Sep. 20th, 2017 04:16 pm
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[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
I read a book today which I really liked, but I can't find online. It's called The Princess And The Broken Heart revised by Smaul the Troll. It's almost a Sleeping Beauty retelling and almost a Snow White retelling. I love that genre and this one has another trait that I love - it doesn't assume anyone is irredeemable. Consider this statement about the evil stepmother queen 'Now, Leonora was not born cruel, and she had never been mean, but she had taken up a terrible way of thinking that consumed her like a fire'. The copy I picked up feels like it has a bit missing, because it talks about puzzles that the reader solved, and there weren't any that I noticed, but apart from that, it's a lovely story about love and change.

But autumn is upon us and I am feeling better enough that I've caught up to my Goodreads challenge of the year (which is just the same as last year rounded up, and I was a couple of books behind, having got loads ahead in the spring).

I also noticed that two years ago, I read a lot of dross that I picked up in the library, and last year I read mostly recommendations and it went a lot better, and this year I've read almost entirely recommendations and presents, and have enjoyed a lot more. I think I've been too busy reading random stuff that wasn't very enjoyable to listen to you lot.

So, here's my question - what's a book that 'everyone's read' that you would recommend? Imagine I've been living under a rock for the last ten years.

My contribution is 'The Bray House' by Eilís Ní Dhuibhne . It's Irish post apocalyptic fiction, and it's super popular in Ireland, the sort of book you find in guesthouses &c throughout the land. It's also brilliant.


Sep. 19th, 2017 11:02 pm
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[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
On Wednesdays we are out all day, so I make packed lunches. Except tomorrow, because this evening I put a bunch of stuff on the table (including a roast chicken and a bowl of boiled eggs) and the children made their own.

Judith has chicken, carrot sticks, dried mango, rice cakes, crisps, mini cinnamon rolls and jelly. Andreas has eggs, carrot sticks, dried mango, bread (plain), fruit winder, crisps and jelly. It'll do. (I've got sushi rice, eggs, chicken, mixed chopped veg and hummous, some mixed dried fruit and jelly.) We'll all drink water.

In other news we watched Toast, the autobiography of Nigel Slater, yesterday. It actually just covers the first half of the book, his childhood, and I was touched by how sympathetically it portrayed even the people he didn't really like, I'd recommend it whether or not you read the book.

In which I play with the cool kids.

Sep. 18th, 2017 08:48 am
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[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
This summer I have spent a lot of time wandering around Europe with my family, and a small amount of time playing with exciting people, but they were particularly exciting people. [personal profile] forestofglory visited, for example, and we had Friday night dinner and talking.

Then there was Bärli's parent's 40th anniversary. Bärli's family are so lovely. At one point there was a bit of a clash of understanding between Bärli's mother and Andreas, and both of them said to me they were worried the other would think they didn't respect them. But it was OK. And the whole family is so lovely and welcomign to us.

This weekend was [profile] huskyteer's birthday. Huskyteer is one of those people who is just so cool I can't imagine why they'd want to talk to me, but of course, also cool enough that they don't even think like that. Anyway, I can't think of a better person to introduce me to my first complete James Bond film (which I greatly enjoyed).

Now it is back to term, and I am doing so much! Band twice a week and karate, and Wednesday home ed stuff, and playdates. Remember how a year ago I was grumbling about never having time for me? Well, my people arranged it so I could, and it's wonderful. Thank you my people! I get two whole hours of cycling by myself, plus band (it's 10 miles away and I get a lift to Friday band but cycle on Sunday).

Rest of life round up:
Eating: sausage ragu with rice, made by the lovely [personal profile] jack
Reading: Just finished 'In My Own Time' by Nina Bawden, her autobiography, which is rather lovely. Her respect and love for the people around her really shines through, and she seems like such a nice person.
Playing: Argo. Not my cup of tea. Littles were playing Stratego, which I also can't get my head around, so I'm glad they have each other to play with.
Watching: Pororo. Cute Korean penguin and friend.
cjwatson: (Default)
[personal profile] cjwatson

is mise bó
tá mé an-caoin
léigh mé an dán
ar idirlíon
nuair is mian leat
canaim amhrán
fanaim rómhall
lím an t-arán

for the confused )

TG Lurgan, amhráin as Gaeilge

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:16 pm
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[personal profile] cjwatson

Coláiste Lurgan (Lurgan College) is an Irish-language summer school in Connemara; it has a musical project called TG Lurgan which does lots of brilliant translated covers. Here are a couple, worth watching even if you have little or no Irish 'cause they're obviously having such a good time with it!

videos )

(I'd run across them before, but [ profile] eyebrowsofpower reminded me of them today.)

Blind Review: Closet Curve London

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:04 am
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[personal profile] gailsedotes posting in [community profile] indieplusdesign

*In a Blind Review, an item is selected from an independent small brand. Using their measurement chart we purchase the size that best fits the reviewer’s measurements. All tags, maker’s identifying marks, and packaging is removed so brand preconceptions won’t affect the review. Once the blogger has sent in their review, we disclose the brand and retail price and ask for their final reaction.

Closet Curves Navy Long Sleeve Drape Curve Dress rp: £55.00 sp: £38.50

Emily(UK 16): Well, for a dress that was thrown in my direction less than two hours ago, it’s not the worst fitting thing I’ve ever worn.

Knee length, dark blue and coming in at the waistline. These three things are a recipe for everything I want in a dress. It’s well fitting and the stitch work is damn near perfect. I have to admit though the back is far more visually interesting than the front. The simplicity of the front is perfect for a formal setting, however, as a girl who favours big patterns and bright colours, I have to say that I was underwhelmed.

The back holds a little more interest for me but only because of the choice to make the zipper big, obvious and metallic in colour. Not exactly innovative but at least it gives whoever is behind me something to look at. The material is not one that I would normally choose to wear. While style is obviously important when picking out something in a store to buy, the first thing I look for in a dress is comfort. It’s all well and good looking stunning in something but it’s all pointless if after an hour I feel the need to tear it off and return to the safety of pyjamas. This dress was not comfortable to me, the fabric felt cheap and irritating against my skin. I admit that this is a personal response to the designer’s fabric choices but past experience makes me wary. Nothing kills confidence like a red rash.

This dress is designed to instil a sense of confidence in its wearer, it’s meant to be worn to a job interview to make you feel like you’re the only person for the job. However, it made me think about just how easily I could show everyone I was trying to impress the underwear that I have underneath. I’m reasonably tall, standing at 5’8’’, so the dress is too short before it splits meaning that it would need to be pinned in order to more easily maintain what little dignity I have remaining.

Due to the materials chosen, I would estimate that this dress is in the £20 – £30 range. I’d be willing to pay the top of my estimation as I do think that the stitch work would have taken a lot more time than some dresses I’ve seen on the high street. Overall I do like the dress and I’ll probably end up wearing it to the next interview I end up in. I would be far more willing to wear this dress again if it had been made from a more suitable fabric.

Steff (UK 26): It’s a lovely colour – I’m fond of dark blue. I don’t often wear shift dresses so this is a new one for me; generally, I don’t like the way they look on me, but I felt it important to look at this one with an impartial eye. I do quite like the cut of this – with my large bust, sometimes the waist height is cut too high and winds up under – or just on – my bust. This, on the other hand, has plenty of room and is comfortable to walk around in – not too tight, but perhaps a little too loose in the waist for me. I think the split skirt works especially well and allows for comfort and flexibility.

However … I am really not a fan of the material – I tend to prefer softer cottons and fabrics and after wearing for a while I found this abrasive against my skin. It also seems to cling around my hips in a rather unforgiving way so I, personally, wouldn’t be wearing this without any shapewear underneath it. Asides my personal preferences, though, I’d say generally this is a lovely dress that I would wear in an office or interview setting – very smart!


Emily: I have to say that I wasn’t all that surprised that the price was higher than I expected. For the kind of dress, it is I wouldn’t lament paying £50 all that much. It’s made from a material that is going to be long lasting and durable – all you’d expect from a work dress – however, it still feels slightly cheap against my skin and has a habit of creasing very easily. All in all, I’d say that this is a worthy addition to any working woman’s wardrobe.

Steff: This isn’t a brand I’ve heard of, but the site is well laid out and clear. I also appreciate that the clothes are made in the UK. There are some lovely designs on the site. The original price surprised me, as I’d put it at £40 or thereabouts. The sale price makes more sense. If this was my kind of dress I’d buy it at the sale price, otherwise I’d let it pass me by.


Mirrored from Indie+Design.

ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
So, earlier in the year I had a whole lot of blood tests which resolved into 'so you should take this extra strong folic acid and continue to eat horse two or three times a week and exercise immoderately'. And it became obvious that that's exactly what makes me feel physically and mentally a lot healthier so I've been trying to do much better at that, and I got to the point where I felt like I really needed heavier weights. But weights are expensive so I've been dithering, until today I made up my mind that weights now were better than a spinning wheel later for health and happiness, and bought a set of 4kg, 6kg and 8kg dumbbells and I expect I'll want heavier in the future but for now that will do me, and the spinning wheel goal is just set back somewhat further.

SO the nice new heavy weights are in the flapjack muse's workout room, and now we just need to move Jack's weightsbench there and it will be perfect, and I will be all strong and happy and you should feel free to ask me to flex because I will be glad to.

Never Drunk Click Facebook Ads

Sep. 8th, 2017 04:50 pm
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[personal profile] gailsedotes posting in [community profile] indieplusdesign

Drunk phoning your ex can have fewer disastrous repercussions to your self-esteem than drunk clicking Facebook ads. I’d tell you the date, but I only partially remember the whole episode. It wasn’t until the bag arrived in the post that bits of what I had done floated to the surface.

You know the ads – if they aren’t straight up Chinese knock offs of (swear they’re real!) Louboutin at half price, it’s the promise of a really great dress in your size that turns out to be one size fits none. On this occasion, it was looked like a truly innovative concept for new plus size bra design. As a lingerie designer, it was a sucker bet, and they had me. A wireless full cup bra that really looked like it supported. So I punched in my size – not seeing the warning in the description, which in my defense was down the page and on the other side of where the sizing was. And look! You could pay with PayPal so if the thing never arrived from you could dispute it and get your money back! For £13.00 I was ready to spend, spend, spend! (I do love to live close to the edge!) And then I promptly forgot all about it.



Surprisingly, it arrived far sooner than expected, despite I had forgotten and wasn’t expecting anything. So yay points for the quick delivery. And when I opened it and saw the bra it was as I’d remembered and did look like the ad pictures so more yay points. The times I or friends have opened packages to find complete mysteries … well, there are plenty of sites with eBay prom dress horror pics that I’ll let you google it.

I give you the charmingly named: Wireless Antibacterial Adjustable Anti Sagging Silver Fiber Thin Bras

NOTE:The chest size runs small,pls choose 1 sizes up.For example,according to our size charts,if your size is 36C,you should choose 38C.

There are some absolutely stunning design elements in this bra. It’s such a shame that the proportions are shit. It looked fine and well made out of the packet. I ordered a 40DD, which is my size not their recommended size. Elements I was really happy to see:

  • Instead of the single piece of plastic boning at the side seam they had two. (Outlined on the left for you.) I often use more than two boning channels at the side as I believe side support is crucial to comfort and support. I don’t like using plastic bones as they warm to the body and then reshape/warp. Having more than one bone makes this less likely and will dig in less prolonging the life and comfort of the bra.
  • The elastic at both the band and straps are really wide, thick AND soft.
  • The bra came with a free matching extender. the manufacturers were obviously aware of the size differences and prepared to keep the customer satisfied in case of mismeasuring. This was a well thought out touch.

The inside. It’s a little difficult to see but the centre seam is not quite centre and jigs to the right. Not a big deal, but could distort more over time. Otherwise, the construction is very good. All seams are finished very nicely and well stitched and strong. I am a little puzzled as to why they used hook fasteners for the straps at the back as the straps are quite short and could never be used as a multiway/crossover bra. It may be because the straps are so wide that they could not have flat slides produced…

The cup design has three elements; an outer soft sheer fabric cup, a middle light foam covered cup, and an inner underbust supporting half cup. Underwire channeling is used to define the shape of the bust and anchor the cups together. The antibacterial bits are the “silver” line on the inner cup.

It looks good, but the above image does not show how flat the bra looks. I had real doubts before I even tried it on. And after putting this bra on, it lived up to every one of them.

Fatal flaws:

The band (size 40) fit fine – the cup was a disaster. The support is there but even If I had ordered a band size up and a DD, no way would the cup have been gi enough to hold the ladies in check. I have helpfully, and embarrassingly, outlined the excess of side boob splurging out and over the cups. Frankly, it was a lot worse IRL. Honestly, it felt like I was wearing pasties.

I will have you know the great scarifies I go through for you all! I totally shaved for this photo!

From the sales pic (fig 1), it looks almost like a long line bra, or at least the sides come up really high. Having high wings at the side means better support through the breast root, less friction and rubbing when moving your arms, and allows for smoother drape of your clothes. The sides are actually really short, and the above photo does not accurately represent the overflow. But you can see the area where the side through the breast root is not supported.

The final disaster is the back. Fig2 shows deep and wide wings and wide straps centrally located on the model’s shoulders. The reality is far from it. It is obvious that the pattern was not even scaled, they just added inches onto the band at the hooks. The straps are BARELY on my shoulders – and I have wide shoulders. I am having to shrug my shoulders just to keep them on.

The extra added, final clincher, sell it to you bonus is that your boobs can turn on a lightbulb! Wonder how these look in airport X-ray security machines?

Look Ma! My boobs light up!

The Moral of This Story

Never drink and drive! Or drunk click Facebook ads. Or believe the hype. Or think that Louboutins are less than £200. Or that Google won’t change your ad profile to send you continuous sh*te in your feed from that moment on…

Actually – it ain’t all that bad. As a lingerie designer, I am going to rip this apart and learn from it. Some of the better elements will be absorbed into future soft bra designs. Some won’t. The boob/light ball thing requires further contemplation.

Mirrored from Indie+Design.

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