My Mates Create – Part One

All About Bee 🐝

I’ve known Bianca, or Bee as she’s known to me, since I was 12. We went to Secondary school together and shared a love of dance music, raves, and general mischief. We then worked together for an insurance company in the late 90s but lost touch in mid adulthood. Then dance music and motherhood brought us back together again πŸ™ŒπŸ˜„

Bianca has always been a creative force, but recently she has started to explore this side to her more through photography. Combining two of her biggest passions, photos and the club scene, Bee has been experimenting with street photography, documenting her daily life and experiences, as well as taking professional pics for DJs and promoters. I asked Bee to tell me why her art is so important to her. Here she explains why.

I’m a 41 year old mother of one son finding art and photography many years after not doing quite as well as I had wanted to in GCSE art. I had good ideas but lacking in confidence I had terrible execution of those projects. I always appreciated art and also loved music and loved sitting going through my parents LP collection pouring over the images on this album covers. One particular iconic image always sticks in my mind- the bright fork of lightening flashing across the album cover – The album being Dire Straights β€˜Love over Gold’.

A catalogue or rather an avalanche of personal problems last year drove me to

to seek help and heal myself.

I started writing poems and began writing ideas for a childrens book so I knew I needed to express myself creatively, waking up at crazy times in the morning with poems already formed in my head ready to record and write down .

I’ve been taking photographs for a while so it was there all along but because my confidence was at an all time low I couldn’t put any work out there.

That’s a shorted version I guess but I feel like I’ve found a way to channel the hurt and upset to rebuild my life .

It’s a positive way of re-directing emotions and a form of therapy as I’ve also experienced depression and found working on my images calming and I get totally absorbed in creating.

When I’m out and about I might see an object, a person a certain light that I feel feels right and I get lost in that image and the feeling of that image.

This has really helped me to focus and reconnect with people and life when I thought that I had no hope essentially, I felt that low.

So from my photography/art however you want to label it, it’s connected me to so many people, largely DJs I know , connecting them with other DJs who have reached out to me through my art and I’ve been getting so much positive feedback from them, other artists and photographers.

To sum it up it’s been a lifeline.

Follow Bee and her photography on Instagram @honeybeephotography2020

Ready for The Roaring 20s? F*ck yes!!!

2009 to 2019 a decade of self care and self discovery.

So I’m now ready to leave you 2019 and start my next chapter. What a difference a decade makes hey? You’ve been been both wonderful and full of wank. But undoubtedly truly transformative.

I’m not the same women I was in 2009. What’s changed? I learned not to give a shit about what other people think. It has been the best present I could ever have given myself and has completely changed my life. It’s allowed me to find myself, understand myself, and finally be free.

It didn’t happen overnight, and I’m not totally there. I still get a pang every now and then of ‘but what might they think’ or a dose of good old comparison culture (that bitch gets us all from time to time) but I am now self aware enough to give myself a talking to and wise up when I’m tempted to deviate from my true self.

I think this happened both consciously and unconsciously. I over came some massive challenges mid decade and when you have any huge hurdle to overcome, and you do, you feel like you can fight again and your whole perspective changes.

Yet despite on paper being ‘an achiever and a survivor ‘ I felt like something was missing. I also thought is this it? Is this whirlwind of a life constantly juggling my family and work really it? I didn’t feel like me. I felt I had to pretend to be someone else. That if I was my true real self I’d be judged. And judged badly.

I worried I wasn’t a good mother. A self made anxiety I’ve had since having my first child at 21. I felt I had something to prove. Like the world was judging me as a mother and a person. The world gym slip mum had been banded around earlier in my motherhood journey, and it made me feel like shit.

I also worried I wasn’t good enough at work. Not as bright or quick or clever as the others. The ones who had been to the top unis, done internships at fancy museums blah blah blah. I worried my house wasn’t big enough or as fancy as it should be at my age. All that bullshit that gets peddled to us.

I thought that I wasn’t from such a nice area, didn’t speak the same, that the fact I liked to go out, was a bit louder and had a love of leopard print, big hoops and bucket load of glitter wasn’t appealing. I thought i needed to contain or hide many things I liked that others around me didn’t. Then I realised that it was just these things that made me me. They made me Jules.

I started to make little changes. I got fitter, ran, eat better, and generally learned to look after my body and mind. I rediscovered my love of fashion and of course raving. I wore what I wanted, ignoring main stream style and making up my own wardrobe. I basically stuck two fingers up to conformity and did it my way.

This is the decade that I got me back. The judgement of others mattered less until it didn’t matter at all. I concentrated on me and found who I was as an adult, and as a woman, by just paying attention to what actually made me happy. I realised I’d spent the last 20 years from my first pregnancy being incredibly hard on myself and not listening to what I needed. Denying who I really was.

Our society loves martyrs. It loves to make women feel guilty and praise sacrifice. The patriarchal bullshit that encompasses us points like a judgey naggy finger. You’re fucked no matter what you do. If you work, stay home, have sex be celibate, be thin be fat. It’s never right and it’s never enough. But get this. None. Of. It. Matters. Repeat. It does not matter not one fucking bit.

Our choices as women, as mothers are ours. And ours alone and the only person you need to answer to is you. Sure you’ll make mistakes but who doesn’t. Your human not a stepford wife robot.

So if you do one thing this year. Learn to not give shit. This is not narcissism. This is self care. If you don’t know what you need how the hell is anyone else meant to know?

Happy 2020 lovers. Here’s to continuing cause a ruckus is wherever we go 😘

The Bikini πŸ‘™ – Love It Not Loathe It

The humble bikini it can be your summer best friend I promise. No matter what your shape and size there is a two piece out there for you. Let me tell you more….

Of course there are also some wonderful one piece swimming costumes and the choice these days is huge – they certainly don’t have to feel frumpy and matronly. Yet for me the bikini holds some special magic and here’s why:

You don’t get as hot and sweaty as in a one piece

There are so many more styles to choose from

You get to show off more of your wonderful body (and yes all our bodies are wonderful)

You get to feel free

There can be less tan lines

They’re super glamorous and when you get it right, make you feel amazing

So how to get it right? Well firstly let me be quite clear. There are no rules here. This is YOUR choice. Bugger the don’t wear a bikini because I’m this size, had babies, over 30, too fat, too thin malarkey. No. If you want to wear one, wear one. And the one you wear needs to make you feel comfortable and glamorous.

For some of us, this does require a bit of work and adjustment to the mind set. If the bikini fills you with dread here are some steps to take. Try on different styles until you find one that makes you happy. Like I said there are no rules. I’m not going to say if you have massive knockers only go for underwired supportive jobs. Nope. If you want to show of those glorious assets in a triangle top then do it!

Equally if you have small boobs (like me) don’t feel you need to add padding (unless you want to of course) and don’t be scared of more revealing tops. All boobs are beautiful in all their many variations of shapes and sizes πŸ‘™πŸ˜Š

Bottom wise, high waisted are super flattering on most figures and have a fun retro feel but can make you quite hot πŸ₯΅

However my go to bikini happy place is a triangle string. I find them super comfy and versatile (easy to make strapless if you tie the neck string round the back). New Look always have a great selection at super prices πŸ™Œ

Halter necks are also very glam, and bottoms can come at a variety of waist shapes and styles. Don’t think the Brazilian or thong shapes are just for 20 something bums. Nope. They can be for you too. Have a play in the dressing room and see what works for you.

Also think about accessories. They can totally add to your glamorous beach look and give you more confidence. Try a pretty sarong, scarf, or kaftan.

Add a hat, bracelet, earrings, turban or headwrap. Just like for any other outfit you can dress bikinis up or down πŸ€—

No for the harder bit. The mindset. We have it drummed into us from such a young age that we have to be bikini perfect to wear one. Magazines, tv, insta and models all looking slim, toned and airbrushed to shit. None of this is real. Repeat now – none of this is real!!!!

Bodies cone in all shapes and sizes. And our own bodies change over time. They are meant to. We are not meant to look cryogenically frozen for all eternity. They are meant to move, wobble, dimple and be strong. They also look totally different depending on how we move, stand, and sit. Depending on what we eat, whether we have our period or not and so many other factors. This is normal.

Of course we should look after ourselves ,eat well, exercise and moisturise, but as part of our normal routine. We should not have to change the way we look to put on a bikini.

If you think this, then you need to have a social media cull. You need to have a feed that shows you real women, different shapes and sizes and different ideas. Some great instagram accounts to follow (if you don’t already) and that continue to inspire me with bikini and body love are below:

@stylemesunday

@theslumflower

@rubyrare

@thefttimes

@sulkydollstyling

@womenwithsparkle

@livethreesixty

@myageisirrelvant

@astridiwantyouinmylife

All these women are bad ass queens who rocked the shit out of there bikinis this summer. Like me they still have body hang ups sometimes. Some of us are further along our self love and body acceptance journey than others. But all of them love their bodies for what they are, and celebrate them for their uniqueness.

So I hope this post inspires you to get that bikini on and make some memories. The kids are not going to see a wobbly belly, they will see their mum having a wonderful time with them on the beach. And your mates, partner and anyone else who sees you will think, wow 😲 look at that babe rocking her own unique summer vibe πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘™

Most of my bikinis here are ages old so I’ve had a quick scout on two of my favourite high street brands (New Look and ASOS) for some inspo available below. Good luck and remember how beautiful you are πŸ˜˜πŸ‘™

Big love Jules xx

Ibiza Stories – Part 1p

 

I first went to Ibiza in 1992. I was 14 and it changed me forever. So what’s all the fuss about this tiny little Island in the Med? Well let me tell you ……

I was already a teen with a love for fashion, an eye for difference, and ears for dance music, and this trip in 1992 was the start of a lifelong love affair with the White Isle.

We stayed at the now infamous Jet apartments on Playa D’En Bossa and I remember the smell of the sea and fried squid  the feeling of the white washed beach with sand so hot it burnt my toes. This famous beach was much quieter then than it is now, and for our holiday my younger brother and I ran free, in and out of that shimmering sea and our hotel pool, grabbing a Fanta and a bag of Spanish Lays crisps when we were hungry.

Then as the sun went down some magical happened. The night was flooded with the beautiful sound of electronic beats, melodic and chilled symphonies as the sun set against the most beautiful rocky landscape. It felt like we were waking up the islands afternoon seista and as a call to get ready for the night ahead.

Then the beats got louder. The heavy housey bass drifted across our apartments from Space (now Hi Ibiza) like the pied piper of fun. I remember going for dinner and drinks in Ibiza Town with my family. The ancient cobbled streets of Dalt Vila were glittering with sequins and fairy lights. The clubbers, heading towards Pacha (the oldest club on the island)  were the most glamerous creatures I had even seen. Drag Queens with the biggest hair, longest eyelashes, highest heels and sparkliest jewels tottered along laughing, singing, and dancing down the street. I want to be part of this my teenage brain said to myself.

And I wasn’t the only one. It seems Ibiza has always been magical. People have to be drawn to this place since ancient times. From the Phoenicians, the Romans, and the Moors, right the way through to contemporary counter cultures and creatives of the 19th and 20th centuries. Ibiza, with its breath taking beauty, natural rocky landscape, white washed sandy coves and sparkling pink salt flats, has provided a perfect stop in the Mediaterrain between Europe and the East.  This continued into the mid-20th century on the famous hippy trail from Goa, where many settled to create an alternative natural lifestyle of mindfulness and fun. This laid back alternative way of living, with freedom and creativity and acceptance, still runs through the Islands veins today.

So what’s with the music? Ibiza is the capital of the dance music world but why? A combination of the artistic milieu of Avant guard artists, musicians, thinkers and exciles of the 20th century, and the 60’s hippy legacy of outside parties, drums, dancing and trance, combined with hullanciangenics, inspirational landscapes, and stunning sunsets was the perfect back drop to develop an already emerging dance music scene across Europe and North America in the 80s. 

The 70’s had already seen the first clubs Pacha and Ku (now Privilege) set up in old Fincas (Spanish country houses) and their surrounding outside spaces, and had shortly turned in to the most glamerous places to be seen at in the Mediterranian. Hosting parties and celebs from across the globe.

Then in 1987 a group of British DJ’s travelled to the Island to celebrate a birthday. Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling and Johnny Walker and Nicky Holloway were convinced by another DJ friend working on the Island to go the legendary Amnesia. They  were blown away by a combination of ecstasy euphoria and the outside ambience of this iconic night club. Like my night in in Ibiza town, they were mesmerised by hypnotic dance tracks and beautiful creatures on the dance floor. They took the whole experience back to the UK and the Baleric inspired acid house was born in what cultural historians now refer to as the second summer of love.

So this explosion of electronic music and hedonism would change the dance music scene worldwide for ever. And it had by the time of my first visit in 1992. Fast forward to the early 90s and the British Rave Culture that had developed out of Acid House s was in full swing, and for me stories of secret parties somewhere off the M25 were whispered on the wind frequently. As legendary DJ Carl Cox famously said ‘The Rave scene was all about not being inside clubs’ (* Helen Donlon, Shadows Across the Moon) Alcohol had been replaced by energy drinks and ecstasy, and the backdrop of warehouses, factories, and beautiful English countryside set an atmospheric party palace for the outside revellers.  Ibiza, alongside the UK was producing some of the most sounds, DJs and producers.

Today the super clubs rein, with superstar DJs from across the globe flying in for the season. Some say some of the magic has gone as commercial and mainstream has caught on to this special place.

I don’t think it has. Yes it’s busier, more expensive and a huge spectacle at the height of summer. But you don’t have to go far to find old fincas, nature reserve, Spanish markets and untouched natural beauty.

So it often surprises me, and pisses me off, when people express a view of Ibiza as trashy, tacky and and full of trouble. And it’s clear a lot of these people has never been. The media have painted a picture of alcohol and drug fuelled teens partying, shagging, and fighting their way around the island. Well to some extent that’s true. I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a party capital, it is. Decadence, indulgence, and pleasure come hand in hand – particular once the sun goes down.  But  so what? So what if party people want to let their hair down and be free. Ibiza has always had a history of artistic creativity, bohemian acceptance and the Avant Guard sticking two fingers up to the establishment. The British media have a massive issue with anyone who doesn’t conform, likes having fun,  and challenges the status quo. All of that and more is Ibiza. 

 For me it’s home. A place where everyone can be who they like, no judgement, no expectations, you can just be you. Ibiza calls to me every spring like she’s waking up. The almond blossoms beginning to open up, and warm breezes and melodic beats fill my ears waking me up for the summer. It marks the part of the year when I feel most alive.

So do go explore and fall in love with this special place. I’ll be writing more about my Iberian adventures this summer, with fashion, parties, food and top places to visit.

 Big love Jules x

Summertime Madness and the Insta Funk

Hello πŸ‘‹

It’s been a while. I thought I should get my arse into gear and back to the the blog. Truth is I’ve been busy. We are all busy I know, it just feels like life has been on overdrive since the new year. My new favourite name for myself in mocking terms of course is #busybitch she’s too busy to call, make plans, and as my friend Amy says, too busy to shit πŸ˜‚ so yeah I’ve been busy babes. But not too busy for a selfie 🀳 πŸ˜†

Truth is you find time to blog sometimes, and other times you don’t right. Blogging isn’t my job so sometimes it does have to take a back seat. So thanks for being patient you lovely lot.

I’ve also had somewhat of an insta and blogging funk. Questioned what it’s all about/for/blah blah blah and if I’m being brutal, also questioning my own practice, inspiration and reach. There is so much sameness, competition, bitchiness, falseness and comparison on here that at times it’s overwhelming so I took a conscious step back. Whilst I love chatting shit about clothes and listening to others do the same, the amount of people I actually want to listen to is diminishing. And what do I want to write about and share? I’m not sure? Latest trends? Styling tips? It all seems a bit wanky at the moment.

So until I get my blogging mojo back I thought I’d share some of my summer madness tips because they make me happy and I hope they make you smile too 😁 that’s why I write this. To share my thoughts, creative musings, inspiration and positivity as well as interact with other like minded women like you.

A self confessed creature of the sun, the summer is my favourite time of year, a time when I do indeed go a bit more bonkers with the styling. It’s about fun, frivolousness, glamour, creativity, and total and utter sun unashamed sun worship 😎 so here is my summer madness shit to wear and love πŸ’— happy sun seeking 🌞

1 Kimono πŸ‘˜

Not just beach cover up oh no. These beautiful garments can be just as fab dressed with jeans and heels as over a bikini. Short, long, and differing prints. This lace one was from a market in Ibiza and is a firm fave.

2 Crazy Vintage Prints

Er yes please to Pucci esque psychedelia

3 Trackie Top Innit

I cannot get enough of retro trackers. Great lightweight jacket. I like to wear mine with heels πŸ‘ 

4 Daisy Duke

I recently heard that denim cut offs should never be worn by women over 30. What utter bollocks. And here I show you why πŸ‘Š

5 Lumo Heels

I’ve gone for green but also have pink and yellow too πŸ™Œ

6 Glitter Maxi

Because it will make you feel like a million dollars. Hint – get a leg spilt for ease of movement and dancing πŸ’ƒ

7 Slip Dress

Super sexy and perfect to dress up or down. Loads of gorgeous bias cut ones on the high street at the moment (Topshop in particular) this one is 70s vintage.

8 Head Wrap

This gorgeous print and design is from London based Teiko Dorner. Half head wrap and super easy to knot. Perfect cover up for hot days

9 Wide Leg

Or culottes. Super stylish, cool and effortless. These are Zara.

10 A Line is the Best Line

Finally my favourite dress in the whole world. 70s style white work Ibiza number which I live in during the summer. Smock dresses and A line look fab with bare feet, sandals, or a pretty high wedge.