Monday, 30 May 2011


Bryony and I went to the Royal Hall this evening to see the latest HSAP show, a cabaret style showcase, and we absolutely loved it. HSAP is an amateur production company which I am a member of and sometimes perform in, although I haven't done the last couple of shows. The first show I did with them was one which i will always remember and I reckon it is the best one I ever did. We Will Rock You. I went to watch this evening because after five years of being a part of the company, I have become close to some of the people there, including two of my lovely friends, Niki and Natalie whom I adore very much, and needless to say, were fabulous tonight.

I have not performed in a show for a while now. At least a year. It makes me sad, because sitting in the audience watching my talented friends quite clearly enjoying themselves doing what they do best is lovely, but it reminds me of what used to be such a predominant part of who I am. Well, I just miss it. I used to be ever so reserved and quiet, yes. But I was 'Tanya the dancer, Tanya the theatre lover, Tanya the artist, Tanya the performer..' Whereas who am I now? I know I still have those aspects in my heart somewhere. Of course I do, otherwise I would not have the capacity for such appreciation for all things beautiful, theatrical and musical, but I have much much more on the surface now. Perhaps it is otherwise known as 'growing up', or using those years to learn about myself. I don't know. I just hope I am not hiding the foundations of myself too much. When I see some people I went to school with and they hesitate whether or not to simply say hello. It makes me question myself.

I am a model. Most people do know that. I am at university, and somewhere along the line, I have discovered a level of confidence in myself that I never imagined I'd find. When a loser kid yells abusive 'ginger' comments directed at me in the street, which yes, some STILL do. I am not afraid to walk right next to them as I pass. I smile, and I look them in the eye. Whereas before, I would have been so afraid that I would cross the road and walk an entirely different route home while feeling shit, ugly, and wishing I were someone else.

Oh, how things have changed. I am still me though. I am still me.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Bank holiday weekend and update

Finally, a three day weekend and all I have planned is seeing close friends, relaxing in the house, reading books, catching up on a few TV shows I seem to have missed, and seeing a show at the theater with Bryony tomorrow evening. All lovely lovely lovely.

This week has been pretty insane. I handed in my final university assignment for this year, which means I have indeed well and truly conquered my first year at York. I have to admit, back in September when I begun, I honestly did not think I would stick it out. I thought I would be depressed and wanting to drop out by Christmas, but I love it. I do. I have only just realized over the past few weeks how long summer is, and how much I will miss the girls from university. I love York too. I love spending time there whether I am in uni, or just in town (usually with Anna, treating ourselves to some delicious form of hot beverages!). I now have over four months off and it feels incredibly strange not having deadlines to meet or revision to do, or classes to go to. It's strange, because me being a perfectionist who thrives from perfectly and precisely completing tasks and such on time, it just feels odd suddenly not having that added pressure. It's lovely though. I will admit, It is a lovely relief to know that for the next four months I can focus on modelling, hopefully becoming more established, working in Japan, and not studying for a while. It is not a rest, it just means a change. And as they say, a change is as good as a rest.

It's only a small matter of waiting for my visa until I jet off to Japan. I am as impatient as a five year old child waiting for his dinner! In other words, I really dislike waiting. Leaving the country for a while is what I need. I need to escape my house and my mother too. Our relationship is beginning to get a little too much for me to deal with, so getting away will be just amazing. Not only to escape my mother for a while, but to see Japan. I mean, I am nervous of course, but so bloody excited to experience working in such a foreign country, learning their culture, and meeting everyone out there. I always write and speak about my burning desire to travel and to see for myself all the wonders this world has to offer. And now I just cannot wait to go. I know I am fortunate enough to have already visited some really great cities and countries, but Japan is totally new territory for me. Ahhhh! I suppose I shall have to begin eating miso soup and noodles? My younger brother has just been confirmed for his work placement in New Zealand for a year too, so I am feeling rather proud of him also. Even though when I leave for Japan it will be over a year before I see him. Goodness me. Change, change, change.

In other goings on this week, other than the final submission of university work, and confirmation of Japan, I worked a few days too, which is always good fun, and I know I'm earning money but I am left in much need of a lie in and a day off. We did Liverpool graduate fashion shows, which went well. Stuart and Jen our bookers from Boss watched the evening show too, which was nice. Usually there is a lot of waiting around at shows, but this time it felt pretty crazy. No breaks and not much time to relax, just work work work. It was a thirteen hour day too. Pretty long. Left at 6am and got back home at 2am. 2am! Yes! I had a nightmare journey back home. The motorway was closed, and I followed the diversions which led me totally the wrong way. I should have known but I was too tired to really pay attention. I ended up driving an hour and a half extra, to make the expected 2 hour journey much much longer. Not a good idea when you are so tired you may as well be sleeping. I doubt I should admit this on my blog, but hey ho.

Perhaps it is a lesson I need to learn, so by writing it here, it feels more real as a pose to just having a private giggle about it. I was driving down the motorway. It was about midnight and I actually don't know which motorway I was on (that's how tired I must have been) when I looking in my rear view mirror and the police were right behind me, flashing and indicating me to pull over. YES. Mini heart attack commenced, and I took a breathe and pulled over into the hard shoulder. I stepped out of my car, wearing full show hair and make up, greeted by a lovely, but rather scary police man questioning my 'dangerous' driving. He thought I had been taking drugs or drinking. I knew it was because I was so tired so I apologized, had a little chat with the police man about how I must pay full attention to the roads. Oh my goodness. Never again.

On a more positive note, I tested with Sean Knott yesterday, a really cool and very lovely photographer originally from South Africa. We had a full day of beauty shoots, but I really enjoyed it. I think it was something to do with the lovely hair and make up artist putting a crazy afro in my hair. I love having a ginger afro. Nightmare to wash out, but who cares really! Looked like we got some great shots. Here's a sneaky pic from behind the scenes.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Show time

Nottingham graduate fashion shows. 2 days, 2 fittings, train rides, train delays, heels, 4 shows, too many designers to count, about 40 changes, eye brows and hair spray, model hotel stays, cups of tea, sandwiches.
Plus a wonderful friend named Anna whom I can call at 1am to crash at her house when I arrive in York and can't get home. I am blessed to have such a friend.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Sisterly afternoons

Afternoon tea - a brilliant way to relax and wind down after what's been a crazy week. Also a lovely excuse to treat myself and spend some much needed sisterly time together. Bryony and I went for afternoon tea and cake at Betty's this afternoon and spent hours drinking tea and hot chocolate, eating scones, and enjoying eachother's company. It's becoming quite a habit, but I am not one to complain.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Good times

The past couple of days have been good. Yesterday I hung out with Anna and Rachel for a while in York before heading back to university to have a cup of tea with another friend and then do some work. Which we did, a little. It was wonderful meeting the beautiful Rachel. She is always ever so sweet, ever so supportive, and a very beautiful being.

Today - really good. It was better than just 'really good' actually but I'm rather tired and cannot really articulate as well as I would like. My brain may as well be mush due to the amount of crazy things going on. I was shooting with two other girls today, and photographer Kerry Harrison at a beautiful location in a secluded log cabin in a forest up in the North. Not the usual location, but it was lovely. I ended up laughing so much that I began uncontrollably crying. We ended the day as every day should rightly be ended, in the hot tub before drying off and sleepily travelling back home.
One very tired me!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

To be a Taurus

'Being surrounded by all of their worldly possessions gives a Taurus a sense of security, but for those who share their space, it is chaotic.'

I am not really into the whole zodiac signs and such like, however I do believe there is an incredible element of truth in the characteristics and personality types of each zodiac star sign. I don't know much about the others, because I'll admit, I am a little selfish (again - a trait of the Taurus). But it is uncanny how much I see in myself with everything I read about a Taurus. It really is like reading a psychoanalysis document of myself and my mind and behaviour.


Photography - Harold Thompson.
This was a lovely day, and quite possibly the most natural and fresh faced I've ever been on a shoot. It was wonderful not to wear a touch of make up.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Magical beauty

April cover shoot for Elle Denmark
Shot by Signe Vilstru
Soft, ethereal, feminine, beautiful, magical, lovely..
Much love and appreciation for this editorial

Life and such

The past few days have been a somewhat crazy blur. I haven't actually caught up with the fast pace yet, but luckily this weekend is completely free for me. When I say 'free' I mean I will be working on my assignments but hopefully (fingers and toes crossed!) Hopefully I will have completed all my assignments by Sunday night, then that will be me completely finished first year of university.
Wednesday - Anna and I had plans to meet with Rachel but she was poorly sick so we just chilled together anyway. I spent some time at the university library working, and waiting to hear back from my  tutor about a drama therapy workshop, which turned out to be an incredibly late reply so I did not go in the end. But it was a lovely time Anna and I spent together. Just the usual, nothing special but we had nice chats, as always, and both helped each other a lot just by being there rather than us both being alone and sad.

I fail to find any words in my head to describe the chaotic insanity that was Thursday. I rocked up to university incredibly early because I woke up earlier than my alarm and didn't fancy waiting around at home. We had an exam in the morning, which I strangely wasn't feeling nervous about. It just happened, and it finished, and that was it. It was okay, but obviously a little mentally exhausting because work does require more energy than we realize. I then rushed down to Manchester for a fashion show. I arrived, barely had time to put my bags down before I was rushed into fittings and hair and make up, followed by rehearsals, quick stop for dinner, and then it was show time. I slept for nine and a half hours when I got home that evening.

Then yesterday (Friday) Was just lovely. We finally could relax a little. The afternoon was spent with cream tea and scones in Bettys, before heading into town for cocktails. I have some wonderful friends who provide me with laughs and chats, but perhaps most importantly, they are friends who make it okay for me to be me, or for me just to be. Other than the usual definitions of a friend - loyalty, honesty, and such like.. there's an unspoken acceptance that requires no facades and no false pretenses. Just person to person. That is what I like.

A few snaps of Anna and I..

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Realisation of today

I am not my own worst critic, my mother is.

It is a common phrase, 'I am my own worst critic' - so widely stated that it is now more of a passing comment rather than one which actually has emotional meaning. Even I am guilty of using this fly away phrase. And yes, I have no doubt in my mind that it is very truthful for some people. But not all. It is a true reflection perhaps only at one point in our lives, but not always.

I am self critical at times, yes. And I often doubt my abilities when I am feeling a little insecure. But no one has such a powerful voice as my mother does. Her voice determines my mood. Perhaps is is just my very own screwed interpretation of words, but from such a critical analysis, it feels as though I will never quite measure up. I have my own goals, my own ambitions, and my own ideals.. But she has her own thoughts on the here-and-now. I am happy working towards the future that I hope for, but when I realise I don't quite measure up right now? Not to the person who 'should' feel the most protective and supportive? That is something very different.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Water for Elephants

'The whole thing is an illusion, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's what people want from us. It's what they expect.'

I saw Water for Elephants a few nights ago, and I must say it is the most beautiful film I have seen in a really long time. Beautiful in every sense of the word. Firstly, a beautiful cast: the animals, Reece Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson. But more importantly than appearances, is the story, the imagery, the music, the locations. Oh my goodness. The contrast between reality and illusions, the power of love, and the pure romantic and elegant authenticity of the era and the depression. On the surface, I admit - it is potentially quite a predictable and smooth flowing storyline, but I was absolutely drawn in to the tale.

I struggle, with the concept of love. I know it is said the most powerful thing in the world, and I truly wish I could experience that ultimate power. But I find it difficult to understand. This means that usually, with a story like this, I cannot connect simply because my emotions do not allow me. But this was different. It must have hit a feeling somewhere, that I'm not afraid of showing.

Lovely, lovely film.

More work

A couple more shots from a shoot last month, incredible dresses, wonderful people, and beautiful location.

On the road

A few snaps (because I really do take a lot of photos) from my travels over the past week.. Mostly pointless. But it paints a picture of what my life tends to look like

Little Miss Sunshine

What a lovely Google homepage to wake up to this morning.
Provided me with a little grin on my face.

Chilli chilli chilli

My midnight snack has just backfired on me. I had carrots and red pepper but got a little carried away with the old chilli powder. A rather generous portion has resulted in my mouth and lips on fire. And not in the good way. Hello bottle of chilled water. On the plus side, I made a good start to my uni research file, I watched a brilliant extended episode of Glee, and spent the morning being entertained by the graphics on the Google homepage - Little Miss and Mr men.

Life is so unstructured and strange right now. I feel stressed. I feel lost. I do not feel myself. I found myself ironing yesterday afternoon. I had begun ironing my socks and underwear. I stopped, acknowledged my actions, decided whether or not this was a normal behaviour, and then continued, ironing every single damn crease in those socks. I must say, my drawers are now exceptional. 

I should really sleep soon. Or at least give myself time to mentally prepare myself for the busy day that is tomorrow. I somehow have concocted this strange idea in my mind that if I prolong sleep for long enough, then the night will last for eternity and I will never have to wake up and face the next day. It's not that I don't want to face tomorrow, it's just overwhelming when I have my diary in front of me, something planned for every single waking hour of the day. Once the next two weeks are over, there will be a huge weight off my shoulders. I cannot wait

Monday, 9 May 2011

New work

I thought I would post some of the latest work. Last week I did a shoot in Birmingham with a brilliant team. Photographer Tom Ayerst and the lovely hair and make up artist Rebecca Frances. We did the full shoot outdoors, which was really rather lovely and gave us a nice summer theme to work with.