Thursday, 30 April 2015

A Guide: London Tube Etiquette

Nothing irks me more than people with poor tube etiquette. I understand that it's rammed on the platform, you're late to work, you haven't had your morning coffee yet and have your face in a man's sweaty armpit. I do. I get it. And while the sentence should end with 'but that's no reason to get rude', I feel like sometimes some people really do need a punch in the face to realise they are making everybody's lives much more difficult than they need to be. 
We all have the same goal : Get from A to B. Let's make this happen as quickly and painlessly as possible by following this guide for idiots.

1. Stand on the right. STAND ON THE FUCKING RIGHT. If you are approaching an escalator and you know you haven't the stamina to make it to the top, start edging towards the right as you approach the escalator. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT get 'stuck on the left', try to make your way up, realise you can't make it, refuse out of pride to step to the right and end up clawing your way to the top at the pace of a salted snail, holding up everyone behind you.

2. Wait for people to get off the tube before you start to get on. It's manners. The train won't leave until everybody is off, and until a good amount of people have gotten on. Pushing your way on before everyone else is off makes it ten times harder for people trying to get off to do so quickly. You're slowing everyone else down because you won't wait an extra 4 seconds for a seat.

3. Give your seat up for the pregnant and elderly. Don't be a dick and pretend to be asleep.

4. Don't fucking try to hold the doors open so you can get on. What you are effectively doing is causing a tiny, tiny delay in which the tube shuts and then re-opens the doors just so you can get on. If everybody on every tube was as selfish as you we would be delayed by hours and never get anywhere. There is never a tube more than 4 minutes away,  (in rush hour 2 minutes!) so just bloody wait for the next one. 

5.  Don't try to talk to strangers on the tube, especially during morning rush hour. Nobody has time for this, no matter how friendly you think you're being.

6. Make a conscious effort to walk in a straight line. There is nothing more frustrating than being in a rush, trying to overtake someone who is weaving in and out as they dawdle along so you end up dancing behind them like Taylor Swift trying to get past.

7. DO NOT GET OFF THE TUBE AND STAND IN FRONT OF THE DOOR WAITING FOR SOMEONE. You can make it 3 more steps further forwards and wait against the wall, thus not holding up everyone else trying to get off/onto the tube you've just exited.

8. DO NOT STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF AN EXIT / DOORWAY. You are in the underground, holding up everyone else behind you who are trying to get past. Step aside, this really is common sense.

9. Not having your Oyster card ready at the barrier, stopping at the barrier to locate it. Was it a surprise that the barrier was there? No? Then why weren't you fucking ready for it?

10. If you have a backpack for the love of God, take if off and put it between your feet when you get onto a busy tube. Imagine how many more people would fit on if everyone who had a backpack did this.

To be honest I'm embarrassed I even had to write this post because some people have literally no common sense or courtesy, but there it is. Next time you get onto a tube may you remember all of these things and leave in the peaceful knowledge that you are better than 50% of the population in London. Congratulations.
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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Candid Callie: Finding My Own Style

I have been through numerous embarrassing phases in my lifetime. "This is not a phase Mum, it's just who I am!" I've learnt some things along the way.

When I was 14 it was the 'scene' look. I sported heavy raccoon-style eyeliner (think Taylor Momsen but less expertly applied) and white streaks in my hair, which was of course back brushed, sprayed into a ridiculously sweeping side-parting and covered in as may bow clips as I could find. Anything hot pink and black was the coolest thing ever and my wardrobe looked like a dark japanese anime had exploded into it. I was into boys who hung out at skate parks with Phase 1 Justin Bieber hair. 
Style Icon: Brookelle Bones
Wishlist Item: Leopard print hair extension strips (yes they are a thing), and cigarettes. Not to smoke, just for the image.
Social Media of Choice: Myspace, duh.
Music Taste: Hadouken, Bring me the Horizon, Rise Against

When I was 16 it evolved slightly into a vintage/grunge phase. My hair remained just as big, and I discovered hair extensions so I could perfect the thick, messy, matted hair look. At one point I got a dreadlock put in at a Camden hair salon with beads in it. Yes, just one dreadlock. The makeup toned right down thank God, and for my wardrobe I opted for anything from a Brighton thrift shop. Black and tartan were my go-tos, alongside military boots and a pretty piece of jewellery to feminise it. I looked like a homeless person with good makeup most of the time, wearing clothes that were too big for me and trying to awkwardly pull it off. I was still into boys who hung out at skate parks with Phase 1 Justin Bieber hair. Most of them smoked a lot of weed now too. 
Style Icon: Miley Cyrus pre-melt down. (When she still had long hair.)
Wishlist Item: A battered old Mulberry bag would have been the dream.
Social Media of Choice: Facebook.
Music Taste: Enter Shikari were the favourite, but anything drum n bass or dub step. Pendulum, Chase & Status and Dillinja were big players.
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When I was 18 it all went downhill again. My style was anything slutty. The shorter and tighter, the better. My hair was finally at a good place in its life now, but I dressed how I thought boys liked me to look rather than how I liked to look. It wasn't flattering. My accessory of choice was vodka and I spent most of my time tottering around in 6 inch stilettos that I thought made me look good. In fact it made it look like I had shit myself because I could barely walk, so I just waddled about instead. I found a penchant for piercings, and got about 12 done in quick succession. My ideal man wore band tees, never washed his hair and had 8 inch holes in his ears. The type of man who if I saw now I would refer to as a man-baby. (Someone who never grew up post-puberty.) 
Style Icon: Rebecca Fox, Megan Fox, Mel Clarke
Wishlist Item: A full sleeve and a pair of stripper heels.
Social Media of Choice: Tumblr.
Music Taste: Anything playing at da clubbbb. (Cringe cringe cringe cringe)

When I was 20 I spent my time trying so hard to dress cooler than I was. I don't have the confidence or the personality for the outfits I desperately tried to pull off.  My hair and makeup had settled down into a comfortable zone, but in stark contrast my outfits were a mesh of the brightest colours and zaniest patterns I could find. If it clashed, great. Anything to stand out from the crowd. The tackier the better. Huge plastic gold hoops?! Sign me up! Leopard print was what the majority of my wardrobe was made of. Street-style pieces like Adidas bombers were also a favourite. Any guy with tattoos and a snapback cap was a dreamboat. 
Style Icon: Anyone remotely cool. Street style was a big influencer.
Wishlist Item: A pair of high heel leopard print boots would have been the dream.
Social Media of Choice: Back to Facebook.
Music Taste: I found my music taste around this time. Mostly acoustic covers.
Now I dress for myself. My style is boring compared to how it used to be. It's quiet and you wouldn't notice it. I'm comfortable. I've retained some loves over the years. I lean towards cleaner, scandi style outfits. Tailoring is something I love now, and I'm learning to dress for my body. In a contrast to a few years ago I'll always lean towards blacks, whites, beiges and nudes. I go for a good staple, and pieces I love will tend to comprise of lace, florals, leather and bretton stripes. I don't know if this is still just a phase, but for once I feel like I'm dressing because I like the way I look rather than to please anyone else, and in finding things that flatter my figure I feel more confident. I think that's the key to finding your true style. Don't follow the trends for the sake of it, wear what you like because it makes you feel good, and you will always look confident and beautiful. A man who treats me right, is respectful and an absolute sweetheart is what I want now. Only took me 23 years to work that one out!
Style Icon: Miranda Kerr, The Olsen Twins, Scandi style.
Wishlist Item: The perfect pair of high waist jeans. I still haven't found them.
Social Media of Choice: Instagram. Calliekazumi 
Music Taste: I'm sticking with my acoustic love for now. 
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