Monday, 26 November 2018

QUIRKY CHRISTMAS
GIFT GUIDE VOL. 2

It's Chriiiiiiistmas! Well, obviously not quite yet, but there's a chill in the air, Christmas lights are sparkling all over town, and I've already scalded myself on glühwein.

With only four weeks to go, it's time to get cracking if you've still got Christmas shopping to do! I've put together a list of lovely things, with ideas for most budgets, to give you some Christmas inspo.

Stocking fillers

1. How cute are these sleepy moon pin badges? They come hand-stamped with your choice of initial for a personalised touch.

2. These are aimed at new mums, but as someone who is a fan of staying up late and dozing all day, I loooove this So Tired pin.

3. Got a coffee lover in your life? Get them hand-roasted coffee beans from all female coffee company Girls Who Grind.

4. Fusing art and chocolate, you won't go wrong with beautiful chocolates from Glasgow-based Sugarsnap Chocolate.


£15 and under

1. An adorable gift for anyone with jewellery or trinkets to store, this ring dish is personalised with your choice of name or word.

2. I got this Prick Book last Christmas and it is brilliant! It looks beautiful, is packed full of interesting information about cacti and succulents, and is a great guide for your green-fingered friends. 

3. You can't go wrong with a really pretty mug, and this celestial print mug is lovely.

4. Featuring artwork from the first edition of the book, buying this Wizard of Oz tote bag helps to fund literacy programs and book donations to communities in need, so you can get a gift and help others out! What a wonderful wizard win/win.


£30 and under

1. How cute is this chubby ceramic rhino planter? Very cute, that's what.

2. I'm a big fan of  indie jewellery label Wolf & Moon's aesthetic, and this eclipse necklace is particularly pretty.

3. I love dinosaurs, so I'm a big fan of this lasercut T Rex necklace. It comes in gold and silver too!

4. Okay, have you guessed I like personalised things? I think it all stems from having a slightly unusual name, and never being able to find anything with my name on it when I was little. Anyway, Papier have a beautiful range of stationery, including this beaut 2019 diary, which can all be personalised!


£50 and under

1. I'm a sucker for anything rainbow, and this bright orange bag ticks a lot of boxes. It's got compartments! Everyone likes bags with compartments!

2. I'm pretty pleased I've managed to only pick one thing from Anthropologie on this list, I am obsessed with that whole shop (although I can never actually afford it, weep). This statement necklace looks giant and great.

3. Brighten up wintery days with this adorable handmade fair-isle knitted hat. The pom poms are detachable too!

4. Perfect for the book lover in your life, this Joanie Sense & Sensibility jumper looks cute and cosy.


£100ish 

1. You can never have enough plants, and geo-fleur's Plant Post Club is a super cute way to surprise plant lovers each month. This subscription delivers an exclusive package of an unusual and beautiful plant, in a handmade pot, or plant related accessories each month. Everything's made in geo-fleur's Yorkshire studio.

2. I know this is a massive list of actual presents, but I am definitely of the opinion, that if you are going to treat someone, there's nothing better than gifting a trip or experience. In Edinburgh, we're lucky enough to have beautiful artisan florists dotted around the city, and I've always wanted to do a Flower School workshop - you get to learn a new skill and take home a beautiful bouquet!

3. Okay, back to commercialism! I can't help being a sucker for MAC, and I'm clearly a makeup magpie, so look, look at the shiny pretty things advent calendar

4. Like octopuses? Like being cosy? I do! I'm obsessed with this giant octopus blanket, hand-knitted by illustrator Kristina Micotti.

Monday, 19 November 2018

OUTFIT: GIRLS ON TOPS

Have you heard of Girls on Tops? A t-shirt celebration of female voices in film, this tee brand started last year when a small group of friends wondered “wouldn’t it be cool if women in film were treated like rock stars…if Greta Gerwig and Annette Bening had their names on t-shirts too?". Why, yes, yes it would be.

Recognisable as clean white tees with simple black type, Girls on Tops have taken the world of film by storm, popping up on red carpets, and becoming the unofficial uniform of film festivals worldwide. Edinburgh International Film Festival was no different - it was so cool to spot staff, filmmakers, industry guests and audiences in them everyday, and I was chuffed to wear my love for Laura Dern very proudly on my chest.

Unofficial EIFF uniform:
Tee - Girls on Tops
Skirt - New Look
Boots - Primark
In the short space of a year, Girls on Tops tees are sold nationwide, and have been worn by Lynne Ramsay, Greta Gerwig, Rooney Mara, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, Annie Clark and more. But what's even better, is that money from t-shirt sales now goes towards funding female-lead film projects and commissioning female-lead film writing.

Did you know that women only make up 16% of film screenwriters? That 78% of reviews from 205-2017 were written by male critics? That British cinema's gender imbalance was worse in 2017 than 1913? The film industry is dominated by men, so I am very here for anything that shouts about and celebrates women's achievement in film, and helps people break into the industry. And if I get to look cute doing so? Yes please!

Monday, 12 November 2018

SOBA THE HEDGEHOG

It's fair to say I didn't know what I was doing when I first got Soba as a pet. I had only recently found out that you could even get hedgehogs as pets, and I made the decision to buy him one late Friday night in the pub, several drinks down.

Fast forward a few weeks later and I had just collected the grumpiest little hedgehog, who huffed and puffed the whole journey back to Edinburgh on my lap. His first night I woke up to the sound of tiny footsteps running through the hall, as he'd already worked out how to get out of his house. The second night, he fell asleep on my lap (the only time he ever fell asleep on me!) and I knew we'd be alright.


Hedgehogs take patience. They're wild animals, and they haven't been kept as pets that long, so they aren't naturally tame. They're covered in spikes and pack a nasty bite, although hedgehogs are unlikely to bite through aggression, instead smell and taste are how they explore the world (so you've got to keep an eye out in case a curious hedgehog wants to find out how you taste!). They are nocturnal, so you can only hang out with them at night, and there's no guarantee they'll ever be happy to be held. But oh, they are adorable.

It took, literally, years to get Soba to like me. But bit by bit we got there. He learned the sound of my voice, and that I wasn't a scary predator out to get him. He'd be patient enough to be held, but was always happiest when he was running. He litter-trained himself (what a clever hedgehog), so he got free run of the living room at night, going in or out of his house as he liked, via a giant cardboard tube that was the perfect size for him. We made mazes and hedgehog obstacles for him to play in and explore, and he was brave and curious and perfect.


Soba was almost 4, and I was starting to worry about what might happen at the end. African Pygmy Hedgehogs on average live around 3-6 years, and I just hoped, whatever happened, would be quiet and pain-free. It was not to be. Older hedgehogs can have trouble with their eyes, and within a very short space of time poor Soba went blind in one eye, and then scratched the other in a small injury that suddenly turned very dramatic.

In the course of a week, everything changed. Our little pal stopped running, he lost a lot of weight, and his world wasn't going to be the same. The vet was very kind and helpful, but it was quickly very clear that there was only one thing to do.

It's hard to explain the bond with a pet, never mind the bond with a small, spiky animal, but I'll try. He fitted perfectly into my life. He was curious and so, so cute, and worth every minute it took to win him round. He was a wonder, and in the end, he learned to be patient when handled by people he didn't know, who were so pleased to get the chance to hold a hedgehog for the first time. He was little, but I loved him so, and I am so incredibly sad that he is gone.

For such a little thing, the flat feels so quiet without him. It's been weeks, and I still go to check on him at night, and spot phantom movements in the corner of my eye that look just like an exploring hedgehog. There's no sound of small paws pattering on the floor. I know he had a good life, but I miss him so.
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