Tag Archives: life

Heart Your Hairdresser…

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Today I’ve been to the hairdressers.

So what right?

To anyone else that’s a totally unremarkable statement, but to us ladies, the fabulous hair having kind, we know the state of nervous excitement an appointment with this important person can cause.

I haven’t gone for a dramatic new cut or colour, in fact I’ve gone for the same style and hue as usual, but I still get that buzz of anticipation when I put my treasured tresses is someone else’s hands. This is why the value of a good hair stylist can never be underestimated. In our lives plenty will come and go but eventually, if you haven’t already, you’ll find ‘The One.’

Sound familiar? While I was sat in ‘The Chair’ I reflected on the relationship we have with these hair-carers. It is based on trust and mutual understanding, which is kinda like the relationship we have with boyfriends. I think I’ve found the one. Hairdresser that is, not boyfriend. Ewww, please I’m only, like, twenty-five.

As the old adage goes, you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince and similarly you have to let a few crazy chop-a-lots loose on your locks before you find the stylist right for you. It’s all about learning from your mistakes and trust me when I say I’ve had some dodgy ex-hairdressers in my time.

Like, how about the one who barcoded the back of my head with blonde streaks (c’mon I was a teen) only to ignore her error because hey, I couldn’t see the back of my head anyway!  Or the one who moonlighted as a daylight robber on the side by charging me a fortune for a cut I didn’t even want? Ex’s for a reason ladies.

But rising gloriously from the ashes of these bad experiences like a beacon of hope for hair is my current stylist Leanne. Leanne has been tending to my tresses for about 9 years now and I swear I’ve never looked at another hairdresser since. Even while at university I’d travel home on weekends so my hair could be looked after by none other than Leanne. Long distance can totally work. Having anyone else touch my hair would have been tantamount to cheating. I tried to explain this to a friend who suggested I find somewhere new to get my hair done like everyone else who’d moved away to uni. Say what? Mad cow.

You see Leanne just gets my ‘long hair don’t care’ attitude and understands the simple concept of a trim (you’d be surprised by how many hairdressers don’t.) She knows what I want before I ask for it and knows what not to suggest (i.e. a cut bigger than a trim.) She’s stood by me through some tough times like having the beloved black stripped from my hair, my hard to maintain ‘red’ phase and my latest dip dye dilemma and never judged. Honestly I feel our friendship is all the stronger for it.

When it comes to hairdressers you know you’ve found ‘The One’ when you find yourself anxiously making a contingency plan for the day they won’t be able to cut your hair. What if I move away? What if Leanne moves away? Has a career change? What if I’m forced to have my hair cut on a Tuesday (her day off?) What if I need my locks colouring while she’s off getting married in Ibiza this May? What if after getting married she has kids, stays in Ibiza and never comes back to the salon? What if a zombie apocalypse happens? What if an ACTUAL apocalypse happens? WHAT WOULD I DO THEN???

Sorry, wound myself into a total bitch fit there. Note to self: back up plan required.

A successful trip to the salon can make the world of difference to a girl’s state of mind and overall happiness. After all, look good feel great right? But the person responsible for these miracle mood boosters gets a bit of a rough deal. A good hairdresser slaves away over your barnet for hours on end for a parting “Thanks, I love it!” while you reap all the rewards of their hard work. So credit where it’s due and in celebration of our upcoming 10 year anniversary, Leanne Bradley, snaps to ya babe, snaps to ya! 

For all those yet to find ‘The One’ don’t throw up your hands and buy a home hair dye kit just yet, stick with it. Your Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms Perfect Stylist is out there somewhere. You have to suffer the bad and incompetent to get to the great and the good. The positive advice I can give is trust your instincts and never settle for less than you deserve. When choosing this relationship you definitely want to follow your head. 

Jemm xoxo

P.S. If you found this post by Googling ‘Finding The One,’ yeah, you’re totally in the wrong place. Unless of course you’re looking for a new hairdresser.  


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Filed under I just had to tell you this, Personal

Fairy Tales Told To Me In Childhood…

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Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in the truth that is taught by life. – Friedrich Schiller

Jemm xoxo

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I might not know a lot of things but here are 36 things that I do.

Ok, so as my previous post explained and as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve had a little break from the blog over the last couple of months. The dreaded writers block coupled with having other things to do forced me to take some time and recharge my bloggers batteries. I’m now back on it but still a little worried that I’ve lost my blogging mojo. To help me reclaim my mojo I thought I’d do this post. A list of 36 random things about me. This little uni learnt writing exercise should ease me back into the swing of things nicely and also serve as a way to get reacquainted with those who have read the blog in the past. For those who perhaps haven’t visited the blog before it’s a chance to get to know me better. After all, aren’t stranger’s just friends we’ve never met? I’d also like to get to know all of you so how about you hit me back with some of your own quirky facts? Either leave a comment under the blog or visit the Facebook page.

 1. Not only is this little exercise good for getting my blog back on but it also pays tribute to my absolute obsession for making lists. I have lists everywhere.

2. I love Beetroot. I eat it from the jar with a fork.

3. I love the smell of petrol and paint. I know this can’t be healthy.

4. I always keep a dictionary close by. If I read a word I don’t know or understand I look it up.

 5. I have a very real phobia of birds. Of all kinds.

 6. I’m sarcastic. Some people say it’s the lowest form of wit, but hell I find me funny.

7. I am totally useless at taking a compliment. I always find a way to deflect them.

8. I do not possess the social skills necessary to put up with people I don’t like. So if I don’t like you please leave me alone. Ta.

 9. When I was little I threw a tantrum every day. Stamina.

10. If it were up to me I’d spend the rest of my life only eating these four things: Chocolate, ice cream, pancakes and Tiramisu. Dessert. The ultimate food group.

11. A friend once brought me Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ on DVD with an ‘I saw this and thought of you’ note stuck on it. It was amusing and scary at the same time. (Refer to point 5)

12. Once after a tantrum when I was little I got sent to my room. In anger I kicked a hole straight through the WOODEN DOOR. I didn’t know I had it in me.

13. I’m a bookworm. If my house caught fire I’d save my bookcases before I saved myself. It used to be my dog, but she died. Not in a fire.

14. I’m a bit antisocial. I prefer to spend time in my own company.

15. I don’t think I belong here. I should have been born 100 years ago.

16. I still have the diary I kept when I was 7.

17. I hate the colour yellow.

18. English and History lessons were the only reason I liked school.

19. Nearly every item of clothing I possess comes from Topshop. And almost every item is a dress. And what?

20. I would never have the confidence to leave the house without my makeup on. Ever.

21. I don’t have the patience for drama, mine or anyone else’s. Take it elsewhere.

22. I’m a twin. Growing up I was the shy one. The first time I remember striking out on my own was when my sister stopped going to swimming lessons but I carried on without her. I might be the shy one but I’m the better swimmer.

23. My favourite film is The Prestige.

24. I’m a leftie. This puts me in very real danger of being killed by right-handed scissors. We’re an endangered species. Fact.

25. I don’t drive. Deal with it.

26. I hate tardiness. I’d rather be an hour early than two minutes late.

27. I have absolutely no concept of time, which is also probably why I show up places an hour early.

28. I have a total fear of numbers. If I ever came across a mathematician bird it would push me over the edge.

29. I’m completely Tee Total and have never had a hangover in my life. Smug.

30. I’m a fussy eater to the point of it being ridiculous.

31. My history teacher once singled me out in front of the whole class to tell me that back in the day I would have been burnt at the stake for witchcraft thanks to my long dark hair, unnaturally pale skin, green eyes and left handedness. Oh the injustice. Oh the embarrassment.

32. I would quite happily bitch slap anyone holding a Kindle. Traitors!

33. I’m obsessed with Downton Abbey. Every time Maggie Smith delivers her line I just want to shout ‘Preach it sister!’

34. I love onomatopoeic words like sparkle, glitter and pop.

35. I have an obsession with stars. They represent wishes and magic and remind me that we’re meant to shine so bright. I already have two star tattoos and keep promising that I won’t have anymore. In reality I’m going to end up looking like a map of the night sky. 

36. I’ve found that Jemma’s in general are rather grumpy. Grumpy, but f*cking awesome.

I was going to go with 35 things but then realised that I hate odd numbers so had to make it 36. There’s another fact about me, but does that make it 37 even if I haven’t numbered it?

Jemm xoxo

P.s. Don’t forget to leave me with some facts about your lovely selves. 

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Filed under I just had to tell you this, Personal

Shine your light.

It’s fair to say that over the last year or so my life hasn’t exactly played out according to plan. By now I should have a fabulous magazine job and be living the high life in the big smoke. I haven’t. And I’m not. So saying life hasn’t gone according to plan is a bit of an understatement.

You see I didn’t pencil in any time for a medical problem to come along and bulldoze all my plans to oblivion. Life’s kinda sneaky like that. So a broken femur, a metal leg cage and 5 months later I’m back on the quest for magazine stardom. With (hopefully) just over a month to go before I’m released from the cage of doom I’ve been preparing for my freedom by indulging my OCD tendency of making lists.

Now the majority of these things are simple pleasures to most but for the best part of 6 months they have been somewhat of an impossibility for me. Here’s the list:

Most of these things will be easily achievable once I’m free of (what feels like) the ton of metal on my leg. However there is an anomaly on the list. Can you spot it?

It’s something that I know, with a degree of certainty, will not be as easy to achieve as the rest of the things on the list. If we had the time I would ask for answers on a postcard but as we do not I’ll give the answer away:

The pesky point of ‘Look for/Get fabulous job/Live in London.’ Now the act of looking for a job isn’t so difficult thanks to the internet, newspapers etc it’s the getting one that could well be a problem. While I’ve been hold up and homebound with my leg propped up on a pillow I’ve been keeping my eye on the job front. Checking daily the journo job websites and keeping abreast of what’s available. And the answer is not a lot.

I’ve had a lot of thinking time on my hands recently and I have to admit that the uncertainty and competitiveness surrounding my chosen career is just a smidge frightening. Nowadays it’s only once in a blue moon you get an interview, never mind a job so am I worried? You bet your ass I am.

What worries and frustrates me is that while trawling the media websites an obvious catch 22 situation was apparent.

Experience, I know it’s important. I totally get that, but what baffles my brain is that even for unpaid internships/work experience, you know placements that last a couple of weeks, a month or whatever you now need experience to get experience. WHAT?!

Surely the whole point of someone applying for experience placements is that they have none and would like some. But how are you ever going to get experience if you need experience to get it? Shit, I’m confused.

To get your foot in the door of a paid, entry level position such as an intern or assistant you need a lot of know-how under your belt. I know at some point if you want to work in the media industry you’ll have to work for free. I’ve done bits myself. I’d love the opportunity to intern at a magazine for a year to soak it all up and learn the ropes. Hell I’d do it for free if that’s what got me a chance. But wait, what’s that noise? Oh right, its reality knocking on the door.

Please tell me who can afford to live in London (where the majority of these positions are) for a year, living and working full time, on NO WAGE? Despite its importance to your career, you could go ahead and try and pay your rent and bills with ‘experience’ but I doubt it would get you very far. But without this amount of experience how am I ever going to get my start?

More often than not these days, in terms of the creative industries, it comes down to the adage: It’s not what you know, but whom you know.’ I think this is a shame because inevitably talented writers who aren’t BFF’s with the editor will be overlooked.

But despite my chosen career path and its obvious potholes I’m still going to give it a bloody good try. Because I love what I do. I want to write. Maybe it will happen for me, maybe it won’t but in 40 years time when I look back on my life I want to be able to say that I tried.

I recently gave some advice to a friend. She really wants to be a nursery nurse, but due to issues of experience and one bad interview had herself thoroughly put off the idea. I told her to play to her strengths and do something she loved, that life was too short to spend it not living your dreams. That if nursery nursing was what she wanted then she should think balls to the bad interviews and the people that say it can’t be done. Unconventional though that advice may seem the next day she text to say she was going to give it another go. Atta girl!

It’s about time I started to practice what I preach. No doubt about it, it’s going to be difficult but life is not a competition. There is no point to me feeling down because my plans haven’t been hitting the life markers, such as getting a job, moving away from home, living in London etc. This past year those things were taken completely out of my control. But now that I’m on the brink of getting my life back, perhaps I should stop worrying about them not happening and then maybe they may just start to happen on their own. Comparing where I’m at in my life to where my friends are in theirs is also not helpful. My life will happen at it’s own pace. By concentrating on other people’s lives your not living your own.

Don’t be a victim of circumstances, or other people’s negativity. Life doesn’t happen to you, you happen to life. So go out, do your thing and shine your light.


Jemm xoxo

P.s ‘It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.’ – Theodore Roosevelt. Keep that in mind.

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Filed under I just had to tell you this, Personal, Stuff thats interesting

Dear Jemm: A letter to my future self


Dear Jemm,

Writing this letter feels strange. As I type these words onto the screen you are my future but as you read back the words I have written I will be your past.

Perhaps writing this letter is of little purpose, perhaps by now you have ended up exactly where you were supposed to be and maybe that is somewhere I would never have expected and therefore you may never receive it. Despite this fact I will carry on regardless hoping it will eventually, someday, find it’s way to you.

I pray that when you read this letter it finds you are healthy and happy and that it draws a smile to your face as it reminds you of the person you used to be.

It probably seems like a lifetime ago (and it was!) but I hope you still remember how you gossiped on Facebook, shopped till you dropped in Topshop, listened to your iPod full blast (how are the ears by the way?) loved writing your blog and reading anything with words on it and always found room for something sweet even if it meant eating less dinner! Do you remember how you would read Company Magazine from cover to cover dreaming that one day those words would be yours? Most of all I hope you remember the fun you had with the friends you made.

Surely you haven't forgotten

I would like to believe that from time to time you still take a moment to listen to the music you love, (full blast!) read some magazines (find the time!) and laugh with those same friends. I also hope you still eat things that are sweet and bad for you although I hope the sweet tooth hasn’t made you quite as fat as I feared it might.

Mmm! A moment on the lips.....

I often wonder if , by the time you read this Topshop will have designed a line suitable for the more mature lady as I would like to think I can still hold my own in the fashion stakes. Facebook better still be going strong in the future too. What would life be without the opportunity of a Facebook snoop?

Still going strong I hope

Do you still recall how ambitious you used to be? How did the dream of becoming a jazz handed magazine journalist extraordinaire work out for you? And the dream of living the London life- is that where you are now? I hope that as you read this you are sat in your big London townhouse in a room large enough to accommodate your (already extensive) collection of books.

Is this where you are?

I sincerely hope that our life has been filled with achievement and success, of dreams realised and of hope and happiness but more importantly with family and friends.

At 21 I sometimes still feel unsure and insecure, but then again I don’t need to tell you that because you used to be me, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that confidence is something that comes with age.

By now, even at this young age, I have learnt a fair few life lessons, some of them easy some of them not so much, but all of them useful. I trust that over the years you have continued to learn and that our personality trait of always picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off and just getting on with things has stood us in good stead. I also keep my fingers crossed that our tendency to worry about absolutely EVERYTHING has diminished over the years because to be honest it’s kind of exhausting don’t you think?

I am also anxious to know whether you regret the tattoo(s)? (Who knows how many more you might have had!) Although I don’t think you will. I hope when you look upon it, it reminds you of a time when you were young and impressed by the fact that it was everlasting.

Regret it? Nahhh

Speaking of age I hope you still look young for yours without the help of a surgeon. Can you recall how annoying it was when at 21 you were constantly mistook for a teenager? Frustrating back then but I often thought I would be thankful for the youthful face someday!

Ooooh and what was our wedding like? Was it in a castle? Was the dress expensive and sparkly? Are the rocks on the rings so big and heavy that they make you tilt to the left side? He better be good looking.

It was here wasn't it?!

At this moment in time I think you have the advantage. You are older so you have experienced everything I wish to, or at least I hope you have. You hold the answers to so many important questions, or at least I hope you do. And I bet you are sat there now quietly chuckling and whispering to yourself “Don’t worry it all worked out the way you wanted it to” or at least I hope you are. But in reading this letter I suppose you think I am the one with the advantage of youth and of a life yet to be lived, I hope I did ok!

I am now at a point where I am looking forward whereas you will be looking back. I hope life treated you kind and that we escaped the biggest regret of all, that of looking back and wishing we could reset the player and start over (there you go again quietly chuckling and telling me not to worry.) And on that note I think we will be ok.

Its funny, I have so many questions to ask you but there just isn’t enough time and I suppose you have many pearls of wisdom you wish you could impart upon your 21-year-old self. But it is now beginning to dawn on me that asking for the answers to these questions would be like cheating at life. It isn’t about whether you have these pearls of wisdom but about how you acquired them. Life is about the journey, and Jemm I really hope you enjoyed ours.

All my love,

Jemm (age 21) xox

P.s Give writing a letter to your future self a go, then in years to come go back and read it. It will give you warm fuzzy feeling inside. Lets see how far off the mark I am with mine!


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