Your Silence Will Not Protect You

After nearly three weeks in Costa Rica, I can get back into my normal routine. I’ll be returning to my usual Sunday blog posts but before that I feel I need to get something off my chest.

For most of my life, I have bitten my lip and done my best to be polite when dealing with micro-aggressions. I don’t always practise what I preach, which I find really frustrating. If I find myself angry or upset, I tend to check with others to see if my feelings are justified – I often wonder if I’m going mad so I seek validation from others. I want to challenge this pattern of behaviour and that’s why I’m writing this today.

A couple of months ago, I participated in a discussion on pin-up subculture. After the interview, I entered into conversation with my interviewer which ended up being problematic. I cannot post the conversation because the interviewer was very clear about not giving permission. I am sharing my experience and reactions to the conversation. I am sorry that the lack of screenshots and quotes removes context and meaning but I can’t risk the repercussions.

I spoke to several friends about this conversation and now I feel comfortable enough to share my opinions on the matter.

  1. I never gave permission for my information to be shared outside of the interview itself and posts on their social media pages.
  2. I didn’t feel comfortable being approached about participating in a contest when I know that many others do not receive the same treatment. It’s unfair; it gives me an advantage (even though my name wasn’t mentioned) and others a disadvantage. How is it a fair contest if some people are approached and encouraged and others are not?
  3. I have the privilege of having the time and means to share my writing with the world. My ability to write is subjective too. There are lots of people out there who can write much better than me – they’re just not able to share it. Again, that is unfair.
  4. I cannot stand the how do you improve diversity without tokenism? question. Marginalised people are not a tick-list, we are not a bloody pick ‘n’ mix. It’s demeaning to be told that they’d like a south Asian one, a trans one, etc. I think I find this question so aggravating because I know people have written to organisers with suggestions of how to make events more inclusive. Alixis Lupien of Ains & Elke StyleHaus wrote a letter with a list of suggestions from banning the confederate flag to offering hair classes for more than one hair type. Listening to POC and other marginalised groups to create an environment of inclusion will have more impact than a token tick-list.
  5. I’m tired of performing emotional labour and having to justify my feelings. There is a wealth of information online – I shouldn’t have to explain why I feel uncomfortable or what you can do to improve diversity.

I know full well that this post will not make me popular (to be honest, I never have been). Some will say I’m being over-sensitive, some will say I’m being aggressive. However, in the immortal words of Audre Lorde: ‘Your silence will not protect you’. I won’t make things better for myself or those from other marginalised groups if I remain quiet and polite. Of course, I’m fully aware that there are bigger and worse issues in the world but I’m starting here. I can’t encourage others without acting myself. I have to practise what I preach.

Marginalised people do not have to be grateful for bones thrown to them. Marginalised people must not be tokenised. Marginalised people deserve better.

Thanks to several incredibly supportive friends for giving me the confidence to write this. We fight the good fight together.


Ladies In Liverpool

Apologies for the lack of posting over the past two weeks – the end of term has been really full on but thankfully the summer holidays have started and I am FREE (for a few weeks at least). Next week, I’ll be heading off to Costa Rica so hopefully I’ll be able to post from there.

Amidst reports, data and getting ready for the next academic year, I’d made plans to go see my friend Steph who lives far up north. Last Friday after school, I grabbed my backpack and hopped on the train for a seriously long journey. As always, I was greeted with a warm smile, some form of gin cocktail and a home-cooked meal. You can see why we’re friends.

The next morning, we set off for Stockport to get our hair done at I Love Lucie hair salon. I was definitely in need of a good chop!

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I do envy Steph’s hair colour palette – it makes any hairstyle look even more fabulous. I went for something a little different that could withstand the breeze.

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After a bit of sprucing, we caught the train to Liverpool for afternoon tea at The Panoramic. Steph had brought me here before for cocktails in the evening but it was great to come during the day so I could see even more of Liverpool

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We obviously had to have cocktails and they were so ruddy tasty. The afternoon tea itself was an absolute feast for the eyes. The savouries were really varied and delicious. Scones were warm and a great texture. To say we were very happy is an understatement. Finally, we got to the dainty cakes which tasted as good as they looked. At one point, I nipped to the loo and returned to find Steph with a tie. One of the waiters gifted it to her after she complimented it but she felt it was a tad overgenerous so she returned it as we stepped out.

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Post-tea, we took a stroll over to the docks to check out the Finely Tuned vintage event. There were some pretty amazing buildings en route and there was a warm and friendly atmosphere as we walked around. We also got to spend some time catching up with the Ford sisters at their stall – always a good giggle.

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Later in the evening, we popped back to Steph’s to change outfits and freshen up. Since we’ve met, I’ve known her to take these beautiful walks around the marine lake near where she lives. As I was staying over, she wanted to take me round before we headed off for dinner. Of course we dressed appropriately in nautical style. When we go to The Tapas Kitchen, we were both ready for more yummy treats.

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The next morning, we had breakfast at Steph’s parents’ cafe (so needed) before I got the train home. I also got one of her mum’s ridiculously perfect scones to keep me going on my journey. A great end to the weekend.


Another fabulous weekend up north and I’m sure there’ll be many more to come. Thanks so much for looking after me, Steph!

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Afternoon Tea Beside The Sea

For my birthday last year, my Year 5 team got me an afternoon tea for two in Brighton. I decided to take my better half with me and we picked an absolutely gorgeous day for it last weekend.


I picked up this dress at Retrofest last year. I had to wear it by the sea as it has subtle seaweed and starfish patterns. I also added to the sea-theme by adding a prawn brooch and vintage mussel earrings. I know I’m a bit ridiculous.

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Exploring Brighton

After our drive, we started off with coffee. We then took a long stroll through the Lanes before heading to our afternoon tea spot.

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Metro Deco

We arrived at Metro Deco on time and both of us were gasping for a cuppa. The waiting staff were really friendly and helpful; they gave use lots of tea suggestions. I went for an incredibly fruity tea and Nick went for lemon and ginger. I was particularly pleased when I found out I could have as many different teas as I wanted – I am a tea fiend. The spread was delicious and both of us left full and happy.

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The Seaside

With full tummies, we decided a long walk by the sea would be a good idea. It was also a good opportunity to faff about in my dress.

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It was just what we needed – a day to ourselves doing what we do best: eat, explore and laugh. I’m already looking forward to more of these days in the summer.

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London Eats With Northern Ladies

I met Flick last year when I needed a dress to be made for the Miss Vintage final at Twinwood. While I was over, she introduced me to her friend Steph and the rest is history. As Flick and Steph live quite far from me, we try to make the most of it when we see each other. For their trip to mine, I organised a foodie day – because we all love our grub!


As we are somewhat ridiculous, we decided to dress in the style of some of the cakes we were going to have at afternoon tea. Flick made her own jacket (which she hand-embroidered) and trousers – she is disgustingly talented. Steph was a human rainbow: nails, hair, dress and petticoat. I went for a pink Dolores Umbridge-inspired look, wearing a vintage dress and a Pin Up Curl hair bow Flick lent me.

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I’d been to Dishoom once before and I totally fell in love with their brunch menu (I’ll be working my way to lunch and dinner too). As we were having a full-on afternoon tea later on, a big fry up was not on the cards. We all chose some form of delicious eggs and washed it down with chai. Epic start to the day!

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The Berkley

After brunch, Flick and I went for a mooch in Portobello while Steph went to visit her shoe church. We all met up in Knightsbridge and strolled over to The Berkeley for our ‘fashion’ afternoon tea. Steph had been before and highly recommended it so we obviously had to go. Basically, it was bloody brilliant. Great service, unlimited quality tea, cakes and sarnies and beautiful surroundings. Steph – you did good!

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Post-tea, we wandered over to Covent Garden and then headed to Waterloo to get the train home. It’s safe to say we were done in.


I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: it’s amazing how you can connect with strangers online. Thankfully, it’s not long before I see these two again.

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Harry Potter, Hogwarts and My Family

My little sister is a huge Harry Potter fan so for her birthday I organised a family day out at Warner Bros. Studios. Obviously being ridiculous, I had to dress up in house colours – though I’m still not sure I’m 100% Gryffindor.


We packed our lunches and headed down the motorway to Watford. First off, my mum and I ran over to the costumes from Fantastic Beasts. The detail in them was just so intricate.


Feeling excited, we lined up for our time slot with our tickets in hand…


All in all, we spent over five hours strolling around and taking in everything  Рit was so good! We were totally exhausted so we decided to go out for waffles and milkshakes in St Albans. A perfect end to a wonderful day!


Half Term Shenanigans In London

Normally during half term, I am up to my ears in report-writing so I tend to make sure it’s a quiet week. However after several weeks involving some very late nights, my year group partner and I managed to get the job done early. Feeling a lot less stressed, I thought I should do something with my time so I planned a few things in London.

Soho with Sarah

Sarah and I work closely together and, as both of us were killing time before meeting other people, we decided to hang out in the city. She makes the best cakes and enjoys new things so I felt I should take her to some spots I knew she’d like.


We walked miles, browsing everything from macarons to antique tiaras. For lunch, we popped into L’Eto – a cafe that does the best tea ever. A little later on, we headed to Sketch because even if it’s just a cuppa you have there, it’s still an experience. A great start to the day.

Camden with Jennifer

Jennifer and I had this evening planned for a couple of months. As we’re both quite busy, we try to make sure that we have a brilliant time when we do see each other. We met up in Covent Garden, had a few killer margaritas and then moved on to Camden.


Apart from always enjoying each other’s company, The Cocoa Butter Club was the main reason for our meet-up. I’d heard about it on Instagram and thought it’d be worth a visit. It takes place on the last Thursday of each month and showcases performers of colour. After munching some quesadillas, we got to Her Upstairs in time to find a seat and sink some prosecco. We were lucky enough to experience four fantastic performers – it was great! The atmosphere was incredibly warm and friendly; there was a lot of love in the room. If you do get the chance to go, I highly recommend it!

Oxford Circus with Kelly

Feeling somewhat hungover, I started the day with solo brunch at the beautiful and yummy Cafe Miami. After that, I went to meet with Kelly to explore an exhibition at The Photographer’s Gallery.


At the gallery, we took in the Under Cover and Grayson Perry exhibition, as well as interacting with the #floofyourself installation by Soofiya. Finally, we grabbed some killer ice cream at our new favourite Chin Chin Ice Cream before heading home.

All I can really say is that it was an awesome little getaway with some fabulous people in an ever surprising city.


Fashion And the Future At The V&A

The V&A (The Victoria and Albert Museum) is one of my favourite places to visit. I tend to visit fashion exhibitions but there is a world of other wonders to explore there too. Over the past two weekends, I experienced two temporary exhibitions – both quite different from each other and both definitely worth seeing.

The Future Starts Here

Fro data usage to socialising, this exhibition sought to answer several questions about the future. As a huge sci-fi fan and someone who is quite apprehensive about the future, I knew I had to go. Also as it was my other half’s birthday, I knew it’d be something we’d both get into. We spent a good two hours find out about the good, the bad and the ugly of the future.

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Having been to a couple of sci-fi/future-focused exhibitions, I was expecting to leave feeling highly anxious and pessimistic. To be fair, there was an element of that but there was a great deal of positivity too. We saw how technology can be used for good: helping refugees, giving people a voice, making the world more accessible, etc. When we were walking up the stairs, we got talking to an American techie who was not feeling as uplifted – he was fearful of how everything would be used and the type of people who’d have access to it. Technology in itself is neither good nor evil; it is the creator and the¬† user who can manipulate it. It is the creator and the user we have to be wary of.

Fashioned From Nature

I took my mum and my sister along for this one. Normally, I go with just mum for fashion exhibitions but this one involved a lot of information on materials and, as my sister is a crafter, it seemed perfect for her. The exhibition looked at the links between fashion and nature through history, exploring the impact on society and the environment.

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On the whole, we found it quite a heavy exhibition. From slavery to poisoning water supplies, it’s quite disturbing how negative an impact the fashion industry has had on the environment and society. The three of us had to take a step back to consider what we do and what we should do to end this negative cycle. Although there were some incredibly beautiful pieces, seeing the pain that it took to make some of them left a a bitter taste. There were positives to take away too though – there are new campaigns, initiatives and technologies out there to move fashion forward in a more sustainable and beneficial manner.

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If you do have the time, go see these exhibitions before they close!