Southsea Sisters Relaunch – 28 September 2014





I’m a bit late to the game on this one on account of Style Me Vintage Accessories being published today. I don’t need to blog about that as so many kind people have already done just that, here and here and here. We came back from our holidays late last Tuesday and by Wednesday the rest of the week had been swallowed up with a photo shoot and interview with the Portsmouth News. Lydia and I were cover girls on the Family section and I got to wax lyrical about my love of second hand. So with 3 days to go here is a reminder about another important-to-me and hopefully important to you event this week: the Southsea Sisters re-launch which takes place this Sunday at the Dockyard.

Two years ago, inspired by what I had seen in London, I launched a proposal to start a woman’s group. At the first meeting almost hundred women of all ages turned up. Yep, that’s correct almost hundred. It blew my mind. We lasted another 3 meetings before I let it all drop. I wasn’t well and I couldn’t seem to find anyone who would take over the reins for a bit. We had even been offered a radio show with Express FM. It was beyond gutting. What haunted me for the next two years was the fact that so many people obviously wanted to join a woman’s group. There were ladies at our first meeting at the Aspex Gallery in their 60s and 70s as well as teenagers. I felt like I let a lot of people down.

Fast forward to now and despite new book and baby I am giving this another, more sustained go. What is the skinny? Well, it is free to join and attend. The agenda is set by the members and once a quarter we have a meeting with a guest speaker. You can network, tell the group about your own work and projects and propose themes and speakers. To start this off with a bang we have Cheryl Buggy coming to do a Q&A. When I was thinking of a first speaker she was right there at the top of my list of people.  A former Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, published author and founder of Express FM she has had a long and distinguished career with no plans to slow down. As someone I know in real life Cheryl is a great speaker, very engaging and full of interesting things to say. She doesn’t mince her words and I’m certain will be dishing out some brilliant advice. She has really carved out her own path through determination and hard work, which I respect immensely.

As if that is not enough the Naval Museum are giving us a free tour of their new gallery HMS ‘Hear My Story’ and ‘Racing to War: The Royal Navy and 1914′. They are also providing us with a free room in the Dockyard that overlooks the Victory. I can’t think of anything nicer to do on a (hopefully) sunny Sunday Morning. So if you want to join, take part and bring what you have to share with the group and crucially help form future plans then your are formally invited to join us this Sunday, please make your way to the  Visitors Centre where we will be waiting to wave you through the queue. Talk starts at 11 am followed by the guided tour. I look forward to seeing you there.

An update:

Access to the event is free. The talk is in the Princess Royal Gallery upstairs in the Royal Naval Museum – access via the shop (there is a lift). On arrival at the Dockyard you will need to go through the visitors centre but do not need to buy a dockyard ticket. I have heard the dockyard now insist you go via the ticket point. I will be waiting at the visitors centre to make sure there are no issues. Following the talk we have arranged with the museum a special tour around their new galleries. If you wish to visit anything else (Victory, Mary rose etc) you will need to buy a ticket. See you tomorrow!

Style Me Vintage Accessories Book Launch at Judy’s AVF – Bethnal Green 5 Oct 2014

On 5th October Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair in Bethnal Green will take over the stunning York Hall in East London for a day of vintage clothes, furniture, afternoon teas and Liz and myself!

We are taking our new book Style Me Vintage Accessories (Pavilion, 25 September 2014) on a little outing to introduce it to you, answer any questions and scribble our names should you wish. We will also be selling the book at a special fair price of 13 squids. To celebrate the book coming out we have also teamed up with the our publishers Pavilion and the AVF to offer not one but two competition prizes. Firstly you can win a copy of Style Me Vintage Accessories, the Style Me Vintage Look Book and… *weeps* a pair of original 1930 sunglasses in mint green. They have the original glass lenses and are perfectly wearable. These are from my personal collection and feature prominently in our book. The next competion will be unveiled on the publication date!



To find out more and enter the competition please head over here.

Over the years I have worked with the AVF a number of times; as a best dressed judge at Spitalfields where Sheradon Dublin’s photographs made it into Grazia, as a personal shopping ‘prize’ in Brighton and when they supported Style Me Vintage Clothes when it launched two years ago. Each time I have enjoyed being part of the buzz of hundreds of people enjoying the process of bargain hunting. That’s the thing about the AVF, it does what it says on the tin: making vintage affordable and accessible, which reflects the ethos of the Style Me Vintage series.

Judys one


So, please come and join us on the 5th October in London. There may be some cake, possibly a baby, and two authoresses who are looking forward to sharing their work. Bring your books, questions and come and say hello.

York Hall

5 Old Ford Road, London, E2 9PJ

£3 early bird 10.30am – 11:00am

£2 general 11:00am -4:30pm

Under 12′s free!

Nearest Car Park: Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9EG

Email: to talk about getting involved!


Review: Lunch at Southsea Beach Cafe


Today Lydia Grace Hazel Taylor-Thompson is four months old. To celebrate Al and I popped into Southsea’s newest eatery: Southsea Beach Café. Considering it’s not ‘officially’ open, it was quickly filling up with the curious and the hungry. I bumped into a few friends who had rushed down after seeing someone else’s lunch on Facebook. Which is exactly why we were there. Thanks Lou for sharing your brunch when we were insanely hungry. That kind of shizzle seems to really pack out a place these days.

There is a outdoor deck and an indoor eatery with retracting walls and roof. I can imagine its quite fun to push that button everyday. I can honestly say it was like eating by the beach in Nice (where mama lives) minus the ageing plastic surgery and yappy dogs.

Now a place like this with a view like this could easily charge £15 for a burger or a salad. Like the Wine Vaults do, and shouldn’t as they have no such view. We would all tut and go there anyway. Not here. The lunch menu was under a tenner. A good size portion of mussels cooked with the unusual addition of rosemary was £7.50. The eponymous SBC burger, a fat, oozing patty topped with chorizo, a couple of quid more. And they threw in a free gherkin. The salads look insanely good. The menu is pared down but there is foody lurking behind the ingredient choices. The wine list looked decent and I heard rumours of elderflower cider, though they had no problem with providing tap water.

Gimmicks are kept to a minimum. You wont be tripping over piles of vintage suitcases. They don’t blare out music and the simplicity of the design makes it chic by default. The blue and white enamel bowls suited the fare and accommodated reasonably generous portions.

The lunch menu had a nice balance of surf and turf, but best of all it tasted home made and fresh. The first impression is family friendly (forgot to check the changing facilities). I noticed a good number of rather expensive looking wooden high chairs, ready for little bottoms, and I’m sure I saw evidence of a kiddies menu. They had no problem with our pram and we didn’t feel uncomfortable for bringing her along. Later on though a small cortège of buggies arrived together and being busy, it was difficult for them to navigate around. C’est la vie! I may be a mum but I don’t believe businesses have to accommodate a million prams at once. Its not fair on them or the other diners. If you need to fill space, get there early.

If they stick to their current prices and keep their food quality consistent they are going to be very busy all summer, so maybe not somewhere for a weekly mothers meet-up (after all we have the uber baby friendly Watkins & Faux for that). This is not to say they have under priced themselves. The quality/quantity/cost ratio is spot on, which means if you come and visit me from London I will smugly take you here so you can validate my life choices.

The waiting staff are friendly and there are plenty of them. They are still finding their feet service-wise, which is completely OK. They could do with a maître d to boss them around a bit. We were not the only people who had to ask for cutlery. Frankly, though, who cares? This is the most exciting thing to happen to the seafront since Ken Russell burnt down the pier.



**Gland Rock 2014** 5 July 2014 – Portsmouth

Gland Rock 2014 Poster 1

Two of the many things I love about my chap Al are his kindness and his generosity. He has combined precious baby-daddy time, immaculate taste in new music, his partner in crime Neil (together: Champagne Justice) and Strong Island Recordings to form a musical extravaganza in Portsmouth to raise funds for Maddie Hanks’ cancer charity, Feel Yourself Campaign – promoting breast and testicular cancer awareness. This event is Gland Rock (geddit? Ya, ya…).

Now in its second year – having previously hosted Esben & The Witch, Traams and Wild Smiles among others – Gland Rock 2014 is led by legendary British outfit The Telescopes and remains as eclectic, electric and impressive, featuring a unique blend of lauded acts and exciting prospects on the ascent. The Telescopes have been championed by Steve Lamacq since their inception and they have been described as “in another universe altogether… incredible” by NME.

The likes of God Damn, AK/DK and Playlounge have fast become favourites of gig and festival goers across the country. Elsewhere, they have the bewilderingly exciting Lifestyles, Claw Marks and Human Hair, three of the UK’s hottest new bands. On the home front, Southsea is gainfully represented by the bombastic Curxes, You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons, Rickyfitts, Deluxe Flamingos, Eloise Keating and Wildest Dreams.

On July 5th for one day only at the Wedgewood Rooms you can come and enjoy sexy live music  in aid of keeping your sexy bits healthy.

There is also a raffle. Prizes include:

My Dog Sighs (!!) painted canvas framed by Southsea Gallery (its worth coming to Portsmouth alone for a chance to win this)

Victorious Fest tickets

Southsea Fest tickets

£25 Art Is Hard records voucher and surprise test pressing

Signed Pompey calendar and David James painting by official PFC artist

Strong Island Recordings swag

Pie & Vinyl swag

Artwork by amazing local artists such as Mynameisleila and m-one.

Tickets are £10 (not bad for 12 bands)

Flyer design by Roberta Fedora.


Which pair to wear today?

A little snap from a corner of my boudoir. I have a huge love for bright 80s/90s shoes and a chocolate box-like selection of 50s sunglasses to choose from. Happy days.

What do you love to collect?


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