Wednesday 30 June 2010

The big four zero

1) Gin and pink grapefruit tonic - bliss! 2) High School Musical plates and chicken kebabs 3) Obligatory flower garland 
4) My feet. Horrific 5) Ubiquitous flags 6) The crew, heading for the cider bus 
7) More flags... "I'll meet you by the flags" No, you won't 8) Cube Henge 9) Aaah, beautiful sunset

So, Glastonbury then.

This year's was without a doubt the best festival I've ever been to. It was exhausting, sweltering and there were a fair few ridiculous moments (waking up in a chair at 10.30am on the opposite side of the festival after a sunrise gathering at the stone circle was a new low. Or high, depending on which way you look at it) but it was just incredible.

I'm not going to post any more about it after this as I know that festivals aren't everyone's thing but I just wanted to share a couple of my highlights...

A song from my favourite set of the whole festival. The wonderful Pet Shop Boys covering 'Viva La Vida' by Coldplay. As one of my friends said they "shat on Chris Martin, rubbed his nose in it and then sang his song better". The whole set was just incredibly special...

One of my favourite moments of the entire festival... Florence joining Dizzee for 'You Got the Dirty Love'...

As an aside, if someone could please get this song out of my head then it would be muchly appreciated. Ever since hearing it about 3am in Shangri-La I've not been able to stop humming it...

Ta-ta for another year Glastonbury, see you in 356 days xx

Monday 28 June 2010

Viva los Glasto

Glastonbury was...

Hot. Oh so very very hot.
Incredible. So incredible I can't even remember all the amazing moments.
Dirty. The dust has rendered my feet unfathomably filthy.
Magical. As always.

Because I'm exhausted and have barely slept for the past five - days due to an intense combination of the hottest tent in the world (seriously, gasping for air at 7.30am is not enjoyable), vuvuzelas, a night time trip to the stone circle and too much fun - for now you get facts and a couple of photographs. Nothing more. 

Things I lost:
A filling
My foundation
My Chanel eyeliner (sob)
My mirror
Dignity and a fair few brain cells

Things I ate:
Jerk chicken, rice and pea and dumplings
Pura Vida nachos (the best on site)
A garlic guzzler burger at 4am. Mistake
A pancake with ham and cheese (served to me by a Gunter Von Hagens lookalike who called me beautiful and didn't charge me. I am a whore for free food)

Oh Monsieur Eavis, with this festival you really spoilt us.

Tuesday 22 June 2010

The time is now

I'm off!

To Glastonbury, that is. In five and a half hours to be precise. I've just finished packing, the hair is freshly dyed and I can barely lift my bag due to excessive Strongbow. I think I'm ready.

I had all sorts of plans to schedule lots of posts for while I'm away but, of course, I haven't gotten around to it. I've got lots to write about but just haven't been able to find the time. So, With Eyes Wide Open will be on a little holiday until next Tuesday.

While I'm away, and if you're so inclined, feel free to follow me on Twitter, where I may or may not update you on all things Glastonbury. If I've not fallen in nettles in the permaculture garden after one too many ciders.

Have a fabulous week everyone!! xx

Sunday 20 June 2010

"I love you in the morning, when you're still hungover..."

Sartorial elegance has taken a massive hit this weekend.

Firstly, I did Race For Life (there's still time to chuck a couple of quid my way if the purse strings allow) yesterday morning. My Mum decided we were wearing pink. Now, I don't mind a bit of pink. I do draw the line at a bright pink (Take That, haha) t-shirt, a pink tutu and a pink flower in my hair though. But it was all in the name of charidee and it was a fantastic experience. It was more emotional than I thought it would be and there was such a lovely atmosphere. I didn't run the whole way though and I'm using my darling Mum as an excuse for that. It's up to you to decide the level of truth in that. Haha.

Secondly, I went to a Hawaiian themed barbecue last night. Cue flowers leis, the big pink flower in my hair once more and a tropical playsuit. Yes, that's right, I said tropical playsuit. I did wear stupendous gold heels though. And drink my body weight in giant cocktails and gin. Tut tut.

Today I've been mostly feeling sick as a dog but I've powered through, for my Dad's sake more than mine! I cooked lunch for him and my Mum today. On a side note, why do I always volunteer to cook lunch the day after a big night out? You'd think I'd have learnt my lesson during the great Christmas Eve lunch debacle of 2007, when I'd been out until 7am and then had to cook a three course meal from scratch. Making brandy snap baskets with no sleep and a pounding head was the worst thing ever.

Anyway, I made Lamb Cochifrito. Which is basically lamb with lots of lemon, garlic and shallots. It was delicious.

For dessert, and at my Dad's request, I made flourless chocolate brownies (using a Nigella recipe that I tweaked). These have walnuts in, and I added some pecans too for a bit of variety. They're the richest brownies I've ever eaten and I defy anyone to manage more than two.

So, what have you been upto this weekend?


My Dad is great. Fact.

He never judges me, no matter what I do (and I've done some fairly ridiculous things). He cheers me up when I'm sad. He gives the best hugs. He is the wittiest person I've ever met. For all these reasons, and so many more, I'm so so lucky to have him .

Although, judging by this photo (taken in 1967!) his dress sense was no better then than it is now. My Mum was quite the little hottie though, wasn't she?!

I'll be back later on with a more substantial post but, for now, I just wanted to wish all the lovely Dads in the world a very Happy Fathers' Day!

Friday 18 June 2010

Friday night...

...looks like this:

What does your Friday night look like?

Scrambled eggs on toast: My own fair hands
Cheesecake: The English Cheesecake Company
Nail varnish: Barry M - 290, 294 & 304
Dog: 100% cute

Thursday 17 June 2010

Drop the Bass(o)

My name is Helen and I have a confession to make...

I covet the pretty things. So many pretty things. I do most of my shopping online as, somehow, it doesn't really feel like I'm spending any money if I'm not handing over a credit card or cash money in a shop. Cocosa has been a weakness of mine for ages but I've not bought anything for a while. Well, nothing until I spied that there was a Basso & Brooke sale on. And then, somehow, a dress found it's way into my basket. And then I accidentally clicked checkout. And then paid for it. Oops.

It arrived today and I think I'm in love.

How could you not be in love with it? Unless you hate digital prints I suppose. In which case, we have nothing to say to each other. I jest! I jest!

The moment I took it out of the bag and pranced round the house in it, I wished I had a wedding to wear it to. In a bizarre coincidence I then opened the rest of my post and a wedding invitation was amongst the bills and bank statements. If that isn't fate then I don't know what is.

Oh, and the best thing?

Actually, make that two million.

Monday 14 June 2010

Hand in hand through their... Parklife!

The first Parklife festival was held in Manchester on Saturday, organised by those lovely folks at The Warehouse Project. There was sun, cider (well until it ran out at about 6pm anyway), lots of incredible music (Booka Shade, OMG) and laughing. Oh, the laughing. So. Much. Fun. I took my little point and shoot camera as didn't trust myself with my DSLR. Probably for the best seeing as I managed to smash my sunglasses and my friend C managed to lose his cash card. Carnage reigned. I only managed to take a few photos before the battery ran out so here's a pictorial journey through my day...

OK, so that was a very short pictorial journey through my day, but you get the picture. I didn't even manage to get a photo of my outfit, apart from the shoes. Nude, patent, with big bows. All I need combined in one glorious pair of shoes.

Parklife, you were incredible. Please come back next year.

Sunday 13 June 2010


Dear C,

One thing I was not expecting yesterday:

Seeing you at Parklife. In a crowd of 15,000 people. A year to the day after we broke up. Wearing the first t-shirt I ever bought you.

To say I was freaked out is an understatement. I wish you could have spoken to me, instead of reacting as though you'd been shot. Then again, I felt like I'd been shot. I wish you nothing but good things, always.

Things happen for a reason. I'm just not entirely sure what the reason is yet.

Look after yourself,

H xxx

Friday 11 June 2010

I'm gonna send him to outer space...


This morning...

...a toffee Muller Light yoghurt burst in my bag. Licking yoghurt off my iPhone was not how I expected to start the day. All my possessions now smell of soured toffee yoghurt and I had to carry my things in a carrier bag all day. Thankfull it was a Tesco one, not Netto.

...I stopped at the garage to get petrol (and tissues to try and clean my bag), filled up the car and went to pay. After I got back to my car I realised that two buttons on my blouse were undone. Nice treat for the man in the garage there. That probably wasn't how he expected to start the day.

...I fell up the stairs on the way into the office. It was at this point that I started to wish I'd stayed in bed.

However, my day improved immeasurably when I got home and waiting for me was a shiny black envelope from Black Milk. The leggings! The leggings had arrived! The beautiful galaxy leggings that I impulse purchased weeks ago. Possibly the most expensive leggings I'll ever own but also the most incredible. I can't stop looking at them.

Another thing that made my day a little bit better was realising which pieces of jewellery I'd inadvertently paired together...

I hope your mornings were immensely more pleasurable than mine!

Wednesday 9 June 2010


Today was a unicorn kind of day.

By that I mean I was in need of some serious cheering up this morning. Yesterday was a supremely stressful day at work. Turns out that getting promoted equals longer hours equals stress equals having a to do list longer than my arm equals ARGH. So I needed animal themed jewellery to get me through today. It worked a treat! Animal themed clothes and jewellery generally do. I'm a simple creature.

Other things that made my face happy today:

- A lovely package waiting for me when I got home. I love post. Also, a Dahlia coat that I've been lusting after for ages being delivered to work. I love getting things delivered to work. Presents at my desk can only ever be a good thing. Both to be featured in later posts.

- Marks & Spencer salmon and king prawns for lunch. I love a bit of fish.

- I passed my probation at the Samaritans and am now a fully fledged listening machine. I'm pretty chuffed to be honest. Eight months is actually a fairly short time to complete the training period. Hurrah.

- Jumping in my living room. Turns out it's actually quite hard to take a photo of yourself jumping. Fun though.

Skirt - ASOS
Shoes, cardigan and leggings - Dorothy Perkins
Necklace - Lisa Galibardy
Top and headband - Primark
Tired face - 11 hour days at work

Sunday 6 June 2010

Festival time!

Glastonbury is 16 days away. 

Consider me extremely excited. Bands, booze, incredible food and 5 days in a field with friends, old and new. I'm a proper festival girl at heart and, if I could afford it, I'd go to one every weekend during summer. Alas festivals are an expensive business these days (my first Glastonbury cost less than £100, this year it's closer to £200). Plus they've become a lot more glamorous than they used to be, necessitating strenuous outfit planning in the weeks leading up to them.

I think I took only my oldest, most battered clothes the first time I ventured to Worthy Farm. These days I'm of the opinion that more is most definitely more when it comes to festivals. Particularly Glastonbury, where you can be rubbing shoulders with people in full ballgowns, burlesque outfits and everything else in between.

Sweatshirts with animals on, floral playsuits, sparkling jewels, bright red lipstick (which I've only started embracing in the last week or so... yet another thing I didn't think I could get away with), leopard print and sequins will be squeezed into my rucksack, alongside essentials such as packets of tissues (so much easier to carry around than toilet roll), sun cream (ever since sunburn-gate of 2003), wet wipes and bin bags. Oh, and of course the obligatory kagoul and wellington boots.

Which festivals are you going to this year, if any? Any fellow Glastonbury goers?

The body beautiful?

Let's talk about body image.

It seems that everyone has hang ups. Everyone. Whether they let it be known or whether they hide it, everyone has something that they wish was thinner, bigger, firmer, more toned or more pert. Bigger (or smaller, for that matter) boobs, smaller thighs, less flabby arms, a toned stomach. Are we ever truly happy with the body we inhabit? With the body we've been blessed with?

It's been fairly well documented (I'm a blogger, I've been doing it for 11 years, oversharing is in my nature) that I've lost a sizeable amount of weight this year. Almost 3 stone in fact. 39 pounds and counting.

But has it made me any happier? In some ways, undoubtedly yes. In other ways, not so much. If anything, I'm far more critical of myself now than I was when I was bigger (when I was bigger I used to avoid mirrors most of the time and would actively try not to think about the way I looked. I have so much admiration for bigger girls who have amazing amounts of self confidence as I had virtually none). I certainly take a lot longer to get ready now. Although I think that's mainly because I have a larger choice of clothes that I can wear now. Before I wore whatever fitted me, from the limited selection in my wardrobe. More choice equals more indecision equals dancing around my room trying approximately 26 outfits on before inevitably deciding to wear the first one I tried.

In Edinburgh last weekend I was wondering whether I could get away with wearing the strapless dress pictured above. One of the girls said to me 'You've not accepted your new body yet have you?'. And I think she was right. After being big(ger) for so long, I think I'd convinced myself that I could never wear certain styles of clothes. Strapless dresses being one. So I wore that dress and, for the first time for as long as I can remember, I didn't hide my legs in leggings or tights. In short, I basically felt naked. Naked in super high heels that later reduced my feet to ravaged stumps.

I also felt confident though. And I think that was the most disarming thing of all. After feeling so unassured for so long it was a foreign feeling, so far removed from the way I felt only a few short months ago.

While I may never feel like a supermodel, and I'll certainly never have the legs of one, I think I'm learning to love the body I'm in. Although, if you're there God (it's me Margaret), I would like smaller thighs please.

What are your body hang-ups?

First picture: Dress - ASOS
Second picture: Dress - Tesco (!); Cardigan - thrifted; Necklace - Dorothy Perkins; Shoes - ASOS

Friday 4 June 2010

After the rain came...

Sigh. I love summer.

T-shirt: H&M; Sunglasses: H&M; Skirt: H&M;
Leggings: M&S (best leggings ever!); Sandals of joy: ASOS;
Ring: Etsy; Nail varnish: 290 by Barry M and Glamour Game by OPI

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Auld Reekie

1) Take off; 2) Airport bus; 3) View from the balcony; 4) Pink fizz; 
5) PJB and Smidge; 6) Sunset; 7) & 8) 5am; 
9) Taxi wedding car; 10) Freezing sea; 11) Illegal Jacks; 12) Gin and tonic; 
13) Tapas; 14) Candlelight; 15) Teapot cocktails; 16) Sky.

Edinburgh was fabulous.

Lots of laughter (most of it hysterical), lots of gin and slimline tonic (plenty of lime), amazing sunsets, an incredible apartment with a beautiful view of the sea, lots of lovely food, lots of dancing in (too) high heels, the comfiest bed in the whole wide world but.... only one kilt. And I didn't even look up it. Failure!

Many thanks to the other girls for making it so much fun. Bigger versions of the photos above, plus a few more, can be found on my Flickr.