Thursday, 23 May 2013

Making Sense Of It All

We have all, I’m sure, been shocked and saddened by the destruction and carnage caused by the tornado in Oklahoma.

It is often difficult for us to comprehend such total devastation on such a grand scale. It is difficult to put yourself in the shoes of someone who has lost everything as a result of a powerful natural phenomenon for which no one is to blame, and for which there can be no finger pointing or resentment, to help people make sense of their grief.

Part of what makes this event so tragic, is the total randomness of the destruction. Amidst the chaos, some houses were left completely untouched, while a school and a hospital were fated to bear the brunt of the chaos. The fragility of human life in the face of the forces of nature come as a rude awakening to a society which has become almost arrogant in it’s manipulation of the planet on which it lives.

Some people have lost everything, their home, their possessions, their businesses. Some have lost even more, their children, family members. Swept away in a tumultuous and chaotic act of fate, in a mere blink of an eye, with no time to prepare, to react, to defend those they love.

I’m sure by now, most of the world has seen the broadcast interview of the elderly lady who found her dog alive among the devastation of her home. Indeed, this video appeared on my Facebook newsfeed time and time again, and I myself felt compared to share it.

For me, what makes this video so compelling is the utter simplicity with which it sums up all I feel about the terrible events of that day. Standing in the wreckage of her house, suddenly finding herself homeless, vulnerable and alone, the sight of her little dog, miraculously still alive in the rubble of her former home, suddenly put into the sharpest of focus what really mattered. The material things were gone, literally stripped away from around her. What remained was love. The love between her and her canine companion. As long as that survived, there was an anchor, a foundation stone upon which all the other things could be rebuilt.

Of course, many others have not been so lucky. There will be many who have lost those they considered to be their anchor, their focal point, their rock. There will be those who are dispossessed not just in the material sense of the word, but in the most fundamental way possible. My hope is that the community can rebuild itself, not just in the bricks and mortar of everyday possessions, but that people can truly reach out to their neighbours, and offer the strength, companionship and love that is needed to make sense of it all.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Friday Fancy - David Bowie - Life On Mars

By some strange quirk of fate, I never did end up marrying David Bowie, which is a bit of a shame really, as he was my first love.

My friend Charlotte and I would spend many happy hours singing 'The Laughing Gnome' at the top of our lungs, which I think is, in fact, the best way to prove your undying devotion to someone.

Anyway, One of the things I love about the delectable Mr. B is his ability to aks some of life's deeper questions through the medium of popular music.

This song tackles the question that we all want answered; "Is there life on Mars?"

Have a tremendously happy Friday everyone!

Tweedy Love.

Ashleigh xx

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Bride Comes Before a Fall

Well this is a distasteful little story isn't it? For those of you who haven't heard, here is a linky to the sordid little story of Kirsty Lane, who stole £200,000 from her employers to fund her lavish wedding.

Although theft is theft in my book, I can't help finding the idea of jeopardising the livelihood of her employers and colleagues, to fund what amounts to a big party, particularly disgusting.

Now obviously, I am not privy to the innermost workings of this woman's mind, but I can guess that she felt that there was a whole lot riding on this wedding reception. So much, in fact, that she was prepared to compromise not only her morality, but potentially her freedom as well, in order to finance it.

If she had bought a house, or stashed it all away to pay for her daughter's education, I could have understood. Not condoned, but understood. But to blow it all on fireworks, magicians and a face painter (seriously, a facepainter for chrissakes! If you are going to be a thief, at least have the decency to be a classy one!), basically a load of stuff that will last for one day, and then be all done and forgotten, makes me want to scream.

But I guess this is the latest thing now (I don't really know, I'm just old). From what I see on the tellybox, it seems to be apparent that the whole wedding shenanigans is in fact, more important than the actual marriage malarkey.

I have caught the odd glimpse of programmes like 'Bridezillas' and 'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding', and soon enough to realise that in some cases at least, it would literally be safer to be stuck in a small room with a hungry leopard, than being anywhere near some of these scary women, made even scarier by being whipped up into a wedding frenzy.

But the men, Oh my lord the men! So bereft of even the vaguest memory of their long since removed testicles, that all they seem to be able to do, is look on like a rabbit stuck in the headlights of a car, as their brides to be create havoc all around them. The husband of the lady in question has been aquitted of any wrong doing. This I find incredible. Presumably he must have had a vague idea of how much she was earning. How the hell could he not have been suspicious of the amount that she was spending on the festivities? He is either a liar, or terminally stupid.

But genuinely, when these men witness the ruthless rudeness, general unpleasantness, and downright dishonesty of some of these women, what makes them think it would be a good idea to get hitched to them for the rest of their lives? I simply don't understand. Do they really think that all this revolting behaviour is simply going to disappear after the wedding reception has finished? Yeah, good luck with that.

Not Ascot, Not Anywhere!

Every year this happens. People who are either illiterate, stupid, or under the erroneous impression that they are being witty and original, are suddenly tempted to don ludicrous outfits in the Royal enclosure at Ascot.

Now before anyone goes on about sour grapes, no I was not there, and no I am not bitter about it. I find horse racing distasteful, almost, in fact as distasteful as some of the outfits that I am about to highlight.

Also, before anyone starts mumbling about dress codes and elitism etc., I feel that I should point out that dress codes are there to be helpful. They are not written as some kind of judgemental Draconian code (that's my self-appointed job), they are there to ensure that people know what to wear and are thus spared the discomfort of being embarassed upon arrival, and having to either miss their day out, or change their outfit.

In fact the dress code is barely more than common sense;

Ladies are kindly reminded that formal day wear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure, defined as follows:
•Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer
•Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater
• Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure dress code
•Trouser suits are welcome. They should be of full length and of matching material and colour
•Hats should be worn; a headpiece which has a base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat.

Ladies are kindly asked to note the following:
•Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch (2.5cm) are not permitted
•Midriffs must be covered
• Fascinators are no longer permitted in the Royal Enclosure; neither are headpieces which do not have a base covering a sufficient area of the head (4 inches / 10cm).

And who on earth could argue the dress code with such an elegantly attired lady, handing out pashminas?

So it baffles me when women think it is appropriate to turn up looking like this;

This young lady has clearly missed the point of 'underwear'. The clue is in the name my lovely.

But its not just 'smalls' that make the occasional appearance. Some women seem to be completely unaware of the geographical location of their knees;

Another helpful rule; If the horses have more attractive legs than yours, it's best to keep yours covered.

I do despair about the fact that so many women have not yet learned that it is much better to aim to be 'stylish', 'attractive', or, if you are young enough to still manage it, 'pretty'. A la Amanda Holden, who manages to accomplish all three, in this well thought out ensemble.

As far as I can see, a racecourse, or in fact any public place, at least during daylight hours, is not the place to be 'sexy' (and I use that term in it's loosest possible sense). Shame no one told that to this lot, who seem to have turned up thinking that they were attending some kind of Smurf's fetish convention:

The point is, that if I had paid some money, to get into this prestigious (albeit highly exploitative) event, I would not want to be confronted with excess flesh, visible underwear, or squeaky, sweaty rubber. I tend to get offended enough when I see it out and about in the supermarket, and I can get that any day for free.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Blog Sale

So I have some stuff that needs to go, mainly because it doesn't fit me any more. So I thought I'd have a little blog sale.

All prices include P+P, unless you live abroad, in which case I will have to get a price via the post office.

I only accept payment via PayPal. All items are in good condition, only sell stuff that i would be happy to wear myself. No returns I'm afraid.

1. Oasis summer jersey dress, with tie back waist. Size:M Price £7.50

2. Rydale 'Hannah' Pleated skirt (I actually have two of these, the other is light green with a navy and pink stripe, it's being dry cleaned ATM). This one has never been worn and still has the tags attached. Size 12 Price £15

3. Genuine Ralph Lauren tweed trousers. Size 14 Beautiful condition. Price £25

4. Gap jersey type dress size M. Great on it's own or over trousers. Price £7.50

5. Fenn Wright Mason dress, size 12, Angora/Cashmere blend. Scoop neck with lovely ruffle detail. Price £15

6. Joules skirt size 12. Price: £12.50

7. Laura Ashley skirt size 14. Really gorgeous skirt. Price £17.50

8. Monsoon skirt size 12. Price £12.50

If you see anything you are interested in, get in touch either here, or on my facebook page.

Happy shopping!

Monday, 18 June 2012

My Friday Recipe - Chilli Prawn Linguine

Yes, I know it's Monday, and possibly a little early in the week to be thinking about Friday, but I have been meaning to share this recipe with you for ages, and if I don't do it now, then another week will go by and I still won't have done it.

I call it the Friday recipe, because this is what Mr. Tweedy and I eat every Friday, once the Tweedlings are in bed. It's quicker to make this than to get a takeaway, it's full of good, healthy things, and light on the tum. Yet it is sumptuous enough to feel like a real treat, particularly when accompanied by a lovely chilled bottle of white wine. Bliss!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

Approx 450g of Jumbo King Prawns (we used pre cooked ones, obviously if you are cooking raw prawns this might take a little longer)

2 shallots

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 medium red chilli

1 tbsp olive oil for cooking (we used the garlic infused stuff)

linguine ( as much as you feel necessary)


Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok. Chop your shallots and chilli, and add to the hot oil, after a minute of so (probably less, I'm rubbish at timings) add your thoroughly defrosted prawns, and cook through until nice and warm. Then add your tinned tomatoes.

Cook your linguine, drain and serve the whole lot in a steaming sumptuous pile of loveliness.


You can substitute the chilli with Cayenne pepper for an equally delicious, but slightly 'warmer' sort of taste. I won't tell you how much to put in, I shall leave that to your discretion.


Friday, 15 June 2012

Friday Fancy - Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights

Now I don't know about you, but if I was going to run off and have a torrid affair with a fictional character, Heathcliff would be fairly near the top of the list.

This one:

Not this one:

That's just one of the reasons I love this song so much.

Another very good reason is that it's the middle of June, it's freezing cold and persisting it down, and frankly the only thing I can think of to lift the gloom, is the sight of Kate Bush prancing about on the moors in a red dress!

So sit back, forget the rain, and listen to Kate Bush and her special brand of unusual, and just enjoy Wuthering Heights.

Big Tweedy Snogs

Ashleigh xx