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Book Review – The Mismade Girl by Sasha Grey

May 7, 2018
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I believe that by this point Sasha Grey dispenses any further presentation – she is one of the few adult stars that made a transition into “mainstream” culture and doesn’t seem to have suffered from her previous career choices. (I am particularly fond of a music project she collaborated with, aTelecine).

If you’ve been reading my blog for long enough, you will know that this is not the first time that I review one of Ms Grey’s books. The first in the trilogy was called The Juliette Society and you can read my review here.

I have to confess that I didn’t get to read the second book in the series but the publisher Cleis Press was kind enough to send me a copy of the third and final title in the trilogy, “The Mismade Girl”. Don’t let this stop you from picking up this tome – there are enough references to the previous happenings for the story to make sense.

The main character of the series, Catherine, is now a well-known journalist who gets offered the scoop of her life by a powerful man, Mr X. I don’t want to give too much of the story away in this review so I’ll leave it at that. I will instead say that Ms Grey has a very fertile imagination when it comes to risque situations! Another aspect that I enjoyed about the book is how BDSM is portrayed – Ms Grey knows what she is talking about and has many reflections on it throughout the book. It’s inevitable not to mention the 50 Shades of Nonsense book, as unfortunately, it’s still the most popular book on the subject, that perpetuates a lot of misconceptions – even recently, a new film in the series came out and I didn’t bother to watch it but this review is not only hilarious but also says all you need to know about what is wrong with it.

Anyway and going back to the book at hand, I think that the author’s writing has matured and while there are still a lot of thought wanderings about all sorts of things like relationships, sex, etc, they didn’t feel as shoehorned in as much as in the first book. This was an enjoyable piece of erotica and a great read to make those intolerable commutes in London a little bit more tolerable.

To purchase your own copy of The Mismade Girl, go here. 

travel

Guest post – Top 5 Exotic Wedding Destinations across Europe

February 27, 2018
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Couples who want a unique and lovely destination wedding in a setting that is so beautiful, it is what fantasies are made of, seek the following locations. Couples step into an exotic world. Brides glow in their fairytale wedding dress, and the world around them pauses.

 

Suenti Stefan Island, Adriatic Sea

This beautiful destination is a premier location for the romantic destination wedding. It is unspoiled by big commerce. The natural beauty is protected. People who want the best of everything for their wedding come to Saint Stefan Island. The resort accommodations blend in effortlessly. Must care is taken to allow guests the finer things in life, without disturbing the area.  If you want an exotic tropical wedding, this is the place to go.

Underground caverns in Cornwall, UK

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Picture credit/site 

This beautiful underground cavern is like stepping into another world. The landscape is otherworldly. It is complete with underground lakes, special lighting, and formations that are unusual and unlike any other. Only the unstoppable force of nature can carve this world, and this is the same unstoppable force that will sustain your union.

Gibraltar

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Photo site/credit Arkas Peninsula

This natural beauty is said to be the birthplace of the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite. There are nearby resorts that will accommodate up to 50- guests. The beauty of the area, combined with the very essence of love is a dream come true for a couple. Enjoy clear aqua water and a host of tropical plants. In the near backend enjoy there is a  beautiful rainforest.

Jukkasjarvi Ice Hotel Sweden

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Every November, artist sweep on to the frozen land of Jukkasjarvi, Sweden to create] a one of a kind hotel. The art can never be repeated. It is unique and breathtakingly beautiful.

We all know that there are beautiful places to be married in Europe, We all know about the wonders of Paris, the majesty of England, the incredible artwork. The architecture in Europe is among the best of the work. World-famous fountains, and even historical bridges art too numerous to list. However, we would encourage you to experience Europe on a much deeper level. You will find a land and a people that are resilient and courageous. These are a people that formed our world. What better place to begin your life as man and wife.

Do your homework!

Just like in the United States, there are different rules that must be followed for your wedding to take place. You will need various types of paperwork. Some areas have waiting periods of up tp 15 days. This can be a problem if you were only scheduled for a 7-day leave from your office.

Other considerations:

  • Some countries will accept American marriage license and some will not. Some require a translator certify the license document with a stamp and signatures
  • Some countries require a passport, health records, and background check before they will let you in.
  • Some require a return ticket to show how long you will stay.

Getting married in Europe is great, but it takes some work so be sure you know what is required before you go.

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Art – “Pound£and” at Blue Goat Gallery

February 27, 2018
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After a few months of preparation, it finally happened: I had my first solo show in Berlin, at Blue Goat Gallery. This was a show organised in collaboration with Boner Magazine, the largest +18 free magazine in circulation in Europe (if not the world).

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The work created for “Pound£and” was based on materials from Boner Magazine (and other titles from the same publisher) and it is meant to be a fun approach to sex and porn, as well as a celebration of sexual freedom.

However, as the work was being created, it was shared on social media and it had the effect of uncovering a feeling of discomfort (and subsequent censorship), particularly around the images containing any suggestion of gay sex. This appeared in stark contrast with other imagery produced previously, featuring the female form, which faced no backlash.

That has opened other avenues that will no doubt be explored in the future, focusing on freedom and resistance to censorship in art. This is a subject that I intend on writing about further in the future. For the time being, enjoy some of the images from the show!

Many thanks to Carmen and Sandra at Blue Goat Gallery for letting me show at their space and also to Boner Magazine for all the support and friendship – plus the double page feature and all the promo! Also thank you to everyone who came and partied along with us, we had a great time!

Continue Reading…

Lifestyle

Life – Goodbye 2017, hello 2018

January 12, 2018
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It might be a bit of a cliche’, to write year overviews and all that but considering that I haven’t been looking after this corner here as well as I have in the past, I thought it would be worth doing it, even if only to remind myself of all the good things that happened in 2017. While a lot of people complain that it’s been a horrible year, I honestly think that I can’t complain too much – sure, there have been challenges but when isn’t life challenging?

This overview also comes a bit late (January is well underway) but I have been working without days off for a few weeks… after being ill. UGH! Better late than never, that’s what I would say.

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2017 has been a very eventful year… I managed to get a lot of things done and I’m happy with what I see when I look back. So, what have been these amazing things that I’ve accomplished last year? Here’s a list, that’s not exhaustive but comprises the main highlights.

  • left full-time employment – due to my health and after last year’s burnout, the thought of corporate life induces mild ptsd symptoms in me.
  • been the poorest as a result – but I’ve learned to live with less and spend my time and energy on more creative endeavours.
  • stopped taking anti-depressants – I’m poor but happier!
  • got into several group shows – been showing my work all over London and in New York.
  • got my first solo show – and it was fairly successful, as many friends came and it was a lot of fun
  • met amazing artists – that I can now consider friends.
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  • went streaking with a friend down Millenium Bridge on a warm Summer night – don’t ask, but it was a lot of fun
  • found love – after kissing a few frogs after my separation and divorce, I think I have finally found the most caring and supportive partner one can ever ask for
  • became a stepmum – said partner came with a readymade family and they’re super cool!
  • worked on very interesting projects – one of the good things about working as a freelancer is the opportunity to work on several different things, which has provided me with more knowledge and more skills
  • turned 40 – damn, I’m old
  • still cancer free – possibly the most important item on this list!

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(does my butt look big in this? Yes, yes it does.)

2018 promises to be an equally eventful year, and there are a few things that I’m looking forward to:

  • my solo show in Berlin – my efforts to go international are paying off and managed to organise a show that will happen next month
  • spending time with A – we have a lot of fun stuff planned for the coming year, including a holiday back home in Portugal with the children
  • blog some more – I miss blogging and I want to do at least one post per month, mostly to support my practice
  • spend less time on social media – it’s a great vehicle to connect with likeminded people and to promote my art but considering what has been happening in general plus the level of censorship artists face (I’ll have to write about the silly episode I was part of), going back to self publishing is the way to go
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  • no shopping – not having lots of money means less shopping and I’d like to do a year of no shopping, as I still have enough clothes and shoes that fit me to last me a few years
  • continue decluttering – I’ve posted about decluttering a lot in the past few years, I know. It seems that it just never ends but I’m seriously letting go of a lot of things, to make more space for art materials, etc.
  • continue creating and improving my art – an ongoing project for the rest of my life, I suppose!
  • continue cancer free – not a lot that I can do towards this goal except take my meds and keep an eye on how I feel but it’s nonetheless something to look forward to

I’m sure that a lot more could be said but I don’t want to bore my readers too much.

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Some of the clothes I’m wearing in this post have been courtesy of Simply Be – the jeans and the long black shirt. I’m actually loving my new jeans and I think they fit rather nicely on my butt – no one wants ill fitting jeans, right?

Many thanks to A for taking the outfit photos – in true blogger’s boyfriend fashion!

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Art – Some new work…

November 19, 2017
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I haven’t been posting much as I have been busy trying to sort out my life – paying bills and creating art and more opportunities to show, etc. I have left the life of having a full-time job for the time being as I couldn’t cope anymore and I am doing some work as a freelancer plus picking up odd jobs here and there. To be honest, I’ve never felt better… albeit a bit tired after days in which I end up walking 11 miles…

Recently I hit my busiest time as an artist, having work in four art shows at the same time, including one in Brooklyn New York. So happy! Hard work pays off and it’s certainly starting to pay. Looking at my art CV, I will have participated in 14 group shows and 2 solo shows by the end of the year. Many more will be happening next year, including a solo show in a Berlin gallery. Pretty cool!

One of the shows I have put up recently (and is still up until next month) has been “Call Me”, at Number 90 Bar in Hackney Wick, via The Number Gallery.

The pieces included in this show are calling cards I have found in phone boxes around London, to which I’ve given the Hello the Mushroom treatment. The idea behind it is to be a bit cheeky and poke fun at beauty standards and what is considered sexy in our culture.

Here are some of the pieces for your enjoyment:

 

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You can see (and buy) all of the pieces at The Number Gallery website.

If you’re looking for girls curtains, they’re to be found somewhere else… (don’t ask)