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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER.

A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.

This post is in collaboration with Virgin Trains.

Sometimes I think back to the simplicity of being a child - waiting for your best friends to knock on your door and ask you to come out and play after school. How those hours seemed to merge in to days, and the summer holidays would be one hazy blur of grazed knees, penny sweets and giggles. 

I wish I’d had the mental capacity to truly appreciate every second of that, then. 

At 28 I’m the busiest I’ve ever been - and coming out to play, well it doesn’t happen all that often.

Did you know the average Brit has 17 days of free time each year?

That's not much, is it? 

It’s never been so important to me to make the most of those moments I do have. Treasure those snippets of time where, should I really think about it, I could do whatever I wanted. 

And then Virgin Trains got in touch. They asked me what I'd most love to do with my free time and with their help we picked a destination. We’d travel there by train and spend a weekend celebrating our free time. 

We chose Manchester. 

I’d never travelled with Virgin, I’d never travelled first class and I’d never explored Manchester - it was a weekend of firsts and I was excited. 

I used the Virgin Trains Free Me Calculator and it estimated I only have between 11-15 days free per year!

We thought about how actually having dedicated free time meant we could look at this trip a little differently. To be honest, without this challenge I don’t think Jamie and I would’ve thought to visit Manchester for a weekend on a whim - but it forced our hand, to think outside of the box and really make the most of the opportunity. 

We travelled from Milton Keynes to Manchester in two hours - it was an absolute dream. I’d never considered booking a first class ticket before, but if you book far enough in advance my god is it worth it. Oodles of space, complimentary drinks and all the food you could need - you really do get your money's worth. No traffic jams and certainly no sitting on the carriage floor; I read my book for two hours straight and Jamie caught up on some design work.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.

Before shooting any blog post Jamie and I will put together a Pinterest board - and it was prevalent from the word go that any image we found, sang its praises to the music scene of Manchester, how it’s back streets had shaped the future of Britpop and that because of that almost every corner felt nostalgic. 

It was Jamie’s excitement that had me hooked - and in his own words you can see why..

I wanted to take you to some of the musical haunts of Manchester's past. It's been pretty iconic for British subculture for the last 40 years, and taking in the sights, and the streets that inspired some of the best alternative rock and indie bands was always going to help with inspiration. Mainly, I just wanted to stand on steps of Salford lads club and pretend I was Morrissey, but also there's some real beauty in the everyday, true British culture that you just don't get anywhere but Northern England. 
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.

It seemed to slip hand in hand with those feelings of being a child again and exploring the unknown. We spent hours each day just walking, and it felt so good to be free to do that. 

We lived consciously, and I couldn't have loved it more. We travelled home with ease and I know it’ll be a weekend that will be one of my favourites forever.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.

What’s your dream way to spend your free time? 

You could make it a reality with a prize that includes Virgin Trains West Coast train tickets, and Virgin Escapes experience up to the value of £500. Simply share how you'd like to spend your free time one of their three Facebook posts. The posts will go live on the following dates and will run for 48 hours: 
Weds 16th, Saturday 19th and Tuesday 22nd August. (Link to Virgin Trains Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/virgintrains/

Find out how much free time you have this year too: https://goo.gl/YFGhnc
A WEEKEND IN MANCHESTER. VIRGIN TRAINS FREE ME DREAM.


Photography by Jamie - All photos taken on OLYMPUS, get 25% off yours here.

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Friday, 11 August 2017

A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT.

A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL




This blog post is an advertisement feature for Schwarzkopf


I’ve never been to a festival. I guess I’ve always associated it with being a filthy mess and feeling claustrophobic due to the thousands of people all wanting to do the same thing. I like my own space and I don’t particularly like late nights or loud crowds (I know what you’re thinking, total party animal, right?) but that’s just me - and so I (wrongly) assumed that festivals just wouldn't be my cup of tea.

And then Schwarzkopf invited me to Port Eliot in Cornwall.

I looked at the website and was instantly surprised - a festival with arts and crafts and wellness and workshops and music and incredible food and fashion and and and and?

I mean, it’s safe to say I was excited.

A family friendly experience that catered for every kind of person? To be honest I didn’t think it existed.

Apparently it hadn't rained for the last nine years, and so naturally the weather was pretty catastrophic this time around. I was worried it would dampen the experience for me (pun intended), but actually it made it.

I sat under my umbrella, holding Jamie’s hand, watching the world go by. Children jumping in puddles, wellies lost to mud acting as quick-sand. Time stood still, then.

Everyone was so happy.

I felt the patter of rain hit my cheeks and the smell of hotdogs filled the air. You could almost taste the positivity. I wouldn't have been anywhere else.


A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL

The reason I was there was to help promote my favourites, Schwarzkopf. For the first time ever, they’d created a completely unique space: a salon, quite literally in the middle of a field. Open to anyone and everyone for free hairstyling.

The queues were round the block and the atmosphere was incredible. Everyone wanted to get involved and make themselves feel sparkly and new. When you’re knee deep in mud it can be pretty hard to feel your best but the salon ticked all the boxes.

We could all be whoever we wanted - from crazy pastel colours (that are totally temporary so wash out after 3 washes) to glitter and space buns, plaits and curls to up-do’s and wigs, they had it all. 

A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
I let Lyndell Mansfield, their incredible LIVE Colour Ambassador, loose on my locks. The LIVE Colour Pastel sprays (RRP £4.29) meant we could take risks that wouldn't leave their mark. You apply the spray to dampened hair and blow dry it in, simple. A temporary pink on one side and apricot peach on the other, I felt so cool. We painted got2b glued spiking glue on my parting, doused it in glitter then set it with got2b glued blasting freeze spray for the ultimate hold (both RRP £4.07) and in that moment I fully understood what it was to enjoy a festival. 


A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL


I’m 28 years old and with age, comes a natural growth out of crazier concepts - but in that environment, that safe space, no matter my age, no matter my style, I was every person I’ve ever dreamt I’d be.

My hair has always been my outlet for experimentation and the Got2b salon unleashed another side I didn't know existed.

Port Eliot, you were a total dream. A place of escapism, a community of likeminded individuals without judgement or question. A place I’ve never felt so at home.
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL
A WEEKEND AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL

Photography by Jamie - All photos taken on OLYMPUS, get 25% off yours here.


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