Some people celebrate their first wedding anniversary with a posh meal, others with a holiday – we chose to complete the London 2015 Moonwalk! Our team of three; my husband, his sister and I completed the 26.2 mile walk around London overnight on 16th/17th May to raise money for breast cancer through the charity Walk the Walk.

We named our team Paper Chase in honour of our wedding anniversary being that paper is the gift most commonly associated with the first. The celebration of wedding anniversaries finds its origins back in the Roman Empire when wives were crowned by their husbands with a silver wreath to denote 25 years of marriage or gold for 50. In the modern day, different gifts are now associated with each anniversary.   The origins of this appear to date back to 1922 with the publication of Etiquette by Emily Post in which symbolic gifts were identified for 8 milestone anniversaries. Mainly due to commercialism, there are now gifts associated with years 1-15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 60 of marriage. The meaning of the first being paper, is believed to relate to the fact that the marriage is fragile like paper and also a new beginning – a blank sheet of paper on which history is to be written. American jewellers in 1937 also published a list of gemstones associated with each anniversary rather than just the later ones and flowers have also been associated with each anniversary – the first one being a pansy.

The first London moonwalk took place in 1998 but its founder Nina Barough began the idea with a New York power walk in decorated bras back in 1996. All participants raise money for Walk the Walk which then grants money to different charities to help the fight against breast cancer. Our team raised a whopping £1800 which feels like a fabulous achievement, with me personally raising just over £730. My company are good enough to match the amount I raised and give it to their charity of choice which is CLIC Sargent this year; so I will also be helping children and young people with cancer. Anyone who has ever raised money for any charity will understand just how difficult it can be to get money out of people. You have to become a thorn in people’s side. Other than simply asking for sponsorship, I made cupcakes which my husband sold at work to raise money.


Each year the Moon walk has a theme around which bras should be decorated. This year’s theme was ‘Night at the Movies’. There were some fantastic takes on the theme including people dressed as popcorn sellers complete with trays of popcorn attached to their bras and those with film reels on theirs. As a team we decided to go with Grease and my sister in law and I wore pink ladies jackets, as well as dying our bras pink and decorating with Grease badges. My husband wore a T Birds jacket and gelled his hair like John Travolta. It appeared the pink ladies was one of the most common ideas, however I don’t think I saw any other T Birds and it was funny at one point when my husband and I were walking arm in arm willing each other on and a volunteer cycled past and said “Oh look, there’s Danny and Sandy!”



I don’t think any of us were prepared for just how tough 26.2 miles pounding the pavements of London would be, especially overnight. We had all put in hours of training although admittedly my sister in law was far more dedicated than my husband and I – our longest training walk was just over 17 miles. Walking during the day however is very different to doing it when your body is battling the natural urge to sleep. The first couple of miles passed relatively quickly despite the crowds (over 15000 people took part). There was lots of encouragement on the way round and it was interesting doing a tour of London’s tourist spots when much of it is deserted. Walking past my office at 1am on a Sunday morning is certainly something I won’t ever be doing again! About mile 18 it really got tough though and we all felt like we had hit a wall. There was some serious doubt amongst us as to whether we could finish. The thought of the money we had raised though, coupled with the terrible suffering those with breast cancer endure spurred us on through and we eventually completed it in about 9 ½ hours excluding lengthy toilet queuing time!

As the medal was put round our necks – it all felt worth it. I had previously done the half moonwalk in 2013, see previous blog and was determined to prove to myself that I could do the whole one. I don’t think any of us will be rushing to sign up again but I would recommend anyone to do it at least once – it certainly is an experience and it really does make a difference.


As many of you would naturally assume, most of Sunday (our anniversary) was spent sleeping and recovering and instead of a celebratory dinner out, my husband and I enjoyed Prosecco and a Chinese take away. His gift to me for our anniversary was a photobook of our honeymoon and mine to him was some Formula One books and a message in a bottle.

My friend suggested I reward my efforts on the walk with a pedicure and a pair of Louboutin’s! As a shoe addict I really should pay more attention to my feet so I took her advice and went to Amazing Space in Rochester the following weekend. An hour’s signature pedicure was £32 and included a hard skin removal, soak, exfoliating scrub, massage, cuticle and nail tidy and a polish all whilst sitting in a body massage chair with soothing music in the background. It was pure indulgence. Unfortunately my pocket can’t stretch to Louboutin’s but I did feel a new pair of shoes may be in order so bought a couple in New Look which I will feature on future blogs.

My pedicure - sandals Oasis

My pedicure – sandals Oasis

Anyone who has done the correct training can do the Moonwalk so why not sign up for 2016 and challenge yourself – people with breast cancer will be thanking you.

Fly me to the Moon

The Moonwalk is a marathon (full moon) or half marathon (half moon) which is walked at night, through central London where walkers wear their decorated bras to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.  This was on my bucket list as something to do before I was 30 and is the second item I can now tick off after India.

The night of the walk arrived on 11th May and as I travelled to the start location of Battersea power station for 9pm, the heavens opened and with that a feeling of dread crept over me for what I had let myself in for – the thought of walking in the rain in the middle of the night didn’t fill me with joy.  I dived for cover in the large pink tent they had erected for the event (moon city).  A band was playing as people tucked in to their carbohydrate full meals of pasta or rice in preparation for the walk.  Balloons and bracelets were being sold and people were having temporary tattoos applied.  There was a general buzz of excitement.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis year’s theme was outer space so many people had dressed as aliens and astronauts with a notable team of young girls in green onesies with 3 eyes on their bras.  I designed my bra with just the pink theme in mind and adorned it with cocktails and shoes as an expression of myself.  I would love to say I sewed it all myself but it is my Mum I have to thank for the impressive finished result – I was simply the design consultant.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A minutes silence was held in the tent to remember in particular 3 ladies who signed up back in November but have since unfortunately lost their lives to breast cancer.  It resonated with me just how important this cause is and we were also spoken to by a lady using the new scalp cooling caps which are being funded by the charity and reduce the likelihood of hair loss during chemotherapy.  Around 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK and just under 12,000 die from it.  It can affect anyone male or female although it is far less common amongst males.

The warm up began and I thought that would be the best time to use the facilities one final time; negotiating a portaloo in a tutu with a helium balloon whilst hovering and avoiding touching anything was interesting to say the least!  I was in the final start so there was an awful lot of waiting around with only the warm up (6 times over) to entertain you.  I wondered at the rate we were going if I would in fact complete it by the time I was 30!  I randomly bumped into a girl from work who was doing the full moon so walked most of the way with her and a cancer nurse from Oxfordshire.

At 0027 the rain had passed over and we were finally off with the first mile passing fairly swiftly.  By the time the imposing chimney’s of the iconic power station was seen for the third time – I did start to wonder if we were in fact walking in circles!  The volunteers were great with their smiles and words of encouragement along the way and it was nice when people we passed congratulated us and cars blew their horns as we went past.  It was an enlightening experience to walk down the Kings Road glancing in the expensive shops where each rail holds only a couple of items and listening to the birds tweeting – something you would never normally hear in central London.  Mile 7 to 8 was one of the longest it seemed, mainly due to it being uphill.  At Hyde Park Corner and mile 10 I did briefly wonder if I would complete it being that we slowed to a stop due to congestion and I started to feel quite light headed.  I soon had a new lease of life though and visibly sped up for the last mile and a bit.  As I crossed the finish line at 0511 and had my medal placed around my neck, I felt an immense sense of pride at what I had achieved.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI managed to raise £678 for breast cancer care and my company will match that amount and donate it to Action for Children.  I want to thank everyone who has supported me especially my colleagues at work and my Mum and boyfriend who gave up a nights sleep to come up to London and cheer me on.  I also carried out a cake and shortbread sale at work to raise money which was most successful.


Will I do it all again next year and perhaps even the full moon?  My immediate response afterwards was no but now I am considering it – a bit like childbirth the bad memories fade away and it looks like a good idea again!  Anyone want to join me?!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!  So another new year dawned, surrounded by the usual celebrations despite it being 2013 – unlucky for some; I wonder if wedding venues have felt the pinch with superstitious brides?!  For more on why 13 is seen as unlucky see my previous blog ‘Friggatriskaidekaphobia’

Apologies for the long gap between this and my last post but December was a difficult month for me with my eye condition flaring up again for nearly 2 weeks.  I have however still managed to fit in quite a lot, along with shopping for the party season and had an enjoyable Christmas despite everything.  Here are my favourite purchases.

Baroque dress from Oasis

Baroque dress from Oasis


Lace dress from Jane Norman

Lace dress from Jane Norman

Shoes from Oasis

Shoes from Oasis

Early December saw my friend’s baby boy christened.  He wore a beautiful gown that was a family heirloom.  I always think choosing an outfit as a guest at a christening can be difficult.  It sort of requires a dressed down, wedding attire look with an avoidance of black, being that it is a joyous occasion.  This is fine in the summer but being winter and tights being required made it more difficult.  In the end I opted for this navy dress with butterflies and red cardigan and shoes, all from New Look.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAViva Forever, a new musical written by Jennifer Saunders and produced by Judy Craymer with the music of the Spice Girls opened in the West End on 11th December and in spite of poor reviews by critics, I dragged my boyfriend along to see it.  He wasn’t the only man present but they were a definite minority.  Having followed the Spice Girls closely as a young teenager, I found the musical most enjoyable regardless of the weak plot; especially during the last song when the whole audience danced and sang to ‘Stop Right Now’.

Viva Forever

I don’t know about everyone else but it took me quite a while to feel Christmassy this year for some reason, with my cards being written out hastily to meet the last posting date and me hanging on tender hooks hoping my online purchased gifts would arrive in time.  It probably didn’t help that we had few decorations due to the dining room being half finished.  What really got me in the mood though was when I was making my Christmas cake a few days before Christmas; the house was filled with sticky sweet aromas whilst Christmas songs filled our ears and there was the distant sound of a steam engine whistle.  We looked out the front and sure enough a steam train was pulling into the station.  This must have been a common sound in 1898 when our terraced house was built but nowadays I think always produces a kind of romance.

My Christmas Cake I made

My Christmas Cake I made

Christmas Eve was spent at home in my cosy PJs on the sofa.  Fashion articles often neglect nightwear but I think it is just as important being that many of us girls put our PJs on as soon as we get home.  Fabulous magazine did however do a small spread on mixing textures.  I went for checked fleecy bottoms with a white cotton vest and a lovely knitted cardigan from Oasis and then for a touch of glam I added pearls.


My partner and I decided to do a tree present each on Christmas Eve.  Excitement bubbled and butterflies fluttered in my stomach as I picked up a small, square, neatly wrapped box – could this be the long awaited engagement ring?  Alas no, it was in fact a box of dinner party ice breakers!  My partner was quickly forgiven the following morning though when I ripped the paper off my main present of my much longed for Ugg boots.  I was very spoilt by all with lovely presents but thought a couple of my friends gifts deserved a mention being that they were unusual tree decorations – a felt owl which was very in keeping with the 2012 fashion trend and a bauble from Verona.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOver the Christmas period I spent some much needed time with family which was very nice; especially having my brother, his fiancé and my niece join us for Christmas dinner.  I couldn’t resist buying my niece more shoes and these silver ones from Monsoon went down a treat – she wanted them on straight away and wore them to every other event over the period too. My partner and I hosted a New Year’s Eve dinner party with our respective parents which was fun and an opportunity to air the dinner party ice breakers starting with the worst first date each of us had had.  As Big Ben chimed we toasted over champagne and had party poppers whilst mumbling the verses of Auld Lang Syne.  This year I haven’t made any resolutions as such as my bucket list of things to do before 30 sort of covers it (see previous blog).

baby shoes

Talking of the bucket list, the weight has started to come off albeit slowly with my 5:2 diet.  I think I could probably lose far more however if I ate normally on the other 5 days rather than gorging myself on cakes and biscuits.  Having signed up for the half MoonWalk London which raises money for breast cancer research; I now need to get in to training.  My parents bought me some trainers as despite someone offering to double the money raised if I walk it in 4 inch heels – I think this would be suicide even for me.  My fundraising page is now live.  I understand money is probably tight at this time of year but it would be great if you could even just sponsor a small amount.  My company will match the amount I raise and donate it to their charity Action for Children so you will be helping two charities in one go – great if your new years resolution was to support good causes.  Please pledge via the below link.

As a year comes to a close it is a good time to reflect on achievements of the previous year and mine and my partners has to be our garden and drive which was completed with much help from my Dad and Uncle.  Check out the before and after pictures.  Look out for more home improvement in future blogs.


Our garden early on in the project

Our garden early on in the project


Yesterday we took my partners niece and nephew to see their first pantomime – Peter Pan at the Churchill Bromley.  The tradition of a pantomime at Christmas dates back at least to early 1800s however the “traditional” pantomime is constantly evolving in order to maintain its popularity.  We greatly enjoyed it although being the penultimate performance signals Christmas well and truly being over for another year.  Guess January blues set in now – let me know how you are combating them.

Until next time ……………………………

The 4 C’s – Cauldrons, Charity, Christmas and Clutches

Halloween, Guy Fawkes, Remembrance Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas; there are many festivals to be celebrated now that the colder months are upon us.

The Halloween spirit (pardon the pun) was started by a guy at work bringing in themed cupcakes to raise money for charity.  I threw a Halloween party which was great fun and dressed as a skeleton whilst my partner was a vampire.  We decorated the house with pumpkins, spider webs and various other bits and bobs to create a kind of haunted mansion.  The kids loved the cauldron full of sweets which also contained the odd rubber eye ball (not to be confused with a gob stopper!)  I really liked the plates I chose especially when they appeared in the ‘Fabulous Magazine Lustlist’ after I had purchased them!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARufus even got in the Halloween Mood!

People often assume that Halloween is more of an American festival but in fact it was the UK that introduced the custom to the United States during the mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century.  The actual origins of Halloween are disputed.  Some suggest it has its roots in Paganism with influences of Western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead whilst others argue it has Christian roots.  Those following the first line of thought, link Halloween to the Celtic festival of Samhain which marked the start of winter and the end of the harvest season.  It was a time to prepare for the winter and there were various rituals and bonfires.  People believed that it was a time when souls of the dead and other mythical beings could come into our world.  Some of these beings were thought to be harmful and it may be that people dressed up and carved turnip lanterns to ward them off hence today’s customs of dressing up and jack-o-lanterns.  The American’s changed turnips to pumpkins as it was a native vegetable and easier to carve (not sure I agree with that last point though – put it this way the power tools were on standby!!).  At Samhain youths would also go door to door collecting food and if a household gave food, they could expect good fortune for the winter which may be where the trick or treating tradition may come from.  Those who believe Halloween has Christian origins link it to the holy day on 1st November, All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows.  They saw it as a time to pray for those recently deceased who had not reached heaven as well as honouring the saints.  Those of this belief sight the origins of trick or treating as the practice of ‘souling’ where poor children would collect soul cakes door to door as a symbol of praying for those in purgatory.  It was  believed that the dead could seek vengeance on their enemies until all saints day when they moved into the next world and that was the reason that people dressed up and made jack-o-lanterns, to protect themselves from these souls.

Due to Catholic connotations, during Reformation Protestants were against celebrating Halloween and after the 1605 gunpowder plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, popularity for Halloween declined in Britain, with far more emphasis being placed on Guy Fawkes Night.  Being that I held the party between Halloween and Guy Fawkes, we also had sparklers.

This month I signed up to the Moonwalk London to raise money for breast cancer research which takes place next May.  The walk was started by a lady called Nina Barough who along with 12 other women took part in the New York marathon in a decorated bra to raise money for breast cancer back in 1996.  After that first walk, Nina herself was diagnosed with breast cancer.  In 1997 a team of girls entered the London Marathon for the cause.  In 1998, such was the response for a team to walk in the London Marathon for a second time that a separate walk was created for the eve of the marathon.  From then onwards, the moonwalk has been an event in its own right with popularity growing year after year.  Having never done anything remotely physically challenging, I went for the half moon walk which is 13.1 miles; I better get myself in training not to mention purchase some trainers – I think I would struggle to do it in heels!  I can’t wait to start designing my bra.  Please sponsor me for this excellent cause; details of my fundraising page to follow in a future blog.

Last week when I was at the hairdressers I read a very interesting article regarding a new diet called 5:2.  Basically you can eat normally for 5 days of the week and for 2 days you fast, eating just 600 calories.  (Some internet sites suggest for women this is reduced to 500).  This diet was popularised by Dr Michael J. Mosley when he was on ‘Eat, Fast and Live Longer’ documentary in August 2012.  There has been research suggesting that not only does the diet work; it can also reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, Diabetes and Cancer.  Conversely though there is some research suggesting it could cause eating disorders.  I’m always on the look out for a quick and easy fix to losing weight so I have decided to give it a go.  I will let you know the progress weight wise but I have done it for a week now and I must admit the fasting days are difficult and it really opens your eyes to the amount of calories in everything which does make you think twice about what you eat even on the normal days.

A couple of weeks back was Remembrance Sunday and I wore my poppy with pride as well as observing the 2 minutes silence.  I am sure poppy sales greatly increased on 1st November – London Poppy Day when my day was brightened by some very handsome young soldiers coming into the office selling them!  The total raised on this day for the appeal was £772,211.  Armistice Day is on 11th Nov and commemorates the end of World War One and the signing of the armistice at 11am which ended the war for the Western front.  In 1939, the two minutes silence was held on Remembrance Sunday on the first Sunday after Armistice Day in case Armistice Day fell on a week day and interrupted war productions.  After World War Two, most events moved to Remembrance Sunday.  Both days are now celebrated in the UK.  The poppy became the symbol of Armistice Day in 1921 and was inspired by a poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ which refers to poppies being the first thing to grow in the earth of the soldiers graves.  The British Legions poppy appeal raises money for those who are serving in wars or have served and their dependants.  As a child my Grandma would always take me down to Orpington War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday where there would be parades by the armed forces and Brownies, Guides etc.  I remember always wishing my Brownie pack was in Orpington so that I too could have taken part.

As we all begin the preparations for Christmas, lets remember those children who are living in poverty and give something back.  November is the Operation Christmas Child shoe box appeal time. Imagine the joy on a child’s face on Christmas day when they receive a gift of your lovingly put together shoe box.  This year I did mine for a girl between the ages of 5 and 9.  Check out my blog last year for the history of the shoebox appeal and visit their website for more information.

Before the Christmas parties begin in earnest, I have a few 30th birthday parties to attend over the coming weeks and I just couldn’t resist this unusual 70’s vintage style magazine clutch by Paparazzi.  I will wear it with a plain black dress so that it stands out and takes all the glory!  Carrie is seen with a magazine clutch in Sex and the City ‘Where there is smoke’ and I have wanted one ever since.  Another great style blog which mentions this clutch is

Only 28 days until Christmas so it’s time to start that shopping!  Nero’s have released their special Christmas coffees; an amaretto latte and a praline latte so when your feet are sore from dragging round looking for a present for that awkward person to buy for, pop in to take the weight off and indulge.  Until next time….