Lifestyle and Interviews

Dipping My Toe Into The Water To Say Hello

February 11, 2018

Wow it’s been such a long while since I wrote here.

Nick and I got married in August. It was absolutely magical, not only the experience of the day which felt very powerful, but also effects of the transition into married life together.
It was such a beautifully tender and special time that I wanted to enjoy it all wholeheartedly and be totally present. I had this overwhelming urge to soak everything in and really let the impact of it all resonate. A little like when you strike a singing bowl, the sound just seems to continue on and on, and I wanted to listen to the whole thing.

So I just unconsciously took a pause from writing here and happened to slow down my posts on Instagram too, practically to a standstill in comparison to before. As time passed on I enjoyed the space. Last week I wrote an email to my friend and she reminded me how much I enjoy writing. So I decided to write this small note here, just dipping my toe into the water to say hello. It feels rather nice.

There is an article in Rock n Roll Bride Magazine here which is full of photographs and details from our wedding if you want to hear about it. I will come back here soon and tell you more.

Lot’s of love x

Lifestyle and Interviews

Meet Mabel

August 2, 2017

My old housemate had a little shih tzu called Doogle and I’ve wanted a little gremlin lookalike of my own ever since. I think they are adorable, and their under bites and googly eyes only add to their personality! But we are away too much to give a dog all of the care and attention that they need at the moment.

So, I started to browse around on pet share/borrow my doggy sites and along came Mabel! A gorgeous little shih tzu with bags of character.

Usually with sites like this, busy pet owners who travel a lot or have something holding them back from walking their dog reularly (such as work or an illness) will reach out and find people to help out. In my case Mabel has loving owners that work from home so she gets lots of love and attention. They travel a fair bit and so she’s been hanging out with me when they are away- or whenever I can persuade them to let me borrow her!

It’s been so much fun so far. Mabel is really animated, loves attention, never barks and is super easy going. Her owners have trained her so well. My friend shared this with me and it totally describes Mabel:

Composer James Mumsford described the Shih Tzu as “… a dash of lion, several teaspoons of rabbit, a couple of ounces of domestic cat, one part court jester, a dash of ballerina, a pinch of old man, a bit of beggar, a tablespoon of monkey, one part baby seal, (and) a dash of teddy bear.”

So if you are dreaming of having a pet pooch but can’t commit full time, I’d highly recommend setting something like this up. Lots of pet shelters also need voulenterts for people to walk their dogs, so there are lots of options out there.

Fashion & Beauty

Prague Wedding Guest: Outfit Of The Day

July 26, 2017

Wedding season is in full swing and so I thought I would share with you what I wore to our friends’ wedding in Prague.

Our friends Vanja and Rob got married at the beautiful Pachtuv Palace in Prague and it was the most romantic wedding that I have ever seen. There was an abundance of blooms, trailing ivy and eucalyptus framing the Palace as the string quartet played. Vanja’s dress was a fishtail of layered organza. She took my breath away. Nick has been best friends with Rob since school and was a groomsman. Our wedding (which takes place in a month) will be the last stop of their honeymoon, so it was a really special day for us.

Both of the newlyweds are absolutely fabulous which made their wedding the perfect opportunity to wear a bright prom dress and gold shoes! My dress is the Embroidered Salon Dress from ASOS , which is perfect for dancing and twirling in. My shoes are the Rio by Maguba. I have always wanted a pair of gold clogs, I actually bought these for my honeymoon but couldn’t resist wearing them for the wedding.

Suggested Post: Botanical Gardens Berlin

Lifestyle and Interviews

Top Tips For Organising A Hen Party

July 19, 2017

My hen party was organised entirely by my Maid of Honour and sister, Rachael, with the help of my bridesmaids, as a surprise for me. I didn’t lift a single finger! I was completely blown away by it all. Everyone that attended commented on not only how much fun they had at the party, but also how well organised and thoughtful Rachael was. That girl possesses party planning skills to rival a professional.

So this week I thought I would hand over to Rachael and get her top tips on organising a hen party…

Gather The Key Info: If you are doing a surprise then get the guest list, date and budget from the bride first plus any important requests, then keep her out of the loop completely. Lucy had no idea about any of our plans. She just asked that it was in the UK because her guests would be traveling for the wedding.

Set The Date In Good Time: Get the guests to save the date well in advance, even if you don’t know the finer details or have a set plan. That can all be done at a later date. But getting a big group of busy girls together on the same date can be tricky if you don’t leave enough time. Lucy’s hen party was in June but we set the date way back in October, which meant almost everyone invited was able to attend.

Plan Via E-mail: Whatsapp groups or FB events just mean every guest has to see the comments from everyone else. This can just be annoying and information can get lost in a long thread. Keep people informed but don’t send hundreds of short emails. Just a small number of emails including the facts and important info. Everyone is busy…if you have been tasked with planning the hen be prepared to be very busy but take responsibility. The guests just want it to be planned for them!

Break The Ice– Try and arrange an “ice breaker” activity early on in the day/weekend. This is a great way of making everyone feel at ease, ready to relax and have fun. We played pin the junk on the hunk while our Grandma was there and it had everyone in stitches.

Pace The Drinks – Plan a non- alcohol activity for the daytime. If you start day drinking too early some people are not used to it, get excited, end up too drunk, and can’t handle the evening activity. We went quad biking during the day then opened up the bottomless tiki-bar in the evening, which worked nicely.

Food– Plan LOTS OF FOOD and check dietary requirements in advance to make everyone feel well looked after and welcome. If there are leftovers people can always take it home with them after the weekend, but there is nothing worse than being hungry when you want lots of energy to celebrate!

You can find out more about my hen party in this blog post here: My Luau Hen Party

Lifestyle and Interviews

Interview With Manchester’s ‘Bee Love’ and ‘#WeStandTogether’ Artist Amy Coney

July 3, 2017

In the aftermath of the tragic events at Manchester Arena, like everyone within the local community, Artist Amy Coney just wanted to help. The horrendous attack had taken place just minutes from her house.

The very next morning Amy did what knew best: she picked up a paintbrush and started to create a giant worker-bee mural in central Manchester a symbol of the city’s hard-working past, during the Industrial Revolution. When I saw the photo of Amy and her friend hugging in front of the painting I cried. It really conveyed the grief of the community and how everyone was trying their best to support each other in the aftermath.

Amy didn’t stop there. In a bid to help raise money for the victims and their families she set up a collaboration with poet Tony Walsh who delivered the now iconic poem entitled ’This Is The Place’ at the official vigil outside Manchester Town Hall. This piece is called ‘Bee Love’ and has captured the hearts of musicians across the world including Elbow, the 1975 and George Ezra who have flocked to sign her canvas in support. In this interview I catch up with Amy about the process.

You created your beautifully moving street art piece #WeStandTogether featuring Manchester’s worker bee the morning after Manchester’s tragic bomb, can you tell us what you were thinking when you picked up your paintbrush and set out on that journey?

Two of my friends at Social Chain contacted me that morning with the idea that they wanted to do a mural, something positive in reaction to the heartbreak. I jumped at the suggestion having spent the last 12 hours mainly pacing and feeling helpless as we watched everything unfold on the news and Twitter.

A few phone calls to Outhouse MCR (they provided the wall) and by 1pm we were painting. Social Chain’s team helped me with the base and I managed to get most of the detail finished before running off to the vigil at Albert’s Square, I then came back to do final touches a day later.

The whole thing was quite surreal and adrenaline-filled, feeling the most intense need to do something as well as be around people. There was comfort in the comradery of creating something positive publicly – something for others, not just ourselves, something unifying. The #WeStandTogether was and is a powerful message and so relevant. When I put the brushes down and paused to see what we’d created, all of the emotion that had been numbed in the shock came over me like a wave. Sad and grateful tears all at once.

The Charlatans with Amy as they sign Bee Love

What has the reaction to your street-art piece been from the local community in Manchester?

Whilst painting several people gave their appreciation, including many from offices whose windows overlooked the piece. The lovely people at BooHoo actually gave us a round of applause from their window when we finished on the day which was incredible.

From then there has been so much positive feedback especially on social media – people are still photographing it and leaving the loveliest comments.

You are working on another Manchester Bee piece featuring the words of ‘Longfella’ Tony Walsh’s inspirational ode to Manchester at terror attack vigil. Tell us a little more about this project and how people can get involved.

Bee Love is a giant worker bee painting with the words from Tony Walsh’s famous poem entitled ’This Is The Place’ written in the wings with all proceeds going to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund and Forever Manchester.

The canvas has been signed by a number of celebrities baking the cause including Elbow, the 1975, George Ezra and Jonny Marr. The auction will be resuming on the 1st August after we’ve gained more signatures. Prints will be available shortly. If people want to donate or purchase a print they can, alternatively people can help make noise by sharing it on social and telling as many people about it as possible.

Johnny Marr is one of the many musicians that have signed Bee Love

In what way did the words of the poem influence your piece?

I listened to the poem every day following the attack, there was something comforting about it, powerful, raw and strong. Tony’s poems are fantastic, but this one resonated with everyone, and it was also his delivery that made it so and his ability to stand in front of that crowd at a time when not many could have done the same. It gave a lot of people strength. It is Manchester.

‘Some born here, some drawn here, but all call it home.’ I was drawn here and this is my home.

 Art has always been your passion and you have turned this dream into your career. What advice would you give to other people that want to follow in your footsteps?

Keep persisting, and surround yourself with people that support you. Work with others that are better than you and listen to them, they speak from experience, be appreciative of their time and don’t undervalue your own. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there or fail, you can always go back to your office job but what a waste if you never tried. Enjoy learning.

For those of you that are new to LedByLucy you may want to have a nosy at the People and Projects section of my blog where I regularly feature interviews with inspirational women working within the creative field. You may also like the Travel and Places section.