I have realised I have become totally obsessed with Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Not only have I become obsessed with it, but I realised that it fascinates me.
 The separation of love and work, work and intimacy.  It is a mystery to me.
I believe woman search for Love within sex and men search for sex within sex, the latter making more sense, no?  We hope for intimacy, they hope for sex. 
Then...once the a finds the perfect match of sex and laundry, he pees on the hypothetical fence surrounding this mystical lady and no one is allowed near.
Men separate love and sex, easily making the availability of sex expanded.
I have a friend that does the same thing. For her sex is just sex, no strings, no intimacy. She doesn't necessarily want intimacy with that person, at that moment she just wants sex.
As young girls we are taught sex is only okay if "Married" (which is hardly feasible nowadays) or the man truly "loves you" (which also may be a bit unrealistic in all circumstances).  It makes sex a sacred type thing. But it isn't when you think of it. In a relationship, sex doesn't equal intimacy or love; it’s just the representation of that.
Work is work,
Sex is sex,
Intimacy is intimacy,
Seems like it would make for a better life, just a thought.

Old school glamour

Tea, corsets and cat eye glasses... this image couldn't be any more perfectly fifties. Karen Radkai photographed this shot for Vogue back in 1956.

Can closure ever really be that easy?

A year ago I wrote an email to my boyfriend which ended in: "I hope you can be truly happy. I would like to be friends, but I can't. Not now, not ever. It’s over. I'm done." And he wrote one back ending: "I won't be in touch I guess, I'm sorry."

I then called my friend Mel to come round, her face tense with sympathy confirmed I could now move on. I'd got it all off my chest, I'd moved on and I was ready to put it behind me. Then, we got drunk.

And yet, as I write this, I am currently waiting for said boyfriend to finish work and to come over to my house, have a night in with a pizza and a film. This is something he's been doing since about three months after I sent that email. In short, I had closure and it felt great. And then, I changed my mind.

I'd had that feeling before, many times, having, like most people sent other emails and made other calls to the same effect, drawing a line under all sorts of relationships with family members, friends and lovers. And I knew there was only one cure: to give up on the simplistic notion of closure, get on the phone, and say: "Can we possibly look at this again?" And after a string of casual meetings as friends, we decided to give it another go.

In Shakespeare everyone dies or gets married and our "little lives are rounded with a sleep." In Jane Austin's Emma, Harriet purges herself of an unhappy crush by throwing a keepsake into the fire.

There is, is there not, the whiff of cliché to any act of supposed closure? The sad but certain 'Screw You' note slipped under the door. The dithering resignation letter. The theatrical 'It's Over' statement thrown at a partner. More often than not, closure is just a performance that we put in - even if it may be the performance of our lives. "I'm done with the bullshit and I'm done with yours too!" I yelled at a friend after a string of incidents that ended our friendship a few years ago. Great line I thought, beneath the tears.

Closure has come to feel like a human right. Without the collections of great lines, great endings, we can imagine ourselves peculiarly stunted. According to one website, to gain closure you "first have to define your loose ends. Forgive, withdraw, and then have a symbolic ceremony."

Yet the braver of us understand that the only thing that brings about any meaningful end to things is time. It's anti-dramatic and it sucks, but closure usually happens without you even noticing it: no drama, no statements required. In the end you really do just forget about the man, the bad friend or the horror of a situation you found yourself in. You can walk past the girl who broke up your relationship, and are surprised to not feel very much at all. The memory of a beloved family member no longer makes you wince when you accidentally hear David Bowie on the radio.

The hardest thing we must accept is that people are mysterious. That it's hard to understand what we're all about. The pain, hurt and anger cannot be packed away - it is silly to even try. Imposing closure on things is just a way of stopping all this stuff we call life from coming at you.

The truth is, most of the time closure's not really about having your say and clearing all memories - it's about winning. Which implies that all relationships in the end come down to a straight fight. I don't want to fight.

But these days, if my boyfriend and I do fight, and I want to diffuse the situation I quote from my closure letter: "I'm done," and to which he'll smile. I'll smile. And then we sit and get back to reality.

Jealousy makes the heart grow fonder

Before leaving my boyfriend for 12 weeks for my first term at university, I promised myself that jealousy would not be an issue. I would not stalk his Facebook at one in the morning; I will not constantly wonder whom he’s with, or why he’s with her. It will not be an issue…

But when you’re 160 miles away from that person, all promises jump out the window, along with your sanity. And whether it’s a new friend that he won’t stop talking about or a photo on Facebook where his arm is around her neck, the little green-eyed monster is merely a fact of life.

Firstly, let’s take it back to the beginning. I have known my boyfriend for five years. Before he was my boyfriend, he was my best friend. And of course, as best friends we shared everything, including tales of him cheating on his then girlfriend numerous times. Stories he was in fact proud of.

And soon enough there was an incident with one girl, who shall remain nameless. He was on a boys-night-out with friends from work, when a female friend of his approached him. After having a few drinks together, the girl, who knew he had a girlfriend, tried to kiss him to which he refused. The next day, he told me all about it and apologised in a 2-hour phone conversation. I, was not impressed.

But this incident, only made me love him more. As strange as it sounds, knowing another girl wanted him, made him even more desirable to me. Posing this question to my friends, they also agreed with me. So why is this? Why, the moment someone else wants what's yours, do you instantly want it so much more?

Jealousy is a curious thing. When i first started going out with my boyfriend, i spent the first three months trying to convince him i was the easy-breezy, cool and enigmatic type of person. The thing is us jealous types are a self-aware bunch. We know that it’s futile, unsexy and destructive and we also know that the extra drink at the pub certainly doesn't help matters, but the thing is a little jealousy, as I’ve said to my boyfriend many times, is just a way of showing how much we care about another.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about the possessive type of jealousy here. I am not the sort of person to use some new-age tracker device on his phone, or tell him he isn't allowed any other female friends. That sort of jealousy can be dangerous, and quite frankly a little psychotic.

I am, however, the type of person to get jealous over the amount of time he spends with his new best friend at university - who is in fact a girl. You know the numerous photos of them together all over Facebook, the late-night "life-chats" and general togetherness they seem to share starts to get a bit tedious after a while. They live together and spend most of their time together, which i found a little strange to begin with.

And it’s not just her, my boyfriend currently lives with three other girls and just one other boy. Those girls also have many friends. So i know full well, he is being surrounded by girls the majority of the time, which he loves. After ten weeks without seeing each other (or seeing what the other girls look like) things start to play on your mind a bit, well it certainly did me.

And, i recently found out, that after knowing each other for just two weeks, he and his new best friend - the girl - shared a bed because she was too drunk to make it to her own. This incident was a weird situation for me. Unlike the other instance, i didn't know this girl from Adam. So yes, i must admit for about ten days after this, late-night Facebook stalking ensued. It also caused one very late-night, very drunk, message i left on his phone about his behaviour (i know i know, what behaviour right?). Which i must advise you all not to do, as he refused to speak to me for almost two whole days afterwards.

But as I soon realised, once again, after this i couldn't wait to see my boyfriend. Not because I wanted to quiz him or ask him loads of questions or search through his phone for evidence. Just because i missed him, and wanted to see him.

The moment that another girl is put into the equation, I realise that they may find him just as desirable. And this makes him even more charming to me. This is strange, this is silly and I know all of that. It’s not that I forget that I love him, just sometimes i need reminding. And it’s often that other girl and that crazy little voice in the back of your head, you know the one that causes all this jealousy, that reminds me of all the good things in our relationship.

So yes, i admit i am the jealous type and i may have also been more than a little unfair on my poor boyfriend. But it’s the little things like this that make people realise how you truly feel. These 12 weeks have surprised me though. I have behaved in a way that i never thought i would. I never once thought i would be leaving 3am messages, bitching about other girls with my friends and trying to find faults with his female housemates.

So yeah, I promised myself that i would not be one of those jealous types. But 12 weeks is a very long time, and maybe being jealous is just another unexpected aspect of a relationship we all may have to endure. So I know jealousy is dangerous and unattractive and bad. However, maybe in very small doses, it could help remind you of all the things that you love about that person. And you know what? I wouldn't change it for the world... but maybe my boyfriend would.


Will love tear us apart?

Going to bed with someone else when you are supposed to be in and exclusive relationship is deemed to be reason for splitting up that nobody would dispute. This is taken for granted to such an extent that the promise of never being unfaithful seems to license to do pretty much any other kind of damage whilst still winning moral points. Unless the other person is screwing around you have to stay and work at it. All other means of destroying a relationship are to be endured.

This, of course, is ridiculous. The odd infidelity isn't the only way of creating the diminishing scars it does. That can be done by simply removing yourself from your relationship, however you do it. For example, sharing you inner most thoughts and feelings with someone else and not your partner can be just as damaging as screwing around.

We are all going to be attracted to another person at some time, but to prevent us acting on that attraction we have to feel that our relationship is worth preserving, that it would be insane to risk it all. That is why we feel so shattered when someone else is unfaithful. The message is clear: 'You weren't worth holding back for.'
But the pain of understanding that you are second to friends, work or another girl is just as bad, in some ways worse. The essence of betrayal isn't sex; the betrayal is turning their back, running away. At least sex with someone else is clear - it’s a misdemeanour that can be discussed. Yes, it hurts like hell, yes it’s still betrayal but it’s physical and not emotional. 

Mutual fidelity is something most couples insist on, but why when we clearly find it so challenging? It is because sexual fidelity is synonymous with commitment. Commitment is intimate involvement at every level - sex is only one of them. It might be possible for infidelity not to mean betrayal. It is equally possible that removing yourself emotionally, that does not involve sex, to mean complete betrayal.

Having someone stay out all night, repeatedly sharing feelings with somebody else and absenteeism in a relationship still leaves that feeling of abandonment remains; the feeling that comes with betrayal.
The painful thing about someone turning away from you, whatever they may turn to instead, is that they are trying to escape life with you. The causing of emotional pain is the issue; sex is only symbolic of that.

Clothes Show 2010 Review

With it snowing outside, -3 degrees and a three hour coach journey, I was not in the best of moods to begin with.

However, when you first walk in, the entire eye can see are hoards of people and hundreds of stalls selling everything a girl could ever want at discounted prices. There are shoes, bags, vintage, boys, girls, make up, hair, chocolate and a stall dedicated to Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Walking around things catch your eye, a cute cream dress in that direction, nice pair of boots in the other. At first it’s a little daunting and you don't know where to start or which direction to walk in. But, even when you know where you want to go, it’s hard to get there as people jump out at you trying to sell you different things. I was offered teeth whitening, a fake tan session and hair extensions in the first 20 minutes; I didn't know whether to be pleased at the effort or offended they were offering me these products. However, after a while I relaxed and soon enough Ii started purchasing. There are stalls which sell everything, and that's not an exaggeration; I felt like a kid in a candy store

The room is divided by the colour of the carpet and each colour represents what is being sold in that section. Pink, for example, is make-up and beauty, while a blue floor represents many high street and vintage stores offering their goodies. It’s a good idea in theory making each section a different colour, but it doesn't really help you know where you've have or haven't been. There's no real organisation to the flow of the stalls, and this gets very confusing.

The most surprising thing to me is that each make-up counter is selling you a "goodie bag" which contains a number a products at a price. At first this seems like a good idea, and I'm sure it would be if you are 15 years old. The products in the bag are the products that probably aren't going to be sold, for example silver glitter lip gloss from Barry M, and a gold eye liner pen from Bourjois. They are putting these products into a fancy bag and selling them at much more than they are worth. All the while telling you it’s at its a good deal. At what’s even more surprising, you see everyone walking around with these bags.

After a few hours shopping it’s time to see the main event. The Fashion Theatre is the other side of the hall, and when you get there it’s a 15-minute wait before you're allowed in and when you finally are, everyone rushes to their seat, pushing you out of the way.

The catwalk show begins with Gok Wan chatting to the excited and lively audience and a couple a z-list celebrities take to the stage to entertain the audience before the fashion and dance show begins. The theme of today's shows is Hollywood movies; with sci-fi, James bond, western, high school, fairy tale, gangsters, horror and of course a nod to dirt dancing all influencing the catwalk fashion.

Overall the show is entertaining and the dancers are excellent and it's extremely clever how they have incorporated dance with fashion and the story that the show tells is clever. The originality of the clothes is lacking however and this lets the whole show down. It’s either been seen or done before; and this is disappointing.

I am talking about none other than the Clothes Show Live 2010. Taking place at The NEC in Birmingham, the Clothes Show showcases latest fashion, beauty and dance trends on a large scale. The first show was launched in London in 1989, and since then has enjoyed varying success.

I have attended The Clothes Show several times before, in 2008, 2006 and 2005, and this year was sadly a little disappointing. Although the event attracts some of the huge brand names, such as Superdry, Rimmel and Benefit, you can’t reach them because there's a huge queue in front of you, and when you finally do make it to the front all the good products are gone. Where have the real celebrities such as; Fearne Cotton and Alisha Dixon? Is this the first bit of evidence that The Clothes Show is losing its touch?

And this year, the smaller tackier counters seem to dominate most of the fashion stalls. Brands you have never heard of are over-taking the popular ones; everyone would love to see there. It’s not all bad, some of the items are genuinely nice. The vintage stalls, for example, are genuinely good and you can almost imagine yourself down Brick Lane in London. However, for the majority you have to hunt for the good pieces and fight another 150 people for the colour or size you want.

It soon becomes hot, tiring and over-bearing and all you want to do is sit down. I find a seat in front of the smaller catwalk show taking place at the back of all the stalls and counters. Jeff Brazier is presenting, and announces that Mark and Lauren from ITV2 show The Only Way is Essex, are not going to be making an appearance. Half of the audience leave then. But i stay and catch a glimpse of New Look's catwalk show. The models are being rushed, some are half dressed and others walk so quickly you barely have time to look at the outfit.

In the theatre hall, watching the main event it gets worse. The group of over-excited girls who cheer and scream every time a half-naked man walks on stage ruins the atmosphere for the majority of the audience. But that's what the majority of the show is; half naked men parading up the catwalk. The theme of this show seemed promising, but the majority of the clothes are just as tacky as the stalls outside.

Overall the day was okay, just okay. Go, if you love a bit of fun shopping, don't go if you're into serious fashion. Just like when you open up a goodie bag, the day was a bit disappointing. Gok Wan's cheeky chappy behaviour made up for the lack of real entertainment and if you love dance the show is a must see. But maybe my dampened opinion of the day is because I'm just getting too old for The Clothes Show, or maybe The Clothes Show is getting to old for me.

The Holiday - Review

They're a new band from Southampton and I'm going to go to a gig they are putting on tonight. This is all I know and I'm filled with apprehension. I arrive at six o'clock - the time i am told but there is deafening silence, so i wait around for a few minutes. It soon becomes clear that nobody else is here. A tall man with blond fluffy hair comes out and tells me, while doing up his tie, that the band are currently sound checking and they will be ready to perform at seven. So i decide to wait downstairs for an hour and when i go back up, this time i know it must be getting close to the band performing, as it’s hard to walk through the main door. The small room seems even smaller as it's crowded with people. Noise and bustle fills the room. It’s not quite excitement but more like wonderment. Wonderment about who we're about to witness.

Soon all the secrecy is revealed and five guys take to the stage. They are new up and coming self-proclaimed "indie- rock, cheesy-pop" band The Holiday. The band is influenced by the likes of "The Beatles, "Panic! At The Disco" and "Mcfly" so I'm intrigued of the sound they are about to produce. The lead singer takes to the mike and announces: "We're from Southampton and happy to be here." After some introductions and some general chatting between the band members, lead singer Jamie Smart tells the crowd: "Enough of this shit, let’s get on with it." They begin to play and the sound is heavier than Mcfly and less emo than Panic! Smart is dancing all over the stage and In between the dancing, and stomping his feet, he chats to the lively crowd of girls, eagerly hanging off his every word. Alongside lead singer Smart, are Daniel Cobb and James Broderick on guitar, James Harding on bass and finally on drums is Johnathan Royston-Clair.

With cult hit 'Call the Sun' playing, the band get the crowd involved and before long they begin to chant: "Hello sun, goodbye rain". It is surprising that this band is only just starting out. The attitude and swagger that they seem to possess makes you think that they are old pros at this and you soon forget that the band are just university students.

The thing that strikes you first about the band is not the melodic hooks or the catchy lyrics, it's their seemingly obvious love of skinny jeans. The boys are unified in their love of tight trousers, white shirts and ties. Later i found out that this is a conscious decision: "It unifies us... black jeans, white shit and a tie. You instantly recognise a member of our band," says Johnathan.

After playing five songs to roughly one hundred and fifty people, lead singer Smart saunters off stage to rip off his jacket and throw it on the ground. Is this the first sign of diva behaviour? And if so, how is the band going to act when I interview them later on.

After this, I meet all five of them backstage, and we're sat around casually. The second thing that strikes you about the boys is how passionate they are about The Holiday. They are genuine guys with a genuine passion for music and behave like the best of friends. Maybe this comes from spending so much of their free time together and meeting each other before deciding to start a band.

"Me and Dan met at university," says Johnathan. "I told him I new a really good guitarist, which was James. We were all in different bands but decided to form The Holiday. We then met James on bass and new we needed a vocalist. We stole Jamie from another band."

"Yeah we pissed half of Southampton off with that," interrupts Jamie.

The boys have just spent the best part of the year working on their upcoming album, which is as yet untitled. However their big hopes for the next year are be signed to a record label. "Universal would be good, they're pretty big," says Dan.

However they are currently trying to build up a strong fan base, by playing small shows like the one i just witnessed and allowing fans to access free tracks through email.

Johnathon admits: "We've set up a mailing list, which will enable people to get info on us and also a couple of free tracks." He continues: "We want to build a huge fan base!"

However, unlike other bands The Holiday have shied away from the usual Internet phenomenon by having little online presence, by not putting themselves on social networking sites like MySpace. And I have to admit trying to Google the boys beforehand, came up with little information.
"We don't want people to find us," says Johnathan.

"We're just taking our time at the moment," reveals James. "We don't want all that, it relieves the pressure."
Taking inspiration from new British bands like The Vaccines, The Holiday say they're helping to bring Britt-Pop back into mainstream music once again. "The Vaccines are going back to the nineties, we're like that," admits Johnathan. "Just with our new take on it."

However, its not all serious talk with the boys this evening. In between answering questions, the boys show their more immature side by exposing embarrassing secrets about themselves. "I once went on a three-day bender, it was messy and I pissed myself twice," divulges James. "And Johnathan was in a band called 'Anal Dave'," reveals Dan.

Sitting with the band, they show no signs of the diva behaviour I earlier suspected, however there are slight signs of arrogance coming from lead singer Jamie; slouching in his chair, not really having an input into the conversation and looking like he has somewhere else to be. But it becomes clear that this is just the role that he plays in the band. There's the arrogant one, which is Smart, the funny one which is Daniel, the talkative one goes to Johnathan, the mysterious one which is James Broderick and the shy one which is James Harding.

Having played sold out venues across the UK, 2011 is surely going to be an even bigger year for The Holiday. With their cheeky-chap charm, wit and humour no doubt the industry will soon enough discover the boys. "We are the industry's best kept secret." says Johnathan.

The best kept secret looks set to be music’s next big. Watch this space.

Here it Goes...

After studying Writing Fashion and Culture Journalism at Solent University, I have been advised to write a blog. And I guess this is my attempt. It's not just fashion, its life, and everything in my life. I don't really know entirely what the point in this is; I guess it's just my writing. So here it goes...