Vogue Festival 2014: Good Taste Bad Taste

When I found out that Grayson Perry, my favourite artist and pretty much one of my favourite people alive, was going to be at the Vogue Festival, I couldn't book my ticket fast enough! My eagerness paid off, as I managed to get a really good seat and I've been looking forward to it for weeks. Today was finally the day that I headed back to Southbank Centre for the Vogue Festival 2014. 

I was a little early so after a quick Lush stop (naturally!), I found a cosy little cocoon to curl up in and eat my lunch. It was insanely comfortable and I felt very smug when people walked past and commented on what a great spot it was. I even spotted one guy taking a photo of me in there, and managed to photobomb the selfie of somebody who was blissfully unaware of my presence behind them. 

It really was the perfect spot to snuggle up in with my legs crossed and stuff my face with sushi. Yum!

Then it was time to head to Queen Elizabeth Hall and join the throngs of fashionable people. I was a lot less intimidated this year. Probably because I just didn't care about looking stylish or cool. The foyer was laid out much more effectively too- There was a lot more room to move around so it seemed a lot more spacious.

When I found my seat, I was very happy with my view. This is unzoomed so you can see that it was really pretty decent. I was right on the end of the aisle too so I had all the space I wanted to the right of me.

Grayson Perry, Lily Allen, Jasper Conran were joined by a Vogue employee whose name I have totally forgotten in conversation about what constitutes good and bad taste. It was a really interesting discussion, and I was furiously writing notes down. Of course, Grayson Perry was the star for me, with a whole slew of wonderful comments and musings. Here are some of my favourites:

People are much more likely to say something is bad taste. That's easy. Saying something's good taste is pinning your colours to the mast.

[Safety] is the worst crime in my book.

Irony is to protect you from sincerity. 

One of my greatest fears is becoming fashionable... Ridiculousness for me is a compliment.

What is better? Better in my book is looking more interesting.

The Daily Mail newsroom is the fascist headquarters of taste.

Good taste is that which does not alienate your peers.

Any time someone says "cupcakes", alarm bells go off.

Although I expected Grayson Perry to be as witty and thought-provoking as he was, I was surprised by the depth and warmth of Jasper Conran's comments. 

Good taste is expressing yourself and what's interesting is how your taste changes over time. 

That which is tasteful today will be bad taste tomorrow.

Surprisingly, Lily Allen was very quiet and almost timid. She seemed intimidated by the eloquence, and perhaps the "high culture" element, of the other two panellists. It's a shame as I do like her and I was looking forward to hearing her views on the subject of taste. 

I did find it very interesting that Grayson Perry and Jasper Conran had the same socks on and I wondered if they were aware of this. It was fascinating to see how one item can transcend different styles and, indeed, tastes.

Afterwards, Grayson Perry was signing books. You can imagine how excited I was by the prospect! I hurried off to the shop, picked up a book and headed to the till, only to be told it was cash only. I asked where I could find a cashpoint and was given some ridiculously complicated directions that turned out to be completely wrong. By the time I had found the cashpoint, bought my book (and found that they were now accepting cards) and got back to the signing area, the line was closed. For some reason, they'd ended the signing about 20 minutes earlier than listed. I was not a happy bunny!

I was *this* close to meeting one of my inspirations. I was really annoyed (not to mention hot and sweaty!) after all that running around, so I abandoned my plan of taking street style photos and headed straight home. Oh well, I guess I got a new book out of it!

On the way out, members of staff were handing out these lovely Harrods totes. Pretty, right. They also came with a Harrods card that will allow me £50 off my next transaction of £250 or more instore. Ha!

Despite the disappointment at the end, I had a wonderful day. It was such an interesting discussion and I'd love to see Grayson Perry speak again sometime. Maybe I'll even get to meet him!

30th March 2014

 Sunglasses: Primark
Dress: Meadham Kirchhoff for Topshop
Jacket: Primark
Bag: Chicwish
Shoes: Primark

What a glorious day it was today! I ventured to the Vogue Festival to see a talk featuring my favourite artist Grayson Perry. It seemed fitting to wear an outfit inspired by him so I went for pastel frills and childish details. This outfit is pretty much made up of my favourite garments: Favourite jacket, favourite dress, favourite bag. If there was to be one look that summarised my "style", this would be it. 
I've got a bowl full of little pink teddies that I'm going to be using to make a necklace. I thought it would be fun to attach one of these to my earring. How cute does he look? I was worried I might lose him, so I named him Dobby. Dobby is a free bear. Luckily, he was still attached when I got home and now he's rejoined his friends in the teddy bowl!


101 in 1001 XVI

Ok, so it turns out, March was a pretty non-eventful month in terms of my goals, until the last week when I managed to tick off a couple of things. However, I do have a couple of things already planned for April and May so the next couple of months should show some more progress towards my 101 in 1001 goals

#13 Meet a blogger

I got to meet the very lovely Laura of Cherry Soda at the Pixar PJ Party.

#43 Buy a collection of art books

At the Vogue Festival, I bought this Grayson Perry in hopes (unrealised) of getting it signed. I was also given this Taxidermy book by Rich for Christmas and kept forgetting to include it here. 

#83 Attend the Vogue Festival

This year I got to hear Grayson Perry at the Vogue Festival and, as expected, he was fascinating to listen to!

#96 Read 75 books

Only 3 books this month. I really need to get a move on. According to Goodreads, I'm 3 books behind schedule if I want to meet my 50 book goal of 2014. 

#101 Watch all the films
I watched Dreamgirls for the first time this month and I can't believe I hadn't seen it before! Jennifer Hudson's And I'm Telling You scene is incredible! 

Rich recommended Four Lions. It might be a little controversial as it's a comedy about Jihadists but it somehow really works without being offensive.

Wedding plans: March

Not a lot has really happened this month since we got all the big stuff out of the way last month. Now it's just a case of getting together all the little bits and bobs.

Bought my plugs
Yes, this is the sort of thing I think about! I want all my accessories to be exciting, including my plug. I've always known I wanted an Omerica Organic plug. They're a little pricey, but they have the most beautiful designs. This custom Beloved plug in pink ivory is absolutely perfect. Just look at it! Oh, and because they are all sold in pairs, but I only have one stretched ear, the lovely people there let me choose two designs. 

Provisionally booked our reception venues
Originally, we planned to hold our English wedding at Rich's place of work, but he's recently left that job so we needed a new plan. With a sudden flash of inspiration, I thought about going to Winchester and having a meal in the Royal Oak, which is where we had our first date. It's lovely in there and it's the oldest pub in England, so it has a really interesting history too. Afterwards, we'll have some dancing for more people at the Guildhall which is a stunning gothic building with this lovely, quirky space.  

Dug out Rich's wedding present
I'm buying Rich two presents: An heirloomy-type gift and a more sentimental one. This is the sentimental gift which I actually bought in 2012 and have been storing under the sofa ever since! Obviously I can't show you what it is, since Rich reads my blog. It might look like a wallet, but it's not! 

Started organising my hen party
Ok, I haven't actually booked anything yet but I do have a plan! On 23rd May, I'll be heading to London with my besties for a weekend of dancing, Dungeons and dining. 


Review: Easilocks Rose Gold Heat Protector Pro

I have a confession to make: Although I straighten my hair fairly often, I never use a heat protector. I know. It's terrible! It's ok, though, because Easilocks have come to my rescue! They sent me this Rose Gold Heat Protector Pro to try out and I love it! 

The packaging is very simple and convenient: A plastic bottle with a pump dispenser, so it's easy to dispense the product and there's no risk of the bottle shattering if you pack it on a trip. It's also transparent, which I always like from packaging, as you can see how much you have left. 

To apply, you just squirt one pump and comb through the middle and ends of your hair. There's no grease and it's a very lightweight formula so it's easily absorbed by my dry hair, leaving no sticky or greasy residue. It also smells absolutely amazing- very similar to my DKNY Sweet Delicious Pink Macaron perfume, in fact! I put this down to the blend of essential oils which include rose, coconut and camomile. 

These oils also leave my hair really soft and shiny. After straightening, it's much more silky than usual and I found it tamed some of the frizzy static that sometimes occurs. There's none of that worrying steaming or hissing that can happen with heat protectors under straighteners, and afterwards, it doesn't even feel like my hair has any product at all: Just a natural, smooth finish.

I'm really very impressed with Rose Gold Heat Protector. It surpassed my expectations and I'm pretty sure my hair is a lot happier too! I really recommend it if you're looking for a heat protector. 



Becky gives me major bedroom envy
I love Katia's photos from Château de Versailles.
I keep thinking about buying this floral Primark dress and Kirsty has definitely convinced me that I need it in my life! 

Other favourites

Jes from The Militant Baker has a really inspiring guest post on loving your body after sexual assault.

I can't wait for the second launch of Black Milk's Hogwarts collection.

The My Chemical Romance May Death Never Stop You artwork has killed me. 

The 87 thoughts everyone has on the tube are hilarious and true!


Sponsor Becky Bedbug in April

I'm a bunny! Boing boing! (Wait, I said exactly the same thing last month!) It was actually relevant to be a bunny this month so we're making progress. Easter represents new beginnings and all that, so let's make a new beginning with a sponsorship partnership. See what I did there? Nice link, right!

Let's look at what you get:
  • An advert in my sidebar for 30 days
  • A shoutout on Twitter
  • With some options, you'll also get a mention in a sponsor post on Becky Bedbug
Let's take a peek at the stats:
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Advertisements start from £6 ($10), so there's an option for all budgets. If advertising's not your thing, there are other ways you can get involved, such as sponsored posts and PR reviews. For all the information, take a look at my sponsorship page here 


Book review: All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque

I first read this book aged 17 as part of my English literature A levels and I can clearly remembering reading it as I lay on my bed at my grandparents' house. I was struck by the poignancy and it's a story that has stayed with me ever since. 8 years later, I came across this absolutely stunning copy and decided it was time to read it again.
Review of All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front is set in the trenches of the first world war, following the life of a 19-year-old German soldier fighting for his country and watching his schoolfriends killed off one by one around him.
All Quiet on the Western Front Extract
There isn't a plot as such. Instead, it's just an account of life in the trenches. Our narrator, Paul, leaves no room for sentimentality. War is grisly and gruesome, and he does not hold back. His description of injuries and illness are far from romanticised and this really brings home the terrible nature of war.

The one thing that has always stuck with me is the theme of empathy. This is not so much a theme as an interpretation that is caused by non-German readers. As an Englishwoman, it's so easy to forget that I'm reading the perspective of "the enemy". I found myself rooting for Paul and his comrades and would realise with a jolt that I wasn't "supposed" to be supporting the other side. It really brings home a view that I've always held: German soldiers were acting under orders, just like our own. They were fighting for their country and for the safety of their loved ones. What was the real difference between the two sides? They were both just ordinary men.
Erich Maria Remarque All Quiet on the Western Front review
Paul himself questions this in an extremely poignant chapter that finds him killing a Frenchman and becoming stuck in No Man's Land with the body. As he looks though the dead man's effects, and learns more about him, he realises that they are both human beings who are being given the same orders. Tellingly, Paul never refers to the other side as "the enemy".

Without giving away any spoilers, the ending is one of the most powerful conclusions to a novel that I have ever read, and it's something that has always stayed with me. There is a sudden change in several different ways, which creates particularly moving closure.

All Quiet on the Western Front is one of the most powerful books I've ever read. It's such an important book to read and reminds us that history should not be repeated. Everyone should read it. 

Affiliate links have been included in this post. 


365 78- 84

078 A pretty canopy at a venue I visited.

079 Hot cross buns are my favourite thing about Easter!
080 A lovely gift from Boohoo Plus that you may have seen yesterday. 
081 Burger heaven!

082 I'm a sucker for a pretty bookshop!
083 Splish-splashing in the bath.

084 A bag full of teddies for an upcoming DIY. 


Boohoo Plus

 Dress (worn as a top): Topshop
Skirt: c/o Boohoo
Leggings: Primark

This is a very exciting moment for me! has launched its plus size range: Boohoo Plus. It has everything we've come to expect from Boohoo- great styles, quality garments and a great price- but in sizes 16-24. Perfect!
Needless to say, I was pretty eager to rip open the fancy black box when it arrived on my doorstep stuffed with bright pink paper.
There was even a little personalised card inside for me. Such a cute touch!

I adore this skirt. It comes with a brown belt but, as I'm not a fan of belts, I chose to remove it. The fabric is a really comfortable stretchy jersey and I love the bold print. The black background makes it versatile too. 

If you're plus size like myself, I really recommend Boohoo Plus. They also have great ranges for other sizes, including a 4-6 range. I love retailers that cater for all women! 


Emo Revisited

Yesterday it was one year since My Chemical Romance announced their split. Not gonna lie, I'm still pretty choked up about it. I blogged about it at the time but they were more than a band for me when I was in my late teens- They were a voice that understood, a refuge of people who knew what I felt like. Before discovering them, I thought I was alone. They made me realise that I wasn't. So when they ended, it was more the symbolism that I was upset about losing: It felt like I was saying goodbye to that part of my life. 2004-2006 was the most significant, upsetting and yet overwhelmingly free time of my life, and I think it always will be. Losing My Chemical Romance was losing my link to those days. It was finally time to cut ties with that era and I was surprised by how difficult I found it.

In honour of this event (and the upcoming release of their final album), I thought it would be fun to go full-on emo for a day. It's important to point out that these are all entirely tongue in cheek. Having said that, these are genuinely items of clothing and styling that I would have worn on any given day in 2005!

This tutu was pretty much the only thing I wore in the summer of 2005. I even wore it to Thorpe Park and got a surprising amount of abuse!

My trusty stripy socks! The red and black ones were my favourite but I think they're still in a drawer at my mum's house. 
 My glass heart is broken guis </3
 Dear Jack, sometimes I feel like you're the only one who understands me. You're my best friend.
 Myspace angles!
And just to prove that I'm not actually regressing to a full-on emo kid, here's a photo of me smiling. Isn't it funny how this look makes me look about 10 years younger? Maybe there's something in it! 

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