Monday, 9th September 2013 

Syston Carnival: A blast from the past

Syston carnival may not have the floats driving around the town before the event, like it used to years before, but the day still hosts a great community spirit, with a variety of stalls and entertainment.

As a returning visitor to the carnival, after not being able to attend for the last few years, it was good to see the event still thriving. Held on Saturday 31st August, the carnival provided a great family day to all that attended, and was busy for the whole afternoon.

From inflatable slides for the children, to food stands and your classic tombola stalls, there was something for everyone. However, it was nice to see a few new faces at the carnival, including representatives from the new wholesale store, Costco in Thurmaston.

Sophie Fleming, from Membership Services at Costco said: “It’s been very good as our first year here as a stall-holder. We've been telling people about Costco and how to sign up as a member if they wish to.

“We would definitely have a stall again at the carnival next year, as it’s a perfect location for us, with us just being down the road in Thurmaston.”

The carnival each year helps to support many local charities and always encourages children to get involved, not only with competitions on the day, but with the entertainment that is provided as well.

As a child, I always remember being involved with the carnival as a Girl Guide, so it was lovely to see that the Scouts, Girl Guides and Brownies were still part of the annual event.

Louise Essex, Syston Brownie leader said: “This is only the second year of having a stall at the carnival, but the kids absolutely love it.

“We try to get all of them involved in the lead up to it, and we even have some of the Rainbows helping out on the stall with us this year.”

After all these years, Syston Carnival still manages to keep that community feeling and it has some-what become a tradition each year for the town. With the weather holding out for the event, the carnival really did have a great atmosphere and it was fantastic to be a part of and attend.

 Friday, 6th September 2013 

Orange is the new black

With my obsession for anything the colour orange getting way out of hand, I couldn't help but agree when I started seeing people tweet 'Orange is the new black.'

How wrong could I be. No, they were not talking about orange being the new colour of the season, but a Netflix TV series about Wentworth's women's prison.

In my opinion orange is still THE colour of the summer, but once I realised that this wasn't the case, I thought I best check out the show and see what all the fuss was about - it didn't let me down :)

Based on the memoir written by Piper Kerman of her year in the prison, (also the main character in the show), this original comedy provides both a realness of life inside and the right amount of humour to keep you watching.

Personally, I love any type of prison TV programme, but it was nice and refreshing for once, for it to not be a documentary.. Although not quite on the same level as Prison Break, 'Orange is the new black' definitely filled the gap for me.

The first series contained only 12 episodes, and without ruining it for everyone; I was not expecting it to end like THAT - making me even more eager for the next series to start. I am well and truly hooked.

 Wednesday, 17th April 2013  

A Vintage Charity Delight

There were such beautiful, inspiring and most of all, such bargain pieces displayed in the Lincoln St Barnabas shop. A great night was had by all, and everyone including both the staff and visitors, had really gone to town to make the vintage night a hit.
The re-opening of the shop’s ‘attic room’ gave the perfect opportunity to really show off the new season items that they had to offer. Although the RSVP event was not strictly to fund-raise, Rachael Hynes who organised the night, wanted to showcase what the hospice does to help in the Lincoln community and what the high street store has to offer.
As a Lincolnshire based charity, St Barnabas has over 20 stores across the county, all offering quality goods and a different shopping experience for the customer. The money raised from the retail aspect of the charity goes so far into helping the people in Lincolnshire, and the hospice's main aim is 'providing specialist palliative care so everyone can receive the support they need to live well.'
When you think vintage, you think glamour, luxury and unique - the night was exactly that. War tribute singer, Heather Marie, vintage hair and make-up artists from the local college and vintage inspired drinks and nibbles; all helped to create a great atmosphere. The store quickly filled to capacity and everyone enjoyed the evening whilst taking in the retro music and shopping the vintage items.

“We had a team of 25 volunteers helping out with the night, they’ve all been fantastic and we’ve been humbled by the support.

“The re-opening of the attic meant we could set up a great haberdashery section upstairs and introduce our new spring stock. We have a strict quality control on the items we sell and receive as donations and have had very generous support from people in Lincoln,” said Rachael, deputy shop leader.

The event was a fantastic opportunity to get the community together, involving not only volunteers for the charity, but students from both Lincoln College and the University of Lincoln. Their new spring range was delightful, and some of the pieces that were able to be bought and had been donated were from popular stores including Topshop - on offer at a fraction of the price.

The attic haberdashery room is also a brilliant idea, helping to encourage more people to up-cycle clothes and to customise – giving the store a different angle which not many places on the high street offer.
Although classed as a charity shop, St Barnabas really is part of the Lincoln high street and is a charming place to shop both for students and adults – knowing not only that you are getting fantastic quality, but also contributing to helping others within Lincoln.

 Monday, 12th March 2012 

One Day
On the completion of reading David Nicholls book 'One Day' almost three months ago now, I felt compelled to go out and buy the DVD and watch the film version, as I never had the chance to see it at the cinema.

As heart-wrenching as the film was, I was a little let down by the lack of content in comparison to the book. Don't get me wrong, it is still a great film, but after getting so attached to the characters in the book and not being able to put it down for almost 2 days until I had finished expectations of the film were then extremely high!

The to-ing and fro-ing of whether the two main characters, Dexter and Em, will end up together or not, over the 20 years the book covers, leaves you wanting to read on to find out. However, the film is quite fast paced in contrast and I don't feel you get the true opportunity to explore the characters and each year, like you do when reading the book. 

Although ‘One Day’ could be seen as ‘just another love story’, the ups and downs throughout make you second guess yourself as to how it will end. A story that could be so close to reality leaves you feeling as if you lived their story with them.

If I could suggest anything, read the book first!! And then watch the film...

 Tuesday, 21st February 2012 

The Brit Awards

It wasn't the smoothest running Brit Awards tonight, with presenter James Corden having celebrities walking in front of him whilst on camera, twice award winner, Adele, being cut off during her acceptance speech at the end of the show and the random pairings of announcers throughout the awards; but yet again the Brits pulled off another great night.

Spectacular performances during the 2 hour show from the likes of Ed Sheeran, Noel Gallagher and Florence & the Machine, showed what true talent we have both old and new in the UK, along with tributes to two huge talents we've lost in the last year; Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston.

Ed Sheeran and Adele clearly stole the show, both taking away two awards under their wings, including; ‘Best British Male Solo Artist’ and ‘Best British Female Solo Artist’. The most shocking result would have to be 'Best British Single' announced as 'One Direction - What makes you beautiful’; the boys seemed just as shocked and over-excited to be accepting the award on stage.

Emeli Sande definitely deserved to be recognised at the Brits, collecting the ‘Critic’s Choice Award’; I can definitely see her going far within the music industry. ‘MasterCard British Album of the Year’ most obviously went to Adele with ‘21’ and Blur rounded up the night with an amazing performance after receiving the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ award earlier in the night.

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