s a time for remembering the dead and celebrating the lives of ancestors. Though I love a good party and making costumes, I also find the season a time for being still and meditative. Especially losing someone at this time, it was even more important to me that I had my alone time.
As I know very little about my ancestors, I thanked them for the fact that I’m alive thanks to them and lit an extra candle, and wrote messages to the friends I have known who have died. (Luckily, there have been few.)
One of these friends died while I was at school, still living with my mum. That night, I stuck this little plastic stained-glass-effect butterfly on my bedroom window for her. It sat there for fifteen years and after I left home a decade ago, my mum tried to remove it. It resisted all attempts at dislodging it and now that my mum is moving house too, she assumed it would stay there but had one last try at pulling it from the window. It practically fell into her hand. <3
Looking at it now, it reminds me very much of some tattoos on another very close friend. I don’t know what that is supposed to ‘mean’ but things seem to have come full circle in a way, like so many things in life. All I can do is hope that in the same way, we’ll be reunited with our loved ones who died first.

My little space on the hearth, with candles, tea, notepad and snuggly carpet. See the skull candle?
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I didn’t dress up this year but as I dress up every day (even when I’m naked, I’m being a wood sprite, goddess or strange sculpture), that’s fine. I have some beautiful photos from an Autumn photoshoot with Shannon Swift and Orchid Corsetry, in which I think I look rather vampiric! ;)

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It’s the first day of NaNoWriMo, which I’ll tell you about soon- so for now, I’m going to get writing. :) Wish me luck!



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