Monday, 30 November 2015

Southend Soul

Southend in our sphere. An alleged fresh start. Supposed to be. Dougie, Neil and I. My two flatmates; a dolorous yin and yang. Dougie Deane; daydream. Blue eyes full of wondrous hope, safe and bounded by the belief that Daft Punk were real robots. Possibly the sweetest soul I've ever known and perhaps my best friend in the whole wide world. And Neil. Poor, neurotic, narcissistic Neil; life's biggest pessimist. Our luckless life in London has been left behind. Neil said we were to die a desolate death in Northolt, but now, by the salty sea and the biting breeze, we may meet our calling in the choppy waters that stretch as far as the crazed eye can capture. Full of sunshine, that one. 

Night we moved here we scrawled a letter each and stuffed it into a glazed green beer bottle, throwing it out to the dazzling sea. The sun shimmered, crashing tidal waves of broken glass. Everyone and anyone who had ever hurt us was bled to black ink. Doug didn't write very much. Neil and I could hardly stuff our letters into the bottle, so fuelled by bitterness and resentment were we. Our Coldplay tickets slashed, the final throttle to the bottle. Chris Martin had let us down, it was lethal; Gwyneth Paltrow. Lethal, Neil said. Love was lethal and now our only ally would be a mere memory. Worse than the hose pipe ban, Neil said. A terminally single trio and Coldplay's rush of blood wouldn't gush, nor would it reason to rhyme. Their dispirit was drowned and doused in doubt, in lie and sin. 

Johnny, there he was. Ray Bans and grey marl and Converse and God, he'd grown up. He was? 31. 
'Don't hit on me. I'm having an off day,' his trademark twinkle terminated the grey haze of hell that hung over his face. She wanted to tell him it was all going to be okay, that Shea was going to wake and BOOM happy ever fucking after. But they both had been there that night. Fairytale was fanatical.

Remember the day you drove us here Johnny Rotten? Chancing a wink at me as the lights flashed from amber to emerald. Smirking at the palm trees aligning Southend's stonewall; England's paradisal wish to California. The soured summer air was raw against my face, freshly fortuitous. We walked the pier, catching glimpse gaps of the sea beneath the floor; a grey marbled mass of froth. We simmered down to drink in the sea, the boats bobbing out in the harbour, the coast being spun from grey gold to burnt orange. And for a moment, for just a moment, we were okay. If only for a moment.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Boohoo and the beach

Beetlejuice, bitch. And all that jazz. This Jennie tie playsuit from Boohoo is a nice compromise for me and my summer spirit. Flared sleeves, dazzling stripes and a tie-up treat. Possibly the first and last time in a shoot you'll see me smile. Had to make up for the moody AF pout pic. 

One of my favourite fashion blogger photoshoot locations is this sink in the sand, rock rammed place, a secret spot of mine that I constantly crush on. I was pretty excited with these photos, especially as my pink ombre returned and I've added a few Autumnal essentials to my wardrobe; note the witchy Boohoo hat, the Beetlejuice playsuit and the Zara leaf embellished bag. Still really need a bout of retail therapy tho, you feel? I want some new season MU, and am furiously eyeing up anything glittery, alien, cosmic and within reach of the SkinnyDip block and the Motel Rocks rails. I don't know why but I've had Las Vegas on my mind these past few days. Has anyone been? I reckon this might be Vegas attire, by the poolside anyway. That's what LV holds for me; poolside paradise ideals!

What Autumn essentials have you splurged on? 
How do you like this ootd? 

Boohoo Jennie tie playsuit
Boohoo Lola ribbon fedora 
Boohoo Triangle earrings
Zara leather messenger bag

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Ombre obsessed: Carly Watt's magical illustration

Carly is one of the sweetest, kindest people in the world; her talent is absolutely mesmerising, unique and enchanting and I can't tell you how blessed I am that she has taken precious time to make such a gorgeous illustration of me. I've always adored Carly's stunning work, hers is different from any other's out there, instantly eye-catching, heartwarming and beautiful all at once. This illustration is based on one of my favourite shots of me (you may have seen it from my ombre obsession post a while back) and Carly's illustration has made me love it all the more. Over the moon and back, truly! 

I'm sure you're all familiar with lovely Carly and her amazing work, and I'd love it if you could go over to her blog and show her some love. All the love in the world, in fact, especially as it's people like Carly that restore my faith in this world. Love you Carly, and thank you once again so, so much for this stunning illustration, I'll treasure it forever ♡

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Shea & Johnny: Bonfire Night II

November 1988, Hackney Central
It's him. 

The paramedic said my sixteen year old self was okay as he scorched white light through my eyes. Okay? I felt like my heart had ruptured, my soul shattered, my brain blown. He eclipsed me. Me, Shea Winters, I was his little shadow and now there was nothing left, a mere reflection to mirror his destroyed existence. That night where it all really began. November 7, 1988. That night. That fateful party. The music. It was meant to be our life changing night but it became the world's for all the wrong reasons. Our party crashed to a raving, manical halt. My twin brother died forty two minutes and thirty seconds later on a hospital stretcher.  Wear a seatbelt, kids. You might just shatter through a windscreen and die on cold concrete like my cells, like my DNA. I escaped with a split lip and a scratch down one cheek. At the hospital I had to tell him, had to tell Johnny. He went fucking mental; said I was playing a sick joke. He'd only broken his arm, hadn't he? Something along them lines? He started collapsing into walls, thumping on hospital wards, yelling Ben's name. 'Where is he?' Crazed, he fell through the whole hospital backwards, wondering where the hell my brother was, where his best, best mate was.

He found him, eventually. He wished he hadn't.
God, I wish he hadn't.

Benjamin "Ben" Winters
Beloved brother, son, friend
31 August 1972 - 7 November 1988

Our world smashed to a silent standstill.
Remember remember the seventh of November.
We were guilty, he said.
Our fault. Us. We couldn't cry. The grief evaded us.

So we ran away, packed our bags. Left the invasive mourners and the practical strangers at the wake and found this skirted little house with smashed up windows and damp floorboards. We talked about him all night. About his promising football career, about his charm, about his favourite song "Everybody wants to rule the world". The last song he would have ever known.
We talked about my brother until our throat's were raw.
The bonfire blaze blew out.

Wish I'd never met him again as an adult. Johnny. Wish I'd not found the teenager transformed to a man. The memories moulding back through his veins and seeping to my subconscious. We have destroyed each other, there is nothing left. I told him it was over. Over, over. That I never wanted to hear or see from him ever again. Part of me meant it. Part of me knows now it's too late to tune things differently. Southend came into my sphere. A fresh start; supposedly. Supposed to be.

Christmas Day 2003, Leeds

Imagine if you will, a cottage; petrol and fume. Blazing fires resonating with revenge. Blood boiling and anger acidly drenched along the smoke screen walls. Dreams are always damaged, destroyed and blasted apart by nostalgic segments and misplaced memories. And I'm re-living my life like I never lived it before. Like it was all one blazing day of doubt. My life. The monitor looks pretty critical, green lines depicting a fateful, fazed outlook. I realise I am all but a character in some mindful mast; eclipsed by brother's shadow, lightened by brother's best mate, guilt-ridden and guilty of brother's death. Left and leaving. Scars and bruises scattered along me like blazing butterflies. Hospital. My lifeline; him. My lifeline, a lie. A new life, from London to Leeds and back to London and now, finally, back where I belong. I remember your return. Remember the fuel and the smoke and the ash clouding over me until all I could taste was metal. All I could breathe was your smoke, that toxic nicotine so ubiquitously you. You could kill us both. Why him? Now the three of us are along the same corridor, separated from each other by white washed walls, stripped lighting. I loved you both once. You, who I left after promises proved pointless. And you, who left after promising you'd stay. And what becomes of him? Him who always seems to escape. Him who looked at me. 
Him who started this story. Him who can finish it. 

December 2003, Hackney Cemetery 

Johnny Goode, his name was. Off his head, he was. Screaming and yelling and smashing his fist to stone. 'Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!' the night had burnt to black but as soon as the car had spluttered and the gates crashed and the screams started, his dad knew. Grief, the delayed kind. The kind that dated back years, not just since yesterday when he'd been informed of Shea's state. Since Ben's death Johnny hadn't ventured into the graveyard. Even at the funeral, even at that heart-wrenching affair filled with all those guttered teenagers and the hysterical mother and the fearful father and the ghost like Shea he'd hung around outside, green and black checked arms clutching onto the glimpse gaps; dead as the deadened boy he'd lost.

His dad knew. This news of her had sent Johnny into a twisted turmoil of thunderbolt. His son; first the cheeky teenager, guttered grievance, successful Southwark executive with designer lapels hanging off his coat and a string of sluts tagging along behind.  He had a girly glass house with panoramic views over London, favoured Diesel jeans and Timberland jackets and Armani aftershave. Said "Babe" often. Too often, actually. Often so he didn't have to remember which girl to call what. He was a bit of a womaniser, was Johnny. He had a successful job, shedloads of cash and a pyramid of popularity, sociality and sexuality. He was a right laugh, was Johnny. Everyone's favourite lad. But he wasn't happy. The tears had stopped. 3am. Mitch could go talk to his son, now. Fifteen years of grief and guilt and resentment and bitterness and blame. Finally, today had come. A long story was grinding to a halt.

The fire had been blazed up in a trail of terror. It was going to be a critical Christmas. The truth was tormented in the three lives that hung precariously in the balance, every green mark on their monitor delaying time, punishment and death. And the one girl who knew everything, was headed towards it.


What do you make of the characters? The plot? Your thoughts mean the world! <3

For everyone who has supported me & this story, first and foremost my beau artist. I love you so bad. 
And for my dear friend Yaz, who always makes me remember why I'm writing this. I love you girl!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

How to wear white pants at a cookout

Totally a title reference to Justin Timberlake and the GQ dude he plays in Friends with Benefits of course. Sometimes I feel I'm Justin Timberlake's soccer mom supporter, a proud, protective one at that. It used to be all about the crushing, but since the funked up Futuresex/Lovesounds record came out I changed my tune and decided I felt protective and kinda maternal towards him. One of the most epic nights of my life had to be when my boyfriend and I frequented LA a few summer's ago. He'd planned a romantically researched trip and after we drove up to a stop off point overlooking the whole city we wound up outside JT's house! True story. Pretty amazing night that was, and although we didn't get to stay very long due to a security guard approaching, to say I saw my hero's home-town was pretty awesome!

These slash scream denim jeans would be perfect for a summer-ween barbecue. I called Halloween summer-ween last fall because the sun was like some hot ball of humidity. I'm wishing with delusion that this winter brings more shimmer than snow. I enjoy rocking crop-tops come winter, so this aztec find from H&M was perfect for last week's stream of sunshine. And..flamingo hair! This time I mixed pink and red together which created an unexpectedly awesome flamingo ombre hue. Absolutely LOVE, just wish the red was a bit more evident. Next time I'll know not to overkill the pink. Yep, this has to be my summer-ween outfit of choice this Satur-ween. Yesterday I indulged in a Nando's, watched some horror movies and carved a pumpkin. How did you celebrate Halloween weekend?

Crop-top: H&M
Contrast Hat: Missguided
Jewel: present from lovely Josie!
Slash jeans: Boohoo
Boots: Public Desire